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Table of contentS

THIS IS NOT THE FINAL PRODUCT!


While reading this document, please bear in mind that it’s a PROTOTYPE. The rules are in beta
form; many things will be changed and improved upon (with your help!); the text has been
quickly put together without going through the hands of a professional editor; and so on.
This won’t be the case of the final BOOK we are funding in Kickstarter. The fi-
nal edition will be THOROUGHLY EDITED by professionals!
This document is only meant to give you an idea of the potential of the game and the set-
ting in a fun way: play the free one-shot adventure to enter the jungles of America!
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dr agons conquer a mer ic a

welcome to a
new world
W E L C O M E , F E L L O W A D V E N T U R E R . Every journey has its own origins
story, and this time you’ve showed up right in time to play it. Flick through the
pages of this journal and start shaping a New World with us. It’s in your hands.

4
Getting starteD
T H E F I L E Y O U H A V E D O W N L O A D E D is a pre-Kickstarter beta edi-
tion slash promotional item slash first stone in the universe of Dragons Conquer
America. It contains almost everything you need to play an introductory adven-
ture in this setting, including the basic lore, general rules and the relevant pre-
gen characters, NPCs and pieces of equipment. You’ll just have to add a bunch
of friends and a poker deck (or a fistful of six-sided dice) and you’re good to go.

F IRST THI N G S role playing


F I RS T :
games are meant to be played, so take
a deep breath and prepare yourself to re-
At that point in time, this region of cen-
tral America is a melting pot of cultures
and identities, bound by the might of the
ally discover not only a new setting but a Mexica (aka Aztec) empire and threatened
whole new set of mechanics as well. Fear by the terrible evil that lurks in the depths
not, you will not be alone: we have already of the mossy jungle.
gathered a group of hundreds of people to dragons, magic... what’s
play the game, and ourselves will be availa-
ble through our various outlets at all times
going on here?
(we favour Discord. Follow this link to chat Even though we take into consideration This starter PDF is in-
with us real time, even if - or specially if - real world events and cultures, DCA is a tended as a introduction
you are in the middle of a game). fantasy setting. Magic is real and used in to the mechanics and
lore of DCA.
everyday life, and fantastic beasts such as
Having said this, let’s assess the situa-
Dragons and Feathered Serpents exert true
tion, one question at a time.
influence in societies.
What is Dragons Conquer The magical elements will find their way
America? to the mechanics of the game, and you, as
a player, will be able to perform awesome
Dragons Conquer America (aka DCA) is supernatural deeds.
a living fantasy role playing setting that
is currently under development. It will
take you back to a warped, fantasy ver-
sion of 1512 Mesoamerica, a few years
after the first Europeans reached its lands.

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dr agons conquer a mer ic a
What is “the coatli to play with either dice or cards, and get
stone”? from either system a very similar experi-
ence of feeling ultimately responsible for
The Coatli Stone is the file you are read- all your actions. At each juncture you must
ing now. It’s also episode “zero” of Dragons decide what effort to make, and how much
Conquer America, an introductory adven- to risk .
ture that will serve as a prologue to the
Nonetheless, we do encourage you to dis-
setting AND as a way for us to playtest the
cover the thrill of our card based system.
mechanics.
It is also a way to raise awareness of our tell me more about the
upcoming Kickstarter campaign that will kickstarter campaign
fund the CORE BOOK of Dragons Conquer
America. The first Kickstarter of DCA will launch
this coming November 2nd.
W HAT DO I N E E D TO PLAY I T?
To play this game you need this docu- WH AT WI LL I T AI M TO F UN D ?
ment, a GM, 2 to 4 players, and, to be able The Kickstarter will fund the CORE BOOK
to use the RPC Engine system, a poker deck. of DCA. The Core Book will give you the
FULL DCA EXPERIENCE, with everything
What system does it use? you need to play the game for a very long
time.
Dragons Conquer America uses the RPC
Engine system. H OW LONG WI LL I T RUN?
The RPC Engine uses cards to manage It will run for one month starting March
luck. Each player starts with seven cards 13th.
in their hand and can choose which value
to use in each situation to improve their WI LL I T H AVE EARLY BIRD S ?
chances of succcses. No. We like things to be as fair as possi-
ble to everyone involved. All our backers
THIS SOU N DS FAMI LI AR will get the same treatment irrespective of
We will publish custom
decks to play DCA, but We created the RPC Engine system to their order in line.
don’t feel forced to get power FAITH: The Sci-Fi RPG. That game There will be some limited pledge levels.
them: a standard poker uses the RPC54 variant, whereas DCA takes Most likely, there will be a few spots avail-
deck will do just fine. the RPC25 shape. The number refers to able for those who want to create NPCs for
the number of cards that are used in each our setting. We’ve done this before with
flavour. FAITH and it’s a very rewarding experience.
AN Y POKE R DE CK WI LL DO?
How can i share my feed-
Yes. As DCA uses the RPC25 variant, you’ll
just need cards 1 through 6 from each suit, back?
plus one joker. You can remove the rest. The final pages of the adventure sec-
ONE POKE R DE CK ? tion of this document are devoted to this.
There you’ll find all the information to
There are several options: one deck for stay in touch with us and help us improve
all; one deck for the players and one for the game. Thanks in advance should you
the GM; one deck for each player; and other choose to use them.
combinations. Luck distributes differently
in each of them. can i start now?
W HAT ABOU T DIC E? Yes. You can now read the Setting, the
Alternatively, DCA can be played with D6 Beta Mechanics, or go straight ahead to the
dice (dice with six faces). The game system Episode 0: The Coatl Stone adventure.
is very flexible, and each player can choose

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the core book


The core book presented in this Kickstarter (hardbound, 300 pages) will be the centerpiece of
the DCA experience, and it gives you the tools to build your own adventures, PCs, NPCs and places,
which are exactly as varied as in any fantasy setting you’ve seen before. If you are familiar with our
previous core book (FAITH: The Sci-Fi RPG) you’ll know that no expense will be spared to create a
feast for the eyes, the brain and the gaming table.

kickstarter
campaign
Crowfunding cam-
paigns don’t begin the
day of the launch, but
much earlier. If you
like what we are doing,
please share the word
in your gaming groups
and let people know
about DCA. The more
we are, the more we can
achieve!

STARTI NG
MARC H 13TH

MA
RC
H1
3T
H

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dr agons conquer a mer ic a

The settinG
D R A G O N S C O N Q U E R A M E R I C A is a game of historical fantasy. The
game setting, while based on historical fact, is rife with fantastic elements, in-
cluding powerful magic, mystic forces, and mythical creatures such as fairies
and dragons. The story is mostly fictional, but accurately introduces the histori-
cal nations and characters at their centre.

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Blue skies, black omenS

I T I S TH E year 1519 of the Christian Era, and Ce Acatl


(1 Reed) of the Mexica Calendar Cycle. It’s a time
of great changes and portents, marking the prophesied
Beyond these unwelcoming coasts, still unknown, lies
the Valley of Anahuac, home to the Excan Tlahtoloyan
– the Triple Alliance of the Aztec peoples. It is one of
return of the Lords of Tollan to the Valley of Anahuac. the oldest and best organised empires the world has
ever known, encompassing hundreds of city-states,
Columbus died years ago, forgotten after making
all of which pay tribute to the mightiest civilization
his famous discovery of the West Indies - or the New
in the planet: the Mexica of Tenochtitlan. For nearly a
World, as most people call this unexplored land now,
hundred years, the Mexica have ruled over the land of
since they learned it isn’t another side of Asia as previ-
the Fifth Sun unchallenged, striking fear in the hearts
ously thought, but a whole new continent.
of their enemies thanks to the divine power of their
As European governments decide what to do with the priests and the help of their mixcoatl dragon allies,
discovery and its potential riches, their first settlers, which terrorise and astonish the peoples under Mexica
armed with transoceanic ships, guns – and dragons – domain.
have ruled over the New World’s easternmost islands
This is all about to change.
for almost thirty years now.
A single man – persecuted by the law, estranged
However, the invaders have not yet discovered what
from the Crown of Spain and followed by a band of sell-
lies beyond their island domains. The Hispaniola out-
swords and adventurers – is poised to start the most
posts, long established as the beachhead of European
significant war of conquest the world has ever known.
power in the New World, have already determined
there is a larger continent to the West, and sailed its The opposition he will face, though, is far beyond
coasts – but so far no major mainland expedition has what he can expect...
managed to overcome their warlike tribes and treach-
erous terrain.

T H E S PA N I S H E X P E D I T I O N F O R C E

Contrary to the popular belief of future generations, the invading force that just arrived to
the New World is not a sanctioned group of disciplined soldiers under the command of a duly-
appointed general. That is how the Spanish Crown would have liked it, yes; however, Cortés
and his crewmates are not soldiers, but adventuring nobles – brave and ambitious thrill seek-
ers and treasure hunters looking to make their fortune in the unexplored land. They wear no
uniform but their mismatched armour suits, and no flag but the Cross of the Catholic God.

This ragtag mercenary group has just arrived to the coast of the New World, without the
sanction or permission of Cortés’ immediate superior – and, recently, sworn enemy – the
Governor of Cuba. They are mutineers; they are rebels. If their attempt to settle this land and
plunder its riches fails, Spain will have them imprisoned – or worse. Their very lives depend
on the gamble they’ve just played, and they’re not about to return home empty-handed.
To quell dissent among his men, Cortés has scuttled his ships, tied his dragons and
founded a new settlement in the name of the Castilian Kings: Villa Rica De La Vera
Cruz. From there, he intends to conquer the surrounding lands – or die trying.

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THE AZTEC TRIPLE ALLIANCE

Meanwhile, the Excan Tlahtoloyan – the Triple Alliance – of the Anahuac has gotten wind of the
Spaniards’ first contacts with other peoples from the New World, from their first skirmishes in
Mayan coasts a few years back to their several unsuccessful attempts to go deeper into their terri-
tory - the lack of powerful Spanish dragons on american soil, the belligerent tribes from the coast,
and the lack of organization among the settlers has stopped them so far. Moctecuhzoma II the
Xocoyotzin, Huey Tlatoani of all Aztec peoples and de facto leader of the Triple Alliance, has al-
ready sent messengers to dissuade the new arrivals from pressing on to Tenochtitlan. If they are the
Lords of Tollan returned, as the prophecy goes, they are a challenge to the rule of Moctecuhzoma
and his peers; if they are not, they remain unknown invaders, armed with unknown weapons and
– apparently – Mixcoatl dragons of their own; they must be stopped from making any progress.

The other leaders of the Triple Alliance – Cacama of Texcoco and Tetlepanquetzal of
Tlacopan – are similarly restless. Cacama in particular is in grave danger, as his young-
er brother Ixtlilxochitl covets his throne, and would not be above seeking an alliance
with the invaders to obtain it. Ixtlilxochitl has not forgotten it was Moctecuhzoma’s
Mixcoatl dragons which pressed the Texcoca council into choosing his brother over him;
he is more loyal to any enemy of the Mexica than to the Triple Alliance itself.

In fact, there are many vassal states currently suffering under the Exzcan Tlahtoloyan; if the in-
vaders turned out hostile, many of these oppressed peoples would gladly side with them against
the Mexica and their allies. Moctecuhzoma’s messengers have several tasks ahead of them:
they must study the newcomers and gauge their forces; they must dissuade them from go-
ing any nearer the Anahuac; and they must prevent enemy tribes from allying with them.

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MAGIC

Magic is real in this world, and the


history we know, while mostly un-
changed, has been sutly influenced
or altered by sorcerous forces.
Ancestral air and thunder spirits ac-
companied the Aryan invasion of the
Tamil at the dawn of history, giving
rise to the Vedic legends. Bearded, hu-
man-faced dragons oversaw the build-
ing of the first pyramids at Sumer
and Egypt. The Age of Philosophy of
the post-Atlantean world gave rise to
mighty priest-wizards, remembered as
gods and demigods in the records of
the Fall of Troy and the Rise of Rome.
The descendants of these Roman wiz-
ards established the Catholic Council
that still rules the world, inspired by
the wisdom of the Prophets of the
Middle East. Faerie kingdoms allied
with the warlord Artus to expel the
Romans from Brittany, giving him a
magic sword and the title of Faerie
King. Norse elves spurred and ac-
companied Leif Eriksson’s expedition
to Vinland, while the Keltic elf rogue
Robin of the Hood led a resistance
that forced the British Kings to sign
the Carta Magna that would eventu-
ally lead to the return of Democracy.
Thus today’s world is shaped by the
historical presence of wizards and
spirits, which have walked hand-in-
hand with humanity, sometimes more
noticeably and sometimes from the
shadows – but always there.

Religion and magic -


understood as mystical
powers granted by divine
providence- go hand in
hand in DCA. Each belief
will grant a special set of
abilities.

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RELIGION

Magic is inextricably linked to faith;


what one believes in determines
one’s access to the Spirit World. Thus
worshippers of fire entities have ac-
cess to fire magic, and war priests
know prayers to inspire armies.
All religions agree that there
is a single divine force above the
world. The Catholic nations call
this force ‘God’ and see Him as a
person – an immortal, unconceiv-
able person, but one they can name
and beg to. The Mexica of the New
World call it Teotl, which translates
as magic itself. Even miscreants and
heretics acknowledge this force ex-
ists, although they assume it’s just
a combination of natural forces.
Those that worship, study or un-
derstand this all-powerful force are
capable of superhuman feats, un-
derstood by others as magic spells
or divine miracles. The greatest of
these priests and wizards are so
powerful in their worship that they
become worshipped in turn, becom-
ing the legendary heroes of myth
and even the deities of polytheistic
pantheons. Catholics, who deny any
divinity other than God’s, worship
these individuals as Saints.

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Dragons only
accepting women as
riders has changed
the way society
treats them.

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DR AGONS

Dragons have been a part of the catholic world for more


than a thousand years, ever since Saint George tamed and
converted the legendary Wyrm of Silene in the third century
AD. From that moment, the European dragons that would
otherwise have been massacred by human knights and sol-
diers became instead a valuable resource of human armies.

For the last millennium, warfare has been shaped by the presence
of dragon riders, and their use has allowed European kingdoms to
secure lasting power over their lands. The most famous examples
were the Crusades, where Richard the Lionheart’s catholic dragons
defeated Saladin’s djinn army and sacked the Holy City; the legend-
ary battle where St. Joan of Arc and her Holy Dragon defeated Richard’s
descendants, thus ending the so-called Hundred Years’ War; and the
liberation of Castile from Moorish forces, at the hands of the free-
dom force led by Jimena Díaz de Vivar, still remembered as La
Saida Campeadora – the most famous dragon rider in history.

Now, however, as every army and kingdom owns a man-
datory dragon force of roughly equal power, European forces
have come to a stalemate. Unable to expand into each other’s bor-
ders, they have turned to new routes for trade and conquest,
taking their dragons to previously uncharted lands.
20 years ago, Christopher Columbus found such a land – a
whole New World, it seems, waiting to be discovered in
the middle of the Western Sea. European Kingdoms were
quick to send their own ships and dragons to the new territo-
ries, looking for new lands to expand into and riches to exploit.

But this land is, of course, inhabited. And Here, too, Be Dragons.
New World dragons differ from their European counterparts in their sleeker, larg-
er bodies, their lack of lower limbs and the beautiful plumage that adorns their
scales. The most important difference, however, is that these dragons have never
been converted to any religion or allegiance. They are free and wise, and have
many natural abilities that humans would call sorcery – and indeed humans
could only imitate by limited prayers and crude spells. Many of these dragons
can even take on human form, and of course only allow themselves to be
mounted by those they choose. It goes without saying that these dragons do
not serve their human neighbours; in fact, humans often revere them as divine
beings. In return, dragons take care of them, as a shepherd takes care of his flock;
thus New World natives have no dragon armies, but are under dragon protection.
And their gods won’t take kindly to a swarm of lesser lizards invading their land.

However, even if the catholic dragons of European armies are gener-


ally less powerful than their New World counterparts, they are far It’s not just Dragons:
more numerous and better organized. God only knows what will hap- DCA is chock full of mon-
pen when both forces collide – and which side He will favour. sters and mythological be-
ings from both sides of the
Atlantic. Pictured above,
the Chivo. 16
THE ORIGIN OF THE DR AGON RIDERS

The town had a small lake with a plague-bearing Most dragons are considered evil, snakes of
dragon living in it and poisoning the countryside. Satan, but the progeny of Saint Sabra’s dragon
To appease the dragon, the people of Silene fed followed Christ. Now, most kingdoms of Europe
it two sheep every day. When they ran out of have a small group of dragons who serve their
sheep they started feeding it their children, cho- King and God (sometimes fighting between
sen by lottery. One time the lot fell on the king’s them, as different kings have different perspec-
daughter. The king, in his grief, told the people tives about what God wants). Muslim kingdoms
they could have all his gold and silver and half have dragons of their own, as well, just as evil to
of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the Christians as Satan’s (to many, even worse). It is
people refused. The daughter was sent out to the said that China’s Emperor is a dragon himself.
lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.

There are all kinds of dragons, firebreathers,


Saint George by chance rode past the lake. acid breathers, those who don’t breath anything
The princess tried to send him away, but he strange, those who can fly for days straight, drag-
vowed to remain. The dragon emerged from ons who are small as horses and dragons large as
the lake while they were conversing. Saint mountains. But they all have one thing in com-
George made the Sign of the Cross and charged mon: if tamed, they will only follow orders from a
it on horseback, seriously wounding it with female human - never a male. It is not clear why.
his lance. He then called to the princess to
throw him her girdle, and he put it around the
dragon’s neck. When he did so, the dragon fol- Dragons only accepting women as riders has
lowed the girl like a meek beast on a leash changed the way society treats women in some
aspects, mostly in that they are allowed to
serve in the military and gain ranks within it,
The princess and Saint George led the dragon but this for farmer folks only means that in ad-
back to the city of Silene, where it terrified dition to being able to marry their daughters
the populace. Saint George offered to kill the off or send them away to be nuns, they can
dragon if they consented to become Christians also send them to the military - while keep-
and be baptised. Fifteen thousand men includ- ing most of their other views on the subject.
ing the king of Silene converted to Christianity.

If dragons were wildly common, a large percent-


When George was about to kill the creature as age of women could be trained to be their raid-
promised, the king’s daughter stood on his way ers and this would create a change in the balance
and said that if the dragon were to consent and of power, which would then change the roles of
become Christian as well, he should pardon its life all women, even those who would never become
as well. George was thunderstruck, but agreed. riders. This is what the Dragon Breeders Society in-
tents, per example. But for now, women in Europe,
with the exception of noblewomen and dragon
The dragon converted out of love for the king’s riders, are still treated as second rated citizens.
daughter, rather than love of its own life. Thus,
the dragon became Silene’s protector and the first
of the dragons to protect the Christian faith. It
fell in battle many years later against the her-
etics in Palestina, the king’s daughter died riding
it. Her name now immortal, the first dragon rider,
venerated by all women who followed her steps
and rode the dragon’s progeny for the greater
glory of Christ: Saint Sabra, the first of her kin.

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18
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dr agons conquer a mer ic a

The mechanicS
W H A T F O L L O W S I S a detailed overview of the 0.9 rules of DCA. With your
help, we will bring a super-polished experience later this year to Kickstarter.

20
The gaming
Conflict
toolS
D C A C A N B E played either with cards or with dice. It is
possible for different people in the same group to use either,
or to change their gaming tool at the start of a session with the
Social approval of the GM.

The playing cards ■ Conflict: This suit relates to fights,


chases, duels, etc.
When playing with cards you can either
use the custom DCA cards or cards from a ■ Exploration: This suit relates to inves-
regular poker deck. You’tll only need the tigating, finding clues, climbing, swim-
cards numbered one through six and one ming, following tracks, stepping into the
Exploration unknown, etc.
of the jokers. Please set aside the rest of
cards.
■ Social: This suit relates to talking, con-
It is recommended to have one deck per vincing, commanding, diplomacy, lying,
player (including the GM) and never mix etc.
cards with each other’s decks, which will
give everyone at the table even odds. ■ Divine: This suit relates to using magic,
If you don’t have enough decks for that, or communicating with the supernatural.
you can shuffle as many decks as you’ve TH E H AND OF C ARDS
got and construct a common deck for eve-
rybody; or use one deck for the GM and an- In DCA, all players except the GM have a
Divine hand of cards. Nobody can have more than
other for the players (the deck for the play-
ers should be composed of as many decks seven cards in their hands at any time,
as half the number of players). and if somehow someone draws more than
seven cards, they must discard down to
THE SU ITS seven.
The cards have four suits: Conflict, Players can only play cards from their
Exploration, Social, and Divine. DCA cus- hands, unless specifically stated other-
tom cards have unique symbols for these wise—and whenever a player plays a card
four suits, but if you are playing with regu- from their hand, they can choose which
lar poker cards you can use the following card to use.
Joker correlation: Conflict is Spades, Exploration
is Clubs, Social is Hearts, and Divine is Players cannot look into the deck or the
Diamonds. discard pile, nor shuffle or mix previously
used cards into the deck. Whenever a card

21
cur r ent ch apter title

is used, it is placed in the discard pile, usually set up


next to the deck, face up. When the last card of the JOKERS
deck is drawn, the discard pile must be shuffled to set
up a fresh deck. Jokers are drawn as normal cards, but they can
only be played under specific circumstances.
Players cannot look at other players’ hand of cards,
nor can they tell each other the values of the cards in After declaring the outcome of a confrontation
their hands. They are however free to discuss how they in which they have taken part, players may play
feel about their luck based on their hand of cards with- a Joker to increase their level of success by one
out mentioning specific values. or decrease the level of success of their oppo-
nent by one. Remove one negative consequence
E.g. “I am feeling lucky today”, “I can keep doing this all or add one positive consequence to an action in-
day long”, “I don’t think I can survive another encoun- volved in that confrontation.
ter”, or “I feel like I should crawl to a corner and make Jokers do not count towards the number of
myself into a tiny, tiny ball until danger has passed”. cards that can be played per action, and play-
ers may play as many jokers per confrontation
Players must always follow the rules to play, discard, as they want.
and draw cards during confrontations.
If a Joker is randomly played from the top of
US I N G C AR DS the deck at any point, the character who played
that card gains the effects of the Joker for the
PLAY action he was performing (as determined by the
Cards are “played” to resolve actions during con- GM in the case of NPCs, hidden checks, or TSEs),
frontations. When a PC plays a card, it must come from discards it, and then plays another card.
their hand of cards. Whenever an NPC or TSE plays a If the last card in your hand is a Joker, you
card it will come from the top of the deck. won’t be able to play it until the end of a con-
frontation, before its outcome is determined.
DISCARD
When a card is discarded, it is moved directly to the
discard pile without being used. Why, when, and how
many cards are discarded is something determined by
the ability or rule that instructed to discard cards.
Certain abilities specify whether the cards discarded
must come from the PC’s hand or the top of the deck. If
this is not specified, the cards must be discarded from
the PC’s hand.
When discarding from their hands, PCs can choose
which card to discard unless instructed otherwise.
A TSE never discards cards. If an NPC has to discard
cards, instead he suffers as many disadvantages to-
wards his next confrontation as cards he had to discard. The golden rule

If at any point during a session the Game Master


deems it necessary to bend, adapt, change, or oth-
erwise ignore any of the rules described in this
book in the interest of the narrative, players must
respect their GM’s decision. It is only before start-
ing a campaign, or after a session is ended, that
players are encouraged to discuss as a group what
kind of adventures they would like to play, as well
as how the rules in this book should be used to
ensure the most fun for everybody.

