Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Meet Nuuk the Destroyer

Now that testing is underway and a lot of the combat processes in CORPS are looking promising I wanted to give people a taste of what a fully fleshed out character would look like and walk through the steps on how one would be created.  Obviously this wouldn't be the complete process since there's still content being worked on, such as character backgrounds but for one of our test characters, whose sole purpose is to kill things we figured we could show our readers just how badass the system can really be.

As a little forward, to keep track of our characters and their build we give them names that suit them.  In this case I'll be introducing one of our first attempts at a min-maxed melee fighter named Nuuk the Destroyer.  So first I'll go ahead and just show what a rough look of the character sheet would look like and then I'll break it down into sections and go through each one explaining them in better detail.

Quick Reference Info:

Character Name: Nuuk Race: Gryx
Theme Points (3/0/0/1) (C/S/M/G) Character Level: 1
Initiative: +6 Movement: 7 Vision: Low light
Saving Throws: +7/+6/+2  (F/R/W)

Defenses: AD: 21 UD: 18 PD:  18

Hit Points: 28 Bloodied: 14 Recovery: 10 (7+3) Wound: 3

Power Points: 21 Adrenaline Points: 3

The quick reference section is at the top of the sheet, it has a lot of important information and as we get into more testing will be expanding it to contain non-combat information such as height, weight, gender, all of that kind of stuff that you'd care about if you were playing a real RPG.  Since this character fights simulated battles in an area environment we don't have it stated, but if his attributes were a hint, he'd be a big beastly gryx, who is very quick and fairly intuitive.

So to start we have the character name which is, Nuuk, cause he's a killer.  The race is a Gryx, which if you'd happened across the previous character races post that included Gryx, you'd know they are pretty much savage orcs.  Although they closer identify with an orc from World of Warcraft rather than say D&D.  Next are theme points which is the first thing a player will choose to truly define their character.  These theme points can be invested in Combat, Stealth, Magic or General.  The first 3 can have a maximum of 3 points assigned to them while general can only have 1 point assigned to it.  Each character is allowed 4 points to decide how they want to place them.  Nuuk went with 3 points in combat and 1 point in general.  This would be a well rounded fighter, a soldier whose training relied on all things combat related and had training in a great deal of skills, both combat and non-combat related.

Themes, beyond dictating a character's focus and build also include thematic bonuses depending on how heavily they invest in a given theme.  (This is discussed in more detail in the abilities section) Nuuk gets 3 combat theme points to invest in what kind of combat build he wants to go with.  The options for combat themes are Weapon Specialization (more damage with weapons), Guardian's Mark (defensive ability to help protect allies) and Juggernaut (built in damage resistance).  Since Nuuk loves to kill things, he invested all 3 points in weapon specialization to increase his weapon damage as much as he possibly could.  General doesn't have any direct combat bonus but it does increase the number of skills a character can learn as well as a few other perks such as being able to learn additional encounter powers.

Next is the character level, which is simply 1 for testing sake.  Currently our plans are to make this a 10 level system, at least for players, monster can probably go up to as high as level 14.  Who knows if this game takes off maybe we'll have to come out with an expansion that raises the level cap :)  Now combat the combat related information.  Initiative is used at the start of combat to determine who goes in what order. The system is setup so that combat is broken down into rounds, and in each round all creatures and characters will get one or more turns.  In a turn a character gets 3 actions, a standard, move and minor.  They can be taken in any order but only one at time.  Actions can be down graded, so a standard can be used as a move or minor and a move can be used as a minor action.  Next is vision, which is based on race usually.  This just means that Nuuk gets no penalty in low lightning.

Getting down to the nuts and bolts of it we have Saving Throws.  A throwback to some d20 systems we have 3 saving throw values.  Fortitude, Reflex and Will.  These are based on a combination of attributes and the distribution of your theme points.  Since combat influences fortitude, it is his best saving throw value.  Next are the defenses, which we have listed in shorthand as AD, UD and PD, which stand for active defense, unarmed defense and passive defense.  Physical attacks, I.E. non-magical attacks, will always target one of these defenses based on the situation.  There is technically a fourth defense, Ranged Defense, but since Nuuk is wielding a 2 handed axe (as shown later on) his ranged defense is the same as his passive defense.

Last in the quick reference section are hit points, power points and adrenaline points.  This can simply be thought of as health, mana and special powers.  Hit points are also broken down into bloodied, recovery and wound.  Each is 1/2 the value of the previous.  So with 28 hit points, Nuuk has a bloodied value of 14.  This is primarily used as a trigger for certain abilities both for characters as well as for monsters.  Recovery value is 1/2 of the players bloodied value and is used in conjunction with healing, both in and out of combat.  Nuuk has a talent that increases his recovery value by 3 so he'll gain back 10 hp at a time instead of 7 when healing.  Lastly there is the wound value.  Simply put, wounds are a bitch.  CORPS has a harsh critical system.  It is a double edged sword that can cut both ways.  As apart of that cutting enemies and characters can suffer wounds.  For characters this means that their maximum hit points is reduced by their wound value (1/2 their unmodified recovery value) for each wound they suffer.  If a character suffers 8 wounds they die.  Unlike normal hit points being lost, wounds can only be healed given proper rest and medical care, not something that can usually be come by when adventuring out on the road or trapped down in the depths of a dungeon.

