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RPG~mean fantasy

mean fantasy

- a free game you can copy for personal use only.


Links | RPG~mean fantasy | ORB | RPG~survival horror

'mean' is a simple fantasy RPG, and another work in progress.

Creating characters

Characters are defined by a chance level and talents.

Chance represents a characters overall power, spirit and luck.
Talents represent the kind of experience and skills the character possesses.

To determine a characters chance level players must decide wether to roll or opt for the default score. The default chance is 3, but a player may roll 1D3+1 instead - but once the decision to roll is made the result must be taken.
Characters begin with 7 minus chance score talents of the players choice.
Talents available to a character are detailed below.

weapon (specify a particular type, such as knives, swords, bows, cudgels etc)
instrument (choose)
language (choose)


To determine the outcome of an uncertain action requires a test. Tests use a single six sided die.

To make a test, a player rolls 1D and must score equal to or less than their characters chance for success.
If a character has a talent relevant to the attempted task, a +1 bonus is added to the characters chance.
In cases where characters are in competition, the success margin can determine the test outcome. The success margin is the difference between the roll and the chance score. Thus, a roll of 1 on a chance of 3 gives a margin of 2. This is enough to beat anyone who has a lower success margin.

High chance
A roll of 6 on a test always counts as a failure unless the GM decrees otherwise. However, a high chance score does grant characters the benefit of attempting multiple actions.
Characters with a chance of 6 or more may be allowed, subject to GM approval, of making multiple simultaneous actions. If such attempts are allowed, the characters chance is divided as evenly as possible between the tests.

Example: A character with chance 7 is trying to escape foes when he comes upon a locked door blocking his path. The character decides to attempt to pick the lock, while simultaneously throwing a dagger at one of the foes. His chance is divided, the player opting to pick the lock with chance 4 and throwing the dagger with chance 3.


Characters can acquire additional talents and increase their chance. This requires experience, measured in games, or money for such improvements.

To increase chance requires games equal to the current chance score. Thus, a character of chance 3 would need three games to improve, the next improvement would come after another four games and so on.
A game is defined by the GM and might be a single scenario, a session of play, or a series of encounters. Essentially, it is when the GM thinks that a character has experienced enough to improve, and the rate of development will slow as the character gains more and more experience.

To gain a new talent requires a character to spend coins equal to the current number possessed times 20. Thus, a character with four talents gains a third upon spending 80 coins.
Acquiring talents assumes a character spends time studying, seeking tuition, purchasing tools and materials etc. For this reason, characters need free time (a week or two) and a suitable environment (i.e, one that is appropriate to the type of training) to study.

Physical appearance
Choose or roll for the physical aspects of a character-
1 very short
2 short
3 average
4 average
5 tall
6 very tall

1 thin
2 slender
3 average
4 average
5 stocky
6 large

1 young teenage
2 teenage
3 young adult
4 adult
5 middle aged
6 old

Distinctive feature
1 birthmark
2 blemish
3 scar
4 tattoo
5 unusual (odd eye colour, limp, missing tooth, nervous twitch etc)
6 none

Manner of dress (style and colour)
1 patched clothes 1 dark / black
2 simple clothes 2 mostly greens
3 ragged clothes 3 mostly browns
4 baggy clothes 4 mostly reds
5 odd clothes 5 mostly blues
6 luxurious clothes 6 varied colours

Choose or roll for the persona of a character (from either table)-

1 impulsive
2 curious
3 studious
4 brave
5 detached
6 eccentric

1 moody
2 suspicious
3 aloof
4 devious
5 morbid
6 deranged

Choose or roll to determine where the character came from, and what has occurred in their past-

Former Home

1 a small hamlet
2 a village
3 a small town
4 a large town
5 a city
6 unusual location (a sorcerors tower, an isolated island etc).

Past (choose or roll from any three tables)

Table a
1 worked on a farm
2 worked in a tavern
3 worked on the docks
4 worked in a castle
5 suffered from a disease
6 suffered from madness

Table b
1 outcast
2 worked for a religious sect
3 worked for a merchant guild
4 apprentice to a scholar
5 apprentice to a craftsman
6 apprentice to a trader

Table c
1 in the service of a noble
2 in the service of a scholar
3 in the service of a priest
4 in the service of a sorceror
5 enslaved
6 imprisoned

Table d
1 travelled with a troupe of actors / musicians
2 travelled with a mercenary company
3 travelled with pilgrims
4 travelled with bandits
5 hunted, on the run
6 hermit, lived in seclusion


