written + designed by Sean F. Smith
CC-BY 4.0


You’ll describe how your character interacts with the world the GM describes. Often, you will be able to describe the outcome, though when the action is risky or time-sensitive the GM will ask you to Test your Mettle.
When this is called for, roll and total two dice. If you score nine (9) or higher, the action is successful. Testing your Mettle usually fails, so do everything you can to make risky situations less dangerous.Advantage
If you are better prepared than average for a risky action, you may ask for Advantage on a roll. When the GM awards this, you may roll an additional dice and keep the highest two when Testing your Mettle.
If multiple Advantages would apply to a situation, it is no longer risky.There is no corollary disadvantage mechanic. However, especially difficult situations might prevent you from being able to gain Advantage, even if you wanted to spend LUCK or Special Skill points.COMBAT
The wilds and dungeons of Pollux are full of many fearsome foes! Sometimes avoiding combat is impossible.
Whichever side has the fewest combatants, or is the most at home, holds the initiative and can act first.To attack a foe, Test your Mettle: though instead of aiming for nine, you are aiming to score the SKILL of your adversary or higher. If your SKILL is higher than your enemy’s, you’ve Advantage on the roll.If you were successful, you have hit your opponent. Roll the appropriate Damage dice for your weapon: this value is deducted from your opponent’s STAMINA.If you were unsuccessful, you suffer a counterattack! The GM will roll Damage dice for the enemy: deduct this score from your STAMINA.Once everyone on the leading side has acted, their adversaries act. Rules for an enemy’s attack are the same as for players, though foes may gain Advantage in different ways.Anyone whose STAMINA is reduced to zero (0) is knocked out. Anyone whose STAMINA is reduced below zero has been killed.It might not always be a good idea to attack a particularly strong foe directly; sometimes it is safer to create Advantageous situations for your allies. Enemies with SKILL scores greater than that of the players are especially dangerous; the GM should be using them sparingly, but also you may consider it safer to run away!


At the beginning of a game, you will need to determine your character’s abilities and attributes.
¬ SKILL is a measure of competence in battle. Roll 1D6+4.
¬ STAMINA is a measure of endurance and health. Roll 1D6+14.
¬ LUCK is self-explanatory. Roll 1D6+4.
Note these Initial scores on your character sheet. Except in rare situations, these Initial scores will not change; keep track of your current scores separately.For each point you have of Initial SKILL, assign one point to Special Skills of your design. These can give you Advantage on Testing your Mettle. Determine these in collaboration with your GM—for example: disengage, sneak, intimidate, stonecunning.Starting Equipment
Your character begins the game with:
¬ A basic weapon: sword / bow ect. (d3)
¬ d3 simple Provisions
¬ DEBT!! (equal to your STAMINA score)
A hastily eaten Provision recovers d3 STAMINA points. Taking some time to rest around a fire means a Provision restores d6 STAMINA—though be wary of resting too long in perilous situations!
A good night’s sleep in a good bed will restore your LUCK and your Special Skills to their Initial value.Using LUCK & Special Skills
Whenever you Test your Mettle (either in or out of combat), you may spend a point of LUCK to grant Advantage to the roll. Special Skills may be used in the same way, if the action is suited to that specialty.
Calculate your xp threshold by totalling the values of your Initial SKILL, your Initial LUCK, and all of your Special Skills. Your GM will tell you how many Experience Points (xp) you accumulate: once this surpasses your xp threshold, you may spend them and choose one:
¬ Increase the Initial value of SKILL, STAMINA or LUCK by one (1)
¬ Gain a prestigious item
¬ Gain a new Special Skill at two (2)
Experience Points
You can gain xp in a number of ways:
¬ Besting hostile adversaries in contest or combat (typically 1 xp per lesser foe, 2 xp per equal or better)
¬ Completing sundry favours or quests for folks you owe no favours to (various, from 5 xp for clearing a basement of vermin to 25 xp for recovering a unique religious relic)
Your GM will tell you at the beginning of the game which of these methods will not apply in your sessions. Characters might just pay off their debt before the first time they pass their xp threshold.xp is awarded to the group as a whole. You each receive the same total points, which is not divided between yourselves.


Rather than catalogue a full range of items and the fee for their acquisition, it is swifter and more in keeping with the tone of the game to simplify costs by rarity.
¬ Common Objects & Services — d3 coins e.g. a night’s rest in a common room, a simple evening’s fare, a handful of Provisions, a basic weapon, tools.
¬ Rarer Items & Services — d6 x 5 coins e.g. hire of a fancy vessel, two sunrises of a man-at-arms, a well-shod horse, an instrument, an unusual weapon.
¬ Coveted & Exotic Things — 2d3 x 10 coins e.g. poison, fine jewelry, an accurate map.
All characters begin the game with a moderate debt. The GM will ask you to explain why you are in this debt and who your creditor is. That you’re in this position is half of the reason why you are willing to risk life and limb.
Prestigious Items
These are items you gain through play or inherit through Advancement. They may be rare or particularly efficient; they are always coveted.
You might use these examples directly in your game or use them to help you create your own:
¬ Foetid dagger (2d3); if this weapon inflicts 6 damage, it infects the wound — the target cannot heal naturally for a week
¬ Vorpal scimitar (2d3); grants Advantage when attacking humanoid foes
¬ Flamestrung longbow (2d3); arrows shot from this bow catch fire
¬ Gnomad pick (2d3); the owner of this pick cannot become lost underground
¬ Tongue of Vaeccan; this replaces your severed tongue and grants Advantage on Tests of Mettle to seduce or intimidate
¬ Buckle of the war-wight; grants Advantage on all Tests of Mettle relating to birds


