View Full Version : Original System SAGAS Quick Playing, class-less, level-less

2018-10-02, 06:40 AM
This thread is for a set of rules I have been thinking about on and off for about six years. They're moderately developed. Originally inspired by Fighting Fantasy and d6, they have minimal similarities to more story-oriented games such as FUDGE or Burning Wheel.

"SAGAS" stands for Strength, Agility, Guile, Abilities, Spirit (and Attachments).

- basic mechanic
- character generation (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408918)
"I want to have a fighter-type character."
Roll twice for equipment / social status:

Lawrence comes from a peasant family and is equipped with a medium sharp striking weapon and no armor. Also clothing, boots, a blanket, a backpack, and some food. As a peasant, Lawrence does not automatically get Literacy, and needs a score for a loutish Ability like agriculture.

Now you roll for attributes.

"I will assign my best roll to Strength, second best to Agility, third to Spirit, fourth to Guile."
Roll six times for attributes:
Lawrence has Strength 14 (good), Agility 12 (fair), Guile 10 (fair), and Spirit 7 (poor). He is predisposed to be good at physical activities and about average in intelligence, a little bit awkward or offputting socially. Once you know the descriptors for these attributes, the numbers you rolled don't matter and can be forgotten.

Because Lawrence has fair Guile, you get four rolls for Abilities.

"I will assign my best roll to striking weapons, my second best to unarmed fighting, my third best to Literacy, and my fourth to Agriculture."
So now Lawrence has Striking Weapons 13 (good), Unarmed 13 (good), Literacy 7 (poor), and Agriculture 6 (poor). No wonder your character is a professional fighter. Again, now that you know the descriptors for these abilities, you can forget the numbers you rolled.

Because Lawrence has poor Spirit, you get five rolls for Attachments but have to pick the worst four.

"I'm closest to my fellow adventurers, then my family; I don't have much in common with my childhood playmates; and I don't much care for my neighbors."
Fellows 14 (great), Family 10 (fair), Friends 9 (poor), Neighbors 6 (poor).

= coinage, equipment, encumbrance (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408919)
= attributes (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408923)
= abilities, books, and age (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408927)
- combat and wound rolls (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408928)
Lawrence, who has fair Agility and a good ability in Striking Weapons, wields a medium sharp striking weapon. He confronts two aggressive goblins who have good Agility and poor and fair abilities in Chopping Weapons and wield light sharp chopping weapons. Lawrence has no mods to initiative). The goblins have 1 bonus die to initiative.

Lawrence and the goblins roll initiative. Lawrence rolls 4 and the goblins roll 3,[4]. This is a tie. The higher ability goes first - that is Lawrence. He initiates an exchange with one of the goblins (goblin #1). He declares that he will strike the goblin with his sword. The goblin declares that it will parry Lawrence's attack with its axe.

Each participant in the exchange makes a roll with malus/bonus dice based on its ability. Lawrence rolls 3,[4] for his bonus die (good ability). This is a failure. The goblin rolls [2],5 for its malus die (poor ability). This also is a failure. Because Lawrence won initiative (based on higher Ability), only Lawrence's action takes effect - Goblin #1 must make a wound roll.

Goblin #1 has poor Strength (1 malus), is unarmored against a medium weapon (1 malus) and is struck by a sharp weapon (1 malus). Goblin #1 rolls with 3 malus dice (2,4,5,5) and loses one level of its Strength descriptor for each failure. This reduces goblin #1 from poor Strength to less than wretched Strength, indicating it is dead.

Now goblin #2 gets to initiate an exchange with Lawrence. This is its first action in the sequence, but Lawrence's second action: Lawrence has 1 malus to his action. The goblin declares it will attack Lawrence. Lawrence declares he will attack the goblin. Lawrence rolls one die (1 bonus for good ability cancels 1 malus for previous action). He gets 5, a success. The goblin rolls one die (1 bonus for Agility, 1 malus for ability), and gets 6. This also is a success. Both actions take effect and both combatants have to make wound rolls.

Lawrence has good Strength (1 bonus). He wears medium armor against a light weapon (1 bonus). Because his armor is heavier than the weapon, he disregards the weapon's sharpness. He rolls 3, 4, [5], which is a success. He suffers no wound.

The goblin has poor Strength (1 malus), wears no armor against a medium weapon (1 malus), and is struck by a sharp weapon (1 malus). It rolls 2, 3, 4, 5 and suffers three wounds, reducing its Strength to less than wretched. It also is dead.

The first sequence of combat concludes.
- spellcasting (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408934)
- personal interactions (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408946)
- other tasks (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=23408948)

2018-10-02, 06:43 AM
Roll one or more six sided die. Pick one. Result 5 or higher indicates success, 4 or less indicates failure.

The default is to roll one die. However, bonus and malus dice are awarded based on your character's relevant attributes and relevant aspects of the situation. Each bonus die allows you to roll an additional die and pick the best. Each malus die requires you to roll an additional die and pick the worst. Bonus and malus dice cancel, so if you had two bonus and one malus you would roll a total of two six sided dice and pick the better one.

