You can follow theory at Theorytabletop.blogspot.com. You can contact me with questions, comments, and concerns at Deathprophetik@gmail.com.
Theory is an independent tabletop project that emphasizes strategy, tactical decision making, and player skill as opposed to a raw stacking of numbers. Theory is currently still in heavy development but has been generally well received with new players. Theory can be played with two or more players in multiple game modes including the classic adventure mode(heavy combat), a story-centric mode (heavy Role-play, and Arena mode (player versus player).
Comparatively, games can be as simple as running a freeform rules-light session, or can have varying levels of complexity involving story and game mechanics. At its inception, it drew heavily from the basic concepts of role playing games but differs in the speed at which combat is run (much faster) and how quickly players must react to new or unexpected circumstances.
Currently, game development is split into three sections: Character creation, Combat, and Lore. Still in pre-developmental stages is a fourth Document called Theory Arena.
"There is no right or wrong way to build your character. What type of character you want to be is entirely up to you."
Theory is a classless system, that is to say that there are no character classes like "rogue", "fighter", or "mage." While it is still entirely possible to achieve these archetypes the player may choose to mix and match abilities to make hybrids or to shatter the archetypes altogether and go with something completely different. This allows players much more of a means for expression and utility without being bogged down by investing so many resources in things they aren't interested in.
In the beginning, players gain their starting experience with which to purchase their abilities, meta-abilities and stats. Games starting at different levels will have different values of starting experience. So for example, a level 1 character starts with 1,000 experience with which to purchase abilities, while a level 6 character starts with 21,000 experience. Many of the game's abilities begin with a relatively low experience cost which is doubled each time you take a rank in the skill (thus making it more powerful). These abilities are broken down into General, Magic, Martial, Mental, Weapons Master, and Faction abilities, with Meta-abilities for each.
General abilities are abilities that apply generally to every character, or to most characters. In this section players can buy health, mana, ability score increases, skills, and initiative bonuses. There are also meta-abilities under each that increase regeneration rates, and raise the lowest minimum roll you can get on things like initiative.
Magic abilities are abilities that apply to magic based characters, or to characters who would like to use magic to enhance their current characters. It is broken down into 7 sections: Fire, Frost, Terra, Light, Shadow, Arcane, and Chrono. These sections contain rules for using these forms of magic as well as specific abilities that these magic users can gain access to. Magic abilities are then further enhanced by use of Meta-Magic abilities. In theory, there are no pre-built spells. The player has full customization over what their spells will do using meta-magic abilities. These abilities are broken down into two types: Shape metas and Power metas. a spell is limited to a single shape meta (it can be a "fireball", but not a "fireballchain"). The caster may use any number of power metas, including "empowered", "surge", or many others to create a "Fireball surge" or an "Empower Fire chain." These Abilities are only limited by mana cost and a character's spell matrix (his intelligence modifier plus anything he has that gives him a bonus to his spell matrix).
Magic abilities may also be countered using special interrupt actions that will be covered later in the "Combat" section.
Martial abilities are abilities that apply to melee and marksman style characters. Offensive-style fighters will want to focus on offensive maneuvers and meta-offensive maneuvers. while defensive style characters will focus on defensive maneuvers and meta-defensive maneuvers. Specific to these types of characters are metamartial unlocks which are attained by first buying a martial ability and then buying meta-martial abilities to improve it. As an example, we'll use the "First Strike" Offensive maneuver:
"First Strike- (Offensive Action) 500xp. You may only use this maneuver on your first attack of a combat scenario. For every 5 points your attack roll beats the opponents defense roll by, you may deal an extra 1d6 damage. These extra damage dice are not multiplied with critical strike damage, but are rolled separately.'"
Below First Strike, we have its meta-martial unlocks:
"Conspiracy- Upon spending 7 ranks in metamartial maneuvers to improve first strike, you gain conspiracy. your first strike damage bonus is increased from 1d6 to 1d8.
Paragon Strike- Upon spending 10 ranks to improve first strike, your first strike ability becomes "Paragon Strike." You gain your extra damage dice for every 2 points you beat their defense roll by.
Master Conspirator- upon spending 15 ranks in metamartial abilities to improve first strike you gain the Master conspirator ability. Any time an opponent chooses not to spend an action to defend against one of your attacks you may retroactively call that attack a first strike. your first strike attack costs will replace the attack costs of the original maneuver.'"
