A great and flexible game produced by Chaosium.

Here is the character creation guidelines for creating character in Pentarus with BRP:

Step 1:
1. 42 point buy system for Characteristics.
2. Education characteristic is NOT in use.
3. Cultural skill modifiers:

Due to some editing issues the table that used to be here is gone now. Once I find it on my backup I will update it.

Numbers in paranthesis depends entirely upon the one specific culture and may vary.

Step 2:
Powers should only be chosen with appropriate background and GM approval, normally not allowed. Should be very limited.

If a character is made with magical powers in mind, this is ok, while it makes the character of lower power level to start with, this should, through gaming and exploration of the world, change.
Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5:
Total HP option used, Wound Threshold is one quarter of Total Hit Points (previously called “Major Wound” number). So character can take more pounding, but scarring and serious wounds still happen somewhat frequently.
Rules for minor, major and fatal wounds still apply, only now Major wounds are separate from the Major Wound table (which is used when a damage roll equals or exceeds the wound threshold), but not the ill effects of having taken half HPs.
Sanity rules are used, yet to a limited degree.
Also note down fatigue points, although this is optional.

Step 6:
Choose either one of the four options in BGB (or create one together with the GM), or pick an appropriate Martial Art style – with GM approval – from the Martial Art Style document.
Rules from Dragon Lines, so far no Chi powers in use, but this will change in time of course. Gained through play rather than starting out with them. Styles from Dragon Lines can be used if the GM approves.

Step 7:
Use Heroic Game professional skill points + extra from age if applicable.
Personal skill points: INTx15.

Skill increases are 1d6.

Research and training and these things are as per BGB, though leniency on time and such is recommended.

Step 8:
Use this option if desired. Encouraged.

Step 9:
Follow the normal guidelines for starting equipment as per BGB, if the player wants extra cool stuff, quality wise that is or just extra starting stuff outside what is listed, make them roll status to see if it has been acquired before game starts. If not let them use starting cash based on culture and area, remember to try to roleplay these post-character-creation purchases if possible. Keep in mind availability and such.
Give money as per MRQ2/Legend based on a simplified cultural concept (will be changed in the future). I recommend lowering the starting cash multiplier, especially if they successfully managed to acquire a lot of nifty extras… as a general rule though, I think the multiplier should be lowered by 5 or 10 for every culture as long as MRQ2 is used.

Can also use HARP guidelines for amount of money and prices for equipment instead of RQ2/Legend.
Step 10:
As in BGB.

A note on knowledge skills:

Academic Lore: Covers most knowledge skills associated with history, theory and such academic endeavours.
More specialised sub-categorise can be acquired or developed in its stead in case the player wants narrower and specialised in-depth knowledge, starting at half the Academic percentage (in case of having an academic skill from character creation, without Academic Lore as a base, it starts at 01%).
Specialisations include, but are not limited to: Archaeology, history, cartography, architecture, law, linguistics, literature, philosophy, politics, religious lore and so on.
Specialisations enables more in-depth knowledge and works like a normal knowledge roll, whereas Academic Lore otherwise function as more superficial knowledge, similar to the Know roll on page 28 of BGB.
Starting with specialisations with Academic Lore is possible, but is not based on half the Academic Lore percentage. Furthermore, starting with specialisations requires the character to come from one of the more advanced civilisations, where access to academic fields like archaeology, philosophy, law and such is offered through fields of study. Most nations and civilisations will not offer this to normal mortals, except perhaps Ghorz, Tremayne and Da’nuhn.

Occult Lore: Covers magic, religion, demons and supernatural knowledge, only available to scholars from more advanced and learned civilisations like Ghorz and Tremayne. For more information and for characters from other less advanced places see Blasphemous Lore and/or Magical Lore.

  • Blasphemous Lore: Covers knowledge about demons, devils, curses and the most evil of lore. See Classic Fantasy (page 61) and BGB (page 64) for tips. Sanity involved. Skill can be increased through experience, as opposed to rules in BGB. If the character possesses Occult Lore this skill is unnecessary.
  • Magical Lore: Covers knowledge about magical legends, spells, traditions, circles and orders of esoterica. Limited to area and “common” knowledge. If the character possesses Occult Lore this skill is unnecessary.

