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Sometimes you will roll dice to determine how successful your heroa€™s actions are, and you can use your heroa€™s mojo to help ensure success.
Besides this rulebook, youa€™ll want a notebook for tracking your charactera€™s abilities and for remembering details about your charactera€™s adventures. If the characters enter a town, the people living in that town are the Guidea€™s responsibility.
This is not to say that players cannot offer input to the Guide, nor that the Guide may not request such input. If youa€™re not the Adventure Guide, all you really need to read is the first section, up to Character Archetypes, and possibly up through Sample Characters. In Gods & Monsters, much of the role-playing comes from your narration of what your character does. When you describe what your character tries to do, you can also describe how your character tries to do it.
Your character will (if they survive their adventures) advance through a series of experience levels. Because the game, like a movie camera, focuses on the player characters, it gives them extra chances of survival in the form of survival points, verve, mojo, and reaction rolls.
Sometimes youa€™ll be in a situation where you know your character has no motivation to be part of the adventure. In any story, what matters is what makes the main character different: their special abilities. For example, you might be trying to solve the riddle of what happened in an ancient, deserted manor. One tool that you have as a player to ensure that your scenarios make sense is that mojo use must always matter.
Whenever your character enters a new place or a new situation, your Adventure Guide will describe what your character initially sees. Your character knows different things than you do, so youa€™ll need to ask the Adventure Guide questions constantly. Inside the cavern, the stench is stronger, but not as overpowering as it might have been a few months ago. You will also use four-sided dice (d4), eight-sided dice (d8), ten-sided dice (d10), and twelve-sided dice (d12), usually for things like survival points and weapon damage.
7.Apply your charactera€™s specialty, writing down any special abilities or restrictions it gives your character.
17.Write down your charactera€™s starting moneya€”your charactera€™s archetypal ability, in silver coins.
18.Describe your character: what does your character look like, what is their background, why are they adventuring, which other characters does your character know, and why?
If you havena€™t done so yet, you may wish to read The Order of the Astronomers for one idea of the kinds of things that can happen in a Gods & Monsters game. The first thing youa€™ll want to do is talk with your friends and decide what the game will be about. Your game can be about a plot, such as a€?city resists invasiona€? or about a style, such as a€?old-style dungeon crawla€?. Even though ________________________________, I will explore the ruins because ____________________________________. Even though my mother wants me to stay on the farm, I will explore the ruins because I want to see the world.
Even though I want to marry my childhood sweetheart, I will explore the ruins because we need money to build a home. Even though there are safer ways to make a fortune, I will explore the ruins because I want it all now. You can change your motivation at any time, but it must always provide a justification for adventuring in ruins. If you havena€™t yet done so, youa€™ll need to choose one member of the group to be the Adventure Guide. There is a lot more about moral code later in the book; it has its own section, and youa€™ll want to read it. Ita€™s always a good idea to talk about the archetypes youa€™re going to want in your group, so that you know who wants to play which archetype and you know which of the mental archetypes (Sorceror, Prophet, and Monk) are available. If there are four players, one is the Adventure Guide, one will play a Warrior, one will play a Thief, and one will play a mental archetype. If there are only three players, one player character must be a physical archetype, and one must be a mental archetype.
If there are five players, the fifth player can play a warrior, a thief, or one of the remaining mental archetypes (but not the same one already being played). Throughout this game you will have scores, levels, and other numbers that describe your charactera€™s prowess and competence. The reason that higher numbers are better is that whenever your character does something at which there is a chance of failure, you roll a d20 and compare the number on that die to one of those scores. For example, you might decide your character is going to climb a rope thirty feet into a tower. When circumstances, such as that the rope is slippery, affect your charactera€™s chance of success, you wona€™t always know what that penalty (or bonus) is. On the front of your character sheet, make a space for your Charisma, Intelligence, Wisdom, Endurance, Agility, and Strength. Roll 4d6 six times, throwing out the lowest die in each case, to generate six numbers from 3 to 18.
Charisma measures leadership, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills (noticing how to act and react to others).
Like the other abilities, charisma has a lot bundled up with it, and leadership is the next biggest chunk of charisma. Intelligence is a charactera€™s learning ability and ability to assimilate knowledge and remember facts. Wisdom is also common sense, especially where common sense conflicts with learned knowledge. Often, a roll or score will use abilities to modify the number associated with the roll or score. In this table, any number with a a€?dasha€™ is a penalty to the action: it must always hinder. The a€?Speciala€? column is used mostly for attributes which get bonuses based merely on the existence of an ability. There are five archetypes, each associated with one of the six ability scores and one of the six reactions. As your character increases in level, their archetypal reaction will improve faster than their other reactions. After you go through your archetypea€™s checklist, youa€™ll also gain some initial resources for your character, such as skills and money.
