Under a moonless night sky, adobe walls jut from a sea of sandy dunes. Tonight, as with centuries past, these walls keep out the scurrying beasts desperate to enter the city and drain fluids from its residents. “Life here in Oasis Rim is hard,” citizens say, “but at least it’s possible.”
Torches and starlight are the only illumination for the toiling population. The nocturnal life is one protected from the scorching wrath of Lady Sun. Well before dawn, anybody with sense has retreated indoors to hide from solar radiation.
It takes a genuinely crazy person to wander out in daylight.
In your line of work, sanity is weakness.
Moon’s Grave is a tabletop RPG where you play gals with the guts and grit to work in the harsh conditions of day. As a diurnal mercenary strike team, you’re valuable to gangs and government alike.
To start, gather the following:
- Two or more friends.
- A dozen or so twelve-sided dice.
- A couple dozen counter tokens like poker chips, coins, or glass beads.
- A bounteous supply of snacks.
- Pencils and three sheets of paper per person.
- A character sheet per player.
Once everything’s gathered, select one person in your group to serve as the Game Master (or GM) while others are players.
Players create characters which serve as avatars in the game-world. The GM presents players with challenges, the players describe what their characters do, and the GM describes the consequences of their choices. This process emerges with an interactive story that’s uniquely yours.
Some say Lady Sun beats harshly upon the world because she wants humanity extinct. Defying her is risky business. Risks are represented by rolling dice.
As with other RPG’s, game-play consists of more than mere conversation. Dice are introduced to add an element of uncertainty and keep things interesting.
This game uses twelve-sided dice exclusively. Gamer culture calls them “d12’s.” A roll involves tossing one or more dice all at once to generate a bunch of random numbers.
When rolling dice, you might trigger perks which are special abilities attached to your character. You can also trigger perks when others roll dice against you. This encourages you to pay attention to more dice rolls than just the ones you initiate.
Throughout this document, whenever you see a number prefaced with an “at symbol” (@), that refers to a die’s face value.
|@1 =||@5 =||@9 =|
|@2 =||@6 =||@10 =|
|@3 =||@7 =||@11 =|
|@4 =||@8 =||@12 =|
Whenever you see the word “inside” used in reference to die values, it’s a numerical comparison that means “less than or equal to.” The numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all inside 4.
When rolling dice, the general procedure is:
- Take some number of dice and roll them all at once.
- Check for Spiking Dice.
- Check for Triggering Perks.
- Resolve the results of the roll.
The GM will tell you how many dice to roll in step number one. The number you roll is usually specified by one of the stats on your character sheet. What you do with the dice in step four depends on the kind of roll you’re performing. There are two kinds of dice rolls in this game:
Success measurements are used to determine whether you can accomplish some tricky or complex task in a very small amount of time. Your dice pool is a resource used in combat to represent your ability to focus on the multiple simultaneous problems that arise during fights.
Rebel deities won’t dare defy Lady Sun openly but will sometimes manipulate fate to benefit mortals in small ways.
Right after the initial toss, there’s a slight chance that your roll can turn out remarkably better than you’d expect. Any die that turns up with a value @12 is called a spiking die and provides these benefits:
- You get to immediately roll an extra die and treat it as if it were part of the original roll.
- You may apply a +1 floating bonus when rolling Success Measurements.
When you roll extra dice, if they turn up @12, they also become spiking dice. This process repeats ad infinitum as long as you keep rolling @12’s.
It’s possible for rolls to end with far more dice than you’d initially tossed. There is no theoretical best roll.
A die can only spike at the moment that it’s rolled. Dice whose values change to @12 after this step are not spiking dice.
You’ll have special abilities on your character sheet called “Perks.” They will randomly benefit you during die rolls. Your sheet has ten slots that hold perks. Each slot is numbered #1-#10.
Whenever you roll dice, or when dice are rolled against you, it is possible to trigger perks. Compare the value of each individual die against the number of a slot that contains perks. If the die’s face value matches a slot that contains a perk, you gain the benefits of that perk for the rest of the roll.
If you roll three dice and get the following values… … any perks in slots #1, #5 and #9 can activate.
Because you’ll tend to roll multiple dice at once, you can trigger multiple perks from a single die roll and a single perk could trigger multiple times. The effects of a perk triggered by multiple dice from a single roll can be cumulative.
The benefits of each perk last until the die roll is resolved then they go away. (If a perk provides a talent bonus, that bonus doesn’t persist after the roll is complete.)
When a perk refers to an enemy, that is any character you are directly affecting or the character that performed the roll against you. A roll is “against you” if it is an attack and you are the defender or in any situation that the GM reasonably believes you and only you to be directly affected by the roll.
Severe harm inhibits your ability to trigger perks. Whenever damage imposes drags on a perk’s slot, that perk can not be triggered until the damage is healed. See Damage Dice for more info.
If you’re performing a success measurement, the GM will provide you with a number called a roll target. This number is an abstract representation of how hard the task is. The higher the roll target, the tougher your goals.
After you’ve performed the first three steps of Rolling Dice, you’re now in the resolution step of a success measurement. Remove from the rolled dice any die whose value is less than the roll target provided by the GM. All dice that remain are scoring dice. More scoring dice is better for you.
Suppose you have a roll target of 8 and rolled the following: Discard the @1 and @5 which are both less than the roll target of 8, and have remaining a single scoring die.
With the same roll target, suppose you rolled the following: In this situation, you discard only one die (the @4) and have two scoring dice remaining.
Sometimes rolls are granted floating bonuses which allow you to increase the value of a single die at the time you compare it to the roll target. This bonus can raise a die’s value above its natural limit of 12 and make roll targets of 13+ possible (even if still quite improbable). Floating bonuses are only applied at the time the die’s compared to a roll target. Floating penalties are the same except they reduce the die’s compared value.
You can assume that your natural competence will guarantee success in any task eventually. The GM shouldn’t ask you to roll a success measurement unless time constraints make success uncertain.
The chart below helps narrate the kind of success achieved with different numbers of scoring dice.
|0||Couldn't achieve your goal in time.|
|1||Did a sloppy job to meet the deadline.|
|2||Finished barely before it was too late.|
|3||Met your goal and got something extra.|
|4||Sane people can't work this precisely this fast.|
|5+||Sane people are pathetic.|
The crowded streets of Oasis Rim are teeming with people who wish they were as cool as you. They’ll leap at an opportunity to aid you – often to their own demise.
During the resolution of Success Measurements, followers may jump in to help you. You can activate this benefit by removing a follower token from your character sheet and granting a die a +2 floating bonus or a -2 floating penalty (your choice). You can do this when you are rolling dice or when dice are rolled against you.
You’re encouraged to describe in gruesome detail how that follower was maimed or killed to help you.
Your line of work is a deluge of problems that come all at once. You gotta multi-task your way to success. That’s why guys can’t do this job.
During combat, you’ll have a collection of dice clustered together on the table in front of you. This collection is called your “Initiative Dice Pool” or just your “pool.” This pool indicates your character’s ability to divide attention between many simultaneous problems and react quickly in chaotic situations. Having more dice in the pool and higher values on these dice is better.
If you’re filling your pool, take all the dice you rolled and bundle them together on the table in front of you (maybe on or near your character sheet). These dice will remain at their rolled values in this collection until some game effect changes their values or removes them from the pool.
Pooled dice exist to be spent. You spend this resource by “sinking dice.” To sink a die, pick that die up and change its orientation so its upright face shows a lower number. The reduction in value is specified by a negative number following the word “sink.”
Suppose you have a die in your pool like this: When you sink -5, pick it up and turn it so it looks like this:
Should sinking a die reduce its value below 1, that die is removed from the pool.
If a rule calls for you to “totally sink” a die, remove that die from the pool regardless of its current value.
Bouncing is the opposite of Sinking Dice: Changing a pooled die’s orientation so its value is higher. Bouncing is usually the result of triggering a perk.
If you have a pooled die at a value of… …and bounce +2, its new value becomes:
Bouncing can never raise a die’s value above its natural limit of 12. Whenever a bounce might, set the die’s value to 12 and ignore the excess.
