Elementary Chaos

SECTION 1: Character Creation

Character creation is designed to be simple and flexible, granting you access to as many character archetypes as possible within a streamlined system. Moves and Marks can be renamed or reimagined within the narrative as desired (so long as the GM understands you). In order:

  • Give your character a Name (whatever you wish, but think old-timey London flavour wise)

  • Pick a portrait! I’ll be tweaking these to fit stylistically with the rest of the stuff, but I’d recommend looking up stuff like ‘1900s portrait’ on Google and grabbing something applicable. Remember, the world up until a few short decades ago was pretty mundane, so people still for the most part look pretty stuffy and formal.

  • Assign them Stats (see below) 

  • Choose two Marks (see Section 2) 

    • Each character receives equipment and specialized Moves according to these Marks in addition to Generic Moves that each character shares. Pick one Move from each Mark at creation, excluding Moves in red.

    • Damage = (Total number of Damage dice from both Marks)

    • Wounds = (Wounds from both Marks + Defense Stat Modifier)

    • Both Marks will be combined into a single composite Mark located somewhere on your body, generally above your heart or your forehead. Let me know where you want it located… in practice this means whether you want it in your portrait or not!

  • Choose Gear from your Marks’ starting lists and total out your Wealth

  • Each character begins the game with two Mark Resonances (see Resonate!)

Stats

Each character has 5 Stats – Strength (brawn, courage, or power), Skill (speed and dexterity), Defense (fortitude and resilience), Mind (mental quickness or intellect) and Soul (force of will or personality). 

Assign +2, +1, +1, +0, -1 to these stats as you wish.

Gear

Each Mark comes with an assortment of possible Gear. On creation, pick whatever your want, but be aware that you gain proficiency only with the weapons that you pick. In practice you may use any weapon you find, but without proficiency you’ll roll with [Clumsy], rolling three dice and picking the worst two. Proficiency can, luckily, be taught by trainers you find, should you want it! 

You cannot select multiple identical weapons or more than one Armour at character creation. Wealth from both Marks gets added together at character creation.

You also have a good deal of flexibility when it comes to interpretation of your Gear. You may get access to a Blade, and decide that it’s an axe, a scimitar, or half of a pair of giant scissors. With more outlandish equipment you may get some odd glances on the street, but the Marked are an odd lot no matter how you slice it. If you have any particular desires or concerns in this regard, ask the GM or just try it – worst case scenario you’ll be asked to tweak things a bit!

SECTION 2: Generic Moves

Each character has access to these moves, regardless of Stats. During play you may take one Full and one Free Action per turn – or not make any Moves at all, if you’d prefer! In general, Moves are played when you want to significantly change the narrative of the scene.

Avoid Disaster! [Full Action]

When you must avert ruin, disaster, or avoid danger, the GM will tell you what statistics you can roll to avoid it. Roll [2d6+____], where the blank is a choice between the Stats available for you to roll. 

  • On a 10+ roll, you succeed and avoid full danger or harm.

  • On a 7-9 roll, you succeed, but you falter or stumble. The GM will give you a trade-off, drawback, or complication. 

  • On a <7 roll, you fail and something bad happens to you.

Describe the way in which you use your skills to avoid the danger or complications.

Melee Attack! [Full Action]

When you want to attack someone nearby, roll [2d6+Strength]. 

  • On a 10+ roll, deal damage to your opponent.

  • On a 7-9 roll, trade damage with your opponent, or deal damage but something bad happens, or it doesn’t go how you want it.

  • On a <7 roll, you miss and either take damage from your opponent or something else unpleasant.

You can also choose to modify your attack on a 10+ roll:

  • Power Attack: Deal +1d6 Damage

  • Grab: Deal regular damage and grab your foe. They cannot move or attack any opponent except you. The grab ends when you take damage or you choose to let them go.

Heave! [Full Action]

When you want to use your strength to reposition your foes or clear an obstacle, roll [2d6+Strength]. 

  • On a 10+ roll, your strength prevails over your obstacle, and your enemy is shoved off balance, giving allies +1 on rolls against them this turn and next.

  • On a 7-9 roll, you struggle with your obstacle, making a racket, and your enemy is only distracted momentarily, giving a single ally +1 on their roll against them this turn.

  • On a <7 roll, you fail to budge your target or pull a muscle in the process.

Ranged Attack! [Full Action]

When you want to attack someone at range, roll [2d6+Skill].

  • On a 10+ roll, deal damage to your opponent.

  • On a 7-9 roll, deal damage – but something bad happens to you, or it doesn’t go how you want it. Also, you need to reload, if your weapon has the [Loading] tag.

  • On a <7 roll, you miss and either take damage from your opponent or something else unpleasant.

You can also choose to modify your attack on a 10+ roll:

  • Called Shot: Tell the GM where you hit your target – the DM decides the effect.

  • Suppressing Fire: Target scatters to find cover or otherwise moves out of position.

SECTION 2: Generic Moves

Maneuver! [Full Action]

When you want to maneuver for a better position, roll [2d6+Skill].

  • On a 10+ roll, enemies opt for easier targets, and gain +1 to your next roll.

  • On a 7-9 roll, either:

    • expose yourself to harm, but retain your bonus to next roll.

    • lose your bonus to next roll, but slip away from harm.

  • On a <7 roll, you stumble and expose yourself to harm, temporarily losing 1 Armour

Grit Your Teeth! [Free Reaction]

Whenever you take damage, you may optionally choose to roll  [2d6+Defense+(Armour above 3)].

  • On a 10+ roll, you take 1 less Wound.

  • On a 7-9 roll, take damage as normal, and the GM chooses an additional penalty

  • On a <7 roll, you either 1) take 1 extra Wound or 2) fall unconscious from the pain for the fight.

Memory! [Full Action]

When you need information on some aspect of the game world, roll [2d6+Mind].

  • On a 10+ roll, the GM will provide you with useful and pertinent information about it. 

  • On a 7-9 roll, the GM will provide you with potentially (but not necessarily) useful information.

  • On a <7 roll, you fail to think of anything relevant.

Investigate! [Full Action]

When you need information about a person, area or situation, roll [2d6+Mind].

  • On a 10+ roll, ask the GM up to 3 questions from the list below and receive truthful answers.

  • On a 7-9 roll, ask the GM 2 questions from the list below – but only one answer is completely true.

  • On a <7 roll, you fail to turn anything up.

Gain +1 to your next roll with regards to following up on these leads.

  • What’s about to happen? 

  • What here seems false or deceitful? 

  • What here could be useful to me? 

  • What has just happened here? 

  • What seems to be the safest path forward? 

Convince! [Full Action]

When you want to convince, command or seduce someone into following your will, roll [2d6+Soul]

  • On a 10+ roll, your audience is impressed, and is inclined to help you.

  • On a 7-9 roll, your audience needs some sort of tangible leverage before they’ll act.

