- The Basic Mechanics
- Character Creation
- Experience and Advancement
- Some Specific Cases
- Some Power Guidelines
This game runs on a home-brew system initially created by UltimixRed and modified by Kioku called The SunShine system.
All dice resolution in this game is done using a basic roll of:
4d3 – 8
This produces a range of values from -4 to +4. The higher your roll, the better the result.
If the total of the roll is -4, this is a botch. You automatically fail any roll that you botch. You may also take additional penalties if the GM thinks they will be appropriate.
If the total of this roll is +4, this is a critical success. You automatically succeed a roll that you critically succeed on. You may also receive extra benefits if the GM thinks they are appropriate.
If this roll is contested, for example in combat, the highest roll wins.
All characters have Skills. These are areas that your character has specialised in. When you want to use a skill in a stressful situation, you roll:
4d3 – 8 + (Skill Rating + Skill Attribute Rating)
Supernatural Power Rolls:
All player characters have Supernatural Powers. These are the strange and exotic abilities that make your character unique. When you want to use a supernatural power in a stressful situation, you roll:
4d3 – 8 + (Supernatural Power Rating + Tier Rating)
Character creation is split into three major parts: Attributes, Skills, and Supernatural Powers.
You have 2 health pools.
Health starts at 6. You add (Brawn/2), rounded down, to your Health pool. Health represents physical toughness and durability.
Psyche starts at 6. Psyche is your mental toughness.
There are 3 Attributes: Brawn, Brains, and Agility.
Brawn - Used for things requiring physical effort, such as lifting or punching. Characters add 1/2 their Brawn Rating (rounded down) to Health.
Agility - Relates to quickness and precision.
Brains - All mind related tasks, out-thinking and problem solving.
You have 3 options for attribute distributions you can allocate to your character at creation.
Option 1: One attribute at 4, one attribute at 3, one attribute at 1
Option 2: One attribute at 3, one attribute at 3, one attribute at 2
Option 3: One attribute at 4, one attribute at 2, one attribute at 2
The highest an Attribute can ever get is 6.
Skills are things that your character is particularly good at – they are broad categories.
Examples of common skills: Athletics, Computers, Craft, Melee Combat, Marksmanship, Medicine, Parkour, Perception, Performance, Reflex, Research, Stealth, Willpower… (the list goes on)
Avoid skills like Cooking, Piano, or Muay Thai. These are too specific. Avoid purely-for-flavor skills that you don't think you'll ever need to actually roll. You can flavor-wise be able to do things like sing or paint or cook without the skills.
Each Skill is linked to a single suitable Attribute. For example, Academics (Brains) or Endurance (Brawn).
The skill cap at character creation is 4. You have 12 points to spend on skills at character creation.
The maximum rating a Skill can ever get is 6.
Every character has some variety of Supernatural Powers. These are things no normal human will ever be able to achieve. For examples of what is suitable, check the Characters page. Ask the GMs about what mechanical effects you want your power to have.
At character creation, you have 7 points to spend on Supernatural Powers. The skill cap at character creation is 4.
The maximum rating a Supernatural Power can achieve is 7.
All new characters start at Tier 0. This is further explained in the Experience and Advancement tab.
Using supernatural powers against mundane targets is a lot easier than other types, and will have either a much lower flat difficulty, or in the case of attacks, only use half of their defense skill (though full stat). Maxed out skills however receive less of a penalty against powers, losing only 1 on rolls. Some targets may have weaknesses exploitable by creative use of powers. Note that since you have supernatural abilities, you as students are, obviously, not mundane!
These are the downside of having supernatural powers. They come in all shapes and sizes. Mechanically speaking, there are two ranks of weaknesses; mild and severe. Note that you may only gain additional points from a single weakness, no matter how many you take.
Mild weaknesses are things like visible gills, or a weakness to heat. Taking a mild weakness gives you +2 Skill Points.
Severe weaknesses are things like hideous deformities or a weakness to sunlight. Taking a severe weakness gives you either: +3 Skill Points OR +2 Supernatural Powers Points.
