DUDEHack

by Mark Damon Hughes <kamikaze@kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu>

Copyright © 2000 by Mark Damon Hughes. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to print and use free of charge, but do not redistribute - always refer others back to these originals at <http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/DUDE/>

DUDEHack uses the DUDE roleplaying game system, so read that first.

<Setting>
<Mediography>
<Terminology>
<Character Creation>
<DUDEness>
<Powers>
<Drawbacks>
<Equipment>
<Magic>
<Religion>
<Alchemy>
<Bestiary>
<Equipment>


Setting

The land of Dudania was once peaceful, safe, and gentle, with no more than the usual level of religious persecution and torture, racial intolerance, unjust executions, bloody warfare, and lack of proper hygeine typical to a world in the grips of pulp literary medievalism.

Six months ago, three meteors fell to the earth, and from each crawled a Dungeon Lord: Yecnad Nayr the Annoying, Nostrebor Tap the Unholy, and the most foul Setag Lib the Devourer of Worlds. They slaughtered and ate all who came to loot the corpes see if someone needed help, then burrowed into the ground to establish their nightmarish lairs...

Now, monsters swarm from the dungeons, spawned by the Dungeon Lords, and they are increasing in numbers and power. Brave heroes are needed to enter these dungeons and slay the Dungeon Lords. Are you worthy?

DUDEHack is a game set in the world of hack-and-slash swords and sorcery fantasy, but characters may or may not carry that out as the focus of the game. Completely ignoring the tropes of the genre and setting up businesses, settling down, and being law-abiding citizens is not an easy course, either, when the entire history of the genre conspires against you...

Designer's Rant: It is important to note that I have used DUDEHack as a way to vent my displeasure with the endless stream of identical CRAP in the fantasy genre, both in novels and RPGs. Dear fucking Bob on a pogo stick, a brain-damaged lemur could come up with better and more original material, or failing that better-researched legendry, than all but the very rarest of the fantasy authors. I look upon the fantasy genre as it is today, and recall for a brief moment Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Howard, H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands stories, Michael Moorcock, Mervyn Peake, T.H. White, John Brunner, Mary Gentle, Katherine Kurtz, and Walter Jon Williams (Metropolitan)... Where are their like today? Most are dead, and damn few of the rest are publishing in the fantasy genre any more. I'd weep, rail against the heavens, and call all gods bastards if I thought it'd do any good.

I blame J.R.R. Tolkien and Gary Gygax, and yet it's not really their fault. Tolkien probably meant well, but his bland mish-mash of Norse, Celtic, and Christian faerie tales, and the legions of sweaty, unwashed, drug-addled fans who discovered him (and only him, not any of the good fantasy from the old days) in the '60s, are directly responsible for the fall of the fantasy genre to the depths it has sunk today. And Gary remembered a really great game concept (the first pre-human child to play "let's pretend" 10 million years ago invented it), and figured out that you can and should have RULES for adjudicating interactive roleplaying. Maybe he's a bit obsessive about rules over roleplay, but he's an old wargamer, let him be, I don't begrudge him that. Gary at least read the genre, even if his first game (still published with almost no significant changes as AD&D) sucks rocks - his more recent games are considerably better, by the way. Unfortunately, too many morons have taken AD&D as gospel, and never read any good fantasy, and so they use AD&D rules as the natural and sole possible way a fantasy world can be organized, again directly responsible for the fall of the fantasy genre to the depths it has sunk today.

Depths like Robert Fucking Jordan's execrable slush-pile rejects, which read like he cribbed together half an AD&D game with a plot outline stolen directly out of Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces, and then he just recycles the same book over and over again. I bought, read, and then burned the first two RFJ doorstops, and I'd like to do the same to him (and all other crap fantasy writers) for perpetuating this crapola.

Ironically, I find that Weis & Hickman are better than most these days, and I actually read their non-Franchiselance books as a guilty pleasure. Great literature they may not be, but they're fun adventures and the worlds are generally unique and creative, traits I am as starved for as the Donner party was for food. The Darksword books alone are an acceptable apology for bringing TSR into the fiction-publishing biz with Dragonlance.

So anyway, that's off my chest and now you know my mission - to twist, mock, and ultimately discard the tropes of cliché crap fantasy. I can only hope I succeed, and perhaps inspire some few of you others to strike out into unknown lands of your own, NOT following me. Damn, I feel like Brian: "You are all individuals! You can all think for yourselves!" Crowd:"We are all individuals!" Dissenter:"I'm not!". At the very least, be the dissenter who is, er, "not" an individual.


Mediography

This is not the usual fantasy book list. These are the cures for the common fantasy world.

Monty Python & the Holy Grail
"Watery tarts distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!"
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen Donaldson
Thomas Covenant is a modern-day (well, '60s or '70s) leper ex-fantasy writer who gets dropped into an unbelievably chirpy fantasy world facing a Dark Lord, with various companions and strange magical powers to help him out. And he refuses to believe it, because his survival on Earth depends on not fantasizing any more. These books (there's six of them) kick the heroic fantasy genre in the balls and knife it while it's down. Read them. See my Deconstructing Thomas Covenant article for more discussion.
Grunts, Mary Gentle
Heroic fantasy, starring Orks possessed by the spirit of the U.S. Marines through a cache of cursed M16's. Thoroughly mocks and destroys the traditions of bad fantasy. "Yo, da mareenz!"
The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, Diana Wynne Jones
A-Z definitions of the elements found in standard fantasy tours, with tongue firmly in cheek.
Discworld Series, Terry Pratchett
The most extensive piss-take of the fantasy genre ever. Small Gods and Guards! Guards! are probably the best for sheer mocking power.
Guardians of the Flame, Joel Rosenberg
The original "D+D players sucked into their fantasy world" books, which are spared from being cliché dreck by a serious and modern outlook on the part of the characters - one of the players dies just a couple chapters in by acting the part of his character, and the others have to learn to deal with the really nasty parts of the fantasy world, especially slavery.
Darksword Trilogy, Darksword Adventures, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
A world where everyone does magic except the "hero", who's actually a bit of an asshole, the hero doesn't instinctively know how to fight with his amazingly NON-magical sword, and more demolition of the fantasy genre, by the very same people who gave us the Dragonlance railroaded adventures/novels/setting/lunch box. Go figger.


Terminology


Character Creation

  1. Choose a race, and record the starting Powers and DUDEness for that race. The term in parentheses after each race's name is the genus of that race (never mind that the classification system of order, kingdom, family, genus, and species is centuries ahead of its time). Humans can interbreed with just about anything, and have done so (male Humans will do it with anything, given an opportunity). Half-goblinoids have the same traits as their goblinoid parent, but are halfway Human in their appearance, and so are more likely to get the "best case" response to their ostracism, of a mere negative reaction rather than a preemptive ad hoc execution.

    Backwoods Elf: (faerie)
    Powers: Infravision, Beauty, Immortality, Spot Hidden, Stealth, Tracking
    Drawbacks: Iron Allergy, Poor, Ostracised, Soulless
    Starting DUDEness: 1
    Backwoods Elves are those Elves (see "High Elf" below) that rejected frolicing in favor of primitive tribal dances (often in the shapes of squares or lines, performed to banjo music, for some reason), courtly behavior in favor of raucous partying and hard drinking (their "moon-glow" liquers are infamous), and subtle psychological torments of their victims in favor of brute force, violence, and personal violation. Backwoods Elves also take their woodscraft much more seriously than other elves, and often conduct "most dangerous prey" hunts. They prefer the flesh of Pixie-Fairies to all other foods (but then, so do all beings who taste it). Other than those minor quirks, Backwoods Elves work perfectly well with other races, as long as they ain't city slickers too much. Player characters may decide if they have "the taste" for Pixie-Fairies yet or not. The source movies to watch for their culture are Deliverance and Ravenous.

