Friday, October 30, 2009

Scaling an Encounter: Why you should not.

I could have worded it better. I called scaling an encounter conspiratorial because the GM fudged something to make it fit the Players expectations. Here are my reasons why not, in reply of some accusations.

Before you start spouting fallacy, please ask me what I'm talking about if you do not understand. Because if you do start calling it fallacy before understanding my point then you have already made a judgment on something you do not have complete information about.

I am saying that If there is are a camp of bandits, some wolves, wild boars, a mysterious figure, someone in distress, and a garrison of soldiers in the story/game it doesn't mean that if the PCs get into trouble with them I will scale them to fight the PCs.

They exist independent of the PCs, thus are not defined by them. It is the player's choice to decide to fight them, and in what terms.

Conspirator vs Consequence is an old school concept when they did not make a systems to scale challenges. Basically if there was a dragon in the woods then if the PCs end up there then they might get into trouble with the dragon.

Think about the Idea of the GM scaling the adventure to the PCs. Stuff happens, and it is based on the situation the PCs are at. PCs have an adventure, when the Challenge is Scaled to the PCs and the PCs just jump into it is very different when the PCs Know what they are getting into and Choose to Encounter the Challenge as much as possible in their own terms.

In this situation, the GM actually "Scaling" the encounter is detriment against the Challenge the PCs are supposed to be meeting with their preparation.

if the PCs decide on their own that they want to fight 20 soldiers, they will not fight them head on but possibly divi them up. If the GM influence the soldiers "conspiratorially" that's basically robbing the PCs of the victory they made.

GM intervention of what is "Sporting" on the other hand, is already implied by the Scale of the adventure. If you are 100cp adventurers which is defined as elite but gritty and realistic. So problems and challenges occure in that circumstance.

Take it easy, I provided input, voiced my honest and critical opinion and was constructive about it.


I know there is no way to cover the players actions, the most adaptive plan is one that doesn't try to anticipate what cannot be anticipated.

When you have an Event that begins an adventure reasoning follows and a strategy forms in the players heads. In the course of these strategems, the DM provides information that constantly evolves the Players strategy.

Now instead of figuring out a scaling system, why not develop a feedback system by which the GM will make sure the Players have information to best make their strategic decisions on instead of scaling the encounter for them.

If they Know there are 20 soldiers, then they won't just jump in. If they know the soldiers weren't paid this year, have been harassing the locals for supplies, and have personal matters that are all over the place, then you shift the encounter's parameters and the player's decision making process.

Why not bribe them, why not talk to them and pretend their pay is coming, why not rally the locals against them. etc. You didn't scale the encounter, instead the Players did by adopting a strategy that took advantage of the information the GM provided.

You didn't need to scale the encounter Quantitatively vs Qualitatively you will encounter problems in terms of consistency and expectation. An active effort to solve a problem ideally promotes players to gather intelligence instead of making a ton of assumptions. I know it is an aspect style, to feed the players scaled encounters vs letting them shape the encounter by their own resourcefulness but I would like to make sure the option is available before going down this rabbit hole.

Sorry that was basic game theory and project management strategy speaking. They are really useful real world skills and when placed in a game, doubles the fun factor because of the rewarding experience to the player more than just the character.

Original thread

Thursday, October 29, 2009

[GURPS] Sample Rogue, with basic use guide

Rogues are deviants, in party dynamics they serve as a specialized troubleshooter which takes a unconventional approach to problems. Unlike the other members of the party, he is more equip in intelligence gathering and social confrontation. Which puts the rogue in direct conflict with an opponent's guile and cunning. Unlike the classic adventurer who is just logistically equip to move around and do things or the warrior whose primary ability is to use direct force.

It is hard to define Rogues in GURPS game terms or in the broadest RPG terms exactly, because they are different in every setting. What is conventional changes in every setting because of the role of magic, the scale of power, and the mechanics that govern each world.

In this example, I am using default medieval setting with low or no magic. Here the rogue is someone whose background allows him to deal with common folk. He is able to relate and understand what regular people go through and what makes them tick. He is skilled in gathering information, either by sourcing out gossip, direct observation, or possibly infiltration.

Averrin, the example provided bellow falls under a common vein of rogues in history: the loyal servant. Basically they are servants with initiative and cunning, who have strong loyalties or ambitions, and able to move outside convention in order to accomplish their tasks. Many great people and institutions in history has aid of a loyal or well paid servant who will do what needs doing.

Making rogues in GURPS requires some basic feedback analysis with the GM concerning the settings and the expectations with regards to the trouble to be expected.

The most common are Social Skills targeting regular folk used to gather information, blend in and have access usually barred from outsiders is usually key. Along with the social skills is the basic information gathering skills like Current Affairs (used for exchanges gossip), Diplomacy (holding conversation), Interrogation (skilled line of questioning), Acting (blending in and lying), streetwise, merchant (haggling), Body language, Detect Lies, Psychology, and Observation.

Secondary is a skill set more overt, like infiltration and direct action. Stealth, Shadowing, Climbing, Filching, Pick Pocketing, and Sleight of Hand are less common because they are actions that the first group of skills cannot fix.

Background: His family is one of the many city dwellers living in crushing poverty, Averrin fortune changed for the worse when an outbreak of plague hit their miserable district. The n the people of city then began to closed off area and left them to die.
His family was barely able to escape, and were able to flee with the aid of Lady Angelou and a few and Magos Ibynn. Magos Ibynn was able to administer a vaccine against the plague for the young boye. His parents survived the sickness, but just barely.
Eventually it Averrin was left alone, orphaned but taken care of by Lady Angelou, who after her husband died (by the same plague) reverted back to her own family's name: Markessa Letissia. Averrin has stayed with her since and learned the difficult job of an oathsworn servant from Benjamin, Lady Markessa's personal body guard, vallet and agent.
Attributes [100]: ST11 [10]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics [0]: Dmg 1d-1/1d; BL 24 [0]; HP 11 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Per 12 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Spd 5.75 [0]; Move 5 [0]; Dodge 9 [0].
Advantages [25]: Combat Reflex [15]; Patron (9) [10].
Social background [5]: Native Greek [0]; R/W Greek [0]; Speak French (Accented) [2]; Speak Arabic (Accented) [2]; Cultural Familiarity (Arabic) [1].
Disadvantages [-60]: Duty, Hazardous (12) [-10]; Sense of Duty (Friends, Family and Comrades) [-5]; Code of Honor (Oathsworn) [-10]; Intolerance (Clergy) [-5]; Secret (Death) [-30].
Quirks [5]:
Total Skills [55]:
Primary Skills [28]:
Street Smarts [28]: Acting (A) IQ [2]-12; Observation (A) Per [2]-12; Streetwise (A) IQ [2]-12; Psychology (H) IQ [4]-12; Body Language (A) Per [2]-12; Detect Lies (H) Per-2 [1]-10; Merchant (A) IQ [2]-12; Current Affairs (Underworld) (E) IQ [1]-12; Intimidation (A) IQ [2]-12; Interrogation (A) IQ [2]-12; Holdout (A) DX-1 [1]-11.
Secondary Skills [17]:
Street Fighting Skills [11]: Knife (E) DX [1]-12; Main-Gauche (A) DX [2]-12; Throwing Knife (E) DX [1]-12; Fast Draw (Knife) (E) DX [1]-13; Brawl (E) DX [1]-12; Feint (Brawl) (H) Brawl+2 [3]; Poison (A) IQ-1 [1]-11§; Wrestling (A) DX-1 [1]-11.
Streets [6]: Climbing (A) DX-1 [1]-11; Stealth (A) DX [2]-12; Running (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Jumping (E) DX [1]-12; Shadowing (A) IQ-1 [1]-11.
Background Skills [10]: Area Knowledge (City) (E) IQ [0]-10.
Servant [4]: Savoir-Faire (Servant) (E) IQ [1]-12; Current Affairs (Local) (E) IQ [1]-12; Housekeeping (E) IQ [1]-12; Current Affairs (people) (E) IQ [1]-12.
Travel [6]: Hiking (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Navigation (Land) (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Survival (Woodland) (A) Per [1]-11; Packing (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Riding (A) DX-1 [1]-11; First Aid (E) IQ [1]-12.
  • Light Cloak $20 2lbs
  • Leather jacket (Arms and Torso) DR1* $50 4lbs
  • Leather Pants (Groin and legs) DR1* $40 2lbs
  • Leather Gloves DR2* $30
  • Leather Cap DR1* $32
  • Clothes (status 0) ($120) 2lbs
  • Shoes $40 2lbs
  • Total $150 12 lbs
  • 12 § Daggers $240 3lbs
    • Hold out skill-11; -1 size, +3 for clothes (B200)
    • Skill-12, Parry-10 (Main-gauche)
    • Acc 0, Dmg thr 1d-2 imp, Rang 5/11
    • Ranged: Throwing Skill-12
      • AoA:D = Skill-11 at 5 yrds
      • AoA:D + 3 sec Aim = Skill-13 at 5 yrds
    • Note: 10 of the daggers have cobra venom applications in their sheaths.
  • Ration, 1-meal $2 0.5lbs
  • Bottle, Ceramic (1L) $3 3lbs
  • First Aid Kit $50 2lbs
    • Cobra Poison(20 doses) $200
  • Total $495 8.5lbs
  • Backpack $60 3lbs
  • Blankets $20 4lbs
  • 2 Sets of Clothes ($120) 4lbs
  • Wine Skin (4L) $10 9lbs
  • Travel Rations, 3-days $18 4.5lbs
  • First Aid Kit $50 2lbs
  • Personals $5 1lb
  • Total $163 27.5lbs
Total $808 48lbs.

