The Mechanics 1. Races and Attributes

We open the book with a discussion of the nuts and bolts of the game system, defining all of the mechanics put in place to govern the characters’ activities and the consequences of their actions so we can then discuss the ways in which they are applied during play. This is followed by a discussion of the process of roleplay (especially for all our new-comers), as well as a few of the steps involved in developing the personas or personalities of both PC and NPC in the context of the game and especially some details and background on the conditions in a medieval-style fantasy environment or gameworld for roleplay (for the veterans, as well). These are the basics which support the flow of play from moment to moment, governing the character’s actions and by which the consequences of their actions are reflected, the real brass tacks for day-to-day play.

For them to work together, the players and GM must have some common ground and be speaking the same language, using the same terminology and vocabulary in describing the characters. For the characters to all be treated equally under the rules, both PC and NPC alike, their abilities and capabilities must be defined using the same scale and set of terms. Standard “game conventions” are what make these things possible. These include the attributes by which the players’ characters and the beasts and “monsters” are all defined and the trades and skills that define the knowledge and capabilities of all humanoids, the Skill Levels used to track and measure that knowledge and the ease they may enjoy in employing those trades and skills, and the Skill Points that are used to define the process of SL growth and regulate its rate. After these, the main protocol for task resolution designed to support the daily events of the game is presented and explained, followed by the procedure and processes for tactical conflicts which makes the greatest use of task resolution. This is followed by the rules for character creation.

In the World of Olde of Realms of Myth humans are NOT alone!

We start the discussion of conventions with Race because it is the first step in defining every character. Race provides the base on which the player builds his character persona for the game. Racial attitudes shape the basic personality of the character. His point of view is affected by the perspective of a span of years that may be much greater than human, and the perspective of an average height that will probably be just as different from human (unless of course he IS human). Race defines general opinions, favored environment influences lifestyle and attitudes towards the natural world at large, and general cultural slant regarding the other races. As the game goes on, the player’s sense of his character persona grows, but it is here with the race that characterization actually begins.

The races provided for the player to choose between comprise the standard fantasy races commonly found in medieval-style fantasy literature: humans (us!!), the ubiquitous dour dwarfs, mysterious and graceful elfs and the fruit of cross-racial love, the composite half-elfs. While a wider variety of sometimes VERY inventive and even eccentric races indigenous to the official worlds or gaming environments attached to a given game system is common to many medieval fantasy RPG’s, the list of races for RoM is kept simpler to better suit the nature of a “basic” set of rules. This is to aid the players and GM alike in acclimatizing to the nuances of a more truly “medieval” roleplaying and the historic folk traditions for which this game was designed and written as a showcase.

Humans are conspicuous in the absence of any special modifiers or distinguishing characteristics such as the demi- and non-human races have. They are the standard and benchmark against which all the other races are put into perspective. The demi-humans (half-elfs) and non-humans (elfs and dwarfs) carry various abilities, bonuses, penalties, and allowances beyond the simple physical features that altogether go to distinguish them from human.

This is the only manner in which race is affected by mechanics or rules conventions.

Character origins, background and birth heritage may or may not, depending on the nature of the results, carry bonuses, penalties and/or allowances. This is the only manner in which origins, background and birth heritage are affected by mechanics or rules conventions. The process of generating this information can be very mechanically intense, requiring the negotiation of a wide variety of tables.

Attributes

The first and most important of the game conventions is embodied in the attributes that are used to describe all living creatures, beings and characters. All characters are described in terms of nine attributes, five describing the physical side of the character, the Physical Attributes, and four describing non-physical traits, the Conscious Attributes. These are collectively referred to as “Primary Attributes”. Following the Primary Attributes, the player will find the “Secondary Attributes”. These attributes are derived from the Primary scores.

Primary Attributes

Agility (AGL)

Awareness (AWA)

Beauty (BTY)

Charisma (CHM

Condition (CND)

Heart (HRT)

Spirituality (SPT)

Stature (STA)

Strength (STR)

Secondary Attributes

Coordination (CRD)

Magick Aptitude (MGA)

Mystical Senses (MSS)

It is important that the players all cultivate a good understanding of the attributes so they can be used to best advantage during play.

