0. Introduction

The Setting

Ahoy there! Welcome, Freelancer, to the world of Ex Dynamis Chaos. It’s a universe much like your own except everything is turned up to eleven. For most people, even those in faraway lands, life is as simple as you might perceive yours to be. For you, on the other hand, you have stumbled into the ignored plain of adventure filled with living myths, monsters, madness, and more. 

You may have been broke with no other options, bored due to a complacent life, or possibly you have found a higher calling, but whatever the reason you find yourself taking on dangerous gigs from bizarre individuals that most people would never get involved with. While completing these hired tasks, you might find yourself traveling anywhere from across the city you live in, to anywhere on the planet, too far off worlds in outer space, or even in other realms and the void between them. You might not even be from the realm you now find yourself in, which would explain why you’re in such a mighty need for some cash.

It’s dangerous in the universe, but that’s okay since you are not alone. There are plenty of other contractors out there in similar circumstances, all with their own reason for picking up the role of Freelancer, that you may find yourself teaming up with to greatly increase your chances of success. Along with your friends, you will gain valuable experience and skills that will take you from humble origins all the way to being revered by those that take the title of Gods. Or you might just die instead. Who can say? But don’t worry, death isn’t the end of your adventures as a Player. In fact, it is often just the beginning.

Key Features

There are three main facets to the Ex Dynamis Chaos Roleplaying Game that we will discuss briefly here and then expand upon more in other sections of this book. These distinguishing features are Power Creep, Character Growth, and Legacy.

Power Creep

By Power Creep, we are talking about the scale at which any individual’s agency and ability to force their will onto the world increases. In many traditional tabletop roleplaying games, all the Player characters start out roughly as strong as they are ever going to be, with some exception, and only expand their agency by learning new spells and techniques that at most let them Level a single battlefield. They may take down a lesser avatar form of a god, but they would never dream of confronting them on their own turf, face to face. 

You have no such worries. At least, if you apply yourself properly. Much like the stories this game is based on, a character will usually start somewhere around the capability of a normal, athletic human being, but through adversity and hard work can find themselves walking off star-destroying blasts and then slaying the fiend that did it to them. To further enforce this point, you will find that in contrast to most other games, this one lacks a level cap.

Character Growth

You’re probably thinking, “every RPG has character growth, that’s all dependent on the player.” You are absolutely correct, but that’s not precisely what we’re talking about. While it can influence what is traditionally referred to as character development, the concept of Character Growth used here is the control the Player has over how their character advances. The world is a harsh place that wants to kill you and at no point in time will the Players ever have more agency than their Game Master, by design, but you will be given a fighting chance.

The most important way this is done is through the Vocation System. Just leveling is not enough to survive and you will need training in different trades and disciplines to pull out your full potential. Instead of being locked into a single class (or being punished for multiclassing as other games do), as a Freelancer, you will be free to switch from one Vocation to the next and improve as it makes the most sense to your character at different points in your journey. During your adventures, you will be gaining AP (Aptitude Points) alongside the usual XP (Experience Points) that you will use to purchase Active, Innate, and Equippable Abilities relating to General life as a Freelancer, your various Vocations, and your personal Heritage.

Legacy

Your Legacy is important to the narrative of your character and if they survive long enough they can become a living legend. But often, people die. That’s okay. Death is a powerful thing, especially in shaping a narrative. Death does not have to be the end of your character’s Legacy though. Maybe your character was training an apprentice to take over. Or perhaps their younger brother shows up seeking revenge. Regardless of the reason, this system is built with the capacity for you to keep that individual character’s story going through their Legacy long after they are gone with minimal penalties to the Player.

Though, you may not wish to carry on their Legacy. Maybe you feel it is best to leave them in the memory of their comrades and choose to roll up a new experience character completely disconnected from their old narrative instead. That is perfectly fine and there are options for that as well, but it may be a rougher reset losing some of the benefits of the previous character’s built-up Reputation and other such things. But, that may be exactly the challenge you as a Player wants.

Reading the Manual

Briefly, we will explain how this manual is written so you can make the most out of it as a Player. You may have already noticed that certain words have been formatted differently than those surrounding them. These formatting differences are aimed to help you identify important aspects within the rules so that you may comprehend them easier and hopefully find anything you might be looking for swiftly.

In general, most Key Terms that have a specific meaning in regard to this game will begin with a capital letter and italicized to bring your attention to it. These are not always necessarily the most important terms in the game but should be noted and memorized since they always refer to the same thing every time they are used. It is good practice to learn the common vocabulary in any game you play regularly.

The most important things to keep note of will not only start with a capital letter but will also be in bold so you can thumb through the manual faster. These are the terms with functional rules associated directly with them, such as character Attributes like their Speed or Health, Abilities like Mana Pool, Status Conditions like Genderbender, or an associated formula like (Value x Attribute) + Dice Roll. Any of these terms will have an in-depth explanation of them somewhere in the book.

An underlined term outside of a section title will always refer to something that is expanded upon outside of this manual. That means it is of interest, but not important to your enjoyment of the game as a Player unless your GM says otherwise. This may be content discussed further in the Game Master’s Manual, extended rules, tables, or charts found in other books or the Ex Dynamis Chaos website, or simply talking about something outside the game in one of the actual Ex Dynamis Chaos stories. Ultimately, it is handy to keep them in mind but underlined terms are more for your GM’s ability to cross-reference with the Players than it is for them alone.

Aside from that, this book will contain various tables, charts, images, and even gameplay examples that will all be individually labeled for your ability to reference as needed.

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