Bloodsun (working Title) Alpha 1
Bloodsun is an RPG, using a slimmed down version of the D&D 5E rules, thanks to the OGL provided by Wizards of the Coast.
The idea for Bloodsun was Mad-Max meets D&D. You have raiders in a desert wasteland, duking it out with their roaring V8 war rigs, while goblins attack them on dirtbikes, and wizards throw fireballs around. Since the inception, more dieselpunk and cosmic horror elements have made it into the setting, and now the World of Thandor spanns from the desert wastelands of the Balethorn hot side, to the deep rainforests of the far side and can be host to a variety of campaigns and playstyles. The rules are slimmed down to a point, where they only cover what I think is necessary to play. Every other ruling you need as a GM, you can make up, as you see fit. I am a firm believer, that rules are just guidelines for the gm and players, to make up their own game. I hope you have fun with my little game. Throw some grenades for me.
The World of Thandor
We killed our gods.
All ancient legends of Thandors people tell of the age long gone, when the world was green and lush with life. Thandor, they say, was a garden and every living thing had its place. It was the garden of the gods, and it was their age.
All of it was lost in the war.
The legends disagree about what caused it. Some say it was because of the hubris of mortal sorcerer kings. Some say the gods grew tired of their games and one of them flipped the table. I say it was because the people are not pets. You can’t keep them chained up forever.
Whatever caused it, the war engulfed everything. Mortals fought against, mortals, gods fought against gods and mortals fought against gods. Entire species were sent to Thandor to fight on the frontlines and entire worlds were burned to stoke the fires of war. It was a war without reason, without limits.
In the end, the gods that still stood, left. They left to worlds unknown, past the endless void between stars, or maybe not of this universe at all. They left everything behind, their weapons and armor, their dead and dying, all of their mortal armies. The garden was no more. Thandor was left a desolate wasteland.
Some say Thandor was left off easy. That it was never the main front of the war and is lucky to not have been destroyed like so many other worlds. Sometimes I think those worlds had been the lucky ones.
Thandor is a garden no more. Far from it. The only constant on Thandor is the unending struggle to survive. There is never enough of anything. Not enough land, not enough food, not enough water, not enough metal. No matter where you live, the hot deserts of the wasteland, or the temperate rainforests of the empire; to live is to suffer. The strong prey on the weak. Merchants grow fat, while their slaves grow gaunt. Immortal emperors send their mercenary armies to die in never ending conflict.
Yet somehow, we are still here. The war had destroyed everything. A dozen sentient species were stranded on Thandor after the war, and without the gods to lead them, they were left to fend for themselves. And we did. Somehow, through long centuries, we managed to get by. And somehow during this time, we mortals managed to set aside our differences and started rebuilding our world on the ruins of the past. I would not say everything is now peachy. Far from it. But at least there is hope.
Technology and Magic
In the age of the gods, magic and technology were one and the same. Great ships flew through the sky and the void between stars. Living things and things out of metal were formed by the gods, as a potter forms clay, and brought to life. All of the worlds were connected by gates, that let a man cross the distance between stars as fast as crossing the street.
All of this was lost during the war. And now we know so little.
Some of what we know, we call technology. It’s the knowledge and mastery of the material. Machines of wood and iron, clockwork and burning fire. They can be quite useful, powerful and mighty even. But there is no soul in them, they only move by button press and leverpull. We invented cars and trains, ships and planes, cannons that can shoot twenty kilometers, bombs that can decimate hundreds. None of this compares to the mastery the gods had over matter. None of it is alive. And most of it is super rare and expensive. There are hardly any mines to be found on Thandor anymore, and fewer places of industry. We recycle what we have, and scrape together what we can find, but a knife of good steel is worth as much as a slave in most places.
Some of what we know, what we barely know, we call magic. Some say we mortals only discovered how to use it after the war, some say it was the reason for it. In any case, magic is a mystery to most. There are those that bend the power of the four elements to their will. We call them elementalists. They let the wind blow, move the earth, the water and call fire at will. There are not many of them. I have been told that anyone can learn how to form an element, that it only takes a certain mindset, knowledge and concentration. If that is true, it must be a rare mindset indeed. I, as most people, find it easier to move earth with a shovel and light fire with flint and steel.
Then there are sorcerers. Their names only spoken to curse, their deeds not discussed in the light of day. Those men and women have made a deal with a greater power to gain their magic. And there are no more gods left in this world. These powers are dark as the void between stars, deep as the sea, and unknowable as the end of time. No one knows what they truly want, but I know it can’t be good for us mortals. I think the price for such powers is too great.
There are some wonders of the old world still left. Ships, fortresses, temples or cities once built by the gods and their servants. Most of it has been plundered and scrapped centuries ago, the rest is hidden somewhere in the dust and sand of the Balethor side wasteland.
You’d think on a world left to die by the gods, there would be no more temples and prayers. You’re wrong. I can’t say why exactly, maybe because most species had been somehow made by the gods to serve them, maybe because mortals need some hope to get them through the day, but there are hundreds of religions. In every town you will find temples and shrines, and priests competing for the devotion, souls and coins of the faithful. Some of these truly believe that their god will save us, if we but pray and do penance for our sins. Most of them are scam artists if you ask me. Some might even be sorceres trying to get sacrifices for their masters. If you got a good head on your shoulder, you should know that you can only trust the strength of your arm and the steel of your sword.
Lands of Thandor
There are 4 main regions of note on Thandor.
The empire of the golden dragon on the far side. A powerful and prosperous nation, for there is much water and plant growth on the farside. Yet the empire is controlled by greedy officials. Though in theory every citizen can become an official, the system is rigged. Those already in places of power make sure their children get the best chances to succeed them, the best schools, connections and bribes. Thus the rich become richer each generation, and the masses are forced into indebted servitude. You’d think the emperor would stop this corruption of his nation. He is said to be the golden dragon after all, the last on the world, but he has not shown himself in two hundred years, and I for one don’t trust the words of his ministers, who claim to speak in his name.
The regions between the Balethorn side and the farside are called the borderlands. They cover a wide range of climates, from tempered on the farside, to deserts on the Balethorn side and frosty tundra, taiga and icefields at the poles. But even in places where the climate is good for farming, mountains rise high and steep, leaving only little room to grow corps and herd animals.
You find some of the most advanced technology and industry in the borderlands, because the empire stopped innovating hundreds of years ago and the Balethorn side just does not have the resources. But there is just not enough fuel or iron for these marvels to become common. Most of the work is still done by slaves or a poor, uneducated workforce.
If you head toward the poles, civilisation becomes scarce. You will only find some nomadic hunters and herders here. None of them numerous enough to even call them a kingdom.
The Balethorn side is a desert wasteland, because it always faces Balethorn, the giant in the sky. Even at night he still gives light and warms the land like an overprotective mother. But she is smothering us with her love. The land here is a hot, barren wasteland. There is barely any water, and two huge seas have dried out to become endless salt flats ages ago. The land is harsh, and it’s people are tough as leather. There would be nothing more than nomads here, if there were not the remnants of the age of gods. Their leftover ruins can still be found under rock, sand and salt of the Balethorn side. If you are brave or foolhardy enough, you can find heaps of metals, horts of lost knowledge, or even artifacts of the gods. More likely though you will find a slow death.
Even though it is a harsh and dangerous land, some have grown prosperous and powerful trading the treasures pilfered from the corpses of gods, and the slaves needed to dig them out. These lands are ruled by mighty merchant houses. The few cities found here are usually ruled by at least one of them. Their constant struggle for coins and power makes this a lucrative region for mercenaries. The trade between the cities and the borderlands surrounding the wastes makes this a favored hunting ground of bandits and pirates.
