Tuesday, May 14, 2019


A character’s progenitor is an ancestor, direct parent or mentor who, in the process of raising the character as a child, imparted some level of skill as a legacy. This skill is determined randomly, based somewhat on the character’s statistics, and provided for the character in the background generator. It is important to remember that the professions listed below belonged to the character’s progenitor ~ and that accurately they do not describe the character.

The system in no way attempts to “balance” the results for characters. Life is unfortunate for some; extraordinarily blessed for others.

Progenitors are divided according to their primary attribute, so that a player character must have the appropriate ability stat of 11 or greater to qualify for a commensurate group of skills or training. A character with a less than average strength would not have a farmer as a father, nor would a character with a low charisma have a tavern keeper as a mother. These things are possible, of course, but are so statistically rare that the random table discounts the likelihood.

Several progenitors provide sage knowledge in a particular ability. This knowledge is equal to that of an amateur, but the character is able to count that ability (though not the sage study surrounding it) as part of their character’s skills. The sage ability does not add knowledge, but the character’s experience level accumulation may eventually surpass it.

A list of the potential progenitors follows, organized by their primary attribute.
Bounty hunter: has the scouting sage ability; gains a bonus proficiency in a hurled or fired weapon that can be used by the character’s class (see weapons list).
Farmer: has the farming sage ability; +1 to strength checks when outdoors.
Fisherman: has both the fishing and swimming sage abilities.
Gladiator: causes +1 damage when fighting mammals or mammal-like beasts.
Guardsman: +1 damage when pummelling or grappling.
Master-at-arms: gain two bonus proficiencies in any weapon (regardless of class), that is used exclusively in hand-to-hand combat.
Mercenary: gain a bonus proficiency in any weapon that can be used by the character’s class.
Outrider: has the horse handling I sage ability.
Sailor: has the sailing sage ability; +2 to dexterity checks when aboard ship.
Teamster: has the teamstering sage ability.
Alchemist: able to read & write; the character has an amateur knowledge of alchemy.
Architect: able to read & write; has the recognition of style sage ability.
Artillerist: has the artillerist I sage ability.
Boatman: has the steershand sage ability; +2 to dexterity checks when aboard boats.
Carpenter: has the carpenter sage ability; gains a +1 attack when acting against wooden defences.
Gamekeeper: has both the hunting and pathfinding I sage abilities.
Hermit: has both the beggary and foraging sage abilities.
Lawyer: able to read & write; the character has an amateur knowledge of law & policy.
Mason: has the mason sage ability; gains a +1 attack when acting against stone defences.
Political advisor: able to read & write; has the functionary sage ability.
Scribe: able to read & write; add 5 pts. to a chosen sage study in the character’s chosen field.
Surgeon: able to read & write; has both the binding wounds and set injury sage abilities.
Tomb robber: as a legacy, the character possesses a random magic item.
Trapper: has the set snares sage ability.
Veterinarian: has the diagnose & treat farmyard disease sage ability.
Curate: as a legacy, regardless of class, the character possesses a bonus 1st level cleric spell.
Herbalist: has the herbalist sage ability.
Husbandman: provides a +2 morale and saving throw for domestic animals under the character’s care.
Librarian: able to read & write; add 2 pts. to all initial in-field studies.
Medicant: able to read & write; the character has an amateur knowledge of medicine.
Mortician: +1 bonus to saving throws, to hit and damage when fighting undead.
Priest: able to read & write; has the identify manifestation sage ability.
Professor: able to read & write; add 4 pts. to all initial in-field studies.
Prospector: has the prospector sage ability; provides a +1 morale for donkeys and mules.
Sinecure: able to read & write; has a writ of passage for the realm, exempting the character from paying tolls or fees; also has the ear of the local nobility, with whom correspondence can be sent; and is permitted to dine at any of the realm's town halls at will, in the province where the character was born.
Steward: provides a +1 moral for all hirelings and followers.
Tutor: able to read & write; add 1 pt. to all sage studies, in or out of fields.
Village witch: as a legacy, regardless of class, the character possesses a bonus 1st level magic spell.
Witchhunter: +2 bonus to saving throws vs. magic.
Alchemist's apprentice: causes +1 damage when throwing acid; receive -1 damage per die from all chemical attacks.
Armourer: has the armourer sage ability; the armour of the character and companions saves at +2.
Blacksmith: has the blacksmith sage ability; the ironmongery of the character and companions saves at +1. Character is +1 to hit with a short hammer.
Explorer: able to read & write; has both the modern history and pathfinding I sage ability.
Graverobber: gains a +1 bonus to armour class against undead.
Gypsy: gains a +1 saving throw against magic.
Labourer: reduces the nature of contracted disease by 1-4 pts. of degree.
Mine foreman: has both the assay and prospecting sage abilities.
Miner: has both the prospecting and underground mining sage abilities.
Porter: add +2 strength when calculating the character’s encumbrance limitation.
Rat catcher: gains a +1 saving throw vs. poison.
Weaponsmith: has the weaponwright sage ability. The weapons of the character and companions save at +2, or, in the case of fumble, roll to break against one die size higher than normal (d8 instead of a d6, etc.).
Baker: has the baker sage ability; receive -1 damage per die from all heat attacks, not including fire.
Bookbinder: able to read & write; has the bookbinder sage ability.
Brewer: has the brewing sage ability; when calculating the character’s intoxication, treat the character two grades up in weight.
Butcher: has the butcher sage ability; gains a bonus proficiency with a cleaver, regardless of class (damage 1-4).
Chandler: has the chandler sage ability; receive -1 damage per die from all heat attacks, not including fire.
Cobbler: has the cobbler sage ability; the boots and shoes of the character and companions save at +3.
Confectioner: has the confection maker sage ability; receive -1 damage per die from all heat attacks, not including fire.
Cook: has the cooking sage ability; gains a +1 to hit with dagger.
Cooper: has the cooper sage ability; the wooden containers of the character and companions save at +3.
Diemaker: has the diemaker & minting sage ability; recognize counterfeited coins and fool’s gold.
Draper: has the draper & canvasser sage ability; gain a +1 bonus to constitution checks.
Engraver: has both the assay and engraver sage abilities.
Fishmonger: has the fishing sage ability; gains a +3 saving throw against nausea and odour-based attacks.