Power points represent the characters ability to harness and focus magical energy.  They are considered a daily resource because a character will replenish their power points given a days rest.   They can be used to activate encounter powers, heal out of combat or cast magical spells if the character has any theme points invested in magic.  After a successful encounter, a character will recover 10% of their maximum power points as reward.  Adrenaline points at a bit different.  These represent the characters ability to make shit happen in the heat of the moment.  When the adrenaline is pumping, these points are used to perform fantastic deeds or empower magic spells.  Adrenaline points, or AP are usable only in combat, however each time you start a combat you start with your maximum.  Either use 'em or lose 'em.


18 (26)
12 (4)
9 (0)
15 (10)
9 (0)
9 (0)
Self Discipline
9 (0)
11 (2)

Attributes play an important part in the development of a player character in CORPS. There are 8 attributes roughly broken down into 4 physical and 4 mental attributes. Similar to D20 systems characters get bonus the higher their attributes at. Since these attributes play such an important role in this system wanted to keep them consist by using a point buy system for players to purchase the values they want. Using traditional random generation could lead to a character that is much stronger than expected, or one that is terribly weak depending on extreme rolls one way or the other. While we might eventually have rules for it, currently we only are having PCs purchase their attributes.

In a previous post I discussed the different attributes and what they mean to a character. In this example of a min-max character it's easy to see that Nuuk has heavily invested points in strength and quickness, two skills key to combat. The first column lists each of the 8 attributes while the second column shows each base value purchased by Nuuk. The value in parentheses is the number of attribute points it costs to purchase that value. All characters start out with 42 points with which to purchase attributes. The attribute point cost table can be found here. The third column is racial bonuses. Each race gets a certain number of bonus points they can use to increase any attribute(s) they want. Most races have some attributes they always get bonuses to in addition to what can be picked. Players can only get up to a +2 in any given attribute from their race. Gryx are naturally strong intuitive creatures so all gryx get a +1 to strength and a +1 to Intuition. Gryx also get 2 additional points they can put into any attribute. In this case Nuuk choose to get +2 to strength, 1 naturally and one by choice, a +1 to quickness and the natural +1 to intuition. The fourth column is Nuuks final attribute value at level 1 (just combines base and race bonuses) If he had any items or effects that increased he attributes those would be added here as well. In the last column are the bonus values Nuuk gets to each skill. These bonuses are used when making skill checks, during combat, or whenever a situation arises where Nuuk is put to a challenge.


Great Ax (Weighted) AoE:Melee 1 in melee Attack: 2d12+9 Crit:  2d12

Basic Attack: 2d10 + 16

Finishing Blow:   2d10 + 31 (Push 1) [Requires: bloody target]

Crowd Sweeper (Snap): (Burst 3 in melee)  3d10+18 (Push 2)

Hand Ax (Heavy) (0/5/10)

Attack roll: 2d12+9

Damage roll: 2d6 + 13  [crit 2d6]

Light Crossbow (Simple) (10/20/40)

Attack roll: 2d12+7
Damage roll: 2d8 + 3 [crit 2d8]

Now we get to the meat of Nuuk. Attacks. Killing. Maiming and slaughtering. These are things that Nuuk does best. Nuuks primary weapon is a great ax. With it he beheads his enemies. The attacks are broken down into 4 basic parts. Area of effect or AoE, attack roll, damage roll and crit roll. Magic spells can vary a lot more depending on the spells being used but Nuuk cares nothing for magic tricks. His ax does the talking.

On the character sheet the attacks are easy to read. In this case they broken down by weapon since Nuuk carries 3 different weapons there are 3 different groups of attacks. His primary weapon, his great ax. It's area of effect is a melee 1 in melee meaning that this is a melee attack that can target 1 creature within the melee range of the weapon which is 1 square for the great ax. All attacks share this kind of terminology because attacks can vary greatly on the type of attack and number of targets that they can affect. Next the attack roll is a 2d12 roll + 9. Some of you might recall that CORPS uses 2d12 as it's primary method of rolling dice. Most characters will usually have an attack roll at level 1 of 2d12+9 if they are focusing in a single primary attack, which is generally recommended. Nuuk is using a great ax which is a heavy weapon. This means that it uses his strength attribute for both attack and damage but only uses 2/3 of his strength attribute rounded to hit with and 3/2 his strength attribute for damage. Since he has a +6 strength bonus this means he gets a +4 to hit and a massive +9 to damage from his strength attribute. He is also trained with his great ax which gives another +4 to hit. Lastly he has the counterweight talent which gives him a +1 to hit with heavy weapons giving a combined total of a +9 to hit. Most enemies at level will be rocking about an 18 active defense meaning that Nuuk wouldn't only need a 9 or higher on a 2d12 to hit. That's a little of an 80% chance to hit. The game is designed so that characters can will usually fight monsters between 1 level below their level and up to about 4 levels above their level. We also realize that missing with attacks sucks. It's no fun. It slows down combat and is generally a downer when it happens too often. Most combats should see players hitting on average about 65% of the time, meaning more hits and crits.

