Jorune Over the Edge (JOTE)

May 2005 draft

Adaptation by Robert Dushay

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Introduction

Jorune is a great setting for gaming, but the rules have serious problems, especially the 3rd edition. Others have worked on their own rules conversions (Fuzion and GURPS are perhaps the most well-known systems), but I like Over the Edge.

Over the Edge, by Jonathan Tweet and Robin Laws, is a simple system that puts far more attention on creating characters than worrying about detailed combat statistics. While the rules were designed for the surreal conspiracies setting of Al Amarja, they work well as generic rules for many games. Here is my work-over of the OTE system for Jorune, hereafter referred to as JOTE.

JOTE is not enough to play Jorune. To use these rules to play Jorune, you'll need a copy of Over the Edge (See Atlas Games) and the Skyrealms of Jorune roleplaying game for background information (3rd edition may still available from Chessex . Email them and see.) These rules are a draft in progress, and some sections will be filled out later. I welcome your comments. (email me at Rdushay@mindspring.com)

Vocabulary note: The referee of a Jorune game is called a sholari, the shanthic word for priest.

 

Character generation

Generate characters as for OTE, with the following modifications.

1. Choose your race. Player characters may be human, boccord, muadra, crugar, woffen, or bronth.

a. Humans get no bonuses or penalties.

b. Boccord are big and strong.

Advantages: +1 for all activities involving strength or size (including combat). Boccord subtract 1 point from damage done to them. Only boccord may be hishtin (see the isho rules.)
Disadvantages: -1 for all activities requiring delicacy and manual finesse.
Other: Boccord may be from human lands, or the boccord realm of Ros Crendor. Those from Ros Crendor follow the "Kree" code. Boccord from Ros Crendor are not considered adults until they have demonstrated proficiency in either longbow or signature skills (see Isho rules).
Language: Entren

c. Muadra are small and delicate.

Advantages: +1 for all activities requiring delicacy and manual finesse. They are the only PC race capable of weaving dyshas in all colors (see the isho rules).
Disadvantages: -1 for all activities requiring strength, including combat. They take an additional point of damage each time they are hit. Often feared and discriminated against by humans, even if they have no isho-capabilities.
Language: Entren

d. Woffen

Woffen are very doggy. They are loyal and trustworthy, cautious at first but making friends quickly. They like to dig and bury their valuables. They like physical play and wrestling. They are also fond of boats and sailing, for cultural reasons. Woffen are omnivorous, but like meat when they can get it. They love to party and drink, but once they have tasted alcohol a few times, they are likely to experience "crool," a combination hangover and intense craving for alcohol that lasts a few days. The stoma limilate stops crool, but stains teeth. Too much drinking leads to authew, a disease that ends in catatonia and death.

Advantages: +1 for agility skills and smell skills. They have sensitive hearing, easily able to pick up breathing or movement against a quiet background, but less effective than humans at isolating specific sounds in a noisy environment (like at a party). They get a +1 for brawling if they have no combat skills. Their fur serves as 1-point armor.

Disadvantages: They get a -1 for aiming and for spotting things (their vision isn't so good), and their ability to see color is limited. They are apt to get a -1 when in purely human social interactions. They shed heavily in the summer (Mullin season), and they have a strong odor. Woffen tend toward alcoholism. They hate crugar almost instinctively.

Isho: Woffen typically learn the Power Hold dysha (requires a side trait). Learning it is one of the rites of passage for an adolescent.

Language: Thowtis. This language is closely related to the bronth Boru language.

e. Bronth

Bronth are huge and tough, standing 8' tall. They are sticklers for honor, and they despise slavery in all forms. The bronth strongly dislike crugar and ramian. They prefer to deal with things they can smell: freshly washed humans are disliked. Bronth are fastidious groomers themselves, although not big on baths. They are omniverous, and enjoy drinking "mallmis," the goop left at the bottom of the rusper cask. (This is near-poison to other races.) They love pets, especially pibber and tarro, but they will not confine them; if a pet leaves, they get another.

Bronth detest tardiness and may get seriously angry and threatening about tardiness. On the other hand, they rarely hurry. When Bronth set a deadline, it may be further away than human colleagues would like, but it's all but guaranteed to be the date something will be accomplished.

Advantages: Bronth have excellent senses of hearing and smell (+1 to both). They are huge and massive, and get +2 combat (attack and defense). All bronth are +1 for strategic and tactical skills, as they have been trained since birth in war and battle.

Disadvantages: Their sheer physical size and attitudes about slavery will make bronth difficult characters to integrate into a party. Their dislike of the human custom of bathing away body odors will make it difficult for them to interact in social situations. They often forget their own strength and may injure human companions, especially at mealtimes, if they are not given a wide berth.

Isho: Bronth may have tra-sense by buying it with a side trait. Bronth are capable of unweaving dyshas, but cannot learn to weave them until at least middle-aged.

