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Thread: Stalkers RPG Season 5 - Eternity's Endgame: Rules and Gameplay [WARNING: HORROR THEMES]

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    Stalkers RPG Season 5 - Eternity's Endgame: Rules and Gameplay [WARNING: HORROR THEMES]


    WARNING: The Stalkers RPG contains mature, horror-themed content, coarse language, and imagery that some people may find disturbing. PG13+ recommended, possibly M.

    Table of Contents



    Introduction

    Welcome to Stalkers RPG! This is a Pokémon-oriented horror/mystery game where you take the role of a Pokémon Emissary and work with your teammates to uncover the dark mysteries of the demonically-possessed Stalkers. By searching, asking around, completing puzzles, and overcoming dark obstacles, you can save the world before the dark forces of the Abyss bring about a dark ultimate end.

    Stalkers RPG started as a 2016 Halloween event and is now back for its Fifth and final season as the epic conclusion! Though don’t worry if you weren’t around for all those previous seasons. Season 5 touches a bit on the lore presented by other seasons, but you can still fully get into the game and enjoy it thoroughly without previous experience. Almost all of what you need to know will be explained below.

    Background Storyline
    Past:

    In times past, legendaries have sent humans disguised as Pokémon to other Pokémon worlds in order to do what nobody else could. These formerly human Pokémon are known as Emissaries managed to prevent apocalyptic disasters multiple times, and millions of lives have been saved.

    Some time ago, there was an incident upon the Pokémon world of Aryia in a small farming community known as Serenity Town. It was a much darker and twisted case than incidents in the past where Pokémon were the victims of horrific, macabre murders. It marked the first time an entire group of Emissaries were sent by Mew to work as a team to coordinate efforts to get to the bottom of the incident. Despite their success, what they found was a much darker truth.

    Dark, malicious spirits known as Enthrallers were the reason for the incident, rendering the wildest dreams and darkest desires of Pokémon dark and twisted perversions that were used to kill innocent victims. By taking over the bodies and minds of these Pokémon, they became infiltrator murderers known as Stalkers. It was later uncovered that Abyss, the hellish underworld afterlife of Pokémon, has been "seeding" worlds of the living with these dark spirits. It is unknown how they are so readily able to infiltrate the material plane, but they persist nonetheless.

    Despite these dark presences, the Emissaries found the necessary materials left behind by Adis, the town priest of Serenity Town, to complete the Sin Purge ritual using relics and artifacts from Utopia, the heavenly afterlife realm of Pokémon that continues to wage a secret war with Abyss. By completing the Sin Purge ritual, the Stalkers were eliminated and the Enthrallers were destroyed, but the Pokémon they inhabited were killed in the process.

    Since that first incident, the world of Valdyne was targeted, and inhabitants of Silvercoal City were transformed into Stalkers. Although the Emissaries sent were capable and diligent, the forces of Abyss were too strong, and Utopia's efforts to stop the Enthrallers failed. The world was consumed by agents of the Abyss, and Utopia took a heavy loss as four of its powerful Angels were lost in the process. The world of Barendal was the next subject of the Abyss' evil plans, but like the first time, the Emissaries sent in to stop the dark forces of the Abyss prevailed, and all the Enthrallers were destroyed. The dark war rages on, and Abyss is out to uncover why their first and third attempts failed. Their resolve remains strong, and they will stop at nothing to once again claim a world in their name.

    The most recent incident took place in the devasted world of Yaru as the Enthrallers targeted a small civilization known as Salvage Keep. Here, the Emissaries and Utopia prevailed once more, but it was still costly and almost destroyed the struggling city. Despite the dark nightmares, hope prevailed and Yaru continues to live on.

    Present:

    Seers, soothsayers, and fortune tellers have all seen it and have all felt it. But even those without foresight and visions feel it in the air, hear it in the wind across the universe.

    The once hidden war between Abyss and Utopia is not so hidden anymore. Abyss continues to violate the now shattered pact, refusing to give up their interests in meddling and ravaging the affairs of the living. Where the once heavenly and hellish realms agreed to only meddle in the affairs of the deceased, the Abyss overstepped the boundaries out of Utopia’s scrutiny, at least until recently.

    Aryia, Valdyne, Barendal, and Yaru were all made targets of the Abyss. Veramo is now the new target, but the dark winds speak of something even bigger and more nefarious than before. They speak of a restless Abyss, an infernal engine hellbent on seizing control of the living where Pokémon have no control over their destinies despite the true nature of their souls. The veil is at risk of being fully removed as the end of days is swiftly approaching.

    Utopia has confirmed that Exacta City on the world of Veramo is now the new target, but once again, Abyss is trying to work in the shadows. Three years ago, Exacta City was struck and devastated by a biological weapon that reduced most of the city to ruins, and turned a large number of its civilians into horrific, nightmarish abominations called ghouls and chimeras. Ghouls wander the streets like diseased zombies while chimeras, multiple Pokémon melded together into a single mutated abomination, are the material of nightmares made real.

    Three years after the OMEN strike, Exacta City’s military defense unit, Aurorawatch, still does not know the origin of the OMEN strike and contact with the outside world is still lost. Regardless, residual biological contamination of OMEN still persists and makes much of the city still very dangerous and uninhabitable. The survivors continue to struggle to stay alive, but now the threat of the Stalkers has unleashed a new nightmare.

    Emissaries have been called in to fight back against this scourge. Unlike the normal Pokémon living here, the once-human now Pokémon have immunity to OMEN’s affliction. Emissaries also don’t turn the way normal Pokémon do upon being infected by a ghoul or chimera’s bites or scratching.

    But there is still that sense that something darker lingers in the air. Abyss is known not to accept failure or defeat, and no one knows what they may be up to this time. The details and answers are limited, but the message is clear. The time is coming…

    Signing Up

    Everyone is on the same team and you're all working together. You either all win together, or you all lose together. When you join Stalkers RPG, think of yourself and what Pokémon best resembles you. There are also a few other things that you get to decide on as well, but overall, the sign up includes these components:

    Pokémon: Any type, any evolution stage, any form, and even legendary Pokémon are permissible. You are free to pick whichever one you think suits you. The Pokémon you choose will determine a few things:
    Type and Evolutionary Stage
    Interview: Firstly, your type and evolutionary stage will affect rapport score when interviewing citizens. If you have a type advantage over the Pokémon you're interviewing, you will appear intimidating to them. If they have a type advantage over you, you will appear modest, or possibly brave. If you share one or more of the same types as the interviewee, you will gain a +1 to your overall rapport score, which basically means that your interview will be more successful than if you had a negative score. Your evolutionary stage will also bring either a negative score if there is a large difference in stages, a neutral score if the stages are not the same but aren't too far apart, or a positive score if you and your interviewee are the same evolution stage. A mega-evolved Pokémon will count as a third-stage.

    Additionally, if you are the same species as the citizen you interview, you will automatically gain a positive rapport (provided you have not upset them prior).

    Puzzles: Secondly, some puzzles or interactive objects on the map require a certain type to proceed. Instances of this will be clearly outlined so it is clear what type is needed.

    Damage taken/given: Thirdly, your type will come into play when taking or dealing damage from traps or attacks. Types work the same as in-game. If you are unsure on how types interact with one another, refer to this chart.

    Size
    There are three size categories, being small (S), medium (M) and large (L). A small Pokémon might be able to fit through a tight space, whereas a large Pokémon might be able to reach something up high. A medium Pokémon could do either. In addition to this, each size category has different Health and Purity scores. All have the same Sanity score, however.

    S (Small) = 2' and under
    16 max Health, 20 max Sanity, 24 max Purity
    M (Medium) = 2'1" to 4'11"
    20 max Health, 20 max Sanity, 20 max Purity
    L (Large) = 5' and over
    24 max Health, 20 max Sanity, 16 max Purity

    Size will also affect your stats in battle. Basically, Large Pokémon deal more damage and have more health, but have a higher chance of being hit. Small Pokémon have less health and deal less damage, but are twice as hard to hit as Large Pokémon. Medium Pokémon are in the middle of Small and Large with regards to damage output, health, and hit chance. Health corresponds with the stats listed here.

    See Battling for more information.

    Perk: Perks enable you to perform certain tasks, such as unlock a tricky door or convince an NPC to hand over an item. Be sure to read all the details for each perk before deciding what you want to go with! And it's also important to see what other players have chosen, because you'll do much better if you diversify with your team. Information on perks can be found here.
    Abilities: Abilities are certain actions that you can choose to learn. Abilities, unlike regular actions, are not available to everyone, and you get a choice of two out of the five available. In the past, Emissaries have been granted Abilities, also known as Learned Actions, upon sign-up. In Stalkers Season 4, all Abilities will all have to be learned by discovering Ability Teachers, which are certain NPCs in the civilian list.
    Battle Stance: There are multiple battle stances, which determine how far you’re willing to let your character go in a battle. More of this will be included in Battling.

