Legend of Zelda RPG
A homebrew produced by the collective efforts of the /tg/ community, aiming to put the characteristic elements of the Legend of Zelda video games into a pen-and-paper RPG format and
hopefully do it better than the existing d20 Zelda ruleset.
As a work-in-progress, expect the contents of this page to change fairly frequently until the game nears a more finalized form, and please be understanding if something important is missing.
Please Note: Since this is a joint effort of the /tg/ community and is currently in an unfinished state, changes to this system should be proposed on /tg/ before being added to this wiki. It's always best to get community feedback to assess whether something is unbalanced or unnecessary, and we don't want this system to become a dysfunctional patchwork of rules added by individuals without any community review for quality and coherence with the system as a whole.
This material is a reboot/overhaul of the original version. In its first run, the project produced a system that was functional, but not quite complete. The project fell dormant for about a year, then was revived; however, having had some time to step back and look at the project with a fresh perspective, it was decided that rather than finishing off the original project it would be better to rebuild from the ground up, correcting certain fundamental issues with the core mechanics that made the original system a real hassle to work with in several respects, ultimately contributing to the decline of the original project. You can find the original material here.
HERE THIS READ ME READ THIS http://pastebin.com/CsXpe3GR THIS IS THE TL;DR OF THE RULES YOU CAN READ IN THREE MINUTES AND BE READY TO JUMP INTO ANY CAMPAIGN.
THE SYSTEM IS REALLY REALLY EASY, IT'S JUST DIFFERENT FROM D&D AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.
- 1 Mission Statement
- 2 The Core Mechanic
- 3 The Stats
- 4 Boss Templates
- 5 Character Creation
- 6 Character Advancement
- 7 Exploration
- 8 Combat
- 9 Magic
- 10 Situational Rules
- 11 Some Prefabs
- 12 External Links
This system is intended to accomplish three main goals:
- Make a Legend of Zelda RPG, not merely a Legend of Zelda-flavored RPG
- The core mission statement of this system is to make a game that captures the characteristic game-play that the Legend of Zelda video games are known for. This game-play is primarily made up of searching for and acquiring items that are later utilized in later quests. Combat, particularly boss battles, should have a puzzle-like aspect as well. And of course, all the classic LoZ items and races should be represented for use in games. It's not sufficient to merely have a system capable of incorporating these elements; it should be specifically geared to promote a uniquely and recognizably Legend-of-Zelda style of play.
- Synthesize and expand on the video games, don't merely replicate them
- While emulating the characteristic style of the Zelda games is the #1 priority, that doesn't mean we should limit ourselves to only the things you can do in those games. Any archetype that would reasonably fit into any of the Zelda settings should be feasible; not all PCs will be Hylian sword-and-boarders. The beauty of pen-and-paper RPGs is that they aren't limited by the same technical constraints that bind video games, and the Zelda series has very rich settings with lots stuff to work with; we should be free to let our imaginations run a bit wild. Likewise, unless it would add excessive complexity to the core of the system or threatens to render an item utterly redundant, there's no harm in allowing characters to do things that should reasonably be possible but can't be done in the video games. (It's important to note here that even if an item's original purpose in a given game is rendered moot by allowing a certain action, that doesn't mean the item can't be slightly adapted to still have a purpose. For instance, it would be reasonable to allow all characters to swim, barring conflicting racial traits such as a Goron's density, but that doesn't mean you can't still have a use for stuff like the Zora's Flippers or Zora Armor.)
- Simplicity and Accessibility
- We want this game to be easy to learn and easy to play, even for Zelda fans who've never played a tabletop game before. Of course, there is a point of diminishing returns where trimming down the rules hurts the system's robustness more than it improves ease of use, and we want to avoid that, but as a rule of thumb, keep it simple.
The Core Mechanic
D6 dice pool. To make a check, roll a number of 6-sided dice equal to the sum of your ranks in the relevant attribute and skill, plus any additional dice you may receive from racial bonuses or demonstrating a particular Virtue. Each die that comes up 4 or higher is a success; the more successes you get, the more impressive your performance. Particularly difficult tasks may require multiple successes to accomplish.
Attributes represent your character's general, basic abilities. Each Attribute has a minimum rank of 1 and a maximum rank of 5. A basic starting character has 2 ranks in each of two different attributes of their choice, and 1 rank in the rest.
- Brawn represents your physical strength and might.
- If you have at least 4 points in Brawn, you can wield weapons 1 size category larger for no penalty
- Agility represents your coordination and reflexes.
- If you have at least 3 points in Agility, you are not affected by poor footing (e.g. rubble, ice, etc.). If you have 5 points of Agility, your speed increases by an additional 2 meters (1 square). You lose this benefit if you're encumbered by heavy armor or objects.
- Wits represents innate and intuitive mental faculties, such as creativity, cunning, and perceptiveness.
- If you have at least 3 points in Wits, you do not take the success range penalty on harmonics
- Guts represents your determination, passion, and fortitude, both mental and physical.
- If you have at least 3 points in Guts, you automatically pass all fear based Composure rolls. If you have at least 5 points in Guts, SP restoration is doubled for you
- Smarts represents learned and rational mental faculties, such as acquired knowledge and logical reasoning.
- If you have at least 3 points in Smarts you can utilize Cascade Casting.
Skills represent specific capabilities your character has learned through practice and training. Starting characters are given points to purchase skill ranks up to a maximum of 5 ranks.
|Skill Rank||Point cost|
While each skill will generally be associated with a single attribute, the attribute used can vary depending on the situation, particularly for certain skills more than others. For example, running a race would always use Athletics, but the relevant attribute might be either Guts or Agility depending on whether it's a long-distance run or a shorter sprint. The skills are intended to be fairly broad and general, so that each skill has a fairly wide array of applicable uses.
- Melee(B,A,W): Most all melee weapons, except those that fall under the Heavy skill. Swords, axes, maces, spears, unarmed combat, etc. Brawn is typically the associated attribute for Melee skill checks.
- Heavy(B): Big, heavy weapons that are slow and unwieldy, but pack a tremendous punch. Not only do Heavy weapons deal considerably more damage than other types, the force of their blows tends to make the enemy flinch. The Biggoron's sword and megaton hammer are examples of Heavy weapons.
- Ranged(A): Ranged weapons, such as the bow, boomerang, and slingshot.
- Shields(G,B): Exactly as the name suggests -- use of shields, for both defensive and offensive purposes. Guts is typically the associated attribute for defensive Shields skill checks while Brawn is typically used for offensive Shields skill checks.
- Spellcraft(S): Use of magic, whether spells in the conventional sense of powers inherent to your character through study or innate talent, or to invoke magical items like the Fire Rod or Bombos Medallion. Things that use this skill require MP. Smarts is always the associated attribute for Spellcraft skill checks.
- Instruments(W): Making music, often to produce mystical effects (e.g., playing the Song of Storms on the Ocarina of Time to make it rain). Wits is always the associated attribute for Instruments skill checks.
- Tools(?): A catch-all skill for all the miscellaneous items that don't quite fit any of the above categories, such as the spinner or beetle. The associated attribute for Tools skill checks varies widely depending on what kind of tool you're using.
- Athletics(B,A,G): Dodging is the most important related check for this with Agility, but it is also used for more conventional feats of physical prowess such as swimming, leaps, running races, etc. Brawn, Agility, and Guts are all possibly associated attributes for Athletics skill checks. On a jump check, 2 successes is 1 square of horizontal travel.
- Riding(S,A): Handling a mount, such as a horse or Loftwing. Your rank in Riding is the highest amount of skill dice you can roll while riding a mount. It is also used to determine your ability to maneuver obstacles at high speed.
- Stealth(A): For when you don't want to be noticed. This is your passive stealth score, before the various modifiers are applied for how you actually go about hiding yourself.
- Perception(W): For when you want to notice something. Wits is always the associated attribute for Perception skill checks. This skill is used to notice things you weren't entirely looking for and for particularly well-hidden items. Direct investigation should always be a success.
- Survival(W,S): For gathering resources (such as cutting grass for hearts and rupees) and various other tasks, like fishing. Wits and Smarts are typically the associated attributes for Survival skill checks, depending on what's more appropriate for the task at hand.
- Lore(S): Knowing about things. Smarts is always the associated attribute for Lore skill checks. To increase the usefulness of this skill, it represents general learning instead of specific areas of knowledge. If for some reason your character would have advanced knowledge in an area, they wouldn't need to roll Lore in the first place.
