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The Treasure Trap System

The Treasure Trap System

Basic Rules

IC and OOC

  1. In character (IC) is when you are playing your character during Time In
  2. Out-Of-Character (OOC) is when you are not
  3. You are assumed to be IC if you are in an IC area during Time-In in costume
  4. If you are OOC in an IC area, you should indicate this by putting your hand in the air
  5. Referees may also wear a white sash to indicate they are OOC

When play is about to start a ref (referee) will call TIME IN. From this point everyone who enters the play area is considered to be IC and should roleplay accordingly. At the end of the event, a ref will signal the end of roleplay using the call TIME OUT.

If you need to be in an IC area when you are OOC, you should hold one hand up above your head – this is the signal for ‘I am OOC’. This may be necessary if, for example, you need to speak to a referee, or fetch an OOC object you left in the IC area. If possible you should avoid IC areas when OOC; if it is unavoidable, be as quick as possible and don’t disturb people who are IC.

During play it may be necessary for an event ref (usually), and on rare occasions a player, to suspend the roleplay temporarily. This can be done by the calls found at System Calls.

The most important such call is MAN DOWN.

This is a safety call used to stop play if any player is injured. You must stop roleplaying immediately, locate the injured person and call for a first aider. You should clear a space around the injured person to allow first aid to be administered. Anyone may call Man Down if they believe a player has been injured. You must not use this call IC for any reason.

In all cases an event ref will call TIME IN before normal roleplaying continues.

Hand signals

  1. If you are not present IC or can hide yourself from other characters you must raise one hand in the air
  2. If you are flying you must raise both your hands in the air and call out your current height at regular intervals
  3. If you are using stealth throw the horns instead of the ref signal for invisibility.

Some abilities allow characters to hide or become invisible IC. When this happens, you should raise your hand into the air. If you see someone with their hand in the air, you must roleplay being unable to see them. If they become visible, they will lower their hand and you may roleplay accordingly. Sometimes refs or other characters will need to be OOC in an IC area; in this case they will keep their hands in the air and are not present at all IC. If you are unsure about whether a character is visible or not, you should ask a ref or the character in question.

Some creatures or characters with certain abilities may have the power to fly. When flying you must keep both hands in the air and regularly call out how high above the ground you are.

Some creatures or characters can Hide and Sneak about, using the Stealth ability; in this case the character will throw the horns.

Referees and Rules Queries

  1. The ref team is responsible for running the game
  2. Most in-game actions do not require a ref to oversee them
  3. If you have any rules queries, ask a member of the ref team
  4. ‘Adventure refs’ run adventures and are not always members of the ref team

The ref team is responsible for running the game for the players, answering rules queries and adjudicating where necessary. The decisions of the ref team are final.

It is not necessary to involve a ref when dealing with common situations such as dealing  or receiving damage, using most skills, or roleplaying with other characters. Players are expected to act accordingly without the need for outside adjudication, however if a situation arises where the rules or outcomes of an action are unclear, you should consult a ref.

Refs and monster crew play many roles during an event, these are known as NPCs (Non-Player Characters).

Adventures are run by ‘adventure refs’ who are usually the authors of the adventure. While they are responsible for planning the adventure and placing encounters, they are not necessarily part of the ref team but their decisions are still final for the duration of the adventture. Adventures are looked over and approved by the ref team if a player has submitted one to run.

A Note On Cheating

In general, cheating is rare. If referees find players cheating then they deal with the issue as appropriate.

Please note that the TT rules system is complex and many characters will have methods to defend themselves or to resist attacks that you are unaware of. Characters may have special items or abilities that over-ride the published rules. Please do not make public accusations of cheating, as it is likely that the player in question is acting legitimately. Complaints aired in public ruin the atmosphere of the game and only exacerbate the problems caused by cheating. If you think that another player is cheating then please report the matter to one of the referees as soon as possible and leave it for the refs to deal with.

As much of the game is self-reffed and reliant on the honour system, it is down to every player to do their best to avoid bending or ignoring the rules to their own advantage. Remember, even if it seems OK to fudge a rule in your own favour, you are directly deteriorating the game experience for other people. As an example: even monster crew on adventures can feel accomplishment in defeating a player character; cheating by not taking hits, for instance, only results in frustration and ill-will, regardless of how much your character ‘deserved’ to live.

Monster Ratio

It is expected where possible that players try to monster at least twice as many adventures as they character. The refs will usually prioritise those with higher monster-to-character ratios for places on adventures.

