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Fruit of Heaven RPG System

These rules use a pared-down version of the Smallville RPG as a foundation, and
mixes in a bit of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and In a Wicked Age for good
measure. Accordingly, the text is essentially taken from the Smallville RPG, with
additions, changes and omissions where necessary.
For those curious,Formswere taken from In a Wicked Age,
andDistinctionswere taken from Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. Everything else is
from Smallville, with a few tweaks here and there.

Characters
There are three types of characters; Heroes, Features and Extras.

Heroesare the characters that your stories are about; a different player
controls each Hero. Its the players job to tell an interesting and
compelling story with their characters. Each Hero has a sheet of
information and game stats that describes him: whats important to him,
how he gets things done, and a few other details.
Featuresare the characters that fill significant roles in the rest of the
story. Features push the Heroes to act, whether by hatching some fiendish
plot or by falling prey to one. Each Feature also has a sheet, which looks a
lot like a Heros sheet.
Extrasare the characters that mostly live in the background. Sometimes
they have names, sometimes they're just sort of there. While they may get
the Heroes to react, theyre almost always acting under someone elses
orders. Extras dont have a sheet like Heroes or Features; you can record
any necessary details on an index card, sticky note, or whatever.

Traits
Traits are stats that describe your Heros characteristics. They are rated in dice;
d4, d6, d8, d10 and d12. Traits come in two types: Forms and Distinctions.

Forms
Forms are Traits that showcase the means and methods your Hero uses to get
what they want. Your Hero has these Forms:With Love,With Violence,For

Myself,For Others,CovertlyandDirectly. Assign one of the following dice to


each of your Forms, to be used when collecting and rolling pools: d4, d6, d6, d8,
d10, d12.

Distinctions
Distinctions are Traits with two sides that can help or hinder your Hero. These
can be backgrounds, physical characteristics, abilities, personality traits,
relationships, abilities, belongings, resources or anything else that describes or
defines your Hero.
When youre picking up dice, you can add in one or more Distinctions if they
would be appropriate to the situation. Pick up a d8 if the Distinction describes
some part of your Hero that would help the action youre taking. Pick up a d4 and
gain a Plot Point if the Distinction is something that would likely complicate a
situation or attract trouble.
You may choose up to five Distinctions right now. These will likely change over
time as your character develops and grows. Alternately, you can wait and decide
on your Distinctions during play. At that point, write them down on your sheet so
you wont forget them.

Building and Rolling Dice Pools


In the story there will be dramatically uncertain moments where you will roll dice
to see what happens next. In these cases, you will collect a Pool of dice, roll them,
and add the two highest to find aresult. Most often, the results of two opposing
pools are compared, with victory going to whoever has the highest result. More
details on Tests and Contests are explained later on.

Plot Points
Plot Points are a game currency you will spend to grease the wheels of the story
in your favor. Plot Points give you more dice, make the dice you have more
powerful, and let you add useful details to the story.
Usually you will earn Plot Points by choosing to be hindered by your Distinctions,
but you can also gain plot points by heedingCompelsfrom the Game Master. A
Compel is when the Game Master offers a Plot Point (or two, or three) for your

character to take a particular (often risky or detrimental) course of action. If you


refuse, the story moves on. However, if you agree, you accept the Plot Point and
the consequences of the action.
You may spend Plot Points to...

Roll More Dice. Before any roll, you may spend a Plot Point to roll more
dice. Describe how another Distinction can help your Heros efforts and
add that Distinctions die to your pool.
Include More Dice. After any roll, you may spend a Plot Point to include
more dice in your result, out of those you just rolled. In this way, your
result may be three, four, or five dice added together. The only limit to how
many dice you may add to your result is how many dice you rolled to begin
with and how many Plot Points you have available.
Add a Useful Detail. You may also spend a Plot Point to exploit a Useful
Detail from the story (an improvised weapon, a damning piece of evidence,
an advantageous position on a staircase) and add a d6 to your pool. A
Useful Detail lasts for the remainder of the scene, and you can add it to
your dice pool as often as you can justify it during that scene. If other
players want to share in the fun, theyll have to spend their own Plot Points
to gain access to that Useful Detail.