    Dwarf: (dwarven)
    Powers: Infravision, Toughness, Mining, Rich
    Drawbacks: Greed
    Starting DUDEness: 1
    Short and stocky, bearded (yes, females as well as males), often grumpy, and with a racial addiction to GOLD. That's the stereotype applied to all Dwarves. And admittedly, much of it is true, especially the greedy and short parts (the grumpiness may be attributable to Seasonal Affective Disorder from living underground too much). But they are not anti-magical; they prefer the arts of Alchemy to sorcery or religion, but when they do turn to those, their feats are legendary. Nor do they have any more of an ancient grudge against the Elves than anyone else does.

    Gnome: (dwarven)
    Powers: Infravision, Stealth, Rich
    Drawbacks: Greed, Small
    Starting DUDEness: 2
    Gnomes are natural-born financiers, businessmen, and con artists. Their finest art is the "art of the deal", and their strongest curse is "bad for business". As they are all too short to be good warriors, and most are too miserly to buy spell books, most Gnomes are Merchants/Con Artists, but a few roguish outliers go so far as to become Thieves, and some do learn magic or get into the whole religion scam.

    Goblin: (goblinoid/other)
    Powers: Infravision, Stealth, Mining
    Drawbacks: Repulsive (Appearance), Ostracised, Poor, Small
    Starting DUDEness: 3
    Goblins are the result of a demonic spirit possessing a baby of another race, stolen from its crib. They never grow up much beyond the size of a baby, but their distorted form, rough green hide, and evil temperament make them tougher and more dangerous than one might think; as thieves and assassins, especially, they are without peer. The real tragedy in their nature is that they still have moments of babyhood, peering out at the world through grime-rimmed eyes, and many carry stuffed animals, favorite blankets, or a block or two, in addition to their wicked sharp little knives and garottes. Goblins, like all goblinoid races, cannot perform normal magic, instead using dark miracles of their demonic gods. Goblins generally live in small tunnel mazes dug under the towns they were born in, but more and more have been drawn to join up with the Dungeon Lords. Goblins are available as player characters, but are really not recommended.

    Halfling: (dwarven/mannish)
    Powers: Stealth
    Drawbacks: Gluttony, Small
    Starting DUDEness: 3
    Halflings are Human-Dwarf or Human-Gnome halfbreeds - the end result of either is all but indistinguishable, and both kinds of Halflings breed more Halflings. Unlike most halfbreeds, they are tolerated by all parent races as a more or less equal race. Halflings are a fairly docile race by nature, with only a few aggressive rogues (player characters and those like them), so much so that there are rumors that goblinoids keep herds of Halflings as livestock. These are probably just slander, and the fact that the goblinoid word for "Halfling" translates as "Foodbeast", and that they are the only race capable of eating glowfungi, a pure coincidence. Few Halflings ever take up any form of magic, but they are competent enough when they do; they are, of course, master burglars. Why peaceful, contented, docile beings need to be able to sneak about, break into each others' homes, and bash their neighbors over the head with a cosh, is a mystery best left alone.

    Half-Elf: (faerie/mannish)
    Powers: Infravision, Beauty
    Drawbacks: Iron Allergy, Soulless
    Starting DUDEness: 3
    Half-Elves are mostly the result of an Elf Lord "seducing" (i.e. raping) a Human woman and then leaving her to raise the bastard, but occasionally an Elf Lady who "seduces" a Human man will swap the child with a purely Human child, ruining both of the childrens' lives and that of the family who raise the "changeling". Despite their sordid origins, Half-Elves are beautiful and magically powerful, and Humans, being vain and shallow people, will usually tolerate them or even make them near-celebrities. True Elves treat them as the lowest of the low of their own kind, but do treat them as their own kind rather than as "mortals". The down side is that that anyone with even the slightest taint of Elf blood shares their Elven parent's iron allergy and lack of a soul, but they do not share their parent's immortality - they may live a bit longer than Humans, but not by much.

    High Elf: (faerie)
    Powers: Infravision, Beauty, Charming, Immortality
    Drawbacks: Iron Allergy, Ostracised, Soulless
    Starting DUDEness: 2
    First, go read some real fairie tales about Elves, not that Tolkien crap. If you can't find anything else, Terry Pratchett's Lords and Ladies is a little heavy-handed, but explains the real situation perfectly well. No, I'll wait. Go on. Okay, that's what High Elves are like; they're the kind of "people" who think magically compelling someone to dance for three days until they die of exhaustion is the funniest thing in the world. Except that these ones are not trapped in the fairie rings on Dudania, they're loose in the world with everyone else, all the time.

    As in real legends about Elves, they appear to be Humans of unearthly beauty; Elf Lords (the generic term for male Elves) are as much as 30cm (1') taller than Human males, while Elf Ladies (the generic term for female Elves) will range in size from 125cm (4'1") to some as tall as the Elf Lords. They do not have pointed ears, almond-shaped eyes, or any of that bullshit. They have the same colors of skin, hair, and eyes as anyone else, though naturally their skin will be unblemished (which is just plain unnatural in a medieval world), their hair always clean and silky-shiny (but then, they do bathe, unlike most people), and their teeth are white and polished (they brush). If they weren't so perfect they made your heart ache just to see them, you'd mistake them for Human. Think of an airbrushed Playboy model or the equivalent in men (male runway models or something). They look better than that, for real, with no effort or makeup or special effects.

    Elves live in their own magically-built cities, which they have had all eternity to design, sculpt, and maintain, so they appear perfect and as heart-wrenchingly beautiful as the Elves themselves. Whether it's a forest city formed from living trees planted and encouraged to grow together in the right pattern, a plains city of glass and spires, a city floating on a lake or river, or a mountain city formed by controlled dripping of water over millennia, their cities reflect their nature - vain, amazing, powerful, and utterly self-centered.

    One important point about Elves is that they have no soul. While they are immortal, when they do die, they die forever. And they are incredibly bad at creating new works of art; they can perform music, paint, or sculpt better than even the greatest Human masters, but they can never create a truly new work. The best they have is "subcreation", fiddling with the details of something created by someone else. This is the style of creation of most fanfic, for instance. Those beautiful cities? Designed initially by Human slaves. The songs they sing, with voices that put nightengales to shame? Written by Human bards held prisoner for the rest of their brief lives, their art stolen by the Beautiful People.

    They've come to a certain modus vivendi with the other races, a truce of the form "we won't torture and kill too many of you, and you let us live, and anyway, aren't we beautiful?". The "good folk" are called that out of fear and respect for their deadliness, not because they're good. And just how deadly are they? Well, player character High Elves start with a low DUDEness, but Elves live forever if they're not killed. Forever is a very long time to accumulate as many white chips, get as high a DUDEness, and get as many Powers as they want. And oh, do they want.

    Player character Elves are presumed to be Elflings, mere children of a century or less, and if shown what decency and virtue are, may even grow up (in a few centuries) to not be complete psychopaths like most of their race. Pity that most such end up in adventuring parties, where such virtues are more or less nonexistent.


