Saturday, March 31, 2018

Snatch & Grab (sage ability)

A graceless pickpocketing skill, used almost always by low-ranking thieves. In effect, an object is stolen from the body without any attempt to hide the fact that the item is being stolen. However, the snatch is also timed to create the best possible chance of surprise in the victim, giving the character time enough to run away without being caught.

The chance for surprise is 4 in 6 for a pickpocket with less than 30 points of knowledge. At 30 points of knowledge and better, however, the chance for surprise goes up to 5 in 6. If surprise does occur, the lightly encumbered pickpocket will get five hexes away before initiative can be judged, perhaps three times (by running) before the victim can begin pursuit.

See Pickpocketing

Extemporize (sage ability)

Describes a bard's ability to improvise, composing material off-hand that is tailored for a a specific audience, most often to break the tension and amuse. Such material cannot be viewed as having inherent value for preservation: it is often crude, makeshift, of benefit on a given night upon a specific audience and often dependent upon the participation of the audience itself.

In common terms, extemporizing can include taking note of an audience's nature, or of a specific person in the audience, drawing attention to it and therefore providing a laugh or a warm moment. It can include managing hecklers and winning them over. It can include duels, where musicians, poets, actors and the like attempt to upstage one another for the benefit of the audience's experience. In another guise, it should be called "wit."

Riposte

In game terms, the skill allows a performance-driven bard to respond with a verbal riposte (saying something clever, often mocking the words of another) when the situation warrants it. This the bard can do as often as wished ~ but as it relies upon another speaker creating the opportunity, the bard cannot use the "attack" in other circumstances. It should be noted that outside of a friendly, organized audience, a moment of extemporization has the power to create resentment, even hostility.

When choosing to riposte, the character should make a wisdom check; if the check is successful, the riposte has hit home. At this point, the "victim" of the riposte should make an intelligence check. If this check succeeds, the riposte will be thought of as humorous or perhaps clever. This may then be seen as an opportunity to trust the bard as imaginative, capable, worthy or otherwise entitled to a small benefit from the victim.

If the intelligence check fails, however, the victim should respond with a threat, breaking off the conversation altogether or perhaps, depending on the situation, attacking or ordering others to attack. Thus is it risky to riposte if the bard cannot physically overpower the victim or the victim's mates.

Duels

These are situations in which two bards attempt to defeat one another with wit. It is suggested that these be seen as a series of ripostes that require no intelligence check (both bards are aware of the intention and intelligent enough in this situation not to take it badly). Each riposte that succeeds can be seen as a d4 roll that "reduces" the opponent's wisdom; having reduced the wisdom of the opponent, this reduces the opponent's ability to produce a successful riposte in turn. The first duelist to run out of wisdom is the loser.

See Performance

Vigor (sage ability)

The experience of performing in front of a live audience will give a bard a boost to their confidence and sense of self. This relies upon the performance going well (see Repertoire). If it does, the bard will possess a series of positive modifiers that can be applied to other ventures.

In effect, the bard will receive a +1 modifier to every roll the bard makes, until such time as a roll fails. This includes to hit rolls, rolls for fumbles and damage, ability checks, saving throws and so on, as well as rolls that are specific to bard sage abilities. Note that some rolls, such as damage caused by weapons, do not possess a "failure" element.

Once the bard does fail a roll, however (by failing to hit or not succeeding against an ability), then the gift is lost until the next time a performance can be given.

See Performance

Repose (sage ability)

Describes the ability of a character with the necessary knowledge of performance to take a combat round to relax, find peace and face down their fears. Repose does not only refer to an audience, but to any situation in which the bard has the opportunity to ready themselves for a threat.

When used against spells such as fear (provided there is an opportunity to understand the fear and there is time to prepare), repose will offer the bard a +2 saving throw. This will make the bard braver where it comes to creatures that use fear as a weapon.

See Performance

Repertoire (sage ability)

A set of compositions, roles or moves that a performer is able to produce on demand, in order to please an audience. These may consist of the bard's own work or they may consist of works that are generally familiar to most audiences and not of the bard's personal making. The following applies to bards with an amateur status as performers.

Before a bard can present personally created work in public with any expectation of success, the bard must first have 10 points of knowledge in creativity. If this is not possessed, the bard simply cannot fashion a performance that will please an audience. Additionally, the bard must have at least 10 points of knowledge in either conceptualism or pragmatism (both are not needed). Otherwise, the repertoire presented must be a set of "standards" that the audience will be comfortable hearing. It is not necessary for the bard to keep track of the repertoire; it is enough to keep an audience listening for period of about two hours.

Finally, a bard with the repertoire skill must make a charisma check when giving a performance. If this fails, the bard will have had given a mediocre performance, one in which the audience will listen pleasantly enough, but not be especially moved.

If, however, the bard is successful, then the listening audience will receive a +1% benefit to their normally gained experience for a period of one week (see Upeksa). This benefit is not cumulative, but can be extended if the audience sees other performers or a bard is able to produce multiple performances. A successful repertoire performance will also provide the bard with 1 point of fame in the kingdom where the performance was given.

This can be as many as three unique experiences for an audience: a proper collection of conceptual works, a proper collection of practical works and finally a collection of standards, as are always possessed by a bard with this skill. Three would be the maximum number of times an audience can be moved by an amateur.

An "audience" will be defined as the regular patrons of an inn, tavern or roadhouse, approximately one of which will exist per 500-1500 existing local population. Bards must move to other audiences if they wish to continue presenting their efforts to appreciative audiences. However, an audience has the potential to warm to a performer again after three months have passed.

See Performance

Fame (sage ability)

This is a rating that describes the level of recognition and public attention that a bard has the potential to gain over time. The rating is kept deliberately difficult to achieve, so as to ensure that bards are likely to be fairly high level before obtaining the least notariety.

Bards receive fame in a variety of ways, most likely by performing, publishing or otherwise placing objects of their design into the hands of famous persons. It is easier to become famous as a performer than as a crafter of goods; however, a single lucky moment of recognition can produce wonderous advantages where fame is concerned.

The fame rating is a measure of 1 to 100,000 points, the latter indicating that the individual's name is likely to be immediately recognizable anywhere within a given continent, at least among educated persons. For the most part, there will always be a large majority of uneducated persons who have no idea who the individual is. As well, in greatly different cultures (such as goblinish or orcish cultures, the Orient vs. the Occidental, the Old World vs. the New and so on), there is bound to be some lack of recognition.

For a bard to receive a 1% chance of being recognized in a given kingdom, the bard must accumulate 100 points of fame within that kingdom. For the bard to receive a 1% chance of being recognized across an entire continent, the bard must accumulate 1,000 points of fame.

Fame is gained slowly at lower levels, as a bard cannot rely upon having the necessary creativity, skill at performance, backing from agents and producers and overall resources to produce great works of art that are likely to bring fame. Nevertheless, every point counts. The amount of fame points that a bard receives will be described in other abilities that produce fame.

See Performance

Transmogrification (sage ability)

The manner in which an individual's identity or consciousness is transferred from the Prime Material to the appropriate outer plane, from life to the afterlife. Each individual plane offers a different means of passage. Many of these are, quite expectedly, horrific - but at the same time, each is designed for persons betraying a certain belief system, morality or active choices.

Regarding the character's comprehension of transmogrification, knowledge is limited to those planes which the character has studied. It should be noted that, while it rests upon the DM to determine what each specific form of transmogrification applies to each outer plane, it also benefits the players not to have these things openly described for every possibility. As such, I will be adding them to the wiki only as the players themselves become aware . . . the less they know before that time, the better for my game.

Additionally, I feel it should be stressed that I am not bound by the standard belief systems that elsewhere set out to describe the transmogrification process. No doubt, my choices will preserve aspects such as Charon's boat across the River Styx or the Bifrost Bridge, but those elements alone are painfully simplistic and deserve elaboration. As such, I will be setting out to produce elaborate stories for the benefit of the players when the time comes . . . for after all, they may someday need to follow the footsteps of a given transmogrification in order to retrieve one of their dead. Too, a player may choose to pattern some of their behaviour from the process I generate - since that process should in some way allow a character to act in such a way so as to pursue - or avoid - a given transmogrification path.

