Character Creation for the Sable Game
The Sable Game is a mission-style team-based game set in the Kingdom of Sable and its associated Shadows.
- New Players Start Here
- Magical Abilities
- Items and Allies
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Sable characters are created on 85pt.
All stats start at Chaos, but partial buy-ups and sell-downs between Chaos and Amber, or Chaos and Human are available, eg Chaos+5 would be better than Chaos, but not up to Amber level.
The main difference for stats is that while Psyche, Strength and Endurance are as per the ADRPG, Warfare has been divided into Combat (your physical skill at weapons, self-defence, etc) and Presence, which is your personal standing as well as the ability to see the bigger picture, and encourage other people to do as you tell them. In the Sable Game, Presence is something the NPCs will have, and the PCs gain during the course of play.
Stuff is available, to a maxium of 5pt in each direction.
Full Pattern or Logrus and any form of Nexus or Symphony initiation are not available to starting Sable Game characters, although PCs may acquire them during play, depending on circumstances, in which case, details can be found here.
However, Broken Pattern and Aurellian Piloting/Broken Logrus are options for almost any character, and most other powers are available. Items are handled by specific house rules, so Conjuration does not exist in the usual ADRPG form, although it is available as a class of magic.
Neither Pattern nor Broken Pattern is required to get around Sable and the Commonwealth, as there is an extensive system of Royal Ways. However, it might be useful for anyone who is ever likely to stray outside of the Commonwealth Veils. Costs are as follows:
|The specifics of how Broken Pattern works in the Sable Game can be found here.
|Advanced Broken Pattern
About 5% of the population have the genetic marker which, if activated, could allow them to become a shapeshifter. Of these, in approximately 1 in 5 (1% of the population, or c.800k people) the gene is active to the extent that they will rarely get sick, they will heal quickly from injury and they can survive wounds which would kill a normal person (aka inherent crisis management, or ICM). Of these, 1 in 5 again (0.2% of the total population, or c.160k people) have some measure of active control, be it merely the ability to take another form, or the full suite of basic shapeshift abilities. It is inadvisable to have an endurance lower than Chaos if you wish to learn to shapeshift.
Shapeshift is split as follows:
|Inherent Crisis Management (ICM)
|This level of shapeshift is the most basic, and the user has no control over their ability whatsoever. However, it will ensure survival from injuries and in hostile environments. with the proviso that it takes about 1 minute for this to kick in and work. So you need to avoid situations which will get you dead faster than that, or you will still die. This also allows the auto-shapeshift ability, which can cope with major injuries or rapidly changing environmental conditions, however auto-shapeshifting is not a conscious thing and can cause problems in and of itself.
|Four Forms and ICM
5 + ICM
|The starting position from which controlled shapeshift develops. This lets the user switch between their human,
animal, demon, and elemental forms. Conservation of mass does not exist between these four basic forms. However, once you take one of them, then you are mass-restricted with other creatures of that kind.Once you have this level of shapeshift you can add any of the following, in any order, for 5pt each, until you reach full basic shapeshift (35pt).
|This is a conscious self-healing exercise. It can keep going till you run out of steam. Wound shifting is not instant – it
takes up to a minute to stabilise critical wounds, so if the shifter’s sub-conscious believes that such wounds will kill you, it may trigger auto-shapshifting.
|Do you want a claw instead of a finger, or longer arms, shorter legs? This is the one for that.
|Shift Facial Features
|Want to change what you face looks like? Here we go. It is risky to let this one loose without a mirror available – unless
you have practiced a particular shift before, it might not come out perfect first time.
|This ability lets you assume the forms of normal animals other than your avatar creature, of about the same mass as the form
you started with.
|Full Basic Shapeshift
|Alternatively, you can choose to buy full basic shapeshift outright, as per the ADRPG.
For player characters wishing to take their shapeshifting abilities beyond Basic, they must first learn all the segments of basic shapeshifting, unless agreed otherwise with the GM.