Language: Boru. This is a thick, slow tongue ideal for writing histories. Bronth make excellent historians. This language is closely related to the woffen language, Thowtis.

f. Crugar

Not recommended for beginners, crugar are touchy, arrogant, prone to violence, hated on sight by other iscin races, and not too well-liked by the humans. But if you want a challenge...

Crugar are fastidious groomers. They are omnivores, but like to catch their prey. They dislike durlig intensely and will only eat it when sick. Crugar operate on instinct more than logical thought. They are intensely physical beings, and crugar young cause a lot of unintentional destruction by their play. Crugar religion (Chen Ichi, pronounced "Shen Ishi") embraces revenge as a virtue.

Advantages: +2 for all agility rolls. Like the cats they are distantly related to, they can leap great distances, perch on small ledges, and usually land on their feet when they fall. They have sensitive hearing, easily able to pick up breathing or movement against a quiet background, but less effective than humans at isolating specific sounds in a noisy environment (like at a party). Crugar still have effective claws and teeth, and do x2 damage when using them. Crugar are comfortable on all fours, and frequently masquerade as a normal cougar to gain surprise against a foe.

Disadvantages: A penalty die for anything requiring complex or delicate physical motions or learning. A penalty die for aiming. Crugar vision is poor: they are both nearsighted and color-blind. They are easily irritated, and woffen in particular set them off; it's almost an inborn prejudice. Humans can annoy crugar simply by entering a room. Crugar need a long time to cool down once they are angry. Crugar typically don't cooperate well with others.

Isho: It is common for crugar to know the Lightning Blast dysha (use a side trait).

Language: Chaun-Tse. This language grates on human and woffen ears. Crugar are spurred to a fury when somebody mispronounces words in this difficult language.

Cygra: A genetically distinct subrace of the crugar, the cygra have paler and longer fur. They are less irritable, and somewhat less reliant on instinct. In all other ways, they are the same as the crugar. Most are unaware of the difference, and will not easily surrender their anti-crugar prejudices.

2. Generate your character according to standard OTE rules.

(Summary of OTE) Characters have a central trait, two side traits, and a flaw. Assign values to your traits (one superior, two good), give descriptors, calculate hit points, come up with a motivation and the most important person for your character. You have a 1-die experience pool. As JOTE is not as conspiratorial as OTE, you don't necessarily need a secret.

Jorune occupations (the list is below) may help in coming up with a central trait. A character may want isho skills as side traits. Note that proficiency with individual dyshas are also taken as side traits. If the character has caji or dyte punk as a trait, they get a number of dyshas as a part of it.

In addition to OTE's usual three traits, all JOTE characters get an Isho characteristic. The number of dice in this usually depend on the character's race. See the isho rules, below.

3. Since Jorune is an unusual setting for many gamers, it may be helpful to use the list of occupations drawn from the 3rd edition Jorune rules to provide guidelines for character types.

Common warrior occupations

Burdothian military. Includes subtypes such as

Infantry. (Ex soldiers are on reserve for five years.)
Militia. (Less training, prestige, and danger.)
Gloundan Shadow Warriors. (Elite commandos from the Gloundan Forest.)

Soldiers typically know a number of weapons, especially polearms, swords, crossbows, or longbows. They may have training in Earth-tec weapons and equipment, particularly in the higher status Burdothian units. Soldiers may also know wilderness travel and survival skills. Active soldiers may be posted to foreign areas, such as South Khodre or the Temauntro border.

Condrij (Mercenaries). Condrij are usually ex-militia, and are usually hostile to condrij who have not served.

Sherja (Thike fighers). Sherjas are a special type of gladiator, fighting with thikes. They are only common in Auklin. Many sherjas are criminals who choose this as their punishment.

Isho-handlers

Caji. Any muadra who has spent time to learn how to control isho is called a "caji." Only muadra may be caji. Since there is little demand for professional caji, caji characters may want to think about other careers as side traits.

Dyte Punks. Lower class muadra rebels, usually gang members. They learn a couple of dyshas, almost always the destructive Desti ones.

Hishtin. Boccord who are good at interfering with dyshas (see the isho rules) may serve in the kerning bays to teach caji how to throw dyshas. Only boccord may be hishtin.

Knowledge-based occupations

Iscin. Iscin are scholars, usually classified as "classical" or "outdoor." Classical iscin do their work in libraries, learning history, mathematics, philosophy, literature, and so forth. Outdoor iscin are of a more practical bent, learning biology, bio-tech, Earth-tec, zoology, and so on.

Querrid. These are professional answer-finders, almost always looking for facts to sell to thriddle. They often work on commission. Querrids are considered odd by many humans for their close association with the thriddle.

Other Adventurous Occupations

Jers. Those who work in the East Trinnu Jungle Lands, as guides, hunters, and limilate gatherers. They usually work independently, but have a loose code of conduct for their "brotherhood."

