Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Character sheet

A time of legends

It was the end of everything that had been, and the beginning of everything that would be...

From the Golden Archives beneath ancient Sottli Ban to the blood soaked paving stones of the River College on eldritch Dour Island, scholars debated what name to give the new age.

Some said it should be called the Age of Law, pointing to the growing power of the Realm of Ona Tengu, which had already weathered several wars and other catastrophes in its less than thirty years of existence. Others quibbled, claiming that 'the Age of Order' had a better ring to it, and was more accurate, given the less chaotic way men seemed to be organizing their affairs all up and down the River since the death of the hated Samaqel.

Still others cast their eyes fearfully towards the eternally benighted Unholy Lands dividing the River in two and held out for 'the Age of Darkness'.

But all agreed on one thing... it was the end of an age on the River, and the dawning of a new one...

For KING KAMERON, aging monarch of the Western Reaches of Ona Tengu, the so called Kingslands, it is an Age of Iron, where military force will unite the fractious River beneath the crowned sword emblem of the Red Realm.

For QUEEN KRISTARA, ageless and beautiful monarch of Ona Tengu's eastern regions, the Queenslands, this is an Age of Magic, where occult powers and dark mysticism will bring every being, living and dead, under her gracious and eternal sway.

For the Undead Masters of the Bloodlines of the Unholy Lands such as VASHT, Minister of Darkness, it is an Age of Blood, where living men are no more than cattle to slake the lusts of their undying betters.

For the MERCHANTS' COUNCIL OF SOTTLI BAN, this is an Age of Intrigue, where clever schemes and subtle strategies may yet win back for the Golden Race the power and glory of an ancient kingdom long forgotten by all but themselves...

For KING BALDWIN of Miria, earthly leader of the Reformed Church of the One True God, it is a time of Holy Crusade, when all the River is to be brought beneath the gentle, benevolent rule of the New Faith.

For the wolflike Ulvane, it is an Age of Battle, but for the wolflike Ulvane it is always an Age of Battle...

This is a time for fools and warriors, heroes and knaves, thieves and priests, rogues and wizards. A time for the naked blade and the poisoned cup, for the brazen battle cry and the wicked whisper... for assassins and paladins, for honor and for evil, for truth and for terror. A time and a place for the lucky and the brave, where glory is everywhere, life is cheap, fame and fortune hang from every tree, and kingdoms are won and lost with a single roll of the dice.

It is a time when legends walk the earth, when men become myths, when mortals battle monsters, horrors, and even the gods themselves, and no power in heaven or hell can decree the outcome in advance. A time when destiny itself can be seized by the throat and bent to the will of the truly daring.

It is a time of adventure...

Swing wide the halls of reason

Swing wide the Halls of Reason
let learning have its say
let ignorance be treason
let myst'ry fall away
Shall wisdom have no season?
Should knowledge hold no sway?
Swing wide the Halls of Reason!
Let no man say you nay!

Release the spirit's vision
from hatred's fetters gray
lest sheer dumb superstition
o'erwhelm the dawning day
let reason be our mission
and bias our dismay
Release the spirit's vision!
Bask in the warming ray!

Bare now the sword of letters
let learning hone its blade
as we hack away fear's fetters
and stride through wisdom's glade
where dull men fear their betters
the wise shall offer aid
Bare now the sword of letters!
Its keenness cannot fade!

Swing wide the Halls of Learning!
So all who seek shall find
An end to scholar's yearning
for knowledge of all kinds
A fire ever burning
a torch to light our minds!
Swing wide the Halls of Learning!
Let none henceforth be blind!

- engraved on the support post of the main entrance to the River College, beneath a perpetually burning torch

Campaign regs

This is a standard text I used to hand out to new players in my game. I'm posting it here as it seems pertinent, but it's not meant to be a specific message to any of my current players. However, if the time should come when for some reason there's an opening again, this will be posted, so those who are interested can see right up front how I run my campaign.

* * * *

As a DM, I expect a great deal of myself, and I expect a great deal of my players. The following is an outline of the standards of behavior I require from those who play in my gaming sessions:

1.Be a good roleplayer. My campaigns are three dimensional, and I will do my best to make the world and the NPCs that inhabit it seem real, vivid, and easily believable for my players. In return, I expect my players to make their characters real, vivid, and believable as well. The characters should have their own consistent personalities, quirks, motivations, and desires. The essence of three dimensional roleplaying is giving the character an identity rooted in the campaign background, that is different and distinct from the motivations and desires of his or her player. A three dimensional character is not just a pawn to be moved around at the whim of its player, it is an individual and a being in its own right. Try to get into the world and your character. I’ll do my best to make it easy for you, with the rules, how I describe the campaign setting, and how I roleplay the NPCs.

2.Be punctual and reliable. If you’re the kind of player I want, you’ll be bringing something special to the way you roleplay your characters, and the campaign will be worse off without you. Try hard to show up for every session, and be on time. Few things are ruder, or more annoying, than a player who consistently makes everyone else wait for them to show up. If you HAVE to miss a session, call me as soon as possible to let me know. Be warned, your character will be run as an NPC in your absence, so try not to miss too many sessions.

3.Respect the authority of the DM. Roleplaying campaigns, by their nature, require someone to make the Final Judgement Calls. I use what I call the One Appeal System. I’m not invested in always being right, and have no problem admitting it when I’m wrong. If you have a problem with something I’ve decided, tell me... just do it politely. I’ll always listen, and I’ll consider everything you say. Then I’ll make my final decision. I may change the previous decision, or I may not... but either way, at that point we move on. I’ve played in too many games where hours were wasted on acrimonious disputes. Either you trust a DM or you shouldn’t play in their campaign.

4.Respect your fellow players. I won’t tolerate out of character disputes or arguments between players, they’re a waste of time. In character disputes are a valid element of in depth roleplaying, but I do not like party brawls and will not hesitate to evict players who show too little regard for their fellow players. I hate bullies and poor sports and will not tolerate one in any gaming activity I arbitrate. The party members are your comrades, and they may well be the only people in the whole of the campaign world that you can trust. You don’t need to make your fellow player characters into enemies; I’ll supply plenty of NPC opponents for you. You also don’t need to go out of your way to irritate your fellow players. We’re all here to have fun. If we’re NOT having fun because of one particular player, I’ll chuck that player out of the game so fast his or her head will spin.

5.Expect the mundane. This last is a note for all the power gamers out there. I have nothing against high fantasy roleplaying campaigns filled with astounding enchantments, amazingly tough magical creatures, gods and demons and Mighty Swords of Chaos and enormously powerful player characters. A great many campaigns are set up like this, and in general, they have many more players than my sort of campaign seems to attract. But I don’t enjoy playing in campaigns like that, and I don’t enjoy them. What I’m interested in are ‘normal’ people/characters (human or nonhuman) who operate within basic human parameters, who have to strive against difficult odds, who live in a believable world and who deal with everyday, mundane issues. My campaigns are not about saving the entire dimension from hordes of Chaos Demons, they’re about exploring unknown lands, seeking lost treasures, rescuing kidnapped princesses, overthrowing a corrupt king (or trying to keep a worthy ruler from being overthrown) or simply trying to survive in a hostile environment. My campaigns are filled with politics and intrigue, where nothing is what it seems, everyone has an agenda, and the person who thinks they can just bull through by swinging a sword at everything is only going to end up confused, aggravated... and dead. So, if you’re a power gamer who lives to collect magic weapons, enchanted Artifacts, and the heads of all three hundred different kinds of demons, you won’t enjoy my campaign and you’d most likely be better off finding another one more suited to your tastes... which shouldn’t be hard.

6. Be good. It’s a personal prejudice of mine, but I simply don’t like either amoral or out and out evil player characters. It’s easy to have no sense of morals at all (what D&D calls Neutral characters); and good roleplaying shouldn’t be easy. Your character should have to make difficult decisions and do hard things; heroes don’t have an easy lot. The amoral character will always take the easiest path (or the one that his/her player finds most gratifying at that particular moment in time) and I find that sort of roleplaying extremely disappointing and boring. You don’t have to be a goodie goodie all the time, but try to play your character with some sort of consistent beliefs or personal code that he or she is willing to live by. If your character doesn’t have any personality traits that I can respect or admire, I’ll get tired of them awfully quickly. As for out and out evil characters, I find it to be a waste of my time and degrading. If you want to run slavers, rapists, and/or psychotic killers, find another campaign. Try it in mine and a phalanx of Serra Angels will drop on you like a rain of sword weilding meteors.

If any of the above seems unacceptable to you, in any way out of line, wrongheaded, unfairly restrictive, or just plain stupid, then it’s most likely that you wouldn’t enjoy playing in a gaming activity arbitrated by me, and it will save us both a lot of trouble if you simply don’t start playing. If someone does start playing who cannot behave in a manner consistent with the standards I’ve outlined above, I won’t hesitate to evict him or her from my gaming sessions... but nobody enjoys that. So if you don’t think you’ll like playing in the sort of session outlined above, it's best if we simply don't waste each other's time.

The Curse of Zor

In the Dawn Times, before the First City of Men was built, before the first alliance of Than and Kanqu and Dusha, before Men knew the gift of writing, but after the The Great Rheesh Conflict, and after the Wars Between the Gods, there was a canny Jhareesh named Yrrssialzzorrian, which in the True Speech means Mighty Hands In The Unliving World. Yrrssialzzorrian's special talent was for the manipulation of the base, unliving parts of the Great World. Yrrssialzzorrian longed to expand its small territory in the Jhareesh Realm, and it plotted ways to bring great numbers of the coveted Men under its dominion. It decided to create powerful, beautiful Pretty Things to use as bribes for great Leader Men, so that these Leader Men would cause their Men Herds to worship Yrrssialzzorrian, instead of the hated Arreesh, and thus, Yrrssialzzorrian's Realm would expand and It would have many Men for itself. So it was that Yrrssialzzorrian, after expending much kzzan, came to know how to create the Nameless Stuff, from which would be extracted the element which Men would call Godmetal. And it came to Yrrssialzzorrian's knowledge that in all of the Great World and the Chaos Beyond, in all of Probability itself, there was only enough quaos to create a very very small amount of the Nameless Stuff... enough, perhaps, to make only a very small number of Pretty Things. And Yrrssialzzorrian knew that, although It, and perhaps only It, in all of the Great World, was equal to the task of creating the Godmetal, It knew too little of the ways of Men to forge the Godmetal into pleasing Pretty Things to bribe them with. And Yrrssialzzorrian could not trust any other Jhareesh, of course.

So it was that Yrrssialzzorrian approached the Eldest, the Primal One, the Great Samaqel (which means merely I Alone), and bargained with it for a Creation. Yrrssialzzorrian needed a Creation that could forge the Godmetal into Things pretty enough to cause Leader Men to pledge their loyalty in exchange for them. Yet no mortal creation could forge Godmetal; the sheer chaos inherent in the molten state of the Nameless Stuff would Undo any that approached it save perhaps a Jhareesh or Arreesh itself. Yrrssialzzorrian required a Creation whose specialty would be the manipulation of Chaos. And of all the Jhareesh, only the Samaqel might devise such a being. Through cunning flattery and the pledging of an amount of kzzan that very nearly bankrupted Yrrssialzzorrian, It accomplished its goal. The Samaqel set about the task and in due time (less than a hundred lifetimes of men; still well before the founding of the First City of Men by the Three Great Tribes, still in the Early Times, but by now the hardy Dusha had discovered Cultivation, the mighty Kanqu had discovered Metalworking, and the clever Than had discovered Writing) It created the Chaos Worker, a Great Creation whose inbuilt powers were the manipulation of probability itself. Yrrssialzzorrian was most pleased with the Chaos Worker, and gave it a True Name in the True Speech which few men in these days remember, but most simply call Zor.

Yrrssialzzorrian then set about the creation of the Godmetal. Yrrssialzzorrian had expended nearly all of its kzzan in the purchase of Zor from the Samaqel. To create the Nameless Stuff from the fabric of probability, it needed much more kzzan than remained to It. So Yrrssialzzorrian went to the Jhareesh known as Urrzikotokas (which means King of All Water), and Shaitana (which means Mighty in Life And Death) , and Eyavirillianias (which means Owner Of Large Herds), and Vendrikus Zarn Tllrrrknnnggolt (which means Do Not Try To Figure Us Out) and Aqalatazzarlitiniariusoranthi anorlen (which means I Am Always Triumphant Because I Do Not Make Mistakes). And from them Yrrssialzzorrian borrowed much kzzan, with the understanding that if it could not be paid back, Yrrssialzzorrian would lapse back into Primal Chaos and accept the Final Death of the Other Ones. Thus Yrrssialzzorrian gambled Its existence on a bold plan. If the Pretty Things brought a thousand Men to worship Yrrssialzzorrian, then It could pay back the kzzan and still have enough left to be a mighty mighty Jhareesh with a Great Realm, for these were the Early Times and even Eyavirillianias (which means Owner of Large Herds) had barely eight hundreds of Men in Its herd. Yet if the forging of the Pretty Things failed or the Leader Men would not worship Yrrssialzzorrian for them, then the cunning Jhareesh would forfeit the loans and must accept Final Death.

