Adventuring in Swords of Infinity can generally be handled within the narrative but in the circumstances mentioned below some rules are necessary.
Falling characters take one point of damage for every foot fallen once they collide with the ground, to a maximum of 1500 damage for a size 0 creature. Characters that are thrown into obstacles also take one point of damage for every foot of distance traveled. A character that combines a drop with their attack adds this damage to the regular damage they would deal with their attack.
Characters that do not get regular sleep begin to suffer penalties from their deprivation. For every day that a character goes without sleep they suffer a consecutive -10 penalty to all Success and Power Checks unless they succeed in an Endurance Skill Check. These penalties remain until the character gets a full eight hours of sleep, at which point they are all removed. Successful Endurance Skill Checks only prevent the penalty for that day from adding to previous sleep deprivation penalties, and do not remove them.
Storyteller's Note: Characters taking one or two hour power-naps can be given a bonus to their Endurance Skill Check, but should not be treated as having had a full night's rest.
Food & Drink
Characters that go without food or water for long periods of time suffer a penalty based on how many days they have gone without sustenance. For every day that a character goes without food or water they suffer a consecutive -10 penalty to all of their Success and Power Checks unless they succeed in an Endurance Skill Check. These penalties remain until the character eats or drinks again, at which point they are all removed. Successful Endurance Skill Checks only prevent the penalty for that day from adding to previous starvation penalties, and do not remove them.
Diseases in Swords of Infinity damage characters' health and ability scores, and are even capable of causing narrative effects that are permanent until the character is cured. Diseases are created very similarly to characters, they have Abilities, and typically have two Traits; a method of transmission and a cure. The effect that each Ability Score has on the capabilities of the Disease is described below.
- The disease's ability to infect and harm. Strength is used whenever the disease attempts to infect or damage a character.
- The communicability of the disease. Dexterity is used whenever the disease attempts to spread to a new host.
- The resilience of the disease. Vitality is used to determine how much damage a disease can take from spells and medicine before becoming weakened and dying.
- Awareness, Intelligence, and Personality
- Diseases do not usually have mental Abilities, but they might be present in a "smart" disease that is capable of hunting down specific hosts.
Once a character comes into contact with a disease, in the manner described by its method of transmission (e.g. airborne), the disease will make a strength based Power Check that must be resisted by the character's Physical Resistance. If the character's Physical Resistance Check is less than the disease's Power Check, the character becomes infected by the disease.
Once the character has caught a disease it will attack them once per day until they are cured. A successful Physical Resistance Check made against the disease's Power Check will negate the negative effects for that day.
Once a character meets the conditions specified by a disease's cure the damage dealt by it is removed and the disease can no longer attack the character.
Riding & Driving
When a character is driving or piloting a vehicle, or riding a mount, movement mechanics are slightly different. Vehicles and mounts moving their full distance in an action can only turn 45 degrees, for more advanced movement (e.g. 90 degree or greater turns) a successful Ride, Driving, or Piloting Skill Check is necessary. Success on the Skill Check means the character is able to perform the maneuver without incident, while failure means that the character must continue their movement making only 45 degree turns.
Coming to a complete stop after moving the vehicle or mount's maximum distance also requires a successful skill check, without which the vehicle must still move up to half its movement distance during the next action.
Vehicles are just large devices, and operating one uses the device rules. Riding a living mount functions similarly to operating a device, the physical Ability Scores of the mount replace those of the rider for Skill checks made by the rider.
Movement on a vehicle or mount does not cost a character an action during combat unless they have to perform a Ride, Driving, or Piloting Skill Check. This means that a mounted character can still take their two actions while being moved by a vehicle or mount. For mounts in particular, however, an action is still being spent in order to move, and so they are unable to take a different action (e.g. attack) if they moved their maximum distance that turn.
A crash occurs whenever a vehicle or mount moving at full speed runs into something in their way. This is most likely to occur when a driver, making 45 degree turns at full speed, fails to fully plan out their movement and so ends up in a position where either going straight or another 45 degree turn will not avoid an obstacle. Vehicles that crash into another vehicle or object take one point of damage for every foot traveled in the turn that the collision took place. A successful Ride or Drive Skill Check can be made to avoid this damage.
Most adventuring parties will inevitably attempt to solve their problems with fire which, in non-magical form, is a highly destructive and hard to control force. It takes 10 points of Power from some a spell or other source to ignite one value level of flammable material. Fire gains a level and ignites additional Value Levels of contiguous flammable materials every 10 rounds (i.e. one minute), and deals 10 points of damage for every Value Level of material it has consumed this way to any creatures it comes in contact with.
To extinguish a fire water, or some other nonflammable substance, must be introduced to it or, alternatively, the fire can be allowed to exhaust its fuel source. The fire is reduced in level for each Value Level of extinguishing material that it is exposed to, it is put out when it reaches zero. Fire burns through its fuel at the rate of one Value Level every 600 rounds (i.e. 60 minutes).
