This is a game I, myself, am making. I send a sample of it here; If you want a copy of the full game, just ask, and I’ll send it to you once it’s a little more done. (So far, I haven’t got tools to turn it to a PDF- so the 20,000 word thing’s 4 megs gotta be zipped!)
“Currently done” is on my homenode, including notes about what I’m doing. Full game features more spells and notes about the world, Atharn.
MERGE, the Maximal Ease Roleplaying Game Engine: Everything 2 Sample
1. Create Character
You start with 8 stats. Four for body, four for mind. Each starts with 2 points in it.
You also have 25 Character points to spend into your character; to raise a stat, pay 5 points. To lower it, you gain 5 points. You may not raise a stat over 5, or lower it below 1.
Strength- Your Physical might
Reflexes- How Quick your body reacts
Aim- How well you control your body
Health- How tough and resilient you are
Will- Your Mental Endurance
Cunning- How Generally clever you are
Wit- How quick your mind reacts
Knowledge- How much you know
Skills cost a point per level.
Each level gives +1 bonus to rolls, like stats, when using the appropriate skill.
For example, Shortsword- 2 gives you +2 to all rolls using the Shortsword; If you want to buy a good one, roll cunning or knowledge + 2; To hit an enemy, roll aim +2.
All skills are similar- you can choose nearly anything as a skill. DM may say a skill is inapplicable- say, though “Axe” may be a skill, “Hitting heads with an axe” may be too specific, and “weapons” too general. You can’t start with a skill over six.
1.2 Advantages and Disadvantages
These are cool natural abilities/talents, like courage, or such. Purchase them like skills. Also note disadvantages, which work in reverse, giving you points. They are as follows, plus any the DM chooses:
Agility: Your body is more nimble than most. When using Aim or Reflexes to pull of any acrobatic feat (including dodges), you get a +1 bonus. Cost: +5 pts.
Albino: You get -1 to social rolls. You also have severe trouble in daylight. You get -1 to all vision rolls in daylight, and suffer a point of sunburn damage every half hour of hot sun. Cost: -6 pts.
Athletic: Your body is more athletic than most. When using Strength or Health to pull of any endurance-based feat (including running), you get a +1 bonus. Cost: +5 pts.
Attractive: You get +2 to social rolls with the opposite gender. Cost: +3 pts.
Amputated Limb: Part/s of your body is missing! Choose an arm, leg or eye. It can't be used. Some tasks will be impossible without aid, and a 1-legged man will need a crutch or peg leg. An eye will also half any attempts to perception-wit rolls and give you -1 to Aim when using any manual or combat skill. Cost: -5
Ambidexterity: Both of your hands work as well as each other. Cost: +3 pts.
Absent Minded: You forget things! You get a -2 to rolls to remember things, and must make a Wit roll at difficulty 8 each day. A failure means you forgot an appointment, your axe, whatever. Cost: -5 pts.
Bad Back: Your body is less prepared to take weight. When using Strength or Aim to pull of any athletic feat (Dodging, Carrying things), you get a -1 penalty. Cost: -5 pts.
Bad Eyesight: You get -2 to rolls to see things. (No bonus to seeing in the dark!). Cost: -2 pts.
Bad Hearing: You get -2 to rolls to hear things. Cost: -2 pts.
Bad Taste/Smell: You get -2 to rolls to smell/taste things. Cost: -2 pts.
Bad Temper: Grr! You're easily angered. Play as such. Cost: -3 pts.
Colour Blind: You can't see colour. This should be played realistically. Cost: -3 pts.
Charisma: You're just likable. You get +1 to all social rolls. Cost: +3 pts.
Crass: You're just not likable. You get -1 to all social rolls. Cost: -3 pts.
Dark Vision: You get a +2 to rolls to see in the dark, or a 2 less penalty to rolls in the dark. Cost: +3 pts.
Extra Mana: You get +1 to cunning when rolling spells. 2pts.
Fast Healer: You get +1 to healing rolls! Cost: +3 pts.
Gluttony: You love food! You aren't necessarily fat, but you do eat a lot. You complain about lacking food, and probably will pack extra rations. You try to never miss a meal. Cost: -2 pts.
Good Eyesight: You get +2 to rolls to see things. (No bonus to seeing in the dark!). Cost: +2 pts.
Good Hearing: You get +2 to rolls to hear things. Cost: +2 pts.
Good Taste/Smell: You get +2 to rolls to smell/taste things. Cost: +2 pts.
Hatred: You truly despise something or a class of people. Make a will roll to be civil near it. This varies from case to case: a human who hates dwarves will try hard not to hurt them, but may sling insults all day; A dwarf who hates orcs will just attack them outright. Cost: -3 (or more!) pts.