The attributes themselves are each measured by a numeric rating commonly referred to as a “score”. These scores directly define the degree of a character’s prowess (or deficiency) in his physical, mental and spiritual abilities, resources, and capabilities. The choice of character race mentioned previously dictates the range in which the scores for each of the attributes must fall. The scores give a sense of the character’s standing in each attribute relative to the other characters in the game, both PC’s and (more importantly) the NPC’s who populate the GM’s game world and provide the benchmark of “average”.

The relative meanings of the scores are discussed in the descriptions of each attribute, as follows. For the purposes of the game and the fair comparison of all characters against the same measuring stick or scale, the average for all scores is considered to be “13”. Being the most numerous, humans are used as the standard or benchmark race against which all other races are compared, and the overwhelming majority of their scores have 13 as an average. Scores above the benchmark score of 13 are generally considered better and in terms of game mechanics have been made to be more advantageous in the uses of the skills and abilities to which they apply, improving the character’s chances of enjoying success when employing them. Scores below the 13 benchmark are considered poorer and in terms of game mechanics have been made a hindrance to the uses of the skills and abilities to which they apply to a lesser or greater degree, decreasing the character’s chances of success when employing them. Throughout the text, even where it does not specifically say so, references to the attributes generally pertain to the numeric score.


Primary Attribute Descriptions 

Agility (AGL)

Agility defines the character’s over-all body control, speed, and physical reflexes in general. It is the root from which the speed of the character’s movement rates are determined, and the attribute governing the Stealth skills. As it determines his speed, it will also dictate his rate of action in high stress (tactical) situations and especially in battle where life and limb may be at risk, and will directly governs the character’s ability to defend himself, as well. In these capacities it is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in the same manner that his CND, STA, STR and AWA scores are.

A “1” in this attribute will make the character the sort of embarrassing stumblebum who can barely get out of bed without getting tangled up and falling, and either breaking something or hurting himself, or both.

On the opposite side, a “25” will give the character the natural grace of movement of a classical dancer with the sort of reflexes a martial artist strives for. At the player’s option he might even be limber enough to put a contortionist to shame.

Awareness (AWA)

This is a general score that actually encompasses three different aspects, which together describe the character mentally. The first is the character’s presence of mind, how much attention he customarily pays to the flow of events going on around him and his general attunement to them, a valuable asset in one who would stand guard duty either for an employer or as a member of an adventuring party in the wilderness or infiltrating hostile territory. By extension this aspect includes the speed of his mental reflexes, how quickly he recognizes and responds to various stimuli, his ability to associate and perceive through experience, particularly in situations involving Surprise, but also governing such things as his Initiative in high stress (tactical) situations and in battle where life and limb are at risk.

The most common aspect of AWA that affects play is its use as a measure of the sharpness of the character’s five physical senses when he is paying attention, used for sighting and recognition checks at distance, tests of the sense of hearing, smell and/or taste, how sensitive of touch and how sensitive to being touched, and also his basic interpersonal perceptiveness, catching non-verbal behavioral clues (as described in the Savvy skill).

It also measures the speed of the character’s mental processes or aptitude for cerebral activities, the degree to which he is inclined to scholastic, philosophical or technical interests and pursuits, reading, writing (composition), mathematics, and perhaps even personal introspection, even philosophical and meditative activities that can soothe the agitated mind.

A “1” in this score is equivalent to one who wanders about the house, tearing the place apart, looking for the purse he is already wearing at his belt, or has difficulty following the thread of a conversation, much less putting a few words of his own together, barely able to get from 1 to 10 using his fingers, the ultimate in short attention span. To such a character the finest meal will taste the same as gruel, the sweetest rose will smell the same as any common weed, satin or haircloth will make no difference to his skin, a shriek or the flute-like note of a coloratura soprano will sound the same to his tin ear, and reading by candlelight nearly impossible (were he so inclined).

A character with a “25” however, would notice a hairline crack in a panel of a worthless painting of some anonymous ancestor when walking casually past the doorway of the chamber it hung in, at a distance of up to 30 feet, and could amuse himself with algebraic equations in exercises of geometry to pass the time (given that level of education). The fine senses of such a character would have the capacity to discern the subtle nuances of gourmet cuisine, note the subtle differences in the many notes juggled by a professional nose in making perfumes, discern at a touch the hairline seam of the secret door made by a master carpenter, hear a footfall on soft earth, and see clearly the plume of road dust marking an enemy’s approach on the horizon.

