System

System

Phantasm and Mental Effects

What is meant by Phantasm and Mental Effects

In short Illusions and other non damaging mental type effects meant to wear down a target.

These can have some overlap with crowd control so its key to be clear on what the end intent with the action is. If its meant to be a more quick and temporary thing as a means to incapacitate then the Crowd Control Effects rules may be used.

However the following is more about effects which are meant to be more long term in a scene, such as wearing down an opponent to make them flee the scene or surrender without using damage type effects. In essence an alternative to dealing damage to achieve similar goals.

It will use the Life score:

  • It acts as phsyical HP (how much actual damage before unconscious/death)
  • It also acts as a mental pool meter as well - serving as a numerical gauge on how effective non damaging actions effect the target overtime, beyond temporary effects as they have been.

This will work similar to taking actual damage - though the difference is it only affects the target mentally/socially.

The pool can only go to 0
Once at 0 the target will then be considered completely under the influence of whatever action was set in motion (ie in case of being frightened the target will no longer be able to act in anyway completely consumed by fear, and may even flee the scene removing them from the situation)
A/SHs may set a higher target of which the NPC is completely under the effect, however for cases of PVP and tournaments, it should be the same as if taking actual damage.

The pool can be recovered

  • The target can make a Spir and Cha roll with a diff of 25+ cumulative pp generated (just like the physical hardcore rules).
      In the cases of NPCs A/SHS can have the flexibility of designated a point of no return, which is once the NPC hits a threshold.
  • Others may try and help the target resist in morale boosting actions, similar to how healing actions recover HP.
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Crowd Control Effects

What is Crowd Control Effects

When we say Crowd Control effects or CC we are talking about temporary effects that aim to remove a target for a short duration from acting.
In other words incapacitation effects such as knocking someone out, quick distraction, polymorphs, stuns, etc.

Base Diff will be determined by the exact means of trying to control the target - just like the usual combat rules

    Examples:
  • When trying to stun someone unconscious though physical means, then diffs would be the target's End and Str
  • When trying to distract someone with like a lie or mental effect then the diffs would be the target's Int and Cha
  • And so on

PP/7 will determine how many rounds the effect will last.

Target will have a chance to try and break the effect early:

  • The diff will be 25 + PP generated of the CC effect
  • Stats used to break free will depend on the nature of the CC (just like the usual combat rules)
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Area of Effect Fields

What is meant by an Area of Effect Fields

    It is about creating an area or field of a certain distance by targeting an area in the environment instead of individual targets.
    While one is standing in it they will experience an intended effect (this can be damage, a debuff, or buff)
    If one moves out of this field, then they no longer gain the intended effect.

With AoE Fields, the effect doesn't move with the target - it remains stationary as it was an area that was targeted. This makes movement and placement of targets a key component in their use.

AoE fields are not tied to an aspect, instead it is just about trying to give more options for using skills.

Rules for creating an AoE Field:

  • Base difficulty starts out at 25
  • PP/7 determined effect strength and round duration
  • PP generated determined 'size'
      0-15 effect took 1 round of basic moving to get out of
      16-30 effect took 2 rounds of basic moving to get out of
      31-45 effect took 3 rounds of basic moving to get out of

Using action moves to get out of the AoE

  • Base Difficulty is 25
  • If the move action matches the PP generated for the aoe effect then it will move the character out of the aoe field completely, and the character doesn't take the effect hit
  • If the move action does not, it shortens the distance needed
      (Subtract the PP generated by the move, which will give the remaining rounds of basic moving needed)

AoE fields always go last in Order of Actions - meaning the effect does not take place until after other actions.
For example: If someone simply just used a basic move to walk out of a single round distance effect, they suffered only one 'tick' of the effect (in this case it was a damage one).
However if they had tried an action moved in the same round and succeeded - then the character wouldn't take any tick of the aoe.

Additionally characters may still be able to use the usual actions in game to try and negate or avoid the AoE effects if they chose to.