Beasters. Those who capture, care for, and train animals for iscin research centers, private collectors, businesses, or zoos. This profession includes "Thombocs," who specialize in handling thombos, and possibly bochigon and lother, the other beasts of burden. Tarro-training skill is the mark of a good beaster.

Yiordeh. Private detectives.

Githerin. A licensed thief. The Githerin klades contract to provide security, information, and acquisition of items inconveniently owned by somebody else. Githerin have a challisk marked with the klade copra, which they will show authorities when caught. While this doesn't excuse them from arrest or punishment, it does accord them certain rights.

Common Occupations

Merchants. Thivin and humans are generally best at this.

Learsis. Healers. Usually associated with an "enclep" (place of healing). They are actually licensed by the local government before they can work in an enclep, with Ardothians having the highest requirements. They are accorded respect. Muadra who wish to use healing dyshas must have a special permit to do so.

Entris. Translators. A respectable occupation, usually including some knowledge of etiquette, and if a Drenn, it often leads to jobs as diplomats with the Dharsage. Honesty and trustworthiness are key attributes.

Sailors. As on Earth, they ply the seas.

Toth. Normal, everyday residents of Burdoth. May be city-dwellers or farmers.

Shast. Innkeepers, who run "incleps" (inns and boarding houses) or "illidges" (bars).

Yord. Police.

It's up to the sholari and players as to beginning player social status. While the default Jorune game has characters beginning the tauther process, there's no reason why a JOTE character couldn't begin the game as a drenn or even a kesht/keshtia.

 

Isho

Isho is the ambient energy that surrounds Jorune, generated by crystal layers in the planet's core and crust. Many beings have learned to manipulate the isho, sense with it, or weave threads of it into dyshas.

Color: Analogous to visible light, isho has a spectrum of seven colors. These "colors" of isho are named after and linked to the seven moons of Jorune. Those who would manipulate the isho are rarely equally skilled in weaving all seven colors. Each color of isho is attuned to different effects.

Moon Color Title Area of effect Difficulty
Gobey Brown The Protector Shields and solidity Easy
Desti Red The Red Harbinger Electric energy Easy
Du Amber The Illuminator Heat and light Moderate
Ebba Yellow The Sender Force and motion Moderate
Launtra Green The Flow Energy fields Moderate
Shal Blue Keeper of the Ancient Order Nervous systems Hard
Tra White The Warp-Maker Warps Hard

Most characters will have an Isho Characteristic. If a character has an isho-handler trait (caji, dyte, hishtin), their isho characteristic dice are the same as their isho-handling trait dice. Otherwise, the default isho characteristic dice depend on the race of the character. Humans, the most common character race, are generally of low ability in recognizing or working isho, and get only one die, as do trarch. The iscin races (blount, crugar, cygra, woffen, bronth) get two dice, as do most humanoid mutant races (acubon, salu, boccord). The tologra are well attuned to isho, as are the muadra: even without an isho-handler trait, these races get three dice in their isho characteristic. The shanthas are always isho-handlers, and generally have four or more dice. At the other extreme, beings of ramian background (corastin, ramian, thivin) are genetically incapable of using or even detecting isho, and they never have any dice in their isho characteristic.

Caji. A muadra who wishes to learn dysha weaving must be trained. Those who are students of dysha weaving are called "caji". A character who is a caji must have this as their central trait. Expert caji are called "copra," and characters acheive this title when they have five dice in their caji skill. A caji character's isho characteristic is the same number of dice as their caji trait. Because of the effort of learning dysha use, caji should be the character's central trait. Caji get as many colors as they have dice, as many dyshas in each color as they have dice, and they get the caji skills of tra sense and stabilize warp (see below).

Hishtin. Boccords who have learned how to specialize in interfering with dyshas are called hishtins. Characters who have Hishtin as their central trait get both of hishtin signature skills (isho sensitivity and signature), but if a character has hishtin as a side trait, they get no signature skills without buying them as separate side traits or learning them through experience. A hishtin character's isho characteristic is the same number of dice as their hishtin trait.

Dyte Punks. Some muadra learn only the destructive desti dyshas, and run in gangs, loosing bolts of energy on their victims. In game terms, there are three ways to create a dyte punk (or simply "dyte") character. The first is to choose dyte as a central trait. The character is essentially a caji with attitude, although the character doesn't automatically get the caji skills of tra sense or stabilize warp. The second is to choose dyte as a side trait. While the character gets as many colors as he has dice, he only gets a total of as many dyshas has he has dice in the dyte trait, although these dyshas can be spread across multiple colors. The third way is to choose specific dyshas with one or more side traits, so that "dyte punk" is a descriptive title only, not a trait. In this case, the character's isho characteristic is the same as the dysha trait with the most dice. Remember, desti dyshas are the mark of the dyte!

