Thursday 20 July 2023

HoNK Rules! Character Building

 The following is a brief discussion of how characters are built in HoNK/ToNK. Character Classes are built using this system, as are 'classless' characters.

Character Building


Characters are built using Proficiency Points. Most of these points at first level are spent building the character Class but the character always has at least 10 free Proficiency Points to spend. You may not, however, ‘double up’ on any expenditures that your Class already grants


1 point of Proficiency can be spent gaining Proficiency in:

a weapon/attack style;

an armour type;

a shield;


3 points on a standard weapon group (such as light blades or medium hammers), or all shields, or an armour group*;


9 points on a full weapon group (all polearms, or all blades);


30 points for proficiency in all weapons;


8 points on all armours;


2-6 points for extra Vitality dice (2 for 1d6; 4=2d6; 6=3d6, 1 extra dice only if purchasing Vitality beyond 1st level):


5-15 points to gain a permanent bonus of 1-3 to a Specialty or a Skill (although there must be a limitation attached when applying a bonus to a Skill, see below). 5 points per point of bonus (e.g., 15 points for a permanent bonus of 3 - i.e., adding 3 to the target number - for Influence rolls, using the Specialty Haggle). If the bonus is conditional or limited (e.g., a bonus of 3 to Nature skill - Hunting, only in forests), the cost is reduced by 3 per point of bonus. This limitation must be significant, preventing the bonus from being applied in at least half of the likely situations. If a limitation is blatantly ridiculous or meaningless there is no discount.


4-8 points on a Magical Aptitude (access to a style of magic to a certain level);


6 points to increase a Skill Pool (this is known as a Boost) by 1 (once per Skill only);


9 points to purchase an extra Skill (Crafts cost 6 points; Vocations cost 8 points).


Characters gain 3 Proficiency Points per level above the first (these can be saved).


From 3rd level (Fighters, Gallants, Knights, Rangers, Berserkers, Paladins & Barbarians may do so at 2nd level) a character may spend 3 Proficiency Points (if they have them available) to gain a permanent +1 to all attacks with one weapon, combat maneuver or attack mode. Proficiency Points can be spent in this way no more than three times for a single weapon, combat maneuver or attack mode. This cost may be tripled to apply the +1 bonus to a standard weapon group. Proficiency points can only be spent in this way once for any standard weapon group, and cannot be spent this way for a full weapon group. Bonuses for standard weapon groups and individual weapons within that group do stack with each other.


 *Note that if you wish to buy proficiency in a weapon group, or armour group, or a Magical Aptitude, you must meet any prerequisites, such as having proficiency in at least one type of light armour before purchasing the chain armour group, or knowing Level 1 Witchcraft in order to learn level 2 Witchcraft


All characters begin with a Base Vitality score equivalent to their HT score plus 1d6.


There are 9 levels. Every second level (2, 4, 6 and 8), a character may attempt to increase an Attribute by 1. They must roll over the Attribute score on 1d20 to do so (they must exceed the number. Merely rolling equal is not enough). No Attribute may be boosted above 19 by this method.


Characters select their Class. This grants them a number of abilities: Skills, Proficiencies, Skill Boosts, Specialties, Weapon & Armour Proficiencies, Magical Access and access to a special Class-related Skill Pool.


Characters receive skills as per their Class. Each Skill has an associated pool of 4 points, which the character may apply on a 1-to-1 basis to increase the target number (or, in the case of Combat, add to the roll). This pool replenishes with rest, and increases by 1 every level (to a maximum of 13 or 15 for an Advanced Combat Pool).


Characters also begin play with 3 free Specialties (spent as preferred, such as a single +3, a +2 and a +1, or three +1 Specialties) over and above those they receive from their class. These are entirely the player’s choice, save for the fact that no limitations are permitted, and that Specialties already received due to Class cannot be improved (at level 1).


Characters may also purchase new skills from level 4, gaining a base pool of 3 points, which increases as normal (e.g., 3-point pool in a skill selected at 4rd level will increase to a maximum of 8, and so on).  There must be some sort of narrative justification for any skills chosen.


