Creating a We Mortal Legends Starting Kit pt. 1: Bastards and Warlords

There are 2 main legends (a different take on classes) in We Mortal Legends: Bastards and Warlords.

Image result for swords and deviltry [book]
Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser are good to ape here.

Bastards are characters who have an X factor: thief skills, maybe, or flashbacks to set things up with, or a danger sense for when the going gets tough.

Warlords are characters who can force their way through things, lead men to the brink of death and back again, or characters that are just too damn tough to knock over.

I thought for a long time about a third "core" magic legend, one that can fit in any genre of game like these two. But in a game with 8 magic systems and that is meant to run Cyberpuk too and where you only pick a couple for a campaign, it didn't make sense to me. Certainly for each magic system you can make a legend, and I'll make one as an example in the future (when I revisit the Saint project). You can also make all kinds of weird legends for different reasons (the Runner for when I get my Cyberpunk post finished or the Medusa as an example race-as-legend).

But these things aren't ubiquitous enough for me. Having just a "Magic-User" didn't cut it for me either. I actually am not the biggest fan of magic-user/wizard classes or clerics/druids. These classes have X-per-day features when the other two cores have always on abilities. I've never had fun playing a level 1 Magic-User whose used their 1 spell for the day; I can't do cool thief/specialist stuff after, and I can't really fight anything, so I feel like a random NPC. For some tables, that's good, and I don't look down on that. And while I don't want to go to the opposite extreme of Superhero stuff (ala 5E), there has to be a sweet spot in the middle for me.

So, these two legends are my sweetspot. These are the default "If you make a legend for this system, it should be something like this." My biggest litmus test for these 2 legends was: would I enjoy playing both of these for an extended period of time and if someone else was playing the same legend. From a read, my answer is yes. We'll see how that holds up through playtesting.

Note: The bastard has appeared in an earlier blogpost. I'm putting it back here just for the purpose of solidarity, and to do some minor updates to it. Ctrl+f "LEGEND: WARLORD" to skip down to that.

PLAYING WITH LEGENDS IN OTHER OSR GAMES

It's simple. If you want to play a Bastard or Warlord in another OSR game, follow these steps.
  1. Choose one of the abilities from options 51-70. This is the classe's starting ability.
  2. Bastards have HD/saves as a Thief; warlords as a fighter.
  3. Choose an ability 71-90. This ability is gained at level 5.
  4. Choose an ability 91-00. This ability is gained at level 9.
Simple.

If you play 5E and want to convert these, it won't be very balanced, but you can still do it. Just choose a feature between each bracket above 50 (so 5 features in total), and assign them to each of the 5 levels a sub-class gains a new feature. Bastards are Rogue Archetypes, and Warlord's Martial Archetypes.

LEGEND: BASTARD

You're not a good person. You might be compassionate, you might be kind, you might be gentle, but deep down, you will lie, cheat, and steal whenever you have to if it means getting what you want. Some bastards are thieves, and they do well. Other bastards are assassins, or wilderness guides, or snake oil salesmen all. But wise men the world round understand that bastards can be as useful as they are dangerous.

Image result for Harrison Ford art
If Harrison Ford has played it, that character has been a Bastard.

Roll 1d6 on the following tables.

What's Your Game?
Each roll on this table will give you a Legend Feature from your Character Advancement Table (CAT). Reference the table with the appropriate # received. If no options fit, make up your own and choose a Legend Feature from CAT numbers 51-70
  1. Thievery can make a man rich if he knows how to flip his wares fast enough. Start with 57-58.
  2. Lead someone through the dark parts of a city, or some dank forest, and let fortune line my pockets. Start with 55-56.
  3. This here vial, see how purple it is? A sign of God, surely. Drink it, it'll take all your ills away. Start with 61-63.
  4. Fickle, life. Easy to take. Never cheap, though. Never cheap at all. Start with 68-70. 
  5. No games, just good fuckin' times! I go in, see what I can shake up, and dip out. Start with 64-67.
  6. Daredevils like me live for the thrill. I don't care what gets in the way 'long as the adrenaline pumps. Start with 59-60.
Who Wants Revenge?
The NPC rolled on this table is hot on your trail and wants nothing more than to even the score.
  1. I loved them, and I loved a few others too, and now those few others all want a knife in my back.
  2. A whole town in an uproar, all over me? Best believe I'll never go back there.
  3. No, I didn't know they were the child of that crimelord. But I know now, and don't plan on ever seeing them again.
  4. It was a memento, but their lover was dead and I had a debt I needed to pay off. What's the harm of helping the living?
  5. Yeah, I killed them. Was a mistake--wrong target and all that.
  6. It was a lot of money, but there were two of us, and two shares is always better than one. They knew it was all business in the end.
Name Your Contact
Name the NPC you roll on the following table. This NPC is a contact you know will always help you with something specific.
  1. They trade in exotic insects from some strange place. Runs a whole den dedicated to getting bit and tripping out. Says you can see the future, for the right price.
  2. Not quite sure if they're human or not. Blue-green skin, black eyes all around. But they know ways I don't, ways into places and ways out too.
  3. Farmer turned warlord turned fucking city watch. Not the most illustrious career, but when muscle is needed, good hell do they raise it.
  4. Not sure if I'd call them a priest, a cultist, or a monk. Something different, I'm sure. But ask them three questions and give a special tithe, and they'll ask a god those questions and give you back three answers.
  5. I've betrayed this one catspaw more times then I can count. Each time, they help me still. Got a dirty favor and I'll pass it on.
  6. Top to bottom the whole organization is screwed. They owe me two more favors, so long as they involve a prized painting or a ring made out of saint bone.

