Hello and welcome to the Ebb & Flow: The World of Terrium Player Guide. Adventures await you, player, in this world filled with wonders and dangers. Your stories will be moderated by your game master, who from now on will be referred to as the GM. Their responsibilities include helping you walk through character creation, describing the scenarios you will find yourself in, controlling non-player characters, and describing how your actions affect the world around you. The actual playing of a story is called a campaign, and a single gathering to progress through the campaign is called a session. You control a character from one of the six races of Ebb & Flow who is ready and eager for an adventure. You will interact with many non-player characters controlled by the GM, which are also called NPCs. Non-player characters encompass both the people you interact with and the monsters you might face in battle. In this guide, the word “unit” is a generic term that refers to all of these things: your player character, NPC people, and NPC monsters.
There are a few things that you’ll want to bring to the table for this game. First is some pen and paper, or some other form of taking notes. Information is key in a world full of puzzles, riddles, monsters, and traps, and a piece of information an NPC gave you might just save your life. Along with a way to take notes will be your character sheet, which will be one or more pages that detail what your character is capable of. This guide will help you construct your character sheet as you read through it. The next thing you’ll need to bring is some dice: lots of them. This game uses four-sided dice, six-sided dice, eight-sided dice, ten-sided dice, twelve-sided dice, and twenty-sided dice. Of course, nowadays there are plenty of apps on your phone that allow you to simulate dice rolls, but nothing beats the good ole feeling of shaking those dice in your hands and hearing them clack and tumble across the table. Finally, the last thing you’ll want to bring is your imagination. A little cheesy, I know, but unlike a video game, you have full control of your character in this world. You aren’t strictly bound to a pre-determined plot, and you can go off on your own volition. You will paint a picture in your mind of how your character interacts with the world and how they fight in epic battles. The only true limit to your experience in this game is your imagination.
There are also a few more items that are not necessary to the game, but can enhance your experience. A basic grid battlemat, water soluble markers to draw on the battlemat, and some small figurines are a great way to help you visualize what’s happening in the world. The GM can construct a basic outline of the environment you’re traversing so you can see precisely where your character’s position is in relation to other units. Lastly, ambient music is a fantastic way to set the mood for your adventure. A light, happy-go-lucky tune can set the stage for a bustling town, whereas a high energy track can really put you in the mindset for combat.
Using This Guide
As the name suggests, this is merely a guide for the player. It will help walk you through character creation and how to play the game. However, it does not dictate what you can or cannot do. Perhaps your GM will follow the rules listed in this guide to a T, or perhaps they’ll loosely interpret the rules to fit the situation you’re in. This guide was designed to contain as much relevant information as possible to help you come to a fair conclusion for various scenarios throughout your adventure, but what’s more important than the rules is how your story unfolds. If for some reason a rule in this guide prevents you from having the epic adventure you want to have, then by all means ignore it. This guide was written to be a tool to supplement and guide you through your adventure, not hinder it and slow you down. You are the main protagonist of your story, not this guide, and your GM should always acknowledge that.
That being said, Ebb & Flow itself was designed with the specific mindset of the planet Terrium and its four continents being the game’s main setting. While it is possible to pick apart the game’s mechanics and implement them in a different world, they are so well integrated into the world of Terrium that the races, classes, and mechanics go hand in hand with the setting. If the idea of conforming to a single world displeases you, this game might not be for you. However, if you’re on board with it and think it makes your life easier that the setting is already heavily established, then by all means keep reading.
How To Play
The gameplay of Ebb & Flow follows a basic flow of events. First, your GM describes to you a scenario, including but not limited to the environment surrounding you and any NPCs that inhabit it. Next, the players describe what actions they want to take. Perhaps the party performs a single action together, or the players perform separate actions from one another. The players will also perform any necessary dice rolls depending on the action they choose to take. Once the players have decided their actions, the GM will perform any necessary dice rolls of their own in reaction to the players’ actions. Finally, the GM will describe the consequences of the players’ actions. In some cases, a scenario cannot be resolved with a single repetition of this flow of events, in which case the GM will ask the players to some effect, “What will you do now?” The players then proceed to describe their actions once again, and the process repeats itself until the scenario is resolved.
An example of this process is as follows. The party is trapped in a room where the walls are slowly closing in on them. The only door to exit the room is held shut by a small group of bandits. On the floor is an elaborate pattern of circles and squares drawn on tiles. One player decides that the easiest way to escape is to break down the door being held by the bandits, and rolls to see if they are strong enough to muscle it open. The other players deduce that the pattern of circles and squares must be the key to disarm the closing walls, and roll to see if they can find the trap’s trigger. The GM then rolls to see if the bandits can prevent the player from breaking down the door, and checks if the other players rolled high enough to find the trap’s trigger. The GM tells the party that the player is not strong enough to break down the door alone, and the other players were unable to find a sort of trigger to the trap. Running out of time, the party decides to pool their strength and ram at the door together. The party rolls against the GM and succeeds to break free of the room just before the walls could close in on them. They’ve successfully pulled themselves out of one scenario, but now they face the bandits who tried to eliminate them in the first place.
