New too P&P
Below is a rough overview of what is needed to play a Future Path game as well as some basic rules and vocabulary that is part of the nomenclature of this System. Players will find that these rules and ideas are largely standard across most Pen & Paper games.
What you'll need
Well, how do I start? If you never played a Pen and Paper game before, then you should finish the rest of this page before moving on as it helps to explain a few things.
- All these rules? You will need to learn at least some of the rules. But not only is it not necessary to know every single rule it is also not practical. The important part is to be familiar with this site and where you can find a rule when it comes up in gameplay.
- If you are a Player going directly to the Character Creation and Advancement page is a nice start. It will help you make a character which will, in turn, bounce you around different pages on this wiki. You can also read through the sections under "Rules" (you can skip the Combat section for now)
- If you are a GM then start with all the page under the "Rules" category including the Combat section, "Characters" category and "Campaign Setting" category.
- Number of people? Games typically are played with at least 3 people (1 GM and 2 Players) but for best results, most games have 4 players and 1 GM.
- Game Master? You will need to pick a player that will be the GM. Usually, someone who wishes to tell a story premade or there own. More about GM below.
- How long does it take? Game sessions usually last 3 to 5 hours however they can go on much longer. It really is up to everyone if they want to keep going or stop. Either case you will need to be able to find a group of friends that can make that work in their schedule. There are also helpful online recourses that allow for remote gameplay for those who cannot physically meet in person.
The Game Master or GM describes events that occur in the game universe. In some system, the Game Master is called 'The Story Teller'. However, the role is more popularly known as the Dungeon Master.
Players take turns acting on what they hear from the GM by sharing what their characters do in the universe. However, unlike simple storytelling, the actions Characters take are not certain. The success of an action is left to some degree of chance according to dice rolls. Some actions are more challenging than others and the GM helps to determine how difficult actions are. Players usually go on adventures with other Players exploring the Story and world the GM describes. The GM can also have other made up Characters (usually called NPCs, or Non-Player Characters) to help with Storing telling and to give the Player Characters someone to interact with such as a villain!
A 'd' what? There are more than 6 sides to dice!? Yes! There are all sorts of dice out there! The most common type people are used too is the six sided die, usually having numbers represented by dots. In many pen and paper games, and especially in the d20 system, there are a lot of different types of dice that are used. To quickly say what type of die is required, someone may say, "Roll a d20," or "Use a d12". They are simply using a notation. The 'd' is for die, and the number is the number of sides on the die. Like so:
- d4 = four sided die
- d6 = six sided die
- d8 = eight sided die
- d10 = ten sided die
- d12 = twelve sided die
- d20 = twenty sided die
Why so many dice!? Well, lots of reasons, but the end result is that they can represent different weapons or a percentage chance for success at an action. Your character sheet will help let you know what die to role under what circumstances.
There is one other die notation:
- d% = percentile dice (a number between 1 and 100 is generated by rolling two different ten-sided dice. One (designated before rolling) is the tens digit, and the other is the ones digit. Two 0s represent 100.)
Die rolls are expressed in the format: [#] die type [+/- modifiers]
Example: 3d6+2 means: "Roll 3 six sided dice. Add the result of the three dice together, then add 2 for the total."
|Level 7||1d12 + 1d2|
|Level 8||1d12 + 1d4|
|Level 9||1d12 + 1d6|
|Level 10||1d12 + 1d8|
|Level 11||1d12 + 1d10|
|Level 13||2d12 + 1d2|
|Level 14||2d12 + 1d4|
Some times there may be an effect that "increases the die level by one". Die levels are simply a ranking of each die ordered from the lowest max result to the highest max result. So for example 1d2 all the way to 2d12. The tables to the right show the different die levels in the game.
There are two different Die Levels. Both start out at d2 but they become different after level 6. The Die Levels used for Weapons and Advantage go from 1d2 to 2d12 at level 9. While the Die Level used for Skills keeps going in a loop from 1d2 at level 1 too 1d12+1d2 at level 7 and then again at level 13 it will be 2d12 + 1d2.
This is simply vocabulary for explaining the size of a Character. If a GM says that a person in the game is Diminutive then all the players can understand the size. There are also some rules surrounding size inside of combat. These vocabulary words are used to define the size of Characters, Space ships and general items in the game.
- Characters: Roughly 1 inch tall or shorter.
- Items: Microscopic
- Characters: Taller than an inch but shorter than a foot.
- Items: Visible by the human eye but just barely.
- Characters: Roughly a foot or taller.
- Items: Examples would be micromachines, credit cards.
- Characters: Between 2 and 4 feet tall.
- Items: Things that could fit in your pocket. Cell phone for example
- Characters: Between 4 and 7 feet tall.
- Items: A Laptop or large tablet. Something you probably need to carry in a backpack.
- Characters: A wide and tall person 8ft+ tall and their stance wider than 5ft. A horse is a good creature example.
- Items: This would require a special backpack to carry or sling. Possibly a large suitcase.
- Characters: Usually a monster of some type that takes up more than 10 by 10-foot space. An elephant is an example.
- Items: These items you would not be able to carry yourself. A motorcycle would be a good example
- Characters: Usually these creatures are towering massive individuals and can stand 15ft+ and take up 15ft to 20ft squares. A giraffe possibly.
- Items: A car or even a small bus.
- Characters: Massive Creatures. Examples would be like the Blue Whale or some of the larger Dinosaurs.
- Items: A Bus or small house.
Items are a tad tricky. In this case, they only apply to objects from the General Equipment page. Weapons, Armor, Spaceships, Vehicles, and other things may have different rules for size. However, this should give you a good working foundation for what is expected. If something states "moves up a size category" or "Cannot do if one size category higher then you" use the above text as a guide.
