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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
You voted on what you wanted us to work on next, and we showed off the results of that last time. This time we’re going to talk a little bit about what’s in store for The Runed Age 1.3
First off, don’t worry that this is going to be a whole new edition. We are purposefully calling it 1.3 and not 2.0. It’s more of an upgrade and a clean up than something completely new. With that said, there is a fair bit that will seem new to some folks.
As we developed the Sigil System and got it up to v1.3, and through our work making Z-LAND, we learned a hell of a lot, and our base system is polished gem now compared to the rough diamond it was back when The Runed Age was released. So we’ll be taking everything we have learned and using it to make The Runed Age better.
What you can expect:
Better Explained Magic Rules. We know that the runic magic system that gives The Runed Age its name can be a beast to work with at times, and seem as complex the deeper you delve into it. But there is a difference between complex and complicated, and we want to make sure the runic system is the former and not the latter. So while the system itself won’t change (much) it will be far easier to read and follow along.
Revamped Skills. Perform? What’s that? That’s not a Skill we know of… anymore. Now we have Skills like Might and Fine-Craft, and soon The Runed Age will have it as well. We’re also going to be getting rid of the Runes Skill and making runic-array-related-actions spread across a few Skills so you won’t be pigeonholed into one Skill if you want to be good at creating runic arrays.
Perks & Quirks. Brand new to the Sigil System and we’re busy updating all the Sigil Mods with it as well, Perks & Quirks will be in The Runed Age as well. This gives you an alternate and parallel Advancement path alongside Specialisations that you can use to further customise and empower your characters.
Overall Rules Clean-Up. A bit of a miscellaneous category this one. Over the years so many small rules changes have cropped up and been put into the Sigil System that it’s hard to keep track of. All of them will be making their way into the new book however.
New Design and Layout: The Runed Age isn’t that old, but we’re still going to be updating and modernising the design and layout of the book to make it easier on the eyes, easier on monitors and displays, and more importantly, easier on…
Printing: That’s right. Once we finish with the update, you’ll be able to get your hands on The Runed Age in glorious hardcover goodness. Also, everyone who buys The Runed Age before the release of 1.3 will get a discount code sent to make sure they can get the hardcopy version at the base cost price, literally the cheapest we can make it.
And much, maybe, more: The rules of Sigil 1.3 is the main reason for the update, but if we come across anything else that can do with a polish, we certainly will give it a good whack. This is also the part where you can suggest any changes you’d like to see in 1.3. If you’ve played the game and read the book and can think of any improvements, give us a shout and we’ll get ready with pen and paper to jot down any of your ideas.
We hope you all have a very happy new year, and a prosperous 2019 ahead.
Now that Brotherhood is on DriveThruRPG, it’s time to start work on the next project. You voted on what we should work on next, and as you can see by the colourful pie-chart above, you want us to update The Runed Age to the Sigil 1.2 rules.
We’re already hard at work on updating The Runed Age, and making it look clean and pretty for its 1.2 version (and if you join our Discord server, you’ll already see a few sneak peeks), but it’s not just about the looks with this update. When we are finished with it, you will finally be able to get your hands on a Runed Age hardcover version. If you’ve already bought the Runed Age, then when the time comes, we’ll give you a coupon to get the hardcover version at cost price.