Blogger Edition v.1.0
by Chris "Mirage" Casey


The FAPPO System was built with two goals: to create a traditional-feel RPG system which is easy, fun and fair to play in play-by-post situations (among other applications), and to build a flexible system for epic sweeping adventure, from medieval fantasy to high space opera. In these adventures the PCs are often exceptional and vibrant individuals next to the ordinary man in the street, yet they face an evil even greater than themselves.

This document describes the basic system and gives some examples, but it's not ready to play straight out of the box. Equipment, weapons, travel, currency, etc. are left up to the GM and/or game developer to fill out. Not even these rules are set in stone; if a developer wants to introduce new skills or traits, drop the Legendary Weapons bit, rebrand "Uncanny" to "Pixie Dust," etc., have at it.

I. Character Generation

Every character starts with 30 character creation points and 3 Action Points (APs). With their character creation points, they can buy:
  • Traits: 5 pts each, which nets 3 Success Points [SPs] for that Trait
    See II. Traits
  • Extra Success Points for an already purchased Trait: 1 pt each, to a maximum number of SPs of 5 per Trait
    See II. Traits and IV. Success Levels
  • Skill points: 1 pt each, to a maximum of 5 per skill
    See V. Skills
  • "Floating" Success Points: 3 pts each, to a maximum of 5
    See IV: Success Levels
  • Extra APs: 8 pts each
    See III: Action Points
  • Special abilities: varies
    See VII: Special Abilities
  • Legendary Items: 1-3 pts each
    See XV. Legendary Items
  • Magic Spells: varies
    See XVI: Magic

II. Traits

Traits are the ways your character is naturally set apart from the teeming masses. Not all Traits need be used in every game, and others may be introduced that follow the same general pattern. Each Trait costs 5 character creation points.

A Trait automatically comes with 3 Success Points when purchased, which can be increased to a maximum of 5. See IV. Success Levels below for more details on Success Points.

The first name given for each Trait is the default for this ruleset, and usually has something of a high fantasy vibe. Developers creating games in other genres may wish to use the alternate names given after the Trait description.

Brawny: Your character is exceptionally muscular, compact, or wiry. Alternate names: Strong, Burly
Vigilant: Your character is more perceptive than the average person. Alternate name: Alert
Tireless: Your character has boundless energy and amazing endurance. Alternate name: Energetic
Nimble: Your character is fleet of foot and flexible of body. Alternate name: Agile
Clever: Your character has quick fingers and exceptional coordination. Alternate names: Dexterous, Adroit
Sagacious: Your character knows much about a wide variety of subjects and picks up new ideas easily. Alternate names: Intelligent, Smart
Alluring: There's just something about your character that attracts the attention of others. Alternate names: Attractive, Charismatic
Highborn: Your character was born and/or raised in privilege, giving better access to education and skills uncommon among the peasantry. Alternate names: Aristocratic, Worldly
Fantastical: Your character is not the same race, or indeed species, as the norm among PCs. Alternate names: Inhuman, Alien
Uncanny: Your character has a special gift to alter the very processes of the universe at his whim.

III. Action Points

Most PCs will start out with 3 or more Action Points (APs), which they can allocate to various tasks in any proportion per turn. For instance, a character with 3 APs can put 2 APs into attacking a goblin and 1 AP into defending from that goblin's counterattack. These points are added directly to the character's skill numbers to determine the outcome of those actions. Characters can purchase extra APs for 8 character creation points each.

A player can distribute APs into conditional actions, like "be watchful" or "attack the first thing that sticks its head out." If there really is something to watch out for or something really does stick out its head, then those points will be applied directly to the success of that action. If not, those points have no effect.

Characters can usually allocate their APs into as many actions as they have APs. However, actions that require concentration or attention to detail are usually exclusive in a turn unless the player can make a good case for it. So attacking a goblin and picking a lock in the same turn is not recommended. Defending from attacks or other bodily harm is almost always allowed, however.

