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Parabellum: Sins of the Children (OD&D-inspired)
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:46 am    Post subject: Parabellum: Sins of the Children (OD&D-inspired) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Parabellum
Introduction
Parabellum is a cooperative storytelling game intended to recreate the feel of some of the original roleplaying fantasy games. Players take on the roles of classic heroes, ubermensch who forge their own destiny and social roles in the coming changes to society, while one of the players takes the role of GM - a mixture of referee, narrator, and roleplayer for antagonists and minor characters of the story.
Cooperative storytelling can be done with any products at all, as with collaborative writing or Cops and Robbers. Parabellum provides structure and conflict resolution in the form of an established world and story, as well as with a set of mechanics to determine the results of actions with the help of dice. In this way, players can overcome the challenges of both collaborative fiction and Cops and Robbers: most notably the "I shot you/No you did not" problem. It is hoped that the back story and established characters of Parabellum will be sufficiently evocative as to give players of heroes and GMs ample launching points for stories of their own.
One of the primary purposes of a cooperative storytelling game is to provide a foundation upon which stories can be told. The other is to provide a framework by which disagreements about how a story should progress can be worked out in an acceptably impartial fashion.
The Setting
There are many tales of a golden age in the world, brought low by its hubris or the coming of a catastrophe and reducing the world to a new dark ages. This is world is not one of those tales. A Golden Empire had existed, but it never commanded great territory. It's great magic is all that persists, spreading in both name and practice.
The land has seen peace for a long time, but war is approaching. Conflicts of land, resources, even ideology, are beginning to reach critical levels. Ruins are found, forgotten oubliettes remembered, and things best left immured are being unearthed. Not all hold great secrets, powerful magics, or terrible beasts. But enough do that they are feared by the populace, sought after by heroes, and guarded by cults.
It is a world of magic and monsters, brave soldiers and fabulous treasure. It begins with a foundation of iron age wilderness and then adds the places, races, and powers that makes the setting unique.
The world of Parabellum is ancient, built upon and beneath the ruins of past kingdoms' works, leaving the landscape dotted with the places of adventure and mystery. Legends and artifacts of the Golden Empire still remain - as do the terrible menaces created by them and their contemporaries.
The Golden Empire's secrets were not always secret, and they had been duplicated many times amongst other empires. But the current age has no kingdom capable of recreating the ancient works. The world is shrouded with the decaying remnants of still powerful magics, just now rediscovering and recreating lesser magics after centuries of stagnant complacency. Crops were enhanced by ancient spells, water was purified through spirit pacts and sanctified wells, the riches of the stone were transmuted by great machines beneath the earth. There was always uninhabited land to discover, new maps continually in production amongst cartographers, as borders would shift to accommodate the discovered land.
Then something happened; the Year of the Cartographer's Portent, when maps no longer needed to be updated. Over the next few decades, the unsupervised magics began to fail erratically. Resources are no longer as plentiful as before, and the distribution is uneven. Neighbors are no longer temporary, and so long-term diplomacy has never been made.
For the first time in centuries, a cold war is being waged between kingdoms.
You play a band of heroes with allegiance to a faction (village, cult, kingdom, etc), whose deeds can and will colour their neighbor's views. The relationship is one of symbiosis. Heroes seek the remnants of the Golden Empire ahead of the competition, sabotage enemy forces, and take down sources of instability. In exchange their patron will negotiate for their release when defeated and captured by enemy forces, trade for captured/killed enemies, and tell them of treasures found.
During your adventures, you will visit fantastic locations: wide caverns cut by rivers of lava; towers held aloft in the sky - anything you can describe, your character could experience as the game plays.
Monsters and spirits are a part of the world. Spirits live and watch between the spaces, following a life and rules incomprehensible to mortals. Creatures prowl the shadows of night, the crevices of the oubliettes.
Magic is everywhere. People do not place as much faith in magic as they used to in the face of the decaying enchantments. Masters of the art, while rare, trade with the spirits for mana to practice their art. Even non-practitioners have greater numen than ordinary mortals, allowing them to wield magic weapons with greater control.
Nodes
Fonts of mystical power, their creation a secret possibly lost forever, but the those of sufficient power and knowledge can shape them to their will. They are scattered throughout the land, separated by hundreds of miles, and whose effects never encompass an area greater than a large city. Their power fluctuates on a cycle of waning and waxing in an arcane pattern only learned scholars can begin to predict, and even they are proved wrong more often than not when they think they have cracked the 'code'. Every node has two aspects, its dominion and roaming.
There will be a dominion aspect and a roaming aspect with each node. A dominion aspect is a localized manifestation that cannot extend beyond the reach of the node, and is very rigid; though extreme effort can be made to 'twist' a dominion aspect. For example, the Caverns of Flame's dominion aspect is being on fire; but with sufficient architecture and effort by the attuned master, it can be concentrated into numerous forges so that normal humans can walk down the tunnel (and not be on fire) and see a giant line of forges and smithies. Of course, breaking the attunement causes a 'reset', which would kill many people.
The roaming aspect are 'creations' of the node, power and energy formed into an independent effect that can extend beyond the reach of its dominion. This is almost universally in the form of monsters, with more being created when the node accumulates enough energy to 'erupt'. This is the part that is malleable and twistable by the owner, though going outside the theme requires another node as a 'filter'. For example, once tamed, the Caverns of Flame stop producing drakes and produce something else fire-related; such as bestowing upon a select few the mantle of the Smoldering Knights (who lose their power if the place becomes unattuned), or even set up a mystical link to bolster the aspects of another node.
What's in a Game
During the game, every single player is going to want some method of keeping track of things. This can be done with pencil and paper, post-it notes, or electronic media such as laptops or PDAs. Different players prefer note taking and result tallying in different mediums. A character sheet will be provided if you so desire the old-fashioned method of printing it out and writing on it during play. You will also want to bring this reference guide with you, so that means someone at the game will need to bring their laptop, ereader, or printed copy of this book to the game. You have the right to make as many printed copies of this book as you want for non-commmercial purposes, so do what is best for your group.
The actual mechanics of the game require rolling a twenty-sided die (d20 for short) and two six sided dice (2d6). It is ideal to have a set of these three dice for every player in the game.
As you will be telling stories of tactical engagements, you will want some way to make diagrams on the table for the other players. This can be done with an erasable mat, dry erase board, or a pad of paper in the middle of the table. It can also be done by sketching things out on a computer, or even creating a physical guideline with miniatures and the imagination.
Ability Scores
Characters in Parabellum are distinguished between one another by their ability scores.
To determine a PC's scores, roll a d20 four times and arrange as desired. The number rolled on the d20 corresponds to the score as follows:
1 -1
2 to 10 0
11 to 19 +1
20 +2
Strength: Not just brute power, but brute toughness. This ability influences weapon damage, Tenacity defense, and hit points.
Dexterity: Agility and accuracy, influencing weapon attack bonuses and the Dodge defense.
Cunning: Describes awareness and agility of thought, influencing Insight defense and many forms of magic.
Presence: Mental strength and durability, covers Will defense and more brute forms of magic.
Defenses
Whenever targetted by an attack or effect that can be resisted, it must equal or exceed the value of the target's defense score. For any particular character, their defense is equal 10 plus half their level (round down) plus any bonuses from their jobs.
Tenacity - Weapons
Dodge - Touch attacks
Insight - Illusions
Will - Mental control
Offenses
When attacking, roll 1d20 plus base attack plus bonuses depending on the attack. When an attack is called out with an ability score, then that score is added as a bonus; so a character making a Presence attack rolls 1d20 + base attack + Presence + other bonuses. Unless specified otherwise, all attacks with weapons are Dexterity attacks. When attacking and a natural 20 is rolled, the attack is a critical; which automatically hits and inflicts a wound.
If you have the Edge against someone, usually when your base attack is higher, then combat maneuvers are upgraded in effectiveness. This is detailed with the combat maneuvers.
Base Attack = [Job bonus] + [Level]/2
Edge If the attacker is of higher Base Attack
Critical Natural 20 on attack, automatically strikes, inflicts wound
Hit Points & Recovery
All characters HP equal to (2+Strength+Job bonus) each level. Players get an initial +4HP at first level.
Special conditions are marked at HP levels. When a character reaches half of their maximum HP, they become bloodied. When a character reached one fourth their maximum, they are staggered. Finally, they are disabled when at exactly 0 HP and unconscious when they fall below this.
Characters die at -3HP, except for players, who die at -10HP (heroic).
Any effect described as a [Healing] effect heals for the creature's Staggered value (1/4 Maximum). A short rest counts as a [Healing] effect on a character, and a character can take up to two short rests between extended rests, which itself requires complete rest from the beginning of the night to the end of the night (or beginning/end of the day).
Numen
Inner reserves, mana being another term for this state. Everything has some, but PCs are notable for having reserves far beyond the norm for their kind. Every PC has an amount of mana equal to half their level, rounded up. How much mana is required to fuel an effect depends on its category, as listed below. Numen is restored to full with a short rest.
Cantrips - Least effects, can be performed indefinitely
Charms - Minor effects, can be performed as often as desired so long as the character has a point of numen
Spells - Major effects, drains an entire point from the character's reserves
Equipment
The primary goals and motivation for a character is not the accumulation of wealth, but adventure. As such, there is minimal differentiation amongst fighting gear. Proficiency in weapons and armor is dependent on the job.
Liquid Courage: Once per session, chug for 6 temporary hit points
Weapons: Unless noted, proficient in light weapons. -2 attack for nonproficiency. 1d6 for 1H, 1d6+2 for 2H, 1d6-1 for Light. Shortbows, unarmed, and thrown are Light, Composite are 2H.
Dual Weapons: +1 attack bonus
Armor: Non-proficiency results in equal-sized penalty to attacks. Add to Tenacity. +1 Shield, +1 leather, +2 chain/scale, +3 plate
Hireling: 10gp per day of service in untamed wilderness,
Combat Sequence
All actions within a phase are resolved in order of highest Base Attack or Move (for movement phase), resolved simultaneous for equal values. If incapacitated in a phase, actions within a phase are nulled.
If an action is delayed, then the character doesn't act until the phase is reached.
* 0. Surprise - One action of choice
* 1. Declare, Magic, Preparations - Initiate casting of Charm or Spell, retrieve item, stow weapon, pour oil
* 2. Missiles - If firing into melee, 50% chance hitting random target in group
* 3. Movement - Engage/disengage to/from feature or group, change zone
* 4. Magic - Cast Cantrip or finish casting Charm/Spell, damage taken before finishing casting loses spell
* 5. Movement
* 6. Melee - Attack with weapon
* 7. Miscellaneous - Help wounded, drink potion, light flask; if in melee, magic and missile actions delayed to this phase.
Squaring the Circle
If in a sizable area, the DM will create loosely defined areas called zones, each such zone being where a preent character can interact with anyone/anything else in that zone. Who is in what zone affects things like whether or not characters can attack each other or if they'll need to throw things or use missile weapons.
As a rule of thumb, people in the same zone can move to touch or throw small objects at each other, while people in separate zones need to shoot each other. Arrows and spells can easiy target something two zones away, sometimes farther, so a comfortable number of initial zones is around three to five.
* Area of Effect (size): If the size number of the AoE is equal to or greater than the size of the zone or feature, it affects everything in the zone or feature. If it is smaller, it will only one target and anything linked to it. If sufficiently large, an AoE can affect multiple connected zones so long as the sum of the size does not exceed that of the AoE itself.
* Feature (size): A feature is some thing, be it pipe, boulder, alcove, or cliff. Some give a tangible benefit for claiming (such as a defense bonus for being in an alcove or fox hole), others don't. Features have a size. Some feature are unique in that there's only one such instance of it in the zone, while others are 'generic' in that there are no meaningful limits on how many boulders are on the barren planet.
* Engaged: A character is engaged to another creature or feature if they are considered to be in close proximity for some reason. Generally speaking, a character is automatically engaged to a horse they are riding or a skull they are carrying, for example.
* Size: An abstract number for features, zones, and creatures to represent the space they take up. An arbitrarily high number of creatures can be in a zone or feature if their individual size is strictly smaller. If the creature is of the same size as the zone, then they are slowed. If the creature is strictly larger than the size of the zone, then they cannot enter the zone, though they can become engaged to it.
* Zone: An abstract region of the battlefield. It has a size number for determining what can fit or fill the zone. Commonly, all of the zones in a battlefield are considered connected, sometimes this can not be the case; such as the two platforms with a very large bridge between them (each of the three counting as their own zone).
* Retreat Zone: An abstract region created/entered by the character or group after battle has started. If there are no opponents in the zone when they move again, then they can leave the scene altogether.
* Group: Collection of creatures engaged with each other. Engaging an engaged creature will result in engaging with both.
* Flight: Movement form, allowing access to zones ordinarily unavailable. Due to the maneuvering, flying within a zone makes the creature count 1 size larger.
Within a zone, a creature can move to any feature or creature by moving. Borders between zones are considered features, and you must enter the feature in order to cross over to another zone. If a character's move is equal to or greater than the combined size of the zones/features crossed, then he can cross more than one in a single phase.

