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13 Chapters in 13 Weeks — Chapter 1

May 15, 2009

First off, yes, 13 weeks. I hope you have the patience to endure this. 🙂

In a previous post, I posted the long table of contents (you can read that here). The first thing you should take away from that post, and the TOC is depth. This is a deep book when it comes to content. I really wanted to give both the gamemaster and the player all they need to run this game. If you are not familiar with the period, I wanted you to have the information you need. That is why you see some of the topics that are covered in later chapters.

This is a large book, but it is not large on rules. 12° is not a heavy rule system. The mechanic is very easy to grasp. The bulk of the book is not rules, but information. If I would have to give a percentage about rules to background, I would have to say it is 30% rules, 70% background (playtesters or those who have read the final version of the rules, please speak up).

So the best place to start with talking about the games is with the first chapter.

Chapter 1: A Primer

As many know the Primer is a staple of any of the games James and I do. The idea behind the primer is a simple one it is about telling both the player and GM what they need to know about the game and what to expect. As I’ve said many times, if we cannot write the Primer, we do not do the game.

Anyway, not much has changed with the Primer. It is still the straight to the point chapter it has always been. The one big change, and this is due to incorporating the new flavor of 12°, Degrees. From the book:


As you might expect a game mechanic called 12°, your Hero’s Degree of Success is important. Your Degree of Success is the amount by which you roll under your Target Number. For example, your Hero’s TN is 14 and you roll 11, your Degree of Success is 3. In combat, your Degree of Success acts as a multiplier to your weapon’s base damage.

Using the above example, if your Hero is fighting with a sword with a base damage value of 5 and achieves 3 Degrees of Success, he would deal 15 points of damage to his opponent. In skill use, Degrees of Success have a much more “impressionistic” meaning, which is to say, it is largely up to the GM. Generally, degrees of success either indicate the time factor removed from the task or the increase in its effectiveness. Returning to the above example, a task normally taking 10 rounds might take only 7 if you achieve 3 Degrees of Success.

Ultimately, the Game Master is the final arbiter of how Degrees of Success improve Skill-based tasks, but it should always be an obvious improvement that increases with the more degrees of success a Hero achieves.

Basically, Chapter 1 is the same chapter you have seen before, just modified a little to reflect the change in the rule system.

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