So it was that Yrrssialzzorrian poured Its borrowed kzann into the quantum rearrangement that brought the only Godmetal that could ever be into existence. And in its molten form so chaotic was the Godmetal that Yrrssialzzorrian was nearly destroyed simply holding it in one place/time. And then Zor, the Chaos Worker, went to perform the task it had been charged with by its owner. (Now it should be understood at this point that Zor was created by the Samaqel somewhat of the stock of Men but greatly changed and imposed upon. Still the random and infuriating spirit of that Race, the Race of Men, which are all Children of the Rheesh, did live in Zor. Yrrssialzzorrian had understood that many lifetimes of man would pass while It borrowed kzann and finally created the Godmetal and for that reason commissioned the Samaqel to create the Chaos Worker as a long lived mortal Creation. So Zor was very long lived for a mortal Creation with the trickster spirit of the Rheesh in it. And the Chaos Worker was a wondrous creation, and many other Jhareesh longed for one, and so over the many lifetimes of Men between the creation of Zor and the final creation of the Godmetal, Yrrssialzzorrian had raised some small amounts of kzann by allowing other Jhareesh to make copies of Zor to breed. So by the time the Godmetal was created, several score of Jhareesh had small numbers of Zor of their own, although, as long lived mortal creatures, they were not fecund and did not breed prolifically. But this is the origin of the race of the Zor, the Chaos Masters, the most powerful of all Creations, the Enemies of All that Live.)

So Zor, the First of the Chaos Masters, filled with trickster spirit that is the legacy of all Children of the Rheesh, and the arrogance of the very first of the Enemies of All That Live, went to the pool of molten Godmetal to make it into Great Gifts for the Leaders of the Tribes of Men that were coveted by Yrrssialzzorrian. Zor understood that the Gifts should take the form of weapons, for these were the Early Times, and the Tribes of Men that lived outside the Jhareesh Realm lived in a state of constant battle with each other. So Zor the Chaos Master sent its will into the molten Godmetal and forth from that pool of incandescent chaos came a number of mighty weapons (all versions of this tale tell a number but those numbers vary depending on the Holy Number of the race telling the story, and in truth, none but Zor any longer know the true number, so call it 17 or 35 or 9, or whatever else most pleases you), forged of the Nameless Stuff, that once set and forged into one shape can never again be reset or remade or in any way reshaped, until the very End of the Great World itself. And these were the mightiest weapons that would ever be known to the race of Men, for the Godmetal never tarnishes or dulls, and the edges of the weapons made from it cannot be resisted, and the weilder of those weapons cannot be in any way affected by any known power be it Psionic or Magical or Divine or Demonic.

But the random spirit of arrogance and mischief came upon Zor as its will went forth into the Godmetal, and Zor became jealous that these, the greatest of all artifacts, should ever be wielded by any but Zor himself. And so the weapons were shaped and forged to fit the hand of Zor and Zor alone, and in the blade of each weapon, in the letters that Men used to write in the Herds of the Jhareesh that approximated the True Speech, Zor inscribed its True Name. And so they were useless as bribes to the Leaders of Men.

In his arrogance and conceit, Zor told this to Its master, Yrrssialzzorian. And Yrrssialzzorrian, understanding that Zor had caused all Its schemes and plans to fail and had in fact caused Its True Death, used the very last amount of its power and kzann to lay a great curse on the Chaos Master. In the True Speech was this curse pronounced, but in the languages of Men which this story must be told in, this is what was said -- "As you have caused my immortal life to end, so I shall cause your mortal life to never end. As you have made my greatest Creation into that which only your hand may weild, so your hand will weild them forever, but that is all in the Great World that your hands will ever weild or touch again, until the Final End. And these weapons you shall weild, but only at the bidding of others, never to your own will. I charge you, Zor, that whenever any of these weapons shall come into the lawful possession of any of your spiritkin, that they shall be able to command you by your name and their possession of your weapon to weild that weapon on their behalf, and you shall never be free of that command while that spiritkin continues to possess the weapon by which they command you. And you may do no harm to that spiritkin once they have commanded you. And as there are many weapons, so will you be removed outside the boundaries of placetime, so that you may serve wherever you may be called and so that you will never age and never die until the Final End Of All That Is." And the voice that the angered Jhareesh said this in spoke in the Earth and the Air and in all Unliving parts of the Great World, for that of course was part of Yrrssialzzorrian's Power, and so the Curse of Zor was known to all Jhareesh and all their herds.

And so it is that any mortal who comes into lawful possession of a weapon of Zor and who has the learning to read the letters of the True Speech may command Zor to wield that weapon on his behalf and Zor must obey that command for as long as that mortal has possession of the weapon, and may not in any way harm that mortal for as long as that mortal possesses the weapon. But few these days can speak the True Speech, and fewer remember the True Name of Zor, and most mortals, on finding one of the Weapons, cast it away or sell it, for only one mortal hand in a thousand can weild the weapon well. And when a Weapon of Zor, weilded by a mortal who has not commanded Zor, first tastes blood, Zor will come as quickly as he might from whatever task he might be doing, to destroy that mortal weilder before a lawful command can be issued. For Zor hates all those who would wield his weapons. So it is that some of the wiser scholars of men, learned in the ancient lore, know that to give a Weapon of Zor to an enemy who will use it to draw blood is a sure way to destroy that enemy, provided that enemy cannot read the True Speech or does not know the tale I am telling you now, or both.

And in the many many lifetimes of men that have come and gone since the True Death of Yrrssialzzorrian and the forging of the Weapons of Zor, those Weapons have been scattered the length and breadth of the Great World. Much has been forgotten by Men from the Early Days and now most of the Jhareesh are Gone On. Few there are who can read the True Speech or who remember the True Name of Zor, and even those who have some fragment of knowledge merely regard the Weapons of Zor as cursed. But those who know even that much are few and far between. And so it is that occasionally men hear of a warrior who has found a strange weapon made of a wondrous incorruptible metal whose edge can cut through the hardest metal like mere wax... but who only days after first using the weapon in combat is killed horribly by unseen forces; slashed to ribbons. Or more rarely men hear legends of a dancing blade bound to guard some treasure horde, or some passageway, or some priceless object, or some beautiful woman or royal child, and this dancing blade is indestructible and invincible, with an irresistable edge, weilded by an invisible, untouchable spirit that cannot be bribed, that never sleeps, that will not die...

And now my tale is told.

The Drowned Scroll


It is sometimes unwise to trust overmuch in the words of wizards, this is true. But only a fool disregards them entirely.
- Gavedor, Court Recorder, reign of King Jerrane of Aquilia

* * *

Somewhere it sits, loosely rolled, all but forgotten within a dry and dusty drawer in some nameless scholar’s cluttered study. He found it in an odd little shop, full of shadows and cobwebs, gloomy corners rustling with dingy relics of half forgotten yesteryears, casually thrown down on a table full of brick-a-brack, like everything else there priced at a coin or two. Liking the way the parchment felt between fingers and thumb as he unrolled it, and enjoying the neat pen strokes that delineated the details of some sunken, secretive valley holding an unknown, exotic city nestled at its narrow end, an intricate network of winding narrow streets and scrabbling alleyways, lavishly illustrated with wonderfully sketched miniature buildings, fountains, walls and gateways, and the beautifully drawn compass rose superimposed over a strangely serpentine, triple sailed ship, and the deft copperplate of the hand lettered labels – “Street of the Seafloor Grotto”, “Temple of Drowned Skulls”, “Sea Urchin’s Venom Fountain”, and “Looted Hulk Tavern”, among many others – he purchased it, took it home, showed it to a few friends, who nodded and agreed that it was indeed a beautifully drawn thing, and a lovely curio, and a fine work of art.

And, eventually, he tossed it absently into a desk drawer already three quarters full of other oddments and curios, and gave it not a further thought in the world.

And there it has rested, ever since…

Someday something he reads, or that someone else says to him, may remind him of the scroll’s existence, and he may go seeking it again, and after a few minutes or few hour’s rummaging, if he doesn’t give up first, or become distracted, he may unearth it from the depths of its drawer and unroll it once more, holding it up to the light of a flickering lamp, and the scroll with its finely etched depiction of a distant, danger-filled, perhaps imaginary metropolis may once more feel the movement of air and avid eyes across its finely crafted vellum. But for now, it simply sits there, loosely rolled, within a dry and dusty drawer in a nameless scholar’s cluttered study…

* * *

The heat was like a gut-punch hitting every square inch of the human body all at once – not one impact and over, no, but something constant, unending, smothering a person like a wet blanket on a cook fire, sucking the very breath from the lungs, even in the deep gloom beneath the hellish poison green of the overhead foliage. The air was sodden as a steam room towel; the effort of moving it in and out of one’s chest was all but exhausting.

Had Markior’s mother’s mother not been a decadent southerner (a source of shame Markior’s family disliked speaking of) he would have died of the heat long ago. As it was, as long as he kept mainly to the shady areas, he survived, but he suffered.

“Ye’re a decoration, y’know,” the old lady sweeping out the street gutter gnashed at Markior through toothless gums, cackling with obscure delight at the pronouncement. “A gold button, a bit o’ fancy braid. ‘e don’t need no bodyguard; everyone in Yat-Latan is so a’feared o’ ‘is spells they’d never dare draw steel on ‘im.” She paused to draw breath; Markior earnestly, but unfortunately vainly, hoped she would choke on it. “Not ‘is spells so much,” she nattered on, after a second, “but that map o’ ‘is.”

Markior had heard this all before from many different sources, but it was displeasing to have the wrinkled old thrall who swept out the gutters on Seafloor Grotto Street – no doubt in exchange for a few coppers every ten-day from the shop owners there, and the right to sleep in one or another of their basement entryways after nightfall – state it so plainly.

“You never know,” Markior said, his young, well favored face flushing. “There could be a danger his spells won’t cope with. Pirates, or zuthang, or perhaps another wizard… something not afraid of this famous map of his.”

The old woman spat in the dust at Markior’s feet. “Fleh,” she retorted. “Pirates come here to sell, not steal; wizards have better things to do than haunt the Isthmus… well, all the wizards besides ‘imself, I mean… and as to the zuthang, well, if a race o’ magic resistant lizards that walks on they hind legs and carries odd curved blades and spits poison as far as a street thief can throws a knife really exists, they certainly don’t waste they time ‘ere at the bottom o’th’ world.” She fixed Markior with her one eye that seemed to have grown to three times normal size, perhaps to compensate for the ruined socket where her other had once sat. “And it’s not ‘s’if the likes of ye could deal with any o’em if they did appear in quest o’ y’r master’s head. Pretty northern sword or no pretty northern sword. Ye’d shit y’r trews and run off screamin’, if ye didn’t die instantly o’ a heart seizure.” She nodded wisely and spat again, this time with the edges of her gob sprattling Markior’s fur and leather boots.

Markior took his anger in hand; there was nothing to be gained from arguing with this harping hag, and while he doubted anyone would miss her much if he ran her through, the Seafloor Grotto Street merchants would complain to his master and demand compensation, and then master would most likely take it out of his hide. He couldn’t take it out of Markior’s wages, because Markior had none. Food and lodging for the next three cycles were Markior’s due… that, and the ‘pretty northern sword’ Markior wore at his side, that had been the price of his hire to this southern dirt hole.

Two seasons and another cycle – then Markior’s bond debt would be paid, and he and his fine Aquilian steel sword could get on a serpent ship and sail north. A ten-day or so sleeping on deck and working the rigging or, if necessary, the oars, for his passage, and he would be in Lesser Ra Tanis. Caravans left Lesser Ra Tanis going northward every cursed day of the thrice accursed southern cycle. He would hire on as a guard and, eventually, one fine season not too far forward of that, he would be back in Aquilia, a seasoned warrior armed with a sword finer than any that most knights or lords could boast. Branelle might well be married by then, or at least, sworn to someone else, but that was for the gods to say. And even if it were so, well, she’d had younger sisters…

Markior was snapped forcibly out of his pleasant daydream by a small but weighty leather bag bouncing off his sleeveless fur vest, causing the two finger-length wide brass buttons set on either side of its chest thongs to jangle discordantly.

“Pick that up and come along,” Markior’s master, the mage Aphaltholios said flatly. “And at least try to look like you’re paying attention.”