Lecher: You have a strong desire for romance. Vows of chastity will not be kept easily. You fall in love easily, and will seek the objects of your affections. This does not necessarily mean that you're just out for sexual encounters (unless you wish); your feelings can be truly genuine. Cost: -3 pts.
Nimble Fingers: You are a very good shot! When using Aim or Reflexes to pull of any manual task, like playing with a lock, you get a +1 bonus. Cost: +5 pts.
Overconfident: You think you can do things brilliantly. Roleplay it! Cost: -3 pts.
Pacifist: You don't like violence. Avoid it. Cost: -3 pts.
Phobia: You're deathly scared of something. Make a will roll when near it or panic. Cost: -3 pts.
Sluggish: Your body is less nimble than most. When using Aim or Reflexes to pull of any acrobatic feat (including dodges), you get a -1 penalty. Cost: -5 pts.
Ugly: You get -1 to social rolls. Cost: -3 pts.
Choose one (or two if you're a half-breed) and there you go. You get those bonuses/penalties/abilities.
The more-human races, with normal skin hues.
Human: Totally average. No bonuses/penalties. That's what makes us special.
Elves: Tall and arrogant. Elves get +1 to aim but -1 to strength. Note that in the world where Merge is set, elves are not immortal, long-lived or youthful in old age; they age like the rest of us. Same goes for Dwarves.
Dwarves: Short and grumpy. The opposite of elves- they get -2 to RMM but +1 to Health.
Iparis: Humanoid, any colour hair. -1 to Strength and Cunning but +1 to Wit and Reflexes.
Greenskins are the typical "Baddies" of the world...
Orc: Nasty, angry race. -1 to Wit but +1 to Strength.
Troll: Stupid but deadly. -1 to all Mind, +2 to Strength and Health.
Goblin: The most clever Greenskin. -1 to Strength, +1 to Reflexes. Still stupid.
Hiratchi: Clawed, "wild" humanoids. -1 Aim gives them Clawed hands, which are used at +1 to skill; Hands deal 1D6+2 damage.
Described are the more common four versions... All canines and felines are included. Big cats are simply cats with high strength and health. Wolves are, for game purposes, simply high wit and strength Canines.
Ratite: Squeak. +1 Cunning against -1 Wit, +1 Reflexes against -1 Health.
Canine: Woof. -1 to Will but +1 to Strength.
Feline: Meow. -1 to Strength but +1 to Cunning.
Saurian: Hiss. +1 Health against -1 Wit, +1 Cunning against -1 Knowledge.
Example of a PC:
Amnesh, Iparis Mage
Reflexes- 1 (-10)
Cunning- 3 (10)
Knowledge- 3 (5)
Force Bolt- 1
Ads + Disads:
Charisma: You get +1 to social rolls. Cost: +3 pts.
Extra Mana: You get +1 to cunning when rolling spells. Cost +2pts. Has 2 levels; Total +4 pts.
2. Game Basics
2.1 Making Rolls
2.1.1 Standard Rolls
Add your stat to the dice being rolled. If it's over the target number, chosen by the GM, you succeed. Nine is the Average roll.
2.1.2 Contested Rolls
Add your stat to the dice being rolled. So does the enemy, on his roll. The higher wins.
2.1.3 Shifted Rolls
These are rare rolls, and different. Roll dice equal to your stat. If you get higher than the Target number, or higher than the opponent's roll/all the opponents rolls, you succeed. In initiative, for a common example, the highest roll goes first.
To determine order of combat, it's based a shifted roll, based on the Reflexes. Roll dice equal to the reflexes. The round goes in order of this, the Initiative roll.
To hit an enemy, it's a contested roll. Make an aim roll. He makes a reflexes roll. Whoever rolls higher, succeeds. After you've taken your turn, you can try a Follow-up action, which is an action that's done automatically. Roll a reflexes test against an eleven to do so; if you fail, you MUST do it in the next turn as your main action. You can only make one follow-up.
Finally, there's knock back. If you're hit for more damage than your health plus will in one round, you're knocked back, and must lose your next action standing up, staggering, etc. Simple.
Example: Three characters- Amnesh, Briane and Carrecha- are fighting through a dark cave in pursuit of an enemy, the foul Mage, Zackax. They stumble over an Orc sentry, who tries to flee to get help.
Briane makes the initiative roll, and tries to hit the Orc before it gets too far. He makes a roll to hit the enemy. Rolling a 5 and a 3, he gets a total of 14 (He’s got 3 Aim + 3 Ranks in Broadsword, + rolls of 5 and 3) and then the Orc makes his Defence roll.
