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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Carry the Salt

A bit of streetwise lingo that used to mean you were going to go bagging trolls.  Nowadays it pretty much means to bag any powerful or good-sized target.  Pretty common in most places, especially as street slang.

Guard: Full Defense

Just a note on the use of Full Defense, which is found under the base uses of the Guard skill.  It allows you to expend a normal action to do nothing but defend, forfeiting your ability to make attacks.  This also includes counterattacks, ripostes and other attacks that are launched from a defensive position.

So if you have an ability to attack when you parry, counter when you dodge, parry or block and other sorts of counters, you lose them when you are in Full Defense mode.  I wasn't this explicit in the book since I thought it clear but since its come up a time or two in games let me state that point.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Vehicle Maneuvers

This particular gem was mentioned in the Pilot and Ride skill but not really expanded on outside of those brief passages.  Essentially, some vehicles have maneuvers that a skilled driver can employ.  For example, the light chariot has Charge and Charge and Turn maneuvers.  Charge is rated at Trained skill and Charge and Turn at Experienced Pilot skill. 

Charge allows the charioteer to double move that action but lowers REL by d6 points.  It also changes the damage you inflict for overruning a foe from 30 + 1/4 movement to 30 + 1/2 movement.  Each person run over, however, lowers your speed by half their BODY, just like normal.  The maneuver requires a Pilot TD 75 to succeed.

Charge and Turn allows the charioteer double move that action and also make up to a 180-degree direction change at any point.  The maneuver requires a TD 50 + angle of the change.  You can make more than one direction change but the total must not exceed 180 degrees and each requires its own skill check.

For example, a 220 ft movement with four, 45-degree changes would require four TD 95 Pilot skill checks.

Chariots are not the only vehicles, of course, with maneuvers.  Most do have at least one and many two, three or more.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dropping walls, falling rocks and other fun stuff

A tactic that often rises is the idea to create something over a target's head and let it fall on them.  It usually arises as a question with Runeweavers pretty fast and when the party's resident mage/psychic/priest gets access to magic that can  create a wall or mass of material.  Its not all that easy accurately estimating whether one object is over the other, especially if the target happens to be in motion or they are at some distance.  Effectively, the base TD is the difficulty to cast the magic/mental power/prayer, successfully.  If one is not defined, then its base TD 75.  So, here is a list of factors that influence the success of such an venture.

  • Every 10 ft distant from you, add +10 to the TD to make it harder to succeed.  If you can succeed at a PER check, using a quickened action on the same CF Action you cast the magic, with a TD 50 + total distance you can negate this penalty (see moving target)
  • For every increment of BODY larger your object is than your target, reduce the -10 from the TD to make it easier to succeed.  If you are using several smaller objects, then combine their BODY/Size to determine the different.  If targeting multiple beings, do the same for them.
  • Moving targets have a base TD 150 regardless of your magic requirement unless that requirement is a higher TD.  You can reduce this to TD 100 if you can make a PER check, using a quickened action on the same CF Action you cast the magic, against a TD 75 + their MOVE. 
  • Anything cast into the 10 ft space around the target is considered to be against their MD and subject to Eldtritch/Mental Dodge.   Their MD replaces the base if its higher, otherwise use the base 75 or 150 if they are in motion.
  • If a person's movement is enough that they could feasibly move out from under the object they can make a Dodge check against it, reducing their chance by the distance they would have to move.
  • Loose material, like sand or dirt, tends to knock down rather than damage.  This includes water, fire, and like non-solids.  For hard, dense and like materials that inflict damage, using their total BODY to determine damage, spread out across everything caught underneath.  For things that do not list damage or have a BODY score, use a rough estimate of 10 BODY per square foot for stone. 5 BODY for light stuff, and 20 BODY per square foot for heavier things like iron.  Unless you are dropping this on a completely flat surface, it will buckle and catch on things when it falls, so only 50-100% (d6+4) of the damage will actually be inflicted.  That's for square/rectangular/cloud/ objects.  Use 70-100% (d4+6) for round/cylinder objects but note they have a smaller footprint.
  • With multiple targets, figure a high-low range.  If you fail the TD for the low range, everyone is safe.  Otherwise you hit some while missing others.

Example:  Segreat the Red learns a Wall of Stone spell.  He casts it horizontally 20 ft above a stationary priest, 50 ft away, entreating a prayer.  The spell requires a TD 100 to succeed, so it becomes his base TD.  The priest is 50 ft away, adding another +50 TD, raising it to TD 150.  His wall is 20 ft by 20, so that's 4000 BODY equivalent of stone falling.  Segreat succeeds and the poor priest dies, reduced to a bloody splat.

Same situation but the priest attempts to dodge.  His movement is 27, enough to get out from under it but he would need to move 8 ft.  His dodge bonus is 39, reduced by those 8 feet, means he needs to roll a 69 or higher to succeed.

Runeweaver calls forth a mass of fire and glass and drops it on the heads of two targets 45 feet away.  The fire is called forth 15 ft above them, is and is a 42 foot cloud.  The fire has no real mass so its damage is dealt in the heat/fire while the glass is light (5 BODY x 42 = 110 BODY).  Still the heat is great enough that the GM rules its sticky (stays on doing damage).  The first target is fast, with a 55 movement, and he's running.  The other is slower, 18 movement and also running.  Running makes the base TD 150 though our runeweaver is smart enough to use a quickened action to decrease this as outlined above.  This makes it TD 75 + 55 + 45 or 165 for the faster target, and TD 75 + 45 + 18 or 138 for the slower one.  So the range is TD 138 - 165.  If he makes the 138, the slower target is situated so he can't feasibly get out of the cloud, so he gets no dodge.  The faster one could if the runeweaver makes the roll but he'd need to move 22 feet, lowering his dodge chances equivalently.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Entreat Boon, Faith and Pneuma


I want to take a minute and address Faith and how its used with the Entreat Boon base use of skill under Pneuma. If you view prayers and rituals as formalized ways to essentially empower the word of your divinity, then Entreat Boon is doing the same thing just in a raw, wild way. Entreat Boon requires nothing formal other than entreating your deity for intercession, to act in some manner contingent on your desire or need. Its also never without strings. Using it means owing your deity in some manner – expect for them to demand recompense in way commensurate with their personality and needs.