Beauty (BTY)

As seen by others, regardless of race, BTY is a relative statement of the character’s appearance, which can greatly affect the way others react to the character. Though style is dictating by culture, basic concepts of beauty are generally universal. Most reactions to appearance are based on the manner in which the beholder’s society accepts or rejects true beauty. The player must understand that the BTY score describes the entire body, not just the face.

A “1” in this attribute will give the character so many superficial flaws, and pocks and blotches in complexion, and moles and proportional irregularities most people will shudder to see it, a face not even a mother could love. Indeed, small children may scream and run away. Low BTY should evoke images of hairy warts hirsute men or unnaturally hairless, sallow, waxen or overly sweaty and florid, uneven and unhealthy skin color, tone, and condition. Women may have body-hair like men, pockmarks, incurable acne, or the like. It can indicate extreme over- or under-bite, crowded or missing teeth, hard, horny, cracked and pitted nails, coarse and wiry unmanageable hair. If such a character makes no efforts to conceal his appearance, the common run of NPC’s will even cross the street, duck into an alley, step off the street or turn into the nearest shop to avoid coming face to face in close quarters with him.

A “25” in BTY, on the other hand, should conjure visions of Helen of Troy, the classic beauties and leading men of stage and screen, the most enchanting high-fashion models the player can imagine – flawless porcelain “snow on ice” skin, cherry-red Cupid-bow lips, deepest vibrant puppy-dog or bedroom eyes, the finest most symmetrical bone structure. Such a character is likely to attract a good deal of attention, if he is not veiled or cowled.

This should give the player an idea of what the impact of the BTY of non-humans such as elfs and demi-humans such as half-elfs who are known to exceed the 25 threshold is like. This aspect of BTY would also enhance greatly any native Charisma or Presence and activities like acting as a Player or giving a speech as an Orator, or exercising Leadership in any high-stress situation. 

Charisma (CHM)

The measure of the character’s polish and sensitivity to the sensibilities of others, Charisma indicates the smoothness of manner, the ease with which the character adapts to changing social situations and rolls with the punches, so to speak. This is the measure of a character’s raw personal magnetism, his confidence and strength of personality, the impact he makes in the world everywhere he goes, how much attention he draws. In its outward effects on others in character encounters, it may be referred to as “presence”. Indeed, Presence is the name given to a suite of skills whose use hinges directly on the character’s CHM.

The greatest part played by CHM is in attempts at persuasion, or intimidation, for interrogation, and for seduction. It is the character’s stage presence in performing as a Player or speaking as an Orator in public, his first impression in making contacts or friends, in attempts at persuasion, haggling, parley or negotiations. A character with a high CHM knows well how to “make an entrance.” He always draws attention, gathers the limelight. High CHM can also be used to inspire others in the face of danger when leading by example making the best possible show of his Heart (as follows, resolve) for others to see in dire circumstances, a light in the darkness of confusion.

A character with a score of “1” can’t open his mouth without saying something foul or insulting enough to start a fight, and couldn’t get a bed in the meanest hovel if he offered to pay in gold for it.

An above average score indicates a certain amount of empathy, an ability to relate, and the ability to conduct interpersonal relations with some ease. Most players may not see a need to bother with this attribute, but every character should be within a point or two of average (13) so the character can just get along from day to day.

The character with a “25” on the other hand, could charm the skin off a snake, part a merchant from his money, compromise a lord’s honor without raising a ripple of offense, or charm most maidens into his bed. He is unflappable when events are chaotic, and always knows just the right thing to say.

An above average BTY score can enhance most applications of the character’s CHM (Presence skills) during play.