The Orc has Dodge 3, Reflexes 2. Rolling a 6 and a 2, he gets a 13. Briane hits by one. He then makes a damage roll, which is 1D6 + 1 for the sword, +3 for his strength. He gets a 5, and deals 9 damage. The Orc is not wounded enough to fall unconscious.
Briane decides to make a Follow-up action of kicking it in the kidneys. He rolls against the eleven, getting a (Reflexes 2 + 4 + 6) 12;
Rolling to hit, he gets a (3 Aim + 4 + 5 = 11). The Orc's on level -4, so he gets a dodge of (Dodge 3 + Reflexes 2 = 5; 5 - 4 wound level = 1; 1 + roll of 4 + 6 = 11).
The Orc falls, and the kick deals (Strength 3 + 2) 5 damage, knocking it out. (See Health, below.)
The complex bit.
Health Points: - You have a number of Health Levels equal to (Will x Health + 8), each of which have a number of smaller "Hit Points" (Also called Will Points) equal to your Will.
When you suffer damage, cross off that many Hit Points, carried from Health Level to Health Level. Each Health Level where you have suffered more damage than you have Hit Points gives you a -1 Wound Penalty to all rolls until you heal.
Make note of which wound is which- if you suffer two 3-point wounds, they will not be one 6- point wound; They will have the same effect until they heal, but they have a different effect when they do.
Example: If you are hit for 6 points, with a 2 health and will, you get -3 to all rolls until you heal.
Example: The following is Amnesh's Health Table.
Level -00: ()() <-- Each “Crystal” is one Hit Point.
Level -01: ()()
Level -02: ()()
Level -03: ()()
Level -04: ()() <-- Start rolling KO rolls...
Level -05: ()()
Level -06: ()()
Level -07: ()()
Level -08: ()()
Level -09: ()()
Level -10: ()() <--Die once filled in.
Once you have lost Heath Levels equal to your (Health + Will), you must make a Health Roll at difficulty 5 each turn or fall unconscious.
Once you have lost all your Health Levels, you can never succeed a Health roll at difficulty 5. This is considered to be the point of death.
Example: The party are fighting a mage, Zackax. Underestimating him, they charge- and he lets rip a stream of Force Bolts! All are hit for 4 damage, per Force Bolt- and each are hit by three.
Amnesh has Will 2, Health 2.
Amnesh crosses off the damage, but after the first two bolts (8 damage) he finds he has exceeded his 4 Health Levels that he can definitely stay conscious for. He then takes a further 4 points of damage from the last blast, putting him down 2 more levels. This means he is at Health Level -6. Rolling his dice, he finds he falls unconscious.
Briane has Will 2, Health 3.
Briane crosses off and finds that he goes down after 10 damage- after all three missiles. At 2 will points per level, he still falls KO, and with the same -6, but a few moments later, to his credit.
Carrecha has Will 3, Health 2.
Carrecha takes the damage, and at 3 Will Points per level, she goes down four Health Levels- and stays conscious, but at her -4 to all rolls!
Zackax sees Carrecha still moving towards him, and decides to cast a few more Force Bolts, two per person- he's running low on mana.
Rolling initiative they find Carry goes first, Zackax second. The others are lying KO.
Amnesh and Briane fail their Consciousness rolls, and stay unconscious, while Carrecha stumbles forward, a furious glare in her eyes, taking her action. Rolling for a follow up, she fails.
Just as she raises her sword to strike, Zackax’s second Force Bolt stream hits, dealing another 8 damage to each of them.
20 damage total, puts Amnesh on Level- 10. At level -10, he can never succeed a health roll, and dies.
Briane fares little better. He also goes down to level -10, but he dies at level -11, due to his better health; He survives this round.
Carrecha is on level -6, nearly on -7. After the first 3 points from the Force Bolt, she is KO'd, and on -5. The next 5 rips right through level -6 without stopping, and leaves her 2 Health Points down from level -7 Health Level. If she takes another 10 damage- say, from Zackax's next turn- She'll die.
In a game like this, the characters won't want to fight foes that either just won't die or fall unconscious instead. Therefore, we propose a simple solution: NICDIK.
Non-Important Characters Die Instead of KO.
This simple rule brings a lot of joy to the gaming table, as orcs will really die like the cannon fodder they are.
To regain health, every 6 hours after suffering the damage, roll a Health Test for each wound. Each Success removes one damage from each wound. Simple. Regaining Consciousness takes place about D6 hours after the character heals back to a health level where he WOULD be conscious.