    Hobgoblin or Half-Hob: (goblinoid or goblinoid/mannish)
    Powers: Infravision, Toughness, Strength
    Drawbacks: Repulsive (Appearance), Ostracised
    Starting DUDEness: 2
    Hobgoblins are visibly related in some way to Goblins, but as Goblins are not produced naturally and do not grow up, the connection is unclear. Hobs are as large as the largest possible Humans - 2-2.75m tall (6'6"-9'), 130-400kg (300-900 lbs), and very bad-tempered. Hobgoblins traditionally get Goblin allies to dig larger tunnel complexes for them, or live aboveground in their own crude villages or ones constructed by other races and then "cleared" by the Hobs. Hobgblins and Half-Hobs, like all goblinoid races, cannot perform normal magic, instead using dark miracles of their demonic gods. Many Hobgoblins now work for the Dungeon Lords. Half-Hobs are reasonable player characters, while Hobgoblins are not recommended.

    Human: (mannish)
    Powers: none
    Drawbacks: none
    Starting DUDEness: 3
    Humans have two arms, a torso, two legs, a head (beards on men, not on the women), two eyes (rounded or slanted, single pupil), a mouth (omnivorous teeth), two ears (rounded), ten fingers (no claws), and ten thousand years of history of killing, torturing, maiming, and generally being extremely crappy to anyone who is different from them. They're really very good at it. If you had to pick one race to be the all-time champion bastards of the world, Humans are it.

    That said, they're not always that way. That's probably the worst of it - they can be gentle, decent, creative, and heroic when the mood strikes them. They talk endlessly about the equality and natural brotherhood (sometimes sisterhood, too) of the races. And then they turn around and have another crusade, killing thousands or millions. This inconsistency holds true for individuals as well as the race - members of other races tend to be very similar to each other, while Humans produce everything from Nobles to True Order Naturalists. They're almost certainly mad, but they're so numerous now that the other races have to just humor them and learn to recognize the "psychic weather" and flee before they have another pogrom.


    Orc: (orcish)
    Powers: Hold Breath, Infravision, Swimming
    Drawbacks: Ostracised, Thick-Fingered
    Starting DUDEness: 2
    Orcs are a semi-aquatic race of humanoid mammals (go look it up in the original mythology), with heavyset, hairless, streamlined bodies, smooth, nearly-featureless faces, and mouths full of razor-sharp teeth. Their skin comes in a variety of shades or large spots of white, blue, or black. Their fingers and feet are thickly webbed, which makes it difficult for them to do precision work. The closest similarity would be to humanoid Orcas (Orcas were named after the same mythological creature). If they stretched out fully, they might be slightly taller than Humans, but they hunch over when standing on land. They are actually fairly "cute", in the same way that dolphins and other cetaceans are, but coastal Humans still despise them for competing with their fishing. Their young males are also as horny as male dolphins, and being more physically compatible with Humans means that Human males are often pissed off at them for fooling around with Human females (no children can result from these dalliances); since Orc females are partially responsible for "mermaid" legends, there may be some hypocrisy there. The typical Human accusations are that Orcs are brigands and pirates (they do overturn fishing boats sometimes, especially ones that catch Orcs in their nets, but they don't usually harass other kinds of ships), eat children (don't be ridiculous - they almost exclusively eat fish), and kidnap and rape Human women (actually, it's usually consensual on both sides).

    Orcs live mostly in the seas and shoreline caves, but can survive anywhere there is a steady source of water. They must fully immerse themselves in water at least twice a day or their skin will dry out painfully. They normally gather in small "pods" of a dozen or so. Orcs can perform miracles by praying to their water god, the Great White Whale, and a few have learned magic. Orcs make perfectly fine player characters, if you can deal with the bigotry.


    Pixie-Faerie: (faerie)
    Powers: Infravision, Flight, Beauty
    Drawbacks: Poor, Small, Weakness, Iron Allergy, Soulless
    Starting DUDEness: 3
    Pixie-Fairies appear to be 10-20cm (4"-8") tall Elves with glittering insect-like wings (the wings do grow back if damaged, by the way). They infest many woods, almost like intelligent mosquitos that steal and play pranks rather than merely sucking blood. They make tiny little villages deep inside thorn hedges, and seem by all accounts to be civilized. While they are pranksters, their tricks are almost never fatal, unlike the Elves. Pixie-Fairies can be player characters if the player is a sad, wet, over-sensitive dweeb (the other players must vote on this in the would-be dweeb's presence). Be warned, though, that Pixie-Fairy meat is considered a delicacy by almost everyone who tastes it; it is actually addictive, and once hooked, a character must eat a whole Pixie-Fairy every month or lose 1 DUDEness.

    Troll or Half-Troll: (trollish or trollish/mannish)
    Powers: Infravision, Toughness, Strength, Big, Iron Stomach
    Drawbacks: Repulsive (Appearance), Ostracised, Poor, Stupid
    Starting DUDEness: 2
    Trolls are not made out of stone, contrary to myth. Instead, they appear to be some kind of intelligent plant, perhaps a Venus Flytrap that got even more active. They appear more or less humanoid, though their number of limbs, eyes, and so on can vary wildly, as they take damage and grow new parts back. They range from Human-sized to larger than Hobgoblins. Fire is no more harmful to living Trolls than anyone else (ever try burning green wood?), and their tough hide is nearly impossible to cut through. Their toughness, their rapid (but not magical) healing rate, and their common religious training are presumably what led to the legends of regeneration (actually, it comes from Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, but this is the explanation in the setting). If you were wondering how Half-Trolls can happen, go watch the movie Swamp Thing; some Humans have extremely weird fetishes, and Trolls have their own reasons: if just talking to a plant makes it grow faster, just think how fast they'd grow with THAT stimulus!

    Trolls are just too dumb to be capable of casting normal magic, and while most consider gods to be just something too big and powerful to eat, they are capable of worship and performing miracles.

    Trolls are astoundingly patient (being plants, they just shove their rootfeet into the ground, preferably near water, and wait), and like attacking from ambush - the infamous "trol brij - yer moNy r yer liif" extortion scheme is not just a badly-spelled cliché, it's a deadly reality to travellers everywhere (though they can usually be bought off with just a few gold, not all of your money). They also love starting arguments, and their simplistic debating style is actually very effective - they simply veer randomly around the topic, with total disregard for logical debate, occasionally making ad hominem attacks (literally or figuratively) to liven things up. If you can get multiple Trolls arguing with each other, only physical violence or hunger will get them to stop. It is said by many that the Dungeon Lord Yecnad Nayr is but an overgrown troll with delusions of competence.

    Players willing and able to role-play such a character are free to do so.

    The starting DUDEness was calculated as: (5 + drawbacks - powers) / 2, rounding down.


