Hit points in this setting do not go up with levels, they are set from the begining and can only go up via extraordinary circumstances or by using feats. As such it is based off of the characters constitution statistics.The lowest starting hit point value for a player character is four.
The idea behind this change is to get around how characters become progressively more “bullet spongy” as time goes on, going from so flimsy a light breeze can kill them to indomitable monsters that nothing can harm regardless of character stats or class.
Fighting is an exhausting process both physically and mentally,
|Constitution||Hit Die||Number||Die modifier|
|2 – 5||2||D4||0|
|6 – 7||2||D6||0|
|8 – 9||2||D6||+2|
To go with the theme melee damage outside of power moves is greatly modified by a player characters strength statistic. Note, weapon notation will be greatly modified to go along with this system.
The idea here is that a monstrous hulking barbarian should do considerably more damage then a spindly barbarian. Also that a broardsword in the hands of said barbarian will do more damage then in the hand of his averagly built bretheren.
|Strength||Die Number||Die modifier|
Some weapons will have a maximum damage, this indicates that the character is unable to use their full strength for risk of breaking the weapon, the player may choose to disregard this however they must make a roll to see if the weapon breaks. Roll a d6 1 to 3 it breaks 4 to 6 it doesn't the threshold for breaking increases by one for each extra die beyond the first so 2d above the max damage means the weapon breaks on a 1 to 4.
There was a time where I would not have wished the pain of slow agonising death on anyone, where the thought of wishing another to feel their innards rot away, the ability to smell and taste their own rotting flesh forever, was unthinkable. Hoping to inflict the sense of maggots burrowing through their soft belly or worms squriming through ones skull, slithering down your neck, such hopes would have seemed monstrous. But now, having lived like this for so long I wish nothing more than to inflict this hateful agonosing state of unlife on those blessed enough to still be alive and more so to those who can afford with coin or service to prolong the delay of the unset of such unpleasent effects of death. How I hate that now I can barely move, limbs rotted away mearly my malignant spirit festering in this rotting hust that had once been so strong. How I hate the heroes that slayed the gods trapping us here for all eternity to fester on this dying world, how praised they were, how foolish they seem now.
I shall go on lingering no doubt long past the time my mind completly decays to maddness and roam the lands a mindless ghost, oh how I hope that time comes soon, how blissful it shall be to be no more than a mindnless malignant spirit tormenting the living to my hearts content, heart, how droll.
“No! Hitting him repeatedly on the head is not an interrogation Constable Tomato!” Seargent Campbell yelled at his young watchman.
“Well, sir, he wasn’t telling me what I wanted” the young chap muttered gesturing at the door behind him.
“That doesn’t mean you can just bash him with you truncheon!”
“I wasn’t using my truncheon, I was using that chair.” Tomato corrected.
“That doesn’t make a difference!”
“Really? Oh… well still, I know he has something to do with it!” Tomato said defensively.
The Seargent glared.
“Right, well I mean he’s a goblin.”
“Goblins have rights in this city you can’t just go clubbing them whenever you feel like it!”
“Sometimes I think this city is too liberal” Tomato muttered looking to his side.
A sudden scream from the room. Followed by a slamming sound. The Seargent raised his eyebrow, sadly he wasn’t able to see past the large bulk of Tomato… Tomato was six foot tall and a couple of foot wide. The Seargent meanwhile was two foot tall, and not particularly wide.
“Is there someone still in there with him?”
“Course not…” A moment passed and the door unlocked.
“The press is in the sewer, he drew us a map,” A young woman with a pale complexion said as she left the room.
“Violet what were you doing in there?!” The Seargent asked suspiciously.
“Just asking the chap nicely where the printing press was.”
“I hate you people.” The Seargent stormed off.
Creating Good Characters
What’s your character attempting to achieve in life, what’s their end goal? It should be hard to achieve but possible, though maybe unlikely. Think about what you’d want to be able to achieve in a similar situation, time period and setting.
“I want to become King.”
“I want to own my own starship.”
“I want to build a legacy.”
“I want to be the greatest merchant in Venice.”
“I want a mountain of gold coins.”
“I want revenge on the man who killed my father.”
“I want to make my family great.”
“I want to protect the innocent.”
“I want my name to be sung in the halls of glory.”
“I want to be the greatest mage of our time.”
“I want to visit the plane of kittens.”
“I want to crush all the barbarians.”
A goal needs to work for the setting and importantly the other players in a party, there’s little point in deciding mutually exclusive goals unless there is a plan for conflict between players, so having one player who “wants to protect the kingdom against the demon hoards” and a player who “wants to see the kingdom burn” likely wouldn’t lead to a great play experience.
