Silverlake Player’s Handbook V2
Version 2 still under construction (updated July 22th 2017)
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Version 2 of The Silverlake Player’s Handbook is being designed to meet certain goals. The goals are as follows in no particular order. Goals maybe added or modified as the Handbook is written.
- Create a system with more character development possibilities.
- Implement skill systems that matter and can be useful beyond combat to facilitate a broader play experience.
- Create better emersion by laying a better foundation for role playing
- Create a system that is easier to play and manage via play by post
Brief History of Silverlake
Silverlake is the Northern most settlement of The West. The region and town are named after the lake itself.
Silverlake is a crater lake formed from a volcanic eruption. The lake takes up about 1/3 of the crater in the center. Most of area surrounding the crater is dense redwood forests.
Approximately around the year 200 a nobleman and explorer discovered the falls, he followed them up the mountain and discovered the crater and lake. Soon after vast deposits of silver were found in the surrounding mountains. The lake and area was christened “Silverlake”. The Lord that settled Silverlake tooks it’s name as it’s first lord. He was the emobidement of the norther frontier. And despite protest from the other nobles of the north, he took a commoner as his wife. A miner’s daughter, beautiful and wise. The people loved her and the nobles despised her. With her by his side Silverlake grew and prospered. She bore to him three lovely daughters and like her the people loved them. but alas, fortune could not forever favor this first Lord of Silverlake. He was struck down by a mysterious and unknown disease. The nobles secretly rejoiced and plotted against his Lady to usurp her power and Silverlake. But the people loved her too much. The more they plotted against her the more powerful she became. To this day she is known as The Lady of Silverlake. She loved the people so much, that on her death bed she vowed, that if ever the descents of her daughters did not rule, Silverlake would be cast into darkness. During the rule of the Three Daughters the nobles continued to try and seize power from the bloodline of commoners. One in particular named Alcar went so far as to commit himself to the dark art of necromancy. He gave up his life for power to defeat the Daughters, he became known as The Dark. He almost succeeded, but the daughters bestowed their blessing upon three warriors, three champions. Dalanta, Torian, and Crom. These Warriors defeated The Dark at the cost of their lives and peace came to Silverlake.
All descents of The Lady and her daughters are nearly lost and a Greedy noblemen has taken the name Silverlake. Silverlake was cast into darkness. The Dark began to rise again. Three hero’s representing the legendary adventurers guild of the Valitnikovs arrive in Silverlake to establish a guild hall and save the people from The Dark. Bobber, Daryth, and Solo have received the modern blessings of the daughters. (They are currently in campaign against him as of the writing of this history) all further history is redacted in order to not spoil the campaign.
For over 800 years The Dark lay defeated in the belly of Valitnikov Isle. So long defeated that the race of men, rulers of The West lost the history of him in legends that became myths which….(still in work)
Economics of Silverlake circa 1890
Technological and culture changes have led to a shift of power in The West. The remaining royal families still exert considerable power but a new mechantile class has risen from the ranks of the masses and with great wealth have carved out finical fiefdoms of their own.
Coins have largely been replaced by promissory notes issued by banks guaranteeing the value of the note in precious metals. The notes are sometimes referred to as “Cred”,”shares”, or “notes”.
The average pay of:
- Unskilled worker 5N a day. 100N a month. 1200N a year
- skilled worker 7N a day 140N a month 1700N a year
Current market can be found here
How play works
Play by Post Format
This system is adaptable for tabletop play as well as “Play by Post”
“Play by Post” can function on most social media platforms or any place with forums.
Our platform is Facebook. DM will post a primary post. This post establishes a gameplay chapter, tells the players where they are and what their goals are. Under this primary chapter post are secondary posts. The posts are named “Campaign” posts and “Character Sheet” post. The Campaign posts are continuations of the game plot. Campaign posts are where players tell the DM what they are doing and where the DM responds. The “Character sheet” posts are where each player posts and maintains their characters.
