Manual - Adventuring in Incursion

EXPERIENCE AND ADVANCEMENT

Much like in all roguelikes, an Incursion character starts out as a competant but comparatively weak young adventurer and develops through experience over time into a very powerful, legendary hero — provided she can stay alive for that long! Incursion differs from many roguelikes in that an Incursion character's inherant abilities are more significant to her overall power level than her magical equipment, which is more transient. A character's overall inherant competance is reffered to as her level, which begins at 1 and increases over time.

Creating an Incursion character has already been discussed in the previous chapter. Once a character has been created, he is placed into the Goblin Caves to fight against the many menaces therein. Whenever the character overcomes a challenge, he gains experience points to represent what he has learned. Overcoming a challenge can be killing a monster, but in Incursion it can also include resolving a conflict socially, disarming a trap, picking a lock and so forth. Characters need a certain number of experience points in order to attain each level above the 1st, as per the following chart:

Character Level Experience Required Base Attribute Feats Gains Mana Mult
1 0 2 x1
2 1000 2 x2
3 2250 3 x2
4 4500 3 +1 x3
5 10000 3 x3
6 15000 4 x3
7 21000 4 x4
8 28000 4 +1 x4
9 36000 5 x4
10 45000 5 x4
11 55000 5 x5

The highest character level that can be attained in this version of Incursion is 11; Return of the Forsaken will feature character advancement all the way up to level 20. When you attain enough experience points to qualify for a higher level, you do not immediately advance to that level. Instead, you must go to the character sheet and press 'G' to invoke the Gain Level command.

Think very carefully about your character before advancing a level. Once you press the 'G' key, you must immediately make any character-design choices (such as feat selection, attribute gains, which class to invest the level in, etc.) required to gain a level. Not only are these choices permanent, you cannot even abort the selection prompt if you change your mind as you can most other prompts in Incursion.

The choices you make in designing your character will play a strong part in determining your success in the game. Think about them carefully before advancing — a skillful Incursion player will already know what feats she wants and which classes in which combinations before actually advancing.

RESTING AND FATIGUE

In Incursion, the simple passage of time does not restore lost hit points, mana points or fatigue points. Instead, the player must use the rest ('z') command to achieve this. However, resting has a wide variety of consequences, and so it's important that it be done tactically. Resting has the following effects:

  • Your character recovers all of his mana points.
  • Your character heals a number of hit points of damage equal to [(character level + 3) x Constitution] / 8.
  • Your character recovers all of his fatigue points unless he is exhausted, in which case resting once only causes him to recover his Constitution modifier (minimum 1) worth of fatigue points.
  • You may have an encounter. The chance of this is strongly influenced by how many monsters are nearby, how close they are, and how many doors are closed (and preferably locked) between you and them. Additionally, the deeper you are in the dungeon, the larger a radius it is that constitutes 'nearby'.
  • New monsters are added to the dungeon, on the current level and every level above it. This only occurs when you rest. Note that this makes it unsafe to rest twice in a row without killing the new monsters that may be nearby. There is a certain amount of monsters that is considered to be a given dungeon level's monster equilibrium. When it is reached, no new monsters will be generated. This number is always higher then the number of monsters a level starts with, and higher the deeper into the dungeon you go. This makes it more dangerous to rest frequently deeper into the dungeon, as the player can end up swamped in monsters.
  • Eight hours pass, and thus all timed magical effects wear off. This means that an encounter will occur without any prepared magical defenses, which can be Bad.

Encounters
Encounters are much more dangerous then normal fights for several reasons. The encounter normally starts off with multiple monsters in melee range with the player, and the player only just waking up. Thus, the monsters have time to attack before the player does. Deeper into the dungeon, this can be lethal.

If a character has an encounter when resting, the full normal number of hit points and mana points are not restored. Instead, only a fraction are regained, based on the number of hours that character was able to rest for peacefully before the encounter occurred.

Resting Safely
An encounter can quite easily kill even a very powerful character, especially in consideration for the rules for the Coup de Grace maneuver. Fortunately, there are many ways in Incursion to rest safely, negating or lessening the risk posed by encounters. One of the foremost goals a character must achieve in the game is to secure a safe method of resting so that they can recover from injuries and other maladies; without the ability to rest safely, a character is surely doomed.

Incursion includes the following methods of resting safely or at least reducing encounter risk:

  • At the very beginning of the game, characters can ascend the stairway out of the dungeon to rest with perfect safely on the surface world. This allows characters a 'growth margin' to uncover supplies or gain a few levels they need to develop a more long-term resting plan.
  • Certain rooms in the dungeon, referred to as Places of Sanctuary, allow a character to rest safely in them with no chance of an encounter occurring. Unfortunately, these rooms do not occur frequently enough to cover all the resting a character will need to do, /unless/ a character can user her expendable resources (hit points, mana, fatigue) very efficiently and sparingly.
  • Some spells — rope trick and alarm, notably, allow safe or safer resting.
  • Characters with allies or animal companions can take watches when they rest. An alert group is much less likely to be attacked than a single, sleeping individual; the exact mechanics of this are described under the Spot skill.
  • Characters with the Diplomacy skill can [R]equest that neutral NPCs take watches with them just as allies would, persuading them to act in an agreement of mutual benefit.
  • The Uncanny Dodge ability allows barbarians and rogues of sufficient level to wake instantly when threatened — it does not prevent encounters from happening, but does prevent monsters from using the Coup de Grace maneuver on the sleeping player, or getting rounds of free attacks.
  • Elves have a racial ability called Reverie that allows them to meditate rather than sleeping.
  • Halflings begin play with Hearthstones of Onanda, a limited supply of one-use magical items that allow guaranteed safe resting.

Losing Fatigue
Characters spend or lose fatigue for a wide variety of reasons. Performing the special maneuvers, berserking, using metamagic feats and getting poisoned or diseased all cost a character Fatigue Points. Some spells and supernatural abilities also drain fatigue.

Further, characters also lose fatigue gradually over time as a result of swinging a weapon in combat. An unarmored character loses a fraction of a fatigue point equal to [(10 + weapon weight) / 10000] with every swing; when the total loss adds up to a whole fatigue point, a message will be displayed stating that your character feels more fatigued from fighting. Armored characters gain fatigue much more quickly based on the type of armor they wear; instead of the fatigue point fraction having a denominator of 10000, the denominator is specified by the armor. Armor with the featherlight quality has a denominator three times greater than normal, meaning characters in featherlight armor gain fatigue three times more slowly.

TERRAIN AND MOVEMENT

All Incursion characters have a base percentile movement rate determined by their Size: Small races have a base 75%, while Medium races have a base 100% movement. Dwarves are the exception, having the base movement of a Small race even though they are Medium-sized. Barbarians and monks both gain inherent increases to their movement rate; there are also spells and magical items that affect movement rate, and encumbrance and fatigue can both lessen it. The exact manner in which your current movement rate has been calculated is shown on the character sheet, as with all other calculated values.

There are many different kinds of terrain and natural obstacles in Incursion; terrain-based modifiers to movement will show up on the status bar, but are not listed on the character sheet. Terrain can have many other effects as well. Here is a sampling of the rules governing terrain in Incursion; just like any other object in the game, unusual terrain can be examined with the 'L'ook command to determine its effects.

Fog
Fog obscures vision but not movement (though some claim there are special magical fogs which impede movement as well). Characters cannot see further than 10 feet (one square) past a square with fog in it. Thus, they can percieve creatures they are in melee with, but not anything more than one square distant from them. Fog does not (normally) impede tremorsense, blindsight, telepathy or magical detection abilities.

Chasms and Pits
Chasms are large areas of open space with no floor. Characters who move into a chasm square will fall to the next dungeon level; if there is a chasm at the same spot on that level as well, they will continue falling. Many of these rifts are very deep, covering several levels. Monsters are also capable of using the Bull Rush maneuver to force a character into a chasm.

A character suffers 3d6 points of damage per dungeon level she falls, if she lands on a hard surface. The Balance skill, the Slow Fall ability possessed by monks and the feather fall spell all help to reduce falling damage.

