Setting Rules

Q: Do I understand it correctly that this is a classical sand box fantasy/mystery adventure with strong dungeon crawling elements but also a lot of world building and resource management aspects?

A: I think I would say more “open-ended classical sandbox fantasy/exploration”. While the question is out there in-world of what caused the Silence and (eventually, after it’s discovered in-game) why the past, present, and future are being crowded together, that’s really just a backdrop element, not a mystery meant to be solved.

The primary metagame purpose of the Silence is to provide a reason why the PCs are the only ones going out and doing things (direct exposure to the Silence drives people insane, so they need to either remain in town or stay close to the PCs), a reason for other towns to be largely deserted, and a reason why you can’t immediately reclaim the entire map.

Setting Rules:

  • Skill Specialization: Specializations are by era, not by equipment type, and you are specialized in your home era automatically.
  • Sanity (Horror Companion): Starting and maximum Sanity score is 2 + (Spirit die / 2). Gain a temporary minor Habit if Sanity drops to 2 or less. Gain permanent psychoses if Sanity drops to 0.
  • The Silence (custom): NPCs exposed directly to the Silence must make monthly Spirit rolls, losing 1 Sanity on failure. Remaining close to Devas or within the area of a town’s Song blocks this effect. Devas (including the PCs) are inherently immune. Note that needing to make this monthly Sanity check prevents a character from making normal monthly rolls to recover lost Sanity.
  • The Song (custom): PCs are two characters in one, a Song and a host. All abilities are considered to be at the higher of either the Song’s or the host’s level. Players are not required to play out the host’s psychological Hindrances, but any game-mechanical effects of the host’s Hindrances will be in effect regardless.
  • Chord Progression (custom): A player’s Song and host each receive full XP awards, but the host does not gain any Advances – his XP total is only tracked for in case the Song eventually leaves him. The Song gains and spends Advances normally, with the following additions:
    • If the Song takes an Advance which the host would be able to take (but has not yet taken), the host also receives the same Advance.
    • If the Song takes an Advance which the host has already taken, then the host may take a separate Advance, independent of the Song’s Advance.
      For example, assume the Song takes Spirit d8 as its Advance:
    • If the host’s Spirit is already d8 or higher, the host may take any normal Advance.
    • If the host’s Spirit is d6, then the host’s Spirit is also increased to d8.
    • If the host’s Spirit is d4, then the host’s stats remain unchanged.
  • Musical Bodies (custom): When a Song’s host dies, its player immediately selects a nearby friendly Extra to become the Song’s new host. The new host is automatically Shaken by the experience (but does not take a Wound if already Shaken). The Song itself is immortal and cannot be killed, but it can’t take any action without a host.
  • Glory (Hellfrost): We are using a slightly-modified version of the Glory rules from the Hellfrost Player’s Guide, including the Boasting, Burials, Favors, and Kinship & Fealty add-ons from the Hellfrost Rassilon Companion.
  • Henchmen (custom): When each expedition is organized, a random group of survivors will be willing and available to accompany the PCs as henchmen.
  • Mortal Combat (custom): Bennies may not be used for Soak rolls.
  • Lasting Injuries (custom): Extras who survive Incapacitation must roll on the Injury Table, the same as Wildcards. Injuries go away when the character has recovered all Wounds and made at least one successful Natural Healing roll. If the Vigor roll to survive Incapacitation succeeds with a raise, Injuries last until all Wounds have been recovered and at least 24 hours have passed.

Setting Rules

Savage Marches nDervish