Basic mechanics

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In MazeWorld, you are in control of your Player Character (PC) from the moment you begin your adventure until the very end; whatever that end may be. As a game focused on combat, fighting, and survival, you are responsible for every action necessary to keep your PC alive; fighting, using items, doing jobs, but also eating and drinking, resting, training, and if you have any, healing injuries and fixing problems.

This means that at any given moment, you have a certain range of actions and abilities at your disposal. Unless the story demands it or your character is no longer conscious, control of your character should never be taken away from you.

Often, you will need to roll the dice to resolve certain actions and determine whether you succeed or fail. As explained in the Basic concepts page, you will usually make use of d6s, d8s, and d100s, with the expectation that you might have to roll any and all kinds of dice at any moment.

In and out of combat

When playing MazeWorld, there are two major 'modes' of play; being out of combat and being in combat (known as Combat mode). The actions available to you differ depending on whether or not you are in combat, though it is possible to shift in and out of combat in an instant.

Out of combat is the default mode of play. In this mode, the situation is assumed to be relatively safe and more relaxed, and there is generally no need to keep track of character positioning, time or turns passing, unless specific situations or conditions warrant the need to do so. Normal is the closest there is to freeform roleplaying, and greater leeway and flexibility should be granted to Game Masters (GMs) and players.

When in combat, certain information becomes very important: character and item positioning, turns passing, and who does what in which order. Each of these may have an influence on the outcome of the fight. All of the specifics to fighting can be found on the Combat mode page.

Declaring actions

In order to make things happen, characters must do clearly declared actions.

Every action you wish your character to make must be declared. That means clearly telling the GM what you intend to do, with as many details as required. It is not strictly necessary to be always in-character when declaring actions, but it is considered good form to weave your intentions into your roleplaying, even if it's just a few words.

Depending on what actions you are declaring, the GM may ask you to roll dice, make choices, or confirm decisions; as necessary and when appropriate.

There are three kinds of actions in MazeWorld: Combat actions, Non-combat actions, and Free actions. Combat and Non-combat actions generally cost at least one turn to perform, whereas Free actions cost nothing to perform.

  • Combat actions are every type of action related to using a weapon or an offensive ability of some sort.
  • Non-combat actions are every type of action related to using any items or abilities that do not fall into the category of combat actions.
  • Free actions are relatively non-consequential actions which can be done freely and at no cost.


  • Combat action example: Attacking an enemy ; Private Bowens intends to attack the giant ant by shooting it three times, in semi-auto, with her AK-101.
  • Non-combat action example: Using an item ; Johnny pulls out a syringe of morphine from his leg rig, and injecting it into his arm.
  • Free-action example: Talking ; Noriko screaming "I'm going to rip your eyeballs out and make you eat them!" at her opponents on the other side of the room.

When outside of combat, most of what your character will do are non-combat and free actions. Combat actions can, in certain circumstances, be performed outside of combat, but generally speaking, if you need to use a weapon of some sort, you're probably fighting or about to fight.

Any combat or non-combat action takes 1 turn to perform. If multiple turns are required, then it takes as many actions as turns required.


"Time" redirects here. For an in-universe explanation on the way people in the Mazes keep track of periods of time, see: Calendar.

A typical MazeWorld session focuses on one or more player characters, living moment to moment, room to room, throughout their adventures. It is not strictly necessary to keep track of the in-game clock down to the exact hours and minutes; the only important elements of time are what day it is and what the current day period is. Most shops and businesses in the Mazes are open 24/7, and all of the elements of the game that do rely on time will use day periods instead of precise hour and minute counts.

The GM can, of course, surmise and make up an exact hour/minute time corresponding to the current day period (e.g., if the current day period is Dusk, the GM can say something along the lines of "You see the clock on the wall reads 5:30 in the afternoon"), but it should be for flavor purposes only.

Just like in the real world, one day is made up of 24 hours, one hour is 60 minutes, and one minute is 60 seconds. But since it is a world that is for the most part 'inside', inhabitants of the Mazes regard terms like "sunrise" and "sunset" as unusual and archaic.

