Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Roleplaying Example, Part 7

As walking corpses are about to surround the adventurers in the desert tomb battlemage Isani decides it is time to make use of her magical powers.

As the undead approach Isani decides the Spell ‘Ward against Undead’ is extremely appropriate. The Spell is from the Biomancy school and has a level of 2, so Isani makes an Easy Test against Biomancy. The Test is successful and Isani erects the ward, and in doing so acquires +2 Fatigue. The undead halts at the borders of the ward, unable to progress any further.

Robert: “Good call, but now we’re surrounded.”
Lucas: “We need to act. Undead will never grow hungry or weary, they will simply wait until we  succumb to thirst or hunger.”
Elisabeth: “We’re going to die in here!”
Sara: “Calm down, Aida! I have a few more Spells up my sleeve.”

Isani decides to use the Spell ‘Explosion’ from the Evocation School which she aims at the zombies blocking the exit. This Spell is of level 4 and inflicts 6d10B Damage. Isani succeed with her Test and rolls 50 Damage. Using the Group rules Daniel notes that the explosive Damage should be multiplied by the Spells Blast quality, increasing it to 250 as the undead zombies has no armor. Each zombie has 36 Hit Points and, as Blunt Damage inflicts the same amount of Trauma for zombies, Isani brings down 6 zombies with her Spell.

Daniel describes how the massive force shakes the corridor and rips the zombies apart. The group now has a path through and Isani gives the order to make a run for it, before the zombies manage to close their ranks. They sprint for it and manages to get out of the tomb in a few minutes. For their strenuous run Daniel gives them +5 Fatigue.

Isani has now accumulated 11 Fatigue and is Lightly Strained. She decides to use a Potion of Rejuvenation and loses all her Fatigue. This requires her to make a Very Easy Test against TOU to resist any side effects, at which she succeeds.

The group comes together do discuss how they should proceed in their quest. This tutorial though has come to an end. The story is however continued in the Core Rules book.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Roleplaying Example, Part 6

As the sun closes to zenit the group of adventurers finally reach the reclusive desert tomb which is their destination. Daniel describes a massive bronze door protruding from the mountain side, covered in elaborated carvings which have nearly been blistered away by the desert wind.

The group decides they had better put up camp outside of the tomb, so Tyrian and Larcus makes a joint Test against Survival. They manage to find a good campsite in a shallow cave, saving them some time from putting up the tents.

As they still feel rather fresh Isani decide they should start exploring the tomb immediately and then return to camp to formulate a more detailed plan. Aida is to look for traps while Larcus should keep an eye out for any inscriptions which might tell them something about the place. Isani and Tyrian will be prepared to deal with any trouble that comes along.

The massive doors present the first obstacle as they do not want to open. The group finally resort to having their horses pull part of the door out of its hinges. The dark tomb opens up beyond and after securing the horses and lighting a torch they move forward.

As Aida is looking for traps and Larcus for writings Daniel has them rolling separate Tests against Search. After looking around Aida feels confident that there are no traps in this part of the tomb, while Larcus have discovered old writings all over the dusty walls. After a Challening Test against his Runes writing Skill Larcus reveals that the text is a written warning to all that would enter the tomb and it describes the terrible fate that awaits any who enter – in great detail. Lucas roleplays how Larcus share his revelations with the other characters.

Lucas: “Eh, this is not good.”
Elisabeth: “What, you found a spelling mistake?”
Lucas: “Larcus gives Aida a long stare. No, the text is a warning – we’re not supposed to be here.”
Sara: “It’s a tomb. Of course they didn’t intend for visitors. Does it tell of any dangers?”
Lucas: “Not really, but it describes the myriad of horrible fates that await us.”
Robert: “I don’t care for such supersition. I suggest we move on.”
Elisabeth: “I agree. There’s nothing of value to be found here.”
Sara: “Alright, we keep moving. But stay sharp.”
Elisabeth: “Like a dagger in the back…”

As they press forward Daniel now and then asks them to make a Test against Awareness. While nothing is approaching them right now he doesn’t want the players to assume something is happening just because they make an Awareness Test. After a while the party has explored several of the windling corridors but found nothing but dead-ends or empty rooms Aida suddently hear something approach. The group decide to stay and wait, weapons at the ready. Daniel then describes the sound of shambling feet and how a human shape suddently separates from the darkness. Its rotting flesh and tattered bandages leaves no doubt as to it belonging to the undead.

