Home - Valdyas - Andal


A Role-playing System

Boudewijn Rempt ~ Irina Rempt

Frank N. Rieter ~ Jasper W. Leedekerken

Martijn Spruit ~ Richard van Rijswijk

Copyright notice

Everybody is welcome to read this version, print it for his own use and to use the system in their games, but the text, the concepts and everything remains our copyright, and the text must be left intact.


This is the first English version of the Aurea role-playing system. The first, Dutch, edition appeared eight years ago. In the meantime a lot of play testing has gone on in a variety of groups and the system has stood the test of time relatively well. The primary author is Frank Rieter, but the English version has been done by Boudewijn Rempt, with some small additions by Irina Rempt.

Aurea is a generic system, which means that it should be applicable to every possible world-setting1. It has been used in a variety of medieval fantasy worlds, a realistic medieval world, in a cyberpunk setting, two classical era settings, in the China of Judge Dee, in a Cthulhu-like setting and a couple more.

Aurea is also quite free and depends to a certain extent on the judgement of both GM and players to work. Often, several rules coexist, and the GM is free to pick one to his liking. However, that means that in order to keep the game balanced, the GM must be fairly experienced and not afraid to fudge or to wing it. Anyway, this first English version is not meant for novice GM's, nor for novice players, unless they have a GM who can explain everything to them. It's just a statement of the system as it is used.

Aurea is not very innovative; it is squarely a diced attribute & skill based system. No real mathematician has ever looked at the probabilities used with the system, though Irina Rempt once published a short paper on the use of dice in Aurea, the results of which are repeated in an appendix to this paper. In our experience it works, however, and a large variety of characters can be generated or described using the system.

Boudewijn Rempt


To players and designers alike:

Alain Lapalme, Anne Both, Astrid Kraak, Bram Couvreur, Bridget Kornelsen, Eduard Lohmann, Frank Rieter, Hein Ragas, Ingeborg Molenkamp, Ingka van Buul, Irina Rempt-Drijfhout, Iris van Rooij, Jago Philippens, Jasper Leedekerken, Judith van de Sande, Liselot van der Voort-Schenkenberg van Mierop, Louis Hennekens, Maarten Strootman, Martijn Spruit, Mary Kuhner, Mel Lambers, Olivier Hekster, Paul Benatti, Pieter-Paul Jansen, Radbout Hosli, Remon Boschman, Richard van Rijswijk, Rien de Bruin, Rob Willems, Russell Wallace.





Character generation

Ernei Talvi


Determining the attribute values

Skills system





Task Resolution


Hand to hand

Ranged Weapons


The meaning of damage

Damage recovery


Appendix I: Probabilities

Appendix II: Resolution table

Appendix III: List of existing skills

Appendix IV: Weapons

Appendix V: Magic and Psionics systems

Appendix VI: Suggestions for altering the system


The most important are d4 and d10 (two, for percentiles). Other dice may be used to calculate the damage of weapons. All you really need are three or four d4 and two d10, making one d100.

Character generation

Just to throw the reader off the deep end, before I give any kind of explanation, I offer the character sheet. Filled in with an example character, a young girl of no particular accomplishments:

Ernei Talvi

Talvi (her given name, like all Valdyans2 her given name can be preceded by a matronym, her mother was called Erne, so Ernei Talvi might be translated as "Talvi daughter of Erne" or "Erne's Talvi") was born in Erday, a small village in the county of Lenyas, the youngest daughter of a rather well-to-do wine-grower. (Her attributes were rolled with the highest three out of 4d4.) Her mother died when she was ten years old. She has two elder brothers and two elder sisters. Reading and writing she learnt at the village Temple of Naigha, though not too well (everyone receives 5 points of reading and writing for free in the Valdyas setting, and she wasn't diligent enough to raise that to 7, the level of ordinary competence). She picked up swimming in the river Valda and the small lakes, archery (nothing like coming home with a wild duck to soften an often harsh father) and dancing.

At the age of 12 she was sent to the large city of Essle to serve as a maid in a merchant's family, friends of her father's. Going to Essle was one great adventure, at least up to the point that the 17-year old son of the house began to take an interest in her. Only the expert treatment of a semte (psionics-gifted) midwife saved her life. She learned her herbalism from her. When she was better she embarked upon a wild life in Essle and learned street fighting, pickpocketing and cheating with dice.

She was 16 when she returned to her home village, which seemed incomparably boring to her. She took to doing the books for her father's vineyard, though not too competently, and could be found in the Black Swan tavern every evening and in the hayloft every night. When her father died last year, she inherited a plot from the vineyard (worth 300 silver riders) and 600 riders, a small fortune, in silver. And when she found an apothecary drowned in the Valda she decided to travel to Valdis and Ildis to deliver his message and incidentally leave the vicinity of her unpleasant elder brother.