This is not a comprehensive list of all skills ever, but should cover most of the oft-used ones, and give a good idea of about how broad they each should be. Remember, many skills should be flavor-only, so don't take something like cooking or dancing or art - unless dancing is a flavorful version or reflex or gymnast, and art is a reeeeally major part of the character that might interact with their powers or artifacts.
Close Combat/Martial Arts/Bladework/Brawling: Brawn or Agility Melee combat in whatever style you want, generally applying to both unarmed and armed. Covers both melee attack and melee (only) physical defense rolls, and some styles may include something like throwing weapons.
Marksmanship/Archery/Firearms: Agility Ranged combat, typically for most any handheld ranged weapon, but sometimes applying specifically to a particular sort. In the specific case, also would include a bit of knowledge about the category, and improved ability to clean and maintain whatever it is, possibly extending to crafting ammunition.
Endurance/Toughness/Fortitude: Brawn Defense, which can be rolled against most physical attacks (though less effective against just-needs-to-touch-you effects), as well as against things that specifically target it like poison.
Reflex: Agility Defense, which can be rolled against most physical attacks to outright dodge them (or at least have them catch you in a less vital place), as well combat initiative and avoiding some traps.
Willpower/Clarity: Brains Defense, or Mental Defense, which rolls against most everything that would affect the mind, from subconcious influence, to domination, to assault for psyche damage.
Prediction: Brains Agility Defense against ranged attacks if you're aware of the attacker in advance… but only good for that.
Acrobat/Gymnast: Agility Fancier movement of exactly the sort it sounds like, plus Agility Defense against ranged attacks if you have enough room to maneuver.
Athletics/Parkour: Agility All kinds of movement, although Athletics includes swimming (while Parkour doesn't) and a more broad focus on keeping fit, and Parkour includes acrobatic maneuvers (while Athletics doesn't) and a focus on environmental adaptation and use in movement. Take Athletics if you want to play sports or be on the track/swim team. Take Parkour if you want to explore abandoned buildings and run rooftops, or be an acrobat without taking Acrobatics.
Perception: Brains Use of the senses to notice things, make out what that distant voice is saying, spot an unusual detail, find someone who's hiding. Also used to sense deception.
Stealth: Agility Going unnoticed, whether by being quiet and keeping mindful of sight lines and the properties of perception, or by blending into a crowd.
Larceny: Agility or Brains Picking locks and pockets alike, stealing without being conspicuous. Has only actually been used twice over the entire first year of the game. (Remember, you can't break into another character's room or steal/destroy their things without the player's consent.)
Research/Academics/Knowledge: Brains Having or being able to find information quickly about various topics.
Medicine/First Aid: Brains Mundane healing from setting broken bones, to first aid, to applying stitches. Also involves knowledge in the subject area, including drug interactions.
Analysis: Brains Deciphering puzzles or finding hidden clues or hints, putting together evidence and noticing very fine details and their signifigance. Also just plain analyzing things/details. The skill to take if you want to investigate mysteries.
Mechanics: Brains Understanding, using, and repairing complex mechanical devices, with potentially a small side of engineering knowledge. The skill you want if you need to repair most things or jury-rig something.
Computers: Brains Understanding and using computers, programming software, and poking your way past electronic security.
Inventing/MacGyvering: Brains A little bit of Mechanics, a little bit of Craft. Good for creating something mundane on the fly from materials at hand, or for inventing new utility objects if you have the inclination. Can replace Mechanics or Craft for most job requirements too.
Craft: Brains This skill can usually be flavor-only, but if you want to use it a lot to make more complex things, or things to sell or use utility-wise in non-soft RP, it's good to get. Exactly what it says, crafting mundane items.
Artifact Design/Artifact Creation/Magic Analysis: Brains Analyzing and feeling out magic, trying to determine its properties and formula. Also applies to a lesser extent to feeling out and understanding powers, though being able to use it yourself helps a lot. Includes magic knowledge and understanding, and some knowledge of the occult or anomalous, and finally allows one to create minor artifacts, usually single-use things that replicate a spell or power, or slightly longer lasting things with mainly soft RP effects.