Daniel requires everyone to make a Routine Test against Fear. Isani, Tyrian and Larcus succeed but Aida fails – the young theif obviously not accustomed to this sort of danger. Aida fails by 16 degrees and Daniel, reading from the Fear table, declares she becomes frozen with fear, unable to move until she succeed with a Routine Test against WIL. If successful she will still suffer +1d10 difficulty due to tremors for the rest of the encounter. She will also receive 1d10 Insanity points, and Daniel rolls the maximum result of 10.

They roll for initiative and Tyrian is first out. The clumsy corpse do not even try to evade his attack but despite his blade biting deep it does not stop the creature, which retaliates with a great axe. Tyrian narrowly escape but the group realizes this creature is nothing like the bandits they encountered the night before. Isani is next out and also deals Damage, badly mangling one of the corpse’s arms. Aida manage to succeed with her first Test against WIL so may perform Actions, although with +1d10 difficulty. She and Larcus decides to hold back as the narrow corridor do not allow them all to attack at the same time. Only after Tyrian and Isani have mangled the corpse into a pulp does it finally cease to resist.

As Aida received 10 Insanity points during a single encounter she is now required to make a new Test against WIL to avoid Mental Trauma. Since Aida didn’t have any Insanity priort to the battle she has gone from 0 to 10 – increasing her degree of madness from Stable to Unsettled. This increases the difficulty against Mental Trauma by +1d10. Elisabeth decides to use a Fate Point to lower the difficulty by -1d10 and succeeds with the Test. As she is now Unsettled, Aida will from now on have -1d10 difficulty against Fear.

As the group reforms to recover from the battle they suddently hear more feet approaching – and from all directions…

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Roleplaying Example, Part 5

Larcus is just about to get hit by an arrow.

Daniel rolls for Damage, which is Inf3d10+3 Thrusting Damage. The result is 21. He rolls for Hit Location and the result is 23, which is the left arm. Trauma is noted as T/5 and Pain as P/3 – Larcus thus receives +5 Trauma and +7 Pain as the arrow cuts his arm. After this it is Larcus’ Turn.

Daniel: "Do you want to do anything on your Turn? Remember you got +1d10 difficulty as it is your second Action." Lucas: "I think I’ll take cover behind the big rocks."

As Larcus takes cover all characters involved in the battle has had their Turns, so a new Round begin. Isani starts by taking two swings against the bandit she engaged in the previous Round, using her heavy flail. The bandit dodges the first but is hit by the second in the stomach. Sara rolls Inf4d10 for Blunt Damage and rolls 22, which is reduced by the bandits leather jacket to 17. The Damage location specifies T/2 and P so the bandit suffers 9 Trauma and 18 Pain.

Next it is Tyrian who wants to use his Martial Art sequence (see page 68) against the bandit he is engaging, using his broadsword. He decides to take two Actions on this round, performing the first of his sequence moves Opening Attack, Follow-up Attack, Aimed Attack and Final Blow.

The first attack is a success but is dodged by the bandit. On the second attack both Tyrian and the bandit has +1d10 as it is their second Action, but the bandit has a further +1d10 due to Tyrian having performed a sequence move. Tyrian roll a Critical Hit and the bandit a Critical Failure. Tyrians blow hit the bandit in the right arm, which is normally protected by the bandits leather jacket, but the Critical Hit will ignore this armor. Tyrian rolls Inf4d10+5 Slashing Damage and the result is 38. Damage is calculated as T/2 and P so the bandit takes 19 Trauma and 38 Pain.

As the bandit, who has a total of 36 Hit Points, takes more than Hit Points/10 (=4) Trauma he must test against TOU or receive an injury. Due to now being Heavily Wounded the bandit receives +3d10 to the normally Routine Test. The Test results in 43 against 21 – which yields the worst possible injury. Tyrian severs the right arm of the bandit, who receive a further 19 Pain and apart from fainting starts to bleed heavily. Quite soon the bandits realized they should have picked easier targets and retreats into the night. Three of them lie dead at the camp while the party have sustained only minor injuries. However, Isani is not happy with Larcus’ performance during the battle. Sara and Lucas plays out a conversation between their characters.

Sara: “Larcus, what did you think that you were doing!? I expect you do to your part, not run and hide like a child at the first sign of danger!”
Lucas: “I’m sorry Isani, I just got startled by the sudden attack. It won’t happen again!”
Sara: “Very well. We’d better try get some sleep now. Tyrian, why don’t you take the first watch? Wake me when you’re feeling tired.”
Robert: “Yes, milady.”