22
The dice After a die has been rolled, it goes back to the reserve
(which could trigger a rule that allows you to draw an-
While the rules are written using cards as the base other one).
mechanic, DCA can be played with D6 (D6 are dice with The main difference between playing with cards and
6 faces). dice is that with cards you know the value of what you
You need to have 5 different colours of D6 dice. You’ll are playing beforehand, whereas with dice you have to
use four types to represent each of the four suits, and roll it at that moment and see. During confrontations,
the fifth to represent the jokers. this is balanced out with the dice-only step that allows
you to flip the dice you roll (see page XXX).
PLAY I NG W I T H DICE
Whenever a rule establishes that you should do some-
thing with a card, instead you’ll do it with a die.
Playing with dice follows the same rules as playing
with cards, with the difference that they add another
step to resolve a confrontation (see page XXX).
Whenever a rule says card, you should read it as dice.
When it says the hand of cards, read it as your dice
pool; and read the deck as the reserve instead.

T HE R E S E R V E
Similarly, to what happens with the cards in the deck,
there are dice that are not in any player’s pool. This is
called the reserve, and it is shared among all players.
For every 3 players using dice, you need one set of 25
dice, 6 in each colour plus one to represent the joker in
a different colour. It is best if the dice are of the same
size and texture and cannot be distinguished by touch-
ing them.
The reserve of dice should be put in a place easily ac-
cessible to all the players but that somehow doesn’t let
them see the dice themselves, such as an opaque bag
that prevents players from knowing which die they are
drawing.
Whenever a die is used it is put back in the reserve,
and whenever a die is drawn, it is taken without look-
ing from the reserve. When a rule asks to “play a card
from the deck” instead, draw a random die from the re-
serve and roll it.

T HE P O O L O F DICE
Similar to the hand of cards, players using the dice
rules have a pool of seven dice. If you are playing with
dice and a rule refers to your hand of cards, consider it
refers to your pool of dice instead.
Every time you would need to draw a card to your
hand, draw a die from the reserve and add it to your
dice pool instead.
Every time you need to play a card, choose a die from
your pool and roll it.

23
cur r ent ch apter title

TimE
I N D C A T H E R E are several key concepts about time and gameplay struc-
ture. These are Sessions, Scenes, and Rounds.

Sessions A player’s hand of cards rep- During a scene, the characters


resents their PC’s stamina: A full will be constantly performing ac-
Sessions are the allocated time hand are fresh and eager, while PCs tions. If an action does not trigger
frame for playing the game during with very few or no cards in their a Round or it is not confronted, it
a day in real life. hands are exhausted and proba- is considered successful by default.
bly demoralised. When characters
When performing unconfronted
E.g. That Sunday after- take a break long enough to restore
actions, the mood around the table
noon when you all have their energy, it usually means they
should be relaxed and conversa-
agreed to meet and play. have reached the end of the scene.
tional. The GM must ensure that
There is no set duration or type all players enjoy a similar amount
Within a session you will usually of event that unequivocally deter- of time in the spotlight, and allow
play one or more scenes (although mines the end of a scene, and it is everyone to describe what their
it is possible to finish a session in up to the GM to determine when a characters do during that period.
the middle of a scene and resume scene ends.
playing it in your next session). If there is some kind of in-game
conflict — such as a fight, an argu-
E.g. The player characters plan
Scenes ment, a chase, or any other type of
to enter a temple in the city of
fast paced or competitive situation
Tenochtitlan. They wait for night-
when characters try to outperform
At the beginning of each scene, fall to avoid the crowds, silently
others — it is time for a Round,
all players except the GM draw enter the building, and search for
which sets the order in which char-
cards from the deck until they each the treasures inside. They encoun-
acters declare actions, and use
have seven cards in their hand. ter two temple guards, and after
counteractions to confront them.
fighting them off, they get the
A scene is a sequence of events
gold and make a run for it. This
during which the GM narrates what
sequence of events can be played Rounds
the characters find and what hap-
out as a single scene, or be bro-
pens to them. During a scene, char- Rounds are short outbursts of ac-
ken down by the GM into several
acters are constantly performing tion in which characters try to out-
scenes. For example entering the
actions, with little to no rest peri- perform others and rush to com-
temple without being seen could
ods in between, and usually within plete their objectives as best they
be one scene, fighting the guards
the same location. can in the shortest amount of time.
another scene, and escaping to
Scenes are the main building safety would be the final scene. These will be explained in more de-
blocks of the story, like the scenes tail later and constitute the main
of a film. They are an important Making scenes longer (more chal- mechanical part of the system,
concept because they determine lenging) or shorter (easier) is a along with the confrontations that
when the players and the GM re- great way for the GM to adjust the take place during the different
plenish their hands of cards. difficulty of the game. Rounds.

24
ActionS
P E R F O R M I N G A N A C T I O N represents an active and conscious activity
that spans during a period of time (i.e. a turn); such as attacking, running, talk-
ing, dodging, bartering, etc. Anything and everything a character performs ac-
tively is an action.

A L L AC TI ON S A RE performed using a
Skill that represents the character’s
knowledge in that area, and take into con-
■ If the action is considered something
that the character could eventually per-
form successfully if they had enough time
or if they had any number of tries, BUT
Counter-
actions

sideration his corresponding Focus. A counteraction


they have limited time or aim to do it right is an action per-
In DCA, actions are successful by default on the first attempt, they are confronted formed to counter
with a critical success unless one of the fol- by a time sensitive event (TSE) (see page or avoid another
lowing criteria are met: XXX), triggering a confrontation (see page character’s action.
XXX). Attacks are con-
■ If the action targets or directly affects
sidered valid coun-
another character who is aware of the ac- E.g. A thief is capable of climbing into
teractions against
tion, that character can choose to perform an Inca fortress if given any amount
other attacks, and if
another action to counteract it, triggering of time or any amount of tries, but
they are successful
a confrontation (see page XXX). because he needs to do it quickly be-
they are resolved
fore daylight comes and without fall-
During a conflict all enemies are considered aware as if the character
ing once, he is confronted by a TSE.
of actions by the player characters who have been managed to avoid
discovered, and therefore they can counteract what- their opponent’s at-
ever they do against them. ■ If the GM considers the action impossi- tack and hit them
ble to perform in the current situation re- instead.
A counteraction can be any action that
gardless of the amount of time, effort, will
could make the opposed action fail, or Characters can
or desire to do so, the action is cancelled,
allow the character to avoid its effects. confront any num-
and the character may suffer the effects
ber of actions that
of trying the impossible. The player may
E.g. (make an action fail): Shooting back target or directly
appeal, but he must be reminded that off-
at someone who was shooting or at- affect them dur-
limit actions can break the gameplay. The
tacking you (and if successful, you will ing each Round.
GM’s judgment and dissuasive power must
be the one dealing damage!); affecting However, perform-
lead the gameplay forward.
your opponent’s senses or capacities; ing one or more
throwing dust into someone’s eyes when counteractions
E.g. A character not aided with magic
they are trying to grapple you, etc. causes a character
cannot lift a one metric ton stone or
to become Spent,
jump from a mountain to escape gi-
E.g. (avoiding the effects of an action): and forfeit their
ant eagles; if they try to do so, they
diving behind cover; dodging the sword turn if they have
can suffer damage or even die.
swing; outrunning an opponent; etc. not taken it yet.

25
cur r ent ch apter title

Action Value Advantages and disadvantages can be When performing an ac-


gained through equipment, talents, other tion, do not simply state
abilities that grant them, or through role- what it is that you in-
The action value is a numerical value used
playing the situation. A character can gain tend to do, explain how
to determine the result of a character’s ac- you do it and why in
tion during a confrontation. There are sev- advantages from several sources at the
order to gain advantages
eral things that can modify the value of an same time or even several advantages from through role-playing.
action, and its final value will affect the the same source if the benefit such a source Look for the best way to
outcome of the confrontation and deter- provides is very strong. There are many perform that action, tak-
mine its winner. possibilities, and it is the job of the GM to ing into consideration
determine how and when to grant advan- your surroundings and
SKILL tages or disadvantages to characters. being creative and fun
— make it easy for the
The Skill’s value is the initial action value Some examples of things that could pro- GM to grant you that
of that character during a confrontation vide advantages are: valuable advantage!
in which he uses that skill for his action.
Additionally, if the Skill value of a charac- ■ Standing over a wall to fence off some Exhaustion
ter is 0, he will suffer one disadvantage. assaulters.
FO C US ■ Catching someone by surprise.
Although charac-
ters can only per-
Each Skill has an associated Focus, which form one action
determines: ■ Impressing everyone on the table by
using all the right words and ideas in a during their turn, it
speech before playing to see its result. is possible that they
■ If the character is a PC, how many cards
end up performing
they can play per action from their hand
■ Convincing someone you are speaking several actions dur-
to add their values to their initial action
with the spirits of their family if you know ing a single Round
value set by their Skill.
secret details of their relationship. if they are target-
ed by the actions of
■ For an NPC or TSE, how many cards they Some examples of things that could pro- other characters.
can play from the top of the deck to add vide disadvantages are:
their values to their initial action value. To represent the
■ Shooting a character who is behind extra effort re-
Characters can only perform one action each per
cover. quired to face many
Round, but they can perform any number of counter- challenges almost
actions. simultaneously,
■ Fighting while having your hands tied.
A D V ANT AGES AN D characters suffer a
■ Fighting in the dark. disadvantage every
D I S AD VAN T AG E S time they use a Skill
Advantages (often represented by a “+” ■ Trying to impress someone while wear- they have already
symbol) represent having a form of upper ing poorly made or dirty clothes. used during the
hand over an opponent, while disadvan- current Round. This
tages (often represented by a “-” symbol) ■ Convincing someone of something when effect stacks, so the
represent difficulties or hindrances a char- you can only communicate with signs be- third time they use
acter can have when trying to perform an cause you don’t speak the same language. the same Skill dur-
action. PCs, NPCs, TSEs and Checks can be ing one Round they
There can be things that are not very
affected by advantages or disadvantages. will suffer two dis-
clear if they would give an advantage or
advantages, the
Each advantage adds 3 points to the a disadvantage (you could argue that you
fourth time three
character’s starting value, and each dis- have an advantage for dodging while be-
disadvantages, and
advantage subtracts 3 points to the char- hind cover, or that your opponent suffers
so on.
acter’s starting value. one disadvantage to shooting at you while
you are behind cover). The effects are the
Starting values can be negative after applying the same either way, and it is important not to
effects of disadvantages. duplicate the importance of something by
applying both solutions.

26
ConfrontationS
A C O N F R O N T A T I O N T A K E S place when a character performing an ac-
tion is challenged and has a chance of failing and/or being affected by counter-
actions or a Time Sensitive Event.

T H E C H AR AC T E R P E RF O RM I N G the action that


triggers a confrontation is called the triggering
character and his action is called the triggering action
3. Any affected characters who are aware of the
triggering action and wish to confront it declare
valid counteractions, and explain which related
Skill they will use.
with the purpose of distinguishing it from other ac-
tions in the following explanation. Counteractions cannot target or affect characters other than the
Normally, an action or event can only target or af- triggering character. However, they can be just as effective as ac-
fect one character, to reflect a realistic scenario within tions. Countering an attack with a successful attack of your own will
deal the same amount of damage as attacking during your turn.
the short amount of time that these usually represent.
However, there are things that may target or affect 4. Determine the advantages and/or disadvantag-
several characters, such a cannon or an avalanche fall- es and their sources. Players may describe their
ing on a group of characters. In those cases, all the af- plans, and any reasons why they think they de-
fected characters should be able to perform their re- serve advantages or their opponents deserve dis-
spective counteractions. advantages. Then, the GM decides what applies
and what doesn’t.
The main difference between an action and a coun-
teraction is the fact that counteractions can only affect
During a multiple confrontation, a character may have advantages
the triggering character — and therefore a counterac- or disadvantages against some characters but not against others. In
tion will never trigger counteractions or Time Sensitive that case, calculate the advantages against each character sepa-
Events by itself. If a character performs an action that rately and determine the action values, winners, and final level of
would normally target or affect several characters as a success of each pair of confronted characters separately.
counteraction, that action will only affect the trigger-
ing character instead. Characters suffer a disadvantage every time they use again a Skill
they have already used during the current Round; this is called
Exhaustion (see page XXX).
Steps of a Confrontation
5. The character with the lowest action value can
To resolve a confrontation, players must always fol- either play a card or pass. Once a character has
low the same steps: passed, they cannot play any more cards during
this confrontation, even if they have not reached
1. The triggering character declares an action, their limit. Once a character reaches the limit of
called triggering action, explaining which relat- cards they can play during this confrontation,
ed Skill he will be using, as well as its target or they must pass.
targets, if there are any.
2. The GM declares the level of the confronting TSE If there is more than one character with the lowest action value, all
the characters tied for the lowest action value play their cards face
if there is one; as well as its nature and the con-
down and reveal them simultaneously (or roll their dice at the same
sequences that will happen if the TSE wins the
time).
confrontation.

27
cur r ent ch apter title

In order to keep gameplay streamlined, it is important that each


participant of a confrontation says the current value of their action
out loud each time they play a new card. This way, nobody is forced
to calculate the value of the action of their opponent every time he
plays a card.
5.1. Only when playing with dice: Once per confronta-
tion, after rolling a die, you can flip it to its op-
posite side (turning 1 to 6, 2 to 5, 3 to 4, or vice
versa). If you do, consider only the final die value
for all purposes, such as applying Proficiency.
6. The previous step is repeated until all characters
have passed.
7. Counteractions with an action value equal or
lower than the triggering action fail, and those
with a higher action value than the triggering ac-
tion are successful.
The triggering action fails if there is any success-
ful counteraction that can make it fail, as opposed
to simply avoid its effects. If there are none, it is
successful only against those counteractions with
an equal or lower action value.

E.g. Aapo cuts down the end of the rope-made bridge


he just crossed while being chased by a conquistador
and a crossbowman. They try to confront it by run-
ning back to the other side. In the ensuing confronta-
tion, the crossbowman achieves the highest action
value, followed by Aapo, while the conquistador
has the lowest action value. The crossbowman man-
ages to get out of the bridge before it falls down,
but the conquistador drops to his death. Had the
crossbowman chosen to shoot at Aapo and got the
same results, he would have damaged Aapo, caus-
ing his action to fail. The bridge would have remained
intact and the conquistador would still be alive.

If a TSE achieves a higher action value than the triggering action,


the consequences of the TSE come true, causing the triggering ac-
tion to fail, and the success or failure of all other counteractions is
determined as usual.
8. Apply the consequences of successful actions ac-
cording to their level of success (see page XXX).

28
29
cur r ent ch apter title

Hidden Checks
P E R F O R M A H I D D E N check instead of a confrontation if character is not
aware of what is triggering the check or shouldn’t be aware of the result if they
fail (e.g. Perception or Survival checks to discover an ambush or a trap, to avoid
getting lost, etc).

A H I D D E N C H E C K , O R simply check, tests a charac-


ter’s skill in an effort to overcome a hidden chal-
lenge, or a reactive and unconscious reflex or realiza-
Resolving a hidden check

At any time, the GM can declare that a character


tion. A check does not require intent and it is not an must perform a check, or a character can declare that
action. he wants to perform a check, which needs to be ap-
proved by the GM.
A hidden check is usually requested by the GM to test
if a PC should be given certain new information or not: To resolve a hidden check, follow these steps:
1. The GM requests a character or group of charac-
■ Request the PCs to perform a Perception check to ters to perform a check OR a character declares
determine whether they see a hidden NPC ambushing he wants to perform a check and the check is
them. approved by the GM.

■ Request the PCs to perform a Rites check to find out 2. The GM chooses the Skill the character will be
if they sense dark magic coming out of a ruin. using, taking into account the nature of the
check.
■ Request the PCs to perform a Charisma check to 3. The GM declares the difficulty level of the check
find out if they realize that someone disagrees from without specifying the value (this is so the play-
their nervous gestures. er does not figure out if he’s confronting an NPC
Certain abilities will also request a check, each of or not).
them will specify why and how to resolve it. 4. Determine the advantages and/or disadvantag-
A hidden check is not an action, and it can be per- es and their sources. Players may describe their
formed at any time the GM declares it is necessary (al- plans, and any reasons why they think they de-
ternatively, it can be requested by a player: “I look for serve advantages. Then, the GM decides what
clues”). Any number of checks can be requested, and applies and what doesn’t.
they do not represent any time going by nor characters 5. Each PC involved in a check discards as many
become Spent after performing them. cards as their corresponding Focus from the top
of the deck, and adds the highest card to their
Skill value.

30
PCs are allowed to discard cards one by one and stop E.g. The rotten wooden floor or a lost ruin
discarding before reaching their limit if they want in the middle of the jungle will collapse if
(this might happen is they draw a high enough card anyone on heavy armour steps on it, only
first, and they don’t want to risk discarding other a fool would do it; but perhaps a character E.g. A group of
high cards). eagle warriors are
with 0 Survival cannot tell the difference or
lacks the required self-preservation instinct. waiting ahead of
A check does not count as performing an action, it
does not cause exhaustion nor does the PC become the PCs, preparing
Spent. It is only recommended asking PCs to perform an
an ambush. If the
easy check if they completely lack on the Skill being PCs are percep-
6. In secret, without the players seeing tive enough, they
tested (i.e. Characters with Skill 0).
her, the GM discards one card and might discover the
adds it to the check’s difficulty; or if NORMAL ( 3) ambush in time.
the check involves an NPC, as many The GM requests
cards as that NPC’s Focus, and adds Something that would only go over the
head of someone untrained, not paying a Perception
the highest card to his Skill. check from the
attention, or who was not aware it was
7. The success or failure of a check possible. PCs without tell-
is determined following the same ing them what the
rules to determine the outcome of a H ARD ( 6) check is about.
confrontation. She tells them it
Something that requires relatively ad-
is a hard check,
8. The GM reveals to the PCs involved vanced training or knowledge.
because the hid-
what she sees fit according to the re-
VERY H ARD ( 9) den eagle warriors’
sults. Because the PCs are unaware Competent Skill is 5.
of the result of the check, they can Something that requires to be a specialist
be provided with false information if in the subject to achieve success. The PCs discard as
they failed, and they may believe it many cards as their
to be true. EP I C ( 12)
Perception Focus,
To be able to achieve this a character’s and add the high-
The PCs might never find out the results or the rea- capacity has to be among the best in the est one to their
son for the check. world. Perception Skill val-
ue. In secret, with-
Calculating the difficul- out the PCs seeing
ty of the check it, the GM discards
as many cards as
The difficulty of the check can be one of the eagle warriors’
the following two: Competent Focus,
and adds the high-
■ If the check is against an NPC, his in- If you find it hard to decide the est one to their
volved Skill value. difficulty of a check using these Competent Skill val-
guidelines, consider all checks easy ue. If the final value
■ If the check is against something else, and then think about the different of one of the PCs
the value specified next to the respective hindrances that apply to a situation. is higher than the
difficulty level (the GM should choose a For each important one you find, eagle warriors’ final
difficulty level fitting to the situation) raise the difficulty of the check by value, they will
one level. discover the am-
When resolving a check, the GM must let
the players know the difficulty level of the bush in time to get
E.g. A character is searching for
check. If the check was against an NPC, she ready. Otherwise,
a hidden enemy. It is quite dark,
should say the difficulty level closest to the they will suffer the
and the enemy is hidden in a very
NPC’s Skill’s value rounded up. consequences of a
secluded spot. Additionally, he is
surprise attack.
wearing clothes that mimic the
EA S Y ( 0 ) environment. There are three im-
Something very mundane and that failing portant hindrances, and thus the
it would only be explainable as a complete check would be Very Hard (9).
failure or an extraordinary lack of skill.

31
cur r ent ch apter title

When to repeat a failed Check

Failed checks must not be repeated unless the cir-


cumstances have changed drastically.

E.g. A character cannot repeatedly try to see


what awaits for them at the end of a dark tun-
nel in a Temple unless they use a Spell to help
them, or throw a torch to lit the area.

Distinguishing a check from a


confrontation

The GM should always be the one who determines


when something is resolved as a check or as a confron-
tation. Here are some cues to help her figure it out:
The rule of thumb is that in a confrontation both par-
ties are aware of what is happening and are actively
doing what’s being put to the test; while a check is only
performed when the GM wants to keep the nature of
what is happening secret, or she believes it is some-
thing that shouldn’t necessarily tire the PCs out (re-
member that a PC’s hand of cards represents their
stamina).
This means that is possible to test the same situation
as a check or a confrontation depending on circum-
stantial information.

E.g. If a PC is being ambushed, use a check to test if


he realised in time of the danger. If you resolve this
situation as a confrontation, the PC will know what
is happening regardless of the result as you will need
to provide him with information about the NPC he’ ll
be confronting. In the other hand, if the PC is the one
ambushing a group of NPCs, the GM can declare that
he has to confront them using Stealth — the situation
is the same as the previous one, but the awareness
about what is happening has shifted, and therefore the
GM sees it fit to resolve it as a confrontation (also, it
can be argued that hiding is something you do actively,
while seeing something behind the bushes is not).

32
Level of SuccesS
T H E LE V E L OF success of an action depends on the
difference between its final value and its con-
fronting action’s final value.
Regular success

When an action is successful by two to four points


above its confronting action’s value, it achieves a reg-
ular success: It has the regular effect of the action as
Pyrrhic success
determined by the GM or the piece of gear being used.
When an action is successful by up to one point above
its confronting action’s value, it has the regular ef-
Critical success
fect of the action as determined by the GM or the piece
of gear being used. Additionally, it suffers negative When an action is successful by five or more points
consequences. above its confronting action’s value, it has the regu-
lar effect of the action as determined by the GM or the
Negative consequences can be anything the GM sees piece of gear being used. Additionally, it has positive
fit and that makes sense for the story and the action consequences, somehow amazingly effective as deter-
taking place. mined by the GM.
A few examples of negative consequences are: A few examples of things that could be considered
positive consequences are:
■ If the character was using gear, it suffers one or
two points of deterioration ■ If the character was attacking (or any other thing
with a numerical effect), he deals double the damage
■ If the character was attacking, he deals half the after subtracting Armour OR, alternatively, he ignores
damage or if he was attacking someone with a shield, Armour.
the weapon gets stuck on the shield and neither can be
longer used until someone spends an action to sepa- ■ If the character was outrunning or dodging some-
rate them. one, the opponent falls down or somehow else ends up
in a disadvantageous situation.
■ If the character was moving, he trips and falls,
being left in a disadvantageous position for the next ■ If the character was bartering, the other person en-
action. joyed their company and gives them something small
as a present.
■ If he was shooting a target, the target moves be-
hind cover after being hit or realises he has run out of ■ If the character was charming someone that person
ammo. falls for them and will go above and beyond to help
them out (E.g. “Yes, I could take you to the relic my-
■ If he was trying to wound someone to intimidate self... If we go alone”, or “psst! My master is lying to
them for later interrogation, the character accidental- you, he’s prepared a trap, run!”).
ly kills their target.
■ The opponent’s weapon flies off his hand, he is un-
■ If the character was lying to someone, another armed until he gets it back somehow.
character notices the lie.
■ While the character stealthily looks for a specific
■ The action is successful, but the confronting char- treasure in someone’s room, they find something else
acter manages to do something about it and does not too…
lose his turn.

