Advanced Rulebook



As you would expect in a fantasy environment, combat can be frequent and deadly. You can order your party to attack other players' parties as well as computer-controlled monsters and characters. By the same token, however, monsters may well attack your party without provocation or warning.

While combat is dangerous, your characters will generally look out for themselves. This self-preservation prevents your characters from staying until the bitter end when victory is nowhere in sight. In addition, your party may even avoid a fight altogether if it offers nothing but death. Often weaker, common monsters venture near settlements such as towns and cities. These can provide an excellent way of learning more about combat, not to mention being a lucrative source of Gold and treasure. Obviously buying weapons and armour will greatly enhance your characters' survival rate although it is best to avoid heavy, encumbering armour for those that are not in too much danger or those that wish to make the most out of their natural speed.

At the start of the combat, the characters using missile weapons will split away from the party in order to get a clear shot of the enemy. Those casting spells and miracles will start to mix ingredients and chant prayers. Those electing to fight in mêlée will set off towards the enemy, targeting an individual from amongst the enemy ranks. The fight will quickly become a skirmish as missile-users sprint to new positions in order to get their shot. Due to the nature of spell casting and the use of miracles, the Priests or Mages have to remain in the same location when casting and are therefore limited to what they can see or the area effect of the spell or miracle they are attempting to cast.

As all this is happening, the enemy is bearing down on the party. Some may actually avoid the front characters and reach those towards the back of the party; although the odds are that those at the front of the party will try to head them off. Sadly, in the chaos of the fight and due to the terrain as well as other factors, combat is rarely clean.

If a character is set to use spells or miracles, then they will utilise these first. If no spells or miracles are going to be cast, missile weapons that are set to priority will be used next - otherwise the character will use their mêlée weapons, and will locate an opponent. When a character is attempting to cast a spell or miracle and a missile weapon strikes them they will stop casting and either attempt to shoot back, or, if they are set to mêlée priority, will try to engage an opponent in mêlée. If a character is hit in mêlée whilst attempting to use a missile weapon, they will then change to mêlée. Once a character is in mêlée they will not attempt to cast any spells or miracles or use missile weapons - thus a character with mêlée set to priority will only fight in mêlée.

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Terrain affects weapon speeds. For example, jungles and swamps have dense foliage that gets in the way of big weapons, making them harder to wield effectively. This is accounted for by a decrease in speed. Dungeons tend to be ill-lit, uneven and cramped at the best of times. Short, thrusting weapons such as spears are most effective in these environments while the use of bows should be avoided. Crossbows are the least hampered missile weapon, although due to the lack of space to find a decent vantage point, even these are slower, as the character has to wait for an opening.

Characters in mêlée that are attacked can attempt to hit back even if they have a shorter reaching weapon, for example a short sword versus a great sword, however there is a negative modifier to hit. During the ensuing fight the character that is not at their weapon's optimal reach will close in and then lose the negative modifier to hit. There is no modifier to a character that has reached their weapons optimal reach.


A critical hit is a successful attack that has hit a vital location, or at the most effective angle and thus can cause more damage than a standard hit. Both player characters and monsters have the ability to perform critical hits, and also to avoid critical hits. Dwarves have the biggest bonus, with Humans having a small bonus, whilst Elves and Halfbloods have no modifier. The Fighter Professions all have a bonus, with Brawlers and Warriors having the biggest bonus. The other professions all have bonuses but are much less than the Fighters.

Magical bonuses affect the chances of causing a critical hit or avoiding a critical hit.

Armour, shields and helmets all increase the chance of avoiding a critical hit.

The system favours the defender, as the base chance of avoiding a critical hit is much higher than the base chance of causing a critical hit. A Fighter character in lots of magical armour has over a 100% chance of avoiding a critical hit, making wearing bigger, encumbering armour more worthwhile.