Net bonus / malusDie rollChance of success
Three malus4 dice, pick worst1:81
Two malus3 dice, pick worst1:27
One malus2 dice, pick worst1:9
Neutral1 die1:3
One bonus2 dice, pick best5:9
Two bonus3 dice, pick best19:27
Three bonus4 dice, pick best65:81
Four bonus5 dice, pick best211:243

If you have more than three net malus, you automatically fail. More than four net bonus, you automatically succeed.

A relevant attribute or situation grants the following bonus or malus dice, according to its descriptor:

Attribute descriptorSituation/task descriptorBonus / malus
WretchedDifficultTwo malus
PoorChallengingOne malus
GoodSimpleOne bonus
GreatEasyTwo bonus
SuperbRoutineThree bonus

2018-10-02, 06:45 AM
First, roll for equipment as discussed in the "coinage, equipment, encumbrance" post. This will determine the social standing of your character's family. The social standing will mandate one of your character's Abilities.

Next, roll for your character's primary attributes of Strength, Agility, Guile, and Spirit as discussed in the "attributes" post. These will determine how you roll for the secondary attributes of Abilities and Attachments.

Next, roll for the secondary attributes, also discussed under "attributes".

That's it - you're done.

2018-10-02, 06:46 AM
Roll 2d6 twice for starting equipment, and choose equipment or equivalent cash each time; roll again if duplicate roll. After rolling, cash may be spent for other equipment.

2: heavy armor or warhorse or superb book (500 sp)
3: medium armor or riding horse or great book (200 sp)
4: light armor or pack horse or pony or good book (100 sp)
5: heavy sharp melee weapon or fair book (50 sp)
6: medium sharp or heavy blunt melee weapon (20 sp)
7: light sharp or medium blunt melee weapon (10 sp)
8: light shield (10 sp)
9: medium shield (20 sp)
10: light blunt missile weapon (5 sp)
11: light sharp missile weapon (20 sp)
12: medium sharp missile weapon or fair book (50 sp)

Use starting equipment or equivalent cash as an indicator of parents' social status. Heavy armor indicates very wealthy (e.g., greater nobility), medium armor indicates wealthy (merchant or high clergy or lesser nobility), light armor indicates comfortable (lesser merchant or clergy or professional), unarmored (including a shield) indicates peasant or urban laborer.

Greater nobility gain one bonus ability roll, and must have a weapon ability and an interpersonal ability. Lesser nobility must have a weapon ability. Merchants and clergy must have an interpersonal ability. Clergy must also have a scholarly ability or a spell ability. Professionals must have a craft ability. Peasants or laborers must have a loutish ability like hunting or agriculture.

A book grants the bonus ability Literacy at a score corresponding to the level of the book (i.e., "fair" = 12, "good" = 14, "great" = 17, "superb" = 18), along with social status corresponding to the coin value of the book.

Each coin weighs a coinweight, there are 500 coinweights in a load, and 100 sp = 1 gp. A common laborer's daily wage is 2 sp.
Normal clothing (1 sp) = no load
Sandals (1 sp) = no load
Boots (2 sp) = 1 load
1 day food (1 sp) = 1/2 load
1 day water = 1 load
Tent (3 sp) = 3 loads
50 feet of rope (2 sp) = 2 loads
Cloak/Blanket (1 sp) = 1 load
Backpack or satchel (1 sp) = 1 load empty (3 loads when filled with 5 loads)
Purse with strap (1 sp) = no load empty (holds 1 load)
Waterskin with strap (1 sp) = no load empty (holds 1 load liquid)

Weapons can be used for melee or as missile weapons. Melee weapons come in a variety of weights from unarmed to very heavy, and can be close weapons or reach weapons. Reach weapons gain initiative bonus +1 and are helpful to inflict injury on mounted opponents. Missile weapons also come in a variety of weights and have varying ranges. Some missile weapons are mechanical, which means they do more damage and have greater range than the user's strength could ordinarily achieve.

Armor must be fitted in order to avoid interfering with a wearer's movement. Unfitted armor limits its wearer's Agility modifier: light armor to fair, medium armor to poor, heavy armor to wretched.

Shields and armor give a combatant bonuses for Toughness. Each shield gives a +1 bonus to Toughness rolls against weapons up to one weight greater than the shield (e.g., a medium shield gives +1 against a heavy weapon but not against a very heavy weapon). Each weight of armor gives a +1 bonus against weapons of lesser weight (e.g., light armor gives +1 against unarmed attacks but not against attacks with light weapons) and -1 against weapons of greater weight (e.g., unarmored characters roll at -1 against light weapons).

Weapons inflict different numbers of Toughness rolls (potential wounds) according to their weight and sharpness. Unarmed attacks and light weapons inflict one Toughness roll, medium weapons inflict two Toughness rolls, heavy and very heavy weapons inflict three Toughness rolls. Sharp weapons inflict an extra Toughness roll.

