The Energion Role-Playing Game System
This is a summary of the forumlas for reference. The details are explained in the remainder of the chapter.
Dmg = Base + HEBonus / 5 + WIBonus / 10 + CombatLevel
RTA = (IQBonus + WIBonus + AGBonus) / 30
BasePerception = (IQ + WI + FO) / 30
DmgTaken = 1 - TRUNC(Avoid% - Roll% / 10) / 10 * BaseDmg
Area of Effect = AVG(IQBonus,AGBonus) / 4 + HPL * 2 + HML
Point Attack = AVG(WIBonus,AGBonus) / 4 + HPL * 2 + HML
Necromantic = AVG(WIBonus, HEBonus) / 4 + MAX(HPL,HML) * 3
Charm = AVG(WIBonus, FOBonus) / 4 + HML * 2 + HPL
Deception = AVG(IQBonus, WIBonus) / 4 + HML * 2 + HPL
Lift and Carry:
L = 50 + IF(ST>100,STB*2,STB/2)
NECC = LiftCapacity / 10
CarryTime = 50 - (%ofLiftCapacity - NECC)
EnduranceMultimplier = EN / 100
%Encumbered=(Encumbrance-NECC) / (Lift-NECC) * 100
AGPenalty = PercentEncumbered / 100 * AG
COPenalty = PercentEncumbered / 200 * CO
Move = .0175 * AG
Two factors make up the character--the characteristics of species and race and the training and development of environment. The Energion game system uses two sets of numbers to describe such characters. Stats describe what the character is; abilities describe what the environment has made him or her. This distinction is not absolute. Stats may be trained, and abilities are based on stats as well as training. Another distinguishing feature is that a stat approaches an absolute description of a characteristic. Strength may be measured, and is not dependent on culture. Will may be displayed in various ways, but the ability to stick to a job or to resist pressure is definable fairly easily. Abilities are normally culturally dependent and subject to much more interpretation. They are described under skills.
Stats are the description of a character. They do not describe background or skills, but innate capability. There must be a sufficient number to describe a character accurately and flexibly enough, but not so many as to be cumbersome. A compromise on this matter resulted in eight stats for the Energion character, which may be divided into two groups, physical and mental. A list follows, with the first two characters capitalized indicating the standard abbreviation for the stat.
STrength, the basic ability to manipulate loads or to accomplish movement against resi stance.
AGility, the ability to move the body through vigorous, large scale maneuvers, such as jumping, running or acrobatic activities.
COordination, the ability to control fine movement, such as drawing, aiming a weapon or merely walking across a narrow log.
ENdurance, the ability to maintain physical activity.
HEalth, resistance to disease, bodily vigor.
IQ, ability to retain and manipulate data. This is intentionally separated from cleverness, intuition and the ability to make good use of the data. There is no stat for that, and it is left up to the player to play that quality. This alleviates the problem of players playing a cnaracter with a 200 IQ as an idiot.
WIll, ability to resist mentai pressure, and to stick witn activities, such as training.
FOrcefulness, the ability to project force against another mind; the converse of WI. FO should be distinguished from leadership which is a culture-dependent ability.
Physical stats are fairly simple to simulate in play. It is difficult for the player to make a character appear less physically capable than he or she is. Mental stats, on the other hand, require much more player input, and a bad player may make high mental stats look silly. As mentioned under IQ, I have no stat indicating the cleverness or the ability to use data which the character has. This is entirely up to the player. The wizard may learn the spell quickly because of the stats, but the player has to figure out how to make use of that spell in combat.
Many rolls are based on the StatBonus. As stated in the examples under "Reading Formulas," the formula is:
StatBonus = Stat - 100
Stat bonuses are an indication of how far a character is from the norm or average. Stat norms are stated in human terms, and other species are adjusted from that value. A StatBonus may be a negative number, or penalty. This can produce negative adjustments to other abilities and rolls.
Since large muscles associated with great strength may reduce agility, the gamemaster may wish to limit the average agility and strength [AVG(AG, ST)]. For the standard human I impose a limit of 180 as the maximum. Adjust these figures to account for the body size and mass of another species.
