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FANTASY ROLEPLAYING BY SCOTT MALTHOUSE
jeff jones (order #5040355)
Halberd Fantasy Roleplaying
Written by Scott Malthouse
Based on Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying by Scott Malthouse Cover art by David Revoy released under the Creative Commons licence Interior art by DoubleCompile and David Revoy released under the Creative Commons licence Trollish Delver logo design by Simon Lee Tranter With thanks to Stuart Lloyd.
This publication is copyright © 2013 by Trollish Delver Games. All rights reserved. No part of this work aside from the creative commons images may be reproduced in any fashion without the express written consent of Trollish Delver Games. Trollish Delver Games and the Trollish Delver logo are trademarks of Trollish Delver Games. Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying (USR) is copyright of Trollish Delver Games and Scott Malthouse.
jeff jones (order #5040355)
Thanks so much for picking up Halberd Fantasy Roleplaying - you’ve made a wise decision (I hope). I’ve been working on Halberd for the last year through its various iterations, of which it’s gone through at least 14,536 and no doubt this won’t be the last one. Halberd’s system is built using the rules for my free roleplaying game USR (Unbelievably Simple Role-playing), which is a super-streamlined ruleset for any kind of genre, from sci-fi to murder mysteries set in quaint English villages (or as I like to call it: Marple-core). Since Halberd is using USR as its ‘engine’, you can probably deduce that this is an easy game to learn. That said, Halberd does contain a heap more rules than the 9-page USR book, making it a pretty robust fantasy system (at least, I hope it does - I’ll let you be the judge of that), and there’s more than enough for the veteran roleplayer to sink their polyhedron-loving teeth into, as well as it being simple for beginners to pick up and play. Halberd is pretty light-hearted in tone as it’s very much inspired by two amazing chaps, one of which I’m lucky to know and the other I hope I one day get to know. First off, the guy I know and admire greatly: Ken St Andre, whose roleplaying work really got me into writing RPGs for real. Secondly, Sir Terry Pratchett, whose books I adore and fingerprint you will likely see running through the heart of Halberd. Boring introduction over, now we can get to the good stuff! I hope you thoroughly enjoy playing Halberd and if you want to get in touch with me with questions about the game, or you just fancy a chat, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on twitter @scottmalt. You can also join in the conversation on twitter using the #halberdRPG hashtag. Scott Malthouse June 2013
jeff jones (order #5040355)
By all means do this if you like. eight-sided (d8) and ten-sided (d10). You can purchase these dice from your local hobby store or over the internet. and painted miniatures to help visualise and keep track of the action. pencils and some special dice: six-sided (d6). One player takes on the role of the Games Master (GM). some paper. taking them to strange locations such as towering emerald cities. roleplaying games are shared stores. In essence. who will create adventures for the players. throw on your leather armour and march out into a world of magic and monsters with your friends. It’s one part acting. such as a wet-erase mat. spellcasting sorcerers. Some people like to use a gridded map. like you used to play at school. with the players becoming armoured warriors. You don't need much to get started playing a game of Halberd.WHAT IS A ROLEPLAYING GAME? Imagine a world where knights still exist. Also. grab some snacks while you're at it. fulfilling quests and earning great riches along the way. nature-loving druids and much more. one part board game and another part storytelling. where malicious goblins lay siege to towns and deep within the caverns of the earth there are untold treasures awaiting any intrepid adventurer brave enough to delve into the dangerous shadows. enforcing the rules and also controlling monsters and non-playing characters (NPCs). Together they will travel across the land. Just grab one to six friends. Fantasy roleplaying allows you and your friends to act out stories in these magical realms. So grab your shortsword. but it's not necessary to enjoy the game. The GM acts as the referee in the game. 4 jeff jones (order #5040355) . country-spanning forests and even into the heart of roaring volcanoes. often in the form of quests.
quite barmy. Lilly is a savvy woman with a passion for Highbridge. She loves her city deeply and wishes that 5 jeff jones (order #5040355) . creating a magically charged and somewhat unstable environment. In Highbridge you will find all kinds of characters – rogues. an old man who is. not unlike the actual questionable ooze that oozes through the streets. the largest city in northern Tequendria – a melting pot of races. In fact. creeds and varying levels of IQ. it is his daughter Princess Lilly that oversees courtly duties. and nobles – the list is endless. warriors. Magick oozes through its streets. But what do they know? Welcome to Highbridge. vagabonds.THE WORLD OF HALBERD THE CITY OF HIGHBRIDGE Highbridge was voted number three in ‘cities most likely to kill you when you’re visiting’ by Humans Monthly and it is often referred to as the ‘grim city’ by snooty southlanders. mercenaries. beggars. both of which didn’t really know what they were doing. magical beings. Highbridge is truly the most multicultural city in all of Tequendria. It’s also quite literally a magical city. Elves rub shoulders with dwarves and halflings rub their heads against human thighs. The city is home to King Markus IV. created after a duel between two sorcerers. shall we say.