If a character allocates no APs into, for example, defending from attacks, it is normally accepted that the character will still defend with their unmodified skill number. In rare cases when the defender is totally unaware of an attack, usually by use of Stealth on the attacker's part, the GM can declare the character was caught flat-footed, reducing their defense to 1.
Some other common actions which require the use of APs:
  • Draw or ready a weapon or slung shield: 1 AP
  • Put away a weapon or shield: 1 AP (dropping a weapon or shield costs nothing)
  • Switch weapons and be ready to attack in the same turn: 2 APs
  • Pick up an item: 1 AP
  • Run: 1 or more APs (see X. Range and Movement)

    IV. Success Levels

    The success level of a character's action is determined by comparing their action total to the difficulty number. The action total is equal to (character's relevant skill + any APs they put into the action + circumstantial bonuses - circumstantial penalties). The difficulty number depends on the situation: an easy action would have a difficulty of 2, average 4, taxing 6, and amazing 8 or more. Compare the difference between the action total and the difficulty number on the following chart:
    -3 or worse
    Abject Failure
    -2 or -1
    Bare Success
    +1 or +2
    Solid Success
    +3 or better
    Great Success
    Players may spend one or more Success Points from a character's Traits, or any floating SPs if purchased, to move up the chart regardless of their actual total.Each point moves the success up one full level, turning an Abject Failure into a regular Failure, a Bare Success into a Solid Success, etc. The player must declare the use of Success Points when the action is declared, before learning the outcome of the action (the exception to this is deferring damage; see VII. Damage and Healing below). The consequence of an Abject Failure or Great Success, if not stated, is up to the GM to add to the flavor of the situation.

    A character who is the subject of a skill use (being attacked, being haggled, etc.) will defend with their own relevant skill + any APs they put into their defense ± circumstantial bonuses and penalties as above. If the character doesn't have the skill in question, their basic defense is 1, or 2 if they have the Suggested Trait of the skill being used against them.

    An action opposed by another character or NPC may have its success level lowered if the target spends Success Points in its defense. This defensive spending must be declared on the player's turn, before the action is resolved. It's okay if this defensive spending is rather general. For instance, a character being approached by a giant troll with murder in its eye could preemptively spend Success Points against any action taken against him by the troll, or a character under attack by three goblins could spend Success Points against any one attack by each of his opponents, or 3 SP in total. If the action the character is defending against doesn't come to pass, he will still lose the SPs.

    When characters purchase a Trait, they receive 3 SPs based on that Trait. Additional SPs may be bought for any Trait for 1 character creation point each, up to a maximum of 5 per Trait. Floating SPs may be purchased for 3 character creation points.

    V. Skills

    The following is an incomplete list of possible skills. Other skills may be introduced by the GM or suggested by the players depending on the flavor of the campaign. Skills are bought with character creation points at a one-to-one basis to a maximum of 5 points per skill.

    Swordfighting (Nimble)
    Knife Fighting (Clever)
    Firearms (Clever)
    Artillery (Vigilant)
    Fisticuffs (Brawny)
    Wrestling (Tireless)
    Concentration (Tireless)
    Lifting (Brawny)
    Tracking (Vigilant)
    Searching (Vigilant)
    Climbing (Tireless)
    Stealth (Nimble)
    Acrobatics (Nimble)
    Riding (Highborn)
    Archery (Highborn)
    Throwing (Clever)
    Pickpocket (Clever)
    Ship Piloting (Sagacious)
    Healing (Sagacious)
    Mechanics (Sagacious)
    Persuasion (Alluring)
    Oratory (Alluring)
    Spellcasting (Uncanny)
    Magical Weaponry (Uncanny)
    Racial Abilities (Fantastical)

    The Trait shown in parentheses after each skill is that skill's Suggested Trait. A character doesn't usually have to have the Suggested Trait to take a skill, and Success Points from any Trait may be used with any skill, provided the player can come up with a reasonable in-game explanation. However, allocating SPs from a Suggested Trait toward a skill will act as though one extra Success Point is spent; i.e. 1 SP becomes 2, 2 becomes 3, etc. (0 is still 0.) In addition, a skill used by a character who has the Suggested Trait, whether SPs are spent or even whether the character has points in the skill, will not result in an Abject Failure unless the total is -5 or worse.

    Characters without the Traits Uncanny or Fantastical may not buy or use skills that have those Suggested Traits.

    VI. Health Levels

    Most characters use a tiered health system.