Play by Post Adventurers shock
The flow of play requires that players check in at least once every 24 hours. Otherwise play can grind to a halt. If one player does not check in it has a domino effect and other players start to not check in. In order to combat this the “Adventurers shock” mechanism is applied. If all players are waiting for one player to respond and 24 hours passes from the last post, that player is in shock. Their turn is skipped and play continues. The DM is responsible for maintaining adventurers shock. Keep in mind, Adventurers shock is not a punishment, but a mechanism to keep game play moving along. If a player knows ahead of time that they will not be able to check in, they should let the DM and other players know and arrangements can be made.
Play style and rewards
Version 2 is designed to foster greater role-playing elements. Character backgrounds will be more fleshed out in order to develop a player “character” as opposed to a player “avatar”. Your character is a person unique from yourself. They have personality traits and motivations. When you roll your character you will decide what these are. The DM will help you assemble them and understand how your character’s personality and motivations apply to the game. It is the goal of game play to create the experience of a fictional character and tell their story. Staying in character when you play achieves the goal.
The DM from time to time may reward players who accomplish “staying in character” in ways that promote the style of play and help maintain the feel of role-playing. It is ultimately the DM’s job to help the players understand what is and isn’t in character. When a player acts out of character the DM simply gently reminds them that “your character probably wouldn’t do that” or “Your character wouldn’t do that, that way.” rewards for staying in character are a tool the DM can use to demonstrate play style that is inline with good gaming. Good gaming, is fun gaming. This is meant to open players to richer experiences that are more fun to play. It should not become “Rules lawyering”
A primary reward to players can be the gift of a consumable +1 a kind of DM’s blessing. This DM’s blessing can be held by the player and used when ever they see fit. When used it grants the player a one time plus 1 to any roll they are making.
Use of skills during play
As the character progresses through the world of Silverlake they will interact with NPCs,Monsters, and other elements. The skills have been designed so that every interaction a character could be a part of falls under a skill. The DM will decide what skill applies according to the action the player is attempting, then role for success or failure. The role is done with a d20. generally rolling an 11 or better is a success. rolling a 20 is an exceptional seccuss (sometimes known as critical). rolling a 1 is a dismal failure. It is the DM’s responsibility to interpret the die roll and determine the outcome.
Examples of skill use
Skidmo The Angry Hobbit has just arrived to Silverlake. He stands at the threshold of The Rusty Hook Tavern. The player knows that his character “Skidmo” has anger issues and is concerned that staying in a tavern may not be a good idea. He asks the DM, “Skidmo looks into the Tavern from where he’s at. He wants to see if the place is calm or if people inside might rub him the wrong way.” DM then takes a look at applicable skills. The skills Perception, and Streetwise seem applicable. The DM decides that perception is more relevant. Skidmo has a -3 to his perception skill. The roll is made…16. Then pluses and minuses are applied 16-3=13. 11 or better is typically successful. The DM then interprets the roll and replies. “Skidmo sees that the Rusty Hook is packed tonight and some people are really drunk and might mess with him.” The player then takes that information and decides what to do. Had the roll been a 20 with all bonuses and minuses applied. The DM may have responded. “Just looking at the Rusty Hook pisses Skidmo off. He does not want to go in there.” or Had the roll been a 1 with bonuses and minuses applied “Skidmo is really tired from his travels and can’t really tell if the Rusty Hook patrons are going to be problematic or not.”
Rules of Combat and Engagement
This concept is being reviewed in beta and may be changed.
Combat occurs all at once. There is no initiative. Each player decides what they are going to do, and their target. Once all players have decided the DM will then determine how the adversary will act, then it is rolled and the outcome is posted.
There are exceptions to initiative, if the players or someone attacking the players has a clear advantage, Like a sneak attack, or the play prior to combat has evolved in such a way where one side’s weapons are drawn and the other’s are not.
Gunfighter’s also have a unique form of combat called “The Showdown” explained in their class section of the handbook.
