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The Characters


The heroic or character system allows the player the detailed play and development of his game world persons. They are the main agents of 'action' in the game. Nearly everything that has to be done, except for the most mundane tasks, has to be carried out by a 'character'. The characters properties, usually his or her skills, determine how successfully a task is executed. It is assumed you are the main character and issue orders to the other, subordinate characters. The main character's relationship to his or her followers will also affect the success of these orders. If they are disloyal or are given orders to do so something that is against their moral values, they may refuse the order or even give up their loyalty altogether.

There are four groups of characteristics which will be used for characters. First, there are the basic descriptors, which as the name implies, describe a characters appearance, origin, and position in the world (e.g. first name, family name, social class, apperance, greeting text, etc.), and usually remain unchanged during the game. Then there are the attributes, which enable a comparison of all characters in certain categories with absolute values. These include various natural talents, personal traits, and accumulative values (e.g. strength, agility, intuition, charisma, etc.). They will be more subject to fluctuation in both positive and negative directions and include effects from items in use. The skills are a measure of characters learning and acquired abilities and will usually increase only. Finally, there are the statuses which describe more temporary or unusal conditions the characters is in (e.g. traveling incognito?, imprisoned?, amount of fame, divine grace, etc.). They are less comparative or evaluative and more descriptive in nature. Other characteristics will only be displayed if they vary from certain standard values that are the same for all or are implied by basic descriptors such as race. Additionally there is more circumstancial information such as a characters current possessions, equipment, combat strategy, duties, and the place where he is currently present in the game world. Note: Each character (even monsters) has an identification number. The distribution of these numbers among NPCs and player characters is random and therefore reveals no information on that character.

Each character is of a certain class (i.e. profession). This determines the character's learning background, status in society, and how well certain skills can be acquired.
This is a list of all the available character classes:

dark mage
scholastic mage
white mage
ship captain
evil priest
pagan priest
warrior monk

These are most of the characteristics of a character:

Basic Descriptors:
age evaluative levels: very young, young, middle aged, old; very old (i.e. near or beyond natural life span) exact number of years will also be stored
appearance text text, describes the appearance of a characters, usually used in combination with the greeting text, not used if character is travelling covertly/incognito
appellation text: special name such as "The Terrible", can be changed or added during course of game due to characters deeds
character class & level also profession identifier: see character class list, evaluative levels are untrained, novice, adept, master, expert, genius
list of great deeds per deed a short text (with date) and amount of prestige gained (usually for player characters or unusual NPCs), greatest deeds may become incoporated into new legends if sung by bards
faith identifier: religion and distinct level of fervor (tolerant/fanatic), note: atheism is also considered a type of faith
family name text, usually for player characters or special NPCs
first name text: simple first name without any extensions or appellations except such as in "Richard III", may be a nickname
greeting text text: usually for player created characters or special NPCs
heir only for player main characters and characters holding an inheritable title, identifier: not applicable, none, or character id
name combination list of toggles: the way the various data is combined to create the name to be used, simple characters use standard method
people identifier: a nation of individuals usually of a certain race with a common language and culture, determined by game world
place of origin list of identifiers: a certain habitation and/or region
political aim the political goals the character is openly supporting, identifier: none, personal, or id (see module), characters with low morality secretly suppport personal goals, this represents the political faction a character belongs to, may also contain pretential (primary) politcal aim if character is faking and secondary political aim if character is leader of a political faction, also use pretention revealed flag if the character's pretention has lost its credibility
presentation name text: the name used in events and reports, calculated from various data using name combination directions
sex distinct levels: male, female, neuter
size distinct levels: (very) small, medium, (very) large; usually implied by race, determines weight and life
social class (see list of synonyms) distinct levels: medieval: serf (includes slaves), freeman, burgher, cleric (includes magic users), noble; antique: slave, proletarian, citizen, aristocrat
race identifier: a major, minor, or monster race
list of titles identifiers: only mentioned in character info for the controlling player

