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Chronicles Role-Playing System

On the chat last night I asked for ideas for a role-playing system that I am designing, so today I thought I should share what I've got so far and get some more ideas from my fellow Inn-mates.

For now, I'm calling the system the Chronicles RP System, though depending on how it evolves I might find a more suitible name. I personally like the idea of players giving a hand in making the story, so I might try to add that into the actual system in the form of Plot Points or something.

As for setting, I'm starting with one that I call Sin (in short), but I want the system to be able to fit any system without too much changes. This setting is mostly just to keep me focused.

The system is based on its Traits (same as Abilities when compared to D&D or Attributes when compared to WoD), and you should be able to play the game using only the traits. The system uses only d6, mostly for availability (it's a system I'd like to see on the shelves of Iceland, and role-playing is so niche that we only have a single store that deals in it, and it is a very small part of the store).

Each Trait has ranks of 1-5. Each rank gives you a d6 to roll. When rolling, you add together the outcome of your dice to compare with the difficulty of the roll, called 'mark'. You need to roll equal to or higher than the mark to succeed, and that's about it.

The Skills are similar, but unlike most other gaming system I've seen. You can have up to 10 ranks in any Skill. Each rank adds one die to a pool. You can 'spend' your Skill dice on appropriate rolls, but once spent they are gone from your pool. Each morning, you regain a certain ammount of Skill dice.
Mostly, the Skills aren't supposed to make your character superior, only supposed to give your character that little extra edge to succeed on an otherwise daunting attempt.

The last of the major things I have planned are Techniques. Think of these as abilities that bridge the gap between Skills and Magic. They are similar to Feats and Class features, and include things like two-weapon fighting, extra jumping distance, the ability to cast spells and so forth.

Techniques are divided into four major groups: Skill Techniques, Guild Techniques, Spells, and the last group which is based on the setting, in this case it is called Sin Techniques. Skill Techniques are special abilities tied to specific Skills, such as two-weapons fighting is tied to the Melee Skill and the ability to cast spells is tied to the Sorcery Skill.
Guild Techniques are tied to a specific group or a Guild. I might change the name, since I'm not sure if I should call it Guild, Profession or School. Essentially, you'll need to complete certain requirements before you can join, and you have to join before you can learn their Techniques. For example, the Assassin's Guild will have Techniques that focus on stealth and killing in secret, perhaps poisoning.
The last group, or Sin Techniques as they are for this setting, are based around a supernatural stat, so the Techniques tend to be supernatural as well. For example, I have thought of a Technique for the Wrath Sin that will let you frenzy and essentially turn you into a monster while doing so.
Spells are treated like Techniques for now, but have increased cost to activate and are much more supernatural in effect. They will also have more in depth rules. During chat last night, some good ideas involving the use of character's own life force came up, as a feat or the like, so a Guild that specializes in blood magic is very likely. I also like the idea of Paradox, so I will likely include that somehow.

Some Techniques require activation and activation cost. This is usually a die from the Skill pool which it is tied to (or the Sin pool, which has its own rules and curses). Other Techniques are more supplemental to other actions, or constantly active, and don't need special activation.

Sin is essentially a dark fantasy setting where dark energy has burrowed into the hearts of nearly all living creatures. Some have actually managed to awaken this energy within themselves, and they have a Sin Rating. All PCs in this setting are assume to have awakened this energy and have the Sin trait. Sin allows you to fuel actions that are thematic to your primary Sin, such as violence for Wrath or theft for Greed, and so on. This does not spend your Sin, but rather risks increasing it. Each rank of Sin gives you a curse, or that's the idea anyway. Essentially, high Sin gives you power, but at a great cost. The most powerful Sin Techniques require you to have enough Sin ranks. When your character has reached 11 ranks of Sin (surpassed the 10th rank, effectively), he becomes a pure monster, in mind if not body as well.

Some final thoughts:
There are no Classes in this system. It is completely point based so you can create the character (hero or antihero) that you want to play. The closest thing to Classes are the Guilds. There are no levels; you use XP to increase your stats and buy Techniques. The Sin trait cannot be increased using XP.
There will be races, although the setting only has humans at its center (elves and dwarves haven't been seen in a century and are now just legends). Races will be treated as though the character bought the racial bonuses at character creation (these might be certain Skills or new Techniques, which are 'sold' to the character using his starting Skill points and starting Techniques to keep characters balanced). Races will have access to certain Skills and Techniques that humans don't, but that's about it. In the Sin setting, all Elves are Proud and all Dwarves are Greedy.

Like I said earlier, I'm also toying with the idea of Plot Points. These will be certain number of Points given by the Chronicler (GM) at the start of the story, and only rewarded when a character furthers the plot or by some other measure. These points will allow the character to manipulate the plot in some limited fashion.

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 08:56:45.

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There are 8 Traits that I'll be using for this system. It should give enough diversity for the Traits to be the only mechanic needed to play the game. All rolls involve a Trait at all times.

Agility - This is effectively the same as Dexterity and includes reflexes, ranged attacks, accuracy and physical defence.

Appearance - Good looks and how you use your visual appearance to get what you want.

Charisma - Speaking and manipulating, this is the same as Charisma in most other systems.

Intelligence - Smarts, knowledge and primary Trait of sorcery. Works in most regards as Intelligence would.

Perception - The art of noticing things and sensing. Everything that involves sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching can fit under this hat.

Power - Effectively the same as Strength and includes doing damage, lifting and carrying, and many athletic feats.

Vitality - Same as Constitution or Stamina, this resists damage and other physically harmful effects.

Willpower - Includes many aspects of Wisdom and Wits, but it is the primary resistance to mental and social effects.

