Flesh and Bone


Flesh & Bone

TROS is made up of basic mechanics and variations on those mechanics. Surrounding this skeleton is a set of role playing philosophies that add meaning and consequence to the rules.


TROS is a collaborative storytelling. To that end the following game philosophies help keep the focus on story over dice-rolling.

Story Now. All choices made by both the player and the storyteller should reflect these two words.

Saying Yes. Dice rolling can slow down the narrative. It should only be used when it adds interesting uncertainty to the story. If a character’s failure does nothing to complicate the plot, the storyteller will say yes and move on.

Blaine needs to get some supplies before mounting a rescue of his captured ally. The storyteller wants Blaine to be successful so the story can move on. Without any rolling, the storyteller says “OK – You get the supplies you were looking for” and moves on.

Let It Ride: Wherever possible, a single roll should suffice for an entire scene. Players will not be asked to re-roll for the same intent or task unless circumstances change significantly. Likewise, a failed roll can not be re-rolled unless circumstances have somehow become significantly better.

The roguish Blaine is attempting to sneak into a minor noble’s estate to rescue a friend. The storyteller decides that sneaking into the estate will be one scene. If Blaine’s character is successful at the stealth test, the storyteller won’t call for another test unless the circumstances greatly change. Likewise, if Blaine fails the test, his player can’t ask for another chance that scene unless the situation is significantly different.

Narration & Forefront: The storyteller holds the narrative, describing the environment and actions around the players. The storyteller changes the focus of the story by putting one or more characters in the forefront. Players take the limelight when their characters do something.

Combat & Limelight: There are no combat turns per se in TROS. The limelight stays with each character during combat until there’s some twist or point of interest. During intense scenes, such as in combat, players may be given narrative rights when their spiritual attributes come into play or when they achieve an extraordinary success.

Blaine and Lisha are caught while trying to steal a rare artifact from a minor Ylmish noble. Several guards charge into the room to engage both of them in hand-to-hand combat. Instead of switching between the two player characters after each roll, the storyteller waits until the character in the forefront lands a blow, achieves a goal, or receives an injury before switching the limelight to the other character.

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Conflict happens when the intentions of two or more characters clash. The dice are used so that the players and storyteller can agree how the story will become more or less complicated for the characters involved. Before learning how dice are rolled, it is important to understand what makes up a conflict – intent, stakes, task, and outcome.

  • The Intent is the character’s goal.
  • The Stakes are what the characters involved are risking. These can be set by the storyteller or the player.
    • Stakes should always be interesting so that even failure helps to complicate the story and propel it forward.
  • The Task is the method used to achieve the intent – the skill, attribute, or proficiency which is being tested.
  • The Outcome is how the story continues.
    • If the character is successful, the outcome is similar or identical to his intent.
    • If the character is unsuccessful, his task may be completed but the outcome will not the same as his intention. He will also have to pay the stakes. At that time he may decide to raise the stakes and make the story even more dramatic.

Blaine has managed to sneak into the dungeon of the manor. His friend is locked in a cell. Blaine knows the guard patrol is right around the corner. He must act fast. Blaine’s player declares that he wants to get the door open before the guards arrive. The storyteller nods and says that if he doesn’t act fast enough, the guards will come upon him before he’s able to get Blaine’s friend out.

We can summarize the conflict above as follows:
  • Task: “Unlock the cell door with lock picking. . .”
  • Intent: “…before the guards arrive and discover Blaine.”
  • Stakes: Blaine is discovered by the guards.

All that remains is to discover the outcome. For that we will need to apply the Core Mechanic.


A pool of ten-sided dice (d10) is rolled in a test against a Target Number (TN) in hopes of overcoming the obstacle. The player is helped and hindered by bonuses and penalties called an edge. All rolled dice that land with that number or higher are counted successes. The number of successes make up the Margin of Success (MOS), which determines the outcome of the conflict.