If a weapon, armor, or shield is used in an exchange against a weapon of greater weight, there is a chance that the lighter weapon, armor, or shield will be broken. This is an optional extra action for the wielder of the heavier weapon, if they are successful in the exchange. Broken armor limits Agility as if it was not fitted. Broken weapons or shields can still be used as if they were one weight lighter, e.g. a broken medium sword becomes a light sharp weapon; a broken light shield becomes useless.

Unarmed: 1 bonus to Initiative.
Light blunt (1 load, 5sp): 1 bonus to initiative
Light sharp(1 load, 10 sp): 1 bonus to Initiative.
Medium blunt (1 load, 10 sp): no modifiers.
Medium sharp (1 load, 20 sp): no modifiers.
Heavy blunt (2 loads, 20 sp): 1 malus to initiative (unless wielder has good Strength).
Heavy sharp (2 loads, 50 sp): 1 malus to Initiative (unless wielder has good Strength).
Very Heavy blunt or sharp (3 loads, 1 gp): 2 malus to Initiative (unless wielder has great Strength).
Reach (+1 load): 1 bonus to Initiative. Negates mounted opponent's bonus die.

Negates mounted opponent’s advantage. Modifiers per mechanics.
Thrown: easy at 1 space, tricky at 2 spaces, challenging out to 3 spaces.
Light (1 load, 20 sp): easy at 1 space, tricky at 2 spaces, challenging at 3 spaces, difficult out to 5 spaces.
Medium (1 load, 50 sp): easy at 2 spaces, tricky at 3 spaces, challenging at 5 spaces, difficult out to 11 spaces.
Heavy (1 load, 1 gp): easy at 3 spaces, tricky at 5 spaces, challenging at 7 spaces, difficult out to 15 spaces.
Mechanical (2 loads, 2 gp): easy at 5 spaces, tricky at 7 spaces, challenging at 11 spaces, difficult out to 17 spaces.

Unarmored / clothing (1 load, 10 sp)
Light (1 load, 1 gp)
Medium (1 load, 2 gp)
Heavy (2 loads, 5 gp)
Light shield (1 load, 10 sp)
Medium shield (1 load, 20 sp)
Heavy shield (2 loads, 50 sp)

A character's carrying capacity in "loads" is determined by your Strength. For each load you pick up, you must make a Strength roll. Success indicates you can carry the load and move normally. Failure reduces your Agility descriptor by one level until you put down that load. If Agility is reduced to less than wretched, you can't walk.

Example Lawrence has good Strength and fair Agility. He picks up a heavy sword (2 loads), and makes two rolls modified by Strength (1 bonus): 3,[5] and 4,[5]. He can move normally. He wears ordinary clothing (1 load) and makes one roll modified by Strength: 2,[6]. He still can move normally. He also carries a bag containing between 100 and 200 coins (1 load), for which he makes another roll: 1,[4]. The bag of coins reduces his Agility to poor until he puts it down.

Standard daily wages: 1 sp common labor, 3 sp skilled labor (fair Ability), 10 sp for master craft (great Ability).

As rules of thumb, 6 yards of cloth can be woven in four days (20 sp for master craft to set and watch a loom, 6 sp for semi-skilled labor to work it); a typical adult garment of fair quality requires 3-6 yards of cloth (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/estimating-fabric-yardage-needs-for-common-misses-.html) and about a half day of skilled work (2 sp skilled labor + 28 sp material and wastage). Rough boots require nearer two days of skilled work (6 sp + materials; but, as will be seen, the materials tend to be the expensive part ...)

Presume a single laborer can tend a herd of dozen cows, which take roughly one year (365 days) to reach adequate size for skinning. One yearling cow's hide (~40 sp) can yield leather for roughly 5 pairs of boots (http://heiferinyourtank.typepad.com/theres_a_heifer_in_your_t/2011/08/theese-boots-are-made-for-walkin.html). Producing that leather requires about four weeks of skilled labor (85 sp / 5 = 17 sp per pair of boots). Total materials cost for one pair of boots: 57 sp.

A small cottage (16x24 ft "shed" in modern minds) can be built in about 10 days (100 sp master craft, 60 sp skilled labor). But getting 500 board feet (http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=36752.15;wap2) of wood for that shed ... ah, that takes time. A good size medieval water mill might cut 5000 board feet in a day (http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-429708-kemper-county-water-mill-lake-mississippi-operation-meal), with two skilled workers and a master craft (16 sp). The real expense is in dropping three (http://www.forestryforum.com/calcs/Board%20foot%20calculator.htm) good-size trees with a cross cut saw (http://www.bchmt.org/esbch/Cross%20Cut%20Saw.pdf) - this requires a day and a half of extremely dangerous work by a master sawyer and prentice (35 sp with risk premium). Total cost: roughly 220 sp to build that the cottage.