Condition (CND)

Character Condition indicates the degree of the character’s general level of health and physical conditioning, his hardiness and strength of physical fiber. The character’s endurance and physical staying power are governed by CND, how quickly he spends his Wind and how quickly he gets it back, and his ability to hold his breath or resist the latest flu bug. It is a factor in determining the amount of actual physical punishment or damage the character can withstand and will influence the character’s weight, as well. CND is a major factor in determining the character’s ability to resist severe bodily shocks, pain, and privation, how fast he will heal, as well as resisting magickal assaults. It is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in the same manner that his AGL, STA, STR and AWA scores are.

A character with a “1” score in CND is most likely to be soaked with sweat, red and huffing after a simple walk around the block or climbing a flight of stairs, or any similar exercise of his physical resources. He is also prone to catch whatever the latest bug is that is going around at first exposure.

The character with a “25” score would be fine walking, running, or any similar simple task all day, finding a comfortable pace and barely breaking a sweat by sundown. His immune system would be strong enough to keep him safe from everyday sniffles and alive through most of the more threatening maladies, as well.

Heart (HRT)

This is the strength of the character’s sense of self, how firm his integrity, how resilient and even indomitable his spirit and will. It reflects the character’s discipline, his will and ability to stick with things and toe the line. The strength of the character’s filial ties are encompassed by HRT, his love of home and country, loyalty in oaths of friendship and fealty – all the things he holds dear in his heart. HRT shows how easily the character can be distracted from or swayed in his opinions, the courage and strength of his convictions, his natural stubbornness or “grit”, how deeply he feels the tides of emotion flow through him when he is touched, for good or ill. This score also indicates the strength of the character’s fight-or-flight reflex, his will to get-up-and-go, his basic will to live, how hard he will fight when the people or things he loves are threatened.

HRT is a major factor in determining the character’s ability to resist severe bodily shocks, pain, and privation, as well as magickal assaults. For those who practice the various forms of magick, it governs the amount of damage the character can inflict with any attack magick. Great HRT can guard the character in tests of integrity, against temptation to indulge in the Vices, or attempts to sway the character by persuasion of clever arguments.

A score of “1” in HRT and the character would desert his own mother or love at the first act he interpreted as being against his own interests or smacking in the least of disaffection, disloyalty, or infidelity – or even for sufficient coin. Such a character will generally lack the courage to speak in public, at least not without being spoken to first, and will have trouble stating a firm opinion on anything. They are most likely to back down from any position when challenged. One who is this weak in HRT will generally avoid looking others in the eye – certainly no one with a HRT score higher than their own.

A character with a “25” is a staunch friend through thick and thin, a stiff-backed moralist who will suffer no insult to friend, family, king or country. He may have a wide “show me” streak when his back is up and probably only accept facts contrary to his own beliefs or knowledge when satisfied with indisputable proofs, and worse than difficult to sway by any who would try to persuade him. These sorts swear blood oaths knowingly and intentionally, only make promises or swear fealty when they can do so with a clear conscience, when they are sure there is no conflict inherent in it.

Spirituality (SPT)

Represents the sum of the character’s basic beliefs, the depth of his faith in Deity, his ties and general connection to Spirit itself, and the value he places on that side life, in contrast to the physical. Spirituality indicates the character’s attachment and attunement to spiritual matters, his general interest in spiritual versus physical matters and habits in his life and in the gameworld at large. It also indicates the degree to which he values spiritual connections, the strength and motivational force of his love for friends, family, spouse, children, even lord, king and country. It measures his general Grace of spirit, and the strength or weakness of the gentler deity-oriented Virtues such as Faith, Hope, Charity, and Humility within him. SPT reflects the character’s natural disposition or auric attunement to the ebb and flow of the currents and eddies of the unseen energies of the Spheres of Spirit called mana, from which magick is made. Mana permeates all physical matter precipitating in the mortal world occasionally as ectoplasm. Thus, SPT is an essential score for any character intended to be a practitioner of magick of any kind.

A “1” in this attribute indicates the character has no clue about the heart, the soul and their uses, and the softer side of life. He is completely insulated from the energies of the Unseen World, unable to experience them on his own. He cannot “feel” mana, sense the presence of any spirit, or understand what is happening to him when a dweomer hits him in the face. He is so busy shouting and shoving with his friends, grunting and playing in bed, sweating, running and dancing good vigorous peasant dances, riding, and hunting, fighting, eating and drinking to excess, and competing in highly physical sports like wrestling, while scorning quiet contemplation, books, scholars and ascetics whose delicate sensitivities and sensibilities confound him.

