D8s

Octas


Extended Rules

This volume contains a bunch of additional rules for the Octas Tabletop Role-Playing Game system. These extra rules are not strictly necessary for playing the game, but may be used to enhance game-play. All of these rules should be considered optional and should generally be added to a game by group-consent.

Beginner playing groups are recommended not to use these additional rules until they are comfortable with the base rules. Essentially, once the base rules don't seem enough to keep your game interesting, start fishing through this volume for additional rules you might like to add in. It is probably best to only add in new rules slowly, rather than all-at-once.

Table Rules

You may also want to invent your own rules, known as 'table rules'. Such rules can add further variety and interest to the game, as well as customising it to the specific wants of a particular group of players. However, be careful not to load down the game with excessive table rules, and be very careful of how such rules interact with the rest of the game: it is quite easy to break any game with poorly-considered table rules. Generally it is best to start with rules that only change the game slightly, and evolve them as game-play progresses, rather than try to implement large rule changes in big chunks. Some play-testing may be required to get it right, but certainly feel free to experiment - it is, in the end, just a game.

Also be aware that if you feel you need to radically change the base rules of any game, you probably should instead be spending that time looking for a different game more suitable to your needs!


Player Creation

Special Starting Skills

The below are not 'skills' in that they don't get recorded in the normal way, however for character-creation purposes they use up a starting skill roll:

Special Starting Weaknesses

The below are not regular 'weaknesses' in that they don't need to be recorded in the normal way. However for character-creation purposes they still earn an extra starting skill:

More than the physiological problems of the condition, the raw-blood-drinking aspect, along with their generally-belligerent nature, tends to make sufferers social pariahs as well, irrespective of if they are actually trying to drink sapient blood (basically liquid-cannibalism) or sticking to animal blood, and on top of the higher tendency to occur amongst the more-inbred nobility, sufferers of common birth tend to not have the social opportunity to live into adulthood, though it isn't entirely unheard-of. Any 'craving' for the taste of blood is simply a learned survival habit.

Being somewhat physically weak, and already being social pariahs anyway, sufferers often end up deeply involved magic, and so gain an ability in the Daemonic language (all 3 forms, spoken, written and signed, roll +D for each) in addition to the extra skill selection earned by taking this detriment during character creation.

Note: Fumes of garlic and similar plants are a natural blood-coagulant, so while they can't directly harm someone suffering porphyria, having them around can really mess up that aspect of their food-supply, so they don't like the stuff!

Author's note: Sorry Deniz, I'm sure this is not what you had in mind when you said you wanted to play as a vampire! .... SCIENCE!

Humans, Daemons, Elephants, and Crows can suffer fully from this condition.

Predominantly raw-carnivores such as Bears, Wolves, and Orca may also suffer this condition but with far less impact as they often consume raw blood as part of their natural diet, so both the social ostracism and associated Daemonic language bonus won't apply to these species (probably making it not worth pursuing for such characters).

Capybarra cannot survive infancy with this condition, as the non-haem contents of consumed blood will ruin their digestive system's ability to function at all!

Octopuses cannot suffer this condition as their species doesn't use haem-based blood (likewise, the pale-blue copper-based blood of octopuses, or any other blood-having invertebrate, isn't useful to a sufferer of the condition).

Technically an octopus could have an equivalent condition, but they could not compensate by drinking the red iron-based blood of vertebrate species, and like the carnivorous mammals above, they likely get plenty of hemocyanin in their diet anyway from eating raw crabs, crayfish and the like.


Children and the Elderly

Most of the time, you will be, and will interact with, beings that can be considered adult. However, special characters, player or non-player, may fall into the categories of being particularly young or old.

In the Menagerie volume, relevant creatures list ages for the age at which they are considered Adult and Elderly, and also the average species Lifespan, which can be used with the below descriptions to adjust the being's scores suitably:

Children

From half the adult age up to just below adult age, is considered childhood. Characteristic scores are generally about half that of an adult in early childhood. As children age, they gain additional points on each characteristic score until they reach adulthood (the number of points depends on the species, particularly how fast or slow they progress through childhood: for humans and daemons it is 1 point per year over 8 years, for crows it would be 4 points per year over 2 years, as examples).

