The Rules

Setting, Fluff & Stuff

The setting will be the Sunrise Archipelago, on an unnamed, unspecific world. It rests smack dab in the middle of the sea, out of sight of any major landmasses, and most of the residents believe it to be the only dry land in existence. It consists of twelve major islands, and innumerable little islets and reefs, arranged roughly in a circle. In the far northwest it is cold and icy, in the far southeast it is temperate and wooded. And the islands in between are in between. Travel along the archipelago is a bit more work than it sounds, however, for all ships crossing straight over the middle of the circle are never heard from again. Stories abound of ghost ships, curses and horrible sea creatures, but no one knows what the real cause is.

Some of the islands yet remain unsettled, the most noteworthy being Eclipse Island(on the west side of the archipelago), where thousands of colonists who scoffed at superstition have disappeared without a trace over the years.

There's a wide spread of cultures and ethnicities, so make something up and there'll be a bunch of similar-looking people living somewhere for you to come from.

Local religions focus mostly either on worship of the spirits(broadly separated into Ice & Water, Air & Storms, Earth & Plants, Fire and the Dead) or worship of the All-Creator, Ahura(primarily popular in the south). The two faiths have a chilly relationship as the Ahurans believe most of the spirits to be Ahura's servants, while the Fire spirits and the Dead are destructive and unholy influences.

How it all works:

You have an attribute. You have a skill. You add them together. Maybe if things are interesting, you add a penalty or a bonus(like a bonus from aiming before attacking, or a penalty for trying to fire an arrow during a storm). Then you roll a d10, add the prior number and… if you rolled a 9 or better, you succeed! Sometimes, someone might be rolling against you(like if you are rolling to stay unseen, and someone else is rolling to see stuff), and then the higher number wins.

If it ever matters who does something first(like someone trying to shut a door while you're trying to leap through it, or in fights), 1d10+dexterity is rolled to determine Initiative.

Making a character

Attributes

First, you've got attributes. Six of 'em. Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Perception and Willpower. All very straight-forward.

They can be between 0 and 5(though 0 is quite poor), and you've got 14 points to distribute between them.

Usually what attributes do is contribute when you're trying to do things, but they also have some passive effects! ((Con+Con+Str)x4)+10 are your Life Points! They do what it says on the tin! ((Con+Str+Will)x3)+5 are your Endurance Points! If you run out of those, you're probably knocked unconscious or too woozy to do much but stagger around! (Will+Int+Perception)x2 is your Essence! If you ever get up to any supernatural hoodoo, Essence will be the battery that fuels it! Also if some unpleasant thing is trying to suck your soul out through your ears, it'll be gobbling Essence instead of Life Points. Running out of Essence tends to be tiring and stressful, and if it runs deep into the negatives, you start being at risk of craziness or death.

Qualities & Drawbacks

Next, you can buy Qualities and Drawbacks! You have 5 points for this! Qualities cost points, Drawbacks give you points. Points gained from Drawbacks can also be spent on skills.

Acute/Impaired Senses(2 points): Either a quality or a drawback, a +3 or -3 to anything that relies on the damaged sense!

Addiction: A drawback, obviously! You're addicted to some wacky local substance and if you don't get it, you're not gonna feel well. The points gained obviously depend on how illegal or rare it is.

Artistic Talent(3 points): A quality! Gives you a +3 to anything related to a specific kind of art, and adds +12 to your Essence!

Charisma(1 to 5 points): How good you are at smooth-talking, intimidating and generally doing all that social stuff!

Contacts(1 to 5 points): People you can ask for help or advice! The more points you have, the better your network and the more they'll do to help you!

Fast Reaction Time(2 points): Quite qualitiative, gives you a +3 on initiative rolls! Hitting first helps prevent others from hitting you!

Hard to Kill(1 to 5 points): Every point you spend on this quality gives you +5 Life Points!

Increased Essence Pool(1 to 5 points): Every point you spend on this gives you +5 Essence!

Inspiration(5 points): Inspired characters can commune with the spirits and call upon their power. Every Inspired character is attuned to either the spirits of Water and Ice, Air and Storms, Earth and Plants, Fire or the Dead. With the proper occult knowledge, Inspired characters can all upon the spirits for aid… but the spirits may require payment, either in form of the character's Essence, or services.

