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A R P L E

All-purpose Role Playing Logistics Engine

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Introduction; The many facets of Roleplaying

Roleplaying is many things to many people. There are almost as many definitions of roleplaying as there are roleplayers, and many systems exits to cator for the most popular of these definitions, from Vampire to Toon, every nieche of roleplayers has a system designed for it. But a system that unites all roleplayers under one banner, like AD&D in the days of old, is by far gone. It is no longer possible for a GM to use the same system for a catharisis oriented group and a combat based group.

ARPLE is an attempt at creating an engine which can be used by all roleplayers of whatever level or experience and style of play, rowing against the increasing trend towards specialised games for specialised gamers. New players will find ARPLE easy to grasp and quickly grow comfortable with it's simple structure, more experienced campaginers will find themselves attracted to ARPLE's simplicity and effectiveness. Combat-loving roleplayers will find the ARPLE an engine which encourages fast, furious and exciting combat without the pitfalls of quick combat (ie. low character life-spans), and roleplaying intensive gamers will find ARPLE unobtrusive and the perfect base to build both intricate characters and dramatic games upon.

ARPLE is not, however, a revolution in roleplaying games. Rather, it is a return to the basics, to the good old days, when a gamers was a gamer and a roleplaying game was something a bunch of gamers could sit around on Friday evenings and game. But ARPLE is not for the veterans, ARPLE is about the newcommers too, about the 3rd generation of roleplayers, imported into roleplaying from cardgames and computer games and looking about for a system less demanding than Call of Cuthulul, less clutered than Vampire and, most importantly, easier and more welcomming than that rotting carcass AD&D .

ARPLE is about breaking the barrier that has been built up in this hobby, where Collectable Card Games and Powergamer are dirty words. ARPLE is an attack on the hobby which rejects it's very life-giving source; the newbies and kids who are still suffering creativity withdrawal from the games they've grown up with. It's an attempt to redress this flaw. It is something for these newcommers to our hobby to grab onto, and to use while they are developing those skills that we veterans assume intrinsic in every poor kid that ever buys a roleplaying game.

ARPLE is a simple system above all. For diversity and fun, I've allowed for the use of d6, d8, and d10's but have kept the later two only as speciality die, using a d6 system tosimulate most dice rolls in the game. If roleplaying is wanted, the devices are there for both GM and player, if realism and details are required, more complex, optional rules are available. If the players want dramatic combat, the engine employed allows for mighty blows and heroic duels and, what's more, aids the DM in creating colourfull descriptions of each round of battle. If they simply prefer to use ARPLE as an all-out combat-fest, well, that's quite easily accoplished too, after all the basic system is adapted from a game designed for just this purpouse.

My final message is; for once there is a game in which every style and taste is is possible, the only limit is the GMs imagination and drive. I'll leave detailed rules on everything down to how to tie your laces to Steave Jackson. I'm content to provide this system as an alternative to buying Mr. Jackson's beutifully designed and written books for those gamers who'd just like something to do on Friday nights.

Altin Gavranovic (Designer and Editor of ARPLE)


Contents


1.0 Chapter 1; character creation
1.1 Attribtues
1.2 Traits
1.3 Skills
2.0 Chapter 2; combat
3.0 Chapter 3; equipement
3.1 Weapons
3.2 Armour
3.3 Ammunition

Chapter 1; Character creation

"And what's YOUR name" Archmage Moris

Each player is assigned 50 generation points to spend on his character. This amount reflects the character's natural abilities, talents and training during his life before the adventure. These points may be spent on his attributes, skills or traits. The way these points are spent dictates which direction the character is taken in. The cap (maximum amount obtainable) on attributes is 10 and the cap on skills is 5. Traits each have a separate point cost indicated in brackets next to their description.

Attributes;

Attributes are plain and simple the character's raw talent. Attributes may be tested on a 2D6 if a skill roll is not appropriate to the situation, however, attributes are generally more used to dictate which area's the character can devote himself to and shouldn't be the ultimate indicator of a character's abilities. Each atribute has a minimum of 1 and even this is an extremely poor score, a score of 5 is the averege and the score of 8 is about as high as 99 % of the population gets.

Strength - How physically tough the character is. How much muscle the character sports but also how well built he is and how much his body can take. Also reflects his health, his natural resistance to diseases and other harmfull elements. In addition, one's health points are equivalent to strength x 2 + 5 on first level and increase by half the strength per level. Low scores in this attrivute produce frail, sickly character, it is recommended that the strenght of a character should not be below 3.

Intelligence - How quickly the character catches on. How bright he is. Reflects both the characters IQ and his world experience. Inteligence is in many ways how much your character knows about the enviroment he is in and, less so, how quickly he adapts to changes in this enviroment. because of it's reliance on actual experience, intelligence is proportional to age and often increases with age. It is unlikely that a young character (18- 25 in human years) will have an inteligence of more than, say, 7 (this is just a recomendation, not a rule of any kind, if both the player and GM argee to lift this barrier; a 18 year old character can have an Int of 10 by virtue of simply being gifted).

Dexterity - How good your character is with his hands, how nimble and agile he is. How quickly he can dodge, how good he is at doing card tricks, making things and how well he picks locks. Also helps with medical skills and missile weapons in game terms. Also indicates, to a degree, how well the character keeps in shape and how much he is in synch with his own body.

