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Society for Paranormal Exploration

Society for Paranormal Exploration

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Published by James Hargrove
A rules-light homage to Chill and Poltergeist: The Legacy.
A rules-light homage to Chill and Poltergeist: The Legacy.

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Published by: James Hargrove on Sep 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 The Society for Paranormal Exploration
This game is based, in part, on the PrimaryFantasy SRD and pays homage to a popular horror RPG, as well as a horror television series that aired onShowtime in the mid-to-late-90s.
 Creating Characters 
Rate Character Abilities
 All characters have four Abilities that definethem:
itality, and
go. Strength isa measure of a character’s raw physical power. Agilityis a measure of their reflexes and coordination. Vitalityis a measure of their general physical health andendurance. Finally, Ego is a measure of a character’smental toughness and willpower.You begin with five points to assign to your character’s six Ability scores. You may assign thesepoints any way that you so choose – it is even okay toassign all six of these points to a single Ability andleave the remaining Abilities with a score of 0.You may gain further points to assign to your character’s Abilities by choosing to take a
score in one or more Abilities. For example, if youchoose to take a -1 score in Dexterity you will gainone point to boost the score of another Ability. If youchoose to take a -2 Dexterity score, you gain
points to boost the scores of other Abilities. The onlylimitation of gaining points in this manner is that no Ability score may be raised above +4.
Record Character Level
Your character’s Level is merely an abstractrepresentation of their life experience. Typically, theReferee will choose a starting Level for all charactersin a given campaign (often first Level). Record your character’s starting level on your character recordsheet at this time.
Rank Character Profession
Choose a profession for your character (e.g.,artist, journalist, policeman, priest). Your character begins play with a +2 bonus to all rolls that relate totheir specific trade craft, gaining a further +1 bonusto such rolls for every odd level that they gain duringactual play (e.g., 3,5,7, etc).
Record Damage Threshold
 All characters can sustain a certain amountof injury before they are shuffled off the mortal coil. A character’s Damage Threshold (DT) is equal to their  Vitality score, plus their Ego score, plus 1d6 per level.Calculate and record your character’s DamageThreshold at this time.
Standard Equipment Pack
 All characters begin play with the followingstandard equipment:First Aid KitElectric LED TorchSociety Signet RingSmall knife (1d4 dmg)Small Caliber Revolver (2d6 dmg)Silver Bullets (x12)Padded CoatDigital Camera32gb SD CardPocket DictaphoneLaptop Computer Your character’s Armor Class (AC) is equalto 10, plus your character’s current Vitality score andthe armor bonus of the armor that they are currentlywearing: +2 for a padded coat, +3 for a bulletproof vest, or +4 for military-grade combat armor. Recordyour character’s current Armor Class at this time.Your character’s weapon damage is as listedon the equipment list, plus their Strength score for melee weapons and their Agility score for rangedweapons. Record your character’s weapon damageat this time. If your character is completely unarmed,their damage is equal to their Strength score.
 The System Basics 
 Ability Rolls
 Abilities are rolled against during actual playwhenever a character wants to undertake action. Touse an Ability in actual play, roll 1d20, then add thesingle most applicable Ability score, any bonus froma character’s profession (if applicable), and the actingcharacter’s Level to the die result. If the result of thisdie roll is equal to or greater than the Difficulty Class(DC) assigned to the character’s action by theReferee, then your character’s action has succeeded!(If not, their action has failed).
Saving Rolls
 A saving roll is a special Ability roll made onbehalf of your character to avoid a specific type of harm or extricate them from a situation likely to causeharm. For example, the Referee may have you roll1d20, add your character’s Agility score, professionbonus (if applicable) and Level to the result in order to avoid having your character fall off a slippery ledgewhile they are climbing a sheer mountain face.
Magic and Spells
Magic does exist in the world of The Societyfor Paranormal Investigation, but it is very rare, witheach spell being individual and unique. As a generalrule, spells must be sought out, found, and studiedintensely before they can be cast. As such, spells aredesigned by the Referee to suit the specific needs of agiven adventure or story arc.Invoking a spell requires that the character make a successful Ego Ability roll versus a target DCequal to the level of the spell that is being invoked (asdetermined by the Referee), plus 10. For spells thatcause damage, an Ego saving roll may be madeagainst a DC equal to 10, plus the caster’s currentLevel, plus the caster’s Ego score for half damage.
