Out of Ruin - Update & Rules Summary
Out of Ruin is proceeding very well. Everything is converted to XML now, which means that statistics and rules are kept in Spreadsheet format for each editing and automatically imported into the rulebook and inserted where they need to be with XML. This is a HUGE timesaver for editing and balancing the rules. Some other side benefits of this are easy book layout and printing to PDF right from the website.

I have also simplified some of the rules and unified more of the exceptions, primarily the Statistics (Age, Energy, Bonds, Willpower, Life, Size, Toughness and Wealth).  These are now calculated from your Virtues with modifiers from Profession, Path and Race. Which means they grow as your character does in a consistent manner.

As part of the design process I am constantly looking at each rule/system and trying to determine if I can remove it. The rules need to be simple without removing anything. One of the systems I am considering removing is the Professions system, but that would make it difficult to create non-Heroic characters, so I have opted to keep it in for now. Otherwise, it's currently a very tight system with very few inconsistencies.

Above is the latest draft of the character sheet. It's designed to print on a 6x9 double sided sheet. This is the page size that the book will be printed it.

I may have not explained much about the system up to this point so I will try to outline the basics below. Eventually this will become the Starter Guide which will include sample characters and an adventure.

Virtues

There are 7 Virtues, three pairs of opposed virtues and Taint, which is essentially a negative Virtue.

Empathy & GreedEmpathy: Love, selflessness, gift-giving and passion. The symbol for Empathy is a pink heart.Greed: Deceit, desire, lust and envy. The symbol for Greed is a green coin.

Reason & WrathReason: Planning, understanding, justice and logic. The symbol for Reason is a blue star.Wrath: Anger, hatred, rage and vengeance. The symbol for Wrath is an orange flame.

Zeal & StasisZeal: Freedom, joy, victory and motion. The symbol for Zeal is a yellow lighting bolt.Stasis: Entropy, calm, process, slavery and tradition. The symbol for Stasis is a purple triangle.

When you create your Hero you choose three unopposed positive Virtues (and not more than 2 of the same type).

For example, a Hero could be Wrath Wrath Empathy, but not Wrath Wrath Wrath (three of the same type) or Wrath Wrath Reason (Wrath and Reason are opposed).


Virtues are your Heroes class, attributes and level.

Virtue Dice

The system only works because Virtues are also the dice you roll when you want to do something. Each dice is coloured to match it's Virtue. Each dice has one of the six positive Virtue symbols on each side, but not the opposed Virtue of that Dice Type.

For example, a Reason Dice is Blue and would have 2 Sides with a Reason symbol, 1 side for each, Zeal, Stasis, Empathy, Greed, but 0 sides with a Wrath symbol.

A Taint Dice is Black and has a Magic symbol where the Reason would be and Taint where the Zeal and Empathy are. The three other sides are Stasis, Wrath and Greed.

Temporary Virtues

As a Hero adventures he will gain temporary Virtues from performing virtuous acts aligned to one of the 6 positive virtues

Heroes gain additional Virtues by accumulating ten temporary Virtues of one type. The new Virtues gained must not oppose any existing Virtues the Hero possesses. 

Magic

Magic is uncorrupted Taint. Many spells and creature powers require the use of Magic. Taint can be used as Magic if the Hero gains a temporary Taint. Magic cannot be used in the place of Taint.

Taint

As your Hero adventures he may earn temporary Taint from:

  • Performing perverse of inhuman acts
  • Casting spells in corrupted areas
  • Spending too much time in a heavily Tainted area
  • Being the target of Taint based powers, spells or abilities

Once a Hero gains enough ten temporary Taint he earns a permanent Taint; his physical form may twist and he will earn one Taint based abilities. As a Hero gains more Taint he slowly loses his humanity, until eventually he will be lost to insanity and corruption.

Race, Profession and Path

All character have a Race and Professions, but not all will have a Path. Each of these provide your Hero with Actions & Abilities. Profession grants Skills.

Rites of Passage

Depending on your Virtues you may advance with your Race, Profession and Path. Each Rite of Passage grants a fixed set of Actions & Abilities. In some cases a Hero gets them all, in other cases he must choose one or two.

Actions & Abilities

Actions & Abilities is the primary  way your Hero interacts with the world.

Actions

When you make an Action Roll (as opposed to a Skill Roll) your Virtue Dice results can be used to power Actions. Each action has a Name, a virtue Cost and an Effect. Each action can only be used once per turn.

For example, Punch may be an Action granted from the Goon profession. Once per turn the Hero can use a Wrath result to inflict 3 Blunt Damage to a target.

Abilities

Abilities are passive effects that modify stats on your Hero or alter the rules concerning effects where they are the target.

For example, Extra Attack might be a Ability that would allow a Hero to use an Action one additional time per turn.

Skills

Skills are non-combat actions that require a test against a number of successes. Your Virtue dice are limited to your Rite in the Profession that granted the Skill (or the highest one if it is granted by multiple Professions). Each Skill has a 2 Virtues that grant successes. You roll the Virtue Dice and count the number of results that match the Skill. If the result is equal to or higher than the test difficulty the action succeeds.

Expending Temporary Virtues

A Hero may spend temporary Virtues to add them to his Virtue Results on any Action or Skill Roll. This is a good use of temporary Virtues that are opposed to the Heroes existing Virtues, but spending temporary Virtues that are unopposed to their existing Virtues can delay the Heroes growth, but in a dire situation it may be required to keep them alive.

Bonds

Bonds allow you to link your Hero to himself, items, places or creatures and gain benefits with them. A Hero gets one Bond per Virtue Dice.

For example, a Hero could tie a Bond to his Life to increase it or to his Sword to increase the Damage of the weapon when he uses it. A spellcaster could tie a bond to a spell and lower it's casting cost.

The downside of Bonds is that certain creatures can use them to hunt Heroes. If a Hero has a Bond connected to his Sword, but loses that Sword, he might find himself set upon by it's new owner.

Gear

Items, weapons and armour all potentially grant the Hero additional Actions & Abilities that can be used when they have the gear equipped.

Spellcasting

Spells are cast over multiple rounds. Each turn a spellcaster makes a Spellcasting Roll and declares which Virtue results he wants to keep, those are added to his Casting Pool. When he has enough Virtue results to cast a spell from his Casting Pool the Virtues required are removed from the pool. Any Virtues remaining are taken as damage to the Spellcaster and the Pool is emptied.

This means that if the Spellcaster knows exactly which spell he will cast it will be a safe casting. However, if he wants to just pump up his poop for a couple rounds then see what he can cast that best fits that situation, it is likely that he will take some damage as the additional magical energy discharges.