View Full Version : Sigils and Sinews

2013-06-14, 01:44 PM
Rules inspired by DnD, Fighting Fantasy, GURPS, Runequest, d6, Vampire, and Magic Realm.

2013-06-27, 10:18 AM
Stats: Roll 3d6, six times, and assign to STR DEX INT WIS CHA CON.
Attribute bonuses



Skill set: Pick among Fighter (min 9 STR); Rogue (min 9 DEX); Wizard (min 9 INT); Mystic (min 9 WIS); Psychic (min 9 CHA).

Roll (4d4 + INT bonus + CHA bonus) x (class attribute) = # sp wealth. 1 sp is a common laborer's daily wage, 3 sp for skilled labor (equivalent to level 1), 10 sp for a master craft (equivalent to level 4). Laboring wage buys a single daily meal of bread loaf, egg, and veggie, leaving just enough "wealth" for shelter, new garments once a year, and a chicken as a once-weekly treat. What PCs have in wealth, reflects their skill and status above the common folk, and should be accounted for in their background.

All characters get one set of clothing, boots, cloak, satchel, and a weapon or a pony.

Must have min 9 INT, min (9 + current level) in class attribute of new class, -and- 100 xp for new class. E.g. a Fighter-2 who wants to become also a Mystic-1 must have 9 INT, and 11 WIS, and must have closely observed about 50 uses of Mystic powers.

health points
these represent ability to persevere in physical exertion, such as melee.
hp =CON, + [(2d6b1) hp per Fighter level; d6 hp per other level], + CON bonus for each level.

Pick two words: one generic location (e.g., "city," "woodlands," "farm"); one secondary or parental profession. Provide one paragraph linking these words with current equipment and location.

Each character starts with skill points = best of (1+ INT bonus)d6. So a character with INT 13 would roll 2d6b1 for starting skill points.
Rogues get an additional [1 + INT Bonus]d6b1 / level; others get [1 + INT bonus] / level.

Leveling up
xp|0/100|1000|2000|4000|7000|12,000|20,000|33,000|54,00 0
xp are gained by rolling dice, 5xp per die; and by watching (not just seeing) dice used, 2xp per die. 100xp are required for dual-classing into a new class.

Max total levels = WIS -3 (e.g. WIS 8 = total 5 levels among Fighter, Rogue, etc. but obviously not Mystic)
Max level in class = class attribute - 3 (e.g. STR 9 = max Fighter-6)

example: A Fighter-4 wielding a Heavy sword, rolls 5d10 in one round of melee, he earns 25 Fighter xp. The fighter-4 is fighting a fighter-5, who rolls 6d8. The fighter-5 uses one die against the fighter-4, who then earns 2 additional xp for watching. Only about 98 rounds to go until Fighter-5.

dual class examples: If, later that day, the same Fighter-4 rolls a 3 on d6 for practicing his Secondary Profession of Hunting, he gains 5 xp toward Rogue-1. A Rogue-1, wielding a Medium sword and a Light shield, rolls 1d8+1d6 in one round of melee against a Goblin, who rolls d6 for a small sword. The Rogue earns 12xp toward Fighter-1.

2013-06-27, 10:25 AM
Standard daily wages: 1 sp common labor, 3 sp skilled (level 1 / success at 2+ on d20) labor, 10 sp for master craft (level 4 / success at 3+ on 2d20).

As rules of thumb, 6 yards of cloth can be woven in four days (20 sp for master craft to set and watch a loom, 6 sp for semi-skilled labor to work it); a typical adult garment of fair quality requires 3-6 yards of cloth (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/estimating-fabric-yardage-needs-for-common-misses-.html) and about a half day of skilled work (2 sp skilled labor + 28 sp material and wastage). Rough boots require nearer two days of skilled work (6 sp + materials; but, as will be seen, the materials tend to be the expensive part ...)

Presume a single laborer can tend a herd of dozen cows, which take roughly one year (365 days) to reach adequate size for skinning. One yearling cow's hide (~40 sp) can yield leather for roughly 5 pairs of boots (http://heiferinyourtank.typepad.com/theres_a_heifer_in_your_t/2011/08/theese-boots-are-made-for-walkin.html). Producing that leather requires about four weeks of skilled labor (85 sp / 5 = 17 sp per pair of boots). Total materials cost for one pair of boots: 57 sp.