The Dice: In TROS dice are gathered, rolled, allocated, spent, or depleted.
  • Gathering: For attribute and skill tests, dice are gathered from attributes. For proficiency tests (combat and sorcery) they are gathered from the appropriate attribute and proficiency. All pools may gather dice from spiritual attributes if they apply.
  • Rolling: Dice are rolled against a Target Number (TN). Every die that comes up with that number or higher counts as a success. Re-rolls are made possible with Drama points and certain Gifts.
  • Allocating: In proficiency tests players choose to divide their single pool across multiple rolls.
  • Spending: Players will often have to remove a number of dice for disadvantages or activation costs. Dice spent in this way are available again when the pool refreshes.
  • Depleting: Some dice do not replenish automatically when a pool refreshes. For example, dice lost through Pain and spell casting are unavailable for a much longer period of time.
The Test: There are four types of tests. While very similar, each has different mechanics.
  • Attribute tests are used to resist unwanted effects or achieve goals through natural ability.
  • Skill tests achieve goals in and out of combat through skill and talent.
  • Proficiency tests achieve complicated maneuvers in combat.
  • Sorcery tests achieve goals in and out of combat through supernatural skill and talent.
The Dice Pool: The number of available dice a player has for a certain task which represents the player’s available and exhaustible effort.
  • Skill tests use a pool equal to the appropriate Attribute value.
  • Proficiency tests use a larger pool made up of Attribute and Proficiency.
  • There are three Sorcery pools which are described in Magic & Mysteries.
  • All dice pools may receive bonus dice if a spiritual attribute is firing.
  • Refreshing: Proficiency pools refresh at different rates.
    • The Combat Pool (CP) refreshes at the start of each round.
    • The Missile Pool (MP), which is comprised of Proficiency and AIM, refreshes in two ways. The Proficiency value is available when the archer readies his weapon for another shot. The AIM value cumulatively refreshes the pool each round until the MP is filled.
    • The Sorcery Pool (SP) normally refreshes at 1 SP die each hour. The SP refreshes from the bottom up, which means the smaller pools, Cantrip and Casting, refresh before the larger pool, Ritual. See Magic & Mysteries for more information.

While attempting to pick the lock on a door, Blaine has a dice pool equal to his Agility attribute, which means he has 5d10. His dice pool would be larger if he had some sort of circumstantial bonus or if one of his spiritual attributes were firing.

The Target Number (TN): The number the player hopes to reach or exceed on each die rolled.
  • A Skill test uses the character’s Skill Rating (SR).
  • A Proficiency test uses the TN associated with a weapon or spell.
  • A default Attribute test uses TN6.
  • An Attribute resistance test may have different TNs. For example:
    • EN vs Blood Loss has a TN determined by BL.
    • PER vs Stealth has TN 6-8 depending on a few factors.
  • Stacking: In a few rare instances, the TN may be calculated to be above 10. If this happens, the player re-rolls any dice which came up 0. Add the second number to 10.

Ver Marten is heavily wounded in a duel with a rival. At the beginning of the round the BL for his Endurance challenge equals TN12. He rolls his EN to receive a 3, 5, 7, 8, and a 0. He re-rolls the 0 and gets a 3. He wins a single success at 13!

The Obstacle: The number of successes a player hopes to achieve to be successful at the task and realize his intention.
  • Contest: The obstacle of the test is the opponents’ successes.
    • A Contest can be Attribute vs. Attribute, both rolled at TN6.
    • A Contest can be Skill vs. Skill
    • A Contest can be Skill/Proficiency vs. Attribute. The TN for the Skill and Proficiency is chosen as usual while the Attribute may have the following TNs.
      • TN6: Natural, normal, or routine resistance with no distractions. Spotting someone in daylight or during a routine patrol of familiar surroundings, hearing them in complete quiet, resisting a spell with Art 6 or lower.
      • TN7: Less than routine, heavily distracted, or strongly resisted. Spotting someone in shadowy corners or during a routine patrol of a camp ground, hearing them in mild noise like the edge of camp, resisting a spell with Art 7.
      • TN8: Unnatural, abnormal, or unfamiliar resistance. Spotting someone in the dead of night, hearing them through loud noise like a crowd, resisting a spell with Art 8.

When a wicked sorcerer attempts to dominate Blaine, he rolls his Willpower (5d10) against TN6, the sorcerer’s ART attribute. Blaine wins more successes than the sorcerer. After he resists the dark arts successfully, he attacks by rolling his Combat Pool against his weapon’s Attack Target Number (ATN).

