CHAOS TTRPG will allow any number of players to recreate any dramatic situation as a game.
It functions like any role-playing game, but isn’t restricted to any particular setting or genre.
It’s possible to recreate any backdrop from the historical to the completely fantastic or imaginary.
It most often relies on a Director/DM; BUT this is not strictly necessary either.
It is possible for each player in turn to contribute the next part of the plot or storyline and “direct” play, all making it up as they go along. The players can take turns at DM.
In any RPG, the players either:
- simply do things (such as walk across a room).
- Or – attempt to do something, which necessitates the rolling of dice
- They are attempting to use some degree of skill to succeed against some type of obstacle, which presents them with a degree of difficulty
- Or – against another character who is trying to prevent them from doing it, using their own particular degree of skill.
This forms the basic algorithm of the game system:
The LEVEL OF SKILL or the LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY is rated from 1 to 10: (where 3 is average and 6 is very high)
This is also the number of six-sided dice the person should roll when attempting whatever it is they are trying to do, using that Attribute or Skill.
Anyone trying to prevent them, would roll whatever number of dice best reflect their level of ability in the skill they are using to prevent them.
If a person is trying to use a skill against an obstacle, the obstacle is similarly rated according to the Level of Difficulty it presents, and this is the number of dice the obstacle rolls versus the player.
And that’s basically it.
CHAOS USES ONLY 6 SIDED DICE
Person A is trying to shove open a door which is jammed.
They possess above average strength: – they can roll 4 dice.
The door, however, is badly jammed and presents an obstacle of high difficulty: – the door will roll 5 dice.
They both roll.
Person A rolls a 12, the door rolls a 10.
They are just able to slowly push the door open.
An alternative outcome is that the door rolls 18 and they only roll 8. The door doesn’t budge.
They may, of course, try again, but it may be ruled that a third attempt requires a short rest first, or will be attempted at -1 die due to becoming fatigued.
Person B approaches Person A and decides to try and punch them in the head.
Person A, seeing this, attempts to duck the punch.
Person B has a High level of ability with the SKILL Strike/Block – they roll 5 dice.
Person A, has a Very High level of ability with the SKILL Evade – they roll 6 dice,
Person A rolls higher and so ducks the punch.
Note that a roll of all 1s can be considered a Fumble a fuck-up and some extra penalty may be imposed on top of failure.
Similarly, a roll of all 6s, can be considered a Fluke, a lucky shot and may earn some extra bonus to success.
Players can be
- Fictitious setting created for the purpose of the game or from some well-established story or plotline – a film or novel somebody else has written
- An historic personage
- Someone they just made up
- A randomly generated person
- a non-human character
- Themselves – players can portray themselves in the game
Below are the basic Attributes They may be added to or altered if it improves game playability or suits the storyline. A game where the story centres on characters which are not-human, may require very different characteristics.
Each is rated by a number from 1-10; with 3 as average for human characters, and 7 and above as superhuman. These are their DICE numbers
This signifies the person’s mental powers, strength and quality of mind. It does not necessarily indicate intellectual ability or how smart a person is. It is more a measure of mental resilience in the face of trauma, disorientation and so on. The power of a person’s will and ability to focus is also indicated. The attribute of Mind can also be used if Magick is in play in the story, or the use of psychic abilities.
This is the ability to process sensory perception into attention being paid to the world around a character. It is a measure of perceptiveness and is not just restricted to sensory talent but empathy and intuition as well. This can again extend to psychic ability if the story involves magick. Whether players will notice things or not depends on their level of Awareness.
This is a measure of how physically tough and durable a person is. How much punishment they can take physically, before their body starts to show the signs, and break down.
This is sheer physical force and power. The ability to lift things or force them.
Agility is bodily coordination and nimbleness. It is a measure of how well a person moves – their control, suppleness and fluidity.
This ability signifies hand-eye coordination in the use of fine motor skills, such as picking a lock or aiming a rifle.
This is the persons’ reaction time, reflexes etc – Awareness and Agility – ARE ADDED AND AVERAGED – ROUNDING UP
Strike/Parry: The skill of being able to strike things or people effectively whether bare-handed or with a weapon or tool requires a mixture of Strength and Agility – WHICH ARE ADDED AND AVERAGED – ROUNDING UP. Similarly, the ability to block or parry strikes from an opponent.