so-called because it was discovered by Henry Ancient. The forest is ruled by The Green Man. organisations and facts about the great city. The forest is the natural home to creatures like pixies and brownies. a cynical but fair nature spirit who holds immense power but is generally too lazy to use it. but also the Elves. This grim and dark locale is home to ghosts. This society consists of a group of poets who pay adventurers to take them out on dangerous adventures so they can gain inspiration for their next poem. demon dogs and will-o-wisps. Unsurprisingly the charity has a high staff turnover rate. The Not-Quite-Dead Poet’s Society Poets are an eccentric bunch and fortunately for them poetry goes for a lot of money in Highbridge. The Red Court This is the name given to the Highbridge vampire aristocracy. 6 jeff jones (order #5040355) . makes a fantastic mushroom soup if you should ever visit him in his hollowed out tree mansion. so there are always plenty of positions available. Only the wealthiest vampires are accepted into The Red Court and they can often be found in Vlad the Immortal’s palacial house. A Visitor’s Guide to Highbridge There is plenty to see and do in Highbridge. Also the famous hermit. Geoffrey. The Home for Reformed Werewolves is a charity set up to take care of lycanthropes who want to stop brutally murdering people. but this is just a list of some of the famous people. The Ancient Forest On the outskirts of Highbridge lies the Ancient Forest. drinking blood and chatting about current affairs. despite being an amazing warrior. Twilight Swamp A mere mile away from The Ancient Forest you will find the Twilight Swamp. a well-known explorer. The Home for Reformed Werewolves Highbridge is home to many a creature of the night. whose motto is ‘bleed them dry’.she could go and fight in the army – but alas she is not allowed. including werewolves.
The Tunnels of Trolls Beneath Highbridge there is a vast underground troll kingdom overseen by Queen Rockrockwallwall. The most famous Dragonrider is Shining Rogers. The joining fee is 2000gdr. The Dragonflyers Every little boy and girl wants to be in the Dragonflyers. causing all kinds of hassle in Highbridge. Members must wear masks to maintain anonymity and many put on funny voices. Highbridge City Guard Literally the worst police officers you will ever encounter. 10gdr a day isn’t bad. drink wine and look for murderous opportunities. but a fantastic place to find sellwords for hire. their leader. They are the rock stars of Highbridge. 7 jeff jones (order #5040355) . an exclusive club located in Highbridge’s esteemed northern quarter. who single-handedly took down the ice giant Shiverfoot. vandalism and general nastiness. Many of them tend to be rather arrogant and rude. It is a prosperous place that has little to do with the ‘topland’. They meet to play games. is a mean customer – don’t you dare bring his mother into this! Their calling card is leaving a bit of cheese at the crime. They often turn a blind eye to crime when bribed and many of the guard are too senile to realise what’s actually going on. Jimmy. however occasionally a troll will get lost and surface. The City Guard is led by Halfling Sergeant Burrow. Still. who is much more savvy than the others but as corrupt as they come. The League of Assassins If you’re rich and of high status then you may want to join the League of Assassins. The Pig Swill This is by far the grottiest pub in the land. taking to the skies on the backs of screeching dragons during wartime. with an annual fee of 1000gdr. The bouncer turnover rate is high. Jimmy the Knife’s Rat Gang The Rat Gang is a group of humanoid rats that terrorise the streets with muggings.
It provides second-rate education at first rate prices for courses such as smell analysis and ham glazing. 8 jeff jones (order #5040355) . The university is full of scholars.Highbridge University Ah. the hopes and dreams of a generation. sorcerers and the occasional student.
eh? What. Assigning Attributes The first thing you want to do is think about what kind of character you would like to play. 9 jeff jones (order #5040355) . But enough of my yammering! Let’s get on with it. Your character will have a series of attributes that will reflect their strengths and weaknesses. the University of Highbridge Master Librarian. I am the keeper of most of the world’s knowledge. which you can write down on a sheet of paper or a 3x5 cue card. wot wot! As the Master Librarian.CREATING YOUR CHARACTER This section is presented by Erudite Brown. Wits – This attribute determines how intelligent and perceptive the character is. I suppose. you’re voluntarily becoming an adventurer? Each to his/her/its own. Ah. you must be the new scallywag they’ve roped in for adventure and frolicks. and I daresay that’s quite the undertaking. Attributes Action – This attribute determines how well-versed in combat the character is as well as how quick and dexterous they are. I have been asked to tell you all about creating your very own character: will you be a sneaky thief? A brazen warrior? A worldly druid? Halberd gives you a great amount of choice when it comes to selecting what kind of character you want to play as. but it does put me in the best position to tell you about all the different types of character in the game.