Own/Other Region: These skills cover knowledge about regions, which would include cultural, political, social, geographical and similar information about a limited area or nation. All characters start with some knowledge about their own home region/nation.

Animal Handling: See Animal Training (Classic Fantasy page 59) and HARP core book.

Poison Lore: This skill includes the knowledge to recognise and prepare poisons (see Classic Fantasy page 61). Can also recognise herbs (this can be attempted with a Difficult check), albeit it does not enable preparations and in-depth knowledge about characteristics and qualities.

Herbs: This skill includes the knowledge to recognise and prepare herbs into salves and powders. Can also recognise poisons (this can be attempted with a Difficult check), albeit it does not enable preparations and in-depth knowledge about characteristics and anti-dotes.

Folklore: (Classic Fantasy page 61).

Streetwise: See BGB and/or Classic Fantasy.

Wilderness Lore: See Classic Fantasy.

A note on skill difficulties:

Difficulties in HARP are nuanced and varies with different modifications to the skill roll and BRP difficulties are either normal, easy or difficult: at skill %, double skill % or half of skill % respectively. I am now adding two new difficulties for more granularity  to test out.

Simple: 1 1/2 of skill %

Hard: 3/4 of skill %

Very Difficult: 1/4 of skill %

(These skills draw heavily from the HARP Core Rules (soon to be HARP Fantasy) and HARP Martial Law from ICD/GCP, including conversion ideas from the BRP forum and “Crusades of the Amber Coast” by Cubicle 7 Entertainment and Alephtar Games.)

Runes are spells embedded in a material created by using special shapes and glyphs and any living creature’s inherent magical power. Runes do not differentiate between sorcery or magic, yet any Rune is a spell in its most basic form. Though sorcerers and magicians can embed powerful spells as runes, the lay rune practitioner can only create basic versions of the spells.

Rune effects take place at the same time as the appropriate spell normally would.

Rune Magic (POW)

This skill allows a character to decipher, read and cast spells and magical effect embedded in runes of all kind. Usually a normal check, but rare, powerful and otherwise special runes can be hard, difficult to very difficult checks.

One check is needed to decipher the rune (not needed if he or she knows the rune; see below) and one to cast it (if the character knows the spell embedded in the rune he or she can activate it at will, spending the rune or one charge of it).

A second roll can be made to learn a rune, so the character can learn to inscribe the rune him or herself. A character can know one rune per 15% in his Rune Magic skill with a max equal the character’s INT characteristic (if any rune requires more than 2 power points in its basic form, it requires two INT slots).

A rune can be replicated if one has one active runic artefact available.

Rune magic is necessary to instill an inscribed rune with magic, this also requires the expenditure of power points equal to the spells requirements.

Rune magic can also be used to refill and re-energise runes inscribed in a material permanently or for more than one time uses.

Inscribe Rune (INT)

This skill allows a character to inscribe magically embedded runes on paper, tablets, weapons and other equipment.
Inscribing a rune creates a one-use magical effect that can be activated with a Rune Magic roll, spending the required power points for a basic level of the spell.

Spells can only be inscribed in the basic form. Exception: If the inscriber knows the spell being inscribed as a sorcery or magic spell (i.e. not only as a rune), it can be scaled up one level per 40% the inscriber has in both Rune Magic and Inscribe Rune.Example: Thular the Sorcerer has 40% in Rune Magic and 80% in Inscribe Rune. This mean he can inscribe a level two version of Cloak of Night. If he had only had 38% in Rune Magic he would be limited to a level one spell.

Limited Refill-ability: Inscribing a rune into a material so that it remains and can be refilled is a hard check for both rolls. This can then be refilled with power points at a later point when emptied of power points. Runes inscribed like this can be recharged a number of times equal to the inscribers Inscribe Rune % divided by 20 (minimum 1; round fractions down) at the time of creation.

Two-use Runes: Inscribing a rune for a two-use limit requires a hard Inscribe Rune check and a difficult Rune Magic roll (for a limited refill-ability [see above], both checks are difficult). The inscriber must also spend the required power points of the spell x2. This has a limit of two uses unless it gets replenished through a successful Rune Magic roll before the last charge has been spent, this can be done twice.

Normally runes on paper will disappear dissolving the paper too, similarly runes painted or engraved on weapons, armour, clothes and equipment will magically disappear after it is spent.

