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Folktale

Folktale is a role playing game built for telling stories that feel like stories. Its perfect for fairy tales, heroic
myths, humorous tall tales, and horrific urban legends. In this rule book, we have used fairy tales for the
sake of consistent exemplification.

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Core Mechanic
Every significant action a Character wishes to take will require them to roll one or more six-sided dice.
They will always use only the single highest die and discard the rest. Each number represent a yes or
no outcome as a degree of success.

1 No, And
2 No
3 No, But
4 Yes, But
5 Yes
6 Yes, And

~ For any action a charter takes, their player rolls at least one die.
~ For an action the Character is Skilled at, their player rolls an addition die.
~ Any time a player rolls, they may spend a Tale Token to add one additional die.

Rora the Huntsman rolls her Hunting Skill to track a beast. She rolls two six-sided dice.

If her highest die is...

1: She thinks shes found its trail, but actually is going the wrong way.
2: She cant find its trail.
3. She loses the tracks, but is able to ascertain the direction.
4: She find its trail but it takes a while and her prey gains ground.
5: She finds its trail.
6: She finds its trail and can even deduce the beast is injured and how fast it is moving.

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Characters
One player takes on the role of the Lore Master, the others take on the roles of various Characters. It is the
Lore Master's job to facilitate the story. They begin by explaining the premise of the game.

The game occurs in a medieval fairytale setting in which a strange plague of sleep has been creeping slowly across
the land. In recent days there have been reports of it growing steadily faster.

Each other player controls a single Character. They begin by giving their Character a Name and a one
word Description.

One player chooses Meldar the Magician.

Another player chooses Rora the Hunstman.

Beliefs
Each player then gives their Character a Belief. A Belief is a statement about how the Character views or
feels about the premise of the game. A Belief can also be about another player's Character instead. Beliefs
should include a way the Character is personally and pressingly affected by the situation at hand, and what
they intend to do about it. Beliefs should be specific.

Meldar's Belief: My village is close to the encroaching edge of the sleeping curse, I'll learn the secret of the curse so
I can stop its advance or dispel it.

Rora's Belief: My sister was in the kingdom across the mountains where the sleeping curse began, I'll fight anyone
I need to to save her or find a cure.

Complications
Each player also gives their Character a Complication, a flaw or hindrance that makes them more
interesting and gets them into trouble. Complications should suit the setting and the tone of the game.
Flaws shouldn't be forcibly used by the Lore master, but rather used electively by the players. Their
incentive to do so will be explained below.

Meldar's Complication: Meldar has no real power, but he likes people think he does. He will go to great lengths to
maintain the illusion that he is a powerful wizard.

Rora's Complication: Rora is self sufficient, and she believes everyone else should be too. If someone is hurt or
down on their luck, she wont help them, its their own fault they got there and they can get themselves out.

More Fantasy Examples:


A giant, shrunk to the size of a human, who is angry when people don't believe him
A princess, enchanted to fall asleep suddenly and often
An errant knight, cursed so small things always go wrong
A prince, transformed into a living statue

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Tale Tokens
Whenever a player decides to role play their Character's flaw in such a way that it creates a situation that
makes life difficult for their Character or affects the story in an interesting fashion, the Lore Master awards
them a Tale Token. Role playing a flaw could mean voluntarily to taking -1 die on a roll, choosing to fail a
roll outright, or simple making significant role playing choices to land their Character into a sticky
situation.

Tale Tokens are the life force of a Character. They can be spent to add a die or more to any roll that is
aligned with a Character's Belief. A Character can spend any number of Tale Tokens on a single roll.
Similarly, they may Character can have a limitless amount of Tale Tokens at any time.

Meldar has discovered a crystal at the heart of the castle that seems to be the origin of the sleeping curse. He decides
to spend a Tale Token to study the crystal. This action is directly consistent with his Belief about learning about
the curse to save his village.

Rora is fighting with a thug who has come from across the mountains where the curse is already thick upon the
land. He refuses to talk about what he has seen. Rora spends a Tale Token to throw a punch at the thug. She is
fighting to get something that she believes will help her save her sister.

If Meldar and Rora are attacked by highwaymen as they cross a mountain pass, though their survival and well
being is arguably necessary for their ultimate goals, this fight does not directly have to do with either of their
Beliefs, so no Tale Tokens may be spent.

Skills
Skills are the three things that make a Character live up to their Description. Rora is a huntsman because of
her Skill in Hunting, Survival, and her Rugged Charm. Meldar is a Magician because of his knowledge of
Arcane Lore, Cantrips, and Animal Speaking.

For any action that could fall under a Character's Skill, they roll two dice instead of one. One of Rora's
Skills is Hunting. Setting traps, tracking animals, shooting a rifle, skinning a beast, concealing herself, or
sneaking as well as many other specific actions fall under this broad heading of a Skill.

Rora The Huntsman


~ Hunting: setting traps, tracking animals, shooting a rifle, skinning, concealing herself, sneaking
~ Survival: making a fire, orienteering, finding a trail, plant lore, reading terrain, reading weather
~ Rugged Charm: wooing a lass, rallying the townsfolk, persuading someone, lying.

Meldar The Magician


~ Arcane Lore: knowing about spells, detecting magic, identifying enchantments, reading runes, knowing about
magical history or creatures
~ Cantrips: prestidigitation, making a small light or fire or smoke, card and coin tricks, making a small object
disappear.
~ Animal Speaker: talking to animals and understanding them, convincing small animals do small favors,
befriending animals, calming angry beasts.

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Contests
If player rolls for their Character to make an action another Character, whether controlled by a player or
the Lore Master, who wishes to Contest it, both Characters roll. The Character with the highest roll gets
their desired outcome, to a degree reflected by the number rolled. A Character can always Contest a roll
with at least one die.

An evil Enchantress attempts to lay a charm on Rora. The Huntsman's player naturally wants her to resist, and
the Lore Master agrees that her Rugged Charm Skill can be used. Rora's player rolls two dice, yielding a high
number 6. The evil Enchantress rolls only a 4. Since the overall high roll is the only roll that matters, Rora wins
with her roll of 6.

As a yes, and the Lore Master interprets her successful roll of a 6 as Rora not only shaking the evil Enchantress'
charm, but also seeing though her glamour and realizing she is a revolting hag beneath.

Turns
If multiple Characters wish to act at the same time, each of their players rolls to determine who goes first.
Like a normal roll, each player takes their highest die, and the highest die wins. The remaining dice
determine the order of subsequent actions. If a Character has a relevant Skill, such as Athletics,
Swordsmanship, or Light Feet, etc. they may apply their Skill to this roll. Similarly, a Tale Token may be
spent on this roll as well. This Turn order remains in effect until the Contest ends. Ties go to the player
with more unspent Tale Tokens.

Combat
Some Contests threaten the life and limb of the Characters involved. In this special instance of Contests,
any prevailing yes result removes a Tale Token from the Character it effects. If a Character is reduced to
zero Tale Tokens, they have lost the Contest. Depending on the circumstances, this could mean the
Character is knocked unconscious, captured, killed, or just plain humiliated. A Character with 0 Tale
Tokens cannot engage in Combat Contests until they have gained at least one Tale Token.

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