A note from Andrew Seiple

Evening, all. This isn't a full chapter, it's simply the bear's character sheet and skill explanations, as he sees them and reads through what exactly he can do.

It's a LOT of rules stuff. Feel free to skip it if you're bored by it, we'll get back to the plot next chapter. Also note that a few skills have been adjusted, now that I've finished writing most of the rest of the system. Weirdly enough, I've almost got enough in my series bible to run a game in this system...

UPDATED NOTE: Threadbare's levels in each skill are listed in the table.

If you look at the skill levels in the individual skill descriptions, these are NOT Threadbare's level of proficiency with the skill. They are the level you have to have achieved in the job to learn the skill.

Go look at "Innocent Embrace" it is a level 5 skill. He got it when he achieved level 5 as a toy golem.

And so, the little bear saw the truth of himself in its entirety for the first time in his existence.

NAME: Threadbare AGE: 5    
Bear 8                Greater Toy Golem 9    
Animator 1 Duelist 1 Enchanter 1 Golemist 1
Model 2 Necromancer 1 Ruler 4 Scout 3
Smith 1 Tailor 8    
Strength 79 Constitution 83 HP 216(236) Armor 34
Intelligence 58 Wisdom 89 Sanity 147(167) Mental Fort. 24
Dexterity 41 Agility 51 Stamina 102(122) Endurance 44
Charisma 56 Willpower 47 Moxie 103(123) Cool 20
Perception 57 Luck 54 Fortune 110(130) Fate 9
Save Celia      
Brawling 20(21) Climb 6 Clubs and Maces 9 Dagger 9 Dodge 2
Fishing 1 Ride 7 Stealth 3 Swim 2  
Animalistic Interface N/A Claw Swipes 16 Forage 7 Growl 1 Hibernate 37
Scents and Sensibility 10 Stubborn 7 Toughness 12    
Adorable 15 Gift of Sapience N/A Golem Body 20 Innocent Embrace 8 Magic Resistance 4
Animus 1 Command Animus 1 Creator's Guardians 1 Eye for Detail 1 Mend 1
Challenge 1 Dazzling Entrance 1 Fancy Flourish 1 Guard Stance 1
Weapon Specialist (Brawling) 1      
Appraise 1 Glowgleam 1 Harden 1 Soften 1 Spellstore I 1
Command Golem 1 Golem Animus 1 Invite Golem 1 Toy Golem Construction 1
Dietary Restriction 10 Fascination 2 Flex 1 Self-Esteem 1 Work it Baby 2
Assess Corpse 1 Command the Dead 1 Soulstone 1 Speak with Dead 1 Zombies 1
Emboldening Speech 1 Identify Subject 1 Noblesse Oblige 1 Royal Audience 1 Simple Decree 1
Camouflage 1 Firestarter 1 Keen Eye 1 Sturdy Back 5 Wind's Whisper 1
Refine Ore 1
Adjust Outfit 1 Clean and Press 1
After some trial and error, Threadbare figured out that each series of words in its own little box was an element. So he went through the jobs first, taking a good hard look at what these mysterious things he'd agreed to learn were, and how they shaped him.
Bears are large beasts, tough and strong and stubborn. They eat pretty much anything organic and live in a variety of terrains and climates worldwide. Bears gain experience by eating bear-associated foods, roaming their territory, and defeating foes with their natural weapons. You have discovered one or more rank up options. You may choose one of the following unlocked options at level 10 or any point beyond; Black Bear, Cave Bear, and Grizzly Bear
Cave bear? Threadbare remembered black bear and grizzly bear, but not cave bear. But then again, he was stuck in what was basically a cave for a while. Maybe living in one for extended periods of time did it? It probably came up during his hibernation, and he hadn't been awake to see it. He tried getting help for the three bear types he'd unlocked...
Grizzlies got bigger and bulkier and had an attack called Bear Hug. Black Bears would shift the color of his fur, and got a stealth skill that only worked in the woods. Cave bears got a skill called darkspawn that gave night sight and small bonuses when there wasn't any light around. Threadbare wasn't far from being a level 10 bear, so he considered his options carefully.
Toy golems are the protectors of children everywhere! And also good, reasonably cheap guardians for any fledgling golemist. They aren't the toughest of golems, but they possess a few costly powers good for helping their charges survive. Like all golems, they're sturdy, resistant to magic, and immune to a lot of things that would kill living beings. Greater golems possess sapience, and attribute ranks that lesser golems simply do not have. They can even learn jobs! Limited in that aspect only by the intelligence of their crafter, greater golems have theoretically astronomical potential. Greater Toy Golems gain experience by doing adorable things, surviving conflict by toughing it out, and defeating foes using their natural weapons.
Animators give life to inanimate objects, awakening them to serve and defend the animator. Animators gain experience by casting animator spells and defeating foes with their animi.