  • On a <7 roll, you fail to convince them – and in some cases may anger them.

Shop! [Full Action]

When you need to acquire specific, quality goods – or dangerous or illegal gear – roll [2d6+Soul].

  • On a 10+ roll, you find what you need (or something like it).

  • On a 7-9 roll, you find what you need – but it’s more expensive than you hoped or comes with uncomfortable strings attached or may bring the law down on your heads…

  • On a <7 roll, you fail to find what you’re looking for and may have attracted unwanted attention.

SECTION 2: Generic Moves

Defy Death!  [Full Reaction]

When you lose your last Wound, roll [2d6]

  • On Double 6s, you burst back to your feet, fully healed! 

  • On a 10+ roll, you heal 2 Wounds

  • On a 7-9 roll, you heal 1 Wound, but must choose 1:

    • You are disfigured or injured – take permanent -1 to a stat

    • You lose something precious (a limb, a memory, a keepsake)

    • One of your Marks is compromised – the GM will make changes accordingly

  • On a <7 roll, you’re dead.

Resonate! [Free Action]

Before you make a move, you can choose to spend a single Mark Resonance to increase your 2d6 roll to 3d6 – when you do, pick the two highest rolls of the three! When you do so, describe how your character glows with power, or moves with supernatural grace, or whatever else. Some Moves may require you to spend a Mark Resonance to activate them – where applicable, roll 3d6 in addition to those effects.

Damage and Armour

When you hit, roll your Damage dice (usually 2d6, depends on Marks and Moves), then check each die to determine the damage dealt. Afterwards, subtract your target’s Armour  from the total.

  • On a 6, your opponent takes 2 damage 

  • On a 2-5, your opponent takes 1 damage

  • On a 1 roll, you deal a glancing blow, inflicting no damage!

For example, if an attack deals 3d6 damage to a 1 Armour opponent, and you roll [2,5,6], you deal [1+1+2] = 4 Damage – 1 Armour = 3 Damage

The effective Armour cap is 3. All Armour beyond 3 increases your Grit Your Teeth! rolls by +1 instead of reducing damage taken. 

Resting

When you have the time to take a rest (a few hours or so, a few days if you’re lucky), each player chooses a number of Wounds to heal and rolls [2d6-Wounds] to try to patch things up.

  • On a 10+ roll, heal all Wounds, one damaged Stat, and any broken armour

  • On a 7-9 roll, heal all Wounds and any broken armour, but your enemies gain something from your rest (ground, time, resources, etc.)

  • On a <7 roll, either:

    • Heal 1 Wound

    • Heal all wounds, but enemies gain something significant from your rest

In a group, only the worst effect occurs on the narrative: if someone rolls a 9 and another rolls a 4, the effects won’t be compounded, only reflecting on the lowest roll.

Levelling Up

After completing a mission, the GM may deem you to have levelled up. If you’ve completed a difficult battle, gained entrance to someplace you weren’t supposed to go, or managed to charm someone powerful out of something valuable, you can expect to level up next time you rest or end your session. If so, gain +1 Wound and another Move from either of your Marks. Every three levels (3, 6, 9, etc.), you additionally gain +1 to any Stat and may instead opt to choose to learn a Move one of your allies know.

SECTION 3: Marks

Choose two Marks at character creation, then sum the Damage dice and the Wounds (adding your Defense Stat modifier) to find your totals. The titles of the Marks are general and generic – feel free to interpret or rename them as befits your specific character. Maybe you’re not a Thief – you were a Smuggler. Maybe you weren’t an Archon – you’re a Scientist. Regardless, your two Marks make up your Class, which can be named whatever you wish. Moves in Red cannot be taken until you level up! As a reminder, during play you may take one Full and one Free Action per turn – or not make any Moves at all, if you’d prefer!

Mark of the Thief

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

In the past (or maybe even right now!) you were a thief, expert at acquiring goods illegally and stealthily through your great dexterity. You begin with either a Knife, a Bow or a Gun, as well as Light Armour. You also carry a pouch of Coins worth 1 Wealth.  Gain +1 to Investigate! rolls about underworld activities.

? Pickpocket [Passive]

You may automatically steal anything you can fit in the palm of your hand, so long as you can touch it. In combat, a roll of 10+ on a Melee Attack! will allow you to steal or plant something on your target in addition to damage dealt. 

? Escape Artist [Free Reaction]

You may automatically pick simple locks without a roll. Additionally, if you would take damage in combat, you may opt to roll [2d6+Skill] or [2d6+Mind] (choose one at character creation) instead of [2d6+Defense+(Armour above 3)] for the Grit Your Teeth! Move. If you do, on a 10+, you take no damage and your attacker is knocked off balance or otherwise embarrassed. Otherwise, the Grit Your Teeth! Move proceeds as normal. 

? Breaking and Entering [Full Action]

If you wish to enter a building or restricted area, you may roll [2d6+Skill] or [2d6+Mind] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, you gain knowledge of the optimal way to enter the area. You and your party members gain +1 on rolls to gain access, and you automatically bypass any Threat Level 0 guards on the way. 

  • On a 7-9 roll, you gain knowledge of a sneaky way to enter the area. You gain +1 on rolls to gain access – but you either leave behind marks of your passing or alert people.

  • On a <7 roll, you fail to enter or trip many alarms

? Holdout Weapons [Passive]

All your weapons gain the [Hidden] tags after you spend a rest tinkering with them – large weapons collapse into portability. After you do so, only you can wield them effectively. If you attack from a hidden or unexpected position, your attack gains [Piercing +1].

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Marksman

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You have a keen eye and a sharp aim – and you can use it to deadly effect. You begin with either a Gun or a Bow, as well as Light Armour. You also carry a pouch of Coins worth 1 Wealth. Gain +1 to Shop! rolls regarding specialized ammunition.

? Eagle Eye [Passive]

You can see clearly up to a mile, and may spot things in the distance before anyone else. In combat, you can target weaknesses in enemy defenses – a roll of 10+ on a Ranged Attack! gains [Piercing +1]. 

? Ricochet [Passive]

If you hit an opponent or an object with a Ranged Attack! you can make another attack on an opponent you or your nearby allies can see (even if you can’t see them). On a roll of 10+ deal damage as normal, otherwise you miss. Ricochet can activate only once per Ranged Attack!

? Sonar Vision [Full Action]

You can see in the dark as well as daylight. You may also roll [2d6+Skill] or [2d6+Mind] (choose one at character creation) to see through walls or other obscuring obstacles.

  • On a 10+ roll, you can clearly see the layout of the nearby area beyond the obstacle including the position of enemies, and can target them with your next Ranged Attack!

  • On a 7-9 roll, you dimly see the layout of the nearby area beyond the obstacle, but do not perceive enemies.