Energion species are described by a stat profile, age groups, physical description and special abilities. Species represents what is coimnoniy called a race in other fantasy game systems. I use race to refer to variations within a single species which does not change basic physiological structure. The scientific definition applies with certain exceptions brought on by magic and the activities of the gods. A stat in each case of 100 is considered the human average. A human has a minimum stat of 1 and a maximum stat of 200 in each category. To calculate the range of stats for a species from the profile, use the following formulas:
MaxStat is the maximum stat possible genetically for that species, and should almost without exception be the maximum stat possible under any circumstances. Exceptions might occasionally be made for special god intervention. MinStat is the minimum stat possible for a character technically alive. Certain other formulas of endurance and strength may make a character unable to move at significantly higher stats. The AvgStat is the number stated in the species profile.
For illustration, the following species are provided for use in the scenario later in this manual. There are more which I use, and I reconinend developing more for your campaign. Abbreviations used in charts follow the name of each species in parentheses.
Humans (Hum) - the plain old everyday sort of people like we have on earth. The special ability of humans is flexibility. Physical description includes heights from 1.2 meters to 2.5 meters, skin from black to nearly chalk white and other habits just as varied. If you total the Stat Profiles, you will notice that humans have a lower value generally. I make this up in play via cultural backgrounds. The special ability of flexibility is hard to quantify. A human could receive an extra lump sum of points for the pool (not implemented in the code supplied with this book), but I prefer to provide extra training points in skills or abilities which help the human gain skill and position, or to learn unusual things. The second method of adjusting stats below uses a variable pool to balance the total stat values for each race.
Gerdlu (Ger) - Largish persons who like to live underground and mine. They are known for their craftsmanship. They average 2.1 meters in height with a 4 decimeter variation on each side. They have as much variation in skin color as do humans. They are strong and tend to the heavy side. They have excellent night vision, with the exception of certain totally aboveground groups.
Ertzlu (Ert) - Also known as the little people. They are extremely adaptable to their environment, have massive variation in skin, hair and eye color, but average about 1.2 meters in height with a variation of about 3 decimeters.
Kelaru (Kel) - Are an elf-like species, normally found living in woods/jungles. Kelaru sense abnormality in a woodland setting such as to make wood perception rolls two levels better for them than for other races.
Kal (Kal) - These creatures are known for both their strength and boorishness. This attitude is accentuated in many areas by the fact that most information comes from their chief enemy, the Gerdlu. There is a historic hatred between both the Kelaru and the Gerdlu on the one hand, and all Kal on the other. There are, however, several places where these groups have learned to live together in peace.
Tlazil - Tlazil are amphibians wno live primarily on land, but tney may spend up to 3O+ENBonus at a stretch under water, followed by normal breathing for one tenth of time spent. They are significantly stronger than humans. Most are a mottled camouflage green, but they have a number of racial variations.
The following are the base points for each species. These profiles are intended to show the tendency of the species. It is recommended that players keep these profiles in mind when designing character stats. It is also recommended that characters not make assumptions based on these figures, as a little study will show that any individual from any species may break the norms.
The following are the age categories and the resulting cumulative stat modifications:
NC=no change. All ages listed in charts, such as starting ages for training points, are listed in human ages and should be multiplied by the age multiplier below.
Several methods for producing stats are possibie in accordance with the philosophy of this game, I recommend a method which is based on the statistical probabilities for stats in the particular species involved. Also, for player characters, stats should be weighted to at least slightly above the average. The average person has small chances and usually keeps shop rather than hunting dragons and such. In order to create a logical explanation for the prominent attention given to the player characters, they should be exceptional examples of their species and class.
One method of accomplishing this is to take the species stat profiles, calculate a minimum stat for each which you would allow for a player character, divide the difference between that and the maximum by three and roll three dice of that size, thus:
Stat = Minimum+RND(Value) + RND(Value) + RND(Value)
where Value = (Maximum - Minimum) / 3
This is obviously easier if one has a computer available. An additional modification can be to provide a pool from which to add to each stat, in which case the rolled maximum should be reduced accordingly. This method is illustrated in the PHP code provided as an example on this site.