By now you will have encountered a number of monsters, some of which were easy to kill, and others that may well have been more difficult. As your party progresses, it will encounter more monsters and, as your characters progress, you should find that ones that were a real challenge at first will become little more than troublesome pests. Here are some tips on how to deal with them:

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Monsters have a great many aspects. How good they are at fighting, and how much damage they generally inflict are usually considered the two most important. How quickly they move and how quick they attack are two other areas that should be gauged. Finally what armour and unusual abilities they have should be considered before charging into combat with them. There are two ways of going about this. One is to re-equip your party before setting out to attack a chosen monster, thus gearing up especially for the specific monsters. This, however, is time consuming and should be avoided if possible. Anything above a few orders and it may be better to go for option two. This is to specialise your party so that it is able to proficiently fight a certain range of monsters while avoiding others. Even if you choose the latter option, as your party becomes more experienced, you will find that the range you can fight with your chosen equipment increases.

Causing critical hits is not something you can do much to plan for in your tactics but you can plan to some extent with regards to your opponents.

  • Typical weak monsters such as Goblins, Orcs and other Humanoids appearing in small groups, are best dealt with using missile weapons. The missile using troops have time to cut the monster numbers down before mêlée begins. By this time your party may well have a distinct advantage. This is an excellent tactic when you are not especially outnumbered and each monster is not particularly powerful. Weak monsters tend to have low chances of causing criticals and avoiding them.
  • Monsters such as Centaurs are fast on the ground; they will charge your party, trampling and kicking in all directions while your characters are still spanning their crossbows. Against fast and powerful creatures that only appear in small groups, it may be best to avoid using missile weapons - unless your characters are really proficient in their use. Long reach weapons may be your best choice. Spears and other pole arms are recommended, although a one-handed weapon and a large shield are also a very wise choice. These sorts of monsters tend to have average chances of causing criticals and avoiding them.
  • Other monsters form large packs. Hordes of Goblins will surround each character slicing away with weapons ranging from daggers to spears. This can be a particular problem for spell and missile users. Against these types of monster groups, fast weapons that inflict small amounts of damage are excellent. Larger weapons may well do excess, wasted damage, and you may find your characters are losing valuable time in recovery. As these monsters rarely do much damage, wearing light armour that does not hamper much is likely worthwhile using.
  • Powerful monsters such as Dragons have thick scaly hides against which small weapons are often ineffectual. As these monsters can sometimes kill most people in a single strike, heavy armour is a must for all characters close to the front. Even those at the back may be in danger due to the sheer size of the creatures. Weapons with good reach and weight are usually the preferred types, unless your characters have very powerful magical weapons of a smaller calibre. Doing large amounts of damage in a single blow is the best way of defeating them. A character may well spend the entire combat bouncing sling stones off a Dragon's hide without so much as leaving a scratch. Powerful monsters tend to have average to high chances of causing criticals and avoiding them.

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This is a full battle taken from the party Goldbrickers. At the time of this combat they were ten turns old. They comprise of only six characters. Once they get some Gold together, they will recruit a Mage. At this point in their development, they will not go too far from town and will carefully evaluate any monster group before they consider fighting it. They are set up to fight small groups of monsters with light armour. They rely on speed and dealing damage before the monsters can effectively retaliate. The Fighters have weapon proficiencies in the forties so they often miss.

Thorin the Valiant - a Dwarven Fighter dressed in chain mail and wielding a warhammer. Thorin is the hard case of the party. He is generally the last to enter battle, but is okay once he is in combat, once his skill increases he will be deadly. As a Dwarf he is very adept at wielding the warhammer and with his chain mail will take big monsters without too much fear.

Horagnir the Slow - a Human Warrior dressed in leather armour and wielding a short sword. Horagnir, trundles into battle usually just before Thorin. He uses a short sword that is not as damaging as Thorin's warhammer, but is much swifter. Combined with his light armour, he is more effective against Orcs and other weaker monsters. If he was going to take on bigger monsters, he would likely swap the short sword for a long sword.

Gand Gutripper - a Halfblood Fighter with no armour and only a shield and helmet for protection. He is fast, swiftly out-pacing both Thorin and Horagnir. He uses a dagger in combat. Daggers are the favoured weapons of Halfbloods, becoming a blur in the hands of skilled users, Gand's skill though is not that high yet.