Determine any other statistics you need to know about your character, such as reactions, defense, age, height, weight, movement, and carry. Warriors may save points across rounds, as long as the total combat points saved and moved in one round never exceed twice their level. The bonus to throw off surprise does not apply to the original surprise roll, since the character wasna€™t in combat then. Combat bonus points applied to damage with unarmed combat styles (such as simple unarmed combat or martial arts combat) do not directly increase damage. The sorceror gains a bonus to their total spell slots according to their intelligence as a major contributor. For example, a first level sorceror with a 17 intelligence gains a bonus of three to their total spell slots, for a total of four spell slots. It takes two minutes times the level of the spell to impress the spell into the sorcerora€™s mind. Sorcerors may not memorize spells that are higher level than the sorceror or higher level than the sorcerora€™s intelligence.
Determine any other statistics, such as reactions, defense, age, height, weight, movement, and carry.
Prophets call upon the spirits of their Gods and hold these spirits until they need to manifest the spirita€™s divine power. The prophet may hold a number of spirits according to the spirita€™s calling cost and the castera€™s level. A prophet cannot call any spirit of higher level than the propheta€™s own level, nor of higher level than the propheta€™s wisdom.
Prophets can use spirits to protect themselves and their friends if the spirit is relevant. The prophet can burn a spirit to protect anyone within their combat movement as long as the prophet can in any way reach that person. Prophets may be limited in armor or weapon use, depending on the requirements of their religion or order. The Monk is a master of the powers of the mind, deeply in tune with their own mental and intellectual abilities. To use a psychic power, the player must make an ability roll as noted above, with their field bonus as a bonus (as normal for fields and skills). For example, if the character has Telepathic Art +4 and is level 2, they have six points to play with for telepathic skills. The character may choose between Order and Chaos, or remain neutral to that part of the code, and the character may choose between Good and Evil, or remain neutral to that part of the code. Unaligned charactersa€”characters who have no moral codea€”dona€™t see the world in terms of moral choices, and probably avoid them for as long as possible. Ordered individuals will say that when there are clear rules to be followed and a clear hierarchy, problems stand out. Ordered Good promotes order, law, and community to enhance the well-being of everyone in the community. Ordered Evil uses order, law, and social hierarchies to enhance one's own well-being, standing, power, and wealth at the expense of others. Chaotic Good promotes personal responsibility and civil rights to enhance the freedom and well-being of all individuals. Chaotic Evil uses the self-centered manipulation of others to fulfill the charactera€™s own immediate desires. The classic example of an Ordered character is the bureaucrat who cares nothing for whether their actions are good or evil, but merely whether the paperwork is filled out and the schedule met. A character may align themselves to a moral code, but fail to live up to the ideals of that code.
Starting characters have 12 mojo, modified by their archetypal ability as a major contributor.
Once your character reaches their second level, you may no longer use mojo to acquire equipment and money, nor may you use the discounted mojo rates for resources. When a player uses mojo to gain something for their character, it is assumed that the character always had the resource in question; it only became relevant at the time the mojo was spent. The same rules for gaining bonuses to die rolls when spending mojo to gain skills apply to discounted first level mojo.
Beginning characters can trade mojo for equipment: each mojo is worth up to 30 silver coins of equipment.
Players can trade two mojo for one field at +1; this includes one initial skill within that field. Players may spend mojo to gain Fighting Art skills but not to increase their Fighting Art field bonus. On paying mojo for a spell, the player may choose to have their sorceror have already memorized the spell, if the memorization slots were left available at the last meditation or by replacing unused spells as if this spell had been memorized to begin with. Some specialties have requirements: the character must have a minimum ability score, or must follow a specific moral code, or must not follow a specific moral code.
When a player wants their character to perform a dangerous or difficult task, theya€™ll roll against one of their charactera€™s abilities or reactions. Characters who have high mental abilities begin the game with a number of fields equal to intelligence as a major contributor and wisdom and charisma as minor contributors. If the character has low mental abilities, a negative total can be ignored unless the character is old enough to have extra skills. The Arcane Lore Lorebook contains a detailed list of fields, and skills within those fields, which you can choose from or roll randomly from, but you can also come up with your own fields and skills, subject to the approval of the Adventure Guide.
Your character automatically has the field Native Culture at +2, with the skills Native Language and one Etiquette from local subcultures. You may move your charactera€™s Native Language skill into the Languages field if you have it.
When in combat, your character will get their Fighting Art field bonus as long as they are using a weapon theya€™re skilled with.
The skill basic weapons is only available to Thieves (who automatically have it) and those with the appropriate specialty.
Verve is the ability of your character to look cool in the face of harm that results from archetypal actions.
At first level, player characters have five verve, modified by their archetypal ability and their verve ability as minor contributors. When the chance of success is governed by the charactera€™s archetypal ability or archetypal reaction or by one of the charactera€™s specialties, damage resulting from that action comes from verve first, then from survival. The charactera€™s Movement rating is 10, with agility as a major contributor and strength as a minor contributor. A charactera€™s movement determines their reach in combat, and how fast they can travel on foot. Reactions start at 4, modified by the charactera€™s scores in the major and minor contributors to that reaction. Here, for example, are Sam Stevensa€™ reactions, both as a first level thief, and later at fifth level, with two levels in thief and three levels in warrior (she has the Multiple Archetypes specialty). If a wizard attempts to take control of Sama€™s mind, and Sam needs to make a willpower roll to avoid it, a d20 roll of 4 or less will let Sam avoid the spell when she is first level; and a d20 roll of 6 or less will let her avoid it when she is fifth level.
