From Transformers: Lost and Found


Ability Rolls are used to determine the outcome of a character’s action, whether it’s shooting a gun or jumping a chasm.

When to Roll

Ability Rolls should be used judiciously; it is unnecessary (and silly) to roll for every little thing. RPGs are about roleplay not rollplay. As long as there are no objections from anyone involved in the scene, it is perfectly acceptable to just assume success or failure based on roleplay.

For example: If someone does a good job roleplaying their way through bluffing a guard, it probably ought to work. Likewise, if someone attempts to schmooze the princess with the worst pickup line ever, it probably shouldn’t work, no matter what you roll.

Some situations where you should consider using an Ability Roll:

  • The character is under stress.
  • Characters are in conflict with one another.
  • There are exceptional circumstances that might affect the outcome.
  • When it's just fun or funny to do and everyone in the scene is on board!

What to Roll

Ability rolls in FS3 utilize a Skill and a related Attribute.

Every skill has a Ruling Attribute, which is the attribute most closely related to that skill. The Ruling Attribute for Action skills is part of the skill list. You can choose the Ruling Attribute for Background skills during character creation or after approval. See +help +rulingattr for more information.

The Ruling Attribute is the one used in Ability Rolls by default. There may be situations where the Ruling Attribute is actually not the most relevant one for a given situation. In such cases it is acceptable to substitute another Attribute and use its rating instead.

If you do not have a rating in the appropriate skill, you may sometimes default to another skill or attribute.

For relatively easy or simple tasks, you may roll an attribute twice. For example: +Roll Body+Body to run a footrace or Mind+Mind to remember a common fact.

If the task requires specialized knowledge, you may roll an attribute or loosely related skill. The Storyteller must determine an appropriate modifier (usually -2 or more) and whether to allow a roll at all. In a life-or-death situation, a character might attempt to use Repair to perform surgery on a Transformer. The skill does not directly apply, but offers some degree of related knowledge.


Modifiers can be applied to Ability Rolls to increase or decrease your chance of success. A modifier is added to the ability rating, giving you more or fewer dice to roll. When considering modifiers, bear in mind that 3 rating points is the difference between a beginner and a professional, so a modifier of + or – 3 is a pretty dramatic impact, representing a task that is either really easy, or really hard.

How to Roll

FS3 uses a custom dice system, using 8-sided dice. You roll a number of dice equal to the Attribute rating plus the Skill rating. A die roll of 7 or higher is considered a Hit. You don't actually have to roll dice on the MUSH; the FS3 skill code takes care of it all for you. But it sometimes helps to know how the system works.

In general, a single Hit is sufficient for the roll to succeed, but sometimes it is desirable to get a more fine-grained appraisal of success. Possible results from the code include Success, Good Success, Great Success and Amazing Success.

It is also possible for you to mess up royally. If you get no Hits and the number of ‘1’s is equal to or greater than your Attribute rating, you have suffered an Embarrassing Failure. Usually this means something really bad has happened – not only did you fail, you may have made things worse.

Please bear in mind that even an Amazing Success doesn't mean you solved world hunger or created a silk purse out of a sow's ear. You are still limited by your capabilities.

> +roll Brawling -- simple roll
> +roll Brawling+2 -- roll with a modifier
> +roll Brawling+Mind -- normally you don't need to specify the attribute unless you want one other than the default

Opposed Rolls

When two characters are directly in conflict, you can use an Opposed Roll to determine the outcome. In an Opposed Roll, each character makes an Ability Roll as normal. Whoever gets the most Hits “beats” the other one, though it’s still possible for both characters to fail if neither one gets any Hits.

Sometimes it is useful to determine the margin of success – how badly did the winner crush his opponent. The code will compare the two die rolls and give a result of either: Draw, Marginal Victory, Solid Victory, Crushing Victory.

> +roll Bob=Brawling vs Faraday=Brawling -- simple opposed roll
> +roll Bob=Brawling+2 vs Faraday=Brawling-1 -- roll with a modifier
> +roll Bob=Brawling+Mind vs Faraday=Brawling+Mind -- normally you don't need to specify the attribute unless you want one other than the default

Always remember that the purpose of a MUSH is to roleplay. The combat system is designed to support roleplay, not replace it.

Opposed Rolls against NPCs

If an NPC has a +sheet, then an opposed roll works normally. Since anyone can perform an opposed roll for anyone else, the NPC's name can be given in the roll by any player.

Some NPCs do not have +sheets, such as one-offs or monsters-of-the-day. For them, specify the number of dice to roll based on how powerful they are. Typically an NPC such as this will roll the same number of dice for any skill, to keep things simple. Modifiers for such NPCs aren't used, just do the math to adjust the dice count.