Fuller: has the fuller sage ability; gains a +2 bonus to strength checks.
Furniture maker: has the furniture maker sage ability; the furniture of the character and companions saves at +3.
Furrier: has the furrier sage ability; the fur goods of the character and companions saves at +3.
Gambler: has the gambling sage ability.
Glassmaker: has the glassmaking sage ability; the glassware of the character and companions saves at +2, or breaks with a +2 chance if desired. Receive -1 damage per die from all heat attacks, not including fire.
Glazier: has both the break & enter and glazier sage abilities.
Instrument maker: has the instrument maker’s sage ability; instruments of the character and companions save at +2. The character is able to play a musical instrument of choice.
Jeweller: has both the appraisal I and jewellery-making sage abilities.
Juggler: has the juggling sage ability; gains a +2 bonus to hit with a sling or thrown dart.
Lapidary: has both the appraisal I and gemcutting sage ability.
Leather worker: has the leather worker sage ability; the leather goods of the character and companions saves at +2.
Metallurgist: has the metallurgy sage ability; receives -2 damage per die from all heat attacks, not including fire.
Monk: gains a +1 bonus to the character's natural armour class.
Papermaker: has the papermaking sage ability; reduces the nature of contracted disease by 1-4 pts. of degree.
Potter: has the pottery making sage ability; the pottery ware of the character and companions saves at +3, or breaks with a +3 chance if desired.
Puddler: has the puddling sage ability; receives -2 damage per die from all heat attacks, not including fire.
Sculptor: has the sculpting sage ability, with the appraisal II sage ability with regards to sculpture & statuary.
Shipwright: has the shipwright sage ability; gains a +2 bonus to rolls when keeping a ship from sinking.
Stonecutter: has the stonecutter sage ability; gain a +3 bonus to strength checks.
Tailor: has the tailor sage ability; clothing of the character and companions saves at +2.
Tanner: has the tanning sage ability; the leather goods of the character and companions saves at +2.
Tobacconist: has the plantation culture sage ability; gains a +3 saving throw against nausea and odour-based attacks.
Toll keeper: has the bribery sage ability; gains a +1 to ability checks in the outdoors.
Toolmaker: has both the toolmaker sage ability; the tools of the character and companions saves at +1. Character is +1 to hit with a short hammer.
Vintner: has the winemaking sage ability; when calculating the character’s intoxication, treat the character two grades up in weight.
Wagoneer: has both the teamstering and wagonwright sage ability.
Weaver: has the weaving sage ability; clothing and cloth goods of the character and companions saves at +2.
Woodcutter: has the woodcutting sage ability; gains a +1 to hit when using a short axe.
Artist: has the make art sage ability.
Banker: able to read & write; has a writ of passage for the realm, exempting the character from paying tolls or fees. The character also has access to credit, the limit determined by the progenitor’s bequest.
Buccaneer: has both the sailing and swimming sage abilities; and will have, as a promissory writ or in fact, a sailing vessel of some kind.
Crusader: the character is entitled to use the title “Sir” or “Lady,” and is a member of a Knight-Order or similar cabal, allowing an introduction of self to the Grand Wizard of that organization, allowing correspondence and reasonable requests to be made. The character’s name also provides a +2 morale with men-at-arms.
Dispossessed noble: able to read & write. Though lacking feudal possessions or responsibility, the character is entitled to use the title “Sir” or “Lady” when referring to self. Gains a +2 morale with any hireling in the character’s realm.
Fence: possesses a determined amount of stolen goods, the nature of which is randomly determined from a variety of possible artisan’s materials and goods. These goods are safely hidden, so that only the character knows where they are, and may be sold safely once it has been smuggled into another realm.
Guildmaster: the guild being determined randomly, the character has the appropriate sage ability (see above). Able to read & write; gains a +1 morale with artisan hirelings, +3 within the guild’s profession.
Guildmaster thief: able to read & write; enjoys the recognition of the criminal faction in one's own realm, with freedom from infringement by all but ignorant wrongdoers. Reasonable requests can be made, with give & take expected. Provides a +2 morale with criminals.
Innkeeper: owns a three-story merchant’s house and yard, in a various state of repair, with kitchen, hall, a 2nd floor common room and three private rooms on the top floor. The monthly income and yearly taxes are specified.
Killer: has an amateur knowledge of backstabbing.
Landed knight: the character is entitled to use the title “Sir” or “Lady,” and owns land as a bequest. The area is specified in acres, with the number of tenants, income from the land and yearly taxes. The character’s name gains a +1 morale with comrades and men-at-arms.
Landlord: owns land inside a small town near their place of birth. The lot is specified in size and purpose, the income listed and the yearly taxes.
Lesser noble: describes a baron/baroness; family relations dictate the character’s status as inheritor, a mere sibling or an outcast. The character may possess a barony, an estate or nothing. If land exists, the area is specified in acres, with the number or tenants, income from the land and yearly taxes. The character may, or may not, be able to read & write.
Marshal: able to read & write; owns land as a bequest. The area is specified in acres, with the number of tenants, income from the land and yearly taxes. The character’s name gains a +2 morale with comrades and men-at-arms.
Middle noble: describes a count/countess, prince/princess or a duke/duchess; family relations dictate the character’s status as inheritor, a mere sibling or an outcast. The character may possess a province, an estate or nothing. If land exists, the area is specified in acres, with the number of tenants, income from the land and yearly taxes. The character may, or may not, be able to read & write.
Royalty: describes a king/queen; family relations dictate the character’s status as inheritor, a mere sibling or an outcast. The character may possess a realm, an estate or nothing. If land exists, the area is specified in acres, with the number of tenants, income from the land and yearly taxes. The character may, or may not, be able to read & write.
Singer: has the performance sage ability.
Squire: owns land as a bequest, with timber-frame hall-house; the area is specified in acres, with the number of tenants, income and yearly taxes.
Tavern keeper: owns a public house that is a tavern or roadhouse, in the country, a village, a town or a city; details vary. Income and yearly taxes specified.
Usurer: able to read & write; character has access to credit, the limit determined by the progenitor’s bequest.