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Skill Guide: Other Magic and Psi Skills

General Notes on Magic/Psi Skills
Magic and psi isn't limited to schools like some other settings - you can have fire magic that also heals or allows you to divine information, you can have a single skill that conjures three different elements, etc. It is the aspects which truly define what a skill does, how that manifests is completely open and part of the theme of the skill in general.

In the Vaxia setting magic and psi are interchangeable. You can see the various themes tied to magic and psi here: Vaxia Magic
In Sirian there is only Psionics and requires Setting approval to play due to The Crowned infection. However the Vaxia Magic themes can offer some inspiration in designing a Sirian psionic skill.

For more examples which are more about dealing damage see: Skill Guide: Magic and Psi Combat Skills


Example Skills
These are just some small examples of magic and psi skills in order to help just give an idea. Feel free to mix and match, and even change the theme/element.
Keep in mind the aspects define the final intent of the action to be done with the skill - you don't need an aspect for every little thing, just the final result of what you want the skill to do.

Geomancy: Derf has the power to shape earth and unworked stone, to grant it momentum to move about and to make their skin like stone to shield against damage.
Aspects: Change Shape, Move, Endure

Illusion: The power to magically conjure illusions that trick all five senses, to direct those illusions and to more easily discern illusions conjured by others.
Aspects: Summon, Change Nature, Discover

Healing Magic: The magical power to remove damage and restore life, to remove harmful toxins and diseases, and to preemptively shield the body against future damage
Aspects: Repair, Bolster, Endure

Teleportation: Magical power to bend space, allowing for immediate transportation of people and objects from one place to another, to track the teleportation destinations of others, and to ward against teleportation into and out of an area
Aspects: Teleport, Discover, Weaken

Foodmancy: The ability to summon confectionery treats from seemingly nowhere, to alter the taste of conjured or mundane food, and to imbue food with magic that will heal those who eat it.
Aspects: Summon, Change Nature, Repair

Biomancy: The magical reshaping of one's own body, including hardening tissue to shield against damage and enhancing physical qualities like strength and speed.
Aspects: Change Shape, Endure, Bolster

Mind Magic: The magical ability to read the thoughts of others, to communicate with them telepathically, and to influence their minds without them realizing the thoughts weren’t their own.
Aspects: Discover, Operate, Convince

Shapeshifting: The ability to shift into the form of an existing animal, gaining the enhanced senses or enhanced physical attributes of the creature. The shifter retains her own intelligence while shifted but may lose powers of speech if the animal can't easily form humanoid sounds (most cannot)
Aspects: Change Shape, Operate, Bolster

Spirit Talking: Derf can magically communicate with spirits like he were talking to another living person. He can ask them for information, learning things about the past from the spirits who were there, or learning things about other places in real time that Derf can't see directly. He can also attempt to persuade them toward or away from a given course of action.
Aspects: Discover, Know, Convince

Chronomancy: They can accelerate someone’s relative timeline to make them faster and give them more time to react to a changing situation. Similarly, they can slow something down, penalizing an opponent in combat or slowing down an arrow so that they have time to get out of the way. Lastly, they can peer into the past and see events that happened around a given place previously.
Aspects: Bolster, Weaken, Discover
NOTE: Due to the issues surrounding handling paradoxes and the equivalent of character removal from the OOC perspective, time travel is not allowed for play by anyone.

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Core Rules: Skill Aspects

When making a skill players only have to worry about the column that is Skill Aspect/Verbs.

The reason for the table as it is for our purposes with a game system it's worthwhile to go from the super super abstract to something more granular to apply those ideas to parts of the game system and setting. This will allow System to review the skill verb/aspects and determine if we need to make any kind of adjustments.