- Composure(G): The ability to keep calm, keeping a straight face, feigning interest, ignoring pain, and holding back tears are all uses for Composure; what you actually say and how its received is up to you and your Sage.
Virtues are a special stat, representing the three aspects of the Triforce. These aren't so much about what you do as how you do it. In order to add your rank in a Virtue to your dice pool, you have to do something in a way that demonstrates that Virtue. Virtues start at 0 and can be raised to a maximum of 3, but raising a Virtue is extremely difficult. A basic starting character has 1 rank in a single Virtue of their choice, and no ranks in the rest.
- Power is associated with force and authority. The path of Power is one that is blunt and straightforward, often foregoing subtleties and finesse. Power is added when a character approaches a problem with brute force, swift action, or with authority. When a Gerudo warrior makes an example of an enemy to strike fear into its allies. When a Goron brawler thinks a swift kick to the locked chest will do the job faster than the delicacy of a lockpick. When a hardened Sheikah guardian commands a subject to stay their sword. To everyone else you're brutish and grisly. To those who see it you have Power.
- Wisdom is associated with contemplation and manipulation. The path of wisdom is refined and precise, preferring to take the time to analyze a situation, being cautious and discerning. You add Wisdom when you decide to act with clear planning. When a Hylian archers waits for the opportune moment to shoot a specific spot rather than fire a volley of arrows. When a Zora sorceress senses what lies in the next room before allowing her party to continue. When a Twili investigates for clues rather than immediately assume a man accused of stealing is guilty. To everyone else you're overly cautious and slow. To those who see it you have Wisdom.
- Courage is associated with heroism and bravery. The path of Courage involves putting things on the line and making sacrifices to achieve a goal. Courage is added for actions such as putting their own self in harm's way for an ally, doing things that are risky, facing fears, or making stands against larger forces. When a lowly Deku bravely charges a rampaging Dodongo. When a Hylian explorer braves a trap-lined hallway to get to the treasure chest on the other side. When a Terminan citizen stands up to a knight for picking on the weak. To everyone else you're crazy and reckless. To those who see it, you have Courage.
Hearts, Magic, and Stamina
Hearts function like hit points, with each heart being equivalent to 4 HP. Damage and health are measured in hearts or fractions thereof, using the shorthand terminology of #H or #♥ -- eg, 2H, ½♥, 1+1/2H, etc. When you run out of hearts, you are down, but not dead. A character whose hearts are depleted has one "Final Heart"; only if the Final Heart is depleted does the character die. The vast majority of enemies will leave a downed character alone until more active threats are dealt with. Hearts can be recovered through enemy drops, foraging (cutting grass, breaking pots, etc.), extended rest, and healing items/magic (such as fairies, potions, healing spells, etc.).
Magic is used for spells and magic items. Each such effect consumes a certain amount of magic power (MP), which is acquired in blocks of 4. A character can have a maximum of 60 MP (15 blocks). Recovering MP requires magic jars (obtained through enemy drops or potions), extended rest, or potions (or a similar effect).
Stamina is mainly used to power special techniques, but is also used when a character does certain actions (such as sprinting). Like MP, stamina is acquired in blocks of 4. Like magic, a character can have a maximum of 60 points of stamina (15 blocks). Stamina can be recovered in combat by giving up actions to rest. Each action restores 1 block. Outside of combat, you can easily recover all your stamina with a short break of only a minute or so.
Each character starts with 3 hearts. A character's base magic is a number of blocks equal to 1+Wits (a character with 2 Wits would have 3 blocks of MP or 12 points). Similarly, a character's base stamina is a number of blocks equal to 1+Guts.
- Fluff note: Hearts and magic are recovered in essentially the same way they are in the video game -- by picking up items that must be used the moment you get them. Of course, this leads one to wonder why you couldn't just stockpile hearts and magic jars for when you really need them. If you're not content with merely hand-waving the issue away, one explanation we've come up with in the course of working on this project is that hearts and magic jars are in fact crystallized deposits of life and magic energy, respectively. These crystalline forms are extremely delicate, and rapidly destabilize when touched. If the energy is not used immediately, it quickly dissipates into the environment.
Many dozens of races have been introduced throughout the zelda franchise and this is by no means a complete list of them in any way. The most popular races have been represented here and the capacity to stat in more of the obscure races is included. This list should be used by players and Sages alike as there is no bestiary aside from a list of example mooks. The rule of thumb for whether something is a mook or not has been whether it can think and if it can climb a ladder, the first being if it's suitable to be played as, the second to determine whether it could actually function in a dungeon. Standard move speed is 3 (6 meters).
- Human, Hylian : Size Medium; auditory alignment detection (whether they tend towards Power, Wisdom, Courage, or are forsaken by the Goddesses)
- Human, Gerudo : Size Medium; ignore mild environmental hazards, only female (no Ganondorfs as players)
- Human, Shiekah : Size Medium; may ignore adjacent and field of view penalties to stealth
- Human, Termina : Size Medium; +1 to all rolls involving Narrative Magic
- Human Imp, Skull Kid : Size Small; +1 to instruments, prank cantrip for -1 mp (magically pranking someone nets 1 mana back)
- Zora : Size Medium; Water breathing, hydrodynamic, adjustable bouyancy, electric sense (Can detect and glean information from nearby electric currents), double damage from Ice and Fire
- Deku : Size Small; Water walking for no more than 1 turn in a row, wood sense (can detect and glean information from nearby wood), Evolving Tech Spit Attack, Evolving Tech Burrowing, immediate drowning at double damage, double fire damage.
- Kokiri : Size Small; personal fairy with at will Clairvoyance, search checks are twice as bountiful, permanent child, not supposed to leave The Great Deku Tree
- Goron : Size Large; half environmental damage, Evolving Tech Goron Roll, stone sense (Can detect and glean information from nearby stone), eats rocks; -5 bouyancy, 2 movement
- Twili : Size Medium; can Warp for 1 mp during Twilight, fatigued in direct sunlight unless wearing darkness enchanted armor, can see in the dark
- Korok** : Size Small; Evolving Tech Flight, double fire damage, tree themed Stalagmite for 4 mp (make no canonical sense, nor combat sense)
- Rito : Size Small; Evolving Tech Flight, wind sense* (Can detect and glean information from passing wind)
- Subrosians : Size Small; Immune to fire, double damage and stun from Ice, must wear a burqa (light weakness?)
- Construct : Size Large; ignore all environmental hazards, -5 bouyancy, 2 movement, +1/4H damage from imbued Light
- Garo : Size Small; -1H at all times, upon the destruction of their clothing, their spirit body (1H, incorporeal, invisible) is freed to escape and possess a new set of clothing which slowly morphs back into Garo Robes
- Goriya : Size Medium; +1 to Presence when trading
- Blins : Size Small to Medium; Move Speed 4, optional increase from Small to Medium, optional increase to Large and 3 move speed
- Wizzrobe : Size Medium; Jaunt for 1 mp
- Stalfos : Size Medium; Guardian for 0 sp, permanent Soulbond with one other Stalfos, immune to environmental damage
- Lizalfos : Size Medium; Guardian for 0 sp, Double Damage from Ice, Half Damage from Fire
- Mook : Any Size; pick a (low) number, that is their dice pool for everything, their number of hearts stamina and mana, and can have up to that many techs or spells. A mook's attribute is half their rank.
- More to come
(*%*)(Player Dekus are not deku scrubs, those are merely enemies. Player dekus are the older dekus that have woody bodies and limbs. The kind that are often shopkeepers and actually help Link from time to time.)
An important note on sizes. A medium sized creature is the weight of an average human, . Moving up a size category doubles the weight, so a goron would be about . Moving down a size halves the weight, so a Skull Kid would be about . These continue infinitely, so a kokiri would be about , and a dragon 4 sizes above a goron would weigh . These weights are the same used for objects, so you can actually get a difficulty on picking up your teammate and throwing them at the enemy. These weights are NOT canonical, only inferences used for the conversion to Pen and Paper. Canonically, Link can pick up an iron boot in either leg. You cannot imagine the shenanigans players would get up to with that.
(**)Canonically, Koroks are what the Kokiri became in the Era of the Great Sea, but that would make one or the other unplayable in the same campaign, keep if you want to
Boss monsters are the biggest bads of the dungeon, huge, magical, nearly undefeatable, but have their weaknesses. These are to be defeated by clever players, not abuses of the system. For that reason, the following templates are recommended for use. Or go wild.