  2. Choose a character class, and record the starting Powers and Drawbacks for that class. A character may only take a given class if it is listed for its race on the table below.
                     ___________________Class___________________ 
     _____Race______|Alc_Bar_Fig_Mer_Nat_Nob_Pal_Pri_Ran_Thi_Wiz|
    |Backwoods Elf  | N   ?   Y   N   N   Y   N   N   *   Y   Y |
    |Dwarf          | Y   N   *   Y   N   N   Y   Y   N   Y   ? |
    |Gnome          | ?   N   ?   *   N   N   ?   ?   N   ?   ? |
    |Goblin         | N   N   ?   N   N   N   N   Y   N   *   N |
    |Half-Elf       | N   ?   Y   Y   N   Y   N   N   Y   Y   * |
    |Half-Hob       | N   N   *   N   N   N   Y   Y   Y   Y   N |
    |Half-Troll     | N   N   *   N   N   N   Y   Y   Y   Y   N |
    |Halfling       | ?   Y   Y   Y   ?   N   ?   ?   Y   *   ? |
    |High Elf       | N   ?   Y   Y   N   *   N   N   Y   Y   Y |
    |Hobgoblin      | N   N   *   N   N   Y   Y   Y   Y   Y   N |
    |Human          | Y   Y   Y   Y   Y   Y   Y   Y   Y   Y   Y |
    |Orc            | N   Y   Y   N   N   N   *   Y   Y   N   Y |
    |Pixie-Faerie   | N   ?   Y   N   N   Y   N   N   Y   Y   Y |
    |Troll          | N   N   Y   N   N   N   Y   Y   Y   Y   N |
    |_______________|___________________________________________|
    
    N = Not Possible, no matter how special your background is.  No, forget it.
    ? = Possible with the Unique Background Power and sucking up to the Dealer.
    Y = Reasonable.
    * = The most common class for that race.
    

    Alchemist:
    Powers: Alchemy, Literacy, Magic Item, Magic Item, Weapons: Light
    Drawbacks: Weakness
    Additional Powers: 1
    Alchemists are those who practice alchemy: the alteration and transmutation of substances. These are the characters who actually produce magic items. Depending on the individual and the magical tradition they were taught, they may do their work with a forge, through mystic sigils, or bizarre chemical processes.

    Bard:
    Powers: Armor: Light, Enchanting Music, Literacy, Pick Locks, Spot Hidden, Stealth, Weapons: Light
    Additional Powers: 0
    Bards are musicians (and you know what kind of low-life scum most of them are!), professional gossips, jacks-of-all-trades, and often thieves. They often carry the news, mail, and your silverware from town to town, and are welcomed by the news-starved and pawn brokers everywhere.

    Fighter:
    Powers: Armor: All, Horse, Strength OR Toughness (player's choice), Weapons: All
    Additional Powers: 1
    Most fighters were soldiers, mercenaries, or thugs at one point, and are likely to be any of those in the future. Their skill with weapons and armor, and their callous disregard for life, all but guarantee them employment until they slow down from old age, and then a sudden, violent death.

    Merchant/Con Artist:
    Powers: Charming, Horse, Literacy, Magic Item, Rich, Willpower
    Drawbacks: Gluttony, Greed
    Additional Powers: 2
    The stereotypical fantasy merchant is fat, rich, charming, and untrustworthy. You, alas, are entirely typical of the breed (though perhaps not fat yet, if you're still young), but your scams and schemes finally caught up with you, and you were forced to flee with but a few chests of gold and other minor assets. While it is perhaps late in your life to take up a career as an adventurer, it seems to be the only way left for you to gain the power and finances to avenge yourself, or just return to your former manner of living.

    True Order Naturalists:
    Powers: Cast Spells: Lesser, Perform Miracles: Lesser, Toughness, Tracking, Weapons: Holy
    Drawbacks: Holy Vows (Nikfir Ymerej), Poor
    Additional Powers: 1
    The Naturalists are an ancient religion based on the worship of nature and the natural state. See "Reformed Naturalists" for full details. True Order Naturalists may not wear clothes or use any tool more advanced than the late stone age, and they cut their thumbs off at adulthood as a rite of passage. They live as hermits or in small family or cult groups, gathering only for high holy days. One good thing that can be said for True Order Naturalists over the Orthodox branch, though, is that they do believe in bathing - in icy mountain streams.

    Orthodox Naturalists:
    Powers: Cast Spells: Lesser, Hold Breath, Perform Miracles: Lesser, Tracking, Weapons: Holy
    Drawbacks: Holy Vows (Notnilc Mailliw), Repulsive (Odor)
    Additional Powers: 1
    The Naturalists are an ancient religion based on the worship of nature and the natural state. See "Reformed Naturalists" for full details. Orthodox Naturalists may wear a single robe, and may use any tool that contains no metal (metal-working being a violation of the natural order by their dogma, and besides, they got into the whole technology thing a bit late and are still pissed off about it - "It's just a fad, dude, it'll pass..."). They live as hermits or in small family or cult groups, gathering only for high holy days. Orthos unfortunately believe that bathing impurifies you, and they soak themselves in patchouli oil in between their mandatory annual baths. Because of their odor, they have practiced going hours without inhaling; if forced into water or noxious gasses, they can remain active.

    Reformed Naturalists:
    Powers: Armor: Light, Cast Spells: Lesser, Perform Miracles: Lesser, Weapons: Light
    Drawbacks: Holy Vows (Yrael Ythomit)
    Additional Powers: 1
    The Naturalists are an ancient religion based on the worship of nature and the natural state. "Reformed Naturalists", unlike the previous two groups, may wear normal clothing and even armor, use modern technology (like steel swords and crossbows!), and they also have towns of their own, and are even willing to live in cities, so long as they can go to the wilderness every weekend; for this reason, the other branches call them "Weekend Worshippers". Because they can gather for defense, wear armor, and use decent weapons in times of war, Reformed Naturalists are a fairly common religion, while the first two branches have been all but annihilated. Most player character Naturalists should be Reformed, as they're the least unplayably insane.

    All three branches (and any twigs splinters off-shoots variants) make extensive use of "recreational" herbs and mushrooms, and the policy of "free love" certainly draws the crowds to their services. Naturalists have no priests as such, merely "wise dudes and honeys" (don't look at me that way, that's how these '60s reject motherfuckers talk!) who are "really deep, man..." Some of these wise dudes/honeys end up wandering the world, either lost in a hallucinogenic daze or because they are all fired up to save the world. The other major difference between Naturalists and other religions is that they do not persecute wizards, and incorporate sorcery into their rituals, so all of their wise dudes know both kinds of magic (so starting Naturalists have 3× their DUDEness in blue chips).


    Noble:
    Powers: Horse, Weapons: Light, Armor: Light, Literacy, Rich
    Additional Powers: 2
    Feudalism is the political theory that the strong should protect the weak in exchange for the obedience and taxes of the weak. In practice, this means that the warlord "nobility" act any way except noble, while pressing the peasantry to hard labor, or using them as cannon fodder in an endless series of wars against other warlords. A Noble character is probably a younger son of a warlord, sent off to "adventure" in the hopes that he will die in some horrible way and so be unable to contest the throne later in life. Alternately, a Noble character could be a warlord's daughter who has fled from a life of arranged political marriage, multiple childbirths, and eventually death during childbirth.

    Paladin:
    Powers: Armor: All, Literacy, Perform Miracles: Lesser, Strength OR Toughness (player's choice), Weapons: Holy
    Drawbacks: Holy Vows
    Additional Powers: 1 (usually used for Horse)
    Paladins are priests who are trained for battle, somewhat at the expense of their religious training. Most are rigidly intolerant of whatever their religion has declared to be "evil", utterly unwilling to question their relgious devotions, and nearly psychotic in warfare. A Paladin character could certainly be one like that, entering the dungeons to slay "evil", or could be a Paladin who has begun having doubts after putting the torch to yet another village of otherwise peaceful Hobgoblin families. All but 10 gp (at most) of their money must be used for equipment.