Example: After the debacle fighting Zackax, Carrecha eventually awakens. She's lying on the cold earth of a cave, companions by her side. Her equipment and armour is gone, and she's left in her skirt and shirt.
(Note that though Briane has a higher health level, Carrecha has a lower penalty -7 rather than -10 to her rolls. This makes her awaken first-- a high willpower is VERY useful; however, as she has a lower health, she heals more slowly. She'll just wake up more quickly and die more slowly.)
Checking her companions, she finds Briane is making good progress. (In fact, he's actually now healed more damage than Carrecha, but he still hasn't woken up yet.)
Checking Amnesh, she finds no pulse.
About three hours later, Briane awakes. Carrecha tells him the bad news. Gathering some wood and flint, they soon have built Amnesh a pyre.
Spells are counted as skills. To cast one, make a (Cunning + Spell Rank + Extra Mana levels) roll against the number of Ticks you have in your mana box. Failed roll means you failed the spell. Whenever you try to cast a spell, put the specified number of ticks in your mana box. These ticks replenish at a rate of 1 per level of extra mana every hour. You can cast any particular spell the same number of times per round as you have ranks of skill in it.
2.5.1 Some Spells:
Ticks: 1; Heals wounds on any living creature equal to the rank of this spell. Life College.
Ticks: 1; Deal damage equal to your will to any undead creature. Range: 40'. Life College
Ticks: 2; Heals a die of wounds on any living creature. Life College.
Protection from Undead:
Ticks: 3; for half an hour, target gets +1 armour when attacked by Undead. Life College.
Ticks: 15; Ritual- For as long as you keep the ritual continued, you are considered casting the spell. Your mana recharges as normal. You can only resurrect someone who’s been dead for less than a month. Life College.
Ticks: 1; Deals damage equal to the rank in this spell. Range: 50'. Energy College.
Ticks: 1; Creates an orb of light which produces light as a candle, for the same duration, to appear in caster's palm. When cast on an object, said object emits light. Energy College.
Armour of Force:
Ticks: 1; for one Hour, any player gets a +1 Armour Bonus. Energy College.
Ticks: 1+; Prevent the next D6 damage to the target. Cost is equal to the number of times this spell has been cast on the target plus one. Energy College.
Ticks: 1; Counter any spell a mage has just cast. Energy College.
Ticks: 4; the target is moved anywhere in a radius of 2^X miles, where X is this spells rank. Energy College.
Ticks: 1; Creates enough fire to set light to some kindling. Elemental-Fire College.
Sword of Flame:
Ticks: 1; for one Hour, any player's (non- spell created) weapon flames, dealing an extra 2 points of damage. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 1; Allows up to a cubed foot of flame to be pushed and moved by thought without touching it. As soon as the caster does something else, this spell must be re-cast, as concentration needed is total. Range 3'. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 1; Causes small, multi-coloured lights to dance from the caster's fingertips. If he concentrates, he can control them. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 2; Creates a weapon made of Fire. It deals a Die +2 damage. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 2; Deals a die plus 1 of damage. Range: 40'. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 2; Deals a die of damage to anyone within 3' of the hit. Range: 30'. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 3; Deals 2 dice of damage to anyone within 6' of the caster- including the caster. Elemental-Fire College.
Protection from Fire:
Ticks: 3; for half an hour, target cannot be hurt by flame. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 1; Target gets +1 reflexes for half an hour. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 1; Produces a gust strong enough of putting out a candle, torch, or slamming a door suddenly. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 1; Allows a weight in pounds, equal to the caster's will + rank in this spell, to be moved. Every pound the caster can lift like this, over the weight of the object he's lifting, allows him to move it at a yard per second. As soon as the caster does something else, this spell must be re-cast, as concentration needed is total. Caster must be able to see the object. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 1; Causes a quiet, light, cheerful melody to spring into the air. The song sounds nothing like speech, but can convey some song (though the words cannot be made out) and emotion through the type of music- light and cheerful is default, the caster can concentrate to change it. The song is quite quiet, whatever it is. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 2; Creates a weapon that looks like it's made from a lightening bolt. It deals a Die +2 damage. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 2; Deals a die plus 1 of damage. Range: 40'. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 2; Deals a die of damage. Range: Sight. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 3; for half-an hour, any one target can fly at will. Elemental-Air College.
Protection from Lightening:
Ticks: 3; for half an hour, target cannot be hurt by electricity. Elemental-Air College.
Ticks: 1; Target gets +1 strength for half an hour. Elemental-Water College.