A character with 101% or more in both Rune Magic and Inscribe Rune can create a permanent rune tablet or inscribe a rune on a weapon or armour, he can do this by spending 1 permanent POW point to create a runic receptacle of magic. This rune can be refilled an infinite amount times [unless a fumble during refill destroys the rune]. Otherwise it follows the normal rules of the spell inscribed and the above mentioned limitations.

A character can also spend 2 POW points to create a permanent rune that has one basic level spell effect that is either activated at will or always active. A number of power points must be spent equal to the requirement of the spell. This then becomes a Runic Artefact following the guidelines of Equipment with Sorcery (BGB page 246).

The last two paragraphs have yet to be tested properly. Subject to change.

The Shielding Odan (Sword and shield style) (STR+CON)
Style Attacks: Melee Weapon (one handed sword, usually Broadsword), Shield
Style Skills: Repair, First Aid, Strategy.
Tier 1 Techniques:
Odan’s Crackdown (+10% to hit with Shield, Knockout Blow).
Shielding Strike (+10% to hit with sword, Feint – if character possess Odan’s Blizzard next attack against this foe counts as Backstab [pay chi as normal for both techniques]).
Odan’s Blessing (+10% Shield parry, nimble defence [Shield]).
Tier 2 Techniques (Martial Arts Style at 90% MA Style attacks and skills at 90%):
Odan’s Retribution (+10% parry with Shield, Counterattack)
Odan’s Blizzard (Target’s last attack(s) where parried (spend chi before this parry roll) and/or the target was subject to Shielding Strike previous round: +10 to hit with sword, Backstab)
Odan’s Peace (+10 to parry with Shield, Disarm)

Corûn Blacksword’s Style (DEX+INT)
Style Attacks: Punch, Grapple, Melee Weapon (sword: ninja-to), Missile Weapon (bow)
Style Skills: Disguise, Fine Manipulation, Stealth, Hide
Tier 1 Techniques:
Infiltration Technique (as per Ninjitsu page 28 Dragon Lines).
Sentry Dispatch Method (as per Ninjitsu page 28 Dragon Lines).
Killing Rain (as per the In-Yo-In-Yo technique page 29 Dragon Lines ).
Tier 2 Techniques (Martial Arts Style at 90%, MA Style attacks and skills at 90%):
Sudden Strike (+10 to stealth/hide, following attack is Backstab, subtract Dex rank for movement).
Lightning Dispatch (+10% to hit, Paralysis)
Swift Shot (As per the Lightning Strike technique page 29 Dragon Lines).

Introducing Wound Threshold

Wound Threshold equals 1/4 total hp. When damage equals or exceeds this number, roll on the Major Wound table (now dubbed critical table), include the accompanying luck roll for permanency of loss. If the result says the character is able to fight, ignore rules for shock and remaining active combat rounds. If the result says the character is unable to fight, then the character is unable to fight as per standard rules.

If the character receives minor wounds equal to or exceeding his Major Wound number, equalling 1/2 total HP, he rolls as BGB says about minor wounds equalling a major wound.

If the character has received a Wound Threshold (1/4) + enough minor wounds to equal a major wound, or just two wound thresholds (which would be at least 1/2 total HP) follow the Major Wound rules for shock and unconsciousness.

For more information on different types of wounds and Major wounds see page 208 to 209 in BGB.

Fate Points for BRP games in Pentarus

(This option is subject to change once it has been play-tested).

Every character starts the game with 2 fate points. These do not regenerate after bein spent, but good use of fate points can be awarded with a “refill” at the end of the session.

The usual way of gaining fate points is through extraordinary roleplaying, being smart, clever and solving challenges in a intelligent way. This can be rewarded with a fate point at once, or at the end of the session. Awarding “instant fate points” should limited to those rare and far between occasions when a player outdoes him or herself thourgh action and roleplaying.

If the GM allows, fate points can also be bought at the end of sessions by exchanging all experience checks in return for 2 fate points. This is subject to GM approval and should only be allowed if the session has been extraordinary productive and enjoyable for all.

A character can possess a maximum of fate points equal to his or her POW.