    Priest:
    Powers: Perform Miracles: Greater, Literacy, Weapons: Holy
    Drawbacks: Holy Vows
    Additional Powers: 1
    The priesthood is about two things: expanding the power of their church, and serving their god, in that order - after all, they rationalize, they cannot serve their god unless the church is strong. The other constant in almost all religions is the denunciation of sorcery, as it could be a rival power. That said, not all Priests are obsessed with political power. Many naive younger Priests are actually concerned with fighting "evil" and helping others, and may even be willing to tolerate infidels as long as they are also working for a good cause (giving the priest hope of converting them), and it is presumed to be from this category that player characters will come.

    Ranger:
    Powers: Armor: Light, Spot Hidden, Stealth, Tracking, Weapons: All
    Drawbacks: Poor
    Additional Powers: 1
    Rangers range from back-woods banjo-playing hicks, to serious foresters, hunters, trappers, and guides, to princes with broken swords who just like wandering around in the mud and slumming with halflings. As such, they have an enormous variation in motives and interests, but many are angered by the dungeon monsters despoiling the wilderness, which is their hunting and trapping grounds!

    Thief:
    Powers: Armor: Light, Climb, Disarm Traps, Pick Locks, Pick Pockets, Spot Hidden, Stealth, Weapons: Light
    Drawbacks: Ostracised
    Additional Powers: 0
    I'm just an honest businessman, officer, why do you ask? Hey, they weren't using it. Think of it as redistribution of wealth. But I have three children to feed! Who, me? I'm... one of the night cleaning staff! Yes, that's it exactly. Excuse me, but is the garotte too tight? Is this better? Putting locks on doors is just daring me to break in; why do they persist in it? All right, you got me, it's a fair cop, but society's really to blame, innit?

    Wizard/Witch:
    Powers: Cast Spells: Greater, Familiar, Literacy, Weapons: Light, Willpower
    Drawbacks: Ostracised
    Additional Powers: 0
    Wizards and Witches (men and women, if that wasn't clear) are the damned and accursed (at least, legally) who have dared to learn the secrets of magic. For this crime against nature and the commands of the gods (through their only voice, the churches), they are exiled from decent communities. Few warlords have ever been willing to face excommunication and a crusade for the marginal benefit of a court Wizard on the battlefield, and the ones who were so willing, were quickly crushed. Thus, many establish weird strongholds, isolated towers, or magical caves in remote areas, but many others join up with other outcasts and rejects - adventurers, in other words. In any case, they all need the treasure and magic items the dungeons are legendary for.

    Additional Powers was calculated as (7 + drawbacks - powers) / 2, rounding up, counting Weapons/Armor: All as 2, Cast Spells/Perform Miracles: Lesser as 2, CS/PM: Greater as 4, and all others as 1.


  3. Select one personal Drawback, if you want.


  4. Select additional Powers with the "Additional Powers" points as given by the class, at the costs listed in Powers below. If you took an additional Drawback, you have one additional Power point. Alternately, characters may trade one Power point for one additional DUDEness, one time only. If a character receives the same Power twice from Race and Class, the extra may be traded in for additional Power points.


  5. Select a patron god, and record any benefits that god gives its followers.


  6. All characters start with 100 gp, multiplied by the Rich Power and Poor Drawback and the clothes on their backs. All further equipment must be purchased.


  7. Start in Ren Town, near the dungeon of Yecnad Nayr.


DUDEness

DUDEness represents a character's level of experience in DUDEhack. There is no upper limit on DUDEness in DUDEhack, either - a 20 DUDEness Player or Boss has a hand of 20 cards! Yow!

In addition, Players and Bosses (but not Extras) with a DUDEness in excess of 10 add the points over 10 to their totals in all actions - so if a 15 DUDEness Player plays a 6, the total is [6 + 5 =] 11; if the Player plays a Queen and draws a 9, the total is [3 + 9 + 5 =] 17!


Powers

Note that characters cannot use any weapons or armor unless they have the appropriate Weapons or Armor power.

Weapons (except Holy), Armor, Cast Spells, or Perform Miracles may be upgraded, by trading in the cost of the one you have to get a better one (so upgrading from Cast Spells: Lesser to Cast Spells: Greater costs 2 points). Otherwise, you may not sell off Powers. No character except a Naturalist can have both Cast Spells and Perform Miracles; Wizardry is in opposition to the laws of all other religions.

Other than that, there are almost no restrictions on specific races or classes taking or improving any Power. Wizards/Witches, for instance, can improve to Weapons: All, or buy Armor: Light, or whatever they like. Any Power with "cost N/A" cannot be purchased, it can only be acquired as part of the racial package.

As usual, additional Powers may be invented.

Armor: All (cost 2)
Armor: Light (cost 1)
Beauty (cost 1)
Big (cost 1)
Cast Spells: Greater (cost 4)
Cast Spells: Lesser (cost 2)
Charming (cost 1)
Climb (cost 1)
Disarm Traps (cost 1)
Enchanting Music (cost 1)
Familiar (cost 1)
Flight (cost N/A)
Hold Breath (cost N/A)
Horse (cost 1)
Immortality (cost N/A)
Infravision (cost N/A)
Iron Stomach (cost N/A)
Literacy (cost 1)
Magic Item (cost 1)
Mining (cost 1)
Perform Miracles: Greater (cost 4)
Perform Miracles: Lesser (cost 2)
Pick Locks (cost 1)
Pick Pockets (cost 1)
Rich (cost 1)
Spot Hidden (cost 1)
Stealth (cost 1)
Strength (cost 1)
Swimming (cost 1)
Toughness (cost 1)
Tracking (cost 1)
Unique Background (cost 1)
Weapons: All (cost 2)
Weapons: Holy (cost N/A)
Weapons: Light (cost 1)
Willpower (cost 1)
Power: Alchemy (cost 2) Type: Magic Skill
Act. Time: varies, 1 hour to years Range: touch
Blue Chips: varies Duration: permanent
Diff.: varies Area: one item
Description: The character may create new magic items. The rituals to create magic items can range from brief (hours-long rituals) to extremely long-duration (years, decades, or centuries), the materials from common household supplies (who doesn't have "eye of newt" handy?) to esoteric (a hubcap from a '67 Mercury Charger?!?). The ritual may require the short-term expenditure of blue chips, a longer-term expenditure of white chips, material or living sacrifices, or even the "permanent" expenditure of DUDEness, even (of course, you can recover it with white chips). No goblinoid or trollish character can have this power.

Power: Armor: All (cost 2) Type: Skill
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character may wear any kind of armor.

Power: Armor: Light (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character may wear any armor labelled "light" on the armor table.

Power: Beauty (cost 1) Type: Physical Trait
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character gets a positive initial reaction from anyone of mannish or faerie genus.

Power: Big (cost 1) Type: Physical Trait
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: Character has a longer reach, moves faster, does +1 damage on all melee attacks, and always attacks first in melee, due to the longer reach.

Power: Cast Spells: Greater (cost 4) Type: Magic Skill
Act. Time: 1 hour per spell level Range: reading
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: permanent
Diff.: 8 from scroll, 6 from book Area: N/A
Description: The character may learn and use all magic spells. The activation time and such are to learn a new spell from a scroll or magic book. A character with CS:G can have (and starts with) an additional 2× as many blue chips as their DUDEness (for a total of 3×), may learn all spells, and starts with two first-level spells of their choice. No goblinoid or trollish character can have this power.

