Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gieden, Nuameii, Beginning of Part 2

NOTE: The Aerial Dragon at the head of the previous entry and all other artwork contained in this section drawn by Marcus Burris, colored by me, and used with permission.

Name: Cat, Spirit
Size: varies, usually around 2’ high at shoulder
Usual Spirit Color: green, but can be any
Initiative: 9 Full Color: Any natural to a cat
Speed: slightly faster than human Organization: Solitary
Health: 9 Temperament: Aloof, independent, whimsical
Attacks: scratch, roll 4, HD 5, DD 8, DMG ½ Ecology: Eats small birds or mammals, sleeps in burrows, dens, or trees
Special: Rank 2 subterfuge magic, 1 beneficial magical side effect, chosen at GM discretion
Description: Looks similar to a house cat or a small breed of wild cat, such as an ocelot or bobcat, except that there is something obviously magical about them. They may have small wings, a horn, or glowing eyes. They are highly intelligent and can be taught to talk, but like all Nuameii, they will initially attack bystanders upon creation.
Bonds With: Children, cat-like people or people who love cats.


Name: Chimera
Size: Varies greatly, commonly slightly smaller than a horse Usual Spirit Color: red or black
Initiative: 5 Full Color: Varies, natural color of its parts.
Speed: slower than human. Organization: Solitary
Health: 15 boxes Temperament: Extremely vicious
Attacks: 2-4 heads, each roll 4-8 dice, HD 7-9, DD 5-7, DMG 1....claws, roll 5, HD 6, DD 7, DMG 1/2
Ecology: usually omnivore, eats anything in its path.
Special: Attacks twice per round if in extremely close range. Second attack comes at the end of the round.
Description: Disgusting and contorted, the chimera is a mix of several Nuameii all twisted into one. They may have the head of a dragon, the head of a fey, and the head of a horse resting uneasily on the body of a tiger. Whatever parts the chimera has, it is a bit clumsy and terribly vicious.
Bonds With: Twisted human beings, those who strike out in misplaced hatred, or those who are intending to destroy something beautiful and good.


Name: Dog
Size: varies. Averages 2 foot high at shoulder
Usual Spirit Color: Any
Initiative: 6-8 Full Color: varies, natural colors
Speed: significantly faster than human.
Organization: pack
Health: 7 boxes
Temperament: loyal
Attacks: bite, 3 dice rolled, HD 6, DD 7, DMG 1
Ecology: Carnivorous, hunts and scavenges
Special: Nuameii dogs get Rank 1 subterfuge and elemental magic (earth affinity)
Description: ranging in size from tiny (Chihuahua, DMG becomes 1/3) to massive (Great Dane), and varying in temperament from extremely fierce to lovingly docile, the dog makes an interesting Nuameii or a wonderful companion pet. Dog Nuameii are rare except in the case of small children or loyal servants who are consumed by magic. A dog Nuameii will often be larger than a normal dog, manifest something strange such as glowing eyes, small wings, or horns, or be an odd color, such as crimson red. Even a docile dog Nuameii will naturally attack for a short time after it is created.
Bonds With: Children, those who intentionally let themselves be consumed by magic due to loyalty, servants.


Name: Dragon, Aerial
Size: 3 foot at shoulder, twice as long as average horse
Usual Spirit Color: black or red, can be any
Initiative: 9 Full Color: body: spirit color, wings: usually white or black, teeth and claws silver or white
Speed: Very fast/ fast as a horse
Health: 10 boxes Organization: solitary or pack
Attacks: bite, roll 3, HD 5, DD 8, DMG 1...Claw, roll 3, HD 5, DD 8, DMG 1...Dive, roll 6, HD 8, DD 7, DMG 1 ½...(if target to rear)Tail, roll 4, HD 5, DD 7, DMG 1
Temperament: Intelligent but frequently cruel.
Ecology: Hunter/scavengers, like to sleep somewhere high in the air, tend to hate small spaces.
Special: dive means diving out of the sky at a target, Aerial Dragons may do this up to two times per round if no other action is taken; the second one comes at the end of the round.
Description: Long and snakelike, with bat-like wings protruding from behind the shoulders. These dragons are quick and will immediately attack if they feel threatened in any way.
Bonds With: Cruelty, fighting for survival, those who love the air, desperation


Name: Dragon, Draconis
Size: 6 foot or higher at shoulder, at least twice as long as average horse
Usual Spirit Color: any, although black or red are the most common
Initiative: 9 Full Color: Body spirit color, teeth and claws white, silver, or black
Speed: Extremely fast/faster than a horse
Health: 15-20+ Organization: solitary
Attacks: bite, roll 7, HD 6, DD 8, Damage 2 1/2...Claw, roll 7, HD 6, DD 8, Damage 1 1/2....Tail, roll 8, HD 5, DD 5, DMG 1
Temperament: Feral
Ecology: carnivorous, enjoys the hunt
Special: Tail attack only if targets are behind dragon
Description: No land-based Nuameii is larger or more powerful than the Draconis. They have rows of sharp teeth and claws made to rend and tear flesh, their eyes have a slight glow and their snake-like tongues constantly dart in and out, checking the air. They move on all fours and can reach incredible speeds, so long as nothing blocks their way…and very little blocks a dragon.
Bonds With: Powerful people who like to fight


Name: Dragon, Fey
Size: Stands upright, similar in musculature to 8’ tall man.
Usual Spirit Color: almost exclusively silver
Initiative: 7 Full Color: silver/grey, green eyes, black claws
Speed: Fast human Organization: usually solitary, but enjoy occasional company, provided that the conversation and wine are good
Health: 15
Attacks: claw, roll 4, HD 6, DD 6, DMG 1...Tail, roll 6, HD 8, DD 8, DMG 1
Temperament: Reserved, studious, neutral
Ecology: Omnivorous, seeks solitude and permanent living arrangements.
Special: Uses magic, but unlike humans, the Fey Dragon must spend considerable time doing rituals to make their magic function.
Description: These dragons are intelligent, walk upright, and use complicated rituals in order to cast spells. They seek to avoid conflict, and many wear amulets (often of their own making) that help them to use subterfuge magic quickly. These dragons are exceptionally rare and will avoid all but the most intelligent and civilized visitors, but once befriended, they enjoy long discussions and various board games. Their ‘lair’ often contains furniture, books, Artifacts, and odd nick-nacks. For the first day after they are brought into the world, a Fey Dragon Nuameii will attack almost indiscriminately; afterwards, they will avoid combat at almost any cost.
Bonds With: Those who are powerful through connections or magic; those who die through duty or for honor.


Name: Dragon, Sea
Size: up to 50’ long, serpentine Usual Spirit Color: red or black, can be any
Initiative: 5 Full Color: blue, with highlights the color of its Nuameii form. Green or yellow eyes.
Speed: equivalent to a running horse
Health: 30 Organization: Solitary.
Attacks: bite, roll 10, HD 8, DD 6, DMG 1 ½....Tail swipe, roll 5, HD 7, DD 7, DMG 1
Temperament: Sees humans, and virtually everything else, as tasty. Not very intelligent, not willing to make deals.
Special: breathes water if ‘pulled through’; can use tail swipe once per round regardless of what other actions are taken, and regardless of the positioning of the target. Can use elemental magic (water) at rank 3 if near water.
Ecology: Eats algae, seaweed, fish, humans, and pretty much anything else that gets in its way. Prefers to live in or near the water before being pulled-through, and is confined to it after.
Description: Long, serpentine, awe-inspiring and powerful, the Sea Dragon is the largest of the dragons and the most fearsome. They are shark-like in mentality, except that even sharks can swim alongside one
another; Sea Dragons work alone, and will kill any creature they see as competition for food or territory. As strong as sea dragons are, they often prefer to attack wounded targets and are drawn by blood. A person manifesting a Sea Dragon body part is indistinguishable from someone manifesting a Draconis; however, once fully transformed, arms or hands will shrivel into nothingness.
Bonds With: Mindless meanness, cruel destruction, those who love the sea or sharks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gieden, Chapter Seven: The Nuameii, Part 1

This chapter has two main uses. First, it can be used to understand the Nuameii and other creatures that the player characters may encounter, and second, it may be used to describe the Nuameii that they become. Part One will give you all the tools necessary to understand and fully utilize Part Two; Part Two will have each Nuameii’s specific information, given in the form of short, easy to follow entries. I will dissect an entry here, for your reference.