In the abstract nature of movement and position in combat, relative positions are not kept track of. This changes when characters are running away from each other.
Short Chase: If a group is attempting to leave the scene from a Retreat zone, an opposing group in an adjacent zone can attempt to move into the Retreat zone to prevent them from escaping the scene, turning the Retreat zone into a regular zone. This is done by making an opposed skill check appropriate to the situation, usually Athletics (running). If the fleeing party wins the check, then they escape normally and the chasing party must enter a Long Chase if they wish to catch them.
Long Chase: The time frame of a long-term chase scene can be arbitrarily long, so representing this in 12 second rounds can be cumbersome. The rounds will be of arbitrary length. When performing a stunt, the challenge of their attempt can be as mundane as pushing through a crowd (DC 5) to parkour leaping across buildings (DC 9). If the stunt is failed, then they wipe out and are out of the chase. If both succeed, then the lead grows or shrinks depending on which party had a larger margin. If neither perform a stunt, then the lead grows/shrinks solely depending on the absolute speed difference.
* Caught - If the lead is narrowed to less than a narrow lead, then the chaser has caught up to the chased. This does not signal the end of the chase, but that the two are close enough to react to each other directly, having at least one round of being within a zone of each other; though they can take an action to attempt escape again, returning to a Long Chase
* Narrow Lead - Most Long Chases start at a narrow lead. The pursuing character can perceive the chased with ease, watching their turns and stunts directly.
* Wide Lead - The pursued is no longer constantly visible to the pursuer, allowing some of their stunts to be such as Dexterity + Athletics to take advantage of the terrain to hide or use a shortcut.
* Escaped - A chased character who widens the lead pase a Wide Lead escapes altogether, requiring the pursuer to have to scout for them in a new scene altogether.
Combat Modifiers
These conditions are granted when a character is engaged to the feature or zone with it. Unless specifically stated, none of these situations stack with themselves.
Concealment: +2 defenses
Concealment, Improved: +2 defenses, attacks have 50% chance striking random character in a group with improved concealment
Cover: +2 defenses; two or more combines into a single Improved Cover
Cover, Improved: +4 defenses
Advantage: +2 attack; two or more combines into a single Superior Advantage
Superior Advantage: +4 attack bonus
Maneuvers
When performing something more specific than hurting your foe, you make what is called a maneuver, which happens during the same phase as an attack. You make a normal attack roll with the weapon in question, but commonly against a defense other than Tenacity.
Trip [vs Tenacity]: The larger party add their size difference to the attack roll or Tenacity for the attack. When knocked prone, the victim grants Combat Advantage to any melee attack, and must spend a movement phase to stand up.
Bull-rush [vs Tenacity]: The larger party adds their size difference to the attack roll or Tenacity for the attack. A successful bull-rush results in forced movement in the movement phase.
Cover Fire [vs Will]: Performed during the missile phase, negates one missile attack made during the phase. If the attacker has the Edge, then they also strike the target whose missile attack was negated.
Disarm [vs Dodge]: Target gets +2 Dodge if holding it two-handed, +4 if using a locked gauntlet. If the attacker has the Edge, then they can choose where it's knocked to.
Grab On [vs Dodge]: Can only be done against a larger creature, climbing onto them and stabbing repeatedly, and gain Combat Advantage against them. You can only attack with a light weapon while attached, but you automatically move when they move. The larger creature can choose to either shake you off (opposed Athletics skill check) or attack (since it grants Combat Advantage to the grabber, it has a -2 penalty). If the grabber has the Edge, then the victim can only attempt to shake them off.
Hold Down [vs Dodge/Tenacity]: Attack twice, against Dodge and Tenacity each. If both are successful, then the target is pinned for a round and cannot move except to either attempt escape (opposed Athletics) or attack their holder (who has Combat Advantage). If the attacker has the Edge, then their target can only choose to try to escape. If the attacker has sufficient strength, then they can carry the pinned target.
Combat Expertise: A modifier to an attack routine, chosen from the below list. If the character has the Edge, then the bonus gained doubles
* Press: +1 attack, -4 Defenses
* Parry: +1 Defenses, -4 attack
* Crush: +2 damage, -2 Defenses
* Evade: +2 Defenses, no attack at all
Charge: Increase Move by 2 for round, or disengage and move (without Move increase), at expense of -2 Defenses
Skills
Standard check is 2d6+proficiency bonus+ability score vs the attempt's DC. A guideline for DC determination is given below. Please note that the table does make it such that untrained players will succeed at professional tasks nearly 60% of the time, and that this is intended. A true professional will succeed much more reliably than this, not considering it a coin-toss, and is not a slight against the quality of their work.
DC Difficulty
3 Assumed success. Crossing the street, making cereal
5 Mundane. Riding a horse, sharpening a sword
7 Professional
9 Hard
11 Extreme
13 Crazy Extreme
15 Superhuman
All characters begin Untrained, unless stated otherwise, in all skills. Jobs grant 1 level of proficiency in select skills, any overlap stacks. Races grant specialization in various skills. In addition, to represent the character's background, they also have a single specialization in the Artisan skill.
Specialization in a skill grants a level of proficiency one higher than the base skill, but only for that specific aspect of the skill, to a maximum of Master level. While each skill description mentions possible specializations, they are not all inclusive, and others are available.
Three levels of proficiency start at Untrained unless stated otherwise.
Untrained +0
Trained +2
Expert +4
Master +6
Skills will have varying circumstantial modifiers, usually in the +/- 2 range. The skills are as follows:
* Academia (Cunning): In addition to its uses of knowing history and other academic knowledge, appraising item value, but also the chances of a character knowing a language (spoken or written), which is added to their list of languages known as the game progresses
* Artisan (Presence): Covers all of the crafting professions, as well as any of the performing arts. This is the most commonly specialized skill, and every starting character will have a specialization in Artisan to represent their background.
* Athletics (Strength or Dexterity): Covers essentially all athletic endeavors, from climbing, balancing, jumping, swimming, running, to wiggling out of enclosed spaces (grapples or ropes).
* Perception (Cunning): Use of the character's senses, including their social senses when reading people, or knowing where to look when searching.
* Social (Presence): Covers intimidation, socializing amongst groups for gathering information off the grape-vine, and for the Diplomacy subset of the rules.
* Deceit (Cunning): The less honest skill-set, including disguises, lying, sleight of hand, pick-pocketing, and lock-picking.
* Stealth (Dexterity): All manner of keeping one's self from being physically or socially perceived as a threat, such as hiding, moving silently, or tailing someone through a populated street.
Stealth checks cannot be made against a character who is already observing them or is attacked by the character unless the observer is engaged with a foe in melee combat.
* Survival (Cunning): Outdoor skills, including animal handling, riding, foraging, and tracking. The environment matters not, as the streets of Lanhkmar are just as much a wilderness as the Dark Forest.
* Mysticism (Cunning): Deciphering written spells, predicting omens, understanding arcane devices, and the performance of hedge magic are all under this skill's purview.
Extended Skill Checks
Some skills take longer than a moment to perform. For such tests, the time frame is given alongside the DC. If they meet the DC, they perform the action in the listed amount of time, while exceeding the DC reduces the time frame of completing the task by one step for every two points exceeded.
A character can attempt to take a longer period of time, trying and retrying, to get an action accomplished at the expense of time. If the check can be retried on failure, then the character can take the next timeframe longer for a +2 bonus to their skill check. The time frame can only be increase one step at most.
Timeframe
Century
Decade
Year
Season
Month
Week
3 Days
Day
5 hours
1 hour
20 minutes
5 minutes
1 minute
1 round
1 phase
One example includes forging a sword (Artisan: Smithing, DC 7, 3 days), while another includes breaking down a wooden door (Athletics: Breaking, DC 9, 1 minute).
Rallies
The GM has the option of introducting what shall be called a rally. A rally is ideal for situations where the entire party can contribute and have non-binary results.
During each round, every participant makes a skill check against the rally's Difficulty. Matching or exceeding the Difficulty grants a step for the rally, while getting below the Difficulty gains a setback for the participant.
If a participant gains a certain number of setbacks, as determined by the rally's Complexity, then they can no longer participate in the rally. Note that any steps earned previously are not removed from the rally's effort.
The number of rounds, which are of abstract length of time that note narratively significant moments, depends on the Duration of the rally. Once the Duration is reached, the number of steps accumulated is measured against what's required for Minimum Success. Steps above and beyond this give a Margin of Success, the effects of which are listed with the written Rally.
* Difficulty - Skill DC for each round of the rally.
* Step - Skill check that matched or exceeded the Difficulty, accumulated
* Setback - Skill check that does not match the Difficulty, accumulated for the participant
* Complexity - Number of setbacks in which the participant can no longer roll once reached
* Duration - Number of rounds for the rally, every participant rolling each round (unless they get too many setbacks)
* Minimum Success - Number of steps required, excess makes the results even better.
* Variant - Alternate skill(s) allowed for a participant rather than the primary skill, the Difficulty increased by a set amount (depends on dice resolution, 2 in my system) for using
Jobs
Every character starts with a job from the list below, granting various abilities. At level 4, the character gains another job. More advanced jobs will become available at level 7. Bonuses and proficiency levels stack with each other if two or more jobs give the same effect.
Assassin: +1 BaB w/weapons. +1 Dodge & Insight. Proficiency in light armor, athletics, stealth & deceit. Deal double damage with attacks that have Combat Advantage.
Beserker: +1 BaB w/weapons. +1 HP/level. +1 Dodge & Tenacity. Proficiency in all weapons, light armor, athletics, perception, survival. Gain a melee attack for the phase if a creature goes down from an attack.
Warrior: +1 BaB w/weapons. +1 HP/level. +1 Will & Tenacity. Proficiency in all armor, survival & social. Gain second attack in phase if not attacked successfully (resolve all others before hand)
Mystic: +1 BaB w/spells. Proficient in academia, mysticism. +1 Will & Insight. Knowledge of magic depending on school (black mage, white mage, enchanter, etc).
Martial Artist: Proficiency in athletics, perception & survival. +1 HP/level. +1 all Defenses. +2 BaB when performing maneuvers. Successful maneuvers deal damage in addition to their usual effects.
Rogue: Proficiency in academia, deceit & social. +1 Dodge & Insight. During Phase 1, single target Cunning attack vs Insight, gaining Combat Advantage for round.
Shifter: +1 BaB w/melee. +1 HP/level. +1 Tenacity & Insight. Proficient in stealth, perception, survival. Knowledge of Shifter magic.
Prestige Job
When reaching level 7, the character has reached a new level of fame and skill based on their prior choices. In addition to the inherent ability granted by the prestige job, the character gains a free-floating skill specialization. The first time a particular skill is rolled in a session, the character can reveal that they've been trained previously in the skill, and permanently gain the skill specialization. This can be done once per level, allowing for three new skill specializations by the end of level 9.
Assassin
* Guildsman: Between rests, when making a Presence attack to cause a rout, able to call upon four shadowy figures for a +4 bonus. Even if unsuccessful, they will remain for the ensuing fight, leaving at the end of hostilities.
* Executioner: If an attack reduces the target to 9 or fewer hit points, the victim is killed in an exotic manner. The executioner chooses the effect created at level 7, and gains another at levels 8 and 9. Samples include petrification, banished to another plane, and permanently polymorphed into a mouse.
Beserker
* Rager: If unable to act due to a status condition during the melee phase, make a normal attack, if the attack would reduce the victim to 0 hit points or less, then the attack is completed and the status condition is removed. This includes being below 0HP, in which case the beserker is counted as having rested for 5 minutes.
* Pathfinder: Choose a terrain type at levels 7, 8, & 9. The natural hazards of the environment do not impede the character (heat of the desert, breathing underwater, darkvision in caverns, etc).
Warrior
* Warlord: When a foe is reduced to 0 HP or less, they can opt to instead inflict the hopeless condition
* Knight: When attacked by a single enemy in a phase, they must roll their attack twice and take the lower of the two.
Martial Artist
* Grandmaster of Flowers: The character performs two maneuvers in one attack, comparing the single attack roll to both defenses if necessary.
* Weapon Master: Choose one weapon for specialization at levels 7, 8, & 9. While wielding the weapon of specialization, the character gains the Edge against any opponent who is not also specialized in their weapon of choice.
Rogue
* Rutterkin: Between rests, able to make a single Cunning attack against a non-named, sentient creature in the same zone. If successful, it will join the Rutterkin in the fight for the encounter. At the end of the encounter, it will nod knowingly and leave.
* Treasure Hunter: Once per long rest, the character can choose a zone without enemy occupation and turn it into a Retreat zone while simultaneously revealing a hidden cache of some combination of mounts/vehicles whose value does not exceed Xgp.
Shifter
* Skin Walker: Beastform can be used to turn into specific people, so long as the character has an object they have held since the last sunrise. The character cannot turn into someone who is dead unless they were killed by the character, in which case a body part is required.
* Warshaper:
Enchanter
* Illusionist: Glamour becomes an Area (3) spell, and verbal description can be substituted with mental will. The caster must be aware of the subject for the spell to target them if mental will is used.
* Puppetmaster: If glamour exceeds the target's Insight defense by 10+ OR they have less than 1d6+level HP, then the duration becomes Lasting.
Black Mage
* Mathemagician: May choose to upgrade a ranged spell to cover any two arenas (regardless of size) within sight, but only affects characters whose Level/HD is a multiple of 5. At level 8, the caster can choose between a multiple of 5 or 4. At level 9, the caster can choose between a multiple of 5 or 4 OR if it's a prime number.
* War Mage: Lightning Bolt becomes Flare. The damage becomes pure magic. If the attack exceeds the target's Dodge defense by 10+, they suffer 1d6/level damage.
Necromancer
* Lich: The character no longer needs to eat, breathe, drink, or sleep. In addition, the character is immune to death by damage, but will remain incapacitated when below 0HP and must heal 'naturally'.
* Speaker to the Dead: Able to speak to the dead, making Social skill checks with the dead so long as their skull/head, tongue & eyes & ears, or grave is present. In addition, the speaker can cross over to the other side and be incorporeal during a single Move phase once per short rest.
Races
Each race has a statistical distribution for their ability scores. For example, the vast majority of orcs have a Strength of 0 to +1, while goblins have a -2 to -1, and elves have a -1 to +0. Going beyond the range is quite doable, as PCs are not beholden to this range when producing characters. When their abilities are outside of this range, they will be noted in the game for this deviance.
For those uncomfortable for such common deviance amongst players, feel free to create subspecies that err closer to the character’s scores; such as the goblin subspecies with a +1 to +2 Str range, known as the bugbear.
Human: Size 3, Move 6, Athletics (Endurance), Academia (Languages)
Orc: Size 3, Move 6, Social (Intimidation), Survival (Tracking)
Elf: Size 3, Move 6, Perception (Hearing), Mysticism (Omens)
Goblin: Size 2, Move 4, Stealth (Moving Silently), Survival (Riding)
Dwarf: Size 3, Move 4, Artisan (Smithing), Mysticism (Understanding Items)
Magic System
Magic is the inherent manifestation of numen, or mana. Everything fundamentally has a certain level of numen within it, but living creatures possess more, and locations can have a numinous presence.
Practitioners of magic perform their ways through techniques that call up their numen, enough for the magic, and then manipulate it or even transmute it.
Magic of the mind involve the act of impressing one's numen onto another's, conjuring the elements is the literal transmutation of numen into a semi-physical form.
Transformation requires shaping one's numen into a shape befitting the new form (always of equal or less in numen), but risks the victim losing their identity, and so a tell of the caster's true form is required to be present (their shadow, reflection, or even a physical body part unchanged).
Rituals and mysticism creates magic through the collection of attuned numen (components, locations, places, geomantic shapes) in order to create a sympathetic connection with the final result; and commonly calling upon a lesser god (geomantic shapes required for their action) to provide the final piece to enact the spell as shaped.
A mystics' own numen is shaped to naturally manifest in certain effects, needing only concentration and the expression of their mana. The magic of a mystic is difficult to learn and normally takes years of practice and dedication. There exists a shortcut, and that is joining a mystery, a cult for a lesser god that bestows its secrets to the members of its limited organization. Once the secrets are bestowed, the mystic's numen is shaped to naturally channel into the desired effects. The lesser god is no longer needed for the mystic's abilities, and allegiance to the mystery is purely out of respect. The mystic is however forever marked and gains a tell related to their mystery.
Duration
(M) - Maintained. Reserves a point of mana, acting as spent until the effect ends at the caster's choosing.
Concentration - Ends when the character takes 5 minutes of rest or reduced to 0HP or less.
One Round - End on the next magic phase.
Lasting - End at the next sunrise.
Range
Ranged (X) - Can target someting X zones away.
Self
Touch
Black Mage
* Telekinesis: Cantrip, Ranged (1), perform physical action with Strength equal to Presence and Dexterity equal to Cunning. If not used for or in combat, can be cast with a single gesture.
* Lightning Bolt: Charm, Ranged (1), Presence vs Willpower, deals 1d6 damage and inflicts the staggered condition for 1 round.
* Fireball: Spell, Ranged (2), Area (4), Presence vs Tenacity, 1d6/level damage
Enchanter
* Alter Self: Cantrip, Touch, Concentration (M), changes appearance of clothing and height/build to match that of a specific person, will only have appearance to those the target is aware of
* Glamour: Charm, Ranged (1), Concentration (M), Cunning vs Insight, reshapes senses and very recent memories as described by the caster's voice (must be heard and understood), can grant Combat Advantage, entire effect is dispelled if the target takes damage while witnessing the illusion; cannot create something from nothing, nor make something nonexistant, element of truth required (raven seems a roc, bonfire seems but a ring of candles, etc)
* Sleep: Spell, Ranged (1), Lasting, Area (3), Cunning vs Willpower, inflicts targets with exhausted condition
Necromancer
* Drain: Cantrip, Ranged (1), Presence vs Willpower for 1d6 damage
* Armor of the Grave: Charm, Self, Lasting (M), bonds mana with up to four controlled undead to the caster. Without having to remain engaged to the undead, the caster retains the benefit to damage and defense as normal.
* Animate Dead: Spell, Ranged (0), Area (3), animates every corpse in the area as a skeleton or zombie, giving them an initial command of six words or less. The undead can only have one command at a time, which the caster can change during the Declaration Phase if he retains control. The caster can only maintain control over a combined level equal to his own, and any undead created after this limit is reached will not be controlled aside from their initial command. If the personally controlled undead are destroyed, then using Animate Dead on a zone of uncontrolled undead will allow the caster to gain control of them, up to his personal maximum
White Mage
* Dispel: Cantrip, Ranged (1), opposed Presence vs Willpower of caster
* Shield: Charm, Ranged (0), Concentration (M), reduce damage of next attack by up to 6 points
* Cure: Charm, Touch, Area (2), allies in area are restored to full without gaining a wound
Shapeshifting
* Animal Bond: Cantrip, Ranged (0), Lasting (M), Presence vs Willpower to control animal, obeying simple commands like a trained dog
* Shift: Charm, Self, Concentration (M), gain visible animal traits in the form of a skill specialization possessed by an animal
* Beastform: Cantrip, Concentration, take fom of animal of equal or lesser HD. Equipment absorbed into body. Magical gear manifests its effects with the shift (ice sword shows up as ice claws, with identical properties). Gain form’s physical stats, attack options, and movement form. Trait of true form required, chosen at creation (unchanged shadow or reflection, original body part, etc)
Diplomacy
Used for initiating encounters with units. Make a Social skill check when meeting a group, conversation & MTP occurs during Phase 0 & 1. Modifiers are as follows
* Combat Readiness: -2 hostile territory, +0 neutral ground, +2 safe zone
* Entrance: -4 attacked in surprise round, -2 weapons drawn, +0 unarmed, +2 friendly
* Allegiance: -4 blood enemy, -2 hostile faction, +0 unknown, +2 allies, +4 own faction
* Past Experience: -4 nemesis, -2 violent past, +0 stranger, +2 friendly acquaintance, +4 boss/comrade/etc
The reaction and initial attitude will depend on the results
* 4 or less - Initiate combat
* 5 to 8 - Hostile, will converse first
* 9 to 11 - Indifferent
* 12+ - Friendly
Intimidation
Prior to the reaction roll, this check can be made, with a difficulty based on the situation. With a success, the entrance penaly is turned into a bonus to the reaction roll.
* Base DC 8
* Higher/Lower Level: +/-2
* Greater/Fewer Numbers: +/-2
* Known Mercy: +/-2 depending on situation
Traps
When exploring the oubliette or dark master's lair, traps and hazards will come up as obstacles. While some games use them in random places and keep them totally hidden until sprung, they serve as arbitrary declarations of death. Or worse, they don't kill and serve as nothing but a venue for the DM to smugly describe his clever wall scythe dealing damage which is promptly kissed better and subsequently ignored.
Given sufficient time and dedication, even the most vicious and well crafted of traps can be overcome with a pickaxe or a rolled barrel.
All of this combines to have traps only be important when used as terrain hazards or techniques of the antagonist. This includes the iconic hallway of crushing walls, shooting spike, and fire gouts to serve as an obstacle course for when the party is under a time crunch; such as in a chase against an oncoming horde.
Whenever moving in a zone with hidden traps that are not attached to a feature, there is a chance of triggering one of the traps (usually 1 in 6). The chance becomes 100% if the trap is attached to a feature with a particular trigger (usually approaching, sometimes a type of interation, such as opening). Only check for a triggered trap once for a single group or if another character explicity follows the same path as the last character. Otherwise, the trap acts as a feature, and can be avoided like any other once a character is aware of its presence.
Hidden Alcove (lvl 8): Section of wall that rotates and traps whomever was on the other side in a stone closet. Size 2, single target, +4 vs Dodge to trap inside small chamber; escape requires either triggering the trap from the outside again or an Athletics (DC 9) skill test. A secret passageway variant exists, but will only trigger if the right switch is activated.
Room Darts (lvl 6): Attacks anyone in the zone that moved during Miscellaneous Phase 7, +3 vs Dodge, 1d6
Pit Trap (lvl 8): Usually used as a chokepoint feature in a hallway zone, size 3, +4 vs Dodge, fall onto floor (1d6-1) or spikes (1d6+4); climbing out usually requires a skill test (Athletics, DC 13, 5 minutes) for the typical 20' deep pit with sheer stone walls.
Destruction
Objects have a basic Dodge Defense of 0, and destroying them is a skill check with a DC based on their size, material, and fragility. Destruction is assumed to be sufficient that it no longer serves its original purpose, such as a door or wall no longer impeding progress, or a vase no longer holding water.
For making an Athletics (break object) check and failing by 2 or less, the character can opt to take one step longer on the time frame of the check and succeed, rather than rolling again for another attempt.
Proper equipment for the task (pickaxe for stone wall, axe for a door, etc) grants the character a +2 to Athletics (break) checks.
Time Frame: 1 minute at Size 2, every size larger or smaller is another step along the ladder in the corresponding direction
Material Athletics (Break) DC
Paper 5
Cloth 7
Glass 9
Clay/Bone 11
Wood 13
Stone 15
Metal 17
Thick structure +2 DC
Thin structure -2 DC
Fire
A fire makes a continual Athletics (Break) skill check against anything engaged to it, during the Miscellaneous phase. At size 0, its skill check result is 1, with a +2 per size increase as well as a further +2 if the object burns (wood, paper, etc). If the fire fails to destroy the object by 2 or less, then the object will itself be on fire, but salvageable from destruction. An object on fire will be destroyed at the next time frame unless doused.
As an example, a bonfire (size 3) makes a continual Athletics (break) check of 7. A thick glass bottle (size 0) tossed into the heart of the bonfire will crack from the heat in a round (one phase to break at 9, one minute for another +2), while the lens of a pair of glasses will crack at the end of the current round. A wooden stool (DC 13 - 2 for relative thinness) will ignite after the first minute, and then burn completely in five minutes.
Fire spells make an immediate Athletics (Break) skill check equal to the caster's Mysticism skill check.
Encumbrance and Lifting
As a character, you can reasonably carry/wear a wide range of equipment and items. There are two primary traits with an item that determines whether a character can walk around or even lift the item, absolute size and abstract weight. Both can be described in terms of size.
Absolute Size: The basic size of the object, generally determined by its longest dimension.
Abstract Weight: Very roughly describes how heavy an item is, also described in terms of size.
As a baseline, something like a chair has the same absolute size and abstract weight. Various traits make the abstract weight differ from its absolute size.
* Notably less dense than wood, such as cloth (-1)
* Stone or similar density (+1)
* Metal or similar density (+2)
* Fills most of the volume of its size, such as a crate (+1)
* Thin and barely fills volume, such as a stick (-1)
* Hollow shell (-1)
* Worn (-1, -2 with proficiency)
These are cumulative, so a 3' cube of solid steel would have an absolute size of 2 and an abstract weight of 5, while a to-scale plush Gundam is size 6 and is weight 5.
As a good rule of thumb, a character can move without impedence so long as they carry no item equal to their own abstract weight. They are slowed if carrying an item equal to their own abstract weight. It is still possible to carry something of greater than their weight, but they can only barely lift it above the ground and walk a few steps with it. Any particular feat of strength of this nature must make an Athletics (Lifting/Breaking) check with a base DC of 3, increasing by +1 for every multiple of weight, meaning DC 10 for an item the next full size larger.
Hirelings, Formations, & Morale
Anywhere from sellswords, to skeletons, to wardogs, there exist those who fight in service of others. When in a group, they can choose to aid/assist a leader in their formation in two different ways. If in the group with the leader, their defenses are raised by the number of assistants, to a maximum of four. If attacking the same target as their leader, rather than each rolling an attack, the leader’s damage is increased by the number of assistants, to a maximum of four. Both bonuses can be provided so long as they are all engaged in a group with the leader.
Demoralize: Ranged (0), Area (0), Presence vs Tenacity (leader), make non-named followers no longer fight for their leader
Even the best paid mercenary will eventually decide they are not being paid enough and choose to abandon their employer, no longer acting in their service and instead in their best interests (most likely survival).
If a monster chooses to be intimidating, during Phase 1, it can make a Presence attack against the Tenacity of a group’s leader. If successful, any sellswords and the like will choose to abandon their post in the interests of survival, choosing either to cower or flee in terror. Some monsters are sufficiently large and intimidating to do this to multiple groups.
Traps and other hazards can do this as well if they harm/kill a mercenary, making an additional attack against their employer’s Tenacity to cause defection.
Mindless undead & constructs have the advantage of being immune to morale, but have issues of control on their own. They can only maintain one order at a time, and in the absence of orders, will choose to attack the nearest source of life other than their ‘master’. Commands can be given during Phase 1 of the combat round.
Status Conditions
When hit with a Tier 1 or 2 effect when one is already present, it is upgraded to Tier 2 and Tier 3 respectively. This only happens when the status condition is from the same or paired track.
Fear/Sanity Track
Tier 1: Shaken/Confused - -2 to all rolls/Roll 1d6 (1 - attack source, 2 - act normal, 3-4 - babble, 5 - flee from source, 6 - attack nearest creatire)
Tier 2: Frightened/Insane - Flees from source, fights if unable to flee at -2 to all rolls/
Tier 3: Panicked/Cowering - Flees from all possible danger in random path and naught else/Do not act, have -2 AC
Sleep/Charm Track
Tier 1: Fatigued/Distracted - Reduce Str & Dex by 1, cannot charge/Reduce Cun & Pre by 2
Tier 2: Exhausted/Fascinated - Reduce Str & Dex by 3, movement is a miscellaneous action/Do not act, breaks if attacked, -4 to Perception
Tier 3: Sleep/Charmed -
Damage/Health Track
Tier 1: Bloodied/Sickened - Half HP/-2 to all rolls
Tier 2: Staggered/Nauseated - Quarter HP/Miscellaneous only
Tier 3: Disabled/Staggered - 0 HP, any but Move knocks unconscious/Move only
Movement Track
Tier1: Entangled - Movement is delayed to the Miscellaneous phase
Tier 2: Slowed - As entangled, with Edge to attackers
Tier 3: Paralyzed - Cannot act in each phase, -2 to all defenses, attackers have Edge & Combat Advantage
Blind: All targets are under Improved Concealment. Attackers have Combat Advantage. Have -2 Dodge.
Prone: Attackers have Combat Advantage.
Hopeless: Can only act during the movement and miscellaneous phases, and cannot make attacks. Will obey all simple commands given, priority given to the character who inflicted their condition, followed by the character's faction
Combat Advantage +2 attack and Defenses
Wound -1 Defense, stacks
Comparative Anatomy
Monsters, in all their forms, can overlap in terms of special abilities. The basilisk holds the same ability of the medusa to petrify with a gaze.
* Petrifying Gaze - Free Presence attack vs Insight each phase against all in zone unless they choose to grant the monster Combat Advantage. If the attack exceeds the victim's defense by 10+ or they have less than 1d6+level HP at the time of the attack, they are turned to stone.
* Regeneration - Cannot be killed except by fire/acid, immune to wounds, full recovery in 3 rounds rather than 5 minutes.
* [Attack] Resistance [X] - Increase defenses by [X] against a certain attack.
* Immunity to Normal Weapons - Unless magical, weapons deal no damage to the creature
* Named - Used for leaders, bosses, and other NPCs of significance.
* Incorporeal - Immune to non-magic weapons and energy-based magic (fireball, lightning), size is not a limit in movement
Cryptozological Taxology
Name (#HD): #hp; Size #; Move #; [Attack] +#/1d6+#; Str # ([Tenacity #]), Dex # ([Dodge #]), Cun # ([Insight #]), Pre # ([Will #]); [Skill] #