§ Cobra Venom (TL0) B349: A follow-up poison with a one minute delay and a HT-3 roll to resist. Inflicts 2d toxic damage, repeating at hourly intervals for six cycles. A victim who loses 1/3, 1/2, or 2/3 HP has -2, -4, or -6 DX, respectively. $10/dose. LC1.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Teaching and GMing: the key is Connection

I am suffering work procrastination, because of the continual negative association with the teacher and the subject matter. I find the game theory aspect more interesting and relevant but I am forced to look at it in a perspective that is old, out dated, and made to fit into a box.

Procrastination in my situation is caused by lack of an attainable goal with a definite pay off to me. School is supposed to give a pay off through the education and discovery, but stale and disinterested teachers are common obstacles.

making a subject matter, Interesting is not hard. GMing requires me to to make something Interesting and attractive to players, but the psychological sleight of hand is that The GM doesn't make things interesting, it is the players who create the interesting paradox. They do this through their own impulses unrestrained by conventional reality.

Students are quite the same. The world taken from the multiple perspectives of an audience creates a formula of shifting dynamic rainbows of thought. The way a stand up comedian manipulates societal idiosyncrasies and turns it to observational humor, the GM weaves mysteries from the very same questions that form in the back of the players mind.

What is strange is that there is no rocket science in this, it simply comes from the willingness to connect to the students and share in the experiences, observations, and the odd way it becomes the current reality.

Connection, Empathy and the Discipline required to have two other process occurring: Talking and Thinking. All these are honed in constant communication with new people, current events that affect how we now perceive the world, and humble quest for truth.

Gaming is so much in my system, I cannot help but go back to that simple ideas about productivity- where you invest your time and how you do more with what you have determines you competence.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mail Armor: Using Real World Data in RPG sets a dangerous precedent

Dan Howard has come out with a recent article about the science behind Mail armor, dispelling myth and enlightening us. Others have voiced that basing RPGs on reality sets a dangerous precedent, particularly the argumentative one on authenticity and realism.

I have no problem with it, because RPGs are Ideas that are always subject to innovation, evolution, change and improvement. We can always improve on the previous game, we can achieve that same high again, and we can always learn something new. I'm not much for RPG nostalgia because to dwell on the past and the impossible task of recapturing it may overlook the merits of the present and the possibilities of the future.

As in my previous post about my GMing style, it evolved from science and it got better over time, and I feel it can be better still with discipline, empathy, diplomacy and transparency.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A GURPS blogger

Well, its nice to know that when you check out GURPS in RPG bloggers I am one of the most frequent, if not the most prolific.

I fixed my categorization, adopting the network's categories. Instead of GMing I use advice, Game Prep I changed to Tools, and in between is both.

There must be a very small trope in the forums looking at RPG blogs. If GURPS should grow, it should be more active and visible. Making it self more accessible beyond the safety of the forums will give it more of a chance to show off its strengths.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Basic Set Knight Template and a Short adventure

Another Basic Set compatible NPC, although you may want to get your hands on Dan Howard's article: "Chainmail -- Why bother?" for more details on the armor set up. Unless you want to wait till summer next year for GURPS 4E Low Tech. This is pretty accurate, up to the armor weights and historical load-out of the most common knight.

Simulating economic reach, plays very strongly in encounter generation. Most opponents will have low metal weapons that give them the most bang for buck - axes and spears. A

Quick Encounter. A knight, covered with the heraldry and fluff of a formidable house accosts the PCs while they are in transit. He demands them (if he is of a higher status) or beseeches them to talk, rest and exchange news.

He tells the PCs that he was traveling to one of his lord's villages to examine them for irregularities and to impress on the inhabitants his lord's generosity, justice, and care for them.

When night falls he offers and insists the PCs break bread and salt with him. He tells them all, they are all his guests. He proves great company, and offers some of his wine cooling by in a brook.

The night is uneventful, but on the break of dawn everyone stirs to find the Knights tent silent. On examination, the knight is found beneath his sheets with blood damping the tent's floor. His vallet, a tent opposite him, can be found purple with his tongue swollen sticking out of his mouth.

Further examination, stirs up:
  • Remnants of parchments underneath the camp fire with their wax blackened.
  • Several Wardrobes of foreign dress
  • there is $1,000,000 in gold under the tent soaked in blood.
Then in the distance, the thundering gallop of hooves...

Red Herrings Everywhere? - Could someone have sneaked into the camp? Was it suicide? Who was he really? What does this look like to the wrong people?

Possible Scenario. They needed a scape goat, and one that can completely clear the lord of any doubt of wrong doing. The knight discovered his lord's plot of treason in time to save him. To do this, he finds some random travelers.

He had stolen the evidence that incriminated his lord, he then sent a message to the Duke he has found evidence and to come in greatest haste. He then lures a group of strangers at ease and proceeds to burn the evidence, incriminate them, poison his vallet, killing himself in the end.
This was a hashed up plan, improvised out of a mad impulse. The knight really intended to destroy the evidence but was sure that it was enough. He planed to take the blame himself, but that also was not enough. In the very last minute, he hit on to this idea.
Knight Opponents. The Duke's men are Knights, with 3 remounts (war trained ponies at ST21, move 4/8, $3600) each. There are 3 off them, and they are smart enough to know, that if the something happens to them, everyone will be left in the dark. They with the remounts they can ride almost 50-70 miles in a day if they have to (killing the horses).
The Man-at-Arms
150cp (10cp left)
Attributes [80]: ST11 [10]; DX12 [40]; IQ11 [20]; HT11 [10]
Secondary Characteristics [0]: Dmg 1d-1/1d+1 [0]; BL 24 ([0]; HP 11; FP 11 [0]; Per 12 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Spd 5.75 (note: combat reflex, tactics) [0]; Move 5 [0]; Dodge (no shield) 9.
Social Background [5]: Cultural Familiarity (Norman) (Native) [0]; Language (French) (Speak and Read) (Native) [0]; Language (same alphabet) (English) (Accented) [2]; Language (same alphabet) (Latin) (Broken) [1]; Language (Speak and Read) (Greek) (Broken) [2].
Advantages [65]: Combat Reflex [15]; Status 2 (Warrior Class) [5]; Wealth (Wealthy) [20]; Patron (Liege Lord) (9) (Provides Equipment +50%) [15] [1].
Disadvantages [-75]: Duty, Hazardous (to Liege Lord) (12) [-10] Sense of Duty (Family) [-5].Choose -60 points from among the following: Callous (12) [-5]; Compulsive Behavior (12) [-5 to -15];; Discipline of Faith (Christian) [-5]; Code of Honor (Soldier) [-10]; Debt [-1 to -10]; Delusion (Mild) [-5]' Intolerance (Non-Christians) [-5]; Incurious (12) [-5]; Curious (12) [-5]; Insomniac [-10 to -15]; Enemies [-5 to -15]; Gregarious [-10]; Hidebound [-5]; Intolerance (Non-Nobles) [-5]; Impulsive (12) [-10]; Overconfident (12) [-5]; Honest (12) [-10]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]; Greedy (12) [-15]; Lecherous (12) [-15]; Berserk (12) [-10]; Blood Lust (12) [-10]; Bad Temper (12) [-10]; Gluttonous (12) [-10]; Selfish (12) [-5]; Fanaticism (Religion or Person) [-15]; Obsession (Long-Term goal) (12) [-10]: Truthful (12) [-5].