as it's up to the players and GM to determine how to interpret the use of specialisms in situations. After you've jotted each of these attributes down. Each attribute apart from Hits can have one (and just one) type of die assigned to it from the following selection: d6. Each Archetype Specialism provides a +2 bonus to the relevant attribute when using that Specialism. there are infinite specialisms to choose from – all you have to do is use a little imagination. Next. An exhaustive list of specialisms has purposefully been left out of these rules. There's no reason why a player can't make up their own character archetype from scratch either with the GM's permission. you will assign dice to your attributes – Wits. 10 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Ego and Action. Character Archetypes Listed below are a number of 'character archetypes'. Hits – This determines how much punishment a character can take before she dies or is knocked unconscious. This primary attribute must contain the highest value die – d10. A high Ego means the character is a good leader and able to charm the pants off most people. The other dice can be assigned to any of your two remaining attributes. which is determined by your archetype. A Note on Specialisms Aside from the ones found in the archetypes and races. Hits are reduced when a character is hurt and can return to its initial score when the character heals. Archetype Specialisms represent aspects that the character is proficient in. pre-made templates on which to base a character. Your Hits score is derived by rolling your Action and Wits dice – the total being the final Hits attribute score. d8 and d10. Each archetype has a list of suggested Archetype Specialisms to choose from when creating your character. or the role your character takes.Ego – This attribute determines how the character acts socially. whether that's horse riding or knowledge of underground cultures. Starting characters will select two Archetype Specialisms from the list provided for each archetype. You have a primary attribute. you're going to need to assign dice to them.
Long Sight Ego: Leadership. Create Poison. wading into the front lines to hack and hew the enemy. Warriors are usually adept with multiple weapons and are used to wearing heavy armour and using shields. They have likely been part of a militia or even a major army before taking up adventuring. Interrogation. Archer Eagle-eyed and steady of hand. Battlefield Medic. Wilderness Lore. so they are a vital part of any combat. Two-Handed Light Ranged Weapon Proficiency Wits: Create Trap. Friend of Nature 11 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Primary attribute: Action Suggested specialisms: Action: Athletics.Warrior Warriors are born to fight. Two-Handed Heavy Melee Weapon Proficiency Wits: Military Strategy. Hunting. camouflaged. Archers are also great hunters. Heightened Hearing. They often wait in the trees. On the battlefield they stay at the back. Enhanced Strength. able to track down and kill their prey swiftly. Climb. Orienteering. Combat Roll. City Lore. and rain down arrows at their enemies. firing off shots with deadly accuracy. Primary attribute: Action or Wits Suggested specialisms: Action: Move Silently. Ego: Leadership. Intimidation. archers are masters of long range killing. Bartering.
Wood Crafting Wits: Create potion. the Sorcerer makes it her lifelong mission to uncover all the secrets magick holds. Friend of Nature 12 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Charming Druid Druids live outside of the hustle and bustle of towns and cities.Sorcerer Students of ancient knowledge. Restore Magick Ego: Commune with Nature. Quick reflexes Wits: Create Potion. History. Climb. Quick Learner. Decipher Text Ego: Intimidate. Wilderness Lore. making them a critical part of any adventuring party. Druids are excellent potion-makers and healers. preferring to be at one with nature. Swim. While anyone is able to wield magick. Magick Lore. Primary attribute: Wits Suggested specialisms: Action: Move silently. Calming Vibe. Natural Healing Knowledge. They dedicate their lives to honing their magickal prowess. Make Shelter. Primary attribute: Wits Suggested specialisms: Action: Wood Crafting. They reside in groves where they study all things natural and speak with mother nature herself. sorcerers are masters of the magic arts.Transform Magick.
Disguise. Gambling Ego: Bartering. Thieves are essential if you want to gain the element of surprise. Quick Reflexes.Thief Master of stealth and picker of pockets. you will most likely be dead. They are great at spotting and disarming traps as well as picking locks. Often armed with daggers. using immensely sharp blades. Ninja are to overcome their foes. Escape Artist. Spot Trap. Climb. Dagger Proficiency Wits: Disarm Trap. Hide. Acting Ninja Before you manage to lay eyes on a ninja. Spot Trap. the thief slips into buildings unnoticed and relieves them of their precious belongings. Charming. Awareness Ego: Intimidation 13 jeff jones (order #5040355) . poisons and their martial arts prowess the shadows. the ninja is for you. Primary attribute: Action or Wits Suggested specialisms: Action: Move Silently. Pick Lock. the thief is silent and deadly. One-Handed Light Melee Weapon Proficiency Wits: Create Poison. Martial Arts. Climb. Misdirection. Disguise. Create Rudimentary Weapon. If you want to slip in and out of places unnoticed and kill in stealthy assassins. Primary attribute: Ego or Wits Suggested specialisms: Action: Move silently.
If you're looking for some inspiration.Storyteller The storyteller is a staple around the warm hearthfire of a local tavern. Historical Knowledge. providing services and goods to those that need them. Climbing Wits: Wilderness Survival. spinning yarns and playing music for money. Leadership. The very best storytellers are the ones who have lived the very tales they tell. merchants are the lifeblood of the world's commerce. making them valuable adventurers. Persuasion. Primary attribute: Ego Suggested specialisms: Action: Horse Riding. Storyteller. Well-Connected Other Archetype Suggestions With the right combination of class specialisms. Charming. you can create any kind of archetype you desire. Wilderness Lore. Item Appraisal Ego: Barter. Primary attribute: Ego Suggested specialisms: Action: Sprinter. Inspirational. Charming. Selling Goods. City Lore Ego: Musician. Merchants are naturally charismatic and will prove especially useful when the party needs to sell anything they find on their journeys. Merchant Law. check out the list below: Blacksmith Hunter Noble Barbarian Amazonian Preacher Witch Hunter Pirate City Guard Astrologer Scholar 14 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Acting Merchant Travelling far and wide selling their wares. Blacksmith Wits: City Lore.