The Meta-martial abilities these skills reference are in the Meta-Martial abilities section. These abilities allow you to choose a maneuver an gain a bonus to hit, damage, critical strike chance, critical damage modifier, or to make the maneuver faster. So, with 7 ranks to improve the chance to hit with first strike, a player has successfully unlocked "conspiracy." Or, if the player wants to diversify they way they improve the ability, they can spend 3 ranks improving hit, 2 ranks improving speed, 1 rank improving critical strike chance and 1 rank improving critical strike damage for a total of 7 meta-martial ranks.
There are 5 schools of marksman abilities focused around speed, anti-mitigation, deception, sniping, and tactician. Each of these schools adds to the effectiveness of ranged combat in its own way. Speed allows for faster shots and free attacks. Anti-Mitigation allows shots to ignore and bypass armor and obstacles. Deception contains some of the role-playing abilities marksmen will need to infiltrate and silence their targets. Sniping includes precision, one-shot-one-kill style play. Tactician allows the marksman to line up his enemies and call attacks on each of them with a single shot.
Mental abilities are broken into two sections: Telekinesis and Nanotech. Telekinesis allows a player to push or crush his enemies with his mind, to create a psionic blade or to deflect their enemies attacks with preternatural skill and effectiveness. Nanotech allows the player to host colonies of microscopic robots which can do anything from fashion useful items with the duality school, to disrupting enemies while synchronizing allies with the dominance school, to spying and cloaking with the espionage school, to making themselves into a powerful weapon of war and destruction with the warfare school.
Weapons Master Abilities
Weapons master abilities are found in the equipment section. While this section does include the gear and items characters find and use, it also includes an ability-set that allows a player to specialize with a specific class of weapon or armor, making it more effective and unlocking new abilities which are inaccessible to anyone else. A simple weapon is never more effective than when in the hands of a weapons master.
Faction abilities are abilities that require the player to be a member of a faction, and will generally limit that players actions in some way. In exchange, they gain large bonuses against certain classes of enemies for low experience costs. Many of these abilities are focused on Heavy roleplay games. By far this section will be the most expanded upon and most updated of any section of this book.
The combat book is by far the shortest and most complex text of the series. The key to understanding combat are two points: Action point management and interrupts. This text will likely be revised only for clarity and organizational purposes, while the mechanics contained within will remain the same.
Actions in Combat
Combat is run using two types of actions: Offensive and Defensive. A character gets one offensive and one defensive action on their turn. In addition, they get a number of Speed actions equal to their speed modifier. A speed action may be used in place of an offensive or defensive action. However, many abilities are much stronger when used with an offensive or defensive action instead of a speed action.
Just because it's your turn, doesn't mean you're safe. Almost any action can be interrupted (unless otherwise stated) with a counter action. Actions are broken into two categories: Offensive actions and Defensive actions. You may use one to interrupt the other but not one to interrupt itself. Meaning, you may use a defensive action to interrupt an offensive action (interrupt being attacked with defending yourself against the incoming attack). Or, you may use an offensive action to interrupt a defensive action (an opponent is defending themselves, this is the perfect time to call an attack on them). You may only interrupt once per action. So, if you attack an opponent, they may interrupt and defend, then an ally interrupts and attacks them. The opponent cannot defend because they have already called an interrupt on this action. Interrupts may be used more creatively as well. for example, an enemy calls an attack on one of your allies. you are in no way involved in this exchange, but you can still interrupt the action to move behind cover. Tactical decisions like these will make or break the day.
The lore document contains the ever-evolving story behind the Theory universe. It begins with two time lines: The altay(alien race), and the humans, followed by an account of the creation of the Asiri Empire, and the various mage factions that exist in the universe. Each of these sections is a TL;DR(Too Long; Didn't read) version. That is to say that much of the information contained in the source document has been omitted as this is a preview and not intended to host the full document. If something doesn't seem to make sense here, it is probably explained in the full document. If, after reading the full document, it still doesn't make sense: email me: (Deathprophetik@gmail.com)!
***Lore is currently undergoing a massive overhaul, none of the information previously in this section is accurate anymore.