Grim Gears

I would like to introduce a game that I have talked about in the past. Grim Gears. For quite a while, I have been interested in a movement called OSR, or Old School Renaissance. Though, for the longest time I did not get a chance to try out that style of play with my group. However, eventually we tried a game called Lamentations of the Flame Princess. From this point, my view on RPGs shifted. We began to play more and more of OSR style, and I developed my own system for it.

I have also been working on a setting of mine. A dark fantasy clock-punk world where airships and cosmic abominations are the norm, and witch hunting is a favorite past time. This world is called Himinil, and I have been struggling for a home for it. At first, I was going to make it a setting for Gates. But, that did not feel right. Gates is an action oriented, hero-simulator. Himinil is not about heros. What it is about is the struggle between faith and magic, law and freedom, and survival. It took a while, but I finally connected the two. Make Himinil into an OSR game. 

I had a homebrew system that I was playing, which evolved into a game called Stone and Spear. It was about playing as cavemen starting civilisation. Moving passed that game, it turned into M.O.S.S. A generic RPG that was a bit too generic for its own good. Now, finally, I have solidified the idea into Grim Gears. So, let’s talk about what it is.

Grim gears is a game about surviving the witch hunts while gaining as much treasure as possible. You are soldiers, mages, cultists, or even witches that have nothing else to do except to hunt for treasure and loot monsters. Here is a rundown of the mechanics, rules, and tidbits. 

  • Sandbox play. Grim Gears is meant to be played as a sandbox, with rules for generating hex-maps, sailing through the skies, and generating encounters and challenges.
  • Class based game. Each character chooses from Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Magic-user, Elf, Dwarf, and Witch. Clerics, magic-users, and witches each have different mechanics for magic.
    • Fighters are simple. They are tough and fight well.
    • Rogues have a selection of talents that they can use to make themselves more skilled.
    • Clerics are more like cultists of dead religions. They are hunted for being heretics and using foul magic. Their prayer system gives them freedom to cast magic as they see fit, but each cast risks their gods wrath. They do not like to be bothered.
    • Magic-users have a new magic system. Each spell has four levels, and when a mage casts a spell they may choose what level they cast it at. Though, this is limited by level.
    • Elves are short fae. Child sized, and magical. They are like a combination of fighter, rogue, and magic-user.
    • Dwarves are tough and crafty. They are clock makers and warriors. Though, their numbers are low.
    • Witches are fun, but dangerous. Their magic system, Wyrd magic, is a soft-magic system. Where almost any magic can be performed, but failing to cast it can have deadly consequences.
  • Roll under. Stats are low, and it is difficult to succeed at even simple die rolls (unless you are a rogue). This is on purpose. I want players to avoid solutions where they have to roll dice at every opportunity. Why try to jump a pit when you can solve the solution with a clever use of tools or spells?
  • Modularity. The game has several optional rules that can be pieced on or removed from the game. This allows a GM to make the game into what they want it to be. It also gives me plenty of room for future content. 
  • Witch hunts. Rules for the public viewing the characters as a danger, mobs, and witch hunters make it difficult for characters to use magic in public.
  • Monster Generation. Instead of a long list of possible monsters, Grim Gears takes a generative approach. Rules for generating monsters, dragons, Ghouls (orcs and goblins), Rippers (clockwork abominations), Lycanthropes, Fae, cults, and witch hunters. This means a game can be played with no prep, but it does require a lot of dice rolls. 
  • Merchant based equipment. Instead of a list of items, Grim Gears applies its generative approach to its equipment instead. A list of merchants is provided, with rules for populating their shops with objects, and rules for those objects.
  • Alchemy. Alchemy rules allow players to seek out ingredients and craft their own potions with a fun mini-game. These potions are interesting, rather than generic. Instead of an invisibility potion, it’s a potion that turns you into smoke, for example.

Like I mentioned before, Himinil takes a large roll in Grim Gears. Though, any dark fantasy setting can be played in it. The following is a rundown of the setting.

  • Veritism. The faith of veritism has taken over the world completely. They worship an entity called The Truth, but it provides no clerics. They are deeply suspicious of magic, and send witch hunters and inquisitors to seek out practitioners of it, and destroy them.
  • Clockwork. The world is run by clockwork. Airships, clockwork devices, and clockwork weapons are used. 
  • The Great War. 20 years ago or so, the Great War ended. Essentially a world war which boosted all sides technology, and has created a new peace.
  • A crumbling world. Each of the 13 nations of Himinil are on the brink of destruction. Civil war, unrest, conflict, and other issues give players the potential to save the world. It is up to the players to save who they wish to.