The crown jewel of Nuuk's attack is the massive amount of damage he can dish out. Nuuk's basic attack does weapon damage + 16. Since he uses a great ax, his weapon damage is 2d10. Since it's a heavy weapon he gets that huge +9 bonus damage from his strength. Next Nuuk gets a +5 to his primary weapon, the great ax, because of his 3 combat theme points he invested into weapon specialization. He gets another +1 to damage from selecting the advanced Zweihander weapon style (more about that in the abilities section) and finally a +1 bonus to damage from the talent Aspect of War: Rage (described in more detail in the talents section). All in all an impressive 2d10+16 mean that Nuuk could do up to 36 points of damage with an average damage of 22. Nuuk only has 28. Another aspect of CORPS is that players tend to have lower hit points and do more damage while enemies have higher hit points and do less damage. A typical level 1 monster would have around 42 hit points. Even so, on average Nuuk would kill a creature in two hits.
The last part of the attack is also perhaps the most exciting and that is the critical roll. A critical hit results any time a player rolls a natural 12 on either of their attack dice. If a player rolls 2 12s in a single roll then it counts as a double crit. When a character gets a critical hit they do max damage with the (36 in Nuuk's case with a basic attack) and then on top of that also get to make a new roll called a critical roll. Since Nuuk is using a great ax, he gets to roll another 2d12 for his critical roll. A thief using a dagger would only get to roll something like 2d6 for a critical roll. The value of the roll is then used to look up on a critical chart which applies a number of different debilitating conditions. A character can have something a mild as being knocked off their feet or pushed back 5 feet or severe as getting wounded and stunned and in extreme cases even instant death. Yes, instant death. Combat is serious business in CORPS.

The other two attacks listed under Nuuk's great ax are special powers he perform at the cost of an adrenaline point. Since he has 3, he could perform either of those abilities up to 3 times in a single combat. Finishing blow does a massive amount of damage but requires that the target is bloodied meaning at least 1/2 their hit points are missing. The second attack is a snap attack meaning that it does 1/2 damage, but it's a burst 3 in melee. That means the attack can target up to 3 targets that are within melee range. Creatures that are hit can be pushed back up to 2 squares or 10 feet. With how tactical combat is we're designing the game to be played on a squared battle grid with each square grid counting as 5'. We had looked at alternative rules for playing without the mat but there are still a few details to work out concerning how that would play out.

Nuuk's other attacks are both ranged attacks with a throwing axe and cross bow respectively. Sadly Nuuk can hurl a hand axe with greater force and accuracy than he can shoot a light crossbow bolt, but the crossbow has much greater range. The 3 range values are short, medium and long range of the weapon. Short range is considered a normal ranged attack while medium range is a -2 to the attack roll. A long ranged attack is disadvantaged meaning that a character must roll 3d12 and has to keep the lowest two d12s rolled.

Abilities, Knacks and Encounter powers:


Advanced Weapon Specialization (Greataxe) [+5 primary] / [+3 all] (Feature/Talent)

+5 Combat talent Points (Racial)

Cut to the Chase:   Charge is a standard action (Racial)

Measured Charge:  Charging doesn’t force use of PD, OA’s on charge vs AD (Talent)

Weapon Styles:
Zweihander:  +1 damage with 2H weapons

Langekampf:  All AP knacks add push 1

Weapon Skills:
Unarmed (T)
Heavy (T)
Ranged (T)


General:  Dedicated Attacks (Increase damage of all knack attacks by 2)

Restricted 1:  Finishing Blow (+13 damage vs bloodied target, push 1)
Restricted 2:  Crowd Sweeper (Burst 3 in X melee snap + push 2)

Encounter Powers:

Blood Rage (Racial - Free):

Once per encounter on your turn you gain an extra move action, and during your turn any skill check that uses the strength stat gains advantage.

Surge:  (1 AP or 5 PP)

Spend a move action to make a normal weapon attack.

Blood Spray:  (1 AP or 5 PP)

When you bloody an enemy you may make a basic attack against the same enemy as a free action and add +6 bonus damage.

This section of the character sheet covers all of the special abilities of the character. If Nuuk had any degree of magic to his name this section would also list known spells for the character in addition to what is already listed here. While the attacks section has a quick hand version for attack roll, damage and critical, this section gives a little more detail if any is needed about each of the attacks or powers. The abilities list has an entry for every ability, passive or active that the character has. Abilities are just something is always available to the character. Some abilities are active which means they have some kind of activation cost but can be used repeatedly. Other abilities just provide a permanent passive benefit. In Nuuk's case all of his abilities are passive. For clarity, at the end of each ability I added where that ability was coming from.

