Next up in the previews for our upcoming game of magical mysteries is the Frostlord! He’s a crabby and grumpy old man, stomping his way across the battlefield, freezing everything in his way. And if that doesn’t work, he has a mighty ice-axe to finish off any rambunctious youth that gets within arm’s reach.
Next up in our sneak-peeks for our upcoming not-so-secret game is the Ravager! Bullish and stubborn, the Ravager has the strength of ten men and the patience of precisely none of them. Once he sets his mind to something, he intends to see it done come hell or high water. Armed with nothing other than his great-axe, the Ravager is a terrible force to behold on the battlefield.
During this time of lockdowns and isolation, it can be incredibly difficult to get a group of friends together to play a good day’s worth of tabletop RPGs. This is where singleplayer-RPGs can help you get that RPG fix when you can’t make it to a game cause you’re stuck at home, and the Sigil System super simple to turn into a singleplayer-RPG.
Over the next few blog posts, we’ll cover some tips, tricks and tools to make playing the Sigil System by yourself easier, but today we’re covering the two golden rules of a singleplayer Sigil game.
Rule 1: The Uncertainty Principle
Playing by yourself means you’ll need to take on the role of both player and GM, but if you’re also the GM then you get to decide what happens in the world around your PC, which leads to the ultimate meta-gaming and defeats the point of being a player.
Enter the Uncertainty Table. Rather than say how things will happen, you can give an event a certain chance or probability and then roll on the table to see if that actually occurs.
For example, if your PC is looking for a target to assassinate, and walks into a tavern, rather than simply declaring that the target is there, you can say what are the chances, the odds, the probability that the target is there. Finding your target in the first tavern you walk into is pretty unlikely, so looking at the Uncertainty Table this leads to a Target Number (TN) of 20. Roll at or below the target number and the event happens. You roll and get a 24, and it looks like your PC will need to keep looking.
Remember that not everything will need to be rolled for. Some things just logically follow one another in sequence, and that keeps the story ticking over. The Uncertainty Table is, as the name implies, for when you are uncertain about an event.
Rule 2: PC-POV
Player Character Point Of View. Since you take on the mantle of both Player and GM, it’s important to keep the meta-gaming at bay. Just like when you are a player in a group-game with a separate GM, you want to be surprised, you want to have that feeling of anticipation at what is about to happen. In most singleplayer-RPGs that rarely happens, but with the Sigil System the goal is to keep the POV on your PC.
If your PC doesn’t know about it, then don’t worry about it. Don’t start focusing on events your PC has no knowledge of, and don’t start worldbuilding for places your PC hasn’t been to yet. When you play the Sigil System in singleplayer, focus only on what your PC knows, and more importantly, can perceive.
For example: if your PC picks up a quest to go slay the dragon up in the mountains in the next kingdom over; don’t worry about dragon, the mountain or even the next kingdom over. Your PC hasn’t gotten there yet, so how would he know what’s going on over there? Let the story evolve naturally from your PC’s POV as he experiences his adventures and campaigns.
For things like ambushes or the like, rather than plan it out, you can refer back to the Uncertainty Table and ask questions like “what are the odds/chances/probability that an ambush would happen right here”. If you pass your roll, then let it happen.
Remember that if your PC doesn’t know about it or can’t perceive it, neither should you.
The PC-POV rule applies also to the mechanics of the Sigil System. Since you only know what your PC knows, you only ever roll for your PC. Playing the Sigil System singeplayer means there are no Opposed Skill Checks, even in combat. You never have to worry about creating the Skill Levels for anyone other than your PC.
If there would be an Opposed Skill Check in a regular game, let only your PC roll and apply the normal Difficulty Modifier from the Sigil System to that roll to simulate the opposition your PC faces. For example: if you get into combat, rather than roll Fight for both your PC and the enemy, you only roll for your PC and apply Difficulty Modifier, in this case a -30, to your PC’s roll because fighting this opponent would be Very Hard.
Bear in mind that an enemy’s Armour’s damage reduction and Weapon’s damage increase would still apply to your rolls just like normal.
