1. Ability scores generation method?
Wuss Mode: 4d6, drop the lowest. Put the results in any order, except for Speed. That’s the one score that you have to roll straight up.
Hardcore Mode: 3d6, in order.
If you roll any natural 6’s in Hardcore Mode, then you get to roll one more die to add to the total. If THAT die is also a natural 6, then you get to roll yet one more d6 to add to the total. This makes for a maximum possible score of 30. If that happens, then you are probably a demigod of that attribute. Like, the demigod of Charismatic Bastards, for instance.
2. How are death and dying handled?
When (not “if”) your character hits zero hit points, make a Willpower check to see if they can remain conscious. Failure means you’re out cold.
If you’ve gone below zero hp, then you start losing 1d4 points of Temporary Constitution every round. If you hit zero Constitution, then you’re totally deadsville.
3. What about raising the dead?
The ancients may have had a ritual for raising the dead, though it is currently lost to the ages, and for damned good reasons. Perhaps intrepid adventurers might uncover such a thing, though I am sure its costs would make death look like the better choice.
4. How are replacement PCs handled?
Roll up a new character, and we will jam them into the game somehow. It’s handy to have henchmen for such a situation.
5. Initiative: individual, group, or something else?
Group: the shot-caller for the session rolls for the PC’s. Characters act in order of their Speed attribute, from highest to lowest.
6. Are there critical hits and fumbles? How do they work?
Yes: a 1 is always a Fumble. The DM has a lovely table to find out what happens to you. Roll d20 again; if you roll a SECOND natural 1… well, it won’t be pretty.
A 20 is always a Crit, and you deal the maximum damage for the attack. You can choose to roll for a random special attack effect instead of max damage, if you want.
7. Do I get any benefits for wearing a helmet?
Of course: helmets shall be splintered! 10% of hits that would damage a character will be to a character’s head (roll a d10 when you get hit.) If the character is wearing a well-made (i.e. expensive) helmet it will shatter, protecting them from the blow. It’s up to you to remind the DM of this, because he’s got other shit to organize.
8. Can I hurt my friends if I fire into melee, or do something similarly silly?
Yes, targets would be chosen at random when firing into the fray. (Unless you’re a totally boss Ranger who has earned a Feat that says otherwise. Leveling up is cool.)
9. Will we need to run from some encounters, or will we be able to kill everything?
This is a resource-management game, and Hit Points are your most valuable resource. Not only will you want to run away from some fights that you can’t win, you’ll also probably want to run away from a few fights that you could win.
10. Level-draining monsters: yes or no?
They’re out there, compadre. Lurking. Waiting for you to make the wrong move.
11. Are there going to be cases where a failed save results in PC death?
Yes, but hopefully that won’t feel stupid. What’s the point of a Save vs. Death Ray if you don’t have death rays in your game?
12. How strictly are encumbrance & resources tracked?
Strictly! I literally crafted game-pieces for it.
13. What’s required when my PC gains a level? Training? Can it happen in the middle of an adventure, or do I have to wait for down time?
Leveling happens during down time. Just like XP, you need to get back to a “safe” town first.
You’ll get your appropriate level-up goodies for no monetary cost, but they do still cost time. Like, wizards get spells when they level up, but they still have to study their grimoire, and muck about with powders and whatnot for the same amount of time as if they’d paid someone to teach them that spell.
Certain Feats that other classes get might require a mentor/trainer of some sort. Multi-classing will definitely require someone to teach you how to be that new class.
14. What do I get experience for?
In order of importance/amount:
A.) Treasure. It’s the way Gary intended it.
B.) Being the most useful/awesome. MVP award, voted on by the other players each session.
C.) Killin’ stuff that needed killin’, and surviving stuff that wants to kill you. You get basically 1 xp for every point of damage that you deal out to awful monsters, evil wizards, etc. You won’t get dick for attacking innocent bystanders and hapless creatures. You do get 2 xp for every point of damage that you took during the session, assuming that you survive it.
15. How are traps located? Description, dice rolling, or some combination?
If a Door or Chest is trapped, and the person fiddling with it has the Tinkering skill, the DM will just straight-up tell them that it’s trapped. They can bypass those traps by playing the lock-picking mini-game.
Hallways and rooms can be swept for other types of traps just by saying “I’m searching for traps”, rolling your Search skill, and spending a Turn to do so. The cost is time. You have to specifically say that you’re searching for traps, and your search won’t turn up anything other than traps. Searching for cool shit, and searching for traps = not the same thing.
16. Whaddup with Retainers?
PC’s can hire:
Retainers – Up to 4. They’re each paid at least 20% of the treasure that you recover. You can pay them more, if you want them to level up faster, and have higher Morale scores.
At the beginning of each combat, tell the DM if your Retainers are Defending, or Attacking. If Defending, you get +1 to AC for every Retainer. If Attacking, you get +1 to damage.
Every Hireling/Retainer has a Morale score that the DM rolled up for them when they were created. If you interact with them enough, you’ll be able to figure it out. Morale checks happen when you ask them to do dangerous stuff, a “Fear”-type spell is cast on them, a bunch of them are getting seriously hurt/killed, or a particularly monstrous Monster has come out of the woodwork at them.
Morale checks are handled using a 2d6 roll, which I will let you roll, because that will be funnier.
A Player can willingly sacrifice a Retainer or Hireling to absorb the damage of one hit.
The Hireling/Retainer gets a Morale check to see if they would really risk their safety to protect their employer. Roll under, and they take the hit for you. Roll over Morale, and they don’t, plus their Morale goes down by 1. Either they noticed you trying to entice them to be damaged, or they just lost a bit of respect for you because you got smacked around like a li’l bitch.
If a Hireling takes the hit, they automatically die in a spectacular redshirt fashion.
If it’s a classed Retainer taking the hit, then just subtract the damage from their hp, as per usual in these sorts of situations. Maybe they live, and maybe they don’t.
17. How do I identify magic items?
There’s an Identify spell. The Identify and Read Magic spells are the toughest spells to cast in the whole damn game. The DM has a separate, and much harsher, failure table for your spell check on these spells. The necessary materials are expensive, too. Why? Because what’s the use of being a wizard who can bend the laws of the very Universe itself to your whim if every 1st-level schmuck with a Spell Book can instantly decode all of your efforts without fear of reproach?
The higher you roll on your spell-check, the better the info you’ll get about the item. Some items might have defenses/curses on them that Identify will trigger. They will probably look the part. Probably. Just sayin’.
18. Can I buy magic items? Oh, come on: how about just potions?
Wizards/alchemists who can make such things will invariably have some crazy fucking quest that they desperately need you to complete before they’ll even consider brewing a “Negate Hangnail” potion for you.
19. Can I create magic items? When and how?
It is possible, through some long-lost terrible sorcerous ritual that’s probably not worth the trouble when you could just go rummaging through a perfectly good dungeon instead.
20. What about splitting the party?
The DM highly encourages such behavior. Interesting, though probably not “nice”, things will happen.