The 15 realms are…

Bitter Winds and Vadath

One of the three largest realms. It is mostly land, a large continent. It is a realm of giant monsters, cold survival, and a dichotomy of progression and tradition.

Noble Clouds and Krithia

The second largest realm and the one presented in this book.  A continent where it rains often. It is a land aesthetically similar to renaissance period England. It has themes of nobility versus peasantry, witch hunts, and the church.

Windy Wilds and Mokso

The third major realm of Himinil. It is a wide continent of plains. This realm has anarchists, trains, and civilisation.

Unmappable Sky

The unmappable sky is a realm filled with many islands with secret ways to find. It is a realm of treasure hunting, temple running, and magical maps.

Unkind Sky 

This realm is ruled by a witch of crows. It is a place of freaks, carnivals, and birds.

Stormy Sky

A realm of pirates, deadly storms, and dangerous port towns.

The Sky Below

The home of the dwarves and a realm with much more going on inside the islands, than on-top.

Searing Clouds

A realm of fire and ash. A realm of deadly firestorms and blazing monsters. 

Jeweled Sky 

A realm of magic and home of the elves. It is a realm most similar to the default medieval fantasy setting.

Cloudless Desert 

A realm of sand and heat. A dessert place with ancient tombs and mummy warlocks.

Sky of Silver Clouds

The home of the talons of the sea and a realm about honor, duty, and illusion.

Broken Expanse

A jungle realm with the highest density of islands. A place of hidden peoples, forgotten cities, and island exploration.

Umbral Clouds

A dark realm of Gothic horror and grim people.

Star Sky

A sky far above the rest. Rumored to exist, but often not believed in. It is the home of the dragons.

The final Rest

A realm with no islands and the highest chance to witness a Nerre rising from the sea.


Here is a snapshot of the game in progress. It should be everything you need to play it, except for the casting classes. The full version will have art by Kent Willmeth, all of the tools I mentioned before, and a full list of spells.

Sigil System 1.4 Released

The Sigil System 1.4 is now available for download!

The major addition to 1.4 is the Downtime rules, which you can find starting on page 37.

Downtime is that space in-between adventures where you can slow down, take a breather, and get to work on some things you’ve had in mind. It’s also a grand way to advance time in the game, and also to park one character for a bit, while you take another one out for an adventure.

Downtime comes in 3 parts: Work, Live, and Play. 

Work is self-explanatory in that you need to be making some money so you can spend it in the rest of Downtime. Each type of job in Downtime has some Skills associated with it, and you need to beat a Skill Check to get into the job, so your current Skill Levels will in part determine what sort of job you can get. You can, of course, choose not to have a job and then you’ll have extra time to spend doing what you want (but it does come at a cost though).

Live is where you choose your level of lifestyle for Downtime. How comfortable do you want to live versus how much can you afford. Your chosen level of lifestyle will affect the flavour of all the activities you choose to do during Downtime, and can be a benefit or hindrance in many of them.

Speaking of activities, Play is where you get to choose what you want to do for the Downtime. You can go out and socialise, start a crafting project, do some research, train your skills, rest and recuperate and many more. 

Everything you do during downtime will have some sort of reward, be it money, information, or Skill Levels. So your character won’t just be sitting idle when away from an adventure.


If you don’t already have your hands on the Sigil System, you can grab it HERE from DrivethruRPG or HERE from itch.io.

The measure of a soul

The measure of a soul

A story, an apology, and a promise.

Over the final week of the month of October and throughout almost the entirety of November, I haven’t been very active. I did start the design of the first supplemental product, but haven’t done anything else to move along any of my projects even a tiny bit. I didn’t post on social media, didn’t do some scheduled playtests, generally let myself and a lot of people down. For that, I’d like to apologise. It shouldn’t have happened, and I’m sorry, yet it did. Here’s why:

That’s right, this is just a picture of an old work desk that I keep in the office for… reasons. The problem is what’s not in the picture.

So, here’s the thing. I lost my flash drive. Trivial, I know, but with huge ramifications for my entire process. See, everything is on that drive. And I do mean everything.

  • Personal data? Check.
    Scanned and digital documents, certificates, licenses, digital signatures, etc.
  • Projects? Check.
    Folders upon folders of assets, graphics, pre-written texts for articles and posts, files with mechanics, etc.
  • Libraries? Check.
    RPGs and materials for analysis. Artwork and works of fiction, various media for reference and inspiration.
  • Tools? Check.
    In case you didn’t know, you can install software on removable drives. Sometimes. The loss of Magic Set Editor, among other things, hindered the development of my custom Magic set quite a bit, just as an example.

