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Worlds Apart Blog Preview

Worlds Apart Blog Preview

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Published by: jgbrowning on May 24, 2012
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 Fourislandscomposed the sultry chain,oating upon a bright blue sea undera tropical sun, each island gradually decreas-ing size as the eye passed rom north to south.Tey were mountainous, etched with deep valleys,and covered with lush oliage. Greysolt surveyed thechain as best he could with his spyglass, taking the longesttime upon the southernmost island, covered in a hazy steam o warm clouds. Te crew o 
Te Dromedary
 remained silent as the Captain surveyed what noother voyagers had ever seen. Each held di-erent thoughts in the silence: thoughts o receptive natives, thoughts o resh waterand resh ruit, thoughts o spicesunknown to the civilized world,thoughts o slaughter and pillage.Tecrew was amotley sort, a dozenor so hardened men andwomen in their late 30’s. Eachhad another lie behind them;some, several dierent lives. Tey were unreliable in the mainstay, butrock-solid in a clutch. Tey bickeredand euded as they worked, helping eachother make
Te Dromedary
move,breath, and live. Teir ship was not justa thing o wood and artice, it was acollection o elemental powers: itwas a voyager ship.Greysoltdeclared theall clear indicatingan isolated cove to dropanchor, and the crew jumpedinto action. Several went into the hullto tend to the elementals bound withineldritch machinery, but most headedtowards their cabins, gathering various equipment or thecoming landing. Tecove beckoned,the unknowncalled.
Te Dromedary
 calmly pulled intothe bay and slowed todrop anchor. wo dinghiesplopped into the water, and theircrew descended into the rocking ships.Crossbows ready, the small cra rowed tothe black sand shores. Behind the shoresa seemingly impenetrable wall o  vegetation dazzled in a multi-colored display. Now, toheed the call…
Long ago, the god of the soil and the goddess of the sea became lovers. Their union created the world composed of number-less islands in an endless sea. Upon these islands other creatures were born from the labors of other gods. These creatures grew and learned and prospered for countless generations, sailing upon the welcoming seas. After eons, after the rise and fall of hundreds of empires and kingdoms, Soil and Sea argued and rent the world asunder. The once-welcoming seas nowstranded any that dared travel beyond the sight of land in a gigantic never-ending ocean upon which they died from priva-tion. The once-interconnected islands were isolated, only able to communicate with other nearby islands for a ship neededto keep some type of shore in sight to avoid the terrible fate of those stranded in the Forever Sea. Each island or group of islands became independent worlds set apart from their brothers. This new and terrible isolation lasted as along as the erabefore it, and many new creatures, new gods, and new peoples were born during the long separation.
the secret of taming elementals to create ships that could navigate through the Forever Sea. She believed that a return to
 gift of knowledge was met by anger and rage by all of the gods, both new and old, and she was imprisoned in the sky,transformed into a cloud cursed to move forever against the wind. But the wondrous gift of Obstinate Cloud (as she isnow named by those who tell her story) could not be undone, and the peoples of the islands began to explore a newlyboundless world in their strange voyager ships.
Worlds Apart 
is a antasy role-playing game set during a periodo expansion and exploration. For countless centuries, peoplewere separated rom each other upon their own single landmass,essentially worlds apart. But a recent magical invention, the voyager ship, ound a way to pierce through the deadly oceansseparating the people, and a giant melting pot o civilizations burstinto existence nearly overnight. Play begins several hundred yearsaer the development o the voyager ship, and great new empires o might and trade have risen rom the rst chaotic contacts. Unlikemost antasy games,
Worlds Apart 
assumes that players will bemost interested in exploration and trade using voyager ships totravel throughout the Forever Sea.
Worlds Apart 
campaigns tendto revolve around several dierent themes: trading, exploring,military, or mixed.
: Te lieblood o all civilization, trade is at the rooto almost all human endeavors, be it a goal in itsel or the sourceo wealth that drives art and architecture. Characters engaged ina trading campaign tend to travel along relatively known paths,ocusing on acquiring wealth through more sedate trade ventures.In a campaign ocusing on traveling known paths, politics, intrigue,and perhaps a little ship-to-ship combat will ll the game as theplayers try to nesse or muscle their way around the larger tradingenterprises and the many political entities. 