Each character starts with one rank in each. You can have 0 ranks in a Trait, but that would mean that unless you use your Skills your roll automatically results in 1 (the Skill rolls only add to that). Not having a Trait is something else entirely (such as not having Vitality means that you're technically not alive) but no character starts without a Trait.

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 08:57:02.
Edited on 2011-07-21 at 09:12:28 by Skari-dono

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Skill - (example sub-Skill) - exotic Skill use example
Animal Ken exotic or foreign animals, magical beasts Art* (Painting, poetry, cookery, etc.)
Athletics Bluff Close Combat* (Brawl, Swords, Axes, Clubs, Spears, etc.)
Commerce Control* (Horses, Wagons, Ships, etc.)
Craft* (carpentry, blacksmithing, weaponsmithing, armorsmithing, bowyering, etc.) magical material, exotic material Defence Etiquette Games* (poker, chess, monopoly)
Insight Intimidate Investigation Lore* (geography, religion, foreign culture, etc.) forbidden lore Medicine Meditation Notice Perform* (instruments, dancing, singing, etc.) foreign or exotic instruments, elven song-spells Persuasion Politics Ranged Combat* (Thrown, Bows, Crossbows, etc.) exotic weapons Resistance Secrecy Socialize Sorcery Survival Tactics
*Compound Skill

Overlapping Skills:
In some cases, you'd be able to use two Skills in a given roll, such as both Notice and Investigation when searching for clues. This is by design. In those circumstances, you can spend dice from both pools, thus saving your dice for later use when you don't have multiple Skills to use, such as when you use Investigation to interrogate someone.

Exotic Skill Use:
Some circumstances are too exotic for a Skill to apply. Exotic situation is essentially when trying to use a Skill on an action that doesn't fit the setting. Firearms are exotic in most fantasy settings (at least to humans), so when a human character is trying to spend Marksmanship to use a firearm, that counts as an exotic Skill use. Effectively, you can't spend a Skill when using it in exotic ways; you can only use your Trait. There is a Technique that allows you to use your Skill for exotic situations, but each exotic situation must be bought seperately.
Sample exotic situations with Medicine in the Sin setting: Surgery, foreign/magical poison or sickness (each poison or sickness is taken seperately), foreign/magical medicine (again, each medicine is taken seperately), alien physiology (each creature is taken seperately), and so on. Each exotic instance must be bought with a seperate Technique for the Skill to be used.

*EDIT: Exotic Skill uses will undergo heavy modifications*

Skill Types
Skill have types, although there are no mechanical differences between them. Skill types are simply a descriptive feature. They are Physical, Social and Intellectual. Rare few Skills can have two Skill types. The only Skill type that is any different mechanically is the Compound Skill. All Compound Skills have another Skill type.

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 08:57:15.
Edited on 2011-08-21 at 16:39:51 by Skari-dono

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Only one Technique can be activated at a time, unless you have a Combo (see below).

Here are some Techniques I've thought of already:

Universal Skill Techniques:

[Skill] Specialty - Gives you a specialty to your Skill. When using the Skill to improve a roll involving the specialty, you roll an extra die. Can only benefit from one specialty per roll.

[Specialty] Mastery - Requires the above Technique, and Skill rank 10. When the roll involves the specialty, spend one die of your Skill and automatically succeed the roll, regardless of the Mark.

Combo - Combines two or more Techniques of thematical similarities into a Combo so they can be activated at the same time.

Exotic Training - Allows you to use your Skill with a specific, exotic situation. Exotic weapons are always taken seperately.

Skill Techniques:

Two-Weapons Fighting (Melee) - Allows you to use two weapons without off-hand penalty.

Extra Attack (Melee or Brawl) - Allows you to make additional attack per round (normally, you'd only get a single attack). Can be bought multiple times to give you maximum number of attacks equal to your Agility.
(Alternative: The maximum number of attacks is 3.)

Spellcasting (Sorcery) - You can cast spells. You start with one spell for free and can buy new spells as Techniques.

[Brawl or Melee] Defence (Brawl or Melee) - When taking a defensive action, you can spend your Brawl or Melee Skill in addition to your Defence Skill.
(A defensive action is essentially an action where you do nothing except defending yourself. An Agility roll adds the result to your Defence Mark, and you are allowed to spend your Defence Skill to improve it.)

Improved [Swim or Jump or Climb] (Athletics) - Extends the distance you can swim, jump or climb. Might include running as well.

Tactical Fight (Tactics) - During a fight, you can spend your Tactics Skill to improve the rolls of all your allies that can hear you. You must be able to speak to use this Technique.

Sin Techniques

Frenzy (Wrath) - The character goes into a state of frenzy. Gives bonuses to Power and Vitality, at the cost of not being able to end the frenzy prematurely without a successful Willpower roll (with a mark determined by Wrath).

Fury (Wrath) - Improves Frenzy, but also improves the mark that is required to beat to end the effect prematurely.

Aspect of the Beast (Wrath) - Improves Frenzy even further, but also the mark. Gives the character a beastly aspect, such as claws, teeth, wings, horns, hardened skin, increased size, and so on. Can be bought multiple times, each time adding another aspect.

Monstrous Strength (Wrath) - When activated (at the cost of two Wrath points), this Technique adds the character's Wrath trait to his or her Power Trait for the rest of the Event.

Armor Tearer (Wrath) - When this Technique is activated, the hero's unarmed attack becomes piercing.

Restful Trance (Sloth) - For every 4 hours that the character rests longer than he needs to, he regains an additional Skill die when he wakes up. Curses that increase the needed rest count as needed rest, so this Technique adds at least 4 dice to that time in order for it to have any benefits.

Extremely-Restful Trance (Sloth) - (Name is subject to change.) The character now regains 2 Skill dice extra for every additional 4 hours of rest. Resting for only 2 hours does not let the character regain one Skill die.

