Core Rules

Attributes

Each of the three Attributes are used in different circumstances (see Saves, below).

  • Strength (STR): Used for saves requiring physical power, like lifting gates, bending bars, resisting poison, etc.
  • Dexterity (DEX): Used for saves requiring poise, speed, and reflexes like dodging, climbing, sneaking, balancing, etc.
  • Willpower (WIL): Used for saves to persuade, deceive, interrogate, intimidate, charm, provoke, manipulate spells, etc.

Saves

  • A save is a roll to avoid bad outcomes from risky choices and circumstances.
  • PCs roll a d20 and compare the results to an appropriate attribute. If they roll equal to or under that attribute, they pass. Otherwise, they fail. A 1 is always a success, and a 20 is always a failure.
  • If two opponents are both attempting to overcome the other, whoever is most at risk should save.

Healing & Recovery

  • Resting for a few moments and having a drink of water restores lost HP but may leave the party exposed. Bandages can stabilize a character that has taken critical damage.
  • Attribute loss (see Critical Damage) can usually be restored with a week’s rest, facilitated by a healer or other appropriate source of expertise.
  • Some healing services are free, while magical or more expedient means of recovery may come at a cost.

Deprivation & Fatigue

  • A PC that lacks a crucial need (such as food or rest) is Deprived. Anyone Deprived for more than a day adds Fatigue to their inventory, one for each day. A Deprived PC cannot recover HP, Attributes, or item slots from Fatigue.
  • A PC may also be forced to add Fatigue after casting spells or due to events occurring in the fiction. Each Fatigue occupies one slot and lasts until the PC is able to recuperate (such as a full night’s rest in a safe spot).
  • If a character is forced to add Fatigue to their inventory but they have no free slots, they must drop an item from their inventory.

Armor

  • Before calculating damage to HP, subtract the target’s Armor value from the result of damage rolls.
  • Shields and similar armor provide a bonus defense (e.g. +1 Armor), but only while the item is held or worn. Some may also provide additional benefits according to their use.
  • A PC, NPC, or monster cannot have more than 3 Armor.

Reactions

When the PCs encounter an NPC whose reaction to the party is not obvious, the Warden may roll 2d6 and consult the following table:

         
2 3-5 6-8 9-11 12
Hostile Wary Curious Kind Helpful

Morale

  • Enemies must pass a WIL save to avoid fleeing when they take their first casualty and again when they lose half their number.
  • Some groups may use their leader’s WIL in place of their own. Lone foes must save when they’re reduced to 0 HP.
  • Morale does not affect PCs.

Hirelings

  • Adventuring parties can recruit hirelings, relying on their unique skills, knowledge, and training to aid in expeditions.
  • To create a hireling, choose an appropriate role from the Hirelings table in the Marketplace. Roll 3d6 for each attribute, and 1d6 for their HP. Give them equipment appropriate to their station, then roll on the Character Traits tables to further flesh them out.
  • Alternatively, choose an appropriate background and name from the Character Creation guide. Roll (or choose from) the tables for that background. Then, roll for Rations, Gold Pieces, Attributes, HP, and age.

Die of Fate

  • Optionally, roll 1d6 whenever the outcome of an event is uncertain or to simulate an element of randomness and chance.
  • A roll of 4 or more generally favors the PCs, while a roll of 3 or under usually means bad luck for the PCs.

Combat

Rounds

  • A Round is roughly ten seconds of in-game time, and proceeds in turns. Each round starts with any PC that is able to act, followed by their opponents. The result of each side’s actions occur simultaneously.
  • During the first round of combat, each PC must make a DEX save in order to act. Special circumstances, abilities, items, or skills may negate this requirement. PCs that fail their save lose their turn for this round.
  • Their opponents then take their turn, and the first round ends. The next round begins with the PCs taking their turn, followed by their opponents, and so on until combat has ended with one side defeated or fled.

Actions

On their turn, a character may move up to 40ft and take up to one action. This may be casting a spell, attacking, making a second move, or some other reasonable action. Each round, the PCs declare what they are doing before dice are rolled. If a character attempts something risky, the Warden calls for a save for appropriate players or NPCs.

Attacking & Damage

  • The attacker rolls their weapon die and subtracts the target’s armor, then deals the remaining total to their opponent’s HP. Attacks in combat automatically hit.
  • If multiple attackers target the same foe, roll all damage dice and keep the single highest result. All actions are declared before being resolved.
  • If an attack would take a PC’s HP exactly to 0, refer to to the Scars table to see how they are uniquely impacted.