: Although voyager ships have been available orquite some time, there is still more terra incognita that needs to beexplored. Much o this is on the ringes o the known world, butthere are still pockets o unexplored ocean everywhere. A less usualtype o exploration game involves surveying the interiors o largeand unexplored islands. 
: Military campaigns are easy to create and run in
Worlds Apart 
. All the players have a similar background and servein a unit together, combating pirates, other armies, or strangemagical races bent upon destruction. Military campaigns can bea lot o un to run and play, so i you’ve never done so, considera military-oriented game— you may nd your group ready orsomething new. 
: Te traditional
Worlds Apart 
campaign is a mixtureo two o the above options. rading and exploration gives you thegreedy explorers, daringly going out into the Forever Sea searchingor that special island that has that new commodity that will makethem all rich beyond their wildest dreams. rade and military eatures the group given orders to orge alliances and trade routesthrough orce and guile, while military and exploration campaignsocus on nding new islands and new civilizations, bolding goingwhere no one has gone beore.Eect otalResultLess than–6
Exceptional Failure
: Te character ailed ascompletely as it is possibly to ail. Anything thatcan go wrong goes wrong. I attempting to repaira device, the device is urther damaged or evendestroyed. In a social situation, the character getsinto urther trouble.–2 to –5
Average Failure
: Te character has ailed the task.–1
Marginal Failure
: Te character has almost,almost succeeded, and the Reeree may permithim to scrape a success i he takes a signicantconsequence. Such as a character trying to jumpacross a chasm hangs onto the ar side by hisngernails but can only pull himsel up i he dropshis leather backpack.0
Marginal Success
: Te character barely succeedsat the task, and may have to accept a condition onhis success. He xes the engine but it will overheat.He nds a buyer or the goods but the buyer is anuntrustworthy criminal.1–5
Average Success
: Te character succeeds.6+
Exceptional Success
: Te character succeeds in animpressive and elegant ashion.
Eect able
Die Rolling Conventions
Worlds Apart 
uses two six-sided dice or most rolls. Below are a ewo the conict resolution terms used in the game. 
: o determine i a character succeeds or ails at aparticular task, the player must make a check. o make a check, theplayer rolls 2d6 and adds any appropriate Dice Modiers (such as askill his character possesses or a bonus rom a piece o equipment).I the total is equal to or greater than the target number or thatcheck, he succeeds. A check will usually have a skill or characteristicassociated with it. For example, a check o ‘Dex 8+’ means ‘roll 2d6,add your Dexterity Characteristic Dice Modier, and you succeedi you have a total result o 8 or more. Checks are also sometimescalled “throws.” 
Dice Modier
(abbreviated to DM): A number to be appliedto a die roll beore it is used. Dice Modiers are preceded by a sign,which indicates i the number is to be added to or subtracted romthe roll. For example, a Dice Modier o –2 indicates that two isto be subtracted rom the roll; a Dice Modier o +4 indicates thatour is added to the roll. 
arget Numbers
: In many checks, the player needs to rollequal to or above a specic number (usually, eight or more). Tis isdenoted by a number ollowed by a plus, such as 8+ or 10+. 
: I the degree o success is important, then subtract thetarget number (typically 8) rom the total o the dice roll plus DiceModiers. Tis margin o success is reerred to as the Eect. Forexample, i roll a 10 on a check with a target number o 8+, youhave an Eect o 2 (10–8=2). I you roll a 6 on the same check, youhave a –2 Eect (6–8=–2).
Character Generation Sequence
Characters in
Worlds Apart 
begin with a long history behind them.ypically, they’ve served close to two decades in their variouscareers and are experienced proessionals, not the wet-behind-the-ears characters o other role-playing games. Te history o thecharacter is created randomly during the character creation process;a player should interpret the results o the die rolls into a coherentback-story. It is recommended that rolling up characters be agroup endeavor as there’s a lot o un to be had in the collaborativestorytelling resulting rom character creation.