    - Healthy
    - Staggered (Heal: 1 turn)
    - Battered (Heal: 10 minutes/Difficulty 3)
    - Wounded (-1 AP) (Heal: 24 hours/Difficulty 4)
    - Incapacitated (-2 AP) (Heal: 2 weeks/Difficulty 6)
    - Dying (Unconscious) (Heal: 1 month/Difficulty 8)
    - Dead

    Moving down on the list, in any amount, will cause the injured character to lose 1 AP on their next action only. After the amount of time listed under "Heal," the character will regain one health level. Characters who drop to Wounded also lose 1 AP "permanently" until they heal up to Battered, and Incapacitated characters lose yet another AP "permanently" until they heal up to Wounded. Incapacitated characters can take no action more strenuous than walking slowly unless they spend a Success Point from the trait Tireless.

    Dying characters will fall Dead if they don't receive two full turns of attention from someone with the Healing skill, or two Success Points from someone with the traits Sagacious or Highborn, within ten combat turns of being knocked out. These two turns do not require skill checks, just attendance. Success stabilizes the character at Dying, allowing him to heal as normal.

    A less deadly alternative: Characters still take points of damage as usual, but each health level has as many "pips" as its level, and all of the "pips" must be filled before the character falls to the next level. Healing the most advanced level clears out all "pips" in all health levels.

    With this option, the health meter looks more like this:

    o Staggered
    oo Battered
    ooo Wounded (-1AP)
    oooo Incapacitated (-2AP)
    ooooo Dying (Unconscious)
    X Dead

    To make PCs even more dangerous, the designer may choose to retain the more deadly system for low-level NPCs.

    VII. Damage and Healing

    Weapons do damage and status effects according to the success level of the attack. Usually any failure is a miss, a Bare Success does half damage (rounded down), a Solid Success does full damage and a Great Success adds a Special status effect depending on the weapon (see XIII. Weapons and Specials below).

    Characters can reduce incoming damage by up to two levels per attack by spending Success Points on a one-to-one basis from any Trait. This is the only time a player can spend SPs after the fact to change the outcome of an event. The damage reduction does NOT remove status effects from Specials. This "healing" is retroactive and doesn't require GM approval, but it does require an attempt to provide a reasonable explanation. For example, a Battered character takes a solid strike from a longsword, dropping him three levels to Dying. The GM describes this as the sword thrusting through the character and emerging from his back. The player chooses to use two Nimble Success Points to reduce that to Wounded and explains it as dodging so the sword mostly strikes through his cloak instead of his chest, as it initially appeared.

    Successful use of the Healing skill versus the difficulty number given in the list above will cut the time to heal one level in half (5 minutes instead of 10 to move from Battered to Staggered, for instance). Once the character moves up to the next level, they'll have to spend the entire time to heal that level unless an assisting character successfully uses the Healing skill again. This check can only be made once per health level, and must result in a Solid Success or better.

    Some magic spells will heal characters one or more levels instantly. It's up to the developer to determine whether healing spells can be layered, allowing a character to heal from Dying to Healthy almost immediately, or if such magic has an inherent "cool-down" time during which a character's body must acclimate to its new circumstances and can't receive more healing.

    VIII. Special Abilities

    Special ability or racial packages can only be bought at the time of character creation. Each package contains special inherent powers which set a character apart from others. For instance, a Tolkien Elf racial package would contain abilities like Walk Without Trace and Exceptional Senses. These abilities are not available to any character without the package. Once acquired, they can be improved with character creation points like a skill. Most racial abilities have Fantastical as their Suggested Trait. Characters can usually purchase only one racial package.

    Special packages can come with other prerequisites. For instance, a Tolkien Elf would almost certainly require the character to take the Highborn Trait, and possibly Nimble and Uncanny as well.

    The character creation point cost of a special ability package is up to the GM or developer depending on how common they are among PCs within the campaign. Common packages may only cost 1-2 points; very rare ones may cost 5 points or more.

    IX. Turn Structure

    The GM makes one or more posts to resolve the actions of the characters' actions of the previous turn, then presents the current situation the PCs are in. Players post their characters' actions individually. There is usually no "initiative" in these actions; all PC actions are assumed to take place simultaneously, as are all NPC actions.

    turn is considered to be enough time for all characters to take actions of roughly equal complexity. In combat, a turn is around 10 seconds.

    X. Range and Movement

    One Range is approximately 10 yards in the open. A Range may be shorter in close or cluttered terrain.

    Ranged weapons are rated Short, Medium, Long, and Extreme. Short weapons add 2 to the difficulty to hit per Range between the attacker and the target; Medium weapons add 1 per Range; Long weapons add 1 per 2 Ranges (round down); Extreme weapons add 1 per 3 Ranges (round down). Devices like scopes can extend even these ranges. A properly mounted optical telescopic sight, for instance, will add 1 difficulty per 6 Ranges.