Days are divided into six periods of 4 hours each, as follows:

Hours Day period name
8 AM to 11:59 AM Morning
12:00 PM to 3:59 PM Afternoon
4:00 PM to 7:59 PM Dusk
8 PM to 11:59 PM Evening
12:00 AM to 3:59 AM Late night
4:00 AM to 7:59 AM Dawn
  • Day periods in orange are collectively referred to as daytime, whereas day periods in blue are in the nighttime.
  • The start of the morning, and therefore of daytime, is 08:00 AM and is referred to as the daybreak. The start of the evening, and thus of nighttime, is 08:00 PM and is referred to as the eventide.
  • Certain places and businesses in the Mazes with concepts of a "day shift" and a "night shift" use these hours as points of reference for when these shifts begin and end; for example, if you're visiting the local diner at 2:30 in the afternoon, you're going to see the employees work the day shift, but if you come back later at 1 AM, you will see the night shift employees instead.
  • Certain areas are referred to as Outside areas, affected by a day/night cycle just like in the real world depending on the current day period.

The passage of time is important for Inebriation mechanics as well, as eliminating inebriation depends on the number of day periods that have passed since the last drink.

Daily Reset

The most important element of time is the amount of days that have passed in the game, and more specifically the moment at which the character enters into a new day. This point is known as the Daily Reset. Two important statistics, Nutrition and Hydration, rely on the Daily Reset for their significance. Every day, your character will lose a certain amount of nutrition and hydration, roughly corresponding to a day's worth of food and water. The exact amount of Nutrition and Hydration lost depends on two factors: your character's Base Limb Health value and constitution.

The daily reset occurs at midnight, at the start of the Night period.

The exact amount of nutrition and hydration lost every day is calculated as follows:

  • Nutrition lost on Daily Reset = 30 x Base Limb Health value
  • Hydration lost on Daily Reset = 10 x Base Limb Health value

In addition, your character may heal some Pain (if not 0%) and Blood (if not at maximum levels and if there are no Wounds) during Daily Reset. This is referred to as natural healing; however this healing is not free and will burn extra Nutrition as well as some Fatigue.

  • Pain healed on Daily Reset: Up to -40%. Healing Pain through Daily Reset is subject to the Pain healing effect.
  • Blood healed on Daily Reset: Up to +1.0 unit. Healing Blood through Daily Reset is subject to the Blood healing effect.

Lastly, if your current number of Favors is under the maximum, you regain 1 Favor on Daily Reset.

Additional considerations:

  • If you have skill levels in Healing, you will receive bonuses to natural healing, which are applied before the normal effects of natural healing. See this section for more details.
  • If your character possesses the Blood Knight trait, the character heals 1.0% Stress per point on the Blood Knight counter. The counter is then reset.


"Turn" and "Turns" redirect here.

The turn is the smallest individual unit of time. Although it corresponds to roughly five or six seconds, turns are intended to be abstract short moments. It is highly recommended not to consider turns to have any relevance to the clock, even if you're choosing to track time down to the individual minutes.

Most actions cost one or several turns to complete, and are very important to Combat mode, but a little less important outside of combat.

Generally speaking, unless the player characters are in combat, or there is some other situation during which the counting of turns would become important, it's not strictly necessary to count down the exact amount of turns that would pass for completing an action. The significance of turns depends on how much changes over each turn, particularly if any effects that work over time are active; virtually all such effects work on a per-turn basis, and all temporary effects last an amount of time expressed in turns.

  • Example: During a fight against a nasty creature, Sarah has taken hits and sustained three light wounds, and is now bleeding. In order to access the bandages inside of her backpack, Sarah needs to spend a turn to drop her backpack on the ground and make the items accessible. Normally, this would be trivial, but every turn Sarah spends with at least one wound, means she is losing Blood. It will require one turn to drop the backpack, and one turn for every bandage required (one per light wound) in order for her to stop bleeding.

GMs are, however, encouraged to expedite such processes for the sake of keeping the pace going, especially outside of combat and if players do have the resources on their characters to fix these issues, unless you absolutely want to run an intense, beat-by-beat, every-moment-counts session, it is usually better to simply let player characters heal themselves "for free". GMs and players may discuss about it and decide together how intense, detailed and granular their sessions should be.

