Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Character Generation for Akenia

Character Generation for Akenia
(Here is some other info on the place)

Basic Rules

Determine ability scores
Please choose from one of the following options;

A) Roll 3d6 for each score in the following order; Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence  
Wisdom and Charisma
B) Go ahead and use another method, if that’s what floats your boat.

Ability Score
3 - 5
6 - 8
9 - 12
13 - 15
16 - 18

Choose your Alignment 
There are three basic alignments in Akenia. Light, Neutrality and Dark. It is often assumed that Light is associated with justice and selflessness with Darkness as its opposite, but this is not true. Both are simply varied reflections of the energy that flows throughout the world.

If moving through other worlds, Light and Darkness line up with Law and Chaos in function, if not meaning. Other alignments are possible in Akenia, but do not have any significant, native mechanical effects..

Choose your Class
Akenia is FLAILSNAILS compatible, so nearly any class or sort of character is cool as long as you check with me beforehand. If you want to make a character native to Akenia the following classes are the standard available. All natives PCs on Akenia are human, but with high variance in skin pigmentation and hair color. The people of Calian are known to occasionally have animal like features, such cat ears or fangs.

Fighters are identical to their Labyrinth lord counterparts except for the following
  • Fighters begin play with an attack bonus of +1. which increases by by one each time they level up
  • If the fighter fells an opponent with an attack, they may attempt another attack against a foe within their reach. They may do this an amount of times equal to their level.

Clerics are identical to their Labyrinth Lord counterparts except for the following. Clerics must be of Light or Dark alignment.
  • Clerics begin play with no attack bonus. This increases to +1 at 3rd level, and another +1 at every third level after that.
  • Clerics may use Small and Normal melee weapons, as well as Small Hand Propelled missile weapons.
  • Light Aligned Clerics are able to turn Undead or certain Dark Creatures.
  • Dark Aligned Clerics are usually can attempt to command Undead and certain Dark creatures instead of turning them
Magic Users are identical to their Labyrinth Lord counterparts except for the following
  • Magic users begin play with no attack bonus. This increases to +1 at 4th level, with another +1 at every fourth level after that.
  • Magic users may use Small and Normal Melee weapons, as well Small Hand Propelled weapons.
  • Magic users begin play with four 1st level spells, two chosen by the player and two randomly selected. You may determine these random ones on your own (I trust you) or consult me.
Thieves are identical to either their Labyrinth Lord counterparts save for the following
  • Thieves begin play with no attack bonus. This increases to +1 at 3rd level, and another +1 at every third level after that.
  • Thieves may use Small and Normal melee weapons, as well as either of the small missile weapon types
  • Thieves may wear up to light armor
  • A new thief choose six skills from the below list; Tinker, Find and Remove Traps, Slight of Hand, Stealth, Scale Sheer Surfaces, Awareness, Decipher Script, and Use Magical Device. Each of these skills uses the "Hear Noise" column to determine their chance of success rather then any percentile chance. (Stolen from Jack)
Battle Princess and Murder Princess work as they do here, with the following additional note
  • A Battle or Murder Princess' chosen weapon becomes a combination weapon at 5th level. This means they may choose an additional weapon type for the weapon as long as it does not contradict any requirements of the original type. For example, a Battle Princess could change her Martial weapon into a Martial/Small Mechanical Missile Weapon to make a Gun-Blade, since both can be used one-handed.
Rune Knights are here. They work as noted.

Blue Mages are here, They work as noted, save that they may only use minor melee weapons or small hand propelled missile weapons.