The example in the book under the Pneuma skill talks about Khronen calling on his deity to raise his fallen companions. Khronen's need or the intercession he desired was for the resurrection of his companions. The GM ruled the act took all but 1 Faith from Khronen and only raised one of them. This constitutes but one example. It goes further on to say you can use Faith to smite another being or beings, such as undead, opposed followers or the peace and benign old lady crossing the street. Depends on your god there, I supposed, on what's right and what's not. Additionally, you could use it to surmount an obstacle, succeed at a goal or just take you from the jaws of death before they close around you. Another use might be to lay a geas on someone, call on the heavenly host for your deity or even upon your deity!

Entreat Boon was meant to be open ended. I realize that may discomfort some GMs. Those not uncomfortable may need a little guidance. Anything open ended is tough to gauge equitably each time its used. I've constructed a chart to help guide your adjudication of Entreat Boon. Perhaps the key point to prevent its abuse is heeding the requirement that no boon is granted without strings. And not only on the person who calls for the boon but very likely for those who benefit from it.

Key points to keep in mind when judging whether an Entreat Boon will be answered:

  1. Fits with the personality of the deity?
  2. Aligned with the entreating person's religious tenets?
  3. Relevant and fitting to the situation?

The most important question is whether it fits with your god's personality. Would they fulfill it? If a boon to raise someone from the dead was asked for by a Megalon follower, and that person died valiantly, in battle, for a great cause, would it be fulfilled? Probably, no, more like definitely not! Megalon endorses such an end. The need would indeed have to be great and then would be followed by one or geas, questions and other requirements.

Does the boon align with the tenets of the religion? This one is pretty easy to determine. You can entreat a boon contrary or infringing on a tenet but definitely expect a Transgression of Dogma roll at a minimum.

Entreating a boon should be relevant and fitting. You are calling directly on your deity or one of its avatars to meet some need. You are also doing it directly, informally, effectively calling the boss on his personal phone while he's potentially in the middle of a meeting. Not all bosses (or gods in this case) take that well. Some won't even respond unless the situation is correct. For example, the way I run Megalon is he will typically not grant an entreated boon unless its right before, during, or after a battle, conflict or melee. He's not listening and it takes double, yes, double the Faith to get him to do so. The other deities are just as quixotic at times and have similar conditions. I find this adds to the game and cuts down on abuse even further. Still, that's how I play it. I'd encourage you to do the same, if you like the elements it adds to role playing. If you don't, then don't. It does add a little bookkeeping that you may not want to track. Another part of fitting is the god's capability to answer the boon. Asking Borsala, the King of the Sea, to create a lightning storm is going to be difficult. Not that he can't create one, because as a deity he can, but nowhere as well as the Boreas or any of the multitude of deities for whom storms, wind and such is a part of their religious portfolio. It will cost more Faith to fulfill such an effect.

The rule of thumb here is, no matter what boon is entreated, it must meet at least two of the three requirements of it will fail. If it does then the following rules come into effect to determine the cost of the Entreat Boon.

  1. Prayer or ritual within the divine domain costs 1 Faith per OP; those outside cost 2 Faith per OP. This is in addition to any Faith required normally by the prayer or ritual.
  2. To counter or oppose a spell, ritual, mental power or like force that uses OP, use a 1 Faith per OP cost.
  3. Secret has a cumulative Faith cost per skill tier required. Proficient secrets cost 1 Faith, Trained secrets cost 3 Faith (1 + 2), Experienced cost 6 Faith and so forth, up to 28 Faith at Legendary. Secrets not normally used by one of the religion cost double.
  4. Costs 1 Faith per 25 TD to succeed or fail at a particular conflict, question, action. To overcome a TD 75, would require 3 Faith. To overcome a TD 200 would cost 8 Faith. The same applies if you are using a boon to meet a requirement, such as having such and such amount of Channel skill ranks to channel a spirit or to qualify is some manner. The TD becomes the requirement value you need and the Faith requirement from that.
  5. Oppositions of Faith require an equal amount of Faith to counter. So, if your foe uses 8 Faith for an effect, it costs you the same amount if you try to counter it.
  6. For actions or situations not so easily covered, where you are opposing, contrasting, measuring, damaging and such situations, use the person's Faith Pool as the value and require a Pneuma check. For example, a Shagrath Saint wishing to dismiss some summon minions of the Silver Lady, would use their APT as his opposing value (they are not a spell effect but were truly brought here), dividing their APT by his Faith Pool to determine the Faith required to dismiss them and make a Pneuma check versus their MD. The same Shagrath Saint wishing to slay his opponent, would use their HP divided by his Faith Pool but would need to make a Pneuma check versus their MD to succeed.

Duration of boons vary. However, if the duration is not defined, use 1 minute per F/FP where appropriate. The GM may vary this amount as necessary.

All boons have a cost. Potentially even boons that are not fulfilled. As a rule of thumb, if you entreat a boon, you will have an associated request back from your god. The most common outcome of a boon is a geas. Geas are a requirement to act or not act, and is usually identified with a particular tenet of the god's religion. Geas usually are some form of action, inaction, service, travel, or restriction. They have a defined start and end time and are generally pretty broad and flexible. For example, an action geas might be to salute all male priests when met for the next three months or to not turn down any request for aid, no matter how nefarious or impossible. Inaction is the opposite: to take no action of some sort, such as to not lift your hand in violence or to not eat cheese. Service is easy and typical: go feed the poor for 21 nights, extinguish all flames in the town every night. A travel geas might be to seek out the high priest of a far away temple before the year ends or to take a pilgrimage. Restrictions are exactly that. They are more stringent than inaction and always mean a form of loss. Geas typically lead to a Crisis of Faith at some point and especially if failed.

Quests are more restrictive than Geas. They have a penalty for failure, usually a stiff one. Crisis of Faith while performing the quest are frequent and regular.

Vows are exactly as they sound and well covered in the book. Any vows required for a boon are as permanent as any other you take up. They are equal to your tenets/dogma and can only be lifted by your deity.