  • On a <7 roll, you see nothing and take -1 to the Stat used for the roll until next rest

? Soul Arrow [Passive]

When you rest, you can focus your Soul into a single piece of Ammunition, converting it to a Soul Arrow. Any time you perform a Ranged Attack! with the associated weapon prior to your next rest, you can elect to expend it to make that attack unable to miss (treat a 2-6 as 7-9) and gain the [Forceful] and [Messy] tags.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Beggar

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 3]

You have led a hard life – and it has made you tough and canny. You begin with a set of Clothing as well as two of the following: Fighting Skills, a Spear, or a Staff. You begin with no Wealth – but are owed one favor by the local beggars. Gain +1 to Memory! rolls about unusual happenings.

? Impossible Weapons [Passive]

You make do with what you can – you can pick up and wield anything as a weapon (provided it is not already a weapon). The GM will determine its traits. If you roll 10+ while using it to attack, it breaks – but deals +1d6 damage.

? Street Mockery [Full Action]

When you attempt to mock or humiliate your target, roll  [2d6+Defense] or [2d6+Soul]. 

  • On a 10+ roll, an ally that can see the target regains 1 Wound. Additionally, choose one of the following:

    • You deal 1d6 damage to the target

    • A different ally regains 1 Wound

    • Your target drops or is disarmed of something

  • On a 7-9 roll, an ally that can see the target regains 1 Wound

  • On a <7 roll, you are humiliated instead.

? Help a Fella Out [Full Action]

When you’re among the peasantry or in city slums and you require the word on the streets, food, booze, supplies, or help (choose one from the list), you may roll [2d6+Defense] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, your connections come through, and you get it (in some form or another)

  • On a 7-9 roll, you get it, but are first led on a wild goose chase

  • On a <7 roll, you get nothing

? Drinking Buddy! [Full Action]

When you want to get on good terms with someone indifferent or hostile, roll [2d6+Defense] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, tell a raucous joke or story and they think you’re clever and friendly, and are well-disposed towards you.

  • On a 7-9 roll,  they are no longer indifferent or hostile, but neither will they give you special treatment.

  • On a <7 roll, it goes badly for you!

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Dancer

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You are graceful and strong, and when you dance none can look away. You begin with either Fighting Skills, a Bow, a Blade, or a Knife, as well as Fine Clothing. You begin with 2 Wealth due to your great skill, which often comes in the form of fine jewelry or baubles. Gain +1 to Maneuver! rolls when you have an audience.

? Taffeta, Darling [Passive]

When wearing fine clothing, you can wield it as both armour and as a weapon with [Melee – Close Range] and a Flourish: [Flourish: Forceful], [Flourish: Area],  [Flourish: Disarm], [Flourish: Blind, Silence, or Cripple], or [Flourish: Pierce +1] (choose one at character creation). Fine clothing or better counts as 1 Armour for you, you cannot be [Disarmed], and you can also make Melee or Ranged Attack! Moves 

using [2d6+Soul] instead of the normal Stats if you wish. If you are not wearing fine clothing, you lose the benefits of this move. Fine Clothing cannot be worn with Armour. 

? Beautiful Grace [Free Action]

When you flaunt your grace and beauty and ask someone a simple favour or question, they cannot say no – they may stall, mislead you, or become flustered, but they cannot deny your request. Once per combat, you may roll [2d6+Skill] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation) when an ally is damaged by an attack – on a 10+, the attacker stares at you instead, entranced, dealing no damage to your ally.

? Rhythm of Battle [Passive]

When in battle and you or an ally rolls doubles on a Move roll (as opposed to a damage roll), they gain +1 to their next Move roll. If their next roll is also a double, they retain the bonus for the duration of the combat.

? Dominate The Weak [Passive]

When you roll a 10+ on Convince!, even against a hostile target, you can choose to ensorcel them. While charmed this way, the target treats you as though they are deeply in love with you and your group as friendly acquaintances. This effect lasts until you take a respite or rest, or they are hurt by your or your group. They remember that you ensorcelled them afterwards.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Gourmand

[Damage 0 / Wounds 2]

You are or were a chef, line cook, or great gourmand. Where others see the beasts and bounty of nature as something to be explored or conquered, you see them as… ingredients. You begin with a Knife and 2 Wealth, as well as Light Armour. Gain +1 to Shop! rolls related to specialized ingredients.

? Taking Samples [Full Action/Free Action]

You keep your eyes out for fancy ingredients as you travel. At will (when not in combat), roll [2d6] to seek them out. 

  • On a 10+ roll, you find 3 Ingredients

  • On a 7-9 roll, you find 1 ingredient

  • On a <7 roll, your search turns up nothing useful.

While making a Melee Attack! or Ranged Attack! roll you may expend 2 Ingredients and gain these effects:

  • On a 10+ roll, deal +2d6 damage OR heal ally or self 2 Wounds

  • On a 7-9 roll, deal +1d6 damage OR heal ally or self 1 Wound, but draw attention to yourself!

  • On a <7 roll, you draw attention to yourself!

? Slice and Dice [Full Action]

You’re a chef, not a fighter! But even so, you do know a heck of a lot about what things look like inside. Choose an opponent and roll [2d6+Mind] or [2d6+Skill] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, that opponent takes +1d6 damage until a miss or combat ends

  • On a 7-9 roll, that opponent takes +1d6 damage next attack

  • On a <7 roll, you fail to recall anything useful

? Fit for a King [Free Action]

Food is the way to a man’s heart – you know this to be true. A little something delicious can go a long way towards improving moods and dispositions, and you wield your spatula like an artist wields a brush. Before rolling for Investigate!, Convince! or Shop! in a social situation, roll [2d6+Mind] or [2d6+Skill] (choose one at character creation). On a 7+, add an extra 1d6 to that Move’s roll. In addition, you or one ally heals 1 Wound – no sense letting the leftovers go to waste!

? You Are What You Eat [Full Action]

When a hostile creature dies near you, roll [2d6+Defense] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, gain a trait or technique from the creature you consumed that lasts until your next rest. Multiple traits or techniques can be gained from this Move (though only one per variety of creature), but all vanish upon a rest.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Grappler

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You made your career as a wrestler! Or maybe you needed to climb sheer mountain faces with your bare hands and your wit! Or maybe you were a back alley scrapper! Whatever you are, you’re very strong, and when you hold onto something it stays there. You begin with Fighting Skills and 1 Wealth. Gain +1 to Heave! rolls when battling a worthy foe. 

? Submission Expert [Passive]

While using Melee Attack!, you may grab on a +7 rather than a 10+ roll, and you gain +1 Armour against grabbed opponents. If a grabbed opponent’s attack fails to break your Armor, deal 1 damage automatically.

? Mountain Man [Passive]

You can automatically climb steep walls or sheer surfaces without a roll. Gain +1 to Armour against opponents you attack while climbing or from above.