Character Races Being a game of fantasy. those who disturb or harm their sacred woodlands will quickly come to realise that elves are also masters of the bow. Human Humans are industrious but wrathful. clever and resourceful. Suggested specialisms Action: Blacksmithing. I might want to create a Panda Person. each race comes with a selection of suggested Specialisms to select from. you will have the final three specialisms and your character will be almost complete. However. in which case I provide the GM with a bit of background about panda people and the GM can then provide some suggested specialisms for that race. Suggested specialisms Action: Wood Crafting. Compassionate Elf Elves live in great forest cities and are known for their peaceful nature. There are all manner of different races that populate Halberd. As with character archetypes. Leadership. often declaring war on a whim. caring for others when they fall into the darkest of times. At the GM's discretion. Charismatic. from tree-dwelling elves to mountaininhabiting dwarves and it's up to the player to choose one that suits the character that they want to play. there is no reason why players can't create their own races. Natural Healing Knowledge. Combined with your two Archetype Specialisms from your archetype. Geography. Human adventurers are cunning. City Lore Ego: Persuade. Calm Animal. many are also compassionate. Move Silently Wits: Wilderness Lore. However. Climb. not everyone is going to be human. called Racial Specialisms. Mana Lore Ego: Intimidate. For instance. of which you will choose one. Friend of Nature 15 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Hunting Wits: Inventor.
short folk. The main denomination is the dringot. which she assigns to her Hits. She then gives her a name and a short background. Poison Immunity Wits: Mountain Lore. Resilient. Underground Lore. They are silent movers and make handy burglars to those who would hire them. She wants to be particularly deadly. some halflings want more than this and head out on thrilling adventures. cake eating and pipe smoking. Quick Footed. Charm Example Finished Character Laura wants to play a stealthy character who can pick off her enemies from the shadows. resulting in an 8. They are no strangers to war. History Ego: Intimidate. They live in the rolling green plains and lead a happy existence of wine drinking. as their name suggests. She rolls her Action and Wits scores. so she decided to choose that race. dwarves are a hardy people who make their coin mining ore and precious stones. so she assigns the d10 to Action. so decides to use the Ninja archetype. just like real money. Now Laura needs to select her class specialisms. Leadership Halfling Halflings are. Halflings have the Quick Footed specialism which could help her ninja a lot. d8 to Wits and d6 to Ego. Hide Wits: History. She would prefer a sneakingfocused ninja. so opts for Move Silently and also selects Hide as she wants to kill from the shadows. However. Money The currency used in Halberd is split up into denominations. Heightened Hearing Ego: Barter. Laura then must decide what race she wants her ninja to be. Suggested specialisms Action: Mining. Suggested specialisms Action: Move Silently. which is used throughout the land of Gall.Dwarf Dwelling in the great mountains of the realm. their bulky frame and resilience making them excellent warriors. Money is split into the following denominations: 16 jeff jones (order #5040355) .
there are general weapons and armour that are the equivalent of a specific weapon. For example. Shuriken Shortbow Throwing Spear. Crossbow Musket Die Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 Range 20ft 30ft 40ft 50ft Price 10gdr 30gdr 60gdr 200gdr 17 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Spear Katana. It’s up to the player to decide what weapon they are using. Small Club Staff. a Light Two-Handed Melee Weapon could be a longsword.100 staves (st) = 1 dringot (dr) 100 dringots (dr) = 1 gold dringot (gdr) 100 gold dringots (gdr) = 1 platinum dringot (pdr) A character begins with 3d6 gold dringots (dr) Weapons & Armour There are no specific weapon or armour types in Halberd. Shortsword Greataxe. Halberd Die Bonus +1 +2 +3 +4 Price 10gdr 30gdr 60gdr 200gdr Example Sling. Weapon Light One-Handed Melee Weapon Light Two-Handed Melee Weapon Heavy One-Handed Melee Weapon Heavy Two-Handed Melee Weapon Weapon Light One-Handed Ranged Weapon Light Two-Handed Ranged Weapon Heavy OneHanded Ranged Weapon Heavy TwoHanded Ranged Weapon Example Dagger. Instead. while a Heavy One-Handed Ranged Weapon could be a crossbow.
A character may not wield any other weapon if they are already holding a 2-handed weapon. Suffice to say that you can’t buy these on the market. Heavy/Ultimate – A character may not run in heavy or ultimate armour.Armour Type Light Armour Medium Armour Heavy Armour Ultimate Armour Die Modifier -1 -2 -3 -4 Price 30gdr 60gdr 120gdr 500gdr Magical Weapons and Armour Weapons and armour are not limited just to these modifiers above. such as summoning a demon or causing the enemy to turn to ice. However. so it's likely that they will only own a few in their adventuring careers. The GM should feel free to create her own magical weapons and armour to put in her game. 18 jeff jones (order #5040355) . A good rule of thumb to stop things from getting too overpowered is to have the maximum modifier of any weapon on armour be +7 or -9. don't be afraid to give them other interesting properties too. or when you can they are ridiculously expensive. Also remember that these magical items are very rare. Special Rules for Weapons & Armour Two-handed – The weapon is wielded with both hands. There are magical weapons and armour in existence that are more powerful than any on the normal equipment lists.
