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Pirates of the Darkening Skies

Dice System


Commie Menace
This RP will be for 4-6 players, a group of misfits, cutthroats, and scoundrels with hearts of gold.
The system is easy enough to learn, a dice-pool system that's easy to use but has mechanical depth if you want to engage with it.
No prior experience with this game or dice games required. All skill levels welcome.
One post a week is ideal, once a month is acceptable.
No set post length - just post what you feel is necessary to move things along.


Darkening Skies.png

The world is vast and strange, where sorcerer-kings rule from steel towers, where a secret society of mystic engineers controls an ancient city with literal iron fists, where noble houses descended from the gods themselves sweep bystanders up in their epic feuds and romances.
What's an honest criminal to do?

So you've fled - or perhaps were born in - the Shaydensea, the scar of a forgotten war, a place where gravity is distorted and islands float in a blood-red fog. Maybe you're old friends, maybe you were thrown together by circumstance. However you met, there is one way you can best propser in this place.
Get an airship. Raid the skyways. Rise in the esteem of the pirate council.
Perhaps you'll live long enough to retire to a legitimate life. Perhaps you'll die a legend. Perhaps you'll go mad and eat your crew, becalmed in a strange sky.

What destiny will you forge in these darkening skies?

You have a slew of options for fun characters.

Among the most widespread peoples on the continent, humans are hardy, industrious, and diverse. Humans seem to meddle in anything new they find and have reshaped the world since the end of the last war. Many of the world's Magi are human.

Humankind's best friend, rats and humans have worked and lived together for so long now you'll rarely find a society with one and not the other.
Short, dexterous, and furry, with powerful senses, rats are sometimes joked to be the brains to humans' brawn.

The insular Trollkin live in the cold north; huge and wise woolly Trolls, stoic and disciplined Orcs, and cunning, inventive Goblins.
It's rare for one of their kind to be exiled, but it happens, and a Trollkin cannot live without some kind of family.

The mysterious rulers of The Awakened Wood, the Treefolk, rare and wise. They rarely leave their strange and hostile homeland; those that do are often powerful Magi.

The other inhabitants of the Wood, who some call the guard dogs of the Crantiré. Roving clans who can harness elemental energies and defend the borders of the Wood with furious zeal, practicing esoteric martial arts that bend fire, earth, wind, and water to their will.

Said to be the descendants of the gods who left this world in disgust long ago. The seven Houses are powerful militarily, magically, and politically powerful, unbound to any nation. Each Scion is a living legend, or on the way to becoming one.

You can find out more about the world here: Darkening Skies

For some reason the tabs and spoiler code are breaking on me here.


Commie Menace
Cool concept- love that map ^^
Shall I take that as an expression of interest in playing, or just a nice compliment?

I am down for this!
I'm up for it. And you know I post. :)
Excellent, one or two more players and I'll fire up the other threads.
As always, if anyone wants an assist with mechanics just let me know - I'll go so far as to build the mechanical sheet from your writeups.
If you already have ideas, please share! I'm curious and it might build interest.


Seven Thousand Club
I'm interested as well! I have a long-standing fascination with the descendents of the divine, so Scions are most tempting to me. And I haven't played a proper mage in a while, so that's also tempting.


Three Thousand Club
Let me add my name to the list of interested people - I'll take a closer look at the document later on, but a spellcasting dryad on an airship sounds promising.


Commie Menace
Good to see some familiar names here. Really good.



Commie Menace
I am astonished that of everything I've posted this month, this has proven so popular. Is it the airships?

Yeah, I'm interested. I want to know more about the system.
Here's the, uh, short version.

Rolls are made using a pool of twelve-sided dice {d12s} equal to the relevant Attribute. If an Advantage applies, it adds one or more bonus dice.
The default Difficulty is 11, which means any die rolling 11 or higher is a Success. If a die rolls a 12, it explodes and can be rolled again.
The default Difficulty is reduced by 1 for each point that a character has in a relevant Skill.
If the player can justify the inclusion of a second Attribute in the roll, half of that Attribute rounded down is added as bonus dice.


  • First, determine Initiatives. If there’s a tie, characters with higher Composure act first. Any remaining ties are resolved simultaneously.
  • From lowest to highest initiative players declare actions, which allows higher Init. characters to interrupt others. This sets the Turn Order.
  • Characters have a Combat Pool of dice that can be used on combat actions. This refreshes at the start of a new Round.
  • When making an attack or defending, the player declares how many dice they’re using, and describes the attack. The dice used are deducted from their total Combat Pool.
  • A character can attack as many times as they have points in Dexterity. They can defend as long as they have dice left.
  • If a character has no dice to defend themselves, a successful attack against them receives a free Success.
  • Difficulty is determined by the difference between the attacker and defender’s Offence and Defence - both start at 9. If there’s a Difference of more than 2 between these values, the higher value character’s Difficulty decreases to 8, and the lower increases to 9.
  • Damage is reduced by Soak. It is equal to Weapon Damage + Strength + Successes over the enemy’s Successes to defend -Soak. One third, rounded up, of all Damage to Condition is also applied to Health.
  • At 10 Condition and/or 5 Health a character must roll Willpower not to collapse unconscious or otherwise out of action.


Commie Menace
Short version is they mainly use it in a form of martial arts most similar to bending from the Avatar series, with some abilities to craft magical items or perform magical emotional manipulation.


Commie Menace
There are definitely some similarities, and given most of this was designed about ten years ago I probably took some inspiration from 2e Exalted here and there, along with a few other systems.


Commie Menace
Also, it looks like there's more interest than open slots, so let me present some alternatives for those who might get edged out:

D. Rex

Magic Eight Ball
There are definitely some similarities, and given most of this was designed about ten years ago I probably took some inspiration from 2e Exalted here and there, along with a few other systems.
Very interesting. I do love me some exalted. Though I an more familiar with the 3e system at this point lol.

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