Duelists fight with their chosen weapon and swashbuckle around, using mobility and attitude to win their fights. Duelists gain experience through fighting with their specialized weapon, defeating foes with panache and style, and doing risky, flashy things in dangerous situations. Note: Specialized weapons can be changed. Practice hard, your specialized weapon will shift to your highest weapon skill.
Enchanters are one of the oddest adventuring professions. They do most of their work beforehand, and use their items to devastating effect. Enchanters gain experience by creating magical items, casting enchanter spells, and using their created items to defeat foes.
Congratulations! Through blending Animator and Enchanter, you are now a golemist! Golemists craft unique magical constructs, and use them to fight their battles. Golemists gain experience by casting golemist spells, creating golems, and using their golems to defeat their foes.
Models improve their bodies and attitudes, displaying their glory for all to see and controlling how others look upon them. Models gain experience by using model skills, succesfully controlling first impressions, and defeating their foes through social manuvering.
Necromancers raise the dead to do their bidding, and can negotiate with powerful spirits and undead entities. Necromancers gain experience by interacting positively with the dead, casting necromancer spells, and using the undead to defeat their foes.
Rulers entice people to work for them, and organize them through decrees and rewards to do their bidding. Rulers gain experience by having their subjects do their bidding, organizing others to a common goal, and looking out for the interests of those in their charge.
Scouts roam the wilderness, spying upon foes and using stealth and survival to accomplish their goals. Remember, be prepared! Scouts gain experience by using scout skills, exploring new wilderness areas, and remaining undetected by foes.
Smiths work with metal, crafting objects with the help of a forge, anvil, and hammer.
Tailors work with cloth and occasionally other flexible materials, crafting objects with the help of scissors, needle, and thread.
All right, that was the jobs gone through. Threadbare considered, tried to find a common theme with his jobs. At first there wasn't really one, but then he figured out that half of them involved minions. It all came down to having things that he could get to his bidding.
Well, this was all the adventuring jobs he could get, as far as he knew. Past words had suggested there might be a way to unlearn jobs? Perhaps he'd find out more about that later.
Now, on to the skills. He had a ton of the damned things, and no idea what most of them did.
The Generic skills seemed pretty self-explanatory, so he skipped those. But the rest looked important. He decided to review racial and crafting skills first, then on to the ones from adventuring jobs.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Passive Constant
Adorable has a chance of activating when you do something cute in front of an audience, or onlookers blame you for something that isn't your fault. It improves the attitude of anyone who fails to resist your charms.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Passive Constant
Congratulations, you now have all the attributes and can think and learn. Good luck with that. You also have 0/8 adventuring job slots, and 2/4 crafting job slots.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Passive Constant
Your body has no organs, and is made from inorganic or once-organic material infused with a magical force. By being exposed to effects that would kill or cripple living beings and surviving them, this skill will level up. As it levels up, you will gain immunity and resistance to a wider range of lethal effects.
Level 5, Cost: Sanity equal to half the amount healed, Duration: Instant
Heals an embraced target 10 X the level of this skill. Will affect on other golems, is standard healing otherwise. Currently activated through Animalistic Interface, and will affect any legal target embraced. Does not affect uninjured targets.
Interesting. So that was why he'd healed the Basement Cat. Threadbare fiddled with his status screen until he found a way to turn the automatic activation off for this one.
Level 1, Cost: N/A, Duration: Passive Constant
Has a chance of negating any non-beneficial magic cast upon you. The chance of success is dependant upon the spellcaster's level.
On to the bear jobs!
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Constant Passive
Allows the beast to use their racial skills without requiring vocalization. All skills that are not constant passives may be turned on and off as the situation and instinct require.
Level 1, Cost 5 Sta, Duration: 5 attacks
Enhances the damage caused by your hands and feet, and adds the sharp quality for the next five strikes. Currently activated through Animalistic Interface, and will activate whenever you brawl with intent to injure.
Level 1, Cost 10 Sta, Duration: 10 minutes