Propelled weapons do not gain a damage or range bonus unless the weapon is specially designed for the charactera€™s strength. If your character needs to carry an item with too much bulk, you can use extra carry points to do so, but each extra carry point gives your character a penalty of one to movement, to attack rolls, and to any agility-based rolls. Characters can use containers, such as pouches, sacks, sheaths, and backpacks, to reduce the number of items they carry. Items meant to be worn well, such as armor and backpacks, can use two carry points instead of one with no penalty.
Modify the dice total by endurance as a major contributor and strength as a minor contributor. Players may have their characters keep this initial money or spend it to have acquired starting equipment.
The equipment that the character a€?purchasesa€? does not have to have been actually purchased by the character.
Characters will wish to equip themselves with many odd and normal items: lanterns, rope, walking staves, blankets, horses, horse equipment, and more.
Characters are not limited to the items listed on these tables, nor are items on these tables guaranteed to be available. More than other equipment, food and lodging costs will vary widely according to quality and scarcity. How much better would our lives be if we could live in the White Queen's kingdom, where ours memory would work backwards and forewords?
For example, we all know that rehearsing a set of words makes them easier to recall in the future, but what if the rehearsal occurs after the recall?
In another study, Bem examined whether the well-known priming effect could also be reversed. In Bem's retroactive priming study, he simply reversed the time sequence on this effect by flashing the primed word after the person categorized the photo.
First, across his studies, Bem did find that certain people demonstrate stronger effects than others.
So if we accept that these psi phenomena are real, how then can we explain them without throwing out our entire understanding of time and physics? Similarly, modern quantum physics has demonstrated that light particles seem to know what lies ahead of them and will adjust their behavior accordingly, even though the future event hasn't occurred yet. Such trippy time effects seem to contradict common sense and trying to make sense of them may give the average person a headache, but physicists have just had to accept it. Like many novel explorations in science, Bem's findings may have a profound effect on what we know and have come to accept as true. Your heroes will meet, outsmart, and fight fantastic creatures, strange beings, and perhaps even the gods themselves. The Guide describes what the heroes see, and the players describe what their heroes do in response.
Youa€™ll want a pencil so that you can easily change what you write and a pencil sharpener to keep your pencil sharp. Look for a 10-die set: it will include one each of all the dice, plus an extra ten-sided die (for rolling d100) and three extra six-sided dice (for rolling abilities).
Four is often best because it provides the opportunity to roleplay a narrative of three unique heroes: warrior, thief, and one of the supernatural archetypes. The Adventure Guide will present the adventures to the rest of the players, who will take the role of heroes in this fantasy world. If the characters open a trapped chest, the Guide not only knows what the trap is, but also what treasures or horrors are inside the chest.


You roll dice to see if your character in the game is successful at doing adventurous things. You tell the Adventure Guide, a€?my charactera€™s going to jump the fencea€? and then you roll the dice to find out if your character successfully jumped the fence.
Instead of saying a€?Ia€™m going to search for a trap in this rooma€?, you can say a€? Ia€™m going to search for a trap behind the tapestry.a€? This kind of narration can both help and hurt your chance of success.
In fiction, therea€™s only one writer, so actions lead inexorably to the a€?correcta€? consequences.
After your character succeeds or fails, the Adventure Guide will sometimes describe how your character succeeded or failed, and sometimes will simply say that your character succeeded or failed. At each new level, you will have the opportunity to assign new abilities to your charactera€™s repertoire. During a game session, Sandy, playing the sorceror Gralen Noslen, might tell the group that a€?Gralen casts a spell of dazed enchantment on the Orcsa€?. Youa€™ll need to either come up with a reason that your character does go on the adventure (whether by compulsion or desire), or play a different character.
As a Gods & Monsters player, your part of the game is to find that story, to create it.
So, look at what your character can do, and think up scenarios for how those abilities might be helpful. If ita€™s an empty house and you keep hearing rats, you might make the scenario a€?my character finds a lost item in a rata€™s nesta€?.
Who or what, that you could beat up, would help you further your charactera€™s thread and make your character matter?
If your character beats things up and the backstory involves goblin ambushes in this area, you might create the scenario a€?my characters foils a goblin ambush while wea€™re traveling through this areaa€?. Youa€™ll find out about mojo later, but if you are willing to spend mojo to be successful, the Guide must tell you if your success doesna€™t matter, giving you the opportunity to back out of spending the mojo. Sometimes the Adventure Guide will respond immediately with an answer: the very act of asking the question means your character knows the answer. There are goblin and hobgoblin bodies scattered throughout the wide cavern, some with tatters of flesh still hanging from their bones. There are two overpowering features that might be hiding something else: the smell, and the bodies.
You might see a€?2d4a€? for rolling two four-sided dice and adding them together, or a€?1d8a€? for rolling one eight-sided die.