Above average sensitivity provides a sixth sense that can occasionally spontaneously manifest in unpredictable sporadic flashes of empathy and visionary dreams of the past, present, or future (GM’s discretion). The higher the SPT, the more frequent such occurrences are unless the character is a true Wizard or Witch, in which case he will have learned how to control his talent to tune-out these sudden impulses.

In those with training, high SPT is expressed in the Spirit Senses, in the skills actively developed in the magick-wielding Trades: Second Sight, Scrying, Spirit Sight, Oracle, Spirit Speak/Inner Voice, Psychometry, Sense Magick, and Read Living Auras.

A character with a “25” score in this attribute is able to appreciate the most subtle nuance of feeling in his true love’s heart, to glean every iota of spiritual value from the most esoteric literature, and has such a great capacity to enjoy theater, visual arts, sculpture, music, poetry and all such expressions of the beauty of the spirit within which appeal to Man’s higher nature that such things can move him tears. Such a character attends to his devotions as faithfully as any priest in holy orders without having any need of making a public show of it by actually taking holy orders himself, assuming he has other avenues to pursue. He has a great distaste for the brutal crudities of the physical world, excesses of physical appetites of any kind and most especially physical violence. This character may note every ripple and change in the currents and flows of mystical energy around him, if he is paying attention, to feel the subtle charge of power that lies in every creature, object, and being in the world, even the insignificant disturbance of the weakest Low Magick used in his vicinity. He is driven to seek quiet places and solitude, to escape the hurly-burly of the mundane world and crowds of the brutish common run of folk to commune with Spirit in quiet contemplation.

Stature (STA)

Stature is a general measure of a character’s size, indicating without actually defining such things as height, as might first come to mind, but also his overall frame. It will give an idea of how broad the shoulders, how deep the chest, the thickness of bones and joints, wrist, ankles, feet, and hands, how hard he is to fit for hat, shirt, gaskins in sleeve length and inseam, gloves, shoes, and the like, relative to the average for his race. Except for the height, which can still vary a bit between those who have the same score, STA is not intended to be a pinpoint specific measure. It is nonetheless a major factor in determining the amount of actual physical punishment or damage the character can withstand and will influence the character’s weight, though race will have a major effect on this as well. As such, it is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in the same manner that his AGL, CND, STR and AWA scores are.

Strength (STR)

This is one of the more obvious attributes. As the name implies, it is a general measure of a character’s raw physical power, his muscle or brute force. The character’s STR score will determine how heavy are the loads he can carry, how much weight he can pull, shove, lift, and/or carry under different circumstances. It also directly affects the amount of damage the character is able to dish out when he successfully lands a blow on foes in battle, and is also a prime factor in determining the amount of actual physical punishment or damage the character can withstand when he himself is struck or otherwise injured. It is very important for any and all characters that expect to enter into armed combat at all, in the same manner that his CND, STA, AGL and AWA scores are. A “1” in this attribute will yield the typical 98lb weakling, or a very small child. A “25” in this attribute will enable the character to perform great feats of strength like the folk hero strongmen, bending bars or straightening horseshoes with his bare hands, towing great wagonloads, lifting horses, and the like.

 

Secondary Attribute Descriptions

Coordination (CRD)

Separate from overall AGL, CRD embodies a character’s fineness of physical control and motor skills. ALL activities that rely on skill of hand and hand-eye coordination (GM’s discretion) are described by CRD. This encompasses nimbleness and precision of foot in dance and fingers and hands in picking locks, embroidering, playing musical instruments or pounding out horseshoes – ALL handicrafts (GM’s discretion). CRD indicates one’s manual dexterity, finesse with tools, smoothness and lightness of touch, grace in small movements, the ability to accomplish critical detail-work. It influences the use of many finer skills, all Craftsman handicrafts – especially the decorative arts of the Artisan, directly influence the casting times for the arts of all magick-wielders, and combat skills from swinging a weapon to fisticuffs.