Greatly enhances your perception for the purposes of finding food, water, or other natural resources in the wilderness. At higher levels, may be used to locate specific naturally occuring resources. Currently activated through Animalistic Interface, will activate whenever you hunt for natural resources.
Level 5, Cost 10 Mox, Duration: Instant
Growl at a target to damage their sanity.
Level 5, Cost N/A, Duration: 1-3 months
Go into a torpid sleep. Requires a cool, dark place and you cannot be affected by the Starving condition. Restores all pools to full, as per a normal rest.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: 5 minutes
Activates heightened smell, greatly increasing perception for that sense and allowing you to catalogue and remember specific odors. Currently activated through Animalistic Interface, and will activate whenever you encounter an interesting scent.
Level 5, Cost N/A, Duration: Constant Passive
Increases your resistance to sanity damaging effects.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Constant Passive
Has a chance of increasing whenever you take serious damage. Raises your maximum HP by two whenever it increases.
Phew! Lots of things. On to the crafting job skills. Smith was first on the list...
Level 1, Cost 10 Sta, Duration: Instant
Separates any usable crafting materials in a container or dirt, ore, or stone into neat piles of material.
Okay. He'd keep that in mind if he ever found buckets of dirt or rocks. Tailor, however, proved more interesting.
Level 5, Cost 20 Sta, Duration: Instant
Resizes any cloth outfit to fit the chosen wearer, and also allows minor alterations.
Level 1, Cost 10 Sta, Duration: Instanty
Instantly cleans the selected item, and removes any wrinkles, stains, or other blemishes. Only works on items that are primarily textiles.
He was happy with those skills. Especially since the first one would let him wear clothes he found along the way. As fun as his earlier clothing creation attempts had been, he'd been interested in the clothes people were wearing before he knew what they were. And keeping clean was good, he'd learned that Celia didn't like to hug him when he was dirty.
Now on to the adventurer jobs. This was very much a lot of reading for the little bear, but thanks to his newly-sharpened intelligence, he got the gist of most of it. And he was learning so very very much! Most of this would be new territory, as it seemed a lot of these skills required him to say things to activate. Hopefully they were good, he'd need every edge he could get if he wanted to save Celia.
Animator skills first.
Level 1, Cost 10+ San, Duration: 10 min/level
Turns an object into an animi, capable of movement, combat, and simple tasks as ordered by its creator. Must be in its creator's party to do anything beyond defend itself. The greater the size and mass of the object, the more it costs to animate, and the more hit points, strength, and constitution it begins with. The type of material also factors in, and determines the starting armor rating of the animi.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: Instant
Allows the caster to issue one command to an animi that isn't currently in its creator's party. If successfully cast, the animi will follow the command to the best of its ability until it is impossible to do so.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Passive Constant
Enhances animi in the creator's party, boosting all attributes. The amount buffed is influenced by the animator's will and this skill's level. Has a chance of increasing every time a new animi first joins the animator's party.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: 1 minute
Allows the animator to examine the status of any animi, golem, or other construct he looks upon. Also analyzes any object for animation potential and sanity cost. Can be resisted.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: Instant
Instantly repairs the target construct or object, restoring a small amount of HP, influenced by the level of this skill and the animator's will.
Okay, that last one was going to come in handy, if only to save him from using up all his tailoring supplies. Good stuff here.
Duelist was next on the list.
Level 1, Cost 5 Mox, Duration: Instant
Calls out a target to fight you. They suffer combat penalties based on your charisma unless they are actively trying to attack you. Resistible, because some foes are just too cool for you.
Level 1, Cost 10 Mox, Duration: Instant
Used before revealing yourself to foes, the more dramatic your appearance the better. Boosts your charisma and cool for a short time.
Level 1, Cost 5 Sta, Duration: Instant
Unleash a fancy set of moves that don't hurt your foe but look really cool. Attacks their moxie.
Level 1, Cost 10 Sta, Duration: Until dropped, or the end of the fight
Assume a guard stance, and gain a bonus to your dodge skill and armor, at the cost of lowering your strength and dexterity.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Passive Constant
