Skyfinder: A Tabletop RPG
Rules and Mechanics
Your base traits. These will determine how you interact with the world.
Strength: Your ability to destroy things in your way. Affects your ability to break, crush, resist physical forces, as well as your ability to hit with melee weapons.
Dexterity: Your ability to aim and get out of the way. Affects your ability to climb, swim, dodge, as well as your ability to hit with ranged weapons.
Constitution: Your ability to keep yourself healthy. Affects health, as well as your ability to resist internal maladies such as poison.
Intelligence: How learned you are in various areas. Affects how many skills you can have and your knowledge of the world.
Wisdom: Your ability to put the pieces together and make good decisions. Affects your perception and mental fortitude.
Charisma: Your natural ability to perform and persuade. Affects how others view you and how well you can get them to believe you.
When faced with any task that might prove a challenge for you, you must make a roll to determine your success in the test. Roll 1d20 and add to the result the relevant ability modifier (DM’s discretion). If the result is equal to or greater than the challenge’s DC (Difficulty Class), you succeed at the task. DC is higher for more difficult tasks. It is possible for the DM to allow varying degrees of success depending on player roles.
When creating your character, assign the following numbers, one to each stat:
16, 14, 12, 12, 10, 8
Your ability modifier is determined by taking the core stat, subtracting by 10, then dividing the result by 2, rounded down. This will be the number added to the 1d20 roll when performing a test of that particular skill. So a player with a Strength score of 10 will have an ability modifier of 0, a player with a score of 12 will have a +1 modifier, and a score of 8 will give you a modifier of -1.
Occasionally enemies, traps, or other opposition will try some particularly nasty acts of aggression. These will ignore your current armor and defense and will instead take effect unless you pass a save against a particular ability score.
Reflex save: Based on your DEX modifier. Often used to avoid traps, blasts, and to generally stay out of the way of anything trying to kill you.
Fortitude save: Based on your CON modifier. Often used to avoid disease, poison, or other internal bodily harm.
Will save: Based on your WIS modifier. Often used to avoid control over your mind and morale.
To determine if you can save against an attack, roll 1d20 and add the relevant modifier. If you succeed against the attack’s DC, it has no effect on you.
Certain classes can assist with saves. If an ally is adjacent to you and can assist you with a particular save, they can also roll 1d20 and add the relevant modifier. If they match or beat the attack’s DC, they provide +5 to your result. Failure merely means that they do not provide a bonus to your roll, and does not harm the ally in any way. Assistance must be declared and rolled before you make your save.
Determines whether or not you are still alive. Reduced by physical damage and other ailments.
You start at Level 1 with 10 HP + CON modifier. For each additional level, increase your total HP by 5 + CON modifier . For instance, a Level 2 character with a + 2 CON modifier would have a total HP of 19.
HP is reduced by successful enemy attacks, failed Fortitude saves, and other physical harm to your character. Resting for at least 8 hours will restore your character to full health.
If your HP is reduced to 0 or below, you are knocked unconscious. Players who are unconscious can take no further actions until they have taken an 8-hour rest or have their health restored in another fashion.
If you have HP below 0, you are dying. For each turn you are dying, you must make a Fortitude save of DC 15 minus your current HP in order to stabilize. Stabilizing returns your HP to 0 and means you are unconscious but are no longer dying. If the player fails the Fort save, they lose another point of health.
When out of combat, any adjacent player can stabilize a dying ally. When in combat, only a medic may do so. This may be done as a standard action.
If your HP reaches negative of half your CON score, you are permanently dead.
For instance, if a character has a current HP of -2 and a CON score of 12 (+1), they must make a Fort save of 1d20 + 1 against a DC of 17. If they fail, their HP drops to -3 and they must make another save next round against a DC of 18. If their HP falls to -6 they are dead.
Your past or present profession. Classes affect your abilities and can provide other bonuses.