A second method of designing an Energion character involves use of less random factors and more design. Start the character with the average stat values from the species profiles chart, add -15 to 35 points to each stat (this may reduce a base stat).
The formula for this is:
Stat = Base + RND(X) * 50 - 15
Calculate for each species a pool which should produce overall stats which explain the relative power of that species in your world. The player may then add from that pool to any stat to create the character he or she wants. Stat exchanges cost two points from the source to gain one point on the target.
Several formulas are used to determine the calculated values for characters. These formulas and explanations follow. These figures are used to provide indications of certain capabilities which are based largely on the stats, such as avoidance of magic, amount of damage the character can take and movement rates as well as carrying capacity.
Damage Points indicates the amount of damage a character can take from an attack, disease, poison, etc. It is different for those qualified for combat, indicating experience in avoiding damage, resistances built up in training, and general toughening.
Damage Point Formula:
Dmg = Base + HEBonus / 5 + WIBonus / 1O + CombatLevel
Base if zero level in combat is 10, but it is 20 if the character has first or greater level, representing the difference between a character who has no interest in combat, and one who has taken the trouble to think about it and get a small amount of training.
Damage points may be reduced below zero before death. Between 0 and -(10% of Damage Points) the character is considered incapacitated, but able to do minor movements (possibly activate a magic item). Between -(10% of Dmg) and -(30% of Dmg) the character is unconscious. Below that the character is dead.
Reaction time adjustment is a modifier to the speed with which a character may react to the situation. This may be used for battle initiative or for other situations where exact timing is essential, A dlO is rolled to determined the number of seconds it takes the character to react, and the Reaction Time Adjustment is subtracted from this. Results less than zero are equal to zero which means immediate reaction. Note that in order to react to a situation, the character must notice it (See Perception).
Reaction Time Adjustment Formula:
RTA = (IQBonus + WIBonus + AGBonus) / 30
RTA is Reaction Time Adjustment
Base Perception Chance Formula
BasePerception = (IQ + WI + F0) / 30
This figure indicates how perceptive a character is. It may be combined with the environment skill in various ways which are discussed under those skills. Basically, note that a character must know the environment, or how things should be before he or she will notice anything unusual, thus the difficulty of a perception roil is increased by 5 points for a person unqualified in that environment.
Perception rolls are rated from one through ten, hardest to simplest, with this figure used as a multiplier to determine specific chance to perceive, thus:
ChancetoPerceive = BasePerception * Difficulty
A person who fails a covert type roil, such as hide or sneak, becomes perceptible but such perception requires a roll. The formula for the type of roil needed to spot such a person is:
PerceptionType = 1 + (Roll - Skill%) / 10
Roll and Skill% refer to the covert roll and skill of the character attempting to sneak or hide. A person with Hide or Sneak skill may also look for such a character, and the rules for this are entered under those skills.
Magic Avoidance Rolls:
There are five types of avoidance rolls: Area of Effect, Point Attack, Necromantic, Domination and Deception. Area of Effect rolls are used against any attack which is aimed at the area of the character, and which has an area of effect larger tnan tne character. Point Attack rolls are made for attacks aimed at a single target and with an area of effect equal to or smaller than the target size. Necromantic avoidance is rolled against attempts to make changes in the physiological functions or to attack the soul directly. Domination avoidance is rolled against an attempt to mentally overpower or force a target, while Deception is an avoidance of misleading, such as illusions or outright lies.
Roll under the figure on percentile dice. A "01" roll is automatic success, and 100 is automatic failure. If the spell is an "all or nothing" attack, success means avoidance of the effect, otherwise, the formula for the amount of damage taken from an attack for which an avoidance roll is possible is:
DmgTaken = (1 - TRUNC((Avoid% - Roll%) / 10) / 10) * BaseDmg
For example, if the avoidance roll is 90%, and the character rolls a 75: 90-75=15, and TRUNC(15/10) = 1, 1/10 = 0.1, 1-0.1 = .9 or 90%, so the character would take 90% of the damage rolled for the attack. Note that this means that a character may take more than the base damage for an attack, if the Roll% is higher than the Avoid%.