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Name | Occupation | | Ernei Talvi | youngest daughter | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Age | Background | | 18 | Valdie Erday | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Physical attributes Mental attributes

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Strength 7 | Willpower 9 | |------------------------------------|--------------------------------------| | Dexterity 11 | Intelligence 9 | |------------------------------------|--------------------------------------| | Constitution 7 | Mental Fitness 11 | |------------------------------------|--------------------------------------| | Physical Speed 9 | Mental Speed 8 | |------------------------------------|--------------------------------------| | Size 6 | Learning 9 | |------------------------------------|--------------------------------------| | Comeliness 9 | Reaction speed 9 | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|------------------------------------------| | Multiplier 3 | Skill points 36 | |------------------------------------------|


|---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Sight 8 | Taste 7 | Touch 7 | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------| | Hearing 9 | Smell 8 | Intuition 8 | |---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Skills Total Base attribute

Literacy 6 15 Learning Bookkeeping 2 11 Learning

Swimming 4 15 Dexterity

Archery 3 14 Dexterity Street fighting 7 18 Dexterity

Pickpocketing 5 16 Dexterity

Dancing 4 13 Comeliness Singing 4 13 Comeliness

Herbalism 4 13 Learning

Cheating with dice 1 12 Dexterity



Possessions Worth

Vineyard in Erday in Lenyas 50 p.a. Knife horse 30 pipe & a bit of hashish clothes, jewellery 20 600 in cash Herbs (grish) Longbow Arrows


Aurea uses attributes, both physical and mental. Physical attributes include Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Physical Speed, Size, Comeliness and Reaction Speed. Mental attributes include Willpower, Intelligence, Mental Fitness, Mental Speed and Learning.

It is sometimes useful to think of these attributes in pairs: Willpower is mental strength, Learning (not what one has actually learned, but one's aptitude to learn) is mental size, Intelligence is mental dexterity. Of course, other attributes would have been possible (like a mental equivalent for Comeliness, say Aura), and might even have been better or more useful than existing attributes, which are rather standard in the role-playing world. It has been our experience that some attributes take on a variety of meanings during play, and that's fine3.

For instance, Comeliness was primarily intended to represent the prettiness of a face, but it took on an additional meaning as the base for creative arts, at the discretion of the player. So someone with a high Comeliness could say 'I have got a face that would launch a thousand ships, but I can't paint a picture at all', or 'I've got a face that would stop a clock and a body that's bent at straight angles, but compared to my painting, Michaelangelo is a mere dauber', or even, and at no punishment from the GM, claim both. Same with Size: Someone with a great Size could claim a short height but an enormous girth, or vice versa, or both.

Reaction speed is not rolled, but calculated by taking the rounded result of physical and mental speed divided by two. Results of divisions are always rounded up in the Aurea system.

Beside the mental and physical attributes are the six senses: Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell, Touch and Intuition. What these mean is pretty self-explanatory and not as open to extension as the mental and physical attributes are. Touch is the touch you've got in the tips of your fingers or your skin. Someone with a high Touch makes a great watchmaker, midwife, lover or thief. Intuition, the sixth sense, has a couple of uses. Basically, your intuition will tell you what you can do with Intuition.... Someone with a low Intuition is an oafish boor (who can be lovable despite himself, everyone knows he can't help it, etc., and a high Intuition does not necessarily make for a compassionate, empathic person, just someone who easily reads other people.

The attributes thus determine some facets of a character's personality, but not rigidly. They merely give pointers into some direction, and should be used as such. Aurea doesn't use any kind of mechanics to enforce a certain personality, neither personality traits as in Pendragon nor disadvantages as in GURPS. The distribution of attributes and senses provides enough guidance to get a feeling for a character, and details can be filled in before or during play, as the player wishes or the GM demands. If you feel that a character with eighteen twelves (twelve being the maximum for an attribute) isn't interesting at all to play, as I do, you can apply the various methods of determining the attribute values that prevent this:

Determining the attribute values

All attributes (except reaction speed) are determined by dice, if you're so inclined. If not, just assign them a value between 3 and 12, or tell your players to distribute a certain number of points among the attributes, say 120 (17 times 7 rounded up, providing for an exactly average character) or rather more if you'd like an above average character.

As to the range of values: attributes range from 3 to 12, with occasional forays beyond those limits, for instance a Sight of zero for a blind character, or a Size of 13 for the most superfatted glutton in the world. Only the strongest few persons in the world should have Strength 12, while the village strong-man may have 11. Seven should be considered strictly average; competent, capable but not shining. Someone with Sight 7 doesn't need glasses, someone with Intelligence 7 has an IQ of exactly 100. Intelligence 12 is a genius, 3 is a moron incapable of eating unaided.

There are several ways of determining the attributes using dice4:

And then there is some variation in the distribution of the results. You can assign them in order, or reassign the results within each category, or reassign them over all three categories, whatever is allowed by the GM or needed by the player, to create his or her character.

Skill system

Aurea uses a point-based skill system. Every skill is based on a certain attribute, or average of several attributes, so fencing would be based on Dexterity, speaking a language on Learning and so on. Some of the combinations are a bit creative, like music on Hearing or sculpting on Comeliness, if done as art, or on Dexterity, if done as a trade. Everything is at the discretion of the GM.

