Doublecrossroads

  1. To the east, there are the Cities, a loose mesh of civilizations and kingdoms mostly of accord with one another. They are crowded, worn, and will crumble under the weight of humanity. Further, there are the three seas, and the Old Worlds, and what we ran to escape from. Outside of the Cities, it doesn't matter if it's north or south. Everything's just frontier. All is West.
  2. There are markings of a hundred civilizations swept clean of the land by a danger from the far, dark, burned rock of the West again and again. There are the perfect men from within the world. There are horrible monsters of all kinds. But the real danger is from the land itself, and the desperate mortal men who inhabit her.
  3. You are not powerful. You are not special. You are not important. You are one of many who fled West to escape the decay of the Cities and stake your own claim. Seize your own fortune. Raise your own kingdom. Write your own legend.
  4. There are villages and towns, mostly small, and none within a day's ride of one another. Each a hub for a hundred farms, mines, claims, and more secret things.
  5.  You have responsibilities. You are hanging on by your fingers out here. You work your life away every week. When the weekend comes, though, you grab your shovel, grab your revolver, and head out into the wastes. You know where the dark creatures dwell. There, you live. You are what holds back the tide of horrors but that is not your job. You are a carpenter, or tailor or farmhand. You're also not a hero. This isn't about protecting others. This is about survival, and about taking control of your destiny in a world ready to kill and eat you.
  6. There is magic in this world and it is all alive, and mostly it fights you. Mostly it is whispers from Hell. There are gods in this world, and they are mostly flesh, mostly monsters. There are the men who created dragons. There are soldiers inventing new wars. There are men who hunger for the blood of other men. There are things beyond the sky, watching, hiding in your mind, waiting for a way in.
  7. The gun is life. It is a daily fact of existence. Not everyone you meet will be a master gunman, or even particularly skilled, but everyone you meet either has a gun or at least knows how to use one. Throw your weight around if you're quick on the draw, but no one stays the fastest forever...
  8. The fortunes you were promised were mostly lies. Now that you're here, it's clear there are stranger treasures, more fantastic and deadly. Some are coveted by the perfect men from within the world, the Agarthaurum. Some are things they banished here, to the surface, because they knew better.
  9. Where the Wurmcoach terminates, where the Sirocco Trail bows and distends, where the long-stolen sister to the Lamplight Lenses lies, there is darkness. Past Shapestone and the last real city, ten days out, you'll find the final gateway to the West, the last vestige of man. The town of Doublecrossroads. Some forgot she was ever made until pilgrims came fleeing back from her. Some think she just appeared, coming out of the West, and acted like she'd always been there. It is the desperate edge of the world. It is the farthest frontier. It's where the sun dies. It's perfect.
  10. You're a dead man. You may survive, but you'll never thrive. The dangers of the land close in on you, and the weight of your fellow man presses at your back. To the West, only desert, and beyond the desert rock unceasing, and beyond that no one knows. The West is forever. And there's something out there.


MAKIN' GUYS IN 12 EASY STEPS

  1. Roll 3d6 in order for your Ability Scores: Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, Intellect, Wisdom, and Charisma. Swap any 2 scores with each other. If you get 2 or more results of 6 or less, you may take a one-time Mulligan and reroll all your stats. Note whether you get any Ability Score Bonuses. Doublecrossroads uses a B/X approach to bonuses, detailed below.
  2. Choose from the Classifications below, the broad type of character you are. Some Classes require specific ability scores.
  3. Note all your Class’ abilities, requirements, and restrictions. Note your Class’ Hit Die. Behave according to the level chart for that Class, usually rolling that Hit Die, plus 1, plus any bonus you get from Constitution at level 1. That’s your beginning Hit Points. Some Classes assign HP differently.
  4. Note your Saves: 13 for an Easy Save, 15 for a Tricky Save, 17 for a Hard Save. Common Folk get +1 to their Saves. Some special circumstances will let you add certain Ability Score Bonuses to your Saves.
  5. Roll up your Luck, usually rolling 1d4 +1. Write down your Shock Value as 0. Note if your Class calculates Luck differently. You will rarely ever begin with more than 0 Shock, but some Classes, like the Cannibal, require it.
  6. Each character (usually) has 10 slots of Encumbrance. Select up to 5 slots of Gear, noting which items count for two slots. Roll 1d4x10. This is your starting silver, used to purchase provisions, ammo, etc.
  7.  Note your Class' Defensive Number. Your Dexterity score may modify this number.
  8. Choose what you want your Reputation to be. It affects how people treat you, and it comes with a value which goes up and down as you adventure and can help you do some things.
  9. Determine what your Career is. This is your day job during the week, how you earn your Wage. Basically, this is the crappy life you're protecting when you go out and kill things on weekends. Your Class affords you some kind of bonus, either a kind of Skill Roll bonus or a 2/6 chance of doing something, a save bonus, or something else.
  10. Have the Doom Marshall roll for any spells you begin play with, or for any similar features.
  11. Note all Languages your character speaks at the beginning of the game, remembering you always get another Language for your Intellect bonus. You don't have to select all your Languages up front; they can 'float' until you encounter a Language you decide you can speak.
  12. Determine Age, Gender, any other details, name your guy…if you like. This can all come in the course of play.
REMEMBER: It’s a good idea to have a backup guy in yer pocket!