Daniel, who feels the party did rather well awards Isani, Tyrian and Aida with +1 Combat XP. Since Larcus didn’t actually participate in the battle he gains no increase. The night passes without any incidents and the following morning the group continues towards the tomb.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Roleplaying Example, Part 4

The group of adventurers is no moving towards the distant tomb through the desolate desert landscape. Unknown to them a group of 8 bandits have spotted them and seeing the four horses and expensive gear of Isani and Tyrian decided it would be loot well worth the effort. Daniel decides that the bandits dare not risk an open confrontation so will try to ambush the characters once they have set up camp. He rolls a collective Concealment Test for the bandits, 2, 7, 8 resulting in 17 against the banits Skill level of 25 and thus 8 degrees of success.

During their travel Daniel makes a few secret Tests against the characters’ Awarness Skill as he doesn’t want the players to know what is happening. He informs Tyrian and Aida, who both succeeded with the Test, that they get the feeling of being followed.

Elisabeth: “I think we are being followed.”
Sara: “Why? Have you actually spotted anything?”
Elisabeth looks at Daniel who shakes his head.
Elisabeth: “No…”
Sara: “Then I’m sure we got nothing to worry about.”
Elisabeth: “Right, right, don’t trust the thief. We’ll come to regret it I’m, sure…”
Robert: “Tyrian doesn’t like Aidas rather disrespectful way of expressing herself, so he decides to keep quiet for now.”

As the sun is setting the road is getting too dark for travel. The group wants to find a campsite which Daniel declares to be a Routine Test against Survival. Tyrian has the highest level of Survival at 22 but Robert think this Test is going to be important. Since Larcus also have a decent level of Survival at 19 he offers to lend aid. Both character must then make a Test but at Easy difficulty. As they both succeed Daniel explains that after a few minutes they manage to spot a good campsite a little distance off the road, protected from the wind by a few protruding rocks. Group leader Isani agrees the spot looks good so the group start pitching their tents in the hard desert soil. They make a campfire which they gather around for a late meal. Robert is keen on pointing out that Tyrian is keeping an eye on the surroundings and that he has his weapons close.

Daniel decide this is the moment for the bandits to strike but he gives the group a last chance at detecting the assault by making a Test against Awareness. As the characters are focused on their meal he decides the Test will be Challenging, except for Tyrian who get a Routine Test as Robert stated he was being more aware than average. This time Tyrian and Isani succeed with their Tests while Larcus and Aida fail.

Daniel: “Suddently an arrow comes out of the dark and just misses Tyrian to insead hit the rock behind him.”
Robert: “We are under attack!”
Elisabeth: “I told you all!”
Sara: “Defend yourselves!”
Lucas: “Oh, no!”
Daniel: “Time for battle! All make a roll for Initiative.”

Isani rolls 12 against 15, Larcus 25 against 15, Tyrian 19 against 19 and Aida 15 against 22. Daniel notes their order as Adia, Isani, Tyrian and Larcus after their degrees of success or failure. For the bandits he roll a single Test, 16 against 16, so places them after Tyrian. However, since both Larcus and Aida failed on their Test against Awareness Daniel rules that they will be surprised and may not act on their first Turn in the battle. This places Isani first in the Turn order on the first Round.

Sara: “Is there anyone nearby whom I can attack?”
Daniel: “You had just enough time to notice the archer a few meters away.”
Sara: “Can I reach him on a Move, my speed is 4 meters.”
Daniel: “No, it’s a Full Move then.”
Sara: “Ok, but I’ll make a Move then to be able to charge him next round.”
Daniel: “Tyrian, your turn.”
Robert: “Can I see anyone else?”
Daniel: “You think you saw a movement to the left of the camp.”
Robert: “I Move in that direction.”
Daniel: “You se a bandit hiding behind a rock.”
Robert: “I want to attack him if possible?”
Daniel: “Yes you can. Your second action then, +1d10, and it’s poor light from the camp fire +1d10. It’s a Hard Test to hit.”
Robert: “I use one of my Fate Points to lower it by -1d10.”

Robert rolls 2,3,4 and 7 equals 16 – well below his Martial Art level of 27. Daniel makes a roll for the bandit, which is Challenging as it’s his first action in poor light. The bandit rolls 15 against 20 on his Reaction an manages to Dodge the attack. Tyrian decides to save his remaining Actions for defense.

After Tyrian it’s the bandits Turn. 3 bandits with melee weapons moves forward. The remaining 4 of them have ranged weapons so Daniel decides they will try to place one hit on each character. 2 out of 4 arrows hit – one for Aida and one for Larcus. Aida gets to react first but since she is Surprised she suffers +1d10 difficulty. She rolls a Challenging Test against Dodge and the result of 2, 3, 7, 9 equals 21 is well under her exceptional Skill level of 32. Next is Larcus who is also surprised. He rolls 4, 5, 7, 9 equals 25 against a Dodge of 22, which is a failure.