Other characters. Those characters that want to use isho without fitting one of the categories above select a specific dysha as a side trait. The isho characteristic is equal to the dysha trait with the most dice. This is common for woffen characters (who often know just the Power Hold dysha) and crugar (who often know just the Lightning Blast dysha).

Specifying colors: If a character has any isho ability at all, the colors of isho must be specified. For each die the character has in their isho characteristic, the character has one color. Example: Millo, a muadra, has caji as a good trait (3 dice). He chooses to have the colors Desti, Du, and Ebba. If a character has a only individual dyshas purchased as side traits, they only have the colors of the specified dyshas.

Shots (Maximum Isho and Current Isho): Characters get 3 shots for each die in their isho characteristic, or they may roll one or more isho dice and take the results of that roll as that die's shots. Keep track of this number; it is called "maximum isho." In play, the current number of shots is the amount of isho the being has available, called "current isho." Shots are used offensively and defensively. In some cases, a character may have more shots than their maximum isho, but they risk injury in the process. (See Caji Entropy, below.) Every character that has an isho characteristic has maximum and current isho scores, even if they have no isho-weaving abilities. These shots will be used for defense.

Dyshas: When a character wishes to use isho, the energy must be woven into a form, usually an orb (a small ball) or a bolt (like a miniature bolt of lightning). Only trained individuals can create, or weave, dyshas. Shantha, caji, dyte punks, and characters who selected specific dyshas as side traits are capable of weaving dyshas; other characters are not.

Each color of isho has five different dyshas listed for it. During character generation, the player of a caji character selects which dyshas the character knows. The character knows as many dyshas in each color as she has dice in her caji trait.

Example. Jenha is a superior caji (four dice). She has four colors (Du, Ebba, Launtra, and Tra), and may select four specific dyshas for each of her four colors. The character is not allowed to change these dyshas except as a result of learning new dyshas in play through experience dice. Jenha knows the following dyshas:

Du Ebba Launtra Tra
Orb of Light Push Fire Touch Deflect
Flingers Ram Healer Inner Eye
Cast Energy Power Hold Faint Touch Reflect
Crater Constrict Spectral Stun Create Warp

Example. Denhis has githerin as his central trait (superior, 4 dice), and dyte punk as his side trait (good, 3 dice). Denhis may choose three colors, and a total of three dyshas. He chooses Desti (of course), along with Shal and Ebba. His three dyshas are Lightning Blast, Stiff, and Ram.

Dysha List

For simplicity, the range of all dyshas is thirty feet per die. Example. Jenha can throw all of her dyshas out to 120 feet. Use the following ranges (for defense dice): point blank is within 10'; short range is out to 30'; medium range is out to 50'; long range is out to 100'; anything beyond 100' is very long range.

Most dyshas disappear as soon as they have their effect. For those with a duration, unless otherwise specified, they last for success x1 minutes.

GOBEY The Protector. Gobey dyshas are all about shields: making them and breaking them. The Gobey moon is black; the color of Gobey isho is brown. Isho shields only block physical damage; dyshas go right through. All isho shields have a number of hit points equal to the success of the roll x3. When they have absorbed that much damage, they collapse.

Shield. Protects the self only.
Bubble. Protect within 10' radius. Can also be used to project a thirty by thirty foot Wall.
Shield Shatter. Does x4 damage to enemy shields (only).
Cage. A special, x5 shield that imprisons enemies. When it is broken or when its duration ends, it does a 3 dice electricity attack to the occupant(s). Victims use their isho characteristic to defend. (Occupants can also make an interference roll, using their isho characteristic dice against the original roll used to weave the cage, to try to escape.)
Shield implosion. Does x4 damage to shielded foes.

DESTI The Red Harbinger. Desti dyshas are about electrical energy, usually as an offensive bolt. The Desti moon is red, as is desti isho. Desti dyshas tend to be the easiest to learn, although teaching the destructive bolts to the immature is strongly discouraged. Young muadra toughs who wish to prove themselves will learn the most basic Desti bolts, and harass others.

Lightning Blast. Does x2 electrical damage.
Stiff. Immobilizes target for x3 rounds.
Frost Bolt. Does x3 cold damage.
Lightning Strike. Does x3 electrical damage and physically knocks back target x1 feet.
Penetration Bolt. Does x3 electrical damage; ignore all defender armor except crystal armor.

DU The Illuminator. Du dyshas are about energy, specifically heat and light. The Du moon is amber, while du isho is orange.

Orb of Light. A ball of light. The duration depends on how bright it is. A bright one (illuminates a five foot radius circle brightly) lasts about an hour; a dim one (like a match) lasts about a day.
Flingers. Does x2 damage; may be applied to up to five targets within a thirty foot radius.
Cast Energy. Does x3 damage.
Quantum. A explosion doing x3 damage; all armor is ignored.
Crater. An explosion doing x3 damage to all within twenty feet of the target.

EBBA The Sender. Ebba dyshas are concerned with force and motion. The Ebba moon is silver, and ebba isho is yellow.

