* Presentation

Posted: November 18th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Introduction | Comments Off on * Presentation

The Lost Roads of Lociam is a fantasy roleplaying game set in the fictional world of Lociam, where the forces of Order can Chaos battle for supremacy.
The mortal races, championed by the numerous human peoples, are constantly struggling to survive as these diametrically opposed forces clash all around them. Neither Order nor Chaos can directly act upon Lociam, so they influence the mortal races to fight for them. Seas churn and skies burn as the champions and armies of Order or Chaos engage in war after war. When the world was created Order had the upper hand, but as time has worn on, so has the defenses of Lociam eroded under the relentless assault of Chaos, and Chaos can now project and make manifest demons, mortal projections of its power, into the world.

The struggle has had a magnificent by-product; magic seeps through everything, and nearly all living things can use magic in one form or another, ranging from a scholarly wizard able to transform his (or someone else’s) physical form as he wishes, or hurl streams of fire from his fingertips, all the way down to a carpenter able to mend his tools with a simple touch and a focused thought. Even plants and rocks contain a small measure of magic, and carefully studied, craftsmen and alchemists can extract this magic into wondrous things.

The creators of the mortal races have not abandoned them in their struggle to survive. The gods are part of everyday life for the devout, and they can pray to their deity for advice, support or a miracle. Some are even elevated to higher standings, able to make manifest the will of the god they champion.

The humans of Lociam are divided into nine races, spread across all of the known world, and they have taken it from the older races that used to rule it. The humans now number greater than most other sentient creatures combined, and their many kingdoms reach across entire continents. They form communities, realms and congregations, expand and explore, invent and toil, war and marvel at the world they inhabit.

Bound into kingdoms modeled on the First Kingdom founded now almost fifteen hundred years ago, humans now strive to uphold a higher standard then they once did. Gone are the darker ages of slavery and oppression, and now, under the guidance of their churches and rules, human kingdoms flourish and grow more powerful with each passing year.

Nearly all humans have an active faith, and while some practice it with a greater devoutness than others, the powers of the gods are not to be denied on Lociam. They are very real indeed, and their influence reaches far. The most powerful religious organizations among humans is the Salvation-church, founded by a near-mythical human over thirteen centuries ago, walking the land to stop an all-consuming war which was raging at that time. This church has formed cathedrals and congregations everywhere, and one of the mightiest cities known to man is formed around the very mausoleum of the fallen savior.

The mighty church was challenged some three generation ago when an ancient pantheon was reborn in the darkness. The Black Chaimara now tears across the world, a new ravaging faith that pits brother against brother in huge and bloody wars unlike anything seen for hundreds of years.

Not all of the older races are gone from the world of Lociam. Hidden away in their secret realms can still be found elves; immortal keepers of nature, dwarves; tempered fury with cunning crafts, and the animal-peoples; half form of each realm. Trolls still wander the back roads, and giants can be found in the high hills. Rumors of dragons stirring mingle with tales of new horrors; demons of chaos, walking dead and giant beasts that would feast on a human should they encounter them. The vigil of the humans of Lociam is never ending.

Lociam is a world of a million opportunities, if one is cunning, courageous, crafty or conniving enough. Groups of adventurers seeks their fortune in far-away lands, and bring home both riches uncounted and stories almost too impossible to believe. Some study their entire lives to perform a task for their church or king, while others just leave their homely hearth to seek glory or gold in foreign lands. Some are strong of arms, others carry magic to blast or smooth out opposition. Epic tales of adventurers are handed down generation to generation, inspiring many young folk to seek their fortune away from their homelands.

This, is the world of Lociam, where the Lost Roads are found, and traveled.

The Lost Roads of Lociam is a fantasy-roleplaying game built on a novel, sturdy, and very flexible rules-engine using the hundred-sided dice (D100). It has been scaled back to be as small as possible, and not get in the way of play, while still able to handle diverse situations that player-characters can get into.

The Core Rulebook contains everything you need to start playing, and this Core set is then possible to expand with later publications, including adventures, background-material, new rules and epic campaigns. You can get characters from the homepage, or make your own.

Character creation, in the book The World to Be, is large and varied, where random chance is combined with choices to let you form an interesting character. Parts of the character creation can be done a few different ways, to give you more or less control over how the character forms. It is all up to the players and gamemaster.