    A completed sign-up will result in Stats that look like this (blue text resembles bonuses from upgrades/items):

    Neo the Emolga (S: Electric/Flying)
    Health: 16/16 (-5 Incoming) | Sanity: 20/20 | Purity: 24/24 (-2 Incoming) | Dodge Rate: 40% Attack: 1d8+1d6 attack die
    Battle Stance: Tactical (Flees at 50%)
    Perk: Seinaru | Abilities: Clairvoyance
    EQUIPMENT:
    Attack Weapon: [|AW| Razor Machete] (Adds 1d6 damage to successful attack rolls)
    Defense Armor: [|DA| Emolga-Customized Tactical Combat Armor] (Reduces incoming Health damage by 5 points each time Health damage is taken)
    Jewelry: [|JY| Moon Crescent Necklace] (Reduces incoming Purity damage by 2)
    Utopian Aspect: [|UA| Prismatic Aura] (10% chance of triggering Double-Strike during combat)
    MERCENARIES:
    #1: Diego the Fennekin (Contract: 4 Cycles Remaining) (S: Fire) Health: 16/16 | Sanity: 20/20 | Purity: 24/24 Dodge Rate: 40%, 1d8 attack die
    #2: <Empty>
    PACK:
    • $750 Sochas$
    • 3x Sitrus Berry – (Restores all Health)
    • 2x Guardian Seed – Grants +5 Health for one Cycle

    More on all these details will be explained later in the equipment and perks sections

    Objectives

    The main, overall core objective is to eliminate all of the Stalkers before they kill too many additional innocent civilians (as the storyline goes, there are quite a few civilians that are already dead).

    How to WIN

    There are a few different ways to win the game. Depending on what you and your team does and how they deal with certain situations, there are various different ways the ending will be determined for better or for worse.

    The main victory condition is to eliminate all of the Stalkers before time runs out. This can be done at any time, but unlike in previous campaigns, Assassinating Stalkers outright is no longer an option as they have become increasingly vigilant. Despite being hidden among the civilians of Exacta City, they are still massively powered and must be defeated by force. Engaging a Stalker is very, very dangerous, but there way be ways to reduce their power prior to fighting them…

    At the moment, the core objective is to eliminate all the Stalkers, but there are rumors that this critical task is but just the first step toward something bigger and deeper…

    Losing

    Unfortunately, there's ways your team can lose, also.

    DARK EVENT 1: STALKERS KILL TOO MANY CIVILIANS: It is estimated that the Stalkers only need 40 more kills before some infernal ritual is accomplished by the Enthrallers. You must avoid this outcome before it happens in this race against time.

    DARK EVENT 2: THE ENTHRALLERS COMPROMISE THE MISSION: Mew, the legendaries, and other allied mysterious forces involved cannot afford to allow whoever is behind the Enthraller incursion to learn about the Emissary mission. The way to avoid this from happening is to make Abyss believe their mission in Exacta City has not been realized by Utopia yet, and to not disclose your true nature as an Emissary. Disclosing the wrong information to the wrong party or making bad choices may result in this percentage going up.

    Ending variances

    The ending is very dynamic, which means certain events, outcomes, and decisions will affect exactly how the story ends. It's best to make your choices wisely and talk things out with your team if you want to shoot for the most ideal ending. Specific things that can affect the ending include how you choose to deal with the Stalkers, how many civilians are killed, and whether or not Side Missions are completed.

    How to Play

    You know how to win, so now you just have to get started. You can progress through the game by taking Actions available to you, namely interviewing NPC Pokémon and searching places on the map. There are also other means to get the information you need and to protect your team and innocent Pokémon during the course of the game.

    The flow of the game is divided into Day and Night cycles, and certain events happen during each. Depending on the current cycle, certain actions are available. You get to choose one action during the Day cycle and one during the Night cycle. Note that you will only have a limited amount of time to submit your action before the outcomes of each player's action are resolved by game master(s), or GM. Once you've made your move, simply wait until the action submission time is done and then wait for a GM to resolve the outcome. In the meantime, you can still talk things out with your teammates in the separate discussion thread. If you don't make a choice during the action submission period, your action will be skipped.

    Communication is key: talk things out with your teammates and diversify how you will go about your cycle actions to make best use of what you have.

    Main Action and Team Status Thread

    The Main Action and Team Status Thread will be where most of the action will happen. It is where actions are submitted and narration posts tell you the outcome of your actions. Here's how it will be laid out so when you see it in the first post, you know where everything is and what they mean. I'll chuck it in spoiler tags so it takes up less room.

    Spoiler:

    CURRENT CYCLE

    Stalkers RPG works off cycles; one day cycle and one night cycle per day. Once both cycles have completed, one day has passed. This section will show what the current cycle is, and what day it is. It will also contain a timer stating how long you have left to submit an action in the current cycle, if any time at all. Each timer starts at 72 hours (3 days).

    PLAYERS
    The Players area is a list of all the Emissaries that are in the game. These will be your teammates for the duration of the game. Each player's name, what Pokémon they are, what Abilities, Perk and Trait they have, what their Health, Purity and Sanity levels are, and what they have equipped. All this will be displayed in this format for each player:

    Neo the Emolga (S: Electric/Flying)
    Health: 16/16 | Sanity: 20/20 | Purity: 24/24
    Battle Stance: Tactical (Flees at 50%)
    Perk: Seinaru | Abilities: Clairvoyance
    EQUIPMENT:
    Attack Weapon: [|AW| Razor Machete] (Adds 1d6 damage to successful attack rolls)
    Defense Armor: [|DA| Emolga-Customized Tactical Combat Armor] (Reduces incoming Health damage by 5 points each time Health damage is taken)
    Jewelry: [|JY| Moon Crescent Necklace] (Reduces incoming Purity damage by 2)
    Utopian Aspect: [|UA| Prismatic Aura] (10% chance of triggering Double-Strike during combat)
    MERCENARIES:
    #1: Diego the Fennekin (Contract: 4 Cycles Remaining) (S: Fire) Health: 16/16 | Sanity: 20/20 | Purity: 24/24 Dodge Rate: 40%, 1d8 attack die
    #2: <Empty>
    PACK:
    • $750 Sochas$
    • 3x Sitrus Berry – (Restores all Health)
    • 2x Guardian Seed – Grants +5 Health for one Cycle

    Don't worry about all these details for now; they all get explained later. As long as you're familiar with the layout format for now, it's all good.

    DOOM TRACKER

    The Doom Tracker counts down two different things:

    Dark Event #1: Kill Counter
    Dark Event #2: Mission Disclosure

    You definitely don't want either of these to fill up. Very bad things happen if either of these events happen. It's Game Over for everyone.

    "Dark Event #1: Kill Counter" is related to the number of kills left on the Stalkers' list. Once they hit 40 more kills, they will have enough power to unleash doomsday. There will be an "X/40" tally, where "X" is the current total of kills the Stalkers or their Abyssal cohorts/creations have achieved since the beginning of the game (deaths from ghouls or chimeras created from OMEN or hostile civilian Pokémon do not count toward this total). If the Kill Counter hits 40/40 kills, doomsday will begin and the world will be plunged into an endless living nightmare. These kills include civilians the Stalkers and their Abyssal cohorts and followers have killed during Night cycles and well as Emissaries and NPC followers they kill in battle or kill as a result of their traps and other hazards.

    "Dark Event #2: Mission Disclosure" refers to information that the Enthrallers seek to gain from the Emissaries about their sacred mission. There will be an "X%/100%", where "X" resembles how much the Enthrallers have learned about the Emissary mission. If the known percentages hits 100%, the Enthrallers will learn the full extent of the Emissaries' mission and use this information to end everyone.

    STALKERS ELIMINATED

    This is a record of how many Stalkers have been successfully eliminated. Both their Enthraller's name and their host Pokémon's name will be displayed.

    TEAM INVENTORY

    As well as individual inventories, players have one shared inventory. Found items that are related to a Stalker's plans, the Sin Purge Ritual, or anything else narrative-based will automatically be added to the team inventory as Key Items. This inventory can be accessed by everyone. Consumable and equipment items found or bought will go to the individual Emissary's inventory, however. You can place any item you personally find or buy into the team inventory at the start of your turn as a free action, such as an oran berry, so that anyone may access it.

    EMISSARY INVENTORIES

    This section will have each player's name and pokémon icon with their individual inventory. Inventory contents will be kept inside [SPOILER] tags, and the inventories are kept separate from the Emissary list to avoid clutter.