ALSO: Don’t forget that before you get any Helpers you have to play a second guy at the table!

ABILITY SCORE MODIFIERS

3 = -3
4-5 = -2
6-8 = -1
9-12 = 0
13-15 = +1
16-17 = +2
18 = +3

Strength modifiers affect to hit rolls and damage with handheld melee weapons, forcing open doors and such. It us also used instead of Dexterity when throwing Normal weapons.
Constitution modifiers affect Saves against poison and other similar effects. It also affects how many Hit Points you gain with each Hit Die.
Dexterity modifiers affect your Defensive Number and to hit rolls with ranged weapons, including thrown Minor and Light weapons.
Intellect modifiers determine how many Languages you speak at first level, in addition to the Languages each Classification begins with. It also affects certain saves, particularly for Esoterica and Shock Value.
Wisdom modifiers grant changes to Saves against magical effects, and certain other Class features.
Charisma modifiers affect how many total Helpers you can have, and what their Morale will be.

CLASSIFICATIONS

Common Folk- Salt of the earth, homesteaders of the range, simple people, lucky to be alive, often morons. But not you.
Professional- You have a collection of very specific, esoteric skills that make you invaluable on these dangerous expeditions, or perhaps you're just damn good at your job and don't want to see your livelihood imperiled.
Soldier- Regimented fighting men and women. Some are still loyal to their troop, others may be deserters. For many, their battle is simply over.
Shootist- Any blamed fool can use a knife, but a surgeon can use a knife to perform miracles. Any idjit with iron thinks themselves a gunslinger, but few can make that barrel sing like you can.
Brawler- You like a good drink. You like a good fight. You don't care in which order those happen. You work hard, pay your taxes...sometimes a fella just needs to blow off steam.
Lawman- Peacekeepers and protectors of the people of the plains. They specialize in sacrifice and vengeance.
Hunter- Whether you hunt man or beast, you're a master of finding the trail, setting the trap, and waiting patiently...
Mountain Man- Hearty survivalists of the remotest of the remote. Trappers, miners, hermits, they are accustomed to the fringe of the dangerous West and shrugging off the giant dangers found there.
Holy Man- You serve the lord, your lord just happens to be a mountain lion the size of a coach with three rows of teeth. You confer the power of the divine, deliver sermons...and dish out lead.
Witch- Powered by Hell, not entirely wicked but necessarily strange. Yours is always a blood price for power, the more of one the more of the other.
Shadower- The secrets of the East, the blood of the ancients, a horrible curse, sight beyond sight...somehow you have discovered the secret to stealing another form.
Cannibal- Meat is scarce on the frontier. Why let those fool enough to draw down on you go to waste? Your bloodlust and frenzy are fearsome, but you're really just a foodie.
Drifter-Where did you come from? Where are you going? The long journey to the endless West has many wanderers. Little is known about you...but that just spreads your legend.
Chosen-Stargazers and conduits for the beyonders, chosen vessels for the watchers beyond the sky. Their very forms are gateways to horrors.
Agarthaurum- The perfect men within the world, drenched in gold. Keepers of Hell.
Machines- The City Men, made by the Cities for the Cities, the iron-blooded men of the next century.