The core rulebook itself is divided into chapters, starting with an introduction, followed by a chapter about the world of Lociam. Each trait has its own chapter of rules in the Core rulebook, with the rules for each situation that that trait governs in that chapter.

This is followed by a chapter on the human races of Lociam, known as “The Second People”. The chapter contains some of their history, their differences and their similarities. The human races of Lociam are diverse, even though they all stem from the same ancestry, they gain strength from their diversity, as the races band together.

Once the humans have gotten their time in the spotlight there is a chapter on the the other creatures of Lociam; a collection of monsters that can be encountered in the wild. More monsters will follow in later publications as well, along with articles about other sentient creatures like the elves, dwarves and animal-people as well as the mortal half-demons.

The rulebook is richly illustrated by a diverse collection of artists and contains several optional rules to make the game more interesting, without being vital to running the game itself.

The game has been playtested by hundreds of players worldwide and in later publications the game will expand, including more races, more magic, more monsters and more adventure. For a start the first adventure; “Lights in Old Houses”, will be available when the game launches, and more will follow.

Welcome to the Lost Roads of Lociam.

* Rules

Posted: November 15th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Introduction | Comments Off on * Rules

Originally the rules for the Lost Roads of Lociam were far from uniform and a bit of a mess. With revisions being made the rules were streamlined and simplified, and finally made into a bit more of a cohesive whole.

The base of the rules-engine is the hundred-sided die, or the D100. This is normally rolled with two ten-sided dice (D10), with the darker one being the multiple of ten and the lighter one the single digit (so that the dark die landing on 8 and the lighter on 4 would result in an 84 and so on). The D100-test is used for all skill-tests, all basic attribute-test and a lot more. There are some exceptions, but using two ten-sided dice you can get through all of them.

Traits for humans are rolled with 1D100 meaning that the attributes range from 1 to 100, normally spanning between 20 and 75.

Player characters have ten attributes

  • Athletic – reflects the physical strength of a character along with speed, dexterity, coordination and balance. Feats like breaking up doors, climbing, sneaking and lifting heavy loads are dependent on this trait.
  • Perception – the general alertness and ability of the character to notice and spot things.
  • Communication – tells us about how charming, manipulative or intimidating the character is. This trait also reflects language-skills.
  • Knowledge – holds the common sense and general wealth of information the character has. Did they pay attention to the stories grandmother told them about all the dangers of the world? This trait also has two sub-traits.
    • Academics – looks at the book-smarts of the character. Did they ever learn how to read and write? Do they know their numbers? Have they spent time in the library, learning all the obscure history and customs of far-removed exotic lands?
    • Forester – is all about how comfortable the character is in the great outdoors. Can they find their way? Can they find food? Can they build a shelter from the storms?
  • Martial – draws all the blades of the character at once. This trait not only reflect weaponskills but also experience in the theaters of war, hardiness and aim. It can be augmented by adding armor and weapons.
  • Magic – reflects the magical potential and skill of the character, ranging from their perception of the magical world, lower magic and finally higher magic, where the true power resides. Lower magic is divided by profession, and higher magic by sphere, such as the Sphere of Fire, or the Sphere of the Body.
  • Faith – is more about the faith and attention the gods pay the character, rather than the other way around. Even a zealot may have prayers go unanswered, while an innocent may attract the attention of their divine patron to grant miracles.
  • Street-smarts – is a derived trait, decidedly urban, including things like pick-pocketing, disguised, forgeries and stalking through the towns and cities.
  • Wealth – is divided into Means and Investments, reflecting the monetary power of the character. Are they wealthy or poor? Can they afford all they desire, or is their purse light on coin?

Challenges are resolved with a single roll most of the time, so no matter if you are sneaking by a guard, forging a document, casting a spell or wading into battle you do so with a single roll of the dice and comparing it to the appropriate trait, possibly modified by the situation, preparation, equipment and so on.

A character can also choose a margin of success in most situation, but at a cost. This sort of exertion takes its toll and will make subsequent rolls for that trait harder for the rest of the adventure. It is a resource that has to be used wisely!

