High level overview

Abandoned Realms is unabashedly and unapologetically based on dikumud. Like all diku derivatives, everything rests on the fundamental concept of a 20-sided die roll. Most gameplay revolves around the concept of beating a roll out of 20.

The major modification to diku combat in Abandoned Realms is to base it also upon the rock-paper-scissors model, so that there simply are no "all powerful" weapons or skills - a player can gain an edge in combat by choosing the right weapons and skills to use for the situation, not just from having higher stats.

This page serves as a reference to learn the combat system of Abandoned Realms. It is not the be-all, and end-all. Each class has unique talents that won't be covered here. However as a primer and a refresher for those who have been out of action for a while, we hope it is useful.


Player vs Mob

When fighting a mob (a character not controlled by a player), the battle is quite simple. Engage the mob, and let your sword do the rest. If you get too hurt you can flee and rest up safely somewhere nearby, since creatures aren't smart enough to follow quickly or very far. Generally it will attack you back with whatever abilities it has, until it is dead or it has killed you.

Because mobs are less intelligent, they have more health, and in some cases much more lethal spells than players. This is especially true when facing dragons. Just remember the three R's - run, rest, return. Patience kills most any creature in the lands.

Player vs Player

The true intensity of a player vs player fight is realised through the use of abilities special to your chosen class. For example, a thief may enter a fight against a warrior using a "weapon advantage" to even the odds with the warrior's superior weapon-based defences. With skills to seal the advantage, it isn't long before the smarter fighter will conquer his opponent.

The description of each of your skills will be covered in the helpfiles for your chosen class, so be sure to refer to them often to ensure that you are making full use of them.

Classes have far more ways to attack than simple damage skills. From skills that pin your opponent in the fight, to spells that inflict him with disease, there are literally hundreds of unique and fun ways to inflict pain on an enemy.

PK ranges

PK starts at level 10, and levels cap out at 50. There is a maximum level difference of 8 levels for PK ranges. This ensures that you may only be harmed by players that are at similar levels. The main factor in determining the width of PK ranges is your character's EXP COST.

When trying a new class, consider building a character with a 0 exp cost, or as low as possible. This will ensure that you rarely have to face people with many levels on you. High exp costs are worthwhile if you are able to make use of what got them that penalty.


Adrenaline is caused by recent combat:
  • Mob adrenaline
  • Defensive PK adrenaline - attacked by another player / hireling of player
  • Aggressive PK adrenaline - attacked a player

  • If affected by adrenaline, you will be unable to quit the game for a short while. PK-based adrenaline lasts twice as long as mob-based adrenaline, and the type also affects certain "stealth" skills that may be available to your character. For example, if you have defensive PK adrenaline, it would be easier to use "HIDE" than it would under aggressive PK adrenaline.



    At the heart of everything is the pulse. Each second has four pulses, and those are the only times that *anything* inputted into the game can happen. When you input a command, it enters into a queue. This queue is processed each pulse, *one* command at a time. Pulses are easily observed by scrolling a few empty lines. You won't get more than four new prompts per second.

    Command Lag

    Not to be confused with internet-connection based "lag", command lag is imposed by the server, and its duration is enforced in pulses.

    All combat commands (including spells) have pulse-based command delays, to represent the time taken to perform an action. This means that when you use them, your character is rendered immobile for a little while. Commands will still be accepted by the game, to be used in sequence at your next *available* pulse. When will that be? It depends.

    Some of the best abilities in the game have considerable command delays. Others (the aptly named "lag skills") can inflict this upon your opponent.

    Be careful! After you queue commands like this, you are commited to those choices until they've played out. For example, if you spam two kick commands, and get dispelled after performing the first, you've landed in an unhealthy predicament you could have easily avoided by simply not spamming the kicks.

    Damage Types

    Damage is categorized into two fields - physical and magical.

    Physical damage:
    Pierce - (stab, peck, charge, pierce, etc)
    Blunt - (beating, crush, smash, pound, etc)
    Slash - (cleave, slice, slash, etc)
    Negative - (pain, life drain)

    Magical damage: (everything else)
    Fire - (flaming bite, flames)
    Cold - (freezing bite, chill)
    Water - (drowning, typhoon, torrent)
    Lightning - (shocking bites, shock)
    Energy - (rays)
    Divine - (wrath, divine power, holy fire)
    Mental - (dreams, illusionary spectres)

    Immunities, Resistances, and Vulnerabilities

    The order of priority is IMM > VULN > RES. For example, if an opponent is vulnerable to magical attacks, but surrounded by a mana shield, the mana shield will provide immunity against those attacks.