That is the quick and brief intro into playing the Sigil System as a singleplayer RPG. Next time we’ll look at how you can handle new NPCs and make them unique, and more importantly, surprising.
In the meantime, if you want to chat with us and other Stormforge fans, come join our Discord server!
Slow and steady wins the race they say, and we’re getting close to the finish line. There’s still a wee ways to go before the update goes live, but the finish line is now in sight.
Most of the book has now been updated, and only some parts of the rules are left to go. You can see what the rules section will look like with this pdf sample.
And if you think that’s grand, once we’re done with the corebook update, we’ll be updating the first two Ruined Man campaign books and then finally releasing the third one after that.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Athletics||Chimney Sweep, Entertainer, Labourer, Messenger, Gardener|
|Broad-Craft||Artisan, Carpenter, Cobbler, Farrier, Mason, Smith, Wheelwright, Cobbler|
|Burglary||Footman, Locksmith, Tailor|
|Constitution||Brewer, Fishmonger, Labourer, Mason, Sailor, Tanner, Smith|
|Deceive||Artist, Butcher, Civil Official, Entertainer, Grocer, Office Clerk, Trader|
|Diplomacy||Barber, Barkeep, Coachman, Entertainer, Fishmonger, Grocer, Law Clerk, Printer, Trader, Retainer|
|Drive||Coachman, Farrier, Messenger, Sailor, Wheelwright|
|Fight||Barber, Bodyguard, Butcher, Constable|
|Fine-Craft||Apothecary, Artisan, Artist, Brewer, Cook, Jeweller, Locksmith, Runescribe, Tailor|
|Intuition||Barkeep, Clergy, Fisher, Scholar, Farrier, Cook, Retainer, Artist|
|Intimidate||Barkeep, Bodyguard, Civil Official|
|Investigate||Fisher, Gardener, Messenger, Runescribe, Scholar, Constable|
|Logic||Apothecary, Clergy, Law Clerk, Office Clerk, Printer, Runescribe, Scholar|
|Luck||Brewer, Chimney Sweep, Cook, Fisher|
|Might||Carpenter, Labourer, Mason, Sailor, Smith, Wheelwright|
|Perception||Artisan, Barber, Carpenter, Coachman, Jeweller, Locksmith, Tailor, Cobbler|
|Shoot||Bodyguard, Constable, Footman|
|Stealth||Chimney Sweep, Footman, Gardener, Tanner, Retainer|
|Wealth||Apothecary, Civil Official, Jeweller, Law Clerk, Office Clerk, Printer, Trader|
|Will||Clergy, 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.
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.
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).
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.
On the last Dev Journal we showed you how to arm your PCs with the very best weapons Middelburg has to offer. For this Dev Journal, we’re showing a change to the most crucial part of the Runed Age: the runic magic rules.
Well, when we say “change”, it’s more of an addition. None of the old runic magic rules will change, and no runic array will become obsolete. What we’ve added here is an extra rule that will make your life easier when designing a runic array, and give you more flexibility in how you draw them.
What better way to start than with an example:
On the left here you can see the original Furnace Fist runic array, and the thing that set it apart was how it showed that if you wanted to say Do X if Y or Z, you’d have to draw each IF part separately, since there was never a way to do IF-OR on a single branch of the runic array.
Well, as you can see, now there is. On the right you have the new Furnace Fist and the new bit being added to the rules of the runic arrays: the placeholder locus. This empty locus simply says any of these things CAN fit in here IF they are present. So in this way, you can now say Do X if Y or Z and keep everything on the same branch.
The old Furnace Fist’s notation looks like this: Create Fire if Animal is present, create Fire if Iron is present, create Fire if Stone is present, create Fire if Wood is present.
The new Furnace Fist’s notation with the placeholder locus looks like this: Create Fire if Animal, Iron, Stone or Wood is present.
Now isn’t that just so much more tidy? This new way cuts out a lot of duplication that needs to be done in the old way. Furnace Fist might just have one affecting rune (Create), but imagine if you wanted to link 5 affecting runes through that one branch, and modify them all? You’d have to draw the same thing for each branch, meaning 20 runes plus all the modifications to them all.