A. Generate Abilities
1. Roll 2d6 or each o your characteristics. I your GM permits,arrange them in the order you preer. Te abilities are Strength(Str), Dexterity (Dex), Endurance (End), Intelligence (Int),Education (Edu), Social Standing (Soc), Magical Strength(Mag).
B. Choose Background Skills
1. Choose your background skills based upon your Educationand your choice o home island. Also, you gain your nativelanguage or ree at skill level 1.
C. First erm o First Career
1. Choose 1
Career2. Choose Assignment3. Succeed on Qualication Roll. I ailed, submit to Impressmentor the Drier Career.4. Gain all the skills listed in the Service Skills table at Level 0unless stated otherwise.5. Roll 1d6 on the appropriate skill table or your assignment togain a skill or roll on the Advanced Education table i you meetthe requirements.6. Roll 2d6 to see i you survive the 4 year term. I you succeed, goto step 8; i you ail, rst go to step 7.7. Roll on Mishap able and leave this career - do not roll on theMustering-Out table or this term. Go to step D.8. Roll on the Events table and see what happens. Apply changesaccordingly.9. Roll 2d6 to see i you advance in your career. I you advance,note any gained skills rom that advancement.10. Roll on the Mustering-Out able i you’re leaving this career.Choose Cash or Benets and proceed to step F i this is yournal career beore beginning play. I you’re not leaving thecareer, store up your Mustering-Out roll or this term andproceed to step E.
D. First erm in Subsequent Careers
1. Choose 2
(or 3
or 4
) Career2. Choose Assignment3. Succeed on Qualication Roll. I ailed, submit to Impressmentor the Drier Career.4. Pick one o the skills listed in the Service Skills table and gain itat Level 0 unless stated otherwise.5. Roll 1d6 on the appropriate skill table or your assignment togain a skill, or roll on the Advanced Education table i youmeet the requirements.6. Roll 2d6 to see i you survive the 4 year term. I you succeed, goto step 8; i you ail, rst go to step 7.
: You can use two six-sided dice to randomly generate 36 resultsby designating one o the dice as the “tens” die and the other as the“ones” die. You’ll nd this type o roll in the trade section.
 7. Roll on Mishap able and leave this career - do not roll on theMustering-Out table or this term. Go to step F.8. Roll on the Events table and see what happens. Apply changesaccordingly.9. Roll 2d6 to see i you advance in your career. I you advance,note any gained skills rom that advancement.10. Roll on the Mustering-Out able i you’re leaving this career.Choose Cash or Benets and proceed to step F i this is yournal career beore beginning play. I you’re not leaving thecareer, store up your Mustering-Out roll or this term andproceed to step E.
E. Additional erms in the Same Career
1. Roll 1d6 on the Personal Development table, the Service Skillstable, or the Assignment table to increase your statistics or gaina skill. Optionally, roll 1d6 on either the Advanced Educationtable i you meet the requirements or on the Commendationtable i you were commended (only Soldier and Sailor careers).2. Roll 2d6 to see i you survive the 4 year term. I you succeed, goto step 4; i you ail, rst go to step 3.3. Roll on Mishap able and leave this career - do not roll on theMustering-Out table or this term. Go to step D.4. Roll on the Events table and see what happens. Apply changesaccordingly.5. Roll 2d6 to see i you advance in your career. I you advance,note any gained skills rom that advancement.6. Roll on the aging table i this is your h (or later) term.7. Roll on the Mustering-Out able i you’re leaving this career.Choose Cash or Benets and proceed to step F i this is yournal career beore beginning play. I you’re not leaving thiscareer, store up your Mustering-Out rolls until you nally leave this career, at which point you make all o your storedup rolls at once.
F. Buy Stu 
1. End character generation by mustering out o your nal careerand buy whatever stu you’d like using the money you’veacquired. Work with your GM to see what is appropriate andavailable to your character.2 I there’s a chance you can draw a pension (you leave aer the 5
 term in a carrer), make your Soc roll and determine the resultusing the Pension table.
