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A Basic Roleplaying Game of Pulp Fantasy Introduction
Sword & Sorcery is a basic roleplaying game of pulp fantasy based, in large part, on a popular solo-play board game of the early 1980s. Sword & Sorcery makes the assumption that you have prior familiarity with RPGs and, as such, skips the basic introductory stuff.
A B C 1 0 0 6 2 1 6 8 3 2 7 9 4 3 8 11 5 4 9 12 6 5 10 13
All characters are initially defined by four traits: Fighting, Physique, Guile, and Wealth. Each such trait is further defined by a numeric value. To determine the starting value of a trait, roll 2d6. The result of this die roll is the value of the trait. In order to determine exactly how many silver coins your character begins play with, roll 1d6 and cross-reference this with your character’s Wealth score on the table below.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 0 0 2 2 3 6 5 10 15 20+A 23 2 0 1 3 3+A 4 8 9+C 12 18 22 27 3 1 2 4 4 6 9 11+A 14 20 24+B 29 4 1 2 4 6+A 8 11 12 16 22 26 31 5 2 3 5 7 10 12 15+A 18 24 28+B 33 6 2 4 6 8+A 11 14 20 20 27 30 37
After you have cross-referenced the appropriate letter code with your die roll result, you will find another numeric code. This code refers to a specific item on the supplemental equipment list later in this document. Finally, at this time, if you so wish, you can use your silver coins to purchase normal equipment for your character off of the supplemental equipment list.
Combat is divided up into turns. Each turn, a character may take one action (e.g., attack a single opponent, retreat, etc).To determine which characters act when, roll 1d6 for each character involved in the combat and add their Fighting score to the result. Characters act in order of their modified die roll results, from highest to lowest. Re-roll ties. The only exception to this is surprise, as detailed below. If your character attempts to catch an opponent by surprise, you need to roll 2d6. If this roll result is lower than your character’s Guile score, then they have successfully surprised their opponent. As a result, your character gets to strike before their opponent during the first turn of combat, regardless of previously determined acting order) and they get to make a ‘free’ attack in addition to their normal one attack per turn. After determining who acts when and resolving surprise (if applicable), it’s time to resolve any attacks. To do so, take the attacking character’s Fighting score and subtract from it the target’s Fighting score and note the result. Roll 2d6 and modify the result by the number obtained by comparing combatant’s Fighting scores and any equipment modifiers (see equipment descriptions). Finally, apply any modifiers for environmental conditions as the Referee sees fit (these modifiers should range from -2 for difficult conditions, such as low visibility, to +2 for especially beneficial conditions, such as bright sunlight or the attacker having higher ground). -1-
A result on the above table that contains a letter in addition to a number denotes that your character has in their possession a special item in addition to silver coins. To determine what the item is, roll and additional 1d6 and cross-reference the result with the appropriate letter code on the following table.
After obtaining a final numeric value, compare it to the target below. If the value is shown on the table, then the specified number of wounds have been dealt to the target of the attack. If the value is not shown on the table, then the attack has missed. -6,-3,1,3,6,9 11,13,14,18 12 15,16,19 20 One Wound Two Wounds Three Wounds Four Wounds Five Wounds
If, instead of attacking, you wish your character to flee from combat, roll 1d6 as their action. Any result of 5 or higher indicates a successful escape from the battle. Any other result indicates a failed escape attempt, and that your character has forfeited their action. Finally, if fighting sapient opponents, you can attempt to frighten your foes into fleeing from a given battle. Anytime that a foe is killed, you may opt to roll 1d6. If a die result of 6 is obtained, the remaining enemy combatants successfully flee from battle.
Wounds & Healing
Your character’s Physique score is the number of wounds that they can sustain before being shuffled off the mortal coil (i.e., before they are killed). When they have sustained a number of wounds equal to half of their Physique score (rounded down), they have become Seriously Injured and receive a -2 penalty to all die rolls made on their behalf. Finally, when they have sustained wounds equal to one less than their Physique score, they have been Knocked Out and can take no action. For every 24 hours that a character dedicates to rest, without undertaking strenuous activity, they heal one normal (non-poison) wound. Additionally, some special items allow a character to heal wounds (see equipment descriptions).