- Boss Monster : XL, Immune to stun, Immune to poison, Occupy at least two squares, stunned for one round after critical damage while unstunned, 4 actions per turn
- Shadow : Constant Imbue Shadow, immune to Shadow, double damage from Light
- Infernal : Constant Imbue Fire, immune to fire, double damage from Ice, Ice can stun for 1 action at most
- Parasitic : Double health, cannot survive without Host
- Armored : Double defensive dice, half speed
- Bio-electric : Constant Imbue Lightning, immune to lightning, is not Immune to stun
- Aquatic : double damage from Lightning, double speed in water
- Subterranean : Immune to non-piercing damage
- Burrowing : Burrowing Racial Tech
- Flying : Flight Racial Tech
- Hoarfrost : Constant Imbue Ice, Immune to Ice, Double Damage from Fire
- Undead : Immune to environmental damage, Double Damage from Light
- Amoeba : Only core can take damage but has 0 DD
- Grabbing : Does not need to roll to maintain a grapple after it is established and grappling does not interfere with it's ability to attack other characters.
- Giant : plus one size, only 3 actions per turn
- Gargantuan : plus two size, only 3 actions per turn
- Choose a race
- Set two attributes to Rank 2 and the other three attributes to Rank 1
- All characters start with three (3) hearts
- All characters start with one (1) plus Guts blocks of Stamina
- All characters start with one (1) plus Wits blocks of Mana
- Assign fifteen (15) skill points via point buy [Rank 1 costs 1 skill point. Rank 2 costs 2 skill points, plus the cost to raise the skill to Rank 1 (i.e. 1 more skill point). A Rank 2 skill costs, total, 3 skill points.]
- Sage sets the starting rupees, 200 is normal
- Refer to pricing on the tables to buy
- Training cost is 20/sp, 30/mp, 20/action (action cost is only for songs)
- Details details details
We would like to make this system entirely XP-less -- that is, rather than spending some kind of metagame resource to improve your character (as is the case in most every RPG), characters improve through in-game rewards. While this will add a bit more for the Sage to do, it strongly supports our goal of making a system with uniquely Legend-of-Zelda-style gameplay.
Of course, one of the most important means of character advancement is acquiring items. In order to advance to new challenges, you'll need to expand your repertoire of tools for handling them -- just like in the video games. Items are most prominently found in dungeons, and the item found in a dungeon is usually crucial for handling that dungeon's puzzles and boss. They also can be obtained in the overworld from side quests and the like. Note that "items" need not necessarily be physical objects -- they might be spells or songs learned from a mentor or ancient writing. Anything that adds a totally new capability that is vital for characters to handle puzzles and similar obstacles is effectively an "item".
Another important means of advancement is the learning of techniques. Techniques are special abilities and tricks that your character learns through practice. Like items, they typically add entirely new abilities to your repertoire, rather than merely improving your stats; however, unlike items, techniques rarely play a pivotal role in solving puzzles (though this is not to say that they can't play such a role occasionally). Rather, techniques help to personalize and flesh out your character's capabilities, adding variety and style to how you do things. Techniques are often combat-oriented, in contrast to items, which are typically puzzle-oriented. Techniques would typically be learned from mentors (such as the Hero's Spirit in Twilight Princess), but could also be learned from studying written instructions (such as the Tiger Scrolls in Minish Cap) or from other sources entirely -- whatever the Sage feels is appropriate.
Hearts, as you might expect, should be increased in essentially the same fashion as they are in the video games -- from Heart Containers dropped by defeated bosses, and from collecting Pieces of Heart. Each new heart obtained (whether from a defeated boss or Pieces of Heart) should benefit each party member equally.
The Sage should also provide opportunities for characters to acquire additional blocks of magic power and stamina in-game. The form this takes is entirely up to the Sage; you might use very abstract methods as is done for hearts, or the intervention of a powerful magical being (such as a Great Fairy's blessing or the Mad Batter's "curse", which double your magic meters in the video games that use them), or a powerful potion brewed by a witch, or perhaps even intense training under a suitable mentor to increase your reserves of strength. The number of extra blocks of these resources provided to a character should not exceed twice that character's rank in the associated attribute for that resource -- for instance, the Sage shouldn't give a character with 3 Guts more than 6 additional blocks of Stamina through in-game sources. However, Sages should be fairly generous in making extra blocks available, not shying away from allowing players to reach this upper limit. The pace at which these increases are provided is up to the Sage -- some may find it easier to only rarely give out many blocks at once (similar to the one-time doubling of the magic meter in the video games), while others may prefer the smoother progression afforded by providing one block at a time spread out regularly over the course of the campaign. Extra blocks of magic and stamina may be distributed to the party as a whole (in which case the amount of blocks given should be determined by the average relevant attribute value of all party members) or individually (in which case the number of blocks given can be determined on a character-by-character basis). If using individual distribution, characters should not be permitted to give extra blocks they obtain personally to other party members -- in other words, the whole party should not be able to go out and, for instance, each get a potion that boosts MP capacity and all give their potions to the party's mage.
Finally, of course, there's increasing your stats -- your attributes, skills, and Virtues. This too must be accomplished through in-game action. Improving your rank in a skill might require studying under a suitable expert in that field. Improving an attribute might take intensive training under a strict coach, or perhaps a magical infusion of ability from a potion or Great Fairy. Improving a Virtue would almost always require some kind of intervention on the part of a powerful supernatural entity -- perhaps even the Virtue's patron Goddess herself! Increasing stats should typically involve a side quest or "minigame" of sorts, determined by the Sage. A mentor might require you to overcome some trial to prove your worth before training you; finding a reclusive guru may be a challenge in itself; a witch might need you to gather ingredients for her to make you an attribute-boosting potion; a Great Fairy might require you to prove your Virtue by undertaking some grand endeavour before blessing you with greater strength in that area; and so forth. Increasing skills would require relatively easy challenges -- in fact, the Sage may simply require nothing more than the payment of a training fee in rupees at a local guild, if they don't want to spend time on something so trivial. Improving an attribute is a slightly more significant boost, and requires a bit more effort. Improving a Virtue is a momentous task indeed, requiring tremendous effort. While it would be reasonable to expect a character to hit the maximum rank of 5 in their primary attribute and skills by the end of an extended campaign, maxing out a Virtue should be reserved for only the most truly epic campaigns.
Here are the general character advancement Rewards, in descending power.
- Gift of the Goddess : Increase your virtue by 1, all hearts are restored. Granted just before the Final Boss.
- Powerful Essence : Increase 1 Attribute. Dropped by Dungeon Bosses.
- Full Heart : Permanently add 1 Heart, or 1 block of Mana, or 1 block of Stamina. Dropped by Dungeon Bosses.
- Piece of Heart : Collect 4 to create a Full Heart. Granted by side quests.
- Weak Essence : Increase two different Skills by 1. Dropped by Mini-Bosses
- Artifact : An important item. Granted after the Mini-Boss.
The Effect of Character Size
Size categories vary widely in the Legend of Zelda universe and that must be represented when you pit a Goron against a Kokiri. Size categories scale infinitely with each category being twice as heavy as the last, meaning Hylians are 70kg and Gorons would be 140 kg. Size is slightly misleading however, because it is based on mass rather than height; a Deku is about as tall as a Hylian, but is spindly, light, and weak, so they are classified as Small rather than Medium. Size impacts a few very important things. First, is your ability to move things and resist being moved. Small size gives +0, and every increment changes that by 1, so medium would be +1, Large is +2, Tiny is -1. This applies to strength checks, similar but not the same as Brawn checks, and knockback checks. Second, is the size of weapons you can easily wield. Weapon size corresponds almost directly to character size by name, but is covered more in depth later. Finally, your size modifies your ability, or inability, to dodge ranged attacks. Center of body mass is considered to be the target however, and a Hylians chest by itself would be small size, so the modifier is set at medium = 0, and goes down with size. Therefore Gorons would have -1 to dodge arrows while a Kokiri would have +2. You can still block arrows, and parry them out of the air.
An important consequence of large monsters: Monsters often are much larger and stronger than Link (or a simillarily-sized character). As such, they occupy multiple squares at the same time. To account for weak spots, each square has the capacity for different stats. For every attack they possess, it can only come from a certain square, such as the Dodongo's fire breath which only comes from their head. For defense, calculate the number of dice they would have normally, multiply by the number of squares they have, and assign the dice as seen fit. For further example with the Dodongo, if it can normally defend with four dice, since it is over two squares, it would have eight dice to assign, all of which go to its head, giving the head 8 defense dice, and its tail none because the tail is the weak spot.
