Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate (WHOG) draws on a number of sources for inspiration. I watch a lot of wuxia movies and TV shows, and these have had a big influence not only on Ogre Gate, but on Sertorius and many of my d20 campaigns. I am hoping to share some of my favorite movies and shows in the genre here as we work on WHOG.

Note: I am writing these as a fan of the genre. I am not a movie expert or an expert in asian cinema. These are my own observations based on what I have learned by watching wuxia and kung fu movies, and by reading about them through interviews and books. But my knowledge is quite limited and I am an English speaker. So understand that my commentary comes from this perspective. 

This review contains many spoilers.

Wing Chun is a 1994 martial arts comedy directed by Yuen Woo-Ping (Tai Chi MasterDrunken Master and Iron Monkey). It stars Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, Kingdom Yuen and Norman Chu. Chen Pei-pei also makes a brief cameo appearance as Ng Mui. 

Wing Chun tells the story of the legendary founder of the eponymous martial art style. If you look up the film Wing Chun, you will find many different reactions and interpretations across the internet. It sometimes gets criticized for being too corny or not as well crafted as some other Yuen Woo-Ping efforts. I just reviewed his film from the previous year, Tai Chi Master, and that is often compared in a more favorable light to Wing Chun. However I think is a very good film with a simple but smart storyline, witty dialogue and sharp visual puns. It is also interesting in its focus on female characters. This too has been a source of some division among reviewers and critics. While most see it as a feminist piece, some have drawn negative conclusions about the film's treatment of sex and gender roles. There has in fact been an entire book written on the subject by Sasha Vojkovic called Yuen Woo Ping's Wing Chun

I am inclined to agree with those who see it as a feminist film. I do think it needs to be understood in the context of the culture it emerges from, so it is a bit different from what we might be used to in the states, but comparing it to other Hong Kong action movies, this definitely seems to be trying to make the point that women don't have to choose between power and love. I think it is also important that throughout the movie the male characters are all pretty secondary (with perhaps the exception of the villain, Flying Chimpanzee), with the bulk of the dialogue and action focusing on the female characters. I encourage readers to decide for themselves though by watching the movie. I've also linked several articles, blogs and book previews that discuss the topic from different points of view. 

The movie opens during a beach festival where the local townspeople have gathered to (it appears) honor the spirit or deity of the river. Scholar Wong (Waise Lee) arrives in town to find Yim Wing Chun, a famous martial hero of the region. Wong is a wealthy official and explains in a discussion with one of his men that he wants to recruit Wing Chun to help protect his mansion, which is vulnerable to a growing scourge of bandit attacks. A frugal man, he says he will save money by marrying her (so he can forgo giving her a salary and only have to pay for her food expenses).
Wing Chun (left) and Scholar Wong (right)

Scholar Wong comes to a tavern where he finds Wing Chun's aunt, Abacus Fong (Kingdom Yuen), conducting a transaction for her tofu shop and advising local men on business matters. Abacus Fong is a shrewd and explosive woman, rumored to have bad breath from years of eating stinky tofu (at least according to Scholar Wong). They soon find Wing Chun herself (Michelle Yeoh), dressed as a man. Wong remarks that she looks sharp in men's clothing and before he can introduce himself, bandits attack the tavern. 

The bandits threaten to abduct Scholar Wong, then give him a hefty beating. Wing Chun helps Wong fend off the attackers by directing his movements with a stick, humiliating the bandits. Wong, nose dripping blood, expresses his gratitude and promises to thank Wing Chun and Abacus Fong at their home in person later. 

Wing Chun, with Abacus Fong, and her father, discusses the upcoming marriage of her sister, Wing Chow. This leads the sisters to talk about marriage in general, where it becomes clear Wing Chun has chosen to devote her life to martial arts and believes that is incompatible with domestic life. 

On the riverside, where the festivities are happening, a beautiful woman named Charmy (Catherine Hung) drifts on a raft toward the local shaman requesting the river's divine waters to heal her dying husband (also on the raft). The Shaman refuses saying "the waters are not for outsiders" and pushes her raft away. 
Wing Chun (Left) and Abacus Fong (Right)

Bandits once ride to the scene on horseback and try to kidnap Charmy. As Wing Chun strides forward to stop them, The Southern Masters (a local sect of martial heroes) intercept her, telling her father that they are tired of her trying to overshadow them. She holds back until the Souther Masters become outmatched, and then wades into the battle. With both fist and sword she easily drops one man after another (but not killing them). She chases after Charmy and the other bandits on horse back, rescuing her and bringing her back to the town. 

Later when the father prepares to depart for the wedding with Wing Chow, Scholar Wong attends and brings musicians, and speaks of his desire to marry Wing Chun. After Wing Chow and her father leave for the marriage, the Southern Masters bring a great martial arts expert, Master Wong to her Tofu shop to prove that men are better at Kung Fu than women. Master Wong looks confident and says "woman are [only] good at child bearing". 