So not only will it save you time and patience, but it will also save you space and not clog up the whole runic array with duplicated drawings.
Enforcer is now at Version 0.3!
Since the last update came out, we’ve been busy little beavers, so there’s quite a bit in this update for you.
Look at those lovely new pieces made by the awesome Pat Callahan. The first three of the exemplar characters have received their art, and this is only the first step. All the money that comes in from Enforcer’s Early Access will go straight towards putting in as much art into the book as humanly possible, so expect to see much more art in future updates!
Sometimes the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. For those times, that’s when you need some cybernetic augmentation, and that’s exactly what we brought in this update. Augments work just like Perks in the game, but instead of having to wait to get them through experience, you can just buy them. Upgrade your Enforcers to make them more than they were, but becoming a machine comes with its own risks.
Extra Psionic Powers
You know what’s great? Psionic powers. You know what’s better? More psionic powers.
We’ve expanded the psionic feedback table to give you 25 frightening things that can happen if you are unlucky when rolling a Psionic Check. These feedback options are also more flavourful than just giving character a status effect.
Minions are wonderful and adorable little things, and we’ve now put them together into their own little groups. If you are in need of some quick opposition in your games, you can now grab a premade Minion Squad from the list and go to town.
It’s the eternal balancing act, making sure everything is costed properly, and to that end we’ve changed how all the things in Enforcer is costed.
If you haven’t gotten Enforcer yet, you can grab it now by CLICKING HERE!
Enforcer is still in Early Access. This means that everything you need to play Enforcer is here, but it is not 100% finished. The main reason for the Early Access is to get funding for the art. Every dollar you spend on Enforcer is a dollar we give to an artist to make Enforcer look better. While the art is being worked on, we’ll keep polishing up the rules and increasing the lore. Everyone who gets Enforcer in the Early Access stage will get the full digital release for free, and we will also give you the final printed version at cost price.
If you want to know more about Enforcer, then come chat with other players and the developers on our Discord server!
In the last Entropy Preview, Charly showed us what humanity looks like in the future. This time, we see the first alien species revealed for Entropy: the Etsyon.
The Etsyon is a large race of super-evolved mammals. They outlived almost all other species which came before the Cosmic Exchange, but they remained remarkably stagnant in their way of thinking and practice. They were tranquil until they were disturbed and forced to mingle with the other species, corrupting their neutrality and millennia of traditions.
The Etsyons used to spend years in meditation and self-empowerment and purpose. However, since they met with the many species, they strayed away from their root and became much more open to new ideas. Living calmly on their homeworld, in the Crystom system, they train their incredible psionic powers and now share their way of life, as well as adopting a more outgoing stance, and sometimes adopt wrong examples to the letter.
Their origin is mired in mystery, but since they took a taste of the galactic life and even the downtown lifestyle which some other species’ capital provides, they are now spread all around space at the dismay of the Etsyon Sages, which are traditionalists purists.
If you want to know more about Entropy then join our Discord server, and chat with Charly the dev himself.
On the last Dev Journal we looked at getting your characters some friends and making new acquaintances in the grand city. For this Dev Journal, however, we’re bringing some well deserved violence to the streets of Middelburg.
In the Runed Age 1.0, weapons don’t exist, at least not mechanically. There’s no real rules for using different types of weapons (outside a quick mention in the Ruined People adventure book). The Sigil System changed that by introducing Weapon Classes, and by Classes I mean “weight classes”
The Weight of a Weapon
All weapons, ranged and melee, come in one of three different weight classes: Light, Medium, and Heavy. These weight classes give the weapons a Damage Modifier which is applied after you hit an opponent (at the same time that Armour Modifiers have always been applied), with Light weapons giving a +10 Modifier, Medium a +20, and unsurprisingly Heavy weapons give a +30 Modifier. Since the damage threshold for a Significant Wound is 20, using a Medium weapon means you will always at least give an opponent a Significant Wound each time you hit them. With a Heavy weapon, you only need to beat your opponent’s roll by 20 to give them a Grievous Wound.
So the short of it is that the heavier a weapon, the more damage it deals once it hits.
