From The Ashes System: Revised
The fundamental interaction in the game system is a “challenge”. This is when two characters activate skills in direct opposition to one another. “I shoot you.” “I dodge!” When two skills come into conflict like this, they each generate a challenge value, listed in the skill’s description. The difference between those challenges values is the “advantage”—the degree to which one side is more likely to succeed than the other. Challenge values and the size of an advantage are considered secret information from the point of view of the characters. If you’re throwing a blaster shot at someone with a challenge value of 3 and they defend with a 9, don’t be like: “Well, I won’t try that again, that’ll never work.” Instead, you might fire again, or use a skill to try to find out why it didn’t work the first time. I could do all the rolling myself and keep challenge values a total secret, but that’s way more work, and nobody wants fights running slower.
To resolve a challenge, the side with the advantage (or the attacking side if there is no advantage) rolls 5 dice plus the size of the advantage, up to a maximum of ten dice. A die is considered "high" if it rolls the top half of its possible numbers. (3-6 on a D6, 5-10 on a D10, etc.) If you get 3 dice high, the challenge is a success for you. If you get 5 dice high, it is a critical success for you. 1-2 dice is a failure. 0 dice high is a critical failure.
Challenge: Chance of Success Chance of Critical:
-1 21/64 = 33% 1/64 = 1%
0 15/32 = 47% 1/32 = 3%
+1 35/64 = 55% 7/64 = 11%
+2 70/128 = 54% 29/128 = 23%
+3 126/256 = 49% 93/256 = 36%
+4 210/512 = 41% 256/512 = 50%
+5 272/1024 = 27% 696/1024 = 68%
+6 = Auto Success. Crit @ +5 rate
Once you have your result, you interpret it based on the skills involved in the challenge. Let’s say the advantage was to the dodge side, and the dodge side won. Looking at the “dodge” skill, it says that success means the attack misses. Sometimes your skill won’t have a critical result. For instance, if you critically dodge an attack, there’s no critical success text on the dodge skill. However, there is a critical failure text for the “shoot a guy” skill. Use that instead.
Skills will list which other skills they can oppose in their description, but usually this is mediated via the skill tags, which are listed 1-2 lines under the title in their description. The dodge skill, for instance, says it can defend against skills that have the tags “targeted” and “attack”. If you have a question about what a skill’s payload is, feel free to ask what the tags are. They are for the most part open information. Usually, it is also obvious what tags an action has.
Players have up to four currencies they can use to activate skills: Strength, Speed, Mental, and Magic. These are known as the “primary stats”. Each primary stat has a “burst” and a “reserve”. Burst is the maximum amount you can spend in one full combat round. You’ll hear me call out “top of the round” when I loop from the bottom of initiative to the top. That means your burst resets and you can spend again. Reserve is the maximum amount of the primary stat you can have. Every 10 combat rounds (which I will also call out; I keep track of it on the white board) or 10 minutes out of combat, you get back 10% of the reserve. There are skills that accelerate this.
Magic skills generally are more expensive than other skills, to emulate rare use of Force powers. Skills have 3 activation levels showing how hard you're trying: "Weak" represents the barest minimum of effort to get mediocre results, and is most efficient for conserving resources. "Strong" represents a concerted effort, but nothing beyond the ordinary, and should be considered the normal way to activate a skill. "Fierce" represents trying as hard as you can, with quite a bit of effort wasted, for marginally better results.
HP starts at 10. HP represents heroic awesomeness rather than actual wounds. Damage to HP would be things that would break down your spirit to keep fighting, such as minor wounds that sap energy, cuts, bruises, particularly demoralizing situations, and soforth. 0 HP = unconscious. -MAX/2 = dead. NPCs may have smaller negative tracks before death. If damage is declared “stun” by skill or item text, it cannot kill, only render unconscious. Characters stay stunned for a scene. In addition, there is a pain track that restocks to full every turn, and is size HP/2. If the pain track reaches 0, the player loses their next standard action. You heal 3% max HP overnight by rest, though skills and items may influence how fast you recover.
