The Journeyman's Guide
Welcome to the Chronicle of the Journeyman, a fantasy RPG in which you tell a character's story from birth to death. You are not born a hero, nor are you bound by destiny to be anything other than what you want to be — there is no "main quest" to follow nor a set of victory conditions to achieve. Might you stumble upon adventure, peril, and opportunity as you make your way through life? Absolutely! But the world will continue to turn with or without your involvement.
A journeyman's abilities are based on ability scores, which are broken down into attributes and augmented by skills.
All ability scores have a range from 1-10 and will change only rarely during the game. Should an ability score be reduced to 1, your character is incapacitated or crippled.
- Body — A measure of your journeyman's physicality, robustness, and vitality.
- Mind — A measure of mental acuity, intellectual acumen, and reasoning.
- Spirit — A measure of sensitivity, emotional perception, and resolve.
Mind and Body will start to atrophy after the journeyman's 40th birthday.
There are 12 Attributes, 4 associated with each Ability Score. Attributes are measured on a 1-100 scale.
- Agility (Body) — Balance and body control. Determines your Attack Value in combat.
- Attunement (Spirit) — This attribute must be awakened before it can be used.
- Creativity (Mind) — Used when problem solving, deceiving others, and when creating original art.
- Enlightenment (Spirit) — This attribute must be awakened before it can be used.
- Intelligence (Mind) — The ability to see patterns, process information, and learn. Has a small effect on the rate at which skills are learned.
- Manipulation (Body) — Fine motor control. Essential for feats of sleight of hand, disarming traps, and artistic skill.
- Senses (Mind) — The sensitivity of your journeyman's physical senses.
- Sensitivity (Spirit) — This attribute must be awakened before it can be used.
- Speed (Body) — Fleetness-of-foot and reactions. Determines the order of actions and your Defence Value in combat.
- Strength (Body) — Muscle power and endurance. Determines damage inflicted in combat and resistance to damage.
- Willpower (Spirit) — Mental resolve and resistance to supernatural influence. Affects the rate at which Motivation decreases.
- Wit (Mind) — Charm or convince others and generally be charismatic.
It is likely that, if your journeyman explores the wild places outside of the town (and possibly occasionally within the town itself!) that they will end up in combat. Success in combat depends on a number of factors:
- Attack Value — Based on a combatant's Body, Agility, and relevant skills (e.g., weapon skill and appropriate creature lore skill).
- Defence Value — Based on Body, Speed, and other relevant skills (e.g., weapon skill, shield skill, and appropriate creature lore skill).
- Damage — Based on the base damage value of a weapon, modified by Strength and weapon skill. The amount of damage that a combatant can take before being defeated is based on Strength and Body.
An attacker needs to succeed in an Attack Test by more than the defender succeeds in a Defence Test to score a successful hit.
Note that physical attacks are not the only kinds of attack. All skill-based challenges are resolved in a similar way, which could include magical contests, intellectual contests, stealth contests, etc.
Morality, Reputation, & Renown
As you interact with the world and the people in it, you will improve your renown, a measure of how well-known your journeyman is by the townspeople. How you interact with the world will determine your reputation (i.e., what you are renowned for). A final score, Morality, measures the contribution of your actions towards (or against) the collective good. Collectively, these three scores determine the availability of stories, town services, and the reactions of various people your journeyman will encounter. Over time, these scores will tend towards neutral, so it is possible to lay low and hide from the consequences of developing a poor reputation.
Your journeyman is not a machine that will fill every hour of their day performing functional and productive tasks. A motivated journeyman is one that performs a variety of tasks, and includes creative tasks amongst more productive ones.
Skills are a key way to improve your character over time — everything you do will contribute to you getting better at that task and there are plenty of opportunities to practise skills in the game, whether that's paying people to train you, working in a specific profession, or just spending your time honing your skills in the comfort and privacy of your residence. Some training techniques are more effective than others — for example, training to kill trolls with the hunter will make you better at killing trolls, but not as quickly as fighting trolls directly will.
Skills are measured on a 1-100 scale and can take many years to master, and mastery comes with its own special opportunities. Developing skills also has a small effect on the Attribute on which the skill is based, improving, minimally, all other skills that depend on that Attribute — the choice of whether to develop a broad base of skills or to specialise in a specific area is one of the key decisions to make when playing the game.
The journeyman will start their adult life in the town — a generic large pseudo-Medieval fantasy town (although the "fantasy" elements will be much less obvious within the civilised environs of the Town).
The Town itself is bustling centre of commerce, learning, and government populated by over 2,000 souls, all of whom have their own lives, motivations, families, etc., that will continue whether your journeyman interacts with them or not. Chronicle of the Journeyman is not a game that puts your character at the centre of the world — if you want a role in world-shaping events, you will have to earn it!
When you first arrive in the town, you won't know any people and will know only where the docks are — your options of what to do will be limited, especially as you also have no money. But as you explore, encounter, and settle, you will find additional options open up to your journeyman to get work and contribute to life in the town. Will you sink into the town's iniquitous underbelly or rise to dominate the guilds and courts in which the town's intrigues and industry are orchestrated?
Town life is not for everyone, and there is a whole new land to explore. Like much of this game, the wilderness has been abstracted — the more you explore, the more you will find locations of interest within which you can have specific encounters. Some regions of the wilderness are appropriate to hunting or harvesting certain ingredients required by the smiths, artists, and artesans of the town; some people actually live in the wilderness; and some places are cursed and avoided by most.
As a final note, you should remember that as the world turns and the seasons change, so too does the wilderness change with it, and some locations within the Wilderness may yield their secrets only on the most auspicious days of the year.