INCUNABULI

SYSTEM PLAYTEST

VER.014; changelog.

Design Features:

  • Simple, d12-based core mechanic
  • Low character power level
  • Combat ouchy enough to make players wary
  • Fast character creation
  • Fast, session-based progression
  • Utility from gear and skills; not spellcasting
  • Mechanical flavor conveys Incunabuli setting
  • Support for lunch breaks and weaponized shovels

Please Note: Reformat underway. Excuse our dust.


Basics

Skills

Characters are defined by their skills.

All characters have six core skills. For a human character, these are: Agility, Fortitude, Intellect, Might, Perception, and Subtlety. Skills beyond these are possessed only by some. They are called acquired skills.

All skills range in level from 0 to 12.

Rolling Dice

If ever a character attempts an action where success is questionable, they must roll a d12. If the roll shows double digits (10, 11, or 12) they succeed in their action. If not, they fail.

If a character has skill in the action they are attempting, they may total it into their d12 roll, increasing their chance of success.

Rolls of 12 or 1 often carry special results.

When to Roll

The gamemaster shall call for a roll when there is a chance of failure or when something is at stake. Rolls are required when two characters oppose each other. As a result, combat is a series of rolls.

Modifiers

Outstanding modifiers may modify a roll.

Positive modifiers are bonuses. Negative ones are penalties. These are added or subtracted from the roll total once a relevant skill is added. Malus is a penalty that affects all skill rolls.

Stress

A character’s total Stress represents their proximity to death. Every 3 Stress, a character gains 1 malus. If a character accrues 12 Stress, they die.

Stresses include Pain, Bleed, Drowsy, Hungry, Weary, Yearning, Drowning, Chilly, and other misfortunes. Eat and rest to reduce your stress.

Topical Skills

Some skills, such as languages or melee proficiencies, may be had more than once in different topics. These are topical skills.

Character Generation

  1. Acquire a character record sheet
  2. Roll a d4 six times and note the results. Assign them, in the order in which they were rolled, to your six base skills. Record these on your sheet. Swap one for another, if desired.
  3. Choose a sort for which you meet the prerequisites. If it lists more than one base, choose one. Record these choices and their consequences.
  4. Buy starting traits. You have 20 XP with which to do so. Choose negative traits to raise this budget. You may buy no more than 2 starting traits. Any leftover XP is added to your current XP.
  5. Record starting possessions:
  1. Fill record sheet with name and particulars.


Sorts

Archetypes for playable characters. Each bestows skills and additional starting possessions. Others give traits. Many have prerequisites.

Bighter

Base: Human, Ragman, Prerequisite: Might 3, Subtlety 2

When, since the old days of sailing, a flogging is set to be dispensed, it is the bighter, the hand best at knots, who ties and swings the biting lash. You are a jailer, a scourge, a torturer. Whether at sea or on land, rough folk still abide your woeful art: The humbling touch of rope.

Bitter Ties

If, while wielding an improvised weapon made of rope, you land a blow with a roll of 12, any wounds you inflict apply bonus pain equal to your Knots level minus 3.

Skills

Possessions

Binder

Base: Ragman - Prerequisite: Intellect 3

You are a weaver of swaddled folk. An artisan uniquely skilled in the artful binding-up of ravelled life; of flowing blood and cloth alike.

Swathe

You may roll Weaving instead of Medicine to Stop Bleeding or Close Wounds.

Skills

Possessions

Body Snatcher

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Subtlety 3, Might 3

You are a medical misappropriator. A thief of the honored dead for sale on the black market or for your own dissection and harvest.

Skills

Possessions

Cooper

Base: Human, Ragman- Prerequisite: Intellect 3, Might 4

A bender and a binder of stout housings. A tradesman, converted by popular demand from a crafter of kegs and wine barrels to an outfitter of cutter’s buckets and body-plates.

Skills

Possessions

Cutler

Base: Human, Ragman, Mouse - Prerequisite: Might 2, Intellect 2

You are a worker in the art of blades. Not in fencing, nor war, but in the crafting, repair, and honing of swords and killing knives. In the revitalizing pass of stone and strop under worn bevels; and in the dying wake of live, sharpened steel. An art ever more desired, demanded by dull cutters seeking to renew their deadly edge.  

Skills

Possessions

Disorderly

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Intellect 3

You are, or were, valet to some officer or commissioner. By whatever vagary, you have been separated, left aimless with half your gear and a pair of officer’s boots.

Skills

Possessions

Driftbrick

Base: Human, Ragman - Prerequisite: Might 3

You are a member of the Mason’s Guild, a coalition of itinerants who will put a quality brick in whatever wall, fireplace, or offending face their employer desires.

Skills

Possessions

Field Barber

Base: Human, Mouse - Prerequisite: Intellect 3

You are a cutter of scruff and a mender of the broken. A rare ally in dirty and painful times.

Skills

Possessions

Fleeceherd

Base: Human, Human Child - Prerequisite: Perception 4, Frontier

You are a lonesome guardian of fragile charges. Of fleeces: Rickety, bleating puffs kept for their wool and sour squirts of milk. Herd beasts made inadvertently dumb and demanding by centuries of breeding. They require constant, attentive herding to satisfy their appetites and prevent predation both mundane and monstrous.

        Your fortune lies in a small flock of these needy creatures. Their appetites are great, their lives tenuous, grazed as they are on wilderland soil.

Skills

Possessions

Honey Vassal

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Might 4, Frontier

You have been selected to perform the rare and awful honor of ferrying a young bumblequeen to her prospective kingdom. Perhaps you were commissioned to fulfill this errand by a lovely bee queen, or maybe you were press-ganged by the workers who escort you. Failing that, perhaps you are simply lacking in sense.

        Regardless, you must strive to ferry your liege to her new kingdom. She is fat and flightless with the genetic material of a nation, and requires you ensconce her in a land of good sun and many flowers. If not, you will surely die, or be stung, trying.

Skills

Possessions

Intrepid Child

Base: Human child - Prerequisite: None

You are a child of small stature and outsized ambition. Self-trained by storybooks in wooden swords, stick-bows, and other skills relevant to your ideations of high adventure.

Skills

Possessions

Intruder

Base: Human or Mouse - Prerequisite: Subtlety and Agility 3, Intellect 2

A duplicitous rogue. One possessed of fine limbs, nimble manners, and a predilection for intrusion within homes and minds.

Skills

Possessions

Ironmonger

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Might 4, Intellect 2

You hail from County Black, from Firlund’s smog-choked heart of industry. A land of blackened heather and great belching stacks for trees. This dominion is the height of humanity’s arts, and the Other’s most hated enemy.

Black Heath

By your command of iron, where you construct a forge, the Other’s influence is reduced threefold.

Skills

Possessions

Lee Urchin

Base: Child, Mouse Pup, or Ragling - Prerequisite: Subtlety 3

You are a young huddler in hollow logs and dark alleys. A pickpocket and a risker. Perhaps an orphan, perhaps a victim of society. Most definitely a scamp.

Skills

Possessions

Log Feller

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Might 3, Frontier

A human of simple means and deliberate action. Once, you went into the woods with a pup and an intent to fell wood. Ten years later, you emerged with a dog and a child. Why, none can say. Perhaps you seek a lost love. Perhaps you simply seek more trunks to fell.

Skills

Possessions

Lugger

Base: Human, Ragman - Prerequisite: Might 4

You are a conveyor of burdens. A back grown broad and steady neath uncounted crushing loads. Perhaps a dockworker, a farmer, or a bearer of sacred oils. Now, a

Lugger

For the purpose of figuring burden, your Might is doubled.

        Additionally, with the aid of lug straps or similar gear, you may use containers double, triple, or even greater the size of a normal backpack as your pack. Doing so zeroes the container's burden.

Skills

Possessions

Moonshiner

Base: Human, Ragman - Prerequisite: Intellect 3

You are a kind of merchant refugee. A brewer and a peddler of rude spirits fled from Belvirine, where such products are prohibited.

Skills

Possessions

Venturesome Priest

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Perception 4, Fortitude 2

From the holy crags of Mount Rubitus, you are far removed, bound on a drear errand to aid  cutters in the wilderlands. Though they are rude and mostly faithless, their task, to drive out the wild, the Otherly, and the devilsome, is one you count as a great service to humanity. For this, they are supremely holy. You will join them in their ventures, however bloody they may be.

You have the trait Avethan. Additionally, you are among the Ordained of Aveth (see Faith for both traits.)

Skills

Possessions

Poacher

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Agility 2, Subtlety 3, Perception 2

A stalker and a predator. A bounty hunter and a thief. It is your way to creep upon that which you desire, in the secret and the dark, and take it at your leisure.  

Skills

Possessions

Poor Blighter

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Fortitude 3

You are a numb, castaway human. A person reduced and distorted as much by prejudice as by your gnawing disease.

By these woes, though, you will not be weakened. You can only be inured, hardened. Numbed, until the nearing day you die.

Blight

You are infected by the blight. It affects two of your body areas (one limb and a trunk area.) These take the form of weeping, grey-black, spongey lesions. They are hard and quite numb.        

These areas are stage I blight (soak one pain level.) They may worsen, stiffen, and spread. They are highly contagious unless bandaged and medicated with grey salt.