The magic rules have been streamlined to minimize the number of rolls, both for Lower magic (which is part of most everyone’s professional education) and Higher magic (which is the more complex arcane art used by magicians and others that study it in more depth). The magic rules are mostly concerned with these two kinds of magic and with rules for spotting/sensing magic nearby. These are dependent on the innate magical talent of a character, both for their type and range.
Lower magic is learned as part of a character’s education; thieves have one kind, warriors another, traders a third, and so on. If you want to learn more magic you can study the entire “package” of another education, and, depending on your talent, master some or all of them.
Higher magic is divided into Spheres, each concerned with a specific topic. The Core Rulebook contains five Spheres; Change, Fire, the Body, Water and Wind. In this game you do not learn one spell at a time, but an entire Sphere at a time. Learning even a single Sphere requires a fairly high Magic trait, and if the character is to master more than one then Magic has to be very high indeed.
Lower magic is commonly quick, immediate and low-powered; useful in situations you get into in your professional life, but not more. Higher magic, on the other hand, can literally move mountains, given enough study, preparation, energy and time. The quicker and more subtle the effect, the lesser power can be used through it, normally. The rules also include things like runes, enchanted items and magical combat.

The rules for religions govern what sort of things certain deities consider to be good offerings, rules of conduct and traditions, along with how prayers and miracles work. Prayers are rolled to overcome a difficulty; the greater the favor asked of the deity the higher the result must be. Asking for your god to make you a copper coin so that you don’t starve a devout follower can succeed with about four tries out of five. However, the same follower asking for the god to make them a private floating island would take a month of prayer and fasting, a suitable offering and a one in one hundred roll.

The rules are easy to learn, and there are examples to the more complex rules in the rulebook itself. In addition to this, there are several examples on the homepage, of both characters and various rules, to walk you through the process, and make it even easier to learn.


Posted: November 15th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Introduction | Comments Off on * FAQ
  1. Why did you write this?
  2. Where can I get hold of this game?
  3. How do I participate in this project?
  4. How do I get up-to-date information regarding this project?
  5. Where are the [insert favorite race/monster/magic here]?
  6. What do I do if I find an error in the game or on the page??
  7. How do I get in touch with you?

Q: Why did you write this?

A: I wrote (and I am still writing) this game because it is the kind of game I would like to play, that I would love for someone else to have written. I have tried to stay as true to my vision of the world and the rules as possible, while making it a playable game. You can read more about all of this in the Design-part of this page.

Q: Where can I get hold of this game?

A: Once the Kickstarter is complete you will be able to get it on Drivethrurpg as well as from me directly, if you run into me at some convention. It will also be available in some stores.

Q: How do I participate in this project?

A: I am always on the lookout for new talent to add to this project. Particularly I am looking for skilled illustrators that would not mind drawing a few of the pictures for the upcoming expansions and adventures. If you are interested in joining in you can email me.

There are other things you can do to help as well, and these will be posted as the openings appear; playtesters, writers, artists, coders and a lot more.

Q: How do I get up-to-date information regarding this project?

A: The best way is to keep an eye on this page, but you can also join our Facebook-page or subreddit as they get updated with all major happenings. There you can also connect to other fans of the project.

Q: Where are the [insert favorite race/monster/magic here]?

A: The game is still growing, and while I would have loved to include everything that Lociam has to offer in the Core rules it would simply have been too much to read or play with at once. The Core rulebook would have been a thousand pages long, which would have been too much. However, there are several planned expansions, and more information coming out, and if there is something you feel is missing please feel free to ask.

Q: What do I do if I find an error in the game or on the page??

A: The subreddit is the best way to go about it, as it gets monitored regularly. This page also has a webmaster, but mailing there can leave you filed with all the spam it gets, so the subreddit is recommended.

Q:How do I get in touch with you?

A: The best way is to visit the subreddit. If you are unable to you can mail “webmaster (squiggly) lociam.com”

* Design History

Posted: November 11th, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Introduction | Comments Off on * Design History

Designer’s Notes

A lot of things have been asked about the work I have made called ”Lost Roads of Lociam”. I thought I would answer some, and expand on a few points. As more questions arise I will attempt to explain my reasons behind them as well.

Why did you write this?

Well, I have always liked roleplaying games, and have always been fascinated by the challenge, the interaction, the stories and the twists in the game-mechanics, rules and settings that come with them. I have always felt compelled to try to make some improvements to some of the games, adding an article here and there, and adjusting a rule where I find it is missing. For instance I have written several articles, adventures, monsters, texts, campaigns and alternative rules for “Vampire – the Masquerade”, “Middle-Earth Roleplaying”, “GURPS” as well as several Swedish systems of roleplaying, like “Drakar och Demoner”, “Eon”, “Mutant” and a few others. It is something I enjoy doing.