In order to cast spells, you need to take at least one point to a Special Skill for magic. During breaks between play, you may study these spell lists. While you’re playing, you must rely on your memory.Casting a spell
If you wish to cast a spell and have no time pressure, there is negligible risk to cast it. Tell the GM which spell you are casting (and make sure you spell its name correctly, have prepared the appropriate components, and possess the appropriate focus!); you are drained of a number of STAMINA points determined by the spell’s cost + the GM will explain the outcome of the spell.
If you wish to cast a spell in a more fraught environment (such as during combat), you will need to Test your Mettle. If you succeed, the spell is cast immediately, as described above.If you fail, instead the spell takes more time and concentration than you’d hope for. You pay the STAMINA cost for the spell immediately, but the spell will activate after every other player and every enemy has acted. If you are interrupted during this time (such as by being struck), instead the spell backfires + you should roll on the Oops! table.Spell listingsBLS
cost d6 STAMINA focus a lock of the target's hair
effect the next single action the target takes succeeds outright
cost 1 STAMINA focus a piece of broken crockery
effect Create too much food for two people
cost d3 STAMINA component a living beetle cocoon
effect Gain flight for five minutes
cost d6 STAMINA
effect Immobilise an enemy for D6 rounds
cost d3 STAMINA component an ice cube
effect 50FT of thick mists surround you for 4D6 minutes
cost d6 STAMINA
effect A target you see gains STAMINA equal to your current STAMINA
cost 1 STAMINA focus the ear of a criminal
effect No noise within 5FT of you for 2D6 minutes
cost d6 STAMINA component eggshell from a duck or goose or sundry waterfoule
effect Put one enemy to sleep for D3 rounds
cost d6 STAMINA component dried seaweed
effect 15FT of sticky web covers a surface or opening
cost d3 STAMINA focus a cut on the back of your hand
effect Bamf to a point you can see 20FT away
cost 1 STAMINA focus an empty two-gallon jug
effect Create two gallons of safe water
The Oops! Table
If you are interrupted when casting a spell or do not have the appropriate component or focus, something goes wrong:
Roll d6:
1. Your magic twists and becomes a territorial SPELLCRAB (SK8 ST8 d6 claws)
2. Your stomach rumbles and you lose half of your STAMINA
3. Every light source within 60FT is extinguished
4. d6 random objects in your possession teleport d6 miles in a random direction
5. For the next d3 days, an illusory arrow floats 10FT above your head. You can change its colour once a day
6. Spell components in your possession grow to 2d3 times their usual size


No two GOBLINGS look completely alike, but each seems somewhere between a potato and a knife, with long spindly arms and too-wide mouths. Base, opportunistic, and filthy, you are as likely to find them taking your nan’s teeth as at the bottom of a well.
GOBLING: SKILL 5 STAMINA 5 sharp things (d3)
Broad-shouldered and bullying, GNOLLS are hyena-headed humanoids with a cruel temperament and a worrying knack with biology. Their elaborate shields are lightweight and mobile, but the edges are razor sharp and hell to defend against.
GNOLL: SKILL 7 STAMINA 8 sharpened buckler (d3)
Frenzy: if a gnoll is wounded, it gains Advantage on all attacks.
Johnson Swifts
A flash of colour zipping through ash-grey skies, JOHNSON SWIFTS are ostensibly birds, just with glistening acid-pink tongues in place of a head. They are attracted to shiny surfaces, like eyes, to try to dissolve them.
JOHNSON SWIFT: SKILL 10 STAMINA 3 corrosive tongue (d6)
Nimble: johnson swifts are fast enough to stay out of the reach of melee attacks (though can be harmed by melee counterattacks)
Heath Dragons
HEATH DRAGONS are squat things, long as three large horses and nearly as wide. Their wings bend back like a beetle’s and rarely bring the beast across great distances or to great heights. Their bites are vicious, but most feared in the jet of corrosive bile they can spit.
Breath weapon: if a heath dragon spends its turn drawing up bile, it spits a line twice as long as itself on its next turn. Anyone targeted Tests their Mettle or takes 3d6 damage.
Blood Wraiths
That might be merely a bloodstain on the dungeon floor or it could be a hunting BLOOD WRAITH. At full height, these nigh-humanoid clouds of red mist stand taller than an ogre but move more slowly. Blood wraiths collect the teeth of people they kill.
BLOOD WRAITH: SKILL 9 STAMINA — keening gore (2d3)
Spectral: blood wraiths are immune to damage from mundane sources and need to be dealt six (6) damage in a single blow to be destroyed.