So to generate a human-child character of age 11, set up characteristics with 4 points each, and 16 points to distribute (8-year-old child), and then add 4 to each score (for the extra point per year from age 8).

It isn't a perfect system, but that would require much more complex mathematics than a game is probably worth!

Children also start with half the skill points (rounded up) for any starting skills, though detriments are not halved in value. Skills do not get an auto-increment with age, as it is assumed any child-character under the control of a player will be in-the-game and as such using learning rolls to up-skill normally.

Infants

Below half the specified adult age, a being is in infancy and will have quarter scores, rounded up. Again, points increase with age at an appropriate rate for the species, in order to reach the half-points mark of early childhood.

Infants normally do not get any skills (or detriments) pre-allocated: they have yet to develop even the starts of them.

Elderly

The elderly age is the point at which the body begins to run down. The Physical ad Perceptual abilities begin to deteriorate in the Elderly stage.

For each year spent over the elderly age, deduct 1 point off the base characteristic scores for Physical and Perceptual ability. If any of the scores drop below zero, the being dies naturally of old age.

Ancient

After the Lifespan age is reached, the character is considered ancient. In addition to the above elderly deduction, they will also lose one point per year of their base Mental and Wilful scores.

Lifespan is an average for the species and discounts death by disease, accident or violence. This is the age one can expect to live to if all of these are avoided and the body just runs down of natural old-age. This natural run-down begins at the elderly age specified and stat scores will slowly reduce from this age until one of them reaches zero and natural death occurs. This death may, of course, occur before or after the Lifespan age, as this is just the average for the species, not a hard limit.

In a Medieval society as exists on the world of Octas/fallen, population average lifespans are a good deal shorter, generally half of what is listed here. This is largely because of very high infant/child mortality rates pulling down the population average, not that everyone only lives to around 40! Most people who survive the precarious early stage of life, and continue to avoid serious accident or disease through adulthood, do tend live to an age comparable to early 21st-century Earth norms. It is just that vastly less people manage to live long enough to actually die of old age!


Characteristic-specific current-zero effects.

Rather than falling unconscious, different effects may apply to different current-scores being zero.

Any base-score reaching zero is still dead.


Off-hand weapon use.

If a player is using a weapon with their off-hand (eg: their left hand if they are right-handed), their attack will have an additional -8 penalty against hit-success with any weapon, and additionally a -4 penalty on damage if it is a wielded weapon (sword, club, knife, etc.).

Characters who were created with the above ambidextrous starting bonus do not receive an off-hand penalty.


Dual-wielding in combat.

This is when a different weapon is used in each hand at the same time. Weapons that require two hands to use cannot be used for dual-wielding, of course.

The player must specify that they are intending to dual-wield at the start of their combat turn.

The above -8 off-hand penalty applies to the weapon in the character's off hand, if applicable.

If the two weapons are not identical, then a further -4 mismatch penalty to will apply to both hands, to account for additional skill/concentration required to account for the imbalance.

The dual-wielding character gets to roll their attack twice, once for each hand.

If the defender was not expecting their attacker to dual-wield, they get a -8 penalty on the defence against the off-hand weapon.

Note that there are further penalties to a dual wielding attack, but they balance penalties to defending from the same attack, so because they cancelled, they were removed. That is why it doesn't appear to be harder to defend from two simultaneous attacks - it is: the redundant penalties just got gobbled up by the math-monster!

The math-monster saved you two subtractions. The math-monster is a good monster!


Emergency Carrying Capacity Boost

A character may boost their carrying capacity briefly by sacrificing one point of Current-Strength per extra eight blocks of capacity moved up to eight lengths. This cannot be done carefully or stealthily, so no careful or stealthy movement bonuses will apply during this activity. If they under-run their temporary strength, they will both fall unconscious and incur a permanent reduction to their base-strength.


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