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Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - Core Rules - Part I


Solar Blades & Cosmics Spells is a science fantasy RPG based on Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells, but it is also a revision of said game (which will probably be revised sometime in the future). Since I decided Solar Blades would have more examples and would be more "begginer friendly", I took the time to make the game as clear as I can, so I ended up modifying some rules that I hope will make the game more intuitive to run.

What follows is part of the Core Rules section of the draft text. The next parts will deal with more details regarding other aspects of the game.

Attribute Test


Every time a situation arises in which the efforts of the character have a say in how well it goes, we make an Attribute Test. This consists of rolling a d20 against the appropriate Attribute. Success is when the result is equal to or lower than the Attribute score, but higher than the Difficulty. NPCs and Opponents have to roll higher than the appropriate player character Attribute, and use the Powerful Opponent rule, or they are considered to have an Attribute score of 10 plus their HD (for more information regarding NPCs in Action, see the below).

Normally, Alice would not need to test Kaylia’s Physique just to climb a set of ladders, but since she is under heavy fire from the Death Bots of the local Galactic Overlord, she will need to this time. She rolls a d20 and gets a 12, a number under her Physique score of 13, which means she managed to climb the ladder to get away from her enemies.

Avoidance Rolls


Most of the time, players will make Attribute Tests to accomplish something their characters want to do. But sometimes they will need to make these tests to avoid harmful effects. The Overlord will decide what Attribute should be used for each Avoidance Roll, using the following guidelines:

  • Physique: Tested to avoid the harmful effects of effects that attack the physical constitution of the character, such as poisons, diseases, petrification, and other similar effects.
  • Agility: Tested to avoid threats that could be dodged or avoided by sharp reflexes, such as jumping out of a blast radius, dodging a blade trap about to cut you in half, and other such daring escapes.
  • Intellect: Tested to resist mind boggling effects that will try to trick and confuse the character, such as illusions, disorienting spells and other such effects.
  • Willpower: Tested to resist effects that will try to rob the character off his free will, such as the seductive powers of a Void Demon of Seduction, the mind domination powers of Void Sorcerers and other such effects.


At the end of the ladder Kaylia accidentally triggered a security device. It sprang a heavy set of bars that would trap her in the tunnel. Trying to avoid being stuck, Kaylia ran and tried to slip under the bar before it fell. The Overlord then asked her for a Agility test.

Positive and Negative Dice


Some situations may make tasks easier or more difficult. Climbing a ladder when it’s pouring is a lot more challenging than when it’s sunny. Firing at an enemy from higher ground gives a distinct advantage. That’s what Positive and Negative Dice are for. When a test is made with a Positive Die, the player rolls 2 d20s and choose the one he prefers for the result (normally the one that results in a higher number but still within the success interval). On the other hand, when a Negative Die is imposed to a test, the player rolls 2 d20s and the Overlord chooses the one to use as the result (usually the one that complicates the adventurer’s life the most). The Overlord has the final word on whether a Positive or Negative Die is applied in a test, even though he rules has many situations where the use of them are suggested.

In the scene where Kaylia was climbing the ladder, the Overlord could have decided that since she was under heavy fire, she would have had to make the Physique test with a Negative Die, rolling 2 d20s and getting the worst result.

Difficulty


Some tasks are harder than others. Trying to jump over a 1 meter long hole in the sky bridge is simple enough, but jumping over the infamous Chasm of the Dark Depths, with its 10 meter long distance, even with rocket boots can be quite challenging. That’s what Difficulty is for. The Overlord can assign a Difficulty to any test he deems more challenging than usual. Usually, this will be a number between 1 to 5, but it can go higher, depending on the situation. The Difficulty number can be determined by other factors too, like by the Powerful Opponent rule below and the Power Level of the spell or mind power being used.

After escaping the Death Bots, Kaylia ran into an security door. With her enemies closing in, she has little time to postulate other options and decides to pick the security door. The Overlord decides that it’s a fairly complex lock, and assigns a Difficulty 2 for the test. Thus, Alice rolls a d20 but gets a 2, which is within the Difficulty value. It’s a failure, but is one within the character’s potential. The Overlord rules she managed to open the door but her lock pick is destroyed in the process. The Death Bots also just appeared around the hall. She had to run away fast and let some item in her backpack fall off.

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