> +roll Bob=Brawling vs Evil Mite=4
> +roll Bob=Brawling vs Spider Queen=10


FS3 also includes a combat system that may be used for direct combat. Use of this system is strictly optional.

(For a bare bones cheat sheet of combat commands, see the Combat Cheat Sheet.)

Joining Combat

When you join a combat, you choose your combatant type.

  • Soldier - is a ground trooper on foot.
  • NPC Master – is someone there solely to control NPCs. They cannot act directly or be targeted.
  • Observer - is someone just watching. Technically they can control NPCs too, but it is better to use the NPC Master type for that because it helps the organizer keep track.

+combat/all - Shows all combats going on so you can find the one you need to join.
+combat/join <combat #>/<type> – Joins combat
+combat/type <type> – Changes combat type
Type must be one of: soldier, observer, or npcmaster +combat/leave - Leaves combat.

Combat HUD

The Combat HUD shows the general status of combat at a glance, and can be viewed using +combat.

< Name Weapon/Vehicle Damage Stance/Action Target
< Team 1
< Jane Rifle (20) ..... NOR/attack Testdummy
< Testdummy Rifle (393) X.... NOR/attack Bob Smith
< Team 2
< Bob Smith Viper-9387g (plt) XXXX. NOR/pass
< J T Viper-6938c (plt) X.... NOR/attack Testdummy
< Observers/NPCMasters:
< Faraday

The Combat HUD shows who's involved in the combat, what teams they're on (teams are just a way of grouping characters for easy reference), and other important information.


Combat is organized into turns, generally representing a few seconds. Each turn, everyone involved gets to pose and act. The general flow of combat is:

  • Pose the results of what happened last turn and what you are going to do this turn.
  • Enter your action for this turn into the combat system.
  • When everyone has posed and selected their action, the organizer triggers a new turn.
  • The system rolls the necessary (virtual) dice to figure out what happened, and spits out a summary.
  • Rinse and repeat until the combat is over.

Actions within a turn are resolved in order based on an Ability Roll for initiative. Damage takes effect immediately, but knockout is not determined until the end of a turn. That means even if someone is knocked out, they can still get one last shot off.


Stance reflects your general attitude and behavior in the combat, and offers modifiers to attack and defense.

Stance Description Effects
Normal The default stance. None
Banzai An overly offensive, almost reckless stance. +3 to attack rolls, -3 to defense rolls
Evade Dodging and weaving. -3 to attack rolls, +3 to defense rolls
Cautious Taking it slow and careful. -1 to attack rolls, +1 to defense rolls
Cover You are partially behind cover, such as a wall or tree. Attacks aimed at you have a chance of hitting the cover instead of you.

You may change stance at any time during the turn.

+combat/stance <stance> - Change your combat stance.


When you first join a combat, you will be set up with a default weapon. If you want to change weapons, use the gear commands. For a Transformer, armor is a fixed quality that can't be adjusted on the fly.

+gear/weapons - Lists weapon stats
+gear/armor - Lists armor stats

+combat/weapon <weapon> - Sets weapon.
+combat/armor <armor> - Sets armor.

You can change weapons at any point during the combat, but the organizer will decide whether you can do anything else that turn.

T:LF also offers the chance to get Personalized Weapons for your character in exchange for Luck Points.


Characters may take one Basic or Advanced Action per turn, and a number of Free Actions.

Basic Actions

  • Attack
    • The basic attack command hits at a single target with your currently equipped weapon. Special options to the basic attack command allow you to execute a short (3-round) burst if the weapon allows, specify the range, or make a called shot. A called shot has a greater chance of hitting your intended hit location (or nearby), but also has a higher chance of missing completely.
    • +combat/attack <target>[/<specials, see below>]
  • Specials are optional, and can include:
    • burst - Fire a short (3-round) burst.
    • range=<short medium long> - If not specified, system assumes range is short.
    • called=<location> - Perform a called shot to a particular hit location.
      • Use +combat/hitlocs <target> to see a list of valid hit locations.
    • Use commas to separate multiple options.
  • Aim
    • Spend a turn taking careful aim at a target, and get a bonus to hit them next turn.
    • +combat/aim <target> - Takes careful aim.
  • Reload
    • Reload a weapon that has run out of ammo. Some weapons may take multiple turns to reload.
    • +combat/reload – Reloads a weapon.
  • Treat
    • You can treat an injured person during combat. Treating a KO'd player has a chance of undo-ing the knockout.
    • +combat/treat <name>
  • Pass
    • If you're not doing anything this turn, set your action to 'pass' so everyone knows.
    • +combat/pass

Advanced Actions

Full-Auto Fire

If your weapon supports fully automatic fire, you can fire a long (10-round) burst at one or more targets.