? Hurler [Full Action]

Grabbed opponents can be thrown with a roll of [2d6+Defense] or [2d6+Strength] (choose one at character creation)

  • On a 10+ roll, you throw them at another opponent, dealing +1d6 damage to each

  • On a 7-9 roll, you throw them away, dealing +1d6 damage

  • On a <7 roll, you strain yourself, take -1 to the Stat used for the roll until next rest

? Break [Passive]

Any attack by you on a grabbed opponent adds the [Crippled] tag for the rest of combat. Any attack by you on a [Crippled] opponent deals +1d6 damage.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Wilder

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You are a master of beasts or a forest ranger or a druid who commands the animals of nature. You begin with a Staff, Spear, Bow, Gun or Implement and 0 Wealth – but the beasts of nature owe you one favour. Gain +1 to Investigate! rolls regarding nature or wild animals.

? Animal Companion [Passive]

You have an animal companion of some sort, and you operate as a team. Your companion has their own combat Stats [Damage 1d6 / Wounds 1] and operates separately from you at your whim. 

They can perform Investigate!  and the Melee Attack! Moves (with tags [Melee Range], [Finesse], and [Flourish: blind, silence, or cripple]) using your Stats even while separate. In addition, they have one trait from this list (choose one at character creation).

  • Your Companion gains +1 Wound

  • If you would lose your last Wound, your Companion loses it instead

  • Your Companion may perform Ranged Attack! with tags [Long Range] and [Finesse: blind, silence, or cripple]

  • While your Companion is with you, it grants you +1 Armour

If your animal companion is reduced to 0 Wounds, it does not make a Defy Death! roll. Instead, it leaves combat and returns to your side at full health after a Rest.

? Mark Your Territory [Full Action/Passive]

When it is clear that you have cleared an area of enemies, you can claim it as your territory. While within your territory, you and allies gain +1 to Investigate!, Memory!, Shop! and Convince! rolls, where applicable. While Resting within your territory, you and your allies cannot roll lower than 7.

? Speaker to Animals [Full Action]

You can call out to the beasts to come to your aid. You specialize in a specific kind of creature, which you pick – this is merely cosmetic. When you need their aid, roll [2d6+Defense] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation)

  • On a 10+ roll, they come to you in a great group or swarm, granting you +1 to your next roll. In addition, you are granted +2 Armour against the next attack against you

  • On a 7-9 roll, they come against their will, granting you +1 to your next roll – but something unexpected answers your call

  • On a <7 roll, they ignore you – but something unexpected (and angry) answers your call

? Loyal Shepherd [Passive]

The first time per combat you or your gang gain the [Crippled], [Stunned], or [Overwhelmed], the next time you deal damage it gains [Piercing] and [Messy]. 

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Reaver

[Damage 2d6 / Wounds 1]

Battle calls to you and you answer. You are powerful and fierce – but reckless. Any fight is a fight to the death, each battle a race to kill before bleeding out. You begin with two of the following: Fighting Skills, a Blade, a Knife, a Spear, or a Great Weapon, as well as Medium Armour. You begin with 1 Wealth from your conquests, which comes in the form of trophies or Coins. Gain +1 to Convince! rolls related to terrifying those lesser than you. 

? Red Hot Blood [Passive]

Your rage burns hot and bright, and it grows stronger as you edge closer to death. When you take damage in combat, deal +1d6 damage on your next attack. If only 1 Wound remains, deal an additional +1d6 damage until you heal or perish.

? Serpentsplitter [Free Action]

When making a Melee Attack! you may choose to bet your weapon on the attack. On a roll of 7+, deal damage as normal, then roll [2d6+Defense] or [2d6+Strength] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, your opponent is instantly killed (unless they have a [Boss] tag, in which case they take +2d6 damage)

  • On a 7-9 roll, deal +1d6 damage

  • On a <7 roll, your weapon shatters

? Berserker [Free Action]

Once per rest during combat, you may fly into a berserk rage that lasts until the end of combat, death, unconsciousness, or by choice. Your critical range for damage dice expands to 5-6 for the duration of combat, and enemies you hit with a roll of 7-9 deal 1 less damage on their next attack from terror of your fearsome blows. However, take an extra Wound whenever damaged while raging.

? Reckless Assault [Free Action]

Prior to making an attack roll, you may sacrifice one Wound to deal +1d6 damage with that attack, with additional Wounds adding further damage. 

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Archon

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 1]

The mysteries of the universe call to you, and you can speak its language. You wield a powerful art – one to be feared. You begin with an Implement and your choice of a Knife, Bow, Gun, Staff or Light Armour. You begin with 1 Wealth in the form of lightly magical trinkets and strange gems. Gain +1 to Memory! rolls related to the arcane and unusual.

? Work the Ritual [Full Action]

Describe a large-scale ritual you wish to perform to the GM: summoning a dark creature, resurrecting the dead, spying remotely, asking questions of the beyond, changing the weather, creating a powerful item.  It will always work, but the GM will tell you one to four of the following you need:

  • You and your group will risk danger from… 

  • It’ll take weeks or months to perform – unless…

  • It’s going to cost more than expected… 

  • First, you’ll need to…

  • You need help from…

  • You’ll need to sacrifice…

  • It can’t be done – but you could do THIS instead…

? Work the Art [Full Action]

Your words force your will into the world in the form of bolts of fire, floating blades, lightning, screaming skulls, a beam of holy light, or however else you wish to manifest it. When you wield your Implement in combat and speak your words of power, roll [2d6+Mind] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll – deal 3d6 [Pierce 2] damage to a target at [Sight Range]

  • On a 7-9 roll, deal 3d6 damage to a target at [Sight Range], but you cannot Work the Art until you rest

  • On a <7 roll,  take 1 die of damage OR deal 1 die of damage to an ally of your choice

You may spend a Mark Resonance to add [Area] and [Destructive] to your attack.

? Binder of Souls [Full Action]

You may bind the shades of the recently dead to your service. The shade is bound to answer one question truthfully before dissipating. Alternately, you can bind them to your service. They will complete tasks for you to the best of their abilities, but they are fragile things. 

You may roll [2d6+Mind] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation) to bind the shade to a weapon. On a 10+ roll, the weapon deals +1d6 damage on its next attack, after which the shade vanishes. Only three shades can be bound to a single weapon at the same time. On a miss, all shades depart. 

? Incandescent Diamond Soul [Passive]

When you roll double 6s on an Implement attack, you may spend a Mark Resonance to instantly kill your target.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Artist

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 1]

You are transcendentally skilled in your art, whether it be painting, sculpture, or song. Some say when you work your art the world shifts to answer – when they say ‘Life imitates Art’, they’re talking about you. You begin with either an Implement, Fighting Skill, a Bow, or a Blade, as well as Light Armour. You begin with 1 Wealth and an example of your work which can be bartered for between 1-3 Wealth to the right patron. You’re really quite famous, also. Gain +1 to Memory! related to art and history.