33
cur r ent ch apter title

Drawing CardS
P LAY E R C H A RA C T E RS C A N draw cards in several
instances.
When a character plays a card, he may be subject to
E.g. Achcauhtli is a guide trying convince some Spanish
explorers to go in a different direction, as he does not
want them to reach his village. He confronts the ex-
plorer’s leader trying to deceive him. If he plays a social
drawing new cards from the deck to his hand. If some- cards during this confrontation, he can draw a new one.
thing triggers several drawing cards mechanics simul-
taneously, only the most beneficial takes place as de- AFFI NI TY
cided by the player.
Additionally, each player character has Affinity to a
NPCs can not draw cards, as they do not have a hand of cards. suit. When he plays a card that matches the suit of the
type of action he is performing AND it is his Affinity, he
Proficiency draws two cards instead of one and keeps one of them
in his hand. The other card must be either put back on
top of the deck, or discarded.
Whenever a player character plays a card with a value
equal to or less than his Skill’s Focus, he immediately
draws a card. This represents that the character is very Beginning of a Scene
capable in this area and the low effort corresponding to
playing a low card does not tire him out. At the beginning of each scene, all players keep their
current hand of cards and draw back up to a total hand
Playing with the suit of seven cards.

If a player character plays a card and the suit match- Running out of cards
es the type of action that he is performing, he can im-
mediately draw a card from the deck to his hand. This If at any time a player does not have any cards in
represents the player character acting effectively, re- their hand, they must draw a card. If that card is drawn
sulting in less exhaustion. during a confrontation, it cannot be played until that
confrontation has been resolved.

34
Rounds
OV E R V I E W
During a Round, char-
acters take turns to
A RO U N D RE PRE S ENTS A few seconds
during which characters rapidly per-
form actions. They are the game mechan-
■ After performing a counteraction when
being the target of an action.

■ After performing an action during their


ic that establishes the order of play of all
perform one action each turn.
in the order established the characters trying to outperform each
by their Initiative. other. ■ After being the target of an ability that
Performing actions can
makes them Spent.
trigger confrontations, E.g. The team enters the mayan tomb,
usually when the action feeling relaxed after having avoided Spent characters lose their turn during
is against someone — a the trap in the entrance. However, they the current Round if they have not taken
confrontation must be were not expecting soldier mummies it yet; but they can still perform further
fully resolved before counteractions.
to be guarding inside. Now, before any
resuming the Round.
character performs any actions, begin a
One important aspect is Round to see who acts first, and resolve Steps of a Round
that if you take part in the ensuing Confrontations to deter-
a counteraction before mine who succeeds and who fails.
taking your turn, you’ll During a Round, Ready characters take turns per-
forming one action each. After every character has
become Spent and lose All timed actions during a conflict must
become Spent, the Round ends. If the conflict is still
your turn this Round. It’s be declared and resolved within the con- ongoing, a new Round begins.
also worth mentioning text of a Round, and declarations made be-
that attacking back is a fore the Round begins will not be valid or Once the GM has explained the conflict,
possible counteraction. it is time to determine who gets to act first
binding.
Even though you lose
and what happens next. To do so, follow
your turn when you do
so, it is still as effective E.g. Following the previous example, as these steps:
as an attack action and soon as he hears about the soldier mum- 1. The order in which characters take
though your attack may mies, Mark, playing Jose, a priest, declares their turn to perform their actions
not be against the target that he turns around and runs away. is determined by the value of their
you initially had in mind, But the GM is forced to stop him there. Initiative, from highest to lowest.
attacking back at a Jose’s action must be performed during
character forces him to his turn during the Round — the charac- In case of a tie, player characters al-
focus on you. ways go first, followed by the NPCs
ters’ Initiatives establish the order of play.
If Jose is fast he might get to run away in the order of the GM’s choosing.
before the mummies do anything, but In case of a tie between player char-
otherwise he might get caught up in the acters, they must come to an agree-
conflict (perhaps he’ ll end up performing ment or tell their actions in secret to
a different type of action to save his skin, the GM, who will determine who goes
such as fencing off an undead soldier). first.
2. Players can Rush. Following the
Ready & Spent characters Initiative order, each player can
choose to discard one card from his
hand, adding that card’s value to his
At the beginning of a Round, all charac-
Initiative to calculate the Initiative
ters in the area caught up in the conflict
order during the ensuing Round.
are Ready. During a Round a character can
become Spent in the following instances:

35
cur r ent ch apter title

NPCs cannot rush. Here is a basic template to describe actions:

Remember: Discarding a card does not trigger card drawing mechan- “I [verb] [preposition if needed] [target]”
ics. E.g. I attack the guard. I move behind cover. I dodge
3. A Ready character taking his turn can choose ei- towards the door.
ther (1) to perform his action, and then become But, to keep the game realistic and organic, charac-
Spent and end his turn; or (2) to wait, allowing ters are allowed to move up to 2.5 metres (~8 ft) while
the next character to take their turn before his performing an action.
own. He can wait several times, letting any num-
ber of characters go first. Other Ready characters E.g. I enter the room and attack the guard. I jump on
may choose to wait as well; and if all characters my horse and gallop away.
choose to wait, the last one that can do so must
perform an action.
4. When a Ready character chooses to perform an ac-
tion on his turn, he declares his action. This may
trigger a confrontation against a Time Sensitive
Event (TSE) or another character, which must be
resolved before resuming the Round.

If the action does not trigger a confrontation, it is considered an


unconfronted action and therefore can have the level of success of
the character’s choice (pyrrhic, regular, or critical).
Morale
5. The next Ready character in the initiative order
takes his turn. Repeat this step until there are no If any characters are affected by Fear dur-
more Ready characters remaining to take their ing the Round, or if the GM deems it appropri-
turn. ate considering the circumstances of the en-
counter, characters will need to perform an easy
Attacking Discipline Check (0) at the end of the Round. This
test can be modified by various effects, such as:
If a successful action was an attack, it can do one of
If the sum of the level of the characters in
two things: Deal damage or deal deterioration.
their side of the conflict is higher than the op-
When a character chooses to deal damage, he’ll deal ponent’s, they gain one advantage towards the
as much damage as specified in his weapon’s descrip- Check. If it is the opposite, they suffer a disad-
tion. When attacking without weapons, he’ll deal as vantage instead.
much damage as his level instead, but he’ll suffer one
Each instance of Fear makes characters suffer
disadvantage towards his action.
one disadvantage.
When a character chooses to deal deterioration, he’ll
Other situations might grant advantages or
deal as much deterioration as the damage he could
disadvantages as determined by the GM.
have dealt. If the attack was against a PC, he can choose
to cause the deterioration to any of his items. If the at- E.g. If you are fighting your nemesis or for the
tack is against an NPC with a deterioration track it will life of your loved one, you might be less likely
be resolved as normal, and if he doesn’t have a deterio- to panic and thus receive one or more advan-
ration track it will suffer either Dull, Faulty, or Ripped tages; but if you are fighting in a ship in flames
as determined by the GM. or you know more enemies are about to appear,
you are more likely to panic and you could suffer
Actions during a Round disadvantages.
Characters who fail the Discipline Check
During Rounds, actions should only need one verb to lose control and will do anything in their power
be described. If the word “and” is included to link two to get away to safety as fast as possible. The GM
or more verbs, the character is probably trying to per- will take control of PCs until they are safe or
form two or more actions linked to each other, and he have a change of heart.
will probably need several turns to be able to do that.

36
Advanced ruleS
A D V A N C E D R U L E S A R E rules that add another layer of complexity and
interest to the gameplay. For this reason, it is recommended to ignored these
rules at the beginning. As questions arise during gameplay, use these rules to
resolve them.

Abilities Ambush

PER M ANE N T It is possible for an encounter to begin with one of


the sides (or at least a number of characters) unaware
Permanent effects are always in effect, and they al- of what is happening. This is not limited to combat, you
ways trigger when they are applicable. Their use is not can also be caught by surprise in many other circum-
optional, and they must be applied if at all possible. All stances and the variety of possibilities makes ruling it a
abilities are Permanent by default and unless specified futile effort. Instead, the following rules provide a list
otherwise. of ideas to represent this kind of situations. Choose the
A CT I O N AS AN ABILITY situation that best fits your story’s circumstances, or
make up your own.
Some abilities have the keyword Action. They require
the character to dedicate an action to use them. The ■ Characters are caught without their weapons
Skill that should be used varies for each specific ability. drawn. They won’t be able to use their weapons during
the first round, but they will be readily available dur-
R EA C T I O N ing the next.
Reactions are additional effects to whatever they
react to, and they take place an instant after their trig- ■ Characters are scared and will have to perform a
ger (there is no time to perform actions between the Discipline Check at the end of the first Round. If the
trigger and all of its reactions). Several reactions may attacker is or appears to be mighty, they might even
be triggered simultaneously, and the GM decides in suffer Fear.
which order they occur.
■ Characters are caught in disarray and cannot be in
Most reactions only take place if the character who a Formation during the first Round.
has the ability wants to use it. However, some reactions
are Forced, and must be resolved every time they are ■ Character’s defences are low, and they are easy
triggered even if the character does not want to use prey, the first attack of each attacker during the first
them. Others are Unique, and cancel all other reactions Round gains one advantage.
after the same trigger. A reaction can be both forced
and unique at the same time. ■ The opponent’s arguments are so well constructed
that the characters are caught scrambling for ideas.
I NST AN T
They can’t attempt to lie throughout the conversation.
Effects with the keyword instant can be used at any
time, even outside the character’s turn. They take place
right before what triggered their use.

37
cur r ent ch apter title

Collaborative Actions DETERI ORATI ON I C ON EFFEC TS

A collaborative action is a single action that is per- JAMMED


formed by more than one character. To perform a col- Forced reaction: After a piece of gear reaches a
laborative action, all participating players play as a jammed icon, discard a card from the top of the deck.
single character with one of their pairs of Skills and If it is a 1 or 2 it is jammed and can no longer be used
Focus of their choice, gaining one advantage for each until a character spends an action cleaning it.
participating character after the first. The cards played
for the action can come from any of the players partici- BROKEN
pating, but not more than one card per player.
Forced instant: After a piece of gear reaches a broken
E.g. Two or more characters holding a door icon, it can not be used any longer, or suffer any addi-
closed while a huge creature tries to open it tional deterioration (this is particularly important for
to get to them; several characters lifting a shields, as a character cannot use their Shielding abil-
hurt companion to get him to safety, etc. ity to suffer deterioration if that would take the shield
past its Broken icon).
A collaborative action must always be a single action.
A character opening a door with a kick so his friend COMPROMISED
can shoot with his bow inside cannot be considered a Forced reaction: After a piece of gear becomes
collaborative action, but two normal actions that need Compromised, discard a card from the top of the deck.
to be well chained together to succeed. The most im- If it is a 1 or 2 it becomes broken and can no longer be
mediate goal of the action tells us if it is collaborative. used.
In the previous example, the first character’s goal was
allowing his friend to perform his action. They do not FAULTY
share the same immediate goal and thus are not con-
sidered a collaborative action. Forced reaction: After a piece of gear becomes Faulty,
characters suffer one disadvantage when using it.
Deterioration
DULL
Deterioration is an advanced rule that can be used to Forced reaction: After a piece of gear becomes Dull, it
add another layer of interest to campaigns. It is recom- deals one less damage than usual.
mended when playing adventures based around a sur-
vival theme, but it might be cumbersome and unfocused SPECIAL
when playing campaigns based around diplomacy. Some items have special deterioration effects, in
Pieces of gear with a deterioration track can be af- which case they are described in their respective
fected by deterioration. Deterioration is suffered with description.
use or by being affected by abilities. You can track the
deterioration ticking it off or placing a token on the RIPPED
corresponding space on the deterioration track start- Forced reaction: After a piece of gear becomes Ripped,
ing from left to right. it provides one less armour than usual.
Every time the deterioration of an item reaches a
space with an icon, its effects are triggered. After a
piece of gear reaches ten deterioration, it triggers the
effects of the last icon on its track as many times as its
deterioration points over ten each time it suffers addi-
tional deterioration.
E.g. If an item with 10 deterioration gains 3 addition-
al deterioration, it triggers the effects of its last icon
three times (even if it is not in the tenth space of the
deterioration track).

38
Fatigue Formation

The life of an explorer is not without risks and sacri- During combat (and sometimes even during so-
fices. It won’t be rare for characters to live through ex- cial events) characters can arrange themselves in
treme circumstances that will bare them hardships of Formations.
all kinds. This is represented with Fatigue.
Being in a Formation does not provide any effect on
At any time after suffering adversities the GM can its own, but it can trigger abilities from other sources,
determine that a character should perform a normal such as talents or weapons.
Survival or Athletic check (3), if it results in a failure,
You automatically enter a Formation the instant
that character will suffer Fatigue.
you and at least two allied characters are side by side.
A character suffers one disadvantage towards all of Characters who are riding the same small vehicle or
his actions for each instance of Fatigue he’s got. If a beast are likely to be part of the same Formation as
character suffers Fatigue too many times, the GM can well. If you are playing with miniatures, this happens
determine that he dies. when the miniatures are in adjacent squares or their
bases are in contact.
Examples of situations that might cause Fatigue:
Characters who are further than 2.5 meters from
■ Spending several days without eating, drinking or their allies cannot be part of a Formation. A Formation
sleeping enough. automatically breaks at the point in which there is a
gap bigger than 2.5 meters between the characters that
■ Running all day long from a hunting party. form the Formation. This can happen when characters
move away or when they no longer can be considered
■ Climbing to mountain tops thousands of metres part of the Formation, which happens when a character
tall. is not longer in normal health state, or when he is at-
tacked from the back or the side.
■ Not having the appropriate clothes for the
environment. A broken Formation might automatically give place
to other smaller Formations if there are enough char-
■ Carrying too much heavy gear (as described in acters still together in either side of the character who
Encumbrance). broke the Formation.

R EC O V E R I N G FATIG U E Grapple
While in normal health state, characters recover one
Fatigue per full day spent resting and without suffer- When a character attacks he can try to grapple an op-
ing the consequences of Fatigue (e.g. if you suffered ponent instead of trying to deal damage but only if that
Fatigue from the lack of food, spend a day resting and opponent is of similar size. A character can do so if at-
having access to enough food). tacking unarmed (remember than unarmed attacks suf-
fer one disadvantage), with a weapon with the keyword
EN C U MB R AN CE “Grapple”, or because of an ability.
You can carry any amount of items as determined by Grappling is an ongoing effect that can be maintained
the GM. by the grappler for as long as it desires or until he suf-
If you carry 5 or more items with Deterioration fers damage or is grappled.
tracks, you’ll suffer Fatigue. While grappling, a character run nor cannot attack
characters other than the grappled character.
While grappled, a character automatically drops what
he was holding, he is forced to move with the grappler,
he suffers one disadvantage towards all of his actions,
and as the triggering character he can only try to deal
damage or grapple the character grappling him.

39
cur r ent ch apter title

Reach Repairing actions

Every melee weapon has a different reach. Unarmed Characters can use their Crafting Skill to repair gear.
attacks and weapons that do not specify their reach Deterioration confronts a Crafting action as if it was an
have reach 1 by default. NPC with a Skill equal to the amount of deterioration
If you are playing with miniatures or tokens, reach 1 on the gear, and it plays as many cards as the level of
allows you to attack miniatures that are in contact with the gear (one if normal or improvised; two if magical or
your base or, if you are using a grid, miniatures that forged; three if legendary). Additionally, certain situ-
are in a space adjacent to yours. Otherwise, reach 1 al- ational effects might give disadvantages to the charac-
lows you to attack anything a couple meters away from ter as determined by the GM. Here are some examples:
you. Additional levels of reach multiply that, therefore
■ The character performing the action does not have
reach 3 allows you to attack anyone up to three spaces
any appropriate tools for it.
away from you, or 6 meters away.
Characters can use their Melee Skill and weapons to ■ The character is performing the action without
counter attacks from opponents with longer reach. But, parts for replacements or adequate materials.
even if successful, they won’t be able to deal damage if
The time it takes to perform a repairing action is up
they cannot reach (instead they could deal deteriora-
to the GM (repairing only a few points of deterioration
tion to their attacker’s weapon). This is to represent
on an improvised weapon might be possible to perform
the character fencing off the attack with his weapons,
in a turn, but repairing a forged weapon that has been
but being unable to reach his opponent’s body.
badly damaged might take hours or even days). A suc-
Characters with Reach higher than one can perform cessful repairing action removes all the deterioration
the Enguard action. After performing this action you on the gear. A failed repairing action has no further ef-
can remain Enguard for as long as you do not take dam- fects, unless the character fails by five or more points
age, nor run, climb or jump. While Enguard you gain and the GM sees it fit (the GM can determine to add
the following ability: further deterioration or even claim that the gear is no
longer possible to repair).
INSTANT: At any time a character is at your maxi-
mum Reach you can pause his activation to perform an
attack against him, and then resume his activation. If
your attack is successful - in addition to dealing dam-
age - you will stop him from moving closer to you if
that was his intention (which, if he has lower Reach,
he might need to attack you). If failed, he breaks your
guard and you are no longer Enguard. Limited to once
per Round.

E.g. Carlos has a Reach 3 pike, while Mauri has a Reach


1 sword. Carlos is Enguard, and Mauri tries to approach
him for an attack. Carlos triggers his enguard ability,
pausing Mauri’s movement action to perform an attack
with his pike. Mauri counters this attack with his sword.

If Carlos is successful Mauri will take damage from


the pike and when he resumes his movement action he
cannot continue to move towards Carlos. Carlos has
managed to keep his ground, and he remains enguard.

If Mauri is successful, because his sword can-


not reach Carlos, he cannot deal damage to him,
but he can deal deterioration to Carlos’ pike.
Additionally, he has broken Carlos’ guard and there-
fore when he resumes his movement he can ap-
proach him so he can get him next round.

40
41
cur r ent ch apter title

CharacterS
E AC H PLAY E R C O N T RO L S a single character and
develops who that person is and what their mo-
tivations are — what are their dreams and struggles?
alogues, making the decisions their characters would
make, and using the relevant mechanics of the game to
determine whether their characters rise victorious, or
The more compelling a character is, the more reward- fail miserably.
ing the experience of playing that character will be. The GM should encourage the other players to talk
The players who are not the GM play the protago- about the backstory of their characters and how they
nist characters of the story. They are in charge of play- imagine them. Together, they can become an amazing
ing the role of their characters: performing their di- group of characters who will live great adventures.

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L E VE L CULTURE
I NI TI ATI VE

H EALTH
Write down your Health in the
heart shape, and take note of the
damage you have suffer in the
circle next to it.
Whenever you suffer an injury,
take note of it in the corresponding
diamond next to the body part.
SKILLS
Write down the Skill Keep track of your Exhaustion in
value in the circular the diamond shaped space.
spaces, and black out as I NJURI ES
many cards as the Skill’s Some Skills suffer a disadvantage
Attribute. per injury in their corresponding
The last Skill from the body part.
list is not named. This is E.g. If a character suffers an injury
the Order Skill, and you to either of his arms, he’ll suffer
are meant to write on it one disadvantage towards Melee,
the name of your Order. Shooting and Crafting.
Write down your Skills’
corresponding Talents
on the space to the right
of the Skill’s name.

NO T E S
Write down any addi-
tional abilities, spells, and
curses here.