  • Challenge: These tests are contested by fate or circumstance. The storyteller rolls against the player at TN6. Challenges range from average to heroic. Examples for each grade are given under skills.
Challenge Levels
Challenge Obstacle Description
Simple 1 Doesn’t usually require a roll.
Average 4d10 Needs little effort from trained but a solid effort from someone untrained.
Tricky 6d10 Requires the full attention and effort of trained professionals.
Difficult 8d10 May prove too much even for professionals.
Formidable 10d10 Only overcome by the best.
Heroic 12d10 An impossible feat known only in tall tales.
The Margin of Success (MOS) measures by how much a character meets, exceeds, or falls short of an obstacle. MOS is used to determine to what degree a character achieves the intended result of a test. In physical tests, a high MOS represents the task was completed quickly and gracefully. In mental tests, a high MOS represents the depth and surety of the conclusion reached. In social tests, a high MOS represents a strong and long-lasting impression was made.
  • MOS -1: Failed or Compromised. While perhaps completing the task itself, the character’s intended outcome has not come to pass. A particularly high margin of failure may impose hindrances or disadvantages on future tests.
  • MOS 0 (Tie): Narrow. In challenged rolls the character has narrowly or awkwardly achieved their intention. In a directly contested roll, this is a stalemate with no side making any real gains toward reaching their goal.
  • MOS 1: Expert. The character has achieved their intention with room to spare. An observer may assume this isn’t the first time the character has done this or that he got really lucky.
  • MOS 2: Flawless. Quickly and decisively the character has achieved the full measure of his intention and then some. The character is perceived as professional and well-trained.
  • MOS 3: Extraordinary. On-lookers are in awe of the feat of skill just demonstrated. Extraordinary successes may grant future bonuses to other related tests. In special instances, players should be given the narrative.
  • MOS >3: Legendary. In an extremely rare show of almost supernatural prowess, the character is overwhelmingly and exceedingly successful. These unbelievable successes should almost certainly grant bonuses or advantages, and players are given the narrative.
Botched roll means dramatic failure.
  • A botch or fumble is suffered when the margin of failure is worse than 3.
  • Botches are always worse than regular failure. The storyteller will generally determine what the consequences are, though some situations like combat have predetermined results.
Edge is the advantage or disadvantage a character faces when achieving his intention.
  • It includes all the factors that are within a character’s control: the quality of tools, skill specialization, the amount of available time, insight, tactics, or aid from others.
  • It does not include factors which relate directly to the challenge of the task; elements which make a task more challenging are handled by the obstacle mechanic.
  • Suggestions are given for each skill in the skill appendix.
EDGE 1 2 3
+ Bonus. The character possesses superior tools, double the usual time, or significant insight. Advantage. The character is employing exceptional tools, a generous amount of time, or advantageous insight. Boon. The character has incredible insight or tools.
- Hindrance. The character is rushed or has inferior tools. Disadvantage. The character is hurried or has improvised tools. Bane. The character is completely unprepared or has little or no time.
  • Shock and Pain are two special types of disadvantages which can occur during combat. These respectively spend and deplete a character’s Combat Pool. For more information, see Blood & Iron.


If a character finds his intentions unsatisfied after using the Core Mechanic, he may have to raise the stakes.

  • Let It Ride is in play. A test cannot be re-rolled unless the situation has truly changed.
  • While their original intent has failed, players can seek more complicated means to their goal.
  • Players may also raise the Stakes by escalating the conflict.
    • A failed Duel of Wits may become a duel of steel.
    • An unsuccessful covert strategy may have to be jettisoned for a more direct plan of attack.

In the Ribknot forest Barbed Arrow passes his obstacle with a Flawless MOS while tracking down the man he has sworn to kill. However, as soon as the trail leads him into a cobblestoned city, the storyteller announces that his MOS will take him no further. Barbed Arrow must now figure out another way to track his prey. After failing a Tricky test to convince a town guard to reveal where the hunted man had gone, the archer feels he has no choice but to raise the stakes by getting close and intimidating him. Failure now means the city might throw him out.


Some tests represent a character’s effort over a longer period of time. For example, climbing a cliff face or creating a raft. The storyteller has three methods at his disposal.

  • Method 1: Challenging the test. When time is not significantly important, the storyteller may have the player make only one roll as if it were just another challenge. The MOS is interpreted as usual.

Yan, a Cheiu apprentice, is attempting to weave a cloak to disguise himself as a Cheiu master. The storyteller determines how long such a task will take. Once that time is over, Yan makes a single roll and the number of successes is used to determine how authentic the cloak looks.

  • Method 2: Setting an obstacle. When the amount of time the task requires is important, the storyteller sets an obstacle higher than one and has the player make a single roll. The obstacle is divided by the number of successes to determine how long the task took.

