A game of adventure, exploits and escapades amongst the cultures of a magical lost age. The peoples vie ruthlessly for the iron needed to conquer, the brassy rewards of conquest, and for bronze statues erected in their honor as conquerers. It is a time of metal. Inside the cities forged by this warfare, cults of gods old and new contend with sorcerers for the hearts of the people, philosophers and sages seek knowledge from earlier ages to enhance their minds, and peddlers in the marketplaces sell bodies for any and all purposes. It is a time of flesh. In the courts of kings that rule these city-states, diplomats from exotic lands make sweet promises they cannot keep, deadly spies skulk about in the shadows, and lovers meet unseen in the midst of sultry gardens. It is a time of intrigue.
Play begins by generating an oracle from In a Wicked Age. Do this before moving on to Chargen.
Below are rules for creating a creating a character for Bronze Epoch.
As much character generation as a player likes may be done prior to play, but little of it is required other than coming up with an appearance for the character. All other development may occur in play as the player chooses to reveal things about their character. Any such revelation must be plausible, of course… you may not reveal a Big trait when you have narrated that the character is short with a slight build, for instance. You may not introduce a trait for your character that they would have used to solve a previous problem, unless you have a good rationale for why they did not use that trait. For instance, if a character previously used a Jump Skill trait to get across a chasm, you can't reveal a Fly ability (unless perhaps you explain that the cavern in which the chasm existed was too low to have flown across and that the character's good jumping ability is actually using their wings to glide a bit in such situations).
All enumerations of a character are “Traits,” from their attributes, to skills, to gear and magical abilities. Traits are rated as a die size, from d6 on up (including die sizes only available to electronic rollers such as the d7).
Players have Character Points with which to buy traits. Each player starts off with 100 CP. There are three sorts of traits, Narrow, Broad, and Concept.
Trait costs per level:
Trait cumulative costs from zero:
Narrow trait examples: skills like swordsmanship, or riding, or pathfinding, or very specific magic powers like making light
Broad trait examples: attributes like Agility, Might, or broad magical talents like Fire manipulation
Concept trait examples: descriptors of the character's abilities en mass, such as Warrior, Wizard, Diplomat, etc.
Every character has a plethora of unremarkable, and normally un-noted traits. These traits are common to most humans and are at an unremarkable level for most people. If a trait is something that one expects most everyone has then it is termed a “Common Trait.” In most cases, these will all be represented by a single d4 that all characters can add into every conflict. This is called the “Base die.”
However, common traits can be purchased at a level other than the “Average” d4 level, and then they have a different cost than normal traits (see chart below). A player can buy a common trait for free at a d4 rating at any time, but these will tend not to see use. In practice one doesn't note down everything that one is average at, but you have to note those things established as average so that a player doesn't take them at a higher level later by accident.
Common traits that are rated at Average are not included in contests, unless the opponent has the trait at something other than average d4, in which the Average trait IS brought in for the sake of comparison.
Considering: Note that most gear is “Average” if it is not of superior craftsmanship or magical, etc.
A player may instead opt for a common trait in question to be rated at a lower level than d4, but they gain no benefit by doing so.
Trait cumulative costs from free d4:
This rule exists so that players do not have to pay to have ratings that they should expect their character to have at Average, if not otherwise noted. The lower cost of common traits is because most opponents will have the free average d4 to counteract such traits.
Traits do not change on their own, but through the course of play and events, Traits will often transform or be altered by events. New traits may be added or subtracted. A character may gain, and then lose, a magic spear, for instance. They may acquire injury or wound Traits.
Traits can be created that are, essentially, traits of the scene. These traits can be used by any character when appropriate. In fact, to one character, the traits of another character are situation dice, and can be used to benefit them when appropriate.
One way traits change is their ratings going down due to fatigue. For every trait past the third one used in a conflict, the player has to reduce a trait's rating by one temporarily to reflect fatigue. The trait reduced has to be one that was used.
Situation dice do NOT count for purposes of calculating fatigue.
Fatigue is reduced at a rate of one level per “rest.” The length of a rest depends on how long the contest took. So a rest in a fight that caused fatigue after just a few seconds of fighting is only a few seconds. A rest to recover fatigue from a long foot race that took hours would take hours.
Players assemble as many traits that are pertinent to the conflict as they like (see Fatigue above). Roll dice adding them together vs. opposing dice. Higher roll wins. MOS determines level of traits inflicted.
Inflicted Traits include things like Injuries. If any character is given an trait at level 9 or higher, the inflicting character determines their fate (meaning they may be dead, enthralled, or any other condition that renders the character completely out of the other player's control). Injury traits may add up, or they may not, depending on the description… but the addition is not linear in any case.
Inflicted traits can often be used as situation dice by the opponent.
All such inflicted or created traits are temporary, and will fade as appropriate. One can perform resolutions to solidify traits into permanent ones, but must also spend CP to do so. This is the only way to add a trait that has been established previously as not being present.
There is no category of negative traits per se, and any trait a player takes has it's normal cost per the above. But if the GM has the opposition in a resolution add a die from the player's character as a situation die, that player gets 1 CP to spend as usual.
A dive into the Swords & Sorcery world following a battle. Brazen Epoch Play