To get the total number of points available for distribution amongst skills, take the age of the character, subtract a base age (usually twelve, but that's dependent on GM and world), and multiply the result by 2, 3 or 45. The multiplier signifies how much and how fast the character has been learning up to now6. Then add Intelligence and Learning, and you've got your initial number of skill points7.

These skill points you divide among skills and knacks.


Knacks are things your character can do, but without any real skill; you learnt it once and you don't get any better at it unless you apply yourself (but then you have to take it as a skill), but you don't forget how to do it either. Riding a horse (staying mounted without falling off) or swimming (staying afloat and being able to reach a fixed point) can be knacks. Taken as a skill those actions can be performed in a much more competent fashion. Knacks are worth 1 skill point.


Anything else your character has learnt to do is a skill. No complete lists of skills exist (but see the appendix for a list of ideas) because every setting has its own skill set and even for a specific setting an exhaustive list is impossible.

Seven points in a skill is competent; with 7 points in literacy you can read and write well enough to generally get by in a literate society, with 7 points in a foreign language you speak it fluently, but probably with an accent. With 7 points in a 'job' skill you can earn your keep by it.

Once a skill is at 7 points, you are competent enough to specialise. If you've got seven points assigned to herbalism, you can specialise in toxic herbs, for instance. Suppose your Learning is 9, you have 7 points of herbalism and 2 points of specialisation in toxic herbs: you handle any task concerning toxic herbs at 18, and all other herbalism tasks at 16.

There's a rule, but not a hard one, that you shouldn't assign more points to a specialisation than to your base skill. Double, triple or quadruple specialisations are allowable, by GM's consent; every level should be at 7 points before you branch out on it.


The maximum for any skill is twice the corresponding attribute, since you can advance in a skill when playing by making a resolution roll of the base attribute against the skill. The first point in a new skill is practically free: you always have 99% chance of success, whether or not your attribute is 10 or over.

For example, Vurian has a Dexterity of 10 and a fencing skill of 11, then he has a chance of 45 per cent (10 against 11) to increase his skill. Look at the table in the appendix for this mechanic. (Every point of difference means 5% more or less chance from a base of 50%, so see also the paragraph on task resolution). Skill can be increased by training (one chance every three months of training, unless you train very much more intensively than normal), or because you've used that skill a lot in a particular episode, and the GM thinks you've learned a lot from that. That can include learning from failure, of course. Another reason to allow a chance to raise a skill is rolling a critical success in a skill.

To advance in a specialisation, apply the same rule and use only the specialisation to roll against, not the total of skill and specialisation. This means that it pays to specialise once your skill is high enough, beacuse it becomes harder to increase a skill as it gets higher.

There's also a (rarely used) mechanic to use for automatic skill advancement: whenever you succeed in a roll, you can - at the GM's whim! - try to roll below the Learning Chance percentage, and if you succeed, you gain a point in that skill. This system is based on the assumption that you learn most from tasks that are matched to your skill, not from tasks that are too easy or too difficult.

My personal preference is to merely note when people do something with their skills and decide after the session whether they can have a chance to raise their skill.

Even some attributes can be increased by intensive use; for instance, a character in our campaign increased his Strength and Constitution by one point each after weeks of hard work involving heavy lifting. It is a bit unclear what to roll against in that case, so the GM should use his discretion and set some arbitrary difficulty, or have the attribute rolled against itself (this gives a 50% chance).


There's a rule for decreasing attributes and skill levels when people age beyond the magic boundary of forty; but nobody seems to use it. Possibilities abound though. The official rule is that you lose a point from every attribute and sense for every ten years you age. You might modify this, with a resolution roll of Constitution against a degree of difficulty determined by the way the character has been living, and likewise a roll of Mental Fitness against Willpower, or another degree of difficulty determined by how the character has been living. Another possibility is to roll a d4 (or d6, 8, 10, whatever you like and think reasonable) for every ten years beyond forty, and have the player subtract the result from senses or attributes to his liking. Another one is to have the player determine the effects of ageing: one of my own characters, the noble lady Aylin astin Brun, had rheumatics as a child and demented quickly from her fiftieth year onward, the onset of which just happened in her last adventure.

Likewise, there's a rule to cover the growth of infants. The original system subtracted one from every attribute for each year before the base age of twelve, reflecting that a baby can't do anything at all, and every year means a point is gained. Of course most people continue to grow a bit beyond their twelfth year, and a modification is in order, perhaps have them grow a point every two years, until they reach their destined stature.

Task Resolution

Skills and attributes can used to overcome difficulties. Every task a character attempts has a level of difficulty, set by the GM. Since a skill of 7 on an attribute of 7 is competent, most normal tasks must be accomplishable for someone with that skill with a success rate of 80 to 90. Doing your daily work would then probably have a difficulty of 7. Of course, difficulty varies a lot.

