This page describes the systems that pertain to combat, including Fatigue, Stress, Dying, and Combat Intensity, and then goes on to describe the combat system itself.


Fatigue can affect each of the endurance stats (Stamina, Karma and Mana); it is shown in dark gray on your own endurance bars and in light gray on the hearts, crosses and diamonds on NPC and other character rectangles. In general, Karma fatigue is only incurred when reciting prayers and Mana fatigue when casting spells, so these types of fatigue are only important to spellcasters. Stamina fatigue, on the other hand, is incurred by anyone performing any of various physical actions, and in particular when fighting in melee combat, and is thus significant to all characters in the game.

If you do not have enough non-fatigued endurance remaining to perform a given action, you can't do it. Again, this is the ONLY effect fatigue has on the game, but it has a significant impact on being able to attack, recite a prayer or cast a spell.

At the start of each turn, after you have gotten your latest status as displayed on your endurance bars, you recover fatigue at the rate of one eighth of your total endurance (fractions rounded down) plus one (this is known as your Fatigue Recovery Rate, or FRR). So, if your Stamina is 80, you will recover 11 at the start of each turn. If you do not take any actions in the turn, you will recover this much and it will be shown on your
endurance bars at the end of the turn. However, if you do take actions in the turn, you may incur fatigue for those actions; if so, you will end up recovering less or having a net loss in your total fatigue.

Stamina Fatigue

Stamina fatigue is particularly important to fighting class characters, because melee combat incurs the greatest amount. (Note: In the remainder of this section the term 'fatigue' refers to Stamina fatigue only.)

At the start of a turn, after fatigue recovery, if you are involved in melee combat you will incur fatigue just for being involved in that combat. Furthermore, if you attack that turn, you will incur more fatigue. However, if you select a non-attack option, such as parrying, targeting or covering, then you will not incur the second fatigue increase. So, if you start becoming too fatigued to attack, simply select one of the non-attack options until you have recovered enough fatigue to attack again.

As far as fatigue for actions outside combat, usually the only effect there is slowing down your fatigue recovery. Searching, for instance, incurs fatigue; if you finish combat and are very fatigued, you may need to 'rest on your sword' for a turn or two before proceeding to loot corpses or move on.

How much fatigue you incur for performing a particular action is based on a number of factors, the most significant of which are the armor you wear and any weapon and shield you carry. All armor, weapons and shields have fatigue ratings; these Fatigue Factors are listed here. From this, you can determine your Total Fatigue Factors (TFF). A base level of 8 is used, and the Fatigue Factors for each piece of gear are added to this. The rule of thumb is that one's TFF should be greater than one's FRR (Fatigue Recovery Rate as explained above), but less than TWICE one's FRR.

Trying to determine what gear one should wear this way can become a bit tedious, and there's a much simpler method: if you are not fatiguing much in combat, add some more armor if you so desire. On the other hand, if you
start fatiguing too much in combat, you probably need to take something off. This method is the one most players use, but the analytical method described above is included for those who wish to calculate everything precisely.

When first starting, it is important to know that you do not have that much Stamina and thus cannot wear much heavy armor. In fact, starting characters usually have only barely enough Stamina to handle minimum armor, weapons and shield. However, as you progress in the game you will be able to train in, and thus increase, your Stamina. This not only allows you to take more damage in combat before dying, it increases your Fatigue Recovery
Rate and thus allows you to wear heavier armor (or to increase your CI).

Besides armor, weapon and shield, Combat Intensity contributes to your TFF. Each level of CI gives a +1 to both attacking and defending, but there is a fatigue cost equal to 24 minus one's Willpower.

Karma and Mana Fatigue

Like Stamina, Karma and Mana can become fatigued, either from casting spells or prayers, or from searching corpses. The amount of fatigue incurred depends on the specific prayer or spell, or how many bodies are lying in the square being searched. If you do not have enough non-fatigued Karma or Mana required to recite the prayer, cast the spell, or search that square, then you just won't be able to do it. Like Stamina fatigue, Karma and Mana fatigue recover at the beginning of the turn (after your endurance bars have been updated) at the rate of one eighth of your total Karma or Mana plus one.


Like fatigue, stress affects each of the three endurance stats. On the bar graphs and character rectangles, stress is shown in black, replacing the colored portion of the graph for the particular stat to the extent of the stress. Also like fatigue, stress may inhibit a character from taking a particular action - it reduces the total amount of Stamina, Karma, or Mana available, so there may not be enough to contain the amount of fatigue necessary to do the action. More significantly, if stress reduces any endurance stat to 0, the character dies.
Unlike fatigue, stress does recover automatically. You must either sleep in a bed (which eliminates all stress), use a healing prayer, or drink a potion.

