Ishanekon: World Shapers, Licensed Ruletext by Jan Luyken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Welcome to Ishanekon: World Shapers. If this is your first roleplaying game, I suggest you start with the Beginner Introduction. Otherwise, this page is your best starting point.
IWS has the same basic structure as other table-top roleplaying games (TTRPGs), with a game master (GM) that controls the world and players that control one character each. It is played with a standard dice set (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d100). But what makes it different?
- It is 100% free. The whole rule set, all creature stats, all tools, and any future updates are and will be free while offering a complexity that is usually found only in paid TTRPGs.
- IWS can be used for basically any setting and has a wide variety of options to customize the rules to fit any kind of game style, be it classical fantasy adventures, cosmic horror, or detective games.
- You’ll have enormous freedom when customizing your character so you can play them exactly how you imagine the character in your head.
- There is a complexity filter that allows you to limit your options so that you are not overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. This website also includes beginner guides that help you get started.
IWS has the following design philosophies:
- You choose your game’s and character’s flavor. Features, Talents, and Abilities are mostly flavor-free so that you can fill in how you imagine your character to be. For example, the Ability Physical Bolt could be a telekinetic blow, firing a steel ball with a canon, hitting the enemy with a stream of high-pressure water, or just throwing a rock.
- Any way of playing a character should be viable, whether it is realistic or not. For example, your choice of weapon should not limit your ability to keep up with everybody else, even if a short bow could never keep up with an assault rifle in real life. Your options may have different strengths and weaknesses, but no one should be noticeably worse than most others. There may be ways to power game and be stronger than the average character, but no choice should feel worse than most or put you at a disadvantage.
- Creative freedom in your character design supersedes any rules about coherence or setting. IWS sacrifices limitations that might keep trouble players in check to offer you the tools to make whatever you want. This TTRPG relies on good communication between the GM and the players to ensure that nobody designs a character that does not fit your setting. A good session zero is advised.
- You do not have to play as a fighter. There are plenty of options that allow you to increase your options for out-of-combat utility. You could go so far as to design a character that has basically zero fighting capabilities.
- Fun before realism. Yes, it is realistic that you would eventually run out of ammunition. But for most people, it is rather tedious to keep track of all your arrows, bullets, and so on. IWS tries to focus on more streamlined and fun rules instead of making everything more realistic than it needs to be.
IWS aims to offer a great free TTRPG experience for any kind of table. I hope you have fun with it.
Become part of our community and join our Discord Server (https://discord.gg/C6gkwJc9R2). Take an active role in the development of Ishanekon: World Shapers, ask your questions, or just chill with us and hang out.
Complexity and Beginner Tag
Many features in this rule system have a complexity rating from 1 to 4. The complexity helps, especially new players, to narrow down their options to something more manageable while looking at the lists of Sub-Archetypes, features, abilities, or upgrades. This allows IWS to offer incredibly diverse options while still being beginner-friendly.
Complexity 1 has the simplest options. They are easy to understand, straightforward, and offer the easiest gameplay possibilities. They are usually simple and have direct effects that are used by a multitude of builds. It is hard to go wrong with complexity 1. Beginners should start here.
Complexity 2 offers more options with extra effects. It is usually not too complex but allows for more tactical options and spices up your gameplay. Most players will feel comfortable in this range since just relying on complexity 1 features can get boring rather quickly for most people. Players that already have TTRPG experience should start here.
Complexity 3 is where things start to get complicated. Most options here require specific builds and strategies to be used effectively. This is where the power gamers’ playground really starts to unfold and where you can find more exotic effects.
Complexity 4 features require advanced knowledge of this rule system and are usually extremely specific in their use. They allow for complex gameplay for advanced players.
You will also find a Beginner tag. Filtering for this tag reduces all features to a few core options. It is a good place to start if this is your very first TTRPG game and you have little experience with RPG systems in general.
There is also the core tag, which contains the most important features while leaving out the more exotic effects. This is a good option if you already have experience with other TTRPGs but are new to Ishanekon: World Shapers.
IWS uses seven different types of dice. Dice sizes are referred to by the letter d, followed by the highest number that you can roll on it. The classical cube-shaped six-sided die is referred to as d6.
The dice used in IWS are: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, and d100.
The number of dice you need to roll at any given point is indicated by a number in front of the dice. For example, 3d6 means that you must roll three six-sided dice and, in most cases, add up the results.
If you have to roll more than one dice of the same type, you can choose to roll it once and then multiply the result with the number of dice that you had to roll. Conversely, if you have to roll dice and you have an effect that multiplies the result, you may instead just increase (or decrease) the number of dice that you have to roll by the factor of multiplication. For example, if you use the Ability Physical Bolt with the Path of Damage, you have to roll 4d10 for the damage, but the result is halved by the Path of Damage. You can choose just to roll 2d10 instead to simplify the calculations. Do not forget that if you do this, even though the minimum, maximum, and average values stay the same, the variant changes.
You will be adding additional values to the result of the dice often. A natural roll refers to the number that you rolled without adding any other modifiers. For example, if you make a Skill Check, you would need to roll a d10 and add your Skill value to it. So if you rolled a 7 and had to add 2, you would have rolled a 9, but you would also have rolled a natural 7.
Advantage and Disadvantage
There are many situations in which certain actions are easier or harder to perform than normally. This is where the advantage and disadvantage mechanic comes into play. When somebody has advantage on a roll, they will roll the corresponding dice twice and pick the better result. In case they have disadvantage, they will also roll twice but have to pick the worse of the two results.
Many features and effects can directly give you or other creatures advantage or disadvantage on many kinds of rolls, but the GM may also decide to give advantage or disadvantage if they think it is appropriate for the situation.
Advantage and disadvantage cannot stack and cancel each other out.
If a feature allows you to choose between giving or gaining either advantage or disadvantage, you can choose to do so after knowing the result of the first roll if you do it as an reaction. Otherwise, you have to decide before the roll.
When calculating values, the results are always rounded down to the next full number unless it is stated that they should be rounded up or handled differently.
Generally speaking, you cannot reduce something to a negative value unless stated otherwise. For example, even if you can reduce incoming damage by more than the actual damage, you can not heal yourself with “negative” damage. You instead receive no damage.
When more than one multiplier is applied, these multipliers will be added to each another (not multiplied among themselves). For example, if you have two effects double the damage, your damage is tripled instead of quadrupled. Decreasing multipliers are multiplied with each other instead. So having two effects that half your damage would lead to it dealing a quarter of its original strength instead of no damage.
The Attacker and Defender calculate their multipliers separately.
Effects that add or subtract are added before multiplication on the attacker’s side and after multiplication on the defender’s side.
Here is an example that combines different calculations.
Let us presume that you are attacking with a weapon that deals 1d10 damage. You roll an 8, so your base damage is 8. Thanks to your Stats, you can add 2 to the damage making it a total of 10. You have the Path of Attack, and your Tier is 3, which allows you to increase the damage of your weapon attack twice by 50%. Since these factors are increasing multiplications, they must be added up, giving you a total damage increase of 100% for a total of 20. [ (8+2)*(1+0,5+0,5)=20 ]
Let’s further assume that the creature you are attacking is resistant to your damage, which halves it. In addition, they use the Ability Resist, which also halves the damage. Two decreasing multiplications are multiplied with each other, decreasing the damage by 75% to a total of 5. The creature’s Armor is 2, which reduces the damage by 2 to a total of 3. [ (20*0,5*0,5)-2=3 ]
The complete calculation, then, looks something like this: ((8+2)(1+0,5+0,5)0,5*0,5)-2=3
This is a fairly complex example. But don’t worry – most calculations during this game will be far simpler. This example should merely help you understand how the different layers interact with each other.
Multiple Simultaneous Effects
A creature that has multiple active instances of the same Status Effect or Ability is only affected by the strongest version of that effect unless the Status Effect, Ability, or feature explicitly allows for the effect to stack. Should the stronger version stop affecting them, the weaker version takes over if it’s still affecting the creature. This is true for positive and negative effects.
Effects that are allowed to stack with themselves last as long as the longest-lasting stack that has been applied.
Different negative or positive effects can stack without restrictions.
Objects and creatures that are bigger than that are classified as Big. If they do not fit in a 2m x 2m x 4m area, they are known as Big+. If they are twice as big, they will be categorized as Big ++, and so on.
Similarly, an object or creature that can fit in 0,5m x 0,5m x 1m is considered Small. If it fits in half that area, it is Smaller -, and so on.
For more rules on how size can affect creatures, see the creature rules.
|Size Category||Maximum Area|
|Big +++||16m x 16m x 32m|
|Big ++||8m x 8m x 16m|
|Big +||4m x 4m x 8m|
|Big||2m x 2m x 4m|
|Medium||1m x 1m x 2m|
|Small||0,5m x 0,5m x 1m|
|Small –||25cm x 25cm x 50cm|
|Small – –||12,5cm x 12,5cm x 25cm|
|Small – – –||6,25cm x 6,25cm x 1,25cm|
When the rules talk about “seeing” something, this does not mean you need to be sensing it with your eyes. You are still “seeing” something if you have any senses that allow you to pinpoint its position accurately.
For example, a normal blinded human would not be able to “see” anything because their other senses are not sharp enough to compensate. However, a blinded bat could still “see” its surroundings thanks to its echolocation.
Targeting and Hitting
Whenever you attack something or want to affect somebody with an Ability or feature, you need to target them. To target something, you need a direct line of sight, and it has to be within range of the weapon, Ability, or feature you are using. This does not mean that you need to be able to see it. There just needs to be a straight line between you and the potential target that is not completely blocked by something else. Abilities and features that mention different conditions, like the Ability Long-Range Telepathy that allows you to target a creature you have seen before, do not need a direct line of sight.
Some effects are triggered if you hit something. You only hit something if your attack roll was successful or the target fails all Defense Rolls you forced them to do. An effect that targets something that does not have an attack roll or forces the target to make any Defense Rolls will hit automatically. Beneficial effects like healing that you target at allies or yourself also count as a hit. For more information, see the combat rules.
Area of Effect Forms
The most basic form for an area-of-effect is a cube. The cube has equal length, width, and height. To keep it simpler, cubes in IWS are described by their base length and not their volume. So when we refer to a 3 m cube, we actually mean a 27 m³ cube.
When you use a weapon, Ability, or feature that uses a cube, you need to have a direct line of sight to the cube’s center. Every creature within the cube is targeted from that center. That means the effect will not be able to target a creature within the cube if there is a wall between them and the cube’s center large enough to give them full cover.
A line is any connection of spaces connected through at least one corner. The line does not have to be straight in any way. A 9 m line, for example, can be ordered in such a way that it creates a 3×3 m square.
When you use a weapon, Ability, or feature that uses a line, you need to have a direct line of sight to each space that you fill with your line. Every creature within that line is targeted from your position, just like any normal feature that targets something.
The Character is the lens through which a player interacts with the world and shapes it. With this in mind, crafting them into the kind of person (or creature) they want to play is important. Here you will find extensive rules that allow you to create and customize your character.
This page goes through all parts that make up your Character. You can find character sheets under Character Sheets. See the Character Creation Guide for a guide that helps you create a character. For information on what you have to keep in mind while Leveling up, see the Leveling Guide.
Remember that there are alternative rules for character creation should your game have different needs than the classical protagonist, which greatly grows in power over time.
Unlike most TTRPGs, Ishanekon: World Shapers does not enforce any form of flavor with most of its character features and Abilities. It is up to you to design the story behind your character, and the rules are only there to help you represent the image that you have in your head. Just because you are playing a War Berserker, it does not mean that you need to play an ax-wielding rage machine. Maybe your character instead is a swordmaster that falls into a battle trance or a superhero that can increase their power for a short burst.
YOU decide the flavor, not the rules. Feel free to break stereotypes that you associate with the Archetype, feature, or Ability names and play what you want to play (as long as it fits the setting that your group is playing).
Level and Tier
Your Character (and every other creature) has two metrics that mostly define their progress. Those are their Level and their Tier.
Levels are the more basic measurement. A creature can have a Level as low as 0. There are no real limits on how high a Level can get, but I recommend that characters should not level much past Level 12 since the game balance can get a bit wonky if you push it too far, and the complexity of most characters starts to exceed what most players can handle. Level 1 is a good starting Level for most campaigns, but you can feel free to choose another starting level to fit the needs of your story and group. A character gains a level when the GM finds it appropriate for the story.
A character gains all kinds of benefits when they gain a new Level. You can see an overview of everything that you gain per Level (except for Vitality, Willpower, and general Archetype proficiencies and Stats) in the following table. For more details, see the rest of the Character rules. You continue gaining Talents, Stat Points, Skill Points, Tiers, and Abilities at the same rate should you level beyond Level 12.
|Level||Archetype||Path||Sub-Archetype||Tier||Lesser Talent||Greater Talent||Stat Points||Skill Points||Abilities*||Abilities Total*|
|0||1 Feature||1 Path||1 Feature||1||27||2, 2, 2||2, 2, 2|
|1||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||2, 3, 4|
|2||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||3, 4, 6|
|3||1 Feature||2||1||1||2||0, 1, 2||3, 5, 8|
|4||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||4, 6, 10|
|5||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||4, 7, 12|
|6||1 Feature||3||1||1||2||1, 1, 2||5, 8, 14|
|7||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||5, 9, 16|
|8||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||6, 10, 18|
|9||1 Feature||4||1||1||2||0, 1, 2||6, 11, 20|
|10||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||7, 12, 22|
|11||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||7, 13, 24|
|12||1 Feature||5||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||8, 14, 26|
*Depending on Archetype (2 WP per level, 3 WP per level, 4 WP per level)
Your Character also has a Tier. The Tier represents a rough category of power and is somewhat of a milestone. The Tier limits how high your Stats and Skills can get, what Abilities you can learn, how much Willpower you can use in one turn, and to what extent you can craft and upgrade items. Other things are also influenced by your Tier. Your Tier increases by one after every three Levels. You start with Tier 1 at Level 0. For more details, see the rest of the Character rules.
You get to choose one Archetype when you create your character. Your Archetype is the foundation of your character on which you build their identity. There are 10 Archetypes total, each with its strengths and weaknesses. You can see the different options under Archetypes. Your Archetype defines the following features:
- What your Primary and Secondary Stat is (You must choose one if there are multiple options).
- How much your Vitality and Willpower increase per Level (7 and 2, 5 and 3, or 3 and 4).
- The number of Skill Points that you start with.
- In what armors and weapons you are proficient in.
- What your Evasion Stat is (You must choose one if there are multiple options).
- How many Abilities you can learn per Level.
- One Archetype feature.
- Which Sub-Archetypes you can choose.
After you gain an Archetype, you must choose a Sub-Archetype. A Sub-Archetype gives you a new feature for each Tier that you gain up to Tier 5 (Level 12) and helps you define what kind of character you want to play.