When a character is so large they occupy multiple squares area of effects affect them differently. The base damage is applied to every square that is targetted, but otherwise all effects only apply once. So, a spin attack of Ice 1 would only stun for 1 even if you hit them three times with the spin attack.
Lifting and Carrying
Every creature and object has a Weight category, which can also be expressed as a number. The Weight categories, in order from smallest to largest, are Negligible (-1), Small (0), Medium (1), Large (2), Massive (3), and Colossal (4). PC races fall within the range of Light to Heavy (eg, Deku are Light, Hylians are Medium, Gorons are Heavy), and items (such as the Iron Boots) or other effects may modify your Weight, potentially taking it outside of this range. Very large or dense monsters or objects may have weights heavier than Massive, which are simply indicated with a "+" after the word Colossal for each point of Weight beyond 4. For instance, an exceptionally large statue with Weight 6 would be described as "Colossal++". This number is the same as the knockback modifier.
If your Brawn exceeds the Weight of an object, you can lift and carry it without penalty. If your Brawn is exactly equal to an object's Weight, you can carry it, you re encumbered by it and have one less action, -1 to dodge, -1 buoyancy, and +1 against knockback. You cannot lift anything with Weight greater than your Brawn, but you can push or drag any object with a knockback modifier equal to or less than your brawn+size modifier.
When a fight starts, each combatant rolls for initiative with a dice pool of Agility + Wits to determine turn order. The team with the highest single initiative roll goes first. In case of a tie, reroll.
Each turn, you get three actions, which can be used in a variety of ways. On your turn, an action can be spent to do just about anything that could reasonably be done in the span of a few seconds -- making an attack, readying yourself for combat, using an item from your c-pool, moving a distance up to your speed, etc. Any actions not used during your turn can be used later in the round as reactions, in response to something somebody else does. Reactions can only be used in certain specific ways, as described below.
Attacks and Damage
To make an attack, roll the appropriate dice pool for your weapon. For instance, a typical sword would use Brawn + Melee, a Biggoron's sword would use Brawn + Heavy, and a bow would use Agility + Ranged. If you make at least one success, your attack hits, and you deal an amount of damage defined by your weapon. Each additional success you score beyond the first increases the damage you deal by 1/4H (for now, anyway -- eventually different weapons may have different kinds of effects for extra successes, but that can wait). A target that defends itself may cancel out some or all of your successes, as described below.
If the target is wearing armor, the damage dealt by a successful attack is reduced by a certain number of hearts based on what kind of armor the target is wearing (see below).
Attacking is usually just a single action, but attacking with a Heavy weapon requires two actions, due to their relative unwieldiness.
You can only use each of your hands once per turn. This includes : swinging a sword, blocking with a shield, casting a spell, pulling a bow, using an item, throwing a punch, and more. Two handed weapons use both of your hands, one handed weapons use one hand, typical ranged weapons use two hands, and spells use two hands if they are complex, and one if they are simple, refer to the magic section for more information. Anything you can do in your main hand, you can do in your off hand, but at a -1 dice pool penalty to all rolls with it when attacking. Defending with your off hand does not take this penalty.
Certain weapons can attack with Reach. This means that they can threaten two squares away from themselves, given that the middle square is empty. This allows a character with reach to strike a normally armed character when he himself cannot be hit. There is a wielding penalty to Reach weapons.
Unarmed is a normal melee attack with either hand. Damage scales with size such that a medium does 1/4 h + 1/4 h per success. Smaller size categories can only damage through successes while every size up adds 1/4 h to direct damage. Unarmed damage cannot remove an enemy's Final Heart. Even when armed, you can make an unarmed attack.
- A summation table for reference:
- The largest weapon a Medium can wield in one hand is a medium weapon.
- This scales to character size and is all relative.
- The largest weapon a character can draw as a free action is 1 sizes below his main.
- A character can wield a weapon 1 size over his main in 2 hands, each attack taking 1 action and stunning for 1. (Acts as a heavy attack that isn't at the limit)
- A character can wield a weapon 1 size over his main in 1 hand, each attack taking 2 actions.
- A character can wield a weapon 2 sizes over his main in 2 hands, each attack taking 2 actions, and a successful attack stunning the target for 1 action.
- A character can wield a weapon with reach the size of his main, in 2 hands, each attack taking 2 actions and stunning for 1.
- A character can wield a weapon with reach the size of his main, in 1 hand for 1 action, sacrificing reach and 2 offensive die
- A character can wield a ranged weapon the size of his main, taking 1 action to aim and another to fire.
- A character can wield a crossbow 2 sizes above his main, taking 1 action to preload, 1 to aim and a third to fire. Preloading can occur on a previous round.
- A character can throw a weapon 1 size above his main, taking 2 actions. This weapon is treated as a size category lower when not being thrown
Attacking accurately with a ranged weapon takes 2 actions -- one to aim, and one immediately afterward to fire. You can attempt a quick shot without taking time to aim, using only a single action to attack, but this comes at a great cost in accuracy -- your dice pool for the attack is halved (rounded down, but to a minimum of 1 die).
Crossbows additionally require an action to load, but unlike aiming this can be done well in advance of firing, with various other actions done in between. However, crossbows deal considerably more damage -- much like how Heavy weapons, though they take two actions to use, deal considerably more damage than Melee weapons.
Ranged Weapons have a base range increment of 10 squares. Every increment past that gives a -1 penalty. This applies to magic projectiles as well.
Ranged Weapons take the same damage as melee weapons. A short bow is equivalent to a medium weapon, longbow is Imposing and Crossbow is Hefty. Crossbows would be considered heavy, that is why they have the extra 'load' action.
Normal ranged weapons use Agility, thrown weapons such as axes and pots, use Brawn. Thrown weapons use a range increment of 3.
There exist many different techniques that can be used in combat, and sometimes out of combat. To use a technique, you typically have to spend the stamina cost and spend a single action on it. Techniques generally represent something you could do normally but would be far more inefficient at without the technique, so the same roll is used as if you were doing it the hard way. For example, you could move forward and attack, or you could jump attack, both would be a melee attack. Techniques require any hands that would be required to do it the hard way, and can only be performed once per turn. In the same example, jump attacking would use your main hand for that turn, but you could still shield bash with the other.
Special techniques exist with 0 stamina cost. These are Traits. They are always in effect. They cannot be trained, but are rather rewards given by the Sage for certain actions at their disgression. Say, if you grappled a dragon to death, you would get the trait Wrestler (+2 to all grapple checks)
Items and Tools in Combat
Items and Tools should be of the weightless size category. As such, they can be drawn freely by any size player. They should occupy one hand and generate their effect at the cost of one action. As improvised weapons they are poor, but using the spell toolkit, their effects can be quite useful. To keep with the theme of Legend of Zelda, although this isn't necessary, a pool of 3 readied items akin to the C-buttons, the C-Pool, can be implemented to make characters think more about preparation for combat. Using a tool from the C-Pool takes merely the action to use it, but changing an item in the C-Pool takes an action, then the action to actually use it.
Items and Tools will be changed quickly, much quicker than weapons. As such, the rule should be generic and applied to all of them while a players personal weapon can be more intricate due to the player have a more permanent use and understanding of it.
Types of reactions
Defensive reactions: A reaction can be used to defend yourself in one of three ways. Regardless of which option you choose, each success you roll cancels one of the attacker's successes. If you roll at least as many successes for your defense as the attacker rolled for their attack, you've negated the attack completely. If you roll some successes, but not enough to negate the attack, you've managed to avoid some of the attack, mitigating it to an extent, but not quite all of it. If you roll no successes, you've failed utterly. Each defensive option has additional effects, as described below.
In case of a tie, melee defenders win and ranged attackers win. In a melee fight, you are proving your ability to dodge rather than them proving their ability to hit because it's really easy to hit normally. In a ranged situation, you are proving your ability to hit, because it's rather hard to hit something at range.
Block: Guts+Shields. One action, one roll, defends against all attacks until your next turn. If you have a shield, you can roll Guts + Shields to block an enemy attack. In addition to cancelling out the attacker's successes, as long as you roll at least one success you gain an armor bonus (in addition to any you may have from other sources), which further reduces the damage taken if you fail to negate the attack entirely. The magnitude of this bonus depends on what kind of shield you have. Unlike other kinds of defenses, cancelling successes by blocking does not negate stun.