The Trouble Pool


This isnt a Trait so much as the stand-in stunt-double for when Game Master
needs to roll dice but doesnt have a Feature with Traits to roll. Over the course of
the adventure, though, it grows and shrinks. When things get worse and tension
mounts, the Trouble pool grows. When circumstances get better and you can
almost hear the audience sigh in relief, the Trouble pool shrinks. The Game
Master may alsospend dice from the Trouble pool to aid Features opposing your
Hero.

Complications
Whenever you roll, set aside the dice that come up 1s. Those dice are
Complications. You cant add those dice to your result; theyre dead weight. If
youre so unlucky as to roll all 1s, you automatically fail and your result is
considered zero.

Rolling a 1 means something went just a little haywiremaybe not haywire


enough to foul up what your Hero was doing, but enough to be a nuisance.
Anybody at the table can say what the 1 means: a Freudian slip in the midst of an
interrogation, an overplayed hand in an argument, collateral damage in a
superpowered fistfight. If there are a lot of ideas on how you screwed up (and
there usually are), Game Master picks the one she likes best.
Complications never affect whether your Hero succeeds or fails in what he was
doing; they are always additional details on top of the die result.
Complications also add and remove dice from the Trouble pool. When you roll
Complications, the Game Master will give you a Plot Point for each 1 and add
those dice to the Trouble, things are getting worse and tension is mounting.
When the Game Master rolls Complications, though, the player shes rolling
against may remove a die of that size or smaller from the Trouble pool. Youve
caught a lucky break, and the tension of the episode deflates a little.

Contests
A Contest occurs when two or more Heroes or Features are working at crosspurposes. Contests are played out in back-and-forth rounds of die rolls between
the two sides. The first roll is theaction, which establishes a result; the next roll
is areactionfrom the other side, aiming to beat that result. If the reaction
succeeds, that roll becomes the new result that must be beat to continue the
Contest.
Contests end in one of two ways. Either side can Give In instead of continuing to
roll, thus avoiding Stress but giving their opponent what he wants. On the other
hand, if neither side Gives In, eventually one side will fail to beat the result,
thereby taking Stress and ending the Contest.

Acting
You can say your character is doing all sorts of things; you can do that all day
long. What you cant just say is what happens to other characters or what other
characters do. Thats up to whoever is playing those characters. But sometimes
and by sometimes I mean a whole lot of the time youll want to do
something that requires another character to act accordingly. Its all well and
good to ask Agathon to check out an ruined temple because youve got a hunch

(and you cant tell him why you know theres something there), but if Agathons
player isnt playing along, youre kind of at an impasse. Same deal for when
Thessalos is trying to stop Atira from running outside into a hailstorm of
unnatural and dangerous origin, or when Bacchios wants to plant a fist into
Agathons jaw.
What are you supposed to do when the other players wont just roll over and do
what you want? The answer is simple: pick up some dice.
You say what your character is up to and roll dice as normal. You can do those
two things in whichever order feels natural to you talk and roll or roll and talk.
Whats important is that, when you describe what your character is doing, you
need to make it clear what youre trying to get done. This is telegraphing your
move; all of your friends around the table need to know what youre after, so be
sure to show them. Instead of just saying, I walk in and confront Atira about the
missing ring, try something like I walk in and tell Atira that the ring belonged to
the merchant-prince and I challenge her to deny she stole it. That last bit
challenging her to deny it is the key. Thats what Atiras player must respond
to.
And then, as your very own exclamation point, you let those dice roll. Grab dice
for two Forms and a Distinction; spend Plot Points to grab more dice if you like.
Roll those dice and figure out your action result.

Reacting
Youve rolled your dice and laid it on the line. Youve telegraphed what you want.
Your opposition now has a choice to make: she can fight back or she can Give In
and give you what you want. In a lot of ways, thats what this game is about: do
you fight back and risk getting hurt, or do you Give In and let the other person
have his way? If your opposition chooses to Give In, theres a section for that
below. If your opposition chooses to fight back, she rolls dice to get a reaction
result. Well explain that right now. Getting a reaction result is a lot like getting
an action result. In fact, its identical. The opposition tells the players what she
does and says and she rolls some dice. Again, this is done in whichever order feels
natural to her, and she should be sure to telegraph what she wants.