See Outer Planes

Essence (sage ability)

Provides detail pertaining to or constituting the essential elements of a given plane of existence, known to the character. This includes the plane's physical arrangement, the manner in which it is ruled and socially organized and the nature of its connection and relationship to the prime material, specifically in terms of how activity in the prime material serve to provide the building blocks for the plane's existence. See Interplanar Relationships.

Such information would allow the character the means to navigate such planes, interact with its residents accordingly and adopt a set of behaviours that would minimalize conflict. The character could also guide others, enabling them - if they chose - to reasonably attempt quests or purposes upon that outer plane.

See Outer Planes

Interplaner Relationships (outer planes)

(image to be created)

All the substance that exists in the meta-universe of existences, sometimes called the Metaverse, originates from two fundamental planes defining the nature of substance, the Negative and Positive material planes. Between these two planes there exists a balance, but one that is fluid and ever changing, animated in a timeless void. In effect, the two planes churn together, becoming conjoined in such a manner that time is transiently brought into existence . . . creating a time 'period' which lasts many billions of years, in which all other existence is birthed and ultimately destroyed again.

The churning, conjoined happenstance manifests, initially, as the Elemental Planes, which may occur in varying degrees depending upon the incident of consolidation. The present relationship, where the elements are balanced and made manifest in the manner we recognize, is mere chance; another moment of churn would create utterly different, unfamiliar balances - but these are not matters with which we ever need concern ourselves.

We describe the focus where the elemental planes form the reality we recognize as the Prime Material Plane. This plane comprises the familiar structure of 'reality,' or the known universe, which includes Earth, the Solar System, the unnumbered galaxies and the widest reaches of intergalactic space. This existence is often simply referred to as the 'Prime Material.' The name itself is a misnomer, incorrectly given due to the subjective position of those prejudiciously attached to their plane of occupation.

Coextensive with the Prime Material is the Prime Immaterial, more familiarly called the Ethereal plane, an insubstantial reflection of the more substantial world, occupied by ethereal shades whose existence tends to slip in and out of the Prime Material, randomly or upon the will of the ethereal creature. On Earth, ethereal creatures are categorized as manifestations.

Through the accumulation of thought, following a long evolution initiated by the present incident of consolidation, further planes of semi-existence (generally referred to as the Outer Planes) came into being. The cognitive fury of millions of the Prime Material's inhabitants steadily served, over the space of tens of thousands of years, to vivify - bring to life - the unmistakable reality of these Planes beyond the simple understanding of the universe's first inhabitants. As each planet in the Prime Material became home to intelligent life, each outer plane that was conceived and therefore made substance grew in service with the individual culture's imagination. Thus, our outer planes are occupied by our imaginations alone - the outer planes created by the thoughts of other planets are unique to those civilizations. Though infinite, they are outside our ability to reckon and therefore outside our ability to visit. We may only visit those planes that our reckoning could create.

The first outer plane, slowly appreciated in Paleolithic times, with belief but without articulation, emerged as a vast, empty void that we call the Astral Plane, where endless vortices spiral out now to the Higher Outer Planes, which were necessarily forced to attach themselves to the framework that was previously created. Thus, to travel to any other outer plane, we must first cross the Astral Plane - which may be thought of as the imaginative existence created by the animal brain of intelligence. All other planes whose names are familiar to us are truly 'outer' in the sense that they are beyond the Astral.

See Outer Planes

Sailing (sage ability)

Knowledge of how to manage a wind-driven vehicle over the surface of the water, employing rigging, rudder and keel. The skill includes basic sailing techniques:
  • turning or steering the boat using a wheel or tiller.
  • adjusting the moveable ballast on the boat (the crew) backwards or forwards, windward or leeward, in order to obtain an even keel.
  • trimming the sail, or pulling it until it fills with wind, to the point where the front edge of the sail (the luff) is in line with the wind.
  • raising and lowering the centreboard, if the sailboat is small enough to have one, for closehauling and running.
  • tacking & jibing, to turn the bow through the wind in order to change from port tack to starboard tack.
  • reducing sail, to adjust for the amount of sail needed to suit wind conditions, either through reefing or replacing the sail.
  • reducing heel, or the tendency of the ship or boat to lean over to the side, due to over-canvassing or hull size & design.

The knowledge possessed makes the character merely competent at managing the boat. For details on the speed of ships over water, see Ship Types.

See Oceanography

Reading Tides (sage ability)

Knowledge of tides, currents and eddies along sea and lake shores, largely by observation and the feel of the water. In particular, this includes falling and rising tides inshore, inclusive of the time of year and other factors, allowing the character special knowledge relating to sailing, boating or fishing.

The best fishing is managed when a rising tide pushes against a bay mouth, bringing with it an abundance of baitfish and catch, enabling the best possible yield. Recognizing not only the time of day, but the specific point of land at which to fish at a specific point of time, this is part of the knowledge the character has. The skill only finds the fish, however ~ it will impart no special ability to catch fish, so that the character should be viewed as an unskilled angler.

The knowledge will also provide safety from currents where it comes to swimming, ensuring that the character does not venture into areas subject to riptides or undertows.

See Oceanography

Predict Meteor Events (sage abilities)

Allows accurate prediction of meteor showers, celestial events in which the earth passes through a stream of cosmic debris. The knowledge provides prediction of the intensity of the meteor shower as well. Intensity is a measure of the number of shooting stars that appear in the space of an hour and the number of specific stars that display an impressive track. A given meteor shower will be (determined by 2d6) Spirited (2-9), Profound (10), Fiery (11) or Blazing (12).

Typically, there will be one meteor shower per month. In February, March, April, May, June, July and September, roll a d30 to determine ahead of time the specific day (which the knowledgeable character will predict). The remaining five months of the calendar have famous meteor showers, known by name. These will occur the day before, the day of or the day after (randomly) these dates given in the right hand table. The intensity modifier in each case is added to the 2d6 roll to determine the meteor shower's intensity.

On the night when a meteor shower occurs, at least an hour after the sun has set and at least an hour before dawn, if the sky is clear and if a druid is casting outside, then the shower will affect the power of a druid's magic. Profound showers will raise the druid's level by 1 with respect to already possessed spells; Fiery showers by 2 levels; and Blazing showers by 3 levels. Meteor showers will not affect casting by any other class, nor will they allow the druid access to more spells due to adjusted level.

See Natural Astronomy

Timesense (sage ability)

Allows the character to know, when above ground and able to view the sky, the approximate time of day within thirty minutes. The ability also conveys knowledge of the exact moment of sunrise and sunset. As either approach, accurate prediction improves. The exact time will be known during each two hour period before and after sunset and sunrise.

This knowledge can only falter if the knowledgeable character moves underground, remains inside without natural light or is made somehow blind.

See Natural Astronomy

Navigation (sage ability)

Allows the character to monitor and maintain a given course overland or across the sea, without the need of visual topographic features or even familiarity with the area. While some of this course is based upon knowing the directions of north, east, south or west, in large part the character will also 'sense' a practical route following trails, ridges, currents or prevailing winds. This is done through sighting the stars, the sun, noting reflections upon the water and upon the land itself, with absolute certainty as to which direction is pursued.

This does not say that the character will automatically choose the best route, only a practical route . . . that is, one that the party has a chance to successfully follow. The ability gives no unusual knowledge of nearby roads, the exact wind patterns in an area or even the lowest pass through a visible range of mountains. It only says that the route chosen will be accessible by the party associated with the knowledgeable character. The exact route chosen will depend on the will of the players, as in most cases they will be able to choose between several apparently serviceable options. The best route will present itself automatically to the party only if it is the only one.

Essentially, however, the knowledgeable character cannot get lost. Though the route chosen may be hazardous, it's determination will be a valid means to pass through an area, across a body of water or to return to a place where the party has previously been.

See Natural Astronomy

Assassination (sage ability)

Describes a blow that strikes at a weak point in a humanoid opponent, allowing the attacker to kill an enemy immediately on a successful hit.

