View Full Version : Kismet - Experimental d20 RPG

2012-10-16, 12:48 AM
First of all, thank you for checking out the thread. I've been working on Kismet for a long time, and while it's not completely done yet, I think it's at the point where I can at least post most of the core mechanics and concepts.

Kismet draws inspiration from a lot of RPG system I've played and homebrewed over the years, mainly D&D, White Wolf, and the Cortex system. It's designed to be an unholy fusion of the best ideas those systems present, mixed with solid mechanics and a character creation system that allows depth and variety while still keeping the whole party useful and balanced.

There's still lots to do, but with the wonderful people here at the Playground, I'm sure we can make Kismet something players and dungeon masters alike will love playing.

So, without further ado, let's begin!

Table of Contents

{table=head]Player's Guide|Status
Character Concept and Tiers|Complete
Character Creation and Level|Complete
Armor Class and Saves|Complete
Health and Mechanics|Complete
Class Features|Complete
Dice Pools|Complete
Talent Spheres|Complete
Mundane Equipment and Wealth|Complete
Armor, Shields and Weapons|Complete
Magic Items|Incomplete[/table]

Dungeon Master's Guide - Coming after the Player's Guide is complete

Current Tasks (As of November 2nd 2012): Still working on Talents, currently testing out new Action Economy system (forcing players to take only one Standard action per round, but allowing for them to still spend their Weapon and Utility dice at once).

2012-10-16, 01:08 AM

So, what is Kismet?

I'd probably describe it as a d20 RPG that takes inspiration from other, non-d20 systems. It combines the level, skill, and class feature system of D&D 3.5, the special abilities of White Wolf games, and the die-step style attributes and abilities from the Cortex system. And, at the same time, it plays like none of the above.

It's a game that focuses on letting the player play the character they want, the way they want. It's simple to create a character, but there's a depth and breadth to the character customization options.

It's a game where your character's flavor is the player's decision, not the game's decision. Play a wuxia warrior, or a gritty mercenary type. Master elemental fire and have your wizard torch your foes, or play a dragon and breathe fire on anyone who would dare face you in battle.

It's a game where the DM can create monsters on the fly, or look at existing examples in the Bestiary and adapt them to the situation at hand.

The character you want, the way you want it, without having to worry about balance or party dynamic. The fantasy RPG you've been waiting for.

Character Concept and Tiers

The first step in playing Kismet is coming up with a Character Concept. Ask yourself, who is your character? What do they look like? How to they act? What kind of things can they do? When coming up with your character, you should keep a few things in mind.

First, talk to the DM about what kind of campaign you’ll be playing in, and what level you will be starting at. If you’re starting at 1st level, it might not be appropriate to play a master of the arcane arts, a wandering god, or a huge dragon. And yes, you can actually play those kinds of characters in Kismet, without overshadowing the other players. On the other hand, if you’re starting at 12th level, playing a simple cobbler or a yokel might not fit the level of play you’re expecting.

To help with this, Kismet breaks the game down into 4 Tiers, or levels of play. They are Heroic, Paragon, Epic, and Exalted. Heroic characters are level 1-5, Paragon characters are level 6-10, Epic characters are level 11-15, and Exalted characters are level 16-20.

Heroic games focus on characters that are more skilled than normal people, but are not incredibly powerful. This doesn’t mean they’re not good at what they do, but the challenges they face are fairly low-scale. Heroic adventures might involve protecting a town from a band of Hobgoblin gangsters, wiping out an evil cult, or investigating an ancient ruin filled with traps. Heroic heroes from film and literature include Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker from A New Hope, or Perseus.

Paragon games deal more with experienced or powerful adventurers who are still very much mortal. They’re better and more competent than Heroic character, but Heroic challenges and enemies are still a real threat. Paragon adventures are generally on a larger scale. Examples of Paragon adventures include helping defeat an army of Orcs, raiding an abandoned Dwarven ruin, or searching for a Fey pool that can heal any wound. Paragon characters from literature include Aragorn, Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi, and Achilles.

Epic games start to deal with things decidedly beyond the realms of men, including angels, demons, and creatures from the far realms. Epic characters can travel the planes, teleport great distances, and have other powers far beyond most mortals. Paragon challenges are easier to tackle, and anything Heroic is a mere trifle for an Epic character to handle. Examples of Epic adventures might include storming Hell to rescue a friend’s soul, foiling a plot to summon a horde of Far Realm creatures, or fighting an elder dragon. Epic characters might include Sauron while possessing the One Ring or Hercules.

Exalted games are beyond the realm of mortals – the characters are now dealing with gods, Elder Evils, and the forces of the universe themselves. They can handle Epic adventures with relative ease, and anything Paragon or lower can be handled solo without much difficulty. Examples of Exalted adventures might include fighting Asmodeus in a test of wits, slaying Cthuhlu, or stopping a cataclysmic event that would destroy the world. Exalted characters might include Death or another Incarnation of Immortality, or a powerful Demigod from fiction.. Some lesser deities themselves might qualify as Exalted characters.

Character Creation and Level

So, you have your Character Concept. Here’s how you make your character.

Look at the chart below and figure out your Level. You’ll want to write down all the stuff that’s on that line of the table.

You might notice level 0 – some character are actually not level 1 characters at all. Level 0 characters have a very limited suite of abilities, and they don’t get benefits based on level, such as Fate to hit points/fate points, and they actually have reduced bonuses in many of their abilities.

{table=head]Level|Aptitude|Attribute Points|Class Feature Points|Talent Groups|Trained Skill Bonus|Base Fate Pool|Base Hit Points|Heroic|Paragon|Epic|Exalted

Aptitude is a bonus you add to all of the following: Attack Rolls, DC for Talents, Skill Checks, Saving Throws, and AC.

Attribute Points are used to purchase your character’s attributes. You gain them slowly each level, and you’re not required to spend any, or all of them if you don’t want to.

Class Feature Points let you gain access to special abilities that are outside of Talents, including Trap Sense, Unarmored Defense, and Shapeshifting.

Talent Groups are groups of Talents, abilities your character has. Talent Groups cover a small group of similar talents, and can range from Flight, to Lightning, to Dreams. Characters have access to 3 to 10 Talent Groups, and there are dozens to choose from.

Trained Skill Bonus is the bonus characters get to all of their Trained Skills, on top of their Aptitude and other bonuses. Character start with 6 Trained skills.

Base Fate Pool is the base size of a character’s Fate Pool. For each Tier they have, they roll their Fate die and add the result to the pool. They can also instead choose to take the average of their die, rounded down. Characters can invest Fate points into Sense, Control, and Alter, which are described later on.

Base Hit Points is the basic size of each character’s reserve of Hit Points. They also add their Fate die roll, or half the average, rounded down, to their hit points at each level. Hit points are divided equally between Vitality Points and Wound Points, which are described later on.

Heroic, Paragon, Epic, and Exalted represent how many Talents you know of each Tier. They can be selected from any Talent Groups you have access to. You can switch these up by:

Reselecting Talents: Your talents known are fairly limited, but with enough time to rest and refocus, you can reselect your talents. Whenever you have an Extended Rest, you can spend 15 minutes and reselect your known talents from the available options based on your level and Tier.

2012-10-16, 01:23 AM

Characters are defined by their physical, mental, and spiritual attributes. The attributes, and what they do, are listed below.

Strength is your physical power and resilience. Strong characters can lift heavy things, swim faster, and act longer before they “run out of fuel”

Dexterity is your physical speed, agility, and reflexes. Dexterous characters can jump and tumble faster, sneak around silently, and act faster in a crisis.

Intelligence is your raw intellect and mental processing power. Intelligent characters can remember more information, learn faster, and solve harder puzzles.

Wits is your speed of thought, your intuition and instinct. Witty characters are harder to sneak up on, harder to lie to, and they learn about their enemies’ weaknesses faster.

Willpower is your spiritual strength and force of personality. Willfull characters have more determined beliefs, are harder to keep down, and can fight past severe injury.

Charisma is your social and spiritual finesse. Charismatic characters are better at lying and intimidation, as well as diplomacy and etiquitte.

Fate is how tied your character is to Fate and Destiny. Fated characters are harder to kill, and can influence the story in subtle ways.

You start with Attribute Points equal to 15 + your character level, and gain points as you level up. If you are Heroic, your maximum attribute value is 6. If you are Paragon, your Maximum Attribute value is 8. If you are Epic of Exalted, your maximum attribute value is 10, the highest possible value that can be achieved.

{table=head]Points Spent|Attribute Value|Die Side|Attribute Bonus

In general, a character with Strength 5 is about twice as strong as a character with Strength 4, and half as strong as a character with Strength 6. The same goes for every other attribute, including Fate. A Character with 8 Fate is FAR more important to the flow of the universe than a character with 4 Fate.

Attribute Value is used for things, like Class Features, Skill Checks, and Attribute Checks. Die Side is very important in determining how powerful a character’s Talents are, and it’s added to a bunch of other rolls as well. Attribute Bonus is a small bonus, and is usually added to things like attack rolls, saving throws, and the DC for your some of your Talents.

Armor Class and Saves

Characters are not invulnerable – they need to defend themselves against enemy attack.

Armor Class is a measure of your character’s ability to dodge or shrug off enemy attacks. More and heavier armor grants more protection, but severely reduces several of your other skills. Your armor class is determined with the following formula:

Armor Class = 5 + Armor Value + Aptitude + Dexterity Die

This means that when you are attacked, you roll your Dexterity modifier and add the result to your AC against that attack. This makes Armor class an Active Defense.

Saving Throws are your other defenses, against attacks besides simple physical blows. You have three defenses: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. Fortitude represents your resilience against toxins, disease, and life-draining abilities. Reflex is your ability to dodge explosion, avoid traps, and generally get the hell out of the way. Will is your resistance against mental effects like domination and illusions.

To determine your Saving Throw, you use the following formula:

Saving Throw = 5 + Aptitude + Lowest Stat Bonus + Highest Stat Die

Each save has three attributes tied to it. You take the lowest Bonus among those stats, and add the highest Die type among them. The stats for each save are the following:

Fortitude: Strength, Dexterity, Charisma
Reflex: Intelligence, Dexterity, Wits
Will: Willpower, Wits, Charisma

Health and Mechanics

Hit Points are a semi-abstraction of your character’s physical and mental well-being. You get a set number based on your level, and you also roll your Fate die once per level you possess and add that total to your Hit Points. You can also choose to take half that, rounded down, instead if you want consistent hit points with less variance.

Hit points are divided into Vitality and Wound points. Vitality points represent your pluck, dodges, or attacks that only singe or bruise you. They’re not actual physical or mental damage, they’re a buffer between you and real harm. Wounds points, on the other hand, are real physical and mental damage, and you can die if you run out of Wound points.

You split your hit points in half, 50% Vitality and 50% Wound points. If you have an odd total, put the last point in Wounds. When you suffer damage, unless something says so, you take Vitality damage first until you run out of Vitality points. If you have no Vitality points remaining, or if the damage is higher than you remaining Vitality, the remainder is Wound damage.

When your Vitality hits 0, you are Bloodied, and thus take a -2 penalty to all Attacks, Save DCs, Skill Checks, and Saving Throws until you take a 15-minute rest. Even if you receive healing immediately afterwards, once your Vitality runs out you are Bloodied until you take that Short Rest.

When your Wounds hit 0, you are Incapacitated, even if you have Vitality points somehow. You remain Incapacitated for 15 minutes, after which you can make a Fate ability check (DC 15) to shrug off the condition and regain 1 Wound point. If you are healed while Incapacitated, you can instead make the check as a Full-Round action – it takes effort to get back up after being on the brink of death.

Damage inflicted to you while at 0 Wounds is considered Shock Damage – think if it like extra damage on top of your existing damage. If you take more Shock damage than you have Wounds, you die. The DM might also inflict Shock damage to you over time if you continue to fail your Fate checks to get back up – and that can kill you.


There are a number of additional Mecahnics, or rules, that you should be aware of before you continue forward.

Advantage means your character has a clear advantage in the current situation. Whether it be climbing a wall with clear hand-holds, persuading a childhood friend for help, or picking a lock that you’re very familiar with, Advantage lets you roll two d20s and take the higher result.

Disadvantage is the opposite – it’s inflicted when you have a clear disadvantage in a situation. It could be running up a wet set of stairs, trying to con a person who has heard about your poor reputation, or trying to pick a lock with makeshift tools, Disadvantage forces you to roll two d20s and take the lower result.

Antipode Effect is when two talents have directly opposite effects, like Haste and Slow. It’s obvious that a creature can’t be sped up and slowed at the same time, so whenever a creature or object would be target by two Antipode Effects, the two users make opposed d20 + Attribute + Aptitude checks. If they are within 5 points of each other, the two effects cancel each other out. If one of the characters rolls 6 or more points higher, their Talent is used and the other is cancelled.

Momentum represents the escalation of combat. At the beginning of each round, flip a coin. If it’s Heads, the players gain a +1 bonus to the results of all of their Talents. If it’s Tails, the enemies gain the bonus instead. This bonus increases by 1 each round, overlapping with the previous bonus each time. For example, the first turn is heads, to the players get a +1 bonus. The second round is Tails, so the enemies get a +2 bonus. The third round is tails, so the enemies gain a +3 bonus in total. The fourth round is Heads, so the players gain a +4 bonus in total, not +2. At Paragon, Epic, and Exalted, the bonus increases to +2, +3, and +4 each round, respectively. Momentum is an optional mechanic, and the Dm can remove it if they wish.


Skills are things every character can do that aren’t directly related to combat, and where success and failure are dependent on skill and natural ability. They also have consequences if you succeed or fail. Anything your character can do easily, like over a door, carry a bag of groceries, or walk a few blocks, doesn’t require a skill check. On the other hand, picking the lock on a door, carrying an iron slab, or walking across miles of rough terrain, would require a skill check.

Each character starts the game with 6 trained skills. Trained skills get a +2 bonus, and if your average die roll + 6 would be higher than the DC of the check, you automatically succeed (note this down next to the skill, and remember – it might change). At Paragon, Epic, and Exalted Tier, you get another +1 bonus to your Trained skills (+3, +4, and +5 total respectively).

To determine your Skill check bonus, you add your Training Bonus + your Attribute Value (not bonus) + your Aptitude + d20 roll.

When you roll a Skill check, it’s either against a DC or it’s Opposed. DC checks have a set difficulty you have to beat. Opposed checks are different, you and an opponent roll relevant skills, and the highest result wins. Use your best judgment to determine if it’s an Opposed or DC check.

Acrobatics (Dexterity): Jump, tumble, and slip your bonds.

Arcane Lore (Intelligence): Know about dragons, constructs, and arcane lore.

Athletics (Strength): Jump, climb, swim, and run quickly.

