The Flintlock Role-Playing Game

play-test FAQs


The questions below are initially those generated by our play-testers (thank you to those fine folk).  If you wish to add to this database by asking a question, please use the submission tool on the right.


Play-tester Questions

1.  Do we need the special Flintlock Dice (dF) before we can play?


There will be a special dice. For now, just use a regular dice and agree that a result of 1 indicates exploding success.


2.  Will there be templates or archetypes for NPCs who are necessarily antiheroes?


Excellent question. Here is a complex answer which there's it back to you. We could create NPC archetypes, with Flares, skills and resources but then players might wonder, why can't we play those (another good question) or we could create simpler templates and not give NPCs Flares or we could leave it to GMs.  What do you think, and can you see other options?


3.  Does the x in the formula 2xd6 mean the value of the relevant characteristic?


2xd6 Yes, you are correct. x is the numerical value of the characteristic. So, 2xd6 for a character with MCa 5 would be 10d6.


4.  What do the skill level values mean?


Those indicate how many re-rolls you can make when using that skill.  So if you have Pick Lock 2 you can make an initial roll then re-roll two dice you don't like, or re-roll one dice twice.


5.  When I am creating a character, how do I get skills?  Is there any restriction on the skills I can choose?


You can buy skills at level 1 at a cost of 1 Success Point.  There is no restriction on the skills you can choose, other than the number of SPs you have available.


6.  Is there a preferred setting you would like to see adventures take place in? Europe? Colonial America? Colonial anywhere else?


The setting of the comic will be developed.  Probably at its most basic, English Village, Pirate ship, East End London, East Coast Colonial America.  If play-testers develop material we'd be interested in an option to purchase that if it is of the appropriate quality.


7.  Will there be a place on an updated character sheet to keep our pool of unused success points for when we are able to develop our character?


8.  Other than one can be raised past 3 and one can’t is there a reason for separating intrinsic and extrinsic, will there be a time we just use the score for one to create our dice pool instead of both of them.


Yes.  If a PC tries to do something in which they do not have a supporting skill, they are restricted to only using their intrinsic score.


9.  I have seen the discussion about does a party have to make it back home to level up or can they do so “on the road” so to speak, my theory has always been that when they level up or gain a skill or ability its something they have been practicing in their spare/downtime so the point of advancement is just the instant at which they become sufficiently practiced in that area.  How will this work in Flintlock?


Right now I think it will be up to GMs to decide.  I was keen on making a system which involved failure-before-finesse.  Most people improve by failing, improving, failing, improving failing, improving and finally getting it.  The importance of failure in learning is often overlooked.  I wanted to have a rule which stated that a character had to have failed with a skill and then succeeded with the same skill x times before it could be improved, where x = to the next level value, but people thought it was too fussy, tracking failures and successes.


10.  How does Religious Fervour handicap someone trying to understand a religious text?  It seems counterintuitive?


This concept is a complex one to replicate through rules.  My rationale goes like this ...


The whole era, the Enlightenment, was one of advance, scientifically speaking, and I am trying to capture the idea that if you were a critical, logical, rational thinker, you had an advantage over those people who were saddled with a dogma.  So the Religious Fervour influence indicates how being religious/superstitious was seen, at that time, as being disadvantaged when it came to understanding things.  That is different from being knowledgeable about religion, which any person can be, irrespective of their "religiousness".


The 18th Century was very progressive, far more liberal than nowadays, even more than that, not liberal because it was not yet viewed as "wrong" to do/be many of the things which are problematic nowadays.  Sexual freedom, for example, was potentially more progressive than it is now.  Certainly, in the early 18th Century there was no feeling of sex being the domain of men and women being passive participants, or indeed sex being restricted to an activity for only heterosexual couples.  Ironically it was the Enlightenment which started the shift away from this sense of sexual equanimity, but that is a whole other discussion!


Having said all that it is clearly a delicate area and one that I need to ensure complete clarity about.


In the game, having an epistemological position based on any sort of dogma is seen as handicapping one's access to the Enlightenment.  Being knowledgeable about anything, including various dogma, would not be seen as such.


Is it going to be contentious?  Maybe.


11.  In the flares for the con artist/mystic archetype are those going to be actual metaphysical abilities or the more standard use of illusion to make appear like they are levitating or transporting from one spot to another instantaneously?


Illusion!  The art of playing a Supernaturalist character is in deciding if they are a charlatan, who cynically uses trickery to convince folk of their "divinity" and then get money out of them, or a genuine person of faith who uses the same trickery to convince people that to follow the one true faith is the best thing they can do.  Either way, the Flares are all giving the PC the ability to deceive others successfully.


12.  Do you recommend player choose an archetype at the very beginning of character creation, so that they can determine what values to place in their characteristics, the best to support the skills and flares which they are likely to be using? 



13.  Will skills get definitions?


Yes.  Those are coming soon.


14.  Should the GM prompt players to use success points to modify rolls or leave it up to the player to remember this?


This is easy, that's up to you.  In early games, you could remind them but as everyone gets more
familiar with the game, start leaving it up to them.


15.  Do they get one chance to add success pts per dice roll? Or can they keep adding success points until they run out or succeed?


If they have the points they can use them to increase or decrease any dice score they want (of their' own).


