Preliminary Rules

To stick to a self-invented character during a game it is a good idea to put some abilities and background things on a piece of paper, so that you can access the information whenever you like. This sheet (called a herosheet in Realms of Arkania) can be accessed here as a Word-Document (sorry, not yet), or you might as well take a white sheet and just put down the notes as we depict them in the following.

The easiest way to describe a character in Arkania is a list of five attributes (later called virtues, as they are good through and through), i.e.


These attributes are determined at the beginning of a game by throwing a 6-sided dice for each of these attributes (abbreviated as D6 in RPGs as you might know) and adding 7 to each of the values. So you get the base values of the attributes of a character. By this action your base values may range from 8 to 13.

The other important properties that must be introduced to your character is the life energy (LE), i.e. effectively a value how long your character can withstand the powers of death in disease, fight or whatever life-draining event. Every character, basically, gets a value of 30 in life energy or to cut a long story short he receives 30 LE.

Now think about giving your character, who is called "hero" in the world of Arkania, a magical touch. Well, how do you do that ? Simply by conceiving a new source of energy to drain from to cast your spells, this is called astral energy (AE) in Realms of Arkania. Only elves and sorcerers (magicians if you prefer the term) have access to that kind of energy.

So that gives you a very basic character and the role-component has not even been called upon. This is just the mathematical side of things which is really pretty easy. To fill your hero with life, she has to have an appearance, a background, a hometown, a birth date and all these things.

We use the female version every time the word hero appears, because heroes are subject to being male all the time, in effect a mixed group is more fun than a pure male or female playing society. So the form "she" is a balance for the use of masculine terms in the general description.

How to fill your character with life?

A hero of Arkania will always be an inhabitant of that continent, so to know about Arkania would be a big advantage. If you already know about Arkania from the computer games, you will have a map and some background to draw from, just name your character as you wish, as you choose your hometown or your region of wilderness where she grew up, write some notes about her childhood, special events in her life (or just make them up in your mind) and last but not least you choose her date of birth (which has a special meaning in Arkania as we will see later). Otherwise you can have a briefing in Arkanian knowledge here.

Dates are called after the gods, the Twelve, as Arkanians call them, which leant their names for the months, every month or moon, as Arkanians call them, has 30 days and the year has to be in the past of the year 28 Hal, which has just begun with the beginning of the year 1998 on Earth. So simply take a number from 1 to 30 as the day, one of the names of the gods which you can look up here and a year (years before 0 are counted as before Hal / BH).

The creation of a character will also force you to think about your equipment, a magician should have her staff, a warrior her blade and an elf her bow and so on.

So there she walks, your hero, that will definitely shape up in your mind already willing to roam around and that she can do.


By now, you should be able to see how well your hero may proceed when asked to perform at his best AGILITY, COURAGE or whatsoever, but there is one definite value in Role-Playing Games, that you still have to face. Role-Playing Games are derived from strategy games, so you will notice that any such system has a fighting system whether they call themselves Storytelling or any other fancy name. And it is reasonable given the fact that you might not wish to fight, but a fantasy or fairy tale world always has its fierce enemies who want to fight you and you should at least know how well you can defend yourself. And out of a matter of fairness the preliminary of "Realms of Arkania" give every starting hero a basic value of 12 on AT(tack) and 9 on PA(rade). Attack describes how well you hitting someone and PA(rade) describes how well you lift your shield, parry your enemies weapon or just avoid his blow.

This is the end...

So by now, your hero should be equipped with COURAGE, WISDOM, CHARISMA, AGILITY, STRENGTH, life energy, AT and PA, some properties that describe her appearance and her background. So this is the time, where your basic development ends. The games may begin, if you have written all these values on a sheet of paper.

The game

The game is fairly simple to explain. There is the gamemaster or just master, who tells a fantasy story and there are the heroes starring in this story. Now the gamemaster just gives background information on where the characters are, what they face, whom they meet and so on and the characters react to that.


The master: It is the first of Tsa in the year 28 Hal, the sun is just looming above the horizon. All your surrounding, the fierce north of Arkania near Paavi, is still covered by a soft layer of new snow that came down during the last night.

Hero 1: I know, I know, but we already told you, we were looking for some deers to hunt.

The master: (he does not seem to be interested in that comment, although he is) A dark shadow is suddenly laying down on your souls, you sink down into a depressive mood. The world is just like it was not existing for your sake. You feel the urge to morn about something, someone...

Hero 1: (gorging his own spit)

Hero 2: (beginning to hum in a dark melody)

Hero 3: Do we hear something, see something special?

At this moment we begin with the game, but the role-playing has begun at the first second the master opened his mouth. Here the game begins, i.e. the master has to declare a rule how he can find out if the hero hears or sees something. He could also tell him directly, but throwing the dice brings more tension into it. So to solve the situation, the hero has to throw a D20 (20-sided-dice). If the result of the dice is lower or equal to the value asked he succeeded.


The master: See and hear by rolling your CHARISMA dice...

Hero 3: I rolled a 14, my value is 15.

The master: You see something darkening the brilliance of the snow not far from where your are standing to your right, you hear something streaming.

Here we see, a success is combined to a sort of a solution by the master who answers the question according to the story he invented. This may well be the wrong answer if the whole surrounding is filled with magic and there is no way to test this. In general, it will not satisfy the heroes, but it tells already too much according to the master, a compromise...

The same rule applies to fighting, only in that case you have to roll a number less or equal to your AT-value or PA-value. The opponents are attacking and parrying one after another, i.e. one starts off with AT, the other has to stand his PA. Then the right to attack swaps and the defender begins to attack, while the offender has to parry.

If someone succeeds in attacking and the other one fails in defending, the attacker hit and he will infer hit points (HP) on the defender according to his weapon. The hit points a weapon causes are written down in the weapon list.


The master: As you approach the dead body which is lying in the snow it rises and looks at you with a frightening grimace, raising its arm and grabbing for you.

Hero 3: If that body is alive, I will allow him a safe journey to Boron. I draw my blade, a sword. (He rolls a D20, his AT-value is 13, the result is 12, i.e. he succeeds.) And I make it.

The master: The monster tries to parry (PA-value 6, the master throws a 17 on a D20, he fails). But it fails.

Hero 3: Haha, here you go, bastard. That hurts bitterly, i.e. 7 points. (He wants to say, he rolled a D6 and added 4, because the HP of a sword are 1D6+4. His result on the D6 was 3 then).

The master: That may well be, but now it is the monster's turn, beware...

And now hero and master will roll dice after dice 'til the monster or hero has given up, escaped or died, which is not the best solution. (If you want to learn more about fighting, have a look at the real Battle Lore, which includes things as unarmed combat and armour.)

So these are the gaming rules. Go ahead if you want to hear more...

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