Working out those Melee Muscles
While melee and ranged weapons both use the same Weight system, melee weapons also give you a negative modifier to your Fight Skill Check to see if you will even hit the opponent, and just like the Weight Classes, the heavier a weapon, the bigger the modifier and the less likely you are to hit someone with it. The negative modifier these weapons give you is half their damage modifier, so -5 for Light, -10 for Medium, -15 for Heavy.
So heavier weapons are harder to hit someone with, but if you do hit them, they most likely won’t be coming back for seconds.
Where melee weapons get there negative modifiers, ranged weapons get Ranged Bands. Unlike the melee negative modifiers, the Ranged Bands are not tied to the weapon’s Weight Class, and are independently applied to the weapon. Ranged Bands don’t give any modifiers to a Shoot Skill Check, but instead they limit how far away you can actually hit someone with the weapon.
In short: you can only roll a Shoot Skill Check to hit someone if they are within your weapon’s Ranged Band or closer. Easy enough, right?
There are four Ranged Bands, but their distances aren’t fixed or defined in detail. Instead they are narrative ranges that can be different for different scenes and encounters.
Close: melee range. If you can hit something with a stick then they are within Close range.
Near: from a few meters away up to a couple of dozen meters. This is the range at which pistols and thrown objects will accurately hit their target. Anywhere in a room, decently sized house or equivalent is in Near range.
Medium: most of the way across a football field, Medium range requires a people to shout to be heard and good sized weapons to hit something.
Far: from the far end of a football field to easily twice that distance. You need a telescope to properly see further than this.
And that’s the new weapon stats for the new Runed Age. Weapons will now hit harder, but will have some limitations to getting that good hit in. In the final book you will get some examples of all sorts of weapons that fit into each weight and ranged category as well, so you’ll easily be able to pick out the right weapon for your characters.
On the last Dev Journal we looked at what the new rules for using runic arrays will be like. For this Journal, we’re taking something old and turning it into something new.
For those of you that have played the Sigil System, you’ll be more than familiar with the Contacts system, that gives you some concrete game mechanics to represent your network of NPC contacts in your campaign, and how to get the most out of them. We’ve taken that, updated it, and we’re putting it into the new Runed Age.
As the saying goes: “it’s not what you know, but who you know”; and this might as well be a law of physics in the city of Middelburg. In the Runed Age, you play as a professional criminal, so it makes sense that you will need a network of informers, fences, dealers, wheelers, corrupt constables and everyone in-between that will free you up to commit all the crimes you need.
Each contact has two Skills: Influence and Aptitude, and like a PC’s Skills, they run from 0 to 100. Influence represents how close a relationship you have with your contact, while Aptitude shows how good the contact is at whatever it is he does.
When you want a contact to do something, you first need to see if they have the time/energy/patience/or just plain old like you enough to do what you want. This is where the Influence Skill comes in. You roll your contact’s Influence Skill, and if you succeed, then your contact has the time of day for you. If not, then for some reason that your GM will give you, your contact can’t do what you want him to do.
As with everything else, there is always modifiers to this, which will be detailed in the book, but just quickly they come in three varieties.
The first is a good old Social Skill Check, which you can roll before doing the Influence Check. This can be any Social Skill, and whichever one you use will determine how your interaction with your contact is flavoured. Succeed on the Social Skill Check and the result of your roll will become a bonus to the Influence Check. Fail, and the total by which you failed will become a penalty to that Influence Check. It’s risky, so if you’re not confident in your Social Skills, don’t bet the house on it.
Speaking of money, that is the second modifier to an Influence Check. The more you are willing to offer your contact in terms of money, goods, favours, information, etc, the more they will be willing to do a favour for you you. You scratch their back, they scratch yours.
And lastly, the severity of the task you are asking from them will give a modifier to the Influence Check. The more difficult the task, the less of a chance there is that they’ll say yes.
So between these three, there is more than enough for you to cover all your bases and get that contact working for you. Even a weakness can be overcome in another way. For example: if you know that you are going to ask something complex and difficult, then you know the bring along a lot of sweet words or money.
