Rules: Gameplay and Mechanics.   Posted by The Wild.Group: 0
The Wild
 GM, 2 posts
Sun 11 Oct 2015
at 00:27
Rules: Gameplay and Mechanics
Game Concept and Objective

In "Here Be Dragons," players assume the roles of juvenile dragons coming of age. Each individual dragon must compete to wrest control of the continent, driving off or killing his or her rivals and reigning over the continent in time for mating season. While dragons can (and should!) form temporary alliances or work together to overcome common threats, each knows that in the end only one dragon can claim the continent as their roost. In short, this landmass isn't big enough for the two (or three, or four, or five) of 'em.

In order to win, a dragon can either A) kill all rival dragons or B) achieve a score of 5,000 before any other player. How exactly one's score is determined will be explained later on, under the "Score" sub-header.

Cycles and Energy

The continent is divided up into 8 regions. Some of these regions are the demesne of other dragons, while others are neutral and have no dragon lair inside of it. The game is intended for play by the play-by-post or play-by-email medium, so player turns are measured in spans of weeks or days called Cycles. For this play test, each Cycle will be two weeks.

Every Cycle, each dragon receives 10 Energy. Energy is the main resource used to take meaningful actions in the game. You expend Energy to have your dragon do things like travel to another region (which costs one Energy), or to plunder mortal towns and cities, or take action against your fellow dragons. Traveling to another region costs 1 Energy, but most actions lack a specific cost. Instead, the player decides how much Energy to invest in the action; the more Energy he or she invests, the more likely it is to succeed. If your Energy is 0, you cannot take any more actions this Cycle, though you can still make in-character posts, interacting with NPCs or speaking to other dragons in your region.

Unused Energy from the previous Cycle does not carry over to the next Cycle, so be sure to use all of your Energy every Cycle! In addition to the 10 free Energy all players receive per Cycle, it's possible to receive bonus Energy from the following sources:

-2 bonus Energy to the player with the most posts the previous Cycle. Posts need to be substantive, at least three lines in length, in-character, and clearly written in order to count.
-1 bonus Energy to the player that makes the best post of the previous Cycle. This is entirely subjective, but it's the GM's way of rewarding good writing, good roleplaying, a good joke, or even just exemplary sportsmanship.
-1 bonus Energy for each region in which you've achieved maximum Awe, to a maximum of 3.
-1 bonus Energy for each region in which you've achieved maximum Terror, to a maximum of 3.

The maximum amount of Energy one can invest in an action is 11 Energy. Carefully rationing one's Energy throughout the Cycle is important to succeeding in "Here Be Dragons."

There is no set posting order for this playtest, but you need to give other players at least 2 days (roughly 48 hours) to respond to your actions. If you enter another region and encounter another dragon, the player of the dragon you encountered has 48 hours to launch an Attack action or otherwise interact with you. Similarly, if you Attack an enemy dragon, you need to give the enemy at least 48 hours to launch a counter-attack before Attacking again.

Formula for Actions and Fortune Dice

When you want to attempt an action, the GM will tell you which two characteristics are most relevant. You will then decide how much Energy you want to invest in the action, and add that to the sum of your relevant characteristics. The target of your action (either a mortal civilization or a dragon) will then make a similar calculation, called a resistance roll. This resistance roll might involve different characteristics, and the defending player or civilization will not have the opportunity to add Energy to their resistance roll.

Once you have your total, you then roll your Fortune dice. You might roll only one Fortune die if you're in a bad situation, or you might roll two or three. Dragons, in most situations, roll two Fortune dice, listed as 2d4. Regardless of the number of dice you're rolling, you take the highest result of your Fortune rolls (not the sum of your Fortune rolls, just the highest number rolled) and multiply your characteristics by that result.

Since the maximum rank for characteristics is 7, and since the maximum Energy a player can invest in an action is 11, that means the maximum pre-Fortune dice sum for a player is 25 (Characteristic + Characteristic + Energy). Since the maximum Fortune dice result is 4, this means that the result of any attempted action is a number from 0-100.

Example Actions

For example, Sarkis the Red sees his brother, Virulent Adraxis, flying high above a nearby mountain, and decides to surprise him with a bold frontal assault. Sarkis the Red's player declares that he's going to expend 3 Energy on his attack on Virulent Adraxis.

