NOTE: DUE TO MANY RECENT CHANGES TO BOTH THE GAME AND THE SETTING, MOST OF THIS WEBSITE BECAME HOPELESSLY OUT OF DATE ALMOST BEFORE IT GOT STARTED. I HOPE TO HAVE IT UPDATED BY MID-MARCH, BUT I NEED TO FINISH TWEAKING FIRST. THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
Note: this website is a work in progress and probably will be for some time. Nevertheless, you are welcome to hang out and check things out, ask questions, provide feedbck, etc. I’m trying to get things up as soon as possible.
WHAT IS TAINTED?
Yeah, at some point I’m going to have to hammer out one of those obligatory, “What is an RPG?” paragraphs, but for now, for this website, I’m going to work under the assumption that the people reading this have a cursory understanding of tabletop gaming and just lay things out so you can see if this is something you might want to get into.
WHAT RANDOMIZER OR MECHANIC ARE YOU USING?
Dice. Specifically two ten sided dice (2d10) numbered 0-9 with zeros counting as zeros. Roll both dice. One die has to match or beat a target number based on your character’s skills. The other die has to match or beat a magnitude number based on the obstacles your character is facing. You don’t declare which die is which ahead of time, instead assigning values after you roll. A full explanation of the core mechanic can be found HERE.
You will also want a small pool of d6s for resolving magical tasks, but that is more for flavor (to differentiate magic from mundane tasks) than anything, and there are rules for using just the d10s if you prefer.
Additionally, all dice rolls are performed by the players. The Game Master (GM) does not need any dice using the ZERO-9 system.
WHAT IS THE GENRE?
Saving the day carries a price set in flesh, and every choice dangles somewhere between impotence and wielding the Taint you know will destroy everything you are fighting to preserve. Set against a gun-toting fantasy world backdrop, this rpg is nevertheless meant to ensure that playing the hero is rarely an option. If you choose to adhere to the premises and setting supplied in this text, the choices your character faces should generally leave him wondering what flavor of heartless bastard he’s going to have to be this time … and even the bastards who fancy themselves heroes will invariably corrupt those things they most desperately seek to protect.
WHAT IS THE SETTING?
Tainted takes place in the Broken Lands, an archipelago adrift in the eye of an endless maelstrom. In this land there is no north or south and east and west are unreliable markers at best. Here the wind is your constant companion, and the sun is either a forgotten child’s tale or a brutal god.
Once these lands were stable and fair. Before the Sundering. Before the Taint. But that was long ago, in a time even the ancestors of your ancestors have long forgotten. Now the world is rent and the veil between the dead and the living hangs in tattered ruin. In this world even the forests reek of blood and the spirits of the land prey upon the unwary.
Little remains of the great civilizations of Men. Wildlings claim the green spaces between the ancient woods, and the Tainted are everywhere, hunting the forests and sailing the storm, their magic a continuous corrupting whisper. In the wastes, the spirits of the fallen walk the endless sands, unable to cross bare stone or open sea to reach the last haven of souls in the Broken Lands.
On the stormwracked sea, great stone ships plow the treacherous deeps between the islands for those skilled or mad enough to brave their decks, but there are no large land animals to use for draft or mount, and no means of technologically advanced land or air travel. Cannon and other large weapons are virtually unknown due to the simple expedient of having no practical use in the maelstrom, though personal firearms are fairly advanced. Still, no matter how good one might be with a gun, no man ventures out without dagger and axe – because some things in the storm just can’t be readily hurt by little blisters of silver and lead set loose on the wind.
In every quarter the Taint has risen, giving voice to the storm that once laid the world bare.
You play one of these Tainted. Outlaw, soldier, mercenary, sorcerer, sailor, king – the Taint makes no distinction in who it draws. Only demands that it be used, that it be released into the world – one faint trickling heartbeat at a time.