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Core Elements Toolbox Edition

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<p>Core Elements:Toolbox Edition</p> <p>Core Elements: Toolbox Editionby Butch Curry</p> <p>Based on Core Elements Revisedby James D. Hargrove</p> <p>A Zombie Nirvana Production http://zombienirvana.sitesled.comCore Elements - Toolbox Edition is Copyright 2005 by Butch Curry. The term Core Elements is hereby designated Product Identity as defined in the OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a; section 1(e). All other content in this document is hereby officially designated Open Game Content as defined in the OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a; section 1(d).</p> <p>IntroductionBy Butch Curry When James announced his retirement from gaming hopefully only temporarily he generously turned over the bulk of his material to me. Ive been a fan of his work for some time, and consider it a privilege to be able to carry the torch onward in his place. This Toolbox Edition reprints the original Core Elements Revised published by James along with a collection of optional rules. These rules, contained in the sidebars and appendices (along with a few revisions in the core rules themselves) will assist gamemasters in customizing Core Elements to suit their campaigns. I can only hope that this, the first of James creations that Ive had the opportunity to build on, will provide you with some good gaming.</p> <p>ContentsBasic Character Abilities .................................. 3 Character Level ................................................ 3 Buying Abilities ................................................. 3 Character Skills ................................................ 3 Character Hit Points ......................................... 4 Tougher and Weaker Heroes ........................... 4 How to Make Checks ........................................ 4 When to Make Checks ..................................... 4 Making Ability Checks ...................................... 4 AB &amp; DB Explained .......................................... 4 Making Skill Checks ......................................... 5 Making Attack Checks ...................................... 5 Quick Combat ................................................... 5 Making Defense Checks .................................. 5 Making Saving Throws ..................................... 5 Assigning a Difficulty Class ............................... 5 Armor Class ...................................................... 6 Taking Turns in Combat ................................... 6 Health &amp; Damage ............................................. 6 Character Growth ............................................. 6 Appendices A: Modifiers Only .............................................. 7 B: Degrees of Success ..................................... 7 C: Wound Track ................................................ 8 D: Range &amp; Movement ..................................... 8 E: Supernatural Powers .................................... 9 The Limelight Factor ......................................... 9 F: Weapons &amp; Armor ...................................... 11 G: Skill Lists .................................................... 11 H: Action Points .............................................. 12 I: Insanity ........................................................ 12 J: Vehicles &amp; Chases ...................................... 12 K: Races &amp; Classes ........................................ 13 L: Opponents .................................................. 14 M: Feats ...........................................................16</p> <p>What is Core Elements?By James D. Hargrove Core Elements is a simple, comprehensible, and functional distillation of the worlds most popular roleplaying system. This revision of the original Core Elements incorporates rules for using magic and fine tunes the character creation rules and combat rules found in the previous releases. Like previous editions of Core Elements, the entirety of this release is OGC with the exception of the title. Core Elements can be used either as a set of rules to play a game, or as the foundation of a game that you plan to publish. That said, however you choose to use the revised edition of Core Elements, I hope that you enjoy it.</p> <p>2</p> <p>Basic Character AbilitiesIn Core Elements, all characters are initially defined by six different basic abilities - physical and mental qualities that all sentient characters in a given setting are assumed to possess. These six different basic abilities are: Strength (STR): Strength is a measure of your characters muscle and physical power. Dexterity (DEX): Dexterity is a measure of handeye coordination, agility, reflexes, and balance. Constitution (CON): Constitution represents your characters overall physical health and stamina. Intelligence (INT): Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. Wisdom (WIS): Wisdom is a measure of willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. Charisma (CHA): Charisma is a measure of a characters force of personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. For each ability, roll four six-sided dice (4d6) and total the three highest results to determine the abilitys score. Each ability will have a modifier ranging from -4 to +4 based on its score as outlined on the table to the right.