Section One: Explanation Of Terms Used
Each person will usually play only one imaginary character, although they may have one or more servants or employees who become important in the game. Each character is created by using the system described in Creating a Character (section 1.3). This section explains the various items that you will roll up, work out or invent in that section and note on a character sheet (see the free section of the website).
All persons, when rolling up, have one free re-roll, which they may take at any stage. They may even complete their rolling and then come back to one result and re-roll this. They may accept the second roll or take the original if it was better. This re-roll is of a whole roll and not a part of it. Thus a player cannot keep one %D roll of 97 and re-roll a second roll of 22 for their IQ (for instance).
Any character who has all of their prime requisite rolls (strength, psychic ability, piety, constitution, dexterity and leadership) as 12 or under may roll all of these again without this counting as a re-roll.
Summary of Rolls
- Origin & race (d%)
- Sex (1d%)
- Luck, smell, sight, hearing, voice, willpower, awareness, height & build (3d6)
- Intelligence (2d% averaged)
- Strength, Psychic Ability, Piety, Dexterity, Constitution & Leadership (4d6, chose 3)
- Handedness (1d6, 1d12 read separately)
- Appearance (2d% averaged)
- Determine languages (2d% & add IQ)
- Establish family (d%) & determine starting equipment
- Select competencies & determine skills
- Determine bonuses to hit etc.
- Establish how much damage you can take.
- Establish how much you can carry, range of weapons etc.
- Purchase equipment & determine inheritance
1) Origin and race
This roll will depend on where the campaign is set and the tables to roll on will be in the appropriate appendix (for instance The Land is Appendix Four).
This is a very important roll as it may determine what sort of skills your character has, what weapons they prefer and what competencies they will choose to adopt. For example, in The Land only a person who is Khitan may become a Tribesmen and only people from the Caliphate or Haven can become Assassins.
This will (for humans) be male or female. Unless specified in another table, sexual orientation or non-cis status is up to the player involved. GMs may wish to allow players to choose their gender. If a roll is made it is on %D. All human players have a 51% chance of being male. This si the way births work out. This will vary somewhat for other races.
3) Initial Player Statistics Rolls
These are rolled on 3d6 and the results immediately recorded.
Luck: Possibly the most important of these rolls. It is a useful shortcut roll to get people to roll under their luck to find an item, remember something or make any other roll that is not indicated by something else in these rules. As well players may, before rolling dice, indicate that they wish to use some (or all) of their luck for the day. On a d20 roll one point of luck will change the roll by 1 (in the direction the player wants). For a %D roll using one luck point will change the roll by 3%.
Smell: This is how well a character smells the world around them, not how much they add to that general aroma.
Sight: Visual acuity. This is the statistic that is easiest to cure by mechanical means as fragile metal and glass spectacles are available in a few locations. There will be some available in other places, but getting them right will be by trial and error if a skilled spectacle maker is not present. The most mechanical correction that can be applied will bring sight up to 15.
Hearing: How well the character hears. This can be vital at night and will be reduced by wearing helmets.
Voice: How good the voice of the character is and, to an extent, how loud it is. This is essential for anyone wishing to have a character that has some degree of ability in the bardic arts.
Willpower: How stubborn the character is and how resistant they are to argument. It is an essential roll when determining if a character has resisted various magical attacks and attempts to control. A low willpower character is easily convinced to act against their interests.
Awareness: A measure of how conscious a character is of their surroundings and thus how well they are likely to notice things happening around them that are not specifically covered by another roll. This includes a measure of kinaesthetic awareness or an awareness of the placement of objects around the character.
Height: How tall a character is. This is not a very tall world (mainly due to poor nutrition). Males are generally taller than females. Smaller people are also harder to hit, but will also have less mass behind any blow they deliver. Larger people are the opposite.
Build: How solid a character is. This can affect how stealthy a person is and also how resistant a person is to damage due to built-in padding (or lack thereof).
4) IQ (Intelligence)
This is how bright a character is on a normal human intelligence curve. A roll of 50 equates to an IQ of 100 (or normal). The actual roll is an average of 2%D with fractions rounded up. Players who roll a character with less than 25% IQ may roll this again without it counting against the free re-roll. Those with an IQ of less than 20% must roll it again. Intelligence is very important for mages and clerics. It also will affect how well a character learns and how well they are able to solve puzzles (such as how to pick a lock).
