E.Lite RPG

The E.Lite RPG is an ongoing project which is nearing completion! If you are interested in discussing the mechanics, or in adding your world to the E.Lite roster, come join the discord! It's a great way to turn your setting into a playable one!

 

Introduction

What is E.Lite?

For Game Masters

E.Lite is a toolset designed to help you turn a setting of any scale into an RPG world tailored to the type of play which fits YOUR storytelling. It doesn't matter if you're starting with a rough idea or with tomes of lore—E.Lite guides you in creating a game which is fully your own, one in which you understand the justification for every mechanic and variable.

For Players

E.Lite is a ruleset designed to be easy-to-learn and rewarding to master. The mechanics of action resolution and crafting, both of which use Fudge Dice, are simple at first. The abilities of the game allow for incredible agency and tactics in your choice by granting you in-character abilities and out-of-character dice control.

Features

Narrators

Even the GM gets to play through the lens of the Narrator, an abstract character to roleplay and who plays against the Players during conflict.

Backstory

Learn the setting lore as you weave your PC into it using lifepath-style character creation. Create a story and stats at the same time!

Plot

Plot combines experience and currency. Gain it from obstacles and spend it to grow skills, acquire abilities, upgrade gear, and more.

Leveling

The Party and Narrator level together, leading to a smooth growth in game complexity and difficulty.

Conflict

Conflict is resolved using Fudge Dice and simple math for quick, fast checks.

Party Dice Pools

Your unused dice affect the party, so plan accordingly! Teamwork has real rewards, so play, coordinate, and control your dice accordingly!

Health

Track damage as a collection of wounds with effects instead of hitpoints. Triage status effects and face real consequences for damage.

Sanity

Gain and make peace with the traumas of your adventures to become a seasoned, experienced, and wiser character.

Crafting

If it can be acquired, it can probably be built. Crafters add to the party by upgrading everyone's gear!

Custom Gear

Tailor your armor, weapons, and tools by adding new parts and augments as you level. Your gear grows with you!

Helpful Structure

Games are run in Beats, Chapters, and Books to help pace play so there's never an "uhh, now what?" moment while running a game.

Roleplay Reinforcing

Activate abilities by playing to your character. Level faster for story development. E.Lite can guide any novice and min-maxer into roleplay.

And that's just the basics. We've got more underway, including: body augmentation, cooking, vehicles, vehiclar combat, planes of reality, weather systems, base building, disease and malaise, army management, and heists & chases! We are also working on a ton of starter settings, for those who don't want to implent their own! We've got 10 writers adapting E.Lite into their worlds!

That sounds pretty interesting, I want in!

E.Lite is very much a work-in-progress. Aspects of the system have yet to be fully fleshed out or made public yet. There is very little mentioned on this page that isn't at least in its first drafts, but if you cannot find it, that is because it is hidden for now while we work on it. Please bear with us and mind the dust!

Anyone interested in learning more, player and GM alike, is welcome to join our Discord server. We're happy to get you started in making your own E.Lite setting or putting you on the list for upcoming E.Lite sessions!

What do you need to play?

  Dice: Fudge (Or Fate) Dice to be Specific. These Dice are 6 sided, with 2 , 2 , and 2 . E.Lite requires having 8 dice per player. (Amazon)

  Character Sheet: E.Lite's character sheets are all available on World Anvil under the E.Lite RPG system, you can also print them out for use away from the computer. You can see an example of the E.Lite Sheet in use here!

  Grid: This one is optional, but if you want to keep track of player and NPC positioning, a grid either on paper or digital can help. You can buy many sizes of grid paper online, or use a virtual table top service!

Reading This Page

Within this guide and all related pages are several different note types. Unadorned text, such as this text, is the text you need to read to run and understand the game. These notes each serve a different purpose:
Mech Notes extrapolate on a mechanic's purpose or use.
Secrets are advanced design notes for Master+ Patrons.
Quotes provide narrative examples of play.
Sidebars contain definitions or related information.