Advanced Combat (costs 18 points, pool = 8)

            Points may be spent in any way within a given round, and may be applied to any Attack roll, Active Defense, Initiative, any Combat Maneuvers, Wounding Strike checks.

Advanced Flexible Combat (costs 15 points, pool = 8)

            Points are allocated to either Offense or Defense each round. If nominating Offense, points may be applied to the Attack Roll, Initiative, Offensive Combat Maneuvers, Wounding Strike checks. If nominating Defense, points may be applied to Active Defense, Initiative, Defensive Combat Manuevers.

Simple Defensive Combat (costs 9 points, pool = 4)

            Points may be allocated to Initiative, Active Defense, Simple Defensive Maneuvers.

Simple Offensive Combat (costs 9 points, pool = 4)

            Points may be allocated to Initiative, Attack Rolls, Simple Offensive Maneuvers.

Simple Flexible Combat (costs 9 points, pool = 4)

            Points must be allocated to either Offense or Defense each round. If nominating Offense, points may be applied to the Attack Roll, Initiative, Simple Offensive Maneuvers. If nominating Defense, points may be applied to Active Defense, Initiative, Simple Defensive Manuevers.


You can only ever have access to one Combat Pool, although once you reach 3rd level, (2nd level if you are a Ranger, Berserker, Paladin or Barbarian) you can spend 9 points to upgrade any of the Simple Combat Pools to the Advanced Combat Pool or 6 points to upgrade to the Advanced Flexible Combat Pool, or 3 points to upgrade from Advanced Flexible Combat to Advanced Combat. If you bought a Boost for the previous Pool, this carries over to the Advanced Combat Pool, as do any level-related increases to that Pool.


Skills: (cost 9 points each unless otherwise specified)




Craft (costs 6 per Craft, pool = 3, no passive advancement)


















Vocation (costs 8 per Vocation, pool = 3, no passive advancement) 

Below is an example of a character class:


The Infernal Realms strive constantly to conquer and colonise the worlds of mortals, and the Diabolist is one of their mightiest servants, inserting themselves into all corners of civilization, and subverting or corrupting all that they find.


Skills: Arcana, Guile, Influence, Religion (cost: 36)

Boosts: Arcana, Guile, Influence (cost: 18)

Proficiencies: four light weapons (cost: 4)

Vitality Bonus: none

Specialties: +3 Demonology (15); +2 Diabolism (10); +1 Wizardry (5); +4 distributed between 2-4 Specialties in the Guile Skill (20); +1 Scholarship (5); +3 distributed between 2-3 Specialties in the Influence skill (15); +2 distributed between 1-2 Specialties in the Interaction skill (10).

Magical Access: Diabolism – Basic (cost: 8)

Free Points: 14

Class Talent: Fiendish Pool (10) Creates a 4-point pool (passive increase of 1 point/level, no boosts), that may be applied to any Spell casting, Countermagic, Conjury, Demonology, Diabolism or Insight check.

If the Fiendish Pool is full, all points may be expended to create a Demonfire Bolt, a ranged attack that does 1d6 Vitality damage per point in the Fiendish Pool, to a maximum of 6d6. The Bolt has range of 20’ (plus 5’ per point in the Fiendish Pool). A normal ranged Attack is required to strike with the Demonfire Bolt, and there is an attack bonus of +1 per point. Demonfire Bolt damage is magical and ‘unholy,’ and ignores ‘holy’ defenses, including Divine or Devotion Points applied to Active Defense. It cannot produce a Wounding Strike. If the damage dice roll produces 3 or more rolls of 6, the target must make a Magic Resistance check or have their alignment shifted by one factor towards that of the Diabolist (as per Conversion). Note that if the full Pool contains an odd number of points, the remaining point is nonetheless consumed by the Demonfire Bolt. If a Demonfire Bolt is used, the Pool is empty until replenished and cannot be recovered.

Fiendish Points can be used instead of Vitality points to power Diabolical spells.

The Fiendish Pool can be recovered by a normal Recovery check (Discipline), and replenishes once per day, assuming a period of full, undisturbed rest.

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