Flushing again, Markior bent and snatched up the fist-sized wash leather bag. It would contain material components for whatever spells Aphaltholios had been commissioned to cast over the last ten days or so; today was Kemtos Noi, “Sacrifice Day”, the one day out of each ten when metaphysical powers were strongest in the world. In Aquilia people would gather in family shrines and pass the day praying together for protection from roaming shades and malefic spirits; in the decadent south, though, folks made a single sacrifice at whichever temple they favored, or that they passed first when out and about their business… and here in the far southernmost pest hole that was the Isthmus, in its only city of Yat-Latan, they did no more than wear an extra protective amulet or two. Only Aphaltholios cared much for Kemtos Noi at all.

He did all his spell casting on this day, which made it a day Markior generally looked forward to. After the morning market run, they would return to Aphaltholios’ richly appointed manor – a three room dwelling built of expensive imported stone with a thatched roof that an Aquilian serf would have sneered at, but, well, there you were – and Aphaltholios would lock himself inside and Markior would have the whole day to idle away in the courtyard without. He could practice with his sword, or train in footwork, or, if a vendor happened to wander by, purchase a few honeyed dates, assuming the overweight wife of the merchant who lived down the street was willing to give him a few coppers, which she usually was…

“I realize this isn’t at all what you expected when you accepted my offer in Lesser Ra Tanis,” Aphaltholios said as he began to walk towards Dragonscale Circle. “It isn’t what I expected, either. But you chose to accompany me here, and you’ve chosen to remain in my service, and I expect you to at least make an effort to pay some attention to your surroundings.”

Markior knew better than to respond. Certainly, this wasn’t what he’d expected – in Lesser Ra Tanis, he’d been one of two dozen applicants for the position of Aphaltholios’ bodyguard, and had felt honored when Aphaltholios had chosen him. And he’d been more gratified than otherwise when he’d learned that the station was all for show; Aphaltholios had been wooing a highborn lady, and a highborn gentleman simply was not seen in society, or even in public, without an armed retainer. Markior had looked forward to an easy three cycles of being an ornament to his master’s social status, although he had found Lesser Ra Tanis terribly hot and humid compared with his native north.

But then things had gone spectacularly pear shaped – Markior was still dim on the actual details, all he really knew was, Aphaltholios had fallen out of favor with astonishing swiftness, and if the mage hadn’t been able to cast a fast teleport spell, the two of them would most likely have ended up burnt at a common stake by the howling mob that had condensed like dew outside Aphaltholios’ lovely mansion.

As Aphaltholios had explained, there must have been more than just a mob at work, as a powerful spell to block teleportation had been put in place all around his mansion as well. But one place any mage could always teleport to was the place of his birth, and so, Aphaltholios had returned here… and when Markior had been forced to quickly choose between accompanying his master or returning the sword he’d already invested nearly a season of his life in, well, he’d found himself here, as well.

He’d never in his life imagined there could be any place on the mortal plane hotter and more humid than Lesser Ra Tanis, and now, he didn’t have to.

“And there you are, daydreaming again,” Aphaltholios commented dryly as Markior tripped on a low curbstone and nearly went sprawling in the muck. “I should trade you to Zarthane for his draft mule, I really should. I’d get more use out of the draft mule, and you’d get to learn to do something useful.”

Markior paled at that. Zarthane was a boy lover, the sort of loathsome deviant that would be hounded out of any Aquilian village by a stone throwing mob, but whose perversions were tolerated or, often, even encouraged in the decadent south. And he’d seen how Zarthane looked at him, even though, at the age of sixteen, Markior was a man grown by any civilized standard. Zarthane made his living training prettyboys to serve in brothels, or as concubines to rich masters in Lesser Ra Tanis, and he enjoyed his work enormously. If Markior somehow wound up as Zarthane’s bond servant, Markior would have to kill the worthless wretch… which would inevitably end with Markior tied to a millstone and tossed from Executioner’s Rock into the deeps of the Gulf of Tanis… perhaps with a judicious slash or two across the back of his legs, to attract the kreelok.

“I’m sorry, Master,” Markior said, quite sincerely. “I’ll pay more attention, I swear it.”

Aphaltholios merely grunted. They had reached his house. “Stay out here, useless,” Aphaltholios said flatly. “Turn all visitors away until the morrow.”

“Aye, master,” Markior said, bobbing his head. He knew the Kemtos Noi routine very well.

* * *

Inside, Belrok the Black was stuffing a leather sack with gold and jewels. Belrok knew well that all wizards were rich; for some reason he neither knew nor much cared about, wizards preferred gold above all other metals (well, who didn’t?) and always kept a large supply of well cut gems about, too. Of course, few thieves were brave enough to beard a sorcerer in his own lair, and Belrok was no exception. But he’d carefully scrutinized his chosen target the last four days, and knew the mage’s routine well. Up with the dawn, a few hours chanting muffled by the stone walls of his keep, then off to the Looted Hulk to drink for the rest of the day while studying some volume of lore he’d have his tame Aquilian prettyboy tote along for him. Not much of a life for a wizard, but he seemed to have the local populace thoroughly cowed, judging from the ridiculous stories they all told of the mage’s prowess…

Belrok froze as he heard a key in the lock of the front door, which was at the foot of a flight of stone stairs he himself was barely five feet down an upstairs hall from. Today of all days the gods-damned magus chose to come back from the inn early…

Well, in Belrok’s native Votaria there was a saying about wizards – their sorcerous powers diminished in proportion to the size of the blade you sank through their black hearts. Belrok hadn’t intended to test that this day, but the gods sent men trials, and a warrior could only do his best with them. Belrok reached for the much used, well honed shortsword hanging at his belt…

Aphaltholios sniffed as he stepped into his front hall. Grand for the Raised City, certainly, but little enough compared to the manse he had owned in Ra-Tanis, and nothing compared to what he had aspired to… well, those embers were well burnt down. Still, give the fools a hundred years or so and they’d forget him, as they always had. He could alter his appearance slightly, change his name, and start in again. He'd yet rule all his hated brothers' lands...

He sniffed again. Was that… sweat? Votarian sweat? Like most mages, Aphaltholios spent an hour each morning meditating, attuning his own metabolism to its peak. His senses were not superhuman, merely the best any human’s could be. His brain, though, was nearly two thousand years old and perfectly organized; he could sort one scent out of ten thousand, and this one was definitely the distinctive odor of Votarian perspiration. Something about trace chemicals in the soil of that particularly volcanic valley; it got into the bones in childhood and never fully departed.

Now an unfamiliar creak – Aphaltholios knew every peg in every board, beam and joist within the stone shell of his ancient home; he had overseen the original carpentry there, 1900 years agone, and made a point of dwelling here for a few years at a time at least once in every generation since, to keep the locals appropriately in awe of him. There was someone at the top of his stairs… a Votarian, attempting to be still. Not a bad attempt; the intruder had some skill at stealth, and would most likely have avoided notice from anyone other than Aphaltholios.

Aphaltholios extended his perceptions into the upper hall, seeking an appropriate surrogate… there. A small trapper-spider had spun a web in the upper corner of the main hallway. That would be fine; the arachnoid form was well adapted to sudden changes in mass, unlike most endoskeletal mammals. Aphaltholios fixed his attention there and muttered a quick spell under his breath, of a sort few mages would ever have heard of, and perhaps only two others in existence could have successfully cast.

Above, Belrok heard a sudden thumping in the hallway behind him, and then, a horrendous clacking. He turned, and felt the blood run cold in his arteries. A spider the size of a timber wolf was scuttling down the stones of the inner wall at the end of the hallway, its glittering ring of eyes fixed malevolently on Belrok –

Another thief might have died of fright on the spot, or stood there frozen in terror with piss dribbling into his boots, or screamed and bolted down the stairs, and any of those reactions would have led almost instantly to death, as two human legs are little match in a sprint for 8 arachnid ones. But Belrok had robbed the halls of wizards before and had faced their hellish guardians on two other occasions. Once a vaporous air elemental, which would have undone him entirely if not for the protective amulet he’d had the forethought to bring with him. Another time, a giant scorpion… which had taught him that protective amulets were useless against more solid, if still unearthly, minions. No, against oversized vermin, only cold steel would suffice. Belrok drew his sword and shifted his weight to his left foot. He would get one good stroke as the spider scuttled towards him. He would aim for the eyes –

Too late, Belrok’s own senses, undulled by civilized influence, detected soft footfalls behind him. Borados curse him, he’d known the wizard was in the house and had let the spider distract him regardless. He deserved –

An explosion of pain at the back of his head, just behind his ear.


Belrok awoke. His head ached, and his arms felt heavy. He cracked an eye open and saw why… he was chained, wrists and ankles, with heavy iron fetters, running through a black iron ring set in a flagstone floor. Flickering torchlight fell on him, and the air was cool and musty. The wizard’s basement, then…

There was a grating sound of something heavy being set down nearby, and a grunt of relief. Belrok turned his head. The wizard’s Aquilian prettyboy had just put a large anvil down on the stone floor a few paces from where Belrok was chained. He had a deal of strength to carry that. Belrok might have managed it, but wouldn’t have wanted to try unless his life depended on it.

“Is he going to sacrifice me?” Belrok croaked, through a dry throat.

The Aquilian shrugged. “I suppose,” he said, his voice deeper than Belrok had expected. “I don’t know wizard stuff.” He looked petulant. “This is supposed to be the day I rest; he usually spends all day inside, casting spells.”

“Sorry,” Belrok rasped. “I don’t suppose you could…” He raised his arms a few inches – all the slack he had – and rattled the chains suggestively.

Markior shook his head. “You’re stupid enough to try and steal from a wizard, that’s on you,” he said.

“He’s more powerful than I expected,” Belrok admitted.

Markior laughed, a short, almost humorless bark. “Didn’t you ask around?” he said. “Don’t you know who he is?”

Belrok looked down. “Everybody says things about wizards,” he said. “Everybody is scared of them.”

“Except you,” Markior jeered. “You’re fearless. See where that got you.”

“He’s more powerful than I expected,” Belrok admitted again. “But even you have to admit most of what the people here say about him is nonsense. I mean, it must be. People don’t live two thousand years. And all this about how this whole isthmus was once undersea, and 1500 years ago a wizard cast a powerful spell to raise it from the ocean depths, and should that wizard ever die, the isthmus will sink once more…”

“Heh,” came a voice from behind Belrok. “Well, it’s not that simple.”

Aphaltholios came into view, walking slowly, drawing kid skin gloves on, wriggling his fingers to seat them more fully on his hands. “For one thing, it was nearer 2000 years ago, not 1500 years,” he said, his tone reminiscent. “I was my father’s fourth son. My three older brothers got all the choice lands… what you would call now Mandaria, Votaria, and Lesser Ra-Tanis. I got a small chain of islands… rocks, really, fit only for goats and gulls… stretching out into the southern sea.” He smiled coldly. “How they laughed at that. They called me The Island Prince, when they were feeling mellow. The King of the Seagulls, other times.”

He shook his head, going over to a workbench, picking up various tools, holding them up to the torch light, putting them down again with muted clicks of metal on wood. “But I was the only one of our family born with the gift,” he said. “I went to the Mages’ Academy and spent years there studying. And then I returned to my rocks, and I cast a mighty spell.” He looked back over at Belrok and raised an eyebrow. “Well, several spells, really.”

Aphaltholios picked up a large copper knife with several odd runes inscribed in its triangular blade. “First I needed to scan the floor of the ocean beneath and around my island chain. I needed to know exactly what was there. Once I did, I drew a map, showing the ocean floor around my islands. I infused that map with my will… my life force, if you will… and wrought a mighty working, lifting the ocean floor several hundred feet, until it was above sea level. Which created the Isthmus, a new land rich in precious ores and extremely fertile soil, stretching several hundred miles out into the Bay.”

The sorcerer smiled nostalgically to himself as he began to move around Belrok, etching runes on the cellar flagstones. “My brothers were considerably less amused when I suddenly became Prince of the Isthmus. But there were three of them, and none wanted the other to have the Isthmus, either. They knew if they allied against me, then they would only have to go to war against each other once I was removed. And they couldn’t have me assassinated, because, of course, the map I had drawn was now a living thing.”

Belrok the Black frowned. “Aye,” he said, “so they all say in this city. That this map changes with each change to the Isthmus, and to the Raised City of Yat-Latan itself, to reflect those changes, like a looking glass made of vellum. And that if anything should happen to the wizard who created the map, then the spells keeping the Isthmus and Yat-Latan above the water would vanish, and it would all sink back into the deeps again.” He laughed contemptuously. “Ah, you’ve sold them a bill of goods and no mistake,” he said. “But you can’t fool me. You’re a powerful wizard, but you’re not two thousand years old, and this map? Hmph. Show it to me.”