Belphegor's Creativity (Sloth) - The character gains either a free specialty or an exotic training related to Craft. In addition, when using the Sloth Sin to improve Craft rolls, the character may add any of the Craft specialties he might have. He is still limited to only benefitting from one of them for any given roll.

Belphegor's Quickened Craft (Sloth) - Requires Belphegor's Creativity. When in a hurry, the character can use his Sin to quicken his work. For every point added to the Sin Tracker, the crafting time is reduced by 1/3, to a minimum of at least one minute. Anyone watching this process will immediately recognize the Sloth as supernatural.
(Applying this Technique more than once does not reduce the time by 2/3 and then into nothing. The bonus is always applied to the new time after the previous effect. So applying this bonus twice to a 9 minutes job reduces the time to 6 minutes, then to 4 minutes. Round up to the nearest minute.)

Belphegor's Animal Enhancements (Sloth) - Requires Belphegor's Creativity. The character gains both an exotic training in "biological engineering" and a specialty in the same for the Craft Skill. If the character already had either or both, he gets an exotic training and a specialty of his choice, but they must be for the Craft Skill.

Belphegor Hideous Zoology (Sloth) - Requires Belphegor's Animal Enhancements and Belphegor's Quickened Craft. With this Technique, the character can create his own monster. Using a special modification to the Craft rules, the character can build his own creature by adding Features to a simple template.

Self-Healing (Gluttony) - By eating, the character heals physical damage at a certain rate. (Each round spent eating heals number of points equal to Vitality, or less?)

Regeneration (Gluttony) - Improves Self-Healing so that the character can regenerate lost limbs. However, the cost is that the character must eat some repulsive substance to do so (such as raw meat, human flesh, blood, or other things less tasty).

Stone Skin (Gluttony) - Skin turns to stone for a period of time, giving the character some armor. Penalty in the form of movement imparement.

Armored Skin (Gluttony) - Improves Stone Skin. Further impares movement.

Dreaming Visage (Lust) - The character who activates this Technique adds his Lust to his or her Appearance ranks for the rest of the Event. Others apply their relevant Sin trait to their Appearance ranks instead.

As a general guidelines, I apply Envy to Perception, Gluttony to Vitality, Greed to Agility, Lust to both Charisma and Appearance, Pride to Intelligence, Sloth to Willpower (the will not to do something), and Wrath to Power.

After some further thought and online reading, Pride is also linked to Sorcery, Sloth is linked to inventions (both mechanical and biological engineering), and Greed is linked to money and commerce, as well as the ability to steal it. Gluttony is linked to health, healing and resisting harm. Wrath is linked to violence and destruction. Lust is tied to seduction and manipulation, as well as secrecy.

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 08:57:31.
Edited on 2011-08-01 at 18:46:24 by Skari-dono

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Here's a list of the seven Sins that rule the Sin setting. At character creation, each character chooses a single Sin as their primary and start with one rank in that Sin. The character never develop another Sin and his primary Sin never goes away.

Envy - Similar to Greed in many ways, but is more focused on destroying what others have rather than getting it for himself. (Envy can always improve Perform and Art rolls.)

Gluttony - Also similar to Greed, but more focused on food, drugs, and other addictions that you ingest or put into the body. (Gluttony can always improve Resistance rolls, and can also be used to reduce damage.)

Greed - The need to own things and get things for yourself. (Greed can always improve Commerce and Etiquette rolls.)

Lust - An addiction to feelings that bring pleasure to the body, often sexual. (Lust can always improve Seduction and Socialize rolls.)

Pride - The confidence in one's own capabilities, the Proud are often tied to sorcery and intelligence. (Pride can always be used to improve Sorcery rolls and spell-casting rolls.)

Sloth - The Lazy are prone to do nothing when something needs to be done, and often have addiction to games and gambling. (Sloth can always improve Craft and Meditation rolls.)

Wrath - Almost always violent and quick to anger, the Wrathful can become extremely destructive if not kept in check. (Wrath can always improve damage rolls.)

When a situation arises that fits the character's primary Sin, such as the opportunity to steal a prized artifact for Greed or when pissed off for Wrath, the character rolls his Willpower against a mark equal to the severity of the situation plus his Sin ranks. If the roll fails, the character must act according to his Sin (steal the artifact or kill the guy who pissed him off) or bury it inside and gain points to his Sin tracker.

When a Sin is used to improve a roll, each die added to it also adds a point to the character Sin tracker. When that tracker reaches 10, the character gains a Sin rank and an appropriate curse.

A curse is always something horrible and is not something the character can easily live with. This might be Cannibalism for Gluttony, or some disturbing philia for Lust. As an alternative, the curse might make it more difficult to resist the pull of his Sin. Whatever it is, it is rarely anything nice.

When the Sin rank surpasses rank 10 (that is to say, when the character has 10 ranks and 10 points in his Sin tracker, effectively having 11 ranks), the character becomes unplayable. The character becomes a monster, perhaps in body but always in mind. Each Sin has a specific monster tied to it, but not everyone turns into those monsters:

Envy: Spectres, the ghosts who linger due to their envy of others.
Gluttony: Vampires, who must feed on blood to survive.
Greed: Dragons, the size of a horse, who horde gold to make their beds.
Lust: Succubi, demons who lust for human flesh.
Pride: Lich, the undead sorcerers who always seek more power.
Sloth: Trolls, slow and tough as stone.
Wrath: Werewolves, the mindless beasts of destruction.

Additionally, each Sin is tied to a notable Prince of Demons, but this is mostly known only by scholars of the Church. (I will change some of these names as to not tie it to Christianity as much. Ideas are in brackets after the names. This list is taken from mythology.)