If any character in the group is on foot, then all characters must match his rate of travel, covering one hex worth of terrain every 24-hour period. If all group members are mounted, they can cover up to two hexes worth of terrain in a 24-hour period. Finally, if all of a group is riding aerial mounts, they can cover up to three hexes worth of terrain in a given 24-hour period. In addition to ground and aerial travel, a group may also traverse bodies of water (e.g., lakes, rivers, etc) on a raft or other small watercraft, provided they own such conveyance or spend 48-hours to fashion it from natural resources. Such travel occurs at the rate of three hexes per day on still water, four hexes per day if moving with a current, or two hexes per day if moving against a current (e.g., rafting upstream on a river). With regard to transport, a character may carry a number of loads equal to their Physique score. A landbased mount can carry 30 loads, and aerial mount can carry 20 loads, and a watercraft can carry up to 40 loads, depending upon its exact size (as determined by the Referee; naturally a smaller watercraft will carry a smaller number of loads). Each pack of rations counts as one load, as does every 100 coins or portion thereof (e.g., 80 coins still counts as a load for the purposes of transport). Individual items and weapons count as one load each. Carrying a person counts as 10 loads.
Food & Nourishment
Food plays an important role in the Savage Swords campaign – without it, your character becomes weaker and less able to fend for themself. Characters require one ration of food each day to remain healthy , while mounts, if unable to forage for food, require two rations of food each day to remain healthy. One ration of food costs a single silver coin. A typical ration consists of salted meat, hard tack biscuit, and hard cheese. Better food can be acquired at inns and taverns, but it must be consumed on the spot as it does not keep (that said, such meals fulfill the nutritional requirements mentioned previously). If you wish, your character can try his hand at hunting, provided they are in an area inhabited by wild game. Roll 2d6 and subtract the result from their Fighting score. The modified die roll result is the number of food rations worth of game procured. If the die result is a negative value, no game has been procured. If a character or mount misses a required daily meal, their Fighting score (if applicable) is reduced by one and their load carrying capacity is halved (rounded down). If they miss a second daily meal, their carrying -2-
Travel & Transport
Savage Swords is what many people refer to as a “hex-crawl” system – that is, overland travel occurs on a hex map representing a campaign setting. That said, the rules for travel and transport are extremely simple. First, it is important to know exactly how much terrain a group of characters can cover in a 24-hour period.
capacity is again halved and their Fighting score again reduced by one. And so on. When they again consume a day’s worth of food, the effects of one’s worth of starvation are reversed. Unfortunately, recovering from starvation takes time – such effects may only be reversed one day at a time.
Other Common Actions
During the course of an adventure, you may want your character to do something other than crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women. Rules are provided here for common actions that aren’t related to combat. In some cases, you may find it necessary to hide from another character or creature. To do so, roll 2d6. If the die roll result is less than your character’s Guile score, they have successfully hidden and will remain so unless they move. If they move, a further die roll must be made to remain hidden from view. Remaining hidden while moving is not easy. Locks pose a common obstacle to characters, both on doors and on chests. You can, if you so wish, attempt to pick a lock with precision using thieve’s tools or use brute strength to force it open. Picking a lock successfully both opens the lock and bypasses any traps that may be protecting it. To pick a lock, roll 1d6. A die result of 6 indicates a successfully picked lock. Any other result indicates that the lock was not picked, but also that no traps protecting the lock (if applicable) were triggered. Forcing open a lock both destroys the lock and triggers any traps that may be protecting it. To force a lock open, roll 2d6. If the die result is less than your character’s Fighting score, the lock has been successfully forced open and any traps protecting ti are triggered. If the die roll result is greater than the character’s Fighting score, the lock remains intact, but any traps protecting it are triggered (if applicable). There are times when a quick application of wit can be your saving grace. Whenever you want to tell a convincing lie, bribe somebody, convince somebody to join your cause, or otherwise manipulate somebody in a social fashion, roll 2d6. If the die result is less than your character’s Guile score, then their social gambit has been successful.