A master smith can make a Large sword in about 10 days (100 sp + materials); a suit of chain can be made in about 15 days by a skilled worker (45 sp + materials); a suit of Heavy armor takes about 2 months master work (600 sp + materials). Turning to the cost of iron (http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/bog_iron.htm) for making these articles - figure a solid week of labor (7 sp) to harvest a bog for a hundred pounds of iron nodules;three full days (http://charcoal.seandalaiocht.com/) of semi-skilled labor (6 sp) to build a pit, gather wood, and burn charcoal; 4 days master labor + helper (45 sp) to build / rebuild a smelting kiln; another day master labor (10 sp) to fire that kiln; and about ten days of labor (10 sp) to pound the 50 lb (http://www.engr.psu.edu/MTAH/articles/rise_fall_medieval_technology.htm) bloom down to 10 pigs, each sufficient for one Large sword: this puts the total cost of the Large sword (weighing 5 lbs) at around 110 sp (100 sp manufacturing + 8 sp materials + profit). A Medium sword, at around 2.5 lbs, would cost about 105 sp. The Heavy armor, which weighs about 45 lbs, would require about 70 sp of iron for a total cost of 670 sp.

2018-10-02, 06:48 AM
The attributes that define a character's behavior and performance include:

- Abilities
- Attachments

Attributes provide malus or bonus dice to task rolls, according to their descriptors, as further discussed in the rest of the rules. You must define the relevance of Ability(ies) and Attitude(s) at the time these attributes are rolled. Some exemplary Abilities are discussed in the "abilities", "melee combat", and "spellcasting" rules. Some exemplary Attachments are discussed in the "personal interactions" rules.

Score of 3 or less indicates a wretched attribute (2 malus). Score of 4-9 indicates a poor attribute (1 malus). Score of 10-12 indicates a fair attribute (no modifier). Score of 13-14 indicates a good attribute (1 bonus). Score of 15-17 indicates a great attribute (2 bonus). Score of 18 indicates a superb attribute (3 bonus). Generally, attribute scores cannot exceed 18 (superb; 3 bonus). Once the verbal descriptor has been identified, the initial roll for the attribute can be forgotten.

When determining your character's attributes, first you roll three six sided dice six times. Take the four highest rolls and assign them to primary attributes (Strength, Agility, Guile, or Spirit).

The primary attributes give you bonus or malus rolls for the secondary attributes. Generally, you get to roll three six sided dice four times for starting Abilities and again for starting Attachments. Guile gives bonus or malus rolls for Abilities, Spirit gives bonus or malus rolls for Attachments.

For example, if you have poor Guile then you roll 3d6 five times and assign the worst four results to Abilities. On the other hand, if you have great Spirit then you roll 3d6 six times and assign the best four results to Attachments.

Abilities relate to various tasks that you can perform. At the start, you may have only four Abilities. You may gain new Abilities during play.

Attachments are to other characters or groups. Attachments are mutual, and characters or groups to whom your character is attached can expect as much from your character as your character can expect from them. At the start, you may only have four Attachments. You may gain new Attachments during play, and everyone your character encounters will have an Attitude toward your character. Attachments and Attitudes modify all personal interactions with the relevant character or group.

Any attribute can be improved over time by training. Once you have trained long enough, you can attain the next level of the attribute by succeeding on a roll modified by the primary attribute (Strength for Strength; Agility for Agility; Guile for Guile or Abilities; Spirit for Spirit or Attachments).

To attempt the roll to gain a wretched level in an attribute, you need to train for three days.

To attempt the roll to gain a poor level in an attribute, you need to train for two weeks.

To attempt the roll to gain a fair level in an attribute, you need to train for a month.

To attempt the roll to gain a good level in an attribute, you need to train for six months.

To attempt the roll to gain a great level in an attribute, you need to train for a year.

To attempt the roll to gain a superb level in an attribute, you need to train for two years.

In down time, given adequate resources, characters attempt to train their attributes. When you use a trainer, you gain a bonus based on their descriptor for the attribute you are trying to train. You can only use a trainer whose descriptor exceeds or equals your own for the attribute you are trying to train.

For example: if you already have good Strength (1 bonus) and you use a trainer who has superb Strength (3 bonus), you have net 4 bonus and are almost certain to succeed in advancing to great Strength.

Another example: if the local clergy's initial Attitude toward you is poor, and you would like to attain a fair Attachment, you must interact pleasantly with them for two weeks. At the end of that time, you make a roll. If you have good Spirit (1 bonus), that cancels out the 1 malus from the poor Attitude, and you end up rolling 1 die for success or failure in forming the Attachment.

2018-10-02, 06:49 AM
Weapons abilities enable a character to effectively use weapons (or empty hands) in combat. Weapons abilities include:
unarmed (including small knives, brass knuckles, etc.)
bashing (shields)
striking weapons (knives, swords of most types, clubs, batons)
chopping weapons (axes, halberds, maces)
polearms (spears, staffs, halberds)
crossbows and firearms

Non-combat abilities enhance a character's relevant actions outside of combat or spellcasting. Typically, non-combat abilities can be summarized by a profession - e.g., "blacksmith", "whitesmith", "saddler", "baker", "hunter", "forager", "farmer", "diplomat", "scholar", etc. Relevant actions for a non-combat ability include negotiating a fair wage for services rendered using that ability.