Kallen the Swift - an Elf Fighter. Like Gand, he has no armour and only a helmet for protection. He wields a long bow with some skill. He swiftly reaches longbow range and then launches many arrows at the enemy before they reach the party. Should he be forced to enter mêlée, he uses a short sword to make the most of his lack of encumbrance.

Ung the Pious - a Human Priest. His role is to ensure that all characters are healed before any fighting begins in earnest. After this he will cast terror if necessary, but failing that, he will then enter combat with a spear. The spear is good for this character as it has a reasonable range and delivers a fair amount of damage. He prefers mêlée to missile as, after casting his miracles, it is likely that the enemy will be upon him, thus he does not want to waste valuable time changing weapons. The only trouble is Ung is not very skilled at using any weaponry yet.

Scrounger - a Halfblood Thief with no armour and a sling. The Thief is a complete coward and stays at the back of the party where it is unlikely that he will be targeted. This allows him to hurl stones swiftly for the entirety of most combats while the Fighters take the damage. Slings are the favoured weapons of Halfbloods and in their hands, stones fall like hail amongst the enemy, even if they do not do that much damage

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When we got nearer to them, we examined them with a keen eye. There were three Barbarians. They did not appear to be injured.

Kallen the Swift(1) the Elf espied the skinny Young Barbarian. He quickly set off on light feet in pursuit. Holding his long bow, Kallen the Swift(2) fired the black feathered arrow, winging the skinny Young Barbarian deeply in the guts.

Ung the Pious(3) tried to cast miracle Healing, but nobody needed healing. Ung the Pious(4) didn't cast Terror as the enemy looked too weak. Scrounger(5) let the stone fly, striking the gangling Young Barbarian, forcing a scream of agony.

Kallen the Swift(6) rashly loosed an arrow, the arrow skittered past the skinny Young Barbarian. Kallen the Swift fired, the shaft whistled past the skinny Young Barbarian's body. Scrounger's sling released its stone, it striking the gangling Young Barbarian in the throat(7). The gangling Young Barbarian retreated.

Rashly Kallen the Swift fired a black feathered arrow, the arrow skittered past the skinny Young Barbarian's scarred body. Gand Gutripper(8) wasted the gangling Young Barbarian. He staggered backwards, then fell dying, clutching the mighty gash in his throat. A quick thrust and enemy blood was shed.

A cheer of victory went up as the first of the enemy was slain.

Kallen the Swift fired, just missing the skinny Young barbarian's scarred body. Scrounger clumsily winged a stone, within a finger's breadth of the skinny Young Barbarian's body. Kallen the Swift executed the skinny Young Barbarian. He died, punctured through both of his lungs. Blood welled from the mouth of the corpse. 'Death to all,' was chanted as a second one was killed.

Looking for trouble, Gand Gutripper(9) the Fighter watched the bald Barbarian. He advanced towards the enemy.
Curses were bellowed as the fight began in earnest(10). Scrounger let the stone fly, striking the bald Barbarian. He was hit in the arm. Raising his long sword, the bald Barbarian(11) swung, striking Ung the Pious, slicing through flesh. Scrounger let the stone fly, striking the bald Barbarian in the arm. Thorin the Valiant(12) impetuously bashed, passing harmlessly past the bald Barbarian.

More warily now the heroes sought openings(10). Horagnir the Slow massacred the bald Barbarian by slicing his head down the centre like a ripe watermelon. The enemy was dead. We got 107 Gold from the lair of the dead Barbarians. We earned 40 experience points.

  • Thorin the Valiant: 2 melee hits
  • Horagnir the Slow: 1 melee hit (1 critical) killing 1
  • Gand Gutripper: 3 melee hits killing 1
  • Kallen the Swift: 4 ranged hits killing 1
  • Ung the Pious: Cast Healing (NN) 1 melee hit
  • Scrounger: 4 ranged hits (1 critical)