Avoidance Roll Formulas
Area of Effect=AVG(IQBonus, AGBonus)/4+HPL*2+HML
Point Attack=AVG(WlBonus, AGBonus)/4+HPL*2+HML
Deception=AVG(IQBonus, WlBonus) /4+HML*2+HPL
HPL=Highest Physical Level; HML=Highest Mental Level
Highest Physical level is the character highest level in one the major physical professions such as combat. Highest mental level is the highest level in a major mental profession. The skills list is divided into types, and includes headings for Mental and Physical skills. Only the skills contained in those sections should be used.
Weight and Movement is based on formulas derived from STrength, AGility and ENdurance.
Weight and Movement Formulas
Base Lifting Capacity is the maximum weight the character can lift in a clean and jerk. The formula for this is:
L=Lift in Kilograms
CarryCapacity is the amount of weight the character can carry in a backpack, or properly situated about the body with normal movement.
NECC is Non-encumbered Carry Capacity.
Carry Time is the length of time the character can carry a given load, stated in percent of a day.
CarryTime=Percentage of day for which that weight may be carried
Issues like how long a character can carry a certain weight can become complicated, including times for rest and so forth. This figure can be used as a general guideline and then the gamemaster should use good sense.
The Endurance Multiplier is a modifier to the length of time a character may continue to carry a load. It allows someone with high endurance to last longer under the strain.
Modified Carry Time [MCT]:
Encumbrance is tne impact that weight has on the cnaracter. This varies with the way the load is carried and distributed. A stronger character may carry more and a weaker character less. Movement requiring agility is restricted by excessive encumbrance. A character may carry a certain amount of weight without restriction of movement. This varies with strength.
Encumbrance factors could be a very complex subject, but in the interest of getting around to playing the game sometimes, I simply use a figure between one and five indicating how well the weight is carried. An encumbrance factor of five represents weight as well distributed as clothes, giving minimum impact on the character's movement. A factor of one represents dead weight such as a box which the character must pick up. Calculate a "full load" encumbrance factor for each character based on how well their entire load is carried. Well fitted armor with other heavy goods carried in a backpack should amount to a factor of about two.
One other factor of loading which a gamemaster may wish to consider optionally is the effect of the load on fast maneuvers. A chain shirt and a backpack are both well-suited for carrying on long marches, but the chain shirt is much easier to handle if the character has to dive and roll, such as wehn trying for cover. The backpack, on the other hand, will do some strange things to fast, difficult maneuvers. If you wish to represent this, give the load a maneuver factor as well as a weight and encumbrance factor. Maneuver factors by 10% increments could work as follows: 0% - the character can't move without massive shifting of the load; 50% - the character may move carefully and steadily, but any fast maneuvers are at half value; and 100% - the character may move as freely as though not loaded. Some suggested maneuver factors for armor are provided on the armor chart in the combat section.
The manuever factor applies to all acrobatics rolls, such as dodges or hand-to-hand combat maneuvers. It is a percentage multiplier of the character basic chance to accomplish each maneuver.
Encumbrance has an impact on a person's agility and coordination, and so also on movement rate. The formula for PercentEncumbered is:
Penalties to Agility and Coordination:
Movement Speed, or move is the distance the character can move in one second when unencumbered and at a normal walk.
Running is twice that speed, charging three times. Movement speed is stated in meters per second (MPS).
Vision bonus is stated individually by species, and represents a change in that species capability to see over distance from that of humans. Distance vision impacts both perception and aiming. For perception rolls, each hundred meters of distance from the target should penalize the perception type by one. For a character with a 50% vision bonus, this penalty would be one point for every 200 meters. Each 100 meters takes 5% from the chance to hit a target. The vision bonus serves as a rebate to that. The formula for this follows:
Vision at night is restricted to 50% for full night, 60% for starlight, and 70% for dusk or moonlight. For creatures with exceptional night vision these figures are 70%, 80%, and 90% respectively, or may be modified as necessary for the particular species.