Stamina stress can occur due to being hit in melee combat or as a result of the effects of prayers and spells. Besides sleeping in one's bed, Stamina stress is reduced or eliminated by the Healer prayer Heal, which can also be found on scrolls (useable only by clerics) and in potions (useable by anyone).

Stamina stress represents the greatest share of stress occurred in the game. However, the Priest prayer Damn causes stress to the target's Karma, and the Wizard spell EBolt causes stress to the target's Mana.

Other Combat Effects


As adventurers learn very early, bleeding is an important consideration in melee combat. If an attack causes you to start bleeding, you will see a message indicating so, and will notice your Stamina going down each turn by a given amount. If you don't do something about this, your Stamina will be reduced to 0 and you will die.

Regardless of what you might do about bleeding, you can't do it while you are trying to fight in combat. Instead, you must first finish the combat or retreat to a place where the hostile creatures can't get at you. Once you have disengaged from combat, you may be able to BANDAGE (using the command by that name) the wound using your First Aid skill. The amount of bleeding you can stop is as follows:

First Aid skill Bleeding level
Character Level +2 or more -5
Character Level +1 -4
Character Level +0 -3
Character Level -1 -2
Character Level -2 -1

If you cannot bandage your wound, the other alternative is to drink a potion of Bind that is high enough to stop the bleeding. If the Bind potion is equal to your character level, it can stop bleeding up to -4. If the potion's level is greater than your character level, it can stop bleeding up to the amount by which it exceeds your character level. If the potion's level is less than your character level, then it can stop -3 (one level lower), -2 (two levels lower), or -1 (three levels lower). Bind potions that are 4 or more levels lower than your level have no effect at all.


Another unpleasant result of combat (if it happens to you) is getting wounded. If this happens, you will receive a message indicating so, the shoulders on your bust will turn blue, and a bright cyan number will light up just under the bust indicating the level of the wound.

The wound applies a penalty equal to the wound's level to all attacks and defenses. This is the only direct effect, but depending on the extent of the wound, you may find death as an indirect effect in a turn or two.

To mend your wounds, you must use a Mend potion, which can be bought or found as loot. Similar to Bind potions, a Mend potion at the same level as your character level will mend wounds up to 4, while Mend potions at levels greater or less than your character level will mend wounds greater or less than 4 based on the difference in levels.

Mind Effects

Mind effects caused by melee combat include dazed, stunned, and knocked unconscious. If you suffer a mind effect, the head in your bust will get a checkered yellow color.

If you are dazed, you cannot take any action (including parrying) until the affect wears off but are not otherwise penalized in defending from attacks by others.

Stunned is identical to dazed, except all attackers get a +4 bonus when attacking you.

Knocked unconscious is identical to dazed, except all attackers get a +12 bonus when attacking. If you are knocked unconscious, your life expectancy is not very great.


When you die, you fall to the ground and anything you are carrying in your hands is dropped. Also, due to the system shock of experiencing the death, you lose Experience and Training Points (available TRP, which may result in a negative value) equal to 1% of your total Experience. At this point there are only two things you can do.

First, you can communicate with other characters telepathically via the TELL command.

Second, you may enter the RECALL command. If so, you lose another 1% of your Experience and TRP, but are raised from the dead and teleported to the church in Haven. If you leave the game while you are dead, this will be executed for you.

The Priests of the church cannot execute RECALL while there is combat going on within visible range of the dead character. Also, even after combat is stopped it takes some time for the Priests to execute the prayer, so the player may have to wait a bit before becoming raised.

While a character is lying dead on the ground, the monsters may decide to take things from that character. Due to magic protections provided to player characters by the Powers That Be, most monsters can only take stuff from the character's sack and coin pouch. However, some of the more powerful monsters have the power to overcome these magic protections and take other items from the character as well.

Combat Intensity

Combat Intensity (CI) is a means of raising one's combat abilities at the cost of greater fatigue. The CI bar graph and + and - button are used to control your CI level. You must have trained in the CI skill to be able to
use it in the first place, and the highest CI level you can go to is equal to your level in the CI skill (exception: Monks can go up to level +4). While you are in combat, you can raise your CI level but you cannot lower it. Since characters cannot recite prayers or cast spells while their CI level is greater than zero, CI is usually not something that is used by clerics and magic users.

For each level of CI you use, you gain a +1 to all attacks and defenses. The cost in fatigue for each level is CI is based on your Willpower, and is equal to 24 minus your Willpower. So, those with a Willpower of 18 incur 6 Fatigue Factors for each level of CI, while those with a Willpower of 14 would incur 10 fatigue factors for each level.