The GM tells him that attacking Virulent Adraxis is a Might + Cunning action. The GM also tells Sarkis the Red that he'll roll 2d4 Fortune dice for his assault. This is commonly notated as such:

2d4 [Might + Cunning + Energy(3)]

Sarkis the Red has Might 5 and Cunning 2, which means adding in the 3 Energy he invested earlier, his pre-Fortune total is an even 10. He then rolls a 1 and 2 for his Fortune dice. Discarding the lower result, he then multiples the total of his characteristics and Energy by 2, giving him a total of 20 for his attack.

Virulent Adraxis, of course, gets to defend against this attack. The GM decides that evading Sarkis the Red's terrible teeth and claws is mostly a matter of Cunning and Savagery. Since he is the defending party, however, Virulent Adraxis does not get the luxury of spending Energy. He has only his Cunning 4 and Savagery 3 to defend himself with. Like Sarkis the Red, he has 2d4 Fortune dice to roll.

The rolls come up 2 and 4. Discarding the lower result, Virulent Adraxis multiplies his earlier total by 4, giving him 28. He manages to fend off his brother's assault.

Realizing he bit off more than he can chew this time, Sarkis the Red expends 1 Energy to flee to another region. He finds the inhabitants of the neighboring region to be a mewling human village, and decides to vent some of frustrations on the hapless locals. He tells the GM he intends to attack and terrorize the humans here. Since they don't seem like much of a threat, he also decides to invest only one Energy in the assault.

The GM tells him that terrorizing the locals is purely a Might action, which is luckily right up Sarkis the Red's alley. The formula for his plundering, then, looks like this:

2d4 [Might + Might + Energy(1)]

Doubling his Might 5 and adding his Energy investment, Sarkis the Red knows he'll be multiplying his Fortune dice result by 11. He gets a 1 and 4 on the dice, meaning his total force for this action is a formidable 44.

The villagers can't do much as a Development 2 civilization. Civilizations don't have any Energy to invest, and are on the whole rather easy prey for dragons as a result. In order to compensate for this, their pre-Fortune dice total is equal to their Development level times four. Unless a civilization is a very strong, however, they use only one Fortune die in most situations. The notation for the civilization's feeble defense, therefore, is:

1d4 [Development + Development + Development + Development]

Their pre-Fortune total is only 8, and they only roll a measly 2 on their sole Fortune die. The total (16) is subtracted from Sarkis the Red's 44 attack, giving us a final total of 28. The GM compares this result against a secret table to determine how great Sarkis the Red's rewards are.

Reputation, Hoard and Score
The game that rival dragons play can either be won by slaying one's enemies, or by accumulating such vast wealth and such a fearsome reputation that your sibling dragons are forced to admit your superiority and quietly slink away to find a new frontier to prey upon. Instead of killing all your foes, you can instead win the game by being the first player to gain a score of 5,000. Your score is determined by:

[Your total Awe in all regions] + [Your total Terror in all regions]x2 + [Your total Wealth]x3

Additionally, players gain a 200 point bonus for landing the killing blow on a sibling dragon. Additionally, there is a 100 point bonus to the Score of the dragon with the highest characteristic among their peers inside a particular category. For example, Sarkis the Red would get a 100 point bonus to his Score, since his Might 5 is higher than all of his rivals. Virulent Adraxis, however, has the highest Cunning at Cunning 4, and also the highest Savagery with Savagery 3. He gets a 200 point bonus to his Score for his superiority in these two characteristics, but if Sarkis the Red ever manages to achieve Savagery 4, he would steal that 100 bonus from Virulent Adraxis and add it to his own total Score. If two or more players are tied for highest rank in a particular characteristic, than nobody receives the bonus, unless a player is at rank 7 in a characteristic. In this case, each player that has 7 in that characteristic gets a 100 point bonus.

Awe is one aspect of your dragon's reputation, representing how much the mortal races respect and admire his or her natural beauty and fierceness. Awe is tracked separately for each region, meaning your dragon could have 25 Awe among the elves of Highwood, but 150 Awe among the humans in the free city of Paleport. Since dragons are at least partially affected by how mortals perceive them, they can harness Awe to improve their characteristics. This is done by making a test, always with 2d4 Fortune dice, and with the relevant characteristics being Mystery + whatever characteristic the dragon is hoping to improve (or Mystery+ Mystery if the dragon is trying to raise his or her Mystery characteristic). This test is opposed by the civilization whose Awe the dragon is attempting to harvest, though they only get one Fortune die. If successful, the dragon can trade Awe to increase their characteristic by one point, at a cost of 25 Awe x the new characteristic total. If the characteristic you're hoping to improve is your dragon's Focus, you gain a 50 Awe discount off the total price.