To be fair, not exactly everything. Work-related things are on another identical drive. But that’s not the point. Almost my entire life is on it. Certainly my soul. Everything I pour into creative projects, the things I like, the things I’ve done or plan to do. From dreams to legacy, it’s pretty much all there. With all of that said, it would seem pretty stupid to keep everything on one unique copy, right? I mean, forget losing it for a moment, plenty of things could go wrong with that plan. The drive can get corrupted. It can get stolen (worst-case scenario right there), etc. But there are many pros to these cons. Kept offline and inaccessible, the information can’t be stolen, or hacked into (not that I’m too worried about somebody targeting me at this point in my life), it’s all consolidated in one easily accessible place, and I can access it anytime, anywhere, regardless of the presence of an internet connection or device type (it has a Micro USB port, too).

The good part is that it’s not unique, and most of the information has plenty of backups. For starters, inspired by many a spy movie, there’s an identical drive in possession of my sister, who keeps it in her safety deposit box at the bank. In a different country. Overkill? Absolutely, and updating the info on that thing happens no more frequently that once every 3 or 4 months if I’m lucky, but it’s the most secure backup system. In addition to that, most of the non-vital stuff (such as scanned copies of my ID, bank info, etc.) exists on cloud storage backups. The problem isn’t so much the information being lost forever, that’s pretty much impossible to happen. The problem is losing access to it all in one easily accessible place, anytime, anywhere. I put a lot of effort into organisation, and when “the system” gets broken it’s really annoying to pull bits and pieces from all over the place whenever you want to write a simple article, or make some sort of design, or even just reference something. Annoying to the point where I just… don’t. Or it takes such a long time for things to come together that I’m already on the next thing. In the past, that’s how I would end up with 17 concurrent projects and unable to really finish one.

Finding it really annoying to work on stuff, and knowing my sister would bring me the other one if a few weeks, I decided to take some time off. Not straight up procrastinating, but kind of. Cleaned and tidied up the entire apartment by myself over the course of a week (the girlfriend was very impressed). Binged some TV shows like a madman (the girlfriend wasn’t so impressed). Gotta say, Continuum is the show I enjoyed the most this year, I think it’s fantastic. Worked more, which was probably not a great idea because I already spend like between 12 and 15 hours at the office. Played more video games. Now I’ll probably play through Jedi: Fallen Order too.

As with most stories, this one too has a happy ending. Found my drive plugged into the TV. Why was it there? I have no idea, and no recollection of doing that, but there it was. And so it was time to get back on track. As much as I enjoyed just clocking out and watching something, I find it really unsettling to not tinker with stuff. It feels like a waste of time. I’m very excited to be working on all of the projects again, but before I went on a spree with updates, I wanted to take some time to get this up and running. No the post, of course. The new blog. It’s due time I moved from Blogger and onto WordPress, so I finally did. Now that I’m in the 21st century, I expect to be more productive on this front as well. Oh, and I made the other blog, a platform for the Tabletop Design Association initiative, where all kinds of designers can write articles. With the new blog comes a promise. To post more regularly. To give updates. To make more content.

For You.

And so. Does anyone have a better measure for a life? A soul? I can give you some rough numbers. How about $31,59? Depressing, I know. How about dimensions? 8.1 x 12.25 x 4.5 mm. I don’t know about the famous 21 grams, mine is more in the realm of 5, if that. But at least I can say I have a heart of gold.

Runic Array: Sanctuary

It’s been quite a while since we showed off a new runic array, but with the Enchridion Sigillum getting closer to completion, there’s no better time to make a couple of new runic arrays. The Sanctuary array takes something old and classic, modifies and mixes it up to create a whole new effect: showing you exactly what you can do with any runic array in the Enchiridion.

Notation

Create and Sustain a Containment field that is twice as Large as the array’s area size that Excludes Wood, Silver, Copper, Lead, Iron and Gold, and apply this to all humans within an area 100 greater than the array.

Description

Offence is not always the best defence. If you can avoid the fight altogether then there is nothing to defend against, but how to avoid a fight once you are already in the thick of it? Well, when that fight becomes overwhelming, the Sanctuary array often is the only answer.

You will see something very familiar in this array: the good, old Middelburg Standard, pride of Alfresia and perhaps the most common defensive array in the grand city. However, the Sanctuary array takes the old Middelburg Standard and uses it in a brand new to change its ultimate purpose. 

The Middelburg Standard is a perfectly good array as it is, and that’s why it has been used so frequently across the ages, but by applying it to all humans within range, you are putting it directly on every part of their skin. In effect, by turning everyone into arrays, you make everyone a defensive array. Now, no wood, silver, copper, lead, iron or gold will be able to touch human skin as long as they stay within the array’s range. If you inscribe this array onto a ten centimetre disk, that means everyone within ten metres are now invulnerable to those materials. 