Ticks: 1; Produces a cubed foot of water, in ice, gas or liquid form. (This is a cubed foot while liquid- it'll expand if it is either of the others.) This much will slake thirst for a day. Elemental-Water College.
Ticks: 1; Allows up to a cubed foot of water, in ice, gas or liquid form to be manipulated like clay. As soon as the caster does something else, this spell must be re-cast, as concentration needed is total. Range 3'. Elemental-Water College.
Ticks: 1; Causes a small spray of water to shoot from the caster's palm. This "dew" is very thin and will not cause ink to run (but it may smudge if someone wipes it). It won't quench thirst, but it can be used to wash the face and hands. Through concentration, the caster can change the temperature from cool to lukewarm. Elemental-Water College.
Ticks: 2; Creates a weapon carved sharp from Ice. It deals a Die +2 damage. Elemental-Water College.
Ticks: 2; Deals a die plus 1 of damage. Range: 40'. Elemental-Water College.
Ticks: 2; Deals 2 dice of damage to a creature that needs to respire. Range: Touch. Elemental-Water College.
Cone of Cold:
Ticks: 3; Deals a die of damage to anyone in a cone, 10' in length per rank of spell, 3' 4"at the end per rank. Elemental-Water College.
Ticks: 3; for half an hour, target cannot drown. This includes protection from the spell. Elemental-Fire College.
Ticks: 1; for half an hour, any target gets +1 health. Elemental-Earth College.
Ticks: 1; Deals a die of damage to a non-living object. Elemental-Earth College.
Ticks: 1; Causes the caster to be allowed to draw into even stone with a writing instrument. Though it will not go further than a fingernail deep, it should be enough to write on something. The caster can also change the colour of the stone to black, if he wishes, to make the writing more legible. The caster must write himself. Elemental-Earth College.
Ticks: 1; Allows up to a handful of earth or rock to be melded like soft clay. As soon as the caster does something else, this spell must be re-cast, as concentration needed is total. Range touch. Elemental-Earth College.
Ticks: 2; Creates a weapon made from rock. It deals a Die +2 damage. Elemental-Earth College.
Ticks: 2; Deals a die plus 1 of damage. Range: 40'. Elemental-Earth College.
Ticks: 3; for one Hour, any player gets +2 armour. Elemental-Earth College.
Ticks: 3; Target within 10' cannot move until he makes a strength roll against an 11. Elemental-Earth College.
Mana to Manna:
Ticks: 3; this spell takes the energy from mana and turns it to manna. Manna looks like snow, but tastes like warm milk and honey, and feels like bread to the touch. It also slakes thirst. This manna is tasty, but it is not very nutritious- a person who ate this exclusively for over 3 months would start suffering severe problems. Changeling College.
Ticks: 3; for one Hour, any target's form becomes that of anything else. Mass can only change by 25 x X percent, where X is the rank in this spell.
Ticks: 4; For quarter of an hour, target is ethereal and ghost-like. He can walk through walls. He can't jump, but can fly if the spell's cast on him. He may only touch silver, lead, jade, or magic items- and they, too, can touch him, so some weapons will harm him- but he may not pick them up. They seem too heavy. If he puts down any object he's Carrying, it becomes real. He doesn't need to breath. Changeling College.
Ticks: 2; Creates a simple illusion that has components of sound and sight, only. Works as long as the caster concentrates, and can be modified as the caster concentrates. Simple illusions are like a person walking, but not someone backflipping onto a horse, or an army marching. (Though sounds are always simple...) Illusion College.
Ticks: 2; Creates a simple illusion that changes the appearance of the caster, as much as he/she wishes. It will not change the way that the caster functions; Giving himself wings would not let him fly. Illusion College.
Ticks: 3; Creates a simple illusion that has components of sound, touch, taste and smell and sight. Works as long as the caster concentrates, and can be modified as the caster concentrates. Illusion College.
Ticks: 3; Creates a more complex illusion that has components of sound and sight, only. Works as long as the caster concentrates, and can be modified as the caster concentrates. Illusion College.
The distance you can move each 5-second Combat Round varies on stats and race. This is calculated by: adding your Racial Movement Modifier (6 for taller humanoids, 4 for dwarves) to the total of your reflexes and wit, and then multiplying the total by 2.5.
Example: Amnesh has (had) a Reflexes of 1 (real slow for an Iparis) and a wit of 3 (more like it). This gives a total of 4 plus 6 RMM equals ten. Times 2.5, this gives a total of 25 Yards per Round, or 15’ a second.
Briane fairs worse. His reflexes of one and his wit of two give him a total of three, that then becomes a nine. This gives a 22.5- and wearing his plate mail will slow him down further.