Only the most skilled, tough and intelligent work in this industry. Naturally, that means you’re all women.
You and the other players each build characters to make a strike-team. Your team will do jobs of espionage and danger for wealthy and politically connected clients.
Creating a character requires writing whatever amount of back story will satisfy you followed by…
- Allocating Core Stats
- Calculating Talents
- Selecting a Character Class
- Selecting Perks
- Selecting Gear
All character data will be recorded on a character sheet that you can download and print out.
Core stats form the fundamental components of your character. Each has a number associated with it called a “level.” The higher the level, the better your character is when using that stat.
|4-5||Bare Minimum. Any less and you won't survive in this industry.|
|6-7||Average. This is where you can expect stats to live.|
|8-9||Good. You'll do well in the industry here.|
|10-11||Great. Denotes a capability worthy of admiration.|
|12+||Exceptional. Any more and the industry may not survive you.|
The five core stats cover different aspects of your character’s natural capabilities. They’re all used to determine your talents which are used in dice rolls.
|Awareness||Ability to notice things by perception or intuition. Higher awareness means it's harder to deceive or surprise you.|
|Cunning||Ability to remember and understand things. Higher cunning means quicker wits.|
|Endurance||Grit and ruggedness. Higher endurance means you don't quit or faint easily.|
|Grace||Poise and agility. Higher grace represents quicker reflexes and better coordination.|
|Power||Raw strength. Higher power results in running faster, lifting heavier, and hitting harder.|
Each core stat starts at level 4 and you have 12 points to distribute among them. Each point distributed increases the stat’s level by 1. You could go nuts and dump all 12 into a single stat for a stat level of 16 but that’d be a mistake. No one stat can carry you to victory.
As a natural born leader, you’ve got an air about you that commands respect, even adoration. This secondary stat represents that inherent magnetism that draws followers to you. This stat always starts at a level of 2.
The core stats and beckon stat remain static for most of the game – only changing once in a while. There are two resource stats that fluctuate more wildly. They are:
Your followers are tag-alongs, sidekicks, and inconsequential groupies desperate to help you.
You’ll start each game session with as many followers as your Beckon level. You can never have more followers than that amount.
For each follower you have in tow, place a counter token (such as a poker chip) on your character sheet in the appropriate area. Every time the rules say to “spend” a follower, remove a token from your character sheet. You only gain the benefits of spending followers if you already have a follower token on your character sheet.
Lady Sun scans the world for men to kill so she can leave all women to die alone as she inevitably will. Her gaze is just one of many ambient threats in the world.
Threat level is an abstract representation of the ambient danger swirling around you. In normal situations, you’ll have no threat so this resource stat will be zero. Your line of work is not renowned for its safety, however, and you can expect it to go up.
Every time new dangers accumulate or existing ones grow closer, you’ll gain threat. For each +1 threat level you have, place a counter token on your character sheet in the area designated for “Threat.”
Oasis Rim is one of the last surviving human settlements in the world. It’s home to the best, brightest, and most talented people because you live there.
Talents are derived from core stats and are used to set odds in Success Measurements. There are ten talents divided into two categories of five talents each. The categories are:
Every talent is made up of two of your core stats. Talents also have “levels” that help determine how good your character is at using that talent. On your character sheet, each talent has the initials of the two core stats that compose them.
|Dodge||...avoid getting hit by ranged attacks||Passive|
|Durability||...resist Physical Damage||Passive|
|Initiative||...act often and quickly in Combat||Active|
|Maneuver||...move safely around the battlefield||Active|
|Parry||...avoid getting hit by mêlée attacks||Passive|
|Precision||...shoot or throw weapons accurately||Active|
|Strike||...hit accurately with a mêlée weapon||Active|
|Subterfuge||...sneak around and do spy stuff||Active|
|Tactics||...resist Chaos Damage||Passive|
|Willpower||...resist Mental Damage||Passive|
Oasis Rim is also home to the worst, dimmest, and most disgusting people in the world. This is why you have a job.
When you’re rolling dice, the number of dice you roll are may be equal to the level of an applicable active talent. Rolling more dice gives you more chances to score in Success Measurements and makes your pool larger when Filling Dice Pools.
Calculating Active Talent Levels
Take the lower of the two core stats composing the talent. Half its level (rounded down) is that talent’s level.
- If your Cunning level is 5 and your Power level is 7, your Maneuver talent level is half of 5 rounded down: 2.
- If your Cunning level is 6 and your Grace level is 7, your Subterfuge talent level is half of 6: 3.
When others are rolling Success Measurements that would harm you, the roll target is equal to the level of one of your passive talents. Higher levels mean greater resistance to the antagonistic roll.
Calculating Passive Talent Levels
Take the lower of the two core stats composing the talent. Its level is the talent level.
Whenever a rule refers to “defensive talents,” it is referring to both the dodge and parry passive talents.
- If your Awareness level is 5 and your Cunning level is 8, your Dodge talent level is 5.
- If your Cunning level is 8 and your Endurance level is 6, your Tactics talent level is 6.
Class represents the role you play in the team and your unique method of solving problems. Each class has unique benefits that change your style of play. Classes also come with a set of Perk options unique to that class. The three classes are:
|Assassin||Sneaky types that focus on one foe at a time.|
|Mystic||Freaky types who use destructive magic.|
|Warrior||Beefy types who smack stuff around really well.|
Lady Sun’s brutal heat makes armies untenable. When city-states wage war, they assassinate enemy leaders.
As an assassin, you’ll weave your way through a fight, constantly harassing a single foe. Every move you make is a setup for your quarry’s ultimate demise; either at your hands or another’s.
- Snake in the Grass: During the Aftermath Phase, your Maneuver talent level is increased by your Subterfuge talent level. Your first attack in every turn has a floating bonus equal to your Threat Level.
In addition to the Universal Perks, you can select any of the following perks:
- Become Shadow: If this attack misses, attacker gains +2 Threat.
- Disengage: Use Dodge in lieu of Parry for this attack.
- Diversion: Spend a follower to trigger Disengage.
- Feint: Gain an ID valued @1 and another if this attack misses.
- Raise the Stakes: Threat +1 for you and enemy.
- Remise: If this attack misses, bounce a die up by your Threat level.
- Smoke and Mirrors: Enemy’s threat level becomes equal to your own.
Lady Sun drove gods who empathize with humans into hiding, leaving mortals to learn their own breed of magic.
As a mystic, you understand the laws governing reality and smash those laws with a proverbial hammer. You can shoot lightning from your hands and cause fire to fall from the sky.
- Arcing Bolt: You may perform the Ranged Attack action without a weapon in hand. When you do, you’re considered to have a weapon bonus equal to the number of initiative dice you have valued @1.
In addition to the Universal Perks, you can select any of the following perks:
- Arcane Resilience: Use Willpower in lieu of Durability.
- Elemental Prowess: Sink -1 any number of your initiative dice.
- Elemental Shield: Suffer any number of DD mental. As many allies gain +3 Durability.
- Forking Bolts: Suffer any number of DD mental. Roll as many DD agianst all Heavily Engaged combatants.
- Showering Flames: Suffer any number of DD mental. Roll as many DD against all Disengaged combatants.
- Supernatural Fury: When inflicting DD from your perks, the damage roll receives a +1 floating bonus for each of your initiative dice valued @1.
- Zenith Peace: Willpower +1, gain an initiative die valued @1.
Wrecking faces is one of the most celebrated traditions in humanity.
The warrior class is for those who favor aggression. Overwhelming foes with an endless deluge of attacks with vicious weapons is the warrior’s modus operandi.
- Born for Battle: When your attack hits, bounce one of your dice up by an amount equal to your weapon’s damage bonus.
In addition to the Universal Perks, you may also select any of the following:
- Furious Blade: If this roll inflicts drags, bounce two dice +1.
- Furious Blows: If this attack hits, gain an initiative die valued @2.
- Furious Force: Bounce +1 any dice with values inside your weapon’s damage bonus.
- Raw Fury: This die receives a bonus equal to the number of perks you have with the word “Furious” in their names.
