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Copyrightę 1988-2017 NERO International Holding Co., Inc., All Rights Reserved

NERO is the Trademark of NERO International Holding co., Inc., Former USPTO Trademark Registration Number 2,270,409
Unauthorized use of the NERO Name, Logo, or Game Systemę is strictly prohibited.

The NERO Rule Bookę is Copyrighted 1989-2017 by NERO International Holding Co., Inc., All Rights Reserved.

About the NERO Combat System

Safety is NERO's main concern. These rules are designed to give players the feel of medieval combat without the pain and suffering of the real thing.

This is the single most important rule in this entire book. Read it and take it to heart: Anyone can call a hold in a fight if they see an unsafe situation happening or about to happen. "Hold!" should be yelled so that everyone in battle can hear otherwise, it may be followed by another flurry of swings. When a Hold is called, stay exactly where you are, drop to one knee, and Do Not Move. Do not look around you or talk to people about anything not connected with the Hold.

You can use this time to update your tags and remove any spells that you have cast. You can also pick up spell packets from the ground or from your pouch as long as you return to your original spot before the game is resumed.

This is not a time to study someone and see if they are an NPC or a PC, nor is it a chance to look behind you and see if anyone is sneaking up on you. Please play fair and try not to gather information while the Hold is being sorted out.

When the reason the Hold was called is resolved, then the person calling the hold should call a Lay-on. First, insure that everyone is ready to resume play, then call "3 ... 2 ... I ... Lay-on!" Hold can also be called for excessive zeal on the part of an opponent. The infraction should be reported to a marshal. Repeated complaints will get a player removed from combat. Hold can also be called if anyone's eyeglasses make the Incredible Journey, if there is a dispute about the effects of a spell, or if you are unsure about a rule that has an immediate effect on the battle. Understand that the game rules have been written in such a way to try to prevent Holds from being necessary except in rare out-of-game situations. Do not abuse this rule.

You cannot call a Hold to collect spell packets even though they are out-of-game. You may pick up packets during a Hold that has been called for another reason.

Collecting tags or treasure is not a legitimate reason for calling a Hold. Tag bookkeeping should be done after the battle is over, not during it. However, if someone is claiming to have an outrageous amount of power, then you are certainly free to call a Hold and challenge that person to prove that they can in fact do what they claim.

Anyone who ignores a Hold called for any reason will face severe disciplinary action and possible expulsion. This is usually used for emergencies and not to be treated lightly. Stop what you are doing immediately and find out why a Hold was called, then do what you can to help. You must return to your original spot before the Lay-on is called.

If you see a crowd of people kneeling down, then they are probably in a Hold. Do not approach the group until the Hold is over.

If you are in the middle of a battle and everyone starts dropping to one knee, then a Hold has probably been called and you did not hear it.

The only contact allowed during battle is by weapon. Any other type of fighting contact such as grabbing someone, hitting, or kicking is strictly forbidden. Violation of this rule is the shortest path to disciplinary action.

Note that because of this rule, everyone striking an opponent needs to have a weapon, although the weapon may only be there to represent a monster's claws. People playing monsters use daggers to represent claws even though the monster is not using weapons. Therefore, you must pretend that the weapon being used by the monster is actually its claws. Note that a Disarm spell will have no affect on this type of monster. In some chapters, the monster's claws will be red to differentiate them. Similarly, a shield may not be used to strike an opponent. Only weapons may be used to strike an opponent.

Although pinning weapons is a mainstay of many swashbuckling movies, many of the moves used to free yourself from a weapon pinning are dangerous and as such not allowed in NERO combat. As a result, the following restrictions have been placed on pinning or trapping weapons:

Any weapon shaped in such a way as to trap weapons (whether accidentally, or by design) is expressly forbidden. "Trapping" occurs when one weapon is used to hold another weapon so that it becomes useless. A weapon with multiple tines for instance can be used to grab and twist the opponent's blade, thus "trapping" it.

Any weapon that is reported as trapping weapons will not be allowed in game. A marshal has the right to reject any weapon for this reason.

"Pinning" occurs when one weapon is used to apply force on an opponent's weapon, capturing the weapon by holding it against a wall or a tree or other stationery object.