A small cottage (16x24 ft "shed" in modern minds) can be built in about 10 days (100 sp master craft, 60 sp skilled labor). But getting 500 board feet (http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=36752.15;wap2) of wood for that shed ... ah, that takes time. A good size medieval water mill might cut 5000 board feet in a day (http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-429708-kemper-county-water-mill-lake-mississippi-operation-meal), with two skilled workers and a master craft (16 sp). The real expense is in dropping three (http://www.forestryforum.com/calcs/Board%20foot%20calculator.htm) good-size trees with a cross cut saw (http://www.bchmt.org/esbch/Cross%20Cut%20Saw.pdf) - this requires a day and a half of extremely dangerous work by a master sawyer and prentice (35 sp with risk premium). Total cost: roughly 220 sp to build that the cottage.

A master smith can make a Large sword in about 10 days (100 sp + materials); a suit of chain can be made in about 15 days by a skilled worker (45 sp + materials); a suit of Heavy armor takes about 2 months master work (600 sp + materials). Turning to the cost of iron (http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/bog_iron.htm) for making these articles - figure a solid week of labor (7 sp) to harvest a bog for a hundred pounds of iron nodules;three full days (http://charcoal.seandalaiocht.com/) of semi-skilled labor (6 sp) to build a pit, gather wood, and burn charcoal; 4 days master labor + helper (45 sp) to build / rebuild a smelting kiln; another day master labor (10 sp) to fire that kiln; and about ten days of labor (10 sp) to pound the 50 lb (http://www.engr.psu.edu/MTAH/articles/rise_fall_medieval_technology.htm) bloom down to 10 pigs, each sufficient for one Large sword: this puts the total cost of the Large sword (weighing 5 lbs) at around 110 sp (100 sp manufacturing + 8 sp materials + profit). A Medium sword, at around 2.5 lbs, would cost about 105 sp. The Heavy armor, which weighs about 45 lbs, would require about 70 sp of iron for a total cost of 670 sp.

2013-06-27, 10:33 AM
"the Wizard"
d6-1 hp / level
1+INT bonus skill points / level
xp for rolling Magic dice

Weird Sorcery Tables
Each time attempting to memorize a spell, player rolls {Wizard level + INT bonus}d6, assigning each die to a category (BOOKS, INGREDIENTS, TRANCE UNIT or DURATION, RISK, or POTENCE) before rolling. Using BOOKS and INGREDIENTS can give extra rolls on any of the later columns. bonuses for INT, WIS, or CHA can give extra rolls on particular columns. So at least 1d6 but possibly more. Categories not assigned a die, take a 3.

{table] roll (pick one of the assigned dice) | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
BOOKS | one | one | two | three | five | eight
INGREDIENTS | one | one | two | three | five | eight[/table]

BOOKS: how many chances does the character get to research the spell? Each chance requires the DM secretly rolling d6, d6 against UNIT and DURATION below, then making the subordinate roll on DURATION to determine how much study time is needed to get a benefit. The player then specifies how long the sorceror will spend with that book Ö and if it is longer than the rolled time, the sorceror learns one INGREDIENT that might be useful as further discussed below.

INGREDIENTS: mantras, gestures, herbs, small objects Ö The maximum number of ingredients that might be employed in establishing the trance or in later casting of the spell. For each book SUCCESSFULLY consulted, the sorceror learns one useful ingredients that can be noted in the sorceror's own spellbook for future use... The idea is that the ingredients are waymarks for traversing the Otherworld, so for each ingredient used in establishing the trance, an extra d6 may be rolled against any one of the DURATION, RISK, or POTENCE columns. For each INGREDIENT used at casting, an additional die may be rolled and subtracted from the spell's casting time, or added to its POTENCE.

INGREDIENTS are what get recorded in spell books, so once the sorceror has attempted a particular spell, he or she has a knowledge base for the next attempt.