If the area of the level directly above the character corresponding to her location on her current level has a chasm, normal floor squares will be colored light cyan to indicate this, and the Location line will include the text '(open above)'. In these areas, a character with the Climb skill can attempt to ascend to the level above her, as described in that skill's writeup; Climb can also be used to descend a chasm safely without suffering falling damage.

Slick Surfaces
Slick ground, such as ice or greased stone, requires a Balance check to fight on, or sometimes even to move across; failing the check causes the character to become prone, just as if they had been tripped. Flying or levitating characters are unaffected by slick sufraces.

Water
Water has varying depths in Incursion — shallow water is safe to wade through; deep water requires the Swim skill to cross safely, as described in greater detail in said skill's writeup.

Thrown weapons are ineffective against targets in the water. Fire damage is ineffective against targets in the water unless the attacker makes a DC 20 Spellcraft check. Aquatic creatures in the water attacked by creatures not in a water square gain a +8 defense bonus. Blunt, slashing and ranged attacks suffer a -2 penalty to hit creatures in the water (unless the attacker has Free Action). Blunt and slashing attacks do half damage to creatures in the water (again, unless the attacker has Free Action).

Tight Spaces
Some areas of the dungeon, such as the warrens wherein kobolds live, can be very constricting to human-sized characters. When such characters enter a confined space, they receive a message warning them of such, and then lose their Dexterity bonus to their defense class. In addition to losing their bonus, such characters are subject to the Sneak Attack special ability of rogues and some monsters. This penalty ends as soon as the character leaves the confined space.

Large-sized creatures such as ogres suffer similar confinement in tunnels that are comfortable for human-sized creatures, and cannot even enter areas that are sized for kobolds, halflings and their kin.

DUNGEON HAZARDS

Beyond the obvious monsters, there are many other threats to a character's survival in a dungeon. Some of these are discussed in greater depth below.

Attribute Loss
Attributes determine a character's raw, fundamental capabilities; almost every roll in Incursion is modified by an attribute. It's not surprising, then, that there are several powers and effects in the game which target attributes directly. Attributes can be artificially lowered in three different ways in Incursion:

Attribute Penalties: Several status conditions apply a penalty to one or more attributes. Being Stunned lowers Dexterity by six for as long as the character remains Stunned, for example, representing dizziness and inability to move accurately. Likewise, being fatigued reduces a character's Strength, Dexterity and Charisma by two each. Attribute penalties apply for as long as the condition lasts and the attribute returns to its normal level when the condition ceases. Attribute penalties can never kill a character, instead reducing an attribute to a minimum of 1.

Attribute Damage: Some spells and special attacks of monsters damage an attribute. These effects have a normal damage roll, but instead of subtracting hit points, they remove points from an attribute. If an attribute is reduced to zero or lower as a result of attribute damage, the subject dies. Normal healing spells and potions do not heal damaged attributes, but the clerical spell restoration and certain specific potions can heal attribute damage. Most characters heal one point of attribute damage every night of undisturbed rest, as well. Halflings heal attribute damage more quickly, and the Heal skill can also be used to treat attribute damage.

Attribute Drain: Attribute drain is similar to attribute damage, but rarer and far more dangerous. Attribute drain lowers an attribute from a damage roll just like attribute damage, and if any attribute reaches zero from any combination of drain and damage, the character dies. However, attribute drain does not heal naturally. Instead, it is essentially a curse, and lasts until a remove curse spell or any equivalent magical effect is applied to the character. Attribute drain can also be cured by magical effects designed specifically designed to restore attributes, such as a Potion of Restore Intelligence.

Poison and Disease
Poisons and diseases work similarly in Incursion: both normally inflict attribute damage over a period of time until cured or overcome. If a character makes an initial saving throw successfully, they are not considered to be poisoned or infected at all. Otherwise, the character will normally suffer immediate damage to one or more attributes, and then this damage will recur every set number of turns. Every time the damage occurs, a Fortitude save is allowed against the poison's save DC; success negates the damage. Once a certain number of successful saves have been made, the damage will stop occurring permanently and the character will be said to have overcome the poison. Some very strong poisons require the character to make a certain number of successful saving throws all in a row, with even one failed save negating any progress made.

The mechanics of poisoning a weapon and using poisoned weapons are discussed in the writeup for the Poison Use skill.

Diseases work similarly to poisons, with the following exceptions: the number of turns between saves are usually much longer, since diseases progress much more slowly than poisons. Additionally, a character cannot rest while poisoned, but can rest while diseased. If a character chooses to rest while diseased, a single iteration of the disease's effects automatically occurs, regardless of the number of turns left before the next normal iteration, but the character receives a +4 rest bonus to the Fortitude saving throw.

Certain spells can be used to cure diseases and poisons; the Heal skill also allows them to be treated. You can always view the exact game effects of a specific disease, as well as learn how many successful saving throws you have made against it to date, by using the [C]onditions option on the character sheet screen.

Traps
While the primary threat to an adventurer's well-being in dungeons is monsters, traps also present serious hazards not to be underestimated. Traps in Incursion are assumed to be pressure-plate based, so flying or levitating characters don't trigger them. They occupy an entire floor square and are triggered by moving on to that square, and are invisible until detected. Discerning the presence of a trap requires a Search check against a base DC of 15 (for a mundane trap) or 20 (for a magical trap), +1 per level of the trap. Characters can only attempt to detect a given trap once per day. When a character is going to move into a trapped square, a detection check is automatically made, mostly to avoid the menialism of the player having to constantly search for traps manually. The 's'earch command can also be used to uncover the presence of any traps in the nearby area, which can be useful to search a room without walking over every single square.

When a character walks into a square with an untriggered trap in it, she makes a saving throw (usually Reflex) against a DC of 15 + the trap's level. Success allows her to avoid the effects of the trap, while failure causes her to suffer them. Regardless, the trap is both revealed and sprung — while some traps work repeatedly, the majority work only once. Kobolds sometimes reset some of the traps in the dungeon overnight, however. A known, armed trap is represented by the ìè symbol, while a sprung or disarmed trap is represented by ì.
Traps can be disarmed, dismantled, reset or even set up using the Handle Device skill, as described in that skill's writeup. The Jump skill can also prove useful for leaping over traps, thereby avoiding them — but a failed Jump roll may cause a character to land on the square containing the trap, triggering it!

States of Being
A wide variety of physical and mental conditions can bedevil an adventurer while exploring the dungeon. Here is a list of some of the most common, along with their game-mechanical effects:

Blind: A blind adventurer can't see. When the character is blind, all movable objects are removed from the map, and only the glyph of the player's character and her memory of wall and floor squares remain shown — if you are blind (either naturally or by some effect), your Light, Shadow, Sight and Infravision ranges are all 0. All monsters are described as 'something', and no warnings will be given for attacking friendly or neutral creatures, walking over traps or hazardous terrain and so forth. Blindness negates normal sight and infravision, but not tremorsense, blindsight, telepathy, scent or detection magics.

Blindness can last for a relatively short duration measured in turns, or can be a much more serious affliction that can only be cured magically. Fortunately, the latter is rare. The Healing skill can be used to treat blindness. Blind characters also obviously always suffer the combat penalties for attacking unseen creatures, and being attacked by unseen creatures.

Stunned: Stunned characters suffer a -6 status penalty to Dexterity and a -50% status penalty to attack speed and movement rate. Their spellcasting success chance has a -50% penalty.

Confused: Confused characters suffer a -4 status penalty to Intelligence and Wisdom, as well as a -75% modifier to spell success chance. When they try to move, they must make a Balance check (DC 18) or move in a randomly selected direction instead of their intended one, possibly placing them over dangerous terrain.

Nauseated: A nauseated character suffers the same penalties as a stunned one (-6 Dexterity, -50% Mov/Spd, -50% spell success) and is additionally unable to make attacks until the nausea passes, barring an exceptional Concentration score allowing this to be bypassed.

Fatigued: A fatigued character has spent or lost all their fatigue points. Such a character suffers a -2 fatigue penalty to Strength, Dexterity and Charisma, as well as a -10% penalty to attack speed and movement rate.