A character with a “1” CRD can take up to twenty minutes to wriggle into his hose in the morning, and heavens help him if he has to lace and tie his shoes up too! This is the kind of guy who can never seem to get his foot in the stirrup to mount a horse, pours half the jug of ale on the table, and stabs himself repeatedly when sewing, AFTER the ordeal of threading that needle.

A character with a “25,” however, could tap out the fluctuating rhythms of a wild Celtic ring dance with one foot while smoothly, consistently, and gently rubbing his belly, patting his head in counterpoint to his foot, and also reciting his favorite limericks with panache and perfect meter!

Magick Aptitude (MGA)

This the character’s native talent and the degree of his inherent natural ability to draw the energies used in the creation of magick to himself and to bind and manipulate those energies in the casting of magicks, regardless of Form (Low, Common, or High). It also indicates the character’s potential for growth in the arts once he has been trained. MGA is a composite of SPT and HRT, defining the synergy between the different aspects of the spirit and personality governing the processes of magick and the expressions of their works.

Mystical Senses (MSS)

This attribute reflects the character’s natural disposition or auric attunement to the ebb and flow of the currents and eddies of the unseen energies of the Spheres of Spirit called mana, from which magick is made. These unseen energies of the Spirit Sphere. Mana permeates all physical matter precipitating in the mortal world occasionally as ectoplasm. Thus, MGA is an essential score for any character who is intended to be a practitioner of magick of any kind. This is the sense often referred to as the “sixth” sense.

With a score of “1” the character are completely insulated from the energies of the Unseen World, unable to experience them on his own. He will not be able to “feel” mana, sense the presence of any spirit, or understand what is happening to him when a dweomer hits him in the face.

Above average sensitivity provides a sixth sense that can occasionally spontaneously manifest in unpredictable sporadic flashes of empathy and visionary dreams of the past, present, or future (GM’s discretion). The higher the MSS, the more frequent such occurrences are unless the character is a true Wizard or Witch, in which case he will have learned how to control his talent to tune-out these sudden impulses.

In those with training, MSS are expressed in the Spirit Senses, expressed as skills actively developed in the magick-wielding Trades : Second Sight, Scrying, Spirit Sight, Oracle, Spirit Speak/Inner Voice, Psychometry, Sense Magick, and Read Living Auras.

A score of “25” will give the character the means to note every ripple and change in the currents and flows of mystical energy around him, if he is paying attention, to feel the subtle charge of power that lies in every creature, object, and being in the world, even the insignificant disturbance of the weakest Low Magick used in his vicinity.

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Attribute Modifiers

Once finalized, an attribute modifier (att. mod., pl. att. mod’s) is derived for each of the character’s attribute scores. These are applied to character skills and abilities to directly reflect the impact that scores above or below average (13) have on the character’s chances of success in exercising them during play, bonuses increasing his chances of success while penalties decrease them. This is discussed under the heading “Aptitude Values”, to follow. The table showing the bonus or penalty relative to the character’s scores can be found in Character Creation. These are recorded in the second box provided on the Character Record Sheet for the attribute scores, the first one being provided for the score itself.

STA scores do not get an “att. mod., rather, the second box on the Character Record Sheet is for the “modified” score, after the multiplier for Build according to race is applied (as applicable).

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Tactical Attributes

In tactical situations and especially out-right battles, the differences between the characters and their foes, their skills and physical resources are thrown into sharp focus. In order to conduct a fair contest in circumstances where the characters and their foes interact so closely, they require very fine definitions of physical abilities. In these situations, the differences between the capabilities of their bodies must be clearly defined and all limitations marked (or as many as are feasible). From the beginning to the end of any tactical sequence, the movements and actions of the characters must be strictly governed so that all are held to the same standards to ensure that the relative capabilities of each are represented accurately on both sides.

If the foes are not allowed to put up much of a fight, what fun would the contest be?

Every character and beast involved in a tactical or combat situation is described by the same Tactical Attributes: Zone of Control or Zone, Initiative Modifier, Rate of Action, Movement Rates, Physical Resistance, Magick Resistance, depending on the GM, perhaps also Body Points, and for irdanni characters, Flight Statistics.

Zone of Control (Zone)

The character’s Zone of Control, or Zone, is the area he occupies on the Tactical Display. It determines the size of the base the player must cut for the marker or metal miniature figure he will use to track his character’s whereabouts on the Tactical Display during tactical contests or armed combat.