charisma evaluative levels: (very) dull, medium, (very) charismatic; determines major bonus for almost all diplomatic actions, leading armies and ruling population
intelligence evaluative levels: (very) stupid, medium, (very) smart; determines advancement bonus for scholastic skills including scholastic magic, minor bonus to accomplishing actions without proper skill
willpower evaluative levels: (very) yielding, medium, (very) strongwilled; determines advancement bonus for some social skills and resistance against magic, i.e. determines success of spells cast on character
supernaturalism evaluative levels: (very) mundane, medium, (very) supernatural, determines advancement bonus for priestly and magical skills, characters with little supernaturalism usually have little to do with magic and religions in general and are less receptive for magic (i.e. increased magic resistance, note: characters with a high supernaturalism are actually more receptive to magic!); this attribute combines both the natural affinity to magic and its belief or disbelief in it.
list of available intuitionistic magic skills identifiers, a character has to be born with the potential to acquire these type of skills, this list tells which
morality evaluative levels: (very) evil, neutral, (very) good, determines moral alignment of character
consistency evaluative levels: (very) erratic, medium, (very) reliable, amount of reliability and consistency, characters with low consistency will have strongly fluctuating loyalty levels and will act more randomly
loyalty evaluative levels: (very) disloyal, medium, (very) loyal, level of obedience and willingness to obey orders given by the controlling main character, false value may be presented
special traits list of identifers, some examples, as opposing pairs:
courageous - fainthearted
ambitous - lazy
compassionate - ruthless
rational - maniacal
generous - greedy
prudent - reckless
lucky - unlucky (rare!)
agility evaluative levels: (very) clumsy, medium, (very) agile; determines weapon selection, evasion & damage bonus in combat, advancement bonus for certain skills, such legerdemain
beauty evaluative levels: (very) ugly, medium, (very) beautiful; determines minor bonus for various diplomatic actions
constitution evaluative levels: (very) frail, medium, (very) vigorous; determines combat endurance, resistance to disease and poison, movement value for strategic map
life or body mass, measure: amount of damage that can be taken before death when fully healthy, related to size and constitution, used to calculate weight
quickness evaluative levels: (very) slow, medium, (very) quick; determines initiative and success of fleeing in combat
strength evaluative levels: very weak, weak, medium, strong, very strong; determines carrying capacity, weapon selection, damage bonus in combat
perception evaluative levels: very dull, dull, medium, keen, very keen; determines detection ability
weight evaluative levels: (very) light, normal, (very) heavy; affects beauty
divine grace accumulator with evaluative levels, increases with deeds favorable to character's religion, decreases with corresponding breaches; exact count is kept but general, descriptive levels are:damned, cursed, none, blessed, chosen, favorite; is also used up when actively bidding for divine aid through prayer
prestige also fame or glory, accumulator: increases with high character level, heroic or unusual accomplishments
power accumulator: represents amount political influence in the game world, also bonuses for personal abilities if unusually high, this part is called the personal power
authority authority equals the sum of prestige and power

Skills and similar abilities:
knowledge list of texts: legends, rumors, secrets, etc. known, and level of secrecy (i.e. tell to anyone, tell to owner, tell to owner at high loyalty)
list of languages identifiers, known sufficiently to communicate and read/write with literacy
list of skills identifiers with evaluative level of ability and experience (accumulator) (simple chars may have one weapon showing)
list of spell symbols known identifiers, by categories of magic schools

body age evaluative levels: very young, young, middle aged, old, very old, only applicable if material body type (see true age)
current aura/soul health a percentage, a bit is used up for each spell cast, replaces above health in afterlife, regeneration speed depends a lot on circumstances (100%=full aura)
current freshness a percentage, mainly for combat or spellcasting, regenerates with each new day, (100%=fully fresh)
current health evaluative levels: dead & decayed, recently dead, alive & well/lightly wounded/wounded/heavily wounded, percentage of life points left, may be negative (-100%=atomized or fully decayed)
current ailments list of texts: poisoned (with poison type, usually slow poison), sick (with plague, magic disease), insane, blinded, mute, deaf, crippled, pregnant (#months), not all applicable for mutated bodies
essence points accumulator, calculated with 1 base point
invulnerabililties list identifiers and distinct levels, damage type & level, see below
magical effects list of identifiers (and downward counting accumulator), under the effects of (list of spells cast and duration)
mutation identifier, e.g. undead (ghost, vampire), magically (charged, double charged, triple charged), possessed (by demon/angel/character, use id number if applicable), etheral (angel, demon), were (animal form)
controlling character identifier, usually a player character
monthly pay character's salary, if recruited
payments outstanding if negative, amount of money owed to character, if positive, advance payments
report detail toggle: verbose/short
blood brother/sister identifier, with one other alive character, must be mutual
dislike list list of identifiers and levels of dislike, against other alive characters, not necessarily mutual
legal toggles and identifiers: condemned (usually to prison), exiled from (list of countries), outlawed from (list of countries)
liberty list of (interrelated) toggles: free, hospitalized, bonded, enslaved, imprisoned
parents identifiers, two characters of opposite sex, if id not present then that parent not known, or irrelevant
marital toggle and identifier: unwed, married to (one alive character of opposite sex)
spouses list of identifiers: children
travel/conduct toggle: openly, covertly
karmic signs list of identifiers: brilliance, domination, doom, eternity, glory, infamy, salvation, wisdom
reincarnation count accumulator, new characters start with 1
separated soul toggle, determines whether the soul is separated from its proper body, or not; see below: soul location

