Focus on Customization
One of the main goals of the WoE system is to provide fun and meaningful opportunities to customize one’s character to your taste. These come from two main sources; feats and expertises.
Expertises represent a character’s hobbies and vocations and are further discussed here.
Feats fill multiple roles, but they mainly either enhance or expand an existing ability or grant a new ability. More specifically, feats do things like the following:
Provide the system’s version of multi-classing by allowing members of one class to gain certain class features from another.
Serve the role the prestige classes and archetypes from other well-known fantasy RPGs in allowing specialization in the form of Feat Paths. Such paths include the Gentleman Thief, the Commander, Eldritch Warrior and Cryomancer.
Represent in depth versions of fighting styles such as Two-Handed, Two-Weapon, and Sword and Board.
Create different styles of a class. For example, the cleric offers the combat focused Templar and the support-focused Devout Soul.
Feats are also designed to grow with the character, most with a numerical benefit automatically upgrading when the character moves to a new tier of play.
Tiers of Play
The World of Ere’s gameplay is being released in three tiers of play that denote the general power level, place in the world, and types of adventure players can expect.
First is the Heroic Tier, the first to be released, which spans from level 1-9. This is the tier most groups tend to play in and represents general adventuring. In this tier, players will find themselves being hired or drawn into situations by patrons or those needing help to handle such things as monster hunts, providing protection, local diplomacy, etc. By the end of the tier, players can expect to have been initiated into some of the world’s mysteries and taking their first steps into confronting larger context issues and villains.
The Champion Tier runs from level 10-18 where the characters now start to become forces unto themselves in their regions or nations and begin taking their seats in the world’s halls of power. Straightforward battles with monsters become crusades and secret wars with major organizations or exploration to heretofore unknown continents, to deep-sea civilizations, the moons and sun and concordant planes. Here the players will not only be taking part in world-shaking events, but planning and executing them.
Finally, the Legend Tier offers players in the 19-27 level band to become well and truly legendary. Here, not only will characters be known across the world stage, but players are given the chance to actually take on the roles of heroes of different eras such as the Age of Tragedies and Draconic Control or even Pre-Saints times or the future! Explore not just the world, but the possibilities from the worst-case scenario of the Age of Tragedies never ending, to a world where the dragons erred even worse and unleashed the Time of Monsters. Wielding power beyond most mortal kin and making direct acquaintance with gods, the characters will be in a position to leave indelible marks on the world and universe.
A Familiar Core
World of Ere is, at its core, built on the venerable D20 system. While there is heavy modification to the classes, magic system, etc, the resolution mechanic of roll 1d20 add modifiers and then compare to a target number remain the same.
Also remaining the same are the six ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma, as well as the three saving throws: Fortitude, Reflex and Will.
‘Familiar’, however does not mean utterly the same.
For example, base attack bonus no longer exists and all characters add half their level (rounded up) to attack rolls with the Combatant class starting with a class-based bonus to their attacks. The same goes for save calculation. Gone is the table for class saves, replaced by starting class bonuses to give saves with ½ level added.
There are also a few new stats, namely Spell Points and Focus Points, which power spells and martial techniques respectively. All characters and even monsters have both of these (though spellcasting and martial training increase them) because any character can gain the ability to use spells and techniques.
Altogether, the hope is that Ere will be easy to pick up while being fun and fresh in actual play.
Better Items Through Superiority
The sacred heirloom that only reveals its full power to one who proves their worth; the mysterious trinket with secrets left to reveal, the iconic possession that become entwined with a hero’s identity. Fantasy media are full of special items that stick with the protagonists throughout their adventures; always being useful and often growing in power.
WoE seeks to make traditional ‘magic’ items both more flavorful and useful over the long term through Superior items.
Superiority items can be of any origin: magic, mundane but very well made, or the steampunk-inspired ‘new sciences’. All Superior weapons automatically give a bonus to attack and damage based on the wielder’s level and armor and shields do the same for AC. This allows the game’s math to remain balanced without having to resort to items that only grant numerical bonuses.
At the same time, each such item provides abilities and uses that expand or diversify as the their user levels and has them unlocked either as part of treasure, or by spending time and wealth on having the item upgraded.
Social Encounters and Relationships
Groups looking for mechanical support for social encounters will find it in the World of Ere while an in-depth social encounter system that takes into account a character’s relationship to the NPCs in question.
NPCs can have a social stat block that includes such things as subjects that will immediately hurt or harm attempts to engage with them, their allegiances, and secrets they know and may share. As part of this, characters can mechanically build relationships using their abilities and statistics instead of substituting their real-world social skills and attributes if they prefer not to keeping in mind that roleplay can be both the play-acting aspect as well as simulating a person and personality sometimes so different from oneself that it has to be represented mechanically.
Tactical Set-Piece Combat
Combat is the World of Ere is not meant to be the sole experience. In fact, character advancement is no longer tied to experience at all and combat is meant to be a series of exciting, fun and engaging setpieces that enhance the story of the game rather than be the game.
As such, combat and its related abilities are encounter-based so a group can have as many or as few in whatever span of time as they please without the game system dictating that. In doing so, this opens up the option for more tactical combat with heavy focus on movement and use of the environment without happening so often it feels like a slog.
Monsters and other enemies also get encounter-based designs, meaning their stat blocks are quick and easy to use for the GM without ancillary abilities that will never see mechanical use.