Ascension Wars

Elevator Pitch

An ORE game set during an Early Age Ascension War in the Dominions universe. The players start out as unaffiliated adventurers just as the first Pretender Gods are awakening and making their mark upon the world.

System

ORE.

The basics of ORE are stat+skill determines your pool of rolled D10's. You then look for matches, for instance in a line of 10, 9, 5, 5, 5, 4, you'd have a "555"-match, that means a success. Generally the number of dice(width) determines how fast and strong the action is, while the actual number rolled(height) determines something about the quality(for instance, in combat it determines hit locations).

Expert Dice are dice that you set to a chosen number before rolling the rest. Master Dice are dice that you set to a chosen number after rolling the rest.

Combat

Wider actions go before narrower actions always. To dodge or parry, you must have a wider dodge or parry than the attacker(s), and can only dodge or parry shorter dice than your own.

Weapons generally do Width+X damage that's either Shock, Killing or both. Page 186 of the Reign book has many default weapons statted out. A location filled by Shock damage converts further Shock damage to Killing damage.

Half of all suffered Shock damage is healed automatically after a fight, healing Killing damage requires multiple days of bedrest of the attention of a skilled healer. Trying to use a limb filled with Shock damage for anything(or in the case of the Torso, doing anything at all), offers a 1-die penalty to all related actions.

Page 183 has armor. Armor is a flat damage reduction to the locations it covers. Flying is only possible in Light armor, Medium and Heavy armor penalize most physical non-combat actions(running, swimming, climbing, sneaking, etc.).

Height Hit Location Default Health
1 Left Leg 5
2 Right Leg 5
3-4 Left Arm 5
5-6 Right Arm 5
7-9 Torso 10
10 Head 4

Swarms of mooks are treated as single enemies, with each mook adding a single die to their communal pool, to a max of 15 dice. Any hit against them will take one out, with their Threat rating determining how good the hit has to be. Any set with Width or Height equal to or greater than the Threat rating takes one out of the action. Area attacks and morale attacks are also exceptionally effective against them, destroying or scaring away a number of mooks equal to their Area rating or the higher of the Width or Height of the Morale Attack. Mooks also can't get better than Width 3 on any of their attacks, instead making many smaller attacks.

Chargen

Everyone starts with 1 point in each of the six stats and 130 points with which to "buy" their character. Costs are as follows.

Increasing a Stat by 1: 5 points.
Increasing a Skill by 1: 1 point.
Promoting a Normal Skill die to an Expert Die: 1 point.
Promoting an Expert Die to a Master Die: 5 points.
Learning a spell: 2 points.

Assume all default skills(starting page 30 onwards) exist in the game.

Default prices for items are on page 356 of the Reign book, start yourself off with six units of Wealth to buy gear with. Crossbows are unavailable. Weapon stats are on page 186.

Chargen points can also be used to buy the following:

Name Cost Description
Awe 5+ Mook groups attempting to attack the character get a penalty to all dice pools equal to the ranks of Awe the character possesses(one rank per 5 points spent). Does not affect mindless mooks like lesser undead or constructs.
Ambidexterity 5+ Every rank of Ambidexterity costs 5 points. For every rank of Ambidexterity you can utilize another matching set when attacking(each set must use a different equipped weapon) without suffering any multi-attack dice penalties.
Berserker 5+ When injured(any one point of Shock or Killing damage counts), a character with Berserker will fly into a rage, increasing their Body and Coordination scores by +1 for every rank of Berserker bought, but becoming unable to make Parry or Dodge actions.
Flight 10 Your character can fly. Whether by wings or magic, they still need to touch down and rest sometimes, so they can't stay airborne permanently. You cannot wear heavier than Light armor while flying, and suffer a -3d penalty to using bows from the air. Being airborne can be used to make Depth Charges from above.
Glamour 10 The ability to hide and disguise your appearance and location. In combat, this translates to the first, successful non-Area, non-Magic attack against you in the fight automatically failing.
Huge 2+ Every rank of Huge costs 2 points, and every rank of Huge adds another injury box to your character. The first two are applied to your Body, the next two to your Arms, then to your Legs and every seventh rank is applied to the Head. If more than seven ranks are bought, it starts from the Body again.
Immunity 25 Your character is utterly immune to Fire, Lightning or Frost-based attacks.
Invulnerability 10+ This functions exactly like Natural Armor except it only works against non-magical attacks and weapons. Invulnerability is often possessed by powerful undead creatures and angels.
Mage 10+ Your character is a rank 1-mage in the path of Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Nature, Death, Astral or Blood. Rank 2 costs 20 points, Rank 3 costs 40 points, etc. up to rank 9 as the maximum. Every Path rank includes two free spells learned.
Magical Items 1+ Your character owns one or more magical items or gems.
Natural Armor 15+ Every 15 points invested into Natural Armor means all body areas gain 1 point of natural Armor Rating. This does not stack with worn armor, rather, the highest rating is always the one counted
Poisonous Skin 2+ Anyone dealing killing damage to you in melee ruptures the poison glands in your skin, exposing them to the toxic compounds therein, a poison with Potency equal to the points invested in it. The Major effect is Width of the potency roll worth of armor-ignoring poison Shock damage to the arm used in the attack, the Minor effect is a single point of armor-ignoring poison damage to the affected limb.
Predator 5+ A 5 points your bite does Killing rather than Shock damage, at 10 points your punches and Kicks also do Killing damage.
Resistance 5 Your character has inherent 1 Armor against Frost, Fire or Lightning damage. Can be bought multiple times.
Serpentine 0 Your character is a giant serpent or worm of some sort. This means you lack arms and legs, but are instead quite large and dangerous. All attacks that would normally hit your limbs instead hit your body, and the default health of your body and head are increased to 20 and 10 respectively. Serpentine creatures also have a Tail Slam unarmed attack in place of punches and kicks, which does Width+1 Shock.
Venom 2+ Your character has poisonous fangs or claws, attacked with using the Fight skill. In the case of fangs, their damage is Width Killing, but always reduced to 1 after armor is considered. Poisonous claws do normal unarmed damage. If the target suffers any damage, they're injected with a poison that has Potency equal to the amount of points spent on Venom. The Minor effect is to apply 1 Killing damage to the target area, and the Major effect is to apply 5 damage to the target area, with one point of Killing being applied every round until all five points have taken effect.
Vision 5+ At 5 cost your character has Night Vision and never suffers penalties for fighting in low-light or no-light conditions, at 10 cost your character also has Spirit Vision and can see invisible creatures(ghosts, succubi, etc.) and can see even if they should somehow lose their eyes or be blindfolded.

Magic

Spells are formatted as follows:

Name(Obvious)
Description(Obvious)
Effect(Self-Explanatory)
Roll(An attack spell may use Coordination+Path Rating to hit someone, while a scrying spell may use Sense+Path Rating to accomplish its goal)
Fatigue(All spells cause exhaustion, doing an amount of Shock damage equal to Fatigue Rating-Path Rating-Spent Gems. The caster chooses how to distribute the Shock damage across his body, and excess Shock damage turns into Killing damage as usual.)
Gems(Some powerful spells require that appropriate Gems be spent to cast them at all)

Dominions Spell Encyclopedia

Magic Items

Note: At most two "miscellaneous" items(i.e. not armor, weapons, shields or otherwise held in hands) may be equipped at once.