SAVES

Every PC has the same starting Saves, based on the following "stoplight system":

  • Easy Saves require a 13 or greater.
  • Tricky Saves require a 15 or greater.
  • Hard Saves require a 17 or greater.
Situational modifiers, certain Ability Score modifiers, and various magical effects may alter these numbers. In addition, these numbers may change as you level. More information and a guide to how they compare to more traditional Saves can be found here.

DEFENSIVE NUMBER

This value varies by your Classification. It is then modified by your Dexterity Score using the table above, and may be further modified depending on situational factors. In XXR, ties never favor the PC, except in Death and Dueling (see below).

Your Base Defensive Number can rarely be improved with magical effects or mutations, otherwise your Defensive Number may never exceed 21.

LUCK RULES

Most characters roll 1d4+1 for their Luck at first level, though a few Classes handle your starting Luck differently. You also gain 1 point of Luck every time you level up.

Luck never regenerates at the beginning of a day or session: you only have your starting Luck, what you gain from leveling, and what the Doom Marshall affords you in rare, rare circumstances.

Spending 1 point of Luck can allow you to reroll one failed roll. You can't use this to reroll anything involving Hit Points...an HD roll at a new level, damage roll on a successful hit, magical healing roll, etc. Attack rolls, Saves, Skill rolls, Initiative, yes, absolutely.

You may also spend 1 point of Luck as you sleep to cast your Fortune. This reveals to you one forthcoming answer that you pose about your path ahead, and draws one card from the Fortune Deck. The player spending Luck determines whether the Fortune is being cast on their Character (and is specific to them) or to the Table (in which case it affects the larger game world and may or may not affect them directly). Fortune effects introduce elements the DM must incorporate into the game world by next session.

Spending 3 points of Luck allows you to cheat death, just this once. Narrowly avoid the rockslide, the bullet juuust missed all your major organs after all, that kind of thing.

Spending 5 points of Luck allows for an act of god. Think on the scale of something like a limited wish spell or a natural disaster.

Some Classes, like the Lawman, use Luck in different ways.

SHOCK VALUE

Every character has a number known as a Shock Value. Almost all Classes begin with Shock Value 0, but the Cannibal (for one) acts differently.

Whenever you experience something the Doom Marshall decides is sufficiently horrible, otherworldly, magical, or terrifying, he may compel a Shock roll. This is almost always a Hard Save (17) but special circumstances, becoming inured over time, or the familiarity with the weird and macabre that, say, Holy Men and Witches have, might suggest an easier Save from time to time. You add your Intellect Bonus to your roll when making this Save. Failure means you take a point of Shock. Your Shock Value may never be reduced, except by the Chosen.

When your Shock Value equals your Wisdom score, you suffer a permanent -1 to hit, -1 to your Defensive Number, -1 to damage, and -1 to any Hit Dice rolls you make at a new level or for magical healing. Your nerves are shot and you're not the person you once were. You are Changed. Whenever you fail a Shock roll in the future, you gain a minor madness: I roll for you on this table and secretly tell you your result. Rerolling the same number after a later failed Save means the effect worsens, and you advance to the next stage.

You can make a Tricky Save (15) with your Charisma bonus to resist the effects of any madness effect for five minutes, but you must re-Save every time your trigger comes into play. Any saves the sanity table compels you to make add your Charisma bonus as well. You may have madness effects removed using Remove Curse, or by the rare case of your Shock being reduced by the Chosen below your Wisdom score.

When your Shock Value reaches 21 your character has become so bucket-shitting crazy that they become a NPC.

ENCUMBRANCE AND GEAR

First, XXR is on a silver standard, like LOTFP. It also uses LOTFP Encumbrance rules: you can carry 10 "Slots" of Gear before you are over-encumbered. Coins totaling less than 1000 never take up a Slot, certain things like paper, ammunition, and rations stack within one Slot, and some things (2-handed weapons, ladders, etc) require 2 Slots. Carrying more than 10 Slots of Gear makes you Encumbered, and you can't carry more than 20 Slots of Gear without special circumstances. Assume LOTFP silver prices for any specific piece of gear not listed below.