Envy: Leviathan
Gluttony: Belzebub
Greed: Mammon
Lust: Asmodeus
Pride: Lucifer (Orcus, Astaroth, Bael, Caim)
Sloth: Belphegor
Wrath: Satan (Amon, Abbadon, Belial)

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 08:57:48.
Edited on 2011-07-24 at 09:49:09 by Skari-dono

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So, spells eh? How about those Hogwarts? Spells are probably going to be the most complicated section of this system making. Here are some of my thoughts:

Spells are bought using similar or same mechanics as Techniques. In fact, you need a specific Technique to learn spells. So here's the first snag: This method, as simple as it may be, does not support multi-level spells.

Alternative 1: Characters can buy access to higher level spells by buying improved Techniques.

Alternative 1.1: The higher level spells are exclusive to Guilds.

Alternative 2: Each spell has its own XP cost, but you gain access to all spells by purchasing the original Spell Technique.

Alternative 3: Mix of the two. More powerful spells cost more, but you need to buy Techniques to gain access to the more expensive spells.

Paradox I like the idea of paradox, so I'm throwing in here for consideration. Using magic is essentially messing with the natural order, so paradox is the natural order messing with you. Paradox is the additional payment to cast a spell, the fine print if you will. After casting a spell, successfully or not, you roll your Paradox die and compare it to a table.

You can willingly take on additional Paradox to increase your chances of success in casting the spell; each Paradox die you take also adds one die to your casting roll. After the spell is cast, successfully or not, all your Paradox is rolled and compared to the table.

The table determines the paradox that affect the caster. This might be a minor feedback, or you might accidentally summon a horrid monster from beyond the veil of creation.

Magically inclined Guilds will likely teach alternative methods of increasing your success rates. Blood Mages will teach a caster how to sacrifice blood and life to gain the same benefits as Paradox, while Rune Casters might require you to edge the spell onto a solid surface (adding to the casting time). Regardless of method, there will always be paradox when casting a spell, even if it as little as an awkward fart.

Draft of Paradox Table 1-4: Nothing happens (if the spell is powerful enough to cause major results, instead roll again, adding +4, capped at 20, and the result is minor)
5-8: Tell (major Tell)
9-12: Backlash (major Backlash)
13-16: Bane (major Bane)
17-20: Summon (major Summon)
21+: Roll again on the table and add +4 to the second result. The result is always a major version of the list, and results of 21 or more is a major Summon.

Tell: Some sort of sign that marks the caster as a sorcerer. The minor Tell is normally easy to hide or causes no discomfort (such as discolored eyes or hair, birthmarks, hairy arms, etc.). The major Tell is always a disfigurement of some sorts that is difficult to hide and causes discomfort to the caster (like a third arm [either life-less or with a mind of its own], sentient second mouth [can be hidden, but has a mind of its own that is often rude but nearly always disagrees with the caster], scaly skin, etc.)
Backlash: The Paradox turns on the caster to cause damage. Minor Backlash is always equal to the number of Paradox dice rolled, but the caster has Protection equal to his Vitality against it. Major Backlash is always twice that much, is resisted by Vitality like the minor version, but the damage is resistant to magic and can only be healed by resting.
Bane: Something causes discomfort or even damage to the caster. A minor Bane is something that the caster rarely comes across (such as specific kind of metal, specific kind of tree, specific kind of people, or something else specific), causes non-lethal damage (protected by Vitality) and lasts for days equal to the number of Paradox dice rolled. A major Bane is more frequent (all metals, any kind of tree, water, or something else that is frequently found), causes lethal damage, can not be healed by magical means, and lasts for weeks equal to the number of Paradox dice rolled.
Summon: The Paradox from the spell causes something to be summoned into this realm of existence. This demonic creature is often referred to as a Paradox Creature, and can be anything from a minor Gremlin to a major Demon. A Paradox creature is always intelligent and sentient, is resistant to magic, has stats based on the number of Paradox dice rolled, and is always drawn to the caster. A Paradox creature must be banished using special magic or destroyed using force. A Paradox creature from a major Summon doubles the number of Paradox dice rolled when building stats.

Magical Tags Each spell has some effect, and all effects can be divided into groups or spheres. Here are some spheres:

Elemental - Further divided between seven elements: Air, Earth, Electricity, Fire, Frost, Water, Wood. Each element has its own effect and damaging spells can be negated by creatures with immunity to the appropriate element. Likewise, elemental spells can be countered by the appropriate element.

Hallow - Extremely effective against unholy creatures, such as demons and undead. Also effective against those with awakened dark energy (including the Sinful). Commonly used by the Church.

Blasphemous - Counters the Hallow sphere and mirrors it in almost all aspects. It is effective against holy beings and those with awakened virtues (including the Holy).

Healing - All healing spells have this sphere.

Destructive - This is raw damage applied to a target.

Necromancy - Effects the dead and undead, whether material or immaterial.

Creation - Builds or repairs objects, or effects them in other, non-destructive manner. Includes alchemy, counters Destruction.

Transmutation - Changes the physical body. Can be harmful. Includes spells to improve (or damage) physical Traits (Agility, Appearance, Power, Vitality).

Mental - Changes to the mind. Can be beneficial or harmful. Includes spells to improve (or damage) mental Traits (Charisma, Intelligence, Perception, Willpower). Also includes mental manipulation.

Other spheres probably exist.

Other Tags: All spells have other tags as well, such as Duration, Range, Target, Resistance, Mark and Paradox.

Duration tells you how long the spell is active.

Range tells you the maximum distance at which you can cast the spell.

Target tells you the size of the area or number of people you can affect with the spell.

Resistance tells you what Trait (and Skill) can be used to resist the Spell and the mark to successfully do so.

Mark is the number you need to roll to successfully cast the spell on an Intelligence (Sorcery) roll.

Paradox is the ammount of Paradox dice you gain for casting this spell (not counting those you gain for improving your casting roll).