You will embellish that archetype using Specialties and Fields to create a unique character. You dona€™t need to get into detailsa€”your Adventure Guide will handle the detailsa€”but youa€™ll need to all be on the same page.
Once youa€™ve got the basic idea for the game down, there are three things youa€™ll want to talk about as a group, and choose as a group: your motivation, your moral codes, and your archetypes.
A written motivation helps to ensure that all players are on the same page, and helps to guide you as you create your character.
Whether ita€™s dad, responsibility, fear, or lack of confidence, something wants to keep you from standing out, to be normal. It can be an abstract idea or a specific object that your character strives to own, possess, or somehow acquire. It should in some way drive the character to action, a€?even thougha€? the average person would never do something so fraught with peril.
The other players should not read these adventures, as it spoils the surprises and contests that the adventures contain. If there are six or seven players, the extra players can choose any archetype that isna€™t already being played by two players.
If youa€™re adventuring in a Burroughsian world, youa€™ll need Monks so as to have psychic powers in the game. The higher these numbers are, the more often your character will be successful at whatever the number describes.
If the die comes up lower than the score or equal to the score, your character succeeds at the task.
For example, if the rope is slippery the Adventure Guide may say that this is a difficult task and give you a penalty to the roll. For example, rolling 2, 6, 4, and 3 will result in 13: we throw out the lowest number, the a€?twoa€™. Any player can, after they roll, choose to throw out all of their rolls and instead use 15, 13, 12, 10, 8, and 7 as their rolls.
Charisma is not physical appearance, although flaws that would cause ugliness in less charismatic individuals may add character to the charismatic individual.
A character with a high charisma is not only better able to get their commands obeyed, they are more competent at being in command. The ability can be a a€?majora€? contributor to the number or a a€?minora€? contributor to the number. Their goals may be to avoid fights and make peace, but the skills they use to do this are the fighting arts and their battlefield prowess. Your Warrior begins the game with five survival points modified by endurance as a major contributor, and five verve points modified by strength and intelligence as minor contributors.
A second level warrior might save their two points due to level in order to have four points every other round and gain an extra attack every other round. If a ninth level warrior applies four points to gain an additional attack, two points to increase damage, and leaves an attack bonus of three, the damage bonus and attack bonus apply to both attacks that round.
Whether through intense study, bargain with strange powers, or natural aptitude, the sorceror can control magical energies and shape these energies to the sorcerora€™s will. Your Sorceror begins the game with five survival points modified by endurance as a major contributor, and five verve points modified by intelligence and charisma as minor contributors. At second level, a sorceror with a 17 intelligence will have six spell slots, and could memorize six first level spells, four first level spells and one second level spell, two first level spells and two second level spells, or three second level spells. Memorizing spells costs one verve, plus the number of spells memorized during that meditation. Your Prophet begins the game with five survival points modified by endurance as a major contributor, and five verve points modified by wisdom and strength as minor contributors. The prophet must spend twenty minutes in prayer, plus two minutes for each spirit level, when calling spirits.
The player and Guide should choose, based on the charactera€™s deity, which spirit types the prophet can access.
A first level Charm spirit, for example, could manifest the powers of Command, Animal Companion, Remove Fear, and any other first level charm manifestations. Some prophets will have special restrictions placed on them at ordination or at their calling, or at other important points in their service to their deity or deities. Monks train in psychic powers by studying psychic fields and gaining psychic skills within those fields. Your Monk begins the game with five survival points modified by endurance as a major contributor, and five verve points modified by charisma and endurance as minor contributors. This pool can be re-allotted every round if the character has any effects that last more than a round.
See the description of the psychic field and skill in Arcane Lore for the effects that can be added. The player might place three levels in a€?rangea€™, one level in a€?targetsa€™, and two levels in a€?reduce reactiona€™ to attempt to read the mind of a single opponent up to 40 yards away.
Some thieves may specialize in one area or another, but all rely on their agility and cunning.
Your Thief begins the game with five survival points modified by endurance as a major contributor, and five verve points modified by agility and wisdom as minor contributors.
A character who cares for neither order nor personal freedom may remain unaligned toward the order and chaos part of the code, but still be good, for example. Evil is the choice between caring for the well-being of others for their own sake, and of pure self-interest, of caring only for onea€™s self or a close circle of friends, whose friendship may well only last as long as it is useful.
A good example of Chaotic (or possibly Chaotic Good) in fiction is Alan Moorea€™s hero a€?Va€? in a€?V for Vendettaa€?, a character who believes that anarchy is the best thing for the well-being of others. However, a good example of a person devoted solely to Order, regardless of Good or Evil is da€™Artagnan in a€?The Man in the Iron Maska€? by Alexander Dumas. An Ordered Good character might have to make the choice between something that is more Order or more Good. The Guide will decide the implications of that failure (and the implications of success) in following a moral code. Those following Order and those following Chaos are more likely to put their philosophical differences aside than those following Good vs. If the course of play has made it impossible to assume this, then the resource cannot be acquired in this manner.
This means that it can be advantageous to wait until theya€™re needed to choose fields and skills.