Dodge: Agility+Athletics. Once action, one roll, only defends against the first attack. As long as you're not encumbered, be it from armor or heavy weapons, you can attempt to leap, roll, or sidestep out of the way of an attack. To attempt a dodge, there must be an open space adjacent to your current position that isn't affected by the enemy's attack. Normally this is any other square, but certain area of effect spells can limit your options. To attempt to dodge, roll Agility + Athletics. In addition to cancelling out the attacker's successes, as long as you roll at least one success you move into an adjacent safe space of your choice. If you roll no successes, you failed to react in time and you don't move. In order to dodge, you must move to a spot that is not threatened.
Parry: Wits + Melee - 1. One action, multiple rolls, each roll defends against a single attack. If you're using a Melee or Heavy weapon, you can use it to turn aside an enemy's Melee attack. A Heavy weapon is also capable of parrying an attack from another Heavy weapon, but Melee weapons are too small and flimsy to adequately accomplish this. To attempt a parry, roll Wits + melee - 1. If you roll more successes than the enemy does, not only do you negate the attack, but you manage to put the enemy in a disadvantageous position, giving you a +1 bonus to your dice pool the next time you attack that enemy, provided you make the attack before the enemy's next turn. If your offhand is free, you do not suffer the -1 penalty. You do not get the bonus from parrying an area of effect attack like Spin Attack.
Counterattack: If you completely negate an enemy's attack with a defensive reaction, you can immediately spend another reaction (if you have one available) to immediately attack that enemy with a weapon you have on hand. Since a counterattack takes advantage of the momentary opening created when an enemy fails to land an attack, the target can't use a reaction to defend against it; however, Heavy weapons are too unwieldy to use for such a quick response, and thus cannot be used to counterattack. You also can't counterattack if you used an action on your turn to attack (even if the attack failed). Attempting a counterattack costs 1 Stamina. If you counterattack after a defense such as blocking or parrying, then you are no longer protected by that defense and must spend another action afterwards to reinstate your defense.
Prepare: If you suspect an enemy might try to do something in particular, and you want to respond to that in a certain way, you can prepare a response to such an eventuality. To prepare a reaction, you must spend a reaction in advance and declare that you will do a certain thing when a given condition is met. For example, your prepared reaction might be, "if the Dodongo tries to breathe fire, I'll throw a bomb in its mouth". When the condition you prepared for is met, you can immediately take the action you prepared without spending a reaction (since your reaction was spent in advance when you declared the prepared reaction). If the condition isn't met before your next turn starts, your preparation is wasted. If you don't trust your Sage not to change what the enemies do to avoid triggering your prepared reaction, you can make a secret declaration by writing down the condition and what you plan to do, revealing it when the condition is met. You still have to declare that you are preparing an action, though; you just don't need to announce what exactly you're planning. You can prepare a reaction any time before the event triggering it happens, as long as you have a reaction available to spend for it. Prepared reactions take place immediately before the triggering action, and may prevent the target from carrying out the triggering action -- but this is not always the case! Generally speaking, a reaction prepared to thwart a particular special attack (such as the aforementioned Dodongo example) is hard for the enemy to defend against or recover from, since such actions exploit openings inherent in those attacks; however, such openings may not always be present. For example, you could prepare a reaction to attack an enemy if it tries to attack you (simply with a standard attack). In this case, while you could certainly make your attack, the enemy could still use a reaction to defend itself, and assuming it survives your prepared attack it may still be able to continue with its intended attack against you. Prepared actions can only be used against techniques/spells, saying "I cut him if he steps near me," leads to stand offs so base actions can't provoke a prepared action due to their mutability.
A note on Protecting: You can occupy the same square as one other ally. In this case, the actual effects of each reaction need to be clearly specified. Only block removes threat from a square. Parry does not nor does dodge. If your square is attacked and you dodge, whoever was also in that square must defend or get hit; but if you block, your ally does not need to spend an action defending.
Another note. It only takes a single reaction to block every primary attack of all of your aggressors, and another to block all secondary attacks. The action economy breaks down if you need one reaction per attack against you and three people are attacking you. The only viable style would be dodging and counterattacking, which while accurate to reality, flies in the face of the Legend of Zelda style of play, not to mention most all other tabletop systems allow you to defend against everyone attacking you.
Movement and Positioning
Distances in this system are measured in meters, with combat spaces measured in squares 2 meters to a side. Each race will have a stated movement speed, which indicates how far an individual of that race can move in a single action (without additional modifiers, such as sprinting). The typical baseline speed is 6 m (3 spaces). A character can sprint by spending 1 stamina, doubling their movement speed for a single action.
Two allies can share a space together, but fighting in such close quarters imposes penalties to their ability to attack. These penalties are based on the size of the larger character. If the larger character is Small, both parties receive a -1 to all attack rolls. If the larger is Medium, they take -2. And if they are Large, a -3. If the largest is below Small, they take none, and if they are above Large, they are incapable of sharing a space with any one. Certain techniques can't be performed if a space is being shared, however others can mitigate these penalties, or even turn them into an advantage.
Cover plays a role in the midst of battle. There is mild cover (1), medium cover (2), heavy cover (3), and complete cover. If you are using cover less that complete, you gain that many dice to defend with and lose that many dice to attack with. The exception is complete cover. You cannot be attacked and you cannot attack while in complete cover with the exception of attacking the cover. cover must be between you and your opponent somehow for it to be used.
You can spend an action attempting a knockback on an adjacent opponent. The roll is Brawn + your size modifier vs Guts + their size modifier. On a success, they are knocked back one (1) square. They can choose to take 1/4 H damage to roll an extra dice, this can be done as many times as they have points in Brawn. Certain static effects all roll against Guts+size, you cannot take damage for extra dice in this case.
If your hands are free, this check can be used to move them to any adjacent square.
Anyone can grab onto and wrestle with a foe; it doesn't take any sort of special technique. You cannot rest while grappling. Here's how you handle the various actions involved in grappling:
- Cost of Grappling : After every grapple check, whoever netted lower successes loses that much SP. If one of the grapplers runs out of SP, they automatically lose all checks and the other loses 1 SP per round. When both grapplers have no SP, grappling ends, and a melee check is made to see who is pushed from the square to an adjacent square of the loser's choosing. In case of a tie, the check is repeated.
- Defending while grappling (1 action) You cannot dodge, parry, nor block while grappling. The attacker is attacking into mild cover if the other grappler is smaller or equal size, heavy cover if the other grappler is larger.
- Initiate a grapple (1 action): Make an unarmed Melee attack. If you hit, instead of dealing damage, you successfully grab hold of the opponent and move into their space. Both you and your opponent are now Grappling each other.
There are two states to a grapple: Equal, and Pinned. If you are pinned, all you can attempt is
- Break the Pin (2 actions): with an opposed Brawn check.
If you are Equal, the following actions can be taken:
- Escape a grapple (2 actions): You can attempt to do this by either overpowering your opponent to break out (a Brawn check) or by wriggling free (an Agility check). In either case, your check is opposed by your opponent's Brawn check; if you win, you end the grapple. You and your opponent are now no longer Grappling each other, and you move out of the opponent's space into an available adjacent space of your choice.
- Move the Grapple (2 actions): Whether you initiated the grapple or not, as long as your opponent is at least light enough for you to push or drag (Weight no greater than 1 + your Brawn), you can attempt to move both yourself and your opponent by making an opposed knockback check to move one square.
- Climb while grappling (1 action): If you are smaller than your opponent and initiated the grapple, you may make an Agility check opposed by their Brawn to grapple them at a different square they occupy
- Pin your Opponent (2 actions): You can attempt to pin your opponent with an opposed Brawn check. If you succeed, you are now pinning them and they are pinned.
If you are pinning your opponent, the following actions can be taken:
- Attack your Opponent (3 actions): You may make an opposed Brawn check to utilize a held item against your opponent, or lock them out with an unarmed strike. You can only do 1/2H damage.
- Hold the Pin (3 actions): You may make an opposed Guts check to hold them in the pin.
- Release a grapple (free action): If you have your opponent pinned, you can release your opponent on your turn as a free action, ending the grapple. You and your opponent are now no longer grappling each other, and you move out of the opponent's space into an available adjacent space of your choice.