Once you’ve gotten your contact to agree to do something for you, it’s up to them to do it. Here you simply roll the contacts Aptitude test and use the same severity modifier from the Influence Check. If the contact succeeds, then they’ve done what you needed, and the better they roll, the better of a job they did. It’s as simple as that.
Leveling your Contacts
At the end of any session where your GM believes there is a chance that either your contact got better at what they do, or your relationship got better (flowers always works), he’ll tell you to either roll Influence or Aptitude (or both if you’re lucky). For these leveling rolls, if you roll under your contact’s Skill then nothing happens, but if you roll over it then that Skill increases by 1d5.
For example: if you went the extra mile for one of your contacts, brought them something for free, gave them a good tip, or protected them from an enemy, your GM could say that there is a definite chance that your relationship with them got better. So you roll an Influence Check and try to beat a (let’s say) 55. You roll 83, and so your contact’s Influence goes up by 1d5 (rolled a 3) and now your contact has an Influence Level of 58.
Works exactly the same as going up, but your contacts will lose levels instead. So at the end of the session, if your GM decides that you (or your contact) did something that would make your relationship suffer or they become a bit more incompetent at their job, then you will roll either Influence or Aptitude. If you roll under the Skill Level, then everything is fine, but if you roll over then your contact’s Skill Level will decrease by 1d5.
Moral of the story? Be nice to your contacts, and don’t ask for more than they can give, or you can lose them quickly.
And that’s all there is to the rules of the contacts. In the book you’ll get some more flavour options as well as how you get contacts when you create your character, but the rules are as simple as this!
On the last Dev Journal we showed how the new Skills will look in the Runed Age 1.3. This time we are talking about the most important part of the Runed Age: the runes.
What’s new with the runes?
Absolutely nothing. Well that’s not entirely true, but the runes, runic arrays and their rules will not be changing in the Runed Age 1.3. All the designs you’ve come up with in your games will still be working exactly the same way in the new Runed Age as in the old. That also means that all the runic arrays from the Journal of Array Design 1, and it’s sequel will work normally as well.
What we will be doing, however, is rewriting how we explain the rules, to make it easier to pick up and start designing your own runic arrays.
Since the Runed Age went on sale, we’ve developed several new runes, and most of these will be making their way into the new 1.3 version. These are runes such as the Rotate rune that we showed off with the Furious Breath array, the Life rune from the Circle of Life array, and the Invert rune from the Effective Solution array. These are all runes that exist within the world of the Runed Age, and so will eventually find their way to the grand city of Middelburg for you to play with.
New Skill Rules
As we talked about in the previous dev journal, two of the new Skills will be majorly involved in all things runes: Logic and Fine-Craft. Logic is all about analysing runic arrays and their effects to determine what’s going on, whodunit, and all that carry on.
Fine-Craft is the new Skill for actually drawing out the runic arrays, and will be the Skill to use for rolling to see how effective it was. So out with rolling your Runes Skill, and in with Fine-Craft.
As with everything else in life, it’s not just that simple. We have some new runic modifiers for the Fine-Craft Skill Check that will come into play in 1.3. I say “new”, but if you’re familiar with Runes of Power, then you already know these modifiers.
The first modifier is the Diligence Modifier and it does pretty much what you think it does. It is all about how much effort you put into drawing the array perfectly. The better a runic array is drawn, the better it will work, so being diligent will get you what you need every time.
The Diligence Modifier runs all the way from a +30 if you’re a perfectionist, to a -30 if your runic array is near illegible. How do you know which you are? Well that is the decision the GM will make, based on your roleplay. And speaking of GM decisions…
The second modifier at work for your Fine-Craft Check. This modifier says how suitable your array design is for what you want it to do, and like the Diligence modifier runs from +30 for perfectly suitable to -30 for not suitable at all.
Your GM will determine where it falls on that scale, but it is a common sense thing. If you want to take down a stone wall, making an array that said “Contain-Exclude-Wall” would be perfectly suitable for what you want, and you’ll get that +30. If you made a runic array that said “Pull-Heat-Bird” then no, that just won’t work at all.
So between these two Modifiers, you could potentially get up to +60 to your Fine-Craft Skill Check, which is a near certainty that you’ll be succeeding in anything you try to do.
