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Attributes

Preview
Ohe
T nHOld School Job
acking Your characters’ attributes are the same as
By Philippe-Antoine Ménard those presented on page 31 of the Leverage
This is a preview of The Old School Job section Roleplaying Game book. They also retain
of the Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide. As a their dual physical and social components;
preview, the text and layout is not necessarily you just need to transpose them to the classic
final, and this is only the first part of the article fantasy genre.
covering character creation and rules to handle Strength is physical brawn. It’s what you
treasure. The final Hacker’s Guide will have use to lift, bend or break objects. It is also
more sections fleshing the hack out into a more how you intimidate others through sheer
complete game. bulk and menace.

The Old School Job


A dungeon crawl is just a Intelligence is acquired knowledge
badly planned heist. (recalling mundane or arcane facts). It
The essence of classic fantasy RPGs is easy to encompasses the ability to decipher strange
summarize: A band of heroes explores dank tomes, magical runes or demonic script, and
dungeons for unknown riches and strange impress people with your acute powers of
secrets. They get in over their heads and deduction.
often overcome staggering odds with creative
guile rather than brawn (though there’s often Willpower helps break mind-numbing
fighting, too). The Old School Job takes a shot enchantments, overcome pain, and plough
at re-imagining the fantasy adventure games through mental and physical hardships. It
of the late 70’s in the context of Cortex Plus covers divine guidance, spiritual discipline,
Action. and just plain grit.

Pick up your battle axe and don’t forget Alertness is what spots the hidden,
your backpack. The way is dangerous and hears the silent, and pierces the falseness of
arduous. Be ready for traps, villains, minions disguise and illusionary magic.
and riches—lots of riches. And be sure to Agility is dodging away from traps, hitting
keep your eyes on that Scoundrel. targets with thrown weapons, climbing

Hit designed by Ezra Keddell from the Noun Project 5


Preview
whatever will hold your hero, and the mental caught doing it, hence all the stealth training.
dexterity to find a witty retort while facing If caught, well, that’s what backstabbing and
dire threats. fast-talking is all about, right?

Vitality is withstanding the most hor­


rendous of physical ordeals while keeping a Specialties and Distinctions
positive outlook about making it out of the Cortex Plus Action makes it dead simple to
dungeon alive. Chipper holy warriors and bring your hero to life with just a few short
bards have way too much of it. sentences. Specialties represent unique sets
of skills that add depth to your hero’s Roles.
Choose two Specialties under two different
Roles Roles to add an extra D8 when taking an
A classic dungeon crawling party calls for Action using that Specialty.
classic Roles. Similar to Leverage, Roles are
The Old School Job

used when the character makes an Action or Specialty examples: Trap Springer, Sword
reaction that is thematically related to a Role. and Board, Swashbuckler, Acrobat, Adept of
Each character begins with a D10, D8, D6, and the Fire Fist, Undead Hunter, Dragon Slayer,
D4 to distribute among the four Roles. When Demonologist, Necromancer, Elementalist,
using a D10 or D8 Role, the character can split Illusion Master, Shadow Walker, Diviner,
the dice up into smaller dice, so a D10 can be Healer, Enchanter, Holy Adept of the Seven
split into 2D8 or 3D6, and a D8 can be split Swords.
into 2D6.
Distinctions can cover your hero’s race,
Holy One culture, supernatural abilities, unique gear,
This covers all sorts of divinely inspired and countless other genre-specific tropes
heroes. They provide protection, succor, whose duality can impact play in wildly
divine wrath, and healing. There may be different ways.
the occasional side of preaching involved, Distinction examples: DWARF, WOOD
but that usually falls on deaf ears. But then, ELF, L AST HALFING OF THE PROUDFEET
there’s always hope for the unbelievers. TR I BE , A M A Z ON, B A R B A R I A N, NOBLE ,
Warrior GREEDY, INFRARED VISION, CURSED WITH
LYCANTHROPY, MARKED, DESTINED, BLOOD-
There’s nothing complicated about this one.
LUSTING, VOW OF SILENCE, SILVER-TONGUED,
If something can be used to trash monsters
HEAVILY ARMORED, LADEN WITH SCROLLS,
with, they are proficient at it.
ATTACHED TO A CURSED SWORD, BATTLE LUST.
Mage
Discarding the local laws of reality while Talents
digging up the secrets of the multiverse is Nothing brings out the flavor of adventure
what MAGES really want. Putting up with gaming like the unique abilities that each
whining, brutish, or disloyal allies to achieve major Role brings to the table. Below are
such goals is what they must settle for. Still, a few examples to inspire you to create
nothing warms their hearts more than an your own using the tropes and archetypes
occasional exploding ball of fire engulfing of fantasy adventure gaming. Refer to the
sources of annoying delays. guidelines presented on page 43 of the
Leverage Roleplaying Game book for more
Scoundrel
details.
People keep forgetting that the life of
a SCOUNDREL is much more than picking
pockets and skimming on everyone else’s
part of the treasure. It’s also about not getting
6
Holy One

Preview
Activation: W henever you perform a
successful Action against Minions (See
Restorative Trance
Dungeon Fixer’s Guide).
Channeling your deity’s energy, you alleviate
weariness, heal wounds, break enchantments, Effect: You reduce the Minions by one die for
and even bring a fallen comrade back to life! free. Additionally, you may spend Plot Points
to remove one additional die per point spent.
Activation: The Dungeon Fixer rolls an
Asset die related to stress, an enchantment, Mage
or a curse against a party member you are in Reality Is for Those Who Can’t
visual contact with. Spend at least one Plot Bend the Rules
Point to activate this talent. There is nothing wrong with reaching your
Effect: You reduce that Asset by one die goal faster by ripping just a tiny hole in reality.