Wing Chun places a tray of tofu on a table and tells Master Wang that she will concede defeat if he can smash it. They trade blows and slapstick ensues as he struggles to stay on his feat while Wing Chun destroys him. 
Wing Chun (Left), Abacus Fong (Center)
and Charmy (Right)

After the match, Wing Chun and Abacus Fong find Charmy in the streets, her husband now dead and wrapped in linens. She has no money so begs to pay for the funeral rites, even offering to sell herself. Abacus Fong convinces Scholar Wong to pay the sum to save her. He gives the money to Wing Chun who pays for the expenses and then invites Charmy to stay with them and work in the Tofu shop. 

Because she dresses as a man and assumes a rugged demeanor, the Southern Masters read her kind treatment of Charmy as an effort to seduce her. They go to the fortress of the bandits, and speak with one of their leaders, Flying Monkey (Ah-Fai Chui), telling him that Wing Chun bought Charmy's company. Flying Monkey is furious over the news, saying her behavior is outrageous and "she dares to be so salacious with both genders and dares to compete with me for chicks". He then vows to kill the "adulterous bandit" Wing Chun in the name of justice. 

Back in town, Abacus Fong decides to use Charmy's beauty to help them sell tofu, replacing Wing Chun as the server. This proves effective as the local men line up and crowd the stall. On Charmy's first day, a former friend and admirer of Wing Chun, Leung Pok-To (Donnie Yen) returns but because Wing Chun is dressed in men's clothing he mistakes Charmy for Wing Chun, and Wing Chun for her lover. By this time Scholar Wong has also taken an interest in Charmy
Wing Chun kicking Flying Chimpanzee

Jealous Leung Pok-To tries to spy on Charmy later that night. As he is watching her in the courtyard from the Yim villa wall, Flying Monkey comes and tries to kidnap Charmy. Leung Pok-To stops the bandit and runs after him. This begins a chase through the streets, with Flying Monkey escaping. Wing Chun arrives, mistaking Leung Pok-To for the attacker and beats him up. 

Back at the villa, Abacus Fong, Charmy and Wing Chun discuss their lives. Abacus Fong reprimands Charmy for having two lovers so soon after her husband's death and asks if she can live without a man. Charmy explains that she lacks Fong's business sense and Wing Chun's martial skills, making it hard for her to survive without a husband. 

Soon after, Scholar Wong comes to Abacus Fong for advice to help him win over Charmy. She agrees to help him for ten taels, promising he will be married and have children. When he pays, she tells him to meet Charmy in her chambers that night. He goes as instructed and makes love with a woman, but it turns out to be Abacus Fong disguised as Charmy (in an attempt to force him to marry her). 

Away from town, Wing Chun tracks down Flying Monkey and the two battle on horse back. He wields two axes against her staff and the fight ends with Wing Chun throwing a burning stick at his groin, effectively castrating him. 

Flying Monkey seeks out the help of his brother, Flying Chimpanzee (Norman Chu), who vows revenge and concocts a plan to lure Wing Chun to the bandit fortress. 
Flying Chimpanzee

In town, Flying Chimpanzee confronts Wing Chun in her villa and they spare. He takes Charmy, telling Wing Chun that if she beats him in a fair match he will let her go. Leung Pok-To tries to stop Flying Chimpanzee as he flees with Charmy but is nearly killed by the Bandit leader, forcing Wing Chun to tend to his wounds. She gives him her masters' Nine Magic Pill and the two set out the following day to recover Charmy. 

Leung Pok-To still believes Wing Chun is a man, and that Charmy is Wing Chun, but talking with her in camp, he realizes her true identity and is overjoyed to have found his former love.  

Back at the bandit fortress, Flying Monkey tries to marry Charmy but when he realizes he is castrated and cannot consummate the ceremony begins to despair. His brother reprimands him and the other bandits, saying the only reason they kidnapped Charmy was to force Wing Chun to fight him. 

When Leung Pok-To and Wing Chun arrive at the bandit fortress, Flying Chimpanzee takes an enormous spear and sticks it into the stone wall, telling Wing Chun if she can pull it out in 3 rounds, she can leave with Charmy, but if she fails, she must sleep with him. She agrees and the two fight over the spear, exchanging innuendo-laden banter. She does eventually succeed, and Flying Chimpanzee releases Charmy, but demands another contest in three days. As they are leaving the fort, Wing Chun coughs up blood, having suffered bad internal injuries. She goes to her Sifu Ng Mui to seek advice and healing. 
Wing Chun tries to take the spear from the wall

Sifu Ng Mui tells her to take a Nine Magic Pill, then bites into walnut breaking her tooth, saying "the soft tongue endures but teeth break from misuse", suggesting that Flying Chimpanzee's strength can be defeated by soft Kung Fu. She also tells Wing Chun to marry. 

Leung Pok-To awaits news from Wing Chun at the Tofu shop, wear Abacus Fong tells Scholar Wong that she was the one he slept with. At first he is angered by the deception, but then he calculates her net worth on an abacus and is happy to marry her (she reveals that she has already calculated his net worth as well). 

A message arrives telling Leung Pok-To to meet Wing Chun. They meet in the woods and decide to marry one another, going to an inn to consummate their relationship. The next day, they leave for Wing Chun's final battle with Flying Chimpanzee. This time she is dressed in women's clothing. 