The Thandorian Calendar
An astronomer will explain to you that Thandor is the third moon of the gas giant Balethor, which orbits a pair of twin suns.
Thandor is tidally locked with its primary. Which means in language that actual people and not just stuck up stargazers can understand, that one side of Thandor always faces Balethor, and the other always faces away.
On the Balethor side, you can see that it blocks out the light from the suns once every day, when Thandor passes into Balethor’s shadow. We call the span of time, Balethor blocks the sun for, one hour. (2.4 earth hours.) One Thandor day is the time the moon needs to orbit around Balethorn. Meaning it gets light and dark once. One day has 30 hours. (72 earth hours)
It takes Balethorn 112 days to orbit the suns. (335.74 earth days) But only astronomers and civil servants care about that, most folk are way to occupied surviving day to day. (there are no real seasons on Thandor)
The Eastern Wastes
Some people say this is the most unforgiving region in all of Thandor and a lifeless, barren wasteland. I say those people have not yet seen the western wastes.
True, water and vegetation are scarce, but outside of the salt flats there are oasis with their little villages, towns and plantations scattered like jewels of life. And even in the sandy desert, and the burning hot salt flats, life can be found. True, most of it wants to eat you, but life nonetheless.
There is but one reason anyone would come to this part of the world. Here you will find most ruins and artifacts of the god-age. They may have been mighty cities once, skyships, maybe scrap yards. Now they are what drives countless fortune seekers into the hostile wastelands, where most of them meet their doom.
A real industry has sprung up over the supply of expedition equipment, vehicles, tools, animals of burden and slaves for countell expeditions on the one hand, and precious metals and artifacts on the other. A few major cities have sprung up in support of this business. The ports and trade hubs on the shores of the eastern sea, and the desert cities growing around the larger oasis.
Some expeditions, founded by the largest merchant houses, have grown to actual town, where the administrators, workers and slaves work and life, as they slowly dig out and exploit the bones of the past world.
Travel in the Wastes is a costly and dangerous affair. You have to carry vast amounts of water and food for you and your animals with you, or risk death of thirst and starvation before reaching the next oasis. Each kind of terrain in the wastes has its own challenges. Be it steep mountains and cliffs, razor grass savanas, rocky badlands, endless sand dunes or the endless, cracked salt flats. It doesn't really matter if you travel by beast, or vehicle. The one needs water, food and can break its legs, while the other guzzles fuel, breaks down and punctures it’s tires. You are either prepared for such misfortunes, or you will soon be dead.
The only people traveling in these lands are nomads, driving their herds from waterhole to waterhole, merchant expeditions, or of course bandits. Bandits seem to make their home in any hard to get rock or valley in this region. They are a blight on the land, coming down on caravans like locusts. If you are lucky, they just kill you. If you are not, they take you as slaves. Be it for their amusement, harem, to be sold at one of the many slave markets, or as sacrifices for their twisted gods.
Traveling by airship is generally safer, and more pleasant than traveling on the ground. But only the richest of merchant houses can afford airships, and even then you are not safe from bandits. They start from their own balloons, mountains and cliffs. They gather height in the hot updrafts above the salt flats, then they swoop down on you. Some are Ayrheans, some are goblins with makeshift wings or gliders, some are air elementalists. The ones that have stolen themselves an airship call themselves sky pirates. The most famous among them is captain Isabell, the Wasteland queen, captain of the skyship Thundercloud.
During the long, Thandorian day, it gets so hot even the most hardy of beasts seeks shelter from the sun. Only in the twilight of the evening, when the air and ground to down to bearable temperatures do they come out of hiding. Life in the desert happens mostly at night.
Some call this the last petrol station before the desert. And in many ways they are right. Fort Ungol lies at the last big oasis if you are coming from the Dragon’s Head Bay in the east. All trade going through this region comes through Ungol. Machines from the north, artifacts and metal from the west, food and slaves from the south and east.
Ungol is an old city that has kept building on top of itself, while growing further out. The highest, and most inner parts of the city are the richest, with large, white washed villas and slim towers rising over the stink of the lesser parts. You will find clean streets, lavish gardens, and decadent fountains up here, all kept running by an army of slaves, that dwell in the dark underground beneath the city.
The further out you go, the less impressive the city becomes. The second ring is still pretty decent. You will find shops of lesser merchants, markets, craftsmen and pretty good taverns and brothels here.
The third ring is where most of the population of the city lives. It’s a maze of sheds and houses that have been built high and wide over the last century. Easy to get lost in, a good place to hide out, and the worst collection of thieves and cutthroats on all of Thanodor. It is said that you can find anything in the third ring of Ungol, for the right price.
Outside of the city walls, you can usually find a collection of sheds, mud huts and tents, that is not considered a proper part of the city. Here you find traveling merchants, mercenary bands and nomads, that have made their temporary home here.
The unrivaled and total rulers of Ungol are the dwarven merchant house of the same name. Everything in the city is their property in one way or the other. They live in their palaces in the innermost ring. From there they rule the city with an iron fist. Or maybe a bag of coin would be a more apt description. The dwarves never let an opportunity for more profit slip away, so most crimes in the city are just punished by varying harsh fines. If you can’t pay, you are sold as a slave on one of the many slave markets of the city. If you did something to really piss the Ungolds off, you find yourself in the arena, trying to fight off lionants with a pointy stick.
It’s position in the lower Dragon’s Maw Bay, that reaches far into the wastelands, and its proximity to Fort Ungol make this one of the most important trading harbours in the region, despite the bay being too treacherous and shallow for larger sea going vessels. So important, that it was brought by the Ungol family decades ago, who brought their mercantile culture with them. They rule from a square fort, located at the outer reaches of the city on a hill. From there they have both the harbour, and the approaches to the city from the desert within their view, and the rach of their cannons.
Even though the city lies at the sea, fresh water is scarce. It has to be imported from Fort Ungol or Carstol, or desalinated by distillation or water elementalist. This makes it a valuable trade good, and instrument of power. Whoever controls the water, controls Port Ungol.
Because of this, the land around Port Ungol is barren, and only the richest citizens can afford to bathe. Truth be told, this is a shithole, and only those who really need to, and slaves, live here. Most folk you will find here are on their way through. You will find lots of cheap taverns and whore houses here, where booze is cheaper than water.
Carstol is more of a farmers market, than an actual town. Trades from the fertile fields west of Carstol bring their wares here, where they are sold and shipped to Port Ungol. Carstol does not have a deep harbour, so larger vessels anker a few miles from the shore and exchange wares with the Land by boat. This has led to the city building itself further and further into the bay, first on stilts, then on floating platforms. Storms break off parts of this city on the water regularly, so it can’t grow too far off shore.
Carstol is a paradise for smugglers, as the ragtag nature of trade in the city makes it perfect to load and unload cargo on the sly, and hide contraband.
It’s in the name. Deep Haven has the only deepwater port in the region. Many large sea going merchant ships make hold on this port to exchange their cargo. From here an armada of smaller merchant vessels takes it further up the Dragon’s Maw Bay towards Port Ungol.
The plantations and fields around Haven are wide and rich. Fruits and grain are exported from here far and wide.
It’s easy enough to tell the port part of the city apart from the rest, as it has its own set of walls, and a huge fort built out of brown stone, that is overlooking the mouth of the bay. The fort houses the ultima ratio. A huge cannon that is said to be able to sink any ship passing the mouth to the Dragon’s Maw Bay with a single hit.