Push. Shoves things; does no damage.
Levitate. Repels large objects, such as the ground. Does no damage.
Ram. A hard shove against a target; does x2 damage.
Power Hold. Immobilizes a man-sized target for 30 seconds. Larger targets are immobilized for shorter times; smaller targets for longer times. Variants include levitating unwilling foes, and spinning them around (to disorient them).

Constrict. A ring of isho contracts, doing x3 damage to whatever is within. It may sever thin objects, such as a rope.

LAUNTRA The Flow. Launtra dyshas are stable, and flow over bodies. They are commonly used for healing, but have other uses. The Launtra moon is green, as is launtra isho. Launtra isho is trickled over the body, rather than forming orbs. It has a slight green glow as it's used.

Fire touch. Does x2 damage, but the user must touch the target.
Healer. Heals x1 damage, by touch.
Enhance. One who knows this dysha may choose to weave any of the following three specific effects:

Night Eyes (see in the dark for x2 seconds)
Bell (make a clear noise like a bell to all within earshot or project one's voice like a loudspeaker for x.25 seconds)
Spider Grip (have the ability to cling to things for x3 seconds; note that Spider Grip cannot be maintained against high concentrations of Ebba isho).

Faint touch. Touch to knock target unconscious for x3 minutes. Target is frequently nauseous upon waking.
Spectral Stun. Everybody looking at the weaver is stunned (penalty die to all actions, including initiative) for the next x1 rounds.

SHAL Keeper of the Ancient Order. Because Shal dyshas often cause great discomfort or pain upon their targets, they are sometimes referred to as "little horrors." They interact with nervous systems. The Shal moon is blue, as is shal isho. Caji skilled in Shal are rare, and hishtins who willingly face shal dyshas are even rarer. Therefore, it is often hard to find a teacher for these dyshas.

Faint. Causes target to become nauseous, then fall unconscious for x4 minutes.
Calm. Works only on beings with terran DNA; will soothe and calm them. A weaver may also opt for Craze, to make terran-based animals become irritable and lash out for x5 minutes. This dysha also works on humans, iscin races, and recos.
Scramble. For the next x10 seconds, the victim cannot use any color isho except Desti, for offense or defense.
Body Freeze. Works only on beings with terran DNA (including iscin races and recos). It paralyzes the victim for x1 seconds. Separate variants work on beings with Ramian DNA or native Joruni DNA. Another variant is called Brain Blast. Brain blast creates a blast of intense pain. Victims take a penalty die to all actions for x 0.5 rounds, and must roll against strength or will to avoid dropping held items. It works on Terran and Joruni life. A variant works on ramian life.

Drain. This dysha orb attaches to a victim and sucks away their isho. It will take x1/4 shots from the victim (rounded down, but at least one). Notice that a canny person can capture this orb in a boc-rod.

TRA The Warp Maker. Tra dyshas warp space. The Tra moon and tra isho are both white.

Deflect. This serves to bat away a thrown dysha. To Deflect, the caji targets an incoming dysha, and rolls her caji trait dice, trying to beat the die roll made to create the incoming dysha. If successful, the targeted dysha is pushed away from the Deflecting caji, but in a random direction. (Deflect can be better than unweaving, because to unweave, the caji must have mastery in the color of the dysha, while Deflect only requires Tra isho.)
Inner Ear. This dysha creates a tiny warp through a surface, which permits sound to travel through. In effect, it improves the sensitivity of the weaver's hearing for x1 seconds. Inner ear can penetrate any barrier up to six feet thick, unless the barrier contains charged crystals.
Inner Eye. This dysha also creates a tiny warp, but this one transmits light waves, allowing the weaver to see through a barrier. It is otherwise identical to Inner Ear.
Reflect. This dysha works the same as Deflect, except if the weaver's roll exceeds the dysha's, the weaver can take control of the dysha and control it to the limit of that dysha's range, including sending it back to its originator.
Create Warp. This orb creates a warp that lasts for x1 seconds. The sholari decides the difficulty value the weaver needs to roll against. The creator doesn't know where the warp leads to, and there are often random circumstances that affect it: the local conditions on either side of the potential warp may not permit one to open; isho workers on the other side may detect the nascent warp opening and move to close it; random circumstances may demand that the creator expend more than one shot to open a warp. Further, these warps are easy to bring down: a being may simply kern raw isho into it (for each shot expended, the kerner gets a die to roll against the warp's strength (whatever amount the warp beat the initial difficulty to create it).

Note for sholari: Warps can destabilize a game, allowing groups to flee any bad situation. As designed, the Create Warp dysha is totally under the sholari's control: it may not work; it may lead to a bad situation; it may collapse prematurely, separating the party; it may drain the weaver of all shots.