Charisma - How good your character is in social situations. How well he sweet-talks, seduces and lies is all dictated by this attribute. This reflects both his natural good looks and his actual ‘people skills'. If the character enrters a society in which views on what is ‘good looking' are different to his own, the GM must decide weather his Charisma suffers a penalty because of this (this should never be more than 3 as Charisma is much more oriented towards behaviour than looks).

Composure - How cool the character is under fire, how easy it is for him to remain in control under stressfull situations and who well he deals with the un-natural and unexpected. Characters with a low composure may panic in the dark or even faint at the sight of blood, whereas a high composure means the the character is unfrazzled by even the most astounding events and displays. In game terms, a character with high composure is less likely to be affected by stressfull circumstances and will ignore such modfiers to skill and combat rolls.

Traits (point cost in brackets);

Traits (point cost in brackets);

"That's a neat trick" - famous last words, unattributed

Frenzy(3); The character can work himself into a frenzied state, during which he becomes like an animal and much fiercer and stronger than he usually is. However, he loses the ability to communicate and becomes reckless, losing some of his defensive skill. This is reelected by the fighter gaining one additional attack die, getting an extra +1 to damage, but loosing an defence die and all dexterity bonuses. The frenzy lasts for 1d6 battle turns and subsides as soon as the battle is over.

Dirty fighting(5); The character automatically wins any stalemates in combat (when both attackers have cancelled each other's attack dice) and he may, if he wins a combat, instead of causing damage in close combat, choose to incapitate his opponent for 1d6 rounds.

Body Building(2); The character can, through the means of a disgusting diet or eggs, raw meats and cereals, and 4 hours of exercise a day, develop even further his bulging muscles and so increase his strength by 1 and health by 4. However, this is very costly and means that the fighter must set away 10 % of his income (automatically subtracted) to maintain this lifestyle. If he chooses not to do so for more than a week of game-time, the benefits disappear.

Specialisation(2); By exclusively training with one type of weapon he has a skill of 3 or above in, the character can improve his fighting with this weapon, at the cost of his other skills. While using the weapon previously assigned with this skill, the warrior may roll an additional attack and defence die, as well as improving his effective skill in the weapon by 2 while he remains specialised. However, because he neglects his other skills, they all count as being one lower than their actual value.

Martial Artist(5); The character is trained to use his body as a weapon, when unarmed he makes up for his weak dammage with a flurry of blows that stuns the opponent. When engaging in unarmed combat the character may roll a d4 of dammage for each attack dice that comes up as an attack(including those negated by succefull parry's), even if only one actualy passes through the deffences. In addition, the character may stun his opponent by this onslught sufficiently that the opponent may not directly attack him (although he may still use his normal defence dice). Leather armour has an armour value 2 and studded leather one of 3 when absorbing the blows of a martial artist.

Die hard(5); By severe mental conditioning and hypnosis lessons, as well as one hell of a workout, the character has developed superhuman qualities. When ordinary men would fall and die, the character stands, despite his wounds, and fights on. When the fighter is reduced to 0 hp, you may attempt a constitution check. If it is failed, the fighter falls down as normal, however, if it succeeds the warrior keeps fighting as if still on 1 hp, with his attack dice reduced by 1. Every following round, and every time his HP is further reduced, he must again make a str check, or fall. After the first check, every following check is modified negatively by the number of checks already passed. In addition, attack dice are taken down by one after every check until there are none left.

Pick weakness(4); Through years and years of training the character has picked up many a thing about fighting, including the weaknesses of specific opponents. A character with this skill can, after he hits but before he does damage, declare that he is attempting to use it to hit his opponent\'92s weak point. He then rolls against his intelligence + his skill with the weapon + his level on a D20. If he rolls less than the total, he successfully wounds his opponent and does triple the damage. However, if this roll is failed, he completely botches up the job, managing only to cause the smallest of wounds, divide the damage score by 3 and round down.

Tools of the Trade(4); Every character with dex-based non weapon skills carries a basic set of tools to enable him to do what he does best. These may include a lockpick set and a grapeling hook, however this character has over the years amassed quite a hoard of equipment to aid in almost any situation. Every time he attempts to use a dex-specific skill, he may look for a tool to enable him to do so more easily. On a d6 roll of 2-5 he finds a useful tool and may add 1 to his skill statistic for this roll, a 1 means he has found the perfect tool and gets +2 to the roll. However, a 6 means that he has picked the wrong tool, or left the right one at home, so he gets a -1 on the roll instead.

Deadly aim(5); The character has trained their aim to such an extent that they can, with inhuman quickness and accuracy, release a dart, dagger or arrow into a vounrable area of an unsuspecting target, thereby killing in a single blow. This is reflected by the character's ability to, in the first round of combat, before action has taken place, to fire of a shot at the nearest enemy (even if they are in hand to hand with them) at +2 to hit and +4 to wound.In addition if a thief is undisturbed, he may elect to aim at an enemy, thereby getting a better shot. For every round he spends aiming, his to-hit increases by 1 and the damage done by 2. However, if he is hit, or affected by a negative spell, the thief's concentration is broken and he looses any bonus he may have accumulated.