Skill Total [65]
Primary Skills [32]:
Knightly Arms [14]:. Broadsword (A) DX [2]-12; Axe/Mace (A) DX [2]-12; Spear (A) DX [2]-12; Fastdraw (Sword) (E) DX [1]-13; Shield (E) DX+2 [4]-14; Knife (E) DX [1]-12; Wrestling (A) DX-1 [1]-11; Brawling (E) DX [1]-12.
Horseman [18]: Soldier (A) IQ+2 [8]-13; Riding (A) DX [2]-12; Hands-free Riding (H) Riding+0 [4]-12; Animal handling (Horses) (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Packing (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Savoir-Faire (Warrior) (E) IQ [1]-11; Tactics (Land) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9.

Secondary Skills [18]:
Commander [9]: Administration (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Strategy (Land) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Intelligence Analysis (Military) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Leadership (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Public Speaking (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; History (War) (H) IQ-1 [2]-10; Psychology (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Hiking (A) HT-1 [1]-10.
Hunting [9]: Tracking (A) Per-1 [1]-10; Stealth (A) DX-1 [1]-11; Survival (Woodland) (A) Per-1 [1]-10; Animal Handling (Dogs or Falconry) (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Bow (A) DX+1 [2]-12 or Crossbow (E) DX+1 [2]-12; Running (A) HT-1 [1]-11; Climbing (A) DX-1 [1]-11; Swimming (E) HT [1]-12; .

Background Skills [15]:
Noble Background [9]: Literature (Folk Lore, Legends, Myths or Heroic Epics) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Theology (Latin Church of Rome) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; History (Family) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; History (Local) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Writing (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Dancing (A) DX-1 [1]-11; Games (E) IQ [1]-11; Math (Applied) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; ; Area Knowledge (Neighboring or Capital Region) (E) IQ [1]-11;
Social Skills [6]: Carousing (A) HT-1 [1]-11; Heraldry (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Artist (Poetry, Drawing, or Composition) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Current Affairs (Politics) (E) IQ [1]-11; Diplomacy (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Savoir-Faire (High Society) (E) IQ [1]-11.

Cavalry Load-Out:
  • Arming Dress (Body) DR1 $30 4lbs
  • Clothes (Status 2) ($600) 2lbs
  • Leather Gloves $30, negligible weight.
  • Boots $80 3lbs
  • Total $140, 9lbs
Armored Worn:
  • Mail armor ("Chainmail -- Why bother?")
    • DR: 4 vs cutting, 2 vs crushing, 3 vs Impaling and Piercing
    • Hauberk (body, partial legs) $600, 15lbs
      • attacks at the legs ignore mail armor on 4-6 on 1d.
    • Sleeve (primary arm) $50 2.5lb
    • Total $650, 17.5lbs
  • Legionary Helm $150, 6lbs
  • Total $800, 23.5lbs
  • Small Shield $40 8lbs
    • Skill-12, Block-11 (DB1, DR6, HP30, OP13)
    • Dmg thr 1d-1 cr
  • Cheap Broadsword $360 3lbs
    • Skill-12, Parry-11
    • Dmg thr 1d+1 imp / sw 1d+2 cut
  • Large Knife $40 1lb
    • Skill-12, Parry-10
    • Dmg thr 1d imp/ sw 1d-1 cut
  • Bottle, Ceramic (1L) 3lbs $3
  • Trail Ration $2 0.5
  • Total $445 15.5lbs
Total: $1,385 48lbs

Cavalry Loadout:
  • Fine Longspear $180 5lbs
    • Skill-12 (one handed), Parry-10U, Skill-10 on Ride by
    • Dmg thr 1d+2 imp, Reach 1,2,3
    • Dmg thr 2d-1 imp, Reach 1,2,3 on Ride by
  • Cavalry horse (ST22) $4000
    • Rider and Equipment 198lbs
    • Equestrian Gear and Load
      • Bit and Bridle $35 3lbs
      • Horseshoes $50 4lbs
      • Saddle and Tack $150 15lbs
      • Stirrups $125 20lbs
      • Total $360 42lbs
    • Total Load 240lbs
    • Move 4.8 on a trot, Move 9 run.
  • Total $4,360
Group Travel Load Out:
  • a Squire or Vallet
  • 3 Saddle Horses $3500
  • 2 Small Mules $2000
    • 4 Saddle bags $400 12lbs
    • Tent, 4-Man $150 30lbs
    • Group Basics $50 20lbs
    • Portable Toolkit (Armoury) $300 20lbs
    • 2 Wine Skin (8 Liters)$20 18lbs
    • 2 Blanket $40 8lbs
    • Sleeping Furs $50 8lbs
    • Wardrobe ($1200) 20lbs
    • Tent, 1-Man $50 5lbs
    • 5 days Rations for 2 people $60 15lbs
    • Total $3120 156lbs
  • Total $6,620

[1] Patrons(B73) Typically a Knights Patron buys the services of the Knight with “gifts” of equipment roughly equal to his starting wealth. The “Powerful Individual” Patron (defaults a 10cp) is at Status 5 (Multimillionaire).

Just Stumbled on Mythic Europe,

I was looking for maps of the Kingdom of Jerusalem for a quickie game I'm planning when I stumbled on this Mythic Europe's map. Nice place to get material. gets me nostalgic of the old darklands days.

GURPS Quick Adventure

Another GURPS NPC template.
Instant Encounter. A bad harvest has forced several freemen to leave their homes to look for supplies to pillage. These warriors are skilled, but not as disciplined as professional soldiers of the empire, still they are formidable and versatile.
PCs encounter faint clues of these would-be marauders passing.
It is a climate of panic, as a bad harvest, has landholders scrambling to buy supplies from better off neighbours. Tension is growing as abuses mount regarding the unfair trade of supplies. It has come to a tipping point when the first news of violence and pillaging has every community pointing the blame at each other.
The PCs are caught in the middle, and might be forced to confront the angry parties. If they investigate, they later learn about the barbarians, but what they don't realize until later is that a Landholding knight has used the pretense to hide his campaign against an old rival.
Freeman Warrior
Use this template to represent warriors who do not have a large body of history, culture, discipline and organization to draw on for their martial tradition.
Attributes [20]: ST11 [10]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 11 [10].
Secondary Characteristics [0]: Dmg 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 [0]; HP 11 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Per 10 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Spd 5.25 [0]; Move 5 [0]; Dodge (light + DB1) 9 [0].
Advantages [15]: Combat Reflex [15];
Disadvantages [-25]: Duty, Hazardous (12) [-10]; Discipline of Faith [-5]; Sense of Duty (Family, Friends, and Comrades) [-5]; Code of Honor (Warrior) [-5].
Total Skills [40]:
Primary Skills [17]:
Combat Skills [17]: Axe/Mace (A) DX+2 [8]-12; Bow (A) DX [2]-10; Shield (E) DX [1]-10; Throwing Axe/Mace (E) DX [1]-10; Fast Draw (Axe/Mace) [1]-11; Riding (A) DX-1 [1]-9; Wrestling (A) DX-1 [1]-9; Brawling (E) DX [1]-10; Knife (E) DX [1]-10.
Secondary Skills [15]:
Warrior Skills [15]: Warrior (A) IQ [2]-10; Hiking (A) HT+1 [4]-12; Running (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Stealth (A) DX-1 [1]-9; Survival (Wooded) (A) Per [2]-10; Tracking (A) Per [2]-10; Navigation (Land) (A) IQ-1 [1]-9; Packing (A) IQ-1 [1]-9; Savoir-Faire (Warrior) (E) IQ [1]-10.
Background Skills [8]:
Freeman Background [8]: Housekeeping (E) IQ [1]-10; Scrounging (E) Per [1]-10; Farming (A) IQ+1 [4]-11; Leadership (A) IQ [2]-10.
  • Leather armor DR2 (Torso, Groin) $100 10lbs
  • Pot Helm DR6 $100 5lbs
  • Clothes (Status -1) ($60) 2lbs
  • Shoes $40 2lbs
  • Cloak, Heavy (Fur) $50 5lbs
  • Total $290 24 lbs
  • Cheap Small Shield $24 8lbs
    • Skill-10, Block-10 (DB1, DR6, HP30, OP13)
    • Dmg thr 1d-1 cr
    • Holds 2 Hatchets
  • Cheap Axe $30 4lbs
    • Skill-12, Parry-11U
    • Dmg sw 2d-1 cut
  • Cheap Large Knife $24 1lb
    • Skill-10, Parry-7 (no shield)
    • Dmg thr 1d-1 imp/ 1d+2 cut
  • 2 Cheap Hatchets $48 4lbs
    • Throwing Skill-10, Melee Skill-12, Parry-11
    • Acc 0, Dmg thr 1d cut, Range 16/27
    • AoA:D + 3 sec Aim (behind shield cover) = Skill-11 at 5 yrds
  • Long Bow $200 3lbs
    • Cheap bodkin arrows and hip quiver $39 3lbs
    • Skill-10
    • Acc 3, Dmg thr+1 imp, Range 160/270,
    • AoA:D + 3 seconds Aim = Skill-10 at 20 yrds
  • Bottle, Ceramic (1L) $3 3lbs
  • Total $126 20lbs
  • Backpack $60 3lbs
  • Blankets $20 4lbs
  • 2 Sets of Clothes ($120) 4lbs
  • Wine Skiin (4L) $10 9lbs
  • Travel Rations, 2-days $12 3lbs
  • Personals $5 1lb
  • Total $102 24lbs
Total $518 71lbs.
Another Short Adventure can be found in my Byzantine Blog: The Slavers of the Horde.