Name Cost Description
Armor of Souls 10 Hammered together by sinister Blood Mages from pure souls, wearing an Armor of Souls counts as a Chain Shirt and increases the wearer's Counterspell skill by 1.
Astral Serpent 40 When in battle, this amulet will manifest as a vicious spectral serpent, striking at any who approach the wearer. Hostile targets must roll a successful Dodge or Parry every round, or suffer the serpent's bite which injects a Potency 6 poison with a Minor effect of 4 points of Shock damage to the body and a Major effect of 8 points of Shock damage to the body. This poison is powerful enough to even affect mindless and lifeless creatures like the undead and golems.
Boots of the Behemoth 15 The wearer's unarmed attacks become Area 4 Shock attacks, ignoring armor and being capable of steamrolling mook enemies.
Berserker Pelt 15 Grants 3 ranks of Berserker, but precludes wearing any body armor.
Blood Stone 40 Steeped in the blood of innocent sacrifices, wearing this stone as an amulet grants +1 Earth mage ranks to those already capable of Earth magic, as well as counting as one free Earth gem per battle.
Champion's Skull 10 Contains the soul of an ancient warrior. Once per day, the skull can whisper strategic advice to the carrier, allowing them to reroll an attack, dodge or parry pool.
Clam of Pearls 15 Counts as ownership of 2 Astral Pearls and refills every day at sunrise.
Contract of Lifelong Protection 35 Whenever the holder of this contract is attacked, imps from hell will arrive to defend him, in a 10-large, Threat 2 mob. They will disperse again after every attack. The holder is also endebted to the forces of Inferno and cannot attempt to Counterspell any magic used upon him by a devil or demon.
Copper Arm 25 Takes up one of the owner's Miscellaneous slots and in exchange grants them another arm that can wield wands, weapons or shields.
Crystal Heart 25 Unlike other magical hearts, the Crystal Heart doesn't replce the owner's original heart, but is instead implanted just behind it. It still loses them a permanent slot of Body health, however. The function of the Crystal Heart is to detonate in a burst of healing energy if the owner is ever killed, instantly healing all injuries they've suffered, purging their body of poisons and restoring them to full life. The Crystal Heart can only do this once.
Dancing Trident 35 A flying trident that strikes at nearby enemies of its own volition, using his skill at arms. If the owner is killed or rendered unconscious, it falls to the ground, inert. Stats as per a Polearm, acts as a free extra attack action with said polearm.
Effigy of War 5 Produces illusions that allow even a small group to look like a large army, ten-doubling their apparent numbers.
Elf bane 25 Stats as per a battleaxe, but all successful hits against magical beings double the damage done after armor has been subtracted.
Eyecatcher 10 Counts as a Small Knife, but automatically adds an Expert Die 10 to every attack roll. If it lands a single point of Killing damage on an enemy's head, it also automatically removes one of their eyes.
Eye of Aiming 15 Grants sight as a normal eye, but cannot be blinded(will also restore sight if it replaces a blinded eye). The Eye of Aiming also removes the one-die penalty when making an aimed attack at a location.
Eye of Innocence 15 Grants sight as a normal eye, but cannot be blinded(will also restore sight if it replaces a blinded eye). Anyone with an Eye of Innocence gains +1 die to any pool where it would benefit them to not seem suspicious(when sneaking, when trying to distract someone, when lying to someone, etc.).
Eye of the Void 15 Grants sight as a normal eye, but cannot be blinded(will also restore sight if it replaces a blinded eye). After implantation, the owner's Counterspell skill is permanently reduced by 2(it can become negative from this), but the target of any spell the owner casts also has their Counterspell rating treated as 2 lower.
Eye Shield 15 Counts as a small wooden shield. Anyone who strikes the shield must get a Width 3 or more roll on a Knowledge+Counterspell check or be rendered permanently blind.
Flambeau 25 Counts as a greatsword. Any undead or demonic targets struck and damaged by the Flambeau suffer tripled damage after armor. The wielder of the Flambeau also gains +1 Fire Resistance.
Gems 2+ Every magic gem costs 2 points, and they exist for all paths of magic except Blood(which uses Blood Slaves instead). A skilled caster can turn any kind of gem into another type at a rate of 4:1, except for Astral pearls which trade at a rate of 2:1 to and from all types. Sufficient numbers of gems of the correct type can be used to promote mage paths, at a cost of 20 to go from rank 1 to 2, and doubling every rank afterwards(40, 80, etc.).
Handful of Acorns 25 When thrown on any fertile ground, these acorns produce a 10-large, Threat 3 mob of Vine Men mooks that defend their caster until the immediate threat is over, at which point they take root and become plants. Fresh acorns can be harvested from these plants, but won't be ready for use again until the next day.
Heart of Life 35 The implantee permanently loses a Body health level once their heart is replaced by the Heart of Life. They treat all poisons as being two Potency lower and recover from one point of Shock damage per combat round.
Herald Lance 25 Counts as a polearm. The Herald Lance is a weapon designed for one purpose only: the destruction of the undead. When it used in melee, it doubles all post-armor damage against undead targets. At range it can fire scorching rays of sunlight that only damage the undead, injuring them as though they'd been struck by a polearm(this does not do the double damage, however) and doing Area Width Killing damage against undead mook groups. The ranged attack of the Herald Lance is treated as a normal ranged weapon attack, using polearm skill if the character has it.
Horror Helmet 10 Counts as a Reinforced Full Helm for purposes of Defense, and automatically adds a Master Die to any Morale Attack the character is making, including Display Kills.
Ice Weapon 5 A version of any normal weapon where the metal is replaced by enchanted Caelian ice. Does +2 Killing damage vs Abysians, Fire Drakes, Fire Elementals and other creatures related to pure flame.
Ivy Crown 10 Plant-based creatures will perceive the wearer as one of their own and tolerate his presence and even negotiate with him.
Mace of Eruption 15 Every strike from this mace explodes in a conflagaration of fire. It does Area 3 Shock Fire damage, but the wielder will also be affected by this.
Midget Masher 25 Counts as a Big Club. If the wielder of this weapon is notably bigger than his target(an inch of height doesn't count), like a giant striking at a normal man, it deals double damage post-armor.
Scutata Volturnus 25 Counts as a large metal shield. Destroys 1d10-Threat mooks in melee every round as it lashes out at them with bolts of lightning, confers 1 point of Lightning Resistance on the holder. Targets one worthy enemy in melee with a four-dice lightning bolt attack that does Width Killing damage per round.
Rune Smasher 35 Counts as a Mace. Any mage holding a Rune Smasher lowers the Knowledge+Counterspell pool of any enemy targeted by his magic by two dice.
Skull Staff 30 Counts as a Staff. While held, the skull atop this staff will whisper necromantic advice to the holder, allowing him to treat his Death path ranking as one higher for all purposes.
Thunder Bow 30 Counts as a Longbow. Rather than firing arrows, Thunder Bows fire lightning bolts that spring into existence as soon as the string is drawn. They do armor-ignoring lightning damage which is instead subject to lightning resistance and immunity.
Vine Shield 20 Anyone attempting to strike at the holder must succeed at a Body+Athletics roll or be entangled in vines until they successfully roll a Body+Athletics check(one allowed per round). In combat against mobs, it automatically takes 1d10-Threat mobs out of the fight every round as they're wrapped in the vines. Also counts as a large wooden shield.
Vine Whip 20 Width Shock damage. Anyone successfully struck must roll Body+Athletics and get greater Width than the attack roll or be entangled in vines. Once per turn, they can attempt another Body+Athletics roll to break free.
Weapon of Sharpness 15 An enchanted version of any (non-projectile) weapon which ignores half of the target's armor(rounded down).
Weightless Armor 20 An enchanted version of armor that counts as a weight category lower than normal(Medium becomes Light, Heavy becomes Medium)
Winged Boots 5 Grants the Flight attribute, but any strike to the wearer's legs disables the effect of the boots for a number of minutes equal to the damage done. This may result in unfortunate plummeting incidents.
Wraith Weapon 30 An enchanted version of any (non-projectile) weapon which heals one Shock injury for the wielder for every point of Killing damage he causes, or turns one of his own Killing injuries into a Shock injury if no Shock injuries are available.