{table]roll (sum of assigned dice)| 1-3|4-12|13+
TRANCE UNIT | days | hours|minutes[/table]

{table]roll (pick one of the assigned dice) | 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6
TRANCE DURATION | 2d6b1 |2d4 |2d6|2d8|2d10|2d12[/table]

Trance UNIT and DURATION: primarily, these determine, for how long will the sorceror need to be under a continuous trance in order to form the spell and grip it in the mind. At the high end it can get kind of dangerous, and the sorceror should take forethought for sustenance and hygiene, or at least to be awakened after a time certain. Premature wakening will ruin formation of a spell, on the other hand, itís better than starving in oneís own waste.

{table]roll (sum of the assigned dice)|RISK|POTENCE

RISK: DM rolls specified dice when the spell is formed, with minimum roll resulting in some risk to the sorceror, sometimes immediate, sometimes a looming dread thematically associated with the desired magical effect; for example, risk may be delayed according to another roll (by the DM) of UNIT and DURATION. Sorcerors with WIS > 12 get to roll an extra d6 against the RISK column.

POTENCE: these dice to be rolled by the player when the spell is cast at a target; result, minus Wizard level, sets the casting time for initiative. POTENCE also determines the duration of spell effects specified to be transient. Most important, a spell can directly affect a sentient creature only if its POTENCE exceeds the creature's CON, CHA, or INSIGHT (whichever is most relevant) + Wizard level + POTENCE of any relevant enchantments affecting the creature. Sorcerors with CHA > 12 may choose to roll an extra d6 against the POTENCE column.

health points: spell casting is strenuous. At casting, deduct hp = POTENCE - RISK.

2013-06-27, 10:46 AM
"The Mystic"
d6 health points / level
1 + INT bonus skill points / level
5 xp for each roll of a Mysticism die

"Focus": to achieve the meditative focus necessary for mystic accomplishment, requires time, and results in the achievement of INSIGHT into the workings of the universe. As greater insight is achieved, mystic powers become more effective, but it also becomes increasingly difficult for the Mystic to find an acceptable way to employ those powers. ... To focus, roll [Mystic level]d6, assign each die (before rolling) to one of the following tables, or to INSIGHT, take a 3 on a column where no die is assigned:

{table]roll (sum of dice assigned)|UNIT

{table]roll (choice of dice assigned)|1|2|3|4|5|6

For increase of INSIGHT from Focusing, take the total of the assigned d6 + WIS bonus.

e.g. a Mystic-2 could roll for unit 2d6=6 ("minutes"), take 3 on duration column, for a result of 2d10 minutes to accomplish "focus" while gaining 3+WIS bonus INSIGHT. Result: the Mystic becomes intensely, fully aware of all attributes or properties of a chosen object or entity.

"Absorb". (instant). Result: the Mystic is able to "store" selected attributes of the focused object or entity. The Mystic can store a number of attributes, not exceeding Mystic level + INT bonus + WIS bonus, selected from any number of objects. Each absorbed attribute adds 1 to the Mystic's INSIGHT.

"Dismiss". (instant) roll [1d20 + Mystic level + WIS bonus] > INSIGHT. If successful: The Mystic may utterly but temporarily negate an absorbed property, in any focused target. For duration of the effect, roll up to [INSIGHT+Mystic level]d6 against the above UNIT and DURATION tables. Dismissal also erases the absorbed property from the Mystic's store, and diminishes INSIGHT by 1. Sentient TARGETS have a chance to save against Dismissal: it fails on a roll of [Mystic level]d6+[Mystic's INSIGHT] < [TARGET's INSIGHT] + TARGET's CON or CHA, depending what sort of property is at play.

"Imbue". (instant) roll [1d20 + Mystic level + WIS bonus] > INSIGHT. If successful: The Mystic may temporarily imbue a focused object or entity with one or more absorbed attributes matching one or more focused attributes. Each imbued attribute is lost from the Mystic's absorbed stock and diminishes INSIGHT by 1. Duration, and chance to save, as against Dismissal.

hp: deduct 1 hp / die rolled

Sleep does not erase or dismiss absorbed attributes or their associated INSIGHT, but does alleviate the INSIGHT achieved from Focus.

2013-06-27, 11:11 AM
"the Psychic"
d6 hp / level
1 + INT Bonus skill points / level
+ 1 point Second Sight skill / level

5 xp for rolling each die for Second Sight or possession

A Psychic's powers are to perceive and to possess. Use of these powers slowly renders the Psychic absent from ordinary life.