Advanced Weapon Specialization is one of the 3 combat features you can pick from when you invest theme points in combat. At level 1 you get 1 feature point for each theme point invest. After that you roughly get an additional feature point at odd levels. The system is built so that by the time a character reaches max level they'll have earned 9 feature points if they have 3 theme points invested in a theme. If a character only had 1 theme point invested in a theme then by max level they'd only have 3 feature points. Nuuk was built with damage in mind so he placed all 3 feature points into weapon specialization which increases the damage he does with his primary weapon by +4 damage and increases the other weapons by +2. He also has selected the talent advanced specialization which increases the damage bonus of weapon specialization by 1 giving him a +5/+3 based on the weapon he is using. Nuuk like's big weapons so he uses a 2 handed great ax as his primary weapon.

The +5 combat talent points and cut to the chase are two racial bonuses all gryx characters get. Since the gryx are a very combat oriented society they naturally get 5 additional combat talent points. The talent point system mirrors the theme system. That is to say that talents belong to one or more categories, combat, stealth, magic or general. You get 10 times the number of theme points you invest as talent points at level one. All characters also automatically start with 10 general talent points. This means that Nuuk gets 30 combat talent points and 20 general talent points(10 starting + 10 for the 1 point in general). Since he's a gryx he instead gets 35 combat talent points. In the talent section below you can see what talents Nuuk selected, what their cost was and a brief description of what the talent does.

Cut to the chase is a racial benefit that affects a combat mechanic known as charge. All characters have the option to perform a charge attack. A charge allows a character to use their full action to move up to their speed and make a basic attack with a +1 to hit. A full action means that both the characters move and standard actions are used, but can be done with only a standard action. This means a character could move their full movement then charge with their standard action to cover a large distance. The biggest downside about charging however is that you must use you passive defense until the start of your next turn. Essentially a charge is increased mobility and offensive capabilities at the cost of your defense. Because Nuuk is a gryx, he his charge action only costs a standard action. This means that he could charge someone, kill them, then use his move action to close on another enemy. Nuuk's last ability, measured charge, is a talent that helps support his natural ability to charge by allowing Nuuk to use his active defense during and after a charge. Normally characters to who provoke opportunity attacks from moving, have that attack going against their passive defense. If Nuuk is charging he can still use his active defense.

Weapon styles is an option characters get depending on how many ranks they invest in the combat or stealth themes. Characters get between 0 and 2 weapon styles depending on their theme investment. Since Nuuk has 3 theme points in combat he gets 2 advanced weapon styles which have passive benefits when he is using a particular type of weapon. Both the Zweihander and Langekampf styles benefit 2 handed weapons. One gives a passive +1 to damage with 2 handed weapons and the other allow powers activated by adrenaline points to also push creatures 1 square.

Weapon styles also give characters access to specific weapon knacks. At level 1, being a 3 combat, Nuuk gets 1 general knack and 2 advanced knacks. There are a list of general knacks and the advanced knacks you can pick from are dependent on what weapon styles you pick. If Nuuk had picked something like dual wielding and paired weapons for his weapon styles, he would have had a different list of knacks to choose from. Each of the knacks have a brief description as to what they do. As you can see, the knacks from the advanced weapon styles are powers that require adrenaline points to use. These are the powers we already went over in the attacks section.

In addition to weapon styles are weapon skills. Weapon skills are simply a high level of what kinds of weapons a character is trained with. The more theme points in the combat or stealth themes the more weapon skills you start with. To keep this simple all weapons belong to one of five weapon groups. Light, Heavy, Ranged, Unarmed and Polearm. As we can see on the sheet, Nuuk is trained with Heavy, Unarmed and Ranged weapons.

The last part of this section are encounter powers. These are special powers that require 5 power points or 1 adrenaline point to activate and can be used once per encounter. There are also daily powers, which can only be used once per day but they basically share the same space.  Normally a character at level 1 is allowed two encounter slots.  An encounter power takes up 1 slot while a daily power takes up 2 slots.  If you invest 1 theme point in general, you get an extra encounter slot.  Since Nuuk has 1 theme point in general he is allowed 3 encounter slots.  This means that if he wanted to, Nuuk could have up to 3 encounter powers or 1 encounter and 1 daily power.  Since Nuuk spent his talent points on other things he only purchased 2 encounter powers which were Blood Spray and Surge, both good offensive options.  Being a gryx also gives him access to Blood Rage with is a gryx racial encounter power.  Because he gets this power as a result of his race, it doesn't take up an encounter slot or cost anything to activate in combat.



Advanced Specialization (5c) [+1 to primary and secondary weapon damage]

Counterweight (5c)

Armor of the Northmen (10c) [Use Str for armor, 1/2 Qu]

Measured Charge (5c) [No PD on charge, OA’s vs active]

Aspect of War: Rage  (5c) [+1 to damage with heavy weapons. Gain the ability to purchase rage talents]

Aspect of War:  Blood Spray - Encounter  (5c) [Gain the encounter power Blood Spray:]

Surge (10 g) - Encounter [Grants the Surge Encounter Power]

Improved Recovery (5g) [Increases the number of hit points gained by your Rapid and Restful Recovery by 3 + 1/2 your level]

Quick Draw (5g) [draw weapons and items for free as part of another action.]

Talents have already been covered in enough detail previously in this post so I'll just continue on to skills.


