Role-playing design notes

Random notes on the design of Gods & Monsters, and maybe even Men & Supermen if I can remember what I was drinking when I wrote it.

Gods & Monsters Fantasy Role-Playing

Beyond here lie dragons

2005 print version almost ready

Jerry Stratton, June 19, 2005

Okay, this is the version set for uploading to the printer for the 2005 release version. If you have any comments you want considered for the 2005 print version, now is the time to let me know. I’ll probably be uploading it to next weekend.

Character Advancement

Moved some character advancement items to the character advancement section. If it wasn’t necessary for creating a character, it was moved.

Added Mojo to character advancement and Practical Mojo to Situations. In Lore, the alchemical items and seats/staffs of power now use mojo: Alchemy, Alchemical Bonding, Iconic Alchemy, Seat of Power, Staff of Power, Symbolic Alchemy, Topical Alchemy.


Characters without an air supply may suffocate. Characters who are able to take a deep gulp of air may hold their breath with no penalty for endurance rounds while not exerting themselves, or half that while exerting themselves. Characters may generally make a Perception roll to take a deep breath if their impending lack of an air supply is reasonably foreseeable.

Characters unable to take a deep breath will have their “no penalty” time halved.

Once the “no penalty” period has passed, Health rolls are required to maintain consciousness. The Health roll must be made every Endurance/4 rounds (round up). The penalty to all rolls is one, cumulative, during each such period.

Once unconscious, characters lose d6 survival points, and another d6 survival points for every penalty period until they die or air is restored.

A character with a 12 endurance, who takes a deep breath, can hold their breath with no penalty for 12 rounds. After this period, they will be at a penalty of one for three rounds, and at the end of those three rounds they will need to make a Health roll (which will be at a penalty of one) or fall unconscious. If they succeed, they will be at a penalty of two on all rolls for the next three rounds, and must make a Health roll at the end of those three rounds (now at a penalty of two) or fall unconscious. Once the character falls unconscious, they will lose d6 survival points. The character will lose another d6 survival every three rounds.

Combat, spells, and spirits

Casting pells and manifesting spirits no longer involves an automatic bonus to initiative.


The mythology of the Haikiutl has been added. The Haikiutil are inspired by several North American native mythologies, especially the Haida, the Kwakiutl, and other north pacific tribes.

I’ve linked some of the reference works I used in the more information section of this article.

Spirit Manifestations

A Trickster spirit type has been added.

The Deplete Vitality version of Restore Vitality is unaffected by non-magical armor.

The Vermin Call version of Vermin Bane may be manifested by spirits of death.

Command has been modified so that targets with high charisma or wisdom are allowed saving rolls, instead of high intelligence.

Heal Injury has been clarified: it can negate an impending death.

Foul Air has been reduced to a duration of four rounds per spirit level. Fresh Air has been reduced to a duration of thirty minutes per spirit level.

Divine Prowess has been modified so that recipients receive spirit level plus d6 temporary survival points.

Divine Greatness has been modified so that prophets who make a successful Health roll need only rest for that many rounds.

Flower has been modified so that spirits of Death may manifest it upon places of burial or death.

Holy Shot has been modified so that it may be fired within level rounds and the maximum damage bonus can be up to twice the maximum damage of the weapon.

Helpful Hemp and Infestation have been added as new second-level spirit manifestations.

Windswept has been added as a new third-level spirit manifestation.

Detect Influence has been added as a new fourth-level spirit manifestation.

Dissension and Protection from Sorcery have been added as new fifth-level spirit manifestations.

Suppress Sorcery has been added as a new fifth-level spirit manifestation.

Adventure Guide’s Handbook

Added section on Gender issues and expanded section on researching spells. For the optional “light/deep survival” rule, the rate of healing light survival has changed. Light damage heals at Endurance plus level points every ten hours, with Wisdom as a minor contributor.


Sakmat movement has been increased to 12 at all times.

Added Echo to the Encounters list for the Dry City.

  1. <- Fourth 2004 Update
  2. 2005 Mojo Update ->