The Red Ash World Engine is first and foremost about providing a standardized method of designing a limitless supply of unique species to populate vast worlds for your players to explore in. One thing that adds spice to a species are its traits.
Not all traits are beneficial or even what you would even think of as being a trait. As an example of a more mundane trait look no further than gore. Gore allows the character to use its horns to attack and do damage. Without gore a species can still have horns, but they are purely decorative and too brittle for combat. The trait deformity is a weakness. Like all weakness traits it is intended to have a negative effect for a character based on a species that has this trait. The bonus for the species is more points to buy other traits.
Traits are defined by a number of characteristics and I will cover them here.
Grouping: All traits are divided into one of a few groups and are:
Defensive: Defensive powers provide an increase to a races defense.
Offensive: Offensive Powers provide an increase to a races offense
Power Enhancers: Power enhancers are used to modify another power you buy. It can have a positive or negative population cost
Utility: Utility powers are powers that do not provide a direct offensive or defense benefit
Weakness: Weaknesses are powers that add a limitation to a race in return for additional starting population.
Name: This is the name of the trait.
Description: The details of what the trait is and what it does.
PAP: The physical action points that a character must spend to make use of a trait.
MAP: The mental action points that a character must spend to make use of a trait.
Type: All traits have at least one type but can have more than one:
Bonus, Attack: The power adds to an attack
Bonus, Physical: Power add to your physical abilities.
Bonus, Power: Power adds to another power
Bonus, Sensory: Power adds to the senses.
Bonus, Skill: Power adds to a skill
Challenge, Attack: Power requires a challenge before you can proceed.
Challenge, Effect: Power forces a difficulty roll that on failure applies an effect on the target.
Challenge, Skill: Power activates a skill challenge
Combat, Alternative Attack
: Power is used as an alternative attack
Damage, Action Points: Power reduces map and/or pap to fatigue
Damage, Energy: Power activates when the damage taken is an energy
Damage, Mental: Power activates on mental damage
Damage, Physical: Power Activates on physical damage
Defense, Effect: Power is used in defense of an effect
Defense, Energy: Power activates while defending from an energy based attack
Defense, Mental: power is activated during mental defense
Defense, Physical: power is activated during physical defense
Defense, Sensory: Power activates in defense of a sensory power
Deformity, Major: Almost crippling deformity that has a major ability and skill penalty. Physical appearance is severly altered
Deformity, Minor: Mostly cosmetic but noticable deformity
Deformity, Moderate: More pronounced deformity that have minor ability lose and will display dramatic cosmetic effects.
Effect: Power forces a target(s) to make a save or obtain an effect
Limit, Sensory: Power lowers a sensory ability
Special: This is a generic catch all for power types.
Form: Forms are how the trait are used and help to define the mechanics of usage:
Bite(blockable) : Power requires an attack delivered via a bite
Bite, Huge(blockable) : You species has teeth that are truly massive for your head. While your jaw can open up large enough to use them they are also in the way and will not permit you to swallow larger prey than normal. To swallow larger prey you still need the swallow whole power.
Bite, Ideal(blockable) : This is the optimal size of teeth for your body size.
Bite, Large(blockable) : Your species has teeth larger than normal for your body size.
Bite, Small(blockable) : Your teeth are smaller than normal for you species
Bolt(blockable) : Power requires an attack delivered via a physical ranged object
Burst(blockable) : Burst is a sudden blast the starts at a targeted space
Claws, Huge(blockable) : These claws are massive compared to your body. They get in the way of any skill that requires your hands to use.
Claws, Ideal(blockable) : These claws are of an ideal size with a balance between skill penalty and damage
Claws, Large(blockable) : These are over-sized claws for your species. They do more damage, but also have larger skill penalties.
Claws, Small(blockable) : These are smaller than normal claws for your species size. You have no negatives to skills for having these.
Cloud(non-blockable) : Cloud is a target space that is affect by a power and often includes an area around the target.
Cone(blockable) : The cone point starts at the user and expands its width at its length
Gaze(blockable) : Gaze is a line of sight form and requires the user and target to make eye contact. A target can avert their eye to defend.
Group(blockable) : Requires more than one to use.
Movement(blockable) : Power affects movement
Ooze(blockable) : Ooze starts in the users space and expands out from that space.
Presence(non-blockable) : Presence starts in the users space and expands in a radius of spaces in all directions.
Ray(blockable) : The ray starts next to the user and travels in a straight line its full range unless it hits an object.
Self(non-blockable) : Power only affects the user.