The sage ability is specifically available to all assassins, even those who possess 9 points of knowledge or less in the practice (unskilled). These are yet able to perform the act of assassination, though to a lesser degree.

Description of the Act

The deed requires that the perpetrator be near enough to attack with a hand-to-hand attack. It is also necessary that the intended victim be surprised. The assassination need not be committed from behind, but this is often the case. Usually, to succeed, the assassin approaches the victim through the use of stealth.

If, following the stealth calculation, the assassin is adjacent to the intended victim and the victim is surprised, the assassin may at that time reveal their intention to assassinate. A die is rolled (see below) and the success of the assassination is determined. The victim cannot defend at all unless the assassination fails and then wins initiative. If the assassination fails, the assassin cannot make a second attempt, as the victim ceases to be surprised. The same rule denies an attempt to backstab.

Obviously, because an opponent in the midst of combat is not subject to the surprise rule, an assassination cannot take place during normal melee.

Note that if the intended victim that is more than three times the height of the perpetrator, or more than four times the perpetrator’s weight, the victim is too large to be assassinated.

Resolution

The perpetrator begins by rolling to hit in the normal fashion, under the usual conditions of combat. Any hand-to-hand weapon may be used.

If successful, rather than determining damage, the perpetrator and victim’s levels are compared using a roll of 2d4, rolled by the perpetrator. This result is modified by adding the assassin’s level, then subtracting 5 points. If the total is now equal to or greater than the victim’s total hit dice + experience level, the victim is absolutely DEAD, reduced to -4 hit points for combatants without an experience level or -10 for those with an experience level.

An unskilled assassin uses the same method, adding but one-half of levels gained, discarding all fractions. For example, a third-level unskilled assassin would add only 1 pt. to the die, drastically reducing the chance of success even against lower level targets.

If the assassination fails, normal damage is rolled. If the intended victim survives, initiative is rolled.

See Also,
Assassin
Murder
Player Characters


Dual Attackers (sage ability)

This describes a situation in which a primary combatant and a secondary combatant (or shield man) have been trained to act as a single unit, with the potential for both to attack from a single hex. This is possible only through appropriate training through fighter sage abilities.

Dual attackers are not subject to the +2 bonus given combatants able to attack multiple defenders in one hex, as they are not considered disorganized.

This page is a placeholder for further details on this subject.

See Martial Discipline

Sprinting (movement)

This is a description of the increased speed a character may obtain while moving in combat. For additional information, see Running (movement) or Running (athletic ability).

To be able to move at triple-speed, a combatant must be running at the end their previous round. If this is the case, then the combatant announces at the beginning of the round that they are moving at triple-speed, whereupon the action point (AP) cost to move 1 hex is dropped to 1/3.

All movement at triple speed must be done in a nearly straight line, as shown on the right. This movement begins from the combatant's facing at the start of the round. The combatant is allowed to deviate one hex to the left or right of the initial line of hexes that were faced (though the first AP spent must in directly moving forward). Caleb, in the example, with 5 AP total, is shown moving 15 hexes in a directly straight line - but any hex shown on the image is a potential destination.

While moving, Caleb is free to expend all or part of his movement in moving at triple-speed. It is up to the combatant to slow down to a run (that is, to start counting hexes at ½ AP cost) or a normal pace (counting hexes at 1 AP cost). The combatant may wish to do either in order to arrive at an exact hex adjacent to an enemy or to end the round while moving at a pace other than triple-speed.

This is because attempting a dead stop while moving at triple-speed will result in the combatant tumbling. While combatants at normal pace or running can stop at any time without penalty, combatants wishing to come to a safe stop while moving at triple-speed must first spend 1 full AP slowing down first - two extra hexes at a run or one extra hex at a normal pace.

There is no minimum distance that a combatant must move at triple-speed, once that speed it obtained. However, if the combatant slows to a normal pace or a stop, then the combatant cannot continue to move at triple-speed the next round. So long as the combatant ends their move while running or moving at triple-speed, they are free to move at triple-speed the following round.

Note that actions associated with drawing a weapon while moving cannot be performed while moving at triple-speed.

See Also,
Crashes & Collisions
Movement in Combat

Rock Foraging (sage ability)

Similar to the druidic skill, Foraging, this provides the character with an ability to locate edible animal and vegetable matter in a high alpine setting, above the treeline, or in natural caves underground. With regards to edible subterranean flora and fauna that is raised by underground intelligent species, the ability also gives knowledge of what domesticated foods can be eaten safely and by which races.

Unfortunately, there is usually very little food to be located in such settings. As such, in a period of 1 to 10 hours of searching outdoors or underground, there is but a 3 in 6 chance of finding 1d4 pounds of food. The character may not be able to find food at all.

The sort of food that is found will typically be bird's eggs, grubs, beetles, leaf plants, moss and the like.

See Mountaineer

Mountain Routefinding I (sage ability)

A skill associated with scrambling and mountain climbing, which enables the character to make the best possible guesses for locating a good route. The skill can be used in finding the most likely means for crossing a mountain range, or it may be used specifically for how to climb a particular slope.

Finding a Pass

An evaluation of the mountainside from good vantage point can suggest which gaps between peaks would most likely conceal a pass through a mountain range. In such a case, the character with this skill should receive a secret wisdom check when choosing the apparently best route from two, perhaps three possible choices. If the check succeeds, the correct route should be revealed to the character. If the check fails, a random choice from the options should be revealed to the character; this may yet result in the correct choice. It is suggested that the check and a random die be thrown at the same time, so as not to reveal to the player that the wisdom check failed.

Following Slope Lines

"Slope lines" are mountain paths that vary in danger due to steepness, type and looseness of rock, the presence of running water, dampness or ice, exposure, narrowness of passage, possibility of falling and so on. Slope lines can be moderately evaluated from a distance, best done with a telescope, suggesting the best course of travel for that part of the journey that can be seen. However, no slope can be truly "seen" except while being walked, as many physical features won't reveal themselves to the human eye, while some slope lines will be invisible from any vantage point.

The skill provides the character with the best probable route up a mountainside, without giving the specifics of that route ~ that is, without revealing the actual difficulty of the slope lines to be faced (slope lines are divided into eight types of danger; more information is given on the mountain climbing page). Thus, the character is at least reassured that no easier route is possible (whereas someone without this skill would not know even that), but the specifics of the route are not given with this level of skill.

If the route has been used by others, however, some additional things can be told about the best route while climbing it. Popular routes will likely feature signs of polished rock, or places where spikes have been hammered into the stone (the sort of thing an inexperienced climber would miss).

See Mountaineer

Caving I (sage ability)

Enables reasonable safety when managing the most common challenges associated with travelling through natural underground areas. Whereas many areas within caves will still require a dexterity or constitution check to manage, the following conditions can be traversed by an amateur caver without the character needing to roll dice:
  • Vertical shafts and climbs, when the climb is supported by a sufficient rope that can be secured and climbed without obstructions such as falling water, ice or overhangs that impede direct ascent or descent.
  • Constricted passages, lacking in turns, where the dimensions are at least 18 inches square. Those with Caver I experience do not feel claustrophobic in such circumstances and need not make a check, regardless of the distance that needs travelling.
  • Open water surfaces, where travel does not require full submersion in order to move past an obstruction or through a submerged tunnel. So long as the water is moving, the character does not need to make a constitution check to endure the cold of the water, unless six full rounds have been spent immersed above the waist, or 12 rounds immersed at the waist or below.
  • Bridges or ledges, where the purchase is solid and secure, regardless of the proximity of drops or height.

The skill also provides a +3 bonus to the particular ability statistic when making ability checks when encountering these obstacles:
  • Mud, loose rock and slick surfaces, where the surface to be climbed or moved across fits one of these conditions. Check is made against dexterity.
  • Submerged passages, where the character must continue to hold breath long enough to reach the other side, while potentially feeling around in the darkness. Check is made against constitution. Presumes the passage can be traversed in the time the character is able to hold their breath.

