Cybrine Dreams Update 1
Cybrine Dreams Update 1
Let’s go over some basics of Cybrine Dreams. It’s a card-based game, though generally players will draw single cards with multiple cards reserved for an Encounter, which is something like combat, complex social situations, or expeditions into unknown territory.
First, let’s go over the attributes.
Each is associated with one of the suits of cards.
Stalwart represents physical power, but also will. It is represented by the suit of spades. ♠
Reactive represents speed, awareness, and animal cunning. It is reprsented by the suit of clubs. ♣
Faith represents devotion to the Cybrine God, charisma, arts, and luck. It is represented by the suit of hearts. ♥
Blasphemy represents intellect, deceptive capacity, and non-artistic creativity. It is represented by the suit of Diamonds ♦
You get a minor bonus (+2) whenever your card matches the attribute you’re using, but you always test against it. So if I’m making a Faith Test, but I draw a 4 of spades, I just treat it as a 4.
Because a low card can be desirable in some circumstances, this bonus applies to your result, not the value of the card, when using the Skilled Flourish mechanic.
Character creation in Cybrine Dreams is based on a lite-path system. It’s a quick and simple way to build a character, but also ties them into the world.
There are basically three parts to this: the life stages, the attribute process, and the final gear purchase.
The life stages in Cybrine Dreams represent a character’s upbringing in a narrative format, letting them get a feel for how their character belongs to the world. Each life stage gives one or two attributes (with the exception of Boon). Conception through Becoming grant Boon Options, which offer the choice of several starting items to the character.
Mother is self-explanatory. The character’s mother can be anyone from a well-off noble maiden to a scavenger. This is half-intended to be an introduction to the social roles of the world.
Conception represents the story of how the character was born. It can be the father (if the father is an interesting figure, such as one of the superhuman Spectrals), or it can represent the role that the character played in his family (e.g. Shame, Blessing, Rejected, Foundling).
Youth represents an early childhood talent for the character.
Becoming is the character’s formal training or apprenticeship. They may have been a member of the Cybrine Order, or they may have been a scavenger, outlaw, trader.
Calling is the character’s class. It’s unique among the other options because instead of granting boon options it grants a free item and three skills to give the characters an edge.
Draught explains how the character got their draught, which is a quasi-magical elixir that makes them into a nigh-immortal superhuman.
Boon is a special boost that a character can take (represented by an item, talent, or other benefit). In true Soulslike fashion, a player can choose to take nothing at this step, and there is also an option that does literally nothing.
Other than the boon, none of the stages are dependent on choices from previous stages. There are about a dozen boons, and the number of options for each stage vary from the 14 callings to the 4 ways of acquiring the draught. This should give enough combinations that even coming out of the initial process the characters should feel unique.
The Attribute Process
Once a character has the finished character from the Life Stages, they go and modify their attributes (the game term for this is Dilution, which is a process that happens after taking the Draught in-universe).
Any attribute over 4 must be decreased. This grants 1 Skill Point and 1 Talent. Skills cannot go above a rating of 2 from dilution (or 3, if improving a Calling-granted skill).
If a character has built perfectly balanced, they may have a 3-4-4-4 spread, but they can still voluntarily decrease Attributes to buy Skill Points and Talents.
Attributes cannot be increased during play, and the resource pools depend on Attributes, so dilution is a double-edged sword.
There’s not much to talk about here, especially because I haven’t really finished this bit. Players get to choose from weapons and armor with an amount of drachs (the currency issued by the Cybrine Gods’ followers and regarded as a standard by both prims and Spectrals) determined by their Faith. There’s also a Boon that boosts this, though it’s associated with Faith so if you really suck at it you’re stuck with not very much stuff.
One reason why I wrote this update for Cybrine Dreams instead of Kenoma is that Kenoma has been having steady but unglamorous progress over the last few days. Lots of work on mechanical things that just need to be in the game for it to be playable, like gear and the character creation options, but they’re not the sort of things that make good blog posts.
I’d been putting off the step of formally diverging the Quickstart and Core Rulebook primary rulesets, maintaining them 1:1 until today. Now the Core Rulebook officially has fuller rules (and a slightly different presentation of them) than the Quickstart. Since the Hammercalled core handles as much stuff as content rather than specific mechanics as possible, and Kenoma is still pretty loyal to that philosophy even though it’s not reverse-compatible, I hadn’t really felt the need to iterate beyond the Quickstart content.
This means two things:
First, the v1 Quickstart’s rules are basically finalized, barring any future changes, because I’ve decided that they’re going to match the v1 Core Rulebook (albeit with a few more minor additions to the Core Rulebook).
Second, the number of ways in which the Core Rulebook is now more advanced than the Quickstart is complete. This is a selling point, because I don’t want anyone to shell out cash for the Core Rulebook and then decide that they just got a bunch of the same stuff again.
I’m also probably going to do a v0.2 of the Quickstart soon, though I’m not sure that the couple of minor tweaks I’ve made are worth a full revamp.