Fire will continue to spread to any source of fuel that it can reach (including living creatures) and, if not isolated, can even be carried by the wind to more distant sources of fuel. Treat the fire as having a Dexterity equal to 10 times the number of Value Levels in fuel that it has consumed for purposes of determining whether the fire reaches its target. Fire receives the same distance penalties to hit as a character using a ranged weapon. The frequency of this occurrence is up to the Storyteller and should reflect the conditions that the fire is burning under (e.g. wet, dry, windy, etc.).
The superheated smoke generated by a fire is often far more dangerous than the fire itself, and characters that are trapped in an an enclosed space with it are at risk of taking substantial damage. Smoke has Strength equal to 10 times the number of Value Levels in fuel that the fire has consumed (i.e. a 10 Value Level fire has smoke with 100 Strength) and uses this score to deal damage every round to characters that breath it in. Characters that roll a higher power score than the damage dealt on a Physical Resistance check avoid taking damage from the smoke, and various measures (e.g. crawling under the smoke, or wearing a respirator) can be taken to gain a bonus on these checks, as determined by the storyteller. Spot Skill checks or other Awareness checks that depend on vision are made with a penalty of 10 times the level of the fire while within the smoke.
Sometimes an adventuring party needs to bring on additional, specialized help. As a general rule, most skilled help is willing to accept a weekly rate of one Value Level of pay for every XP Level they have gained (e.g. a 10 level hireling would cost 10 Value Levels of coin per week). Conditions such as the level of demand for, or the availability of the required skill-set may modify this pay rate and the Storyteller may opt to have the hireling request some other form of payment entirely (e.g. a favor, a percent of an adventure's take, etc.). In some settings, a hireling might demand that some percentage of their pay be provided in advance to their family as a form of insurance.
Throughout the course of an adventure a hero might, through his reputation and deeds, earn any number of followers and admirers. Storytellers are encouraged to introduce these followers organically in a way that makes sense to the story or, if the follower is core to a character's concept, require that the player gain a Trait that grants him one or more followers. The total Experience Level of all a character's followers should not exceed his own Experience Level, but again, a Trait could be gained to increase this number.
Followers are typically individuals capable of making their own decisions, unless they have been magically controlled or otherwise enslaved, and so while a character is free to give them instructions, it is up to the Storyteller to determine what their course of action would be. Followers are not capable of using the Push Past Limits ability that heroes have access to.
Followers can be trained by a hero to become more skilled. Mechanically this functions identically to crafting a Device, except that it uses the "Train" skill instead of "Craft". The hero performing the training should perform the skill check as though they have Tools of value level equal to the hero's Experience Level, Raw Materials of Value Level equal to the follower's current Experience Level, and a target Value Level equal to the desired Experience Level for the follower. If successful, the Follower gains that many levels worth of XP to spend on Specializations.
Training can be performed on each Follower whenever a hero advances in Experience Level.
Travel typically punctuates the moments between adventures, and is a great opportunity for the Storyteller to expose players to the nuances of a region. Swords of Infinity has mechanics for determining the tone and theme of a travel encounter, the Travel Matrix, and for giving players a bit of control over what they run into while on the road, the Travel Skill.
Storyteller's Note: Travel Encounters are different from other types in that there is a random chance of it showing up in a play session. This does not mean that you need to be unprepared for it, however, and you should feel free to pre-populate the Travel Matrix with potential Encounters for each result before you run the game.
Storytellers use the following matrix to determine the theme and tone of a Travel Encounter. For example, a d% roll of 35 would result in a neutral encounter with people. It is then the Storyteller's responsibility to decide what specific encounter, with that tone and theme, would fit best into the story (e.g. farmers going to market for a neutral encounter with people).
|d% roll for matrix results||Tone|
|For rolls of 91 or more roll twice and combine the results.|
Players that succeed on a Travel Skill check are able to move the result on the matrix up or down one row, or left or right one column. Critical success allows the player to chose the exact result. This gives experienced travelers more control over the sorts of things they encounter on the road. Every player in the party can attempt this check, but cumulative successes do not apply stacking results (i.e. two successful players are not able to move the matrix results by two).
Water is quite dangerous to well equipped and armed adventurers, and has traditionally been avoided by traveling armies for this reason. The weight of a character's armor makes swimming much more difficult, and leaves them vulnerable to the threat that water poses. Unarmored characters are typically able to swim in calm waters without making a skill check.
Swimming in Armor
Characters receive a penalty to attempts at using the Swim Skill equal to 10 times the highest class piece of armor they are wearing (e.g. a character wearing class 2 and a class 4 pieces of armor would receive a -40 penalty to their Swim Skill check). Likewise, armored characters must always roll a Swim Skill check every round they remain in water that has a depth greater than their height or sink and face the threat of drowning.
Characters can hold their breath one round for every 10 points of Vitality that they have. For every additional round characters must succeed in an Endurance Skill check, the first check is made with no penalty, but each successive check adds a stacking -10 penalty. Once a character fails one of these Endurance Skill checks, they begin drowning. Drowning characters lose consciousness and their head Damage Target takes 10 damage every round from the lack of oxygen to the brain. Drowning can be cured by removing the character from the water and succeeding on a First Aid skill check.