    A character can move one Range per turn without penalty. The character can move faster by spending APs; for each AP spent in a turn, the character can move one extra Range.

    XI. Combat

    Characters attack with (weapon skill + any APs they put into the attack + bonuses - penalties) like any other action. Characters have defense against all attack types equal to their highest attack skill minus 1. Characters may spend SPs toward their defense prior to an attack; each SP spent will reduce the success of an attack by one level. Also add in the Action Points the defender spends and any bonuses or penalties as usual. If the final defensive total is below 1, increase it to 1.

    When the attack is declared, the attacker also declares the use of SPs. After the attack occurs, the defender declares the use of SPs to reduce damage in the same post as declaring his next action.

    XII. Armor

    Armor comes in three generic forms: Light (1), Medium (2) and Heavy (3). Add the character's Armor rating to his defense against attacks across the board. Heavy Armor has the special effect that its wearer is unaffected by Bare Success attacks, but on the other hand reduces any skill with a Nimble or Clever Suggested Trait by 1.

    Shields are also rated Light, Medium and Heavy, but their defense applies at the rate of two points per (rating number of attacks) per turn; for instance, a Light Shield will add 2 points to a character's defense against one attack per turn, where a Heavy Shield will add 2 points to defense against three different attacks in a turn.

    A shield's defense is applied to the most potentially damaging attacks the character suffers in a turn. For example, a character wielding a Medium Shield is targeted by three attacks in one turn: one which normally does 3 levels of damage on a Solid Success and two which normally do 2 levels of damage. The shield therefore adds 2 defense to the 3-level attack and 2 more to one of the 2-level attacks (if one of these attackers has a higher skill than the other, the shield defends against the least skilled attack). The third attack is unimpeded.

    Light shields are useless against projectiles. Medium shields can only defend against one ranged attack per turn. Heavy shields are unrestricted in their missile defense.

    XIII. Weapons and Specials

    Most weapons have one or more superlative effects that can occur when the user has a Great Success. For example, a longsword might include a Bleeding Special on a Great Success. A sap, on the other hand, might deliver a Knockout on a Great Success. The attacker determines ahead of time whether his character is attempting a Special, or the GM can invoke a Special when he deems it dramatically appropriate.
    • Extra Damage (#): the victim takes (#) extra health levels of damage on top of the weapon's normal damage. The Extra Damage Special is always invoked on a Great Success, whether the wielder desires it or not.
    • Bleeding: the victim seems fine until the combat ends, at which time his health level drops immediately to Incapacitated (if not below there already). Binding his wounds takes 10 uninterrupted minutes of attention from a character with the Sagacious or Highborn Traits or the Healing skill, at which time the victim recovers to his health level at the end of the fight.
    • Knockout: the victim is instantly knocked unconscious. His health level doesn't otherwise change. He will remain unconscious for 10 minutes per difference between his defense and the attacker's skill.
    • Fire: the victim is set ablaze, taking 1 health level of damage per turn until extinguished. This damage can also be deferred by spending SPs.
    • Corrosion: the victim's Armor rating is reduced by one step unless the Armor is legendary or otherwise somehow magical. Any exposed non-magical weapons are reduced one health level in damage, and small items may break or be dissolved. Repairing corroded armor and weapons will cost about two-thirds the price of a new item.