See Also,
Character Creation
Player Characters

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Forced Activity Checks

Also known as forced march, this page describes checks made against exhaustion. Depending upon the character’s constitution, there is a point when further activity is impossible. The activity checks chart shown indicates where this limit begins for humanoids, depending on their constitution.

The columns under Hours of Activity without a Check describes how long the individual can perform that activity before they must check to see if fatigue denies them the ability to continue:
Travel includes movement on foot or when mounted. Persons carried along in carts, wagons and carriages are considered to be resting.
Hard physical labour describes work that consistently strains the muscles and produces sweat. This includes the carrying of gear that reduces movement by 2 actions points or more (see encumbrance). This also includes driving a vehicle.
Light physical labour describes work that can be performed without straining the muscles or producing sweat. This includes any carrying of gear that reduces movement by 1 action point. This also includes controlling an animal mount.
Mental labour describes work that can be done with no more than a writing implement and mental thought. This includes learning spells.

The maximum combat rounds per day is subject to rules on combat fatigue, limiting the total number of combat rounds that can be performed in sequence before rest must be taken. Otherwise, it describes the total number of combat rounds that can be fought without experiencing fatigue.

Once a character has travelled, worked or fought to their maximum potential in hours or rounds, they must make a constitution check to determine if they are able to press on for another hour, or for another 1-8 combat rounds (roll in advance and let the player know). If the character succeeds, they’re constitution is temporarily reduced by 1 point.

When the hour has passed, or they have momentarily rested from combat according to the combat fatigue rules, they may again make a constitution check, with their adjusted constitution. Another success will mean another loss of 1 point, and continued action for another similar period of time. This may continue until the constitution check fails.

Once a check has failed, the character is considered “half-spent.” They can no longer move under their own power, nor defend themselves (see helpless defenders). However, if they can be helped along by any other whose weight is at least 80% of the half-spent person’s weight, half-spent persons are able to continue on. Half-spent persons make no further checks; however, any supporter who then fails their check becomes half-spent and can no longer provide aid.

Once any half-spent person has had ten minutes to be still and stiffen up, they will become fully spent. At this point, they can be carried or dragged, but they can no longer be induced to move under their own power. Nor can they defend themselves. If collapsed, they must make a constitution check every half-hour, or lose consciousness. Efforts to move or defend themselves will similarly reduce them to unconsciousness.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

College (bardic)

Fellowship organizations composed of multiple structures collectively known as campuses, offering training in the arts. A college will also act as a social and professional community for bards, usually local but potentially international. Colleges may be independent, or they may possess satellites scattered in multiple kingdoms. Some are more prestigious than others.

The most influential are those whose focus is the higher arts, related to music, painting, lyrics and poetry, or sculpture. Lesser colleges provide training in dance, physical arts like juggling, acting and drama, and many physical arts, such as art pottery or printing. Bards will often train in more than one form of art, in order to round out their desire to express unique and lasting works.

Colleges will teach any who can provide the tuition, but colleges will also support adequately proficient bards by offering them a monthly or yearly stipend. To receive this, the bard must audition.

Colleges will usually be found in cities that have upwards of 16,000 persons. Musical and dramatic colleges are often called, “conservatories.” Physical arts, such as dance, are usually practiced at “academies.”

See Also,
Player Characters

Monday, March 25, 2019


An ability stat, the measure of the character’s combined physical appearance, persuasiveness and personal magnetism, ranging from a dearth of positive characteristics to an impressive range of social acumen.

Dealings with NPCs, including hirelings, followers, ordinary persons, officials and a wide variety of creatures and monsters will ultimately be resolved through an interactive mechanic composed of conflict cards.

As henchmen are considered fanatically loyal and are run by the player characters, their loyalty is not affected by their liege’s charisma.

The table shown indicates charisma’s adjustment to standard morale, as well as the maximum number of henchmen that a character can ultimately receive as they gain levels. Remember that an increase in morale is not an improvement, as it indicates the number on 2d6 that must be thrown in order for a non-player character to maintain its will to fight.

Description of Values
Measuring charisma is an effort to quantify the effects the ability stat has upon the reactions of others, their spontaneous treatment of the individual and their overall generosity to award the individual with opportunities and status. Low charisma individuals are met with revulsion and distaste, treated with disdain and usually ostracized or left out of social gatherings and organizations. High charisma individuals are met with liking and interest, are treated as desirable and often rise to positions of authority and trust within organizations.

The increase in charisma from ugly to bewitching compounds benefits that each amount of charisma above that level also enjoys (except where it is superseded by a more rewarding benefit). Creatures are capable of being particularly cruel to individuals of low charisma, whatever they might do; while often awarding those of high charisma more than they really deserve, as they often do little to earn it. 

The descriptions below only partly describe player characters. For such persons as those detailed here, it will often take years of commitment to rise through the ranks and be discovered for their charisma. Those with very high charismas, above 14, will be much less common than the dice might imaginably dictate. Some may be born with a 16 or more charisma, but a harsh life, accidents, poor health, disease and other consequences may severely diminish their potential. Only those charismatic who are born at least partly to privilege will remain so long enough to enjoy it. Players, of course, fall into this category. They, too, are unusual, even those whose fathers and mothers were common (though the character background generator adjusts their backgrounds with their charisma).

In large degree, it is suggested that a DM recognize that an extraordinarily beautiful and pleasant person moving about a late medieval or early modern world casually, as a cleric, bard, paladin or druid, would likely be seen as something of a freak. The list below is intended to effect that depiction.

Ugly (3 pts.)

Reactions to such persons will often be a mixture of repugnance and horror, as ugly persons are generally misshapen, frightful and even ghastly in appearance. Unusual color, a rank odour and outward signs that are suggestive of disease (even if no disease is present) is repellent and produces a strong aversion.

Treatment is harsh, as the ugly character tends to be manic, aggressive, needy and often unable to make themselves clearly understood, often due to the shape of their mouths and their lack of confidence, others will treat them with contempt, disrespect, abuse and verbal derision. Mockery is a common response.

Generosity is utterly lacking for such persons; it is extremely rare that they are given a place or means to make a living, unless it is in some role that is wretched or very unpleasant. They are often the victim of some person who cruelly exploits their dreadful condition. Otherwise, they are often too ugly to even beg, and are thus reduced to scavenging for food. Some are taken in and taught to be assassins ~ the only character class such persons can aspire to be, as no other profession would be moved to train them.

