Librium: Combat Basics, Part 2

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When encountering an intelligent dragon, it is best to talk while you still have a chance.

Last week we focused on basic attacking and defending. This week we will look at a breakdown of actions in combat. Be aware, this is going to get pretty detailed to ensure as much as possible is covered. (If anything is missing, post a comment or send a message and I’ll fix it.)

Combat occurs within a single scene, a volatile period of time in which actions and interactions take place within a single location. A scene lasts exactly as long as it needs to last, whether it’s a few hours or just a few minutes. Combat scenes usually require at least a few minutes and will encompass several rounds of action. Each round is the sum of each combatant’s turn, over the course of one minute of time, so between the start of your first turn and the start of your next turn would be an entire round. On your turn, you will take a number of individual actions. Your turn is divided into two steps: Actions and Recovery. Continue reading

Librium: Kobold Residents Declared Protected Citizens

A pair of merchants attempting to enter the city.

Thromgarde — In a landmark decree yesterday morning, Queen Regent Arandell of Thromgarde ruled that kobolds living inside and outside the city walls have the same rights and protection as citizens of Thromgarde and all of its states.

Queen Arandell, who has ruled Thromgarde since the death of her husband five years ago, states that the kobolds are an unseen boon that her kingdom must embrace. “Kobolds are considered a menace to the vocal minority when, in fact, they have been an important aspect of our society for many decades.” writes the Queen Regent in the decree. “In the wild they keep more hostile, vicious races in check, such as goblins and hobgoblins, while also stymieing the spread of vespa. For the most part, they keep to themselves and only act hostile when outsiders invade their homes and their territories.

“Even before this decree many merchants already do commerce kobold warrens, both near and far. They provide us with resources we cannot obtain locally as well as a potential labor force unmatched by any other races.”

For centuries many kingdoms across the wirkd have fought against kobolds, attempting to secure their outlying territories against a species that has been considered a nuisance and threat to travelers. Kobolds are known to setup ambushes and attack unprotected travelers, though quickly flee if they cannot outnumber their opponents.

“Getting supplies to and from Garrenhold is sometimes quite difficult,” says Thorak Coppersmith, a dwarven smith living in Thromgarde. “Depending on what you’re carrying you might get attacked by kobolds, especially if you’re carrying food. And don’t even think about going past the King’s Wall.” Coppersmith adds that even a small escort will prevent attacks, and cooperating with the kobolds reduces incidents of injuries.

According to reports, attacks south of King’s Wall, where travelers are permitted by decree of King Arandell, are nearly non-existent since the laws inception. However, traveling north of the wall, which is considered kobold territory, holds much greater risks.

The local adventurers’ guild is upset with the decree, stating the kobolds are a menace and must be pushed out of our lands as they are destructive. They believe this decree with hurt the adventuring industry as novice explorers will not have such a readily available source of experience. The guild claims the population of kobolds will explode without being kept in check as they spread like rats. Verrin Trisdale, leader of the local guild, could not be reached for comment.

Kobolds do not live outside the city walls, however, as many residents report kobolds have lived in the slums for some time. Some citizens claim their lives have improved with the presence of the kobolds.

“They keep to themselves, mostly. Dozens of them in a small complex across from my home,” reports Sandy Wicks, a gnome resident of Thromgarde. “They can be loud and rowdy sometimes, but they aren’t destructive. They scurry away when the guards come and are rarely seen during the day. In fact, break ins have been significantly reduced since they moved in. I feel safer.” Sandy states that a small band of adventurers attempted to ‘evict’ the kobolds, but were grievously injured by traps the kobolds had set. Thieves are less reluctant to raid homes in the slums for this reason.

Merchants around the city have mixed opinions concerning the decree. Some claim they have been trading with kobold merchants for years, while others are concerned a need for their weapons and armor will be reduced. Others are grateful for the cheap labor the kobolds provide.

“They’re not the best soldiers, but the price is right. Most escorts want partial payment or full payment before the journey,” claims Torrik Vanbull, a traveling merchant. “Kobolds are happy if you just feed them along the way and promise to payment on job completion.”

One kobold merchant, Yik Yarpip, was willing to speak with us about the decree. “I have been doing business with many merchants in the area for a long time, though I keep my nature hidden through magical means. I am glad I will no longer have to hide my nature in this wonderful kingdom. While some of my business partners have pulled out, my other loyal customers understand will enjoy reduced rates as I no longer have to keep up the disguise overhead.”

At press time, the Senate states it will contest and repeal the queen’s decree. “King Arandell would never make such a sweeping decree. This is a threat to our entire kingdom and shows that the Queen does not have the best interest of her citizens at heart. The senate will be doing everything in its power to ensure this decision is reversed and that our citizens are safe from the kobold menace.”