Exhausted: Exhausted is the next stage beyond fatigued; an exhausted character has reached a negative total of current fatigue points equal to or exceeding their normal positive maximum. Such a character suffers a -6 fatigue penalty to Strength, Dexterity and Charisma, as well as a -25% penalty to attack speed and movement rate.

Prone:** A prone character has been knocked from his feet. He suffers a -4 status penalty to his attack rolls and defense class, and he must stand up before he is able to move; standing up takes about as much time as making an attack, modified by Dexterity — 25 segments for a character with Dexterity 10.

Afraid: Afraid characters are unable to make any attacks, and may not take movement actions that place them closer to the source of their fear than they would otherwise be.

Shaken: Being shaken is a lesser form of fear. Shaken characters can move and attack freely, but suffer a morale penalty (often -2, but not always) to attack rolls, defense class and saving throws.

Vaults and Complexes

Some areas of the dungeon are notably more dangerous than others. Complexes are regions of closely interconnected rooms. These can be very dangerous, because while your character fights the monsters in one room, the monsters in nearby rooms can hear you and come to join the melee; thus it is very easy to be swamped in such a region — always have an escape route ready! Complexes can appear on any dungeon level, and are not uncommon. Vaults are much rarer and more dangerous, and appear only later in the dungeon. Monsters in a vault are held in perfect stasis and cannot act until the vault doors are opened or your character (or some other creature from outside the vault) enters the vault by some other means. Vaults contain many monsters in a small area; far more seriously, the monsters they contain can be far more dangerous than those found elsewhere at the same dungeon depth. Vaults only occur in the deeper parts of the dungeon.

Fountains
Deep below the earth, some natural springs absorb the magical radiations of the Underdark. Magical fountains are large, immobile magical items built to harness the energy of these springs, usually for the purposes of healing or item enchantment. Though useful, these magics are deeply chaotic and unpredictable, and using them represents a great risk for a significant possible reward.

To drink from a fountain, use the Quaff ('q') command whilr standing on the square that contains the fountain. Drinking from a fountain can be both very beneficial and very risky. When a character drinks, a roll of (1d20 + Luck modifier) is made, with various random, useful or debilitating results; the higher the roll, the more positive the result. A high roll can, in increasing order of unlikelyness, restore fatigue, heal wounds, cure diseases, neatralize poisons, restore attribute damage and even remove curses. Low rolls can have very bad effects — the worst possible effect being possible only if a character has a Luck modifier less than +1, the second worst possible only with a Luck modifier less than +2, and so forth. Characters with very high Luck (such as many halflings) can use fountains largely reliably to recover from a wide variety of afflictions.

Some folks say that dipping magical items in a fountain can increase the strength of their enchantment. Perhaps this is true, but it would also be a risky endeavor best undertaken only by the Lucky. The greater the dungeon depth a fountain is found at, the higher it would be able to raise an item's enchantment, relative to the overall power of the item. Since fountains are magical items in their own right, they can be blessed or cursed, and the exact strength of their dwenomer can be determined by identification magic. To dip an item in a fountain, use the Dip verb from the Yuse ('y') command.

LIGHT AND VISION

In Incursion, a character's sensory abilities can be very important to her overall survival. There are a number of ways to sense terrain, creatures and objects. At any time your character may have any subset of them.

Light Range
A light source allows you to see creatures within a certain radius (e.g., 40 feet for a torch or minor magical light, 60 for a brass lantern). Your light range is increased by your lowlight vision, if any (e.g., elves start with 20 feet of lowlight vision).

Shadow Range
Your shadow range is typically twice your base light range. Within it you can see dungeon features (e.g., walls, doors) clearly but you see creatures as vague, unidentified shadowy forms and you do not see items at all.

Sight Range
Your sight range is 150 feet, plus 30 feet per point of your Wisdom modifier, plus 20 feet per point of Sharp Senses. You can see things up to this far away provided that they are illuminated for some reason. For example, you could see a monster near a wall torch on the other side of a great empty chamber within this range. To see a hiding creature your Spot skill is contested against its Hide skill. Sight is blocked by obscuring terrain (e.g., fog, trees).

Infravision
Your infravision range is determined by your race (usually 60 feet for most races that have it, or 120 feet for deep dwellers like dark elves and gray dwarves). Within this range you can see creatures, items and dungeon features perfectly. In Incursion, infravision is 'darksight' rather than 'heatsight'. Infravision does not automatically reveal hiding creatures, you still need a Spot check. Infravision is not blocked by light sources. Infravision is blocked by obscuring terrain (e.g., fog, trees).

Telepathy
The telepathy ability allows a character to sense the minds of other creatures and thereby determine their nature and location, out to a specified range. Within this range you can detect creatures that are neither mindless (such as constructs) nor undead. Telepathy does not reveal terrain or items.

Tremorsense
Tremorsense allows you to sense creatures, terrain and items through vibrations in the ground and is commonly possessed by magical plants. You can sense all creatures within your tremorsense range provided that they are neither paralyzed nor flying nor incorporeal nor phased. Tremorsense also allows you to detect all solid structures (e.g., walls, doors, items) within its radius (based on how sound travels through them).

Blindsight
Blindsight represents a sonar-like aural perception. Within your blindsight range you can detect any non-hiding creature, or any hiding creature if your skill level in Listen is greater than or equal to its skill level in Move Silently. You can also detect items and terrain. Creature or items inside a field of silence are not detected by blindsight. Creatures on a different plane are not detected by blindsight. Unlike normal vision, Blindsight is not stopped by obscuring terrain (like fog) but it is stopped by all solid terrain (even transparent walls of ice). Your blindsight range is cut in half if you wear a metal helmet, and it is reduced by 1 for every size category greater than Tiny of items you are holdin your hand (e.g., a medium shield would reduce it by 2).

Scent
You can detect a creatures within your scent range, provided that it is on the same plane as you (e.g., it is not ethereal) and that no solid objects are between the two of you (e.g., you cannot smell through stone walls). Scent does not detect items or terrain.

Wizard Sight
This magical ability allows you to see everything within its range, even through solid walls.

Tracking
Once you have seen a creature through one of the above methods you automatically (if you have the tracking ability — usually rangers only) begin to track it. Thereafter, as long as it is within your tracking range and too much time has not elapsed (depending on your ability level) you can sense it. Tracking does not reveal items or terrain.

Detection
You may also have the ability to detect all creatures or (more commonly) a certain creature type within a given range. For example, a 1st level paladin can detect evil creatures within about 250 feet. It is also possible to detect all items or (less commonly) all items of a certain type within a given range.

Shared Senses
If you have a sacred mount or an animal companion, you share perceptions. You can sense everything it senses and vice-versa. In addition, you are always aware of its exact location.

Non-Detection
Certain cloaking magics or abilities can also hide you from the senses of others on a case-by-case basis. For example, a ring of mind shielding will prevent telepathy or detection from sensing you. Some monsters have natural nondetection abilities — darkmantles cannot be sensed by Scent and dark nagas are immune to Telepathy, for example. Non-Detection can be very valuable to rogues, because it allows them to sneak up on creatures (such as orcs with Scent) they could not otherwise surprise.

The option 'Show Perception Modes' will reveal the combination of perception modes (e.g., infravision and telepathy) that is allowing you to sense a creature using the Look command.

Finally, with one exception the rules are the same for the players and the monsters. The exception: monsters with no hands for torches and no other perception modes get 60 feet of infravision for free. This usually applies to mundane animals (e.g., bison, boa constrictors, …) that really have no place in the dark dungeon but are there for variety and to give druids and animal spells something to do. The lack of symmetry is that if you, the player, polymorph or wildshape into such a creature you do not get the free infravision.

TRAINING ATTRIBUTES

Characters in Incursion can gain bonuses to their attributes in several ways — there are spells that boost attributes for a brief period of time, and magical items that increase them for as long as they are worn. Most of these forms of magic grant a magic bonus to an attribute, and are both impermanent and external to the character. For this reason (and also because they stack with magic bonuses), it's desirable to seek out inherent bonuses to attributes. Inherent bonuses represent a growth to the character's internal capabilities; once gained, they are permanent and nonmagical. Inherent attribute bonuses cannot be dispelled or stolen by circumstance.