Other Information:
battle command strategy distinct levels, strategy used when commanding an army
combat strategy involvement, distinct levels: unengaged, supportive, engaged; and list of identifers, spells/items to use under certain combat conditions
duties list of identifiers: e.g. leading troops, ruling city, managing manufactuary, bodyguarding person
equipment list of identifiers: combination of weapons, armor, mount, and other items worn
location of body measure, either nonexistant or character location description: plane, map, coordinates, habitat/army currently in or buried (if dead)
possessions list of identifers: items not equipped)
soul location measure, a character location description, only used if soul is separate from proper body or proper body is nonexistant, note: the character is thus restricted to nonphysical activities

These are the social classes to which characters of a certain character class usually belong to:

social class/caste restrictions: nobles clerics burghers freemen serfs
alchemist x
astrologer x
bard x x x
necromancer x
conjurer x
druid x
illusionist x
magesmith x x x
sorceror x
seer x
scholastic mage x
trickster x x x
white mage x
witch x x x x
captain x x x
ship captain x x x
warrior x x x x
engineer x x x
merchant x x
medic x x x
scholar x x x x
herald x x
magistrate x x
noble x
evil priest x
priest x
pagan priest x
warrior monk x x
assassin x x x
bandit x x x x
hunter x x x x
spy x x x
thief x x x

This is a list of synonyms for the 5 social classes:

  1. noble / aristocrat / patrician / privileged
  2. cleric / priestly
  3. burgher / citizen / wealthy / middle class
  4. freeman / commoner / proletarian
  5. serf / slave / bonded

Rules on Character Control:
The only game world person that the player has complete control of is his main (or player) character. The obedience of his followers depends on their loyalty and consistency ratings, and the way any given orders conflict with the character's beliefs and personal goals. This simulates to some extent the varying reliability a superior in reality would have to take in account when giving orders. This will eliminate any grossly unrealistic acts such as suicide missions or ethical characters commiting evil deeds. Note that characters may be serving NPC characters. Should a player acquire a character that already is a superior to other characters then these will also serve the main character, although less reliably. A maximum of one intermediate controlling character will be allowed for control purposes. Should a player acquire characters thus resulting in two intermediate superiors then these will either switch their loyalty to the character controling their superior or give up their loyalty. This will depend on the various loyalty ratings and the compability to the new superior.

Notes on Fanaticism:
Being a religious (or anti-religious) fanatic means the characters is less tolerant and more impatient with characters of other (especially diametrically opposed) faiths. This means it would be more difficult negotiating with characters or getting information out of them. Often players want to play so-called "power positions" having control over many characters and other things. If your main character (which is the heart of your position) is a religious 'fanatic' he or she will often have a hard time persuading or hiring new characters to join your side. Generally speaking this is poor choice for any characters that are intended for any kind of 'diplomatic' use. On the other hand a 'fanatic' character would adhere more strictly to his or her religious beliefs and thus acquire more divine grace points in the course of play.

Notes on Attributes:
The human attribute range is 0-6 with 3 being the biological average which is described as 'medium' above. The actual average can be lower in human societies because humans tend to oppress large portions of their population depriving them of food and burdening them with excessive labor. Almost no beings have an attribute value 0 because that would most probably mean that they are not viable. Animals have an intelligence rating around 0.5 to 1.

Notes on Skills:
Skills represent what a character can actually do or has actually learned. The character class (or profession) is only a classification of what types of skills the characters has acquired, and what the character will be able to learn with ease in future (see skill to character class table). For example, a character of the class 'warrior' has learned the skills 'personal combat' and 'using blades'. Another warrior could theoretically have learned completely different skills, but usually all characters of the same class have similar skills. The class also determines what skills are easier to learn. A warrior, for example, would be able to quickly learn any weapons skills, but would have extreme difficulty in learning a spellcasting skill (although still theoretically possible). For a character class each skill will be either basic (i.e. easy), related, or unrelated (i.e. difficult). Thus all skills can be learned by any character (provided they find someone who will teach them). The only difference being in how talented they are and how easily they will acquire the skill. How well a character has learned a skill is roughly described by the following 5 levels of learning or mastery:

beginner, advanced, master, expert, genius

Each level can represented by a numerical value, with intermediate numerical values being recorded as a character's skill level changes, with beginner = 1 and and genius = 5. There is no upper limit for a skill level (i.e. skill levels may go above 5), but as in reality it would get extremely difficult to advance even more once having reached a high level of mastery.