The chance of success is determined by subtracting the difficulty from the applicable skill (with specialisations if any apply) + the attribute the skill is based on, and looking that number up in the resolution table. Actually, it's quite easy to determine without the table. Every point of difference is good for a step of 5% in the chance table, based on 50%. For example: Talvi has a skill of 2 in bookkeeping, which is based on learning, 9, giving a total of 11. When she tries to straighten out the records of her deceased mother, who was fairly capable, and kept her books in excellent order, that shouldn't be too difficult for an ordinary competent person, say the degree of difficulty is 7 (every competent person has an 85% chance of getting it right the first time). Talvi has 11 minus 7 = 4 points of difference, times 5, gives 20, add it to 50, and you see she has 70% chance to accomplish her task competently at the first try8. What may seem an excessive lot of arithmetic is actually quite simple, and if it's too much work, players can always take refuge in the resolution table9.

If you like, you can use the rules for critical and marginal success and fumble; an easy rule of thumb is that a roll of 01 is a critical success, a roll of exactly the required percentage is a marginal success and a roll of 00 (100) is a fumble. More elaborately, the chance of a critical or marginal success is 5% of the chance of success, and the chance of a fumble is 5% of the chance of failure, always rounded up to the nearest integer.

The same system is used when two people oppose each other. Kamari tries to seduce Faran. She has a Willpower of 10, and a seduction skill of 5. Faran has a Willpower of 8. Kamari has (15-8, gives 7 times 5, is 35, 85 % ) 85% chance to succeed. There's no separate defence, unless the GM wants to, but then Faran has only got a 15% chance to resist her: 8-15, -7, 60-35=15%10.

Characters can attempt to undertake most things even if they have no skill at all: with the bare attribute that the skill would be based on. In the case of potentially dangerous skills, and skills that have a minimum required attribute (such as magic) the GM can rule that unskilled characters cannot attempt it, or always fail when they do.


Fighting is divided into hand-to-hand fighting and fighting with ranged weapons. We can't offer you miniature rules for tactical massed combat...

Hand-to-hand fighting

Since fights tend to be rare in our experience, and when we fight, it's most often a sporting duel, fighting is the least tested part of the system. There exist at least three ways of calculating damage, not the mention the JBF-method11.

Fighting goes more or less in rounds. Every round the combatants roll for initiative: a d10 + their reaction speed, highest goes first. Then the winner may strike; his skill against the skill of his opponent. Afterwards, his opponent gets a chance to strike: again skill against skill. If someone has an attack or defence specialisation on his fighting skill, he may use only one of those in any given round.

For instance: Vurian and Mernath fight. Vurian: Dexterity 11, swordplay 10, attack 2, defence 3. Mernath: Dexterity 10, swordplay 9, attack 5, defence 1. Vurian gains initiative and decides to attack all out, Mernath decides to hold his guard a bit and to prepare himself for a full attack: Vurian: 11+10+2 = 23 against Mernath 10 + 9 = 19, Vurian has a 70% chance to hit12. In the second part of the round, Mernath attacks all out, and Vurian cannot use his defensive specialisation because he has already used his attack specialisation: Mernath 10 + 9 + 5 = 24 against Vurian 11 + 10 = 21, Mernath has a 65% chance to hit Vurian.

In a real fight weapons hurt, but when training or for instance in a fencing competition, someone can take as many hits as they have Constitution13.

A character's skills and attributes affect combat in various ways. Training (weapon skill) and talent (Dexterity) make you more likely to hit, Strength makes you do more damage, and Constitution makes you hold your own longer as well as making you take less damage from any one hit. Stronger or tougher people aren't necessarily more dangerous opponents; only if two opponents have the same amount of talent and training (the same point total of Dexterity and the relevant weapon skill) the stronger one will hurt you more, and you will hurt the tougher one less.

Higher Speed (mental and physical) makes you more likely to hit first and incapacitate your opponent before he can do anything to you. Don't underestimate this: the combat/damage system is such that once you're wounded (have less Constitution) all related attributes go down as well. If you're wounded badly enough to make you noticeably slower, clumsier or weaker, it's wise to run for cover while you can.

Ranged weapons

In our experience the original version of the ranged-weapons rules didn't work at all; there was too much math involved for too little return. We've come to assign a difficulty arbitrarily and use the relevant skill (dagger throwing, archery, or whatever) to roll against it. You can safely disregard everything in the table in the appendix except range and weapon damage factor.


Damage when fighting for real with real weapons can be calculated in a number of ways, and here's where your collection of odd dice can come into play. Every weapon has a die associated with it. A dagger a d4, a short sword a d6, a longer sword a d8, an axe a d10 and a broadsword a d12. Whatever you roll is the damage. You can deduct a bit for any protective clothing the victim is wearing. That's a simple way of doing it, borrowed from AD&D, I think, though it's so long since I've played it, that I don't really know.