Autohypnosis (Willpower): Shrug off the effects of drugs, alcohol, and pain.

Deception (Charisma): Manipulate others into believing lies, and disguise yourself.

Endurance (Strength): Resist fatigue, stay up late, and carry heavy equipment longer.

Engineering Lore (Intelligence): Know about machines, inventions, and vehicles.

Feat of Strength (Strength): Lift heavy objects and burst bonds.

Historical Lore (Intelligence): Know about famous people, places, and relics.

Insight (Wits): Tell when people are lying, get gut feelings about your situation.

Intimidate (Willpower): Make people do what you want… or else.

Investigation (Wits): Check for traps and clues in your environment.

Linguistic Lore (Intelligence): Know more languages, and translate unfamiliar ones.

Medical Lore (Intelligence): Know how to treat wounds, stop poisons, and make them.

Natural Lore (Intelligence): Know about animals, magical beasts, and geography.

Perception (Wits): Stay alert and sense when things around you happen.

Persuasion (Charisma): Convince people that you’re telling the truth.

Performance (Charisma): Etiquette, decorum, and artistic ability.

Planar Lore (Intelligence): Know about demons, angels, and the outer planes.

Religious Lore (Intelligence): Know about undead, religions, and cults.

Stealth (Dexterity): Remain undetected as you move, silent and unseen.

Streetwise Lore (Intelligence): Know about black markets, item value, and gangs.

Survival (Willpower): Stay alive and know your location when out in the wild.

Thievery (Dexterity): Disable traps, open locks, and pick pockets. What else?


Every character has a Source for their powers. Whether it be arcane energy taken from the cosmos or simply intense physical training and battle skill, it doesn’t affect the strength or scope of a character’s abilities. Instead, it greater defines that character’s abilities and gives a reason behind them. There are 6 general sources.

Psionic characters draw from pure mental energy within themselves, and occasionally the environment, which they shape into potent weapons against their enemies. They call their talents Kinetics.

Inventor characters build wondrous devices and machines that can do things far beyond what the laws of physics might dictate - though if it’s from madness or genius is never certain. They cal their talents Inventions.

Arcane characters draw their power from the cosmos itself – whether through rote memorization or a pact with an eldritch being, it does not matter. They call their talents Spells.

Divine characters draw their power from the gods and nature, and are generally in religion positions. Some might draw instead from spirits or familiars, but it is the same in the end. They call their talents Miracles.

Martial characters can use their abilities because of a mixture of intense physical conditioning and Ki energy They call their talents Exploits.

Roguish characters rely on quick wits, trickery, and quicker weapons. They rely on a combination of dirty tricks and exploiting others in order to survive, They call their talents Tactics.

Thus, with Kinetics, Inventions, Spells, Miracles, Exploits, and Tactics, you get KISMET.

Each Source is also tied to three Attributes. The character takes the lowest Bonus from these three attributes, and the highest Die Type from those attributes. They use that bonus and Die Type to determine the effectiveness of all of their Talents.

Psionic characters use Willpower, Charisma, and Wits
Inventor characters use Intelligence, Wits, and Dexterity
Arcane characters use Intelligence, Charisma, and Wits
Divine characters use Willpower, Charisma, and Dexterity
Martial characters use Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma
Roguelike characters use Strength, Dexterity, and Wits.

In addition, certain Class Features require access to a specific Source. These Class Features, called Traditions, include the Mad Bomber tradition for Inventors, the Wizard tradition for Arcane characters, and the Cleric tradition for Divine characters. Many organizations require access to certain Tradition(s) in order to qualify.

2012-10-16, 01:40 AM
Class Features

Class Features represent aptitudes that your character has picked up over their adventuring life. At 1st level, character start the game with 2 Heroic Class Features of their choice. At each level thereafter, a character gains a new Class Feature. At Heroic levels, a character can choose Heroic Class Features. When you reach Paragon levels, you can also choose Paragon Class Features, and so forth with Epic and Exalted. Once selected, class features cannot easily be changed. When a character levels up, they may exchange a number of Class Features for other Class Features of the same Tier, equal to their Fate modifier. A character cannot exchange Class Features if it would cause them to no longer meet the prerequisites for one of their abilities. For example, Skill Mastery (Thievery) requires Skill Focus (Thievery). You cannot trade in the Skill Focus without also exchanging Skill Mastery, since you’d no longer meet the prerequisites for Skill Mastery.

Fast Movement (Heroic)
Your base movement speed is faster than most, especially when unencumbered by armor or equipment. While wearing only light or no armor, your base land speed is increased by 10 feet. While wearing medium or heavy armor, the bonus is reduced to 5 feet.
Faster Movement (Paragon): Your base land speed increases by another 10 feet, or 5 feet when encumbered.
Flexible Movement (Heroic): You gain the full benefits of Fast Movement while wearing even Medium armor.
Second Skin (Paragon): You gain the full benefits of Fast Movement

Rage (Heroic)
You can enter a state of intense homicidal rage, increasing your physical prowess while reducing many of your defenses. While raging, you gain a +1 bonus to hit with attacks and talents that deal Physical damage, you add your character level to the total Physical damage you deal with those attacks, and you gain a +2 bonus to saves against Morale effects or any effect that would directly Incapacitate you. You also take a -2 penalty to AC and Reflex saves while raging, and you cannot make Intelligence, Wits, or Charisma-based skill checks while raging. Your rage lasts a number of rounds equal to your Strength score total per day. You can end your Rage as a Standard action, and it is a Move action to begin a Rage. When your Rage is over, you are Fatigued, and cannot rage again for 1 minute per round you raged.
Extended Rage (Heroic) Requires Rage. Your Rage lasts for an additional 3 rounds, up to a maximum of 15 additional rounds.
Powerful Rage (Paragon) Requires Rage. Your Rage grants you a +2 bonus to hit, a +3 bonus to saves against Morale effects and Incapacitate effects.
Tireless Rage (Epic) Requires Rage and Powerful Rage. You are no longer Fatigued when you exit Rage.
Legendary Rage (Exalted) Requires Rage, Powerful Rage, and Tireless Rage. Your rage grants 1.5 times your level to damage with physical attacks, and a +4 bonus to saves against Morale and Incapacitate effects.

Uncanny Dodge (Heroic)
You are able to more easily defend yourself against hidden enemies or when surrounded. You do not lose your Dexterity bonus to AC when attacked by invisible or hidden enemies, or when you have not yet acted in combat.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Heroic): Enemies do not gain any bonus to attack you when you are Flanked, and you do not suffer additional damage from Sneak Attacks unless the enemy is higher level than you.

Trap Sense (Heroic)
You have a sixth sense for traps, and you are much more likely to dodge or ignore the brunt of their effects. You gain a +2 bonus to Ac and Reflex saves to resist the effects of traps. Against traps that don’t have those sorts of effects (such as poison gas traps or symbols of pain), you gain a +1 bonus to saves against those effects.
Improved Trap Sense (Paragon) Requires Trap Sense. Your bonus against traps increases to +4 to AC/Reflex and +2 to all other saves.
Greater Trap Sense (Epic) Requires Improved Trap Sense. Your bonus agsinst traps increase to +6 to AC/Reflex and +3 to all other saves.

Damage Reduction (Paragon)
You are adept at softening, or ignoring, incoming blows. You gain 2 points of Damage Reduction, which stacks with other forms of damage reduction.
Improved Damage Reduction (Paragon): Requires Damage Reduction: Your damage reduction improves by 2 points. Your damage reduction cannot exceed ˝ your character level.

Bardic Knowledge (Heoric)
You have a broad but shallow pool of esoteric knowledge which can come in handy. When dealing with notable individuals, legends, or noteworthy places, you may make an Intelligence plus Aptitude check to see if you know anything relevant.

Bardic Music (Heroic)
Requires Skill Training with Perform
You use songs, poetry, or ballads in order to influence and distract creatures who can hear you. You can use your Perform skill instead of your Persuasion skill in order to alter the dispositions of characters within hearing range. If you are Trained in Persuasion, you gain Advantage on this check. While making this check, creatures listening must make a Will save or receive Disadvantage on Wits-based skill checks for the duration. Bardic Music is extremely handy for thieves and tricksters, who often have one individual distract a crowd with the other(s) pick the pockets of the audience.

Turn or Rebuke Creature (Heroic)
Your faith, or other abilities, allow you to repel a specific kind of creature, from undead to elementals. When you activate this ability, creatures of that type within 30 feet must make a Will save or spend their next Move action moving outside of that 30 ft radius. A creature who fails their save must make an additional Will save with a -2 penalty each round if they wish to move closer to the user of this ability. If the user of this ability voluntarily moves closer to the turned creature, the creature is not forced to move a second time. Creatures who make their save against Turning are immune to that same user’s ability for 24 hours. A character can use Turn Creature for a number of rounds each day equal to their Willpower attribute.
Expanded Turning (Heroic) You can turn one additional kind of creature. You can take this class feature up to 3 times.
Extended Turning (Heroic) Yu can turn creatures for up t 3 additional rounds per day. You can take this ability up to 5 times, to a maximum of 15 additional rounds per day.
Powerful Turning (Paragon) When you Turn a creature, if it is one-half your level or lower, or is a Minion, it must make an additional Fortitude save or be instantly destroyed.

Companion (Heroic)
You gain a single Companion, a creature or individual who is loyal to you and will serve you to the best of its abilities. Its level is equal to ˝ your character level, minimum 0 (at 1st level). Its maximum level is 2. They follow the ability progression of a PC, but they do not naturally gain Class Feature points. Companions can be any creature type, so long as the meet the requirements (including minimum level).
Talented Companion (Heroic): Your companion gains 2 additional Class Feature points, which cannot be spent on the Companion or similar Class Features.
Improved Companion (Paragon): Requires Companion. Your Companion’s maximum level increases to 5, and they gain a +1 bonus to their Aptitude.
Greater Companions (Epic): Requires Improved Companion. Your companion’s maximum level increase to 7, and they gain an additional +1 bonus to their Aptitude (now +2).
Awesome Companion (Exalted): Requires Greater Companion. Your Companion’s maximum level increase to 10, and they gain an additional +1 bonus to their Aptitude (now +3).

Wild Empathy (Heroic)
You have the ability to communicate with animals, generally through body language and tone of voice. You can use the Persuasion skill against these kinds of creatures, so long as you are within 30 feet of each other. Creatures that are already hostile are difficult to persuade, just like with normal uses of the Persuade skill.
Expanded Empathy (Heroic)
Select one of the following: Magical Beasts, Vermin, Oozes, or Plants. You can also communicate with these creatures using Wild Empathy. Each time you take this Class Feature, you can select a different kind of creature.

Woodland Stride (Heroic)
You can move unhindered through obstacles like underbrush and thick foliage. You ignore Difficult Terrain from any sort of natural hazard – though effects like damage are still applicable, and magically-created hazards cannot be traversed with this ability.
Improved Woodland Stride (Paragon)
Your Woodland Stride now also applies to any sort of difficult terrain, including magic kinds.

Trackless Step (Heroic)
You leave practically no trail for others to follow. Select Urban or Wilderness. When in that sort of terrain, people following you receive Disadvantage to Survival or Investigation checks to follow you.

Resist Creature (Heroic)
Select a specific kind of creature (such as Fey or Evil Outsiders). You gain a +2 bonus to all of your saving throws against attacks from that kind of creature.

Shapechange (Paragon)
You gain the ability to transform physically into a specific kind of creature. Select a single Animal, Humanoid, or Monstrous Humanoid creature whose level is ˝ your own level or less, to a maximum of 5. You can transform into that creature once per day, for a number of minutes equal to your Willpower attribute. It takes a full-round action to transform either way. While in the shape of this creature, you retain your own Aptitude and attributes, you cannot use your own Talents, but you select one Talent group the creature has access to, and you can use those Talents while in its form. The choice of talent group is made when you learn how to take that creature’s shape. Note: Shapechange is a complicated Class Feature, and it’s recommended that only experienced players use it. The Dm has final say on whether it should be allowed in the game.
Extra Shapechange (Paragon) You can change shape on additional time per day, up to a maximum of 6 times.
Additional Form: (Paragon) You can change into two additional creatures, drawn from the list of creatures you can change into. Alternatively, you can select the same creature again to unlock one additional Talent group that creature has access to, and be abel to select it when you change into that creature’s form.
Expanded Creature Type (Paragon) You add Magical Beast, Ooze, Vermin, and Plant to they types of creatures you can turn into, and you add one of these creatures to your repertoire.
One Thousand Faces (Epic) You can shift the appearance of creatures you Shapechange into, assuming any appearance that fits within what a creature of that type could look like.
Vast Creature Types (Epic) Requires Expanded Creature Type. You can also transform into Aberrations, Dragon, Outsiders, and Constructs, and you add one of those creatures to your repertoire.
Greater Shapechange (Epic) The maximum level of the creatures you can transform into is increased to 7, and you can access 2 of that creature’s Talent groups at once.
Awesome Shapechange (Exalted) Requires Greater Shapechange. The maximum level of the creatures you can transform into is increased to 10, and you can access 3 of that creature’s Talent groups at once.

Timeless Body (Exalted)
You no longer age internally or externally, and are functionally immortal until slain. This also grants you immunity to any effect that would somehow age you prematurely.

Unarmored Defense (Heroic)
You are able to defend yourself quite well, even when not wearing armor. You gain 2 points of Armor and DR 2/-, but this armor value and damage reduction does not “stack” with conventional armor.
Improved Unarmored Defense (Paragon) You are even better at defending yourself while lightly armored. Your Armor bonus increases by 1, and does your DR. You can take this talent twice, to a maximum of Armor +6 and DR 6/-.

Unarmed Combat (Heroic)
You can fight just as well with your fists as other can with weapons. Select a single Source you possess. You can use Talents from that Source without the need for a Weapon or Implement. You can take this Class Feature multiple times, once for each Source you possess.
Magic Strike (Heroic) Select a Source you have Unarmed Combat for that is non-magical. You can treat those attacks a magical for the purposes of overcoming an enemy’s defenses.
Mundane Strike (Heroic) Select a Source you have Unarmed Combat for that is magical. You can treat those attacks as non-magical for the purposes of overcoming an enemy’s defenses.

Swift Recovery (Paragon)
You recover your poise and defenses faster than others. You recover 1 Vitality point each round.
Greater Recovery (Epic) You instead recover 3 Vitality points each round.
Awesome Recover (Exalted) Requires Greater Recovery. You instead recover 5 Vitality points each round.

Ascension (Exalted) You ascend to a higher state of being. Your type becomes Outsider (Extraplanar), and you tie yourself to one of the many planes of existence in the multiverse. You can still be raised from the dead, despite your Extraplanar nature. You gain DR 5/- against any effect of a level 15 or lower Creature, and you gain a +2 bonus to saves against those lower-level creatures.

