Encounters can occur between characters and monsters as a result of the Search action, between characters in an Encounter action, or at a battle as a duel between the two commanders. An encounter can never involve more than two characters.

Both characters have an Encounter Plan. In general, a character can attempt to steal, negotiate, or attack his opponent. An Encounter plan basically is a listing of tactics that you want to use in the Encounter, listed in your order of preference. Whenever a character goes into an encounter without a plan, or runs out of tactics, the computer will generate them. In personal combat, two combatants alternately attack each other in combat rounds, inflicting damage points with each attack, until one combatant is killed because the damage points he sustains equals or exceeds his hit points. The victor can then loot the vanquished foe for his treasure.

Whenever aggressive tactics follow negotiation tactics in an encounter plan, this is interpreted to mean that those aggressive tactics will be used only if the negotiation tactics fail.

The character with the greater skill level relevant to the tactic he is using generally goes first in the combat round. For example, a Psychic magician with a skill level of 3 casts his spell before a level-2 archer fires his arrow. If the skill is the same, the characters go in random order.

There are three ranges in combat: Spell range, Bow range and Melee range. Spell range is the greatest distance, and only spells can be used. At Bow range, Spell or Fire attacks can be made. At Melee range, only Spell or Melee attacks may be made. Encounters normally start at Spell range. Two exceptions to the combat initiative rule should be mentioned: At Spell range, Spell attacks come before closing to Bow range, and at at Melee range, Melee attacks always go first.

In combat, all characters have 10 hit points. Monsters may have anywhere from 7 to 50 hit points.

Neutral Kingdoms are aided by an Order of Duelists. All Neutral characters controlled by the Kingdom are experts at dueling other characters, and fight with a +1 modifier to their Melee and Archery abilities. This also applies to encounters with humanoid monsters, such as renegade swordsmen in a feature, and also in random encounters.

The following rules sections list the combat tactics available.

[5.1] Cast Spell, Use Magic Item (CA-XX, US-#)

A spell can be cast at any range. Any given combat spell can only be cast once in a combat.

Some spells protect a character in personal combat from being hit. When more than one such spell is cast on a character, the effects are multiplied. For example, if a spell reduces an opponent's chance to hit by 50%, and another spell reduces his chance to hit by 50% again, the opponent's chance to hit is 25% of what it would normally be (50% x 50% = 25%).

Some spells stun or delay an opponent for a few rounds. If the opponent is delayed long enough for the caster to move out of spell range, the Flee tactic will work automatically. These types of spells do not assist in Stealing.

In combat, whenever a character attempting to cast a spell takes damage or is stunned, the spell is checked for disruption. If it is disrupted, the caster loses a turn. For example, 3 hit points will disrupt your spell 50% of the time, while a missed swing will disrupt you 30% of the time because you may lose your spell-concentration while evading the blow.

Some magic items can cast spells in combat. The effects are similar to the spells themselves. A spell cast from a magic item is automatically successful.

If a character has two magic weapons, he can use the "Use Magic Item" order to specify which weapon he will use. This does not use up a round.

[5.2] Fire Arrow (FI)

You can have a number of free attacks equal to the level of archery skill. For example, a character with an Archery skill of 2 gets 2 free attacks. The base chance to hit is 30%, plus 10% per Archery level, and the damage is 1-6 hit points.

If two characters with archery skill fight each other, they will both get about double their usual number of free attacks. However, there is some random chance involved, and the superior archer may actually be unable to fire off any attacks before melee combat begins! Monsters may get free attacks because of archery skill or other long-range weapons.

If a character is ordered to Fire attack at Spell range, he closes to Bow range, which uses up his round, and Fires the next round. If he is ordered to Fire at Melee range, he uses the next tactic instead.

[5.3] Melee (ME)

You can enter melee even if you have no skill in melee combat. When you order melee, your character will close to Melee Range and swing away at his opponent. A character has a base chance to hit of 50%, and does 1-6 damage points per swing.

If a character is ordered to Melee attack at Spell range or Bow range, he closes to the next closest range, which uses up his round. He will Melee after he closes to Melee Range.

A character's Temper affects melee according to the Temper Table, shown on the Quick Reference Card.

[5.4] Negotiations (TA-lk, SA-y, FU-lfill)

When Talking to a monster defending a feature, it will either attack you, ignore you or propose some agreement (such as a quest which will be rewarded by the gift of a magic item). When Talking to an unemployed character, you gain an estimate of the character's Alignment and Temper and find out what it would cost to hire him.

If a character of Druidic alignment succeeds in talking to a monster, it may be more willing to assist him than a non-Druidic character.

A character may Say whatever words you specify, up to a limit of 160 characters. This action consumes no time in combat. The character's next tactic is done in the same combat round as the Say tactic. You can use the Say tactic to enhance the turn results. For example, if you're about to cast a Fireball spell on an Ice Devil, you could Say "Here's a hot-dog for you, icicle-beak!" You can't say your phone number or any other contact information in a Say tactic.

When a monster proposes some agreement, you may Fulfill it after you have met its terms. Usually the monster will reward you with gold or treasure. The monster may not always live up to its end of the bargain, especially if it's an evil monster and/or there is a great difference in alignment between monster and character.

Some of you will run across riddling monsters in your adventures searching features. Helpful hint: When you return to their lair to answer the riddle, you can take as many guesses as you like in your "SA-y" tactic.

You may not use both the Talk and Fulfill tactics in the same encounter plan.

[5.5] Steal (ST)

The character attempts to Steal some treasure from his opponent. He will either succeed and get away with some gold or magic item(s), or the monster will attack him. The base chance of success is 15%, plus 15% per level of the thief. If the thief is going after a King or a Hero who leads an army, the chance of success is halved. If you go after a king, you may be able to bag a certain percentage of his treasury (try it to find out how much).