    • Poison: the victim is poisoned, the effects of which depend on the poison type. Mortal poisons may act like Fire above for a set number of turns; nerve poisons may give a healthy penalty to all the victim's actions and reduce or eliminate the victim's APs for a time; etc.
    • Disease: the victim is infected with a pathogen. Usually the first signs of a disease don't manifest for several hours or days and have different effects. A fever, for instance, might reduce a character to a maximum health level of Wounded for a few days; a plague might act as a slow-acting Poison; etc. Diseases can be cured with bed rest, medicine, the attendance of a healer, or magic, depending on the severity of the affliction.
    • Dismemberment: the victim loses an exposed part of his anatomy (GM's choice). The amount lost depends on just how Great the Great Success is. Barely making it might cost the defender part of their nose or some fingers on their off hand, or even just give them a nasty slash; making it with plenty of points to spare could take off an entire arm, disarming (ho ho) the character in the process. Dismemberment may also be used against weapons or other items, slashing them in half and rendering them useless. Note that Dismemberment is not an instant-kill option, although a victim killed by this weapon may have a ... colorful description of his death.
    • Knockdown: the victim falls down flat. It costs 2 APs to stand back up again. A prone character can continue to fight standing characters at a 2-point disadvantage to all skills; standing characters fighting a prone one have no such penalty.
    • Disarm: the victim loses his grip on his weapon, which falls to his feet. It costs 1 AP to retrieve it and 1 more AP to prepare it for use. A Disarm Special can also be used to cause the victim to drop any handheld object.
    • Grasp: the victim is Disarmed as above. If the attack succeeds by 4 points, the dropped object or weapon can be pulled to the attacking character's feet; if it succeeds by 5 or more points, the attacker can actually grab the item for himself. A Grasped weapon must still be readied to be used, which requires 1 AP.
    • Impale: the victim suffers a -1 skill penalty to all actions until the weapon is removed. Removing an impaling weapon costs 1 AP.
    • Barbed: as Impale, but removing a Barbed weapon requires 2 APs and the victim cannot move that turn. A Barbed weapon can be ripped out for 1 AP but will injure the character further, doing another health level of damage.
    • Transfix: like a greater version of Impale, the weapon sticks completely through the victim's body. If the weapon is held by another character or fixed to an immobile object, the victim is unable to move. The victim suffers a -2 penalty to all actions while Transfixed. The weapon does one health level of damage per turn for as long as he remains Transfixed and one more when the weapon is removed. Removing a Transfixed weapon costs 3 APs.
    • Freeze: the victim is coated with a sheath of ice (or earth, or wood, or however the specific attack is handled). The character can take no action until the sheath is broken, requiring a successful Wrestling "attack" versus a difficulty of 8 from inside, or any attack against the sheath from outside versus a difficulty of 10. Fire or other sources of heat reduce this difficulty to 5. A Failure on an external attack strikes the iced-over character instead for 1 health level of damage; an Abject Failure strikes him for full damage. After ten turns, a frozen character takes 1 health level of exposure and/or suffocation damage every two turns until freed or dead.
    • Vaporize: this and other insta-kill Specials should be very rare. Essentially, the victim goes straight past Dead and doesn't stop until his atoms are wandering the stratosphere.
    Some example weapons:

    In the hands of a character without the Uncanny Trait, a lightsword does 3 Health Levels of damage, but on an Abject Failure does damage to its wielder as if he attacked himself. A character with the Uncanny Trait avoids this self-injury flaw and unlocks the sword's Extra Damage (2) and Dismemberment Specials. Uncanny users can also use the lightsword as a shield, deflecting as many attacks, even projectile attacks, as the user puts APs into his defense.

    Whips do only 1 health level of damage, but can attack from up to 1 Range away without penalty and have the Grasp and Knockdown Specials. Whips have their own skill, Whip (Clever).

    2 levels damage, Extra Damage (1) and Knockdown Specials.

    1 level damage, Knockout Special.

    This Medium range energy pistol has multiple settings. Setting 1 does 2 health levels of damage and has the Knockout Special. Setting 2 does 1 health level damage to all targets within 2 Ranges in an arc in front of the firer, also with the Knockout Special. Setting 3 does 3 health levels of damage and has the Extra Damage (2) Special. Setting 4 does 4 health levels of damage and has the Vaporize Special. A plaser has a battery with "ammo" 10, losing a number of "ammo" points equal to its current setting number when fired.

    Other semi-common weapons
    Short sword: Dmg: 2, Special: Extra Damage (1)
    Dagger: Dmg: 1, Special: Extra Damage (1), Bleeding
    Broadsword: Dmg: 3, Special: Extra Damage (1), Bleeding
    Main Gauche or Sai: Dmg: 2, Special: Disarm
    Battle Axe: Dmg: 3, Special: Extra Damage (2)
    Spear: Dmg: 2, Range: Short (Thrown), Special: Extra Damage (2), Impale
    Polearm: Dmg: 2, Special: Extra Damage (2), Transfix
    Sap: Dmg: 1, Special: Knockout
    Mace: Dmg: 2, Special: Extra Damage (1), Knockdown
    Torch: Dmg: 1, Special: Fire
    Horse Bow: Dmg: 2, Range: Medium, Special: Barbed
    Long Bow: Dmg: 3, Range: Extreme, Special: Barbed
    Crossbow: Dmg: 2, Range: Long, Special: Extra Damage (1), Impale
    Pistol: Dmg: 2, Range: Medium, Special: Extra Damage (1), Bleeding
    Pistol, Action Adventure: Dmg: 1, Range: Medium, Special: Extra Damage (2), Knockout
    Pistol, Crime Drama: Dmg: 3, Range: Short, Special: Extra Damage (2)
    Pistol, Cowboy: Dmg: 2, Range: Medium, Special: Extra Damage (1), Bleeding, Disarm
    Rifle: Dmg: 3, Range: Extreme, Special: Extra Damage (1), Bleeding
    Rifle, Sniper*: Dmg: 3, Range: Ultra (divide distance by 10), Special: Extra Damage (4), Bleeding
    Shotgun: Dmg: 2, Range: Short, Special: Extra Damage (2), Knockdown, Bleeding
    Grenade**: Dmg: 4, Range: Short (Thrown), Radius: 2, Special: Extra Damage (2), Knockdown, Bleeding
    Stun Grenade**: Dmg: 1, Range: Short (Thrown), Radius: 2, Special: Knockout

    * A Sniper Rifle must be carefully steadied (taking at least 2 turns aiming) before the Range and Extra Damage bonuses take effect. Otherwise, consider it identical to a regular Rifle. The target must not move more than one Range from its original position during this steadying period or the bead will be lost, requiring the sniper to spend two more turns reacquiring the target.

    ** Grenades "attack" everything within their blast radius with the Throwing skill of the thrower. APs and SPs spent by the thrower apply to every attack within this radius.

    XIV. Enemies

    Enemies come in a number of varieties. Any enemy may have a "racial package" built-in without needing to spend extra character creation points for them; otherwise, enemies are generated using the same creation rules as PCs except as noted below.

    Nuisance: These enemies are built with 3-6 character creation points and have 1 AP. Any attack by a PC will knock (3x their success number) Nuisance creatures out of the fight at once. For instance, a character who succeeds in any attack by 3 points will eliminate 9 of the little buggers. Slight as they are, though, Nuisance creatures have a special inherent attack: Swarm. For every five Nuisance creatures attacking a character, treat them as a single entity with +1 to the Nuisance creature's attack skill and AP and -1 to its defense (to a minimum of 1). A Bare Success with a Swarm attack will cause 1 health level of damage; a Solid Success, 2 levels; and a Great Success, 3 levels.

    Minion: Low-level monsters, thugs, etc. Minions are built on 10-20 character creation points and have 2 APs. Minions in a group are assumed to all have the same stats. A single successful attack by a PC will eliminate their weapon's Health Levels in Minions in one turn. For instance, a longsword which does 3 Health Levels of damage will knock out three Minions at once. To make bookkeeping easier, Minions also have a Collaborate ability: The GM divides Minions into groups of 3, each of which attacks as a single entity with +2 to all attack skills. This bonus does not apply to Minion defense.

    Lieutenant: Dangerous individuals. Lieutenants are built on 25-35 character creation points and have 3 APs. Lieutenants only have four Health Levels, however: Healthy, Wounded, Incapacitated, and Dead. A Lieutenant is usually a match for any one PC.

    Veteran: Veteran creatures begin to be reasonable opponents for entire parties of players, especially if played intelligently. Veterans are built on 40-50 character creation points and 4 APs. Veterans also have the full set of Health Levels. Veterans may buy up to seven Success Points with a Trait and up to six skill points for any skill.

    Master: A single creature of considerable power, requiring a concerted team effort to defeat. Master creatures are built on 60+ character creation points and have at least 6 APs. Master creatures also have an extended set of Health Levels: Healthy, Unaffected, Staggered, Battered, Battered, Wounded, Wounded, Wounded, Incapacitated, Dying, Dead. These creatures have no limit on the number of Success Points they can buy with a Trait and may buy up to eight skill points for any skill.

    XV. Legendary Items

    Legendary items are normal weapons, armor or items which have been enhanced with a character's own creation points, either at the time of creation or later in a campaign. Each point spent will increase either a weapon's accuracy (i.e. the character's skill) or damage, or a set of armor or shield's protection. Legendary items can also include minor magic items like a lantern which burns without oil or a water flask which refills every morning with one day's worth of clean water. The character creation point cost for these minor effects depends on the venue. A character can spend up to three character creation points on any single legendary item.