? Photorealism [Passive/Full Action]

You use your skill to create a silent illusion within your line of sight. Alternately, you can create a sound that appears to emanate from a particular location. It can’t move very far from its original location and fails to stand up to close inspection. Minor effects occur without a roll, but for large or dramatic effects, roll [2d6+Skill] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation)

  • On a 10+ roll, it works perfectly – and utterly fools your target’s senses

  • On a 7-9 roll, it works but either key details are different than you intended OR you cannot use this Move again until you rest

  • On a <7 roll, it is utterly unconvincing and may attract unwanted attention.

? Maybe You’ve Heard of Me [Free Action]

You are well known and famous. If you or an ally fail when using Investigate!, Convince! or Shop!, roll [2d6+Skill] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation). On a roll of 10+, they may reroll. Additionally, you may roll the above stat to get discounts or favors from your fans – on a roll of 10+, they will do their very best to help you.

? Masterful Tool [Passive]

Whatever your art, you have created your own instrument – and it is simply a work of art. Choose one weapon you possess – it is beautiful and elegant, and the means through which you work your skills. Critical hits made with this weapon heal you and your allies for 1 Wound (for each 6 rolled), and are especially beautiful to behold. If stolen or otherwise stripped from you, take -1 to a Stat of your choice until it is retrieved.

? The Best Around [Passive]

You are highly and recognizably skilled in the noble pursuits. Choose 2: singing, dancing, fencing, an instrument (detail), chess or another game (detail), painting, fashion, calligraphy, augury, archery, writing, flower arrangement, poetry. Nobody is better than you at your pursuits, no matter how much they say otherwise. If you allocate time in a city or settlement, you can leverage these skills to gain Wealth.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Striker

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You are skilled in the art of combat and strategy. Be it with your body or a variety of weaponry, you are a master. You begin with Fighting Skill as well as a Blade, a Knife, a Spear or a Staff as well as Light Armour. You begin with 1 Wealth in the form of assorted coinage and trinkets. Gain +1 to Investigate! when talking to – or learning about – a worthy opponent.

? Boulder Deflects Blade [Free Reaction]

As long as you have a hand free, you can attempt to deflect an attack – if you would take damage from an attack or tangible environmental effect, you may instead roll [2d6+Strength] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, take no damage from the attack

  • On a 7-9 roll, take no damage, but -1 to rolled Stat until rest

  • On a <7 roll, the attempt exposes you, dealing damage +1 and -1 to rolled Stat until rest

? Blade Cuts Paper [Free Action]

Deal +1d6 damage to opponents with no armour. When you roll 10+ striking an armoured opponent with a Melee Attack!, you may choose to roll [2d6+Strength] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+ roll, their armour is sundered, reducing it to 0 until the end of combat.

  • On a 7-9 roll, decrease their Armour by 1

  • On a <7 roll, the attack rebounds, decreasing your Armour by 1 until the end of combat

? Paper Envelops Boulder [Passive]

You may appear to be physically frail in some way, but you bear hidden strength. You have +1 Armour and cannot be critically hit as long as you have a hand free and both feet planted on the ground.

? Master’s Challenge [Full Action]

When you give an order to an NPC, roll [2d6+Strength] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation). 

  • On a 10+ roll, they need to either do what you say, flee, or attack – and if they attack your next roll is 3d6 instead of 2d6 and choose the two highest. 

  • On a 7-9 roll, they need to either do what you say, flee, or attack.

  • On a <7 roll, they ignore you and your next roll is 3d6 – but you choose the two lowest. 

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Gambler

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 1]

You are a scoundrel and lover of games of chance. You have been thrown out of more betting parlors than most people are aware exist. But you know there’s more to it than a few angry card players – you’ve glimpsed the workings of the world, and it’s changed you. Luck is real – and you have it. You begin with a Gun, a Bow, or a Knife. You begin with 1d6 Wealth (roll at character creation). Gain +1 to Shop! when you can convince the merchant to join you in a drink or a game of chance.

? Time To Roll The Dice [Free Action]

Luck is fluid and flexible. Once a rest, if you dislike the result of an ally’s roll, you may reroll for them with [2d6] and keep the highest roll. If your roll is lower, take -1 to the Stat of your choice until your next rest.

? Born Under a Bad Sign [Free Action]

Once per rest, you may add 2d6 to any Move (besides Defy Death! ), but must then roll your next two Moves at -2, overriding any other Stats or modifiers.

?  Last Gamble [Free Reaction]

When an ally rolls <7 on Defy Death! – that is, when they would die permanently – you can roll one die.

  • On a 4-6 roll, the endangered party is returned to life with full Wounds. 

  • On a 1-3 roll, you immediately must Defy Death! regardless of your level of Wounds – and the endangered party is returned to life with 1 Wound

? Get the Bad Rolls Out [Free Action]

When you spend your Coins frivolously on a risky bet or game of chance, spend at least one Wealth and roll +Wealth spent.

  • On a 10+, lose all the Wealth you gambled, and take a Hold for each Wealth you spent.

  • On a 7-9, lose only one Wealth, and take 1 Hold.

  • On a <7 roll, win the bet against all odds and gain 1 Wealth, but know that some pretty bad luck is coming soon to balance your fortune.

Spend these hold at any time to boost one of you or your allies’ rolls by +1 (These Holds cannot stack on a single roll).

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Bulwark

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You are a caravan guard, a field medic, a brave knight, or a solid slab of muscle. Whatever you are, they’re not getting to the people under your care. You begin with either a Shield (Armour 1) and Light Armour or Medium Armour, and one of the following: a Blade, Fighting Skills, or a Spear. You begin with 1 Wealth. Additionally, when you roll 10+ on Grit Your Teeth! your opponent takes 1 Damage.

? Instinctive Deflection [Free Reaction]

If an ally took damage, you may roll [2d6+Strength] or [2d6+Defense] (choose one at character creation).

  • On a 10+, take the damage instead with +1 bonus Armour

  • On a 7-9, take the damage instead

  • On a <7 roll, your ally takes full damage.

? Field Medicine [Full Action/Free Reaction]

Heal yourself or ally 1 Wound. If one or more allies must Defy Death!, you may use a Mark Resonance to force a 10+ roll.

? Fierce Challenge [Passive/Full Action]

Enemies are more likely to attack you. Additionally, you may roll [2d6+Strength] or [2d6+Defense] (choose one at character creation) to provoke all nearby enemies to attack you. 

  • On a 10+, take 2 Hold

  • On a 7-9, take 1 Hold

  • On a <7 roll, gain nothing.

Holds are automatically spent when an enemy attacks an ally within melee range to deal equivalent damage to the attacker.

? Impregnable [Passive/Free Action]

When an enemy would damage you, you must first roll [2d6] to see if they hit.

  • On a 10+, they miss, dealing nothing

  • On a 7-9, they deal half damage (rounded up)

  • On a <7 roll, they deal full damage.