Try to pick ones that work well with each other, if for example you’re joining a mercenary company one person could have the goal “I want to bring down the Empire of Tau”, another could be “I want to create the greatest weapons science has ever seen” and a third could be “I want to run this outfit”, they all naturally pull in the same direction with opportunity for modest conflict, what if the Empire of Tau tries to hire the mercenaries?
A goal should make a player drive their character forward into the adventure, schemes and, conflict. A character that “wants to stay at home and drink” isn’t going to drive the story forward and is likely to be a simple victim of fate, funny maybe to watch their trials but possibly not much fun to play.
We know what you want but who are you and what can you do, this is the high concept as per the standard FATE rules, it can be as simple as the title of a job, or more detailed. Again a short sentence will do, however, try to use it in a longer sentence with your goal.
“I am a knight who wants to become king.”
“I am a freighter pilot who wants to own my own starship.”
“I am a barbarian who wants to build a legacy.”
“I am a shopkeeper who wants to be the greatest merchant in Venice.”
“I am a thief who wants a mountain of gold coins.”
“I am a noble who wants revenge on the man who killed my father.”
“I am a banker who wants to make my family great.”
“I am a cleric that wants to protect the innocent.”
“I am a warrior; I want my name to be sung in the halls of glory.”
“I am a wizard’s apprentice; I want to be the greatest mage of our time.”
“I am a child, and I want to visit the plane of kittens.”
“I am a Roman and I want to crush all the barbarians.”
Now that’s a bit dull, so let us work at putting a bit more heart into it. Again you should discuss with your teammates what would go well together, it’s no use if you’re going to be flying a spaceship and all of you being ace pilots or joining the king’s army against the demon lord and all being thieves. Of course, you can make it work in situations, you could play a heavy magic game where all the characters are powerful magic users except different schools and demeanours.
“I am a proud knight of the order of Sons who wants to become king.”
“I am a cunning freighter pilot who wants to own my own starship.”
“I am a wild barbarian warrior who wants to build a legacy.”
“I am a quick-witted shopkeeper who wants to be the greatest merchant in Venice.”
“I am a willy thief who wants a mountain of gold coins.”
“I am a villainous noble who wants revenge on the man who killed my father.”
“I am a cautious banker who wants to make my family great.”
“I am a pious cleric of Her Lady Li that wants to protect the innocent.”
“I am a bold warrior; I want my name to be sung in the halls of glory.”
“I am a well-studied wizard’s apprentice; I want to be the greatest mage of our time.”
“I am a curious child, and I want to visit the plane of kittens.”
“I am the last Roman and I want to crush all the barbarians.”
Now we have some more depth to the characters, we should look at their trouble. It’s nice if it can fit in with the rest of the sentence.
“I am a proud knight of the order of Sons who wants to become king despite the fact the king is my brother.”
“I am a cunning freighter pilot who wants to own my own starship, if only I weren’t in debt to the Galactic Trading Company”
“I am a wild barbarian warrior who wants to build a legacy, but first I must overcome the greatest demon.”
“I am a quick-witted shopkeeper who wants to be the greatest merchant in Venice if only my family name weren’t so tarnished.”
“I am a willy thief who wants a mountain of gold coins, sadly the guild and I don’t see eye to eye.”
“I am a villainous noble who wants revenge on the man who killed my father, except that man is the Pope.”
“I am a cautious banker who wants to make my family great, unfortunately, nobody likes a banker”
“I am a pious cleric of Her Lady Li that wants to protect the innocent, unfortunately, the holy order has cast me out.”
“I am a bold warrior; I want my name to be sung in the halls of glory. Sadly, a warrior as great as me has upset a person or ten.”
“I am a well-studied wizard’s apprentice; I want to be the greatest mage of our time. Things tend to explode.”
“I am a curious child, and I want to visit the plane of kittens. But kittens make me sneeze.”
“I am the last Roman and I want to crush all the barbarians. The world hates us, but we will show it.”
Let’s go through the character creation process for Zweihander and throw together an NPC or two.
Excerpt from the book. I’ll go through these in stages.
So Step 1, Begin basic tier
Okay, this just seems to be an overview of the process. Spend points, get prizes.