    1) Direct Damage Types

    If your character is vulnerable to a damage type, then:
  • it will take extra damage from that kind of attack
  • it will be more susceptible to spells that are based on that damage type

    For a resistance, the reverse is true. An immunity is exactly what it says. Example, a dwarf is resistant to magic, but vulnerable to water. He takes less damage from most spells and magical-based attacks, and has a naturally higher SAVING THROW. However, water-based attacks and spells will hurt him more than usual.

    2) Material-based Types

    If a stated vulnerability is a MATERIAL, for example a drow is vulnerable to silver, then the character will be unable to touch that material. However, will only suffer extra damage from its projectiles.


    There are five attributes - strength, intelligence, wisdom, dexterity, constitution. Attributes help to define the strengths and weaknesses of the character. The success rates and affects of many abilities in the game is governed by a primary attribute.

    Every character has a unique set of starting attributes. Attributes cannot be raised above their maximums (15-25, based upon race).


    Strength is an ability score representing a character's muscle power, endurance, and stamina. High strength will allow you to carry more weight and hit harder. You will also need to be strong in order to wield heavier weapons and hold heavier shields.


    Intelligence is an ability score representing a character's memory, reasoning, and learning ability. High intelligence will allow you to learn more when you practice, gain more mana per level, and regenerate mana faster. Your skills will also improve faster with a high intelligence.


    Wisdom is an ability score representing a composite of a character's intuition, judgment, common sense, and will power. High wisdom allows you to gain more practices and mana per level. You will also improve your skills faster with high wisdom.


    Dexterity is an ability score representing a combination of a character's agility, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and the like. High dexterity will allow you to hit better, dodge better, carry more items, and improve your natural armor class.


    Constitution is an ability score representing a character's general physique, hardiness, and state of health. High constitution allows you to gain more hit points per level and heal faster. You will loose one constitution point every five deaths. When your constitution drops too low, you will die permanently.


    Hitroll and Damroll

    The HITROLL attribute improves chances to bypass defences (except shield block).
    The DAMROLL attribute adds extra damage to your melee attacks.

    Consider the amount of defences your opponent has when deciding how to weight your hitroll/damroll attributes.


    There are three main defences for melee attacks and a fourth, much less effective defence in the form of armor class. The amount of defences a class learns further defines the player's ability to take hits from others - fighter classes have three, rogue classes have two (one enhanced), cleric classes have two (one penalized), and mage classes have only one.


    This is the weakest "defence". Armor class creates a chance for your enemy to miss you outright with his attack. The governing stat is simply his LEVEL and HITROLL. After level 35 (where all classes will have received their full regular defences), any enemy will easily get around armor class.

    Armor class also offers some minor damage reduction, so it isn't totally worthless beyond those early levels, but definitely not a focal point.

    Shield Block

    This is easily the safest defence because there is no easy counter in the form of HITROLL. The governing stats for shield block are WISDOM and CONSTITUTION. Shield block is learned by warrior classes and cleric classes, though clerics are less capable.

    Axes have a greater chance of bypassing your opponent's shield block.
    The barrage skill can disable your opponents shield block temporarily.
    Shield disarm can knock a shield into your opponent's inventory.


    This is a dependable defence, its governing stat being DEXTERITY. Dodge is learned by warrior classes and rogue classes. Rogue classes can improve their dodging even further with their unique counterbalance skill.

    Spears have a greater chance of bypassing your opponent's dodge.
    The hobble skill can disable your opponent's dodge temporarily.
    HITROLL improves chance of bypassing your opponent's dodge.
    Warrior guilds can gain COMBAT STYLE advantage to improve their chance of bypassing dodge.


    A much less simplistic defence, its governing stat is STRENGTH. Like dodge, parry chances are affected by the opponents HITROLL rating. However, a further dimension is granted by the weapon you use itself. Every class learns how to parry.

    This chart gives the parry ratings for each weapon. A * would mean very poor, whereas ***** would be the best option.
               PRIMARY          OFFHAND
               off     def      off     def
        axe | ****  | **    || ****  | *     |
     dagger | **    | **    || ***   | ****  |
     exotic | ****  | **    || ****  | **    |
      flail | ***** | **    || ***** | *     |
       mace | **    | ****  || **    | ***   |
      spear | **    | ****  || **    | ****  |
      sword | ****  | ***   || ***   | **    |
       whip | ***** | *     || ***** | *     |
        bow | ***** | **    |
    polearm | ****  | ****  |
      staff | ***   | ***** |
    WEAPON TYPE advantage reduces your enemy's chance of parry.
    HITROLL reduces your enemy's chance of parry.