If a thief fails in an attempt to steal, he wont necessarily get caught (the chance to avoid capture rises with each level of thief). If the thief fails and is caught, there are three possible results. If the thief is a Hero who tried to steal from a King or another Hero who leads an army, he is executed. If the thief is a King who tried to steal from another King, he loses half the gold in his treasury as a ransom. If the King has no gold, he is executed. If the thief is a character who tried to steal from a monster or a Hero who does not lead an army, personal combat ensues, at a randomly determined range. Steal, Talk and Fulfill are mutually exclusive and only one of these tactics may appear in any encounter plan.

Even if the thief is successful, the monster involved has a chance of hiding a magic item (e.g. sleeping on it). A creature of average intelligence would have about a 10% chance of hiding a magic item per stealing attempt, whereas a smarter monster would have a 25-50% chance.

[5.6] Flee (FL)

The character can say that he will Flee rather than undergo combat. His chance of fleeing from fast monsters is 20%. Fleeing from medium-speed monsters or other characters is a 50-50 proposition, and slow monsters can be escaped from 80% of the time. A character with a weak Temper may flee without being ordered to flee, regardless of his tactical plan. Cowardly and Cautious characters other than the King may even refuse your command to encounter a character or monster, depending on how strong the opponent is. See the Temper Table for more details.

[5.7] Give (GI)

In an encounter plan, you may GI-ve any number of items to whomever you encounter. This supplements the "GI-ve" Action, and allows you to give more than one item in a phase, but does not allow you to trade one item for another. NEVER use the Give tactic in place of Fulfill.

[5.8] Scout (SC)

When searching a feature, a character can use the "Scout" tactic to explore the feature looking for any special function or event. These "Specials" can be of a beneficial or detrimental nature. A Scouting character may also gain information on what treasure is in the feature.

It makes no difference where you put the Scout tactic in your encounter plan. The Scout tactic has no effect on the success of your other tactics, and the computer will simply do your Scout tactic after all other encounter tactics are completed.

When the Scout tactic is part of an encounter plan which calls for Talking, Fulfilling or Attacking, or if there is no monster there, an attempt will be made to discover any special function or event (usually after concluding any dealings with the monster, whose permission may be needed to Scout around.) If you use some other type of tactical plan, you may be told that the Special is there, but not find out what it does. For example, if you Steal and Scout, there is a 33% chance of not finding out. If you Flee and Scout, this chance is 67%.

Suggestion: if you've attacked and looted some features already, try Scouting them to see what special function you might get. And, a final note of caution: These special functions may be usable only once per phase or year, and may act differently depending on the searching character's alignment or other characteristics.

[5.9] Victory and Death

If a character survives combat, he regains all hit points immediately. Magic items are sometimes gained from a vanquished foe as a result of combat.

They perform a wide variety of functions. Usually they cast a spell or enhance an ability. The magic items that cast spells are invoked by a "Use Magic Item" order, and they have a limited number of charges; after the charges are used up, the magic item disintegrates. Magic items which don't cast spells operate automatically and need not be invoked by a command.

When a character dies, any magical treasures he used in the combat go to the victor. Magical treasures not usable in combat are assumed to be in safekeeping and are willed out to his heir. If the deceased character is a King, his eldest son takes over for him in the province where the King died. His son will start with four ability levels chosen by the player, three of which must be within the skill of the former King. No more than two of these four levels can be applied to any ability. A new temper and/or gender may be selected, but not a new alignment.

The following table is a partial listing of monsters that you may encounter:

Melee Missile
MonsterAverage Hit PointsSkillDamageSkillDamageSpeed
Gryphon2521 - 60-Fast
Giant2511 - 711 - 7Medium
Gargoyle1511 - 60-Medium
Demon3031 - 80-Fast
Troll2511 - 60-Medium
Spectre2011 - 60-Medium
Elasmosaurus2521 - 70-Fast

[5.10] Special Encounter Plan

In addition to character actions, players may specify a Special Encounter Plan for each character. This plan has two purposes, depending on whether a character leads an army or not. If the character does not lead an army, the plan will be used at all Encounters which are initiated by another character, or in random encounters.

At a battle, the Special Encounter Plans of the two supreme commanders determines whether there will be a duel between them. The Talk, Fulfill and Steal tactics are not allowed in a special encounter plan.

If either supreme commander at a battle has a Special Encounter Plan with an aggressive action in it, and no "Flee" action, then that commander will challenge the other commander to a duel. If you want to refuse a challenge to a duel by an enemy commander, the FIRST tactic in the Special Encounter Plan must be a Flee. If it's any other place in the plan, the computer will assume you want to fight it out before fleeing. However, if you have a Flee tactic anywhere in your Special Encounter Plan, you won't challenge for a duel. The Flee tactic always works in a battle encounter, but if it is used, the troops are disgusted by their commander's cowardice and are reduced in strength by 25% (using a Charm spell to escape has the same effect.) Otherwise, one of the commanders will be slain in the encounter. His troops are disheartened and their strength is reduced by 25%.

With the Move, Explore, Search, Trail and Pursue actions, there is a chance of a random monster encounter. The percentage chance of a random encounter is listed in the Terrain Table. The character will use the Special Encounter Plan to defend himself.

Your characters are twice as safe if they are traveling through an friendly kingdom. If a character starts a phase in a province with any character who leads an army, and Moves, Pursues or Trails to the same province as this character, he is assumed to be traveling with the army and will not have random encounters.