</p> <p>Buying AbilitiesRandom rolling is an old-fashioned way to generate ability scores for a character, and the unpredictability of it can be fun. But if youd like a little more control over character creation, try this instead. All your ability scores default to 10, and you have 12 points to spend between your six abilities. You can also lower some abilities below 10 in order to gain additional points, earning one bonus ability point for each point you take away from one or more other abilities. Example: When creating Hiram, a charming rogue, you decide to put all your points into Dexterity and Charisma, putting 6 in each. Youd really like Hiram to be a bit smarter than average though, so you lower his Wisdom by 2 to gain an additional 2 points of Intelligence.</p> <p>First level characters begin with 5 points to divide between their AB and DB, with a minimum of +1. As they increase each level, both their AB and DB increase by one. Example: You feel that Hiram the thief should be better at dodging blows than hitting people, so you give him an AB of +2 and a DB of +3. At 2nd level, these increase to AB +3 and DB +4; at 5th level, they are AB +6 , DB +7, etc. Mod -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4</p> <p>Character LevelIn addition to the six different basic abilities, characters are also defined by a number that serves as an abstract representation of the experience that they have accumulated throughout their life. This is the character's level. By default, characters in games that utilize Core Elements begin play at 1st Level. The level at which a character begins play initially determines two different things - their defense bonus (DB) and attack bonus (AB).</p> <p>Score 3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-17 18</p> <p>Character SkillsIn addition to the basic abilities and their level, a character is further defined by the skills that they possess. Characters initially receive skill points equal to eight plus their INT modifier (8+INT=Skill Points) per level. These points are traded on a one-to-one basis to acquire ranks in a given skill. You are limited in how many points you can spend on any given skill; you may have up to your current level +3 ranks in any given skill.</p> <p>3</p> <p>If the GM allows, you can choose one skill to specialize in; you can have up to your level +5 ranks in your specialty. That said, note that because Core Elements is merely a system - not a game that is tied to any one genre or setting - there is no default list of skills. Skills in games that utilize Core Elements can be handled in one of three different ways, explained directly below. First, a referee may create their own list of skills specific to the genre and setting of the game that they are running. Second, players may be allowed to create their own skills as they define their character, having them approved by the referee at that time (this is often referred to as 'free form skill creation). Finally, if neither of those methods suit you, hundreds of pre-defined skill lists exist in other OGL supplements and can be ported into games that utilize Core Elements with very little or absolutely no modification necessary.</p> <p>How to Make ChecksIn order to determine whether a character's action is successful, a player rolls one twentysided die (1d20), adds some numbers to the result of the die roll, and compares the final sum to a difficulty class (DC). If the combined total of the player's dice roll equals or exceeds the DC assigned to the action, then their character has successfully completed the action that they were attempting to perform.</p> <p>When to Make ChecksMaking a check means rolling dice, and any time that players are rolling dice, they're not focusing on their character. The only time that players should make checks is when a character is performing an action under duress - that is, when another character or force (including things such as darkness, nature, time, etc.) stands between them and performing their intended action successfully.</p> <p>Character Hit PointsFinally, the last step in defining a character in Core Elements is to determine their initial number of hit points. Hit points are an abstract representation of a character's ability to sustain physical damage. A character has a total number of hit points equal to 10 plus their CON modifier at 1st Level, and gains a number of hit points equal to the result of one six-sided die (1d6) roll plus their CON modifier per level thereafter.</p> <p>Making Ability ChecksAn ability check is called for whenever a character is attempting to perform an action that directly relates to one of the six basic abilities or when they are attempting to perform an action for which they possess no relevant skill. When making an ability check, the GM determines an appropriate ability for the action being attempted and assigns a difficulty number to the action. The player then rolls against that difficulty number.