If Sarkis the Red wanted to raise his Savagery from 2 to 3, then, he'd need to make a [Mystery + Savagery] roll, then spend 75 Awe when successful. All 75 Awe must come from one region, and he must be inside the awed region to do this. If he fails the roll, his Energy in the attempt is lost (and he also takes 1 Damage; see the section "A Word on Mystery and Magic"), but he won't lose any Awe from the failed attempt. He's free to try again, either this Cycle or any other.

Terror is the other aspect of your dragon's reputation, representing how much the mortal races hate and fear him or her for the destruction he or she has wrought. Like Awe, Terror is tracked separately for each region, and can and will vary from region to region. Unlike Awe, Terror is affected by the actions of your rival dragons: each time a dragon gains an amount of Terror in a region, his rivals lose an equal amount of Terror in that same region. Additionally, having high Terror in a region gives dragons a defensive edge while fighting in that region; this is explained more under the "Combat and Damage" section.

The maximum Awe and Terror you can hold in a particular region is equal to that region's Development x 100. So a Development 1 civilization is a push-over, easily handing over its Awe and Terror to the first dragon that comes along, but it can only award a maximum of 100 Awe and 100 Terror to any given dragon. Meanwhile, a Development 5 civilization can put up considerable resistance against a dragon's depredations, but will award up to 500 Awe and Terror once they finally succumb.

Finally, Wealth represent the size of your dragon's hoard in its lair. Particularly successful plundering or especially convincing demands for tribute result in Wealth being given to your dragon. Unlike Awe and Terror, Wealth is effectively unlimited, but civilizations don't like to give it away freely, requiring extraordinary successes to earn even small amounts of Wealth. Once your dragon receives some Wealth, they need to transport it back to their lair and add it to their hoard. A dragon can only carry one parcel of Wealth at a time, and it needs to be in his or her hoard in order to have any effect on your score. Beware, because enemies (including rival dragons) can invade your lair while you're out and steal from your hoard.

Combat and Damage
A possible (and likely!) win condition is simply slaying your rival dragons. This is easier said than done, however.

In order to hurt an enemy dragon, you need to succeed on an attack action against them. As long as you beat their defense total by at least 1, you will give that dragon 1 Damage. If you beat their defense total by a lot, you can potentially inflict a lot of Damage, giving them 1 Damage for a difference of 1-9, 2 Damage for a difference of 10-19, 3 Damage for a difference of 20-29, and so on. If the fight takes place in a region where the defending dragon has a significant amount of Terror, they can sacrifice some of their Terror to mitigate the damage. For every 25 Terror they choose to lose, the incoming Damage is reduced by 1 point.

Damage is effectively a penalty on a dragon's Might score. For example, if Sarkis the Red, who as we know has Might 5, took 2 Damage, his Might would be treated as 3 until he managed to remove the Damage.

A dragons loses 2 Damage at the start of each Cycle, unless that dragon ended its Cycle in its lair, in which cases it loses 4 Damage. A dragon can also at any time spend 5 Energy to lose 1 Damage, or spend 5 Energy to lose 2 Damage if inside their lair.

If a dragon's Damage total ever exceeds their Might, they are considered Wounded. A Wounded dragon enters a primal flight response, retreating to their lair as soon as they are able (and spending Energy as normal to travel to their region to do so). Mindless with fear, they make no attempt to lose pursuers, meaning any rival dragons that follow them to their region learn the location of their lair (as they can watch the Wounded dragon fly inside to recuperate). If a Wounded dragon takes even a single point of Damage while inside his or her lair, he or she is killed and removed permanently from the game. The dragon that made the killing blow adds 200 to their score, and all remaining dragons are immediately made aware of their conquest. They also immediately become aware of where the former dragon's lair and therefore hoard lies, however, so may come to investigate. A dragon that successfully kills another would be wise to retreat as soon as possible, before the vultures can congregate.

A Word on Mystery and Magic
Dragons are incredibly powerful, but still have limitations, and most do not use sorcery. If you attempt something impossible, like blowing up a mountain or breathing fire at a foe from an incredible distance, the GM might rule that this an action where Mystery is the relevant characteristic. If a dragon fails at a Mystery action, they take 1 Damage. With a success, however, a dragon can accomplish some truly terrifying things, limited really only by the player's imagination.

Dragon Lairs and Hoards
A dragon's lair is their home, and more importantly, the location of his or her hoard. Wealth must be stored in your hoard in order to have any affect on your Score. Your lair is also a safe haven; healing affects (whether natural regeneration at the end of each Cycle or using the heal action) are doubled here, and a dragon fighting inside his or her lair always enjoys +1 Fortune die.