Combat follows this basic process as well, but is a fair bit more structured to reduce the chaos that comes with life-threatening battles. A detailed structure of how combat functions in Ebb & Flow can be found later on in this guide.
The 2d6 System
You may have noticed that some actions might require you to roll some dice. Ebb & Flow primarily uses a 2d6 system. What does this mean? The letter “d” represents that you are rolling a die while the number 6 represents the number of faces on the die, and the number 2 tells you how many dice you’re rolling. In this case, 2d6 means you’re rolling two six-sided dice. For another example, 1d8 means you’re rolling one eight-sided die. A vast majority of your actions, as well as the GM’s actions, will roll 2d6 to determine whether they succeed or not. The higher the result, the more likely you are to succeed. Conversely, the lower the result, the more likely you are to fail or even receive a negative consequence for your action.
Most of the other dice you will use in this game (d4, d8, d10, d12, and d20) are primarily found in damage values for combat. However, d10s also serve another purpose. D10s are usually numbered 0 through 9, and sometimes, players need to roll for a percentage. This is done by rolling 2d10. One d10 is pre-designated as the tens die, while the other d10 is pre-designated as the ones die. For example, a result of a 7 and a 5 would be a percentage roll of 75, and a result of 0 and 4 would be a percentage roll of 4. If both dice show a 0, that percentage is considered 100.
Advantage and Disadvantage
Sometimes, certain actions will put you at an advantage or disadvantage. For example, having an ally help you push a boulder will put you at an advantage, but working alone and on an empty stomach will put you at a disadvantage. When these situations occur, instead of rolling 2d6, you will roll 2d6 twice. When you have an advantage, you choose the higher of the two results. When at a disadvantage, you choose the lower of the two results.
For example, you’re trying to attack an enemy, and your ally creates a distraction. You roll to hit with an advantage, so you roll 2d6 twice. One result is a 5, but the other result is a 9. In this case, you would use the result of 9, which has a higher chance of hitting the distracted enemy.
The Rule of Rounding Down
Any time you would need to round a number to the nearest whole number, you round that number down. For example, both a result of 3.1 and 3.9 would round down to 3.
The Party as One
Everyone travels for different reasons, but rarely does an individual adventure alone. The players’ characters have joined one another to form a party, whether it is for self-fulfillment or a greater purpose. They must work together and cooperate to complement their strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses. Failure to do so can greatly hinder the party’s chances of survival. The types of adventures you face might depend on the levels of your party’s characters, as your level determines how powerful you are relative to the rest of the world.
Level 1 characters are considered to be beginner adventurers. They’ve completed the basic training required to become their primary class, and while they are stronger than the average person, they are still weaker compared to more experienced adventurers and veteran soldiers.
Level 3 characters make up the bulk of Terrium’s adventurers. They are individuals who have experienced enough of the wilder side of the world to know its ins and outs. They dabble in bounty and monster hunting where local authorities do not have the manpower to do so. These adventurers extend a helping hand to those in need, but need to be wary of dangerous tasks.
Level 5 characters are considered to be the experienced adventurers. They are usually the ones who are first called upon to take up tasks for local authorities and governments. These individuals also make up the bulk of all law enforcements and soldiers in the world. They take the call to arms when larger threats appear.
Level 10 characters are a rarer commodity. Few individuals reach this echelon of power before giving up, retiring, or dying in battle. These adventurers make up the top percentage of all adventurers, and have gained access to the most powerful abilities available. They are generally employed as the highest ranking officials in their homes, and in some cases, do not answer to a higher power. These characters have reached a level of importance where their cooperation is imperative for the survival of entire cities or even kingdoms.
Level 20 characters are considered to be legendary or mythical people. They have reached a level of power that very few individuals have achieved in the entire history of Terrium. Their mere presence can swing the tides of war, and they command a voice that even kingdoms must bow down to. Even after death, they are remembered through song and story, whether it is for their heroic deeds or their villainous acts.
Character Creation Breakdown
Your Ebb & Flow adventure begins with creating your character, which this guide and your GM will help walk you through. They will help you fill out all the information you’ll need to know about your character, which can be found on the character sheets at the end of this guide. The character sheets provide a blank slate for players to follow in making their character. It’s not what the player must use, as they can organize their character’s information however they want, but it is a helpful tool in preparing for their adventure.
There are four primary objectives to creating your character: choosing your race, choosing your class, deciding your attribute and quality scores, and customizing your character. These four objectives will determine many aspects of your character, such as their appearance, their abilities, and their combat stats.