There is healing in the game, but it only applies to the most recent chunk of HP damage, and cannot over-heal. The best defense in Star Wars is not to get hit.
Outside the combat and skill system, there is an optional Social Conflict system, used to resolve impasses between characters where opinions could be changed, and players don’t want to roleplay out an entire argument.
Two groups of characters hold opposite opinions. They want to convince each other (or enough independent bystanders that the group is willing to go with the flow). Each side states their goal state (aka their "Stakes") without any arguments justifying it. If both sides find the stakes acceptable (i.e. some chain of arguments could convince my character to swap to the other side), then the social conflict can begin. If this is not possible, then the unacceptable stakes need to be walked back until they are acceptable, or the social conflict can't happen. It's okay to accept stakes that contradict one of your beliefs; beliefs can change.
Social conflicts can involve PCs or NPCs. There are always exactly two active participants, one on each side. Others who share the opinion can grant bonuses to the active participants, but won't be participating mechanically.
Once stakes are set, each player determines their Body of Argument. This is the social conflict equivalent of hit points. Body of argument is equal to 2 + Level/10 rounded up + Stalwart of Mind/4 rounded up +1 if a belief is involved, +1 for each other person who shares that opinion but isn't the active participant. The maximum body of argument value is 10.
Once body of argument is determined, the characters have a series of Exchanges which represent each side pressing a point in support of their argument. Exchanges are simultaneous from a mechanical point of view. There are six Persuasive Traits that represent ways to try to get someone to change their mind. Each character has a ranking of how effective the various Persuasive Traits are on them, and how good they are at employing them. These lists are secret, though through repeated social conflicts, trait votes, and generally knowing how a person works, characters may have some idea what the lists look like. Each player selects the method they are using in that exchange, and narrates the general thrust of the argument without going too far into specifics. The position of the trait list for the method you use will generate a pair of scores, which are multiplied together to determine the amount of damage that is done to the other player's body of argument. The exchanges end when one or both players reach 0 body of argument or lower.
The six persuasive traits are:
On the character sheet, the player will rank these traits by what they're best at, and also what they're most vulnerable to. So for instance, Ramses Polk might rank:
Meaning he's really good at inspiring people, but he can't make people take him seriously as an authority figure.
Meaning he's much more vulnerable to the soft power of emotional appeals than logic and clever argument.
You'll notice numbers after each adjective. Those numbers are the multiplier conferred by that place in the list. So if later Ramses' heart is hardened and Tender switches place with Logical in the receipt list, Logical will now have a rating of 3, and Tender will go down to 1. The arrays are fixed and determined by the order of the adjectives. For outgoing, it's 2,2,2,1,1,1. For incoming it's 3,2,2,1,1,0. This means that how good you are at delivery is not as important as how well you know your target's vulnerabilities. Calculate the amount of damage dealt to the body of argument by multiplying the delivering party’s outgoing multiplier with the receiving party’s incoming multiplier.
Once the size of the exchange is known, do a little roleplaying to show how effective it was. The largest possible damage is 6, the smallest is 0, and the average is about 2.25.
Lilith tells Tarragon: You need to bring my daughter back. I'm her mother.
She's using forceful, giving him orders as if she has a position of authority in this situation as Tarragon and Kiessa's mother.
She's pretty good at giving orders as the captain of a pirate ship, so her multiplier is 2. Despite his griping, Tarragon does have respect for who has authority over whom, and his multiplier is also 2. The total damage for the volley is 4, pretty respectable against Tarragon's body of argument of 8 at the time.
Tarragon says: You're right, she is your daughter...
Resolving the Conflict:
When the conflict is over, look at the remaining body of argument for the side that doesn't have 0. (It might also be 0, if they eliminated each other on the same exchange). The fraction of body of argument determines how many concessions must be made by the winning side in their stakes. If 100%-51% of the initial body of argument survives, only trivial concessions are needed. From 50%-1%, major concessions are needed. If both are at 0, they must compromise evenly.
The consequences of the social conflict last until new information or participants change the situation on the ground. Losing a social consequence convinces your character until something else un-convinces them.