Starting Equipment
You start with 10d10x5 currency, all of it a loan from someone who wants it paid back sooner rather than later. Additionally, you start with the following:
  • (a) a false identity and supporting documents or (b) 3 vials of poison, one of which robs sight, another speech, and another their memories of a loved one
  • (a) a pair of gloves that make it so your touch can't be felt or (b) a pair of boots that make no sound
  • a dagger (which you have at all times, even if you have been stripped of all weapons), and 2 tools of your choice from any type
  • traveling gear containing the basics for your world, though missing (a) a pillow (b) something to sleep in or (c) an additional set of clothing

THE BASTARD CAT
Below is your Character Advancement Table (CAT) for the Bastard Legend. Spend 1 XP to roll on it randomly, or XP equal to the 10's digit/2 (rounded up) for a specific roll. If the option has more numerous slots on the table, choose the 10s digit of the highest number.


1-20: HD increases by 1. Roll again and add 20 to the roll unless you choose this option from #50.
21-30: Add +1 to all saving throws.
31-40: 1+your level of hirelings are attracted to you by reputation alone.
41-49: When you roll for a keyword, roll an additional 1d20.
50: Choose any of the options between 1-49, then roll again, adding +50 to your roll if it's 50 or below.
51-52: Secret Smeller - You got a nose for secretive and hidden things. When you enter a room, you spot a hidden door, secret chest or safe, or a trap of the Referee's choice. On reroll, you can spot 1 additional thing.
53-54: Contacts on Every Continent - You gain an additional contact of your choice every time you roll this option.
55-56: Dangerphobia - When something hostile or dangerous happens, you can escape it's attention so long as you have a reasonable way to do so and until it starts looking for you specifically. On reroll, you can choose another person to also benefit from this feature.
57-58: Second-Story Work - When you see something you want to steal in a building, ruin, or otherwise guarded area, roll 1d10. If you spend that many days studying the thing's security, you learn both all the details about it and a single potential way to get around them. On reroll, subtract -1 from your 1d10 roll.
59-60: Danger Sense - Whenever you enter into a room, street, or otherwise new area, you know one of the following details: if something is watching you specifically, if something is following you, or if something is dangerous is waiting for you. On reroll, choose an additional option.
61-63: Counterfeit Tongue - When talking to a specific person or an audience, as long as no one in that audience contradicts you, you can convince them that any one thing you have has one of the following properties: is worth a king's crown, was sanctified by a major religious figure, can cure any ill, or can bring good fortune to the buyer. This works 1d6 times on an audience and anyone in it, afterwards they no longer believe you. On reroll, this works +1 additional times.
64-67: An Eye for Debauchery - When you meet someone new and talk to them for at least 10 minutes, you learn one of the following details about this: which of the seven deadly sins they most frequently commit, one vice they are addicted too, or one dangerous act they are willing to indulge in. On reroll, you learn an additional detail.
68-70: Throat-Slitter - When someone or something is completely unaware of you and you know how to kill it, roll a Savvy Check. On a success, you kill that thing. On reroll, roll again on your Bastard CAT.
71-72: Bad Luck Bares Baby - Whenever someone rolls a 13 or a total of 13 on any check, you cause that person to fail their check. On reroll, you can choose one of the following numbers instead: 0, 3, 7, 20, 66, or 100.
72-76: Weird Stealer - You've stolen a single estoery of your choice. On reroll, steal another esotery.
76-80: Archthief - You gain one of the following benefits: you can scale walls or cliffs without rope or handhelds, you can hide inside of shadows as if they were utter darkness, you can open any lock, you can pick any pocket, or you can leave no trace of your passing. On reroll, choose an additional option.