Physreps and Lammies

  1. ‘Physreps’ are props that represent IC items
  2. A ‘lammy’ is a piece of laminated card that details the properties of an item

The term “Physrep” (Physical Representation) is used to describe an OOC item that represents an IC one. For example, a larp-safe weapon represents an IC steel one. In general, physreps are exactly what they look like (for example a sword is a sword). A lammy is a piece of card used to detail the properties of an item that cannot be represented by the physrep. For example, a sword may have a lammy attached to it that states “Flawless Sword”. In character, this sword is obviously of exquisite quality, although the phys-rep itself may not be.

If an item has a lammy, the lammy must be attached to the physrep. This is because items can be lost or stolen in character, and the lammy needs to go with them. If it would be awkward or unsafe to attach a lammy to an item it is permissible to keep the lammy in your pocket, so long as the lammy stays with the item if you are no longer in possession of it (e.g. rings, armour, or small weapons).

If an item has any special properties, they will be detailed on the lammy. Part of the description may take the form “Obvious: …”. Anything following this is clear to any character who studies the item. There may then be further headings for skills such as Magic, Spirit, Demon, or Alchemy, which defines how the item responds to the use of the appropriate “Rec. [Type]” ability. “Rec. [Type]” abilities, and the Light spell Talk to Inanimate, are the only means by which this text may be IC understood, although the effects of some items may be IC determined by trial and error in uptime.

For example, a magic staff lammy may say:

“Obvious: This staff is made of strange crystal. Add MAGIC to any damage call with this item.
Magic: Grey 6″

So anyone who looked at it would see it was made of crystal and would know that it would deal magic damage. But only a mage who used rec magic on it would detect a sixth circle grey aura.

World Setting


  1. The game takes place in a medieval fantasy setting, in and around a city called Durholme
  2. People are drawn to Durholme for trade and because of its vast magical and spiritual significance

Durholme is a medieval city corresponding in location to modern-day Durham. It is situated within the Palatinate in Albion, the equivalent to Britain. The city’s population varies, but is roughly 3,000.

Most people in Durholme and the Palatinate are peasants who survive on subsistence farming. Everyone is poor, dirty and only possesses a basic education relevant to their skills.

Durholme has for centuries been a great centre of magical learning and the seat of powerful religious leaders. It is the holy city of The Balance.

Types of character

  1. Characters are unusual individuals drawn to the city to make their fortune or change the world
  2. They cannot begin with extraordinary positions of power
  3. Characters must be original and fit into the game’s setting

When developing a character’s name and background it is important that they remain consistent with the game’s setting. You may not play existing fictional characters from other sources or real-world people and should avoid making obvious OOC references in their name and characterisation.

Example: Batman, Gandalf, Sparhawk, Harry Potter, Leeroy Jenkins, Theresa May, Stephen Hawking are all unacceptable names for characters.

Characters at the beginning of play may not be exceptionally powerful and their background must be consistent with the setting. It is possible to play a character who has an exceptional background but this must be cleared with the refs to avoid highly incongruous characters.

Example: a character may not start play as the King of Wessex or the Avatar of the Balance; these are extremely ambitious goals which may be achieved in game. Likewise, a character raised by a Dragon or who is an Elemental Elf that loves their opposed element is unlikely to be suitable for the game.

Standard Rules


  1. You may have as many characters as you like
  2. You must designate one character as your primary
  3. Your primary character and act in downtime and learn skills
  4. All other characters are secondaries and may not act in downtime
  5. Downtime actions occur between events

Players may create and maintain as many characters as they like, but they must designate one (and only one) of these characters as their Primary character. Players can change which character is their Primary between events, by notifying the refs.

Primary characters may submit a downtime and can earn XP (eXperience Points) for being played. Unless otherwise stated all the rules in this section apply only to primary characters.

Secondary characters exist only in uptime, but during this time they may do anything they are capable of – earn money, make contacts, join guilds, attack other characters, etc. Anything that happens to them in character will not be retracted by the refs. They can even go on adventures and get to keep anything they find during time-in. They may still communicate or be contacted in downtime. They do not get downtime. They can earn XP from adventures but not spend it since that requires downtime.

See the Downtime Guide for more information about downtime.

Downtime and “Weeks”

Some characters may have a “weekly” allowance of a quantity, such as an artisan’s CTU, or the flux reduction rate for those who have been involved in geomancy. In all cases, the “week” in question means “a downtime period which the character would be entitled to by virtue of having been played at an event, if they were a primary character”, whether or not a downtime is specifically submitted for that character. Thus, characters whose players cannot attend all events for OC reasons, and secondary characters who are only played occasionally, are neither penalised nor privileged over those who can.

For example, an alchemist character who preserves some potions with Stabilising Salt will find that those potions last until the next event that the character attends, even if that event is a month later (as long as the potions are kept on the alchemist’s person and not given to another character – in that case the potions would obey that second character’s “week”). Equally, a geomancer character who loses 2 flux “per week” and does not attend events for the same month will only lose 2 flux over that month.