5) Prime Requisites
There are six rolls made for prime requisites. These are generated by the player rolling 4d6 and selecting any three of these to add together. These rolls may be allocated as desired so that the player has the type of character they are happiest with. They may (and usually do) delay this allocation until after they have finished rolling up the rest of their initial player statistics rolls and other key rolls.
Strength: Brute force. This is a major determinant of how much a character can carry, how hard they can hit something, how far they can throw, and how strong a bow they can pull.
Psychic ability (on the character sheet as ‘PSYCHIC’): This is how well the player connects with the magic realm. It is a determinant of how many spells may be used each day and can also be used for resistance to some magical attacks.
Piety: How well a player stands with their chosen god(s). Note that is possible to be a devout atheist, but this is a dangerous position as clerics are often loathe to cure those who are not their co-religious. Piety is used to determine the number of miracles used by clerics, the result of any player’s prayers to their deity and as a ‘save’ against miracles. It is also a measure of how resistant a character is to conversion to another faith. Even a non-cleric may find piety important when visiting a temple for a favour or when praying on a battlefield.
Constitution:This is how healthy a player is. It is the main factor in calculating how much damage a character can take (their Life Force) and is important for determining the effect of poisons or disease. It also determines how much a character heals each day.
Dexterity: This is how well a person is able to use their hands, how agile they are, even how well you can climb. It helps determine how well they can use missile and other weapons and many other skills. Low dexterity characters are clumsy and it is more likely for any accidents that happen to them to have serious consequences.
Leadership: This determines how well a character is able to influence people just by their posture and presence. It is often important when meeting people for the first time (particularly officials, servants and military types) and indicates the likelihood of having people obey orders given by the character. Entertainers need this as well.
This means which hand is dominant for the character. A left-hander has a slight advantage (3%) over a right-hander in combat. The reverse does not apply. Using the ‘wrong’ hand is done with penalties (note that this does not apply in regard to shields). Which is the dominant hand is obtained by rolling 1d6 and 1d12. If the result on the d6 is greater than on the d12 then the player is left-handed. If the d12 result is greater then they are right-handed. If the results are the same, they have a degree of ambidexterity. If both results are 1 then they may use both hands simultaneously, but always with a modifier of –3%. A double six results in true ambidexterity with both hands being able to be used for any purpose at the same time. Any other double means that either hand may be used, but not both at once.
Other key rolls
Appearance: How comely a person is. This is somewhat of a double edged sword. A very attractive person will get bonuses on meeting people, but may also become a target for slavers or just plain lust. This characteristic is obtained by rolling 2%D and rounding up to the nearest whole number. Note that non-human characters will generally have a lower appearance to humans than they do to their own race. However even a kharl may be attractive to another kharl. A player may adjust their result up or down by up to 10%. While it may be fun to play a character with a negative appearance, the prejudice that The Elephant Man experienced may convince them that this is a bad idea in the long term.
Religion: A character’s deity is usually that which is appropriate to the character’s place of birth. Sometimes this may result in a choice between up to three contenders. There is antipathy between the followers of some deities and choosing the ‘wrong’ deity can sometimes result in death if you visit the wrong place.
Weight: This is calculated from a character’s height and build (see table 1.5). It is important when considering how much a character can carry.
Life Force: This is how much damage a character can take before going unconscious. Once a character is unconscious, it then becomes a measure of how far negative they may go before actually dying. Calculated originally as twice a character’s Constitution plus the number of competencies they have over 1.
Origin: This is where the character comes from, what social class they are from, their parent’s occupation(s), how many siblings they have, how many are alive etc. The GM or the player may decide not to bother with siblings etc. The roll can be vital in determining a character’s life-chances or how likely they are to receive an education or have a worthwhile inheritance. See Section 1.2.
Areas of Expertise: These are abilities that a character has. These will often indicate how employable a person is in a trade or occupation. Usually a skill level of three indicates a person who is able to earn a living in that area. Wages will vary with skill. People with skill levels over 7 are rare and are well able to command a premium price for their labour. Skills are gained while growing up or by training. Once the character has been created they are then increased by rising in level or by training. See section 1.3.
It will be noted that often it is possible to have the ability to do a task at greater than 100%. This is fine as the 100% level refers to tasks that are of average difficulty. Seriously difficult tasks will reduce this chance to the extent where it may be impossible for a person with meagre skills to perform them.
Competency: Not a roll, but this is what they do and their level in it such as Mage 2, Armsman 5 etc. There is only provision for 2 here, but some players may have more (usually those born as nobles).