Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Aeranos Update - Arcane Links and True Names

Arcane Links
Classic examples of arcane links are hair, blood, spit or fingernails. To be a viable link, the sample must be well preserved and undiluted, though not necessarily fresh. Other arcane links include a spellcaster's talisman, as well as totem bound objects.
With the proper arcane link, spells that normally require line of sight, can instead be cast from miles away. A Creature's true Name can also be used as an arcane link.
With a good arcane link, you can cast sight range spells at a distance of 1 mile per level of your sphere.

True Names
If a creatures true name is used in a spell, that creature is more likely to be affected strongly by the spell. Targets are affected in one of the following ways...
If the target gets a defense test it is halved.
If the target has magic resistance against the spell it is halved.
Effects on beneficial spells are somewhat more limited, but might include a slightly longer duration, at the discretion of the GM.
Most peasantry, unless they have had some experience with magic will openly use at least part of their true name, never realizing its significance. For example, a man named at birth "Nathaniel Dorthanson" may be known by all as "Nate the Smith," bur Nate the Smith will not work as a true name. For arcane importance, even the pronunciation of the true name is significant.
Any magical creature and most adventurers and intelligent monsters will most likely hide their true name as the treasure it is.
Animal intelligence creatures true names are very rarely known by any but the greater animal spirits and the gods. If for some reason the true name of an animal type is known and misused, the elder and namer gods will do whatever they can to punish the spellcaster responsible. Generally this means death for blatant abuses, though sometimes a god will simply wipe the name from a worthy characters mind.
Intelligent animals, creatures and elementals each have their own true name.
In general, area effect spells cannot be augmented by a true name, except in that they are harder to resist for targets whos names are invoked.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Aeranos Update - Bloodless Shambler

Every good game's gotta have 'em. Here's the Aeranos version of the classic.

Bloodless Shambler

One of the simplest of bloodless creations, Shamblers are the recently dead, brought back to a poor semblance of life, with only the most basic of instincts.
They can be controlled by spellcasters and intelligent bloodless creatures, but their simple intelligence means only orders such as "attack" or "defend" are generally followed for any length of time. While shamblers aren't supernaturally strong, they are able to use their muscles beyond normal Namer endurance, and thus are a bit stronger than they were in life, but they are considerably less agile and perceptive. All that said, they can be truly dangerous in large numbers.

Below are the statistics of a basic Neran shambler

Awareness 3*, Athletics 5, Stealth 2
Speed 2, Mind 2*, Body 10
Initiative 2, Move 10, Survival 7*
Toughness 10 (Useless Flesh 3, Bloodless Fortitude 2)

Fists & Bite 4, 5d
Weapon 3, (weapon damage)
Dodge 1

Special Abilities:
Bloodless Modifiers: +2 Stamina, Tireless with no need to breath, Immune to Spirit spells, Life Sense: +4 to Awareness vs. the living.
Automatons of Flesh: +3 Stamina, Brawl of 3, Weapon skill of 2, No negatives for brawl attacks vs. melee.
Relentless: Only a Called Shot to the heart (-8) or complete destruction of the body will destroy a shambler. Even a headless shambler will attack.
In groups, shamblers will attempt to grapple and overwhelm victims.

Converting a Creature Into a Shambler
Primary Stats: +2 Strength, +3 Stamina, -3 Agility (min 1), -2 Perception (min 1), Intelligence and Willpower reduced to 1.
Remove most existing Specialties and Disadvantages, but add Special Abilities listed above.
Either use the combat skills of the Automatons of Flesh specialty, or the creature's -3, whichever is better.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Aeranos Update - Crafting Mechanics

A character with the proper Craft skill, and enough time, can create just about anything. The process of building or creating one item is called a Project. A Project is made up of Skill, Time and Difficulty. Some projects are relatively simple affairs, like shoeing a horse, or brewing some beer. Other projects are complicated and time consuming, like penning a musical composition, building an entire castle, or brewing really good beer.
Determining how difficult and time consuming a project is, may require some research, and is ultimately up to the GM. The depth to which you want to go into crafting is likewise up to the GM and the players.

The proper knowledge for the job at hand. This is the particular skill needed to complete the project. Most of the time this is a Craft skill, but it could also be a Religion, History, Arcana or Wilderness Survival skill, or even something else at the GM's discretion. Besides the main skill needed, there might be other skills that can provide modifiers to the main project test.

The time it takes to complete a project includes material gathering, preparation and actual crafting time. The final time will be the standard amount it takes an average craftsman to complete the project. If the project is long, or involved, the GM is free to turn it into an extended skill test. In fact, many projects will be extended skill tests.