The Old School Job


rating per Plot Point spent. Any Asset reduced Activation: MAGE is one of the dice in your
to D4 is removed. roll.
I Banish Thee, Foul Spawn! Effect: Add an additional INTELLIGENCE dice
You may not wield a battleaxe the size of an to your roll; however, you also must roll an
ox, but with a short prayer and a disapproving additional D4.
gaze, you can turn the undead to cinders
and send all types of demons back to the Arbitrary Blast of Elemental Energy
netherworld from whence they came. Any Mage worth her salt has studied the
classics, from missiles made of pure eldritch
Activation: Whenever you take an Action energy, explosive spheres of incandescent light,
against the undead or any type of summoned and arrows inexplicably made of acid.
creatures (Fixer’s call).
Activation: Use in any Action where raw
Effect: Add an extra D8 and add three dice to elemental magic power could help solve the
determine results. If you spend a Plot Point, problem at hand. You have to spend a Plot
you get a D12 instead. Point to activate this talent.
Scrapper Effect: You add your INTELLIGENCE die to the
Five vs. Little Old Me? That’s Hardly Action and add three dice to determine the
Fair for You, Now Is It? result.
There’s nothing like a good scuffle against Scoundrel
more numerous opponents to get your blood
pumping as you gleefully forgo defense for It Fell in My Pouch, Honest!
some pure, undiluted mayhem. Things you don’t own have a strange tendency
of falling into your possession, always
Activation: You’re engaged in a Fight Action by complete accident or, on occasion, for
and you are outnumbered. safekeeping.
Effect: You can remove dice the Dungeon Activation: The Scoundrel performs an
Fixer gains from outnumbering you. For each Action while there are Gold Points (see
die removed, you roll an extra D4. below) in the Scene’s pool or in possession
Minion Slice and Dicer of other players.
In a frenzy of blades and screams, you make Effect: You take possession of a Gold Point
quick work of those seemingly endless minions and generate a Treasure Asset you can use
pestering you, scattering them to the four in the Action; you can perform this only once
winds. per Action.

7
Preview
Is It My Fault Your Back Makes Such game sessions, a player can decide to spend
Great Target Practice? two Gold Points to create one Signature
When the Warrior gets excited and the Mage Asset, as per the Signature Asset rules found
starts blowing stuff up, things get confusing… on Page 52 of the Leverage Roleplaying Game
that’s when you sneak behind people and really book.
surprise them!
For example, you can create a special
Activation: You are engaged in a Fight piece of high quality and/or magical gear.
Action and the Dungeon Fixer gives you an You should choose evocative names to make
Opportunity. items stand out like THE ELVEN LONGBOW OF
Effect: You add your AGILITY roll to your THE FRONTIER, HEIRLOOM KNIGHTLY PLATE
Fight Action and add three dice to determine ARMOR, or THE STAFF OF DEATH RAYS, etc.
the result.
The Old School Job

Other options are titles of nobility or status


that help you grease your way out of those
Treasures dark dungeons and into the no less dangerous
During a scene, whenever the Dungeon Fixer crusts of upper society. Feel free to give them
rolls an Opportunity, a Gold Point gets added pompous-sounding titles like LORD OF THE
to the Scene’s Treasure Pool. Gold Points are SEVEN SHADES, ARCHDUKE OF WINTERSPAWN,
undefined pieces of treasure that are shared or REVERED SISTER OF THE SEVEN PAINS.
among heroes after the successful completion
of a Scene. Gold Points can be spent in any In the same vein, the wealth and influence
Scenes to create a D6 Treasure Asset. The you gain from completing Quests could allow
player defines what form this helpful piece you to secure a domain like a FORTRESS,
of treasure takes. It remains available until TEMPLE, GAMBLING DEN, or even a TOWER
the end of the session. All Assets thus created OF MAGIC. Finally, you can get a RETINUE OF
are labeled “Treasure” to differentiate from HIRELINGS, a GROUP OF FANATICAL RETAINERS,
other Assets. or even a LOYAL SQUIRE to spruce up your
heroic entourage. Discuss it with your
At the end of the session, all Treasure Dungeon Fixer.
Assets are converted back to Gold Points,
pooled with unused ones and distributed
among players. Generous Dungeon Fixers can
award extra Gold Points for successful main
or side quests to even out shares, or maybe let
the Scoundrels propose gambling for them.

As a variant, the Dungeon Fixer can allow


players to permanently give up a Gold Point
to create a D10 Treasure Asset that lasts
only for the current scene or combat, e.g.,
a POTION, a WAND WITH A FEW REMAINING
CHARGES, a SET OF SCROLLS.

Gear, Titles and Strongholds


Gold Points can be spent to acquire new
powers, magical items and other cool symbols
of status that populates classic fantasy
adventure games. Quests can be spent like
Jobs in the Leverage Roleplaying Game;
however, instead of spending Quests between