In combat, players set their initiative to their initiative skill +1 per high die with 6 dice rolled total. Ties are settled by rolling more “digits” of initiative, still using the skill, and then act in initiative order on a cyclic scale. The first person to initiate an action in combat has "surprise" and gets to act at infinite initiative. (It’s not that you are actually surprised, it’s just that they started it, so they get to start). For scenes where it’s not really clear who’s initiating, everyone rolls initiative. Some skills may allow players to act before the scene initiator.
In combat, on your turn you get a standard action. This may be used to activate a skill or move. Different standard actions may have descriptive tags on them, such as a “move” action or a “ready”, determined by what skill you activate. Some skills allow you to activate two skills at once, provided they have certain tags. So for instance, Mobile Attack lets you activate a skill with the attack tag at the same time as a skill with the movement tag. These are both part of the same standard action.
Players also get an arbitrary number of defensive actions, used to activate skills to defend themselves or allies against incoming enemy skill usage off-turn. However, beware trying to spam out lots of defensive actions, not only will you chew through many of your character’s primary stats, there is an increasing penalty as you take more and more defensive actions. The first two actions are at full strength, but each additional 2 defensive actions are at an increasing challenge penalty of 1. (For defensive interrupts that apply status effects, use the penalty to modify the skill level rather than the size of the status effect).
Experience is the reward currency for Weapons of Legacy. As your character stands up for what they believe in against opposition, they will accrue experience through surviving against opponents in combat, accomplishing goals, and interacting in a meaningful way with beliefs. At certain experience thresholds (see chart below), your character will gain a level. However, levels can be far apart, and growing your character is fun, so your character’s CP for the level (the currency used to buy skills) is awarded gradually over the whole course of the level as you gain experience. Small amounts of experience will be awarded for improving the game out of character such as by turning in session summaries, writing backstory, writing fanfic, making art for the game, developing the world further, contributing to the wiki, and soforth.
Each major source of experience should be worth roughly equal amounts.
Beliefs exist in the format: “Statement about things I care about, therefore action I will take.” For example: “I believe Vader is my father, so I will endanger myself to turn him from the Dark Side.” Each player will have three personal beliefs, and also contribute one belief to a group pool. Set these beliefs at the first session. Thereafter, one belief may be changed each session, at any time during the session.
At the end of session, there is a battery of six questions for each player. Each question that is answered true for any one goal/belief in a given session is worth 4% of a level, but there is no benefit for a question that is true for multiple goals/beliefs. A question that is true and is about something that's unusually important is worth twice as much XP.
1. Growth: Did pursuing this belief cause my character to change or grow in a way that other people would notice?
2. Relationships: Did pursuing this belief cause my character to make a significant new friend or enemy?
3. Action: Did pursuing this belief cause my character to be significantly endangered?
4. Lore: Did my character learn something that would change how or why they are pursuing this belief?
5. Opposition: Did my character permanently sacrifice something they valued or suffer meaningful hardship to further this belief?
6. Progress: Did my character change the world in a way that many people would consider significant while pursuing this belief? This can be satisfied by dramatic failures.
Combat experience is awarded for players overcoming danger. The most obvious expression is facing enemies and defeating them, which is worth the full formula below. Bypassing enemies such that you only interact with part of the threat they present is worth smaller fractions. While it may seem like you get the most XP for fighting enemies in bad circumstances, in fact combat is slow and is slipping past enemies tricky-like is fast, so in general it’s worth more XP per unit of out of game play time to cleverly think your way past an enemy.
From purely combat xp, it takes 8 equal-level fights to level up. (Note that an equal-level fight is a group of NPCs of the same power as the PCs. This is fairly unusual—in D&D such a fight would be 3 encounter levels higher than the PCs’ level). This means the XP for defeating a creature is equal to 125 * its level + 1.25% of its XP total.
Generally an enemy who presents some physical threat but is made to leave via the conditions of battle is worth half (such as enemies who get a few shots off and then retreat, or are wiped out before they can act). An enemy who can present a physical threat but never gets a chance to due to stealth or social manipulation is worth quarter.