81-82: The Bastard with a Thousand Faces - Create a new identity, complete with 2 keywords. When you adopt this identity, replace up to 2 of your keywords with these additional keywords. It requires at least an hour of makeup and focus to change identities. On reroll, gain another identity with another 2 keywords attached to it.
83-84: Lucky Flashback - Roll 1d4 at the start of a game session. During that session, you can have a flashback that number of times, explaining why you are prepared for whatever situation you are in. The flashback has to include screwing someone over. On reroll, increase the die step by 1.
85-86: Trap God - You can construct any trap of your choosing as long as you have 30 minutes and the materials on hand. Additionally, any trap you come across, you know how to disable it if given at least a single minute of uninterrupted work. On reroll, reduce the number of minutes needed to make a trap by 5.
87-90: 9 Lives Jack - You've got 9 lives, and you've used 1d4 of them. When you would normally die, you can instead fake your death and reenter any following scene in any manner that you choose. On reroll, roll again on the Bastard CAT.
91: The Trick to Every Trick - Roll 1d4 at the start of your game session. You succeed on that many Savvy checks that you would otherwise fail during that session. On reroll, increase the die size by 1 step.
92: One Heist Under my Belt - You have already stolen a veritable fortune. Whoever wants revenge on you knows this, but no one else does. Roll a Savvy check whenever you spend from this endless well of money. On a failure, whoever wants revenge against you has gained 1d6 allies that know about your fortune. On reroll, roll again on the Bastard Cat.
93: Deal With a Devil - You've made a deal with something, not someone, very, very bad. Work out the details of the deal with the Referee. The deal must involve somehow involving the entire party. The thing will always uphold their end of the deal. On reroll, work out another deal with the GM. 
94: They Shot First - When you attack, kill, or otherwise hurt someone or something, you can shift all the blame onto them if less than 1d10 witnesses saw you. If you reroll this, decrease the die size by 1 step.
95: Copycat - Choose another Class Ability from a different classes CAT that is 70 or lower every time you roll this ability.
96: A Twist of Fate - Whenever you die, you can twist the skeins of fate. As a result of your death, all other PCs at the table will critically succeed on their next roll. On reroll, they gain an additional critical success.
97: Death Stealer - When you see a someone or something do damage, you can steal that method of doing damage for yourself. You can use this method, dealing the same number of damage dealt, 1d4 times. On reroll, increase the die step by 1.
98: A Set of Royal Pardons - You have a set of pardons from a regional ruler that is well-respected. You can use these to commit 1d4+1 crimes without receiving punishment. On reroll, you get another 1d4 pardons.
99: Prayer From Their Lips - You've stolen a prayer from someone. When you recite this prayer, roll a d100. If you roll under your total number of HD + Keywords + Spent XP, that prayer comes true. On reroll, you get another prayer.
00: The Bastard's Bastards - You've established a syndicate, mafia, black network, or cabal of followers. You have 1d10+7 followers and a secret headquarters at a place of your choosing. For each follower, roll on the Bastard CAT twice and assign a single keyword. They will remain loyal to you until someone makes them a better offer. On reroll, you gain an additional 1d6 followers.

LEGEND: WARLORD

Violence is your closest of kin and you know that'll never change. Since you were born you've found that your physical strength and your sixth sense for handling others has been your most bless'd weapon. This has given you a unique charisma, one that anyone can fall for so long as it promises hot-blooded action and the chance to leave something broken. Thus, you are a warlord. People will follow you into hell and back. Your hands, blood-stained, mold the world into a vision only your sharpened eye can see.

Related image
Ned Stark, Odysseus, Joan d'Arc, and even Conan are all Warlords to me.