Skills:  16 / 16  
Alertness (1)
Survival (1)
Search (1)
Tracking (2)
Athletics (2)
Tumbling (1)
Balance (1)
Stalking & Hiding (2)
First Aid (1)
Warfare (1)
Nature (1)
Intimidate (2)
For skills we had made a number of iterations from where we started to where we are today.  Skills originally were based very closely off of skill progression from games like Role-Masters where there are a myriad of skills available.  But after some time we realized having a shoe tying skill or underwater basket weaving skill really wasn't necessary so over the course of time have revamped and condensed the skills and the method in which people obtain them.  We used to have a rank progression for skills where each level players could choose to advance the skills they wanted to keep high while going back and forth between other skills that maybe weren't so as important to them.  This kind of system allows from some interesting character development as well as giving players a chance to easily pick up new skills as their priorities and focuses change.  Of course the horrible downside is complexity and the threat of character's falling behind in effectiveness if they aren't constantly honing their best skills.

After some debating and thinking we finally agreed on a method where all character skills belonged to 1 of 3 states.  These states are, untrained, familiar and trained.  When a character is made they get 12 skill points to purchase skills they want.  It simply costs 1 skill point to become familiar and 2 skill points to become trained.  Characters have access to all skills allowing any character to become familiar or trained in anything.  We went this route because even though players select their character's theme, this is technically a classless system.  So just because someone went 3c/1m while another went 3c/1s doesn't mean necessarily that the 1s can't know skills related to magic or the 1m guy knowing skills related to being sneaky.  There are some limitations to this however and that comes in the form of a soft cap on the maximum number of skills a character can be trained it.

The skills are divided into 6 categories with each category containing 5 skills.  Each of the categories then belong to a theme, combat, stealth or magic.  For example Environmental and Physical skills belong to the combat theme, Subterfuge and Social skills belong to the stealth them while Skilled Knowledge and General Knowledge belong to the magic theme.  The maximum number of skills a character can be trained in is based off of 1 + number of theme points in that category.  If a character has 1 point in general then they can increase the number of trained skills that can learn in all categories by 1.  They also get 4 additional skill points meaning they get 16 skill points at level 1 rather than just 12.  In Nuuks case, he can become trained in up to 5 (3+1+1) combat skills, 2 stealth skills and 2 magical skills.  There is no limit to the number of skills a character can become familiar with.  We feel this kind of a system allows people to pick the skills they want for whatever kind of character they have in mind but it also respects a character as based on their theme.  That is to say a stealthy rogue who is a 3s/1g build will be able to be trained in more stealth based skills than any other type of character.  Now there could be some 3c/1s who is maybe trained in the Social Skill: Sense Motive and is better at it then the 3s/1g guy, but generally speaking if you are building a 3s/1g, you'll be one of the best characters at things like Stalking and Hiding and Prestidation.  There is also a good chance you'd have training in things like Duping, Gather Rumors or Intimidation as well.  Of course such a character could also invest in knowledge skills such as First Aid or physical skills such as Balance or Athletics.  It all depends on what kind of character a player wants to make which is exactly what we were aiming for by making CORPS a classless system.


Common (Trained)

Gryx (Familiar)

Languages are a unique part of skills that we originally had rolled in with skills but later decided to break it out into its own thing.  Our reason for this was that if you give people the option to choose their own skills, you don't want someone to make their character and after the fact realize they invested nothing in their character's ability to speak or read.  Sure he can haggle with the best of them but he doesn't know a single language.  It's a design with a silly pitfall. If you don't want characters with the ability to have absolutely no language capabilities you should give people a method for doing it.  Thus we moved skills into it's own section and people start with a basic set of language skills.

Another thing to consider is that, as a gaming system we expect at some point that someone could put these core rules into another setting or a custom campaign.  This can mean new and unique races each with their own unique language.  To handle that we wanted to keep the language system very dynamic.  This mean that we didn't have a hard coded set of languages.  Rather we make assumptions which can be expanded to tweaked according to the campaign.  In what would be CORPS' default campaign we make the assumption that there is a universal 'common' language.  This could be anything, but for the sake of the campaign it would represent the character's starting locality or perhaps starting nationality.  So if a campaign was centered in a fantasy version of the United States of America you could say that the common language is English.  Just about anywhere you go, you'd be able to get by using the common speech.  Another assumption is that each high level race, each race of intelligent beings would have their own language.  In Nuuks case this means that we can assume there is a racial gryx language.  Given these assumptions its easy to see this is why Nuuk is trained in common and familiar with gryx.  This could be because while he is racially a gryx he may have grown up in a human city and thus knows the common tongue better then his own native tongue.  This usually true for most second or third generation immigrants in the U.S. today.

Characters get a number of language points based on their race. If a character is familiar with a language they are able to speak the language, albeit at a rather elementary level. They are not able to write or read the language. If a character is trained in a language they are able to read and write the language and speak fluently. As a character gains levels they may use their skill points to learn new languages. When a character spends 1 SP they gain 2 Language Points (which allows them to fluently learn a single language or become familiar with two different languages).