    The currency of Exacta City are sochas, which are designated as $$ marks. You can gift items and sochas to other players or to the Team Inventory as a free action at the start of your action.

    TEAM RECORDS

    Team Records is usually filled with records of things found that you can not take with you, such as a message on a brick wall written in blood. Mostly, this section is filled with == markings. Each object on the list will have an accompanying link to remind you what it is you found. Sometimes items with == markings will be puzzles, which can then be turned into useful Key Items once they are solved.

    EXACTA CITY MAP

    In this section, the map of Exacta City will appear, as well as a list of all its locations. It will log what locations have been searched, what was found there, and links to the post where the Search happened will be provided for reference.

    EXACTA CITY CIVILIAN REPORTS

    This will be a directory of all the potential suspects in Exacta City. All of these civilians will start with only having "<UNQUESTIONED>" by their name. By using Interview, Investigate, and Diplomacy on them, you'll uncover more details about them, such as if they have a Perk that the team can employ or if they handed an item to the team. Links to Interviews and Investigations will be added once these actions occur. Note that it is possible to encounter Pokémon in the town who are not on this list. They cannot be questioned, as they are not potential Stalkers, and are usually only mentioned in passing.

    Some civilians on the Suspect List will have requests and side missions for the Emissaries, which will be marked with a green exclamation mark "!" by the Pokémon's name, such as this example:

    "!39. Alejandro the Yamask"

    To learn about the mission that Pokémon has, you must interview them by using an action. Interviewing anyone with a ! beside their name will automatically have you interview them with regular questions in addition to asking about their side mission, unless otherwise specified. Upon interviewing the Pokémon, you will learn about the mission details and what that NPC wants you to do. Once this happens, the side mission title with a link to the mission details will be posted next to the Pokémon's name, like in this example:

    "! FINDING SOME STRING - 39. Alejandro the Yamask"

    These side missions are optional and it's up to you if you want to do them or not. Once they have been completed, the side mission will be removed from beside the Pokémon, and a small directory containing details about the mission will be listed below the Suspect List. These side missions will remain with the Pokémon on the Suspect List until either the side mission is completed or the Pokémon giving the side mission is killed by the Stalkers.


    Dealing With Puzzles

    There are many puzzles buried within the Stalkers RPG. Some of them take the form of word or number puzzles, decryption puzzles, and the like. Very often, completing these puzzles successfully yields key items that are necessary to progress and get to the bottom of finding out who the Stalkers are. For example, one item that might be created from a number puzzle might be something like [Code 3814] for a four digit lock, such as {Locked Footlocker: Four Digit Combination Lock}.

    When you find a puzzle, anyone on the team is allowed to solve it at any time and it doesn't take an action to submit it. You can either choose to solve it as a group or designate someone on the team to handle it. However, instead of posting the solution in the Team Discussion thread, you need to submit the results to the game moderators through PM. If you completed the puzzle successfully, a notice about the successful completion will be announced in the Team Discussion thread and the new key item will be added to the Team Inventory.

    Very often, use of Perks involves solving a puzzle. Use of <Lockpick> is represented by solving a maze, use of <Medicine> involves a picture search puzzle, use of <Technical> involves a number or word search, and use of <Repair> involves completing a jigsaw puzzle.



    Default Actions
    These actions can all be performed by any player.

    Actions make up most of the gameplay. In Stalkers Season 5, you can submit one action in the Day Cycle, and one action in the Night Cycle. Most actions take up one cycle, but some take up two (which means one action will need to stretch across two cycles). Each action is listed below, and details how many cycles they take up to use as well as when they can be used. Some things are done as a free action, which means that they do not take up an action to do. Rather, you can do them in addition to regular actions, but they must be done at the start of your turn.

    When a new Cycle begins, an announcement post will be made in the Main Action and Team Status thread, and a 72-hour timer will be set. During this time window, you may submit your action(s). An example is below:

    "For my Day Cycle action, I will Search (41) Old Laboratory."

    SEARCH (ANY CYCLE) - 1 Action
    This action allows you to search any location on the map. This will allow you to locate items, locked doors/containers, and objectives of interest. Because of your special power as an Emissary, you will be able to distinguish these important items from everything else.

    While using the Search action, if you happen to come across a situation where a perk, Pokémon attack, and/or Pokémon size condition (more on these later) is needed and your character already has the necessary means to fulfill those conditions, they will be automatically fulfilled. Such as: if your character knows the Security Perk and while searching you come across a container that requires the Security skill, you will automatically use the Security perk on it. However, items in the Team Inventory do not automatically fulfill condition requirements like perks do. If you come across {Blue Door: Blue Slot} and you have a [Blue Key], you will need to come back another time to use [Blue Key], as you do not carry items like that with you all the time.

    Search Parties and Search Party Leaders

    New to Season 5, it’s possible to form a Search party and have multiple Emissaries head to the same location on the same turn. This is useful in cases where it is suspected that hostile enemy threats may be lurking there and a team effort is needed to eliminate them. Search Parties are also helpful as they can tackle more varying Perk or Pokémon type/size conditions in one trip as opposed to going back to get others to fulfill them.

    The first player to declare the Search is considered the Party Leader. Anyone who joins them by searching the same location after their action declaration during that same cycle is considered a Party Member. NPC followers that the Party Leader has or are following another Team Member are also considered Team Members. Party Leaders lead the party and do most of the searching. Also, if there are ## Traps, those only affect the Party Leader. @@ Hazardous Areas, however, affect the entire party. Whatever items that are found during the Search are collected by the Party Leader only.

    Note the during a Search, your character needs to survive to bring any items they’ve found from the Search back home. If they are killed by traps or enemy combatants during the Search, items they’ve found remain at the site location.

    How to use:
    When using the Search action, simply state what location you are searching, such posting "Search (32) The Boland Building" or "Search (12b) Terry Hill Apartments Floors 11-20."

    INTERVIEW (ANY CYCLE) - 1 Action
    This action allows you to question a civilian on the Suspect List and ask them anything you like. You can specify questions when you take the Interview action, or it will be assumed that you are questioning the NPC about anything suspicious they've seen with regards to the Stalkers. Asking specific questions, such as ones pertaining to clues you've found, NPCs commonly suspected, or anything else you deem relevant, will often turn up better results than simply stating "I want to Interview this NPC." Interview responses also depend on the interviewee's personality, and various other details, such as your species and your type. This is referred to as a Rapport check.

    There are three types of Interviews:
    The first is a Regular Interview that helps the Emissaries by getting information. These Interviews are subject to a rapport check, which is based on the type chart and evolution stage. Shared types generate positive reactions, not very effective relations generate a more modest reaction to the NPC, super effective relations generate a more intimidating reaction to the NPC, and having an evolution stage that's closer to the stage of the interviewee creates a more positive reaction, while having very different evolution stages generations a more negative reaction. Being the same species as part of the same evolution line (like a Raichu talking to a Pichu) automatically creates a very positive reaction. The higher your rapport, the better the results and the more information that is given to you.

    The second type of Interview is a Side Mission Interview to get details about a side mission. If a Pokémon has a side mission that they want the players to help with, there will be a green exclamation mark "! by their name. This is the only time you can use this type of Interview. Side Missions are sometimes dependent on context, so it is possible that they will not present themselves until after the game has started.

    The third type of interview is a Learn Interview that can be used to Interview a known Skill Teacher to acquire Ability Actions. Just note that once you learn an Ability Action, it cannot be forgotten or changed for something else. You can only have two Ability Actions, so once you have picked both to learn, you will have those for the remainder of the game. On the same turn that you learn the action, you may choose to USE it as well.

    Learn Interviews take one whole action, while both regular interviews and mission interviews can be done in the one action. Unless specified, a civilian who is interviewed regularly will also give details for their mission interview, if applicable.

    How to use:
    When using the Interview action, simply state what Pokémon from the civilian list you are interviewing and what type of interview you're going for, such as posting "Interview (Regular) #27, Dalex the Bulbasaur" or "Interview (Mission) #49, Vlye the Pikachu." During Regular Interviews, you are also allowed to take the interview a few questions further, such as "Interview (Regular) #27, Dalex the Bulbasuar about (35) The Hilltop Diner and Vlye's note that I found." Feel free to write out whole questions in a more roleplay fashion.

    CONSUME/EQUIP/BUY/TRADE ITEM (ANY CYCLE) - FREE
    Consuming, buying, equipping, or trading items with another player is a free action, and can be used in conjunction with any other action on any cycle. At the start of your turn, you can consume or equip as many items as you like, whether it's from your personal inventory or the team inventory, but only for yourself. You can trade items with other players, but you cannot equip other players with equipment or help them consume items.