There are several ways to gain inherent bonuses. Rare magical tomes might grant them when read, barbarians gain them just for being barbarians and advancing in level, and orcs can sometimes gain them by devouring the bodies of slain foes. However, the most reliable way to gain them is simply through adventuring and development — as a character performs actions which strain and push her attributes, she works her way toward higher inherent bonuses. Unlike most types of bonuses, inherent bonuses stack with each other — a single character can gain a large inherent bonus from a mixture of training, tomes, class features and eating monster corpses. However, there is an absolute limit on how high the inherent bonus to a single attribute can reach; this limit is +5 for most characters, and +8 for humans.

Percentile Attributes
To represent the continued pushing and development of an attribute, characters have a percentile score indicating how close they are to gaining their next inherent +1 to that attribute. This percentile score is listed immediately after the attribute on the character sheet. Actions which challenge and leverage the attribute increase this percentile score over time. Conversely, it decreases with the passage of time — every day the character rests removes 1d4 points from the percentile score for each attribute. Thus, characters who push themselves tend to increase their attributes more quickly, while characters who move very slowly and rest frequently aren't challenging themselves as harshly and find that their attributes do not increase as easily.

Skills and Training Attributes
Some skills improve a character's ability to develop her attributes. These skills are Athletics, Perform, Concentration and the highest Knowledge skill the character has. The character's skill rating is subtracted from 100 to determine how many percentile points the character must gain in order to merit the gaining of a +1 inherant bonus to the attribute in question.

This is described in greater detail in the writeup to the Athletics skill.

Attribute Development
Different attributes are challenged in different ways. The following actions all have the potential to allow a character to gain percentile points to an attribute. Note, however, that there is a finite limit to the number of percentile points that can be gained from a given action. For example, picking a lock might give a character 3 percentile points toward Dexterity, but the most percentile points a character can gain from lockpicking is 60, so once she has 60 points from lockpicking, she must seek out other sources to increase her Dexterity. Many actions have a much lower minimum than this, so characters need diverse activities that depend on a given attribute rather than just one activity to gain inherent bonuses reliably. Most activities that can be repeated over and over again have low maximum point gains, and some activities require that they character be at risk (i.e., be near hostile monsters) when she performs them, otherwise they merit no gain.

General

  • Succeeding in a saving throw trains the attribute that modifies that save — Constitution for Fortitude, Dexterity for Reflex and Wisdom for Will. The degree of gain is based on the save DC.
  • Succeeding in a skill check trains the attributes associated with that skill; again, the degree of gain is based on the skill check DC. Some skills train attributes more strongly in a single use than others.

Strength

  • Kicking open a door in a single try trains Strength.
  • Scoring a critical hit with a weapon larger than you, or with a weapon of your size wielded two-handed, trains Strength.
  • Succeeding in a grapple check against a creature stronger than you trains Strength, provided you are not using Escape Artist but are depending on Strength for the grapple.
  • Working at a forge to create or repair metal items trains Strength.
  • Digging tunnels in the dungeon with the Mining skill trains Strength very heavily.
  • Tearing free once you become stuck (in some types of terrain or the effects of a web spell, for example) trains Strength.
  • Adventuring while your encumbrance is Heavy trains strength; doing so while it is Extreme trains it even further.
  • Adventuring while wearing heavy armor trains both Strength and Constitution, but abuses Dexterity.

Dexterity

  • Tumbling trains Dexterity.
  • Using the Evasion, Defensive Roll or Flawless Dodge abilities successfully trains Dexterity.
  • Being missed by monsters while Fighting Defensively trains Dexterity.
  • Scoring critical hits with a Light weapon trains Dexterity.
  • Using thrown weapons can train Dexterity even if you don't score a crit.

Constitution

  • Overcoming poison or disease trains Constitution.
  • Surviving a critical hit from an enemy trains Constitution.
  • Eating foods specially designated as healthy (relative to your race) trains Constitution. Most rations aren't healthy — they're made to last a long time, not be nutritious — and rotten food is never healthy.
  • Staying Content or Peckish trains Constitution weakly. Staying Hungry trains Constitution if you have the Fasting class ability. However, starvation abuses Constitution, as does being Satiated (weakly) or Bloated (strongly).
  • Spending fatigue points through conscious actions trains Constitution.
  • Adventuring while wearing heavy armor trains both Strength and Constitution, but abuses Dexterity.

Intelligence

  • Successfully casting a spell with a base success chance of 60% while threatened trains Intelligence; if the base chance is 30% or lower, Intelligence is trained more strongly.
  • Successfully using metamagic while threatened also trains Intelligence, based on the number of metamagic levels used.
  • Identifying items via experimentation trains Intelligence.
  • Identifying monsters with Sense Motive trains Intelligence.
  • Doing research in a library trains Intelligence strongly.
  • Reading scrolls successfully trains Intelligence.
  • Creating magical, alchemical or mundane items, or repairing items, trains Intelligence.

Wisdom

  • Successfully turning or commanding undead (or other creatures) trains Wisdom.
  • Praying and receiving a divine blessing trains Wisdom.
  • Angering your god or violating his edicts abuses Wisdom.
  • Trying to resolve conflict with other creatures trains Wisdom, whether it is successful or not.
  • Donating money to priests or charity (in the cities in the full release game) trains Wisdom for a good-aligned character and abuses it for an evil character.
  • Creating magical items trains Wisdom.
  • Converting an altar trains Wisdom strongly.

Charisma

  • Performing a social action — cowing, quelling, taunting, etc. creatures — trains Charisma. This falls under skill use (noted under general, above), but it is worth noting specifically here as well.
  • Causing creatures to be charmed or to become afraid with magic trains Charisma.
  • Summoning creatures trains Charisma.
  • If an evil character kills a frightened creature, this adds to her reputation as a fearsome force to be reckoned with, and trains her Charisma.
  • Sitting in a throne trains Charisma.

Luck

  • Adventuring at a dungeon depth higher than your character level trains luck — it's dangerous and involves great risk-taking!
  • Using an item with a random effect (such as a wand of wonder) and getting a beneficial effect trains Luck.
  • Using a magical fountain and gaining a beneficial effect trains Luck.
  • Surviving a critical hit from an enemy trains Luck.

ALIGNMENT AND CONDUCT

In Incursion, as in many systems inspired by the OGL system, alignment is used as a tool for measuring a character's morals and ethics along two distinct axis: good vs. evil and law vs. chaos. Incursion characters choose their alignment at the beginning of the game, subject to certain restrictions based on their choice of class and diety. Actions taken later in the game can cause an involuntary change in a character's alignment.

DESIRED ALIGNMENT
Intent matters. An evil character can freely donate money to the poor without any chance of her alignment changing — why shouldn't she, if it will improve her reputation and allow her to acclimate more power in the long run? While some actions carry a weight in terms of alignment regardless of the intent behind them — for example, killing innocent people always draws a character closer to an Evil alignment — for other actions this is not the case.

Therefore, Incursion requires a player to state the alignment that their character desires to embody, as well as telling him into which alignment his character's actions actually place said character. Thus, an evil character who desires to be good and donates money to the needy will find his alignment changing, whereas one who is content to be evil will not.

At the beginning of the game, the player chooses her character's alignment, and that choice is assumed to be her desired alignment as well. When a character's desired alignment comes into variance with her actual alignment, the player can select the 'A'lignment option on the character sheet to choose a new desired alignment. Her actual alignment does not change at all when this choice is made, but the game will evaluate all of her further actions in light of the new alignment she is trying to live up to.

COSMOLOGICAL FORCES
Good, evil, law and chaos are not merely philosophical ideals in the world of Incursion; instead, they are concrete and tangible metaphysical forces with direct supernatural effects on the world. A magical sword wounds Chaotic creatures especially deeply, a warding circle might keep out only Evil creatures, and so forth.

Certain spells and magical items are inherently good, evil, lawful or chaotic. Using items of this nature that conflict with a character's alignment will inevitably draw that character toward the item's alignment, even if the item is used in a manner that otherwise reflects the character's normal alignment — using an unholy sword to kill an evil creature strengthens the force of the unholy in the world, and is therefore an evil act.

