|☥“||All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.||”☥|
——Jaques, As You Like It
- Disposition, Morality, and Appearance
- Combat statistics
- Name? You need one now
- Customize and adjust
Keep a pencil and scratch paper handy for all of this. Quite a few things can change—for better or for worse—and you have a great deal to keep track of until you get the hang of it. For example, you can get bonuses to defence from Wits, Agility, skills, species, and class. Whenever you are given a particular bonus, make note of it and write it down so that you do not forget. When you are making the rough sketchy notes that will become a fully fleshed character, you might want to have a tallying area for combat bonuses: initiative, attack, dodge, parry, hit points, life points, and saving throws (there may be several different kinds of saving throws for which you will receive a bonus). You may also want to note any bonus skills or contacts, or any special bonuses to skills. These character creation elements are the ones that will change the most during character creation. Certain bonuses may be applied all of the time. For instance, the Natural Warrior trait always grants a +1 to attack and damage rolls, but the Powerful trait only gives a bonus when the character can put some force behind the attack. If a particular bonus is only applicable some of the time, it will state so in its description. Don't panic, it should all make sense by the end.
One of the most important things to remember about creating a character in Midian is that almost everything is stackable. That is, if you get a bonus more than once, then just add them together. For example, if you get a +1 to attacks from the Natural Warrior trait, and a +2 to attacks from the Powerful trait, then you receive a total attack bonus of +3. Another example: you learn the Survival skill for free from your Wilderness background, and learn it again when you take the Scout class. In this case, both skills stack—you now have Survival II, or alternately can select a different terrain with which to be proficient. This is explained further below.
The first step in creating a character is to start with a basic concept. Flip through this Codex for ideas, if you like. Would you prefer to play a tough dwarven fighter who is unstoppable with a crossbow or a wily human rogue that lives by his wits rather than the sword? The concept can be as complex as being based on a character from a series of novels—or even based on yourself—to as simple as a big dude with a big sword. Your original concept may be different from the end result. Your character may evolve and develop as you create it. Always remember that you do not exist in a vacuum. Other people: family, friends, contacts, other player characters, and random people you meet on the street can affect how your life turns out. As you create your character, think about how the lives of others intersect yours. Is he If the Game Master allows, your troupe or guild may create characters together. Indeed, some troupes prefer this, as the characters are already designed from creation to work within the group.
One question to keep asking yourself throughout the character-building process is, "Why?" Why does my character have a high Knowledge but low Wits? Is she a very introspective sort of person who always thinks before she speaks? I randomly rolled 'Money' as a Background; why is that? Where did all this money come from? Why do I want the Dragon Punch skill, and where did I learn it? These questions will help you build and refine your character concept.
The next item on the agenda is your species/race. In terms of a fantasy game, race usually refers to species rather than skin tone—being 8 feet tall and having pointed ears and fangs are generally considered greater racial differences than the slight colouration differences between two Humans. Your attribute scores are determined by your species, as are certain special abilities and characteristics that typify your species. Just record the attribute number for now; don't worry about the specifics (e.g. armour class bonuses, saving throw bonuses, et cetera) just yet. Note that these rolls are made in order, rather than placed to suit. This is obvious for most species, but less so for Humans. These numbers could quite easily change. You will also get to customize your attributes somewhat by choosing an orientation that best fits your character concept: mental, physical, social, or well-rounded. These orientations grant bonuses to your attribute totals. These orientations may be added now, or later during character generation (don't worry, we'll remind you again) but it's much easier to do so now. To give you an idea of how your character compares, the Human average for each attribute is about 10.
Choose one from the following orientations to customize your character to fit your character concept better. (You could just pick whichever one will help you min/max the character instead, but that would be cheating…)
- Mental: +2 Knowledge, +1 Wits, +2 Willpower, +1 Awareness, +1 Common Sense
- Physical: +1 Appearance +2 Strength, +1 Agility, +2 Stamina, +1 Speed
- Social: +2 Appearance, +2 Personality, +1 Grace, +1 Wits, +1 Awareness
- Well-rounded: +1 to each attribute in two different categories
Other types of orientation (handedness, sexual orientation) do not affect game statistics. Just choose whatever (or whomever). These are not the only possible orientations. If you choose to create additional types, you are more than welcome to do so.