Name:Common name, then specific type, if any
Size:gives height, weight, and length Usual Spirit Color: usual color of the spirit
Initiative: This number + 1D10 is the monster’s initiative
Full Color: Usual color once it’s pulled through
Speed: Were you to attempt to outrun it…. Organization: Once pulled through, how they deal with others of their type
Health: How many boxes?
Attacks: Type, Dice rolled, HD, DD, Damage Temperament: Reaction to humans
Special: Special abilities Ecology: Once pulled through, what they eat, where they sleep, ect.
Description: General appearance
Bonds With: When a person uses magic for the first time, they bond with a Nuameii. This will be the Nuameii they manifest if they die using magic. Nuameii bind to people based on their emotions and affinities; this tells which emotions or other factors summon the Nuameii listed.

The usual spirit color tells you the color the Nuameii will usually manifest as. This gives you a pretty accurate idea of what types of magic are likely to summon that particular Nuameii. For instance, if under ‘Usual Spirit Color’ the entry only said ‘Blue’, then you would know that only protection magic usually summoned that type of monster. Speed is a general idea of how the Nuameii’s running speed matches up to the average human’s. Some people are faster than others, though, and there may be special circumstances, such as the human having a head start.

Nuameii in Combat:
The Nuameii attacks as listed under “Attacks” in their entry. However many dice they use in order to attack, they have the same number of dice available to them when dodging. For instance, if the entry read “roll 6”, it would mean that that particular Nuameii rolled 6 dice when attacking and 6 dice when dodging. Nuameii may split their dice and do multiple attacks or multiple dodges just as players can. When Nuameii take damage, they do not suffer the same penalties for injury that players do. Nuameii also do not get tired, and so suffer no exhaustion penalties. Nuameii that have hands (such as Harpies, Minotaurs, and Fey Dragons) may choose to use weapons. If they do so, they roll the same number of dice as for their normal attack, but they do damage as per their chosen weapon (some entries mention bonuses when the Nuameii is attacking with human weapons).

Nuameii Progression:
As your players get stronger, they may need stronger opponents. On the other hand, if your players ever become Nuameii, they may wish to continue playing and continue to grow stronger. Therefore, it is necessary to have rules for the progression of Nuameii abilities.
The easiest way to progress Nuameii that are not player characters is to give them extra dice to roll. Just raise the number of dice they get to use to attack and dodge with, give them a few extra damage boxes, and, if really necessary, give them a new special ability or two.
When players become Nuameii, they keep their Skills, but their Statistics become those of the Nuameii form that they take on. They may use experience points to raise their Skills, buy advantages, remove flaws, and gain determination. Some Nuameii may use magic. At the Game Master’s discretion, certain Statistics, such as Intelligence and Wisdom may still be raised after the transformation to Nuameii. Keep in mind that since most Nuameii do not wield weapons, their attacks will generally be Strength+Brawl instead of Dexterity+Melee.

Nuameii as companions:
Although virtually all Nuameii initially lash out at those nearby, once they settle down, some Nuameii actively seek out human companionship. This may be due to them having memories of their former lives or simply because of the type of Nuameii they are. If a player wishes to have a Nuameii companion, the Game Master should consider the situation as well as the type of Nuameii companion requested. In some cases, a Nuameii companion may count as a Strong Advantage; for instance, a small Tech Golem that is obedient, useful, and easily concealed. If this Golem was ever discovered, though, the player’s character would quickly be booted out of any civilized society, or perhaps even killed. If the character had little interaction with society and dealt with only a select group of people, they may have something more obvious, like a Spirit Cat, or they may be friends with a Fey Dragon.
A Nuameii Companion could also count as a Major Disadvantage. Say, for instance, that one character swore an oath to protect another, and then that character became a Nuameii. In this situation, the character can never live in regular human society and cannot leave the Nuameii’s side. They may even end up fighting other humans in order to defend ‘their’ Nuameii.

Nuameii Ecology:
In the world of the Nuameii, physical bodies are meaningless. Nuameii are immortal, ever changing energies. Once they come to this world, they are trapped in a single form, and if they are ever ‘pulled through’, they experience hitherto unknown sensations such as sleepiness, hunger, and loneliness. Some of these creatures, such as Satyrs, may feel the need to procreate. This almost never results in offspring. Nuameii do not die of old age, but if ‘pulled through’, they may die of sickness, hunger, or injury.

Why Pull A Nuameii Through?
Nuameii long to return home, and their only way back to their world is to die in ours. Thus, they seek out conflict. Being “pulled through” allows a Nuameii to become a resident of our world, which brings them some degree of comfort. This can be used as a bargaining chip, and brings the Nuameii a feeling of peace, which often makes it far less violent than it had been before.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gieden, Combat Wrap-Up

A few more notes on Combat...


What if my weapon isn’t on the Weapons Chart?
The bad news is, it’s impossible to cover every single damaging object known to man on one chart. The good news is, that’s not really necessary. It’s easy enough for a Game Master to approximate weapons by looking up the information on a similar weapon and then modifying it (or not) however seems appropriate. For instance, if Tommy is using a crowbar, the Game Master may choose to use the statistics given for a bat, or they may modify those statistics slightly to represent the crowbar’s shorter length and harder material. See “Here’s what makes for a good combat scene” below for more information on ‘realism’.

How do I calculate 1/3 box of damage? Basically, you’ll just round down to the nearest full box. If a weapon or a fist does 1/3 box of damage, then it takes 3 successes to give the target one box of damage. Less than three successes does no damage. Four successes would give you a total of 1 1/3 boxes of damage, so you’d round it down; the opponent would take one box of damage. Six successes would damage the opponent by 2 boxes, as would 7 or 8, but 9 successes would produce 3 boxes of damage.

How far can I move before attacking? A general rule of thumb is that you can move 10’ and still attack that round, or 20’ while dodging. However, certain situations, such as rough terrain, may alter that number at the Game Master's discretion.

What ranges do my weapons have? Magic can reach anyone within line of sight. A longbow can fire arrows almost 100’ semi-accurately. Pikes or javelins can range up to about 20’ long before getting unwieldy. To get past something like that, a character must spend a round or two dodging and getting close enough to attack. For melee weapons and fists, however, a good rule of thumb is “if you can reach them, they can reach you.”

Learning a New Weapon: Just because you can use one kind of sword doesn’t mean that you can use any sword. After your initial character creation, if you want to learn to use a new type of weapon, you can; however, for the first few sessions after you acquire your new weapon, you will only roll as many dice as you have dots in the applicable Statistic for that weapon. After you have used the weapon for a while, the Game Master will allow you to use the applicable Statistic and Skill, though you may have to work at it for a while before you get your full number of dots.

For example, if you normally used a rapier, you would look on the weapons chart under “sword” and see that the applicable Statistic is Dexterity and the applicable Skill is Melee. A katana is also a sword, but if your character only knows rapier and tries to use a katana, then they only get to count the number of dots they have in Dexterity until they became familiar with the weapon. As they become familiar with a katana, the Game Master will allow you to use more and more of your Skill rating. Optionally, the Game Master may simplify things by allowing the full Skill rating after an initial “learning” period.

Here’s what makes for a good combat scene:

*A sense of urgency. Roll dice as necessary, but keep the scene moving. If a player is wasting time deliberating their next move, remind them that the combat is continuing and they must act now. If this causes a rash decision, chalk it up to the heat of battle.

* A sense of timing. The clash of swords and cries of battle happen in an instant. Bandaging, studying, or covering large distances takes longer. Try to be realistic, and not to ‘pause’ the action while a character does a long and involved action just because it’s their ‘turn’.

