The rules require players to make d10 rolls during the game. In all cases this is a single open-ended d10 roll. An open-ended roll means that if you roll a 10 you may re-roll the d10 and add it to your original roll (10) to get a value greater than 10. If you roll a 10 again on the second roll you roll again and add it giving you a total over 20. And so on… This method gives the lowliest little pea-brained Orc a chance for success regardless of the odds against it.
Each character has a short list of stats that represent his physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities. Each stat is listed below with a description:
This represents the physical strength of the character. The average values for the different races are listed below:
Man: 5 (Haradrim,Variag, Sagath), 7 (Umbarean), 8 (Black Numénórean)
This represents the physical speed of the character. The average values for the different races are listed below:
Man: 7 (Variag), 5 (Haradrim, Sagath, Umbarean), 6 (Black Numénórean)
This represents the mental capacity and education of the character. This stat has four levels that are represented by words rather than numbers. The descriptions of each level are listed below:
No Thinks: The character is completely illiterate and incapable of speaking any language. He is essentially a wild animal. (Cave Troll)
Little Thinks: The character is completely illiterate. He is capable of only speaking in incomplete sentences with one syllable words. Any concept more complex than basic guard duty or mindless labor is beyond him. (Stone Troll)
Thinks: The character is illiterate. He is only capable of speaking in simple sentences using one and two syllable words. He is capable of grasping only the most simplistic plots. (Orc)
Big Thinks: The character is literate and fluent in one or two languages. He is capable of understanding, executing, and even hatching his own plots. He is not capable of understanding the intricacies of sorcery or the finer points of plots hatched by those of Really Big Thinks. (Man, Uruk, Olog)
Really Big Thinks: The character is literate and fluent in multiple languages including possibly some of the very difficult to master ancient languages. He understands and possibly practices sorcery at a rudimentary level. He understands the finer points of all plots except those hatched by the masters (see below). (Black Numénórean)
Really, Really… Big Thinks: Sauron.
Each character will have a spirit score. This stat is used to determine the success of sorcery when it is used against a character. The stat is also used for certain special abilities. The average values for each race are listed below:
Man: 6 (Variag, Sagath), 7 (Haradrim), 8 (Umbarean), 10 (Black Numénórean)
Troll: 8 (Olog), 5 (Stone Troll), 4 (Cave Troll)
Each skill a character has will have a score. The scores range from 1-20 where 1 indicates incompetence and 20 indicates a master. Skills are used in combat and for performing special actions.
If during the game there is a situation where two characters or groups of characters both try to act at the same time and there is a dispute as to who acted first. The characters may use an Initiative Check to resolve the dispute. During an Initiative Check, both characters or groups of characters roll a d10 and add their Speed stat value. The highest total has the option of acting first or allowing the other character or group of characters to act first. In the case of a group of characters they must use the lowest Speed stat among the characters in the group for the check.
Certain characters will possess the ability to use sorcery. They will have an index card for each spell they can cast. The index card will identify the type of the spell, the effect of the spell and how frequently it may be cast. The frequency with which a spell may be cast will be defined in terms of minutes i.e. 1 casting per 15 minutes. It is up to the spell caster to make sure these rules are followed. Spells have three types: Attack, Defense, and Non-Combat.
Attack Spell – These spells are used just like weapons in combat. They have three bonuses for the three rounds of combat and they are automatically effective i.e. you do not use a stat check to determine if they work.
Defense Spell – These spells are typically used in response to someone attacking the spell caster. They will allow the spell caster to delay combat or escape combat all together. These spells may use a stat check to determine if they work. They may not be cast once combat has started.
Non-combat Spell – These spells can be used when no combat is imminent. The target of a Non-combat Spell may choose to attack the spell caster after the spell is used on him however a Non-combat Spell may NOT be cast in response to an attack on a spell caster. If there is some question about what happened first the Non-combat spell or the attack, the characters involved should do an Initiative Check to resolve it. These spells use a stat check to determine if they work.