The rest of the city has slowly grown around the harbour. It’s a planless mess of wooden, timber frame and brick warehouses, taverns, brothels and slave barracks. The further you go from the port itself, the further the houses are built appart, and the richer their inhabitants become. Rich merchants and landowners have huge villas in the hills around the city.
The outpost was established about fifty years ago in the nearest oasis to the dragon grave mountains by the Kavari Mining Conglomerate. From here they supply their various mining camps in the mountains and ship the incoming ore north along the mountains via caravan. Sometimes merchants come here in hope of getting their hands on some of that ore, and there is a considerable black market in and around the town that has grown around the outpost.
The Kavari have been trying to build a railway up to the outpost forever, but the mountains are an active volcano and lava and earthquakes have slowed down the work and destroyed large parts of the tracks time and time again. The best way to reach the outpost is by airship, if you can afford it. There is an actual airship harbour in the hills north of the town, where one or two airships are moored at a time.
The Outpost itself used to be a wooden fort, but they have reinforced and replaced most of the wooden structures with stone ones by now, though the work is still ongoing. In the Outpost itself, the Kavari corporate code is the law. Acting against corporate interest is punished swiftly, and harshly. It’s the only way they can keep their army of mining slaves in check.
The town around the outpost in contrast has no law at all, as no one feels responsible for it. The closest thing to public order you will find here are the families that control the organized crime. So you better keep your coins close and a knife under your pillow.
This is less of a town, and more of a sacred gathering place of the sunelve nomads living in the waste. There are always a few dozen, low domed tents erected in the oasis with a few hundred herd animals grazing in the meadows around the waterhole, belonging to several different tribes that come here regularly. The elves are friendly enough to strangers, as long as you behave and keep to the unwritten laws of hospitality. Break them, and you will be feathered with arrows and spitroasted before you can beg for mercy.
When you first spot Merkarth, you will think your thirst addled mind makes you hallucinate, or it’s a fata morgana. You have probably traveled the wastes for weeks, without any sign of water, and now this lush oasis with its plantations and gardens and herds of animals grazing at it’s outskirts suddenly comes into view. But it’s real and soon the locals will come greeting you, bringing water and fresh fruit for trade.
And if you are not careful, and look threatening enough, you soon find yourself in slave irons, watering the same fields you just saw.
Merkarth is a very real place. It’s the biggest city in the southern wastes and each expedition going in this direction passes here. But beware, this garden is built on the back of its massive slave population, and it is always hungry for more bodies.
The walled, old part of the city is made from whitewashed stone, and its tall walles and gracious minarets look deceivingly fragile. But the city guards wear silk and steel and their long barreled rifles can pick a fly of your nose from half a mile away. Here is where the palace of the King lies. An age old sorcerer, said to be immortal. His agents control the city from the shadows, and nothing in Merkarth happens, without him knowing.
Or at least, that is what the locals will tell you, but the lower part of the city is a labyrinthian maze of flat roof houses, overhead walkways, kanals, sunscreens and washing lines. I can’t imagine anyone knowing all that goes on in that hot mess of a town.
If you are a traveler coming through here, take care not to get ripped off by local merchants and innkeepers. Most of the stores and taverns you will find near the larger streets, near the plazas and gates, in the light, are overpriced traps. It’s in the shaded back allies, that you will find the small, cozy places that the locals go to. There you can find sweet wine, song and dance, and all for only a handful of coins.
Flotsam is less of a city, and more of a loose conglomeration of balloons and airships, ever drifting over the sun scorched earth of the wastes. Its form always changes. Ship come and go, get taken apart and made anew. The city is just fickle as the wind that carries it.
Some of the permanent inhabitants of Flotsam are an order of air elementalist. The monks of the order keep the city afloat. They fill balloons, they calm winds that are too strong, move the city if the wind is too weak. The rest of the city is a loose community of Ayrean nomads, merchants and sky pirates, that somehow make this madness work.
There is no written law in Flotsam, but everyone knows the unwritten code. You do not kill in Flotsam, you do not draw arms, you do not steal, and be polite to the monks. If anyone breaks these rules, the other Flotsams are quick to throw him out of town. Which, in the case of Flotsam, means a drop of a few hundred meters until they hit solid ground.
To create a character for Bloodsun, just follow these 5 steps
Roll your abilities
Pick a race and apply the modifier
Pick a class, choose starting skills and equipment, roll starting coins
Spend your starting coins on more equipment
Give the character a virtue and a vice and maye a scar or disability to add spice
Give the character a name
Do some final calculations
Talk to the GM and the other players about your tragic backstory and how they know each other
Roll your abilities
There are several ways to go about this, talk to with your group and your GM, how you like to handle this.
Roll 3d6 for each ability and add them up in order, if you are hard enough
Roll 3d6 for each ability and add them up in order. Then you may replace one ability with 14.
Roll 4d6 dropping the lowest one 6 times and put them on the abilities as you choose
Assign 14, 12, 11, 10, 9 and 7 to the abilities
Pick a Race
Choose one of the races. Add the race’s modifications to your ability score, but also keep note of your base score. No ability may be lowered under 1 by this. A character with 0 in an attribute is dead.
Note down the race’s features.
Pick a Class
Choose from Elementalist, Mercenary, Nomad, Outlaw, Scoundrel and Warlock. Choose from the skills the class gives you, note the classes features. Choose and write down your starting equipment. Roll the dice for your starting coins.
Spend your starting coins
Your starting equipment is not a lot, so you can spend your starting coins on more equipment. At this point you can calculate and write down your weapons attack, dmg and your defense and armor.
Give the Character a Virtue and a Vice
Other than playing awesome, a character’s virtue and vice are the main opportunities to gain action points. You also might want to pick up a scar or disability to start the game extra grizzled. This is the point in character creation to make your character unique and intriguing to play, so feel free to take your time and talk it through with your GM and group.
Give the Character a Name
By now you should know what your character can do and is all about. His parents will probably have given him a name in his childhood, he had no influence on, but since then a lot of time has passed, and he will most likely have picked up a nickname that is more befitting. Or annoying, depending on who gave it to him. Sometimes the nickname Ballast just sticks.
If you need inspiration for your characters given name, have a look at the land and culture description in the world part of the book. If you need inspiration for a nickname, ask the other players; no matter what nickname you pick, they are the one using it or coming up with one they will use, Ballast.
Calculate your ability modifiers:
Your characters hit points at level 1 are 6+ their CON modifier. So between 2 and 10.
Your defense is 10+DEX modifier, +2 if skilled in defense, +2 if using shield. So between 6 and 19
Your armor depends on the armor you are wearing.
Each of your weapons has an attack bonus of: One of the listed ability modifiers, +2 is skilled with the weapon category, +2 if wielding two melee weapons at once. So between -5 and 9.
Your spell bonus is your WIS modifier if you are an elementalist, your CHA modifier if you are a warlock, +2 if you are skilled with elementalisim or sorcery So between -5 and +7.
Talk to the GM and the other players
Your GM has to approve of your charakter, so there is no way around showing him the character, and telling your GM what he wants to know. In my mind, you should also tell your group. No one will take part in your character's moral struggle, if they do not know that he has sworn a sacred oath never to waste any food, no matter how bad it is. Trust them to separate between player and character knowledge and not use this against you. Instead they will share in your struggles, fear and triumphs, as you will in theirs.
You should also come up with how your group met, and why they are traveling together. Unless you and your GM want to play that part. It is good if the group has a strong, shared motivation.
Each race is presented with a description of their physiology, psychology, prevalence, as well as how they are seen in the general public. Finally the stats, modification and special racial traits they give to your character are listed.
