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Under the Broken Moon
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Character Creation

Hints

  1. Create a character that engages you, someone you care about or identify with in some way.
  2. Create a character who is danger-worthy. Getting routinely creamed is not any fun.
  3. Use your imagination!
  4. Follow the GM's lead. Develop a character that fits the series the GM has in mind.
  5. Be independent. Don't depend on other PCs or limited events in the game world.
  6. Be cooperative. Create a character that allows others (other PCs) to help you and work with you.

Character Creation Checklist

Your character includes:

Concept: Who or what you are.

Traits: One of these three traits is your "superior" trait; the other two traits are "good".

     

One central trait: general profession or character type

     

Two side traits: specific skills or abilities

     

NPCs: Named non-player characters might have fewer traits than this, or (on rare occasions) more, at less or greater levels of ability. The vast majority of NPCs have two or three "average" traits, but these are unnamed characters and don't really matter.

Trait Category

Average

Good

Superior

Monstrous

T/U: Technical/Unusual 
(doctor, electronics, sorceress)
- 2d6 3d6 4d6
NT/U: Narrow (Noncombat) Technical/Unusual 
(dentist, robotics, wizard etiquette)
- 2d6 4d6 6d6
S: Standard 
(gladiator, agile, brilliant)
2d6 3d6 4d6 5d6
NS: Narrow (Noncombat) Standard 
(patient, double-jointed, Old Earth history)
2d6 4d6 6d6 -

Flaws: Flaws should be something meaningful, preferably something related to the character's personality. Don't waste a flaw on something silly. Player characters should have some reasonably common flaw, but NPCs can have esoteric, plot-dependent flaws. You can have more than the minimum number of flaws if you like, but you don't get any extra (or better) traits for it.

     

One standard flaw: e.g., "Relentlessly curious," "Driven to protect Humans," "Obstinate," "Prone to reckless overconfidence," "Megalomaniac"

     

One magical flaw (if the character uses magic): e.g., "Bodyless head - must be carried from place to place," "Must have hands free to cast spells," "Can only use stage-style magic," "Cannot magically affect anyone holding the Black Pearl"

     

NPCs: Named non-player characters will have at least this many flaws, and quite possibly more.

Signs:

     

A sign for each trait: e.g., "Gladiator (brawny and scarred)," "Sorceress (one eye like a jade green billiard ball)"

     

A sign for each flaw: e.g., "Obstinate (frowns a lot)," "Must have hands free to cast spells (holds hands over head while casting spells)"

Hit points: 2d6 x (score of survival-relevant trait), 14 minimum. This goes up by 2d6 whenever the trait its associated with goes up (which won't be bloody often).

Magic pool (if the character uses magic): 1d6 x (score of magic-relevant trait), 7 minimum. This goes up by 1d6 whenever the trait its associated with goes up (which also won't be bloody often).

Experience pool: Starts at one die, and the GM will give you more.

Plot Hooks: Stuff that makes it easier for the GM to run games with your character in them (this is a good thing).

     

Motivation: Why you do what you do

     

Secret: A thing you don't want others to know

     

Important person in your past: Someone who affected your life

Drawing: Draw your character, at least a rough sketch.

Name, Background, Equipment, Finances, etc.: Be reasonable.

Mechanics

When you use a trait, you roll a number of dice equal to its score (usually three dice, or four dice for your superior trait). The typical unnamed character gets two dice each for their central and side traits. The sum of all these dice is the "roll result."

     You compare your roll with a difficulty factor, or a roll made by the GM, usually representing a NPC's traits. You succeed if your roll result is higher than the difficulty factor or the GM's roll. If the roll is for a skill attempt not opposed by an animate opponent, the GM will generally roll two dice. If the roll is for a magic spell not cast against an animate opponent, the GM will generally roll one die. If the skill attempt is not terribly important, or is well within the character's abilities, then you probably don't need to roll at all.