Before the fight, Flying Chimpanzee agrees to call her mother if she wins. Flying Chimpanzee takes another long spear (it takes four men to carry it) and Wing Chun selects to fight with two short butterfly swords. In a continuation of their previous banter, Flying Chimpanzee says "You cannot use such short weapons against my long spear...the longer the better" to which she replies "the shorter the sharper". 
Wing Chun in her final battle with Flying Chimpanzee

Unlike their previous engagement this is a straight forward match between armed experts. They cut through the camp, trading blows, but Wing Chun deflects his attacks with ease this time. She directs the battle into a small structure that looks like a kitchen where his spear is too large to use. The playful dialogue continues and she eventually disarms him. The last portion of the match is fought open-handed and she defeats him by using his strength against him (and with a handful of flying kicks). 

Flying Chimpanzee bows and calls her mother and convinces the other bandits to do so as well. She bids them farewell telling them "don't be thieves anymore". 

The movie ends with Wing Chun and Leung Pok-To departing as husband and wife. 


Michelle Yeoh's performance is effortless and athletic. She always seems in total command of her movement and her flexibility is unmatched. The comedic elements wouldn't work without an action star of this caliber and the action sequences absolute demand it. 

Cheng Pei-pei's cameo is nicely done, if brief. It seems like a passing of the torch moment and I cannot think of many more deserving of her 'Queen of Swords' title than Michelle Yeoh. 
Wing Chun keeps the tofu away from
Master Wong

The supporting cast is strong as well. Kingdom Yuen is delightful as Abacus Fong and really sells the larger than life character. Norman Chu also convinces as Flying Chimpanzee. Donnie Yen is good as always, but his character is so overshadowed by Michelle Yeoh's Wing Chun, you don't really notice his performance. 

The choreography is quite good in my opinion, but I have seen some complain about it. I think this has something to do with Yuen Woo-Ping's resume. He has a lot of great movies, and it is natural to compare Wing Chun to Tai Chi Master or Drunken Master. I think these are quite different films, and this one serves a different aim than either. It is funny like Drunken Master, but it takes its characters and its point a bit more seriously. It is less serious than Tai Chi Master, but in some ways more meaningful in the end. I don't want to overstate things, I do believe Tai Chi Master to be a better quality production and film. I just think this one stands quite well on its own. One thing I appreciate about Wing Chun is how much of the action really does revolve around the central theme. 
Leung Pok-To (Right)

The verbal exchanges between characters during fight scenes adds nice flavor. Translation of dialogue is always an issue in movies like this, and I do not know how much the humor was diminished or enhanced by the process. In some instances it was unclear to me if humor was intended or not. For example when Flying Monkey declares in anger that Wing Chun"competes with me for chicks" that made me laugh but I don't know what it sounds like in the Cantonese. The innuendo during Flying Chimpanzee and Wing Chun's fight seemed quite deliberate and spot on, however. 

Some people criticize the lack of actual Wing Chun in the movie. Not knowing much about Wing Chun, I cannot say either way. I can say I've seen this sort of thing happen often enough in Hong Kong films when other styles like Taekwondo end up being kung fu with no punches. I did see several iconic Wing Chun stances. In particular Wing Chun uses one with knees pressed together to tease Leung Pok-To when they are about to sleep together for the first time. 

The music is a bit dated and probably one of the things that takes away from the film. It is somewhat standard for the time, but it never quite feels appropriate to the action. 

I think for gamers there is a lot to take from this movie. One of the major things is it highlights what a female PC might be in a wuxia style campaign. The genre is very egalitarian in terms of action and combat, with women being the martial equals of their male counterparts. This is a good example of that. The bandits and their swaggering leaders are also good fodder for any GM in need of foes for players. 

Articles on Wing Chun: 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


We were originally going to release this optional method as a PDF but I think it is better to put it here for free on the blog.

These new rules enable more traditional fantasy parties by including Warriors and Burglars as options during character creation. We understand that traditional fantasy may mean different things to different people, and it turned out it meant different things to us at times when designing the packet. Therefore we created some options in the book to help people adjust Sertorius to meet their notion of classic fantasy.

Make classic fantasy characters the same as any other in Sertorius. They are options prior to selecting Race, so simply use the Warrior or Burglar character sheet when beginning character creation. Warriors and Burglars can take any Background of their choosing. With GM approval an Ogre may also be a Warrior or Burglar (though they must track their Ferocity/Cunning separately from Resist).

The Warrior is skilled in combat and tough. Warriors are not mere foot soldiers, they are the best at what they do and their prowess towers over their peers. These are the champions and epic heroes immortalized in song and poem. 