Ayrheans are humanoid birds. They are typically of a very light and slender build, between 1,4m and 1,8 meters tall. They have strong muscles in their arms and chest and hollow bones, giving them the ability to fly like a bird. Most of their bodies are covered in feathers, with the exception of their faces, chests, bellies and crotch. They have long, strong feathers on their arms and on their short tails. Ayrhean Hands are clawed, making them great climbers, but they have no opposing thumbs and poor dexterity. Their feet are also clawed, but they are strong and have one opposing toe, giving them good dexterity with their feet. Both their hands and feet make for deadly weapons.
Ayrhean faces are mostly human, but they have big eyes and sharp, pointy teeth. They are mostly carnivorous hunters.
Ayrhean skin tones range from almost black, to almost white. Their feathers are usually a mix of brown, black and white spots, camouflaging them well in mountainous wilderness. But some of them have bright, colorful feathers in all colors of the rainbow.
Despite what many think, Ayrheans are mammals. They have a gestation period of 9 month, after which 1 or two children are born. They reach sexual maturity at age 6-15 and are fully grown at about 19 years of age. Their average life expectancy is 28 years, but individuals can live up to 160 years.
Ayrheans tend towards a happy go lucky attitude and seldom make long plans for the future. They are very social creatures, keeping close connections with their extended family and friends. Ayrheans like physical contact and can often be seen cleaning each other's feathers.
Aryheans can be found all over Thandor, with a bias towards mountainous regions and forests with giant trees. The more colorful variants tend to live in the tropical forest of the temperate regions. They usually assimilate into the prevalent soziety, forming only small groups. Often only a mating pair and their children. But sometimes, especially in remote places where they are the dominant race, they form large groups.
“These featherbrains make for good scouts. If they can remember what they are supposed to do, and don’t fly off.” -Gronark, Mercenary Captain
“Ayrehans are just delightful company. Their feathers are so colorful and soft, and they are super sensitive to the touch. When they moan in their bright voices, it’s like music to my ears.” -Patron of a local brothel
-2 constitution, +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma
They have a Land Speed of just 5, but they can fly and have a flying speed of 12.
Their hands are not of much use, and their feet make but poor substitutes. While they can use tools and weapons with their feet, using anything more complicated than a melee weapon gives them disadvantage for their skill checks. They don’t generally make for good archers, but their mobility can give them the advantage of surprise and position, making up for their poor aim.
Dwarves are short, stout humanoids. What they lack in height they make up for in width, making them almost as heavy and strong as humans. Dwarves used to be known as great miners and craftsmen, but since the war of the gods, the only dwarves you see are dragonblood dwarves, that have been banished from the underground halls.
Dwarves commonly are between 1.2 and 1.5 meters tall, they have brownish skin and hair in all colours of the earth. The older a dwarf gets, the more of their dragon blood shows through. First their skin and hair colour changes, then they start to grow scales, where their skin is thickest. Their teeth grow sharp and fanglike. Their eyes change to the yellow, slitted eyes of a dragon. At around 100 years they start to grow horns on their heads. That is probably not the end of their transformation, but little is known of Dwarves older than 100.
Dwarves have a gestation period of 11 month, after which 1, or rarely two children are born. They reach sexual maturity at age 20 to 30 and never stop growing, though they grow only slowly after age 45. That is the age, their dragon side begins to show itself.
Dwarves have an average life expectancy of 60, with Individuals living up to 100 years.
There are two main subraces of dwarves. Those that mixed with brown dragons, and those that mixed with white dragons.
Brown Dwarfs are very resistant to heat, they grow brown scales and their claws let them dig sand very well.
White Dwarfs are resistant to cold. They grow white scales and their claws let them climb icy walls.
Dwarves tend to be stoic and make elaborate plans long into the future. This makes them apt engineers, merchants and money lenders. Older Dwarves become paranoid and greedy. It is said this is their dragon side taking over their mind. Dwarves often form their own communities, instead of assimilating into the wider society. These communities are centered around large, extended families, and strong tides of friendship and alliance, as well as age old feudes.
Dwarves fear the dragon inside of them. It is said that they lose themself and go crazy when they become too much like a dragon. This is why dwarves commit ritual suicide before their 100th birthday.
Brown Dwarves tend to become deceitful, paranoid and greedy when they get old.
White Dwarves tend to become fera, aggressive and greedy.
Dwarves life all over Thandor, but they prefer hubs of civilisation. They are not very numerous, but tend to stick together. Some of the richest and most influential merchant houses are dwarven. The exception is the empire, which does not tolerate dwarve and forces them to live and work in hiding.
“You can never trust a dwarf. The only thing they value is gold, and their hearts are as hard as rock.” -anonymous man on the street
“I like dwarves, they make reliable business partners and they trucks they sell almost never break down.” -Hugo, owner of a transportation business in the borderlands
Strength +1, +2 Constitution, -1 Charisma
They have a lanspeed of 6. Dwarves can see infrared light, allowing them to see in complete darkness, when no other light sources are present. Dwarves over 50 probably have claws, so they do 1D4 base damage with unarmed attacks.
Brown Dwarves only take half damage from heat. Like when marching in the desert. This does not change the damage from fire based attacks.
White Dwarves only take half damage from freezing, like when they are exposed in a blizzard. This does not change the damage from ice based attacks.
Elves are small humanoids with exceptional lifespan and fine senses. They only grow between 1.3 and 1.6 meters tall.
Elves have androgynous faces, and neither males nor females have strong body curves, making it hard for outsiders to tell men and women apart.
They have slanted eyes, and pointy ears, giving them excellent vision and hearing.
They are also nightactive by nature. Their eyes are very large, giving them excellent night vision.
Elves have a gestation period of 10 months, with usually one, sometimes 2 children being born. Elves can consciously alter their own fertility by meditating.
They reach sexuall maturity between the age of 20 and 30. Their average life expectancy is over 100 years. They don’t seem to age at all, and might not have a natural limit to their lifespan.
There are two major subraces of elves:
Sunelves are acclimated to hot, dry environments. Their skin color reaches from light brown, to almost black. Their hair from golden yellow, to bright silver. Their eyes have the colors of bright gemstones, like diamonds, and amber. Sunelves have very large ears, that help them regulate their body heat, while they have small nostrils and mouths. They only need little water and food.
Moonelves are acclimated to cold and wet environments. Their skin color is solid black, but you seldom see their skin, as it is covered with a thin, but dense fur, that ranges in color from light blue to stark white. Their hair is colored from light blue, to dark purple and their eyes are usually colored like dark gemstones. Moonelves are built more compact than sunelves, with more body fat.
Elves live a very long time, and they know it. Especially older elves seem aloft, as their outlook on life is very different from the other races on Thandor. They have trouble integrating in the common, fast moving Thandorian societies. Elves are patient and intelligent. They think long, and wide, before they make decisions, making them excellent artists and thorough scientists. Though not very fast ones.
Most elves live as reclusive nomads in tribal societies. They only seldom interact with civilisation to trade artistic goods. Sometimes young elves are taken by wanderlust and leave their tribes, to live among the other races of Thandor, to experience what civilization has to offer them. Some return to their tribes after a few hundred years, having become weary of the fast lived ways of mortals.
Sunelves are mainly found in the deserts of the hot side. Moonelves are mainly found at the poles and the deepest woodlands.
“These arrogant prick bastards have no concept about an honest day’s work. They lazy around for a year, before they finally built a single engine. And then they let that one sit for another two years, before they put it into a car. And crazy people pay them for that shite. Pha!” -Dwarven engineer
“Cars of elven design are the most prestigious a gentlemen can drive. They are the fastests, most exotic and luxurious on all of Thandor. “ -Thandorian noble
Strength -1, Constitution -1, Wisdom +2, Intelligence +2
Elves have a land speed of 10m.