This could be a foot chase. Both the player and the GM (or another player if it involves another character) rolls a die corresponding to the relevant attribute. both would roll their Action attributes and add any relevant modifiers. so gains a +1. Contested Attribute Tests There will come a time in every game when a player is put in direct conflict with someone or something.PLAYING THE GAME This section deals with rules on playing the game. arm wrestle or a baking contest. The highest roll wins the contest. the street tough has a magical bracelet on his arm. such as combat and attribute tests. When someone is actively competing against someone else the player makes an attribute test. 19 jeff jones (order #5040355) . If the player was locked in an arm wrestle with a street tough. whatever it is there's a really simple way of working out who comes out on top. For example. On a tie the test is re-rolled until there is a clear winner. The rules are straightforward to enable the players to go out and have fun without being bogged down.
The GM rules that Liss deducts 3 from her Hits score for her wound. so the GM asks for a medium Wit roll. on the count of having to angle herself right for the fall. Liss escapes from her bonds and now must get out of the car.Non-Contested Attribute Tests Sometimes the player won't be in direct competition with anyone else. Perhaps they're trying to climb up a gorge or silently move towards their target. She opens the door and flings herself onto the pavement. She rolls a 3 – she is unsuccessful! Liss bounces hard off the pavement and injures herself. Difficulty Table Target Number Difficulty 2 4 7 10 14 Easy Medium Hard Very Hard Example Jumping a fence Riding a horse at speed Breaking into a magically sealed vault Hitting a coin with an arrow 20ft away Impossible Opening a fissure in reality 20 jeff jones (order #5040355) . For example. The GM asks for a medium Action roll (the bonds aren't particularly tight). This is a dangerous move. Liss the Halfling druid is tied up in the back of a cart. She must first break her bonds and then escape the car safely. Her player tells the GM that Liss will try and escape from her bonds. The player rolls a 5. Here they must roll their relevant attribute plus any modifiers on a difficulty table to see whether they succeed. which is a success.
but may never go above the initial score. A character only gets a weapon bonus from weapons and proficiencies when attacking. but in this instance one participant is the attacker and the other is the defender. Alternatively the GM may rule that the character is merely unconscious. The goblin rolls its defence roll and gets a 5. Each armour type reduces the number of Hits taken in combat. This section will explain combat. whether that’s a bar brawl or something more serious and with lots of crossbows. When Hits reach 0 the character is dead. so her total attack is 9. Liss is facing down a goblin who has just caused a scene at The Pig Swill. noted by a -X on the armour table. Weapon Proficiencies can offer combat bonuses. Hits may be regained through healing. such as half hidden behind a wall or a barrel the GM may adjudicate that the character gets an armour bonus of -2. She is attacking with her shortsword. not defending. Fighting is handled in the same way as contested attribute tests but with a little extra added on. This would mean that Liss does 4 damage. Paralysed players or opponents cannot attack. so instead takes 3 damage. Combat can also be modified by the environment. She adds the 2 from her weapon to get 8.Combat There’s no doubt that players will get themselves in a tussle more than once. but the goblin is wearing light armour which gives a -1 to damage inflicted against it. depending on how well-covered they are. but she also has Heavy One-Handed Melee Weapon Proficiency +1. Weapons gives a bonus to the Action roll when attacking. If the character were in cover. Weapons can give bonuses in combat. armour can be used to negate the effects of being hurt. If the attacker rolls higher than the defender then the attacker has scored a hit and the defender's Hits score is reduced by the difference between the winning and losing rolls. She rolls her Action die and gets a 6. 21 jeff jones (order #5040355) . however they do get a defence roll. All contested rolls use the Action attribute during combat. which is +2. giving one side the edge over the other. Similarly.
Combat is carried out in rounds that last around 6 seconds. but they can be a number of things to constitute those action such as: Move Attack Try to distract an opponent Pick an object up Use a Specialism to your advantage Do something cool! There isn’t a strict list of combat actions and it’s up to the GM as to whether she will allow a player to carry out an action in the time that they have. There are two actions that a player can take per round during combat. or you could assign each player an initiative score based on their Wits roll + their Action roll. Weapon Proficiencies A weapon proficiency can be chosen as a Specialism during character creation and when advancing your character.How Combat Flows It's up to you how you want combat to play out. Unlike a normal specialism. 20ft per action is generally a good guideline when on foot. During combat a player may take two different actions: including but not limited to moving and attacking. 22 jeff jones (order #5040355) . so it's up to the GM to determine how far a character can move. For example. the acting order going from highest to lowest. You could play it fast and loose. Actions in Combat Halberd plays things fast and loose. going round the table clockwise to determine the order players act in. if you choose the One-Handed Light Weapon Proficiency. you will +1 to any attack including a one-handed light weapon. a weapon proficiency gives you a +1 bonus when attacking with the preferred weapon. so anything that a character could fit into this 6 second timeframe is feasible. Halberd keeps movement fairly abstract.