They can use mojo to gain extra skills within a field or to increase a field bonus: one mojo gives one additional skill or one field bonus.
Psychic techniques cost 1 mojo during the charactera€™s first level if the technique applies to one skill, and 2 mojo if the technique applies to all skills within a field.
Older characters will need to first overcome this negative number before gaining extra skills. For example, a nobleman might choose Court Etiquette; a farmer Backwoods Etiquette, or a thief Underworld Etiquette. Thieves may choose any simple or basic weapon as a skill; and the others any simple weapon. If they are using a weapon theya€™re not skilled with, and if ita€™s a weapon they can never learn theya€™ll have an additional penalty of two to attack. Weapon fluency allows warriors to learn any weapon skill, and to use their full Fighting Art bonus with weapons they arena€™t skilled in, at a penalty of two to attack. This skill allows Thieves to learn basic weapon skillsa€”more weapons than Prophets, Sorcerors, and Monks, but fewer than Warriors.
A sword hit, a fall from a large height, a punch in the face, all reduce your charactera€™s survival points. Whenever a character loses survival for an archetypal activity, the player may instead choose to have some or all of the damage come from verve. Some characters will also use verve when they perform archetypal actions such as casting spells. If your character begins the game at age 20 or older, they will receive a greater number of skills or field bonuses in one or more of their fields. When your character reacts to something or might sense something, youa€™ll make a reaction roll.
Your character can carry up to half Strength items, modified by Endurance as a special contributor. Weapons or other items used two-handed (such as sacks) can also use two Carry points with no penalty. If she tried to use a great sword, however, its bulk 24 would give her a penalty of one while using it two-handed. Add the 5d6 roll to the charactera€™s height, and add endurance as a minor contributor and strength as a major contributor.
They may also a€?have spent ita€? in the adventure during their first level: at any point during the charactera€™s first level, if the player wants their character to have already acquired an item, they can spend some of this starting money and have the item.
It might have been inherited, given as a gift, or found in the ruins of a destroyed farmhouse in the midst of the woods.
Prices for such equipment can vary depending on the area, the time period, and the time of year.
If the character attempting to activate the item is in combat, an evasion roll is required to successfully activate the item.
For instance, in such a world, you could take an exam and then study for it afterwards to make sure you performed well in the past.
Bem, a social psychologist at Cornell University, conducted a series of studies that will soon be published in one of the most prestigious psychology journals (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology). Essentially, he took effects that are considered valid and reliable in psychology - studying improves memory, priming facilitates response times - and simply reversed their chronological order. In one of the studies, college students were given a list of words and after reading the list, were given a surprise recall test to see how many words they remembered.
In a typical priming study, people are shown a photo and they have to quickly indicate if the photo represents a negative or positive image. So I show you the kitten picture, you pick whether it is positive or negative, and then I randomly choose to prime you with a good or bad word. Does studying for a test after it has occurred, or priming you with a word after categorizing the photo make a dramatic change, or is it just a slight bump in performance? In particular, people high in stimulus seeking - an aspect of extraversion where people respond more favorably to novel stimuli - showed effect sizes nearly twice the size of the average person. For example, on average, the Bem studies showed an effect size of .20 (out of a possible range of 0-1).
Well, the truth is that these effects are actually pretty consistent with modern physics' take on time and space. And as good scientists, we shouldn't let out preconceived beliefs and biases influence what we study, even if these preconceived beliefs reflect our basic assumptions about how time and space work. Bem's work is thought provoking, and like good cutting-edge science is supposed to do, it offers more questions than answers. But for some of you, perhaps these effects are not such a big surprise, because somewhere deep down inside, you already knew you would be reading about them today!
You will solve puzzles and riddles, and guide your heroes through the uncharted vistas of your imagination. The Guide may choose to use treasures, horrors, towns, or complete adventures that were written by someone else. Whether they succeed depends on how effective their ideas are, how lucky their dice are, and what mojo theya€™re willing to sacrifice. You do not need to read the Adventure Guidea€™s Handbook or the Encounter Guide, and shouldna€™t, as they will spoil some of the surprises for you. Whether ita€™s attacking a demon, sermonizing to a crowd, or offering food to a beggar, it doesna€™t really happen unless you tell everyone it happens.
But in Gods & Monsters the Adventure Guide doesna€™t necessarily know what consequences youa€™re hoping for from your charactera€™s actions. Each player will likely play multiple characters over time, as one character retires, dies, or temporarily leaves the group.
Later, as your character gains additional abilities, keep two or three scenarios in mind at a time, looking for the things that would trigger those scenarios, occasionally modifying those scenarios according to what you hear from the Guide.
