Roll for your Empire is a role-playing game set in the Living Empires era of Layman Kingsford's fictional universe which lays the foundation for the entire Living Saga experience.
It takes place on the world of Evorstrom where two distinct lineages of people have built enclaves, towns and cities across the world. Populating the planet are goblins, trolls and ogres who evolved from gazelle-like ungulates and there are humans, dwarves and elves who evolved from ape-like primates.
What divides people and cultures in this world is not species or gender, but SIGN. Every living thing - plant, animal and person - is marked with one of 8 Signs which are believed to be a divine being's mark of ownership.
This is a role-playing game utilizing our own Criterion RPG System. It has been influenced by tried-and-true fantasy RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer Fantasy, GURPS and much more. It borrows from tabletop board games with resource allocation, card management and roll & write mechanisms. It can even incorporate live performative elements with audience interactivity for those wanting to share the RPG experience with bigger groups of people.
Criterion RPG System Overview
The intention behind theRolling Empire's Criterion role-playing system is to grant players an immersive story-driven experience in a fictional world. That world might be one of our creation, such as Evorstom, or one of your own.
The Criterion System can be played in a traditional tabletop RPG manner, meaning that one person takes on the part of the StoryTeller (abbreviated as ST, also known as a Game Master) who ushers the other players through a plot-driven narrative, guiding the events and outcomes of the players’ choices.
The Criterion System is meant to be “rules light” which reduces the amount of knowledge any one person needs to have in order to start playing. It can engender easy integration of players with any gaming background or experience.
One of our core principles in role-playing is that every character should, under normal conditions, have a chance at succeeding at any action (within reason, of course). Nothing feels worse in a game when your highly-skilled magic-user is about to toss off the party-saving fireball spell and a dice roll inflicts minimum damage.
We like to play characters that are competent at their given skills; to that end, this game system provides ways to mitigate dice rolls so that your characters can do what they are meant to do, even if the dice are not favoring you, or conditions are set against you. It may cost you in-game resources to succeed, but you should usually feel to be able to get your job done. This certainly does not mean that things are a perpetual cake walk, just that you are less likely to be screwed by the whims of chance.
Players will create CHARACTERS by building out a custom deck of cards that represent their physical, mental and social attributes. These cards delineate what size dice a player will use when attempting actions and tasks and they provide various ways to alter your dice rolls.
Click HERE to down load a PDF of the rule set as it stands at the moment (version 1.4).
[it is a work in progress so no formatting has been done]
When your character is presented with a situation in which their success or failure in daccomplishing it matters, you will be asked to do a TASK. A Task means you will discard AT LEAST ONE appropriate ATTRIBUTE card from your Effort deck (which attribute will usually be determined by the StoryTeller) and in doing so gain the DIE depicted on the card to your DICE POOL.
You will then decide if your character has a relevant SKILL (this can be discussed with the ST). Activating a Skill will add 3 more DICE to your dice pool. If you do not have a relevant Skill card you add 3d4 to make the remainder your dice pool.
Thus you will have assembled a DICE POOL of 4 individual dice (one from discarding an Attribute card and three from a Skill). These dice will then be rolled to determine whether you succeed at the task or whether you fail. Sometimes it will matter HOW WELL you succeed, a factor called QUALITY or what exact total you succeed with, called PRECISION (more on that in a moment).
FAVOR • UNFAVORED
Dice rolls can be granted temporary advantage or disadvantage to their results. Maybe your character is trying to run across an icy road so their agility/athletics dice pool might be UNFAVORABLE. The ST would rule how many of the dice are unfavored. Any dice that are unfavored would then be rolled twice and the lower result is what gets used to determine success.
Conversely, FAVORED means that you will roll those dice twice and use the higher result. Maybe your character grew up in an arctic environment and is wearing boots with good traction. The ST would likely grant you favor on at least a couple of your dice.
[optional?] The Storyteller may choose to make up something appropriate to the action should one or more of your dice roll 1’s. Maybe additional Impediment/Impairments are triggered (or a new one gained?).
Every time the players roll a 1 the ST gets a MOD TOKEN which can be used to alter (re-roll, give +1/-1, etc) their own dice pools.
PASS/FAIL DIFFICULTY = any dice result of 4 or higher is a SUCCESS . You may need more than one to complete a task. Difficulty can be increased or decreased or even have a variety of difficulties within a single task.
[1’s] are automatic failures and cannot be adjusted or altered under normal conditions.
QUALITY of is determined by the TOTAL (sum) of all the dice in your pool that rolled a 4 or higher.
Some tasks have a set number of successes () a PC needs to roll in order to pass IN ONE TURN. Sometimes it matters as to HOW WELL you pass (QUALITY) as you will earn different results based upon the quality. These are called QUALIFIED FIXED Tasks.
Like breaking down a door. You need a cumulative number of to defeat the door. You roll your dice each turn until you have accumulated enough successes to overcome the task over a NUMBER OF TURNS.
e.g.: Heavy wood door has a DIFF 8. You will need to accumulate 8 successes to break it down. An axe might auto-add a success each roll of your pool or add advantage. GM might not call for a roll unless you’re not doing it under pressure.
Like fighting or arguing with an opponent. The PC rolls their dice and the GM rolls dice for the opponent. Successes from both pools cancel each other out and whoever has leftover successes enacts a desired result (e.g. damage). Ties do nothing.
Usually all you need is 1 after all the dice are tabulated to complete the task. If the task is more difficult it may require additional ’s AND/OR Quality may factor in.
Precision: Might need SPECIFIC numbers on your dice results to succeed and are penalized for going over/under
LIVE PLAY (with an interactive audience)
Roll n' Write + Live ttRPG + Audience = Roll for your Empire !!! 🤩
In a pub or game store, each table of audience members would have a roll n'write sheet depicting a town location (tavern, guard tower, smithy, etc) along with a simple set of attribute cards representing various NPCs (non-player characters) associated with that location. They get to frequently roll their dice along with the PCs, filling out segments of their RnW sheets to generate bonuses, benefits and hindrances to gift to the players when appropriate.