SPELLS & SWORDS EXPERIENCE RULES
CHARACTER PROGRESSION VIA ADVENTURING
Unlike many games, Characters in S&S do not have class Levels.
-Most Individual Skills however do have Levels that can be improved upon.
(Note: Some do not: They are one Shots: either you have them or you don't).
-Some Skills and Abilities are learned relatively quickly during the Intense
life and Death Antics of Adventuring and Dungeon Crawling.
-So for instance, in the last session the GM notices that a surviving Character
spent most of his time Looking for Traps, Fighting, and Hiding. As a Reward, the
GM gives him Search +1, Stealth +1 and Long Sword +1 (Attack Bonus).
- Most skills are improved incrementally. You get +1 not +2 at a time.
-In General, most Skills cannot exceed a total of +5 and a few hover lower than
that such as Strength at +3 and Toughness at +4.
-Many Skills and Abilities require both Experience and Training to advance all the
way to the max of +5. Tutors can make for interesting NPC's.
-Other Skills are quickly learned by Adventuring. These include: Climbing, Swimming,
Alertness, Shield, Heavy Armor, Haggling, Carousing, and Swiftness.
-Mages can sometimes learn a Spell quickly if they see it cast up close
during a fight and then have time to study a written copy of it found in a
Scroll, Tome, or Spell Book.
CHARACTER PROGRESSION VIA TRAINING AND NON-ADVENTURING EXPERIENCE
A Character can also learn Skills, Abilities, and Spells by Training.
-This is usually much slower and more expensive than Level gains through
Adventuring. However, there are many Skills you can just not learn in a Dungeon.
There are few opportunities to practice Dance or Study Geography in the Underworld.
-Training also has its limits. Combat skills can rarely be increased beyond +3 by
this method. Most Skills require an experiential component to reach levels +4 or +5.
-For example: A Mage may require 8 years of Classroom and Library study to get to
Arcane Lore +4, but to get to +5 might require the actual act of visiting another
Dimension or Three to get a true understanding of what is out there.
-Learning a Spell could take 1-2+ years by Study alone.
AVAILABILITY OF STARTING SKILLS
So lets say a Character is trying to get to Attack +5 with Long Sword.
They will undoubtedly notice that many of the Character Classes have Starting
Skills such "All Weapons +1" or "Blades +1" or even "Swords +1". All of these
Starting Skills include Long Sword Skill in addition to many other Weapons.
However, many starting skills like these are not available once classes have
been Chosen, So the Player is stuck learning Long Sword at +1 increments.
The more levels a player has in a skill, the more Experience and Training
he'll need to get to the next level. Figure double the time, expense, and effort.
The GM will have to determine which Starting Skills (especially Combat ones)
are available after the fact and in what situations.
BEGINNING AND UNLIKELY HEROES
-You may wish to start a character as a young, up and coming, inexperienced
individual, not a Full Fledged Hero. They would have fewer Skills and Spells and
Skills at lower Levels. They would have titles such as: Page, Apprentice, Squire,
Adept, Disciple, Acolyte, and Student.
-You may also wish to recruit civilian types as adventurers. This would include
individuals that may be older but have few Adventuring type Skills such as: Farmers,
Shepherds, Fishermen, Cooks, Stable Hands, Laborers, Scholars, and Craftsmen.
-A Class (or Career type) is basically just a collection of Skills. If a Character
has some or all of those skills, he can basically pass himself off as a member of
that class. Some skills require years of study and practice to develop so this
may not always be quick or even desirable goal.
-Individuals who lack the necessary skills or trappings are referred to as
Charlatans, or simply as inept examples of their profession.
-Instead of giving out 5XP or 1,500XP at the end of a session, like in many Game
Systems, the GM and players Should make a record of what Skills were used.
-For Example: In this Session Nine Fingered Pete the Thief killed two Orcs with a
Dagger, Lied to a Guard, Courted a Tavern Wench, Caroused in a Tavern, Lost at
Gambling, and Pickpocketed a Nobleman.
-It doesn’t matter if the attempt was a success or failure, what matters is that the
Action had consequences. Sometimes we learn more from our mistakes.
-The same also Applies to Spellcasting. The GM will award Skill and Magic Type level
advancements based on these qualitative records.
IMPROVING SOCIAL CLASS
Improving one’s social class requires some combination of Heroic Actions, Wealth, Luck,
Timing, Political Maneuvering, Recognition, Acceptance, Divine Intervention, Magic,
Connections, and oftentimes Treachery, be it subtle or outright. Each of the Four Class
Archetypes: Fighter, Mage, Rogue, and Priest follows a different path to Worldly Fame
And Fortune. The Leadership and Governance of populations will surely change the nature of
Your Campaign. Players may even wish to avoid it. Eventually though someone caves.