You may use a Mark Resonance to cause misses against you to deal double reflected damage until the end of combat.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Shaper

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You are an enchanter, or an engineer, or a runesmith or alchemist. Maybe you’re just a really good carpenter. Either way, you make wonders! You begin with 2 Wealth and two of the following: Implement, Spear, Staff, Bow or Light Armour. You gain +1 to your Shop! rolls related to finding rare or dangerous components.

? Fabrication [Full Action]

Expend Wealth as though purchasing Gear in order to generate Common items. Expend a Mark Resonance to generate Rare items. Any amount of Wealth can be spent at once to generate any amount of items.

? Mechanical Mastermind [Free Action]

You fix broken mechanisms you can touch. Additionally, you may roll [2d6+Mind] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation) to attempt to discern how a puzzle or mechanism operates. 

  • On a 10+, intuit the operation in its entirety or otherwise gain a large hint at the GM’s discretion

  • On a 7-9, intuit a small hint or otherwise gain something useful at the GM’s discretion.

  • On a <7 roll, you are baffled.

? Essence Binding [Free Action]

Take 1 or more Wounds to enhance an item until the end of combat. For instance, 1 Wound to add +1d6 Damage to a Weapon or 2 Wounds to add 1 DR to Armour. During rest, the party may pool their Wounds for more powerful enhancements lasting until next rest. A Mark Resonance may be expended by the Shaper to make an enhancement permanent.

? Ad Hoc Artifice [Full Action]

When you need something specific to address a problem (locked door, big hole in ground, a tall tower you want to get inside), roll [2d6+Mind] or [2d6+Soul] (choose one at character creation)

  • On a 10+, your construct is solid and suits the purpose perfectly.

  • On a 7-9, it is either imperfectly solid, does not suit the purpose, or is otherwise not ideal per the GM’s discretion.

  • On a <7 roll, it fails to hold coherence.

SECTION 3: Marks

Mark of the Shifter

[Damage 1d6 / Wounds 2]

You’re a man at the mercy of a curse, a barely human beast, a mutant or a magical construct gone wild. Whatever you are, you’re certainly more than you appear. You begin with no Wealth, but getting it shouldn’t be much trouble… You begin with Fighting Skills and Natural Armour (+1 Armour) – you are a weapon. Once per rest, if you fail to Convince! someone, you may roll again.

? Therianthropy [Free Action]

You can assume a bestial form that persists until you rest (or can be willed away, losing its effects until your next rest). While in bestial form, you deal +1d6 damage with Melee Attack! Additionally, when you lose a Wound in combat while transformed, roll +1 on your next Melee Attack! While in bestial form, you may not perform the Convince! or Shop! Moves, or indeed engage in polite society.  

? Veil Of Many Faces [Passive/Free Action]

Gain +1 to Convince! and Shop! Rolls. You may use a Mark Resonance to temporarily copy any ally’s move and use it immediately, rolling 3d6 and keeping the best two, if applicable.

? Versatile Flesh [Passive/Free Action]

Gain +1 Armour – at any time, expend it to add [Pierce 1], [Area], [Messy], or [Destructive] to your Melee Attack! until next rest.

? Hungry Soul [Free Action]

When you kill an enemy with Melee Attack!, you may replace this Move with a thematic Move drawn from their flesh. The Move will persist until dropped during a rest. A Mark Resonance may be expended to permanently keep it – any Moves kept in such a manner can be swapped during a rest.

SECTION 4: Gear

Your Marks provide you with a variety of gear to begin with, the details of which are listed below. Any overlapping gear between Marks (copies of weapons or multiple sets of armour) are simply combined into a single set. But your starting gear isn’t all that’s out there to find – there are many other things beyond that can be found or purchased if you can find an agreeable merchant…

Armour

Armour comes in Light (1 Armour), Medium (2 Armour) and Heavy (3 Armour). Any damage dealt to you is decreased by the level of Armour you have, making it useful to have but not essential. Be aware that unless specifically listed otherwise, Armour caps at 3. All Armour above 3 instead adds +1 to your Grit Your Teeth! rolls.

– Light Armour: Leather, wood, or light metal – allows for easy movement and wear

– Medium Armour: Plate, animal bone, or enchanted material – a higher level of protection

– Heavy Armour: Very rare – heavy plate or alchemical power armour; tough to put on

Weapons

There are a variety of weapon types, but they are deliberately kept vague – they can look however you please. On a damage roll of 4, each weapon type has a Flourish, an added benefit you can opt to use – or not, should you choose not to. Don’t worry about the bracketed tags next to the weapons – more on that below.

Fighting Skills [2 Wealth][Melee Range]

Organized hand to hand combat method – or simple street fighting. Your body is a weapon, and it cannot be taken from you – you cannot be disarmed, only restrained. You may want to give your style a name, though it isn’t required. Choose one Flourish from below each time you select this weapon.

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Forceful]

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Area]

– On a roll of 4, you can disarm your target of something they are holding

– On a roll of 4, you can blind, silence or cripple your target

You may choose to purchase this again to be trained in a new style or move, gaining another Flourish from the list above.

Blade [2 Wealth][Melee Range]

Sword, axe, or any other large bladed weapon – one, two, or multiple, as required. Encompasses straight swords, machetes, sabres, chain blades, swordbreakers – it’s up to you to describe. Choose one Flourish from below each time you select this weapon.

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Messy]

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Forceful]

– On a roll of 4, you can sever a non-vital body part from your opponent

– On a roll of 4, you can blind, silence or cripple your target

Great Weapon [3 Wealth][Melee Range][Large][Unwieldy]

Simply put, a massive weapon. A giant sword, axe, club or something more exotic. It stands out in the crowd, and it’s not easy to use, but in the right hands it can be deadly. 

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Forceful] and [Area]

SECTION 4: Gear

Knife [1 Wealth][Melee or Thrown – Close Range][Hidden][Infinite][Finesse][Pierce 1]

Several small, easily hidden blades, though they can vary heavily in appearance. Throwing knives, kitchen knives, needles, bladed disks and playing cards can all fit in this category.

– On a roll of 4, you can blind, silence or cripple your target

Spear [2 Wealth][Melee or Thrown – Close Range][Large][Pierce 1]

Spear, pike, scythe, glaive, long stick with a nail through it. If it’s fast and long enough to stab someone from a distance, that’s probably a Spear.

– On a roll of 4, you can impale your opponent, preventing them from moving away

Staff  [2 Wealth][Melee Range][Large]

Iron baton, walking stick, tree tranch or fishing rod. Good for smacking people who are far away from you, sweeping or tripping them. 

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Forceful] or [Area]

Bow [2 Wealth][Long Range][Loading][Pierce 1]

Shortbow, longbow, crossbow, or razor disk launcher, designed for use in combat in puncturing your foes. Requires Arrows (though it’s not necessarily firing arrows).  Bows start with 5 Arrows.