+combat/fullauto <list of one or more targets, separated by commas> - Fire a fully automatic (10-round) burst. You can list up to 5 separate targets.

Suppressive Fire

You can perform suppressive fire to keep a target’s head down. You won't hit them, but you'll impose a greater suppression modifier upon them than if you just targeted them directly. Fully automatic weapons can suppress multiple targets at once. Some electronic weapons (like the ECM system on a BSG Raptor) can also suppress targets.

+combat/suppress <target> - Use suppressive fire. A full-auto weapon can specify a comma-separated list of up to 5 targets.


Subdue is a melee attack that does no damage but has a chance of subduing the target. You can also use this action to simulate an attempted disarm. Subdued targets may not act until they successfully escape or the attacker stops subduing them.

+combat/subdue <target> - Subdues a target.
+combat/escape – Attempts to escape while subdued.


When using an explosive weapon, you need to specify two groups of targets. The first are those standing right next to the explosion, who get the full force of the blast. The second group is outside of the most-deadly blast radius, but still in shrapnel range. The blast radius and shrapnel range will vary from weapon to weapon, so it's up to the organizer's discretion to determine which targets fall into which groups.

+combat/explode <right next to>/<nearby> - Uses an explosive weapon. Each group should specify a comma-separated list of targets.


You can attempt to rally a knocked-out character. This can reflect anything from slapping a lightly-wounded soldier on the face and yelling at him to 'snap out of it' to giving a big morale boosting speech to encourage a badly wounded comrade to keep fighting. This command only cancels the knockout; it doesn't reduce damage modifiers directly. Thus it works best when you’re only moderately wounded.

+combat/rally <name>

Free Actions

Free Actions may be done in addition to your regular action, and typically include non-coded things like moving or speaking. Changing gear and changing stance may also be considered free actions at the organizer's discretion. Be reasonable about what you can accomplish in a couple seconds; the organizer has final say over whether your actions are too much for one turn.


There are no 'hit points' in FS3. Instead each wound is tracked separately, and you are given an overall damage modifier to die rolls based on the accumulated damage you've taken. The more seriously hurt you are, the less combat effective you will become, until eventually you won't be capable of doing anything but flailing around aimlessly. Wounds that have partially healed or been treated with first aid impose a lesser penalty.

There are five severity levels of damage. They are described below using examples from firearms and unarmed combat.

Damage Comparisons Firearms Example Unarmed Example
Light Just a graze. Minor bruise.
Moderate Hollywood hero wound - hurts, but nothing serious. Nice shiner or bloody nose.
Serious Serious bleeding, life-threatening if not treated. Broken nose or mild concussion.
Critical Immediately life-threatening, possibly broken bones or organ damage. Broken bone or serious concussion.

+damage - Views your damage.
+damage <name> - Views someone else's damage, PC or NPC

Damage Realism

In the real world, combat injuries are often devastating and disabling, but most players don't find it fun to be laid up for weeks after an injury and then spend months in physical therapy. Combat damage results are deliberately Hollywood-ized. You have a lot of freedom in terms of how you RP wounds, but please try to be reasonable and consistent.


The combat code will never kill you. The worst that will happen is you'll be knocked out, or KO'd. You can interpret that as being put in stasis lock (knocked unconscious), killed, writhing in pain, panicked, subdued, spinning out of control, dead in the water, or any other appropriate result – as long as you’re no longer fighting. Treating wounds can help keep you from getting KO'd in the first place, by lowering your wound modifiers.

Once you're KO'd, you can no longer use any combat commands. NPCs are automatically removed from combat when KO'd. PCs stay in the fight but can't act or be targeted. PCs can spend a luck point to undo a KO. The ‘rally’ and 'treat' combat commands also have a chance of undoing a KO.

+combat/hero - Spends a luck point to undo a KO.
+combat/treat <name> – Apply first aid or jury-rigging.
+combat/rally <name> - Rally a KO’d character.


Each combat, you may spend a luck point to get a bonus to ONE of the following:

  • Attack
  • Defense
  • Initiative

These bonuses last only a turn, so don’t waste them.

You can also spend luck to recover from a knockout or move damage from one hit location to another immediately after an injury. Note that recovering from a knockout doesn’t actually reduce your damage modifier, so it works best when you were KO’d after being only moderately wounded.