Creating Spells I'd like to include simple rules for the players to create their own spells in game. This will involve the tags I wrote down above.
As I think about it now, it will involve three steps: Research, Theory and Practice. When a character has gone through all three steps, he can buy his new spell just as any other. This will likely involve a lot of Intelligence rolls at long intervals, improvable with the Sorcery Skill.

Schools of Sorcery
There are several schools of sorcery in the Civilized World. Additional ones can be found among the Northern Clans, the Eastern Empires and the Southern Tribes. Certain monstrous and fantastic races also have their own schools. Here are listed only those practiced by the human races of the Civilized World.

The greatest benefit of studying magic at a school is learning how to lessen Paradox by paying a different kind of cost in its place.

Wizardry: The Wizards use foci (sing. focus) to channel their spells. Effectively, each focus draws in part of the Paradox and slowly eliminates it. Each focus is sufficient to draw in a single die of Paradox for a single Event. This can reduce the Paradox dice to 0, but no more than that. Creating a focus takes time (at least 24 hours of uninterrupted chanting) and a suitable item must be available to be made into a focus.

Blood Magic: Some call it the forbidden magic, the art of trading someone's life force to reduce the effects of Paradox. Health is traded for each Paradox die, at the rate of 5 Health for 1 die. This does not have to be the caster's Health. Killing the sacrifice gives additional bonuses, starting with 2 dice Paradox reduction in addition to the reduction from the sacrifice's Health. (If you read the chapter on Health, you might see that a sacrifice with Vitality 5 would cancel 9 dice of Paradox if killed; 7 from the 35 points of Health [(5x Vit) +10], plus the additional 2 for the kill.) Non-sentient creatures require more blood to be spilled for the same bonus, and killing them only gives a -1 die reduction. Other modifiers may apply. This can reduce Paradox to 0, but not to a negative number.

Runic: Somewhat similar to Wizardry thematically, but different mechanically. This school uses runes to reduce Paradox, and this school is most effective in making magical items by carving runes on them. Instead of gaining Paradox dice, the caster spends his Craft: Runes dice to fuel magics. Additionally, the caster can spend extra time to cast the spell, reducing the Paradox dice by 1 for each round. The caster can use either method or both. This method cannot reduce the total Paradox to less than 1.

Divine: The Divine School of Magic is only taught by House Faustus and the Church. Instead of Paradox, the Divine School teaches the art of prayers. The effects are similar but the cost is different. Instead of rolling on a Paradox Table, the Divine caster rolls his dice on a Prayer Table and the result is different.

Druidic: Similar as the Divine school in mechanics, but different thematically. The cost of casting spells of the Druid school is a Geas. Instead of rolling on the Paradox Table, the caster rolls on a Ban and a Punishment Table. Powerful spells, or a bad roll on the Ban Table, can cause the Geas to last longer.

Witchcraft: This school is identical to the Wizardry school, but uses temporary foci instead of permanent ones. Temporary foci burn up once used, but causes no harm (unless the spell is supposed to cause harm). Each tag has a special list of ingredients which must be used to cast a spell with that tag. A spell with multiple tags has multiple ingredients required to cast it.

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 08:58:16.

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Assets & Drawbacks

Assets & Drawbacks are features that further improve your character's standing, or brings you misfortune. They rarely affect Skills directly (that's the jobs for Techniques) but rather affect Traits and the character's spirit and inventory. For example, an Asset might give you some extra coins, a property or the ability to speak other languages, but it won't make you any better at handling a sword, riding a horse, or reading a book (those are Techniques of Melee, Control and Lore, respectively).

Some Assets & Drawbacks I've thought of already:


Dreadful Mien - Your Appearance is not a positive one but rather a negative one. Your Appearance no longer applies to Socialize rolls, but you can now apply your Appearance to Intimidate rolls. Character Creation only (exception: if a Wrathful is cursed with Horrific Visage he can buy this Asset at any time).

Rich - You get 1d6 bonus gold at character creation or when you buy this Asset. This Asset can be bought multiple times, each time adding 1d6 extra gold. (See Other below for my thoughts on starting gold.)

Connected - You start the game with an extra rank in your Contacts trait. This Asset can be bought up to three times, allowing you to start the game with up to four ranks in the Contacts trait. (See Other below for my thoughts on contacts.)

Guild Member - You have been initiated into one of the Guilds and can choose your starting Techniques from the available Guild Techniques. You must still fulfill all of the requirements to join that Guild, or else you cannot have this Asset.

Plotter - You start game with an extra Plot Point. This Asset can be bought up to two times, giving you extra two points to start the game with.

Noble Family - There are two versions of this Asset: The more impressive one lets you belong to one of the 16 Noble Houses that have great influence in the Civilized World. Aside from some impressive prestige, it gives no further bonuses (although social bonuses are not out of the question).
The less impressive version lets you start as a family member of one of the minor Noble Houses. There is no list of the minor Noble Houses, so the hero's player can make his own. They are never as influential as the major Noble Houses, so the Chronicler should make sure the player doesn't over step his boundaries.
(An even less impressive version might be an outcast from any of the Noble Houses. A bastard or someone who's brought shame to the family.)


Blind - You're blind and unable to see. You can't use your Perception or Agility Traits, or any Skill, for sight-based rolls.

Cursed - You start the game with an additional Curse, although that Curse does not have to belong to your primary Sin. The Chronicler is a final arbiter of what Curse you can begin play with.

Other physical effects - Missing arm or leg, only one eye, mute, deaf, crippled, paralyzed, and so on. Any negative, physical effect can be turned into a Drawback.

Poor - You start play with one less die to roll for your starting gold, or you lose 1d6 gold when this Drawback is gained. This Drawback cannot be taken at the start of a game with the Rich Asset. (See Other below for my thoughts on starting gold.)

