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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A basic snapshot of Arduin Eternal (AE)

First off, for those that don't know, I'm Monty St John and I've handled the development of the new game system known as Arduin Eternal (AE) from Emperors Choice Games.  Its been a four year undertaking that has grown and changed from some very humble beginnings to the strong system today.  

Just as a note, we didn't pull that name out of a hat.  It reflects our mentality when it comes to Arduin.   The game is as tough as its reputation.  It endures, in good times and bad and innovates, explores and tests new boundaries.  One thing you find if you are new is Arduin is never boring!  

My goal today is to talk about some of the questions bounced around the forum and even more from email.  Everyone has been asking about it so let’s talk about AE!  For those about to look at it for the first time and even for those who played the beta, you are in are for a serious treat. I packed a lot into the book (expect anything else?) for you to sink your teeth into.

I guess the best place to start is the system.   Arduin Eternal is a d100 system.  It uses a 2d10 roll (1 – 100) for its system mechanics and applies the roll evenly across the system.  Once you learn this basic mechanic, it applies just about everywhere, whether you are making a roll to hit someone, cast a spell, weave runes, save against effects or determine the outcome of a skill or a critical.

Additionally, the fighting system replicates across to the magik, psychic and skill systems.  Once you learn how to fight, you also know how to cast a spell, use a skill, invoke a prayer, and so on. Each is different in use, effect and coloring, but the same mechanically.  This probably requires some explanation (skip along if it’s clear). 

The fighting system uses the d100 mechanic to determine conflict resolution. Essentially, you roll a d100, apply modifiers and then compare it to a target difficulty (TD).  In this case, with fighting you are making an ATK (attack) roll versus an opponent’s DEF (defense).  It you meet or exceed it, you just tagged ‘em!  The other systems (magik, psychic, skill, and so on) use the same mechanic and resolution.  With magik you employ a d100 roll versus a target difficulty, such as a Cast skill check versus an opponent’s MD (magik defense) in order to affect them.  For psychics, it’s a Mind skill check versus an opponents PD (psychic defense).  I’m sure you see the parallels already so I won’t continue to belabor the fact. 

Of course, while this is interesting, I’m sure you are ready for more of the main course of this meal!  Well, let me speed along and just say that all your favorite attributes plus one or two more are still in place, though their meanings may have been shaded or reworked.  

That deserves a quick touch so I’ll use CF (Coordination Factor) as an example.  It’s a staple of Arduin games and a key attribute.  Arduin Eternal keeps this wonderful attribute but redefined how it worked slightly to make it function with AE’s changed mechanics. It runs on a 1 – 40 scale, for instance, instead of the old 1 – 30. CF Actions are distributed a little differently that the Arduin Adventure or the Compleat Arduin models, for a lot of reasons but not the least of which was the change in melee rounds to a 20-second snapshot (which puts three melee rounds in a minute for those doing the math).

Okay.  For those clamoring about races, all your old favorites are in place.  Arduin Eternal is host to a lot of races:  you’ll find Amazons, Centaurs, Dwarves, Deodanths, Elves, Goblins, Knoblins, Kobbitts, Hobbitts, Gnolls, Throon, Wolflings, Khai-Shang, Khai-Zirin, Padha-Hha, Hawkmen, Gnomes, Orcs, Urukk, and Saurig.  As a matter of fact, if you are curious what the write up for a race looks like, click here for a view of Saurig.

Having varied races is an old staple of Arduin.  Building unique ones has been as well.   Arduin Eternal perpetuates this cycle by giving you a wide range of choices to tailor your race into something distinct.  One hundredgeneral” choices are provided, similar to vein to the old special charts from the Arduin Grimoires.   Each race has its own, very special racial choices tied only to that race.  A lot more than just adding in some random powers, these racial choices speak about events in Arduin’s history, (in-)famous people who changed the fabric of her world and intriguing concepts.

One of my favorites is the Opener of Doors, which allows you to “find” a way to open any door or door-like portal that is physical, magikal, dream, imaginary, etc.  It’s a wonderful role play and gaming concept.  Another is the Mark of Nessyiu.  Of all the god born mortals, Nessyiu was beloved the most and lamented the greatest when he was slain during the overtures of the Nexus Wars in Arduin ages past.  They say the gods blessed his line, and chose among all Shinda-Khai one Centaur each generation to bear his mark.
These are just two of the many options available.  

Well, that ends up section one of the introduction to Arduin Eternal. I’ll be posting more, going through the book, and highlighting some of the great portions within.

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