However, it goes a bit further than this. As any containment field that excludes a material activates, if any of that material is within the containment field, it will be instantly destroyed. This means that if anyone within range is holding a weapon, and perhaps even their armour, will suddenly and permanently disappear. To go even further, as long as they remain inside the array, they won’t be able to get close to a weapon, since the Middelburg Standard’s containment field will keep pushing the weapons beyond reach.

But how far does this containment field reach? Ordinarily, the Disk rune says one tenth the diameter of the array, but what happens when it is applied onto human skin? Where do you draw the diameter across the body? Well, runewrights have long thought on this question, and came to a conclusion: as all arrays by nature are circular, and when an effect is applied onto something else, it will seek the most efficient circular path to act from. Thus, when applied to a human, the quickest and easiest surface would the torso as it is a wide open canvas to work on. So if you want to know how deep the containment field is, it would be one tenth of the width of your torso.

In short, by activating this array, you will remove (almost) all the weapons in your vicinity and make everyone immune to those weapons. Unless someone is carrying alloy weapons, everyone within the array’s range should now be safe. Maybe you can talk things through now, or maybe you will have to resort to good old fisticuffs. Whatever the case may be, you now have at least a semblance of sanctuary in which to catch your breath.


If you to learn more about the runes and arrays, and see what the upcoming Enchiridion Sigillum looks like, then come join our Discord server!

DriveThruRPG Halloween Sale – 25% Off

It’s almost Halloween time, and that means there’s a sale on all things spooky and creepy over at DriveThruRPG.

We got four games on the sale, all for 25% off! So if you haven’t gotten your hands on Z-LAND, Haunt or the two Ruined Man adventure books, there’s no better time than now (or at least within two weeks before the sale ends).

So click the image above, or CLICK HERE to head on over to DriveThruRPG to get that sweet 25% discount.

Entropy Preview: The Gazoid

In our last Entropy Preview, we showed you the cryptic and foreboding Zord. This time, we show you the scientific and secretive Gazoid


Among the stars travel a race of soldiers without a cause. The Gazoid is the remnant of a once scientifically great species which fell from glory at the end of the Shroud War. They are the survivor who fled from their world as it broke apart into a black-hole and swallowed something from another world. With a strong tradition set on military practice and training, the remaining Gazoids perpetuate their legacy by being extremely good mercenaries and guards across space.

Once part of a species of great scientific genius and very social entity, they lost all their root as their world disappeared with their greatest mind with it. Now only soldiers and tough, hardened troops, they split up to find their way. With only the people who shunned the way of lives of their civilians, they are now in a position of great turmoil. Either they repopulate and form a new culture similar to the glorious, now dead “Zoid”, or they disappear slowly as they mingle with other species and lose their heritage and fade away.

The Gazoids’ most practised hobby is combat. Since the event of the Shroud war, regular civilians and ordinary activities for amusement or to pass the time has disappeared, leaving only the battle-able people that managed to exit the system before the great collapse of their world. Young and old people died, and only adult soldiers exist anymore, pushing the race to reproduce urgently to replenish their numbers or disappear.

This change in population made all typical parent to be fighters who raised their children to be also like them, directly or involuntary, therefore seeing kids with guns in the Gazoid culture is universal and also well seen by other Gazoids. The young practice very early to become the next great mercenary of their family after their parents. Usually, when a child is born, the father or the mother chooses to stay with them a while to be sure they are fit, serving as instructors and military trainer, bonding in the process as well. Meanwhile, the other member of the family is hunting down bounties or working as hired help to feed his or her family.

The Gazoids are ashamed of their past, leaving so many lives and so much history to be engulfed by the black hole that saved the Cosmic Exchange. It is common to see people cheering or interested in the Gazoid by this fact alone, but they rarely talk about it. But sometimes, more detached Gazoids use this historical fact in bars or social gathering to get attention or even to coerce other species. Selling their service is common, and this allows them to be seen anywhere in the galaxy, serving as bodyguards, entourage, or adventurers. Money is their most prized possession, but glory is a very close second. Therefore they always strike to be in better shape and better at what they do, reflecting on their physique. Always trained, always healthy, it is almost impossible to see an unfit or very thin Gazoid, their job is never done.