Friday, October 23, 2009

[GURPS] Shields as Cover.

A shield is not just a portable wall that flickers in and out of the character's way. Shields were intentionally designed with the users behind it as full cover as they advanced.

The role of the shield tends to be overlooked and systems tend to represent it poorly, which further spreads the misinformation. I am aware that this is done for more game-able purposes, but the current rules as is have the ability to represent these concepts without adding anything.

In the RAW, there is nothing stopping you from applying the shield in a realistic manner: where the character uses it as cover, putting as much of the character's body behind it. Doing this the Character drops their DB bonus (because the shield ceases to be reactive). The rules can be found in B408.

  • Medium Shields, typically can provide full cover. Kite Shields, with their reverse teardrop shape, can be stabbed on the ground to stand as cover while reloading weapons.
  • Small Shields, Can serve as half cover, or full cover when crouched behind it. A Small Kite Shield, can be stabbed on the ground and used by crossbowmen as full cover who can kneel to reload and fire.

In GURPS, shields provide a Defense Bonus to all active defenses. Intentionally the “game” aspect ignores the fact that most shield training, has a default guard position covering the torso. This guard position is why spears and shortswords are preferred over axes and maces. Spears allows the combatant to maintain his guard position while attacking because it allows the torso to maintain its profile againts the opponent, unlike axes/maces and broadswords that require the torso to turn for mechanical efficiency for the swinging motion. Shortswords and Knives, allow the Shield bearer to slip a blade without sacrificing this valuable guard position.

How to reflect it in GURPS? There is 2 aspects that need to change in order to maintain a level of balance and realism if one is going to apply these insights into GURPS combat. 1- Shields, realistically are more fragile than the rules would lead you to believe. 2 – Certain Weapons designed to break shields should enter play.

Medium Shields $60 15lbs

  • DR2, 20HP, HT12, Over penetration 7
  • Cheap Version $36

Small Shields $40 8lbs

  • DR2, 16HP, HT12 Over penetration 6
  • Cheap Version $36 HT9

Light Shield $25 2lbs

  • DR2, 10HP, HT12 Over penetration 4
  • Cheap Version $15 HT9

According to B405, for Picks.

Impaling and Piercing Weapons that deal enough damage to penetrate DR may get stuck. So javelins, arrows, Spears, Knives, that penetrate DR will stick to the shield. For simplicity's sake, ignore the damage tolerance rules for shields.

Overpenetration (B408) is the Blow Through DR of an object. Separate from an object's DR, which usually protects the object itself, the OP is the DR for the person behind the object.

Once the shields are more destructible (which they are that is why there is a specialize role called shield bearers), you can just add it to the other character combat options for the spear and shortsword users to hold the shield guard as cover. Basically this makes the shield grant their DR to the character's general torso and will require the opponent to attack harder targets.

What will this do to my game: Bandits, with no armor and crappy shields will put up more of a fight than usual. $24-$36 for a wooden barrier covering one's vitals will have the setting littered with broken shields.

More Javelins, Axes and Maces will be around as shield disablers.

Swords will be more rare and less used.

A character can equip themselves at less than $70:

Small shield $24 + Cheap Spear $24;Small shield $24 + Cheap Axe $30;Medium Shield $36 + Cheap Spear $24;Medium Shield $36 + Cheap Axe $30;
In a GURPS basic set game, these rules will change the way characters can fight because the shield is lighter and more effective then the armor available (which will be rebalanced late next year in low tech).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

[anygame system] How to Make a Modern Combat Map in 10 minutes

I promised long ago to show how to make a tactical combat map very quickly. Use this to make reusable combat maps or for one long engagement.

Step 1: go to Google Maps and zoom into to any part of the world that suits the terrain you want to use.
Ex. I prefer Philippine Jungle. Viola takes a few seconds.

Step 2: Press Print Screen to Screen Capture, then go to Photo Shop or GIMP and open "new" and past it on. Crop to get only the useful parts (including the reference scale).

Step 3: Go back to Google Maps and change the View from Satelite to Terrain. Screen Capture that and paste it on a layer over the first picture.

Step 4: Click on Multiply (which the image demonstrate) and manipulate Lightness/Darkness Levels (Ctrl+L in Photoshop).

Step 5: Make sure terrain depth and elevation markers are visible. Save as an Image. Resize to how big you plan to print it out.

Step 6: Go to and make a Hex PDF (line 0.1, 0.1 size hex). Get to your ideal proportions, you don't have to use the exact Google Earth values. Just use what is gamable.

Note: Locally tarp printing is around Php30-40 ($0.7-0.8) per sq foot. At 20 sq (7 x 3.33) ft it costs about Php800 ($16) for this tarp map. This one I made is 60m per hex. At the terrain difficulty it would roughly take 1 minute to cover at paced running through difficult terrain. You can extrapolate from there. (Paced running is Move x0.5, Difficult terrain is x0.5 move, moving at Light enc is x0.8 move, defaulting at Basic Move 5).

Here is the Rapid Share file.

Further note, you can play with Hues, to change the over all terrain and add props to represent goals, structures and vehicles.

Basic Set Soldiers, Logistics (adventuring's less popular expression

Soldiers and Logistics, Translate to Adventurers and Adventures. Some GMing fundamentals I keep revisiting because I always find new ways of using and expressing them.

The Roman Legionary


The Roman Soldier is one of the best base line examples of a professional warrior. It is a template that can easily be altered to fit appropriate equivalents common in great variety of eras and cultures. What makes them such great examples, is their focus of operational and organizational skills that make them very effective fighting force. They are not great individual fighters, but they work great as a team, a focus that is central in an RPG.

Attributes [20]: ST11 [10]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 11 [10].

Secondary Characteristics [0]: Dmg 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 [0]; HP 11 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Per 10 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Spd 5.25 [0]; Move 5 [0]; Dodge (light + DB2) 10 [0].

Advantages [20]: Combat Reflex [15]; Patron (Army) (Minimal intervention -50%; Provides equipment +50%) (freq-6) [5]

Disadvantages [-30]: Duty, Hazardous (12) [-10]; Wealth (Struggling) [-10]; Sense of Duty (Family, Friends, and Comrades) [-5]; Code of Honor (Professional) [-5].

Social background [0]: Read Common Language (Broken) [-2]; Speak Imperial Language (Accented) [2]

Total Skills [40]:

Primary Skills [20]:

Soldiering Skills [20]: Soldier (A) IQ+2 [8]-12; Hiking (A) HT+1 [4]-12; Running (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Swimming (E) HT [1]-11; Riding (A) DX-1 [1]-9; Stealth (A) DX-1 [1]-9; Survival (Wooded) (A) Per-1 [1]-9; Navigation (Land) (A) IQ-1 [1]-9; Packing (A) IQ-1 [1]-9; Savoir-Faire (Military) (E) IQ [1]-10.

Secondary Skills [13]:

Swordsman Combat Skills [13]: Shortsword* (A) DX+1 [4]-11; Shield (E) DX+2 [4]-12; Throwing Spear (E) DX [1]-10; Fast Draw (Spear) [1]-11; Wrestling (A) DX-1 [1]-9; Brawling (E) DX [1]-10; Knife (E) DX [1]-10.

Background Skills [7]:

Rural Peasant Background [7]: Housekeeping (E) IQ [1]-10; Scrounging (E) Per [1]-10; Farming (A) IQ+1 [4]-11; Savoir-Faire (Neighborly) (E) IQ [1]-10.