Difficulty Factor

Task

Difficulty 
Factor

or

Dice 
to Roll

Easy

4

1
Moderate 7 2
Hard 11 3
Really difficult 14 4
Pack it in and go home 18+ 5-6

If you get a bonus die (by having some advantage), you roll an extra die along with your normal dice and then drop the lowest die out of the bunch. If you have to roll a penalty die (from having some disadvantage), roll an extra die along with your normal ones, but drop out the highest one.

If you roll all 1's, you botch (very bad).

If you roll all 6's, you blow the top off (very good). You get to roll an additional die. If that is a 6, you roll an additional die (and so on).

If you want to take multiple actions in one round, you can take one extra action, but you incur a penalty die on each action. With two extra actions, you get one fewer dice to roll. Three extra actions, two fewer dice, and so on.

Combat

Movement: 1 round = 3 seconds (give or take).

Movement

km/h

m/round

Walking 3 2.5
Hurrying 6 5
Jogging 9 7.5
Running steady 12 10
Running fast 18 15
Sprinting 24 20

Initiative: Roll a combat, agility, or speed trait at the beginning of a combat. Actions proceed each round from the highest roller to the lowest.

Normal Attack: Roll a combat, strength, agility, or similar trait. The typical unnamed character gets two dice for a basic attack. Add the dice together: this is the "roll result." Compare attacker's roll result to the defender's roll result. A non-combat trait (like magic-related traits) can only be used for attack or defense each round, not both. You hit your opponent if your roll result is higher than your opponent's defense roll result.

Magic Attack: Roll a magic-related trait. Compare roll result to the defender's roll result. As a non-combat trait, a magic-related trait can only be used for attack or defense each round. You hit your opponent if your roll result is higher than your opponent's defense roll result.

Normal Defense: Roll a combat, agility, or similar trait. A non-combat trait (such as all magic-related traits) can only be used for attack or defense each round. The typical unnamed character gets two dice for a basic dodge. You get one defense roll for each attack made against you.

Magic Defense: Roll a combat, agility, or magic-related trait. Rolls using traits not magic-related are generally assigned a penalty die when used to defend against magic, unless the defender has some offsetting advantage such as a magic weapon. The typical unnamed character gets two dice for a basic dodge. Magic-related traits (like all non-combat traits) can only be used for attack or defense each round. You get one defense roll for each attack made against you (or against someone else, if you are using your magic to protect someone else from attacks instead of protecting yourself).

Rolling a magic trait to defend against an attack does not give you armor, per se, but it does reduce the chance of being hit, which also has the effect of reducing the damage you take if you are hit. So it sort of does give you armor, but only for the instant that you're making the trait roll, and the effect it has comes before the attack result is multiplied by the weapon's damage factor, rather than after. Don't think too hard about it.

Ranged Attack Defense Modifiers:

Weapon

+1 die

+2 dice

+3 dice

Thrown, balanced * 8m 16m 32m+
Thrown, awkward ** 6m 8m 10m+
Bow, Crossbow 20m 40m 80m+

* Such as a ball or throwing knife.
** Such as a sword or sausage grinder.

Situation

Extra Defense

Cover 1 or 2 dice
Target moving 1 die
Attacker moving 1 die
Darkness, fog, etc. 1 or 2 dice
Target dodging (not attacking at all) 2 dice

Damage: On a successful hit, subtract the defense roll result from the attack roll result. Multiply the difference, the "attack result," by the weapon's damage factor to calculate the "damage result." Attack result may also determine the degree of success of a magic spell (it's up to the GM to decide exactly how).

     

Example:

     

Moog attacks Karnack. Moog rolls 4d6 to attack, Karnack rolls 3d6 to defend. Moog's roll result is 13, Karnack's roll result is 12. The attack result is 1 (13 - 12 = 1). Moog is using a sword (x3 damage factor), so Moog gets a damage result of 3 (1 x 3 = 3).

     

Note: This is all just the number-crunching. The really important part is where Moog's player describes how she leaps headfirst at Karnack and tries to kneecap Karnack with her sword, and Karnack's player describes how he does a backflip into a tree to dodge the blow.

