Rules

Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 
   
Create a Character

Rapid Rules:
• Assign 2 point to all nine sub-attributes, then assign another 4 points as desired.
• Calculate primary attribute values by adding the sum of the sub-attributes and half again.
• Select race for character from alseid, batfolk, dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, half-orc, human, jzaka or lizardfolk.
• Add racial skill to character sheet and adjust any sub-attribute scores.
• Pick starting skills. Number of starting skills vary by race selected.
• Write general personality and backstory for the character.

Who will the character of my story be?


To create a character, there are several details. The following description is for game-mechanics. After those will be recommended details for role-playing, i.e., what personality traits drive and guide the character’s decisions.

There are numbers used to represent how talented a character is. These are recorded on a character sheet, which a blank template is included in the appendix of this text.

The items to be determined are attributes, race and skills. Optionally, personality and backstory can be added as well.

Attributes

Measuring strengths of my character


Every entity, characters and monsters, have a set of three attributes: Body, Mind and Spirit. Body represents physical health and athleticism. This also acts as life points. When a character is harmed, poisoned or fatigued, the effective value of the Body score decreases. The Mind score is one’s mental prowess, solve puzzles and void tricks. As stress occurs, mental exhaustion can set in, resulting in the potential loss of Mind points. Lastly, Spirit is a measure of willpower and faith.

From a game metrics viewpoint:
Body is a number that represents how much damage a being can withstand being dying. Other games often call this number "hit points" or "health."
Mind is a number that determines the number and power of mental abilities, typically sorcery spells, that can be performed before becoming exhausted. Other games might refer to this as "mana."
Spirit is a number to measure piety and connection with the cosmology of the fantasy world. It is the equivalent to sorcery for divine magic. Other games might measure this by the level of a priest.

There are also sub-attributes for each of these. The Body score consists of Strength, Agility and Resilience. The Mind score comes from Logic, Perception and Judgment. Lastly, Spirit is made up of Will, Faith and Muse. When creating a character, 2 points are placed in each of nine sub-attributes. Then the player places 4 additional points as desired. However, no starting sub-attribute score can exceed 5 points. Once these values are set, the total maximum score for each of the primary attributes is calculated. This is performed by taking the sum of the three sub-attributes, then adding half of that sum again. Thus, if strength is 3, agility is 3 and beauty 3, then the sum is 9 and half (rounded down) is 4, making the total Body max score 13. If loss occurs from damage, stress, fear or other causes, then the current value of the primary attribute is lowered, but the sub-attribute remain static. If those points are restored through healing, then the current score can only be increased to the maximum value.

PS: If using the Roll20 character sheet, the calculated values for the three attributes will be performed automatically.

What do these values for sub-attributes represent?
Strength is how strong the physique is; physical might
Agility is the manual dexterity, reflexes and hand-eye coordination
Resilience is a represent of hardiness and general health
Logic is the general intellect and puzzle-solving ability
Perception measures how well one uses natural senses, even unwittingly
Judgment is a score of patience and impulse control
Will is the determination held by a being
Faith measures religious devotion and believe in the unseen
Muse qualifies the artistic and creative nature

Sub-attributes can increase; however, that is only through the purchase with karma. They are more expensive and more difficult to achieve as the numbers get higher. And the maximum natural sub-attribute score a PC can obtain is 12; however, it is possible through magic means to have an effective value a little higher. Also, some monsters are not subject to this 12-maximum rule.

Lastly, sub-attribute scores can offer modifiers to skills rolls. This will be detailed later, but starting at 4 points, a bonus grants a +1 bonus, then an additional +1 bonus for each 2 points higher. Thus, a score of 6 allows for a +2; a score of 8 allows +3, etc.

Metagaming

Miscalculations


There are many who believe that story-telling, defining tone and narrative to the game are more important elements than the numbers of stats, attributes or whatever the game system chooses to call them. Yes, the metrics of the numbers determine the odds of success or the amount of incoming trauma that one's character can withstand. Having those measurements allow for equal application to all players. That balances the fairness of the game by the mechanics of its system. All of that is good.

However, when players crunch those numbers, find the statistical advantages to maximize success and minimize threat all in the name of having a powerful character, this is when game designers and game masters begin to use the phrase “metagaming.” Now, to be fair, that is an oversimplified explanation. Players should pick skills and place attribute values to give themselves the best chances, but all that should be in the context of the character, not the player. Selecting skills at random or without choosing those the help a character reach his or her goals is just silly and would ruin the enjoyment of the game. On the other extreme of the silliness and destroyed fun are the players who pick skills for the sole purpose of padding the systemic numbers used in the system without regard to why a character would make that choice.