  Beginning a Campaign

Narrators: You may already have a campaign and setting in mind that you are recruiting players for. In that case, complete this section on your own and fill out a Narrator Sheet so that players can review the Narrator and understand the game at a glance.

Group: Define the Campaign

In Ethnis, campaign and character creation is a group activity. Session 0 of every Campaign involves everyone working together to define what they want from the campaign and designing their characters.

Gather everyone and review what Themes, Tone, and Trials everyone wants to see in the game. Have everyone, Narrator included, write a prioritized list of three things they want from each, then discuss. Combine the lists together and pare them down to 2 Tones, 3 Themes, and 4 Trials—this will become the basis of how the Narrator approaches the design of the Campaign.

Game Master: Build the Narrator

Why should players get to have all the fun of having a character to roleplay? Game Masters don a Narrator Persona within E.Lite as well, as much for the joy of roleplay as to act as a guide-rail for how the campaign plays and feels. In a nutshell, a Narrator personifies the game becomes, and becomes a conduit for the tone of play.

Start out by taking the Tones, Trials, and Themes from the previous step, and writing them down on your Narrator sheet.

Choose Narrator Abilities

Next, comb through the Narrator Abilities and choose 3 of the Abilities which align with the Tones, Themes, and Trials everyone has agreed upon. Announce which abilities you have taken.

Build a Narrator Personality

From this, build the personality of the Narrator. This determines how they approach scenarios and what they can do to interact with the party. Personifying your Narrator helps you fall into the role of Game Master, and brings you into the act of play as well.

Now that you have your campaign prepared, you can start with character creation!

Full Narrator Guide

Below is a full guide on the expectations of the Narrator and how to make one, as well as a catalog of Narrator abilities. If this is your first time creating a Narrator, open it up and have a thorough read.


Helpful Terms

Tone

The composure with which the story is told. This affects things like the voice with the Narrator might speak and the music you would pair the game with.

Themes

The narrative arcs you would like to explore within a game. These are the emotional motivations of the story—for the individual, the character party, or the table itself.

Trials

The sorts of events the party would like to have happen. Not everyone wants heavy combat, not everyone wants politics.

 Creating your Character

Here's an outline for how character creation works in E.Lite. This may be adjusted per setting; it's the Narrator's responsibility to provide the players a guide to Character Creation for the chosen setting! If your group is ever uncertain of core mechanics, or needs pointers, Join the Ethnis Discord for clarification on items.

1: Build A Backstory

Character creation begins when the Narrator supplies the Players with Backstory options tailored to the setting. The Players pick one option each from that setting's equivalents to Sophont, Provenance, Banner, and Mantle.

SophontEncapsulates your physiological features
ProvenanceEncapsulates your upbringing and morals
BannerEncapsulates your cultural norms and ethics
MantleEncapsulates your primary occupation

Once you have chosen a Sophont, Provenance, Banner, and a Mantle you may move to the next step!

Shared Backstory

If multiple Players choose the same options, they should consider tying their Backstory together on that overlap.

For example, if you share Sophont you might be related, or if you share a Provenance you might have grown up together!

2: Spend Plot

Plot is your currency for advancement. It's how you get Materials, Gear, Abilities, and Mantra. It's an abstract currency which represents the experiences and potential outcomes of your actions

For any Plot you spend, relate it to the character by making up a one or two sentence story justifying the acquisition.

Read Leveling and Progression for more.

AttributesUpgrade attributes to increase different aspects of your character.
SkillsUpgrade and purchase skills to increase your ability to succeed in checks.
GearPurchasing and upgrading Gear can help keep you safe and prepared!
MantlesMantles serve as your 'classes' so purchasing and upgrading them can affect your abilities and skills.

Starting Plot

The suggested starting Plot for the party without much experience is 20 Plot, but your Narrator may adjust this up or down, or provide other limitations, to fit the intent of the story.

ExperiencePlot
Novice50
Veteran100
Grizzled200

3: Calculate Stats

Next, calculate your Stats. Here is a table of the different Stats, what they do, and how to calculate them.