Engineer: Makes sure things keep working the way they ought to. +1 Handicraft, can convert some inventory items to fuel
Medic: Skilled at saving lives, even if it means removing a few limbs in the process. Can stabilize allies in combat; can assist allies with CON saves
Gunner: Can shoot anything that moves, and usually anything that doesn’t. +1 Acrobatics, bonus to ranged attacks
Navigator: Able to guide just about anything by the light of the stars. +1 Knowledge, reduces fuel consumption by 25% (does not stack)
Chef: Responsible for feeding the crew with whatever is on hand. +1 Survival, can convert some inventory items into supplies
Warden: Keeps people in line -- friend or foe. +1 Force, bonus to melee attacks
Explorer: Here to see what wonders the Void has to offer. +1 Stealth, can assist allies in DEX saves.
Entertainer: The life of any party, even when others don’t want them to be. +1 Perform, can assist allies with WIS saves
You haven’t survived in the Void this long without picking up a few skills. Upgrading skills will make it easier to pass specific tests of those abilities.
Intimidate (STR): Your physical ferocity can scare others into doing what you want.
Force (STR): You can break down any barrier or item you need.
Stealth (DEX): You can stay out of sight of enemies and move without a sound.
Acrobatics (DEX): You can more easily climb, jump, and maneuver.
Knowledge (INT): You know more about the world around you, from local lore to knowledge of
the universe’s workings.
Handicraft (INT): You are able to understand and take apart devices and machines.
Perception (WIS): You are better able to notice your surroundings, especially when things look out of place.
Survival (WIS): You have the basic skills needed to survive in the Void -- or anywhere, really.
Bluff (CHA): You can can convince anyone (or anything) that you’re speaking the truth.
Perform (CHA): You can put on dazzling displays to please any audience.
Skills are allotted during character creation and increase as the player levels up. The base pool of skill points you can spend is 4 + INT modifier, with an additional +3 points for every level.
Your total skill ability is determined as follows: Total = Skill points allotted + class bonus + relevant modifier (next to skill name). So an Engineer with an INT of 16 who has invested 2 skill points into Handicraft will have a total Handicraft skill ability of 2 + 1 + 3 = 6. The total roll for any Handicraft checks will therefore be 1d20 + 6.
Everything you have to your name, gained through noble or illicit means.
You can pick up items within the world to take with you, either for safekeeping or to sell for credits. Your total carry weight is determined by your STR score with the following formula:
Total carrying capacity = (STR * 10) + (STR modifier * 10)
So a STR of 10 will give you a carrying capacity of 100, while a STR score of 16 will give you a carrying capacity of 190.
If your current carry weight exceeds your carrying capacity, you become overencumbered and can no longer move. You must drop items down to your carrying capacity limit in order to move once more.
Everything else that makes you who you are
You may choose other elements of your character that are not necessarily reflected in the stats, but still contribute to the story. These include:
Goal: Your character’s chief ambition in life. They’ll stop at nothing to see that this is done.
History: Who your character is, and why they’re here.
Talent: Besides the usual skills, your character has this one unique talent that may help them out in various situations.
Flaw: Maybe it’s their greatest fear. Maybe it’s a personality quirk. It’s something that gets in your character’s way and may stop them from getting closer to their goal.
When you are not in combat, there are few restraints on what your character can do. You may spend this time talking with members of your party, using checks to interact with the world, and interacting with non-playable characters (NPCs). Some general tips to be aware of:
When in a ship, station, city, or other populated area, you have more opportunities but also more restrictions on what you can do.
When in a populated area you must pay the appropriate amount of credits to sleep in a bed -- whether that be the ship’s barracks, a local housing facility, or another area.
You may also take other actions while in a populated area such as visiting local attractions, listening for gossip, looking for work, and much more. Keep in mind that not all of these actions may be available in all locations.
You will likely find traders and specialists in populated areas. They can sell items for credits and may buy your excess inventory -- but keep in mind that they are also trying to live and earn a profit, and so may respond poorly to attempts to persuade or Intimidate them.