See Mountaineer

Cave Finding (sage ability)

Enables the discovery of cave entrances by virtue of the experience gained from systematically searching rock formations, pushing through passages that are overlooked as "too tight," digging through dirt and rock fill, or enlarging narrow fissures in the rock ~ even recognizing air movement, the patterns of water seeping from rock or the tone of an echo.

If a hidden entrance exists, persons with this skill are certain to find it; however, this does require half an hour of diligent searching over an area up to 25 combat hexes. Once that search is completed, the character will be able to say for certain that no hidden passage exists within a natural cave.

Note that the skill does not provide any ability to locate a secret door in a fabricated construction ... but it would identify any such door if the door's surface was concealed as a cave formation.

See Mountaineer

Seek Bedstead (sage ability)

Allows the character a chance to seek an area within a woodland that is covered with moss, that in turn has gathered to it a portion of wild magic. Having found it, the character is free to make it a bedstead for personal use or to encourage a companion to do so. Whomever sleeps upon the moss carpet (which will be quite dry, comfortable and entirely safe) will gain three benefits from doing so.
  • Characters who sleep on the moss bedstead will achieve a full day's rest from a single night of sleeping, in far less than 24 hours. The hit points will be restored upon awaking - but a full night's sleep must be for this gain to be made.
  • If the character has suffered a loss to a specific attribute or attributes due to disease or by some natural means (having been drained of ability through magic or by the attack of an unnatural monster does not apply), then 1 point of loss will be restored (randomly, if several different attributes are weakened). This, too, requires a full night's sleep.
  • Finally, the character sleeping on the moss bedstead will be ignored by all wandering monsters or enemies during the time the character is sleeping. If the character is aroused, and chooses to return to sleep, the character will continue to enjoy this protection and sleep will quickly return. However, if the character communicates or takes any action other than returning to sleep, the effect will be gone and the moss bedstead will be drained of magic.

This magic drain will occur with the dawn at any rate, having granted to the retiree its three magical blessings. As noted above, if the character wakes in the night and takes action, no hit points will be gained and no ability stats will be restored. This will also mean that no moss bedstead can be used twice. Typically, it requires from 2-5 years for a given bedstead to gather enough magic to impart it to a sleeper.

The chance of a player finding a bedstead during a day (whether in travelling off road or in deliberately searching ) is equal to the number of points of knowledge they posses in mosses & ferns. Note that the time of discovery, when it is discovered, will be a random d12 roll, from 8 AM to 7 PM. (08:00 to 19:00). The bedstead, if found, will not always conveniently be found at end of day. The player should be permitted to roll their chance on a d100 during each day of wilderness travel if they so desire.

A bedstead cannot be seen from a road or in any area of considerable habitation. They exist only in the wild.

See Mosses & Ferns

Protective Bracken (sage ability)

In many areas of the world, bracken exists as a cluster or thicket of ferns, often mixed with shrubbery. Sometimes growing up to three feet tall, bracken will cover fields, brushy areas and woods like a carpet.

Unknown to most, bracken is a home for a wide variety of faeries, of untold variety and very often of a nature that exists nowhere else on earth except within a particular large bracken. Many of these faeries are less that a tenth the size of a sprite and many are invisible. However, with knowledge of bracken gained from the study of ferns, the character will be able to quietly call upon these creatures in time of need.

There are two ways in which a character can gain protection from a bracken; the first, if the character wishes to hide, the character need only lay down and the leaves of the bracken will be closed over top, hiding the character from discovery. So long as the character remains in place, does not move and does not make a sound, the character cannot be found in bracken except by magical means.

Alternately, if the character is forced to defend against an enemy, he or she will gain aid from the faerie-folk while standing in a bracken, granting them a +1 protection against all attacks, physical or magical. Enemies will feel themselves grasped by the bracken, the character will be shifted out of the way of missile weapons as best the faeries can manage and the overall magical strength of the bracken will give a +1 to all saving throws. It isn't much help, but the faeries do what they can.

Characters with this knowledge will be able to seek out brackens if pursued with a chance equal to the number of points of knowledge they possess (presuming, of course, that they are seeking within a woodland). Note that this benefit only applies to places in the wild, not patches of ferns grown in a domestic garden.

See Mosses & Ferns

Cultivate Ferns & Mosses (sage ability)

Provides knowledge of valuable materials that can be gathered from various moss and fern species, including material needed to produce essential oils, soap and dyestuffs, as well as medicinal tonics that can be applied to temporarily restore strength or constitution in times of illness.

As this material is largely gathered from the wild and varies considerably in terms of how much material is required in order to distill value from its general mass, to keep things as simple as possible the rule will be that a full day of gathering (in areas appropriate to the materials sought) will produce 3-12 lbs of raw material. This can then be distilled (by a variety of means) in order to produce whatever would be the appropriate amount of final, essential product. This distilling process will typically take only an hour, but will require a workshop suitable for whatever is being obtained.

At present, a specific list of ratios for material to product is not included here, nor are there specific details included as to what products might be obtained from what parts of the world (although some of this is being added steadily to the wiki, as time allows).

Details will be worked out as players make their desires known.

See Mosses & Ferns

Phalanx (sage ability)

Training to fight and defend in a mass formation, in which the presence of friendly combatants on the left and right offer greater stability and defense during combat.

The formation is a straight line, offering a front of defense against an enemy, to help protect the defenders while the advance or fight. The skill enables the single combatant to take advantage of the formation, learning to move with it and in it without creating gaps or weakening the front that it gives the attacker.


This front, or "wall," ensures that each combatant in the line (with the exception of those upon the ends) can be attacked by only one enemy per round. Because the front is largely created from the use of shields and one-handed weapons, where the amount of flank being shown is minimalized, the use of large shields in the line provides an extra +1 armor class adjustment over and above the usual benefit from such a shield. Thus, members of the phalanx are harder to hit when in formation than they would be as scattered combatants.

Additionally, when the phalanx consists of two rows of friendly combatants, there is an adjustment to the usual stunning rule: in this case, a defendant is not driven back one combat hex when stunned. The other members of the formation, themselves trained, will support a stunned defendant so that ~ although they will not be able to fight the following round ~ they will be able to retain their position in the line.

Finally, those with phalanx training will be trained to use a spear with only one hand. Normally, the spear is a two-handed weapon ~ but with proper training, received with this study, the weapon can be balanced with one hand when acting within the formation. Because the formation requires that only one hex must be defended against, the spear's point needs to move less, and thus it can be handled. Outside of the formation, the spear must still be used with two hands.

The formation requires that all the participants have a minimum of 10 points of knowledge in this particular skill ~ they do not necessarily require 10 points in the whole study of martial discipline.

See Martial Discipline

Mammal Behaviour I (sage ability)

Allows limited prediction of a mammal's attack and movement in animals of semi-intelligence or less. This skill is gained through pattern recognition after observing thousands of mammalian forms over the space of a lifetime.

When in melee with a mammal, a character will have the benefit of knowing, prior to declaring an action in that round, what the animal means to do next - attack the character with horn, claw or hoof (etcetera), take flight, turn and attack an opponent to the right and left of the character, give ground and so on. This prescience - one round in advance - will provide the character with some knowledge should the character decide to break off the combat first, cast a spell (knowing the animal will not attack) or take another appropriately timed action.

Upon becoming an amateur, prediction is limited to only one action from one animal per round. For example, if a animal were to attack with both left and right claws, then the character would only be able to know, by choice, either the left or the right. However, for each additional 10 points of knowledge a character gains, an additional action in a given round can also be known (a bear or lion with three attacks could be fully predicted if the character possessed 30 points of knowledge about these creatures).

See Mammals

Identify Mammal (sage ability)

Allows identification of a given order of mammals, including their tracks, spoor and other signs applying to specific mammal behaviour.

In addition to their identification, the character will also be aware - where monstrous forms of mammals occur - the principle threat the animal imposes. Specifically, knowledge of threat includes the number of attacks the animal possesses per round, what parts of the body are used in attack, the armour class of the animal and its approximate weight and hit dice.

This knowledge includes if a mammal is known to charge or similar mundane behaviour, but does not extend to any other magical attacks or defences these animals have.