Aura of Faith (Heroic)
You project an aura that is easily discernable to other members of your Faith, but is also visible to your faith’s enemies. You gain Advantage to charisma-based skill checks when dealing with members of your faith, but you take Disadvantage to charisma-based skill checks when dealing with member of faiths that are hostile to your own.

Detect Heretic (Heroic)
You can sense when a creature with an Aura of Faith is within 30 feet of you, and you can make an opposed Wits versus Charisma check to determine if they are Allied, Neutral, or Hostile in regards to your faith. The roll takes 3 rounds, and cannot be rerolled against that target for 24 hours. If you fail, you might receive no information, or incorrect information about that character’s faith.

Favored Enemy (Heroic)
You are particularly talented at fighting against a specific type of enemy. Select a specific creature type and subtype. You gain a +2 bonus to opposed Wits and Charisma-based skill checks when dealing with these creatures, a +2 bonus to checks to track them, and a +2 bonus to damage rolls against them. You can take this multiple times, each time selecting a different favored enemy.
Greater Favored Enemy (Paragon) Your bonus to attack and AC against that type of creature increases by 1, to a maximum of +5. You can select this ability multiple times, up to 3 times per creature type.

Sneak Attack (Heroic)
You are deadly when you get the jump on your foes. If you hit a creature during a surprise round, or on the first round of combat before they get a chance to act, you deal 3 additional points of damage. In addition, you deal 1 additional point of damage to any enemy that is Incapacitated or Flanked. Creatures with Uncanny Dodge may resist some or all of this damage.
Improved Sneak Attack (Heroic): You deal 3 points more damage in a surprise round/first round, and 1 additional point when flanking an enemy. You can take this Class Feature multiple times, up to once per 2 levels you possess (rounded up).

Craft Magic Item (Heroic)
You have the ability to create magical items of up to Rare quality. You can acquire 50% of the materials for the item in most large towns or small cities, but the other 30% of the item’s cost must be supplied by costly material components that cannot be easily purchased, and must instead be found while adventuring. You only have to pay a total of 80% of the item’s market cost to create it. Newly crafter magical items are usually considered less valuable than older magic items (which may have hidden powers and other unique qualities), and so they only sell for their total material component worth (i.e. 80%). When you take this Talent, select a single kind of magic item. You can only craft those kinds of items. In general, it takes 1 week to craft a Common item, and the time necessary to craft doubled with each higher rank of item (up to 32 weeks for Artifacts).
Expanded Repertoire (Paragon) You can select one additional type of magic item to be able to craft.
Craft Improved Items (Paragon) You can craft Very Rare items.
Craft Greater Items (Epic) Requires Craft Improved Items. You can craft Legendary items.
Craft Awesome Items (Exalted) Requires Craft Improved Items. You can craft Artifacts.

Substitute Attribute (Heroic)
You draw your powerful from an unconventional attribute for your Source. Select one Attribute your Source uses to determine its power. You may instead use a different Attribute in its place. For example, Martial characters generally rely on Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma. However, Nico the Samurai relies more on his iron will than his bulging muscles, and swaps Strength for Willpower. Now he uses Dexterity, Willpower, and Charisma to determine the power of his Martial talents.

Additional Source (Paragon)
You are able to draw power form a second Source. You can choose to have your existing Talent Spheres draw from either of your two Sources as you see fit.
Third Source (Epic) You gain access to a third and final Source for your Talent Spheres.

Skill Training (Heroic)
Select a skill you are not Trained. You are now considered Trained with that skill. You can take this Class Feature multiple times.

Skill Focus (Heroic)
Selected a Skill you are Trained in. You gain an additional +1 bonus to all uses of that skill. When you reach Epic Tier, this increases to +2. You can take this Class Feature multiple times, each time you select a different Trained skill.
Skill Mastery (Paragon) Requires Skill Focus. Choose a skill you have Skill Focus with. Whenever you are presented with a DC whose total is less than 6 + your Skill bonus, you automatically succeed.

Blind-Fight (Heroic)
You are skilled at fighting hidden or Invisible opponents. You do not take Disadvantage when attacking an enemy that is Invisible or who has Concealment.

Combat Expertise (Heroic)
You’re talented at fighting defensively. When you take an action to attack, you can voluntarily take a -2 penalty to your Attack roll and Save DCs until the beginning of your next turn. If you do, you also gain a +1 bonus to your AC and Saving Throws until the beginning of your next turn.
Dodge (Heroic) Requires Combat Expertise. Your bonus to AC and Saving Throws while using Combat Expertise increases to +2.
Mobility (Heroic) Requires Dodge. While using Combat Expertise, you gain an additiona+2 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity.
Spring Attack (Paragon) Requires Dodge and Mobility. You can take a full-round action to move your speed and make a single melee attack along your path while doing so.
Improved Maneuvers (Heroic) Requires Skill Focus. Select one of the following combat maneuvers: Disarm, Feint, or Trip. You gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls when making that maneuver, and you do not provoke and attack of opportunity for doing so. You can take this class feature multiple times, each time selecting a different combat maneuver.

Die Hard (Heroic)
You refuse to go down quietly. Even when exhausted and bleeding from multiple wounds, you simply refuse to give up. Once per day, when you would be reduced to 0 Wound points, you may spend a Reserve point to make an immediate Weapon Attack action against any enemy within range, but you roll only half the number of dice you would, and you take a -2 to your attack roll or save DC. This attack cannot heal you in any way.
Die Harder (Heroic) You can use Die Hard up to one additional time per day. You can take this class feature more than once, up to 5 uses of Die Hard per day.
Die Hard With a Vengeance (Paragon) When you use Die Hard, you roll the full number of dice, and you take no penalty to attack or save DC.
Live Free or Die Hard[B] (Paragon )Requires Die Hard with a Vengeance. When you use Die Hard, you may take a Move action before you attack.
[B]A Good Day to Die Hard (Epic) Requires Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard. You gain a +2 bonus to your attack roll or save DC when using Die Hard, and your attack deals additional damage equal to your Aptitude.

Great Fortitude (Heroic)
You gain a +2 bonus to your Fortitude saves.
Improved Great Fortitude (Paragon) Once per day, you can reroll a Fortitude save and take the second result. You can take this class feature multiple times, up to 3 rerolls in total per day.

Lightning Reflexes (Heroic)
You gain a +2 bonus to your Reflex saves.
Improved Lighting Reflexes (Paragon) Once per day, you can reroll a Reflex save and take the second result. You can take this class feature multiple times, up to 3 rerolls in total per day.

Iron Will (Heroic)
You gain a +2 bonus to your Will saves.
Improved Iron Will (Paragon) Once per day, you can reroll a Will save and take the second result. You can take this class feature multiple times, up to 3 rerolls in total per day.

Talent Focus (Heroic)
Select a Talent Group you have access to. You gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls and save DCs involving that Talent Group. You can take this Class Feature multiple times, each time selecting a different Talent Group you have access to.
Improved Talent Focus (Heroic) Select a Talent Group you have Talent Focus with. Your bonus to attack rolls and DC increases to +2. You can take this class feature multiple times, each time selecting another Talent Group you have Talent Focus with.
Improved Critical (Paragon) Select a Talent Sphere you have Talent Focus with. You score a Critical Hit with that Sphere whenever you roll a 19 or 20.

[Improved Initiative (Heroic)
You gain a +4 bonus to Initiative checks

Mounted Combat (Heroic)
You are skilled at fighting while on horseback or riding another kind of mount. While riding a Mount, you do not suffer the -2 penalty to attack rolls and save DCs.
Mounted Archery (Heroic) You do not suffer a penalty to your attack range while mounted.

Point-Blank Shot (Heroic)
While using a Ranged Weapon and within 30 feet of your target, you can take a -1 penalty to your attack roll to use your full Weapon dice instead of reduced dice.
Far Shot (Heroic) You do not take a -1 penalty to hit targets between 60 and 120 feet away.
Precise Shot (Heroic) You can use a Ranged weapon to attack Adjacent enemies.
Improved Precise Shot (Paragon) Requires Precise Shot. When firing against Adjacent enemies, you ignore Cover and Concealment.

Power Attack (Heroic)
You can enter an aggressive stance in combat, favoring accuracy for defense. When you take an action to attack, you gain choose to gain a +1 bonus to attack and save DC until the beginning of your next turn. If you do, you also take a -2 penalty to AC and saving throws until the beginning of your nest turn.
Improved Power Attack (Heroic) When you sue Power Attack, the bonus to attack and save Dc increases to +2.
Cleave (Heroic) When you use Power Attack, against a single foe and the attack reduces them to 0 Wound points, you can choose to not inflict Shock Damage. If you do, you may make an attack roll with the same bonus against another enemy within range. If you hit, you deal the Shock damage you would have dealt to the first enemy as normal damage to that second enemy. Essentially, you are transferring excess damage form one target to the next. You can use Cleave only once per round.
Great Cleave (Paragon) Requires Cleave. You can use Cleave as many times per round as you are allowed, potentially felling great swathes of enemies at once.
Improved Maneuvers (Heroic) Select one of the following maneuvers: Bull Rush, Overrun, or Sunder. You gain a +1 bonus to attack with that maneuver, and you do not generate an attack of opportunity.

Shield Bash (Heroic)
You can attack enemies with your shield. It deals damage like a Light weapon if a Light shield, and as a One-Handed weapon if Medium or Heavy. In addition, you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls with the shield when making an attack of opportunity.

Two-Weapon Fighting (Heroic)
You can fight with a weapon in each hand without taking the -2 penalty to attack rolls and save DCs.
Twin Talents (Heroic) Instead of using one Weapon talent each round, you can instead divide your Weapon dice among two attacks. You must make one attack with each of your held weapons.

Innate Talent (Paragon)
Select a single Heroic Reserve talent you have access to. You can use that Talent without spending a Reserve point, but you must spend two Weapon or Utility dice in order to roll one die, and you take a -2 penalty to attack or save DC. You can take this talent multiple times, each time selecting a different Reserve talent.
Greater Innate Talent (Epic) Select a Heroic Reserve talent you selected with Innate Talent. You roll full dice instead of half dice, and you take no penalty to attack or save DC.
Paragon Reserve Talent[B] (Epic) As Innate Talent, but you can select a Paragon Talent instead of a Heroic one.
[B]Greater Paragon Talent (Exalted) As Greater Innate Talent, but you can select a Paragon Innate talent.
Epic Reserve Talent (Exalted) Requires Paragon Reserve Talent. As Innate Talent, but you can select an Epic Reserve talent.

Sample Classes

1|Rage, Fast Movement (10 feet)|Companion (Animal), Wild Empathy|Sneak Attack, Trap Sense (+2)
2|Uncanny Dodge|Woodland Stride|Lightning Reflexes (+2 to Reflex Saves)
3|Trap Sense (+2)|Trackless Step (Wild)|Improved Sneak Attack
4|Extended Rage (3 rounds)|Resist Creature (Fey)|Uncanny Dodge
5|Improved Uncanny Dodge|Improved Wild Empathy|Improved Sneak Attack
6|Powerful Rage, Extended Rage (6 rounds)|Improved Companion, Shapechange|Skill Focus (Thievery or Stealt)
7|Damage Reduction (2/-)|Extra Shapechange (2/day)|Improved Sneak Attack
8|Iron Will (+2 to Will saves)|Additional Form|Improved Uncanny Dodge
9|Extended Rage (9 rounds)|Extra Shapechange (3/day)|Improved Sneak Attack
10|Damage Reduction (4/-)|Expanded Creature Type|Skill Mastery (Thievery or Stealth)
11|Tireless Rage, Extended Rage (12 rounds)|Greater Companion, Greater Shapechange|Improved Sneak Attack
12|Improved Trap Sense (+4)|Additional Form|Improved Trap Sense (+4)
13|Damage Reduction (6/-)|One Thousand Faces|Improved Sneak Attack
14|Improved Iron Will (Reroll 1/day)|Vast Creature Types|Improved Lightning Reflexes (reroll 1/day)
15|Extended Rage (15 rounds)|Extra Shapechange (4/day)|Improved Sneak Attack
16|Legendary Rage, Damage Reduction (8/-)|Awesome Companion, Awesome Shapechange|Defensive Roll (1/day halve incoming damage)
17|Great Fortitude (+2 to Fort saves)|Timeless Body|Improved Sneak Attack
18|Improved Trap Sense (+6)|Additional Form|Improved Trap Sense (+4)
19|Improved Great Fortitude (Reroll 1/day)|Extra Shapechange (5/day)|Improved Sneak Attack
20|Damage Reduction (10/-)|Extra Shapechange (6/day)|Improved Defensive Roll (2/day)[/table]

Dice Pools

Each character has several methods of using Talents and determining their effectiveness – these are generally called Dice Pools.

There are 4 qualities to a character’s talent use. Each character chooses two of them to be HIGH, the other two to be LOW. In this way, there are 6 possible solutions.

The qualities are as follows:

Weapon Dice: The raw strength of your attacks.
Utility Dice: The raw strength of your secondary effects.
Reserve Pool: How many points you have to increase how powerful your abilities are, and to use particularly powerful attacks.
Augmentation: How many extra dice you get when you spend a Reserve point, and how many you can spend when you want to spend Reserve points.

At the beginning of each round of combat, each character recovers all of their Weapon Dice and Utility Dice. They can spend up to that many dice each round on their Talents. When they have no dice left, they have to wait until next round in order to use their Talents (unless they spend a Reserve Talent).

In addition, each character has a pool of Reserve Points. A character can spend a reserve point to add their Augment bonus in dice to any Talent they use that round. Some talents are Reserve talents, and to use them you HAVE to spend a Reserve Point, but you still get the Augment bonus to the Reserve Talent

Below are some examples of what kinds of High/Low combinations make certain types of characters.

Weapon and Utility Dice: You can keep fighting at high power all day, but you don’t have a lot in reserve when you’re in an emergency, and you can’t push yourself too hard.
Example: Fighters, Monks, Rogues, Rangers.

Weapon and Reserve Pool: You deal tons of damage and can boost yourself frequently, but you can’t boost that much or deal many secondary effects.
Example: Paladins, Warlocks, Dragon Shamans

Weapon and Augmentation: You can deal maximum physical damage when you need to, but you can’t do it often, and you don’t do much but deal damage.
Example: Barbarians, Sorcerers, Warmages

Utility and Reserve Pool: You can manipulate the battle well and boost yourself frequently, but you’re not incredibly strong at it, and your damage is pretty low.
Example: Bards, Dread Necromancers, Favored Souls

Utility and Augmentation: You can wreak havok without dealing a single point of damage, but you don’t last long and you can’t hurt others easily.
Example: Druids, Clerics, Ardents

Reserve Pool and Augmentation: You can boost yourself high and frequently, temporarily being good at nearly any talent you have. When you run out of juice, though, you’re not very strong with your abilities.
Example: Psions, Wizards, Beguilers

Dice Pool Table

{table=head]Level|Weapon or Utility High|Weapon or Utility Low|Reserve Points High|Reserve Points Low|Augment High|Augment Low



So, you have your character sheet all finished up, and your character gets into a fight. How does that work? Well, the rules below explain how combat works, and what you can do on your turn.