Step 2 Primary Attributes
So Combat Bonus, Brawn Bonus, Agility Bonus, Perception Bonus, Intelligence Bonus, is the bonus bit really required? Willpower Bonus, Fellowship Bonus, oh right it’s a bit confused giving me the names of the random bonuses before it’s given me that stats, let me guess, the stats are the thing without the word “bonus” right they are… So the stats are actually in the table below, now apparently the best way to do this is 25 + 3D10. So let’s roll. 14, 13, 14, 9, 20, 11, 18 for, 39%, 38%, 39%, 34%, 45%, 36%, 43% (hope I did that right…). I’m feeling something of a brutish thug, a former soldier turned mercenary. Apparently at the end of character creation I we get to change one value to 42%
Step 3, Sex & Race
While in the game world I imagine there are some other races they have been pushed to the edges of the world and the darkest depths of the forests. This is going to be somewhat closer to the real world, so while possible to have a female warrior she would have to hide the fact she was a woman during the army and likely would be widely shunned as a sell sword or other vagabonds. So Human male, for simplicities sake.
The vanilla seem to be +1 to cb, ib & pb, -1 to ab, fb & wb, think I’ll need to work on that a lot.
Racial Trait (or cultural or ethnic by the sounds of it)
This is a d100 roll, so “Grim Resolve” may spend a fate point to ignore a melee or ranged weapon attack after suffering damage.
Step 4: Archetype & Profession
Well, I’m not rolling for this, Warrior archetype, got Man at Arms. A professional soldier.
Step 5 Secondary Attributes
Well that willpower reduction due to the racial traits gives this chap a Peril Threshold of 5 (3+ WB) so it’s 5 (11/17/23). Damage Threshold this is BB plus your armour’s damage threshold modifier. Well, I don’t have any armour atm so that is 4. Encumbrance limit is 3+ BB so 7. Initiative is 3+PB so 7. Movement is 3+AB so 5.
|Damage Threshold||BB+Armour damage threshold(+6/+12/+18)||4(10/16/22)|
Step 6: Background
Season of Birth – rolled 79 which is winter.
Dooming – Dooming of Winter – 76 which gives him “Fear change, as it changes you”
Age group – rolled 20 which is young so no distinguishin marks. Now I wonder if the character gets a modifier to the number of creation points they get due to this, because they should.
Body Type – 100 – Corpulent, well it just says you’re a fatty, but given “husky” means you can be well muscled I am going to say that this doesn’t mean the chap is fat but very tall with a broad muscular build. +20% price modifier for armour and clothes.
Height/Weight 6.2″ 301 lb I’ve got no idea what that kind of weight looks like… which is a general issue with these kinds of random rolls plus random weights. I’ll just ignore the number.
Hair – 37 – Light Brown, Eyes – Dark brown
Upbringing – 88 – Reverent, my old man was a mad priest of some sort.
Social Class – 53 – Lowborn
Drawback – apparently you get a fate point for these 10 Branded
Step 7 – Hand of Fate
By default you start with 1 fate point, if you took a drawback you get 2. So we start with 2 fate points.
Step 8 Alignment
Order Alignment : Pride
Chaos Alignment : Arrogance
I’ll insert the game text for that here.
Character Name, I’ll get to that later
Step 9 Build your profession
So you get 1000 points to spend on things from your character profession that we picked like 7 steps ago, see imo I’d give older characters probably 20% extra starting points for each bracket they were above young.
So we need to spend 100 reward points to enter the first profession, with this you gain the professional trait, and an iconic trapping.
The man at arms gets “Shield Wall” which sounds pretty useless, “when engaged with an ally and they fail to parry or cannot do so, you may immediately parry in their stead for 1AP.”
Now I’ve gotta say, that this is probably the most confusing esgment of the character creation, after reading it a few times I’m guessing you you can spend the last 900 points on the things listed in the profession however you like, and you must purchase all of those things before you move to the intermediate tier. I think that’s it.
So the advances book is below
Guess we will, purchase an extra rank of BB and CB, Sword & Board, Martial Melee, Simple Melee, Awareness, Ride, Toughness & Simple Ranged. That comes to 100 points.
Final Stat blocks look like
|Damage Threshold||BB+Armour damage threshold(+6/+12/+18)||5(11/17/23)|
Now I know that tri-stat was a system back in the day but well as a name it describes what I always have in mind and that being a game with three core statistics that nicely describe all the most important things about a character without becoming horribly specific. Those stats are Body, Mind and, Spirit, I tend to think that these cover more or less everything you’ll ever need to know about a character. Other meters, gauges and pools can be created around them or as additional advantages based off of other purchases.
Body covers a character’s physical prowess.
Mind covers the character’s intellect and perception.
Spirit covers the character’s tenacity and willpower.
Now I’m also a big fan of the FATE system and the three stats above are a bit woolly so I feel it best that the player adds a brief description to each of their stats that describes how their character represents their scores.