See Mammals

Mammals (orders)

It should be noted that this page is based upon a classification of mammals proposed for a mid-17th century world. For such a world, appearances are sufficient to group mammals together for druidical study. This will mean that in many instances animals are classified together that would never be grouped in the modern age.

The following are orders of mammals that can be independently studied:
  • Bovines: antelopes, camels, cattle, deer, giraffes, goats, hippopotamuses, llamas, mouse deer, peccaries, pigs, sheep
  • Cats: jaguars, leopards, lions, lynx, pumas, sabre-tooth cats, tigers
  • Dogs: aardwolves, civets, hyenas, wolves (including dire and worg
  • Elephants: African & Asian elephants, baluchitherium, mammoths, mastodons
  • Equines: donkeys, horses, tapirs, rhinocerous, titanotheres, zebras
  • Hares & Rodents: beavers, hyrax, mice, moles, mongooses, porcupines, rabbits, raccoons, rats, shrews, skunks, weasels
  • Insectivores: aardvarks, anteaters, armadillos, hedgehogs
  • Monkeys: apes, baboons, lemurs, monkeys, sloths (humanoids not included)
  • Ursa: bears, kangaroos, koalas, pandas

The list above is not complete.

Note that Sea Mammals (dolphins, elephant seals, manatees, porpoises, sea cows, walruses, whales) are included in the druidical study, Sea Life.

Solicitor (sage ability)

Permits the character to have knowledge regarding matters of property and the redress of individuals against damage done by the state. However, unless the solicitor is licensed, such knowledge can be applied only to personal wrongs the solicitor has experienced.

A solicitor cannot legally open an office and argue disputes of civil law before a lower court judge unless the character is able to pursue this position through the political skill of becoming a functionary. Once that has been accomplished, however, a solicitor is entitled to 10% of any financial redress that a court makes to an individual.

A solicitor's chance of winning a case in court depends upon the solicitor's experience at winning large cases. Initially, a solicitor begins with a % chance of winning a case equal to their wisdom (a 16 wisdom would mean a 16% chance of winning a case in court). Since this is very low, most cases that new solicitors accept will be cases where the individual has few resources and does not expect to win.

To determine the size of the case brought by others to the solicitor (in g.p.), roll a random number between 1 and the solicitor's chance of winning (with a 16 wisdom, this would be an amount between 1 and 16). The solicitor must pay 2 g.p. to bring the case to court; if the solicitor loses the case, this amount is lost. However, for each g.p. that the solicitor is paid (s.p. and c.p. count as fractions) for winning a case, both the % chance of winning and the randomly generated size of the case are increased by that amount.

Thus, a solicitor with a 16 wisdom is approached by someone seeking redress in the amount of 11 g.p. The solicitor pays 2 g.p. to the court, miraculously rolls 04 on a d100 and wins the case. The solicitor receives 1 g.p., 1 s.p. and 6 c.p. in fees (equalling 1.1 g.p.) and although the solicitor takes a loss overall, the solicitor's chance of winning the case goes up by 1.1%. For the next case, the number generated is randomly determined between 1 and 17 (or alternatly by 1 to 272 s.p, even 1 to 3283 c.p. - which should be the player's choice).

Each time the player's % chance of success improves past a round 10% mark (20%, 30%, 40%, etc.) then (optionally) treble court costs and double the maximum random total for redress. Simultaneously, for each increase half the increase to success from fees.

Thus,
  • a solicitor with a 20% chance of success would pay 6 g.p. in court fees for cases that brought 2 to 40 g.p. in gross return (10% of that for the solicitor), with a 40 g.p. win increasing the solicitor's chance of winning a case by 2%.
  • a solicitor with a 30% chance of success would pay 18 g.p. in court fees for cases that brought 4 to 80 g.p. in gross return, with an 80 g.p. win increasing the solicitor's chance of winning - again - by 2%.
  • a solicitor with a 40% chance of success would pay 54 g.p. in court fees for cases that brought 8 to 160 g.p in gross return, with a maximum win still increasing future success no more than 2%.

And so on. It is up to the character if they wish to increase the size of the cases they take; otherwise, fees and gross returns will remain at the level where the solicitor is comfortable.

In turn, the solicitor's chance of success equals the likelihood of the solicitor getting a case per week they are not working. Solicitors are not required to accept cases. Cases will not be brought to solicitors who are working on a case already. Cases require 1 week of participation per 20 g.p. of gross return.

See Law & Policy

Business Dealing (sage ability)

Provides skill in the wording of contracts in order to promote voluntary entry and mutual consideration. While the ability does not allow the character to set terms of the contract without negotiation, agreements that are made with the character - even handshake agreements - will be kept if the other party is physically able. If the opposite party fails to keep the contract, there is a high probability that redress will be made, based upon the character's wisdom.

If the character, in making an arrangement with a buyer or seller, succeeds in making a wisdom check, then one of two arrangements at a market place may be made.
  • The seller will agree to provide up to 10 times the number of items presently shown as available on the market table, if the character agrees to pay a 5% mark-up on all items. Thus, if the equipment list showed that there were 10 long swords available at a cost of 20 g.p. each, the seller would agree to arrange for 100 long swords to be available at a cost of 21 g.p. each. The time needed to arrange such a sale will be 1-4 weeks.
  • Alternately, the buyer will agree to buy up to 10 times the number of items presently shown as wanted on the market table, if the character agrees to take 10% less per item sold. Thus, if the equipment list showed that the buyer was willing to buy 10 swords for 10 g.p. each, the buyer would agree to buy up to 100 swords if the character was willing to take 9 g.p. for each. The character is then given a period of 2-8 weeks before the market buyer is willing to make this deal with the character.

It should be noted that in the latter case, the character will not be required to show any items in the character's possession, as this will be taken in good faith.

The DM should make provisions for other arrangements to be made between character and non-player character, presuming that such arrangements in some way benefit both parties. Note that if the character fails to keep a bargain, the character will be requested in a court of law to pay 10% of the coin the player was set to make in penury damages.

See Law & Policy

Common Language

Describes a universal language spoken by virtually all the races of Alexis' World, superimposed so as to simplify matters of communication.  Early in my experiences as a DM, I found the peculiarities surrounding multiple languages was less than satisfying in game play.  Not having language skills outside of my native language English, I found it difficult to successfully present situations where language was an obstruction ~ and, on the whole, I did not find such situations providing an effective emotional response from players.

So I got rid of commonly used language. The term, "common language," comes from early D&D.  Other languages from common do exist, but almost entirely as written clues, which must be comprehended through the use of spells or applicable sage abilities.

See Campaign

Friday, March 30, 2018

Torch (illumination)

Torches provide light, and can serve as a means for alighting flammable materials.

Torches can be thrown. If hurled or tossed 15 feet or more, a roll must be made to see if, because of the flight through the air or rolling on the ground, the torch snuffs itself out. The chance of it doing so is 1 in 6 per combat hex beyond the first two.

A torch on the ground will not burn well, because the surface reduces two thirds of the torch's oxygen supply. Torches are not meant to burn hot, but slow, as the oil and wax soaked cloth tied around the top of the cloth has a fairly high flash point.

See Illumination

Monster (definition)

For definition purposes, any creature of sufficient strength or mass to possess at least 1 hit point and to impose an attack capable of causing 1 hit point of damage.

For a list of monsters used in the game, see Bestiary.

Faculty (sage ability)

An exceptional capacity for recognizing the presence of a cabal within an close-knit community that is observed over a number of days. This is done by connecting the local customs and apparent behavior of the residents with historical records and notes describing the manner in which certain cabals are organized. The character will be able to guess at who may be a member of the cabal and who may be under the cabal's authority.

While the faculty for such knowledge does not allow any special social ability to communicate with members of the cabal, the character is in possession of information regarding what cabal it probably is, what their goals are and why they are probably operating in the area. If the matter is approached delicately and the character gives complete approval of the cabal's activities, the character's faculty will cause members of the cabal to consider the character as a potential member. Depending on the manner in which this was played in the campaign, the character would need to prove their loyalty and commitment to the cabal before any actual membership was approved.