* A sense of reality. Some weapons hurt more than others, some are easier to dodge, and some are easier to wield. The chart above is meant to approximate that. However, it’s possible to slice a throat with a tiny knife or to barely graze someone with a gunshot. Because of this wide variation, the charts (or Game Master’s approximations) do not have to be perfect to convey reality. Simply describe the attack in a way consistent with the damage done; for example: if a crossbow bolt does only one box of damage, the Game Master may describe it hitting the outside edge of the character’s shoulder. If it did 7 boxes, then it may have hit a throat or an eye. If a character sneaks up on a sleeping opponent and slices their throat, it would be silly to make them roll to hit, or to give their opponent a chance to dodge--and it's possible that the player wouldn't have to roll damage, either.


Combat Modifiers

The system outlined in this chapter is all well and good, but sometimes things aren’t so simple. What happens if one of the combatants is wearing an armor that’s not on the chart? Or if they’re hiding in a bunker and you can only see their eyes? What if the guy hitting you with his fists happens to be the next Bruce Lee? Game Masters, relax. With judicious use of a few modifiers, all these situations and more can be resolved quickly and easily, and your players will never even see you sweat.

In the case of armor, the defender is either harder to hit or must be hit harder--or both. Basically, the attacker is going to have a little more difficulty hitting the target, and when they do hit, there's a chance that less damage will be done. This can be approximated by raising the Hit Difficulty of anyone who attacks them and/or giving them more boxes of damage. The chart above gives a guideline for handling armor. If a character’s armor type is not listed, try to determine what category is most similar to what they are using and modify it if necessary. Keep in mind, though, that magic is normally not affected by armor, so the higher Hit Difficulty and extra health box will do no good if the attacker is using magic (without special GM dispensation).

If the defenders are in extreme cover, they are hard to hit (of course). Raise the Hit Difficulty from one to three points to simulate the difficulty of hitting the small part of the target that is visible.

If the defender is prone, drunk, or stunned, lower the Hit Difficulty accordingly.

For an extremely skilled opponent, treat them as if they have the Advantage known as Combat Mastery.

If your character comes across or creates an incredibly damaging weapon, bump the damage accordingly, but you should not allow a weapon to do more than 2 1/2 boxes of damage per success. Beyond that, weapons tend to get over-powered to the point of absurdity. Remember, too, that sometimes incredibly damaging weapons are large and unwieldy, causing them to have a lower HD, a higher DD, or to do slightly less damage than they otherwise would.

Basically, the Weapons Chart works well for straightforward encounters and is an excellent starting place for complex ones. What this means for the Game Master is that when a player says, “Ok, I take my axe and swing it at him…” the Game Master can reference the chart and either say, “Roll Dexterity and Melee against a difficulty of six” or, “All right, but that armor’s pretty thick. Roll Dexterity and Melee against a difficulty of eight”. Remember, real life is flexible, and as a Game Master, it’s Ok if you are, too. Try for accuracy, try for consistency, but if you slip up now and then, well, life’s like that.

The two most common combat modifiers are exhaustion (which is mentioned in detail above), and injury. When a person is injured, they mark off sections of their hour-glass, also known as Health Boxes. There are ten sections, or boxes. Once a person takes a certain level of damage, they suffer penalties. The penalties are detailed on the right side of the hour-glass.
There is a space at the bottom of the character sheet where a player may jot down their modifiers. It is the PLAYER’S responsibility to keep up with their exhaustion and injury modifiers, and the Game Master’s responsibility to keep up with the ‘special case’ type modifiers.

(NOTE: There is a special Cheat Sheet for Game Masters, so that they can keep up with all modifiers for all players. I will give this sheet next time.)


Combat summary:

*At the beginning of a combat scene, each character determines their Initiative by adding together the number of dots they have in Perception and Reflexes, rolling a D10, and adding the result to their total.

*Whomever has the highest total goes first, second highest goes second, ect.

* To attack, add the number of dots in the applicable Stat and Skill. Roll that many dice. For every die that shows a number equal to or above the Hit Difficulty of the weapon (plus any additions granted by the opponent's armor), the attacker has scored one success.

* The opponent may dodge or parry. To dodge, add the number of dots in Dexterity and Dodge. Roll that many dice. For every die that shows a number equal to or above the weapon’s Dodge Difficulty, one success is removed from the attacker’s successes. To parry, the player rolls the same dice they would to attack. If they score more successes than their attacker, then the blow was parried and does no damage. Otherwise, they take full damage.

*The Dodge and Parry dice available to a character may be split amongst multiple attacks, if necessary.

*Damage is calculated by multiplying the weapon’s Damage by the remaining number of successes.

*Once everyone has taken an action, the ‘round’ is over. If the number of rounds is equal to or has exceeded twice the number of dots in someone’s Physical Stamina Stat, then that person must roll a number of dice equal to the dots they have in Physical Stamina, vs. 6. If they succeed, they are fine, if not, then they get a 1 point penalty for every following round until they get to rest. This is cumulative.

* Everyone must now determine Initiative again.


Next time: the Game Master's Cheat Sheet. See you then. ^.^

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gieden, Combat Charts

It's impossible to list every conceivable way for a character to take damage, but here are the weapons and armor charts, meant as a general guideline for Game Masters to use when determining the difficulty of wielding or dodging a weapon and the damage done. Note that the damage rating is per success, and that a low hit difficulty--especially when combined with a high dodge difficulty--is a major factor in the number of successes a given character is likely to achieve.

From the original text:

Weapons Chart

Part One: Standard Weapons

Type------Stat/Skill-----Hit Difficulty---Dodge Difficulty----Damage

Small knife--Dexterity/Melee--6---------------6-------------------1/2
Thrown knife--Dex/Melee------7--------------5-------------------1/2
Sword-----------Dex/Melee-------6---------------6----------------1 1/2
Axe--------------Dex/Melee-------6---------------6---------------1 1/2

Part Two: Artifacts

Type----Stat/Skill-----Hit Difficulty-----DodgeDifficulty---Damage
Stun Gun--Dexterity/Brawl----6------------------6------------STUN
Light Pistol--Dex/Lost Tech--6------------------8------------1 1/2
Pistol--------Dex/Lost Tech----7------------------8--------------2
Rifle---------Dex/Lost Tech----6------------------8--------------2
Automatic-----Dex/Lost Tech--5------------------8------------2 1/2
Magical Artifice--Dex/Lost Tech--5 to 8--------5 to 8------1/3 to 2
***Game Master’s determination

Part Three: Magic

Type------------Rank----Hit Difficulty---Dodge Difficulty-----Damage
Pure Magic----As Noted--------7----------------10-----------As Noted
Destructive------1&2----------6-----------------7-----------As Noted
Destructive (ball)--4---------6-----------------7---------------1
Destructive (ball)--5---------6-----------------7---------------2
Destructive (bubble)5---------5-----------------9---------------1
Fury-----------------2------------6-----------------7--------------1 1/2
Fury-----------------3------------5-----------------9----5, 1--10, 1/2
Fury-----------------4------------5-----------------9----10, 1--15, 1/2
Elemental (fire)----4-----------7------------------6----------------1
Elemental (air)-----4-----------5------------------8---------------1/2
Elemental (water)---4-----------6------------------6---------------1/2
Elemental (earth)---4-----------5------------------6---------------1/2

Part Four: Miscellaneous

Type----------Stat/Skill-----------Damage--------------Special Considerations

Mild Poison-Int/Herbalism(Harm)-1/3 per round for 1-5 rounds--
-----------------------------------------------------------Easiest/cheapest poison
Poison------Int/Herbalism(Harm)-1/2 per round for 1-5 rounds--
-----------------------------------------------------------Harder to acquire
Deadly Poison(A)-Int/Herb.(Harm)-1 per round for 1-5 rounds--
----------------------------------------------------------Illegal/Hard to acquire
Deadly Poison(B)-Int/Herb.(Harm)-1/2 per round for 1-10 rounds--
----------------------------------------------------------Illegal/Hard to acquire
Contact Poison--Int/Herb.(Harm)--1/3 per round for 1-10 rounds--
-------------Illegal/Hard to acquire/only poison that does not need to be ingested or entered into bloodstream
Fire------------N/A----------------2 boxes per round-------disfigures quickly
Water-----------N/A-------------None until after 5 min. Then death
Earth-----------N/A-------------1 or more (crushing), possible death by suffocation
Falling--less than 10 ft-0--/--10-20ft-1--/--20-30ft-3--/--30-40ft,5--/
--greater than 40ft,death
***Acrobatics may lessen dmg.