Life and death (HP)
Each character has Hit Points (HP). When a character is hurt in or out of combat they lose HP. When a character reaches 0 HP they are unconscious. At -1, they are dead. A character can restore HP so long as they are not dead. Restoration of HP occurs naturally 1 point a day, 2 points if they are resting in a bed, or if a party member has skills or items that heal other players.
A Quick note about life and death in Silverlake. players must understand their characters may die. This version of the players handbook is kind of a “hardcore mode.” You’ll notice that in most cases weapons do far more damage then characters have life. Characters will die. This high risk of death makes play exciting and causes players to think about their actions.
Hall of Heroes. Further more a DM should keep records. Every kill a character makes should be kept track of. So that way should they die their character achievements are remembered in a way. And in that way the players set for themselves a bar, ever rising. A goal to get most kills out of any character before they die. While getting the most kills isn’t the point of role playing, it just adds that special competitive aspect that players really like without actual competitive gameplay.
Justice in Silverlake circa 1890
Silverlake of the late 1800s and early 1900s has no formal ruler. Instead various interests and organizations have loosely agreed on a set of “laws”. If these laws are broken a report is made to the town Magistrate. This Magistrate will assess a punishment or fine. If the accused does not appear to court or does not serve the punishment or pay the fine a bounty is then placed on their head. Once a bounty is placed it is given to the Templetons. Although it is worthy to note that those with money tend to receive more justice then those without. “The color of Justice is Silver”
In most cases murder, assault, and theft are considered a crime. It is also important to note that some items are prohibited in Silverlake. These items can often be found in the black market run by The Syndicate. The Black Market however is illegal and players involving themselves in it run the risk of crossing the Templetons. Prohibited items include, Magic items, Explosives, and the sale of used weapons.
Penalties for the possession of a prohibited item usually means confiscation of the item and a fine. However successfully bribing a Templeton (or even a magistrate) to get out of trouble is not unheard of.
Discovery of Branded items. In some cases players may find or loot items that are branded by a company or organization as their property. The law states this property must be returned to it’s branded owner. Keeping it and or selling it on the black market is illegal.
Magic in Silverlake circa 1890
Magic in Silverlake during this period of time has been completely outlawed. This prohibition has built an entire underground black market where magic items are bought and sold.
Gear and loot
Concerning the value of used weapons
In Silverlake used weapons are practically considered worthless. They can not be legally bought or sold. They can however be illegally sold on the black market for 1/10th of their retail value, which is still a quite a bounty considering how expensive weapons can be.
(incomplete ) When players defeats an enemy or find treasure the DM assigns loot. If the DM finds it nessarcy to grant players specific items of treasure the DM can do so. Otherwise each enemy has specific loot that drops and a number of random loot drops. The specific loot that each type of enemy has can be found in Abner’s Almanac. The random loot can be found on the loot table. There are three types of random loot; Common, Exceptional, and Rare. In order to determine what the players receive the DM rolls twice. First a D20. A roll of 1-15 is common the DM will then roll the Common Loot Table. A roll of 16-19 is exceptional loot, the Dm will then make a roll on that table. A roll of 20 is Rare Loot, the DM would then roll on that table. The loot tables are not even dice numbers so the DM will have to find an “RPG rolling app” that can be used to roll unusual dice ranges. For example if there are 33 items on the table the app could roll 1-33 for you. (example app to be given)
In Version 2 players will no longer earn xp and level up. All Character progression occurs through the advancement of skills.
Rolling your Character
- Start by picking a race.
- Then pick a class available to that race
- You will receive a pool of bonus points you can assign to various skills. That pool has yet to be determined.
- Natural affinities, the DM will then roll to see if your character has any natural affinities that your not even aware of giving you bonuses. This is completely random.
- Create your back story the end of which explains why your character is going to Silverlake.
To Be retired, campaign one is finished.
The Player’s Handbook is undergoing a major revision. Bobber, Daryth, and Solo have completed Campaign 1 in Silverlake. The game mechanics are getting a major overhaul. The old handbook has been thrown into the fires of mount doom.