Gazoid’s military is quite simple, given their combat focus. The most “ranked” Gazoids are the one with the biggest ship, the most kills and the largest pile of riches and trophies. For now, the “throne” of “general” of the Gazoid has Gatavok, a wild and diehard Gazoid that keep completing the most difficult and most dangerous expeditions around the galaxy, upgrading the shuttle he used to flee his homeworld into a real gigantic cruiser that serves him as a home. The only real power this Gazoid had over the rest is the respect and admiration he gets from them, but if a crisis strikes and Gatavok ask for backup, any fit Gazoid around will run to his aid, to be part of the legend’s allies and worthy battles he might get into.

Therefore yes, the military is very vague in the Gazoids, leaving most species clueless to their structure since none exist. If a fight starts around a Gazoid current place, they will try to find compensation and the chance to help for a price as they are all the time on the search for income and action. They are seen as opportunists and cheesy action anti-heroes by most Humans who try to deal with them the less possible, but their service is the best, and they know it.


If you want to know more about Entropy then join our Discord server, and chat with Charly the dev himself.

Z-LAND S3 Chapter 7 “Cast Away” Part 4

The season finale is here with the last part to our third season. All roads have led us here and we aren’t all getting out of this one alive.


Not caught up yet? CLICK HERE to watch all the apocalyptic action.

And get your hands on the Z-LAND corebook now by CLICKING HERE.


If you want to chat about Z-LAND with other players and the developers, then come join our Discord server!

Runed Age Dev Journal 9

For this week’s Dev Journal, we’re showing off something that technically is completely part of the Runed Age, but will also be its own thing. Cheekily having our cake and eating it too.

The Enchiridion Sigillum

Literally meaning the Handbook of Symbols, the Enchiridion will be a book we publish alongside the Runed Age update. It will contain all the updated rules for designing and drawing runic arrays, a full list of all the runes we’ve ever made and their uses, as well as all the runic arrays ever put in this blog and the Journals of Runic Array Design.

In short, it will be the complete book of runic magic, with everything you need to know about how to design them, draw them, read them and understand them.

Standalone book

Everything about the runes from the Runed Age will be in here, and also all the incantations as well that we’ve made, so it goes a wee bit beyond the Runed Age in its current form or the update. What the Enchiridion definitely will not have is any game mechanics, so it will be completely and utterly system-neutral. Much like the Journals of Array Design, the Enchiridion will be entirely focused on how the magic works in fiction, rather than in the game. This means that you’ll be able to use the ideas in the Enchiridion in any other game set with runic magic, enchantments and wizardry. Of course, any Sigil System game would be well placed to use the Enchiridion.

WIP Sneak Peek

If you’re keen to see what the WIP document of the Enchiridion looks like, head on over to our Discord Server where we talk quite a bit about it, or CLICK HERE to see the version we made when this post was written.


And while we are busy with The Runed Age, you can have your say about what we should work on afterwards by filling out this little survey.

Z-LAND S3 Chapter 7 “Cast Away” Part 2

Screeching and flapping of wings can only mean one thing, our survivors are in for a long night.


Not caught up yet? CLICK HERE to watch all the apocalyptic action.

And get your hands on the Z-LAND corebook now by CLICKING HERE.


If you want to chat about Z-LAND with other players and the developers, then come join our Discord server!

Entropy Preview: the Vector

Last time on the Entropy Preview, we showed you the enigmatic and mysterious Zord. This time it’s the artificial Vector


Vector, the only synthetic race part of the Cosmic Exchange, in fact, the founder of it. The Vector created the organization to make appointments and connections easier on neutral ground and judged by an entirely disinterested party, the Vector themselves. From an unknown origin, they dragged their race into a utopian society formed by helping each other and working towards a common goal.

However, not all Vector are born in the Power system and sometimes lack the link their brethren has with each other, developing a personal opinion and tastes for everything.

Every species in the galaxy are not sure what to make of the Vector, but the Vector race is aware of the distrust and doubt they are judged with every day. This stigma doesn’t trouble them much; however, as they keep their patient attitude practically all the time.

Being nearly immortal and timeless, they lack the same focus than the usual Human, but they try to work on projects all the time to keep themselves occupied, so an adventurous Vector is a pretty standard sight, even with their unstable relationship with the exterior.

Vectors usually keep to themselves when not involved in politics, but their culture is somewhat known around the galaxy. Since they represent the most neutral point of view in the Exchange, they try to appear as polite and hospitable as possible, but they mainly wish to be left alone to build and work on themselves to achieve their mysterious purposes.

They collaborate to build themselves the future they aspire for, landing on worlds usually impossible to settle and start to gather resources for their large machine on their homeworld and creating more advanced vectors, resembling more and more to their ideal unit. Many species see this as an attempt to surpass all other races and start a massive war on organics, creating killing machines or Vectors able to outsmart any resistance amongst them.