Pinning of weapons can only be done with another weapon, and only outdoors. Indoors, the limitations of the situation lead to an unnecessary chance of injury. If your weapon is pinned, you may pull the weapon straight back to free it. If the weapon is shaped in such a way that it is not possible to pull it out, then you're stuck-the weapon is pinned and there's nothing you can do about it. You can back up to try to free yourself and your weapon, but shoving your opponent or charging are not allowed.

During NERO combat you must never come into physical contact with your opponent. If you are crowding your opponent so much that she or he must step back to avoid body contact with you, you are Charging. Anyone who is reported for excessive charging will be pulled from combat for being unsafe. Any contact in NERO combat must be with weapons, not bodies.

Legal targets include the entire body except the head, neck, throat, hands from the wrist out, and the groin. A player observed to be hitting restricted areas repeatedly is subject to disciplinary action. You may not intentionally block a hit with an illegal target.

For example: Scooby the mage is suddenly jumped by Snotnose the goblin. Snotnose swings at the weaponless Scooby who blocks the swing with the palm of his hand Scooby can't claim that the hit had no effect because it hit an illegal target (his hand); he has to take the damage from the swing.

Blocked and deflected shots do not count. This is admittedly a judgement call. If the block was good, then the weapon just grazed an arm or leg and the shot does not count. If the block was weak and the swing hit with about half or more normal force then the hit should count. Here is where we start getting into judgement calls by the players on themselves: Was that hit on the neck or the shoulder? Did I really get hit? (You often can't feel hits at all if you have good armor.)

If you do not have the skill to use a weapon you are carrying, or if you are presently unable to use a weapon in which you are skilled, you must either immediately drop the weapon or take any damage that hits your weapon as if you had been hit.

Example one: Scooby Disarms Snotnose’s weapon and grabs it. Just then, Stinky the goblin jumps up and strikes at Scooby. Scooby holds up Snotnose’s weapon to block. Stinky hits the weapon for three points and Scooby must subtract those points in the usual way.

Example two: Dame Winsom has the skill Weapon Master. She fights against a spectre and is Drained. According to the rules for Drain, she can no longer use her skills. The spectre strikes at her many times and hits both her weapon and her shield. She must take all of the damage called by the spectre.

Example three: Dame Winsom is carrying her two handed sword when she hears "I summon a force to wither your right arm!" She drops her arm to her side and holds her weapon with one hand. Any strikes against the weapon will affect her as you cannot use a two handed weapon with one hand

The key to the NERO combat system working is to fight with out-of-game honor, even if your character has no honor in-game. If you don't count hits on yourself, soon your opponent will stop counting his or her own hits as well. It's a self-correcting system. Give your opponent his or her due and die gracefully.

One thing you must remember: you are only trying to make contact, not hit a home run. Do not reach back, wind up, and take a huge swing at your opponent. On the other hand, you can't just tap the person a hundred times a second like a hummingbird wing in flight; you have to give some swing to your strikes.

A general rule is that a swing should progress between 45 to 90 degrees. The swings must be controlled and must not hit too hard. If you are swinging so fast that you cannot announce the damage fast enough to keep up with the swings, then you are "Drum Rolling" or "Machine Gunning" and your opponent should count all of that as one or maybe two hits.

It is usually not necessary to hit hard at all. When fighting an unarmored and unarmed opponent, an easy tap will do. You only need to apply enough pressure to make sure your opponent is aware of the attack.

For example, hitting an armored opponent from behind by surprise might require more vigor than a standard tap. And if it seems that your opponent is not taking his or her hits, it might be because the hits are not being felt under all that armor. You should mention to your opponent when you think you got a hit in, and all players should call hits whenever possible (see below).

"Turtling' or hiding behind an impenetrable shield (with little more than your head showing) is not allowed! Anyone using a shield in such a manner could be subject to warnings from the marshals and if necessary, loss of the shield skill. Shields in our game are not all that realistic, and as such you are artificially limited in what you can do with them. In real life you could overbear someone who was hiding behind a shield, but such contact is not allowed in our game.

All packet-delivered attacks are effective on contact with the target or any of the target's immediate possessions, such as a shield or cloak. Packet attacks include spells, gas globes, and certain monster abilities. Note that unlike the weapon rules, a packet attack will count if it hits "non-legal targets" such as the head or groin but that's not to say you should aim at these illegal targets.