-Has Ferocity in place of Divinity
-Wounds: Gains additional wound with each rank of Ferocity
-Number of Attacks: The warrior can attack twice per round. This increases to three times a round at rank four Ferocity.
-Melee Swipes: In Melee each attack can swipe two targets.  
-Damage Bonus: Warriors do additional automatic wounds on successful damage rolls equal to their Ferocity divided by 2
-Warriors gain special abilities called Maneuvers every other rank of Ferocity (at Ranks 1, 3 and 5)
-Can increase Parry or Evade by 1 by each rank of Ferocity to a maximum of 9
-Warriors heal double the normal rate
-Use Warrior Character sheet in this booklet

Ferocity Rank             # Attacks        Damage Bonus            Wounds           Maneuvers
1                                  2                      0                                  5                      1
2                                  2                      1                                  6                      1
3                                  2                      1                                  7                      2
4                                  3                      2                                  8                      2
5                                  3                      2                                  9                      3
6                                  3                      3                                  10                    3
*Numbers are not cumulative.

The Burglar is sly and a natural survivor. They know how to talk, steal or run their way out of trouble. These are the thieves, charlatans, guild masters and assassins of the world.

-Has Cunning in place of Divinity
-Begins game with 5 health
-Each rank of Cunning Burglar can increase their Stealth or Evade by 1 to a maximum of 9
-Gain 2 special abilities called a Trick each rank of Cunning
-Start with 6 Tricks plus they begin with Sly Survivor and Vital Strike
-Use Burglar character sheet in this booklet


-Same as core rules

-Same as core rules, but not advised for Player Characters. Player Character Warriors and Burglars are presumed to be Mundanes who achieve exceptional skill level and are hardened by experience.

-Same as core rules except they can be Warriors or Burglars with GM approval. Must track their Resist and Ferocity/Cunning separately.



Behead, Bisect or Dispatch: When using a Heavy bladed weapon, if you roll two 10s on your damage roll against a mundane humanoid opponent, you behead or cut the target in half, causing instant death. If neither beheading nor bisecting are feasible, enough lethal damage is still done to kill the foe.

Devastate: Make a single attack that deals Open Damage. Must be Ferocity rank 3 to take.

Discipline: The warrior may reduce the duration by one round or by one half vs spells that effect his mind.

Divine Appeal: The warrior is favored by his god or goddess (or even some other power like a Grim) and can make a Divine appeal to strike down opponents who are normally resistant to mundane attacks. On a successful Ritual Skill Roll, the character's weapon is imbued with Divine energy, allowing him to hit foes that can normally only be struck by magical attacks.

Extend: You can add five feet to the reach of medium or heavy melee weapons.

Guard: Use your attack to protect yourself or an ally. Your attack roll result replaces your Parry score for the purposes of warding off the attack. You must be next to the ally for this to work. You can also use your shield to protect an ally, granting them your shield bonus. You must be next to your ally for this to work.

Gut: After a successful attack and damage roll with a light or medium bladed weapon, the warrior twists and rips apart his foes insides, draining two Hardiness for 1 month.

Master-at-Arms: Rolls made with any two Combat Skills of your choice are made at a +2d10 bonus.

Mighty Blow: You can put extra power behind your blows at the cost of accuracy.  You can choose to take a -1-3d10 penalty to any attack roll. If you hit, for the purposes of this single attack, you can ignore 2 points of the target's Hardiness for every -1d10 penalty that you applied to your attack roll.

Mobile Destruction: Make attacks during your movement in combat. You can distribute your attacks as you want against any targets within your weapon's reach or range from any point on your movement path. (Normally: You must make all attacks from either the start location or end destination of your movement).

Sprint: Your base movement is 45 feet per round +1d10 feet for every rank of Speed.

Animal Trainer: You can use your Persuade, Command and Deception against normal animals with a +2d10 bonus. In addition you can use this to bond with a specific animal over the course of a week. Such a bond means the animal will follow you and listen to you provided you care for it.

Appraising Eye: The Burglar gets a +2d10 bonus to any roll made to determine the monetary value of any object (this is typically a Knowledge Roll of some kind).

Basement Brewer: The Burglar has taken up Alchemy and knows two powerful street recipes that are closely (and often violently) guarded by Burglars. The Burglar is at a +2d10 when making either of these potions.

Liquid Bliss
This powerful potion makes whoever drinks it far more inebriated that mere alcohol can. Consuming sends the imbiber into a blissful, relaxed state for 2d10 hours, People under the effects of this potion generally try to do as little as possible, and are at a -1d10 on all rolls. If brewed with a Total Success, it makes the imbiber feel really good, but applies a -2d10 penalty on all actions. Doses sufficient to impose a -4d10 penalty knocks the imbiber entirely unconscious for 2d10 hours.

This can double as an anesthetic, but it is known to sometimes cause addiction when used in excess.

Patch 'em up
The Patch 'em up potion is everything the snake oil salesmen of the world promise, except that it actually works. Drinking this potion restores a wound instantly. If brewed with a Total Success, it restores two Wounds instantly! It too is known to sometimes result in addiction when used in excess. Brew Rating TN 8; Brew Time: 6 hours.

Black Market: You can use a Survival (Cities) to find illegal, rare or secret goods and services. You can also use it to find illegal, rare or secret places in a city. When doing so you gain a +2d10 to the roll.

Coquettish Grace: You gain +2d10 to any Mental Skills used in an interaction with the opposite sex or interested individuals for the purpose of seduction. 

