Game Basics, Part 4

Posted on August 02, 2017

Proficiency Rank and Proficiency Dice

Every creature, be they human, spirit, monster, or Beast, has some level of proficiency with any given task, ranging from incapable to mastery. This is represented in the game by proficiency dice, which are rolled along with the d20 when making most of the main rolls and checks in the game.

Each skill that a character might have, with the exception of saving throws and languages, has a rank. As your rank improves with a given skills, your proficiency die increases. Similarly, characters in this game have levels, which represent their combat skill, based on experience in actual combat. Each character has a combat proficiency die based on their character level that they add to attack rolls with weapons and saving throws with which they are proficient, and various other combat related skills and proficiencies.

For skills, skill ranks and proficiency dice work as follows:

Rank

Die

Equivalent to:

1

d3

Beginner, first learning

2

d4

A high school education, basic training

3

d6

Some college, semiregular training

4

d8

A college degree, regular training

5

d10

A graduate degree, advanced training

6

d12

Working on a doctorate, mastery

7

d16

A doctorate, thorough mastery, maximum without Aptitude. If you’ve put this much effort into one skill, you deserve to buy yourself a funky die.

8

d20

At the forefront of the field, one of the best in the world, requires Aptitude

Combat proficiency is based on combat class level. The combat proficiency die is added to all proficient attack rolls and saving throws, and factors into many combat situations in addition to those. See the character advancement table.

As can be seen from the table, there are six tiers of power, each associated with a larger proficiency die. The tier number affects a number of elements of the game, including the rate at which new combat maneuvers can be learned.

Table: Character Advancement

Experience
Points

Level

Proficiency
Die

Tier

0

1

d4

1

5

2

d4

1

10

3

d4

1

20

4

d6

2

30

5

d6

2

40

6

d6

2

50

7

d6

2

75

8

d8

3

100

9

d8

3

125

10

d8

3

150

11

d8

3

200

12

d10

4

250

13

d10

4

300

14

d10

4

350

15

d10

4

450

16

d12

5

550

17

d12

5

650

18

d12

5

750

19

d12

5

1000

20

d16*

6

*If you’ve reached level twenty, you deserved to buy yourself a funky die.

Threat Class

The folks living on the Earth of Neverending Conflict have developed a ranking system for Beasts and other dangerous creatures and spirits. They divide them into eight fuzzy bordered threat classes, which for purpose of this game are much clearer bordered. These are found in the Threat Class Table.

Threat Class Table.

Rank

Threat Class Name (Beasts and Other Monsters)

Die

Experience Reward

Bounty

(Per Reasonably Complete Corpse)

0

Swarmling

1

0*

1d6 gold

1

Spawn

d3

1

1d6 silver

2

Fed

d4

4

2d10 silver

3

Menace

d6

9

1d6 * 10 silver

4

Terror

d8

16

2d6 * 50 silver

5

Monstrosity

d10

25

3d8 * 100 silver

6

Nightmare

d12

36

4d10 * 250 silver

7

Goliath

d16

49

6d12 * 500 silver

8

Behemoth

d20

64

10d20 * 1000 silver

*Swarms provide experience per the swarm’s Threat Class.

A creature’s threat rank factors into its stat blocks several times. It serves as its proficiency bonus, added to anything it is skilled at (which will largely factor into Save and Defence DCs). If it needs to roll a proficiency die, it uses the indicated die. Most creature’s rank will be added to a base ability score to determine the final ability score. And the threat rank is a rough estimation of what sorts of abilities a creature might have, as well as how many. Randomly generated Beasts of higher rank will get more throws on more tables, while other sorts of creatures will have more magical and or supernatural abilities at higher ranks. As a result the recursive nature of the design, experience rewards increase quadratically.

Bounties, in the meantime, are ultimately determined by how much value can be salvaged from the corpse of a slain beast. So many factors impact this that it's usually best to just use a dice roll to determine the amount the Bounty Authority ultimately offers the Beast's slayers. However, good rolls on Beasts that were badly damaged in the process of being killed can be reduced as the GM thinks appropriate.

A Quick* Note on Currency

Beasts are, of course, harmed and abjured by silver. Gold is, of course, easier to transmute into other chemical elements (as opposed to the magical elements) than any other element, and usually violates the physical law of conservation of matter (like most magic, including alchemy, does) by having the lowest base to transmute ratio of any chemical element. And gold coins are, of course, pulled up in hordes numbering into the millions from the many dungeons of the world each year. But of course, dungeon gold does not transmute into silver the way natural gold does, because the Powers Below aren’t stupid enough to hide a weapon in their bait; no more so than they do otherwise; where natural gold will turn into ten times as much silver, dungeon gold will only transmute into one tenth as much.

As a result of these factors, the value of silver to gold and corresponding currency on the Earth of the Neverending Conflict is roughly the reverse of our own. Especially since most spirits love gold (and don’t even get us started on dragons) as much or more than we do, often for less practical reasons. So 1 silver piece = 10 gold pieces.

There are no well accepted theories as to why gold is so alchemically useful and widely beloved. Just the way it had to be, we guess.

*By which I mean longer than any of the actual rules sections in this post, if you don’t consider tables to add to length. We need to define length. Actually, this is going to end up being a whole thing, and it’s not important enough to spend the time on. I’m just going to stop here.