Initiative Modifier (Init. Mod.)

During the course of all tactical situations or armed battles, the order in which the participants get to take their turns in play is established by a die roll, but this is not sufficient to the cause in and of itself. While the degree to which one is ready to act under such conditions is not a guaranteed constant, the character’s native attributes should always have a direct effect on that readiness. This accomplished by means of the Initiative Modifier. This is added to the die roll every time an Initiative roll is made, according to the procedure described in the rules under the heading “Tactical Contests & Armed Combat”.

Rate of Action (RoA)

The character’s Rate of Action (RoA) defines the number of general “actions” (as defined in the text headed “Tactical Contests & Armed Combat”) a character can complete each time he gets his turn to act. Due to their native speed, governed by AGL, some characters get to act more frequently than their slower counterparts, and this is especially true of a great many beasts, most of which are faster than the standard set by human folk.

Movement Rates

Movement Rate simply refers to the rates of speed at which the characters can move. The fastest rate the character can achieve on foot is referred to as his Sprint Speed, or simply “Sprint”. From it are determined the “run”, “jog/trot”, “walk”, and “zero” or “casual stroll” rates. For those equipped with the Swimmer skill a similar set of rates are also generated for each character while they are in the water. These movement rates are for determining the logistics of long-term, cross-country travel and trips taking the greater portion of a day or longer, but also specifically for use in governing movement in tactical contests and armed combat.

For those using the Advanced Rules the different rates help track the effects of sustained movement, each rate wearing the character down to a different extent in the same manner, again depending on how long he taps that capacity. Under these rules, the GM is sure to watch over the PCs’ shoulders to make sure that the players are keeping accurate track under these rules. The activities pursued and rest or lack thereof taken over the course of the day becomes critical when all of the sudden, out of the blue, the PC’s enemies show up and offer combat with no practical means of declining.

Being already depleted of energy is not a good way to head into battle.

It is important that the player understand and remember that his character can have no idea how fast he is in the precise “mph” terms quoted here, nor any way for him to gain that knowledge in the context of the game. The quoting of the characters’ speeds in precise terms on the record sheet is a necessary evil. These rates are included only because they are required to determine the lesser rates the player must have in order to move his character about on the Tactical Display in battle, and to interact with the effects of certain magicks, otherwise they would not be present at all. Thus, it is important that the player understand that their presence is not a license for him to refer to them or use them as character knowledge during play.

Physical Resistance (P-RES)

The P-RES score comes into play by measuring the character’s ability to stand fast against either physical forces or influences that would otherwise overwhelm him in some detrimental way. The character’s P-RES will represent the character’s ability to survive extreme bodily stress and shocks without becoming numb, passing out, or dying. Such shocks would include receiving a heavy damage blow in combat, losing a limb, being exposed to extremes in temperature, being poisoned, and so on. RES also represents the character’s ability to maintain consciousness in the face of great pain, extreme fatigue, or strain, his ability to tap the deep reserves of his body’s energy without giving in to lassitude, or to fight the lethargy caused by blood loss without sinking into unconsciousness.

Magick Resistance (M-RES)

The M-RES score comes into play measuring the character’s ability to stand fast against magickal forces or influences that would otherwise overwhelm him in some detrimental way, especially those that affect his emotions, senses, or other faculties and capabilities of his physical body. The character’s M-RES is the measure of both the character’s will to survive and his maximum auric and bodily resistance to the vibrations of hostile magicks, an expression of the integrity of his soul and will to resist the unseen influences of those who would compromise him or do him harm. All magicks targeted specifically at living creatures or beings may be resisted. M-RES stands as the DV a practitioner of magick must overcome once his magick is successfully cast in order to affect his target(s), UNLESS the caster chooses to take the target’s M-RES on as a penalty to the DV for casting the magick in the first place, in which case the target’s resistance or failure is already included in the roll to cast, in the same manner that Defense DV’s establish the difficulty with which a foe may be struck with a weapon in battle.

Head/Neck 1/4
Torso Full
Arms Right 1/2
Left 1/2
Legs Right 3/4
Left 3/4