Magical abilities (spells) enable a character to effect changes in the physical world using magic. Each magical ability relates to a specific theme of spell. Exemplary themes include Combat, Curing, Clairvoyance, Conveyance, Communication, Construction, Concealment, Commutation, and Conjuration. Other themes could include Nature, Ice, Pretty Lights, Binding, Persuasion, Deception, Justice... creativity is important for mages.

Abilities are improved by attempts and by training. However, because so much of an ability is mental, there is a special procedure for determining how much an ability is improved. When you have obtained improvement points equal to your current score in the ability, test your Guile (roll a six sided modified by Guile). On a five or better, gain two points in the ability; on a four or less, gain one point.

Consider that developing a certain initial level of ability in using a weapon or casting a spell requires about as much practice and training as developing skill in a profession. Thus, if your character has developed a fair or journeyman ability in a profession or in using a weapon or casting a spell, that represents about seven months of intensive (full day) training on average. Typically, apprenticeships take years to accomplish because relatively little time is spent on training and most is devoted to menial tasks; when your character trains they have the advantages of paying money for training and also being an adult on an equal footing with their trainers.

The cost of training depends on the trainer's ability. Fair ability costs 2sp per day, good costs 3sp, great costs 5sp, superb costs 7sp.

Usually, an Ability can be developed after character creation by undergoing a week of full day training, then rolling two six sided dice, modified by Guile and by any similar ability, to determine your initial score for the Ability. When trying to develop a new Ability emergently, you should roll only one six sided die, modified by Guile, to determine your initial score for the Ability. Later on, after the week of training, you can roll an additional six sided die.

If a trainer is not available, a book may be used instead. Learning from a book takes twice as long as learning from a trainer. Like a trainer, each book has an ability. A fair book costs 50sp, a good book costs 100sp, a great book costs 200sp, and a superb book costs 500sp. Your Literacy ability limits the level to which you can use a book - if the book is superb, but your literacy is only great, then the book is only useful to you as a great book. However, you can train your literacy ability by reading the book...

Your character's starting abilities determine their starting age. Default is age 13, plus the following adjustments:
six months for each fair ability
eighteen months for each good ability
thirty months for each great ability
five years for each superb ability.

2018-10-02, 06:50 AM
Combat takes place among combatants who act in and move between areas of terrain. In each sequence of combat the combatants move, initiate exchanges, make missile attacks, or cast spells, in order of initiative.

Initiative is determined by highest roll on one six sided die, modified by Agility and Guile and weapon type (see equipment rules). Combatants act in descending order of initiative (highest number acts first). In case initiative ties, the combatant with higher Ability acts first. In case both combatants fail when they attempt actions, the combatant with the higher initiative succeeds.

A combatant can move, make a missile attack, cast a spell, or initiate an exchange only once in each sequence, but can be involved in multiple exchanges. For each action after the first one, the combatant subtracts -1 from their roll. For example, after already being involved in two exchanges a combatant would roll at -2 for their next action. A combatant who already has been involved in an exchange has suffered a Toughness roll (regardless whether they succeed or fail) can not thereafter move, cast a spell, use a missile weapon, or initiate an exchange in the same sequence of combat.

A move takes a combatant from one area to an adjacent area, and does not require a roll.

A missile attack is made by rolling one six sided die, which is modified by relevant Ability, by the weapon range modifier (in weapon descriptions) and by Agility (for thrown weapons) or by Guile (for launched weapons). A successful roll immediately inflicts a Toughness roll on a target within range of the weapon. The target cannot prevent the missile attack, unless you and they are in the same space, in which case the missile attack initiates an exchange.

Spellcasting is discussed in the spellcasting section of the rules.

An exchange matches the skill of two combatants, the initiator and the target. The initiator declares an action, then the target declares an action. After actions have been declared, each combatant then rolls one six sided die, which is modified by their Agility and by their Ability for the weapon they are using. If both combatants make successful rolls, each accomplishes the action they declared. If only one combatant makes a successful roll, only that combatant accomplishes their action. If both combatants fail their rolls, the one with higher initiative has their action occur, or if they are tied for initiative, both actions occur.

Exemplary actions include cancelling the other combatant's action (optionally also moving to a different area), inflicting a Toughness roll on the other combatant, taking the other combatant's weapon (this uses the unarmed ability), breaking your opponent's smaller weapon or shield or armor, or changing weapon types (this uses the lower of your Ability for your current weapon or your Ability for the weapon you want to use). Changing weapon types can include changing to unarmed by tackling the other combatant (also changing their weapon type to unarmed, thereby preventing them taking any further actions in the sequence, other than trying to break free from the tackle or inflict a Toughness roll on you).