Skill Aspects/Verbs

Abstract Concept General Category Skill Aspect/Verb Extra Notes
Create Create Summon Create a temporary effect.
- - Craft Customized permanent effect.
- - Persist Make a temporary effect, permanent.
- Repair Repair Damaged people or objects.
Read Learn Know Pre-existing info, book learning.
- - Discover Gain new info about things that are.
- - Predict Gain new info about things that may be.
- Use Operate Using a thing without changing it.
Update Modify Move From point A to B.
- - Teleport Skipping space between.
- - Change Shape Such as volume, dimensions
- - Change Nature Such as temperature, type. To convert.
- Influence Convince People/Social skills. Persuade.
- - Bolster Positive modifier or remove a negative one. Buff.
- - Weaken Negative modifier or remove a positive one. Debuff.
- Resist Avoid Prevent damage from occurring. Shields, defense, etc.
- - Endure Prevent secondary effects of damage. Hardcore skills.
- - Conceal Hide people, information or things.
- - Bypass Avoid effect without negating it.
Destroy Damage Damage Damage to people or objects
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Summoned Companions

Summoned companions are any kind of companion that was conjured, found, convinced, etc in the moment to come to aide a character.

These work the same way as any other companion but with a couple of differences.

    These companions only exist for the duration of a session/scene. Once that scene is over they disappear and can not be used unless re-summoned for a new scene.

    Just like other companions they can also be 'destroyed' before their duration is up if they reach a negative Life score. However a new companion to replace it can be summoned.

    These companions can not be customized and perform specific roles to provide a form of aide to a character. They come with predetermined Stats and skill, and there is only 8 types to choose from:

      Magical/Psi Tank
      Physical Tank
      Magical/Psi Damage Dealer (DPS)
      Physical Damage Dealer (DPS)
      Magical/Psi Support
      Mundane/Tech Support
      Magical/Psi Scout
      Mundane/Tech Scout

    It is possible to summon varying power levels of companions, however the more powerful one you want the higher the difficulty it will be. Though they can not go past the 200 build point limit for companions.

    If summoning fails at a higher difficulty but will succeed at a lower difficulty, then the A/SH will use the lower difficulty and the character will be able to use the weaker summon.

When summoning a temporary companion it is important to let the A/SH know how strong of a companion is desired as this will determine which difficulty is used:

    Weak (Difficulty 10)
    Basic (Difficulty 25)
    Strong (Difficulty 40)
    Exceptional (Difficulty 70)
Summoned Companions do have some flexibility in how one may choose to describe them. A player may aim for a particular look or theme, but the A/SH may alter some parts depending on the success and strength of the summon. The only rules are that whatever is describe must fit within the theme and tone of the setting, and follow the rules of the setting.
In order to summon more then one companion it will take multiple rolls. Though if one would like to describe something as a swarm of flies or such but have it only count and act as one companion is fine.