Other times, the Adventure Guide will ask you to make an ability roll or a reaction roll (often, for questions, these will be either an intelligence roll, a wisdom roll, a perception roll, or a reason roll). Youa€™ll generate a number from 1 to 100 by rolling two ten-sided dice of different colors or sizes. A specialty is some special ability that your character has, such as having a familiar or being an Elf. For example, you might decide that this game will be about the quest for knowledge, small-town heroes make good, black sheep redeem themselves, or military squabbling among nations. Your motivation might, for example, be some form of knowledge, power, heroism, wealth, contentment, family, revenge, war, glory, peace, fulfillment, love, solace, redemption, or adventure. Good characters are honest, Evil characters are selfish, Chaotic characters value personal freedom, and Ordered characters value community well-being. As a group, you may wish to decide whether you want Chaotic or Ordered characters, or a mix. Youa€™ll roll d20 and if the die comes up less than or equal to your charactera€™s Strength, your character successfully climbed the rope.
Characters with higher strength will be more powerful in battle, able to defeat their foes more quickly. A character with a high charisma is better able to perceive social constructs and the intricacies of interpersonal situations, and can, but does not have to, use this to be liked better.
Some may command through fear, others through respect, but the best commanders in the field have been highly charismatic, even to the point that some are not just respected but loved by the enemy population. They will take all the facts at hand and rationally sift through them to find a course of action that they believe is best. It not only helps your character determine the right thing to do, it also gives your character the courage to perform the right act and follow your charactera€™s moral code. A character with a high wisdom can make good decisions without necessarily thinking logically through all the facts at hand. So, if Tony, playing Toromeen, needs to make a roll less than or equal to 6, modified by endurance (major) and by charisma (minor), this will be 6 with a bonus of 2 (from his endurance of 15) and a penalty of 0 (from his charisma of 8). The character might well have been a smith, miner, or scholar before becoming involved in the adventure. For each damage bonus, the die is increased along the damage progression chart, starting from d2 or d3 to d4, from d4 to d6, d6 to d8, d8 to d10, or d10 to d12. A second level sorceror could memorize three first level spells (three spell slots), or one second level spell and one first level spell. In order to cast a spell, the mnemonic sorceror must first memorize the spell by impressing the spell formula into their mind.
For example, a sorceror memorizing two first level spells and one 3rd level spell will require twenty minutes total (ten minutes preparation, and five times two minutes for the number of spell levels).
These spirits can be used to heal, aid, and protect worshippers, conquer unbelievers, and sometimes even to convince unbelievers to become believers.


The player should choose their four spirit types as they need them, during their first level of experience. A second level Charm spirit could manifest those powers, as well as Enthrall, Hold Person, and any other second level charm manifestations. For example, a prophet might use a water spirit to protect against fire or magical fire, or drowning or watery rebuke. Examples of Monks in modern fiction include Valentine Michael Smith, Kwai Chang Caine, the Jedi of Star Wars, Stephen Kinga€™s Charlene McGee and his Gunslinger, and Marvel Comicsa€™ Professor X.
They gain three field bonuses or skills within that field, modified by Charisma as a major contributor. The monk can also transfer the field bonus of the psychic skill theya€™re currently using into their psychic pool.
They can also use their pool to increase their chance of success: each point used to increase their success chance gives them a bonus of one to their ability roll. The target will have a penalty of 2 to any reaction rolls against having their mind read and the Monk will need to roll against their Charisma with no bonus to successfully read the targeta€™s mind. Moral codes are required for certain specialties and may provide benefits (or penalties) in special situations. An Ordered character will be willing to sacrifice individuals to save the group; a Chaotic character will be more willing to put the group in danger to save an individual.
To the Chaotic individual, authority must be earned, on an individual basis and according to the situation: the most appropriate person is looked to for counsel and guidance according to the needs of the situation. Chaotics, while they are not against freely arisen order are against imposed order, order that does not develop freely from the individual. A good character is likely to keep their word to others, and value othersa€™ friendships and lives. Such a character might well hold, with Rousseau, that people are inherently pure but become corrupted by civilization.
When Corund calls the lords of Demonland to parley, Gro recommends ambushing them; when Corund refuses because one does not do that to royalty, Gro encourages a lesser warrior to do so.
Personal power is gained only insofar as the individual advances the cause of the state, and only insofar as that individuala€™s promotion also advances the cause of the state.
In that book, da€™Artagnan is devoted to the preservation of the monarchy, and much of the book is about the conflict between that devotion and da€™Artagnana€™s own friends. Lower-level characters will not even know that their choice means anything more than basic morals. Players may use mojo for any purpose listed in the rest of the rules, such as affecting archetypal die rolls. If you buy the skill or improve the field at the same time that you make the skill roll, you gain the mojo spent as a bonus to that roll.
Some specialties, such as nobility, allot characters more money, and characters will find hidden treasure during their adventures. Players may not use mojo to gain the restricted Fighting Art skills of the Warrior or Thief archetype.
When a character is skilled at a task, their player gains a bonus on any rolls to perform that task.
Exactly what constitutes a basic weapon or a simple weapon will depend on the game world, but suggestions are given on the weapons table.
If your charactera€™s survival drops to zero or below, your character risks unconsciousness and death. For example, warriors use verve in combat, thieves use it after failing to climb a wall, and monks after a failed perception roll.