Vectors seem to elude any retort to such accusations and ignore criticism, leading to threats and violent actions. The Vectors only wish to perfect themselves. Not all Vectors are pure, however, and some are even made by wicked deeds and methods, creating wild, unpredictable specimens. Humans and Zelars worked in secret on such experiment and had weird results, from Vector who think they are knights up to the egomaniacs and even nasty and naughty mechs. These studies make the natural Vector very outspoken and hateful towards organics, but it usually fades away in little calm angst against such personalities.

Vector seems to work together correctly, as they believe in one thing, their advancement as a species, but their involvement in galactic politics is omnipresent. They host the Cosmic Exchange meeting and preside any argument or debate the best they can, splitting power and advice amongst the residents of the galaxy. Seen as impartial judges and prone for justice, they are not opposed to their position yet.

Their most ancient Vector is always present to all meetings and seems to glare at all the politicians present at the hearings, never saying anything on its own, only replying as it makes final judgments and decisions, towering everybody in the room with its massive hulking body with many arms and hands, holding different devices and broadcasting instruments. Scary at first but kind, this Vector as no name or official title, people names it themselves with wild, colorful names as “Judge”, “Justice”, “Balance”.

The Vector has an entirely neutral look to all the races in the galaxy, even if the species hate them dearly. Could this be as simple as understanding or on the opposite, indifference?


If you want to know more about Entropy then join our Discord server, and chat with Charly the dev himself.

Z-LAND S3 Chapter 7 “Cast Away” Part 1

Returning to the reserve and left on the shore by the military, our survivors begin to survey the night.


Not caught up yet? CLICK HERE to watch all the apocalyptic action.

And get your hands on the Z-LAND corebook now by CLICKING HERE.


If you want to chat about Z-LAND with other players and the developers, then come join our Discord server!

Runed Age Dev Journal 8

On the last Dev Journal we showed you the new tweak we made the runic magic rules. For this Dev Journal, we’re showing off what your character can do when they are not being professional criminals for the Merchant League.

Downtime

Not every moment of your character’s life will be spent sneaking around places they’re not supposed to be, taking things that don’t belong to them, killing people who get in the way of the first two, and in general being up to no good. They’ll need time to rest, recuperate, relax, or get back to their regular lives. That’s what Downtime is all about, seeing what your characters do on their days “off camera”. Down time is also a good way to “park” a character for a bit if you want to change out characters. One can be spending his time “off camera” while you take a new one out for a spin.

Downtime is split into three main parts: Work, Live, Play. Each part pretty much does what it says (and we’ll dive into them below), but there is a key thing that happens at the end of Downtime: paying the bill. Nothing in life comes for free, and you’ll need to pay for whatever you do on your Downtime.

At the end of it, paying the bill comes down to a Wealth Check with a modifier based on your lifestyle, but will be the only modifier. There is so much that can be done during Downtime, that we could drown you in modifiers to your roll. We’re not gonna do that. Instead, everything that happens during Downtime will give you either a Bonus Reroll or a Penalty Reroll. A Bonus Reroll means you reroll the Wealth Check and you choose the best result; and a Penalty Reroll means you reroll the Wealth Check but you must choose the worst result. Bonuses and Penalties cancel each other out, so when it comes time to pay the bill, you’re either gonna be left with just Bonus Rerolls, none at all, or just Penalty Rerolls.

It’s a quick and easy way to track your “spending” during Downtime, and so now let’s see all the things you can get up to.

Work

Nothing in life is free, and for most of us, the way to make money is to work. During Downtime, your character can find a job, or go back to theirs and work like the rest of us plebs.

To look for a job, you’ll need to pass a Skill Check. If you pass, you can do that job for the Downtime. If you fail, however, you need to go look for another career. You can only attempt each job once per Downtime, and if you fail, you’ll get a -10 modifier to the next job-hunting Skill Check you do. If you already have a job from your background or a previous Downtime, you can just go straight back to it without having to do a Skill Check. And if you can’t find a job, or don’t want one, you can be a vagrant for the Downtime and get a Penalty Reroll to your Wealth Check at the end.

Here’s the list of Skills and what jobs you can get if you pass their Checks.