What's Your Strategy?
Each roll on this table will give you a Legend Feature from your Character Advancement Table (CAT). Reference the table with the appropriate # received. If no options fit, make up your own and choose a Legend Feature from CAT numbers 51-70.
  1. Divide and conquer. It sows confusion, discord, and makes my soldiers realize that even the greatest walls are but brick. Start with 51-52.
  2. Brute force. An avalanche cannot be stopped, nor can I. Start with 57-58.
  3. The riskiest play always pays off. I put everything on the line and let the Fortunes guide me from there. Start with 59-60.
  4. Slow and steady slits the throat. I am cautious, gamble nothing, and exploit every mistake I see. Start with 53-54.
  5. Fast and loose, like the wind. We will raid them and run and do it again and again until our belllies are full. Start with 55-56.
  6. War by proxy is the easiest war of all. I use hired help, indirect tactics, and manipulation to pave the way forward. Start with 61-63.
Who Have You Bested?
The NPC on this table has been defeated by you and what you've taken from them has given you a hell of a reputation. It doesn't have to be a single NPC; it can be a warband, a corporation, a pantheon, or something else that you've battled with.
  1. We grew up as family, fought together as family, and won together as family. But in the end, only one could go further, and that one was me.
  2. They took from me everything. I took it all back, and then made sure they'd never have anything sacred again.
  3. It was business. Route them here, break them there. I did what I had to do. I won't say I'm proud of what I've done, but I'm proud at how well I did it.
  4. They were legends and I was not. Hard fought, bloody--but in the end, I was standing and those gods were not.
  5. Peasants, the poor, the sick. Culling them cleansed the streets but left the soul sicker than they ever were.
  6. They hated us and we hated them. Both sides were just. Both sides had fair claims to revenge. And I made sure only one side was left when everything was said and done.
What Are You Now?
The table below tells you what kind of force you're gathering right now. 
  1. Mercenaries. Fighting for a cause is best left to politicians and idealists. I just need to find a way to survive.
  2. Crusaders. There's something beautiful that we want to defend, spread, and empower. Obstacles in the way will be broken.
  3. Raiders. We have to survive, no matter what it costs us. They may need what they have, but we need it more--always.
  4. Heroes. Some say I'm drunk on fables and myth. I say that I'm special, and that those that fight with me will be special too.
  5. Purpose. There's something I need, and I know I'll need others to help me get it.
  6. Militia. We have to protect what we have at any cost, at all times.
Starting Equipment
You start with 6d12x10 currency, gained as a result of a recent battle that you've engaged in. If the number is odd, you lost the battle; if even, you won.
  • (a) the names of 10 violent souls who, if found, will die for you in battle or (b) a small band of 1d4 violent souls that serve you now and are as loyal as your payments are large.
  • (a) a scar that, when revealed to another creature, makes them hesitant to fight you or (b) a medal for your violent efforts that earns the respect of any authority that sees it.
  • any armor of your choice from your current Aesthetic's list and two weapons of your choice from your current Aesthetic's list, one of which has recently been used.
  • traveling gear containing the basics for your Aesthetic, though missing (a) rations (b) something to carry your gear in or (c) a set of undamaged clothing.
THE WARLORD CAT
Below is your Character Advancement Table (CAT) for the Warlord Legend. Spend 1 XP to roll on it randomly, or XP equal to the 10's digit/2 (rounded up) for a specific roll. If the option has more numerous slots on the table, choose the 10s digit of the highest number.