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 08:58:28.
Edited on 2011-08-01 at 18:33:48 by Skari-dono

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Here are some other mechanics I've been thinking of using, as well as some other stuff:

Contacts Trait This trait has ranks 1-10, like Skills, but works in the same way as other Traits. This effectively works as a tool for the player to create a new contact for his character. I kinda ripped this from Burning Wheel, I admit. When arriving to a new place, the player can attempt to see if his character has a contact in the area and rolls his Contacts Trait. The mark is determined by how helpful this contact is (or how influential), how likely it is for the character to know this contact (based on Guild and Skills similarities) and how close by this character is (same street, same town, a day's travel away, etc.). Other things also modify the mark, such as how likely he is to help and how rural the area is.
The contact is made before the roll, and if successful he is likely to help (at a cost, perhaps). But if the roll fails, the Chronicler can decide to turn the contact into a rival or an enemy.

Alternative 1: Contacts is a trait of 1-5 ranks. When used, the character can spend Skills that are relevant to the contact (such as Politics for a politician, or Melee for a guard).

Alternative 2: Contacts is a Skill, not a Trait, and can be spent on Charisma rolls to create a new contact.

Starting Gold Each character has certain ammount of starting gold. This starting gold should be 5+1d6+(any benefits from Assets) or 2d6+(Assets), never less than 1 gold coin. The exact ammount is open to discussion, but should not be too much. This is dark fantasy setting after all. A brighter fantasy setting will likely have more starting gold.

Fame A thought I had about reversing the Contacts Trait. Effectively, this Trait is used to see if others recognize the character by rolling this Trait on behalf of the NPC, using similar modifiers as the Contacts roll.

Alternative 1: Fame is a special trait bought using Assets. It is limited in scope, including only a specific group of people (such as a Guild or a specific kingdom). The ranks are bought through the Asset (although the price is similar or same as Skills) and the mark is determined by the Chronicler.
A similar Drawback would be called Infamy and will cause fear and hate in the group in question. The Drawback determines the ranks but the cost is reversed into bonus for the character.

Alternate 1.1: Infamy is also treated as an Asset.

Church of the Seven Saints Setting wise, the Church is the 'enemy'. In the world of Sin, the Sinful (those who have activated their dark energy) are considered no less than demons, and it is the Church that hunts them down.

The Holy (those who practice within the Church) have not activated their dark energy, but have developed something similar. Instead of primary Sins, they have primary Virtues and have learnt Virtue Techniques. Additionally, the Church is divided into Covenants, which act much like Guilds and offer Covenant Techniques.

The Techniques of the Church won't be detailed at first, but I aim to add it in if this project gets well recepted.

Features Techniques are something learned through training. Features are mechanically much alike Techniques with some exceptions. Creatures are born with Features and everyone of that race has the same Features. Humans don't have Features, but some animals and beasts will. Since they are not Techniques, they do not suffer from effects that target Techniques specifically (such as Spells that make you "unlearn" Techniques) and are not limited in the same way.

Features are normally limited to animals and monsters, but some Fantasy Races might have couple of Features. Common Features include Thick Hide, Fur, Claws/Teeth, Wings, and so forth. Beasts can have as many Features as are needed to describe it, and monsters often have quite many Features.

Fatigue After doing some hard work, you begin to suffer Fatigue. Fatigue is a rating which you accumilate over time spent doing hard work without any rest. After this rating surpasses your Vitality or Power ranks (whichever is lower, or possibly combined, not sure yet), the hero starts suffering the ill effects of being Fatigued.

Alternative: Once the hero has accumilated enough Fatigue to suffer the penalty, he instead rolls his Vitality (Resistance) against a mark of (5x every Fatigue rating above the hero's Vitality/Power). If this alternative is used, the Fatigue must only surpass either Vitality or Power, which ever is lower.

Normal Fatigue rating is 0, but wearing armor adds to this base rating. Wearing light armor sets this base rating at 1 while Super Heavy armor will set it at 4. Every 10 minutes spent doing hard work increases the Fatigue rating by 1 (wearing any armor other than Light is considered hard work). This remains until the hero rests. Every 30 minutes of rest reduces the Fatigue by 1 (but not below any armor worn). Heroes cannot rest while wearing armor.

Experience Points Since there are no levels, EXP is used to buy new stats or increase old ones. Traits have a relatively high cost, Skills have lower cost, and Techniques and Spells have their own cost. This is an example of EXP costs:

Traits: 4x new Rank
Skills: Equal to new Rank
Techniques: 5 EXP
Spells: 5 EXP

Belonging to a Guild or Magic School might give discounts to some EXP costs, but that would likely belong to a Guild Technique of that Skill.

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 09:02:18.
Edited on 2011-08-08 at 21:20:21 by Skari-dono

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Terms I will use for this system (in case you haven't figured them out yet):

Chronicler: The GM

Player: Still the same

Hero/Anti-Hero: The PC

Non-hero: NPC

Villain: Major NPCs that are working against the Heroes

Church, the: The Church of the Seven Saints

Caster: Sorcerer/spell caster

Traits (upper case T): The 8 primary Traits of the system.

traits (lower case T): Everything else.

Not exactly terminology, but when I refer to a specific roll, I refer to it as [Trait] ([suggested Skill]) roll. For example, if I refer to a Charisma roll that can be improved with the Politics Skill, I label it as Charisma (Politics). Also, since Skills can overlap, all Skills in the brackets, even if seperated with 'or', can be used for the roll (such as Charisma (Politics or Socialize)).

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 13:50:48.
Edited on 2011-07-21 at 14:23:05 by Skari-dono

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Nice. I'm looking forward to having more time to read this fully, I have read about half so far.

Posted on 2011-07-21 at 14:00:02.

