Setting and Rules Documents

Welcome to Embers! This post aims to gather links to all the documents you might need.

Setting Previews - basic information about covenants, nations and the setting in general.

The Four Great Nations - more information about the four major nations existing in the world.

Timeline - a timeline of notable events in the world and its history.

The Story So Far - a summary of events that have occurred in games since the beginning of the campaign. Everything in this document is assumed to be public knowledge by the next game to anyone who has been in Duskwood.

Rules and Mechanics - game mechanics, rules, and information for character creation (note: still potentially subject to change).

Welfare and Safety Guidelines - a document containing our policies on safety and welfare for all participants, including roleplay guidelines.

FAQ - answers to some frequently asked questions.

Character Template - template for submitting a player character, with instructions.

GM email -
Questions can be directed here.

can’t wait.

can’t wait.[/quote]


Have basic premise, just waiting on rules to figure out the kinks and abilities

Added a link to the beta edition of the rules and mechanics. We hope you enjoy :slight_smile:

Quite excited for this!!

this looks fun im keen to start lol

Have had a quick read through everything - can I make the assumption this game is intended as a weekend style game (rather than a day or evening game)? Can’t see anything on the FB or Diatribe to indicate that intent.

Ah, yes, you are correct - it is intended to be a campaign of weekend-long games, with sessions every six months or so.

Thanks for posting you rules, the game is really engaging :slight_smile:

A couple of comments about the mechanics:

Location-based armour leads to decision-trees in combat. Where did that blow land ? Is that location armoured ? If so -1 to the damage. It can be challenging to assess even a single blow in combat, so having to engage with a decision-tree can lead to inaccurate hit point tracking.

It may be more useful to allow shields to be NOT block incoming arcane attacks. This makes sorcery more effective, and allows for the inclusion if magik-resistant shields as magik items.

in 33ar (the last weekend based game) location based armor worked quite well and most of the players who shall be partaking in this game are from 33ar (and other similar games)
as for the arcane going through shields im 50/50 on that idea since it would also make magic a bit over powered as it already goes through armor but hey thats just me

I want to start by saying my first impressions are very enthusiastic despite the likelihood of my being about to afford a trip to Wellington in August are slim. Fingers crossed.

I think everyone would benefit from a further elaboration on the intentions of the GM and game style. While you have pointed out that this isn’t a “prepare to die” game, being inspired by Dark Souls puts me in mind that you’re aiming toward a action-oriented fantasy adventure in which most problems players encounter would be solved by beating it up. Which would be great for me, because I have a fighter character that I’ve been playing with for a while that fits well into the current write-up, but if you’re aiming for a more slow-paced experience that balances combat with political intrigue and personal drama it would be good to know now.

My main area where I’d like to offer some criticism is your approach to armour. I love that armour is only effective when it is directly hit and you should definitely keep that but your location rules have me scratching my head. I apologise if this is not the case but the first thing I thought was that this was conceived by someone with little experience wearing armour. So we have 5 main locations - arm, arm, torso, leg and leg - but the armour skills allow wearing armour in 2 or 4 locations. If we apply this thinking to the simplest medieval armour such as a hauberk from the Seeker gear that are common these days, torso plus short sleeves is 3 locations, requiring heavy armour training and adding bonus hitpoints into the mix. Many of these hauberks hang over the thighs to some degree and I have one more armour location, so are my thighs protected? Do I have to specify which upper leg I have armoured?

I understand this was probably written with balance in mind, but I don’t think armour is as dangerous as you currently be thinking and that a change to 3 and 5 locations for light and heavy training may work better. Firstly, that would allow for full, symmetrical armour. I have a full head-to-toe suit of mail that I think is really cool but currently I would have to have one chain legging missing which would look stupid and be weird. Secondly, defeating armour is actually pretty easy. With your two types of damage - arcane and normal - almost all characters can have some ability to break armour, bypass it or strike with 2 damage.

If game balance is a concern, I would change the bonus combat perk. I’m not sure what I would change it to currently but by getting rid of bonus hit points we get a maximum of 4hp with the Resilient perk. Thus, a person wearing armour is not innately more powerful than others but just well protected, as in real life. They can walk over a non-combatant character who has no arcane power or additional damage but other fighters will still be a challenge. Someone with a polearm and Two-handed aptitude is striking them 3 or 4 times, rather than 5 or 6.

I raised a similar point (with different suggestions) on the Facebook group. … 176205321/

My suggestion was to have 10 locations, by splitting upper and lower limbs and chest/back. That would allow for symmetrical heavy armour while still leaving gaps. The armour coverage choices would be either 4 or 8. Having 4 could then allow for say vambraces and greaves, or vambraces, breast plate and back plate, or a short sleeved chain shirt to the elbows. Having 8 could allow for a long sleeved hauberk to the knees, or full plate with either upper arms, lower arms, upper legs or lower legs uncovered. Full coverage would not be possible.

Another way of balancing heavy armour is to make heavy armour be really heavy. Like, plate over chain. Allow heavy armour on any number of locations, but requiring two separate layers of metal (with minimum OOC weight requirements), plus a layer of padding, for it to qualify as heavy. That way you can play the fully armoured warrior, but you’ll move like an overweight army tank and will need to consume water like a leaky fish tank. There are a lot of ways of getting through armour, so allowing it to completely stop weak melee blows shouldn’t break the game (particularly as that also requires near 100% coverage, as any weapon will work on uncovered places). ‘Trip’ will also take you out of the fight.

