If any of you know me from NSR (which should be most of you), you’ll know I have a habit of starting more, and more, and more projects. This is sort of the logical endpoint: a v2 for ALL of my games, the Ultimate Fantasy Heartbreaker.
- Lifepath chargen that is both simple and integrated
- Non-D&D mechanics like a Chaos Die (Want to know more? Read on!)
- Combination of stats and traits
- Unlike my previous attempts, actually longer rules
- Taking pointers from Wolves upon the Coast, OZR, OD&D, and too many of my own games to count
Currently I have chargen, adventuring essentials, basic resolution, danger, encumberance, magic of several flavours, and simple advancement.
6 Backpack slots (Normal item = 1 slot, Bulky = 2 slots)
6 Memory slots (Learning = 1 slot, Spell = 2 slots)
|STR||+1 Dmg, +1 Backpack slot||+0 Dmg, +0 Backpack slots||-1 Dmg, -1 Backpack slot|
|DEX||+1 Armour (Evasion)||+0 Armour (Evasion)||-1 Armour (Evasion)|
|CON||+1 Wound||+0 Wounds||-1 Wounds|
|EDU||+1 Learning, +1 Memory slot||+0 Learning, +0 Memory slots||-1 Learning, -1 Memory slot|
|ATT||+1 Spell at start||+0 Spells at start||-1 Spell at start|
|CHA||+1 Retainer at start||+0 Retainer at start||-1 Retainer at start|
You start at age 18 with one stat High and one stat Low, a backpack, and 3d6 silver pieces.
You can then wager for more bonuses (at the risk of more maluses) by rolling 3d6 as many times as you like. Each roll represents 1d6 years of your life. You should state what stat you are rolling for before rolling. High and Low bonuses and maluses stack and cancel. (2 High + 1 Low = 1 High)
|3-4||Disaster. Gain a bane and a Low result.|
|5-8||Setback. Gain a Low result.|
|9-12||Nothing of note. Gain a common item.|
|13-16||Advance. Gain a High result.|
|17-18||Fortune. Gain a boon and a High result.|
A bane can be another Low result, the loss of an uncommon item, a negative connection to a person or an organisation (for example, being hunted by a bounty hunter for an unpaid debt), or some kind of curse. A boon can be another High result, an uncommon item, a positive connection to a person or an organisation (for example, a wizard owes you a small favour), or some kind of blessing.
You should write down what life event led to this result. For example:
Event: My character was drafted into the army.
Length of time: 1 year
3d6 roll: 5 (Setback - Low CON)
Result: My character was injured during training and discharged, never making a full recovery.
At any time you can choose to “muster out” and start your adventuring life. If you gain 2 banes, your character dies prematurely. If you gain 2 boons, you must muster out.
When you muster out, items that don’t fit in your backpack are left at home. Learning and spells that don’t fit in your memory are forgotten. All remaining Learning is then converted into either skills, languages, or areas of general knowledge based on your life experiences. Finally, roll 1d6 for starting Wounds. You can’t start with less than 0.
Depending on your life before you start adventuring you can gain skills. Each pre-muster roll earns you 1 XP. You can also cash in XP from adventuring to earn skills. Each skill can only be taken once.
- Weapon Training (1XP) - You are now trained with one type of weapon. Can be taken multiple times.
- Armour Training (2XP) - You are now trained with one type of armour. Can be taken multiple times.
- Combat Veteran (3 XP) - Gain 2 Hit Protection (HP). Spend 1 HP to negate one hit from a melee or ranged weapon. Can be taken multiple times.
- Cautious Casting (5XP) - You now roll 2d6 and take the lower when you roll on the Misfire table. Incompatible with Reckless casting.
- Reckless Casting (5XP) - You can hold two spells in your head at a time, releasing them both if you are hit but only one if you fail the EDU test. You now roll 2d6 and take the higher when you roll on the Misfire table. Incompatible with Cautious casting.
- Arcane Shield (10XP) - You are no longer harmed by magical explosions that occur as a result of misfires.
- Education (3XP) - You gain another knowledge domain, skill, or language after a few months of study. Can be taken multiple times.
- Preparation (3XP) - If you are in town and have knowledge of your next destination, if the destination is nearby you can spend Nd6 silver and N days gathering information. Specify N slots in your inventory as prepared slots. When at that location, you can turn any prepared slot into a common item at will.
If you encounter a trial that is risky, important and uncertain you can choose to Test a stat. To do this roll 1d20 and aim to roll above or equal to 12. If you have multiple High results for that stat, roll additional d6 equal to the number of results and add the highest. If you have multiple Low results, roll additional d6 equal to the number of results and subtract the highest.
Example: John chooses to test STR to force open a door with guards running down the hallway. John has 2 High results in STR. This means John rolls 1d20 (14) and 2d6 (2 and 3). The final result is 14+3 = 17.