 

Using Dyshas

Weaving. Dyshas act as ranged weapons in the standard OTE rules. The attacker expends a shot and rolls her isho characteristic dice for that color dysha, while the defender's dice depend on the range to the target and situational factors, such as movement, cover, or dodging. (See page 22 in OTE.) Again: point blank is within 10'; short range is out to 30'; medium range is out to 50'; long range is out to 100'; anything beyond 100' is very long range.

Unweaving and Interference. On the "real" Jorune, those who can weave dyshas can expend isho to unweave a dysha thrown at them, while those who have some isho but no ability to weave, interfere by vibrating their isho, hindering the effect of the attacking dysha. In JOTE, these two abilities use the same mechanic, to simplify play. The only difference is that inteference can only defend the character using it, while a caji can attempt to unweave a dysha aimed at another, adding her isho characteristic dice to the defender's.

Characters may choose to expend a shot to attempt to interfere with or unweave the dysha. They roll their isho characteristic dice as defense. This is an active defense: characters may not dodge or use any other trait to defend at the same time (except for tra sense, see below). They may combine their unweaving/interference dice with the defensive dice for range, cover, and the attacker's movement.

If the attacking dysha is of a color that the defender doesn't have, then the defender subtracts two dice from his unweaving/interference dice (before he rolls). Notice that for many characters, that means he won't be able to unweave/interfere unless the offensive dysha is of a color he has.

Hishtins are specially trained to interfere. They get a bonus die to all interference attempts.

 

Weave tricks. Slippery caji can modify their dyshas to make them harder to unweave or interfere with. On the "real" Jorune, they have many tricks. In JOTE, there are three simple tricks they can use:

By spending an extra shot, the weaver can bundle multiple dyshas, adding an extra die to their roll.

By taking a penalty die, the weaver can disguise the color of their dysha, so that it looks like one of a different color. This can discourage a defender from trying to unweave, or it can actually reduce their effectiveness!

Example. Jenha (a superior caji, 4 dice) throws a Power Hold at Millo forty feet away (medium range). The Power Hold orb is ordinarily Ebba (yellow); but Jenha takes a penalty die to make it appear blue. She rolls 6-6-4-2-2; this totals to 14.

Millo attempts to unweave; he is a Good caji (3 dice) with Desti, Du, and Ebba colors. Because he's attempting to unweave a color he doesn't have (blue, or Shal), Millo rolls only one die for his unweave, instead of the three he would normally be entitled to. Millo gets three dice for the range, plus his one die for unweaving, for a total of four dice. He rolls 6-3-3-1, a total of 13. Bracing himself for a painful shock, Millo is surprised by the four fat rings of yellow isho that loop around him, holding him for thirty seconds.

Both caji have expended one shot.

By taking two penalty dice, the weaver can actually make their dyshas invisible to the naked eye (invisible weave), although they will still be visible to tra sense (see below).

 

Isho Skills. A player who chooses caji or hishtin as their central trait gets a range of isho skills, detailed below. Other players may select individual isho skills as side traits.

Caji skills. These skills are automatically known by caji, at the same number of dice as the caji trait.

Tra Sense. Caji learn to "see" the colors of isho surrounding them. This is a 360-degree sense, and does not require eyes. (Most forms of Jorune life have this ability.) Tra sense can be used to detect concentrations of isho: living beings, crystals, and incoming dyshas. Under most circumstances the player rolls their caji trait dice either against a sholari determined difficulty number, or if the target is a being that doesn't want their isho read, it's an opposed roll against the defender's isho characteristic trait.

Caji can use tra sense to atttempt to estimate the target's current isho (number of shots remaining), or even their isho strengths and weaknesses (success gives x1 the colors the target has specified for their isho dice).

Highly skilled caji (4 dice) can determine a being's race or species from the isho they reflect; extraordinarly skilled copra (5 dice) can determine a being's emotional state, and even detect whether a being has recently woven or is about to weave a dysha.

Use of tra sense counts as an action. Thus, if a character is in combat, they can use tra-sense to read their opponent or gain other information instead of an attack or a defense.

Notice that a caji in combat may want to use tra-sense on an incoming dysha to see if it's disguised or to detect possible invisible weaves. As per the OTE rules, extra actions mean a penalty die on all actions that round. Notice that if a caji discovers a dysha is disguised, it costs yet another action to shout this information to an ally!

Example. Jenha (a superior caji, 4 dice) throws a Power Hold at Millo forty feet away (medium range). The Power Hold orb is ordinarily Ebba (yellow); but Jenha takes a penalty die to make it appear blue. She rolls 6-6-4-2-2; this totals to 14.

Millo attempts to unweave; he is a Good caji (3 dice) with Desti, Du, and Ebba colors. Spotting the blue orb zipping toward him, he suspects Jenha is up to something. Since he intends to attack this round, and he certainly plans to defend, he decides to use his tra sense on the incoming dysha. He rolls his three isho characteristic dice, with a penalty die because he's using tra sense in addition to his two actions: he rolls 6-6-5-4, for a result of 15. This is better than Jenha's roll; his tra sense tells him the incoming orb is actually yellow, with a thin skin of blue over it.

