This will be a game inspired by the Souls series of videogames. For those of you not familiar with the Souls Series (Demons Souls, Dark Souls, and dark Souls 2) the basic gist of it is that you play as a character who carries a curse called the Darksign that manifests on some people when they die for the first time and wind up in a cursed land trying to accomplish some important goal. This game will have some similarities, but the story will be original and even I don't know entirely where it will go. You, the players, will shape the story with input from me.
The System based on a stripped-down version of Dungeon World, described below. Some of what I have in mind is already plotted, the rest i'll make up as we go. The point of this game is to see how well you as players can improvise and think creatively while creating a character and a shared story in an environment where chance or the whims of a cruel world could alter the course of events. To that end, both I the GM and your fellow players can create and run NPC's to interact with, whether hostile, friendly, or just bizarre and interesting. The setting is medieval fantasy, but beyond that it's open to be altered by myself and all players in just about any way short of total destruction or anything that just isn't fun. Making a character is dead-simple: Choose a class and make any choices required by your class. No background is necessary; you'll start with what the class gives and make up more as you go. You can pick a name and describe your character, choose a character pic if you'd like, and work out a basic personality.
You'll know what the plot is when the game starts. Expect copious amounts of smut, violence, and horror. Remember: the point is for both the player and character to be uncertain and surprised.
Choose a class, which determines your starting stats and equipment: Bandit, Cleric, Hexer, Hunter, Thief, Knight, Wanderer, Warrior, Prostitute, Pyromancer, Sorcerer.
Load for each class is 10+Str and Stm.
If the combined weight of your gear exceeds your Load, you are Clumsy (that's very bad). If the combined weight of your gear equals 1 1/2 your Load or greater you are Clumsy and Staggered, which means that in addition to the awful things i can do to a Clumsy character you take -1 ongoing to all rolls.
Only one character is allowed per class, and to start off i'll take four players. More players will be added as the game goes on. Not every class is made equal, but every class does have its strong and weak points, many of which will not be apparent at first. You start at level 1 and will grow more competent and powerful as you gain levels, which happens by gaining XP. You gain 1 XP every time you fail a significant roll and periodically when the GM gives it out for achieving story goals. When you have a number of XP equal to your level + 4, you gain a level.
Bandit: A raider driven from his/her homeland.
Str +3, Dex +1, Stm +1, Int -1, Fth +0, Cha +0. Starting Gear: Battleaxe. Hide armor. Banded Wooden shield.
HP: 10 + Stm (11) Base Damage: D12
Cleric: Cleric on a holy pilgrimage.
Str +0, Dex +0, Stm +1, Int +1, Fth +3, Cha -1. Starting Gear: Mace. cleric chime. cleric robes. Starting Miracle: Heal.
HP: 8 + Stm (9) base Damage: D8
Deprived: Unclothed enigma with hazy memories.
+1 to any 4 (max +1 at start), starting Gear: Wooden club. Plank shield.
HP: 10 + Stm Base Damage: D8
Hexer: Practitioner of the black arts who has given his/her soul to the Dark.
Str +0, Dex +0, Stm -1, Int +2, Fth +2, Cha +1. Starting Gear: Bone Talisman. Hexers Robes. Faded Portrait. Starting Hex: Evil Eye.
HP: 6 + Stm (5) Base Damage: D6
Hunter: A hunter who lost his/her way.
Str +1, Dex +2, Stm +1, Int +0, Fth +0, Cha -1. Starting Gear: Longbow. Shortsword. Leather armor. 10 Ammo (arrows).
HP: 10 + Stm (11) Base Damage: D8
Thief: A guilt-ridden thief.
Str +0, Dex +3, Stm +0, Int +1, Fth -1, Cha +1. Starting Gear: Poison Dagger. Blackened Leather Armor. Thief's Tools.
HP: 8 + Stm (8) Base Damage: D8
Knight: An itinerant knight with a blessed sword.
Str +2, Dex -1, Stm +2, Int +0, Fth +1, Cha +0. Starting Gear: Blessed Longsword. Chainmail. Steel Shield.
HP: 12 + Stm (14) Base Damage: D8
Pyromancer: A swamp-dwelling pyromancer. Meditates on flame to empower the soul.
Str +0, Dex +0, Stm +1, Int +2, Fth -1, Cha +2. Starting Gear: Pyromancer's Flame. Rusty Handaxe. Tattered Clothing. Starting Pyromancy: Fireball.
HP: 8 + Stm (9) Base Damage: D6
Prostitute: A whore whose past is filled with misery and regret.
Str -1, Dex +0, Stm +0, Int +0, Fth +2, Cha +3. Starting Gear: Dagger. Skimpy dress. An old doll or a tarnished ring.
HP: 8 + Stm (8) Base Damage: D6
Sorcerer: An apprentice sorcerer on a quest for knowledge.
Str -1, Dex +1, Stm +0, Int +3, Fth +1, Cha +0. Starting Gear: Sorcerer's Catalyst. Dagger. Sorcerer's Robes. Starting Sorcery: Soul Arrow.
HP: 6 + Stm (6) Base Damage: D4
Wanderer: Rootless wanderer seeking purpose.
Str +0, Dex +2, Stm +0, Int +0, Fth +0, Cha +2. Starting Gear: Wanderer Coat. Quarterstaff or two scimitars. Bottomless Box or Good Luck Charm.
HP: 8 + Stm (8) base Damage: D10.
Warrior: Battle-scarred veteran of a pointless war.
Str +2, Dex +2, Stm +1, Int +0, Fth -1, Cha +0. Starting Gear: Spear or Broadsword. Hard Leather Armor. Heater Shield. Light Crossbow. 5 Ammo (bolts).
