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White Thorn is a world of super-powered and fantastic beings who live in our modern world under a veil of mythology and legend. Much of myth, science-fiction, and conspiracy are true. But, those who have this power and knowledge must maintain the secret or face the terror of the Veilman.
Welcome to the White Thorn UniverseTM! You are about to embark on an epic journey. You might want to take a moment and prepare yourself for the experience. You could take on the role of a HighBorn protector of humanity, a cybernetic soldier of fortune, or a werewolf eco-warrior. Whatever you choose, super-fantasy adventure awaits!
The White Thorn UniverseTM Role-Playing Game (WTRPG) was designed to give you a chance to experience super-fantasy action adventure – superheros plus epic fantasy.
The WTRPG uses the d20 System. We chose the d20 System because it works well for over-the-top, heroic action, and because of many peoples' love for and familiarity with it.
If you're not familiar with tabletop role-playing games, they are a form of group story-telling combined with a table-top game. In the White Thorn RPG, players take on the roles of super-powered heroes, mythical faerie, and monstrous freaks to fight the forces of darkness that threaten to annihilate the cosmos, explore alien realms, and just go out for coffee.
To play the White Thorn Role-Playing Game you need one or more friends (who are willing to play, not just in general) and a computer. The game uses character record sheets (which help you keep track of your character's abilities, quirks and gear), a variety of dice, and miniatures (to help track combat), however all of this can be handled by your PC.
In the game, you create the coolest character you can think of (or the funniest, the coldest, the most emotionally tortured, or even the most realistic character). Then it's time to travel to places on the edge of imagination, and spank the forces of evil.
One player in the game – the Master Illustrator – controls the villains, monsters, animals, and billions of everyday people that live in the game world. The MI steers politics and weather patterns, lets the players know what their characters experience, presents them with plotty goodness (a.k.a. "a story"), and mediates disputes over the rules.
The other players – Character Players – control the motives, personality, and actions of their characters, as they face dangers, unravel mysteries, and otherwise drive the story that the MI weaves.
Right now we're in the process of beta-testing the rules. Those presented here are functional, but still need some adjustment. In the meantime, though, enjoy, and please offer feed-back on the forums.
If you're interested in helping with the beta-testing, please see Beta-Force.
What’s the White Thorn Role-Playing Game?
If you’ve played other role-playing games, especially other d20 games, a lot of the elements of the WTRPG will be familiar. However, the game possesses unique elements, too.
The WTRPG is set in the White Thorn Universe (WTU). While it’s a lot like our world, there are monsters, super-powered beings, secret societies, and hidden places that probably don’t exist in our reality. Your character might live in New York or Seattle or somewhere you can find in an atlas on your bookshelf, but the events and personalities in those cities in the game world may be different than what you hear about on the news.
Some characters who exist in the WTRPG could fit into other similar fantasy worlds. Others could not. Either way, the character you create is a roaring individual within the WTU (unless he's a clone). From a rules perspective, most of what defines your character is ontology, class, powers, and other gifts.
Ontology: Ontology is just a fancy word for “being”. Many role-playing games use the term “race”, but a good number of creatures within the WTRPG fall into the same race or species, but are still different ontologically (HighBorn and kindred, for example, are both racially human, and so are many wizards). Your character might be a HighBorn, a LowBorn, a faerie, a werewolf, a freak, or a human with no supernatural abilities. There are also undead and other monsters in the game world. The MI may even want to allow other ontologies, like Atlanteans, dragons, giants, or types of aliens.
Class: A class is a general definition of your characters learned capabilities. Your character can start as a…
- Strong, if you want to pack a mean punch.
- Fast, if you want to be quick and hard to hit.
- Tough, if you want to be able to take a beat-down and keep on coming.
- Smart, if you want to rely on your wits and knowledge.
- Dedicated, if you wish to be a paragon of awareness and willpower.
- Charismatic, if talking others into anything interests you.
As you adventure and your abilities blossom, you might add other basic classes or move into an advanced class, becoming a famous Artist, a devoted Leader, a world-class Martial-Artist, or a powerful Psychic. At higher character levels, you can move into a prestige class, becoming a highly trained Monk, a renown Personality, a devastating PsiWarrior, or an influential Teacher.
Powers: Powers are the super-human abilities your character has. He may be able to fly, shoot lightning from his eyes, read minds, or interface with computers. The number of powers is long, and rules are included for creating new powers.
HighBorn have the broadest list of powers to choose from, and other ontologies have stricter limits. Not every hero has powers in the strictest sense, but even human Player Characters have an extra something that sets them apart as heroes.
Augmentations are similar to powers. However, they don't increase in affect as your character raises in level.
There are a number of other choices to make (gender, occupation, age, appearance, name, etc.). Each choice fashions a character that is more unique.
Moral Code: The WTPRG is a game for heroes. The player characters (PCs) are the good guys. They battle evil monsters, tyrants, natural disasters, and criminals. While the stories ought to be rich with moral and ethical dilemmas, you should generally know who's wearing the white hats.
That said, it can be fun to explore villainy. Having a character cross-over for a time can be a rich experience. Even playing a ruthless despot can be an interesting change of pace. However, at the end of the arc, it's all about the heroes.
Characters can be young, fresh-faced teens fighting for the good of the world. They can be hardened former villains who’ve had a change of heart. Any character background is appropriate. Methods also vary, as individual heroes and teams will take different, possibly extreme paths in the journey to a better world.
To get started, use the drop-down menus at the top of the page.
- Character Design has everything needed to create and play a character.
- Finances and Items covers equipment, like weapons and armor, vehicles, secret bases, and how to buy it all.
- Action includes rules for handling conflict, the catalyst of all good stories. Physical combat is a big part of the game, but so is social conflict.
- The Master Illustrator menu has all the tools the MI needs to create and run adventures. It includes information about locations, characters, and creatures as well as advice on pacing and plotting stories.
- The Miscellaneous menu houses templates for creating and tracking characters, teams, and creatures, legal information about the game, and even some background information about the design of the WTU and where it came from. Its also where you go to return to this page (you can also click on the big "White Thorn RPG" at the very top).
- Forums & Business will take you to our forums and help you get in touch with us.
Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the White Thorn Universe as much as I do.
~David B. Goode
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