Magic Surgery

Some magic items, especially Eyes and Hearts, require that they be surgically implanted in the recipient, often replacing a damaged or existing organ. Eyes require a Width 4 success on a Healing roll and Hearts require a Width 6 success on a Healing roll. Failure on implanting an eye blinds the eye that was to be replaced(if it wasn't blind already) and does one Killing damage to the head location. Failure on implanting a heart does 5 Killing damage to the body location.

House Rules

Revised Armor

Name Locations Covered Armor Rating Weight Price
Fur/Leather Helmet 10 1 Light 1
Fur/Leather Jerkin 7-9 1 Light 1
Fur/Leather Boots 1-2 1 Light 1
Iron/Bronze Cap 10 2 Medium 2
Iron/Bronze Breastplate 7-9 2 Medium 2
Iron/Bronze Boots 1-2 2 Medium 2
Iron/Bronze Mail 3-9 2 Medium 3
Blacksteel Helmet 10 3 Heavy 3
Blacksteel Breastplate 7-9 3 Heavy 3
Blacksteel Boots 1-2 3 Heavy 3
Blacksteel Mail 3-9 3 Heavy 4
Blacksteel Full Plate 1-10 3 Heavy 5

Combat Secrets

Ascendant Assassin Arts

The Ascendant Assassins are patient combatants who use their opponents' mistakes against them.

Counterbalance (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Assassin patiently waits for his opponent to strike, and fail, and then returns fire before his opponent has a chance to regain his balance.
Effect: Whenever the Ascendant Assassin manages to Dodge an enemy attack, they may make a full attack against their opponent with the equipped weapon of their choice using their full set of Dodge dice.
Roll: Coordination+Dodge

Butterfly Spirit (2 points)

Description: An unarmed opponent is a less dangerous opponent, usually, so the Ascendant Assassin will take any chance to disarm the opponent when he fails to strike.
Effect: Take a one-die penalty to a Parry roll, if it succeeds, your opponent is automatically disarmed as well. If you parry unarmed, take a two-dice penalty but gain immediate possession of your opponent's weapon.
Roll: Coordination+Weapon Skill