The real Aurea way of doing damage is rather more complicated:

When aiming for the head, subtract 2 from the skill of the attacking party, when aiming for the arms, 1. Otherwise, use the unmodified skill. When hitting the head, damage is 1d8 + 1 (2-9), when hitting other parts of the body damage is 1d4 +1 (2-5). A marginal success gives 1 point of damage, a critical success 10 points to the head or 6 to the body. Multiply this result by the weapon damage factor (a short sword may be *5). This is the total damage the opponent receives. If he wears protective clothing, subtract its defence value. Optionally, rule that the maximum Constitution is deducted from the damage too (this is usually a good idea, otherwise unarmored characters have hardly any chance of surviving even one hit). Damage is deducted from Constitution; when hurt, an equal number of points is deducted from Strength, Dexterity and Physical Speed as well. Optionally, a point may also be deducted from Willpower, Intelligence, Mental Fitness and Mental Speed.

Then there's the original way of calculating damage: damage is equal to the Strength of the attacker plus a certain number taken from a Hit Table, minus the Constitution maximum of the hurt person. Damage is taken through to other attributes, just as in the preceding paragraph. Weapon modifiers are possible too. Unfortunately, the Hit Table (and the even more esoteric Miss Table, which determined where you did hit if you didn't hit where you aimed) disappeared without a trace in the successive reworkings of the system.

The meaning of damage

When a character's Constitution or Mental Fitness is at 1, he is unconscious. A character with Constitution or Mental Fitness at 0 is in a coma and will die if not attended to immediately (successful First Aid will put the character back at 1). Negative Constitution or Mental Fitness means that the character is dead.

Note that other attributes can very well go below zero when damage is taken through: someone with Strength 4 and Constitution 9 who is wounded so her Constitution is at 3, temporarily has a Strength of -1.

Damage Recovery

Absolute rest will restore light wounds (2 points of Constitution or less) without even first aid, at a rate of 1 point a day. More serious wounds, when not attended to, will worsen due to infection at a rate of 1 point a day (so someone with a low Constitution can die from a single wound in a few days).

Successful first aid stops any wound from getting worse that day until help arrives. First aid is a (comparatively easy) skill based on the average of Intelligence and Learning, but anyone can try with their plain stats, rolling against the number of Constitution points lost.

A good healer (whether this is a doctor, a herbalist, or someone with psychic healing skill, or a person with any combination of those skills) can speed up natural healing quite a bit, but you'll still need rest. If you don't take enough rest after getting medical attention, you won't recover any more; if you take up your normal activities too soon, you may start getting worse again.

You can recover damage to your Mental Fitness by sleeping. Depending on the setting, a good night's sleep might put you back on your maximum, or restore just one point. Also, dependent on the setting, an infusion of verbena or another herb might restore your Mental Fitness.


This short document is very preliminary. It's got no typography, no illustrations, no beautiful layouted examples, no chatty bits about the nature of role-playing and the importance of imagination. It all exists however, for the language-unimpaired in Dutch, spread amongst nine issues of a periodical called De Negen Punten, the worldbook Zabrus, two editions of the Player's Handbook and of the GM's handbook and in several other documents. With a bit of luck, it will appear in English too. Meanwhile, I would like to offer these mechanics to the public for scrutiny.

Appendix I: probabilities

Keep in mind when generating characters that the average person living in the world should be assumed to have been generated using plain 3d4. Depending on how much chance you want your players to have to roll up better than average characters14, select another method from the table. When rolling up representatives from a people with abilities that differ from your standard (say a people as short as pygmies or as tall as fulani), use another method too.

Probabilities when generating a character.

            3d4          3d4,           highest three   lowest three
                    ones once again       out of 4d4     out of 4d4

 1           0           0                    0              0
 2           0           0                    0              0
 3           1.56        0.02                 0.39           5.08
 4           4.69        0.63                 1.56          11.72
 5           9.38        2.19                 3.91          17.97
 6          15.62        7.06                 8.20          19.92
 7          18.75       14.64                13.28          17.97
 8          18.75       21.97                17.97          13.28
 9          15.62       22.72                19.92           8.20
10           9.38       18.31                17.97           3.91
11           4.69        9.42                11.72           1.56
12           1.56        3.04                 5.08           0.39 

This means, for example, that in a population based on 3d4, fifteen out of every thousand inhabitants belong to the class of the strongest people in the world. If that isn't what you want, you should alter the probabilities and take, for instance, the lowest of 4d4.