His unweaving roll therefore uses all three of his dice, in addition to the three die defense for being at medium range, with a penalty die for the extra action of the tra-sense. Rolling six dice, he gets 6-6-5-2-2-1-1, for a total of 17. The orb unravels with a faint "pop" as streamers of yellow and blue isho flicker away.

Notice that muadra and tologra may learn tra sense as a side trait if they aren't caji.

Caji entropy. While this is an isho ability, it is not a skill. Any muadra who have learned how to weave dyshas can do this. Spend an experience die to gain 3 additional shots (or roll the die for the number of additional shots). A character can do this as many times a day as they have dice in their caji trait. The caji may exceed his maximum isho this way. However, if the caji has more shots than his maximum isho at the end of a game hour, he loses all his shots, and must roll a die for each shot lost. The total result is how much damage he takes. Experience dice expended in caji entropy return at the end of the gaming session.

Stabilize warp. A successful caji roll plus the expenditure of a shot will stabilize a failing warp for x1 minutes. The difficulty of this feat is up to the sholari. A character must have Tra isho to learn this skill.

Signature skills: These skills are automatically known by hishtins (if hishtin is their central trait). If hishtin is a side trait, these skills must be learned individually, each requiring a separate side trait (one for isho sensitivity, one for signature).

Isho sensitivity. The ability to read a being's isho signature. Similar to tra sense, this skill permits a hishtin to read the ripples in the isho created by living things to learn a foe's race or species. It can also be used to read how much isho that being possesses (current isho, or number of shots in game terms), or the target's isho strengths and weaknesses (the colors specified for that being's isho). The hishtin player rolls his hishtin trait dice, either against a sholari-determined difficulty, or if the target is unwilling to be read, against the target's isho characteristic dice. If reading isho colors, success gives x1 the number of colors the target has.

Signature. Signature skill is the ability to alter the hishtin's own isho to make his isho signature that of a different creature, or even to make himself isho-invisible (invisible to tra sense or isho sensitivity skill). This will only affect Joruni-based life forms, and even the stupidest ones will figure it out sooner or later. Shantha aren't fooled by this tactic for more than a second or so. Also notice that beings who see with the visible specture (Terran and Ramian based lifeforms) will be unaffected. The player rolls his hishtin trait dice against a sholari-specified difficulty roll, with the difficulty based on how familiar the hishtin is with the signature being copied; to become isho-invisible is always a difficult feat (roll against 4 dice). Using signature skills costs a shot.

Some beings are able to learn and use signature skills even if they aren't hishtin. The following species may take these skills as side traits.

Isho sensitivity: Blount, boccord, bronth, crugar, cygra, muadra, tologra, trarch, and woffen.

Signature: Boccord, crugar (isho invisibility only), cygra (isho invisibility only), muadra, tologra, woffen (isho invisibility only).

 

Boosting abilities: At character creation, a player may choose to use a trait to improve the default value of a skill. For example, a human character may use a trait to have a higher isho characteristic (three or four dice). This would give that character more shots and more colors to use to interfere with hostile dyshas. A caji might use a side trait to master another color, adding as many dyshas as the number of dice in that trait.

Example. Jenha is a superior caji (four dice). She has four colors (Du, Ebba, Launtra, and Tra), and may select four specific dyshas for each of her four colors.

Du Ebba Launtra Tra
Orb of Light Push Fire Touch Deflect
Flingers Ram Healer Inner Eye
Cast Energy Power Hold Faint Touch Reflect
Crater Constrict Spectral Stun Create Warp

Jenha may use another side trait to learn another color at character generation: she chooses Gobey (good; three dice). She chooses Shield, Bubble, and Cage. Notice that because she is a four-die caji, she uses four dice even when weaving a Gobey dysha.

If a player wants to buy one or more specific dyshas at character generation, these are usually side traits. The player selects the dysha, and has that one dysha at three or four dice (depending on whether the character is Good or Superior at weaving it). A second trait could be used to buy an additional dysha in the same or different color. If the player buys two dyshas of the same color, both are rated at the higher number of dice. If the player buys two dyshas of different colors, each colored dysha has its own dice.

Example. Ruffo is a woffen Entris (translator) (good, three dice). He uses one side trait to learn Power Hold (Ebba) (superior, four dice) and another to learn Constrict (Ebba) (good, three dice). His isho characteristic is four dice, he begins the game with twelve shots, and he can weave either dysha at four dice. He only knows Ebba isho. If Ruffo chose the Healer dysha (Launtra) instead of Constrict, he'd still have four dice in his isho characteristic, and still have twelve shots. But he'd know Ebba and Launtra colors, and weave Power Hold with four dice, and Healer with three.