GOOD
Incursion defines goodness as being a respect for life and virtue combined with the courage and altruism needed to protect the innocent from harm. Good characters protect the weak, respect other good characters, seek to redeem evil and bring about justice and improve the quality of life of all feeling creatures.

Good and evil are opposing forces, but are not mirror images of each other; they are very different in nature. Good characters face a great many restrictions on their actions, while evil characters face very few or none. Good is harder than evil. Conversely, however, good characters find advantages in that other good creatures will not be as likely to be hostile to them and will be more willing to deal fairly with them or even offer selfless aid — after all, their cause is good. Good characters also benefit from holy items more than evil characters benefit from unholy ones, because good character most typically fight against evil monsters, while evil character most typically also fight evil monsters, or fight amongst themselves.

A good alignment is strengthened by killing inherently evil creatures such as demons and devils, healing neutral creatures and giving gold to the needy. The following acts contravene a good alignment:

  • Good characters must not hurt or kill non-hostile creatures, even evil ones. Good characters are expected to show regard for the lives of others.
  • Good character should not make use of acid attacks against living creatures — Incursion considers acid to be a sadistic form of attack employed by those with more interest in inflicting pain and mutilating their foes than disposing of them to protect the world.
  • Good characters should not steal from non-evil characters, though stealing impacts the law/chaos side of the alignment scale more strongly than the good/evil one.
  • Good characters should not recruit evil creatures to join their party freely.
  • Good characters should not use spells or magical items designed specifically to summon demons or devils, or other items or spells that are unholy or have the [Evil] descriptor.
  • Good characters should not pray evil gods.
  • Using the Exploitation ability of the Bluff skill in an act contrary to a Good alignment.
  • Only good characters who worship Mara can animate the dead without it being considered an evil act as a result of desecrating the bodies of the dead; Mara teaches rituals and philosophies that allow this to be done respectfully.

EVIL
In the context of a character's alignment, evil is the absence of morals, or more accurately the absence of correct morals — some Evil characters have very complex, deluded codes of moral conduct. Combined with this is often selfishness — the desire to put one's own well-being above that of others, and to injure, victimize or exploit others in order to better oneself.

In Incursion, evil characters have less restrictions on their actions, but find that they lack for support and are surrounded by enemies. The Bluff skill is very valuable to evil characters, because it allows them to conceal their evil nature — without Bluff, the game assumes that other creatures will have heard about the character's treacherous or hateful acts, and Good creatures will thus be more likely to be hostile.

There are no restrictions on the actions an evil character can take in Incursion based on the Evil component of their alignment alone. If an evil character commits good acts based on a desire to become good (as defined by their desired alignment), they will slowly, over time, become good. If a character's desired alignment is evil, however, no amount of good acts will change it, since the game assumes they are all being done with selfish motives.

LAW
A lawful alignment represents the belief that a structured society is beneficial and as such, the character is obligated to follow the standards set down by society. Lawful neutral characters follow laws with the best interests of their society in mind, lawful good characters follow laws with the best interests of all societies even theoretically capable of good in mind, and lawful evil characters preserve the laws of society because they recognize them as the root of their own power. The dominant society of Theyra emphasizes a code of conduct based on chivalry, warrior's honor, respect for the structure of the class system and support for the community as a whole, as strongly influenced by the f aith of Immotian.

The following actions contravene a Lawful alignment:

  • Poison can fell even the strongest warrior, and thus has the potential to disrupt the hierarchy of power; as such, its use is an unlawful act. Drow are an exempt from this stricture, as poisonings are considered to be part of the proper order of their society.
  • Attacking cowering or fleeing people is considered to be a base act and a strong breech of honor, and condemned accordingly. If terms have been offered and refused, however, a fugitive can be slain lawfully.
  • Attacking creatures who have surrendered to you is also a deeply treacherous act that goes against the law of war.
  • Attacking prone, paralyzed or stuck characters is similarly considered to be base behaviour. Characters with rogue levels are exempt from this restriction.
  • Eating the flesh of humanoid creatures is considered to be an unlawful act, even if the victim is a goblinoid or other kind of creature not considered a person under law. Cannibalism is an especially serious form of this. Orcs can eat other orcs without suffering any penalty, due to the unique standards of their society — eating a fallen foe is considered an honorable act, because their soul lives on within you and shares in your glories.
  • Stealing from those legally considered 'people' is always an unlawful act, regardless of the victim's alignment.
  • Lawful characters normally should not recruit chaotic creatures to join their party freely; however, lawful good creatures can associate with chaotic good freely — the commonality of good overrides a lawful loyalty in this circumstance.

The Code of Chivalry
In addition to the normal requirements of a lawful alignment, certain characters are required to adhere to the standards of fair combat as set out in the Theyran code of chivalry: not attacking prone, paralyzed, stuck or blinded opponents. The rules of chivalry do not apply to all combatants — the Theyran nobility would never hobble their armies that way. Instead, they only apply to characters considered to be knights or participants in noble combat under law: paladins, worshippers of Erich and characters who are either mounted or wearing heavy armor (which is traditionally reserved for nobles).

The Applicability of Law
Most of Theyra has different standards as to who is awarded the protection of law. In the mainstream human/halfling dominated society, demihumans are considered people by law; goblinoids are not. Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil characters follow the law as it is, the latter interpreting it more in the benefit of keeping the peasants down and the former more impartially. Lawful Good characters interpret the law as it should be in an objectively good society, meaning all the restrictions applied to demihumans, they must instead apply to all sapient beings.
Likewise, to goblinoids, only other goblinoids are considered people; the lizardfolk, however, recognize all thinking beings as people, just as lawful good characters must.
Inherantly evil creatures — fiends, energy-draining undead and so forth — are recognized as inherently destructive to all societies, and no society (other then devils) awards such beings protection under law.

CHAOS
A chaotic alignment represents a belief in individual freedom and liberty being more important than the needs of society. Chaotic characters have little regard for law, instead following personal codes of ethics. Chaotic evil characters only recognize the validity of their own freedom, and thus essentially do whatever they want; chaotic neutral characters respect the freedom of all thinking creatures as sacrosanct, and are forbidden from acts which contravene that freedom. Chaotic good characters go one step further, being willing to fight selflessly to defend the liberties of others.

The following acts contravene a chaotic good or chaotic neutral alignment along the law/chaos axis:

  • Chaotic characters should not use magic with the Compulsion descriptor against sapient creatures under any circumstances. This includes spells like dominate person and magical items like the Medallion of Mental Domination.
  • The trade guilds and merchant cartels on Theyra are deeply corrupt, imposing and economic tyranny that reinforces the class system by any means available. As such, while trade itself is acceptable to chaotic characters, they should not buy or sell items to merchants affiliated with the guilds, such as Roark Ironbeard.
  • Chaotic creatures should not invite lawful neutral or lawful evil creatures to join their group, because these creatures oppress others as a part of their normal methodology.
  • Chaotic characters should not coerce non-evil creatures by using the Intimidate skill to Cow or Issue Requests. They are free to negotiate with them using Diplomacy or to trick them with Bluff, however.

CHANGING ALIGNMENT
When you desire to change alignment and have stated a new alignment, you must begin working up a tally of acts in favor of that alignment. The presence of inherently aligned creatures in Incursion is especially valuable for this purpose. Killing an inherently aligned creature such as a demon or modron when you desire the opposite alignment will move you closer to your desired alignment. Killing any hostile creature of opposing alignment is useful in moving toward a new alignment, but risking your life to kill an inherently aligned creature is far more valuable than doing so to kill a mortal being whose alignment simply happens to oppose your own.

ALIGNMENT BONUSES
Holding to a specific alignment can be very difficult, but the very conviction that fuels it gives a character strength. All bonuses derived from alignment vary in magnitude based on the strength of the character's devotion to that component of his alignment.

Good characters are deeply offended by cruelty, hatred and narrow-minded malice, and that righteous anger bleeds through when they enter combat: they receive a morale bonus to hit evil creatures, or a bonus to the save DC of spells cast at evil creatures.

Lawful characters follow a strict code of conduct imposed by society, and in so doing develop a greater degree of self-discipline and focus then other characters, allowing them to devote their will more fully to improving themselves — they receive a small bonus to experience gained upon reaching character level 3.