With less than an hour remaining before enemy soldier arrive, Grale the Dark Horse attempts to build a barricade from within Lord Ember’s large mansion. The storyteller determines that Grale will need a score of successes. It is also determined that each attempt represents ten to fifteen minutes. Grale rolls his appropriate skill test and wins three successes. It is resolved that it takes Grale approximately forty minutes to completely barricade all the windows and doors. Grale puts the last nail in just as he hears the insurgents yelling from outside.

  • Method 3: Drawing it out. When environs or the situation may change during the course of a task, the storyteller may have the player make multiple rolls, each roll representing a span of time.

A very weary Master Koenrat is strained to his limit. He must spend considerable time in meditation each day during a week long journey to recover his strength. The storyteller could just call for a single roll and multiply the successes by the number of days, but each day is a different situation – there are skirmishes and off-road hikes. These events are significant enough to vary the difficulty on meditative healing, so the storyteller allows multiple rolls – one after each day – to accumulate the needed successes.

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Characters use temporal, mental, and spiritual attributes to overcome challenges and win contests. For temporal and mental attributes, the average healthy human has approximately 4. 7 is the peak of the mundane human’s potential. The legendary heroes of old performed possessed might and wisdom up to 10, which is game’s limit for mortal races.

Temporal attributes deal with the tangible, physical realm.

  • Strength (ST) is a measure of physical power and brawn, and has a great influence on damage dealt in combat, as well as some physical feats.
  • Agility (AG) is a measure of nimbleness, dexterity, speed, and hand-eye coordination. Agility is a key element in all physically active characters such as warriors, thieves, and some entertainers.
  • Toughness (TO) is a measure of physical grit and hardiness. A high TO protects characters from bodily harm.
  • Endurance (EN) is a measure of general “fitness”, and plays a large roll in any long-term physical activity. In combat, EN will help to ensure a wounded character can stay on his feet.
  • Health (HT) is a measure of a character’s life force, including his immune system and healing capabilities.

Mental attributes deal with the elements and forces of the mind. An average human’s ability is ranked at 4, while 10 is the maximum degree attainable by most mortal races.

  • Willpower (WP) is a measure of mental endurance and determination. This extremely useful virtue often means the difference in tight spots. This kind of person determination is best found in hardened soldiers and those fiercely dedicated to their causes. It also helps to protect a character from supernatural influence.
  • Wit (WIT) is a measure of mental reflex and sharpness, best exhibited in comedians and fencers. This trait is a key element for both good fighters and those that deal in cutthroat intrigue.
  • Aptitude (APT) is a measure of how quickly one learns and how much they retain, exemplified by scholars. This is not a measure of intelligence and cleverness, however. Those are left up to the player. APT grants characters with bonus skill specializations during character creation.
  • Social (SOC) is a measure of how charismatic, empathetic, and culturally adept a character is. This is a crucial ability for courtiers, leaders, and merchants.
  • Perception (PER) is a measure of alertness and awareness to a character’s surroundings. This attribute can warn of an impending ambush or help locate secret passages. Woodsmen and rogues are often noted for their keen senses.

Spiritual attributes (SAs) differ greatly from other attributes in many ways.

  • There are no averages.
  • These traits fluctuate often during a character’s story.
  • Unlike other attributes, tests involving spiritual traits are uncommon and vital to the character’s story. When they do come into play, they give a character an unseen strength to succeed.
  • They play a large role in a character’s life and progression. SA points are spent from attributes to advance other attributes, skills, and proficiencies.
  • Unless modified by special circumstance, SAs cannot be raised above 5.

There are 7 spiritual attributes. Except for Passion and Oath, characters may only choose an attribute once.

