Astral Warriors

Astral Warriors: A Story Engine for Wizardly Battles in the Lower Astral Plane

The Fallen Empire is a place of fantasy, and of magic. There are many different types of wizards in the Fallen Empire. The one thing that all mages have in common is the ability to project their life force into the lower reaches of the astral plane. This has made the lower astral a common place for duels between wizards who use different magical techniques that may have little else in common. In the astral, only the raw power of one's magic matters, not the specifics of one's magical techniques.

In Astral Warriors, you are a magician in the Fallen Empire, whether shamanic, elementalist, fairy folk, or any of the other myriad forms, pursuing knowledge and power. Successful astral combat can increase your power and reputation; failure can make you a laughingstock.

Astral Warriors is a Story Engine for two or more participants to generate tales of astral battle between wizards. It is compatible with ArchMage, and is designed for use in an online "conference" or "chat" environment.

Apprenticeship

You begin your life as an astral warrior with a name, a wizardly Rank of 30, and 150 Magic Points. (If your character has been played in the ArchMage story engine, start with the Rank and Magic Points earned from that game instead.) Your character has other abilities and attributes, of course, but they are physical and do not matter in the astral plane.

You may use a new Astral Warriors character in ArchMage, but you will then need to complete that game's character creation process as well.

You'll put your Magic Points into four Stats when you start a fight. These four Stats are:

Astral Warriors Stats
Armor How well you take damage.
Power How well you dish it out.
Technique How well you control your astral self.
Quickness How well you move through the astral.

Put as many or as few points as you like into each Stat, even as few as 1, so long as your total is right. But you have to put at least 20 points into Technique, or you can't even appear on the astral plane.

If the stats you select now don't work out in combat, don't worry. In the astral, you are what you think you are. So you can always blow a turn to Transform and move Stat Points around. And in a new fight, you can re-do yourself in a whole new image.

The Challenge

When two mages decide for one reason or another to duel in astral space, it all starts with the challenger announcing how many Magic Points will be spent on Technique in this fight. (If there is no challenger, create one! What's life without challenge?) The challenger also announces the number of Magic Points to be spent on one other Stat.

The challenged wizard then determines and announces the Magic Points to be spent on each of the four Stats, after which the challenger announces spends for the two remaining Stats.

The mage who spent the most points on Technique goes first. Ties go to the challenged mage.

The Combat
(or What You Can Do on Your Turn)

You can do one of six things on your turn. Announce it, and roll a 100-sided die (d100) where the rules tell you to. In the following descriptions, the player who is taking a turn is termed Attacker, and the other player Defender.

When dice are rolled, nothing happens unless it's your turn and you roll the higher total. Mages take turns back and forth until one or the other flees combat or loses all Stat Points.

Attack
Restrictions: None.
Attacker: Roll d100 and add current Power to get a total.
Defender: Roll d100 and add current Armor to get a total.
If Attacker has the higher total, find the difference between the totals. Subtract that many points from Defender's Armor. If Armor is reduced to zero, apply the excess against Quickness, or Power once Quickness is zeroed, or Technique as a last resort, until all points are used.

Confuse
Restrictions: A mage needs a current Technique score of 20 or higher to use the Confuse option.
Attacker: Roll d100 and add current Technique to get a total.
Defender: Roll d100 and add current Technique to get a total.
If Attacker has the higher total, subtract 10 from Defender's Technique. (But do not reduce Defender's Technique below 10. Only massive Attack damage can do that.)

Dodge
Restrictions: none.
Attacker: Roll d100 and add current Quickness to get a total.
Defender: Roll d100 and add current Quickness to get a total.
If Attacker has the higher total, find the difference between the totals. Attacker gets to add this number to any dice total rolled on Defender's next turn.

Feint
Restrictions: none
Attacker: Roll d100 and add current Technique to get a total.
Defender: Roll d100 and add current Quickness to get a total.
If Attacker has the higher total, find the difference between the totals. Double it. Attacker gets to add this number to any dice total rolled on Attacker's next turn. (Not when responding to the opponent's turn!)

Transform
Attacker may move up to his current Technique of Stat Points from one Stat to another Stat. Crush 'em like a bug with more Power; put on some razzle-dazzle with increased Quickness; grab some cheap Armor support for heavy defense. Restrictions on point movement: 1) No Stat can be reduced below zero. 2) Technique never goes up, just down.

Flee
Attacker concedes defeat by returning to the physical body, leaving the astral plane. Why would one concede? Read on.

The Aftermath

When someone flees, or loses all of their Stat Points, the fight is over, the opponent wins, and the fun begins.

Wizards are ranked according to their dueling experience. (Other non- combat factors exist outside the scope of ArchMage and Astral Warriors, and may be assumed to take place behind the scenes.)

Astral Warriors gain Ranks for winning, and drop Ranks for losing, according to the table below. (But a mage who has never attained Rank 40 or higher cannot lose Rank by dueling.) An Astral Warrior gets 5 Magic Points per Rank based on the highest Rank ever earned, which might be much higher than current Rank.

Astral Warriors Rank Adjustment Table
+ 3 RanksDefeat opponent rated 10 or more Ranks above you¹
+ 2 RanksDefeat opponent rated within 9 Ranks of you¹
+ 1 RankDefeat opponent rated 10 or more Ranks below you¹
+ 1 RankEach month wizard fights at least one astral duel
+ 1 RankWizard who has never made Rank 40+ loses duel
- 1 RankLose duel by losing all stat points (humiliation!)

¹ Loser normally loses the same number of Ranks.

Ranks gained and lost in ArchMage apply fully to the same wizard in Astral Warriors, and vice versa.

Copyright and Distribution

Astral Warriors: A Story Engine for Wizardly Battles in the Lower Astral Plane is copyright © 1995 by Randall Stukey.

Astral Warriors is a copyrighted freeware game system. It is fully protected under US Copyright Laws and this protection is extended to almost all other countries by the Byrne Convention and other copyright treaties. You are encouraged to provide complete and unaltered free copies to your friends. Note the word free: you may not charge any type of fee for providing this game. You are also encouraged to upload text copies of it to your favorite BBSs and Online Services, however, no fee for downloading any file or message containing this game or material based on this game may be charged beyond the normal connect charges for using the service in general. In all cases, my copyright and trademark notices must remain on the document in whatever form it is distributed.

While you are free to publish expansions and other derivative works based on Astral Warriors and/or the Fallen Empire, all such items must be copyrighted to me (e.g. "Copyright © [year] by Randall Stukey") and may only be distributed under the terms given for the distribution of Astral Warriors itself in the previous paragraph.

Astral Warriors and all derivative works must be produced and distributed at no profit. The author is not going to make money off of Astral Warriors, nor will he allow others to do so.

Astral Warriors, Fallen Empire, and Story Engine are trademarks owned by Randall Stukey.

RPGNow.com