  • Leather armor DR2 (Torso, Groin) $100 10lbs

  • Legionary Helmet $150 6lbs

  • Clothes (Status -1) ($60) 2lbs

  • Shoes $40 2lbs

  • Cloak, Light $20 2lbs

  • Total 22lbs $310


  • Cheap Medium Shield $36 15lbs

    • Skill-12, Block-10 (DB2, DR7, HP40, OP17)

    • Dmg thr 1d-1 cr

    • Holds 2 Javelins

  • Cheap Shortsword $240 2lbs

    • Skill-12, Parry-11

    • Dmg thr 1d+1 imp/ 1d+2 cut

  • Cheap Large Knife $24 1lb

    • Skill-10, Parry-8 (no shield)

    • Dmg thr 1d-1 imp/ 1d+2 cut

  • 2 Javelins $60 4lbs

    • Skill-10

    • Acc 3, Dmg thr 1d imp, Range 16/27

    • AoA:D + 3 sec Aim (behind shield cover) = Skill-14 at 5 yrds

  • Bottle, Ceramic (1L) $3 3lbs

  • Total $488 25lbs


  • Backpack $60 3lbs

  • Blankets $20 4lbs

  • 2 Sets of Clothes ($120) 4lbs

  • Wine Skiin (4L) $10 9lbs

  • Travel Rations, 2-days $12 3lbs

  • Personals $5 1lb

  • Total $102 24lbs

Total $850 71lbs.

Group Basics, for a small squad of 8 people

  • 2 Small Mule $2000

  • 2 sets of Saddle Bags (holds a total of 160lbs) $400 12lbs

  • 2 Tent, 4-man $300 60lbs

  • Group Basics $50 20lbs

  • Portable Carpentry Toolkit $300 20lbs

  • Total $3500

Note: these group basics are in adition to the Travel Load outs and have 60lbs of available allowance for basic supplies. Typically travelers stop for water at least once a day. Water availability actually determines travel routes and not just the shortest distance between two points. Characters marching would need about 1pint or liter of water per hour of march per day. This means marching for 10 hours will require about 20lbs of water (2lbs per liter or pint). Given the weight allowance, each member can store as much as 7.5lbs of supplies with the mules. Typically these allowances are usually tools, rations, extra supplies of water (via extra water skins). A Good starting point is having extra 2 liters of water (a water skin half filled 5lbs $10), an exta day's worth of rations (1.5lbs $6), and 20 arrows ($24 2lbs) alternating with Regular bow (2lbs $100) bundled for hunting purposes.

Notes on Tactics:

Throwing weapons. Throwing a weapon before engaging is simple one of the easiest and opportunistic tactics in melee. It is an attack that requires incredible reach and a ready throwing weapon used to reply. Historically, throwing weapons are meant to disable shields but the rules don't fit this quite well. As a simple fix, if you want to reflect this, if the base damage the throwing weapon deals is 4+ roll Shield breakage. I recommend B483's Damage to Objects' simple HT roll instead of the complicated system in B274.

Note on Money: Soldiers are usually given an allowance enough for food (roughly $6 a day). It depends on the kind of commander how much is really given. As adventurers they carry and appropriate amount of wealth depending on what they are tasked to do. As a default assume they carry a month's allowance $180. The rest of the pay is usually given annually (and often late, up to even years late!). A soldier is usually paid a Solidus, which is usually worth a year's worth of wheat, plus an allowance and income from their farm land grants. Roughly a soldier is at struggling, even with all that pay. After all, their jobs cost them blood, bone, sweat, hunger, disease... you get the picture.

Logistics, is what happens behind the scenes that make an adventure possible.

Logistics is one of the fundamentals of warfare. When the GM asks the player to roll their soldiers or professional (adventurer) skill when as they are marshaling out, there are very many things that can go wrong. Call this the Murphy Roll, roll this when conducting operations at reasonable stress and risk.

Even a simple act as moving from A to B can be pretty complicated, and filled with unexpected thrills and side-adventures. GMs who think the hazards of the adventure are not enough and have the players already over their head, can still throw this as another challenge (to distract them and a challenge of keeping focused and goal oriented). Arbitrarily, if you have a whole mess of an adventure planned you can simplify this roll to an average of all, but if you have time to spare or want to draw an edge of anticipation you can roll in secret for each player.

On a failed roll, the GM looks at all the Soldier's Skills and rolls beginning with the worse skill (if none) :

Packing – Equipment storage problems, this can happen quite often given the varying degrees of rush. Something can happen to undo all the time consuming packing and organizing of equipment. Packing also involves problems with the pack animal. Often sometimes these ornery animals may just not be as cooperative for some reason.

Navigation – Degrees of lost, eat up time and can often lead to trouble. Even just a slight change of

Survival (Wooded) – the soldier runs into trouble with one of natures many hazards. One typical problem is when a soldier is bind-sided by the day's weather.

Hiking – a travel related injury, possibly injury from not taking proper attention to trekking conditions.

Stealth – Attracting unwanted attention. Typically a factor when traversing enemy territory. Stealth is usually part of forward intelligence or reconnoitering. This could also be a possible failure of there.

Swimming – if there is a water hazard, this will certainly come up. There are many paths across water that have no bridges but low enough to be crossed. This can be a problem.

Observation or Perception – This is part of forward intelligence and reconnoitering like stealth. Failure here has similar repercussions.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

[Anygame system] Defining Character

My wife was asking me about challenging questions to answer for job interviews. She got kinda bored with the IQ tests and the deconstructive thinking questions, So I pitched her my new SOP of questions to figure out how the Player is planning to role-play his character which she found fun.

I've gotten into different opinions about the meanings of some disadvantages, the parenthesis pertains to GURPS disadvantage. I find these essential questions to start on players to answer about their character. A short paragraph each, an essay or a quick discussion would be enough. The GM should take notes, because using this information to add a level of complexity to their game takes very little effort. All these are a key to the decision making process of a Character and allows the GM quickly tailor a scenario to best challenge them.

Social Obligation (Sense of Duty) - How many social obligations does the character maintain (and eat up their time), how strong are they, where are they in their hierarchy of priorities? Note: In gurps, the disadvantage pertains to a size, intensity and the among time these obligations take up is based on other disadvantages (Duty, Fanaticism, and an Aspect of Honor).

Humanity (Pacifism) - the capacity to take another person's life or make others suffer. What does it take for the character to take a life? Can it be over a small thing, a big thing, just his own life, or will it need the threat of loved ones? This also pertains to how much can a character tolerate amounts of suffering vs not particularly caring at all.

Intolerance (Intolerance) - Intolerance usually pertains to a Culture, Ethnicity/Race, Lifestyle, Belief structure, Social Class, or Institution. Figure this one last, because even if someone thinks they are pretty tolerant, their other answers would point to something they are not aware of.

Belief Structure (Discipline of Faith) - The disadvantage pertains to the degrees of commitment and the physical discipline one needs to maintain it. Pan-theistically. Personally, I would ask the Player to describe his character's belief structure with a few questions:
  • What is X's belief structure?
  • What does the belief structure ask of X?
  • How much commitment or sacrifice will X do for his/her belief? Will he sacrifice all possession, loved ones, their own life?
  • Does it affect his tolerance/acceptance for other beliefs, lifestyles, social policies, etc... ?
note: This is a topic, I as a GM, pay a great deal of attention to. How I treat, role-play, or act concerning the beliefs is something I tread carefully on but draw great amounts of Role-playing Drama. Currently, in the flux of culture, information, and innovation we learn that we are constantly reshaping our view of the world based on how to best accommodate the infinite perspectives possessed by the peoples of the world. Then there are those who see this change or this accommodation of others as anathema, because it affects the measure of comfort and structure they have grown up around. I want people to be aware of their character's beliefs not just because of political correctness reasons but because Beliefs determine Character Choices.
This is a game-theory aspect, and thus a strong influence in the over-reaching strategy players will adopt. If a character is empirical, this can lead to a different
set of options a faith-based character would have.

Ex. Lets take a Secular Humanist who will be ready to sacrifice something they hold greater importance than their own life to perform a greater common good falls under what in your referendum?
Personal Integrity (Code of Honor) - How does the character know them-selves, how much do they value their promises, and what lengths the character will go to redeem or maintain their self image. Honor is usually defined by a culture's perspective, I chose Integrity as a broader term to ask players about. Integrity that can lead to one's death, but death in one's own terms is at -5 (like pirate's or professionals), but under the terms of another (like a soldier, knight, warrior following a leader) it is -10, and under worse terms like strange circumstances (a storybook chivalric knight caught up by circumstance) -15.