Out of Game Experience:
Out of game experience awards are roughly 1% of a level for a session’s worth of work-equivalent. This includes making costumes, writing session summaries, making art, making fan fiction, writing optional backstory, between-sessions roleplaying to keep up interest, and updating the wiki. It may not seem like much, but it can add up.
The XP curve is a mixture of quadratic and exponential, designed to allow any experience gain at all to still be worth something, but to make sure that players are always seeking challenges appropriate to their own degree of power and skill.
Each level requires 1,000xp * your old level + 10% of your total xp from the previous level.
Sum(i = 0 to New Level - 2) of 1.10^i * 1000 * (New Level - 1 - i):
double n = level - 1;
double firstTerm = 1000.0 * n * (pow(PERCENTAGE,n) - 1.0) / (PERCENTAGE - 1.0);
double secondTerm = 1000.0 * PERCENTAGE / ((1.0-PERCENTAGE) * (1.0 - PERCENTAGE)) * (1.0 - n * pow(PERCENTAGE,n - 1.0) + (n - 1.0) * pow(PERCENTAGE,n));
return firstTerm - secondTerm;
Each level, your primary stats increase by 5%, compounding once per level. Your hit points increase by 5% every two levels, compounding once per two levels.
Each level you get CP. The amount goes up as you level up.
For levels 0-10, you get 10CP per level.
For levels 11-20, you get 2 more CP each level than you did last level.
For levels 21-30, you get 3 more CP each level than you did last level, and soforth.
So in math, your CP earned over the course of level N is:
(Triangular Number(floor(N/10)) * 10 + (N modulo 10) * (floor(N/10) + 1)), minimum 10.
You spend CP to improve your character. Skills are upgraded by spending the new level in CP. So moving a skill from 2 to 3 is 3 CP. 3 to 4 is 4CP. You only get to upgrade a skill one step at a time, so 2 to 4 is 3 + 4 = 7 CP. Spending CP takes time off from the adventure spent doing training montage type activities. These activities let you invest 2 CP per day + 2CP per 10 levels you have. So at level 10-19 you can spend 4 CP per day training. You may also "forget" CP at half that rate, which takes no in-game effort. A skill may not be forgotten down to a level lower than the requirements of skills that depend on it. So for instance, if you have a skill which requires 2 ranks of blasters group, you cannot sell blasters group down to 1 until you have gotten that other skill down to 0, at which point the dependent skill is lost completely until it is re-taught.
In addition to skills with ratings, there are also disciplines; set skills that are either present or absent, and have a fixed CP cost. For instance, speaking a foreign language is a 6 CP discipline. Either you spend the 6 CP and now you speak it, or you don’t, and you don’t, no half-ways.
The net effect is that your character sheet can be completely rewritten over time. Try not to abuse this in ways that make me do too much work or strain credibility; the forgetting and re-teaching system is there to encourage experimentation and allow people to recover from making mistakes since not all skill text is known to the players initially.
At certain level breakpoints, typically multiples of 5, cool splashy "Unique" disciplines will be offered to player characters. These will not be extra powerful compared to similar investments in other skills, but they will generally offer a different approach to a situation than is conventionally possible. These disciplines don’t go away if you don’t take them immediately, so you can invest in them later when CP become available. I’ll keep a list of such available disciplines at the bottom of your character sheet.
Players start with a bunch of basic skills at level 0. You can use a skill at level 0, but it will be unlikely to work well. Additional "skill starts" (i.e. skills at level 0) can be obtained via in-game training, or by getting prerequisite skills up to certain levels (for instance, 3 ranks of “Blast” opens “Precise Shot”, the skill for doing called shots on body parts).
Most people’s character sheets will have a LOT of skills at level 0. Don’t worry about these for the most part. You’ll gain familiarity with them as they come up in game.
