Concepts and States of Being

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This section illustrates gameplay elements that we intend to include in the Crucible Chronicle, along with details around the various states of being that a character can find themselves in.

Life and Death

HEALTH

Characters can take damage equal to their Health, subsequent to any damage inflicted on their ARMOUR. It is up to players to decide how they want to roleplay increasing amounts of damage they have taken.

Once a character is reduced to 0 health they are incapacitated and fall to the ground DYING. At 0 hp you can delay falling to the ground to take a hit that will look dramatic, but you cannot act. If the attacker walks away you must collapse.

Players may choose at any time to count themselves as having been crippled, bled, blinded or having suffered other injuries for the purposes of enhanced roleplaying.

DYING

(aka Bleeding Out)

If reduced to 0 HEALTH through combat or other means, a character is Dying, and has five minutes to receive MEDICAL STABILISATION or die.

Unless specified, it is up to players to choose whether they are knocked out or rolling around the ground in pain while dying. While they can take weak actions to try and crawl or hold back a weapon (ineffectually), they cannot effectively resist action taken against them and, being Incapacitated, are vulnerable to FINISHING BLOW.

MEDICAL STABILISATION

Unless specifically knocked out, a character that is at 0 HP and DYING can be treated by a Physician of Novice rank or higher with the appropriate equipment and become Medically Stabilised, meaning the character is no longer Dying.

A character that is on 0HP but otherwise Medically Stabilised should refer to their treating Physician as to what sort of movement or activity they can engage in. A character cannot stabilise themselves with the Physician ability. A character can, however, self-administer or have used on them an elixir or spell that restores HP. If used in this context, the character is automatically stabilised and regains 1HP, no matter how many HP the elixir or spell might normally have healed.

HEALING

A character naturally regains 1 HP at the start of each Day, and regains an additional 1 HP at the start of each Watch if they have received treatment from a Physician of Adept rank or higher since their last injury. If a character possesses Fortitude 3 or 4 the amount healed increases to 2 in both cases. They can also regain HP via arcane means, through spells, elixirs, or other such routes. In those cases the nature of the healing should be provided in the description of the item or ability.

INJURIES

Some special forms of damage, referred to as Injuries, include BLEED, CRIPPLE, DISEASE, and LETHAL. These particular effects are indefinite in nature, but can be removed through the ministrations of a character with the Surgeon ability through a period of roleplayed treatment as determined by the Surgeon. Injuries can also be healed via arcane means, through spells, elixirs, or other such routes. In those cases the nature of the healing should be provided in the description of the item or ability.

See also Injury Effects.

DEATH

If a character receives a FINISHING BLOW, ANNIHILATE, or bleeds out after a period of DYING, then the character is dead. Short of a quick intervention by an Expert Physician or a particular arcane means, the character is gone. A player who suffers this fate should report to the GM Command Room for the next steps.

Conflict

ATTACKS

WEAPONS

Any normal weapon attack does not require a call, and is assumed to deal 1 point of damage per strike. Note that each strike must be appropriately dramatic and plausible - if a player strikes lightly in rapid succession the target is justified in reducing the number of those hits that they count.

Attacks that strike the head, hands, or groin of a target are not valid and can be ignored by the target. Some abilities grant bonus damage.

TOUCH

Some attacks can only be delivered through touching the target. The user must be careful to do so safely and with respect, especially if such an attack is being used in combat. Note that touch attacks against a target’s shield affect the target if they are effects other than damage (BLIND or SLEEP for instance). Billowing cloaks and weapons do not count.

See also Calls blocked by Shields.

SPELL PACKETS

Some attacks (mainly magic) require that a spell packet be thrown at the desired target. If it hits it takes effect, if it misses it fails. Note that all attacks that use spell packets can also be used as touch attacks without the need for spell packets. Note that spell packets that hit a target’s shield or weapons still affect the target if they are effects other than damage (BLIND or SLEEP for instance). Billowing cloaks never count.

See also Calls blocked by Shields.

POINTED

Some attacks or special abilities only require that the character point at a target and say what the effect is. It automatically takes effect (though it can be resisted). It can be damage, a special ability, or both. Note that all attacks that use a pointed attack can also be used as spell packet or touch attacks.

ARCHERY

Arrows and Crossbow bolts inflict 3 damage if they hit a target. Skilled shots are a generic term for special call attacks made by Adept and Expert archers, inflicting either BLEED, CRIPPLE, KNOCKBACK, or LETHAL, depending on which archery skills the character possesses. An archer can choose to vary how many of each call they use.

