Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Whitebox: Character Qualities

Characters select a quality at creation.  Qualities are independent of character class and ability scores.  It is wise to have a variety of qualities in the party.

Sulfur (Cardinal; Initiate and Begin) - Striker/Lurker“Omnipresent spirit of life"
Sulfur symbolizes offense and initiative.

  • FOCUS:  Start each encounter with Focus.  The first time you expend Focus in an encounter it is NOT expended/lost and you retain Focus.  Regain Focus only on a roll of "6" (not 5-6).
  • DAMAGE:  When you have Focus, deal +1 damage with all weapons.  This bonus increases to +2 at level 4, +3 at level 7, and +4 at level 10.  This bonus increases to +2 if attacking while mounted.
  • VICIOUS STRIKE (Expend Focus):  Gain +1d6 damage on your next attack.  This increases to 2d6 at level 4, 3d6 at level 7, and 4d6 at level 10.
  • MOUNTED & TWO HANDED WEAPON EXPERTISE (Expend Focus):  Roll twice for your next attack while mounted or for your next attack with a two handed weapon (not a polearm) and take the best result.
Salt (Fixed; Steady and Maintain) - Defender/Soldier“Fluid connection between the High and the Low”
Salt symbolizes a solid, fixed defensive approach.

  • BLOODY FOCUS:  Start each encounter without Focus.  The first time you take damage in any encounter, immediately gain focus.  Otherwise, regain Focus on a roll of 5-6
    • THICK SKIN:  When you have Focus, gain +1 AC and +1 to Saving Throws.  This bonus increases to +2 AC/+2 Saving Throws if using a shield.
    • HIT POINTS:  Gain +1 HP per HD.
  • IMPENETRABLE DEFENSES (Expend Focus):  Gain a +1d6 bonus to AC and Saving Throws until the start of your next turn.  This bonus increases to 1d6+1 if using a shield.
  • TAUNT (Expend Focus, Rider):  You may use this at the same time as Impenetrable Defenses.  Any foes in melee with you must attack you if it attacks this round (save to negate).
  • PIKE EXPERTISE (Expend Focus):  Roll twice for your next attack with a polearm and take the best result.

Quicksilver (Mutable; Transition and Destruction) - Skirmisher
Quicksilver represents fluid, changeable, and flexible tactics as well as destruction.
  • LATE FOCUS:  Regain Focus on a roll of 4-6.
  • ACCURATE:  When you have focus, gain +2 Base Hit Bonus (i.e. To Hit).
  • NIMBLE:  When you have focus, gain +2 AC against any Attack of Opportunity (if your game uses AoO).
  • PRECISE STRIKE:  Expend Focus to roll an attack twice and take the better result.  If you have not yet moved this round, you may make a move before, after, or during the strike which does not count as a charge.
  • BLADED EXPERTISE (Expend Focus):  Roll twice for your next attack with a one-handed sword or dagger and take the best result.
VARIANT:  If you are not playing with "Focus," then simply make the fixed benefit permanent and eliminate the burst benefits attained by expending Focus.

Behind the Scenes:

The three qualities are set up in a "rock paper scissors" style:  Salt trumps Sulfur, Quicksilver trumps Salt, and Sulfur trumps Quicksilver (Sulfur < Salt < Quicksilver < Sulfur).  For example, Sulfur's bonus damage is negated by Salt's bonus HP and robust defenses.  Quicksilver's accurate attacks can tear through Salt's thick skin.  Sulfur's bonus damage cuts through quicksilver's weak defenses.

To borrow a 4E paradigm, "Sulfur" characters are strikers or lurkers, dealing massive spikes of damage.  "Salt" characters are defenders or soldier-types, and "Quicksilver" characters are skirmishers.

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