Aphaltholios scowled. “The map was lost long ago,” he said. “A demon summoning got away from me… the pentacle holding the creature was fraying; I had to banish it from this dimension in a hurry, and a brief vortex came into being. The map, and all the other papers and tools that were not well secured, was sucked in… I have no idea where it wound up, in this world or some other. But I can feel it; it’s still out there somewhere. And should I die, then the forces that keep this land above the ocean waves will die with me, and the Isthmus will indeed once more return to the depths from which I raised it.”

“That’s a great pity,” Belrok the Black said, grinning evilly. “Or would be, if I believed a word of it.” He held up his chained hands. “You should have chained me so I couldn’t get at my belt, wizard.”

Aphaltholios squinted. What was the barbarian holding…? Something small, carved of wood, with a metal tip… no, there was a hole in the end of it, surrounded by metal, projecting out of the wood --

Belrok gripped the small device and squeezed, his knuckles going white. Aphaltholios saw a small flicker of flame bloom, heard a sound like a thick branch breaking, felt an invisible fist punch him in the center of his chest.

Lying flat on his back on the hard cobblestones, the wizard felt his two thousand year old heart laboring heavily in his chest. There was an acrid smell in his nostrils… odd, he thought, that’s salt peter, and the black dust Mandarians put in their firecrackers. Did he shoot a firecracker at me…?

Aphaltholios closed his eyes, attempted to sink into a healing trance. He was damaged, badly damaged, but if he could slow his respiration, calm his thundering pulse, he could locate the wound and rejuven –

The last of his heart’s blood rushed out through the gaping hole in his chest and began to spread sluggishly on the cellar cobbles, cooling as it flowed. Two thousand years of life, and still, when the Pale Rider beckoned to him, he found he did not wish to go. He yet had hopes unrealized, schemes half-finished, much yet to do…

Markior stared in horror as the wound on his master’s chest… his former master’s chest… stopped spouting blood. He heard a long, dragging gurgle rattle up out of Aphaltholios' chest, a chest which then settled, and was still. Shocked, disbelieving, but beginning to feel the first ratlike gnawing of absolute terror in the depths of his stomach, he gasped, through numb lips: “You… you killed him!” He stared at the strange nurled knob of wood and metal in Belrok’s hands. A small wisp of acrid smelling smoke was curling up from the hole in the end. “What is that thing?”

“It’s Imperial,” Belrok grunted. “From the Empire of Man, across the Finger Sea… they call it a pistoloon. One shot only, but it hits like a thunderclap.” He grinned, showing yellow, jagged stumps of teeth. “I never rob a wizard without it, these days.”

“But he… but…” Markior looked around the room frantically. “Gods, the entire Isthmus is going to sink beneath the sea –“

“Don’t be a fool,” Belrok said gruffly. “That’s a tall tale to end all tall tales. Find the keys to these chains and I’ll split the wizard’s swag with y –“

The flagstones trembled beneath both of their boots. There was an ominous rumbling, and dust sifted down from the ceiling. The heavy beams supporting the house across the cellar visibly shifted, then sagged. The earth began to shake beneath their boots…

* * *

“Dutch? DUTCH!!”

The imperative voice coming up the stairs brought Edgar Howard “Dutch” Phillips out of his creative fog. He looked up from his typewriter, momentarily confused. Belrok the Black had just fatally shot Aphaltholios the mage with the small pistoloon he had hidden beneath his belt buckle, and the Aquilian kid was nerving himself up to search the wizard’s body for a key. And there had been some other detail nagging at him –

“DUTCH!” his wife screamed again. “There’s WATER coming down the STAIRS, what are you DOING, is the tub overflowing, it’s a MESS --!”

Water? Dutch looked around in bewilderment. Yes, that was the sound of running water but nobody was in the bathtub and –

His eyes widened. Water was pouring in sheets and rivers down the left side of his other desk, the antique rolltop writing desk he never used for typing, running across the floor of his study in a wide, swiftly flowing sheet. Erasers, pencils, pens, pages of various letters and manuscripts were bobbing along merrily in the bizarre floodtide. He noticed for the first time that water was pooling around his feet; his slippers were soaking through and his socks were wet… Where in the name of everything holy could it be coming from –

The desk drawer. The top drawer on the left. Water was just pouring out of it, through the keyhole and the cracks on either side and along the top of it. It was as if someone had bored a hole in the back of the desk, hooked up a hose, and was currently pumping hundreds of gallons of water into the drawer, and it was all flowing out onto his floor and out of his study and down the stairs –

Dutch rushed across his study, fumbling in his pockets. He pulled out his keychain, ticked through the keys on it quickly, found and fitted a small shiny key into the keyhole, forcing it in against the steady flow of water gushing through it. He turned the key and yanked the drawer open. It was heavy, full of water. The keyring jangled as it hung from the hole in the sodden wooden drawer.

Various papers and scraps immediately floated out the top of the drawer as a fresh volume spilled onto the floor. Dutch squinted, then turned on a gooseneck lamp clamped to the top of the writing desk and pulled it over to shine down into the water overflowing the drawer.

There, pinned to the bottom by water pressure – what was that? A map?

Right, right… it was the map he’d bought at that second hand bookstore the previous summer and tossed in the drawer. Hmmm… come to think of it, the streets and inn names depicted on that map must have lodged in his subconscious, as he now realized he’d been using them as he typed the story he was working on. What the hell –

Afterwards, Dutch could never adequately explain the impulse that seized him. Without conscious thought, he reached in, grabbed the map – water seemed to be flowing out of it at a pretty good, constant clip, he had to use nearly his full strength to force his hand to the bottom against the strong current flowing upward off the scroll’s surface. The whole thing was physically impossible, but Dutch didn’t think about it, simply held the map up in his left hand, grabbed up a four inch letter opener with his right, and with a savage grunt, thrust it through the vellum of the map itself, impaling it like one of his 17th century musketeer heroes might impale an evil cardinal’s minion.

The map seemed to shudder and flap in his hand, almost like a living thing going through its death throes – and then it went limp, no more than a scrap of vellum with a hole punched in it, hanging from his clenched fingers.

Dutch prodded it with his other finger. It wasn’t even wet.

“Dutch, what in the world?”

Dutch turned, and saw his wife, looking rather irate, standing in his doorway. The water on the floor was still gurgling between her feet, running down the stairs.

Dutch brandished the map and grinned. “Not in this world, Martha,” he said, enigmatically. “Not in this world, at all…”


the Power of the Will Over The Flesh

Shapechanging: Difficulty 4
Rating: Levels 1-3: Acumen + (2x level)
Level 4 -6: Acumen + (3x level)
Level 7+ : Acumen + (4x level)

Base difficulty to halt or induce Shapechange: 15

Base time to fully Shapechange: 10 minutes / 60 rounds

The ability to change from one physical shape to another is buried deeply within most biological creatures, especially those possessed of strong volition. However, only those whose basic cellular structure is somewhat unstable will manifest this ability to any significant degree. Among these types of natural shapeshifters there are two different sorts -- those considered to be ‘undifferentiated shapeshifters’, born with somewhat flexible genetic structures that have no specific alternate pattern set within them, and ‘dedicated shapeshifters’, whose cells, through whatever means, have two or more complete genetic patterns contained within them from birth onward and who, under certain forms of stimulation, will shift from one of those genetic patterns to another.

The most typical stimuli for shape shifting is the full moon. For unknown reasons, those with more flexible cellular structures will find themselves involuntarily undergoing physical transformations from one form to another when the moon is full.

For an undifferentiated shapeshifter, with only one actual genetic pattern within their cells, these physical transformations are subtle, involving the release of various chemical compounds and other glandular secretions into the bloodstream that greatly heighten aggression and that significantly lower the capacity for higher judgment. Undifferentiated shapeshifters under the influence of the full moon tend to lose most if not all of their normal behavioral inhibitions and can become hyper aggressive to the point of violence, often without having any capacity to control their own more bestial urges. These emotional changes are often accompanied by slight but noticeable increases in physical strength, endurance, and tolerance for pain. If the stimulation source is removed, undifferentiated shapeshifters will generally find themselves extremely fatigued and will immediately lapse into a deep, restful sleep. If for some reason they are not allowed to sleep, they will generally be in extreme discomfort until they can.

Those shape shifters who, for whatever reason, possess more than one complete genetic pattern within their cells, will find themselves shifting from their more normal physical shape to their alternate genetic pattern when a change is stimulated.

Shapeshifters can learn to control the change, to the point where they can either choose not to shapeshift when a change would normally occur, or, they can voluntarily induce a shift in their shape when the natural stimulus for such a change is not present.

There are several forms of shape shifter that have been documented. Probably the most well documented type known is the serpentine race known as the Vrang, who seem to be somewhat anomalous, as they can apparently voluntarily assume nearly any shape they may desire. If the Vrang ever involuntarily shape shift, it has never been reliably observed or reported as to what form they take when they do so. It is possible that the normal serpentine form we are most familiar with is, in fact, an artificial form, and that no one has ever seen a ‘true’ Vrang.

There are several supernatural forms of shape shifters whose existence is at least rumored. A race, or group, of possibly necromantic origin known as the Sharps are mentioned in several documents in the Archives of the River College. Like most evil creatures of a necromantic nature, Sharps are said to be unable to withstand exposure to sunlight.

In addition to Sharps and Vrang, there are the Malkane, a mysterious and sinister race of inhumans, possibly of demonic origin, who reportedly have the ability to shift from a human like appearance to that of large predatory cats… lions, tigers, panthers, leopards, cheetahs, and various other forms.

Beyond these, accounts become extremely sketchy. Some scholars have seen very old documents from the Golden Archives of Sottli Ban referring to chaos demons known as feravelka, a phrase from the ancient Panthean tongue whose closest translation seems to ‘child of darkness’. And there are completely undocumented rumors, emanating from the preliterate Ulvane and Jeopard tribes regarding a supernatural race of ratlike creatures who under certain stimuli can shapeshift into more humanoid forms.

In addition, both the races known as ogresses and some variants of Daemon are reputed to be of monstrous, unnatural appearance, but reportedly can project illusory facades much more pleasing to the perceptions of their natural victims. More experienced Undead are supposedly capable of casting this kind of ‘glamour’ as well. This is not true shape shifting, although it should be noted at this point that truly ancient Undead, such as Nom Wayish of Sottli Ban, have demonstrated a capacity for true shape shifting into various forms such as wolves, bats, and predatory birds.

Involuntary shape changing generally occurs under the full moon, and can be triggered by other stimuli, as well, if the moon is in the sky at all, even if only as a crescent. Normally, if a natural, involuntary shape change is stimulated, it will take the full 10 minutes for transformation from one form to another to be complete. Some forms of stimulation, however, can hasten the transformation, as follows :

If a trauma causes the shapeshifter to lapse into unconsciousness under the influence of any moon phase, transformation to their alternate state will begin. Subtract twice the number of minuses from 60 to determine the number of rounds it will take the K.O.ed shapeshifter to transform.

If a moon influenced shapeshifter with the Attributes Bad Temper or Berserk fails any Willpower roll generated by these attributes, transformation will begin. Subtract [d4 + the level of the Attribute taken] in minutes from 10 to determine the number of minutes the transformation will take.

If a moon influenced shapeshifter sees or smells the blood of a hated enemy or a beloved comrade, their transformation will begin. Subtract [d6 + 3] from 10 to determine the number of minutes until transformation is complete.

Under a full moon, transformation will automatically begin as soon as the moon is above the horizon.

Once per minute after a transformation has begun, a shape shifter may roll off their Shapeshift rating vs. 15 to halt the process. If the roll is successful, the process will be halted for a number of minutes equal to [the amount the roll succeeded by] x 2. If this roll is made by 10 or more, ‘minutes’ becomes ‘hours’ in this formula. If the stimulus that began the transformation is still present after this time has elapsed, the transformation will begin again.

Shapeshifting can also be voluntarily induced when there is no natural stimulus present. Shapeshifter should roll off their Shapeshift rating vs. 15 to induce a change from one form (usually their ‘natural‘ or conventional form) to another.

To lower the amount of time required to complete a shape change, add 2 to the difficulty of the Shapeshift roll off per minute subtracted. Shapechange time cannot be reduced below one round/six seconds; the difficulty to reduce this duration to one round is 35.

Some races of shapechangers have developed various self hypnotic rituals to harness their concentration and make the initial Shapeshift roll off easier. These rituals take 5 minutes to complete and cannot be hastened. If a shapeshifter knows how to perform such a ritual, they may roll off their Precision vs. 4 to do so. If this roll succeeds, they may then reduce the difficulty to induce a natural transformation from one state to another by 10.