To perceive: Unlike other characters, a Psychic has the innate skill of Second Sight. This skill improves by 1 point per Psychic level. Successful use of the skill grants understanding (expressed in a number of words equal to the skill roll) of how a visible person or item is relevant to a topic named by the Psychic; or grants vision of otherwise imperceptible things (e.g., ghosts, spells); or grants certain knowledge (expressed in a number of words equal to the skill roll) as to the location of one item previously touched by the Psychic. Each roll made for Second Sight is added to the Psychic's Absence.

To possess: The Psychic may roll [Psychic level]d6+ CHA bonus in an attempt to possess any creature or object perceived by the Psychic. One die is added to the Psychic's Absence. The rest form the Psychic's Presence. (A Psychic-1 may take 3 on Absence, or on Presence.) If sentient, the Psychic's target may avert possession by rolling d20 > the Psychic's Presence and < target's CHA. Otherwise, possession is automatic. During an episode of possession, the target acts with the better of the target's or the Psychic's attributes, but no better than the Psychic's Presence (e.g., a possessed chair would move about with the Psychic's move, STR, and DEX; and would perceive whatever the Psychic could - including Second Sight; up to a limit of the Psychic's Presence). At the same time, the Psychic is inert and vulnerable. Possession is broken by destruction of the target, by injury to the Psychic, or by choice.

Absent seizures: whenever a roll for Second Sight or possession comes out less than the Psychic's Absence, apply the roll to the UNITS column of the Mystic duration table, and apply the value of Absence to the DURATION column. The resultant time is how long the Psychic remains lost, unable to act, disembodied.

hp: -1 hp per die rolled

2013-06-27, 02:47 PM
"the Fighter"
2d6b1 hp / level
1 + INT bonus skill points / level
xp for rolling Melee dice

Combat does not include the use of ranged weapons (bows, javelins, slings, etc.), which are the sole application of the Shooting skill (see "Skills," below).

Combat = Melee.

Rule: In melee, characters declare target priority or other action in descending order of weapon size; tied weapon sizes, highest Fighter level goes first. Each time a character is targeted, that character must make a morale check (3d6 < CHA?) in order to take any action other than defending against that threat; on a roll > CHA and < opponent's CHA, threatened characters retreat.

example: A Fighter-1, armed with a Medium sword, faces two goblins armed with Medium axes. We all know swords are a bit longer than axes of similar heft, so the Fighter declares first. He will attack both of the goblins, left to right. The goblins make a morale check and choose to stand their ground.

Rule: Each character rolls one die for each weapon, plus one die per Fighter level for the larger weapon.

example: The Fighter-1 rolls 2d8+d4 (d8 for sword, plus another d8 for 1 Fighter level, plus d4 for off hand). Each goblin rolls 1d8 (they need both hands for their Medium axes).

Rule: Rolled dice are assigned one per target, highest to lowest, according to declared target priority. Left-over dice are discarded.

example: The Fighter-1 rolls 7, 6, 3. The left-hand goblin rolls 5. The right-hand goblin rolls 8.

Rule: Matching dice are adjusted by DEX bonuses, and compared. Higher adjusted die is the "winning die," and grants a chance to deal injury.

example: The Fighter-1 has DEX 10 (no bonus). The left-hand goblin has DEX 8 (-1). The right-hand goblin has DEX 13 (+1). The Fighter-1 compares 7 to the left-hand goblin's 5-1, and compares 6 to the right-hand goblin's 8+1. The Fighter-1 has a chance to injure the left-hand goblin; the right-hand goblin has a chance to injure the Fighter-1.

Rule: Severity of an injury is equal to the original roll of the winning die, + STR bonus, (-) target's armor roll. For heavy armor, roll 3d6b1; for medium armor, 2d6b1; for light armor, 1d6.

example: The Fighter-1 has STR 13 (+1); the goblins each have STR 10 (no bonus). The Fighter-1 wears Medium armor (2d6b1 = 5, 3); the goblins have no armor. The Fighter-1 inflicts on the left-hand goblin an injury of severity 8. The right-hand goblin inflicts on the Fighter-1 an injury of severity 3.

Rule: Move rate, and all rolls, are reduced by the severity of the worst wound, and further reduced by one per lesser wound.