Backstab(3); This character is often forced to deal with vastly superior combatants in the course of his adventures. The only advantage he has on these opponents is surprise. This character has been trained in a surprise attack known as the blackjack or backstab. The attack is made either with a dagger, which is thrust into an weak area and, if a dex roll is successful, automatically hits for 3 times the normal damage, penetrating armour. If this move is performed with a sap or small club, the opponent can be knocked out for 1d8 rounds if smaller than character, 1d6 if same size as him and 1d4 round if larger. Note that this has it's restrictions. One can't very well blackjack a slime or a fire elemental, generally this attack works best of the opponents are humanoid.

Lighting Fast(3); All characters know how to steal, smart characters know how to run when discovered. However, a few have trained this aspect of their skills to such an extent that they can perform incredible feats with their feet. This allows them to, in combat, ignore the fact that the space they are going through is filled with combatant, as they zip around them, and allows for such fantastic stunts as running up walls.

Well informed(5); The character is often employed as the messenger, or retriever, of very important information, and their versatility puts them in the know in many fields. While generally unknowledgable of scholarly facts, this thief will usually be able to tell his companion of latest happenings, as well as rumours on various exploits, events and dungeons. The DM will make a private roll. On a 1-9 the thief has actually summoned up an accurate piece of information, on a 10 the information is completely contradictory to the case. This will not be made to obvious, the idea is that the adventurers at the last minute figure out that the gorgon is in fact, immune to flames and that there is no plan B.

The Go-to guy(3); This works in a similar way to well informed, but with items. The character has connections with the black market or is good friends with the local fence, hence he is able to get his hands on the most rare pieces of equipment, at a cost, of course. Need a book of demonology? Or perhaps blueprints to the lord's castle? Are deadly and illegal poisons your style? This is the guy that you see. The DM always has the final call as to weather the goods are obtainable and at what cost. The later should always be substantial as to prevent the adventurers from using this services more than a couple of times on an adventure. Once again, the DM should make a secret roll, if the score is a 10 the item is a dud or fake and will prove useless when the players try to apply it.

Faerie blood(5); The character has some faerie blood and is hence more attuned to the spiritual and supernatural forces around him. The character may detect supernatural creatures or acts in the vicinity on a 8 from a d8. He also has a limited magical resistance and is sometimes able to detect the emotions of NPCs. In many ways this is also an extension of the intuition stat. The player should be aware that the character will usually keep this trait as secret as possible in fear of prosecution.

Infra vision(2); The ability to detect heat in the absence of light. This ability is optical, so the character's vision must not be otherwise obstructed for this to work.

Superhuman resistance (variable); the character has either genetically inherited, or gained through exposure to, a resistance to a certain harmful effect. Depending on the effect that this trait is directed at, this trait may cost the character anything from 1 to 5 points. If the resistance is something as trivial as resistance to infection the trait may only cost 1 or 2 points, but if the resistance is to a common dangerous element (ie, magic or fire) this trait would cost more. The final cost is always the GM's call.

mutation Mutation (variable); The GM may choose to exclude this trait if he so desires. The character has a physical mutation of some description. This may include claws, think skin, wings, exaggerated sense organs or extra limbs. Be aware that the more useful a mutation is, the more feared and obvious it's recipient will look (and the trait will cost bucket loads as well!). A character with a mutation is liable to cause negative NPC reactions and to be targeted by authorities or cult-like organisations.

Magically gifted (10); This trait is required for a spellcaster, one cannot cast spells without it. The character with this trait has the natural talent to channel mana and can therefore use magic. In addition, the character may be able to identify magical items and read magical writing because of this trait. Magic use is described later.







Skills ;

"look ma, no hands" Cletus

Skills are, obviously enough, activities that the character has trained in. The level of expertise in a skill can range through unskilled (0) to elite (5). A character advances in any one skill by spending one (or two) generation points on raising his expertise level in that skill. The actual levels of skill expertise are as follows;
0 - unskilled,
1 - novice,
2 - competent,
3 - skilled,
4 - expert
5 - elite

following is a brief list of skills suggested as fairly relevant to a fantasy adventure campaign but if the GM desires, more skills may be made available. More mundane skills have been left out in an effort to make the basic rules more accessible. Please feel free to invent your own skills or borrow them from other systems if you find this system lacking in a major department.