Chaotic characters believe in the freedom of the individual and the sacred value of liberty, and these values give them a greater strength when fighting to resist coercion: they receive a morale bonus to their Will saving throw.

Evil characters receive no special bonuses, but then also have few or no restrictions on their actions. Chaotic evil characters receive the chaotic bonus without having to adhere to the normal chaotic restrictions, but have a corresponding penalty: they have difficulty inspiring trust in others due to their vicious, treacherous and often randomly cruel behaviour. Allied creatures are much more likely to turn on a chaotic evil associate than they are to turn on a neutral evil one, who can use the structure of society, trust and honor to ease others' fears when it benefits him to do so.

PRAYER AND ALTARS

Incursion makes use of a fairly complicated system of religion wherein players can devote themselves to one or more gods and in so doing gain blessings both in the form of emergency aid and more lasting, long-term divine gifts. The system of prayer and worship is one of very few aspects of Incursion that is not entirely transparent to the player, by design.

Choosing a God
Characters in Incursion can make sacrifices to, and receive blessings from, more than one god. However, they must choose one specific god (or none) to devote themselves to. This chosen god is the one who will answer any prayers they make when they are not standing over an altar; to receive aid or blessings from any other god requires access to the appropriate altar.

Certain classes — priests, paladins and monks — begin play devoted to a specific god which they will be allowed to choose at character creation. All gods have priests, whereas paladins and monks may follow only a subset of the available gods in the game; druids also have a restricted selection of gods available, even though they do not start play devoted to a deity. Converting in play to a different religion will prevent the player from advancing further in these classes until he switches back to a god suitable to the class in question. Monks may follow Aiswin, Essiah, Hesani, Immotion, Mara, the Multitude or Xavias. Druids may follow Essiah, Hesani, Kysul, Mara, Maeve, Sabine, Xel or Zurvash. Paladins may follow Ekliazeh, Erich, Immotian, Kysul, Mara, Semirath or Xavias.

Characters from other classes normally do not start affiliated with a god, having to convert in gameplay. However, dwarves and orcs have the elective of worshipping Ekliazeh or Khasrach respectively if they choose a class that does not offer a choice of gods. Elves begin play worshipping Maeve if they choose an irreligious class; if they recieve a choice of gods from their class and do not pick Maeve, they begin the game with her angry at them.

Personal Conversion: Characters who do not have a god, or wish to convert to a god other than the one they presently worship, must find an altar attuned to the desired deity. They then pray while standing in the same square as an altar, and if asked choose to pray to the altar's deity rather than their current one. Most gods have alignment restrictions, and some have racial or other restrictions. Furthermore, no god will accept a petitioner whom she is angry at. Finally, some gods require followers to accrue a certain minimum level of favor with them before allowing a petitioner to convert; this favor is lost upon conversion. If all the requirements are met, the character is not a devoted follower of the altar's god, and can pray to that god without needing an altar.

Altars
In the world of Incursion, an altar is not just a symbolic adornment, but instead a powerful and sacred magical item that acts as a conduit between the mortal world and the realms of the gods. The gods of the Theyran pantheon are, in a way, not unlike vampires: they can only go where they are invited. A god can exercise divine power in the world in only one of two circumstances: through an altar or through a petitioner (or ex-petitioner) who has interacted with them using an altar. This makes praying at an altar a very dangerous choice: a paladin, for example, can slaughter the followers of an evil god and the god will be impotent to act directly, but if the paladin prays to that evil god and then turns away, the god will be considered involved in the paladin's life; the link is forged and the god can send negative interventions to the paladin forevermore. Maeve is always considered to be 'involved' with elves, who are taught to pray at her altars from early childhood. Certain methods of breaking this involvement exist, such as the contact other plane spell.

Altar Conversion: Having an altar to one's patron god close by is a powerful advantage: it allows a character to bless items, create holy water and make sacrifices to improve one's standing with the deity in question. However, altars are not always easily available; for this reason, an adventurer may want to convert an altar discovered in the dungeon into an altar to her own god. Doing this requires a complex theological ritual that takes 4 hours and drains 2 fatigue points.

Converting an altar requires two rolls. The first in a Knowledge (Theology) check against DC 15 to see if the ritual is performed correctly. If this check is failed, the time and fatigue is lost, but nothing else occurs and the attempt may be made again. The second roll represents a contest of the petitioner's faith against the altar's current god, and is represented in the game by a 1d20 roll, to which is added the petitioner's Favor Level with her god (rated from 0 to 10) and her Wisdom modifier, against a DC of 15. If the altar's current god is friendly to the petitioner's god, and is also not a jealous god, he may choose to cede the altar, granting a +4 bonus to the conversion roll. Otherwise, he will surely become angry at the petitioner whether the conversion succeeds or fails, and will strike back with potentially lethal vengeance!

If the conversion check succeeds, the altar is converted into an altar to the petitioner's god. If the check fails, but still exceeds DC 12, the altar remains as it was. If the check result is 11 or lower, the altar will explode, vanishing and inflicting 2d10 blunt damage and 2d10 fire damage to the petitioner.

Sacrifice and Favor
A character's stature in their god's eyes is measured by a quantity called favor. The player cannot directly see her character's favor rating, but internally to the game it functions in much the same way as experience points do. Favor can be gained in a number of ways specific to a given god — Asherath appreciates winning difficult fights, Erich approves of the slaughter of goblinoids, Hesani likes characters resolving conflicts — but the most common way to gain favor with a diety is to offer sacrifices to that deity.

Most of the gods of Theyra, good and evil, accept blood sacrifices made at their altars; those that do not typically accept some items as sacrifices instead. Each god has very specific rules on what constitutes an acceptable sacrifice to them; only Asherath does not take any kind of altar sacrifices whatsoever. Making a sacrifice requires an altar, and the sacrifice can only be made to the god the altar is associated with.

The system of sacrifice and favor in Incursion is designed to avoid repetition and monotony while still providing a strong challenge. Each god has (on average) six 'slots' to receive sacrifices in, each with a weight assigned to it. Erich, for example, has four slots: one for dragons, one for beasts, one for chaotic humanoids and one for evil outsiders, with the dragons and outsiders being weighed at double what beasts and chaotic humanoids are. Essiah, on the other hand, has two slots for creatures that represent a perversion of sexuality and three slots for general evil creatures; the perversions, being far rarer, are weighted much more heavily than generic evil creatures. The value of a sacrificed creature is usually based on its Challenge Rating and the value of a sacrificed item is based on its market value. The favor with a god that a character receives from sacrifice is based on the best possible sacrifices fit into those slots, so quality of sacrifices matters whereas, by and large, quantity does not. When a character makes a sacrifice it is placed in the slot where it would grant the most favor; weak sacrifices never over-write stronger ones, which means that if all suitable slots are filled with better sacrifices, a new sacrifice will not increase a character's favor at all. When a sacrifice increases favor, the game will tell you that the god is 'impressed'; when it is a suitable sacrifice but does not increase favor, the god will be 'satisfied'.'

In order to make a sacrifice, a character must carry a creature's corpse to the altar; as a result of this, Strength plays a part in gaining divine favor, by design. However, for very weak characters, and for gods who favor the sacrifice of creatures that do not normally leave corpses (such as the Multitude, who favor incorporeal undead sacrifices), there is an alternative. If a creature is slain while it is standing exactly on a square containing an altar, that creature will automatically be considered to a a sacrifice to the altar's god by its killer. This is referred to as live sacrifice; it can be very difficult to conduct, but also very rewarding in terms of favor. Note that live sacrifice occurs any time a player character kills a creature standing on an altar, even if the player may not want to offer a sacrifice to that altar's god; this can make live sacrifice very much a double-edged sword!

When a god is angry, a suitable sacrifice can also be used as a form of penitence, lessening or removing completely the divine anger. Suitable sacrifices made to an angry god do not increase favor, instead lessening the god's anger. Sacrifices made to decrease anger do not have to be potent enough to increase favor, but they do have to be notable relative to the character level of the character making them.

