Jus ad rem; jus in re
The basic rules of this game are HarnMaster 3rd Edition, heavily modified. In many ways, the main survivor of modification is the Attribute/Skill system and percentile based play. The rough core of how combat precedes, and character advancement, are preserved. As is the lethality of the system.
However, the rules are being used within the framework of a much higher magic setting. Where there is healing magic, infections are less scary and common diseases are an afterthought — though an amputation is still going to be a difficult proposition in the wilderness.
Optimus interpres rerum est usus
In all cases, mechanics are mutable to some degree. Should we find that something just doesn’t work, it will be changed
Character Generation: Phase 1
In the first phase of the game, characters will be randomly selected from a pool of pre-generated characters. There will be more characters than players. Each character will have some pre-defined relationships (friendships, rivalries, lovers, etc) with some number of the other characters.
In the event where we cannot build a path from every character, to every other character, through positive relationships, we will generate new relationships to fill in the gaps.
Once characters are selected, each player will read through their character envelope. This will detail their statistics, and an overview of personality and history. Each character will have a number of specific events detailed, from their history, from which to draw upon. The owning-player is then encouraged to add to that.
There may, or may not be, information within each character envelope which is not to be shared. Please respect that. There may, or may not be, information within each character envelope which should be shared. Please respect that as well.
Following that, character cards will be drawn. These will apply changes to the character which may range from statistic changes, to story tie-ins. They may or may not be secret. They may or may not have immediate effect.
Risk-Aversion and Selflessness
Every character will have a rating in two ‘soft’ statistics called Risk Aversion and Selflessness. Each is a ten point scale and rates how strongly the trait affects the character’s personality.
0 is someone who does not care about (or does not consider) what happens from any action they take. They think nothing of putting themselves or others in danger. They may be good, and lawful, but they are reckless to the point of endangerment. They are unplayable.
Your average villager, or city dweller, is somewhere in the range of five to eight. Generally unwilling to risk anyone’s life, or property. Those around five might risk themselves to save their wife and children.
10 is someone who cannot abide any chance of failure: they are unwilling to deal with the consequences of actions and therefore take no actions which could have consequences. Risk Aversion 10 is unplayable, living in the realm of the non-functional agoraphobes and so forth.
The player characters will be in the range of 3-6. They are adventurers and heroes: not people who hide from swordplay. It could be argued that that makes them less than rational, but that is an argument for another time.
This is a rough measure of how willing the character is to put others ahead of themselves. Someone with a selflessness of 10 always puts others first, and someone with a selflessness of 0 always puts themselves first. There would be no exceptions, in those extreme cases. Those extremes are not suitable for player characters.
Most people occupy the broad range from 3 to 8. The Martyrs and Mother Theresas of the world occupy from 8 to 10. Dictators and Bank CEOs are likely in the 0-3 range.
Jura naturae sunt immutabilia