On a roll of 1-3 the character is alive but unconscious at 0 Hits.Death and Dying When you reach 0 Hits you are usually considered dead. However. this is not always the end for an intrepid adventurer. 23 jeff jones (order #5040355) . A character heals 1 Hit per hour when resting. Once a character is reduced to 0 Hits roll 1d6. They must get medical attention within 6 hours or have to roll again On a 4-6 the character is dead.
characters will be undertaking adventures for gold. There are lots of ways to find yourself at the pointy end of a dagger in Highbridge and beyond. This is a solid start. but don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. you may find that the more unusual adventures set in Highbridge can be the most fun. Here are some ideas to get the players on the road to adventure: A poet pays them to experience an adventure There is a murder in The Red Court and the players are entangled in it Zombies are petitioning for equal rights by eating brains The Pig Swill needs some new bouncers on ‘Chug Night’ A lawyer needs guarding while on a particularly notorious court case involving an assassin The Duke of Farstonia arrives and begins snacking on the gentry A sorcerer accidentally kills everyone in Highbridge. The usual fantasy trope is to have some breathless noble seek out adventurers in a tavern to give them a quest. glory or simply to help someone out. with only ghosts left Some halflings introduce coffee shops where they use magical hypnosis beans 24 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Usually there are dungeons involved and dragons to slay. While you can certainly go dungeon delving in Halberd.ADVENTURING During sessions of Halberd.
On the table below you can see what maximum Action attribute. it doesn’t always have to be about solving and/or committing bloody murder. The authorities will then renovate the dungeon as a tourist attraction and the characters will gain 20% of the revenue (usually between 50 and 100gdr per month). and opt to notify the Highbridge authorities to have it ‘flipped’. Specialism bonus. whether that’s a band of brigands. The Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying system makes it super easy to create enemies on the fly. a stealthy assassin or a group of goblins. Like characters. Hits and attack bonus you can expect a certain level enemy to possess. Every point over the target adds a star to the review) Sell your story to the press Get a job in the military or City Guard (1 week) Set up a professional adventuring business Set up a shop Rent out property Become a university lecturer Dungeon Flipping One other way for characters to make money is through ‘dungeon flipping’. enemies also have levels. Bad Guys It’s inevitable that the players are going to come across people or things who they are at odds with. any magick or rare item found must be handed over to the authorities. which is when they entirely clear a dungeon. Their level determines how capable they are at fighting. temple. There is no complete list of adversaries in this book. labyrinth or whatever. cave. Here are some ideas for how characters can earn money on the side.Of course. roll a medium Wits test for writer’s block. having an attack bonus for each level they have. Get a book deal (spend 30 days minimum writing. 25 jeff jones (order #5040355) . However. You can make them as simple or complex as your heart desires.
Griffin Dire Bear. Young Dragon Ninja. As long as it presents a challenge to the players. You can also see that enemies also have Specialisms. that’s all that counts. Wits and Ego dice are not included in the table. Drake Assassin. but feel free to mix these up depending on what enemy you have created. So you can see that. it’s really easy to make up enemies on the fly. Wolf Elf. Hydra Chimera. 26 jeff jones (order #5040355) . using the maximum bonus listed in the table. Master Vampire Generally you will want to pit enemies of the same level as the players against the group. Roc Half-Troll. it’s up to the GM to think up suitable specialisms for her enemies. Again. Guard Medusa. using this chart. whether you want a squad of bandits or a hulking hydra.Level Action Attribute Die Attack Bonus Defence Mod No. don’t feel like you have to stick with the numbers in the chart. of Specialisms Maximum Specialism Bonus Average Hits Example Enemies 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 D6 D6 D6 D8 D8 D8 D10 D10 D10 D10 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 0 -1 -1 -2 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7 0 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 +2 +2 +3 +3 +4 +4 +5 +5 +5 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Orc. but feel free to throw in some a couple of levels higher to keep things interesting in combat. This is only a guide – there is no reason a 2nd level wolf can’t have a D8 Action attribute or only a +1 attack bonus. Goblin Lizardman. just like characters. Werewolf Adult Dragon. However.
straight ahead of you but as you're using a torch you can only see so far. These are triggered by stepping on a pressure pad a couple of feet ahead of you. floor and ceiling ahead of him for any out of place crack or hole. He carefully inspects the walls. roll your Wits and add any Specialism that could help you. The players have been sent on a quest to find a cure for the plague that has hit Highbridge. Pete as Lucan the elven druid. GM: You enter a rocky man-made tunnel. you can hear someone coming! James: Kronk draws his axe and waits to see what's coming. you spot three suspect holes in the wall that you immediately recognise as a dart trap... 27 jeff jones (order #5040355) . GM: Cool. We join GM Joan along with Steve as Burrow the halfling thief. [Rolls] I rolled a total of 8. Dave: Wenlock will knock and arrow and point it down the tunnel. Steve: Burrow's feeling pretty cautious. so I roll 1d10 and add 2 for my Specialism.EXAMPLE OF PLAY Here's an example of how a typical game of Halberd might play out. There is moss growing on the walls and you can see tiny insects scuttling around the floor. so the GM decides it's going to be a hard difficulty of 7 on the attribute test]. Steve: I have Spot Traps! Ok. GM: Well done. [There is a dart trap. He tells the others that he has a bad feeling about this and is going to check the area for any traps. James as Kronk the dwarf warrior and Dave as Wenlock the human archer. They have delved deep into a network of caves beneath a mountain where it is said the cure can be found. There is a foul stench coming from the north. However.