Human Mercenary/Bodyguard (1HD): 3HP; Size 3; Move 3; BaB +0; Sword +0/1d6; Str +0 (14), Dex +0 (11), Cun +0 (10), Pre +0 (10); Perception (Ambush) +2, Social (Rumours) +2, Athletics (Endurance) +2, Academia (Languages) +2
Human Bandit (1HD): 3hp; Size 3; Move 3; BaB +0; Swords +1/1d6; Str +0 (12), Dex +0 (11), Cun +0 (10), Pre +0 (10); Deceit (pickpocket) +2, Stealth (Ambush) +2, Athletics (Endurance) +2, Academia (Languages) +2; wearing leather armor
Human Peasant (1HD): 2hp; Size 3; Move 3; BaB +0; Knife +0/1d6-1; Str +0 (10), Dex -1 (9), Cun -1 (9), Pre -1 (9); Artisan (Profession X) +2, Athletics (Endurance) +2, Academia (Languages) +1
Skeleton (1HD): 2hp, Size 3, Move 3, BaB +0; Sword +0/1d6; Str 0 (11), Dex 0 (10), Cun -2 (8), Pre -4 (6); inactive biology, unending morale, shield
Zombie (2HD): 8hp; Size 3; Move 1; BaB +1; Fist -3/1d6; Str +1 (13), Dex -2 (9), Cun -2 (9), Pre -4 (7); inactive biology, unending morale

