On a question about the Steampunk, is it Steampunk powered by magic, or Steampunk power by steam and pre-electricity technology?
I'll add a more thorough explanation later today, but everything is powered by 'Spirit Energy' which is essentially magic energy powered by life force. (Magic is also fueled by this same energy, just more directly.)
(For now I'm just going to list character creation rules, but I'll add more detailed combat mechanics as time goes on. To anyone who finds this familiar, it's base is a very-stripped down reading of the Dark Heresy rules.)
Every character starts with four Base Stats, each of which will range anywhere between 1 and 100 (But usually closer to around 30.) These stats are the base for everything the character does, ranging from combat to conversation. (Simple tasks which would be routine or nearly auto-pass do not require tests, both for simplicity and to avoid redundant rolling. These stats are as follows:
Physique - This is both the character's physical strength, as well as their durability and resistance to harm. High levels of Physique will greatly boost the damage caused in melee, as well as the character's ability to resist damage dealt by physical blows.
Agility - This is the character's ability to be quick on their feet, flexible, and evasive. Additionally, it affects the character's ability to hit with attacks in combat. High levels of Agility will help guarantee that the character is able to get out of harms way in a hurry and make sure their attacks ring true.
Intelligence - This covers the character's ability to problem solve, as well as their ability to notice details that would otherwise be passed by. Characters with high intelligence are exceptional craftsmen and are difficult to trick.
Mind - This represents both the character's charisma and their mental fortitude. High Mind is very important for magically inclined characters, and will also help when dealing with people.
Additionally, every character has three fixed stats which are used to track their health. These stats all begin at 100, and the cap cannot be raised except in highly unusual circumstances. Namely, these stats are:
HP - A simple counter used to keep track of damage. Reduced health causes a penalty to all stats, though specific injuries (Such as broken limbs,) can cause other specific effects.
Energy - A counter used to track the character's exhaustion. Reduced energy causes a penalty to all stats, though in high-intensity situations these penalties can be ignored due to the adrenaline rush.
Sanity - A counter used to track the character's state of mind. This will rarely go down, but if it does, Spirit and Intelligence will both take a small penalty, as well as potential other effects.
Lastly, each character has a single Career, a handful of Talents, a long list of Skills, and a potential few amount of 'Abilities'.
Career - This is a broad topic which will cover a long list of abilities which the Character may not have mastered, but will be somewhat experienced with. All actions related to this Career get a +10 boost.
Talents - These are more specific abilities which the character has mastered overtime, and can perform with extreme skill. Talents grant extremely potent bonuses to actions that they're related to. This bonus can stack with a Career, but not with Skills. Talents give a +30 boost to actions which could already be performed, (Such as Cooking or Bartering) or a +15 to actions which require specific knowledge or training just to do. (IE, Quantum Mechanics or Engineering).
Skills - These are also specific abilities, but ones which the character does not have a mastery over. Actions related to any given skill will receive a moderate boost. This boost can stack with a Career, but not with Talents. Skills give a +10 boost to actions which could already be performed, and allow actions to be taken which require specific knowledge or training just to do.
Abilities - These will not provide explicit roll benefits, but can instead give other useful attributes. (For example, the ability to hold breath for a long time.)
To generate a character, pick a name, and add 140 skill points in any combination to the four main stats. (No stat can go lower than 20 or higher than 45.) Pick one single 'Career' (Which can be anything within reason, for example 'Engineer', 'Soldier', or 'Healer',) any four 'Talents' (For example, 'Swordfighting,' 'Fire Magic', 'Grifting',) and any ten 'Skills'. (I'm not listing examples for skills. Figure it out, numnuts.) Abilities may be rewarded by the GM if he deems it appropriate considering the character's backstory.
All tests are rolled on a D100. If the result is lower then the pertinent stat, (Plus or minus any relevant modifiers,) then the test succeeds exactly as intended. If the result is higher, then the test fails and nothing happens (Unless a failure would indicate something happening, such as failing to jump a large gap.) Since most stats are going to range in the 30s, and you roll on a D100, most tests are going to fail if attempting to do something outside of your usual wheelhouse of Skills and Talents, especially if trying to do something especially difficult.