d6. the highest going first and continuing to the next highest and so on] Dave: Right. beg for mercy! Hahahaha! Pete: Lucan raises an eyebrow at Burrow. Arrgh! James: Kronk runs up to the orc attacking Wenlock and attempts to hew him in two with his axe. meaning he takes 8 damage!] The orc's torso is separated from his legs in a red haze. much to the enjoyment of the group]. orc! GM: The orc's not going to give the information up that easily. resulting in a 4]. resulting in 4]. Steve: Go on.GM: Ahead of you appears three ugly orcs. GM: [Rolls the orc's Action die. They roar and charge at you. What are you going to do. for his defence. The final orc drops his blade and pleads for his life. Wenlock looses an arrow at the closest orc [he rolls his Action die. He slashes at your abdomen. The orcs receives one straight in the eye and collapses in a heap on the ground. Dave: Wenlock defends with all his might! [He rolls a 2 on a d8. is within stabbing distance of you. [He rolls a total of 10 with his Action die]. Oh yes! GM: [Rolls a 2 for the orc's defence. however. [The GM rolls the orc's Action die of d6. orc. meaning he takes 2 damage from the attack]. Steve: Good plan! [The group retreats a few metres and watches the frontmost orcs step on the pressure pad. GM: The leading orc is peppered with darts and takes 1d6 damage [she rolls a 5]. The other orc. 28 jeff jones (order #5040355) . He's not looking peachy. Your arrow flies true and lands with a thunk in the creature's chest for 4 damage. The other two are running at you. which is a d8 and gets a 6 and then adds 2 for his short bow giving him a total of 8]. Can everyone roll to see what order they fight in? [Each player rolls the Wits die + their Action die. their crude black swords drawn. How's about you tell us where the elixir of Avarice is. Pete: Let's retreat back a little and hopefully they'll be stupid enough to trip the dart trap. getting a 3 and then adds 1 for his short sword. but I'm sure there's some way to get it out of him.
fight new hideous creatures. Steve: Let's try Lucan's way first. James: Kronk marches over to the orc and pins it against the wall that's covered in his kin's blood. In fact. 29 jeff jones (order #5040355) . Pete: [Rolls his Ego of d8 plus his Charismatic Specialism. He hold the blade at its throat and growls. this is going to be a hard attribute test. “Tell us where it is or I'll turn yer gizzard into a nice fountain. Pete: We won't hurt you. orc. requiring a 7 on an Ego roll. If it comes to it we threaten the bugger. Only just! GM: The orc whimpers and tells you to let him go and he'll give you the description of the room the elixir is in. so I could use my specialism to persuade him to show us the way.” GM: Ok. GM: Cunning. resulting in 7]. James: Or Kronk could just intimidate him until he soils himself. If you shows us the way to the elixir then we can make sure you get out of here and live a new life in a nice place. you probably don't like it down here what with all the death and having to poo in the corner of a cave. Steve: Alright Kronk. overcome traps and find some excellent loot. The story continues as the party make their way further into the mountain. roll Ego plus any Specialism.Pete: Elves are naturally charismatic. you're up. James: [Rolls d6 plus his Intimidate Specialism of 2. resulting in 5]. Dammit! GM: The orc laughs and tells you he actually likes it down here and he's not going to tell you where the elixir is. which is another 2. Ok.
although some are better at it than others. Unlike many games. Below you will find three tables. with the right amount of training character can do almost anything with magick – including cheating death. put people to sleep and teleport to new locations. Magick drains a character’s life force. where all creatures and races were created by the great sorcerer Xin at the beginning of the universe. Magick can allow characters to throw fireballs. number of targets and other factors and incorporating them into a single spell. See the examples below. there is a price to pay for casting spells. Magick uses the character’s Wits attribute to cast a spell.MAGICK RULES The land of Tequendia is an inherently magical place. taking effects. Each of these building blocks are called Aspects and they are used to form scale spells depending on ability level. These tables are used to create your spell. In fact. 30 jeff jones (order #5040355) . This means that the caster must choose wisely when to cast a spell. There are six basic magick effects that you can use and interpret in your own way. freeze water. However. Spells are created by the player. harming them every time they cast a spell. any character in Halberd is able to wield magick.