Additionally, your rival dragons do not know where you lair is. They first have to find it through a successful [Savagery + Savagery] check. Entering another dragon's lair (but not your own) is also considered similar to traveling to another region (meaning it costs 1 Energy). If another dragon enters your lair, they must make a [Cunning + Mystery] roll, resisted by your dragon's [Splendor + Mystery]. A failure on the intruder's part means the owner of the lair being invaded immediately knows that his lair is compromised, and by whom.

If your lair is discovered, it can be hidden again by taking the "Relocate Lair" action, meaning rival dragons will need to make further [Savagery + Savagery] checks to find it. The primary reason for seeking out and entering an opponent's lair (beyond finishing off a Wounded foe) is to steal from an enemy hoard. If you manage to find an enemy's lair and enter it, you can use a [Cunning + Cunning] Stealth, Subterfuge and Guile action to steal from the hoard. This action has no resistance roll; instead the, total of thieving dragon determines how many individual units of Wealth he or she can take. For example, if your foe has 50 Wealth in his hoard, and you roll a 20 on your [Cunning + Cunning] result, you can only take 20 Wealth, leaving 30 behind. You can always come back for more, but first you need to deposit that 20 units of ill-gotten lucre in your own hoard. Remember, dragons can only carry one parcel of Wealth at a time, regardless of how many units of Wealth are actually in that parcel (lack of thumbs has its downsides).

One strategy to get around this fact is to simply hide parcels of Wealth in other regions, completely outside any lair. For example, a thieving dragon could take 30 Wealth from an enemy's hoard, carry it outside, and hide it in the wilderness of the foe's region or in a neighboring region. He won't enjoy adding the Wealth to his own Score, but he could deny it to his enemy. His foe could conceivably find the hidden Wealth with a successful [Savagery + Savagery] check, but this will be difficult and time-consuming, since he isn't sure what region it will be hid in. Naturally, a dragon can always find parcels of Wealth they have themselves hidden, without necessitating any Savagery checks.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:54, Sat 17 Oct 2015.

The Wild
 GM, 3 posts
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 00:03
Rules: Gameplay and Mechanics
List of Possible Actions
I consider the ideal way to play this game to primarily be GM fiat, with the GM deciding what characteristics any given action requires. However, just so everything is nice and clear for this playtest, here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the things your dragon can do, just to give you an inkling of how the game actually works in action.

There are three main types of actions.

1) An Attack action, which targets an enemy dragon or a specific enemy NPC that is capable of fighting back.
2) A Prey action, which targets a civilization, usually with the goal of amassing Awe, Terror, or Wealth.
3) A Self action, which targets only the dragon taking the action, or a small area around the dragon, or otherwise does not have a meaningful target.

Might Actions
[Might + Might] = Plunder. Plunder is a Prey action, specifically related to terrorizing mortals, destroying their creations, and trying to extract Terror and Wealth from the populace. Successful Plunder actions result in Terror, while very successful ones result in Wealth and Terror being generated. Extreme failures might result in your dragon taking Damage as his depredations are repelled by the inhabitants. Even successful Plunder rolls usually result in some kind of backlash, as the civilization scrambles to defend itself.

[Might + Cunning]: Tooth and Nail. An Attack action resisted by the target's Cunning + Savagery, this represents a dragon engaging a foe in melee with its teeth, claws and tail.

[Might + Splendor]: Intimidate Foe / Marshall Forces. Intimidate Foe is an Attack action or a Prey action, resisted by a target's Splendor + Savagery. If successful (ie., you beat the target's resistance roll), then no Damage is inflicted. Instead, the target's Fortune dice are reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 1 Fortune die) when facing the attacker (and only that particular attacker) in combat for the rest of the Cycle. You cannot Intimidate the same target more than once per Cycle.

Marshall Forces is a Prey action and involves a dragon taking a direct hand in a region's martial affairs, either offering advice to commanders, overseeing the training of troops, equipping heroes with arms and armor crafted from their own fallen scales and broken talons, or else simply intimidating a fighting force into being more fearless and effective. If successful (ie., you beat the civilization's resistance roll), then the civilization gains one extra Fortune die for the rest of the Cycle, making it much harder for rival dragons to take advantage of them. If you succeed the resistance roll by 20 or more, you can also spawn an Army unit, who will follow your dragon's commands until the end of the current Cycle, at which point it disbands.