Ill-favoured (4 pts.)

Reactions are often a strong dislike and disinclination to interact with such persons, as the ill-favoured often appear to be physically damaged, demented or mutilated in appearance. Often deathly pale, possessed of straggling hair, off-set eyes or a strong odour, the response is usually abhorrence. However, there is a softening of the appearance occasionally, that will move another person to a sense of pity for the poor creature.

Treatment is inflexible, as the ill-favoured character cannot help their boorish mannerisms, their odd-pitched speech and their corrupt use of language; they are shuffled from place to place, living by handout, forced to feel ashamed for themselves and friendless. But there is little hate; merely callous disregard. As ever, only assassins would train such a person to level status.

Generosity permits very little. They may knock on a door in very poor times. Some will let them find shelter in an airy stable or behind a stoop. No employment would be given; only beggary is available. As before, such persons drift into the orbit of assassins, who look for persons like this with the other necessary characteristics to become heartless killers.

Base (5 pts.)

Reactions possess a hesitation to shun the person, but still to push them along so as to relieve themselves of the person’s unwanted presence. The base individual is vulgar in appearance, unclean, a whiff of odour, while disagreeable in face and posture. While distaste is rare, others will be sharply displeased or dismayed at the individual’s presence, urging them to move on and mind their business elsewhere. This is often said with some sympathy, supported by some small bit of charity … a copper coin or a direction to a proprietor to get the base person a bit of bread.

Treatment includes distaste and an urge to cross the street rather than meet the individual, but not everyone feels that way. There is daily humour at the expense of the person, but it is jovial, not cruel. Others treat the person as “a part” of their community, though from habit rather than warmth.

Generosity allows for open beggary, which even allows the person to be treated with momentary kindness. No other place would be given, except for a modest permission to allow them a permanent shelter, though an unpleasant one. Even now, only assassins would train the person to have a level.

Homely (6 pts.)

Reactions may be a sniff of the air and a moderate displeasure; the homely person’s face and body is off-putting, being bent over, gangly and somewhat lopsided. They will have a cheerful smile, however and are seen to be only unfortunate; if met, they’re rarely acknowledged, and even more rarely noticed. Others will usually given them little to no attention.

Treatment would consist of benign disinterest. Others would pass on the street with a slight nod, if giving any notice at all. Still, no one challenges their presence in the community. Folk sell them goods, exchange with the person, give a tacit approval and speak well of the person, somewhat.

Generosity provides a form of necessary work, as a gong collector, rat catcher, gravedigger or similar occupation, too mean for an ordinary folk. Some will be levelled; a fighter that’s gone to war; a ranger acting as a gamekeeper; an independent friar; a small-time thief or assassin; perhaps a very private monk, mage or illusionist, in this latter case most likely from far away and without any ties. Most would know nothing of their levelled ability, as they will use their skills infrequently, not wishing to bring attention and perhaps frighten others, who would see them as a threat.

Plain (7 pts.)

Reactions are lukewarm and indifferent, with a tacit approval that the individual belongs as part of the scene. A mild greeting is normal. Often passed over but usually acknowledged. Plain individuals lack any sort of distinctive feature, with a modest mix of eyes, nose and mouth, suggesting rural habits, honest intents and an artless lack of pretension. They are nodded to or quietly acknowledged as they pass.

Treatment is cooperative, sometimes helpful; persons are likely to remain alone all their lives, but might become a helpmate to a commonplace person or act as a servant in a household. They will be gruff, impatient and bitter. Most know their name; others will listen to their opinions but will put little store by them; occasionally, to gain support, another might ask a plain person to give their opinion.

Generosity includes, as said, with opportunities to be a servant. Most often, they work for family. As mages and illusionists, they may set up a tiny, unobtrusive shop, that will receive few customers. Some are morticians. A cleric will be an unpleasant deacon, managing a few pupils. A fighter will be a private guard for a single employer ~ and never part of a larger entity, where they would not get along with others. A ranger is most likely to act alone in some capacity, as hunters or private wardens. Assassins or thieves would roam as solitary criminals. Most common plain persons would have mediocre, painstaking work to do, with little to look forward to day-to-day.

Commonplace (8 pts.)

Reactions will tend to be welcoming, if muted. While not noticed as an important person by any means, commonplace persons will be granted the same initial reception as anyone else. In appearance, they’re merely people. It will be noticed by such persons, perhaps because they come closer than those with less charisma, that there are “average folks” who are friendly and gentry who tend to overlook such persons. Commonplace persons will generally find love with others of their charisma and social standing.

Treatment is an everyday acceptance, as the individual will most likely have an extended family, responsibilities, a plot of land, a secondary skill, and compatriots of about the same level of charisma.  Most others in their immediate orbit will treat them with belonging. Outsiders, particularly the gentry, will treat them with some level of disdain, as poor folks.

Generosity dictates their lives will revolve around work, seasonal events, births, deaths and little opportunity past their mundane lives. However, this offers a comfort, as well as knowledge that although their lives are dull, they are sound and productive. Most levels conform to their kind, performing what skills they have for the benefit of their kin. Clerics alone stand out; with this level of charisma, they are accepted as minor priests and functionaries inside the church system, though rarely do they ever become important and never do they preach to a wide congregation.

Neighbourly (9 pts.)

Reactions will be a strong salutation, followed by several interested questions before personable matters are dropped in favour of other things. A neighbour is rugged, fine to look at, with a gentle charm. No strong bond is evident, but even with strangers there’s a sense by appearance, expression and stance that this is at least a fellow countryman, individual or person of similar breeding to the norm. Some consideration is paid by the gentry to a neighbour; but a stranger among the gentry will give no notice. A neighbour might find love among others with a point more in charisma and a social standing slightly higher.

Treatment is a low-born respect, as they have excelled somewhat among their commonplace peers. They’re given the best tables at the worker’s tavern, they are respected by guards and by officials. Their weddings are usually publicly celebrated; and at festivals they are often chosen first to compete in games. To the gentry, they are treated as peaceable, but rarely are their names remembered.