1-20: HD increases by 1. Roll again and add 20 to the roll unless you choose this option from #50.
21-30: Add +1 to all saving throws.
31-40: 1+your level of hirelings are attracted to you by reputation alone.
41-49: When you roll for a keyword, roll an additional 1d20.
50: Choose any of the options between 1-49, then roll again, adding +50 to your roll if it's 50 or below.
51-52: Divide & Conquer - When you and your allies have a creature separated from anything that can help it, or have it otherwise surrounded, you can act twice before it can act once. On reroll, choose an ally: they can act twice as well.
53-54: War Caution - When it is your turn to act, you can choose to instead learn one of the following pieces of information: any places around you that could be used for ambushes or hiding traps, a detail about a threat you're currently facing, if you can possibly kill a potential threat you can see, or a defense that a building, wall, or room has built into it. On reroll, you learn an additional piece of information.
55-56: Death by Wind - After succeeding on an Athletics check, you or any allies can immediately move 15 feet away from their current location. On reroll, you or your allies can move an additional +10 feet.
57-58: Overwhelming, like the Juggernaut - You can perform feats of almost supernatural strength, such as choking bears to death or knocking over large stone pillars. If you are under duress of any sort (combat, trap being triggered, pressure to perform), an Athletics check is required for these feats. On reroll, treat this as a +1 to your Athletics attribute.
59-60: The Dead Fool's Gambit - When you would take damage or fail a saving throw, you can choose to either deal 2d6 damage or to subdue your attacker if it is a creature. On reroll, you can choose to take -1 damage as a result of this, increasing by +1 on every reroll.
61-63: Great War Shout - Your orders, commands, and shouts motivate soldiers far beyond their abilities. On your turn to act, you issue some form of command to 3 of your comrades. These comrades gain 1d6 temporary AC. This temporary AC cannot stack or be refreshed and lasts only until you act again. On reroll, increase the number of allies inspired this way by +1.
64-67: The Rescuer - When someone you consider an ally and that you can see fails a saving throw, takes damage, or is otherwise targeted by an effect, you can move to their location instantly and make an Athletics check. If you succeed, neither you nor your ally suffer any consequences. If you fail, only you suffer the consequences. You can do this 1 time before your next turn. On reroll, you can do this an additional +1 times.
68-70: War-Trainer - Any allies of yours, up to 4 at game start, have been trained by you and increase their Athletics attributes by +1. You can train additional allies over the span 1d4 days to increase their scores by +1. On reroll, you can train men you've already trained an additional time, providing an additional +1 to their Athletics.
71-72: Trophy-Taker - Pick a number under your Athletics attribute. When you roll that number on an attack roll, you can sever a non-vital appendage of your choice from your target. On reroll, choose another number to trigger this off of.
72-76: Weird Warrior - You've learned how to fight with a new esotery of your choice. On reroll, gain another one.
76-80: One-Man Army - After making an attack, you can immediately make a 2nd attack. On reroll, you can take yet another attack.
81-82: Commander of Commanders - You have learned to give orders even in the most stressful of situations through music, banners, or just a damn loud voice. On your turn, you can give up to 3 allies of yours an order to complete right then and there. These allies are then given a bonus turn that they take immediately after your orders are given. On reroll, +1d6 more allied creatures can be given orders.
83-84: All Apart of the Plan - If you spend at least 8 hours planning for encounters in-game, the next encounter that you participate in ends the moment you take your turn, so long as violence is a possible solution. Describe what your planned strategy was and how you executed it. Then, roll 1d4; you and your allies suffer that many points of damage. On reroll, you can end +1 additional encounters this way.
85-86: Viscera Spread - You create grizzly trophies from the viscera of your enemies. These remains rot beyond recognition within 1d6 days unless properly embalmed with tools. You can brandish these remains at any time. Any non-ally that sees them is either shocked, appalled, amazed, or terrified, and will go silent for  make no checks unless defending themselves for 1d4 minutes. Targets can only see the same viscera once; new viscera is required to achieve this effect on them again. On reroll, increase the die size by +1 steps. 
87-90: Take Them All With Me! - When something kills you, you kill or break it in return as long as you could feasibly kill or break it. On reroll, you take +1 creatures or obstacles with you to the grave.
91: He Does Not Fall - When you would normally die, you can an additional turn before actually dying. On reroll, you can take +1 additional turns.
92: Wielder of Legend & Myth - With the GM's aid, create a legendary weapon with 1d4 special attributes to it. This weapon is sentient and can communicate through a single means of your choosing. Whenever a session begins, make a Weird check. On a failure, you are challenged by a warrior with 1d4 HD more than you, and an Athletics skill +1d6 above yours. If anyone aids you with this fight, your weapon instantly is taken by the warrior. If you die or lose, the warrior likewise gains the weapon. On reroll, roll again on your Warlord CAT.
93: Lives Are But Another Tool to be Used - When one of your orders results in the death of your ally, you can choose for their death to either do 4d6 damage to the target, or to subdue them. On reroll, roll again on your Warlord CAT.
94: Might Makes Right - Anyone who sees you physically best or kill another will not only keep the action a secret, they will become loyal to you. If multiple witnesses see you, roll 1d4 and gain that many hirelings. On reroll, increase the die step by +1.
95: Experience of A Thousand Wars - Roll 1d6 and record it. Any encounter you face, the number you rolled is always a viable means of overcoming that encounter in regards to the encounter's Overcome Table. On reroll, you can choose a different number.
96: Dipped in Immortality - The GM chooses a wrist, heel, or ear of your PC in secret. You can take damage no where else except that location. Damage taken to that location is multipled by 1d10. On reroll, decrease the die by 1 step.
97: Hands Deadlier Than Any Weapon - Choose a weapon category of your choice. Your unarmed attacks now have that weapon category's special feature. On reroll, choose an additional weapon category.
98: Avenger - When an ally of yours dies, you can use their weapon to banish, destroy, or kill whatever ended their life. If used against the killer, this weapon deals 1d10 damage against targets with hit points. Upon touching an obstacle that has no hit points, the weapon instead breaks their will and sends them fleeing. The moment the ally is avenged, the weapon loses all magical properties.
99: Standing One Against One Thousand - If you and your allies enter into an encounter against an enemy force that more than doubles your numbers, you and all of your allies gain one of the following benefits: +4 HD rolled immediately and added to your hit points, +3 to your Athletics attribute, or +1 additional turns that you can all take immediately after taking your normal turn. After the encounter has ended, the additional benefit(s) wear off. On reroll, choose another benefit to gain.
00: Vorpal - When you roll damage against something you know you can kill and the damage is 10 or higher, you instead kill your target. On reroll, lower the damage required by -1.