Due to the difficulty sometimes in hearing calls over long distances, an archer should not expect their target to hear them if too distant when hit. If the target ignores the effect and seems genuinely oblivious, the effect is counted as not having affected them, though the use is still expended.

ARMOUR

Wearing armour provides the ability to take additional points of damage that are removed before a character’s HEALTH is affected. No matter how much armour you are wearing, you can only possess a number of Armour Points equivalent to the maximum allowable by your Armour skill. Armour Points are restored at the end of each Encounter. The loss of Armour Points is more representative of the wearer becoming fatigued than actual damage to the armour. If a target struck by a BLEED or POISON call and still possesses any AP, the strike must land on part of the target not covered by leather or metal armour to take effect. If it strikes armour instead it is automatically RESISTED.

IMMUNITIES

Certain abilities, effects, and items grant Immunity to other effects in game. These essentially function as the ability to indefinitely RESIST certain other effects.

ALTERED STATES

AETHER SICKNESS

The use of most magic to heal wounds, and the overconsumption of elixirs (three or more during a Watch) causes a character to suffer from Aether Sickness. This crystallisation of arcane energies in their body reduces the character’s maximum HP by 1, which cannot be recovered except by medical treatment from an Adept Physician or higher.

Sources of Aether Sickness stack. Any character that reaches 0HP due to aether sickness is unconscious and should notify a GM afterwards if they ever get to that point. There may be further repercussions...

BLIGHTED

Conveyed typically via the BLIGHT call, damage or other INJURIES inflicted in this way cannot be healed by mundane or standard magical means until the BLIGHT effect has been removed. A BLIGHT effect can be removed by imbibing Angels Touch Elixir.

CURSED

The effects of a curse vary, but if you are handed a curse card (similar to a disease card), you have been struck by a curse. It typically has an indefinite effect until removed, or until the conditions of the curse are satisfied. The casting of curses involves a blend of Magic and Alchemy.

DISEASED

By default, a character infected with a Disease is down 1HP and the effect is indefinite, though they can be cured of it by medical attention from a Pathologist. A source of Disease may, after calling DISEASE on a target, provide them with a Disease Card which supercedes the default impact with whatever is on the card. The infected character must adhere to what is on the card, and the cure for their Disease may require specific forms of treatment from a Pathologist. A character cannot be infected by the same disease more than once at the same time, and if infected by multiple diseases, similar effects do not stack. If in possession of multiple cards of the same sort, an infected character may hand up to half of their cards to another character if the two touch, or if they are within two metres of each other for more than a minute (this is repeated until the infected character is down to their last card).

INCAPACITATION

A target can be incapacitated by various means. Examples include being affected by AGONY or DYING, or through paralysis or being tied up. The particular cause of incapacitation will define what the character can and cannot do in the state, though in all of them they are vulnerable to a FINISHING BLOW.

INCORPOREAL

An INCORPOREAL character can still talk and be seen, but cannot physically interact or be interacted with by anything. For combat, this specifically means they are immune to all Weapon and Touch attacks. They can be affected by Mental Effects, so long as it is delivered by Point or Packet. They cannot cast any spells, even on themselves, unless they possess the College Mage, Illusion ability. Characters that are INCORPOREAL can wear a yellow headband, or hold one hand across their chest, to denote they are INCORPOREAL but do not have to. If they are not doing this, and are physically interacted with or targeted by an attack or effect that cannot affect them, they should state INVALID and temporarily put one arm across their chest to denote their INCORPOREAL status. We also recommend that they state OOC that they are INCORPOREAL for clarity, if the situation permits. Objects that are INCORPOREAL should also be marked with an obvious strip of yellow fabric. At night, this effect should ideally be represented by yellow glowsticks.

INVISIBLE

An INVISIBLE character cannot be seen or heard when they speak, and they cannot normally interact or be interacted with by anything. If another character has the ability to see INVISIBLE then they may interact with, attack, cast spells on, etc., the INVISIBLE character or object. The INVISIBLE character may not cast spells (even on themself), unless they possess the College Mage, Illusion ability. The INVISIBLE character cannot physically attack a person or object without dropping their INVISIBLE status, even if their target can see INVISIBLE and is attacking them. Characters that are INVISIBLE should wear a teal headband or hold both hands across their chest to denote they are INVISIBLE. Objects that are INVISIBLE should also be marked with an obvious strip of teal fabric. Lasting spell effects can also be marked by teal coloured paper, though unlike people and objects this is only for the purpose of allowing those with the ability to see the INVISIBLE to determine the effect of the spell. At night, this effect should ideally be represented by teal (blue) glowsticks.