  • Conscience refers to one’s desire to do the “right thing,” be it compassion, heroism, or any one of a thousand manifestations of “right and wrong”. It is a common quality of determined men, heroes, and others that struggle with the difference between good and evil.
    • This attribute represents dice that may be added to any roll that supports a character in doing what he should instead of what might be more fun, profitable, safe, or sensible.
    • This attribute is increased when a character is faithful to his conscience and does the right thing for no other reason than it is right.
  • Destiny signifies a higher calling – perhaps to one day wear a crown upon a troubled brow, bring down an evil empire, or fulfill a prophecy. Whatever it is, chances are the destined character may have started to become aware of his destiny when his story begins. Most characters with a destiny deny or fight it only to find themselves in the wrong place at the right time.
    • Any time an important event in the character’s destiny occurs, these dice may be divided up and added to any number of rolls, refreshing any round, as long as the storyteller says so. These events are rare and important.
    • This attribute is increased when a character reaches a milestone in his destiny or part of his destiny is revealed.
  • Doom signifies a predestined tragedy awaiting a character. A great king destined to die at his own son’s hand, a mighty sorcerer foretold to wrestle away a kingdom only to lose his beloved daughter, and a good-hearted knight doomed to be betrayed by his own wife are examples of this interesting spiritual attribute.
    • Taking Doom counts as a major flaw.
    • These dice are added to any rolls that help take a character to his grisly end. However, when the climatic moment arrives, these dice are given to the doomed character’s opponents in defeating him.
    • Doom is increased as the dark destiny is revealed or a character reaches a dramatic milestone.
  • Drive defines an extra level of determination and a powerful sense of purpose. Someone with drive has a worthy cause that they would die for and probably will. Unlike conscience, drive always involves a very specific goal.
    • These dice may be added to any rolls that defend or further a character’s cause, as often as the storyteller deems appropriate.
    • This attribute is increased when the character takes an active role in furthering his personal quest.
    • When completed, the character may spend his points on character advancement, convert them to Drama, or put some in a new Drive attribute.
  • Faith represents the bond of trust between a mortal and his higher power and the strength that gives to a mortal. It should be unclear whether this comes from some outside power or from the power that faith itself gives.
    • These dice are used when significantly defending or furthering the beliefs involved in a faith or religion or when protecting the truly faithful.
    • This attribute is increased as the character’s faith is strengthened.
  • Passion entails a specific love, hate, or loyalty towards a person or entity which occupies a character’s thoughts and actions constantly. This is a vibrant trait that makes roleplaying more enjoyable. Since passion may be taken more than once, conflicting passions make for great stories.
    • This attribute represents dice which may be added to any roll that directly affects the object of passion, such as killing a hated enemy, rescuing a dearest love, or defending the name of your lord and king. These dice may be used as many times per game as the storyteller deems appropriate.
    • This attribute increases as characters take actions to make their passion a higher priority in their lives.
  • Oath binds a character to some sworn action or duty. No common bond carries this significance. Oath-bound characters may not want to do what they have sworn to do, but living up to their oath means something and gives them strength. This trait is common among soldiers, knights, or even bodyguards.
    • These dice may be used when defending or furthering their oath, and are likewise increased when characters attempt such deeds.
    • Conversely, oath dice may be lost if a character works around his oath or fails to fulfill it.
    • If a character ultimately fails to keep his oath, he loses this Attribute, spending any remaining SA points on character improvement or Drama, and instantly gains Major Flaw: Forsworn.
Derived attributes come from a combination of other attributes. These are used in special situations, such as combat and sorcery. Legacies & Legends: Derived Attributes describes derived attributes in more detail. A special set of derived attributes for sorcerers is addressed in Magic & Mysteries.
  • Reflex (REF) is a combination of Agility and Wit, and determines how quickly a character may physically react to external stimulus. Average reflex is 4.
  • Aim (AIM), extracted from Perception and Agility, quantifies a character’s natural ability to hit a target over distances.
  • Knockdown (KD) is a measure of how solid and balanced one remains after taking a blow. Average Knockdown is 4.
  • Knockout (KO) is a measure of how hard it is to knock a character unconscious, based on Toughness and Willpower. Average Knockout is 6.
  • Move (MOV) is a measure of how much distance one can cover on foot in a round. Average Move is 6.


Instinct allows players to flesh out their character, bend the rules of the game, and earn drama points. See Legacies & Legends for more information.


The final mechanic which helps players overcome conflicts is Drama. Players earn Drama Points when they make the story more interesting. They can do this in a variety of ways.
  • Players perform a scene of exceptional role-playing that leaves the table laughing, crying, or feeling otherwise immersed in the story.
  • Players play their character’s Instincts or Flaws even though it would complicate the story for them and their party.
  • When given the narrative, players narrate a stunning outcome of an important conflict.
  • Players pull of an amazingly unlikely success or survive a devastatingly dramatic failure.
  • Before the story session begins, players can buy one Drama point with an SA point.