Percentage of population having an attribute at at least a certain level

            3d4          3d4,           highest three   lowest three
                    ones once again       out of 4d4     out of 4d4

 1           0           0                    0              0
 2           0           0                    0              0
 3         100         100                  100            100
 4          98.44       99.98                99.61          94.92
 5          93.75       99.35                98.05          83.20
 6          84.37       97.16                94.14          65.23
 7          68.75       90.10                85.94          45.31
 8          50          75.46                72.66          27.34 
 9          31.25       53.49                54.69          14.06
10          15.63       30.77                34.77           5.86
11           6.25       12.46                16.80           1.95
12           1.56        3.04                 5.08           0.39

This table implies that if you rule that for a certain skill a minimum of 10 in an attribute is needed, say Learning for magic, that 16 out of every thousand people are capable of being a mage; but given that not everyone wants to be a mage (there may also be historians, linguists, alchemists and other learned professions) or has the opportunity, it can be reasonable to assume that one out of every ten thousand people in your world is a mage. Which is still a lot, and means that every provincial town wil have a mage of its own. Again, if you want it another way, more or less, use a more skewed way of rolling the dice to populate your world.

Appendix II: Resolution table

skill -     chance of  critical  success  marginal  failure  fumble  Learning
difficulty   success    success            success                    Chance

..-10           1         1         -         -       2-95     96..     0
   -9           5         1        2-4        5       6-95     96..     5
   -8          10         1        2-9       10      11-95     96..     9
   -7          15         1        2-14      15      16-95     96..    13
   -6          20         1        2-19      20      21-95     96..    16
   -5          25       ..2        3-23     24-25    26-96     97..    19 
   -4          30       ..2        3-28     29-30    31-96     97..    21
   -3          35       ..2        3-33     34-35    36-96     97..    23
   -2          40       ..2        3-38     39-40    41-96     97..    24
   -1          45       ..3        4-42     43-45    46-97     98..    25
    0          50       ..3        4-47     48-50    51-97     98..    25
    1          55       ..3        4-52     53-55    56-97     98..    25
    2          60       ..3        4-57     58-60    61-97     98..    24
    3          65       ..4        5-61     62-65    66-98     99..    23
    4          70       ..4        5-66     67-70    71-98     99..    21
    5          75       ..4        5-71     72-75    76-98     99..    19 
    6          80       ..4        5-76     77-80    81-98     99..    16
    7          85       ..5        6-80     81-85    86-99     00      13
    8          90       ..5        6-85     86-90    91-99     00       9
    9          95       ..5        6-90     91-95    96-99     00       5
   10..        99       ..5        6-94     95-98      99      00       0

As you can see from this table, the chance jumps in steps of five per cent.

Appendix III: List of existing skills

Without description, and in no particular order15... Use your imagination. Every skill might be subdivided into specialisations and specialisations into double specialisations, as the GM sees fit.

Swindling, Alchemy, Anatomy, Astrology, Begging, Sculpting, Boxing, Archery, Thieves' cant, Donkey-riding, Poetry, Healing, Geography, History, Climbing, Juggling, Herbalism, Crossbow, Levitation, Literacy, Classical Languages, Living Languages, Liturgy, Magic, Ritual, Knife-fighting, Knife-throwing, Navigation, Assaying, Horsemanship, Law, Arithmetic, Bookkeeping, Painting, Locksmithing, Stealth, Stock-fighting, Drawing, Rendering, Swordplay, Pickpocketing, Singing, Dancing, Ars Amatoria, Trivium and Quadrivium (basic science), Semsin (Psionics), Mythology, Cheating at cards, Cheating at Dice, Hunting, Swimming, Cookery, Brewing, Seamanship, Medicine, Unarmed fighting, Whoring, Courtly behaviour, Etiquette.

And any other skill you might think of.

Knacks we use often: drinking, etiquette, begging, riding, swimming, blending into a crowd.

Appendix IV: Weapons16


TP: type

  • MM: minimum difficulty
  • WF: weapon damage factor (multiplier for damage)
  • VK: firepower
  • BR: range in meters (for ranged weapons) or reach bonus (for melee weapons)
  • AB: automatic range (within which no distance penalty applies)
  • AP: distance penalty
  • HL: reloading time in rounds
  • VD: defence bonus or penalty
  • ST: breaking strength of the weapon
  • SD: damage reduction

    Offensive weapons

    Ranged weapons

                          TP     MM   WF   VK   BR   AB  AP   HL
    short bow          Missile    6    7    8  100    8   3    3
    long bow           Missile    7    7    8  150   12   2    3
    catapult           Missile    4    2  K+3   10    2   1    2 
    crossbow           Missile    8    7   15  275   15   5   12
    light crossbow     Missile    9    6   12   80   10   5   10
    sling              Missile    8    2  K+1   30    3  1/2   3
    footbow            Missile   10    7    9  275   10   4    2
    thrown arrow       Throwing   5    6    K   10    5  1/2   1
    javelin            Throwing   6    7    K  Kx10   3   2    2 
    rock               Throwing   2    3    K  Kx10   5   1    1
    throwing knife     Throwing  10    6    K   25    6   2    2
    shuriken           Throwing   8    8    K   30    8   2    2 

