Rapture & Ruin employs a new method for world generation called the Skin System. This system allows a GM to craft any creature or NPC to his desire, while maintaining any RPG creature/race’s original mechanical integrity. (Example: Becky is a Halfling, but has been Skinned as a deformed human with a growth impediment. Meanwhile, Buck is a Dragonborn but has been Skinned as a powerful mechanized humanoid armed with wrist mounted flame throwers.) So long as the original creature/race’s numbers remain unaltered, the Skin is limited only by imagination and reasonability.
Players are also privy to the Skin System, and are required to Skin their class as well as their race. (Example: Buck the flame-throwing mechanized humanoid is a sorcerer Skinned as a tech savvy artillerist who employs a series of gadgets to emulate his class’s powers.) Some classes, such as Dungeons & Dragons martial and psionic power classes, may not need to be Skinned, but due to Ruin’s lack of magic any arcane, divine, and primal power class requires Skins. The players may apply Skins within reason and are encouraged to be creative, justifying their powers through mutations, tech, or even applying the mechanized humanoid race or radioactive human sub-race to their characters.
Skin: This term describes the re-imagination of any race, class, power, or anything else that has been aesthetically altered to reflect the R&R setting.
Below the Hood: A term to reference a race’s, class’s, or power’s original form and name.
Base: Synonymous with “Beneath the Hood.”
Skinned Character and Non-Playable Character Races
R&R boasts only four races and one sub-race. Humans, defected humans, mutated humans, and Marked humans are the four races available to players. The character’s statistics and racial features are determined by the race under the hood, while the character’s appearance and role within society is determined by their R&R race, which is a Skin. Any RPG race may be Skinned as any R&R race, except in the case of non-medium sized races whom cannot be Skinned as Humans. (Example: Buck is a half-orc under the hood, but plays the character with a human skin. Meanwhile Becky’s gnome under the hood is played with a defected human skin.)
The radioactive human sub-race is reserved for characters who employ psionic Skins for features and powers. (Example: Buck chooses to Skin his powers as psionic in nature, so therefore applies the radioactive human sub-race to his character.) RPG classes categorized as magic or psionics users are not necessarily forced to be Radioactive Humans – the sub-race must be chosen by the player and Skinned willingly. However, a character who employs even a single feature or power as psionic in nature must be a radioactive human.
R&R lacks official monster content. Instead a GM may select any monster from his or her preferred RPG and apply a Skin. In this way a monster may be used whenever and wherever a GM desires, from giant insects in a warren to corrupted mechs in a derelict factory.
There is not an official format for Skin applications – meaning that a Skinned humanoid is not necessarily a humanoid below the hood. GMs should note that in RPGs that use monster knowledge checks, it is more appropriate to assign a knowledge type respective to the creature’s Skin and not the base monster. (Example: Becky wishes to identify a mutant raider which is a Skinned mind flayer. She would make a Nature check and not a Dungeoneering check.) This will not affect knowledge skills balance if the GM keeps Skin-to-knowledge checks consistent.
Magic vs. Psionics
Rapture & Ruin is a science-fiction setting, not a fantasy setting. Subsequently magic does not exist on Ruin, however psionics does. The reason for the differentiation is that the former is a fantasy trope and the latter is science-fiction and appropriate.
Psionics and Radios
The use of any power that has either retained its psionic nature, or has been Skinned as psionic, causes the PC or NPC to emit radio waves that are detectable through use of functioning radio devices or a successful Science check.
The absence of magic removes the need for magic-theory based knowledge skills. Thusly an RPG’s skills relating to magic must be converted to a setting appropriate equivalent. The following are the conversions for the Dungeons & Dragons Arcana and Religion skills.
< blockquote>Arcana → Science
You have broadly functional scientific knowledge. This knowledge represents a wide grasp of various scientific fields up to and including creatures respective to those fields.
If you have selected this skill as a trained skill, your knowledge represents academic study, either formalized or as a hobby. Also, those trained in the skills have a chance to know something of advanced scientific theories.
Science functions identically to the Arcana skill, and is used to indentify creatures Skinned to reflect this skill. Rather than using Arcana to “Detect Magic” a character may use Science to “Identify Curio.”
Religion → Engineering
You have picked up knowledge of physics, mechanical procedures and methods, electronic applications and hardware, and mathematics. This knowledge extends to information about Old World technology, including the many surviving automatons from that era.
If you have selected this skill as a trained skill, your knowledge represents academic study, either formalized or as a hobby, and you have a better chance of knowing esoteric information in this field.
Engineering functions identically to the Religion skill, but is used to identify the many forms of mechs.
R&R uses it own rules regarding language selection. A character generated for R&R receives only one or two languages – a regional language, which replaces Common, and a factional language. If the character is not part of a faction they receive only their regional language. If and when a character joins a faction during game play they receive the respective language at their next level. (Example: Buck is level 5 and joins The Repentant to Jehovah. He will gain fluency in latin at level 6.) Common does not exist on Ruin.
To compensate for the network loss of languages characters receive a +1 circumstance bonus per lost language when making social checks against NPCs from their own region. (Example: Becky is a half-elf under the hood and should speak common, elven, and a chosen language. Her regional language replaces common, and she loses elven and her chosen language, and instead gains a +2 circumstance check when making social checks against NPCs from her own region. Buck is an elf under the hood and should only speak common and elven. His regional language replaces common and he loses elven to gain a +1 circumstance bonus.)
If and when a character gains factional languages during game play, their circumstance bonus is decreased by -1 for each language learned. The character cannot accrue a penalty in this manner. Any character may also learn any regional language through use of feats and languages gained this way do not incur the -1 circumstance loss.
Experience Points vs. Rapture & Ruin Points
R&R ignores the typical RPG format of gaining experience points to level up and instead each character levels up at times determined by the GM. In place of experience the characters gain Rapture & Ruin Points and may spend them in or out of combat as they see fit. Each power costs respective to its tier, meaning that a Tier 1 power costs 1 R&R Point and a Tier 3 power costs 3 R&R Points. Characters gain R&R Points at the GM’s discretion and may never have more than 5 at any one time.
Equipment Upgrade Modules
Like everything else in R&R, most equipment must be Skinned in order to exist within the setting – especially magical gear. This poses a unique challenge since full imaginative license will see a diverse array of articles created, particularly weapons. One character’s longsword may be Skinned as a rifle shoulder stock, while another may Skin his greatsword and longbow into a single gunblade. Suspension of disbelief demands that the characters not repeatedly find their uniquely Skinned weapons in dungeons and shops. Instead all magical weapons, and any other magical article necessary, exists in the form of an upgrade module that can be used to “install” the item’s properties onto another item of identical base. Likewise, the module can be uninstalled later to make way for future upgrades and the sale of obsolete upgrades.
Certain damage/energy types are non-viable due to Ruin’s lack of magic. The following are the conversions for Dungeons & Dragons necrotic and radiant damage types.
Necrotic Damage → Nuclear Damage
Atomic energy that both powers and destroys.
Radiant Damage → Electromagnetic Damage
Disruptive waves that are hazardous to bio-electric and electric systems.