Favor Levels and Permanent Blessings: When characters make sacrifices (or gain favor, for gods that do not accept sacrifices), their total favor is recalculated and compared to an internal favor table specific to each god. This table works much like the experience table, determining a character's favor level. If the total is enough for them to be at a higher favor level than they are, the god in question will grant them a permanent blessing. This works in many ways like gaining a level in a prestige class: the character gains certain special abilities for their new favor level, though favor does not grant base qualities such as BAB, hit dice or saving throw modifiers. There are ten levels of favor possible with each god; characters can only be raised above the third level of favor with the god they have specifically devoted themselves to. Your current level of favor with your god is indicated by a line on the 'Spiritual State' section of the character sheet, as follows:

  • '[God] is noncommittal.' (no favor level)
  • '[God] has noticed your worship.' (level 1)
  • '[God] is cautiously pleased with your worship.' (level 2)
  • '[God] is pleased with your worship.' (level 3)
  • '[God] is very pleased with your worship.' (level 4)
  • '[God] is exalted by your worship.' (level 5)
  • 'You are a minor champion of [God].' (level 6)
  • 'You are a champion of [God].' (level 7)
  • 'You are among the greatest of [God]'s champions.' (level 8)
  • 'You are the hand of [God] on Theyra.' (level 9)
  • 'You have been crowned by [God].' (level 10)

At present, the highest level of favor one can receive with a god is favor level 9; characters will be able to be crowned in Return of the Forsaken. Also note that it is, by design, considerably harder to attain favor level 9 with many gods than it is to defeat Murgash and beat the game!

Conduct and Penance
Every god places upon her followers a specific standard of behaviour they are expected to adhere to. Violating this code of conduct will anger the god, making it impossible to receive aid from her and causing her to send negative interventions instead of positive. The specific rules that each god places before her followers are listed in the 'Worship' section of each god's writeup. Some rules may apply only to those who devote themselves to the deity in question, while others apply to everyone. All the gods are omniscient, silently watching all people on Theyra, though they are impotent to act upon the lives of anyone who hasn't prayed to them, they still note the acts that all people take, and form opinions accordingly.

The message 'You feel uneasy.' signifies that your patron god has become angry at you; no such message is given, however, when any other god becomes angry.

When a god who is involved in a character's life becomes angry, that diety will send negative interventions to trouble the character. When a character is devoted to a god and angers them, they must soothe the anger by making sacrifices. When a different involved god becomes angry, the anger may be soothed over time, but will also dissipate after a number of negative interventions depending upon the strength of the anger. Some gods are more tolerant, and will grant worshippers a certain lattitude in violating their rules before they are counted as being angry; others are very strict and will become angry at even a single transgression.

It is possible for repeated transgressions without atonement to make one's patron god so angry that they will reject the character utterly, stripping all their blessings from her and leaving her to fend for herself, usually also consistently sending negative interventions against her without surcease.

'Risk-Taking': Some gods grant favor or become angry on the basis of the degree of risk aversion or patience a follower shows. This manifests in game terms by gauging the character level a character reaches before descending to a given dungeon level. The baseline is that a character's level will be two higher than the dungeon level she is on, so a character who has to avoid being overly cautious should descend to dungeon level 2 before reaching character level 4, while a character who does not want to be seen as impatient or reckless should not descend to dungeon level 2 until she reaches character level 4. Characters are never penalizing for being on dungeon level 1, and likewise are never penalized if their character level is maxed out.

Divine Relations
The pantheon of Theyra has complex dynamics among itself; some members are close friends and allies, while others are bitter enemies. Characters can pray to any god, given a suitable altar, as well as making sacrifices and receiving aid and blessings. Some gods offer very useful services to characters who do not worship them directly: Immotian will cure diseases, Xavias can identify items and so forth. However, praying to a god other than your patron can anger your patron if the god you are praying to is not an ally of your patron. The relations between gods can be gleaned through experimentation, but are often obvious from common sense simply as a result of reading the various gods' writeups.

Seeking Insight
Characters will always be offered the option to seek insight when they pray; this allows them to learn about their standing with a given god. Seeking insight is never an aligned act, nor do gods react to it in any way. It is 'safe'. Successfully gleaning insight requires a Knowledge (Theology) skill check against DC 15. Success reveals whether the god is question is angry, how they would aid you in a time of need and how strongly they favor you. If the check is failed, it can be re-attempted after resting.

Some gods will also identify some or all magical items as divine aid when a follower seeks insight. The game will ask whether you want to seek insight into your possessions when you seek insight in general; if you do the god you pray to will identify some or all of your items, with all the normal penalties for receiving divine aid.

Divine Aid
Any character devoted to a specific deity can pray for divine aid from that god at any time. Prayers for aid on Theyra are very ritual and complex, and structure and correct enunciation are necessary to allow a god to aid a petitioner without an altar to act as a conduit. As such, to have a prayer for aid answered, a character must make a successful Knowledge (Theology) check. The DC varies between 8 and 15 depending on how exacting and ritualistic the faith of the god in question is.

Each of the gods in Incursion grants several different forms of aid; sometimes gods will only grant aid depending upon how severe a situation is (for example, only healing the character if she is severely wounded, or only teleporting her away if she is badly outnumbered); furthermore, most gods require characters to attain a certain level of favor before they will give specific forms of aid to the character. A character can learn exactly what forms of aid are available to them at present by using the seek insight option on the pray command. Each god writeup lists the forms of aid a diety is capable of giving, whereas the insight option will tell you what your deity would be willing to give you now, at your current level of favor.

There are many different forms of divine aid; most are self-explanatory based on their message in the seek insight results. Clearing you mind refers to removing stunning, confusion, enchantment and paralysis, while purifying the body refers to curing poison, disease, petrification and paralysis. Replenishing your spirit, conversely, restores all drained experience and heals all attribute damage. Deflecting lethal blows indicates that the god will intercede automatically to lessen the damage from a critical hit that would kill the player or leave her with less than 1/5th of her normal hit points. This reduces the hit to non-critical damage level, but does not add to prayer timeout.

Divine aid comes with a price, however; the gods help those who help themselves, and bless most highly those servants who call upon their aid only rarely. Whenever you pray and receive aid (or are protected from a crit), a percentile penalty is applied to your total favor with the deity in question, cumulative with all such penalties in the past. Your favor level never goes down, but the more you rely on divine aid, the harder it becomes to gain further permanent blessings from your god. This penalty can never exceed 100%; if receiving aid would make it do so, your god is no longer able to give you aid. Some gods lower this penalty whenever you gain a character level as a kind of 'aid allowance', while others do not. In Wizard Mode, you can see this penalty listed in the Spiritual State section of the character sheet.

Furthermore, the gods can offer aid only infrequently; when a player calls upon a god's aid, they will not be able to recieve further aid for a pre-set time period, referred to as a prayer timeout. This period varies from god to god; a player can determine if they currently are in a prayer timeout using the seek insight option. Prayer timeout is measured in 'XP clicks' — individual instances of the character gaining (any amount of) experience — and as a result it cannot be 'waited out'; the player will have to continue adventuring to run out the prayer timeout and again be eligible to receive divine aid.

Resurrection: For an especially favored servant, the gods will even raise the dead. This is essentially just a special case of divine aid; it is received when a character dies rather than when she prays for aid. In addition to the normal minimum favor requirement, characters must be of a certain minimum character level (determined by their god) to be important enough to be resurrected. Resurrection usually carries a stiffer percentile favor penalty than other forms of divine aid.

A resurrected character loses a full character level and re-appears on the first level of the dungeon with a limited supply of emergency equipment and a new, fully healed body. Their normal equipment remains with their corpse at the location they died, unless the monsters they were fighting pick it up and make use of it. A character can theoretically be raised in this manner any number of times, provided that doing so will not put her favor penalty above 100%. However, there is a chance that a character will not survive repeated resurrections…

Blessing Items
Characters with at least minimal favor with a god can also use an altar to bless items. To do this, drop one or more items on the altar, pray and select the blessing option. The items will glow with a silvery light, and become blessed. This, like resurrection, is a specialized form of divine aid, and increases the character's percentile penalty to favor by one percent for each item so blessed. Blessing a stack of items accords a penalty of 1% plus 1% per five items in the stack.