Armor: The defender determines armor protection: usually 1 point for casual leather, 1 die for basic armor, and 2 dice for really good armor. Roll the armor dice and subtract this protection value from damage result to get damage taken. Walls, wrecked cars, magic barriers and so on have armor too, sometimes as high as 4d6! (But keep in mind that inanimate objects only get 2d6 for a defense roll, if they get one at all.)

Unnamed Characters: If an unnamed character takes more than 7 points of damage from an attack, that character is out of the fight. If an unnamed character takes less than 7 points of damage from an attack, they ignore the damage.

Lost Hit Points: If the target of an attack is a named character, subtract the damage taken from the target's hit points. If the target is at half hit points or below, they take a penalty die on further actions. If at 0 hit points or below, the target is out of the fight. If at a level of hit points equal to the negative of their normal hit points (e.g., -21 for a character with 21 hit points), they are out of the game until the GM decides they can come back (if ever).

Recovery: After a chance to rest and recuperate (maybe half an hour), a character recovers two-thirds the hit points they’ve lost from punches, kicks, and general brawling damage, and one-half the damage they've taken from weapons, magic, or other more serious attacks. After that, they recover only by rest or magic.

Magic Pool: This is how many spells a magician may cast per day.

Equipment

This is obviously not exhaustive, and is only intended as a general guideline.

Weapon Type

Damage 
Factor

Unarmed Combat x1
Throwing Knife x1
Brass knuckles, cesti, gauntlets x1.5
Knife, lead pipe, throwing axe x2
Sword, axe, railroad tie x3
Average energy weapon x3
Good energy weapon x4
Large (superior) energy weapon x6
Huge (monstrous) energy weapon x8
Stun ray, stun arrow (All damage from a stun ray or stun arrow is temporary. 
Record it separately; it all comes back when the character recovers)
x5

Armor Type

Protection

Comfortable leather 1 point
Average armor (heavy leather, furs, Mok hide) 1d6
Good armor (hard leather, metal/plastic reinforced) 
imposes 1 penalty die on attack rolls
2d6
Superior armor (heavy metal, plastic, ceramic) 
imposes 2 penalty dice on attack rolls
4d6

Experience

All characters start with one die in their experience pool, but this will change as time goes on.

Gaining Experience

Generally, the GM awards one experience die per worthwhile game session. On rare occasions the GM may award an extra die for outstanding role-playing, completion of a long-term goal, an ingenious player idea, and so on.

Using the Experience Pool

You can use each die in your experience pool to improve one roll per game session. The dice from your experience pool act as bonus dice. Once you use an experience die as a bonus die, you cannot use it again in that session. As you play, you can acquire more dice for your pool.

Adding and Improving Traits

If you spend experience dice to add or improve a trait, you lose those experience dice permanently (unlike using them as bonus dice).

Advancing to...

Requires...

1 die (new trait) 5 experience dice (possibly with training)
2 dice 5 experience dice
3 dice 5 experience dice
4 dice 10 experience dice + 6 to 12 months training
5 dice 15 experience dice + extensive training
6 dice 20 experience dice + a hell of a long time

For central traits, double the time and number of experience dice required.

To increase the character's Magic Pool, spend 2 experience dice for each point.

Magic

In the world of 3994, magic frequently looks like high technology, and vice versa. The difference between the two isn't really important most of the time. For example, a creature or character that has the trait "Resistant to Magic (T/U), 2 dice" (giving the character 2d6 armor against magic attacks or two penalty dice to attacking wizard's rolls, depending on the circumstances) is also resistant to energy weapons and other obviously high-tech weapons (such as Thundarr's Sunsword). Even unmistakably mechanical constructions and robotic warriors may in fact be magical fabrications which vanish when they are damaged.

Spell Modifiers

This is (although longer than I'd intended) obviously not exhaustive, and is meant only as a guideline. Unless otherwise noted, duration is typically attack result in minutes, and range is typically attack result times 10 meters.