If a Shapeshift roll is failed, the desired effect does not occur. If a Shapeshift roll is failed by 10 or more, the Shapeshifter will suffer in addition a d4+1 in Esssential minuses.

Friday, June 12, 2009

River Rogue

River Rogue

Exotic Background if Outlawed and Branded, or, Branded on Face
Very Exotic Background if only Outlawed or Branded
Ex Exotic Background if neither Outlawed nor Branded
Cannot be Baptized
May not be a member of any other organization
All stats must be 13 or higher

The River Rogue is old school unreconstructed River Scum. Despising all affiliations, living by their wits, going their own way, spitting in the face of any authority that tries to manipulate or control them, River Rogues will cut their own legs off to escape any trap, although they’d prefer to just cut the throat of whoever is trying to trap them.

For character generation only, River Rogues are considered to have Fast Learner at the following skills:

Weapon 4 (2)
Thrown Weapon 3 (x)
Punch 3
Kick 3
Close Combat 3
Combat Position 3 (3)
Quick draw 2 (1)
Weapon master 4 (2)
Acrobat 2 (2)
Sprint 4
Recognize Value 2 (2)
Attentiveness (no level limit) 4 (2)
Climbing 2
Familiar With Underground 3 (6)
Lying 3 (3)
Pick Locks 3 (3)
Pick Pockets 3 (0)
Scrounging 3 (1)
Escape from Bonds 3 (4)
Stealth 3
Strike from Behind 4 (4)
Strike from Surprise 4 (3)

River Rogues get no special starting equipment (the world don’t give you nothin’ free).

They are, however, Extremely Resistant to Manipulation or Dominance - They may add 6 to their WP for resisting Leadership, Sex Appeal, Persuasion, or Presence Attacks.

(Things like Exotic Background, Blooded, Outlawed, Branded, and Gifted At Skill are Attributes in the WOE system; you can read more about them at

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tengish Ranger

Tengish Ranger

If born in Ona Tengu, Exotic Background / If not, Extremely Exotic Background
Extreme Good Tutor (Attentiveness, Hunter‘s Mind, Self Command, Spot Weakness)
Baptized to God of Nature

While the Knighthood of Ona Tengu was originally conceived to carry the Realm of Ona Tengu into the wild areas of the kingdom and beyond the borders of Ona Tengu itself, the past decades of rampant militarization by King Kameron have bent the Knighthood to a much more combative role. As the Red Realm is vast in size and contains large tracts of wilderness, much of it of an eldritch nature and evil repute (such as the Great Swamp, the Twilight Zone on the border of the Unholy Lands, the so called Hinterlands lying along the border of the Giant Mountains, the desolate Badlands that fringe the dense, impenetrable jungles of Northarka, and the sinister Howling Moors that stretch like an ancient, open mass grave across the eastern expanses between Riva Zand and the Dawnpeaks), the Order of Tengish Rangers has been created by the Realm of Ona Tengu in close collaboration with the Temple of Nature to patrol these occult, foreboding regions where few honest men would ever wish to venture. The mandate of the Tengish Ranger is to keep watch over the brooding, ancient ruins that dot these arcane areas of Ona Tengu like festering sores, while keeping the outlaws, exiles, and other unnatural creatures and Enemies of Man that skulk through these numinous nether regions well in hand.

Tengish Rangers receive the following skill package at Level 0 +1 for 65 points:

Bow (3)

Sword (4)

Sword Parry (3)
A skill created for the Tengish Rangers, this allows a swordsman to add 1 per level to his combat defense for no extra cost. If the user employs the combat option Parry, they may add their level again to their Defense, plus the normal Parry modifier. Weapon Parry cannot be used in combination with a shield, must be used with a sword, and cannot be a higher level than your main Sword skill.

Horsemanship (3)

Combat Position (3)

Leadership (3)

Attentiveness (4)

Survival - Rain Forest (3)*

Animal Handler (3)

Hunting (3)*

Marathon (3)

Mountain Climbing (3)

Naturalist (3)*

Navigation (3)*

Tracking (2)

Wilderness Stealth (4)*

Engineer (3)

(Skills marked with * must be level 4 or higher before play begins.)

Hunter’s Mind (4) base cost 4: [ACU + 2x level] Requires 10 rounds of meditation prior to making roll off, which under normal conditions is against a difficulty 16. If this roll off is successful, Hunter’s Mind level may be added directly any one skill rating, or to Attack, Defense, or Initiative, for a number of minutes equal to Hunter’s Mind level.

Self Command (3) no base cost: [WP/2 + 2x level] roll vs. 16 to increase or decrease your Presence by up to the amount you make the roll by for that same number of rounds. May be done at will.

Spot Weakness (4) base cost 5: [Insight + 2x level] Allows the practitioner to find a weak spot or a key area where minimum pressure will produce maximum desired results in structures, natural barriers, or an opponent’s fighting style. When used on structures, Spot Weakness level cannot exceed Engineering level, when used on natural barricades, Spot Weakness level cannot exceed Naturalist level, and when used on an opponent, Spot Weakness level cannot exceed Combat Position level.

Tengish Rangers may begin play with one of the following items:

Waterskin of Blessed Water (20 doses) - Confers a Blessing of Good Health on the drinker. This will cure most diseases and acts as a wonderful disinfectant when used to clean wounds. This water does not stagnate and cannot be poisoned or drugged. It has incendiary effects on Undead, especially sentient Undead.

Blessed Torches (3, 1 hr of light each) - When lit with the proper invocation, these torches burn with Holy Flame. Undead will not even willingly enter the circle of light cast by these torches, and necromantic illusions are dispelled in this firelight.

Blessed Thread (one spool, enough to suture 15 wound minuses) - Chirurgeons add 5 levels of skill when using this thread. Wounds sutured with this thread heal at a vastly increased rate.

Blessed Knife - a camping knife with a 5 inch blade. Upon invocation, this blade will be able to cleave through any physical object for six seconds, after which it will crumble to dust.

Helpful Hook - A grappling hook blessed by the Temple of Silver and Gold to be ‘lucky’, this hook will always catch on the first throw.

As Tengish Rangers gain experience and perform valorous feats for the Crown, they may be further rewarded by the various Temples for their continued service. Items that can be awarded to Tengish Rangers for meritorious service after a lengthy period of service:

Eternal Rope - 100’ of fine silk rope, blessed by the Temple of Time so that only the Ranger that owns it can cut it, and after it is cut, it can be rejoined again to make one seamless whole. Knots tied in this rope by its Ranger can only be undone by that Ranger.

Beltpouch of Holding - This belt pouch can hold any number of relatively small items blessed by any of the Tengish temples.

Cloak of Hiding - When worn normally, this cloak helps the wearer blend in against a forested wilderness background. When thrown completely around an object or objects and the laces are tied from within, this cloak provides almost complete concealment from outside eyes in any environment.

Boots of Surefootedness - These boots allow the Ranger wearing them to move silently across any surface or terrain, give their owner Extremely Good Balance and Extremely Deft for any Fumbles incurred while moving on foot, and guarantee that when the wearer falls they will always land on their feet.

Sunglass - Any light reflected from this blessed mirror will be converted to natural sunlight.

Spiritbeast Horse - a mount worthy of a truly heroic Tengish Ranger.

(Level 0 + 1, read as 'level zero plus one', is a concept that gives starting player characters a package of skills for a certain cost, which pays for the skills' base cost, which can sometimes be quite high. After the character is fully generated, the package skills are then increased by 1.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Honan, the Way of the Warrior




In order to enter training, a prospective character should average these four statistics and add this number to a d20 roll. If the character wins a d20 roll off with the DM vs. 15, he may enter training. This roll off requires 5 non-refundable experience points to make; if the roll-off is made, the 5 points are applied to the Honan discipline.

Characters may attempt this roll off 3 times. Points from previously failed rolls may be applied towards Honan training once a successful application roll is made. If all 3 rolls are failed, these points may be applied to STR, AG,

Honan Fighting Style

Difficulty 7 Base: 10

(Standard: Empire of Man, Aquilia, Ancient Lands)

includes Sword, Combat Position, Acrobat per level

Missile Weapon, Flourish, Missile Dodge per odd level

Martial Punch, Martial Kick per even level

Variant: Honan Archer - Missile Weapon (Bow) is learned per level, Sword is learned per odd level

Easy Aim (Bow) is substituted for Flourish at odd levels


COST: 35 points for Level (0+1)

Focus (Diff: 4)

Literacy (Giantish)


Survival (Mountains)


Attentiveness (Honan maximum Attentiveness level is 7)

Wilderness Stealth

Mountain Climbing

At levels 4, 7, and 10, Honan gain +1 to the result of all dice rolls when checking for collapse due to Pain

For 10 points, Honan may also train at any or all of the following skills with Level 0+1 :

Breath Control, Base: 6 Diff: 4

Easy Aim/Weapon, Base: 3 Diff: 4

Shoot Twice, Base: 2 Diff: 4

Weaponmaster/Martial Punch/Martial Kick/Sword, Base: 2 Diff: 4 (each are separate skills)

Wearing Armor, Base: 0 Diff: 6

Quickdraw, Base: 1 Diff: 2

Honan warriors must be level 4 or higher at the Honan Fighting Discipline, Focus, and ALL Honan Package skills except Literacy in order to graduate. They must be Level 3 at Literacy. Honan must have mastered the use of at least their Acumen score in Honan Disciplines before starting play.

The origins of "The Way of the Warrior" are shrouded in mystery. Little is known of this strange fighting society, except that they will do anything for a price, although that price is usually exhorbitant. Closemouthed, inscrutable, and fanatically devoted to a strict and eccentric Code of Honor, the Honan warrior is the most feared, deadly, expensive, and sought after soldier for hire in any area where humans dwell in ordered society. A master Honan warrior can command virtually any price for his or her services.

Honans are known to exist in every area of human settlement in the World. Although their numbers in each area are always relatively small, and training styles can widely differ from one land to another, their Code and their distinct and recognizable uniform are always the same. Only an ignorant fool or a complete lunatic would risk the wrath of the Honan by wearing any outfit that might be remotely mistaken for that of one of this elite and secretive society.

Although Honan sometimes are associated with a group, they always fight alone in combat. To come to a Honan’s aid in combat is considered a grievous insult by the Honan. For multiple opponents to gang up on a Honan is considered a deadly offense; unless the Honan is killed, they will make a priority of killing anyone who dares to do such a thing. Honan also believe in absolute honourable loyalty to a client or mission once that client or mission has been accepted. Honan rarely accept more than one definite task at one time, but once the Honan has been paid (always in advance) he or she will pursue their mission with every bit of skill and tenacity that they possess. A Honan is not required to die in order to fulfill a particular quest (although this is considered the height of Honan honor) but a warrior should be absolutely certain that continuing with this mission will directly cause his or her demise before reneging on a client. If a Honan should ever choose to withdraw from a particular task, all monies paid must be refunded and the Honan warrior is obligated to perform, gratis, some other service for the client instead. A Honan who violates this code and is found to have done so by the Honan masters will be disowned, dishonored, and hunted down by all other Honan warriors who have an opportunity to do so.

Once personal combat is joined, absolutely anything goes. A Honan warrior feels that not only is a refusal to do certain things to win a fight foolishly limiting, but it is also condescending and contemptuous to one's opponent. Anyone who faces a Honan one-on-one, weapon-to-weapon, is considered a worthy opponent and is deserving of far too much respect to be insulted by a refusal to fight with anything less than the Honan's full resourcefulness. A Honan will, in general, refuse to interfere in another one-on-one combat; once such a fight is joined, it should be resolved by the two combatants. If a Honan feels he must help an outclassed friend or client, he will try to fight the enemy by himself, not as part of a team.

From time to time, a Honan may be contacted by the Honan Masters and given a task to perform. These should be done unquestioningly, and death is the only excuse for failure... there is no excuse for withdrawal or refusal. This is a very rare occurence, though, and shouldn't concern a PC overmuch.

Honan are extraordinary rare in any particular area; there are probably no more than a few hundred fully qualified Honan warriors in any one human domain. However, their reputation as deadly fighters of fanatic loyalty is known throughout the World to all warriors and men of power. To command a Honan warrior is quite a status symbol. To be a Honan warrior is to be respected, feared, and sought after.

Honan are expected to pay 20% of all monies and fees received for their martial services into a special account at the Temple of Silver and Gold. Much of this goes to the mysterious purposes of the Honan Masters, but this is also an emergency fund that Honan may, at great need, apply to for relief.

Honan serve no interests save for the client of the moment and their Honan masters. They give no allegiance to any king, Temple, Jhareesh, or political organization; they do not consider themselves to be citizens of any nation or followers of any deity. They do not join Clans or societies of any nature, and give their loyalty only where and for as long as it is bought. This does not preclude them from forming friendships, but close affairs and/or pair bondings are discouraged unless the Honan plans to retire from the field, for these tend to interfere with the typical Honan disregard for anything but the job he's being paid to do. Honan are the archetypical loners, and will generally ask for help only as a desperate last resort.