Priests and Witch Hunters can make 1 Faith boons without suffering any requirements back. Paladins can make 2-Faith boons without requirements and Saints 4-Faith boons. Subtract these values from any greater Faith amounts to determine requirements otherwise. Any one else with Faith that can Entreat Boon always suffers some requirement back. Use the following method to determine the requirements:

  • Divide the amount of Faith expended by 6. This number equals the amount of Major quests or Vows, or a combination of the two, that must be undertaken.
  • If not divisable by 6, then divide by 5. This number equals the amount of Medium quests that must be undertaken.
  • If not divisable by 5, then divide by 4. This number equals the amount of Minor quests that must be undertaken.
  • Any remaining Faith points are taken one for one as Geas.

Example: Khronin, a Paladin of Heldore expends 12 Faith to resurrect a companion. Using the above rules, he subtracts 2 from 12, since Paladins make up to 2-Faith boons without requirements. With a 10 Faith expenditure, he uses the first rule, dividing by 6. That comes up with 1, so he must undertake one Major Quest or take on a Vow. The second rule doesn't apply since it comes up negative. The third rule, however, does so Khronin also has a Minor quest to complete as well.

Aglend, a Saint, performs the same act. In her case, she has a 12 – 4 or 8 Faith expenditure. She still gets a Major Quest or new Vow but only has two Geas to worry about instead of a minor quest.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Arduin Gods and their aspects/preferences


Just because a deity has a preference doesn't mean they can't do something outside of that realm. Take a look at Boreas, god of the wild northern winds. Boreas is pretty much well known for his power of the cold and wild northern winds, and to a lesser extent, all winds. However, his power extends well beyond wind. People come to Boreas for a lot more than weather predictions and relief from the tempestuous winds. They come for advice, revenge, and solace; they seek Boreas when in despair, anger and joy. For those who follow Boreas, they come to the deity for everything. So Boreas knows about meditation, magic, growing things, undead things, portals to other worlds, information, criminal dealings and so on. So, a follower of Boreas, needing guidance on arcane matters would still call on Boreas to answer it. Boreas, in turn, may ignore or answer the question or refer them to another, depending on the whim of the god. Boreas may not be the best (among the gods, at least) in the particular area, but he will know/be able to do it. Even in the polytheistic mess that is divine spectrum of Arduin, this case stands firm. Let me provide another example. Amarydion, the earth goddess, doesn't provide prayers to her followers. She universally requires them to employ rituals and rites. She does, however, have a vast knowledge of prayers, and could easily answer questions about them. Just as should could about the moons, demons, or anything else for that matter. Just as Boreas could. Her focus, however, is NOT those things but instead the green, growing things and the land that brings forth the life which everything else depends on.

My point in providing these examples is to expand your mind and concept of the deities. They are not simplistic beings, especially in gaming. Arduin embraces a most complex view of deities and their use in game play. Boreas and Amarydion, my two examples, both have their focuses, strengths and weaknesses. They have goals, needs, and wants, and opposing factors that force them to make choices, just like a character does. So, Amarydion might allow the land to be despoiled, for example, to spur forward an act of greater import to her somewhere or somewhen else. Amarydion may allow the Faerie to take back land, taking dominion over it even though she's opposed to them on a general level. It depends on the goddess's goals, needs, and opposition. Boreas might help Lyrra against her son Megalon, even though he's not aligned with either – especially if it aligned with his goals or needs at the moment. That's why its important to not define them in simplistic terms. Saying Amarydion would never countenance despoiling of the lands is false: she would let it happen to make a greater goal occur, howsoever defined. In fact, in CY 303, she pretty much did exactly that, when she let a large part of the Oakendark Forest burn though the actions of her followers. It ravaged the northwest corner of the forest, nearly destroying it. At the same time it destroyed a contingent of Undgulon Faerie from the Shadow Court, drove out a nest of Trivern, spread ash to feed the soil for a massive area around it, brought back one of her artifacts that had been lost since the Nexus Wars began, and inspired the people of northern Falohyr even deeper into her faith of her.

Monday, March 26, 2012

What are we working on?

A map for the country of Chorynth - A renaissance styled swashbuckling culture that is ruled by fourteen self-named sea princes, one for each coastal city. 

A sampling of a test of where we are going with it...







Also when this is completed this same style is expected to be used on the main continental map shortly afterwards.

Monty is also finishing up several modules that we hope to release later this year.

In addition soon to be released are the following miniatures:

Hammerhead shark with two riders
Hammerhead shark no riders
new 2012 shark with two riders
new 2012 shark no riders
Bloodbeast
Gworm
Barbarian figure
more skeletons
Giant Vampire bats with skeletal riders
Sluggoths x2
 



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Meet you at Red and Green

Another bit of streetwise lingo for you to enjoy.  This one is widely used in Arduin, Falohyr and Viruelandia but is less common elsewhere.  In Ghorfar and Chund they say "betwixt walls and blue" to mean the same thing.  Anyway, its used for challenges and duels.  The areas of fighting are usually set up somewhere in the community or outside the walls, usually on a green sward or open area.  The red in the saying is obviously a reference to the blood about to be shed, so the old "red and green" means the grassy area where you go to duel, and likely bleed.  Ghorfarian dueling areas are traditionally set up between the outer and inner walls and under and open sky, hence the references.
Tolparg - adult Throon - Released today!

link:


Here is a picture of the sculpt, painted picture coming soon.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bring the Glitter

A bit of streetwise lingo for saying bring along some cash.  Its common in most places where Arduinian is spoke.  "You bring the glitter?"or "depends on how much glitter you've got on yah" or "you're going to have to spend some glitter and see", and like uses are seen widespread.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Skill Trainers

Acquiring Skill Trainers

Eventually players will desire to improve skill through a trainer or desire to improve on their own time during the game.

Skills and Training
Skill rises on a bell curve. As you rise in skill its gets harder and harder to advance. A proficient level person will see huge rises in skill compared to an expert level person doing the same task. They are already a master at the task. At some point in progression, a player will resort to using the EPS they gain to see improvement skill wise, especially at the Genius to Legendary level. This represents the fact that a master of something has to truly dedicate their time, effort, resources and experience to advance.