42
MovemenT
T H E M OV E M E N T M E C H A N I C is focused in encoun-
ters, as it is irrelevant while walking through a
market, or exploring an empty ruin.
but other times, it will be in their detriment, as some-
times NPCs will benefit from this too. Because while
playing like this it is very likely to each person will
have their own image of how everything is placed, it
Movement in DCA can be represented abstractly or requires trust between the players and the GM, flex-
realistically. To properly play with realistic movement, ibility towards what might occur to the story and the
it is recommended that you use miniatures and a grid character, and creativity to make it interesting.
or a ruler; otherwise, it is recommended to use abstract
movement, as it allows for more flexibility and won’t Realistic movement
give space to discussions about who could reach who
and why. Realistic movement is meant to be used for complex
Human characters can move 5 meters per action, or encounters or when you want to focus in the gameplay
10 if the action is critically successful. The movement and the fighting - it is best done with miniatures on a
of each NPC is written in their descriptions. map or a grid.
Realistic movement allows you to calculate accurate-
Bare in mind that unconfronted actions can be considered critically
successful without spending any cards. Therefore if you are the trig-
ly what you can reach. When fighting narratively the
gering character of your running action (i.e. you are not using it as a GM can make up the distances on the go, and decide if
counteraction), you can simply decide to run 10 meters. you can reach something or not, with miniatures and
terrain, this is no longer on her hands, and she must
Abstract movement represent these distances as accurately as possible on
the tabletop.
Abstractly moving is meant to be used in a narrative During their turn, each character can move 2 me-
focused play style, more concerned with streamlining tres while performing any other action in addition to
the action than with realism (e.g. think of those mov- crouching, dropping down to the floor or standing up.
ies in which the distances between the protagonists If they wish to move further, they need to spend their
and their adversaries seem to get bigger or shorter de- action to run.
pending on what the script requires). To use this style
the GM should describe the location of the encounter GRI D
with detail, and it is very important that she sets up a You can use a hex or square grid. In a square grid,
few milestones (e.g. A tree fallen in the middle or the you can only move diagonally once every three spaces.
road, the river a few steps away from the road, etc) that
Each space of the grid represents 2 metres (~8 ft).
the players can use in their heads to put together their
This is not the most realistic conversion, but it is the
plans.
most comfortable to use in the tabletop.
During their turn, each character can move a bit to
When you perform a non-running action, you can
adjust their position slightly (if they were around a
move up to one space (i.e. you can move 2 metres every
corner, lean out to take a shot with their bow; jump
time you perform an action).
over a short wall and crouch, to avoid behind the target
of archers, etc) or they can choose to use their action to When you run, you can move 3 spaces with a regular
move running and reach a milestone or another char- success, and 5 with a critical success.
acter (or in the case it is clear that they are too far away
from any, that they approach it enough to reach it dur- RULER
ing following Rounds — ranged fighters will probably When using a ruler consider that one metre in-game
want to start an encounter far enough to take one or is considered one centimetre (~2 metres are consid-
two shoots before a running opponent reaches them). ered one inch).
This style will sometimes benefit the PCs, allowing
them to reach an opponent just because they narrate it;

43
cur r ent ch apter title

Skills & focuS


E AC H PL AY E R C H A RA C T E R has
15 Skills and 15 Focus with the
same name. Therefore, there is a
Athletic

You use Athletic when perform-


tage towards your Medical actions
per injury in your head.
Melee Skill and also a Melee Focus. ing physical activities that involve
The Skill determines the starting physical strength, speed or endur- Rites
action value of an action while the ance; such as running, climbing,
Focus determines how many cards swimming, etc. You suffer one dis- You use Rites to use Spells and for
a character can play advantage towards your Athletic religion and magic based Checks.
actions per injury in your legs. You suffer one disadvantage to-
All actions use one Skill or an-
wards your Rites actions per injury
other. When you perform an ac-
Stealth in your head.
tion you’ll choose the Skill that fits
the best. The Skill determines your
starting action value, and a Focus, You use Stealth when you are try- Survival
which determines how many cards ing to move or act without being
you can play each time you use it. noticed. You suffer one disadvan- You use Survival to find things
tage towards your Stealth actions like food or resources in hostile en-
If an action cannot relate to any
per injury in your legs. vironments, to orient yourself in
Skills in the following list, you can
a new location, or to do things in
still try to perform the action with
Riding order to survive, such as building a
a value of zero and using your level
shelter, knowing what to do when
to determine how many cards you
a hurricane comes their way, or
can play. You use Riding when you are try-
knowing what type of food is edible.
ing to sit on or control the move-
Additionally, Survival represents
Shooting ment of an animal or transport.
your perceptiveness of hidden dan-
You suffer one disadvantage to-
gers. You suffer one disadvantage
wards your Riding actions per inju-
You use Shooting when using towards your Survival actions per
ry in your legs.
ranged weapons, or throwing im- injury in your head.
provised things. You suffer one dis-
advantage towards your Shooting Charisma
Order
actions per injury in your arms.
You use Charisma when perform-
You use Order to represent your
Melee ing social interactions. You suf-
ability in an area of knowledge or
fer one disadvantage towards your
craft, and your status and prestige
Charisma actions per injury in your
You use Melee when attacking between those people.
head.
with close quarters combat weap-
ons, or when attacking with your Discipline
body or improvised weapons. You Knowledge
suffer one disadvantage towards
You use Discipline when you are
your Melee actions per injury in You use Knowledge when trying
testing your self-control and capac-
your arms or if you attack unarmed. to recollect your memory about
ity to keep your cool in dangerous
any type of information. You suf-
situations.
Crafting fer one disadvantage towards your
Knowledge actions per injury in
your head. Tolerance
You use Crafting when repairing
things or creating primitive items.
Medical You use Tolerance when trying to
You suffer one disadvantage to-
control your Prejudices.
wards your Crafting actions per in-
jury in your arms. You use Medical to care for
wounds. You suffer one disadvan-

44
Health and damagE
Health states Damage

Depending on the amount of damage a character has To keep track of the damage a character or device has
suffered, a character can be in one of three different suffered, mark the corresponding space in the relevant
health states, or even dead. character sheet or use suitable tokens or counters.

NOR M AL DEALI NG DAMAGE


The health state of a character is normal for as long Each weapon deals the amount of damage specified in
as he has more Health than damage. its description.
When a character has equal or less Health than dam- When attacking without weapons, characters deal as
age he becomes Bleeding Out — unless the character much damage as their level.
who damaged him last wishes to knock him out instead,
in which case the character becomes Traumatised (The ARMOUR
GM can determine that certain attacks cannot trauma- Some pieces of equipment and other effects pro-
tise even if intended, e.g. shooting an arrow, setting vide their users with an armour value. Whenever the
him on fire, etc). character is about to receive damage from an external
source, subtract its armour from the damage dealt.
B LE E D I N G O UT
A Bleeding Out character cannot act, but he might UNPREVENTABLE DAMAGE
speak if the GM sees it fit. Unpreventable damage cannot be reduced, cancelled
At the end of each Round, a Bleeding Out character or prevented in any way.
will suffer one unpreventable damage. A character who I NJURES
is still Bleeding Out by the end of a scene dies.
Any time a character suffers damage he might also
NPCs generally ignore characters that are Bleeding suffer an injury. An injury represents a hindrance of
Out until they have taken care of all other threats. some kind.
T R AU MAT I S E D A character suffers an injury when the amount of
The character is unconscious and will not regain con- damage suffered from a single source is higher than his
sciousness until he receives medical attention and re- level. Additionally, other rules might also cause inju-
covers enough health to be in the Normal health state. ries for other reasons.
Characters can be injured any number of times in the
D EA D body, but only once in each arm, leg, and in the head.
A character who dies is removed from the game. If
If they are injured a second time in the same limb,
that character was a PC, the player who played him
the limb is severed; and if they are injured a second
should make a new character and discuss with the GM
time in the head, they are Traumatised.
how his new character should join the party to contin-
ue playing. It is recommended to make this new char- Unless specified by the reason of the injury, the GM
acter with as much experience as the late character. determines the location of the injury. She can either
choose, or let it happen randomly by discarding a card
A character can also die of starvation, drowning, ex-
from the top of the deck: 1 head, 2 torso, 3 right arm, 5
cessive mutilation, etc. The effects of these possibili-
left arm, 5 right leg, or 6 left leg.
ties are left for the GM to determine.
Most Skills relate to the legs, arms, or head.
Characters suffer one disadvantage when using a Skill
related to an injured body part. Torso injuries do not
affect any Skills, but they will make healing harder as
any other injury.

45
cur r ent ch apter title

E.g. Both of Paula’s arms are injured. She suffers being Bleeding Out or from a severed limb. While a
two disadvantages towards all the Skills that re- failed first aid action deals one unpreventable damage
late to her arms: Shooting, Melee, and Crafting. to the patient.

SURGERY
NPC INJURIES
A surgery action takes as many hours to complete as
NPCs can only have generic injuries, each gives them
the number of cards played by the wound. If successful,
one disadvantage towards their Competent Skill.
it has the effect of a first aid action and, additionally, it
S E VE R E D L I M B S removes all the damage on the character.
When a character loses a limb, they suffer a short The character performing the surgery action can for-
time effect and a long time effect. feit any number of injured limbs of the patient, if he
does, the injuries on those limbs do not count when
The short time effect is that they suffer one unpre- calculating how many cards the wound plays.
ventable damage at the end of every Round until they
are the target of a successful Medical action.
The long time effect is that their limb is always con-
sidered to be injured, it cannot be healed, and it cannot
be longer be selected to be injured or severed again.

Healing damage

NA T UR AL R EST
While in normal health state, one health point can be
recovered per good night’s rest of in-game time after
it has been suffered; and one injury of your choice per
week of in game time.
NOTE: If the characters are being chased, they are
crossing the ocean during a storm or somehow else
are suffering disturbances they might see their natural
rest recovery delayed as much as the GM sees fit.

ME D I C AL ACTION S
Characters can use their Medical Skill to heal them-
selves or other players. Wounds confront Medical ac-
tions as if they were an NPC with a Skill value equal to
the amount of damage the character has suffered and a
Focus equal to the number of injuries of the character.
Additionally, certain situational effects might give dis-
advantages to the medic as determined by the GM. Here
are some examples:

■ The character performing the action does not have


any appropriate gear for it.

■ The character is performing the action on himself.


There are two types of Medical actions:

FIRST AID
A first aid action takes one turn to perform. If suc-
cessful, it stops the patient from dying due to Bleeding
Out, and from suffering unpreventable damage from

46
TraitS
T H E TR AI TS O F a character re-
late to who the character is.
They are a very narrative btased
that someone wants to get revenge
against you, that you have been
disinherited, etc. They can be as
elaborated as you want and be
GOOD P ERSONALI T Y
TRAI TS
A good Personality Trait cost 10
mechanic, which can be used loose- experience points and cannot be
related to each other: You might
ly and adapted to your own play used the GM to force you to act in a
have a child called Citlalli who is
style and story. certain way (it means that you have
9 years and has been taken from
Traits are used by both the GM you by european slavers, you are that part of your personality under
and the players to develop the PC’s looking for her and will take out control and can keep a cool head
behaviour. The players can use anyone who gets in your way (You and adapt).
them to help them narrate their have the Background Traits “child” It can be used by the players to
characters or to improve their ac- and “revenge against slavers”). develop the narrative around their
tions, while the GM can use them to characters
force the players’ hand to behave in
a certain way. E.g. If there is an imminent dan-
Both the GM and the player must ger ahead and the party is unsure
keep track of the PCs’ Traits, the about how to proceed, players
GM in his GM sheet and the players Personality Traits can always take a look at their
in their character sheets. Personality Traits and if one of
Personality Traits define your them is brave, then he knows
During character creation each PC that it makes sense for his char-
character’s personality. Personality
must take at least one Background acter to step forwards and lead
Traits can be positive, neutral or
Trait and one Personality trait, the party into the unknown.
negative.
and can take up to a maximum
of 5 Traits of both types in total. Personality Traits are one-word- But they can also be used when
Additionally, you can choose to ed adjectives, or a simple sentence describing an action to gain
play with the Prejudiced Trait if the that describes something about the advantages.
whole party agrees on using that personality of a character. They are
optional mechanic. open to interpretation by both the E.g. If your character has the
players and the GM. It is important Personality Trait beautiful, while
Background Traits to talk about how to interpret them trying to convince an NPC of
during character creation so it can something you can say that you
Background Traits tells us some- be determined if they are good, use your physical appeal to make
thing about who you used to be be- neutral or bad. the other character more open to
fore the adventure began. They re- your suggestions, which could grant
While some are obvious, when writing them
late to your origins and your story. down is recommended to write after it
you an advantage if that charac-
ter could be interested in you.
A Background Trait can be any- between brackets if it is (good), (neutral), or
thing you have lived that tells us (bad). This is especially important for Traits
something important about you. that you come up with. BAD PERSONALI TY
You should come up with it with While there is a list of Personality TRAI TS
the help of the GM, who must agree Traits, you can also come up with A bad Personality Trait grants
to it. your own Traits (if approved by the you 10 experience points and can
GM). The list of Traits in the book is (and should) be used by the GM to
E.g. Things that can be your not comprehensive and it’s meant force you to act according to your
Background Trait are that you are only to give you an idea about what personality.
married to someone, that you have you can do with Traits and also to
a child, that you own money to provide you with some ideas to The player might not want to
someone, that you hold a grudge, make your character faster. comply and can claim that his char-

47
cur r ent ch apter title

acter tries to resist his urges. To do so, he Prejudice Trait Please keep in mind that
can perform a normal Discipline check (+3), a character does not
and if successful, he won’t have to comply have be happy with his
A character with the Prejudiced Trait
with the GM’s request. own prejudices; many
is negatively bias against every character prejudiced people are
who differs from him in matters of race, not, and fight a constant
E.g. A Character with the coward person- nation, gender, religion social class or sta- battle against their inner
ality trait is in front of a cavalry charge tus, and sometimes it can extend to ideolo- demons.
of the Spanish conquistador force. The gies within those parameters.
GM says that he should act like a coward E.g. Marco has
and make a run for it, leaving his friends The Prejudiced Trait is an important part
grown in a society
behind. The player controlling the PC of who a character is, and may play a piv-
in which same sex
claims he will try to control himself and otal role in his story. Most often than not,
love is a sin and
keep his ground. He performs a normal prejudice will be an inner obstacle in the
a crime. With no
Discipline check (+3), if he success he stays, character’s adventure, making him act to
one to offer him an
but if he fails he loses control over the satisfy his personal bias rather than doing
alternative per-
character and the GM decides what he what is best in each given situation. But,
spective, to him
does to get himself out of harm’s way. sometimes prejudice might prove useful, as
this is the truth.
it might allow the character to bond with
Depending on the circumstances the PC similar minded individuals.
As a teenager,
might suffer disadvantages or gain advan- The Prejudiced Trait should be used by Fernando, his best
tages towards the check. the GM to force you to act according to friend, was ac-
your personality’s shortcomings. The play- cused of being an
E.g. In the previous example, be- er might not want to comply and claim that homosexual. Marco
ing part of a larger force in a hilltop his character tries to resist his urges per- knew it was true.
could give one advantage to the PC, forming a normal Tolerance check (+3). He broke all ties
while being alone could make him suf- Depending on the circumstances the PC with Fernando,
fer one disadvantages instead. might suffer disadvantages or gain advan- joining the other
tages towards the check. kids that mocked
NE U T R AL P E RSON ALITY and bullied him.
If successful, he can swallow his bias.
T R AI T S If failed, the player is forced to act upon
Fernando took it in,
and when he turned
A neutral Personality Trait is free and his beliefs, even if it they are wrong or go
15 he left in a ship
can be used both as a good or bad Trait. against his actual needs.
to the Americas.
A regular failure will make you show your
E.g. If you are indomitable, you might
prejudice in a passive aggressive way. You Ten years later
gain one advantage to resist being influ-
are more likely to offend, lie and boycott Marco alsowent
enced by others, but you might also not
any social interaction with them; you’ll be to try luck in the
listen to good advice from your friends.
happy denounce them, exaggerate their New World. Now
weaknesses and flaws, etc. that he is here, he
cannot stop think-
A critical failure will represent you com-
ing of his child-
pletely lose control over yourself and act
hood friend, and
like a madman: You will go out of your way
although he still
to act against them, you will physically at-
believes Fernando
tack them, you’ll plot against them, etc.
to be a sinner, he
G A I NI N G O R LOSIN G Your actions can be as crazy as throwing
feels terrible about
PE R S O NAL I TY TR AITS stuff at them during peace negotiations, or
it. He hopes to find
attacking them even if they are stronger
Characters can gain or lose Personality Fernando and make
and in a better position...
Traits if they start to be part of that char- peace with him.
acter’s behaviour, if they lose the drive to At any time a character can act upon his prejudices Who knows, maybe
behave that way, or if they overcome their (how tastefully or gracefully he does it is to be part Marco is hiding
shortcomings. It is the GM alone who de- of the group’s discussion on how comfortable you something from
cides any changes to the PC’s Personality are with it), but generally the player won’t want to, as himself? Maybe he
it usually means getting in trouble or in the bad side is what he despises.
Traits.
of other characters.

48
Non-player
characterS
N O N - P L A Y E R C H A R A C T E R S ( N P C S ) are characters controlled by
the GM. They are the key to many stories, and they can be friends, foes, or sim-
ply neutral.

I N TH I S B OO K, NPCs are pre-


sented with simple Stats and
a quick and generic overview
Spanish
conquistador SKI L L S
about who they are. They repre- They are presented
sent simplified characters with level 1 initiative 2 in the following
just the information needed to format: X (Y).
C O MPETENT M el., Ath., Di s. 5 (2 )
use them in a quick encounter. X is the Skill value,
M E DI O CR E 2 (1 ) while Y is the At-
If desired, they can be used
tribute.
as a base for the GM to create a attack
more elaborate character if the
M E L E E P i erc i ng 3++ DAMA G E
story requires it. NPCs can be as The value is how
simple or as complex as the GM RA N G E D 0 much damage the
wants: she is in charge of devel- attack deals, and the
oping their backstories, if they Health 4 “+” represent advan-
need them. While with many A RMO U R Ha rd 2 tages the character
NPCs most interactions will con- gains when doing so,
A RMO U R So ft 1 while the “-” repre-
sist of talking or trading, others
sent disadvantages.
might perform actions and en- M A G I C R ESISTA NC E 0
gage in confrontations. In this case, when
Strong attack this character at-
Level REACTION: After declaring a strong attack, he
tacks in Melee, he
gains two advan-
gains blunt and causes three deterioration to his tages and if he is
Use the NPC level as a guide target’s weapon or armour. If the target was an successful, he’ll deal
to determine the difficulty of an NPC, he’ll gain either blunt or ripped instead. 3 points of damage.
encounter. A recommended en-
counter has a number of NPCs
whose added level is at least
equal to the added level of all the
PCs. Adding or removing NPCs A GGR ESSIVE ‡ SPA NISH
can be used to balance the dif- MO V : 5m ‡ W EIGHT: 75kg ‡ HEIGHT: 172cm
ficulty to the taste of the group.

49
cur r ent ch apter title

Using a higher level NPC instead of several low level Health


NPCs can be used to add variety. Varied encounters will
force the players to play smart and try to gain advan- Most NPCs who are not important for the story can
tages through role-playing to rise victorious. be considered dead once they are Bleeding Out or
This is, of course, just a very rough guideline; you Traumatised.
should plan your encounters based on your story needs. NPCs can suffer injuries too. They are all considered
We recommend that you allow for different resolution “generic injuries”. Each generic injury gives them one
paths other than the classical “team-deathmatch” res- disadvantage towards all actions and checks.
olution; this will also allow you to create unbalanced
encounters that need an additional step to be resolved. Deterioration
E.g. Have the players fight an overwhelming force,
forcing them to use other means to obtain victory. NPCs are simplified characters, everything they do
Perhaps they need to lure the strongest opponents and have is represented in a general form without
into a trap, or use the environment as a weapon: breaking into details.
using fire or bringing down walls and ceilings — or Therefore, most NPCs do not have a deterioration
any other cool ideas your players come up with! track — those few who do, use it as any PC would. When
an NPC without a deterioration track suffers deteriora-
tion equal or higher than his level from a single source,
Skills he suffers the Dull, Faulty, or Ripped effect as deter-
mined by the GM (consider all his items are affected).
NPCs do not have the same Skills as the player char-
acters. Instead, they have a Competent and a Mediocre Additional abilities
Skill. It is up to the GM to decide which of the two Skill
the NPC uses for each action and it is also up to her to
determine how many areas they cover. NPCs can belong to an Order, have gear and abili-
ties that you can find described outside of the NPC’s
NPC Skills are usually presented as “X (Y)”, where X card (E.g. a soldier might carry a Steel sword, for which
is the Skill’s value, and Y the Focus. there is a gear card). Even if you can find the rules for
In any case, the GM is always free to modify the val- it, if it is not part of the NPC’s card then it should be ig-
ues of the NPC Skills to serve the story better, but she nored. The only exception to this are the optional abili-
should inform the players beforehand to avoid any ties you can sometimes find next to an NPC’s entry in
misunderstandings. the book.

E.g. A warrior might use the Competent Skill for Friendly NPCs
Shooting, Melee and Athletics; but the Mediocre
Skill for Charisma and Knowledge. But it will all Not all NPCs must be enemies. Most will be neutral,
depend on what the GM thinks that fits best but a few might be friendly or even allies. Some NPCs
that specific character — a warrior can be char- might act as friendly NPCs even though they are not,
ismatic, and a priest can be good at running. because they are pretending, they are forced to do so,
or other reasons. Regardless of the reason, when the
FO C US GM declares a friendly NPC joins the group, she can
give control over him to any of the players (or to the
Each of the two NPC Skills has its own Focus, which team as a whole). The GM can retake control over an
determines the number of cards it can play every time NPC at any time for any reason
it performs an action.
NPCs do not have a hand of cards to play during con- E.g. The players are not playing them correctly,
frontations. Instead, whenever they can play a card, they are abusing their power, the NPC has dif-
they play the first card from the top of the deck, which ferent ideas about what should happen, etc.
does not trigger any drawing card mechanics (unless
specified by an ability). While having an NPC under his control, a PC will con-
trol him exactly as the GM controls her NPCs — the
friendly NPC will play his cards from the top of the
deck.

50
Time-sensitive
eventS
T I M E - S E N S I T I V E E V E N T S ( T S E S ) are time sensitive problems that
pose an obstacle to the characters and are not triggered by another character.

There is a wide range of events and things that can E.g. If Pachacuti were in a hurry (perhaps she does
generate a TSE, such an avalanche in a mountain, or not have a month worth of supplies, or she has
a trap going off. It is the job of the GM to determine somewhere to be), she could push her luck and
when such obstacles should be considered TSEs for the trek through the steppes faster. In this case, the
purpose of confrontations, and to establish their level. GM determines that Pachacuti is confronted by a
TSE. If she loses, she could end up delayed, lost,
A TSE plays as many cards as its level. It is recom-
or even worse, as determined by the GM; but if
mended that in order to present a minor challenge, a
she succeeds, she completes the trek faster.
TSE should play as many cards as the PC, a moderate
challenge should play one more card, and a hard one,
TSEs do not have a hand of cards to play during con-
two more.
frontations. Instead, whenever they can play a card,
If you consider a TSE easy enough to overcome that it should play they play the first card from the top of the deck, which
fewer cards than the PCs, simply let them perform the action with- never triggers any drawing card mechanics.
out a confrontation.
The GM should consider the difficulty of the task and
level of the characters and the needs of the story to de-
cide how long it takes them.

E.g. Pachacuti has Survival 3. She is trekking through


the mountains with enough supplies for one month,
and the GM determines it would take a skilled trek-
ker two weeks to travel this route. Pachacuti is
only an average traveller, so the GM determines
she can do it without a confrontation, but it takes
her a whole month, exhausting her supplies.

Otherwise, if the characters are in a hurry or are


using a Skill with a value of 0, a TSE will confront them
as if it was an NPC, playing a number of cards against
them equal to its level and with an initial action value
of 0. TSEs do not have a Skill value, and they do not suf-
fer a disadvantage because of it.