Strong GMs have many methods to handle metagaming. If in the story a player's character joins a guild, church, or perhaps a cult to gain access to learning specific skills, there is often an agreement and expectation of behavior that goes along with the benefit of being able to train in those skills. Often GMs know the loopholes of the system and create cultural and in-story protections to prevent min-maxers from exploiting the imperfect set of rules. When a member of that organization starts becoming a problem by drawing attention, misusing his or her power, not paying dues or whatever the reason, often the guild itself will mark that member for discipline, punishment, expulsion and perhaps even assassination. This is why having meaning beyond just the numbers is critical to the game. That said, there is no need to discuss metagaming here. The point is players should avoid doing it.

Metaphysics

Beyond the numbers


What is worth discussing instead is metaphysics. Perhaps one has noted that the game makes three distinct segregations: body, mind and spirit. These things are not just numbers but rather things that exist without every form of life. This includes those entities where it appears one might be missing. For example, an undead skeleton is basically mindless when we read the description and look at its numbers on the monster stat sheet. However, a skeleton can follow instructions. It can sense and perceive the world around it, albeit limited and different that humans do. All of that indicates that there is a mind present; however, it is infinitesimally small, registering as a zero as a metric. This is true about its spirit or soul as well.

Why does that matter? The answer is because many aspects of Enchanted Realms has been built upon the fantasy world physics of these aspects being the building blocks of life -- even if life has a little different meaning in the game. I know, it's a bit difficult to think of the undead as a form of life, but in a fantascientific category, the undead have “life.” Further, how things work, world interactions, rules outside the numbers, explanations of cosmology, metaphysics and even epistemology -- the building blocks of fantasy-world physics are based on the concepts of body, mind and spirit and other rules of three. These explanations behind how things work are very different than how they do on Earth, even if observably there is virtually no difference. More on this spread through out the rulebook, but as a player, the thing to remember is this is a fantasy world where dragons and fairies roam, where fire is evoked into existence by command, where spirits warn warriors on their journeys. Don't expect earthly explanations to mean the same, and the numbers used in the game are merely representations of something greater, the balance of many variables, not just a math problem to be solved.

Race

Different sapient species and beings in the fantasy world.


Selecting a race is the next step. There are ten races which a character can choose: alseid, batfolk, dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, half-orc, human, jzaka and lizardfolk; however, because there are so many details, including sub-races, the specifics of each race can be found in the Race section, which follows this one.

Senses

How one perceives the world


Different races, monsters and species use different methods of sensation. The most universally referenced sense is vision. In fantasy world, there are several types of vision. The three most common are normal vision, darkvision and spirit sight. There is also night vision, which Jzaka, cats and owls have. Many other senses are used by different creatures. Here will be a brief summary of what each type is.

Normal vision is exactly what is sounds like; it is what you are using now, viewing the normal visual spectrum. What this means is in darkness, normal or magical, it is more difficult to operate and fight. Anyone using normal vision suffers a -2 to attack penalty for attack rolls in the night and disadvantage on attack rolls in total darkness. Also, movement is half of normal for traveling in darkness, including dim light.

Darkvision is unique eyesight adapted by subterranean and nocturnal creatures. It allows them to operate in darkness as if it were normal. Therefore, no penalties for fighting in the dark. Because most creatures with darkvision operate in the normal spectrum as well, there are no penalties for regular lighting. However, different species have different ranges they can see in the darkness. Half-orcs can only see 15 feet, while the svirfneblin can see out to 120 feet. When using darkvision, most of what is seen is a grayscale rather than color; however, there are a few exceptions to this rule when explicitly stated. Moreover, magical darkness thwarts darkvision.

Night vision is an above-ground sight relying on the absorption of light waves in materials from sunlight. Even though the material is no longer reflecting current light, there is a shedding of the radiation, partly based on heat and partly based on the subtle glow of the planet's ring. Creatures with night vision have a special sensitivity to be able to see in the dim light of a double-moonless night; however, if being hidden from the atmosphere, either by going subterranean or inside a windowless mansion, those with night vision become as blind as normal vision.

Spirit sight is a special sensation for creatures that do not rely on vision. Most of the walking dead and “unliving” creatures, known as feratu, find their prey like this because many feratu do not have functioning eyes. Spirit sight is the detection of a living creature’s aura, biofield or life song. For those without it, it can be best thought of as the radar sense used by the comic-book hero Daredevil. Of course, this means those with spirit sight are not affected by light conditions; however, if one can mask himself from life-detection, then the spirit sight could not know he was there. Of course, this will not work for all feratu, for example vampires, as they make use of normal vision as well (or possibly darkvision for a dwarven vampire).

Devil sight is a power form of seeing. This allows not only vision in any darkness as if normal, but also a being with devil sight can see through magical darkness as well. This method is used often by imps and lesser fiends of the devil phylum to endanger their victims.