Then you determine your character's background. You start with several default backgrounds: lower class, Formourian, never seen combat, and never left town. You then roll 1D8 to find the number of backgrounds your character starts with—and roll each on the random background table. You may choose up to 3 to remove or trade them from the 'Player's Choice of Backgrounds' list. Look up the descriptions of each background. There may be additional bonuses that you don't want to miss. Record those bonuses and make any changes specified, such as adding or subtracting from an attribute.
Traits come next. These are special abilities and characteristics that your character possesses. In other words, they're the things make people looking at your character sheet say, "How in the Hell did you get away with that?" Roll 2D6+4 to determine the number of traits your character has. Then roll each from the random table—you have the option of discarding or trading up to 4 from the 'Player's Choice of Traits' list. As with backgrounds, you will want to look up the descriptions of each. Some traits modify attributes during play for specific events. These attribute-modifying traits should be listed on the character sheet next to the attribute that they affect, such as Powerful modifying Strength. It will keep the sheet neater and easier to reference this way.
Speaking of attributes, now is when you need to start worrying about what those numbers mean. First, we'll start with the social attributes (the next paragraph) then Knowledge (the subsequent two paragraphs).
Now you determine how your character interacts with those around him or her (or it). Choose disposition and morality, select contacts, determine status and titles—if applicable—and worry about your lack of starting reputation. These are detailed in the Social Interaction chapter. The people your character knows can be important, and can potentially even be useful during the character creation process. Bonus contacts may be gained from having a high Personality attribute, as may bonus social skills. For now, you will want to look at two areas: your reputation bonus (if any) for Appearance, and bonus contacts from a high Personality. While you are on that page, you can make a note of any possible traits from a low Grace or Personality and/or any social retests from a high Grace (retests let you re-roll if the dice fail you). A good place to note these social retests are with your social skills, so you are less likely to forget you have them. Also, give thought as to what your character looks like. Does he dress only in dark colours? Is there a particular style, mannerism, or distinctive feature to the character? What colour are her eyes? How you describe your character's appearance affects how you and the other players will perceive the character in the mind's eye.
The next step in character generation is choosing skills and/or a character class. The number of starting skills is based on your Knowledge attribute, and bonus social skills may be gained from having a high Personality attribute. Multiple classes may be gained if you are smart enough (i.e. have a high enough Knowledge rating). Choosing a class is an optional step—you aren't obligated to choose one. Classes will have specific requirements that must be met. These can be certain attribute scores, knowledge of certain skills, or other requirements; you must meet these requirements before you can study that class. Classes have an associated skill cost. This is how many skills (based on your Knowledge attribute) that must be 'spent' to learn that class. Required skills for a class must also be 'purchased' with this number of skills—do this first. The number of skills a character starts with, or the number required for a class or skill suite, is sometimes referred to as skill points. With the exception of very demanding skills, each skill is equal to one skill point. Left over starting skill levels may be used to purchase any skills that the Game Master will allow. You don't have to take all of the skills suggested by your Knowledge. That's a starting maximum; just drop the remainder if you want. We all know someone really smart who never studied or applied themselves. Also don't worry about not having all of the skills you desire. In Midian you may learn almost any skill if you have enough time and a competent teacher.
It may help to prioritise your skill selection, especially if you aren't know many skills. For instance, if you absolutely must have a character who knows how to ride a horse, then ensure that you select Horsemanship skills first. If you've never played before and don't know which might be 'gotta have' skills for you, take some time to flip through the skills chapter for ideas. Another thing to consider for improved play is to choose those skills which make for a more well-rounded and believable character instead of trying to figure which is the most powerful martial and mystic skills. Learn a useful trade, pick up some social skills, study some lores, or try a couple of superstitions. Don't forget any possible bonus social skills, or other skills that you may have acquired thus far in the character creation process. This would also be a good time to figure modifiers to your proficiencies. These skills may be increased (or reduced) by attributes, and by some traits or other skills. It will make things go much smoother and more quickly during game play if you can almost always add a certain number to the 1D20 roll rather than trying to add up your bonuses every single time.