Skills

Possessions

Pixie Eater

Base: Human child, Mouse pup, Ragling - Prerequisite: Agility 3, Intellect under 3

You are a wretched pup. A catcher and a gobbler of anything small and slow enough to find itself in your grubby paws. Perhaps you have potential. Perhaps you will always be like this.

Skills

Possessions

Lurkabout

Base: Ragman - Prerequisite: Intellect under 4, Subtlety 3

You are a lurker and an encroacher. A latent loiterer in dank hovels and dug-out hollows. Your goals and wants are rude, but distinct.

Skulk

Once per session, when you find or establish a suitable hole in which to squat, you gain +2XP each for having smoked, boozed, or gobbled food therein.

Skills

Possessions

Linkend

Base: Human, Ragman, Mouse, Human child - Prerequisite: No base skill above 2

Yours it is the most junior and dreaded job in the venturing economy: The linkend, or linker. A cutter of so little might or skill as to be relegated as forward lantern-bearer for stronger parties. As linkenden traditionally walk first in marching order, they fulfill a secondary, unspoken role: To trigger traps and bear the brunt of ambushing monster's depredations. You are often the first in danger, the first to perish, and the last to be paid.

Reluctant Vanguard

You have a tenuous scrap of luck.

When in first place in marching order, you receive a bonus to Dodge equal to 4 minus your Sessions Survived.

If you survive 5 sessions, you gain Bright Harbor and become a Wickie.

Skills

Possessions

Plumeau

Base: Mouse - Prerequisite: Scurry 4, Subtlety 2

Yours is a role deemed integral to Emperoussin high service: The dust-mouse, a charger of clocks and a cleaner in unreachable places. A servant often present, but rarely seen.

Skills

Possessions

Professicant

Base: Human, Ragman - Prerequisite: Intellect 4

You are a traveling prognosticant. A lecturist who wanders, dispensing samples of their collected stock of knowledge. You forsake academia’s samey halls for the varied schoolrooms that are inns, village squares, and shaded lees. Perhaps you do so out of discontent, or perhaps your erudition is of a kind unfit for civilized lands.

Skills

Possessions

Patescrape

Base: Ragman, Ragling - Prerequisite: Intellect under 2, Agility 3

An unusual furrier. Your arts go unappreciated by the civil and the human. For you, though, this is no concern. Such folk are less often patrons than hirsute hides waiting to be dressed.

Scalp

Up to five times per session, when you gain the scalp of a human, you gain 2XP.

Skills

Possessions

Idler

Base: Human, Mouse, Ragman- Prerequisite: Intellect 4, Fortitude under 3

You are a twiddler of thumbs. A leaner and a smoker in doorframes and shaded corners. A listener and a thinker. Not an actor, but an observer. Not a layabout, but an incipient learner.

Idle Hands

If, once per session, you may gain Practice in one skill you witness another character practice, even if you have no levels in that skill.

Skills

Possessions

Revenant Soldier

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Fortitude 4

You awoke alone, surrounded by the picked, rotted remains of slain men. Bloodied, forgotten, half-buried. Struck down by a mortal blow, yet still alive. To those you once knew, to your old life, you are dead. How you remain, you will never know.

Unkillable

Death takes up not so easily within these limbs. You resist level 3 wounds’ effects at +2.

Skills

Possessions

Soap Licker

Base: Human, Ragman - Prerequisite: Agility 3

You are a rogue from the rough port-cities of Maples. There, on thin brick-walks and canal-street gangplanks, you learned to wield the liccasapone: The long soap-knife so well known for anointing duelists with arcing, saponated scars. With a fist of rope and a long blade, you will bestow many more.

Make Wraps

With four yards of cord, you may craft a defensive gauntlet of knots and coils. Its block value is equal to your Knots skill (maximum 6.) Your dexterity is unimpeded by the gauntlet.

Skills

Possessions

Stew Captain

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Fortitude 2, Perception 3, Might 4

Yours is a role ancient and integral to martial tradition. No company nor mercenary band is complete without such a culinary quartermaster. A keeper, preparer, and distributor of the stewpot’s precious contents.

Skills

Possessions

Teamster

Base: Human, Ragman - Prerequisite: Might 2, Perception 2

You are a driver and a packer of burdened beasts. A maker of mobile order capable of turning the heavy chaos of packages, cargo, beasts, and men into a convoy lashed and bound for the profitable ports of land.

Skills

Possessions

Trespasser

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Intellect 2, Subtlety 3

You are a crosser of forbidden thresholds. A tomb cracker inspired not so much by burgled gold, but by a perverse urge to trespass ancient grounds.

Skills

Possessions

Trycook

Base: Human, Ragman- Prerequisite: Might 2, Intellect 3

Your calling is to fuel cutter, soldier, lumberjack, and sailors alike. Pancakes, fatted prunes, potatoes and hash; slung from greased griddles and burbling pans of fat: All oil for the mechanism of the working body.

Flensing

When you use Butchery to Harvest a carcass, you gain fats equal to your Butchery level in addition to any meat acquired.

Skills

Possessions

Tune Carrier

Base: Human, Human child, Mouse, Ragman - Prerequisite: Perception 2, Subtlety 2

You are a martial musician. Bearer and employer of the stately fanfares, cadences, and energetic marches by which fighting folk are spurred to purposeful action. By pipe, fife, or beating drum, you stir the heart to war.

Skills

Possessions

Wickie

Base: Human, Ragman, Mouse

Prerequisite: Perception 3

You are a trimmer of wicks. A winder of springs and a polisher of lamps. A lighthouse keeper, current or erstwhile. One of a rare, isolated folk. A busy caste filled with lonesome mystery, who find solace in light and in toil, lest the turning of gears and the hiss of lamps fade and admit the mad roar of the sea; or the cries of shipwrecked men.

Bright Harbor

While you are in proximity of a light source lit and maintained by you, you gain -1 to Nightmare rolls, providing you easy sleep. If the light extinguishes, you instead gain +2.

Skills

Possessions

Woe Friar

Base: Human - Prerequisite: Intellect 3

You are a monk of the Sepultural Order. A roaming agent sent to roam the cold and infidel North and ensure holy burial of the honored dead.

Your task: to commemorate and interr the faithful; and to spare however many you may from a heathen pyre.

You have the trait Avethan. Additionally, you are among the Ordained of Aveth (see Faith for both traits.)

Skills

Possessions

Base Sorts

Sorts are constructed on base sorts. These are most often used to define the nature of a character's age and species.

Human

Unexceptional, for they comprise the majority of Coastal folk. A people defined by faith and domineering ambition.

Child

A human entailed in middle childhood, likely 6-12 years of age. Physically weak, but rife with potential.

Undeveloped

A child’s Might and Fortitude are capped at level 2. After choosing a sort with Base: Child, curtail your character’s skills appropriately. For this reason, children are easily burdened and often lag behind.

Potential  

At the start of every session, a child character receives 5 bonus XP.

        Additionally, every month after the age of 12, a child character has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming an adolescent. This changes their sort to Human, removing the traits of Child.

Mouse

A small, furry personage.

Scurry

After choosing a sort with Base: Mouse, replace your character’s Might with Scurry.

        Mice are nimble. They may jump five times their height. They may squeeze wherever their skulls can fit. With quick paws and a prehensile tail, they may swim and climb with a speed and familiarity unknown to average humans.

        Most mice never achieve such deft feats. They have a propensity to become comfortably fat.

        If at any point a mouse loses their tail (or a portion thereof) they lose Scurry skill befitting the lost extremity. (-2 for lost half, -4 for severed entirely.) A mouse may adapt to this loss in time.

        Like humans’ Might, Scurry determines how much burden a mouse can carry. A mouse may carry a number of burden points equal to their scurry level.

Mice may only use Tiny or Small melee weapons. They may fire and load ranged weapons, but may not use bows or crossbows meant for humans.

Small size

Mice are minute. They rarely surpass .6 yards in height. A fit mouse will weigh just under ten kilos. A fat one may reach fifteen. Due to this reduced size, mouse characters are easier to maim. Their wound thresholds are half the usual (1/2/3.)

        Mice may only use melee weapons of size Small and under. They are unable to use weapons with a Might requirement.

Senses

Mice see poorly at distance, compared to larger Littorans. They suffer -2 to Perception for the purpose of seeing anything at distance.

        Despite this, mice may navigate in the dark with some success, due to their sense of smell. A mouse may effectively “see” two steps ahead of them in the dark.

Pup

A quivering, puny youngster with bug eyes, an over-large head, and a fresh, tenuous grasp on life.

Mousy

A pup is subject to all the traits of Sort: Mouse.

Undeveloped

A pup’s scurry is capped at level 3 and their fortitude is capped at level 2. After choosing this sort, curtail your character’s skills appropriately. Pups are springy, but apt to perish.

Additionally, every month, a pup character has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming grown. This changes their sort to Mouse, removing the traits of Pup.

A mouse pup may carry only one point of burden.

Potential  

At the start of every session, a pup character receives 5 bonus XP

        Additionally, every month, a pup character has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming an adolescent. This changes their sort to Mouse, removing the traits of Pup.

Ragman

A queer creature swathed in rags. Sunlight intolerant.

Trappings

Your starting clothes are replaced with trappings, your second, textile skin.

        Additionally, you gain the skill Weaving at level 2. This, along with available textiles, determines the art and quality of your trappings.

        It takes 20 yards of inch-width material to craft trappings for one body area, for 7 areas total: head, chest, abdomen, arms, and legs.