- Raw Skill: This die receives a bonus equal to the number of perks you have with the word “Superior” in their names.
- Superior Blade-work: Add your weapon’s damage bonus to your Parry talent level.
- Superior Footwork: Totally sink three dice to negate a DD from this roll.
Perks are extra special abilities that benefit you at random times. Each perk lives in one of ten perk slots on your character sheet.
During character creation, you start with five perks of your choice in the first five perk slots (numbered #1-#5). You may select perks from either the Universal Perks list, or those perks granted by your character class.
You can never take the same perk twice.
The following perks are available to all characters:
- Calculating: Totally sink any number of ID’s valued @1 to trigger a perk whose slot number matches the sum of the sunk dice.
- Charismatic: Gain +1 Follower.
- Crafty: This die can’t score. Give another die in this roll a +1 bonus.
- Furious: This die gets a +1 bonus for each enemy that attacked you this round.
- Jumpy: Dodge +2.
- Overpowering: This die can’t be negated or penalized.
- Resolute: Willpower +2.
- Slippery: Tactics +2.
- Superior: Totally sink any number of dice to increase the roll target of this success measurement by that amount.
- Tough: Durability +2.
- Vigilant: Parry +2.
- Wily: Sink -1 one of your Initiative Dice.
In order to prevent laborious book keeping, if you even want an item that’s likely to exist in the game world, you need only perform a Success Measurement to see if you can find it.
There are some items that you can’t just find in the moment that you need them. These items include armor, magical artifacts, and weapons. These things have to be acquired at character creation time.
You may select one of the following gear packages:
- Armor and a weapon
- Two weapons
- A weapon and a magical artifact
There are two categories of armor:
- Day Armor
- Night Armor
Day armor gets its name from the fact that you can wear it at any time during the day (from sun rise to late at night) without negative consequences.
Each suit of day armor provides a constant bonus to certain talent levels while worn. The amount of each bonus is enumerated in the chart below:
|Banded Mail Teddy||+1||+2||+0|
|Ring Mail Skirt||+1||+0||+2|
|Steel Plated Bra||+0||+2||+1|
Night armor is more protective as its bulky metal plates enclose more of the wearer’s body. These plates also have the tendency to conduct heat and electricity, granting the wearer no protection from baking in the sun or dragons' lightning breath.
Night armor has been known to cause heatstroke for day-time wearers.
Each suit of night armor has a number associated with it called its “protective level” which allows you to negate a single physical or chaos damage die inflicted on you by a source other than heat or electricity.
Night armor’s protections come at the following mechanical costs:
- When rolling Initiative Dice, sink all ID’s down by your night armor’s protective level.
- At end of every combat round wherein you’ve been exposed to direct daylight, suffer as many DD’s as your armor’s protective level from the heat.
Though magical items can be found, most have no practical use in today’s world. Having a useful magical item is incredibly rare and will make you one of the wealthiest individuals in Oasis Rim.
If you choose a magical artifact gear package, you may select one of the following artifacts:
- Draconic Tiara: Wearer is granted the psychic power to tell if somebody is lying, under the influence of narcotics, or any kind of mind control effect. During combat, the wearer gains +2 Willpower.
- Moon Shard Necklace: As a small action, roll a die and choose to either discard it or replace one of your Arcane or Holy dice with that die. Should anybody from The Magekin Colonies see this necklace, they will stop at nothing to take it.
Everyone in Oasis Rim has weapons but yours are special. They’re made of one of the most precious resources in the world: steel and wood. There are two types of weapons:
- Mêlée: Hand-to-hand weapons that tend to deal more damage.
- Ranged: Weapons that can be thrown or that can shoot projectiles.
Each weapon has a damage bonus that is applied to all physical damage dice you inflict with that weapon. Weapons have unique abilities that help boost their effectiveness in certain situations.
|Axe||Mêlée||+2||This weapon's damage bonuse increase by +2 (for a total of +4) when hitting a combatant who has already suffered at least one drag this turn.|
|Bow||Ranged||+1||While attacking a Fortified enemy with this weapon, that enemy's Engagement Level grants no talent bonus.|
|Knives||Both||+1||After an attack with this weapon inflicts a drag, you may immediately change your Engagement Level to Disengaged.|
|Sword||Mêlée||+3||You can make this weapon ready during Pre-Combat.|
The queen of Oasis Rim is capable of magically conjuring rain clouds. This means the population has no need to fight over water as they do in other cities. Locals still find excuses to kill each other, though.
Being a day mercenary comes with the good chance that you’ll end up getting into fights. Nothing wandering around in daylight is likely to be a kind or gentle creature.
Surviving a fight will require teamwork and good strategy. You are assumed to be running, ducking, jumping and thrashing about the entire time you’re in combat. For this reason, Moon’s Grave combat eschews things like grids or hex maps in favor of abstract space and resource management. Resources to track in combat are as follows:
- Engagement Level: Abstract representation of how aggressive or cautious you’re being.
- Initiative Dice: A pool of dice representing your control of the timing and tempo of the fight.
- Threat Level: An abstract representation of how much chaotic thrashing is going on around you.
You select an Engagement Level (abbreviated EL) when combat first begins and can change it as an action on your turn. There are two levels of engagement that represent different trade-offs in terms of safety versus opportunity to overpower the enemy.
Taking this Engagement Level means you’re casting safety to the wind in favor of raw aggression.
When you start a turn with heavily engaged, one of your Initiative Dice receives a +3 bounce.
Taking this Engagement Level means you’re more concerned about safety than you are hurting others.
At this engagement level, you receive a +2 bonus to your defensive talents.
This pool of dice is a resource that you can use to take actions more quickly and more often. It’s used to help determine your Priority Ranking whenever you’re trying to act before another combatant. These dice can also be sunk to pay the costs of actions or perk benefits.
Sometimes, the GM describes special locations in the battlefield that may be tactically significant. These are called “Fortifications.” They have special mechanical significance because if you occupy one, those who don’t can’t mêlée attack you and you can’t mêlée attack them.
Some fortifications may also grant their occupants special actions that can be taken during their turns.
Before combat begins, your tactical instincts will take over and you’re going to be trying to sneak up on your foes or ambush them. Each foe whose Subterfuge talent level is lower than yours will begin combat with +1 threat unless you are weaing Night Armor.
After sneaking (or choosing not to), roll your Initiative into your Initiative Dice pool. If you’re wearing Night Armor, sink those dice by an amount equal to your armor’s protective level. Once you’re done, you’re ready to begin Combat Rounds.
Combat is made up of one or more rounds. Rounds represent the ebb and flow of your actions, not specific intervals of time. Each round has two phases:
The execution phase consists of turns. It can have as many turns as there are combatants in the fight. The aftermath phase is when you deal with the consequences of dangers accumulated throughout the course of the fight.
The execution phase is the meat of combat. This is when you can take Turns. Taking Your Turn allows you to perform actions that can influence the outcome of the battle.
The GM begins the phase by offering a turn. If you wish to take the first turn, declare your intent. If nobody else also wants to take the turn, it is yours. If another combatant also wants it, the combatant with the highest Priority Ranking takes it.
After the first turn is resolved, the GM offers another turn in the same way. Once you’ve taken a turn, you can not do so again for the rest of the round. This process repeats until nobody takes an offered turn (either because they can’t or because they refuse to).
Once all combatants pass the opportunity to take turns, proceed to the Aftermath Phase.
Your priority ranking is equal to the value of any one of your Initiative Dice. When selecting a die to determine your priority ranking, you may also totally sink another initiative die to give your selected die a temporary bonus equal to the sunk die’s value. This bonus lasts for as long as your priority ranking is compared.
This makes it possible for your priority ranking to briefly exceed the natural limit of 12.
If two combatants tie for priority ranking, the one that is a player (not controlled by the GM) is considered to have a higher ranking. If two players tie, the GM resolves the tie by fiat.
Even if nobody has taken particularly decisive actions, you and your enemies will still be circling each other, jabbing and slashing at any opportunity so your Threat Level will be constantly going up as dangers in the battlefield accumulate.