Part Five: Armor
Type-------------Add to hit difficulty---Extra Damage Box?.....Penalties
Very Light---------------0-----------------------1...................None
(cloth, fur)
(supple leather or small shield)
(boiled leather)
Heavy--------------------2----------------------1......-1 to physicality
(Brig, Scale)
Super Heavy--------------2---------------------2.......-1 to physicality
(Full Plate w/shield)
**Extra damage boxes are added to the top of the hourglass, above the “Hurt”
level of damage.
~ Note: the weapons and armor listed here are meant as general categories~

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gieden, An Overview of Combat

The bottom left of the Gieden character sheet has a sword and a shield; this is where you mark down your weapons and armor. The hourglass at the bottom right is a measure of your health.

The combat system in Gieden is meant to function believably without getting weighed down by too many rather than beginning with hard and fast numbers, I'm going to begin this section with some common questions.

From the original text:


Who goes first? In most situations, who acts first will rely on three things: the character’s perceptions, their reflexes, and luck. In game terms, this is called the Initiative, and it means that the players will add together the number of dots they have in perception and reflexes, then roll a D10 and add that number to their total. Whomever has the highest total has the first Initiative and will act first, the next highest will go next, and so on. There are some situations, however, where this is not the case. If characters are ambushed, for instance, one or more of the attackers may automatically get to go first. The players can’t attack characters that they don’t know are there, so until an attacker shows itself, no rolls are made.

What options do the players have? The players have as many options as they have imagination. They may use magic, attack with weapons, attack with their fists, run, use an artifact, hide, or whatever reasonable alternatives they may come up with. The basic rule of thumb is that whatever action the character takes, it must either take only a moment to do, or they must remain busy at that task for the rest of the round. For instance, swinging a sword (or dodging one, for that matter) only takes an instant, but if a character chose to sit down and examine an ancient artifact, then it could be assumed that they would be studying it for at least as long as it takes to finish a combat round.


An overview of the combat system:

How does it work? To attack, the player will add the number of dots in the applicable Stat to the number of dots they have in the applicable Skill. The Weapons Chart will tell which Stat and Skill apply to your weapon, but for most weapons, you will roll Dexterity+Melee. To attack with your bare hands, you will roll Strength+Fist Fight.

You then roll that number of D10s against a target number, which also comes from the Weapons Chart--your weapon's "Hit Difficulty". This is a measure of how hard it is to hit a moving opponent with the weapon in question. Every D10 that shows a number higher than the weapon's Hit Difficulty (HD) is considered one "success".

Successes can be cancelled out by armor, or by the opposing character parrying or dodging. Any character who is attacked and is not pinned down can attempt to dodge.

To dodge, the player will add the number of dots they have in Dexterity and in Dodge, then roll that many dice against the weapon's "Dodge Difficulty" (also on the weapons chart). For every die that shows a number equal to or greater than the weapons Dodge Difficulty (DD), the attacker loses one success against the dodger.

For instance: Nathan rolls 4 successes to hit Donovan’s character.

If Donovan attempts to dodge and rolls 2 successes, then Donovan’s character is only damaged as if Nathan had hit with 2 successes. If Donovan rolls 3 successes, then Nathan is only left with 1, and if Donovan rolls 4 or more successes, then he dodged the attack entirely and takes no damage.

Damage is calculated by multiplying the number of successes that remain after armor, dodging, and parrying attempts by the weapon’s damage rating.

If a player takes damage, they mark off that many sections from the hourglass on their character sheet. Once their damage becomes substantial, they begin get penalties to their rolls. The numbers on the right hand side of the hour-glass show the applicable penalties.

What about armor? Armor raises the Hit Difficulty for your attacker and, in most cases, adds more health levels to your character. Basically, it takes a better, more accurate hit to do damage despite the armor, and even then, the armor will take the brunt of the damage--at least for the first few hits.


Can a character dodge multiple attacks in the same round? If a player suspects that they will be attacked multiple times in a single round, then they have the option of attempting a Skilled Dodge. This is done by first adding together the total number of dots they have in Dexterity and Dodge, and then declaring how many of those dots will be used for each dodge.

For instance: Tommy’s character is being attacked by three archers. Tommy tells the Game Master that he will attempt a Skilled Dodge, and then adds together the number of dots he has in Dexterity (3) and in Dodge (also 3). This gives him 6 dice. The Game Master tells Tommy that the first arrow misses him, so Tommy doesn’t have to roll a dodge. The second arrow, though, will hit with four successes if Tommy doesn’t dodge well. Tommy decides to roll five of his six dice, and he scores three successes, greatly reducing the damage he would have taken. The last arrow is on its way, and now Tommy only has one die left to roll…

Can a Character Attack Multiple Times in a Round? Yes. A character may attack up to three times in a single round if they choose to do so. First, they would count the number of dice they would normally be allowed to use when attacking. Then, they would choose how many of those dice to use for each attack. For instance, someone using a sword would add up the number of dots they had in Dexterity and Melee. Let’s say they have 6 dice to roll. Now, if they wish to attack twice in a round, they could roll 3 dice for each attack, roll 5 dice for one attack and 1 for the other, or divide it any other way they saw fit.

Can a Character Block or Parry? Yes. If a person is using a weapon similar to the one they are being attacked with, or if they have the Strong Advantage: Expert Parry (see the section on Advantages and Disadvantages), then they may parry. This is done by rolling the dice just as if they were attacking. If their number of successes is equal to or greater than the attacker’s successes, then they have blocked the attack. Otherwise, they missed their block, and they take full damage. Parrying must be done instead of dodging or instead of attacking.

Can I Parry Multiple Attacks? Yes. Count the number of dice you would normally use to parry. Now decide how many of those dice to roll for each parry. This works almost exactly like a Skilled Dodge, however, a parry is all or nothing. You block, or you don’t. If the attacker ends up with even one extra success, then the blocker receives the full damage--a parry does not cancel out any successes unless it cancels out all the successes. Be very careful when attempting to parry multiple attacks.


Using a Two-Weapon Style: Some characters may wish to use two weapons at once, such as twin scimitars or a short sword and dagger combination. In this case, the character cannot use their hands during the battle for anything other than wielding their weapons. The advantage of using two weapons is that it grants the user one free parry; instead of a parry taking the place of either a dodge or an attack, the player may choose to dodge, parry, and attack all in the same round, parry twice and then attack, or parry three times without having to split their dice pool.

Using a Two-Handed Weapon: Using a larger-than-normal melee weapon, such as a claymore or a massive axe, requires the use of two hands and allows the user to do more damage than usual. Anytime the user of such a weapon successfully hits an opponent, the weapon does an extra ½ box to full box of damage. There are three things to keep in mind when using this rule. First, an opponent who successfully dodges or parries the attack takes no damage. Second, the extra damage is added one time, not once per success. And third, this does not stack with Combat Mastery. Combat Mastery takes precedence over the two-handed weapon damage.


Next time, I'll give the weapons chart. See you then. ;)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gieden, Chapter Three: Character Creation (Bonus Points, Adv/Disadv, and Determination)

Once you assign your character's Stats and Skills, it's time to start considering some of the other sections on the character sheet and begin to assign your bonus points.

Just under the Skills and to the left of the Magic Circle, you will see a small section marked Adv/Disadv, which stands for Advantages and Disadvantages. These range from a minor advantage, such as being unnaturally fast, to a major one such as starting the game with a working Pre-Breaking Artifact; from a minor disadvantage such as being clumsy, to a major one such as being completely inept in certain forms of magic. I'm putting the full list at the bottom of this post so that you can look over them before deciding how important they are to you.

At the very bottom of the character sheet, you'll see a series of boxes labeled "Determination". This is what you roll against when determining if you lose a part of yourself to magic, or if you will be able to control the Nuameii born from your ashes should you magically burn yourself out. It's a measure of your strength of will.

From the original text:

Now it’s time to spend the final set of Character Generation points. Just like the Stats and Skills, these will be divided between three categories. These categories are Determination, Advantages/Stats, and Skills. Decide which of these categories is most important to you. That will be your primary. Then choose which set will be secondary and which will be tertiary. The following chart will show you how many points this will give you in each category, and the text that follows explains how to use them.