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I think I have now included everything I can remember for my RP system and setting (or actually, there is more to the setting than what I have written).

If you have any thoughts or ideas, I'd like to hear them so feel free to post.

Posted on 2011-07-22 at 00:12:48.

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So here are some thoughts about the Setting I'm working on for the system. It is not nearly completed, so there will be some gaps.

I am currently calling the world Galatea, but it is open to discussion and I would appreciate any ideas. It is likely to change.

Galatea is mostly ruled by the human race. Most important part of the setting is an area called "the Civil World". The Civil World would remind you of medieval architecture and such, mostly European, but further North you might find building in more of a Scandinavian and Northern European style.

North of the Civil World lies the Frozen Waste, land of the vikings and berserkers. To the East, the Barbaric Empire, home to samurai and odd shamans. To the South are the Savage Tribes, ruled by Sultans. To the West is the Endless Sea, stretching as far as the eye can see. No one has ever crossed the Endless Sea, not to the Civil World's knowledge anyway.

The Civil World is the starting point of the setting. Other parts of the world won't be explored just yet.

In the Civil World, the Sinful have awakened. They haven't been around for too many years, perhaps half a century, perhaps less. The important bit is, you don't consciously awaken your dark energy and there is no way of telling how it awakens. There are theories, including that powerful emotions awaken it, but they are only theories. Even priest can become one of the Sinful.

The Sinful always has what the Church calls the Mark of Guilt. This little mark is difficult to find, and most Witch Hunters make them up to hold onto their credibility. It is usually very easy to conceal, simply by putting some clothes over it, so many Sinful escape notice.

The Curch was founded around the same time as the Sinful began showing their faces, and has grown considerably in that short time. Every major city in the Civil World has a church or even cathedral dedicated to it.

The Church worships the Holy Light, and was founded by the seven saints which the Church is named after. The Church believes that when there are too many Sinful in the Civil World, the Holy Light will turn to darkness (in short). Or much rather, that the Sinful are a sign that the Holy Light is already turning dark. For that reason, the Church specializes in hunting down the Sinful and other dark creatures. To many of the common folk, the Church is the hero, but many Witch Hunters don't mind killing bystanders to get some respect. If there is no Sinful in town, make one up.

This is a fantasy setting, so there are fantasy creatures. There were Elves in those woods once, and Dwarves in those mountains, but neither Elves nor Dwarves have been seen in over a century. Their existance is starting to fade into legend and mystery, but dwarven craft still exists in the Civil World, and elven songs can still sometimes be heard sung by the bards.

The truth? Elves, Dwarves and Humans once populated the Civil World in harmony. At a certain time in history, paranoia and suspicion started growing among the races. Trust became a rare commodity. The Elves hid themselves in enchanted forests while the Dwarves mined deeper into the ground where they remain. Despite that, Dwarven crafted weapons have been found in the Frozen Waste, as well as dwarven runes. Scholars who bother with such things sometimes ponder whether the barbarians to the North have ever had any contact with the Dwarves, or if they perhaps still do.

Fantasy races will also be discussed later, much like foreign cultures.

Aside from the Church, there are other religions. One such church worships the immortal Elves. There are pagan worships, spirit worships, ancestral worship, and most other kinds. Some don't worship gods but rather hold on to philosophical belief. Religion does not give you any mechanical bonuses, unless they give access to new Techniques like a Guild.

No matter the size and pull of the various small religions, the Church is the most wide spread faith in the Civil World and is likely to sabotage other, minor churches, especially if they get in the way. After all, if they don't worship the Holy Light, could that not be the reason for the Light to turn to darkness?

Anvil: City State Anvil is the most notable city state in all of Galatea, rebuilt upon the ruins of an older city. Many of the streets are narrow and crooked, and crime is high but so is commerce.

The city itself is full of various districts. These districts have their own themes and some are referred to by theme since they don't have proper names yet.

Dragonloft: The sorcery district is also referred to as District of Towers or the Tower District. It has multiple high towers that can be seen from almost all over the city, and many sorcerers operate from their during their research into the arcane or teaching it.

Elvenhome: One of the oldest districts in the city is the center of foreign diplomacy. It is the home to many foreigners and diplomats.

Brighthallow: The Church of the Seven Saints has complete control over one of the districts. It has multiple churches dedicated to their belief, and all other buildings belong the Church and their followers.

"Banking": Often called the Thorshammer district for the Thorshammer family that operates primarily in banking. The district is full of riches and the rich, but it is most notable for its banks.

Winterhome: This is where the poor live. It is at the edge of the city, so much in fact that most of the city official do not count it among its concern. Those living there do think otherwise, however.

"Red-light": Perhaps it was an attempt at annoyance for the Church that one of the neighboring district to Brighthallow turned itself into a red-light district. It is full of brothels and other less decent activities, but is also home to some of the city's finest restaurants and theaters.

"Harbor": The city needs a harbor, and it has one. There are many activities there which are less than legal, but the city officials somehow don't mind too much as long as they get their shares.

"Shopping": The market district of Anvil is perhaps one of the most populated ones, specially during business hours. If there is a market for it, you are likely to find it here. Many immigrants also live in this district, which often causes people to believe the worst about it.

Bloodwinter: The military district, as it is sometimes called, is named after the Bloodwinter House. It houses the city's barracks and armory, and is home to the magnitude of the city's militia.

"Industrial": The industrial city of Anvil is perhaps the most dangerous. Not only is it crawling with criminals, but natural hazards are also in abundance. Hiding in the industrial district is easy, but finding your way out is often difficult.

"High Class": The high-class district is home to most of the city officials and politicians. Hotels, restaurants, massage parlors and everything you need to forget the troubles of the poor can be found here.