Attack Modifiers

  • If fighting from a position of weakness (such as through cover or with bound hands), the attack is Impaired and the attacker must roll 1d4 damage regardless of the attacks damage die. Unarmed attacks always do d4 damage.
  • If fighting from a position of advantage (such as against a helpless foe or through a daring maneuver), the attack is Enhanced, allowing the attacker to roll 1d12 damage instead of their normal die.
  • Attacks with the Blast quality affect all targets in the noted area, rolling separately for each affected character. This can be anything from explosions, to a dragon’s breath, to the impact of a meteorite. If unsure how many targets can be affected, roll the related damage die for a result.
  • If attacking with two weapons at the same time, roll both damage dice and keep the single highest result (denoted with a plus symbol, e.g. d8+d8).

Critical Damage

  • Damage that reduces a target’s HP below zero is subtracted from their STR by the amount of damage remaining. The target must then immediately make a STR save to avoid taking Critical Damage, using their new STR score. On a success, the target is still in the fight (albeit with a lower STR score) and must continue to make critical damage saves when incurring damage.
  • Any PC that suffers Critical Damage cannot do anything but crawl weakly, grasping for life. If given aid (such as bandages), they will stabilize. If left untreated, they die within the hour. NPCs and monsters that fail a Critical Damage save are considered dead, per the Warden’s discretion. Additionally, some enemies will have special abilities or effects that are triggered when their target fails a critical damage save.

Attribute Loss

  • If a PC would take damage outside of combat, they would instead take damage to an Attribute instead (typically STR).
  • If a PC’s STR is reduced to 0, they die. If their DEX is reduced to 0, they are paralyzed. If their WIL is reduced to 0, they are delirious. Complete DEX and WIL loss renders the character unable to act until they are restored through extended rest or by extraordinary means.

Character Death

  • When a character dies, the player is free to create a new character or take control of a hireling. They immediately join the party in order to reduce downtime.

Detachments

  • Large groups of similar combatants fighting together are treated as a single Detachment. When a detachment takes Critical Damage, it is routed or significantly weakened. When it reaches 0 STR, it is destroyed.
  • Attacks against detachments by individuals are impaired (excluding blast damage). Attacks against individuals by detachments are enhanced and deal blast damage.

Retreat

  • Running away from a dire situation always requires a successful DEX save, as well as a safe destination to run to.

Scars

If damage to a PC would reduce their HP to exactly 0, look up the result on the table below based on the amount of HP lost in the attack. For example, if a PC went from 3 HP to 0 HP, they would look at entry #3 (Walloped).

Scars Table

   
HP Lost Result
1 Lasting Scar: Roll 1d6. 1: Neck, 2: Hands, 3: Eye, 4: Chest, 5: Legs, 6: Ear. Roll 1d6. If the total is higher than your max HP, take the new result.
2 Rattling Blow: You’re disoriented and shaken. Describe how you refocus. Roll 1d6. If the total is higher than your max HP, take the new result.
3 Walloped: You’re sent flying and land flat on your face, winded. You are deprived until you rest for a few hours. Then, roll 1d6. Add that amount to your max HP.
4 Broken Limb: Roll 1d6. 1-2: Leg, 3-4: Arm, 5: Rib, 6: Skull. Once mended, roll 2d6. If the total is higher than your max HP, take the new result.
5 Diseased: You’re afflicted with a gross, uncomfortable infection. When you get over it, roll 2d6. If the total is higher than your max HP, take the new result.
6 Reorienting Head Wound: Roll 1d6. 1-2: STR, 3-4: DEX, 5-6: WIL. Roll 3d6. If the total is higher than your current attribute, take the new result.
7 Hamstrung: You can barely move until you get serious help and rest. After recovery, roll 3d6. If the total is higher than your max DEX, take the new result.
8 Deafened: You cannot hear anything until you find extraordinary aid. Regardless, make a WIL save. If you pass, increase your max WIL by 1d4.
9 Re-brained: Some hidden part of your psyche is knocked loose. Roll 3d6. If the total is higher than your max WIL, take the new result.
10 Sundered: An appendage is torn off, crippled or useless. The Warden will tell you which. Then, make a WIL save. If you pass, increase your max WIL by 1d6.
11 Mortal Wound: You are deprived and out of action. You die in one hour unless healed. Upon recovery, roll 2d6. Take the new result as your max HP.
12 Doomed: Death seemed ever so close, but somehow you survived. If your next save against critical damage is a fail, you die horribly. If you pass, roll 3d6. If the total is higher than your max HP, take the new result.

