We get a lot of new users on this site asking about T1, how it works, what the rules are, etc. It's actually less common on this site than most people would assume, but it still comes in handy when you're doing a combat-focused RP, and can be immensely fun on its own. So here I'm posting a few rules and suggestions, to serve as a baseline for those who want to know what T1 is all about. This should hopefully make things clear enough for you to step into this kind of combat and enjoy yourself.
Before I start, I'd like to note is that not all fights are resolved through T1. Some people choose to cooperate and decide an outcome together, others will choose to use dice rolls to determine the results of combat. So it's worth checking with opponents whether a fight is actually going to go down using this system.
If it is, then here's what to expect:
Part one: the basics.
Where T1 differs from other ways of writing combat is that it is both competitive, and ruled by tactics rather than luck. The objective is to catch the opponent's character in a situation where the other writer concedes, usually because they can see no plausible way for their character to escape defeat. This might seem rather easy at first, but there are some major limitations:
- Players cannot write what happens to the opponent's character. For instance, you can't say, "Demon slashes at Angel, and cuts his head off." Instead, you could say, "Demon makes a horizontal slash at Angel, aimed for his neck. The strike carried enough power to easily shear through his neck, if it were to make contact." This way, the potential consequences of the attack are illustrated, but whether events actually proceed that way are determined by the opponent's reaction.
- Characters are limited in power. The precise limits vary from site to site, with some forums using 'tiers' of power to make sure fighters are evenly matched. Valucre has Mild Powers, which essentially restricts massive scale attacks (destroying a building with one huge attack is okay, destroying a city is usually not) and bans certain overpowered abilities (control of time, instant teleportation, suddenly creating a fireball right in front of the enemy's face from a mile away). There's still plenty of leeway as to what you can do, as long as you avoid characters with instant-win attacks or virtually unbreakable defenses, you should be okay. It's also permitted to fight without the Mild Power rules, so long as both sides consent to this.
- Finally, a character's actions must be plausible. If your opponent tries to, say, freeze your character with ice powers, you can't just step forwards and attack them afterwards without dealing with that somehow ('cause you'd be frozen). Likewise, you can't attack an enemy with a club if they're standing ten meters away (unless it's a damn big club). Any action beyond peak human capabilities requires justification, either based on your character's abilities, or their circumstances. Likewise, if your character knows something, they need to have a reason to know it (by default, characters' powers are unknown to each other at the start of a fight).
These are the basic rules, and are technically all you need. Here's a simplified example:
1. Demon shoots a fireball at Angel from six feet away, aiming to burn a massive hole in his face.
2. Angel leans forward and bends his knees, ducking under the flaming projectile. This accomplished, he lunges forwards, aiming to impale Demon on his longsword.
3. The grinning Demon steps forwards to meet Angel and blocks with one arm, sticking out his hand so that the tip of the sword pierces his palm. His fingers then grip the blade, holding it in place, even as he launches another fireball towards Angel.
In this case, both opponents were able to react to each other's attacks. Neither character used absurdly powerful abilities, and neither performed actions that were impossible or improbable (the fireball is technically beyond human capabilities, but in this case I'm assuming it's one of Demon's powers). Finally, the third move caught Angel in a tricky situation: since his sword is held still by his opponent, it will be difficult for him to dodge the fireball without letting go of the sword. So, as you can see, this format allows two combatants to fight evenly and creatively, while still allowing one to overcome the other through tactics.
Part two: a serious fight
Now, of course, that was a highly simplified version. There are other guidelines which, though not essential, can be very useful for having a satisfying T1 match against a creative and/or experienced opponent.
- All characters involved should have character sheets, or at the very least detailed lists of their abilities. Otherwise, someone can just make up powers as the situation demands! Making clear each character's powers and limitations helps ensure a fair fight.
- You should describe your attacks clearly. Try to make your attacks detailed, so that your opponent knows what is going on. You don't have let them know what your character is thinking, but you must make it clear what your character is doing physically, even if their character cannot see it. It is impossible to respond to an attack that is not described, after all. You cannot say you hit the opponent with something unless they knew it existed, and had a chance to respond (you're allowed to make stealth attacks on their characters, but to say that their character didn't see it coming would be controlling their character, they might have had a clever trick up their sleeve to detect it!)
- Differences in power are resolved through preparation. In some cases, it's obvious which action is stronger. A twelve-foot giant's punch will be stronger than an ordinary boxer's punch, and the boxer character will not try to claim he can just knock the giant's fist aside. However, in most cases it is unclear. If two super-strong characters go toe-to-toe and end up grappling, which is stronger? If two mages shoot beams at each other, which clash between them, which beams blasts through the other? You can't just say 'my character is stronger,' and even if you give numbers, your opponent can just give bigger numbers.