Librium: Combat Basics

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So things are not going as well as you planned. It was suppose to be just a delivery run to another slum in Thromgarde, but you stumbled into gang territory and they don’t like Lagamo. They’ll let you go, but they want whatever it is you’re carrying. Medicine and supplies for a clinic that needs them. Your auralei accomplice tried talking your group out of the trouble, but her words go over there heads. Hell, you’re willing to give up the supplies to save your own neck, but your volkmyr friend refuses. The krothgar in charge of the small gang of brigands is getting angry and still wants blood.  They draw their weapons and your group quickly takes cover.

Before we determine if you make it out of here alive, lets look at how you prepared. Continue reading

Librium: Basic Rules

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Over the past 8 years I’ve been working on a roleplaying game system. I work on it off and on, and actually have made some good progress with it. Unfortunately, I feel super vulnerable when I show it to people and thus I rarely actually playtest it. I even branched the system out from fantasy to science fiction when I converted it to [[http://www.project-saros.com/blueshift/|Blueshift]], my system inspired by Mass Effect. I had more success playtesting this because the system was much more straightforward.

Anyway, I really want to push Librium out there now, so here are the basic rules. This is basically just [[http://www.project-saros.com/blueshift/2015/08/07/basic-rules/|this post]] with some updates to terminology and rules.

Core Mechanics

Rule 0 – The Architect is the Judge: The Architect is the ultimate judge of any situation. When it comes to making a ruling on what can or cannot be done, the Architect has the final say; it is pointless to argue against the Fates. The Architect has the power to override and interpret any written, spoken, or implied rule. Heroes may see their story change in ways they did not think possible and it is best to accept these changes and adapt. Keep in mind that the Architect acts as a neutral entity and merely points heroes and enemies at their goals and allows the story to play out. He is neither for nor against you.

Rule 1 – The Rule of Cool: Players are encouraged to think outside of the box. While talents list their effectiveness in purely straightforward combat, they can be used outside of combat or in unique ways in combat. The architect is advised to encourage situations that would make for an interesting story over anything that would follow the rules strictly.

Rule 2 – Bigger is Better: When comparing two values, be they arbitrarily assigned or randomly generated by chance, higher numbers are better than smaller numbers. High numbers mean a higher probability for success. The Architect will never punish a hero for succeeding, especially not for succeeding greatly.

Rule 3 – Defender Win Ties: Whenever a check is made, the target value is given. If the check is greater than the target value, it is considered to have succeeded.

Rule 4 – Specific Rules Beat General Rules: When two rules contradict each other, the rule that applies to the more specific situation wins out. Continue reading

Librium: Skill list

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This is the current list of skills in in Librium. This might change as things the game evolves.

Alchemy

The skill of mixing herbs and reagents in order to concoct potions, elixirs, oils, and other chemicals is called alchemy. Everything created by alchemy causes some sort of reaction. Whether it is beneficial or detrimental is, for the most part, up to the alchemist.

Alchemy is also medicine, the field and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of practices evolved to maintain and restore health through both treatment and prevention.

Animal Handling

This skill allows you to understand of the behavior of animals. It helps you tame and train animals, maintain their needs, treat them, and generally have comprehension of their attitudes and behavior. Animal handling allows you to maintain control and contentment of a pet as well as taming and communicating with wild animals.

Arcana

The study of magic, the flow of aethereal energy, and its interaction with the physical world. The arcana skill teaches arcane principles and is extremely important for arcane spellcasters as it determines the maximum rank of arcane spell they can cast.

Archery

Archery is the skill of delivering precise, deadly projectiles past your enemies’ defenses before they are able they have a chance to retaliate.

Axes

Axe are heavy-handed weapons that focus their weight a single point or axes dealing incredible cleaving damage at the cost of speed and accuracy.

Communication

With communication skill, an explorer will have an easier time expressing their thoughts. It is especially useful when the person or creature does not speak the same language as you or you need to get a complex idea across in simple terms. You can use this skill directly, such as attempting to intimidate someone, or indirectly for concealing messages: A seemingly innocent note can hide a deeper meaning. Communication will rely on your charisma, but it may use other abilities such as strength for intimidation.

Crossbows

The “automatic bow”, crossbows provide quick, deadly ranged attacks at range while not leaving the wielder exposed. Crossbows are difficult to reload, however, and do not benefit from many abilities.

Daggers

Include daggers, knives, shivs, pointed sticks, letter openers, etc. Daggers are usually light weapons that deal piercing stress and are among the fastest weapons available. They favor pinpoint accuracy over the brute strength of other weapons.