Note that “being played at an event” requires more interaction than simply kitting up, walking into the bar, and immediately walking out again. To gain a “week”, the character must be played for a minimum of one hour at the event in question.

Creating a character

  1. New characters start with 90XP
  2. XP is spent on skills which determine what your character can do
  3. Your character’s sheet must be submitted to the refs before play
  4. Your character may not be younger than 16 years of age (or the equivalent age for a member of your character’s species)
  5. Quickstart and blank character sheets are available here

At character creation, you may pick either human or one of the species packages listed on the Additional Species page. Only one species package can be taken at character generation, with the exception of Advanced Troll (which can be taken if you have taken Troll). The supernatural afflictions Wight, Vampire, and Werewolf must be achieved in play. The species package should be the first skill appearing on the character sheet.
You may not request to play a species other than the ones listed on the additional species page or human at character creation.

Every character has a set of skills that affect what IC actions they can take. These skills govern things like whether or not your character can read, fight, cast magic, brew potions and so on.

There are no skills which affect how fast you can run, how well you can fight, or how persuasive your character is. These are dependent on the player, and are known as ‘hard skills’ (as opposed to IC ‘soft skills).

Every character begins play with 90 XP. This may be spent on any skills that the character can afford.

Characters gain Knowledge I and II for the place they are from for free at creation – generally this will be a country (for example, someone from Teutonia would gain Knowledge I and II: Teutonia), but you should check with the ref team if you want a more broad or more niche Knowledge for this purpose. If your character spent time living in multiple areas and you wish to represent this, you may instead gain Knowledge I for two different locations for free.

Inherent skills

It is assumed that a character is physically fit, healthy, intelligent and fluent in their native language (Albion is the most common and is physrepped by English).

Characters have 3 hits per location. All characters should have an ‘on-hand’ which they can call use to call SINGLE and parry with a single weapon up to 36 inches long (though they may wield the weapon in two hands). A character can switch their on-hand at any time. The abilities to use a longer weapon, use more than one weapon at a time, use a shield, or to use a higher damage call must be bought with XP.

It is possible for any character to wear armour, but the total number of armour points worn must not exceed six.

For example, a full set of 1-point armour (Head, Body, both Arms, both Legs) adds up to 6 points, as does 3 locations of 2-point armour (e.g. a reinforced leather jerkin and vambraces covering body and arms).

Species packages may affect your default skills (for instance, Elemental Elves have one fewer hit on their limbs).

Some skills are considered innate skills, and can often be used in circumstances where other skills cannot be used. These include the ability to speak another language, and the ability to wear armour. If a skill is innate it will be mentioned in the skill’s description. All inherent skills, other than the ability to call damage, are considered innate skills.

Experience Points

  1. Characters earn XP (Experience Points) for going on adventures, and attending interactives
  2. XP is used to purchase skills in downtime

As characters are played they grow in power by gaining experience points. These points acumulate over time.

Characters earn XP (Experience Points) for going on adventures, and attending interactives.

XP is used to purchase skills in downtime.

If a character is already at 361 XP, all earned XP from monstering is banked for use with their next character

Each interactive provides (8 – your current character level) XP, to a minimum of 1 XP. For example, a second level character would earn 6 XP per interactive, and a seventh or eighth level character would earn 1 XP per interactive.

Adventures provide a base value of 30XP, minus 10XP per character level over that adventure level and plus 5XP per character level under.

Example: Anya and Ivan go on a fourth level adventure. Anya is a third level character and Ivan is a fifth level character. As a result of this Anya will earn 35XP from the adventure whilst Ivan will only earn 20XP.

Playing a crew role for an adventure typically awards (30 / [number of monsters]) XP, to a minimum of 4 XP. Refs in attendance at an adventure also typically gain 4 XP.

Non-refs who crew an interactive gain 4 XP, or the XP they would gain as their character, whichever is higher.

When a character leaves an adventure before the adventure is finished, this is called “bugging”. Characters who bug usually receive half the xp (rounded down) that they would have gained for finishing the adventure; however, this is subject to ref discretion.

Example: Sasha goes on a level 3 adventure, and is level 3. They would have got 30xp for finishing the adventure, but ran away partway through, therefore they would usually instead gain 15xp, though this can be changed at the discretion of the refs.

Main system refs gain 30 XP per term that they reffed, reflecting the work and commitment they put in to the society. This XP is treated as monster XP.

Starting Characters begin play with 90XP.

The total number of XP a character has determines his level; see below.

XP may be spent to gain skills in downtime. This does not reduce the total number of XP the character has, just the amount of “unspent XP” they have.