This is the actual target you are aiming for with your skill tests. The difficulty of a project is determined by most of the same elements that are used for Time. In addition, the difficulty is determined by the final product you are attempting to create. Forging an average sword is easier than attempting to create a Quality blade ready for enchantment.

With big, complicated projects, it may be tempting to split the process into several different extended skill tests, but unless you want the project to be a central theme to a game, you should probably avoid this. While crafting an item is useful, its often not the most exciting thing your character will do. That said, something that will take months, or even years to complete might be one extended test split up over several sessions.

Example Project  /  Skill  /  Time  /  Difficulty  /  Special Rules
Forge Horse Shoes /  Blacksmith  /  3 Hours  /  10  /  -15 minutes per success (min. Half hour)

Forge Average Weapon  /  Blacksmith, Bowyer  /  1 day  /  12  /  1 test halfway to the end of the process. -1 hour per success (min. 6 hours)
Repair Average Weapon  /  Blacksmith, Bowyer  /  3 Hours  /  12  / 1 test. -15 minutes per success (min. Half Hour)
Forge Quality Sword  /  Blacksmith  /  About a week  /  15  /  1 test per day. Extended skill test. Requires 12 Successes.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Aeranos - Disadvantages Updated

Using Disadvantages

There are two ways to bring your disadvantages into play.

1. Invoking a Disadvantage

This method is completely in yours, or the GM's hands. Anytime, before you make a test, you or the GM can suggest invoking one of your disadvantages. When this is done, you enter a Disadvantaged State, or add a Story Complication.

2. Critical Dice Failure "Snake Eyes"

Anytime you get a natural result of two on your dice roll, you and the GM must try to invoke one of your disadvantages, sending you into a Disadvantaged State, or adding a Story Complication.
If you can find no disadvantage that applies, you don't have to invoke a disadvantage, but you get no chance to earn a fate or survival point either.
If your snake eyes don’t already result in a failure, the GM can use the disadvantage modifier on the same test that caused the Disadvantaged State.

Disadvantaged State

Whenever you enter this state, the GM gains a one-time ability to impose a -1d6 Disadvantage modifier to your current test, or a future test in the current scene. This choice can, and often should, be made by the GM after you roll, for maximum negative effect.

Disadvantage Modifier Rules
If you invoke a Fate point on a test, the GM can’t use the negative modifier for the same test.
The GM can’t use a Disadvantage modifier on a Defense test that has already failed.
The GM can’t use the modifier as a bonus to his own tests.

Once the scene ends, or the negative modifier has been applied, your Disadvantaged State ends as well. If the scene ends without the GM getting a chance to use the modifier, you don’t get a fate/survival point.

Story Complication

A Story Complication is more of a roleplaying disadvantage than a mechanical one. Your disadvantage leads to a twist, or an unfortunate turn of events that complicates your character’s life, and possibly everyone else’s. This might be your criminal past rearing it’s ugly head and spoiling your negotiations with the local law keepers, or a Dependant being among the hostages of an evil wizard you’re about to face. Story Complications should generally be agreed upon by both the GM and the players.

Refusing a Disadvantage

There may be times when you roll a snake eyes, or when the GM invokes, that you really don't want to be disadvantaged. You can choose to refuse the disadvantage for the scene without any penalty, beyond the missed opportunity to gain a fate or survival point.

Disadvantage Types

There are three types of scene where disadvantages can be invoked. Many can be invoked in more than one.


Social disadvantages can be invoked when your character is in any kind of discussion or negotiation. Basically any time your character is interacting with NPCs. Most of the time, this is without weapons drawn and without attack and defense tests flying around. While this kind of disadvantage can lead to a Disadvantaged State, effecting social skill tests, it is more often associated with a Story Complication.


Combat disadvantages are the most cut and dry. They almost always take the form of a Disadvantaged State, and can be really annoying, but often just as entertaining and/or interesting. Certain combat disadvantages, like Crippled, should be invoked often by the GM and player, while others may only come up every once in a while.


This type of disadvantage comes up when you are busy in the process of “adventuring.” It might hamper you while you are picking a lock, disarming a trap or deciphering runes on a dungeon wall. Most of the time this takes the form of a Disadvantaged State, though in some circumstances, it might lead to a Story Complication.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Aeranos Update - Disadvantages

Looking for opinions on this new mechanic for disadvantages. It would simplify the disad descriptions because they would no longer require a defense test when invoked…

There are two ways to bring your disadvantages into play.

1. Invoking a Disadvantage
This method is completely in yours, or the GM's hands. Anytime, before you make a test, you or the GM can suggest invoking one of your disadvantages. When this is done, you enter a "Disadvantaged State."