Skill name Cost @ Attribute *** Description
Sword* 2 Dex Being able to fight with a sword
Axe* 2 Str Being able to fight with a axe
Mace/Club* 2 Str Being able to fight with Mace/club
Dagger* 1 Dex Being able to fight with a dagger
Unarmed Combat** 1 Dex Being able to use your fists and feet as weapons
Polearm* 2 Str Being able to fight with a polearm
Shield 1 NA Knowing how to effectively defend oneself with a shield
Herbalism 2 Int Knowing one's way about plants and their effects. May be used in making healing/poisoning concoctions
Architecture 1 Int Knowledge of buildings & underground structures and their properties
History 1 Int Knowledge of history, local, modern and ancient. The higher this skill, the more topics are covered
Reading/Writing 1 Int Self explanatory. The higher this, the more languages is encompasses
Artistic Ability 1 Variable Acting, Dancing, Musical instrument and Painting are all possibilities
Seamanship 1 Str how well the character fares on a ship & with sea based activities, includes swimming
Blacksmithing 2 Str Not only the knowledge of how to make and fix weapons and armour but also the ability to identify legendary items & works of exceptional craftsmanship.
Etiquette 1 Cha How well a character handles himself in upper class politics.
Rope use 1 Dex The ability to climb, make and tie rope
Stealth 1 Dex The ability to move silently and hide successfully
Lock-picking 2 Dex The ability to pick locks
Trapping 2 Dex The ability to make, detect and disarm indoor and outdoor traps
Haggling 1 Cha The skill of bringing the price down in stores
Blend-in 1 Cha The ability to fit into or infiltrate a social/racial/religious group undetected
Bow 1 Dex Being able to load, aim and fire a bow
Crossbow 2 Dex Being able to load, aim and fire a crossbow
Tinkering 1 Int The ability to repair and identify things of a mechanic or scientific nature
Throwing 1 Str The skill of throwing projectiles, needed to use throwing weapons & otherwise affects the force,distance & speed of a regular throw
Climb 1 Dex The ability to scale steep surfaces

Key

* = Each skill level after the 2nd adds 1 of both attack and defence dice for that weapon

** = As above but EACH level adds 1 attack die and an additional 1 D die is recieved on skill level 3 and 5. (base value for unarmed combat is 1 A die, 1 D die and 1d4 dammage)

*** = the attribute column signifies weather any exceptional attribute (ie. 9+) may be used to add 1 die to the skill roll.

@ = Cost in character generation points per skill level

Skill tests:

First the GM must set a difficulty of the task, from 1 to 6 and, in the case of a very difficult task, defined as completely unacomplishable by a character with no skill knowledge (the GM should note completely is used as a very strict term; the action should only demand more than 1 success on a roll if a unskilled character would have NO chance of success), he must also determine how many successes are needed for the attempt to succed. Then the player rolls a d6 plus a d6 for every level of a relevant skill he has. If he succeds in exceding or matching the difficulty level the required number of times, he has succesfully completed the task. In addition, if the character has no actual skill in what she's attempting a 1 is always a failure (otherwise a difficulty of 1 is never rolled)

OPTIONAL RULE: 1's always fail. If only 1 dice is rolled or if all dice rolled are 1; he must make another roll, if this is also a 1, he fails the action with critical results. Critical results are a Bad Thing.

As it may be quite difficult to determine what difficulty roll is appropriate in any given situation, I have reproduced this table. The first number in the brackets is the percentile chance with 1 die, the second is for 2 dice and the third is the chance with 3 dice (appologies to the anonymous creator, I forget whom I got this idea from I just had it on a word file from someone);

Simple (100)(100)(100) Everything is going the character's way. He has the right equipment to perform the task, there are no distractions, the weather is right, he got laid last night, etc. This level should be assigned when the task can almost perform itself. No roll is usualy required, this is simply a hypothetical difficulty.

Routine (83)(97)(99) The situation is optimal. The character has all the right equipment, there are limited distractions, the weather isn't bad, etc. This level is assigned when things are what the character is used to. Difficulty of 2.

Light (66)(89)(96) The situation a little less than optimal. The character has all the right equipment but there are some minor distractions, or the weather isn't quite perfect, or the lighting is off, etc. This level should be assigned when things are not quite going the characters way. Difficulty of 3.

Medium (50)(75)(88)The situation is not as good as it could be. The character has all the right tools, but there are some minor problems. The lighting is getting bad, or one of the tools breaks, etc. This level should be assigned when things are not going the character's way, but things are not quite bad enough to say things are against the character. Difficulty of 4

Hard (33)(45)(70) Things are going against the character. The character is missing a tool, there may be a major distraction, or it's raining, or it's dark, or the sun is in his eyes. This level should be assigned when things are beginning to line up against the character. Things are not as bad as they could be, but getting there. Difficulty of 5

Very Hard (17)(30)(58) The situation is pretty bad. The character has very few tools, there are some major distractions, its raining, and dark, and the sun is in his eyes. This level should be assigned when things are stacked against the character. Difficulty of 6; this is the point beyond which an unskilled character is powerless.

Extremely Hard (-)(3)(7) The situation is screwed. The character is injured; he's lost his tools, its raining, dark, and cold. This level should be assigned when things are screwed and the character is in a lose-lose situation. The Difficulty is 6 x 2, meaning the character needs 2 sixes to suceed. Fewer sixes may result in a partial success if you're feeling generous.

Sheer Folly(-)(-)(1) Any attempt to complete the task is sheer folly. The character is injured, only has a pocketknife, and is up the creek without a paddle. This level should be assigned when there is only a chance of the task being completed. The Difficulty is 6 x 3, meaning the character needs 3 sixes to suceed. Fewer sixes may result in a partial success if you're feeling generous.

Absurd(-)(-)(-) Any attempt to complete the task is absurd. The character is trying to do something that is just inside the realm of probability (i.e. splitting another man's arrow, performing feats that depict preposterous skill, etc.) This level should be assigned when there is only a slim chance of the task being completed. The Difficulty is 6 x4, meaning the character needs 4 sixes to suceed. Fewer sixes may result in a partial success if you're feeling generous.

