System Reference Document

Your Character

Who Are You?

Roll 3d6 for each Ability Score. 10 is average.

  • Strength – Fighting, fortitude, and toughness.
  • Dexterity – Stealth, athletics, and reflexes.
  • Willpower – Confidence, discipline, and charisma.

Characters start with d6 Hit Points, a measure of their ability to avoid life-threatening Damage.

Starter Package

Consult the Starter Package Table on the facing page to find your starting equipment and any special information about your character. As well as individual equipment, an expedition always has lanterns, basic climbing, mapping, camping equipment, and rations.


For small player groups, each player may create one or more companions. Roll their Ability Scores in order and give them 1 hp and a sword.


100 Pennies (p) make a Shilling (s).

100 Shillings make a Guilder (g).

Unarmed Attack: d4 Damage.

Crude Weapon (1s): d6 Damage, Bulky. Bow, pitchfork, barstool, etc.

Hand Weapon (2s): d6 Damage. Dagger, sword, pistol, club etc.

Field Weapon (10s): d8 Damage, Bulky. Musket, brace of pistols, sword and dagger, halberd, etc.

Noble Weapon (30s): d8 Damage. Finely made sabre, duelling pistol, rapier, etc.

Heavy Gun (1g) d10 Damage, Bulky. Cannot move and fire. Elephant gun, long rifle. etc.

Modern Armour (50s): Armour 1. Breastplate and helm.

Crude Armour (25s) Armour 1, Bulky. Outdated or ceremonial armour.

Shield (10s): +1 Armour, Bulky.

Tools (1s each): Crowbar, saw, glue, magnifying glass, manacles, animal trap, lockpicks, mirror, writing set, fishing pole, shovel, grappling hook, collapsible pole, 20ft rope, spikes, etc.

Luxuries (1g): Clockwork items, thermometer, elaborate clothes, jewellery, ornaments, spyglass, etc.

Flashbang (10s): Momentarily blinds anyone that fails a DEX Save.

Fire Oil (10s): Sets an area alight. All inside take d6 Damage each round.

Bomb (20s): d10 Blast.

Rocket (20s): d10 and a colourful explosion.

Smoke-bomb (10s): Fills a room with smoke when lit. Attacks through the smoke are Impaired.

Poison (20s): Lose d20 STR if consumed.

Ether (10s): Inhaled, STR Save or pass out for an hour.

Acid (10s): d6 Damage, burns through most materials.

Antitoxin (10s): Neutralises most toxins.

Board (per week): Bed in a dormitory (1s), room in a boarding house (10s), town house (20s).

Food and Drink: Bread and broth (10p), bottle of gin or rum (50p), pie and wine (50p), fine meal (1s).

Beasts: Mule or llama (5s) to horse (1g). mutt (5s) to hound (50s), STR d10, d6 bite.

Birds: From parrots and ravens (10s, STR d6, d4 claws.) to kestrels and hawks (50s, d6 claws).

Hirelings: (cost per day, d6hp and Ability Scores 10 unless noted).

Lighter Boy (1s): STR 2d6, lantern, club.

Mercenary (5s): 2d6hp, musket, sword.

Expert (10s): Pistol, expertise in a specific area.

What Do You Have?

Match your highest Ability Score against your Hit Points to find your starting package. Weapons have their damage roll listed. If two characters would have the same equipment, the second character takes their starting package from the column to the left, or right if this is not possible.

Starter Package Table

1 HP2 HP3 HP4 HP5 HP6 HP

What Do You Need To Know?


A Save is a roll to avoid danger from a risky action or situation. Roll d20. If you roll equal or under the appropriate Ability Score you pass. 1 is always a success and 20 always a failure.


Generally the Players take their turn before any enemies. If there is a risk of being surprised, characters must each roll a DEX Save or be unable to act on the first turn. On their turn, Players can act in any order they wish.


On your turn a character can move and perform an action. An action can be anything from negotiating, to attacking, to fleeing. Attacks are detailed below. For other actions the Referee calls for the character at risk to roll a Save. For example, an attempt to trip an opponent might force them to pass a STR Save to stay on their feet, while an attempt to trick an opponent into surrender may force them to pass a WIL Save or lower their arms.


An attacker rolls a die dictated by their weapon, and subtracts the opponent's Armour score. Their attack causes this much Damage. Ranged weapons cannot be used in melee.

Attacks that are Impaired, such as firing through cover, or fighting while grappled, roll d4 Damage regardless of weapon. Similarly, attacks that are Enhanced by a risky stunt or a helpless or vulnerable target, roll d12 Damage.


Blast weapons cause Damage to all targets in an appropriate area, rolling separately for each. If in doubt as to how many targets are affected, roll the weapon’s Damage die.


When an individual takes Damage they lose that many hp. If they have no hp left, they are wounded, and any remaining Damage is removed from their STR score. They must then pass a STR Save to avoid Critical Damage.

Critical Damage

A character that takes Critical Damage is unable to take further action until they are tended to by an ally and have a Short Rest. If they are left for an hour without being tended to, they die.

Using an Arcanum

A character can use an Arcanum's power as a normal action, though some Arcana ask for something in return.

Ability Score Loss

If a character has their STR score reduced to zero they are dead. If their DEX or WIL are reduced to zero the character is paralysed or mentally broken respectively, and cannot act until they have a Full Rest.


When a character dies the Player creates a new character and the Referee finds a way to have them join the group as soon as possible. Here, quickness is required over realism. Alternatively the Player may control a Hireling or Member of their Company.


When the group encounters another being, the character at the head of the group must pass a WIL Save to avoid an unfavourable first reaction. Some encounters are always hostile, or always friendly, but all have potential to change after first contact.


Groups require a WIL Save to avoid being routed when they lose half of their total numbers. Groups with a leader may use the leader's WIL score in place of their own. Lone combatants must pass this Save when they are reduced to 0hp. This applies to opponents and allies but not Player characters. Fleeing to safety under pursuit requires a DEX Save and somewhere to withdraw to.

Short Rest

A few minutes of rest and a swig of water recovers all of a character’s lost hp. Resting may waste time or attract danger.

Full Rest

A Full Rest requires a week of downtime at a comfortable location. This restores all Ability Scores.


Items marked as Bulky generally require two hands or significant storage to carry. Bulky Weapons require two hands to wield. Anybody carrying three or more Bulky items is reduced to 0hp.


Somebody deprived of a crucial need (e.g. food, water, or warmth) cannot benefit from Rests.

Luck Rolls

Sometimes you’ll want an element of randomness without rolling a Save, particularly in situations dictated by luck or those that fall outside of the three Ability Scores. For these situations roll a d6. A high roll favours the Players, and a low roll means bad luck for the Players. The Referee decides what a specific result means for the situation at hand.


Damage from falling rocks, explosions and other sources outside of normal combat ranges between d4 and d12, with d20 used only in special cases. Consider how it would affect an average person. A fall that is quite likely to injure an inexperienced character might cause d8 Damage but a huge rock that would crush most might do d12. Poison usually causes Ability Score loss. Effects like Blindness will Impair attacks and call for Saves to carry out usually simple actions.

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