Nerves of Steel(3 points): Allows you to resist supernatural dread and sometimes to see through illusions trying to terrify you. You never freeze up even when your life is on the line.

Photographic Memory(2 points): You never forget anything. If you see it, you can always recall it, to its tiniest detail.

Physical Disability(3 points): One of your arms or legs is badly damaged, or perhaps entirely missing! A bad or wooden leg makes you slower and worse at dodging, if you're short a hand or arm, you simply cannot wield two-handed weapons or similar!

Situational Awareness(2 points): You've got a good idea of what's going around you at all times. If nothing's distracting you and you pay attention, you can sense if there's anything dangerous or out of place in the area.

The Gift(5 points): Your character can, simply by focusing, see into the spirit world. What he sees may not always be pleasant, but if there are spirits, or flows or strange power around, they'll stand out to him clear as day.

Skills

After these, we move on to skills! You've got 30 points to throw around, and much like attributes, they go between 0 and 5. The list is as follows!

Acting, Brawling(unarmed combat), Climbing, Craft(a specific kind of craft must be chosen), Disguise, Dodge(pretty important in fights), Engineer(of a specific kind, maybe your character can build ships, houses or siege engines!), Fine Arts(painting, music, etc.), First Aid(for patching up those small wounds), Gambling(including how to cheat at games), Haggling, Hand Weapon(Pick a type! Sword, polearm, knife, improvised, axe or blunt.), Instruction(teaching others what you know), Intimidation, Lockpicking, Medicine(for really severe injuries and long-term care), Myth and Legend, Notice(how to spot stuff, you want this skill), Occult Knowledge(regarding a specific type of creatures or spirits, and their related rituals), Pick Pocket, Play Instrument, Questioning, Ranged Weapon(Bows, crossbows, throwing stuff, slings), Riding, Sailing, Singing, Smooth Talking, Stealth, Storytelling, Survival, Swimming, Tracking, Traps.

Equipment

And finally you'll probably want some weapons and armor and other stuff! We'll work that out when you get that far! But here are some handy related numbers!

Armor

Name/Damage Absorbed

Padded/1
Leather or Furs/4
Chainmail/9
Plate and Mail/16
Platemail/20
Leather Helmet/4
Metal Helmet/16
Wooden Shield/4
Banded Shield/8
Metal Shield/10

Chainmail, plate-and-mail and platemail encumber the wearer, making it harder for them to dodge and strike, in addition to slowing them down. Helmets of course only protect the head, and shields only protect against attacks from the front.

Weapons

Name/Damage

Shortbow/1d6xStrength
Longbow/1d8xStrength
Compound Bow/1d8x(Strength+1)
Light Crossbow/1d6x3
Crossbow/1d8x3
Arbalest/1d10x3

Punch/1d4xStrength
Kick/1d4x(Strength+1)
Small Knife/1d4x(Strength-1)
Large Knife/1d4xStrength
Shortsword or Huge Knife/1d6xStrength
Rapier/1d8xStrength
Broadsword/1d8xStrength
Bastard Sword/1d10xStrength
Greatsword/1d12x(Strength+1)
Spear/1d6xStrength
Spear(Charging)/1d8x(Strength+1)
Staff/1d6x(Strength+1)
Small Mace/1d8xStrength
Mace/1d10xStrength
Large Mace/1d12x(Strength+1)
Wood Axe/1d8xStrength
Battle Axe/(1d8+1)xStrength
Greataxe/1d12x(Strength+1)
Halberd/1d12x(Strength+2)

Wooden Shield(Bash)/1d6xStrength
Banded Shield(Bash)/1d6x(Strength+1)
Metal Shield(Bash)/1d8xStrength

Greatswords, Staves, Large Maces, Greataxes and Halberds must be used with two hands. Broadswords, Bastard Swords, Spears, Maces, Wood Axes and Battle Axes may be used with two hands, which gives a +1 to strength. If you're smacking someone in the head with a shield, you can't use it to block attacks in the same round.

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