Characters are assumed to possess a basic set of clothes (linen shirt, breeches or skirt, boots, cloak), a knife, and 1D coins.
Make three rolls on the table below to determine the other items a character has:
2 wood plate & spoon
3 1D3 meals of bread and cheese
4 pouch with 1D coins extra
5 1D3 torches, flint & tinder
6 sack
7 blanket
8 waterskin
9 rope (10m)
10 weapon (attack rating 1D3)
11 weapon (attack rating 1D)
12 weapon (attack rating 1D+1)

Money consists of coins made from copper. Silver pieces are also used, though are rare. There are 10 copper coins to a silver piece. For convenience, all prices are in copper coins.

arrows (each) 1
bolts (each) 1
quiver (holds 12) 12
scabbard 10
pouch 6
bag 8
sack 4
small wooden box 15
small metal box 35
wooden chest 100
waterskin 10
scroll case 8
glass bottle 15

boots 25
shoes 20
linen breeches 12
woolen breeches 15
leather breeches 25
silk trousers 55
linen shirt 10
silk shirt 50
linen skirt 12
linen dress 15
woolen dress 18
silk dress 60
woolen skirt 15
woolen tunic 15
woolen scarf 4
silk scarf 15
cloak 15
hooded cloak 20
robes 30
belt 6
hat 10
leather gloves 12

blanket 5
metal pot 8
wood plate 5
wood spoon 3
pottery bowl 7
wood cup 4
pewter cup 8

incense brazier 10
common incense (sml bag) 5
rare incense (sml bag) 30
scented oil (sml bottle) 20
polished metal mirror 20
razor 8
wooden comb 4
pearl comb 20
bead necklace 5
silver necklace 35
gold necklace 100
copper ring 10
silver ring 25
gold ring 75

quill 3
ink pot 6
parchment per sheet 10
candle 4
torch 2
lantern 20
oilskin 4
flint & tinder 3

rope per metre 2
twine per metre 1
snare 5
pick lock 10
iron nails (bag of 10) 1

ale per tankard 2
wine per cup 2
rum per cup 3
small keg of ale 20
bottle of wine 12
bottle of rum 20
tavern meal 4
tavern room per night 5
lavish inn room per night 20
stables per night 4

loaf of bread 1
chunk of cheese 3
bag of fruit 3
bag of vegetables 3
hunk of meat 5
dozen eggs 2
pot of honey 6
sprig of herbs 1
small bag of salt 10
pie (savoury or sweet) 4
cake 2

horse 500
horse tack 75
trained falcon 100
trained dog 25


Combat occurs in turns, each representing a few seconds of activity. Characters can make one attack per turn, and actions occur in the order determined by the GM (depending on the situation, such as wether the characters are ambushed or well prepared etc).

To hit a foe a character must make a sucessful test. The character receives a bonus to the test if he is skilled with the weapon in use.

Damage equals the characters chance score plus the weapon rating (a die roll). However, damage is reduced by the targets chance plus the value of any armour he is wearing.

Once total damage exceeds chance times two the character falls unconscious for a number of minutes equal to the excess.

Should damage exceed chance times three the character dies. Thus, a character with chance 3 will fall unconscious when damage is 7 or more, and dies once damage is 9 or higher.

Characters naturally heal 1 point damage per day. An injured character that receives treatment (requiring a test with healing talents applicable) is healed of 1 point damage immediately. This can be done once only until another wound is received.


A selection of weapons are given below, with their attack ratings noted. The number in brackets is the weapons cost (in copper coins).

unarmed 0 (-)

cudgel 1D3 (-)

iron bar 1D (15)

knife 1D3 (10)

dagger 1D3 (15)

stick 1D3 (-)

rock 1D3 (-)

chain 1D (20)

whip 1D3 (15)

ball & chain 1D (25)

sling 1D (15)

bow 1D (55)

longbow 1D+1 (120)

crossbow 1D (100)

pick 1D (35)

1 handed spear 1D (60)

2 handed spear 1D+1 (60)

polearm 1D+1 (90)

broadsword 1D+1 (125)

shortsword 1D (75)

mace 1D (60)

morning star 1D+1 (80)

hammer 1D (40)

sickle 1D (35)

cleaver 1D (30)

hatchet 1D (40)

axe 1D+1 (80)

garrot 1D (5)

staff 1D (10)


Armour ratings are shown below (with cost in brackets) -

none, clothing +0

leather armour +1 (100)

studded armour +1 (125)

chain mail +2 (300)

plate armour +2 (400)

full plate +3 (750)

shield +1 (in addition to worn armour) (50)


Cover acts as if it were additional armour, adding 1 to the characters defence total.


Attacks beyond a weapons range usually miss, or have at best only half the normal chance of hitting.

Thrown weapons have a range equal to the characters chance times 5 metres. Missile weapons have a range equal to chance plus the weapons rating times 10 metres.