StatEffect / UsageCalculation
Damage ResistLowers the damage of incoming attacksVIT
StaminaThreshold before exhaustion affects checksVIT + UBS + LBS + RFX
SanityHow much mental strain you can handle10 + NRV
EncumbranceWhat you can carry overall, and in handUBS + LBS
ManaYour reserve of mana2*MTP

Attributes Vs. Skills

Attributes such as UBS, LBS, VIT, etc. are never used in checks. Attributes are used for calcuations such as damage done, weight carried, health, sanity, etc.

 Conflict

Conflict is how Ethnis handles scenarios of danger, discord, and disagreement. Whenever a challenge rises—a long voyage through a lush jungle, a firefight between space pirates, a fiery debate over the fate of a prisoner—the outcome is determined through Conflict.

Conflict is resolved using the Fudge Dice and Narrator Discretion.

Rounds

Conflict is broken into Rounds wherein each Actor is a Belligerent. Players Ante first, then all Belligerents act in order of highest RFX score to lowest, and finally the Narrator takes their turn. Once the Conflict is resolved, the final Round continues until all characters have acted.

  Rounds are ~5 seconds long

  Events occur in series, not parallel

  Turns are ordered by Belligerent RFX

Turn Order Ties

If two Belligerents have the same RFX, players take precedence. If all else fails, settle by dice, coin toss, or fist fight.

Round Begins

1) Ante

Every player who elects to Act this round places between 1 and 8 Fudge Dice on the table. This is their Ante.

All Actions are played from your Ante, you spend your dice to complete them. You are helpless once you've used up your Anted dice, so consider how many you Ante. A larger Ante means more dice for Actions, but it also means a higher risk of peril!

Once everyone has placed their Ante they roll together. The dice do not change for the rest of the Round.

2) Belligerent Actions

Starting with the Belligerent with the highest RFX and working to the Belligerent with the least, everyone either Holds or takes their turn. On your turn, you declare your Actions and the Narrator resolves them.

NPC Belligerents do not use Dice. Instead, the Narrator resolves each according to their Statblock. All NPCs have fixed values for Skills, Attributes, and Behavior to guide the Narrator on how to handle them.

PC Belligerents may use any number of dice for their Actions, but must use at least one per action. You may only declare Checks during your turn, but may React to anything which Targets you on any turn.

Once all Belligerents have taken their turns, The Narrator takes all unused dice. This is the Narrator's Pool.

3) Narrator Actions

The Narrator uses the Narrator's Pool to invoke their Abilities or the Abilities of any Belligerent NPCs in play. This can be beneficial or detrimental to the players, depending on what dice they left at the end of a turn. The Narrator must use up as many of the dice as possible.

4) Upkeep

All dice are returned to their owners and the next round begins with the same turn order.

Round Ends
Singular Checks

A single, unopposed Actor taking a single Action resolves as a round.

Being Surprised

If your RFX is double the RFX of a surprise trap or attacker, you may Ante and react in the same turn.

Movement (Walk/Run)

Your Speed is 1 Space per point of LBS, so if you have 3 LBS your Speed is 3 Spaces. You first movement is a partial action unless there are Check Factors. Beyond that, you may move as many spaces as you like, but each divisible of your Speed adds another Malus.

Invoking Abilities

Abilities are gained through Backstory or adventure and broaden the capabilities of your PC. Some Abilities are Passive and Some are active—read each for info on how to invoke it, and read the Abilities section for more information

Investigation (Spot) Your PER is a constant Passive for noticing things, but if you want to be more thorough, declare an Investigation Check using one of your Skills.

Actions

The most important part of any RPG is understanding how to do anything. In E.LITE, this is handled with Actions. An Action is declared against a Target or in Reaction to a threat. Actions use the Dice you rolled during Ante. Once you have spent all your Dice on Actions, you may not take any more Actions that round.

Follow these steps to Declare and Resolve an Action.

Action Begins

1: Declare

When you want to accomplish an outcome, or react to something, declare your intent to do so. Tell the Narrator what you want to do and which Skill you will attempt it with. Don't forget to roleplay!