Almost done; now go shopping. See the sections on each country for their currency, and the Equipment chapter for the goodies. Your backgrounds will determine your starting funds and goods (Lower Class is the default if you do not have anything that replaces it). Typical resources for someone of lower class would be the clothes on their back and the bare minimum tools for their occupation; e.g. hammer and saw for a carpenter—a blacksmith's forge would be unwarranted for the same carpenter, even if she also had that skill. Those without a real job, e.g. a bum (or other 'adventurer') can still take a munchkin kit which is a shortcut for basic equipment. These items do not require any of your spending money. You can—within reason of course—gleefully describe all of your worldly belongings in detail. The more detail the better. Name your dog and your horse, give yourself an address, or add a few decorative buckles to your jacket. Don't worry if a specific article of clothing or a certain small item is not on the list—we can't include everything on the equipment lists. Small and inconsequential items may simply be detailed on your character sheet or equipment log. The important thing here is to note the items that your character would already own. You may buy all of the other equipment that you think that you can get away with, using whatever currency you possess. Knowing the right people who can give you lower prices or better quality—or even knowing who would have a particular item for sale—greatly helps here. Game Masters secretly enjoy not letting someone start the game with weapons or armour; just let her know that one of your contacts is an armourer without peer, and can not only get your full plate at a reduced cost, but can increase the base armour class as well as a customized paint-job. It is recommended that purchasing some equipment be done during play—it is likely your character's first opportunity to interact and role-play.
Now is when we fill in all of the remaining blanks on the character sheet. Mostly this will be numbers you reference during a fight. Look up your remaining two mental attributes (Wits and Willpower) as well as your three physical ones. Total up all of the bonuses for initiative, attack, parry, dodge, armour class, damage, and saving throws. As saving throws are open-ended in type, you may potentially have quite a few of these as separate bonuses. Some traits grant bonuses here, as do a few backgrounds, skills, or classes. Total up your life points and hit points—the former from Stamina and Willpower, the latter from species, backgrounds, and class. You should also make note of your system shock percentage, based on your Stamina. If you get in enough trouble, you'll be needing it…
This is when you need to think about the personality of your character, how he or she thinks about the world, and any quirks he or she might have. You also need a name if you forgot to come up with one earlier (often the hard part for some veteran gamers, for whatever reason). If you want, you can record the other specific features of your attributes, (namely chance-to-learn [Knowledge], healing rate [Stamina], and how much you can lift and carry [Strength]. However, these aren't often referenced during gameplay, and are sometimes only used before/after game. Choose an orientation if you haven't already. Go back through your notes—check with the book again if you need to do so. Did you forget a bonus somewhere? Does one of your backgrounds give you bonuses or penalties to some of your attributes? Do you know what all of your traits mean, and in what situations they may be used? Did you miss a contact, or some free equipment?