    You can only buy items during the Day Cycle, as all stores close during the Night Cycle and their owners and employees have gone home. When Buying items, you need to state what store you're buying from, as some stores carry the same items, but one may have them for cheaper and one may be in a dangerous area while the other may not.

    How to use:
    Simply state, "I would like to consume [Razz Berry] and [Oran Berry]. I would also like to equip the [Obsidian Dagger]," or, "I would like to buy a [|AW| Military Blade] from (14) Vectra’s Weapon Locker."

    USE ITEM/PERK (ANY CYCLE) - 1 Action
    This action allows you to use any item(s) in the team inventory, and/or perks on an object or Pokémon of interest. This includes using keys on locked doors or certain perks on things they can be applied to. If you are going to the same location, you may use multiple items/perks available to you in the one action.

    How to use:
    When using this skill, simply state something like "Use [ABC Key] and [Blue Orb] on {Locked Steel Door: ABC Emblem, Circular Blue Emblem} at (32) The Boland Building" This is considered the use of the items "[ABC Key]" and "[Blue Orb]" on the locked door "{Locked Steel Door}" at the Boland Building location. If the item fits and belongs there, chances are good you'll come across something helpful that adds to the team's progress.

    The use of a Perk can be done by stating something like "Use Security Perk on {Locked Steel Door: <Security>} at (32) The Boland Building" or "Use Medicine Perk on {Wounded Marill: <Medicine>} at (35) The Hilltop Diner."

    REST (ANY CYCLE) - 1 Action
    This action allows your character to rest in bed and recuperate from Health, Sanity and Purity loss. Resting will always restore 50% of each of your natural max total stats (natural as in your default stat with no equipment modifications), so for example, if you have a max natural Health stat of 20, then you will recover 10 points of Health each time you use Rest. Using Rest twice will restore you to full health. Make sure to take the Rest action to recover after sustaining an injury or coming across traumatizing findings, especially if you suspect that the next areas you want to head into may be dangerous.

    How to use:
    Simply state something like, "I want to take the Rest action," and your character will recover 50% of their max natural Health, Sanity, and Purity stats.

    UPGRADE:
    This Action can be upgraded, and greater benefits can be gained from Resting!

    BATTLE (ANY CYCLE) - 1 Action

    Battles in Stalkers 5 can happen for a variety of reasons. Instead of having a back and forward decision-making process, battles are handled entirely by the GM from start to finish, but you can have some bearing on the strategy and the behavior of the battle by preparing in advance with equipment and items and by selecting a battle stance that you feel is most appropriate to how you want to handle them.

    Battle can occur from various sources.

    • Dangerous ghoul and chimera Pokémon that were victims of the OMEN strike or succumbed to infection from other OMEN victims wander about the Northern and Southern Reach of Exacta City, hungering for new victims to devour or add to their ranks. Exploring these particular areas bears risk of encountering these dangerous and hostile feral mutants during your exploration.
    • Stalkers themselves can and may need to be fought against. These battles may be very dangerous, so prepare in advance any way you can by getting strong equipment and delving into information that may weaken them and/or give your attack team additional advantages.
    • Civilian Pokémon who aren’t Stalkers or OMEN-afflicted mutants may become violently hostile under certain conditions.
    • Other dark hostile entities lurk around Exacta City. Rumor has it that ghouls and chimeras aren’t the only dark evil entities that are out there.


    Combat in Stalkers Season 5 is almost always to the death (unless one party escapes). When you set your combat stance, think about how much risk versus reward you want to undertake. Also, battles can have a max party size of four. Two or more Emissaries and any NPC allies/followers can travel to the same location for added protection in case they’re attacked.

    If there are multiple targets, automatic attack strategy is based on this:

    1. Emissaries will try to protect each other by going for enemies that pose the greatest threat to their allies. Such as if a Charizard is present and there is a Bulbasaur on the team, the players will try to prioritize that Charizard.
    2. Super-effective damage outcomes are prioritized first. So if you're a Pikachu and there's a Squirtle ghoul and a Bulbasaur ghoul, you're going to target the Squirtle first and try to eliminate him first before fighting the Bulbasaur zombie.
    3. If an enemy is close to death, your character will target them to try to finish them off as soon as possible. Such as if your Pikachu had some buddies along and the Bulbsaur ghoul was down to 1 Health but the Squirtle still had plenty of Health left, the Pikachu would still switch targets to the almost dead Bulbasaur ghoul to remove it as a threat.
    4. Generally, if multiple targets exist, players will focus on the target that they can damage the most. If allies are present and damage output would be the same on the multiple targets, they'll try to gang up on the one defender they're most effective against.


    Looting: A wide variety of items can be found from looting the dead. Things such as sochas, equipment, consumable items, and the like are all possibilities. Tougher fights with more enemies usually result in better equipment.

    Loot is only gained if the Emissary (or Emissaries) are victorious in combat and don’t run away.

    How to use:

    You can initiate a battle with anyone on the civilian list, but bear in mind that this will be a lethal attack on them. You really only want to do this on a Pokémon that you suspect is a Stalker or is obscenely guilty that they need to pay the ultimate price for their crimes.

    There are certain kinds of items that are used specifically prior to a fight. These are combat items and are used on the opening turn, but only one combat item can be used per character per battle.

    Ability Actions (Learned)
    These actions need to be taught to Emissaries by civilians in Exacta City. Upon learning an Ability Action by using the Learn Interview action, you can USE your learned action in the same turn. Think of this as a learn bonus, where your teacher helps you use it for the first time.

    ESCORT (DAY OR NIGHT CYCLE) - 1 Action
    This skill works in two ways depending on which cycle you use it for.

    Escort allows you to talk an NPC Pokémon into using a Perk they have or a Pokémon attack corresponding with the Pokémon's type(s) at a certain location. This is useful for the fact that if they have a Perk or Pokémon attack type that you do not, you'll be able to use their know-how to aid in the completion of your objectives. This can be done without fail, regardless of the rapport score.

    At the same time, this makes the NPC a temporary companion of yours and will also assist you in battles if you encounter hostile enemies along the way of wherever you’re bringing them to. Note that this temporary ally will flee if you have set your battle stance to flee on certain conditions as well. Meanwhile, taking this NPC along gives them immunity from being targeted by a Stalker attack if you Escort them during a Night cycle.

    How to use:
    Simply state "Escort #32. Nepp the Sableye and use his Security Perk on {Locked Steel Door: <Security>} at (32) The Roland Building." This will persuade NPC Nepp the Sableye to use his Security Perk on the door. As another example, "Escort #34 Nepp the Sableye. Use Shadow Ball on {Shadowy Patch: +Ghost Type+} at (32) The Roland Building." If a hostile encounter occurs, Nepp will fight alongside the Emissary, but will flee alongside the Emissary if they flee.

    INVESTIGATE - 1 Day Cycle & 1 Night Cycle (Any Cycle)
    This action provides a highly advanced amount of intel on what a civilian does on a day to day basis as you watch and record everything they do while hidden from scrutiny. Using Investigate will allow you to fully learn where that Pokémon lives, where they work, their personality traits, their likes, dislikes, friends, profession, what their hobby is, and if they have any items of interest within their possession.

    As a result of the time needed to conduct this level of work, using this ability will take two consecutive Cycles to complete. It can be started on the day cycle and carry on to the night cycle, or started on the night cycle and carry through to the day cycle. Because this means you will be tailing your target almost all day and all night, you will be required to make a stealth check (a percentage roll) to see if you remain hidden. You will need to exceed 50% or above to remain hidden, and your dodge rate is taken as your stealth rate. These checks are made automatically and do not require user input, and will be made once at the end of each Investigate. If you pass the stealth check and remain hidden for the entire investigative process, your target does not spot you and you will return back to base with all the information you were after. If you fail the stealth roll, you will still get the information you learned, but the Pokémon you are tailing notices you and either confronts you or flees, based on their personality. This may result in a -1 to your rapport score with that Pokémon. This negative effect does not affect any other Emissary's rapport with this pokémon.

    If the pokémon you are investigating lives at a location that you have not yet searched, you will automatically search it as part of this action and find any relevant items.

    LUCKY STRIKE: It's possible to get a "Lucky Strike" with Investigate. This will happen when you use Investigate on a Pokémon and it just so happens that they're either the Stalker who makes an attack during the Night Cycle, OR they just so happen to be the victim during that particular Night Cycle. If you manage to pass your stealth check and you happen to be following either the attacking Stalker or the victim, you will witness the murder and will be 100% sure of the attacking Stalker's identity. If you fail the stealth check, the Pokémon will notice you before they attack or are attacked, and you will not know if they are a Stalker or a Stalker's victim, but you will prevent the victim from being killed and having the Dark Event #1 Kill Counter go up that night.