Rule: Healing injuries: Roll 3d6 under CON and over severity of worst wound, e.g., CON 12 and Wound of 4, roll 4 < 3d6 < 12; number rolled indicates how many hours to wait before next roll. Success reduces severity of each wound by 1.

Rule: Death: when total severity of all wounds exceeds CON, death occurs.

Rule: Fatigue: each round, deduct hp = number of dice *used*, + number of armor dice, from health points. Character <= 0 health points subtracts negative health points from each die rolled (e.g., negative 3 hp, -3 to all rolls).

example: A Fighter-4 wearing Medium armor, wielding a Medium sword and Medium shield, rolls 2d6b1 for armor, 6d8 for sword and shield; if she faces a single opponent, she deducts 3 hp / round; if she faces 6 opponents, she deducts 8 hp / round.

Rule: Rest: For each round of sitting or standing still, a character regains (level+CON bonus) hp. e.g. after three rounds rest, from -2 hp, a Wizard-2 with 16 base hp could regain 2(->0), 2(->2), 2(->4) hp.

2013-06-27, 02:57 PM
"the Rogue"
d6 hp / level
(1 + INT bonus)d6b1 skill points / level
xp for rolling Skill dice

Vicious attack: if winning attack roll is less than Rogue level, add Rogue level to severity of injury.

"Hear Noise"; "Spot Detail"; "Sneak"; "Climb"; "Shoot"; "Secondary Profession"; "Knowledge" (relative to background).

To do something skillful? Roll d6 (with appropriate multiples), a 6 succeeds. Training a skill causes lower numbers to succeed, one point per number, but 2 or less always fails. Therefore, once you've put 3 points into a skill (6, 5, 4, and 3 all succeed on d6), start using bigger dice (thereby reducing your chance of failure): 3 or better on d8, 2d4, d20, 2d6 (7 points into the skill).

Note well: you can choose to roll a "lower" single die, in order to broaden your chance of superlative success - but that also raises the risk of failure.

Ranged weapons: multiply rolled number by (1 - [fraction of max range to man-sized target]). Further multiply by 1/2 for steadily moving target, by 1/3 for erratically moving target. Yet further, multiply by target's fraction of human size (e.g., a mouse would be a multiple of about 0.005). compare multiplied roll to number needed for success. . If multiplied roll > number needed for success, original roll (-) target's armor roll = severity of injury inflicted; otherwise, no injury.

example: Rogue with Shooting 2d6 chooses to roll d20 in order to shoot with a short bow (100 yds max range) at an unarmored target 30 yds distant. Rolling 14, multiplies by 0.7 (=10) to inflict a wound of severity 10.

2013-07-11, 02:48 PM
As long as 3d6 result is less than an NPC's CHA, that character has the option to act calmly and pleasantly.

In case 3d6 result exceeds a player character's CHA, NPCs will perceive the PC as annoying / offensive / threatening depending on perceptions of relative power.

In case 3d6 exceeds an NPC's CHA, that character will begin to react in an offensive / annoying / hostile / threatening / aggressive manner.

Hopefully this post will clarify why I flinch when players pick CHA as a "dump stat."

2013-07-17, 09:20 PM
base move 12 yd / 10 sec

distance running pace [170 + 20 x (STR bonus + CON bonus - encumbrance penalty*)] yd / min
(* -1 per Heavy item; -1/2 per Medium item in excess of STR bonus; -1 per separate item in excess of DEX)
hp burn: 1 hp / [10 x (STR + CON)] yds; 0 hp = exhaustion, stop running

roll Running skill once per hp burned (default for success is 6 on d6, just like any other skill)
on success:
add (10 x roll) yds to distance traveled for that hp at distance running pace *or*
add (6 x roll) yd / min to pace for that hp
on failure:
burn the rolled number of hp

roll Climbing skill
on success: burn 1 hp, move that number of body lengths upward, 1 body length / sec; or belay, regain hp
on failure: burn the rolled number of hp, move 1 body length upward in 10 sec
on repeated failure: roll successful DEX check and successful Climbing roll to avoid falling

roll Swimming skill
on success: move rolled number of body lengths, burn 1 hp; or float, regain hp
on failure: move 1 body length, burn rolled number of hp
0 hp = exhaustion = drowning