Persuasion/Social: Brains All sorts of social rolls, and a general sense of how persuasive, charismatic or appealing a character's normal interactions are - their word choice might not always be the player's, and inflection and tone play a huge part.
Several ways exist to gain XP:
Players get XP for completing runs.
Players may get XP for certain events or plot lines.
1 XP for all active characters, weekly (contingent on player activity).
1 XP can be earned by GMing a run, contingent on quality. Please consult a member of staff.
Writing Challenges, as posted.
1 XP per player per month from creative writing; see http://forums.fifthsanctum.com/t19-rules-about-this-forum
2 XP for additional options shown below - pick two options at 1 XP each.
Additional Options: (Up to 2 XP per character from these, per month, each option gives 1 XP.)
10 Journal Entries
More To Come!
Development Scene: Formerly Training Scene, renamed to avert confusion with Tutoring. A scene (or sometimes short series of scenes) in which a character makes noticeable progress or development, sometimes as simple as learning about culture in a strange new world. Can also be essentially anything that could otherwise be a power tutor.
Journal Entries: You can write more than 10 per month if you want, or even do 19 one month and 1 the next - it's the 10th in a row that counts, really.
Club Event: What it says on the tin. (Note to self: expand later.)
Training Development Scenes
Once per month per character, a player may participate in (usually initiate, even) a scene that results in personal growth, a better understanding of oneself, or anything that could be used as a power tutor (growth and understanding of powers, finding new uses or trying new things, etc.). Scenes involving trying new tactics or the like are also acceptable, as are spars if they show significant learning, experimentation, or trying things in new ways, though it's discouraged to use spars for training scenes too often.
The best part about life is that you get better at it, and in this its the same, you get stronger with XP.
There are no levels at Sunnybrook. Power is instead measured in Tiers.
There are 5 Tiers, 0 to 4. All new characters start at Tier 0. Note that "Tier 4 with four upgrades" is considered to be "Tier 5" for power bonus, though additional upgrades aside from Anomalous Generation are unavailable after this point.
Each tier is unlocked by gaining four upgrades, which each cost 4 XP. Once you pick an upgrade you cannot pick it again until your next tier.
Toughen Up - Increase HP by 2
Clear Mind - Increase Psyche by 2
Moving to Perfection - Increase any Attribute by 1
Power Boost - Increase Supernatural Powers by 2 (must split between two powers, you can add new ones. New powers being brought up from 0 are an exception to splitting, and may have both points invested in them.)
Learning New Tricks - increase Skill Points by 2 (you can add new skills)
Anomalous Generation - (special) create an artifact with the permission of the GM. This can be taken without counting toward the next tier (and probably should be if you want to maximize your potential). Note that this is still defined as an upgrade whether it counts toward the next tier or not, and thus still costs a fixed amount of 4 XP per time taken. The 4 XP may be split between multiple "lesser" artifacts if desired. Creating artifacts worth more than this amount must be done as an initial creation, followed by upgrades, as this upgrade cannot cost more than 4 XP per time taken. If an artifact is somehow permanently destroyed or totally unrecoverable, the XP is returned to the character and the upgrade slots are freed.
Upgrading at Tier 5
The only option for upgrades at Tier 5 is Anomalous Generation, but it may be taken multiple times. It may be taken for previous tiers when it wasn't one of the upgrade slots as well, meaning that characters may have five artifacts before getting their first actual T5 one. The first time it's taken, it costs the normal 4 XP, like the previous five.
(Undecided Content Ahead) Additional artifacts beyond that, however, cost more XP with diminishing returns - the second T5 artifact costs 8 XP, but still only does as much as a normal 4 XP artifact would. This cost keeps increasing by an additional 4 XP each time another is made, unless it's to fill a previous tier's slot due to destruction or loss.
Both types of tutor scenes can be done once per tier (one of each type), but cannot be 'lost' by advancing too quickly - you can always do tutor scenes for a previous tier that you've passed, if you 'missed' them before.
Learning from Others
If a character has a skill you don't, you can ask them to tutor you.