When this phase begins, your Threat Level increases +1.
If you’re wearing Night Armor and have been exposed to direct daylight in this round, suffer as many DD’s an your armor’s protective level from the heat of the sun (the armor can’t prevent this).
Once threat levels are increased and their chaos damage inflicted, all combatants have the option to end the fight. If all combatants agree to cease hostilities, combat is over. If at least one combatant wishes to continue, start another round.
Turns are key moments when your constant running, slashing, and shooting could really pay off. You take those opportunities with “actions.” There are two kinds of action:
On your turn, you may only take actions if you have at least one Initiative Die in the pool. If you have none, your entire turn is spent refilling your pool by rolling as many dice as your Initiative talent level and placing them in the pool.
If you have ID’s, you can take one small action and one big action for free. You may take additional actions of either type by totally sinking ID’s out of the pool. The minimum value of the die required to satisfy this cost depends on the kind of action:
|Action Type||Minimum ID value|
The number of dice you must sink is equal to the number of similar actions you’ve already taken in a turn. To take a second small action requires you to totally sink an ID @5+ because you’d previously taken one action. Taking a third small action requires you to sink two ID’s each valued @5 or higher because you’d previously taken two actions.
Similarly, taking your second big action requires sinking a single ID @10+ value and a third big action requires sinking a pair of ID’s at values of @10 or better.
Small actions are the easier stuff you can do in support of a greater overall strategy. The list below enumerates (some) possible small actions. Your character class may also expand this list for you.
- Change Engagement: Change your Engagement Level to either Heavily Engaged or Disengaged.
- Confront Threat: Suffer as much Chaos Damage as your current Threat Level then set your threat level to zero.
- Invade: Enter a Fortification. If it has occupants who don’t want you there, you must totally sink an ID for each resisting combatant.
- Ready a Weapon: Make a weapon you possess your ready weapon.
Big actions are the more meaningful actions that could turn the tide of battle. The list below enumerates (some) possible big actions. Your character class may also expand this list for you.
- Flee: You must be Disengaged. Any combatant that is Heavily Engaged can stop you from fleeing by totally sinking an ID. If nobody does, you leave combat.
- Freeform Action: Anything that doesn’t fit into one of the other actions is done as a free-form action. Clearly describe to the GM what you want your character to do. The GM may require you to sink ID’s or perform a success measurement to succeed. The GM may also require you to divide your task up into multiple freeform actions.
- Mêlée Attack: Identify a combatant who is the “defender” who must occupy the same Fortification as you if either of you occupies one. Perform a Success Measurement using as many dice as your Strike talent level. The roll target is equal to the defender’s Parry talent level. Re-roll each scoring die as Physical Damage against the defender. If you don’t have any weapon in hand, this is also considered an “unarmed attack.”
- Ranged Attack: You must have a ranged weapon ready in hand. Identify a combatant who is the “defender.” Perform a Success Measurement using as many dice as your Precision talent level. The roll target is equal to the defender’s Dodge talent level. Re-roll each scoring die as Physical Damage against the defender.
- Upgrade: Perform a small action. This is useful for taking a second small action without having to sink initiative dice.
When you’re hurt, the risk that the harm becomes a severe and lasting is represented in damage dice (abbreviated DD). More damage dice means more risk of suffering drags (see Dragging Perks) which haunt you until you return to your base for recovery.
Rolling damage dice is a success measurement using as many dice as the amount of damage inflicted and using one of the victim’s passive talents as the roll target.
There are three types of damage. Each type uses a different passive talent for its roll target.
|Damage Type||Roll Target|
Each scoring die in a damage roll inflicts one drag. Record drags by filling the “drag” box of a perk slot that has a perk in it. Doing so makes it impossible for the perks in that slot to trigger as described in the Dragging Perks section.
If you suffer damage by rolling DD’s but none of them scores, increase your Threat Level +1 to represent the fact that avoiding the damage has forced you into a compromising position.
This damage is caused by shrapnel from sudden explosions, ricochets, the environment or other accidental sources. You can’t avoid it except by foreseeing its possibility and placing yourself in a position that prevents it from happening.
When suffering chaos damage, the roll target of the DD roll is equal to your Tactics talent level.
This is psychological trauma that brings you closer to madness or mental breakdown. Anything shocking or horrifying will inflict this type of damage.
When suffering mental damage, the roll target for the DD roll is equal to your Willpower talent level.
This is the most common damage. If the type of damage is never specified for a roll, assume it’s physical damage. Physical damage is direct force applied to your body in detrimental ways.
Whenever suffering physical damage, the roll target for the DD roll is equal to your Durability talent level.
Each perk slot has a check box next to it to record “drags.” Whenever a perk slot becomes “dragged,” you can no longer trigger that perk. Perks become dragged as a consequence of severe injury or wounds. Record the drag by putting an “X” or check mark in the drag box.
You can only drag a perk slot if it contains perks. Empty perk slots are not available for dragging.
Whenever all of your populated perk slots are dragged, you become Dragged Out and lose consciousness. At that point, you are faced with a choice:
- Die dramatically: Die and make a new character
- Not die: Adjust one of your core stats down -2 and continue playing your current character
If you choose the latter, recalculate any Talents derived from the punished core stat. You can only chose to not die if the core stat will remain at a value above zero after dropping.
Recovering from drags requires total rest. In that time, you won’t be able to take on any jobs or strenuous activity. Doing so negates whatever rest you’d had to that point. In the game’s time, it takes roughly three to four weeks to remove one drag from a perk slot.
If your team works without you, they’ll be less effective. If they wait for you to recover, spending that time out of the market will reduce your team’s ability to command better-paying, more prestigious jobs. This might tempt you to return to work before you’re fully recovered.
As you work, you’re going to get better at your job. Every time you complete a job, you’ll take a Boost by marking one of the boost boxes on your character. When you fill all three, you can choose one of the following:
- Give two different Core Stats a permanent +1 increase (and recalculate your talents).
- Give your Beckon a permanent +1 increase.
- Take another perk (either from the Universal Perks list or your character class’s perks list) and add it to the next empty perk slot or replace one of your perks with a new one.
The rest of this document is dedicated to the Game Master (or “Game Mistress” if you prefer). If you’re a player, uninterested in playing as a GM, you don’t need to know any of the content that follows.
As the GM, you’ll guide players through their adventures, presenting the challenges that they must overcome to complete their jobs. Though you do control all antagonistic characters, you are not an adversary to the players.
In RPG’s, “winning” is defined as having a good time and wanting to play more. “Losing” is having a bad time and wanting to quit. You’re not there to defeat the players but you must make defeat a real possibility so when they prevail, they know they’ve earned it.
Non-Player characters (or NPC’s) are the people who live in the game world that aren’t controlled by a player. As GM, you’re responsible for maintaining a huge cast of characters to help breathe life into the Moon’s Grave.
This chapter includes mechanical and narrative tools to help you flesh out NPC’s as much as needed to help keep your game’s story evolving.
This document provides some key NPC’s with rich histories and back-stories but not every NPC needs that. There are going to be many NPC’s that are just human filler for the environment.
Sometimes, players will force you to flesh-out the “extras” of the game-world – asking for descriptions, names, and more history than the NPC can justify. If you’d like to maintain an illusion of realism in the game, you can use these charts to generate material that will substantiate NPC’s as people.
For physical descriptions, select from this chart or roll once for each column.
*Still beautiful! Don’t body shame!
†Heterochromia rolls twice for each eye’s color, re-rolling if you come up 12. If both eyes come up the same color, they may be different shades or the character may not actually be heterochromatic. It is, after all, a rare condition.
The following is a chart of random names. You can pick one yourself or roll two dice to select the column and row at random.