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  1. Kallen sets off towards the enemy. While it only mentions Kallen, the comment applies to the entire party.
  2. Kallen has reached longbow range and has fired his first arrow.
  3. Ung has finished preparing his first miracle, healing, but at this time nobody needs healing. As there is no way of telling if anybody will need healing at the start of the prayer, healing miracles will always be attempted if set to always cast.
  4. After a spell has been completed, the next one in the list is checked to see if it will be cast. Spells will be checked in order until one is suitable for casting, or no spells are found, in which case the character will proceed to either missile or mêlée combat.
  5. Scrounger has reached sling range and has fired his first stone. Slings have a shorter range than bows. Looking through the combat it can be seen that even though Kallen is a Fighter, Scrounger is using a sling which is slightly faster although much less damaging.
  6. Not all misses are reported, but enough are to give an indication of the events as they unfurl. It can be seen that considerable time goes by during which the Archers hammer into the enemy.
  7. The description of the wound indicates how close the target is to death. In this instance it is clear that the gangling Young Barbarian is very close to being killed.
  8. Finally Gand arrives, he is lightly armoured and uses a knife. This makes him swift to enter combat, but also the use of a dagger means that he will fight fast.
  9. Having killed the Barbarian Gand then sets out to attack another opponent.
  10. These comments show roughly equivalent time frames since the start of the mêlée combat. Using these, a rough guide to the speed of characters can be built up over time.
  11. The Barbarians have finally made it to combat range and start attacking. Ung is the unfortunate target. The more characters present, the greater the chance that a character towards the front of the group will be targeted.
  12. Thorin and finally Horagnir arrive. These characters have heavier armour than Gand. This slows them down a little. When they arrive however, they quickly deal with whatever is present. In battles against more opponents, their ability to attack faster becomes vital.


When fighting other parties there is a possibility that one side might overwhelm the other. Due to this, if more than a third of your party would have been killed the anti-annihilation routine cancels the fight. The program runs the fight a few times if a fight triggers the anti-annihilation routine, and if several fights in a row all result in anti-annihilation routine then the parties do not fight. If this happens to you, take another look at your party and try altering the party's set-up. It is not just because of a potential difference in statistics that a fight ends up being one sided. If a party has set its Flee Factor very high, then they will not retreat until they start to suffer big injuries.

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The combat system in Quest does not work on a statistical basis only. This means that an encounter with a monster group or another player party is not just a simple case of comparing both statistics, calculating a few numbers and giving the result. The combat system is dynamic. As mentioned above different set-ups can have a different effect, but in addition a few random elements come into play, which apply to both sides:

  • The range of the encounter can vary, which will alter how the encounter develops.
  • The characters and monsters can react at varying speeds.
  • The speed with which characters and monsters act and react affects the likelihood of safely casting a spell or miracle.
  • Spells and miracles do not always work, and the target's magic resistance can also affect this.
  • Weapons may miss or hit.
  • Spells, miracles and weapons do a varying amount of damage.
  • Armour may reduce the damage being received by a varying amount.
  • There is also a chance that critical hits can be scored, and also avoided.

The better a character's statistics, the less that random aspects alone will determine the outcome, i.e. the character will react faster, do more damage, and thus are more likely to succeed - but there is still a random element. The combat system cannot be simply understood by having a few fights. Even having hundreds can be misleading! If a fight is rerun then there can be variations in the outcome. This may be confusing as fighting something with a different set-up will also then require hundreds of fights to be able to have a good understanding of what is going on, and all this applies only if you can see the set-up the opponent has.

To summarise, statistics still play an important part, but other factors come into play as well. Be wary of anyone telling you that a certain set-up is the best, as there is no such thing - it depends on what you are fighting.


The combat description describes how the combat went. It is possible to misinterpret the damage reports from damaging an opponent when a light wound is described. This is because the description system is based on how much health the opponent has. So a glancing wound may be described because the opponent has a lot of health, whilst attacks that do not do much damage can have very dramatic descriptions when the hit is a killing blow. The system was designed like this to represent how much damage is being dealt relative to the opponent's remaining health.

Not every action is reported. Due to this a combat report should not be seen as a detailed blow-by-blow account, but more of an overview of major events. Although a Fighter armed with a weapon such as a dagger or short sword that does little damage may not be mentioned regularly it does not mean that he is not acting and that he is not causing damage. Only a percentage of the different levels of damage are reported. Killing blows are not always reported, nor are spells or miracles being cast. A combat summary is given at the end of the battle to report details about how the combat went. With this summary you can see how characters are performing.

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