If Determination is your primary choice, then you get 7 dots of Determination. If it’s secondary, you get Five, and if it’s Tertiary, you get 3. Notice that these boxes are divided. The top of each box represents your permanent Determination score, and the bottom represents your temporary score. If a player spends a temporary Determination point in order to manage some feat of will, that point will return when they sleep. However, the temporary points can never exceed the permanent points, and the permanent points do not return if used. New permanent points must be bought with experience points.

If Skills are your primary choice, then you may add 6 more dots into the Skills of your choice, regardless of the sub-categories they fall under, although you may not exceed the maximum of five dots in any one skill. If Skills are secondary, you may add four dots, and if they are tertiary, you get to add two.

If this is your primary category, then you have three points to spend. Each point will buy you one Minor Advantage or allow you to add one dot to one Stat. Alternatively, you may spend all three of these points to gain one Major Advantage. If you decide to add dots to your Stats, you may add them to any Stat, regardless of sub-category. Remember, though, that no Stat may be raised higher than 4 dots at this time without Game Master permission. If you raise your Magical Talent or Magical Stamina, be sure and raise your Magical Disciplines or Magical Resistance score appropriately.

If this is your secondary category, you have two points to spend, so you can take two Minor Advantages or add two dots to the Statistics of your choice. If it is your tertiary, then you can take one Minor Advantage or add one dot to the Statistic of your choice.

***Getting Additional Advantages***

During character creation, you may take additional advantages (above and beyond those purchased with bonus points) by taking on an equal amount of disadvantages.

Only three points worth of advantages may be bought this way. This means that a maximum of three minor advantages or one major advantage could be bought by taking on an equal number of disadvantages--either three minor ones or one major one.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages: These, of course, are the good things.

________Minor Advantages: To take one Minor Advantage, you must spend 25 experience points, use character creation points, or take one Minor Disadvantage. Taking a Major Disadvantage would give you three Minor Advantages.

Direction Sense: You have an almost unnatural feel for direction. Even in pitch darkness, if asked which way is North, you instinctively know. This makes it very hard for you to become lost, and is an invaluable skill for adventurers or cartographers.

Blind Fighting: You have an incredible ‘feel’ for battle, and can intuitively block incoming strikes and lash out again, even when blinded. Combat modifiers against you are significantly less than for other people in situations where you must fight blind.

Speed: You are faster than most people. When trying to cover a long distance in a short time, or when trying to run down an opponent, you are very likely to succeed. This is very useful against archers.

Jumping: You can jump unnaturally high and far, allowing you to cross many barriers instantaneously. Also, if you fall, you may take less damage than others, due to your practiced landings.

Wealth: You have a lot of currency, and a way to get more. In a game where money has little value, the Game Master may take this to mean that you have a lot of resources that are either tradable or inherently useful. You will not be able to house an army or fund a large expedition, but this advantage should be enough to cover your basic necessities with a little left over.

Renown: You are widely known for something very favorable: an incredible task, a prestigious family, a sense of Justice; whatever it is, it grants you respect from those who have heard of you, and they will often go out of their way to help you because of it.

Energy Awareness: You are innately attuned to the energy of a given place. You know when an area is filled with magic or when the magic has left an area. You also sometimes get a bad feeling from areas where nasty things have transpired or a peaceful feeling from places of rest. When a stranger invites you inside their home, this energy awareness may tell you all you need to know to make the right decision. It can also help you pick a suitable place to make camp, or avoid a site that is often used to ambush travelers.

Minor Artifact: You have one small tool that was created before the breaking. This may be a useful item like a ratchet set or a box of pens, or a valuable item like a crystal vase or a diamond necklace (good luck selling them for what they used to be worth, though). It could also be a book that contains valuable information, such as mechanical theories, advanced agricultural knowledge, or world geography. If it is such a book, and your character can read it, your Game Master may have you roll Intelligence + Lost Technology any time you run into a situation where the information in the book could be helpful. The difficulty would be determined by how complicated the information was. For instance, a book on auto repair wouldn’t be useful in most situations, but your character would almost certainly learn to recognize a car and know what it was supposed to do.

Endurance: You are exceptionally good at pushing your physical limits. When you have exceeded your physical stamina, you must make an exhaustion check just like everyone else. However, your target number begins at five instead of the usual target number of six.

__________Major Advantages: To take a Major Advantage, you must take three Minor Disadvantages, take one Major Disadvantage, spend Character Generation points, or spend 35 experience points.

Fast Healer: You heal unnaturally fast. You must rest to heal, so this won’t help in the middle of combat, but after a battle, you can heal up to one box of damage an hour. This means that after a battle where you take three boxes of damage, resting three hours will leave you completely healed and refreshed. Curative herbs can speed this healing even more, granting an extra ½ box of healing for every two boxes acquired naturally. The only way to further speed your character’s healing is through Healing magic.

Pain Tolerance: When a character takes injury, the pain and physical damage causes them to suffer penalties until they are healed. A character with a high threshold for pain greatly reduces their penalties; all their ‘damage’ penalties are reduced by 1. This means that damage causes them no negatives to their rolls until their damage is in the area marked ‘Severe’, and even then, they only take a 1 point penalty. Even when they are Mauled, it is their physical limitations that slow them down, not the pain. They suffer a -4 penalty instead of the usual -5.

Combat Mastery: You are a master at your chosen weapon, and when you wield that weapon, the Hit Difficulty is lowered one point. You also do slightly more damage. When you attack, combat will go as normal, except that you will have an easier time hitting your opponent. Your opponent still gets a chance to dodge, and if they successfully dodge the entire attack, then they take no damage. If even one of your successes is not canceled out by their dodge or parry, however, then they take the normal amount of damage plus one additional box.

Major Artifact: Your character is in possession of an especially valuable or useful artifact from before The Breaking. This could be a gun with one or two bullets (but no more), a cache of MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) and water-purification tablets, one hand-grenade (which the character may or may not know how to use properly), a set of binoculars and a compass, or another similar type or set of items.

Artifice: This is an item from before The Breaking that an Artificer has worked their magic on. They may work differently than they did originally, and one day they may unexpectedly break, but nonetheless they can be incredible useful. To determine the strength of this Artifice, check the magical discipline of the same name. The Game Master should determine whether the Artifice the character has was created using Rank Three or Rank Four Artifice magic. A good rule of thumb is that if the Artifice is a weapon, it is Rank Three, otherwise, it’s Rank Four, but that is up to Game Master discretion. The Game Master may choose not to tell the player all the Artifice’s uses, how long it will last, or other pertinent details.

Luck: Your character was born lucky, and as such, you may choose one roll per gaming session to ‘do over’. Once you have rolled again, you may choose to take the better of the two rolls.

Nuameii Bond: You begin the game linked with a Nuameii, even if you do not yet have a Taint. Nuameii of this type tend not to attack you, or even to respond favorably to you, and you sometimes gain information about this type of Nuameii in your dreams. If you resist the destruction of your body, you still get a chance to control the Nuameii you become when your body is finally destroyed by magic (Determination vs. a difficulty of 7). If you accept that you will someday make that transition, then the transition is easy for you and you automatically gain full control of your Nuameii form.

Earthbound Spirit: Perhaps you have a destiny to fulfill or a lesson to learn, or perhaps your spirit has simply grown too fond of its current incarnation; whatever the reason, your spirit will not pass on the afterlife. If your character is killed by any other way than being turned into a Nuameii, you may attempt to take over the body of another. This is very hard if there is already a spirit in that body (Determination vs. 8, two successes needed), and taking over an ‘inhabited’ body will lead to the two personalities constantly vying for control (Determination rolls vs. each other). A better choice is to revive your own body (Determination vs.8 brings you back to Mauled), or take over the body of an individual who has been recently slain (no Determination roll needed, but you start at the ‘Devastated’ level of damage).

Expert Parry: The character may choose one weapon (including their hands) with which they are very good at parrying. They may attempt to parry any weapon attack by using their chosen weapon; for example, if Sara chose Expert Parry: Hands, and someone swung a sword at her, she could attempt to parry by knocking the sword aside with her open hand. Also, they always roll 2 extra dice when attempting to parry.