"Middle-Class": The middle-class district is further away from the city center. It does not have all the same niceties, but it is home to most craftsmen and scholars.

"Lower-class": The lower-class district is close to the rim of the city, but not as far away as Winterhome. It is home to most of the farmers that have land just outside the city, as well as those with badly paid jobs.

The 16 Noble Houses Galatea has several Noble Houses. These are family houses that have great influence over the land for one reason or another. One is a notable banking family while another is a powerful sorcery family. Seven of the Noble Houses are descendants from the Seven Saints and all of them have notable pull in the Church (which makes them influential in Galatea).

Bloodwinter: One of the most powerful House when it comes to military might. Bloodwinter has its keep in the north of the Civilized World, and focuses on defending the land from any attack from the Northern Clans.

Wavecrest: The Wavecrest House is the most notable for its fleet on the sea. Its home is in the islands to the north-west, and like Bloodwinter they protect the Civilized World from any attack the Northern barbarians might attempt by sea.

Thorshammer: The House of Banking is known for greed and gold. Nearly everyone in the Thorshammer family has studied the fine art of banking and mathematics. They often claim that they are descendants of Dwarves, but their family history does not reach far enough to suggest such a thing.

Magnus: The most prominent family in the arts of sorcery. The Magnus House is a specialist in the arts of the Wizardry School of Magic and most of Wizardry academies belong to House Magnus.

Stag: Their notable source of money and prestige is cartography. The House Stag is known for its travels and explorations to far away places. Secretly, their less known source of gold is tomb-raiding.





Gawain: The descendants of Gawain, the Saint of Fortitude. The Gawain House has great pull in, and is the prominent military power of, the Church.

Faustus: The descendants of Faustus, the Saint of Temperance. The House of Faustus is known as the source of sorcery within the Church and the only place to learn divine magic.

Daedalus: The descendants of Daedalus, the Saint of Prudence. Daedalus was a renowned builder and inventor, and his House has followed in his footsteps.

Posted on 2011-07-22 at 10:25:04.

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Beasts and Monsters

Here are some beasts and monsters I plan on including in the setting.

Male: troll-wer; Female: troll-wif.
Trolls are very slow creatures that lurk in the night, but are extremely tough and strong. They are immortal, unless killed, and are often called incarnations of Sloth. Trollskin is very tough and rare, and frequently made into leather armor. Troll-wives are often known to practise sorcery, but troll-weres are known for ferocity and hunting. During the day, trolls turn to stone and sleep. As soon as the sun sets, they awaken again.

A Valravn is a raven who has gain sentience by eating human flesh. Their eyes glow red and they can speak almost any human language. They are devious and manipulative, and what they want the most is to eat the heart of a human child. By doing so they gain even greater power, becoming wolves with the head of raven and wings.

There are two kinds of dragons. The more common ones are simply called dragons, but scholars who wish to distinguish them from their much bigger cousins often call them Minor Dragons. They are the size of a horse, have the ability to breath fire and they can fly. They collect gold to make their bed, and often find a dark place to make into their nests. This is ofter a bearcave or someone's basement.
The Ancient Dragons are far bigger and more dangerous. They can bring legions to their ruins, and the smallest burn from their breath will bring the strongest warrior to his grave. Like their smaller cousins, they collect gold to make their beds, but they require bigger nests so they are rarely found near human settlements (the basements are just too small). Some are even rumoured to sleep at the bottom of lake.




Dire Animals and Primordial Animals
Dire Animals are bigger and more vicious variety of the more common animals. They can grow up to twice the size of their normal kind, which makes dangerous animals even worse.
Primordial Animals are even bigger than that, but are luckily much rarer. They grow up to being ten times as big as their mundane counterparts, and some develop great intellect.

The Cynocephali are monstrous tribes, originally from the South but there are also tribes in the North. The Cynocepali have human bodies and the head of dogs. Some of them also have fur, but it is rare in the South. They seem civilized most of the time, are successful hunters and skilled in the use of bow and javelins. They often know how to read and write, and although they can understand human language they can only speak in the form of barks and growls.
The Northern tribes are far more vicious, but they rarely travel South to the Civilized World. They have more wolf-like heads, red eyes and nearly all of them have some fur. They are often thought to be werewolves, but they do not shapeshift and although they are vicious they are not nearly as destructive. Rare few know how to write and use Northern runic letters. They spell their race's name as kynokefal when writing in runes.

(More to come)

Posted on 2011-07-23 at 11:13:18.
Edited on 2011-07-24 at 10:41:29 by Skari-dono

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Races and Nations

Fantasy Races in the World of Sin

Elf - Pride

Dwarf - Greed

Goblin - Envy

Gnome - Sloth

Monstrous Races in the World of Sin

Satyr - Lust

Trollkin - Gluttony

Orken - Wrath

Foreign Nations

Northern Clans
In the far North, where the air is so cold it will rip off your skin, there live the barbarians. According to legend, they eat the hearts and livers of those they kill, and if you are lucky they will kill you instead of making you their personal plaything.
The Vikings of the North are barbaric, that is true, but how monstrous they are may have been exaggerated. Occasionally, their raiders make their way South, which is why the Civilized World has prepared its defences in the Northern parts.

Eastern Empires

Southern Tribes

Posted on 2011-07-23 at 13:02:19.
Edited on 2011-07-24 at 10:42:19 by Skari-dono

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Today is the day I take my computer apart before I move back to Iceland. I won't be using my computer for at least two weeks, possibly more.

In the meantime, I would very much like someone to post some thoughts. Anything that might be cool to include? Anything that might be better excluded? Criticism? I would specially like some ideas for Techniques or Assets/Drawbacks.

Anything, really. I hate posting ideas when I'm trying to get feedback and all I get is silence. I would very much like someone to post some input.


Posted on 2011-07-25 at 07:42:08.

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