Your Stats represent your Physical and Mental Attributes and form the core of your Character. There are seven Stats:
- Strength: Your general physical fitness and power. Your carry capacity is equal to twice your Strength Stat.
- Dexterity: Your flexibility, precision, and speed. Your base Evasion equals your Dexterity.
- Constitution: Your general physical toughness. Your base Vitality equals your Constitution, and it increases your max Temporary Vitality by the same amount.
- Intelligence: Your logical thinking capabilities and your memory. You gain Skill Points equal to your Intelligence stat.
- Charisma: Your general charm and good looks, as well as your luck and artistic creativity. Your max Narrative Momentum is equal to your Charisma Stat.
- Instinct: Your ability to act without thinking. Your basic Initiative equals twice your Instinct Stat.
- Will: Your determination. Your base Willpower is equal to your Will Stat, and it increases your max Temporary Vitality by the same amount.
At Level 0, you have 7 in each Stat, and you can spend 27 Stat Points as you see fit in each Stat. Alternatively, you can roll 5+3d4, dropping the lowest d4 seven times, and use the results for your Stats if you prefer it to be random. The maximum value that a Stat can have equals 12 + your Tier.
|Tier (Level Range)||Max Stat Limit|
You also have a Stat Bonus for each Stat that results out of the Stat value. Your Stat Bonus equals your Stat – 10. Somebody with 13 Strength and 9 Dexterity would have a Strength Bonus of +3 and a Dexterity Bonus of -1.
When you gain your Archetype, you also gain your Primary and Secondary Stat (which are each one of the seven stats). Both Stats influence your Ability hit bonus. The Primary Stat also forms the basis for your Defense Roll Power, and many features are also affected by it. For more information, see below under Abilities and in the chapter Combat.
Your Character has four Resources that they can use. These are Vitality, Temporary Vitality, Willpower, and Narrative Momentum.
The Vitality of your Character represents their overall health. It is reduced whenever they receive damage, but it can also be replenished by Healing Abilities. Your maximum Vitality equals your Constitution plus the Vitality you gain each Level through your Archetype (and sometimes some features, Talents, and upgrades).
You do not immediately die when your Vitality drops below 1. Instead, you keep track of your negative Vitality, and you are restrained. This cannot be prevented unless a feature says explicitly otherwise. You also gain the Bleeding Status Effect. The DR Power of the bleeding is 10. You stabilize and stop bleeding if you roll at least a 20 on your DR against bleeding. If somebody heals you or uses the Stabilize action (3 AP) while next to you, you also remove the bleeding. You stay restrained until you have at least 1 Vitality.
You die if your Vitality drops below the negative value of your maximum Vitality. You would die with -31 Vitality, for example, should you have a maximum Vitality of 30 but still be alive with -30. A dead creature cannot be healed by any normal Healing Ability or feature.
Your Temporary Vitality works as a buffer for your Vitality and is an abstraction for additional replenishable defenses like an energy shield or determination that allows you to endure more pain. Any damage that you receive is first subtracted from your Temporary Vitality. Only once you run out of Temporary Vitality does damage actually affect your Vitality.
Your maximum Temporary Vitality is equal to your Constitution plus your Will plus your twice your Level. It starts at 0 and is reduced to 0 after each rest you take.
Your Willpower (WP) is an abstraction for your energy reserves, resources, physical endurance, and other things that limit your actions. You use your WP as fuel for your Abilities. You can only use a number of WP equal to your Tier times two plus two on one Ability and during one turn.
Your maximum WP equals your Will plus the WP you gain each Level through your Archetype (and sometimes some features, Talents, and upgrades). It is harder to replenish WP compared to Vitality. You usually regain it by taking a rest or using stimulants.
Sometimes, a protagonist can push themselves beyond their normal limits for the sake of the story, leading to clutch moments that barely get resolved. The Narrative Momentum mechanic allows player characters to achieve just that.
Each Character has a maximum Narrative Momentum equal to their Charisma plus their Luck Skill Level. A Character can use their Narrative Momentum at any time to reroll any rolled dice and choose one of the two results. How much Narrative Momentum has to be used depends on the die that is rerolled. 1 for d4, 2 for d6 and d8, 3 for d10 and d12 and 7 for d20. You can also use 3 Narrative Momentum for a Cinematic Action or Reaction.
A character regains half of their Narrative Momentum after a full rest. A character can also gain one level of Exhaustion to gain an amount of Narrative Momentum equal to 1 plus their Luck Skill Level at the moment they need it. The effects of the Exhaustion are applied after rerolls have taken effect if the Narrative Momentum is used immediately. This Exhaustion cannot be prevented in any way. The GM can award Narrative Momentum for good role-play and interacting with the story and environment in interesting and inventive ways.
Paths determine the core mechanic that your character revolves around. You choose one Path when you create your character. You cannot gain a second Path in any way.
Different Paths are more or less essential for specific playstyles. For example, a character that mainly relies on weapon attacks should take Path of Attack to gain more attacks for their attack action whenever they reach a new Tier.
You can find a list of all Paths here.
Skills are a list of 33 areas in which your character can be trained. Each Skill has one Stat with which it is connected and has a Skill Level. The maximum Skill Level a character can have equals 2 + their Tier.
A character can often use different Skills to attempt to solve problems during their adventure, such as sneaking by some enemies, repairing a machine, or convincing a merchant to give them a discount. The GM decides if a player has to make a Skill Check to determine if they apply their Skill successfully, but players can suggest Skills Checks combined with the action they are trying to perform.
To make a Skill Check, the Player rolls a d10 and adds their Skill Level in that Skill and half of their corresponding Stat Bonus to it. (Example: Stealth Check with Dexterity Bonus +2 and Skill Level 0, rolled a 4 on the d10, the result is 4+1+0 = 5. History Check with Intelligence Bonus -1 and Skill Level 3, rolled a 7 on the d10, the result is 7-1+3=9). They succeed if they roll at least as high as a number determined by the GM. The number should correlate with the difficulty of the task. You can choose to fail your own Skill Check.
The GM does not need to tell the players the exact number, but if they ask, the GM can, depending on the situation, imply how difficult or easy a task is. For example, the GM could say that it seems very dangerous to climb a cliff without climbing gear implying a very difficult Athletics or Nimbleness Check.
You have a critical failure that guarantees you fail the Skill Check if you roll a natural 1 on the d10. You cannot have a critical failure if you have a Skill Level of at least 5 in that Skill.
You have a critical success, which guarantees that you succeed on the Skill Check if you roll a natural 10. A critical success cannot help you with an impossible task. A normal human, for example, will not be able to jump to the moon just because they had a critical success on an Athletics Check. You cannot have a critical success with a Skill that has a Skill Level that is lower than 3.
Sometimes two creatures have to compete with their Skills. For example, a character that wants to sneak past a guard would need to roll higher on their Stealth Skill Check than the guard on their Perception Skill Check to pull it off successfully. Another example would be two people that play a game of chess. In that case, both would need to compete against each other with an Analysis Skill Check.
Sometimes a group works together on one Skill Check, like trying to break through a gate. There are two scenarios when that happens:
1. The whole group succeeds if only one creature in that group succeeds (examples are seeing if anybody knows something about a subject or trying to find a hidden door when everybody is looking). In this case, only the creature with the highest value in that Skill makes a Skill Check and gains advantage on it.
2. The whole group fails if only one creature in that group fails (examples are trying to sneak by a creature or trying to avoid triggering a trap that would hit everybody). In this case, only the creature with the lowest value makes a Skill Check. They have disadvantage on that Skill Check if at least one creature in that group would have disadvantage on it for any reason.
You gain a number of Skill Points determent by your Archetype (3, 6, or 9) plus an amount equal to your Intelligence Stat at Level 0. You can use them to gain Skill Levels in any Skill you want. You can also use your Skill Points to learn a language, but only at character creation. You start with two languages of your choice as a default.
Here is an Overview of all Skills and what they are used for:
- Athletics: This represents how well your body is trained for all sorts of physical activities and sports. Examples of activities that use Athletics are running, jumping, climbing, swimming, and participating in sports. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
- Menace: How physically intimidating you are, be it because of your muscles or more unnatural body parts like horns, sharp teeth, or unnatural eyes. This Skill is mostly used to intimidate other people and creatures.
- Raw Force: Your ability to apply raw physical force. It is used, for example, to move heavy objects, break doors, and carry something. Your Skill Level in it is added to Strength Defense Rolls.
- Lockpicking: Your ability to open mechanical Locks and disable traps.
- Nimbleness: How quick you are on your feet and your general acrobatic abilities. It can be used to climb and jump, just like Athletics, but it is also useful to keep your balance and dodge things. Your Skill Level in it is added to Dexterity Defense Rolls.
- Quick Fingers: How well you can use your fingers and hands in a quick and precise way. It is the go-to Skill when it comes to pick-pocketing somebody, but it can also be used for magic tricks, precision work, and hiding things without being noticed. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
- Stealth: Your ability to move silently and without being seen. It is mostly used to sneak by other creatures or to hide.
- Endurance: The ability of your body to endure pain and hardship. Examples of its use are withstanding the negative effects of doing a physically tasking action for a long duration of time, enduring pain, and surviving critical wounds. Your Skill Level in it is added to Constitution Defense Rolls.
- Analysis: Your ability to find clues and your general skill at reasoning and logical thinking. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
- Computers: Your knowledge of hard- and software and your general computational affinity. It is also the go-to Skill to hack into digital devices. It can be used to upgrade technology-based items.
- Engineering: Your knowledge of machines and how adept you are at building and using mechanical devices. It is used if you want to build, repair or understand different kinds of machines. It also represents different forms of more complex handicrafts like blacksmithing or carpentering. It can be used to craft and upgrade various technology and technique-based items.
- History: Your knowledge of history, customs, and culture and your ability to remember information and general knowledge. It also allows you to craft and upgrade some historical items.
- Medicine: Your medical knowledge and your ability to treat somebody over longer periods of time. This Skill can be used to diagnose a disease, treat poison, or conduct surgery. You can use it to craft biology and technology-based Ability items and consumables.
- Natural Science: Your general knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and other similar sciences. You can upgrade and craft all kinds of biology, technique, or technology-based items with it.
- Psychology: Your knowledge about the minds of others and yourself. It can be used to read people, play into their weaknesses, or treat psychological illnesses. It also helps you to find your own biases and mental weaknesses. Your Skill Level in it is added to Intelligence Defense Rolls.
- Supernatural: Your knowledge of magic, deities, and paranormal phenomena. It also represents how good you are at interacting with magical objects and devices and how to craft and upgrade them.
- Art: Your knowledge about paintings, music, theater, and other forms of artistic expression. It also shows how good you are at creating and performing art. Examples of activities that require an Art Check are painting a picture, performing in front of a crowd, or recognizing which artist made a sculpture. You can also craft and upgrade a few supernatural and technique-based items with it.
- Deception: Your ability to convincingly lie and manipulate other people. You use it when you want to trick somebody or convince them of a lie.
- Disguising: Your ability to don disguises and mimic other people’s behavior and voices. You can use it if you want to pretend to be someone or something else, when you mimic a noise or voice, or when you are making and wearing a disguise to fool somebody.
- Grace: Your looks, charm, how elegant you move, and ability to seduce people with a corresponding sexual orientation. You use this skill if you try to flirt with someone or to impress somebody with your beauty and elegance. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
- Luck: How lucky you are. This Skill is used in mostly or purely luck-based activities, like gambling, stumbling upon positive coincidences, or avoiding unlucky events. Your Luck Level is added to your max Narrative Momentum.
- Persuasion: Your ability to convince other people with your words. You can use it to barter for a better price, convince somebody to help you or try to make a good first impression.
- Presence: How much authority you emanate, how inspiring you are, and the power of your personality. You can use this Skill to intimidate somebody, inspire a crowd with a speech, or convince somebody that they should follow your orders. Your Skill Level in it is added to Charisma Defense Rolls.
- Animal Handling: Your ability to communicate and manipulate animals. Examples of Skill checks that require Animal Handling are trying to tame an animal, trying to calm it down, or trying to ride one.
- First Aid: Your ability to treat wounds. It is mostly used to stabilize creatures that are bleeding out.
- Improvisation: Your ability to act quickly and react to unexpected situations. It also represents simpler crafting capabilities like cooking, knitting, and woodcarving. You can also craft (but not upgrade) some simple tools and weapons with it. Your Skill Level in it is added to your Initiative.
- Intuition: Your ability to sense if something is about to happen and recognize what is truly going on. It also helps you to recognize the true motives of another creature. Your Skill Level in it is added to Instinct Defense Rolls.
- Meta: To which degree your character is aware that it is fictional and their skill to access knowledge that they could not know. They may be able to recognize story tropes or even interact with the narrative flow directly. It is also useful to see the future and other oracle-like abilities.
- Perception: How good your senses are and how well you can spot hidden things. You can use it to detect a creature trying to sneak or hide and find hidden objects and mechanisms.
- Street Smarts: Your ability to handle yourself in cities and civilization. It helps you to get your ways with laws, recognize what kind of neighborhood you are in, or find the kind of people that have the information or items that you need.
- Survival: Your ability to handle yourself in nature. You can use it to find food, track other creatures, and not get lost in nature.
- Vehicle Handling: Your ability to use vehicles. Your Vehicle Handling Skill has a direct influence on the Stats of vehicles that you use. For more information, see Vehicles.
- Perseverance: The ability of your mind to endure pain and hardship. Examples of its use are withstanding madness, fear or torture. It can also represent Faith. Your Skill Level in it is added to Will Defense Rolls.
- Supernatural: Abilities and features based on supernatural powers, like magic, miracles, or curses.
- Technology: Abilities and features based on technology, like gadgets, chemical concoctions, electronics, or machines.
- Biology: Abilities and features based on biological abilities, like superpowers, mutations, or natural weapons.
- Technique: Abilities and features based on training, talent, and skill, like a sword technique or a psychological trick.
The flavor of your character (which you choose freely) determines their power source. A character can have a mix of power sources for different Abilities and features. For example, a soldier could use technique to make a precision shot with their assault rifle but use technology to throw an explosive with the Grenade Ability.
A feature or Ability can have a flavor that puts it in multiple power source categories, like a techno-magical device or a super-powered punch that uses martial arts techniques. Each feature and Ability has only one power source relevant to the rules if it falls into two or more categories. The power sources have a hierarchy that determents which one of them is the relevant one if combined. The hierarchy is Supernatural -> Technology -> Biology -> Technique. Therefore, the techno-magical device would fall under supernatural, and the super-powered punch that uses martial arts techniques would fall under biology.
Greater and Lesser Talents
Talents are features you choose whenever you gain a Level that gives your character different benefits. You can further customize your character with Talents and specialize. There are two kinds of Talents, Greater and Lesser.
You gain one Greater Talent whenever you gain an even Level other than 0. Greater Talents grant more powerful benefits and define and expand the core strengths of your character. You can, among other things, gain access to the features of other Sub-Archetypes, specialize in a specific weapon or damage type, or gain great boons associated with mastered Skills.