Elves have residual light amplification, allowing them to see well with very little light. They can see by the light of the other moons and Balethor as well as in daylight. If there is now light at all, they can’t see.
Sun elves only need half as much water as normal and take half damage from heat. (normal dmg from fire)
Moon elves only need half as much food as normal and take half damage from cold. (normal dmg from ice)
Goblins are small humanoids with long, sinewy extremities and long, dextrous fingers. They are between 0.9 and 1.3m tall. Goblins have a humanoid face, with big eyes that range in colour from red to yellow and have a black sclera. They can see infrared light, allowing them to see in total darkness. They have wide mouths, with sharp teeth. Their ears are big and pointy, giving goblins excellent hearing. Though many go deaf in their line of work. A goblins hair colour ranges from greenish blond, to greenish black. Their skin comes in variants from light green to dark, brownish green.
Gestation period of a goblin is 6 month, with 1 or two children being born at once. They reach sexual maturity at age 6 to 8 and are fully grown at 10. Their average life expectancy is 18 years. Individuals can reach an age of around 40 years.
Goblins tend to be meek and cowardly. Yet they are fast learners. They make good mechanics. Goblins are by far the most enslaved race on all of Thandor. A goblin not in slave chains is a disturbing sight for most people. Those goblins tend to have opposite character. They are impulsive, reckless and curious, bordering on insane, making them a danger for others and themselves.
Goblins can be found all over Thandor. They are usually kept as slaves by anyone, who can afford to, and have no real culture of their own. In more remote places, goblins form their own tribal societies. They live as hunter gatherers, bandits and scrap collectors.
“You always have to make sure these buggers actually do their work and don’t slack off. They need a good slap with the whip from time to time to keep them happy” -Slidland farmer
“Goblin bandits have become a real problem in the mountains. Those buggers jump from cliffs with makeshift wings, a grenade in one hand, a knife in the other. You have to shoot them at a distance, or they will take you down with them.” -borderlands caravan guard
Strength -2, Constitution -1, Dexterity +2, Intelligence +1, Wisdom +2
Goblins have a land speed of 10m.
Goblins can see infrared light, allowing them to see in complete darkness, when no other light sources are present.
Humans are big and strong humanoids with wide shoulders, dense bones and meaty hands. Humans tend to be muscular in general, but some of them are mountains of bulging muscles. They are usually between 1.5 and 2 meters tall. Their hair colour ranges from bright blonde and red, to brown and black. Their skin has colours from light brown to dark brown.
A human's gestation period is 9 month, with usually 2 children being born, that are usually not identical twins. Humans reach sexual maturity between 7 and 17 years, they are fully grown at 21 and have an average life expectancy of 35 years. Individuals can reach an age of 120 years.
Humans are social creatures, they like living in big groups and will usually try their best to blend in. They are known to be attracted to other races and form romantic relationships with non-humans. They are very bad at assessing risks and peer pressure can force them to foolhardy bravery. These traits make them sought after members of mercenary groups.
Humans are very adaptable and can be found all over Thandor, where they blend into the dominant society without much trouble, seldom forming groups larger than an extended family. When they form groups of their own, they tend to have a strong hierarchy and military-like structures. Those groups are often mercenary bands or bandits.
“Humans smell good. So exotic. Those big, strong arms can carry you to the bed and they are always eager to please.” -patreon of a brothel
“I don’t like how humans always try to please you. Humans are dogs, they are. You should treat them as dogs.” -dwarven matriarch
Strength +2, Constitution +2, Wisdom -2
Humans have a land speed of 10m.
Humans gain 1 extra skill at first level, it can be any skill, does not have to be from their class’ skill list.
Thandorians are a race of humanoid cats. They tend to have a slender, sinewy build, making them very agile. A fully grown Thandorian stands between 1.4 and 1.8 meters tall. Their hands have claws, making them not the most dexterous. They have a good sense of smell, hearing and night vision. They can see no color. They have soft fur, covering all of their body, though it is very thin on their faces. Their faces are catlike, but flatter, and much more expressive, much like humans. Thandorians have a long, slender tail, that helps them keep their balance, and has a big part in their body language. Female Thandorians have 3 pairs of breasts and nipples on their torso, but only the top most pair is usually of any, with the others barely visible under their fur.
Depending on the region the Thandorian is native to, their build varies in size and their fur in coloring and density. All of these variants have been intermixing in the last few centuries all over Thandor, so that any variant can be found anywhere.
Thandorians are only fertile part of the year. They have a gestation period of 8 month an bear up to 3 children, usually one. They reach sexual maturity at ages 12 to 19 and are fully grown at age 23. Their average life expectancy is 29, with individuals living up to 200 years.
Thandorians are curious by nature. They are highly sociable, easily sensing and influencing the emotions of others. Their need to form large groups is sometimes overtaken by a strong sense of individual pride.
Thandorians can be found all over Thandor. They are the most numerous humanoid race on the world and form most of its dominating cultures and societies.
Thandorians form large communities, beginning with large, extended families and growing all the way up to empires.
“Cats are super soft and they purr if you pet them. If you take more than one, they will do their best to oneup each other. Worth every coin!” -brothel patreon
“Do not underestimate the furballs. Where there is one, there usually are twelve more. They may look soft and cute, but they are born killers.” -dwarven crime lord
+2 to an ability score of your choice
Thandorians have a land speed of 10. Their tail gives them advantage on ability checks, when balancing is important.
Their hands have claws, giving them an unarmed base damage of 1D4
Thandorians have residual light amplification, allowing them to see well with very little light. They can see by the light of the other moons and Balethor as well as in daylight. If there is now light at all, they can’t see.
They cannot see colors.
You master the forces of the 4 primal elements. You have studied the forms of elemental magic long and have learned a number of spells. Your Spellcasting Ability is Wisdom
Elementalist Skill List
Elementalism, Perception, Empathy, Natural Sciences, Culture,
At first level, you need to pick an element you focus on. You can only cast spells of your focus, and never learn the opposing focus.
Fire >< Water
Air >< Earth
You learn to control the element you focus upon. You can make gusts of wind, lances of fire, you can telekinetically move stone or water. You can make fire appear at will, but not the other elements. You can use the other elements to move something, by the nature of that element, but not fire. Water can be used to restore HP.
You have pretty much complete freedom when forming your element. Just describe what you want to do and make an elementalism check with the DR your GM tells you, then take the corruption he tells you.
Here is a table for reference.
You have to pick two out of Effect, Range or Area of effect. If you pick more of each, you have to lower the other for the same spell level. For example: A power 3 Spell can do 1d10 damage at 50m with no area, or 1D10 dmg with 50m radius at touch, or you combine a bit. Take 1d10dmg at 10m with 5m radius. This is guidelines anyhow.
You can create flame and control its shape. Fire has a lot of destructive potential, but little kinetic control.
You can control water. You cannot create it. The purer the water, the easier it is for you to control. If you are good, you can also turn water into ice and back.
You can control the air around you, using it to create gusts of wind, sound, windhoses, shockwaves. This is especially useful to move yourself around with.
You can control earth, throw it around, upheave it, create walls, form objects from the dirt around you.
1 Weapons your GM will tell you which you can pick, blanket, waterskin, 5 rations, incense sticks, 2d6 coins
Guardian Skill list
Defense, Unarmed Combat, Physical Saving Throws, Medicine
Trickster Skill list
Performance, Stealth, Sleight of Hand, Acrobatics
Mystic Skill list
Mental Saving Throws, Stories, Natural Sciences, Culture
You are a professional fighter, highly skilled with arms and armor.