Great Axe

2 Hand Axes

Light Crossbow

Plate Armor

Traveler's Kit

1 Week’s Rations

Equipment is pretty dry at this point in time.  Since we're in the process of testing combat we mostly only have weapons and armors created.  There are notes on other things, food, water, shelter, traveling animals, clothing and the like but it's still being put together.  For the purpose of combat only weapons and armor have an impact so that's all we've focused on. There are also works for magical items of course but Nuuk doesn't have any of those :)

Anyway if you've managed to go this far I hope you've enjoyed being able to go through a character in CORPS.  As I mentioned I am very excited by the progress we're making and all the interesting and unique combinations available in the game.  Hopefully as we progress towards taking on more games, allowing new people to play and run CORPS we'll have a better idea of how well the game is received.    If things go really well you might just see us up on Kickstarter or the like soon trying to get out to the public.  For now it's still just our little pet project.

If you'd like to see the character sheet on a simple PDF you can download it here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

CORPS - Player Races (4 of 4)

For the last installment of the playable races of CORPS we'll be looking at two more commonly known races in fantasy RPGS, humans and halflings. Humans are the staple race of the game.  They are as varied and abundant as they are here on Earth.  In the Overview for humans we give a brief detail based on what would could be considered the default CORPS campaign setting, similar to what you might find with D&D 4th edition ignoring any of the extras like Dark Sun or Forgotten Realms.  However since this game is a system first and a campaign second the overviews we've described in this character series could easily be changed.  The other aspects of each of the characters, Physical Traits, Personality Traits and Lifecycle could be carried through to nearly any campaign setting.  Some might be wondering why we even bothered giving background information on humans as a race but the answer is really based on two parts.  One being for completeness sake, since there are unique races introduced in this role-playing system and we needed information to explain them. The second reason as mentioned in Player Races (3 of 4) is because the races and their backgrounds were based on in game mechanics which were created prior to coming up with the actual races themselves.  Giving a description of each of the races explains why a race gets the benefits and bonuses it does.

Unlike the human race which was fairly straight forward, halflings proved perhaps the most difficult of the races to create.  This was because the fantstic is common in other game settings.  So when someone hears halfling, they can assume they already know everything there is to know about the race.  Originally I had tried calling the race 'Halfman', to try and distinguish themselves from what other may know about halflings.  But ultimately the name halfling sounded the best so that is what we went with.  Coming up with the reasons and background for why halflings are the way they are in CORPS was like walking a fine line.  I had to avoid slipping into my own biased knowledge of halflings and keep their story unique enough to describe why they have the mechanical benefits they get in the game.  Looking back on it, I feel like the halflings of CORPS are a mix between Dungeons and Dragons' halflings, kinder and perhaps leprechauns all rolled into one.

Human (Hyoo-mah n)


An embodiment of everything that is both good and bad in life, humans are the most adaptable and diverse of all the civilized races. Humans strive to build and expand, reaching above and beyond their current means. Unfortunately, this drive to succeed often puts them in direct conflict with both the other races of the world and other humans during the course of their lives. Humans tend to thrive on the concept of the empire. In fact most races attribute humans with the invention of the true concept of an empire.

Before humans started organizing in mass and building up empires, the majority of races were mostly tribal with only a few towns or villages scattered throughout the world. Then man came into power, organizing, building up kingdoms and cities as astonishing speed. Before man, there was rarely need for such large congregations as the other races in small groups tended to fare just fine in the world. But man wasn’t as gifted as the older races, they couldn’t see as well, they weren’t often as quick or as strong as the other races but where they lacked in their personal attributes they made of for in adaptability and determination. So formed the first empires of man which were great and powerful and forever changed the world. However with it came new hosts of problems.

The largest and most devastating problem among the first empires of man were disease. As populations swelled in walled cities, due to mans quick birthrate, so did disease and famine. Man prayed to their gods but such prayers fell on deaf ears in those dark times. Among the other civilized races most agree that if not for the early plagues of man they would have surely endangered the world with over population. As man worked to recover from these plagues the older races came together to form their own versions of an empire and to be more organized to deal with and respond to the forces of man.

Physical Traits

Humans are the most numerous of all the civilized races. They inhabit all areas of the world that can sustain life, and even a few that can’t. Human eye color tends be brown or blue but can also occasionally be green or hazel or orange. However among humans, their eyesight is rather mundane operating effectively only when there is a strong light source available. Their skin color can vary from white to black with varying degrees of brown in between but their flesh is thin and offers little protection from the elements or from physical dangers. All humans are born with some degree of hair. The color can vary, generally based on their complexion. In a broad generalization fair skinned humans tend to have fair hair while dark skinned humans have darker hair. Most commonly their hair color is black or brown or blond with some varying degree of red. Human males are usually between 5’ 6” and 6’ 2” and range in weight between 135 lbs and 230 lbs. Human males can also grow facial hair although not nearly as quickly or as thick as burman or gryx. Human females are usually between 5’ 0” and 5’ 9” and weigh between 105 lbs and 170 lbs. It should be noted however that even these averages can vary a good deal from region to region.

