Game Basics, Part 1

Posted on February 23, 2017

Basics of the Game

Let's start here.

Welcome to the [N]everending Conflict Roleplaying game. This game is built around the same d20 system as the 5th Edition of the world’s first fantasy adventure roleplaying game1. As this is an early draft of these rules, familiarity with that game is going to be assumed for the time being. I'm gonna start with something that'll look pretty familiar looking. By which I mean it's mostly right out of the OGL


Six abilities provide a quick description of every creature’s physical and mental characteristics:

    Strength (Str), measuring physical power

    Dexterity (Dex), measuring agility

    Constitution (Con), measuring endurance

    Intelligence (Int), measuring reasoning, memory, and capacity for learning

    Wisdom (Wis), measuring perception, instinct, and insight

    Charisma (Cha), measuring force of personality

And a seventh describes their metaphysical prospects for the immediate future:

     Fortune (F), measuring the vagaries of chance, fate, and mystical forces

Is a character muscle-bound and insightful? Brilliant and charming? Nimble and hardy? Abilities define these qualities—a creature’s assets as well as weaknesses.

Nearly every mechanic of the game relies on the seven primary abilities.

Ability Score Modifiers

Each of a creature’s abilities has a score, a number that defines the magnitude of that ability. An ability score is not just a measure of innate capabilities, but also encompasses a creature’s training and competence in activities related to that ability.

A score of 10 or 11 is the normal human average, but heroes and many monsters are a cut above average in most abilities. A score of 18 is the highest that a person usually reaches. Prodigies can have scores as high as 20, and monsters and divine beings can have scores as high as 30.

Each ability also has a modifier, derived from the score and ranging from -5 (for an ability score of 1) to +10 (for a score of 30). The Ability Scores and Modifiers table notes the ability modifiers for the range of possible ability scores, from 1 to 30.

To determine an ability modifier without consulting the table, subtract 10 from the ability score and then divide the total by 2 (round down).

Because ability modifiers affect almost every roll, added together and then added to a role, ability modifiers come up in play more often than their associated scores.


Fortune is inspired by the Luck ability score from the interesting, though misnamed game, Dungeon Crawl Classics. (It's really not classic at all, it's got a lot of really interesting modern design melded with the older school sensibilities.) It's tweaked a fair amount, though. But next entry will be about something a little less familiar: Qualities2.

  • 1. Commonly known as Dungeons and Dragons. There's something in the OGL about not using that term in your games based on the OGL, since it's trademarked and whatnot, so this is the only place I'm going to really call it by name.
  • 2. Maybe not so much. -7/7/17