Whenever you swing a weapon in NERO, you must call out the amount of damage you do with that weapon, followed by the attributes your attack may have.

Although most monsters can be hurt by normal weapons, there are some creatures (notably non-corporeal monsters) that can only be hurt by spells or special weapons (such as silver or magic). Thus it is very important that you announce your damage clearly and in a strong voice.

If you have no special attributes on your attack, then you must call "Normal." If you are using a Flame Blade spell, you could call out "Flame." If you have a silvered weapon, then you must call "Silver." If you have a magic sword, you must call out "Magic." Please note however that if your sword is both silvered and magical, you need not call out both silver and magic. Any creature that can be hit by silver weapons can also be hit by magic, and so only the magic needs to be called. If using a Flame Blade, you may choose to call "Flame" instead of "Magic" or "Silver" if you know that the monster you are attacking will take more damage from the flame than from the magic.

If you use a spell or Vorpal Coating that adds damage to a weapon, then the spell is used up regardless of whether the blow was successful or not. You add the amount the spell would add to the damage. You do not have to announce the spell or coating.

For example, if you have a longsword doing 2 points of damage, you must call out "2 Normal!" with every hit. if you have an Endow or a Vorpal Coating 2, it is still normal damage, so you will call "4 Normal!" If you're using a magical sword or an Enchanted Blade spell, you will say "Magic."

Even if under the effects of a Silence spell, you must still call out any damage you deliver so your opponent knows what damage to take. If under the effects of a Gypsy Curse that require you to stutter or otherwise speak differently, you must still call out your damage normally. -Remember: the damage being called is all out-of-game.

If you are using Florentine or Two Weapon skills, then you must call out the damage of each weapon individually when using both of them to fight.

Calling hits against yourself is strongly encouraged by saying "hit" or "ouch!" Acknowledging which hits you are accepting and which ones you feel you blocked will help curb anger from your opponent. In large melees this is not always possible, as there are too many swings coming at you and too much confusion, but in any case, this should always be attempted to assure fair playing by ail.

There are many ways in our game to render an opponent completely helpless. These include Web spells, Paralyze spells, tying them up physically (thus making them immobile from the neck down), or just hitting them until they drop unconscious.

Once a person has been incapacitated, it is not too difficult to kill them. This is represented by a Killing Blow.

If the character is being actively guarded by companions, however, it is another matter entirely! When you have leisure to do so, it is easy to find a chink in the an-nor or slip a dagger under the helmet and deliver a Killing Blow. It is considerably more difficult to do so if someone is trying to prevent you from accomplishing that very feat. Therefore, there are a few restrictions as to its use.

To give a Killing Blow, you must stand over the victim, placing your weapon or your hand on their torso, and remain that way while you recite "One killing blow; Two killing blow; Three killing blow."

If anyone strikes you during the count or knocks your weapon away, then the Killing Blow is interrupted and fails to kill the person. Please note that even though there is a three-count for Killing Blows, the Killing Blow only counts as one strike.

A Killing Blow must be struck on the torso of the victim-an arm, leg, or shoulder is not enough. Likewise, the blow cannot be struck on a moving target. If you have Waylaid someone, you must wait for the body to come to rest before you can deliver the Killing Blow.

A Killing Blow can be delivered by anyone, whether they have a weapon or not.

Some creatures are immune to normal weapons. To be effective, the Killing Blow must be applied with a weapon that can damage the creature. For example, if a creature is affected by silvered or magical weapons but not normal weapons, the Killing Blow must be applied with a silvered or magical weapon. In such a case, using a hand to perform the Killing Blow would not work.

Once a Killing Blow has been given to you, you are dead and must give up the "Alive" flag from your Life Ticket. This should be handed over to the person who did the Killing Blow. (Similarly, if you Killing Blow someone, you should demand that the "Alive" flag be handed to you.) The "Alive" flag itself is worthless and can be thrown away-the purpose of handing it over to your killer is to make sure that the rules are followed and that the victim's death is counted.

If the person delivering the Killing Blow does not stick around to get the "Alive" tag from the Life Ticket, this does not mean that the death wound has miraculously closed and you are alive again. You must rip the flag off yourself To do otherwise would be blatant cheating and you would be subject to disciplinary action.