Although every location has its own relative level of law and order, in general populated areas have more restrictions on how you can act. Be aware of local law--in some places, acts such as drug-trading and slavery may be permitted, and in others this is strictly forbidden and punishable.
Any unlawful action may be acted upon by the local authorities, with punishments ranging from fines to death. Attempts to resist arrest or punishment will most likely trigger combat.
For those who believe in a higher power (or who simply want to implore the universe for a favor) you may pray once per day. On a successful % roll (0%) you successfully connect with the one you pray to, and may ask for something. Whether that prayer is answered may not always be clear.
Standard movement speed is 15ft. For more athletic activities such as climbing, swimming, or jumping, you must make an Acrobatics check of appropriate DC to succeed. For some obstacles this may require multiple checks (ex. Scaling a large wall).
When talking doesn’t work, it’s time for a show of force.
During combat, you have the choice of performing one or both of two actions -- movement and one standard action. You may take these actions in any order, but must complete one and then the other (for instance, you cannot move 5ft, attack, then move 10ft).
When combat begins, all non-combat actions cease and all players roll initiative. Initiative is 1d20 + DEX modifier. The order of initiative--from highest to lowest--is the order in which each character takes their turn.
If two players are tied for initiative, they may determine amongst themselves who acts first -- and must continue to act in this order for the rest of combat. If the player characters are tied with an NPC in initiative order, the engaging party acts first.
You may also choose to defer your turn until later in the combat round. You may choose to which value you’d like to change your initiative to (must be lower than your current initiative) and your initiative remains at this new value until the end of combat.
If engaging an enemy that does not see you, you get a surprise round of combat and may attack in initiative order without the enemy getting a turn to attack, before continuing combat as normal.
In general, your move speed during the combat is the same as your base speed out of combat -- 15 feet. When moving from a space adjacent to an enemy to one that is not adjacent to that enemy, that enemy gets to perform an attack of opportunity -- an attack that ignores initiative order from the enemy to the defender.
You may also choose to not use your turn’s Movement to instead take a five-foot step that allows you to move without provoking an attack of opportunity.
Attacking is a standard action and consists of two parts -- attempting to hit and dealing damage.
In order to attempt to hit an enemy, roll 1d20 and add the relevant modifier -- STR modifier for melee weapons, and DEX modifier for ranged weapons. The value of the roll must beat your opponent’s Armor Class in order to deal damage.
If the roll to hit succeeds, roll the relevant Damage dice to determine how much damage is dealt. This is the amount by which the enemy’s HP is reduced.
Your Armor Class is determined by what items you currently have equipped, particularly Armor and any shields. Your Armor Class is 10 + Armor Bonus + DEX modifier.
When in combat you may take other actions as desired, including but not limited to performing Knowledge checks on enemies, equipping items from your pack, or stabilizing an ally. Most actions are a standard action and replace your attack.
There are also several actions you can take in combat that don’t involve directly attacking:
Weapons come in two sizes -- one-handed and two-handed, and may be melee or ranged.
You may arrange your weapons loadout in any of the following configurations:
Armor makes it harder for enemies to hit you. Light armor provides minimal defense but does not affect your movement speed. Heavy armor provides more protection but reduces movement speed by 5ft.
Shields may be equipped and add to your AC, making you harder to hit. They may also provide additional bonuses.
Flanked: You are surrounded and cannot defend yourself. Enemies get +2 to-hit.
Grappled: You are pinned in place by the enemy. You may no longer move or attack, and lose your DEX bonus to AC.
Rough terrain: You have a harder time finding your footing. Move speed is reduced by 5ft.
Burning / Freezing / Shocked / Poisoned: These status effects will take place over a set number of turns and will deal damage ignoring armor. For each turn they are in effect make a Fortitude save or else take damage. On a successful Fortitude save you do not take damage and no longer have the status effect.
If an enemy is unconscious (HP of 0 or below, or asleep) you may attempt a coup de grace to permanently kill them. You must be adjacent to the enemy (regardless of whether you use a melee or ranged weapon) and use a standard action to attack that enemy. This is an automatic hit with maximum damage.