Phototoxicity

Unless swathed in trappings, your skin burns in sunlight as if exposed to an intensity-1 flame.

        Also, your eyes are inflamed by the sun. While in sunlight, you experience 1 Pain stress so long as your eyes are open and unshaded.

Night vision

During the day, your pupils are pinpricks. In darkness, they expand, allowing you to see with the acuity and reflective gaze of a cat.

Proclivities

If you eat a full meal of fresh eggs, fish, or exotic meat, you become Well Fed.

Ragling

Mistakable for a large, red-eyed ragdoll.

Childlike

You have all the traits of Base: Human Child, save for Human.

Raggedy

You have all the traits of Base: Ragman.

Traits

Exceptionality and peculiarity alike. A character may have no more than 4 traits of a kind. Traits given by Sorts count as positive traits, for this purpose.

        Some traits have a session prerequisite. In order to gain such a trait, a character must have survived for at least the quantity of sessions listed by the trait.

Positive Traits

Avethan

Cost: 10, Prerequisite: Human, Starter OR Be taught the Lord’s truth by a priest this session

The Lord Aveth gives you resolve and guards your mind against evil.

You hold 1 Faith point. Once per session, you may spend it to add a bonus of 1 to any roll. Additionally, you roll for nightmares at -1.

To maintain these benefits, you must take care to pray nightly and observe Aveth’s dictates.

Cold Hardy

Cost: 20, Prerequisite: Awnish OR Have nearly frozen to death last session

Your Northern heritage one  Chilly soak box.

Death’s-Doorman

Cost: 60, Prerequisite: Have once suffered 10 or more stress

When suffering 10 stress or higher, you deal +1 damage with all melee strikes and make all attack rolls at +2.

Detached

Cost: 20, Prerequisite: Have lost a companion in the last session, not Attached

You suffer no Nightmares modifier for having lost a companion character.

Dogged

Cost: 20, Prerequisite: Starter OR doze with hounds

Dogs and behaviourally-similar creatures are especially fond of you.

        Your hair and skin are oily and musty like a dog’s coat.

Extraphonia

Cost: 30, Prerequisite: Starter

You can hear beyond the usual range for your species, but are immune to lower registers.

        Additionally, you are immune to the fear-inducing effect of sirens.

Fat-adapted

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Have 2 Hungry stress

You only require 1 meal per day, rather than 2.

Gasper

Cost: 15 - Starter OR Have been suddenly submerged last session

You are prone to inhale sharply when surprised. As a result, you always have a chance to catch your breath before being submerged.

Additionally, any rolls you make to resist the effects of a suddenly inhaled toxin or airborne danger are made at -2.

Good Back

Cost: 20, Not Mouse, Starter OR Become well rested and well fed

Your burden allowance is Might + 3, rather than  Might + 2.

Gritted

Cost: 40, Session 4

You can endure surgery and similar unpleasantries without squirming and applying a -2 penalty to the surgeon’s roll.

Irrational

Cost: 30, Prerequisite: Experience Irrational Rage last session

When Horrified, any roll of 12-7 triggers Irrational Rage.

Iron Dome

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Keen Hearing, One weapon skill of level 6

You may block attacks originating from any direction, not just those to your front.

Keen Hearing

Cost: 20, Prerequisite: Starter

When you focus on perceiving aural clues, roll with a bonus of 2.

        Additionally, you gain a commensurate bonus to surprise against noisy things.

Keen Nose

Cost: 20, Prerequisite: Starter, Mouse

You perceive odiferous items and creatures at a bonus of 2.

        Additionally, you gain a commensurate bonus to surprise against such smelly things.

Level-headed

Cost: 40, Starter

Roll for Horror with a bonus of 2.

Light Sleeper

Cost: 20, Starter OR get ambushed during the night + not Heavy Sleeper

Perception penalty while sleeping reduced from 4 to 2.

Masochist

Cost: 20, Prerequisite: Starter OR Session 3

Gain 1XP per pain level, per wound.

Neopode

Cost: 30, Prerequisite: Have a broken or severed leg

Your speed while using a crutch or crutches equals your Agility, rather than Agility -2.

Nester

Cost: 20, Prerequisite: Mouse

Soft spaces no larger than twice your body volume are considered superior accommodations for the purpose of becoming Well Rested.

Restful

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Starter OR Have 2 Drowsy

When you attain a Night’s rest, you gain -2 Drowsy instead of -1.

Hedgehog

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Sessions Survived 3, have three or more bladed weapons on your person

In time, many a cutter comes to resemble a bristling thicket of belted blades.

Medium and small bladed weapons count as small items when you carry them, and incur no burden.

Particularly Sensical

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Sensical, Sessions Survived 3

You may ask the GM for advice twice per session, rather than once.

Prehensile

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Starter, Mouse

You may use your tail as a sort of strong, non-dexterous hand. It may hold reasonably large items and even bear your body weight.

Tranquil

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Starter OR Have never rolled 12+ on a Nightmares roll

        Whenever you roll for Nightmares, do so at -2.

Sensical

Cost: 30, Prerequisite: Intellect 3, Starter OR Sessions Survived 3

Once per session, you may ask the GM for advice based on what they know. The advice will be correct.

Strangely Attractive

Cost: 30, Prerequisite: Starter, not child

Despite any veneer of grime, grit, and gore, this character rarely fails to elicit a favorable gaze.

Tasteless

Cost: 20, Starter OR Damaged tongue

You may eat foul food as if it were normal. Conversely, spices and seasonings give you no benefit.

Torpor

Cost: 30, Prerequisite: Mouse, Starter OR have consumed double required food and gained a stitch last session

If you become redundantly Well Fed thrice in a session, you enter a brief hibernation lasting 24 hours. During this time, you are unable to gain consciousness. You also roll Fortitude at +4 and may roll for Stitches thrice at the end of your sleep.

Disquiet Wisdom

Cost: 30, Prerequisite: Session 5, Have acquired and never slain a nightmare of yours

For every nightmare that follows you, you gain +5XP at session’s end.

Sadist

Cost: 40, Prerequisite: Starter OR have inflicted pain on a companion

Whenever you inflict a level of Pain on another creature, you gain 1 XP.

Negative Traits

Anthropophage

+20, Prerequisite: Ragman, Dine repeatedly on manflesh

If a ragman character chooses this trait at creation, they become a monstrous ragwretch. They gain spindly horns, elongated teeth, and enhanced night vision. Ragwretches are bogeymen; shunned at best and most often hunted. Eating manflesh makes you Well Fed.

Attached

+20, Prerequisite: Starter OR Sessions survived 2

If you lose a companion character, you suffer +4 to your next Nightmares roll, regardless of their Obsequies status.

Bad Back

+30, Starter OR Spend an entire session at over 100% burden

You may not exceed 100% burden. If you do, you immediately suffer a level 1 muscle spasm. This may be triggered by creatures leaping on you.

Bloody Syncope

+20-30, Starter

When you witness blood in excess of Bleed 3 or 2, depending on the XP bonus at which you bought this trait, roll Fortitude to resist passing out.

Brave

+10, Starter

You cannot be Horrified.

Cursed

+20, Prerequisite: Starter OR Openly mock the Other

The Other is out to get you. Up to once per session, powers of the Otherworld will attempt to make your life miserable.

Doxxy

+20, Starter OR Attain pepperelle addiction

You are addicted to pepperelle. The GM will inform you when you crave a smoke. If you do not smoke, you begin to Yearn. Every level of Yearning is 1 Stress. The GM has permission to cause you to Yearn at a minorly disadvantageous time thrice a session.

Additionally, flittering, dusty doxbells swarm your person; namely in and around your ears. If given sufficient time, they will generate into a topple.

Heavy Sleeper

+20; Not Light Sleeper; Starter OR Have 2 Drowsy

Perception penalty while sleeping increased from 4 to 6.

Ravenous

+30, Starter OR Have not eaten last session

You require two portions in order to become Fed or Well Fed.

Incompetent [skill]

+10, Starter OR repeatedly fail Intellect rolls to gain skill in which you become incompetent

You are unable to gain any levels in the specified acquired skill. You may not take this trait if you already have levels in said skill.

Minor Allergy

+10 or +20, depending on commonness of allergen, Starter

When exposed to an allergen (of your choice) you begin sneezing, coughing, or become faint. You gain 1 Histamine stress for an hour.

Photoepileptic

+30-40, Starter OR sustain a level 2 or higher head wound

When exposed to sudden lights or flashes, you immediately suffer a level 3 Seizure, depending on the XP level at which you buy this trait.

Placid

+30, Starter OR have never succeeded a Perception roll for initiative

When rolling Perception for initiative purposes, you do so at -2.

Jumpy

+20, Starter

You must opt into Horror when the GM describes something as sudden, alarming, abrupt, unexpected, or some other synonym.  

Liable

+40

You must always opt into Horror. The GM will remind you to, if you do not.

Light-blooded

+20, Starter

Your hypovolemia rating equals your Fortitude, rather than Fortitude + 2.

Additionally, you are oddly pale. Creatures of the Other are more likely to approach you or single you out.

Nocturnal

+10, Prerequisite: Too many night watches

The character has no desire to sleep at night, and they will become sleep deprived if they do not sleep during the day.

Nyctophobia

+10, Prerequisite: Exposure to dark

The character may become horrified in darkness and automatically becomes horrified if suddenly plunged into darkness.

