This may be your first time to venture into the world of A Departure of Sanity, or the first step down a new road, but I guarantee that this will be a journey quite unlike any other. The first game was an early attempt to capture a strange set of house rules in game form. This however, is a fully realized game. Combining rules from the first game, its campagin settings, and the destroyed Journeyman game, it creates a realistic, powerful, and fun system with Alternity-like compatibility. It now focuses on all dynamics of the gaming experience, not merely psychological, and stands as less of a thesis and more of a real game. However, the basic aim is still the same, to pit a set of normal people against the powers that be, to have mortal battle god on a seemingly normal battlefield. Now join me as we take that famous first step, making a character:
Step 1: Creating a Character
An ADOS character is not an adventurer unless you want him to be. Thus, one may create an identity based on the real world, or a realistic creation of a fantasy world. Do not take the creation of an alter-ego lightly, it is the most important decision a player can make. To Create a characterdetermine their: Occupation-This is what they do for a living. You could be anyone from a street sweeper to a baker. A job such as warrior, theif, or adventurer is only adviseable in a converted campaign, or a campagin where the concept of adventuring makes sense. Your character earns money and talents from this job. You begin at an entry-level position and go up from there. Consult this chart: entry level 3 talents 1,000 dollars established 4 talents 2,000 dollars veteran 6 talents 3,500 dollars jr. exec 6 talents 4,500 dollars exec 6 talents 6,000 dollars management 7 talents 6,000 dollars The characters recive the above amount of money per two weeks. 3/4 of the character's money goes to living expenses. (note: If a character's job makes more or less money adjust that. Also, if your character has no salary [i.e. a vagrant or member of a feudal goverment] give them none.) Hobbies-A character's hobby is anything they do outside of work. It must be reasonable (no skunk fishing) and should give your character no more than 2 talents. A person can chose not to have a hobby and start off the game at the established position in his/her job. Your gain 2 additonal talents from your hobby every year. (note: Hobbies like camping, fishing, hunting, divining, etc. are good ways to give characters skills needed to survive in adventure settings. However, a player's goal should be more to create a complex character, than to create a survivor.) Demeanor-A character's demeanor is how they relate to others. When conversing with other players or NPCs act in your character's demanor. Your demeanor determines who you will associate with: wrathful Your characters will only speak to loved-ones or others of wrathful demanor. depressed Your character associatees with loved-ones, the poor, or anyone who has fallen on hard times. normal Associate with most average joes or those 1 demaenor level below or above. kind Will go out of their way to associate with anyone. polite Always acts in accordance to the rules of etiqute. That may cause some to dislike them. aristocratic Will speak to anyone if personal gain is involved. Talents-Talents are things that your character is good at. Unlike most RPG's. You can pick any talent, as long as it applies to your job or hobbies. Much like in Battletech, talents have levle; (e.g. Computer Use 3). Each level of a talent counts as one talent, however, a talent shouln't exceed more than two from the begining of the game. Exceptional Skills-Each character may chose one final talent, the exceptional talent. These are: execptional strength, constitiution, intelligence, speed, or personality. It expresses something special about your character. (note: this talent cannot be leveled, but counts as five in your general offense and defense. General Offense-General offense is a combination of all the talents you have that could be used offensively in a combat situation. The numbers next to them are added to your general offense number. There are no set rules about what is legitimate, but you should be able to put up a good arguement for something to have it added. Example: The character Joe Blow has: Hunting 3 Exceptional Speed (5) Survival 1 Creating a general offense of 9. General Defense-General offense is a combination of all the talents you have that could be used offensively in a combat situation. The numbers next to them are added to your general offense number. There are no set rules about what is legitimate, but you should be able to put up a good arguement for something to have it added. Example: The character Joe Blow has: Negotiation 2 Exceptional Speed (5) Survival 1 Creating a general offense of 8. General Skill-General offense is a combination of all the numbers that come from your talents. This represents how able a character is to "get the job done." Example: The character Joe Blow has: Hunting 3 Exceptional Speed (5) Survival 1 Creating a general offense of 9. Weakness-Each character has a weakness, the driving force of the game because the weaknesses cause the character's situation. These may range anywhere from fear of the dark to O.C.D. A weakness is anything that hinders you, including prejudices. Remeber that the characters should have differing levels of weakness. After all, a party full of psychos can't get anything done.