2. Critical Dice Failure "Snake Eyes"
Anytime you get a natural result of two on your dice roll, you and the GM must try to invoke one of your disadvantages, sending you into a "Disadvantaged State."
If you can find no disadvantage that applies, you don't have to enter the Disadvantaged State, but you get no chance to earn a fate point either.

Disadvantaged State
Whenever you enter this state, the GM gains a one-time ability to impose a negative 1d6 modifier to one of your future tests in the current scene. This choice can, and often should, be made by the GM after you roll, for maximum negative effect.
Once the scene ends, or the negative modifier has been applied, your Disadvantaged State ends as well.

Refusing a Disadvantage
There may be times when you roll a snake eyes, that you really don't want to be disadvantaged. You can choose to Refuse the disadvantage for the scene, but the next time you are disadvantaged, the GM gets two opportunities to apply the -1d6 before your disadvantaged state ends.
There is no penalty for refusing a disadvantage invoked by the GM.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Aeranos Update - New Spell

A bit lengthy for a spell description, but I think it's okay for a higher level spell. My only concern is whether this is actually a 5th level of power...
Stormstrider (Nature 5)
 Casting Time: 4 Turns
Duration: 10 minutes (+5 per success)
Range: Self
Resistance: Speed or Minimum Damage
Reagents: Focus: A small talisman created from four tail feathers of an elemental Storm Eagle.
Powerful winds gather around you, and the air crackles with the elemental power at your command.
You can tread on air as if walking on solid ground, but at one and a half times your normal movement rate. Moving upward is similar to walking up a hill. The maximum upward or downward angle possible is 45 degrees. In addition you can jump up to your movement rate vertically, or twice your movement rate horizontally with powerful gusts of wind.
Strong winds have no effect on your movement.
In addition to movement, you can spend one attack action and send a burst of lightning at any target within 200 feet. Targets must pass a Speed test 18 or take +9 electrical damage. You must wait 1d6 turns between lightning attacks while the energy builds.
Should you cast this spell in the midst of an actual thunderstorm, you can send the storm's own lightning as a powerful attack against your enemies. Your strike zone can be any ten foot square within sight and open to the sky. Any target within this area must make a Speed test 20 or take +12 electrical damage. Anyone within 15 feet of the strike zone must make a Speed test 18 or take +9 electrical damage. Even those who make their speed test take minimum light wound damage and all are stunned for 1d6 turns.
This lightning attack is subject to the storm's own whim. Each turn the storm and spell last, roll 1d6. A result of 5-6 signals a lightning strike that takes your action for the turn, should you use it. Don't start rolling for another strike for 1d6 turns. You are unable to move or perform any attack actions in the turn after the blast.
Should the spell duration end while the subject is still aloft, the magic fails slowly. The subject floats downward 60 feet per round for 1d6 turns. If he reaches the ground in that amount of time, he lands safely. If not, he falls the rest of the distance. Since dispelling a spell effectively ends it, the subject also descends in this way if it is dispelled, but not if it is negated by an antimagic field. No lightning strikes are possible once the spell duration ends.

Aeranos Rules Update

Just an update to the Magic Resistance rules. I was struggling to come up with a mechanic that worked like the classic "Save for Half Damage" under my very different damage system. I think this fits the bill... New rules in blue.


This describes how targets of the spell can attempt to resist it. Most Resistance tests are one of the three main Defense Tests: Speed, Mind, Body, or combat defenses like parry and dodge along with Toughness.

Reduced Damage

Spells that cause reduced damage mean that the target subtracts the amount by which they pass their defense test from the damage. (If the target gets an 18 on a Speed Test 16, they subtract 2 from the base spell damage, but still must take the damage.)

Minimum Effect

Alternatively, a spell may always produce a minimum effect, even on a successful defense test. This may either be a base wound level, or another temporary or permanent effect, like, “stunned for 1d6 turns,” or “Blinded for 1 hour.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sign Up for Aeranos RPG Rules Updates

It struck me recently, that there might be someone out there playtesting our game that we're unaware of (I know, wishful thinking).
But just in case, if you want to be informed of any fixes/rule changes, email us and we'll include you in the fix updates.


Basic Gaming Mechanics Questions

What do you like better as a player?