SkillsCareers
AthleticsChimney Sweep, Entertainer, Labourer, Messenger, Gardener
Broad-CraftArtisan, Carpenter, Cobbler, Farrier, Mason, Smith, Wheelwright, Cobbler
BurglaryFootman, Locksmith, Tailor
ConstitutionBrewer, Fishmonger, Labourer, Mason, Sailor, Tanner, Smith
DeceiveArtist, Butcher, Civil Official, Entertainer, Grocer, Office Clerk, Trader
DiplomacyBarber, Barkeep, Coachman, Entertainer, Fishmonger, Grocer, Law Clerk, Printer, Trader, Retainer
DriveCoachman, Farrier, Messenger, Sailor, Wheelwright
FightBarber, Bodyguard, Butcher, Constable
Fine-CraftApothecary, Artisan, Artist, Brewer, Cook, Jeweller, Locksmith, Runescribe, Tailor
IntuitionBarkeep, Clergy, Fisher, Scholar, Farrier, Cook, Retainer, Artist
IntimidateBarkeep, Bodyguard, Civil Official
InvestigateFisher, Gardener, Messenger, Runescribe, Scholar, Constable
LogicApothecary, Clergy, Law Clerk, Office Clerk, Printer, Runescribe, Scholar
LuckBrewer, Chimney Sweep, Cook, Fisher
MightCarpenter, Labourer, Mason, Sailor, Smith, Wheelwright
PerceptionArtisan, Barber, Carpenter, Coachman, Jeweller, Locksmith, Tailor, Cobbler
ShootBodyguard, Constable, Footman
StealthChimney Sweep, Footman, Gardener, Tanner, Retainer
WealthApothecary, Civil Official, Jeweller, Law Clerk, Office Clerk, Printer, Trader
WillClergy, Fishmonger, Grocer, Butcher, Tanner

When you’re in a job, you can also make another Skill Check for the Downtime to see how well you are performing at your work. Pass this second Check and you’ll get a Bonus reroll to your Wealth Check at the end.

Live

It’s the quickest and easiest part of Downtime, and it says what sort of level of lifestyle you have. How rich or poor are you living? The answer to that will determine the modifier you’ll get to your Wealth Check at the end.

Lifestyle Modifier
Homeless
Subsistence60
Poor45
Average30
Comfortable15
Wealthy0
Lavish-15
Opulent-30
Decadent-45
Kingly-60

There are also things that can get you rerolls. If you have dependants living with you, you’ll get a Penalty Reroll, but if you have another breadwinner in the house then that’s a Bonus Reroll.

Each Downtime you can also choose to increase or decrease your standard of living. Increasing means a Penalty Reroll for that Downtime, while decreasing is a Bonus Reroll (on top of the change in modifier).

Play

This is where you get to unwind and enjoy yourself. Well, maybe. You can always choose not to do any activities for the Downtime and just focus on more work instead, which will net you a Bonus Reroll.

There are 10 broad categories of activities that you can partake in during Downtime, and each will have it’s own quirks and special rules (that will be fully explored in the book), and some will give you Bonus Rerolls or Penalty Rerolls; some will give you other types of rewards or misfortunes that could carry over into the next adventure as well.

Your level of lifestyle will also affect many of the activities you participate in. Going socialising with the upper-crust of society is clearly different type of party than slumming it in the… well… slums. Your lifestyle will add flavour to your activities, but it could also unlock some extra tidbits as well.

  • Craft: Start, or continue on, a project.
    • The GM will give you a target number to reach, and the first digit of each successful Broad/Fine-Craft Skill Check will contribute to reaching this target. The more complex the project, the larger the target number.
  • Gamble: Try and make some easy money.
    • Roll a d100 to set a target and then roll another d100 to see if you can get lower than the target number. If you succeed, the first digit of your result is the number of Bonus Rerolls you get, but if you fail, the first digit of the total by which you failed is the number of Penalty Rerolls you get. You’ll also get positive/negative modifiers to your next adventure’s Wealth Checks.
  • Relationship: Work on a personal, social, or business relationship
    • You can try and ingratiate yourself with a faction, go looking for love, take care of your family, or try and get a business partnership settled. Like the Craft Project, your GM will give you a target number to reach, and your Social Skill checks will help or hinder you to this goal. Each step along the way will make your relationship stronger.
  • Research: Find out more about a topic.
    • Knowledge is power, and a Logic, Investigate or Intuition Check and some time will get you more about both. You can be looking for new runic array designs, maps and blueprints to locations, or history of a person you’re investigating.
  • Rest: Good old R&R
    • Sometimes you just need to kick back and relax for a while. The world is a chaotic place and you need to get away from it for a bit. Resting will help heal wounds (both physical and mental) quicker, so if you really need to recuperate, just rest for a while.
  • Scout: Go far afield to a new place.
    • Scouting is the physical counterpart to Research. It’s about actually going somewhere you haven’t before to find something out. This can be as mundane as a nice holiday, or more nefarious like checking out the next place to rob.
  • Shopping: Buying and selling.
    • Who doesn’t like a shopping trip? Work with your GM as to what exactly you want to buy and he’ll give you modifiers to a Wealth Skill Check that you’ll need to beat. You can always choose to take Penalty Rerolls to make that Check easier. In the reverse, if you want to sell, you’ll need to beat a Social Skill Check and if you do you’ll get some Bonus Rerolls.
  • Socialise: Get out and about with your friends.
    • Or get out and about with new friends. Here you can recover some energy from your latest adventure, make new friends that you can then use a Relationship activity to strengthen that friendship.
  • Train: get better at a Skill
    • Probably the most straightforward of all the activities. You choose a Skill to get better at, roll a Skill Check and (hopefully) get better at it. You can also take a Penalty Reroll to find a mentor to help you, and this will make your Skill Check easier or get you more EXP in that Skill.
  • Tutor: Teach another character to be as cool as you
    • The exact opposite to Train. Here you can help another character get better at something that you are good at. This can be another player’s character, a friendly NPC, or perhaps your character’s family and heir (that you can play as if something happens to your character).