Certain spells require a stat check to determine if they are effective. In order to determine if a spell affects another character you must compare the spell caster’s spirit score to a stat of the target of the spell. In order to do this, the target of the spell must roll a d10 and add that to his stat score and tell the caster what his total is and if it is equal or higher to that of the caster’s Spirit stat plus a d10, the spell has no effect. The caster does not have to reveal his spirit score to the target nor does he have to reveal the nature of the spell unless the target is effected by the spell. If a caster wishes to cast a spell on a target without revealing that he is doing so in the game, he should contact a GM to act as an intermediary. The stats used by the target for each spell is identified on the index card.
After talking to Hukjuk the Uruk, Ugbug the Shaman decides he is a little too smart and Ugbug casts his Rot Head spell on him. The spell is a Non-combat spell and since Hukjuk was not attacking Ugbug or in combat with Ugbug this is okay. The spell requires a Spirit vs Spirit stat check to be successful. Ugbug rolls a d10 and gets a 7 that he adds to his Spirit stat of 10 for a total of 17. Hukjuk then rolls a d10 and gets a 3 that he adds to his Spirit stat of 5 for a total of 8. Ugbug’s total is higher than Hukjuk’s total so the spell is effective. Ugbug tells Hukjuk the effect of the spell that is that he his Thinks score is reduced to No Thinks for the next 10 minutes. Hukjuk is too stupid at this point to get angry about the situation and so he just stands there and drools while Ugbug moves onto other business.
Certain characters have special abilities. Each special ability will be described on an index card. All details on how to use the special ability will be included on the card. Special ability cards that have “Combat Only” in the description may only be used in combat.
There are items in the game that may be exchanged between players during the game. These items will whenever possible consist of the appropriate props. If an item has some function in the game that requires information or it requires a description beyond the props appearance it will have a card attached to it with the pertinent information. A prop without its item card or an item card without its prop is meaningless. If they get separated the GMs are just going to get pissed so don’t separate them. Certain items will not have props and they will say “No Prop” on the item card. Lastly the GMs want all the props back and they will hunt you down if you take them.
Certain items are relics. Relics are ancient powerful enchanted items. If an item is a relic it will have the word Relic on the index card for the item.
Certain items are enchanted. Enchanted items are created with sorcery and possess certain special powers. If an item is enchanted it will have the word Enchanted on the index card for the item.
Gold coin is a special type of item that will be represented by a prop only. The amount of gold a character possesses will be indicated by the amount of the prop he has.
Gems are also used as a form of currency that will be represented by a prop only. Each gem has the value of 5 gold coins.
Herbs are a no prop item. Most herbs will have information on the item card that describes the effect of the herb if it is eaten. If the herb does not have a description of the effect and you want to eat it go see the GM before you eat it. If a character has eaten an herb he should write the time the herb was eaten on the card and the effects of the herb will last for the period of time specified on the card starting at the time written on the card. An herb can only be eaten once. Note: Most herbs do not affect trolls. Unless an herb says specifically it affects trolls in its description assume that it does not.
There will be some tasty snacks at the game. If you eat or drink anything off the snack table your character is consuming it in the game.
Work team cards are meant to represent the labor of Orc work teams. Certain characters will have control over the Orc work teams at Barad-wath and they will start the game with a number of work team cards. Each card represents the labor of a work team for a certain amount of time. Other characters will require work team labor to complete tasks within the game. They must obtain work team cards from the characters that possess them in order to get the work done. A character who wishes to give the labor of a work team to another character may either give him the card in which case the character receiving the card may do with it as he sees fit when he sees fit OR the character giving the work team can go with the character requesting the work team to a GM and give the GM the card towards the execution of a specific task. In the first case the character giving the card is not supervising the labor. In the second he is. In either case the card must be given to a GM in order to accomplish the labor required. Each work team card specifies the Orc tribe the laborers are from and it should be noted that some teams do not work well with others.
Combat occurs when one character approaches another character and declares he is attacking him. The character that is being attacked may opt to escape. In order to escape the character must beat his attacker in an Initiative Check. If he does the attacker must leave him alone for 15 minutes after which the attacker can attack him again. A character may only opt to escape once. It is assumed that the second time the attacker is careful to corner him.