Respect for Order, Authority and Law (Honesty) - While integrity is internal, Honesty is more external (because it actually grants a reaction bonus from other). Since the Honesty and Honor two tends to blur so often, I will describe these set of questions as how a person Views the place of Order, Government, Law, and Authority in society.

Responsibilities (Duty) - We take jobs for granted, but Characters tend to have jobs to or something they do to support them financially or psychologically. Nothing removes the immersible experience like removing authentic human drama: responsibilities. What is considered a regular set of responsibilities falls under the -10 range of points. More or Less affects the character in their choice of how to spend their time. Characters who chose to have a little responsibility as possible vs those who take on more than they can handle have a notable affect on their mindset. In game aspects, the responsible ones do most of the work while the less responsible ones enjoy most of what the work benefits. Bottom line it is overall productivity, stress levels, and time options.

Notice that Characters who fall outside these parameters (no such disdvantages) have the broadest options, at the same time suffer the social and rational disadvantages from not having defined these traits. The GM should require as part of back story, instances where the character violated any of the 7 basic premises:

  • A person with no social obligation has no person who naturally are obligated to care for them (unless they paid points for it).
  • A person has no problem taking another humans life or making others suffer, has done so to make them realize they are such.
  • Character with no identifiable tollerance, will find one after asking all the other questions
  • A character usually practices their belief structure, lack of any one conviction will show with the many tests of character in adventure.
  • A character with no Responsibilities have very unusual habits because they fall outside the working norm.
  • A character who has no respect for order, authority, and law will have trouble working with any other organized body and will usually work independently.
  • Character who has no integrity will usually take the easiest deal and not easiest deals are good deals. In the character's history, these life defining choices have a tendency to show up at inopportune times.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Basic Set Challenge; Basic Set NPCs

The GURPS 4E basic set is a formidable book to begin with the Table-top Role-playing Hobby. It may just be basic, but the number of games you can have with it is impressive in variety more than scope. I will start a small bunch of basic set ready NPCs, Adventures, load outs, and more so to prove you have the most bang for buck with just the basic set.

Looking at the NPCs samples in the Basic Set, It is strange that they didn't stick to the original 3rd edition stock NPCs who were easy to start with and use. I have made some basic set NPCs at 120cp but with 60cp of disadvantages. I've tried to stay clear of over-done archetypes. I do have 3 common archetypes with a twist (the Squire and the Old Soldier), and 1 uncommon archetype (rarely played) .

The Witch of Hypatia is in line with the arrival of the movie Agora. I've gotten the idea after being exposed to so much of the strong, eccentric, independent "aunts" archetype found in the novels that I've read (like Lois McMaster Bujold's works) . The direct inspiration is Eudokia Makrembolitissa but as an adventurer.

These characters are were made in mind of my Sins of the Crusades game, found in my byzantine blog. Although they can easily be modified to fit any other low magic setting. I would say they are a perfect fit with Game of Thrones Westeros.

I have also made them in mind to be heavily role-played. In Role-playing difficulty levels of easiest to hardest are: Urser, Kayleen and Corsan tied, and of course the Witch of Hypatia, Markessa.

I have 2 more characters in the works, but I just can't contain my excitement in making these available asap. I also have an updated adventure in also in the works, designed for my SoC game but easily convertible to other games (since I don't use magic in my games, it is practically compatible with any game setting).

Kayleen of Midrenn 120cp

Age 18, Height 5'6”, Weight 100lbs,

Hair Brown, Eyes Hazel.

Background. A woodsman's daughter, Kayleen learned her father's trade because he had no other sons. When she was young, she played with her lord's children who didn't much mind her status. Skilled in hunting, she participated with her noble-born playmates in their hunting games. As she grew older, she didn't realize she was inheriting their independent spirit and eventually grew out of place. When a bandit incursion attacked her lord's lands when he was away, she became a valuable scout and won honor and respect of her people.

Attributes [100]: ST11 [10]; DX 12 [40]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 11 [10].

Secondary Characteristics [15]: Dmg 1d-1/1d+1; BL 24 [0]; HP 11 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Per 12 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Spd 6 [5]; Move 8 [10]; Dodge (none) 10 (11 w/ shield) [0]; Parry (Knife) 9 [0].

Advantages [20]: Combat Reflex [15]; Keen vision +3 [6]; Appearance (Attractive +1) [4].

Disadvantages [-60]: Code of Honor (Pirate's) [-5]; Social Stigma (2nd Class Citizen: woman) [-5]; Sense of Duty (Family and Friends) [-5]; Intolerance (Clergy) [-5]; Cannot Read/Write Common Language [-3]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]; Wealth (Struggling) [-10] and Social Status (Peasant Background) -1 [-5]; Curious (15) [-2]; Secret (freesworn woman and Bitter Leaf Eater ) [-10].

Quirks [-5]: Dislikes Small Spaces, Dislikes Cities and their folk, likes Superstitious rituals, Tomboy, Chews on Bitter Moon leaves*.

Total Skills [45]:

Primary Skills [21]:

Hunter Skills [21]: Tracking (A) Per [2]-12†; Hiking (A) HT+1 [4]-12; Running (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Swimming (E) HT [1]-11; Riding (A) DX-1 [1]-11; Stealth (A) DX+1 [4]-13; Survival (Wooded) (A) Per [2]-12†; Navigation (Land) (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Packing (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Soldier (Scout) (A) IQ [2]-12; Observation (A) Per [2]-12.

Secondary Skills [14]:

Archer Combat Skills [14]: Bow (A) DX+2 [8]-14; Broad sword (A) DX [2]-12; Shield (E) DX [1]-12; Fastdraw (Arrow) (E) DX [1]-13; Wrestling (A) DX-1 [1]-11; Knife (E) DX [1]-12.

Background Skills [10]:

Rural Peasant Background [4]: Housekeeping (E) IQ [1]-12; Scrounging (E) Per [1]-12†; Animal handling (Dogs) (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Savoir-Faire (Neighborly) (E) IQ [1]-12.

Social Skills [6]: Body Language (A) Per [2]-12†; Intimidation (A) Will-1 [1]-11; Sex Appeal (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Acting (A) IQ [2]-12.

† Keen Vision +2

(Ranged) Worn:

  • Rugged Roughs-pun Clothes (Status -1) 2lbs ($60)

  • Light Cloak DR1 2lbs $20

  • Shoes 2lbs $40

  • Total 6.5lbs $60

(Archer) Carried:

  • Cheap Light Shield (buckler) DB1 2lbs $15

    • Skill-12, Block-11

  • Longbow 4lbs $100

    • w/ Hip Quiver 20 broad-head arrows 3lbs $55

    • Skill-14 (Aim + AoA:D = 10yrds at Skill-14)

    • Acc 3, Dmg thr 1d+1 imp, Range 165/220

  • Cheap Dagger 0.25lb $12

    • Skill-12, Parry-11

  • Wineskin (2 liters) 5lbs $10

  • A Day's Ration 1.5lbs $6

  • Personals 1lb $5

  • Total 17lbs $303

Travel Load Out:

  • Small Backpack 3lbs $60

  • Wine Skin (4Liters) 9lbs $10

  • Blanket 4lbs $20

  • Complete Wardrobe 20lbs ($300)

  • Tent, 1-Man 5lbs $50

  • Pouch of Bitter Moon Leaf 1lbs $5

  • Total 42lbs $135

Total 68.5lbs $498

Tactic Notes:


  1. Take suitable cover and concealment. if none maneuver if still faster than opponents.

  2. Fast draw Arrow and Aim (aim for a full 3 seconds if distance is about +30yrd)

  3. All-out-Attack: Determined, Loose-Arrow, Fast-Draw arrow and Maneuver for cover

  4. Step into partial cover/concealment, Draw and Aim

  5. All-out-Attack: Determined, Loose-Arrow, Fast-Draw arrow and Maneuver for cover

  6. repeat.


  1. Melee is last resort, avoid if possible. Take advantage of high move, foraging/survival skills to live to fight another day.

Bitter Moon Herb- These uncommon herb is grown secretly, rumored to be used by witches. It is usually made into a tea, and acts as a suppressant to a woman's period. It is a controversial practice but in reality it is practiced by many women of in the capital more discretely.

Urser of Leon-Silvas 120cp

Age 36, Height 5'9”, Weight 180lbs, Hair Black, Eyes blue.

Background. Hero of the Bloody Brook was a title Urser held a very long time ago. An old soldier whose brief stint in the lime light lead him to a path of self destruction. Many bad choices happened since then, and tragedy after tragedy until he finally woke up out of his drunken haze. Now A recovering alcoholic, Urser has become a very different man fin the course of a year, thanks to friends, a new purpose and a second chance.