Below is a list of personality types that you can pick yourself or roll a die to select randomly:
|1||Argumentative Activist||Can't help but inject some political issue in every conversation.|
|2||Bitter Curmudgeon||Intent on being a conduit for the unpleasant nature of life.|
|3||Boisterous Showman||Loves attention and radiating greatness.|
|4||Capitulating Mook||Hates confrontation, slinks away from it at first opportunity.|
|5||Competitive Cooperator||Loves picking the winning team. Expects you to join her team.|
|6||Devout Worshiper||Everything is secondary to pleasing a god or gods.|
|7||Domineering Aggressor||Turns everything into conquest over others.|
|8||Exuberant Frolicker||Great company, might be a terrible coworker.|
|9||Humble Nurturer||Eager to help you heal, maybe even when you're not hurt.|
|10||Impulsive Dreamer||Always seeing a "bigger picture," maybe missing important details.|
|11||Studious Worker||Don't bother her with distractions from her job.|
|12||Vain Groomer||Looks fantastic. What else could possibly matter?|
When NPC’s get into a fight, you’ll need a set of talents to help determine the outcome of die rolls. Recording a full set of core stats and calculating talents is more effort than most NPC’s will justify. As GM, you’ve got far more important things to worry about.
To improve brevity, NPC data is abbreviated into “mini-stat notation.”
NPC’s only need two numbers to represent their mechanical abilities. The first number is the level for all that NPC’s Active Talents and the second is the level for all Passive Talents. These numbers are separated by a slash.
The above is short-hand for a talent line-up as follows:
When a talent has a level that isn’t the same as all others, that exception is listed explicitly.
3/6, Durability 7
The above is short-hand for the following:
NPC’s have mêlée weapons in their possession if there is a letter M in the mini-stat line. Any modifier number that immediately follows that letter is the weapon’s damage bonus.
3/6, Durability 7, M+1
NPC’s with the letter R in the mini-stat line either have ranged weapons, magic, or similar abilities that allow them to attack from a distance. This allows them to take the Ranged Attack action during combat and if there is a weapon bonus, it immediately follows the ranged attack notation letter.
3/6, Durability 7, M+1, R
The above indicates that our NPC has a ranged weapon that grants no damage bonus.
Because NPC’s don’t always have perks, taking drags is not associated with a perk slot for NPC’s. Instead, every character has an extra active talent called its “drag talent.” When an NPC suffers more drags than the drag talent’s level, that NPC dies.
Stats as shown below denote that the NPC will die upon taking a third drag:
Record an NPC’s drags as tally marks under the mini-stat line.
NPC drags do not affect that character’s perks in any way. It’s one of the only advantages to being an NPC.
NPC’s don’t have their own perks slots. When they work together as a team, they collectively share a single set of perk slots as if they were one character.
As with players, an NPC group has ten perk slots which may hold exactly one perk and a perk may only appear once in the list. If a group has more than ten NPC’s that can contribute perks, some perks may not appear in the collective list.
When any NPC from a cooperating group rolls dice or when dice are rolled against any such NPC, their collective perks may trigger.
When an individual NPC dies, its perk is removed from the perk slot. Another NPC in the group may contribute its perk to that slot (as long as the rules above are satisfied).
An NPC’s perk is written in square brackets on the stat line.
3/6, Durability 7, M+1, R, [+1 Enemy Threat]
The above indicates that the group may have a perk that increases the enemy’s threat level +1.
As GM, you’re free to arrange NPC perks in any order you wish.
- NPC’s can not perform Noble Sacrifice.
- If the rules require an NPC to spend Followers or sink pooled dice as a consequence, that NPC suffers a drag instead.
- Record Threat Level by writing the letter T under the mini-stat line, followed by a number for the current threat level.
- Calculate an NPC’s Priority Ranking as double that NPC’s Initiative talent level.
This chapter contains information about the creatures who live in and around Oasis Rim, including people, wild animals, and the powerful factions that vie for control of the city.
Most animals around the city see people as nothing more than sources of meat and water. Those that can’t eat humans may still want to kill them so their carcasses can attract animals they can eat.
|Black Eagle||3/9, Tactics 11, M|
|Dune Viper||3/6, Initiative 5, Dodge 9, M+2|
|Feral Dog||3/7, Initiative 4, [Enemy must totally sink an ID]|
|Gray Scorpion||2/9, Durability 6, Tactics 9, M+1|
|Pack Camel||4/5, Durability 9|
|Red Hyena||4/8, M, [-1 Threat]|
|Sand Tiger||4/9, Tactics 10, M|
Until the desert grew too treacherous to pass, Oasis Rim was a place for many seeking refuge. Necessity has crammed a diverse population into a small space and getting along isn’t always easy.
|Aristocrat||2/6, Willpower 10, [Flee]|
|Bouncer||3/7, Durability 11, M+3, [-1 Threat]|
|Child||2/5, Maneuver 6, [Flee]|
|Commoner||2/6, Willpower 5|
|Lunatic||3/7, Maneuver 1, M, [1DD on Enemy]|
|Merchant||2/6, Parry 8, Dodge 8, [Flee]|
|Thug||4/7, Maneuver 2, Parry 9, M+1|
|Urchin||2/5, [Totally sink enemy ID]|
|Veteran||4/9, Parry 10 M+1 R+1, [Enemy must totally sink an ID]|
Antitheos is the ancient and terrifying society of ghosts, skeletons, zombies, mummies, vampires and the like. Before the Lunacide, they were a very large nation and theirs is the largest cohesive population in the world today, inhabiting all but a few cities in the world.
To the ignorant, the undead are scary or disgusting and therefore evil. Of course, the undead are not malevolent. They just prefer not to be enslaved by gods in afterlives. To the informed and pious, this independence is blasphemous and therefore evil. That belief has dwindled since Lady Sun’s cruelty has made religion less popular.
|Ghost||1/5, Maneuver 7, Willpower 9, M, R, [All DD's are mental damage]|
|Skeleton||2/9, Durability 5, R, [Sink -2 an enemy ID]|
|Zombie||2/10, Durability 6, M, [Sink -3 an enemy ID]|
|Ghoul||3/7, Willpower 9, M, [Enemy suffers 1DD mental]|
|Shade||4/8, Willpower 10, M, [All DD's are mental damage]|
|Mummy||4/8, Willpower 10, M, R, [Foes suffer 1DD mental for each Ghost]|
|Necromancer||4/8, Willpower 10, R+1, [Ally zombies trigger perks]|
|Nosferatu||5/9, Durability 12, Willpower 12, M+2, [1DD mental on enemy]|
|Lich||6/10, Willpower 11, M, R+2, [If there are fewer than 5 ghosts, create one.]|
|Kendritha||7/11, Willpower 12, M+1, R+1, [Foes suffer 1DD mental for each Ghost, Skeleton, and Zombie]|
Lady Sun sees no difference between an undead man and any other. For this reason, all but the most powerful of male liches have turned to ash. The survivors are among the most detestable to the Sun. Their existence is an act of brazen defiance which she will not tolerate. If she ever sees one, she will stop at nothing to cook him.
Because they can’t risk ever being seen by the Sun, nosferatu are more reclusive than the female liches. They avoid talking to any living soul for fear they might be solar cultists who will drive stakes into their hearts. Male liches spend a lot of time hiding from daylight in coffins. Ironic since they took up necromancy precisely so they could avoid the grave.
All necromancers long to reach that point where their they can tear asunder the borders of the afterlife to strike bargains with dead souls. The few who do are known as “liches.”
Since the Lunacide, Lady Sun has conquered all but a few afterlives and enslaved the souls therein to power her crusade against humanity. Pious spirits found their eternal rewards stripped away and replaced with servitude to a project of genocide. Needless to say, they feel cheated and are willing to make bargains with liches to escape.
The oldest of all the undead, Kendritha was the queen of the undead empire of Antitheos before the Lunacide. She has seen pantheons rise and fall in her un-lifetime. She sees gods as petty and fleeting things and the afterlives they create as inane and oppressive regimes.
From her palace in the pejoratively-named “Necro District” of Oasis Rim, Kendritha still rules over all undead around the world. She’s content to bow to Queen Margareth for now, using the clouds to hide her people from the sun, while she plots to restore her empire to its former glory.
This babe team is famous not only in Oasis Rim but in other cities around the world. They’re renowned for finishing jobs that others think are impossible. Not only are they highly skilled but each member of the team is characterized by incredible grit and ferocity.