Magic

Spellbooks

  • Spellbooks contain a single spell and take up one slot. They cannot be easily transcribed or created; instead they are recovered from places like tombs, dungeons, and manors.
  • Spellbooks sometimes display unusual properties or limitations, such as producing a foul or unearthly smell when opened, possessing an innate intelligence, or being legible only when held in moonlight.
  • Spellbooks will attract the attention of those who seek the arcane power within, and it is considered dangerous to display them openly.

Casting Spells

  • Anyone can cast a spell by holding a Spellbook in both hands and reading its contents aloud. They must then add a Fatigue to inventory.
  • Given time and safety, PCs can enhance a spell’s impact (e.g., affecting multiple targets, increasing its power, etc.) without any additional cost.
  • If the PC is deprived or in danger (such as during combat), the Warden may require a PC to make a WIL save to avoid any ill-effects from casting the spell. Consequences of failure are on par with the intended effect, and may result in added Fatigue, the destruction of the Spellbook, injury, and even death.

Scrolls

Scrolls are similar to Spellbooks, however:

  • They are petty.
  • They do not cause Fatigue.
  • They disappear after one use.

Relics

Relics are items imbued with a magical spell or power. They do not cause Fatigue. Relics usually have limited use, as well as a recharge condition.

100 Spells

     
1 Adhere An object is covered in extremely sticky slime.
2 Anchor A strong wire sprouts from your arms, affixing itself to two points within 50ft on each side.
3 Animate Object An object obeys your commands as best it can.
4 Anthropomorphize An animal either gains human intelligence or human appearance for one day.
5 Arcane Eye You can see through a magical floating eyeball that flies around at your command.
6 Astral Prison An object is frozen in time and space within an invulnerable crystal shell.
7 Attract Two objects are strongly magnetically attracted to each other if they come within 10 feet.
8 Auditory Illusion You create illusory sounds that seem to come from a direction of your choice.
9 Babble A creature must loudly and clearly repeat everything you think. It is otherwise mute.
10 Bait Flower A plant sprouts from the ground that emanates the smell of decaying flesh.
11 Beast Form You and your possessions transform into a mundane animal.
12 Befuddle A creature of your choice is unable to form new short-term memories for the duration of the spell.
13 Body Swap You switch bodies with a creature you touch. If one body dies, the other dies as well.
14 Charm A creature you can see treats you as a friend.
15 Command A target obeys a single three-word command that does not cause it harm.
16 Comprehend You become fluent in all languages for a short while.
17 Cone of Foam Dense foam sprays from your hand, coating the target.
18 Control Plants Nearby plants and trees obey you and gain the ability to move at a slow pace.
19 Control Weather You may alter the type of weather at will, but you do not otherwise control it.
20 Cure Wounds Restore 1d4 STR per day to a creature you can touch.
21 Deafen All nearby creatures are deafened.
22 Detect Magic You can see or hear nearby magical auras.
23 Disassemble Any of your body parts may be detached and reattached at will, without causing pain or damage. You can still control them.
24 Disguise You may alter the appearance of one character at will as long as they remain humanoid. Attempts to duplicate other characters will seem uncanny.
25 Displace An object appears to be up to 15ft from its actual position.
26 Earthquake The ground begins shaking violently. Structures may be damaged or collapse.
27 Elasticity Your body can stretch up to 10ft.
28 Elemental Wall A straight wall of ice or fire 50ft long and 10ft high rises from the ground.
29 Filch A visible item teleports to your hands.
30 Flare A bright ball of energy fires a trail of light into the sky, revealing your location to friend or foe.
31 Fog Cloud A dense fog spreads out from you.
32 Frenzy A nearby creature erupts in a frenzy of violence.
33 Gate A portal to a random plane opens.
34 Gravity Shift You can change the direction of gravity, but only for yourself.
35 Greed A creature develops the overwhelming urge to possess a visible item of your choice.
36 Haste Your movement speed is tripled.
37 Hatred A creature develops a deep hatred of another creature or group and wishes to destroy them.
38 Hear Whispers You can hear faint sounds clearly.
39 Hover An object hovers, frictionless, 2ft above the ground. It can hold up to one humanoid.
40 Hypnotize A creature enters a trance and will truthfully answer one yes or no question you ask it.
41 Icy Touch A thick ice layer spreads across a touched surface, up to 10ft in radius.