Some sites resolve things with stats, by giving each character specific STR, DEX, CON, and INT levels. Most, however, including Valucre, use preps. An action that is prepared in some way is always 'better' than a 'quickdraw' action. This does not mean prepared attacks are unavoidable, but it means you can't brute-force your way past them without your own preparations. Here's an example:
1. Angel clasps his hands in prayer, summoning the power of Light to him.
2. Demon roars, and flings a fireball at Angel, a raging flame that will melt its way through his chest if it meets its target.
3. Angel opens his eyes, and casts forth a sphere of blazing light, calling on the power he had gathered to give his spell strength. The sphere smashes into the fireball, dispersing it with ease, and carries on towards Demon, its bright power capable of purifying his foul flesh upon contact.
In this case, Demon cannot claim that his attack can blast through Angel's, because Angel had prepared his attack beforehand to enhance its power. If two actions directly clash, then whichever has more preparation behind it wins. Preps can take any form: you can charge magic, steel your will, focus on a specific movement, divert power to weapon systems, etc: they can be used to improve any kind of action, offensive or defensive (though there are limitations: charging your tesla cannon won't help you dodge an arrow). However preps do not guarantee success, because they can't enhance everything at once. There was one fight I was in where an opponent used a prep to make a devastatingly powerful attack, and I simply dodged it, because the power she gave the attack didn't make it fast. Generally, you want to save your preps for when you have your opponent cornered, or need to escape a difficult situation. Valucre rules: one prep can be made per turn, five preps is the maximum you can have at once. Also, a prep cannot be used the same turn it is generated.
- You can't do a million things at once. There's no official limit to how many actions you can take in a turn: many times, I've defended, attacked, and prepared for a future attack within the space of a single post! However, while three or four complex actions are plausible, ten or twelve are not. Nobody can do that many things at once, and doing them all in sequence is basically inviting your opponent to interrupt you early on and nullify your later actions. This is not to say you can't do devious and convoluted things, just that you have to do them over the course of several posts, while also fending off your opponent.
- Finally, and arguably most importantly, be ready to resolve disputes. If you do a lot of T1 (this site is fairly quiet in that regard, but there's still the occasional bouts and tournaments), then you're going to run into people who break/ignore the rules, and people who don't agree with what you think is going on. If you want a fair fight, you'll need to argue with them, without turning the whole thing into a horrible shouting match. You can:
1. Use a judge. It often helps to have an impartial user or an admin on hand to read the fight, and decide if anyone is being unfair or misunderstanding what is written.
2. Try to establish rules beforehand. If you're worried about rule violations, agree on some basics, like whether you're going to use Mild Powers only, whether you will have a time limit for replying, etc. Many of the rules I explained above can be broken in a good fight, as long as both sides are okay with this. It helps to pick the rules you want, and suggest them to your opponent... but try not to be too strict. There was one guy I saw who made a list twenty rules long, and would only fight people who stuck within those exact boundaries. Of course, nobody fought him.
If the basic rules are established beforehand, and someone still breaks them, then just quote what they agreed to at them. This should shut them up.
3. If someone is doing something that seems impossible given their character's abilities, explain that to them (private messaging works best). Be friendly if you can, and tell them you're confused. Someone is far more likely to admit a mistake if you say you're trying to understand their actions, rather than if you accuse them of cheating. Often, they will simply have misinterpreted something, and have a different understanding of what is going on between your characters.
4. Be ready to admit that you're wrong. Maybe your opponent fucked up and misread something, but it's just as likely you did. Stay civil, and be ready to consider that you've made a mistake and might have to take a hit for it.
Part three: winning.
This is the shortest part, because I'm tired after writing all that and I don't want to give away all my tricks Anyways, here is how you win:
- Keep posting. A surprising number of fights are won when one player drops out. If you can commit to a fight, you already have a good chance of coming out on top.
- Exploit mistakes. Don't be mean about it... but if your opponent's character does something that plays right into your hands, pounce on them! Make it clear in your writing how the situation favors your actions, and hit them hard while they're in a difficult position.
- Plan ahead. Try and predict what your opponent might do, and how you might respond to it. Most of the time you'll predict wrong, but when you get it right, you'll have a counter ready to deploy!
