WR&M uses three basic attributes to describe a character: Warrior, Rogue and Mage. Each attribute is usually ranked from 0 to 6, but monsters and veteran characters may have higher values. If an attribute is ranked at 0 you can’t use any skills related to that attribute. In the case of a Mage attribute of 0, the character can’t cast even the simplest spell.
A character with a high rank in Warrior is a born fighter: strong, tough, and fearless. Characters with a low rank in this attribute will be weaker and less daring. Someone with a high Rogue attribute is witty, stealthy and quick with feet and mind, but a low Rogue attribute means the character is clumsy and inept. A highly ranked Mage attribute is a sign of intelligence, strength of will and mental discipline, whereas a low Mage attribute means the character is dull, flighty and easily influenced.
Each player character starts with 10 attribute levels that may be freely distributed among the three attributes. No attribute may start higher than 6. While highly specialized characters are possible, a well-rounded character with a few levels in each attribute probably works best for new players.
Each character is also further detailed by a few skills. Skills are abilities a character has learned over the years, like Riding or Thievery. Skills are not ranked like attributes; you either have learned a skill, or you have not. Each character starts with three skills of the player’s choice. Each skill is related to one of the attributes. This indicates what kind of attribute rolls the skill might be applied to. Note that you can’t choose a skill if the relevant attribute is ranked at level 0.
Talents give player characters special abilities that set them apart from mere commoners. You don’t have to roll the die in order to use talents. As soon as a character has acquired a new talent he gets access to a special ability. Some talents may be taken several times. Player characters start with one talent.
HP, FATE, & MANA:
Hit points are a measure of how much damage a character may sustain before going down. A character with 0 HP is considered dead or dying. Fate can be used to save one’s life in certain situations, or take over some narrative control from the GM. Mana is the raw magical energy that is used to cast magic spells. Characters can’t perform any magic when their Mana is depleted.
Fate equal to the Rogue attribute. If your Rogue attribute is 0, you still start with 1 fate point.
ARMOR & DEFENSE:
Each character has a Defense stat. Worn armor and shields grant a bonus to Defense but raise the mana cost of spells by their Armor Penalty (AP).
Whenever a player rolls a 6 on damage rolls and attribute checks that use an appropriate skill, the die may “explode”. This means that the player adds 6 to the total of the attribute and skill bonus, then rolls again and add the second result as well. If the second die roll is another 6, the player adds that 6 to the total and rolls again, and so on.
When the risk of failure is extremely low, or the task is only of minor importance to the story, and the character has an appropriate skill, the GM may decide that no roll is necessary. In this case the character automatically succeeds.
If the task at hand is not actively opposed, the player has to beat a difficulty level determined by the GM.
The opposed check method is used when two characters are in direct competition. This is a contest of rolls. The player of each character makes a roll for the appropriate attribute (and skill, if any). Whoever gets the higher result wins the contest. Opposed checks don’t need to be of the same attribute (or skill), so long as the action of one can oppose the other.
Example: A thief wants to sneak past a guard. The guard then rolls a die and adds his Mage attribute to the result, along with a +2 bonus if he has the Awareness skill. The thief will have to beat this total to remain unnoticed.
Optional: Instead of rolling, you can just add 4 to the relevant attribute (and any skill bonus). This is most useful when a PC is actively opposing a passive NPC.
There are circumstances which can make tasks harder or easier to perform than usual. The lack of tools makes it harder to craft something. A master crafted weapon grants a bonus to an attack. Or bad lighting conditions make it easier to hide in the shadows. The GM may add circumstantial modifiers to any DL if appropriate.
Players may spend one of their character’s fate points to do the following (GM approval needed):
• Ignore an attack that would have killed the character, making it just miss instead.
• Change a minor detail in the game world. For example: your character knows the NPC you’ve just met, or there is a shop in the town you just entered with the equipment you need.
• Reroll a single die roll and use the better of the two, or add +2 to a single check.