Despite all that humans are seemingly lacking they do possess a few incredible traits. Perhaps the most notable is the humans ability to adapt. As a result humans tend to have very diverse customs and cultures from region to region. Despite these differences the humans ability to adapt to new challenges is constant. In areas with rocky terrain humans quickly discover ways to better navigate it, either by physical training or by equipment they can make from the nearby area. In areas where flooding may occur, humans readily learn to swim and make cities that can float on the rising waters. In areas of extreme heat humans develop grab that helps keep them cool and build homes and structures that help ward off the scorching heat. Where as other races may avoid a given location due to the environment humans will move in and look for ways to change themselves, be it diet, training or education or change the environment for it to suit their needs.

Humans also possess to varying degrees their own kind of inner resolve. Among the Altwani they might call it the ‘human will to survive’ while the gryx might call it ‘human blood lust’ but whatever its called humans have demonstrated time and time again that they can be fierce and deadly in combat. While this isn’t necessarily a physical trait as much as it is a mental one, it does have a strong impact on their physical abilities. While in this state of ferocity even common farmers and peasants with no military training can wield weapons as if they were trained soldiers for a short time. Amongst the more skilled warriors and knights of human civilizations these bouts of ferocity have been known to turn the very tides of battle.

Personality Traits

Humans constantly strive to better themselves, whether it is to expand the land of a lowly farm, the territory owned by a gang of street thugs, or even the size of great nations. Humans forever desire more and are compelled to advance their lot in life in any way possible. It should be noted, however, that while not every human shares these extremes they all possess this trait to some degree. It is natural for parents to want life to be better for their children and given the relatively short lifespan of humans this often means humans are constantly wanting more from themselves and those in they care about in their lives.

The morality and mentality of man is almost something of an unexplainable phenomenon among humans. By themselves humans can be submissive or even cowardly in the face of great peril. However given a large number of them and a leader to rally them and they’ll gladly kick in deaths door with weapon in hand and should they live, return for more. While in battles other races will often look at the outcome, humans will look to their leaders. If their leader can convince them they’ll win, humans will believe it, regardless of their actual odds. Much to the frustration of other races that have engaged in fights with humans this has many times proven to change the outcomes of wars and battles throughout the ages.

The diversity among humans is another impressive trait among humankind. While it cannot be narrowed down to any particular individual, one only needs to look at any human civilization that humans can do nearly anything if they apply themselves. Human blacksmiths in their short lifetime have been known to rival the greatest of craftsmen among the burman and the gryx. Human archers have been known such mastery of the bow that they can rival that of the altwani and halfman. Humans magic users have been known to match the mystic cunning and magical influence of the primental and the feydra. On top of that, all of this could be found in but a single kingdom of man. While these specializations may take other races centuries to perfect all in their own specialized regions, humans seem to be able to band together anywhere where choose and pursue all of this at once, in only the course of a generation or two.

It is often for this reason that among all the civilized races of the world human kingdoms, cities and towns are most prevalent. Because these population centers have so much to offer quite often members of other races will choose to coexist among the humans. While sometimes this can cause racial tension for the most part it is an accepted and fairly common practice. As humans mature as a race so does their respect for other races and what they have to offer humanity.


Among the civilized races humans have the shortest and most rapid lifecycle. The gestation period for a human female is roughly between 8 and 9 months. Child bearing females can commonly average 1 child every 18 to 20 months. They do have a fairly high mortality rate for their young often keeping their populations from expanding too rapidly but among the other races they still grow much faster than any other. Females usually remain fertile into their mid to late 40s but drop off fairly quickly after that. Humans can reach maturity as early as 9 or 10 but more commonly will be 11 to 13. Humans reach full adulthood by their late teens. The average life span for humans ranges between 60 and 70 years if they die from natural causes although a few long lived members of their race can reach into their 80s and 90s or more. These ranges however, like most qualities of humankind, vary from region to region.

Halfling (Haf-ling)


Halflings are a curious race of small people. Their introduction into the world has no recorded history but based on the oral history of the halfmen, they claim to have come from sprout from the woods, the hills, the rivers and mountains all during the time when the alternate realms were joined to the prime world. Although no evidence exists to suggest this, nothing exists to disprove it either so for now it is the prevailing belief.

Halflings have spent much of their history silently watching their larger cousins in the world. Their diminutive size often put them at a physical disadvantage to the larger races so more often than not groups of halflings would continually wonder the world until finding a place they deemed safe. As time changed and safe places became threatened, the halflings would simply pick up and move on without drawing attention to themselves.

It wasn’t until the introduction of mankinds first empires that the halflings truly let themselves become known to the world. It was then that something strange and new was born with the inception of cities and kingdoms and halflings were able to experience it first hand. Halflings with their appearances almost identical to a human child, were able to walk amongst the humans without drawing attention to themselves. This was the halflings first interaction with another race and so great and varied were their customs that it birthed a new found curiosity in all walks of life that had been dormant in the halflings for generations. Word spread among the halflings of the humans and soon entire villages of halflings were sneaking into cities and walking amongst the humans.