Charlatan: You adept at pretending to possess training and refinement, leading others to believe you possess abilities you actually lack. Essentially you can pretend to perform Skills using your Deception Roll instead (or adding your Deception ranks to the roll to feign greater expertise if you do have ranks in the skill). This doesn’t actually allow you to perform the skill (or perform it better) but if your result exceeds the Wits of those viewing, they believe you have performed the skill successfully. So you could pretend to Divine the will of the gods or perform a surgical procedure on a wounded man, and if you succeed those viewing believe you are a diviner or experienced physician.

Deadpan: +2 to Resolve to resist Empathy rolls.

Disarm Trap: You get a +2d10 bonus on any Trade: Mechanical skill roll to disarm a trap.

Disguise: You can use your Deception skill to create an elaborate disguise, passing for someone other than yourself.

Cheat: You gain a +2d10 bonus when using Deception or Talent to cheat at gambling.

Escape Artist: Even when fully bound you can attempt to use your Talent: Theft skill to pick locks or your Athletics skill to free yourself.

Elusive: You gain a +2d10 to your speed roll when trying to evade someone.

Eyeball: You can estimate a person’s background and social class by looking for the right social cues using Empathy. This enables you to gauge the social background of a character.

False Sertori: By use of smoke powder, slight of hand, and other chicanery you can pass for a Sertori using your Deception skill against peoples’ Wits.

Fast Talker: You get a +2d10 bonus Persuade Skill rolls.

Forgotten Face: You blend in a crowd when you want to and know how behave forgettably and how to keep your appearance non-descript and unremarkable. Recalling your appearance requires a Reason TN 10 roll and you gain a 10 Stealth while in a crowd.

Grifter: You can you see into peoples’ hearts, knowing what will win them over in matters such as love or business. In short you understand what makes a person tick, what will earn their confidence or their loyalty and trust. Use your Empathy Skill to do so at +2d10.

He Meant To Do That: Provided that the Burglar is free to flail strategically, the Burglar can make an Athletics roll against TN 8 to reduce the damage from any fall to a single Wound, regardless of the height. On a Total Success he takes no damage at all. Even on a Failure, treat the fall as if it was half its actual height for the purposes of rolling damage.

Hypnotize: You can use your Deception against Wits to influence people to the point of planting subconscious suggestions, ideas, etc.

Imitate and Throw Voice: You gain a +2d10 to Deception when attempting to speak like another person or throw your voice. 

Incapacitating Strike: If the Burglar attacks with a blunt weapon on suprise, he can choose to attempt to knock his victim unconscious instead of dealing lethal damage. The victim must make an Endurance roll against TN 10 or be knocked unconscious for 1d10 rounds for every rank of Cunning that the burglar has.

Light Step: This allows the Burglar to move without making sound on an Athletics TN 6 roll. Generally those who do not see the Burglar cannot make a Detect roll to spot him if he succeeds on his Light Step roll.

Lurking in the Bushes: Not every Burglar prefers the cities. The Burglar can move at full speed through heavy underbrush, and his Stealth becomes a 10 when he is immobile in dense, heavy undergrowth.

Magic Object Affinity: You have an instinctive sense for of magic items.  Make a Detect roll at a bonus of +2d10 to realize that a particular item is magical, but nothing about its nature.

Magic Object Investigation: When you have access to a magic item and a good amount of time, you have a chance to figure out what it does making a Reason Roll against TN 8.

Pilfer: This ability gives the Burglar a +2d10 to any Talent (Theft) Skill roll.

Pluck: +2 to Wits or Resolve to resist Command rolls or any mundane fear-based, unnerving, or demoralizing effect.

Plunging Blade: You stab your foe violently in the neck or other vulnerable area with a light bladed weapons at close range. When someone restrains you, provided you are not pinned, you can make a Vital Strike attack against the restrainer.

Poison Use: When using the Talent: Poison skill you gain a +2d10 bonus and you do not risk exposing yourself to the substance accidentally.

Poison Immunity: You have built up an immunity to all known poisons and venoms by taking small daily doses. They have no effect on you.

Slip on by: The Burglar can freely move past enemies by making an Athletics roll against the opponent's Parry. If he fails the roll, he stops right where he is.  The Burglar also receives a +2d10 bonus to his Athletics roll when trying to get slip through any other tight space or obstacle.

Sneak: This ability gives the Burglar an Automatic 10 Stealth in Dark or Lights-Out Conditions.

Spot Trap: You gain a +2d10 to any Detect roll made to spot a Trap.

Street Smart: +2 to Wits to resist mundane Deception Rolls or other efforts to deceive the Burglar. The Burglar also gains a +2d10 to any Empathy Roll made to detect scams, cons, etc.

Survival Instinct: The Burglar is adept at instinctively reacting to subtle warning signs picked on by his subconscious that alert him to danger. He gets a +2d10 bonus to any Detect roll made to locate lurking enemies. Even if the Burglar has not seen the danger ahead of time, any time the Burglar would not be able to act in a surprise round, he may make a Detect roll against TN 8 (the bonus from this Trick does not apply) to avoid being surprised and act normally. Survival Instinct does help at all against another Burglar with a higher Cunning rank.