Daniel: “You are hit!”
Lucas: “Ouch!”
Daniel: “Do you have any armor?”
Lucas: ”Uhm, no.”
Daniel: “No Damage Reduction then. Lets see what damage you receive…”

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Roleplaying Example, Part 3

Larcus the Monk have been sent to gather supplies prior to the group’s departure towards the desert tomb.

To avoid having the other players wait for very long Daniel decides that Lucas gets to roll a few Tests rather than roleplaying the entire episode.

Lucas asks for what there is to find in the marketplace so Daniel tells him to make a Routine Test against Awareness. Lucas rolls 5, 2 and 9 for a total of 17. Larcus has Awarness at level 18 so the Test is successful. Daniel describes some of the commodities that Larcus can see, among them a stable renting horses and several merchants selling food.

Larcus decide to start with the food so Daniel lets him make a Test against Barter. Since there are several suppliers selling the same merchandise Daniel lowers the difficulty of the Test to Easy. Lucas rolls 7 and 9 which is lower than his Barter Skill at 19. Larcus gets to buy the food at standard prize, which Daniel deems is 2 silvers for each ration. As the group is expected to travel for at least a couple of days Larcus buys 30 rations for 60 silver – which is most of his rather limited coinage. And he still hasn’t got the horses!

As the rental stable is offering horses for 50 silvers a week Larcus decides to try a different approach. As the monk has much higher level in Charm than Barter, Larcus tries to convince the rental owner to offer him two horses for free. Daniel deems this to be a Challenging Test, but Larcus tells the rental owner the horses are needed by the temple for a most crucial cause. Since this is not true Larcus gets to roll a Routine Test against Deceive. The result is 3, 9, 9 – a total of 21. Since two 9’s were rolled it is a Critical and since Larcus skill level is 24 it is a Critical Success. The rental owner, who perhaps have been a little lax in visiting the temple these last weeks, sees this as an excellent opportunity to get even with the gods. He offers two horses to Larcus freely, without him ever having to Test against Charm. Happy with this Larcus returns to the others.

As the characters already have everything else they believe themselves to require they decide to set out in the late afternoon to avoid the scorching sun on their way to the tomb.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Roleplaying Example, Part 2

As both Robert and Elisabeth are new to roleplaying Daniel helps them with their characters. While Daniel himself finds the process rather fun he knows it can be a bit tedious so he asks his players if he should roll their characters or if they want to do it themselves. Sara and Robert wants to go through the process themselves so Daniel lets them try on their own while he helps Lucas and Elisabeth with their characaters.

As all are new to the system Daniel is not very strict on imposing rules and conditions on the characters as he wants everyone to like the character they are playing.

In the end the group has created four characters: Isani the Battlemage, Larcus the Monk, Tyrian the Mercenary and Aida the Thief. Daniel has decided that Isani should be the group leader as her profession as a battlemage is the highest status in the group. Daniel has explained to Sara that her character has been hired to find and explore a tomb in the mountains to the north and to assemble a small group for doing so.

Together with the players Daniel decides that Isani and Larcus are old friends who have spent some time studying together. Isani have also met Tyrian during a shorter campaign against a nearby tribe of goblins and Aida was caught stealing by Isani and has been forced to join the group to avoid severe punishment.

Starting to play

With all set to go Daniel gives a short monologue where he describes the city they are all currently in and also the market square at which they currently are. He adds to Robert and Elisabeth that he now expects them to act as their characters but if they want to ask or do something outside of the game they just have to say so.

Daniel begins by asking each player to describe his or her character to the other players. Once this is done he asks Isani what she wants to do.
Sara: “Well, I start by greeting everyone and explain about our mission”.
Lucas: “Are you paying us?”
Sara looks at Daniel.
Sara: “Am I?”
Daniel: “The reward you’ve been offered is after the tomb has been explored. You have only asked your fellow adventurers to come here – it’s up to you if you want to pay them.”
Sara: “I don’t have very much money…”
Robert: “My character would expect to be paid in advance for a mission like this.”

Eventually Robert, Lucas and Sara agree on a salary which Sara’s character pays from her private funds. Since Elisabeth’s character Aida is forced to join she doesn’t get any pay.

