Cultural Backgrounds

Cultural Backgrounds consist of four game elements: Common Skill Bonuses, Combat Styles, Advanced Skills, and Starting Money.

All Cultural Backgrounds have the following minimum elements:

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*Common Skill Bonuses*: +30% to Culture (Own) and Lore (Regional)

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*Combat Styles*: +10% to one Combat Style from a pre-defined list (around 10 Styles)

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*Advanced Skills*: Language (Native) +50% and one Advanced Skill at base%

You have 7 Design Points. You can use one Design Point to make one of the following selections:

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*Common Skill Bonuses*: +10% to one Skill or +5% to two Skills. Choices may stack (although no individual Skill should have a bonus greater than +20%).

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*Combat Styles*: +10% to one additional Combat Style from a pre-defined list.

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*Advanced Skills*: Choose one additional Advanced Skill at base%.

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*Advanced Skills*: +10% to one Skill. Advanced Skill must already be known at base%. Choices may stack (although no individual skill should have a bonus greater than +20%).

You may sell back minimum elements to gain additional Design Points. For example, the Poor Cultural Background in Elric of Melniboné gains two extra DP by selling back the Advanced Skill: Language (Native) from the default of 50% to 30%.

In the core rules, Starting Money and available possessions are not particularly balanced nor need they be (

*such is life*). GMs should assign money and items as fits their concept for the background taking into account the examples in the core rules and various supplements.

Applying the design process to the Cultural Backgrounds in the Core Rules:

Barbarian (7 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +10% to Athletics and Resilience, and +5% to Brawn, Perception, Ride, and Stealth (4 DPs)

• Combat Styles: Two additional Combat Styles at 10% each (2 DPs)

• Advanced Skills: One additional Advanced Skill at base% (1 DP)

Civilised (7 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +20% to Evaluate and Influence (4 DPs)

• Combat Styles: none (0 DP)

• Advanced Skills: Three additional Advanced Skills at base% (3 DPs)

Nomad (7 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +10% to Athletics, Perception, Resilience, Stealth, and one other from a short list (5 DPs)

• Combat Styles: One additional Combat Style at 10% (1 DP)

• Advanced Skills: One additional Advanced Skill at base% (1 DP)

Primitive (7 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +15% to Athletics, Perception, Resilience, and Stealth (6 DPs)

• Combat Styles: none (0 DP)

• Advanced Skills: One additional Advanced Skill at base% (1 DP)

Applying the design process to the Cultural Backgrounds in Elric of Melniboné:

Melnibonean (7 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +10% to Athletics and Insight, and two other choices from a limited list (4 DPs)

• Combat Styles: none (0 DP)

• Advanced Skills: Three additional Advanced Skill at base% (3 DP)

*Note that for this Cultural Background Lore (Regional) is an Advanced Skill but it is still free.

Outlaw (7 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +10% to Athletics and Resilience, +5% to four other skills (4 DPs)

• Combat Styles: Two additional Combat Styles at 10% each (2 DPs)

• Advanced Skills: One additional Advanced Skill at base% (1 DP)

Poor (7 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +10% to four skills from a limited list (4 DPs)

• Combat Styles: none (0 DP)

• Advanced Skills: Language (Common) +30% [-2 DP], one additional Advanced Skill at base%, and two Advanced Skills +20% [5 DPs].

Wanderer of the Time Streams (5.5 DP)

• Common Skill Bonuses: +10% to Insight and Resilience, +5% to five other skills (4.5 DPs)

• Combat Styles: none (0 DP)

• Advanced Skills: One additional Advanced Skill at base% (1 DP)

Any thoughts would be much appreciated,

Ian