This handbook contains all the basic rules necessary to play Ilkor: Dark Rising. It has been organized into a number of parts that will be extended upon as and when required:
1. INTRODUCTION, explains general background information and defines many of the terms used.
2. FIRST STEPS, explains how to join the game, create a player character and fill in a turnsheet.
3. ABILITIES, talks about the major and minor abilities (also known as ‘stats’) and the various modifiers (bonuses) that are related.
4. RACES, while there are many different animals and beasts roaming the lands of Arcadia, there are just 4 races available to players. This part provides the detail players will find helpful when creating their character.
5. CLASSES, goes into some detail regarding the 4 possible classes a player can choose from when creating their character. A class (or profession) is a loose grouping in which characters can vary greatly.
6. GAME MECHANICS, talks briefly about the core rules of the game. Most of this information is not vital for game play, but won’t do any harm to know.
7. SKILLS, explains how skills work within the game and how they are calculated.
8. PERSONALITY & BACKGROUND, contains a host of information on numerous aspects of PCs such as appearance, personality, backstory, languages, alignment, fame points, XP and more.
9. ADVANCEMENT, details how and when characters advance (level up) within the game. This part describes what is available each turn and also at the stage when a character moves from move level to another due to reaching a specific amount of experience points.
10. MAGIC, explains how the magic systems (arcane and divine) work in the game.
11. COMBAT, contains information on the combat mechanics.
12. EQUIPMENT, lists the most common sets of equipment that is available for sale in most towns and cities in the world, such as weapons, armour, shields and adventuring gear.
13. HEALING, talks about the various different ways characters can obtain healing.
14. MOVEMENT, this topic discusses the various rules of moving around Arcadia, which is rather abstract due to the nature of how PBM works and effects on time.
15. GRIMOIRE, a tome of known low level spells for both the Wizard and Priest class.
16. BESTIARY, a listing of known animals, beasts and monsters.
17. APPENDIXES, contains a collection of ad hoc info, samples, charts and tables.
18. GLOSSARY, holds a comprehensive list of all the gaming terms within Ilkor and PBM in general.
The handbook deals with a host of different types of adventures, mostly overland and wilderness adventures. It also explains the different player character classes (professions), focusing on the lower levels of each classes while revealing the higher levels as and when they are reached through game play.
Read the entire handbook. Ilkor rules all fit together, and rules that seem confusing at first will become more understandable when used with the rest of the player’s handbook. If you haven’t encountered PBM before you’ll find it is unlike any other game you’ve played before: it is more important that you understand the ideas in the rules than that you know every detail about the game. When you understand how they work, the rules will become more understandable.
While the material in this handbook is referred to as rules, that is not really correct. Anything in this handbook should be thought of as changeable – anything, that is, the GameMaster thinks should be changed. This is not to say that everything in this handbook should be discarded! All of this material has been carefully thought out and playtested. However, if, after playing the rules as written for a while, you or the GameMaster think that something should be changed, first think about how the changes will affect the game, and then submit a written motivation to the GameMaster, who will then take your suggestions under consideration.
The purpose of these ‘rules’ is to provide guidelines that enable you to play and have fun, so don’t feel like you can’t send rule change suggestions to the GameMaster.