Oversuspicious

+40, Prerequisite: Experience betrayal by an ally OR Read an unsettling tale

You do not trust the company you’re in.

You may not eat food procured or offered by your companions, and you must take rear position in marching order. If either of these requirements are not met, you

Restless

+20-40, Prerequisite: Starter OR Experience a Restless night within the last session.

When making Nightmare rolls, you add +2 or +4 to your roll, depending on the severity of your restlessness.

Severe Allergy

+20 or +30, depending on commonness of allergen

When exposed to an allergen (of your choice) you suffer a Mortal allergic reaction.

Severely Cursed

+40, Openly mock the Other

The Other desires to end you. Up to once per session, powers of the Otherworld will attempt to subtly end your miserable life.

Slumbersome

+30, Starter OR have 2 Drowsy

In order to benefit from a Night’s Rest, you require 10 hours of sleep, rather than 8.

Stoic

+20, Starter OR have had more than 8 stress and not expressed it

You may not reveal to your companions your current stress or malus.

Vector

+40, Prerequisite: Human, Starter

You are immune to the antibiotic effects of grisodate. Highly-developed plague riddles the blackened sponge of your marrow and lungs. Though none could guess, pathogenesis stirs ready within your tissues. You are but a few hours of death away from becoming a grue.

You gain no antibiotic benefit from grisodate. Additionally, you rapidly re-infect humans around you with latent plague, included those medicated with grisodate. You become a grue shortly after death.


Skills

A character’s skills define the breadth and prowess of their actions.

Skill List

Skills marked with * are topical. Skills with † are base skills.

Agility

Act with speed and ease.

Dodge

You may roll Agility to dodge away from a threat or attack. Dodging requires an action. If you succeed, the damage of the incoming attack is reduced by an amount equal to your agility level.

        When you dodge, you must choose to either retreat a step directly backwards or fall prone. To dodge without retreating, apply a -2 to your dodge roll.

        Rare circumstances, those in which you must cover a lot of ground to dodge successfully (such as explosions or falling debris,) may apply a penalty to your roll.

Move

In quick-time, Agility determines your rate of movement. Your speed is equal to your Agility level + 2. If you take the move action twice in one turn, use the rules for Sprint instead.

        Use this action to stand up if you are prone.

Sprint

If a character uses two actions to move on the same turn, they must roll Agility to Sprint. Failure causes them to gain a point of Weary stress.

Predictive Reflexes

Starting at level 6 Agility, you may take the Dodge action even if you have no actions remaining. If you do so, you consume one action from your next turn.

Turn Limit

You may turn a number of facets per round equal to your Agility. A  facet is defined as one face or corner of a map square.

Butchery

Break down fleshly creatures.

Harvest

Collect additional meat from a carcass equal to your Butchery +2.

Slaughter

Once per session, roll Butchery to attack a creature whom you have already impaled. Should this attack hit, its damage it boosted by a value equal to your Butchery level.

Cooking

Prepare fuel for the hungry.

Prepare Meal

A meal is successfully prepared via a Cooking roll.

In order to make the roll, a character must possess the following:

Situationally, certain items and conditions may modify Cooking rolls:

With the above, a character may roll Cooking:

Success creates a proper meal.

Failure destroys 1d6 portions of each ingredient.

Failure on a roll of 1 destroys all ingredients.

The number of matching ingredients used determines the quality of the resulting meal:

When consumed, a meal may remove the following Stresses: Hungry, Bleed, Weary, and Chilly.

Additionally, hot meals give a +2 to the next roll made to resist cold.

Premade ingredients, such as sausage, cheese, and bread, require no Cooking roll to combine, but do not ease Chilly. They may be combined with uncooked ingredients as part of a roll.

Cooperage

Bind wood and iron into multifarious casks.

Make Cask Armor

You may convert kegs and buckets into a cumbersome, yet effective, brand of body armor.

To do so, obtain requisite materials (bucket/keg/barrel and straps,) tools (saw, drawknife, and drill,) and roll Cooperage. Each relevant tool adds +1 to your roll.

Success yields a cask helm, cask body, or barrel shield.

Failure destroys the keg/bucket/barrel. The quality of said armor is determined by your cooperage level:

Entrenching

Create earthy fortifications, shelters, and literal trenches alike.

Digout

You can dig a meter-stretch of defensive trench suitable to your size in a number of hours equal to 13 minus your Entrenching level. You can dig a grave in similar time.

Burrow

You can make dugout shelters in a manner befitting your people. Each Entrenching level and hour committed to construction increases the quality of your burrow.

Felling

Bring low the large and the wooden.

Timber

Fell trunks in an hour equal to your Felling level. Certain tree species may apply a penalty. Individual trees of special hardiness may require a roll.

An axe or saw is required. Exceptional tools may increase your effective level.

Fell Monsters

You may use your Felling skill to attack creatures substantially larger than you.  

Fortitude

Resist wear and destruction of the body.

Resist Wounds

When you sustain a wound, roll Fortitude to resist specific effects.

Marching

Fortitude is rolled after 6 hours of marching and again after each additional hour. Failure bestows Weary stress.

Hold Breath

Every turn a character spends submerged or without air, they must roll Fortitude.

Failure causes them to gain a point of Drowned stress.

If a character has time to catch and hold their breath before becoming submerged, they may spend a number of rounds equal to their Fortitude submerged before rolling to hold their breath.

Hypovolemia

Characters have a hypovolemia rating equal to Fortitude + 2.

Gambling

Play and bluff through games and life alike.

Gambit

Once per day, roll Gambling before another roll. If you succeed, the roll gains +4 bonus. If you fail, it gains a -4 penalty.

Matchsmithy

Nurture flames to life.

Start Fire

Roll Matchsmithy to generate a fire. A Matchsmithy roll, successful or otherwise, takes fifteen minutes. To make the roll, a character must have both a fire starting tool and a unit of tinder. Certain items provide bonuses to this roll.

Certain environmental conditions may provide penalties:

Regardless of result, the tinder is consumed, along with whatever tool was used alongside it, if applicable.

If you succeed, the resulting fire requires 1 unit of wood immediately and then every fifteen minutes in order to remain alive.

Arson

Once per session, when you set a person or building alight, you set a number of contiguous extra body or construction areas alight equal to your Matchsmithy level.

Instruction

Share your own skill with many others.

Classmoot

For every level of Instruction you possess, you may Teach one additional character during an opportunity to Learn skills.

Intellect

Efficiently process your experiences and surroundings.

Acquire Skills

When you perform an action related to a skill which you do not have, roll Intellect. If you succeed, you gain Practice in that skill and may improve it when next you have an opportunity to Learn.

Aptitude

When Learning topical skills, you gain an XP discount per level gained equal to your Intellect level.

Recollect

Starting at level 6 Intellect, you may ask the GM to recite information you have previously encountered, verbatim.

Knots

Work rope and cord.

BIND

Loads and captured creatures attempting to escape binds you create roll with a penalty equal to your Knots.

Language: [tongue]

Speak and write with skill or otherwise.

Each topic in Language which you possess is a language which you may speak.

Literacy

At level 4, you may read and write in a given language.

Articulation

At level 6, your skill with language impresses those with whom you speak who also know it. When reading or hearing your words, characters’ reactions to you are increased favorably by one level.

Common languages:

Ancient languages:

Lore: [topic]

Knowledge and hearsay of histories, sciences, and professional reckonings.

        Each topic in Lore you possess is a lopic in which you are familiar.

Common lore:

Uncommon lore:

Obscure lore:

MEDICINE

Heal the wounded.

Close Wounds

With bandages and a Medicine roll, a wound may be bound, promoting healing and scarless closure.

Roll Medicine:

A successful roll closes the wound. Closed wounds roll to heal with a bonus of +1.

A failed roll ruins the bandages used.

With the addition of a splint, Close Wounds may also be used to set broken bones.

Stanch Bleeding

Using an action, one or more free hands may be devoted to applying pressure to a bleeding wound. For every hand applied, the bleeding character receives +1 to their Fortitude roll to resist gaining Bleed stress. They may benefit from up to 2 hands.

If at any point the hand or hands are removed, or they or the stanching character are stunned by an attack, the stanch is interrupted.  

Stop Bleeding

Requires two hands and two concurrent actions.

Roll Medicine with a penalty equal to the wound’s Bleeding value. Bandages apply a bonus of 2. A tourniquet applies a bonus of 4, but causes a limb to become unusable. It takes two actions to tie a tourniquet.

If the roll succeeds, the wound’s Bleeding is reduced to 0.

If the roll fails, the bandages are soaked through and bleeding does not stop. More may be applied on top of the first.

Wounds which have been stopped may reopen and resume bleeding if they are struck. In such a case, Fortitude is rolled to determine wound integrity.

Cauterization

Requires one action and a cautery iron (makeshift or otherwise)heated to a dull red glow. It takes 30 minutes to sufficiently heat a knife or iron on a hot fire, or four actions if heated with a blowtorch or similar tool.

With an action, the iron may be applied to a bleeding wound. Doing so inflicts a level 2 burn wound and reduces the original wound’s bleeding value to zero.

MELEE: [unarmed]

Attack and defend with naught but your body. A unique topic within Melee.

Attack

Add Melee: Unarmed to your attack roll when you make an unarmed attack.

Grapple

You may attack with Unarmed to wrestle an opponent.