You gain one Lesser Talent whenever you gain an uneven Level. Lesser Talents give smaller benefits, which can be helpful nonetheless. They allow you to customize your character in ways that help you gain a specific flavor.
Whenever you gain a Level, you can replace one Talent you learned with another Talent of the same type.
Your Character can learn Abilities from a pool of over 800 Abilities. Abilities allow you to achieve all kinds of powerful and useful feats, like hurling a ball of fire towards your enemies, healing your allies, detecting the lifeforce of creatures, and much much more.
You need Willpower (WP) to use Abilities. The more powerful an Ability is, the more Willpower you will need to use it. You can also use more Willpower than required to increase the power of the Ability with most of them. This is called upcasting, and an Ability will tell you what options you have to upcast it. Upcast effects can be, for example, that the Ability deals more damage, that it affects a bigger area or more targets, or that it lasts longer.
The Poison Grenade Ability, for example, costs 2 WP to use, but you can upcast it by 1 WP for a total of 3 WP to apply an additional stack of Poison if you hit your target. You can further increase the number of Poison stacks for each additional WP that you use while using this Ability. You can also use 2 WP to increase the area of effect of the Poison Grenade by 1 m. You can mix and match the different upcast options.
There is a limit to how much you can upcast an Ability. This is called your WP upcast limit, and it is equal to your Tier times two plus two. You cannot upcast an Ability beyond your WP upcast limit even if a feature or other effect reduces the amount of WP you have to spend on the Ability. For example, you would not be able to upcast the Poison Grenade Ability by 3 WP to a total of 5 WP if you are only Level 1 and therefore have a Tier of 1. Even if you have the Greater Talent Intuition Master that reduces the WP cost of all of your Abilities by 1, you can only upcast by 2 WP for a total WP Cost of 3 since, effectively, it is a 4 WP Ability. Features that allow you to upcast Abilities for free ignore your WP upcast limit unless stated otherwise.
Abilities also have a Tier associated with them. You cannot learn Abilities that are of a higher Tier than you. The Tier of an Ability depends on how much WP it costs to use. The limit is two times the Tier plus two before the Ability reaches a new Tier. The Tier of an Ability increases beyond their normal Tier if you upcast it to an extent that its new WP costs are within a new Tier. The Ability Tier depends on how much WP it would cost to use it without taking into account any WP cost reduction or free upcasting that you would get from features. For example, a Level 3 character with the Path of Damage might be able to use a Damage Ability for 1 WP, but since it is upcast to their upcast limit, it is still a Tier 2 Ability even if its effective WP cost is 1.
You learn two Abilities at Level 0. You then learn Abilities while leveling up. How many new Abilities you learn depends on which Archetype you have chosen. Archetypes that gain 2 WP per Level (Bulwark, War) learn one Ability every second Level (even). Those that gain 3 WP per Level learn an Ability each Level (Cunning, Demolition, Nature, Technology, Unarmed). Finally, Archetypes that gain 4 WP per Level learn two Abilities per Level (Creative, Mental, Reality).
Not every Archetype can learn every Ability. Each Archetype has its own pool of Abilities that it can learn. There are however ways to tap into the Ability pools of other Archetypes through Talents.
Some Abilities have instantaneous effects like causing an explosion, but other Abilities cause effects that last longer, like Buffs and Summons. The creature that used that Ability can cancel its effect at any time.
You only have to work 10 hours a day for any Ability that takes longer than 24 hours to use.
You can find a list of all Abilities here.
There are different types of Abilities. The Ability types do not only roughly describe what an Ability does, but they are also important for the rules. Many features affect only a specific type of Ability or do not work if the Ability is of a specific type. There are the following Ability types:
You can only have one Buff Ability active at a time. Your first Buff Ability stops working should you use another Buff Ability while it is still active.
Control Abilities change the battlefield and disrupt the enemy. Abilities that improve your and your allies’ defenses are also Control Abilities.
Any Ability that can directly deal damage is a Damage Ability. An Ability is also a Damage Ability if you can only directly deal damage with it if you upcast it.
Debuff Abilities greatly weaken one or more targets. The effects usually go beyond normal Status Effects and can severely cripple your enemies.
You can only have one Debuff Ability active at a time. Your first Debuff Ability stops working should you use another Debuff Ability while it is still active.
The WP cost of a Healing Ability cannot be reduced below 1 unless a feature specifically says so.
Abilities that require physical movement or are part of a weapon attack count as a Maneuver.
You can only use one Maneuver Ability with a weapon attack. You have to declare that you want to use a Maneuver Ability on a weapon attack (including any upcasts you want to make) before making that attack. Maneuver Abilities cannot be used with the attacks of area-of-effect weapons. You cannot combine weapon attacks gained through Abilities with other Maneuvers. Features and effects that increase the damage of weapon attacks and Abilities (like the Retaliator feature Payback) or grant them additional benefits (like the Enforcer feature Enforcing Attacks) do not stack when you use a Maneuver Ability with a weapon attack and only grant their additional damage once.
You cannot turn Maneuver Abilities into Ability items.
Speak with the GM to determent what kind of creatures you summon when you use these Abilities. Together you can decide what fits best into the narrative and how many types of different creatures you can summon. You can find potential summon creatures here.
Creatures that you summon act on their own accord unless you use a Command action (1 AP) to give them orders, which allows you to take direct control over them until your next turn. You automatically use the Command action when using a Summon Ability.
Creatures you summon only have half as much WP as normal, and their healing is reduced by half (this includes any healing they enable other creatures to do, like with the Ability Healing Flow). Their weapons, armor, and equipment are of the same Tier as they are, but you can integrate items you crafted or found into the summons.
Creatures that you summon can use Summon Abilities, but creatures that were summoned by summons cannot, and they only have 1 Vitality.
Transform Abilities allow you to transform yourself or other targets into different objects and creatures. You can only have one Transform Ability active at a time. Speak with the GM to determent what kind of creatures you can transform into when you use these Abilities. Together you can determent what fits best into the narrative and how many types of different forms your Ability can take. You can find creatures that you can potentially transform into here. Most transformations of creatures into other creatures follow these rules:
Their creature type changes to that of the new form. The target’s Vitality, Temporary Vitality, Willpower, and Narrative Momentum do not change when they transform. They gain the Primary, Secondary, and Evasion Stat of the new form. You replace their Stats with those of the new form. They gain all of the new forms Abilities, Skills, and features, but they lose their own.
When you transform into a new form, you gain Temporary Vitality equal to twice the Tier of the new form if you transformed into a Hybrid creature and four times the Tier of the new form if you transformed into a Fighter creature. Any feature that increases or decreases the max Vitality per Level of the creature that you transform into increases or decreases the received Temporary Vitality by 1 per Tier per Vitality they gain per Level. You instead receive an equal amount of damage should the value of gained Temporary Vitality drop into the negative.
Any features that increase (or decrease) the amount of WP the creature gains that you transform into decrease (or increase) the WP cost of the Transformation by 1 WP for each WP that the creature form gains per Level through those features. This cannot reduce the WP cost of the Transform Ability below 1.
You can choose if they keep their weapons, armor, and equipment during the transformation (which adapts to potential new sizes) or if they exchange them with those of the new form. The weapons, armor, and equipment of the transformation have the same Tier as the creature that they transformed into if they do not keep their own items. The items change back when the transformation stops.
They transform back as soon as their Vitality drops below 1.
Some Transform Abilities have unique rules, which you can find in the corresponding Abilities.
Utility Abilities encompass many different Abilities that are usually most useful outside of combat. Many Abilities that do not fit in other categories are of this type by default.
If a player uses a Utility Ability in combat, its effects should not be more effective than another Ability with the same WP cost, especially if it can be repeated easily. The GM should also provide the target a way to defend themselves against it, be it through forcing the user to make an Ability attack or by allowing the defender to make a DR. For example, should somebody try to use Manipulate Water to suck the water out of a creature to damage them, the target gets to make an Instinct DR to mitigate the full damage. It would deal at most 2d8 Physical damage like the Ability Physical Surge, which has the same WP cost.
Every Character has a Basic Movement that determines how much they can move during their turn. The Basic Movement is 3 m if there are no modifiers.
Many features and Abilities can increase or decrease the Basic Movement of your character, allies, and enemies.
Basic Movement should not be confused with movement. Movement refers to what distance a creature can still move during a turn without taking any additional action into account. A creature with a Basic Movement of 3 m starts with 3 m of movement at the start of the turn. Should they take the Move action once and not move during their turn, they would have a movement of 6 m, for example. They have a movement of 5 m if they move 1 m.
Traits are an optional rule that allows you to customize your character further if a normal humanoid is not quite what you are looking for. They allow you to greatly change the type of character you can play. This allows you to play as a robot with four arms, a vampire that does not need food but blood, a giant dragon, an eldritch horror, or just as a dog.
When you make your character, you can choose from a list of different Traits. Each Trait has a value assigned to them. You can take as many Traits as you like, but the sum of the value of all the chosen Traits cannot be higher than 0. Your GM may allow a higher limit if it suits the story that you want to tell.
There are two reasons why these rules are optional. The first reason is that it adds another layer of complexity that might not be needed since most TTRPGs are just played with relatively normal humanoids.
The second reason is more important, though. The incredible freedom that Traits give you also leads to the problem that they are easily exploitable for power gamers by taking negative Traits irrelevant to their character. GMs, be very careful when allowing Traits if you know that you have one or more players who are more interested in optimizing their build than in creating an interesting character. I would recommend that you take a look at the Traits of their characters should you still want to allow the use of Traits to ensure that they are not misused.
You can find a list of all Traits here.
Depending on your type of game, you may have many encounters with foes where peace is not an option (or at least not the option you choose). These battle rules help you simulate those intense contests of might, be it with swords, magic, superpowers, guns, or just a well-placed fist.
Combat only starts if there are at least two parties involved that truly wish to fight and have the capabilities to do so. Randomly punching rocks does not start combat. Neither does attacking innocent civilians that cannot fight back if there is nobody there willing to defend them. Players randomly brawling with the intention of triggering and using features that only work during combat does not start combat either.
Everybody that fights on your side counts as an ally. That includes yourself. Every other combatant on the battlefield counts as an enemy.
Rounds and Turns
Each combat is divided into multiple rounds. Each combatant gets one turn during one round. How much time passes during one round depends on what kind of game you are playing. A relatively normal game with epic heroes and villains might have rounds that roughly take 12 seconds. On the other hand, you may be playing a game more akin to shounen anime, or one with extremely superpowered individuals, where a round could take less than a second. You decide what amount of time makes the most sense for your setting. Regardless, any feature or Ability that lasts for five rounds should roughly last one minute outside of combat.
Each participant gets three Action Points (AP) during their turn. They can use their AP for all kinds of actions during combat. For a list of all common actions, see Basic Actions. They can also move by an amount equal to their Basic Movement (usually 3 m) without needing to use any AP. Each participant also gains two Reaction Points (RP) for the whole round. RP can be used to act outside of your turn but usually require specific features or Abilities to be used.
The order in which participants take their turns is determined by their Initiative. The creature with the highest Initiative goes first, then the one with the second highest, and so on. If two creatures have the same Initiative, the GM decides who goes first. Your Instinct Stat times two plus your Athletics, Quick Fingers, Analysis, Grace, and Improvisation Skill Levels determine your Initiative. The Initiative of objects is always 0.
Any Participant can hold their turn and take it later in a round. Should more than one creature hold their turn to the end of the round, they will take turns according to their Initiative. If any of those creatures refuse, they lose their turn for this round. Any effects that last until a creature’s next turn stop when their turn would normally start even if the creature decides to hold their turn. Any effects that last until the end of a creature’s turn keep being in effect until a creature ends their turn or they lose it.
Two or more creatures can decide to act as a union at the start of a round. All creatures of a union have their turn at the same time and can alternate their actions and movement. The Initiative of a union is equal to the sum of the Initiative of all participating creatures divided by the number of those creatures. For example, a knight with an Initiative of 26 that decides to make a union with their horse that has an Initiative of 32 would have an Initiative of (26+32)/2=29.
Initiative is determined at the beginning of a turn. Any effects that alter your Initiative value only change the turn order in the next round and not in the current one.
A creature loses their turn in the first round if they are surprised by the combat. This can be achieved, for example, if the attackers sneak up on them with a successful Stealth Check or if they walk into an ambush without noticing it through a Perception or Intuition Check.
Here is a list of the most basic actions that even a beginner should learn. It contains everything you need for a basic battle.
|Attack||2||You can make one weapon attack. It does not have to be during the same action, but it has to be on your turn. You can make attacks in any order you like if a feature or Ability (like Path of Attack or Multi-Wielder) allows you to make additional attacks with this action.|
|Defend||2||Attack rolls against you have disadvantage, and you have advantage on all your DR until your next turn.|
|Interact with Target||1||You make a simple and quick interaction with an object or creature, like pushing a button, picking up a weapon, opening a door, giving an ally an item, or trying to poke a creature. You can make one free Interact with Target action on your turn unless you have already used a free Switch Weapons action.|
|Move||1||You increase your movement by an amount equal to your Basic Movement.|
|Sprint||3||You increase your movement by an amount equal to four times your Basic Movement.|
|Stabilize||3||You can make a First Aid Check against 8. On a success, you can remove the Bleeding Status Effect from a creature within 1 m of you.|
|Switch Places||1||You can switch places with an ally that is standing next to you. They must use a reaction (1 RP), or this action fails.|
|Switch Weapons||1||You can change the weapons/shields and equipment that you are wielding. You can perform this action for free on your turn once if you are not holding anything in the hand that you want to use to draw a weapon or if you just want to sheathe a weapon without replacing it with another. You cannot make one free Switch Weapons action on your turn if you already used a free Interact with Target action.|
|Taking Cover||1||Your Evasion increases by 2 and your DR by 1, as long as you are in half cover.|
|Use Item||3||Use a non-ability consumable, such as a stimulant.|
Here is a list of actions for players and GMs that want to extend their options in combat. These are more advanced actions that are not necessary for beginners, but they allow you to get more out of combat and add tactical options.
|Blind||2||You can try to blind a target within 1 m of you until the end of their next turn. If you succeed on a Quick Fingers or Nimbleness Check against the target’s Improvisation or Endurance Check, you successfully blind them. The target cannot be larger than one size category above your own. If the target is larger than you are, they gain advantage on their check. If they are smaller, you gain an advantage on your check.|
|Climb||2||You try to climb onto a target that is within 1 m of you and is at least one size category larger than you. You need at least one free hand or the ability to climb without using your hands to attempt this. If you succeed on an Athletics or Nimbleness check against the target’s Athletics, Raw Force, Nimbleness, or Quick Fingers check, you successfully climb onto the target. You occupy a space that is also occupied by the target, and you move with it if it moves. The target gains disadvantage if it tries to attack you. It can try to shake you off by using an action (2 AP) repeating the Skill Checks and will shake you off successfully if you fail the Skill Check. Any attack that targets you and misses targets the creature you have climbed onto instead.|
|Command||1||You take direct control over all of your summons until your next turn as long as they are not affected by anything that makes them lose control.|
|Disarm||2||You try to force a target that is within 1 m of you to drop one item that it is holding in their hand. You and your target make an Athletics, Nimbleness, Raw Force, or Quick Finger Check. You succeed if you roll higher than your target. You can take the dropped item if you have at least one free hand.|
|Grab||2||You try to grab a target within 1 m of you with a free hand. If you succeed on an Athletics or Raw Force Check against the target’s Athletics, Raw Force, or Nimbleness Check, you successfully grab the creature. That creature cannot be larger than one size category above your own. If the target is larger than you are, they gain advantage on their check. If they are smaller, you gain advantage on your check.|
|Hide||2||You can try to hide from all enemies if none of them sees you. You successfully hide if you beat their Perception Check with your Stealth Check. While you are hidden, you have advantage on all of your attacks, and the enemies do not know where you are. You stop being hidden if an enemy sees you or you take any action that would clearly give away your location. You stay hidden until the end of the turn if this happens during your turn. You can stay hidden if you successfully take the Hide action after anything that would reveal you and before your turn ends.|
|Shove||1||You can try to move a target within 1 m of you up to 1 m. If you succeed on an Athletics or Raw Force Check against the target’s Athletics, Raw Force, or Nimbleness Check, you successfully move them. The target cannot be larger than one size category than you. If the target is larger than you are, they gain advantage on their check. If they are smaller, you gain advantage on your check.|
|Trip||2||You can try to knock a target within 1 m of you Prone. If you succeed on an Athletics or Raw Force check against the target’s Athletics or Nimbleness Check, you successfully knock them prone. The target cannot be larger than one size category above your own. If the target is larger than you are, they gain advantage on their check. If they are smaller, you gain advantage on your check.|
Cinematic Actions and Reactions
Sometimes you want to do something during combat that would lead to an epic moment, but the rules do not directly allow it, or at least they make it hard to perform. In such a case, you can use a Cinematic Action (3AP) or a Cinematic Reaction (2RP) and get creative.