HP 10 + Stm (11) Base Damage: D10
If you are familiar with Dungeon World, the system, works exactly the same: When the outcome of a situation is uncertain for any reason, such as another party contesting an action or any time in combat roll 2d6 and add the appropriate attribute modifier. Unlike some other systems, this one is highly narrative - Dice only get rolled when they need to be. In combat, there is no initiative, and like anything else, Combat goes in order of posting and is played out with roleplay and dice rolls as-needed until the fight ends one way or another.
The Basic Outcomes
•10+: You do it with little trouble
•7–9: You do it, but with complications or trouble
•6 or less: The GM says what happens and you mark XP.
examples of common system permutations for those not familiar with Dungeon World:
“take +1 forward.” That means to take +1 to your next move roll (not damage). The bonus can be greater than +1, or even a penalty, like -1. There also might be a condition, such as “take +1 forward to attack rolls with your weapon,” in which case the bonus applies only to the next time you roll to attack with that weapon, not any other action.
“take +1 ongoing.” That means to take +1 to all action rolls (not damage). The bonus can be larger than +1, or it can be a penalty, like -1. There also might be a condition, such as “take +1 ongoing to hit with your longbow.” An ongoing bonus also says what causes it to end, like “until you dismiss the spell” or “until you rest at a bonfire.”
“hold 1.” Hold is currency that allows you to make some choices later on by spending the hold as the action describes. Hold is always saved up for the action that generated it; you can’t spend your hold from one action on another.
Here are some examples of basic actions you can take:
When you attack an enemy in melee, roll+Str (for strength based weapons) or +Dex (for weapons that require more agility than raw muscle). ✴On a 10+, you deal your damage to the enemy (equal to your Str or Dex + your weapons damage rating) and avoid their attack. At your option, you may choose to do +1d6 damage but expose yourself to the enemy’s attack. ✴On a 7–9, you deal your damage to the enemy and the enemy makes an attack against you.
When you take aim and shoot at an enemy at range, roll+Dex.
✴On a 10+, you have a clear shot—deal your damage.
✴On a 7–9, choose one (whichever you choose you deal your damage):
•You have to move to get the shot, placing you in danger. Describe that danger, or the GM will.
•You have to take what you can get: -1d6 damage
•You have to take several shots, reducing your ammo by one
When you act despite an imminent threat or suffer a calamity, say how you deal with it and roll. If you do it…
•…by powering through with raw muscle, +Str
•…by getting out of the way or acting fast, +Dex
•…by enduring, +Stm
•…with quick thinking, +Int
•…through mental fortitude, faith in the gods or determination , +Fth
•…using charm and social grace, +Cha
✴On a 10+, you do what you set out to, the threat doesn’t come to bear.
✴On a 7–9, you stumble, hesitate, or flinch: take a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice or the GM will offer you one.
You defy danger when you do something in the face of impending peril. This may seem like a catch-all. It is! Defy danger is for those times when it seems like you clearly should be rolling but no other move applies.
Defy danger also applies when you make another move despite danger not covered by that move. For example, hack and slash assumes that’s you’re trading blows in battle—you don’t need to defy danger because of the monster you’re fighting unless there’s some specific danger that wouldn’t be part of your normal attack. On the other hand, if you’re trying to hack and slash while spikes shoot from hidden traps in the walls, those spikes are a whole different danger.
Which stat applies depends on what action you take and your action has to trigger the move. That means you can’t defy danger from a steep and icy floor with a charming smile just so you can use Cha, since charmingly smiling at the icy floor does nothing to it. On the other hand, making a huge leap over the ice would be Str, placing your feet carefully would be Dex, and so on. Make the move to get the results.
When you stand in defense of a person, item, or location under attack, roll+Con. ✴On a 10+, hold 3. ✴On a 7–9, hold 1. As long as you stand in defense, when you or the thing you defend is attacked you may spend hold, 1 for 1, to choose an option:
•Redirect an attack from the thing you defend to yourself
•Halve the attack’s effect or damage
•Open up the attacker to an ally giving that ally +1 forward against the attacker
•Deal damage to the attacker equal to your level
When you consult your accumulated knowledge about something, roll+Int.
✴On a 10+, the GM will tell you something interesting and useful about the subject relevant to your situation.
✴On a 7–9, the GM will only tell you something interesting—it’s on you to make it useful. The GM might ask you “How do you know this?” Tell them the truth, now.
When you closely study a situation or person, roll+Fth.
✴On a 10+, ask the GM 3 questions from the list below.
✴On a 7–9, ask 1.
Either way, take +1 forward when acting on the answers. The GM will always answer truthfully.
•What happened here recently?
•What is about to happen?
•What should I be on the lookout for?
•What here is useful or valuable to me?
•Who’s really in control here?
•What here is not what it appears to be?
When you have leverage on a GM Character and manipulate them, roll+Cha. Leverage is something they need or want.
✴On a 10+, they do what you ask if you first promise what they ask of you.
✴On a 7–9, they will do what you ask, but need some concrete assurance of your promise, right now.
Parley covers all social interactions that can't be solved by pure roleplay, such as diplomacy and intimidation. As always, you only roll if the outcome is not assured, and parley only can be used if you have some form of Leverage on the target (such as something you can use to sway the target of your parley, such as an item they want, information, or just the fact that you can kick their ass).
Aid or Interfere
When you help or hinder someone , roll+relevant attribute.
✴On a 10+, they take +1 or -2 to their roll, your choice.
✴On a 7–9, they still get a modifier, but you also expose yourself to danger, retribution, or cost.
Eternal Darkness - Jori - The Deprived
ExisD - Unknown Prostitute - The Prostitute
Praxis - Unknown Knight - The Knight
Wander - Ivar Fletcher - The Hunter
Sorrow Singer - Unknown Warrior - The Warrior