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Suldokar's Wake part 2

·1285 words·7 mins

In part 1 I introduced some of the concepts that make a character in Suldokar’s Wake Sci-Fi RPG, like stacks, keywords, types, life-forms, etc.

In this post I’ll cover a few more key concepts and in the next post, I’ll introduce the setting.

Note: This is part 2 of a series on Suldokar’s Wake. For a list of posts about this RPG check here.

Spaces #

Spaces are exactly like slots in Whitehack. They are containers for a character’s special abilities, which depend on the type. All types begin with one space and as they progress the number of spaces available increases. How fast it increases depends on how they decide to move on their graph (see below).

An Apt character can fill her spaces with equipment, scrolls, masters, places or pets. Once per day they can use the spaced content to do extraordinary feats (by lowering the difficulty significantly) as long as the action relates to the space’s content.

A Prime can fill her spaces with memories of bested enemies. Once per day they can treat a stack score as if it was 9, raise damage one step1, or make a Bulk roll instead of a clean roll versus harm. She can also fill her spaces with one of fallen enemy nanite abilities (under some conditions) that she can use once per day herself.

A Core spaces (puts in a space) regular formulæ (see below) that she can then use. She can also store an inactive formula in each space. She can switch active formulæ by spending time.

Implants #

All characters can have implants but only the Apt can begin with one. The number of implants a character can have depends on their progress on their type’s graph (see below). Implants are exactly what you’d expect and will generally provide a bonus, a keyword, or a formula. Examples include neural jacks to use “softs,” frontanium reinforced rib cage, chemical boosters, AR-enhanced eyes, etc.

Formulæ #

The supernatural in Suldokar’s Wake is based on nanites. Nanites are aeon-old semi-sentient and often dysfunctional nano-machines (infinitesimally small robots) permeating the atmosphere and all of Zira-Ka. A formula is a series of instructions to manipulate nanites in doing something which might look supernatural. The plural is formulæ.

Examples of formulæ include things like becoming invisible, the ability to read a foreign message, healing, gaining resistances, disguise, etc. For a list see this table.

Harm #

Harm (or H) is a measure of pain, exhaustion, distress and physical hurt that a character is enduring. There are two types of Harm, physical and nanite Harm. Dealing with nanite clouds to use formulæ is taxing and causes nanite Harm. Each formula has a H-Cost associated with it. Combat, of course, often results in Harm as well, physical Harm in this case. For player characters and major enemies, when Harm exceeds Bulk the character might have to make an End Roll, which is a clean roll with the accumulated harm as DN.

Graph #

Each type has a different development graph that is a compact representation of how a character can progress during the game. The player has some choice in how and in what order they reach nodes on the graph. Nodes give characters increased number of spaces (inside number), increase in ranged (Rª) and close (Cª) stack scores, increase in the number of implants (Iª), or a new keyword (inner circle). Some nodes (filled) also let players rearrange some of their keywords (moving them to different stacks). Characters start at Origo (or coordinates 0,0).

Apt Graph

Core Graph

Prime Graph

Shadow #

There is no experience points in Suldokar’s Wake. Instead, each session during which a character survives a shadow encounter of a higher degree than her current shadow value, she may move horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally) on her graph. Shadow encounters can be anything from an individual monster, a room, a trap, an entire location or an adventure. We’ll learn more about the Shadow in the next post when we learn about the setting.

Because of the way the graphs are made, it generally takes two shadow encounters to reach a new node (see the graphs above).

Characters can also loot odd kinds of “experience” such as unique graph for their type, hidden nodes and special Gunta coins (see below).

Gunta #

Gunta represents destiny or fate, and luck. Gunta Coins (GC) represent a special currency in the game system. The name “Gunta” comes from a popular form of divination (something similar to Ouija I guess).

Spending a Gunta Coin lets you bend the rules a bit. You can transform a clean roll into an action roll, perform one extra action in a round, cut ahead of someone in the combat order, promote a regular success to a special success (see part 1), lower a DN 21-25 to DN 20, emulate the presence of a keyword, or establish a minor and plausible fact in the game world.

Some Gunta Coins recharge at milestones while others are one time uses, and some come with special rules.

You start at zero Gunta Coin (Origo on the graph), but you get 3 one-use beginner Gunta Coins.

Archetypes #

Suldokar’s Wake comes with twenty archetypes: premade complete characters that you can use instead of doing a character “from scratch,” something that can be hard for a player unfamiliar with the rules. I think it’s a great idea and they have a lot of flavor. Just pick a name and maybe a description and you’re good to go. You can also combine rolling the stacks and then picking an archetype that those rolls allow for. Or you can make a character from scratch, of course.

As an example of the concepts we’ve seen so far and to get a better picture of what they look like, here is the character sheet2 for the “The Old Hitwoman” archetype, an Apt Blood Enforcer. Note that the total stack score is the sum of the dice roll (or based on type in the case of Close and Ranged), life-form, background and implant. The keywords are associated with a stack, for example Tactics is associated with Archive, etc. You cannot associate a keyword with Close or Ranged.

Nira the Hitwoman character sheet

You can see all archetypes in the resources section.

Types of Roll #

In a clean roll you simply roll a d20 against a DN, but without any stack involved. An action roll is an inverted roll as discussed in part 1 where you succeed if you roll above the DN or equal to or below your stack. In a double roll, you roll two dice and pick the best result. In a half roll, you roll two dice and pick the worst result.

Conclusion #

We’ve covered eleven concepts so far: types, life-forms, backgrounds, keywords, stacks, spaces, implants, formulæ, graphs, shadow, and gunta. We’ve also touched on Harm and archetypes. We’ve introduced the inverted roll and mentioned clean rolls, double rolls and half rolls.

This is only a taste of what Suldokar’s Wake is about. This sci-fi role-playing game uses terms that are tailored to its genre and its setting. This is why we needed to introduce these terms first. Later on, as a playing aid, you can consult the glossary for a list of terms commonly used in Suldokar’s Wake.

In part 3 I introduce the setting.

  1. stepping refers to going up or down the dice ladder. The ladder is: d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, d4, d3, d2. So stepping up from a d10 is a d12 for example. ↩︎

  2. this is a character sheet that I made for Suldokar’s Wake, you can find the (empty) character sheet here and the character sheet for the Old Hitwoman here. Other archetypes can be found in the resources section of the main Suldokar’s Wake section. ↩︎