    Melee weapons

                                       TP        WF     BR   VD   ST
    bastard sword (used 1-handed)    Slash        6     +1   +2   11 
    bastard sword (used 2-handed)    Slash        7     +1   +2   11
    axe                              Slash        6     +1    -   12
    hammer                           Slash        5     +1    -   11
    mace                             Slash        4     +1   +1   10
    truncheon                        Slash        3     +1   +1    9
    sabre                            Slash        5     +1   +1   13
    long sword (two-handed)          Slash        8     +2   +3   10
    morning star                     Slash        6     +2    -    8
    tigers' claw                     Slash        4      -   -1*   -
    rapier                        Slash/Thrust    5     +2   +2   10
    pike                          Slash/Thrust    6     +2   +2    8
    short sword                   Slash/Thrust    5     +1   +1   12
    pata                          Slash/Thrust    4     +1    -    8
    staff                         Slash/Thrust    2     +1   +1    6
    dagger/knife                    Thrust        3      -    -    8
    lance                           Thrust        4     +2   +3    8 
    poniard                         Thrust        3     +1   +1    8  
    another rapier                  Thrust        3     +1    -   10 
    horseman's lance                Thrust     horse's  +5    -    4

    * This is an attack penalty, not a defence penalty, because the weapon is worn on the knuckles and interferes with dexterity.

    The value under BR is a bonus on attack and defense, caused by the length of the weapon.

    Defensive weapons

    These include protective clothing and shields.


                                  SD   VD
    torso or whole body:
    coat, cloak, padded jacket    -2    -
    furs or animal skin           -5    -
    leather armour                -7    -
    studded leather armour       -10   -1
    chain mail                   -20   -2
    plate mail                   -30   -3
    leather breeches or leggings  -7    -
    leather boots                 -7    -
    leg plates                   -25   -1
    leather cap                   -7    -
    mail coif                    -20    -
    round helmet                 -30    -
    full helmet                  -35   -2

    Armour with a negative value for VD gives an attack penalty.

                           VD   ST
    round shield           +1   12
    horseman's shield      +1   15
    large shield           +2   18 
    archer's shield*       -5   15

    * Basically, a portable palissade that an archer can hide behind while reloading. The penalty applies only when trying to shoot from behind it.

    Appendix V: Magic and Psionics systems

    Magic systems and psionics systems are very, very setting dependent. That means that there's not a single Aurea magic system, nor a single Aurea psionics system. Of course, we've tried a fair number of magic systems, and one psionics system. In the same vein, there are a couple of systems for healing wounds, for instance by divine assistance. The technique is in all cases the same: a certain action is assigned a certain degree of difficulty, and there can be one or two skills involved in meeting the task.

    Let's take the Zabrus18 Nine Points magic system as an example. Mages in the tradition of the Nine Points divide the field of magic into nine branches19:

    In order to do magic, a mage has to have two skills: Ritual and Magic. Every branch represents a specialisation on both skills, so advancement will be slow. Spells, which are predefined by the GM and gathered into spellbooks, like Durndor's Grimoire, or the Notebook of Ispa Ichleiban, have a difficulty associated with them both for Ritual and for Magic. In order to do a spell, a mage must succeed in both rolls. He might choose to skimp the ritual, in which case double the difficulty of the ritual will be added to that of the magic. Having done a spell, he takes damage to his Mental Fitness equal to the amount that the magic part of the spell was more difficult than he was skilled, with a minimum of one point. A few more extended rules exist, enabling mages to cooperate on difficult spells, and so on, but every competent GM will be able to devise them herself. As an example:

    Journeyman mage Liessa is a 24-year old girl who has learned the craft with Grandmaster Mage Thorn of Lamarkis, one of the Nine Principal Mages of the Order of the Nine Points. She's got a Learning of 10 (base for her Magic skill, and just enough since Learning must be at least 10 for doing magic) and a dexterity of 9 (base for her Ritual skill). Furthermore, she has a Ritual 8, with a specialisation of 1 in Stones and Earth and 1 in Senses. Her Magic is 8 too, with the same specialisations as for Ritual. It pays to keep Ritual and Magic balanced.

    Liessa wants to alter the fabric of her gown from cheapo cotton into silk for her visit to the lord of the mBar-gsum. The spell:

    Description: Catch seven caterpillars in an orchard and sacrifice them in the usual way to the Powers of the Wind. Cut and sew the cotton with a silver needle and chant the prayer Aurea Dera Mitaran Moy. When your work is finished, the cotton will be silk. The garment you have thus fashioned can be worn for an evening and a night, but will then turn to cheapest felt at the first rays of the sun. The strength of your will determines how well the garment will impress. And mind you well, the rays of the Full Moon are not in the least less powerful than the rays of the sun.

    She starts out with the ritual, sewing and chanting. Having a skill of 8 and a dexterity of 9, she has 17 - 10 = 7, 85% chance to succeed. She rolls 65, and succeeds. When she ties off the last thread, the magic comes into play. The notes of the chant die from her lips, and she tries to put the magic into the gown: she has 17 - 15 = 2 giving 60% chance to succeed. She rolls a 5, and now possesses a beautiful silken gown. The gown has a comeliness of 11, her Willpower attribute. And she probably has a slight headache: mental fitness minus one.