Using a Cinematic Action or Reaction costs 3 Narrative Momentum. You tell the GM what you want to attempt before you start your Cinematic Action or Reaction. The GM determines if it is possible or not. Should the GM agree, you must then make a Skill Check determined by the GM. On a success, you perform your Cinematic Action and Reaction as intended. On a failure, you are unsuccessful, and the GM determines what happens.
A successful Cinematic Action or Reaction should be at least as powerful as a fully upcast Ability. The GM determines the exact effects, but they should use this as a guideline. A Cinematic Action can also be far more powerful, depending on the suggestion, but the difficulty of the Skill Check should scale appropriately.
Two or more characters can perform a Cooperative Cinematic Action. Each character beyond the first has to perform a reaction (2 RP) to participate. Each participant only needs to use 2 Narrative Momentum instead of the normal 3, and everyone has to make a Skill Check. It does not have to be the same Skill Check, and they make it with advantage. The participants succeed in their Cooperative Cinematic Action if everybody succeeds on their Skill Check. A failure on the Skill Check of one participant can be compensated by a critical success of another participant. The effectiveness of the Cooperative Cinematic Action should scale with the number of characters participating.
If you cannot use 3AP or 2RP for some reason, like when you are Restrained or Stunned, you can use a Cinematic Burst for 6 Narrative Momentum instead of 3 to still be able to use a Cinematic Action or Reaction. You can only use a Cinematic Burst if you have not used any AP on your turn if you are trying to do a Cinematic Action or no RP this round if you are trying to do a Cinematic Reaction. You can also use a Cinematic Burst to do a Cooperative Cinematic Action, in which case you need 4 Narrative Momentum.
Here are some examples of Cinematic Actions and Reactions:
A Level 3 Barbarian tries to pick up a Table, slam it into three enemies standing next to each other, and pin them against the wall. The Skill Check could be a Raw Force Check against 11. On a success, he deals 4d6 Physical damage to the enemies and restrains them as long as he is standing at the table and keeps using an action (2 AP) to continue pinning them down.
A Thief tries to sneak into a mansion through the back door, but they see a guard. They can attempt retroactively to have tried to bride the guard before to let them in when they try to sneak in later. They successfully bribed them before and are let in if they succeed on a Street Smarts Check against 10.
A level 5 Martial Artist sees a friend die in front of her. She is overcome with rage, potentially awakening an ancient power within herself to turn the tide of the battle, anime style. She could make a Presence check against 15. On a success, she regains all of her Vitality, Temporary Vitality, and WP, and her upcast limit increases by 4 WP until the battle ends.
A Level 9 Priest and her allies are confronted with an unholy demonic army storming out of a hell portal. She prays to her god, pleading for divine intervention. She could make a Perseverance check against 18. On a success, the demonic horde is cast back into the portal that is then closed as her god intervenes.
Using weapons or some selected Abilities against a target requires you to perform an attack. You must target them and (unless it is an object) make an attack roll to see if you hit them. If your target is an object, you hit it automatically. To make an attack roll, roll a d20 and add your weapon or Ability hit bonus. Your attack hits if you roll at least the same amount as the Evasion of your target. You can choose to miss with your own attack.
Every weapon has a Primary and Secondary Stat that determines, in combination with your Stats, how high their hit bonus is. The hit bonus is equal to the Primary Stat Bonus of the weapon plus half of its Secondary Stat Bonus. For example, let us assume that you are wielding an ax and have a Strength and Dexterity of 13. The Primary Stat of an ax is Strength, and the Secondary Stat is Dexterity. Should you try to attack with the ax, you add your Strength Bonus and half of your Dexterity Bonus to the attack roll, so 3 plus 1,5, which is rounded down to 1, for a total of 4. For more information about weapons, see the weapons chapter in the items rule.
You add your Ability hit bonus to the attack if you attack with an Ability instead. Your Ability hit bonus is calculated similarly to a weapon hit bonus, but it uses your Primary and Secondary Stat instead, which are determined by your Archetype.
An attack is either a weapon attack or an Ability attack. There is also a distinction between melee attacks and ranged attacks. Melee attacks have a base range of 1 m and ignore cover. Ranged attacks have a greater range than melee attacks that depend on the Ability or weapon, but you attack with disadvantage should an enemy be within 1 m of you.
If you roll a natural 20 when you attack, you perform a critical hit. Critical hits with weapons increase the damage by 6. Critical hits with Abilities increase the damage by 6 plus an additional 3 for every Tier of the used Ability. Critical hits with weapon attacks that have a Maneuver added to them deal additional damage of 6, and the Maneuver deals additional damage equal to 3 times the Tier of the used Maneuver Ability.
You can deal non-lethal damage with attacks. If you choose to do so and use a weapon, you must subtract a 1d4 from the damage. To deal non-lethal damage with an Ability attack, you need to reduce the damage by 1d4 plus an additional 1d4 for each Tier. A creature does not start bleeding if you reduce their Vitality below 1 with non-lethal damage, and you cannot kill them with it. You cannot drop the Vitality of a creature below an amount that would kill them with a non-lethal attack.
Evasion represents how good your character is at dodging, parrying, and blocking. It determines how hard it is to hit you with attacks. An attacker must roll at least as high as your Evasion with their attack roll to hit you with an attack. An attacker with a hit bonus of 4 would need to roll at least a 12 if they want to hit a target with an Evasion of 16. Any lower and the attack would miss.
Your base Evasion is equal to your Dexterity Stat plus the Stat Bonus of your Evasion Stat. Your Archetype determines your Evasion Stat. For example, let us presume that you have the War Archetype and a Dexterity of 13 and a Strength of 14. The Evasion Stat of the War Archetype is Strength. That means you would have a base Evasion of 13 + 4 = 17.
Armor and clothes you wear limit how high your base Evasion can get, but they can offer other advantages and be upgraded to loosen the restriction. For example, if you have a base Evasion of 17 but are wearing medium armor, then your base Evasion would be only 14 instead of 17 because of the Evasion Cap of the armor. The Evasion Cap does not affect any other source of additional Evasion like Buffs or features. For more information, see the chapter on armor in the item rules.
Your Armor is a value that helps you reduce almost any incoming damage. Your Armor is subtracted from any incoming damage. For example, if you have an Armor of 2 and are hit for 12 damage, you only receive 10 damage. Your Armor is only subtracted once if you are hit with multiple Damage Types simultaneously. A negative Armor value leads to taking increased damage if you receive any.
Armor does not protect you from Poison or Psychic damage. Instead, these types of damage take the Constitution DR value (Poison) or Will DR value (Psychic) into account as if it were Armor. A creature with a Constitution of 10 and an Endurance Skill Level of 3 (which leads to a Constitution DR of 3) that is hit by 12 Poison damage would receive 9 damage. Damage that deals multiple types of damage simultaneously, for which different defenses become relevant, takes the lowest defensive value into account. The attacker can choose from which damage type the Armor/DR value is subtracted. If you hit a target with an Armor of 4 and a Constitution DR value of 1 with an attack that deals 5 Physical and 5 Poison damage, you would deal a total of 9 damage, either 5 Physical and 4 Poison damage or 4 Physical and 5 Poison damage.
Effects that ignore Armor, like the Greater Talent Cursed Revenge, also ignore the DR values if you damage a target with Poison or Psychic damage. Such effects still deal increased damage if the target’s Armor or DR values are negative. Ignoring Armor does not allow you to reduce the effective Armor of a target below 0. For Example, attacking a target with 2 Armor with the Ability Armor Piercer, which allows you to ignore up to 4 Armor, allows you to deal damage as if the target had an Armor of 0 and not -2.
For more information on how much Armor you get from what kind of armor, see the chapter on armor in the Item Rules.
There are many Abilities and features for which the user does not have to aim actively. Instead, the target needs to defend themselves against the effects. The target must make a Defense Roll (DR) in such cases. A creature can choose to fail their own DR. Objects automatically fail all DR.
There are seven different kinds of DR. Each is based on one of the seven Stats in addition to one Skill. The target must roll a d20 and add the corresponding Stat Bonus and Skill Level. They succeed on their DR if they roll at least as high as the DR Power of the creature targeting them. The DR Power is equal to the Primary Stat of the creature. The seven kinds of DR are as follows:
- Strength (Raw Force): A Strength DR is used when the creature has to resist direct physical force and stand their ground. A Strength DR will determine your ability to withstand Physical damage, as well as restraining and moving effects.
- Dexterity (Nimbleness): A Dexterity DR is used when getting out of the way is the only or most efficient option to prevent the worst or if you need to keep your balance. You can often avoid Reality damage with it as well as line-based Abilities.
- Constitution (Endurance): A Constitution DR is used when your body needs to resist a natural force. Elemental damage and Status Effects are usually resisted by it, as are stun effects.
- Intelligence (Psychology): An Intelligence DR is used if somebody tries to trick you or messes with your senses or mind. You can see through illusions and attempts to distract you if you succeed with this DR.
- Charisma (Presence): A Charisma DR is relevant if the power of your personality and sense of self is needed to defend yourself. You usually use it to prevent effects that take direct control over you or that transform you.
- Instinct (Intuition): An Intuition DR is used when a quick reaction is the best way to prevent or lessen the effects. Something like looking away from a blinding effect or reacting before someone can manipulate something that you are holding can be achieved with it.
- Will (Perseverance): A Will DR is used when your mind and spirit have to resist supernatural and mental attacks. You can defend yourself against Mystic and Psychic damage with it, and it also helps to overcome fear and other Mental Status Effects.
There are many ways to deal damage to your foes. There are 11 damage types that can be categorized into four categories: Physical, Elemental, Mystic, and Other. Creatures can have resistance, immunity, or vulnerability against different types of damage. Resistance reduces all incoming damage of that type by half. Immunity nullifies any damage of that type. Vulnerability increases all damage of that type by half. Knowing or being good at guessing resistances, immunities, and vulnerabilities can give you tactical advantages.
Physical damage is the most basic damage type that most weapons default to. It is so common that it has its own category. Physical damage is very reliable since it is very hard to be resistant or even immune against it, but finding vulnerability to it is also very rare. Examples of it are punching, bullets, slashing, high-pressure water, rocks, etc.
Elemental damage represents natural forces. Since these are usually rather common, it is easy to find creatures with resistances, immunities, and vulnerabilities against them. This makes them less reliable than other damage types, but you can also often find weaknesses that you can exploit with them.
- Chemical: This damage type includes acidic and alkaline solutions, and the chemical burns that they cause, as well as substances that lead to damaging reactions. (Acid spit, throwing vials with alchemical mixtures, oxidizing substances, …)
- Cold: This type includes damage that is caused by very low temperatures. (Ice, cold wind, freezing water, endothermic reactions, …)
- Heat: This damage type includes anything that damages through high temperatures. (Fire, lasers, radiation, bright light, lava, …)
- Poison: This damage type includes anything that damages a creature on a biological level, like sickness or toxic substances. Poison damage ignores the Armor of its targets and instead takes the Constitution DR value into account when dealing damage as if it were Armor. (Plague, toxic gases, rotten food, drugs, …)
- Shock: Electricity causes Shock damage. (Lightning, Taser, …)
Mystic damage represents supernatural and spiritual forces. Resistances, immunities, and vulnerabilities against them are rarer than those against elemental damage because of their intangible power sources, but they are not unheard of.
- Curse: Evil and corrupting forces that erode you fall under Curse damage. (Demonic magic, magical curse, life force extraction, necromantic spells, the touch of an unholy entity, …)
- Holy: Divine and cleansing energies define this damage type. Holy damage is non-lethal against biological creatures and does not cause bleeding if they reduce their Vitality below 1 unless the one dealing the damage wishes to do so. (Holy light, miracles, prayer, divine weapons, …)
- Spirit: This damage type encompasses more neutral aligned supernatural forces, usually powered by the spirit of the creature that uses it. (Ki blasts, chakra strikes, manifestations of one’s spirit, sprite magic, …)
Other contains all damage types that do not fit into any other category and are more exotic in nature.
- Psychic: Anything that attacks the mind directly falls under Psychic damage. Psychic damage ignores the Armor of its targets and instead takes the Will DR value into account when dealing damage as if it were Armor. (Psychic mind attacks, magical music, sick burns, …)
- Reality: This damage type represents any force that attacks you on a fundamental existential level, be it by manipulating the space-time continuum or even the fourth wall itself. Since this is such an exotic damage type, it is hard to defend oneself against it. Immunities are practically non-existent, and resistance is very rare. (Reality warping, time manipulation, opening a dimensional portal inside a creature, cartoon powers, …)
A creature or object can be affected by a Status Effect. Status Effects are negative effects that can be applied by all sorts of Abilities and features (not to be confused with Debuffs). There are three categories of Status Effects: Physical, Mental, and Elemental.