Sorcerers may choose to hurl balls of arcane energy at characters in combat. As the Referee, when a sorcerer attacks with arcane energy, instead of resolving the attack using the normal combat table, roll 1d6. If the result is 5 or 6, the sorcerer has struck the group with a ball of arcane energy. Roll another 1d6. The result of this second die roll is the number of wounds that every character in the group takes. Further, a sorcerer may use magic to dominate other characters. As the Referee, whenever a sorcerer attempts to dominate a character as an action, instead of resolving the attack using the normal combat table, roll 2d6. If the result of this roll greater than the target character’s Guile score, the targeted character has been dominated and can take no action until the sorcerer’s hold over him has been broken. If all characters are dominated in this manner, they have been captured by the sorcerer. In order to break a sorcerer’s hold over a character, the character must be wounded, shocking them back to reality with pain.
A Collection of Foes
The following is a short collection of characters and creatures that may be encountered during the course of an adventure.
Name Amazon Bandit Bandit Leader Dragon Ghost Giant Goblin Golem Griffon Harpy Lizardman Mercenary Fighting 7 5 6 11 5 10 4 7 8 6 6 6 4 5 10 Physique 6 5 6 12 3 9 4 9 7 5 7 5 4 5 9 Wealth 5 5 8 12 None 7 2 None None 5 8 5 12 12 11
The Sin of Sorcery
Sorcery is evil. Period. It is not your character’s lot in life to wield it, but to extinguish its flame wherever it may be found. Those who wield sorcery are cunning, dangerous, foes – but steel will conquer them! -3-
Priest Sorcerer Sphinx
Supplemental Equipment List
Weapon Name Club Dagger Sap Mace Broadsword Greatsword Spear Net Sling Description +1 Fighting versus plate armor, +2 Fighting versus unarmored opponent. +1 Fighting versus leather or chain armor, +2 Fighting versus unarmored opponent. +1 Fighting versus unarmored opponent. +2 Fighting versus plate armor, +3 Fighting versus unarmored opponent. +2 Fighting versus leather armor, +3 Fighting versus unarmored opponent. +3 to Fighting versus leather armor, +4 Fighting versus unarmored opponent. +2 Fighting versus leather or chain armor, +2 Fighting unarmored opponent. Successful attack completely immobilizes target for 1d6 turns. +1 Fighting versus unarmored opponent. Cost in Silver None 3 1 10 15 30 8 12 2
Armor Name Robes Leather Jerkin Chain Shirt Plate Armor
Description +1 Physique for purposes of determining wounds. Counts as 1 load for transport. +2 Physique for purposes of determining wounds. Counts as 2 loads for transport. +3 Physique for purposes of determining wounds. Counts as 4 loads for transport. +4 Physique for purposes of determining wounds. Counts as 6 loads for transport.
Cost in Silver 3 8 20 40
Special Item Healing Potion Cure Poison Potion Charm Bauble Belt of Endurance Anti-Sorcery Talisman Assassin’s Poison Assassin’s Sword Anti-Poison Talisman Winged Horse Ring of Charm Gas Bomb Ring of Deflection Ring of Resurrection Shield of Reflection
Description This potion can be used once. It heals all non-poison wounds 24-hours after imbibing. This potion can be used once. It heals all poison wounds 24-hours after imbibing. This trinket can be used to re-roll any given social manipulation roll (once per situation). While wearing this belt, you add +1 to your Physique score. Makes wearer immune to all sorcerous attacks. Can be applied to bladed weapons. Deals one poison wound, before it dissipates. All wounds dealt by this sword are treated as poison wounds. Makes wearer immune to all poison wounds. You have a special winged horse that allows you travel by air. While wearing this ring, you add +1 to your Guile score. Hurled when surprise is gained. Roll 1d6. Result of 1-4 indicates all opponents killed. Roll 2d6 when hit in physical combat. If result is less than Physique, attack is deflected. If killed while wearing this ring, you will return to life 24 hours later with full Physique. This polished shield blinds opponents in combat, reducing their Fighting score by 2.
Item Code 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
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