Blood Sisters take pride in their work. They have only failed to finish a job twice in their existence and those responsible for their failure were met with brutal reprisal. Though they try to stay on the right side of the law, they’re not above a theft or assassination if the price is right.
|Crazy Shiva||3/9, R+1, [All Heavily Engaged Foes 1DD]|
|Mighty Annilynn||4/8, Durability 11, M+3, [2DD on Enemy]|
|Pious Ren||3/9, R+1, [Foes who Attacked this round 1DD mental]|
|Sneaky Wanda||4/8, M+1, R+1, Dodge 10, [+3 Enemy Threat]|
|Wild Nancy||3/8, Parry 10, R+1, [-2 Enemy Followers]|
|Lady Katerine||5/8, Durability 10, M, [-2 Threat for self and allies]|
In her youth, Katerine was a ruthless assassin and member of one of the most successful babe teams in history. Unwilling to retire with her team mates, she took up the job of quartermistress and recruited a new team to continue her work. Under her leadership, this new team was able to make a name for itself and amass tremendous wealth.
Katerine is famously cold-hearted. If you’re not one of the babes in her team or her client, she has a staunch indifference to whether you live or die. The few fortunate enough to work for her enjoy the benefits of her unwavering loyalty.
When Lady Sun’s campaign first began, she attempted to ally with lizard folk to help exterminate the humans. The Tribe agreed but immediately betrayed her to defend humans. Ever since, they’ve believed the human race owes them undying fealty. Many cities freely give it. Oasis Rim is one of the few places that they haven’t been able to subjugate.
Members of the Great Tribe camp outside the walls of the city, collecting the queen’s rain water and bringing it to the raiding parties they have scattered around the desert. They continue a centuries old tradition of harrying the Sun’s forces with pride and most other cities revere them as heroes.
|Battle Boar||5/5, Strike 2, M, [Ally relieves -3 Threat if enemy has no followers]|
|Wet-Tailed Novice||2/6, Tactics 8, M, R, [If there are fewer than 2 Battle Boars, create one]|
|Greentail Patrol||3/7, Tactics 10, M, R, [Enemy with no followers suffers 2DD]|
|Novice Firetail||3/7, M, R+1, [Two allies relieve -1 threat]|
|Brave||4/8, Durability 10, M+2, R, [Three allies relieve -1 threat]|
|Elite Firetail||4/8, Tactics 9, M, R+2|
|Irontusk||5/9, Tactics 10, M+2, R, [If enemy has no followers, +1 Floating bonus to hit]|
|Raid Chief||6/10, Tactics 12, M+2, R+1, [Ally has 0 Threat]|
|Serpent Mistress||6/10, Tactics 13, M+2, R+1, [Foes must spend a follower or suffer 1DD Chaos]|
|Runda||7/11, Tactics 13, M+2, R+3, [Foes with no followers suffer 4DD Chaos]|
Tails are not just a part of lizard folk anatomy. They are a cultural symbol of prowess that distinguishes the tribe from the comparatively weaker humans.
The raiding lifestyle is too harsh for most humans. The Tribe never asks for any human assistance in the field. When humans volunteer, compassion forces the Tribe to turn most away. Only those that prove their strength through a grueling series of trials are allowed to fight alongside the “tailed ones” of the lizard folk.
One that manages to overcome the tribe’s arduous tests is branded with flaming hot irons and granted the coveted title of “Firetail.” The pattern of scars is a signal to the lizard folk that they are to treat her as a natural-born tribesmate. They invariably do.
Every war band has a spiritual leader with her retinue of priestesses and enormous pet snake. Though the serpent is a symbol of her wisdom and spiritual strength, its psychological impact on the field is not lost to the priestesses. She will never pass up a chance to use her pet to scare the enemy into making bad decisions.
The snake is often seen coiling around those too wounded to flee and crushing them to death. The sound of cracking bones and squishing organs is enough to send the average foe fleeing in terror.
To the Tribe and its human subjects, Runda is a mighty hero. To outsiders, she’s a violent pillager. Both are true. She has great compassion and generosity for those she considers her own. Her war bands leave wealth and food for vassal cities and take only what they need to keep raiding. Of her tribesmates, she demands unwavering bravery and strict discipline. They gladly give it and revere her for practicing what she preaches.
Runda believes that even those who haven’t sworn fealty to her still owe her tribute. Her tribe constantly risks death for humanity’s sake and she will not hesitate to take what she wants from any city with or without their consent. Oasis Rim is lucky to have the most precious resource fall freely from the sky so Runda hasn’t bothered to breech its walls.
Ancient priests called “Moon Sages” used their power to eliminate hunger, hard labor, poverty, and especially disease from their societies. Living millennia without illness meant that the mages' kindred never realized when their vestigial immune systems had withered to nothing.
After Lord Moon’s fall, the magekin scrambled to collect every shard of the moon’s body they could find. The fading divinity in these stones rekindles the enchantments that ward away ailment and gives them a chance at survival. One of the largest deposits of moonstone is in the Lunar District of Oasis Rim.
|Shard Hound||2/5, Dodge 6, Initiative 8, Willpower 4, M, [Enemy loses two followers]|
|Shard Bearer||3/6, Dodge 6, Willpower 4, R, [-1 Threat per enemy Follower]|
|Seeker||2/6, Dodge 7, Subterfuge 4, Willpower 5, R, [Sink -1 all enemy ID's for eaf Follower enemy has]|
|Speechless||3/7, Dodge 8, Willpower 5, R+4, [4DD on Heavily Engaged foes]|
|Lunatron||4/8, Durability 10, Willpower 6, M, [Enemy loses two followers]|
|Tidecaller||4/8, Durability 10, Willpower 6, R, [Enemy loses three followers]|
|Shard Mistress||5/9, Willpower 8, M, R, [Disengaged foes suffer 4DD and lose a Follower]|
|Moon hunter||6/10, M, R+1, [Enemy loses two followers or suffers 1DD]|
|Colony Mistress||7/11, M, R+2, [Each Follower spent on this roll inflicts 3DD Chaos on enemy]|
|Izibeth||7/11, Willpower 9, M, R+4, [Trigger any ally's perk]|
All that remains of magekin society’s illustrious past are the magical automatons that served them: the Lunatron and the Tidecaller. These constructs are powered by shards of moonstone and serve as the primary labor force of magekin society.
They patrol the streets of the Lunar District in Oasis Rim, keeping outsiders from entering the transparent domes that enclose their neighborhoods. Equipped with noxious gasses, these machines can fumigate an area to kill any pathogens (or intruders) lurking about.
Magekin have never been capable of any magic that isn’t lunar in nature. Their very genes are intertwined with lunar enchantments that preclude any competing theology or arcana.
Some have learned to manipulate the magic encoded in their blood by metabolizing their very selves. This taxing practice converts the caster’s body into raw magical energy. It comes at a high price of health and physical capability. One of the first things to go when practicing this magic is the vocal cords – thus the name Speechless.
Izibeth was leading an expedition to a new moonstone deposit when a Solar Cult attacked her company and drove them to the walls of Oasis Rim. Her plea for asylum was heard and the city was able to fend off the cult only after their supply of moonstones were all but exhausted.
Having no other choice, Izibeth exhausted all the company’s wealth buying entire city blocks, sterilizing, and enclosing them in transparent domes to keep others and their pathogens out. Here, the magekin colonists have remained, hoping that some day, they can break free of Oasis Rim and start a colony of their own once again.
Those who work in the government are some of the most intelligent and resilient the city has to offer. They face constant threat by underhanded political rivals and Lady Sun’s relentless onslaught. They’ve learned to be every bit as ruthless as their enemies in to keep civilization alive.
|Guard||3/8, M+1, [-1 Threat for self and ally]|
|Spy||4/10, Durability 7, R+1, [+1 Enemy Threat]|
|Sentinel Gavid||4/9, M+3, R+1 [Change to any Engagement Level]|
|Sheriff Tilda||4/10, Durability 8, M, R+3, [1DD to all foes]|
|Director Hillanna||4/8, Dodge 11, M, R+1, [+2 Threat to all foes]|
|Queen Margareth||7/11, Maneuver 2, M+1, [Allied Spies and Guards Attack]|
Gavid is the stalwart leader of the Night Patrol and reports directly to Sheriff Tilda. He immigrated from a distant, underground society where he once served in the militia but was exiled for reasons he refuses to discuss.