And that’s it for the runes. It’s a short update, but then we are intentionally not changing much about them.
Last time we showed off probably the biggest new addition to the Runed Age 1.3. In this post we’ll go through some changes that will impact every part of your game.
Starting with the Sigil System 1.2 and then going on to Z-LAND, the base Skill System that began with the Runed Age has seem some changes, and those changes are now coming back full circle to the Runed Age 1.3. There’s a fair bit that will change, and in particular how the runes and runic arrays interact with the Skills have been completely overhauled.
Out with the old…
The biggest changes you’ll see will be the absence of a few Skills. Perform, Contacts, and Runes have all been taken out. That doesn’t mean you can’t use these anymore, just that doing so will look a bit differently. The three social Skills (Deceive, Diplomacy, Intimidate) will now handle any type of performance you might want to create, and the Contacts subsystem (a whole dev journal is coming up just about this) will be dedicated just handling all your contacts in Middelburg.
Losing Runes was tough, because let’s face it, it is called the Runed Age and the entire magic system is all about runes. But it was one Skill that encompassed the entirety of the runic magic system and the nearly infinite amount of things you could do with it. That is way too powerful, and we saw far too many characters that put all their EXP into Runes.
What we’ve done instead is divide everything you can do surrounding runic arrays, and split them up into various other Skills. Now you can be amazing at drawing out runic arrays, but not the best at thinking up designs, and vice versa. The two Skills that will now handle the bulk of the runic business are two somewhat new Skills: Fine-Craft and Logic. Fine-Craft as the name implies will be the go-to Skill for seeing how well you’ve drawn the runic arrays, and Logic will be all about designing the arrays themselves.
And speaking of these skills
… in with the new.
Not only has Perform, Contacts and Runes gone, we’ve split up some other Skills into two to make them feel more like real individuals with a good spread of talents. The old Athletics now becomes Athletics and Might: Athletics is all about how dexterous and quick you can be, while Might is your raw brute strength. Craft has now become Fine-Craft and Broad-Craft, not the most creative of names, but we wanted to get their meaning across easily. Fine-Craft is all about the fine details, like putting together a clock, while Broad-Craft is about the bigger picture and working in broadstrokes, like building a cupboard, making a meal, etc.
We also have two Skills who have undergone a name change to make them a bit broader in use: Insight has become Intuition; and Lore has become Logic. They still fulfil their old roles, but Logic can now be used to overcome puzzles, and Intuition can now also be used to see what your gut has to say about a situation or even what you can remember.
Lastly, and straight from Z-LAND, we are putting the Luck Skill into Runed Age 1.3. Luck is a powerful Skill, and not only because it will determine your Sigil Threshold. You can use Luck in almost any situation where chance is a factor, and so can your GM. The muggers with loaded guns, who do they target in your party? Roll a Luck Skill to figure out who is the most unlucky between you. Are you lucky enough to find what you need in the first place you look? Your Luck Skill will tell you. Was anyone close enough to hear the vault door you blew up? Roll Luck to find out. We will also be putting in some looting mechanics that will depend on your Luck Skill.
And that’s it for the changes to the Skills in the Runed Age 1.3. Tell us what you think of it, any other changes you can suggest, and what you will do with these new Skills.
Last time we showed you what you can expect in the new Runed Age 1.3. In this post we’ll show you perhaps the biggest (by page size) addition to the Runed Age: Perks & Quirks
Perks & Quirks
Perks & Quirks are the newest addition to the Sigil System itself, and we’re still in the process of updating all the mods to have them. In the Runed Age 1.3, you’ll find 100 Perks and 100 Quirks.
Most of these will be the same ones you’ll find in the Sigil System, so that the two systems will stay compatible and all the Sigil mods will work with the Runed Age. However, there will be a lot of Perks and Quirks unique to the Runed Age that will give you more potential to get the most out of the runic arrays and living in the grand city of Middelburg.
How they work
At their most basic, Perks & Quirks are alternatives to Specialisations to make your characters more unique and more powerful.