You must do one last thing: customize your character. This is where you adjust your character to better fit your original concept, although advancing your character is one of the best parts of role-playing (right after killing and breaking stuff). Midian uses an open system, where you can modify, rename, or invent new backgrounds, skills, et cetera. For example, you may wish to rename the skill Take It Like a Man to become Take It Like a Dwarf. Or specialise that skill in just resisting torture, use it in a combo or a skill suite, or create your own skill to fit your needs. Run any desired changes past your Game Master first (trust me, this is a good idea—he or she may give you more goodies than you expected). Game Masters love the 'creative freedom' crap; that's why they're willing to run games. Why add this last step? Simple, given a reasonable, well thought out, twink-free character generation system, any munchkin worthy of the name will twist the guidelines to create der Übercharakter of his dreams anyway. Taking away the joy of finding loopholes in the guidelines for munchkining characters focuses you on the personality and actual role-play rather than… and… why are you laughing? All that work on game balance and we just throw it all away… The truth is, this is your game as much as it is ours. None of the designers are so bold as to assume that all possibilities are covered under these guidelines. Besides, having fun with your friends is what this is all about; it's not about 'fairness' or 'tournament legal' characters. Although admittedly, squeezing every last possible bonus out of a character is a large part of the game for many players. Are you ready to go? Good, now go introduce yourself to the group…
Short form for character creation
- Concept: get a basic idea for the character
- Species/race: chose one
- Attributes: roll for each, based on species, choose orientation
- Backgrounds: roll 1D8 random, then trade/drop 3
- Traits: roll 2D6+4 random, then trade/drop 4
- Interaction: chose contacts, determine reputation, status and titles (if any), describe appearance
- Class: optionally pick one or more, check prerequisites, 'buy' with skills
- Skills: use leftover skills from class and required skills, chose bonus social skills (if any), check skill modifiers
- Combat: total up bonuses to initiative, attack, dodge, parry, life/hit points, and saving throws
- Personality: chose/describe disposition, morality, and character quirks
It couldn't hurt to write out a history of your character. Where do you come from, who are your parents, who are your friends, and so forth. Try to make this at least moderately believable. This will help flesh-out your character's personality. Use it to explain the ability scores and skills that they have, and what the numbers mean. This is also a useful tool for the Game Master. He or she can use your character's history to help integrate your character into the game, to generate campaign ideas, and to provide plot hooks. Keep in mind that a group of characters can have a shared history, such as being from the same home town, belonging to the same guild, or served together in the same military unit. This helps the troupe fit together better.
The following questions should help you get started:
- Where was your character born? Where did he grow up? Where does he live now?
- Who were her parents? Are her parents still alive? What did her parents do for a living?
- Does he have any brothers or sisters? Where do his siblings live? What do his siblings do? Are they still alive?
- Who were her friends? Are they still her friends? Who are her friends now?
- What type of clothes does he wear? Is it just one main outfit, or a variety of styles? How does he style his hair?
- Why did she choose adventuring? What's wrong with you?
- Why is he so physically/mentally/socially able (or not)?
- What is the most important thing in her life?
- What things does he hate? What things does he love? Any favourite foods? What about hobbies?
- Is she loyal to her nation, her family, and her friends?
- Does he have any odd characteristics, speech, identifying marks, or other things that stand out? "Do you have any tattoos, Brad?" Why not?
- What are your goals, both as a player and as a character?
- What would she say if you asked her what she was like?
Character history is a great place to begin developing the role-playing of your character. It also gives a Game Master a good place to start adventures from because it will let her know how you view your character and work that character into the game. Anything that can enhance the game as much as character history should not be overlooked.
Nearly everything in Midian is said to 'stack'. That is, you can have more than one of a given element: trait, background, skill, et cetera, and each level of this is cumulatively added. For example, if you rolled (or chose) the background Efreet Blood three times, then you would have a total resistance to heat of 30%. If you also had the Accustomed to Heat background, then you would have a total heat resistance of 40%. There are a few elements of the game system that do not stack, such as most ethnic backgrounds—e.g. there is no point to having Gothic Ancestry more than once. Technically it does stack, but there's no point to it. A rule of thumb is that if there are associated game mechanics involved, then these are added together. An example would be the Middle Class background, which would give 1D100 florins (silver coins) each time it was selected. In this case, your character is still middle class, but your family is a bit better off financially than your neighbours.
Note that sometimes, you can have a character element more than once, which does not directly stack. For example, if you have the the Nobility background more than once, then you have domain over more than one area (roll for social position separately for each); this can be in different countries, or different parts of the same country—possibly even overlapping domains. Another example would be the Survival skill. If this skill is selected more than once, you have the option of having the skill levels stack, or the option choosing a different terrain type, whichever you decide. Other examples of this are found among statuses. While someone known to be Polite will nearly always be seen as such, more than one level of Acknowledged may instead mean that you are accepted by more than one noble court, or in different countries.