16.  Will there be a separate/different character sheet for clockwork characters?


Not sure ...


17.  Can we suggest new archetypes or additional sub-types to the existing archetypes?


Definitely.  Just keep them within the historical reality we are operating in. 


18.  In regards to character creation, will there be a simple guide to character creation, using an example character of the writers' fabrication?


Yes, and we will send the book to a professional editor, Josh Yearsley, he's an expert at book structure.


19.  Is there a limit to how many flares one could take, especially since the character sheet lists only eight?


Each Archetype can only have the Flares under their own heading, that's a maximum of eight.


20.  Will there be a short write-up for how vanity skills are created and what the limitations are?


There will be some sort of supporting text/rules.  Vanity skills are supposed to be flamboyant, skills that you want just for the flavour more than anything (this is a fantasy role-playing game, after all, fantasy as in your dream rather than Tolkien and Moorcock). 


21.  Could a player design a Vanity Skill to be a replication of a Flare? For example, could I take Persuade Person as a Vanity Skill instead of a Flare?


I would expect GMs to restrict players from just copying Flares, it isn't really in the spirit of the game, however, if a player was insisting on it then I guess they could.  It would still be a skill, so they would still have to generate several success points by rolling, unlike the Flare that gives success with just one SP in the pool!



22.   Player 1 brought up the following: The 'Speak Language skill rather strange. My PC is a foreigner but has been brought up by locals in his childhood and through his teen years. Now as a young adult, he can speak in his native tongue and speak English as well. What is the purpose of this skill and how does this affect my characters and gameplay? When is this skill used and how? When do I have to roll for the use of this skill?


Player 2 suggested the use of this skill when a PC or NPC needed to use an idiom, rhyme or some other colloquialism, to correctly understand the use of the words and the meaning of it.


As far as I'm concerned, with my GM hat on, a PC can have as many languages as fits their backstory.  So Gujarati and English, cool, go for it, French and Creole, yep. The skill lets PCs acquire new languages. To use those would require a roll, especially as Player 2 points out, for particularity technical or specific communication.


23.   Could the terms Intrinsic and Extrinsic be changed to, say, Talent and Training?


Yeah, other people have expressed concern over those words, but I like them! And I bet you know what they mean now, even if you weren't sure to start with! 


24.  What is the purpose of the Archetype box having a '/'?





25. Should there be a space to record Vanity Skills?




26.  Should there be space to write a background story for the PC, short or otherwise?


Now, this is genuinely interesting. I've had opposing views on this. Some people want a BGS space on the sheet, others are violently opposed to such an idea, wanting a simple, one-sided sheet. I like the idea of a space (my other game, Honour, has a character booklet) but it's drawn a lot of negativity.


More opinions on this one, please!


27.  What is the purpose of the 'Physicality Record 1' table/box?


It is just a place to write down your status; Incapacitated / Wounded / Disabled.


28.  With some reference to character creation point 3, we notice that the skills of Persuasion, Seduction and Deception/Subterfuge are absent, yet there is one for Intimidation.  Are we to use Act and Debate as a replacement/substitute?


Yep. And don't forget, Persuade Individual and Seduce Individual are Flares.


29.  How would we resolve a PC's decision to grab and then throw a person (PC/NPC), especially off of a carriage?


If an action is not covered by a skill then it is done using an Intrinsic ability. In this case, PHY would be the most relevant characteristic, so the PC would grab the other person and attempt to throw them off the carriage, the player would roll using only their PCs Intrinsic PHY to determine the number of dice thrown. So if the PC has Intrinsic PHY 3, the player rolls 6d6 in an attempt to score whatever Success Point target the GM has set. SPs could be used to adjust individual dice scores as necessary. Let's assume success.  Of course, the target might try to hold onto a rail, then they'd have to roll against their Intrinsic PHY to cancel the success of the PC (assuming they didn't have Iron Grip or were a Clocker with Steely Grip).

30.  With the reference to above, it was done out of combat, so would it trigger the combat phase?


That's entirely up to the GM.  If it turned into a conflict, I'd say yes!

31.  Will there be a quick reference document with all the tables for combat and such?


Yes.  Another job for the pro.  In Honour, we put all tables in the back for quick reference. That worked quite well.


32.  Player 2 says that the combat resolution reads like Rock-Paper-Scissors?


It does have a bit of an element of that, but it's more strategic. If you can predict your opponent's attacks, you can select the best stance to deal with them.  As most combat if against NPCs it gives the GM a nice way to give PCs an advantage without actually weakening the threat or fudging dice rolls.  The GM can play opponent's who quickly establish that they are coming all-out every round or those who are very defensive.


Beware though, combat is dangerous. You choose whether to kill it do something else, and killing often requires the least SPs. Why? Because it is actually easier to kill someone than it is to control a fight and overcome them in a non-lethal way.


33.  If a player uses a Flare that allows two attacks, does the successful use of the Flare indicate two successful attacks?


No.  Nice try though!  No, success with the Flare indicates that the PC can now make a double attack.  So if they are using two pistols they can make two pistol attack rolls.  These could both be to wound, both to disable or even a combination of a wound and disable.  Either way, two attack rolls are necessary.

34.  How does a gun jam?

If a player makes an attack with a firearm of any sort which results in a roll of total failure (not a single success showing) then that gun is jammed.


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