[Might + Mystery]: Influence Demesne/Relocate Lair. Influence Demesne is a Prey action that can only be used inside a dragon's own demesne. A dragon's personality and presence is so overwhelming, it can actually influence the natural world around him. A civilization's Fortune dice for their resistance roll is 1d4, unless that civilization has access to magic, in which case it's 2d4. If successful, the dragon can make drastic changes to the natural features of the region. This can include influencing the weather, making trees and other vegetation grow taller or wider, or even changing the make-up of tunnels and cavern systems. This ability does not allow the dragon to harm a civilization or make a direct assault against a dragon within the region, but it can be used to give his lair a significant defensive edge. A dragon that has successfully used the Influence Demesne action causes anyone attacking them in their lair to lose one Fortune die, to a minimum of 1d4. Using Influence Demesne can also essentially move your lair by closing up old entrances and creating new ones. If you successfully Influence Demesne, any dragons able to curse you will lose the ability until they enter your lair again. Any enemies that previously knew where your lair was will have to find it again.

[Might + Savagery]: Invoke Breath Weapon. An Attack action resisted by the targets Savagery + Splendor. Dragons that have the same (or a very similar) breath weapon as you are immune. This represents an attack relying heavily on the dragon's breath weapon, as opposed to their teeth and claws.

Cunning Actions

[Cunning + Cunning]: Stealth, Guile, and Subterfuge. This is a Self action, and covers any type of deception or stealth a dragon might attempt. The most significant use of this is leaving one region and entering another without being noticed by dragons in either region. Sneaky actions are usually resisted by the Cunning + Savagery of any possible witnesses. It's possible for the same sneaky action to succeed against some witnesses, but fail against others.

[Cunning + Splendor]: Bargain with Mortals. This is a Prey action, and involves threatening or bargaining with mortals, with the goal of gaining Wealth and Awe. The greater your success, the more Wealth and Awe one can expect to receive.

[Cunning + Mystery]: Collude with Mortal Mages / Devise Trap. Collude with Mortal Mages is an action few dragons in their right mind would choose to take, but it is an option, and refers to a dragon either allowing mortal mages to use his or her body as fuel for their magic, or else cooperating with mortal mages to work some type of dreadful spell. A success means whatever the dragon and his conspiracy of mages were trying to achieve worked... at least to an extent.

Devise Trap is a Self action dragons are much more likely to undertake, and allows them to place a trap in their lair. Since dragons generally lack mechanical and engineering skills, this trap is usually at least somewhat magical in nature (which is why Mystery is required for the roll). Once the trap is set, the first time an enemy enters the lair this Cycle, it will go off. The dragon will instantly be aware that someone or something entered his or her lair, and can immediately make a [Cunning + Mystery + Energy] attack, which the intruder defends against with [Cunning + Savagery]. If the trap isn't triggered, it fades at the end of the Cycle, and needs to be reset with another investiture of Energy.

[Cunning + Savagery]: Evade. Evade is a Self action, and a potent defensive tactic, indicating that your dragon is carefully taking a defensive position or using complicated evasive aerial acrobatics to make him or her more difficult to target. After taking the Evade action, you can use your Evade total to replace your natural resistance roll, and indeed any resistance roll you make until you either are successfully hit by an Attack, you break evasive action by moving to another region, or the Cycle ends (whichever comes first). Additionally, using Evade adds +1 Fortune die to any resistance rolls you make until the Evade action expires.

Splendor Actions

[Splendor + Splendor]: Dazzle Mortals. This is a Prey action, and it involves your dragon revealing him or herself dramatically to a group of mortals. He or she might be demanding worship, tribute, or some other boon or favor, but the overall goal is to get some puny mortals on their knees and grovelling properly. Successful Dazzle Mortals actions generate a great deal of Awe, while wild successes can even generate a bit of Wealth, too. Extreme failures can cause embarrassment for the dragon, making them lose Awe or Terror in the region.

[Splendor + Mystery]: Ensorcell Mortals / Curse Foe. Ensorcell Mortals allows your dragon to take direct control of an enemy's actions. It is usually a Prey action, though it can also be an Attack action if you're targeting a non-dragon enemy (dragons have much too strong a will to be charmed by magic). The action is resisted by [Mystery + Savagery]. If successful, the target is under the dragon's thrall. If used as a Prey action, the civilization will immediately generate an Army for the dragon to command. If it was used as an Attack action, the attacked entity will instead follow the dragon's commands. Most targets only get 1 Fortune die for their resistance roll, though magical enemies or magic-capable civilizations get 2d4 Fortune dice.

