Close-up rpg scene of two 10-sided dice

Mechanics

things existing RPG gamers want to know.....

Background

I began writing this game many years ago, as an AD&D 2nd edition player. While they have evolved over the years, that has obviously left an impact on how the current mechanics work. I am, however, incorporating elements of a 'move' based system, while removing traditional elements such as Experience Points.

What you need

At least 2 players, one of whom needs to function as the storyteller and referee, a role we refer to as the Griot.

 

The Kabal guide, 10 and 20 sided dice, a character sheet and your imagination. You will also need a codex of monsters and creatures. Currently we do not have that but it should be easy enough to adapt one from D&D, Pathfinder or other games.

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Boosting your Score

The result of any Feat roll can be increased using one of five methods:​

  1. Equipment

  2. Cooperation

  3. Spending Experience

  4. Exertion

  5. Will Power

Degree of Success

The Degree of Success, DOS, of any Feat roll is simply the difference between the players final score, with all of the bonuses and modifiers added in, from the target number provided by the Griot.

Every Feat has three possible outcomes:

  • Definite Success - A DOS greater than or equal to 3

  • Success with Consequences - A DOS between 0 and 2

  • Failure, Partial Success or Success with strongly negative consequences - A DOS that is less than 0. This is technically a failure, but we encourage the Griot to consider minor failures as successes, but with negative consequences.

Degree of Success as a Modifier

Sometimes, the DOS is used as a modifier. This is true of combat. Weapons do a predetermined amount of damage - i.e. you don't roll for damage.

 

The DOS is used to adjust the amount of damage a weapons inflicts. So a great success will do more damage while a partial success could be considered a glancing blow that does little, if any, damage.

Advanced Concepts

The Basics

Most actions are resolved using the 20-sided die (d20.) You simply roll the die and add any other bonuses, modifiers or character statistics such as attributes or proficiencies to the roll to generate your final score. You compare this score to a target number that your Griot provides, based on what he determines is the difficulty of the task. If you meet or exceed that number, you have had some kind of success. This is called a Feat roll.

Checks

There are 2 variations on the feat roll: the Attribute Check and the Proficiency Check.

In an Attribute Check, you roll the die, add the current value of your attribute pool and compare it against the target number provided. For a proficiency check you do the same thing, but add the level of your proficiency instead.

Dueling

The final variation on the basic feat roll is the Duel, also called matching. Instead of the Griot providing the target number you need to meet, the target number is the statistic of another player, non-player character or creature.

 
 
 
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Combat Basics

 

Attacking in combat is the same as dueling. A player rolls the dice, adds any modifiers and ends up with a result. In combat we call it the To-Hit score, but it's the same as the feat score above. 

The result of the To-Hit score is compared against a defenders Defense Rating. The DOS is then used to determine the final amount of damage done to an opponent.

Weapons

There are three types of weapons, those that slice, those that pierce or stab and those that bludgeon. All weapons have a predetermined amount of damage that they inflict.

 

Defense Rating

The defense rating, DR, measures how hard you are to hit with any type of physical attack. It is simply the rating inherited from your race, plus any modifiers due to your Agility attribute.

 

Armor

 

You can wear armor, but it doesn't make you harder to hit, it makes you easier to hit, reducing your defense rating.

What it does provide is protection. Armor has a strength and rate at which it can absorb damage. Once it has absorbed a certain amount its strength decreases and it's either destroyed or in need of repair.

Advanced Combat Topics

There are a number of additional advanced combat topics, including battle hierarchy, providing assistance, withdrawing, miniatures, movement, magical combat, defensive maneuvers, spiritual combat, resistances, and death. There are also a number of optional rules, including those dealing with pain, blood loss and striking specific body areas, among others.

For the details of these advanced topics, we refer you to the Kabal RPG Game Book.

Death

In any dark fantasy game, death is a reality. In Kabal, however, there are many ways to cheat death and so, death is usually not the end. It does, however, often bring additional complications into your life....

As death's embrace reaches out to you, there will always be those who wish to use you for their own ends.

 

You Shadow may call your True Name, for all to hear.

 

You may hear a whispering voice calling to you - no doubt it is a supernatural entity looking to save you from death by forcing you into a covenant. Be cautious however, it will try to trick you into inviting it into your body where it will certainly take possession of you at the earliest opportunity.

 
 

Character Advancement

Levelling up, really means growing in wealth, power and influence. This includes reputation, status and respect. Instead of accumulating experience points, your deeds attract those willing to help you. Some will be teachers who can advance your skills, or those who can bestow wealth and reputation. Other deeds will attract the attention of ancestral spirits and supernatural powers who can endow you with power or help you ascend above the mundane. 

Reputation and renown bring followers willing to help you and merchants who will give you discounts or even free goods that can bolster their own fame. Renown also increases your chances of success on feat rolls when dealing with others who have heard of you, and unlocks access to expert mentors who can take your skills to greater heights.

As your renown spreads, so your own Kabal grows. This in turn brings more power, influence and wealth. You can become a political force to be reckoned with and make a mark on the world that lasts.