If a character does not or can’t opt to escape he must fight. The combat consists of three rounds. Each round the attacker and defender calculate a combat score and compare them. The character with the higher combat score wins the round. If both characters have the same score it is a tie. The tie goes to the character with the highest brawn stat minus any damage dots. If this is still a tie the round goes to the winner of a dice roll. The character that wins the most rounds wins the combat and he may loot and/or kill his opponent. The loser of the combat is incapacitated for 10 minutes.
To calculate a combat score for a round the character must add the following:
- Add combat skill score
- Add weapon bonus OR Attack Spell bonus for the round
- Add any special ability bonus for the round
- Add any herb bonus for the round
- Subtract the number of damage dots on his character card
- Add the result of a d10 roll
The combat skill is the same for every round. The weapon bonus for each round will vary based on the speed of the weapon. A large slow weapon will have a larger bonus to fewer rounds while a small fast weapon will have a smaller bonus to more rounds. An Attack Spell bonus will vary from round to round based on the spell. Special ability bonuses will either be the same for all rounds or round specific.
A character MAY NOT use an Attack Spell AND a weapon in the same combat. A character must choose a weapon or Attack Spell to use at the start of combat and may not change them once the combat has begun.
Each time a character loses or ties a combat round his opponent should put a damage dot (orange sticker) on the back of his character card. In subsequent combat rounds and combats the character must subtract 1 from his combat score in each round for each damage dot on his character card. If at any time the number of damage dots a character has exceeds his Brawn stat value he is considered incapacitated until he is healed.
If a character forgets to put the damage dots on his opponent’s character card then I guess he wasn’t really trying to hurt him.
If a character loses a combat and is not killed he is inactive for 10 minutes.
Certain characters and items can heal damage dots. Damage dots that are healed are covered by a heal dot (white sticker) and are no longer counted in combat or against a character’s total damage.
Characters may opt to fight together to attack or defend. If they do they determine which character has the highest combat score and then add ½ of each additional character’s combat score to get a single combat score for each round. If they lose a combat round all characters that added in their combat scores are considered to have lost the combat round.
There is a limit to number of characters that may attack a single character. The limits vary based on the race of the characters:
- A maximum of three non-troll characters may attack a single non-troll character.
- A maximum of four non-troll characters can attack a single troll character.
- A maximum of three troll characters can attack a single troll character.
- A maximum of two troll characters may attack a single non-troll character.
The average combat skills for characters are as follows:
Orc Shaman 18
Certain weapon and sorcery Attack Spells are special in that they can end combat before three rounds have been completed. These are called 1st round lethal or 2nd round lethal weapons. If a character with a 1st round lethal weapon wins the first round of a combat the combat is over and his opponent is automatically dead. If a character with a 2nd round lethal weapon wins the second round of combat the combat is over and his opponent is automatically dead regardless of the outcome of the first round.
If a character using one of these weapons or sorcery spells combines his combat score with other characters’ combat scores who are using normal weapons and sorcery, the 1st or 2nd round lethal weapon or sorcery is treated as normal and it loses the combat ending and lethal special effects.
Certain characters have an escort to protect them. A character with an escort may not be attacked. If a character with an escort attacks another character he loses the protection of the escort and the character he attacks may engage him in combat normally. If a character with an escort attacks another character, other characters nearby may join in the combat against the attacker. A character with an escort may be targeted by non-combat spells and certain special abilities. Special abilities that may not be used against a character with an escort will have this written on their index card. A character with an Escort will have an “E” on their badge.
Certain characters have a bodyguard to protect them. If they are attacked they will gain substantial combat bonuses because of their bodyguard. If they are defeated in combat the bodyguard is also defeated and the special ability card for the bodyguard should be destroyed. A character with a “B” on his badge has a bodyguard.
If a character loses combat the winner of the combat or someone who watched the combat for all three rounds may loot him. If a character is looted he must show all his item cards and associated props to the looter who may take what he wants. A character that is being looted should not show the looter his character card, special ability, or sorcery cards. Work team cards may not be looted.
If a character is incapacitated he may not attack other characters or cast spells. If an incapacitated character is attacked he automatically loses combat.
