There is no "natural" Mental Combat in the rules. In order to use a Mental Attack as an Action, you must have an Item, Skill or Power which allows you to make such a Mental Attack. A Mental Attack works much like a Physical Attack, with the following exceptions:
1) There is no differentiation between Short Range and Long Range.
2) The Offensive Mental calculation is: (1 AC Pick + MIND + modifiers), and the Defensive Mental calculation is: (1 AC Pick + MIND + modifiers). Although MIND is being used instead of OR and DR, the effect is the same - if the Offensive Mental calculation exceeds the Defensive Mental calculation, the target's LIFE is reduced by the difference.
3) A Mental Action cannot be taken against any opponent with a MIND Stat of 0, even if the 0 is temporary.
4) All Mental Actions may be used as Surprise (S) Actions, according to the rules of Surprise Actions. However, Mental Surprise Actions are unique in that they can NEVER be predicted.
Note that there is a large variety of Mental Actions which can be used, and many have nothing to do with "damage". You may use any Mental Action during your Action step, but the calculation is always the same - if the Offensive Mental calculation exceeds the Defensive Mental calculation then the Action is successful, otherwise it has failed.
Most Mental Actions require line of sight to the target, but there are some which can be directed at any Avatar (usually a GM or some other third party is needed to play these). This type of Action is the exception to the Flee rules; if you have a Mental Action which can affect any Avatar regardless of his location, you may use it even against an Avatar who has successfully Fled combat.
Note that whenever you are using a Mental Action, you have control of how much of your MIND Stat you are using, with a minimum of 1. MIND is not naturally degraded (however there are some Powers which affect it), so a decision to use all of your MIND does not affect the next Mental action you use.
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