Physical Status Effects mainly affect the target’s body, limiting movement and representing injuries.
Mental Status Effects mainly affect the mind of the target, representing negative and uncontrolled emotions that hinder it.
Elemental Status Effects are connected with Elemental damage and represent a lingering form of them. Every Elemental damage type has exactly one Status Effect that is linked to it.
Dying does not remove Status effects. If a dead creature, which had a Status Effet when they died, is revived, they still have those Status Effects as if they had been alive the whole time.
You can find a list of all Status Effects here.
The terrain of the battlefield also affects the combat itself. You can either play it as a theater of the mind, where the GM and the players imagine everything in their heads or with battle maps with a grid, where every square is 1 m long and wide. 1 m of movement allows you to move to a square (also called a space) that is next to you, even if it is diagonal from you.
Sometimes the terrain can be an obstacle that hinders your movement, such as tall grass, uneven ground, or slippery ice. In such cases, you need 2 m of movement to move one 1 m square. This is called difficult terrain.
You can freely move through a space occupied by an ally, but you cannot stop there.
You can try to move through a space occupied by an enemy, but you have to succeed on a Raw Force, Athletics, or Nimbleness check against a Raw Force or Athletics check made by the enemy. Moving through a space occupied by an enemy counts as difficult terrain. You can be in a space occupied by a creature that is two size categories bigger or smaller than you.
Standing behind an object that covers at least half of your body gives you half cover. Half cover grants you +2 Evasion against all ranged attacks that come from the direction of the cover and increases all of your DR by 1 against all effects that come from that same direction. Standing behind a creature of the same size category or bigger also gives you half cover, but all attacks that miss you target the creature in front of you instead, possibly leading it to be hit.
Standing behind an object that covers your entire body gives you full cover and you can no longer be targeted by any effects that come from the direction of your full cover. While you are in full cover, you can lean towards a space next to you, allowing you to see and target anything as if you were standing in that space. You have half cover while leaning out of full cover.
Moving and Teleporting
Moving a target into a space that is already occupied forces the creature or object occupying that space to make a Strength DR. The creature or object has advantage on that DR if it is at least one size category bigger than the target that you are moving into their space. On a failure, you deal physical damage – equal to the full distance in meters that the target would have been moved – to both the moving target and whatever is occupying the space. On a success, you only deal half as much damage. The moving target is stopped one space before it. You can add the damage that you deal that way to any damage that you might have caused through an Ability or attack that caused the movement in the first place, instead of treating it as a separate damage source.
Teleporting a target into a space that is already occupied deals Reality damage equal to the teleported distance to both the teleported target and whatever is occupying the space. The damage ignores Armor. The teleported target returns to its original position afterward. This cannot deal more than 100 damage to a creature.
Your characters will have to rely on a multitude of different items during their stories. This chapter describes the main categories of items and how to craft and upgrade them. Items have Tiers just like creatures that determine their quality and power. See the items and weapon and armor lists for an extensive list of all items. You can also find all upgrades here.
Weight and Carry Capacity
Every item has a weight, usually between 1 and 6. The weight is an abstraction and does not directly correlate with any real-life weight measurement.
Creatures can only carry so much weight and are limited by how many items they can carry around. The Carry Capacity of a creature is equal to twice their Strength Stat. A creature that tries to carry more suffers multiple penalties. Their Basic Movement is set to 1 m and cannot be increased, their Evasion is reduced by half, all of their Skill Checks, DR, and attacks are made with disadvantage, and all creatures that they force to make a DR gain advantage on that roll.
Should they try to carry more than twice their Carry Capacity, they just fall Prone and are Restrained until they stop carrying that much weight.
Weapons are some of the most basic ways to deal damage. You can make a weapon attack with the Attack action, and some Abilities trigger weapon attacks. For more information on weapon attacks, see the chapter on attacks in the combat rules.
Every weapon has a base damage die. One-handed weapons usually have a base damage die of d6, or d8, and two-handed weapons usually have a base damage die of d10 or d12. In addition to the base die, you add the Primary Stat Bonus of a weapon to the damage. For example, you would deal 1d8 + 3 damage if you have a Dexterity of 13 and hit a creature with a dagger (which has a Primary Stat of Dexterity).
You can only efficiently attack with a weapon that you are proficient with. You attack with disadvantage should you not be proficient with a weapon. You cannot be proficient in single weapons. You instead have proficiency with weapon categories (usually depending on your Archetype). There are six weapon categories:
Simple: The basic category that every Archetype is proficient with. They contain more common and easy-to-use items, like blunt objects, pistols, and daggers.
Medieval: This category contains typical medieval fantasy weapons like swords, spears, bows, and crossbows.
Military: Here, you will find more advanced, modern firearms and weapons like assault rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, and chainsaws.
Tech: Experimental and magical weapons that deal Elemental damage fill this category. All weapons in this category require Intelligence to be wielded effectively. You will find your typical energy blasters, laser swords, and flamethrowers here but feel free to re-flavor them to magic wands and staves that shoot magic.
Mind: This category is filled with weapons that directly attack the enemy’s mind and deal Psychic damage. You will find psychic blasters and musical instruments, which all require a good Charisma Stat to use.
Unearthly: Here, you can find weapons that rely on spiritual energies and deal Mystic damage. It is filled with symbols, hallowed blades, and blessed weapons, which all require Instinct to wield.
Weapons can be either melee or ranged weapons. Melee weapons only have a short range which is usually not more than 3 m. Ranged weapons have an effective and ineffective range (usually written down like this 15m/45m, the first one being the effective range and the second one being the ineffective range). You make a normal ranged attack if you attack a target within the effective range, but if the target is within your ineffective range, you attack with disadvantage. You can only attack with ranged weapons if you have equipment equipped.
Weapons can have different properties that can be positive or negative. Here is a list of all the properties:
- Two-handed: You can only use this weapon with two hands. Melee Weapons with this property usually have a base range of 2 m.
- Elemental: This weapon deals Elemental damage if you attack with it. This Elemental damage type is fixed and cannot be changed.
- Mystic: This weapon deals Mystic damage if you attack with it. This Mystic damage type is fixed and cannot be changed.
- Psychic: This weapon deals Psychic damage if you attack with it.
- Adaptable: You can choose to deal physical damage instead of its normal damage type if you attack with this weapon.
- Flexible: This ranged weapon does not gain disadvantage if you attack while there is an enemy within 1 m of you.
- Heavy: This weapon is twice as heavy and expensive as it would normally be.
- Loud: Attacking with this weapon causes a lot of noise.
- Reload: Your Attack action uses 3 AP instead of 2, and your Flash Attack action uses 2 AP instead of 1 if you attack with this weapon.
Some weapons make area-of-effect attacks. Such weapons target either everything within a 2 m cube, a 3 m line that starts within melee range, or everybody within 1 m of the attacker. When you attack with such a weapon, you make one attack roll and roll once for damage for all targets. This counts as one attack, no matter how many targets you have. Area-of-effect melee weapons only have a base range of 1 m, even if they are two-handed.
Attacking without a weapon (called an unarmed attack) counts as a weapon attack. An unarmed attack can be a punch, kick, headbutt, bite, or any other attack you can think of that is made without a weapon. You can also make one additional unarmed attack for each empty hand beyond the first one if you use the Lesser Talent Multi-Wielder.
Most characters wear clothes or armor. There are four categories of armor: clothes, light, medium, and heavy. Every creature is automatically proficient with clothes, but you require training to be able to wear any other armor effectively. Most Archetypes give you proficiency in some of the other armor types.
The heavier your armor is, the more Armor it provides, but the lower its Evasion Cap is. The Evasion Cap of an armor limits how high your Evasion can increase through your Dexterity and Evasion Stat. It does not limit any other source of Evasion, like shields or features that grants you a bonus to it. If you do not wear any clothes or armor, your Armor value is reduced by 1.
Your Evasion Cap is reduced by 4 if you wear armor with which you are not proficient.
|Armor Type||Weight||Armor||Base Evasion Limit||Stealth Checks|
You can wield a shield with one free hand. They grant a bonus to your Evasion and can modify your Evasion Cap. There are three categories of shields: light, medium, and heavy. To use it effectively, you must be proficient in wielding the corresponding shield category. You are proficient with a shield category if you are proficient with the armor category of the same name.
The heavier a shield is, the higher its Evasion bonus, but the Evasion Cap modifier worsens.
You can also use shields like a melee weapon, but they are less effective than a normal weapon. Heavy Shields need to be wielded with two hands to use them as a weapon, but they can be used with one hand if you only want to use them defensively.
Your Evasion Cap is reduced by 1 per shield you wear that you are not proficient with.
The Evasion bonus of shields you wield beyond the first one is reduced by 1 if you wear more than one shield.
|Shield Type||Weight||Evasion Bonus||Evasion Cap Modifier||Stealth Checks|
You cannot attack with any ranged weapon if you do not have equipment. Most Abilities require you to have your equipment with you to use them.
You can also presume that you have basic tools to use Skills that you are trained in when you have your equipment with you. Some examples would be lockpicks for your Lockpicking Skill or mechanical tools for Engineering. This includes tools that you need to craft and upgrade items.
A bag allows you to carry all sorts of objects and trinkets that do not fall into the other item categories without affecting your carrying limit. This includes ingredients and materials that you can use to craft items.
There is no official limit on how much you can fit in your bag. The GM can, however, intervene if they think that you are starting to carry around a ridiculous amount of objects and limit how much you can actually carry around in a bag.
Credits are an abstraction for all sorts of monetary systems. Depending on your setting, you can use it to buy all kinds of items. The GM can feel free to change the name to any monetary system that fits the setting, like gold for fantasy or dollars for a modern game.
I recommend that players should roughly earn 500 + (1000 * Tier) credits per Level. The GM can, of course, adjust that number to fit the group’s needs.
The GM determines with which items the player characters can start, but I recommend the following Standard Starting Equipment:
- 1 clothes or armor
- 1 equipment
- 1-3 weapons/shields
- 1 bag
- 300 credits
Feel free to add minor flavor Items to iron out your character.
If the characters start their adventure at higher Tiers, I suggest that you allow your players to begin with items that have a Tier that is one lower than their starting Tier. Also, give them an additional 500 Credits for each Tier beyond the first.
Ability Consumables and Items
Ability Consumables are one-use items that allow you to use a previously determined Ability once. The Ability stored in the Ability consumable can be upcasted, and the user can determine how they upcast it. The upcast is fixed and cannot be increased or reduced unless a feature allows it. The item is destroyed or useless after you use it. They weigh 1 and are relatively affordable.
Ability items have charges, which act just like WP. You can only use one Ability with this item. They regain all charges after their wielder takes a full rest. Their weight is 3, and they are significantly more expensive than Ability consumables. Ability Items have 4 charges, but they can be upgraded to have more.
Features and Talents that affect Abilities also affect Ability consumables and items and can be used to empower them further.
Ability Items and Consumables might have a Skill Level requirement to use them. The Skill Level requirement can be added during the crafting or upgrading process and is equal to the Skill Level of the Skill used to craft it or lower.
Stimulants are consumable items that grant WP when you consume them. They can be various things, like mana crystals, steroids, coffee, or ammunition packs. Choose what fits your setting and characters.
There are different Tiers of Stimulants. It starts with Tier 0, which restores 1d8 WP. Every other Tier restores an additional 1d8 WP, but they are also more expensive and rarer.
Characters can craft items if they have the corresponding Skills and tools. To be able to craft an item, you need the following things:
- A corresponding Skill of at least 1 + Tier of the wanted item
- Materials that are worth at least half of the cost of the item
- Being of at least the same Tier as the item that you want to craft
- Your equipment
You can see which Skills can craft which items here.
What kinds of material you need are determined by the GM. You should usually be able to buy them in any location with a multitude of shops, like towns or trading hubs. You might also be able to find materials while you are adventuring. Your character would normally not just stumble upon materials, but they might be able to gather or salvage them with successful Skill Checks. An alchemist might be able to find magical herbs with a successful Survival Check, a blacksmith could mine some ore with a good Raw Force Check, or an Engineer can salvage a defeated battle robot for parts with a successful Engineering Check. The value of materials that they can find should not greatly surpass the number of credits that they would normally get with their Level if you wish to keep it balanced.
When your character crafts an item, you should think about what they are actually crafting and how they are doing it. Instead of just making a Simple Heal Ability consumable and leaving it at that, you could say that your alchemist brewed a healing position, that your doctor mixed some painkiller, or maybe your character just baked chocolate chip cookies that are so good that they make you forget your pain. Feel free to be creative as long as it fits into your game setting.
You cannot just craft items instantly. You need some time to do so. You are going to need Item Price/50 in hours to craft something. Crafting Consumables only needs half the time (Item Price/100 hours).
Maneuvers cannot be turned into Ability Consumables and Items.
Characters can also upgrade and customize their non-consumable items. There are a variety of upgrades. You can find a full list of all Upgrades here.
Items that are not upgraded are of Tier 0. There are different upgrades with different Tiers. Once an item is upgraded, you add the upgrades Tier to the items Tier. A rifle without upgrades that you upgrade with the Improved Weapon Upgrade (Tier 1) would become a Tier 1 weapon, for example. There are also upgrades of Tier 0 that do not change the Tier and even downgrades that lower the Tier of the item. Non-permanent upgrades, like those granted by the Lesser Talents Hacker Craft and Free Upgrade, do not change the Tier of the item.
To upgrade an item, you need the same requirement that you would need to be able to craft it. Alternatively, you can go to a craftsman that can upgrade your items in exchange for credits. The price depends on the type of Upgrade that you want. If you craft it yourself, you only need materials that have a value of half as many credits.
The cost of positive upgrades (Tier 1 or higher) increases by 500 times the Tier of the item. The additional cost does not increase if you use an upgrade that increases the Tier of the item by more than 1. This additional cost cannot be decreased to lower than 0.
The cost of negative upgrades (Tier -1 or lower ) increases by 300 for each negative Upgrade it already has.
The cost of neutral upgrades always stays the same.