If a character loses combat the winner or an onlooker may kill him. If a character is killed he must remain inactive for 10 minutes after which he should go to the GMs’ table. At the GMs’ table he should place his dead character’s character card, special ability, and sorcery cards in the graveyard bucket and draw a new character from the cannon fodder bucket. Any items that were not looted from his old character are now possessions of his new character.
Each character will have a badge with his name on it and stickers indicating certain things about his character. The following is a list of the possible stickers:
Yellow - Orc
Green - Uruk
Blue - Human
Red – Troll
Black – Orc Shaman
White with “E” – Character has an Escort
White with “B” – Character has a bodyguard.
In addition a character’s badge will have a number on it indicating the character’s rank in the fortress command structure. The ranks range from 1-10 with 1 being the highest and 10 the lowest.
1st Round Lethal – A weapon on sorcery spell that kills an opponent and ends combat on the first round if the character wielding it wins the round.
2nd Round Lethal – A weapon on sorcery spell that kills an opponent and ends combat on the second round if the character wielding it wins the round.
Attack Spell – A spell that functions like a weapon and that may only be used in combat.
Brawn – The stat representing the physical strength of a character.
Character Card – An index card with a character’s name, stats, and skills on it. It should not be shown to other characters.
Combat Only – A specification on sorcery power and special ability cards indicating that the power or ability may only be used during combat.
Combat Score – Combat score = a character’s Combat Skill + weapon/sorcery round bonus + armor bonus + any item/special ability/sorcery non-round specific bonus – 2 x the number of damage dots a character has. This value is compared to the opponent’s Combat Score to determine who won a round during a combat.
Combat Skill – The level of proficiency a character has with weapons or sorcery in melee combat.
Combat Round – Each combat has three rounds. The winner of two out of the three rounds is the winner of the combat.
Damage Dot – An orange sticker placed on the back of the winner and loser’s character cards to signify damage taken in the combat.
Defense Spell – A spell that may be used in response to an attack on a spell casting character. It may not be used once combat has started.
Escape – The option a character has the first time he is attacked by another character. In order to escape he must have a higher speed stat than his opponent(s). If he escapes his attackers must leave him alone for 15 minutes.
Escort – A group of “NPC” guards that protect a character from attack by other characters.
Gold Coins – The currency used in the game for exchange of goods and services.
Heal Dot – A white sticker placed over a damage dot to indicate that the damage has been healed.
Herb – An organic material that can be consumed to produce an effect (mushroom, flower etc). They may only be used once and the effects of them last for a finite period of time specified on the item card.
Inactive – An inactive character may not discuss or participate in game activities.
Initiative Check – A check done to resolve a dispute between two characters over who acted first in a situation. A character’s initiative value is equal to a d10 roll added to his Speed stat.
Item Card – An index card representing an item in the game. The card may or may not be attached to a prop. The card will have a description of the item, the item type, the item’s spirit and any bonuses associated with the item (combat or otherwise).
Looting – The removal of items from a character that has been killed or has lost combat. Only item cards and money may be removed during looting.
No Prop – A designation on an item card indicating that there is no physical prop associated with the item.
Non-combat Spell – A spell that may be used in a non-combat situation. It cannot be used during combat or in response to an attack on a spell casting character.
Only One Allowed – A specification on an item card indicating that only one of the item’s type may be possessed at a time by a character.
Prop – A physical item used to represent a game item. It will usually have an index card attached to it with a more detailed description and how it may be used in the game
Round Specific – A weapon and sometimes a sorcery power are round specific. The card representing the weapon or sorcery power will have three bonuses on it identified for three different rounds. These bonuses are used during each of the rounds of a combat.
Skill Score – The level of proficiency a character has with a particular skill.
Sorcery Card – An index card representing a sorcery power possessed by a character in the game. The card will have the character’s name, a description of the sorcery power and how it is used.
Special Ability Card – An index card representing a character’s special ability. The card will have the name of the character, a description of the special ability and how it is used.
Speed – The stat representing the dexterity and reflexes of a character.
Spirit – The stat representing the spiritual power of a character. This is important for using and resisting sorcery.
Thinks – The stat representing the intelligence and education of a character.
Work Team Card – An index card representing the labor of an Orc work team. The card will identify the tribe of the Orcs in the team.