SOULLESS

A creature that has lost its soul becomes progressively deadened to the world and to empathy for other living creatures. They find it difficult to lie, to love, to care about their friends and family. They will act primarily out of self-interest, and rarely hesitate in taking a life or destroying something if it gets in their way.

In functional terms, a Soulless entity does not regenerate MANA at the start of each day and cannot meditate to draw energy at the start of each Watch, they cannot be resurrected unless their soul is returned to them (though they can be reanimated as an undead), and from a roleplaying perspective should view the world and its inhabitants with a lack of empathy and only cold rationalism.

Effects that target emotions have no effect, exceptions as follows: DOMINATE and CHARM still work; FRENZY and [FEAR]] still work, but they only create the increased physiological response, and none of the mental ones; Love potions do not work; Adrenaline works as per FRENZY.

OFF-GUARD

For attacks and abilities that require the target to be deemed Off- Guard, the touch or strike must land between the shoulder blades of the target and be delivered from behind. This state is distinct from being INCAPACITATED, and a character that is caught Off-Guard in an appropriate circumstance by a FINISHING BLOW is rendered DYING rather than instantly DEAD.

OUT-OF-CHARACTER (OOC)

This is when a player, object, or a player’s action is not part of the game. Hand-on-head, T-sign, red headband, red cord-tie. See also OUT-OF-CHARACTER CALLS

Miscellaneous Concepts

DERANGEMENTS

Certain peculiarities, abilities and spells etc. make reference to derangements. These are roleplaying cues for characters afflicted with a debilitating mental condition, and can be either minor or major, and either temporary or permanent. Unless specified, any derangement is to be taken as minor and temporary.

ELIXIRS

Elixirs are alchemical concoctions with imbued magical power that are represented by a flask filled with liquid (must be non-toxic and harmless in case accidentally drunk). They are created by an alchemist through a combination of REAGENTS, and their effects (noted on a label attached to the flask) begin immediately.

Poison is an exception. When an elixir is prepared as a poison and applied to a weapon, the effect is indicated by a call preceded with POISON. Poisons take effect 1 minute after the strike has been dealt.

See also POISONING

ENCHANTED ARTEFACTS

These are special items that have been crafted with imbued magical power. They typically allow the repeated use of spell-like effects, though they are vulnerable to destruction and theft.

See Enchanted Artefacts

EQUIPMENT POINTS (EP)

These are an abstract representation of trinkets and general equipment acquired by characters, useful for trading or making into other more useful items, or can be handed in to the Quartermaster for variable rewards. They are typically represented by small red tokens.

FATE BAG

This is a small pouch filled by default with 9 black tokens and 1 white token. It is used by players for various spells and other tasks to determine if they succeed, judged by whether or not they pull out the white token over a series of draws. Certain abilities modify the contents of a player’s Fate Bag.

The bags and their contents are technically not in-character, and therefore cannot be taken/stolen from a player. Fate Bags and Tokens are an OOC prop provided by the player if they require it.

GNOSIS POINTS (GP)

These are an abstract representation of arcane learning by an individual, and can be used to learn spells, alchemical formulae, and hidden knowledge, and to imbue enchanted artefacts.

LOCKS

Doors and containers within the setting can be locked, and are represented as such by a coloured piece of cord tied in a simple knot or bow-tie on the latch. A simple lock is represented by green cord, a complex lock by orange cord, and an arcane lock by purple cord. If used to lock a door, the cord cannot actually impede the opening of the door for safety purposes.

LOOTING

Many NPCs will carry pouches on them which can, without too much difficulty, be looted to obtain currency, equipment point (EP) tokens, and special item cards. For every 10 seconds of looting an Incapacitated (or dead) target, a character can take 1 card, 1 EP, or all their currency. Players are also vulnerable to theft and looting by some NPCs, so In Character (IC) possessions must be guarded wisely.