Disadvantages: Taking on a Minor Disadvantage allows you to take a Minor Advantage. Alternatively, you may take three Minor Disadvantages or one Major Disadvantage in exchange for one Strong Advantage.

___________Minor Disadvantages: Taking a Minor Disadvantage allows you to take on one Minor Advantage. Three Minor Disadvantages will allow you to take on one Major Advantage. These cost 25 experience points to remove.

Dirty Little Secret: You have a dirty little secret that, if it got out, would damage your reputation and cause you a major problem, such as landing you in the Prison District, losing you a valuable friend, or endangering your family. You must tell the Game Master what this secret is.

Minor Taint: One of your eyes is already Tainted, making it obvious to all who see you that you are Gieden and that you lack a certain…shall we say…caution. People may not treat you as well as they normally would, and you aren’t welcome in the Roian District. Also, in most cities, you may not be a public official if you have a Taint. See Chapter Five, The Tainted, for more details.

Nuameii Bait: Nuameii are drawn to you, and not because they like you. They sense your presence when you are near and are automatically hostile.

Unnatural Aura: There is something off about you, and people can feel it. You make some people and most animals a little uneasy just by being nearby. Many horses and cats will not tolerate your presence at all, and dogs will bark at your approach.

Clumsy: If you ever roll three ones at once, whatever action you were attempting goes horribly, sometimes fatally, wrong. You may go to swing your sword, lose your grasp on it, and throw it across the battlefield, leaving yourself helpless. Or you may accidentally draw too much magic into yourself, causing yourself physical damage; you may fall off of a galloping horse and be crushed beneath its hooves. Whatever the outcome, it will be bad. Very bad.

Oathbound (Minor Geas): A Pure Magic user has bound your character to a single oath (see the section on Pure Magic for details.) Luckily, this oath isn’t overly hard to keep; unfortunately, there may be no way to end it. This oath may be to never harm a dog, to say a prayer for anyone the character kills, to snap their fingers before eating a meal, or almost anything else, so long as it isn’t terribly limiting or hard to keep. Be careful what is chosen for the oath; failing to keep it means instant death. If, however, the character is truly attempting to keep the oath and fails, they will not die as long as they continue to try. For instance, someone sworn never to kill a duck feeds a duck something, the duck chokes, and although the player tries desperately to help it, it dies. The character will live, but they must try even more diligently to never harm another duck.

Child: Your character is a child, no more than twelve years old. In some campaigns, there may be no record of time and therefore no way to be sure of your character’s exact age, but you are young enough that it is obvious to everyone around you. You don’t get listened to, you may get no respect, some places will not allow you admittance, and your parents may get angry if you go off adventuring.

Fear: Your character is terribly afraid of something; fire, the dark, Dragons, or even certain types of magic. When faced with this fear, you must roll Determination vs. 7 to stand your ground and act normally. If you fail, you may seek others whom you trust, run away, or blindly attack the object of your fear.

Lack of Endurance: When you exceed your physical stamina score and must make an exhaustion check, you do so with a -1 penalty. This means that, like everyone else, you are in no danger of being exhausted until you have been active for a number of rounds equal to your physical stamina score, times two. Once you exceed this number, however, you must roll a 7 or better (instead of the usual 6) to avoid taking exhaustion penalties.

________Major Disadvantages: Take these with caution. They allow you to take one Major Advantage or three Minor Advantages, but you may find that they aren’t worth it. They cost 35 experience points to remove.

Magical Ineptitude: You will only get access to two Magical Disciplines, and you will only be able to use their Rank One abilities. You may put more dots into these disciplines, but that will only allow you more dice to roll; it will give you no further abilities. It may seem like a good idea for a Roian character to take this Flaw, but think again. You never know what the future holds, and even Roian may someday need magic. The only Roian who cannot take this flaw are those who have zero Magical Resistance or zero Magical Talent.

Old Injury: You have an old injury; a battle-wound, a birth-defect, or the result of some childhood trauma that throws you off and causes you pain. As a result, you add 1 point to each of the negative modifiers marked in your hour-glass. This means that at ‘Minor’ wounding, you get a -1 modifier to all your rolls, at ‘Wounded’ you get a -2, and at ‘Heavy’ you get a -3. At ‘Mauled’ you may find it very difficult to move at all.

Oathbound (Major Geas): A Pure Magic user has bound your character to an oath, and failing to follow that oath to the best of your character’s ability will kill your character. (See the section on Pure Magic) This oath may be to protect a specific family line, to never sleep in the same place twice, to never lie, to never speak the truth, or almost anything else, but it must be something that comes up often and demands action on the part of the character. Also, it should not be a task that can be completed within a few years. This flaw is meant to be a life-long curse.

Haunted: Something otherworldly torments you. You may wake up with mysterious wounds (worth no more than 1 box of damage), have terrible nightmares, see disturbing visions that have nothing to do with reality, or think you saw things that didn’t really happen. Sometimes you hear a voice in your head, compelling you to do terrible things to yourself or others. On occasion, when the voice is very insistent and you are under stress, you will be asked to roll a Determination check, vs. a 6, to avoid doing what the voice tells you.

Weak-Willed: All your Determination rolls are two points more difficult than they would ordinarily be, and people find you easier to manipulate (all your manipulation rolls are vs. 7 instead of 6).

Hunted: You are being diligently sought after by a group with much power, prestige, and/or wealth. They are determined to hunt you down, even to the ends of the earth, and they may be aided by unnatural means. To make matters worse, you have a distinguishing mark that makes you instantly recognizable to anyone who knows what they’re looking for. This may be a birthmark, a tattoo, an unusual Tainted appendage or the like; you would be wise to hide this mark.

Unbound Spirit: Your spirit is not bound strongly to your body. If your damage level ever reaches ‘Mauled’, you die unless you are healed within three rounds. This may not be taken in conjunction with the Strong Advantage Earthbound Spirit.

Magical Backlash: Your character has trouble containing the magic that they summon, and sometimes they suffer a horrendous magical backlash, causing them physical damage. For every 1 rolled when attempting a magical task, your character takes two boxes of physical damage. For every 2 rolled, they take one box of damage. This Flaw cannot be combined with the Major Flaw Magical Ineptitude.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gieden, Chapter Three: Character Creation (Skills)

If you look on the Gieden Character Sheet, just under Statistics, you will see three columns of Skills. They are divided by Physical, Social, and Mental, just like the stats. Here is what they mean:

The Physical Skills

Acrobatics: This covers tumbling, tightrope walking, and very active sports, as well as your ability to pull off crazy physical stunts without injury.
Bow: Your ability to maintain, aim, and fire a bow, crossbow, sling, or other missile weapon.
Climbing:one dot can scramble up a pole, five can scale a cliff-face or a ruined skyscraper.
Dance: One dot means you have a dance or two memorized and can perform them passably. At five dots, you know all the popular dances of the area and your grace and skill always impress.
Dodge: Your instinct and ability for getting out of the way.
Fistfight: Intuitive or learned knowledge of how to use your fists.
Melee: Your innate or learned skill with normal, low-tech, hand-held weapons. This includes bats, axes, and swords, but not guns, bows, or crossbows.
Reflexes: This is a measure of your reaction time and your intuitive ability to move in the correct direction.
Stealth: How silently you move, as well as your ability to bypass security.
Swimming: One dot allows you to avoid drowning in still water; five dots will allow you to swim for miles in rough ocean.