Power: Cast Spells: Lesser (cost 2) Type: Magic Skill
Act. Time: 2 hours per level Range: reading
Blue Chips: 2 Duration: permanent
Diff.: 10 from scroll, 8 from book Area: N/A
Description: The character may learn and use magic spells of levels 1-3 only. The activation time and such are to learn a new spell from a scroll or magic book. A character with CS:L can have (and starts with) an additional 1× as many blue chips as their DUDEness (for a total of 2×), may never have more spells of each spell level than their DUDEness, and starts with one first-level spell of their choice. No goblinoid or trollish character can have this power.

Power: Charming (cost 1) Type: Talent
Act. Time: 0 Range: speech
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 10 minutes
Diff.: opposed Area: all listeners
Description: The character could sell freezers to Eskimos, charm the skin off a snake, and lie their way out of almost anything. Spend a blue chip, and make an opposed task check against the DUDEness of each target; any you beat will believe anything you tell them, tell you anything you ask for, and do anything you tell them, as long as it seems even remotely plausible, until the duration ends. When it does, if they did anything they will regret, they may be extremely angry; if they got a more or less fair deal, they will rationalize it with little or no animosity.

Power: Climb (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 0 Range: touch
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: varies Area: one climbable surface
Description: The character can climb all but the sheerest and slickest surfaces, even without any climbing tools. The difficulty is 6 with tools on most surfaces, 8 without tools.

Power: Disarm Traps (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 3 turns Range: touch
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: permanent
Diff.: varies Area: one trap
Description: The character can try to disarm a trap that has been spotted. The difficulty is the DUDEness of the character who set the trap in the first place. If the task fails, the trap goes off and automatically hits the character.

Power: Enchanting Music (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 1 minute Range: hearing
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 6-15 minutes
Diff.: opposed Area: hearing
Description: The character plays a special, magical kind of music, and all within hearing range may be entranced for a number of minutes equal to the card played in the task, if they lose the opposed task check (i.e. Bosses and player characters must play a higher card than the musician, while Extras are entranced if their DUDEness is less than the musician's card). Entranced characters cannot do anything except listen to the music which is now playing in their heads. If they are attacked, they will awaken, but will remember nothing that happened while they were entranced. Soulless characters can have this Power, but always use the same song, while characters with soul can turn any song into Enchanting Music, or write one on the fly.

Power: Familiar (cost 1) Type: Magical Companion
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: N/A Duration: permanent
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character has a familiar, an animal which has been possessed by a demonic spirit. The familiar is completely loyal. It can receive telepathic commands from its owner at any range, and the owner can telepathically "borrow" the familiar's senses, seeing, hearing, and so on whatever the familiar senses. It can also assist in spellcasting, giving the owner a number of additional blue chips equal to 1× their DUDEness (so a character with Cast Spells: Greater and Familiar has 4× their DUDEness in blue chips: 1× normally, + 2× from CS:G, + 1× from Familiar).

The familiar is very tough for an animal, having a DUDEness of 3. All of these benefits are deactivated if the familiar is knocked unconscious, and they are lost and the owner permanently loses one point of DUDEness and this Power if the familiar is killed. The Power can be purchased again with white chips and the performance of the summoning ritual, however, and the owner will always get the same demonic spirit back, even in a different body (though it may retain habits of the former body).


Power: Flight (cost N/A) Type: Natural Ability
Act. Time: 0 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: permanent
Diff.: varies Area: N/A
Description: The character has little bitty wings and can flutter along at the same speed that other characters walk automatically; dodging an incoming attack or fluttering in someone's face as a distraction (which breaks activation times!) requires a difficulty 6 task. Flying characters do not take falling damage.

Power: Hold Breath (cost N/A) Type: Trait
Act. Time: 1 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 1 hour
Diff.: automatic Area: self
Description: The character can hold its breath for an hour per blue chip spent on this power, and still perform at peak activity. Thus, if the character has even a moment's preparation time, it can go for hours without inhaling.

Power: Horse (cost 1) Type: Starting Equipment
Act. Time: 0 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character begins the game with a horse (or other mount - Pixie-Faeries use fairie moths), of any type desired. The horse comes with a saddle, reins, saddlebags, and leather-and-plate barding of armor value 5, if desired. The horse is fairly intelligent, and knows a number of commands equal to the character's DUDEness.

Power: Immortality (cost N/A) Type: Natural Ability
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: permanent
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character will live forever, barring accidents, and does not normally age after adulthood. Hardship or stress will make the character look older, but the character will return to a youthful appearance in better times.

Power: Infravision (cost N/A) Type: Natural Ability
Act. Time: N/A Range: line of sight
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 1 hour
Diff.: automatic Area: N/A
Description: The character can see in darkness almost as well as one could by full daylight, but sees degrees of heat instead of colors. Equal-temperature objects are not easily distinguished, but if they have different textures that will be visible (so a zombie standing next to a dungeon wall can be seen, for instance).

Power: Iron Stomach (cost N/A) Type: Natural Ability
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character can eat anything organic, and is never poisoned or diseased by food. If the character deliberately eats infected or poisonous foods, its bite will convey that disease or poison, just like a Komodo Dragon.

Power: Literacy (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: N/A Range: reading
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character is one of the lucky few in the world who can both read and write. Literacy is necessary to read spell scrolls and spell books, naturally.

Power: Magic Item (cost 1) Type: Starting Equipment
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: N/A Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character has a single low-level magic item at the start of the game, chosen by the Dealer.

Power: Mining (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 10 minutes Range: touch
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: permanent
Diff.: N/A Area: varies
Description: The character can dig a 2m wide by 2m tall tunnel through 3m of dirt or 1m of stone or rock. Requires a shovel or pick, which any character with this Power starts out with for free.

Power: Perform Miracles: Greater (cost 4) Type: Holy Skill
Act. Time: 1 hour per miracle level Range: reading
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: permanent
Diff.: 8 from scroll, 6 from bible Area: N/A
Description: The character may learn and use all priestly miracles. The activation time and such are to learn a new miracle from a scroll or bible. A character with PM:G can have (and starts with) an additional 2× as many blue chips as their DUDEness (for a total of 3×), may learn all miracles, and starts with 2 first-level miracles of choice. Soulless characters can NEVER have this Power.

Power: Perform Miracles: Lesser (cost 2) Type: Holy Skill
Act. Time: 2 hours per miracle level Range: reading
Blue Chips: 2 Duration: permanent
Diff.: 10 from scroll, 8 from bible Area: N/A
Description: The character may learn and use priestly miracles of levels 1-3 only. The activation time and such are to learn a new miracle from a scroll or bible. A character with PM:L can have (and starts with) an additional 1× as many blue chips as their DUDEness (for a total of 2×), may never have more miracles of each spell level than their DUDEness, and starts with one first-level miracle of their choice. Soulless characters can NEVER have this Power.

Power: Pick Locks (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 2 turns Range: touch
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: instant
Diff.: varies Area: one lock
Description: The character can try to pick any lock. The difficulty is the DUDEness of the character who designed the lock in the first place. If the task fails, the character cannot figure out the lock until it has increased its DUDEness; worse, if there was a trap on the lock, the trap goes off and automatically hits the character.