Chapter 2: Combat


combat

"You lookin' at me?" Paco the Bloodthirsty

Combat (hand to hand)

Definition:

Hand to hand combat is initiated when two combatants are next to each other and one of them has decided to attack the other with a close combat weapon (or his bare hands for that matter).

To hit:

To hit an opponent the attacker rolls the number of Attack dice specified on his char sheet (or as designated by the GM in the case of mosters & NPCS). Then the defender rolls his defence dice. These are d6's and are interpreted as follows.

1-2 fumble

3-4 defensive manoeuvre

5-6 offensive manoeuvre

Each side subtracts the oppoentent's defensive dice their own offensive dice and any side with attack dice left over manages to score a hit. Obviously, the more attack dice get through the defence, the greater the dammage caused by the blow(see optional rule). Readers will note that this mean that the attacker has just as much chance of hitting the deffender as vice versa, which on the surface is somewhat ludecrous. But one must consider that combat is a series of quick back & forth swings and thrusts (and that, in fact, the system employed in ARPLE simply stimulates the idea that combatants would launch offensives and defend themselves while they catch a breath in quick succesion), rather than a "I'll hit you, then you hit me" affair. The idea of attack and deffence dice is to stimulate the fact that some weapons are more suited to defensive application and hence allow one to use appropriately higher numbers of dice when used to the pupouse they were designed for.

To Wound:

Once the weapon has successfully struck, we need to decide how much, if any, damage it deals. This is done by a simply rolling the weapon damage die (designated by the weapon used), adding any relevant bonuses and subtracting the armour value of the creature or player.

OPTIONAL RULE; The dammage before modifiers are applied may be multiplied by the number of attack dice that got past the opponent's guard to stimulate realistic combat. Note: realistic combat negatively influences PC lifespans.

Combat (missile weapons)

description:

A missile attack may be initiated when a combatant with a loaded missile weapon (or throwing weapon) declares a attack on an opponent. If a missile weapon is not loaded, the character may first spend a combat turn loading it before he can shoot. NOTE: all wielded weapons are presumed loaded at the start of a battle but once shot must be reloaded.

To hit:

to hit an opponent with a missile weapon the attacker must make a d6 roll. He must roll 6 or above to hit. To this should be added any archery skill possessed by the shooter. However, if the shot is difficult for reasons which may include (but are not limited to); small target, cover, shooter in HtH combat. So, a archer with a skill of 3 would only have to roll 3 or above to hit. However, if his target is small, this would go up to 4 or above. A 1 is always a miss.

To wound:

Wounding with a missile is similar to do doing so with a hand to hand weapons but armour may be ignored in certain cases or the armour is ring mail.

OPTIONAL RULE: Use a d10 to determine hit location when hitting; (this is for humanoids, obviously different creatures would have different hit location lists, be inventive)
1- head
2- left arm
3- right arm
4 & 5 - left leg
6 & 7 - right leg
8,9,10-torso
Dammage in the head is doubled and hitting arms causes the target to drop anything carried in them. Hitting legs reduces the opponent's movement capabilities. While this system reflects a more realistic system, it is more timeconsuming. I don't recommend this system in close combat as that system is already quite descriptive and making another roll would only slow it down and take away the element of action.

 

Chapter 3; Equipment

"What's this one do?" - Cletus

Weapons;

Weapons are the tools your characters wield when push comes to shove. Weapons are measured in terms of how usefull they are in various aspects of combat and how much dammage they do. Generaly speaking, the bigger the weapon,the hgiher the dammage, but big weapons take skill to wield properly.

Name Skill A dice D dice Damage Cost Special
Dagger,throwing Dagger.1 Throwing.1 1 1 1d6 10 P Thrown weapon
Dagger, combat Dagger.1 2 2 1d6 15 P  
Dagger, light Dagger.1 2(3 if 2 are used) 1 1d4 12 P Double damage if no armour, May wield one in each hand
Short Sword Sword.1 2 2 1d6+1 20 P  
Long Sword Sword.2 3 3 1d8 50 P  
Great Sword Sword.3 4 2 1d10 80 P Two-handed
Throwing Axe Axe.1 Throwing.2 2 1 1d8 20 P Thrown Weapon
Battle Axe Axe.2 4 2 1d8 40 P  
Great Axe Axe.3 4 2 2d6 90 P Two-handed
Throwing Club C/M.1 Throwing.1 1 2 1d6-1 5 P Thrown Weapon
Club C/M.1 2 2 1d6 10 P  
Footman's mace C/M.1 3 2 1d6 40 P Ignores armour
Horseman's mace C/M.2 3(4 on horse) 2 1d8 60 P Ignores armour
Flail (aka morning star) C/M.3 4 1 1d10 80 P Ignores armour
Quarterstaff Polearm.1 2 4 1d6 10 P Two-handed
Spear, Combat Polearm.2 2 4 1d8 40 P Two-handed
Spear, Throwing Polearm.1 Throwing.2 2 3 1d8 30 P Thrown weapon
Halberd Polearm.3 3 4 1d10 90 P Two-handed
Bow,Long Bow.2 - - as ammo +2 90 P Needs ammunition
Bow, Short Bow.1 - - as ammo 50 P Needs ammunition
Crossbow Crossbow.2 - - as ammo +2 150 P Needs ammunition, ignores armour
Hand Crossbow Crossbow.2 - - ammo 130 P As Crossbow

Key;

Name - the name of the weapon

Skill.X - the skill required for the use of this weapon and the level needed in this skill to effectively use it.