51
cur r ent ch apter title

GeaR
Common Characteristics front a level X TSE using their Athletic Skill every time
a round ends. If they fail, they suffer X unpreventable
Some pieces of equipment have common characteris- damage. This effect is removed after being the target of
tics that are only described on the card or book entry a successful Medical action.
if there is enough space. Otherwise, you can find them Reload: Reaction: After shooting a Reload item, it
here: can no longer be used until a character spends an ac-
Armour Soft/Hard: Armour can be of two types: Soft tion reloading it.
or Hard. Both types reduce the damage you take from Reach X: You can attack enemies just outside your
each source by their respective value, but Soft armour Melee range as if they were in Melee range. They won’t
can be cancelled by more effects. be able to counter with Melee unless they have Reach.
Concussive: When calculating whether an attack with Radius X: The attack targets everything in an X
this weapon causes injuries or deterioration, ignore meter radius from the chosen point of impact.
the damage reduction provided by Soft Armour (the
damage is still reduced for damage dealing purposes). Spiritual: Ii is considered to have the keyword magi-
cal and it ignores the effects of non-magical gear (e.g.
Corruption X: After dealing any amount of damage, a Spiritual sword ignores the armour of a non-magical
the target suffers X Corruption. suit of armour).
Drug: Reaction: At the end of a Scene in which you
have consumed drugs, perform an easy Discipline Check Weapons
(+0). If you fail, you gain the Trait Addicted to one of
the drugs you consumed during that Scene. Weapons be either Melee weapons or Shooting weap-
Gain one disadvantage for each of the following ons. Both can deal certain damage and provide ad-
instances: vantages or disadvantages when used under certain
circumstances.
■ You consumed drugs multiple times during the
Attacking without a weapon gives you one disadvantage.
same Scene.
Unless a specific reach is determined by a weapon’s
■ Any of the drugs you consumed were Hard Drugs. description, Melee weapons can attack anyone with-
Fatigable: When you carry this item, suffer Fatigue. in the character’s sight in Melee range (up to 2 me-
tres away); while Shooting weapons can attack anyone
Fire: Enemies within your Melee range suffer one within the character’s sight within Shooting range (up
disadvantage towards Discipline checks. to 50 metres away).
Fear: Reaction: After being successfully attacked by
someone or something that causes Fear, you will be af-
fected by Morale and you will suffer one disadvantage
towards its Discipline check. It stacks.
Magical: It has the keyword magical (certain abilities
require this keyword to work).
Piercing: It ignores Soft Armour.
Poisonous X: Reaction: After being successfully at-
tacked with a Poisonous item, characters must con-

52
53
cur r ent ch apter title

SpiriT
T H E S U P E R N A T U R A L I S a fickle and incomprehensible thing. Some
brave men and women try to control it, to study it and to understand it; but
all they can achieve is to let it flow through them. And while it is empowering
like nothing else, it is also dangerous, as it can turn against you as fast as it was
helping.

S PI R I T I S TH E abstract concept that encompass-


es all the different forms of power granted by be-
lief, magic, spirits and everything supernatural and di-
TRANSC END
Perform a hard Rites Check (6).
Then, after the check is resolved and regardless of
vine. What grants spirit to characters depends on their
religion. the Check’s result, the player should write down that
he has gained as much Spirit as his Rites Skill value.
Characters can use Spirit points to use powers that
they know. Characters can spend or lose more Spirit But that is not necessarily the truth, the result of the
than they have, but they cannot have less than zero Check will say how much Spirit he has truly gained -
Spirit, instead they will gain as much Corruption as which will only be known to the GM, who will take note
how much Spirit they spend or lose that they did not of it on the GM’s sheet:
have. But, gaining Spirit does not reduce Corruption.
■ Critical failure: Loses instead of gains his Rites Skill
value.
Gaining Spirit
■ Failure: Gains 0.
Characters can gain Spirit points from achieving or
performing their Rituals. At the end of a Scene in which ■ Pyrrich success: One less than his Rites Skill.
a character has performed one or more Rituals, he can
choose one of the following two options: ■ Normal success: Exactly his Rites Skill.

■ Gain one Spirit (if you have more than one Ritual, ■ Critical success: Exactly his Rites Skill, and if he
gain an additional Spirit per each different Ritual you had any Corruption he loses as much Corruption as his
performed). Rites Focus

■ Transcend. The difference between both values represents the character’s


lack of understanding of the supernatural and the grander schemes
behind the magical powers; a lack of understanding of the rites and
foolishness can drive characters to use more Spirit than they have
He (Jesus) replied, “Because you have so little faith. and they’ll pay the price for it.
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard
seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to REMEMBER: Only the GM should know the true result of the Check
and the true Spirit of each character.
there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for
you.” - Matthew 17:20 A character might lose more Spirit points that he gains from a
Check, reducing his Spirit pool accordingly.

54
RitualS
I T I S TH R O UG H Rituals that the characters com-
municate with the divine and prove their worth.
Achieving the requirements of a Ritual is how charac-
Drug Ritual

Gain Spirit at the end of a Scene in which you con-


ters obtain Spirit. At the end of a Scene in which you sumed mind-expanding drugs such as peyotl cactus or
have perform one or more of your Rituals, you can nanacatl mushrooms.
choose between gaining one Spirit or Transcend. If you try to Transcend, you might gain one advan-
When you create your character, you have to choose tage if you learned a relevant lesson about yourself
one Ritual that will give you Spirit when you achieve (as determined by the GM) during the Scene, or if the
it, take note of it on your character sheet and on the Scene was a proper Ceremony. You automatically fail
GM sheet. with a critical if you had any Corruption.

Alternatively, if a character behaves in such a way


that he is acting against his Rituals, the GM can deter-
mine that at the end of that Scene he’ll lose one Spirit.
The GM should let the player know about this.
Christian characters should choose between the fol- Endurance
lowing Rituals: Fighting heresy, Conversion, Protecting
the faithful, Praying, and Vows.
Gain Spirit at the end of a Scene in which you dealt
Native characters should choose between the follow- yourself Fatigue forfeiting basic food, drink or rest
ing Rituals: Sacrifice, Endurance, Bloodletting, Praying, needs (this things need to be readily available or you
and Drug Ceremony. should have removed them, if you don’t have access to
them it does not count).
Bloodletting
Fighting heresy
Gain Spirit at the end of a scene in which you dealt
yourself an Injury of any kind by causing minor bleed- Gain Spirit at the end of a Scene in which one or more
ing wounds on your own body. heretic or pagan characters have died due to damage
dealt by you or because of your influence (e.g. you
If you try to Transcend, you might gain one advantage
order them killed, you plotted for their death) as de-
if the injury was caused during a proper Ceremony.
termined by the GM.
Conversion If you try to Transcend, you might gain one advan-
tage per each of the following instances:
Gain Spirit at the end of a Scene in which you con-
verted characters to your Religion. ■ Multiple characters were killed.

If you try to Transcend, you might gain one advan- ■ Any of them were important to another religion
tage per each of the following instances: (e.g. a Priest).

■ You converted multiple characters. ■ Any of them had the trait Demonic.

■ Any of them were important to another religion Praying


(e.g. a Priest).
NOTE: In the Christian Religion, not every chris- Spend a whole day praying and repenting to perform
tian can convert other characters, a character must be a Transcend Check with one disadvantage. Praying
Baptized to become a Christian, which is a Miracle of will automatically fail with a critical if you had any
the Priesthood Scriptures. Corruption.

55
cur r ent ch apter title

Protecting the faithful ■ The sacrificed individual was important to you (e.g.
a family member, a friend).
Gain Spirit at the end of a Scene in which you saved Or you might gain one disadvantage per each of the
other members of your Religion from character that are following instances:
not from your Religion (the majority of the characters
you were defending must survive for this to trigger). ■ The sacrificed individual panics or resists sacrifice
(this can be mitigated by drugging them)
Sacrifice
■ You sacrifice a living being that is not human and it
Gain Spirit at the end of a scene in which you killed is not an important animal to your religion.
or gave to be killed a living being during an appropri-
ate Ceremony (it needs to be very large, or symbolically Vows
important to your religion) or burned a prized posses-
sion to appease the Saints. Up to two people might gain When you obtain this Ritual, choose one or more of
Spirit or Transcend from a sacrifice: The person who your traits and make a Vow to resist your urges to pur-
provided the sacrifice and the person who performed sue them.
the sacrifice.
Gain Spirit at the end of a Scene in which you were
If you try to Transcend, you might gain one advan- tempted to act upon your traits and you successfully
tage per each of the following instances: resisted.

■ The object burned was specifically valuable to the If you try to Transcend, you might gain one advan-
Saint you pray to. tage per vow-bound trait you resisted after the first.

■ The sacrificed individual was properly prepared for


at least one month before sacrifice.

56
CorruptioN
B O TH TH E G M and the player should keep track of
how much Spirit a character spends. The GM will
know when the character has truly ran out of Spirit,
look hideous and corrupted, and most characters from
any faith will shun him, not by prejudice but by basic
instinct.
but she must not let the character know. Players are A deformity may only be reversed if the character
unaware if they have any corruption at all (but they somehow loses all his Corruption and then he is the
can suspect it). Only the GM keeps track of it in his GM successful target of a magical Medical action confront-
sheet. ed by a level 3 TSE.
When a character spends or loses a Spirit point he BEAST TRANSMUTATI ON
does not have, he gains a Corruption point. A character
never knows how many Corruption points he has, these 4 Corruption
are written down only in the GM’s sheet. They allow the At the end of the session, the character must per-
GM to use terrible abilities against the character and form an Easy Rites Check (+0) or become an unclean
his companions depending on the character’s religion. animal, such as an owl, toad or vulture, permanently.
The GM can and should use the character’s corrup- This transmutation works as the Nahualotl spell Skin
tion against him. Every Session, the GM should use Change, except the character can’t return to human
Corruption Curses against a character with a total form.
Corruption as that character’s Corruption. Corruption The character can only return to human form if he
is not spent by this, a character must get rid of his loses all his Corruption and then somehow learns and
Corruption himself as best as he possibly can. uses the Skin Change spell to return to normal.

Native Curses EVI L TRANSMUTATI ON


6 Corruption
Use Native Curses for all native religions of both
At the end of the session, the character must perform
american continents.
an Easy Rites Check (+0) or die, becoming an evil spirit
For the native faiths, Corruption happens when a under the control of the GM.
character uses more magic than he has paid for. A char-
The character can never return to life, but he may be
acter that doesn’t properly repay the universe, sacri-
free from his tormented existence as an evil spirit if he
ficing or compensating for the power received to keep
loses all his Corruption and then receives a Pahtli heal-
the cosmic balance, may become corrupted without
ing, Tonalli healing or Mixtlazqui Healing spell.
knowing it.
TONALLI LOSS
I LLNE S S
5 Corruption
3 Corruption
At the end of the session, the character must perform
At the end of the session, this character finds out he
an Easy Rites Check (+0) or lose his tonal spirit. This
has been affected by a debilitating illness, he suffers
makes the character lose all his spellcasting ability; he
Fatigue.
may not use any magic talents or learn new ones.
The character can’t recover this Fatigue, even if he
The character can only regain his magical abilities if
receives magical healing or is the patient of a Medical
he loses all his Corruption and then receives a Tonalli
action, until he has no Corruption.
Guidance spell.
D EF O R MI T Y
4 Corruption
At the end of the Session, the character feels unclean
and corrupt; he gains the trait “Deformed”, he has suf-
fered a physical and visible deformity that make him

57
cur r ent ch apter title

Abrahamic Curses ignores one damage from non-magical attacks), with


an advantage towards all actions and knows all of the
Use Abrahamic Curses for Christian, Jewish, Muslim Spells from the Necronomicon.
and any other character who follows any form of
WANDERI NG SOUL
Abrahamic related religions.
1 Corruption.
Corruption represents the influence of the Devil in
the characters. Satan works in mischievous ways and REACTION: After this character spends a whole day
even the most pious Christians can suffer his influence dead his soul will get lost, tricked by demons and spir-
if they are not careful. Characters cannot know exactly its. He’ll become a Wright under the control of the GM,
how much the Holy Father has blessed them, as God that will haunt his old friends who let him die without
does not create in straight lines. Therefore, inadvert- the appropriate Requiem.
ently, it is possible for a character to spend Spirit that
is not given to them by God. When that happens it is This can be avoided if someone uses the Requiem Spell and targets
the Devil who provides the energy, mimicking God’s the dead character.
miracles to fool his believers, entering into their mind,
and corrupting their souls.
wright
I LL F O R T U NE
level X initiative 3
1 Corruption.
C OMPETENT M el., Ath., Di s. 8 (X)
REACTION: After playing the cards for a Check in
which this character is participating, use this to gain MED IOC R E 3 (X)
the effects of a Joker against him. attack
T AI NT E D MELEE M a gi c a l 2+
2 or more Corruption. R A NGED 0
INSTANT: At any time, ask the character to perform Health 6
an easy Rites Check (0) to see if he is tainted by a Demon.
For each point of Corruption over two you spend to use A R MOUR Ha rd 0
this curse, increase the level of the check by one. A R MOUR So ft 0
Being tainted by a Demon does not show externally, MA GIC R ESISTA NC E 1
and only if a character success in a hard Rites hidden
check (6) he will realise that he’s been tainted or that X
he is in front of a tainted character.
X is the character’s level.
A Tainted character will suffer Ill fortune to all of his
Checks for free. WR IGHT
It cannot be damaged by non-magical attacks.
PO S S E S S E D
4 or more Corruption. COR RUPTION OUTPOUR
INSTANT: At any time, ask the character to perform REACTION: After successfully attacking a char-
an easy Rites Check (0) to see if he is tainted by a Demon. acter, additionally reduce his target’s Spirit by
For each point of Corruption over four you spend to use the Wright’s level.
this curse, increase the level of the check by one.
SOUL OF THE DEPARTED
Being possessed by a Demon is absolutely obvious:
It will keep one ability from the character it
the character’s complexity will change completely,
was of the choice of the GM.
he’ll grow horns, claws, his skin will expel black steam
and he’ll be completely mad.
The player loses control over the character com-
pletely. The player will gain back control if the Demon A GGR ESSIVE ‡ SPIR IT
is destroyed. The character is now consider an NPC
MOV: 5m ‡ W EIGHT: - ‡ HEIGHT : -
under the control of the GM with the trait Demonic (It

58
59
cur r ent ch apter title

SpellS
I am the
Alpha and
S PE L L S A RE T H E manifestation of di-
vine forces that enter the realm of re-
ality through believers.
NONOTZA BLESSI NG
Cost: 1 Spirit.

the Omega, ACTION: Discard a card from your hand to


the beginning Ceremony
draw a card from the top of the deck.
and the end. PENANC E
To the one Certain spells require a Ceremony. A Cost: 0 Spirit. Ceremony.
who is thirsty Ceremony cannot be performed while re-
I will give solving Rounds.The lenght and complex- Use this ability to draw blood from
water free of ity of each Ceremony should be made up by yourself or a repenting believer of the
charge from the player performing it. Teotlahtolli religion. After the Ceremony,
the spring of If the player comes up with an amazingly
the target suffers one injury of your choice,
the water of and loses as much Corruption as his level.
rich and fitting ceremony for the Spell and
life. The one fills it with details and makes it enjoyable PATER NOSTER
who conquers for everyone around the table, the GM can
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your
will inherit determine that it will cost him 1 Spirit less
name. Your kingdom come. Your will be
these things, than usual. But, if the player makes it un-
done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us
and I will be spiring and easy for himself (only spends
this day our daily bread. And forgive us our
his God and a few in-game minutes on it, and doesn’t
debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
he will be my use any strange ingredients), the GM can
And do not bring us to the time of trial, but
determine that it will cost him 1 additional
son. But to Spirit than usual.
rescue us from the evil one.
the cowards, Cost: 1 Spirit.
unbelievers,
detestable Magic Resistance
REACTION: After starting a non-Charis-
persons, ma, non-Knowledge action or check use
murderers, this ability to gain one advantage. It does
It costs one additional Spirit to not stack.
the sexually target a character for every point of
immoral, Magic Resistance that character has. AVE MARI A
and those Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with
who practice thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and
magic Common Spells blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy
spells, idol Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
worshipers, Common Spells are Spells that are known now and at the hour of death. Amen.
and all those by characters just by belonging to one re- Cost: 1 Spirit.
who lie, their ligion or another. They do not require a
place will be Talent like the Spells from the different INSTANT: During your turn gain one
in the lake magic schools do. Magic Resistance until the end of the Scene.
that burns Each religion has its own common Spells:
It does not stack.
with fire and
sulfur. That ■ Catholic characters know Pater Noster NOTE: In this free campaign
is the second and Ave Maria. you’ll only find two of the many
death.” magic schools of DCA. These are the
■ Native characters know Nonotza two schools known to one of the pre-
generated character available to play
Revelation 21 Blessing and Penance.
this campaign and it is all you need to
play it!

60
Priesthood scripturE
Absolution Performing a Baptism allows you to obtain Spirit
through the Ritual of Conversion if you have that Ritual.
If the character being converted was lying about his in-
May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you; and by His tentions and was protected by a spell from another re-
authority I absolve you from every bond of ex- ligion, the Baptism is a failure without you knowing so
communication and interdict, so far as my power - it also means that the Ritual of Conversion automati-
allows and your needs require. Thereupon, I ab- cally fails as if you tried to Transcend and failed with
solve you from your sins in the name of the Father, a critical.
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Cost: 0 Spirit. Ceremony.


Eucaristia
You must listen to another Christian character, who
willingly and repented must reveal to you all his sins For I received from the Lord what I also delivered
since his last confession. Then, you will assign them a to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he
penance and absolve them. The GM must listen closely was betrayed took bread, and when he had giv-
to all of this. en thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body
which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
Based on what she is heard, the GM then decides by
how much she’ll reduce the sinner’s Corruption - which Cost: 3 Spirit. Ceremony.
she does in secret. In general, if everything was done
correctly, she should reduce it as much as the sinner’s All other willing Christian characters near you are
Rites Skill value. the target of this Ceremony, and after taking part in it
they can use one Pater Noster and one Ave Maria for
If the sinner forgets or avoids mentioning some of free. It does not stack.
his sins or if the penance does not seem strong enough
- as determined by the GM; the GM can consider that You’ll gain one Corruption for each character who
the Absolution failed completely or partially, and not benefited from this and had Corruption.
reduce at all the sinner’s Corruption or just reduce it
a few points, also in secret. Additionally, if the sinner Expel Demon
does not complete his penance in a reasonable time
he’ll suffer twice as much Corruption as his Rites.
Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and
mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so
Baptism that the mute man spoke and saw. All the crowds
were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot
This is life eternal, that they may know thee the only be the Son of David, can he?” - Matthew 12:22-32
true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Cost: X Spirit. X is the target demon’s level.
Cost: 0 Spirit. Ceremony. ACTION (Rites): Target a demon within your sight and
You convert a willing character to Christianity (it can- up to 10 meters away from you. He’ll confront you with
not be perform to a character how had been Christian his Competent Skill. If you are successful, he’ll suffer
or is already a Christian). From now on that charac- one disadvantage towards all his actions until the end
ter will consider Christianity his religion and will be of the Scene. If successful by a critical, additionally,
banished from all others, his Spirit will be reduced to he’ll suffer as much unpreventable damage as your
zero, but he will keep his Corruption. He’ll lose any level.
schools of magic that he had that cannot be chosen by
a Christian (without recovering the experience points
spent on them) and the common Spells from his previ-
ous religion; in exchange he’ll gain the Christian com-
mon Spells.

61
cur r ent ch apter title

Requiem

May his soul and


the souls of all
the faithful de-
parted through
the mercy of God
rest in peace.

Cost: 1 Spirit.
Use it over the
dead body of a
Christian to reduce
his Corruption as
much as your Rites.
If after that he
does not have any
Corruption he is im-
mune to magic, and
therefore he cannot
be the target of nec-
romancers or other
creatures of evil
who use the dead.

Word of
God

Now the whole


world had one
language and a
common speech.
- Genesis 11:1

Cost: 2 Spirit.
INSTANT: Use
this at any time to
be able to speak in
a foreign language
until the end of the
Scene.
OR
REACTION: After
declaring an in-
timidation action
against a Christian
use this ability to
gain one advantage.
It does not stack.

62
Old testament scripturE
Exodus Serpent Samson strength

So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just Then Samson went down with his father and mother
as the Lord commanded. Aaron cast down his staff to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah.
before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring.
serpent. Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and al-
the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also though he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in
did the same by their secret arts. For each man cast pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his
down his staff, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s father or his mother what he had done. - Judges 14: 5-6
staff swallowed up their staffs. - Exodus 7:10-12
Cost: 2 Spirit.
Cost: 2 Spirit.
REACTION: After declaring an unarmed Melee ac-
ACTION (Rites): Invoke a huge serpent that will fol- tion gain one advantage and if successful deal one ad-
low all of your commands, and will disappear when ditional damage, additionally the attack is considered
killed or at the end of the Scene. The serpent can act Magical. It stacks.
the same round it is invoked.
Divine hands

exodus serpent ‘For I will restore you to health And I will heal
you of your wounds,’ declares the LORD, ‘Because
level 1 initiative 4 they have called you an outcast, saying: “It is
Zion; no one cares for her.”’ - Jeremiah 30:17
COM PE TE N T Mel. , A th . , S t e. 6 (2 )
ME D I OC R E 2 (1 ) Cost: 2 Spirit.

attack ACTION (Rites): Target a character in physical con-


tact with you or choose yourself as the target - but, you
ME L E E Ma g ic a l , pi er c i n g , po i s o n o u s 2 2+ cannot choose a character who already has been the
RA N G E D 0 target of this Miracle during this Scene.

Health 6 The action will be confronted by the character’s


wounds, as if it was a Medical action (but performed
AR M OUR H a r d 0 with your Rites Skill). If successful, remove one injury
AR M OUR S of t 1 from the target or remove one Poisonous effect of any
level.
MAG I C R E S I S TA N C E 1

AG G RE S S I V E ‡ S PI RI T
M OV : 5m ‡ W E I G H T : - ‡ H E I G H T : -

63
cur r ent ch apter title

Moses’s blessing

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went
out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three
days in the wilderness and found no water. When they
came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of
Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named
Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying,
“What shall we drink?” Then he cried out to the LORD,
and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into
the waters, and the waters became sweet There He
made for them a statute and regulation, and there
He tested them. And He said, “If you will give earnest
heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what
is right in His sight, and give ear to His command-
ments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the
diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians;
for I, the LORD, am your healer.” - Exodus 15:22-27

Cost: 1 Spirit. Ceremony.


Turn wood and dust into food and water enough for a
day for as many people as your Rites.
OR
Perform a normal Rites Check (3) to make as many
meals as your Rites Skill value free of poison, disease
and any other illnesses. If the food was good to begin
with the Check is always successful.

Lift curse

But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them.


You must not put a curse on those people, be-
cause they are blessed.” - Numbers 22:12

Cost: 2 Spirit.
ACTION (Rites): Choose a target who has a Curse
within your sight up to 20 metres away, and confront
the curser, if successful, the curse is cancelled.