- Make sure your character has a good fighting style. You don't want to exceed Mild Powers, or give them dozens of different powers (few people have the patience for overpowered characters)... but make sure they have abilities you can get creative with. Recommended: ranged attacks, stealth abilities, abilities that can affect terrain. (NOTE: these are useful, but definitely not essential. I won a tournament here using a lizardman with no powers other than being big and tough, armed only with a pair of ordinary rocks).
- Be smart. If you make your actions consistently clever, you'll not only make your attacks more powerful, but also impress your opponent. If they consider you worthy of defeating them, they are more likely to give in when you catch them in a tricky spot.
- Remember it's just a game! At some point, you may run into that spot where your opponent pulls something you didn't expect, and shatters your devious tactics, and it's just AAAARRRRGH! But it's okay, you're just throwing magic and swords and stuff at each other via text. Keeping a cool head about things not only helps you have fun, it makes you more fun to fight with, and helps you think clearly and stay in the game. Be ready to lose, sometimes... but never go down without a fight.
Elendaron is a place of magic, danger, and mystery. There are many different lands, underground, underwater, and floating in the air. The creatures residing there are just about as diverse as the land, and each one has made their area fit their lifestyle. It is ruled by a queen, Queen Malia. She is a new ruler, young, and elven. She must prove her worth with the wildness of the land, and against the strength of her enemies.
Topography: The land of Elendaron is surrounded by water on almost all sides. In Elendaron there are massive amounts of forests, a few mountains, some desert plains, caves, and gentle rolling hills. Jungles are not unheard of, nor ice lands.
Climate: Different areas of Elendaron have different climates, due to magical disruption or location. In the north the climate is more mild, with only rain storms and a possible tornado or two to be disruptive. In the South there are plains and mild weather as well. In the West there are desert lands and jungle. In the East there is snow and wasteland. In the very center of Elendaron there is the Great Forest that has acquired aspects of all the areas climate.
50.7% are female, 49.3% are male
Species - There are a variety of mixed species in Elendaron. The majority of them are elves, dwarves, human, vampire, demon, and fae.
Culture: Having to deal with wildly different climates and environments depending on where they are located, the people of Elendaron are a hearty and enduring people who are as familiar with sailing as they are with making their way through a jungle. They are a henotheistic culture, which means that many different parts of the populace will adhere to one particular god without discounting the possibility or existence of others. The Elendaron people are known for their enchanted gems and jewelry, as their land is covered with crystals known to have magic properties. Until the recent reign of Queen Malia, education in Elendaron has been focused mainly on textiles and subsistence farming; they are now focusing on engineering and magic to poise themselves to enter the global stage.
Economy: The trade is fairly good with Elendaron. It’s resources are magical and unique. The crystals that litter the land and inside the mountains have magical properties, as well as can be used for energy purposes. There are flora and fauna found nowhere else in Valucre.
Government: Elendaron is ruled by a Monarch. Queen Malia is the new ruler of Elendaron. She has inherited the title after the death of Queen Nylam, her distant cousin.
Military: Each area has their own regiment of military soldiers, but they are all loyal to Queen Malia. She can request their services for war time at any time she deems necessary. Some areas have more military than others, and the queen also has her own personal protectors on hand. She also has a special forces unit made up of some of the most dangerous and skilled individuals. Some are public figures, while others wish to remain out of the public eye.
Foreign Relations: Elendaron is allied with Athentha, Alterion, and newly allied with the underwater city of Adain.
Education: Queen Nylam had always enforced a desire for higher education for her kingdom, and Queen Malia reinforces her cousin’s wishes. The areas are stressed to provide the best forms of education available to them, and education programs have been specially set up for relief for each area that requires it.
Transportation: There are many forms of transportation. The most popular is the Obsidian Tear, which is a magical hover train that can transport all over Elendaron. There are also more modern areas in Elendaron, which allow for motor vehicles. And some areas still use horse and carriage. Some magical portals have also been found in or around Elendaron, natural warp gates that can take you to different destinations. These gates move continuously, and are not easy to find. If found the exact destination can not be determined, so most locals never use them.
History: (From past to present)
Dragon Wars - Long ago, there was a conflict between dragons and the rest of the species. A war broke out, and left many dead upon the earth. The dragons began to take heavy losses and were either slaughtered, or went into hiding. The dragon population had been scarce ever since. Some think that the dragons had died, or their bloodline had been weakened. Others say they are still hidden in Elendaron, in the mountains, or underground.
Rosinder Takeover - Rosinder was a great kingdom, built in a savage time and a savage land. The people were warriors. No one knows exactly how the people were conquered or where they disappeared to. One day in the midst of another in a long line of wars, they vanished, and all that is left is the Elendaron you see now.