    How to use:
    Investigate takes 1 day action (the second day action) and 1 night action to perform. Simply state, "Investigate #27, Dalex the Bulbasaur." You won't get the outcome results until AFTER the second Cycle has passed, however. You're also free to abort the Investigation early if you feel the need to take a different action during what would have been the second Cycle, but you will only get limited information on them, such as just learning their workplace.

    CLAIRVOYANCE (ANY CYCLE) - 1 Action
    Clairvoyance is an extremely useful skill if you want to learn the location of a particular item, or a place to use an item you already have, rather than having to search every location until you happen across it. It is somewhat of a shortcut for finding items, provided you have somewhere to start. By meditating on one single item for one action, you can use your expert abilities to hone in on the specific numbered location that the item in question needs to be used. If the place that the item is used is obstructed by a first step, your senses will let you know that something stands in the way to the item. Alternatively to an item, you can focus on a specific {Bracketed Interactive Object} that requires an item, and one of the items required will have its location revealed to you.

    Clairvoyance will still work if the wanted item is in an NPC's possession.

    How to use:
    Simply state something like: "Use Clairvoyance on [Blue Dagger]," or "Use Clairvoyance on {Locked Container: Blue Slot}."




    Perks

    Perks are like proficiencies that characters can use to accomplish objectives and gain access to areas. Using a Perk works the same way as using an item. Your character starts with one of these Perks, and this is the only one they can get during the course of the game. Using a perk to complete an object uses one action.

    SECURITY
    The Security Perk allows you two basic skills.

    First, it allows you to bypass certain locks without a key by picking them. Just note that this cannot be used for all locked doors and containers. Some of the more complex locks may have components that go beyond normal picking tools. When it is used to pick locks, very often this results being presented with a maze puzzle to simulate picking the lock with a tension wrench and delving into the inter mechanisms of the tumbler pins. Anyone can do the maze and submit it, but it will be taken as if the Emissary using Security did it, and whatever they find on the other side of the lock as a result of picking the lock will be done by the Emissary performing the Security Perk action.

    Secondly, this perk allows you to disarm booby traps in the field and trapped items that are marked with ## indicators. There is an 80% chance of success for disarming a trap of this nature. If the attempt fails, the trap goes off and the Pokémon using the Security Perk will suffer whatever harmful effects that are the result, but the trap effect will still be removed.

    When using Security to disarm traps on items, you can select as many trapped items as you want in one turn and your character will attempt to disarm them all if possible. This is useful for clearing off many traps on many items, but it bears the risk of failing multiple attempt rolls which will do more damage.

    How to use:
    As an example of when the Security perk can be used, something like "{Steel lock: <Security>}" would be a container where only the Security perk can get it open. Secondly, you could say "I would like to use Security on #[Cursed Ring] Infernal Presence (2 Purity Damage)#" which would disarm the trap on the item and eradicate its harmful effects permanently.

    REPAIR
    The Repair Perk is often used to fix machines and mechanisms that have been damaged. In many cases, this perk is necessary to continue making progress. This perk also allows you to repair or restore damaged equipment you find. Use of the Repair Perk often results with being presented with a jigsaw puzzle to simulate fixing and reassembling equipment and broken pieces.

    How to use:
    An example where the Repair perk is needed would be something like "{Broken Door Mechanism: <Repair>}" In this case, the broken door is an object of interest, but it cannot be used until it is fixed.

    To repair damaged equipment, simply say "I would like to use Tinker to repair [Titanium Dagger (Broken)]."

    MEDICINE
    The Medicine perk is a medical ability that can be used in two ways: employing your medical knowledge for certain instances, or healing sick or injured NPCs and exhausted or injured players, including yourself. If used on a sick or injured NPC, they recover and may provide helpful assistance. Very often using the Medicine Perk on an injured NPC results in a hidden picture puzzle to simulate diagnosing the injured Pokémon and discerning what remedy needs to be applied.

    If used on Emissaries (including yourself), this will instantly restore Health, Sanity, and Purity back to full values.

    How to use:
    While out searching, you may come across an NPC that needs medical attention. As an example, you might find something like "{Sick Corphish: <Medicine>}." Alternatively, you can use this perk on yourself or fellow Emissaries. As an example, you would state: "Use Medicine on Freddy the Pikachu" to restore Freddy’s Health, Sanity, and Purity stats back to their full amounts.

    DIPLOMACY
    The Diplomacy perk is like a social override. It grants you the ability to persuade an NPC to cooperate and hand over items they're holding onto for the Emissary cause. It also puts them into the Compliant State, which means all future Interviews with them will be Highly Positive to all players.

    When buying items, Emissaries with Diplomacy have a 25% chance to get a low-value item for free.

    How to use:
    Simply select what NPC Pokémon from the list you want to put into Compliant State and say something like "Use Diplomacy Perk on #24 Moxie the Espeon." In this case, Moxie will become Compliant and will be a lot more helpful for interviews regardless of her personality traits.

    TECHNICAL
    The Technical perk focuses mainly around the use of scientific skills such as chemistry, biology, and physics, and technology such as faulty computers. In other instances, it can be used as a means of electronics hacking, or allow you to repurpose a piece of tech to behave differently. Use of the Technical Perk may result in a word/number search to simulate hacking/programming/analysis.

    How to use:
    An example where the Technical perk may be used could involve something like "{Old Electronics: <Technical>}." In this case, the Technical perk would be used as means of hacking the old electronics. Another example could be "{Kecleon Corpse: <Technical>}," wherein using this perk would provide the user with an in-depth analysis.

    SEINARU
    Seinaru is the holy magic that hails from Utopia. In previous instances where Enthrallers have possessed Pokémon and made them into Stalkers, Angels gifted Seinaru to the Emissaries, which allowed them to bless objects and locations for rituals. Seinaru is also capable of curing certain cases of corruption that damage Purity. Seinaru use will sometimes result in having to solve a cryptogram to simulate discerning the holy incantations and divination.

    How to use:
    Simply stat something along the lines of, "I would like to use Seinaru on {Decaying Plants: <Seinaru>}."



    Health, Sanity and Purity

    The Health, Sanity and Purity stats that each player has determine your overall wellness and mental state. During the course of the game, these stats can go up and down depending on things that happen. Each stat is affected by your size (small, medium or large), and will be displayed within your stats on the main page. You should always keep track of your health, sanity and purity.

    HEALTH

    Health represents how injured your character is. It can be restored in three ways: with the Rest action, the Medicine perk, or by the use of restorative consumable items. It can be reduced by booby traps, unfriendly battles, Stalker attacks, and other injury-inflicting threats.

    Small sized Pokémon have a base value of 16 Health, medium size Pokémon have a base value of 20 Health, and large size Pokémon have a base value of 24 Health.

    If Health falls to 0...

    Your character will die. If killed at the hands of a Stalker, a Stalker cohort/creation or Abyss follower, or from a Stalker-created trap, it will add a kill to the Kill Counter for Dark Event #1. If, however, they are killed by a ghoul, chimera, or from a hostile civilian NPC, nothing is added to the Kill Counter.

    SANITY

    Sanity resembles how your character is faring mentally and how much stress and strain they've undergone. It can be restored by Resting, with Medicine, or using restorative consumable items. It can be reduced by coming across macabre sights, Stalker attacks, booby traps, calculus exams, and the like.

    Sanity will always be X/16. No matter what Pokémon you are, your max Sanity is 16 (before equipment modifiers).

    If Sanity falls to 0...

    Similarly to what happens when you drop to 0 health, 0 sanity will result in a feeling of absolute deranged madness and brain scrambling. The effect is so severe that it will result in your character’s death.

    PURITY

    Purity is the measure of innocence you have. It is a representation of how pure in spirit and soul you are, and can be damaged by the Abyssal taint of the Enthrallers' evil. It can be restored with Rest, the Medicine perk, or restorative consumable items.

    Small sized Pokémon have a base value of 24 Purity, medium size Pokémon have a base value of 20 Purity, and large size Pokémon have a base value of 16 Purity. Essentially, the inverse of Health values.

    If Purity falls to 0...

    Like the other two values, dropping to 0 Purity results becoming so corrupted and vile that the Emissary’s body is forced to self-terminate to avoid becoming devoured by evil.

    AFTER DEATH

    As a result of falling to 0 or below any of the three stats, your character dies. When this happens, you will lose half of your Sochas and every item your character is carrying on them, whether it’s equipped or in their Pack, is subject to a 50% chance of being lost for good. The only exception to this rule are Utopian Aspects, as they’re equipped to your character’s soul.

