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Realms: Cosmic Guardians

*gasp* You're Full of Ingredients!!

Okay, I'd best warn you right now, folks. Character generation is not going to be effortless. While the game itself is relatively simple in play, you're going to have a lot of numbers you'll have to keep track of. These numbers are divided up into four categories: Attributes, Aspects, Derived Facts, and Skills.

Attributes and Aspects

To start off, you have twelve Attributes:

  • Body: Muscle power. Determines melee weapon/unarmed damage, how much you can lift, and how far you can jump.

  • Coordination: A combination of your dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and speed. Also affects ranged weapon damage.

  • Health: How well the character resists disease, infection, and poisons; also rate of healing. Hit points are derived from this figure.

  • Toughness: How well the character resists damage and pain, including torture.

  • Mind: Determines a character's memory capabilities, as well as the power to understand abstract concepts. Also affects the character's ability to learn.

  • Spirit: Willpower. Determines ability to resist mental and magical attacks, and recover from some kinds of wounds; the primary attribute used for Fear checks.

  • Perception: The ability to notice things with your five (or more) senses, sometimes working against a distraction. Determines range for certain weapons and spells.

  • Power: This represents a mental aspect that applies for the most part only to magical energy: how much the character has at start, how effective the character is with spells or, if not a mage, how much energy a mage could draw from the character via various means -- not all of them nice! It also represents an ineffable magnetism that factors into a person's Allure (covered below).

  • Fame: Determines how well the character is known. This value is one of the few that can change without being bought up.

  • Symmetry: Physical beauty combined with poise; factors into a character's ability to be seductive or convincing.

  • Wealth: How much moolah you got! While exact prices are not covered in terms of the cost of living, a character's wealth helps determine any resources the character may have at start-of-game that are not covered by Traits.

  • Synchronicity: The weirdest attribute in the bunch. Plainly speaking, this attribute determines the interest of the multiverse in you, the character. The higher the attribute is, the more likely that you'll get drawn into unexpected plot twists, i.e. Why did the last Mohican decide to have lunch with me?

    Please note: this is not luck. The attention of the multiverse is not always a desired thing to have -- i.e. I don't have time to save the princess of Bavaria! My hometown is being attacked by vampiric platypuses! After all, the multiverse has a rather wicked sense of humor.

These determine your overall capabilities, and can have values (referred to hereafter as 'Ranks') between one to twenty -- higher if you pick certain traits. Although most contests will require rolling vs. skill, rather than vs. an attribute, there will be occasions where it will be necessary. Rolling is based on a percentile, so you multiply your attribute rank by four, then roll under that number on 1d100. Average ranks for all skills but Toughness, Power, Fame, Wealth, and Synchronicity are between nine and twelve. Most regular folks also have only a Power, Fame, and Synchronicity of one.

Now, you also have six Aspects, each of which are linked to a field of skills:

  • Logic (Academics/Sciences): The character's capacity for rational thought and analysis.

  • Discipline (Athletics & Physical Action): The character's capacity to stick to tasks and exercises (which tend to be unpleasant) structured towards a long-term goal.

  • Empathy (Social): How well a character can deduce another person's emotional state. Can be used as a crude basis for lie detection, or manipulating others. Also works as a foil to being manipulated.

  • Insight (Occultism & Religion): Often referred to as intuition, this is the measure of a character's ability to comprehend things that are logically inexplicable.

  • Passion (Artistic): The character's tendency towards enthusiasm and excitement about life. Represents a person's drive.

  • Adaptability (Technological): Determines how well a person learns from experience, and also how well they react and deal with unexpected circumstances.

The primary purpose of these values are not for rolling against them in contests of skill, but rather they are mostly for determining how many skill points you will receive to put towards the relevant skills attached to each Aspect. Bear in mind that, at the GM's discretion, you may be asked to make an Aspect check, which is determined by multiplying the Aspect by 4, then rolling 1d100.

For Aspects, 10 ranks are equivalent to a null score. It's rather like having a pH of 7. At a 10, you are neither particularly inclined, nor disinclined, towards this aspect.

Numbers, man, I need Numbers!

"But wait!" you cry. "How do we determine point values for aspects and attributes?"