1) Everyone rolls initiative, to see who goes first and in what order. You roll d20 + Aptitude + Dexterity die, adding whatever modifiers are important.
2) Roll 1d6 for Momentum. If the fight was an Ambush, the Attacking side gets Momentum on a 3,4, 5, or 6. The Defending side only gains momentum on a 1 or 2.
3) Characters take their turns in order, from highest to lowest initiative. This is called a Round, or about 6 seconds. When the Round is over, 6 seconds have passed in-universe, and the character with the highest initiative goes again, starting the next round. Each Round, roll Momentum again.
4) When all members of one side of Combat have surrendered, fled, been knocked out, or killed (or any combination of the above), Combat is over.

That’s great, but what do you do when your turn comes up?

Turn Steps
1) Check if you have any Sustained talents active. If you want to keep them going, keep the dice invested. If not, turn off the talent and take the dice back.
2) Any effects that last until the beginning of your next turn wear off.
3) Regain any and all of your spent Weapon and Utility dice.
4) You get one Move, one Swift, and one Standard action on your turn. You can use these actions in any order you want, but you only get one use of each. You can take a Move action instead of a Standard action.
5) When all of your actions are used up, or when you’ve done all the actions you want, you end your turn.
6) When your turn ends, and effects you used last turn that lasted “until the end of your next turn” end.

Swift Action: You can use this to drop an item you’re holding, activate a Swift talent, or do something else that takes essentially no effort.

Move Action: You can move your speed, draw a weapon or belonging from your bag, or make a Skill Check. For example, when faced with a demonic enemy, you could try and make a Planar Lore check to see if you know anything about your foe. Some Skill Checks, like Acrobatics and Athletics, involve movement, so you make the check and see if you move in the way you want. For example, you could make a Skill check to walk across a balance beam, or to climb on the back of a rampaging elephant.

Standard Action: You can active a Weapon talent, a Utility talent, or Synthesize them into a single action. For example, you have the Command and Orb of Fire talents. You could take an action to Command an enemy (Utility), throw an Orb of Fire (Weapon), or Synthesize them into a single action (Command an enemy, who bursts into flame).

You can synthesize any number of talents you have access to, so long as you have enough Dice to spend. You could combine Orb of Electricity, Orb of Thunder, and Deafness in order to strike a foe with lightning, possibly rendering them unable to hear. You could mix Restore Vitality and Inspire Heroics into a prayer granting your ally healing and strength in battle.

Synthesis has some limitations.
1) You have to be able to target the individual or individuals with ALL of your Talents – so if your Restore Vitality has a range of Touch, and Inspire Heroics has a range of 6, you have to be able to touch the target in order to use it. Likewise, if Command has Close Range (One Target) and Lightning Bolt has Close Range (Line), you can only target one Close individual, not a whole line. Likewise, if you combine Lighting Bolt and Fireball, you could only target the individuals where Fireball’s Burst and Lightning Bolt’s Line of Effect overlap.
2) You pay a Reserve point for each of the Reserve talents used in the action. If you spend more than one Reserve point in a single Die category (Weapon or Utility), you don’t get extra dice.
3) The attack roll or save DC decreases by 2 – it’s harder to synthesize than it is to simply use a single talent.
4) If the target has to make the same save more than once (Fortitude saves from Blast of Cold and Weaken, for example), he makes one save for both of them.

Characters have one more kind of action: Reactions. You can make any number of reactions, but one on other people’s turns, and only so long as you have dice to spend. If the Reaction talent requires a Reserve point to activate, you can fuel it simply with those extra dice – you don’t have to spend dice from your pool. You can also spend a Reserve point in order to activate a Reaction talent when your dice are depleted.


Most talents will have one of the following ranges – Melee, Close, Medium, or Long.

Melee talents can only target adjacent enemies – anything directly next to the character.

Close talents can target creatures or objects a number of squares away equal to half your Source Attribute, rounded down. So, an attribute of 5 would mean being able to reach 10 feet, or 2 squares, away.

Medium talents can target creatures up to 1.5 squares away per point of Source Attribute, rounded down. So, an attribute of 5 would mean 40 feet, or 8 squares.

Long talents can target creatures up to three squares away per point of Source attribute. So, an attribute of 5 would mean 75 feet, or 15 squares.

Some weapons or implements are Ranged – they sacrifice stopping power for additional striking distance. Ranged weapons have double the range of other weapons, but are one die-step less effective.

If you plan on using gridless combat, then you’ll need to tell players how far away their enemies are, or tell them what Range increment they’re within.

2012-10-16, 01:51 AM
Spheres and Talent Groups

Spheres and Talent Groups

Spheres are fairly large previews under which many Talents reside. They include such abstracts as Time and Space, but also more concrete groups like Fire and Earth. Each Sphere also contains:

Talent Groups, small collections of similar Talents that fall under the same banner. They are narrower than Spheres, and there are three Talent Groups to a Sphere. Characters who learn two or more Talent Groups from the same Sphere gain a +1 bonus to all attack rolls with their Talents in those groups. Characters who learn all three Talent Groups from the same Sphere gain a +1 bonus to attack AND they receive a +1 bonus per die to all Weapon and Utility rolls involving those Talents.

{table=head]Sphere|Talent Groups
Life|Healing, Restoration, Animation
Death|Wounding, Affliction, Draining
Fire|Flame, Metal, Magma
Water|Waves, Ice, Weather
Earth|Stone, Acid, Ground
Air|Lighting, Wind, Thunder
Illusion|Concealment, Figments, Phantasms
Divination|Insight, Scry, Detection
Mind|Influence, Intrusion, Dreams
Space|Freedom, Travel, Flight
Time|Past, Present, Future
Morale|Hope, Fear, Anger
Transmutation|Transformation, Shapeshifting, Alchemy
Physical|Piercing, Slashing, Bludgeoning
Stance|Offense, Defense, Tactics
Nature|Animal, Plant, Terrain
Abjuration|Dispel, Ward, Symbols
Illumination|Light, Darkness, Shadow
Force|Binding, Concussion, Shift
Substance|Creation, Destruction, Essence[/table]

Level 1 characters start the game with access to 3 Talent Groups, and they receive more over time, to a maximum of 10 at 20th level.

Characters do not automatically learn Talents, they must instead spend an Expertise point to learn a Talent. Characters have a limited number of Expertise Points, as determined by their level.


Under Construction. Sorry for the inconvenience.

2012-10-16, 02:00 AM
Mundane Equipment and Wealth

Mundane Items are the non-magical, or limited magical, items your character owns. They’re bought with money, and in fact include money as well.

100 copper coins = 1 silver mark
10,000 copper coins = 100 silver marks = 1 gold coin
1,000,000 copper coins = 10,000 silver marks = 100 gold coins = 1 platinum coin

To give a sense of scale, most unskilled laborers make one silver per day for eight hours of labor. Food might cost 15 copper per day, lodgings another 20, and taxes take another 15, leaving them with 50 copper per day. Working six days per week, this makes their income 3 silver, or 156 silver per year (one and a half gold per year).

Skilled laborers make more – a decent blacksmith can expect to make 5 silver per day, before expenses and taxes, which would leave him with perhaps 3 silver in pure profit after taxes. That’s 18 silver per week, 936 silver per year (that’s 9 gold 36 silver per year).

A merchant’s income fluctuates, but hovers somewhere in the region of one gold per two weeks. A noble’s income from land should be somewhere around 1 gold per day, at least. A king might make 50 gold per day.

Adventuring is a dangerous and only occasionally lucrative lifestyle. The greater the hoard, the greater the threat that guards it. Many prospective adventurers get greedy and die.

In general, good, lodgings, and basic tools and pieces of gear cost a handful of copper. Uncommon services, like medicine, travel, and equipment will range in the silver. Truly decadent services, like one-time use magical items, potent spellcasting services, and teleportation would cost in the gold range. Platinum services are only rumors, but include true resurrections from the dead, interplanar travel, and other flights of fancy.

Character Wealth is the estimated monetary worth of a character, from 1st level all the way to 20th level. The value below is the total wealth a character should have at that level. It’s assumed that most characters will spend about 20% of their total wealth getting from one level to the next, so don’t worry if characters are a little over or under the value.

1|10 silver|11|133 gold
2|80 silver|12|173 gold
3|270 silver|13|220 gold
4|640 silver|14|275 gold
5|1250 silver|15|338 gold
6|22 gold|16|410 gold
7|35 gold|17|492 gold
8|52 gold|18|584 gold
9|73 gold|19|686 gold
10|100 gold|20|800 gold[/table]

Armor, Shields, and Weapons

Most characters will wear some degree of armor – the protective benefits usually outweigh the sluggishness of the equipment.

Armor comes in three categories – Light, Medium, and Heavy. In addition, you can have armor pieces for your Head, Chest, Hands, and Feet. These are, coincidentally, many of your magical item slots. Each piece of equipment has its benefits, as well as drawbacks, and you can combine equipment as you wish with your character. You can also carry a Light, Medium, or Heavy Shield.

{table=head]Armor Piece|Armor Value|Damage Reduction|Penalties|Disadvantage
Light Helm|-|1/-|-1 to Perception and Investigation|-
Medium Helm|1|1/-|-2 to Perception and Investigation|Either Skill
Heavy Helm|1|2/-|-3 to Perception and Investigation|Both Skills
Light Chestplate|2|2/-|Max d10 Dexterity, -1 to Stealth and Initiative|-
Medium Chestplate|3|3/-|Max d8 Dexterity, -2 to Stealth and Initiative|Either Skill
Heavy Chestplate|4|4/-|Max d6 Dexterity, -3 to Stealth and Initiative|Both Skills
Light Gauntlet|1|-|-1 to Thievery and Feats of Strength|-
Medium Gauntlet|1|1/-|-2 to Thievery and Feats of Strength|Either Skill
Heavy Gauntlet|1|2/-|-3 to Thievery and Feats of Strength|Both Skills
Light Boots|1|-|-1 to Acrobatics and Athletics|-
Medium Boots|1|1/-|-2 to Acrobatics and Athletics|Either Skill
Heavy Boots|2|1/-|-3 to Acrobatics and Athletics|Both Skills
Light Shield|1|1/-|-1 to attack rolls and Save DC|-
Medium Shield|1|2/-|-2 to attack rolls and Save DC|-
Heavy Shield|2|3/-|-2 to attack rolls and Save DC|Attack Rolls and Save DC[/table]

When you take all of your character’s armor pieces together, you do the following:
- Take the sum of all armor values to determine your armor bonus
- Add together all of the damage reduction
- Take the lowest dexterity maximum (only applied if wearing chest armor)
- Sum up all of the skill penalties and disadvantages, they all apply at once.

Light Armor grants the lowest armor bonus, but it’s also the lightest and least cumbersome. A full set of Light Armor grants Armor 4 and DR 3/-, while only imposing a -1 penalty to a variety of skills and a maximum Dexterity of d10.

Medium Armor has the distinction of only granting Disadvantage to one of two skills – a Medium Helm might grant disadvantage to Perception OR Investigation. Each piece should note which skill it impairs more. A full set of Medium armor grants Armor 6 and Dr 6/-, -2 to many skill checks, disadvantage to 4 of them, and d8 maximum dexterity.

Heavy Armor grants the best protection for the largest penalties. A full set of Heavy Armor grants Armor 8 and DR 9/-, and imposes a hefty -3 penalty to many skill checks, a max dexterity of d6, and disadvantage with a total of 8 skills.

Shields grant additional AC and DR, but also impose a penalty to attack rolls and save DCs, Heavy Shields (also known as Tower Shields) also inflicting Disadvantage with them.


Almost every character will use a weapon of some sort. They are divided into a few categories.

Light weapons gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls and save DCs , and can be used when bound or restricted. They deal one step less damage than your Attribute would suggest. If this would reduce damage to less than d4 (due to possibly Ranged and Light at the same time), then you take a -1 penalty per die to the results.

One-Handed weapons have no penalties or bonuses, and deal standard damage.

Two-Handed weapons take a -2 penalty to attack rolls and save DCs, and require two hands to be used. Thus, they cannot be used with any kind of shield. They deal damage one step higher than normal for that attribute. If that would raise damage above d12, you instead add 1 point per die to the result.

Ranged weapons can be of any category. They deal damage one step lower than Melee weapons, but their Range is doubled. However, they cannot be used to attack enemies within Melee range - within 10 feet of the user. If a character uses a Ranged weapon in conjunction with a Melee talent, the talent's Range is increased to Close instead.

Any weapon that's not Ranged is considered a Melee Weapon. Weapons are either Melee or Ranged - they cannot be both.

Magic Items

Magic Items are always a problem in a fantasy RPG. After all, a character with no magic items in a game like D&D 3.5 will be slaughtered in short order, but give them too many, or too powerful, items and they’ll defeat everything you throw at them. KISMET attempts to fix this in a few ways.

First, Magic Items grant lateral bonuses. They grant options, and power through versatility, not with vertical bonuses, which just make characters stronger. There is no +1 Longsword or Ring of Protection +1 in Kismet.

This partially makes Magic Items optional. You don’t need them to play your character and defeat the challenges the game throws at you. However, a lot of players tend to judge their characters by their loot, as well as their abilities, and removing magic items will certainly make the game harder. The DM is the final arbiter on how present and how powerful magic items are in the campaign.

Magic Items are divided by Rarity – ascending from Minor, Moderate, Major, Potent, Legendary, and Artifact. Each item has a value based on its rarity, as shown below.

Minor: 2 points
Moderate: 5 points
Major: 10 points
Potent: 20 points
Legendary: 40 points
Artifact: 80 points

Characters are expected, but not required to have a certain value of magic items by character level, as shown on the table below. Characters are also expected to receive Consumable magic items, which should account for approximately 20% of their item total. For example, between levels 5 and 6, a character will probably go through 5 ot 6 points worth of Consumable magic items, probably Healing Flasks.