In truth, he was banished because he was too good at his job. He fended off Lady Sun’s minions so well that the goddess herself swore any city giving him refuge would burn. Fearing that she really meant it, Gavid’s neighbors sent him away. Nobody in Oasis Rim knows this.
The Queen’s chief law enforcer, Tilda is a no-nonsense lady who runs a very disciplined police force. She doesn’t care for babe teams with their mercenary habits but when she finds herself understaffed, she’ll definitely hire them to help uphold the law.
Tilda serves the Queen with utmost loyalty and would even if the rain were to cease. She’s an even-handed and unforgiving enforcer of the law who takes the queen’s safety very seriously.
Head of the Queen’s Intelligence agency, Hillana has been described as the most duplicitous person in all the world. Sheriff Tilda and the majority of citizens don’t trust her. The Queen, however, trusts her completely and dismisses others' suspicion of the director as silly conspiracy theory.
Hillanna actively employs babe teams to serve the city’s interests. The missions she recruits contractors for are highly dangerous and many have died under her employ. Rumors say that she actually wants hired babe teams to die in the field.
Oasis Rim is called the “City of Towers” because it’s the only surface city with buildings taller than two stories. The tallest of them all is the spire the queen uses to when conjuring rain clouds.
The supreme dictator of Oasis Rim, she commands the respect of those who don’t already adore her. Her magical ability to summon rain keeps the people hydrated and the sun from cooking the city to death. Those who may resent her status as supreme dictator admit to the necessity of her services and tacitly accept her as a ruler.
Margareth is a soft-spoken and attentive woman. Though unimposing, she maintains a regality about her. When in court, she makes very few demands and actively listens to others. Many fear that her amiable nature makes her easy to manipulate (especially by Director Hillanna) but she has a surprising iron will hiding beneath her quiet demeanor.
Since the decline of the solar and lunar religions, one of the most prominent faiths among humanity is the worship of dragons known as Wyrmsoath. It dominates in cities built around hibernating mother dragons. Cooperation with these flying reptiles has made those cities prosperous and given rise to a a multi-city, theocratic nation.
Upon the Queen’s invitation, a sect of Wyrmsworn people settled in a district plagued by gang violence. Today, it is the most orderly, peaceful, and industrious part of town. This so-called “Draconian District” is adored by its residents but derided as oppressive by other citizens.
|Humble Citizen||1/5, Initiative 4, Tactics 3, [Flee and, if successful, summon a Monitor Drakeling]|
|Monitor Drakeling||2/5, Parry 10, Tactics 4, M, R+4, [If there are fewer than two Oath Patrols here, summon one]|
|Clutch Matron||3/7, Tactics 5, M, [+1 Threat on enemy for each Drakeling ally here]|
|Nullimancer||4/8, Tactics 6, R+2, [Foes with Arcane Dice suffer 1DD mental]|
|Oath Patrol||4/8, Tactics 6, M+2, [Damage Dice in this roll are electrical]|
|Wyrmling||4/8, Parry 11, Tactics 6, M+2, R+2, [+1 Threat on enemy, +1 extra for each enemy Arcane Die]|
|Striker||5/9, Tactics 7, M, [Totally sink enemy's Arcane Die and roll it as Mental Damage against another foe]|
|Oath Guard||6/10, Tactics 8, M+1, [Damage Dice in this roll are electrical and have a +1 bonus]|
|Adolescent Wyrm||7/10, Parry 12, Tactics 9, M+3, R+3, [Foes suffer 1DD mental or 2DD mental if they have Arcane Dice]|
|Yolivi||7/11, Tactics 9, M, R+3, [Foes that aren't Heavily may choose to be so. Those that don't suffer 5DD]|
In their youth, dragons are an abundant nuisance. They perch on fences and squawk incessantly, playfully pounce on people, leaving them bloodied, and they love to steal food even when not hungry. In spite of all this, it’s strictly taboo to harm them. Their curiosity and in-fighting kills most of them before adolescence.
As they mature, drakes integrate into society. They often use their magical powers to fuel industry. The few capable of flight serve as spies for the Oath Patrol and the heavy, flightless drakes are great partners for oath enforcers working the beat.
The one exception is the very rare wyrmling (or “princess dragon”). She’s far too proud to work with humans and loves haughtily abusing her status as a sacred animal; roaming the streets just to block traffic, making absurd demands of worshipers, and bullying visitors to goad them into attacking her so she can gloat as they’re arrested. By the time a wyrm matures beyond this behavior, she’s already left the city to start her own nest.
Oath enforcers, though not technically deputies, maintain peace and order in their district. Because the Queen appreciates what they’ve done for the neighborhood and economy, Sheriff Tilda tolerates the vigilantism for now.
Members of the Oath Guard and their patrols are accompanied by wingless dragons and armed with cattle prods tethered to the drake’s electrified mouth. To be suspected of a crime means being shocked into submission and pinned to the ground by a lizard the size of a horse. A kind of kangaroo court is held on the spot with random citizens serving as “witnesses” before the accused is publicly flogged or pressed into factory service.
The tenets of Wyrmsoath are considered interchangeable with the actual laws of the city. Restrictions include:
- Censorship of all written material.
- Gatherings larger than two dozen people require special permission.
- Harming a dragon (for any reason) is punishable by death.
- Intoxication (even in private) is forbidden.
- Labor quotas, strict diets and exercise requirements for all residents.
- Possession of weapons requires licensing.
- The standard city-wide curfew for men is enforced for women.
- While other religions are allowed, open displays of religious symbols or rituals are not.
Yolivi earned the title of Prophetess after she’d toured the world, earning the confidence of every great Mother Wyrm on the continent. She is the only authority on the will of the dragons and dispenses that knowledge to the various draconic cities around the world.
When she visits the faithful in the City of Towers, it is an event marked with jubilation in the Draconian District and terror in every other. A fleet of flying drakes escort the Prophetess in an ostentatious display that Director Hillanna calls “a disguised invasion at best.” In spite of her staff’s protests, the Queen has always been hospitable to Yolivi.
Solarism lost a lot of popularity after its patron deity decided to kill off humanity. It lost even more after the queen of Oasis Rim declared it the one and only illegal religion. In spite of all this, the faith hasn’t disappeared entirely from the city. Its most devout adherents worship in secret, only occasionally making a blood sacrifice to please their goddess.
|Temple Eunuch||2/7, M [Enemy suffers 1DD due to heat]|
|Solar Acolyte||4/9, Precision 5, R+2, [Enemy suffers 1DD due to heat]|
|Solar Hoplite||4/9, Dodge 10, Strike 5, M+2, R+1, [Enemy suffers 1DD due to heat]|
|Solar Abbess||4/9, Precision 6, R+5, [All foes suffer 1DD due to heat]|
|Sun-Spawn||6/9, Dodge 11, M+5, [Enemy suffers 4DD due to heat]|
|The Avatar of Lady Sun||8/13, M+7, R+7, [All foes suffer 5DD due to heat]|
Though their religion is characterized by profound misandry, there are still male adherents to the solar faith. A devout man will submit himself to a grizzly castration process in order to show his devotion. If he survives, he’s allowed to live as a servant in a hidden temple.
When a cult grows too large to hide within a city, they’ll usually emigrate to an abandoned building somewhere in the desert. To guard against the ravenous wildlife and persecutors, the cult will train its own military.
Those who earn Lady Sun’s trust are allowed a small allotment of her warriors. These beings of pure flame are the radiant personification of the Sun’s wrath. They automatically know who is loyal to the sun and who is not. They demonstrate this knowledge by using their flaming wings to burn unbelievers.
On rare occasions, a cult manages to perform a ritual that allows a woman to become a vessel for the sun goddess herself. Once imbued with the soul of Lady Sun, the avatar becomes one of the most powerful beings upon the Moon’s Grave.
