Some insight into the mechanics of the game. The bulk of it you do not need to worry yourself about too much. Most of the complexity is hidden from you as the GM performs the large majority of the number crunching, dice rolling and decision-making that is related to the underlying rules of the game.
Much of the mechanics, formulas and calculations shared with you throughout this handbook is mostly for information reasons only. Players do not need to have an in-depth understanding of these to play the game, write their orders and submit their turnsheet.
The game, while rich with detail, is non the less still relatively abstract in nature. This is by design and to a large degree influenced by the general mechanics all PBM games follow. This is not a weakness but a statement that all players should be aware of. This is not a real-time first person computer game.
Results will often not be rich in content and detail, but rather focus on the important high points of what took place. Remember the game is hand moderated, meaning your GameMaster will be reading your turnsheet and acting out on your intended instructions by consulting the rules, rolling dice, adjusting your character’s abilities, skills and equipment and of course providing a hand written response. This takes time and effort. The GM doesn’t have the luxury of spending hours and hours on just one player’s turnsheet. If this were to happen there would be only a handful of players in the game and all players would feel lonely and rarely encounter one another. The more turns the GM can process in a day or a week the more players will be roaming around the game which in turn will create a wealth of activity, player to player interaction and diplomacy.
The missing detail and rich back stories are for the players to construct, share and tell.
Turn & Turnsheet #
A Turn represents the act of the player submitting their turnsheet to the GM, who processes the actions and sends back the results.
A Turnsheet is the a PDF document that contains all the information regarding the character’s turnsheet, player orders and results.
Difficulty Classes #
Difficulty Classes are calculated to represent how difficult it will be to achieve an activity or action that involves Skills, Combat & Magic.
Checks & Saves #
Checks and Saves are used whenever an adventurer faces critical situations where they have to see if their chance to resist something or to notice something is successful or not.
Time is measured and recorded based on the real-world’s calendar. Although it is hard, if not impossible, to accurately dove-tail that to the ‘in world’ timeframe of every player character’s experience all the time. The frequency of the turnaround can and will vary, maybe from days to weeks apart. Your character may spend several turns dealing with a situation which spans maybe a few hours or days, while the game’s calendar has moved on several weeks or more. Your character might enter a dungeon in the winter and resurface in the spring, though had only spent a few days underground.
Movement & Encumbrance #
Movement and Encumbrance goes hand in hand. Adventurers will without a doubt explore the World of Arcadia. The distance a player character can travel in a day is based on a number of factors, encumbrance being a major factor.
The Website is used to bring players together, its the diplomacy hub, the central place to immerse yourself into the rich detail active players create and expand. The website contains the Library (rules & game setting), Tavern Talk (the public message board), Vault (data & files), Adventurers (listing & profiles) and Alliances (see below).
There are three types of Alliances; Guilds, Societies and Factions. These alliances are not directly ‘in-game’ but rather available for players to communicate and share amongst logically grouped adventurers. All alliances are made available on the game’s website.
Guilds are available by invitation only. There is one for each class and players are made a member of their class’ guild. Guilds are run by players.
Societies are run by the GM and used to share and circulate game mechanic and regional information. Societies are open to a much wider audience of players.
Factions are private alliances created and run by players. Any player can setup a faction. Membership is my invitation only.