{table=head]Level|Magic Item Total|Level|Magic Item Total

Characters with more or less total Magic Items are effectively higher or lower-level characters. Consult the following table. If you’re playing in a High Magic game (magic items are fairly common), or a Low Magic game (magic items are very rare)

{table=head]Magic Item Total|Effective Level (Standard)|Low Magic|High Magic
Less Than 25%|-2|-1|-3
More Than 175%|+2|+3|+1[/table]

A character can wear as many Magic Items as they want, so long as they make sense. They can wear several amulets and rings, but only one cloak, one pair of boots, or one chestplate. However, most magic items grant only a small bonus unless Attuned. A character may be Attuned to up to 3 magic items in their inventory.

Attuning a magic item require the bearer wear or wield the item for 8 hours. After this period, the item functions as Attuned, but the bearer must still wear or wield the item for another 16 hours (24 in total), or the attunement will not “hold”.

Below are some examples of magic items.

Boots of Elvenkind (Major Magic Item)
These comfortable Light Boots are surprisingly quiet, especially when walking over difficult terrain and noisy obstacles. Designed specifically for Elves, these boots have green sections of cloth shaped like leaves woven seamlessly into the fabric. When donned, you ignore Disadvantage to Stealth checks due to debris like broken glass, gravel, or dried leaves.
Attuned: While attuned to the Boots of Elvenkind, twice per day the wearer can ignore Disadvantage to a Stealth check due to Medium or Heavy armor, or due to other circumstances relating to sound.

Greatbow of Storms (Potent Magic Item)
This Greatbow has no string, and is surprisingly flexible, able to be stowed and drawn at a moment’s notice. The yellow filigree along the handle shows storm clouds and lightning. When using the Greatbow of Storms, the bow automatically creates an endless supply of magical ammunition for the user, and any Phsyical damage the bow deals is instead converted into Electricity damage.
Attuned: In the hands of an attuned wielder, the Greatbow of Storms has another unique feature. Three times per day on command, the user can use the Electric Arc Talent (Heroic, Lighting Sphere) using the bow, except the maximum range between targets is increased to 30 feet, and the bow can divide damage unevenly among the targets. If the user already has the Electric Arc Talent, he deals 1d6 additional damage to each target.

Ring of Waterbreathing (Moderate Magic Item)
The wearer of this coral blue ring has a vastly expanded lung capacity while underwater. When making an Endurance check to stay underwater, multiply the total maximum time by 3.
Attuned: When attuned to the Ring of Waterbreathing, the wearer sprouts gills underwater and can breathe it normally. If they do not wish to breathe in the water (for example, if it’s tainted with a toxin), the time they can hold their breath is increased to 5 times their Endurance check result.

Ring of Feather Fall (Moderate Magic Item)
The wearer of this small metal ring with white wings is somewhat protected from great falls. The first time the user falls more than 20 feet, the ring expands into their hand into a right roughly 2 feet in diameter, with large white wings on either side (total wingspan of 10 feet). They can then fall downwards safely without taking falling damage. After landing, the ring shrinks to its original size, and the wings fold inwards for 4 hours, during which the ring recharges.
Attuned: Users attuned to a Ring of Feather Fall also gain the Glide Talent (Heroic, Flight Sphere) while falling, allowing them to move horizontally 10 feet per 10 feet of descent. In addition, the ring recharges in 1 hour instead of 4.

Healing Flask (Minor Magic Item)
This metal flask has a red mark on the side – the universal symbol of healing. A favorite of combat medics, the Healing Flask is simply more efficient than a comparable alchemical potion, whose effects are significantly slower. These items are fairly common, even for magic items, and a staple of the canny adventurer. When the user takes a swig (move action) or pours in the mouth of a fallen ally (a standard action), they immediately recover 1d8 Wound points. Each Healing Flask comes with 1d6+4 swigs left, and a sloshing of the bottle will generally reveal roughly how many swigs are left. Once emptied, a healing flask is spent and no longer magical – but it makes a great container regardless.
Attuned: Users attuned to the Healing Flask who take a swig (or give one to an ally) roll d10 to determine how many hit points they recover, and always recover at least 5 hit points per swig.

Wand of Magic Missiles (Minor Magic Item)
Another common magic item simply out of utility, the Wand of Magic Missiles is a staple for the magician who never knows what to expect. The slim black wand is usually found with 1d12+3 charges remaining. By expending one charge, the user can fire a bolt of energy dealing 1d6 damage to a single target within 30 feet – no attack roll or save needed. At the beginning of each day, the user may roll their Willpower or Charisma and recover that many charges. No more than 15 charges may be stored in the wand at any given time.
Attuned: Users attuned to a Wand of Magic Missiles can expend two additional charges to deal an extra 1d6 damage, up to a maximum of 5d6 with 9 charges. However, they can’t deal more dice of damage than their character level. In addition, the user may roll their Willpower AND Charisma each day and recover that may charges.

2012-10-16, 02:01 AM
Reserved for Game Master's Guide - Part 1

2012-10-16, 02:03 AM
Reserved for Game Master's Guide - Part 2


That's it so far! Feel free to read and comment, I'd really appreciate whatever feedback you want to give. It's very much a work in progress, but I'll be posting tentative Spheres and Talents soon. I've half-finished about 5 of them, so they'll be coming soon.

For combining Talent Groups, my current idea is the following:

Hybrid Talent Spheres (cutting them down to 20)

Healing + Restoration = Healing
Wounding + Affliction = Wounding
Life + Death = Essence
Travel + Freedom = Travel
Slow + Haste = Time
Illusion + Concealment = Illusion
Insight + Divination = Divination
Influence + Comprehension = Influence
Earth + Acid = Earth
Fire + Metal = Fire
Air + Lighting = Air
Water + Ice = Water
Weather + Thunder = Weather
Hope + Fear = Morale
Piercing + Slashing + Bludgeoning = Weapon Mastery
Dreams + Reality = Dreams
Creation + Shape = Creation
Force + Mind Attack = Force
Animal + Plant = Nature
Flight = Flight

I could always just do all 40 of these Spheres instead. I just want some feedback on whether these match-ups make sense.

Naturally, if these became the Spheres, I'd change the progression to the following:


2012-10-16, 12:19 PM
Update: Class Features effectively completed. All of the Feats from D&D 3.5 were adapted to Class Feature format. There are about 40 of them in total, and some can be taken multiple times, so a "vanilla" Fighter will still have tons and tons of options and abilities.

Currently mapping out all of the Talent by Sphere. Working under the assumption that there are about 40-5o Talent Spheres (not the 20 Hybrid talent spheres), and characters have access to 3-10 of them over time. Also reducing the number of talents per sphere to 10 (4 heroic, 3 Paragon, 2 Epic, 1 Exalted). 400-50o Talents in what I'm aiming for at the moment, covering everything from Magic Missile to Wish.

More stuff later. Feel free to comment! Any constructive criticism would be great! I can also any questions you have.

2012-10-17, 07:21 PM
The following is a tentative example of what I think the system might look like soon.

Talent Tress and Talent Spheres

Talents are the individual abilities that characters learn. From the healing ability of Cure Wounds, to the temporal manipulation of Time Stop, each Talent has a specific and

Talent Trees are specific groups of Talents that fit within a very narrow category – both Cure Wounds and Restore Vitality are in the Health Talent Tree. Talent Trees include 4 Heroic talent, 3 Paragon talents, 2 Epic talents, and one Exalted talent.

Talent Spheres are groups of three related Talent Trees – Healing, Restoration, and Life are all in the Healing talent tree.

Characters receive Expertise points at each level – one Expertise point allows you to learn one Talent from a Talent Tree you have access to and which is within your Tier. They also gain access to more Talent Trees over time – from 3 all the way to 10.

Characters with access to multiple Talent Trees within the same Sphere enjoy some benefits – after all, it’s easier to specialize in a few similar fields than it is to train in a broad variety of abilities. Characters with TWO Trees in the same Sphere receive a +1 bonus to attack and DC with all Talents in that Sphere. Characters with THREE Trees in the same sphere get the +1 bonus and an extra Die for all Talents in that Sphere.

Below are the Talent Spheres, Talent Trees, and their Talents

Life|Healing|Restore Vitality, Cure Wounds, Status, Shield Other|Mass Restore Vitality, Mass Cure Wounds, Healing Reserve|Heal, Regenerate|Mass Heal
Life|Restoration|Remove Poison, Remove Paralysis, Lesser Restoration, Remove Fatigue|Break Enchantment, Remove Disease, Restoration|Greater Restoration|Supreme Restoration
Life|Animation|Vigor, Animate Object, Restore Form, Restore Function|Raise Dead, Death Wart, Greater Animation|Resurrection, Awaken|True Resurrection
Death|Wounding|Drain Vitality, Inflict Wounds, Deathwatch, Share Pain|Mass Drain Vitality, Mass Inflict Wounds, Steal Healing|Harm, Wither|Mass Harm
Death|Affliction|Poison, Fatigue, Damage Attribute, Paralyze|Blindness/Deafness, Contagion, Greater Damage Attribute|Blight, Enervation|Energy Drain
Death|Siphon|Death Knell, Weaken, Drain, Crumble|Slay, Feedback, Vampirysm|Circle of Death, Greater Vampyrism|Power Word Kill[/table]

The layout for talent descriptions is the following:

Talent Name (Tree - Sphere - Tier)
Die Type used - Duration
Save or Attack vs. AC
Prerequisite Talents, if any
Effect of Talent

Below is the tentative example for the Healing Tree.


Restore Vitality (Healing - Life - Heroic)
Weapon – Instantaneous
Fortitude Save (Harmless)
You channel healing energy into the target, restoring a number of points of Vitality equal to your dice result. You can use this talent against undead creatures as an attack, dealing that amount of Positive Energy damage on a successful attack versus Fortitude.

Cure Wounds (Healing - Life - Heroic)
Reserve – Weapon – Instantaneous
Fortitude Save +2 (Harmless)
Requires Restore Vitality
You have learned how to heal actual physical Wounds. Your target recovers a number of Wound points equal to ˝ your total result. You can use this Talent to instead inflict direct Wound damage, also Positive Energy type, to undead creatures, who receive a +2 bonus to their save.

Status (Healing – Life - Heroic)
Utility – Sustained
You can keep an accurate read on the health of a number of willing targets equal to your Utility dice, so long as they remain within 100 feet per character level. You can tell when they are: Full Vitality, Half Vitality or more, Half Vitality or Less, Bloodied, 50% Wounds or more, 50% wound or less, or Dead. You must make physical contact with the subject in order to use Status. In order to use Status on more targets that your maximum, you must first “drop” one of your Status targets.

Shield Other (Healing – Life - Heroic)
Utility – Sustained
Requires Status
You can choose to take damage for one of your Status targets instead of them. When they would suffer damage, you can spend a Utility die to take half the damage instead. Each Utility die past the first transfers that many additional points of damage.

Mass Restore Vitality (Healing – Life - Paragon)
Weapon – Instantaneous
Fortitude Save (Harmless)
Requires Restore Vitality
When you use Restore Vitality, you can divide the dice of healing among any number of targets within range.

Mass Cure Wounds (Healing – Life - Paragon)
Reserve – Weapon – Instantaneous
Fortitude Save (Harmless)
Requires Cure Wounds
When you use Cure Wounds, you can divide the dice of healing among any number of targets within range.

Healing Reserve (Healing – Life - Paragon)
Utility - Reaction
Will Save (Harmless)
Requires Status
Whenever a member of your Status would receive healing that would bring them over their maximum of that type (Wounds or Vitality), you can store that healing. On your next turn, you can touch a target (including yourself) by spending a Utility die, and transfer that stored healing to them. Healing stored in this way fades at the end of your next turn unless transferred.

Heal (Healing – Life - Epic)
Reserve – Weapon - Ritual (5 rounds)
Fortitude save (Harmless)
Requires Cure Wounds or Restore Vitality
As Restore Vitality, but you restore both Wound and Vitality points, the quantity is maximized, and the Bloodied condition is removed.

Regenerate (Healing – Life - Epic)
Reserve – Weapon – Ritual (5 rounds)
Requires Cure Wounds
You touch a willing creature who has one or more Crippled or Missing limbs. The target’s limbs are slowly repaired and regrow over the next 5 rounds, during which you must maintain contact with the creature.

Mass Heal (Healing - Life - Exalted)
Reserve – Weapon – Ritual (3 rounds)
Fortitude save (Harmless)
Requires Heal
As Heal, but you can divide the healing among any number of targets within range, and the Ritual time is reduced.

What do you think?

EDIT: Removed action to use talents, fixed diminishing returns with some talents, and made Healing Reserve a more limited ability.

2012-10-17, 08:06 PM
I haven't read everything incredibly thoroughly, but I think I get the basics well enough.

I like the overall system. Having three attributes, using best for die and worst for modifier, is an interesting way to tie ability scores to archetypes while still allowing good flexibility. The streamlined use of dice, augments, and reserves should help keep such basics as damage well-balanced. The talents and class features look like they'll ensure everyone is at least within the same ballpark in terms of balance of abilities. So overall, I'd say the core mechanics look solid.

One thing that I think could use a bit of work is the complexity in some areas. I'm actually kind of a fan of both an active roll on attack and defense, but having both an attack and damage roll and a defense roll I think starts getting a bit cumbersome.

Likewise, I notice that several of the sample Healing talents get weaker not only by individual talent, but individual target of individual talent, which would be incredibly annoying to keep track of in play. I think your use of dice per round and reserve points per (day?) is a good, streamlined way to handle resources.

With dice being per round, there's a part of me that wonders if the normal action scheme is really necessary, or whether you could get away with just spending dice as your actions. Not sure how viable it would be, but figured it was worth bringing up.

Anyway, that's all I can think of. Looks cool!

2012-10-17, 08:36 PM
I haven't read everything incredibly thoroughly, but I think I get the basics well enough.

I like the overall system. Having three attributes, using best for die and worst for modifier, is an interesting way to tie ability scores to archetypes while still allowing good flexibility. The streamlined use of dice, augments, and reserves should help keep such basics as damage well-balanced. The talents and class features look like they'll ensure everyone is at least within the same ballpark in terms of balance of abilities. So overall, I'd say the core mechanics look solid.

One thing that I think could use a bit of work is the complexity in some areas. I'm actually kind of a fan of both an active roll on attack and defense, but having both an attack and damage roll and a defense roll I think starts getting a bit cumbersome.

Likewise, I notice that several of the sample Healing talents get weaker not only by individual talent, but individual target of individual talent, which would be incredibly annoying to keep track of in play. I think your use of dice per round and reserve points per (day?) is a good, streamlined way to handle resources.

With dice being per round, there's a part of me that wonders if the normal action scheme is really necessary, or whether you could get away with just spending dice as your actions. Not sure how viable it would be, but figured it was worth bringing up.

Anyway, that's all I can think of. Looks cool!

Thanks for posting!

The core mechanics are most of what I've been working on these last few weeks. The goal is to roughly cap how many dice characters get to use every round, and thus keep expected power within a certain range. A character with High Weapon and High Augment could always deal considerable damage, but not frequently enough to last more than a few "nova" rounds. Plus, they'd have generally lower Utility dice, and thus less impact on things outside of hit points.