I have been writing roleplaying-games since I started playing back in 1982, and most of them were really bad. They were loose ideas that I tried putting on paper. Back in 1990 I started on a game I called Silent Fighters, a really bad idea about aliens and magic and all sorts of things. I quickly abandoned the idea for the world, but parts of the rules stuck with me. I started reworking the world, and expanding on the rules. This leads us into the design history that I will elaborate further on later.

I have played a lot of games, and found some things lacking from them, things I felt were needed to make a good game.

Why? What’s wrong with [insert favourite game here]?

Nothing, I guess, but I have felt some things missing from a few games, and I really wanted to make sure they were part of something fresh that I could get to play, or maybe even share with someone else. I also never truly liked games based on books or movies, as they were too “set” for me. I wanted freedom to explore.

1. In most fantasy-worlds there are plenty of monks, priests, churches and religions around, but being written largely by people who have no faith themselves, or trying to be politically correct and not offend anyone, they really don’t do much. Except for the occasional “hunt and kill” the gods make a very small or no appearance at all in most fantasy-games. You get to kill some, but they don’t affect the people on the farms. I always thought this was odd. Why would the communities support the churches if they did nothing in return? They can’t all be secular landowners, can they?
This game has active gods. You can sit down and pray to them, and sometimes they will answer. About one time in one hundred if you are not a devout follower, and a lot better if you are a faithful. Even a farmer can get rain if he prays, and a hero can conjure an angel when one is most needed. Gods play an active, but not personal, part in the game.

2. In most fantasy-games magic is something reserved for the select few. A special caste of characters or people is able to use magic, whereas most others are barred from it. This was always such a shame, I thought. In a high-magic world, or a magic-rich world, magic should be something natural for most beings to use. So magic, in this game, is for virtually everyone. Some trolls and animals are not clever enough, but the average carpenter, city-guard or mayor-clerk will have some magical skills at least. Then there are some who specialise in magic, and grow more powerful, of course. But few are barred from magic, and most can learn it, if they have the time and energy to spare.

3. I never liked the big complicated combat-rules. When people fight in roleplaying-games all the elaborate tables for hitting, wounding and saving show up, and it slows the action to a trickle. I thought this was a shame as well. This game has exactly one table to keep track of. The rest are skillrolls, and basic math. If you want to you can add modifiers and optional rules, but the basic system is really quite simple. It is also pretty dramatic, and deadly. If you get in a fight chances are you are going to wind up hurt. That’s part of the deal. If you want to hurt someone else you have to stake your own skin on it.

Now that we have covered the three basic things I wanted to address, we might as well get to some of the smaller points as well.

4. Why are there always big monsters available everywhere as opposition for the player-characters? Is there not enough evil in the human heart to make good bad guys? The movie “Willow” was such an astounding example of how this could work that I cut out most of the monsters from the basic game, and left the humans in there. There are some monsters in the basic adventures, there needs to be; this is a fantasy-world, but most of the antagonists are humans, just like the characters are.

5. Most games cannot handle “ordinary life ™” at all. The skills of a normal hunter or farmer can’t fit into the scheme of things, with heroes and magicians running around as player-characters. I thought this a great shame, and have proven that even blacksmiths make great heroes (right Stig?) and that they can go back to their forge and make a few more horseshoes after saving the kingdom. The rulesystem is designed to hold up to the pressure of ordinary life, so that fishermen can be fishermen, and carpenters can be carpenters, as it were.

6. Finally, a few games I have seen out there try to be too big at once. They try to encompass everything you might possibly every need, and in the process grow utterly unwieldy. The core rulebook for this game is really slim, and streamlined, outlining the things you need to start playing and inventing stuff on your own, not every conceivable rule you might need for every situation, nor hordes of monsters, or detailed descriptions of loads of races to play. There will be more information of that sort in the adventures and expansions. This is not a marketing-trick either; it’s not like I am trying to get you to buy more stuff (even though I would appreciate it if you did), but if you read the Design-history below you will find that this game was once far too massive to actually play. Better make it leaner and playable, than “complete” and utterly impossible to enjoy. The elves are coming, but they are not in the core rulebook. The same goes for the illusionists, and demon-spawn (for those of you who want to play bad-guys), and a lot of other things. A lot will also be given out free on the web as the project progresses.

Here is a small note on the “evolution” of the game. This moves from a simple form to a better, hopefully a more complete version has only been possible through the tireless work of all my playtesters, even those not mentioned in the credits. I thank you all.

