Monday, February 27, 2023


This is just a rough sketch of an idea, not something that will likely be published at any point. As we start work on a supernatural expansion for Righteous Blood Ruthless Blades, I wanted to go mess around with the mechanics a bit to get back into shape for the project. So I decided to take a crack at testing out RBRB's ability to handle Sword and Sorcery. This is obviously just a first step, many of these ideas are preliminary (and there are parts I know I would alter but am just using as placeholder here).

I put together a revised version of the character sheet, using the one from the Osprey website. Note that I don't have all the available fonts so this is a pretty imperfect mock-up: 


The biggest change would be to the martial arts. I thought of keeping them but I think going with melee attack, ranged attack and stealth attack would fit the genre better. I also had to consider how stealth attacks worked and why they would function differently than other attacks. Initially I was going to make that slot "thrown" (and it is possible this is still the road I would go down), but I wanted to explore having a stealth attack category. 

Here are some general rules I am following for each group to make them distinct: 

Melee Attacks are up close and personal, with melee weapons or unarmed, and they always add +1d10 to your damage roll and attack roll. 

Ranged Attacks are made at a distance listed under the range of the weapon and add +2d10 to your speed on the initial turn order roll, provided you are not crowded by a melee attacker and have distance to fire at range. 

Stealth Attacks are made when the enemy isn't aware of you or your attack (some signature abilities change this) and they add 1 Extra wound to an attack. 

These are very, very preliminary. In classic network, stealth attacks translate into open damage but I wanted to avoid that here so I am experimenting with the 1 Extra wound (signature abilities will create opportunities for open damage instead). I am not sure how I feel about the melee bonuses, but I think because Stealth attack is very dependent on context and melee is steady, these will both have a distinct feel and melee won't feel undermined by stealth's extra wound. This is definitely something that would be shaped by playtest. 


For the other skills I quickly went over them and made changes based on what kinds of mechanics for skills I have used in other versions of the network system. Again, much of this would likely change but big changes would be changing meditation to divination, medicine and alchemy to herbalism (a change I am still not sure is necessary), replacing jianghu with underworld. I changed the name of Unorthodox Skills to Underworld Skills, but not 100% sure I like that change. I think things like Drinking, magical arts, etc are fine (just worried that magical arts and divination will fight for the same space, so I might alter that as well). 


This is a much more involved aspect of the game, and would take considerable time to fully explore. So for now I want to see if I can take two abilities from RBRB and fit them to this system, plus add a couple just to see how things go. 

Because I haven't charted out future Signature Abilities, these entries don't have a requirement for entry (but they likely would down the road). 

Characteristics: Stealth Attack, Non-Combat 

You are adept at killing victims when they are most vulnerable. You strike while they are distracted by things like a loving embrace or enchanting melody. Outside combat, when your target is distracted, your Stealth Attack does +4 extra wounds (instead of +1). In Combat you suffer a -2d10 to your attacks. 

Characteristics: Armed

You are good at a particular weapon. Pick one weapon upon acquiring this signature ability. You gain a permanent +1d10 bonus when using that weapon and a -1d10 when using other weapons. You also gain a +2 to Evade against this weapon. 

Characteristics: Stealth 

You are skilled at leaping down on your foes and delivering a fatal blow. You can do this when you are above an opponent and they do not see you. When doing so you do open damage on your attack. Also if the opponent is much larger than you, on a Total Success you can cling onto their body (continuing to do so every Total Success on future attacks). If you fail in such an attack you should take appropriate damage for falling. 

Characteristics: Necromancy, Magical Arts 

You have the power to raise corpses from the grave. Make a Magical Arts roll against TN 8. On a success you animate the body of up to 1 corpse per rank of command you have. You must make a Command Roll against their wits each hour to control them, or they turn against you. You must make another Magical Arts roll TN 8 to end the spell and return them to harmless corpses (otherwise they remain animate indefinitely). 

I think a lot of the Signature Abilities from RBRB will work for Sword and Sorcery. It would largely be about adding in more for stealth and magic. 

I think many of the counters can remain in the game, some with alterations. This is a section of the game I would need to think about more and pay more attention to when I go back to the genre and read. 

When you use any Signature Ability with the Necromancy Characteristic, the GM rolls 0d10 against your Hardiness. If the result equals or exceeds your Hardiness you are corrupted physically and take an affliction (see AFFLICTIONS below).* 

*One change I know I would likely make here is that individual spells would have an Affliction rating of 0d10 to 6d10. So a given necromancy spell might have the GM roll 0d10, 1d10, 2d10, etc on a failure depending on its rating. 

For now I am using the Fire Deviation tables for afflictions. This might change but until then characters roll on the Fire Deviation table any time they acquire an Affliction, on page 113 of the RBRB rulebook. 

We have been developing a number of monsters for the RBRB supernatural expansion, so here I just took one of our zombies and modified it a bit. 


An animated corpse whose rot spreads an awful stench, a zombie is often the result of necromancy. They have low human intelligence but can only grunt and scream. Their bite causes paralyses and they will often feast on living flesh. They move very slow (20 feet per round). 

Defences: Hardiness: 8, Evade: 4, Wits: 4 

Skills: Bite: 1d10, Claws 1d10, Detect: 1d10, Muscle: 1d10, Speed: 1d10 

Max Wounds: 4


Claws: A zombie’s claws do 1d10 damage. On a Total Success on its attack roll, it may also opt to bite the target.


Bite: A zombie’s bite does 2d10 damage. On a Total Success it paralyzes the target for 2 rounds. 


Stench: Anyone in the presence of a zombie must roll Endurance against TN 6 or feel sick for 1d10 rounds, suffering a -1d10 to all skill rolls as a result. 

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