Tail: You are good at following someone without being seen, gaining a Stealth of 10 when doing so.

Take Cover: Whenever you would be damaged by a non-mundane effect roll an Athletics versus either the result of the roll used to create the effect or TN 8. If you succeed, take 1 less wound. On a Total Success take 2 less wounds (if applicable). This cannot be combined with Sly Survivor.

Scale Surface: You can use your Athletics Skill to climb sheer surfaces. In addition when using Athletics to climb normal surfaces with large footholds and handholds, you gain a +2d10 bonus.

Sly Survivor: When you take a wound from a mundane attack in combat you can reduce damage by 1 if you succeed on an Athletics Roll against the damage roll of your attacker. On a Total Success you avoid 2 wounds. As an option, this can be a single roll for the round (but the player must announce this prior to rolling).

Supreme Survivor: As Sly Survivor, but applies to non-Mundane effects as well.  Additionally, if you roll a 10 on your Athletics roll to reduce damage from a mundane or non-mundane effect, the damage taken is reduced by two wounds instead of just one.

Vital Strike: When you surprise somebody, if your first attack is successful and if you make a successful damage roll, you do automatic wounds equal to your Cunning rank (in addition to normal damage). You also gain a +2d10 to your damage roll.


Warriors and Burglars advance automatically as they gain experience, increasing their Ferocity or Cunning when they acquire the experience point totals listed below.

XP TOTAL                            FEROCITY/CUNNING RANK
1                                              0
2                                              10
3                                              25
4                                              35
5                                              60
6                                              90

A party without a Sertorius with the Heal spell may find that healing is slower than they prefer. The Burglar has some available Tricks that can also boost the party's ability to heal itself and can help to fill this role partially as well. Without a party member choosing to invest precious Spells or Tricks in such abilities, however, healing according to the default rules is very slow.

The default Natural healing rate is 1 Wound per week, and Medicine rolls only restore a Wound on a Total Success.

Optional Rule: Faster Healing
The default Natural Healing rate becomes 1 Wound per day.

In a standard Sertorius campaign, magic weapons and objects are quite rare. In a game that allows for Warriors and Burglars is more important for characters to have access to such things. When using the CLASSIC FANTASY options, treat the existing magical objects in CHAPTER TWELVE of the rulebook as powerful and rare artifacts; treat the following items as more common.

Items Groups
These are the basic categories of Magical Objects.

Blessed Weapons: These are weapons blessed by powerful beings in the setting. They can also be created when a Sertori dies and leaves some lingering potency in an item he possessed. Such items are capable of harming creatures only affected by magical attacks, when the attacker rolls a natural 10. They may also have additional effects.

Enchanted Weapons: These are items infused with power by a powerful being or Sertori. They usually provide a +1d10 bonus to hit or damage.
Rare Items

God-forged Weapons: These are weapons forged by gods or their servants, usually on their home realm. These typically grant +1d10 to both attack and damage, and do an automatic wound. They almost always have additional effects.

Objects of Power: These are the more powerful items in Gamandria, found in the Objects of Power chapter of the core rulebook. There are also some new ones here.

Magic Object List
These are specific magical objects.

Armor of Storms (God-forged): Created by Lurolai, this Shahri pearl armor automatically resizes itself to fit any Halfling or Dwarf and allows the wearer to float safely and effortlessly when in water, even while unconscious. The armor has a darker coloration than is usual for Shahri Pearl Armor and looks as if storm-clouds are slowly billowing beneath the armor's surface. It also grants an additional +1 to Hardiness against sea creatures.

The Armor of Storms affords an additional magical bonus of +1 to Parry, Evade, and Hardiness. Lastly, any being who makes a successful attack roll against the wearer is immediately struck by a 1d10 magical discharge of electricity.
The Blade of Aetos (Enchanted Weapon): According to some, any blade touched by Aetos of Tajem is blessed with the ability to strike down the dishonorable or unlawful. Whether this is truth or legend is unknown, but swords capable of such feats carry his name. A Blade of Aetos bestows a +1d10 to hit and this increases to +2d10 against anyone violating law or breaching a vow. In addition the wielder can use it to detect lies using the Empathy Skill.

Breastplate of Life (God-forged armor): This armor was created by a master mortal craftsmen and then infused with vital energies by Sarilla, and is one of several similar pieces of armor scattered throughout Gamandria. The effects of wearing each piece are cumulative. The wearer of this breastplate gains two extra Wounds while wearing the breastplate. These wounds are lost immediately if the armor is removed. For example, if you remove this armor while you have only one Wound remaining, when you remove the armor you would lose the two Wounds it magically provided, lowering your Wound total below 0 and killing you instantly. Wearing the Breastplate, or at least two pieces of the Armor of Life is likely to garner the personal attention of Sarilla- for good or ill.

Boots/Gloves/Helmet of Life: See Breastplate of Life for details. 1 extra wound each, no other bonuses.

Box of the Abyss (Object of power): A small ebony box with a sliding lid. When the lid is slid back, an irregular circle of utter darkness about 50 feet in radius forms around the box as tendrils of blackness flow rapidly out of the box.  Over the course of a single round, the area is filled with pitch darkness (treat as the Lights-out illumination condition).