Comparing Action and Reaction Results

You have your action result and she has her reaction result. Now we compare
them to see what happens next.
If your action result is less than her reaction result, her reaction result becomes
the next action result. Whatever the Contest is an argument, fight, a magical
duel, or whatever its tables have turned. Now you must choose to react and roll
or Give In and let her have what she wants.
If your action result is greater than or equal to her reaction result, you inflict
Stress on her character. Youve won a battle youve driven your point home,
gained some points, and other point-related metaphors. But you havent yet won
the war because you still dont have what you wanted. For that, shell have to Give
In. But for now, you inflict Stress.
If your action result is five or more greater than her reaction result, you inflict
Stress and you may decide if her character is Stressed Out. You still dont get
what you wanted, though.

Inflicting Stress
Stress is what happens when youre on the losing side of a Contest. You didnt
Give In, you stuck to your guns, but you just didnt prevail. That hurts
sometimes physically, if the Contest was a fight, but other times its your heart or
head or confidence that comes away bruised. There are five kinds of
Stress:Afraid,Angry,Exhausted,Injured, andInsecure. Theyre rated in dice just
like other Traits. As you get Stressed, the die ratings increase.
Whenever you roll dice, your opposition may add your Stress to her pool if its
appropriate. If shes playing on your doubt, for instance, she can roll in your
Insecure rating. If shes trying to outrun you, she can roll in your Exhausted. The
higher your Stress, the greater the advantage it gives your opposition.
When you inflict Stress, pick the kind of Stress that is most appropriate to what
you did when you rolled dice. If you were accusing Tess of endangering the world,
for instance, you might have made her Angry. If you were lying to Clark about
your involvement in a certain hydroelectric dam, you might have made him
Insecure.

The rating of the Stress you inflict is equal to the third-highest die in her pool, or,
if she only has two dice, a d4. If your opponent already has a higher rating for
that Stress trait, it increases by one step (becomes one die size larger). If the
selected Stress is already at d12, you may decide that your opposition is Stressed
Out.

Stressing Out
Stressing Out can mean many things. It may simply mean you fall unconscious. It
may mean you collapse in doubt and angst. It may mean you stalk out of the
room before you hurt someone. It may mean you stare out a window plotting
revenge. When you Stress Out, its up to you to decide what it means in the story.
Whatever the details, though, youre out for the rest of the scene.
When you are Stressed Out, you may not make any die rolls or spend Plot Points
for the rest of the scene. Additionally, you will not be able to reliably remember
what happened later. You may be there, you might even roleplay and react within
the bounds of whats happening in the story, but youre no use when it comes to
dice and youre useless as a witness for what happened right in front of you.

Giving In
Want to avoid picking up Stress, let alone the possibility of Stressing Out? Well
then, youre in luck all you have to do is Give In. When you Give In, youre
letting your opposition have her way. Your character either gives up or refuses to
fight. This is the only way that a Contest can be stopped before it gets ugly; if
nobody Gives In, somebody will get Stress.
If you Give In without ever picking up dice to react, Giving In is free. Another
character made a demand of you and you complied; what could be simpler?
However, if you roll dice to react even once, your character is invested and
committed to the fight. From then on, it costs you a Plot Point to Give In. Give the
Plot Point to your opposition. You can give her a Plot Point from your pool of
points, acknowledging that your character is abandoning his position.
Alternately, you may harvest a Plot Point by adding a d6 to the Trouble pool or
stepping an die already in the pool.
When you Give In, you must comply with your oppositions most recent
telegraphed action. If she was demanding information, you must describe your

character spilling the beans. If she was throwing a punch, you must describe your
character taking that hit. If she was throwing your character off a cliff, then you
must describe your character going head over heels into the wild blue yonder.
Dont soft-pedal thiswhen you Give In, its your job to sell the oppositions
victory. It costs you nothing to make her look awesome, and the more awesome at
the table, the more fun everybody will have.

