Laurels & Loot in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil

Laurels & Loot

RPG Rules for Adventurers seeking fame, glory, and goodies!

Laurels & Loot is a rule system for playing Tabletop Fantasy Role-playing games (TTRPGs). Fifty or so years ago, this genre of game was born when players of tabletop military simulation games began to wonder what things would be like if wizards could shoot fireballs at their enemies on the battlefield. In very short order, elves, dwarves, unicorns, dragons, and all sorts of other fantasy folk and creatures were incorporated. Today, the fantasy RPG universe consists of literally hundreds of types of characters adventuring their way through fantastical worlds filled with thousands of wondrous creatures.

In the early days, there weren't many "rules", other than a few to manage combat. This is not surprising considering the genre's origins in military simulation. Game setting were simpler too - adventurers would work their way through a "dungeon" - a maze consisting of rooms and passages, each of which could hold an enemy to fight, treasure to collect, traps to delay or even kill them.

Over time, things evolved and expanded. The wilderness between the dungeon and the local village became its own place to explore, with its own hazards and rewards. The village itself, then the town nearby, and finally the great city many days away became "dungeons" of their own. Whole fantasy worlds became the stage setting for adventure.

The adventuring characters evolved as well. In the earliest days, there weren't many choices. Your character could be a fighter, cleric, thief, wizard, elf, or dwarf. (Yes, "elf" and "dwarf" were distinct from the others; elves had limited magical abilities and were good with bows. Dwarves could see in the dark - a great benefit in an underground dungeon!) Soon, race (or heritage, or parentage, or whatever) and class (how a character contributed to adventuring) became separate things. New races such as birdfolk, catfolk, half-demons, etc. made their appearance. Traditional "enemy" creatures like orcs became playable character types. New, specialized styles of fighters, clerics, thieves and magic users emerged. And with each evolution, the rules became more complicated in order to quantify the differences between all these new variants.

The most popular TTRPG plaltforms today are the result of all this evolution and specialization. They manifest this in the literally thousands of pages of rules and rule supplements (which cost hundreds of dollars to obtain) that are required to quantify it all.

Laurels & Loot is an attempt to hearken back to a simpler time... a time when imagination and creativity rather than explicit rule variations allowed characters to accomplish memorable things in their adventures. But it also recognizes that today's players want the variety and opportunity of "modern" game systems. This system starts by stripping back the rules to their bare minimum. It shifts the emphasis away from "who are you as a character" to "what equipment are you using, and are you any good at using it".

Players are encouraged to evolve their characters over time either by honing their skills in a particular area, or broadening their horizons to try all sorts of different things, or a mix of both. Heroic actions in dire circumstances are not restrained by predefined rules governing what "feats" your character has learned to perform, or what "class features" they have acquired. A player can describe whatever outlandish action they wish, the Gamemaster determines its chance of success and what raw abilities or equipment may affect those chances, and the dice are rolled.

Hopefully, you will find that Laurels & Loot is easy to learn and easy to play. Hopefully, you will also find that you have the freedom to create and adventure with the type of character that you've become accustomed to in today's world of megasystem TTRPGs.

Now... let's start the Adventure!!

A Few Things to Keep In Mind

Measurements throughout these rules are given in both Imperial (feet, lbs, etc.) and Metric (cm, kg, etc.) units. The conversions between the two are not intended to be exact; they are approximated to provide "useful" numbers for players preferring either system.

This is especially true of distances associated with speed and size. These are intended to accomodate players using map grids that rely on the usual standards of 5ft grids for Imperial, and 1.5m grids for metric. Conversions between these are intended to maintain the same number of grid squares (or hexes), and not necessarily the correct results based on mathematical conversions, which could seem to grow significantly over very long distances. This is a feature, not a flaw!

Rolling Dice on Tables
The online version of these rules includes some tables with an automatic dice roller built in, and therefore usually do not include a column to indicate the die roll associated with the table row. These tables will have a clickable "Roll" button to select from the table. Some longer tables may be presented differently in the printed (including PDF) and online versions of the rules, with the printed versions requiring a cross-reference lookup of two dice results, and the online version being more linear. Once more, though, a "Roll" button will allow a random selection from such online tables.

Table of Contents

  • Playing the Game
  • Exploration
  • Encounters
  • Downtime
  • Important Stats
  • Ability Scores and Skill Checks
  • Stamina and Injuries
  • Combat
  • Recovery and Healing
  • Experience and Leveling Up

  • Creating a Player Character
  • Gearing Up
  • Armor and Shields
  • Weapons
  • Gear
  • Magical Items

  • Using Magic
  • Magical Scrolls
  • Wands and Staves
  • Using Magical Items

  • Appendices
  • Inherent Abilities
  • Specialties
  • Conditions
  • Armor and Shield Descriptions
  • Weapon Descriptions
  • Common Item Descriptions
  • Magical Item Details
  • List of Magic Spells
  • Arcane Magic
  • Bestowed Magic
  • Inner Focus Magic
  • Nature Magic
  • Tonal Magic

  • Bestiary

  • Designer's Thoughts
  • Credits

    The Laurels and Loot Rule System is published by Bob O'Brien
    It is available to all in accordance with the Creative Commons (Attribution) license
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    Laurels and Loot Rules are derived in part from the following sources:
    Knave 2.0 TTRPG System Rules published by Ben Milton
    in compliance with
    (Creative Commons 4.0 International License)

    The banners on these pages was composed with art attributed to:
    b0red from Pixabay (treasure chest image)
    Gordon Johnson from Pixabay (laurels image)

    The side panels are composed with art attributed to:
    Evelyn Chai from Pixabay (dungeon passage)


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