Presented via FAQ, until I can get it a bit more organized... If you're familiar with DnD or Tabletop Roleplaying, skip the first two questions.
What is Battlequest?
Battlequest is a tabletop roleplaying game (RPG) with at least two people (recommended five or six) at a table. Like many tabletop roleplaying games, Battlequest is played with one of the players acting as a narrator, storyteller, and deitous force (known as the Game Master, or GM) over the rest of the players, who each play one character in a world cast with other characters played by the GM (known as non-playable characters, or NPCs). All that is needed to play are pencils, paper, and a variety of different polyhedral dice for each player and the Game Master.
Because of the nature and simplicity of Battlequest, there may be some discrepancies found between the rules of the game, expectations of the players, and playstyle of the GM. If such discrepancies occur, the ultimate and overriding rule is that the Game Master is always right. The rules of Battlequest are meant to be adaptable to fit the needs of the game, as seen fit by the GM. Such leniency is given to the Game Master because this player is sacrificing the right to play a character in order to make the game fun for everybody else.
How do I play Battlequest?
The play of the game takes place in three simple steps:
- The GM describes the situation, scenery, and setting
- The players (perhaps in a turn order, but definitely one at a time) describe to the GM how they would like to interact with the world
- If necessary, the GM has the player roll a 20-sided dice to check the success of the player's action
Rinse and Repeat.
What makes Battlequest unique?
Though Battlequest is played like many other tabletop RPGs, there are several unique aspects about it. Firstly, the players seven skills that encompass everything a player might do outside of battle. These seven "Quest" skills are Arcana, Athleticism, Awareness, Creativity, Deftness, Intellect, and Personality. The "Battle" skills are Accuracy, Dodge, Heavy Weaponry, Light Weaponry, Magicka, Shield Use, and Pugilism. There are no governing attributes for these skills. Players will improve their skills by using them, and especially by failing at them; this is the foundation of Battlequest. As players improve their skills, they will be able to select Talents that govern their skills and increase their odds at success in them. Because of the nature of these two separate trees, each player will have a "Quest Level" and a "Battle Level", both of which are equal to the amount of Talents in their respective trees.
How do I level up?
Leveling up in Battlequest is intended to be both interactive and easy. Each time you use a skill, you put down a "mark." There will be a couple of skills you have proficiency in, and if you fail at one of those skills, you receive two marks. The number of marks you need to level up a skill are equal to four times your next level. For example, if I'm trying to progress from level 3 to level 4 in Intellect, I need 16 marks to achieve level 4. In Battlequest, you need only level 3 Quest Skills to receive a Quest Talent, or 3 Battle Skills to receive a Battle Talent. The catch is this: the Talent you receive must correspond to one of the three skills leveled (more on this later).
How do I use skills?
When you request an action and the GM asks you to make a skill check, the GM sets a number in his head that you have to achieve (known as a Difficulty Check, or DC; an average task usually requires a 15, a difficult task might be anywhere between 20-25, whereas a simple task might be 5-10). You will roll a 20-sided dice, then add your skill level in that check, then include any modifiers set by the GM or by your talents. For example, the GM asks me to make an Intellect check. My Intellect is 6, so when I roll a 17 on my 20-sided dice, I tell the GM that my total number is 23.
How do I create a character?
Ready to play? All of your Quest and Battle skills will start at 1. You have 9 points you can distribute to the Quest Skill tree and 6 Battle Skill points. You may also receive 3 Talents from the Quest tree, and 2 talents from the Battle tree provided that the talents you receive come from skills you put points into. For this reason, it is recommended you distribute your skill points three-at-a-time, and then take a talent in one of those skills, performing that process three times for each tree. The GM may want to set a limit to your starting skills (usually 5 or 6). An example of creating a character is provided below. Finally, choose three skills you wish to be proficient in the Quest Skill tree, and two skills in the Battle Skill tree. These skills will level up faster. If Arcana is one of your proficiencies, you may also choose three Aspects (see "Magic" below; the GM may also limit which aspects you can take at your level or even give them to you based on your background)
(Not challenging enough? Try Peasant Mode! You start all skills at 1 and receive no talents to begin with. You'll be bad at everything to start!!!)
What Talents may I select?
A WIP. Quest Talents are almost complete, but Battle Talents need some development. Any ideas would be welcome.
How does Combat work?
Yeah... that's a WIP. Here's what I got though:
Every round of combat lasts about 12 seconds. Within that 12 seconds, you will get a number of swings depending on your weapon. Here's the chart:
Daggers, Knives, unarmed combat, and extremely light weapons: 6d4 per round (2 seconds for each swing)
Short swords, Hand axes, Quarterstaves, and other light weapons: 4d6 per round (3 seconds for each swing)
Longswords, Battleaxes, Spears, Maces, and other heavy weapons: 3d8 per round (about 4 seconds for each swing)
Greataxes, Greatswords, Warhammers, Pikes, and other "massive" weapons: 2d12 per round (about 6 seconds per swing)
Damage from an enemy source can be negated in two of three ways: Armor and Blocking or Dodging. The first way is Armor! Wearing armor negates damage from the enemy per swing, up to three points. However, wearing armor reduces your ability to dodge (explained later), as shown below:
No armor: No damage negated, (may dodge with up to 3d12 dice)
Leather, Bone, or light armor: 1 damage per swing (3d8)
Chainmail, Half Plate, or medium armor: 2 damage per swing (3d6)
Plate Mail or heavy armor: 3 damage per swing (3d4)
Being flanked reduces the amount your armor negates by 1.
Shields and dodging roll dice that may negate damage equal to or less than the number rolled. For example, if somebody with a longsword rolls an 8, a 6, and a 4, and I (whether dodging or blocking) rolled a 7, a 4, and a 2, I could negate the 6 and the 4. I would still take the full 8 though. You may only block or dodge as many times as there are swings against you. As for what shields can roll, refer to the chart below. You may NOT block AND dodge in the same round:
Bucklers and smallest blocking devices, as well as weapon blocks: up to 6d4
Small shields: up to 4d6
Large shields: up to 3d8
Tower shields: up to 2d12
Accuracy: Throwing a weapon only counts as one swing, and uses a dice corresponding to the chart above (for example, a thrown dagger deals 1d4 damage). Longbows fire at a rate of 12 seconds, but fire 2d12 which is considered a single swing. Shortbows fire at a rate of 4 seconds, making their dice 3d8, with each dice being a swing. Arrows can be blocked, but not dodged, and are not considered flanking at any time when facing an armored enemy. Bows may not be used against an enemy 5 ft or less away that's not prone.
How does Magic work in this game?
Magic is a powerful and innate entity found in everyone, but to manipulate or even master this entity requires a lot of study on a mage's part. To break it down, there are Aspects of magic that can be learned by a mage, split into two categories: Essence and Power. To "cast a spell," At least two aspects are required, with at least one Essence and at least one Power needed. One or more Material components whether mundane or magical are also required to empower a spell, and are consumed on casting. A spell may also be given an Aspect known as a Complication to bolster it's abilities.
There may be other Complications, Essences, or Powers out there yet to be discovered, but these are some basic ones to get a mage started and up to an intermediate level. Using a spell with just one essence and one power may have a DC varying from 12-15, with each additional Complication, Essence, or Power adding to the DC in some way. Spells are made with an Arcana check. It is also important to note that the player will not know all of these Aspects right away; they'll have to learn them in game.