Multiple attacks

Characters with a chance of 6 or more are allowed to make multiple attacks in a turn, dividing their chance as evenly as possible to do so. Thus, a character with chance 7 could make two attacks, rolling on a chance of 4 and 3.


When characters cast spells they accumulate a hex point. Once hex points equal the characters chance the character is likely to suffer a hex. A hex is an aura of chaos and attracts misfortune to the character. This manifests as an unfortunate event described by the GM at some point following the acquisition of the hex. The exact nature of the hex and the time that it occurs is not known by the player - only the GM can determine this. Thus, the player merely states that his character has acquired a hex and crosses off accumulated hex points. The GM is then free to decide what happens and when..

Typical hexes are given below:-

- character fails a test

- characters spell affects wrong person

- character trips over and cracks a tooth

- character is stung by a bee

- characters food goes rotten

- character loses an item of jewellery

- character has some money stolen from his pouch.

- character develops an illness

- character walks into a door and gets a nose bleed.

- character get stomach ache and vomits

- characters weapon becomes blunt

- characters weapon breaks

- characters armour needs repair

- characters armour falls off in combat

- character gets a fever and hallucinates

- character is mugged

- character gets lost

- character attracts the village idiot/madman

- character is bitten by a dog

- character is thrown from a horse

- character is struck by a stray arrow

- character drops his weapon during combat

To use spells a character must be trained in them. Each spell is treated like a talent, and players may select one or more spells in place of starting talents if they so wish.


RAT conjures a huge black rat which will attack foes as directed by the character. The rat

has a chance of 2 and bite +1. The bite has a 3 in 6 chance of transmitting disease (treated as a potency 6, interval day poison).

PESTILENCE fills a room/small area with loathsome flying insects which writhe upon and sting all those nearby. This causes 1 point damage to all in the area (except the character) each turn for a number of turns equal to the characters chance.

HOUND conjures a malefic black hound which will attack as directed, running off when it has finished. The hound has a chance of 3 and bite +2. It can track foes with a +1 bonus to tests.

BRIMSTONE fills a room/small area with noxious fumes which cause choking to all nearby except the character himself. While choking, a victim must make a test to perform any action, or else can do nothing save gasp for air. The effects last for turns equal to chance.

ZOMBIE causes a nearby corpse to animate and attack as directed. The corpse has a chance of 3 and may use any weapon at hand. The corpse is treated as having 1 point armour since it feels no pain.

GAUNT causes the character to take on a horrible, deathly appearance likely to cause fear and loathing in onlookers, who must make a successful test or flee from the characters presence.

SIGIL burns a pentagram onto a target, who suffers points of damage equal to the characters chance automatically. The sigil fades after a day or so.

PORTAL locks or unlocks a door, chest or similar mechanism, requiring any other person to make a number of successful tests equal the characters chance to affect the portal.

SPLINTER fractures a small area (roughly 2"/5cm per point of chance) of wood, loose brick, pottery or similar material causing it to break when next handled or touched.

EVILEYE causes a single target that meets the characters gaze to become demoralised, suffering a penalty of -1 to tests for turns equal to the characters chance.

GROTESQUE inflicts a disease on the target, who develops scabs and boils on his body. The disease acts like a poison with a strength equal to chance times three and an interval of hours.

POPPET creates a small doll from any nearby material (twigs, rags etc). The doll is a simulacrum of a person chosen by the character, and only one doll can be made at a time for the chosen individual. When the character wishes to, the doll can be destroyed causing the chosen target to suffer pain and inflicting damage equal to the characters chance.

CAUL creates a shadow cloak around the character, who gains a bonus to tests involving sneaking and hiding by doubling chance for such tests. The effect lasts for minutes equal to chance.

HAUNT causes strange occurrences in a room/small area, such as draughts, slamming doors, cold spots, candle flickers etc, -as if it were haunted. The effects last for one day per point of chance.

ENSHROUD covers a single target with eerie, numbing black mists, causing drowsiness. The victim must make a successful test or will fall asleep for minutes equal to the characters chance.

HOMONCULUS conjures a malign, twisted and diminutive humanoid which will attack as directed, vanishing when it has finished. The homonculus has a chance of 2 and bite +1. It gets a +1 bonus to hiding and sneaking tests.

TRANSMUTE causes a single item held by the character to appear to be constructed from a material of the characters choice. Thus, the character could make a dagger appear to be made of gold, or a silk cloak to appear to be made from rough wool. Note that only the appearance changes, not the actual properties of the item. The effects last for hours equal to the characters chance.

ELIXIR turns a small amount of water into a restorative liquid which, when drunk, will immediately heal damage equal to the characters chance. The elixir loses its potency after an hour has elapsed.