Beeks' Cherry-Picked Role Playing Game
Part 2: Playing the Game
Each turn is made of two parts: moving and acting. Moving is pretty self explanatory. Acting is... well, it's basically anything that isn't moving. Acting is attacking, checking, casting a spell, putting more logs on the campfire, etc. Talking doesn't count as acting. You can talk as much as you want, to your GM and party members' chagrin.
Turns are typically only kept track of in combat. Out of combat, the narrative "camera" might "stay on" a character for several actions.
Everyone's movement is 30 feet per turn, unless your race or class or emcumbrance says otherwise.
Sometimes in your adventures you will have to journey into areas that are not the easiest to travel through, such as murky swamps, a forest carpeted with uneven tree roots, or the rubble of a collapsed temple. When you enter difficult terrain, your movement is slowed to 20 ft. If you are encumbered in difficult terrain, your movement is 15 ft.
Saves represent the character's ability (or luck) to resist or avoid something that means to harm them, be it a trap, a magic spell, poison, etc. Like an attack roll, a saving throw is a d20 roll, with a target number based on the character's class and level. Characters must roll equal to or over the target number to succeed. Rolling a natual 1 (as in, you rolled the d20 and it came up 1) is a critical failure, and a natural 20 is a critical success.
In general, saving throws are not adjusted by ability stats, but there are a few exceptions:
- Poison saves are adjusted by the character's CON
- Saving throws against illusion spells are adjusted by the character's INT.
- Charm spell saves are adjusted by the character's WIS.
Optional Rule: Saving Throw Effort
Once per session, if you face a threat which triggers a saving throw, you may spend points to improve your chance of success, BEFORE YOU ROLL. I really can't overstate how much you need to state this before you roll.
Once you have stated you wish to add effort, you may exchange +1HP for a +1 to your roll.
YOU CAN'T DO THIS WITH A LAST BREATH ROLL, SO DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
Item Saving Throws
In some cases, such as fireball spells or rainstorms, items may risk being damaged. Most items will be unscathed, but very fragile items (paper against fire, glass against a physical impact, etc) are considered subject to damage even if the item's holder succeeds on their saving throw.
Use the saving throw of the item's bearer to determine if the item is damaged or not. Note that a backpack or container of fragile goods only has to make one saving throw as a unit instead of rolling for each item. No one has time to roll for each egg in a crate or each spellbook on a bookshelf.
All saving throw info largely comes from Basic Fantasy. The effort role houserule came from a blog that is currently escaping me.
Checks are different than Saving Throws. Saves usually mean the character is actively in danger right now. Checks mean the character is doing something risky that could potentially hurt (or at least go wrong). A character that just unwittingly big into a poisoned donut would roll a Save, whereas a character in heavy plate mail who's attempting to cross a rickety old bridge would take a Check. When the GM calls for a check, they will tell you which of your stats they want you to roll against. Our friend on the rickety bridge in the example above would most likely be taking a Dexterity check, but another GM might view it more akin to Strength. Roll a d20 and -- unlike Saves -- you may use your stat modifier. Again, a natural 1 is a critical failure, and a natural 20 is a critical success.
Critical Failures and Critical Successes
Eventually your d20 will land on the blessed 20 and the dreaded 1. What happens then is entirely up to the GM. Maybe your character will lose a hand. Maybe you'll fall down the stairs and land on your own pike. Maybe all of this will happen to the mook you're fighting instead. When you get a critical success in combat (typically referred to as a critical hit) you will do double damage. If your enemies get a critical hit, they will do double damage too!
Critical failures are a little more interesting, because they are so reliant on the situation. There's a fairly good chance you will lose hit points, and possibly gain a debility. In severe cases, you may even lose a limb or eye.
Debilities are negative status effects. They linger for a turn or two at least, and possibly longer. Each debilitiy gives you -1 to the stat modifier.
Weak (STR): You're feeling quite feeble and can't exert much force.
Shaky (DEX): You're having a difficult time staying on your feet and keeping your hands steady.
Sick (CON): You feel just awful. Maybe it's a fever, maybe it's a killer hangover. All you know is that you just want to crawl into a hole and die.
Stunned (INT): If this was a cartoon, you'd have little stars and birdies circling your head. Thinking right now is a bit of an effort.
Confused (WIS): Down is up, left is right. Who are you again? What were you doing here? And why are these people asking if you're okay?
Scarred (CHA): I know they say chicks dig scars, but... not this one. Chicks typically dig scars that don't ooze.