See History

Cognitive History (sage ability)

The capacity to predict the behavior of large masses of people, numbering in the tens of thousands, within the existing fabric of the general society. While the actions of one individual could not be foreseen, it is possible to predict events seizing masses of people before they unfold.

The cognitive historian, for example, would be able to make a reasonable guess at range of dates at which time a rebellion or a revolution might begin; when an army could set out and what purpose that army might seek to achieve; the dangers presented by apparently passive groups such as nations or huge racial groups; as well as sentiments within a whole people against or for ideals relating to education, political change, economic well-being or morality. Through the use of this knowledge, actions on the part of those in power could serve to influence or suspend such movements from taking place.

While the ability simply gives the character this knowledge, no special skills are gained which enable the character to convince others of the truth of such predictions. The character must gain respect for the character's knowledge through other means.

It is expected that the DM would reveal these mass movements to the character as though they had already taken place - though they won't until a month or more into the future. Thus the character is armed with legitimate knowledge, however the use to which this knowledge is applied.

Remember that the size of the group is the determining factor regarding the time before a prediction made manifests, in addition to the accuracy of that prediction; no prediction can be made of any number of persons less than 10,000:
  • 10,000 persons would enable predictions up to a random 1-9 days into the future.
  • 100,000 persons would enable a prediction with a spread of 1-7 days up to 2 weeks into the future.
  • 1,000,000 persons would enable a prediction with a spread of 1-5 days up to 1 month into the future.
  • 10,000,000 persons would enable a prediction with a spread of 1-3 days up to 2 months into the future.
  • 100,000,000 persons would enable a prediction of the exact day up to 4 months into the future.

Thus, if a nation of 2 million persons were set to declare war on the 7th of April, 22 days from now, the character would know that the event would occur sometime between 5th of April and the 9th. Note that as the date approached, the character's knowledge of the exact day would NOT improve.

See History

Conspiracy (sage ability)

Having gained this ability, the character will have realized the likelihood of a conspiracy relating to the period or location of the character's knowledge. This conspiracy will be provided to the player by the DM with the following characteristics:
  • That some agreement has been made between two or more groups
  • That the purpose of this agreement would be to conceal an important matter from the general population
  • That the matter in question should violate either the law or the local principles of morality
  • That knowledge is had of innocent persons having suffered due to the conspiracy's actions
  • The conspiracy must be relative to the character's knowledge of history in the period or region where the character has accumulated 40 points
  • In some manner, the conspiracy must still be relative to events going on in the present, even if it began in ancient times
  • The character will have a reasonably clear idea how to further investigate the truth or scope of the conspiracy

Regarding the knowledge of any conspiracy that is gained through this ability (as opposed to stumbling across conspiracies during the course of adventuring), the chances of the conspiracy being true are 95%. The majority of false conspiracies will nevertheless include elements - events that have happened, details about personal behavior - that are disturbing or, at the very lease, discouraging.

Regarding the manner in which the conspiracy may be pursued, the DM should keep in mind that there are always persons who wish to expose the conspiracy, persons who are usually ignored. There may also be places where evidence of the conspiracy may be more apparent, if the character were to go there and 'poke about.' Finally, persons who are involved in conspiracies tend to make mistakes, being caught in some activity that reveals the truth about what's happening to those who can sift through the clues.

The DM is encouraged to use all three methods to put the character on the scent, should the character wish to dig further into the matter.

The character will identify further conspiracies; it is recommended that the DM indicate a new conspiracy to the character every 2d4 (2-8) sessions.

See the link at the top of this page for more details on conspiracies in general.

See History

Grassroots Movement (sage ability)

Through the use of history and speaking directly to others, the character is able to influence others towards adopting political policies that were once held to be historically true within the region where the character speaks. The historical context must be real, but the motivation of the influenced people to reclaim that context need not depend upon other circumstances and realities that were true of that time in history.

There are limitations to what the movement can achieve, yet nevertheless the people of the immediate region that can be reached by word-of-mouth may be encouraged to adopt legislation, demand the stepping down of a new authority, a decrease in taxes, greater adoption of the region's traditional religion, the execution of criminals or political enemies of the state and civic improvements, as well as the end to an existing war or the initiation of war.

The character must express a desire to speak to as many people as possible within the space of one week. During that week, the character will influence up to 1d6 persons per point of charisma. If the character is a cleric who has established a congregation of not less than 50 regular parishioners, the character will influence 1d8 persons per point of charisma rather than 1d6.

The total will indicate the % chance of the movement 'catching fire' that week. If the percentile roll is a failure, the character may continue to agitate throughout the next week - however, the character must discount 4 points of their charisma the second week. If the movement fails again, the succeeding week the character must discount 8 points of their charisma. This continues until either the movement catches fire or the character fails to have sufficient charisma to produce a percentile chance.

If the movement catches fire, this will mean that those influenced by the character will themselves seek to spread the word. The character will now roll 1d6 (or 1d8) for every person previously influenced. This will represent the total number of influenced persons that week. The final total - hereafter referred to as the 'crowd' - needs to carefully recorded and kept.

This number will, at the end of the week, join together and seek out the character, calling for leadership. The character that has initiated the grassroots movement is then free to give a speech suggesting one of five policies: the speaker may rabble-rouse the crowd; the speaker may rally the crowd to march upon an authority capable of making a change and deliver the crowd's demands; the speaker may incite the crowd to passively disobey the state; the speaker may encourage the audience to agitate for desired change in a peaceful, obedient manner; and finally the speaker may have a change of heart and call for the crowd to disperse.

Having reconciled the effects of each (details to be found in the links), the character must now move on. If the character wishes, they may attempt again, beginning from a new location, but this will guarantee arrest of the character following the movement no matter what policy the character attempts. Still, the character may attempt to incite another violent act, another march, another call to disobedience or further pestering of the government if the character so wishes.

See History

Greater History (sage ability)

Provides knowledge regarding most political entities, large and small, during the period or with relation to the region of history chosen. The character is able to provide information on detailed development, patterns of influence, important persons and the legacy resulting from not only the actions of large entities, but much smaller ones as well. The character can recount a fairly comprehensive history of city states, enclaves, duchies, principalities and so on as well as empires and great kingdoms.

The character understands in greater depth the wishes and agendas of most every political entity.

See History

Biography (sage ability)

Provides details and knowledge about significant figures of history: their lives, their importance, small moments in their experience and an understanding of their influence. This ability grants the character a certain intimacy with these persons, providing insight into the present and into the character's own steps towards greatness.

Inherent is a comprehension of how such persons might act were they alive, or what they might do today. The knowledge may aid a character if speaking with the dead was to be managed.

If the character is possessed of the names of all heads of political entities, from the largest empire to the smallest city state, within their chosen period or region.

See History

Religious History (sage ability)

Provides a perspective of the timeline of history, allowing the character insight into the waxing and waning of religious forces battling for possession of power throughout civilization. The study focuses primarily upon the rise and fall of religious belief, the appearance and dangers presented by new religious ideas and patterns of how religion has traditionally spread from one area to another.

The study also provides a practical knowledge of what makes religions popular or why they have been known to fail, in addition to a geographical knowledge of what religions did or now dominate what regions relating to periods or regions chosen by the character.

This insight provides a +1 saving throw against spells of clerical influence when cast by a cleric of another religion (the bonus is not gained when encountering clerics of the same religion) due to an understanding of tricks and guises of these other religions. Spells defended against include enthrall, hold person, cause blindness, cause disease, cloak of fear, quest, forbiddance and holy word.

See History

Military Studies (sage ability)

Character has a clear grasp of the events surrounding war, specifically the battles and general strategies employed by entities in the characters' period or region of choice. The character is familiar with diplomacy both before and after the war, gains and losses by the victors and defeated, moments of importance and personalities that were instrumental in the ongoing period.

This knowledge is largely theoretical, though it will provide some insight in divining the intention of an enemy commander from slight indications gained through reconnaissance. In terms of practical value, this will enable the character to increase the chance of initiative in combat by 1 point per 10 points of study in any situation where one full day has elapsed between awareness of the enemy and the actual beginning of melee. This benefit may be extended up to 100 combatants.

