Dark Earth Progression Tables

Just wanted to post these to document and share some of the design process for the game, and hopefully evoke some comments from other gamers and game designers.

FIGHTER
Level Attack Damage Toughness Initiative
1 1 1 1 1
2 3 2 2 2
3 4 3 3 3
4 6 4 4 4
5 7 5 5 5
6 9 6 6 6
7 10 7 7 7
8 12 8 8 8
9 13 9 9 9
10 15 10 10 10
THIEF
Level Attack Damage Sneak Attack Damage Toughness Initiative Stealth Rating
1 1 0 1 0 1 4
2 2 1 2 1 3 5
3 3 1 3 1 4 6
4 4 2 4 2 6 7
5 5 2 5 2 7 8
6 6 3 6 3 9 9
7 7 3 7 3 10 10
8 8 4 8 4 12 11
9 9 4 9 4 13 12
10 10 5 10 5 15 13
THIEF SKILLS
Level Picking Locks Acrobatics Disarming Traps Perception Searching
DEX WIS
1 4 4 4 4 4
2 5 5 5 5 5
3 6 6 6 6 6
4 7 7 7 7 7
5 8 8 8 8 8
6 9 9 9 9 9
7 10 10 10 10 10
8 11 11 11 11 11
9 12 12 12 12 12
10 13 13 13 13 13
MAGE
Level Attack Toughness Initiative Casting Initiative Spell Points Known Spell Levels Arcane Lore
1 0 0 0 1 1 1 + INT 4 + INT
2 1 1 1 2 1 3 + INT 5 + INT
3 1 1 1 3 1 6 + INT 6 + INT
4 2 2 2 4 2 10 + INT 7 + INT
5 2 2 2 5 2 15 + INT 8 + INT
6 3 3 3 6 3 21 + INT 9 + INT
7 3 3 3 7 3 28 + INT 10 + INT
8 4 4 4 8 4 36 + INT 11 + INT
9 4 4 4 9 4 45 + INT 12 + INT
10 5 5 5 10 5 55 + INT 13 + INT

So, right now, character creation should be really simple.

1. Generate abilities (i.e. STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA) on the following table

3d20 Roll Chance (%) Ability Score
03-05 0.12% -5
06-09 0.93% -4
10-14 3.49% -3
15-20 9.70% -2
21-27 24.07% -1
28-35 29.50% 0
36-42 24.07% 1
43-48 9.70% 2
49-53 3.49% 3
54-57 0.93% 4
58-60 0.12% 5

2. Choose your class: Fighter, Thief, or Mage.

3. Choose 1 suit of armor, 3 weapons, and 9 other items (12 if you choose “no armor”).

4. Play!

Initiative is rolled each round as in ACKS, and Toughness saves occur on the following table:

Toughness Roll Damage Effects Additional Effects from Lethal Damage
15 + Damage Unscathed
10 + Damage Bruised
5 + Damage Stunned Injured
Damage Staggered Disabled
< Damage Unconscious Dying
INJURY TABLE (d20)
SLASHING PIERCING CRUSHING INJURY LOCATION EFFECT
1-2 1 1-3 Arm -1 STR
3-4 2 4-6 Leg -1 DEX
5-6 3 7-9 Chest -1 END
7-8 4 10-12 Head -1 INT
9-10 5 12-14 Head -1 PER
11-12 6 15-17 Face -1 CHA
13-20 07-20 18-20 Bleeding Wound +1 Bruise/Round, starting at the end of round received.
DAMAGE EFFECTS
Unscathed No effect. Staggered As Injured and Stunned and may only take move or standard action until end of next combat round.
Bruised – 1 to Toughness (cumulative). When Toughness = -10, gain Unconscious & Dying conditions. Disabled As staggered, but becomes Dying if character: moves all out, attacks, or otherwise performs a strenuous action.
Injured Roll on Injury Table & apply effect. Unconscious Helpless; all further damage taken is Lethal.
Stunned As Injured and -4 to all rolls until end of next combat round. Dying Endurance throw (DC 10) or die. Repeat at start of each turn (DC 10 + 1 per previous attempt). If successful by 10 or more, stabilize to Disabled and Unconscious.

That’s the spine of the Dark Earth system.  Another thing to streamline play: characters “take 10” on their d20 rolls every time they sneak (switching to half movement speed), giving them a passive “stealth rating” that listeners or searchers need to “hit” in order to notice them, like an armor class.  This is recorded on the character sheet right by your armor class: silence in the shadows protects you better than any steel.

Apologies for the table-dump; hopefully they won’t dominate your Reader!

Next play-test session is this Sunday.  Is there anything you’d like to see tested?

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2 thoughts on “Dark Earth Progression Tables

  1. It looks like you’re using True20/MMs Toughness, slightly modified? May or may not be pertinent or useful, but it reminded me of a reversal of the Toughness Save I used when I ran a short set of MM3E games:

    http://true20.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1536

    It reverses the Toughness Save into a static number, and, instead, the attacker rolls damage as a d20+Damage, and the defender consults how far above his own Toughness rating it was to determine effect.

    I dug out what I’d developed to use that with True20, and posted it. It’s utilizing a Damage Track:

    http://crowbarandbrick.blogspot.com/2012/11/true20mm-static-toughness-roll-damage.html

    • I am! Thanks for sharing, this is very interesting!

      There is definitely some appeal to treating toughness as a static value, rather than a modifier to a save, and I will definitely have to think about switching over to that.

      It does remind me of peoples’ preference for positive or negative AC, since it all works out the same 🙂

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