The class features were obviously taken from existing class features of classes, and I simply threw in a few Feats here and there to flesh them out. My goal is to make most of the tactical feats Talents instead. For example, instead of Shot on the Run or Spring Attack, you could take the Burst Strike ability from the Travel Tree, which lets you move and make an attack at any point along your movement. My design goal is to make pretty much every martial maneuver or spell be either a Talent or a combination of two Talents used in tandem.

Rolling for damage has to stay, of course, not much I can do about that. Because of how AC, saves, and save DCs work, only the attacker rolls a d20 - the defender only rolls their attribute die. Attack rolls are fairly wild, and can miss by large margins. Saving throws, on the other hand, are fairly consistent. So there's not a ton of dice flying with every attack, but it's more than a simple d20 roll.

With the Healing talent, I wanted to discourage players from "spamming" talents like Restore Vitality on allies. I'm considering changing it so that you can't use the same Healing talent on a target in two consecutive rounds instead. What do you think?

That's a really good idea about the action scheme. I could simply let character perform whatever actions they wished within the round, so long as they had dice remaining. I think I'll implement that right now. Great idea!

Again, thanks for looking it over. I'm currently finishing up a list of all the Talent Trees - 43 in total at the moment, but I'm aiming for 60. Yep, 600 different Talents in total, 20 Talent Spheres, covering everything from Time to Nature to Illusions to the Mind itself. With players gaining access to a mere 3 of these Talent Trees at 1st level, and only 10 at 20th level, characters will have a broad number of abilities, but only 1/6th of the potential abilities in the game.

Your average adventuring party's only going to be able to access about half of the powers in the game - and that's kind of awesome. No omnipotent wizards, no boring fighters, just somewhere in the middle.

Anyway, thanks for commenting! I'd really appreciate any more comments and criticisms you could give, I know there are flaws with the system, and the earlier I deal with them, the better.


2012-10-19, 08:19 PM
Update: I have finished mapping out Spheres and Talent Groups (no longer trees, that term didn't fit) and am implementing the changes now.

There will be 60 Talent Groups, each with 4 Heroic, 3 Paragon, 2 Epic, and 1 Exalted talent. Characters go from 3 to 10 Talent Groups known from levels 1 to 20. Expertise Points will be reduced to 75 points by level 20 to reflect the reduced size of Talent Groups. I had previously considered 60 points, but upon reflection the math suits 75 much better.

I will also be adding the Combat rules, eventually, as soon as I iron out the kinks. Mainly, I want to force players to make only one Active roll each turn with their Weapon and Utility dice. I want them to focus on using Swift and Sustain abilities, and Interrupts on other players' turns.

The idea is for Weapon and Utility dice to serve not only as a method of Augmenting an existing attack (for example, a Concussive Blast might have the Shackles Utility talent attached to it), but for them to have applications besides what you usually do on your turn (for example, using Weapon dice to Parry an incoming blow, or Utility dice to Misdirect an enemy attack).

I don't want players blowing all of their dice on their turns, but instead deciding on a healthy balance between offense and defense.

With talents in particular, the goal is not to make every Talent Group equal. Some will have mostly attacks (Fire), while others will have mostly Utility and out-of-combat uses (Dreams). However, every single Talent Group will contain at least one ability that is useful in a fight, and at least one ability which assists in several circumstances, and all at Heroic level.

I'll be posting the changes momentarily, mainly in the Spheres and Talent Groups section. Tell me what you think!

2012-10-20, 08:46 PM
Design Philosophies for Tiers, Sources, and How Attributes Matter

The idea behind Tiers is two-fold. First, they exist to clearly define the scope of a character's abilities and influence on the game world. A Heroic character will have a much narrower set of skills than an Epic character. Second, they exist at guidelines for the KIND of campaign the players and DM are playing in. Essentially, if the DM wants to run a Heroic-Tier game, then the character concepts that players come up with have to be within the scope of that kind of play.

It's still possible to play incredible and interesting characters at Heroic tier. Your Dragon character might be fairly young, perhaps the size of a large dog or small horse, and bereft of natural flight beyond gliding and hops, reliant on small-scale bursts of dragon-fire and his mind-control spells. Your God might have fallen from power, her churches level, believers scattered, and now she is reduced to a fraction of her former power, questing to gain glory and thus worship. These concepts have tons of room for growth, and establish your character as something more than mortal without actually possessing Talents or Class Features that exceed other characters of your level and Tier.

Having players focus on character concept, and then choose what Talents fit that concept, is a much more organic experience than having to sift through race, class, prestige classes, and templates in order to find the rule set that fits your idea. Kismet is meant to be a universal system that can handle any fantasy character concept without having to crack open ten sourcebooks or sift through classes.

Source is a method of controlling what attributes a character uses for their Talents, as well as giving a reasoning for how those Talents function. The fact that they use 3 attributes out of 6 means that "power gamers" will be forced to spread their points around, while "unoptomized" builds will still be quite viable. Mainly, I wanted characters, especially level 1 characters, to consider where their Talents come from, and tie it to their character concept. Naturally a Wizard would use Arcana (or perhaps Divine if they draw their power from ley-lines), but what about a Dragon? Are their abilities Spells, arcane power flowing through their veins made manifest, or are they Tactics, inherent abilities to the Dragon that are expressed in ways that defy the conventional laws of physics? Or are they something else entirely? This means you can have two Dragons drawing from different Sources, and adds more flavor to both PCs and NPCs.

Don't worry about character concepts that require multiple Sources - a character can spend a Class Feature point to gain access to an additional source, so all of your Arcane Archer and Mystic Theurge concepts are still valid. In addition, if you don't like the stats associated with your Source, you can spend a Class Feature point to swap one of them with another stat of your choice. After all, not every character approaches their Talents in the same way.

A subset of Sources is Traditions, which is pretty low on my list of things to do. Traditions exist as sub-sets of Sources, and they grant a trade-off ability at no cost to the character. A character can only have one Tradition at a time, and they generally have to join or be trained at an organization that follows that Tradition. For example, the Wizardry tradition for Arcane characters allows them to invest their Reserve points into their Talents at the beginning of each day. When they use a Reserve point in such a way, they get a bonus to the attack roll and effectiveness of the Talent, but they have to invest all or none of their Reserve points, and if they run out of uses for a specific Talent (or don't "prepare" it at all), they're S.O.L.

Now, attributes. Besides granting a significant bonus to skills, determining attribute checks, and enhancing your AC and saves, Attributes also determine how effective your Talents are. The highest attribute determines the die type used by the talent group, the lowest determines the bonus to attack and save DC, and the middle... well, the middle attribute is used to determine a lot of secondary effects for Talents, but it isn't as critical.

Fate might seem like a less important attribute than the other six, but it's possibly the most powerful. Control, Sense, and Alter are extremely useful, and can turn an entire fight around in an instant. Plus, additional Hit Points keep you alive and fighting, which is always useful. After all, that +1 to hit isn't useful if you're bleeding on the floor. At the same time, no character can succeed relying only on Fate - it simply makes your existing actions better.

Anyway, thank you for reading, and here is the revised Travel Group for your viewing pleasure. Work is currently being done on the other Talent Groups, but it's a daunting task. Thank you for your patience.


Burst (Travel - Space - Heroic)
Utility - Swift
You move quickly through space, through prodigious leaps, teleportation magic, or other means. Your roll result is the maximum distance you travel, rounded down to the nearest 5 feet. Each 90 degree turn you make while moving reduces your total distance by 5 feet. You cannot use Burst to move anywhere not connected to your current location by a solid surface, and your movement is reduced as normal by difficult terrain.

Burst Strike (Travel - Space - Heroic)
Utility - Free
Requires Burst
While moving with Burst, you may spend a Utility die to halt your movement just long enough to make a single Attack action. Due to how small this window of opportunity is, you suffer a -2 penalty to Attack with that action. If you can perform multiple attacks in a single round, you can spend multiple Utility dice to resolve that many attacks.

Dimension Swap (Travel - Space - Heroic)
Utility - Move
Will negates (harmless)
Select a single Allied target you can see and roll your Utility dice. If the target is within that many feet of your position, you may swap positions with that ally instead of moving. You and your ally provoke Opportunity attacks as normal due to this movement. You and your ally must both be able to move that distance – for instance, if your ally is Pinned, you cannot use Dimension Swap on them.

Detect Teleportation (Travel - Space - Heroic)
Utility - Passive
Opposed level + Attribute check
You have a sense for Talents that move the user. Whenever someone uses a Space talent that starts or ends within Close range of you, you immediately know that it has occurred. By spending one or more Utility dice, you can make an opposed level + attribute check with the user of the ability, if successful, you can roll once of the following table for each die to glean information about the teleportation. You can choose to learn a piece of information from a lower value, should you wish, and you gain one piece of information per die rolled with a sufficient value.

Detect Teleportation table

{table=head]Die result|Information gathered
5 or less|Nothing
6|The Space Talent used
7|The general direction of the user in relation to yourself
8|The distance traveled
9|The original location of the user
10|The nature and quantity of creatures or objects moved
11 or higher|The exact location of the user[/table]

Dimension Door (Travel - Space - Paragon)
Utility – Reserve – Full-Round - Instantaneous
Requires Burst
You propel yourself through space a great distance – up to ten feet times your Utility result. Unlike Burst, the distance need not follow terrain you can travel across, but you must travel in a straight line, and you cannot naturally travel through obstacles.

Involuntary Swap (Travel - Space - Paragon)
Utility – Action - Instantaneous
Will negates
Requires Dimension Swap
You attempt to swap
The positions of one Enemy and one Ally or Enemy. Roll Utility dice, if your total dice roll equaled the distance between them or was greater, they fail their saves, they trade positions, provoking Opportunity attacks as normal for movement.

Banish (Travel - Space - Paragon)
Utility – Action - Instantaneous
Fortitude negates
Requires Detect Teleportation
You attempt to reverse a Space effect that happened recently to a specific creature within Range, up to ten minutes per level you possess. On a failed save, you subtract your Utility result from the target’s Utility result from their Space effect. If the target’s total reaches 0, their Space effect is negated and they are returned to their original location (in the case of Travel abilities).

Teleport (Travel - Space - Epic)
Utility – Reserve Ritual (2 hours)
Personal, plus Will negates (Harmless)
Requires Burst and Dimension Door
After an hour of concentration, you muster the ability to transport yourself a number of kilometers equal to your Utility die result. You may choose to bring a number of targets with you equal to your Attribute score (including yourself, maximum 10), but every person past the first (yourself) reduces the Utility Dice you roll by 1 and increases the Ritual time by 30 minutes. Once you Teleport, you arrive close to your destination, with only 5% of your total distance as variance. For example, if you traveled 54 kilometers, you would arrive within 2.7 kilometers of your destination.

Plane Shift (Travel - Space - Epic)
Utility – Reserve Ritual (8 hours)
Personal, plus Will negates (harmless)
Requires Burst, Dimension Door, and Teleport
As Teleport, except your destination can be on another Plane of existence. The Ritual time is longer, and you arrive within 5d100 of your destination on that Plane. You subtract your Utility die result from that variance, but you are always at least 5 miles from your destination.

Gate (Travel - Space - Exalted)
Utility – Reserve Ritual (1 week) - Permanent
One doorway or portal
Requires Burst, Dimension Door, Teleport, and Plane Shift
You set up a permanent Gate that allows you and others to travel between two points in the multiverse. Each week, you can roll your Utility die to determine the maximum distance (if on same plane) or teleportation variance (if on another plane). When you have results you like, you may craft the Gate itself as part of that week-long check. It is connected on both ends, and a number of creatures may pass through the threshold equal to your Attribute modifier each round (any further attempts within one round are blocked until the next round). The Gate operates indefinitely until destroyed.

2012-10-21, 09:27 PM
For your consideration, the Influence Talent Group

Influence Talent Group

Charm Person (Influence - Mind - Heroic)
Utility – Reserve - Sustained
Will negates
If the target fails their save, they view you in the most favorable light possible. A shopkeeper might view you as a trusted friend, a guard might view you as a model citizen. Regardless, the effects last for a number of minutes equal to half your Utility roll. You cannot use Charm Person against creatures that are Hostile to you, and you cannot use Charm in combat. In addition, maintaining the effect requires line of effect and Sustaining the dice invested – breaking either of these conditions reduces the remaining duration to rounds instead of minutes. Creatures charmed previously within 24 hours gain a +4 bonus to future saves against this talent, and creatures that make their save cannot be charmed again for 24 hours. If they pass their save by 5 or more, they immediately realize that you tried to charm them. Charm person works on creatures that can understand your speech, and creatures of a different type than yours gain a +2 bonus to their save.

Command (Influence - Mind - Heroic)
Utility – Reserve - Instantaneous
Will negates
You order an individual to obey a single, simple command. It can contain a number of words equal to your Utility dice spent. The more popular commands include Sit, Flee, Stay, and the like. The Command must make sense – Yield and Disarm aren’t specific enough, but Kneel could work. The target immediately obeys your command on their next turn, so long as it does not oppose their nature (i.e. a shark could not be commanded to Beach Itself, even if you could communicate with the shark), and the commands do not force the creature to harm itself (Commit Suicide, Stab Yourself, or even Walk On Lava cannot be used). Like Charm, Command has the same reduced potency when used against the same target multiple times, and each use grants the target a cumulative +2 bonus to defenses against it for 24 hours (as they learn how to resist the compulsion better).

Aversion (Influence - Mind - Heroic)
Utility - Persistent
Will negates
The target gains an intense aversion to a specific creature or object. It will not willingly approach the object, and on its turn moves a number of feet away equal to your Utility roll result, rounded down to the nearest 5 feet increment. At the end of each of its turns, it may make a Will save against the same DC to shake off the Aversion, each time with a cumulative +1 bonus to resist. It retains this bonus to further saves against Aversion effects you use against that creature for 24 hours. You need not be able to communicate with the creature in order to instill an Aversion. The subject can perform all other actions unimpeded, including attacking the subject of its Aversion.

Attraction (Influence - Mind - Heroic)
Utility - Persistent
Will negates
As Aversion, but instead the target does everything it can to approach the subject, which must be within a number of feet equal to your Utility die result, rounded down to the nearest 5 foot increment. It gains the save to resist each round. The target will not attempt overly dangerous or suicidal methods in order to approach or obtain the target of the Attraction.

Mass Charm (Influence - Mind - Paragon)
Requires Charm
Your Charm rubs off on others… many others. You can target any number of individuals within range, who each make independent saves, dividing your total Charm dice among them equally. Since the effect is linked, if the Charm is dispelled from one target, it is removed from all of them.