64
Nahualotl
Nahualotl is the most famous of Native Magic Schools. • Cannot use Crafting, Riding, Charisma, Medical
It gives its practitioners the ability to change their or Order Skills.
shape into that of animals or spirits.
You may remain in bird form for as long as you
like, but you must keep your cut legs somewhere safe
Elemental Form and spend an action to put them back on to return to
Cost: 2 Spirit human form. If you ever misplace your human legs, you
become trapped in bird form until you recover them
ACTION (Rites): Use this ability to turn into a natural and put them on.
element or force, such as a gust of wind, a ball of fire or
a pool of water (your gear turns with you and you can- Ocelot Token
not use it while in this form).
Cost: 2 Spirit, Ceremony
While in elemental form, you:
Use this ability to wear the teeth, claws, fur or other
• May attack other creatures using your new physi-
part of a Jaguar or Ocelot; you don’t acquire the crea-
cal nature (that is, burning them, choking them
ture’s form, but you gain their killing abilities.
or punching them with air or water) using Melee.
Your attacks are considered unarmed (you’ll deal After the ceremony, you:
as much damage as your General level) and they
• Gain one advantage on all Perception, Melee,
ignore all types of armour.
Shooting and Stealth actions.
• Can float over or flow through ground obstacles
• You cause Fear.
such as stairs, quicksand or sharp rocks, ignoring
their effects. You will turn back to human form the end of the
scene.
• Gain 2 advantages to dodge attacks.
• Cannot use Shooting, Crafting, Riding, Charisma, Tecuanahualli
Medical or Order Skills.
Cost: 2 Spirit
You will turn back to human form the end of the
scene, or if you want to turn before that you can do so ACTION (Rites): Use this ability to take on the form
spending an action for this purpose. of a large carnivorous beast such as a jaguar or wolf
(your gear turns with you and you cannot use it while
Mometzco Pinqui in this form).
While in beast form, you:
Cost: 1 Spirit.
• Gain one advantage on Perception, Athletic,
Only female spellcasters may use this ability. The
Melee and Stealth actions.
first time you cast this Spell choose a type of predatory
bird (such as a falcon, eagle, owl or vulture), every time • Cannot use weapons. You’ll deal twice as much
you cast this Spell you’ll become the same bird. damage as your General level when attacking
unarmed.
ACTION (Rites): Use this ability to remove your own
legs and change them for the wings and legs of your • Will move as fast as the animal you choose.
bird.
• Cannot use Crafting, Riding, Charisma, Medical
While in bird form, you: or Order Skills.
• Gain the ability to fly. You’ll move as fast as the • The GM may apply other bonuses or penalties de-
animal you choose. pending on the specific beast you turned into.
• Gain 1 advantage towards Athletic, Melee and You can turn back to human by spending an action
Stealth. for this purpose.

65
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

If you had any Corruption when you used Teotlipan Moquetzani gain 1 advantage on all
Tecuanahualli magic, you lose control of yourself when Discipline Actions and Checks.
in animal form, becoming a mindless predatory beast
All these abilities are lost immediately if the Teotlipan
under the GM’s control until the next dawn or dusk, at
Moquetzani gains even 1 point of Corruption.
which point you return to human form without memo-
ry of your actions. The effects of being a Teotlipan Moquetzani last for a
full day; the Teotlipan Moquetzani may spend 1 Spirit
Skin Change and a Ceremony to refresh the effect on himself for an-
other day.
Cost: 1 Spirit
ACTION (Rites): Use this ability to turn into a harm-
less, non-combatant animal such as a mouse, a bird or
cat (your gear turns with you and you cannot use it
while in this form)
While in animal form, you:
• Cannot attack.
• Gain 1 advantage on Stealth, Athletic and
Perception actions.
• Cannot use Crafting, Shooting, Medical or Order
Skills while on animal form.
• Depending on the small animal you choose you
might be able to fly, fit through small holes, etc.
You’ll move as fast as the animal you choose.
You may remain in animal form for as long as you
wish, if you want to turn back you can do so spending
an action for this purpose.

Teotlipan Moquetzani
Cost: 4 Spirit, Ceremony
This ability is often used by a group of 2 to 4 spell-
casters working together and sharing the high Spirit
cost equally.
This ability summons the essence of a dragon, divine
spirit or Saint to live inside a living person with no
Corruption. The person becomes Teotlipan Moquetzani,
that is, an avatar of the chosen Saint or divine spirit.
If the target of this ability has any Corruption, the
spell fails automatically.
The Teotlipan Moquetzani gains the following
abilities:
• 1 advantage to confront the next effect or ac-
tion that would result in his death, unless it is a
Sacrifice Ceremony.
• 1 advantage on Skill checks and actions related to
the Saint’s power or area of influence.
• Any Mesoamerican characters, or followers of
the Mesoamerican religion, within sight of the

66
Illusion School Spells
The illusion school is considered minor magic by both forms are roughly of the same size. You can only
Mesoamerican wizards and the general population; turn the target into a form that is known to you. For
however, when used right, it may be far more useful example, you can turn a stick into a snake or a boy into
than mightier schools. a wooden idol, but not a man into an ogre or a girl into
an elephant. The Spell has effect until you spend an ac-
Body Deception tion to

Cost: 1 Spirit Onlookers might detect the illusion, which you can
confront with your Rites Skills, or the Stealth of the af-
ACTION (Rites): Use this ability to pretend you are fected character if any. If the target is a living creature
dead or injured. You may even appear to be missing and does not cooperate with the deception – that is,
limbs or seem dead even under medical examination. acts in a way that completely contradicts the nature of
Onlookers might detect the illusion, which you can its illusory form – then onlookers will gain one or more
confront with your Rites or Stealth Skills. advantages towards detecting it.
If the illusion impersonates an existing character
Elemental Illusion bare in mind that the illusion will only be visual (the
voice, facial expresions, and other characteristics of
Cost: 2 Spirit that character will need to be acted out), and there-
ACTION (Rites): Use this ability to create the illusion fore characters who knew the impersonated charac-
of a large (about house-sized) elemental event, such as ter might gain an advantage towards detecting it (evil
a cloud, a fire or a lightning bolt. It needs to be some- creatures or spirits taking over bodies are not rare, so
thing simple and general as determined by the GM. most people know this is a possibility).
Onlookers might detect the illusion, which you can
confront with your Rites Skills.

Shroud of Darkness
Cost: 2 Spirit
ACTION (Rites): Gain one advantage towards your
Stealth actions until the end of the Scene.

Small Illusion
Cost: 1 Spirit
ACTION (Rites): Create the illusion of any small
(about child-sized) object or creature, such as a flow-
ered bush, a piece of clothing or a snake.
Onlookers might detect the illusion, which you can
confront with your Rites Skills.
Transmutation
Cost: 2 Spirit for a human-sized object or creature, or
1 Spirit for a smaller object or creature.
ACTION (Rites): Use this ability to make a creature or
object adopt the appearance of a creature or object of
the same size. You can change anything you imagine
into anything else, provided the GM approves it and

67
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Titici School Spells


Titici, or healing magic, is the most useful and wide-
spread of Mesoamerican Chihualli schools.

Pahtli Healing
Cost: 2 Spirit, Ceremony
ACTION (Rites): Target a character in physical con-
tact with you or choose yourself as the target - but, you
cannot choose a character who already has been the
target of this Spell during this Scene.
The action will be confronted by the character’s
wounds, as if it was a Medical action (but performed
with your Rites Skill). If successful, remove one Curse
or Poisonous effect of any level.

Tattoo Healing
Cost: 2 Spirit, Ceremony
By carving a bleeding tattoo of a sacred symbol on the
skin of a living person, you heal the target of all natu- EXTRA
ral (nonmagical) illnesses. The target suffers 1 point of CONTENT
damage during the process.

Teiczaliztli Healing A dozen new schools will be


made available in the final
Cost: 2 Spirit, Ceremony version of the game.
You must walk barefoot on the patient to use this
ability. After that, the target will heal an injury of his
choice the next time he gets a good-night’s rest of in-
game time.

Wind Healing
Cost: 2 Spirit, Ceremony
Blow on the body of a wounded character. That char-
acter can ignore the effects of as many injuries of his
choice as your Rites Attribute until the end of the
Session.

68
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dr agons conquer a mer ic a

E P I S O D E 0 , I N T R O D U C T O R Y ADVENTURE

The coatli stonE


T H E C O A T L I S T O N E is a short adventure for the Dragons Conquer America.
It’s intended to introduce a group of new players to DCA’s setting and rules,
pitting them against greedy Spanish explorers, mysterious Nahua locals and
the dark magic creatures that lurk behind the visible veil of the Mesoamerican
world.

70
IntroductioN
D UR I N G TH I S A DV E N T U RE , the PCs discover the
existence of a hidden treasure – a gigantic precious
stone, which turns out to be the egg of a Xiuhcoatl
Mexica explorers have already found and named some
of these ruins, but many remain hidden or mythic.
One such myth is the Coatli Temple, a legendary and
dragon. However, the egg lies inside a dangerous, trap- undiscovered Olmeca ruin that many Nahua explorers
filled temple, in the lands of an isolated tribe with no and travellers claim to have seen or heard about during
allegiance to either natives or invaders. Plus, a Spanish their travels through the Eastern Roads. According
expedition has arrived into the area, intending to to legend, the Coatli Temple was built by an ancient
plunder its riches; they are bound to find out about the caste of Olmeca wizard-priests that one day turned
egg and compete with the PCs to recover it. The PCs into dragons and flew away from the mortal world.
must race against time, go around the temple’s traps The many versions of the story variously hold that the
and beat a fully-armed Spanish force to the prize, also Coatli priests were the first tribe to breed and rear
dealing and the temple’s zealous guardians, which may Xiuhcoatl dragons, or that they hunted dragons and
help or hinder their quest. used their blood to give themselves long life, or that
they were descendants of dragons themselves. Many a
The adventure consists of three main chapters during
legend exists about the Coatli ruin and its priests, but
which the action takes place.
that’s all it has ever been – a legend.
• Chapter 1 has the PCs arriving to the territory of
Things changed when Father Gaspar Hernández, one
the Atlaca tribe, guardians of the Coatli Temple.
of the first European missionaries to arrive to The West
• Chapter 2 has the PCs entering the ancient Indies, heard the tales and decided to go look for the
temple and facing an ancient spirit that protects Coatli Temple. It is assumed that Father Hernández
the egg. did find the Coatli Temple, for such is the claim of his
personal diary, which later explorers found in a market
• Chapter 3 introduces the Spanish expedition
at Hispaniola. The diary also holds that the temple’s
force, and determines whether the PCs keep the
purpose was to guard a kind of gigantic stone or jewel,
egg or lose it to the Spanish.
likely worth a king’s ranso, which Father Hernández
After the climax is resolved, the PCs have either called The Coatli Stone honouring the legends about
acquired the egg or lost it, be it to the Spanish expedition the old ruin, sparked the greed and imagination of
or the zealous Atlaca natives. The PCs may also have many a Spanish trailblazer and opportunist. However,
allied with or against the Spaniards or the Atlaca, kept the secret of the Temple’s exact location seems to
the egg for themselves or been forced to flee empty- have died with Father Hernández, who apparently was
handed. Whatever the PCs choose, the outcome of the caught and flayed alive by some Mayan or Nahua tribe
adventure will influence the future of the DCA setting, that didn’t take kindly to foreign looters, even if they
as the Xiuhcoatl hatched from the egg serves either the were pious and free of sin.
Natives or the Invaders in the upcoming war.
Here’s where the legend becomes interesting, and
where it crosses into the present. According to the
Adventure Background diary, Hernández did draw a map to the Coatli Temple’s
The people known as Olmeca, the ‘Rubber People’, location – on his skin. He claimed he had the map
were an unknown, ancestral tribe that lived centuries tattooed on his chest by his servant to avoid it ‘falling
ago in the Eastern Coasts of the New World, near the on the wrong hands’. It was an interesting passage, but
area where the Spaniards first landed. Nobody knows one not worth much attention, as the Father’s body
what was the Olmeca’s true name or nature, but was never recovered. Or so it was believed.
hundreds of ruins and relics from their culture remain Three years ago, during the first skirmishes between
in the jungles and beaches of their former territory. Natives and Europeans, a small Huastec city fell to a

71
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

combined force of Spanish invaders and Player Character


Maya allies. Among the city’s loot there was Background
a fold of cured human skin – European skin
– with a tattoo, a Maya-style drawing, on it. The PCs that play this adventure are
The drawing described a hidden temple, a mercenaries with no allegiance to any
precious stone and the way to find it. Native culture or Spanish explorer; a
motley crew of mixed-race adventurers
At first nobody made the connection
that serve no side but their own. However,
between this bizarre relic and the tale of
they may end up allied with either the
Father Hernández, until a Spanish explorer
Natives or the Spaniards, which will alter
by the name of Cuesta sold it to the
the course of the war.
Governor of La Isabela as ‘the map of the
Coatli treasure’. The Governor then gave it As the adventure begins, the PCs are
to one of his captains as part of a reward, arriving to the Coatli Temple area some time
and thus the ‘map’ changed hands, until it before De Medina’s main force, expertly
reached Lorenzo De Medina. guided by Quixum’s instructions. Whether
they will be able to find the treasure and
Captain Lorenzo De Medina, a Spanish
leave with it is entirely in their hands.
hidalgo and explorer, arrived two years
ago, looking for land, treasure and a power You may read aloud any or all the text
base in The Indias, along with a small contained in the Adventure Background
troop of more-or-less loyal mercenaries section to the PCs; just be sure to make it
and gentlemen of fortune. With no clear that they are the mercenary band that
patrons or backing other than his own Quixum managed to gather before she died.
military experience and considerable
fortune, De Medina is a bit of a wild card
among European invaders; nobody likes
him, but he’s made no enemies either. He ENC OUNTERS
hired a couple dozen Natives as guides During the adventure the players
and added protection, and started two or will face NPCs in what are known as
three unsuccessful expeditions into the encounters.
mainland. He’s stepped in no toes so far,
but he intends to become powerful and In a normal encounter the PCs will
recognised as quickly as possible. face a force of NPCs which added
total level is the same as the PCs
After his last failed inland trip, De Medina added total level. Some encounters
came across the flayed skin of Father won’t be normal, and instead they
Hernández with the Coatli Treasure map, will be a +/- X encounter. In those
and he immediately began preparing for a cases you’ll add or substract the
new excursion to find it. number of the encounter to the total
What De Medina didn’t count on level of the NPCs force.
was Quixum, one of his Native guides, E.g. If you are playing with a party
recognising the area shown on the map. of four level 1 players, in a normal
Quixum, a Huastec woman, knew the Coatli encounter they might fight one level
ruins only from legend, but she identified 4 NPC, four level 1 NPCs, or anything
some of the landmarks, and decided to in between that adds up to 4. In a +2
mount her own hunt for the treasure. The encounter, the NPC force will add up
Captain killed Quixum for treason, but she to level 6, while in a -1 encounter, it
had already managed to gather a small will add up to level 3.
band of freelancers and deserters, giving
them her own directions to the Coatli Only count the PCs present, that
Temple. With Quixum’s indications, these way if during the next Session a
mercenaries have overtaken De Medina player had to drop out for whatever
and are about to beat the Spanish force to reason they rest won’t be faced with
the Temple. an overwhelming force.

72
Chapter 1:
the lost PeoplE
O N C E Y O UR P L A Y E RS are ready to begin and have
understood their PCs’ backgrounds, read the fol-
lowing aloud:
The Atlaca guards want the PCs to identify them-
selves, but they of course don’t speak any common
language. The Atlaca language is an ancient variation
of Nahuatl, but it otherwise doesn’t resemble any lan-
guage spoken today.
There’s a cacophony of complaining ma-
caws as you step out of the jungle shrubbery To understand the Atlaca language, ask the PCs to
and into a heavily wooded slope. Down the slope perform a normal Knowledge or Perception Check
you can see a winding river, beyond which there’s if they are Nahuatl speakers (those that don’t suf-
the smoke and thatched houses of an inhabited fer a disadvantage). If the check fails catastrophically,
village. This at least proves part of the legend true you may give the PCs opposite information, such as the
– there are indeed people living this deep into the Atlaca being openly hostile, wanting the PCs for ritual
jungle. mating or anything you want to come up with.
But the definitive confirmation that you’re on The guards motion the PCs to follow them; if the PCs
the right track is what appears beyond this sur- comply, proceed to Encounter 2: Ixcahuina.
prising view. Just behind the village, perhaps 600 If the PCs refuse, the natives will treat them as hos-
metres into the woods, the mists mark the sil- tile forces in their territory and will attack.
houette of a building: An ancient pyramid, com-
pletely overgrown with moss and vines, engraved FI GH TI NG TH E ATLAC A GUARDS
with the ancient spirits of lost peoples – the Coatli
The Atlaca guards try to subdue the PCs if possible,
Temple.
and don’t fight to kill. If a PC falls to 0 health, they
leave him traumatised, not bleeding out. If the PCs
begin winning, the guards fly back into the town to call
Whether the PCs try to avoid the village or approach for reinforcements.
it directly, a group of Atlaca scouts walk up to them;
If any of the Atlaca gets away to call for reinforce-
proceed to Encounter 1.
ments, at the beginning of the next Round they are
joined by another normal encounter using a combina-
Encounter 1: The Atlaca tion of Native Warriors, Native Archers and Native
Create a normal encounter using a combination of Warrior Leaders.
Native Warriors, Native Archers and Native Warrior AFTER TH E FI GH T
Leaders.
■ If the PCs win both battles in a row, they are now
free to explore the Atlaca village, while all the inhabit-
You see a group of squat, muscular men,
ants have locked themselves up in their huts, closing
filled with tattoos and ceremonial piercings,
their doors with improvised barricades, terrified of the
walking towards you. One of them raises his hand
invaders.
and talks to you in a language you don’t recog-
nise at first. • The Atlaca guards carried strange inscribed,
jade-tipped stone spears, the PC may keep them
as weapons. Their gathered jewellery is worth
around 2 to 4 quachtli (local currency).

73
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

• If the PCs stay at the village, they eventually actually hope that someone will take away the
come across the chief priest’s hut; proceed to Coatli Stone, kill the Temple’s undead master and
Encounter 2. finally relieve them from their duty.
• If the PCs leave the village, nobody stops them • If the check fails, or if they attack Ixcahuina, they
from reaching the temple now. Proceed to are considered looters and roaming criminals;
Chapter 2: The Coatli Temple. proceed to Fighting Ixcahuina. If the PCs were
prisoners already, they are set aside for sacrifice.
■ If the PCs lose one of the battles, the guards spare
Proceed to Encounter 3: The Sacrifice Pit.
them (that is, leave them traumatised instead of bleed-
ing out), tie them up and take them to their leader. • If the check succeeds, the PCs may parley with
Proceed to Encounter 2. Ixcahuina; he is fluent in Nahuatl, Maya, Spanish
and the extinct Mokaya tongue. Let the PCs con-
Encounter 2: Ixcahuina duct the conversation as they wish, asking and
answering as they go, and using the following as
This encounter begins when the PCs walk around the excerpts from Ixcahuina’s dialogue:
Atlaca village, whether they are following or caught
by the Atlaca guards, or roaming freely after defeat-
ing them. ‘We are the Atlaca.We are caretakers; we
live at the shadow of the Temple.’
At a first glance, this village resembles ‘We did not build. The Mokaya built those ruins
other settlements, with clean, well-built hous- and this village during the previous Sun.’
es and an advanced irrigation system; there’s even
a few dogs among the huts, recoiling from you as ‘The Atlaca inherited the land, inherited the
you approach. The village propably hosts a hun- care, the task; we inherited the temple.’
dred souls. The only off-putting element are the ‘Not much longer will the Atlaca keep vigil. The
designs and decoration; as if it belonged to anoth- Atlaca are fallen, diminished; we are a diminished
er era. people. Too long have we waited, too long have
As you ponder this, you see an elder man stand- we been.’
ing in your path, flanked by more warrior guards. ‘The spirits whisper to me, the Saints talk to me.
He is a gentle, older Nahua priest, dressed in the They share the stories, the gossip. I know the gos-
simple white tunic and cloth headdress of a peas- sip of the Saints.’
ant, but his skin is entirely covered in spiralled
‘Our covenant is to watch the Temple, kill the
tattoos.He slams his staff into the earth, and you
unworthy, wait for the worthy. If you are worthy,
feel dizzy for a second.
the Coatl will be born for you; it will uncoil for
you. If the Coatl doesn’t come, we kill you. That is
the covenant.’
This man is Ixcahuina, the priest of the Atlaca people.
‘I’m not the leader of the Atlaca. The leader is
Regardless of whether the PCs arrived peacefully or by
Haa’hiu, there in the Temple. Haa’hiu guards the
force, he looks at them with disapproval, squints his
Coatl; he tests the warriors. He decides if we kill
eyes and then yells in their language:
you, if you die’.
‘What do they seek? Why are they here?’
‘If you find the Coatl, we are free; we don’t need
Let the PCs conduct the encounter as they wish. If to follow Haa’hiu any more.’
they parley with Ixcahuina, ask them to perform a
‘Time is the friend of Haa’hiu; he talks to time.
Charisma action against Ixcahuina’s Competent
Time cycles, time circles. Time turns, this is
Skill.
they key to the temple.’
• The PCs suffer 2 disadvantages if they attacked
the guards previously.
• If the PCs directly confess that they wish to sack
After talking to Ixcahuina, ask the PCs to perform a
the Temple, they actually get 1 advantage on the
normal Knowledge Check (3). If the check succeeds,
action, as the Atlaca are tired of guarding the
they identify the Mokaya as the ancient dwellers of
Temple generation after generation. The Atlaca
the East Coast, a millennia-old, extinct culture that the

74
Nahua call Olmeca. If the check is a criti- battle. The PCs spend the night as Atlaca
cal failure, you may give the PCs deliber- prisoners, during which their wounds are
ately wrong information; for example, that tended and they may draw cards and re-
the Mokaya were ritual cannibals and the cover all damage and an injury of their
Atlaca surely inherited this custom. choice.

FIG HTIN G IXCAHUI NA Then, just before dawn the following day,
a group of village guards come for the PCs,
If the PCs provoke Ixcahuina into a fight, bind their hands and feet and take them
create a +2 encounter using Ixcahuina and outside the village; surprisingly, towards
a combination of Native Warriors, Native the Coatli Temple.
Guardians, Native Leaders, and Native
G M TI P They don’t reach the main pyramid struc-
If y ou want
Priests.
ture, but stop at a stone-paved court some
to tes t the Ixcahuina and his guards don’t strike to
lim i ts of th e
100 metres away from the central build-
kill. If the PCs lose the fight, they are trau- ing. The court is overgrown with vines and
pr eju d i c es of matised, not bleeding out; the guards im-
yo u r gr ou p, grass, just like the rest of the temple.
prison them and set them aside for sacri-
tr y tr i g ger - There’s a four-metre deep pit in the mid-
in g a xeno- fice. Proceed to Encounter 3: The Sacrifice
Pit. dle of the court; the guards throw the PCs
phobi a c hec k
of one of the down the pit. Every PC must perform an
PC s towar d s
AFTE R THE E N CO UNTER Athletic action confronted by a level 2
Ixc ahu i na. If ■ If the PCs befriended Ixcahuina, he lets TSE (the fall itself). If the PC loses the con-
fai l ed , the P C them go on their way to the Temple; as he frontation, he suffers 1 point of damage
m ay d o or s ay
sees it, if the PCs are intruders, the Temple for every point of difference between his
som eth i ng result and the TSE’s result, and automati-
will kill them on its own. He even offers to
that of f en d s cally gains an injury.
the l ead er . let them dine and rest at the village.
■ If the PCs ask for more details on After throwing the PCs down the pit, the
Haa’hiu and the history of the Coatli Atlaca guards leave them there and return
Temple, Ixcahuina shares the informa- to their village.
tion on History of the Temple (Find it in The bottom of the pit is filled with dried
the second page of Chapter 2: The Coatli bloodstains and bleached human bones:
Temple) many people have died here.
■ If the PCs defeated Ixcahuina and his There’s nobody watching below, so the
guards, they may explore Ixcahuina’s hut; PCs are free to declare actions once they
besides a 47-quachtli loot of assorted jew- are left alone.
ellery and arcane reagents, they find an
■ The PCs may try to cut their bonds with
ancient codex carved in stone, detailing
how the Temple door works (as described a jagged piece of rock or bone; this suc-
in Chapter 2, Encounter 4: Opening the ceeds automatically and requires no check.
temple). ■ The PCs may try to bind their wounds
■ If the PCs killed Ixcahuina, the other
through the Medicine skill, correcting in-
villagers won’t dare exit their homes until juries and regaining health lost from the
the PCs have left the village. fall.
■ The PCs may try to climb outside; how-
■ Once the PCs leave the village, proceed
to Chapter 2: The Coatli Temple. ever, as soon as any of the PCs tries to
climb out of the pit, something happens...
Encounter 3: As the sun shines over the edge of the
The Sacrifice Pit pit, the shadows begin to move… only they
move unnaturally, like they were not fol-
This encounter only takes place if the PCs lowing the light, but bothered, stirred, by
failed to befriend Ixcahuina at the village it.The shadows are moving.
and were defeated by the Atlaca natives in
These are shadow spirits conjured by the

75
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

magic of Haa´hiu the Mokaya Priest; the PCs must


fight them. Create a normal encounter using shadow
demons. The PCs have no weapons or equipment dur-
ing this fight.
Trying to get out of the pit during the combat is con-
fronted by a level 2 TSE.