Step 2: Learning the Story
(DM's, please read this section before deciding what you want the players to hear. Also please make sure players no nothing about the game before creating characters. Making a game-perfect character is not a good way to go.) The basic idea behind this game is that a group of working-class stiffs (in any era) comes into a bit of trouble. Something seems wrong in a minor way. Things aren't how they're supposed to be and they are starting to see some really weird stuff that isn't there. It keeps getting stranger and stranger until they feel like they've lost control. This feeling comes on slower or quicker, and not always the same way with the same people. Suddenly, a phenomenon called "The Revealing" happens. Crazy paranormal shit starts happens, stuff stranger than anything Chris Carter could ever dream up. These forcers appear to the people, and soon they become taunted by forces beyond their control. Their dark secrets (weaknesses) are coming out and being used against them. They are suddenly forced to fight for their life, and sanity. The games's antagonists are the Elder Gods (Found in Lovecraft novels, especially the Cthulhu Cycle.) and Lucifer, the new god of darkness (find out about them in Milton, Dante, or your local Family Christian Book Store), or maybee somebody even worsem, like Jehovah himself. These god's influence is not direct, but it is felt through other means. There may be amazing things to happen to the characters, but there are no vampiric hitmen. The characters are being tortured by normal folks, large amounts of crazy shit and mysterious strangers. They may sense something masterminding their problems, but they cannot find the clues for some time. The characters should each have their problems brought out into the forefront slowly. This is not a game of combat and is meant to be played on the table or live, for it is a game of conversation. For, tortured people are standing around trying to find out what the hell happened to them and how they can stop it. The game should go on until the characters reach a solution and there is a resolution (Hint: sometimes good solutions won't work). This game is really about dealing with strange problems and stranger hosts, have fun.
Part 3: How to Play
I.Progress of Play Each game has four steps: Exposition-All the characters say hi, reflect on the previous adventure, and possibly buy items. If you buy any items, in this or any phase, buy them according to a catalog or vendor price. This part really is not plot relavent. Problem-A character's weakness is used against them once in a minor way or some strange things go about. Characters use this time to investigate what the heck is going on. This a stressful time, where action must be taken, so, non-plot-related actions are prohibited. Danger-The problem is manifesting itself in a greater way. The investigation is over and a solution must be made. Resolution-Everything comes together, your characters win out (or lose out) over the problem. However, loss doesn't equal '86. Fall-Out-Take crucial, or not so crucial actions, like preforming First Aid or appraising a mysterious object before the game is over. II.Doing Something Talents-You do something based on a talent you have. The DM usually decides if your talent attempt is sucessful (see Dice). Characters can also undertake non-skilled actions or attempt a skilled action. If they attempt a skilled action that they are not talented in, they must detract 1 from every die rolled. You may only attempt one non-skilled action per attempt. Note: a simple, everyday function, like making a sandwich, doesn't require a talent. Items-You can use objects like talents, even in talent rolls, the same rules apply. III.Dice Most RPGS have dice rolls, but I make it an option. This is a game of storytelling, so the plot should hold precedence. However, I understand how a random element can add to story -telling. Here it goes: Rolling for Talents-Characters should normally complete talent attempts depending on the wishes of the DM. However, in situations where chance is important to the story, you should make a roll. First, the DM should tell the character the situation and how many problems the character faces at the present moment. The character should then determine how many talents help them in the present situation. Both should roll a number of six-sided dice equal to the number of problems or talents. Which ever has the higher score wins. Each level of a talent counts as a die. Rolling for Combat-If, for any reason, you happen to fight another character or a character controlled by the DM, you go into combat. You first determine bonuses. Exceptional strength, speed, and constitution give you an additional die, as does any talent that helps you in the particular combat situation. You also get an additional die if you are in one of the following combat situ -ations: Close Range Hands VS. Projectile Bludgeon VS. Hands Fail VS. Hands Knife VS. Hands Sword VS. Hands/Flail Shield/Armour VS. All except Flail and Hands Long Range Projectile VS. All Fail VS. All except Projectile Sword VS. Flail, Hands, and Bludgeon Shield/Armour VS. All except Flail and Hands You should then tally up all bonuses and have each involved player roll the dice. The winner wins the combat, but does not usually make a kill (that is against another player). Rolling For Safety-Some cases require quick reaction based only on the instincts you get from experience. In this case, you contest your general offense and defense. If an attacker comes upon you suddenly, your general defense saves you. You must roll dice equal to half your defense number (rounded up) against his number. You then react by playing dice equal to your full general offense for one turn. If you are in immediate danger (e.g. Falling off a train) you roll your general defense against a number of dice deemed acceptable by the GM. IV.Advancing All games have means of advancing. Here is our rules for advancement: Actualization-The highest step on Maslow's Pyramid, you one actualization point every time your character survives a adventure without being overcome by a major trauma. You gain a new talent every five actualization points. At 50 actualization points you can utilize certain special talents and at 75 points you become even stronger and aware of your tormentor's true nature. Trauma-If your character has something horrible happen to them or loses, you gain a trauma point. Every two trauma point erases one actualization point (but never what you learn from it). Every 25 trauma points, your character takes on a new weakness. Promotion-You gain levels in your job if you spend 4 real-world months (3.75 game years). Without gaining more than 3 trauma points. During that time, you must play over 10 games. In the executive positions, you must not gain any game trauma points, but you gain 1 trauma point for every real-world month as an exec (stress).