Mercenary Skill list
Unarmed Combat, One Handed Melee Weapons, Two Handed Melee Weapons, Throwing Weapons, Light Ranged Weapons, Heavy Ranged Weapons, Defense, Physical Saving Throws, Athletics, Pilot, Initiative
You push yourself beyond your limits. On your turn, you can use this to get an extra action, but take 1D6 damage, that ignores armor. You will need to take a short rest, before you can use it again.
Once you gain extra attack, you can make an additional attack each round as a movement action. So 2 attacks in total. Once you learn 2 extra attacks, you can make an additional attack as a free action. So you have 3 attacks each round.
2 Weapons your GM will tell you which you can pick, armor of your choice, blanket, waterskin, 5 rations, bottle of strong ale, 2d6 coins
Gladiator Skill List
Performance, Acrobatics, Manipulation, Animal Handling
Bodyguard Skill List
Perception, Empathy, Medicine, Mental Saving Throws
Gunslinger Skill List
Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Mechanics, Perception
You are used to living off the harsh, Thandorian Wilderness
Nomad Skill List
Nature, Stealth, Athletics, Perception, Unarmed Combat, One Handed Weapons, Two Handed Weapons, Throwing Weapons, Physical saving throws, Pilot
Once you gain extra attack, you can make an additional attack each round as a movement action. So 2 attacks in total.
1 Melee Weapon and one Ranged Weapon and Ammo your GM will tell you which you can pick, blanket, 10m rope, waterskin, 5 rations, bottle of fermented milk, 2d6 coins
Beastmaster Skill List
Animal Handling, Empathy, Performance, Medicine
Guru Skill List
Natural Sciences, Empathy, Manipulation, Medicine
Hunter Skill List
Light Ranged Weapons, Heavy Ranged Weapons, Acrobatics, Initiative
You make your living following your own rules.
Outlaw Skill List
Athletics, Stealth, Culture, Perception, Unarmed Combat, One Handed Melee Weapons, Break and Entry, Pilot, Initiative
Starting at 2nd level, your quick thinking and agility allow you to move and act quickly. You can take an additional movement action each turn.
Once you gain extra attack, you can make an additional attack each round as a movement action. So 2 attacks in total.
1 Melee Weapon and one Ranged Weapon and Ammo your GM will tell you which you can pick, blanket, 10m rope, Lockpicks or Crowbar, waterskin, 5 rations, bottle whisky, 3d6 coins
Thief Skill list
Sleight of Hand, Acrobatics, Throwing Weapons, Manipulation
Smuggler Skill list
Empathy, Manipulation, Light Ranged Weapons, Mechanics
Killer Skill list
Heavy Ranged Weapons, Acrobatics, Natural Sciences, Performance
You excel at stringing the minds and hearts of the people around you and manipulate them at your will.
Scoundrel Skill List
Sleight of Hand, Stories, Culture, Perception, Empathy, Manipulation, Mental Saving Throws,
1 Melee Weapon your GM will tell you which you can pick, impressive cloths, blanket, Musical Instrument or loaded dice or marked cards or a traditional board game, waterskin, 5 rations, bottle of quality wine, 4d6 coins
Entertainer Skill list
One Handed Melee Weapons, Throwing Weapons, Performance, Acrobatics
Courtesan Skill list
Unarmed Combat, Performance, Medicine, Physical Saving Throws
Merchant Skill list
Light Ranged Weapons, Mechanics, Nature, Athletics
You have made a pact with being of immense power, to gain some of that power for you own. You Spellcasting Ability is Charisma.
Warlock Skill List
Sorcery, Stories, Empathy, One Handed Melee Weapons, Mental Saving Throws
You pakt detemens the source of your power, the spells you can cast, and the master you are indebted to.
You can come up with your own magical effects when casting sorcery spells, within the domain your master controls. Just describe what you want to do and make a sorcery check with the DR your GM tells you, then take the corruption he tells you. Normally casting a spell takes an action, but a bigger spell might take longer. Minutes or even hours long rituals are not uncommon.
Here is a table for reference.
You have to pick two out of Effect, Range or Area of effect. If you pick more of each, you have to lower the other for the same spell level. For example: A power 3 Spell can do 1d10 damage at 50m with no area, or 1D10 dmg with 50m radius at touch, or you combine a bit. Take 1d10dmg at 10m with 5m radius. This is guidelines anyhow.
A being of unfathomable power that dwells where the light of the sun cannot reach them. The dark between the stars, the bottom of the ocean, the dark veins of the earth. Their motives are alien, their plans span aeons.
Yc’tholpi controls time and space, the dark and cold of the void, they hold inhuman secrets and madness.
There is but one Dragon left on Thandor. You may not have seen him in person, but you are an agent of his will. The Dragon demands law and obedience above all else.
The dragon grants you his fiery breath, his claws and scaly skin, his voice subjugates the mortal mind.
The Red Queen
She is, she rules over a red and pleasant land. You have seen it in your dreams, your nightmares. A place of splendor and desolace, life and death. Her red hounds stalk through alien woods, her red knights guard an endless castle. Her countenance is inhuman beauty and terror. Love her and despair.
The Red Queen’s world is that of dreams, her blood commands plants and creatures of the wild. Her glamour and illusions confuse the mind.
1 Weapons your GM will tell you which you can pick, blanket, waterskin, 5 rations, chalk and prisms and candles or Dragon Idol or opium pipe, 2d6 coins
Bloodmage Skill list
Culture, Medicine, Unarmed Combat, Defense
Summoner Skill list
Stealth, Perception, Two Handed Melee Weapons, Break and Entry
Witch Skill list
Nature, Medicine, Manipulation, Light Ranged Weapons
Spices: Virtues, Vices, Scars and Disabilities
Spices are the main mechanics that grant you action points. And you want action points, they let your character do cool shit and survive the harsh world of Bloodsun. You can come up with your own virtues, vices, scars and disabilities, or pick one from the examples below. Remember, the more often your character gets disadvantage or is put into a spot because of their spices, the more often you get action points. But there is a point,when a character might become unplayable. Your character should start with one virtue, one vice, and maybe a scar. Talk to your gm and group if in doubt.
A virtue is some heroic trait, that sets your character apart from the rest of the lowlife scum in their line of work. You may be a grizzled, stealing murdermashine, but you have a human heart under all of that crusted dirt.
Take the chivalric virtues from Charlemagne as example
Love your neighbour
Give alms to the poor
Visit the sick
Be merciful to prisoners
Do ill to no man, nor consent unto such
Forgive as ye hope to be forgiven
Redeem the captive
Help the oppressed
Defend the cause of the widow and orphan
Render righteous judgement
Do not consent to any wrong
Persevere not in wrath
Shun excess in eating and drinking
Be humble and kind
Serve your liege lord faithfully
Do not steal
Do not perjure yourself, nor let others do so
Envy, hatred and violence separate men from the Kingdom of God
Defend the Church and promote her cause
Or the seven heavenly virtues
A vice is a weakness of character, that your character may not be proud of. It may hinder him in reaching his goals. But he is only mortal, and mortals are flawed creatures by nature.