Offensive Spells

Damage Factor

Modifiers

Average offensive blast x1 1 bonus die
Average offensive spell with special effect 
(entangling, imprisoning, mutating, etc.)
(x1) 1 bonus die
Good offensive blast x2 none
Good offensive spell with special effect 
(entangling, imprisoning, mutating, etc.)
(x2) none
Superior offensive blast x4 1 penalty die
Superior offensive spell with special effect 
(entangling, imprisoning, mutating, etc.)
(x4) 1 penalty die
Monstrous offensive blast x8 2 penalty dice
Monstrous offensive spell with special effect 
(entangling, imprisoning, mutating, etc.)
(x8) 2 penalty dice
Stun ray (All damage from a stun ray is temporary. Record it separately; it all comes back when the character recovers) +3 to damage factor (x2 becomes x5) as above

Magic Barriers

Modifiers

Average magical barrier (which has 1 die of armor) 1 bonus die
Good magical barrier (which has 2 dice of armor) none
Superior magical barrier (which has 4 dice of armor) 1 penalty die

Telekinesis

Modifiers

Telekinesis, move stuff or a person around, ood strength 1 bonus die
Telekinesis, move stuff or a person around, superior strength none
Telekinesis, move stuff or a person around, monstrous strength 1 penalty die

Teleportation

Modifiers

Teleportation, magician can teleport herself and her stuff to her stronghold, at a range up to the attack result in kilometers none
Teleportation, the magician can teleport stuff or a person to her stronghold, at a range up to the attack result in kilometers none
Teleportation, the magician can teleport stuff or a person up to the attack result times 100 meters 1 penalty die

Mental Spells

Modifiers

Scan for minds, range is everywhere within wizard's stronghold, or attack result in meters if outside of the wizard's stronghold none
Telepathic communication, range is attack result times 10 meters if the magician does not know the target, or the attack result in kilometers if the magician knows the target none
Domination, bends another person to the magician's will, duration is indefinite if target is unnamed, attack result in minutes if target is named, range as for Telepathy none
Clairvoyance, range is everywhere within wizard's stronghold, or attack result times 100 meters outside of the wizard's stronghold none
Retrocognition, range is attack result in hours (accuracy +/- 10d6 minutes) none
Retrocognition, range is attack result in centuries (accuracy +/- 1d6 years) 1 penalty die

Technomancy

Modifiers

Activate or deactivate a machine with which the magician is familiar, duration is indefinite 1 bonus die
Activate or deactivate a machine with which the magician is marginally familiar, duration is indefinite none
Activate or deactivate a machine with which the magician is unfamiliar, duration is indefinite 1 penalty die

Summoning and Animating

Modifiers

Summon from elsewhere... 
Create from nothing... 
Animate an object as... 
an average unnamed creature, duration is indefinite, maximum number of creatures = wizard's magic pool
1 bonus die
Summon from elsewhere... 
Create from nothing... 
Animate an object as... 
a good creature, duration is attack result in hours
none
Summon from elsewhere... 
Create from nothing... 
Animate an object as... 
a superior creature
none
Summon from elsewhere... 
Create from nothing... 
Animate an object as... 
a monstrous creature
1 penalty die

Counterspells

Modifiers

Undo/Cancel a spell cast by another magician, rolled as if other magician is the target of the spell 1 penalty die

Various Modifiers

Modifiers

Spell is needed to advance plot or improve game Spell succeeds
Spell is illusionary (all damage from an illusion is temporary: record it separately, it all comes back when the character recovers) 2 bonus dice, or +3 damage factor
Spell only affects non-living, non-magical material (if spell could otherwise be used on living things) 1 bonus die
Spell affects a large area or a group of unnamed targets 1 penalty die
Spell is subtle 2 penalty dice
Spell derails plot or ruins game Spell fails

Portions of this document were reproduced with permission from the Over the Edge role-playing game, and are Copyright © 1992, 1997 John Nephew. Over the Edge is a trademark of John Nephew, used with permission. Thundarr the Barbarian is Copyright © 1981 Ruby-Spears Enterprises, Inc., and is used here without permission.

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