Monday, 28 March 2022

Emp Dyn RPG

Here is a simple little system I created to be used in unison with Empyrean Dynasty games – using the basic 2d6 resolution system of that game in a more individual focused traditional RPG. Once you have run a game of Empyrean Dynasty you are probably going to have an interesting setting that you might want to play around in, and these rules should be open enough to allow that!

Emp Dyn RPG: 

  • Characters have Attributes and Skills. 
  • Attributes = the fundamental components of the character (Mind, Body, RAM, etc as appropriate for the character). Expressed as a positive numerical value that gives a bonus to appropriate attribute tests. 
  • Skills = Technical abilities that character has learnt to do. Expressed as a positive numerical value that gives a bonus to appropriate skill tests
  • Tests (for when the success of an action is uncertain or contested) = For attributes, roll 1d6 + the value of the attribute = test result. Tests can be opposing (two characters roll and highest wins the test) or target based (A character must roll a certain target. 
    • For skills, same as above but roll 2d6, a character who is unskilled in a skill only rolls 1d6. 
    • Some, particularly technical, skills are impossible to attempt without some training (at least +1 in that skill). 
    • The referee has carte blanche to add or minus contextual modifiers to test rolls! 
  • Initiative in combat: Beings with the highest attribute appropriate for the situation goes first (body in the physical world, mind if in the digital world, etc). 
  • Attacking and defending in combat: Attacking and defending is an opposed roll test. An attacker uses an appropriate attack skill for which they have a weapon and rolls 2d6 and adds that skill’s value to the roll. An unarmed attack is done by rolling 1d6 and adding the value of the Body attribute to the roll. The defender may either use an appropriate skill to defend (determined by the referee), rolling 2d6 + the skill’s value, or an appropriate attribute to defend (determined by the referee), rolling 1d6 + the attribute’s value. The attack is a success if the attacker wins the the opposing roll.  
  • Damage in combat/dangerous situations = Difference between winner and loser rolls of opposing tests = damage to loser’s appropriate attribute (e.g Body if in physical world combat). Or, difference between losing roll and target for a dangerous test. Damage = temporary damage to that attribute. If an important attribute (ie: Body) drops to 0 or less, character = dead. Temporary damage reduces the bonus the attribute normal gives. Healing or rest is required to restore it.   
  • Items may add to an Attribute or Skill value. Examples: APEX Solutions Pistol: +2 to Battle Arts Skills, Arcturus Bloodline Furred Body Armour: +3 to Body Attribute.  
    • If an item is granting a bonus to an important attribute that drops below the bonus the item gives (eg: A PC having their Body attribute temporarily drop to 1 and the body armor they are wearing gives a +2 to Body), that item is broken and required repairs. When broken an item does not all or any of its attribute bonus. 
  • “Leveling up” is handled by the referee awarding bonuses to PC attributes and skills as they deem appropriate. 

Example Test Difficulty Targets:
  • Very easy: 6 
  • Easy: 8
  • Somewhat challenging: 10 
  • Challenging: 12 
  • Somewhat difficult: 14 
  • Difficult: 16 
  • Hard: 18 
  • Very hard: 20 

Example Attributes: 
  • Mind
  • Body
  • Psychic Reserves 

Example Skills: 
  • Melee combat 
  • Ranged combat 
  • Battle Tactics 
  • Bureaucratic knowledge 
  • Data computing 
  • Mechanical engineering 
  • Communications engineering 
  • Intimidation 
  • Morph self anatomy 
  • Morph self biology 
  • Neo Chivalry Knowledge 
  • Diplomacy 
  • Religious Knowledge 
  • Inspire others
  • Biological analysis 
  • Environmental Analysis 
  • Languages 
  • Pharmaceutical knowledge
  • Medicine and first aid 
  • Telekinesis 
  • Psionic empathy 
  • Psionic healing 
  • Biology 
  • Pheromonic Influence
  • Liliang Entomo Collective Knowledge
  • Predict future 
  • Avoid danger 
  • Tactics 
  • Space Navigation 
  • Geology
  • Heavy Equipment 
  • Regulate emotions 

Example Equipment: 
  • Mushajara Mercenary Uniform: Intimidate + 2, Body + 2 
  • Mushajara  Knife: Melee combat + 2
  • Mushajara Ballistic Pistol: Ranged Combat + 2
  • Mushajara Laser Rifle: Ranged Combat + 4 
  • Mushajara Battle Computer:  Battle tactics + 2, Data computing + 2
  • Mushajara Battle Helmet: Battle Tactics + 2, Mind + 1 
  • Cavalerie Centuriate Style Tecno-Arthurian Body Armor: Body + 2
  • Cavalerie Centuriate Style Tecno-Arthurian Cape and Sash: Inspire others + 2
  • Cavalerie Centuriate Style Tecno-Arthurian Sword: Melee Combat + 3 
  • Cavalerie Centuriate Style Tecno-Arthurian Gun Lance: Ranged Combat + 5 when in close distance, + 3 when at a ranged distance.   
  • Cavalerie Centuriate Style Tecno-Arthurian Shield: Body + 1 
  • Bioloxue Scanner Slug: + 2 Biological analysis  
  • Bioloxue Data Slug: + 2 Environmental Analysis 
  • Bioloxue Translator Bodyslug: +2 Languages   
  • Bioloxue Protective Slime Sleeve : Body + 4 when facing environmental hazards 
  • Immortal Olympe Robes and Religious Ornaments:  Inspire others + 2
  • Bio Suit: Body +3 when facing environmental hazards 
  • Medical Supplies: Medicine and First Aid + 4 
  • Kraken Stinger Spear: Melee Combat + 3 (Causes poisoning on successful attack) 
  • Apex Solutions Pistol: Ranged Combat + 2
  • Liliang Entomo Carapace Armour: Body + 4
  • Liliang Entomo Miliary Tassels: Intimidate + 2
  • Liliang Entomo Communicator: Battle Tactics + 2, Liliang Entomo Collective Knowledge + 4
  • Liliang Entomo Stun Pistol: Ranged Combat + 3 (If this weapon reduces a targets Body to 0 it renders them unconscious rather than dead) 
  • Ceremonial Steel Rod: Melee Combat + 2 
  • Szarstern Emotion Regulator Implant: Regulate Emotions + 6
  • Szarstern Bionic Arm: Body + 2 
  • Armored Cloak: Body + 1
  • Breathing Mask: Body + 2 when facing environmental hazards 
  • Szarstern Hand-Catapult: Ranged Combat + 4 

Example Character Sheet: 


  1. As someone who has often been criticized for refusing to codify things in my games, it's interesting to me that you wouldn't codify attributes.

    Is the idea that players will be taking control of such wildly different characters that the fundamental aspects of their being wouldn't be able to relate to the same terms?

    1. Yeah that's the idea. Who knows what attributes you may need in the future - may as well keep it open!

  2. Interesting! How do you decide "how much" to allow a character?

    There are so many different ways to devise games, even ones this simple. This post makes me want to tinker with my own again.

    1. I think the "how much" is all up to the referee/campaign players - The breadth and depth of attributes and skills would be campaign dependent. In the sci fi game I'm running there's some pretty chunky bonuses (+6 - +14) to a wide range of skills , but I'm noodling with a fantasy game where those numbers are a bit lower and more focused on a smaller set of skills.

      To your second point - thats the beauty, you can do whatever you want! Every referee should be running their own system!