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Rules: Introduction


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You are holding a copy of the rules to Eternal Soldier. This is a set of rules suitable for fighting alien hordes on distant planets, vanquishing evil necromancers in dark castles, or winning the West. In this book you will find every battle since Cain slew Able. With this book, no adventure is farther away than your imagination.

For those of you who have never played a role-playing game, you're in for something new. For those of you who are very experienced at role-playing games, you've never encountered one like this one.  Top

A role-playing game requires you the player to take on a persona, and act as if it were your own. A referee sets up a situation, and the players deal with it. The referee will pit the players against foes, place them in deadly situations, and give them great goals to accomplish. The players will succeed or fail depending on their wits, cunning, and sometimes sheer brawn.

Experienced players will recognize differences in the way their characters must be played. As characters advance and become more skillful they will be able to take on greater challenges. But unlike other role-playing games, they can seldom afford to put their guard down.  Top

The result is a phenomenon sorely lacking from most role-playing games; Characters (even powerful ones) act like people.

The game Eternal Soldier developed out of a need felt by the authors for one basic role-playing system that could be used for any situation, time-period, or scenario. A look in any gaming shop will reveal a wall of role-playing games that are all completely different. Many games that are produced by the same company and/or deal with almost identical situations bear no resemblance to each other at all in terms of the playing systems they use. Whenever a player wishes to try a new game or situation, it is necessary to buy and learn a completely different set of rules.  Top

The requirements to play Eternal Soldier are not great. The necessary items include paper, pencils, dice, and this rule book. The dice may be different from any kind of dice you've seen before. There are several different kinds, all of which can almost certainly be bought in the same place you (we hope) bought this book. Other than these things, you need only bring your imagination.

We will make extensive use of dice. The various dice include four-sided dice, six-sided dice (the kind you're probably used to), eight-sided dice, ten- sided, twelve-sided, and twenty-sided. It would be best to have at least one of each kind, and is advisable to have two ten-siders and several six-siders.   Top

We refer to dice with a "D", followed by the number of sides on the die. A six-sided die will be referred to as a D6. Eight-siders would be D8, etc. There will also be many references to D100. This refers to a one hundred sided die, which we fake by rolling two ten-sided dice. We use one die for 10's, and another for units. A 4 rolled on the 10's die and a 7 on the units die gives us 47. Two 0's (00) would be 100.

If there is a number prior to the "D" it refers to the number of dice to be rolled and added together. 2 D6 means "roll two six-sided dice and add them together." In craps we roll 2 D6. 4 D8 would mean "four eight-siders rolled and added together."  Top

We assume you already know how to use pencils and paper, which leaves only the rules. If you've never played a game like this before, don't be thrown by the size of this booklet. The rules are learned more easily than you might think. Most of this book is occupied with charts that you will learn to use very quickly, and details that you will only need to look up as they become necessary.

We have included in the rules a series of examples. Each demonstrates how the last discussed part of the rules works when combined with all the previous parts. This gives a step by step development, and is also supposed to provide something interesting to read once in a while. They should definitely be read.  Top

We would like to take a moment to explain what's NOT in this game, and why. We have quite intentionally not included a "prefab" world. It's not our place to define your world for you. We have specifically avoided any limiting characteristic that would cause you, the game-master to run OUR world. This game is designed and presented in the spirit of individuality in gaming.

This will allow you to design your world from the ground up. Alternatively you could invest in one of the adventure worlds already on the market. There are some very good ones out there and where the emphasis has been placed on the world rather than the rules.  Top

We would like to publish a line of support equipment in the future. This will include such things as information on other weapons for use in the game, scenarios for use in various situations, architectural structures from all ages, etc. Or perhaps, other companies will. But these will never change the rules, only add to them. This game is designed in a freewheeling style that is intended to once again put the game-master in charge of the rules.

A note from the authors about fairness, sexism, and the women’s movement as they relate to these rules. There is much talk about the "non-sexist" denominator in writing such things as this set of rules. This asks that every place where we say he, we instead say "he or she", every place where we use a sex-specific term (mailman) we instead use a non sex-specific term (mail person) etc.  Top

We have tried to respect this request as much as possible. But it has been noted that the people who are most adamant about this point have also never done a long piece of technical writing. Take our word for it, had we been overly rigid on this point we would be rattling around an asylum right now shouting "He or she! HIS OR HER!", laughing the laugh of the insane and making ceramic wallets to relax.

In those areas where we have lapsed we ask for your understanding and forgiveness. We're not bad guys. One of us has even been known to watch Phil Donahue. In return for your understanding we offer the results of five years of effort on what we think is the best role-playing system ever produced.   Top

Welcome to Eternal Soldier. You need never buy another role-playing game again

Next: Character Generation

All Content 1986-2001 Tai-Gear Simulations

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