Generosity permits these lower middle class persons are upstanding members of their guilds, town watchmen and minor officials. Some are farmer leaders and foremen; most are not, and at best lower level authority is all a few are offered. They do lead healthy lives, however, and can usually trace their family half a dozen generations, at least, into the past.

Friendly (10 pts.)

Reactions to such persons will be a strong hail, with others going out of their way in public places to make sure a greeting occurs. A friendly fellow smiles, is easy to talk to, will laugh at a joke and is open to what others want to talk about. They will be more sympathetic, causing others to express their like and appreciation often. Friendly persons find committed love among others up to a 12 charisma, with a fair status above their own. They may dabble in relationships with persons up to 14.

Treatment is kindness, as they pass on the street. Well spoken of, they are friendly with guards and officials, Gentry are apt to notice them and converse for a moment or two.

Generosity enables them to become relatively successful, giving them strong houses, yards, comforts for their children and contact with family in other parts. They are more in low-level positions of authority, particularly in guilds; a reeve or hayward might be friendly, as well as a head guard, a local apothecary, a kindly minister or a willing scout and guide.

Affable (11 pts.)

Reactions by others, upon greetings, will include genuine concern for the affable person’s situation, while others will certainly beg the person’s good wishes. Folk will gather as they appear at a tavern or in the market place, to share stories. These persons may find committed love from anyone, and are often courted.

Treatment often includes others that laugh at their jokes and see them as important residents in the community, or as interesting persons that are passing through. Buying a drink for an affable person is a common request.

Generosity enables them to set up independent workshops or become senior members of guilds, while they are often approached with duties for the village or local quarter. They will often agree to become toastmasters or to head a small welcoming committee. Levelled persons are celebrated for their skills and are often encouraged to send their children to distant places for training.

Warm-hearted (12 pts.)

Reactions will be to approach the individual with concerns for the person’s welfare and situation, most likely offering a good meal upon greeting if known to the area, in an attempt to share company with the person. Others will be anxious to share news, tell the latest gossip and positively remark on the warm-hearted person’s appearance and anything new they might see.

Treatment encourages these people to sit and converse, which they will do while their friends will assume their workload. Warm-hearted people provide emotional sustenance and encouragement to others, who treat them as special benefactors.

Generosity will make allowances, so that in times of hardship they are given welfare and support, both for them and their families. They are rarely evicted; someone will find a way to create work for them or pay their rent. If necessary, they will be given light duties to perform on behalf of the town. In general, however, they rise to be important leaders of guilds, associations and collectives. Many will use their personalities to ensure receiving training when they are quite young.

Social (13 pts.)

Reactions will be for strangers to notice the person as they move up the street and to introduce themselves politely, even if they are strangers. Those of 8 or less charisma will hang back, intimidated. If known to the area, invitations to important events will often occur, with promises that a special table will be arranged, or a space at the head table. The gentry will view the individual as one of their own.

Treatment insists they have a special set of gifts that enable them to liaison between different customs and circles, as they are welcomed often even by those with which they share little in common. They are listened to fervently, their words are considered to be truth and rarely are they successfully questioned in public.

Generosity encourages them to set aside labour entirely and be organizers, courtiers, hosts, social reformers, political leaders and others like voices. They are very busy. They move behind doors where those with less charisma would hardly be allowed. They exist in large enough numbers that they make up the majority of the cultural hoi polloi. Those lacking skills may still move in these corridors, though less well ~ somehow, on charm, they get by.

Chivalrous (14 pts.)

Reactions of all persons, except the gentry, will be somewhat intimidated, but nevertheless very welcoming. There will be a distinct use of genuflection (show deference) from those of 10 or less charisma, while others will hail and engage in short, polite conversations. Invitations, when they occur, will occasionally arise from the middle classes and the gentry, but the lower classes will be satisfied to gaze on the person from afar. Shopkeepers will rush to please.

Treatment of these persons is a mixture of homage and appreciation for their contributions. These are especially celebrated entities whose capabilities outweigh the gentry around them. They move about in carriages, with retainers and hangers-on, with others who appeal to them for moments of their time.

Generosity enables them to become captains of the guard, respected courtiers, persons in charge of the finances and running of the area; though of course, subordinate to aristocrats with titles. Those without special knowledge or wisdom are given duties that fit their limited skills.

Fair (15 pts.)

Reactions of the non-gentry will be muted and deeply respectful, accepting company if it is given but never seeking to impose. The gentry will, if given the opportunity, seek to adopt the person, bringing them around to the house, introducing them to children of marriageable age, encouraging the person to begin in business or some other respectable activity. The gentry will, in fact, be something of a pest in this regard.

Treatment begins to reflect the relative rarity of these persons. As persons of consequence, they do not have to work so hard as their lesser peers to be heard in the halls of power. Even if they are not especially bright, they are usually found a place, as they are a pleasure to be near, for persons of great stature.

Generosity allows many who do not have skills to marry into the upper echelons. Some may obtain power through less savoury means, as gigolos and courtesans ~ but most exploit their skills while around them, they are celebrated for their personalities alone.

Beautiful (16 pts.)

Reactions will be strong and highly appreciative. Most persons, even the gentry, will tend to give space and respectfully give acknowledgement. All persons, from the shopkeeper up to and including the gentry, will show varying levels of making room, giving attention or otherwise dashing about as they serve and attend to the person. The single exception will be persons with legitimate power and title, who will view the person as a person to know and to engage with.

Treatment demonstrates that these are likely the most beautiful persons that ordinary people will ever see in person. Even at that, they are rarely viewed directly; most of the time, they will protect their appearance with privacy, not because they are truly threatened, as they usually surrounded, but rather because their beauty disturbs persons.

Generosity ensures that most of them are directly connected with court or with persons of power and title. Generally, they will escape the provinces for the comparatively comfortable life to be had in capitals. They may be enlightened persons of consequence, or they may surrender that to become manipulators behind the scenes, moving less attractive persons as puppets.

Graceful (17 pts.)

Reactions will be distant; most persons, except those with power and title, will consider themselves inadequate to hold discourse with the person. Less attractive persons will be pushed out of the person’s presence; an aura of space will expand around the person should they go anywhere. Those with power and title will suggest paths towards marriage or political power.