– On a roll of 4, your attack ignores Armour

Gun [3 Wealth][Sight Range][Loading][Pierce 2][Rare]

Rare and powerful, taking the form of rifles or pistols, singly or doubly. Requires Bullets (though it’s not necessarily firing bullets). Guns start with 4 Bullets.

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Messy] and [Forceful]

Implement [5 Wealth, Rare][Long Range][Loading]

An implement is a focus for your magical arts, and more than anything may vary in description. Bells, mirrors, wands, staves of power, rings, crowns or tarot cards, an Implement can look like anything – but it is always obvious to those watching what it truly is. Describe what your sorcery looks like, whether it be streams of light, spectral blades, spears of earth or even stranger sights. When performing Ranged Attack!, you may opt to use [2d6+Mind] instead of [2d6+Skill]. Implements require Reagents, and begin with 3.

– On a roll of 4, your attack gains [Destructive] or [Messy] – your choice


SECTION 4: Gear

Ammunition

Weapons with the [Loading] tag need to restock each time the group takes a rest if they used their weapon – ammo should be easy to find in general, though it may be scarce in some locales. A single unit of Arrows is more of a narrative idea rather than a literal one – you’re not buying a single arrow at a time. Specialized ammunition can have many useful effects in combat and during exploration. It can also be tough to find, requiring a 10+ Shop! roll in most cases – and even then, mass quantities simply aren’t easy to come by. Count on them being pricey, experimental, or both! Here’s a few examples:

  • Explosive (attack gains [Area])

  • Anti-Material (attack gains [Destructive])

  • Flechette (attack gains [Messy])

  • Knockout, Flaming, Poisoned, etc. – tell the GM what you’re looking for

Tags

Weapons, Ammo, and characters can bear tags like [Messy] or [Area] or [Pierce 2] – these are special characteristics that change how they operate. In many cases they have narrative benefits rather than mechanical ones, but even that should not be underestimated.

  • [Area]: Inflicts damage over an area. Ranged weapons with [Area] deal 1 damage to everyone around the target even on a miss; Melee weapons with [Area] deal damage to all opponents in range

  • [Destructive]: Especially damaging to objects, furniture, vehicles and terrain, dealing extra damage to these

  • [Finesse]: Can roll [2d6+Skill] instead of [2d6+Strength] even in melee range

  • [Forceful]: Well suited to slamming someone off their feet or send them flying

  • [Hidden]: Easily concealed, not immediately noticeable to casual inspection

  • [Infinite]: As many as you need – not actually infinite, but narratively so; you won’t run out of throwing knives in a fight, but you could have them taken from you as a unit

  • [Loading]: Must be reloaded on a Ranged Attack! roll of 7-9 and when you rest if you’ve fired it since.  If you’re out of ammo, it cannot be used until you find or purchase more.

  • [Messy]: Possibly deals increased damage to your opponent or their nearby allies or possessions at the DM’s discretion – either way, the effects are messy

  • [Pierce X]: Attacks with Pierce Ignore X Armour

  • [Thrown]: Can be used to make Ranged Attacks!

  • [Large]: This requires two hands to wield or use, but can reach a lot further than other weapons – You can’t attack someone who’s grappling you or up in your face effectively with this weapon.

  • [Unwieldy]: Difficult to stow, carry, or draw – You can’t run, climb, sneak, swim, ride, or perform fine motor activities while fully wielding this item

  • [Clumsy]: When rolling to perform a Melee or Ranged Attack! with a weapon you aren’t trained to use, you are [Clumsy]! Roll 3d6 and choose the two lowest for your attacks .  

  • [Crippled]: Disabled or inhibited in some way that makes motion difficult, and potentially damaging Skill

  • [Blind]: Unable to see – attack rolls become [Clumsy] and things requiring vision are rendered difficult

  • [Silenced]: Unable to speak – may situationally affect some Moves at the DM’s discretion, but generally a narrative effect

  • [Disarmed]: Temporary loss of weapon, removing ability to Flourish as well as loss of access to weapon tags. Recovered as a Free Action, automatically after using Maneuver!, or in an appropriate lull in action.

  • [Others]: Many other tags will be encountered in exploration and combat, and will be further explored at that time!

SECTION 4: Gear

Other Gear

You’ll need all manner of gear throughout your adventures, far too many to list here. For the most part, simply ask the GM for something specific and they’ll provide the cost in Wealth or in tasks required to acquire your request. Costs are abstract, and subject to the whims of the DM and the characters doing the selling – just because a castle might be 6 Wealth doesn’t mean: a) there’s a castle to be had; b) that Wealth alone will be enough to seal the deal; c) that the castle isn’t full of lobstermen and ghosts. 

SECTION 5: Sample Play

A Simple Shopping Trip

GM: Your party decides to relax for the night, opting to continue their adventure tomorrow. Well, ‘relax’ might be going too far – the Beggar in your party used his pull with the local peasantry to get you a free night’s lodgings in the slums. Not ideal, but then you’re trying to lay low anyhow. After resting up a bit (recover your Wounds, incidentally) you decide what to do next. Any thoughts?

M, the Thief: I’d like to take a look around for a replacement for my daggers – those guards never did give them back, and I feel naked without a weapon. I decide to go out to Shop! around for a bit.

 *M rolls Shop! [2d6+Soul], getting an 8*

GM: M tugs on a few connections she has to the local underworld and comes up with a seller – and they’re good stuff, too, none of that crap you find in the meat market. But the price is a bit steeper than she’s willing to pay – 3 Wealth.

M: 3 Wealth!? For daggers? Boo that! I roll up my sleeves and give him the gunshow.

*M rolls Convince! [2d6+Soul], getting a 3*

GM: The shopkeep is far from impressed – and being the sketchy type, flies into a rage at your impertinence! He whips his hammer right at your midsection! You have a split second – are you going to dodge it or just tank the hit?

*M has to Avoid Disaster! with a choice between Defense or Skill. Her Skill is higher, so she opts to roll [2d6+Skill], getting a 9*

GM: You slither out of the way, but the hammer clips you in the ribs, winding you. The keeper’s guards are drawing their swords, as well – it’s time to get out of here, you need backup! Your mind races, but you’re wounded – how are you going to get out of here?

M: Well, crap – I try to dive out the door and into the street, calling for help; maybe the others could hear me?

GM: Very well. Give me a Skill roll to dive past the guard at the front door – but your side is aching, so take a -1 to the roll.

*M rolls [2d6+Skill] again, and even with the penalty she rolls an 11*

GM: Holding your side, you kick off a barrel of water and leap over the guard – his sword whistles by you harmlessly, striking his ally in the thigh. They go down in a tangle of limbs, cursing and screaming.

M: This shopkeeper needs to be taken down a peg. I whip out my Implement and blast into the open door.

*M (who was an Archon as well as a Thief), rolls [2d6+Mind] and gets a 10. She rolls [2d6] for damage, rolling a 2 and a 4. She deals 2 Damage, and uses the Implement’s Flourish to add a [Destructive] tag to her attack*

M: My Implement erupts in a gout of blasting wind, blowing into the shop and blasting out its windows. The guards take the brunt of the attack.