Magic tests require several steps: First, add any amount of Spirit power to the given spell. (Spells generally do more if given more energy... Obviously... For example, a fireball with 30 points of Spirit will cause three times the damage of a fireball with 10 points of Spirit.) A temporary counter can be used for the duration of the spell, which simply marks down how much Spirit is being used. The amount of Spirit being used will generally be limited by the capacity of the wand, staff, or other magical implement being used. (Wands can usually hold about 10 points of Spirit, tops, but a staff can hold upwards of thirty or even forty.) This can be taken directly from your Energy supply, reducing the counter by one for every point added to the spell. Alternately, the Sorcerer can use available blood (If it was just spilled,) to fuel the spells, adding five points of Spirit for every approximate ounce of available blood. (The GM will list quantities if it's needed.) Memory can also be used to create a vast supply of energy, but this can cause issues. Unless under a special circumstance, thirteen points of Spirit can simply be added by losing a single point of Sanity. Ritual Sacrifice is too messy to use in most circumstances, and thus must be set up with the GM beforehand (Also, it'll probably accrue a lot of Insanity for the character, too.)
Once the Spirit pool is generated, take a test based off of the Mind stat. (With modifiers for trades, talents, skills, and the difficulty of the spell taken into account.) If successful, the spell goes off without a hitch. If unsuccessful, the spell will go off, but usually with diminished or weakened effects. (Particularly poor rolls may result in erratic or negative consequences.)
Certain types of armor, for example full suits of Spirit Armor (NOTE: Steampunk Power Armor is referred to as Spirit Armor for now), may override the wearer's Physique stat with its own, because the wearer becomes a sort of pilot who's own physical capacity becomes irrelevant.
There are three basic types of Equipment: Weapons, Armor, and Gear. There is also one Subtype, 'Runed'.
Weapons: Exactly what they say on the tin. Any piece of gear that is built or designed to hurt people or break things.
Armor: Also exactly what it says on the tin. Any clothing or apparel which provides defensive benefits.
Gear: Anything which doesn't fit into the first two categories. Tools, backpacks, medical gear, etc. (These have no specific rules, but rather individual rules based off of the gear as needed.)
Rules for Weapons:
Every weapon will have a stat sheet which looks something like this:
Range is a listed quality which tells you how far off the weapon can be used effectively. For the case of muskets, crossbows, and the like this will be represented by a hard distance. (For example, thirty feet.) While ranged weapons may technically be able to fire further than this, for simplicity's sake their effective range will not be able to reach further than this unless under special circumstances. For Melee weapons, the quality will simply be listed as 'Melee'.
Damage is the way of keeping track how effective the weapon is at hurting things. Ranged weapons will have a base damage listed, usually a number between three and ten, though it may be much higher. Melee weapons will also have a base damage listed, but will also usually add a portion of the user's Physique to damage. (Typically 1/10th (Rounding down), though weapons which rely less on strength such as a whip will add a smaller portion, and weapons which rely very heavily on strength such as a War Hammer will add a larger portion.) Some weapons may also list '+1d10' or some other similar randomization. If this is the case, roll an additional 1d10 and add that to the base damage every time you attack. All attacks cause the listed base damage plus 1d10. (So, weapons with +1d10 would roll 2d10 instead.) Damage is then reduced by 1/10th (Rounding down) the victim's Physique, and the remainder is taken as HP damage.
Penetration is an attribute used purely to counteract armor. Each point of penetration ignores one point of armor, but causes no extra damage if the penetration is higher than the armor value.
Hands is a catch-all term for the requirements to use this weapon. Here will be listed both the number of limbs needed to use the weapon (Usually '1-Handed or 2-Handed) as well as the minimum Physique needed to lift and wield such a weapon. If armed with two weapons, the Physique requirement does not stack, but you still need enough free hands to use them both.
Special is a rarely needed stat, and as such will only be added to weapons which have some kind of unique effect. If a weapon DOES have some kind of unique effect, it will be listed here.