If you are successfully attacked in combat, or otherwise at risk of injury, you must succeed at one or more wound rolls in order to avoid the injury. Each failed roll means you suffer a physical injury that will reduce your Strength descriptor by one level. Injuries require time to heal.

The basic mechanic is to make a number of wound rolls determined by the weight of the weapon and whether the weapon is sharp. Each wound roll is modified by the weight of your armor, your Strength, and the Strength of the attacker.

Unarmed attacks inflict one wound roll, light and medium weapons inflict two rolls, heavy and very heavy weapons inflict three rolls. You must make an additional wound roll if the attacking weapon is sharp and heavier than your armor.

On each roll, you get one bonus die if your armor is heavier than the weapon, or one malus die if your armor is lighter than the weapon. If you have a shield, you get a bonus die if it is equal to or heavier than the weapon attacking you. You get bonus dice according to your Strength descriptor and malus dice according to the attacker's Strength descriptor (so an attacker with great Strength would give you two malus dice).

Example Lawrence has good Strength and wears medium armor. He is struck by a goblin (poor Strength) with a light sharp weapon. He will need to make only two wound rolls, because the sharp weapon is lighter than his armor. Each roll gets three bonus dice (good Strength, armor heavier than weapon, and goblin's poor Strength).

If Lawrence had superb Strength, he would automatically succeed (more than four bonus dice) on all wound rolls inflicted by the goblin.

Each failed wound roll reduces a character's Strength descriptor by one level (e.g., "great" to "good"). If an NPC is reduced below "wretched" in Strength , they are dead or incapacitated (the player chooses). If your Strength is reduced below wretched, you make a roll modified by your Spirit. Success means your character is incapacitated, failure means your character is dead.

Recovery from an injury requires rest (no activity more strenuous than standing and walking unencumbered) and nutrition (at least two meals a day), and is enhanced by care (daily attendance by another person who ministers to the injury by making a successful roll for an appropriate non-combat task). If rest and nutrition are available, the injured character may make one Spirit roll per day to recover one level of Strength. if care also is available, the injured combatant gets bonus dice based on the caregiver's relevant Ability descriptor.

For example Lawrence gets into a scrap with an ogre (great Strength) who is armed with a heavy club. The ogre hits Lawrence with the club. Lawrence must make three wound rolls. Each roll has one bonus die (Lawrence's good Strength) and three malus dice (the ogre's great Strength, plus the club is heavier than Lawrence's armor), for a net of two malus dice. Lawrence rolls: ([3], 3, 4) ([2],4,5) ([5],5,6) and suffers two wounds, reducing his Strength to poor. If he gets hit again, he will be killed automatically because his three wound rolls each will have four malus dice (more than three malus dice means automatic failure). Let's assume he plays dead.

Later, after the ogre has left, Lawrence manages to stand up and lurch away. After hours of effort he reaches the hovel of a lonely crone, who offers him shelter and food. The next morning, he can make a Spirit roll to recover a level of Strength. Because the crone is trained as a healer, with good Ability, he gets one bonus die on each roll. This bonus cancels out the malus from his poor Spirit. On the first day he rolls a 6, recovering to fair Strength.

2018-10-02, 06:53 AM
Each Spell ability assists a character to effect a change in physical reality using magic. New Spell abilities can be developed by making a roll modified by Guile, just like any other ability. However, the roll for developing a new Spell also can be modified by a character's "scholar" ability. Like any other ability, a character can attempt to emergently develop a new Spell.

Magic is a special sort of thing, therefore, a first basic rule is that each use of a spellcasting ability must be unique. In other words, no magic user can exactly duplicate a spell that has already been attempted. However, each use of a spell must be similar to a previous use.

A second basic rule is that each Spell ability must have a "subject + active verb phrase + (complex) object" form, e.g., "a person takes the shape of a lion", "a person moves through the air", or "a demon appears from the ground", or "a demon develops a superb Attitude toward a person".

A third basic rule is that each use of a Spell ability must differ from the previous use at least in subject, verb, or object while keeping a similar theme as the previous use. Once you attempt a spell, whether or not it succeeds, it replaces the existing Spell ability and adds an improvement point for that ability. For example, from "a lion takes the shape of a frog" -> "a person takes the shape of a frog" -> "a frog takes the shape of a frog" -> "a frog takes the shape of a person" -> "a frog grows to the size of a lion", adding 5 improvement points to the Spell ability while continually changing it along the theme of frogs. Another example: "flame damages creature A as a heavy weapon" -> "flame damages creature A as a heavy sharp weapon" -> "flame damages creatures B and C as a heavy sharp weapon", adding 3 improvement points to the Spell ability while continually changing it along the theme of flame.