Enhances your weapon skill. Automatically assigned to your highest weapon skill. If you have two or more equal highest weapon skills, you may freely choose which to specialize in at any time.
After looking around a bit, Threadbare figured out that mox was moxie. Duelist had the first skills he'd found that did something with that attribute pool. Could be handy, he supposed. He'd have to experiment with them later.
Enchanter was next.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: 5 minutes
Allows you to see all relevant information about a mundane or magical item.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: 1 hour per level
Infuses any object with a simple light spell. The luminescence is based upon the caster's intelligence.
Level 1, Cost 10 San, Duration: 10 minutes
Increases the toughness of any object or construct temporarily, adding to its armor and/or damage potential.
Level 1, Cost 10 San, Duration: 10 minutes
Decreases the toughness of any object or construct temporarily, reducing its armor and/or damage potential.
Level 1, Cost 10 San, Duration: Permanent
Prepares an object that stores a spell or skill inside of it. Anyone can then read, break, drink, or otherwise use the object in an appropriate manner to activate the spell. Requires and consumes one dose of RED Reagents. The enchanter does not have to be the person storing the spell inside the Spellstore.
Okay, that looked fairly interesting. Harden in particular... he was a construct, he thought, given how the class descriptions and other skills referred to him. Threadbare put that in his 'things to test later' list.
Three jobs down, five left. On to the big one. Golemist!
Level 1, Cost 20 San, Duration: 1 minute per level
Allows the caster to issue one command to a golem that isn't currently in a party. If unresisted, the golem will follow the command to the best of its ability until it is impossible to do so, or until the command wears off.
Level 1, Cost 50 San, Duration: Permanent
Turns a prepared golem shell into a functional lesser golem, that will obey its creator's commands to the best of its ability.
Level 1, Cost 10 San, Duration: Instant
Used to invite golems into your party. Automatically affects golems created by the golemist, can be resisted by other golems. Will not affect golems in their creator's party.
Level 1, Cost 100 San, Duration: Permanent
Allows the golemist to construct a toy golem shell. Requires a toy, one dose of YELLOW reagents, and a level 1 Crystal.
Wow, okay, those were some pretty costly skills, sanity-wise. And it required stuff he'd never heard of before, to make more toy golems. Maybe he'd look into this later, after Celia was safe.
Now, on to the model skills.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Until broken
So long as you have spent the last week without eating anything with the UNHEALTHY identifier you gain a small buff to all pools. This bonus is cumulative, up to twice your rank of this skill. Eating UNHEALTHY designated food immediately removes all versions of the buff.
Level 1, Cost N/A, Duration: Dependant upon skill
Heal, aid, or otherwise be nice to an enemy in combat. If unresisted by mental fortitude, the foe will become temporarily fascinated with you, for a duration proportionate to this skill's level.
Level 1, Cost 10 Sta, Duration: 1 minute per level
Buff your endurance and cool by the level of this skill.
Level 1, Cost 10 Mox, Duration: 1 minute per level
Buff your mental fortitude and cool by the level of this skill.
Level 1, Cost NA, Duration: Passive Constant
Whenever one of your worn or wielded items creates a favorable impression in at least one onlooker, then this skill has a chance of increasing. All worn and wielded items that confer bonuses have their bonuses increased by a small percentage for each level of this skill. Note that the difference is harder to see with lower level gear and lower levels of the skill.
That job was a lot more useful than he expected. Three of the skills didn't even require activation, or cost anything to do so! And the downside to dietary restrictions didn't matter much to a creature that never had to eat in the first place. It was pretty much free bonuses. Yeah, he could live with this. Especially with the defensive buffs that he could whip out. They didn't look like they'd last long, but that was fine, they'd get better with practice.
Was necromancer as nice? Hopefully.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: 1 minute
Allows the animator to examine the status of any undead creature he looks upon. Also analyzes any corpse for animation potential and sanity cost. Can be resisted.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: 1 minute per level
Allows the caster to issue a command to a single undead creature. If unresisted, the creature most follow its orders to the best of its ability. Can also be used to invite unintelligent undead into a party, at which point they can be verbally commanded indefinitely by the caster.