The Lure of Worldly power and influence is too great. At this point, skills like Politics,
Intrigue, Administration, Etiquette, Administration, Strategy, Leadership, Logistics, and
Guile will start to become more important and the rules in the War and Politics
Section will become a much more prevalent part of the Game.
PROGRESSION AS AN IMPERIAL AGENT
Agents gain Military Ranks much like Soldiers do. Successfully completing Field Missions is
the quickest way to advance. Agents can give orders to lower ranking Soldiers and have the
power to commandeer equipment, positions, and operations. Higher Ranking Agents can lead
teams of lesser Agents and Soldiers. As rank increases, they are given more responsibility
and authority as well as access to the War Rooms and Secrets of their Peers. At this point,
they can be found directing major operations and assigning Missions to multiple Teams of
agents. They can also request Desk jobs where they are a Department Head at one of the
Academies. Above that they may become Academy Controllers or even make direct reports to the
Senate or the Emperor Himself.
KNIGHTS AND NOBLES FEUDAL PROGRESSION
-Knights start as lower class Nobility in a Feudal Society. They start off as Pages and
then become Squires in service to a knight. Knighthoods can be purchased or awarded.
-Some own no land. Un-landed Knights are usually in the Service of a greater Noble as part
of his personal Army. Some are Crusaders, going to the nearest or worst conflicts with Evil
Invaders. Some are Knights Errant or Quest Knights, seeking adventure.
-Templars and Hospitalers defend the strongholds and carry out the duties of their Orders.
-Some Knights are Landed Knights. This is often a grant of Vassalage by a Count, but can also
be bought. The Landed Knight has a small Fortified Manor house and will be in control of one
Village (Sometimes more).
-The Landed Knight will nominally be in control of all of the local fighting forces, such as
the Militia, and any Levied Troops. If he is wealthy he may retain up to a dozen or so
mercenary Soldiers. Also the Count may install a small garrison that includes a handful of
Non-landed Knights, to either spread his authority around or protect a vulnerable area.
-The Next step up would be to become a Count. A Count conveniently owns/controls an area the
size of a Hex. This can be a grant in return for loyal service, or more likely a gift to a
Relative or an inheritance. The Hex may contain scores of Settlements, as well as mines, and
other Resources. He has the power to Tax the populace and Levy Troops. At this point, his
holdings are referred to as Estates.
-Above the Count is the Baron, who might control 6 or more Counties. Exceptional Service is
needed to be rewarded with this Rank.
-Above the Barons are the Dukes. A Rank requiring a flair for intrigue and politics to attain.
Dukes will serve the King as Generals, Admirals, and Stewards in his absence. A Duke may
oversee as many as a Dozen or more Counties.
-Above the Dukes is the King himself. In a tiny kingdom, 1-6 Hexes, there may not even be any
Ranks between a Knight and a King, except of course for the King's favored knights and
Subjects. In a Kingdom of 30+ Hexes, or with large populations, the other Noble Ranks will
become apparent. In some cases, depending on it's history, a kingdom may not have certain ranks,
such as Baron or Duke, or some ranks may have larger or smaller Estates, or employ a different
naming scheme, such as Barons being called Earls.
-Characters of the Noble Class are usually guaranteed to have an Estate. They are born into the
Aristocracy or Royalty, and it is their birthright. Roll on the Noble Birthright Table:
FEUDAL NOBLE BIRTHRIGHT TABLE
1 Child of Minor Nobility. First in line. Your parent is Gentry
2 Child of Minor Nobility. First in line. Your parent is a Knight
3 Child of Lesser Nobility. First in line. Your parent is a Count or Countess
4 Child of Major Nobility. First in line. Your parent is a Baron or Baroness
5 Child of Greater Nobility. First in line. Your parent is a Duke or Duchess
6 Child of Royalty. First in line. Your parent is a King or Queen
7 Get in Line. Roll 1D6 again. 1D3 older siblings have precedence over you
8 Usurped. Roll 1D6 again. Your title and lands have been stolen. Fight to get it back
9 Title for Sale: You have bought the Title of Gentry or Knight but have no Holdings
10 Gentry: You have a modest Estate equivalent to that of a Landed Knight
11 You are a Count or Countess. Roll for the Contents of your Estate.
12 You are a Baron 75% or a Duke 25%
THE CONTENTS OF YOUR ESTATE
-The Contents of your estate. Roll up the description of each Hex you control
-For a Hex, this includes Primary Terrain Type, Populace Size, and Presence of Mines
-These Rules can be found at the end of the World Building Rules Page
-If your Estate is limited to a single Village, the Rules on the World Building Page should
Be sufficient to give a quick description of it.
-Alchemists can start off immediately with a small laboratory. As they progress the lab will
get larger, get more workers, and have a higher output of potions. The usual constraints are
competition, demand, and access to rare ingredients.