Summoned Companion Stats and Skills

Physical Tank
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 30 35 40 45
End 25 30 35 40
Str 20 25 30 35
Dex 15 20 25 30
Int 5 5 5 5
Spir 5 5 5 5
Cha 0 0 0 0
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is best suited for defending against incoming attacks.
They are also able to remain conscious even when heavily injured.
Can taunt/distract an attacker away from their original target.
(System note: Use combat mights for this convince).
Skill Aspects: Avoid, Endure, Convince
Magical/Psi Tank
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 30 35 40 45
End 0 0 0 0
Str 5 5 5 5
Dex 5 5 5 5
Int 15 20 25 30
Spir 20 25 30 35
Cha 25 30 35 40
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is best suited for defending against incoming attacks.
They are also able to remain conscious even when heavily injured.
Can taunt/distract an attacker away from their original target.
(System note: Use combat mights for this convince).
Skill Aspects: Avoid, Endure, Convince
Physical Damage Dealer
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 20 25 30 35
End 15 20 25 30
Str 30 35 40 45
Dex 25 30 35 40
Int 5 5 5 5
Spir 5 5 5 5
Cha 0 0 0 0
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is best suited for dealing damage.
They have a small amount of defense.
Can weaken their target.
Skill Aspects: Damage, Avoid, Weaken
Magical/Psi Damage Dealer
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 20 25 30 35
End 0 0 0 0
Str 5 5 5 5
Dex 5 5 5 5
Int 15 20 25 30
Spir 30 35 40 45
Cha 15 20 25 30
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is best suited for dealing damage.
They have a small amount of defense.
Can weaken their target.
Skill Aspects: Damage, Avoid, Weaken
Mundane/Tech Support
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 20 25 30 35
End 15 20 25 30
Str 5 5 5 5
Dex 25 30 35 40
Int 30 35 40 45
Spir 5 5 5 5
Cha 0 0 0 0
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is able to heal.
Provide a buff that lasts 3 rounds for an action type.
Put up protecting shielding to soak damage.
(System note: Int and Dex are used for all these actions)
Skill Aspects: Repair, Bolster, Endure
Magical/Psi Damage Dealer
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 20 25 30 35
End 0 0 0 0
Str 5 5 5 5
Dex 5 5 5 5
Int 25 30 35 40
Spir 30 35 40 45
Cha 15 20 25 30
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is able to heal.
Provide a buff that lasts 3 rounds for an action type.
Put up protecting shielding to soak damage.
Skill Aspects: Repair, Bolster, Endure
Mundane/Tech Scout
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 15 20 25 30
End 5 5 5 5
Str 5 5 5 5
Dex 25 30 35 40
Int 30 35 40 45
Spir 20 25 30 35
Cha 0 0 0 0
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is best for gathering information and sneaking about.
They can also get into places/past obstacles that most others can't.
(System note: Use Fin when Agi would be used)
Skill Aspects: Discover, Conceal, Bypass
Magical/Psi Scout
Build Points 125 150 175 200
Difficulty 10 25 40 70
Life 15 20 25 30
End 0 0 0 0
Str 5 5 5 5
Dex 20 25 30 35
Int 25 30 35 40
Spir 30 35 40 45
Cha 5 5 5 5
Skill 25 30 35 40
This companion is best for gathering information and sneaking about.
They can also get into places/past obstacles that most others can't.
Skill Aspects: Discover, Conceal, Bypass
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Sample Responses to Character Issues

The following are some example scenarios for char eval and suggested responses to help Evaluators assist players with common character issues that need resolution prior to play:

Case: Character is a dead ringer for a character from popular media (comic books, video games, movies, etc.)

Examples

  • At least three major qualities in common with a pop culture character unique to that character
Sample Response
  • This character seems a bit derivative of a pop culture character, which we’d like to avoid for several reasons. We’ll need to make some tweaks to make the concept a bit more original and yours.

Case: Too many points in Stats vs. skills

Examples

  • Over 200 points in stats
Sample Response
  • It looks like you have a lot of points in stats versus skills, which is a bit min-maxed for our system. We’d like you to shift more points into your skills. If you need to branch into additional skills and aren’t sure what else to take, we’re happy to help brainstorm what might be most helpful/appropriate.

Case: Mights too low for reliable success

Examples

  • No or only one Mights above 65
Sample Response
  • It looks like your points may be spread a little thin - you might have trouble reliably succeeding at your current Mights. At least one set of Mights around 65-80 is recommended so you can succeed fairly regularly during session play. We may need to combine a few skills or drop some skills to be picked up later in order to make your character more effective out of the gate. If you’re okay playing a character who struggles numerically, that’s completely fine - we just wanted to make sure you knew what to expect.

Case: Description doesn’t match character Stats

Examples

  • LIF and CHA are low (25 or less) but Description describes exceptional beauty
  • STR or END is low (25 or less) but Description describes clear hulking or tough exterior suggesting might and hardiness
Sample Response
  • There are some elements of your character’s Description that aren’t supported by their current stats. We’ll need to make some adjustments in order to keep things consistent and avoid confusing other players about the character’s actual appearance.

Case: Skills not explained by Background, Occupation

Examples

  • Character has blood magic or knowledge of ancient relics but grew up a humble farmer
Sample Response
  • You have skills listed that aren’t readily explained in your character’s background or occupation. We’ll need some idea of how the character came by these skills, whether it’s a natural talent or was learned somewhere.