    Whatever items that were not lost will be transferred to the Team Inventory. If your character had Mercenaries, they lose them as well and those Mercenaries run away successfully (meaning they don’t die and aren’t counted in terms of the Doom Tracker). If a character dies from traps or enemy encounters while undergoing a Search or after using a perk/item at a location, any items that would have been found at that location remain there. To recover those items, the Emissaries will have to return to the site at a later time (obstacles bypassed remain bypassed). In some cases, the enemies they encountered may still be there, or they may not…

    Once your character has been killed, they will be automatically reincarnated. Due to Abyss keeping a very watchful eye, your character will need to be reincarnated into a different Pokémon form to make the forces of Abyss believe you’re an entirely different Pokémon entity unaffiliated with the dead body of your previous form.

    The exact form of reincarnation is decided randomly among the ten Pokémon you pre-selected on your sign up sheet (rolled only among Pokémon that you haven’t been incarnated into yet). Your stats will be reset and adjusted to your new form’s size, but perks/abilities will remain the same. If you were wearing equipment that was species-specific to your last form, it will be unequipped and will be in your Pack instead.




    Money and Purchasing

    The official currency of Veramo and Exacta City is sochas. Sochas can be earned from various sources, including as rewards, found in the field by searching, or recovered from enemies in the form of loot. Sochas earned by players will go into a player’s individual inventory. From there, sochas can be used to buy new equipment, items, NPC followers, and whatever else stores in the area may have available.

    Sochas are designated with $$ marks. An item for sale will be presented with $$ marks surrounding the item name with the price, such as $[Oran Berry] 50 Sochas$. Stores and vendors are discovered by Searching, and when vendors are found, those stores will be added to the Exacta City Marketplace section, which will show all the goods they have for sale and what their prices are.

    Note that you can only buy from stores during the Day Cycle. At night, stores are closed and their owners and employees have gone home. Also, if the owner of a store is killed by the Stalkers (or from another source), it may shut down the business completely.




    Equipment and Items

    Your character comes with four slots of equipment and a personal item inventory that only you can access. For Equipment, players have a slot for each of the following:

    • Attack Weapon
    • Defense Armor
    • Jewelry
    • Utopian Aspect


    Attack Weapon – Attack weapons come in various forms and sizes. Some are bladed, some fire a projectile, and other forms of attack. In battle, weapons typically add additional damage to the damage roll your character does already. This additional damage can take the form of additional dice being rolled and/or +1, +2, +3, etc modifiers to your already existing damage roll.

    Some weapons (usually the more powerful kind) need to be customized specifically to your character’s Pokémon shape, size, form, and species, such as a backpack-mounted armament for a quadruped Pokémon or a trigger-operated mechanism. Usually these types of weapons can only be obtained from a vendor willing to customize these weapons and won’t be found in the field. When an item is customized this way, usually the species name will appear as part of the item, such as [|AW| Pikachu-Customized Riot Armament].

    Attack weapons will always appear to be Items with a |AW| tag in them, such as [|AW| Steel Katana] or [|AW] Caliber Armament] with a short description of the item’s effect following them.

    Defense Armor – Basic armor, such as plate straps, bangles, and cloaks/robes provide minor bonuses for any Pokémon regardless of shape, size, and species. However, truly protective armor that covers your character’s whole body needs to be custom-created to your character’s size, shape, and species and will include the species name as part of the time, such as [|DA| Eevee-Customized Battle Armor]. As with custom weapons, these will usually not be found out in the field.

    Defense armor can do a variety of things such as nullifying incoming damage and/or giving additional points to Health beyond your maximum amount (this does not get factored when using Rest).

    Defense armor will always appear to be Items with a |DA| tag in them, such as [|DA| Shadow Cloak] or [|DA] Steel Bracer] with a short description of the item’s effect following them.

    Jewelry – Jewelry, which usually takes the form of necklaces, rings, bands, and the like, can do a variety of different things such as adding more points of damage in combat, grant resistance to Sanity and Purity damage (or give additional points to those stats), or give Health/Sanity/Purity regeneration per cycle.

    Some pieces of jewelry may also provide one-time protective uses, such as automatically reviving your character upon death or even grant mysterious abilities beyond what is normally obtainable.

    Jewelry will always appear to be Items with a |JY| tag in them, such as [|JY| Ruby Pendant] or [|JY| Pearl Bracelet] with a short description of the item’s effect following them.

    Utopian Aspect – Utopian Aspects are like equipment gear for your character’s soul and they function like personal auras. They’re the only pieces of equipment that will NOT be lost in the event your character dies, but they can be equipped and unequipped and replaced.

    Utopian Aspects grant luck or event-triggered abilities and effects. These effects are usually passive benefits. One example of a power that an Utopian Aspect might grant is a 10% chance of striking an enemy target twice in one combat roll, or a 10% chance of potentially nullifying all incoming Purity damage whenever Purity damage is taken.

    Utopian Aspects can also be created from purifying Abyss Aspects, which are more likely to be found out in the field and off the bodies of Abyss forces and assassins, as well as in dark and demonic locations that the Stalkers control. Note that performing this action requires use of the <Seinaru> perk and requires a Purification Altar to be set up at the Emissary base at one of the empty facility slots.

    Utopia Aspects will always appear to be Items with a |UA| tag in them, such as [|UA| Divinity Barrier] or [|UA| Celestial Vigor] with a short description of the item’s effect following them.

    Soulbound Items – Soulbound items are usually marked in green and offer greater benefits and features as opposed to normal equipment. The catch is these special items cannot be used by anyone else by the player they have been Soulbound to.

    Soulbound items found in the field can be equipped by anyone, but once they’ve been equipped, the player equipping that item is the only one that can ever use it. Despite the name, if the player who is wearing the Soulbound item wishes to unequip it and equip something else to replace it, that’s totally fine. Their character’s name, however, will always be affiliated with the item to indicate only they can use it.



    Mercenaries

    Mercenaries are NPC Pokémon characters that travel with your Emissary character. While they travel with you, they offer many kinds of benefits, such as fighting alongside you or lending their size and/or type characteristics to overcome obstacles, such as ^Small Pokémon^ or +Electric Type+ barriers. In combat, they are still viable targets to enemies, though when they fight alongside you, they’ll target enemies they are most effective against (in type advantage situations) or to finish off weak enemies they have a chance of eliminating.

    Mercenaries can be recruited in various ways. Most are hired by contract (which have different types), but there are Pokémon that may accompany you if you help them in some way. When it comes to hiring by contract, some mercenaries prefer an up-front payment and that will cover a set number of days before the contract expires. Once the contract is up, they simply leave (these types of mercenaries will have something like “Contract: 3 Cycles remaining” next to them on your character card. Other mercenaries base their contract on taking a percentage share of all incoming Sochas your character earns. For example, a percentage-based contract merc that states they will take 40% of your earnings means if your character found $100 Sochas$, you would get $60SS$ and they would get $40SS$. Mercenaries with this kind of contract will have something like “Contract: 40% Share” next to them on your character card. Note that you cannot have two percentage-based contract mercs where their combined earnings percentage total exceeds 100%.

    Some quickie notes about them and how they work:

    • You can have a max of two mercenaries at one time. Once you have two mercenaries, in order to hire another mercenary, one of the two currently following you will need to be removed (contracts can be ended early, but any up-front money paid will not be refunded based on unused cycles as part of the contract deal).
    • Mercenaries do not wear equipment, they do not use items, and they cannot have items used on them. In addition to this, income percentage-based contracts with mercenaries will only cost Sochas. Mercenaries will never take equipment or items found in the field or dropped by enemies as loot.
    • Mercenaries killed in action count as if they were a player that got killed. If the Mercenary dies to Ghouls, Chimeras, enemy civilian Pokémon, or traps/hazards not attributed to a Stalker, they are simply dead, don’t reincarnate, and are removed from your character card (they do not drop any money or equipment, whatever belonged to them is simply gone for good). However, a Mercenary killed by enemies aligned with Abyss (Stalkers or Abyss followers) or killed from a trap attributed to the Stalkers will add 1 to the Doom Tracker.
    • Mercenaries will flee battles when you flee battles. As soon as your character tries to flee, they will also stop fighting and will try to flee with you. They are still viable targets while attempting to escape with you. Also note that mercenaries do not have a Battle Stance of their own.
    • Mercenaries will run if your character is killed. Regardless of whatever contract they had with you, they will automatically run away successfully if your character dies unless they are killed at exactly the same time you are.
    • If your main Emissary character triggers a trap, each Mercenary traveling with you has a 50% chance of being hit with the same trap. Note that they still have a chance to evade the trap even if this roll determines they were caught in the splash damage zone. Note that @@ Hazardous Areas will also affect them regardless.
    • Mercenaries heal all damage done to them at the end of the narrative post. This will count as if they used Medicine on themselves.