The avatar has the power to control all flame and light. She illuminates her surroundings with her blinding radiance. If the avatar is killed, she explodes, destroying everything within a mile of her body.
This section contains spiolers!
Your players will be pursuing jobs that will build their team’s wealth and reputation. Each game session can consist of one or more jobs (usually about three). A collection of jobs together is called a “career.” You will track the team’s career on a piece of paper, writing notes about the things they accomplished, the things that defeated them, the reputation they’ve built, and the enemies they’ve made along the way.
Your players will begin with inexperienced characters who need to build up their resumes before they take on the bigger work.
You can select any of the following jobs to be the players' first venture. If you’re having trouble picking one, roll a die to randomly select the job correlating to the die’s number.
|1-3||Stone to Kill For|
|4-6||The Drug Run|
|7-9||Busting Some Spectres|
Once you’ve selected a job, have the team’s boss introduce it first by reading or paraphrasing the following text to your players:
Your boss gathers you in the team’s HQ. She patiently waits while you all shuffle into the meeting hall. A cool breeze wafts past the pillars of the room, billowing the curtains that hang lazily open. In these moments just before sunrise, the air is most pleasant.
“Thank you, ladies, for joining the team,” the boss says, “Since I’m sure you’re all eager to get to work, let me introduce your first job.”
Then proceed with the briefing of the selected job.
Our client is a meatmonger by the name of Contell. Her chain of butcher shops makes her one of the wealthiest women in the district. We will benefit from being on her good side. A few weeks ago, she sent a hunting party out to one of their secret preserves to collect game. Along the way, they stumbled upon a very rare and precious moonstone. These things are said to be the bones of the dead moon god and have magical properties.
Contell intends to sell the stone to a jeweler. The only problem is that the people down in the Magekin district want it badly and have already threatened our client if she doesn’t turn it over to them.
Your job is to make sure that Contell and the stone get safely to the destination and that Contell gets safely home after the exchange.
You may know Farilla, our client. She runs the famous apothecary in the east-most edge of the district – just on the edge of the draconic district.
She’s just gotten an order for hundreds of pounds worth of recreational narcotics. The problem is that the buyer wants the goods delivered inside the draconic district where the local vigilantes impose strict prohibitions on anything fun.
Normally, I wouldn’t really want to work with this client but his pay is good and the job seems innocuous enough for now. Javeth, the loan shark and venture capitalist, has recently been commissioned – I assume that means “blackmailed” into doing some work for the city.
As usual, he’s pretty clammy on the details but he’s willing to tell us that he has to investigate some foul play that may have gone on in the Necro District. He wants to plant a magical artifact that will scare away the ghosts in the area so they won’t interfere but it’s nearly impossible to do this at night without being noticed. He wants us to plant the device and make sure it goes unnoticed until he arrives that evening.
Our client’s name is Niyedrynn. She’s the owner of several farming towers in the city. She’s hiring us to protect her friend and employee; a teenage girl by the name of Talitha.
Apparently, Talitha had witnessed a grizzly murder and is going to testify in court. Friends of the accused have already threatened the kid and have been seen skulking around the plantation where Talitha works. Court date is in two days.
Here are the definitions of terms along with their abbreviations (if any). You’ll find both these terms and their abbreviations used throughout the rules.
- Ally: Any character who isn’t you and who both you and that character agree are allies. Antithesis of “foe.”
- Attack: Any of the following Big Actions in Combat: Mêlée Attack, Ranged Attack.
- Awareness: One of the Core Stats describing how aware you are of your surroundings.
- Babe: A player character.
- Bare Value: The value of a die before any bonuses or penalties are applied. Can only be values 1 through 12.
- Beckon: A stat representing how many followers you can accrue.
- Bounce: See Bouncing Dice.
- Combatant: A babe or NPC engaged in combat. Only conscious characters count as combatants.
- Core Stat: The five Core Stats representing your physical and mental attributes.
- Compraed Value: Compared value is the value of a single die plus any bonuses applied to it. It is the value compared to the Roll Target of rolls during Success Measurements.
- Cunning: One of the Core Stats representing your mental acuity.
- DD: See Damage Dice.
- Defensive Talents: Defensive talents are Dodge and Parry.
- Dodge: Your ability to avoid getting hit by ranged attacks. When attacked with a ranged weapon, this Passive Talent sets the Roll Target of the attack roll.
- Durability: Your physical stamina. When suffering Physical Damage, this Passive Talent sets the Roll Target for those Damage Dice.
- Endurance: One of the Core Stats representing your physical and mental resilience.
- Enemy: A character that you are exclusively and directly affecting with a roll or a character that is exclusively and directly affecting you with a roll. During attacks, the attacker and defender are enemies. When rolling Damage Dice, the victim and any character that instigated the damage (as with an attack or perk) are enemies.
- Floating Bonus: A bonus to the compared value of any one die during Success Measurements. Floating bonuses can be applied to any die in a set of rolled dice.
- Foe: A combatant that will not accept you as an ally or that you will not accept as an ally.
- Followers: A resource stat representing how many people are willing to die for you.
- Grace: One of the Core Stats representing how nimble you are.
- Initiative Dice (ID): A set of dice that represent your control of timing on the battlefield.
- Initiative: Your quickness on the battle field. This Active Talent determines how many dice you roll to fill your pool of Initiative Dice during Combat.
- Lunacide: The cataclysmic event when the moon died.
- Maneuver: The effectiveness of your movement on the battlefield. This Active Talent determines how many dice you roll when performing a Grapple action, and sets the upper limit of Threat Level during the Aftermath Phase.
- Mental Damage: Damage Dice that are rolled against your Willpower.
- Negate: When dice are negated, they are treated as if they were never rolled in the first place and can not score nor would they enter your pool.
- Parry: Your ability to deflect mêlée attacks. When attacked with a mêlée weapon, this Passive Talent sets the Roll Target of the attack.
- Perk: A special benefit that takes effect for you if you roll a die with its matching value or when an enemy does so while trying to affect you.
- Physical Damage: Damage Dice that are rolled against your Durability.
- Power: One of the Core Stats representing your physical strength.
- Precision: How precisely you shoot a bow or throw knives. When performing ranged attack action, this Active Talent determines how many dice you roll.
- Priority Ranking: A number used to resolve disputes of who gets to act in the current Combat turn. Priority Ranking is equal to the value of one of your selected Initiative Dice and can be temporarily increased by sinking additional Initiative Dice.
- Resource Stat: A number that represents either fluctuating numeric values or the rate of replenishment of such values.
- Roll Target: The value that a die must meet or exceed in order to “score” during Success Measurements. Usually provided by the GM or the Passive Talents of a character being affected by the roll.
- Round: A segment of combat time as described in the Combat Round section.
- Scoring Dice: When rolling dice, any that meet or exceed the Roll Target are “Scoring Dice.” At least one Scoring Die will be required for the roll to be considered successful. See Rolling Dice.
- Sink: See Sinking Dice.
- Spike: When a die rolls @12, it “spikes” and allows you to immediately add another die to the roll. See Spiking Dice for more detail.
- Stat: Any numeric data associated with a character, including Core Stats, Talents, Resource Stats, and Beckon.
- Strike: Your babe’s ability to control her mêlée weapon. When performing a Mêlée Attack or Unarmed Attack, this Active Talent determines how many dice are rolled for the attack.
- Subterfuge: Your babe’s ability to move undetected, disguise herself, and socially engineer people. This Active Talent determines how many dice are rolled when trying to sneak up on the enemy.
- Tactics: Your babe’s ability to position herself wisely on the battlefield such that she won’t be hit by random shrapnel and madness. When suffering Chaos Damage, this Passive Talent determines the Roll Target for those Damage Dice.
- Talent: A secondary stat derived from Core Stats.
- Threat: An abstract number representing how much random danger swirls about your babe.
- Turn: A segment of the Execution Phase in a Combat round in-which a single combatant is able to take actions.
- Willpower: Your babe’s mental fortitude. When suffering Mental Damage, this Passive Talent determines the Roll Target for those Damage Dice.