A dice - the amount of dice rolled when attacking with this weapon

D dice - the amount of dice rolled when defending with this weapon

Damage - how much damage the weapon does

Cost - Approx. Price of an average specimen of this weapon

Special - any other neat stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else

Armour

"Your puny swords can't hurt me!" - more unattributed fameous last words

Armour only comes into play once the opponent has landed a successful blow against it's wearer. While most armour only lessens the damage slightly, metal armours can be quite effective and the points that are taken off the blow may be the difference between life and death. Be aware that armour with a rating beyond 3 negates all Dex bonuses and renders certain skills more difficult. This list also includes shields, which may be worn in addition to any other armour and either increases armour rating or adds a number of defence dice to the roll.

Name Armour Rating Movement Penalty Cost Special
Leather armour 1 0 50 P  
Studded leather armour 2 0 70 P may be spiked for an extra 20 P, so the character may bearhug for 1d4 damage
Scale mail 3 -2 100 P  
Brigandine (Gnome) mail 3 0 140 P  
Chain mail 4 -1 150 P  
Ring Mail 4 -1 120 P ignored by missiles & daggers
Banded Mail 5 -2 200 P  
Splint Mail 6 -3 300 P  
Plate Mail 7 -4 400 P  
Plate Armour 8 -5 500 P -1 attack dice
Buckler 1 or 1 D dice 0 50 P  
Medium shield 2 or 1 D dice -1 100 P  
Body shield 3 or 2 D dice -2 150 P  

Key;

Name; The name of the armour

Armour rating; How effective the armour is, this is also the number of points the armour detracts from a damage blow.

Movement penalty; what kind of modifier the armour applies to skill rolls requiring flexibility, speed, movement and inconspicuousness.

Cost; how much the armour costs

Special; extra stuff

Ammunition

Things you put into bows and crossbows; arrows and bolts respectively. No ammunition, no overwhelming firepower, so stock up.

Name Type Damage Special
Arrow, regular B 1d8  
Arrow, Fire B 1d8 +2 If target is flammable there is a 50 % chance of it going up Arrow,
Whistler B 1d8 produces a shrill signal as it travels Arrow,
Barbed B 1d8 causes -1 attack dice penalty until removed at the cost of a further 1d4 damage
Arrow, Hammerhead B 1d8 ignores all armour
Arrow, Sheaf B 1d10 -1 to hit because of extra weight
Quarrel, regular C 1d10  
Quarrel, hollow C 1d10 armour subtracts double dammage, may be poisoned
Quarrel, exploding C 1d12 Stuns target and any adjacent character for 1 turn
Quarrel, man stopper C 1d10 the force of this quarrel projects the target to the ground or ‘nails' the target to a solid surface behind him
Quarrel, Silent C 1d8 this quarrel produces no noise when fired
Quarrel, hawkeye C 1d8 +1 to hit

Key;

Name; Name of bolt/arrow

Type; weather it goes into a bow(B) or crossbow (C)

Damage; the damage the gizmo does

vSpecial ; any extra effects

Other equipment is touch and go for the moment, no set rules. Please feel free to e-mail me equipment lists you feel are usefull and relevant to a fantasy game.

Chapter 4; Magic

"It's simple, just watch me." Baltyr the invisible

The theory of reality

Magic is, to put it simply, an alteration of reality. Imagine reality as a thread. Making up this thread are strands of probabilities, a mix of a ridiculously high number of probabilities intertwining at that moment in time to make what we know as reality. But for every possibility that makes up reality; uncountable posibilities exist that are left out of the thread. For example; If you recieved a letter from you aunt this morning, there is an infinate number of posibilities that your letter got stolen, lost, eaten by a dog, never got written, ect. Considering all these strands of posibility it's a wonder you get any mail at all. However, strands of probability become more distant from the reality thread as their effects become less and less probable. For example, the probability of your letter ariving is much greater than that of it spontaniously combusting in a puff of pink smoke, hence most letters arrive safely to their intended destinations rather than being lost in grisly combustion.

Those character who are magicaly inclined have the ability to access these free-floating streams of probability and weave them into the reality thread. For example, the ability to levitate is simply the probability that your body wights less than the air around you woven into the strand. Now, naturaly, reality doesen't take to this very kindly and hence most magical effects are of a fairly short duration and last only as long as the magic user can keep reality from righting the offending probability. The skill of the spellcaster increases both the duration of his alteration of reality and the level to which he can alter it. More experienced weavers (magic users) can see and manipulate strands faraway removed from reality, creating effects that could otherwise never weave themselves into the reality thread.

Naturaly, it is very difficult to rear the probabilities into the reality thread and success is by no means certain. In addition, the reality thread is a farily fragile construct, with each tap into the probability continium (as it is known amongst scollars) the spellcaster upsets the delicate balance of the thread in his time and space viscinitiy. This inbalance not only makes it harder to weave additional probability strands into the thread but also means that the reality thread may, momentarily, snap. When the reality thread snaps, bad things happen.