Treatment is hushed and reverential. It will be difficult to speak directly to lesser persons, who will describe themselves as unworthy. The degree of intimidation others feel will be very high.

Generosity will lead them to become lords and ladies through marriage, or by gifts bestowed upon them. Paladins will be profound, unusually prized members of court, as their appearance is startling and tends to strike even courtiers with astonishment.

Bewitching (18 pts.)

Reactions will be something like fear. It will be generally held belief that a person cannot be so charismatic without having some special powers, to charm, beguile or fascinate persons out of all safety. In some quarters among the gentry, there will be an unspoken, strong resentment, that may be problematic in the right circumstances. Lower establishments will refuse to serve, considering themselves unworthy. An ordinary life is possible only through disguise.

Treatment is exceptional and mystifying. Such persons are probably never ordinarily seen by even gentry; their incongruous presence is eerie and unnatural. Even kings and queens are made humble by their appearance and their personalities. Because of this, persons of this appearance are vulnerable. They will often wear a mask or covering of some type, to minimize their outward effect.

Generosity of their charisma enables them to become master manipulators behind the scenes. A few become usurpers. Each is an entity onto themselves, defying categorization.

See Player Characters

Saturday, March 23, 2019


When a character has completed their training, it is necessary to establish the character’s age. With player characters in my game, this is calculated with the character background generator. However, to ensure that players understand the source of those numbers, as the table shows.

My game does not recognize the extended lifespan of demi-humans, but supposes that most humanoids fit the human model. The range of ages means to reflect that different races learn their class skills at different rates. Note that this means that all dwarven and gnomish clerics will be quite old.

Characters who are multi-classed should add all modifiers to the base score of the eldest class age shown, +1d6. For example, a human fighter/cleric would start with 20 (from the cleric), then add 2d4 & 1d6 to that number. A half-elven fighter/mage would start with 23, adding 1d4 & 3d6 total (two dice from the half-elf and one multi-classed die).

Once the character’s age is established, adjustments for the character’s age must be applied to the character’s ability stats. The table indicates the five age categories, with a column for when the character is first created, or initiated into the campaign, with a second column showing the adjustment when the character ages up to that category.

Characters who choose race/class combinations should be aware of the sacrifices that come with old age, as well as the bonuses. A dwarven cleric gains the benefit of wisdom and intelligence in exchange for physical benefits. It is always possible for a character to exceed 18 with their ability stats through aging.

As the table indicates, age must be kept track of from year to year of the campaign. Game time years are added and characters are able to move upwards into elder categories.

Death Due to Age

As player characters are presumed to be exceptional compared to other characters, for game purposes player characters are exempt from death by natural causes, except by disease, until they reach the age of 61. Once a character reaches that age, a roll is made, starting with the top line of the chart shown. A note is made that this roll of 5d12, or 5-60, has been made. This will indicate the number of months that will pass, added to the character’s 61st birthday, before a “fate check” will be made. Once the month of the check is calculated, a d30 is added to that date for the specific future day of the fate check.

For example, a character, John, turns 61 years old on March 11th, 1651. He rolls 5d12, gaining a result of 28. Adding this number of months, the calculation gives us July 11th, 1653. Rolling a d30 produces a result of 14. Therefore, on July 25th, 1653, John will make his fate check to see if he was fated to die of old age on that day. A note is then made that John has made his 1st progressive old age check.

The success of the fate check is calculated by adding the character’s present constitution to 80. This produces a two-digit number that is the percentage that must be rolled by John in order to survive.

If John’s constitution is 14, then his fate survival chance is 94%. If John rolls above that, then John is dead of old age.

Success is followed by moving to the next line of the progressive age check, where 5d10 is rolled (5-50). Again the number of months is added to the date of the last fate check, plus 1d30 days, at which time another fate check must be made. A note is made that the 2nd roll has been used. This process then continues until the character dies.

A character that has died of old age may be restored by raise dead ~ however, a note should be made that the next progressive check is skipped, and the one below that is used.

In the example given above, if John dies on the 25th of July, 1653, and is raised, his NEXT roll would not be 5d10, but 4d12, the 3rd line shown on the chart. Each time a character dies of old age and is either raised or resurrected, a line on the progressive old age table is skipped.

If the character should survive until they have reached the line on the chart that indicates 1d4 months (plus 1d30 days), will pass before their next fate check, then from that time forward this line on the chart will be used until the character passes away.

Saturday, March 16, 2019


A ship is considered in danger of sinking once all of its hull points have been destroyed (see damage to hull and rigging). At that point, the ship can no longer be sailed or its weapons fired. All crew and persons aboard are considered to be acting to keep the ship afloat. The minimum number of persons necessary to keep the ship afloat under these circumstances is equal to the number of unprotected hull points.

Further ship’s weapons hits on the ship at this time will not increase the chance of the ship sinking. If the ship is rammed, that would be sufficient to scuttle it.

If the ship is scuttled, or the persons keeping the ship afloat are removed, or physically kept from preserving the ship, the ship will sink. To determine how long this takes, roll a d20 to determine a total of 5 to 100 rounds; this number is then divided by the wind speed, so that it be calculated in seconds.

Saving the Ship

With sufficient time and depending on the quality of the crew, the materials aboard ship can be repurposed to provide a sinking ship with effectively 1 hull point. When calculating the chance of success, rules for wind change are suspended, based on the presumption that while the wind may change critically over the course of a battle, the pre-existing wind is presumed to remain consistent over a long period.

After each hour of steady work, the crew is entitled to a roll to save the ship from drowning. A d20 is rolled. The base chance for success is 12 or better. The wind speed is then added to this number, from 0 to 12. The crew quality then provides a modifier: poor (-2), green (0), average (+1), crack (+3) and elite (+4).

Success indicates that a turning point has been reached and that the ship will be kept entirely from sinking once three more hours of labour are invested. Even if the crew are very tired at this point, they will be able to sleep in shifts and yet save the ship.

Failure, however, will mean that another hour must be spent before there is again a chance of success. Each hour is counted towards the crew’s hours total activity for that day, including the number of hours before the naval battle occurred. If, by the 10th hour, the ship hasn’t been saved, each hour afterwards imposes a cumulative -1 penalty against success. When success ceases to be possible, the crew collapses and the ship will sink in 5 to 100 rounds.