WEAPONS come in five categories: Minor, Simple, Normal, Major, and Firearms.
  • Minor weapons do 1d4 or less and can generally be used by anyone. They’re often as much tools as anything else. 5s
  • Simple weapons are weapons that leave a hand free and are all around “weaponier” than a minor weapon. In some cases they’re used as more general tools but generally they’re carried for protection. They do 1d6 damage. 10s
  • Normal weapons require some training. These are typically purely implements of war. They do 1d8. 30s
  • Major weapons are large and must be used two-handed, and require special training to even use. They take up two slots of encumbrance. They do 1d10 damage. 50s
  • Firearms also require some special training to use well but the basic nature of the setting assumes at least a familiarity with firearms. Not everyone has one but everyone in the family knows how to use the family gun, for instance.
    -Pistols do 1d8 damage, cost 40s, and 2 Bullets cost 1s. They are -1 tohit and damage at Medium range, ineffective at Long range.
    -Shotguns do 1d8 damage, cost 50s, and 1 Shell costs 1s. These take up two slots of encumbrance, but a trained smith can modify this for you. They are ineffective at Long range, effective at Medium and Short range, and +2 to damage at short range.
    -Rifles do 1d10 damage, cost 60s, and 1 Round costs 1s. These take up two slots of encumbrance. They are effective at both Short and Medium range, but they are +1 tohit at Long range.
Some weapons are Ranged. These are 20% more expensive than their melee counterparts, and they require Ammunition which must be purchased separately.
Some weapons have Reach, and are effective in melee up to 10' away. These are 10% more expensive than a normal weapon.
Some weapons, like boomerangs, nets, whips, lariats, etc, represent special cases. Ask your DM or consult the Equipment tables in LOTFP for guidance.

There is no armor or shields in Doublecrossroads. Instead, your Defensive Number is modified by your Dexterity and by situational factors.

At 1st level,  select for your character any 5 Slots worth of equipment. Then, roll 1d4x10. This is your starting silver you may use to purchase additional Gear, food, ammo, and the like.

NOTES ON GUN USE:

  • If you do not clear a chamber from your Pistol when you ride a horse, prepare to roll a Ride check to avoid the gun going off and shooting you.
  • A pistol can hold 6 bullets. A shotgun can hold 4 shells. A rifle can hold 2 rounds.
  • You do not normally get your Dexterity bonus when attacking with a gun, unlike bows, crossbows, etc. Instead, you must take a round to Aim in order to get this bonus.
  • You can only Aim OR Reload OR Fire in any round. Reloading, Aiming, and Firing takes 3 rounds.
  • Rolling a 1 means making a Tricky Save (15) to see if your gun jams. This can't be cleared in combat, except by a Shootist.

REPUTATION

Your character has a Reputation equal to your Charisma. You don’t have to behave according to your reputation all the time. However, your Reputation is not static. If you act according to your reputation in public and try to spread your legend a bit, you could get get +1 to your Reputation. If you behave contrary to your reputation in public, it is reduced by -1.When your reputation nears 0 you’re a laughable joke that even bad men can’t trust…you could single-handedly save an entire town and you won’t get the credit you deserve. When your reputation nears 20, they know your name everywhere you go, and some people might seek you out because of your reputation.

You can spend a point of Reputation (reducing your score) to improve your chances on a reaction roll with someone who knows you by name.

Straight Arrow
You’re an honest, good person. You’re direct. You don’t like bullies. You are dependable, and you protect the people who depend on you. You’re a champion of, if not law and order, then at least justice.
Hired Hand
You’re as good as the money lets you be. That doesn’t mean you don’t have principles, of course, and maybe it’s even those principles which attract your clients. You are committed, reliable. You get the job done, whatever that job is, sometimes putting your life on the line. But every man has his price AND his limits.
Wild Card
You only ever seem to act according to your own self interests and, as such, are as unpredictable as a wild animal or the shifting sands. You’re not a bad person, necessarily, but everyone has grown to count on the fact that you can’t be counted on. You probably don’t want to kill the sheriff but you don’t care much if someone else does. You can get along just fine on your own.
Troublemaker
People keep an eye out for you. When you come in a room, everyone knows that you’re going to be a problem. You’re a rule breaker, a lawbreaker. You don’t care who gets hurt, if they come between you and what you want. You’re driven, and you’re single-minded, and bad things happen when you’re around.
Outlaw
You are defined by violence and skirting the law. You prefer to make your living by preying on the weakness within the system. You leave just enough so you can take more later. You aren’t oblivious to the suffering of those your actions affect. You know, and you like it.
Black Hat
You live to impose your will on others. You kill without a thought. You would tear down the world if you could and rebuild it so it suits you. You’re friends with vengeance and a stranger to mercy.