Gremlin (1HD): 1hp; Size 2; Move 5; Claws +0/1d6-2; Str -1 (9), Dex +0 (10), Cun +0 (10), Pre -2 (8); Perception +2, Survival +2
Ogre (4HD): 16hp; Size 4; BaB +2; Club +1/1d6+3; Str +1(15), Dex -1(11), Cun -2(10), Pre +0(12); Athletics (Breaking) +3
Lizard Folk (2HD): 6hp; Size 3; BaB +1; Spear +1/1d6; Str +0 (13), Dex +0 (11), Cun +1 (12), Pre +0 (11); Survival (Tracking) +3, Athletics (Swimming) +2
Troll (6HD): 24hp; Size 4; BaB +3; Claws +4/1d6; Str +1 (14), Dex +0 (13), Cun -2 (11), Presence +0 (13); Athletics (Grapple) +3; regeneration
Dracolizard (4HD): 12hp; Size 3; Move 3; BaB +2; Bite +2/1d6+1; Str +1 (14), Dex +0 (12), Cun +1 (13), Pre +0 (12); Athletics (Climbing) +4, Stealth (Ambush) +2
Dryad (2HD): 2hp; Size 3; Move 4; BaB +1; Fist +3/1d6-1; Str -1 (10), Dex +1 (13), Cun +0 (12), Pre +2v(14); Charm +4 (vs Will) to force allegiance until next peak; Stealth (Camouflage) +3
Lizard Folk (2HD): 4hp; Size 3; Move 3; BaB +1; Spear +1/1d6; Str +0 (13), Dex +0 (11), Cun +1 (12),vPre +0 (11); Survival (Tracking) +3, Athletics (Swimming) +2
Treant (8HD): 40hp; Size 5; Move 3; BaB +4; Branch +2x2/1d6+4; Str +2 (18), Dex -2 (12), Cun +0 (15),vPre +0 (15); Skills x;
Troglodyte (2+1HD): 6hp; Size 3; Move 3; BaB +0; Claws +0/1d6-1; Str +0 (13), Dex +0 (11), Cun +1v(12), Pre +0 (11); Survival (Tracking) +3, Athletics (Swimming) +2
Throgrin (3HD): 6hp; Size 3; Move 4; BaB +1; Spear +1/1d6; Str +0 (14), Dex +0 (11), Cun +2 (13), Pre +0 (11); Skills x

