Game Mechanics

From ThornsWiki


Thorns: Uprising is not a mechanics-focused play-by-post role-play forum, but in an effort to give players opportunities for goal setting, competition, and to prevent power-gaming against other players or NPCs, there are some very basic, simple mechanics in place.

Skills are perhaps the most important of game mechanics, and they are explained in detail first. Dice rolling (through Avrae in Discord) is secondary to our skill mechanics and while optional, we highly encourage the use of dice to determine outcomes of combat, magic, and skills when writing with other players. Pre-determined opportunities in threads abound, but sometimes the use of chance in writing allows for a more realistic experience for everyone involved.

Aptitude Skills

These three skills describe a character's propensity in three directions: Mental, Physical, and Social abilities. Think of them as stats, but also keep in mind they encompass a range of general skills that someone could have a knack for, given the Aptitude. Like stats in a pen-and-paper dice game, Aptitude Skills encompass what your character is naturally good at or has talent in more than what they have studied and applied themselves to (skills one has studied for are Focus Skills). These are broad, umbrella categories that cover a variety of skills or qualities, and like in real life, these attributes can be improved through effort and training.

Focus Skills

These skills require a character to choose a focus in a particular field or subject in order to progress. They are limited by race and status—a wick cannot without very special permission learn galdori spells and a passive cannot begin with a Professional (Politician) focus skill. These categories still glaze over a range of skills for both Combat and Professional and somewhat also in Magic, but the character is focusing on an area, like Combat (Gunplay) or Magic (Type). Because of the narrative focus of Thorns, it is highly likely that no two players with the same types of Focus Skills will write or play their characters the same.

Linguistics Skill

The Linguistics Skill is also a Secondary type of Focus Skill, but is managed a little differently than Combat, Magic, and Professional Focus Skills, so please check out that guide separately below.

Spell Writing Skill

The special Focus Skill of Spell Writing is a highly specialized skill with different progression requirements than any other Focus Skill, so please check out that guide separately below.

Making Progress

Despite our focus on narrative, players are able to progress their characters' skills and show actual development through the use of Progress Requests. Skills can be advanced once per season, and this is done through the submission of a Thread Review Request Form, as found on the forum.

The threads necessary to advance all skills are additive, meaning the 4 threads needed to move from Poor to Average in an Aptitude Skill cannot be used ever again in a Progress Request to count toward the 6 threads needed to move any other Aptitude Skill (even the same one) from Average to Good or Good to Expert, etc. Each stage of advancement requires a new collection of threads to validate progression in that Skill. You can, however, use the same thread in a review request to advance more than one skill, meaning you can use a single thread toward the advancement requirement totals for both an Aptitude Skill (or multiple Aptitudes) and a Focus Skill (or multiple Focus Skills) at the same time, depending on the depth of character development contained within a single thread.

Basically, you cannot "recycle" threads that have been used in a past review request already. If a thread has been used in a review request for advancement regardless of whether its Focus, Aptitude or Linguistic, it’s classed as “spent” (i.e. if you used a thread to count towards the upgrade from Poor to Average in a review request, it cannot be used again in any future review requests).

If a thread "dies" because of a player leaving or a character retiring or other issues and you are still interested in using that thread toward the progress of your character separately, please contact a moderator for help!

We ask that you as a player use your best judgment and know that we will also be using ours when weighing the value of any particular thread toward your character's skill advancements.

Rolling Dice

Using dice in contests of skill, whether it be in combat or other high-energy situations between players and/or NPCs, is highly recommended as a reliable method of determining narrative direction as well as adding an element of chance.

Using the dice roll function on Discord is extremely recommended whenever a PC—galdor or wick—casts a spell. See the magic page and Discord for recommended outcomes based on roll results. We often encourage creative and loose interpretations, but because casters are communicating with the mona—sentient and amoral particles—magic on Thorns requires an element of unpredictability.

While pre-determined magic and skill situations may be permissible, please make sure to first consult moderator about possible outcomes as well as communicate clearly with all writers involved in the thread before proceeding.