Note that a spell can still have an effect even if you fall unconscious or die as a result of it. you could cast Paralyse to stop it in mid-air. If you fail the spell has no effect and you do not reduce your Hits. restoring eyesight Transform: Examples – turn into another person. Looking at the second table. if a player wanted to transform themselves into a dragon that would probably add an extra 10 points to the difficulty because it would be a more difficult task that transforming themselves into a humanoid creature. the GM should use common sense when allowing certain spells and be able to raise their difficulty level if appropriate. or 6 seconds. How to Cast a Spell Casting a spell takes one action in combat. For example. fixing an item. for examples. if a meteor was hurtling down towards you. the more effective the spell. create a light in the darkness or find someone who is invisible. follow these steps: Decide which effect you want to use Looking on the first table. telekinetic attack Restore: Examples – healing. Reveal: Examples . 31 jeff jones (order #5040355) . The higher the difficulty. send a message. However. see how many Hits you need to spend in order to cast the spell of a specific difficulty. teleport. decide which difficulty level you want your spell to be. How to Create a Spell To create your spell.uncover information. your Hits reduce by the Hits cost of the spell before the spell has the desired effect. change an item. magic arrows. putting into suspended animation Damage: Examples – fireball. Travel: Examples – summon a magick steed. turn day to night. Once you have created your spell you must roll on your Wits attribute to try and match or beat the difficulty you have been set. You can be looser with your definition of these. If you succeed. It’s up to the GM and the players to interpret how a spell works. putting to sleep. Paralyse: Examples – freezing. give the player some direction.
So in the above example. She looks on the table and finds that to Restore 5 Hits will be a medium difficulty roll. who has taken a considerable amount of damage. however she would need to roll a 7 rather than a 4. DIFFICULTY COSTS Difficulty Roll Easy (2) Medium (4) Hard (7) Very Hard (10) Impossible (14+) Restored (Hits) 2 5 8 16 32 Transform Distance (minutes) Travelled 1 10 20 60 1 day 3ft 10ft 30ft 100ft 1 mile Hits Cost 2 5 8 16 32 For example. If she isn’t successful then she doesn’t lose the Hits. DIFFICULTY OF SPECIFIC EFFECTS Difficulty Amount Paralysis Damage Roll Revealed (rounds) Done (Hits) Easy Tiny 1 2 Medium Small 3 5 Hard Medium 5 8 Very Hard Large 10 16 Impossible Huge 20 32 2. whether it's a group of marauding bandits or a group of objects. She looks on the difficulty costs table and finds that this will cost 5 Hits. Liss could cast the Restore spell on another character for an extra 5 Hits – a total of 10 Hits. She decides that she will use a Restore effect and that she wants to heal each 5 Hits. 32 jeff jones (order #5040355) .1. However. Casting on Multiple Targets Sometimes you will want to cast a spell that affects multiple targets. Liss wants to heal one of her fallen comrades. You can do this by paying the Hit cost for every extra target. for every extra target the difficulty roll increases by 3. This still only counts as a single spell and only requires one Wits roll to cast.
33 jeff jones (order #5040355) .Magick Specialisms During character creation players have the option to give their character a magickbased Archetype Specialism. which would give you a +1 bonus when you are casting a spell using the Restore effect. For instance. you could begin with Restore Magick +1. These specialisms relate to the six basic magick effects. giving starting characters a +1 in any that they choose to select.
or you can gain a 34 jeff jones (order #5040355) . or learning a new specialism. the GM could give you several options for your character. Generally they will receive 1 or even 2 points per session. She can either choose to give one of her current 3 specialisms a +1 bonus. For example. At the end of each session of playing. A single specialism can have a maximum of +5. giving the character a new archetype specialism or giving them an extra +1 to a current racial or archetype specialism. making it +3. the GM will deal out experience points (XP) to each player for anything good that they did during the session. When choosing a new specialism. like 'Horse Riding'.CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT As characters undertake more adventures they gain experience and eventually advance in their knowledge and ability. Liss has enough experience points to progress to 2nd level. you can either select from any on your archetype or race list. This could be for any of the following reasons: Excellent roleplay Using cunning to get out of a sticky situation Going out of their way to help a fellow character Once they have racked up a certain amount of XP they can advance a level.
As well as gaining a specialism. This becomes the character's new initial Hits total. the character also adds 5 to her total Hits score. Liss the Halfling Druid used a staff quite a lot in the previous sessions.specialism depending on something that you did in the sessions leading up to your advancement. Experience Points 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 At 10th level the character is considered to be a master of their discipline and a formidable opponent to anyone who might stand in their way. 35 jeff jones (order #5040355) . so she could gain the Two-Handed Light Melee Weapon proficiency specialism if she wanted. For example. It’s a good idea to keep track of anything that your character does especially well so that you can create a specialism out of it when you advance.
36 jeff jones (order #5040355) .
naked molerats. is also its most magical. Highbridge. Halberd Fantasy Roleplaying is a tabletop roleplaying game for 2 or more players. or one of an infinite number of characters. Halberd Fantasy Roleplaying uses the Unbelievably Simple Roleplaying rules to create a simple yet dynamic roleplaying game for beginners or veterans. join the League of Assassins or help out the Not-Quite-Dead Poet's Society. The most infamous city in Tequendria. 37 jeff jones (order #5040355) . flowing through all living things – human. a stealthy ninja. no matter what the situation is. a brave warrior. Become anything you can imagine – a worldly druid. elves. so there’s never a dull moment if you’re an adventurer.HALBERD FANTASY ROLEPLAYING Magick is rife within Tequendria. Wield incredible magick with a flexible system that allows players to create their own spells on the fly. meet the Red Court. trees. So step into the city of Highbridge.
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