The Energion Role-Playing Game System
An Ambush by Bandits
Ranil slouched listlessly on his horse, or at least as close as he could manage. His shield faced inward, hiding the Red Panther, and his uniform was covered by a cloak. Behind him Miri watched in some wonder. How could the Lieutenant of the elite Red Panther battalion manage to look so sloppy?
She had asked him, once. "Very carefully," he had said.
Now she looked nervously at the trees around, the hills on either side, and the number of large rocks in the area, potentially providing cover for any number of bandits. Despite her careful attention, Miri could see nothing, not even the soldiers she knew were on either side, and supposedly within sight. She wished he would at least pay attention. Ranil's hand rose, the signal to stop, then quickly down in the signal to take cover. He remained where he was. There was a whistling sound in the air, there were crossbow bolts, and Miri was clutching the ground, feeling more scared than she ever had.
The bolts, damaging mostly trees and earth, were followed by two loud crashes behind them, and screams from one of the guards.
Looking back, Miri could see spreading patches of fire, and one of the guards trying to roll the fire out on the ground. He was rolling on the ground, putting out flames. The healing item she had provided him would take care of that.
She glanced at Ranil, and saw him fire, then take a hit himself. She tried to follow the source of the attack, preparing her bow to fire at the attacker. She was glad she had prepared her magical fire. At the distance this was coming from, she could hardly see a target, much less hit one.
This sort of scene is the essence of role-playing games. To play the scene, and what follows, you need a system to describe characters, to handle encounters and to simulate combat.
Welcome to Energion, the role playing system for the intelligent adult who is interested in realistic detailed character play.
In designing this system, we have chosen to emphasize character play. The aim is realism in the reflection of a character's day to day activities. Though the combat system may be detailed, it is not intended as a blow by blow description of actual combat. We have compromised many times In favor of playability. When character play enters in, however, we stand solidly on the side of realistic character play.
A detailed training point system, extensive background simulation including eight basic stats plus derived abilities and aptitudes and a flexible skill system provide a detailed description of the basic character. An internally consistent, logical and flexible magic and mental skills system adds multiple classes to the basic combat and general skills. Another feature is the detailed system for developing religions and priestly skills and powers. No longer will you need to have clerics who worship 'somebody' and have identical spell lists.
This system is aimed at the computer-using gamemaster. It may be run without one, though a calculator is almost essential. BASIC code is provided for the most essential calculations, and spreadsheets and database examples are available here at the home of the Energion Role-playing game system, http://hneufeld.com/energion.
We hope you enjoy playing the Energion game system as much as (or hopefully more than!) we have enjoyed designing It! 2/12/05: It has been some years since I worked with this system. I have decided to scan some of the existing documents and provide some of the related source code that I have played with. If anyone is interested still in playing role-playing games with human game masters, perhaps this will help.
The Energion rules are designed to be played with 10 sided dice, referred to in this manual simply as "dice" (singular "die"). Two of these may be rolled, with one designated as the 10 place to roll a number between one and 100. The numbers are read "O1" to "00" with the latter being 100. These numbers are referred to as percentages, because in the game they are always compared to various percentage chances that the characters have of accomplishing actions. In the manual, a 10 sided die is called a dlO, and the percentage produced using two of them a dlOO, At least two ten sided dice are necessary for each player and for the gamemaster.
The Energion system also uses formulas extensively. The minimum equipment necessary for calculating these quickly during a game is a good calculator. A four function calculator will do for most things, but a good scientific calculator, preferably RPN, is very helpful. A square root key is useful for figuring ranges on a flat surface. A cube root key is almost necessary for use with the magic system. For a playing group which intends to use any of the optional rules, a computer is practically necessary. The optional rules are designed to be used with spreadsheets as well as the BASIC programs (supplied with this online version in PHP) for which listings are included. The more optional rules are used, the more computer power will be needed. It is practical to play the game with a single computer for the entire group, but if you are using all optional rules, you should plan on resolving some conflict in computer use when players are preparing characters. One solution to this is character sheets with companion formula reference cards.
Optional rules are printed in blue text throughout for clarity.
Because of the number of formulas, but more importantly, because of the magic system, this entire game uses the metric system. I needed the flexibility of units of measure which change in reasonable increments, and which use a base of 10. Since the spell ranges and areas of effect use the metric system, I made the entire game use it.
Various programs and spreadsheets, as well as useful text files, such as clerical spell lists, will available on this web site as I have time and inclination to post them.
Because the game is stated largely in formulas, the following guide may he necessary. If you have programmed a spreadsheet and/or written substantial BASIC programs on your computer you will be able to skip this section.
First, formulas will be stated in the form of an equation, with a single aspect of the character labeled on one side, such as STBonus, and the means of calculating it on the other, For example:
Formula for calculating a StatBonus:
StatBonus = Stat - 100
This is one of the simplest formulas of the game. The concept of the stat (explained later) and of the stat bonus are so common in the game that I will use standard abbreviations for them, also provided in the section on stats.
A more complicated formula could include a number of functions common to the BASIC language and spreadsheets. The ones commonly used follow.
- AVG(x,y,z) - means average the numbers listed in the parentheses. One term which may be used is Primes which means the prime stats of the particular skill involved (see Skills). AVG(Primes) means to average the two to four prime stats for the skill involved.
- IF(x,y,z) - if x is true then y; if x is false then z.
- MIN(x,y,z) - take the smallest of the values listed. Values may be from two up in number.
- MAX(x,y,z) - take the largest of the values listed.
- SQR(X) - take the square root of the number in parentheses.
- TRUNC(X) remove the decimal portion of the number in parentheses.
- X^2 - take x to the power of 2.
Order of operations is adhered to throughout, though in cases of possible confusion, unnecessary parentheses may be included. This order is: functions or parenthetical expressions, exponents, multiplication and division from left to right, addition and subtraction from left to right. Unless otherwise noted in the formula, carry all fractions or decimals through to the last figure and then truncate the result, Rounding at the end will change the values expected from the formulas, sometimes seriously, as may either rounding or truncating during the calculation. Treat each formula as an entity in and of itself.
Note that when multiple words are linked with capitalization but no spaces, they are being used as a variable name for formulas. All commonly used variable names are boldfaced when used or described in the text.