Level 1, Cost: 20 San, Duration: Permanent
Creates a soulstone crystal, which can house a newly-deceased spirit or an existing incorporeal undead. A spirit in a soulstone may be conversed with, used to create a new undead, or simply unleashed upon the world at a time of the caster's choosing.
Level 1, Cost: 5 San, Duration: 1 minute per level
Allows the necromancer to converse with corpses, spirits, or normally incoherent undead. In places with particularly strong spirits, the caster may be notified of the presence of conversable spirits.
Level 1, Cost: 10 San, Duration: Permanent
Turns a corpse into a zombie. Requires a spirit present in the area.
Threadbare didn't have any natural revulsion to the dead, or any sort of taboo against messing with them, but he didn't know how useful this was. Still, he'd had to do an awful lot of fighting in his short existence, so he knew that corpses weren't too hard to come by. Spirits? Hard to say. He did notice that unlike animators, necromancers didn't seem to have any way to heal their undead. Animated objects sounded more useful that way... though zombies were evidently permanent, whereas animi needed to be renewed when their duration was up. And golems took special stuff to build.
Mulling over the differences, he moved on to the Ruler skills.
Level 1, Cost: 10 Mox, Duration: Instant
Buffs all allies moxie and sanity by an amount related to the ruler's charisma. Only affects allies within earshot.
Level 1, Cost: 5 Mox, Duration: 5 minutes
Allows the ruler to examine a sworn subject's status screen. May also be used on people within your party, giving more information than the party status screen.
Level 1, Cost: N/A, Duration: Passive Constant
Buffs all sworn subjects and party members a small amount. The stat buffed is dependant upon your highest attribute.
Level 1, Cost 10 Mox, Duration: 1 Minute per level
Buffs your charisma, but only when dealing with sworn subjects
Level 1, Cost 10 Mox, Duration: Permanent until changed
Declare a simple command in twelve words or less. All sworn subjects are notified of the decree. Any who do not comply with this decree take moxie damage influenced by your charisma and wisdom, resisted by cool. Only one simple decree may be in place at a time. Simple commands may not be used to inflict suicidal or self-harmful activities.
Threadbare looked over these skills, and... well, there was that one that buffed people in his party, and one that let him restore moxie. That must have been what the rat king used, he thought, remembering back to the desperate fight in the basement.
But the rest dealt with sworn subjects. How did you get those? Maybe skills would show up later on.
The last job was up, and from what he'd seen Mordecai pull, it had some awesome stuff.
Level 1, Cost 5 San/Min, Duration: Until dismissed or exhausted
Blends the Scout in with his surroundings, buffing their stealth skill. More effective in the wilderness, scales according to skill level.
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: Instant
Creates a fire, burning any flammable material it's used upon. Intensity of the starting flames depends on the skill level.
Level 1, Cost 5 Sta, Duration: A minute per scout level
Buffs a scout's perception, effects dependent upon skill level
Level 1, Cost NA, Duration: Passive Constant
Lightens the burdens of any heavy load carried, making items literally weigh less. Does not apply to weapons and armor equipped. Higher skill level means more weight reduction
Level 1, Cost 5 San, Duration: 1 message
May be activated silently. Sends a message on the wind to any named target within range. Range and amount of words speakable per message increase with skill level.
This now, this was helpful. he could see most of these coming in handy, and soon, too. There wasn't much except wilderness all around him, and this would help him avoid trouble and find what he needed out here.
Mulling it over, Threadbare flicked a pebble into the river, and watched it splash and sink. It had taken a very long time to read all those entries, and he had Celia to save. He pretty much had nothing to work with here, and nothing to gain by staying beside the river.
He was going to need help, that was the inescapable conclusion that finally meandered its way through the little bear's mind. The half-orc brothers had vanished, maybe they were still around? It was a long shot, but he didn't have very many shots right now. Threadbare thought back, to before the long sleeps and endless dark of the basement, and he remembered Garon saying something about meeting back up at Oblivion Point.
He knew how to get there, didn't he?
The little bear got up and headed into the woods.

Support "Threadbare"

About the author

Andrew Seiple


Log in to comment
Log In

Log in to comment
Log In