The Swords of Atlantis
GENRE: High fantasy. An escape for the realities of the real world seems to be in order as of late.
FREQUENCY: Once a week, Wednesday nights.
GROUP SIZE: In a single session, no more that five to six players plus one GM. Due to the number of interested players, players will rotate in and out at the end of arcs, every few months, to allow more people to play, work around conflicts, provide variety, and bring in fresh, interested blood. This flexibility will hopefully also allow more "one-shot" players to be a part.
SETTING: All the players will be Sworn Swords of Atlantis, enforcers of the Imperial law and servants of the will of the Empress. (Atlantis' society and government is matriarchal.)
Atlantis is a land of amazing technology and unearthly magick! Witness wonders that the rest of the world can only imagine! Fantastic creatures and larger-than life heroes! Adventure, danger, and mystery awaits!
All player characters should, in some way, use Magick, in ways that may vary on a character-by-character basis.
SYSTEM: Homebrew. Intent: keep things as loose, creative, and story/character oriented as possible, so we can have fun without getting lost behind the mechanics.
Action resolution consists of rolling 2d6 plus a modifier derived from related Stats and traits. The Game Master (GM) sets the target number or rolls in opposition, then GM determines results. Tokens are sometimes given as a result of your rolls (see below)
Sworn Swords are special. They roll 2d6 to resolve tasks, thanks to (TBD). Everyday folks only get to roll 1d6, though some creatures roll more.
CRIT AND FLUB TOKENS
Rolling two 1s on a single roll (or a single 1 on a magic roll) gets you a flub token. Rolling 2 6s on a single roll gets you a crit token. Accumulate three crit tokens during a single gaming session and a critical success happens— something particularly cool and helpful that could change the rest of the session goes. You the player get to decide when the critical success happens and towards what end. On the flip side, accumulate three flub tokens, and a dramatic failure will happen— at what time, to what degree, and to whom, at the GMs discretion. Crit tokens can be used to cancel out flub tokens, should you be on the verge of something nasty happening.
You get Danger tokens from the GM for assorted reasons— usually being overcome in an opposed Body vs Battle roll in combat to avoid/ soak damage , or somehow being incapacitated, or just particularly bad luck in certain circumstances. Depending on the severity of your failure, gm's discretion, you will receive a Danger token (or multiple, but that should be rare). Accumulate three Danger tokens, and you are rendered Out of the Fight until the GM says otherwise. Sometimes, Danger Tokens reset at the end of a fight or scene, again, at GM's discretion.
Depending on your stats, you begin each game with 0, 1, or more Hero Tokens (see Character Creation below). You can earn more over the course of a gaming sessions for creativity, particularly good roleplay, cool moments, humor that doesn't derail the game, etc, but it always resets to your starting value at the beginning of the next game.
Hero Tokens can be spent to add an extra d6 to a single roll (which not only increases your total but increases your chances of getting a Critical success (or Dramatic Failure!), to cancel out Danger and Flub tokens, or in certain circumstances create situations that are advantangeous to your character with the gM's permission (example: "can there be a discarded dagger on the ground right next to my foot?" "Spend a Hero Token and there can be")
SPECIAL GAME MECHANICS REGARDING MAGICK: Magick is powerful. It is also dangerous. Magick rolls have two unique qualities to them, that other stat rolls do not:
1) On the plus side, on Magick rolls, 6s explode! That means, if you roll a 6, you get to roll it again, and add the new roll to the total. If you roll a 6 on the additional roll, it can count towards a Critical Success.
2) On the down side, rolling a single 1 on a Magick roll gets you a Flub token, as opposed to having to roll two 1s. Which means the likelihood of getting a Dramatic Failure in game is much higher from using Magick.
TRAITS/ STATS/ CHARACTER CREATION:
A starting character gets 10 Character Points to spend on Stats and Traits.
TRAITS— A starting character must take at least one trait, but should probably not take more than thee Traits — we don't overcomplicate things too much, and I'd like characters to have the room to grow.