    Battling

    Battles return to Stalkers 5! Running off of a slightly similar format to Season 4 with some modifications, Battles can occur between 1-4 members on both sides. Due to this, battles in Stalkers 5 now can involve more teamwork, but the dangers are greater, also!

    Your allies in battle can be your fellow Emissaries joining you in a fight, any follower mercenary NPCs you’ve hired, any named NPC allies helping the Emissaries, any NPCs following you as a result of the Escort ability, or other situation situations. Meanwhile, your enemies can be anything from enemy Stalkers, ghouls, chimeras, dark agents/creations of the Abyss, and other dark and demonic forces. But they can also include aggressive and violent criminals unaffiliated with the Abyss.

    All actions taken in battle are automatic. Battling requires no user input and relies on percentage rolls, the outcomes of which are pre-determined by factors listed below. Battles end when all remaining members of one side have had all their HP values hit 0 or below or if one side has had all its members successfully flee from the battle.

    Types of battles:
    A Sparring Battle is a battle that you initiate and willingly participate in. Some civilians may be open to a non-lethal sparring match, similar to a boxing match or martial arts engagement. Some Pokémon may offer rewards from these kinds of battles, such as money, equipment, items, and the like. Pokémon that are open for a sparring match will have (Open for Sparring) next to their name.

    Battle stance does not apply in a Sparring Battle. Your character will fight until they defeat the opponent or they hit zero, but after the battle, their Health will return to what it was before. These are safe battles and your character will never be killed from them. Also note that mercenaries do not participate in Sparring Battles. They'll gladly watch and may even cheer you on!

    A Hostile Battle is a violent, bloody, and typically to-the-death kind of battle that may or may not be initiated by you, or may be the result of encountering dark and hostile forces out in the field.

    HP = Health:
    These are not separate stats. However, if you are in a Sparring Battle, dropping to 0 Health/HP or below does not result in you dying. You will simply lose the battle, then be healed back to the same amount of Health you had before engaging in battle. If you are in a Hostile Battle, Health/HP is treated the same as if you took damage from a trap, and you will need to restore it yourself. If you drop to 0 Health/HP in a hostile battle, your character will be killed.

    In Hostile Battles, Health, Sanity, and/or Purity are all subject to being attacked. Stalkers, Abyssal minions and their demonic followers are very likely to unleash attacks that deal damage to Sanity and Purity and can be fatal if any of these stats fall to zero.

    Battle Stance, and fleeing from battle:
    Your Battle Stance determines whether or not you engage in hostile battles and how your character behaves in them as your character’s auto-attack strategy (any NPCs following you will also employ the same strategy, but will not attempt to Flee before your character does). These are all the battle stances you can choose to have your character adopt:

    • Flee – Your character does not wish to engage in battle at all and will attempt to flee from the battle as soon as possible. Select this option if your main intentions are to search the field for necessary key items, but do not with to engage in random encounters despite possible loot rewards.
    • Tactical – Your character will engage in the battle up until one or more of their stats (Health/Sanity/Purity) falls or has already fallen below 50% of their base value. This option is good in case you want to only engage battles where you have a strong chance of winning, but wish to try and make a run for it if things are looking doubtful.
    • Ferocious – Your character will engage in the battle up until one or more of their stats (Health/Sanity/Purity) falls or has already fallen below 25% of their base value. This option is good if you are a set risk taker, but only want to chance making a run for it if things get truly dire and your character is at serious risk of dying.
    • Heroic – The stance for the truly brave (or crazy!). Your character will engage in the battle until the absolute end and either the enemy dies or they die. Characters that choose the Heroic stance will never attempt to run away from a battle despite how bad things look. Never surrender!


    When attempting to Flee based on the trigger conditions determined by the stance, you will use your character dodge rate as your flee rate (Large Pokémon have 20%, Medium Pokémon have 30%, and Small Pokémon have 40%). If the Flee is successful, your character and any NPCs directly following them will leave the encounter. If working with fellow Emissaries, make sure you decide on your combat strategy and tactics or you may be leaving your allies behind in great danger!

    If your character Flees from a battle while attempting to do a Search at a location, the Search action is canceled and nothing is recovered from the site.

    You can change your battle stance at any time (mention/VM me so I know about it). But once your character has gotten into a battle and I have begun doing the resolution, your character will be locked into it for as long as the battle lasts up until it’s posted.

    Factors of battling:
    There are a few things that affect attacking and defending in battles: your size, your type, your base speed, your evolution stage, and your equipment. All factors except equipment are dependent on your species.

    Spoiler:
    Base Speed:
    At the start of the battle, all Pokémon will have their base speed compared to determine turn order (equipment/items can override this). If tied, a coin flip will make the determination.

    Size:
    Size plays a large role in battling. It determines Health (shown as HP), dodge rate, and damage output. They are as follows:

    Large Pokémon: 24 HP, 20% dodge rate, 1d12 attack die.
    Medium Pokémon: 20 HP, 30% dodge rate, 1d10 attack die.
    Small Pokémon:16 HP, 40% dodge rate, 1d8 attack die.

    "Dodge rate" refers to how hard you are to hit. A participant will roll 1-100 on the RNG, and if they land within the dodge rate, they miss. 20% dodge rate means that if the attacking Pokémon attempts to land an attack and rolls 1-20, they will miss. If they roll 21-100, they will hit.
    "1d#" refers to one die with a certain number of sides. 1d4 means one die with four sides. So, you have a one-in-four chance of landing on each number. 1d6 means one six-sided die, and 1d2 means a two-sided die. The number at the front refers to the number of dice used, "d" means "dice," and the second number is the number of sides the die has. You may see, for instance, 2d4, which means two four-sided dice are used.

    Type:
    Types come into play when it comes to damage. When defending, a Pokémon's type will determine how effective the opposition's attack is. When attacking, a dual-type Pokémon will use its types separately. The most effective type is picked automatically for attacking. For example:

    Tropius: Flying/Grass
    Pinsir: Bug

    If the Tropius is attacking, they will default to only using their flying type, because it is more effective against bug-types.
    If the Pinsir is attacking, they will only do standard damage because bug-type is super effective against grass, but not very effective against flying. So, they cancel out and it becomes standard damage.

    Super-effective attacks will do x2 (double) damage.
    Not very effective attacks will do 0.5x (half) damage.
    No-effect* attacks will do no damage.

    *A Pokémon will not agree to go into battle, or will not randomly attack, if the type lineup results in one Pokémon having no effect on the other. If an Emissary is forced into a battle scenario wherein they can do no damage due to type lineup, they will attempt to flee, regardless of Battle Stance. However, if you have equipment that allows you to inflict damage on your opponent if you hit regardless of type, whether or not you flee will depend on your Battle Stance, as normal.

    Damage is rounded down to a whole number when halved.
    The minimum damage done for a successful hit is 1HP, unless the type lineup allows attacks to have no-effect. In which case, 0 damage is done, before equipment.

    Abilities do not factor into battling.
    Movepools do not factor into battling.


    Operation of battle:
    If you are challenged to a battle or challenge someone else to a battle, the narration post will detail the factors and stats, and all percentage and dice rolling will be done by the GM. By standard terms, the Pokémon with the higher speed goes first, and tries to attack. An RNG will roll a number between 1 and 100, and depending on what number it lands on, the participant either successfully hits, or misses, depending on the opposing Pokémon's dodge rate. In the case of a participant trying to flee, the rolled number will instead determine whether or not fleeing is successful.
    Then, damage is rolled. Sizing affects how much damage is possible to do, and equipment also affects this.
    Turns will go back and forward until one participant wins.

    Example battle: Beartic vs. Darumaka
    Spoiler:
    Beartic: Large, Ice-type. 24HP, 20% dodge rate, 1d12 attack die. No equipment.
    Darumaka: Small, Fire-type. 16HP, 40% dodge rate, 1d8 attack die. No equipment.

    Fight!

    50 base speed vs. 50 base speed; coin flip! Tails, Beartic goes. Heads, Darumaka goes.
    Result...heads! Darumaka goes first.

    Darumaka rolls 70%! Hits! 4 Health damage, x2 = 8 damage.
    Beartic: 16HP remaining.

    Beartic rolls 80%! Hits! 2 damage, halved = 1 damage.
    Darumaka: 15HP remaining.

    Darumaka rolls 6%! Miss!