MANA

This is an abstract representation of aetheric power channelled by an individual for the purposes of casting spells. Anyone with the ‘Spellcaster’ ability has a Mana reserve normally equal to twice their Will score. This Mana reserve is automatically replenished at the break of dawn and dusk unless otherwise specified. The responsibility for keeping track of Mana is up to the player, and might be done by tokens in a pouch, hair ties around the wrists (swap them from one to another as they are expended) or in one’s head (if the player feels they can keep a fair track of it that way)

MENTAL EFFECTS

Various special effects are classified under the general category of mental effects. Truthtelling, Psychic Reprogramming, and love potions are examples of these sorts of effects. To help denote these effects, it is recommended casters use the “Jedi two-finger wave” or “two-fingers to the head”.

See Mental Effects.

POISONING

In addition to using poison ELIXIRS on weapons through the use of a POISON call, you can also use elixirs to poison food. To do this, attach a green sticker to plates or cups with the poison effect written on it. Any person eating the food will be poisoned, unless they have had the forethought to purify the drink or meal. The poison takes effect 1 minute after the person has finished their meal. If the person eating notices the sticker before cleansing or eating the food, the poison takes effect even if they cleanse it or do not eat it.

REAGENTS

Reagents are magically infused plant and creature parts that can be used for the casting of spells and the creation of Elixirs and Enchanted Artefacts.

GM Note: Though in the wider setting reagents are not always necessary for spellcasting, they are important for successful spellcasting in magically unstable areas. The region in which the Crucible Chronicle takes place is exactly such an area, hence reagents are required for spellcasting.

See also Reagents.

REPAIRING ITEMS

Though ARMOUR and weapons can take a lot of wear and tear before needing repair, good maintenance is vital to maintaining an optimum functional capability. In the event that armour, shields, or weapons have been affected by an ARMOUR BREAK, SHIELD BREAK, or WEAPON BREAK call, a Craftsman or Armourer is required to properly fix it, depending on the item, and it is encouraged that they spend at least 5 minutes roleplaying repairing the item or armour (ideally off the wearer). Beyond this it is encouraged that players consider general armour maintenance as a roleplaying opportunity, rather than a strict requirement. For normal objects it is up to a Craftsman/Armourer to roleplay the repair of the item as they see fit, though for special items the Craftsman/Armourer is not familiar with, there might be additional work required (as directed by GMs).

RESOURCE HARVESTING

Plant and environmental REAGENTS can be harvested from orange pouches within the game area, and creature reagents from orange pouches on creatures. They can only be obtained from these orange pouches if the obtainer has the appropriate skill in Foraging or Hunting.

They can also be acquired from loot pouches, treasure stashes or other sources than do not require harvesting. Each reagent is represented by a token or prop (both count as the same). To track the use of adept and expert level abilities and re-use the reagents tokens for future events, collection boxes for expended reagents will be located in a few places at the game venue. For those with the ‘Scrounger’ ability, there is the additional benefit of collecting up empty orange reagent pouches and other discarded game props and trading them in at the GM cabin for additional equipment points or other rewards.

RITUAL SPELLCASTING

Some spells require additional preparation time. 5 minutes is the default time for a ritual spell unless otherwise specified.

THIEVERY

While by default there is no actual stealing of items allowed in the game (other than gold, EP, and plot items), highly treasured items may be represented by red Cache Markers (cubes or other abstract objects), and glyphs on them refer to specific sorts of prizes. These can be stolen and traded on the Black Market for a large amount of gold or other valuable objects. These can be found in the possession of NPCs, PCs, or set locations.

To obtain items held by other players or NPCs, a thief can attach red pegs to their target’s pouch or satchel, provided they do not raise suspicion. 2 pegs must be successfully attached, after which the character should report to an adept or higher level NPC to retrieve the desired contents in the container. Other characters can notice the actions of a thief if they see one with red peg in hand (looking shifty) or in the process of placing a peg (actively stealing).

For specific objects that are being stolen, a thief may attach two red ties to indicate the item has been stolen (but not actually take the physical item). One red tie on an object merely means it is OOC.

TRAPS

These are mechanisms generally designed to hurt and/or incapacitate people or creatures that trigger them. A Craftsman may make a physical trap from the equipment list, and a Trapper may place one of these. Any physical trap must be constructed in a safe OOC fashion. For this purpose, no pit traps are allowed.

WEAPON SKILLS

Important for fighters, the weapon skills in the game include the adept and expert levels of Small Weapons, Swords, Axes, Blunt Weapons, and Polearms, as well as all three levels of ARCHERY.

See Weapon Skills.