CAREERS

You have a day job that earns you the coin you need to have wild adventures. Sometimes, not often but sometimes, the knowledge and skills you possess in your line of work can give you a leg up in a hairy predicament later. Each Career confers a benefit, usually a bonus to Saves or a kind of Skill at level 2, including Skills unique to that Career.

You may roll on any table you qualify for to determine your career, but we often work the jobs we must due to circumstances, so your actual career is determined randomly using these tables.

 SKILLS

For the most part, Skills work like they do in LOTFP, where everyone has a default 1/6 chance of succeeding on a Skill check and some Classes, like the Drifter or Professional, have the ability to improve their ranges for success on a d6. Sneak Attack is still the weird one, acting as a damage multiplier under certain circumstances. The Skills list in this scheme is slightly modified:

Architecture- Noticing the features of construction.
Bushcraft Wilderness- Foraging, navigating, and surviving in the wilds of the West.
Climb- When you need to get up a surface unaided, or in a hurry, or up a sheer surface.
Languages- When you encounter a Language you haven't heard before and you have a floating Language from your Class or Intellect bonus, you can decide you are fluent in that Language. Otherwise, you roll this Skill, and on a success you know enough to communicate in this Language (though you lack true facility).
Ride- Difficult routes and feats of horsemanship must be rolled against this value.
Search- Checking the area, long distance vision, noticing something in your surroundings, looking for something specific.
Sleight of Hand- Secreting or producing something on your person unseen, or interacting with an object unnoticed.
Sneak Attack- This doesn't work like other Skills, and is a damage multiplier used when you attack a target that is unaware of you, or unaware of you as a threat.
Stealth- Hiding, or moving silently/unseen.
Tinker- Repairing, breaking, arming traps, disarming traps.

Additionally, there are other knowledge Skills that are treated as "saves against not knowing that." The only way to get flat bonuses to these are from your Career or Class, and you can only improve these by improving such a Career bonus.

Ignorance- This is common knowledge, and usually an Easy Save (13).
Esoterica- This is specialized information, not secreted or obscured but  something one could live their entire life not knowing. Usually a Tricky Save (15) unless your character has some experience in that area...
Arcana- The truly hidden, deliberately secret knowledge of the world, and secrets from the long long past. Usually a Hard Save (17)

These aren't Skills per se, because I don't like knowledge skills that much, but they're a rough framework for some common "do I know this" scenarios. Likewise, there are no 'interaction skills' like Seduction or Intimidation. It's down to role playing, but for cases where some roll is required assume friendly interaction checks are Easy, neutral interactions are Tricky, and hostile interactions are Hard Saves, with another 2-point drift depending whether the NPC is of a higher level than you are or not. You can spend a point of Reputation to improve these checks with any character who knows your name.

HELPERS

Your maximum number of Helpers and the Morale of those Helpers is based on your Charisma, as below:

3: 1 Helper, Morale 4
4-5: 2 Helpers, Morale 5
6-8: 3 Helpers, Morale 6
9-12: 4 Helpers, Morale 7
13-15: 5 Helpers, Morale 8
16-17: 6 Helpers, Morale 9
18: 7 Helpers, Morale 10

This is the amount of hirelings, servants, and talented individuals who make up a support retinue. A wagon train, if you will.

First of all, before a character may hire any Helpers whatsoever, they must first play a second character. If you can’t handle 2 people you can’t handle 12. These aren’t just glorified magic items or tools, you’re in charge of their lives.