Let’s say Wei Yun is a great-axe wielding soldier in an Eastern Epic of some sort
Body 4 – A strong barrel like physique strong and enduring as a mountain.
Mind 2 – Some would say a great common wit, but little in the way of knowledge.
Spirit 3 – His iron will is indomitable yet he has little stomach for spiritual matters
Cao Lon is Wei Yun’s martial ally, an expert with the bow
Body 4 – Lithe and tall, like a coiled spring his delicate movements make him seem like a dancer
Mind 2 – Spent his time drinking beneath the peach blossoms charming the ladies but would sooner avoid tricky debate.
Spirit 3 – Since his youth, he was attuned to the spirit world and is sensitive to motions of both the heavens and the earth.
So here we have two characters with the same stats but with different descriptions, these then can be used by the player, other players or the law bringer to give bonuses or negatives to rolls.
So the characters are convicts so the first thing they need to do is come up with their crimes and background, here are some examples I was thinking about.
Many characters will be significantly older than the normal starting areas, it’s likely they have children, wives, families and colleagues in many cases. It’s important to remember that all the characters have an immensly strong drive to survive.
Booster gang enforcer, you grew up on the streets and joined the gang with your local lads eventually your gang managed to take over half the city thanks to your never ceasing ultraviolence their success was built on your monstrous fighting ability. You were into every aspect of enforcing the gang’s claims drugs, prostitution, gun running and extortion. Eventually, you were taken down surrounded by a dozen heavily armoured members of the peace corp you surrendered.
You were drafted into the Euro Zone military to fight in Africa when you came back you lived in a cube complex, hand to mouth, eventually you ended up joining the ELF and fighting a campaign of terror against the Peace Corp, maybe it was patriotism or maybe you just wanted to do something to punish the Euroboys for leaving you out to dry. In the end, your cell got taken down and only you survived, a chain of murders and bombings as long as your arm behind you.
Mafia hitman, you worked for a family killing their enemies for a fine fee, you lived the high life, nobody was safe, politicians, generals, gangsters, families. You had no qualms about killing, it was business. Eventually, the family turned you in and after a few months on the run you were finally cornered.
Organ harvester, you were a med tech, one of the best, a glorious future, sadly you had debts to pay and started illegally collecting organs from people, eventually, you made the conclusion it was more effective to capture people and harvest all their organs making sport of it while earning a small fortune. Your reign of terror lasted a few years before finally being captured. A modern-day Jack.
A good cop who turned bad after his daughter was killed by a criminal that had been set free due to a technicality, you decided everyone was guilty, first you killed the criminal then you hunted down and eliminated the judge responsible. As the months went on you became a living embodiment of revenge killing and beating people for crimes across the city. You handed yourself in after killing a child by accident and you decided that you could not be redeemed.
You’d been shunned your whole life computers were an escape you found yourself an apt netrunner but vengeance burnt deep within you, after one last insult in life you decided to take revenge, you created a new form of black ic and released it into the wild, hundreds died and you took great pleasure in it.
A genius you have no empathy you took to watching them through the multitude of computer systems, then after that became boring you would stalk them and use the systems to trap and taunt them. Eventually, that became boring so you started to kill them, the looks on their faces trapped in a lift plummeting 50 stories, or trapped in a room with flames all around fascinated you.
Background work for Cyberpunk 2020 campaign.
Listen up chumps you think Night City is where the bad boys are? Well you ain’t seen nothin’ Neo London makes it look like a holiday park space mountain included. It’s bad enough you got Euro Peace Corp boys fighting it out with the English Liberation Front on a daily basis the cities got the badest maddest bosters going and outside the city limits nothing but a radioactive waste land from when the scrap with the Euroboys went nuclear. Surviving a night in Neo London is like getting through a tour in Old Jerusalem, not fucking likely, but the Brits do it every day crazy bastards.
Now despite the copious nuclear waste, murderous go boys and savage boosters, the mortar exchanges, and the armored vehicles careening through the streets that give zero fucks if the meat in the way is civvie or para the corps are still here and business booms. All the big suits have outfits here, except maybe a few eurocorps. Europol battles it out on the streets to keep things locked up and the local peace corp tries to keep the civvies in line, Scotland Yard keeps trying to do what it can and the Met is packed with the toughest craziest socials this side of Mozambique.