Power: Pick Pockets (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 0 Range: touch
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: instant
Diff.: opposed Area: one victim
Description: The character can attempt to lift an object from another character's person without the victim realizing it, if they can succeed at an opposed task.

Power: Rich (cost 1) Type: Starting Equipment
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: N/A Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character starts with 4× as much money as usual.

Power: Spot Hidden (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 0 Range: line of sight/hearing
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: instant
Diff.: varies Area: N/A
Description: The character can spot hidden doors, concealed or invisible objects or people, and spot or hear characters using Stealth. Against a Stealthy character, an opposed task must be made. Against all others, the difficulty is whatever the Director says, usually 6.

Power: Stealth (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 0 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: 10 minutes
Diff.: varies Area: N/A
Description: The character can move silently and use cover, camouflage, and shadows to remain or move unseen. The difficulty is 6 if stationary and in good conditions for it, 8 if moving OR in bad conditions, and 10 if moving AND in bad conditions. Once it has been established, the character only needs to make another task check when conditions change, if someone with Spot Hidden is around, or when the duration runs out.

Power: Strength (cost 1) Type: Natural Ability
Act. Time: 0 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 10 minutes
Diff.: 6 Area: N/A
Description: The character can use a burst of superhuman strength to lift and carry enormous objects, move stuck doors, and do additional damage in melee combat equal to the character's DUDEness!

Power: Swimming (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 0 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: varies Area: N/A
Description: The character can automatically stay afloat in water and swim as fast as most characters can walk. With a task check, a character can swim as fast as a run, dive 2m per turn, or swim underwater or during a storm.

Power: Toughness (cost 1) Type: Natural Ability
Act. Time: 0 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 10 minutes
Diff.: 6 Area: N/A
Description: The character gets a number of points of natural armor equal to half the character's DUDEness (round up), any current diseases or poisons are neutralized, and the character cannot be infected or poisoned until the duration ends.

Power: Tracking (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: 3 turns Range: nearby
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: 10 minutes
Diff.: 6 Area: trackable terrain
Description: The character can find, follow, and identify tracks if it is at all possible in that terrain (dusty dungeons: yes, running water: no, etc.).

Power: Unique Background (cost 1) Type: Background, Unique
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: N/A Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character has a weird background that provides an advantage over the others (weird backgrounds that disadvantage the character cost nothing). This is primarily used to allow a character to take a class that is discouraged for their race.

Power: Weapons: All (cost 2) Type: Skill
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character knows how to use any kind of melee or ranged weapon.

Power: Weapons: Holy (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character knows how to use all melee and ranged weapons approved of by the character's god. Characters who have this Power may not upgrade it to Weapons: All.

Power: Weapons: Light (cost 1) Type: Skill
Act. Time: N/A Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 0 Duration: N/A
Diff.: N/A Area: N/A
Description: The character knows how to use all melee and ranged weapons labelled "light" on the weapons chart.

Power: Willpower (cost 1) Type: Natural Ability
Act. Time: 0 Range: N/A
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 10 minutes
Diff.: 6 Area: N/A
Description: If successful, the character is immune to mind control, emotion control, fear, or confusion powers (and throws off the effects of any such when the Power is activated).


Drawbacks

As usual, additional Drawbacks may be invented.

Gluttony
Greed
Holy Vows
Iron Allergy
Ostracised
Poor
Repulsive
Small
Stupid
Thick-Fingered
Weakness
Drawback: Gluttony Type: Psychological
Description: The character is drawn to eat fine foods and drinks as often as possible, and must make a difficulty 6 task when in the presence of rich, yummy, tempting food. If the character succeeds, it can resist temptation for 10 minutes. If it fails, it must devote all attention to getting the food and eating it.

Drawback: Greed Type: Psychological
Description: The character is drawn to acquire wealth at any risk, and must make a difficulty 6 task when in the presence of valuables. If the character succeeds, it can resist temptation for 10 minutes. If it fails, it must devote all attention to acquring and counting the valuables.

Drawback: Holy Vows Type: Psychological
Description: The character is restricted by devoted holy vows to a god, and cannot violate that god's strictures or taboos, or use weapons not approved of by the god. Each time they do, they are gradually stripped of their ability to Perform Miracles: first they drop from Greater to Lesser (and losing any miracles in excess of their DUDEness per miracle level), then from Lesser to none (losing all miracles), then losing a white chip every time they do it. There is no way to get rid of Holy Vows once a character has taken them; they BELONG to their gods...

Drawback: Iron Allergy Type: Physical
Description: Faerie races are harmed by the touch of iron. The character takes 1 additional damage per successful hit from iron weapons, and 1 damage per minute from contact with iron. Armor never stops iron allergy damage of either kind. As a slight compensation, though, any race with Iron Allergy also gets 2 additional blue chips.

Drawback: No Hands Type: Physical
Description: The character has no hands, and cannot use tools in any way, and cannot have the Armor, Disarm Traps, Pick Locks, Pick Pockets, or Weapons powers.

Drawback: Ostracised Type: Social
Description: The character is not welcomed by at least one community or race - half-goblinoids are not welcome among non-goblinoids, but often rise to high position among their own kind, due to the heightened intelligence and increased viciousness of their Human heritage, Thieves are unwelcome by the forces of law and order anywhere their profession is known, but are expected in the criminal underworld, while Wizards and Witches are persecuted by religious leaders everywhere. At best, the character will get a negative reaction, while at worst, the character will be attacked on sight.

Drawback: Poor Type: Starting Equipment
Description: The character starts with one-quarter the usual amount of money.

Drawback: Repulsive Type: Physical
Description: The character gets a negative initial reaction from anyone of mannish, dwarven, or faerie genus, for appearance, odor, or some other factor. Goblinoid races may or may not welcome the character (even Goblins have some sense of style).

Drawback: Small Type: Physical
Description: The character cannot reach high shelves, cannot have Strength or Big, takes +1 additional damage from all attacks, and attacks last in melee due to short reach.

Drawback: Soulless Type: Spiritual
Description: The character was born without a soul, and when it dies, it dies forever. Soulless characters cannot be resurrected from the dead (though their corpses may immediately be raised as zombies, without the 3-day waiting period of souled corpses), and cannot perform miracles - the gods consider them utterly valueless.

Drawback: Stupid Type: Physical
Description: The character is dumber than a sack of hammers, and must make a difficulty 6 task to do anything clever or come up with a usable plan (i.e. even if the player conceives it, make the task or it gets vetoed, and no sneaky telling the other players about it!), and cannot have Casts Spells (but can have Perform Miracles, as intelligence is far from a prerequisite to worship), and if the character takes Literacy, only the simplest reading and writing is possible.

Drawback: Thick-Fingered Type: Physical
Description: The character cannot perform fine manipulation, and cannot have the Disarm Traps, Pick Locks, or Pick Pockets powers. Making basic handicrafts and holding weapons and other items is still possible.

Drawback: Weakness Type: Physical
Description: The character takes +1 damage from all melee attacks, cannot have Strength, and always loses in strength contests to those who do not have Weakness.


Equipment


Magic

See the Cast Spells Powers above.
Power: Fiat Lux Type: Magic Spell
Activation Time: 0 Range: touch
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: 1 year
Difficulty: automatic Area of Effect: up to 30m radius
Description: Whatever the caster touches next will glow, as bright as daylight, for the next year.