Santicorn: Mothership Culture Tables

Merry Christmas! This is for the Throne of Salt blog.

Image result for boot void
Space is a weird place for weird people.

Roll 1d12 for Unexpected Core Cultures to run into while traversing the greater cosmos. The reason for these cultures is kept purposefully vague or non-existent.

Unexpected Core Cultures
  1. Comet Cannibals. In a hollow comet, they live in cryostasis. When water-starved ships come to harvest, they awaken, kill them, take their food and weapons, and return to their frozen sleeps. 
  2. Organic Soup Sea Eaters. On a planet of oily black stone, there is no water, only a sea of organic soup. The colony here has forgotten what water was, and if you arrive with foodstuffs they will steal it and throw it into their seas to further enrich them.
  3. Punk Rock Ring Miners. These ring-miners, stuck in the drab and dreary block-barracks, have taken to graffiti and punk rock music to inject high octane energy into their daily lives. Pink mohawks and fat gages are signs of maturity.
  4. Techno-Guiding Stories. This colony lost access to their recording technology generations ago. They encode important information about their origins, their mission, and their hidden resources in stories they pass down from generation to generation.
  5. Void Children. A colony born and raised as an experiment in the heart of a great void has forgotten what the sun or even starlight looks is. They treat tails of galaxies from far away as myths, and are distrustful of outsiders who yield from the great black.
  6. Aurora Sun Worshippers. The magnetic poles of this colony world are unpredictable, and the sun too far away to provide usable light. Thus, the aurora takes the place of the sun for them, and everything is stark white to better reflect those sacred colors.
  7. Moon Tribe Marriage. With only 20 people per moon-colony, these people send their children away to find lovers and bring them back, so that incest does not taint their gene pool.
  8. Congress of Water Filters. Inside the oort cloud, great respect is given to those who dedicate their lives to filtering water from the void of space. These people live as hermits, and their words are treated as laws.
  9. Those Dyed by Creation. Inside great pillars of cosmic gas, the color of things is ever-changing. It dyes skin and hair alike; those who brave the cosmos long enough, and thus return the most flamboyantly dyed, are treated as princes.
  10. A.I. This cabal of A.I have created their own gibberous language that only they can understand. They prioritize communication with the universe beyond the cosmic horizon. They recieve answers that they too can only understand.
  11. Exile by Meteor. Exiles are put into pods and bound to asteroids in a nearby asteroid belt, which is then fired into deep space. If one returns, they are considered Prime Alpha by the colony, and allowed to spend 1 year doing as they please.
  12. City of the Black Horizon. Just within the event horizon of a supermassive black hole is a city outside of time. The people here travel into the depths of the black hole, from which only a few have returned taller, without eyes, and unable to speak in any language except one other returners understand. These individuals are saints, and the ground they walk is kissed, and the arts they make used to decipher laws.

Now roll 1d6 for the state of the culture.
  1. Flourishing. It has spread to other parts of the cosmos, and a civilization is blooming that adheres to these strange tenets.
  2. Dying. They are the last of their kind, and are desperate to impart their ways--forcibly, if needed--onto others.
  3. Developing. There are currently massive changes on the precipice for this culture. Roll again on the above table; within 1d12 months, the current culture will somehow shift to the next.
  4. Artificial. It is clear this culture is the result of some experiment. Roll any other dice; odds say that the experimenter is still monitoring, and even says they are long dead.
  5. Wrong. The culture rolled is nothing but tall-tales exaggerated. Reroll on the above table; the new result is the actual culture.
  6. Syncratic. The culture absorbs other cultures. Reroll twice on the table above, and take two ideas from both ideas and insert them into the originally rolled culture.
Now roll 1d8 for a defining strange law followed by the culture.
  1. Lying is punished by replacing the fingernails with chips of metal that dig into the flesh painfully.
  2. Murder is allowed so long as a third party states that the victim did not suffer.
  3. Speaking, looking at, or otherwise acknowledging children younger than 10 cycles is punished with removal of a number of teeth equal to the age of the child.
  4. Seeing another naked requires one to stitch one eye shut for 72 hours. 
  5. Artificial Intelligence is banned. If witnessed, not only must it be destroyed, but everyone who witnessed it must commit ritual suicide.
  6. Knowing one's biological parents is illegal. Discovery or intent to investigate is punished with immediate exile.
  7. Alien life is considered the only suitable partner for sexual relations for purposes other than strict procreation. Failure to adhere to this results in severe genital mutilation.
  8. Outsiders must never enter, and those born inside must never leave, lest disease destroy both parties. Trading is accomplished through extensive decontamination processes.
Lastly, choose 2 objects: one of your choice, and a second found by googling one of the following 1d4 words:
  1. Religion.
  2. Chimera.
  3. Abandoned.
  4. Sacrifice.
Related image
If this pic is the kind of weird you wanted, I'll make a sequel post.