Honan are not required to help other Honan unless hired to do so; in fact, a Honan would probably assume that another Honan would be insulted by an offer of help. Often, Honan serving different masters end up battling each other; such occasions are cherished as rare tests of a warrior's true combat-worthiness.


Acumen + (2 x FOCUS level)

Any disciplines done in combat will cause a -3 to Attack and Defense and will automatically give initiative to the opponent for the amount of time that the Honan is casting them. If the Honan is hit that round, the discipline is disrupted and goes away. If a Honan tries and fails a certain discipline, he should spend at least 20 minutes studying the discipline to refresh himself on it before trying it again. If he doesn't want to (or can't) he may try the discipline again at a cumulative +5 to the difficulty. If a Honan fails a discipline roll-off by 10, he has done something horribly wrong and must roll on the DMs dreaded Psionic Fumbles chart. This can be very bad to do in combat...

ARMOUR A telekinetic force field of sorts, this gives as many points of armour as a Honan can conceivably put up. Takes 10 rounds to perform, lasts for as many hours as the roll is made by but subtracts 1 from Attack/Defense/Initiative and 2 from TM per 4 points of armour protection given. COST: 5 DIFFICULTY: 10 (base) + 2 for each point of armour protection.

A field effect that protects the Honan warrior from any witchcraft affecting him from another source. Requires 1 round, lasts the amount in hours the roll is made by. Precludes the Honan targeting any witchcraft on any exterior target while this is in effect.


This discipline gathers available bioelectrical energy in the area into a coherent ball of lightning and allows the Honan to hurl it at a target within 30yards. Damage = D3+ 1 per 2 roll is made by, d6 + 2 per 1 roll is made by if metal focus is used to intensify the energy. This is then thrown as a missile weapon and may be missile dodged; it takes half a round to form and has a missile initiative of -10, and an accuracy modifier at its only range (within 30 yards) of +7, +10 if the target contains a high concentration of conductive metal (chain or plate armor, for example). COST: 6 DIFFICULTY: 16

This forms a cutting field around the the blade of the sword that makes it virtually invincible; a blade so treated will cut through almost anything. This requires 10 rounds to cast and will last only 1 round of use, after which the blade’s s normal damage will be reduced one die size until sharpened (sharpening requires 1 hours time per damage dice done by the weapon).


This forms a cutting field around the blade of the weapon that increases its damage. This requires 1 round to perform and lasts the amount in rounds that the roll is made by. COST: 6 DIFFICULTY: 14 + 2 per extra damage point

This adds +1 for every 1 roll is made by to a missile attack rating. Requires 1 round to perform. COST: 4 DIFFICULTY: 14

This allows the Honan to repair some of the damage done to himself after a fight is over. Usable only on himself, this allows the Honan to heal as many minuses as he has the ability for. Requires 1 hour of meditation for up to -5, +1 hour for every additional minus.

COST: 7 DIFFICULTY: 11 (base) + 4 for each minus removed.

Allows the warrior to increase both Attack and Defense by +(1/2 Focus level) or either by + (Full Focus level). This requires 10 rounds to perform and lasts the amount in MINUTES the roll is made by. COST: 5 DIFFICULTY: 25

Mentally "images" surroundings; useful in fog or darkness or if totally blind. Requiring 10 rounds, this lasts for the amount in HOURS that the roll is made by. COST: 5 DIFFICULTY: 14

This discipline comes in three flavors of steadily increasing intensity:

PUNCH: A mild telekinetic smack; this does a d3 + (1 per 2 roll is made by) in damage. Requires 1 round to perform. COST: 5 DIFFICULTY: 12

A somewhat more vigorous telekinetic thumping; this does a d4 +( 1 per 2 roll is made by). COST: 5 DIFFICULTY: 14

Like getting hit with a telekinetic sledgehammer, this does a d6 + (1 per 1 roll is made by). COST: 6 DIFFICULTY: 15

Each discipline requires 1 round to perform. For an additional +6 to the difficulty, the Honan may specify where he would like to hit the target (face, generally). Otherwise, location is rolled randomly. All damage is considered to ignore armour, except for plate, which gives full protection (aim for face).

PROJECT This causes the Honan's opponent to believe the Honan is doing something completely different from his true intentions next round. For that round, the opponent will be considered FAKED, BOUND, and FORCE FUMBLED by Swashbuckling rules. Takes 1 round to perform, lasts 1 round.


Allows a Honan to sensitize an object so that it will return to his hand via telekinetics. Permanently sensitizing something requires 3 points, temporarily sensitizing something takes 1 round and will last for the amount of rounds that the roll is made by.

COST: 4 DIFFICULTY: 13 to sensitize, return automatic once sensitized for 1 exhaustion.

SHIELD Adds 15 + (2 per 1 roll is made by) to missile defense/target rating. Requires 1 round, lasts amount in rounds roll is made by.


Lets the Honan know what his opponent is going to do before he does it; although opponent will still go first if he has initiative. Effective starting round after cast for as many rounds as roll is made by, takes 1 round to perform.


(character generation) Attributes

Attributes are various and sundry characteristics taken by a Player to provide more definition to the Character being played. Most attributes come in two types (Positive and Negative) of three classes each (as is, very, and extreme). Positive attributes are beneficial and desirable to the Character; attributes such as Hardy and Attractive are examples, and are bought by expending positive attribute points. One could buy Hardy, Very Hardy, or Extremely Hardy depending on available points and the amount one wants to spend. Negative attributes are detrimental to the Character and are bought with negative attribute points. However, for each negative attribute point spent, one gains a positive one. Thus by giving a Character a few detrimental attributes, you can balance the character by giving him/her more positive ones.

The list of attributes below should not be considered complete. If the player comes up with an attribute that is not on the list and wants to take it, ask the DM about cost and availability. (There is always the possibility that the DM may, for reasons of game balance, decline to allow certain suggested attributes to be taken.) The three numbers listed beside each attribute are costs for the attribute "as is", "very", and "extremely" variants.



Ages Well (4-8-12) Character's physical age is 10% per level less than their chronological age.

Alert (3-5-9) +1 to all Attentiveness roll-offs for each level of this attribute.

Ambidextrous (10) An exception to the general rule, this attribute has only one level. Does the obvious.

Attractive (2-4-8) Makes a character aesthetically pleasing by their society's general standards. For each level of this attribute, there is a +1 bonus to all Sex Appeal 2d6 Reaction rolls.

Berserk (8/-4) Both a positive and negative attribute, this attribute costs positive points, but automatically takes up negative points as well, generating more positive points. The character has a tendency to go into a berserk state under stress. See Moving Finger #15 for details.

Better Statistic (4-8-12) This attribute will add, at base level, +2 to the desired stat; at the level of "much better statistic" it will add +4, and at the maximum level of "awesomely better statistic" will add +6. If this attribute is used to increase any statistic over normal dice maximums, multiply its total cost by (the amount over dice maximum +1).

Blessed (20)
One of the gods has bestowed a (randomly rolled) mighty benediction on your character. Unless Exotic Background is taken, your character will be baptized by this god, and your character will be considered to have a Total Duty to that Temple and deity. You do not get extra points for this Duty!

Blooded (5) This attribute means your character is somewhat hardened to brutality and normal hardship. He or she may add +6 to all morale rolls, and during certain gut-wrenching or utterly disgusting situations (entering the scene of a brutal battle, exploring the sewers, searching a rotting corpse, etc) the DM will allow a Blooded character to proceed without the Willpower roll off he would mandate for a normal person. Blooded is an attribute that can be acquired during play by succeeding in a learning roll in certain situations as listed above.

Cheerful (1-2-3) +3 per level to Morale roll offs; you're generally an upbeat kind of person and its harder for you to be depressed. This should also be roleplayed!

Choose Birthplace (v) A character may choose where in the World he would like to be from. The more exotic a birthplace you want, the more it will cost.

Choose Sub-race (8-15) Choose a mundane human race for 8 pts, or one of the rare races (halfbreed, Romaine, zuma, atros, Swamp Man) for 15.

Cold Resistant (2-4-8) This attribute makes a person more resistant to the effects of cold and frostbite by giving a +1 to any roll-off per level.

Comrade (8-15-20) An NPC Comrade is your faithful companion; they will never betray you. Your character is considered to have an overwhelming bond with this NPC, you will never betray or abandon them. If something happens to them, your morale will suffer; if they die, your morale may cause permanent minuses to your performance. A first level comrade is a randomly chosen (by DM) pre-generated NPC of up to 200 EP, a second level is the same as above, up to 500 EP. You may choose what type of NPC this is from the available types; if human, you may choose its mundane sub-race. A third level Comrade is rolled up exactly like a PC, you may choose the Comrade's age and mundane human or non-human race. If a Comrade should die or something else should happen that will cause a character's irrevocable separation from their Comrade, they will suffer the effects of Grief, as rolled on DM's Grief Chart.

Contacts (2-4-8) The character knows some important folks in his/her town, generally in his/her own particular area of expertise. This attribute may be bought multiple times for multiple areas. +1 per level to Scrounging rolls.

Deft (2-4-6) +1 per level to character's chance to save from physical Fumbles.

Die Hard (2-3-5) For each level taken, a character has one full minute after taking an Instant Kill critical hit, or any other kind of instant death trauma that would not cause instantaneous brain death, to perform dying actions at no further minuses to what they had prior to the mortal trauma occurring.

Disease Resistant (2-4-8) +1 per level to any relevant roll-offs.

Don't Get Seasick (1) The person does not get seasick.

Drug Resistant (2-3-4) Makes a character resistant to drugs and poisons by adding a +1 per level to all relevant numbers.

Exotic Background (9-16-25) The character had very unusual beginnings, how unusual depends upon the level of the attribute. Have the player work out and present his/her idea to the DM. Also necessary for certain skill areas and/or training packages. The character may take up to two Exotic Skills per level of this attribute taken.

Famous (4-8-12) The person did something wonderful that people will know him/her by. The higher you take this attribute, the more wonderful it will be and the more people will know about what you did. The player will make something up to be approved by the DM.

Fast Runner (2-4-8) For every level of this attribute, the character may add 4 to his/her tactical movement when running, and 6 to his/her tactical movement when sprinting.

Fast Learner at Skill (6-8-10) Each level of this attribute modifies a character's chance of learning a specific skill by +1. For character generation only, it reduces the base difficulty of the specific skill by half and the difficulty of the skill by 1.

Fatigue Resistant (12) The Fatigue Resistant character may spend up to 4 Exhaustion per round. The character need not roll off vs Recovering until -10 in Exhaustion.

Fearless (7) The character has no phobias, not even the normal minor Mortal Fear all characters otherwise have.

Gifted at Skill (1-2-3) Adds +1 per level to pertinent Skill ratings. May only be used for skills which have a rating, may not be taken for Weapons skills.

Gifted at Everything (25) Adds +3 to all Skill ratings. Characters with this attribute may have no other "Gifted"s.

Good Balance (3-6-9) The character may add +2 to all acrobat roll-offs and +1 to all Combat Maneuvers roll-offs per level of this attribute.

Good Death Curser (5-10-20) At first level, you may roll for a Death Curse and also roll for Divine Intervention, with a +5 to your Death Curse chance. At second level, you receive a +10 to your Death Curse chance. At Extremely Good Death Curser, you automatically get off a Death Curse instead of D.I., or you may roll for both with a +15 to your Death Curse chance.

Good Direction Sense (1-2-3) This attribute allows a person to make a roll-off (reasoning vs. 10, 5, or 0) to prevent him/her from getting lost.

Good Eyesight (3-6-10) Good Eyesight adds +1 per level to all visual roll-offs.

Good Hearing (3-6-10) Good Hearing adds +1 per level to all hearing roll-offs.

Good Jumper (2-4-8) Each level of Good Jumper adds +1 to total distance for standing jumps and +2 to total distance for running jumps.

Good Leader (2-4-8)The person may add +1 per level of this attribute to all Leadership 2d6 reaction rolls.

Good Liar (2-4-6) The person has the ability to fabricate the truth while maintaining a straight face. +1 per level of the attribute.

Good Memory (4-8-12) At the first level of this attribute, the person gets a +4 to the intelligence vs. ? memory roll-off when a player forgets something. At the second level, the person gets a +8. At the third level, the person has a photographic memory and automatically makes the roll-off. At this level, entire written pages may be memorized. +1 per level of this attribute to chance of Learning any skill based on Reasoning.

Good Night Vision (3-6-10) "Good Night Vision" adds +1 per level to all attentiveness rolls at night and reduces all dark penalties by one per level. DOES NOT help in total darkness.