Throw: The ability to throw well and with accuracy. The distance or how hard one can throw is influenced by strength as well, but technique is seen as paramount – Agility and Dexterity – ARE ADDED AND AVERAGED – ROUNDING UP
Climb: The ability to climb anything from trees with bare hands, to mountains with ropes and pitons. (This latter would also require some knowledge – per character background, and inventory) Strength and Agility – ARE ADDED AND AVERAGED – ROUNDING UP
Evade/Stealth: The ability to duck and dodge and weave, when under attack or even just moving through a crowd and also the skill of moving quietly and without being seen or noticed. Sneaking and stalking.- Awareness and Agility – ARE ADDED AND AVERAGED – ROUNDING UP
Aim/Catch: The skill of being able to aim anything (not thrown), from a bow, to a handgun. The same depth perception helps with catching things thrown at you. Awareness and Dexterity – ARE ADDED AND AVERAGED – ROUNDING UP
Other skills can be invented on the same basis
Ride (Horse or Motorbike), Swim , Dancing etc etc
Whenever some force acts upon a player, where it is likely to cause injury:
The DIFFERENCE between the INITIAL dice rolls is the level of INJURY*
This Difference must be beaten by an ENDURANCE ROLL
SUCCESS means they are unscathed
FAILURE means they are INJURED by that initial DIFFERENCE
It is cumulatively recorded as INJURY.
*The difference between the dice roll of the obstacle/force or other person Vs the player’s original defensive/evasive dice
As this level of Injury accumulates, it is monitored:
<10: The level of Injury is minor, but may require first aid
10 – 20: The player is more seriously injured. All ATTRIBUTES at -1.
20 – 30: The player is severely injured. All ATTRIBUTES at a further – 2
30+ : The player is critically injured. All ATTRIBUTES at -1 for each point above 30.
Whenever any ATTRIBUTE reaches 0 – the player is dead.
The same can apply for any major characters in the story, not controlled by a player.
For MINOR CHARACTERS – They attempt to beat the Difference with their ENDURANCE roll
If they SUCCEED, they are injured but still active, If they FAIL they die.
[NB: Falling Injury is 2 dice for the first 3 metres. Then an extra die every 3 metres after that.]
Injury Example: Player A is walking on a treacherous mountain path when there is a rock fall above. One large rock in particular is hurtling their way. It has a High degree of “accuracy” – it’s heading straight for them (5 Dice). They attempt to Evade, a Skill they have at Very High level – 6 Dice. However, it is judged that the narrowness of the path restricts their ability, so a 1 die penalty is imposed. The rock rolls 5 dice to get 20, the player only rolls 11. The rock hits them, the damage is 9 – the difference in rolls. The player must now beat 9 with an endurance roll to be unscathed. If they don’t, the 9 is recorded as damage. They will have a minor injury. Any subsequent Injuries will add points to this. It could also be ruled that a (penalised) Agility roll is also required to avoid being knocked off the path and falling.
WEAPONS AND STRIKING – WOUNDS
Wounds are caused differently. Different weapons have a number of Damage Dice – Reflecting their typical Range of Damage
ARMOR – has its own dice in the same way and is rolled versus the damage of the weapon – any leftover is taken as INJURY and treated as the same way as above. An ENDURANCE ROLL is made. No Armour means an ENDURANCE ROLL versus the full DAMAGE ROLL
Certain items of Inventory are used in conjunction with Skills or Abilities and Add Extra Dice to their rolls. Things that a player or character carries should be in accordance with the Tech-Level of their origin or place. Each also has a corresponding Credit-Level as an indicator of value and a rough guide to purchase price.
Hunting Knife (+1 to Strike/Parry) – Tech-Level 5; Credit Level 1. Damage: 2 Dice
Antique Shotgun (+2 to Aim) – Tech-Level 4; Credit Level 4. Damage: 5 Dice
Armor of Templar Knight – 3rd Crusade (3 Dice Vs Strike; 4 Vs arrow) Tech-Level 3; Credit Level 6
Climbing Gear (+3 to Climbing Vs Natural) Tech-Level 6; Credit Level 4
It is possible to create and add as many extra Skills as desired to reflect the storyline; as well as Inventory items which can add dice to them. The rules are meant to be spare and flexible so that they can be adapted to whatever is required. Only common sense need always prevail.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it. The above is enough to play. All that’s required are regular dice, the more the better.
Example of Rules in Action
A priest, a rabbi, a Wiccan and an atheist walk into a bar. As they enter (according to the pre-written story being directed) they are headed towards a puddle of beer on the floor. The director secretly assigns each player a number between 1 and 4, arbitrarily; and rolls a die. It is a 2 – The number assigned to the Rabbi. (5 or 6 would have meant none of them) The rabbi is headed straight for the puddle. The room is dark and smoky, there’s a High degree of difficulty in discerning the puddle, which is very slippery.
The director asks the Rabbi to roll his Awareness (High – 5 dice) and the director rolls 5 for the puddle. They roll 8 and 24 respectively. The rabbi is completely oblivious to the puddle and steps into it. The director asks him to roll his Agility – which is Above Average, he rolls 4 dice. The puddle, Very slippery, rolls 6 dice. Again the Rabbi fails to roll higher (he rolls an 11 Vs the puddle’s 21). He slips and falls. He must now beat the difference in rolls – 10, with an Endurance roll. Lucky, his Endurance is High. He rolls 5 dice and easily beats 10 with a roll of 29. He is uninjured, but embarrassed.