‘Pilots’ is the general name for initiates of the Aurellis Transport System. This is a relatively recent development within Sable, and is an expensive, but almost instantaneous form of transport. Pilots come in three classes: Courier, Master and Grand. The Pilot initiate has no control over which of the three he or she will become during initiation, but strength of will (read Psyche) is a contributing factor. Courier allows the Pilot to carry a load about the size of a stagecoach, or about 12 people; Master allows carriage of the equivalent of a train in weight and load; and Grand Pilot allows the transport of something up to the size of a fully loaded cruise ship.
Acquiring Piloting can happen in two ways in the Sable Game. You either choose to be a Pilot on character creation, which gives you some control of how good a Pilot you are, or it happens in game and you don’t have control of what you get.
Piloting has three elements: strength of will (with endurance secondary), an ability to shapeshift and the level of Piloting. Strength of will directly affects whether you come out of the ATS initiation as a Courier, Master and Grand. As far as shapeshifting and endurance are concerned is concerned, ICM shapeshift with Chaos endurance is the bare minimum which would enable you to survive Pilot transit.
Rough costings for Piloting itself are as follows, but remember, the cost of shapeshifting and endurance are in addition to these:
|Comments / Total Cost
|Psyche required: Amber or below
Total cost: Up to 20 plus shapeshifting and endurance
|Psyche required: Amber to +10
Total cost: 30-40 plus shapeshifting and endurance
|Psyche required: 11 or greater
Total cost: 50 minimum plus shapeshifting and endurance
Trump is not particularly known of among the general population of Sable, however, Sable PCs can have access to training, as several of the people you work for are capable of teaching them. Trump can be bought in the following stages:
|Draw People and Trump Defence
|This is the basis of all Trump ability. Without this, nothing else can be done, but once you’ve taken it you can buy the following in any order.
Trump defence is the technique for concentrating on your own Trump, to defend against an arcane attack.
|Lets you check through your deck to see who’s calling you, as long as you have drawn a Trump of that person.
|Allows you to draw Trumps of a place, rather than a person.
|Quick and dirty Trumps which take about twenty minutes to draw, but will only work once or twice. You can only sketch places, once you’ve taken the full “Draw places”.
|The ability to attempt to interpret a scrying of cards done in the manner of a Tarot reading.
|Alternatively, you can choose to buy full basic Trump outright, as per the ADRPG.
The Nexus is the power at the heart of the Technocracy. The bias is more techno-magical than Sable or the Reich, and the effective tech level is somewhat higher. However, it is possible to access the Nexus Datastream using magic or technological means for most locations in the Inside, and in the Murray-Sanguine-Second Triad on the Outside. Three levels of initiation are available for start-up characters, which are detailed roughly below. More details can be found here.
- Magical Interface. This allows the initiate to access the lower levels of information within the Datastream and instils an affinity with operating non-Nexus computer systems.
- Advanced Magical Interface. Access to information in the Core is quicker and an AMI can process and analyse that information, rather than just retrieve it. They can also access the next-higher levels of information. The affinity with operating non-Nexus computer systems improves. AMIs are also able to operate the Nexus-powered “edge-walking” vehicles.
- Mechanical Interface. This gives the non-Talented a technological way to gain the equivalent skills of an Advanced Magical Interface.
To have any of the Nexus powers at start-up, a characer is likely to have come from the Technocracy. This may be possible, with agreement with the GM, as long as the player can come up with a good reason why such a character would be working on missions for the King of Sable or the Regent of Murray.
|Comments / Total Cost
|This is the lowest degree of direct initiation which can be undertaken to the Datastream, and has certain prerequisites:
1. The candidate must have undertaken the magical training involved in communicating with the Core: this is the equivalent of a “Sensitive” ability, and costs 10pt, although trained mages do not have to pay extra over and above the points spent in magic.