the following skills are used:

skill name skill description important attribute(s) somewhat important attribute(s)
administration the ability to rule over people, to organize and control them; includes knowledge of bureaucracy charisma intelligence
adventuring all the abilities an adventurer would need or would acquire in a lifetime of going on adventures, that are not otherwise given as a separate skill; e.g. riding, climbing, swimming, speleology, perception agility intelligence
alchemy the knowledge of the mundane and magical properties of elements and materials and the ability to make magical items from them intelligence agility, supernaturalism
arcane lore the general knowledge of all things magical, including other ways of magic, magical items, legendary monsters, etc., without going into the functional details; includes knowledge of legends and myths intelligence
assassination the ability to kill humanoids directly and effectively; includes knowledge of poisons agility intelligence, low morality
astrology the knowledge of the heavenly bodies and constellations and their influence on everyday life intelligence supernaturalism
charting the ability to read and make maps of any kind intelligence
clairvoyance the learned enhancement of the natural gift of 'second sight', the ability to see events in the future or in distant places supernaturalism
conjuring the knowledge of contacting beings from other planes and at an advanced level the ability to move beings between planes charisma intelligence, supernaturalism, willpower
construction the knowledge of architecture and civil engineering intelligence
discovering/disarming traps the ability to discover and disarm any kind of mundane traps; includes setting traps agility intelligence
animism the ability to use the forces of nature to magical effects, female practicioners are sometimes named 'white witches' supernaturalism consistency
foraging the knowledge and ability of getting food and surviving in the wild agility
formation combat the ability to move and fight in battle formations; includes knowledge of army commands agility constitution
healing/medicine the knowledge of medicine and first aid intelligence agility, morality
heraldry knowledge of the symbols and symbolism on coats of arms, knowledge of noble families and their lineage intelligence
illusionism the knowledge of how to magically create physical illusions consistency beauty, supernaturalism
kidnapping/escaping the ability to capture people alive and to escape from captivity, e.g. from prisons, from being tied up, etc. agility intelligence
leadership/oratory the ability to lead and influence large groups of people charisma beauty
legerdemain the ability to create mundane illusions or seemingly magical effects by trickery and sleight-of-hand agility quickness
linguistics the knowledge of the structure of languages, e.g. grammar, thus allowing to easily acquire a new language intelligence
literacy the ability to read and write and how to use books and libraries, and on an advanced level the knowledge of the various systems of writing and symbolism intelligence
lock picking the ability to pick locks and open barred doors agility
mathematics the knowledge of arithmetic, geometry and basic algebra appropriate to the general level of scientific advancement in the world intelligence
mining/surveying the ability to find ores and contruct mines, includes limited geology intelligence low size
mounted combat the ability to fight while riding a mount agility constitution
musicmaking the ability to sing and play any musical instrument; can produce magical effects together with the natural gift of 'the golden tone' agility supernaturalism, charisma
naval tactics the knowledge of tactics for naval warfare intelligence
navigation the ability to navigate a ship intelligence
necromancy the knowledge of using the forces of death to magical effects and creating undead low morality consistency, charisma, supernaturalism
negotiaton the ability to negotiate treaties, contracts, and to otherwise persuade persons by rational argument charisma willpower
personal combat the general ability to fight with or without weapons; includes dodging agility constitution, quickness, strength
persuasion the ability to persuade persons on an emotional level; includes seduction and haggling charisma beauty
praying the knowledge of how to pray properly so as to invoke divine miracles supernaturalism consistency
runecraft the knowledge of magical runes and how to use or create them for magical effects supernaturalism intelligence
ritualism the knowledge of highly effective magical rituals and how to use them for magical effects (lack of this skill does not prevent other spellcasters from executing their rituals, albeit in a less effective manner, though) consistency intelligence, supernaturalism
sabotaging the ability to subtley damage mundane items to great effect agility intelligence
science/philosophy the knowledge of the scientific and philosophic ideas and models that currently exist in the world intelligence
scouting the ability of finding routes of travel through difficult terrain and to spot and track persons and animals intelligence constitution
smithing at a basic level the ability to forge metallic items, and at an advanced level to make mechanical devices agility intelligence
sorcery the learned enhancement of the natural gift of 'hypnotic voice'; the ability to influence the mind by magical means willpower charisma, supernaturalism
spying the ability to secretly collect information of any kind by mundane means; includes perception and awareness intelligence quickness
stealing the ability to take away personal property by a variety of means, e.g. pickpocketing, burglary, etc. agility quickness
stealth the ability to hide and remain unnoticed low size quickness
tactics the knowledge of the tactics of land warfare intelligence
trading the ability to correctly estimate the monetary value of items and to make profitable deals; includes knowledge of currencies, banking and business customs intelligence
using axes the ability to effectively wield any kind of one-handed axes in combat strength agility
using blades the ability to effectively wield any kind of one-handed long-bladed weapons (e.g. swords) in combat agility strength
using blow pipes the ability to effectively wield any kind of blow pipes in combat agility
using bows the ability to effectively wield any kind of bows in combat agility strength
using chain arms the ability to effectively wield any kind of chain arms in combat agility strength
using clubs the ability to effectively wield any kind of clubs in combat strength agility
using crossbows the ability to effectively wield any kind of crossbows in combat agility
using firearms the ability to effectively wield any kind of handheld firearms (e.g. arquebuses) in combat
using great axes the ability to effectively wield any kind of two-handed axes in combat strength agility
using great blades the ability to effectively wield any kind of two-handed long-bladed weapons (e.g. swords) in combat strength agility
using great spikes the ability to effectively wield any kind of two-handed spiked hammers in combat strength agility
using pole arms the ability to effectively wield any other kind of two-handed pole arms (e.g. halberds, pikes) in combat agility strength
using ropes the ability to effectively wield any kind of ropes or nets in combat agility
using shields the ability to effectively wield any kind of shields in combat strength agility
using short blades the ability to effectively wield any kind of one-handed short-bladed weapons (e.g. short swords, daggers) in combat agility
using slings the ability to effectively wield any kind of slingshots in combat agility
using spikes the ability to effectively wield any kind of onehanded spiked hammers in combat strength agility
using staves the ability to effectively wield any kind of sticks or staffs in combat agility
using throwing arms the ability to effectively throw any kind of throwing weapons in combat agility
using thrusting blades the ability to effectively wield any kind of thrusting weapons (e.g. rapiers) in combat agility
using whips the ability to effectively wield any kind of whips in combat agility
white magic the knowledge of using the forces of the light side of the spirit for magical effects morality supernaturalism, willpower
witchcraft more appropriately termed demonic witchraft, the knowledge of using the forces of the dark side of the spirit and nature for magical effects low morality, supernaturalism intelligence