Aiding
Occasionally, two or more characters work together to pull off a single difficult
feat. Agathon might be ripping off the giant Melegros armor just in time for
Thessalos to sink an arrow into its vulnerable flesh.
When you wish to help another character, describe what you are doing and roll
your pool as normal. You must roll your Aid before the other player makes his
roll. Instead of adding two dice, however, take the highest die you roll and hand it
over to the player youre helping out. He may add the dies value to his result.
The Game Master has the option to spend dice from her Trouble pool to aid
Features against the Heroes. She may take as many dice as she wants from the
Trouble pool and roll them along with the Feature's pool. After the roll, the spent
dice are not retuned to the Trouble pool.

Interfering
Sometimes two characters are getting into it and your character is on the outside,
wanting to break up the fight before someone gets hurt. You can Interfere with a
Contest between two other players, but it costs a Plot Point and comes with a bit
of risk.
Hand your Plot Point to Game Master after either side makes an escalating roll
and declare that you are Interfering with the Contest. Describe what youre doing
and roll dice as normal. If you dont beat the action result, they just ignore you.
But if your Interference result beats the action result, you step into the midst of
things and stop the Contest in its tracks. Nobody Gives In and nobody takes
Stressyet.
However, if both sides are committed to continuing the fight, they may each give
you a Plot Point to continue despite your Interference. Both sides must buy in, at

which point all three of you make one roll each. The two combatants should
describe what theyre doing to continue the fight before you describe your
character getting in the way, or cowering, or what-have-you.
Compare the results of the two players in the Contest; whoever has the highest
result inflicts Stress on the other side. Neither side gets an opportunity to Give
In; your Interference has made the Contest about hurting the other side.
Additionally, if either of their results is higher than your result, they inflict Stress
on you. This may mean you take Stress from both sides!

Who Goes First?


Sometimes a scene opens and the characters all leap at each others throats
figuratively or literallyand you need to sort out whos making the first roll of the
Contest.
Everyone who wants to get scrappy grabs dice and rolls up an action as normal.
Whoevers result is the highest gets his foot in the door first, and he starts the
Contest. Whats more, he doesnt need to roll, since he already has. Use the roll
he just made as the Contests first roll.
Anyone else who rolled but did not get the highest result will have to wait until
the current Contest is over. They are free to Aid and Interfere as normal,
however!

The Next Contest


When one Contest ends, its common for the players to want to start up another
one right on the firsts heels. After all, if the Contest ended with somebody getting
Stressed, nobody actually got what they wanted. Its a natural response, then, to
try again, and this is entirely within the scope and intention of the game rules.
This isnt a game rule, but its a strident piece of advice: try to hold back on the
next Contest for just a bit. Dont put it off for very longjust a couple lines of
dialogue back and forth. Let the characters breathe. Let them explore the
consequences of the last Contest and let them build up the significance of the
next Contest. A little roleplay between Contests can grease the wheels and set
them spinning at top speed. When you do get to the next Contest, the players who
were not involved in the last one get first dibs on starting the next one. If Agathon
and Thessalos had a dust-up while Atira watched, Atira gets the first barb.

If there are two or more players who all want to kick off the next Contest, have
everyone roll their opening action. Whoever has the highest result takes his
action first while the others are still marshaling their cutting remarks or
sharpening their knives. They can wait until the next Contest, or they can Aid or
Interfere as normal.

Tests
You roll a Test when Game Master thinks what youre doing is exciting,
uncertain, or dangerous, but no Hero or Feature is working against you.Lifting a
city gate, leaping from one rooftop to the next, singing a song that will never be
forgotten these are all Tests
There isnt a lot of telegraphing in Tests because you dont start them. You dont
need to make clear what you want to get when you pick up dice. Instead, Game
Master will say something like, Wait, youre leaping of the cliff and onto the
giant eagle? Youll need to roll for that or else youre going into the river down
below.
Tests are simple: The Game Master rolls dice, you roll dice, and you compare the
results. Theres only the one round, so Tests are quick. If you have the higher
result, you succeed at what youre doing; if you dont have the higher result,
Game Master is going to saddle you with setbacks. Ties go to the Game Master,
and Stress is likely.