Queen Nylam’s Reign - Queen Nylam began her rule after the Dragon Wars and the Rosinder Takeover. She was a fair ruler, kind and considerate of her people. She was well loved by most she ruled.
Queen Malia’s Reign - Present day.
Areas of Importance:
Seinaru Forven - This is an area abundant in magic and dragons. There are giant crocodiles and hidden magical cities. The elven queen was born here, and many political endeavors take place in this area.
Vechynacht - This is a land of darkness as well as cold. You can find horror as well as a comedic nonchalance among its people. Death is not done here, and you might find walking talking clothing items.
Draco South - This area has a steampunk theme, with a more modern twist than the rest of Elendaron. Organized crime is common, and it has political conflict due to the distance from the queen’s home of Seinaru Forven.
Nar Oeste - This land is harsh and wild, part of it being desert while the other half is jungle. Though as abundant in different species as the rest of Elendaron, Nar Oeste also boasts of a large population of vampires.
Athentha - Floating mountainous islands decorate the sky, and its name is Athentha. They are allied with Elendaron, and are populated by a majority of demon species.
Valucre is a mild powers forum.
We allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit their ceiling to keep the site relatively balanced. Wiggle room for outsized impact exists but is almost always for the sake of collective story, not aggrandizing a single character. A new member who joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone cleaving mountains in half might feel pressured to beef up their character in response, but as combat is always optional, this isn't required. As a site Valucre seeks to emphasize character development over ability or power development. If you would like a loose framework to follow along with check out Flow and Fiero in Freeform Roleplay.
As a free-form site, we don't manage rank or stat based systems for development. Instead we ask members exercise prudence and emphasize narrative when choosing abilities to navigate the fantasy setting of Valucre. Given the wide scale our below mild powers examples establish, we care more about regulating the end result or consequences of powers than their origins or types. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss and want suggestions as to what we think makes for effective character creation.
As mentioned earlier combat is always optional and requires both declaration and consent. As long as it is stated and agreed upon by both players, any system can be used to resolve an in-character conflict. Examples include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combat but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System, among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create.
When in doubt, following the philosophies outlined in Roleplay Etiquette will steer you in the right direction.
Mild Powers - history and examples
In its historical context mild powers was "somewhere in between" the poles of Realistic Melee and Power Characters. The former allowed only realistic characters, abilities, weaponry, and the latter allowed concepts which tend to be more about power gaming than telling a story. There's a lot of room on the spectrum between those two poles and so it should come as no surprise if what you consider mild, or even just plain serviceable, varies from what someone else does. When in doubt talk with your partners and come to a consensus on what makes something interesting vs what deflates all tension.
The below is not an exhaustive list, just examples:
Examples of forbidden abilities
Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste" is often Mild; time travel often isn't)
Large scale reality manipulation (at a small scale this is just a different flavor of "magic")
Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomena
Attacks that manifest instantly or otherwise don't allow a character to react to them
Indestructible weapons, armors, unstoppable magic, infinite or impervious items, etc
Examples of generally disallowed abilities (can be used for NPCs or collaborative story purposes)
Soul stealing or manipulation (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing but for others it can be a pivotal aspect hence the "allowed for story purposes" designation)
Manifesting an attack inside of another person ("blood bending" is an example of where you want to make sure the player is fine with it)
Automatic mind-control (vs attempted)
Teleportation and other "instantaneous" abilities or actions
"Magical scanning" or otherwise being able to meta-game knowledge about another user
Examples of allowed abilities
Augmented physical and mental abilities
Psionics (telekinesis, telepathy, pyromantic, etc, all dependent on the scale)
Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc)
For storyline purposes, large scale attacks are allowed within reason. World- or continent-destroying attacks will essentially always be disallowed; city-busting is sometimes feasible depending on the effort and activity leading up to this as well as obtained permission and coordinating of plot; and the destruction of a building or buildings is usually considered the upper limit of a character or group of characters.
Someone inevitably fixes on the fact that "building" is a generic term and fail to realize that the term is kept generic on purpose. A single story home and an apartment high rise are both buildings, but are clearly not equivalent in size. In general the takeaway is that as a player you should be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work to destroy depending on what went into making the item. Contributors can work for years building up conceptual sand-castles and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two even if they are open to conflict.
Abilities are judged primarily on their destructive or constructive potential, or the scale on which they apply, as opposed to their complexity. Stopping a boulder mid-flight and pushing it away is less complex than turning it to sand but both work on a similar scale and essentially accomplish the same thing.
Creator: supernal Editors: traxien cion, supernal
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