  1. Skills cost varying amounts of XP
  2. Some skills have pre-requisite requirements
  3. You may buy certain skills multiple times per level (double-buying)
  4. It costs more to double buy above your level
  5. See the Downtime Guide for more details

In order to buy skills you must spend Experience Points (XP) and learn the skill in downtime.

Some skills have prerequisite requirements in terms of other skills.

Some skills may be bought multiple times in the same level. This is known as “Double-buying”. If you buy a skill multiple times in a level, AND this results in you having more levels of the skill than the number of the level you are spending in, then each extra buying of the skill costs double, then triple, then four times (etc.) its normal cost. E.g. if you bought all of Health 1, 2 and 3 in level 1 they would cost 6, 12 and 18 points respectively. However, if you bought Health 1, 2 and 3 in level 2 (because you had not bought it in level 1) they would cost 6, 6 and 12 points respectively.

Note: Each miracle, spell and area of knowledge is a different skill. It is, therefore, permitted to buy more than one miracle, spell, or knowledge skill of the same level per level of advancement without the XP multiplier.

If a skill is bought using XP across two different levels, e.g. spending some XP in Level 1 and some XP in Level 2, then the skill counts as being bought in whichever level has the most XP spent on it for the purposes of double-buying. If both levels have the same amount of XP spent, e.g. a 4xp skill with 2xp in Level 4 and 2xp in Level 5, then the skill counts as being bought in the lower level for the purposes of double-buying. This will increase the cost of the skill even if the double-buying cost now means most of the XP is being spent in the higher level.

Examples: Rodya wants to buy Melee III (6xp). They have spent 118XP, including buying Melee II. Buying Melee III would not count as double-buying.

Sophia wants to buy Melee III (6xp). They have spent 115XP, including buying Melee II. Buying Melee III would count as double-buying, and Melee III would cost 12xp even though this would then mean that more XP would be spent in Level 3.

Upon filling a level with skills a copy of your character sheet should be sent to the referees.

Most skills only take a minor downtime action to learn; ‘root’ skills require a major action. Characters with some skills (such as Alchemy, Elementalism, and Hextech) may perform one additional ‘Research Action’ per week to research something new pertaining to the relevant skill, i.e. a new potion, spell, or device. While some lammies state that they may be researched in downtime, such “research” is a minor action requiring the relevant skill. See the Downtime Guide for more information.

Starting Equipment

  1. All characters start with 100 schillings’ worth of lammied equipment.

Every character (even secondary characters) begin with 100 Schillings of cash to spend on lammied equipment as they please. Any unspent money is retained as cash.

They may have as many unlammied ‘dross’ propsand items of costume as they wish.

The price list for starting equipment can be found in the Money and Equipment Guide.


  1. The amount of XP your character has earned determines their level
  2. New characters start at 90 XP (Level 2)
  3. The maximum level a character can reach is level eight (8)
  4. Your level determines which skills you can buy

For the purposes of buying skills, you are considered to be ‘in’ a given level while you still have unspent XP in that level.

Example: Vladimir has 181xp but has only spent 140 of them. His level is 4 but he is still buying skills in level 3 for the purposes of double-buying.

The level boundaries are as follows:

10 – 60
261 – 120
3121 – 180
4181 – 240
5241 – 300
6301 – 360
7361 – 420
8421 – 480
Level Boundaries Table

Normal character advancement is limited to 480XP. Only special circumstances allow characters to advance beyond this to ninth level.


  1. Any character may loot the corpses of any dead Player Character, Non Player Character, Monster, or any other corpse they come across.
  2. This must be phys-repped by at least 30 seconds of mimed search.
  3. Alternatively, and by mutual consent, the corpse can be actually searched.

Character Retirement

When a player no longer wishes to play a specific character, that character may be retired. Once a character has been retired, they cannot be ‘un-retired’.

There are two kinds of retirement. Usually, a player chooses which one of these they wish to apply to a character upon character retirement:
– Active retirement: the character retires and becomes an NPC under the control of the ref team. They may be contacted and interacted with in the same way as any other NPC, e.g. they may have letters written to them, may appear on adventures, or may be tracked down and killed by player characters. The ref team may, but does not have to, contact the original player of the character if the character is contacted, appears in uptime, or otherwise becomes relevant to plot.
– Passive retirement: the character retires and may no longer be played. You may tell the refs what the character intends to do in the future, but this will occur “below the abstraction layer” and will not have an impact upon the world. The character may not be contacted and will not appear as an NPC.

In some circumstances the ref teams may rule that a retiring character must be actively retired, e.g. if they retire as an avatar of a god, the ruler of a foreign nation or similar.

Characters who have not been played for over two years may be automatically retired with the discretion of the incoming ref team.