    Beartic rolls 89%, hit! 6 damage, halved = 3 damage.
    Darumaka: 12HP remaining.

    Darumaka rolls 14%. Miss!

    Beartic rolls 54%, hits! 12 damage, halved = 6 damage.
    Darumaka: 6HP remaining.

    Darumaka rolls 95%! Hits! Deals 4 damage, x2 = 8 damage.
    Beartic: 8HP remaining.

    Beartic rolls 53%, hits! 2 damage, halved = 1 damage.
    Darumaka: 5HP remaining.

    Darumaka: 84%, hits! 4 damage, doubled = 8 damage!
    Beartic: 0HP remaining.


    DARUMAKA WINS!




    Game Component Markings

    The Stalkers RPG is all about interactive components, and here is a legend that explains what all these mean:

    [] Brackets : This signify an Item such as a [Silver Key] or [Computer Parts]. When items like these are found, they're usually immediately added to the Team Inventory and can then be used by other players.

    Some items will need to have a perk or other action used on them, such as [Broken Electronics: <Repair>] or [Expired Battery: +Electric+] before they can become something more useful.

    <> Brackets : These signify when a Perk can be used, such as <Repair> or <Security>. You must have the corresponding Perk to activate these when they occur.

    == Marks : This signifies detailed clues, puzzles, or visual image links that usually include important details. Usually completing a puzzle successfully will result in a key item being created, such as [847 Combination] or [“OHANA” Security Password]. Some of these may be images of notes or other key clues of significance.

    ++ Marks : These signify when a Pokémon typing comes into play, such as using +Electric Type+ or +Fire Type+ attack or needing to dive underwater in a +Water Type+ instance. Note that you must be the same type Pokémon to bypass these barriers. Even though a Flying and Fire type Charizard can use Dragon Claw, a Dragon-type attack, Charizard isn't a Dragon type, so it wouldn't be able to bypass a +Dragon Type+ condition. However, when the condition is satisfied, such as an Electric Type Pokémon such as Pikachu overcoming a +Electric Type+ condition, it doesn't matter if he uses Thunderbolt, Volt Tackle, or Volt Switch, just so as long as it's an Electric-type attack.

    ^^ Marks : These signify a condition where Pokémon size comes into play and only Pokémon of certain sizes can access these areas. Some examples include ^Large Pokémon^ to access something on a higher elevation and ^Small Pokémon^ to access something in a tight, claustrophobia-inducing area.

    Note that if your character already satisfies the size condition when searching that spot for the first time, they will automatically explore what's there.

    ## and @@ Marks : These signify a booby trap, evil presences, and hazardous areas, respectively. More details on these below.

    {} Brackets : These signify something that can be interacted with, such as a locked container or an object that can have something done to it to "activate" it. More details on these below.

    $$ Marks : These symbols are indicative of the game's currency, sochas (or $SS$). They can be acquired through different means and will always go to the individual Emissary's inventory. They are used to buy items or pay for services.

    Traps: ## Markings

    Generally, booby traps are hidden threats and in most cases are engineered to cause harm, but in some cases, they can be environmental hazards, such as a collapsible floor. Some traps are persistent while others are only activated once.

    Some traps have a damage type that behave as if they were a Pokémon attack (will appear in ALL CAPS as part of the name of the trap). But if no type is mentioned (many Abyss cursed or demonically-infused items are beyond the type chart), then it is not subject to the type chart. Some examples of traps that can be found include:

    #Acid Trap# - POISON (3 Health Damage)#
    #Spring-blade Trap - STEEL (2 Health Damage)#
    #Dark Essences – (3 Purity Damage)#

    When a trap is triggered, the trap's type (if there is one) is weighed against both the size of the Pokémon (small Pokémon are more able to avoid them due to their small and nimble sizes) and their types. A #Flame Jet Trap – FIRE (4 Health Damage)# would do very little, if any, damage to a Fire type Flareon, while a #Electric Discharge Trap – ELECTRIC (3 Health Damage)# would do double damage to a Flying or Water type Pokémon like Pidgey or Squirtle (or quadruple to a dual-type if both types are weak against the trap type). Some traps have no types at all, which means they do the same amount of damage no matter what the Pokémon is.

    Players with the Security Perk will always attempt to disarm the trap before it goes off (recall that it’s an 80% chance of success). If they fail, then they will at least attempt to dodge it. Whether or not they dodge it.

    Items may also have traps on them, which persist until they are disarmed by use of the Security perk. In these scenarios, the item markings and description will be nested within the trap markings, such #[Dark Amulet] – Infernal Aura (3 Purity Damage)#.

    If someone attempts to use or place an item with a trap on it, they will have to attempt to dodge the attack again before it is successfully used.

    Trapped items will still be added to the Team Inventory after being picked up and can still be used. Every time it is used, however, the user have to attempt to evade the trap. A player with the Security Perk who discovers a trapped item will automatically attempt to disarm the trapped item before adding it to their inventory. Meanwhile, a player with Security can spend an action attempting to disarming trapped item(s) that someone else added to the inventory.

    Hazardous Areas: @@ Markings / Abyssal Influence: %% Markings

    Hazardous Areas function in a very similar way as traps, but with one big difference. They cannot be disarmed, cannot be dodged, and they persist, meaning the damage they do will happen again and again for as many times as a player enters the area. These are usually areas and places that have very dangerous hazards or very grizzly and macabre environments that a player simply cannot shield themselves from, such as @Torture Chamber (2 Sanity Damage)@. Because your character cannot shield their eyes from the horrifying sights in such a place, there is no choice but to take the hit and only equipment and/or items will nullify the effects.

    Usually there are dark signs of Hazardous Areas up ahead, but not always. Read narration posts carefully for signs that the container or door you're about to break open may contain something nefarious or if demonic items are being used to enter foreboding-sounding places. If you think you may come across an area that has dark damaging effects, ensure that your Health, Sanity and Purity are all sitting comfortably high and you have decent gear to provide the possible protection you may need.

    Interactive Elements: {} Brackets

    Objectives and elements that can be interacted with appear with {} brackets and can involve just anything that has activation conditions. In all cases, the conditions for what is needed are included in these brackets after the ":" colon. Here's how to better understand them with some examples.

    {Locked Wooden Door (Short description label of the object): X Emblem (A condition that needs to be satisfied before the object is activated.)}

    Here are some examples to help you understand these:

    Single Condition Activations:

    {Locked Wooden Door: X Emblem} - In this case, to unlock this locked wooden door, something needs to address the "X Emblem" condition. The word "Emblem" refers to a corresponding key, so in this case, the [X Key] is needed here.

    Multiple Condition Activations:

    In these cases, multiple conditions need to be satisfied before the object is activated. These are grouped together with the word “AND” in all capital letters, such as in this example:

    {Locked Wooden Door: Diamond Hole AND Heart Hole} - In this case, you need to satisfy both the Diamond Hole AND the Heart Hole conditions. Most likely you'll need to find items that match the description labels, such as a [Diamond Stone] and [Heart Stone] that need to be placed here.

    {Broken Computer: Missing Power Unit AND <Repair>} - This case signifies that you need an item such as [Power Unit] to address the "Missing Power Unit" AND you'll need to use the Repair Perk to fix this computer to make it usable. Simply having only one or the other isn't enough. Just note that if you have the item and the Repair Perk, you can use both in the same turn. But if you only have one or the other, you can address only those conditions for the time being and have someone else come back later to finish the job. Completed conditions will be struck out, like this. So if you used the Repair Perk but you didn't have the necessary [Power Unit], the end result would be "{Broken Computer: Missing Power Unit AND <Repair>}.

    Multiple Option Activations:

    Whenever a forward slash "/" appears, this signifies that there are multiple methods to activating this object and doing any of them will satisfy the condition. As an example:

    {Steel Security Door: X Emblem OR <Security>} - The forward slash serves as a separator between the methods. In this instance, there are two ways to activate and unlock this Steel Security Door. Either by satisfying the "X Emblem" condition with the [X Key], which will unlock the door, OR by having a Pokémon use the Security perk on it.

    POP QUIZ!

    How could you activate something like {Locked Steel Door: Triangle Hole AND Square Hole OR <Security> OR ^Small Pokémon^}?

    If you said there are three possible methods, you're right!

    First method: Fill the Triangle Hole and Square Hole with two items. Something like [Crimson Triangle Stone] and [Azure Square Stone] would most likely go here.

    Second method: Use the Security Perk.

    Third method: Have a small-sized Pokémon approach the door. This will likely mean there's a small broken window or open door ventilation grate they can slip through.

    If you understood this concept, you're totally ready to go!




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    Last edited by Neo Emolga; 10-20-2020 at 04:02 AM.

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