Friday, April 4, 2014

Pernicious Albion 2.0 Character Creation

You are in Albion, where the Romans never left, the pagans never died, and the aristocracy keeps their sterling silver sacrificial daggers in the cupboard next to the fine china. The city of New Londinium, the oldest, grandest, and most horrible city in the world reaches over the horizon far to the west, but you are in Greyshire, a provincial little town known only for the quality of its cheese, the restlessness of its dead, and the large number of barrows, ruins, dungeons, and oubliettes that fill the countryside around it. 

Dame Aggorath, Chief of the Knights Squamous, has contacted you with a job offer. A recent washout has exposed tunnels beneath Rope Crown Hill, a site of ill repute several miles from town, and several scholars have vanished exploring them. Bring back a report on what is happening there (along with compelling evidence), and you will be generously remunerated.


Cast the Dice
When you try something risky or difficult, sum 2d6 and add an attribute based on the action you’re taking. Your success is determined by the total of your dice roll.
  • A 10+ is a complete success.
  • A 7-9 is a partial success and brings about a cost or complication.
  • A 6- is a complete failure. Bad things will happens.
Step 1: Roll Ability Scores

Your have six attributes. For each attribute, roll 2d6.
  • On a 6-, the value is 0.
  • On a 7-9, the value is +1.
  • On a 10 or 11, the value is +2.
  •  On a 12, the value is +3.
  1. Strength (Str): Capacity for brute force, physical violence, and melee combat.
  2. Constitution (Con): Ability to withstand pain, discomfort, and physical damage.
  3. Dexterity (Dex): Aptitude for agility, grace, coordination, speed, and dodging blows in combat.
  4. Intelligence (Int): Mental acuity, memory, and ability to learn
  5. Wisdom (Wis): Perception, sanity, foresight, affinity for spirits and gods, and ability to resist the effects of magic.
  6. Charisma (Cha): Attractiveness, force of personality, and ability to be persuasive.
Step 2: Calculate Hit Dice and HP

You have HD equal to 1+Con+Half level. When you rest, reroll your HD to determine your maximum HP. If you rest comfortably, set a single HD to 6. If you eat a satisfying meal, set another HD to 6.

Step 3: Pick a Skills
Pick one of the following:
  • Burglary: disable locks and traps and pick pockets
  • Bushcraft: hunt, track, identify flora and fauna
  • Linguistics: learn languages
  • Lore: recall esoteric and forbidden knowledge
  • Medicine: revive the fallen and restore the ill
  • Repair: fix and maintain armor, tools, weapons, and devices
Step 4: Pick a talent
  • Hawkeye: Add your level to ranged weapon damage rolls 
  • English Magic: You start with any 2 1st level spells from the MU or Cleric LotFP lists (though I am only using the general gist of the spell descriptions). You can learn any number of spells, but you must first find them. You can cast any spell you know as much as you like, but magic is dangerous and unpredictable. Rolls generally involve Int.
  • Glamour: You can change your appearance and turn into creatures who height or length is equal to or less than twice your level in feet, but particularly subtle or potent transformations may not succeed. Rolls generally involve Cha.
  • Pact: You have made a deal with one of the great gods, demons, or fairies of Albion. You can call on them to use magic pertaining to one of their domains as much as you like, but the consequences of offending them or failing to control their power is dire. You gain an additional related domain every even level. Rolls generally involve Wis.
  • Prodigy: Every level, you gain an additional skill of your choice.
  • Prowess: Add your level to melee weapon damage rolls.
Step 5: Pick a bloodline

  • Briton: You are from one of the chieftaincies beyond the grasp of New Londinium's rulers. Your people made pacts with the spirits of the wild long ago; you can roll Wisdom to speak with animals. 
  • Changeling: You are descended from a true fairy. You cannot lie or break promises directly. Any oaths sworn to you cannot be broken.  
  • Deep One: You are descended from one of the marine monstrosities from far beneath Albion's seas and lakes. As you are some sort of hybrid between fish and human (the specifics of how this looks is up to you), you can move with equal speed through water and over land, and you can breathe underwater.
  • Nephilim: You are descended from the race of giants born when exiled angels bred with humans. You are 6-8 feet tall. Whenever you roll your Hit Dice, add 6 to the total.
  • New Londoner: Your exposure to the radioactive knowledge-goddess Gloriana has given you a talent for chasing gristly secrets. When you study a fallen enemy, you learn a single fact or secret about their kind. 
  • Roman: The Empire's rich tradition of poorly conceived sorcerous experiments not only deposited ancient Britain into the middle of Carcosa, but infused all of its citizens with a lingering taint of undeath. You can cast Speak with Dead.
  • Tiefling: You are descended from one of the soldiers that took part in Hell's semi-successful invasion attempt a century ago. You can create and throw small flames at will. 

Step 6: Items
You start with 6 items. You can choose a number of them equal to 1+Cha. The rest are randomly determined. You may do the random rolls before you choose.
1. Weapons
  1. Hatchet, 1 hand, d6+1 damage
  2. Spear, 2 hands, d6+1 damage, reach range
  3. Great-axe, 2 hands, d6+2 damage
  4. Shortbow, 2 hands, d6 damage, with 10 arrows
  5. Longbow, 2 hands, d6+1 damage, with 5 arrows
  6. Rifle, 2 hands, d6+2 damage, 4 bullets, very loud
2. Armor
Armor weighs you down, and you can wear just 1+STR pieces at once. Each reduces damage taken by 1.
  1. Cuirass
  2. Helmet
  3. Greaves
  4. Shield, 1 hand
  5. Bracers
  6. Heavy cloak
3. Tools
  1. Grappling hook and 10’ rope
  2. Crowbar
  3. Caltrops
  4. 10 foot pole
  5. Weighted net
  6. 50’ rope
4. Paraphernalia
  1. 1 pound of salt
  2. A book on a random subject
  3. A horseshoe
  4. A bottled soul
  5. A dowsing rod, 1 hand, d6 damage, can detect magic and water
  6. 10 feet of silver wire
5. Odds and Ends
  1. 1 pound lard
  2. Bag of marbles
  3. Sack with live beehive
  4. Spyglass
  5. Choice cut of meat
  6. Box of matches
6. Dubious Goods
  1. 1d6 bombs, 3d6 damage
  2. Vial of virulent poison
  3. Flask of fire oil
  4. A glass cutter
  5. Flask of acid
  6. A collapsible knife, 1 hand, d6 damage


  1. I'm curious about your decision to go to World of Dungeons. Not in a bad way, I think it's a neat system, I'm just interested if there were any specific reasons/rationales.

    Oh, and it should go without saying that all of this is awesome.

    1. Thanks!

      The main thing is that I like how simple it is. Monsters are pretty much HP, damage, and an ability, and if I want to make a weird new class, I can just say "Roll 2d6+X and do Y". Rolling lots of different kind of dice and having baroque(r) rules are fun, of course, but I thought I'd give a lighter game a try.

      I also like how magic is more freeform, too. The tiered success mechanics allow for a lot of weirdness and backlash, which fits a setting where magic is either crazy fairies or pulsating horrors from the void of space etc etc.

    2. Very cool. I like the demon/spirit based magic system that's given as a default in the rules, but the "Streets of Marienburg" WFRP skin of WoD has some cool alternate magic systems as well. I haven't gotten to play either DW or WoD yet, so I'd be interested to hear how using those rules for a world you've previously run with D&D works out, since that is holding the setting material constant.

  2. I want to second Jeff's comment. I would love to see a follow-up of your experiences.

    The WoD system is light but it really has a lot of energy. It would be interesting to see someone with baroque[r] skills exploring it.