See History

History of Empire (sage ability)

Provides knowledge regarding the rise and fall of empires during the period or with relation to the region of history chosen. The character is able to provide information on general development, patterns of influence and legacy resulting from the largest political entities.

With regard to the past, the character is thus possessed of a greater understanding of what political entities once dominated the land where the player resides - and the underlying keys as to how the lower realms of the world may yet perceive the upper world to appear. Time and culture, after all, will seem to stand still in isolation - and knowing how once the world was will enable the player better to explain how it has changed.

With regard to the present, the character understands in greater depth the clash that now occurs between great empires, most important of all their wishes and agendas.

Ancient empires include the Egyptian, the Hsiungnu, the Kushan, the Macedonian, the Mauryan, the Persian, the Seleucid and the Zimbabwean, as well as the Han and Jin dynasties of China, the Roman Republic & Empire and the Olmec Civilization.

Medieval empires include the Byzantine, the Cholan, the Ghaznavid, the Incan, the Khwarazmian, the Malinese, the Mayan, the Mongolian, the Palan, the Sassanian, the Seljuk, the Songhai and the Tibetan, as well as the Sung, Tang & Yuan dynasties of China, the caliphates of the Abbasids and the Fatimids, the Toltec Civilization, the khaganates of the Niruns and the Turks, the early Mongol Khanate and the Empire of the Golden Horde.

Modern empires include the British, the French, the Jagatai, the Moghul, the Ottoman, the Portuguese, the Safavid and the Spanish, the Ming dynasty of China and the Grand Duchy of Moskva.

African empires include the Egyptian, the Malinese, the Songhai and the Zimbabwean.

European empires include the British, the Byzantine, the French, the Macedonian, the Ottoman, the Portuguese, the Seleucid and the Spanish, as well as the Kingdom of Armenia and the Grand Duchy of Moskva, the caliphates of the Abbasids and the Fatimids, and finally the Roman Republic & Empire.

New World empires include the Incan and Mayan, as well as the Olmec and Toltec civilizations.

Oriental empires include the Cholan, the Ghaznavid, the Hsiungnu, the Jagatai, the Khwarazmian, the Kushan, the Mauryan, the Mughal, the Palan, the Persian, the Safavid, the Sassanian, the Seljuk and the Tibetan, as well as the Han, Jin, Ming, Sung, Tang and Yuan dynasties of China, the kaganates of the Niruns and the Turks, the early Mongol Khanate and the Empire of the Golden Horde.

A challenging list, to be sure.

See History

Studied Heroes (sage ability)

Beginning with the accumulation of enough knowledge (10 points), the character will become informed about the probable location and base powers (or reason for existence) of various living heroes in regions of the player's choice. Such individuals will be adventurers, religious leaders, military commanders, great scientists, royalty, nobility or name-level persons of every class.

The choice is up to the player - which will put the DM on the spot for creating an individual that fits the characteristics requested. The player will have knowledge of the non-player hero character's gender, name, the location of the NPC's residence, marital status, the names of the NPC's spouse and children, class, approximate level and at least one tale about the individual that proves his or her hero status. Note that the player can only know one of each of the above (adventurer, religious leader, military commander, etc) per geographical region.

The total number of known heroes will equal 1 person per 3 points of knowledge above 9, plus 1 additional person per 2 points of knowledge above 19. Thus, a character with 27 points of knowledge would have useful knowledge of 10 heroes (6+4).

The DM should feel free to use the presence and knowledge of each hero to suggest possible alliances, adventure hooks and so on, encouraging the player to feel free to attempt contact with these heroes once they are known.

See Heroes

Recognize Hero (sage ability)

Allows the identification and recognition of famous heroes, not only in person but also where their accomplishments have changed the world. In effect, the knowledge is the result of hero worship, in which the character has a great interest in those things the hero is doing or has done.

This knowledge includes the power and effectiveness of heroes, their favoured weapons or strategies, statistics (in both senses of within game and metagame) - but does not include excessive details about a typical hero's life. Detailed knowledge of specific heroes is related to the studied heroes ability, understanding that the character will recognize many more heroes than those about which the character will have extensive knowledge.

See here for a list of heroes, understanding that no list of this nature can be comprehensive.

See Heroes

Recognition of Signs III (sage ability)

Recognition of Signs III brings into the character's knowledge an plethora of conspiratorial signs for secret societies, including the thieves' or assassin's guilds - and the means to locate these organizations or contact them peaceably for the purpose of negotiation. The ability does not guarantee the character's safety.

Additionally, the character is able to identify the meaning behind magical glyphs and runes, though this in no way enables the removal of such, nor does it guarantee in any manner the ability of the character to locate these marks. However, as such marks will be seen if an attempt to find traps is successful, the symbol's meaning could then be determined.

See Also,
Heraldry, Signs and Sigils
Recognition of Signs I
Recognition of Signs II

Recognition of Signs II (sage ability)

Expands the character's knowledge to include the nobility of every kingdom or empire within the chosen culture, as well as signs relating to cities larger than 10,000 persons. The character is also able to recognize the extensive collection of guild marks and signs created and displayed for public use, speeding navigation of a market city so that up to one extra item above that displayed on market tables may be found by the character for purchase. Finally, the character is able to decipher all markers and signs that are intended to inform the public regarding access to the best routes (particularly those across frontiers), the best gates by which a city can be entered, as well as means to find superior eating houses, drinking houses, even brothels.

See Also,
Heraldry, Signs & Sigils
Recognition of Signs I

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Validating Heraldry (sage ability)

A privilege of ratifying heraldic legitimacy, due to the individual's notoriety as a sage within the study.

Should a sage of heraldry choose to establish a location where they can be approached and matters of heraldry discussed, the character is likely to receive from 2-8 visitors a month and 3-30 letters asking for registration, adoption of new symbols or to determine the accuracy of potentially falsified documentation. There is a 5% chance that any one of these may be a royal request, and a 15% chance that they will be noble in origin. 90% of such investigation will be conducted through subordinates, but 1 in 10 royal or noble requests will be conducted in person.

Only 5% of requests or investigations will prove to be legitimate.

While a sage does possess the ability to falsify documents as an expert would, circumstances also provide the sage the potential for simply legitimizing the individual as a distant cousin or personage within the existing power structure of the chosen mega-culture. Since the sage's word is typically used as the standard for legitimacy, it is more sensible for the sage to establish legitimacy rather than falsify it.

Typically, legitimacy is granted by royalty or nobility based on communication with a sage, after all.

With regards to the detection of legitimacy, a sage will recognize false documentation or heraldic symbols in half the usual time. If encouraged, sages of heraldry will have conduits by which they will be able to communicate with families if an individual makes claims to a false lineage.

See Heraldry, Signs & Sigils

Heraldic Adoption (sage ability)

Entitles the character to propose a new heraldic symbol and its meaning into the existing heraldic code, for the purpose of adopting that symbol themselves and incorporating it into the character's coat of arms. Any symbol or image may be so incorporated. Acceptance of the new symbol will be granted within 3-6 months, whereupon it will be recognized by the entire heraldic college.

The character will then be free to register the symbol to themselves according to the normal protocols.

See Heraldry, Signs & Sigils

Falsifying (sage ability)

The practice of either accurately duplicating designs for pre-existing heraldry, in order to employ its use in nefarious purposes, or the creation of non-existent proof of lineage.

In the case of the former, while many signs or sigils are easily reproduced, many are not. To reproduce a symbol accurately enough that it would pass the inspection of an authority of heirarchy requires the aid of an expert. While the ability does not confer any craftmaking skills that would be necessary in creating a forged item (such as a seal or a coin), engaging a heraldic expert would be a necessity if the forgery were to withstand inspection. Work that is prepared with the help of an expert will withstand even scruitiny from an authority - but the truth of the manufacture will reveal itself to an expert - though this will take 2-8 days of thorough inspection and research to reveal itself (unless sufficient magic is employed).