This can happen once per Tier. You ask a GM to approve the tutoring, then roleplay a scene with that character teaching you the skill you want. After this scene has been approved, you increase that skill on your character sheet by 1. Note that skill tutoring can only be done for skills that the teacher has at least double the points in, that the learner wants to advance to. (Meaning if you want to increase a skill from 1 to 2, they must have at least 4 in that skill. If you want to upgrade a skill from 2 to 3, they must have 6. Going from 0 to 1 needs the teacher to have at least 2.)
Say Wendy wants to get stronger, but she doesn't want to wait for her next upgrade. To rectify that she goes to ask her buddy Eira to tutor the skill Brawling, which Eira has 4 points in. A GM approves the action, and they RP it. Maybe Eira teaches Wendy how to throw a punch or stand properly, after that is done, Wendy now has a point in the Brawling skill.
Once per tier, by experimenting with your powers or getting another perspective from others on how you might use and control them, you may increase one power by one point. This requires a dedicated roleplay scene and GM approval.
IC actions during regular (non-run) play can earn you three main types of bonuses, besides the simple fact that you get to RP:
One +1 to a new Skill per Tier.
One +1 to a Supernatural Power per Tier.
One +1 XP per month (as detailed previously).
Combat is simple:
All involved individuals roll to determine Initiative. Initiative stays the same for the entire combat. The individual that rolls the highest initiative acts first. They declare an action, the action is resolved, and then the next highest initiative value acts, and so on.
If the action is an Attack, the attacker rolls their attack. Defense is automatically rolled against every attack.
Damage is calculated using the attack and defense rolls. The formula is:
Damage = Attack – Defense – 1
If this number is higher than 0, damage is inflicted.
Attack: Used to inflict damage on an enemy. Roll:
4d3 – 8 + (Attack Skill + Attack Attribute).
Skill Use: Used to do things that aren't fighting during a combat. Roll:
4d3 – 8 + (Skill + Skill Attribute)
Supernatural Power Use: Used to make use of your supernatural power during a combat. Roll:
4d3 – 8 + (Supernatural Power + Tier)
Counter - Delays action until a trigger, usually being attacked, and immediately acts after that trigger is activated. Gives +1 defense and attack due to being prepared and letting the enemy act first. Can combine with Intercept.
Intercept - Roll defense to intercept an attack from an enemy against one of your allies, taking the hit yourself.
Can be used with Counter bonus if the Counter action was chosen during your last turn and hasn't been activated yet, or can use up your *next* action, whether it's for this turn or next turn.
If you chose the Counter action, you may make a counterattack against the one attacking your ally, but only if you successfully negate the attack.
Offensive Intercept - Roll your attack, opposed by their attack roll, and the attack is deflected if equal or greater. In the case of melee attacks, the enemy may also take damage
Can be used with Counter bonus if the Counter action was chosen during your last turn and hasn't been activated yet, or can use up your *next* action, whether it's for this turn or next turn.
Cover Fire - Attacking without the purpose of damage. Does no damage but makes the next attack the enemy makes -2 on offensive rolls.
Exploit Defense - Roll attack to attempt to weaken enemy defenses, knocking them off balance, confuse them, distractions. You choose a defense type (Brawn,Agility, Brains) The damage your character would've done is subtracted from their next defense roll of this type.
Lending Hand - Player gives up their turn to provide an ally with +2 on their next roll. Can not be stacked.
Over Drive - Spend a point of HP or PSYCHE (Whichever would apply) and add +2 to your next roll. Overdrive can be used as part of an action.
Dual Technique - If two characters work together with a practiced or planned routine or power combo, they both get +1 to their rolls for executing it. This can only be done once per encounter.
Players can heal via three methods: First Aid/Medicine, Artifacts, and Supernatural Powers.
First Aid and Artifacts can be used by players once a Run. Supernatural Powers can be used multiple times, but suffer cumulative penalties with each use.
First Aid rolls (brains+skill)/2 and the result is the amount of Health recovered by the First Aid attempt. Damage that is supernatural in origin such as demonic poison receive a -1 penalty on the amount healed.
Artifacts can only be used to heal once and could pose risk if you overuse them!
Supernatural Powers recover health based on their individual descriptions.