Players may spend 1 Drama point per scene to do the following.

  • Push Your Luck. Gain 10-again for this a roll. Players spend this before the roll.
  • Not As Bad As it Seems. A botched roll becomes a simple failed roll.
  • Change the Scene. The player may make minor cosmetic changes to the scenes or upgrade unnamed non-player characters.
    • Examples of minor cosmetic changes include: locating a useful weapon during a fight, adding an interesting trait to the scene or a non-player character, recognizing an NPC as a an old acquaintance.
    • Changes from Drama may grant a minor Edge (+1) at maximum.
    • Contacts gained through Drama may not always have the relationship the player intends. If the NPC in question is special to the story, the storyteller may call for a Circles test. See the Skill Appendix for more information on Circles.
  • Flash of Insight. When feeling “stuck”, players gain a helpful hint from the storyteller.
  • Just a Flesh Wound. The player reduces a wound just suffered by 2 levels. The player must describe how the serious injury was dramatically avoided.

Dressed as gentry, Blaine is trying to walk into a noble’s manor for a ball. Blaine has Instinct: I always carry a knife. Blaine’s player could have announced that Blaine denied his instinct and came completely unarmed. But the player knows that carrying a knife in spite of common sense might complicate the plot. Consequently he will be rewarded with a Drama point if the Instinct complicates matters.

Failing an etiquette test, Blaine makes the guards suspicious. They search him and find the knife. The storyteller immediately awards Blaine with a Drama point. Now unarmed, Blaine has few options. Blaine’s player spends the Drama point to describe his roguish hero stepping back and grabbing a short blade from another guest who was just walking in. The storyteller hadn’t described other guests entering, but he decides this is an appropriate use of Drama.

Now armed, Blaine might stand a chance against the guards. However, he’s already spent Drama this scene. He’ll have to be extra cautious.

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The following rules place the characters in a dangerous and challenging place.


The game world of TROS can be measured objectively in feet, yards, and miles, or it can be qualitatively described in distances called ranges. These ranges can be described in a number of practical ways: the time or difficulty to cross the distance, the effectiveness of ranged weapons, and the approximate distance in yards.

Range Distance Movement time Ranged weapon Example
Melee Within 3 yards None No ranged weapon is effective at this range. Two men in swordplay.
Tight Within 6 yards To melee in a single maneuver. Effective distance for thrown weapons or objects. Someone across the room.
Close Within 10 yards To melee in one round. Maximum distance for thrown weapons. Someone down a medium-sized hallway or on top of a watch tower.
Immediate Within 50 yards To melee in 5-6 rounds if rushing. Longest direct fire for smaller ranged weapons; javelins in an arc. Someone across a forest clearing.
Far Within 100 yards To melee in 10-12 rounds if rushing. Effective distance for longbows. Someone at the top of a hill.
Remote Within 200 yards Outside the scope of bout. Maximum range for longbows. An army outside the wall of a city before a seige.

Anything beyond Remote range is extremely far, visible only to an alert watchman on a tall tower in daylight, and most likely outside the scope of the scene.


Creatures in Erd can be described as moving at six different paces. Note that quicker speeds drain the Combat Pool and generate more fatigue. See Blood & Iron for more information.

Pace Distance covered in feet Description Combat Pool Cost Fatigue Penalty
Crawling 1 foot per round Down on hands and knees 0 CP None.
Cautious 1/2 MOV per round Careful, deliberate steps 0 CP None.
Normal MOV per round Most natural pace 0 CP None.
Hurried 2 x MOV per round Jogging or moving hastily 4 CP x 2 if heavily armored
Sprinting 4 x MOV per round Running quickly 8 CP x 2 if heavily armored
Rushing 6 x MOV per round Blindly charging ahead ALL x 2 or x 3 if heavily armored


The world of Erd is a dangerous place. Characters can suffer damage in a number of ways. Damage suffered from cutting, piercing, or bludgeoning weapons can be determined by the combat damage charts. For generic damage – falling, fire, electricity, magic – use the tables below. For falling it is also necessary to determine the damage rating and what part of his body a character has injured. For information on Shock, Pain, and Blood Loss see Blood & Iron.