Picking himself up off the floor he joins the others at a table. The waiter approaches and they order a drink each. The Wiccan orders a rare, herbal liqueur, which is said to be hallucinogenic and magickal. The waiter cautions that it can sometimes be poisonous, but she orders it anyway.
The drink is poisonous, and to an Above Average degree. She rolls 4 dice for a similarly Above Average Endurance and easily wins. She is unaffected by the poison, and begins hallucinating.
The atheist is bored and decides to watch a nearby pool game. One of the players looks up at her and makes a lewd gesture. When she returns the gesture, he advances on her holding the pool cue, threateningly. He says something insulting and she humiliates him. He swings the pool cue at her head. He is a big, strong guy, but his Skill for Strike/Parry is only Above Average (4), the pool cue adds +1 as a weapon. He rolls 5 dice. She is a veteran martial artist and Very Highly Skilled in Both Strike/Parry and Evade. She decides to Evade the blow and rolls 6 dice. She beats him 27 to 12, and ducks well in time
If he had hit her he would roll damage dice for the pool cue – say – probably 2 dice – it’s not a great weapon after all.
But she beat him by more than double the roll – She has enough time to counterattack and strikes up from her crouch. She rolls 6 dice (the director could rule a -1 die penalty for striking from a defensive crouch) while he attempts to Parry her with his leg, rolling 4 dice. She outrolls him again 25 to 13. He takes 12 points of Injury. He attempts to beat it with an Endurance roll (Average) but only rolls a 9. Being only a minor character, he is dead. The poolroom empties.
The players run for the back door of the bar but the fire escape door is stuck. Luckily, the priest is also a weightlifter, and Highly Strong. He shoves at the door which is only Above Averagely stuck (5 dice Vs 4 dice) but he fails. He tries again (the director could rule here that unless he rests between any subsequent attempts for a few seconds at least, losing them precious time, future rolls will be at -1 die penalty). His 2nd attempt succeeds, however, and they are out the door. They run for the carpark of the shopping mall next door. They can hear the sounds of pursuit and a shout of “Stop! Police.”
The director at this point could average an Agility roll for the group and that of the 3 pursuing police officers, to determine whether they catch up to them prior to reaching the carpark. Alternatively, all of the players and each of the 3 police officers (the director) could roll Agility to see a more individual result of who gets caught by whom.
The most important rule is: make the rules work how you think they should or how you need them to. Always use common sense unless the setting for the story is a place where that doesn’t exist.
This is just a suggestion for a set of rules governing the use of magick in a story/game. Invent your own if you wish.
Attempting to write a set of rules for something as inherently chaotic as magick could result in something tremendously complicated. Especially if the magick aims to be Harry-Potter like. Instead, the rules here are based more on the reality of magick and the way it works.
Magick is carried out with the Mind, based on the principle that everything is Mind. Changing the whole requires utilising and altering the individualised. In other words, with a combination of Mental Focus and Power, a player can evoke, in Mind, a particular essence or ‘flavour’ of consciousness. This essence is first visualised or imagined, with or without stimuli. It is focused in the Mind and then propelled with such Mental Power that it affects a change in reality. The essence is introduced into the “real” world. Or it can be held in the Mind of the Magick user or propelled into the Mind of another, in order to change them.
Use of Magick should be restricted to characters with High Mental Attribute and Skills as a minimum. At least Above Average Awareness is also necessary.
The Main SKILL used in Magick is POWER (or FAITH if the mage is a devotee of a particular deity) – this is the average (rounding up) of MIND and AWARENESS
Successful use of Magick requires a reasonably clear, focused head and time may be spent in Ritual leading up to its use:
A moment/few seconds to clear the head and concentrate: This is the bare minimum required to do anything Magickal. No dice added
Quick Impromptu Ritual: (Some few minutes spent deep breathing, visualising and Focusing) – + 1 die
Full Ritual: Several minutes to hours in mental preparation and focus. + 2 dice
Lengthy Observance: At least one full day to several days in preparation; fasting etc and Ritual workings. + 3 dice
Attempting to See that which is normally hidden requires an AWARENESS ROLL to first clear the mind of distraction (vs LEVEL OF DISTRACTION) and then a POWER ROLL to receive information (versus its LEVEL OF OBSCURITY etc)
Additional dice may be added for Ritual, as well as certain psychotropic plants or substances. Note also, the possibility of poisoning from some of these.
