house rules

I am making a lot of changes to the Basic Roleplay system. For starters, ignore everything in the book on character creation or magic. A lot of skills in the basic system don’t make sense for a fantasy world and are not available. There are also some added skills.

Missing Players

  • Characters whose players cannot make a session will be controlled by the GM.
  • I don’t intend to be stupid with characters, but don’t expect your character to be played optimally while you’re away.
  • Good things almost never happen to these characters.
  • Bad things are more likely to happen to these characters than others.
  • The ONLY control absent players have over their characters is via their instincts, if any.
  • Characters never gain skill checks while their player is absent.
  • If the GM doesn’t have a copy of the character sheet, the characters automatically fails any skill they attempt.


Movement and distance will be gridless on the tabletop. The scale will not always be the same, but 1"=1 meter will probably be the most common.

Facing of your character is significant. Your character is presumed to be facing the way the miniature’s head is facing.

  • Anything 90 degrees to either side of your facing is considered your front (180 degree total arc)
  • Anything 30 degrees past your front arc is your side arc
  • The remaining 120 degrees is your rear arc

Attacking, parrying, or perceiving into the side arc opposite your weapon arm is at -25%.
Dodging attacks from either side arc is at -15%.
Attacking, parrying, or perceiving into the rear arc is difficult if you know the attacker is there, impossible otherwise.
If the reverse strike skill is greater than the penalized value of the weapon skill for an attack (only), use the reverse strike skill instead. There is no equivalent for parry.

Facing changes are free with any action that allows movement.
Unengaged combatants (combatants who are in preferred melee range of no opponents) may change facing in reaction to an opponent coming into melee range.
Combatants engaged by only one opponent may freely change facing to stay facing that opponent if it moves around them.

Charging into combat is an action that allows you to move up to 1x your MOV and make an attack. You must move at least 3 meters, and the last 3 meters must be in a straight line. There is no advantage or penalty for charging unless you are mounted (see the mounted combat skill).

Missile Weapons

Thrown missiles may be parried by shields or dodged normally. They may be parried by hand weapons as difficult parries.
Dodging a projectile may only be attempted vs. front attacks, and is difficult.
Parrying a projectile may only be attempted with a shield vs. front or shielded side attacks, and is at the defaultt values on p. 231.
Projectiles may not be parried with a hand weapon.

(clarification) Missile fire into a melee takes a -20% to the attacker’s skill. If the attack would have hit without this -20% penalty, then the attack hits a random target in the melee, possibly including the original target.

(clarification) Missile fire while engaged (in this campaign, while within any melee range of any opponent) is difficult.

Weapon Length

All weapons have a preferred range from which to fight.

  • Short weapons can only attack while base to base with their target. They cannot be used at any other range. This category includes the natural attacks of many beasts.
  • Medium weapons are used ideally between 1/2" and 1" away from their opponent. They can be used at short range, but at -10% attack and parry and +1 weapon speed.
  • Long weapons are used ideally between 2" and 4" away from their opponents. They can be used at ranges down to 1" at -10% attack and parry and +2 weapon speed, or ranges under 1" at half skill and double weapon speed.

Creatures with medium or long range natural weapons are not typically penalized for attacking at shorter ranges.

Distance will be measured from the front middle center of a figure’s base to the closest point on the target figure’s base (where a target is needed).

Leaving an opponent’s ideal weapon range (in or out) grants that opponent a reactive attack. You may move around within that range without granting such an attack.


We will use a rolling initiative system. Every participant in a combat encounter will have a place on a 12-space grid. Combatants’ starting location on the grid is equal to 1d6 + DEX SR. After taking an action count a number of spaces equal to the delay associated with that action.

your DEX strike rank (typically 1-4, see p. 200) plus the speed cost of the action (typically 3-10) to find the timing of your next action. Effects that have durations measured in rounds count down on the same grid location they were initiated on.

Weapon speeds are listed on the weapons page.

Delay for various actions:
Attack with weapon: weapon speed + DEX SR
Cast a greater divine spell: 0 + DEX SR
Cast a lesser divine spell: 1 + DEX SR
Cast a non-divine spell: MP spent (minimum 3) + DEX SR
Move 1/2x MOV: free with any other action
Move 1x MOV: 4
Move 2x MOV: 8
Move 3x MOV: 12
Move 4x MOV: 12 and run check
Move 5x MOV: 12 and run check at -10%
Move 6x MOV: 12 and run check (difficult)
Charge: 6 + weapon speed + DEX SR
Sit: 4 + DEX SR
Crouch/Kneel: 3 + DEX SR
Drop Prone: 1 + DEX SR
Stand: 4 + DEX SR
Listen/Spot/Sense: 3
Search: 12+ (depends on area)
First Aid: 12
Draw Weapon: weapon speed -1
Pick up item from ground: item’s ENC (round up) + DEX SR
Use Skill: varies, generally 4-12

As a heads up; I’m pretty happy with the weapon and spell speeds but the other speeds I’m not so sure on. Expect some tweaking there.


From time to time adventurers may wish to use a weapon they are not trained with, either for attack or defense. When that happens they may default to a similar weapon skill that they are trained with.

  • Defaulting to a weapon in the same group is at a -15% penalty.
  • Defaulting to a similar weapon in a different group is at DM discretion and is difficult.

Succeeding in the defaulted attack earns an experience check with the weapon being used (not the skill being defaulted from). Experience rolls (and gains) are made vs. the actual value of the weapon skill used – probably base + category modifier.

Example: Frank has longsword 65% but is fighting with a short sword, which he is untrained with (counting category mod his short sword skill is 22%). To hit in combat he would need a 50 or lower. Assuming he hit, he would test for experience vs. the 22%, and add any resultant increases to that 22%. It will take a number of adventures fighting untrained with the short sword before his effective chance to hit improves (when his shortsword skill reaches 51%, assuming his longsword skill does not increase).

Easy skills and experience

Achieving a special (or critical) success on an easy skill check qualifies the character for an experience check.

house rules

Arvalia: Ascension of Man LordKierin