Multiplying and dividing is generally done after the adding and subtracting. I know, this is backwards from standard mathematics. If it's easier, quicker, or more beneficial to the player to multiply/divide before adding/subtracting, then do so.
It is also possible for two character elements to partially stack. For example, one-third of your Sleight-of-Hand skill is added to your skill checks when using the Pickpocket skill. This may also be used when two areas overlap somewhat, such as in the above example. For instance, the Game Master may grant a bonus to Survival: Urban skill checks if you also know Streetwise. This bonus may be either a portion of the skill (as with Pickpocket and Sleight-of-Hand) or a flat bonus, such as a +2 to the roll, regardless of the level of the Streetwise skill. Of course, elements also exist that are fully stackable. For example, the full skill levels of both Grab Attack and Wrestling are added together for a grappling attack.
While a Game Master may volunteer that he or she will allow certain elements to stack, it is up to you to suggest the possibility as well. As an example, when using Distinguished Expertise to convince someone you know about intrigue in a noble's court, you can suggest that you be allowed to stack your Courtly status(es) to the skill check.
The shorthand for a die roll in Midian looks like this: 1D6. The first number indicates how many dice to roll, the 'D' means 'dice', and the second number is what type of die to use, as determined by the number of sides. Unless specified otherwise, the rolls are totalled. Thus 2D4 means to roll two four-sided dice and add the rolls together. Most 10-sided dice have a '0' instead of a '10'. When not rolling percentile dice (1D100), a roll of '0' should be read as '10'. There can also be additional modifiers to the roll, such as 1D8+3. In this case, you would add three to whatever you rolled on the eight-sided die.
1D100 is a special case. For this, you roll two ten-sided die, determining beforehand one to be the 'tens' place, and one to be the 'ones' place. For example, if you decide that your black die is 'tens' and red die as 'ones', a roll of 4 on black and 3 on red would be a roll of 43. Double-zeroes is one-hundred. If you only have one ten-sider (or your ten-siders all look alike) then roll one die twice: once for 'tens' and again for 'ones'. Some dice sets have a ten-sided die marked in increments of 10 (i.e. 10, 20, 30, etc.), making this easier—or at least less subject to arguments. 1D100 rolls are typically used to check against a percentage. For a successful roll, you want to roll under the percentage chance. Reputation checks, and the random roll charts for backgrounds and traits, use 1D100. Sometimes a 1D100 roll is noted as D%.
The other strange die is 1D4. This is the triangular pyramid-shaped one. For most (but not all) four-siders, the number rolled is on the bottom. Now, whenever someone explains this for the first time, everybody picks up the die and looks under it; that's just Human nature. Put the four-sider down on the table. Look at whatever number is upright and not at an angle. Without picking it up or knocking it over, spin it around on its vertical axis. Notice how that same number is upright no matter how you look at the die. That is the number you just rolled.
Most of the rolls you will make while playing Midian are with a twenty-sided die (1D20). The twenty-sider is the icosohedron: the most round one that you just know will end up under the couch or eaten by the cat before the night is over. These most-common rolls include attacks, saving throws, and most skill checks using proficiencies (a type of skill). For these rolls you add up all appropriate modifiers and combine them with the number rolled. Attribute checks also use twenty-sided dice—for these checks you roll 2D20, and a successful roll is when the total is lower than whatever attribute you were rolling against. For example, to remember something roll a Knowledge check—if the total on 2D20 is less than your Knowledge attribute, then you successfully remembered. If you want a bell-curve for skill checks (so that most rolls are somewhere in the middle and very high or low rolls are rarer), you may use a 2D10 roll. Attack, defence, and saving throws should still use 1D20, though.
Challenges are like checks, except that you aren't the only one rolling. This can be the Game Master, or another player, depending on the circumstances. These are rolls that are directly opposed. For example, if two people both want to sit in the front seat, they must both make a Wits check, and the winner is whoever rolled highest (without rolling over their Wits attribute). The winner gets 'shotgun'. For nearly every roll you will make in Midian, a higher roll is always preferable. However, for some rolls—such as attribute challenges or percentage checks—it is possible to roll too high.