Finding a trainer is always the first difficult step. See the Skill Trainer Availability table below. Also, a trainer can teach you only what they know and not beyond it. Trainers also vary in style when they teach. Those who are available might have social, economic, national or other burdens for the player to cope with to train with them.

Skill Trainer Availability Table
Trainer’s Skill Level
% Availability
Proficient
100%
Trained
70%
Experienced
40%
Specialist
10%
Expert
1%
Genius
––
Legendary
––

Skill Style
Every trainer has a specific style of training.

Using a trainer and expending resources, time and money can do one of the following depending on the trainer. They represent training styles. All trainers are capped at their skill level regardless of style. Only an unusual trainer has more than 1 training style.

  • Give you a bonus amount of skill points after a set period of time, usually a month to several months. The spread of points depends on the skill of the trainer as does the cap on advancement using this form of training. Usual caps are equal to half the trainer’s skill. An example would be training at an academy, a gladiatorial school or military indoctrination in a specialty. This form of training is best used when you have low to medium proficiency and want to advance.
  • Give you a skill advancement bonus to your next set # of skill advancement rolls. The bonus and the amount of times you can apply the bonus depend on the trainer and their skill. You find the opportunities for advancement using this training style. An example is a highly skilled trainer that gives you an immersion course or boot camp in a subject and then returns you to your normal life.
  • Provide you a with a skill advancement opportunity on a reoccurring time frame. Requires you to dedicate every waking hour to the trainer and do nothing but work on this solitary skill. In return, you make periodic skill advancement checks, potentially with a bonus from the trainer on an interval. This style is similar to the first and second styles but more immersive and focused in application to the subject. A good example is a short, very intensive indoctrination of a subject that includes all aspects, big and small, while forcing you to live, breath and defecate it while you are being indoctrinated.

Training on the Go
Training someone who already has some knowledge (at least 1 skill rank) and uses the skill in real world situations is using a form of Skills Trainer. Here you are guiding their development by adding a temporary skill advancement bonus for when they do get a skill advancement opportunity.

This approach requires the person to use the skill like normal. However, when checking for skill advancement the GM allots a special +10 skill advancement bonus. This amount can be higher (up to the GM) but should reflect something special or out-of-the-ordinary for such a case.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dual Wielding changes

Normal Use


At times, a character will use two or more weapons simultaneously.  In such situations, you gain the bonuses and penalties for both weapons.  This includes CF penalties and both CF penalties are added together to determine the new CF when using both weapons.  In addition, you have a penalty, equal to a 75 – COORD to your ATK and ALL Maneuver skills.   The penalty also includes skill checks that use the weapons, including Parry and Block actions. If unskilled in one of the weapons, double the CF and Fumble penalties.  If unskilled in both, triple them. In summation:
  1. Add bonuses and penalties of the two weapons
  2. Add CF penalties to determine new CF (both weapons strike on the same CF Count)
  3. 75 – COORD to your ATK, ALL Maneuver skills, and skill checks using weapons
  4. Double or triple the CF and Fumble penalties if unskilled in one or both weapons

So, what does having this extra weapon give you in return for all the penalties?  The added weapon provides an extra quickened action that can be used to do one of two things:  Allow you to Block or Parry with your weapons, using the combinations listed above OR to employ both weapons in an attack, adding your extra quickened action to your normal action.  This special attack, allows you to employ the weapons to hit a single foe, doing damage for both weapons or strike at two adjacent foes.  Additionally, damage, no matter how employed against foes, is only applied to one weapon.  Hitting a foe with two weapons, even if in the same CF Count, still counts as two hits, so they gain DR against both hits.  So, to list it out, you can use the extra quickened action to do the following:
  1. Block or Parry
  2. Add to a Normal action to strike one foe, inflicting both weapons damage to one foe
  3. As above but as separate attack rolls against two adjacent foes

Just a couple of notes to tie up this section.  Both weapons can be employed with a Flurry (Combat) and Whirlwind Assault (Combat) and still be considered only one attack.  The same applies to Speed Strike (Weapon), though the attack must be against the same foe.  The use of two weapons also applies for Whirling Strikes (Combat), and as long as one of the two hit (if separate attacks are made), then the bonus is gained.

Harmonious Blades [Weapon] *new!

Prerequisite:  Trained
Harmonious blades requires you to be dual wielding weapons.  When making the special normal + quickened action attack to hit multiple opponents, you can strike opponents anywhere around you, not just adjacent ones.  Additionally, you can employ the quickened action gained from the extra blade in the following ways as well:
  • When using All Out Assault (Combat skill), you add a +25 to the bonus gained
  • It can be used for the quickened action required by the Baffling Moves (Combat) secret

Joined Blades [Weapon]

Prerequisite: Experienced, Elastic Mind [Combat]
Joined Blades requires you to be dual wielding weapons.   You can employ the quickened action gained the extra blade to Block or Parry as normal OR to make an attack roll, without combining it with a normal action.  Essentially you disconnect the requirement to combine the offhand attack with your normal attack.  You can also split your BODY damage between the two weapons, if desired, instead of apply it to one or the other blade.  You make this determination prior to your attack and it must be split evenly if you do.

Balance of Steel [Weapon]

Prerequisite: Specialist, Joined Blades, Synergy [Athletics], Harmonious Blades
Balance of Steel requires you to be dual wielding weapons.  Normally, having the second weapon provides an extra quickened action.  Balance of Steel provides changes this to a normal action for the purposes of secrets, maneuvers and attacks with the weapon only.  Secrets or actions that take all your actions, such as Flurry, benefit as well.

Spread Attack [Weapon]

Prerequisite: Expert, Weapon Cunning, Pinpoint Attacks [Combat], Dancing Weapon
If you are capable of multiple attacks, you can spread your attacks freely across any number of foes you can reach.  This includes the barrage of attacks gained from Flurry, Whirlwind assault and other maneuvers that provide additional attacks as well.  If you have the Balance of Steel secret and are dual wielding weapons, you gain an additional quickened action that can be used to Block/Parry or attack.  However, if you use it, both quickened actions gained from the extra weapon can only be employed as quickened actions.  