    As a rule of thumb, a player can increase an item's primary purpose by a "step" per character creation point spent. Besides the possibility of increasing damage or accuracy, a legendary weapon might have one or more extra Specials. A legendary item can also gain one relatively minor effect per character creation point, like a shield which gives off light like a torch. "Inappropriate" items can also become legendary, like a ring which provides protection like a suit of armor; generally the player will have to spend at least one extra character creation point to own such an item.

    Making an item legendary after the character hes been created may require some explanation. For instance, a character who chooses to make his ordinary sword "legendary" after fighting a griffon could explain that the griffon's blood has somehow given the metal in the sword special properties. The GM can also rule that items can gain in power simply by being used by heroes, in true myth cycle style.

    Characters can use someone else's legendary item, but the item must be "bound" before any special powers are available. This binding requires the character to sacrifice one (and only one) character creation point, often by permanently reducing a skill. The original owner will know immediately if his item is bound to another, but will otherwise have no idea who currently has it or where it is. The original owner can reclaim a bound item simply by taking it into his possession. This will also break the previous character's binding. If the binding character manages to get hold of the item yet again, he must sacrifice another creation point to bind it again.

    XVI. Magic

    General Magic is the philosophy that being able to do "magic" gives you the ability to affect the world around you in greater or lesser ways without necessarily needing to study spells. In General Magic, the difficulty to create an effect depends on what exactly you're trying to do. Start with a base difficulty of 3 and add/subtract on the effects table:
    +2: The caster is immune to the effect of an area effect spell
    +1: Per Health Level of damage the effect does on a Solid Success
    +2: Per Health Level the spell heals a character
    +2: Per Special on a Great Success
    +2: Per Range radius of an area effect
    +1: Per extra point of accuracy
    +1: Changes the shape of 50 lbs of unliving material (+1 per extra 50 lbs) or 10 lbs of living material (+1 per extra 10 lbs)
    +3: Inserts something (a message, thought, impulse, emotion, etc.) into the mind of a living being*
    +1: Independently animates 50 lbs of unliving material for one minute (+1 per extra 50 lbs)
    +2: Creates 50 lbs of unliving material (+1 per extra 50 lbs)
    +2: Creates a living being weighing less than 10 lbs (+1 per extra 20 lbs)
    +1: Per Range between caster and effect
    -1: Requires the caster to touch the target
    -1: Is easily traced to the caster by any observer
    +1: Creates an invisible and intangible "locus" upon which other magical effects can be layered, with a maximum lifespan of 1 minute
    +1: Gives a locus the ability to move 1 Range per turn (+1 per additional Range speed, up to 10 Ranges/turn)
    +1: Teleports a locus up to 1 mile instantly (+1 per additional mile)
    +3: Transfers a locus up to one year into the past or future (+2 per additional year)
    +1: Time delay before the spell takes effect, up to a full minute
    +2: Spell "waits" ten minutes until triggered by a specific nearby action; if the action never occurs before the time expires, the spell fizzles
    +2: Project one physical sense or mundane ability (like speech) into an object or locus (+2 per additional sense)
    +3: Teleports 50 lbs of unliving material or 20 lbs of living material up to 1 mile instantly (+1 per additional 20 lbs of either type of material)
    +3: Causes up to 50 lbs of living or 200 lbs of unliving material to become invisible (+1 per additional 50 lbs)
    +1: Doubles any spell duration (+1 = x2, +2 = x4, +3 = x8, +4 = x16, etc.)
    -1: Loud and flashy spell effects
    -1: Takes two full turns of uninterrupted concentration to cast
    -2: Takes a full minute of uninterrupted concentration to cast
    -3: Takes a full hour of uninterrupted concentration to cast
    -4: Takes a day or more of uninterrupted concentration to cast

    * Mind-altering spells "attack" versus a difficulty analogous to the target's current mood and intent. Suggesting a thought or emotion which is logical for the target's current state of mind ("Attack the bastard" to an angry opponent holding a drawn sword) has a difficulty around 5. Suggesting something which is somewhat inconsistent ("Attack the bastard" to a neutral but wary opponent) has a difficulty up to 10. Suggesting something wildly inconsistent ("Attack the bastard" to a calm, unarmed opponent) can push the difficulty up to 15 or even higher for Vigilant or Sagacious foes. An Abject Failure of mind control magic will usually alert the target that they're being manipulated, though not necessarily by whom.

