Game mechanics in the Burning will be extremely flexible, allowing gameplay to vary dependent on the players preference.
More advanced gamers will be able to utilize the 'hardcore' system that focuses on creating a more realistic game play experience. Using the more complex system characters take damage based on where they are hit, by what hits them and what armor or protection they are wearing as they are hit. Potentially this could mean serious long term injury, loss of limbs or even instant death, depending on the circumstance. Also in the "hardcore" system characters gain experience through their actions, rather than gaining experience points.
Players looking for a less demanding, more enjoyable gaming experience, can utilize the more traditional RPG gaming system. In this system characters have Hit Points and will only take serious, long term damage if critically hit, players gain experience gradually through combat or accomplishing tasks and death is far less common, with players being given 'second chances' depending on the circumstances.
Other optional features such as gradual character aging, seasons, infections, starvation and dehydration will be included in the final completed manual. More details of these, and the other features, will be added to the website as they are developed
Hunting and Survival
An important feature of the Burning is the in game survival system. Players will need to eat, drink and sleep on a regular basis, failure to do so will result in stat decreases and ultimately death. The level of realism of this depends largely on which gaming system the player chooses to utilize but either system requires that the players find food or water at least once a day and sleep for at least 5 hours a day.
In the Burning character creation functions very similarly to other R.P.G. games. Each character has a set of basic statistics or "stats", Strength, Stamina, Intelligence and so forth, which are defined during character creation. Characters also have a series of "skills", some of which are defined at creation, whilst others are acquired over time for examples swimming, horse riding, hunting and so forth.
Over time these skills can be increased through use, so if a players character uses a weapon often enough their skill with it will gradually rise, increasing their chance of successfully hitting their target.The Burning differs from many table top games in that certain skills can also decrease over time, for example if a player learns a foreign language but fails to use it regularly their skill in it may decrease.
The Burning also differs in that it is possible for certain base stats to decrease or increase over time, depending on the characters actions. For example strength can increase through physical labor, whilst intelligence could decrease due to a head injury. Also aging will eventually have an impact on character stats, more details of this will be provided as the manual progresses
Lastly players will also be able to attain 'traits' as they play, some of which are beneficial, others definitely not so beneficial. Traits are used to define a players current state of being, for example a character suffering from an injury would have the 'wounded' trait, lowering their health points until the wound is treated. More information will be available on traits as the manual develops.
In the hardcore system traits become more varied, more dangerous, and can even worsen over time if not treated, eventually developing in far worse traits. For example if a player is injured they receives the 'Wounded' trait. In hardcore if this is not treated eventually it could become an 'Infected Wound' trait. Even worse an infected wound on the head may result in an 'Infected Eye' trait as the infection spreads. Thus quickly removing negative trait is vital to players who wish to use the hardcore system, failure to do so an result in a quick, painful death.
Build and Expand
The Burning will include a settlement management and expansion system. Initially players will be able to control a single community which they can be managed and rebuilt. Once the first settlement has reached a certain point the player will then also have the option to expand their area of control.
How they do so is entirely up to them, the quickest and most obvious route being by raising an army and taking control of nearby settlements. Players can also convince in game characters or factions to join them although this will depend heavily on what the player and local factions belief or agenda (more details will be available in the Factions Manual)
Whatever the means they do so, once the players have taken control of enough settlements players can found a nation. From this point onwards a whole new gaming mechanic will open allowing the players the ability to create and run a vast empire and how so depends on the gaming system.
In the basic system the nation produces resources that can be used by the player to field larger forces or develop newly conquered communities, some random events occur to disrupt the nations stability and neighboring nations will invade if they have enough resources.
In the hardcore system things are a lot more complex. In Hardcore regions you control can revolt depending on your actions and likewise NPC's assigned to administer provinces and regions may rebel if their loyalty drops below a certain level. Armies function more realistically, requiring a constant supply of food, water and ammo, marching through certain terrains will moral and attrition and moral is a huge factor in waging war.
A lot more information on this aspect of the game will become available was the manual progresses, likely including vehicles, air transport, fuel, goals and assignment of NPC generals to lead forces on campaigns. Please note any information at this point may be subject to change over time!
Factions play a major role in the Burning, more so than most RPG games. In keeping with the Burnings semi-realistic feel each faction will represents a real world political group or ideological movement, with defining beliefs and goals. Should these goal conflict with that of the players this will inevitably result in conflict.
For example if players wishes to create a dictatorial nation with themselves as the unopposed leader, pro-democratic groups will actively attempt to undermine them. Likewise radical groups may be opposed to the creation of a racially harmonious, secular nation. More faction details will be found in the Factions Manual that with accompany the main manual.