Attributes [100]: ST13 [30]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 12 [40]; HT 11 [10].

Secondary Characteristics [0]: Dmg 1d/2d-1; BL 29 [0]; HP 13 [0]; FP 11 [0]; Per 12 [0]; Will 12 [0]; Spd 5.25 [0]; Move 5 [0]; Dodge (light) 9 [0]; Parry (Broadsword) 10 [0].

Advantages [25]: Combat Reflex [15]; Reputation “Hero of the Bloody Brook” +3 (Recognition-7) [5]; Fit [5].

Disadvantages [-60]: Code of Honor (Soldier) [-10]; Duty, Hazardous (9) [-10]; Sense of Duty (Family and Friends) [-5]; Discipline of Faith (Ritualism) [-5]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]; Read/Write Latin/Greek Language [-3]; Honest (12) [-10]; Bad Reputation (Recognition-7) “Drunken Has-been of Bloody Brook” -1 [-2]; Incurious (12) [-5].

Quirks [-5]: Recovering Alcoholic, Talks about the Old Days, Careful, Gluttonous, and Chummy.

Total Skills [55]:

Primary Skills [31]:

Soldiering Skills [20]: Soldier (A) IQ+2 [8]-14; Hiking (A) HT+1 [4]-12; Running (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Swimming (E) HT [1]-11; Riding (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Stealth (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Survival (Wooded) (A) Per [2]-12; Navigation (Land) (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Packing (A) IQ-1 [1]-11;

Officer Skills [11]: History (War) (H) IQ-2 [1]-10; Current Events (War) (E) IQ [1]-12; Tactics (Land) (H) IQ-2 [1]-10; Strategy (Land) (H) IQ-2 [1]-10; Psychology (H) IQ-2 [1]-10; Heraldry (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Savoir-Faire (Military) (E) IQ [1]-12; Intimidation (A) Will-1 [1]-11; Leadership (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Observation (A) Per [1]-11; Public Speaking (Oration) (A) IQ [1]-11.

Secondary Skills [19]:

Combat Skills [19]: Spear (A) DX+2 [8]-12; Shield (E) DX+1 [2]-12; Throwing Spear (E) DX+1 [2]-12; Wrestling (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Brawling (E) DX [1]-11; Knife (E) DX+1 [2]-12; Broadsword (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Fast Draw (Spear) (E) DX [1]-12; Crossbow (E) DX [1]-11.

Background Skills [5]:

Rural Peasant Background [5]: Housekeeping (E) IQ [1]-12; Scrounging (E) Per [1]-12; Farming (A) IQ [2]-12; Savoir-Faire (Neighborly) (E) IQ [1]-12.

(Melee) Worn:

  • Light Scale Armor DR 3 15lbs $150

  • Legionaire Helm DR 4/2* 6lbs $150

  • Rugged Roughs-pun Clothes (Status 0) 2lbs ($120)

  • Light Cloak 2lbs $20

  • Shoes 2lbs $40

  • Total 26lbs $360

(Spear man) Carried:

  • Cheap Medium Shield (Heavy Kite shield) DB2 15lbs $24

    • Skill-12, Block-12

    • Holds 2 javelins

    • Appearance: Reverse Teardrop Shape, 5ft x 3.5ft at the widest.

    • Note: can be Stabbed on the ground as cover.

  • 2 Javelins 4lbs $60

    • Skill-12 (skill-13 melee, parry-12) (3 sec Aim + AoA:D = 7yrds at skill-14)

    • Acc 3, Dmg thr 1d+1 imp, Range 20/33

  • Fine Spear 4lbs $120

    • Skill-13, Parry-12 (2-h grip one handed)

    • (Skill-12) Acc2, Dmg thr 2d imp, Range 13/20, Reach 1, 2

  • Cheap Large Knife 1lb $24

    • Skill-12, Parry-11

    • Dmg thr 1d imp / sw 1d+1 cut

  • Crossbow Bow 4lbs $150

    • Skill-11 (Braced + 3 sec aim + AoA:D = 15yrds at skill-14)

    • Acc 4, Dmg thr 2d(2) imp, Range 260/325

    • w/ Hip Quiver 20 cheap bodkin bolts 3lbs $39

  • 2L Wineskin 5lbs $10

  • A Day's Ration 1.5lbs $6

  • Personals 1lb $5

  • Total 38.5lbs $399

Travel Load Out:

  • Backpack, Frame 3lbs $60

  • Wine Skin (4Liters) 9lbs $10

  • Blanket 4lbs $20

  • 2 Extra Sets Clothes ($240)

  • Tent, 1-Man 5lbs $50

  • 10-Meals Ration 5lbs $20

  • Total 30bs $160

Total 118.5lbs $959, $41 farthings left.

Tactic notes:


  1. Take suitable cover and concealment. if none stab the Shield on the ground for half cover.

  2. Draw Crossbow and Load Bolt (4 sec)

  3. Brace on Shield Aim (3 sec), always go for maximum chance to hit because of slow ROF.

Melee (if closing in)

    1) Ready Shield

    2) If on high ground, fast-draw javelin, Aim (3-sec) and wait for opponent to close in.. or if on low ground advance behind shield (as full cover).

    3) at about 7yards, hurl javelin: Aimed at all out attack, or before closing in when advancing or fast draw Spear.

    4) Keep a 2yrd distance by retreating or All-out-Attack: Feint and Attack or Determined (which allows the character to move 2 spaces back by using up all 4 moves) if opponents are armed with reach 1 melee weapons.

    5) priority targets: unarmored legs or feet (Cut opponent's mobility).

Markessa Letissia (Formerly Baroness Markessa Angelou) 120cp

Age 41, Height 5'4”, Weight 100lbs,

Hair Black and Gray, Eyes Amber.

Background. No one will ever suspect the widow of the Baron Galeni Angelou is a witch of Hypatia. The Lady Letissia has been disciplined by a torturous secret she has kept for almost all her life. Now, that her children are fully grown and busy with affairs with the empire, she has taken the opportunity to set her self finally free of it, in a fruitful and careful manner. Practicing her particular faith in secret was difficult but possible through the aid and support of the other witches, now free from social obligations of court and family, she can search for more like-minded souls and make the world a better place in her search.

Attributes [60]: ST10 [0]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 13 [60]; HT 10 [0].

Secondary Characteristics [0]: Dmg 1d-2/1d; BL 20 [0]; HP 10 [0]; FP 10 [0]; Per 13 [0]; Will 13 [0]; Spd 5 [0]; Move 5 [0]; Dodge (none) 8 [0]; Parry (Knife) 9 [0].

Advantages [55]:

High Noble [50]: Status (Greater Noble) 3 [10]; Wealth (Very Wealthy) [30]; Patronage (Patrician Family) (6) [8]; Reputation +1 Baroness Angelou (Recognition-7) [2].

Social Background [5]: Cultural Familiarity (Native) [0]; Language (Ruling Language) (Speak and Read) (Native) [0]; Language (same alphabet) (2nd Dominant Language) (Accented) [2]; Language (same alphabet) (Religious Language) (Broken) [1]; Language (Speak and Read) (Powerful Neighbors Language) (Broken) [2].

Disadvantages [-60]: Code of Honor (Lady's) [-10]; Social Stigma (2nd Class Citizen: woman) [-5]; Sense of Duty (Family and Friends) [-5]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]; Secret (Heretic; Witch) [-30].

Quirks [-5]: Blank faced, Careful,

Total Skills [65]:

Primary Skills [30]:

Social Skills [19]: Politics (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Acting (A) IQ+1 [4]-14; Savoir-Faire (High Society) IQ+2 [4]-15; Body language (A) Per+1 [4]-14; Detect Lies (H) Body Language-4 [0]-10; Public Speaking (A) IQ+1 [4]-14; Current Affairs (Court) IQ [1]-13; Cultural Familiarity (Neighboring Power) [1].

Pagan Lore [11]: Philosophy (Empirical Thought) (H) IQ [4]-13; Observation (A) Per+1 [4]-14; Teaching (A) IQ [2]-13; Savoir Faire (Witches) (E) IQ [1]-13.

Secondary Skills [20]:

Support Skills [10]: Intelligence Analysis (Politics) (H) IQ-1 [2]-12; Strategy (Politics) (H) IQ-1 [2]-12; Psychology (H) IQ-1 [2]-12; Law (High Court) (H) IQ-1 [2]-12; History (Families) (H) IQ-1 [2]-12.

Secondary Social Skills [5]: Diplomacy (H) IQ-1 [2]-12; Interrogation (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Intimidation (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Merchant (A) IQ-1 [1]-12.