Divination is focused Clairvoyance, assisted by some form of medium, whether Tarot Cards or bones. The tool used will add dice to the roll, made similarly to Clairvoyance. Unlike Clairvoyance, Divination requires knowledge as well as ability, and the character has to have learned the medium being used somehow.
PLANT AND ANIMAL MAGICK
A Magickal affinity with flora, fauna and ecosystems and spells based on that ability.
SIGILS, RUNES & GLYPHS
These will symbolise a particular Essence, flavour of reality etc, which add dice to the Magick User’s Power roll when attempting to propel that Essence into the world, having successfully Focused on it. Each as a Level of Power which must be withstood to focus on it. Note that a Fumble in this roll can lead to madness.
Once Focused the Magick user rolls the combined Power Vs the difficulty of what it is they are trying to achieve or the Power roll of their intended target.
Any Injury is calculated the normal way and may have to be beaten by Power again rather than Endurance, depending on the nature of the Rune, symbol or Glyph.
Runes are carved, while Glyphs and Sigils are inscribed. They may be inscribed in the air rather than on an actual medium, although at -1 die to their Power.
Sigils may have dice added for length of time spent fapping as ritual.
PORTALS & GATES
These exist ephemerally all around and must be sensed by POWER, Vs their Level of power/obscurity. Then, their level of power must be overcome again by POWER to manipulate perception sufficiently to ‘open’ the Gate and pass through into another, separate reality.
Spirits, disembodied entities, inorganic beings. These beings have Awareness and Power (in some cases can do Magick). Their presence may have to be sensed by the Magick User’s Awareness. They are usually then engaged in a Power struggle, in order for the Magick User to overcome them. Then they may be put to service, bound to an object or place, compelled or exorcised. They may be bidden to possess someone, that person getting to try and overcome this with their own Power.
Sorcery makes use of Levels of Power (dice) to be either generated in the mind of the Magick User or found in Nature. They may be sensed by Awareness in certain locations or objects or natural formations. They are then used by being Focused into a particular idea of change relevant to the Essence or Elemental Force with which the Power corresponds. There are ten of them:
To do with matters of the mind, life and being. To commune with the highest consciousnesses or to purify.
eg – revive, resuscitate, awaken
Matters of heat and rapidness. Energy, drive, inspiration and motivation, combustion and actual fire.
eg – heat, fireball, fireproof
Matters of fluidity and slowness. Intuition, the imagination, dreaming and creativity. Also illusion and lack of form. Dampness and actual water.
eg – quench, chill, “gills”, drown
Matters of growth and expansion. Good fortune and luck, rulership and assertiveness but peace and kindness also. Actual light as well.
eg – light source, cause blindness, illusions
Matters of time and decay. Destruction and disruption. War and justice. Destruction and actual dark.
eg – hide, create shadow, cause despair
Matters of formlessness and change. Thinking and activity. Ideas and self. This is also the essence of Healing and actual air as well.
eg – call wind, throw voice, eavesdrop, levitate
Matters of beauty and creativity. Love and relationships as well. Unity and harmony in diversity. Fertility and actual wood and vegetation.
eg – growth, glamour, chop & shatter, repair, love binding
Matters of thinking and communication. Writing and speech as power. Research and science; measurement and divination as well. Rationality and actual metals.
eg – temper metal, shield, sharpen, clarity, trickery, cause confusion
Matters of the subconscious and dreams. Traveling and meditation. The subliminal and ambiguous. Sexuality and workings with actual crystals (and their correspondences!)
eg – induce dream, deceive, find gem, freeze, illusion
Matters of the physical world of matter and energy. The physical body. Also actual earth, rocks the fertility of the land and geomancy.
eg – petrify, bog down, bind, repair
For Clerics – they may be devoted to one or more deities who correspond to one of the Ten Elements above.
WORDS OF POWER
Similar to Runes and Glyphs. May have to be sensed (Awareness) in the depths of consciousness and formulated with Power. Perhaps the word has to be withstood first by Power.
GLAMOUR AND ILLUSIONISM
Using the imagination with Power to overcome the observer’s Awareness.
SHAPESHIFTING & POLYMORPHISM
This would again rely on Power vs the difficulty which will always at least be High. Ritual would usually be required as well as other aids.
LEVITY & FLIGHT
The number of things which can aid a Magick User (in the form of extra dice) are limitless. Some ideas might include:
Power Plants: Some plants, herbs etc, especially psychotropic ones, will add dice to the Magick they are involved in. However, some may be poisonous and their toxicity beaten by Endurance. Other may be more of a threat to the Magick User’s sanity ( Power – or Awareness if likely to cause confusion)
Henbane – per dose +2 dice to Power; Poison – Above Average Toxicity (4 dice). Effects last 6-7 hours.
Information could include the effects on perception and feeling, side-effects and preparation. Perhaps the toxicity has to be overcome more than once.