  1. The first version of this game was “Silent Fighters” and never got completed. It was all of 16 pages when it was abandoned. Good riddance. This was in late 1990, as I recall.
  2. I tried my hand at “Silent Fighters” again, and completed it at a staggering 26 pages. It was still mostly rubbish.
  3. The third try at “Silent Fighters” was, believe it or not, a slimmed version, but included religions for the first time. 16 pages.
  4. Fourth try was in Swedish, and was called “Solgård” which is pretty close to “Solar Halo” but not quite. It was 60 pages and had twice as many races and monsters as any other version. It still had some big flaws, and not even the sci-fi version of the game corrected those. We are now up to 1994-1995.
  5. Now the game changed a bit, and turned back to English in “Roads of Xiam” (this was before I figured out Xiam is an alternate spelling for the old name of Thailand). This was a whopping 160 pages of text, packed with things, like twice the number of skills, triple the magic, a total of 26 religions and a lot more. It was terrible to read or find anything in.
  6. I never knew when to stop. The sixth try was even bigger. It was 167 pages of smaller text, adding more and more contents. It was now spiralling out of control. It had over two hundred magicforms in total, as well as 53 races to choose from.
  7. The seventh version, 1996-1997, added a few more skills, but didn’t much improve things overall. A lot of mistakes were corrected, but even more new ones were added.
  8. By the middle of 1997 the eight version, now named “Lost Roads of Lociam” was a massive tome of 253 pages of pure text, and included far too much material to possibly be playable by anyone but myself. No one else could grasp the thing. It had nearly 300 forms of magic, over 80 playable races, nearly 50 monsters roaming the lands, and a lot of other confusing bits.
  9. Version nine was still a tome, now 261 pages with some basic layout and still not a single illustration. It had much of the basic rulesystem we have today, but it was just far too big to manage.
  10. In 1999 version ten was ready. It was just 107 pages, as I had decided to make a lot of the material into expansions rather than try to cram it all into a single volume. It was slimmed down but still missing a few key ingredients compared to what we have now. Still, for instance, magic was learned one spell at a time rather than in spheres. This made magicians terribly weak, even the good ones like the playtesters tried they hands with.
  11. The eleventh version was the first with the magical spheres, and was 108 pages thick. It had still to face one of its worst tests to date though; Santa Claus.
  12. By version 12, in 2001, playtesting was progressing weekly, and more and more bugs and flaws were discovered in every adventure. I had begun drafting the expansions at this time, but the system had still some basic mechanical flaws. One of the playtesters, nicknamed “Santa Claus” which is a pun in Swedish I suspect few of you will get, had troubles getting through the math of the game, particularly when testing attributes in gameplay. At first this was discounted as an error on her part (yes, Santa Claus is a she) but I soon realised this was a key to improvement. By streamlining the system into containing nearly exclusively D100-rolls the game was smoother and better. Thanks for that, Santa Claus. The manuscript for this version I gave to my brother-in-law, hoping he would test it out further with his groups, but he is a lazy bugger sometimes and I kept testing as I proceeded to the 13th version.
  13. Now we are up to 2003, and version 13. This was about as well as I thought I was going to get it, and I started asking around for illustrations, and illustrators. The feedback I got was very positive, and after some tweaking, a few very long delays, and some bouts with inactivity and other projects, this is now the version that is going to print. The material from that 261-page tome is now split into expansions and expansions-to-be and will be printed as well, later on. The game has been playtested by a total of playtesters exceeding a hundred, in multiple settings and adventures, some of which will turn into printed works for you all to enjoy, and others better forgotten.
  14. 2010, version 14. It was in essence just a re-formatted version 13 with some more kinks ironed out, and some additional planning and expansions changing the order of some articles in adventures and supplements. This version got printed and sold both at conventions, in stores and online.
  15. Once version 14 was out I spent a year and a half improving it, going through version 14.1 and 14.2, doing monthly articles and tweaks, and then realizing that the game was as good as I could make it, and that it simply wasn’t good enough. After some soulsearching I then tore it all down, and rebuilt it from scratch. All the rules were re-written, a whole new framework put into place and while the world is the same, we move a few generations forward, from the era of peace into the Age of the Black Chaimara.

I hope you enjoy the game, as I have enjoyed bringing it this far. It is all up to you now to see how the game develops from this point on.