A fast track explanation on how to throw an opponent
- Grab them (Unarmed attack against their defense of choice)
- Have the Throw tech
- Make a move check (opposed knockback)
- If you succeed, then you move them two squares. Deals 1/2H and Stun 1 to grappled opponent and target.
- if you fail, refer to the rules above
Various effects might impose negative conditions on a combatant. Status conditions of the same type do not stack nor overwrite, the new effect is ignored. The following are status effects that have been defined so far:
- Stunned: A character that flinches (such as when hit by a Heavy weapon) or is knocked down is considered stunned and loses 1 action on its next turn. This can layer however for up 3 stuns total, essentially being stunned for a whole turn. Stun goes away on its own, however there are effects that can absorb some stun.
- Fatigued: A character that is out of their element for to long can become Fatigued. This means an additional 2 SP for all techs and they cannot sprint. However there are effects that can that can remove this status for a time, but generally just leaving the area does that.
- Tired: A character that has ran out of Stamina has become tired and must spend a round of turns to rest. This counts as 2 actions of rest and refills the bar as such.
- Knocked out: A character that has had all of their hearts depleted and are on their Final Heart is Knocked out. Only by recovering a piece of heart can they regain consciences. There are some effects that only activate when a character reaches this point.
- Stuck: A character that is grabbed or falls into the wrong environmental hazard becomes stuck. They can still perform all their usual actions however they can no longer move.
- Sleeping: A character that is sleeping can’t do anything till they are woken up or the effect that put them to sleep ends, however just about anyone can wake an ally up. You can still be considered resisting while sleeping.
- Jinxed: A character that is cursed or jinxed by certain enemies can no longer lift their weapons. Only Tools can be wielded freely. Jinx goes away on its own after 3 turns, however there are effects that can remove it before that.
- Blinded: A character that has been blinded by enemies or an environmental hazard no longer has the ability to aim and must make a perception check before attempting to move or attack. Blind will go away on its own after three turns, but can be removed earlier by various other effects.
- Deaf: A character that is deaf can only roll half dice for perception rolls. For all non mechanical uses, they are still deaf. Temporary deafness goes away after three turns.
- Mute: A character that has been silenced by magic or made mute by other effects cannot verbally communicate with other players, NPCs, or cast verbal spells. Mute will go away on its own after a set number of turns described by the muting effect, but can be removed earlier by various other effects.
- Confused: A character that has been confused by an effect or hazard loses control of their balance and must make an Athletics roll against confusion before each attempt at movement or attacking. A failed roll leads to either only moving half distance, or only rolling half OD. Confusion will go away on its own after 3 turns, but it can be removed earlier by various effects. The amount that needs to be beaten is the number of extra successes when it was inflicted.
- Enraged: A character that is enraged by an effect must use an action every round to attack if able. It doesn't matter if it's an enemy, an ally, or the dirt so long as an attack is made. Rage will go away on its own after 3 turns.
- Poisoned: Poison is a special case status effect. It's complex in that it can be crafted to effect any number of characteristics. It is a serious infliction that lasts after battle for upwards to an hour, but can still be removed earlier by various other effects and antidotes. Poison is also the only status effect that can be fought off when first struck with it. A roll of your Guts + Survival vs the poison source's Smarts (assuming it has any) + the Grade of poison will determine if the poison has any effect.
- Applying poison to a weapon, or anything appropriate, takes 1 action and lasts for 1 use or until end of combat. Standard poison loses it's potency after 1 hour of exposure. The effects of poison are resisted by Guts+Survival against Smarts+Lore, determined at time of crafting. Effects range from; movement restriction, health damage, stamina damage, mana damage, to dice penalties. Powerful poisons would require hand crafting or a special license of sorts to acquire, to prevent early players from getting the best stuff in a reasonable manner. Also, if bosses can't shrug poison off and laugh at them, you're probably doing something wrong.
Groups often act together, as such they take all of their actions simultaneously. Unless there is inter party conflict, which should always be avoided, players will always act as one team. Normally, all enemies are working together as the other team. Any action can be banked to be used as a reaction. All attacks during the same action occur at the same time, so one dodge reaction would apply to all of them. Block and Parry of course apply to all attacks, regardless of which action. For purposes of targeting, a character who spends the action moving, not dodging, is considered to exist in every square he traverses during that action.
Spells are cast during the action, or actions, needed for them, and resolve at the very end. So, imbuing a friendly's attack would imbue their attack on the next action. And casting a complex spell means it is cast on the last action needed.
This shifts the flow of the battle to favor the smaller team, since players will be outnumbered by mooks and will outnumber the boss.
If a creature is targeted by someone on their own team, they are allowed to spend that action as a reaction rather than the action they planned.
As a quick example, A and B are fighting X. A banks his first action while B imbues his attack with magic. Action two A attacks and B retreats. Action three B banks and A moves. Then it is the enemies turn. X attacks A, moves after B and banks his action. And so on.
Combat equipment stats
Weapons can be classified according to size, with larger weapons dealing more baseline damage. The weapon categories and the damage they deal are, from smallest to largest:
- Weightless (0H) -- tools. (Not all, but most to insure players can freely draw them)
- Miniscule (1/4H) -- eg, small knife
- Tiny (1/2H) -- eg, dagger
- Small (3/4H) -- eg, short sword
- Medium (1H) -- eg, long sword
- Large (1+1/4H) -- eg, Biggoron's Sword
- Hefty(1+1/2H) -- eg, Ball and Chain
- Massive(2H) -- eg, Nearly a Buster Sword
- Huge(2+1/2H) -- eg, a Buster Sword
- Colossal(3H) -- eg, Ganon's Castle Destroyers
The effort necessary to use a given weapon depends on your size relative to it. The largest weapon that a Hylian can use one-handed is a Medium weapon; a Kokiri or Deku, being smaller, can only use Small weapons or smaller one-handed; Gorons, being larger, can use Large weapons comfortably in one hand. Weapons one size larger than your one-handed weapon size (for a Hylian, Large weapons) can be wielded two-handed as Melee weapons, and weapons two sizes larger than your one-handed weapon size are considered Heavy weapons. You can't wield any weapon that is more than two sizes larger than your maximum one-handed weapon size.
Note that the damage values listed for each weapon size are merely baseline values for a typical, average-quality weapon of that size. Particularly high- or low-quality weapons may deal more or less damage than others of their size. For example, the Master Sword would likely deal 1+1/2H, despite being a Medium weapon, whereas a wooden sword (also a Medium weapon) might deal only 1/2H.
Heavy weapons (those that are two sizes larger than the biggest size you can wield one-handed) always use the Heavy skill rather than the Melee skill. As noted above, it takes 2 actions to attack with a Heavy weapon, and you can't dodge or counterattack when using a Heavy weapon. The sweeping, two-handed overhand swings used to attack with such a large, unwieldy weapon carry considerable force -- enough force, in fact, that it can momentarily disrupt the enemy's movement. If an attacker scores at least one success with a Heavy weapon attack, the target flinches (loses 1 action on their next turn). Cancellation of successes from a Heavy attack by dodging or parrying can prevent this effect if all successes are cancelled, but successes in a Heavy attack roll cancelled by blocking only prevent damage, and do not negate the flinching effect of the attack. This effect is more a product of the way the weapon is swung rather than any properties of the weapon itself, so a given weapon may cause flinching when used by a smaller wielder (as a Heavy weapon) but not when used by a larger wielder (as a Melee weapon).
Armor and shields provide a static Damage Reduction in damage taken from each attack, as indicated below. You cannot negate all damage through damage reduction, you will take at least 1/4H from every successful hit. Additionally, each suit of armor has an Encumbrance rating. If the armor's Encumbrance is less than or equal to your Brawn score, it's considered light armor for you, and you can move about in it freely.
- Cloth Armor: -1/4H; Encumbrance 0
- Leather Armor: -1/2H Encumbrance 1
- Chain Mail: -3/4H Encumbrance 2
- Plated Mail: -1HEncumbrance 3
- Full Plate: -1-1/2H; Encumbrance 4
- Armor must be made for your race specifically
- Small Shield: -1/4H : Small
- Medium Shield: -1/2H : Medium
- Large Shield: -3/4H : Large
- Tower Shield: -1H : Hefty, minor cover
- adds an Encumbrance if above your standard main hand weight
Being encumbered results in : 1 less move speed per action, -1 to dodge, -1 bouyancy, +1 against knockback. You are treated as being a size larger than you are to outside effects.