Blindsight is a general term for being aware of the surrounding even without vision. In some cases this is due to hearing, air pressure or even magnetism from the ground. In other cases it is a bit more mystical. Most everyone has a minuscule amount of this sensation, but unless an entity is explicitly stated to have it, there are no modifiers to adjust. For example, zombies use primarily spirit sight; however, this is based on feeling presence of life forces around them. But one might ask, how then do zombies not walk into walls, know to use doors, not fall into pits? The explanation is a very low-grade use of blindsight -- not enough to identify the types of rocks, but enough to avoid tripping over them. Other creatures, constructs for example, have a high degree of blindsight. They cannot be blinded nor can deafness alter their perception of things around them. Beings using blindsight as a primary sense cannot see through walls, but they are typically unaffected by glamour type illusions.

Many subterranean creatures have sunlight sensitivity. Batfolk have echolocation. Lizardfolk have vibrational awareness called tremorsense. Some of these have details listed with the race and how members use the sensation; others merely translate to a bonus on Perception. However, it is important to knowledgeable of how these unusual impressions work. It allows a GM to rule for exceptions. For example, echolocation will not work for batfolk who are caught inside a silence spell. A method of mental anguish for a lizardfolk could be placing one in a deprivation chamber to block vibrations; it does no real harm but would become very stressful over time.

Psionics, telepathy and magical means can detect things normally undetectable. The specifics should be detailed in the skill, incantation or axiom. This brings up illusions and how they are perceived. Read the Illusions section for a better understanding. But in that vein, know that something can be invisible (to one type of sensation) and still be seen by others.

The long and short of this is that based on one's senses and awareness of what they mean, everyone should have a better understanding of how characters and monsters can sense and identify others. It also allows one to know when their character is at disadvantage, figuratively and literally. Finally, the table below defines how different sensations work under different circumstances. Whenever there are more than one sensation in play below, then the best of the scenarios applies, except for blind and deaf -- in which case, the worst on the chart is used.

Being AwareIn Direct
Sunlight
Bright
Light
Dim
Light
DarknessMagical
Darkness
Veiled/
Invisible
Suddenly
Teleported
Normal VisionNormalNormal-2 Perception-4 PerceptionPerception DisadvantagePerception DisadvantagePerception Required
Deafness-2 Perception-2 Perception-4 PerceptionPerception DisadvantagePerception DisadvantagePerception DisadvantagePerception Required
Sunlight SensitivityPerception DisadvantageNormalNormaln/an/an/an/a
Night VisionNormalNormalNormal-2 PerceptionPerception DisadvantagePerception DisadvantagePerception Required
DarkvisionNormalNormalNormalNormalPerception DisadvantagePerception DisadvantagePerception Required
Spirit SightNormalNormalNormalNormalPerception DisadvantagePerception DisadvantageNormal
Devil SightNormalNormalNormalNormalNormalPerception DisadvantagePerception Required
BlindsightNormalNormalNormalNormalNormalNormalNormal
EcholocationPerception AdvantagePerception AdvantageNormalNormalNormalNormalPerception Required
Tremorsense-2 Perception against Flying-2 Perception against Flying-3 Perception against FlyingPerception Disadvantage against FlyingPerception Disadvantage against FlyingPerception Disadvantage against Flying-2 Perception against Flying
True Sight+3 on Perception+3 on Perception+3 on Perception+3 on Perception+3 on PerceptionNormalNormal
*MovementNormalNormalHalfHalfHalfHalfHalf

Night vision becomes “normal vision” when indoors or underground
Echolocation must be actively being used
*Movement adjustment occurs when awareness/sight is worse than normal

Starting Skills

What my character can do well.


Starting characters should only select from the basic skills list below. Some races may have additional skills that are not in the basic list as part of their racial abilities. The details of the basic skills and how they are used are explained in the Skills section. Other skills are available and also explained in the Skills section, which is broken into eight different sections: Racial, Combat, Adventuring, Vocational, Magickery, Runes, Divinity and Sorcery.

It is important to note that skills can sometimes be seen by players as a menu at the table-top restaurant. To be fair, in many ways that analogy works; skills are purchased with karma as tender. That said, it is important to remember that just because a skill is listed in the book with a cost doesn't mean it is readily available in the game world -- or that there are not other costs beyond karma spent.

Throughout Earth's history governments and other organizations have resorted to tariffs, taxation, certifications and special-group memberships to discourage undesired social behaviors. The world of Enchanted Realms is no different in that regard. Probably the strongest example would be joining the clergy of a particular church. The karma investment is low and the character gains a lot of benefits; however, there is a church hierarchy, lists of sins, politics and other upkeep that goes along with divine accord and the some of the other skills that can only be learned through the church. Characters could find a bounty-hunter after them even if a priest is in perfect standing with his or her deity.