The following are some basic reactions which may be rolled when characters meet other characters. You will probably think of some others. Try not to use these rolls to avoid thinking about your world characters and having them act as they would.
LD is Leadership, AT is attractiveness and AP is appearance. The skill system (next chapter) describes how these numbers are generated, and how they are converted into numbers usable as stats. Since reactions are heavily based on culture and circumstances, these rolls are based on abilities to a large extent rather than stats.
These reaction formulas may be used by the gamemaster to determine how non-player characters will react to various characters. I strongly recommend that players learn to react for their own characters without rolling dice for reactions.
The initial reaction is one for a character first being met. How well does the character come across? Does he or she leave a favorable impression from short meetings? Appearance can have a lot to do with this.
Friendships may take some different stats. Attractiveness is more important than forcefulness in the formation of most long term friendships. The gamemaster should take into consideration the desires of each person and design a roll for this, If a person admires forcefulness, then forcefulness will have an effect on who his friends are.
Disciple relations are formed based on leadership qualities, and sometimes these are also based on a charismatic presence and the appearance of the leader. The discipleship reaction noted above is only one way to calculate followership. Many are possible, based on culture and leadership style.
Create the reaction formulas you need for special circumstances. Reaction formulas should not be used as a substitute for playing world characters properly. Use them as a guide oniy, and avoid ridiculous situations.
When designing a character, think of the overall effectiveness of that character. Balance the stats and abilities. No single characteristic is expendable.
Background of the Sample Characters
The two major characters in the introductory story are presented here as examples for character design. The following history information is provided, followed by their character sheets. Elements in the character sheets which have not been explained yet are reserved for later chapters, and for the other two modules of the Energion system, Mental Skills and Religions.
Ranil is the second son of a Baron in the Pareston area and as such went to tne Pareston Royal Guard Academy, a small scnool teaching drill and ceremonies along with sword wearing and aristocratic snobbery. He showed some aptitude for the small amount of combat skill they taught there and so was picked by Maryam, heir to the Ducal throne, to serve in the Red Panther Battalion. He was trained as a commando, and commissioned as a Lieutenant. His skill in leadership is reflected in his selection for an independent, if small, command. He is going to Biret to counter the influence of the Dragon-Serpent worshippers and the forces of Ta-Ketep which are trying to adjust the border in their own favor.
Ranil likes Miri and will invite her to help if he ever needs her skills, but he will prefer to keep her out of combat until she has more experience. This will depend on the mission since all his troops are trained in covert operations, and Miri has no skill in this area. She does not even have much combat skill. (Note that some of this information is provided as background for full scenarios.)
He is on watch for enemies along the way, as the ducal law enforcement is weak and irregular, and there are any number of people who would be willing to take a shot at a Red Panther.
Miri s Background:
Miri was born in the slums of Pareston in the year 2R051. At the time of the scenario she is nearly fifteen. She was orphaned at an early age, and was taken into the Ecumenical Temple of the Sun in Pareston where she learned combat (just a little), magic (SC) and theology. She is now a priestess/spellcaster.
She was assigned two weeks previously to the village of Biret where there is a shrine but no temple. This assignment came as part of a major campaign to expand the religion. She is to be accompanied on her journey by a squad from the Red Panther Battalion of the Royal Guard. These people are not connected with her, but they are travelling at the same time as a nice security arrangement for a trip to border areas. She has fallen in love with Lt. Ranil, though she hasn't said anything about that.
Miri is loyal to her church and her duke. (Loyal to the Duchy--she might not object to replacement of the person.) She is skilled where she has been trained, but is not at home in the rural/agricultural setting. She also has a little combat training, but no actual combat experience.
She has knowledge of politics, but has some difficulty with emotional control, and so appears often as a child rather than a priestess.
The four guards are typical Red Panthers, trained in combat and covert skills. As that organization does not discriminate in training, the women are expected to handle combat and scouting activities on the same basis as the men. A table of actual skills is provided at the end of the manual when the fight is described in detail.
The example character sheets will be provided when the appropriate chapters have been completed. At the moment I am doing a little bit of work on getting this material posted nearly every day (3/15/05).