The GM describes the scene. The players describe the actions they attempt. The GM describes the results of those attempts. Important actions and difficult actions should always be described as attempts. The GM decides if they succeed or not.
That's about it, except special rules come into play during combat.
To play Guardians of Imagination, you will need at least one ten-sided die. This is known as a d10, and can be found in most stores where roleplaying games are sold.
When a character is created, the player ranks one of the following imaginary attack types as the character's primary attack type, one as the character's secondary attack type, one as the character's tertiary attack type, and one as the character's lowest attack type. The GM ranks each tormentor's four attack types in the same manner.
Types of Attacks
Vivid - An attack imagined in such vivid detail that the foe will have trouble not imagining it is powerful.
Example: A guardian imagines a ball-and-chain with a ball that includes many spikes. Light glints off of each of those spikes, and each spike forms a small shadow. The guardian says, “A thousand points of light shall pierce you, and form a thousand shadows upon your future!” Then she begins swinging the weapon in a circular fashion. It swings so quickly that it looks like a hurricane made of metal. The light continues to glint off of it, looking somewhat like lightning within that metal hurricane which generates strong winds at it seeks the tormentor.
Clever - An attack that uses cunning to force the foe to pay attention (and imagination) to it.
Example: A guardian imagines a whip that is made of a line of snakes with each one clamping onto another’s tail. As he cracks the whip, a snake detaches to fly toward and bite the guardian's foe.
Large-Scale – An attack that is so big and flamboyant, it is difficult to ignore indeed.
Example: A guardian imagines a series of earthquake shockwaves that are working in reverse! Instead of spreading outward from a point, they are shrinking inward toward that point. It’s a point right where a tormentor is standing and it’s causing all sorts of things to topple and fall toward that tormentor. It also causes the tormentor to feel as though it is being crushed by the inward-shrinking shockwaves.
Dazzling- An attack that distracts the victim with beauty, then strikes once the victim’s guard is lowered.
Example: A guardian imagines up a butterfly with wings that are transparent, and are every color of the rainbow. These stained glass-like wings create all sorts of beautiful mixtures of colors as light passes through them. Then, when the light passes through them just right, they focus it into burning beams.
“The trick to defeating dark beings made of imagination is forcing them into imagining they are being hurt. The strength of your imaginary attacks is determined by how well you imagine them. A well imagined pocket knife is more powerful than a poorly imagined nuclear missile. Just remember: while you are in the nightmare realm, you too will be made of imagination and will have the same vulnerabilities. The tormentors will use vivid, clever, large-scale, and dazzling attacks against you as well, so give it your all!”
- Ramora (a benefactor.)
Each round, everyone may attack one foe. First the players make their attacks, then the tormentors make their attacks. To hit, the attacker must roll equal to or higher than a target number on a d10. The base target number 5. Subtract 3 from the target number if the attack being used is the attacker's primary attack type, 2 if it is the attacker's secondary attack type, 1 if it is the attacker's tertiary attack type, or 0 if it is the attacker's lowest attack type. The target's attack type ranks also affect the odds of a successful attack. Add 6 to the number needed if the attack is the target's primary attack type, 4 if it is the target's secondary attack type, 2 if it is the target's tertiary attack type, or 0 if it is the target's lowest attack type. No one can use the same type of attack two rounds in a row. If a player uses a vivid attack, he or she can not use a vivid attack next round but may use a vivid attack on the round after that.
Defender's priority rank for the attack
Attacker's priority rank for the attack
Example: Bill's secondary attack type is clever. He makes an attack against a tormentor who also has clever as his secondary attack type. The base number that Bill needs to roll equal to or higher than on a d10 is 5. Since Bill is using his secondary attack type, 2 is subtracted from the target number to get 3. Since the attack is the secondary attack type of the target, 4 is added to the target number to get 7. Bill must roll a 7 or higher on the d10 to hit the tormentor.
The GM keeps the attack ranks of the tormentors a secret. If the players can figure out which of the attack types is a particular tormentor's lowest type (by observing which types hit despite low rolls and which ones miss despite high rolls,) they can gain a big advantage by focusing on that attack type. After all, if an attack is the primary attack type of both the attacker and the target then the final to-hit number is an 8, whereas if the attack is the lowest attack type for both attacker and target then the final to-hit number is a 5. Clearly, it is advantageous to attack an enemy's weak point. Players who work together to find a foe's weakness enjoy a greater chance of success!
A successful attack causes the victim to lose 1 hit point (hp.) A tormentor who runs out of hp is banished back to Relanon. A player who runs out of hp is banished back to Earth and changed back to normal. If all of the tormentors are banished, then the players have triumphed. If all of the players are banished, then they have failed to prevent the tormentors from entering Earth and feasting on people's imaginations.
Players begin the game with 10 hp. Each time they defeat all of the tormentors in a nightmare realm, their max hp increases by 1. Even a player who is banished during a battle has his/her max hp increased by 1. Players always begin the day with max hp. A player who is banished back to Earth cannot enter a nightmare realm for the rest of the day, but regains the ability to enter nightmare realms at the start of each day.
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