Power: First Aid Type: Magic Spell
Activation Time: 1 Range: touch
Blue Chips: 2 Duration: instant
Difficulty: automatic Area of Effect: 1 target
Description: Heals 1 point of damage - target (which may be the caster) discards one red chip.

Power: Radar Type: Magic Spell
Activation Time: 0 Range: self
Blue Chips: 1+ Duration: instant
Difficulty: automatic Area of Effect: 100m radius per blue chip spent
Description: The caster knows the location and genus of all beings or higher animals (anything with a spinal cord) within the area who have a DUDEness less than or equal to that of the caster.

Power: Spidey Sense Type: Magic Spell
Activation Time: 1 Range: 3m
Blue Chips: 2 Duration: 10 minutes
Difficulty: automatic Area of Effect: self
Description: The caster can make a task check with a difficulty of 6 to detect any trap or ambush moments before it strikes, and so immediately gets one turn of action to respond.

Power: Tear Gas Type: Magic Spell
Activation Time: 1 Range: 30m
Blue Chips: 2 Duration: 10 minutes
Difficulty: 6 Area of Effect: 10m radius
Description: A cloud of tear gas envelopes the area, causing all within it to do nothing every other action except cough and stagger around aimlessly. Spell-casters are immune to their own tear gas, but not to that of other spell-casters.

Power: Twinkling Type: Magic Spell
Activation Time: 0 Range: line of sight
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: instant
Difficulty: 6 Area of Effect: self
Description: The caster can teleport to any spot visible, if the task succeeds. If it fails, the caster teleports in a random direction (draw a card for clock directions, reading jack as 11, queen as 12, and king as up) and distance (heart = 10m, diamond = 20m, club = 50m, spade = 100m). Ending up in solid matter is a Bad Thing; see The Philadelphia Experiment.

Power: Zot! Type: Magic Spell
Activation Time: 0 Range: line of sight
Blue Chips: 1 Duration: instant
Difficulty: automatic Area of Effect: 1 target
Description: A magical beam of energy shoots from the caster's pointing finger and strikes the target without fail, doing 2 points of damage per successful hit.

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Blue Chips: x Duration: x
Difficulty: x Area of Effect: x
Description: x


Religion

Religious miracles are only possible to those with the Holy Vows drawback as well as the Perform Miracles Power. Some players may recognize the names of these gods from a certain mythology; the author asks only that you do not reveal the source to anyone. Some are not in exactly their normal role, but have been adapted to more accurately represent their archetypes.

Yelserp Sivle	- god of evil bards, He Who Sells Out
Xirdneh Imij	- god of good bards, He Who Creates Music From Noise
Nospmoth Retnuh	- god of insane bards, He Who Reports Himself
Nikfir Ymerej	- god of True Order Naturalists, The Renouncer of Technology
Notnilc Mailliw	- god of Orthodox Naturalists, He Who Never Inhales
Yrael Ythomit	- god of Reformed Naturalists, He Who Is Way Out There, Dude
The Great White Whale - god of water
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Blue Chips: x Duration: x
Difficulty: x Area of Effect: x
Description: x


Alchemy


Bestiary

Most fantasy worlds have odd ecologies. If you take the books as written, there is almost no cropland, certainly nowhere near enough to support the cities. The wilderness is even worse - the forests are almost universally still and quiet, and animals are nowhere to be seen. In the dungeons, of course, ecology is completely ignored. Monsters and animals seem to be indiscriminately mixed from various climates and ecological niches, with no regard for logic or whether or not the animal could actually survive there.

Dudania isn't like that. Here, if you disrupt the ecology by removing a large predator, the prey it controlled will expand their population in the next season. If it preyed upon herbivores, their food will be available for something else - usually rats or similar opportunists. If it preyed upon a mid-level predator, that predator's prey will be almost annihilated, and then the predator species will die back. The ripples of ecological collapse can spread throughout an entire ecosystem, producing unforseeable effects years down the line. Read any book on the history of Australia (both the Aboriginal invasion and the European invasion wiped out enormous numbers of species by introducing new animals), or the mass extinction of North American animals as the Native Americans spread down from Alaska for good examples...

Cities, towns, villages in Dudania are surrounded by enormous amounts of cropland. The farmers grow crops to provide for themselves and to pay taxes to the local nobility. The nobles then keep what they want and sell the rest to the cities, ensuring themselves a steady supply of wealth. Most places do not have a full year's surplus stored, so any disruption in the supply can be catastrophic, leading to famine and war, as they march their armies on what food they do have, and on what they can pillage along the way, to steal food and good cropland from their neighbors.

The dungeons and goblinoid habitations are a special case. They raise "Foodbeasts" (aka Halflings) on glowfungi, and then eat the Foodbeasts. The glowfungi can grow on almost any organic material (corpses, waste, plant material from the surface, whatever is at hand) mixed with radioisotopes, which are commonly enough found while tunneling out the dungeons.

Type:
Animal:
A normal or giant-sized animal. In wilderness areas, most animals will only attack intelligent beings when desperately hungry, cornered, diseased, or when their young are threatened. The few exceptions are mentioned explicity. Animals in dungeons have been driven mad by the control of the Dungeon Lords; even if they are not normally pack creatures, they will work in packs, and if they have sufficient numbers, will attack anything they think they can take down (if their DUDEness × number appearing is greater than or equal to the DUDEness of the target). Even if they are outclassed, they will still attack if in the usual extremes.
Experiment:
A monster created through magical experimentation. Experiments can look like almost anything - some are hybrids of different animals or even races, some are completely unnatural. Experiments are often unique or at least exist only in limited numbers, but a few have been able to breed true and spread.
Undead:
The reanimated corpse or spirit of dead beings or creatures. Undead are immune to many spells, as indicated in the magic section.
DUDEness:
The average DUDEness of the creature. Draw a card: if it is an Ace, increase the DUDEness by 1 and the creature is a Boss; if it is a number card, the average stands; if it is a red face card, increase the DUDEness by 1; if it is a black face card, decrease the DUDEness by 1 (minimum 1). All creatures are Extras unless the word "Boss" is listed after the DUDEness or an Ace was drawn.
Powers, Drawbacks:
The standard powers and drawbacks these creatures have.
Number:
Usually given as three numbers separated by a slash (/); the first is the number appearing in the wild, the second is the number appearing in dungeons, and the third is the number appearing in a city. If any number is 0, that creature is never found there normally. Draw another card to determine what percentage of the number actually appear:
Card Percentage Card Percentage
Ace 10% 8 80%
2 20% 9 90%
3 30% 10 100%
4 40% Jack 150%
5 50% Queen 200%
6 60% King 300%
7 70%
Attacks:
The number of attacks is listed, then all possible attacks (select up to the number of attacks from among them each turn), with the damage as a number immediately after the name. Unless otherwise specified, all attacks are melee attacks similar to the Fist power, just with different damages.
Description:
Description of the physical appearance, mental capabilities, and behaviors and tactics of the creature.
Rat Type: Animal
DUDEness: 1
Powers: Climb, Iron Stomach, Stealth
Drawbacks: No Hands, Small, Stupid
Number: 12/12/12
Attacks: 1: Bite 1
Description: In Dudania, only the normal-sized rats are normally found. Giant rats? I don't believe they exist.


Equipment


Last Modified: 2000May09
Created