You can remove upgrades if you work one hour on the item. You do not regain the materials used for the upgrade. You can also just overwrite unwanted Upgrades with new Upgrades.
|Art||Supernatural, Technique||Mind, Unearthly, Clothes, Equipment, Consumables, Ability Item||Mind, Unearthly, Clothes, Equipment, Ability Item|
|Computers||Technology||Equipment, Consumables, Ability Item||Everything|
|Engineering||Technique, Technology||Simple, Medieval, Military, Tech, Mind, Armor, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Consumables, Ability Item||Simple, Medieval, Military, Tech, Mind, Armor, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Ability Item|
|History||Supernatural, Technique, Technology||Simple, Medieval, Military, Armor, Clothes, Shield, Equipment, Consumables, Ability Item||Simple, Medieval, Military, Armor, Clothes, Shield, Equipment, Ability Item|
|Improvisation||Biology, Supernatural, Technique, Technology||Simple, Medieval, Armor, Clothes, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Consumables|
|Medicine||Biology, Technology||Equipment, Consumables, Ability Item||Ability Item|
|Natural Science||Biology, Technique, Technology||Simple, Medieval, Military, Tech, Mind, Armor, Clothes, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Consumables, Ability Item||Simple, Medieval, Military, Tech, Mind, Armor, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Ability Item|
|Supernatural||Biology, Supernatural||Simple, Medieval, Military, Tech, Unearthly, Mind, Armor, Clothes, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Consumables, Ability Item||Simple, Medieval, Military, Tech, Unearthly, Mind, Armor, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Ability Item|
|Survival||Biology, Technique||Simple, Medieval, Armor, Clothes, Shield, Bag, Equipment, Consumables|
An artifact is an item that does not follow the other item rules. They have no Tier, and characters cannot craft them unless the GM allows it. The GM can design them freely and give them any property they deem fit.
The purpose of artifacts is to give the GM the ability to create unique items necessary for the story or the setting.
Here you can find all sorts of rules on how your characters can interact with their environment and the world that they occupy.
Your characters will need to rest and recharge eventually after a day full of adventure and conflict. They have a couple of options to do so.
A full rest takes ten hours, eight of which have to be spent sleeping. It restores all of your character’s Vitality and Willpower and half of their Narrative Momentum. Any Temporary Vitality that they might have is reset to 0. Your character can only take one full rest within 24 hours.
A half rest takes only five hours, four of which have to be spent sleeping. A half rest grants the same benefits as a full rest but can only be used once after a full rest before it stops having any effect. It only restores half of your character’s Vitality and Willpower and no Narrative Momentum. Having two half rests within 24 hours makes them count as a full rest.
A short rest is a half-hour break of light activity. It restores half of your character’s Vitality and Willpower. Any Temporary Vitality that they might have is reset to 0. Your character can only take one short rest after a full or half rest.
Objects are almost anything that is not a creature or item. They can be anything from a chair or a box to a wall or the ground. Most objects do not do much on their own but they can be targeted by Abilities and attacks. They can also be destroyed. This opens up new tactical options, like making the ceiling of a room collapse on your enemies or making your own “door” by blasting a hole in the wall.
Objects have their own Vitality and Armor depending on their material. Those values can change depending on your setting and how powerful a normal character is. You can feel free to adjust them how you like so that they fit your game world. You can find examples you can use as guidelines on how strong materials should be in the following table.
Objects fail all DRs and Skill Checks, and all attacks that target them automatically hit. Objects have an Initiative of 0. Objects have resistance against non-area-of-effect ranged weapon attacks and vulnerability against area-of-effect weapon attacks.
Objects can have the following properties.
- Hardened: Its Vitality and Armor are twice as high.
- Soft: Its Vitality and Armor are halved.
- Indestructible: It can only be damaged by very few means and has enough durability to survive something like an atomic bomb without any real damage.
- Hollow: Its Vitality is halved.
- Regeneration: It regains half of its Vitality at the end of each round
- Flammable: It catches fire if damaged through Heat or Shock damage, which gives it the Burning Status Effect. When the Burning damages it, it also damages any creature or object within 1 m of it by the same amount.
- Explosive: This object explodes if damaged through Heat or Shock damage. When it explodes, every creature and object within 2 m has to make a Constitution DR against 14. On a failure, they take 20 Heat damage (GM can adjust this damage). On a success, they take only half as much damage.
- Conductive: Every creature and object within 1 m of this object must make a Constitution DR against 14 when this object is hit by Shock damage. On a failure, they receive half of the Shock damage. Other conductive objects do not trigger this property if they receive this Shock damage.
- Freeze Burst: This object is vulnerable to Cold damage. It explodes if destroyed by Cold damage. When it explodes, every creature and object within 2 m has to make a Constitution DR against 14. On a failure, they take 30 Cold damage (GM can adjust this damage). On a success, they take only half as much damage.
- Splintering: It bursts into splinters if it is destroyed by Physical damage. When it splinters, every creature and object within 1 m has to make a Constitution DR against 14. On a failure, they take 10 Physical damage (GM can adjust this damage). On a success, they take only half as much damage.
Objects react differently to different types of damage. Here you can see their vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities.
Any creature with at least one free hand can attempt to climb most surfaces. Their effective movement is halved while they do so. The GM can force a creature to make an Athletics or Nimbleness Check if they think the surface is hard to climb. On a failure, the creature cannot climb it. The GM can also decide that something is impossible to climb.
Any creature can normally swim. Their effective movement is halved while they do so. The GM can force a creature to make an Athletics check if they think that it would be difficult to swim, like if they were wearing heavy armor or they are swimming through rough waters. On a failure, they start sinking.
Any creature can jump up to 3 m + their Strength Bonus wide if they have a running start of 3 m and half as much if they do not. Their jump height is equal to a fifth of their jumping distance if they have a running start of at least 3 m and half as much if they do not. A creature that tries to jump further or higher than their Strength Stat allows has to make an Athletics or Nimbleness Check. The GM can freely adjust the standard jumping distance and height to make them fit the setting. A creature uses up their movement while jumping through the air as if they were moving normally. However, if they are still in the air when they are jumping and run out of movement, they still finish their jump, gaining negative movement equal to the distance that they moved. Negative movement carries over to your next turn, unlike positive movement. You can only jump if you have at least 1 m of movement left.
|Jump distance (with 3m running start)||0 m||1 m||2 m||3 m||4 m||5 m||6 m||7 m||8 m||9 m||10 m|
|Jump distance (without running start)||0 m||0,5 m||1 m||1,5 m||2 m||2,5 m||3 m||3,5 m||4 m||4,5 m||5 m|
|Jump height (with 3m running start)||0 m||0,2 m||0,4 m||0,6 m||0,8 m||1 m||1,2 m||1,4 m||1,6 m||1,8 m||2 m|
|Jump height (without running start)||0 m||0,1 m||0,2 m||0,3 m||0,4 m||0,5 m||0,6 m||0,7 m||0,8 m||0,9 m||1 m|
If a creature falls more than 3 m, they receive fall damage. For every 3 m, they receive 1d6 Physical damage. The damage increases to a d10 for every 3 m if the creature is of the size category Big + or bigger. The damage is reduced to a 1d4 for every 3 m if they are of the size category Small. The creature does not receive any fall damage if they are of the size category Small – or smaller.
If a creature falls 30m or more, half the number of dice and replace them with dice that are twice as big. Add the new dice size every 6 m to the fall damage until you reach 60 m. Fall damage does not increase beyond 60 m.
|Fall Distance||3 m||6 m||9 m||12 m||15 m||18 m||21 m||24 m||27 m||30 m||36 m||42 m||48 m||54 m||60 m|
|Small – and smaller||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Big + and bigger||1d10||2d10||3d10||4d10||5d10||6d10||7d10||8d10||9d10||5d20||6d20||7d20||8d20||9d20||10d20|
If a creature or object falls on another creature or object the other creature or object also receives the fall damage. They can, however, decide to make either a Dexterity or Strength DR against 15. The DR is made with disadvantage if the falling creature or object is of a bigger size category than the creature they are falling onto. It is made with advantage if the falling creature or object is of a smaller size category. On a successful Dexterity DR, they can move to a free space next to where the creature or object fell and avoid the damage. On a successful Strength DR, they can catch the creature and prevent all fall damage to themselves and the falling creature or object and can either grab them, let them climb them, or put them in a free space next to them.
The adventures of your character are rarely cozy. They sometimes have to push themselves beyond their limits. This may cause them to become exhausted. Some extreme situations can therefore cause them to gain levels of Exhaustion.
A creature gains 1 level of Exhaustion if 24 hours pass without having a half or full rest.
A creature gains 1 level of Exhaustion if 24 hours pass without them eating enough. Most creatures only need one full meal or one ration per day not to start gaining Exhaustion. The amount needed is doubled (multiplicative) for each size category above Medium and halved (multiplicative) for each size category below Medium.
A creature gains 1 level of Exhaustion if 24 hours pass without them drinking enough. The levels of Exhaustion they gain increase by 1 for each subsequent day that they do not drink anything. A medium creature needs about 1.5 liters or one full water container per day to prevent Exhaustion. The amount needed is doubled (multiplicity) for each size category above Medium and halved (multiplicity) for each size category below Medium.
A creature gains 1 level of Exhaustion if exposed to extreme hot or cold weather without proper protection for 1 hour if they fail an Endurance DR against 10. The DR increases by 1 for each passing hour they are exposed to the weather. Resistance and Immunity to Heat damage make a creature immune to the effects of extremely hot weather. The same is true for Cold damage and extremely cold weather.
A creature loses 2 levels of Exhaustion after a full rest on a day where they had enough to eat and drink.
A creature can hold their breath for 0,5 minutes times their Constitution Bonus + 1,5 minutes (minimum of 30 seconds total). After that time passed, they gain 2 levels of Exhaustion after each round that they cannot gain air. They lose the levels of Exhaustion that they gained this way if they can breathe for a full round.
The GM can adjust all of these numbers so that they fit better with the setting.
Light and Vision
Creatures can have different ways of experiencing and sensing their environment. Every creature has Normal Vision by default. Normal Vision is roughly equivalent to how most humans can see. It allows you to see within the normal light spectrum and worsens if it gets darker. Without light, it does not work.
There are other ways a creature can sense their environment. These alternative ways of perceiving are called Visions. Most Visions can be gained through Abilities and features.
Some Visions still work if you are blinded. Also, some Visions do not require a direct line of sight to work like Normal Vision. Here is a list of all Visions:
|Name||Description||Requires direct line of sight||Affected by Blindness|
|Atomic Vision||You can see everything on an atomic scale.||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensional Vision||You can sense anomalies in the space-time continuum and pocket/parallel dimensions close to your current one.||Yes||No|
|Electromagnetic Vision||You can detect if something is emitting electromagnetic waves and what kind of waves they are.||No||No|
|Life Vision||You can sense the life force of biological creatures and roughly feel how strong their body and spirit are.||No||No|
|Night Vision||You can see in the dark but cannot see different colors if there is no bright light source.||Yes||Yes|
|Normal Vision||The default Vision that most creatures have. You can see the normal visible spectrum of light.||Yes||Yes|
|Omega Vision||You can sense the true form of every object and creature.||Yes||No|
|Psychic Vision||You can sense minds and psionic energy within range. The lesser the mind, the harder it is to detect.||No||No|
|Seismic Vision||You can sense anything that is touching the same solid object you are.||No||No|
|Smell Vision||Your sense of smell is so good that you can effectively “see” anything with a scent within range.||No||No|
|Sound Vision||You can detect any object or creature that makes a noise. You can also see silent objects or creatures if you emit a sound.||No||No|
|Supernatural Vision||You can detect supernatural energy and roughly identify what kind of energy it is.||No||No|
|Thermal Vision||You can detect heat signatures and minute differences in temperatures.||Yes||No|
|X-Ray Vision||You can see through objects and creatures.||No||Yes|
Sometimes features and Abilities talk about a bright light source. This can be anything from a flashlight to the sun itself. Weaker light sources like a burning match or moonlight do not count as bright light sources.
Your characters will probably have to do a lot of traveling. Here you can see suggested traveling times for different modes of transportation. Consider that difficult terrain like mountains and swamps might slow you down significantly or be unsuitable for specific vehicles and mounts.
|Way of Travel||Per Hour||Per Day|
|On Foot (normal)||3-4 km||25-30 km|
|On Foot (stealthy)||2-3 km||20-25 km|
|Riding Slower Mount (donkey, camel, normal horse, …)||6-7 km||40-50 km|
|Riding Faster Mount (trained horse, …)||11-13 km||80-100 km|
|Car||80-120 km||800-1200 km|
|Sailing Boat||14-18 km||350-450 km|
Scavenging for Food and Water
Your characters will not always be in a place where they can just buy their next meals. Sometimes they have to scavenge the land or go hungry.
A character can go searching for food in the wilderness. They have to make a Survival Check for every hour they spend searching. Depending on what environment they are in and the result of the Survival Check, they can find different quantities of water and food. This does not work if they are in an environment with nothing to eat or drink. In the following table, you can see how much they can find.
|Survival Check result||Less than 3||3-6||7-9||10-12||12-15||More than 15|
|Lush (rainforest, hardwood forest, …)||0||1-2||3-4||5-6||7-8||9-10|
|Normal (grasslands, savanna, pine forest, …)||0||0||1-2||3-4||5-6||7-8|
|Desolate (desert, tundra, swamp, mountains, …)||0||0||0||1-2||3-4||5-6|
The numbers represent enough water or food for one normal person. So if, for example, you rolled an 8 on the Survival Check in a normal environment, you would find either enough water for one person, enough food for one person, enough food and water for one person, enough food for two persons, or enough water for two persons. The GM decides what exactly you find.
Depending on the time of year, an environment can be more or less abundant with food. A pinewood forest could count as desolate in the winter, or a savanna could become lush during the rainy season.
Your characters can not only buy materials from merchants. The world is full of useful resources that can be harvested directly. Enemy weapons can be dismantled into parts; mighty beasts can be skinned for leather, and magical plants dot the lands waiting to be used for potions.
If you try to harvest materials, you will need to make a Skill Check. Different Skills can be used to harvest from different sources. Here is a List of suggestions on how you can use Skills, but the GM can add options that fit your setting.
|Computers||Anything that has digital or electrical components|
|Engineering||Weapons, Armor, Machine parts, Mining|
|Medicine||Medical or poisonous plants and substances, Body Parts|
|Natural Science||Anything that contains chemical substances, Experimental Tech, Power Sources|
|Supernatural||Magical Ingredients or Items|
|Survival||Plants, Creature Parts|
How much material you can harvest depends on your environment or the average Tier of items that a creature has and its rank. The Tier of natural weapons, armor, and equipment is also taken into account. To salvage materials from a creature, you will require 10 minutes per creature. To salvage materials from the environment, you will require 1 hour. Here is a list of how many credits-worths of materials you get on average, depending on the Skill Check result (boss value is multiplied by their grade).
|Source||Less than 4||5-8||9-12||13-16||More than 17|
|Tier 0 items (Minor, Normal, Elite, Boss)||0||(0, 10, 20, 30)||(10, 20, 30, 40)||(20, 30, 40, 50)||(30, 40, 50, 60)|
|Tier 1 items (Minor, Normal, Elite, Boss)||0||(50, 100, 200, 300)||(100, 150, 250, 350)||(150, 200, 300, 400)||(200, 300, 400, 500)|
|Tier 2 items (Minor, Normal, Elite, Boss)||0||(100, 200, 400, 600)||(200, 300, 500, 700)||(300, 400, 600, 800)||(400, 600, 800, 1000)|
|Tier 3 items (Minor, Normal, Elite, Boss)||0||(150, 300, 600, 800)||(300, 500, 800, 1000)||(450, 700, 1000, 1200)||(750, 1000, 1300, 1500)|
|Tier 4 items (Minor, Normal, Elite, Boss)||0||(200, 400, 800, 1200)||(400, 700, 1100, 1500)||(600, 1000, 1400, 1800)||(900, 1500, 1900, 2300)|
|Tier 5 items (Minor, Normal, Elite, Boss)||0||(250, 500, 1000, 1500)||(500, 900, 1400, 1900)||(750, 1300, 1800, 2300)||(1100, 1900, 2400, 2900)|
|Tier 6 items (Minor, Normal, Elite, Boss)||0||(300, 600, 1200, 1800)||(600, 1100, 1700, 2300)||(900, 1600, 2200, 2800)||(1500, 2500, 3100, 3700)|
|High Value (Enchanted Forest, High-Quality Mine, Alien Ship, …)||0||100||300||1000||3000|
|Medium Value (Forest, Mine, Volcanic area, Factory, …)||0||50||150||500||1500|
|Low Value (Grassland, Mountainside, Beach, Houses, …)||0||10||30||100||300|
Diseases are something that can always stick you and your allies. If you are exposed to infected materials or creatures or exposed to extreme conditions, the GM might rule that you have to make a Constitution DR. On a failure, you are infected with a disease. The symptoms might not imminently manifest, taking a few hours or days to surface.