Case: Troubling Personality

Examples

  • Character describes violent tendencies, lack of empathy, or lack of clear motivations
  • Character describes sociopathy, dementia, schizophrenia but hasn’t selected the matching Condition
Sample Response
  • There are some elements of your character’s personality that are a little troubling for a player character. We may need to select a particular Condition for them and make sure you’re prepared to play it accurately and respectfully, or just edit the Personality so that it’s something better suited to cooperative play.

Case: Notable equipment in Description

Examples

  • Description mentions shapeshifting armor or a sword that can see into souls, robot companions, etc.
Sample Response
  • Your Description currently includes equipment that your character doesn’t have access to. You’re welcome to have control over the aesthetics of things like armor or equipment, but understand none of these things have function without a matching Item and either the cost or crafting required to get it. We may need to update your Description to avoid confusing other players or A/SHs.

Case: Connection to another character on the same account

Examples

  • Character references another active character on the same account in their Background, Occupation or Description
Sample Response
  • To avoid any kind of metagaming, we don’t allow two characters on the same account to have an IC relationship, positive or negative. We’ll need to update that so that this character stands alone. Starting with ties to characters on other players’ accounts is fine.

Case: Background too overpowered for starting character

Examples

  • Character has a high military rank, is in charge of an organization, has slain a dragon or is heir to a seat of power (a king in exile, etc.)
Sample Response
  • You have some elements in your background that go a bit above and beyond starting character level. We’ll need to tone those down to a more reasonable history in line with the other characters around it.

Case: Background or Description doesn’t match the setting

Examples

Sample Response
  • Your character’s background doesn’t quite match the setting. You may want to refer to the Setting In Brief pages in the Wiki to get a better sense of the tone of the setting, or ask on the Setting forums to get a better summary understanding before updating your character to better match the world they’re joining.

Case: Character Condition or other quality not available to players below the 40 XP threshold

Examples

  • New player wants to play a vampire or werewolf
  • Character Personality or Background describes a Condition unavailable to new players
Sample Response
  • The character details describe a Condition which is limited to players who've passed the 40-XP threshold for new players. This threshold is in place to help ensure players are familiar with the site and setting before diving into more complex character concepts that might otherwise be done poorly and cause issues for other players on the site. We can either update the character to remove the Condition, or else hold the character in Draft state until you have passed the 40-XP threshold, when you can then resubmit it for approval.

Case: Character requires departmental approval (Setting, System or Social)

Examples

  • Background includes qualities or setting reference that merit a second look from a member or lead of the Setting Department
Sample Response
  • We need to check in with one of our departments for a second opinion on an aspect of this character since it goes a bit outside the ordinary lines. This may take a bit of time while we wait to hear back. As soon as we have a reply from the department, you should get an update here either way.
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SH Course - Stage Three - Advanced Story Hosting

Stage Three - Advanced Story Hosting

Content Evaluation
At any time between passing ASH Test Two and taking ASH Test Three, the ASH will need to become a certified content evaluator for items and characters. This step is required in order to become a full SH, but it can be done at any time, and no sessions are required for completion.

Item and Character Evaluation

Content Evaluation Exam
Take the Content Evaluation Test


Once the ASH has completed their fifth session, they'll be eligible for ASH Test Three. The Stage 3 materials cover advanced principles of story hosting, the importance of IC consistency, and how to deal with the difficult situations that can arise during a session.

Continuity and Realism

Best Practices for Session Running

Handling Difficult Situations

Tips & Tricks (Optional)

Stage Three Exam
Take the Final ASH Test

Peer Review
Upon submitting ASH Test Three, the site's active SHs will be notified by email that a new SH candidate has completed the final stage. The SHs will be able to review the ASH's answers to the final test, as well as their 8 session reports from previous sessions. Once at least three SHs approve the new candidate, the ASH becomes a full SH.

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SH Course - Stage Two - Ruling

Stage Two - Ruling - ASH 2
Once the ASH has a few sessions under their belt to get a feel for the process, they can proceed to learn the system and numbers in Stage Two. After reviewing the Stage Two materials, they can take a comprehensive ruling test to demonstrate their understanding. The Dice Ruler can be used on ASH Test Two.