Engineering

Engineering represents your ability to understand how machinery functions, the methods and design schemes used to create devices, and the ability to manipulate and interact with technology. Engineers create a variety of mechanical trinkets and clockwork devices with the goal of making tasks easier. Engineering also allows the user to repair mechanical devices as well as create and maintain constructs.

Fitness

The Fitness skill determines how well you can perform physical tasks, such as swimming, climbing, jumping. With fitness, you can demonstrate exemplary feats of balance, agility, and motor control. Fitness relies on various attributes, such as Strength for climbing, Wits for jumping, or Constitution for swimming. Fitness checks are usually performed during movement and you are considered concentrating while performing fitness checks. You move at half your speed while making fitness checks, but you may take up to a -5 penalty to the check to increase your speed by the same amount, up to your current speed.

Fletching

The craft of creating arrows, fletching allows you to recover ammunition spent from archery weapons and crossbows. In addition it allows you to modify and create new types of ammunition, reduces the price of ammunition and even create new ranged weapons.

Hand-to-Hand

Focusing on the ability to fight without the aid of a weapon, hand-to-hand combat makes use of your fists, legs, and the rest of your body to make quick and precise attacks. Fighting unarmed is not as deadly as a weapon without years of training.

Leatherworking

The art of preparing hide and leather for use in production. This skill lets you create and repair light armor and leather materials. In addition, you can improve the quality of armor and leather materials.

Maces

This group includes clubs, flails, board-with-a-spike, cudgels, hammers, and more. While maces lack speed and are on the heavier end of one-handed weapons, maces pack stopping power with every swing, crushing armor and bone with ease.

Polearms

The polearm group includes pikes, tridents, spears, and many others. Many polearms have reach and are balanced weapon, allowing flexibility and control.

Resources

Resources is a representation of your non-liquid assets. Having a high resources skill might mean you live a life of luxury, you have a horse or even a small ship, or own a plot of land. It also gives you access to other things, such as access to secure, clean alchemy lab, raw materials, libraries, or just the tools you need. An adventurer with resources is one that has the means to get by without hassle.

Of course, resources might not just be the things you have, but your ability to adapt when you do not have the things you need. Resources can represent your resourcefulness instead, allowing you to create makeshift devices from a slew of random parts, the ability to salvage objects you need to repair something, or just the ability to find what you need when in a bind. Kender are rarely considered wealthy, but they know how to find the resources they need.

Security

Security gives you knowledge of the proper methods of keeping a building, location, object, or even person safe from harm, intrusion, and crime. With security, you know the proper place to hide your valuables, set up camp in a secure location, and you know the safest locations within a facility. The security skill focuses primarily on mundane security, such as guard patrol patterns, security camera locations, safe hiding spots, and the separation of the asset from any threats. The security skill provides the assurance that the available countermeasures will provide a defense in depth against any risk of threat by any vulnerability or exploit.

Smithing

The craft of taking raw metals and creating them into something new. This skill will let you create and repair heavy armor, and weapons, and other objects. In addition, you can use it to improve armor and weapons, effectiveness.

Staves

Favored by warriors and casters, many staves are enchanted allow the manipulation of magic. They are among the fastest and most accurate two-handed weapons.

Stealth

Stealth allows you conceal yourself from enemies, slink past guards, slip away unnoticed, and sneak up on others without being detected. Stealth also helps conceal your identity, prevent being tracked, and disguise yourself without detection.

Streetwise

Streetwise is a representation of your ability to survive in urban environments. You can use your streetwise to gain information, supplies, jobs, transportation, and just about anything else if you know the right people. It also represents your ability to learn about people, find out who is in charge, recognize guild or gang markings, and understand urban layout.

Having a high streetwise skill means you are connected. You know the powerful movers and shakers in society, maybe officials, mercenary leaders, smugglers, diplomats, or informants. You should make an effort to keep in contact with the people you know and understand why they are important.

Subterfuge

The art of distraction and misdirection, subterfuge allows you to misrepresent the true nature of your activities whether it is a simple or complex lie, casually stealing something, or even falsifying your identity.

Survival

With the survival skill you understand how to survive in the wilderness for long periods with little supplies. It helps you find sources of clean food and water, understand environmental risks, and much more. Survival skill also gives you information on creatures that wander the area. This information can be used to stay out of the way of predators or perhaps to hunt down certain prey. Lastly, survival covers first aid, allowing you to provide in-the-field healthcare.

Swords

Include most bladed weapons such as long swords, rapiers, and more. Swords are balanced weapons combining accuracy and control with speed and power. Swords usually deal slashing stress.

Throwing

Shurikens, darts, throwing axes, large rocks, etc. Throwing weapons tend to have an unpredictable stress range, but are quick and easy to use.