Raven of the Scythe
A pen and paper fantasy role playing game.
Raven of the Scythe
A pen and paper fantasy role playing game.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's a fantasy tabletop game. You make characters and go on adventures with your friends. You fight monsters, find treasure, explore tombs, and dungeons, and might even fight a dragon or two.Last updated:
Raven of the Scythe is a game that takes a lot of the tropes that you find in traditional high fantasy role-playing games but scales it back just a bit.
Your characters will grow, change, becomes more powerful, and master their skills, but they never quite get to the point where they have so many hit points that they are invincible. They can get sick, hurt, poisoned, and suffer lasting injuries.
Raven of the Scythe is a game where a young and idealistic wannabe adventurer could have grown up on stories of heroes jumping off of 200ft cliffs, drinking a healing potion when they hit the ground, and then fighting off 1,000 orcs; will be told by an older more experienced veteran "Kid, it doesn't really work like that."Last updated:
Like a lot of games, RotS is played by a group of players sitting around with their character sheets and a central game master guiding the story.
Players are defined with six basic attributes: Agility, Might, Mind, Perception, Stamina, and Willpower. After that, you have a handful of compiles scores that are based off their attributes.
After that, characters have skills that covers things like: Craftsmanship, Charisma, Fighting, Stealth, and many other things.
The last step is a character's Favors. These are highly specific advantages and abilities that help flesh out a character an makes them unique. These cover things like: Magic, Animal Companions, Weapon Styles, Bardic Abilities, Stealth Attacks, and much more.
Skill checks are made by rolling 2d10 (you count them as reading 0 to 9, not 1 to 10). You add any relevant modifiers and try to be the difficulty of the check. A bit more will go into it in actual play of course, but at its heart, that's the whole system right there.Last updated:
Character creation is one of the things I am most proud of with this game. Character creation can be done pretty quickly while at the same time allows you to make a wide variety of character types.
The actual process is broken down into steps.
O Name and Description
O Basic Attributes
O Compiled Scores
O Starting Favors
O Customization Option
O Starting Wealth and Gear
There are six basic attributes in the game, Agility, Might, Mind, Perception, Stamina, and Willpower. Each attribute has a score ranging with 0 - 5 with 0 representing an attribute that is completely underdeveloped while 5 represents the pinnacle of human ability.
You start with 4 points and can spend them however you like.
For instance, a starting character might have scores that look like this.
Next, you use those basic attributes to determine a couple of compiled scores like speed, initiative, hit points, and guard.
The next step is skills. Skills are ranked by two scores; talent and training. Talent comes from your score in whatever basic attribute that is related to that skill, and training represents the level of...well, training you have done to develop this skill. The sum of these two scores is called your proficiency.
Each character gets to pick three skills and each of these skills gets +2 to their training.
For instance, the above character might have the following skills.
Acrobatics: Talent (Agility +1) + Training (+2) = Proficency +3
Archery: Talent (Might +2) + Training (+2) = Proficency +4
Fighting: Talent (Agility +1) + Training (+2) = Proficency +3
After that, you will select your starting favors. Favors are pretty specific additional abilities that allow your character to do a ton of unique and special things as well as grants bonuses in special situations. This is where a lot of the customization of your character will come from. Each character selects 2 favors at creation.
For instance, the above character might pick the following favors.
Archery (Bow Proficiency)
Combat Style: Broadswords (Precision Strike)
After that, you get some starting cash and buy your initial equipment. And that is pretty much it.
One of the coolest things that character creation in RotS offers is something I am calling Customization Options.
Each character can select a single customization option during character creation. This allows you to get an extra point for your basic attributes, select an additional skill, select an additional favor, or start with more gold. This way, even two starting characters may look different from one another, and its all based on the choices that the player made when the character was built.Last updated:
This goes into my idea to keep RotS a bit more grounded.
This is very much a game about the human experience and human drives and desires. The presence of traditional fantasy races works great in some games and in some settings, but that isn't what I was going for here. There are no wise immortal elves or dower dwarven smiths to guide humanity in the world of RotS. There is just humanity in all its frailty, virtue, and ambition alone in a world where ancient and powerful beings lurk just beyond the safety of the city walls.
While there are stories of plotting dragons and sleeping gods, it is humans who are the driving force in this world. All the great heroes and dark lords of this world have been humans. I feel like, at least I hope, that this fact helps to somewhat establish the tone that I was going for with this game.Last updated:
Well, 2d10 gives you an average result of 11. 2d9 gives an average result of 9.
That might not seem like much, but In a world where the average difficulty of most check is going to be 10, that slight drop in average roll means that an untrained person is just slightly more likely to fail at a roll, than they are to succeed at it. For me, this eliminated the need for any kind of nonproficient penalty. Rather, I just skewed the dice a little low, and let the law of averages take care of the rest.
This really ties into my design philosophy of reducing the number of modifiers whenever possible in the game. For the most part, I wanted the results of the dice to determine passing and failing at a glance without needing to stop the game to consult the rulebook.
Of course, there are modifiers that come into the game from things like magic, favors, and other circumstances. I tried to keep this easy also by simply statring that the vast majority of modifiers come in +/-2 increments in an attempt to reduce the amount of time adding them up (i.e. if something is giving you a bonus to a roll....its probably going to be +2.
I really tried to make the play as fast and fluid as possible, and the 2d9 mechanic is a prime example of that.Last updated:
I wanted the version that is available to download now to be as complete as possible so that people could see exactly what Raven of the Scythe is and what it has to offer, but I also wanted to add a bit for the finished version. The finished version includes some new items in the equipment section, new magic items, new favors, and new monsters for GMs to challenge their players with.Last updated:
I hope so. If this campaign goes well I don't see any reason not to do a print on demand for it. I have never done that before, so it may take me a bit to figure it out, but that's where I want to head.
Eventually, I would like to see it on a few store shelves, but that is a few steps down the road.Last updated:
Well, if this goes well I have a few ideas for future products.
One thing that I simply don't want to do is put out book with more favors or other things that could affect character creation in such a way as to leave players that built their character with the core rules feeling ripped off because they didn't access to the options that came later.
Things like spells and magic items are a possibility because for me it is very possible to come across a magical item or spell that they hadn't heard of before.
Monsters are also a strong possibility for future updates, because, from what I've seen, GMs never have too many creatures to build an encounter with. Also, GMs can determine what creatures are appropriate for their settings, even mid campaign.
Also, I have a setting that I want to flesh out some more. It is called Lands of Arrovengia and you can check it out for free if you want. If this game gets funded, I would like to work on that next.Last updated:
A few years back I started working on an RPG I was calling Song of Ages. It didn't go that well.
But I kept working on it, started over a few times, and the game that came out of that process was Raven of the Scythe.
Someday, I might go back to the ideas that started SoA, but for right now I am focused on Raven of the Scythe.Last updated:
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