If the character has low mental abilities, such that their starting field count is negative, their bonus is reduced by that number. For example, when characters are faced with imminent danger, players will often have the opportunity to react and avoid or mitigate that danger. Thrown weapon range penalties are reduced by the charactera€™s strength as a minor contributor.
An item meant for swinging (such as a weapon) will almost certainly have a greater bulk than a similarly-shaped item meant solely for carrying. If she carries a tent (bulk 40) her movement and rolls are reduced by 3, because she will need to use four of her carry points just on that one item. But if you already know your charactera€™s height and weight, there is no need to roll randomly. Either the money was spent back when it was most reasonable to have spent it, or the character always had the item, perhaps as an inheritance or gift. The charactera€™s starting money is a measure of how much money and equipment the character starts with; it is not necessarily how much actual money the character has to purchase things. Well, the good news is that according to a recent series of scientific studies by Daryl Bem, you already live in that world! Across nine experiments, Bem examined the idea that our brain has the ability to not only reflect on past experiences, but also anticipate future experiences. Next, a computer randomly selected some of the words on the list as practice words and the participants were asked to retype them several times. The results showed that people were quicker at categorizing photos when it was followed by a consistent prime. Although that is fairly small, it is as large as or larger than some well-established effects, including the link between aspirin and heart attack prevention, calcium intake and bone mass, second hand smoke and lung cancer, and condom use and HIV prevention (Bushman & Anderson, 2001). Youa€™ll want four six-sided dice, one eight-sided die, one ten-sided die, and one twenty-sided die. Ia€™ll offer him a little food first, and Ia€™ll talk softly, and be very comforting.a€? Then you roll and see if your character is successful, or maybe your role-playing hit all the right buttons and the Adventure Guide just says a€?yes, you succeeda€? and describes what happens.
Also, when you describe what your character is doing, youa€™re really describing what your character is trying to do.
If youa€™re offering food to a beggar hoping that the beggar will tell you whether he saw anything out of the ordinary, you need to tell the Adventure Guide this. When one scenario doesna€™t bring results, think up slightly different scenarios and think up radically different scenarios. Your Adventure Guide may also describe some things in relation to what your character knows, but they wona€™t always do so. On the other hand, you might want to ask what your character knows about goblins and hobgoblins. The d4 doesna€™t have a top number, so you read the bottom number, which is usually printed along the sides. Your motivation helps to drive your character forward into the abandoned castle, ruined mansion, or underground dungeon.
The Guide will act the part of most of the non-player characters, and the fortunes and fates that the characters meet.
If you bid mojo on a failed roll, and your bid succeeds, you will know exactly what the modifier was, because you will spend that much mojo on your success.
Characters with high endurance will tend to endure adversity longer and get sick less often, and be able to withstand the rigors of battle for longer periods of time.
A character with high intelligence is likely to be more curious than a character of low intelligence. The wise decision will be the right thing to do, but not necessarily the most efficient or advantageous.
A 3rd level warrior could move all three of their fighting art bonuses into their combat pool, as well as up to three other attack bonuses (such as attacking from higher ground or attacking an unaware opponent).
Beyond d12, damage bonuses are applied as normal: modifiers to the damage rolled on the dice.
A second level sorceror will have three slots (one plus two), a 3rd level sorceror will have six slots (one, plus two, plus three).
Once a memorized spell is used, it is gone and cannot be used again until it is impressed again.
Where a spirita€™s manifestation varies with level, the variation is by the spirita€™s level, not the propheta€™s.
After any failed reaction roll, the prophet can choose to burn one of their relevant spirits. There are eight moral codes: Ordered Good, Ordered, Ordered Evil, Chaotic Good, Chaotic, Chaotic Evil, Good, and Evil. Ordered individuals believe that the common good is more important than any individuala€™s well-being.
An evil character is likely to keep their word only if therea€™s something in it for them or they feel like it, and will value others only insofar as others are useful to them. He has a sense of hierarchy that he will not break merely to win battles against a hated enemy, even when his most trusted advisor recommends doing so.
Different characters will have different commitments to their moral codes and to each part of their moral code.
In other games, Order and Chaos, Good and Evil will be part of the unseen structurea€”or lack thereofa€”of reality. Organizational enmities, however, are more likely to be built across the abyss of Order and Chaos. In general, characters who are good will find it difficult to battle other characters who are good without significant moral quandaries. But when their character is first level they can also use mojo for things that non-starting characters cana€™t, and in some cases can use it for things that non-starting characters can but at a lower cost.
Also, if you bid mojo on a skill roll, and that mojo is enough to improve the field bonus you used (or to buy the field or a skill within it), then you do. The spells are assumed to have already been in their spellbook, and no ink costs are necessary.
For example, a character with Gambling Art at +3 might have the skills Carousing and Poker. For example, a character with a 4 intelligence, a 15 charisma, and a 10 wisdom has negative 1 starting fields.
As long as it makes sense for them to now have it, it can be assumed that theya€™ve been carrying it all along. Because of this, characters can often start the game with items that are not for sale in their home town, as long as it is for sale somewhere where they or some member of their family might travel. The results of the study showed that the students were better at recalling the words on the surprise recall test that they were later given, at random, to practice. So not only will you categorize the kitten quicker when it is preceded by a good word, you will also categorize it quicker when it is followed by a good word. However, there are several reasons why we shouldn't just disregard these results based on small, but highly consistent, effect sizes.