If the enemy began with HP 0 or lower, they are automatically killed. If their HP is greater than 0, they must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) to wake up or else they remain unconscious with reduced HP. If this does not kill the enemy, players may attempt another coup de grace.
If an enemy is dying, you may automatically stabilize them if out of combat (and a Medic may stabilize them if in combat). If stabilized, the enemy will remain at 0 HP until after an 8-hour rest, after which they will wake up with full HP restored.
For when you’re ready to take to the skies.
Ship mode is used whenever the party enters a spacecraft or other large vehicle. Rather than each character acting individually, the player has control over the ship as if it were an entity in and of itself. In a similar fashion to playing their character, players must navigate the ship, ensure that it is properly stocked with fuel and supplies, and try to keep the crew alive.
At the beginning of Ship Mode, the party decides how decisions will be finalized both in and out of combat (majority vote, dedicated captain, etc).
For every ship you fly, there are several factors you must take into account:
For every turn the ship travels, the ship uses 2 fuel and 1 supplies (per 5 crew). The Engineer and Chef can convert relevant inventory items into more fuel and supplies. The Navigator reduces the amount of fuel consumed per turn to 1.5. The ship’s engines determine how many hexes the ship moves per turn.
Running out of fuel leaves your ship dead in the Void, with no ability to move and no power. Running out of supplies means your crew will begin to starve, and will mutiny.
You may also hire on crew at most populated areas, who keep the ship running. Crew amount is usually stable, but crew can be lost if the ship takes damage and occasionally during other events. When crew is half of the maximum crew capacity, the ship’s speed is reduced by half.
You may take actions similar to those of your characters while running your ship. These include trading with nearby vessels, requesting to dock at ports, and powering down your ship to hide.
Some actions include:
Ship combat works similarly to player combat--successful attacks damage the enemy Hull and when a ship’s Hull is reduced to 0, it is disabled.
During each turn of combat, your ship may perform one of three actions: arming weapons, firing weapons, and evading. It is assumed that for the first round of combat weapons are already armed. It’s best to choose a representative from each side to make these decisions (usually a player and the DM).
Both representatives get five seconds to determine whether they will choose to arm, fire, or evade. Weapons cannot be fired without first being armed, and once fired must be armed again before the next round of firing. If no action is chosen within 5 seconds, it is presumed that the ship does nothing.
At the count of five, each representative reveals their action. If one is attacking and the other is not evading, the attacking player’s ship gets a hit on the other, and rolls relevant damage dice, reducing the enemy ship’s hold. If both are attacking, it is considered a simultaneous hit and both take damage.
Combat continues until one of the ships’ hulls is reduced to 0, or else one of the ships flees.
Sometimes enemies are too tough to take on, and you may attempt to flee. You may use a Boost to do so. This, however, provokes a final attack of opportunity from the enemy.
As you travel the Void, you will encounter various groups of differing beliefs and opinions. Performing acts that are in line with that faction’s values will improve your Reputation with that faction--but may lower your reputation with others.
List of reputations:
Rations (per day)
Fire starter kit
+2 to damage against unconscious opponents
Bonus 1d2 damage for 3 turns on hit
Body Armor (light)
Body Armor (heavy)
10 + 6d4
50 + 1d100
250 + 10d12
Welcome to the Dungeon Master’s Guide! This is an overview of some of the aspects of the world and mechanics that are controlled by the DM, including secrets that the players will discover on their own.
A map of the major factions
There are four main factions:
Imperium (blue): Ordainers of order and law in the universe, with the unspoken goal of imposing their rule of law on the rest of the uncivilized Void. Morality is fairly strict--murder, slavery, and drug trade are strictly prohibited, and other lawlessness such as bribery and corruption are particularly despised. Ships and officers under this faction will typically not fire upon ships unless they are Reviled and are more likely to assist weaker ships. They are some of the strongest ships.