Fate doesn’t regenerate automatically, so players are advised not to waste their fate points. GMs should grant players fate points for heroic actions, good role playing and achieving character goals.
Whenever combat occurs, player characters and non-player characters act in turns. At the start of combat, the sequence in which the two sides in the conflict act is determined. This is called initiative. In most cases common sense dictates the initiative.
Optional: A character with the Awareness skill may add +2 to the initiative roll.
Combat turns are generally short, a few seconds in duration, so characters can only perform a few actions. Running a short distance, drawing a weapon, attacking a foe, and casting a spell are reasonable actions that can be performed during one turn.
When a character tries to hit a foe in close or ranged combat, the player has to roll the dice to determine if the attack hits. Attack rolls work like any other attribute check, but the DL is always the target’s Defense stat plus any applicable modifiers. Attack rolls are subject to the “exploding die” rule if the character has the appropriate skill.
Example: A thief wants to backstab a guard with a dagger. The skill list determines that when using a dagger the Rogue attribute applies. The thief knows this skill, so he may also add the +2 modifier to his attack roll.
DAMAGE & HEALING:
After having scored a hit, you determine the damage it caused. Damage is determined by the weapon used. Note that damage rolls are always subject to the “exploding die” rule. The victim’s hit points are reduced by a number of points equal to the damage caused. If hit points drop to 0, the character is dead or dying. A character’s hit points may never drop below 0.
Characters with a Mage attribute of 1 or higher have access to spells. Spells can be found or bought. These spells must first be transferred to a character’s personal spell book before they can be used. To cast a spell from the book, the character has to make a roll versus the DL of the spell. If successful, the caster’s mana pool is reduced by the amount listed for the spell.
In order to cast spells a character needs at least Mage level 1. The thaumaturgy skill is helpful, but not necessary, especially if the character wants to use only a few simple spells. The range of all spells is line of sight if the spell description does not say otherwise.
Spells are divided into four circles of increasing potency. Spells of the first circle are the easiest and least powerful, while fourth circle spells are considerably more powerful and require more skill to be cast.
Circle, Mana, Cost DL
1st 1MP Cost: 5
2nd 2MP Cost: 7
3rd 4MP Cost: 9
4th 8MP Cost: 13
Wearing armor adds the AP of the armor worn to the mana cost of any spell cast.
A spell caster may choose to improve a spell’s effect, making the spell harder to cast but getting more powerful results. Each level of enhancement costs half the initial mana cost (rounded up) and raises the spell’s casting DL by one. Enhancements are listed with each spell’s description. Spells cast from implements may also be enhanced; the extra mana cost must be paid out of the caster’s personal mana pool.
Some spells can be held active beyond their normal duration. If a spell can be sustained in this manner, its description will say. In order to sustain a spell the caster has to concentrate, and all other actions the caster takes while concentrating suffer a -1 penalty. The mana cost for sustaining a spell is listed with the spell’s description.
A character’s mana pool fully refreshes after a good night’s sleep. An hour’s meditation will refresh mana equal to the character’s Mage attribute. Some magic potions may also regenerate mana.
A character who wants to focus on magic usually owns a magic implement. This may be a staff, gauntlet, ring, or similar piece of equipment. Magic implements are used to store spells that the magic user can later cast without having to spend any personal mana. A magic implement must be charged with mana before it can be used, and that mana pool is then used to power spells cast from it. As long as it is powered, the implement also grants a thaumaturgy bonus equal to its level. An implement can hold 10 mana per level of the item.
Storing mana in an implement is expensive. For each point of mana stored in the implement, the caster has to spend two from his or her personal pool. Implements may be charged in multiple sessions.
A character can only store spells he or she knows in a magic implement. The stored spell remains in the implement until replaced. A magic implement can store a total number of spell circles up to its level. A level 3 implement may store one third circle spell, but it may also be used to store one second circle and one first circle spell or three first circle spells.