Each Helper you hire reduces the amount of Helpers you may still hire. Each pet, familiar, war dog, horse, etc that you purchase also reduces this number. Some special assistants, like a Shootist or Soldier’s sidekick characters, do not reduce hirelings, since they’re basically just a bonus/secondary character like above.

All Helpers must be paid for. Humanoid and intelligent Helpers must be paid up front and must be paid regularly for the term of their contract, however long you wish that to be. You can fire them at any time, or they can run away in terror after failing a Morale check. Animal Helpers must be paid for once and then routinely cared for and fed...they're less useful but have +1 for Morale checks.

When you or a character you control take a ton of damage (there's no hard number for this but over half is a good number), or any time a character in your party dies, or any time your overall party's size is reduced by a third, or any time one of your Helpers fail a save, particularly a Shock roll, the DM may make a Morale check using a d10. Failing means that character has become either uselessly panicked or actually bolts. Helpers with Morale 10-11 only fail a check if they roll 10 twice, and Helpers with 12+ never fail a check. Remember that you add any Bonuses or Penalties from your Charisma to the roll result before comparing the value to your Helpers' Morale.

Every Helper who dies in your service worsens your attempt to negotiate for a new Helper next time. Pull off a successful job and get a good haul and maybe that problem goes away. This goes for everyone you fire without paying and, of course, every Helper you kill yourself.

ADVANCEMENT

  1. Each Class has its own chart for Advancement. When you cross the XP threshold for a new level, begin first by consulting that Advancement chart.
  2. Note any new features or improved features gained at that level for your Class.
  3. For the first 9 levels or so, most Classes will ask you to roll your Class' Hit Die, add that to your maximum and current HP, as well as your Constitution Bonus. Referring to your Class' Advancement chart tells you how much HP you stand to gain by level.
  4. You gain 1 point of Luck.
  5. Roll d100 once on the table below:
1-25: +1 to an Ability Score. All Ability Scores have a maximum of 18. Roll 1d6 to determine which Score is improved. If that Score already has a value of 18, reroll not the d6 roll but the d100 roll. If you get this result again, roll 1d6 and start over. Keep doing this until you get either a different d6 result or a different d100 result.
26-40: +1 to Saves.
41-60: +1 to hit.
61-80: +1 damage.
81-95: 1 Skill Point which may be invested anywhere not already maxed out.
96-100: Gain an additional attack when In Initiative.

Some rare cases afford you enough XP that you could level up more than once. In those instances, you level as normal, and then further Advance on each successive session until you are of a level your Advancement chart says you should be.

In order to gain all the benefits from leveling up, you MUST sleep through the night without setting a watch. This usually means you want to be somewhere safe, like a fortified position or the relative safety of town.

DUELS AND DEATH

When you are reduced to 0 HP you may elect to play a hand of blackjack for your life against the Doom Marshall, on white sand, under red sky. Lose and you're dead and gone forever. Succeed and you'll merely die within a day unless attended to by a sawbones, or touched by magic so that you'd wish you'd died.

If you die and do not play for your life, it is always possible that some magic or miracle may resurrect you.

If you have drawn down against the Doom Marshall before, you are forced to take an additional card at deal. This compounds.

Note that the Doom Marshall always plays his duels face up, in secret, revealing his hand only after the Player has stuck or bust.

Duels work similarly: both sides must agree to a Duel and, unless both sides agree, a Duel always ends in death. You don't get to play against the Doom Marshall after losing a Duel. The character of higher level (either the PC or the NPC) may peek at their cards for this hand.

REMEMBER THAT UNLIKE OTHER ASPECTS OF XXR, TIES IN DUELS OR DEATH ALWAYS FAVOR THE PC.

When it comes to Healing you heal 1 HP per night of rest while adventuring and 2 HP per night of rest in town. At any point you can elect to drink a dose of alcohol to restore HP equal to your Constitution bonus (minimum 1) at the expense of a -1 penalty to your Defensive Number. This effect is cumulative and lasts until you sleep it off (full night of rest during which you do not recover 1 HP).

FURTHER READING


20 Questions for Doublecrossroads
Doublecrossroads Looks Like...
Some Info About Rules
Rumors and Folklore of XXR