Playing the Game

Incarna I5 for [D20 Reference] and 5E

Formidable Adventure

Gritty Realism: We try and temper realistic with realism. The violence and edge-of-survival explorations done by characters are inherently risky and dangerous – most “adventurers” die young (unless the campaign is not organized around such tropes). We promote a greater than normal dynamic without over-legislating the rules.

Rule Changes: To promote the gritty and more realistic aspects of resolving actions and character damage

  • Deeply Defined Characters
  • Graduated Action Success
  • Trying Time Passage
  • Resilience of Items
  • Rest: A Short Rest is 8 hours; a Long Rest is 1 week! Note that some abilities by class are changed to provide characters enough fire power to get through encounters, but it does promote a more conservative use of powers and stress on resolving encounters using intelligence and planning.
  • Healing: There are no “Hit Dice” to expend; characters regain a base 1 HP per short rest, plus their Constitution bonus. Barring specific body or limb damage, most damage heals at the end of a Long Rest.
  • Law of Averages: Generally, players should be encouraged to use the law of averages. Average results are used instead of dice rolling for effect and damage. Players can use the random generation method, but do not gain the advantages of “Quality of Result”.
  • Quality of Result: Assumes the Law of Averages is being used. If a player makes a check that is 5 or more than what is needed to succeed, it is considered a major success. This does maximum base effect – effect dice, damage, etc. A critical result is double base effect.
  • Resilience of Items: Items like shields, armor, and equipment do not last forever. Many have a resilience rating. For each measure of resilience an item can reduce the result of a successful attack. A critical becomes a major, a major becomes a normal, and a normal has no effect.
ADVENTURE PRINCIPLE: There is no "campaign level" in Incarna. Story and play are the focus and any adventure should be able to be modified to support any measure of challenge rating. That is the strength of a great GM and system & tools to support them - the ability to tell a story with whatever characters and circumstances the Players have.


An example of a brief encounter resolution which demonstrates the level of immersive story telling and interaction the Incarna system engenders. It demonstrates the depth of description the GM should aim for, the danger and grittiness and roleplaying challenge framework.