You can get a Perk in the same way as a Specialisation: when you get a Skill to Level 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100. When you get a Skill to these Levels, you now have a choice: you can either get a Specialisation, or you get a Perk. Many Perks have Skill prerequisites which mean you can only get that Perk if you level up that specific Skill.
There is always a third choice: take two. When you get that Skill Level up to a multiple of 10, you can always take both a Perk and a Specialisation, two Specialisations, or two Perks. However, if you do this, you must also take a Quirk… and you don’t get to choose which Quirk you get. Your GM will either roll for a Quirk for you or pick one that he feels fits best.
Another way to get Perks is through character creation. At the end of creating your character, you can roll to see how many Perks your character starts the game with. There are two catches here, you don’t get to choose your Perk, you have to roll for them randomly; and you must have as Quirks as Perks at character creation.
Example Perks & Quirks
Below are a few Perks and Quirks unique to the Runed Age 1.3:
Blessed by Bür: Spending a Sigil to grant a bonus to Skill Checks about runes and arrays gives a +50 bonus.
In With a Grin: Choose a single Merchant League Family. Spending a Sigil in Social Skills Checks with NPCs related to this family does not reduce your number of Sigils. (This Perk can be selected multiple times)
Dead Drop: Once per session you can spend a Sigil and declare that you have a hidden dead drop nearby containing d10 items of your choice (GM’s discretion if the item is reasonable).
Runic Illiteracy: You cannot spend Sigils for Skill Checks involving the effectiveness of your runic arrays.
Local Menace: Your GM chooses a district of Middelburg. You’ve been declared a public menace here by the Alderman and will be arrested if discovered.
Runic Luddite: Reduce the amount of EXP you gain at the end of the session by the number of runic arrays you used or created (down to a minimum of 0).
For all the other runic Perks & Quirks, you’ll have to wait until the book is done.
Hello everyone and welcome to our seventh dev journal about the Stealth Mod we are making for the Sigil System.
In our previous five journal we showed a quick example of the Stealth Mod rules in action and so today we are just going to wrap everything up. As such it should be fairly short blog today.
Overall, not a lot.
There were two big issues that folks brought up about the system. The first was that leaving the reduction of Awareness Levels mostly to time elapsing didn’t give the players a lot of agency. While there are the “narrative actions” that players can also take to reduce the Awareness Level, these are unknown variables that are completely contextual and so could not be planned for ahead of time. So we had a think about it and decided to use our current meta-currency (the Sigils) to help with this issue. So now along with time and narrative actions, you can also spend a Sigil to reduce the Awareness Level by 1 step. This solves the player agency problem, and it will also mean that players use (and therefore run out of) Sigils more often which allows for more GM-intrusions in the game, making everything a tad more exciting.
The other issue brought to our attention was one of granularity. For some readers, having ten steps on the Awareness Scale was a bit too much and they would have preferred a simpler and more vague approach. The Sigil System is all about granularity and working with things in groups of 10s so we couldn’t quite change the Stealth Mod to accommodate this, but there is a compromise to be had: the GLYPH system. GLYPH is already a scaled down and simplified version of the Sigil System and so we decided that we can just port over the Stealth Mod to GLYPH as well when we release it. GLYPH is a faster paced game so a 5 step Awareness Scale would go well with it. And, of course, we do enjoy having our cake and eating it too.
So, to sum up the Stealth Mod: It all revolves around the Awareness Scale which is a reflection of the mood of the compound you are in. The higher the Awareness Level on the Scale, the worse it is for you and the NPCs in the compound will react to it and you. Failed Stealth Skill Checks and narrative actions make the Awareness Level go up; and time, narrative actions and spent Sigils (or Glyphs for GLYPH) make the Awareness Level go down. If the compound you are in is too big to handle, you can chop it up into manageable zones and any zone the players are not in will simply play catch up to the Awareness Level to the zone they are in.
And that’s it!
All we need to do now is rewrite all of these journals into something coherent, tidy and tart it all up and then we’ll have it up on DriveThruRPG for you absolutely free.
Until then, why not have a look at the campaign book we just released this week which takes place in The Runed Age, where the Sigil System comes from. Just click on the picture and enjoy!