+combat/luck <attack, defense or initiative> - Spend a luck point this turn.
+combat/hero - Stay in the fight after a KO.
+damage/move <#>=<location> - Spends a luck point to move the hit location of a wound to yourself. This has no game benefit, but is for cosmetic/RP purposes.


Wounds heal automatically over time. Doctors can speed the healing process using their medical skill, and wounds heal faster when you’re in a designated hospital room. In this case, the Medibay is a designated hospital room. Some weapons do "stun" damage, which heals much faster than regular damage.

Note: The healing times in FS3 are deliberately fast. See the note on damage realism above. The healing times specifically do not account for special damage effects that you may inflict. These must be handled through RP.

+heal <name> - Designates a patient. Continues until they’re fully healed.
+healing – Shows who you’re healing.
+stopheal <name> - Stops healing someone.

Organizing Combat

One person is the combat organizer. This does not need to be a staff member, though it often is. The organizer has special commands available, as well as special responsibilities, described in the help file +help combat_org.

NPCs in Combat

Typically the organizer will be controlling the NPCs in a combat, so NPC commands are discussed in the help file. However, you don't have to be an organizer to control a NPC. NPCs can act and be targeted the same as PCs.

Starting a Combat

Starting a new combat involves several steps.

  1. The organizer uses +combat/start to start the combat. This gives you the combat number, a unique ID for that combat.
  2. Join PCs and NPCs to the combat.
  3. Trigger the first turn using +combat/newturn.

Combat can be designated as 'mock' or 'real'. Mock combat represents training, sparring, paintball wars, etc. Damage from a mock combat is erased as soon as the combat is over.

Note: When you trigger the first '+combat/newturn', NPCs will automatically pick random targets. Therefore, if you want to assign them to specific targets, be sure to do so after you trigger the first new turn.

+combat/start <mock or real> - Starts a combat.
+combat/spar <name> - Starts a sparred combat with <name> and joins them to the combat.
+combat/stop <combat #> - Stops a combat.
+combat/all - Shows all combats going on.
+combat/newturn - Starts the first turn.

Joining People to Combat

The organizer can force other people (PCs or NPCs) to join the combat. Often this is faster/simpler than paging a bunch of people with the combat number and expecting them to do it.

+combat/join <name>=<combat#>/<type>[/<vehicle>] - Joins someone else to combat. If the name specified does not already exist as a PC or in the NPC database, a temporary NPC will be added with a random skill level.

Running and Participating in Combat

When you start a combat, you are added as an Observer, on the assumption that you're just there to watch and run the NPCs. If your PC is also involved in the fight, you will need to leave combat (+combat/leave) and then rejoin as the appropriate combatant type.

Detailed Combat Info

In addition to the Combat HUD summary (visible through +combat), you can get detailed stats about a particular combatant. You can also view a summary of the skill matchups (to ensure that NPCs aren't mis-matched in ability level to the PCs they're fighting) and a summary of what gear people have.

+combat <name> - Views someone's detailed combat status.
+combat/gear - Views a gear summary.
+combat/skills - Views a skill summary.


FS3 does not use objects for NPCs, but rather has a database of “virtual” NPCs. When you want to use a NPC in combat, you can either specify a pre-existing NPC from the database, or specify a temporary NPC name (like “Henchman27”) and the system will generate a temporary one for you. That temporary NPC will be deleted as soon as combat’s over.

Unlike PCs, who have a full character sheet, NPCs have only a single skill rating used for every roll they make.

+npcs - Shows NPCs
+npc <name> - Shows a specific NPC
+npc/create <name>=<skill> - Creates a NPC
+npc/delete <name> - Deletes a NPC. Only the creator or staff can do this.
+npc/skill <name>=<skill> - Changes a NPC's skill
+npc/notes <name>=<notes> - Adds notes to a NPC

Controlling NPCs in Combat

Someone must be responsible for posing for the NPC and entering their actions into the combat system. This could be the organizer, another player whose PC is involved in the combat, or just someone who's there solely to run that particular NPC.

Note: If you are only joining combat to run NPCs, you should join using the "NPCMaster" type.

NPCs and PCs are treated fundamentally the same in combat. You target a NPC just by using his name, and there are versions of every combat command that allow you to specify a NPC as the actor. Only one exception: KO’d NPCs are immediately removed from the combat. They cannot be treated, rallied, or revived with a hero roll.

All combat commands have versions for NPCs with the NPC’s name in front of them, used for setting the NPC's action. Quick tip: This also works on PCs too, in case someone is AFK or disconnected and you need to set their action for them.

+combat/weapon <npcname>=<weapon>
+combat/attack <npcname>=<target>

NPC Damage

The combat system remembers damage done to permanent NPCs, just like PCs. This means they they will get hurt and heal up the same as the PCs. Temporary NPCs go away when the combat's over, erasing their damage.