The Chain of Varex (Object of power): This thin golden chain necklace fits snug around ones throat, and allows the wearer to imitate the voices of others. A Deception roll against TN 6 allows the wearer to perfectly imitate a voice they have heard speaking at least a few phrases.

The Cloth of The Wanderer (Object of Power) This square white silk cloth will preserve food wrapped up in it, preventing any spoilage. In addition, Any poison or disease will be removed from whatever is wrapped in the cloth. It can be wrapped around a diseased or poisoned part of the body in hopes of a cure. Roll Medicine skill against TN 6. Only one such attempt may be made for any particular poisoning or disease.

The Clothes of the Emperor (Object of Power) This outfit is of the finest quality, fit for a King or Emperor. All that view the wearer are likely to be impressed. The Clothing style will appear as appropriate to the needs and desires of the wearer. The clothing has a mind of its own and a strong desire to be in the presence of the rich and powerful. It is vengeful and vain, and if sold, will curse the seller.

The Coin of Judgment (Object of Power) This large gold coin is of Nong Sai origin, and nearly indestructible. It may be tossed to land on heads or tails, and once each day it will answer a yes or no question based on how it lands. The answer is almost always truthful, but some questions are not answerable by a yes or no. The coin can be dangerous if the gods are involved in a question.

Dagger of Invisibility (Enchanted Item): This dagger bestows +1d10 to damage rolls and harms creatures only affected by magic. The dagger itself is completely invisible, which makes it uniquely concealable but can also result in misplacing it or accidental damage. Accidents usually result in normal damage.

Dread Sling (Enchanted Weapon): This leather sling is thought to have been permanently imbued with fear from a Sertori that became a grim. It is able to harm creatures normally immune to mundane weapons and attacks with a +1d10 bonus. The wielder suffers no ill effects; however, he radiates Fear as if under the stage two affliction of Deimos. When a total success is made on an attack roll, the stone used becomes a Deimos Treacherous Icon as the spell would create.

Eagle Eye Crossbow of Ramos (God Forged): This appears to be an unremarkable Ronian crossbow with the symbol of Ramos carved into the wood. It has twice the normal range, and will never strike a devout worshiper of Ramos. It also bestows a +1d10 to attack and damage rolls.

The Eye Sword of Shaum (Enchanted Weapon): This well crafted spatha (treat as a long sword) is made of iron with a bronze stop and single handed hilt. At the base of the blade is a humanoid eye (believed to belong to the Kobold Scribe Shaum). The eye can look left to right, up or down, and bestows what it sees into the mind of the wielder. This allows the wielder to position the sword to see behind himself or around corners, but it also enables him to see in total darkness (a blind man who wields the sword is also able to see through it). The Eye Sword of Shaum also bestows a +1d10 bonus to attack rolls.  

Fragment of Karima (God-forged Item): This is a fairly sizable diamond, valuable in its own right. Legend has it that it was knocked off of the body of Karima herself during her fateful confrontation with the Gru invaders. A person who knows its true nature can clutch it in his hand and attempt to cast Glittering Rupture of Karima (emotion rank 3).  No Grim points are allocated to the user on a success or failure.  The item can function three times before being depleted, but after its final use the diamond itself remains.

Diadem of Sanctuary (object of Power): The wearer of this diadem always has the effects of a non-cathartic Sanctuary spell (rank 3 emotion).  Like the spell, this effect ceases for 10 minutes after the wearer makes a skill roll of any kind.  

The Goblet of Dreams (Object of Power): This goblet is finely crafted from silver with many small gemstones adorning it. To make use of its enchantment one must place blood in the goblet, often disguised by filling the goblet with a beverage. The person that provides the blood will appear in the dreams of anyone sleeping within a day of drinking from the goblet. The dreams will usually portray the blood provider in a very favorable manner. GM rolls 1d10 secretly; 1=Horrible nightmare, 2-9 = favorable dream, 10 = Life altering awesome dream.

Golden Gauntlet of Senga (God Forged): This armored spiked gauntlet is forged of pure gold and enchanted to be stronger than the finest steel. Sized for an ogre, it can be used by human sized people but has a muscle requirement of 3. It bestows a +2d10 on damage rolls, and against undead any wounds inflicted are doubled. If held up high and not used to attack, it sheds bright sunlight around the wearer. The area of the sunlight is 50 feet, but the light may shine brighter when the wearer worships Senga.

Javelin of Daethronus (Blessed weapon): This javelin is forged of wood and iron, and remarkably strong and difficult to break. It can damage creatures normally immune to non-magical attacks on a result of 10. If dropped on the ground, the javelin will fall and point in the direction of the nearest Undead creature. The javelin is unable to harm liches.

Limbhauer (God-forged): Two handed axe created by Sur Vanker that bestows a +1d10 to attack and damage rolls.

On a Total Success, if any damage is successfully dealt, the axe also cuts off an arm, leg or other appropriate appendage from the victim (roll randomly). That victim now has the appropriate Flaw and unless they succeed at an Endurance roll versus TN 10 they are rendered helpless in agony for 1d10 rounds.