Corsairs (red): An enemy of the Imperium. A generally chaotic society, known for plundering around their border. They value personal vows and reputations, but other than that generally all is permitted on Corsair land. They do not have a defined army, but do defend one another against outside factions. Corsair leaders are typically some of the wealthiest in the Void, benefiting from lucrative slaving and drug deals, but also are some of the most likely to be killed by their underlings.
Spectare (green): A faction that is not allied by any other, but not hated either. They are chronologers and technologists who like to observe and study the universe, including the other factions, without getting involved in their affairs. They are a theocracy and active proponents of keeping the natural order of the universe, and the continual cycle of existence. They have a well-defended border but will typically not help nor hinder ships in the Void that are not of their own faction, preferring non-engagement.
Independents (yellow): Colonies that have refused to wave the flag of any other faction. This may be because their leader’s ideas are opposed to that of any faction. Often, though, independence means not being beholden to the whims of the larger factions. Independents are only very loosely aligned with one another, though will sometimes set up non-aggression pacts and trade routes with neighboring independent colonies. They have no official army or government.
Not all planets in given territories are necessarily friendly to that faction, and not all members of a given faction necessarily adhere to all that faction’s values (a corrupt Imperium officer, for instance). More important is thinking about what each individual wants, and why they might be where they are.
Although there are many exceptions and contradictions within the Void, there are some elements that are universal:
Some parts of the game may solely be played out in the “theater of the mind” style, with the DM describing events without having any physical map or player tokens. This is particularly well suited to large areas such as travelling between cities, exploring a large city, or some combat encounters.
For other encounters, you may want to use a gaming mat to lay out where the players and enemies are, as well as any other objects (buildings, rough terrain, puzzle items) on the premises. It’s recommended to use the square grid for character movement in the world, and the hex mat for travel through space in Ship Mode.
Controlling players’ loot is a good way to keep their power at a reasonable level and reward players for good behavior and clever thinking.
The base prices listed in the Player Guide are merely suggestions and can be scaled as you see fit. Likewise, prices and item availability may vary according to region, and rare items such as ships and weapons may be drastically priced up, or even illegal, in some parts of the Void. Don’t be afraid to have merchants offer little or nothing for player items when trading and price their sold items up--after all, they are here to make a profit.
Typically each mission will have a given number of scripted encounters, triggered when the players have advanced a certain amount through the mission. These do not need to all be combat-related encounters; in fact, it’s often advisable to prepare many types of challenges for different play styles, and to reward creative thinking on the part of players.
When players are stuck, give them suggestions on actions their characters can perform to help move the story along--making Knowledge or Perception checks on specific items or areas, for example.
Typically you will control the movements and actions of enemy hostiles, as well as maintain the order of action and inform players what they can and cannot do while in combat. When describing combat try to use descriptors instead of number values--for instance, instead of saying that a player is 2 below the necessary to-hit value, say that their weapon makes contact but glances off the opponent’s armor.
You may adjust difficulty depending on how the players are doing (for instance, to avoid a total party kill) or allow NPCs to not kill players outright, but instead aim for other goals--kidnapping, looting, or arresting, for instance. Likewise, instead of destroying the player’s ship, an enemy may instead board and loot, or take the ship for scrap and leave the party stranded at the nearest colony.
You may also want to stage encounters during ship combat, especially when the players’ ship takes damage. Events can include fighting off a boarding party, rescuing crewmates from damaged sections of the ship, or venting burning fuel barrels into space. Don’t be afraid to make players face tough decisions here.
Apart from the scripted encounters that players will face, you may also want to pose them with other encounters, particularly as they travel through the vastness of space. These can be good or bad, and can reflect player behavior as well (encountering a patrol after doing something unlawful, or risking attack when resting in the wilderness). Some potential ideas for random encounters:
One way to judge whether to throw an encounter at players is to roll a d% die and use the following table:
Something very bad happens
Something potentially bad happens
Something potentially good happens
Something very good happens