Game Mechanics

Machinery illustration

Cryptomancer is a full role-playing game, complete with its own unique game mechanics using six-sided and ten-sided dice. Characters in the game are composed of skills, spells, and talents that emphasize the realms of stealth, espionage, and creative problem solving (as well as creative problem creating). Don’t worry, we also got the traditional fantasy stuff covered, like killing orcs and chucking fireballs.

Same Roll, No Matter What

When a player has her character do something that is dramatic (that is, the outcome matters to the story), that player will probably have to chuck some dice, the results of which will determine the severity of that the character’s success or failure. We call this a skill-check. Of course, skill-checks manifest in many ways:

Luckily, we keep things simple… no matter the circumstances, an action is Trivial, Challenging, or Tough. That is all that matters.

Trivial, Challenging, or Tough

When something dramatic is about to happen, just ask yourself the right question, and fill in the blank with either trivial, challenging, or tough.

Unopposed Examples: Opposed Examples:
It is ________ to pick this lock. It is ________ to trick my character.
It is ________ to scale this wall. It is ________ to overpower my character.
It is ________ to forge this document. It is ________ to frighten my character.

The answer to the question plus the values written on your character sheet tell you exactly what dice need to be rolled, and how to resolve the roll’s results.

Tactical vs. Strategic

One of the reasons we keep things so simple is that players have other responsibilities besides keeping their characters alive. They will also need to manage their safehouse, assign tasks to allied agents, and maintain operational security.

Character and Safehouse sheets