2: Resolve against Factors

E.Lite uses Fudge Dice to resolve Conflicts. All Actions are affected by thee Factors which either make a situation harder or easier. Factors are divided into Maluses and Bonuses.

The Factors are Environmental, Skill, and Oppositional, and they are applied and Resolved in the following order:

  Environmental Factors come from beyond the control of a Belligerent

  Skill Factors are how the Acting Belligerent's Skills affect the Check

  Oppositional Factors are the Skill Checks opposing the Acting Belligerent

1: Environmental Factors

Once you have declared your Action, the Narrator presents any known Environmental Factors which affect the Action. They present this as a Dice pool of Maluses and Bonuses called the Action Pool.

  2: Skill Factors

Spend Die from your Ante against the Action Pool with the aim of negating all Maluses. and negate each other. You also gain additional against the Action Pool equal to your Skill Level.

  3: Oppositional Factors

When your Action opposes the Saves or Outcomes of any other Belligerent's Action, that Outcome becomes an Oppositional Factor. Invert their Outcome—so all become —and apply it to the Action Pool. Whatever remains is the Outcome of your Action.

3: Interpret the Outcome

If there are any remaining in the Outcome, the Action fails. How are used in various ways depending on the type of Action—they may represent additional damage, secondary attack effects, craftsmanship, and more.
For a details and examples, read Resolving Actions.
Action Ends

Action Types

Actions are your interactions with the world. They are resolved during the Action Phase. You cannot take more Actions than your Ante.

Free

Takes no thought, so requires no Dice. Some Abilities grant Free Actions.

Partial

Takes no skill, but still requires attention. Partials require an or an .

Check

Made on a Target or towards a specific outcome. Has a risk of failure.

Save

Made as a response to being the Target of an Action.


You may use any dice for a Check or a Save; a
Fudge Blank
does nothing, but still allows you to apply any skill bonus you may have.

Overflow

Your Overflow is the dice left over in the Action itself.

 Managing your Character

Abilities

Abilities are gained through Backstory or adventure and broaden the capabilities of your PC. Some Abilities intentionally contradict base rules.

Active Abilities are Triggered and Depleted. Read each to determine how it works, what it effects, and how to Trigger it.

Passive Abilities are in effect so long as their conditions are true. If there are no listed conditions, they are always in effect.

Triggering an Ability

You may trigger an Active Ability whenever all of its conditions are met. Using an Active Ability Depletes it, and it cannot be used again until Refreshed.

Refreshing

Abilities are Refreshed by fulfilling a Mantra or taking a rest to sleep. If a Mantra is used, it becomes Depleted until next rest.

The Toll of Adventure

It is inevitable that your adventures will take their toll, leaving you exhausted, wounded, or insane.

These, collectively, are known as The Toll.

How these affect you, how you handle them, and what the long term effects are will differ per character, per Toll, and per situation.

Invest into your well-being! A bad turn of events can can end in broken limb, shattered mind, or catatonic exhaustion.

Read about Health, Sanity, and Stamina to learn more.

Downtime

Downtime is broken into half-hour chunks during which the party Travels, Rests, or works on Projects.

Downtime is a good opportunity to break between sessions, and offers you the opportunity to manage and upgrade your Character.

Travel

Whether it's a quick drive across town or a massive trek through the stars, travel is an inevitability, and tends to be the limiter on how much downtime you have.

Rest

As described in the Stamina article, you can use your downtime to catch some much-needed shut-eye.

Projects

Projects are undertakings of Skill to create, upgrade, or repair Gear. They may take between five minutes and several days to complete.

Spend Plot

You can take this time to spend Plot on Levels and Gear. For more information on how to do that, read the next section!

Leveling

There is no strict level system in E.Lite. Your character is an amalgamation of skills, backstory, abilities, mantles, and gear.

During downtimes you can spend your gained plot to level up these different aspects of your charater, allowing you to grow more powerful as you advance.

Discuss all purchases with your narrator first!

They should approve your purchases and determine if there are any discounts/mark ups depending on narrative context.