Characters may teach each other skill starts! The recipient must meet the requirements of the taught skill (So for instance, you may not teach lightsaber parry without lightsaber weapon group, and you may not teach Force powers to non-Force-sensitives), and the teacher must have at least 3 ranks in it (though you can sell those ranks off afterwards if you don't intend to keep the skill for yourself). In addition, it takes 3 days for teacher and student to teach the skill, which grants it to the student at 0. There are NPCs who are willing to take the time to teach you skill starts, if asked. It would only be polite to compensate them for their time. You could also look up information about how skills work at libraries, or by asking people who have the skills themselves. “Hey stormtrooper guy. I notice you can shoot a lot faster than me. How does that work?” “Well, when you get good enough at a blaster, you don’t have to think about aiming so much.”
You may also spend CP to to improve your primary stats. Just like with skills, advancements to a primary stat cost the number of the advancement in CP. So 3 advancements cost 1 + 2 + 3 = 6 CP. Each advancement to a primary stat gives the effect of 2 levels up (i.e. +10.25% compounding for reserve and burst, +5% compounding for hit points). So a level 10 character who has spent 10 CP (for 4 advancements) on hit points would have 10 * 1.05^(5+4) hit points, which is 15. A character of the same level who had not spent CP on hit points would have 12 hit points.
Doing those exponents is a chore. Fortunately, there is a level-to-primary stat conversion chart at the bottom of this page.
Characters can pick up and use anything they find. However, between modules, equipment must be maintained via the Resources skill, available by default for all characters. Unmaintained equipment is lost. Resources also governs the creation and purchasing of equipment between modules.
Influence measures how the attitudes of various groups in the game-world vary based on the players’ actions. There are two statistics per group: Favor, and Infamy. Both statistics grow as players interact with the groups (though they could conceivably shrink if the players ignored or did not interact with the group for a long time). Favor represents favorable interactions, while Infamy represents unfavorable interactions. The sum of the two represents how well-known the players are to the group, and the difference between the two represents how well-liked the players are. Individual players may have deltas for the various stats if they do something of individual distinction, but generally influence is measured on a party basis. Here’s some numbers to give a sense of the scale of influence statistics.
0. Totally unknown, never interacted.
1-10. Minor interaction. Acquainted by hearsay.
11-25. Have done some minor service or disservice. Have interacted several times in a neutral
26-50. Have done a significant service or disservice, and my expect to be repaid in kind.
51-100. The party figures in the group’s strategic planning. A rank-and-file group member might be in this range. This much more infamy than favor gets you on the shoot-on-sight list of most groups.
101-200. The group considers the PCs to be a major strategic ally or enemy. An important member in the group might sit in this range.
201-500. The group routinely acts in service of the party, or considers the party among its top
enemies. The group’s elite sit in this range.
501+ The group is nearly an extension of the party’s goals, or the party is nearly the sole focus
of its opposition. Group leaders and founders sit in this range.
Level Xp Delta Xp Total XP Granted CP Granted CP Total Comment
1 0 + 0 0 125 10 10 Child
2 1,000 + 0 1,000 250 10 20
3 2,000 + 100 3,100 413 10 30
4 3,000 + 310 6,410 680 10 40
5 4,000 + 641 11,051 763 10 50 Generic adult worker
6 5,000 + 1,105 17,156 964 10 60
7 6,000 + 1,715 24,871 1185 10 70
8 7,000 + 2,487 34,358 1429 10 80
9 8,000 + 3,435 45,794 1697 10 90
10 9,000 + 4,579 59,374 1992 10 100 Newly Graduated Padawan.
11 10,000 + 5,937 75,311 2316 12 112
12 11,000 + 7,531 93,842 2673 14 126
13 12,000 + 9,384 115,227 3065 16 142
14 13,000 + 11,522 139,749 3496 18 160
15 14,000 + 13,974 167,724 3971 20 180 Competent Soldier
16 15,000 + 16,772 199,497 4493 22 202
17 16,000 + 19,949 235,447 5068 24 226
18 17,000 + 23,544 275,991 5699 26 252
19 18,000 + 27,599 321,590 6394 28 280
20 19,000 + 32,159 372,749 7159 30 310 Normal Jedi. Special forces.