Isani sends Larcus to buy supplies for their journey as he is the most skilled barterer. They also want to rent horses for Larcus and Aida so they don’t have to walk. After this task has been completed the group will be set and ready to embark on their first quest!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Roleplaying Example, Part 1

This example is an extract from the Centuria Core Rule Book.

The Campaign

Daniel has been roleplaying for some time, mostly as a player in another roleplaying game, but has decided he wants to try to be a Game Master. He has read through the Centuria core rules and decided he wants to try to make a campaign from scratch.
He invents a story where a cabal of mages has been intriguing against each other to become the first to find the fabled artifact known as the Necromancer’s Stone. One of these mages has in secret arranged for a group of adventurers to travel to a tomb where the mage believe the stone to be kept. He has done this without alerting the adventurers as to his identity. To them he claims he is a scholar and that his interest in the tomb is purely academic. He does not mention anything about the stone. The mage’s plan is to send an experienced assassin after the group who will try to steal the stone if they were to retrieve it form the tomb.
Once he has his main plot complete Daniel thinks a bit on the main locations of the adventure. He places the whole campaign in the desert environment of the northern Empire. He imagines the adventurers will be hired in a city, there’ll be a road covered by bandits leading to the tomb and there will be the tomb itself.
He draws up a quick map of the city and invents a couple of residents which might be interesting for the campaign. He also prepares a map of the tomb and inserts a couple of different enemies, mostly undead like zombies or mummies. As he does want to provide some alternative routes he also invents a secret entrance into the tomb which will take the characters past much of the tombs guardians.
Content with this he sets out to find a group of players.

The Characters

Daniel has convinced his four friends Sara, Lucas, Robert and Elisabeth to try out the roleplaying campaign that he has invented.
Sara and Lucas have been roleplaying before so Daniel talks to them about what kind of characters they wish to play to see if they could fit into the adventure. Sara would prefer to play a mage or perhaps a warrior, while Lucas has his mind set on a more scholarly character. Since the adventure is rather action oriented he suggests Lucas can play a monk, which is a learned character who still has a lot of proficiencies which might come in handy in other situations. Lucas is happy with this so Daniel no focuses on Sara. Daniel suggests that Sara could perhaps combine her intended careers and play a battlemage. This suits Sara fine so Daniel move on to help Robert and Elisabeth.
For Robert and Elisabeth Daniel decides it is best that he helps them along. As Robert is more of a silent type Daniel suggests he play a mercenary, which is not necessarily a very talkative sort. While Robert will still have the opportunity to converse as he sees fit this gives him the option of observing the game for a while as his character tags along until he feels he understand how most things work. Robert likes this idea as he is used to computer games and enjoys to play a skilled fighter.
Elisabeth is more of a talker than Robert but perhaps less of a gamer. Daniel suggests she take on the challenge of playing as a thief as it is a sort of character which will likely engage in much conversation of one sort or another and also because it would be a valuable asset to the group. Elisabeth is ok with this and Daniel is happy as it will be rather easy to explain why the different characters have come together as their occupations and skills complement each other admirably.     

The world of Centuria

“Dressed in their finest silk robes, made in the colors of House Altieres and Custodes, the two mages strode forward. Wizards of lower rang stepped aside with a slight bow as they passed, careful to show their respect. At last they reached the end of the corridor and a servant held open a door into a small waiting room. However, the door into the next corridor was already open, so there was no time to enjoy any of the delicacies presented, and the pair continued forward.

The second corridor ended in a massive porthole and before them a circular room could be seen. Magic wards and symbols covered the smooth walls and as they entered they felt the eerie feeling of magic sparkling at their sandal-clad feet and jumping at the jewelry which they wore at their wrists.

A voice sated with power made them look up.
‘Seneschals, you are late.’
Surrounding them in a circle of thrones placed above the circular room nine stern faces looked down upon them. The mage-consuls of the Council of Mages did not like to be kept waiting.

To avoid the stern gazes of the archmages above the two mages turned to face the tenth throne. No mage would ever be seated there as it by tradition was reserved for the emperor, and therefore left empty. But in horror the mages found themselves staring into a pair of purple eyes which no man could ever read.
‘Gentlemen,’ spoke the emperor, ‘the hour is late. Let us hear what you have discovered on your journey so that we can proceed with our meeting.’ ”

Centuria takes place in the world of Aladron, home to the Free Peoples, gods, monsters and other creatures, yet to see the light of day and enter the annals of known history. The event above takes place in one of Aladron’s three major settings, the Imperial Province. There is more to read about the Imperial Province and the other settings in the chapter Nations & Peoples.