Medium is the default size for just about everything. Characters and so one. The GM has the final say on the size of something in the game if the rules do not clearly specify. A Character's Species may state a different size.
Basic Task Resolution System
Player actions often require dice rolls to determine success which adds an element of randomness to the adventure. Combat has the largest and most involved set of rules explaining what to roll and when, but what about the day to day stuff? Honestly, the amount of role-playing in gameplay depends greatly on Player and GM style. Whenever there is a conflict or simply any other choice/task where there is a reasonable possibility for some degree of failure, Players should roll. That sounds kinda open to interpretation, and that's because it is. It's designed in such a way as to give freedom to the GM and Players alike.
There is a standardized system for determining the success or failure of any given task:
- d20 + Advantage Die + Modifiers vs. Target Number
- d20: This is the standard die that is used in all conflict resolutions. This is based on the d20+ rule set. (d20+ is a modification of the d20 ruleset)
- Advantage Die: Optional This only applies when a Character is performing a task that they are proficient in or that the GM determines they have an advantage or disadvantage. To learn more about how Advantage system works go to the Advantage page.
- Modifiers: A modifier is anything you add on top of your die roll, usually to boost it and help your chances for success. It is often the Ability Scores modifier or a Misc bonus to a Skill.
- Target Number: In combat, the Target Number is usually the enemies AC or Armor Class. In order for the Character to hit the enemy the Player must roll an accuracy check against that enemy's AC. It can also be a DC or Difficulty Check. An example would character is trying to disarm a bomb. The bomb has a "DC" or Difficulty of 20. The Player's Target Number that they must beat when doing the roll is 20.
The Modifiers and Target Number are determined by the type of task. If the resulting roll meets or exceeds the Target Number, the test is successful. Any other result is failure. A "natural" anything is when you roll a d20, in which case you get that number, as opposed to unnatural, meaning that the number was only reached after adding modifiers to it. So a "natural 20" would mean you rolled a d20 and got the number 20 before you added your modifiers. A 'Nat 20' (or Natural 20) in combat usually means a critical hit while a 'Nat 1' means a critical failure. However, critical success and failure only happens while in combat.
Other Common Definitions/Notations
- These two words are interchangeable. They both refer to a Character that is playable by either the Game Master or a Player. They gain levels and have Classes and so on. A Player makes a Character/Hero as there avatar that they control in the game.
- AC stands for Armor Class. It is how well defended a Character is and how hard it is too hit them. Armor Class tries to represent both the Armor a target has but also easy it is for them to dodge or simply how hard it may be to land a hit that may do damage. 10 + Armor Bonus + Dexterity Modifier + Siz Modifier + Natural Armor + Misc Modifier.
Accuracy Check/Attack Roll
- Accuracy Check/Attack Roll. These two phrases are interchangeable and mean the same thing. They imply that a player needs to roll a d20 and add the correct modifiers to determine the success of an attack. The roll is usually d20 + Advantage Die (If proficient with the weapon) + Dexterity Modifier for Ranged and Strength Modifier for Melee.
- How quick a Character can react to the environment. This helps determine the question of 'What team goes first?' in combat. It also is used to resolve a conflict between Characters such as 'Who gets to the door first?'. It is calculated by adding both Wisdom and Dexterity Modifiers together.
- Class andAdvance Classes are specific 'paths' a Hero can choose that provide lays of customization that are what help allow your Character to stand out among the others. Classes usually refer to Future Hero Base Classes.
- Talents: These are special features that are specific to a certain Path or Advance Class.
- Feats: These are special abilities or features that can be picked by any Character and help define the role that Character is attempting to fill.
- Traits: These are provided usually at level one by the Species one picks.
- All these just imply the use of dice. A Check is a way to confirm if an action performed by the Character is successful. While a Saving Throw is to see if an action performed on a Character is successful.
- Damage can be given to a Character in different ways. The default is with 'Kinetic' energy. If not specified Kinetic is the default damage type. There are 4 different damage types in Future Path. There is Chemical/Electrical/Kinetic/Thermal. DR can guard against a specific type or against all at the same time. Learn more about it here.
DR (Damage Reduction)
- DR stands for Damage reduction. This acts sorta like a barrier that removes some of the damage that would otherwise be subtracted from your Hit Points. If a Character has 10 HP and 2 DR and gets hits for 8 points of damage then DR adsorbs 2 points leaving 6 to be subtracted from the 10 HP leaving only 4 left. DR can be provided by personal shields or by Armor through customization. There are DR for certain damage types to which there are 4 of and then there is Total DR which guards against all damage types.
The Most Important Rule
Have fun! Seriously its a game! Not all the rules listed on this site may fit your adventure. If changing them allows for fun, and fair play for all Players then why not? And why not share those changes online with the community? Keep in mind that following a set of rules helps build the imaginary world that can be shared with all players. If you suggest a change to a rule everybody needs to be aware of it. Often, the GM may have his/her own "house rules." But again... Have fun! Don't worry too much if one rule doesn't make as much sense as another. Its a game. Feel free to try out new ideas. Think of it as a different game mode. As long as there is continuity between Players and GMs understanding of the rules, feel free to experiment.
This doesn't mean these rules are meaningless, only that they have a place. They are here to help build a fun adventure for everyone. If they have not succeeded at that, then either this game is not for you or perhaps the rules need work. Also, we picked these rules and built this system intentionally for the purpose of playing and having fun. If you haven't tried our particular rule set please at least attempt to use it in its whole and original state before passing judgment and making your own tweaks.