Taboo Skills [5]: Streetwise (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Knife (E) DX [1]-11; Poison (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Sex Appeal (A) HT-1 [1]-9.

Background Skills [15]:

Noble Background [15]: Administration (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Literature (Folk Lore) (H) IQ-2 [1]-11; Theology (Religion) (H) IQ-2 [1]-11; History (Local) (H) IQ-2 [1]-11; Writing (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Dancing (A) DX [2]-10; Riding (A) DX [2]-10; Games (E) IQ [1]-13; Math (Applied) (H) IQ-2 [1]-11; Carousing (A) HT-1 [1]-9; Heraldry (A) IQ-1 [1]-12; Artist (Poetry) (H) IQ-2 [1]-11; Area Knowledge (Capital Region) (E) IQ [1]-13.

Equipment [12.lbs]:


  • Outdoor Dress (Status 0) 4lbs ($120);

  • Outdoor Cloak 5lbs $50

  • Shoes 2lbs $40.

  • Total 7lbs $90


  • Fine Dagger 0.25lbs $60;

  • Personals 1lb $5.

  • Total


  • 3 Servants

    • an old scullery maid,

    • old men vallets and a guide.

  • 2 horses

  • 4 pack animals (donkeys)

  • typically hires guards or accompanies other travelers.

Corsan'gen Veriden Romanii 120cp

Age 17, Height 5'9”, Weight 150lbs,

Hair Dark Brown, Eyes Gray.

Background. Middle son of Sir Jomar Romanii, Corsan'gen grew up invisible and mostly forgotten from the size of his family. Strangely, this curse was also a blessing Corsan learned to appreciate. There were many things he learned about himself, he could not share with his closest family or friends. Fortunately he had a very strange but supportive aunt who helped him keep his secret and grow despite the pressures of his family.

Then came his 16th name day and a chance at knighthood. Corsan's, to some odd surprise failed, but his relative obscurity didn't make it much of a big deal. It was very disappointing and crushing at first, because like every male of his family martial prowess was the dream. After some time passed, he had a change of mind about his situation. When his aunt decided to travel and see the "holy" places, Corsan took the chance to be with her and keep her safe... he didn't know the kind of adventures this strange opportunity would bring.

Attributes [60]: ST11 [10]; DX11 [20]; IQ11 [20]; HT11 [10].

Secondary Characteristics [0]: Dmg 1d-1/1d+1 [0]; BL 24 [0]; HP 11; FP 11 [0]; Per 11 [0]; Will 11 [0]; Spd 5.5 [0]; Move 5 [0]; Dodge 10.

Advantages [70]:

Warrior Class [40]: Combat Reflex [15]; Status 1 (Squire) [0]; Wealth (wealthy) [20]; Patron (Family) (6) [5].

Social Background [5]: Cultural Familiarity (Norman) (Native) [0]; Language (French) (Speak and Read) (Native) [0]; Language (same alphabet) (English) (Accented) [2]; Language (same alphabet) (Latin) (Broken) [1]; Language (Speak and Read) (Greek) (Broken) [2].

Personal Advantage [25]: Empathy [15]; Charisma +2 [10].

Disadvantages [-60]: Duty, Hazardous (Charge) (12) [-10]; Sense of Duty (Family) [-5] Discipline of Faith (Ritualism) [-5]; Code of Honor (Soldier) [-10]; Honest (12) [-5]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents) [-10]; Secret (Utter rejection) [-10].

Quirks [-5]: Quiet, Humble, Helpful, Careful, and Thoughtful.

Skill Total [55]:

Primary Skills [32]:

Knightly Arms [18]:. Broadsword (A) DX+1 [4]-12; Axe/Mace (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Spear (A) DX+1 [4]-12; Fast Draw (Sword) (E) [1]-12; Cavalry Weapon (Spear) (H) Spear+0 [2]-11; Shield (E) DX+1 [2]-12; Knife (E) DX [1]-11; Wrestling (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Brawling (E) DX [1]-11; Crossbow (E) DX [1]-11.

Heavy Cavalryman [14]: Soldier (A) IQ [2]-11; Riding (A) DX [2]-11; Combat Riding (H) Riding+2 [2]-12; Hands-free Riding (H) Riding+0 [4]; Animal handling (Horses) (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Packing (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Savoir-Faire (Miltiary) (E) IQ [1]-13ǂ; Tactics (Land) (H) IQ-2 [1]-10.

Secondary Skills [6]:

Hunting [6]: Tracking (A) Per-1 [1]-10; Stealth (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Survival (Woodland) (A) Per-1 [1]-10; Running (A) HT-1 [1]-10; Climbing (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Swimming (E) HT [1]-11.

Background Skills [17]:

Noble Background [12]: Literature (Folk Lore) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Theology (Imperial Church) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; History (Family) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; History (Local) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Writing (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Dancing (A) DX-1 [1]-10; Games (E) IQ [1]-11; Math (Applied) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Heraldry (A) IQ-1 [1]-10; Artist (Poetry) (H) IQ-2 [1]-9; Current Affairs (Politics) (E) IQ [1]-11; Area Knowledge (Capital Region) (E) IQ [1]-11.

Social Skills [5]: Acting (A) IQ-1 [1]-11; Diplomacy (H) IQ-2 [1]-11ǂ; Savoir-Faire (High Society) (E) IQ [1]-13ǂ; Psychology (H) IQ [4]-15†.

† Empathy.



  • Mail Coif DR4/2* 4lbs $100

  • Leather Armor DR2 10lbs $100

  • Clothes (Status 1) 2lbs ($240)

  • Leather Gloves $30

  • Light Cloak 2lbs $20

  • Boots 3lbs $80

  • Total 21lbs $330


  • Cheap Small Shield (Kite Cavalry Shield) 8lbs $24

    • Skill-12, Block-11

    • Appearance: Reverse Teardrop Shape, 4ft x 3ft at the widest.

    • Note: can be Stabbed on the ground as cover but one must kneel behind it.

  • Cheap Spear 4lbs $24

    • Skill-12, Parry-11

    • Dmg thr 1d+1 imp, reach-1

  • Cheap Broadsword 3lbs $360

    • Skill-11, Parry-10

    • Dmg thr 1d+1 imp/ sw 1d+2 cut, reach-1

  • Cheap Large Knife 1lbs $24

    • Skill-11, Parry-9

    • Dmg thr 1d-1 imp/ sw 1d-1 cut, reach-C

  • Crossbow Bow 4lbs $150

    • Skill-12 (Braced + 3 sec aim + AoA:D = 20yrds at skill-14)

    • Acc 4, Dmg thr 2d-1(2) imp, Range 260/325

    • w/ Hip Quiver 20 cheap bodkin bolts 3lbs $39

  • Wineskin (2 liters) 5lbs $10

  • A Day's Ration 1.5lbs $6

  • Pouch of Personals 1lbs $5

  • Total 30.5lbs. $636

Total Combat Load-Out 51.5lbs (Light Load) $956 (Rider 195lbs)

On Horseback: (medium load of 264lbs)

  • Cheap Long spear 5lbs $36

  • “Thorn Biter” War Saddle Horse (ST25) $2880

    • Rider and Equipment 253.5lbs

    • Move 3.6 on a trot, Move 7.2 run.

  • Bit and Bridle 3lbs $35

  • Horseshoes 4lbs $50

  • Saddle and Tack 15lbs $150

  • Stirrups 20lbs $125

  • Total 47lbs $3,276

Travel Load Out:

  • Small Backpack 3lbs $60

  • Wine Skin (4Liters) 9lbs $10

  • Blanket 4lbs $20

  • Sleeping Furs 8lbs $50

  • Wardrobe 20lbs ($1200)

  • Tent, 1-Man 5lbs $50

  • 10 days Rations 5lbs $20

  • Saddle bags 3lbs $100

  • Total 25lbs $310

Tactic notes:


  1. Take suitable cover and concealment. if none stab the Shield on the ground for half cover.

  2. Draw Crossbow and Load Bolt (4 sec)

  3. Brace on Shield Aim (3 sec), always go for maximum chance to hit because of slow ROF.

Melee (if closing in)

    1) Ready Shield, Fast Draw Sword

    2) Advance or Maneuver behind Shield at Maximum Cover.

    3) Close in and engage

Slight Deviations from RAW.
Wine skins weighing as much as 1lb. If water packs, durable enough to endure travel and wear weigh roughly 1lb and more, certainly lower tech Wineskins would weigh as much as water packs. It also makes the item calculations easier.