Learning new dyshas: Learning new dyshas always requires training. Notice that in some places (such as Ardoth), you can only train in the kerning bays, and there are other legal restrictions on isho use.

Once a character is created, raising the caji skill will not automatically increase the number of colors or dyshas known. It will improve that character's abilities to weave any dyshas he knows as well as the associated caji skills (tra sense and stabilize warp), but it won't increase their number. Learning new dyshas works as though the character had dice in that color of isho: it costs five experience dice to learn a new dysha if the character already has none, one, or two dyshas in that color. It costs ten experience dice and six months to a year of training to learn the fourth dysha, and fifteen dice plus a lot of time and money to learn the fifth.

Races that do not traditionally learn dyshas, or beings attempting to learn dyshas not traditionally taught their race (such as woffen trying to learn something beyond Power Hold) pay double the cost in experience dice. This is partially because of social attitudes (particularly for crugar and woffen), and partly because of the added difficulty these races have in mastering isho.

Players may also choose to spend experience dice to raise their maximum isho. While this is a separate trait from the isho characteristic after character generation, the cost in experience dice is calculated against the isho characteristic. That is, if the character has zero, one, or two dice in the isho characteristic, it costs five experience dice to raise the maximum isho by the equivalent of one die (three shots, or roll a die and take the result). If the character has three dice in the isho characteristic, it costs ten experience dice and six months to a year of training to gain the equivalent of one die, and so on.

Signature skills (Isho sensitivity and signature) are improved like dyshas, with the added restriction that they are restricted by species.

 

Combat

Use standard OTE mechanics. Most Jorune weapons are simple melee weapons. (Commonly swords, knives, spears, axes, battle-axes, clubs, staves, spiked balls on chains [called morningstars in the Jorune 3rd edition rules], and thikes. Missile weapons are slings, bows, longbows, and crossbows.) They easily fit into standard OTE mechanics.

Earth-tec weapons are treated as rifles or pistols as appropriate.

Field Rams do x4 stunning effect. If the attack causes more points of effect than the defender has defense dice, the defender has been knocked down. Physical damage done is x1/4.

Lasers do x5 damage. They are powerful and silent.

Blasters do x7 damage. They fire bolts of plasma and are incredibly powerful.

Stunners work like OTE Tasers, but they have longer ranges (not needing wires) and are less likely to cause permanent damage to a target.

Most Joruni armor is one of four types:

Type Protection Encumbrance Notes
Leather 1d No Usually thombo, lothern, or do-odreh hide. See notes.
Mail 2d Yes Usually ringmail. Heavy and expensive, but relatively common. Provides no effective protection against dyshas. Most Joruni life can claw or chew through it.
Locurian Grunder 2d, 1b against dyshas Yes From the locure beast. Most useful against dyshas.
Thailarion armor 3d Yes Made from corundon chest plates. The best non-tec armor on Jorune.

Encumbrance is a penalty die to agility, including combat rolls (attack + defense)

b: Use bullet-proof armor rules against dyshas: roll the listed number of dice (1 for 1b), and divide the damage by the result of the die roll.

Thombo leather always smells faintly like thombo. This is offensive when it's wet. Do-odreh hide is thinner and more supple. [I assume they repeatedly redouble it to make it into armor.] Lothern is probably the best armor, being tough and durable, although rough to the touch, and liable to dry out in hot weather, needing regular oiling. Locurian Grunder was supposedly described in the Essays, but I haven't been able to find it.

Earth-tec armor

Type Protection Encumbrance Notes
DA (Deflector Armor) 4d/4b No Absorbs kinetic energy of hit (blunt trauma). For humans only.
E-rep (Energy Repulsor) 1/3b No Absorbs energy attacks (heat, electricity, radiation, but not blasters) and stores it in batteries.
MAS (Mobile Active Suit) 4d/4b 2 point penalty to agility rolls Power armor, with weapon mounts. Combines DA and E-rep effects, and gives a bonus die to wearer's strength and speed.

b: Bullet proof armor rules: Roll the listed number of dice, and divide damage by result. Used for energy/high tech weapons.

 

Closing notes

This is the third draft of these rules. The only real changes are in the isho rules, which have been greatly simplified and better fit the OTE design philosophy. No doubt the dyshas will need fine tuning in playtesting.

I still find OTE to be a great game for human-level interaction. Thus far, preliminary use has found the combat system doesn't easily accommodate "monsters," the sometimes large and ferocious wildlife. I am attempting to reconceptualize how to handle such creatures in a system where larger numbers of dice become meaningless.

Have fun, and please let me know if you tried these, and the good and bad points you found.

 

This product incorporates copyrighted material from the Skyrealms of Jorune game, a trademark of Skyrealms, Inc., and is used without permission. This material is made available to support the published game and to provide more access to game and the world. This use is not a challenge to the trademark or to the copyright status of said material.

I also want to thank Joe Coleman for his tireless efforts to improve Jorune's rules. His PLUS rules were an important influence.

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