There are three levels of money in the game: copper, silver, and gold. The conversion rate is as follows:
100 silver = 1 gold
Money does not take up one of your inventory slots and will never effect your encumbrance, unless you have a gigantic shitload of money, such as a treasure chest full, or a giant burlap sack full. What counts as a "gigantic shitload of money" is up to the GM.
Did you know the only money conversion I've ever memorized from any RPG is the World of Warcraft one? Yeah.
Inventory and Encumbrance
You have a number of inventory slots equal to your highest stat +2, not including modifier. So if your character's highest stat is a 15 in Intelligence, you have 17 inventory slots. Your character is playing to their strengths when packing. Maybe a character with a high Intelligence knows a clever way to fold and pack items. A character with a high Charisma convinces themselves they simply need to bring all that junk with them, and so on.
Most items, such a spellbooks, tools, potions, light weapons, etc. only take up one slot. Bigger or bulkier items, such as long swords, halberds, or a spare set of plate armor, may take up more slots. Groups of small identical items, like arrows, keys, vials, or seeds, may be bundled together.
You gain 1 point of Encumbrance penalty for every inventory slot you go over your limit. This penalty is applied to your Stealth and Dexterity checks. Your movement is also limited to 20 ft. when encumbered. After 5 points of Encumbrance, you can either move or attack, but you can only do one per turn.
Armor and Shields
Unless your class or race says otherwise, everyone can wear any type of armor. The three main types of armor are:
Light Armor: +2 bonus to your AC, and the entire set takes up 1 inventory slot.
Medium Armor: +4 bonus, 3 inventory slots, -2 to Stealth checks.
Heavy Armor: +6 bonus, 4 inventory slots, -4 to Stealth.
Shields also give a +1 bonus and take up one inventory slot. Please note that if you don a shield, you will not be able to use two-handed weapons.
Swimming in Armor
You can swim in Light Armor with no issue.
You can swim in Medium Armor by succeeding on a Strength check.
You cannot swim in Heavy Armor.
Light weapons, like daggers, take up one inventory slot and deal 1d6+STR damage.
Medium weapons, like swords and axes, take up one inventory slot and deal 1d6+STR damage, or 1d8+STR if you use two hands.
Heavy weapons, like greatswords, take up two inventory slots and deal 1d10+STR damage. These weapons must be used with two hands, and some smaller races like Halflings or Kobolds are unable to use these altogether. Large weapons are also unable to be used in confined spaces, such as narrow tunnels or anywhere your character would not be able to get a proper wind up.
Slings deal 1d6 damage. Their momentum isn't great, so slings get -1 Attack for every 20 ft beyond the first. A sling can share an inventory slot with a purse of stones. Stones can always be gathered with a few minutes of searching.
Bows deal 1d8 damage and get a -1 Attack for every 30 ft beyond the first.
Crossbows deal 1d12 damage and get a -1 Attack for every 40 ft beyond the first. Reloading takes 1 turn.
Both bows and crossbows shoot arrows. You can fit 30 arrows in a single inventory slot. If you take time after the battle to recover your spent arrows, 50% of them will be reusable.
Poisons will have the damage listed after it in parenthesis, such as "adder venom(d6)". When you are exposed to poison, you take the poison damage on the next round. The round after that, you must take a Constiution check. If you succeed, take no further damage. If you fail, you take the listed damage again, and once again on your next turn.
Basically on a successful Constitution check you will only take the damage once, but on a failed check you will take the damage three times. There is only one check.
Hirelings are NPCs that will work for you. Most will want some sort of fee, such as a percentage of any and all treasure discovered, or all the rare herbs found on your voyage. They start with a random personality, random convictions, and a Morale of 10.
Pets are like hirelings, but arguably cuter. They are trained animals who don't expect any treasure. Pets must be commanded to do things. They will not enter combat unless you tell them to do so. Commanding a pet is a standard action.
Hirelings and many sentient species of monster will have a morale rating, typically somewhere between 5 and 9. When they face more danger than they were expecting, the GM will make a morale roll by rolling 2d6 and comparing the results to the NPC's morale rating. If the roll is higher than the rating, the NPC will attempt to flee, retreat, or parley. Morale rolls can be triggered by many things, such as defeating half of an enemy group, defeating a group's leader, or reducing an enemy to half HP.
Hirelings will also make morale rolls when their wishes aren't met, when their employer died, or when they face an extreme danger.
There are four ways to recover your hit points:
- Healing potions
- Healing spells
- Taking time to have a good long meal will restore 1d6+level HP. A meal requires food and drink.
- A good night's rest will restore all HP, as long as you have a campfire and blanket. Without these things, resting will only restore 1d6+level HP.