Coyotes have been stealing food. Herds of buffalo roam. Canyons, those deep drums of the night, thunder at the moon.

You have a mark on your skin, somewhere on your face. It shines in the moonlight and stings in the wind. What is its shape? Where does it sit?

You've heard rumour others with such a mark are gathering in the town of Mwi. Mwi is not more than a three days journey. You plan to gather in Mwi in a weeks time. What will you bring? What motives will the others have?

The days are long and hot in the desert. How do you protect yourself from the sun?

Choose to be a fighter, traveler, or plant dreamer.

If you were acquainted with the blade or bow, either fighter or traveler will do. The former is a bit more combat-oriented than the latter.

Plant dreamers can identify plants that heal, plants that dream.

Choose a descriptor, one of:

Charming, Driven, Exiled, Intelligent, Mysterious, Perceptive, Rugged, Sharp-eyed, Spiritual, or Stealthy.

Choose a focus:

Choose one:

Choose a type.


And an additional 6 points to distribute as you choose.

You are practiced in all weapons and can use them without penalty.

Choose two special abilities:


And an additional 6 points to distribute as you choose. If you wield a heavy weapon, increase the attack difficulty by one.

Choose two special abilities:

Plant dreamer

Choose two special abilities:

Choose a descriptor.

Choose a focus.

Rules of Engagement

The rules are based off Monte Cook's Cypher System. If there are other mechanics you'd like to add, please let me know :)

Players make all the rolls.

Every roll has a difficulty 1-10, as determined by the GM. The player must roll three times the difficulty or higher to succeed. For instance, a difficulty 2 task requires a 6 or higher to succeed.

Nothing is added to the roll; the difficulty is lowered prior to rolling. After lowering, if a task's difficulty is still 7 or more, it is impossible (as it's impossible to roll 21 or greater on a d20)..

Some examples of things that reduce difficulty include knowledge of a situation, quality weapons or armor, training, an advantageous situation, etc.

Players spend effort to lower difficulties.

Rolling a natural 19 or 20 (assuming the roll is a success against the TD) introduces a minor or major effect, respectively.

Minor effects could be a particular grace to your action, or in combat, an extra 3 damage, the opponent knocking the foe back, distracting the foe, etc..

Major effects could be an extra 4 damage, knocking your foe down, stunning them, etc. Alternatively, in combat, you may take another action.

Attacking and defending

Attacking an opponent is a roll, defending an attack is a roll. The difficulty of these rolls is equal to the level of the opponent. For instance, to hit or defend against a level 2 opponent requires a 6 or higher.

Damage and armor are flat numbers.

Rolling a 17 deals an extra point of damage. Rolling high can deal more damage.

Armor reduces damage by a flat amount, possibly down to zero.

Roll a 1 is bad as well and may introduce a GM complication. I'm not too familiar on the rules of GM complications now, so we'll keep it simple and forgiving for now :)

Distance is either immediate, short (15-50"), or long.

Players get an action per turn.

Example actions include moving to melee attack an opponent in immediate range, making a ranged attack, performing a short plant ritual, or moving a short distance.

Players have three pools of points.

Each pool has an associated modifier called edge.

Damage is dealt against one of these pools. Physical attacks against might. Perhaps a drug inducing clusminess may deal against speed. Some mystic may attack against intellect.

Players can spend 3 pool points to reduce a difficulty by 1.

This reduces the required number to roll by 3.

At higher levels, players can reduce difficulty by n by spending 3 + 2(n-1) pool points.

Reducing a difficulty by n is called spending n levels of effort.

Edge reduces the cost of effort.

When spending pool points as effort, subtract the associated edge modifier from the number of pool points spent.

Resting restores 1d6 pool points.

These can be distributed amongst the pools as you wish.

The first rest of the day takes an action (e.g. instead of attacking in combat). The second rest of the day takes 10 minutes. Third takes an hour. Fourth is 10 hours. So per day, you can gain 4d6 points back.

Training situationally reduces difficulty.

Being trained in a skill reduces the difficulty by 1. Being specialized reduces it by 2.