Non-dragon NPCs are simple, and can follow simple commands. They can take basic Attack actions, and generally cannot take Prey or Self actions. A dragon can command any NPCs under his or her thrall without expending any Energy, though he or she must be in the same region as their thrall in order to issue a command. The dragon can command an NPC to move between regions 2 times, take 2 actions, or take 1 action and move to a different region once. NPCs are Ensorcelled only until the end of the Cycle. At Cycle's end, Armies generated by Ensorcell Mortals will typically disband. Enemies that are temporarily ensorcelled will regain their senses, and act according to their natures again.

Curse Foe is a powerful Attack action, similar to Intimidate Foe, but it allows a dragon to demoralize even a distant enemy. It is one of the few actions in the game that doesn't require your dragon to have be in the same region as the target. It's resisted by the target's [Splendor + Mystery]. If successful, the target loses one Fortune die for any action it attempts, to a minimum of 1d4. This penalty lasts until the end of the Cycle or until the targeted enemy uses the Influence Demesne action, whichever comes first. Curse Foe can only be used against rival dragons, and it requires that you not only know where the target's lair is, but also that you have personally been inside the lair. If your target ever uses the Influence Demesne action, you will need to enter the lair again in order to regain the ability to Curse him.

[Splendor + Savagery]: Cavort and Rampage. These are two very similar Prey actions, designed to allow a dragon to glean small amounts of Awe (with Cavort) or Terror (with Rampage) without risking any Damage. Even spectacularly poor rolls result in no ill effects for the dragon, but even wildly successful rolls only result in a small gain of either Awe or Terror, and never any Wealth.

Mystery Actions

[Mystery + Mystery]: Commit Sorcery / Summon Entity. This is an Attack action, and specifically relates to a dragon using magic to harm an enemy. It is resisted by the target's [Mystery + Mystery], meaning sorcery is most devastating when used against those that understand it poorly. Additionally, sorcery can either inflict Damage as normal, or can be used to sap an enemy dragon's Energy. It is possible to use sorcery for things other than direct damage assaults; these will be subject to GM fiat, but will in the end most likely still use [Mystery + Mystery], and will most likely be resisted by [Mystery + Mystery]. Finally, perhaps the most potent use of sorcery is employing it to attack dragons in neighboring regions; you don't necessarily have to be in the same region as a dragon to cast a spell on him or her, but you do need to know exactly which region he or she is in.

Summon Entity is the other major use of Mystery, and perhaps the most dangerous. It is a Prey action, resisted by 1d4 Fortune dice for non-magical civilizations or 2d4 Fortune dice for magic-capable civilizations. Success means that the dragon successfully summoned a powerful extra-dimensional entity, such as a demon or elemental. The exact nature of the summoned entity is up to the GM, but the dragon can specify in broad terms what he or she is looking for and can, on a success, decide to cancel the summoning at the last moment if they don't like the result. Summoned entities are usually hostile; dragons should be prepared to fight, bribe or use the Ensorcell Mortals action on whatever they conjure up. Summoned entities persist until slain. It is impossible to summon rival dragons.

[Mystery + Savagery]: Rend the Weave. This is usually a Self action, though it can sometimes be an Attack action, and represents a dragon investing Energy in resisting or disrupting nearby sorcery. It can be used as an Attack action on a nearby, obviously magical target, such as an all-powerful archmage or a summoned demon. It is resisted by the target's [Mystery + Splendor], destroying or banishing the enemy on a success as appropriate to its nature. Dragons cannot be harmed by the Rend the Weave action, as their magical nature is inherent and difficult to disrupt.

If used as a Self action, Rend the Weave imposes a penalty on incoming Mystery-based attacks or attacks from magical enemies of any type, reducing the Fortune dice for the attack by 1, to a minimum of 1d4. When used defensively in this nature, Rend the Weave lasts until the end of the Cycle or until the dragon using Rend the Weave takes a Mystery-based action of their own, whichever comes first.

Savagery Actions

[Savagery + Savagery]: Explore, Scout or Investigate. This allows a dragon to hone his hunting and tracking instincts, trying to ferret out hidden details of a region. The primary use of this is uncovering dragons trying to travel stealthily or for finding lairs. It is possible, but unlikely, for a dragon to stumble across a small amount of abandoned Wealth with an exceptionally good roll, as well.

Non-Characteristic Actions
These actions don't involve any particular characteristics, and always cost the same amount of Energy.