Pose and Action Tracking

As the organizer, the combat system will notify you when everyone has posed and entered their actions into the system. If time is passing and you still haven't seen those messages, you can check the 'slackers' command to see who's snoozing. You can then choose to poke them, enter an action on their behalf, or simply skip over them.

+combat/slackers - See at a glance who hasn't posed or chosen their actions.


Teams are a convenient way of organizing combatants into smaller groups when they split up. PCs are automatically assigned to Team 1 and NPCs to Team 2. You can change someone's team at any time.

+combat/team <name>=<team#> - Switches teams.


PCs pick their targets when they aim or attack. NPCs do so automatically. By default, NPCs on Team 1 will aim at Team 2, Team 2 will aim at Team 1, and NPCs on other teams will aim at anyone not on their team.

You can change this by targeting teams against specific other teams. They will only pick targets from the teams you specify. You can also list specific individuals as targets. For example, you can specify that teams 1 and 3 will target teams 2 and 4, but that Bob will specifically target Mary.

Please note! These commands apply to ALL NPCs. If you have other NPCMasters in your combat, be sure to let them know that this will redirect their NPCs' targets, and they'll have to fix it.

NPCs automatically pick an appropriate action and a target when the retarget command is triggered. They will keep their target until it's taken out or until someone does a retarget. However, you can manually force them to pick a new action or a specific target using one of the NPC combat commands.

+combat/target <name>=<target> - Forces someone to change targets

+combat/teamtarget <team# list>=<team# list> - Sets up team targets. Example: +combat/target 1 3 = 2 4 (targets teams 1 and 3 at teams 2 and 4) Note that this does not affect targets for teams 2 and 4 - you must set them separately. This team setting is remembered from one turn to the next.
+combat/retarget - Forces all NPCs to pick new random targets based on their team targets.

+combat/retarget <attacker=target,attacker=target,etc.> - NPCs on the list will pick specific targets and everyone else will pick random targets
+combat/randtarget <name>[/<num targets>] - Spits out a # of random targets for 'name'.


Organizers may apply situational modifiers to characters based on things like darkness, rain, or what-have-you. A modifier is just like a skill roll modifier - a +/- number of dice. Do not use this for damage modifiers; they are factored in automatically.

+combat/mod <name>=<modifier, + or -> - Sets a situational modifier (not for damage!).


There are several staff-only commands used to modify and inflict damage, to make adjustments for the inevitable cases where someone attacks someone they shouldn't have, or the combat system gets wonky. These are not available to general organizers; only staff. All damage commands may be used on a PC, NPC or Vehicle.

+damage/mod <name>/<#>=<stat>/<level> - Modifies details of an injury. See +damage/mod for the possible stat values.
+damage/inflict <name>=<mock or real>/<hit location>/<weapon>/<physical or stun>/<severity> - Inflicts damage. May be used outside of combat.
+damage/delete <name>/<#> - Deletes an injury
+damage/clear <name> - Clears all damage (even healed damage) from the database.
+combat/unko - Un-KO's someone who shouldn't have been (organizer only)

Balancing Combats

Lopsided combats are generally not much fun for either side, and sometimes may be downright detrimental to the theme/plot. As an organizer, it is important for you to balance the skills of PCs and NPCs to ensure a reasonably fair fight. You should also check to make sure everyone has the proper gear and stance setup. You can use the NPC command to adjust NPC skill levels.

Another way to balance combat is to simply apply a modifier. Badguys kicking your players' butts and you don't want them to? Give a few of them a -10 modifier and watch the tables turn.

You can also give someone a lethality modifier, which applies to weapon damage. This is also a percentage, just like the weapon's lethality rating. So if you really want to kill someone, set their opponent to have a huge to-hit modifier and lethality modifier :)

Is this cheating? Yes and no. I would never advocate its use to maliciously pick on a PC. But just as a gamemaster in a tabletop game sometimes rolls behind a screen and ignores the results to further the plot, MUSH Storytellers should be allowed the same flexibility. These commands let you “stack the deck” for dramatic effect. It is up to you to use them responsibly.

+combat/skills - Views a summary of combatant skills
+combat/mod <name>=<modifier, + or -> - Sets a special modifier.
+combat/lethal <name>=<modifier, + or -> - Sets a lethality modifier

Bugs and Logs

Each combat maintains a log of what happened, along with debugging info. If you suspect a bug, you can email the appropriate section to Faraday. Just remember to do this before stopping combat, because otherwise it will be lost.

+combat/log – Views debugging log