Every character is constantly armed with two 'Fists', unless they have been delimbed:
Damage: 0 + 1/10th Physique
Hands: 1-Handed, 0 Physique
All armor typically only has three main stats, 'Protection', 'Coverage', and 'Weight', as well as its own 'Special'.
Protection is the listed amount of resistance to damage. For every point of protection not ignored by a weapon's Penetration, the damage of an attack is reduced by 1.
Coverage is simply the parts of the body that the armor covers. A helm isn't going to protect your shins, buddy.
Weight is, as with hands, simply the requirements to wear a suit of armor, usually simply a minimum Physique. Unlike with weapons, the Weight of different armors stack, so if you're wearing a breastplate with a Weight of 20 and a helm with a Weight of 10, you'll need a minimum Physique of 30 to wear both.
Special, as with weapons, is where unique effects are listed. This includes any resistance to magical attacks, as well as the strength bonuses given by Spirit armor. (If wearing a full suit of Spirit armor, a replacement Physique might simply be listed here, in which case the user's Physique is ignored.)
The subtype 'Runed' can be applied to any weapon, armor, or piece of gear, and turns that gear into a magical implement. (Though if the gear is made out of Spirit-resistant materials, it won't be a very good magical implement.) If the object is Runed, it gains a 'Energy' stat which tells you how much Spirit it can hold when a magical spell is being cast. Additionally, the specific runes engraved on it will be listed. ('Heat', for example, or 'Sudden Agonizing Death'.) All spells cast with a Runed weapon take a -30 to the user's Mind when rolled, but if the runes engraved are connected to the spell being cast, the penalty will be diminished or replaced with a positive. (Trying to boil water with a 'Heat' runed staff will be at a +/-0, but trying to levitate a pebble with a 'Pebble Levitation' wand will be at a +40 or +50.)
Gear which uses Spirit energy will have a 'Power Consumption' listed under their Special. In the case of gear which uses power constantly, (Spirit armor, for example,) this power consumption will be listed on a turn-to-turn basis (During combat) and an hourly-minute basis (For outside of combat.) For gear which uses power in short bursts (E.G. A hammer which causes shocking damage,) the power use will be listed on a by-use basis.
Since these devices clearly need to be drawing their power from something, they must be attached to either a generator or battery. (Magical characters may instead power the devices directly using their own Energy directly.) Generators will have a listed fuel consumption and must be given a supply of fresh (~1 Hour old or less) blood to function, and can supply a constant amount of energy as long as its fuel supply is maintained. (The maximum amount of energy consumption will be listed as long as the blood consumption.) Batteries instead will be listed with an 'Energy', which functions identically to a character's Energy, except that it only regenerates when attached to a generator or charged by a sorcerer.
Batteries and generators can both be attached directly to weapons, in which case their own weight is added to the weight of the weapon, or can be attached to a belt pack, backpack, or other equipment, in which case it stacks with the weight of any armor being worn. If not attached directly to weapons, they must be hooked up by power cables o the weapons in order to be used.
All rolls of 91 or higher automatically fail regardless of circumstance.
Action taken out of combat get +10 to the roll.
Combat works in a semi-turned based system. All characters PM the GM with three things that they intend to do, but with no knowledge of what the other players intend to do. (Including NPCs. For the sake of fairness, the GM will mark down secretly what the NPCs intend to do before he reads what the PCs intend to do.) Once all players have decided what they will do, a D50 is rolled for each player and added to their Agility. The character with the highest result goes first, doing only the first thing that they intend to do. The second-highest goes second, doing the first thing that they intend to do. So on and so forth. If an action becomes impossible due to the action of another character, that result is discarded. Once all first-actions are done, repeat the process with the second and third things which characters intend to do. If something would take two or three actions to do, (Such as casting a very complicated spell or picking a lock), then the action isn't considered 'Done' until the second or third cycle.
Some reactions, such as parrying or dodging attacks, will be done automatically, once per turn. (Unless an ability allows for multiple parries or dodges.) If such an act would be impossible (For example, if you're attacked while holding up a giant boulder and unable to fight back,) the reaction will not be used up. Actions like shouting a warning can be done without taking up any time (And therefore a second action can be done alongside it), but do not count as completed until the end of that player's action. Players may try and guess the actions of other characters, (For example 'I chase him down' when you think someone is going to run), but if the other characters do not act as expected then nothing happens. Before combat begins, Intelligence checks can sometimes be taken to get clues as to the actions of NPCs.