2. Psyche and Endurance must be at least at Chaos level (i.e. 0pt).
Total cost: 25pt
|Advanced Magical Interface
|This requires a more detailed understanding of magic, and therefore has higher prerequisites:
1. The candidate needs to have studied magic to at least Bachelor’s level.
2. Psyche and Endurance must be at least at Chaos level plus 5pt.
Total cost: 40pt plus 5pt in each of Psyche and Endurance = 50pt.
|Candidates are not accepted for the procedure unless they’ve undergone considerable physical testing and training. Prerequisites: Minimum Chaos + 5 in Psyche, Strength and Endurance.
Total cost: 40pt including minimum stats.
Under the Sable Magic System, mages are not taught specific spells, but instead will have a basic grounding in magic of all kinds. At higher levels they can have specialised in one, two or three specific areas, for example offensive magic, defensive magic or healing. Full details of the magic system are available in the Magic section of this site.
Within Sable, there are two main sources of a magical education: Sable Mage College, which gives a full grounding in the subject, and Sable College of Military Magic, which tailors its teaching towards matters military, although there are one or two less influential colleges in the Commonwealth. Costings are as follows:
|15 + 2 for a spell rack
|Pretty close to ADRPG sorcery, without the specific need for lynchpins. A mage’s signet can act as a racking item for c12 spells (but will cost 2pt). Racked spells do need to be maintained, which takes a couple of minutes per spell every evening. At this level, mages will have a general grounding in all the magical disciplines, but will probably not have begun to specialise, or if they have, it would at most be one “partial”.
|The major differences here are that spells across the board only take 5-10 minutes to cast from scratch, with any areas the mage has better than basic in being at the lower end of that. In addition, spells can be racked mentally – thus dispensing with the need for racking items (and a refund of any racking item cost) – although c12 spells remains the upper limit of what can realistically be maintained. Mentally racked spells still need to be maintained regularly at this level, which takes a minute or so per spell every evening. Development of new spells is faster, and the mages have a lot more flexibility in what they can do. Masters of magic are likely to have either one discipline at “full”, but no partials; or a couple of “partials” but no fulls.
|The mage is likely to have either one discipline up to specific specialisation level; or two at “full”. They may also have one or two at “partial”. The casting time for spells across the board is just a couple of minutes from scratch, with casting in the mage’s speciality areas, or their commonly-used spells, being faster than that (maybe a minute). Mental racking is available, with maintenance only taking a minute or so per spell per week. However, the spell limit still applies. Mages are also even quicker at working out new spells, or variations on old ones.
It is possible to go back to college, rather than having to take the whole course at once, so a character taking 15pt Bachelor level could study further, pay another 5pts, and advance to the next level, although it would take the appropriate amount of downtime/gametime to do: ie roughly a year for Master level and an additional one to two years for full Doctorate.
In addition, with GM agreement, it may be possible to specialise in specific areas of individual magic classes, given the mage a higher effective level in that particular area of a magical discipline, without necessarily having the rest of a class at as high a level. For example, someone with illusion, may choose to become a theatrical mage, and have the equivalent of full specialisation in that area, but perhaps only have basic level in the other parts of illusory magic.
Occasionally, an individual has either an exceedingly weak Talent – ie not strong enough even to train as the most basic kind of mage; or a flawed or unusual Talent, through which they can demonstrate some kind of unusual affinity or ability. This may be something they have from birth, or it may develop in later life due to specific stresses or experiences. These people are called Sensitives. What specifically makes someone a Sensitive, rather than leaving them with just a weak or broken Talent, is still a matter of great interest and investigation amongst the magical community.
Sensitive abilities can take a number of different forms: examples include the ability to feel magical or other arcane emanations, to unerringly spot black magic and its practitioners, being particularly empathic as far as feeling strong emotions in others, an affinity for the psychic without actually being able to cast spells, being able to seek for something or attune to something and know where it is thereafter, or have what is known in common parlance as Second Sight. There are even some mages who demonstrate the characteristics of Sensitives, which has led to further debate on the nature of this particular ability.
