Game Mechanics (The Rules)


Since this Playthrough is meant to be fun, and not a formal treatise, I’m going to use my tried-and-true method of brutally summarising the rules of Lone Wolf by bullet points :

  • The player’s existence is ruled, to some extent, by choosing numbers randomly from zero to nine.  I’ll call this mechanism R10.
  • There are two initial scores, being ‘Combat Skill’ (R10 + 10) (your ability to kick heads and take names) (to be abbreviated as CS) and ‘Endurance’ (R10 + 20),  (your ability to withstand the whips and scorns of outrageous fortune, and the occasional dagger thrust to the belly) (to be abbreviated as E).
  • As a trainee of the Kai Lord order, the protagonist has learnt 5 (to be chosen by the player) skills out of a possible 10.  The 10 available skills are :
    • Camouflage – self-explanatory skill of concealing oneself from discovery.
    • Mindblast – the ability to hurl psychic waves of energy during battle (Practical effect of adding +2 to CS during fights).  Some enemies are immune.
    • Mindshield – The ability to withstand Mindblast-esque attacks.
    • Sixth Sense – Remember Spider-Man?  Remember his traditional ‘spider-sense’ which warned him of danger?  This is the same.
    • Animal Kinship – The ability to understand and, to a degree, to communicate with animals.
    • Weaponskill – Heightened skill in a particular (randomly chosen) type of weapon.  The effect is to add +2 to CS when that type of weapon is used in combat.
    • Hunting – A useful wilderness skill, being the ability to trap and prepare wild animals for food.  When required during the book to eat a meal (or lose Endurance), these directives can effectively be ignored.  Also a generally helpful woodcraft skill.
    • Tracking – Navigation and geographical knowledge, in all terrains.
    • Mind over Matter – Just what it says on the tin – usually only helpful for small objects.
    • Healing – A very powerful ability.  Lone Wolf, using it, may heal himself as he progresses through the adventure.  In statistical terms, Lone Wolf can restore +1E for every (non-combat) section through which he progresses.
  • I can carry a (limited) number of items in my Backpack, along with Special Items (such as rings, amulets and so forth).
  • Combat is determined by comparing each party’s CS, and then picking a random number.  This will then (after checking the relevant CS differential table) determine the damage each party suffers.
  • There is other minutiae such as the use of Gold Crowns (the local currency) and rules for such things as running away from a fight.  I’ll talk about those on an ad hoc basis.

Seriously, this dry summary is driving me bonkers!! When do I get to start making (bad) jokes?!!

Next : A brief world background and Lone Wolf’s biography.



10 thoughts on “Game Mechanics (The Rules)

  1. Yay, I’m here from the beginning! Though it’s disappointing that, unlike the followers of Kwon, the warrior monks of Kai usually use weapons, thus not so many satisfying kicks to the face. When randomly choosing a weapon, maybe try for a mace?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How are you ruling the Healing discipline? By the book, it says that Healing “restores Endurance points lost in combat”. It takes a bit of extra book-keeping, but I only use it to heal combat damage, not any other sort of damage (like starvation, etc.). It also gives Curing (the Magnakai upgrade) a genuine benefit, as that doesn’t have the “lost in combat” qualifier.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great serie! I’ll surely read this play through. I played the entire serie to the New Order once (I borrowed the books) and I liked it despite hating the rules (little to no strategy, combat feels like everyone drains a bit of endurance…)

    Random Fact: italian version calls them “Ramas knights” instead of “Kai lords” (and they have “Ramastan arts” for disciplines).
    I don’t know why. Weird. Recent editions instead correctly use the term Kai lords.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, just out of curiosity, what do you use for the d10 roll?

      A d10 Dice? An online dice roller? Or the infamous Lone Wolf Random Number Table and a pencil?
      At the time I was forced to use the third method (no internet and no d10 dice)… but I absolutely love rolling dice!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a question regarding the weapons.

    In french there is “weapon mastery” ability, giving +2 CS if you use the same kind of weapon than your bonus.
    I got a War hammer bonus and the Book states that you have two weapons. If I get a second War hammer does it gives a second +2 CS bonus ? Do we use two weapons or one ?

    Liked by 1 person

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