Actions can have the addendum 'If threatened' added to them, with a second Action listed to occur only when threatened by the enemy. If nothing happens, the first action will be taken, but if the enemy attacks then the character will take an Agility test at +20 to react. If they pass, they will instead take the second action listed. If an ally shouts a warning or is the one to attack first, the Agility test is taken at +40 instead.
Actions which would give a boost to defense or have a chance to block attacks count as happening simultaneous to the first attack taken that turn. This includes drawing a sword to parry, raising a magical shield, or powering on defensive runes, but does not include actions like running away or trying to disarm your opponent.
Examples of things which can be done as a single action include:
Attacking another Character.
Moving cautiously up to 1/5th your Agility in Feet.
Running up to 1/3rd your Agility in Feet. (You are unable to parry or dodge while doing this.)
Throwing an object.
Casting a simple spell (Such as a fireball.)
Examples of things which would take two or more actions include:
Picking a lock
Gathering up many fallen objects
Drawing a complicated rune
Critical Hits: When rolling for damage, (Only for the base 1d10, not with any additional dice that the weapon may allow,) any natural result of a '10' causes a Critical hit. This represents hitting weak points in the armor, pressure points, or other exposed or vulnerable areas. Armored targets have the value of their armor halved (Before reducing for the weapon's Penetration). Unarmored targets, or targets whose armor is so low that it would be completely ignored (before halving), instead have their Phys ignored when calculating damage. Alternately, attackers may attempt to strike at weak points. If they do so, their attack takes a -30 to hit, but they cause Critical damage on a roll of 6+ rather than only on a 10.
Called shots: For whatever reasons, characters may sometimes want to strike a specific body part rather than going for a general attack. Called shots are taken at -15, but are garunteed to strike that body part rather than the center of mass.
You can get a +20 to rolls by doubling the time to take the action. (One-turn actions take two turns, two-turn actions take four turns.) Or, you can get a +30 to rolls by tripling the time.
Since this is pretty complicated, here's an example:
A Swordsman and an Archer (All with '30' stats across the board) are facing off against a Sorcerer armed with a fire-rune-engraved Wand. (Also with '30' stats across the board, except Agility which is 25.)
The Swordsman tells the GM that he wants to lunge at the Sorcerer and attack him, then try and knock the Wand out of the Sorcerer's hand, and finally try and stab him one more time.
The Archer tells the GM that he wants to knock an arrow, take one action to aim, and then fire at the Sorcerer.
The Sorcerer tells the GM that he wants to try and cast a fireball with 6 energy at the Swordsman, then run to the door, and finally slam and lock the door behind him.
The Swordsman, Archer, and Sorcerer roll an 11, 35, and 39 respectively, so the Archer will go first, followed by the Sorcerer and then the Swordsman.
The Archer knocks his bow. This does not require a test. The Sorcerer casts his spell. His energy is now at 94. He takes a Mind test at +30 (+20 for the wand engraved in Fire runes, +10 because he has a Skill for fireballs), rolling a 32. A pass! The fireball, which causes 6+d10 Damage, leaps at the swordsman, who tries to dodge automatically. The swordsman does not have a skill or talent in dodging, but because dodging requires no skill or talent, he can still roll using his base Agility. He rolls a 15! Success! His turn now, he lunges at the sorcerer, attacking. He gets a +40 to hit because he has a Talent in Swordfighting and his Career is as a city guard, which gives an additional +10. Rolling a 38, he hits, causing 4 Damage plus 1/10th his Physique (3) and 1d10, minus 1/10th the Sorcerer's Physique. However, now the Sorcerer can try to dodge. He does not have any Skill or Talent for dodging, and he rolls a 48, taking a hit from the sword. Rolling a 7 for Damage, the Sorcerer takes 11 Wounds - Ouch! He only has nine left.