Ok, I've never made a Midian character before, so
What do I need to know?
We'll assume that you already have a handle on how to read a 1D4, and have flipped through the rest of the Codex—or at least read the above—but haven't actually started on making a character yet. If you just want the setting brief, skip ahead to the last three paragraphs of this section.
First off, Midian is a renaissance noir horror game. There are some bits that can mess with your head, and some Game Masters more gleefully inflict torment on their troupe than others. You are a better judge of your friends than we are. Just be advised that Midian really isn't a dungeon crawl type game where you fight lots of monsters and get lots of treasure. Nor is Midian a high fantasy game where goodness always wins out over evil in the end. The best you can expect most days is to keep yourself alive and out of trouble, and just maybe you'll make yourself a better person. At worst you could end up a madly aggressive beast, a cold and calculating villain, or just decaying slowly in a ditch some where. But trust me, it's all a lot more entertaining than it sounds, and the journey there is half the fun.
If you've already played other roleplaying games before, some of this paragraph may seem repetitive or overly simplistic. When we talk about campaigns, we mean the collective story you and your friends will be creating. Campaigns can be one big plot—like a movie—or more like a series of connected stories, like chapters in a book or episodes of a television series. A gaming troupe is a convenient term for you and your friends who play Midian, or any other game. Usually when we say 'troupe' we mean the players, and when we instead mean the characters we use the word 'guild', but the terms are largely interchangeable (as many players say 'I' when they mean their character). The troupe is all of the players and the Game Master collectively. The Game Master runs the show. He or she creates at least the outline of the plot and sets it in motion, describes the scenery, acts as a moderator in disputes between players, and settles discussions on the game mechanics or setting. Some games make dire statements at this point about the Game Master's word being law. We're going to trust you to be able to talk to your friends in a reasonable manner. Some troupes make it official that the Game Master is the group's leader, but most don't need such a distinction. Suffice to say that having one person to make a final call and end arguments before they really start is a proven method of gameplay. Non-player characters are all the bit roles that the Game Master handles. He or she doesn't (and shouldn't) have a regular character, and instead describes the actions of everybody in the world that isn't a player character. That sounds like a tall order—and sometimes it is—but the action really focuses on the story of the player characters, so the non-player types are just the ones that the player characters will meet, rather than having deal with the day-to-days of an entire planet.
Most of the game mechanics will be learned just by creating a character, and the rest you'll pick up during your first fight and first time interacting with someone in a social setting. That is, at least you'll know the basics—like any good game there are a number of subtle permutations that even the greatest master may learn. Take your time and read through anything you are uncertain about. Don't be afraid to ask for help, either from the other players or (if you have more time) on the forums. The very basic description of the game engine is this: you'll roll a lot of twenty-sided dice, and be adding whatever bonuses you can scrape together to that roll. You'll see 1D10's for initiative, 2D20 for attribute checks (especially Common Sense checks), and a lot of 1D20 rolls for just about everything else.
Most of the learning curve is in the setting. It's a big, wide, complex world, one that you'll be developing and evolving whether you realise it or not. There are many non-player characters, other troupes' campaigns, game development history, new fan-created submissions, and a whole lot more. It can seem like a lot to deal with at first. You might feel like you are just coming in right at the middle of the story. You are. Midian is a dynamic world, one that was here before you, will be here after you, and hopefully is left a better place by your presence.