If the full effort to save the ship was employed, so that the crew forced their labour past 10 hours, then no one will be able to swim; they must find a means of staying afloat that does not require physical exertion, or they will drown.

If the ship is saved, it is considered to have 1 hull point. If it retains at least one mast, it can be sailed with a yare of E. If the masts are destroyed, and there is no stored rigging aboard the ship, it can only drift. This permits at least a chance that those aboard will be rescued.

See Naval Combat

Damage to Hull & Rigging

Ship strength is an expression of its hull points and rigging points, as described under ship types. These points are illustrated as a series of squares, which are then crossed off as damage is caused to the ship.

Total hull points are divided into “exterior” (EH) and “unprotected” (UH) hulls, in a ratio of 2:1. The caravel, for example, has a total of 30 hull points. Two thirds of these, a total of 20, are assigned to the exterior hull. The remaining 10 are assigned to the endangered hull. Where a fraction occurs, always assign the extra hull point to the exterior hull.

Rigging points are divided into blocks of 4 squares, with the remainder making up a block of 1 to 3 squares. Each block is a mast. These should be labelled, in order of presence, the main-mast, mizzen-mast, or fore mast; if there is a fourth mast, this is the jigger mast.
Caravel total strength points in hull (30 pts) and rigging (8 pts).

A caravel has 8 rigging points, which are divided into two masts, the main-mast and the mizzen-mast.

The layout of squares for a caravel would appear as shown in the image, with four blocks of squares, two representing the hull and two representing the mast.

Assigning Damage

All hull damage is assigned to the EH, or exterior hull, until that part of the hull is completely destroyed. Thereafter, further damage is recorded against the UH, or unprotected hull. When the EH is gone, the ship’s condition in the water has begun to sag; the ship’s yare is reduced by one degree (from A to B, from B to C, and so on).

When the UH is gone, the ship is considered in such danger of sinking that it cannot be sailed or the weapons fired.   All crew and persons aboard are considered to be acting to keep the ship afloat. If these persons are removed, the ship will sink completely in 5 to 100 rounds, a number that is divided by the wind speed and may be calculated in seconds.

When a hit succeeds against the rigging within a ship’s hex, the mast nearest that hex is affected (therefore, all the ship’s hexes in a ship’s design should be designated to a particular mast). When a mast is completely destroyed, the ship’s yare is reduced by one degree. This happens each time a mast is destroyed. The ship’s yare cannot be reduced below a yare of E. When all rigging is destroyed, the ship can take no actions except to drift.

When assigning half a point of damage to either the rigging or the hull, draw a single line through a box, as shown. When assigning a full damage to a hull box, draw a cross inside the box to show that strength point is completely destroyed.

See Naval Combat

Arc of Fire

Describes the area which can be fired upon by a siege engine, determined by the position it is facing. Because a ship’s weapon cannot easily be rotated, there is little time during the loading phase that the weapon can be even incrementally adjusted. This limits the arc of fire to only 30-degrees, as shown below.

Weapons placed on hardpoints located at the fore and aft corners of the ship’s configuration can be adjusted to one of three facings, as shown: directed forward, forward and to the side (as shown in the image), or rearward and to the side. When a weapon is ready to fire, whatever the facing may happen to be when the weapons is loaded, the crew must wait until the desired target moves into the arc of fire, or otherwise fires at whatever happens to be within that arc.

This vastly limits the use of weapons as an attack form … which is INTENTIONAL for game purposes. It is noted that the arcs of fire for the positions of the ship’s weapon are NOT interlocking. While not a simulation of reality, it does control the variables for resolving combat in a game space with a minimum or conflicts when determining the arc of fire that can be hit. Interlocking arcs of fire can be created by allowing the ship’s weapon to turn half-hex increments, if the DM prefers.

If the hardpoint is located on the side of the ship, then the facing of the weapon is limited to either towards the forward or towards the rear, as shown. Again, half-hex increments will allow the weapon to be turned so that it fires perpendicular to the ship.

The time needed to change the facing of a siege weapon 60-degrees is equivalent to the time needed to load the weapon. The weapon must be unloaded before it can be turned.

See Naval Combat


Strengthened, open places upon the deck of a ship, providing space for ship’s weapons. Hardpoints are fitted along the port or starboard sides of the ship, enabling fire to be directed outward. Weapons placed on hardpoints can be shifted towards different hex faces, using a system of pulleys connected to rings set into the deck.   Each facing allows a 30-degree arc of fire in the direction the artillerist crew desires.

Placed weapons are measured against their hardpoint cost, as shown on the table. Though any ballista or catapult may be placed on any hardpoint, the total hardpoint cost for all weapons that are placed cannot exceed the tonnage of the ship. Therefore, an 70-ton vessel could not mount four light catapults, but it could mount three light catapults and a light ballista (total 68). The same vessel could also mount four heavy ballistas (total 60).

There is no rule for the dispersal of weapons between forward, aft or amidships, nor between port and starboard.

Hardpoints located on the port side cannot be used to fire missiles across the deck towards starboard, and vice versa.

See Naval Combat

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Ship's Weapons

As explained on the ship types page, different makes and models of ships are fitted with hardpoints. These are strengthened, open places upon the deck of a ship. These weapons can be used to attack other ships at a distance during the ship battle, destroying hulls, rigging, crew or other hardpoints.

There are two forms of siege engine that can be mounted on a ship’s hardpoint: the ballista and the catapult. These each have a heavy and a light configuration. All configurations require one hardpoint when emplaced, but the number of heavy emplacements may be limited by the ship’s cargo capacity.

Each hardpoint allows the weapon to be turned using a system of pulleys connected to rings set into the deck.  Each position allows only a 30° arc of fire, the specifics of which depend upon the design of the ship, its length and distribution of its hardpoints. Prior to firing, line of sight must be established. If an enemy ship passes into the siege weapon’s arc of fire and the weapon has line of sight on that target, and presuming the target is in range, the weapon is free to fire.

Range is determined by counting counting the number of combat hexes ~ or where convenient, the number of ship hexes and then multiplying by four.