Ape, Carnivorous (4HD): 16hp; Size 3; Move 4; BaB +2; Claws +4/1d6+2; Str +2 (14), Dex +0 (12), Cun +0 (12), Pre +0 (12); Athletics (Climb) +4, Xxx
Crocodile (2HD): 6hp; Size 3; Move 2; BaB +1; Bite +0/1d6+1; Str +1 (13), Dex -1 (10), Cun +0 (11), Pre +0 (11); Athletics (Swimming) +1, Athletics (Grapple) +3, Stealth (Camouflage) +3
Crocodile, Large (6HD): 18hp; Size 4; Move 2; BaB +3; Bite +2/1d6+3; Str +1 (16), Dex -1 (12), Cun +0 (14), Pre +0 (13); Athletics (Swimming) +1; Athletics (Grapple) +4, Stealth (Camouflage) +3
Catfish, Giant (8HD): 24hp; Size 4; Move 3; BaB +4; Bite & Tendrils +4/1d6+3; Str +1 (15), Dex +0 (14), Cun +0 (14), Pre -1 (13); Swallow Whole on natural 20
Leech, Giant (2HD): 2hp; Size 2; Move 1; BaB +1; Bite -1/1d6-1; Str +0 (10), Dex -2 (9), Cun -3 (8), Pre -3 (8); Athletics (Latch) +4, Stealth (Underwater) +2
Scoripon, Giant (2HD): 4hp; Size 3; Move 5; BaB +2; Claws +2/1d6+2 or Stinger +2/1d6+poison; Str 0 (14), Dex 0 (11), Cun -2 (9), Pre -4 (7)
Eagle (1HD): 1hp; Size 2; Move 3/fly; BaB +0; Claw +1/1d6-4; Str -3 (7), Dex +0 (10), Cun +1 (11), Pre +0; Perception (Sight) +5