A fourth rule is that magic is ephemeral, while reality relaxes around it. To maintain a spell in effect requires continual dedication by the spellcaster (although not any additional rolls). If you want a person to keep the shape of a frog, it will cost one level of Guile or Spirit for as long as you maintain the frog shape. As soon as you release the frog shape, you will regain your Guile and Spirit. However, if something happens to the frog that would prevent it regaining the shape of a person - e.g., the frog is fried and eaten - then you permanently lose the Guile and Spirit. Similarly, for as long as you commit one level of Guile or Spirit to the appearance of a bridge, then people can cross that bridge. As soon as you reclaim the Guile and Spirit, the bridge ceases to exist. But if the bridge is taken apart stone-by-stone while you maintain the spell, your Guile or Spirit is permanently reduced by one level. The exception to this general rule is for spells that instantly and permanently alter reality, e.g., a spell that summons a magical flame that melts rock to form a bridge; or a spell that moves rocks around to form a bridge (although in both cases, a secondary ability roll such as Architecture or Engineering would be needed in order to form a usably sturdy bridge).

If you really are committed to a certain effect, then you can permanently dedicate a level of Guile or Spirit to the spell for that effect. Then (a) the spell will remain in effect until cancelled by some other action; and (b) you can train up your Guile and Spirit to restore what you've sacrificed.

Like training other attributes, developing a Spell ability requires both an attempt to use the ability (with concomitant risk of failure and injury, as well as requirement to record the details of each attempt since those details cannot be duplicated later), and days of meditation and analyis on previous attempts to use the ability (training with a character of equal or greater similar ability). Frequently the training requirement means that you must first instruct a training partner up to your own ability in a Spell, then work with them to further develop your (and their) ability. Typically, magic users trade spells.

Magic also is special because each use of a Spell ability entails personal risk. When a character fails an attempt at spellcasting, they must make a roll modified by Guile. Like a failed Toughness roll, a failed Guile roll inflicts an injury - in this case, a spiritual injury. Each spiritual injury reduces your Guile by one level. If your Guile is reduced to less than "wretched", you become insane.

Like a physical injury, a character can recover from a spiritual injury. For each day of rest (no spellcasting) and meditation, you may make a Spirit roll to regain a level of Guile.

Worse than the risk of spiritual injury is the risk of Chaos intervening in a spell, which occurs in game terms when a spell fails on a double 1 or on an unmodified 6. Chaos intervention results in chaotic effects being directed at the spell caster, or in lawful effects being reversed.

Having addressed the basic rules and the risks of failure, the mechanic for evaluating success or failure is as simple as for any other task:
Roll one six sided die. Add the character's modifier for the similar Spell Ability, and for any synergistic abilities (e.g., architecture if using magic to build a bridge). For simpler spells, there will not be any synergistic abilities - e.g., a bolt of fire does not involve any complex knowledge or skill beyond the magic itself.

If the character has not yet developed a similar Spell, emergently develop such a spell and apply the appropriate modifier.

Add the character's Spirit modifier.

Subtract the Spirit modifier of the target (the highest Spirit modifier if there are multiple targets; inanimate objects are assumed to have fair Spirit that represents the stubbornness of physical reality).

As usual, if an unmodified roll of 1 would succeed, roll a second time and failure results on a double 1. If an unmodified roll of 6 would fail, roll a second time and success results on a double 6.

Summoning could the single best way to optimize / break a spellcasting character. Instead of taking all the risks associated with casting a spell, why not summon a creature that can take those risks for you and give you all the rewards?

That totally makes sense, and I encourage it. However, there are some consequences / game balance considerations.

First of all, you're summoning a creature. One that doesn't belong in this world. So as long as it's here, you're going to need to maintain the spell that brought it here. -1 Guile, -1 Spirit until you dismiss it. And then what if it wants to stay?

Secondly, you're summoning a creature. Complete with attributes: Strength, Agility, Toughness, Guile, Abilities, Spirit. And at least one Attitude: toward you. That Attitude is important, because what you're summoning has agency, otherwise it couldn't do what you want it to. And because it has agency and Attitude, it maybe wouldn't do what you want it to.

The Attitude brings in a second game balance consideration. What you're summoning is chaotic in essence, a creature that contravenes natural laws. That means you roll two dice for its initial Attitude toward you, modifying by your Spirit. Best possible 15, worst possible 1. Most likely in the "poor" range. So you'll need to compel it or charm it to do what you want.

Compulsion is a second spell. Charm may be a spell, or simple persuasion. If you're casting (and maintaining) a spell to get the creature on your side, that's another chance for failure and another -1 Guile, -1 Spirit for the duration. If you're compelling the thing to do your will, let's consider briefly how it will respond when it's dismissed or released. Will it go peaceably, or seek revenge for servitude? It might be worth investing a permanent loss of Guile and Spirit just to make sure you've bound your servant to do you no harm.

The attributes bring in a third game balance consideration. It should be easy to summon something trivial, and hard to summon something powerful. So: modify the spellcasting roll for summoning, by subtracting the sum of the summoned creature's modifiers. E.g., it has poor Strength, poor Agility, wretched Toughness, great Guile, five fair Abilities, and superb Spirit? That's +4, -5 for a total -1 to your roll for casting the spell to summon it. Of course those Abilities may be a principal reason why you summoned it (e.g., you want the thing to use magic on your behalf to rapidly build a serviceable and sturdy fortress...).