Paying the bill

Now that you’ve done everything you could or wanted, it’s time to pay the bill. So tally up your rerolls, get your Modifier from your Lifestyle, and roll that Wealth Check. If you pass, then all is well. If you fail, well then you have a choice.

You can go broke, which means the number by which you failed becomes a negative modifier to all your Wealth Checks for the next session of gaming, and your Lifestyle gets forced down by one for the next Downtime. Or you can go into debt, which means nothing bad happens now, but eventually you’ll have to pay up alongside the interest. Who knows, maybe a determined debt collector might show up in an adventure or mission a few sessions from now.


And while we are busy with The Runed Age, you can have your say about what we should work on afterwards by filling out this little survey.

Z-LAND S3 Chapter 6 “Misty Frequencies” Part 4

Picked up brought into the unknown our survivors sit down with what remains of New Zealand’s military might.


Not caught up yet? CLICK HERE to watch all the apocalyptic action.

And get your hands on the Z-LAND corebook now by CLICKING HERE.


If you want to chat about Z-LAND with other players and the developers, then come join our Discord server!

Entropy Preview: the Zord

In our last Entropy Preview, we showed you the mammal-reptilian hybrids: the Cyrex. This time, we show you the cryptic and foreboding Zord


The Zord is an empire that influences all the Cosmic Exchange with their presence. They are originated from their now dead red planet: Koz, in the currently almost empty system of Jede. Zords are quite cryptic, creepy, and towering individuals that work in almost perfect unison against the forces of the Anomaly. Led by the legendary “ZORD” from which they took the names they use, they patrol space in massive ships of very angular shapes equipped with heavy weaponry.

Zords are seen as very violent and hard to talk to, and most people would prefer them to be as far away from them as possible. Loyalty, faith, and brawn are the most shown qualities amongst the Zord, who train all their life in squads or on the field to hone their talents to kill anything that could stand in their way. Nobody knows the real weight that burden every Zord, for when all hell breaks loose, they will stand tall and give their lives to protect the rest of the galaxy, even if they would kill anyone of them to achieve it.

Zord culture is somewhat remote from the eyes of the other species since they only look like crusaders with a crazy cause as a reason to fight or being mean. This freezing demeanor could be the cause of why they are frown upon or avoided. Even the fear of being accused falsely of Lunacy usage or ritualism is present in stations around the galaxy when Zords are spotted, people hide and wish for them to go away with only the officials addressing them in person with their best spokesman to slow or stop the Zords from overreacting.

Only Zords knows what their people do in their stations for leisure time and diversion. From a few witnesses and meetings, Shlaugs discovered that what they mostly do of their time is: training, outside of their armor musculation, and disciplinary exercises but a few times some of them were seen playing a strange game that they could not observe for too long. Therefore, maybe they do have pass times activities, or this could be merely strategic simulations.

Lively Zords are sometimes encountered, but they are very hard to sympathize with. However, when trust is gain with a Zord, they share war stories and tactics advice with other people, since they travel a lot, they are full of wild and impressive tales of the unknown. Storytelling is the strong suit of Zords who wish to express themselves with other species that dare to approach them. Zords most precious thing in life is their limitless faith in their leader. They carry banners and kill in his name with high energy on the battlefields. They work for him and bring his words because the enigmatic “ZORD” never leaves his mothership in the Jebe system, in orbit around Koz. The interior of the station is decorated like a church and is full of depictions of Zords in action, chasing down monsters and “heretics” in the glory of their master.


If you want to know more about Entropy then join our Discord server, and chat with Charly the dev himself.