Here is the very brief description of the setting. Since the default is that your character will be from Formour, and the campaign set there, we'll start describing the world there. Formour is an agrarian country, with a medieval/early renaissance level of technology. Magic is sparse. Most people are simple peasant farmers. Formour's history as a nation is about 400 years. Before that, it was a collection of smaller Human nations, and before that it was the Olde Empire of the Hobgoblins. Formour is a big place, but most of it is sparsely inhabited. Most of the people live in the south and along the east coast. In the south-central part of the country there's a large wooded reservation that houses the last of the once-fierce Hobgoblins, now a shadow of their former selves. To the north is the Heldanic Confederation, sometimes called the Heldanic Freeholds. This is a cold and barbarous land, with raiders, Trolls, Dwarves, and worse. East of the Heldanic lands are the islands of the Killian Empire. Killian are four-armed reptiles with old and honour-based warrior traditions. The Elves are off to the west of the Kingdom of Formour, bordering the wild lands claimed by Formour. Most of the world considers the Elves strange and creepy in an alien way. The Elven Homeland is blocked off from the rest of the world, and the Elves have only recently made their presence known again. North of the Elves and west of the Heldans lies the barren Farreaches.
Far to the east is the continent of Osterre. This is a wild and untamed land. Strange beasts and barbaric tribes are said to roam there. It's a long ways away and is uncivilised. That's not completely true, but that's probably what you character thinks of the place. Since there isn't much in the way of 'proper' nations there, at least from the viewpoint of the western lands, Osterre is usually just referred to in the collective term for the continent itself.
South from Formour, across a narrow sea, lies the Byzant Empire. This is the land of commerce and greed. It's also perhaps the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful nation of Midian. The Empire of Byzant is the most civilised nation, at least if you ask any Bizzannite… It's a complicated and confusing land, where the laws seem mad and gold rules all. The various provinces of the Byzant Empire operate much like separate countries, making the whole a convoluted mess. Byzant has many different cultures and ethnicities, as do its neighbours, the Elder Kingdoms. The Elder Kingdoms are some of the oldest Human nations. Some of the very eldest are among the oldest in the world, next only to the Elven Homeland (and some few Dwarven mountain kingdoms, the Dwarves would argue). From a Formourian perspective, some of the Elder Kingdoms are just as far and unfamiliar as the moons (and there are two of them for lots of interesting tidal and meteorological problems). You may notice that there isn't much detail in the books about most of the Elder Kingdoms or parts of Byzant. This is because the southwestern quarter of the map is left exclusively to individual troupes' campaigns. It's hands-off for the game designers. This way you never have to worry about an 'official' update or addendum causing conflicts with your home games.
One Final Note
There is quite a bit here. Nobody expects you to memorise all of this. It is a given that you won't learn everything at once. (I don't claim to know all of it, and I wrote the damned thing.) Your best bet is to first just flip through this Codex. Get the general gist of things, and hopefully you'll get a bunch of ideas for characters or campaigns you want to run. Then, take your time and make a character. I won't lie to you: there is a learning curve. It isn't much of one, but it's there. There will be some things you miss at first, or aren't sure you understand. That's fine; it's what learning is all about. We aren't going to talk down to you (okay, not very often, and rarely on purpose) and assume that you are mentally incapable of remembering what a ten-sided die is from moment-to-moment, or that your only worthwhile talents lie in repeatedly clicking your mouse on the big monster. No, we expect that you are an intelligent person (Hell, playing Midian is a sign of genius as well as insanity) and are both willing and able to participate in your own entertainment, for the greater enjoyment of yourself and your friends. Like anything else in life, what you get out of Midian depends a great deal on what you put into it.
After the initial reaction of "Wow, there's just so much" follows "Hey, this isn't included." Okay, here's the big secret of the game: make stuff up. As a Game Master, if you don't know the 'official' guideline for something, make it up. If you need the name of a town, make it up. If as a player, you want your character to wear something that isn't on the equipment list, make it up. If there isn't a skill or weapon you want, make that up, too. If you can't find a guideline for something—or aren't sure if there even is one—make a judgement call for that situation. Midian is a game based on your imagination, so make stuff up. House-rule the Hell out of it. Use your best judgement, and have fun. We at Lost Souls Publishing are forever adding new material for the game, and are always happy to answer whatever questions you might have, but it is pretty much impossible for us to include everything you might want. That's your job. Remember, it's your game, too.