Take the buddhistic vices for example:
Absence of shame
Absence of embarrassment
Parsimony (in the sense of stinginess)
Concealment of wrongdoing
Or maybe one of Dante’s seven deadly sins
Pride or Vanity
Envy or Jealousy
Wrath or Anger
Sloth or Laziness
Avarice or greed
Scars and Disabilities
This is something an experienced adventurer will get a collection of, more likely than not. Maybe it is just a scar across the cheek, or a missing finger. Could also be something psychological. Some things leave scars on the soul. Note it down. But you will not get any action points from them, if they don’t give your character problems in achieving their goals. Now if they come with a disability, that can change drastically. Some disabilities will only seldom give you hero points. Like being unable to see color. (Note as a Thandorian, you can write that down straight away.) Some more often, like a horribly burned face, or a missing hand. Some very often, like being mute, blind, missing an arm or leg. Some might make your character downright unplayable. You have to strike a balance here. Maybe your character got a prosthesis made of an old truck spring to cope with their missing leg. You wont get action points as often, but the character is still playable. If in doubt, talk to your gm about this.
Fear of Snakes
Fear of Height
Paralyzing Fear of Water
Experience and Progression
When a character levels up, he gets the class features of his new level, and 1 (one) hp. Most levels there are skills, or archetyp features, or ability score improvements to pick. Remember, that your skill bonuses increase levels 4, 7 and 10.
When does a character level up?
I like the method used in the Critical Role Mighty 9 campaign. The GM just tells the group to level up, when they have reached a certain point in the story, after achieving some of their short or medium term goals. That is a very easy method to keep track of.
Second method I would use is to give the characters XP when they do something you like as a GM. You should reward those things right away, so the reward’s effect is as high as possible. If you use this, you can let the character level up to a new level when they have 10+new level xp. (adjust for your preference. Maybe 5+ New level, maybe 10+New level x 2)
Here a few examples I would reward experience points for:
Characters achieve one of their short term goals
They achieve one of their medium term goals (could be more than 1 xp)
They achieve one of their long term goals (could be more than 1 xp)
One of the characters in game action has impressed you, be it because of it’s heroism tear inducing roleplaying, or because it was so damn clever
A player did something that made the game better for everyone. Could be anything really. Maybe he cooked, maybe he cracked a really good joke. You be the judge.
I personally would not give characters XP for killing monsters, or getting treasures, unless it is an explicit goal of their characters. That might just compell them to a life of murder hobos.
I’m not sure how to handle this yet. Probably not an issue, if you lower the number of skills a character gets at the first level of any new class by half. The classes can all use the same items, weapons, armors and only get 1 hit point after all.
In Bloodsun your character has 6 abilities that represent what he is basically capable off. Just as in 5e they are:
Not only pure muscular power, but also how well you can use it.
Strength gives you Attack- and Damage Bonus in Melee Combat, and allows you to use larger weapons.
How fast and precise you can move your body and hands. Your reflexes, hand-eye-coordination and balance
Dexterity gives you Attackbonuses when using Ranged Weapons and light Melee Weapons. No Damage bonus. Dexterity gives a bonus to your passive defense
A tough immune system and strong bones. Your ability to shrug off, or at least survive harm from injury, poison and disease.
Your mental capacity, knowledge and reason. It is used for Knowledge, Science Problems, Engineering and Mechanics.
How well you perceive the world around you. The acuteness and sharpness of your senses, as well as your ability to understand what you perceive and your intuition.
Wisdom gives you Attack Bonus with Crossbows and Rifles. It is used to cast Elemental Magic.
How you can use your charm, looks, knowledge and social standing to manipulate others to your will. It is used by Warlocks, who bargain with otherworldly beings for power.
Should be familiar for any D&D player
There are a number of skills that represent special knowledge and training. They give a bonus to an ability check, when the skill applies to the situation. See character creation, what bonus you get for what character level
For example: A thief can use his “break and entry” skill not only when using lockpicks with dexterity, but also when using a crowbar with strength.
You are specialised in any ability check required for athletic feats, such as running, jumping, climbing and swimming
For situations where balancing, somersaulting, rolling, cartwheeling and doing wall jumps matters. Could also be used to entertain crowds with juggling and stuff.
Break and Entry
You are trained to break through barriers like doors and windows and circumvent or disable traps and alarms.
Sleight of Hand
Tricks you need fast hands fors, card tricks, magic tricks, cheating, pickpocketing, shoplifting
Sneaking, hiding, shadowing someone, staying unseen.
You are knowledgeable about all forms of elemental Magic. You gain your Skill Bonus not only when casting elemental magic, but also when you use your knowledge to identify an item or spell of this school.
You are knowledgeable about magic and spells gained by pacts with otherworldly beings.
You gain your Skill Bonus not only when casting Sorcery, but also when you use your knowledge to identify an item or spell of this school.
You know lots of folklore, myth and legend. Some people think that at least part of this is history. You are also good at telling stories and learning new ones.
You are knowledgeable about animals, plants and wilderness survival. You can gather, hunt, track and make camp.
You know a lot about different cultures, their customs, hierarchies and religion. You might even recall rumors about secret cults.
You are apt at training and handling domestic animals. If you are really good and have a lot of time, you can even tame wild animals.
You know a lot about the function of the body and how to heal wounds, illness and poison.
You are good at Math, Physics and Chemistry
You are good at repairing and building machines. If you are good, you can even invent and design new one.
You are very good at using your senses and notice even minute details.
You are trained in using powered vehicles like motorcycles, cars, planes, boats, ships, and airships.
You are very good at gauging the feelings and motives of others. Can be used to see if someone tells you the truth
You are very good at getting others to do, what you want, be it through Deception, Persuasion or Intimidation
How well you can perform displays of artistic nature. Music, dancing, theatre, painting, sculpting
You are trained in fighting with just your body as a weapon
One Handed Melee Weapons
You are trained in the use of one handed melee weapons such as knives, daggers, swords, spears, axes, maces, clubs
Two Handed Melee Weapons
You are trained in the use of two handed melee weapons such as long knives,, swords, spears, axes, maces, clubs
You are trained in the use of throwing weapons such as knives, axes, clubs, boomerang, spears and handgrenades.
Light Ranged Weapons
You are trained in the use of light ranged weapons, such as light bows, crossbows and pistols
Heavy Ranged Weapons
You are trained in the use of heavy ranged weapons such as warbows, windlass-crossbows, muskets, rifles and machine guns.
You are trained to act fast in a combat situation and take action without hesitation.
You are trained to block and dodge enemy attacks in combat. You gain your skill bonus to your defense.
Physical Saving Throws
You are trained to avoid bodily harm. Add your skill bonus to STR, CON and DEX saving throws.
Mental Saving Throws
You have trained your mind to avoid manipulation and harm. You add your skill bonus to your INT, WIS and CHA saving throws
This is the basic resolution mechanic. If your character attempts anything and the outcome is not certain, the GM will ask you to make an Ability Check. For this, you roll a D20, add the applying ability modifier, skill modifiers, gear modifier, and other modifier that would apply, and try to get as high as possible. You have to get or surpars a Difficulty Rating (DR) set by your GM or the task you want to accomplish. (for a melee attack, you need to reach or surpass your enemies defense)
If you roll a natural 20, that is a critical success, that will achieve an outcome, that is better than expected. (in combat it doubles your damage)
If you roll a natural 1, that is an automatic failure, no matter how good you are, or how easy the DR was.
If two characters make actions that are directly opposed to each other, for example tug of war, armwrestling, keeping a door shut while someone ties to batter it open, you can ask for an opposed check. The opposing parties both make an ability check, whoever rolls higher with roll+ability+skill+stuff wins. On a draw, maybe just let it be a draw. If you need a winner, let them roll again until you have one.
If you are in danger of being harmed, for example by traps, poison, spells, etc. You GM might ask of you to make an ability check to see if you can save yourself from that harm. This eather lowers the effect of the harm, or nullifies it.