To reflect all this, the following rules apply when using magic(or weaving);

The character names the effect she is trying to produce, then rolls a d6, adding her skill in the relevant school of magic and any mana she wished to put into the weave(schools and mana are explained below). The GM rolls another d6, adding from 1 to 3 depending on the severety of the effect being produced and further adding the number of attempts to affect the realty thread in this timespan/location(24 hours and 1 km, respectively). The GM's roll is then subtracted from the player's roll. If the result is positive, reality has been altered succesfull, if 0 or negative, the attempt has failed. In addition, if the result is lower than -5 (ie. -6 or beyond) the reality thread breaks, with spectacular effects. Spectacular effects are a Bad Thing.

NOTE: beggining characters may only incur effects with the severety level of 1, if the severety level is greater, the probability strand is out of the character's sphere of influence. In addition, the greated the severity level, the greater the modifier to further spell use. (ie. A spell of severety 3 would be equivelant to 3 severety level 1 spells in terms of the bonus applied to the GM's die when testing magic success)

OPTIONAL RULE: The penalty for extensive magic use in one area/timespan applies to ALL mages in the area, not only the weaver who has been weaving in that timespan/location. This, of course, limits magic users somewhat, especialy when they are matched against each other. For more powerfull magic-users, this limitation may be constrained to only the weaver himself. This optional rule may only be played at the GMs express permission.

Houses of Magic

There are 3 main schools of magic, each with a minor and major house. These six houses form the basis of all magic use. In addition, when she has picked the magicaly gifted trait, the magic user must divide 5 points amongst the three minor houses and mana. A point in that house means it can be used by the user, if the weaver attempts an action outside the houses he knows, his action is an immediate fail. The more points are put into a house, the greater the chance of success, and hence the greater the bonus on his die roll. Manna represents the character's general command of reality. The actual manna is twice that of the points placed into it and may be used to modify a weave that is failing. For each manna used, the weaver may add 1 to his roll of success on any roll, or force a roll on an otherwise automatic failure. Manna is topped up after a night of peacefull meditation and sleep.

Minor houses

Minor house of passive probability Passive probability is essentialy the magic of manipulating or adding to probability strands present in the reality thread. This is by far the most inconspicious of magics but also severely limiting. It is a house taught to many appprentice mages. The essential effects of this magic are the manipulation of present probability strands, enlaging or reducing their effects. For example, a mage facing a armoured opponent on a sunny day could manipulate the strand of probability that dictates that the knight's armour will heat up due to the sun, accelerating the process which would take hours, into minutes. Simmilarly, a wizard falling through the jungle, could substantialy increase the probability of landing safely or snagging on a branch and breaking his fall. It should be noted that there is a slight lag involved in the use of passive probability because of the nature of the effects involved.

Minor house of agressive probability agressive probability opperates on introducing new strands of probability into reality thread and weaving other strands out of it. This school of magic is much more viotile and short-term than the other two types of magic. It includes mostly ‘traditional' spell casting effect, magicaly induced sleep, magical missiles fired from the casters hands, flight, ect. It should be noted that agressive probability does not allow for extended long term effects and so objects and longer lasting effects that are created by it's use are likely to become extremely volitile.

Minor house of creative probability creative probability is the toughest house to use and also the most diffiuclt to describe. Creative probability, rather than weaving strands into the reality thread, manipulates the thread itself (a very difficult and dangerous enterprise), in order to create the desired effects. The power of this house is to alter the continium itself to move the thread into a different location (well, metaphoricaly, what is actualy being done is the mass manipulation of probabilities) and thereby alter the probabilites that opperate within it. What is actualy being done is most simmilar to deconsrtucting the thread, ceasing existence as such for an infinitely small time, then reweaving the thread from nearby possibilities (I did say it was dangerous). The effect of this is that the magic of this house can alter multiple proabilities and, in fact, achieve relatively stable effects. Naturaly, the reality thead will reallign itself over time so the stability of this house, in it's minor form, expires in a single day or so.

Major Houses

Major house of passive probability This house in it's major form is the magic of creation. The reality thread will very rarely reject passive magic of the major house and so this is the magic used to aid construction, agriculture and regeneration. The passive nature of the school still makes it's effects somewhat limited and slow to take effect, although greater feats are accomplishable with the major house. The scale and therefore usefullness of the effects in increased manyfold.

Major house of agressive probability The major house of agressive probability benefits from being able to reach the most distant and unlikely probability strands and being able to momentarily exclude even the most basic probabilities from the reality thread for short whiles. While the major house does not benefit from increased duration, the effects brought about by this house are some of the most awesome known to magicians. Magic-users in this house are widely respected and feared.

Major house of creative probability The major house of creative probability expands on the already formidable powers of the minor house by allowing a much greater permenency of effects to the wizard, as well as a greater range of effects (under this house effects can be permementent up to a month). However, the major house of creative probability also allows a great power to it's few user; the ability to manipulate PAST strands. As such, the wizard can transport his mind back along the strand for a day or so, and alter any major strand he wishes too. This is the only way dead characters can be brough back to life, powerfull artefacts unbroken, ect. Naturaly, there are very few magicians with knowledge of this house.