42 Identify Owner Letters appear over the object you touch, spelling out the name of the object’s owners, if there are any.
43 Illuminate A floating light moves as you command.
44 Invisible Tether Two objects within 10ft of each other cannot be moved more than 10ft apart.
45 Knock A nearby mundane or magical lock unlocks loudly.
46 Leap You jump up to 10ft high, once.
47 Liquid Air The air around you becomes swimmable .
48 Magic Dampener All nearby magical effects have their effectiveness halved.
49 Manse A sturdy, furnished cottage appears for 12 hours. You can permit and forbid entry to it at will.
50 Marble Craze Your pockets are full of marbles, and will refill every 30 seconds.
51 Masquerade A characters’ appearance and voice becomes identical to those of a character you touch.
52 Miniaturize A creature you touch is shrunk down to the size of a mouse.
53 Mirror Image An illusory duplicate of yourself appears and is under your control.
54 Mirrorwalk A mirror becomes a gateway to another mirror that you looked into today.
55 Multiarm You temporarily gain an extra arm.
56 Night Sphere A 50ft wide sphere of darkness displaying the night sky appears before you.
57 Objectify You become any inanimate object between the size of a grand piano and an apple.
58 Ooze Form You become a living jelly.
59 Pacify A creature near you has an aversion to violence.
60 Phobia A nearby creature becomes terrified of an object of your choice.
61 Pit A pit 10ft wide and 10ft deep opens in the ground.
62 Primal Surge A creature rapidly evolves into a future version of its species.
63 Push/Pull An object of any size is pulled directly towards you or pushed directly away from you with the strength of one man.
64 Raise Dead A skeleton rises from the ground to serve you. They are incredibly stupid and can only obey simple orders.
65 Raise Spirit The spirit of a nearby corpse manifests and will answer 1 question.
66 Read Mind You can hear the surface thoughts of nearby creatures.
67 Repel Two objects are strongly magnetically repelled from each other within 10 feet.
68 Scry You can see through the eyes of a creature you touched earlier today.
69 Sculpt Elements Inanimate material behaves like clay in your hands.
70 Sense Choose one kind of object (key, gold, arrow, jug, etc). You can sense the nearest example.
71 Shield A creature you touch is protected from mundane attacks for one minute.
72 Shroud A creature you touch is invisible until they move.
73 Shuffle Two creatures you can see instantly switch places.
74 Sleep A creature you can see falls into a light sleep.
75 Slick Every surface in a 30ft radius becomes extremely slippery.
76 Smoke Form Your body becomes a living smoke that you can control.
77 Sniff You can smell even the faintest traces of scents.
78 Snuff The source of any mundane light you can see is instantly snuffed out.
79 Sort Inanimate items sort themselves according to categories you set.
80 Spectacle A clearly false but impressive illusion of your choice appears, under your control. It may be up to the size of a palace and has full motion and sound.
81 Spellsaw A whirling blade flies from your chest, clearing any plant material in its way. It is otherwise harmless.
82 Spider Climb You can climb surfaces like a spider.
83 Summon Cube Once per second you may summon or banish a 3-foot-wide cube of earth New cubes must be affixed to the earth or to other cubes.
84 Swarm You become a swarm of crows, rats, or piranhas. You can only be harmed by blast attacks.
85 Telekinesis You may mentally 1 move item under 60lbs.
86 Telepathy Two creatures can hear each other’s thoughts, no matter how far apart.
87 Teleport An object or person you can see is transported from one place to another in a 50ft radius.
88 Target Lure An object you touch becomes the target of any nearby spell.
89 Thicket A thicket of trees and dense brush up to 50ft wide suddenly sprouts up.
90 Summon Idol A carved stone statue the size of a mule rises from the ground.
91 Time Control Time in a 50ft bubble slows down or increases by 10% for 30 seconds.
92 True Sight You see through all nearby illusions.
93 Upwell A spring of seawater appears.
94 Vision You completely control what a creature sees.
95 Visual Illusion A silent, immobile, room-sized illusion of your choice appears.
96 Ward A silver circle 50ft across appears on the ground. Choose one species that cannot cross it.
97 Web Your wrists shoot thick webbing.
98 Widget A primitive version of a drawn tool or item appears before you and disappears after a short time.
99 Wizard Mark Your finger can shoot a stream of ulfire-colored paint. This paint is only visible to you and can be seen at any distance, even through solid objects.
100 X-Ray Vision You can see through walls, dirt, clothing, etc.