Guess what? That's up to you to decide.


Okay, all you folks who are now having heart problems, get someone's attention and have them call an ambulance. If you only fainted, then feel free to get back up when you are ready and read the above line again.

Yes, it's true. You determine how many ranks you put in your Attributes and Aspects. This is geared so that you are able to have the most freedom in creating your character concept. So think hard!

Next, however, comes the reason why it's not a good idea to put a 20 in everything...

The Universal Russian Roulette

One of the defining mechanics of Cosmic Synchronicity is referred to simply as the 'Cosmic Trigger,' a derived value which is determined thusly:

The player must add together the total ranks they put down for their Attributes and Aspects. This total is then measured against a game's Quantum Factor (the Quantum Factor for Earth Unmasked! is set at 200, or Heroic level). If the total is less than the Quantum Factor, then your Cosmic Trigger is 00 (or 100). If the total is greater than the Quantum Factor, then you subtract the Quantum Factor from your Attribute/Aspect total. Divide the difference by 5 and round up. Subtract the quotient from 100. This remaining value is your Intermediary Cosmic Trigger.

Then add together your positive and negative traits. If the total is 0, there is no change. Otherwise, divide the value by 10. If the value is positive, subtract it from the Cosmic Trigger. If it is negative, add it to the Trigger -- but remember your recorded result cannot be greater than one hundred, even if it adds up so.

To be clear, the equation goes thusly:

(Attributes) + (Aspects) = Total One

  • If Total One is less than or equal to 200, then the Intermediate Cosmic Trigger is 00.

  • If Total One is greater than 200, then Total One - 200 = Total Two

(Total Two/5) - 100 = Intermediate Cosmic Trigger

Intermediate Cosmic Trigger + (Traits/10) = Cosmic Trigger

Now to explain what all this means. The Cosmic Trigger is basically part of what helps to balance out the system. Whenever someone rolls a skill, Attribute, or Aspect check, to succeed they must roll a number under the percentile value. If they roll over that number, obviously they fail. But if they roll a number that is equal to or greater than their Cosmic Trigger, then something goes disastrously wrong.

This is not always a fatal error, although it can be. Mostly, it is just means that something Really Bad™ is about to happen. Maybe you roll a Cosmic Trigger while trying to shoot someone, but instead you shoot one of your allies... or perhaps the gun just explodes in your face.

By example, let's take the earlier example where you have twenty ranks in all your Attributes and Aspects. You'll end up with a Cosmic Trigger of 68. Sixty-eight! That means you have a 32% chance to royally screw up any skill you might roll, even if your skill value is higher than your Cosmic Trigger -- and that's with no Positive traits to worry about!

So remember, be frugal! I won't call you on high scores in character generation, but you could end up having a very short career in play when the odds catch up to you.

Derived Facts

Allure = Spirit + Passion + Symmetry + Fame + Power
Read this number as a percentage. This value determines the character's capacity to entice and manipulate NPCs through attractiveness, confidence, and body language, and can be modified on a case by case basis. It can be resisted by Spirit.

Intimidate = Body + Passion + Toughness + Spirit + Empathy
Read this number also as a percentage. This value quantifies how well a character can force another though fear of harm. Bonuses are added if violent acts are performed. It is defended by a Spirit roll (i.e. a Fear check).

Initiative = d20 + Coordination + Trait Modifiers
This determines how quickly a character moves in combat.

Healing Rate = (Health + Spirit)/10
This number should be rounded up. It is how many Mortality Points (hit points) your body will heal per day with proper care and rest.

Jumping = (Coordination + Body + Health)/6
This number should be also rounded up. It calculates the distance a character can jump up or across.

Leaping = (Coordination + Body)/2
This number should be rounded up, and is the distance a character can jump up or across with a running start.

Running = (Coordination + Health)/2
This number should be rounded up, and cannot be less than one. It defines how fast a character can sprint, in good weather, on even ground.

Mortality Points = (Body + Health + Spirit) times 4
This number is the base off of which you determine how much damage each body part can take before incapacitation or loss of the limb, which is calculated thusly:

Each Limb25%

The Combat section will cover how damage affects the character.

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Last modified: 2002-Mar-17 18:01:43

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