horned shadows of towers that were never built have clawed their way
across reality in ever more aberrant shapes. While the treptyls pull
strings from behind their corporate masks, Qalidar continues to seep
through the space-time flaws they recklessly exploit. The skulking
Indrids warn us to avert our eyes and stop our ears against the echoes
of the cataclysm, lest its image in our minds conjure a more thorough
apocalypse. Meanwhile, whether by the cruel experiments of the
insectoid dobbers or the compulsive ritual construction work of the
cyborg custodians, our minds and our world are being quietly made over
in the image of something else.
But there are those who can hear the whisper under the Storm, whose
travels have taken them far enough outside the tapestry of the Synarchs
that they can see the pattern for what it is. They can step into the
secret places where the oligarchs spin their webs, and they can cover
the wells through which the substance of Qalidar bubbles into the
daylit world. Some are soldiers in a larger rebellion and some are
solitary explorers, but one word unites them all: Resistance.
Will you join them, or will you surrender to the sprawling shadow of Qalidar?
|What is Qalidar?
home world in which your characters live could be any real or imagined
place you want, the central assumption of this game is that Qalidar
lurks beneath the surface.
Qalidar is a name for the cracks spreading out from a hole in time, and
for the pits one drops into when falling through those cracks. Perhaps
most famously, it refers to a starless city at the heart of the spiral
where three roads named for the three gorgon sisters converge.
Qalidar is also the transcendent Storm that opens the way to this
broken reality and offers the canny traveler a powerful, if dangerous,
path to faraway ports and alien worlds. And beyond that Storm, if such
a thing is conceivable, Qalidar is the screaming light that sears the
empty plains of the Outside.
These are lost, broken worlds of toxic darkness, filled with
fungus-maddened cannibals and carnivorous living crystal. The sentient
beings that have learned to survive here are no better for their
rationality. Less evolved minds would never be capable of such
calculated cruelty. Less evolved minds would never have found a way to
extend their venomous claws back into the natural world.
These interloping minds from the dark places under the universe
constitute the other major component of the assumed setting.
Corporations and governments are being manipulated across multiple
worlds. Whether intentionally or by reckless exploitation, the universe
is being altered. The player characters, as storm walkers, able to
travel through the Storm, will be among the few individuals in a
position to discover and combat these depredations.
are built using six basic attributes on a 3-18 scale. Strength,
Agility, and Intelligence are exactly what they sound like.
Constitution, as in other games and, of course, the nineteenth century,
is health and physical hardiness. Perception is an aggregate measure of
the acuity of all the character's senses. Power measures willpower and
force of personality. Available character classes include:
Whether by magic, science, or some
mysterious blending of the two, you have begun a process of radical
self-enhancement that will take you farther and farther from ordinary
humanity as you progress. The ascendant's standard
abilities are based on fairly simple enhancements like night
vision, enhanced healing, ability score increases, and natural armor.
Other upgrade options also become available, including magical or
technological attachments and enhanced cognitive abilities.
Fixers take things apart and put them
back together in new ways. These are not methodical professionals who
take care to do everything correctly, but roguish improvisers who throw
together alchemy, electronics, sympathetic magic, and whatever else
looks good at the time, only guessing at the potential result.
Fixers are given single or multi-use items such as potions or gadgets
which they can choose as they advance. They also have a special
improvisational ability which enables them to combine elements during
an adventure for a one-time effect.
As a karcist, you give form to the
ever-growing flaws in the structure of the multiverse and bind the
resulting entities - ephemeral intelligences called vectors - to your
will. Vectors can manifest as animistic spirits, demons, and even
computer viruses. The karcist's skills are rooted in the forms of
ritual magic, relying on symbols, talismans, and secret names.
The karcist gains a steady progression of abilities focused on gaining
information from vectors, commanding and animating the undead,
contacting other planes, and similar otherworldly abilities. In
addition, you frequently gain single-use talismans that you are assumed
to have created between sessions.
The mystic is an
ascetic who learns to see the true nature of reality through
contemplation. As a mystic, you can learn to read minds, heal wounds,
and even use your heightened awareness and studied detachment to
sidestep the whims of fate. In addition to a number of
psychic powers which you select as you advance, you can fudge dice
rolls and access the abilities of your other selves from alternate
This is the close combat expert, whether
armed or bare-fisted. No other class can match you for combat stamina
or breadth of hand to hand weapon skills. The scrapper's
advantages are primarily in hit points and an increasing number of
extra interrupts. Scrappers also gain the equivalent of a knack for all
hand to hand attacks.
The sharp is all about precision. You train intensely with your chosen weapon, study your target, and strike decisively.
A sharp gets bonuses with a specialized weapon and for studying a
target before attacking. You also receive several other abilities
related to this theme as your character advances.
The core mechanic is simple and will be
familiar to most gamers. Roll a twenty-sided die, add the appropriate
modifiers, and try to match or exceed a target number.
As in the Peryton RPG,
skills are handled somewhat nebulously, using ability checks modified
by a third of the character's level. As your character progresses, you
acquire knacks, special areas of expertise for which you add your level
instead of the standard bonus.
Unlike the Peryton RPG, saving throws no longer exist as a discrete
mechanic. When some form of resistance or avoidance roll is required,
an ordinary ability check of the appropriate type is used. Because of
this, it is also possible that a character could have a knack for a
roll of this sort, even for a purely autonomic process like resisting
Attack rolls are calculated the same way, normally using Agility. As
with saving throws, this means that specific maneuvers are eligible to
become knacks. For example, one's attack roll might normally be [d20 +
Agility modifier + 1/3 level]. If that character has a knack for
attempting to disarm, then anything that reasonably falls into this
category would instead be attempted as [d20 + Agility modifier +
level]. More detailed guidelines for adjudicating situations like this
will, of course, be provided with the rules.
As for the target number, everyone has a defense score, which is
determined primarily by character class and level. Armor absorbs
damage, but negatively impacts defense, making your character easier to
hit, but better able to take it.
Another addition is the concept of interrupts. Every character gets a
single attack plus movement each round but, as they progress, your
characters will also gain interrupts. Every interrupt is an opportunity
to take an action during someone else's turn, or an extra one during
your own. Interrupts are renewed at the end of the encounter, and can
be useful for parries, dodges, and all manner of improvisational