A F T E R T H E E N COU N TE R
If the PCs survive the fight, they may now exit the pit
with no problems.
There are enough ancient weapons among the pit
bones to outfit every PC in the team, as replacement
for their lost equipment; every PC may take a magi-
cal macuahuitl or magical stone spear and an ancient
leather shield.
■ If the PCs continue to the Temple, proceed to
Chapter 2.
■ If the PCs return to the village to recover their
equipment, run Encounter 2 again, except that the
priest is much more likely to parley with them now,
as he’s impressed that they managed to escape the pit.
• If the PCs fight Ixcahuina again, this time it’s to
the death – they are not taken prisoners again.
• If the PCs manage to befriend Ixcahuina, he re-
turns their equipment to them (besides giving
them the information detailed in the encounter).

Due to budgetary constraints, Episode 0 uses several illustrations that belong to Episodes I & II and thus their
depictions may not accurately match the NPCs described in the text.
76
Chapter 2:
the coatli templE
The outer circle has 52 notches, marked with 52 ancient
After a few minutes, you notice the ter- Mokaya kings or saints.
rain is slowly sloping upward. Only it’s not the
Any PC can recognise these symbols without a check;
terrain. The earth, roots and undergrowth cover
calendar divisions and cardinal directions are a com-
actual carved stone steps. The jungle grew over a
mon element of most Mesoamerican cultures, and have
large stairway, and you are ascending it.
been for centuries.
There is a smaller, hand-sized dial on the wall beside
As your climb ends, you reach a great pyrami- the disc, marked with 52 notches. By rotating this dial
dal structure, with carved spirits and monsters on one notch, each of the four circles in the larger disc
every side and a half-dozen, half-eroded columns rotates independently by one notch.
marking the way to its main staircase.
Other than this contraption, there’s no way into the
There’s an eerie silence, as if even the jungle pyramid; the PCs must decipher how to open the disk
creatures had learned to be quiet in the building’s to enter the temple.
presence.
To understand how the disk works, ask the PCs to
perform a normal Knowledge, Perception or Rites
check (3). If the check succeeds, give them one or more
Let the PCs explore around the temple as they wish; (your choice) of the following facts:
it’s all Olmecatl (Mokaya) architecture, which some PCs
may recognise based on their skills, while most may ■ The only way to align all four circles is to find a
not. As soon as the PCs climb the staircase to the top of number of turns that causes each disk to complete a
the pyramid, proceed to Encounter 4. number of full rotations.
■ The notches in the circles are slightly misaligned;
Encounter 4: it’s clear they must be aligned for the disk to open.
Opening the Temple ■ To align a circle, it must make only full rotations;
As the PCs reach the top of the stairs, they find a that is, turn the exact number of notches it requires to
large stone chapel in the shape of a huge dragon head. complete its full count. A partial rotation will misalign
There seems to be no entrance to the building, but the the circle again.
dragon head’s mouth seems to be holding a time disk, ■ To make all the circles make exact full rotations
wider than a man’s height. with the same number of turns, the PCs must find a
The disc consists of four concentric circles. Each cir- common multiple to all four circle notch divisions (4,
cle is divided in a different number of notches, marked 13, 20 and 52), and turn the dial that number of notch-
as follows: es, so that the four circles turn by a number of notches
that causes them to complete full rotations.
The inner circle has 4 notches, marked with the 4 directions.
The right answer is ‘260’, which is also the num-
The second circle has 13 notches, marked with the 13 cal- ber of days in the Aztec ritual calendar. By turning
endar signs. the smaller dial 260 notches, all four circles will make
The third circle has 20 notches, marked with the 20 days exact full rotations: the inner circle will make 52 rota-
of the lunar count. tions, the second circle 20 rotations, the third circle 13
rotations and the outer circle 4 rotations.

77
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

HISTORY OF THE TEMPLE


The PCs might find out about the History of the Temple from Ixcahuina or they can read
it from the walls inside the temple:
The Coatli Temple was once a religious centre of the Mokaya civilisation, pri-
mal ancestors to the Olmeca and every other culture in the continent. They even
predated the Aztlan culture, although no Nahua will accept it. And their tem-
ple was not called Coatli, but nobody remembers what its true name was.

This temple was not part of any city, but a stop for religious pilgrims and journey-
ing kings or diplomats. Here, the ancient priests gave blessings, food and water to
travellers, or made the trip themselves to sanctify a building or a new royal birth.

The head of the priests was Haa’ hiu, the Chanter Man; they said
it was him who first learned and taught others how to pray and
give worship to the spirits and Saints of the otherworld.

Once Haa’ hiu fund a strange stone, the size of a large water gourd, but
polished as a gem and heavy as a boulder. Haa’ hiu ordered the stone
brought to the temple, and it took three men to carry it back.

The first night after the stone was carried to the temple, thunder rumbled
and the skies parted, and a dragon flew down to the pyramid. It was the Old
Dragon, the Heaven Snake, which the Nahua call Mixcoatl; and he had come to
talk to Haa’ hiu, for the stone was one of his eggs and he wanted it back.

Haa’ hiu didn’t return the egg, but instead threatened the Old Dragon;
he said that Mixcoatl and his kin should serve mortals from that day on-
ward, or else Haa’ hiu would kill the egg and Mixcoatl’s son.

The Old Dragon accepted the deal, but on the condition that mortals sacrificed
their children to the dragons, just as Mixcoatl had sacrificed his child to mortals.

Thus, the covenant was sealed, and the Mixcoatl dragons came down to hu-
man cities and blessed and protected them, and in exchange mortals fed them
with their children. And the Dragon Stone, the Ancient Stone, remained in the tem-
ple as a witness of the pact; and the egg never hatched, and the dragon never
was born, because it was a witness to the pact between dragons and mortals.

But one day there would come warriors, Haa’ hiu knew; warriors that would break the
covenant between dragons and mortals. When that happened the egg would break and
the dragon would be born, and he would be like his father in glory and godlike might,
and he would serve the warriors that came for him. So Haa’ hiu didn’t die, but remained
a living shell, a deathless guard, watching over the temple for centuries after centuries,
until the age of the breaking of the covenant; until the warriors came that could re-
claim the egg of Mixcoatl and summon the Child of the Old Dragon to battle.

78
When they think they have the right answer, they The PCs are under attack by shadow demons. Create
must press the dial to open the stone disk that will lead an easy encounter using shadow demons.
them into the temple. However, each time they press
before they align the circles properly will spawn a vio- AFTER TH E ENC OUNTER
lent Shadow Demon right next to them. If the PCs survive the fight, they may continue de-
If the PCs are stuck with the solution to the puzzle, scending the stairs until they reach the bottom – a long
ask them to perform a hard Knowledge, Perception stone passage leading deeper into the pyramid.
or Rites check (6). If the check succeed, you may give The stairs and the passage are filled with stone en-
them a clue such as ‘how many days are in a ritual gravings of men and monsters in sequence. This is ac-
year?’ or ‘what do you do when you need to find a com- tually a codex, and it’s telling a story. If the PCs stop
mon number with no fractions?’ to examine the engravings, they learn the information
contained in the History of the Temple sidebar.
A F T E R T H E E N COU N TE R
At the end of the passage there are three paths; one
Once the disk is open, the PCs may enter the Temple.
goes straight ahead, another goes left and another goes
Read the following aloud as they go inside:
right.

The inside of the Temple is dark, but not If the PCs take the left path, proceed to Encounter 6.
entirely as might have been assumed of such If the PCs take the right path, run Encounter 7.
an ancient, forgotten building; you notice there
If the PCs continue ahead, proceed to Encounter 8.
are small lighted censers, cleverly placed behind
columns and crevices to give a dim light to the in-
terior chambers. It might be assumed the villagers Encounter 6: The Second Test
keep the censers lit.
The path ends in a closed stone door a few metres
The walls are carved with strange monster faces later. The door may be pushed inward with some effort
and naked human Saints, made monstrous by the (it is an automatic success).
shifting shadows from the flickering flame of the
censers. This is a bare stone room, with no furni-
As you step into the inner chamber, the floor ture other than the familiar, flickering torches
shifts slightly, and another mechanism slowly re- hidden in the corners - and a large stone statue at
veals a descending staircase. the centre. The statue, as tall as a man, represents
an upright snake.

As the PCs reach the stairs, proceed to Encounter 5. When your eyes adjust to the dim light, you
notice the snake’s jaws hold a metal object that
glints by the torchlight: an engraved half-disc
Encounter 5: The Temple Stairs
made of gold.
As the PCs descend the temple stairs, they begin see-
ing things and hearing voices.
If the PCs approach the snake, ask them to perform
The shadows seem to move unnaturally. At a Perception check (+3) to notice that the floor tiles
first you assume they are the flickering projec- are shifting plates, and there are suspicious slits on the
tion of the lighted censers, but soon realise they walls.
seem to move on their own, as if the light both- If the PCs fail the check or willingly step on the shift-
ered, rather than create, them. Then there seems ing plates, a barrage of darts comes out from the slits.
to be someone speaking at the edge of your hear- Ask the PCs to perform an Athletic action, confront-
ing, a low and rasping voice. You can’t understand ed by a level 2 TSE. For every point below the needed
the words, but they seem to be something like result, the PCs suffer 1 point of damage.
“kaya… Haa’hiu… Q’uum kaya Haa… Haa kaya…”
The PCs may avoid the darts by crawling close to the
floor as they approach the statue.
If the PCs avoid the darts, the darts lodge on the stone
Then one of the shadows takes on the full form of a snake, precisely hitting matching slits on the statue’s
monster, and strikes at you.

79
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

body. The darts are feather-shaped obsidian knives, ■ If the PCs try to find a secret exit or mechanism,
and when they hit the snake body it looks like they are ask them to perform a Perception or Rites Check (+3).
covering it in feathers. If the check succeeds, they notice there are shifting
plates on the floor, one in front of each of the four
If the PCs reach the snake without being hit by the
dragon carvings on the walls.
darts, be it by crawling or by defeating the trap with
an Athletic action, the snake, now covered in obsidian ■ In three turns, the room will become entirely flood-
feathers, animates and attacks the PCs. Create an en- ed and the PCs will start drowning.
counter against one Itztlicoatl.
■ The PCs may reach and grab the golden disc from
If the PCs defeat the snake or reach it without animat- the second turn.
ing it, they may take the golden half-disc on its mouth;
If a PC kneels in front of one of the dragons, the pres-
it is one half of the key required to enter Encounter 8.
sure plate causes a mechanism behind the wall to ‘open’
the dragon’s mouth, letting the water drain through.
Encounter 7: The Third Test
■ The pressure plates in front of each dragon carving
The right path leads to a stone arch. are only activated by kneeling; not standing or press-
Read the following aloud when the PCs cross the ing in any other way.
threshold: ■ At least two of the plates must be kneeled on, and
two of the drains activated, for the water to actually
recede; otherwise it will flood the chamber anyway.
This chamber of white stone is complete-
ly empty, save for bas-reliefs of the four drag- ■ After the first turn, kneeling on a plate requires
ons on the walls: the Sun Dragon of the East, the diving against the water pressure. If a PC wants to
Storm Dragon of the North, the Heaven Dragon of kneel after the first turn of flooding, ask them to per-
the West and the Earth Dragon of the South. form a Athletic action, confronted by a Level 1 TSE.
There are symbols asking visitors to kneel be- The only way to exit the chamber is to drain the
fore the Four Dragons; Seems whoever built this water away. If the PCs succeed at doing this, the stone
temple worshipped them too. slab blocking the exit raises, and any PC trapped in the
chamber may now come out.
There is also a glint that catches your eye and
makes you look up. The golden half-disc dangling from the ceiling is one
half of the key required to enter Encounter 8.
There’s a half-disc made of gold, dangling from
the ceiling some 10 metres above you.
Encounter 8: The Tomb of Haa’hiu

The tunnel ahead of the stairs is, like the


As soon as the PCs enter the chamber, a stone slab rest of the temple, carved with figures of mon-
falls behind them, closing the exit, and water begins sters and people. However, the carvings here tell
raining from holes in the ceiling. The room is flood- another story: how the head priest of this temple
ing… quickly. was buried alive, and alive he would remain, wait-
ing below the stone for centuries.
The PCs need only wait until the water level hits the
ceiling to float and reach for the golden disc; however, After you have walked about thirty metres down
eventually the room will become completely flooded the passage, they reach a stone slab with the sym-
and drown the PCs. bols of a priest, a dragon and a precious stone.
There seems to be no way to move the slab, but
Let the PCs state their actions and intentions. as you approach it, you notice a small circular de-
■ The stone slab that blocks the exit cannot be moved, pression at the centre, as if it was missing a disc-
not even by any PCs that may have stayed outside the shaped piece.
chamber.
■ The disc may be dislodged from the ceiling by a
ranged weapon. If the PCs want to try, ask them to per- The door to the chamber can only open if the PCs
form a Shooting action, confronted by a Level 2 TSE. bring the two key halves from Encounters 6 and 7.

80
If the PCs survive those encounters and bring both his duties away from him, and worth is measured by
halves of the key, they fit the depression and open the spilling blood – his own or that of the PCs. He sum-
door. mons a group of demon shadows – indicating it was he
who sent the others after the PCs before – and attacks
Read the following aloud as they enter the chamber:
immediately.

This square chamber is flanked by four Create a +2 encounter using Haa’hiu and shadow
censers in full view, and so its monstrous carv- demons.
ings are both better illuminated and scarier than AFTER TH E ENC OUNTER
the rest of the pyramid. There’s a stone slab on
the floor, just like the one on the entrance, except If the PCs survive the battle against Haa’hiu, they
this one doesn’t slide on its own. have defeated the most dangerous creature in the re-
gion and the power that maintained the curse of the
There’s a small, moon-shaped pedestal on a side. Coatli Temple.
An a strange codex (see the picture).
The Haa’hiu mummy owned jewellery with a total
value of 50-100 Quachtli.
The need to decipher the codex: The only way to open
As soon as the PCs defeat Haa’hiu, they hear some-
the stone slab and continue the adventure is for one PC
thing has shifted in the pyramid above. Something has
to sacrifice a bit of their own blood and drip it on the
changed about the area they came from. As soon as
moon-shaped pedestal. If the PCs don’t think of this so-
the PCs go back up to see what’s changed, proceed to
lution, they have no choice but to turn back and pro-
Encounter 9.
ceed to Chapter 3.
If at least one of the PCs sacrifices blood to the moon- Encounter 9: The Coatli Stone
shaped pedestal, they suffer 1 point of damage and the
stone slab swings open, thick billowing shadow pour- As the PCs go back upstairs and reach the top of the
ing out of it as if it was a barrel of smoke. The PCs lis- pyramid again, they notice there’s something at the
ten to Haa’hiu again in their heads, and must succeed entrance – something that wasn’t there before. A ped-
on a normal Discipline Check (3) or suffer a disad- estal has risen at the platform just outside the Temple
vantage for the rest of the encounter (those that suf- entrance, past the mechanical door with the time disc.
fer a critical failure will run out of the temple as fast And on that pedestal, there’s an oval-shaped stone,
as they can). shining under the rays of the midday sun.

FI G H T I N G H AA ’HIU ■ The stone is about the size of a large gourd, but


it’s incredibly heavy to move. It requires a combined
After the cloud of smoke, a mummy comes out of the Athletic value of 5 or greater to lift and carry. More
tomb on the ground, half-crawling and half-floating; than one PC may pool their efforts to lift the stone if
this is Haa’hiu, the undead priest that sealed this tem- needed.
ple and the deal for the servitude of dragons more than
2000 years ago. ■ Whether the PCs take the Coatli stone or not, as
soon as they look around, they realise they’re not
Haa’hiu doesn’t offer any diplomacy. He’s waited alone; proceed to Chapter 3: The Spanish Force.
centuries for a warrior to be proven worthy of taking

81
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Chapter 3: the
spanish forcE
As soon as the PCs come out from the temple at the • If the PCs survive the battle, regardless of the side
pyramid summit, they realise they can see the ocean they took, De Medina in person arrives to the bat-
from here – and they see a ship moored at the coast. tle site and faces them. Proceed to Encounter 11.
The ship of Captain Lorenzo De Medina.
■ If the PCs want to take advantage of the confusion
The Spanish expedition has arrived. to slip unnoticed, they must all succeed on a Stealth
Action, Confronted by the Spanish Soldiers’ medio-
Let the PCs decide what to do now.
cre skill.
■ If no more than a full day has passed (that is, the PCs
• If even one PC fails the check, the Spanish
haven’t rested more than once since they entered the
Explorers find them; run Encounter 11.
Temple), De Medina has not yet reached the Temple.
Right now, the PCs have a very short window to flee • If the check succeeds, they have all escaped no-
before the Spanish expedition overtakes them. If they tice and may now flee the area. Proceed to Ending
choose to make a run for it, or to warn the Atlaca vil- the Adventure.
lagers of the Spanish arrival, proceed to Encounter 10.
■ If the PCs are – or wish to be – in good terms with Encounter 11: Captain De Medina
De Medina, they may actively seek the Spanish explor- The PCs come face to face with a squad of Spanish
ers; proceed to Encounter 11. explorers. They demand the PCs stop and give them a
■ If the PCs have been in the temple for more than chance to surrender.
one full day, De Medina is already reaching the sum- ■ If the PCs resist, they must fight. Create a normal
mit. Proceed to Encounter 12. encounter using a combination of Spanish conquista-
dors and Spanish gunners.
Encounter 10: the Battle
■ If the PCs win the battle, or go peacefully with the
As the PCs walk down the Temple stairs, they notice soldiers, they are approached by Captain Lorenzo De
smoke coming out of the Atlaca village. It’s too late for Medina himself.
a warning; the Spanish have engaged the Natives in
■ If the PCs attacked the Spanish soldiers but surren-
battle.
der to the Captain, they may attempt a Charisma ac-
■ The PCs may run to the battle to help either side; tion, confronted by De Medina’s competent skill.
they reach the village in a matter of minutes, where
• If the PCs win the confrontation, they get on De
the carnage is still going strong. De Medina’s favourite
Medina’s good side and may parley.
butcher, the mercenary known only as Aguirre, is lead-
ing the attack. • If the PCs lose, they are taken prisoner; proceed
to Ending the Adventure.
• If the PCs side with the villagers, Create a nor-
mal encounter using Aguirre and a combination ■ If the PCs are in good terms with Captain De Medina,
of Spanish conquistadors and Spanish gunners. or present themselves as their allies, he accepts their
word and lets them join his troop. Let the PCs conduct
• If the PCs side with the Spanish, Create an easy
the negotiations as they wish, using any or all the fol-
encounter using Ixcahuina (if the PCs haven’t
lowing excerpts as part of De Medina’s dialogue:
killed him already) and a combination of Native
Warriors, Native Warrior Leaders and Native
Priests.

82
■ If the PCs win on a confronted Charisma action
‘T’was the will of God that we met here.’ against De Medina’s competent ability, he prom-
‘The Natives didn’t want to listen to reason.’ ises them a valuable share of the gem’s profits,
seeing as how it was them who secured the stone.
They insisted that we were interrupting a kind He is an honourable man, and intends to fulfil the
of test of theirs, or ceremony, and attacked us.’ promise.
‘They said we were interrupting the test of ■ If the PCs haven’t finished Encounter 8, they, De
worth, whatever that meant. That we had to wait Medina’s men or a mix thereof must wait until the next
for the worthy ones to die first.’ midday and go back downstairs. Run any encounter the
‘Be as it may, hast thou been inside the Temple? PCs haven’t completed between 6 and 8, except now
en to the Temple? Hast thou seen it from the in- the PCs have the backup of a troop of Spanish soldiers.
side? Hast thou found… the stone?’ ■ If the PCs finished Encounter 8 but hadn’t yet se-
cured the Coatli Stone, Medina’s men have already re-
■ If the PCs don’t have the Stone, they may re-
moved it from the pedestal and are hauling it on Baque
turn to the Temple and try to secure it again; proceed to transport it back to the ship.
to Encounter 12. ■ If the PCs agree to let De Medina have the Coatli
■ If the PCs have the Stone, it’s unlikely they can hide
Stone, proceed to Encounter 13.
it; Captain De Medina demands they give it to him as ■ If the PCs refuse to give De Medina the Stone –
his right of conquest. or want to take it from him – they must fight, as the
■ If the PCs win on a confronted Charisma action Captain’s guards rush to stop the PCs. Create a hard
against De Medina’s competent ability, he prom- encounter using a combination of Spanish conquista-
ises them a valuable share of the gem’s profits, see- dors and Spanish gunners.
ing as how it was the PCs that secured the stone. ■ If the PCs survive the fight, proceed immediately to
He is an honourable man, and intends to fulfil the Encounter 13.
promise.
■ If the PCs have the Stone and strike a deal with De Encounter 13: The Mad Dragon
Medina, they have nothing else to do here; proceed to
Read the following aloud as the PCs prepare to attack
Ending the Adventure.
Captain De Medina or to go down the Temple Stairs
■ If the PCs resist De Medina’s men or try to attack having allied with him:
him, create a hard encounter using a combination of
Spanish conquistadors and Spanish gunners. Wait.
■ If the PCs survive this battle, De Medina has fled to- Something’s not right.
wards the Temple. If the PCs wish to pursue him, pro-
ceed to Encounter 12. Otherwise, they may escape at Baque, De Medina’s black dragon, begins fuming
last; proceed to Ending the Adventure. at the nostrils, and swaying its head erratically.
La Gaditana, its rider, tries to calm the beast
Encounter 12: The Summit down, but the monster swaps her aside with a cas-
ual flick of its tail and sends her flying over the
This encounter only takes place if the PCs return to edge of the pyramid.
the top of the Coatli Temple after the Spanish soldiers
have massacred the Atlaca village. The other soldiers immediately draw swords, as
Captain De Medina takes a couple of steps back-
At the pyramid summit, the PCs encounter Captain ward, looking sideways at his ship, moored at the
Lorenzo De Medina, escorted by many of his soldiers. beach a kilometre away.
Waiting for them at the summit is a black dragon
the size of a large bull; it’s Baque, De Medina’s drag- While you – and De Medina, it seems – consider
on, along with his rider, the woman known only as La your options, the crazed dragon starts a carnage
Gaditana. among the soldiers. What is happening?
■ If the PCs have already secured the Coatli Stone,
De Medina demands they give it to him as his right of
conquest.