Core Concepts

Actions

Types of Rulings

Special Cases

  • All other rulings and special cases are covered on the Special Case Rules page. These are not required to be known for all ASHs, this is more of a reference guide for when you need these rarer rulings later.

Video Tutorials (Optional)
These tutorials cover much of the information above and may help with understanding some of the concepts in our system.

Additional Resources

Stage Two Exam
Take ASH Test Two

Sessions Required to Begin Stage Three: 5
After passing ASH Test Two, the ASH will need to host at least 5 sessions before they can proceed to the final stage. They will be on their own for these sessions, with no one helping to rule, although they can still seek the advice and council of other SHs between sessions whenever they have questions.

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SH Course - Stage One - Basics

Stage One - Introduction and ASH 1

This is the first step to becoming a Story Host on the site.

What you will learn here are the basics of being a Story Host, what constitutes a session and how to design them, The Three Fs philosophy and how to do session narration.

There are two parts to this portion of the course - becoming eligible to be an ASH 1 and running 3 sessions that will be mentored by a SH.

ASH 1 Required Course Materials:
This is the material that will make up the content of the ASH 1 Exam to become eligible to be an ASH 1.

Additional (Optional) Resources:
This material will not be apart of the exam, but rather is intended to provide some extra help especially if coming from a different game.


ASH 1 Responsibilities

Pass the ASH One Exam

    This is an exam that is a review of the ASH 1 course materials and covers the basics on what being a SH is and covers what you will be expected to know at this stage. All of this information is covered in the ASH 1 Course resources listed above, be sure to review it before taking it.

    Take the ASH One Exam

Create an ASH character

    Due to how our system works here in translating posts into XP and to help prevent any potential confusion, we require our A/SH's to use a character that is specifically just for posting session narratives.
    This character can have any name and Stats they like, it doesn't have to follow the normal evaluation rules - it's just for logistical purposes. SH character names typically differ from regular PC names so that they can be easily identified. For example, "Medic," "Harbinger," "Forsaken," etc.

Running and Designing Sessions

    As an ASH 1 the only responsibility is learning how to design and run sessions. It can be a bit of a challenge, especially coming to a play by post format, however this is why we make this the sole focus of the first course.

    During this stage the ASH is required to host at least 3 sessions before they can proceed to the next stage.
    Since the course hasn't yet covered ruling the numbers, a mentor SH will be needed to run alongside the ASH and help with both the numbers as well as general advice. This does not need to be the same mentor SH for all three sessions; any available SH will do.

    The ASH can also request help from established SHs on the forums when getting stuck on designing a session.

    The ASH 1 will be responsible for the following things:

    • Determining the rough power of NPCs in the session (things like "elite bandit," "skilled assassin," "average joe")
    • Determining the rough difficulty of each challenge within the session (things like "easy," "average," "difficult," "almost impossible")
    • Writing up the narratives and results
    • Determining what rewards to give the players
    • Posting the session report after the session
    The mentor SH will help translate the rough power and difficulties into actual numbers as needed.

Respecting the Position

    The A/SH character is not a badge, it is not a rank, it is not a trophy - it is a logistic necessity so that you can post in IC rooms without using one of your regular PC characters. That is all, and it should be used as such, and not one iota more.

    The moment you've passed ASH Test One and created your ASH character, you will have something non-ASHs do not. It's important to keep that in perspective - new players especially might see you as a voice of authority, even when you are not.

    Because of that, be careful how you present yourself. As a general rule, DO NOT post as your A/SH character in Limbo or another OOC location unless you are acting in an official capacity as your A/SH self, which should only be to answer questions about a session you're running or have run.

    This will remain true even after you become a full SH.

    That's not to discourage you from getting into discussions or helping out by answering questions, just be prepared to clarify that you're just speaking in your capacity as a player, rather than officially as an A/SH. Avoiding posting as your A/SH except when you're speaking about a session or related topics should help emphasize that without you having to clarify every moment.

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