A Sensitive ability can be taken at character creation, although the nature of the Sensitivity needs to be defined at the outset. Occasionally, Sensitive abilities may be acquired in play but in that case, their nature will be defined by the GM.
For a non-mage, Sensitivity costs 10pt; for a mage, it is an additional 5pt over and above their chosen magical level.
The other unusual magical ability, which may itself be a form of Sensitivity, is Power Words. These are handled differently in the Sable Game than in the ADRPG rules. When a character choose Power Words, they are buying the ability to form them, but it does not give you specific “words”. Instead, the character will have have two or three phrases or concepts. For example:
|A shout of desperation to try to save someone or something you care about
|“Dammit, I was supposed to look perfect!”
|For when you really need to look your best, but fate is conspiring to stop that happening.
|“Get away from me!”
|The person you shout at gets somehow pushed away – for example, by a gust of wind.
|“Work, damn you!”
|A way of getting something which isn’t working, to start working there and then.
New Power Words can be added during play, if circumstances allow – for example, a desperate situation, where the character ends up trying to dominate the surroundings in desperation, to try to make something happen. Once a Power Word has been formed, it is always available for the future. However, GM agreement is needed to add new words to the list.
Power Words cost 10pt, whether or not the character is a trained mage.
(With acknowledgement to Justin Parsler for the concept)
For the most part, the GM assumes that you will have the basic skills for your place of origin, such as languages, knowledge of the customs and culture, history, etc.
If a PC wishes to be exceptional at something, they can buy one or more skills for 1pt per skill. As an indication of what that means, had they been trained in Shadow, they would probably be considered the best on the Shadow at what they do. Within Sable and the Commonwealth (and the Courts for the Helgram Game), taking a skill means that you have studied that skill to the highest level available, and that you are considered enough of an expert that if people find out that you have that skill, they may consult you for advice and assistance in that field.
Suggestions for skills include: acting, administration, business knowledge, diplomat, etiquette, gambling, investigation, sense of style, tracking, weapons master, xenobiology, etc. Powers-related skills such as magic or a specific Pattern ability cannot be bought as skills in this way.
There is no particular benefit to having more than 1pt in a given skill, with the possible exception of combat (see below).
Sable Game characters will be fluent in English (spoken and written), and will have been taught both German and French at school (at least ‘O level/GSCE/10th grade’ standard, depending on whether you studied them beyond that). For characters born in the Commonwealth, you will also be fluent in the native language of that world (often English, but not always).
A Clarification on Combat Skills
If a skill is bought in a specific weapon or combat style, then effectively the PC uses that specific weapon or discipline at an effective higher combat/strength (as applicable) to their basic stat. However, there is a law of diminishing returns. The benefit accrued by buying skills in the same weapon increases as follows: 1st skill level, 10pt benefit; 2nd, 5pt; 3rd, 3pt; 4th and 5th, 1pt each. Therefore the maximum benefit over the character’s base combat is 20pt if the character buys five skills in that particular weapon or discipline.
Items are also handled somewhat differently within the Sable Game, as Conjuration does not exist in its ADRPG form. Items are available in two kinds: Personal Items and Items of Power. Living creatures cannot usually be bought as items, except with GM agreement.
|This covers items of significance to the character, but without actual Power. Examples would include swords, parasols, armour, magical gadgets. Details of what they can do must be agreed with the GM.
Living creatures cannot usually be bought as items, except with GM agreement. Items purely for boosting stats are not allowed.
|Item of Power
|Items with actual Power in them, such as Trump or Shadow travel, or blades like Greyswandir and Werewindle. These are only available with GM consent.
Allies in Sable, Family Friends and Devotees cost as per ADRPG. A Devotee doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a member of the Royal Family (either Sable or the Reich), but it can have interesting consequences. Non-family (i.e. 1pt) allies can have quantity multipliers applied to them; Family Friends and Devotees cannot.