NOTES

Spin Attack may be performed with each weapon if you have secret in both weapons.  You choose to either employ them as a single unit, striking with both against everyone around you, or to Spin Attack attacking with them separately.  Either way, it takes a normal action and the normal action equivalent explained under Balance of Steel to employ both weapons.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dodge, Parry, Block and using them for other people

While my title is not as awesome as I would like, its a fairly simple and important topic.

Let's start with Parry.  Normally you parry attacks against you and it takes a quickened action.  Enterprising players will at some point want to parry for someone else.  Here is how it works:

  1. The person you are defending must be within your engagement range (ER)
  2. You Parry like normal, except that you do so at a -25 penalty
  Block follows the same sequence as above.  However, if you are using a shield, its ER is equal to your native ER.  If you want to extend this, you can do so, but it requires you to know the Lunge (combat) secret.

Dodge follows this format.

  1. The person you are defending must be within your native (ER)
  2. You Dodge like normal except its against a TD 125 instead of TD 100
  3. If you fail the dodge, you are considered to be grappling, with a chance the attack hits you instead of them
These rules only apply for normal Dodge.  Eldtritch Dodge and Mental Dodge cannot be employed for another mind/sentience.

If you have the ability to parry magik, you can, however, use the rules above to parry magik for someone else as long as it meets the rules outlined by your ability to parry magik as well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A note on CF

I wanted to post about CF for a moment.  I've had some recent questions about it and its easier to address them here for everyone then to send out a half dozen emails on the topic.

Arduin Eternal uses CF for two primary reasons:

1.  Historical precedence
2.  Convenience

CF is one of the few areas where I bent due to outcry from the alpha testers.  The original game used an ACT system, where ACT was Action-Coordination-Timing.  Everyone had a certain ACT score and it was modified by your gear, weapons and then the situation/actions that occurred once a melee started.

It worked (IMO, really well, maybe too much so) but it was very mechanic heavy.  Book keeping for ACT was dreadful though its accuracy was without contest.

CF was picked up for the two reasons above.  It needed some expansion to fit into AE, which was done, e.g., expanding the counts to 40 and putting them on a every 7 count rotation.  Melee rounds were moved to 20 second durations instead of one minute time lengths. It was convenient and added familiarity back into the game.  Which was needed, probably even necessary at that point in time for AE.

So, before I digress to much farther, let me fire off the answers to the questions I've been getting.

CF is more than speed.  Often initiative is determined by a speed ranking but the ranking is too generalized to be accurate since it often dropped off aspects that were important.  All too often speed increases were given as physical bonuses and did not handle the mental and complimentary physical aspects.  My example has always been driving.  People love to drive, generally, and toodle along, doing 70, 80, 90 and even 100 on occasion in their various cars.  Most have zero issue doing it, especially on a highway.  Add 50 more to that equation or double it even, and the change becomes incomprehensible.    Moving at those speeds is something that takes a particular bent, one part mind, emotion, physical ability, and training.  Someone may have a knack for it, but its always honed before it hits its sharpest edge.  Its why those indy drivers practice.

So CF encompasses all these things.  The range of 40 and the every 7 sequencing is part of that.  Even when those caps are broken, which often occurs at the Epic and Mythic levels of play, and with some creatures naturally.  Elementals, for instance.  Some go on 40 and don't use an every 7 sequence for actions but an every 5 counts for actions.  This means they go 8 times a melee round instead of 6 times.  They are built, in all ways, for it.

CF is handy.  When running a large number in a melee or in an action dependent on CF, its very convenient to write out the CF and know exactly when everyone is going next without.

Anyway, a couple of points.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hufjuen, a tongue to curse with

Hufjuen (Hoof - June).  The tongue of soldiers everywhere.  At least, for cursing that is.

Viruelandia has a massive military force and it has exported its professional soldiers since its once tiny inception in a village cringing in the purple shadows of Heaven Black Mountains.  With them came their eloquent and lengthy ability to curse, vituperate and revile; and nothing, let me tell you, nothing works better than Hufjuen for cursing.  The rolling but guttural language is almost the perfect vehicle and when showered with the hand and body movements that are a part of it as its glottal stops its a bit of theater you just want to see.

Of course, some say Orcish is a front runner for good cursing but its slurry shifts and watery vowels just don't bring home the kill kitten when compared to Hufjuen.  Now, Ogrish, sure it has it beat for sheer vowel, but who wouldn't if you had the lungs of an Ogre?  Hufjuen runs roughshod over it in just about every other department.  Its both shameful and hilarious to watch the neophytes when they try to bandy words with a soldier rolling out the Hufjuen.  Cursing, let me tell you, is a soldier's past time.  Doing it well is worth the respect of your mates.  And your enemies.

Now - writing?  Well, Hufjuen sounds a like a dream (for cursing!) but writes like a Throon.  Arduinian is the scribbler's delight in that regard.  Its a mishmash of everything thrown in with a nice flowing script.  Doesn't roll out the drum of curses like Hufjuen but is quite respectable when you're writing!

Hufjuen, wasn't always a soldier's tongue.  Once Hufjuen was regarded as the sole language of the Emperor-Kings of Viruelandia and their families.  It was punishable by death to speak it aloud or write in its stilted script unless you were part of the royal family.

Of course, Ayrven changed that.  Not to mention ended the 77 years war.  Mainly by starting a new one.  With his uncle.  Who happened to be the current Emperor-King.  Ayrven threw Viruelandia into internal discord and while it never got a footnote in history, he also spread Hufjuen to the common soldier.  He insisted on it, in fact, both for spite and simplicity.  He trained his men on the tongue and they used it for nearly two years as a means of communication before necessity forced its spread beyond his men into the rest of the soldiers.  By the time he fell, the damage was done and Hufjuen was everywhere.



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Healing, Medical & Critical Hits

Just a few points of this topic, since it has come up a couple times in emails from fans of Arduin Eternal. 


First off, Medical skill, First Aid has a chart on pg 327 that shows that to stop bleeding or render care takes a TD 50.  Against Critical wounds its a TD 150 and requires a complications check.  Critical wounds equal internal or organ damage; serious stuff, let me tell you!


Medical skill aside, other healing, such as that from potions, prayers, rituals and like cannot handle critical wound damage unless specifically set for it, such as the OP 5 ritual of healing critical wounds.  Normal healing may counter the HP damage but will not lift the status or reattach a limb if severed.  It would also not stop bleeding though it may temporarily heal the HP damage.


