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How to Play




No Character Sheet-Age of Exploration is played without a character sheet.  Spells, Weapons, Armor, Talents, and Items are all tracked using cards.  Hit points (which come from your armor) can be tracked with counters or a notepad.

Exploration takes a free-form, storytelling style, with the players acting out their characters and the game master acting out the story's other characters. If players want to know if they can do something the game master should generally just decide whether it's something they can do or not and tell them. But things may not always go according to plan- In this case use a 20 sided die (or two).

With or without a die, success or failure is determined by the storyteller. The roll of the die determines whether or not there are consequences for the action.  A 10 or greater means the actions succeeds without a hitch. Rolling a 9 or lower means the action still succeeds, but that it could have gone more smoothly. The GM should think of a consequence or drawback that results from the action. For example- characters who rolled low while trying to break down a door, might take a few hits, alerting the guards on the other side, who draw their weapons before the players break in. 
Double d20
 If that character has an advantage at the action (usually awarded because of a great idea, or good role playing) they roll two d20s and use the better roll. If they have a disadvantage (such as trying to open a lock without lockpicks) roll 2 dice and use the lower roll. 



A basic turn is simple: Move 5 squares and roll dice to attack using a weapon or a spell. Spells always hit, but roll a die to determine the damage. For weapons roll a 10 or higher on a 20 sided die to see if they hit; damage is determined by weapon type.


Roll a d20 to see who will act first in each combat encounter.  Highest roll goes first. To determine whether play continues clockwise or counterclockwise, compare the rolls of the players on either side of the starting player. The player next to the starting player with the higher roll goes next.  Play continues in that direction.  Players may not move their turn or hold actions.  GMs typically take all their character's actions at once.


Movement and Actions

Every turn players get to move 5 spaces and take one action. 

Base move speed is 5, but can change with items. Swimming, climbing, and moving through difficult terrain cost 2 movement per space. Standing up from prone costs 3 move points. Drinking a potion costs 3 movement. If a character steps onto a square next to an enemy they must end their movement. Moving away from an enemy does not provke a penalty unless that enemy has the "threat" trait. If a character starts their movement adjacent to an enemy with 'threat' it costs 3 move points to step away. Characters can use part of their movement then act then move the remaining spaces.

Actions are typically heroic things like attacking with a weapon, casting a spell, disarming a trap, bandaging a wound, or picking someone's pocket.  They require some time and concentration.

Free actions - some things can be done in a moment- kick open a door, tell your ally to look behind him, sheath your weapon and draw a new one, drop to the ground, etc.  You can do these during your turn as needed.

Weapon attacks-
To attack with  a weapon, stand within range of your target and roll a d20.  If you roll a 10 or higher it hits and deals damage on the weapon card.  No damage die is needed.  At the start of the game there are no modifers to attack or damage rolls.  A roll of 20 is a critical hit and deals double the damage.  The most common ways to get combat advantage for melee attacks are when an enemy is prone, or when they are surrounded by another one of your allies.  If you have combat advantage roll two d20s, and use the better number.  You will have a disadvantage if the target has partial cover, if you are dazed or blinded, or if you are prone while they are standing.  If you have combat disadvantage roll two d20s and use the lower number. 

Rather than the Game master roll for enemy attacks, player roll to dodge. Just like before players are successful if they roll a 10 or better. If they roll a 20, they can make an immediate counterattack with a melee weapon.


To cast a spell, make sure you're in range of your target.  Spells always hit, but the damage varies.  Roll the damage die listed on the spell card.  The same damage applies to all targets. Spells can be used only once per combat.  Players get them back again after a short rest.


Each player recovers hit points after each battle according to the party's current morale.
Morale starts at 10 and can be lost or recovered in various ways. Primary among those is a party member falling to 0 hp. When that happens the character is unable to act until they gain HP and the party loses Morale. Taking damage from a trap can deal morale damage. Some monsters can attack morale in addition to standard damge. And taking morale damage is one potential outcome of rolling a 1 when taking an action.
Many RPGs feature adventuring campaigns that can last years.
As a gateway RPG, the focus of Age of Exploration is to deliver an exciting experience from the start. So, rather than campaigns of adventures, Age of Exploration is broken  into short expeditions that last from 1-6 sessions and most last between 4 and 16 hours. After one expedition, players can keep their character or create a new one.

There are a number of ways that Age of Exploration provides character

progression, but it is decidedly unlike traditional D&D. There's no XP, and
gold isn't tracked from one expedition to the next. Power comes primarily in the form of treasure: new weapons and armor, consumable potions, and wondrous items.

There's also no player classes, although we have been playtesting a guild system for our 2nd expansion. Rather than starting in a class at the start of the game, players choose a guild some time in, and will have to earn their right to join their chosen guild, league, club, or coven. 

Character Advancement

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