Falsifying proof of lineage is likely to be more successful, so long as the forged details of descendence do not make themselves known to the family or families involved. The character's knowledge of heraldry will enable to character to postulate a logical but false relation to an existing royal or noble family, detailing how the patents and heraldic symbols for that individual ought to appear. These can then be drawn out and manufactured by a competent crafter. Such documentation would fool even another expert, unless that expert happened to be of the falsified nationality or be in continuous communication with the actual family. Depending on the geographical location where the falsification is taking place, this may be very unlikely.

As already stated, the ability is available to experts.

See Heraldry, Signs & Sigils

Heraldic Registration (sage ability)

Permits the character to successfully seek approval for heraldic recognition of their own, based upon the exploits and upon existing heraldic symbols within the heraldic code. The character must seek registration from the kingdom or empire of their birth, which thereafter and forever will be the only entity from which the character can ever obtain registration. Thus the character must be true to their land of origin. Provided proof of bravery, responsibility or achievement can be managed, the registration will be granted within 3-6 months.

Registration itself does not require the character to fight for or give direct fealty to their motherland - but the player may obtain their rights as a village leader (squire) in any region where the character has chosen to reside and meet formal requirements. Ascendance to leadership will be acknowledged by the monarch or emperor within 3-6 months after application.

The ability is available to authorities.

See Heraldry, Signs & Sigils

Recognition of Signs I (sage ability)

Permits the character to recognize and identify the motifs displayed on shields, flags and elsewhere relating to monarchs, emperors or regional authorities of very high level (kingdoms within empires). This same ability extends to great religious leaders, patriarchs and archbishops, as well as great heroes identified at present by the book, Deities & Demigods.

The character would be able to locate any such person's entourage or location moving with a host of soldiers or camped on the field from flags and other signifiers on display, or from the colors chosen for the individual's tent. The mark of any such individual on a document could be distinguished, as well as a seal or the stamp on a coin would be known. The ability includes all such individuals within the character's chosen culture of knowledge.

See Heraldry, Signs & Sigils

Heraldic Code (sage ability)

The ability permits the character an understanding of the components and rules incorporated into heraldry, such as the meanings behind lozenge, tincture, variation and so on. Such knowledge will provide the character with the meanings behind the various symbols, so that the origin and purpose for the incorporation of insignia will be known, even if the actual ownership is not.

Additionally, this will also allow the character an interpretation of national styles, relating not only to the linked European examples, but identifiers between individual cultures within the megaculture of the character's choosing. The ability is available to amateurs.

See Heraldry, Signs & Sigils

Prehistoric World (culture)

A mega-culture describing to a scattered collection of isolated regions representing those parts of the world that pre-existed human culture. These areas are dominated by a wide variety of humanoids, occupying most of sub-Saharan Africa, Siberia, Australia and the Pacific Islands as well as most of the New World.

While highly disparate in form, these cultures possess a minimum of scholarly information, so it is possible for an individual to become an thorough expert regarding these cultures as a combined whole.

Oriental World (culture)

Includes the geographical lands of southern India (apart from the Moghul Empire), Southeast Asia, the East Indies, China and Japan, as well as various Oriental cultures of Siberia and the surrounding Ocean.

The principle religion of the region is highly varied: Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism, Taoism and a range of other philosophical religions.  The principal races are largely human, with firenewts, orcs, haruchai and hobgoblins ranging across the sub-Arctic regions.

Islamic World (culture)

The Islamic mega-culture dominates a vast area that extends from Morocco, along the northern edge of the Sahara Desert, to the eastern frontiers of the Moghul Empire in India. Much of this land area is controlled by the Ottoman, Safavid and Moghul empires, which dominate lands of the Near and Middle East, Persia, Afghanistan and the south slopes of the Himalaya Mountains (including the Ganges and Indus river basins). This also includes those parts of the Balkan Peninsula and the Russian Steppes that are under the authority of the Ottomans.

The principle religion of the region is Islam.  The predominant race of inhabitants is almost universally human.

European World (culture)

Describes the culture of those parts of the world dominated by France, Spain, the British Isles, the Italian Peninsula, the Holy Roman Empire, Poland, Scandinavia (including Iceland) and Moscovy, along with adjoining regions extending east to the Siberian non-human frontiers, the Turkish Frontier and North Africa.

The predominant religion of this culture is Christianity, either Catholic or Protestant.  The predominant race is human, though there are numbers of elves, gnomes and halflings known in the area, along with half-orcs immediately to the east of the Dneiper River, west of the Don.

Senses I (sage ability)

Indicates a level of awareness slightly above others, giving the benefit of a +1 bonus when operating in various situations, described below. The list is, at this time, by no means complete; other possibilities may present themselves after a period of game play.
  • In conditions where illumination is limited, the character's sight would reduce penalties by 1 point.
  • Prior to drinking an ingested poison, the character is entitled to a saving throw against poison at +1.
  • When there is a danger in setting off a trap, the character gains +1 to wisdom checks (but not dexterity).
  • When encountering areas where the odor within the setting would be extraordinary (defecation, a dead body, sulphur, a skunk, etcetera), the character should be able to detect the odor easily at a distance of 11 to 18 hexes (10 +1d8).

See Heightened Senses

Sight & Fire (sage ability)

Provides a combatant with the ability to make the best use of cover while firing at an opponent with a bow or a crossbow, or when using a hurled weapon. The ability cannot be employed when using a sling, a staff sling, a bola or similar spinning weapon.

Effectively, the combatant, hiding behind cover, makes a sighting of the enemy, meaning that a glance is made around a corner, from behind a tree or by raising one's head above a wall or similar defense. Then, in the following round, with a loaded weapon, the combatant moves, fires at the sighted location of the target and then returns to cover at once. The weapon may be loaded in the same round that the sighting occurs.

If the target has not changed hexes since the sighting, the missile or hurled weapon has a -1 chance of hitting when fired or thrown in this manner. If the target has moved, however, the attack will miss, unless a natural 2 is rolled (in which case, the target might be hit by accident so long as the target is within a 30-degree arc of its original position). This is meant to be a quirk, based upon the friendly fire rule found under Critical Hits & Fumbles.

The combatant firing in this manner is considered to be at -4 AC for the enemy's attack immediately after the sighted fire is attempted (remembering that D&D combat is a turn-based resolution of simultaneous attacks).

See Heightened Senses

Reveal Approach (sage ability)

A character with heightened senses cannot be approached through the use of stealth to a distance less than the character's present experience level. Thus, a 7th level possessor of this ability could not be approached nearer than 7 hexes, before the character would be made aware of the approach.

However, note that the ability in no way preserves the character from being surprised, nor does it have any influence on the character's initiative once the approacher is detected. These things are resolved as in any other stealth-approach situation.

See Heightened Senses

Passing Through (sage ability)

Enables a character to move past persons of authority without receiving notice for the briefest of time, when moving at a perfectly normal and unrushed pace, for a period no longer than one round ~ 12 seconds ~ per level.

This means that a largely unencumbered character of second level with 5 action points (AP) could move a total of 10 hexes before a guard or resident of a complex, facility or other place of importance would notice them and move to ask their reasons for being there. This means that if the character is able to lose themselves in a crowd, say, before the number of rounds expires, or otherwise move out of sight, that they could potentially move right through a town gate without paying, or right into a castle yard, without receiving any notice whatsoever.

Because this is an ability and not a spell, the skill can be repeated as often as necessary, except ~ and this is most important ~ not with the same person in the space of a full day. This means that while the character could move right past a guard, once (selecting the exact moment to do so), the character could not do so again within a 24-hour period, no matter how much skill they possessed.

Still, the total number of rounds needed is important in this calculation. If a 4th level character needed two rounds to move past a particular individual, that character could then move past that individual again, so long as no more than two rounds were needed the second time.

It is granted that this could get to be a complex set of calculations, what with a hundred persons moving about a given complex, each potentially running across the character more than once and thus noticing them. Therefore, it is suggested that the skill apply only to very special circumstances: entrances and exits, restricted areas and the like. If the character is freely moving about a castle yard, say, where there are dozens of other persons, moving hither and yon, once there the character could be reasonably exempted from any notice, so long as the character did not draw attention.

See Guile