83
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Ask the PCs to perform a Knowledge or Rites Check


(+3) to understand what’s happening. Any PC that suc-
ceeds at this check realises there are strange black
fumes coming out of the Stone. The ancient enchant-
ments preserving the egg are too powerful for the mind
of a smaller, weaker European dragon, and the pres-
ence of the egg’s spirit is driving Baque crazy.
The dragon is slaughtering Medina’s soldiers; the PCs
have a quick window of opportunity to decide what to
do.
■ The dragon is too powerful for the PCs to defeat; if
they try to attack it, it sweeps them away easily, and
the soldiers yell at them to run away.
■ If the PCs decide to flee, they may now leave the
Temple with Captain De Medina. Proceed to Ending
the Adventure.
■ The PCs may take advantage of the confusion to
escape with the Coatli Stone; proceed to Ending the
Adventure.
■ The PCs may try to use the distraction created by
Baque to intercept De Medina; create an encounter
against Captain Lorenzo De Medina. If the PCs win
this battle, they may take the Coatli Stone and attempt
to flee on their own.
■ The PCs may try to actually stop the dragon’s fren-
zy. This requires the PCs to perform a Charisma action
to calm the dragon, a Rites action to take over the egg’s
magic effects, or a Riding action to submit the dragon
into cooperation. Any of these actions is confronted
by Baque’s Competent skill of 6 and plays three cards.
If the PCs win the confrontation, they make Baque doc-
ile and subservient again.
■ If the PCs survive the encounter, with or without
Baque on their side, proceed to Ending the Adventure.

84
Ending the
adventurE
T H E R E AR E M A N Y ways the PCs can finish this adventure.
Here’s a few suggestions:

TIPPING THE SCALES


C U LT U R A L
POL L I NAT ION

If the PCs take the Coatli Stone and escape


If the PCs failed to secure the Coatli Stone,
with it, by next midday they find a crack in
Captain De Medina’s men find it and La
the egg and the Mixcoatl dragon is born,
Gaditana, Baque’s dragon rider, learns to con-
loyal to the PCs and willing to go to bat-
trol it. Eventually the Mixcoatl dragon hatches,
tle for whatever side or tribe they lead it to.
loyal to La Gaditana and De Medina, who uses
The Mixcoatl will heavily tip the balance of
its new, incredibly powerful dragon to become a
the war for whatever side the PCs choose.
feared tyrant among Spanish Encomendados –
and a possible villain for another adventure.

SHIFT IN POW ER SOA R ING TO


NEW HEIGHTS
If both the PCs and Captain De Medina fail to se-
cure the Coatli Stone, wandering Nahua explor-
If Captain De Medina keeps the egg, but La
ers find it and gain control of the Mixcoatl when
Gaditana died or was badly wounded by the
it’s born, giving the Native kingdoms a game-
temporary rebellion of her dragon have it,
changing weapon against the European invaders.
the Spanish are terrified when the Mixcoatl is
born of it and unable to control it, it fly away.
The dragon returns to the heavenly realms,
choosing no side and helping no mortals.

If La Gaditana survives her wounds, she be-


comes a limp and bitter veteran, selling her
services to the highest bidder - and perhaps
becoming an antagonist for future adventures.

85
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

You made iT! WA N T M O R E ?


If you made it this far, you can consider yourselves
true pioneers of this New World. This is just the beginning! Share your adventure
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Along with dozens of travellers, you will start making character creation, more gear and NPCs...
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86
87
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Non player
characterS
FIND HERE THE NPCS you will need to run this adventure.

D UR I N G TH E A DV E N T U RE , you have found in-


structions to create a variety of encounters using
the NPCs found in this appendix.
Then consider the difficulty of the encounter. An
easy encounter has NPCs whose added level is one
lower than the added level of the PC group, a regular
encounter has the same level, a hard encounter has
These encounters are classified as easy, normal, hard, NPCs whose added level exceeds the added level of the
and very hard. These keywords determine how many group of PCs by one, and a very hard encounter exceeds
NPCs you should use to create the encounters. the added level of the PCs by two.
First off, add together the levels of the group of PCs
playing the adventure (the pre-gen characters are all
level 1, so the sum should equal the number of players
in the game).

88
Ixcahuina Native archer
level 2 initiative 1 level 1 initiative 3
CO M PE TE N T R it . , K n o w . , Ch a r. 7 (3 ) C OMPETENT Sho o t., Ste., Ath. 4 (2)
ME D I O C R E 2 (2 ) MED IOC R E 2 (1)

attack attack
ME LE E 1- MELEE 1+
RA N G E D 0 R A NGED P i erc i ng 2+

Health 3 Health 3
A R M OUR 0 A R MOUR 0
MAG I C R E S I S TA N C E 2 MA GIC R ESISTA NC E 0

Cur se of the flesh


ACTION: He chooses a target within his sight up
to 20 metres away. The target must perform a
Rites Check against Ixcahuina, if he fails, the tar-
get gains “REACTION: At the end of each Round,
suffer one random injury.”
Judge of char acter
Characters trying to lie to him suffer one
disadvantage.

C UN N I N G ‡ ME S O A ME RI C A N C A UTIOUS ‡ MESOA MER IC A N


M OV : 5m ‡ W E I G H T : 60kg ‡ H E I G H T : 168cm MOV: 5m ‡ W EIGHT: 63kg ‡ HEIGHT: 165cm

Due to budgetary constraints, this adventure uses illustrations that may not accurately match the NPCs described
in
89the text.
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Native Warrior Native warrior leader


level 1 initiative 3 level 1 initiative 3
C O M PE TE N T M el. , S h o o t. , A th . 4 (2 ) C OMPETENT M el., Ath., Di s. 5 (2)
MEDIOCRE 2 (1 ) MED IOC R E 3 (1)

attack attack
M E LE E 2+ MELEE Co nc ussi o n 4+
R AN G E D P ie rc i n g 3 R A NGED 0

Health 4 Health 5
AR M O UR S of t 1 A R MOUR So ft 1
M AG I C R E S I S T A N C E 0 MA GIC R ESISTA NC E 0

Strong attack
REACTION: After declaring a strong attack, he
gains blunt and causes three deterioration to his
target’s weapon or armour. If the target was an
NPC, he’ll gain either blunt or ripped instead.

AG G R E S S I V E ‡ ME S O A ME RI C A N A GGR ESSIVE ‡ MESOA MER IC A N


M O V : 5m ‡ W E I G H T : 65kg ‡ H E I G H T : 166cm MOV: 5m ‡ W EIGHT: 68kg ‡ HEIGHT: 167cm

90
Native priest Shadow demon
level 1 initiative 2 level 2 initiative 2
CO M PE TE N T R it . , S te. , M ed . 5 (2 ) C OMPETENT M el., Ste., Ri t. 6 (3)
ME D I O C R E 1 (1 ) MED IOC R E 4 (1)

attack attack
ME LE E 1- MELEE P i erc i ng, ma gi c a l 2+
RA N G E D 0 R A NGED 0

Health 3 Health 7
A R M OUR 0 A R MOUR 0
MAG I C R E S I S TA N C E 1 MA GIC R ESISTA NC E 1

Cur se of the flesh Shadow


ACTION: She chooses a target within her sight REACTION: After successfully attacking a char-
up to 20 metres away. The target must perform a acter, that character must perform a normal
Rites Check against the Native priest, if he fails, Discipline Check (+3). If he fails, he is under the
the target gains “REACTION: At the end of each control fo the Shadow demon until he succeeds
Round, suffer one random injury.” in the same check at the start of his turn, or until
the Shadow demon dies.

C UN N I N G ‡ M E S O A ME RI C A N A GGR ESSIVE ‡ MYTHIC A L C R EA TURE


M OV : 5m ‡ W E I G H T : 63kg ‡ H E I G H T : 169cm MOV: 5m ‡ W EIGHT: -kg ‡ HEIGHT: 160cm

91
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Itztlicoatl Haa’hiu
level 2 initiative 1 level 2 initiative 2
C O M PE TE N T M el. , S t e. , R i t. 6 (2 ) C OMPETENT M el., Sho o t., Ri t. 8 (3)
MEDIOCRE 2 (2 ) MED IOC R E 5 (2)

attack attack
M E LE E P ois ono u s , ma g i c a l , 4+ MELEE Fea r, ma gi c a l 2+
R AN G E D 0 R A NGED C ONC USSION, FEA R , MA GIC A L 2+

Health 5 Health 8
AR M O UR H a r d 2 A R MOUR So ft 1
M AG I C R E S I S T A N C E 1 MA GIC R ESISTA NC E 2

Stone body Demonic


All weapons suffer one deterioration when used It ignores one damage from non-magical attacks.
against it, even if their attack fails. Piercing
Summoner of shadows
weapons suffer one additional deterioration.
ACTION: Discard one card from the top of the
deck. If it is a 4 or higher, a Shadow demon ap-
pears next to it.

AG G R E S S I V E ‡ MY T H I C A L C RE A T U RE C UNNING ‡ MYTHIC A L C R EA TU RE
M OV : 10m ‡ W E I G H T : 150kg ‡ H E I G H T : 150cm MOV: 5m ‡ W EIGHT: 45kg ‡ HEIGHT: 164cm

92
Spanish Spanish gunner
conquistador level 1 initiative 2
level 1 initiative 2 C OMPETENT Sho o t., Ath., Di s. 5 (2)

CO M PE TE N T Mel. , A t h . , Di s . 5 (2 ) MED IOC R E 2 (1)

ME D I O C R E 2 (1 ) attack
attack MELEE 2

ME LE E P ie rc ing 3++ R A NGED PIER C ING, FEA R , R ELOA D 4

RAN G E D 0 Health 4
Health 4 A R MOUR So ft 1

A R M OUR H a r d 2 MA GIC R ESISTA NC E 0

A R M OUR S of t 1
MAG I C R E S I S TA N C E 0

Strong attack
REACTION: After declaring a strong attack, he
gains blunt and causes three deterioration to his
target’s weapon or armour. If the target was an
NPC, he’ll gain either blunt or ripped instead.

AG G RE S S I V E ‡ S PA N I S H C A UTIOUS ‡ SPA NISH


M OV : 5m ‡ W E I G H T : 75kg ‡ H E I G H T : 172cm MOV: 5m ‡ W EIGHT: 72kg ‡ HEIGHT: 175cm

93
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Lorenzo de Medina Aguirre


level 2 initiative 3 level 2 initiative 3
C O M PE TE N T M el. , S h o o t. , Di s . , Ch a r . 6 (3 ) C OMPETENT Ri t., M el., Di s. 6 (3)
MEDIOCRE 4 (2 ) MED IOC R E 3 (2)

attack attack
M E LE E P ie rc ing , mag i ca l 3++ MELEE M a gi c a l 2+
R AN G E D P I E R C I N G , F E A R, RE L O A D 3 R A NGED 0

Health 5 Health 3
AR M O UR H a r d 2 A R MOUR 0
M AG I C R E S I S T A N C E 1 MA GIC R ESISTA NC E 1

Char ism atic Divine ha nds


He gains one advantage when trying to convince A friendly character in physical contact with him
someone of something. has one injury and one poisonous effect cured.
Strong attack
REACTION: After declaring a strong attack, he
gains blunt and causes three deterioration to his
target’s weapon or armour. If the target was an
NPC, he’ll gain either blunt or ripped instead.

S T RA T E G I S T ‡ S PA N I S H C UNNING ‡ SPA NISH


M OV : 5m ‡ W E I G H T : 80kg ‡ H E I G H T : 178cm MOV: 5m ‡ W EIGHT: 70kg ‡ HEIGHT: 173cm

94
La Gaditana
level 2 initiative 4
CO M PE TE N T Mel. , S h o o t . , A th . 7 (3 )
ME D I O C R E 4 (2 )

attack
ME LE E P ie rc ing , ma g i c a l 3++
RAN G E D P I E R C I N G , F E A R, RE L O A D 3

Health 4
A R M OUR H a r d 2
MAG I C R E S I S TA N C E 1

AG G RE S S I V E ‡ S PA N I S H
M OV : 5m ‡ W E I G H T : 71kg ‡ H E I G H T : 170cm

95
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

BAQUE

EXTR A CONTENT

NPC stats for Baque will be made avail-


able in a future version of the adventure!

You’ ll receive a message from Drivethru RPG


with the update. It will be free of charge.

96
Peasant Young Female Maria Milagros Castañeda Spanish Christian
1 3
1 Renown (Conquistadors)
Brave (good)
Indomitable (neutral)
2 Reckless (bad)
Prejudiced
x 0

5
1
100

5 xx
2 x
0 x
4 x
2 x
0 x
1 x
1 x
1 x
3 xx
0 x
2 x
4 x Fear

2 x
Conquistador
3 x
Ritual protecting the faithful. Common spells Pater noster (INSTANT: Spend 1 Spirit
97to gain an advantage. It does not stack) and Ave Maria (INSTANT: Spend 1 Spirit to gain 1 magic

resistance until the end of the Scene)


Conquistador sword 3++ Piercing D C B
d rdargaognos ncsocnoqnuqe u
r earmaem
r ei c
raic a

Forged.
Strong attack II (REACTION: Suffer 1 deterioration to cause 2 deterioration/dull/ripped)
Point attack (REACTION: Using both hands suffer one disadvantage to ignore hard armour)

Conquistador armour R R C B

Gain 2 hard armour.


It counts as two items with deterioration track when calculating if you
are to suffer Encumbrance.

Gambeson R C B

Gain 1 soft armour.

98
Peasant Old Male Sebastian Alonso Spanish Christian
1 1
1 Terrible secret
Curious (good)
Avaricious (bad)
0 Prejudiced

x 3

4
5
100

2 x
0
0
2 x
1 x
0
1 x
4 xx Literate, languages expert (maya, mexica)

5 xx Priesthood, Old testament

1 x
4 x
2 x
2 x
3 x Race
Priest
2 x
Rituals conversion. Common spells Pater noster (INSTANT: Spend 1 Spirit to gain an
99
advantage. It does not stack) and Ave Maria (INSTANT: Spend 1 Spirit to gain 1 magic resistance
until the end of the Scene)
Conquistador sword 3++ Piercing D C B
d rdargaognos ncsocnoqnuqe u
r earmaem
r ei c
raic a

Forged.
Strong attack II (REACTION: Suffer 1 deterioration to cause 2 deterioration/dull/ripped)
Point attack (REACTION: Using both hands suffer one disadvantage to ignore hard armour)

Gambeson R C B

Gain 1 soft armour.

The Cross (REACTION: After performing a Transcend check, regardless of the result gain one spirit).

100
Peasant Young Female Jatziri Mexica Mexica
1 3
1 A daughter in Tenochtitlan
x Careful (good)
Beautiful (good)
0 Fear snakes (bad)
Prejudiced.
0

4
0
100

1 x
3 xx
2 x
1 x
5 xx
0 x
2 x
1 x
0 x
4 x
0 x
5 xx An eye for traps

2 x
2 x
Tomb raider
2 x
Ritual bloodletting. Common spells Nonotza Blessing (ACTION: Spend 1 Spirit to discard
101
a card to draw a card) and Penance (CEREMONY: Spend 0 Spirit and suffer one injury to lose as
much Corruption as your level).
Quauholol i mace 3+ Concussive F C B
d rdargaognos ncsocnoqnuqe u
r earmaem
r ei c
raic a

Primitive.

Escaupil armour R C B

Gain 1 soft armour.


Camouflaged (Gain one advantage towards hiding actions).

Ahtlatl (ranged) 3 Piercing

Forged.

Evil protection (Ignore the ill effects (other than Fatigue) of the gear you carry)

102
Peasant Adult Male Citlatli Mexica Mexica
1 2
1 Debts in Tenochtitlan
Curious (good)
Addicted to coca (bad)
x 0 Prejudiced

5
1
100

2 xx
1 x
1
1 x
2 xx
0 x
5 xx Charmer (Mexica, maya)

3 x
1 x
1 x
0
3 x Spy soul

2 x
3 x Nation
Pochteca
4 x
Ritual drug ceremony Common spells Nonotza Blessing (ACTION: Spend 1 Spirit to
103
discard a card to draw a card) and Penance (CEREMONY: Spend 0 Spirit and suffer one injury to
lose as much Corruption as your level).
Macuahuitl 4+ Concussive F C B
d rdargaognos ncsocnoqnuqe u
r earmaem
r ei c
raic a

Primitive.
Strong attack III (REACTION: Suffer 1 deterioration to cause 3 deterioration/dull/ripped).
Obsidian edges (Until this weapon suffers its Special deterioration effect, it has Piercing.)

Escaupil armour R C B

Gain 1 soft armour.


Camouflaged (Gain one advantage towards hiding actions).

Ahtlatl (ranged) 3 Piercing

Forged.

Maps of the Empire (You always know where you are and where is where you are going if it is
within land known to the Mexica)
5x Coca leaves (REACTION: After declaring an Athletic action, consume this item to gain one advantage.
After consuming them more than once per Session, perform a normal Discipline Check (3), if you fail, gain the
“Addicted to coca (bad)” trait. If you already had it, instead suffer a head injury.)

104
Additional geaR
G I V E T H E F O L L O W I N G gear to the characters when they find it through-
out the course of their adventure.

Stone spear PR IMITIVE ‡ 8 Q UACH T L I

ME LE E 2+

R each

o n! You can attack enemies just outside your Melee range

g So as if they were in Melee range. They won’t be able to


counter with Melee unless they have Reach.

m i n
Co
Spear wall
REACTION: If you have allies on both your left and right
sides within 2.5 metres, gain one advantage.

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dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Magical macuahuitl PR IMITIVE ‡ 30 Q UACHT L I

ME LE E c on c us s ion , mag i ca l 4 +

Strong attack III

o n! REACTION: After declaring an attack with this weapon,

g So suffer one deterioration to cause three deterioration


to your target’s weapon or armour. If the target was an

m i n NPC, he’ll gain blunt or ripped instead.

Co
Magical stone spear PR IMITIVE ‡ 24 Q UACHT L I

ME LE E m a g ic a l 2+

R each

o n! You can attack enemies just outside your Melee range

g So as if they were in Melee range. They won’t be able to


counter with Melee unless they have Reach.

m i n
Co
Spear wall
REACTION: If you have allies on both your left and right
sides within 2.5 metres, gain one advantage.

Leather shield
REG UL AR ‡ 15 QU A C H T L I

o n!
g So
m i n
Co

Shielding II
REACTION: After losing a confrontation against an at-
tack, cause up to 2 deterioration to this item to add
that many points to your action value. If you could
have won the confrontation with your modified action
value, your opponent’s action fails.

106
107
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

So what’s next?
core book march 13th
D R A G O N S C O N Q U E R A M E R I C A will continue its journey on
Kickstarter. Starting March 13th, we will fund the core book of this setting,
a comprehensive compendium of the lore and rules of the game.

108
FeedbacK
T H I S D O W N L O A D A B L E D O C U M E N T has many purposes, chief among
them our need to gather your insights to make the best possible game. You have
many ways to take part in this process as you can see below. Whichever you
choose, we’ll be eternally grateful.

The rights and wrongS


Stage 1: troubleshooting
W E H A V E A PRE T T Y active community on Discord.
It’s the best place to give us general recommendations
and shoot us any lingering questions you may have on
the mechanics, the lore or the Kickstarter:

■ discord.gg/FqBe4pk

Stage 2: spelling and grammar


T Y PO S A RE E V E R- P RE S E N T in printed material but
that doesn’t mean the are OK. If you want to help us
get rid of them, please share them through this form:

■ goo.gl/forms/ciCdwls2KXdVHepk2

We will open access to the plain text documents at a


future date.

Stage 3: rules and mechanics


PL A Y I N G T H E G A ME and breaking it apart; that’s the
kind of feedback we need the most. What works and
what doesn’t? What flows and what stalls? What do
you love and what could you live without? The more
specific your comments, the more we can improve the
game. For this purpose we have created a form that
you’ll be able to fill as many times as you need:

■ goo.gl/forms/arbtXlQmFbdvIkPJ2

109
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

Giving credit where


credit is duE
We will make sure your help will not go uncredited:

S T A GE 1 C R E DIT
Shoutout in the core book Kickstarter campaign.

S T A GE 2 C R E DIT
Collaborator credit in the Core Book

S T AGE 3 C RE DIT
Playtester credit in the Core Book

110
This is just the
beginninG
T H E W O RL D O F DRAGONS CONQUER AMERICA WILL EXPAND IN UNEXPECTED WAYS. WITH
YOUR HELP, WE WILL BE ABLE TO EXPLORE IT IN FULL.

R E M E MB E R: KICKSTAR TE R MARC H 13TH

111
dr agons conquer a mer ic a

follow, share!
facebook
D A I L Y U PD A T E S on development.

■ Follow: facebook.com/burning.games
■ Share: pinned post

twitter
S N E A K PE E K S and quick news.

■ Follow: twitter.com/burning_games
■ Share: pinned post

google plus
I N S I G H T A N D T H O U G H T S of our game development.

■ Follow: +BurningGamesPlus

instagram
C O O L I L L U S T RA T I O N S A ND PIC S:

■ Follow: instagram.com/burning.games/

mailchimp
N E W S A N D K I C K S T A RT E R LA UNC HES:

■ Follow: eepurl.com/cnPGyX/

discord
D I RE C T L I N E O F C O MMUNIC A TION W ITH US:

■ Follow: discord.gg/FqBe4pk

112
credits

production Gr aphic design

Helio de Grado Aleksandra Bilic

Jon Egia m aps a nd glyphs

ga me design Álvaro Pesquera


Jose María Sainz
Carlos GQ
paintings a nd art wor k
Mauricio Gómez
Landing of Columbus, 1847 by
WR ITING John Vanderlyn

JC Obal Portrait of a Man, Said to be


Christopher Columbus, 1519 by
illustr ation Sebastiano del Piombo
Rado Javor Christ on the Cross, 1627 by Peter
Paul Rubens
Antonio J Manzanedo
Apotheosis of Hercules, 1733–1736
Marco Brunelleschi
(ceiling) by François Le Moyne
Milan Nikolic
Mesoamerican art, various
George Pricopegalan authors and dates.

113

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