Prior to throwing a die, the artillerist MUST specify whether the shot is aimed at the enemy ship’s hull or rigging. If neither is specified, the default target will always be the ship’s hull. The artillerist MUST also specific the specific ship hex being targeted. If this hex is not specified, the default target will be the nearest ship hex occupied.

When firing, the artillerist in charge of the crew rolls to hit with a d20, according to their THAC0 but not including dexterity bonuses. Treat the enemy ship’s hull as AC 3; treat its rigging as AC 0.

The artillerist receives penalties and bonuses as follows: when firing against an enemy’s broadside (+1); when the firing ship is at anchor (+2); strong breeze (-2); near gale (-3); gale (-5); medium range (-2); long range (-5). Ship’s weapons cannot be effectively loaded or fired if the wind force is greater than 8.

Treat all rolled 1s as a misfire, with no other results except the weapon will need to be reloaded from scratch. A natural 20 indicates a critical hit (see below).

When a successful hit is made whether against the hull or the rigging, consult the correct table, either Hits Targeting the Hull or Hits Targeting the Rigging.

These tables are then adjusted according to the type of siege engine being fired, according to the Ship’s Weapon Table:

For non-critical hits, roll a d20 on the Standard Hit Table upon either the hull or rigging chart. Standard hits are resolved as follows:
Hull or rigging hits. Record damage to hull & rigging on the ship’s damage sheet, kept by ship’s captain. See critical hits, below.
Crew. Causes h.p. damage to a random combatant/crew/passenger located in the targeted ship hex or above it. Determine skipping or shrapnel damage as applicable.
Hardpoint. Result automatically wrecks, damages, impairs or offsets the enemy ship’s weapons according to the fired weapon’s effect as listed on the Ship’s Weapons Table.

For critical hits, roll on both the Standard Hit Table AND the Critical Hit Table upon either the hull or rigging chart. Critical hits are resolved as follows:
Anchor winch destroyed. Causes no additional damage, but the anchor cannot be used. If the anchor is lowered when the winch is hit, this cuts the anchor cable, releasing the ship. See rules under anchor.
Calculate crew falling. Crews hit on the rigging table give priority to hit crew working in the rigging. Hits that stun lock require a dexterity check. Failure indicates the crew member has fallen and addition damage needs to be calculated.
Double hit damage. Describes damage done to the hull or rigging. Apply adjustment from weapon to damage before multiplying. For example, if a light ballista rolled ½ standard damage, the ½ would be subtracted before doubling, so that no damage was caused. However, if the same standard damage was done by a heavy catapult ball, +½ would be added to the damage and the result would be doubled for a total of 2 damage.
Escalate hardpoint effect. Increase the effect against hardpoints normally done by the weapon, from offset to impair, damage, wreck and ultimately to destroy (indicating the weapon cannot be rebuilt)
Fallen rigging. Coils and ropes snarls hardpoints in the section of the ship associated with the targeted ship hex: the fore, stern or amidships. No ship’s weapon in the affected section may load or fire for 2 to 5 rounds as the weapons are clear.
Hits player character, officer or captain. Assumes said person is located in the targeted hex.  Randomly determine if necessary.
Mast is hit and falls. If the ship still has a mast standing, reduce the yare of the ship by one degree. If the ship has no mast remaining, the ship is set adrift.
Punches through deck. Missile penetrates to crew quarters, galley or captain’s quarters, skipping within space or scattering shrapnel. Roll item saving throws for delicate items vs. normal blow.
Roll morale checks. All crew members in the targeted ship’s hex make a combat check. Sympathetic checks may spread to other ship’s hexes according to the rules on the morale page. Individuals will freeze or move to the safest places aboard ship (never below!) and cannot participate in combat, loading or firing weapons or acting as crew members. See “restoring fails” on the morale page.
Shrapnel to artillerist crew. All members of the artillerist crew actively loading the weapon or waiting to fire suffer 2-8 damage.
Starts fire. Lamp or other combustable material, either above or below decks (see punches through deck) causes a fire to start. Assign 2 to 3 persons (rolled) to fight fighter. Once the fire is reached and a full round of movement has been committed by the needed persons, roll a d6: fire put out (1-3); fire destroys point of hull (4-5); fire out of control (6). If the fire begins to burn out of control, it will consume one hull point per round thereafter unless doused by spell or other comprehensive means.
Steering damaged. The ship cannot be turned to a different heading with respect to the wind for 3-6 rounds; crack and elite crews reduce this trouble by -1 and -2 rounds respectively. Time needed is predictable and can be provided for the captain when the damage occurs.
Waterline damage. The ship’s hull has been hit near enough the water line that 2 to 5 crew members (rolled) must be assigned to keep the ship from sinking. Failure to provide the full complement of crew required will reduce the ship’s yare by one degree every 4 rounds, while the ship will be reduced to drifting in 16 rounds. Waterline damage hits are culmulative.

See Naval Combat

Monday, March 11, 2019


Similar to a giant crossbow, the weapon relies upon two levers with torsion springs consisting of several loops of twisted skeins. The parts of the bow which form the ends bend towards one another by means of a short rope fastened between them; a shaft is placed into a groove, which is about one half the length of the missile fired, but four times as wide. As the missile is discharged from the shaft, wooden fletching produces a controlled ballistic; the missile hits objects with great force, commonly killing an ordinary person outright on a clean hit, even through armour.

Ballista can be mounted atop walls and on ships. Small ballista of special design, called carroballista, can be emplaced on large wagons.

Ballista bolts will split into dangerous splinters when hitting hard surfaces (applies only to missed shots), which creates shrapnel.

Heavy Ballista 

Weight: 500 lbs.
Minimum crew: 4
Range: 305 feet; short (4-14); medium (15-28); long (29-61)
Projectile weight: 7 lbs
Damage vs. h.p.: 3-24
Rounds to load: 4
Hardpoint cost: 15 tons

Light Ballista

Weight: 250 lbs.
Minimum crew: 3
Range: 350 feet; short (2-15); medium (16-32); long (33-70)
Projectile weight: 4½ lbs
Damage vs. h.p.: 3-18
Rounds to load: 3
Hardpoint cost: 8 tons

See Also,
Naval Combat
Siege Engines