1. Varying skill test targets?
(really stinking easy: Target 6, Incredibly Unrealistically Tough: Target 25)

2. Varying modifiers to your skill tests, where 10 is always the target?
(really stinking easy: +4 to your roll, Incredibly Unrealistically Tough: -12 from your roll)

D20 uses the first. I'm currently using the second. It's a semantic change, but I'm curious what feels better to a player...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Aeranos Update - New Spell

Revenant Host 3 - Empower (Death 5)
Casting Time:1 Turn
Duration: 1 Day (Longer with risk)
Range: Medium
Resistance: None (Special)
Reagents: Ingredient: A special paste made from the ash of a bloodless creature. (-6 without)

By inscribing a special death rune onto the forehead of the body, you transfer your consciousness temporarily into a recently deceased namer corpse of Size -1 to +1, taking over the use of the body.

The magic that infuses the corpse actually repairs previous damage and injuries to the body, except for missing limbs. You are able to cast spells and speak normally. Assuming you have all your limbs, you can often pass as living, at least from a distance. Anyone who interacts closely with you, gets an Awareness Test 14 . Those who have reason to be suspicious, either from familiarity with the past owner of the body, or knowledge that death magic may be at work, get bonuses to their test at the GM’s discretion.

While you inhabit the corpse, you have the ability to regenerate damage. You can ignore all light wounds, and repair all other wounds at the rate of one wound level per minute, up to and including severed limbs. Mortal wounds will destroy the link and end the spell.

Instead of a corpse, you can take over an existing Shambler or Bone Reaver. If the creature is currently under the effects of a Bloodless Binding spell it may attempt to resist this spell with the caster's spell test.

You may end this spell at any time. While in effect, your own body appears as if asleep. If you or the host body is destroyed, the spell ends. If your actual body is damaged, you must make a Mind Test 15 to sense it. Otherwise, you remain unaware.

Keeping the host body for longer than 24 hours comes with risk. The sunrise past the first 24 hours you must either voluntarily end the spell or choose to keep it active. Keeping the spell going requires you to make a Mind test 15. Success allows you to end the spell whenever you wish, at any distance from your actual body. Failure traps you in the host for another 24 hours. The next sunrise, you must be within 1 mile of your actual body and make another test (+2 difficulty) in order to end the spell, or the spell continues. This process continues, with additional +2 difficulties until you manage to return to your actual body and end the spell, or your actual body dies.

While the spell is in effect, your actual body may require tending, or it could grow weak and die. Prolonged use of a corpse, beyond a day, makes it unusable for subsequent casting of this or lower level versions of this spell.

Aeranos Update - New Spell

Spell Rune (Enchantment 6)
XP Cost: 2d6 + 6

Base Learning Time: 1 Month
Casting Time: 10 hours per spell level of rune (-1 per success) Minimum 1 hour.
Duration: Until activated or destroyed.
Range: Touch
Resistance: None
Reagents: Focus: Specially crafted stylus unique to the caster that requires two weeks and a Craft 20 test to initially prepare. Ingredient: Specially prepared, magical ink that requires a spellcraft 20 test and 1 day to prepare 6 runes worth.

The art of creating a magical scroll is rare, even among the Gifted. The bare bones of the process revolves around this ritual. Although the products are often scrolls, they can also take other forms, like stones, tattoos, coins or bones. The actual magic lies in the powerful symbol scribed onto the object.

This powerful ritual allows the caster to imbue specially inked and prepared runes with all of the magic of one spell, to be released at a later time, as if cast by the rune crafter.

In order to create a rune, the caster must:
• Have a suitably smooth surface on which to scribe the rune.
• Spend the complete duration of the ritual in uninterrupted crafting.
• Know and be able to normally cast the spell.
• Successfully cast the spell during the ritual (separate from this spell test).

Once the ritual is complete, the spell is transferred into the rune.

A Spell Rune has the following features:
• Takes up an area of 3 to 6 inches in diameter.
• Detects as magic equal to the spell inscribed.
• Can be identified by non-gifted readers with an Intelligence and Arcana test equal to the scribed spell level +14.
• Gifted who attempt to identify a rune directly, always activate the rune. For this reason, casters often surround the rune with non-magical "instructions" that include the name and use of the spell. If such instructions are included, gifted readers may attempt to identify the rune as described above, but with a Spellcraft test. Gifted who know the spell get a +5 to this test. Failing this test by 5 or more activates the rune.

For the cost of 5 success, a spell rune can be designed to be triggered by even non-gifted.

Each spell rune created, lowers the Spell Threshold of the caster by 1. This Threshold point cannot be regained until the rune is either activated, or destroyed. This fact, combined with the rarity of high level spellcasters with this particular talent, is the reason Spell Rune scrolls are so uncommon, and expensive. Gifted can only make a limited quantity, and if an active Spell Rune goes missing; lost in a tomb, or hoarded away in a dragon's treasure, the caster is weakened.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Aeranos Update: The Atlantean Threat!