One way of balancing light armour is allowing it on any number of locations, but it only works if you ‘roll with the blow.’ That way it reduces damage but will knock you to the ground / knock you back at the very least. Unprotected spots remain a vulnerability. Alternatively, you could chose to not roll with it but break that section of armour instead.

Both of these can be written in the rules for the ability, rather than the rules for armour, so the armour mechanic itself is easy for everyone to memorize, but armoured warriors have to worry about the finer details of how to get those perks. These rules will also substantially reduce the number HP needed to distinguish between regular folk and ‘tough’ fighters, as Andrew suggests.

However it goes, it’s worth bearing in mind the practicality of available armour.

Most larpers in NZ these days prefer to acquire leather or metal armour to represent their character’s armour. Real armour tends to come in certain arrangements. For one thing, it tends to be symmetrical, i.e. limb armour comes in pairs. It’s a shame for people to be acquiring limb armour but then only be able to use half of it. For another thing, the parts of the armour tend to be partitioned at the front and the back of the torso (i.e. chest plates and back plates) and at the mid limb joints (elbows and knees).

I’ve already had a request to Paddywhack for a chain vest in order to be allowable within a larp’s armour rules. Such things exist, but they much harder to come by than more historically common items such as a chain shirt or hauberk. There’s also a big difference in cost and weight between wearing just a chest plate and wearing a chest and back.

It would be unfortunate to design an armour system that forces players in search of hard-to-come by armour, to only use one side of an armour set they have purchased, or to buy more armour than they can currently afford in order to entirely cover a large area (the whole arm or leg, the whole torso), especially when the more historically normal armour arrangements also look better on.

Crucible has a similar issue in terms of available props with shield sizes, because it lacks a 60cm size break. That’s a very common size for larp shields to be produced at so there is a lot of variety available, it’s affordable, it’s easy to store and carry, it suits many characters who aren’t soldiers with giant shields and there’s a big difference between 60cm and 80cm in defensive value so it makes sense to utilise that from a game design perspective. But the break is at 80cm, so the mass availability and practicality of 60cm shield props is pretty much going to waste.

In regards to the comments above regarding armour (and your point about some things being hard to source is noted, Ryan!) - the armour rules for Embers are under revision currently. The input above and elsewhere is appreciated. We’ll look at getting some revised rules out in the future, once we finalise any changes we want to make.

Patch notes for rules version 2.1 (now linked in the original post):

  • Added additional safety clarifications to the general combat guidelines.
  • Use of the Point Blank call instead of loosing a larp-safe arrow is now required is your target is within 3 meters of you.
  • Added some clarifying statements around the use of the Point Blank call to the Combat section.
  • Changed the way that locational armour can be allocated.
  • Included clarification as to the effect this will have on the Armour Break call and the Blacksmith and Master Smith perks.
  • Clarified that armour works the same way against ranges attacks that it does against melee attacks.
  • Potion props are no longer required ot be water but you must make anyone who is going to OOC drink a potion prop aware of what is in it. No one is ever required to physically drink a potion prop OOC.
  • Slight clarification about the mechanics of poisoning food or drink.
  • There will be a limit on the number of locks that a Master Smith can create in a game based on the availability of props.
  • Added a heading and paragraph about capturing other characters.
  • Stabilising a dying character with a health potion means that they cannot benefit from the effects of another health potion for one hour.
  • Clarified that once a resuscitation attempt is made on a deceased character then no more attempts can be made, regardless of the outcome.
  • Resuscitation from a Surgeon does not incur the one hour resting time between treatment from a Physician.
  • Clarified that casting the Blue Sorcery spell Imbue on a larp-safe bow or crossbow causes all arrows fired from this weapon to deal Arcane damage until the end of the encounter.
  • A character with Empowered White Sorcery may only affect one character at a time with the Shelter spell.
  • Dispel does not affect any potion effects on the target.
  • The effects of the Amnesia Potion can be removed if the character is fed The Purge within an hour of ingesting the Amnesia potion.
  • The Paranoia and Euphoria potions now each have a duration of 1 hour.

There has been a change to the Embers game rules and the document has been updated accordingly.

  • The ‘Fear’ call has been removed.
  • The Black Sorcery spell ‘Fear’ now reads: ‘Fear: point attack; call Compel ‘flee from me’ on one target.’
  • The Covenant ability for the Shining Company, ‘Hear of Valor’ has
    also been changed slightly. Players with characters in this Covenant
    will be informed of the new wording.

We have made this change because we felt that the duration of the Fear
call was too long and that a comparable effect could be achieved using
the existing Compel call.

Rules Document

We have made further updates to the rules document in the form of some tweaks and clarifications.

Patch notes are as follows -
Several new sections were added to the general rules:

  • Searching character rooms and belongings
  • Curses
  • Iron Wraith Masks

The Sleep call has been modified slightly and should now be delivered with a duration in the call. Abilities that use the Sleep call have been modified to use the new format.

Changes have been made to the Silent Takedown bonus perk. This ability now requires 3 seconds of preparation, during which you must remain behind and within arms reach of your intended target.

Stated that a character cannot stabilise themselves with the Physician perk.