Chapter 5; Character Advancement

"Damn kids, think they know everything." Bitur the instructor

As characters adventure, they are naturaly going to grow more powerfull and experienced, allowing them to take on even greater challanges. In addition to preparing them for future adventures, character bonuses give the player the sense of ‘growing up' with his character and makes his bond to the character stronger.

However, as a GM, be wary of assiging too many bonuses too quickly, this takes all the fun out of getting bonuses as the players begin to expect them and they become mundane. Character advances should be a treasured thing. A good rule of thumb is to award one advance (or advance roll, whatever applies) per 3-4 sessions of gaming (operating under the assumption that most sessions take about 3 hours) and to award a few advances to each player after the completion of an adventure or campagin quest. This is a fairly ‘stingy' system and may clash with the game-time scedules below, so feel free to adapt it to your own style. Also be aware of the fact that, unlike in many other games, ARPLE characters are fairly beefy characters to begin with and the advances simply make them more versitile and aid in the roleplaying experience.

Characters may advance in any of the areas they initialy spent character generation points on, in this section we will outline how each category may be treated for advancement.

Skills

Skills are either taught by an instructor or picked up by the character in his spare time. The character may elect one or more skills to train himself in when not actively adventuring. He may either learn new skills, or improve his lv 1 skills by one level. For levels 3 or greater, the character must seek out an instructor. At the end of a week of gametime, the character may make a roll to see if he has successfully advanced in this area. He rolls a D6, needing 4 or more to succed, with the following modifiers applying to his roll;
CircumstanceModifier
Being on 3/4 or less of total health *-1
Being on ½ or less of total health *-2
Another character in group being 4+ in that skill+1 per character
Peviouly failed attempts at same skill level+1 per roll
Other skills being studied at the same time-2 per skill
Level of skill begin learned-1 per level
Character has 8+ in base attribute of skill +1
Character has intelgence of 3 or less-1
*only one may apply

When the character wishes to use a trainer to advance his skills, he much first find a trainer that he can learn from and afford, and then make a simmilar roll, with all the modifers that apply above. The character can only learn from an instructor if her level of expertise is greater than his. Naturaly, trainers who can teach the 5th level of any skill are rare, hard to find and expensive.
Instructor level Availability * Expense Modifier on roll
1 100 50 P +1
2 1000 100 P +2
3 10000 200 P +3
4 20000 500 P +4
5 100000 1000 P +5
*trainer per people, generaly a city has to be of this size or greater to contain this level of trainer

Weaver training

A slightly different set of rules applies to the training of magic and it's use. First of all, all minor schools are self-taught, the player advances in them in exactyl the same way as normal skills, except he may boost them to their total (5) by himself, however, he still has to apply a -1 modifier per level attained (eg. -3 for learning 3rd level). Major schools have to be taught at magic universities (instructors are 4th level on above table) or simmilar institutions, can only reach a maximum 3rd level. In addition, to reach the final level of major houses, the weaver must seek out a lv 5 instructor weaver and apprentice himself to him.

Attributes

Attributes, as reflections of the player's natural ability, should generaly remain fairly static. However, there is some small room for imporvement in this category, as well as a need to be able to regain lost attribute points. First of all; the character may advance an atribute with a month of intensive training (generaly this option should only be available at breaks in the campagins, during which long periods of time pass). This may only be done once per attribute (does not apply to recovery rules, outlined below) and may never increase the attribute beyond 8, even if the initial attribute was above 8.

This advance is automatic, after all, there is no chance of *not* becoming stronger after a month of solid exercise and weight-training. However, if the process is stopped, no gain is registered.

Recovery

As above, but the character may train until his skill level hit's it's previous total, or 8 (depending of which is the lower score). In addition, because of the traumatic experience that recovery can be, the character may need to test against his composure to see if the recovery is succesfull.

Inteligence

Inteligence is an attribute that refelcts experience and so naturaly will increase throughout the adventure. Inteligence cannot be trained but, after particularily eye-opening experiences, the characters may be granted an additional point of inteligence if the GM decides it appropriate. As a rough rule; after completing a whole campagin (or at least, a major quest in a campagin), the characters that have matured or changed because of their experiences, or had to go though a difficult or traumatic experience should be rewarded with a point of inteligence to reflect this. Ie. A group that if forced to kill a freind NPC to end a warewolf curse as part of the adventure, has really deserved a point of inteligence.

Traits

Traits cannot be taught or instructed. If, during the adventure, the character has cause to develop/discover a trait, he automaticaly adds that trait to his collection. Or a character may, through the adventure, succesfully perform actions that generaly require that trait, thereby being awarded that trait as part of the reward for finishing the adventure. Ie. A character may, during the course of the adventure, discover he has superhuman resistance to heat (by surviving a burning at the stake), and so is immediately awarded to the character as it is used. Or a character may find himself stuck in a rough prison, which might award him the dirty fighting trait if he survives the experience. Note that this type of advancement requires a bit of imagination and forethought on the GMs part, as a GM you should be sure to include opportunities for the players to gain new traits in interesting fasions.

Check back for more soon. Chapter 6; GM's Guide comming soon...