G. Final Steps
1. I your GM approves, you can create connections betweenyour character and other player’s characters by incorporatingthem into your history as people you contacted during rolledEvents. You gain a skill that is related to that contact, and theother character gains one as well. You can do this twice.2. As a group, select a Skill Package that ts your ideas o what thegroup needs.
Every person and creature in
Worlds Apart 
has seven characteristics(also called abilities or statistics) that describe their base mentaland physical potential. Roll 2d6 or each characteristic. 15 is humanmaximum. Characteristics may provide a Dice Modier (DM)
(Str): A character’s physical strength, tness andorceulness o body.
(Dex): Physical co-ordination and agility, reexes.
(End): A character’s ability to sustain damage, staminaand determination.
(Int): A character’s intellect and quickness o mind.
(Edu): A character’s learning and experience.
Social Standing 
(Soc): A character’s reputation and standing.
Magical Strength
(Mag): A character’s magical power.
Characteristic Score
Dice Modier0–31-223-516-8+09-11+112-14+215-16+317-18+419-20+5
Characteristic able
I a character has no level in a skill, then he is untrained and willsuer a –3 Dice Modier when trying to use that skill. Some skillscannot be used i untrained.I a character has zero level in a skill (Skill 0), then he iscompetent in using that skill, but has little experience. He doesnot get any bonus rom his skill ranks when using that skill but heavoids the penalty or being untrained.I a character has one or more level in a skill (Level 1, Level2, and so on) then he is trained in that skill. Each rank representsseveral years o experience using that skill. A character with Level2–3 in a skill is a skilled proessional in that eld.Some skills have specialties – specialized orms o that skill.A character picks a specialty when he gains level 1 in a skill withspecialties. For example, a character might have Animals 0, allowinghim to make any Animals skill checks without an unskilled penalty.He might then gain a level in Animals, giving him Animals (Riding)1. He would make all Animals checks involving Riding at a +1 DM,but would make all other Animals checks at a +0 DM. A charactercan have multiple specialties in a skill – a beast handler might haveAnimals (Riding) 1 and Animals (raining) 2. He would makechecks related to Riding with a +1 DM, checks related to rainingwith a +2 DM and all other Animals checks with a +0 DM.Not all skills with specialties act in such a manner, however.See individual skill descriptions or more details on which skillsallow characters to make 0- level skill checks in all specialties andwhich ones do not. Skills that allow 0-level skill checks are termedbroad skills. Tose that do not allow 0-level skill checks are callednarrow skills. Some skills are broad excepting certain specialties.
Background Skills
Beore embarking on your careers, you get a number o backgroundskills equal to 3 + your Education DM (1 to 5, depending on yourEducation score). 
Home Isle
: Growing up on your home isle gave you three skillsthat depend on the island’s nature. You can select one o the skillsthat match your home isle’s island description and trade codes. I you came rom an island already established, then consult thosesources or the island’s description. I you come rom an islandthat does not provide enough background skills options, select thesecond skill option as well. I that is still not enough, consult withyour GM about what skills are appropriate or your character.Agricultural (Ag)Agriculture 0, Survival 0Arid (Ar)Survival 0, Science 0Cold (C)Survival 0, Science 0High Magic (Hm)Magic 0, Language 0High Population (Hp)Streetwise 0, rade 0High echnology (Ht)rade 0, Seaarer 0Hot (H)Survival 0, rade 0Industrial (I)rade 0, Streetwise 0Large (La)Language 0, rade 0Low Magic (Lm)Science 0, Seaarer 0Low Population (Lp)Survival 0, Animals 0Low echnology (LtOrienteer 0, Survival 0Lush (Lu)Animals 0, Agriculture 0Poor (P)Agriculture 0, Orienteer 0Rich (R)Carouse 0, Streetwise 0Small (S)Leadership 0, Seaarer 0
Home Isle Background Skills able
: Your youthul education and experience gives youa basic level o competence in one additional skill, plus or minusyour Education DM. Any character may choose rom the ollowinglist: Admin 0, Advocate 0, Agriculture 0, Animals 0, Art 0, Carouse0, Drive 0, Gambler 0, Language 0, Persuade 0, rade 0.