And as Cohen has pointed out, such small effect sizes are most likely to occur in the early stages of exploring a topic, when scientists are just starting to discover why the effect occurs and when it is most likely to occur.
If youa€™re a completist, a sorceror, or an Adventure Guide, youa€™ll also want a four-sided die, a twelve-sided die, and a ten-sided die with tens on it.
Just like betting chips in poker, if you use too many resources youa€™ll be out of the gamea€”your character might die. Some things will be easy enough that when your character tries them, they will automatically succeed.
If the trap is not behind the tapestry, however, you wona€™t find one hidden under the floor. Or if youa€™ve decided that the beggar is really the prince your character has been looking for, you should explain how you or your character came to that conclusion. It can, however, sometimes be fun to describe how, for example, the nail snapped after your character hit their thumb with the hammer.
For the rest of the game your character will use those abilities to defeat opponents, solve problems, and complete further adventures. This doesna€™t mean that the game is necessarily going to give them any special breaksa€”sometimes it will, sometimes it wona€™t.
However, a Mnemonic sorceror may understand any number of spells and have as many spells in their spellbook as they can pay for, steal, or find.
The prophet prays for the spirits they want, though their deity may provide other spirits; if their god is angered, the prophet may receive no spirits until they atone for their transgression. A second level prophet will have three calling points, a 3rd level prophet will have six, and so on.
Many of the teachings of Lao-Tzu in the Tao-Te-Ching are chaotic, where Confucianism is often on the extreme end of order. Evil characters will see their actions as pragmatic, but their pragmatism is a short-term pragmatism.
When he is assigned a lesser overlordship in Pixyland because the government believes him most suited to govern the newly-vanquished country, he accepts.
Individuals who perform well on their own will gain power, regardless of whether such is good for Demonland and its peoples as a whole. Both promote Order, but Athos for a greater good and Aramis for personal gain at the expense even of his friends. Your first level character is likely to be completely unaware of this when you make their choice to follow or not follow a moral code. Even in the early days of the United States, with its multiple-personality constitution, the followers of Order and the followers of Chaos fought bitterly in public. Whenever the player makes a roll where Carousing or Poker skills are applicable, they get a bonus of 3 on that roll. The character would have to start at 30 years or older to gain age-related skills and field bonuses.
An itema€™s bulk is rarely less than its weight, but can be more than its weight if the item is unwieldy. A wealth of research has examined how subliminal priming can speed up your ability to categorize these photos. It was as if, while participants were categorizing the photo, their brain knew what word was coming next and this facilitated their decision. Other things are more difficult, and for those youa€™ll need to roll dice to see if your character succeeds. Brevity is the soul of this stage of narration: the action has passed, and it is time to move on to the next scene. Can we try something else?a€? or a€?I want my character to do that, but it doesna€™t make sense.
If you think of a better narrative, use the new one instead of (or in addition to) the old one. The player chosen as the Guide should read the Adventure Guidea€™s Handbook for more information about being an Adventure Guide.
Mnemonic casters are limited only in the number of spells they may have impressed at one time.
If the reaction still fails, the spirita€™s level reduces any damage taken by its level, and by the propheta€™s wisdom as a major contributor.
It is hard to find a better description of the beliefs of the Chaotic moral code than a€?The more regulations, the poorer the people will become.
Evil is selfish of their own resources, though they may be generous with the resources of others.
He does not jockey for the overlordship of more desired lands as others within the court of Witchland do. The Chaotics called the Ordered a€?monarchistsa€? and the Ordered called the Chaotics a€?guillotinistsa€?. Evil characters and unaligned characters will generally not care about the morality of who they make war with.
Subliminal priming occurs when a word is flashed on the computer screen so quickly that your conscious brain doesn't recognize what you saw, but your nonconscious brain does. Youa€™ll use strategy in Gods & Monsters to maneuver your character into situations where their resources are most effective.
Also remember that when you only lost verve because of the failure, you still looked cool doing it.
Evil characters might use moral conflicts as a tactical advantage; unaligned characters dona€™t think in terms of morality. So you just see a flash, and if I asked you to tell me what you saw, you wouldn't be able to.
A character with a low charisma who does lots of popular things might very well be liked by most peoplea€”even though the character would prefer to strike fear in the hearts of men. He is always trying to twist his words so that listeners hear something other than what he is saying, and is willing to outright lie if it will further the cause of Order. So if something happens 65% of the time and you roll less than or equal to 65, this something has happened. Where a spirit manifestation mentions a focus but does not describe this focus, it is the propheta€™s holy symbol.
In priming studies, we consistently find that people who are primed with a word consistent with the valence of the photo will categorize it quicker. These symbols must always be blessed by their deity or an authorized representative of their deity, such as another prophet. He tries to keep his word, and he tries to do the right thing, regardless of royalty or personal freedoms.



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