    Weapon Type

    Some skills (including parry) are also affected by the "weapon types" matchup:

    blades > shafts
    shafts > segments
    segments > blades

    The weapons belonging to each of these weapon types are:

    BLADES: dagger, sword
    SHAFTS: axe, mace, polearm, spear, staff
    SEGMENTS: bow, exotic, flail, whip

    Tip - Resistances and vulnerabilities supercede weapon advantages in most cases. Take care not to squander your advantage against a resistance, or worse, wield a weapon that'll get countered by another that hits your vulnerability.

    Combat Style

    Some skills (including dodge) are also affected by the "combat style" matchup:

    two-hand > dual wield
    dual wield > defensive
    defensive > two-hand

    Each combat style is defined by the following:

    TWO HAND: Using any two-handed weapon or double gripping any weapon.
    DUAL WIELD: Using any weapon and any additional weapon in the offhand.
    DEFENSIVE: Using any other style, such as shield block and counterbalance.


    Afflictive Spells

    Spells which cause direct damage to one's target are known as afflictive spells. Notable spells of affliction include wrath and hellstream. This sphere of magic is wielded most strongly by invokers.

    Maledictive Spells

    Spells which use negative energy to cause harm to one's target are known as maledictive spells. Notable maledictive spells include blasphemy and sleep. This sphere of magic is wielded most strongly by necromancers.

    Mental Spells

    Spells which produce a wide range of magical effects are known as mental spells. Notable mental spells include summon and dispel magic. This sphere of magic is wielded most strongly by illusionists.

    Save Throws

    Spellcasters take a different approach to combat. Defences will not block incoming spells. Instead, you will need to acquire SAVE VS SPELL equipment. Your natural resistance to spells begins at about 40%, and additional saves can boost it to nearly immune.

    Spells are organised into categories, so to protect against a particular spell, improve your save vs the category it belongs to.

    Save Breaks

    Just as one can wear equipment to help 'save' or defend against spells, so can spellcasters wear savebreaking equipment to enhance their chances of penetrating their target's spell defenses. Savebreaks fall into either the afflictive, maledictive, or mental categories. Every point of savebreak will counteract one point of save, but this relationship is not exact: savebreaks will be more effective against targets who have high spell resistances, and less effective against magically vulnerable foes who have little defense to penetrate anyhow.

    Savebreaks do not stack. When wearing multiple savebreaking items, only the highest savebreak value in each category counts toward one's ability to savebreak. Savebreaking items are of no use to non-spellcasters.

    Savebreaking items can be acquired via gambling for random items.


    Throughout the lands, there exists all sorts of elixirs, potions, scrolls and wands that can be used to apply spells to your character. These are known collectively as resources, and their scarcity adds an extra dimension to the player vs player fight.

    To use a potion, quaff it. Anyone can use potions without formal training. An example of a common potion is the purple potion (sanctuary) from the Dwarven Mines, and of course the potion of recall available in every hometown's potion shop.

    To use a pill, eat it. Anyone can use pills without formal training. A commonly used pill is the purple spotted pill (teleport) available in Seringale's pill shop. Some herbs may also turn out to be pills.

    To use a scroll, recite it. Not all classes may learn to use scrolls. The same goes for wands (zap) and staves (brandish).



    Once you are hurting badly, you will need to retreat and recover. You can use the 'REST' and 'SLEEP' commands to regain lost health and mana. Ticks pass roughly every 30 seconds and deliver your helping of regeneration. By resting, you will lose the ability to use most commands other than speech and looking around. By sleeping, you will lose everything, but you will regenerate better than you would resting.

    To break out of rest states, just 'STAND' back up.

    Cure spells

    Some classes use spells that restore their health. This gives rise to a long drawn-out fight instead of the quick battles that warriors and mages see. The healer class is the master of the healing arts. There are also items in the realms that grant cure spells when they are used.

    Closing Words

    There are plenty other elements to master, but these are the elemental ones. But remember this, every strong skill has an effective counter. If you aren't sure how to respond to an attack, consult another player and the helpfiles...