Suggestion (Influence - Mind - Paragon)
Utility – Reserve - Ritual
Will negates
Requires Command
You implant a far more powerful set of commands than Command. Your Suggestion functions as Command, but the instructions can be a number of words long equal to your Utility die result. Unlike Command, however, Suggestion requires a full minute to use, and thus is nearly impossible to use in a fight.

Crowd Control (Influence - Mind - Paragon)
Requires Attraction or Aversion
You can spread a single Aversion or Attraction (whichever you have access to, potentially both) to a large group of individuals. You roll normally for distance, but you can target up to one individual per die you spend.

Mass Suggestion (Influence - Mind - Epic)
Requires Command and Suggestion
You can divide the works of your Suggestion among any number of targets, so long as your total Utility roll is higher than the number of targets times the words in your suggestion. In addition, you can now force creatures to do things fundamentally against their will, albeit they gain a +2 bonus to their save to resist.

Dominate Person (Influence - Mind - Epic)
Utility – Reserve - Sustained
Will negates
Requires Charm Person, Command, and two other Influence talents, at least one of which must be Paragon rank or lower.
You completely hijack a single creature’s mind, controlling their every action. You must sustain your Utility dice each round, losing 1 each round you maintain this Talent. You can spend a Reserve point to add your Augment dice to the remaining duration of Dominate Person. The creature acts as you direct, using its talents to the best of its ability, but you must spend your own Weapon dice in order for the creature to use its Weapon Talents. Each time you spend a Reserve point to increase the duration, the creature gains a new Will save to resist at the original DC. Creature outside of your type gain +2 bonus to saves against Dominate, and creatures that save against or throw off your Dominate ability cannot be dominated again for 24 hours.

Enthrall (Influence - Mind - Exalted)
Requires Dominate Person
As Dominate Person, but other creatures gain no bonus to resist the effect, and the effect lasts for one day per Utility Die you invest. Once per day, the creature you Entrall may make a Will save with a -2 penalty to throw off the Enthrall effect. You may spend Reserve points to restore Utility Dice invested in this way, but each Reserve Point spent to activate or maintain Enthrall becomes unavailable and cannot be recovered until your Enthralled target breaks your control. Creatures that save against Enthrall are immune for 24 hours, but creatures that break off your control are immune for one month.

Mind control has always been a staple of D&D, but any veteran player will tell you that it's pretty overpowered. One spell can literally end a single fight before it's even began, and even when outnumbered, it can heavily swing the odds in your favor. Kismet's design philosophy includes doing away with "save or suck" spells and effects.

Influence represent the Charm/Suggestion/Dominate abilities in the game, with a few others thrown in for good measure. The key is to 1) restrict Dominate effects to Epic tier and above, and 2) heavily restrict how long and how useful these effects are.

Influence is Reserve-point heavy, meaning most characters who take it will balance it out with Talent groups that are Reserve-point light. You probably won't see many characters maxing out the Mind sphere with a level 1 character, simply because it's filled with Reserve talents at lower levels.

Overall, I think the Talent Group came out pretty well. The Epic and Exalted talents are still incredibly awesome, and I could see a lot of players (myself included) picking up a few abilities from Influence, but it's no longer an "I Win" button.

Next up, I'm planning on writing up Fire, Slashing, and Stone, to give a good idea of what more offensive talent groups will look like, and how they'll differentiate beyond "i deal fire damage, you deal cold damage". For example, Fire is filled with different-shaped AoE attacks that exploit different enemy formations, Slashing is at its best when surrounded in close corners, and Stone is a good mix of attack and utility from Heroic all the way to Exalted.

More soon!

2012-11-02, 04:30 PM
So... sorry about that. Midterms are tough.

The current roadblock I'm struggling with is how to handle distance and mutli-targeting with Talents. So far, my best idea is to make multi-targeting an Upgrade at a higher Tier. This is what I implemented with the Influence talent group - Mass Suggestion is simply a method of using Suggestion on a large group. Fireball is Orb of Fire, but an area of effect.

The issue with this is damage dice. When facing 2 or 3 enemies, a Talent that does 3 dice to one of them might be superior to a talent that does 1 dice to all of them - after all, taking down a single enemy faster should be the optimum path to victory.

The alternative idea is to allow Talents at higher Tiers to target increasingly large groups of enemies by spending a single die. For example, Burning hands could deal 3 dice to one target, or 2 dice to 2 targets, or 1 die to 3 targets. Fireball could deal 5 dice to one target, 4 dice to 3 targets, 3 dice to 5 targets, 2 dice to 7 targets, or 1 die to 9 targets.

Heroic would be 1 die for 1 target, Paragon would be 1:2, Epic 1:3, and Exalted 1:4.

The problem with this is that it radically changes the math. With the Fireball above, dealing 3 dice to 5 targets gives you 15 damage dice, when you're only spending 5 on the attack. Even with the Burning Hands option, hitting 2 targets gives you an extra effective die of damage. When you add Reserve Dice to the mix, things get... complicated.

The only other option that I have so far is to tie Utility and Weapon dice together slightly. So, for example, if you want to use Mass Suggestion and Fireball on your turn (a scathing demand for your enemies to flee), you'd have to be able to target all of them with both of your abilities. So, both the Fireball and the Mass Suggestion would have to be able to hit (say, 4 enemies), and you'd have to divide your words AND damage between them.

This would be the only way to affect an enemy twice with an Active talent. You could still use Burst to move and Orb of Fire to attack, but you couldn't attack one enemy with Orb of Fire and another with Command - you have to tie the talents together.

If you have any comments or criticisms I would really appreciate your feedback.


2012-11-02, 06:27 PM
So, I implemented a few changes I had on the back-burner while midterms were raging.

1) Combat section added! It's not 100% complete yet, but it gives a good idea of what a character can do on their turn. I've implemented Skill Checks as a Move action - it takes time and focus to actively make a skill check. It also means that a character can't attempt more than two Skill Checks on their turn - if they use Acrobatics to get into position and Stealth to hide from enemies, that's about all they can do that turn.

2) Expertise points removed. Now, players have Talents Known based on Tier, and the number is much more manageable (42 by 20th level). They can swap their Talents every day, choosing from their Talent Groups, so they're still versatile, but no ridiculously so.

3) Typos and other errors removed in a few section. I'm sure there are more, but I'll leave it for final proofing.

I'm still working on Fire, Slashing, and Stone. I'll have them up ASAP. In the mean time, feel free to comment! I'd really appreciate whatever insight you could give.

2012-11-02, 11:04 PM
For your consideration, the Flame and Stone talent groups.



Flame talents rely on the Ingition condition to deal consistent damage. They have a variety of different methods of attack, but few defensive options. For Flame users, the best defense is a good offense.

Ignite: The target is on fire. They 1 point of damage each round they are Ignited, and when struck with Fire damage, the target gets an additional die of damage.

Flame Jet (Flame – Fire – Heroic)
Weapon – Standard – Close Range
You fire a burst of flame at your opponent, dealing your Weapon dice in Fire damage on a failed save. In addition, the target Ignites even on a successful save.

Orb of Fire (Flame – Fire – Heroic)
Weapon – Standard or Reaction – Medium Range
Attack versus AC
Standard: You fire a burst of flame at one opponent with range, dealing your Weapon dice in Fire damage on a failed save. If they fail their save, they also Ignite until the end of your next turn.
Reaction: You can spend one Weapon die when attacked in order to attack them in return. Make a normal Orb of Fire attack with one die against that target.

Resist Fire (Flame – Fire – Heroic)
Utility –Swift or Reaction – Close or Personal
Fortitude (harmless)
You ward yourself or an ally against Fire damage. Roll your Utility Dice spent. Until the end of your next turn, whenever you or the target would take Fire damage, you remove damage equal to the dice your rolled for Resist Fire. Resist Fire depletes when is absorbs damage – when reduced to 0 points remaining, it is immediately cancelled. In addition, as long as Resist Fire has at least 1 point remaining, the target is immune to the Ignite condition.

Flaming Sphere (Flame – Fire – Heroic)
Weapon – Standard Sustained – Close
You create a ball of fire that fills one empty square. Any target that moves through the Flaming Sphere or starts their turn within its area takes your sustained Weapon Dice in damage. Each turn you Sustain the Flaming Sphere, you can move it a number of squares equal to your Source Attribute (the middle Attribute of your three Stats for your Source). It ends its movement when it enters a creature’s space (who must make a saving throw for damage). In addition, any creature that moves through the Flaming Sphere’s path must make a Reflex save or suffer Ignite until the end of your next turn.

Fireball (Flame – Fire – Paragon)
Weapon – Reserve – Standard – Long Range Blast 2
Prerequisites: Flame Jet or Orb of Fire
You fire a long-range blast of fire that can affect any number of targets within a 10-ft radius. You must assign at least one Weapon die to each target – they suffer that die/dice individually. Targets who suffer damage are Ignited.

Mass Resist Fire (Flame – Fire – Paragon)
Prerequisites: Resist Fire
Your Resist Fire can protect a number of allies with range equal to your Source Attribute. If a single Fire attack hits multiple allies at once, divide any damage inflicted afterwards evenly among them.

Wall of Fire (Flame – Fire – Paragon)
Prerequisites: Flaming Sphere
When you move Flaming Sphere, you can designate to turn it into a Wall of Fire. If you do so, the entire distance the Flaming Sphere moved is considered part of the Flaming Sphere, but it can no longer move. In essence, you have created a trail of fire reaching upwards 5 feet. In addition, creatures that end their turns next to the Wall of Fire or who pass through it are automatically Ignited.

Firestorm (Flame – Fire – Epic)
Weapon – Standard – Burst 4
Prerequisites: Any two other Flame talents
You call down a rain of fire from the sky, dealing your Weapon dice in Fire damage to all targets within a 20-foot radius of yourself (excluding yourself). The damage is evenly divided among all of the targets. In addition, on a failed save, they are Ignited.

Fiery Retort (Flame – Fire – Epic)
Prerequisites: Orb of Fire, any one other Flame talent.
The range of your Orb of Fire is extended to Long range, and you can choose to attack all targets within a 10-foot cube. When you use Orb of Fire as a Reaction, you may spend as many dice as you wish.

Incineration (Flame – Fire – Exalted)
Weapon – Standard Sustained – Reserve – Close Range
Reflex half
Prerequisites: Any 5 Fire talents
You light the target on fire in a grand conflagration beyond anything other fire users are capable of. The target takes your Weapon dice in Fire damage on a failed save, and half damage on a successful save. The are automatically Ignited, and if they are Ignited, they take a -2 penalty to their Reflex save to resist Incineration. You must spend a Reserve talent each round you Sustain this talent. Once attacked, the target is within the range of your attack regardless of distance, including interplanar – you can sustain and deal damage to the target no matter how far they run, so long as you keep spending Reserve points. In addition, each round they fail their save, they take an additional die of damage from Incineration.



Stone talents use the Petrify condition to augment their defenses and occasionally take others out of the fight. Stone is versatile Utility-wise but has a very limited set of attacks.

Petrify: Petrified targets cannot take a Move action to move their speed (though they still gain their Move action each turn), and they gain DR versus Physical damage equal to their Aptitude or 5, whichever is higher.

Stone Fist (Stone – Earth – Heroic)
Weapon – Standard – Melee
Attack vs. AC
You smash your enemy with a short-range blast of stone, dealing your Weapon dice in Bludgeoning damage. On a failed save, your target takes a -2 penalty to saves against Petrify effects until the end of your next turn.

Caltrops (Stone – Earth – Heroic)
Utility – Sustained Standard– Close
For every 5 points rolled by your Utility dice, you can designate one square of earth or stone within Close range. The ground immediately becomes uneven and sharp – not enough to impede movement, but enough to hurt. Each time a creature moves through one of your Caltrops squares on foot, they take 1 point of Physical damage that bypasses DR.

Stone Stance (Stone – Earth – Heroic)
Utility – Sustained Swift – Personal
You plant yourself to the earth, making it almost impossible to move you. You add your Utility dice invested to your saves to resist effects that would move you (though the save bonus does not increase your saves to resist associated damage). You cannot move while in a Stone Stance.

Petrify (Stone – Earth – Heroic)
Utility or Weapon – Standard or Reaction – Close or Personal
Standard: You momentarily turn a target to stone, at least partially. On a failed save, the target is Petrified until the end of their next turn.
Reaction: You momentarily turn yourself to stone against an incoming attack. You can spend a Weapon die in order to subtract the result from your incoming damage. You can only protect yourself from Physical damage, and if the attack is not Bludgeoning, you take a -2 penalty to your roll.

Wall of Stone (Stone – Earth – Paragon)
Requires Caltrops
When you use Caltrops, you can instead force the ground upwards in order to create physical walls. You can designate as many sides of squares within range as your Caltrops result. Each wall has 5 hit points. You can choose to create fewer, stronger walls – for example, if your result was 32, you could make 6 walls at 5 HP each, 3 walls with 10 Hp each, or one wall with 30 HP. You must divide the hit points evenly, in 5-point increments, and each wall must have the same number of hit points.

Hail of Stone (Stone – Earth – Paragon)
Requires Stone Fist
As Stone Fist, but you can target a 10-foot radius (Burst 2) instead by spending a Reserve point. You must divide your Weapon dice among the targets within the radius.

Stoneskin (Stone – Earth – Paragon)
Requires Petrify and Stone Stance
When you use Petrify on another, you can choose to Sustain the effect by spending a Reserve point. The target gains a Fortitude save to shrug the effects off, but at a -4 penalty to their save. When you use Petrify on yourself, you can spend as many Weapon dice as you wish when reducing damage. When using Stone Stance, you appear to be made completely out of stone, which you can use as a disguise, and you gain DR 1/- per Utility die against bludgeoning attacks, and half that against other forms of Physical damage.

Passwall (Stone – Earth – Epic)
Utility – Move – Close
Fortitude (objects)
Requires three other Stone talents
You move stone aside effortlessly, passing through it without interference. For every 10 points on your Utility die, you may move through 5 feet of stone. You can choose to create a hole with your dimensions as you pass, or you can have the stone wrap around your body and move back into place after your passing. You must end your movement in an empty space, or else you are ejected to the nearest open square, taking 1d6 damage per 5 feet of movement.

Permanent Petrification (Stone – Earth – Epic)
Requires Stoneskin and two other Stone talents
When you Sustain Petrify for 3 consecutive rounds on the same target, you can spend 2 additional Reserve points to permanently turn the target to stone. Only powerful restoration abilities can reverse this Talent. While petrified, the target does not age, but damage inflicted to the statue inflicts damage to the target, which can still kill them.