Move: Moving to another region costs 1 Energy. You can only move to an adjacent region.
Heal: It costs 5 Energy to remove 1 Damage. You can remove 2 Damage if you use this action inside your lair.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:37, Sat 17 Oct 2015.

The Wild
 GM, 25 posts
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 23:11
Rules: Gameplay and Mechanics
Common Fortune Dice Modifiers
Here is  a quick, handy guide to some of the most common reasons a creature's Fortune dice would be modified.

Base Fortune Dice for Dragons: 2d4
Base Fortune Dice for Civilizations:1d4
You're Attacking from an Advantageous Position*: +1 Fortune die
You're Taking an Action Inside Your Own Lair: +1 Fortune die
You're Wounded: -1 Fortune die
*"Advantageous Position" is purposefully ambiguous. Good examples include attacking with surprise from stealth (though you'd only receive the +1 Fortune die bonus for your first Attack action in this instance), or attacking from a fortified position of some type. Generally speaking, in order to gain this bonus, your dragon will need to take some type of Action (and invest at least 1 Energy) beforehand.

Common Enemies
"Enemies" are NPC units or individuals that prop up as a result of a dragon's actions or (more rarely) as a result of the passing of Cycles; the world you, the GM and your rival players create is a living, breathing one with its own unique history and conflicts. Don't be surprised if outcast dragons appear on the horizon, one region's civilization invades another, or some ancient monstrosity awakens to wreak havoc on the continent.

Enemies are less sturdy than dragons, however, and do not receive Damage or become Wounded. An Enemy that receives even 1 Damage is simply dead (or, if the Enemy represents a group like an army, they lose their resolve and disband). An Enemies have a limited number of actions they can take per cycle. Instead of a reserve of Energy they parcel out over the course of a Cycle, they have a base amount of Energy they add as a bonus to any action they attempt.

Here are some example enemies:

Non-Magical Enemies

Militia
Little more than a panicked mob with their requisite pitchforks, a militia group can sometimes get lucky against a dragon... but not often.
Might - 1
Cunning - 0
Splendor - 0
Mystery - 0
Savagery - 2
Energy Per Action - 1
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 1d4
Special Abilities:
Victory - Upgrades to a Dragon Hunter Squad if they successfully Wound a dragon.

Army
It's difficult for most mortal warriors to go toe-to-toe with a dragon. Swords and lances do very little against a dragon's powers of flight and flame, but even the feeblest nations can typically scrounge up a force of archers or javelineers to try and deter attacking dragons.
Might - 2
Cunning - 1
Splendor - 0
Mystery - 0
Savagery - 1
Energy Per Action - 2
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 1d4
Special Abilities:
Victory - Upgrades to a Dragon Hunter Squad if they successfully Wound a dragon.

Raiders
The stress of draconic tyranny can cause mortal civilizations to balkanize and fracture. Raiders are humans, dwarves or (rarely) elves that have abandoned all pretense of civility and honor, and taken to preying upon their neighbors. A horde of raiders lack an army's discipline, but they fight with a frenzy and savagery can overwhelm the unwary.
Might - 1
Cunning - 1
Splendor - 0
Mystery - 0
Savagery - 3
Energy Per Action - 2
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 1d4
Special Abilities:
Foment Chaos - Every time a group of Raiders ends its Cycle in a region, each dragon loses 5 Terror in that region.
Victory - Upgrades to a Dragon Hunter Squad if they successfully Wound a dragon.

Dragon Hunter Squad
Some civilations have the means to specifically hunt down dragons, while others are pushed to the brink by a dragon's depredations, forcing the common folk to take extreme measures to protect their lives and livelihood. Dragon hunter squads are similar to armies, but smaller, fiercer and leaner, with each individual member a hardened veteran who has faced a dragon in combat at least once. They are determined foes of dragons everywhere.
Might - 3
Cunning - 2
Splendor - 0
Mystery - 0
Savagery - 3
Energy Per Action - 3
Actions Per Cycle - 5
Base Fortune Dice: 2d4
Special Abilities:
The Long Watch - Every time a Dragon Hunter Squad ends its Cycle in a region, each dragon loses 10 Terror in that region.

