Stalward Ember Field Manual v0.9

Welcome Embers! You have been asked to join the ranks of the the Stalwart Embers, for you have shown a keen aptitude in your respective posting. Whether you serve as an in-house professional at the estate or as an agent operating in the field, you may find yourself having needs perform tasks, fuctions and other such duties in the pursuit of glory & gil!

These undertakings may include (but are not limited to) engaging hostile combatants while dangerous fauna attempt to skewer all in their path, persuading an unscrupulous tavern owner to divulge the details of a local bounty or even to flambeau a skillet of rare and exotic fish for the enjoyment of your colleagues!

What will follow is (hopefully) a lightweight system which will apply the appropriate advantages to those expending effort in skills that they have certain proficiencies in. A talented swordfighter attempting to strike an unskilled adversary should have more going for them than a 50/50 chance, right?


Before we get into the mechanics, it's important to communicate that any event I run will welcome the full spectrum of players. If you're very enthusiastic about interacting with everything all the time, great! If you enjoy more of a spectator position, chipping in now and again, also great!

I will never require anyone to do more than they are comfortable with; participation is encouraged but not required!

If there's an issue that I'm unaware of, whether perpetrated by me or otherwise, please don't hesitate to approach me on the side. I'm sure we can sort it out!

Format for the Narrative

The realms of Hydaelyn are as remarkable as the people who inhabit them. To keep the story focused on these aspects, it's important to try and lay a foundation for us all to use. This should keep things organized in ways that will allow us to focus on what matters; the narrative!

Setting a Scene

As one who runs events, I will need a certain amount of narrative control to illustrate the environments and the folk who you as PCs will interact with. With that said, I want to make opportunities for PCs to steer the story as well.

'Roll for Control!'

To shift the narrative control to a PC, I will at times prompt a general 'ROLL FOR CONTROL' within the chat. In doing so, all players who wish can make a d20 roll without adding any sort of bonus.

The highest score effectively wins and can take the opportunity to weave an NPC, a solution to a problem or a small event to the mix.

It's important to note that not everyone needs to participate in such a challenge; this is aimed for those who want to maybe throw out clues that may shed light on their backstory or perhaps players who want to develop their narratives in the future.

D-B-Double-A (or The Rule Unspoken)

This system is designed for all manners of group size. That means up to nearly a dozen players, all with something important to say and a dozen characters saying it all at once.

So I will be instituting D.B.A.A: Don't Be An Asshole

If we all respect and remain enthusiastic about what one another are doing, we'll all feel as though our voice is being heard. Give one another the space they need.

Also; if folks place trust in the system and know that I'm only trying to support fun-times, I will stave off a complete aneurysm, which would be cool.

A Note from the Author


Thanks for checking this out! I'm excited to help coordinate events for the FC and develop some of the ways in which we tell our stories. With that said, this is absolutely a work in progress. Just as it takes a group to tell a good tale, so shall our community carve out the system in which we attempt to work within.

My personal interests in role-playing games has left me an extensive knowledge of tabletop RPGs such as D&D, Pathfinder, Numenera, etc. As such, I find myself comfortable working with their substructure and hope borrowing a few things from here+there will feel intuitive to those who play.

My intent is to add a system that takes a few of the lightweight mechanics from modern dice-based RPGs and layer them on the '/random' element from FFXIV. In doing so, I hope to keep the general feel of text-based interactions wihtout the need of outside applications.

Does a d20 based score make sense to a lot of people? Well, I hope so. Will those people recognize the d20 and expect an intricate system? Perhaps, though I'd like to avoid character sheets and focus on the story; so lets try to keep things simple. ( least for now!)

You folks are all amazing and I like you a lot!


The Mechanics

Order to the Chaos

There will be times when an order of actions will become necessary, such as at the start of a combat encounter or when a group of characters need to scale a cliff one at a time.

To accomplish this, I will prompt a 'ROLL FOR INITIATIVE', at which time all players will make a d20 roll, adding their bonus as necessary. Points in the Quickness Grade will have priority in the event of a tie.

A PC's actions will be held within their turn. Enemies will also be taking actions within this list, though that information won't be available as meta-knowledge.

The Math

Everything that a PC will attempt to do will be based on a d20 roll adding their Current Level plus any Grade they have in an ability associated with that action.

During a PC's turn in initiative or while they attempt a 'thing', they will /emote out something with an **undetermined conclusion and attempt their d20. It looks like this:

  • d20 + character's level + points in a skill

Ronaldo's player: "Ronaldo lunges for of the goblin, intent on stabbing it in it's stupid face!"

Ronaldo rolls a 6 then adds a bonus of '3' to the roll (his level <1> + his Grade in 'Martial Prowess' <2>. His score is a total of: '9'

DM: "Unfortunately, that is a miss..."

The DM then takes brief control of events after comparing the score against the pre-determined number necessary for success, which he knows to be 15.