Night Lord (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Assassin moves like a blur as his opponent attacks. If the dodge is successful, his opponent utterly loses track of him.
Effect: For every point that the Assassin's Width beats the attacker's by, the Assassin gains an extra die against his opponent on his next attack or dodge.
Roll: Coordination+Dodge

Ungraspable Serpent (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Assassin cannot be held or pinned, moving like a boneless creature.
Effect: You gain two extra dice to any pools used to avoid a pin or grab.
Roll: Passive

Hidden Sting (2 points)

Description: Every assassin knows that the hidden and unexpected weapon is the most dangerous.
Effect: If your weapon is undrawn and hidden, then your first attack with it in a fight gains a 2-die advantage. Large weapons like lances and greatswords obviously can't be hidden(at least, not without getting very creative) and if an enemy has reason to suspect you're armed(i.e. you're walking around covered in blood or holding a severed head), the advantage isn't gained either.
Roll: Passive

Ascendant Beast Arts

The Ascendant Beast Arts are combat arts entirely about raw physical power, with little subtlety, leveraging the pure muscle strength of your body and fighting unarmed or with improvised weapons.

Steel Muscles (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Beast hardens every muscle in his body in preparation for an incoming blow, tensing up to let it roll off his back without penetration.
Effect: This ability can be triggered at any point before the Ascendant Beast has acted during a round, but not after an opponent has already rolled an attack against him. The Beast gains Width worth of Natural Armor(which is NOT added on top of any existing Natural Armor, if any, rather the higher value is used) for the remainder of the round and suffers 2-Height Armor-Ignoring Shock damage to his body location.
Roll: Body+Vigor

Power Surge (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Beast uses his pain to fuel his next strike.
Effect: For every point of damage resisted by the Natural Armor granted from Steel Muscles, his next attack gains an extra Expert Die.
Roll: Passive

Steel Grapple (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Beast grabs an opponent and uses them as a weapon in battle.
Effect: The Beast grips an opponent in a steel clench, preventing them from escaping or acting, the Height indicates the body part that they're gripped by which suffers Shock Width damage. Every following round, the grasped opponent may attempt to roll Body+Athletics vs the Beast's original roll to tear free. Any round where the opponent hasn't torn free, the Beast may make an unarmed attack against them with the Width of the original roll added to it OR make an attack with their opponent as a weapon(counts as Big Club) which automatically strikes their "weapon" with the same attack that it strikes the target with.
Roll: Weapon(Unarmed/Grappling)+Coordination

Cyclone Sling (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Beast uses a grabbed opponent as a ranged weapon.
Effect: The Beast can now use enemies grabbed with Steel Grapple as ranged weapons as well, against any target in range. This obviously also terminates the grapple.
Roll: Weapon(Unarmed/Grappling)+Coordination

Meat Shield (2 points)

Description: The Ascendant Beast's opponents are now shields as well as weapons.
Effect: The Beast can now use grabbed enemies as Shields, which count as Large Metal Shields for purposes of defense.
Roll: Passive

Ascendant Dancer Arts

The Ascendant Dancers use constant, swift movement to fend off multiple opponents at once.

Roster of Divinities

Zadkiel, the God of Ermor

Titles: The Lady of Order, the Holder of the Windbag, the Everburning One

Blessing: Precision(no dice penalty when making aimed attacks), Attack Skill(+1 die to any attack pool).

Dominion: Within the lady Zadkiel's dominion, life is predictable and orderly, crafts come easy to everyone's hands and the land is bountiful enough to yield harvests thrice a year.

Coatlique, the God of Xibalba

Titles: Goddess of the Healing Arts, Protector of the Holy Mountain, Sovereign of Sin, the Lady of Courage

Blessing: Unbreakable(non-Torso bodyparts function at full ability even if they're filled with Killing damage, can only die from having the Body filled with Killing damage), Greater Poison Resistance(reduces the Potency of all poisons by 3), Blood Surge(whenever a non-mook enemy is killed in combat, immediately recover 2 points of Shock damage and gain a point of Body for the remainder of the battle)

Dominion: Within Coatlique's domain, illness is the norm and common work is difficult, but arcane workings are much easier and random happenstances of luck seem strangely common. The weather is usually tropical.

Hakon, the God of Rus

Titles: Lord of the Spring, the Creator of Wine, the Counsellor of the Gods

Blessing: Greater Shock Resistance(3 points of innate Lightning Resistance), Larger(7 ranks of Huge)

Dominion: Hakon's domain is snow-swept but lush with life, as trees are green year-round and arctic animals are everywhere. Work in his cold domain is difficult, but life is orderly.

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