Living Spear (Enchanted Weapon): This powerful spear is animated by the spirit of a long-dead Sertori. It cannot speak but does have a will and only allows itself to be wielded by someone who demonstrates bravery, mercy and ferocity. Anyone who obtains the spear and demonstrates these qualities can become its wielder for life.

The spear faithfully attacks the wielder’s intended targets only, attacking at 3d10 skill regardless of the wielder’s abilities.  It also defends its wielder faithfully as well, granting an effective Parry of 6. If the wielder does not surrender control of the weapon and instead tries to fight with his own skill, he suffers a -3d10 penalty to his attacks and a -3 penalty to his Parry instead.

Mace of Vengeance (Enchanted Weapon): This wood and steel mace is of Caelan design, and may damage creatures normally immune to non-magic attack. It also has a +1d10 to damage. Each time the wielder is wounded by a melee attack the attacker suffers one wound as the mace glows with a reddish light.

Mask of Shifting (God-forged item): This bronze burial mask is made in the shape of a Dwarven face. When worn it disappears into a person’s flesh and changes their features to resemble those of another humanoid they have seen before. The effect lasts as long as desired.

The Mirror of Days Past (Object of Power) This small hand mirror is crafted of polished steel, and will reveal in its reflection the past. It may be used once each week. Roll 1d10, the result allows the user to pick up to that many days in the past to view.

Ogreskin:  Leather Armor made from the hide of an Ogre and specially prepared using a lost technique. Grants Resist at rank 1. Ogres generally react with hostility in the presence of this armor (provided it is clear what it is).

Ortho’s Potent Stylus Tablet (Enchanted Item): This is a beautiful bundle of wax tablets, though beautiful, is not itself magical. Inside a small compartment near the binding are four magic styluses. Regardless of what the user tries to write, the styluses render one of the possible runes from the Ortho's Potent Script spell (at Emotion Rank 2).  Each Stylus can only be used three times before its potency fades.

Ring of Summoning (Object of Power): This can come in a variety of forms, but usually appears as a silver ring with a sapphire stone carved into the shape of a creature, animal or humanoid. It has no effect unless held by a Sertori with the Summon spell. The Sertori can summon an animal/being of the type portrayed in the statue, in addition to the normal types he can summon. Summoning an animal/being using this statue does not "set" that type permanently unless the Sertori wants it to (see Summon spell).

Serpent's Reach (Blessed weapon): This Halberd is decorated with a Naga pattern, and has 20 foot of reach. It has a serpentine grace and flexibility, able to bend and elongate itself in battle. It is able to harm creatures normally immune to non magic attack on a result of 10.

Sphere of Suffocation (Object of Power): Looks like a glass orb, about the size of an apple.  It is completely unbreakable.  If thrown at a person’s head it expands attaches to the person at the neck on a successful Small Ranged attack roll (at -1d10). It acts like one of the Spheres of Suffocation from the spell, but it can only be removed by Muscle since it cannot be broken. When the victim dies, the orb returns to its normal size. 

This item was supposedly created when a caster who knew the spell went Grim while a Sphere was still suffocating a victim. Some legends tell of a sphere like this one that are still infused with the personality of a Malevolent Grim, and that can move and attack of their own volition should they feel like it.

Starbow (Object of Power): This looks like a normal bow but when the string is pulled back a glowing arrow appears. Releasing the arrow is identical to casting Shooting Star of Yaum at 2 ranks Misos.

Sword of Blinding: (Blessed Weapon): This sword looks and acts like a normal sword, though it is of fine make and has a white ivory hilt with elaborate gold filigree. On a total success, the sword is treated as a magic weapon, and it emits a focused flash of light that impairs the target’s vision (the target acts as if he’s suffering from a -1d10 lighting penalty) for 2 rounds.

Sword of Ramos (Blessed Weapon): This sword glows with a bright, colorful light when drawn, providing light equivalent to that of a torch. The wielder can change the color as a free action. The light can be reduced to that of a candle for a minute, but after that it returns to its normal brightness if still drawn. When your attack roll is a Total Success this sword can harm creatures only hit by magical attacks.

Trident of Qalibara (God-Forged Weapon): This trident is made from iron but has a blue hue and gleams like a polished stone. It bestows +1d10 to attack and damage, and does one automatic wound on a successful hit (2 Automatic wounds against water-dwelling creatures). It harms creatures only affected by magical attacks and allows the weilder to breathe while under water.

Wooden Rod of War (Enchanted Weapon): These are often found in pairs, each rod finely crafted and able to damage creature normally immune to non magic attack. The wooden rod bestows a +1d0 to attack and damage rolls. If two rods are used at the same time, the bonus becomes +2d10 to hit and +2d10 damage. The wielder may choose to make one attack with the previous bonuses, or two with the previous bonuses adjusted by the dual wielding modifiers.

Wreath of Resolve (God-Forged Item): This wreath is made of gold crafted in the image of curled olive branches and berries. Anyone wearing it is immune to all mind-affecting spells.