"The stupid goblin rolls away, managing to dodge the point of her blade at the last possible second. Next we have Shofie"

Shofie's player: "Shophie reads an incantation from her tome, attempting to cast a 'Sleep' spell on the goblin before it rages all over Ronaldo's head!"

Shophie rolls a 14, then adds a bonus of '2' to the roll (her level <1> + her Grade in 'Arcane Prowess' <1>. Her score is a total of : '16', which is enough to land the action.

DM: "That action lands! What happens?"

Shofie's player: "Shofie finishes the spell, snapping closed her tome with satisfaction as she drops the goblin like a bad habit. It's snoring before it even hits the ground."

Life and Death

In lieu of damage rolls & health pools, each player will have a Wound Threshold equal to their level +2 (this can be manipulated with the Brawn skill). A player that recieves an amount of wounds that meets this number falls unconcious.

Any additional wounds done to an unconcious player has dire results; permanent damage, scarring or even death. Medical attention and supportive spells can manipulate the Wound Threshold, such as casting a barrier to soak the next wound inflicted.

Though many enemy combatants will have a minimal amount for their Wound Threshold, it is not uncommon for large beasts and powerful foes to be capable of receiving a series of wounds before they succumb to the heroes.


The completion of tasks and objectives will periodically reward 'points' that can be attached to the following skills, effectively raising it by one Grade. It's this Grade that you add to your level when determining the 'bonus' of your action. Each skill can be increased to a max of 'Grade 3'.

A player that has no 'Grade' with a skill is considered a novice in the subject and gains no bonus to rolls when attempting actions associated with it.

Skills Available
Skill Description
Athletics Feats of strength + stamina
Acrobatics Feats of agility + balance
Allure Measures force of charisma
Animal Handling Handling of wild and domestic beasts and animals
Arcane Lore The assessment of arcane forces
Arcane Prowess The casting of spells, both offensive and defensive
Brawn Grants a bonus to the Wound Threshold
Culinarian Cooking and directing a kitchen
Deception The art of dishonesty
History (International) Knowing the world abroad; cultures and geography
History (Local) Familiarity with local destinations, friendly or otherwise
Investigation The ability to find clues
Insight Discerning one's true intentions
Intimidation To coerce through threatening nature
Martial Prowess To fight with a weapon
Medicine Knowledge of first-aid and biology
Nature Knowledge of the natural world
Perception To discern with one's senses
Performance Acting out for another
Persuasion Convincing another of your will
Quickness Gives a bonus to Initiative Order
Religion Knowledge of faith based organizations
Survival Ability to operate in the untamed lands
Sleight of Hand Being subtle with one's hands
Stealth Hiding from another's senses
*Bold skills are basic combat maneuvers

Advanced Rules

Task Difficulty

A specific number that players need to meet, which is judged behind the scenes can seem like an arbitrary thing. So here is my method for generating such a thing.

First I grade the task from 0-10, with 1 being "Almost anyone can succeed every time" to 10, or "Thought to be impossible, the stuff of legend". Then I subtract 1 for each of the following reasons (if they apply); a friend is assisting in some clever way and/or the player has some meaningful tool or device to aid in their effort.

I then 1 for each external element that would inhibit the player. With this final number, I simply multiply by 3; giving me the score needed to pass the challenge.

In this way, a seemingly impossible task (I.E: anything I start as 7 or above) is very difficult, for the challenge requires at least a 21 to succeed. This would require a good d20 roll with a good bonus, assistance from a friend or both.

For example: If Thaddeus and his friends are attempting to climb a sheer wall, I might class that as a 6 (making the challenge a 18 or above to succeed). Akasha has mentioned that she wants to assist for she is quite agile, so the class would go down to 5 (the challenge a 15). Sayer has ropes and hooks, for he is a deckhand and loves tying things, which lowers the class to a 4 (and the challenge to 12). Pretty good, huh?

Unfortunately it's snowing, which makes the environment difficult to traverse. That ups the class back to 5, making the final challenge a 15 to succeed.

Advantage & Disadvantage

For on-the-fly adjustments, Advantage and Disadvantage can bend the rules for and against the players. Simply put, if a spell or effect gives the player 'Advantage', they roll the d20 twice and take the better of the two scores. Conversely, 'Disadvantage' would apply the opposite. These mostly come from the use clever tactics and use of the environment.

For example: If Bradomine brandishes his axe and jumps off a small rise onto his foes below, he may get Advantage on that attack action.

On the contrary, while Celeste is fighting the effects of a powerful sleep potion, she may gain Disadvantage while trying to track which door the thief snuck into.

Tools for Gameplay

Though this may change, we are likely going to try and use 'Discord' for all d20 rolls, while keeping the in-game chat box for the /emotes of action and response. When making a roll, don't forget to ad '+2' or other such bonus to the roll, as indicated by having a Grade in the skill.

For Example: When Orbaz swings his greatsword, the command in Discord should look something like this.

  • !1d20+4 ...for he is of 2nd level, with a Grade 2 to his Martial Prowess.