21 20,000 + 37,274 430,024 8000 33 343
22 21,000 + 43,002 494,027 8925 36 379
23 22,000 + 49,402 565,430 9942 39 418
24 23,000 + 56,543 644,973 11062 42 460
25 24,000 + 64,497 733,470 12293 45 505 Badass bounty hunter
26 25,000 + 73,347 831,817 13647 48 553
27 26,000 + 83,181 940,999 15137 51 604
28 27,000 + 94,099 1,062,099 16776 54 658
29 28,000 + 106,209 1,196,309 18578 57 715
30 29,000 + 119,630 1,344,940 20561 60 775 Jedi Master
31 30,000 + 134,494 1,509,434 22742 64 839
32 31,000 + 150,943 1,691,377 25142 68 907
33 32,000 + 169,137 1,892,515 27781 72 979
34 33,000 + 189,251 2,114,766 30684 76 1,055
35 34,000 + 211,476 2,360,243 33878 80 1,135 Famous Jedi masters
36 35,000 + 236,024 2,631,268 37390 84 1,219
37 36,000 + 263,126 2,930,394 41254 88 1,207
38 37,000 + 293,039 3,260,434 45506 92 1,299
39 38,000 + 326,043 3,624,477 50180 96 1,395
40 39,000 + 362,447 4,025,925 55324 100 1,495 Legendary Jedi.
Game should end before PCs reach this level.
41 40,000 + 402,592 4,468,518 105 1,600
42 41,000 + 446,851 4,956,369 110 1,710
43 42,000 + 495,636 5,494,006 115 1,825
44 43,000 + 549,400 6,086,407 120 1,945
45 44,000 + 608,640 6,739,048 125 2,060
46 45,000 + 673,904 7,457,953 130 2,190
47 46,000 + 745,795 8,249,748 135 2,325
48 47,000 + 824,974 9,121,723 140 2,465
49 48,000 + 912,172 10,081,895 145 2,610
50 49,000 + 1,008,189 11,139,085 150 2,760
51 50,000 + 1,113,908 12,302,993 156 2,916
52 51,000 + 1,230,299 13,584,293 162 3,078
53 52,000 + 1,358,429 14,994,722 168 3,246
54 53,000 + 1,499,472 16,547,194 174 3,420
55 54,000 + 1,654,719 18,255,914 180 3,600
56 55,000 + 1,825,591 20,136,505 186 3,786
57 56,000 + 2,013,650 22,206,156 192 3,978
58 57,000 + 2,220,615 24,483,771 198 4,176
59 58,000 + 2,448,377 26,990,149 204 4,380
60 59,000 + 2,699,014 29,748,163 210 4,590
Primary Stats Advances:
Base of 10 Base of 60
Advances Stat Advances Stat
-15 4 -15 25
-14 5 -14 26
-13 5 -13 28
-12 5 -12 29
-11 5 -11 31
-10 6 -10 33
-9 6 -9 35
-8 6 -8 37
-7 7 -7 39
-6 7 -6 42
-5 7 -5 44
-4 8 -4 47
-3 8 -3 50
-2 9 -2 53
-1 9 -1 56
0 10 0 60
1 10 1 63
2 11 2 66
3 11 3 69
4 12 4 72
5 12 5 76
6 13 6 80
7 14 7 84
8 14 8 88
9 15 9 93
10 16 10 97
11 17 11 102
12 17 12 107
13 18 13 113
14 19 14 118
15 20 15 124
16 21 16 130
17 22 17 137
18 24 18 144
19 25 19 151
20 26 20 159
21 27 21 167
22 29 22 175
23 30 23 184
24 32 24 193
25 33 25 203
26 35 26 213
27 37 27 224
28 39 28 235
29 41 29 246
30 43 30 259
31 45 31 272
32 47 32 285
33 50 33 300
34 52 34 315
35 55 35 330
36 57 36 347
37 60 37 364
38 63 38 383
39 67 39 402
40 70 40 422
41 73 41 443
42 77 42 465
43 81 43 488
44 85 44 513
45 89 45 539
46 94 46 566
47 99 47 594
48 104 48 624
49 109 49 655
50 114 50 688
51 120 51 722
52 126 52 758
53 132 53 796
54 139 54 836