Melee Combat

When you enter an area with hostile creatures in it, unless they cannot see you or are engaged in combat with someone else, they will immediately attack, and you will receive messages so indicating. If they are adjacent to you then they will engage you in melee combat. Otherwise, they will usually charge. This gives them a +6 bonus to attack once they reach you. If you do not select a combat option, the game will decide if you parry or stand ready. If you parry, you gain a +6 bonus to defense and thus neutralize the +6 that the critters get. If you instead choose READY, the critters will get their attack, but then you gain a +6 bonus to your own attacks (note: "ready" is a toggle option - once you choose it, you will automatically ready for attacks until you choose it again). You can also charge yourself by moving into the square the critter is in. You will attack first with a +6 bonus, but then will defend at -6. If you charge a critter that is also charging, it will READY for your charge.

Once you are engaged in combat, the Melee Combat screen will come up and you can select options from there. Generally speaking, you can select attack options, defensive options, or other options.

The attack options represent the attack capabilities of the weapon you are using. The height of the bar represents the probability of a hit (but this is your die roll; your opponent gets defensive rolls that are unknown to you and thus the same roll may miss on one turn and hit on another based on the opponent's rolls). However, different attack possibilities do different damage, so in many cases a lesser probability for a hit may still be the best attack choice. What damage a particular attack does in general is described in the HELP for that attack type (see HELP.TXT or do HELP <command> while in the game).

If you select an attack, you will receive a message indicating the results of your attack, and then the hostile creature(s) will attack and you will receive messages indicating the results of their attacks. Player characters always get to attack first in a round.

If you select an attack option without selecting a target, then you are assumed to be attacking the hostile creature that you last targeted, as is indicated by that creature's name being in white text in his character rectangle. You may also select another target (but it must be in range of your weapon) by clicking on an attack option and then clicking on the creature's character rectangle. In this case, any attacking creatures will attack first and then you will attack, but you get a new roll for your selected attack type.

Besides the attack bars (in bright cyan) there is a defensive bar (in light brown) on the right side of the display that represents your vulnerability to attack by the hostile creatures. There are two defensive options that you may select here: PARRY grants a +2 bonus to your defensive rolls, but can't attack that round; COVER grants a +4 bonus to your defensive rolls, but you can't attack that round or in the next round. Both of these options are generally selected when your defensive bar is very low. Better to lose a turn or two of attacking than to die!

There are also a number of options that may be available at the top of the display, including READY described previously, but also the following:

AGGRESSIVE: Choose this option and then an attack type and the critters will get to attack you first at +2 but then you will attack at +2. You should select this only when your defensive bar is high. Also, there is an additional fatigue cost to use this option.

COUNTER: Choose this option and the critters will attack first, but then you can attack with a new set of attack bars; the game selects the one that got the best natural roll for you as your attack. This is best when you did not get very good attack bars to start with.

TARGET: Choose this option to target your enemy. You will not get to attack this turn, but will get a +2 in your attack bars for the next turn.

LOAD: This is used to load a ranged weapon.


Mystic Realms differs from many fantasy RPGs: in MRA, the better you hit, the more damage you do. The amount of damage typically varies over a wide range; the amount of damage you actually do is quantified in the message you get when you hit, as noted below:

  • Glancing: The minimum amount of damage for that weapon and attack type.
  • Minor: 25 or less points of damage
  • Moderate: 26 - 50 points of damage
  • Considerable: 51 - 100 points of damage
  • Major: 101 - 200 points of damage
  • Severe: 201 - 500 points of damage
  • Mortal: Greater than 500 points of damage

Ranged Combat

Ranged weapons include bows, crossbows, slings, thrown weapons, and some pole arms.

To be used, bows must be loaded with an arrow, crossbows must be loaded with a crossbow bolt, and slings must be loaded with a sling stone.

Shortbows can be fired every turn. If you shoot or loft an arrow with a shortbow, it is automatically loaded for you. Other bows need to be loaded first via the LOAD command. Note that this means bows other than the shortbow can be used at most every other turn. In order to use a bow, you must have a quiver with arrows on your shoulder.

Crossbows can only be used every third turn at most. Like bows, they must be loaded (with a crossbow bolt) with the LOAD command, but the bolt must be in the left hand to be loaded. So, you must first move the crossbow bolt to your left hand, load it on the next turn, and fire it on the third turn. Crossbow bolts are usually kept in a bolt pack on the belt.

Slings are loaded like bows, except a sling stone must be available in a pouch on the belt. The LOAD command is first executed and the sling is then ready to be used the following turn.

The SHOOT command is valid for bows, crossbows and slings. This represents a direct fire attack; there cannot be any intervening characters or the attack will be disallowed. Bows also allow for the LOFT command, which can be used over intervening characters but has the restriction that neither you nor the target may currently be
engaged in melee combat.

Thrown weapons include hand axes, spears, javelins, and daggers. These may be thrown, via the THROW command, over intervening characters but neither you nor the target may currently be engaged in melee combat.

Pole arms that can be used to attack at a range of two squares include the Pike, Two-handed Spear and Fauchard. The only restriction on this type of attack is that you may not be currently engaged in melee combat with others.

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