To grapple, roll to attack and add your Melee: Unarmed. Melee roll modifiers apply. If they are able, your opponent may block or dodge.

While grappling:

While being grappled:

Lock Weapon

You may attack with Unarmed in an attempt to seize and immobilize an opponent’s limb or weapon. To do so, roll Melee: Unarmed. Your opponent may Dodge or Block, as usual.

Whilst Locked, neither the seized limb nor the limb you used to grab may be used. The Locked character may attempt to regain control of their limb/weapon by rolling Melee or Unarmed (depending on whether their limb or weapon is locked) or by releasing the locked weapon. When attempting to escape, they roll with a penalty equal to your Might.

        A character Locking a bladed weapon may sustain injury when the owner of the weapon attempts to break free.

MELEE: [weapon]

Attack and defend with close-combat weapons.

Melee is a topical skill. If a character acquires it, they gain proficiency with a category of weapon.

Attack

Add Melee to your roll when you attack with a member of the weapon category in which you hold proficiency.

Block

Add Melee to your roll when you block with a member of the weapon or shield category in which you hold proficiency.

You may only attempt to block attacks that originate from the five forward facets of the square you occupy.

Topics: Axe, Knife, Sword, Hammer, Polearm, Greatsword, etc.

Might

Use the strength of limb and thew to move yourself and the world.

Burden Capacity

Your burden capacity equals your Might level + 2

Climbing

Climbing simple surfaces (a short bookshelf) requires no effort. However, scaling something more difficult (a rough stone wall, a cliff, vines) requires a Might roll.

Heave

Using an action, you may Heave to move an object up to twice your Burden Capacity in weight. When you do, roll Might. Failure causes you to gain a point of Weary stress.

Incredible Might

Starting at level 6 Might, you deal 1 bonus damage with melee weapons.

PERCEPTION

Ears to hear, and eyes to see.

Initiative

Roll Perception when quicktime begins to determine when you act in the round.

Scrounging

Roll perception to Scrounge for resources or objects you suspect to be present. If successful, you find a quantity of said resource or said object.

If the target of your search is hidden, you may roll with a penalty.

Vigilance

When a sneaking creature or secreted object is nearby, the GM rolls your Perception to see if you detect it.

Navigation

To get somewhere, one must know where they are going.

When setting out, the party’s pace must be determined. Pace influences navigation and wariness.

To begin traveling with any hope of not getting lost, a route must be determined. Directions may be ascertained by local knowledge or maps (assuming they are correct.) If a road or river is present, characters may simply follow its route in lieu of plotting their own.

To plot a route, some mode of direction must be present. Such modes (provided they provide correct information) give a bonus to the eventual Navigation roll.

Navigation is passively rolled at the end of a trek. If successful, the roll indicates the party has traveled the desired way. If failed, they become lost. The party may determine if they are lost or on-trail only by a combination of clues and their own reason.

Play: [instrument]

Music to spur body and mind.

Inspire

With 1 action and an instrument matching your skill, you may roll Play to inspire your companions during quicktime. You may inspire a number of companions equal to your Play skill + 2.

Success bestows each of your companions with a bonus to their next roll. The bonus depends on your Play skill level:

Ranged: [weapon]

Attack and defend with projectile or thrown weapons.

Ranged is a topical skill. If a character acquires it, they gain skill with a category of weapon.

Attack

Add Ranged to your roll when you attack with a member of the weapon category in which you are skilled.

Subtlety

Act silently and without notice.

Sneak

When you choose to sneak, characters subtract your Subtlety level from their hidden Perception roll.

Environmental factors may influence your sneaking. Doing so in the open, without intervening cover, applies -2. Good cover negates this. Heavy concealment applies +2.

While sneak, your movement rate equals your Agility, rather than Agility + 2.

Quickdraw

When instigating the beginning of quicktime via a sudden attack against an aware target, roll Subtlety instead of Perception for initiative.

Silent Attack

Roll Subtlety when you attack to do so silently.

Surgery

Join, cut, and resect the flesh for its own good.

Suture Wounds

Suture wounds to promote healing.

Roll Surgery:

Requires a surgical needle and thread or suture wire. If nonsurgical needle and thread are used, the roll to suture is made at -1. Doing so may introduce infection.

Remove Embedded Object

Using an action, roll Surgery:

Certain projectiles inflict a penalty on the Surgery roll. For instance, broadheads roll at -2. Specially barbed points, -3. Armor piercing bodkins have no modifier. Flechettes usually have no modifier.

Characters may opt to remove embedded objects with Might, as well. Removing an object via a successful Might roll causes the wound to gain a Bleeding score equal to the wound’s severity level.

Operate

Correct level 3 wounds so they may heal properly.

Roll Surgery:

Requires a surgical kit or a sharp knife or scalpel. If only the latter is available, roll at -2.

Additionally, if surgery is performed on a conscious or unsedated character, the roll is made at -2 due to their reaction. Restraining them lowers this to -1.

Amputate

Remove a troublesome or destroyed limb or extremity. To do so, roll Surgery:

Requires surgical kit or a sharp knife. If only the latter is available, roll at -2.

        Additionally, if surgery is performed on a conscious or unsedated character, the roll is made at -2 due to their reaction. Restraining them lowers this to -1.

Woodcutting

Transform logs to usable wood.

Buck Logs

In an hour, given a saw, you may produce a number of wood rounds from whole logs equal to your Woodcutting level.

A character with no Woodcutting skill requires 2 hours to produce one round.

Especially tough wood or other conditions may affect this multiplier.

Split Wood

In an hour, given a splitting tool and sufficient log rounds, you may produce units of firewood equal to ten times your Woodcutting level + 1. Especially tough wood, superior tools, or other conditions may affect this multiplier.


QUICKTIME

In moments of peril, gameplay slows to a turn-based mode called quicktime.

STRUCTURE

Quicktime is organized into turns and rounds. Every participation character gets a turn in which to act. Once they all act, a round concludes. The order in which they act is dictated by individually rolling initiative.

INITIATIVE

The order in which characters act in a round is dictated by an initiative order. When quick time begins, all participants roll Perception.

        Those who succeed act at the first half of the round. Their turns proceed starting with the character with the highest Agility level and ending with the lowest.

        Those who fail act in the second half of the round. They also act in Agility level-order.

        Initiative order, and thus quick-time, ends when peril no longer faces any of the involved characters.

ACTIONS

On their turn, a character may take up to two actions. Typical actions include:

        Actions may be held to trigger at a defined point later in the round. If the defined trigger never comes to pass, the action is wasted. For attacks, this is useful for warding against enemy approach.

COMBAT

STEP 1

Character declares attack against target in range, determines modifiers, and rolls to hit (using chosen combat skill, if able.)

STEP 2

If able, target rolls either Agility to dodge or a combat skill(to block or parry.

STEP 3

Determine outcomes:

STEP 4

If the attacker succeeded, apply weapon damage to the defender. If the attacker rolled a 12 on their attack roll, add +1 damage.

Apply any damage reduction furnished by blocking or dodging.

If damage remains, apply it to a body area determined by rolling a d12 on the following table:

Apply any damage reduction provided by armor and hardness on that area. Check remaining damage against wound thresholds to determine if a wound occurs.

WOUNDS

Wounds occur when damage applied to a body area exceeds a threshold. The human thresholds are as follows:

The effects of a wound are determined by its damage type:

SLASH

PIERCE

BLUDGEON

WOUND EFFECTS

A character may be required to make one or more Fortitude rolls to resist the effects of their wound, which vary by severity, location, and damage type.

PAIN

A character suffering a painful wound gains Stress equal to the highest level of pain suffered across all their wounds.

        For example: A character with a level 2 gash and a level 1 bruise suffers only 2 pain.

BLEEDING

A character with a bleeding wound must roll Fortitude at the end of each of their turns, with a penalty equal to the wound’s Bleeding score.

        If the roll fails, the character receives 1 Bleed stress.

        When a character's level of Bleed stress equals their Hypovolemia rating, they lose consciousness immediately due to blood loss.

STUN

A character suffering stun to the:

IMPALATION

A character struck by an impaling wound must roll Fortitude with a bonus equal to the size of the impaling object (small = 1, medium = 2, large = 3.)

        If they succeed, the object becomes embedded. An embedded object adds Pain to the wound equal to the size of the object until removed.

If they fail, the object passes through or is pulled out, and the wound acquires additional  Bleeding equal to its severity.

        A character impaled in the head has a 50% chance to lose 1 eye (-1 Perception) or 1-3 teeth. The embedded status of the object is handled as if it were a body wound.

        A character who fails their Fortitude roll to resist a level 3 impaling wound to the head perishes instantly due to a pierced brain.

A character who succeeds their Fortitude roll to resist a level 3 impaling wound to the head must roll to resist a fracture to the skull.

SEVERANCE

A character struck by a severing wound must roll Fortitude.

        If they succeed, they resist the severance.

If they fail, an extremity adjacent the hit location may be removed:

In addition to the above, the wound gains additional bleeding equal to its level. This bleeding applies regardless of whether an extremity is removed.

        A character who succeeds their Fortitude roll to resist a level 3 severing wound must roll to resist a fracture to the affected area.

        A character who fails their Fortitude roll to resist a level 3 severing wound to the neck or head perishes instantly.  

FRACTURE

A character struck by a fracturing wound must roll Fortitude.

