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Suldokar's Wake part 4

·1248 words·6 mins

In this post I go into more details about the three types of characters: the Apt, the Core, and the Prime.

As mentioned in part 1, a character in Suldokar’s Wake is defined by three layers: the type, the life-form and the background. What other RPGs call a class is a mixture of both the type and the background, and the life-form would be called the race. The type determines some of the mechanical game elements, while the background determines skills and knowledge.

Note: This is part 4 of a series on Suldokar’s Wake. For a list of posts about this RPG check here.

Starting Values #

Value Apt Core Prime
Implants 1 0 0
Spaces 1 1 1
Shadow 0 0 0
Gunta 0 0 0
Close 0 or 1 0 1
Ranged 1 or 0 0 1

All characters start at Origo (coordinates 0,0) on their graph and with 3 beginner Gunta Coins (usable once each). For the meaning of the values on the nodes of the graphs, see this earlier post on graphs.

The Apt #

The Apt is the equivalent of the Deft character in Whitehack. It’s a type focused on superior technique and skill. They can make better use of their resources (equipment, familiar places, pets and helper droids, etc.) and generally learn more from their training.

Apt Graph
Apt Graph
  • The Apt can only use Force Armor and above, or they lose the abilities and bonuses listed below (but not the penalties).
  • Unless operating stationary weapons or some weapon device based on a primary stack roll, the highest Ranged score they benefit from when using heavy weapons (3 slots or more) is 3.
  • Apt characters have an increased chance of having critical successes. Rolls of 19 and 20 both count.
  • When building things, Apt characters use half the parts.
  • They can space 1-H scrolls and use at the cost of 2-H.
  • The Apt characters’ spaces can be filled with pieces of equipment (the use of which they have perfected), masters (whose masteries have been passed on to them), places (which they are very habituated to) or pets (which they have instructed). Pets can be either animals, mechanical bots or mystical beings, such as a minor nanite djinn. Once per 24 hours they can be used to treat a stack as if it were on an adjacent higher scale for a single action, as long as the space content relates to that action. This allows for extraordinary feats, as it lowers the DN significantly.

Examples of Apt characters are:

The apt-specific page 2 of the character sheet can be found here.

The Core #

The Core is the equivalent of the Wise character in Whitehack. It’s a type focused on directing nanites and learning the mysteries of Zira-Ka. Core character have access to formulæ and have one of three types of bonds (see below).

Core Graph
Core Graph
  • The Core can only use Force Armor and above, or it will interfere with nanite manipulations and have them pay double for formulæ and cloud negotiations.
  • They get half rolls for attacks with weapons that take up more than 1 slot.
  • Core characters can store any regular formula in one of their spaces, each of which is usable any number of times at the indicated H-cost. Each space can also hold an inactive formula. Switching active formulæ takes a long turn of concentration. Note that to use subspace formulæ, you need to be bonded with subspace nanites (below).
  • Core characters recover nanite harm at twice the normal rate and get double rolls vs. hostile formulæ and anything that affects the mind.
  • The Core can have one of three types of bonds as shown in the options below. They can switch bond at black nodes in type graph (above).
    • Bond with HoloH (the ancient holofield that is almost everywhere on Zira-Ka). The character has an easier time accessing cyber-systems, computer systems and electronic facilities. This access may be spontaneous, exclusive or simply more likely. She also has as a chance of awaking dead artifacts. The character may, but doesn’t have to, understand why this is so. She will sense the presence of something—a force, destiny, luck, a god, an aiding ancestor—that helps her out and guides her hand and mind. This bond means that the character can go places, learn things and use artifacts that others can’t. Unless otherwise stated, the chance of doing the above things after having failed yourself is a clean roll.
    • Bond with a Nanite Cloud (a sentient cluster of nanites). The character gets a beginner cloud, but can also find and bond with a major cloud once the game has started. Each such major cloud is individual and has its own description.
    • Bond with Subspace Nanites (a special type of nanites). The character gets access to special, quirkier and often more powerful formulæ than others. Subspace nanites may occasionally also boost ordinary formulæ. In the latter case, this is always specified in the individual formula description.

Examples of Core characters are:

The core-specific page 2 of the character sheet can be found here.

The Prime #

The Prime is the equivalent of the Strong character in Whitehack. Primes aren’t afraid of conflicts and tend to solve problems by physical means. They can use all armors and weapons and they learn new tricks by defeating enemies.

Prime Graph
Prime Graph
  • The Prime can use any armor and any weapons.
  • Once per combat, they get two attacks in the place of one.
  • They can protect a nearby ally by taking all attacks against her for one round. Enemies get Speed rolls to avoid it.
  • Prime characters learn from enemies they have bested. When they take down an enemy single-handedly, they can place the memory in one of their spaces and call upon it—in a way that relates to the specifics of the enemy or fight—once per 24 hours to treat a stack score as if it were 9, to raise damage 1 step, or to make a Bulk roll instead of a clean roll vs. harm.
  • Some enemies have transferable nanite abilities. Upon those enemies’ deaths, if the Prime made the killing blow, there is a chance (individual for the enemy) that the nanites providing the ability leave to find a live host. In such a case, they will move to the Prime character, effectually transferring the special ability to one of her spaces and making it usable once per 24 hours in a manner specified by the enemy description.
  • Prime characters get double Bulk rolls vs. poison and disease, double Ghost rolls vs. death and double rolls against any attack that allows a roll for a counter action.
  • Prime characters can act as normal while injured, except that they get half rolls for everything. If harmed while already injured, they don’t die immediately but get the regular Ghost roll. On top of this, they die in d20 minutes instead of d20 rounds if they fail a death Ghost roll.

Examples of Prime characters are:

The prime-specific page 2 of the character sheet can be found here.

In part 5 we take a closer look at backgrounds.