Now, it's the Archer's turn again. Not yet firing, he takes careful aim, which will give him a +20 to hit when he fires. The sorcerer turns and flees, making it to the open door at the back of the room. The swordsman, now out of range, can only swing at the air as the Sorcerer gets out of the way.
Finally, it's the Archer's turn again. Because he goes before the Sorcerer, he has one last chance to try and take him down. He gets a +60 to hit, (+20 for aiming, +10 for his Career, and +30 for his talent as an Archer.) Rolling an 81, he still manages to pass. The Sorcerer already dodged, and even if he hadn't his last action was to run, meaning that he couldn't try and dodge anyways. The bow and arrow causes 4 damage plus 1d10. Rolling for damage, he gets a 10! Not only is this fourteen damage, but the Sorcerer's Physique won't reduce that number at all either. He dies.
Damage, Fatigue, and Insanity
Energy for characters regenerates at a rate of about 15/hour, when sleeping. When awake, it'll drain at a rate of 4/Hour, but physically strenuous acts will increase the reduction rate. For a few common examples:
Travel on foot increases energy consumption to 6/Hour. Speed is equal to 1/10th your Agility in Miles per Hour.
Light jogging increases the consumption rate to 1/Two Minutes. Speed is 1.5x that of walking.
Running increases the consumption rate to 1/Minute. Additionally, you can only run for a number of minutes equal to your Physique. Speed is double to that of walking.
Sprinting increases the consumption rate to 3/Minute. Additionally, you can only sprint for a number of minutes equal to 1/10th your Physique. Speed is triple that of walking.
Lifting an extremely heavy object will cost a little Energy.
Combat can also cost energy when doing strenuous acts.
If your Energy drops below certain points, tests will be taken at penalties:
At less than 50, all tests taken by the player will be at -5, unless the test is to resist damage.
At less than 30, all tests are instead at -10.
At less than 20, all tests are at -20.
At less than 10, all tests will be at -30, and a Physique test must be taken once every ten minutes to avoid passing out.
At 0 or Less, the player will pass out immediately.
The exception is during an adrenaline rush. During high intensity situations such as combat or running for your life, energy output is increased by 50%, (Except for casting spells and other magical uses,) but Agility and Physique are increased by 10% when taking intentional actions. (This does not include taking damage, for example.) Additionally, the player cannot pass out or fall asleep due to energy loss unless their energy drops below -10, in which case they will pass out immediately anyways.
Energy can drop below 0, but if it goes beneath -20 then the character will go into a comatose state, recovering energy at half the normal rate until their energy reaches 100 again. If it goes beneath -40 for whatever reason (Trying to cast a spell, magical attacks of some kind, or a drug making it impossible to sleep,) they will immediately die.
Damage taken in combat can have similar penalties if health drops below certain levels. The penalties are as following:
At less than 50, Physique and Agility will both be at -10.
At less than 20, Physique and Agility will both be at -30.
At less than 0, the player dies.
Additionally, there may be certain specific penalties for specific injuries, such as broken limbs or amputations.
Insanity works quite similarly. For every ten points lost, a semi-randomized effect will take place.
At 90 points, roll a d10. On a 1-5, reduce Intelligence by 2. On a 6+, reduce Willpower by 2.
At 80 points, same as with 90.
At 70 points, roll a d10. On a 1-4, reduce Intelligence by 2. On a 5-8, reduce Willpower by 2. On a 9-10, gain a small mental tick, disorder, or phobia.
At 60 points, same as with 70.
At 50 points, gain a mental tick, disorder, or phobia.
At 40 points, roll a d10. On a 1, reduce Agility by 3. On a 2-4, reduce Willpower by 3. On a 5-7, reduce Intelligence by 3. On an 8+, gain a mental tick, disorder, or phobia.
At 30 points, same as with 40.
At 20 points, roll a D10. On a 1, reduce Agility by 4. On a 2-4, reduce Willpower by 4. On a 5-7, reduce Intelligence by 4. On an 8+, gain a sever mental tick, disorder, or phobia.
At 10 points, same as with 20.
At 0 points, the character becomes terminally insane and is no longer playable.