A pet project of mine for a while. Basically it’s a quick and easy manual for creating characters within Avakael for the purposes of role-playing. This is mainly for the purpose of an RPG, specifically in regards to combat, so more lax role-players can take from it what they want.
Like in most RPGs race and class play a big role in a character’s overall capabilities. Things like a character’s race, occupation, and background details are all “aspects” of a character. What aspects due is quickly hand out certain skills, increasing the attributes tied to them. While this doesn’t usually cover the entirety of a character’s abilities, it is a good start.
Attributes are the innate capabilities which every creature possesses. How well a character does something is determined by how many points a character has in the corresponding attribute. And as stated before, each skill corresponds to one of these five attributes: Fitness, a character’s overall health, physical prowess and athletic capability; Resilience, a character's natural ability to endure physical and mental stress; Grace, how a character manages their movement and reactions; Awareness, extent of a character’s senses and ability to perceive; Intellect, a character’s knowledge and problem solving skills.
And skills are another point I want to bring up. They are simply put, the exceptional abilities in which a character possesses. From fantastic things like how elves see magical auras, to the more mundane, like say a chef’s ability to cook on a professional level. This also includes any spells a character might know. The average person in Avakael has around 8-10 skills. (So, I suggest playing with 15-20, capping individual attributes at 6.) Each skill and has a definition as to what it does and corresponds to a particular attribute, increasing it by one.
However, the thing about skills is they are fairly general. Like you could be good at cooking, but what if you want to “specialize” in baking? Well you could use a point on a “specialty”. Simply put, a specialty is something a character is particularly good at in a field in which they are already skilled. Each specialty pertains to both a skill and an attribute.
But with all these talk about being skilled at this or that, there have to be some people who can’t cook, or carry a tune to save their life. Some people who are blind, or lost an arm in the war. Let’s face it, some people have “difficulties”. Think of them like the opposite of skills. If they come up, then they are something the character can’t do or have difficulty doing. Some characters can have specialized difficulties too. Difficulties can also cancel out the skills one might get from an aspect.
Ok, I’ve mentioned attributes, skills, specialties, and difficulties, but what does it all mean? it’s fairly simple. Whenever a character takes an “action”, dice are rolled to see if they succeed, and add the points in the action’s respective attribute to the result. The normal roll is one six-sided die, but if the action involves a skill then the roll is two dice, and if its a specialty then three. Additionally, if all of the dice land on 6 then another is rolled. On the flip side, a difficulty will subtract a die, and all 1s is an automatic failure.
As previously stated, spells are also considered skills, and follow the same principles as any other action. However, they are restricted to certain attributes. For instance, innate magic is tied to grace, while infusion is tied to awareness, and studied magic is tied to intellect. Due to the difficulty involved, infusion based spells can’t have specialization; while studied spells are always specialized due to being very restricted in what they do. Innate magic is the only method that allows both flexible and specialized spells. Alchemy doesn’t have spell as it is used for creating magical items, but the use of those items is tied to intellect. While most of the time, a character can use spells as much as they want, during periods of strife the number of spells they can use is limited. Innate magic is limited to a number of spells equal to their grace and Infusion is limited by the party supplying magic. However, practitioners of studied magic can spend an action to roll intellect and acquire a number of spell uses equal ⅓ their result.
There are times when a character’s actions are limited due to time limitations, or the actions of another. During such periods of challenge or “strife”, actions are limited to one at a time, and are taken on a turn by turn basis. The order of which can be determined by roll of fitness or grace, or by the situation at hand. The exceptions to this turn order are reactions and bonus actions. A reaction is an action taken in response to something else A reaction can only be made if the character is aware of the action, and can only succeed if it’s result beats the result of the action its responding to. However, a reaction uses one less die than the action being taken, with the exception of a dodge (grace roll). A bonus action is simply an extra action, which can be taken when a character rolls three or more sixes in a row on any single action.
As implied by the name, strife usually involves combat of some sort. With the basics of actions and reactions out of the way, all that is left is attacking and damage. both are pretty straightforward. An attack is a simple fitness roll (weapons and such can add to this), or a skill roll against an opposed resiliance roll. However many times higher the attack roll is than the resiliance roll is the amount of damage dealt to the target’s fitness. When a character’s fitness reaches zero, that character loses consciousness. The matter of actual death is decided on by the players and/or GM.
Items and equipment Edit
Items and equipment are a more complicated issue. They can have a number of effects tied to them based on what they are and if they are enchanted/alchemical. At the end of the day, most just add bonuses to certain skill rolls though. What a character has and how they acquired it is based entirely on the players and/or GM.