There are three main types of magic in Legend of Zelda. Arcane Magic, which is a generic toolbox of effects to represent the powers of various magicians and items, effects can be creatively combined but there are rules, and an effective upper limit to power. Wave Magic, which is generated through the melodious use of enchanted instruments, this is akin to divine magic and has rules but no upper limit to power. And finally, Narrative Magic, which represents the power of unique items such as masks and the Master Sword, Narrative Magic has no rules but what the Sage gives each specific effect and no upper limit to power.
Arcane magic in this system may be either inherent (spells learned through study or drawing on innate power) or evoked from items. There is no functional difference between the two form -- in fact, any magic effect may be had as either an item or an inherent spell interchangeably, according to whatever the Sage and/or players prefer. Regardless of whether it's inherent or item-based, the spell consumes MP, involves a Spellcraft skill check, and must be obtained in-game in the same fashion that one obtains items. Spells are to be handled in much the same way as items such as a boomerang or hookshot -- they are significant acquisitions that give the character entirely new abilities that are vital for overcoming the challenges that bar one's advancement. Inherent spells may be obtained in the form of a physical item (such as a scroll that can be studied to learn how to use the spell, or a magic crystal that imparts the ability to use the spell), but might also be obtained through other means as well, according to Sage and/or player preference.
A mage must have his hands free when casting spells. One (1) for a simple spell, one (1) effect, or both for an advanced spell, two (2) or more. There are some items that do not interfere with casting spells, while there are others, rarer still, that will enhance inherent magic when held.
Each spell can be classified as either simple or advanced. Simple spells can be used as an off-hand attack, just as a second weapon in the off-hand can be used for a second attack in the turn; using a spell in this way imposes a -1 penalty to your Spellcraft check for that spell (just like an off-hand attack imposes a -1 penalty to your attack roll). Simple spells can also be used to make counterattacks (though this is of course still subject to the usual limit on attacks per turn). Advanced spells cannot be used to make off-hand attacks or counterattacks, because their use requires too much concentration to allow for such quick application. The range for an advanced spell is the range of the base spell.
The current Spell List is actually an effect list to be treated as a spell creation toolkit. A spell is simple if it uses only one effect. It is advanced if it applies multiple effects. Not all effects can be combined but that depends entirely on how creative a character is in how he explains the intended effects. For example, Imbue Fire and Imbue Ice should cancel each other, unless the character casts it as an antipode type deal. This is to encourage creativity, but can quickly be broken. To balance this and prevent players from going 'I CAST MY UNSTOPPABLE INVILIBILE ILLISIONAIRY ANTIPODIC CHAIN OF SHOCKWAVE LIFT' Casting a spell as a combination of effects uses an action for each effect. MP totals when combining effects. Items can have as many effects applied to them as the Sage sees fit.
To clarify how targeting works on advanced spells, one effect is the base spell. The base spell's targeting is used. All other effects occur at the squares targeted by the base spell, but if the other effects target less than the base spell then their effects are halved. For example, applying Blast to Radiate does not quadratically scale Blast.
There are six Elements, each with unique effects.
- Fire : X damage next turn due to burn
- Ice : X actions worth of stun as knockback
- Electricity : X piercing damage
- Light : X damage as AOE
- Shadow : X dice to next defensive action
- Spirit : X dice to next offensive action
Imbued effects do not stack nor overwrite each other, the first effect is kept and the others are ignored. This of course does not apply to effects within the same spell.
- Cascade Casting
After casting a spell, a player can declare a cascade. The next turn, they can cast a spell of total mana cost less than the first spell, for no mana. The next turn, they can cascade again, casting a spell of less cost than the second's normal cost, for no mana. The cost of doing this is an accumulated stun. The process can be repeated turn after turn until three (3) stuns have been accumulated, at which point the player loses a turn and must pay to cast once more. If the player ends the cascade early, they must still take the accumulated stuns.
Wave Magic Songs are a very powerful and world changing effect of magic brought about through music, hence the term Wave Magic. Magic songs must be played through an instrument in order to bring about their effects and the cost is in the actions needed to perform the song. While performing, you can do nothing else for your actions, this makes combat songs very difficult, but if you succeed, they are the majority of the buffing magic in the entire system. Some songs can go on for as long as they are needed in order to sustain their effect. To succeed in a song, you must roll Wits+Instruments and get at least as many successes as there is duration in the song or the song fizzles. There is no bonus to excess successes.
The specialty of Wave Magic is in Harmonics. Multiple performs can join together to perform the song. One person leads the song and is the base of the successes. The others must roll a 5 or a 6 in order to add a success to the overall score, and the duration of the song increases by one with each person.
Narrative Magic A lot in the Legend of Zelda universe is just plain old magic and can't be explained, of if it can, would bog this system down beyond use. It's much simpler to just have a type of magic with no rules. So, masks and certain items just have explanations of what they do and the Sage has to do their best to keep them under control.
These rules are for special situations and don't have their own place yet. They're also not set in stone yet, so they might change.
- Pay for training from someone with at least two ranks more than you in the related skill and they can teach you their technique/spell/song. A general price guideline is thus, 30r/MP, 30r/SP, 20r/action. Action cost only applies to songs. 0 cost techniques are Traits, and handed out by the Sage at their discretion. Players can't teach other players.
- Find an ancient tome crafted by someone with at least one more rank than you in the related skill to learn the technique
- Trial and Error. You can attempt any technique you don't know, but you can't roll more than half the dice you would roll if you did know the technique. If you succeed with the tech, and were rolling with your virtue bonus, then you've taught yourself the tech
- The current model for enchanting a magical item is as follows. Cost = A(|Z-X|)^E + B + AZ. Where A is the training cost, currently 20r/MP, Z is the total mp cost if the effects were to be cast, X is the cost to activate the item, E is the number of effects applied, and B is the cost of materials such as the sword being enchanted. The example items have been priced with this system.
- You can only enchant the lowest rank version of a spell. (No permanent Imbue Ice 3!)
- Falling Damage
1/4H per square fallen beyond your Athletics+Agility, none if you land in water or something similarly soft
Given the ingredients and the recipe for a brew, any player can craft the potion or poison. Given an unknown ingredient and experimentation is needed. A bottle can hold up to three parts. Each ingredient takes up one part. Every active ingredient has an extraction method, ranging from raw to boiling or using acids, and often have denaturing conditionals and how much they can be diluted. If you meat the extraction method, don't denature it, and have not over diluted it, then the brew achieves the effect of all ingredients. Smarts+Lore is rolled to see what denatured the ingredient, successes needed being determined case by case.
To reduce dilution, the last part added can be decanted off or water can be boiled off. Boiling an acid or a base will reduce the brew by a part, but the pH of the solution will remain.
Ingredients should be custom constructed for the party in order to keep the restrictions secret. Once they have been discovered, players need only find the ingredients and the time and they can make it again.
- Mounted Combat
- Mounted Combat still follows basic three action combat. Instead of standard move actions, you move your mounts current speed during every action, unused actions trigger. Your movement can be; moving up to your standard speed, accelerating to standard speed, decelerating to a stop, sprinting at up to double speed, or regenerating your mounts stamina (akin to carrots in OoT) while moving forward at your current speed. The major restriction on movement is turning, you must move in the forward direction relative to your last movement. This is such that you cannot make a 90 degree turn in one action. To jump an obstacle, you must spend the action going straight, otherwise the mount will rear and knock you off. If you would hit an obstacle, your mount instead rears and comes to a stop.
- The amount of dice rolled for any skill while mounted cannot exceed the riders ranks in Riding.
- To make an attack while riding follows the normal restrictions. To make a melee attack you must be adjacent to your target at some point during your movement for that action. To make a ranged attack you must have line of sight.
- If the mount is pulling a cart or something similar, the cart threatens all adjacent squares for weight dependent damage, and takes as much itself.