    The general principles which follow from this example are the following:

    • The attribute a magic, psionic or (mystical) healing skill is based on, can be required to have a certain minimum value; 10 is widely used
    • A spell, psionic attempt or healing will have a certain difficulty
    • From that point, using magic, psionics or healing is a simple matter of task resolution.
    • An attempt to use one of these arts hits the mind, reducing mental fitness.
    • Everything else (lists of spells, psionic abilities or healing by divine interference or herbal infusions) is a matter of setting.

    Appendix VI: suggestions for altering the system20

    • Extend the attribute scale above 12 for superhero campaigns
    • Drop existing attributes and design new attributes for aliens or for campaigns that emphasize special areas of personalities, like sliminess or number of appendages for aliens. You could treat Physical Attributes, Mental Attributes and Senses as three arrays of values, extensible at will.
    • Treat illness as an opponent, and use reaction speed and two rounds of fighting in the process of recovery. When a doctor is available, have him fight against the illness with his healing skill.
    • Assign every skill a rarity value, representing the chance someone has to learn it.
    • A skill can attrite if not used for a certain time. Devise a mechanic to mimic that.


    1. Actually, I don't think Aurea as it stands would be very usable for a superhero campaign. The system is very much based on everyone, PC and NPC, having the same possible range of attributes, which doesn't mean everyone is equal of course.

    Incorporating alien races may take some work too. Just when we were about to try it out, elves were written out of the setting of Valdyas, and we lost the chance to try it out on them. So let's modify generic; you should be able to portray every human being in Aurea, although you might have to fudge the stats during the character generation process.

    2. Valdyas is the world that most of our ongoing games take place in. It's an almost realistic medieval world, with psionics but no magic, and a little more equality between the sexes as well as better medicine than in the European Middle Ages.

    3. Suggested extra attributes for who want them: split Size into height and girth, split Strength into lifting and punching, simulating the difference between carrying a load and packing a punch, a mental equivalent for Comeliness, Creativity...

    4. Of course, other methods are fine too, as long as they fit in the world and in the prescribed range of 3 to 12 (if you keep to that range). For example, the author has succesfully used the 8 + 1d4 method for Comeliness in a world where everyone who is someone in society should be very beautiful.

    5. Optional rule: divide Learning by 3 and use that as a multiplier.

    6. When taking time off to study, a possible rule is that a character has one chance every three months to gain a point in the skill studied.

    7. A possible variation is the grouping of skills according to rarity, and letting players roll for desired skills. Keep in mind that someone must have had the opportunity to learn a skill, so rule out impossibilities. Also, keep in mind that it is more difficult to raise a skill for which you don't have much talent. A very clumsy person will have to train very hard to become a passable fencer, for instance. Another possibility is to disallow skills when the corresponding attribute is too low. For instance, if psionic skills have Intuition as a corresponding attribute, you may rule that nobody with an Intuition lower than 10 will be able to learn psionics. The other way around is possible too: nobody with a Size of 12 will be able to become a sewers inspector.

    8. One thing to watch for is the high=Failed, low=OK syndrome, where every problem matches the skill, and the GM thinks that everything above 60 is a failure, and everything below 40 a success.

    9. Another option is not to use percentage rolls at all, but to roll a d20 for a result lower than skill minus difficulty. Some people just don't like percentages, but they can be used to determine fumbles and great successes.

    10. Whether success at seduction should be rolled for has been discussed extensively on rec.games.frp.advocacy.

    11. Jan-boeren-fluitjes. Dutch for convincingly fudging and winging your way through. This is the current author's preferred method when GM'ing.

    12. 23 - 19 = 4 * 5, 20%, add 50, gives 70%


    • Optional rule 1: when fumbling (see table) a real hit is scored by the fumbler, doing real damage.
    • Optional rule 2: when scoring a critical hit, two points are deducted from the opponent's Constitution.
    • Optional rule 3: you could figure out some way to calculate from the strength of the opponent some variation on the one-hit one-point rule, where opponents of a stronger opponent get tired earlier on. Other optional rules at the whim and creativity of the GM.

    14. After all, the PCs may very well be exceptional. A lot of important NPCs will be exceptional too.

    15. Though if you were to translate the list back into Dutch, you'd get pretty much of an alphabetical order.

    16. Disclaimer: the weapons list is being overhauled. If you have any specific questions, send them to irina@rempt.xs4all.nl.

    17. The abbreviations are still in Dutch. That's why they mostly don't seem to abbreviate what they stand for.

    18. A fully fleshed out world with four great campaigns available for it. We're currently trying to get it published, but since the page count goes well beyond 200 (and that's without the rules), I don't have much hope for it. Oh, and it's in Dutch, of course...

    19. Nota bene: this branching is very setting specific. The reasons for these odd branches have nothing to do with the game system itself. It's only an example, and doesn't represent a general system. The oddities provide for some nice roleplaying, but they are not reasonable in themselves!

    20. Also known as 'good ideas rifled from other systems'.

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