</p> <p>Tougher &amp; Weaker HeroesUsing the standard 10+ CON modifier for hit points results in characters who are fairly tough but still very beatable in a fight. If youd like to make characters tougher or weaker, you can increase or decrease their starting hit point total: 5 + CON for weak characters, or 20 + CON for tough heroes, for example.</p> <p>AB &amp; DB ExplainedSkill checks in Core Elements function on a simple mechanic: d20 + ability bonus + skill ranks. In the case of combat rolls, your characters AB and DB are treated like ability bonuses: d20 + AB or DB + skill rank. When making a saving throw, DB steps in in place of skill ranks: d20 + ability bonus + DB. You can allow AB or DB to similarly fill in for either skill ranks or ability bonuses for any roll, where the use of skills or abilities doesnt seem appropriate. 4</p> <p>Making Skill ChecksA skill check is called for when a character is attempting to perform an action that directly relates to a skill that they possess. When making a skill check, roll a d20 and add the modifier for your appropriate ability plus any ranks you have in the relevant skill. Example: Hiram the thief is trying to sneak past a guard. He has the skill Stealth +4, and a DEX modifier of +3, so hell add +7 to his roll.</p> <p>Making Defense ChecksA defense check is called for whenever a character attempts to parry or dodge an incoming attack during combat. When making a defense check, the numbers that a player adds to the result of the d20 roll are their character's DB and any ranks in the single most relevant skill that they have which corresponds to the defensive action being taken. Example: Your character is locked in combat with an enemy swordsman, who has just swung a vicious blow aimed for your head! You try to parry the blow, making a defensive check: you roll d20 and add your character's DB and ranks in his Swordplay skill to the roll.</p> <p>Making Attack ChecksAn attack check is called for whenever a character attempts to strike an opponent in combat. When making an attack check, the numbers that a player adds to the result of the d20 roll are their character's AB and any ranks in the single most relevant weapon or fighting skill that their character possesses which corresponds to the attack being made. Example: Your character is engaged in a few rounds of fisticuffs with a sailor in the local tavern. You decide to swing a haymaker at the sailor, so you roll 1d20 and add your characters AB and Fisticuffs skill ranks to the roll result.</p> <p>Making Saving ThrowsA saving throw is a special kind of ability check made whenever a character is trying to avoid the effects of an outside force or condition, such as disease, insanity, or an explosion. When making a saving throw, roll against the assigned difficulty, adding your DB and your appropriate ability modifier to the roll.</p> <p>Assigning a Difficulty ClassFor saving throws or character actions that are not being actively opposed by another character or creature, the referee assigns a difficulty class ranging from five (easy) to thirty (near impossible) or possibly even higher (a snowball's chance in hell). When in doubt, a DC of 15 is a good default. When a character is attempting to perform an action that is being actively opposed (a combat attack or defensive sword parry, for instance) by an opponent, both sides roll and apply any skills or other bonuses. The character with the highest total wins.</p> <p>Quick CombatThere may be times, particularly when the characters are fighting minor opponents, that you want to speed up combat. One way to do this is to remove initiative and Defence rolls, and resolve each round of combat with a single opposed attack check. The character with the highest roll wins and damages their opponent. In the case of a tie, neither side damages the other.</p> <p>5</p> <p>Armor ClassIn the standard Core rules, combat is resolved with a series of opposed die rolls. If youd like a little less dice-rolling, you can set a static defence number, called Armor Class (AC), which becomes the DC for any attack rolls against that character. Your AC equals 10 + your DB.</p> <p>Health and DamageSuccessful strikes in combat inflict damage equal to the sum of a weapon's damage rating (DR) of the weapon that inflicted the attack and the STR (for melee attacks) or DEX (for ranged attacks) modifier of the attacking character, less the armor rating (AR) of any armor that the defending character is wearing. This damage is subsequently subtracted from the hit point total of the character who was struck. Once a character's hit points have been reduced to zero, the character is disabled (not unconscious, but close to it); if their hit points are reduced to less than zero, but not less than -10, they are unconscious; and when their hit points have been reduced to less than -10, they are dead. Injured characters...</p>