Instant Fortress (Stone – Earth – Exalted)
Utility – Ritual Reserve – Long
Fortitude (object)
Requires Wall of Stone and Passwall
By spending 24 hours concentrating and performing the ritual, you can craft a large building or even fortress out of stone. Roll your Utility dice – you can create a structure with a total volume equal to that many 10 foot cubes. You need a sufficient quantity of stone, either above or under ground, in order to create the structure, and it is composed entirely of stone.

As you can see, the two Talent groups are very different. Flame is all about damage effects, and the Ignite special ability reflects that. It encourages players to follow up Flame attacks with more Fire damage attacks - and note that Fire damage doesn't just come from Flame talents, it can also come from Metal and Magma talents as well. This leads to interesting combinations of tactics, even within the same Sphere.

Stone is different, it's a defensive talent group that focuses on immobilizing enemies and defending itself with its Talents. At higher Tiers, you get more crowd-control abilities like Wall of Stone, and even some mobility from Passwall. Petrify is fun in that it's both useful on defense and on offense.

Slashing is... very different from both Flame and Stone. I'm still working out the kinks, but the mechanic of Slashing is Bleed damage - whittling down enemies with multiple strikes. It'll be a sharp contrast to Piercing's Critical Hit mechanic, and Bludgeoning's Ignore armor mechanic.

I'm trying to tie each Talent Group to a specific sort of mechanic or gameplay mechanism. With Travel, it was Burst (the signature talent), with Influence it was the "dice = words" mechanic.

More later, and hopefully a quicker update than this one!

2012-11-03, 05:05 PM
Finally, here it is:



From a cutpurse’s knife to the mighty Greatsword, Slashing is all about wearing your enemy down to the bone – even if it means hurting yourself. Bleeding is the signature condition, and it can prove deadly for the user as well as his enemies.

Bleeding: A Bleeding creature takes 1 point of damage at the beginning of each of its turns for every time the Bleeding condition has been dealt to it. At the end of its turn, a Bleeding creature may roll their Fate die - for every 2 points rolled, they may remove 1 point of Bleed.

Savage Slash (Slashing – Weapon – Heroic)
Weapon – Standard – Melee
Attack vs. AC
You slash at your opponent, dealing your Weapon dice in Slashing damage. Even if you miss, the target gains the Bleeding condition.

Cutting Wind (Slashing – Weapon – Heroic)
Utility – Reaction – Melee
Attack vs. AC
When attacked in melee, you can spend a Utility die to give your target the Bleeding condition.

Bladewind (Slashing – Weapon – Heroic)
Weapon – Standard – Reserve – Melee
Attack vs. AC
You strike a single opponent multiple times. If you hit, for each die rolled, your target gains the Bleeding condition (so if you roll 4 dice, they take Bleeding 4).

Parry (Slashing – Weapon – Heroic)
Utility – Swift Sustain – Personal
You guard yourself against incoming slashes. You gain DR equal to your Utility dice against Slashing attacks, and half that against other forms of Physical damage. In addition, you ignore a number of points of Bleeding equal to your Utility Dice invested.

Bladestorm (Slashing – Weapon – Paragon)
Requires Bladewind
When you use Bladewind, you may divide the Weapon dice among any number of targets within Melee range.

Double Slash (Slashing – Weapon – Paragon)
Requires Savage Slash
When you use Savage Slash, you can divide the Weapon dice between up to two targets within Melee range.

Critical Wounds (Slashing – Weapon – Paragon)
Utility – Free Reaction – Personal
Requires any two other Slashing talents
Whenever you would inflict Bleeding on an enemy, you can spend a Utility Die to suffer one additional level of Bleeding to give your enemy another level as well.

Deadly Wounds (Slashing – Weapon – Epic)
Requires Critical Wounds and any three other Slashing talents
When you use Critical Wounds, you may spend as many Utility dice as your wish to inflict the Bleeding condition that many times to both you and your opponent.

Perfect Guard (Slashing – Weapon – Epic)
Upgrade - Reserve
Requires Parry and any three other Slashing talents
When you use Parry, you gain twice as much DR against Slashing attacks, your full Dice as DR against other Physical damage, and you can resist a number of levels of bleeding equal to twice your Utility Dice invested. Each round you Sustain Perfect Guard, you must spend a Reserve Point.

Omnislash (Slashing – Weapon – Exalted)
Weapon – Standard Sustained – Reserve – Melee
Attack vs. AC
Requires six other Slashing Talents known
You hit a single opponent with a flurry of strikes, inflicting the Bleeding condition a number of times equal to half your Weapon dice result. You must spend a Reserve point each round the target takes Bleeding Damage from this effect, or else it fades away immediately. Each round, the target may roll their Fate die and remove that many points of Bleeding, instead of the normal amount.

So, Slashing. It's all about aggro, but in a totally different way than Flame. Flame wants to inflict the Ingite conditon on as many enemies as possible, so they can maximize the effectiveness of their area-of-effect talents. Slashing wants to hit a single enemy with Bleed damage enough so that they'll never recover. An enemy with 8 Bleed is as good as dead, they just don't know it yet. Slashing is totally willing to goad opponents into attacking the user, just so they can hit them with more Bleed damage.

Also, a short Update on other matters: Range has been redone, so now we have Melee, Close, Medium, and Long. Ranged Weapons have double range but less power behind the shots. I'll update the other talent groups later, but suffice to say that Healing is all Melee and Close, and Travel is all Personal, Close, and Other (like Teleport).

Because of how Conditions work, I'm going to do some Errata on Synthesis so players can't make a single attack inflict more than one or two conditions at most. I don't want players taking tons of Weapon talents just so they can inflict half a dozen status effects at once.

Anyway, feel free to leave a comment. I would really appreciate it. :smallredface:


2012-11-03, 05:51 PM
This is looking very cool. I do find it strange that the Stone powers only gain DR against Bludgeoning damage (unless I misread). Perhaps make the Petrify type effects give half-DR to other physical attacks, like Parry does. It seems a little too situational otherwise. I have a similar concern with Resist Fire, but that one is more understandable.

I think the tiers within the talent groups is very nice. Can't wait for more talents!

2012-11-03, 06:31 PM
This is looking very cool. I do find it strange that the Stone powers only gain DR against Bludgeoning damage (unless I misread). Perhaps make the Petrify type effects give half-DR to other physical attacks, like Parry does. It seems a little too situational otherwise. I have a similar concern with Resist Fire, but that one is more understandable.

I think the tiers within the talent groups is very nice. Can't wait for more talents!

Good suggestion! I modified Petrify so it now applies against all Physical damage, and Stoneskin so that it adds half the bonus against other forms of physical damage. It's now more in line with Parry.

Resist Fire has the advantage that you can put it on allies without immobilizing them, and Parry is Personal only. You can also spread Resist Fire over multiple allies, and it can completely hose incoming attacks (which the others can't really do). It's pretty balanced, I think.

Thanks for the comment about Tiers - I'm trying to keep Heroic talents in line wth 1st and 2nd level spells from 3.5, Paragon is 3rd and 4th level spells, Epic is 5th and 6th level magic, and Epic is 7th level and above. Honestly, once you hit 7th level spells in 3.5, there's not much difference between them and 8th/9th level abilities.

Heroic talents are single-target almost exclusively. Paragon starts to get Mass-target abilities. Epic gets the really potent stuff, and Exalted talents are pretty ridiculous once you get the. Anything you hit with Omnislash is going down soon, and Instant Fortress means you can build a huge dungeon in a few days, not weeks. I might reduce the Ritual time of that talent to 4 hours, actually. I'll think about it.

Thanks for commenting! I really appreciate it. More talents coming soon!

EDIT: What kind of Talents would you like to see next? I'm ready to work on anything. Post requests and I'll start work on them in the order I get.

2012-11-06, 08:59 PM
I'm currently working on the Intrusion and Dream talent groups - sister groups to Influence, and part of the Mind Sphere. I'll hopefully have at least one up tonight, and when I'm done, I should be able to start filling in the Talent section. I'm not sure how long it will take in order to format that section properly, but I'll be able to insert the completed Spheres and Talent Groups over time.

In the mean time, feel free to comment and critique.


2012-11-09, 02:39 PM
So, here's Intrusion.



Intrusion talents attack the opponent’s mind directly. Unlike Illusions, which use roundabout methods of dealing with enemies, Intrusion deals raw mental damage, and is as lethal as any physical weapon. Its main mechanic is Breach.

Breach: A creature that suffers a Breach takes a -2 penalty to its next Will save it makes before the end of the next round.

Mind Thrust (Intrusion – Mind – Heroic)
Weapon – Standard – Close
Will save
You slam one enemy with pure mental energy, dealing your Weapon dice in Psychic damage on a failed save. Even on a successful save, the target suffers a Breach. The effects of the Breach are applied AFTER all effects of the attack are resolved.

Disable (Intrusion – Mind – Heroic)
Utility –Reserve – Standard – Close
Will save
You try and fool the target into thinking they are more injured than they actually are. Roll your Utility dice. On a failed save, the target believes that they have suffered that much additional damage this round. If that would reduce them to Bloodied, they suffer the penalties for being Bloodied. If that would reduce them to Unconscious, then they have a 20% chance of losing their Move or Standard action next round (coin flip to decide). If they are suffering a Breach, the chance is reduced to 35%. Disable’s effects end at the end of their next turn. Each time Disable is used on the same target within 24 hours, they receive a +2 cumulative bonus to their Will save to resist.

Mind Shield (Intrusion – Mind – Heroic)
Weapon or Utility – Reaction – Personal
Whenever you are struck with Psychic damage, you can spend Weapon dice to reduce the damage by your rolled result. Alternatively, by spending a Utility die, you can also ignore the Breach effect. You can raise your Mind Shield and spend Weapon Dice to protect your from Physical damage, but you suffer a -2 penalty per die to the result.

Cloud Mind (Intrusion – Mind – Heroic)
Utility – Reserve – Ritual (1 round) – Sustained – Close
Will save
You could a specific memory of the target. On a failed save, the target cannot remember a specific fact, such as “Did the customer pay her tab?”, “Why am I here?”, or “Is it raining outside?”. The fact must be something pertinent to the immediate situation – it can’t be something extremely basic, like “What is my name?”, and it can’t implant an unknown fact, like “Is this young man a noble?”. The knowledge is temporarily forgotten for the duration of the Cloud Mind – a sustained Utility effect that drains one die per round. Only one Reserve point need be paid, when the talent is first used. Once the effect ends, the target immediately remembers the forgotten knowledge, and gains a +2 cumulative bonus to any further uses of Cloud Mind for 24 hours (+4 if targeting the same piece of information).

Mass Cloud Mind (Intrusion – Mind – Paragon)
Requires Cloud Mind and one other Intrusion talent
The total number of Cloud Mind rounds is equal to the result of your invested Utility dice. In addition, you can target any number of individuals with Cloud Mind, up to one target per die invested, draining one round per target from the total duration each round. So, if your result was 37, you could target one person for 37 rounds, 2 targets for 18 rounds, 3 targets for 12 rounds, 4 targets for 9 rounds, etc. The duration must be at least 3 rounds minimum.

Mind Blast (Intrusion – Mind – Paragon)
Requires Mind Thrust and one other Intrusion talent
You can divide your Weapon dice for Mind Thrust among any number of targets within range. If you do, they only suffer a Breach if they fail their save.

Improved Disable (Intrusion – Mind – Paragon)
Requires Disable
When you use Disable, the chance of losing an action is increased to 40% if not Breached, and 70% if they are Breached. In addition, by spending a Reserve point and keeping the Utility dice invested, you can Sustain the Disable effect. The effect lasts until the end of their next turn, at which point they receive a Will save to shrug off Disable, but these rounds do not count towards them receiving a bonus to their next save against Disable.

Modify Memory (Intrusion – Mind – Epic)
Utility – Reserve – Ritual (10 minutes) - Close
Will save
Requires Cloud Mind and three other Intrusion talents
You forcibly alter the memories of a single subject, who must be within range for the entire Ritual. You must describe, in whatever detail you deem necessary, the memories you are inserting or removing. You can insert a number of words equal to your Utility Die result. When presented with evidence or argument that would disprove your modifications, the target may make a Will save with a -4 penalty in order to shrug off the Modify Memory effect. After a number of days equal to your Source Attribute, the penalty is reduced to -2. After an equal number of days, the modifier is reduced to +/- 0, then +2, and finally they receive a +4 bonus (after five times your Source Attribute in days).

Crisis of Life (Intrusion – Mind – Epic)
Weapon – Reserve – Standard – Close
Will and Fortitude save
Requires Disable and any three other Intrusion talents.
You temporarily steal control of your opponent’s vital functions and turn them off. On a failed Will save, the target’s basic life support functions (like breathing) shut down temporarily, inflicting 1/3 your Weapon die result in Shock damage to the target. At the end of their next turn, the target may make a Fortitude save to end the effect and gain a +4 bonus to all saves versus Crisis of Life for 24 hours. This talent can render enemies dead directly through Shock damage as their vitals are permanently shut down.

Microcosm (Intrusion – Mind – Exalted)
Utility – Reserve – Ritual (10 minutes) – Close
Will save
You trap one creature within range in a pocket reality inside their own mind. They may take whatever actions they wish in this false reality of theirs, but in reality they are essentially trapped in a deep coma, unable to act in any way. Only Epic or stronger restorative talents and rituals can reverse this Microcosm. The exact nature of the false reality is up to the user’s whim, and it is created as though it were its own Demiplane, with its own inhabitants, physical laws, structure, and even time flow. A single second of reality might be a decade of agony in the Microcosm, or an eternity of bliss.

So, Intrusion. It's aggressive, and while the Breach power doesn't add more damage, it opens target up to potent secondary effects the character (or allies) might inflict. It's a great one-two punch. Intrusion also messes with enemies in fun ways - I drew some inspiration from 3.5 psionic abilities, but altered them to better fit Kismet.

You can already see the synergy between Influence and Intrusion, and with Dream you'll see it even more . The intention is to make each Sphere not only compose three similar Talent Groups, but Talent Groups that reinforce each other.

Dream will be up soon - just filling out the talents. I think you'll like it.

As always, if you have a request for the next Talent Group you want to see, post it (and comments) and I'll get right on it.


2012-11-12, 06:18 PM
Due to work-related issues, I'm not going to be able to work on Kismet for about two weeks (at most). During that time, I'll still check the thread when I have a moment, but I won't be able to design any new material.

If you're interested in Kismet, I'd appreciate whatever feedback you could give me.

When my schedule is more open, I'll be posting a few more Talent Groups, and if there's something you'd like to see in Kismet, tell me and I'll see where it fits within the system. I already have about 60% of the individual talents written out loosely, but not written out or mechanically balanced enough to put online yet.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. I'm still committed to making Kismet an excellent (and complete) game, and I appreciate you taking the time to check it out.