Assassin Squad
Crime and espionage exists everywhere, but most criminal organizations have enough of a sense of self-preservation to give dragons a very wide berth. Every once in a while, however, a group of ne'er-do-wells can be convinced to take up arms against a dragon. Sometimes the pay is just too good, or sometimes even the blackest of mercenary hearts can be convinced to band together against a larger threat.
Might - 3
Cunning - 5
Splendor - 0
Mystery - 1
Savagery - 3
Energy Per Action - 3
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 1d4
Special Abilities:
Grubby Little Thief - The Assassin Squad can take a dragon's entire hoard, without any need for a Stealth, Guile and Subterfuge roll.
Sword for Hire - A dragon can generate an Assassin Squad by spending 5 Wealth. They can instruct the Assassin Squad to undertake a single, discrete action, though that action can be involved and complex (like "steal Virulent Adraxis' hoard and deposit it in my lair," or "kill the noble in the neighboring region." The Assassin Squad will attempt to complete its quest, disbanding once it has completed its task. However, a rival dragon can spend 10 Wealth to issue the Assassin Squad a new command; it will abandon its previous quest and serve the new dragon instead. Either the original creator of the Assassin Squad or any other dragon can then pay double again and issue a new command; this can continue indefinitely until the Assassin Squad either completes an assigned task or is killed.

Mercenary Company
Hardened combat veterans sometimes sell their skills on the open market. They're not above working for despots, criminals, or tyrants... and that includes dragons.
Might - 5
Cunning - 3
Splendor - 0
Mystery - 0
Savagery - 4
Energy Per Action - 3
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 1d4
Special Abilities:
Sword for Hire - A dragon can generate a Mercenary Company by spending 5 Wealth. They can instruct the Mercenary Company to undertake a single, discrete action, though that action can be complex and involve multiple steps (like "steal Virulent Adraxis' hoard and deposit it in my lair," or "kill the noble in the neighboring region") The Mercenary Company will attempt to complete its quest, disbanding once it has completed its task. However, a rival dragon can spend 10 Wealth to issue the Assassin Squad a new command; it will abandon its previous quest and serve the new dragon instead. Either the original creator of the Mercenary Company or any other dragon can then pay double again and issue a new command; this can continue indefinitely until the Mercenary Company either completes an assigned task or is killed.

Magical Enemies

Mage
This enemy represents a petty hedge mage, or a minor consortium of wizards. They're not much in a stand-up fight, but their command of sorcery can make them formidable foes, even for dragons.
Might - 0
Cunning - 2
Splendor - 1
Mystery - 4
Savagery - 0
Energy Per Action - 3
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 1d4
Special Abilities:
Magical - This enemy counts as a magical enemy. This means they gain +1 Fortune die on resistance rolls against Invoke Breath Weapon attacks, as well as any attacks that use the Mystery characteristic. On the other hand, they can also be affected by the Rend the Weave action.
Energy Leech - If the Mage successfully deals at least 1 point of Damage to a dragon with an Attack action, that dragon loses 1 Energy.

Sorcerer
This enemy represents a war-caster or a more advanced coven of mages. Their skill in sorcery is even greater, and they're also a bit more comfortable with more mundane forms of combat.
Might - 1
Cunning - 3
Splendor - 1
Mystery - 5
Savagery - 1
Energy Per Action - 5
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 2d4
Special Abilities:
Magical - This enemy counts as a magical enemy. This means they gain +1 Fortune die on resistance rolls against Invoke Breath Weapon attacks, as well as any attacks that use the Mystery characteristic. On the other hand, they can also be affected by the Rend the Weave action.
Energy Leech - If the Sorcerer successfully deals at least 1 point of Damage to a dragon with an Attack action, that dragon loses 1 Energy.

Undead Army
Very similar to an army, but smellier, a bit tougher, and significantly less tasty.
Might - 3
Cunning - 0
Splendor - 0
Mystery - 0
Savagery - 2
Energy Per Action - 2
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 1d4
Special Abilities:
Magical - This enemy counts as a magical enemy. This means they gain +1 Fortune die on resistance rolls against Invoke Breath Weapon attacks, as well as any attacks that use the Mystery characteristic. On the other hand, they can also be affected by the Rend the Weave action.

Elemental
A powerful elemental being, or a group of less-powerful elemental beings, this represents either summoned entities or naturally-occuring nature spirits. They are mysterious and tough to take down, but not usually focused on offensive power.
Might - 3
Cunning - 1
Splendor - 2
Mystery - 5
Savagery - 5
Energy Per Action - 3
Actions Per Cycle - 2
Base Fortune Dice: 2d4
Special Abilities:
Magical - This enemy counts as a magical enemy. This means they gain +1 Fortune die on resistance rolls against Invoke Breath Weapon attacks, as well as any attacks that use the Mystery characteristic. On the other hand, they can also be affected by the Rend the Weave action.
Immunity - The elemental is immune to one type of breath weapon of the GM's choice.