Regeneration can counter Critical effects but it takes longer.  It treats an effect as attribute damage for healing purposes, converting things like X #HP bleeding to an equivalent amount of attribute damage for the purpose of determining how long or when its healed.  Status effects, like Unsettled or Shaken are considered equivalent 5 characteristic damage for the purpose of how fast healed.


Example:  A being that had regenerate at the rate of 3 HP/1 attribute/1 characteristic per melee round.  Would heal damage in that order, at that rate.  So, if they took 28 HP damage, 3 STR impairment, 12 BODY damage and had a Staggered Status, they would heal the HP damage, the attributes next, then the characteristic (BODY) and the status last.  It would take 10 melee rounds for the HP, 3 m/r for the STR  12 for the BODY and 5 for the Staggered status.  In total, 30 m/r or 10 minutes to heal it all.







Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking Beyond the Gold


Probably the most popular (and easiest) reward for a GM to give in the “classic” FRP adventure is a fistful of red gold. Whether the group of characters has explored down some “dungeon” or climbed the lofty heights of some forbidden tower, the ever present gold sovereign has traditionally been the reward of these excursions. Often found in chests overflowing with the mint, sprinkled with the sparse glimmer of gems and a token trinket or two, the Gold Sovereign has become a bit of a cliché. Its spends nice but lets face it folks, its boring AND irrational. Irrational, you scream!? Yes, my friends irrational it is. Read further and learn what the true treasures really are
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The prize can and must stem beyond the “gold sovereign” in order for a game or world to truly have credibility and substance. Arduinians value gold as much as the next but also cherish a wide variety of items, many of which have far greater value then the yellow metal. Such trade goods as fine wine, exotic foods, spices, metals, and skillfully made clothing command high prices in everywhere from the labyrinth bazaars of Melkalund to the small town fairs in Rookley. In the deep Dwarven holts of the Mickleback Mountains, stone is a plentiful item, so common it is taken for granted. Yet in the rolling grasslands of the Plains of Paranon, away from the towering bastions of rock, cut and dressed stone is a expensive commodity, purchased and used sparingly due to the cost. Do the men of Paranon like gold? Of course, but what do they buy with it? Dwarven stone, my friend, dwarven stone. So surely a trader of wits would realize that it is far more economical to simply bring stone from the Mickleback Mountains to Paranon rather then wasting time and expense bringing gold to Paranon and allowing some other trader to make a larger profit in trading for the stone itself.

Think that this example is a rare exception? Consider this; the silvery rock fish that is the prime ingredient of the spiced fish steaks served at the Black Pearl in Talismondé is only found in the Orchichalcum Mountains in Morvaen where the Crystal River cuts through the steep, bitten stone. Packed in salt, stained with vinegar, and wrapped in leaves, it is imported at great cost (more than 28 GS per lb!) to be cooked and served at only the best tables. Mango liquor, cinnamon, ivory and snow leopard skins out of Arvalessa are a treat in Arduin commanding prices beyond the pocket of the normal man, while fully commonplace there. Value of an item is a relative thing, balanced by supply, demand, scarceness, location and dozens of other factors. The wise business man desires to buy low and sell high. So my friend you take those 100 GS and be happy, while I, am going to buy 200 lbs of Mickleback stone at 4 copper pennies a lb and sell it to the men of Paranon for 2 GS a lb.

Now how do you as GMs use this to your advantage in fleshing out your own campaign worlds? A good start to figure out the basic supply and demand situation for your major towns and other population centers. Each area will have different needs and surpluses. Don’t just look the ecology of the area but also the political, economic and cultural requirements. A town that has a large campus of the College of the Alchemists is going to have a steady need for all sorts of rare minerals, mythical animal parts and ingredients. Whereas, a town that prides itself on its prosperity and political power comes with the ability to demonstrate taste and class will always have a huge demand for exotic foodstuffs and silk.

Having determined what an area’s supply and demand needs are, move forward and begin to create a conversion chart for yourself on what goods cost in different locations. For example, Mickleback Rock goes for about 2 CP/lb in Mickleback whereas its 2 GS on the Plains of Paranon. Guess what? In Khurahaen that pound of stone will go for about 1 SP but when its shipped across the Misty Sea – to Talismondé, it jumps in value to almost 1 GS a pound. If Bevan the trader is forced to take the rock on the much longer overland journey then the price in Talismondé will jump to 2 GS a pound and those on the Plains of Paranon are going to end up paying over 4GS a lb for the same cart load of stone.

Now how does this affect your players and their lives? Let’s say your intrepid band of PC’s have decided to take to the life of the road and become “informal wealth re-distributors”. They decide that they are going to ambush a trader plying the roads from Vorlnyaas to Khurahaen. After wiping the road with his guards, they break into the wagons and find bundles of Mickleback- forged weapons in oilskin; well padded and sealed containers of spices from afar, a couple of small chests of bang powder and watertight bundles of clothing from the Vorlnyaas weavers that he carried as a special order for lord to give his mistress. Any gold he might be carrying was likely on his person or his horse for an easy getaway or just for convenience of paying tolls. Well now, isn’t this just lovely, forget the gold!! The PC’s have trade goods and the ability to move them to where ever they wish. Off to town one of them goes. He finds out that while weapons of this type are going for 15 GS a sword in Khurahaen, they are far more rare in Easterly and go for 50GS a sword. NOW that is some treasure!!!!!!

Need more inspiration? Contemplate the following scenario. A wizard’s manse outside of town might have, say 25,000 GS in valuables total. Some of it might be in expensive metal or stone work that is part of the building, well crafted bibelots or statues, tapestries, vases, trophies, carpets or the like. Very little coin would be likely be available as well as easily gotten magik of any kind. All that would be under lock and key or well spelled against thievery.

How about a beast like a Fury—you determine it has a 1000 GS in treasure. Instead of a 1000 GS in coin tossed in some befouled lair, how about an expensive (though soiled!) silk dress, that it is wearing, as well as the jewelry from the dead maiden who used to own the entire ensemble! Even the forgotten barrows your intrepid players are delving will have more than coin; more likely dozens of varieties of expansive funeral accouterments for life in the beyond, burial spices, and other items.