If they succeed, they resist the fracture.

If they fail, the wound becomes a fracture. A fracture heals at a -4 penalty and cannot gain stitches unless set by the medicine skill.

A limb struck by a level 3 fracturing wound becomes useless until the wound gains three stitches. A character with a useless leg requires a crutch to walk. A character with a skull fractured in this way remains unconscious until the wound gains three stitches.

        A character who fails their Fortitude roll to resist a level 3 fracture to the head perishes instantly. If they succeed, they gain a fractured skull,  instead.

UNCONSCIOUSNESS

An unconscious character falls prone at the start of their next turn and may not take actions.

Each turn, roll Fortitude with a penalty equal to the stun value that knocked you unconscious. If you succeed, you regain consciousness.

        Characters who have fallen unconscious due to hypovolemia roll Fortitude with a penalty equal to their level of Bleed stress. If they suffer further Bleed stress, they lose consciousness again immediately.

INFECTION

A wound that pierces a character’s skin has a chance to become infected.

At the end of each Night’s Rest, each applicable wound a character suffers rolls for infection. No skill is involved; rather the roll is modified by a variety of conditions:

        Success deems the wound becomes infected. While infected, a wound stitches at -2.

WOUND TICKETS

For ease of reference and speed of play, wound tickets should be used to communicate and track the effects of a wound. Without these, combat may become slowed by dictating the effects of each wound.

HEALING

Flesh takes time to stitch itself together.

A character may heal once per day. They may choose to do so either after a Lunch, or after a Night’s Rest.

In order to heal, a wound must be filled up with stitches.

STITCHES

Stitches occur as a result of rest and healing. Stitches are not sutures.

When healing, a character rolls Fortitude individually for each of their wounds. A penalty is applied to the roll equal to a wound’s severity.

When a Stitch is applied, it reduces any Pain caused by a wound by 1 level.

Level 3 wounds may not heal more than 3 stitches without an operation performed via the Surgery skill.

Certain conditions apply bonuses to stitch rolls:

OPENED WOUNDS

Undue stress may cause a healing wound to lose stitches. When a character’s wounded area is affected by a blow, they must roll Fortitude. Success deems the wound remains intact. Failure removes Stitches equal to half the damage applied and causes the wound to begin bleeding, if it previously bled.


MECHANICS

Mechanical procedures for exploration and unstructured time.

BURDEN

The speed at which a character moves is determined by their burden. Burden composes everything they carry (or, in the case of armor or heavy clothes, wear.)

BURDEN POINTS

A character may carry a number of burden points equal to their burden capacity. For a human, this capacity equals Might level + 2. For a mouse, it is equal to their Scurry level.

Points in excess of capacity inflict penalties on speed and physical action:

Every normal item a character carries is a point of burden. Large items may add more than one point.

Worn clothing, containers, and backpacks add no burden unless specified. Carried, not-worn clothing does. Armor may add one or more points per part, whether worn or not. Weapons are always burdensome, unless specified.

        Individual small items are not burdensome. Collections of small items of a kind are stacked into one point of burden, especially if grouped within a container (a can of flechettes, for instance.)

Small items either stack to 3, 6, 12, or 24:

BACKPACKS

The majority of a character’s inventory is contained within a pack. Be it a proper backpack or some other container, a pack may hold up to 12 points of burden,  so long as all items fit. Larger containers are usually too burdensome to be a pack.

        A pack’s purpose is to handily contain and protect a character’s precious inventory. The quality of a pack protects its contents, providing resistance or immunity to blows, fire, water, and other maladies. Additionally, with an action, a character may drop their pack, instantly freeing them of burden (a maneuver handy in sudden danger.)

        Items and weapons held within backpacks are not quickly accessible in quicktime. Strapped weapons are drawable with one action.

        A good backpack, alongside a hardy pair of boots and a helmet, is one of the integral makings of a successful cutter.

COLD

Cold seeps slow, gradual; brings stillness to even the most vital flesh.

Every hour a character is exposed to freezing cold, they must roll. No skill is involved:

Sub-zero temperatures cause the roll to be made at -2. Entering certain cold locations, such as unnaturally cold caves, may cause a Chilly roll immediately.

Warm clothing provides +1 to the roll per piece. Some coats, cloaks, and hats bestow +2. Cigarettes/pipes provide +1. Strong alcohol gives +2, but causes the nest roll to be made at -2.

If a character amasses sufficient warm clothes to reach a bonus of +6, they may opt to gain 1 Chilly every 4 hours they are exposed to the cold, gained on the first hour, instead of rolling every hour.

FROSTBITE

If a character has 3 Chilly stress, they are at risk of frostbite.

For every point of Chilly after 3, every one of a character’s extremities must roll against freezing. The roll is modified thusly:

No skill is added to the roll.

Frostburn wounds are functionally burn wounds, but inflict no pain until rewarmed.

LUNCH

Lunch is an event with a variety of benefits. To enjoy a Lunch, a character must engage in two hours of unstrenuous rest and consume a meal. Meals may be prepared via the Cooking skill.

Lunch’s benefits include:

Characters may gain the benefit of a lunch twice per day, regardless of time. If in the event it occurs at night, it is called a supper. Cutters have little regard for standard meal nomenclature.

FOOD & MEALS

A meal must include food and a measure of drink. A typical meal makes a character Fed. Especially good or ample food makes them Well Fed.

All characters must become Fed at least twice a day in order to function properly. If they become Fed three times in a day, they are automatically Well Fed by the third.

Well Fed: Gain +5XP at session’s end. Make next set of stitch rolls at +1.

Every consecutive missed meal bestows a level of Hungry stress. In this way, a character may maintain 1 Hungry and avoid starvation by eating only once per day.

NIGHT’S REST

Sleep is essential for optimal function. A character needs eight hours every day in order to prevent levels of Drowsy stress. A proper Night’s Rest removes one level of Drowsy.

        A character who sleeps but attains less than eight hours must roll Fortitude successfully or gain a level of Drowsy. This applies to characters made to stand watch at night. Said characters must also roll Perception at the start of their watch, or risk nodding off. If they do nod off, they gain sleep as usual.

        Characters who get a night’s rest in superior accommodations become Well Rested.

Well Rested: Gain +5XP at session’s end. Make next set of stitch rolls at +1. Stacks with Well Fed.

Additionally, during a Night’s Rest, a character may Learn.

XP & LEARNING

Experience (written XP, for “experience points”) is the product of life. It may be spent by Learning to improve and earn skills and traits.

GAINING XP

A character obtains XP at the end of every session. The amount of XP received by a character at session’s end is dictated by their accomplishments during that session.

        Bonus XP sources, such as becoming Horrified or Well Rested are added to the whole.

LEARNING & GAINING SKILLS

To improve or earn skills, a character must gain relevant Practice. Using a skill, usually by succeeding in a roll, causes it to become Practiced. Some skills are easier to practice, by their nature.

Practiced skills may be improved when an opportunity to Learn arises. Usually, having a Lunch or a Night’s Rest are a character’s primary opportunities in which to learn.

To improve a Practiced skill by one level, a character must expend XP equal to ten times the level they wish to attain in that skill. For instance, it takes 20XP to raise a skill from level 1 to level 2. A skill may only be increased one per Learning.

TEACHING

A character may be Taught to gain practice in a skill. To do so, they must have access to a knowledgeable repository of the skill they wish to learn. With this practice, they may buy a level, as usual. This may be a literal repository, such as a book, tablet, or scroll, or it may be a teacher already learned in the skill.

        To teach another character a skill level, the teacher must forgo their own Learning opportunity during a lunch or night’s rest. A teacher may instruct only one other character at a time, at default.

GAINING NEW TRAITS

When Learning, a character may gain new traits. Every trait carries a cost or a benefit in XP as well as a prerequisite.

Only one trait may be purchased per session.

At character generation, most traits prerequisites are waived. These are denoted Starter traits.

SURVIVAL

Character progression and power is defined by the Sessions Survived box on their character record.

DEATH

When a character’s total Stress reaches 12, they die. This is irreversible.

        Certain wounds, such as beheading or a penetrating head wound, may kill a character instantly.

OBSEQUIES

If in the event a player character dies, the obsequies, or lack thereof, undertaken for their corpse by surviving party members may provide bonus starting XP for the creation of the character replacing them:

Any of the above obsequies which involve grey salt require 6 ounces of grisodate in order to perform.

Any of the above which require burial use the Entrenching skill to dictate time required to dig a grave (13 hours minus skill.)

A character with skill in Obsequies or Gravedigging increases the bonus XP provided by any of the above by 5XP per level.

Bonus XP does not apply if the character replacing them has already been played.

FAITH

Humans have the capacity to hold Faith. Said faith takes the form of the Avethan trait and its modified variants:

Avethan

Cost: 10XP, Prerequisite: Human, Starter OR Be taught the Lord’s truth by a priest this session

The Lord Aveth gives you resolve and guards your mind against evil.

        You hold 1 Faith point. Once per session, you may spend it to add a bonus of 1 to any roll. Additionally, you roll for nightmares at -1.

To maintain these benefits, you must take care to pray nightly and observe Aveth’s dictates.

Characters who have undergone the rites of the priesthood are Ordained of Aveth:

Ordained of Aveth

Prerequisites: Human, Avethan, Starter OR be ordained as a priest by the Church

The Lord of Humanity has given you the resolve to guide her kin.