 Resolving Combat 
Taking Action
Combat is broken up into turns, representingthe passage of time in the game world. A character can take one action each turn..
 Acting Order
To determine what order characters incombat can take their action, roll 1d20 for eachcombatant and modify the result by their Level and Agility score. Characters act in order of their dieresults, from the highest to the lowest. Re-roll all ties. A new turn begins after all characters involved in acombat have taken action.
Resolving Attacks
When a character attacks another character or monster with a melee weapon, roll 1d20, addingtheir Level and Strength score to the result. If the finalresult of this roll is equal to or higher than the target’s AC, then the attack is successful.When a character attacks another character or monster with a ranged weapon, roll 1d20, addingtheir Level and Agility score to the result. If the finalresult of this roll is equal to or higher than the target’s AC, then the attack is successful.
Damage and Death
To determine how much damage an attackinflicts, roll the prescribed weapon damage. Add theattacking character’s Strength score for melee attacks
else, their Agility score for ranged attacks. Finally,subtract the
Vitality score from the result.Record the result on the target’s character sheet in the“Damage Taken” box. If, at any time, the amount of damage in this box exceeds the target’s DamageThreshold, the character is dead.Damage caused by spells is per the spelldescription, as defined in the source document or bythe Referee. As mentioned previously, a character may make an Ego saving roll may be made against aspecific DC for half damage (i.e., the spell’s targetwill take only half damage from the spell).
Non-Combat Damage 
Drowning Suffocation
 Any character can hold her breath for anumber of turns equal to twice her Vitality score. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Vitality saving throw every turn in order to continueholding her breath. Each round, the DC increases by1. When this roll is failed, the character dies.
Exposure to Cold
 An unprotected character in cold weather (below 40° F) must make a Vitality saving roll for eachhour of exposure (DC 15) or take 1d6 points of damage. In conditions of severe cold or exposure(below 0° F), an unprotected character must make a Vitality saving roll once every 10 minutes (DC 15),taking 1d6 points of damage. Extreme cold (below-20
F) deals 1d6 points of lethal damage per minute(no saving roll).
Exposure to Heat
 A character in very hot conditions (above 90
F) must make a Vitality saving roll each hour (DC 15)or take 1d4 points of damage. In severe heat (above110
F), a character must make a Vitality saving rollonce every 10 minutes (DC 15) or take 1d4 damage.In extreme heat (air temperature over 140
F, fire,boiling water, lava), merely
air deals 1d6damage per minute (no saving roll).
Falling Effects
Falling characters sustain1d6 points of damage per 10 feet fallen, to a maximum of 20d6. A  Vitality saving roll can be made at heights of 20 feetor less to halve damage (rounded down). Saving rollsdo not mitigate falling damage from heights above20 feet and further damage may be incurred bylanding on objects as the Referee sees fit.
Fire Effects
If a character’s clothes or hair catch fire, hetakes 1d6 points of damage immediately. For eachsubsequent minute that the character remains on fire,he takes another 1d6 points of damage. A successful Agility saving roll will extinguish the fire.
Healing Damage 
Natural Healing 
For every full 8 hours of sleep or more thatyour character accrues after being inured, removeone point of Damage Taken per character Level. For example, if your character is of 3
Level and hastaken 5 points of damage, but has rested for 8 hours,they will reduce Damage Taken by
points.If your character rests uninterrupted for anentire 24 hours after being injured, you can removean amount of Damage Taken equal to
your character’s current Level.
Magical Healing 
Certain spells
restore character health.To learn how these spells work, consult the individualdescriptions in the source document that you areusing or the spells devised by the Referee.
Healing Limits
You can never reduce Damage Taken to lessthan zero (i.e., your character can’t recover any morehealth than they lost to begin with).
 Character Growth 
 Characters experience two different kinds of growth – Ability growth and level growth.
 Ability Growth
  Any time that a player rolls a ‘natural’ (i.e.,unmodified) result of either 1 or 20 when making an Ability roll, they need to place a checkmark next to the Ability involved. At the end of a game session, a player needsto roll 1d20 for each checkmark on their recordsheet, one at a time. If they roll a result that equals
exceeds the rating of the Ability that the checkmark is

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