Here are some examples of diseases that you might encounter.
|Cold||Make an Endurance Skill Check whenever you make a Skill Check, DR, or weapon attack or use an Ability (suggested value is 4). On a failure, you automatically fail the Skill Check, DR, or weapon attack or nullify the Ability that you used. Make an Endurance Skill Check every 24 hours (suggested value is 5). Taking it easy for the day grants you an advantage on those Endurance Skill Checks. If you succeed two times in a row, you are cured of the Cold.|
|Fever||You are constantly tainted while you have a fever. Make an Endurance Skill Check every 24 hours (suggested value is 7). Taking it easy for the day grants you an advantage on those Endurance Skill Checks. On a failure, you gain 1 level of Exhaustion. You are cured of the fever if you do not have any levels of Exhaustion for 24 hours after the first 24 pass.|
|Plague||Your maximum Vitality is reduced by 1d12 and by another 1d12 for every 24 hours that pass. You die if your Maximum Vitality drops to 0. Make an Endurance Skill Check after every 24 hours (suggested value 9). Taking it easy for the day grants you an advantage on those Endurance Skill Checks. If you succeed two times in a row, you will start to recover, gaining 1d12 to your maximum Vitality every 24 hours until you reach your normal maximum. Once you have reached your normal maximum Vitality, you are cured of the plague.|
Examples of Prices
Sometimes your characters need or want to spend credits on something other than items and upgrades. Here you can find a list of prices that the GM can use to determine prices for all sorts of goods and services.
|Goods and Services||Modest||Normal||Expensive||Luxurious|
|General Living costs (per day)||10||20||60||300|
|Rent (per Month)||100||300||800||5,000|
You might also want to hire people for different tasks. Here you can see examples of how much you normally pay a person for different jobs with different skill levels.
|Hireling||per hour||per day||per month||per year|
|Mercenary (Tier 1)||15||120||3,120||37,440|
|Mercenary (Tier 2)||35||280||7,280||87,360|
|Mercenary (Tier 3)||80||640||16,640||199,680|
|Mercenary (Tier 4)||180||1,440||37,440||449,280|
|Mercenary (Tier 5)||400||3,200||83,200||998,400|
Your world is usually filled with all kinds of creatures, from friendly NPCs to powerful monsters. The GM can create any kind of creature that they think will fit into the story, but here are some rules they can follow to help them create balanced creatures. These rules are also used to create creatures that players can summon and transform into. Note that player characters count as creatures, and these rules apply to them as well. You can find a list of creatures here. You can find a tool for balanced encounters with creatures here. You can find tools to create your own creatures here.
Creature Types and Categories
Creatures have four categories which themselves have different types. Here you can see an overview of all categories and types.
Biological creatures are mostly made of living organic tissues, like flesh, bones, or wood. In most settings, they are the most common creature category. They have the following types:
- Humanoid: Creatures of roughly humanoid form and intelligence, no matter the size. Player characters and creatures are, by default, Humanoids. Examples: Humans, orcs, elves, giants, most humanoid aliens in sci-fi.
- Alien: Creatures, who are utterly alien, be they from another planet or another dimension. They bend the normal definition of what counts as alive. Examples: Eldrich monsters, extradimensional lifeforms, highly abnormal organisms.
- Animal: The normal Fauna of your setting. Examples: Dogs, horses, elephants, crocodiles, dinosaurs, sharks.
- Mutant: Creatures whose genetic material has been extensively modified, be it on purpose or by accident. Examples: Radioactive monstrosities, creatures that are biological weapons, twisted experiments.
- Mystical: Creatures of legend with clearly supernatural powers that are still primarily biological. Examples: Dragons, fairies, unicorns, werewolves.
- Plant: Creatures, which consist mostly of living plant matter or mushrooms. Examples: Ents, talking flowers, mushroom people.
Material creatures are mostly made out of non-organic physical matter. Some are closer to an object than what most might call a living being. They have the following types:
- Animated: A construct that has been animated through mostly supernatural means. Examples: Elementals, golems, animated armors, possessed dolls.
- Mechanical: A machine that has been animated through mostly scientific means. Examples: Robots, drones, artificial intelligence.
- Vehicle: An object or creature that can be piloted by another. They have additional rules. Examples: Cars, mech suits, planes, tanks, spaceships.
Vehicles are a special type of creature with special rules. They can be sentient or non-sentient. A non-sentient vehicle cannot act on its own and does not have any Intelligence, Charisma, Instinct, or Will. It also only starts with 16 Stat Points at Level 0. It has no Primary or Secondary Stat. Its WP and Temporary Vitality are calculated as if it has a Will of 10.
A creature of a smaller size category than the vehicle can pilot it. The vehicle takes on the Intelligence, Charisma, Instinct, and Will of the primary Pilot. The Primary Stat of the vehicle becomes the Vehicle Handling Skill Level of the primary pilot plus 10, and their Secondary Stat becomes the Instinct of the primary pilot. A pilot cannot be damaged from outside the vehicle while the Vitality of their vehicle is above half of the vehicle’s maximum, but even then, the pilot still has half cover.
Creatures can also pilot sentient vehicles if the vehicle allows it, but in that case, no Stats are replaced, and the vehicle uses its own Primary and Secondary Stat.
Entering and leaving a vehicle requires an action (3 AP). Any AP or RP that the Vehicle uses also uses up the AP and RP of every creature piloting it.
The GM can decide that a creature with incompatible anatomy cannot use a specific vehicle. A horse, for example, should not be able to drive a car.
Spirit creatures are always of supernatural nature. They often have no true physical body but consist of mystic or spiritual energy. They have the following types:
- Angel: Spirits that are aligned towards good forces and deities. Examples: Guadian angels, good-natured gods, cherubim.
- Demon: Spirits that are corrupted and serve evil forces. Examples: Devils, Yokai, Succubi.
- Sprite: Spirits that are more neutral and not bound to any black and white morality. Examples: Kami, Fey Creatures, Manifestations of the Land.
Creatures that died but that are bound to unnatural life. Most of them can be categorized as dead biological lifeforms that somehow are still exhuming life-like patterns. They have the following types:
- Ghost: A undead creature that has no physical body. Examples: Poltergeists, haunting souls, banshees.
- Rotten: A dead decaying creature that is still moving. Examples: Zombies, skeletons, liches.
- Undying: A creature that somehow resists the effects of decay while still being technically dead. Examples: Vampires, ghouls, cursed immortals.
A creature’s size affects more than just the amount of space they occupy.
Creatures gain -2 Evasion for each size category larger than Medium. The range of their melee attacks also increases by 1 m for each size category larger than Medium, and the amount they can carry increases by their Strength Stat for each size category larger than medium. They gain +1 Armor for each size category larger than Medium.
On the flip side, for each size category smaller than Medium, a creature gains +2 Evasion and -1 Armor. Their carry capacity is halved. Creatures of category Small – or smaller receive only half damage from area-of-effect Abilities
Weapons and armor that are effective for the different sizes increase and decrease in weight correspondingly. For smaller creatures, it is only half as heavy. For bigger creatures, it increases by an amount equal to the normal weight for each size category larger than medium.
General Creature features
There are four ranks of non-player creatures: Minor, Normal, Elite, and Boss. Each represents different levels of complexity and strength that are useful in different situations.
Creatures have Levels, Tiers, Stats, Skills, Abilities, resources, and features just like player characters, but they do not have any Archetypes and can learn any type of Ability. However, they do (except for Minor) have three creature classes that determine their Vitality, WP, and the number of Abilities they can learn. Those are Fighter, Hybrid, and Caster. Fighters have more Vitality and proficiency with three weapon categories and all armors, but less WP and Abilities. Casters have more WP and Abilities but are only proficient with one weapon category and light armor and have less Vitality. Hybrids are the balance between the other two with a decent amount of Vitality, WP, and Abilities and proficiency with two weapon categories and light and medium armor. It is generally recommended not to equip your creatures with equipment of a Tier that is higher than they are.
|Creature Class||Vitality per level||WP per Level|
Non-character creatures cannot use their Narrative Momentum to reroll dice.
Non-character creatures do not gain features like characters. They instead gain Creature Talents. A Creature Talent gives the creature the choice between one Greater Talent, two Lesser Talents, or one Path. They can only choose a Path once, though. They can also choose one Tier 5 Sub-Archetype feature if they have all other features of that Sub-Archetype and are of at least Tier 5. They can do so only once.
They can have any Primary and Secondary Stat as long as it is not the same Stat. They can have one of the following Stats as Evasion Stats: Strength, Intelligence, Charisma, or Instinct.
Minor creatures are designed to be cannon fodder and are very useful if you want to throw hordes of enemies at your players. They only have 1 Vitality. This way, any hit that deals more damage than their armor will kill them, making it easier for the GM to track the Vitality of large groups of minor creatures. They do not have any Abilities, Temporary Vitality, WP, or Narrative Momentum and only up to 1 Creature Talent and up to 1 Path. They start with no additional Skill Points. If a path requires them to choose an Ability, they can learn Abilities that fit the required criteria.
|Level||Tier||Stat Points||Skill Points||Creature Talent|
Normal creatures are your standard enemies and allies. They are weaker than a player character of the same Level, but they can still be dangerous in higher numbers. They gain the same amount of Vitality and Temporary Vitality as a player character. They only have half as much WP and Narrative Momentum as a character. They also learn fewer features and Abilities to keep them simple and easy to control for the GM.
|Level||Tier||Creature Talent||Stat Points||Skill Points||Abilities*||Abilities Total*|
|0||1||1||27||3||1, 2, 3||1, 2, 3|
|1||1||1||0, 0, 0||1, 2, 3|
|2||1||1||0, 0, 0||1, 2, 3|
|3||2||1||1||2||1, 2, 3||2, 4, 6|
|4||1||1||0, 0, 0||2, 4, 6|
|5||1||1||0, 0, 0||2, 4, 6|
|6||3||1||1||2||1, 2, 3||3, 6, 9|
|7||1||1||0, 0, 0||3, 6, 9|
|8||1||1||0, 0, 0||3, 6, 9|
|9||4||1||1||2||1, 2, 3||4, 8, 12|
|10||1||1||0, 0, 0||4, 8, 12|
|11||1||1||0, 0, 0||4, 8, 12|
|12||5||1||1||1||1, 2, 3||5, 10, 15|
*Depending on Creature Class (Fighter, Hybrid, Caster)
Elite creatures are almost as strong as a player character of the same Level and have a good chance of winning in a straight fight. They are useful if you want to distinguish a strong individual from other creatures, like a general or a companion that is supposed to be on the same level as the player characters.
|Level||Tier||Creature Talent||Stat Points||Skill Points||Abilities*||Abilities Total*|
|0||1||1||27||6||1, 1, 1||1, 1, 1|
|1||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||1, 2, 3|
|2||1||1||1, 1, 2||2, 3, 5|
|3||2||1||1||2||0, 1, 2||2, 4, 7|
|4||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||3, 5, 9|
|5||1||1||0, 1, 2||3, 6, 11|
|6||3||1||1||2||1, 1, 2||4, 7, 13|
|7||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||4, 8, 15|
|8||1||1||1, 1, 2||5, 9, 17|
|9||4||1||1||2||0, 1, 2||5, 10, 19|
|10||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||6, 11, 21|
|11||1||1||0, 1, 2||6, 12, 23|
|12||5||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||7, 13, 25|
*Depending on Creature Class (Fighter, Hybrid, Caster)
Boss creatures are far stronger than a normal player character and are designed to be able to take down a whole group of them alone. All Bosses have advantage on all of their DRs.
There are different grades of Bosses. Each grade represents how many characters of the same Level it can take on. So a Level 1 grade 3 Boss is roughly as strong as three Level 1 characters.
|Level||Tier||Creature Talent||Stat Points||Skill Points||Abilities*||Abilities Total*|
|0||1||1||27||9||2, 2, 2||2, 2, 2|
|1||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||2, 3, 4|
|2||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||3, 4, 6|
|3||2||1||1||2||0, 1, 2||3, 5, 8|
|4||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||4, 6, 10|
|5||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||4, 7, 12|
|6||3||1||1||2||1, 1, 2||5, 8, 14|
|7||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||5, 9, 16|
|8||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||6, 10, 18|
|9||4||1||1||2||0, 1, 2||6, 11, 20|
|10||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||7, 12, 22|
|11||1||1||1||0, 1, 2||7, 13, 24|
|12||5||1||1||1||1, 1, 2||8, 14, 26|
*Depending on Creature Class (Fighter, Hybrid, Caster)
The grade determines how high their Vitality and WP are. Their Vitality and WP are multiplied by their grade. For example, a Hybrid level 1 Boss creature with a Constitution of 12 and a Will of 10 would have a Vitality of 12+5=17 and a WP of 10+3=13 if they were grade 1. A grade 2 Boss would have 17*2=34 Vitality and 13*2=26 WP. A grade 3 Boss would have 17*3=51 Vitality and 13*3=39 WP, and so on.
For every grade beyond the first, they gain one additional turn per round. These additional turns are always after the turn of the next enemy that they are fighting. For example. You have a grade 4 Boss creature fighting against five player characters. Let us call them Abby, Betty, Charles, Douglas, and Eric. They have the following Initiatives: Boss 25, Abby 30, Betty 28, Charles 26, Douglas 24, and Eric 22. They would have the following order in the two first rounds:
|1||Boss||25 (Grade 1)|
|2||Boss||25 (Grade 1)|
A Boss creature cannot gain more turns than there are enemies. It might be a better idea to have a higher Level Boss with a lower grade if you want to have a single boss creature fight a whole group of players. It can otherwise lead the player characters to feel like they are just watching the boss act without them being able to do anything.