Not lastly, consider the value of identifying treasure leading to more than an exchange of coin. How about the relatively low powered + 10 ATK sword having a long and glorious past, belonging to a founded and well established family who look unfavorable on someone wielding it other than one of the kin. Or another lovely treasure that has you recognized (mistakenly) as another, some hero or villain, whose deeds you adopted through association with the blade! Consider Eltenvadt of Khurahaen who discovered a beautiful though plain dagger, unexceptional except for the pommel which resembled a coiled Wobra biting a scarlet gem. He soon found the blade was once reputed to be the chosen weapon of the assassin Salient Eye. He reveled in the fear having the blade engendered until one night he was found, stabbed in the eyes and the blade missing, recovered it is said by its rightful owner...

This is just the beginning friends. Take it to the next level in your campaign world. Think not only of base gold or even of just Mickleback rock, consider EVERYTHING else. In world in Arduin, there are those that do nothing but hunt certain types of mythical creatures for the sole purpose of obtaining bodily parts from them. The College of Magic and College of Sages have these folks on retainer. Need a Gargoyle’s claw (250 GS per claw) go see them. Want to obtain a Medusa’s snake head (1,500 GS per head), they are the boys to see. These guys and gals often forget to even pick up the GS laying around the critters they kill because those coins may well weight them down while they are running away from Mama Roc as they cuddle her eggs under their arms. Remember, “all that glitters is not gold”.

Friday, March 16, 2012

More famous jewels of Arduin: Sargo'oth's Nail


Sargo'oth's Nail

A purplish Trapezohedron looted from an abandoned ship found floating in the Orchalcum Ocean without a crew. While the ship showed signs of battle and was gutted by flame in the hold, it was still seaworthy. The Chorynthian merchanteer that came across it sank the ship afterwards, following an aborted attempt to tow it back to a port and an encounter with pirates. Supposedly the gem took the name Sargo'oth from the bastardization of words written on parchament that was that was wrapped around the gem was found. the Chorynthian captain later dubbed it Sargo'oth's Nail when he used it as an impromptu dagger during the later struggle with pirates. Reputedly, it could pierce any material from fine Bossalian Steel to paper with ease and suck the magic out of anything it touched.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A traveler's tale at a campside on the road to Talismondé


Mingled in the regional histories of many eastern countries are references to the Misty Mountain Wars. This 42-year stretch of history is not only a bloody one for the Misty Isles but also a spur of change for the entire central coastal region of Khaora. It directly spawned one other country and was indirectly responsible for several more. It gave the impetus to the formation of the stone-toothed quays found in the cities and ruins of Aldoré; magikal forces released near the end of that struggle inadvertently formed the Uquiliu Venting and the a poor, foolish and misguided Amazon Priestess of Hekate let loose an evil in the world whose appetite is unquenched still. The wars were indeed a tumultuous time for the region and they ended only through the death of Duchess (and Amazon General) Quotara-la in the sacrificial trees high on Mist Finger Mountain (thus ending her claims to the Mist Wind Throne) and the fleeing of General Avelda (who founded a country of the same name) from the Misty Isles. With these two claimants slain or departed from the scene, soon-to-be Queen Lysippl consolidated the rest of the isles under her iron fist and ended the wars.

Thus, you can see this was a powerful event in Misty Isles history. While it would grow to large proportions and change the course of nation, those who started it had no idea this would occur. Like many other great events this war began as something trivial—so much so it might have swept into the ocean of the past without changing anything if it were not for the critical (though likely accidental) intervention of a few. An unlikely grouping: a Phraint, two Dwarves, an Elf, and a (very slim) Hobbitt saved a smuggler from stoning in Brēll. Their motives were not altruistic by any means, as the fool owed them money (and no small amount either).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Khaasian Heraldry


The heraldry of Khaas is nowhere near as complex or as complicated as our own form on Earth. While there are many tie-ins and complimentary terms, the heraldry presented here in the World Book is not the same. Thus, those with a thorough understanding of Earth heraldry will find that there are bastardizations, changes, and outright (as far as Earthly heraldry goes) incorrect explanations for terms or their use. That’s fine. Khaas is a different world. While time was taken to put terms in Earthly explanations for clarity, their use as seen in Khaas was maintained wherever possible.