Paladins and Dark Knights use the same fighting ability, saving throws, hit die and experience point table as dwarves. The do not have infravision, or any dwarven searching ability. Instead, the function as below;
  • Paladins may add their charisma bonus to hit and damage when fighting Dark aligned creatures. They are intrinsically aware when they are in the presence of such beings. They may also lay on hands once a day, healing an ally for an amount of HP equal to twice their level with a touch. Paladins must be aligned with Light.
  • Dark Knights step up the damage die once with any weapon they use (d4 - d6 - d8 - d10 - d12 - d14) and are able to Menace another creature once a day. This effect is identical to the Cause Fear spell, though it allows a saving throw for creatures of higher HD then the Dark Knight, All Dark Knights must be aligned with Darkness, if it was not obvious.
Starting Equipment
All characters begin with 3d6 x 10 Gold Pieces.

Type of Armor
AC Bonus
Minimalistic Armor that covers only the most vital points. Costs 15 Gp
Similar to Light Armor, but generally covers a larger portion of the wearer. Alternatively, it may represent thicker armor around specific points. Costs 30 Gp
Thick, durable armor that provides protection for the whole body. Costs 60 Gp
Weighty armor that encases the whole body in a protective shell. Reduces movement of the wearer by half. Costs 500 Gp

Notes: All armor types give a penalty equal to their AC bonus on checks for certain tasks such as moving silently, swimming, climbing etc. Shields cost 10 GP

There are several broad categories of weapons that player characters can wield. The aesthetics and method of imperilment are generally left up the DM, player and individual campaign, but the baseline mechanics are included below. The user's strength modifier is added to all to hit rolls with a Melee weapon unless noted otherwise, whereas their dexterity modifier is added to all missile weapon attacks. All melee weapon damage is modified by its wielder’s strength modifier.

Melee Weapons
Weapon Type
Dagger, Sap, Knuckle Dusters
While minor weapons do very little damage, they are also easy to hide on one's person. Cost 5 Gp
Arming Sword, Mace, Short Spear
A one handed weapon that is common and simple to use. Cost 10 Gp
Rapier, Ton-fa, Fencing Sabre
Quick weapons add a character's Dex modifier to hit instead of their Str. Cost 15 Gp
Longsword, Battleaxe Morning-star, Katana
Martial weapons have an elongated handle, allowing them to be used in one or two hands. Using both hands grants a further +1 bonus to damage. Cost 25 Gp
Two-Handed Sword, Terrible Spiky Axe, Tetsubo
Heavy weapons that require both hands to use. Cost 20 Gp
Ball and Chain, Pole-arm, Long Spear
Long weapons that require both hands to use but allow you to attack from behind cover or another character. Cost 15 Gp
Note: Any weapon can also be a "Dangerous" weapon. This is an add-on that denotes that the instrument has added spikes, blades or other nasty looking modifications for further harm built into it. A Dangerous weapon dices-up the damage (1d6 – 1d8 – 1d10 – 1d12) but also does damage to the wielder on a natural roll of 1 or 2 on a d20, in addition to any critical fumbles rolled by the DM

Missile Weapons
Weapon Type
Hand Propelled (Small)
Throwing Knives, Shuriken, Slings/Stones
Can usually be readied and used in the same round. Cost 5 Gp (x5)
Hand Propelled
Bows, Javelins
Wielder may add Str Modifier to damage done. Cost 20 Gp
Mechanical (Small)
1d6 + 2
Light Crossbows, Pistols
Most mechanical weapons require a round to reload after being fired. These make a bit of noise when used. Cost 25 Gp
1d8 + 2
Rifles, Arbalests
Most mechanical weapons require a round to reload after being fired. This make considerable nois when used.
 Cost 35 Gp

Additional Notes on Combat
Fighting with a single handed weapon and a shield grants an additional +1 to one's armor class.

Using a weapon in each hand allows the character to re-roll the d20 on a missed attack roll (The Attack Die's result remains the same). If the attack hits this time around, it is with the weapon in the PC's off-hand as opposed to their primary one.