So an example culture is:

This colony lives on a world covered in vast organic seas which they consume in the absence of water and food. They've grown distrustful of "alien" nutrition and will steal what you have and destroy it or feed it to their slop-seas. It is clear that this is an experiment that's gone on too long, but it is likely the originator of this experiment is long-dead. Interacting with children younger than 10 is grounds for removal of teeth, for these children have not yet supped on the seas long enough to be considered truly human. Their symbol is a lamp drowning in jars of stagnant fluid, representing how great their world has made them intellectually--or so they believe.


We Mortal Legends - Rules Synopsis

The goal is to eventually have the core rules fit on a 2 page spread. This 2 page spread will go into the front/end papers of every book I write using the system. BUT before I can do that, I have to have actual core rules, so it's time for me to start putting these things down.

This isn't my attempt at making these fit on a 2 page spread. This blogpost is me writing down the 1st draft of the WML's most basic rules. It's unlikely all of this would go into the 2 page spread, and what does likely not as it's written below.

As this is a rules synopsis, this is only going over the rules at a shallow level. We Mortal Legend's, as a book, will likely have all kinds of different smaller rules for GMs to make use of as they wish. For example, rules for chasing things won't be included in this post, etc. This post will not go over Aesthetics (coming soon), Saga stuff, and the special rules that come from both. A lot of the flavor for the game will come from Aesthetics and other small bits in the book, so the below is more how I run things without all the spice.

Things are about to get a little weird..

We Mortal Legends - Rules Synopsis


We Mortal Legends uses a d20 roll-under-attribute mechanic, where you must roll under one of your 4 attributes to succeed on a difficult task. The GM will at times give you a modifier to add to your roll to represent difficulty at achieving the task.

The Game Master (GM) will describe a scene and situation to the Player Characters (PC). If the PCs interact with it, the GM will ask each one in turn what they want to do. PC's then describe what they want to do, which usually consists of moving somewhere and doing something. If that something requires a roll, the GM will call for it. Rolls are rarer in We Mortal Legends than in other systems; only call for one if failure is interesting, the action is resisted or doubtable, and if there is pressure on the PC to succeed.

Helping others is done by another PC rolling as well, and applying any keywords. If one PC succeeds, all PCs do.

Group checks are checks the entire party makes. As long as 1/2 of the party (rounded up) succeeds, everyone does!

PCs consists of attributes, keywords, saves, hit die, a legend, and their AC.

Your attributes, which cannot raise above 18 for PCs, are:

  • Savvy, which is your character's skill, intelligence, and ability to do nuanced things.
  • Athletics, which is your character's endurance, strength, and coordination.
  • Weird, which is how supernaturally capable your character is.
  • A special 4th attribute unique to your campaign/setting, decided at the start of the game.
Keywords are words that help define your character, like "Coward" or "Mercenary." If you can apply a keyword to an action you're undertaking that requires a roll, you roll an additional d20. If you succeed on one, you succeed on the roll. If you succeed on both, it's a critical success!

Saves require you to roll a certain range on a d6 whenever your character is in danger that they can't otherwise escape. Every campaign has 3 saves. These are decided at the start of the campaign by the group!

Hit die determine your character's hit points, and the hit points for other creatures. A hit die is a d6 that you roll, and the number generated is your hit points. When your hit points reach 0, your character dies, triggering a death mechanic. You can heal by spending 5 minutes patching yourself up, raising your hit points to half the maximum. To get further healing you'll need special tools, abilities, or a week of rest!

Death Mechanics are unique to each campaign and are decided by the table when the campaign begins. Some of these open up the way to more adventure, make your character stronger, or give you another chance at life.

Legends are archetypes applied to your character. These give you special methods to use for overcoming obstacles. Each legend has a Character Advancement Table (CAT)--a d100 table that you spend Experience Points on to gain new character features. The first 50 options of every CAT are the same, and options 51-00 are unique to your legend!