Monkey's Paw
The Sword That Shall Not Be Drawn (M): The Golden Empire and its contemporaries created many weapons, but this weapon was the signpost that read 'you have gone too far.' The spirits could not unmake it, so they enchanted it as a symbol of humility and peace, such that whomever defy its forbidden nature would be damned.
* Targets Dodge defense rather than Tenacity
* Critical hits paralyze for one round
* Magic weapon
* During the Declaration phase, you can unsheathe the sword that shall not be drawn. Until the wielder takes a short rest, it deals an additional +5 to attack and damage. Once the rest is taken, the wielder and his allies are teleported before a council of elder spirits to answer for their crime. Convincing them towards mercy is a rally (Social: Difficulty 8, Complexity 1, Duration 3, Minimum 5, Variant - Academia, Deceit)
Doom Weapon (M): Fate works in strong ways. A weapon crafted for doom is Fated to be borne by a limit set of people, and those who are not intended to wield the weapon are fighting against Fate itself. After carrying the weapon for a cumulative total of seven days, all enemies will get a critical hit on a natural number (same as the weapon) for as long as the character carries the Doom Weapon.
* Magic weapon
* Targets Dodge rather than Tenacity
* Strike a critical hit on an additional number
Umbral Lantern (M): A bronze lantern inscribed with arcane runes, and functions ordinarily unless the fuel is replaced with blood. If blood is used, it will burn with a blue flame, its light filling a size 3 Area of Effect. All creatures within the area of the flame's illumination will lose their invisibility and incorporeality. A single vial of blood is sufficient fuel for an hour of illumination.
Mace of Reanimation: Every creature killed by this weapon will rise as a zombie with the initial command of "Destroy the living." If the wielder invests a point of mana to maintain control, he can issue commands to the undead created.
Vancian
Sword of Ogre Decapitation: An entire category of vorpal weaponry attuned for a specific class of opponent. Acts in all ways as a normal sword, unless the wielder gets a critical hit against an ogre, in which case the ogre is instantly beheaded. This usually results in the death of the ogre.
Healing Potion (Spell): Elixir that reacts with the imbiber's mana, restoring their HP to full, without the subsequent gain of a wound (assuming hand-fed when below 0). Drinking the elixir will expend a point of the character's mana.
Glass Sword: A potent, if fragile weapon. Increase the damage of every attack by +2, but will irrevocably break on a critical hit.
Fire Sword (Charm): A handle used as a stopper to a flask, when drawn, reveals a construct of flame in the shape of the weapon. In addition to dealing fire damage, it makes an Athletics (Break) check equal to its damage. It's vulnerable to being permanently doused when immersed in water, and does -1 damage when in a cold environment.
Werearmor (Charm): Seemingly regular clothing. Under the light of the moon, it will reveal ephemeral fields of force that provide protection equal to plate armor.
Salve of Giant Invisibility (Charm): Five uses are stored in this bottle, a single use lasting until the character's next short rest. For the duration of the effect, the character is invisible to giants.