Other Items (Additional Items can be purchased upon request, these are just examples)
Rope (50’)
5 GP
10 GP
15 GP
3 GP
3 GP
Pole (10’)
5 GP
4 GP
Spikes (3)
4 GP
2 GP
Flint & Steel
4 GP
Torches (5)
1 GP
6 GP
Ammunition, Mechanical (x5)
6 GP
Ammunition, Hand Propelled
3 GP
Useful Animal of some kind
25 GP


  1. Rey, let me commend you on some hella progressive design decisions.

    Some observations:

    Armor costs- I love doubling price lists! It's so much more elegant than old school pricing, which seems largely pulled out of asses. Dread armor being so much more pricey is a nice way of showing "this is the baddest assed armor" The penalty to checks is rough as hell. Dread's -8 on a d20 is a full 40% reduction in success with a d20, meaning the mightiest warrior in the land with 18 STR against a DC 10 check is looking to fail 60% of the time. Still, it's a nice way to encourage players to think about which armor they are using, and you'll likely see a lot more lightly armored characters this way, which with the way LL handles to-hit, is always a plus.

    Dangerous weapons harm their wielder a full 10% of the time they attack. 1st level characters using dangerous weapons will almost certainly kill themselves before they level up.

    Hand propelled vs mechanical: While a small mechanical weapon deals an average of 1 more damage per attack, the one round reload means they deal significantly less damage over the course of a fight. Ten rounds of firing (assuming they hit every time) gives the hand propelled guy 35 damage plus any strength bonuses (probably at least another 10 damage for 13 STR), while the small mechanical guy only deals 23 damage, and has no STR bonus. For being more expensive, they aren't a great deal. Regular size mechanical weapons aren't quite so bad, dealing 5.5 damage per shot (28 damage over 10 rounds), but are still a worse purchase over a regular hand propelled weapon even for a character without a STR bonus to damage.

    1. Oh, also if you only attack every other turn, and with retro-clone to-hit probability (roughly 50% of the time), characters with every other round weapons only actually accomplish one thing every four rounds.

    2. These are good observations, but I'll be the first to admit most of these are for feel rather then balance. Truth be told, I'd come right to you otherwise; you're like the Merlin of game maths.

      Dangerous weapons aren't a smart choice, but I think their fun. I feel like its something you pick up when you're either higher level or too confident for your own good.

      The penalties for armor really only show up for things I feel really would hinder things; Climbing, swimming, not making a lot of noise - I think making them really hard to do is a decent trade off for being encased securely in metal. You are right though, it is rough.

      The mechanical weapons in Akenia are supposed to be kinda of crappy - low tech guns and stuff. Its not obvious here, but I like having things like six shooters or high quality rifles as halfsies magic items that can fire more before being reloaded.

      I suppose a caveat emptor warning may not be bad, but I feel bad about playing around with equipment like this since the characters aren't stuck with it forever.

    3. You might be able to offset the mechanical damage somewhat by them a bonus effect? It doesn't need to be mechanically equal (it's a retro-clone, no one cares) but at least it won't be straight up terribad. Maybe keep rolling damage when you get max result? Maybe guns are better at penetrating armor, so they ignore 2/4 points of AC?

      Hahaha mechanical weapons force morale checks on animals and savages due to loud gunpowder discharge?

    4. I could combine the good at penetrating armor + simple to use and say they get a bonus to hit and damage, but that may mess with the "crappy old guns" feel. Either that or just dice em up a bit...

      I do have guns forcing morale checks in certain situations actually! I love morale rules, I use them for everything.

  2. I really liked the feel of the guns in the world. I got the feeling that guns were supposed to be used once during a combat, usually while closing the distance to engage in melee combat. If I made a gun user I'd probably use a rifle once in combat (and maybe ask if I could attach a bayonet and then have it function like a short spear). If I were a pistol user I'd (eventually) buy a bunch of them fire them once a pop in combat like a sweet pirate while using a sword.

    Can a character draw and fire a gun in combat like that?

    1. Ha, yes - such is my exact intent actually. I'm pretty fast and loose about it. Unless something is preventing you from doing so (I.E pinning you or something) drawing and firing is easy.

      Also, I'd let you do the bayonet thing - seems legit to me.