Some powers are particularly common, or several have a similar underlying mechanic! Similarly, some skills tend to be used or work a certain way. This is for clearing some of that up.
Healing Powers: Regeneration and (to a far, far lesser extent) Healing are a couple of powers that are fairly common to see, and share the same mechanics for the most part, with a few modifications here and there or sometimes the powers doing additional things. But for the healing portion, this formula is almost always used.
Instant Healing: Take action to heal for 1/2 die roll total. (Roll of 6 heals 3 points)
Regeneration: Take action to start regen, and heal at 1+(1/2 die roll total) over the space of (die roll) rounds. (Roll of 6 heals 1 point each round, on rounds 1, 2, 4, 6)
All: Subsequent healing attempts on the same target without an extended rest period gives a cumulative -2 to the roll for healing that target. Basically to avoid spamming heals on a run. (Second roll is at -2, third is -4, etc.)
Minor/Consumable Artifact Creation: In a single day, with roughly 30 minutes to an hour's worth of work (with help, alone may take longer), a character may make a single roll of this skill and create a number of consumables they know how to make equal to 1/2 of the roll. It's perfectly fine to wait and make several rolls at once, but remember to keep track of days when they might not have been able to make them. Consumables emulating powers or spells, and minor artifacts that have an effect derived from a power (which may take more effort, and thus take up several consumables worth of the roll) function at the power's modifier -1 (rating+tier-1) OR at Artifact Creation's skill modifier (Brains+Skill), whichever is LOWER of the two. Several people crafting together may assist each other and give the +2 Lending Hand bonus, though the bonus still only applies once if there are more than two people involved.
More to come!
A skill replacement power is, essentially, exactly what it sounds like. The power functions as the skill, in addition to whatever else it does, and effectively gives the skill at a rank equal to the power's rating, for free. The skill use functions as normal, just as stat+power instead of stat+skill or power+tier, and the flavor may be different. Skill replacements from powers can sometimes be used as a tutoring prerequisite, but it depends on the flavor.
A single skill replacement on a power can take up a varying amount of the power's "value," depending on how 'strong' or 'useful' the skill is, and how closely it meshes with the power's flavor - Persuade might take the least (especially connected to an emotion or influence based power), while Perception or a Defense might take the most (generally a little less than half a power each). Two skill replacements on the same power are instantly an entire power until much later rating/tier, and even then will still be most of one on their own. No power can ever have more than two skill replacements, and those that have two are going to start out with very little, if anything, else.
Sense of Scale
We've had powers that individually offer fine control over an entire classical element - think Avatar-style bending; these are approximately 'average' to 'good' powers, and really need nothing further because they're very, very versatile and often (not always) include implicit immunity to the element. Another good example is full on telekinesis - it's solidly above average, and makes a good power on its own. Telepathy too falls into this category, although it could be considered to be upper-borderline in terms of power, due to how much can be done with it. While all of the above can be single powers (and shouldn't be combined), they can be split into a couple of powers each, specializing more in some aspect or another of how the power is used. When this is done, consider lowering the difficulty of using the power in question if the particular type of usage would help - telekinetic barriers, for example, are fairly non-standard for how the power is often used, but totally possible with it! They also would be even better with a specialized power though.
This one is simple: No. If it gives multiple actions per round, it's not going to pass without extremely strict restrictions and requirements. This can be a little more lenient about a couple things. (Bonus intercept once you've built up to it is fine, but free intercepts every round is not; summoned minions don't get their own action usually, and have to use yours, etc.)
This is a small numbers system, and very much so at present, with relatively low variability besides. What this means is that even a difference of 2 points between attack and defense can be effectively impossible for the attacker to ever do anything. Similarly, nothing should be giving a bonus bigger than +3, and even that should be very rare and probably only for a single round or to very specific actions (or both). Try to keep this in mind - a +1 to several things, or that lasts for several rounds is a big deal, and a +2 is fairly huge. Items can get a little more lenience since only one bonus from an item can apply to the same power/skill, but bonuses from powers tend to stack - it would be best to rule that they have diminishing returns too, probably, since it's practically impossible to get more than +15 even with an assist or multiple enhancing powers.