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virgil
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Opinions are encouraged.
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deathdealingjawa
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Attacks:
-What starting attack bonus do rogues get?

Defense/HP:
-Why did you give fighters +2 AC & Fort? Fighters already get +2 as base, they will also likely have more Strength than a Rogue, thus giving them even more hp. With no armor the Rogue’s max ac is 12 at level 1 while the Fighter’s max AC at level 1 is 14.

Equipment:
-Will there be any restrictions placed on using items?
-Liquid Courage: Do any mods get added to it?
-Weapon Damage: Why would I ever use a light weapon?
-Dual-wielding: It seems that dual-wielding is always better than 2H.

Class features:
-How do you plan on compensating the Rogues for their lower HP, AC, and BAB compared to fighters?


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Hieronymous Rex
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Revised OD&D Notes (unpolished) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
  • Dexterity - Adds to ranged attack, AC, Reflex defense, Dexterity skills


  • "Missile" is a clearer term than 3e's "ranged".

    Quote:
    Wizard gets +2 Will, Rogue gets +2 Reflex, Fighter gets +2 AC & Fort


    Why is "Rogue" considered archetypical to the same level as "Wizard" and "Fighter"? I could go on for a while about this, but I won't.


    Quote:
    Liquid Courage: Once per session, chug for 1d6 temporary hit points for the next combat


    I realize it's supposed to be balanced by the "once per session", but shouldn't there be some kind of penalty for intoxication?

    Quote:
    Weapon Damage: 1d6 for 1H, 2d6 (higher of the two) for 2H, 2d6 (lower of the two) for Light; for damage, Shorbows

    Spelling error.

    Quote:
    Shields: +1 AC when aware; when weapon damaged, opt for negated damage and splintered/destroyed shield

    I've seen this rule discussed before; it seems to just encourage people to tote around stacks of the things, then rotate the front line to negate virtually all attacks.

    Quote:

    1. Declare Magic / Preparations - While preparing to cast, no actions until cast; Retrieve 1 item, stow weapon, draw weapon, pour oil in front
    2. Missiles - If firing into melee, 50% chance of hitting a random target in the melee
    3. Movement - Move or charge for double (-2 AC for round)
    4. Magic
    5. Movement
    6. Melee
    7. Miscellaneous - Helping the wounded, drinking potions, lighting flasks; If in melee, non-melee actions delayed to this phase. Casters forced into melee during Phase 3 (Movement) will be forcefully delayed even longer.

    Shouldn't Magic come after Melee, or are spells completed the following round?
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    virgil
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    PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    For alcohol, in my experience, players will hamper themselves with what they think is drunk behavior. And if they don't, then whatever, it's mainly an excuse to give minor healing without need for a cleric. It's currently something minor, giving a buffer of one attack (roughly).

    I'm uncertain of what to do to make light weapons desirable. Either to make them usable in a grapple scenario, easier to hide/draw, or something else?

    Since the caster is immobile until phase 4, people can move to engage, automatically delaying him to phase 7, giving them a chance to attack him in melee.

    I am tempted to dump the rogue, and have intended to have more than just wizards and fighters anyway, differentiated by their unique traits more than their numbers.

    I haven't decided how equipment restrictions will work. Possibly as a feat, which would allow for me to remove rogues (rogues are fighters who didn't take the heavy weapon/armor proficiency feats).

    Let's take away the shield trait for now, and I'll consider something to make the 2H worth it; as right now, it's a choice between getting a +1 attack or +1 AC when you don't have a 2H.
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    Bihlbo
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    PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: Revised OD&D Notes (unpolished) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    virgil wrote:
    Hit Points
    1d6 per level for everything, fighters get +2 per level, wizards get +0, monsters/rogues get +1

    Equipment
    Liquid Courage: Once per session, chug for [1d6] temporary hit points for the next combat

    Rolling one die is swingy. Sometimes you want swingy and swingy is good, like with a damage roll, an attack roll, or something that comes up frequently. Things that come up very infrequently like getting hit points and using a 1/session ability should not be swingy. If you have a rare healing power, or if you're advancing character abilities, it is better for them to be somewhat reliable.