-Artificers are in a very similar situation to alchemists except they are crafting relics in
their Workshops. This goes for inventors as well. Sometimes multiple Artificers and Tradesmen
will combine forces in large arsenals or shipyards to make large magical flying ships and
-Libraries. Many Mages will find the tasks of working in and for Magical Libraries perfect for
their mild temperaments. Head Librarian in the Mage World is a highly prestigious position.
Scholars, Sages, and Savants, in particular will be attracted to this kind of work.
-Witchcraft. Witches and Warlocks with a social bent will join and form Covens. These are
groups of Witches found in multiples of 13. Their combined powers increase with each such
multiple. Each Witch gains an additional 1D3 Power Points, and they get to cast Spells they
otherwise would not know.
-Bestiaries. Some Mages like to gather Animals and Monsters with which to experiment on.
Chaos Mages in particular. Aviaries specialize in Birds. Aquariums in Aquatic Creatures.
-Greenhouses. For those Mages with a Green Thumb. Plants, Herbs, and Fungi, can be grown and
used for a variety of purposes: As Guards, Pets, for Healing, as Spell components, and
sometimes purely for collecting.
-Catacombs and graveyards. Found beside and beneath settlements. The perfect places for
Necromancers to collect bodies for experimentation on and raising the Dead.
-Towers. Located at Ley Line Nexus points, Rifts, or other Magical anomalies. Wizards and
Mages of all types will make their homes here to collect the extra Power Points that
concentrate in these spots. They can also be used to power large Magical Relics.
-Portals. Found or made. Rare Portals are often claimed by Mages for different purposes. Some
stick around to make sure they remain Sealed. Some use them as jumping off points for their
adventures. Some act as Toll Keepers, charging others exorbitant fees to use them. Some Mages
use them to get easy access to otherwise rare resources and knowledge. Some portals offer a
source of powerful Creatures useful for building an army of defense or conquest.
-Universities. Some Mages are interested in teaching the next generation of Magic Users.
They can be Teachers and Deans in charge of molding young minds.
-Mage Orders. Groups of like minded Mages will often band together for some greater purpose.
Usually this is to fight some Major Foe or Set of Foes. They will go on self imposed missions
and spend much of their time recruiting new members and hiding the targets of their enemies.
-Chantry. A Safehouse (or Fraternity House) for 2D6 Allied Mages and their companions. Often
has some of the Features available in the other listings mentioned above.
The Gods will require certain worldly actions of their most Devoted Followers.
A Priest may just know instinctively what he has to do. A spiritual or mental
communication may show the way. A Dream or Omen or Vision may clarify that which
needs to be done. Usually the activity must be completed before another Task is
presented. Some Activities have nothing to do with what the rest of the party is
doing, and will take the Priest away from their company for anywhere from days
to even years. If so, a replacement Character will be needed while the Priest
is away doing his God given Chores.
PRIEST PROGRESSION LIST
1- Repair Church: Damaged by Raid, Disaster, Fire
2- Run Chapel: Tend to the everyday needs of the Flock
3- Finish Cathedral: Large, costly structure requiring years of skilled Labor
4- Take Vow: Silence, Celibacy, Poverty, Homelessness, Suffering
5- Conduct Ceremony: Sanctify, Consecrate, Funeral, Birth, Marriage, etc.
6- Preach: Gain a certain number of new followers. Spread the Word
7- Rebuild Congregation: Casualties of War, Plague
8- Pray: And Lead others in Prayer. Prayers energize the Gods
9- Meditate: Achieve higher Mental, Spiritual States
10- Show Mercy: Where others would show none
11- Receive Prophecy: Divine Proclamation, Important Omen. Religion altering.
12- Bring Gifts, Offerings: To newborn Messiah, Far away Holy Man, Scion, etc.
13- Make Sacrifice: That others will not make. Martyrdom
14- Help Individual on Quest: Retrieve Holy Texts
15- Study: Gain Skill Levels in Religion, Theology, Faith, Wisdom
16- Teach: Inspire receptive Minds
17- Fight Chaos Cult: Destroy their Unholy places
18- Transcribe for Celestial: Write down new Commandments, Holy Laws, Decrees
19- Banish Demon: A Blight set lose upon the Overworld
20- Destroy Undead: Rest their Souls. Put them out of their Misery
21- Exorcise Spirit: Save someone's Soul. Exorcise possession
22- Aid Inquisition: Assist in their Holy Purge
23- For the Holy Record: Witness Event, Miracle, Inspiring Deed
24- Collect Tithe: Monies for the Church Coffers
25- Build Temple: Where there was none before
26- Ordain Worshipper: Lay person becomes member of the Clergy
27- Join Monastery: In Brotherhood with the Monks and Friars who already live there
28- Missionary work: Preach to strangers who live far away
29- Go on Pilgrimage: A long Journey to visit a Holy Site
30- Undertake Crusade: Fight the Armies of Evil and Chaos
31- Advise Noble: Keep them from falling into Temptation
32- Climb the Ranks: An Increase in God given Authority and Responsibility
33- Reform the Church: Purge it of Corruption
34- Heal the Sick: Travel Far and Wide to Cure Diseases and perform Miracles
35- Recover Holy Relic: Chalice, Arms, Icon, Artifact lost or in the wrong hands
36+ Lead, Guide, Admonish: Keep fellow Adventurers on the Straight and Narrow
-A player should at some point acquire one of two critical stepping stone Classes:
1. Noble (Aristocrat)
2. Government Official (Minor or Major)
-The typical goal is to become either a Gladreon Senator or General.