You hold a second Faith point. You may expend it to add +1 to any roll made by another character, but not yourself. Alternatively, you may spend both your Faith points to aid another.

Additionally, you roll for nightmares at -2.

To maintain these benefits, you must take care to pray nightly and observe Aveth’s dictates.

Your faith may be tested. Adhere to the dictates of Aveth to hold true.

This trait upgrades Avethan.

AUSTERITIES

Characters who undertake austerities may gain traits that further enhance their Faith.

Mendicant

Cost: 40XP, Prerequisites: Avethan

You gain another Faith point.

To maintain this Faith, you may possess neither coinage nor liquid assets. All spare wealth you come into possession of must be given to humans who are in need.

“To give charity is to serve the Lord. Thus, Her truest Church is the Church of the poor.”

Ascetic

Cost: 40XP, Prerequisites: Avethan

Every time you forgo a meal during the day, you gain 1 Faith point the next, for a maximum of +2. Additionally, if any of the meals you consume during that day are more complex than Simple, you gain no additional Faith points.

        “To live by the flesh is to die. To deprive the flesh is to live by the spirit. To live by the spirit is to transcend the flesh.”

Flagellant

Cost: 30XP, Prerequisites: Avethan

Whenever you strike yourself with a wound that bestows a level of Bleeding, you restore a Faith point.

        “I will know the lash as did the Lord, and by it know her strength.”

WORSHIP

A character who devotes 1 hour to worship at an Avethan mass or alter gains +1 Faith Point. It disappears at day’s end if not spent.

FIRE

Being set alight is unfortunate.

When a character is set alight, one or more of their body areas begin burning at an Intensity level. Intensity is fire’s only stat. Most start at 6. Oil or accelerant fires start at 8.

        Every turn after a character is set alight, the fire attached to each body area rolls Intensity. Success deems it applies a burn wound. If a burn wound is already present, the wound is upgraded to the next severity level. Areas burned beyond a mortal wound are destroyed or cause death.

A roll of 12 causes it to spread to an adjacent area.

A 1 causes it to go out.

Each turn, a character may spend their action to extinguish one burning area. This requires them to either drop prone and roll about or smother the area with an appropriate cloth/material/body of water.

BURNS

A level 3 burn wound destroys surface tissues, including nerves, eyes, and hair.

HORROR

If something described as horrible, terrifying, or any synonym thereof is encountered, the encountering character may opt to give into Horror. They roll on the tables below.

        A horrified character gains +5XP at sessions end. They may be horrified thrice in a session. Horror in excess gives no XP.

        Certain monsters may give more XP when used as a horror trigger.

        Horror may be remembered in Nightmares.

LOSS OF LIMB

Dismemberment is an occupational hazard.

A character lacking:

NIGHTMARES

Regret; panic; foes who never die: All come to visit come the night.

Whenever a character takes a Night’s Rest, they must roll for Nightmares:

For every 5XP a character gained via Horror in the time before they went to sleep, add +1 to their Nightmare roll.

Circumstances other than Horror may influence the bonus applied to a Nightmare roll. Sleeping in especially unnerving areas may add up to +4. Consuming certain foods, drinks, or drugs may apply up to -3.

DURABILITY & WEAR

Nothing lasts forever.

WEAPONS

Weapons, or items used as weapons, may receive Wear.

When involved (attacking or blocking) in a roll resulting in 12 or 1, the weapon gains a level of Wear. It also makes a roll, adding its Wear as a modifier.

If the roll succeeds, the weapon breaks.

If it fails, the weapon remains intact.

The weapon’s Quality determines any modifiers to its Wear rolls:

        Wear and breaks may be reversed by the skill of a character trained in an appropriate crafting skill. For melee arms, this is usually Metalworking. For ranged, Bowyery or Clockwork

        A character may attack another’s weapon in an attempt to add Wear levels to it. Said attack is made at -2, as it requires the attacker choose their target area. If the attack hits, the struck weapon receives Wear equal to the attacking weapon’s damage value minus the defender’s block value. This causes the struck weapon to roll Wear immediately.

        


Gear & Equipment

The makings of a successful venture.

MELEE WEAPONS

WEAPON NAME

CATEGORY

SIZE

DAMAGE

BLOCK

Bayonet, axe

Axe

M

7S

4

Bayonet, épée

Spear

L

7P AP2

4

Bayonet, sword

Sword

L

6S, 7P AP1

5

Bec de Corbin

Poleaxe

L

10B, 8P AP 4

3

Boot sole, hard

Unarmed

T

5B

0

Boot sole, hobnails

Unarmed

T

6B

0

Bardiche

Axe

L

8S

4

Billhook

Axe

S

5S

3

Billpole

Poleaxe

L

7S

2

Crowbar, long

Hammer

M

8B, 7P AP1

3

Crowbar, short

Hammer

S

6B, 6P

2

Chainlock

Improvised

M

7B

1

Gladius

Sword

S

5S, 6P

5

Hewer/Executioner's sword

Greatsword

L

11S

4

Knife

Knife

T

3P AP1, 3S

1

Knife, hunting

Knife

S

5P AP 1

2

Knuckle duster

Unarmed

T

5B

2

Longsword

Greatsword

L

9S, 8P AP 2

6

Munitions hatchet

Axe

S

6S, 5P AP 1

3

Munitions spade

Axe

M

5B, 6S

4

Munitions sledge

Hammer

L

10B

3

Pan

Improvised

S

5B

4

Pike

Polearm

EX

7P AP 2

3

Shovel

Improvised

M

5B,

5S

2

Sidesword/Sabre

Sword

M

7S, 6P AP2

6

Sledgehammer

Improvised

L

8B

2

Smith’s hammer

Hammer

S

6B

2

Rope fist

Unarmed

S

4B

varies

Sock brick

Improvised

S

6B

0

Splitting maul

Axe

M

6S AP1

3

Stiletto

Knife

T

4P AP3

1

Tabar axe

Axe

M

6S

3

War hammer

Hammer

M

8B, 6P AP 2

3

Estoc

Sword

M

6P AP2

5

WEAPON RANGES: H: Hand to hand, S: Short, M: Medium, L: Long, EX: Extended

EX weapons may only attack two steps away.


ARMOR

Armor Material

Reduction

Hardness

Burden

Soft leather

2

3

None

Buff cloth

2

4

None

Maille

3

6

Low

Maille-leather combination

3

7

Low

Rebarred leather/splint

4

8

Medium

Boiled leather

5

6

Medium

Wooden cask

4

6

High

Plate, iron/munitions

6

8

High

Plate, odite

7

9

Medium

Plate, tempered

8

11

Medium

Armor items apply reduction values to covered areas. When damage is applied to that area, it is reduced by that value.

If damage is below hardness, wound becomes a bruise. If equal to or higher, the armor is pierced.


AMMUNITION

AMMO

PRICE

Arrow, bodkin, 20

1S

Arrow, broadhead, 20

1P

Bodkin points, 20

3p

Broadheads, 20

1S

220gr flechette, box of 12

4p

250gr flechette, box of 12

1S

330gr flechette, box of 12

1S 3p

440gr flechette, box of 12

1P

550gr flechette, box of 12

1P 1S

220gr magazine

2p/6 cap.

250gr magazine

3p//6 cap.

330gr magazine

1S/6 cap.

440gr magazine

10p/6 cap.

550gr magazine

10p/3 cap.

Field cranequin

3P

Wind-spoon

1S

Light coil (6 shots)

1P

Munitions coil (6 shots)

3P

Artillery coil (6 shots)

12P


RANGED WEAPONS

NAME

CAT.

SIZE

DAM.

RELOAD

AMMO

RANGE

Mouse-

bow

Bow

T

3P

1, nock

Mouse arrow

15

Shortbow

Bow

S

5P

1, nock

Arrow

25

Longbow

Bow

L

9P

1, nock

Arrow

35

Pistol crossbow

Crossbow

S

3P AP1

1, load

1, draw

Short

bolt

10

Hunting crossbow

Crossbow

M

6P

1, load

2, draw

Bolt

35

Leverette

Leverette

M

6P AP2

2, mag

1, cycle

330gr

flech’ mag

35

Pistolette

Leverette

S

4P AP2

2, mag

1, cycle

220gr

flech’

mag

10

Leverette,

single action

Leverette

M

6P AP2

1, load

1, cycle

330gr

flech’

35

Pistolette,

single action

Leverette

S

4P AP2

1, load

1, cycle

220gr

flech'

10

Pistol gunspring

Gunspring

S

5P AP3

1, mag

1, coil

250gr

flech’ mag,

light coil

10

Service gunspring

Gunspring

M

6P AP4

1, mag

1, coil

440gr

flechette mag,

munitions coil

40

Volley-

spring

Heavy gunspring

L

7P AP3

2, mag

2, coil

440gr

flechette mag,

artillery coil x2

35

Snipe-

spring

Heavy gunspring

L

7P AP 6

2, mag

2, coil

1, cycle

550gr

flechette mag,

artillery coil

100

Sling

Sling

S

4-6B/P

1, load

1-3, cycle

Rocks

OR Sling bullets

15

The SIZE column describes not projectile size, but weapon size.

CATEGORY describes the Ranged skill topic rolled to shoot the weapon.