Correct tools and correct training unlock checks that weren’t possible before. Any fool can swing a sword, but only a trained swordsman can hope to parry a blow with deft efficiency. Based on the situation, the DM can also give you extra High or Low results temporarily.
You can hold one item in your left hand and one in your right hand. Everything else is in your backpack that you start with. Carrying too many items makes you Deprived until you unload.
You regain 1d6 Wounds each night you spend with food and rest. Marked stats take 1 week to recover.
Not eating or resting for a week makes you Deprived. After that, you take 1d6 damage each day.
If you are force marching or rushing, the time limit becomes three days.
You can’t heal any Wounds while Deprived. All attacks you make are Hindered.
Dangerous situations take place in rounds of 6 seconds. Each round, each character can perform a significant action (find and use an item, attack, manipulate a device or object) and move (this is their turn). When it is unclear who acts first, everyone tests DEX. Those who succeed go, then the NPCs go, then those who fail.
Weapons deal 1d6 damage automatically. Small weapons deal 2d6 (taking the lower) and large weapons deal 2d6 (taking the higher). If you are Hindered (using a weapon or armour you are not trained in, acting under fire, shooting blindly) you deal 1d4 damage. If you are Enhanced (striking with advantage, attacking a surprised opponent etc) you deal 1d12 damage.
Damage is subtracted from Wounds after being reduced by armour. If you are out of Wounds you start taking Critical Damage. Roll 1d6 and Mark the stat indicated (STR = 1, CHA = 6) - you now fail all Tests of that stat. If you run out of stats or are forced to Mark a stat you’ve already marked you are Downed.
You can make an attack Hindered to perform a stunt. A stunt causes a special effect with your weapon. For example, an axe can strip shields or armour, and a rapier can disarm.
Downed characters die at the end of the next turn or when they next receive damage (whichever comes first) and can’t do anything except crawl and whisper. Downed characters can be stabilised with a WIS Test, whereupon they become unconscious but stable.
Most NPCs have Traits instead of stats. For example, a dragon might have the following Traits: Winged, Scale-skin, Fire-breathing. When you deal critical damage to these foes you strike out a Trait of your choice. You can also bypass dealing damage to Wounds by attacking these Traits directly - using magical rope to bind a dragon’s mouth removes Fire-breathing automatically.
When NPCs run out of traits they are defeated or dead.
At the start of each round when the characters are in danger, the GM rolls 1d10.
|1||Curse: The party suffers a setback, twist, or other inconvenience. A resource may be used up, a position made more precarious, a key disadvantage introduced, a danger revealed etc.|
|2||Omen: Some future badness is set into play. A foe may be foreshadowed, a resource in danger of running out, a timer introduced.|
|3||Altercation: Something is not what it seems. A boon may be made a bane or vice versa, what appears to be a position of security may reveal a hidden vulnerability, a powerful foe may show their tail.|
|4-7||None: Nothing changes.|
|8||Altercation: Something is not what it seems. A boon may be made a bane or vice versa, what appears to be a position of security may reveal a hidden vulnerability, a powerful foe may show their tail.|
|9||Benediction: Some future goodness is to be bestowed upon the party. An ally’s arrival is heralded, a resource not used up, a timer slowed or reversed.|
|10||Blessing: The party receives assistance, aid, or some other convenience. A foe may suffer a setback, a position made secure, a key advantage come into play, a danger removed etc.|
You can keep one spell in your foreground thoughts at a time. You can do this by spending a turn recalling a spell from your Memory slots or spending one round reading a spell from a spellbook or scroll. While reading from a spellbook or scroll you’ll need to pass a EDU Test if you do this while in danger. Once you have a spell in your head, you can unleash it at any time.
If you get hit with a spell in your foreground thoughts or fail the EDU Test to read a spell, roll 1d6 and consult the Misfire table.
|1||Nothing happens and you keep the spell|
|2||You lose the spell|
|3-5||The spell is released at a random target|
|6||A magical explosion of appropriate magnitude occurs|
When you drink a potion, make a CON Test. For each potion you have already drunk today, subtract one from the result. If you fail, the potion’s overdose effect occurs.
When you attempt to wield (not merely possess or pick up) an intelligent item, make an ATT Test. If you fail, the item plants 1-3 ideas in your head based on its personality. Whenever you reject these ideas you must make another ATT test. If you succeed, you shake off the item’s influence. If you fail, the item gives you a new, persistent goal or flaw.
Safety Note: Please make sure that players are aware of the nature of any intelligent items they meet. You can do this by giving them strong, distinctive personalities that broadcast themselves - for example, a brash, bragging talking sword or a sly, seductive telepathic crown. (This makes them more interesting anyways.) If they do fail the second ATT test, make sure they are ok with their character’s new goal even if their character isn’t. Everyone having fun is more important than any game. If players suggest that they are uncomfortable with the idea of intelligent items taking over in the first place, don’t include them in your game.
Each session survived earns you 1 XP.
See any game.