Armor Class (AC) is a pool of points that you can use to reduce damage. Your AC is calculated by taking every point of Athletics you have above 10 and then adding your armor AC bonus to it. When you take damage, you reduce your AC by the amount you want to decrease the damage by. You regain 1d6 AC whenever you spend 5 minutes to patch yourself up, and full if you spend an hour taking care of your armor. If the GM targets the player with an attack, the player will roll under Athletics (usually with a modifier) to see if they dodge away or need to use AC to survive!

Experience Points (XP) are gained at the end of every game session. Every We Mortal Legends campaign has 3 methods of gaining XP. 2 of them are picked from the book, and the 3rd is decided by the table. By spending XP=1/2 the 10's digit of a feature on your CAT, you can get that feature directly!

Damage die are rolled whenever a PC deals damage to something. These are d8s. When you make an attack, you roll under your Athletics. You then add how many points you rolled under by and add that to whatever you roll on your d8.

Tools help the PCs do things that they normally can't. They are broken up into 4 categories:
  • Weapons have unique tags to them, giving weapons special properties when used.
  • Armors add to your AC pool and can have special properties natural to them.
  • Simples are basic tools, like waterskins or healing potions, that PCs use.
  • Utilities are advanced tools, like those of an alchemist. Roll 3d6 under Savvy to use them; if you roll doubles or triples, you get bonus effects! If you take your time using Utilities, there is no way to fail, but roll anyway to see if special things happen!
Encumbrance defines how many items PCs can carry. Calculate your encumbrance by adding half of your Savvy score to your Athletics. Items will take up differing amounts of these slots! If you have more items then you do slots, you are over encumbered and add +4 to any Athletics checks you make!

Conditions are status effects that impede PCs. Conditions take up inventory slots and have special effects depending on what they are.

Esoteries are supernatural effects, items, or abilities, split up into 8 defined groups. When a campaign begins, the table decides on 1-3 Esoteries that the game will use. Each Esotery has different mechanics and purpose behind it! They are:
  • Miracles, or godly interventions that shake up the situation.
  • Psionics, or mental powers used by characters.
  • Sorcery, or powerful spells that warp the world.
  • Folk Wises, or random bits of knowledge that work, like a circle of salt to keep out demons.
  • Mancy, or divination through different means to learn different things.
  • Curses, or dangerous supernatural effects that plague characters.
  • Curios, or magical items with different abilities.
  • Pacts, or interacting with spirits or other supernatural entities for power.
Edge Cases are common things the player's may want to do, like hiding or grappling creatures. There's a lot of these, and only a few will be covered in the greater rules. For the two above, see:
  • Hiding (including moving around sneakily) requires a roll under Savvy. For every point you roll under, another point is added to other creature's Savvy rolls to find you.
  • Grappling (or otherwise subduing a creature) requires a roll under Athletics. For every point you roll under, another point is added to other creature's attempts to escape. Creatures grappled are considered to be subdued.
Traveling requires one PC to serve as the guide if there is not one already. The guide will roll 2d12 under Savvy. On a failure, 1d6 hours/days/months (decided before the roll) are added to the trip's length. If doubles are rolled and under Savvy, a shortcut is found. The GM should have something prepared (either from tables or their own work) in case either happens. This traveling check is made whenever PCs encounter something on their journey.

Random encounters happen if one of the dice for the traveling check are above a certain number. The lower the number, the more dangerous the journey, and this number can change throughout the journey! The GM rolls a random encounter check this way with 2d8 instead of 2d12 if the PCs are in a dungeon of any kind.

There is no encounter initiative. The flow of the game remains fluid even when something is encountered! It is the GM's responsibility to ensure everyone, including NPCs and/or monsters, get to go at least once before someone goes again.

Helpers are NPCs that the party either pays for or convinces to help them! These are given HD, AC, and a blurb about what they can do.

So that's it for the basic core rules. Here's an example of an optional rule that will be found in the book (or at least the 1st draft of it):

Morale is rolled whenever a creature is reduced to below half their maximum hit points from any damage source, or when specifically tested by a unique ability or feature. This includes PCs! Test morale by rolling a d6 under their remaining hit points. On a failure, they are panicked, a condition that adds +4 to all rolls. Characters can calm down only when they believe they are safe again, requiring one of the following three methods:
  • Another character rolling a d6 under your hit points as they try to console you.
  • Exiting the situation entirely without being followed.
  • Making whatever harmed you exit the situation entirely with no chance of it returning.

Anywho, that's what I'm thinking for now. I'm going to start playing these immediately with a couple of my groups as soon as I have some more legends (formally known as classes) and other little bits made, but that's the core. Don't be afraid to share thoughts below!