Adhering to a code of conduct in trade for gaining a certain skill is not limited to just the clergy. Each game world will be slightly different with "guild nuance" being determined primarily by the GM, but it is possible such implied social contracts exist for any skill. If there is a heavy-handed union for brewers in the region … well, that's just the world where the game is played. GMs should be fair to players, allowing them to know and understand what they are getting into if such as skill in that world has obligations; however, there could be reasons some social-restrictions are not known publicly, but from a game design perspective, anything on the starting list should be disclosed.

In summary, the point here needs to be clear. When selecting skills, players need to understand there might be more cost than just the karma points used to acquire it. Some skills could have very “in-game” strings tied to them.

SkillSkill
CombatVocational
 Melee FightingFighting with melee weapon AgriculturePlanting, Harvesting
 Ranged FightingFighting with a range weapon Animal BreedingAnimal Breeding
 Unarmed CombatFighting without weapons ArmoringForge Metal Armor
Adventuring BowyerBuild Bows, Arrows
 AcrobaticsBonus to Agility Actions BrewingCreate Beer and Ales
 AlertnessIncreases Awareness CarpentryMake Wood Construction
 AstrologySense of Direction, Foretelling CookingPrepare Food, Clean Carcass
 BarteringLower Costs, Increase Sales Creature LoreKnowledge of Monsters
 CartographyRead, Decipher Maps FarrierHorseshoeing
 DashBurst of Movement in Combat FishingCatch Fish
 DisciplineBonus for Spiritual Defenses Flora LoreKnowledge of Plants
 Fire-BuildingBuild Fire without Tools GardeningLandscaping, small food
 LanguageLearn a new Language Glass-BlowingGlassworks
 Lip-ReadingEavesdrop from a Distance HistoryKnowledge of History
 MountsmanshipControl a Mount HuntingHunting Game
 Mental FortitudeBonus for Mental Defenses KnotsTie Knots with Proficiency
 StaminaBonus to Exertion Actions LapidaryCut Gems
 SwimmingAbility to Swim LeatherworkingCreate Leather, Hide Armor
 Tap and TouchImproves Searching Legal WorkUrban Government Work
 Under-NavigationDirection Underground MasonryExtract, Build with Stone
 Wilderness LoreSurvival in the Wilderness PapermakingCreate writing surfaces
 Wound CareRender Medical Aid Religious StudiousKnowledge of Religions
Divinity SailingSail a Ship, Command Crew
 Divine AccordConnection to Deity ScribingWriting, Calligraphy, Forgery
 BenisonCreate Holy Philters SkinningRecover Hide, Extract Organs
  KnotsAdvanced Rope Use
Fey Magickery SailingNavigate a water vessel
 Cantrip ControlAbility for Simple Magic ScribingWriting, Calligraphy, Forgery
 Any CantripSimple Magical Effect SkinningRemove Hides
Sorcery TailoringCreate Clothing, Armor
 SorceryAbility for Advanced Magic WeaponsmithForce Metal Weapons
 Spell AxiomLearn New Spell to Cast WoodworkingWeapons, Build with Wood
Backstory

Childhood and existence prior to the game.


In the game, a player is pretending to be another person, living in another world, which is governed by different physics. To have a sense of what decisions to make, it is important to understand the motivation and influences of this character.

Often this can be accomplished by detailing the entity’s backstory first. Often the environment and events from growing up or living in a particular way can set a general impression of what this character will be like. When noting on the character sheet the backstory, write as much detail as desired; however, often just one or two words can summarize, such as “Criminal” or “Guild Merchant.” The other details about the past will be captured when documenting the character’s personality.

Personality

Who is this character really?


After thinking about the character’s backstory and how that influences who that character is today, a few key notes should be made, perhaps just a short sentence for the following categories.

Traits: This is a general statement of a noticeable personality behavior. It could be “I am very intolerant of those who have a different faith” or “I am a hopeless romantic but fall in and out of love quickly.”

Ideals: This is the goal or the hope of how the character would live in a perfect world. It is the inspiration that drives the character’s behavior. One example is “I aspire to prove myself worthy to my family.” Another is “I am greedy and just in this for the bounty.”

Bonds: A character’s bond is what is important to him; that for which he or she would sacrifice. This could be a person, a group of friends, a relative or even tangible objects. It might be “the workshop where I learned my trade” or “my mother means the world to me.”

Flaws: Finally, it is important to have at least one character-flaw. These are weaknesses which could undermine the character. Some might be obvious like “I am a binge drinker,” while others might be secretive like “I can’t help but pilfer a little from the share.”