-As an elected Senator he and his faction can either try to assassinate the
Emperor or defeat him in a Political Arbitration or Vote of no Confidence. He can
then slip into the Sandals of the new vacancy.
-As a Victorious and Popular General he can march on Gladreous for a full out
Military Coup, taking the position of Emperor by Force.
-Dwarven Fighters usually follow a slow progression, starting off as Heroes,
Bodyguards, Generals, or closely related Nobles.
-If for any reason the current line is wiped out, which is not that unusual,
he may be asked to become the next Dwarven Lord (King).
BARBARIAN OR VIKING PROGRESSION
-A Politically Ambitious Barbarian may start off as a Bodyguard or Huscarl to the
current Chief. If the Chief is killed or defeated in Battle, Old Age, or a one on
one Duel, the Player may easily take his position. If the Barbarian is a Noble,
related to the Chief, he be next in line, or just take it by force, as may be
-A Chief may rally other tribes to his side, thus becoming either a King or
War Chief leading a Great Horde of Barbarians against their enemies.
-Nomads will sometimes follow a similar path. The names of their leaders will be
different altogether: Hetman, Khan, etc.
-Gypsies too can also take this Route. They are more of a Mercantile bent though,
with titles such as Horse Master or Elder.
-Bandits are the least loyal of all these groups and will splinter apart while
even in small numbers. However you can find those who fashion themselves to be
Chiefs or even Kings.
-Rogues have a handful of ways to progress:
-They may become Guild Masters of Thief and Assassins Guilds.
-They may become Spy Masters for Espionage type Agencies.
-They may become Mob Bosses of Thuggish Criminal Family Mafias.
-As Duelists they may open Fencing Schools.
-As Thugs they may run their own Enforcer/Bodyguard Agencies.
-They may rise in the Ranks of the Eastern Ninja Clans.
-In areas known for Begging, the Sale of Information and Rumors, Plague,
or unusual Traditions one individual may earn the title of Beggar King.
-Sometimes a demented, sewer-dwelling, individual will organize the
local orphans into bands of Pick-Pockets and Cut-Purses. They will
claim the Title of King of Thieves.
-Pawnshop Owners usually fill the role of public fences.
-Artistic Criminals can function as Forgers and Counterfeiters.
-Of course great monies can be made in the trade of Slaves, Drugs, and
Dark Magics. Some of this may be as Smugglers or even at public or
private auction if the Law, or absence of Law allows.
-Rebels and Renegades can amass great power depending on the number
and quality of followers they can attract.
-The lowly Pirate may work himself into the position of First Mate.
-Through Mutiny or the rules of Succession he might find himself wearing
the Captains hat.
-If he tries to go legit he might become a Privateer.
-He might also become the Mayor of a secluded Pirate Town.
-Truly Ambitious Pirates will build up a Marauding Fleet and Become
-Aeronaughts of a piratical bent will organize themselves as Pirates.
-Likewise, Mercantile types will organize as merchants, and so on.
-Airships are rare and expensive, so any groups the player joins or
forms will be on the smallish side.
-Merchants, if their businesses are successful, will acquire Shops, Warehouses,
Caravans, Trade Ships, Trade Fleets, Guild Master Positions, , Charterships,
Mines, Factories, and Lucrative Deals.
-These benefits may come from different Countries. They may also be awarded Noble
Titles and Official Government Positions
-If they are Explorer types, they may own ships of Exploration and Discover new
Trade Routes to New Lands to which they are given first rights to settle and exploit.
-A catchy tune, a well-turned phrase, a well-told Tale. These are the claims to
fame of a Bard. This is their Legacy, their path to immortality.
-Finding Lost Lore, Recording Heroic Deeds, Writing Books, Poems, and Sagas of
Mythic Figures. Such deeds a Bard finds greatly satisfying.
-There do exist Bardic Schools where a player may find and rise in position. A
player may even want to found his own School of Bardic Skills, Magic and Knowledge.
-Other Entertainer Types (Dancers, Musicians, Singers, etc.) can follow a
similar path, possibly with a greater emphasis on fame and fortune.
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