    The reason for this is that swingy rolls add excitement to something otherwise boring. You kinda need that on something like an attack. It's exciting to get that nat20, and it happens often enough that you're bound to see it a few times. It's also exciting to miss a few rounds then finally hit. Your 1/session healing power is already exciting just because you know exactly how rare it is, and when it happens its noteworthy by itself. As for hit points, the last thing you want concerning permanent character attributes is excitement.

    Anecdote: In the last game I played I was a rogue and we had a barbarian in the group. I got max or one-under on my hit point roll for 6 levels in a row (rolled in front of everyone, these were legit rolls). The barbarian got under 5 for all of those levels. So a barbarian, who is supposed to have a class feature that gives him more hit points, has 1 less than the rogue of the party, who doesn't have that class feature. This is not an aspect of us making interesting characters with depth, it is a result of the RNG sodomizing one player and fellating another. The RNG is not supposed to be a main character like that.
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    Chamomile
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    PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Revised OD&D Notes (unpolished) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Bihlbo wrote:
    The RNG is not supposed to be a main character like that.


    That gives me a really weird idea...
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    virgil
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    PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Trying our fixed HP by giving 3+ per level, with an initial 4pt bump to PCs.
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    Hieronymous Rex
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    PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    So, since you appear to have cut out the cleric and the elf (and all demihumans, for that matter), are you supporting the Warrior-Mage concept?

    ...when you say "Rogue", do you mean it in the Tunnels & Trolls sense, where it means "rogue wizard who operates outside of the academic establishment and thus has limited access to spells"?
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    Bihlbo
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    PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject: Re: Revised OD&D Notes (unpolished) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Chamomile wrote:
    Bihlbo wrote:
    The RNG is not supposed to be a main character like that.

    That gives me a really weird idea...

    I like how your noggin thinks.
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    virgil
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    PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I haven't figured out how I want to handle non-humans yet, and I do intend for there to be more than just the wizard and fighter for class choices. Fighter/mage concepts will be through taking feats that grant either limited spellcasting or heavy armor/weapon proficiency.

    For the time being, I'm not even going to bother with a difference between light and 1H for damage purposes. Light will simply be easier to conceal.
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    Hieronymous Rex
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    PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    virgil wrote:
    I haven't figured out how I want to handle non-humans yet,


    I'd recommend 1 of 3 things:

    *Races are value-neutral templates; i.e. they come with disadvantages that balance out the advantages. For instance, a Dwarf could get +2 to resist poison and being knocked down or back, notes stonework & traps, has spell resistance, but has only 20' speed, cannot use 2-H weapons, and cannot lower their spell resistance (even to their own spells).

    *A race has its own class(es). For instance, the Dwarven Defender is like a fighter, but has poison and knockback resistance and 20' speed; the Dwarven Rune Mage has a specialized spell list and perhaps a code of conduct.

    *Demi-humans are descriptive, not prescriptive. If you roll high Strength, well, you make a good fit as a dwarf. Flavor abilities (like elven immortality), plus social consequences, remain.

    Also, about demi-human level limits: while they do a poor job of balancing races, you might want to use them because they allow a player to win the game preemptively. Just as Tome classes get "You win D&D" abilities at L20, when a halfling PC hits 4th level he can say that he won the race, and move on to another character.
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    spaceLem
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    PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:36 am    Post subject: Re: Revised OD&D Notes (unpolished) Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Bihlbo wrote:
    Anecdote: In the last game I played I was a rogue and we had a barbarian in the group. I got max or one-under on my hit point roll for 6 levels in a row (rolled in front of everyone, these were legit rolls). The barbarian got under 5 for all of those levels. So a barbarian, who is supposed to have a class feature that gives him more hit points, has 1 less than the rogue of the party, who doesn't have that class feature. This is not an aspect of us making interesting characters with depth, it is a result of the RNG sodomizing one player and fellating another. The RNG is not supposed to be a main character like that.


    There is a simple solution to this.

    Every level you reroll all your hit dice, and take the higher of your new HP total and your old HP total.

    Sometimes you don't increase in between levels (although this can be reduced slightly by comparing old and new HP rolls before taking your constitution bonus into account), but you're not haunted by a string of low rolls, and you still end up with average HP in the long run.
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    virgil
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    PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Just thought of a reason to have Light melee weapons do less damage. The only melee weapons that can also be used as missiles are light, as would any weapon that could still be accessible without drawing it after using another missile weapon such as a bow thrown (spiked gauntlets, unarmed attacks, etc). Otherwise, these dual types will be attacking twice per round, exceeding the damage output of the greatsword wielder notably.
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    CatharzGodfoot
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    PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Why are you giving dual-wielders more attacks?
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    Bihlbo
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    PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    CatharzGodfoot wrote:
    Why are you giving dual-wielders more attacks?

    I read that as +1 to your attack bonus, not +1 additional attack. I'm surprised that I'm wrong, because that seems wacky.

    Either way, if you remove so much of the detail already, why have dual-wielding as an option at all? I mean, if there's no difference between what a dagger, a sickle, a hatchet, and a mace can do in a fight, why get so detailed as to care how you're delivering attacks? I say if you're using a weapon in both hands, it doesn't matter if the weapon has one hilt or two (greatsword = 2 daggers). Which means your 1H option is only really there in case someone needs to hold something non-weapon in the other hand (e.g. a shield, a torch, a wench, etc). Now, why do you need light weapons at all? Does there need to be a difference between two daggers and two scimitars?


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    CatharzGodfoot
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    PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    A shield, torch, or wrench in the other hand is still a weapon. Particularly if you're not distinguishing between a dagger and a mace.
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    virgil
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    PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I did mean it as +1 attack bonus for TWF. I threw in the difference so as to have there be an option between going sword-n-board, two-handed weapon, and dual-wielding (+1 attack, +1 AC, or +2 damage); it's closer to a difference in stance rather than one of equipment. I want equipment to vaguely matter, mainly in dressing.

    I will note that a shield counts as a light weapon if used as such, and won't give its bonus to AC is used as such.
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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Just created a minor diplomacy rule set for potential use, inspired by the IMHO thread about the skill.
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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Why not just entirely MTP it?
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    virgil
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    PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    At the moment, I want for there to be a place for the Diplomancer, but messing with the content of the conversation itself is too difficult; so I can at least make it so they have a chance of discourse, friendly or otherwise, unless the DM more obviously tries to force his storyline.

    I could create a second stage of discourse available to the PCs, but as I am having the skill system be level independent, that would give an offensive option that supersedes the entire level system.

    How complex does this stuff have to be for you to not argue for absolute simplicity (weapons & diplomacy alike)?

    Addendum: I will create options/rules for diplomacy once conversation starts to force results above and beyond MTP, but they'll be class abilities that scale in level.
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Lots of updates made. I'm not sure if I've gotten into it being too complex or not.

    So far, I think the most complex part is the Squaring the Circle, but it's way simpler than 3E with the lack of square counting, reach, and AoOs. During play, the biggest point of complexity will be when a chase scene begins (still needs a specific 'win' condition for the fleeing party). In essence, there are three points to keep track of in movement; which zone/feature you're in, what you're engaged with, and what you're trying to become engaged with.

    I plan on character creation to consist of choosing race, class, and single feat. Probably around level 6, they'll get their second feat. So the number of times you have to make choices during creation will be short.

    The biggest creation hurdles consist of races, skills, spells, primary class features for fighters, and feats.
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    Hicks
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    give out two feats at first level, and have 0 hit die races like halflings, elves, orcs, goblins, dwarfs, gnomes, and anything else that is a deviation from the human norm but also payable right out of the PHB be a single feat. Seriously.
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    PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I'm not wedded to the idea of humans being the blank slate generalist.
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    PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Piles of revisions.

    All that's needed is a couple more spells, races, and then it's completely ready for playtesting.
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