The following is a very brief introduction to the terms, concepts and general ideas embedded into the RPN, intended to provide some general context for the game. Further information is provided directly through the RPN via the Lore Tab (although not ALL such informational elements are initially available to the player). Terms include:
Measures the physical aspects of a creature, taking into account overall strength, dexterity and constitution. The most widely used attribute within the RPN, it measures a creature’s chance of inflicting harm on another during combat, the chance of jumping across a wide chasm, the resistance of avoiding the toxic effects of poison, etc. Body is typically measured on a scale from one to 100 (with 100 depicting absolute human physical perfection), but some creatures (such as a mighty dragon) will have substantially more than 100 body points. The player begins the game with 20 body points.
Occasionally, a scenario is encountered where a hero attribute (body, mind or spirit) must be "checked" to determine relative success. For example, the adventuring party may have just dined at a local tavern, only to discover that they have been poisoned; a body check (saving throw) is then made to determine whether any body points are lost per hero. Such checks are essentially a percentage of the average score of the attribute being checked; if the party consists of three characters with maximum body scores of 30, 45 and 50, the chance for success would be (30 + 45 + 50 / 3 = ) 41%. Note that the party's overall reputation can be checked in this way as well.
Within the RPN system, all heroes and NPCs (and even some base creatures) fall into one of several general classes, occupational callings with their own associated strengths, weaknesses and outlook on life. Brief descriptions regarding each class are as follows:
- Defender. Those that leverage weapons, strength and combat skill to protect others and defend against hostile opponents are known as defenders. As the class requires no other special skills, most heroes and NPCs throughout the RPN are defenders.
- Healerpriest. Those who wield the power of the lyfestone and enhance their own inner will and faith to heal and protect are known as healerpriests. Most Mairigan healerpriests believe that Sisla the Deliverer is the one god-like force controlling the universe, but there are others with radically different beliefs (or even no religious beliefs at all).
- Scout. Those who value cunning, surprise and intellect to lesson danger before it can harm their fellow party members are known as scouts. This class prides itself in the resolving of conflict without bloodshed, and always seeks to champion stealth and surprise over direct confrontation.
- Shaman. Those who utilize the power of the lyfestone for their own greedy and selfish ends are known as shamen, evil healerpriests that seek to cause harm and misery to acquire what they want. Unlike healerpriests, shamen want nothing to do with Sisla the Deliverer, and instead worship the Realm of Nightmares and the evil power unleashed upon Mairiga during the Age of Damnation 1500 years ago.
- Sorcerer. Similar to wizards but always hiding darkness in their hearts, sorcerers choose to partake in the nemefruit and acquire their magical power artificially. Worse, the poison of the nemefruit not only turns its consumers evil, but the power itself is only temporary, forcing sorcerers to become addicted to the magical yet corrupting power.
- Thief. Those scouts who have turned to a darker path and now leverage their skills in pursuit of personal gain have become little more than thieves. Also known as backstabbers and cutthroats, the typical thief employs stealth and surprise to murder, steal and otherwise harm other living beings.
- Warrior. Some heroes and NPCs choose to enter into combat, often doing so for personal enjoyment or gain. These typically selfish (and even evil) fighting types are known as warriors and often will initiate combat or otherwise cause trouble where peace could have been pursued.
- Wizard. Only those who have survived the dangerous ritual of “rebirth” can summon and wield the very energy of life itself (“majika”) and be called a true wizard. While high intelligence is required to be a wizard, those who possess equal and even greater degrees of spirit are the most powerful beings of all.
Note that beginning players can choose to be a defender, healerpriest or scout.
Measures the mental capacity of a creature, taking into account intelligence, education and natural curiosity. Also typically measured on a scale from 1 to 100, animal intelligence is considered from one to ten and the typical human has a 20-30 mind score. For those creatures that utilize magic (wizards for example), a minimum mind score of 50 is needed. As with body, the player begins the game with a mind score of 20.
Tracks general success throughout the RPN. When the player begins, he has zero reputation ("Noob") and will find it difficult to attract random allies, negotiate fair prices and discern useful information. But as the player successfully resolves encounters, recruits heroes into his party and completes challenging encounters, his party’s reputation will slowly increase.
Measures the emotional, spiritual and metaphysical aspects of a creature, taking into account such traits as empathy, altruism and self-confidence. Nearly always measured on a scale from one to 100, those with little spirit are mean, selfish and aggressive, while those with higher scores are more pleasant and happy to help. Spirit is also much needed in the use of magic. As with body and mind, the player begins the RPN with a spirit score of 20.
Some encounters contain pits, snares and other traps intended to contain, weaken and otherwise harm the unwary. Any scouts or thieves within the adventuring party will automatically check for traps when the encounter is first entered, potentially disarming them as well. Otherwise, a chance exists that a member of the party will accidentally trip the trap, and its associated effects will be immediately felt.
Tracks the number of "peld chips" (gold) carried and managed by the player, to be used to make purchases, improve skills and recruit powerful heroes. All players begin with zero wealth.