Hero Points, Help, Spells, Equipment and Situations can give you Advantage on a Roll. That means you roll your dice twice and take the higher roll. You can get Advantage on any roll, but usually on Ability Checks.
Harm, Wounds, Spells, Poison and Situations can give you Disadvantage on a Roll. You roll your dice twice and take the lower roll. You can get Disadvantage on any roll, but usually on Ability Checks.
If you help another character with his ability check, he gets advantage on the roll. It must make sense for your character to help him. If your help is not very helpful at all, he gets no benefit.
Are rewarded for play, that the GM likes. Nice action scenes, good character play, heroic behaviour, good ideas, good plot advancement, virtues and vices. I also considered the name Awesome Points
Can be spend to:
Get advantage on a roll
Help another PC after he failed a roll (if possible to help them in game) to let them reroll with advantage
Add 1d6 to damage done
Remove 1d6 from damage taken
Add an element to the narrative that the GM has not yet described (GM has the last word)
Stabilize if bleeding out
Take action if character is unconscious / can take no combat action
Each character shall have a virtue: a heroic trait like generosity, compassion, faith etc.
If the character get in trouble roleplaying the virtue, if he has a real disadvantage because of it, he gets a Hero Point
Each character shall have a vice: an unheroic trait like cowardice, addiction, cruelty, wrath etc.
If the character get in trouble roleplaying the vice, if he has a real disadvantage because of it, he gets a Hero Point
Each character can have disabilities and scars (like a lost eye, arm, shaky hands, bad hearing etc.) He can start with these, or acquire them during play.
If the character gets a real disadvantage because of the disability, he gets a Hero Point
This self regulates the severity of the disability. If he gets disadvantage often, he gets Hero Point often and vice versa
Should be applied within reason. One armed for example is a severe disadvantage, because the character can’t use weapons and shield, two weapons, or two handed weapons in combat. But he should only get a Hero Point because of it once per combat, not every Round of combat.
If the character gets no real disadvantage, because he uses a prosthetic or similar, he gets no hero points
Order of Combat
Combat is organised into rounds of no set length. Can reach from a few seconds in single combat, up to minutes in combat between battleships.
To handle combat
Every combatant takes their turn in order of initiative
Beginn the next round
If a combatant does not expect the combat to happen, he can’t act during the first round of combat. This only applies, if there is a combatant, that is surprised by the beginning of combat.
This usually involves the use of stealth, if someone sneaks up to an unexpecting target, or if someone walks into an ambush.
To determine who goes first in a combat round, each combatant makes a DEX ability check, adding all of their bonuses to the roll. You then go from the highest total, to the lowest total. If there are two combatants with the same total, let them roll a D20 to decide who goes first.
Take your turn
During your turn, you describe what you do and make your rolls to do it. You can take an action, a movement action and as many free actions, as your GM deems sensibile.
Actions are what you are mainly doing on a combat round. Often an attack. Movement and free actions are usually made to facilitate actions.
Make an unarmed attack, or an attack with a melee weapon. You have to stand next to your target. Make an ability check against the targets defense using the appropriate ability and skill for your weapon. See under Weapons for what ability and skills apply.
Make an attack with a thrown or ranged weapon. You have to be within range of your weapon. Make an ability check against the targets defense using the appropriate ability and skill for your weapon. See under Weapons for what ability and skills apply. Each ranged weapon has two ranges listed, short and long range. You get disadvantage on the roll if the target is in melee or long range with you.
Cast a Spell
Casting an elemental or sorcery spell works the same way. You select your spell, make your ability check, apply spell effect and corruption. For more information, see the magic chapter.
Use dash to take a second movement action. If you are moving and dashing, you are moving over the battlefield so fast, that you are harder to hit. Until your next turn, ranged attacks against you have disadvantages.
Use an Object
Sometimes you want to use a piece of equipment, or an object on the field of battle. These actions and what ability check you have to make depend on the object used.
If you focus your action on your own defense, trying to block, weave and dodge every attack, instead of attacking or doing anything else, every enemy attacking you gets disadvantage on their attack rolls.
You can help another character with their action. As per usual, it has to make sense. You could for example divert, occupy or hold an enemy so an ally can hit them in melee, which would give them advantage on their attack.
You try to hide, maybe to get out of combat, or to get advantage when your surprise your enemy. Only works, if you can break line of sight and find a hiding spot.
You reload your weapon, crank up your crossbow, stuff your musket, put a few bullets into your rifle. See the weapons for detail.
You state your intent to take another type of action, as soon as some trigger happens. For example, you could attack someone in melee, as soon as they get into range. Or you shoot someone, as soon as they stick their head out of cover.
When the trigger occurs, you can either take your action, or drop it. You cannot change it. The action that triggers your reaction will be resolved as normal after your readied action, unless your readied action makes them impossible.
Do something else
You can do a lot of other stuff, that takes about a few seconds, as long as it makes sense to you and your gm. Be creative, talk to your GM.
A movement action is what you do to be able to make your actions. Often it is just to move around.
Your characters move over the battlefield. You can move up to your movement speed. If the terrain is difficult to move through, if you are using stealth, if you are swimming or climbing, your movement speed is halved. If the place you want to reach is difficult to get to, the GM might ask for an ability check.
Draw your weapon, load your gun, put an arrow on your bow. Some weapons need to be readied every time you want to use them. Also used for other items, that are not held ready in your hands.
Standing up from a lying position.
Free actions are actions, that are so small, that you can do them in no time at all, or while doing something else.
Drop whatever your have in the hand
Throw yourself on the ground
Speak a few words
Special combat situations
Cover makes you harder to hit with ranged attacks and spells of ranged attack nature. If at least half of your body is behind cover, your attacker gets disadvantage on their attack roll.
Two weapon fighting
If you fight with a weapon in each hand, you get +1D4 to your attack roll. That’s all. It does not matter what kind of weapon you have in your offhand, a dagger or knife will do fine to create opportunities to hit them with your main weapon. Of course this prevents you from holding anything else in your offhand, like a torch, shield or wielding a two handed weapon.
Some Attacks, like grenades, fireballs, automatic gunfire etc.can attack a wide area and affect several targets. The attacker makes one roll. Everyone in the affected area is hit, if the attack is higher than their defense. Even if their defense is higher, they still take half damage of the attack. Everyone in the affected area can use up their next action (even if that is next round) to get into cover or throw themselves on the ground, if now cover is available, to half the damage.
If they get into cover, and their defense is not reached by the attack, they take no damage.
A gun capable of firing a lot of shots in one round (a semi automatic pistol would fill that criterium) Can be used to expend 5 rounds, and make an attack with advantage. Just spray and pray.
If the gun has a large magazin, and fires fully automatic. (right now, only machine guns) They can expend 10 Shots and attack an area. (Area Attack) That can be approximated as a cone of 15°, 3×3 Meters, or up to 3 targets, whatever works best for your combat.
Damage and Healing
Every character has hit points, representing the endurance and luck they have. It’s not their actual life force or anything. When they take hits in combat, damage from spell, exhaustion from running, etc. the damage is subtracted from the hit points, representing them getting tired, bruised and scratched. But hit points regenerate fast, so as long as they are above 0, this it’s not much of a problem. If the damage drops a character to 0 hit points or below ( it can get into negative values), it gets ugly. For one, he will be unable to act in combat, to worn and hurt to do more than crawl. Any enemy can decide to knock them unconscious or inflict even more serious wounds as an action, without rolling. Second, he will get a serious wound. Your GM can make something up, but here is a table for inspiration. Roll on it with a D20 and add the amount of hit points below zero