Trouble
In Tests, Trouble is rolled much like any other pool: roll all the dice and add the
highest two together. However, instead of spending Plot Points toadd more
dice to her result, Game Master may spend the dice themselves. Theyre added
into the result and then theyre removed from the pool. Game Master may also
use Trouble to createUseful Detailsfor the Scene by handing a Plot Point to an
opposing player or players and removing a die from the Trouble pool. That die
becomes a Useful Detail of that size.

Extras in Tests
Not every character in your game has a page full of stats. Some characters are just
Extras a face and, perhaps a name, soon forgotten. These characters are

represented by the Trouble pool when they oppose the Heroes. In some cases,
however, particularly potent or dangerous extras may havea distinction or two to
represent what they do.When your Test involves one of these Extra getting
underfoot, the Game Master can roll these dice alongside the Trouble pool.

However, Extras wear out quickly. When an Extra die is added to Trouble, its
unavailable for the rest of the adventure. If the Extra comes back in a later
adventure, though, he comes back at full power.

Stress in Tests
Very often, the Game Master will tell you to roll a Test and warn you that you will
take Stress if you fail. Shell do this when youre doing something that might end
with youAfraid,Angry,Exhausted,Injured, orInsecure. Make the Test; if your
result doesnt beat hers, you take Stress. The Game Master decides which Stress
is most appropriate, and its rating is determined as the third-highest die in the
Game Master pool, as normal or a d4 if there are only two dice are rolled.

Stress Relief
If Game Master is doing her job right, the Heroes get pretty beat up pretty
quickly. Somewhere in the middle of the story, the Heroes may want to recover
and get rid of some of their Stress Traits. Maybe they end up at a temple after a
particularly nasty fight; maybe they need a heart-to-heart to talk over their
doubts; maybe they need to pound their frustrations into a punching bag; maybe
they just need to get back home and find some clean clothes. This is Stress Relief.
Just so you know, all Stress Traits get stepped back one die step (reduced by one
die size) at the end of every session. Sometimes, though, you need to get rid of
Stress sooner rather than later. You can do this, but theres a catch: you cant do it
for yourself. Somebody else has to patch you up.
Stress Relief is resolved as a Test between your friend and all of your Stresses.
Your friend must name the Stress she wants to deal with, then collect and roll
dice as normal. You will grab a die for each of your Stresses, roll them as a pool,
and add the two highest dice.

If your friend has the higher result, you can cross the Stress off your sheet. That
particular Stress has been relieved. Its not necessarily gone (broken bones dont
just heal themselves overnight), but you no longer have to hand dice over when
you run afoul of its effect. Add the Stress Traits dice rating to your Growth pool.
Youll be using it later.

Adding and Changing Distinctions


As each story-arc comes to a close, it is likely that your Hero will have grown; his
attitudes or methods may changed, he may have earned a new reputation, or
gained new allies, enemies, abilities or resources.
These are represented by changes to your Heros Forms and Distinctions. At the
end of a story-arc you may select one Form and one Distinction you would like to
change. To step up a Form, you must step back any other Form, and vice versa.
As noted above, whenever your character relieves Stress, that Stress Traits die
goes into your Growth pool. If you wish to add a Distinction to your Hero, you
must make a Test with your Growth pool, plus the highest Stress your Hero
currently has on his sheet. The Game Master will roll a number of d8s equal to
the total number of Distinctions you already have.
If your result is higher, you may add the new Distinction you wish. If the Game
Masters result is higher, you may only add a new Distinction by remove one you
already have.
If you want, you may always remove a Distinction without a Test. Distinctions
removed from your Hero are not necessarily gone in the fiction unless you
want them to be. The relationship, resource or ability is simply no longer a
defining feature, and no longer provides die when rolling Tests and Contests.