- Underwater Combat
- Underwater combat follows basic three action combat with three changes; dice and movement penalties, drowning, and buoyancy. The current penalties for being in water are; half movement, -2 dice to attacking, -2 dice to dodging, -2 dice to parrying, and no item use. Racials, magic and other effects can all modify these, such as being a Zora, or underwater bombs. You can spend a number of rounds under water equal to your guts before needing to make a survival roll every round, the difficulty increasing by 1 each time. If you fail the survival you take 1/2H damage. Buoyancy dictates how far you drift up or down during a round. Being encumbered by your armor adds a -1 to your buoyancy. Non-encumbering armor gives a buoyancy modifier of 0. Cloth armor or less gives a buoyancy modifier of +1. A heavy weapon gives a modifier of -1. Racials greatly impact buoyancy; zora can set their modifier from -1 to 1, while gorons have a natural buoyancy of -5. For simplicity, it is recommended that underwater combat take place in vertical zones. Vertical movement eventually moves a character from one zone to the next, but zones not levels determine if you are near enough to attack.
- Flying Combat
- Combine the rules for mounted combat and underwater combat, giving mounts an adjustable buoyancy affected by the weight of the load. And removing the various action penalties. Buoyancy only applies if there is drag or lift, otherwise you have -9.81 bouyancy.
- Finding your way through changing forests, shifting sands and strange currents is a common challenge in the Legend of Zelda series. Navigating through confusing terrain uses 'Found' landmarks to keep track of your position. Confusing terrain has a difficulty rating, range, attached to it, going from 1 upwards, lower being more difficult. The range is equivalent to squares away from the land mark as a unit. Every range unit away from a Found landmark is 1 success needed on a Wits+Survival check to not become lost that round (does not happen during combat) and end up at the start or an appropriate landmark. Once a landmark is found, a path between it and the last land mark is Found, and travel between the two does not require a check, this does not occur for accidentally found landmarks. If you are within the first range of a landmark, you are considered to be Found. If you are within the first range from an ally who is Found, you are Found, regardless of distance to landmark. An ally's range does not extend beyond one unit. Examples: Lost woods would have a range of about 3, while Hyrule field would have a range of about 100.
- Wind and Current
- If you are subject to strong wind or water current, you are subject to a constant knockback check equal to the strength of the wind/water in the direction of flow. You cannot sprint will under the effect of a constant knockback. You must make the knockback check every action you are subject to it. If you fail the knockback check, you cannot move that action.
- Agility + Stealth vs Wits + Perception
- There is a table of modifiers
- You can’t be targeted except by AoE if you have not been spotted. Attacks from stealth can’t be blocked, but if the target survives you are instantly spotted by him. Line of sight is determined by what a straight line from the hider to the searcher intercepts. Being in shadows counts as cover.
- Guard Modes
- Casual Searches once on his turn
- Alert Will save an action to use searching during the hider’s turn.
- Alarmed Will seek out the hider, searching on his turn, and on their turn.
- A guard moves up a mode after a successful perception check or seeing clear evidence of an intruder. The hider has been spotted when an Alarmed guard passes a perception check. Modes infect guards adjacent, the infected guard takes 1 full turn to change modes. Modes go up, resetting the next day. Modes can start however high the Sage wants, but a full garrison is difficult to keep alarmed.
- Weapon modulation options
- There are many types of weapons that are wielded similarly. Sets of modulations that can be performed on a weapon are as follows. (more may be added) Drop three (3) Standard damage (cannot go below 0), add two (2) Piercing damage. (Piercing damage deals damage first and ignores damage reduction. Example, 2 Piercing and 3 standard versus 3 damage reduction means 4 points of damage is dealt, because 2 DR goes to Piercing and the other nullifies a standard)
- Agility Weapons can be made by sacrificing 1/2H of damage in order to roll Agility rather than Brawn.
(m) denotes a mild hazard, (s) denotes a severe hazard
- Dim Light (m) gives -1 to all rolls
- Darkness (s) Dim Light, -3 to all combat rolls and Perception
- Light Debris (m) cannot sprint (knee deep water or similar)
- Heavy Debris (s) cannot sprint, cannot dodge, all movement is at -1
- Gust (m) all ranged attacks take -2
- Gale (s) all ranged attacks miss, all movement is at -1, constant knockback check at speed of wind
- Rain (m) -1 to Perception
- Storm (s) Light Debris, Gale, Rain, rare chance to be struck by lightning for 1H piercing 1H and 1/4H radiated
- Mist (m) -1 to Perception
- Fog (s) -3 to Perception
- Extreme Heat (m) Fatigued, considered to be (s) if encumbered, if (s) 1/4H piercing per turn exposed
- Extreme Cold (m) Fatigued, considered to be (s) if not encumbered, if (s) 1/4H piercing per turn exposed
- Hazardous Air (s) 1/4H piercing per turn exposed
- You can acquire specific techniques for different weapon types, such as sword, axe, spear, mace. These techniques can sunder DR from enemies, permanently, but do no damage themselves. For example, Sundering an Iron Knuckle with a Mace would permanently decrease his DR by 1/4H from all future hits. This can be recovered between encounters
- There are a couple main things to keep track of when in the midst of naval combat. And if they are just on a boat, well you don’t really need to, but you can. The state of the ship is the most directly controlled aspect of sailing. Whether you are using oars, and the state of the boom. You also have to take into account the wind direction and intensity, along with that of the water. The oars are used to double the speed of the ship, at the cost of stamina the same as a sprinting mount. The ship can’t turn at full boom.
- Water flows in one of the cardinal directions, with an integer speed representing the flow rate per turn. This is rolled as a knockback check against the size of the ship, the Brawn of the ship is also rolled if oars are out. If the knockback check is lost, the ship drifts that far with the water. This knockback check cannot be flubbed. A waterspeed of 4 is average.
- Wind acts the same as water, but in an independent direction. At closed boom, the wind does not affect the ship. At half boom, the speed of the wind is unmodified. At full boom, the speed of the wind is doubled. The ship cannot sail directly against the wind. When tacking against the wind, half the wind speed is used. When travelling perpendicular to the wind, the wind speed is doubled. Else the straight wind speed is used. The net speed is capped at the speed of the ship. A windspeed of 3 is average.
- When challenged with a sailing challenge, such as threading between rocks or reading the water, you roll the minimum between Riding and Lore
- Every area has it's own, appropriate drop table, that should be d6 capable. If a player is searching an area, they roll Wits+Survival as normal d6, not looking for successes. Each roll is then referenced to the table independently to determine what was found. You can search a room twice, a quick once over, and an in-depth hour long search.
- If you attempt to search a room during combat, you must spend two actions each turn for two turns, a total of four actions, to search the room, however you only roll at half dice. A second search of the room can be made without consuming a large amount of time.
Link (from the end of Ocarina of Time) Human, Hylian : Size medium, acoustic alignment detection (whether they tend towards Power, Wisdom, Courage, or are forsaken by the Goddesses) B3 A3 W2 G3 S1 | Courage 3 160 hp, 44 mp, and 16 sp (that's 20 hearts reinforced with magic to 160 hp, 12 mp base and about 32 from the faeries, and 16 base sp)
Melee(B,A,W): 4 | Heavy(B): 1 | Ranged(A): 3 | Shields(G): 3 | Spellcraft(S): 0 | Instruments(W): 2 | Tools(B,A,S): 3 | Athletics(B,A,G): 3 | Riding(S): 2 | Stealth(A): 1 | Perception(W): 1 | Survival(W,S): 1 | Lore(S): 0 | Composure(G): 1 |
Items : Master Sword (medium, 5/4H + 1H vs evil [narrative magic]), Mirror Shield (medium, 1/2H DR, Reversal for 0 mp against magical attacks), Goron Tunic (1/4H DR, 0 encumberance, half environmental damage), Fairy Bow (1H, medium), Ocarina of Time (weightless instrument), and the rest of his equipment.
Techniques : Jump Attack (2 sp), Spin Attack (5 sp), Forward Thrust (2 sp), Great Spin Attack (5 sp)
- Source of info: http://www.zeldawiki.org/Main_Page
- All current original art in one package: http://www.sendspace.com/file/xc0at7 (outdated, possibly infected)
- Thread 1
- Thread 2
- Thread 3
- Thread 4
- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtUBhSzwYfnWdDhVVV9Vb0I2ZGJSU0lsV2ljMjUyamc#gid=4 (old)(current technique, spell, song, mask, and item list)
- http://www.mediafire.com/view/7723dfl07gw3jc7/Legend_of_Zelda_RPG_Beta_3.pdf Current .pdf (Beta v3)
- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sv1UlKkCEU-QFvFRMgH9IRqLqhbbVD3e5xkKE8FDsms/edit?usp=sharing Complaint Page, checked often
- https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwnPdPByfWFTLWhDX3B0ZG9XYkE/edit?usp=sharing (Alternative Character Sheet)