The Social Skills

Art: Your ability to convey emotion, move an audience, and demonstrate skill with your chosen art. Players should make a small notation above this Skill denoting the medium through which they work. Dance and the use of musical instruments are not included in this skill.
Cooking: The ability to create a nice meal. One dot can cook a passable dish, given the proper ingredients. Five dots means your character can create a wonderful feast in the wilderness.
Culture: Your knowledge of the local laws and customs. One dot may mean a cursory knowledge of the local laws, and five means that you can quote even laws from distant areas extensively. The use and usefulness of this Skill will depend on the setting of your campaign.
Delving: A measure of how well you locate information, as well as how well you can make that information work for you.
Etiquette: Your understanding of social niceties across a range of cultures.
Fire building: Your ability to find the correct materials, spark a flame, and create fire. One dot must start with a fire starting tool of some sort; five dots can make a fire starting tool easily, from a variety of things that might be found in the area.
Hunt/Gather: With one dot, you may be able to take down and field-dress a deer or recognize an edible plant or two. With five dots, you can find food (both plant and animal) anywhere.
Instrument: One dot means you have learned one or two short tunes. At five dots, even your off-hand improvisations are startlingly beautiful.
Intimidation: This is a measure of how well you can scare others into doing what you want.
Leadership: Represents your natural ability to lead and other’s desire to follow you.
Work Animal: This is your ability to work with animals; it defines how well animals take to you as well as your ability to manipulate them.

The Mental Skills

Agriculture: This is a measure of how well a person can nurture seeds into fully grown plants, as well as the person’s knowledge concerning soil types, watering needs of certain plants, and plant disease.
Animal Training: : One dot means the character can teach a domesticated animal a simple trick, as in teaching a dog to sit. Five dots means the character can tame a wild creature, even some Nuameii, and teach them a complicated series of commands, such as teaching a Dragon to be ridden.
Cartography: At one dot, you can follow a well-drawn map. At five dots, you can create a map that even a moron could follow.
Herbalism (Cure): One dot means that given the proper herbs, the character can create a healing salve that will ease a person’s pain. Five dots means that the character recognizes and knows how to locate herbs that can be used to create powerful pain-relieving and healing balms.
Herbalism (Harm): One dot means that given the proper herbs, the character can brew a mild poison. Five dots means that a character recognizes and knows how to locate the proper herbs to make deadly, even fatal, poisons.
Intuition: Your instincts. Someone with a high talent for Intuition may get regular ‘hunches’, by way of hints from the Game Master.
Linguistics: Linguistics has two possibilities: it can represent the number of languages a character knows, or it can represent their knowledge of the language in general, such as basic understanding, word relationships, word history, or reading and writing. The setting of the campaign will define this Skill, but in general, it is recommended that for each dot in this Skill, the player should make a notation denoting what they have learned, be it a second language or the ability to read.
Lost Tech: one dot, you may be able to determine the use of something such as a gun or recognize one or two basic types of artifacts, i.e, cars and trucks. At five dots, you recognize or can figure out most artifacts and can use them proficiently, if they are restored.
Nuameii: One dot means you know what ‘pulled-through’ means and a few other tidbits of knowledge. Five dots means you rarely come across a Nuameii you haven’t studied in great detail.
Street Knowledge: This shows how good of a ‘feel’ you have for cities. It may help you find people of a ‘rough’ sort, or it may help you find what used to be a community center in a destroyed town.
Trade Skill: This represents your knowledge of a specific trade, such as blacksmithing, tailoring, jewelry making, or carpentry. The player should make a notation above this Skill telling which trade they have studied. It can also be split up; a player with 4 dots in this Skill could jot ‘Carpentry, 2/Blacksmithing, 2’ above the Skill. One dot is passing knowledge of the trade, five dots means mastery.


How Skills are used:

To use a Skill, you will add the number of dots you have in that Skill to the number you have in a corresponding Stat. You may either choose to be highly specialized, meaning that you are careful to align your Skills and Stats, or to balance your character, making sure that no matter what the task, you have dice to roll.


Assigning dots in Skills:

Decide which skill set is most important to your character, and divide 10 dots among those skills. Then decide which skills are of secondary importance, and divide 7 dots among them. Last, decide which skill set is the least important to your character, and put 3 dots into those skills. Keep in mind that no Skill can be raised above three dots until bonus points are spent.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gieden, Chapter Three: Character Creation (Stats)

The Physical Stats:

A measure of your character’s nimbleness in hand and foot. This is needed by athletes and tumblers, as well as those who wield weapons or want to dodge well.
0--Inhumanly clumsy. You can't do fine manipulation and can hardly move without falling.
* Clumsy. You trip over nothing in broad daylight.
** Average Dexterity.
*** Dexterous. Your balance is good and your fingers quick.
**** Impressive. You could be a circus performer, a master swordsman, or an origami expert.
***** Wow. Rarely will you see another with such grace.

Magical Resistance:
The ability of your body to channel magic without being destroyed. After you have determined how many dots to put in this stat, you will multiply that number times two, and darken that many of the donuts around the outside edge of your Magic Circle. Then, each time you use magic, you will subtract the magic's rank from the number of darkened circles.
0--Magic takes a physical toll on you each and every time you touch it.
* Low resistance.
** Average resistance.
*** Strong Resistance.
**** Magical Prodigy.
***** Magical Powerhouse.

Extreme physicality, such as that used in combat, long distance running, or heavy labor, takes a toll on us all. This statistic puts a number on how long your character can perform without being weakened by exhaustion.
0--One round of strenuous activity exhausts your character, causing penalties (see the section of Chapter Eight: Combat, at the end of this post).
* You have to make an exhaustion roll, as described in Chapter Eight: Combat, after two rounds of strenuous activity.
** Average Physicality. You make an exhaustion roll after four rounds of strenuous physical activity.
*** Make an exhaustion roll after six rounds of strain.
**** Highly Trained. Make an exhaustion roll after eight rounds.
***** Physical Powerhouse. Make an exhaustion roll after ten rounds of strenuous physical activity...if you still have any opponents left standing.

This is a measure of how much weight your character can carry, as well as how devastating they are with their fists. It will come in handy for barroom brawlers, people who want to carry an arsenal wherever they go, blacksmiths, carpenters, and those who want to appear physically intimidating.
0--Powerless. Either you are only a few inches tall or you have trouble lifting your own limbs.
* Below Average. Can lift only 40-60 pounds, and 60 is really pushing it.
** Average Strength. Can lift 60-100 pounds.
*** Strong. Can lift 100-150 pounds, slightly more with adrenaline.
**** Very Strong. Can lift 150-210 pounds, and can bend smallish metal objects.
***** Incredible. Can lift 200 pounds without undo strain and bend prison bars.

The Social Stats:

This represents your character’s physical beauty. Perhaps this shouldn’t be the case, but it’s a tough world out there, and anytime you want to be popular, it helps to be beautiful.
0--Yuck. Perhaps you’re horribly scarred, or you have a particularly disgusting Taint. Whatever it is, people are repulsed by you.
* Unattractive. You aren’t just plain, you actually have one or more feature that makes you unattractive
** Average. You are somewhat plain; not off-putting, but no beauty.
*** Nice Looking.
**** Lovely Lady/Handsome Hunk. You are often the target of longing stares and romantic overtures.
***** Drop-dead Gorgeous. You inspire awe in the opposite sex and envy in those of the same sex. As long as others are around, you won’t be paying for your own meals, and if you're a woman, you also don't have to worry about opening doors or carrying heavy loads.

This is a measure of your ability to make friends and influence people. It's as important to charlatans as courtesans. It's also a boon to musicians.
0--Unlovable Cad. Not even your mom likes you. This makes it almost impossible to work with others.
* Socially inept. You sometimes come across as rude or just plain clueless.
** Average. You aren’t invited to many parties, but you aren't thrown out on sight, either.
*** Social. Most people will get along with you fine, and you are unlikely to offend.
**** Social butterfly. You are welcome most places, and strangers are drawn to you.
***** Absolutely Charming. You are welcome at any party and people flock to you.

This represents your familial, political, or social ties. You should jot down the name and station of your connections, unless you have 5 dots in this Stat, in which case your connections may be too numerous to list. If you are in an extremely low-population game, then the Game Master may tell you that the number of dots you have in this stat represent the total number of people willing to help you, in which case, one dot is one contact, two is two, three is three, and so on.
0--Outcast. No one knows you, and they aren’t inclined to do you any favors.
* Name dropper. You have a well-known acquaintance.
** One connection. You either have one friend that is somewhat wealthy, powerful, or well-respected, or you have a couple of friends that are willing to do you minor favors.
*** Reasonably well connected. You have several ties to the wealthy and powerful, and at least one of them owes you some small favor.
**** Connected. You may be a public official, or perhaps you just know all the movers and shakers. You can call on a favor or two, and your connections may prove useful in all sorts of situations.
***** Power Broker. You not only know the rich, powerful, and noteworthy, but you know all about them, too. They will gladly fulfill your requests, if they can, and will not openly snub you. You may be a high ranking public official or a courtesan, or perhaps you were born into the most prestigious family on your continent. Whatever it is, you know everyone, and everyone knows you.