Good Voice (3-6-9)+1 per level to Singing roll offs. Other skills requiring speech (Storyteller, Leadership, Persuasion, Acting, etc.) receive +1 per level. Extremely Good Voice adds +1 to Sex Appeal ratings.

Good Tutor (4-8-12) A character with this attribute has some sort of tutor or instructor while maturing who gave him/her intensive training in some skill or skill area. If taken at the first level, this attribute gives a character level 2, of any group of logically related Skills where total difficulties are less than or equal to 5, for free. At "Very Good Tutor", it gives the character level 2 of any Skills group with difficulties totalling 10 or less for free. At the level of "Extremely Good Tutor", it gives a character a group with difficulties totalling 15 or less at level 2 for free.

Good Time Sense (1-2-3) Gives a person +1 per level to a RSG roll off to know what time it is or how much time has passed.

Hardy (3-8-15) This attribute adds +1 per level to a character's damage resistance.

Heat Resistant (2-4-8) The person is used to warm weather. +1 per level of this attribute to resist sunstroke and the like. At Extremely Heat Resistant, the character may wear armour at above 86 degrees and take only 1/4 normal effects.

High Alt. Resistant (2-4-8) The person is used to higher altitudes and thinner air. -2 per level of the attribute to all exhaustion penalties incurred by thinner atmosphere.

Holds Drink Well (2-4-8) +1 per level to Fortitude for Drunkenness roll offs, also acts as Pain Resistant when checking for collapse due to Drunkenness.

Industrious (4-8-12) +1 per level to your chance to get 2 skill points per skill roll.

Left handed (6) You are. +1 to attack and defense, +2 to Combat Maneuvers against right handed warriors. Against another lefty, you are both -2 to your Defense. Unless you take this or ambidextrous, you are right-handed.

Light Sleeper (2-4-8) This attribute adds +1 per level to the person's attentiveness roll-off to wake up and +1 per level to the chance that person is not asleep at the time (normally a 1 on a d10).

Likeable (2-4-6)
+1 per level to 2d6 Reaction rolls for Persuasion and general character reactions. Likeable does not modify Leadership, Courtly Graces, or Sex Appeal.

Linguist (8) As per "Fast Learner" but applied to all spoken and written languages.

Long Stride (2-4-8) +1 to a person's tactical movement per level of this attribute.

Lucky (4, 8, 12) Players whose characters possess this Attribute at first level may make any Luck roll required by the DM twice, and choose which result will apply to their character. For each succeeding level of Lucky, a character may choose another specific type of dice roll -- a d20 roll off for a specific skill, d30 attack rolls in Combat, saving rolls from Fumbles, etc -- to be rolled twice each time it is made, under the specified conditions. Thus, a character with Extremely Lucky, such as any Jeopard, may make all required Luck rolls twice, choosing whichever result is preferred, and in addition, may have up to two different specific types of dice rolls that they may roll twice for. This attribute does not count for Group Luck Rolls unless everyone has it.

Magickal Aptitude(10) The basic attribute required to be a Mage. A rare attribute seen in perhaps one in a thousand, Magickal Aptitude allows a character to learn to manipulate reality on a basic, quantum level through the force of their will. Without it, Magic cannot be learned.

Massive (4-8-12) Adds 10% per level to a character's normally figured body mass.

Needs Little Sleep (5-12) This attribute allows the person to consistently require only 6 hours of sleep per night. If a person has "Needs Very Little Sleep", then he or she only needs 4 hours of sleep a night, even after a long, hard day. Notice that there are only two levels of this attribute. The hours thus gained may be use for Learned Abilities Enhancement Purposes.

Non-Human (all) The character is considered to have made his % roll for non-human origin. Taking this requires that the character expend every single positive attribute point they rolled, and allows them to roll as if they had rolled a natural 98-99 (the more mundane non-human chart).

Pain Resistant (4-8-15) At first level, this attribute adds +1 to a character's pain level. At "Very Pain Resistant" it allows a character to subtract 1 from any pain minuses due to injury or other trauma. At "Extremely Pain Resistant", it adds another +1 to the Pain level and allows a character to roll a d8 to check for collapse due to pain instead of a d6.

Quick Healer (3-6-10) At each level, Quick Healer allows a person to take 10% off total necessary Healing Times.

Quick Thinker (3-6-9) Adds +1 to Initiative (the secondary stat) at each level. Will also give 2, 5, or 10 minutes (real time) for player to think through PCs options in a crisis, split-second decision situation. In a combat situation, characters receive an additional 30 seconds to decide their options per level.

Random Attribute (2) Allows the character to take a positive attribute at random. Random attributes may be raised levels by rolling 4-6 on a d6, the attempt costs 1 point. If a character has a racial attribute that conflicts with a random attribute, the random cancels the racial (i.e., if a Sothark character rolls Ugly randomly, the Sothark loses his level of Attractiveness). If a random attribute conflicts with an attribute bought with attribute points, even another random, the random attribute is re-rolled. If an attribute is rolled that the character already has, the attribute is raised to a higher level, even if it is a racial attribute. This attribute costs only 1 point if immediately followed with a Random Negative Attribute worth only 5 points.

Reroll (4) Allows you to reroll any statistic, including Attributes, Age, and Birthday, in the character generation system, at 4 points per re-roll.

See Astral (10) Allows characters to see disembodied spirits and the essential aura of others. Those who can do this may learn to read other’s emotions at Difficulty 3.

Shock Resistant (2-4-8)
Each level of this attribute adds 10 to the results of all rolls against going into shock following injury.

Skill Points (special) For every attribute spent, a person may add 3 skill points to his/her initial skill points.

Torture Resistant (2-4-6) +4 per level to WP for purposes of resisting Questioning attempts.

Unusual Background (4) Like "Exotic Background" but not quite so dramatic. Many skill packages (Mercenary Background, etc) require this attribute. It can also be taken if one wants to learn one Exotic Skill.

Well Organized (4-8-12) At each level of this attribute, a character may perform one Day to Day Living activity without sacrificing any actual time--they are absorbed into his normal routine.

Windfall (7) The character has, at some point, legally acquired a sum of money equal to % x 100 local dollar equivalents. This attribute may be taken up to three times per character.


Ages Poorly (5-10-15) Physical age is 10%/level higher than chronological age.

Addiction (8-15-28) If a person has this attribute, then he/she is has a physical dependency on some substance which must be satisfied with one dose per level per day. The most common addictive substances known are alcohol and dream sugar, each of which cost $10 per dose. Either of these will also cause a -1 per dose taken per day to normal functioning. If doses are not taken, Addicted character will begin to suffer withdrawal at -2 accumulating per dose missed. When a withdrawal minus occurs, Addicted characters must make an immediately roll off of ½ WP vs 8 + the withdrawal minus number not to immediately go out and take a dose (if possible). Minuses taken from withdrawal will incapacitate when Pain level is reached, at which point, character must begin making FRT roll offs vs. The number of minuses they are under. They must make these FRT rolls off every time they take a new Withdrawal minus until 1.5 x their Pain level in minuses is reached. For any of these rolls failed, the character takes a permanent -1 to their Constitution, Strength, and Dexterity. Once 1.5x their Pain level in minuses is reached, withdrawal is complete. The character will begin to recover at a rate of their FRT in minuses per day. Once they are no longer incapacitated, they must begin making ½ WP roll offs not to become re-addicted at the DM’s discretion.

Altruistic (2-4-8) Whenever someone in need of help is encountered, character must roll off 1/2 WP vs. 5, 10 or 15. If failed, Altruistic characters will unhesitatingly do whatever is necessary to aid the person, regardless of the attendant risk and/or outright stupidity of their actions. Altruistic is considered to include the attribute Nice. Altruists are considered to be friends to all for purposes of Persuasion roll offs.

Bad Liar (2-4-8) Opposite of "Good Liar".

Bad Limp (3-6-9) This attribute gives a person -1 to tactical movement and -1 to agility per level.

Bad Night Vision (3-6-10) Opposite of "Good Night Vision".

Bad Temper (3 6 9) A character with Bad Temper must roll off half their Willpower vs. 5, 10 or 15 whenever they are placed under any sort of threat or stress not to verbally or physically lash out at the source of stress, or, if unavailable, at whatever or whoever is closest. Characters who lose the roll off by 10 or more must physically attack something, although any physical attack (punch, slap, shove, kick) that actually connects will suffice.

Blind in One Eye (8) The person is blind in one eye, causing a restricted field of vision and poorer depth perception. All missile weapons used at medium range are a -4, and at long range are a -8. All attentiveness rolls that are side based are reduced by 2.

Branded (4) You have been branded on the cheek for some crime or another. People will generally distrust you and will prefer to deal with others. Being branded on the shoulder costs only 2.

Clumsy (3-6-9) +1 chance to fumble per level on all physical rolls where fumbling is possible.

.Code of Honor (5, 12, 20) This attribute means your character has at least a few principles that they will never break without a huge WP roll off and huge Morale minuses as a result. At first level, your character will have two of the below listed restrictions on their behaviour; at second, they will have four, at third, they will have eight.

* Will never take unfair advantage of a foe.
* Will never break his sworn oath, will always accept the sworn oath of others who could be honorable.
* Will always accept a dare. (Can't stand to be called a coward!)
* Will always avenge an insult, to himself or beloved object/person (choose, if both, counts as two).
* Will never ask for or accept any kind of help.
* Will always defend/protect/avenge a comrade.
* Will never steal.
* Will never cheat or lie.
* Will never give up or back out of an agreement/commitment.
* Will always act "civilized", will never break the law.
* Will always help/support others in need.
* Will never surrender or accept final defeat until dead.

In order to break any of these restrictions, roll off WP vs. 20. If successful, you may break your code in one specific instance immediately, but you will afterwards suffer a -4 to all rolls for 10x your WP in days.

1 extra point per randomly rolled point of honor.

Color Blind (3) You are totally color blind.

Curious (3 6 9)
A curious character has to find out! No matter how stupid or dangerous finding out will be, the curious character can’t stand not knowing something. He/she will peek behind doors, open packages, follow strange people to sinister destinations, taste unknown liquids, and just generally make a terrible nuisance of themselves. Anytime the player would prefer to control his character’s curiosity, the character must roll off half their WP vs. 5, 10 or 15 (depending on level taken). If failed, they must open the door, follow the sinister stranger, eavesdrop on the conspiratorial conversation, step into the dark secret passage, taste the unknown fluid, or do whatever other idiotic thing the situation demands. DM will dictate when roll offs must be made, at his discretion.

Cursed (5-10-20) Character pissed somebody off whom he/she never thought could do anything like this, and has been afflicted with some sort of random nastiness. The higher the level of this attribute, the worse the curse.

Dead (25)
You are. This causes large minuses to all roll-offs, but on the other hand, is easily roleplayed.

Dependent NPC (6-12-20)
Unlike a Comrade, this is an NPC companion who is actually a hindrance rather than a help. Such NPCs cannot be skilled at much of anything useful, and are dependent on your character for their continued survival. Your character is committed and devoted to the NPC, and will under no circumstances neglect, harm, or allow them to come to harm. If such harm should come to them, your morale will be devastated. At first level, your NPC can have 2 useful skills (non-combat) and 2 positive attributes of your choice, and may fulfill some moderately useful function (cook, sexual companionship, etc.) that has no actual system function beyond Morale. They may not clean your weapons, fight, heal, practice magic, pick pockets, or do anything else that is more useful than cooking. At second level, they may have one useful skill and positive attribute, and may still be functional. At third level, the NPC has no positive attributes, no useful skills, and does absolutely nothing to be of any use to you at all (an aged parent or a baby are good examples of this). These NPCs will generally not deliberately put you in harm's way, but may anyway, out of greediness or stupidity. All Dependent NPCs receive a d10 + (2 per level) Negative Attributes, rolled randomly.

Detailed Background (4) All detailed BGs are subject to DM approval and must be given to the DM before the character will be allowed to begin play. Detailed BGs must be a minimum of 200 words long.

Dislikeable (2-6-10)
The opposite of Likeable.

Duty (4-8-12)
A character with a Duty owes allegiance to another character, organization, or general group, and will be called upon by he/she/them periodically to perform services for them. At first level, the Character need only perform one service per season, and can "buy off" services by substituting other services or monetary offerings once per year. At second level, the Character owes two services per season, and would hesitate before trying to "buy off" his obligations; roll off 1/2 WP vs. 10 in order to do so,and you may only do so once per year. At third level, the character has a Total Duty and would never even consider trying to squirm out of any obligations. Players who try to avoid their PC’s Duties will be considered to be playing out of character and will be penalized at DM’s option. Virtually all Special Trainings (Tengish Knights, Kinship, Priesthoods, etc) convey a Total Duty to the organization and possibly others... Tengish Knights owe Total Duty not only to the Knighthood, but also to the Realm of Ona Tengu, for example.