    Simply sending a mental message is usually automatically successful, though contacting a target whose mind is flooded with emotion or sensory overload will increase the difficulty of the casting by 2.

    Example spell: Deendi's Generic Fireball
    Base: 3
    Does 4 levels of damage on a Solid Success: +4
    Special: Fire: +2
    Creates a locus: +1 (without this, the fireball would be centered on the caster or require a specific target instead)
    2 Range radius: +4
    Loud and flashy (and how): -1
    Traceable back to the caster (looks like a fizzling meteor shot from the caster's fingertips before detonating): -1

    Final difficulty: 12 + 1 per Range between the caster and the point where the explosion goes off. Pretty daunting. Remember, though, that the first SP spent off the Uncanny Trait for a spellcasting counts as TWO SPs for the Spellcasting skill (see V. Skills), which pushes even Abject Failures up to Bare Successes.

    Specific Magic uses many of the same rules as General Magic but does quantify magic effects into "spells." A caster can spend character creation points to learn spells created using the table above. Each spell learned this way has one-half of its original casting difficulty (round down and ignore range modifiers) before range modifiers. So the example Fireball spell would only have a base difficulty of 6 + 1 per Range to cast, putting it more within reach of an experienced mage. The downside, of course, is a lack of flexibility.

    To acquire a spell, the character must pay a number of character creation points equal to the spell's final base difficulty divided by four (round up this time, but still ignore range modifiers). So the Fireball spell would cost two character creation points.

    Magic spells "attack" using the caster's Spellcasting skill. This can be increased by adding points to the spell's difficulty on a one-to-one basis.

    XVII. Restoring Success Points

    Success Points partially regenerate at the end of a scene, as determined by the GM. The number of SPs a character gets in the interim depends on how long in game time the break lasts:

    1 pt: Next scene follows immediately
    2 pts: Next scene takes place a few hours later the same day
    3 pts: Next scene happens after a good night's rest
    4 pts: Characters have a week or more of downtime between scenes
    All: After the end of the adventure

    These restored points may go toward any Trait or mix of Traits. Excess points are lost.

    XVIII. Character Advancement

    At the end of an adventure, each character receives a small number of character creation points (no more than 3) depending on the scope of the adventure. These points may be used to raise skills or saved to buy new Traits. In one-shot games, this is usually ignored and the character is retired at the end.

    Tournament-style alternative rules: The player receives one CC point upon the successful completion of an adventure. This running total may be kept track of by an external party or even within the forum itself, if there's suitable infrastructure. This allows the player to enter a new game with an increased number of character creation points to make a new character with. These points may accumulate forever, allowing veteran players to create powerful characters.

    XIX. Posting

    The standard post format should include the character's name, a prose description of the character's actions, and a brief description of the general intent of the character and any out-of-character chatter, if needed. Other information can be required at the GM's behest. Using SPs, dividing APs, etc. happen exactly as described by the player. The GM is free to assume that anything the player does not say is up to interpretation, but is cautioned not to twist a player's words or lawyer their comments. You're playing a game, not granting a Wish.

    A player's post will usually involve the character dealing with the circumstances of the previous turn's action as well as any activity the character takes going forward. Normally one post covers one action.

    Player-vs-player actions, if they occur, can be resolved between players on an honor system without necessarily involving the GM. It's usually best, though, to keep AP/SP allocations secret so the outcome remains fair. Emailing/private messaging the GM is the recommended method, and the GM can divulge the results of these actions in his own post, or by email/PM to the interested parties.

    XX. Game Courtesy

    The GM can call time on players after giving them a reasonable amount of time to post ("reasonable" being a completely nebulous term depending on the players and the patience of the GM). Unattended PCs are assumed to take no action that turn. If a player neglects to post for more than two or three turns and does not respond to GM or player inquiries, the GM is encouraged to assume their character as an NPC or pass responsibility of that character's actions to another player, in extreme cases introducing a new player to the game. The original player can only return to the game at the GM's mercy at this point.

    The GM has great power in a GM-vs-player scenario, and could easily change an NPC's action to perfectly counter a player's action. DON'T DO THIS. For the game's sake, it's best to decide the exact AP and SP allocations of any involved NPCs before even posting the effects of the previous turn. GMs that use their power to save a pet NPC or railroad the players will (and should) soon find themselves without players at all.