This represents how easy it is for you to bend others to your will. Keep in mind that this Stat demands a certain level of intelligence and roleplay on the part of the player, but if used correctly, it can be an incredible force for good – or evil.
0--Blatant. You are straightforward to the point of rudeness, and couldn't verbally sway a small child.
* Average. You can convince someone who was pretty sure anyway.
** Heckler. You can goad or badger someone into rash action – sometimes.
*** Silver-Tounged. In some cases, you can manipulate the light in which actions or words are seen, causing harsh words to seem gentler, an innocuous statement to seem riddled with hidden meaning, or a casual good-bye to mean that the speaker cares nothing for the listener.
**** Mind-Bender. Not only can you manipulate the light in which words or actions are seen, but you can also suggest that you noticed a meaningful glimpse or gesture that others did not. Sometimes, your words paint such a masterful picture that the listener could swear that they, too, caught the ‘hidden meaning’. Later, it can be hard for others to convince the target that they didn’t witness the gesture themselves.
***** Puppet-Master. You are capable of convincing groups of people that your version of the story is the correct one, even if they saw otherwise with their own eyes. It would take much convincing before they would believe something other than the version of the story you told them.

The Mental Stats:

This represents the knowledge that you have and how easily you can grasp a new concept. This is very important when deciding what to do next or trying to decipher an ancient text.
0--Duh… You have a hard time keeping up with normal conversation.
* Can you repeat that? You have to have things explained multiple times.
** Oh, now I get it… You are of average intelligence. No less, no more.
*** Intelligent. You were always “the smart kid”, and you often win at games of intellect.
**** Intellectual. You are a great planner, quick on the up-take, and have a great store of knowledge from which you can draw.
***** Genius. You have a vast amount of knowledge and can make an instant assessment of any situation. The Game Master may give you extra information from which to formulate ideas, and your character will never forget pertinent information.

Magical Talent:
Whether you are Roian or Gieden, everyone has the ability to reach out for magic. They also have a certain talent for working that magic. This is represented by the Magical Talent Stat. However many dots you place in this Stat, you may then place that many dots into the Magical Discipline(s) of your choice. The only two rules are: 1) The Magical Disciplines you choose to use should be representative of your character’s personality, and 2) you may not place more than 3 dots in any one discipline when creating a beginning character. If you choose to place four or five dots in this stat, then you may put up to 3 dots in the magical discipline that best correlates to your character’s personality. You may then place the remaining dots in any discipline(s) of your choice.
The Magical Talent statistic is located in two places on your character sheet. One is just underneath Wisdom on the third Stat column. The other is in the center of your Magic Circle.
A zero in this stat means that you are an anomaly; you actually do not have the power everyone else has been gifted with and can never grasp magic’s power. The average person would have two dots, with some having slightly more or slightly less. Four dots is exceptional, and five is a once-in-a-generation kind of talent.

This represents your alertness. If you spend time on the battlefield or in the presence of the rich and powerful, you will need to keep your eyes open.
0--Deaf/Blind. You are always the last to know when things happen and routinely stumble into peril.
* Huh? You don’t notice much.
** Average. You notice some things, if they are obvious enough.
*** Perceptive. You notice what others miss and seldom fall prey to traps or ambush.
**** Eagle-eyed. You notice details and nuance that escape ordinary people.
***** Nothing escapes you. People may suspect you of having extra-sensory perception.


Even the smartest people can make dumb mistakes. Your wisdom score shows how ‘street smart’ you are and how likely you are to have sound judgment; a must for anyone who wants to survive for long.
0--No common sense. You routinely suggest the absolute worst way of handling a given situation, and will act without thought. Groups may refuse to work with you and consider your presence hazardous.
* Reckless. You often act without thinking things through.
** Average. You put at least some thought into your actions and try not to act rashly.
*** Thoughtful. Things usually go the way you envision them, and you make a good leader.
**** True Wisdom. You are unlikely to ever show an error in judgment (even if this means the Game Master is forced to give the player a few extra hints).
***** Oracle. People often turn to you for advice, and you almost always know how a given action will play out. Very little catches you by surprise.


Assigning Dots in the Statistics

Look over the physical, social, and mental statistics. Choose which of these is the most important to your character, which is secondary and which is tertiary. You may divide 12 dots among the stats in your primary category, 10 dots in your secondary category, and 7 dots in your tertiary category. No Stat may be raised above a 4 until bonus points are assigned.


Physical Exertion, Physical Exhaustion (From Chapter Eight, Combat)

Combat takes a toll on both the attacker and the defender. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. In the case of this game, how long your character can fight without exhaustion depends on your Physical Stamina Stat. Count the number of dots your character has in that Stat. That number, times two, is the number of rounds your character can fight, run, or do other physically exhausting tasks without risk of exhaustion.

Every round after you exceed that ‘safe’ number of rounds, you will roll a number of dice equal to the dots you have in the Physical Stamina Stat. The difficulty begins at 6. If even one of your dice shows 6 or above, your character is fine. If not, your character gets a 1 point penalty to every roll they make until they get to rest. Also, as long as the exertion continues, you must make an exhaustion check at the end of each round. Any penalties you have accumulated count for this roll, too, and failing it gives you another 1 point penalty.

For Example: Terrence the Terrible has a Physical Stamina Stat of 3 dots. He is in physical combat with another character, Clarence. For the first six rounds of combat, Terrence is in no danger of physical exhaustion. At the end of the sixth round, however, Terrence must roll 3 dice. If none of them show 6 or above, then all of Terrence’s rolls will be lowered by 1 point until he gets some rest.

Poor Terrence has no luck. None of his dice show 6 or above. Now, when he swings his fists at Clarence (usually a Hit Difficulty of 6), he must roll a 7 or above to succeed. At the end of the round, he rolls his 3 dice again to see if he gets even more exhausted. This roll also has a 1 point penalty, meaning that instead of a 6, one of his 3 dice must show a 7.

Terrence is once again failed by his dice. Now, he has a 2 point penalty to all his rolls until he gets some rest. Clarence is not only harder to hit (Terrence would have to roll an 8 or better), but he’s landing a lot more hits as well (the Dodge Difficulty is usually a 6, but with Terrence’s penalties, he has to roll an 8 or better to dodge).

At the end of that round, though, Terrence finally has some luck. One of his dice shows an 8, meaning his penalty will stay at 2 points, but Clarence is starting to show signs of exhaustion. He’s slowing down a bit, and his aim loses some of its focus. Maybe this battle won’t be so tough after all…

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gieden, Chapter Three: Character Creation

It's time to make a character; tell a story, make up a dream. But first, you have to know what all the words mean...

At the top of the character sheet, you'll see some basic background information. Most of this is pretty straight-forward: Name, Age, Weight, Eye Color, and Hair Color. Past that, you'll find Job, because, hey, who doesn't have a job? If your character lives in the city, they might be a blacksmith; if they live agriculturally, they might be a farmer. It's possible that their job is simply being a hunter/gatherer, or, if they live in the ruins of a Pre-Breaking city, a scavenger.

After that, you'll see Gieden/Roian. As has been said earlier, everyone in the Gieden system has the ability to channel magic. Those who choose to do so are called Gieden; those who do not are Roian. It is possible to switch between the two, so long as you remain Untainted.

Then comes Res/Accept; this is where you mark down your character's attitude toward magic. Do they resist magic's destruction of their body (giving them a chance to avoid this fate), or do they accept magic's consequences (giving them a chance to take over the Nuameii created if and when they are overtaken by the power)?

And finally, there is the question of Archetype. Is your character a loner? A hopeless romantic? A hero? What physical or mythological creature best fits your character's personality? This is where you define your character's core being and the type of Nuameii they will channel if they ever choose to touch magic.

Next time, we'll go over the Statistics.