For a complete and detailed skill table go here.

The following skills recquire 'literacy' to learn: administration, alchemy, arcane lore, astrology, charting, conjuring, construction, illusionism, linguistics, mathematics, runecraft, science/philosophy, trading

Amateur Skill Level:
The following skills allow an 'amateur' skill level, i.e. you can use these skills without having acquired them first:
administration, adventuring, assassination, clairvoyance, discovering/disarming traps, foraging, formation combat, kidnapping/escaping, leadership/oratory, lock picking, mounted combat, musicmaking, negotiation, personal combat, persuasion, praying, sabotaging, scouting, sorcery (need special talent), spying, stealing, stealth, trading, using clubs

Notes on Combat Ability:
A character's combat ability consists of 50% 'personal combat' skill and 50% weapons skill of the weapon being used. If a character is fighting without a weapon then it consists of 100% of the 'personal combat' skill. A character that only has the 'personal combat' skill and no weapon skill is not useless at all but more flexible in his or her choice of weapons. The only drawback being that he or she would not usually be as good as a character with combined skills. This is because he or she would need a personal combat skill level equal to the sum of the combination of the two skills, which is more difficult since the amount of experience points needed rises quadratically. If a character has 'personal combat' at 2 and 'using axes' at 2 this would make his or her effective combat ability (when using an appropriate weapon) of 2. A character without a weapons skill would need 'personal combat' at 4 to be equally good. To get this one would need 1600 experience points compared to the 800 experience points the character with the skill combination would need.

Effects of high or low attribute or skill values:
There are no maximum attribute or skill levels (just a minimum of 0). A human with an attribute or skill above 5 would be a very rare occurence though. We are still fiddling around a bit with the exact numbers for the bonuses, and we don't want to reveal too much of the exact algorithms (esp. combat algorithms) to encourage more play-by-feel than mathematical number-crunching-planning.
As a general rule though one can say that the advantage of a higher attribute or skill is represented by the ratio of the higher attribute or skill to the lower one. For example, a person or creature with a strength of 5 would make approximately 70% more damage than one with strength 3, or a person with intelligence 4 would be twice as smart as one with intelligence 2.