Traits should provide Bonuses (or Penalties with Bonus Character Points), but more importantly should make your character more than just a collection of stats. Part flair, part backstory, part plot hook.
A Traits should have either a positive or negative cost — they should not have a sum zero total.
Obstensibly, you could have a trait that doesn't have a mechanical impact on a stat, but does have a positive or negative impact on your character. These, and their cost/ bonus, would need to be negotiated with the GM.
STATS— Stats provide a bonus to the 2d6 roll you make to perform tasks.
The Five Stats are Mind, Spirit, Body, Battle, and Magick.
Mind = Knowledge/ Skill Rolls, Inspiration, and Combat Initiative
Spirit = Social Interaction, Perception, Stealth, and Random Luck
Body = Strength/ Dexterity, Resist Damage
Battle = Attack/ Defend, Inflict Normal Damage
Magick = Spellcasting, Supernatural power, Inflict Magick Damage
Stats range from 0 to 6. Stats cannot have negative values. Rank 0 in a Traits costs 0 Character Points. Rank 1 costs 1 CP. It costs two points to go from rank 1 to rank 2. It costs 3 points to go from rank 2 to rank 3. It costs 4 points to go from rank 3 to rank 4. It costs 5 points to go from rank 4 to rank 5. It costs 6 points to go from rank 5 to rank 6.
So at character creation, a rank of 2 costs 3 Character Points. A Rank of 3 costs 6 character points. A rank of 4 costs 10 character points. A starting character probably shouldn't be able to afford a rank of 5 or 6 at character creation, but rank 5 would cost 15 character points, rank 6 would cost 21 CP.
A special incentive for high stats: at Rank 6 in a stat, you only need to roll one 6 on a roll to get a Critical Success Token
Another special incentive for high stats: HERO TOKENS: How many Hero Tokens you start each game with is determined by your average stats. Add your stats together, divide by five, and round down. If the amount is less than 1, you start games with Zero Hero Tokens.
-A young Sworn Sword, who had a rough time in training
-Comes from a long line of Swords, and wears heirloom armor (which is secretly cursed)
-Uses Water-based magick, like a Water Bender in AVATAR
-While training to be a Sworn Sword of Atlantis, Demetrius was gravely wounded. Healing magick saved his life, but the incident left its mark: he has a fearsome scar on his face and is nearly blind in one eye.
BONUS: -1 to Spirit [Perception and some social interactions due to scarring] COST: +1 Character Points
-Demetrius wears a suit of enchanted armor, passed down through six generations of his family, gifted to them by the Empress for their loyal service. It increases the wearer's strength and vitality while wearing it, but unbeknownst to Demitrius, it slowly deteriorates his mind and weakens his will the longer he wears it.
BONUS: (when worn) +3 to Body, -1 to Mind COST: -2 Character Points.
-Demetrius' mother was a particularly gifted Water Witch, and he inherited her affinity for the element. Since the Water Witches are travelling nomads, Demetrius was raised by his father; what's became of his mother, he does not know.
BONUS: +1 to Magick [if Water-Related] COST: -1 Character Point.
(Total spent on Traits: -2 Character Points, leaving 8 Points to spend on Stats)
Body 1 (COST: -2 Character Points)
Battle 2 (COST: -3 Character points)
Magick 2 (COST: -3 Character Points)
Starting hero Tokens: 1
(Total spent on Traits: 8 Points. Character is made!)
ROSTER OF CHARACTERS SO FAR:
Palabrea, archer and scholar
[unnamed], grim warrior-poet
Iapetus, renowned sportsman
Garis, long held a prisoner, now freed thanks to awakening powers
Mithras, fire-wielding holy man
Regis, swordsman on a quest for vengeance
Loomus, fearsome berserker known better as The Beast
Aurora, stranded water elemental
Paxton, veteran scoundrel
Dactylus, hulking armored visitor from another land
Notos, weather wizard, reformed pirate
Arete, alchemical shape-shifter