A new entry in the setting chapter...

The Altanteans
Destruction of their first home, and near annihilation of their second, has not deterred the Royal House of At'lal from seeking dominion over their third. Protected and hidden behind the Dragon Wall, on the isolated continent of Lycenia, they have regained much of their former power, power that even Gods and dragons fear. Even now they plot with demons to undermine the divine pantheon and conquer their enemies. Unbeknownst to most, they have discovered planar pathways into Aeranos. Their spies and agents sew the seeds of dissent among the kingdoms. Through political intrigue, misinformation, theft and assassination, they stifle progress and do all in their power to soften the enemy for their inevitable invasion.

The Five Kingdoms
With the exception of the oldest among the Durin DarkUrth Empire and the wisest aong the Syvani tribes of Manawyn, the great kingdoms of Aeranos live largely in ignorance of the Atlanteans who plot against them. The bloody war that followed the cataclysm is mostly forgotten, buried amid the tide of horrible events during those times. Even among those who still know of the threat, it is thought to be contained within the Dragon Wall. Those of the Dusk Hunter's League have sparse support from governments, who are busy with far "weightier" problems.

The Dusk Hunters League
Their name is derived from one of the first group of heroes to identify the conspiracy, who followed a trail into the Traveller's city of Shadow 120 years ago, and were never seen again. In the intervening years the "league" has grown in fits and starts. It consists of adventurers, priests, guild members and minor nobles who know some force stands against the Five Kingdoms, but not what exactly that force is.

The Alliance of Shadows
The Atlanteans are very careful. While they have sent powerful agents into Aeranos, they do the bulk of their work through cats paws and second parties. They have spies in most large governments and guilds. There are tribes of Knockfar who do their bidding without knowing it. Demons often work in league with them. Even the Wicalic orders of the Gods are sometimes their unwilling pawns. Most of all, the Kuranani of Curum Felith Isle are their allies. These cousins of Atlantean ancestry take slaves for their hidden masters and work in secret to weaken the kingdoms of Aeranos.

The most trusted agents of the Alliance are equipped with Atlantean technology and Biomancy, a truly fearsome weapon.

The Gods of Light and Shadow
While all the Gods, both light and dark, are aware of the threat behind the Dragon Wall, only the Huntress and the Summoner, the elder Gods that predate the Cataclysm, know the true nature of the enemy. As of now, they still believe the threat is contained. While they remain ever vigilant, and may perceive a darkness, they remain ignorant of the turn in tactics. Besides, the outworld demons are threat enough to keep them and the Namer Gods occupied. A situation no doubt cultivated by the Atlanteans.

Demons are allies, tools and enemies of the Atlanteans, depending on their strengths and wisdom. The Demon Lords, like Sevos and Minerest are powerful allies who see the promise of souls in an Atlantean invasion. But they are wise enough, and greedy enough to take care in their dealings, rightfully guessing that their allies hold no true love for them. Other demons are not powerful enough to deal with the Atlanteans as equals. Most make no distinction between an Atlantean summoner and an Aeranosian, but the immortals still use them. Still others are too interested in personal power to be anything but enemies to the Atlanteans.

The Democ Fenura, or Demon realms, are of great interest to the Atlanteans. Much like demons, the outworld Atlanteans can use these pocket dimensions as sanctuaries, where their biomancy and technology function, but the magic of Aeranos does not.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Aeranos Playtest Ruleset!

The Aeranos RPG Playtest Ruleset is up and ready for testing! Things aren't perfect yet, and there's lots still to add, but the bare bones of the system are in place and ready to hopefully provide you and your friends with some fun.
Please take a look, ask questions, give comments. We're very excited to hear about your experience!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Aeranos Updates

A new section under Combat Movement…
Melee Zones

When moving in combat, you must be aware of melee zones. A melee zone surrounds every combatant currently wielding a melee weapon, extending into any nearby space he can reach with his current weapon. Generally this includes the spaces directly surrounding the combatant, though with large enough creatures, it might extend many feet away.
When a combatant engages an opponent by attacking or defending, his melee zone becomes centered on his current opponent, and the rest of his zone temporarily goes away, until his opponent is defeated or stops attacking him.
When you enter an enemy’s melee zone while moving, he gets an opportunity to stop you, but only if he’s not already engaged in combat with someone else.
Certain abilities allow a combatant to declare hostility against more than one opponent.
Ranged weapons don’t generate a melee zone.

Also made some minor tweaks to weapon abilities. Mainly Reach...

 Reach: Can attack from 10’ and over melee allies. Attacks first against non-reach weapons with same initiative total. -1 vs. opponents at 5’ range.