Skill(non-blockable) : Power affects a skill
Sting(blockable) : Power requires an attack delivered via a stinger
Touch(blockable) : Power requires physical contact
Form Subtypes: These will can be a part of a form. They take a form of Form: Type(Form Subtype).:
Audial - Echo Location
Combat Attack - Knockdown
Combat Attack - Melee
Combat Attack - Ranged
Combat Attack - Swallow Whole
Damage - Bludgeoning
Damage - Chopping
Damage - Critical Hits
Damage - Health Points
Damage - Piercing
Damage - Slashing
Effect - Blind
Effect - Charm
Effect - Confusion
Effect - Daze
Effect - Deaf
Effect - Death
Effect - Disease
Effect - Dominated
Effect - Drowning
Effect - Fatigue
Effect - Fear
Effect - Held
Effect - Marked
Effect - Paralyzed
Effect - Parasite
Effect - Petrafied
Effect - Poisoned
Effect - Sleep
Effect - Slowed
Effect - Spawn
Effect - Stunned
Effect - Suffocation
Effect - Therianthropic
Effect - Transformation
Effect - Undeath
Energy - Acid
Energy - Cold
Energy - Corrupt
Energy - Corruption
Energy - Digestive
Energy - Divine
Energy - Electrical
Energy - Fire
Energy - Light
Energy - Restorative
Energy - Sonic
Energy - Void
Fatigue - MAP
Fatigue - PAP
Fatigue - PAP and MAP
Material - Cold Iron
Material - Holy Water
Material - Salt
Material - Silver
Material - Smoke
Mental - Awareness
Mental - Ego
Mental - Focus
Mental - Identity
Mental - Power
Movement - Air Speed
Movement - Earth
Movement - Land Speed
Non-Visual - Blindsense
Non-Visual - Thermal
Non-Visual - Tremor
None - None
Pathogen - Anthrax
Pathogen - Aspergillosis
Pathogen - Cave disease
Pathogen - Cholera
Pathogen - CJD
Pathogen - Ebola
Pathogen - Flu
Pathogen - Hemorrhagic fever
Pathogen - IDS
Pathogen - Legionnaires disease
Pathogen - Leprosy
Pathogen - Madura foot
Pathogen - Plague
Pathogen - Q fever
Pathogen - Rabies
Pathogen - SARS
Pathogen - Smallpox
Pathogen - Typhoid
Pathogen - Valley fever
Physical - Agility
Physical - Body Oder
Physical - Boney Protrusions
Physical - Club Foot
Physical - Coordination
Physical - Extra Head
Physical - Extra Horn
Physical - Extra Limb
Physical - Extra torso with head and limbs
Physical - Female
Physical - Health
Physical - Hunchback
Physical - Male
Physical - Natural Armor
Physical - Non-Symmetrical Body Features
Physical - Non-Symmetrical Facial Features
Physical - Odd Color
Physical - Overactive Sweat Glands
Physical - Skin Tumors
Physical - Strength
Physical - Textured Skin
Physical - Translucent Skin
Physical - Water Breather
Skill - Balance
Skill - Tier 1
Skill - Tier 2
Skill - Tier 3
Skill - Tier 4
Skill - Tier 5
Skill - Tracking
Special - Level Limit
Special - New Class Generation
Special - Random
Vision - Spirit Vision
Visual - Elemental
Visual - Farsight
Visual - Nightvision
Visual - Normal
Visual - True Sight
Usage: This defines conditions of the traits usage activity:
Activated: Power must be activated to use.
Always On: Power is always on. To turn it off you must pay the cost in PAP and/or MAP.
Permanent: Power is always on and can not be turned off
Triggered: Power is activated by an event, being hit in combat, taking damage, etc...You must also be able to pay the PAP and/or MAP else the power will not activate.
Usage Subtypes: These will can be a part of a usage although most usage values do not use these at all. They take a form of Usage: Type(Usage Subtype).:
Base Cost: How much the trait will cost just to have the trait with all its base values. Cost is always a negative value and is meant to be paid with you population. With weaknesses there are only positive trait cost meaning they will give that amount of population back.
Difficulty: This optional field will specify which ability, skill or other source will set the difficulty of the trait for the target to overcome.
Save: This optional field will specify which ability, skill or other source the target will use to overcome the difficulty.
Variables: These optional values allow the species builder to increase the attributes of the trait. Variable have 3 defining values of base, step and cost. Base is the starting value for the variable. When you pay for the trait at the base cost this is what your variables value is set to. The step is the point increase you apply to the base value every time you pay the cost. The cost is...well I just told you didn't I. It is important to remeber the variables and how they are defined here. They come up again with skills. The variables you will find in Red Ash Traits are:
Bonus, Skill Tree[Climbing]
Number of Bolts
Number of Targets
Reduction, Natural Armor
Reduction, Skill Tree[All Weapon Skills]
Reduction, Skill Tree[Bluff]
Reduction, Skill Tree[Climbing]
Reduction, Skill Tree[Endurance]
Rounds till Consumption
Size Category Increases
Time To Activate
Things to note:
Many of the difficulties are based on an ability. When a difficulty variable is displayed you add the base value plus any addition amount that you paid for to the ability for a final difficulty. A target must roll to save against this value.
As your abilities increase over levels so will the difficulty. The same holds true for difficulties based on skills. Difficulties that do not have a either an ability or skill related to them will have a much higher base value.
Some variables will have a step of zero. This means you can not adjust the variable....and yes I realize that make it a constant. I was just to lazy to add a new section because of semantics.