The following guidelines will help the reader to understand most instances of natural Khaasian heraldry. Still, the influx of ideas brought about because of the nexuses provide for exceptions to every one of these rules. You will find exact Earthly heraldry mixed with Khaasian ones, right alongside of those of aliens! This can make for a hodgepodge of clashing views, but it is all part of the exotic and varied world of Khaas.
The Field
The background of a shield, or the ‘Field’, is the color behind the heraldry. Color is extremely important, since the basic spur for defining heraldry grew out of the same roots as it did on Earth: easy recognition on the battlefield. This is one of the areas where Khaasians break the Earthly tradition of using only a few colors. Khaasians employ a variety of colors. They fully take from the vast depths of hues available in the world. Still, care is taken not to employ difficult to see or similar colors. The original purpose was quick and ready identification on the battlefield, and colors that detract from this are not generally seen. Thus, dark blue on black are not good colors, but a red Thorg on golden and black field would be just fine. The beautiful tapestry of patterns seen in Earthly heraldry is not as predominate in Khaasian heraldry. Still, some do exist, and are infrequently seen. Most are seen in countries like Dallasta or Chrysolia.
Division Of The Field
Khaasians do divide the field, though only in the simplest ways. They will divide the field in half, in 3 parts, and in 4 parts, but only rarely will they divide it further. Divisions can range the entire gamut of directions, and many suggest geometric shapes with their division. Khaasians do not use diapering (adding textual interest to a large amount of field).
Beasts And Creatures
Khaasians take great joy and interest in their heraldry. They make great use of geometric patterns, but definitely use beasts, animals, and monsters the most of any single thing. Khaasians strongly believe in using such things to convey their own sense of bravery, ingenuity, or any of the other myriad traits. A shield born by a knight out of Panduria blazoned with fanciful Thorgs might indicate the swiftness of the knight or his noble line. Another dominated by a Black Lion might display courage, bravery, or power; all attributes of each of the beasts.
Attitudes
Like Earthly heraldry, the inclinations of the heraldic beasts are called attitudes. Khaasians use a plentiful amount, and the ones below are a listing of the more common ones seen across Khaora.
Closed – wings are closed and down
Combatant – two beasts facing one another across the center of the shield
Couchant – on all fours with its head erect (like a sphinx)
Couped – a side view of the head with the neck shown
Displayed – wings or limbs outstretched to either side
Dormant – sleeping; essentially couchant with the head down: if there is a tail, it will be coiled around the creature
Embowed – any animal whose body is arched as if leaping (bent like a rounded arch)
Guardant – looking towards the viewer
Naiant – swimming (undulating)
Passant – walking with far foreleg raised and far hind leg moved slightly foreword
Rampant – upright on one hind leg with forelegs outstretched as if attacking
Reguardant – looking backwards (over the shoulder)
Rising – wings are open as if the creature is taking off
Salient – leaping or jumping with forelegs off the ground
Sejant – seated with forelegs down and together; tail is raised (if it has one)
Statant – standing on all four legs with all the legs visible
Striking – in flight with head down (or up) and talons stretched to grasp
Other Items
Khaasian heraldry makes full and unrestrained use of all objects, and some of the strangest things can appear from time to time somewhere in Khaasian coat of arms. Everything from birth to death in the events of one’s life can appear in a crest or coat of arms. Sir Kevel NeMerie, born in Midwich but raised in Melkalund (Arduin), later showed this fact by putting the darkened image of a smaller town in front of a stylized image of walls and towers (Melkalund). In Khorsar, the scions of Ghure-kole display a beheaded Phraint, harking back to a time of their clashing against that race. Everything from the means of transport to buildings also finds their way into heraldry.
A Few Examples Of Heraldic Items And Their Meaning
Here are a few examples of heraldic beasts and objects, and the meanings behind them.
Thorg – The Thorg, without fail, is used to typify quickness or speed. It is one of the more favored of animals to use to indicate this ability or prowess. Thorg are also used to show strength or endurance, though this is perhaps a lesser attribute.
Crown – This is used frequently to indicate the noble house or line is part of the royal family or was once a part of a royal line. Coronets, tiaras, and other like regalia also serve this purpose.
Phoenix – The phoenix is a terrible foe, armed with flame and ferocity, a match for most creatures. Those who bear this in their arms frequently seek to convey these thoughts.
Moon – The moons hold special significance to Khaasians, and they are frequent visitors to heraldry to display allegiance or affinity to one or another of the moons, their dominion on the world, and the gods that are associated with them.
Conclusion
In short, the heraldry of Khaas is no less confusing or contradictory than Earths. It is just different in some ways, a tribute to its differing heritage.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A discussion on Starfang with the drunken sage Xunemon of Arduin


Starfang? By Megalon’s brass balls I know it! 

Many a man and Dwarf have left his life in that place, seeking the wonders of the sky piercing mountain. 

What wonders, you ask? Are you daft? 

Never heard of the Dymurian Dragon? Pamalon’s Eye? Or, the Starkiss? Wondrous stones each, all with powers and fates to make a hard man tremble. 

More? 

Where is my beer? That’s better. 

More, well I could tell you tales of many the adventurers’ bones that litter the place but how about something a little rarer? 

Got any coin? Aye, now that is a tidy sum indeed! 

Must be interested more than I thought—what’s that? Hammer’s Fist? I have heard of such place—Haephestus lovers in Viruelandia, isn’t it? 

You? 
Really? Not what I thought the founder would look like but you sure drink beer like a smith! 

What’s that? What I promised? 

Of course! I challenge you to find another person who knows what I am about to tell you—outside of Ghôrhia, perhaps. Ghôrhia? Well, he probably knows more than I but…where is he? 

 I know we are fast becoming friends but I have expenses…oh. Well, now that is…curse you! I should have asked for more had I know you were so wealthy. 

Aye, aye, I am good to my word. Few know this but a demigod was slain on the cloud littered steps of the High Gates of Starfang. His name was Kuhur-Khonkkiail. I gather you can tell from its pronunciation, it is Old Dwarven but in very archaic form. Anyway, he was a prominent godling for the Starfang Dwarves if not overly powerful. His fall and the blood spilled down those cloudy steps supposedly are the fuel for the great curse that lingers on the deep hold… Ghôrhia? I said I would, didn’t I? 

He lies in Talafar, in the small town of Tior-dortti. He has a fondness for young women, strong drink and music sung in the Chrysolian style, which he believes is better than all others. He’s independently wealthy and is unashamed about it. He’s a third cousin from the monarch and enjoys the protection that provides him, as the monarch’s own royal soldiery (the Cold Stream Royal Guard) as his bodyguards.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Blood Curse


This cursed place is as much a part of history as it is a place in the land. Aveldans revere this place with a dark intensity and speak of its only sparingly. Even then, this is spoken of only in the greatest of curses or oaths. 

It harks back to the great Amazon Warrioress Omphalea, also called the Mother of Five Battles. In 331 BCY Boruumahr, she returned home from a victorious campaign against the invading nomads in the north only to find her steading nothing but burnt wreckage and her seven daughters hanging from ropes tied to the center beam. 

Her fury was boundless—as great as her sorrow and lust for vengeance. Overpowered by a great outpouring of spirit and fire, Omphalea uttered the first horrible words to this fell curse, each falling from her lips like cursed thorns to blight the blood of the soil underneath her feet. With each daughter’s name she proclaimed for vengeance, the ground darkened, and with crawling tendrils expanded until the last cogent and horrible part of the curse was spoken. At its end, the ground was like blood and formed a cursed blight on land where no seed could take root. Omphalea too was not untouched: Her eyes were the color of the soil and her voice a whisper screamed from a deep void. 

Fearful of her but bound by love and duty, her sisters did not abandon her then or later as she swept from the ruins of her home to slay those who had taken her scion and life. Her end was as tragic as her daughters, as the calling on such powers calls upon a great price, one that devoured her mind, body, and soul before its course was ended. Thus was the first Blood Curse sworn in Avelda, soiling the ground where it was sworn, tainting it forever to a sanguine hue.