2018-10-02, 06:57 AM
Attitude affects how NPCs interact with the player characters. In the case of the "Fellows" attitude, it also determines who among the group will win out in case of disagreement about the next course of action. Each player makes an Attitude roll, and the character with the highest result persuades the others that his or her plan is correct.

On first encountering a non-player character or group, roll dice and add your Spirit modifier, plus any setting-appropriate modifiers, to determine their initial Attitude toward you as an attribute of the NPC or group. Roll two six sided dice if anyone involved is chaotic, otherwise roll three six sided dice. The appropriate modifier for the initial Attitude will affect all your personal interactions with the NPC or group, until you are able to improve the Attitude. When considering interactions between NPC groups, roll dice to determine their mutual Attitude.

Generally, NPCs with a wretched Attitude toward a character or group will attack, flee from, or lie to that character or group; those with a poor Attitude will avoid or ignore; those with a fair Attitude will interact politely and honestly; those with a good Attitude will be friendly; those with a great Attitude will be generous; and NPCs with a superb Attitude will seek an alliance.

Attempts to obtain a benefit are made by a Spirit roll, further modified by your Guile, by the NPC's Guile, and by the more extreme of the Attitude toward the beneficiary or the Attitude toward the character seeking the benefit. If an attempt to obtain a benefit is successful, the target character either proffers the benefit (if it is within their immediate power), or helps the intended beneficiary to obtain the benefit from someone else. For example, in order for your character with great (+2) Spirit and good (+1) Guile to obtain a benefit from an NPC with an initially poor Attitude toward you, you roll a six sided die (-1 NPC Attitude -0 NPC Guile +1 character Guile +2 character Spirit). A roll of 5 succeeds.

Altering Attitude
The Attitude of an NPC or group can be improved just like any other attribute - by "training" over a period of time.

2018-10-02, 06:59 AM
Noncombat actions, when successful, result in accomplishing a task related to a character's profession. A roll for a non combat action is modified by a character's relevant Ability and Guile as well as the difficulty of the task. An additional +1 can be obtained by allotting more than adequate time to accomplish the task. A success on an unmodified roll of 6 indicates that the character has completed the task in half the time allotted, whereas a failure on an unmodified roll of 1 indicates that the character ended up spending more than half again the allotted time only to fail at the task.

2018-10-02, 10:26 AM
Hey hey Eulalios.

I was wondering, what are your GOALS with this system, and was there anything specific you wanted feedback on?

I ask mainly because.... well generally people make a new system when they are trying to overcome a difficulty or obstacle in their current system, but looking at what you have, stats tend to work in a similar way to classical D&D. If you're using different stats, I'ld love to know WHY- that way I know what it is you want feedback on.

2018-10-02, 01:01 PM
This desperately needs to be compiled and organized into a document. Break it up into sections, throw some headings and subheadings in, just get this more readable. You've been thinking of it for six years, you can put in a bit more effort.

2018-10-03, 07:35 AM
Hey hey Eulalios.

I was wondering, what are your GOALS with this system, and was there anything specific you wanted feedback on?

I ask mainly because.... well generally people make a new system when they are trying to overcome a difficulty or obstacle in their current system, but looking at what you have, stats tend to work in a similar way to classical D&D. If you're using different stats, I'ld love to know WHY- that way I know what it is you want feedback on.

Hi, thanks for the question.

Several things I was looking to improve upon.

First, an attempt to make character customization easier than Basic D&D and simpler than 5e, while making optimization much harder than 5e.

Second, total revision of the combat rules to make them quicker to adjudicate and more open to creativity.

Third, complete revision of spellcasting to make it more open to player cleverness.

Fourth, provision of rules for rollplaying NPC interactions in a flexible way that accounts better for how the NPCs might view the player characters.

This desperately needs to be compiled and organized into a document. Break it up into sections, throw some headings and subheadings in, just get this more readable. You've been thinking of it for six years, you can put in a bit more effort.

Good point ... the document now is broken into sections (separate topical posts) with a ToC in the leading post. I will work on subheadings a bit more, probably using spoilers for compactness. Thanks for the tips!

2018-12-03, 11:11 AM
- revised Abilities rules to provide formula for starting age based on ability modifiers
- revised Equipment and Abilities rules to account for the use of books to improve abilities
- revised Equipment, Combat, and Toughness rules so that sharp weapons do more damage if they penetrate armor
- revised Spellcasting rules so that spell abilities are for particular themes, e.g. cryomancy or healing or conjuration or barriers

- added Example to the Attributes post

- added character generation and combat examples to Table of Contents
- modified combat results when both combatants fail their rolls to have higher initiative action take effect

- updated character generation to link abilities to social status
- tweaked the effects of physical injuries to ramp up the bet-your-life aspect of continuing in combat after being wounded

- added spellcasting rules for summoning