A weapon must have all its RELOAD actions completed before it can shoot. Weapons with coils and/or magazines require reloading only when said coils, mags run out. A weapon with a LOAD, NOCK, or CYCLE reload must have these actions performed between shots in order to function

GUNSPRINGS

Require both a loaded magazine and a charged maincoil to shoot. They may shoot without pause, requiring one action per shot, so long as they do not require a Cycle reload action after depleting their mag or coil.

LEVERETTES

Lever-action weapons which must be cranked once in between shots. Some are single action, requiring a flechette to be loaded into the breach between shots. Others are magazine fed and do not shoot without a loaded mag.

SLINGS

Simple weapons which act as an extension of the thrower’s arm. Slings may launch both scrounged rocks and bullets, but deal 1 less damage if they use the former. Bullets inflict piercing damage. Rocks, bludgeoning.  

A sling must be loaded between launches, requiring one action. They may be spun for up to 3 Cycle actions. For each cycle action, the ensuing attack deals one more damage, up to 6.

GOODS

ITEM

Market Price

Breakable/Flammable/Spoilable

Stacking

Canteen, tin or leather

5p

-

-

Carriage harness

15P

-

Pot, copper,

6-18p

  • -

-

Firesteel

1p

  • -

6

Lamp, kerosene

10p

B, F

-

Ladle, wooden

½ p

  • F

-

Lighter, kerosene

6p

-

12

Blowtorch

-

Matches, box of 20

1p

B, R

24

Mess kit

5p

-

-

Kerosene, small can

2p

F

3

Spoon, wooden

¼ p

6

Rope, cotton, yard

¼ p

F

24

Rope, hemp, yard

½ p

F

24

Rotisserie spit

4p

-

-

Rotisserie spit, long

9p

-

-

Saddle, cavalry,

30P

-

Saddle

15P

-

Skillet, copper

5-15p

-

Skillet, cast iron

10-30p

-

FOODSTUFFS

ITEM

PRICE

Breakable/Flammable/Spoilable

Stacking

(per unit)

Beer, pint

1p

-

3

Beer, twobit

2p

3

Butter, 12 oz

2p

S

3

Brandy, bottle, good,

2 ½P 

B, F

-

Cheese, hard, wheel of 12

3p

-

-

Coffee, cheap, pound

2p

S

3

Common dry spices, jar of 12 pinches

(pepper, clove, cinnamon, ginger, paprika)

4p

F, S

24

Common dry herbs, jar of 12 pinches

(parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano)

3p

F, R

24

Dirt vegetables, poor,, sack of 12

(corm, potato, turnip, rutabaga)

1 ½ p

-

12

Dirt vegetables, good, sack of 12

(carrots, onions, beets, yams, radish)

2 p

-

12

Flour, barrel

30p

-

Flour, bag of 12 cups

2 ½p

S

12

Fruits, dried, sack of 12 handfuls

(Figs, apricots, apples)

3p

-

12

Sausage, link

½p

B

12

Sugar, bag of 10

1 ½p

S

12

Salt, pouch, 20 pinches

1p

S

24

Tea, 20 teaspoons

1 ½p

S, B

24

Lard, jar of 12

2p

S

24

Milk, bottle of 12

½p

B, S

12

Molasses, bottle of 12

2 ½-

B

12

Wheat, bushel

10p

-

Whiskey, glass

1 ½ p

B, F

-

Whiskey, poor, bottle of

4p

B/F

-

Whiskey, bottle, good

1P

B, F

-

Wine, bottle of

1S

B

-

Wine, pitcher of

4p

-

-

MEDICINALS

ITEM

PRICE

B/F/S

Stacking

Bandage, cotton

2 ½p 

F/S

6

Bandage tin

5p

-

-

Causticks, tube of 6

15p

F/S

12

Cauter patch

6p

F/S

24

Cream, burn, tin of 5

5p

6

Grisodate, grains

2 ¼ p/ounce

  • R

24

Laudanum, bottle, 30 drops

8p

B

3

Ointment, soothing, tin of 5

6p

-

6

Salve, healing, tin of 5

6p

  • -

6

Suture thread

4p

S

24

Suture needle

2p

-

24

Suture wire, silver

6p

-

24

Tonic, ounce ampoule

2 ½p

B

12

CAUSTICKS

A tube of what appear to be large, silver-headed matches. They are sticks dipped in caustic silver nitrate, branded as “Causticks” by Buschmacher Medicinals. They are activated by the application of water, and may be used to sterilize and stop bleeding in small (level 1) wounds. May also remove warts.

CAUTER PATCH

A thick cloth patch backed by wax paper. Approximately 8 inches square, and packaged in a foil envelope. Peeling away the wax paper reveals a black, sticky interior meant for firm application on bleeding wounds.

Doing so chemically cauterizes the wound. It stops bleeding, applies a level 2 burn wound, and disinfects the area. After 2 minutes, the patch must be removed, and the wound washed, or else the burn will worsen. Leaves a sooty burn and broad ashen scar where applied.

HEALING SALVE

A greasy salve of calendula and orange extract. When applied to a wound, applies +1 to heal.

BURN SALVE

Jellied aloe vera. When applied to a burn wound, eases pain by 1 point.

HARTSHORN CAPSULE

A glass ampoule wrapped in cotton and enclosed in a wire cage. When snapped, using an action, it releases powerful ammonia vapors which will abruptly wake an unconscious character.

LAUDANUM

A bitter, strong, 11% tincture of coquelicot. Consuming a 6-drop dose causes -1 pain on all wounds, -2 to nightmares, and -4 perception for 6 hours.

SOOTHING OINTMENT

A pink, oily jelly of coquelicot and menthol. Turns the skin numb, cold, then hot. When applied to a wound, applies -1 pain.

LIVESTOCK AND BEASTS

ITEM

PRICE

Horse, draft

20P

Horse, field hunter

75P

Horse, saddle

45P

Horse, work

15P

Horse, pack pony

7P

Horse, destrier

150P

Hog

1 ½ P

Ox

50P

Cow, heifer

10P

Cow, milk

14P

Bull

40P

Fleece

1 ½ P

Ram

5S

Cashmere fleece

1C

Ord

1p

Goat

1P

Horse feed and boarding, inn

2-8p/day

HORSES

DRAFT

Huge, well-muscled, and slow. Typically over a ton in weight. Meant for heavy driving tasks. Calm, hardy, but extremely hungry.

FIELD HUNTER

Lean, brave steeds with thin legs and powerful haunches built for stamina and power. Capable of sharp leaps, sudden turns, and cross-country travel at pace. Originally the domain of Northern aristocrat hunters and gamesmen. Now the favored steed of cutters Coast-wide.

SADDLE

Light, high-stepping beasts trained and bred for riding. Obedient and adapted to serving multiple paces on-demand. The standard in riding horses, typical among officers and civilians of moderate means.

WORK

Sturdy, common beasts. Neither brave nor fast, but trained for driving, pack bearing, and moderate riding.

PACK

Small, stocky horses meant to carry burden. Used to working in trains, and well adjusted to ponying behind a lead. Used similarly to mules, but not as strong.

DESTRIER

Gigantic warhorses utilized as heavy cavalry and knight and officer’s mounts. Tall, typically jet black, with broad chests and great arching necks swathed in rippling manes. So effectively selected for bravery that they will gladly run down massed infantry on command.

VEHICLES AND TRANSPORT

Carriage, two-horse, chaise

35P

Carriage, two-horse, coach

55P

Carriage, one-horse, gig/cab

45P

Carriage, four-horse, stage

125P+

Carriage, barouche, two-horse, luxury

150P+

Carriage, Landau, four-horse, convertible, luxury

200P+

Wagon, farm

10P

Wagon, freight, covered

100P+

Wagon, market

5P

CARRIAGES

BAROUCHE

A semi-open, light, luxury carriage meant to be driven by two horses. Seats two to four.

GIG/CAB

A one-horse, one-axle vehicle. Open in the front and covered on top. Fast, and common to the streets of major cities, where they serve as cabs. Cab version have a driver’s stand on the back, whereas gigs are driven from the bench. Notably dangerous and prone to tipping when driven as high speed.

COACH

An enclosed, two-horse, “four-poster” carriage with moderate suspension. Fits four passengers facing each other within and a driver on the bench outside. Often well-upholstered and built with lamps.

CHAISE

Like a two-axle gig. More stable and capable of holding an additional two passengers.

LANDAU

Long, light, and fitted with a convertible bonnet to protect the open bed. Often ornate, expensively upholstered and furnished, and fitted with lamps. Fits four to six riders.  

STAGE

A coach with heavy suspension meant for the long-distance carriage of folk, mail, or valuables. Meant to proceed nonstop, save for a change of horses at preset stations. Usually comes with lamps. Capable of holding six or seven people and a pile of luggage strapped on top. Meant to be driven by four to five horses, and not quickly.

WAGONS

FARM

An open bed, poorly-suspended wagon meant primarily for the transport of hay and grain. Usually driven by a pair of oxen.

COVERED

A boat-shaped wagon covered by canvass. Extremely heavy and capable of carrying up to six tons of goods. Meant to be driven by six mules, oxen, or draft horses. Built-in water barrels serve as ballast, and a handbrake and quick harness-release afford the driver some control over their titanic load.

MARKET

A one-axle hand wagon, the likes of which clutter the streets of any given town on market day, overflowing with goods.

Meta:

        Price reference. A Firlish pound is worth double the value of an 1870 american dollar. Handy for quick price conversion.