One thing that you also should take into account is that there are many Abilities and features that are triggered on each of a creature’s turns. For example, a grade 3 Boss that is poisoned for five rounds would trigger it three times in one round.
Sometimes your stories and games have battles far exceeding the scales viable with the normal battle system. Epic Space battles, armies storming a medieval castle, or soldiers fighting against an incoming invasion force are examples of scenarios that would be far too complicated if you tried to simulate each individual participant. The Army rules offer an alternative that actively allows you to participate in such conflicts and simplifies armies’ movement.
Instead of using creatures, you fight army battles with units. Units usually represent a group of creatures. The number of creatures that are in a Unit is not fixed. It could only be five creatures, or it could be 100. You determined what fits best for the scale of your battle.
Stats and Levels
Units have Stats, but they are different from the normal Stats of a creature. They are the following:
- Vitality: This Stat determines how long a unit can fight, similar to the Vitality of a creature. However, unlike a creature’s Vitality, a unit always dies as soon as its Vitality drops below 1.
- Movement: This Stat determines how many spaces the unit can move during their turn and when their turn is.
- Defense: This Stat determines how easy it is for the unit to receive full damage from an attack of another unit.
- Damage: This Stat determines how much damage this unit deals when they attack.
- Precision: This Stat determines how likely it is that they deal full damage to another unit.
- Range: This stat determines how far away a target of this unit can be.
Units also have Levels. They gain +2 to Vitality and +1 to Defense, Damage, and Precision per Level.
You can find a list of all standard Units and their Level 0 stats below.
Rounds and Turns
Just like normal combat, army battles have rounds and turn. Each unit has one turn during a round. The order is determined by the Movement of the units. The units with the highest Movement get their turn first, and afterward, the unit with the second-highest Movement and so on. If the units have the same Movement, the side on the battlefield that started the battle can move their units first. The GM decides which side has priority if there is no clear instigator for this army battle. Each side can decide in what order their units with the same Movement act.
A Unit can move a number of spaces equal to their movement and do one action.
A unit has four possible actions during its turn.
- Attack: The unit makes an attack.
- Charge: The unit doubles its Movement for that turn.
- Defend: All attacks against this unit have disadvantage until their next turn.
- Prepare: The unit attacks the next target that gets into range. You can specify a target (or group of targets) that triggers the effect.
Attack and Defense
A unit that uses the Attack action to attack another has to make an attack roll to see if they deal their full damage. They have to roll a d10 and add their Precision to it. If it is equal to or greater than the Defense of their target, they deal the full damage of the attack. Otherwise, they deal only half of the damage. In case they roll a natural 1 on the d10, they do not deal any damage at all. If you roll a natural 10, you automatically deal the highest potential damage of the attack without having to roll for it.
The damage of an attack equals 1d6 plus the Damage Stat of the attacker.
Heroes and Hero Units
Heros are mighty participants on the battlefield like the player characters that can shape the conflict on their own. A hero, who is on its own, gains the hero unit stats and has a Level equal to the Tier of the creature or character. Multiple heroes can form one hero unit adding each of their Tiers to the Level of the unit (for example, three level 6 characters would make a level 9 Hero Unit). A hero unit can fly when every hero in that unit can also fly.
Heroes can join other units. They increase the Level of the unit by an amount equal to their Tier if they do so. Additionally, they grant a bonus to the unit depending on their Primary Stat. Hero units also profit from those Primary Stat depending bonuses. The bonuses are the following:
- Strength: The Tier of the hero is added to Damage of the unit.
- Dexterity: The Movement of the unit increases by half the Tier of the hero rounded up.
- Constitution: The Vitality of the unit increases by an amount equal to twice the Tier of the hero.
- Intelligence: The Precision of the unit increase by an amount equal to the Tier of the hero.
- Charisma: The unit regenerates Vitality equal to the Tier of the Hero at the start of their turn.
- Instinct: The Defense of the unit increases by an amount equal to the Tier of the Hero.
- Will: Any damage the unit receives is reduced by an amount equal to half the Tier of the Hero rounded up.
A hero survives, leaving a hero unit behind, should the unit they were a part of reach a Vitality of 0. In case a hero unit loses all of their Vitality, they die unless the attacking unit wants to keep them alive or the GM is very merciful and lets them just fall unconscious on the battlefield.
The damage of a damaged hero unit is distributed among the splitting units evenly should they decide to split. That can lead to a character or creature dying instantly if there is not enough Vitality left for each splitting unit.
Heros that are Boss creatures multiply the amount of Tier-based bonuses and levels that they give to units by their boss grade.
In case two opposing hero units meet in combat, the action zooms in, and the battle takes place with the normal combat rules. The action zooms out again should one side win or retreat successfully.
A battle is rarely fought on a simple plain. The terrain itself can help or hinder each side and has effects on the units. Here is a list of examples of modifiers that terrain can give units:
- High Ground: A unit that is attacking another unit that is in a space that is lower than their own has the high ground and gains an advantage. Their Precision increases by 2 for any such attack. This also counts for flying units that are flying above other units. (Examples: Hills, atop a wall, cliffs, …)
- Obscured: An area can be full of obstacles that make it hard to traverse but also give good cover. Any unit within such a space gain +2 to their Defense but needs twice as much Movement when they move into such a space. (Examples: Forest, rocky terrain, hills, …)
- Cover: Sometimes, a unit is in a highly defensible position. They gain +3 to their Defense if they are in such a space. (Examples: Trenches, atop a wall, fortress)
- Difficult Terrain: Some areas are extremely hard to move through and can slow down a unit. Any unit needs twice as much Movement when they move into such a space. (Examples: Swamp, dessert, river, …)
A space is not clearly defined as in normal combat. The size of a space can freely be determined by the GM to fit the scale of battle that they want to achieve. A space could be only 10 m x 10 m, but it could also be 100 m x 100 m or even more.
List of Units
Here is a list of all units and their stats at level 0.
|Scouts||5||4||8||1||7||2||Terrain does not slow them down; a missed attack against them does not deal any damage|
|Artillery||7||2||4||7||3||3||Attacks deal double damage to buildings|
|Anti-Air||7||2||8||2||6||4||Attacks deal double damage against units that can fly|
|Ranged Flyer||8||3||7||3||2||3||Can fly|
|Bomber||9||2||7||8||3||4||Can fly; Can only attack spaces right below it; attacks deal double damage against buildings|
|Heavy Flyer||11||2||10||5||1||1||Can fly|
|Anti-Cavalry||9||2||11||5||4||1||Attacks deal double damage against Cavalry, and if they use the Prepare action (does not stack)|
|Healer||6||2||6||0||3||1||Can heal Unit that they stand next to by 1d6 + their Level as an action|
|Hero||0||2||5||0||0||2||See Hero Unit rules|
For some times of games and groups, the normal rules just do not cut it. Here you will find many options to help adjust IWS to your needs. Do not feel restricted by these alternative rules, however. Feel free to use any kind of homebrew rules that you like.
Some groups do not want to get bogged down by rules that limit their imagination and the potential for storytelling. For those people, we have the cinematic ruleset. The cinematic ruleset is also extremely beginner-friendly and easy to improvise with.
This ruleset revolves around Cinematic actions and reactions. They replace other actions, Abilities, features, Archetypes, items, or Traits. Characters and creatures can only make Skill Checks and use Cinematic actions and reactions.
Cinematic actions and reactions do not cost any Narrative Momentum in this ruleset. The normal damage and healing for a Cinematic action should be 1d8 plus your Tier for single targets and 1d4 plus Tier for multi targets. More creative and risky actions should result in higher damage. The GM decides how much damage or healing they do.
The bonuses that you gain from your Stats change. Strength no longer determines a character’s carry capacity since they no longer have a specific inventory. Instead, the Strength Bonus is added to your Vitality.
Intelligence and Charisma still give the same advantages in form of Skill Points and Narrative Momentum.
Instinct is only added once to your Initiative instead of twice.
Will does not affect your WP because there is no more WP since there are no Abilities either. Will does, however, still determine your Temporary Vitality.
You only have three Resources in the Cinematic ruleset. WP has been removed.
Narrative Momentum has not changed. The only difference is that you no longer need it for Cinematic actions and reactions.
The only things that you get when you Level up are more Skill and Stat Points. You gain them at the same rate as before. Your Tier (and the associated limit to Stats and Skill Levels) also increases at the same rate as normal (every 3 Levels).
There are no more Defense Rolls.
Alternative Leveling and Character Creation
One of the main ways to adjust IWS is by changing the general power level of the characters. Here are a couple of ways how you can adjust the characters to make them more or less powerful.
Maybe you want your characters to stay in a more realistic strength range and ensure that even at higher Levels, two shots from a pistol stay a deadly risk for your players. Maybe humans in your world can only become so good at what they do and are limited, preventing them from becoming epic heroes that could take on dragons and armies on their own. For that case, I recommend the Mere Mortals optional ruleset.
The following changes are applied to your Characters when you choose this ruleset:
- Your Character does not gain a Path.
- You only gain additional Vitality and Willpower once at Level 1.
- Your maximum Temporary Vitality is halved and does not increase with your Level.
- You cannot learn Abilities of Tier 2 or higher, and your Willpower upcast and turn limit stays at 4 when you reach a new Tier.
- Any Features or Talents that scale with your Level instead scale with your Tier.
Maybe you just want your group to be a couple of everyday humans without highly trained skills. Maybe you are just a group of detectives trying to solve a murder or plane crash survivors stranded on an island. The Only Human optional rule set is excellent for a more down-to-earth game.
The following changes are applied to your Characters when you choose this ruleset:
- Your Character does not gain an Archetype or Sub-Archetype and no features or proficiencies that come with it.
- Your Character can not gain any Talents, Paths, or Abilities.
- You start with 9 Skill Points. You can gain proficiency with one category of weapons or armor by spending one Skill Point. To gain proficiency with heavy armor, you need proficiency with medium armor, and to gain that, you need proficiency with light armor.
- The only things your Character gains with a Level up are additional Skill Points, Stat Points, and Tier changes.
- You cannot gain Temporary Vitality or WP.
- Your Will Bonus is added to your Narrative Momentum.
- Crafting and upgrading items takes twice as long.
Maybe your group wants to indulge in pure power fantasy and never fear that their characters might die. In that case, you might want to choose the Epic Heroes optional ruleset.
The following changes are applied to your Characters when you choose this ruleset:
- The Vitality that you gain per Level is doubled.
- You do not start bleeding if your Vitality drops below 1.
- You gain an additional Skill Point per Level.
The Free-Style leveling system allows you to remove almost all character creation restrictions. This alternative rule set is for people who wish for absolute freedom and do not need any rails to guide them.
|Class||Vitality per Level||WP per Level||Abilities per Level||Weapon Categories||Armor|
|Fighter||7||2||1 every even Level||3||Light, Medium, Heavy|
You start with two Abilities. You can learn any Ability you want, no matter what Archetype restrictions they usually have.
Whenever you gain a Level, you gain one Creature Talent. This means they can get either one Greater Talent, two Lesser Talents, or one Path. You can only choose a Path once, though. You can also choose one Tier 5 Sub-Archetype feature if you have all other features of that Sub-Archetype and are of at least Tier 5. They can do so only once. You start with two Creature Talents at Level 0.
Your character starts with 6 Skill Points. They can have any Primary and Secondary Stat as long as it is not the same Stat. They can have one of the following Stats as Evasion Stats: Strength, Intelligence, Charisma, or Instinct.
Negative Levels are an option for those who want to start as a blank slate with barely any combat proficiencies but still want the potential to become great heroes. This alternative rule allows you to start your character’s journey with Level -2 or -1.
At Level -1, you gain an Archetype but no Sub-Archetype. You gain 7 Stat Points for a total of 21. You learn one Ability.
Once you reach Level 0, treat it as you would normally.
If you are using the Free-Style leveling rules, you start with no Creature Talent, no additional Skill Points, and one weapon proficiency at Level -2. At Level -1, you gain one creature class, one Creature Talent, and six Skill Points. Handle Stat Points like with the normal negative Levels rules.
Scaling Size and Area of Effects
The standard space size of 1 m presumes that most of the creatures and characters in your campaign will roughly be 1 m x 1m x 2 m big. There are cases, however, where that is not the case. What, for example, do you do if you play a game where all the players play as Kaju? Or what if you play as cells in a human body? In such cases, you can just scale all the standard 1 m to whatever size fits your setting best. For the Kaju, you could have 10 m x 10 m x 20 m as your standard Medium size. For the cells, it could instead be 10 µm x 10 µm x 20 µm. Everything else, like Ability and weapon ranges, and Basic Movement can just easily scale from the baseline you and your group agree upon.
You can find alternative options for resting here should you find that the normal resting rules are too unrealistic or too limiting.
The Realistic Resting rules are great if you prefer gritty realism and hardcore resource management. It is an excellent fit with the Only Human ruleset if you want a far more realistic experience.
- Short and half rests have no effect.
- You only gain 1/10 of your maximum Vitality, WP, and Narrative Momentum after a full rest (minimum of 1 each).
- Any features and upgrades that normally regain all usage after a full rest only regain them after three full rests.
The Casual Resting rules are for anybody who prefers non-stop action and does not want to worry about limited resources.
- A short rest only takes 5 minutes.
- A half rest only takes 1 hour, and you can take them as often as you like without losing their effects. You also regain half of your maximum Narrative Momentum after a half rest.
Ishanekon: World Shapers does not have any background options like some other TTRPGs. One of the main philosophies of IWS is that you can freely create what you want without being restricted by preset backgrounds, heritage, species, races, or however you want to call it. Some groups do, however, like such choices. This alternative rule is for those people.
You can create your own backgrounds by using some Traits that have a Trait point sum of 4.
What is more traditional than species/race options for those classical fantasy adventures? These are some of the most iconic species/races that you will find in many such settings.
Dragonkin (sometimes also called half-dragons or Dragonborn) are humanoid dragons.
You gain Mixed Ancestry with the mystical creature type.
Choose one Elemental Damage Type. You gain Natural Armor with medium or heavy armor, and the first upgrade is Elemental Resistance against that Damage Type. You also gain Mystical Magic for the Ability (even if you cannot learn it) Elemental bolt of that Damage Type.
The dwarfs are sturdy and proud people that usually live underground and are known for their craftsmanship and mining.
Elves are an elegant and ancient people. They are also known for their mobility and are often close to nature.
A small but intelligent folk, the gnomes love to tinker and experiment.
You are of the size category small.
Halflings enjoy the simple things in life. They are small and prefer to stay at home, but sometimes, some of them gain the desire to go out into the world and explore. They are also known for their luck.
You are of the size category small.
Some might say humans are boring. I say they are full of potential.
Humans gain one Greater Talent of their choice. That’s it. Simple and flexible.
Orcs are proud (or savage) warriors, ready to prove their strength and combat prowess.