Characters with stronger favor with their god may be able to have a weapon divinely enchanted with a special quality specific to the god in question. Mara, for example, favors keen weapons, whereas Immotian favors flaming ones. Whether this occurs depends on the petitioner's favor level with the altar's god, the petitioner's Wisdom modifier, the power of the quality and the depth the item would typically be found at: it's harder for a god to grant a quality to a +5 sword than to a +1 sword. Gods are more favorable to enchanting their chosen weapons; conversely, some qualities cannot belong to some weapons: only bladed weapons can be keen, for example.

Divine Interventions
In addition to sending divine aid when implored by an adventurer, the gods all (except Asherath) interact with their mortal followers on their own initiative. When a character has a god angry at her, she will receive negative interventions; when she is in favor with her deity, she will instead receive beneficial interventions. (Maeve is something of an capricious exception, being fond of doing obnoxious things to her followers even if they haven't done anything to anger her, and conversely rarely doing beneficial things for followers who have angered her.) The player has no control over when these interventions occur; they are timed with 'xp clicks' and randomness in the same manner as the prayer timeout described above.

Every god has different interventions. Erich is famous for giving his followers magical arms and armor when pleased with them, while Kysul shows anger by causing her followers' bodies to decompose!

ALLIES AND LEADERSHIP

Your character need not face the rigors of the dungeon alone. Characters with strong social skills can recruit aid to fight at their side in the dungeon — convincing neutral monsters they encounter to join their party, or even turning foes neutral, then recruiting them as a two-step process. Sapient beings can be recruited with the Diplomacy skill, while animals (and with the right feats, other beasts) can be recruited using the Animal Empathy skill.

Party CR
In Incursion, by default a player character can lead a party with a total Challenge Rating equal to her own character level, adjusted by her Charisma modifier. A single creature has a Challenge Rating equal to its effective level as shown in its monster memory page, whereas multiple creatures have a calculated total challenge rating that makes their strength equivalent to a single creature of the same CR.

(For the curious, the CR of a group is calculated as being the cube root of the sum of all the cubed CRs of each creature in the party. Don't worry too much about this, though — you don't need to follow the math, and the game blurs the rules in some places to get sensible results anyway.)

Certain types of characters are able to lead a larger party of more creatures, gaining special abilities that give them an extra pool of party CR for a specific kind of ally. This pool is added to the main allotment in the same manner that the CR of two creatures is added together. The Leadership feat increases the PCR of your base party pool by +3.

The Magic Pool
All characters have a magic pool that can absorb the CR of summoned creatures, animated undead, conjured force constructs and so forth. This pool is equal to the average of your character level and your caster level — in other words, a straight spellcaster will have a pool equal to their character level and a character with no casting ability will have a pool equal to half their character level. All magically created or transported creatures, from spells, innate abilities or magical items, draw from this pool; if their PCR exceeds it, the excess bleeds over into the general Party CR normally.

Some summoning effects summon creatures which are 'freebies' and do not count towards this pool.

The Commanded Undead Pool
Characters with the Rebuke/Command Undead gain a pool specifically for commanded undead equal to their level in the Rebuke/Command Undead ability — in other words, their priest level. Any excess commanded undead bleed over into the Party CR pool normally. Rebuked undead are not allies, merely afraid, and thus do not count toward any pool.

The Undead Horde Pool
In addition to the magic pool, specialist necromancers receive a second pool that applies only to animated undead. This pool has a CR equal to the character's Mage level. Animated undead subtract PCR first from this pool, then from the magic pool, and finally from the general party pool. As a result, a necromancer can control a quite substantial number of undead creatures…

The Animal Companion Pool
Characters with the Animal Companion ability receive a pool that can only be used for animal companions; this pool is equal in CR to the character's rating in the Animal Companion ability — usually the sum of the character's ranger and druid levels.

This pool applies to any non-magical animal allies of the character, whether they are the actual single animal companion granted by the Animal Companion ability, or other animals befriended and recruited using the Animal Empathy skill.

The Diplomacy Bonus
The Diplomacy skill does not grant a separate pool like the above abilities; instead, for every +5 by which your Diplomacy rating exceeds +5, you receive a +2 bonus to the CR of your base party pool. Thus, Diplomacy +10 increases your base PCR by +2, Diplomacy +15 increases it by +4, and so forth.

That Special Heroic Quality
Incursion does not currently include a monster experience system — allies do not advance. Thus, to make companions gained with the Diplomacy skill viable medium-term allies, they receive the same 'heroic quality' that player characters have, giving them 20 base hit points in addition to those gained from Hit Dice and Constitution bonus. This benefit only applies to races that can receive class templates, not to monstrous creatures, and does not apply to animal companions, summoned creatures, illusions, animated dead, and so forth. This helps to balance the fact that other types of companions are normally easier to replace than mundane NPC allies if they should die.

SHOPS AND BARTER

Incursion characters can visit shops in order to purchase items, or barter with other creatures in order to buy and sell gear. The prices in shops will be very bloated for the majority of characters — selling magical gear to adventurers is a very risky business and shopkeepers demand rather extreme premiums from their customers. As a result, most characters will be able to use the shops only to buy potions, skill kits and other low-cost items; powerful magic will remain outside their financial range.

The price of items in shops is determined by a character's Diplomacy skill rating, so characters with ratings of +10 or higher in Diplomacy will be better able to make use of shops than normal characters, potentially being able to buy powerful magical items from them. As always, in Incursion characters excel at the things they were designed to do, and are poor at most other things; this effect is very much intentional.

Characters with Diplomacy as a class skill or a Charisma of 13+ can also barter with other non-hostile sapient creatures in the dungeon, buying or selling goods. This works in exactly the same manner as with shops, except that most wandering NPCs will have only very limited funds to buy items from the PC, and in turn can sell only the items they have as gear. However, their prices will be much more reasonable since they are not trying to make a living merely selling goods in an exceedingly hazardous environment, but are instead fellow adventurers present for much the same reasons your own character is.

Service Spells
NPC spellcasters such as priests, dragons or nagas can also sell services in the form of spells they are capable of casting. Most spells are difficult to pass on in this way, but some, especially curatives and abjurations like neutralize poison, remove curse, identify and cure disease can make very useful commodities.

When an NPC is able to cast such a spell, that spell will appear along with their gear in the bartering window, and can be purchased accordingly. When you purchase a service spell, it will be cast immediately, and you will recieve an effect prompt to target it when the barter screen closes — so make sure that whatever or whoever you want it cast on is in range!

The Bartering Interface
Bartering is initiated either by entering a store or by using the Talk ('t') command on a neutral NPC willing to barter with you; either of these actions bring up the store interface, listing all the available goods along with their prices.

You can scroll through the listed goods using the [UP] and [DOWN] cursor keys, and the Examine ('x') command will allow you to scrutinize an item in more depth. The list of items can be scrolled up and down without changing the selected item using the [PGUP] and [PGDN] keys. All items in the barter window are listed fully identified, if you buy an item, all items of the exact same type will be identified as well, just as if you had identified such an item on your own.

Hitting [ESC] cancels the barter window, returning to normal gameplay. Typing the number listed beside an item will purchase that item; pressing [ENTER] will purchase the currently highlighted item. Purchases always ask for confirmation, and if the store or NPC has more than one of the item in question, you will also be asked whether you want to purchase one, some or all. Rope is sold in increments of five feet; uneven numbers of feet will be rounded up!

Selling Items
Items can be sold with the Sell ('s') command, which allows you to select any item from your inventory and offer it to whoever you are bartering with. Most people won't be interested in most items, however. Roark Ironbeard will always buy the valuable gems gained from mining, however, and will also purchase powerful magical arms and armor from persuasive characters — those with a Diplomacy rating modified by any social modifiers of +12 or higher.

Shopkeepers will only purchase a finite number of items from any given character over the course of an entire game. This prevents 'grinding', encouraging players to sell only a rare few valuable items rather than spending endless time carting large amounts of loot up to sell to shopkeepers to scum for gold. The number of items a shopkeeper will buy is always a character's Diplomacy score, adjusted by any social modifiers, divided by a set constant — four, in the case of Roark Ironbeard.

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