At many points during a career, a character will have to make acheck o some sort. Most o these checks are characteristic checks– roll 2d6, add the DM rom the listed characteristic, and try to geta total higher than the listed value. A check o Int 8+ means ‘roll2d6, add your Intelligence DM, and you succeed i you roll an 8or more.’ A ew throws are skill checks, where you add any levelsin that skill and the DM rom an appropriate characteristic. Forexample, a throw o Gunnery 8+ would mean ‘roll 2d6, add yourGunnery skill and the DM rom an appropriate characteristic suchas Dexterity, and get over 8 to succeed.
Beginning Age and erm Length
: You begin your rst careerat age 16. Each term lasts or 4 years. 
: What you need to roll to enter that career. I youail this check then you cannot enter your chosen career this term.You must then submit to Impressment or the Drier career or thisterm. You suer a –1 DM to qualication rolls or each previouscareer you have entered. Once you leave a career you cannot returnto it. Impressment and the Drier career are exceptions to this rule– you can be Impressed back into a previous career rom which youwere ejected and the Drier career is always open. 
Skills and raining 
: Each career has skill tables associatedwith it – Personal Development, Service Skills, Specialist Skills andAdvanced Education. In each term you spend in a career, pick oneo these tables and roll 1d6 to see which skill you increase. You may only roll on Advanced Education i your character has the listedqualication (usually Education 8+ or a certain Rank). You may only roll on the Commendation Skills i your career has one and i you have received a commendation.Skills can be listed with or without an associated level. I norank is listed, then you gain that skill at Level 1 i you do not haveit already, or increases its level by one i you are already trained inthat eld. I a rank is listed, then you gain the skill at that level aslong as it is better than your current level in that skill. 
Early raining 
: For your rst career only, you get all the skillslisted in the Service Skills table at Level 0 as your early training.For any subsequent careers, you may pick any one skill listed in theService Skills table at Level 0 as your basic training.
: Each career has a survival roll. I you ail this roll,roll on the mishap table. Tis mishap orces you to leave this careerunless stated otherwise. You lose the benet roll or the currentterm only. A natural 2 is always a ailure.
: I you are still in your career aer resolving thesurvival roll, roll on the events table to see what interesting thingsbeall you this term. Some events give a bonus DM to advancementrolls or give automatic advancement. You can apply these DMs tocommission rolls also. 
: Tis only applies to the careers o Soldierand Sailor. A character who earns a commendation gains accessto additional skills due their commendable perormance via thecommendation skills table. 
: Each career has an advancement roll. I youmake a successul Advancement roll, then you move to the nextrank and gain an extra roll on any o the Skills and raining ablesor this career. You also get any benets listed or your new rank.You may only attempt to advance once per term.I your result is equal to or less than the number o terms youhave spent in this career, then you cannot continue in this careeraer this term. Either your services are no longer required, or youare simply bored and want a new challenge. I you roll a natural 12,then you must continue in this career.
Ranks and Benets
: You start at Rank 0 in your career. Eachtime you succeed at an advancement check, you advance in Rank.Some ranks have benets associated with them, such as extra skillsor more benets. You gain these benets when you attain that rank. 
: When you leave a career or any reason, yougain material rewards rom that career. Tere are two tables – Cashand Benets. You get one Mustering-Out roll per ull term served.Leaving due to a mishap means you lose the roll or that term, butnot previous ull terms in that career. I you have Gambler 1 orbetter, add a +1 DM to your cash rolls.I you reached rank 1 or 2, you get an extra benet roll whenleaving that service. I you reached rank 3 or 4, you get two extrabenet rolls, and i you reached rank 5 or 6, you get three extrabenet rolls and may apply a +1 to rolls on the Benets table thatyou gain rom that career. Tese extra rolls are only benet rolls,not cash rolls.

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