Fate points can be used to do the following:

  1. For 1 fate point the character can re-roll a check. The second result is the one used, even if it is worse. Success on the second roll does not warrant an experience check for that skill.
  2. For 1 fate point the character can degrade a Wound Threshold against the character to a Minor Wound; meaning there is no roll on the Major Wound table.
  3. For remaining fate points the character can “survive dying”, that is a fatal wound or instant death results can be negated. The character will remain unconscious until end of the encounter and wake up with 1 HP.
  4. For 1 fate point ignore a skill and trust fate, use Luck roll as if it were Difficult to determine the chance of success or failure, rather than the relevant skill. This can only be used for skills, not resistance or characteristic rolls, and cannot be re-rolled using the option presented above. This does not count as a successful skill use for the purpose of gaining an experience check, and cannot be used for increasing POW.
  5. You can ignore damage taken from a single attack at the cost of 1 Fate Point per 3 point of damage. This functions like armor, and any damage points absorbed this way are simply ignored; they do not count towards knockback or other effects. This use of fate points require you (i.e. the player) to make up an excuse (mundane, cinematic) for how the damage was shunted away, such as the Macgyver “bulletproof swiss army knife in the front pocket” or some other dramatic explanation.
  6. For 3 Fate Points to shift the result of one dice roll you make towards a more beneficial result, such as turning a fumble into a failure, a failure into a normal success, a normal success into a special success, or a special success into a critical success. This can only be used on dice you roll for your character, and cannot be applied to dice that have been re-rolled. You do not need to declare a dice shift before the dice are rolled, and can shift the result by as many categories as you have Fate Points to spend (6 FP to shift two categories, etc). Use of Fate Points to shift a skill roll result does not count as a successful skill roll, despite what the initial roll was, and cannot be used for an experience check.
  7. You can spend a number of Fate Points equal to half (round up) the entire damage range of your weapon to inflict maximum damage upon an opponent in a single successful strike. For example, a short sword that does 1D6+1 damage normally would, at the cost of four fate points, do 7 points of damage (no roll required), plus the damage bonus if applicable. This does not affect damage bonus, which is rolled normally.
  8. 1 fate point can be spent to change a critical success against the player’s character to a normal success. (This option might have to replace option(s) 5 and/or 2).

Languages of Pentarus

Continent of Kotani:

Northern Odani
-15% to understand North and Western Corûni. -25% Eastern and Central Corûni. -30% Southern Corûni.

Southern Odani
-5% Northern and Western Corûni. -15% Eastern and Central Corûni. -25% Southern Corûni.

Northern Corûni (Luciat; Nuamci; Be’lak)
-10% understanding Western Corûni. -15% Eastern and Central Corûni. -20% Southern Corûni.

Western Corûni (Fort Gendrick)
-20% Eastern Corûni. -15% Southern Corûni. -10% Central Corûni.

Central Corûni (Doram Weep; Quein; Badri’Jurat)
-10 Eastern Corûni. -5% Southern Corûni.

Eastern Corûni (Narjannast; Utari: add a 5% penalty)
-20% Southern Corûni.

Southern Corûni (Tel’saris)
See above.

Chotér (Trade Language)
This language can communicate with most languages through simple concepts, signs and phrases. It is no language of poetry or eloquence, and is therefore always considered to be the language spoken by the opposed party at reduced fluency:
Corûni Languages:
Language: Trade Language 0-33% = opposed party’s language % at ¼%
34-66% = opposed party’s language % at ½%
67-100% = opposed party’s language % at ¾%
Odani Languages:
As above, with an extra -5% penalty for Northern Odani.

Da’nuhn (the language of the southern peninsula, two eastern variants variants: Nadu Lila, Reh’na’lah [-5%])
This language does not in any way resemble the northern languages of Kotani. Even Chotér is at an increased penalty: ⅛, ¼, ⅜.

Mohindee (Hypparian tribes and the various roaming nomadic tribes of central and southern Kotani, a derivative of Khanza’stani)

Communicating with Corûni languages is a hard check, at which point one communicates at a -25% penalty. Failing this check results in a 50% penalty.
Communicating with the Khanza’stani is at a -15% penalty.

Chotér is equal to Corûni languages.

Khanza’stani (Khanza’stani tribes and cities of south-west Kotani).
Trying to communicate with the Corûni languages is a difficult check, at which point one communicates at a -30% penalty, failing the check communication is at -60%.

Trying to communicate with Da’nuhn is a hard check, communicating is at a -20%, failing is at 35%.

Chotér communication is like Northern Odani languages.

(To be tested).