Easily Seduced (2-4-6)
-4 per level to WP roll offs vs. Sex Appeal.

Fat (special)
For every point spend on this attribute, the person has his/her weight increased by 10%, and exhaustion, constitution, and agility reduced by one (1). Fat also decreases encumbrance capacity and increases chances of heart failure when making Age rolls.

Frail (3-8-15)
Opposite of "Hardy".

French (400)
You worship Jerry Lewis, rarely bathe, speak no intelligible language, and hate anyone who isn’t also French. The DM will blast you with lightning within moments of the beginning of play, so no more need be said.

Generous (3-8-15)
A character with this attribute must make 1/2 WP roll offs whenever he would normally spend money in order not to spend more than necessary ("Keep the change, for your trouble") or whenever an opportunity to spend money on a good cause comes along. If he fails the roll off, he will spend 1% more per 1 failed by for purchases, and will contribute up to 1/10 of his current money/worth towards good causes.

Greedy (5-9-14) You must make a ½ WP roll off vs 5, 10 or 15 per level taken to pass up any opportunity to enrich yourself. If failed, you will do whatever is necessary to get the bucks, regardless how obviously stupid, moronic, or short sighted it may be. Cash, gems, jewelry, and anything else with an obvious and immediate resale value will engage your avaricious interest. This attribute at any level gives a character, during Character Generation only, Fast Learner at Recognize Value.

Gullible (4-9-15) Roll off ½ WP vs. 5, 10 or 15, depending on level, to disbelieve anything anyone tells you. Roll off vs. 5 less to not go along with "friendly" advice or suggestions, or to refuse any offer of friendship or aid that seems honestly meant. A Gullible character is also -1 per level to any WP roll offs versus Persuasion or Sex Appeal.

Heavy Sleeper (2-4-8) Opposite of "Light Sleeper". The Heavy Sleeper will also take longer to come fully awake (+1 round per level) and has -1 per level to Sleeping Alertness rolls.

Hard Drinker (3 6 9) The Hard Drinking character is not an alcoholic, but when in town he/she will spend most of their free time drinking. Any time the character is not training or adventuring, they will be under some sort of minus due to inebriation (DM will require Drinking roll offs to determine these minuses when appropriate). Hard Drinkers will spend money on drink until they run out; if a player wants his PC to stop spending money, the PC must roll off ½ WP vs. 5, 10 or 15 to do so. If the roll is blown by 10, the PC must attempt to borrow money or cadge drinks somehow. Hard Drinkers will also be at Hangover minuses each day following a night out, said minuses equal to a d20 - (Frt + Level of Holds Drink Well), min -2.

Hard of Hearing (4-8-15) At first level, all hearing based attentiveness roll-offs are reduced by 4. At second level they are reduced by 8, and at third level the person is completely deaf.

Heat Susceptible (3-6-10) At above 86 degrees, the character suffers a -1 to all roll offs per level of this attribute. At Extremely Heat Susceptible, the character takes a d4 + 1 pain minuses per hour spent under such hot conditions. These minuses will halve after one hour and disappear after (15 - FRT) days of recovery out of the heat.

Hunted (4-9-18) If you are hunted, the character has performed some action against an individual or group (player discretion) and they're really mad at you. At first level, the person (or group) will actively seek revenge only if you happen to be handy (in the immediate area). If you take Hunted at level two, the person hunting you will actively do so as long as he or she feels you are accessible to revenge. At third level, that's it... You've angered someone bad enough for him to constantly hire assassins, post rewards, summon demons, release tailored viruses, you name it, to pursue you to the ends of the world and kill you like the cringing dog that you are. Entire family fortunes are spent to track you down at this level. For considerably less points, second and third level Hunteds may be taken in which only the character's capture, humiliation, imprisonment, or excruciating agony is desired; see DM for details.

Inattentive (3-5-9) Opposite of "Alert".

Infamous (4-9-14) Just like "Famous", but you did something really mean and/or stupid that people know you for and that you will NEVER live down.

Lazy (5-12-20) Roll off ½ WP vs. 5, 10 or 15 once per day before making any skill rolls. For every 1 roll off is failed by, lose 1 hours training. If blown by 10, for every 1 after 10 roll is blown by, lose 1 Day to Day Living Activity (you're too lazy to clean your weapons or write in your journal). For starting characters only, add 1 to all Skill difficulties the character attempts to Learn.

Lean (v) Like Fat, for each point spent on this attribute, a person subtracts 10% from their normal figured body weight. Lean people, unlike Fat people, cannot do anything to adjust their Leanness. Lean people cannot be fat, and you cannot take more than 4 levels of Lean.

Lousy Voice (4-8-12) The person not only can't carry a tune in a bucket, but also has a voice that is just unpleasant to listen to. -1 per level to all roll offs requiring speech (Leadership, Singing, Persuasion, Acting, Storyteller, Seduction, etc.)

Miserly (3-7-11) The character hates to spend money. Upon any attempt to part with money or valuables, the character must make a roll off of 1/2 Willpower vs 5, 10, or 15( depending on level taken) to do so. If failed, the character will absolutely refuse to relinquish the goodies. The character may roll again if a new, lower price is set after a successful Persuasion roll.

Modest (2-4-6) If a person is modest, he or she may not speak of their personal exploits unless a successful ½ WP roll off vs. 5, 10 or 15, depending on level, is made. This same roll off must be made for the character to speak up in their own defense if they feel that someone else is taking credit for something they have done.

Mute (12) The person is unable to speak.

Needs More Sleep (8) When out adventuring, either you don't stay up on watch, or you train for two hours less every day, or you operate under a permanent -3 because you're so damn tired all the time. In town, you always get 2 hours less training than anyone else because if you can get enough sleep, you will.

Negative Physical Characteristic (3-6) Rolled randomly for 6 points, or chosen from a list for 3, this is one of several deformities, ranging from rather minor ones - webbed fingers - to fairly serious ones - hunchback, non-functional sex organs, etc.

Nice (2-4-6) One level down from Altruistic. Nice characters will suffer great inconvenience or discomfort to help someone in need, but will not risk actual bodily harm or death. Altruistic is considered to include this. Roll off ½ WP vs. 10, 15 or 20 not to render aid in a situation as described above. This does not mean you have to give people money whenever they ask (see Generous) but you will if it is for something they need. Nice characters are considered to be friends to all for purposes of Persuasion rolls.

Outlawed (4-8-12) You have been booted out of your homelands; if the law catches you near them again, they'll hang your ass. For every level a character takes this, the more loathed, despised, and well-known they are back wherever they came from, the larger the area they've been kicked out of, and the more likely they are to be recognized if they ever go back. Taking this at maximum brings up the chance of someone actually maybe coming after you. This attribute includes "Branded" unless the points are halved.

Overconfident (5-10-15) The overconfident character feels he can handle anything that comes his way. Any time a task or challenge presents itself that they player would prefer not to undertake, the overconfident PC must roll half his WP vs. 5, 10 or 15. If failed, he will undertake the challenge with great enthusiasm. Taking Overconfident in combination with Altruistic, Nice or Truthful will double those attributes' values, but also doubles WP roll off difficulties for them. Overconfident characters will also attempt to talk their comrades into undertaking tasks and challenges on failed roll offs, and may have to be sedated, gagged or beaten unconscious before they'll desist!

Packrat (5-9-15) Character must roll off ½ WP vs. 5, 10 or 15 once a day when in town, whenever he wants to discard something, or whenever he sees someone else discard something. If failed, the character grabs the discard, or cannot discard the item, or buys a random piece of useless bricbrac. This will take up a d4/4 spaces and weigh a d4/4 pounds. If left undefined, a Scrounging or Tinker roll off vs. 24 can be made to find some odd function for it in a specific situation. If defined, you can use it if you can convince the DM you can (good luck!).

Pain Susceptible (4-9-16) At first level, this attribute subtracts 1 from your PC's pain level. At second, it adds 1 to every pain minus you take. At third, you roll a d4 instead of a d6 to check for collapse.

Phobia (4-10) If a person has a phobia, then that person will tend to act unreasonably when exposed to the object or situation that causes it. If a person is "Afraid of ...", then a person is -4 to all ratings when exposed to that situation. If a person is "Very Afraid of ...", then the person is a -8 to all ratings and must make a willpower roll-off vs. 10 or freeze. The phobia is rolled randomly. If the player picks it then the cost is (3-8).

Poor Balance (3-6-10) Opposite of "Good Balance".

Poor Eyesight (3-6-10) Opposite of "Good Eyesight".

Poor Memory (8-10-12) Adds +1 per level to chance of losing skill points during Learning rolls, i.e., someone with Very Poor Memory would have a chance to lose skill points on 18, 19 or 20. As a starting character only, player may choose to either increase all skill difficulties by 1 or to fail all skill rolls on a 1-2.

Poor Swimmer (1-2-3) Character is -1 per level to all swimming roll offs; an "extremely poor swimmer" not only can't do it, but tends to panic and/or go down like a rock upon being immersed.

Random Negative (9) As in Random Attribute, only this generates negative attributes which go up on a 3-6 on a d6, which must be rolled for each negative taken this way. If a Random Negative is rolled that duplicates or conflicts with attributes already taken, the attribute is re-rolled.

Sheltered (6-12) A sheltered character has little or no experience with the "real" world. During play, they must make roll offs as if Very Squeamish, Very Altruistic, and Very Gullible. However, each time a roll off is failed, the roll off difficulties will be reduced by one to represent the character's gradual "hardening". For the lower value, roll offs are eliminated when the difficulty reaches zero. For the higher value, roll off difficulties are only ever reduced to 1, and then these attributes become a permanent part of the character; the character will always be a little soft-hearted. The player should have a good rationale for why his character is like this.

Shock Susceptible (3-6-10) The opposite of "Shock Resistant".

Skill Points (special) For every negative attribute point spent, a person may subtract three skill points.

Slow Healer (5-10-20) Adds 10% per level of attribute taken to all Healing times.

Slow Learner (Skill) (8-10-12) The character has a -1 to Learning rolls per level at a random skill. The character fails ALL skill rolls on a 2 or less during character set up.

Slow Thinker (3-6-9) -1 to Initiative per level. At each level, the character is given only 3, 2, or 1 minute(s) to make crucial decisions. In combat, the character has only 20, 10, or 5 seconds to decide options before Pausing.

Slow Runner (2-4-8) Opposite of "Fast Runner".

Smart Ass (3-6-9) The Smart Ass character must roll off 1/2 WP vs. 5, 10 or 15 per level not to make a snide crack at times when doing so would be inadvisable.

Squeamish (4-9-15) -1 per level to Attack and Initiative, as you don't want to make a mess. Fortitude vs. 5, 10 or 15 depending on level not to be violently sick at gory sights. Extremely Squeamish characters must make this roll at the sight of anything vaguely disturbing--blood, scars, open sores, etc. If blown by 10, the character faints for d10 minutes.

Susceptible to Cold (2-4-8) Opposite of "Cold Resistant".

Susceptible to Disease (2-4-8) Opposite of "Disease Resistant".

Truthful (4-9-15) Roll ½ WP vs. 5, 10 or 15 whenever you want to lie. You must succeed by 10 to tell an utter fabrication; success by less will allow you to attempt to mislead without actually out and out lying. If the roll is failed, you must tell the complete truth, regardless of the possible consequences.

Ugly (3-6-9) Opposite of "Attractive".

Unlucky (5-10-15) At first level, the Unlucky character must make all required Luck roll offs twice and take whichever result is less favorable to the character. For each additional level, the DM will assign a specific type of roll that the Unlucky character must roll twice whenever such roll offs are required, again taking the worst result. DM is not only allowed, but required, to be truly vicious in choosing these types of dice rolls; if your character has any combat skill at all, you can bet he’ll be rolling his attack d30s twice and taking the lowest, and if a PC takes this three times, you can assume the third dice type will probably be whatever roll the PC makes to utilize his most useful skill. This attribute does not count for Group Luck Rolls unless everyone in the group has it.

Vain (3-6-9) Vain characters are -1 per level to all WP roll offs versus flattery based Persuasion. Vain characters must also take the skill Grooming at 2x the level of the attribute, and whenever they feel they are disheveled, they must make a ½ WP roll off vs. 10, 15, or 20, depending on level, not to immediately Groom themselves, regardless of how inconvenient, inappropriate, or outright stupidly dangerous it might be in the current situation. Vain characters always carry a mirror, and suffer -1 to their Morale when their mirror and grooming equipment is lost or taken away.

Worse Statistic (v.) 1 point per 1 taken off any Primary Statistic.