Random Body Location (d10)
1-2 3-4 5* 6 7 8-9 0
I: Lower legs II: Upper legs III: Torso IV: Shoulders V: Head VII: Arms XII: Chest
Falling Damage Ratings
Landing surface> Damage rating
Simple: Hay, water with a successful Athletics: Swimming challenge DR 1 per 10’
Hard: Ground, stone, water DR 1 per 2’
Mixed: Crowd of people, shallow water, muddy banks DR 1 per 5’

Basic Damage
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
BL 0
Shock 2
Pain 5-WP
BL 0
Shock 5
Pain 8-WP
BL 0
Shock 8
Pain 12-WP
BL 0
Shock 11
Pain 16-WP
BL 0
Shock All
Pain 20-WP


Getting wounded in the world of riddles is no light matter. Wounds suffered in battle inflict Shock, Pain, and Blood Loss. The latter two stay with the character after combat. To start the healing process a wounded character must be resting and relatively passive. For more serious wounds, the character must have medical care.

  • Recovering Health: HT lost from Blood Loss is regained at 1 per day.
  • Field dressing, First Aid: Wounds can be treated on the battlefield with first aid. Each success lowers the BL of the wound by 3. A failed first aid challenge increases the BL by 1. A botch here means the BL rating is doubled.
  • Healing wounds: Characters on the mend heal wounds separately. At the end of each week spent resting, the character rolls his current HT value against the Healing TN.
    • Healing TN: The difficulty of each wound is the full Pain rating.
    • Edge: The type of wound and the level of medical care affect the dice pool for this test.
      • +1 Edge: Wound is bludgeoning.
      • -1 Edge: Wound is piercing.
      • Successful Medicine Challenge: Add +1 die to the patient’s Healing test for each success.
      • Botched Medicine Challenge: -2 die penalty.
    • Success: Each success lowers the Pain of the wound by 1. This makes future healing challenges easier.
  • Other healing: Players and storytellers have two other option for healing.
    • In addition to natural healing, characters may be healed through magic. See Magic & Mysteries for information on that.
    • Storytellers may wish to rush through time spent on the mend. The following rates are for characters who are otherwise healthy, haven’t lost too much blood, and have at least decent medical help.
      • Pain 1-3: 2-3 days.
      • Pain 4-6: A week.
      • Pain 7-9: Two weeks.
      • Pain 10-12: A month.


Mortal characters grow old and ill. Aging may happen naturally, from the Strain of spellcasting, or from some other unnatural affliction.
  • After 40 years of effective aging or on the onset of a serious disease, mortal characters in Erd must face a HT challenge.
    • Aging is tested each year.
    • Disease is handled once. Failing that, the character’s recovery is tested weekly in an extended Formidable challenge.
  • Failure results in the loss of a number of attribute points.
  • When any attribute reaches 0, the character dies.
  • Affected attributes may be chosen randomly.
Age Category Challenge
Early 40s Grandfather Average
Late 40s Silver Tricky
50s Great granddad Difficult
60s Old timer Formidable
70s Decrepit Heroic
Disease strength Examples Challenge
Mild Serious cold and minor infections Average
Serious Flu, mumps, gangrene Tricky
Lethal Pneumonia, plague Difficult
Recovering Any Formidable
Lost Attribute Points from Aging and Disease
MOS Lost Points
Botch 10
Failure 5
1-2 3
3-4 1
5+ 0


The world of Erd is a barbaric and perilous place. More importantly, however, the stories told in the world of riddles involve the struggles of mortality. In fact the Riddle itself is how the player’s mortal character deals with his finite condition.

Short of the darkest of arts there are no means to bring a soul back from beyond Grey Veil. What lies on the other side of death is the final Riddle. This should give players pause whenever they think to draw their weapons needlessly.

Players and storyteller should work together to ensure that a character’s breath only comes when his story is ready to end. When that time comes, players will have accumulated enough Insight so that their next character and his story will be at the same level as his companions. See Legacies & Legends: Insight for more information.

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  • Players achieve their intended outcomes by surmounting obstacles in contests and challenges.
  • Players roll a pool of d10s against a target number which is decided by the skill, weapon, or spell they are using.
  • Pools are drawn from attributes and proficiencies.
  • Edge and spiritual attributes can grant bonus dice.
  • Successes are used to overcome obstacles and achieve a margin of success.
  • Failure means the character must pay the stakes, and botched rolls have additional disastrous effects.
  • Players can spend Drama points to help them achieve their goals.
  • Characters can be seriously injured, grow too old to fight, and die of mundane illnesses. Consequently their stories must be told quickly and boldly.