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Relative Distances






An Introduction to Sector Combat

Relative Distances


Each room within Scimitar is divided into four separate areas, called "Sectors". By moving between these sectors, you are able to position yourself in whichever sector best suits your playing style. If you wish to engage a monster in hand-to-hand (melee) combat, or if you wish to stand back and fire arrows at a monster, you can do so by positioning yourself correctly.

The four room sectors are arranged in a straight line, with the following names given to each sector:

		Sector Name	Abbrev.	Note  
		Ground Zero	[G0]	You begin here                          
		Player Short	[PS]                 
		Player Medium	[PM]                          
		Player Long	[PL]

This is a graphic representation of their order:

Melee (hand-to-hand) combat with monsters is only possible if both you and your target monster are in the same sector.

There are four commands that are used to move between these sectors are "+", "FORWARD", "-", "REVERSE", "APPROACH", and "RETREAT".

When any type of "look" command is used, you will notice a number or letter in square brackets behind the monster name. This is the number of sectors between you and the monster/ player/object you are looking at, known as "relative distance" This should not be confused with the sector name that the target is standing in, which is known as "absolute distance".

The various relative distances available are :

When these distances are displayed to you, it is important that you know whether the monster is in front of you (towards [G0]), in which case a "+" is placed before the relative distance, or behind you (away from [G0]), in which case a "-" is used.

examples :

Case 1 : Monster is at [G0], you are at [PS].

It is one sector away, in front of you. RELATIVE DISTANCE = [+1].

Case 2 : You are at [PM], monster is at [PL].

It is one sector away, but behind you. RELATIVE DISTANCE = [-2]



As monsters enter a room, you will be able to see them approaching before they actually enter your sector for hand-to-hand combat. Unless you are surprised, it will take a monster 18 seconds to reach the Ground Zero [G0] of your room. During this time, you and the monster can only engage in combat through the use of spells or missile weapons until the monster arrives at [G0], he is passing through three special sectors that are used only in his approach. These sectors are arranged in a straight line, with the following names (called "Absolute" names) given to each sector:

	Sector Name	Abbrev.	Note
	Monster Long	[ML]	Monsters begin here
	Monster Medium	[MM]
	Monster Short	[MS]

This is a graphic representation of their order, and how they relate to Ground Zero:

When a monster appears, it will normally do so at [ML]. The monster will then always approach [G0] at a rate of one sector every 6 seconds. Once the monster reaches [G0], it can only move in the four regular sectors, [G0], [PS], [PM], and [PL].

Certain monsters will be able to surprise players.When a monster surprises you, it can appear at [MM], [MS], or even [G0]! Other monsters will have the ability to move twice as fast as normal monsters.

When you are looking at a group of monsters, their Relative Distances are displayed with them, e.g.:

You see four orcs [0] [0] [+2] [-1].

Assuming that you are at [PM], this will appear as :

This would tell you that there are four Orcs in the same room with you.Orcs #1 and #2 are in the same Sector as you, while Orc #3 is two sectors in front of you and Orc#4 is one sector behind you.



What follows is a graphic representation of the relationship between the seven sectors in Sector Combat:



The only types of weapons that can be used between sectors are known as "Missile weapons". All other weapons are "Melee weapons", and are used for same-sector combat only. Missile weapons fall into three classes, each with it's own separate ammunition type, and it's own sector range (how far it can shoot).

	Type		Min Range	Max Range	Ammunition
	====		=========	=========	==========
	Longbow		3		6		Arrows
	Crossbow	1		3		Quarrels
	Sling		0		1		Stones

Missile weapons cannot be used to Parry monster attacks, and cannot fire outside their inherent ranges. To ready your missile weapons, you can use the "USE" command. To fire you weapon, use the "FIRE" command.

Monsters can also carry missile weapons, and will use them if it suits them best. Once a monster has engaged in melee combat, however, they will rarely break off hand-to-hand and back up to shoot missile weapons.

If a monster fires a missile weapon at you and hits, the sound effect "Thwack!" will be displayed to you. Similarly, "Swoosh!" is the sound effect of an arrow missing you, but this will only be heard if you are not in Brief or Superbrief modes.



Rooms in Scimitar have diffent sizes, depending on where they are located. The interior of a shop, for instance, or a room in a house or cave, is not going to be the same size as an open field or street. The number of Player Sectors in a room can vary from 1 to 4. Most rooms have all sectors from G0 to PL, but small rooms may only have G0, while medium sized rooms may have 2 or 3 sectors. The EXITS command (seeCOMMANDS) will list the number of sectors in the room. It will not list the number of Monster Sectors, but common sense should tell you that a room with only 1 Player Sector is not going to let you see monsters coming from a hundred yards away. Monsters in small rooms will appear from [+1], or even at G0. Note that missile combat, except for slings, is not possible in very small rooms.



The coming of night in Goth brings with it (surprise!) darkness. When it is dark out, and you are in a room without a light source, you will get the response that it is too dark to see anything for most of the commands you try. In order to see what you are doing you must use a torch or some other light source. Torches are available at the Hobbit's Hoard, on Aquila Avenue, and are not expensive. Each torch will last for about one night and, when used up, must be thrown away. Torches cannot be compacted.

Some of the streets and rooms in Boldhome are always lit, with streetlights and such, but most of the rooms in Goth will go dark after sunset. If you are using a torch to light a room, it will light only one sector, leaving the other sectors dark. Monsters and players in the other sectors will not be visible to you, and, most important, an injured player in a dark sector will not appear in a "Health People" report.

During the nighttime, monsters have a much greater ability to surprise players than during the day. Some monsters glow, and some carry torches, and these will be visible as they approach. Some, however, have infravision and will not be visible until they actually enter the sector a player is standing in, or charge the player. This can be alleviated to some extent by dropping a torch in each player sector and waiting in PL, thus forcing the monster to advance through 3 lighted sectors before reaching the player. It is not possible, however, to light the monster sectors with torches.