GM: They’re wounded, but alive.

M: That’ll show him to mess with me! 

BREAKDOWN

Turns are conversational, rather than structured – we swept from social actions to combat actions seamlessly, as it made sense. But M could just as easily have tried some social action again to try to smooth things over – or threaten him, or bribe him. She said ‘dive out the door’, so the DM assumed a Skill action – if she had said ‘push him out of the way’ or ‘threaten the guard’, she could have gotten a Strength or Soul roll.


SECTION 5: Sample Play

An Audience with the King

GM: The King simply must see reason – the Barbarian hordes are planning to set a trap at the summit that will lead to his death, but his guards refuse to let you through to see him!

O, the Dancer/Martial Artist: Let me handle this one, guys. I speak to him plainly, asking him to let us through – that the King’s very life itself may depend on it!

*O rolls Convince! [2d6+Soul], getting a 7*

GM: The guard wavers in his stance, debating with himself. Then his face hardens: “I’ll need some kind of proof – for all I know you could be assassins, or worse!” His own words seem to embolden him – he begins to draw his sword from its sheath.

K, the Reaver/Wilder: We don’t have time for this. I allow my face to shift partially, revealing a set of bestial fangs and feathers sprouting from my skin. “Let us in, whelp – if the King dies from your arrogance they’ll have your skin mounted on these walls!”

*K rolls Convince! [2d6+Soul]… plus a bonus from Reaver towards Convincing those lesser than him. He rolls a 12*

GM: The guard’s sword snaps back into place and he stumbles back against the wall. He can’t bear to look at you as he shakily opens the gates. 

K: I give O a fistbump as he turns away.

BREAKDOWN

This shows how characters can help to cover for one another – when O failed, K took up the slack. Now, this was a low pressure situation, so there was some wiggle room – in a tenser situation, one shot might be all you get. Also of note is Mark bonuses towards certain actions – they tend to be open ended, but odds are you can spin your bonus cleverly. 

SECTION 5: Sample Play

Time to Fight the Beast

GM: Having been stripped of all but the most meagre of weapons, you are forced into the arena. The Barbarian King gloats as he sees you all kneeling before him in the bloody sand. “It is too late, heroes. Too late for you. Soon you will be food for – the Beast!” He holds aloft a glowing control amulet, and a distorted roar answers his gesture. The gate opens beneath him, revealing a monster from nightmares! It looks like a stag described by a madman, with antlers too long and fearsome and limbs with far too many joints. Lank green fur hangs down over its body, covering its eyes. It seems to sniff you out – and then it charges! Everyone roll to dodge – Strength, Defense, or Skill.

*O rolls to Avoid Disaster! [2d6+Defense] and gets a 7*

*K rolls to Avoid Disaster! [2d6+Strength] and gets a 10*

*M rolls to Avoid Disaster! [2d6+Skill] and gets a 2*

GM: The Beast charges in blindly, and O stands her ground, allowing it to charge over her. She is kicked aside by the charge, but manages to tuck and roll. Even so, she is shaken, and takes a 1 penalty to her next roll. K is ready – when the Beast charges him, he bats it aside with a transformed arm, avoiding harm and keeping him ready for a fight. M isn’t so lucky – the horns spear her and lift her off the ground entirely. She takes 2d6 damage, and a 1 penalty to her next roll. In addition, she can’t move – she’s stuck to the Beast unless she can free herself.

*GM rolls 2d6 damage – a 2 and a 1. M therefore takes only 1 damage – lucky.*

O: Oh dang, M! I throw one of my daggers at the beast to distract him.

GM: Yeah, that’s true – you kept your daggers because they had the [Hidden] tag, I forgot. The rest of you have crap weapons – take -1 to attack rolls until you get something better.

*O rolls [2d6+Skill] and rolls an 8. She hits, dealing [2d6] damage – a 4 and a 5, 2 Damage. However, the Beast has 1 Armour, reducing it to 1. Even worse, her 7-9 attack roll means the beast now wheels on her!*

GM: The dagger sinks into the Beast’s shaggy fur and strikes something soft. He bellows and turns on you. 

*The Beast responds with a vicious strike, dealing 2 Damage!*

K: Now it’s my turn! Feathers and rippling muscles erupt across my body as I assume my primal warform! With a howl, I dive at the Beast!

*K uses their Shapeshifter Move to grow in power, then rolls Melee Attack! [2d6+Strength] for 10. With the added damage from Shapeshifter, and Reaver’s high base damage, the attack deals [4d6] damage! 2, 4, 6 and 5 is 5 damage, minus 1 from the Beast’s armour. 4 damage!*

GM:  The transformed K slams into the Beast like a ton of bricks, crushing him to the floor. M is flung free from his horns and crashes to the floor. The Beast pulls itself shakily to its feet and bellows, drooling blood. It’s weak, but not down yet.

M: If I had my Implement, I’d end this poor beast right now – but it’s not him I’m after. I’m climbing the wall and attacking the Barbarian King directly!

GM: Uh, give me a Skill-based Avoid Disaster!  here – that’s pretty damn risky.

SECTION 5: Sample Play

M: Oh, that’s not all I’m doing – I’m going to Resonate!

*M uses a Mark Resonance to roll her Avoid Disaster! with an additional 1d6, choosing the highest two – [3d6+Skill]. All told, she rolls 12*

GM: You can definitely get one attack off, but I can’t guarantee much else. Well, the floor is yours!

M: I climb up the wall, avoiding stray bolts and thrown stones. The Barbarian King is taken aback as I vault over the wall, shanking him with a rusted dagger.

*M rolls Melee Attack! with her rusted dagger [2d6+Strength-1] for 10. She rolls [2d6] for damage – 1 and 2 – for 1 damage. The King has 2 Armour, so the attack deals no damage*

GM: The King shrugs off your ill-advised attack. His guards close in on you, stripping you of your weapons and forcing you to kneel. “Any last words, you reckless scum!?”

M: I smile, and fix my gaze on his. “Yeah, three.” I pull the control amulet from my pocket, and he reaches for his neck in alarmed confusion. 

*M reveals they used the Thief’s Pickpocket Move to steal the King’s amulet when they rolled 10!*

M: “You dropped this!”

GM: The Beast heaves it’s aching, bloodied body over the parapet, bearing O and K on its mangled shoulders, and the King urges his guards to battle!

BREAKDOWN

This is a full combat scene with several characters taking actions at once. Again, unlike more regimented systems, the actions taken by characters are basically whenever it makes sense for them to jump in. Occasionally Avoid Disaster! rolls apply to the whole party at once, and each individual’s rolls spell out what happens to them. Also of note is the Mark Resonance use – when used and it goes well, the DM should let the player control the narrative for their action. Lastly, the delayed use of the Pickpocket move for dramatic effect is totally fine!

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