However, like any big secret it eventually became apparent to the humans that they were not along. Once the halflings were discovered in one kingdom the word spread among them all. To humans the halflings were mere nuisances with their childlike curiosity and behavior but to the halflings the humans were a gateway to the rest of the world. Realizing that their presence among civilized races wasn’t usually met with hostility like it had been in the past halflings started actively seeking out other races and cultures to walk amongst them and experience what up until this point they have only viewed from afar. Nowadays halflings are present in almost every civilized major population center in the world. Due their natural curiosity and wanderlust they rarely stay in one place for very long. Only a handful of halfling villages exist in the world today leaving much of the history of these little people left to the unknown. Despite their own curiosity for the other races around them most halflings don’t seem too concerned that they are seemingly unaware of their own heritage.

Physical Traits

Halflings or half-men as humans often refer to them are roughly 3’ 8” to 4’ 3” tall and usually weigh between 70 and 100 lbs. Males and females among their kind are roughly the same size. Their complexions vary as much as that of humans but generally have rounded faces making them look like human children. Their eyes are usually blue or violet with but also sometimes brown or even black. Regardless of their eye color halflings can see quick well in low light situations making it all the easier for them to move about in the dark.

Despite not having any facial hair, or much body hair at all for that matter the hair on their heads grow at an accelerated rate among human standards. Halflings hairstyle vary greatly with some shaving their head completely on a daily basis while others weave and braid their hair into intricate designs and patterns. Many halflings have been know to weave weapons into their hair or other personal items as many times people tend to overlook their hair as a hiding spot for such items.

Although halflings vary nearly as much as humans the race does share a natural quickness and agility. It is even accelerated by their small size as most halflings move at the same rate as other larger civilized races despite usually taking two steps for their every one. In combat the natural quickness of a halfling becomes quite obvious when trying to hit such a small target. On the flip side, halflings are surprisingly nimble and deadly with weapons they can properly wield. Although too small to be able to appropriately wield large weapons of other races, halflings trained in combat have a tendency to bury their small weapons into the most vital of spots of their opponents causing substantial damage.

Personality Traits

Like their human counterparts halflings express a full range of personalities but have a natural tendency to talk a lot. This is often attributed to the halfling being a nuisance among other races. While occupationally they make great performers, singers and bards all too often they don’t know when to stop running their mouth. The stinging insults of a halfling can often lead to hostile actions. Perhaps this would explain why halflings are so quick, because the slow ones don’t live long enough to procreate.

Another trait common in almost all halflings are their natural curiosity and wanderlust. Halflings are always on the lookout to experience new things. This is a large part of their presence in the world and the reason that so many halflings live amongst other civilizations rather than choosing to live among their own kind. While often this curiosity can lead to a halfling getting into trouble the race seems to have a kind of ‘natural luck’ that ultimately has allowed them to survive their own curiosity for generations.

The luck of a halfling often plays into their personalities in that things that are of normally of great concern to other races. For example jumping a chasm, navigating through a burning building or even fighting off an overwhelming enemy doesn’t illicit the same responses in most halflings as it would other races. From outward appearances this might be interrupted as halflings being fearless or brave but often it is merely their own curiosity about a new experience. Halflings that have experienced something they don’t like, say being burnt by fire, will fear a burning building just as much as other races. That isn’t to say that halflings are cowards or can’t be brave, it’s just that as a race, halflings need to experience things for themselves before they can respond appropriately to them. Threatening to punch a halfling in the face won’t have the same effect on them if they’ve never personally experienced something like it before. Sometimes its only a matter of helping the halfling associate an experience with something they’ve already encountered, other times it just means a halfling needs to be punched in the face before such a threat will stick with them. Even then however a halfling may not learn to associate the threat with the result the first time around.


Halflings have an unusual life cycle compared to most other races in that they are fairly long lived but mature rather quickly. This oddity is mostly attributed to the natural personality of halflings. Halfling children grow quickly, seemingly so their parents can move on to where their wanderlust takes them. Most halfling females have a gestation period of only 4 to 5 months. Childbearing females will usually only give birth once in their lifetime but usually give birth to between 2 to 5 children at a time. Occasionally females will have multiple births in their lifetime but most choose to prevent future childbirth after having already experienced it once. This tends to average out to about 1 child every 15 to 45 years for female halflings. Halfling children are very small when they are born (as 2 to 5 of them can be inside of a body the size of a human child at the same time) but grow very quickly. When a halfling gives birth it is very often that other halflings in the area will take on the role as extended family regardless of where they actually are in their own lives.
Another oddity among halfling is that they do not reach maturity until they reach full adulthood which is usually by their early teens. While halflings still have common emotional connections with their children their desire to travel and experience new things out weighs their natural parental instincts. Often plans are made amongst family members to meet at certain locations in the future. Halflings have been known to live for up to 120 years old but very few ever make it past 80. Even though halflings seems to have an inexplicable aspect of 'luck' in their daily lives they also tend to put themselves in risky situations more often than other civilized races. Tightrope walking across an open chasm might seem fun and interesting to most halflings while completely insane to most humans. Needless to say very few halflings end up dying of old age.