Attributes

You may spend four plot to upgrade any Attribute by 1. An Attribute may never exceed 5.

Skills

You may spend four points to either upgrade an existing skill by + (up to a maximum of +++) or pick a new Skill to take. A Skill may not exceed +++.

Gear

Refer to the cost of Gear. You may either buy Gear, upgrade existing, or buy an component to attach to the gear.

Mantles

You may spend six plot to upgrade a Mantle or take a new mantle. Mantles typically grant a skill and an ability.


 Narrating the Game

Pacing

While it isn't required, we organizing your game into Beats, Chapters, and Books. It is a helpful way to think about your Campaign, keep things moving, and provide an ebb and flow on how you give your tables rewards. It only really works if your Campaign has a goal.

 

Beats

Alternatively: Scene
A beat is equivalent to an unbroken scene in a show. Any time there's a fade to a new scenario or a major lull in storytelling, that's a beat. They should take 5-10 minutes to resolve.   Breaking your game into Beats, each with just one or two goals, can help keep your game focused and on-track. This might be a long fight, clearing a room in a dungeon, or so forth.   The reward of a Beat might be finding minor loot (like Materials), learning a useful bit of information, unlocking a new area, or making a new friend.

Chapters

Alternatively: Episode, Act
Chapters are cohesive collections of interrelated Beats all working together to form an arc in a story. Any time Beats are working together towards a climax, that's a Chapter. They should take 5-6 hours to resolve.   Breaking your game into Chapters with one major climax, creates a point of narrative tension you can pivot on. This might be a dungeon with a climactic boss fight or a harrowing investigation and its results.   The reward of a Chapter should be a Plot point.

Books

Alternatively: Season, Movie
Books are collections of Chapters. They are higher-order major questlines towards a major known goal. Any time there's a looming threat of major plot, that's a Book. They should take 40-50 hours to resolve.   A Book might be stopping a big bad or stopping one of the 7 Princes of hell on the way to fight lucifer in Book 8. Usually there's a time skip and some personal progression between Books.   The reward of a Chapter should be 5 Plot points.
 
Some Campaigns might go onto a higher order than that. A plural of Books is a Saga.

Narrators: Leveling

During Downtime, the Narrator can trade their Plot to gain more Narrator Abilities to be used for or against the players.


Article Navigation

Upcoming Content

We mave so many sections and modules planned for E.Lite. Below are some of them! We need your help, though—please consider Supporting Ethnis on Patreon to help fund its development!

Mechanics

Vehicular Combat

Vehicular Combat includes any naval, air, space, or terrestrial vehicles. Maintaining your vessel as it takes damage while trying to bring down an opponent, and teammates all tending to different parts of the vehicle. Think Star Trek, with each crew member doing their own thing!

Survival and Malaise

Survival and Malaise is about surviving against all manner of hostile conditions from the land and from sickness. It encompasses anything from plague-fueled settings to vampires to post-apocalyptic hells.

Group Control/Management

Group Control/Management is about hiring NPCs or summoning minions, familiars, and so forth to do your bidding. Imagine a game with a leadership class who commands NPCs to fight in her stead, or a necromancer with nuanced control over his zombies!

Heists and Chases

Heists and Chases are about elaborate setups to get into a place, evading constant surveillance and not getting caught! All the buildup and planning, flexing with the unknown, and getting away with life and treasure in hand!

Taste of Adventure

Potions, feasts, and effects ahoy. Taste of Adventure is all about putting together ingredients into meals and effects, and how to integrate them into your game. Will feature the Alchemist and Chef classes!

Modules


Articles under E.Lite RPG



Cover image: Hologram Wheel by Ademal

Comments

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31 Aug, 2019 18:14

This is a very interesting system. I might try to use it for my world; It seems almost perfect. Does it come with spell descriptions like DnD?

2 Sep, 2019 21:55

We will be developing different pages for the different common kinds of magic (Vancian, Ritual, Etc) and will be putting out a vote at some point to prioritize which ones get made first!   I'm glad you like it, feel free to join the discord server to keep up to date on it. :)

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