The Euro’s rebuilt the city after they turned a lot of it to glass, part of the peace agreement that saved the Euro’s from yet another solid glassing, but lets say that didn’t placate the civvies, hate, man the hate, everyone fucking hates the Euro’s, the Yanks, the Ruskies and anybody else that’s going. You walk the streets and behind the misery and desperation is pure hate. The hate the Euro’s the most but don’t let that make you think they like anyone else, they’ll deal with anybody and everybody and one day, when they’ve got the tools you can tell the Brits aren’t gonna just sit back and live with the Euroboys stomping on their turf.
The fall of Britain
Well the main event was the Euro war, Britain and the EU Zone fell out on trade tariffs, then they fell out over the uncontrolled refugees from France, then they just fell out. Tensions escalated to a point where open hostilities broke out on the 23rd of March 2072, the Eurozone was under heavy pressure from the Eastern Alliance and Russian Federation and over the course of 30 days the continent and the British Isles were ravaged by conflict, in the end, limited tactical nuclear weapons were used by the French to gain a beachhead and invade what was left of Britain.
Betrayal by the USA, after over a century of what some see as bootlicking by the UK the US refused to offer assistance during the war, this has lead to deep hatred, though many academics say it’s unsurprising given the US’s history of betrayal.
The BBC – Mouth piece of the Euro Zone tasked with sedating and placating the populace.
The Peace Corp – European Peacekeeping force deployed to the Islands.
The English Economic Zone – The name for England under the control of the Euro Zone.
The Paras – Before the occupation paras referred to the parachute regiment, during the Euro War they captured Paris. Now it refers to any paramilitary organization fighting the occupation.
Europol – The top criminal and anti terrorism investigation unit in Europe.
The Met / Scotland Yard – Local law enforcement generally dedicated to normal crimes though dealing with cyberpsychos is the purview of the peace corp due to the limitation on arming EEZ citizens.
Euroboys – Derogatory term for Peace corp and Europol.
English Liberation Front – A guerilla/terrorist organization dedicated to freeing Neo London and the EEZ from the clutches of the EU Zone.
The core idea for the game world is a classic/dark fantasy setting where the mortals overthrew and killed the realms gods. It can be assumed that the pantheon of gods that had been in charge were mostly corrupt and evil at least in the eyes of the mortals too busy with their petty games to recognise the risks.
This raises another concern as to how were the mortals able to kill the gods?
- Some form of god killing weapons may be made for battles between gods or crafted by the mortals themselves.
- Stopping the worship of gods, in some realms gods are given strength by having people worship them, in this way maybe the whole realm stopped worshipping them as gods?
- Trickery, getting the gods to kill themselves.
- Gifted heroes, some people in the world were far more powerful and had the ability to fight the gods toe to toe. Could include gaining access to god level magic.
- A war on the gods, pure weight of humanity crashing against the machinations of the gods.
- The gods are evidently not omnipotent nor omnipresent.
We can assume the gods have some kind of physical presence that can be killed and that they exist on planes of existence that the mortals can get too and often en masse.
Another thing is that there are inevitably those who weren’t fully onboard with the whole “let’s kill the gods” idea.
In the setting, I’m imagining that great heroes rise up and lead armies against the gods having spent many years gathering resources and skills possibly watched by amused and scoffing deities until the mortal hoard crashes down upon them. There are no doubt mighty and cataclysmic consequences for the realm and its people, those who fill the ranks of the gods forces against the mortals are forever shunned in legend. Deep and everlasting bitterness created.
Where they stood, some rough thoughts
The elves were closest to the gods and sided with them during the war but much like their prefered deities they were dismissive until the last moment and as the powerful tides of the other mortals crashed against them. Elves were devastated and forced from many of their strongholds. The result is that they have become even more hateful of the other races, notable slave traders, blood magic ritualists and bitter.
Lizardfolk / Gali
The lizardfolk are varied habitats and tend to live in tribes several of which sided with the mortals others ignored the entire affair and some joined with their prefered gods. In general, the thought process of the Lizardfolk is alien to most other mortal races. However, since they have had some second thoughts on the matter.
Descended from crows the Kanku are excellent mimics but generally poor at anything that requires original thought as such flocks were beholden to their deities and fought long and hard, now they follow any large intelligent creature that can give them purpose.
The main force behind the rebellion only a few of the nations sided with the gods and those that did are forever cursed by the rest of humanity. Humans also had the greatest number of heroes.
The Dwarves were strong supporters of the war against the gods.
Gnomes are evil little critters but kept out of the whole affair looking to profit from it.
The Dead the don’t die
A number of those that die now no longer remain dead, they continue to walk the realm, slowly decaying as they do.
The world heavily revolved reincarnation now, and a concept of “if a man can be reborn a worm then perhaps a god can be reborn a man?” Many societies keep a watch for such a scenario also the rebirth of Heroes.