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Core Game Mechanic

Hi there! This is the page where I describe in brief terms, how the game is played and refereed. I decided NOT to go with the standard D20 method of game play used in D&D and Pathfinder etc. Though I mean no disrespect to role-playing pioneers like Gygax and Arneson, who paved the way with such systems, I had always felt that there were many elements of game play that I wanted to change or amend. Trying to customize the D20 system to suite my needs felt a bit like playing "Jenga". Every time I removed an existing rule, I risked the collapse of the old system. So, I decided to create my own unique game system from scratch. Sink or swim, I would own this project from top to bottom. That being said, certain design elements will ofcourse seem familiar to all role-playing games. ANKUR is a class-based system, characters have Aptitude stats depicting their natural abilities, characters posses skills, engage in conflict resolution through die rolls, and rewards are given for making choices consistent with their character's motivations and morality. The aim of any game system is to allow the players to embark on a journey of discovery and to have fun in the process. I hope that I can accomplish that with this game.

Stats and their range:  In ANKUR ability stats are referred to as "Aptitudes". There are 8 Aptitudes in ANKUR that exemplify a character's innate abilities (5 physical & 3 mental). The 8 Aptitudes are: Brawn, Agility, Perception, Toughness, Speed, Intellect, Influence, and Spirit. In the ANKUR game world, all Aptitude scores range from 1 to 5 (1 = Below Average, 2 = Average, 3 = Above average, 4 = Heroic, 5 = Divine) . Some characters have minimum or maximum Aptitude requirements. Any character may spend experience points to increase Aptitude scores, but no player character may possess an Aptitude higher than 5. Some creatures and non-player characters however, may have Aptitudes above 5.

Morality:In the game world of ANKUR™, there are three categories of moral/ethical behavior that helps to define their character’s ethos: Neutral, Righteous, and Wicked. Each player must choose one morality category that best fits their character concept. In addition to being a moral compass for role-play, each morality type has it’s own special ability unique to characters of that morality.

Castes: Ankur uses a Caste system in lieu of "Classes", though in game terms they function the same. There are seven character Castes to choose from: Garradum (Soldier), Dubsar (Scribe), Lagaru (Healer), Barbaru (Scout), Shidim (Engineer), Naru (Entertainer), and Irhandi (Psionicist). ANKUR's Castes/Classes do not have levels.

Levels: ANKUR doesn't use the concept of "Class Levels", it does however incorporate "Skill Levels" called "Circles". There are 9 possible circles of ability a character can aspire to attain in each skill. All starting character skills start at 1st circle ability. Attaining the 9th circle of ability in any skill indicates skill mastery. Skill circles are advanced by spending experience points. The cost of increasing a skill by one circle is determined by the character's Intellect Aptitude score; the more Intelligent you are, the faster you learn. Each circle of ability adds to the character's chances of success with that skill.

Skills: In ANKUR, you learn by doing and improve by doing often. Skills increase in circles of ability with experience. A character's starting EXP determines the number of starting skill points, while Intelligence determines the cost of skills. Skills come in two variety: Complex skills and Simple skills. Complex skills are more expensive to learn, may have pre-requisites, and can only be taught/learned by members of the same caste. Simple skills are less expensive and easy to learn. Any simple skill can also be learned by means of Trial & Error. It costs double the training cost, but if you try something enough times you will become proficient in it.

Experience: This is a very important part of game design that I never felt was handled well in most games. We've all been witness to a party of adventurers spending an entire day in the woods killing wild boar in order to improve their non-combat skills, or the character who's only reason for entering a town is to engage in "Hobo killing" so they can level up and get that new mount. Never mind the unmitigated slaughter, but the rewards for that slaughter haven't traditionally made sense! Why should killing things make you a better blacksmith? or make a mount or familiar suddenly appear? In an attempt to create some semblance of reality and fairness in game play, I've decided there should be three different kinds of experience in the ANKUR rpg: Martial, Scholastic, and Spiritual. Experience points will be given out according to the nature of each encounter. If you kill a bunch of people, you can only spend the experience points earned on advancing martial skills or physical Aptitudes. A scribe who gains experience through combat, can not use that experience to further their reading/writing skills etc. Irhandi gain "spiritual" experience through use of their psionic abilities, but other characters can gain spiritual experience points by having a near death experience (0 HP), being tortured or by successfully using Spirit based skills and saves.

D12: Ankur uses a twelve-sided die for conflict resolution rather than a twenty-sided die. A "D12" is rolled to attack or defend during combat as well as to determine any skill success.

APN: This stands for "Action-Potential-Number". Any time you want to attack or make a skill check, add the appropriate Aptitude score to your skill circle number; the result is your "APN". In order to make a successful attack or skill roll, the object is to roll your D12 and score equal to or lower than your APN. A roll of a 1 is always a success (but never a critical success) and a roll of 12 is always a "critical failure". In order to score a "critical success", you must roll your exact APN. Virtually all forms of conflict resolution involve an APN or Action Potential Number.

Toughness: ALL objects in ANKUR (living or inanimate) have a Toughness Aptitude. The Toughness Aptitude of a living creature derives both its Stamina and Wound pools, but flesh is weak, and a living creature's Toughness does NOT provide any damage reduction to incoming attacks. Only armor (including natural armor) has a damage reduction effect. Successful attacks that strike armor, are not parried or dodged, and do not beat a target's PDR, will have their damage reduced by an amount equal to the armor's Toughness. Any remaining damage is forwarded to the target wearing the armor. If a target's armor PDR is beaten, then the full damage will be transferred to either the target's Physical Stamina or Wound pool accordingly, with no damage reduction. Characters have a number of Physical Stamina and Wounds equal to their Toughness Aptitude number multiplied by their size modifier.

Well, that's all I'm going to give away for now. If you want to see more, buy the book!