  • Example: Normally, if Sarah were still in combat and had to heal 3 light wounds using bandages, she would have to spend the first turn dropping the Backpack (-0.3 Blood), use turn 2 to heal the first LW with a bandage (-0.2 Blood), then turn 3 for healing the 2nd LW (-0.1 Blood), then turn 4 for healing the 3rd LW (all wounds patched), losing a total of 0.6 Blood and 4 turns. However, the GM decides to let Sarah patch herself up without losing 0.6 Blood because she's no longer in combat, and there's no reason to waste time.

Movement and traveling

The importance of your character's position in the world (and in turn, what you are allowed to do to move your character) depends on whether or not you are in combat, and on whether you are inside the Uncivilized Area or a Civilized Area. This section will discuss what you can do outside of combat. For movement when in combat, see Combat mode.

Civilized Areas

Full article: Civilized Areas

When outside of combat and in a Civilized Area such as a town or an intersection, you can travel to nearly any specific room, street, shop, business, or point of interest, simply by declaring an intent to travel to that location, so long as you have access to it. Towns and intersections generally have maps listing the places of interest available, and the preferred method of declaring movement is to simply say something along the lines of, "I'm going to the gun shop" or "Next, I'm going to visit the hospital".

You can specify a particular room or area if you know exactly where you're going. You can also request to the GM your precise location, or the current town or intersection map, whenever you desire.

In order to leave a Civilized Area, your character must be at a location where it is possible to transition into the UA.

  • Towns have a room called the Gap corridor, which represents the very edge of the town. This is where you can choose your next destination. You can only travel to a town or an intersection that is linked to the current town, though you can plot a specific itinerary if you so desire.
  • Intersections do not have gap corridors. Instead, as intersections are plus sign-shaped (+), 2 to 4 of its outermost rooms may be connected to the UA, each corresponding to a single destination.

Uncivilized Area

Full article: Uncivilized Area

When in the Uncivilized Area, your character will be traveling through a series of randomly generated rooms, going from a starting point to a destination of your choosing, and reaching the next destination only after a set amount of UA rooms have been passed. See the article for more information.

When you are in a Civilized Area and ready to transition into the UA, your GM will give you the available destinations, and ask you to choose where you intend to go (unless there is only one available destination, of course).


Downtime is a special period during which your character is still in the Mazes but not actively traveling from place to place. Downtime should be treated as a way to expedite the passage of time and primarily employed to advance the plot when living day-to-day would be otherwise impractical or less than engaging. For example, if a player character got away with a particularly notable act (e.g., a crime, a heist) and are wanted by a faction or a party, they may want to lay low for a while and avoid making waves; that is when Downtime comes into play.

Downtime means the player character is not being fully actively controlled - however, it doesn't mean they are removed from play, nor does the player have no say in what happens to their character. The fundamental principles of Downtime are as follows:

  • Entering Downtime should be decided by consensus between players and GM based on the plot needs first and foremost.
  • The GM has the final say on how long Downtime lasts and when it's appropriate to begin (although that too can be discussed). The recommended minimum downtime duration should be 3 days. Although there is no upper limit, be reasonable.
  • To enter downtime, all player characters and relevant allies (e.g., GM-controlled partners) must have access to safe shelter with a place to sleep at the absolute minimum. Safe shelter isn't necessarily Civilized Areas only (especially if you play characters that live in the UA), but must be places that are unlikely to be visited by potential threats at any minute. (e.g., a hotel, a residential area, or a raider hideout in the UA may qualify, but a random bed in the UA does not)
  • While under downtime, player characters must be able to live and sustain themselves effectively like NPCs do. Their ability to remain in downtime depends on their ability to fund it.
    • Basic needs: An average ballpark for most characters is Parallar symbol.png50 per day to sustain their nutrition and hydration needs. This value may be adjusted at the GM's discretion depending on the characters' build, specific needs, and if necessary, medical condition (e.g., bedridden, addicted, etc.)
    • Shelter upkeep: If staying at the safe shelter is conditional on a financial requirement, these costs must be taken into account during downtime. For example, characters staying in a hotel must pay for their rooms, whereas characters living in a residential area might need to pay rent (unless, of course, they own the unit outright)
    • Additional needs: If the GM determines a character has additional needs that must be paid for during downtime, it is up to them to define and set a value for these needs.
  • Player characters during downtime may receive between 1 and 4 day periods of free time (2 day periods are reserved to resting and sleeping). Players can, for additional costs, assign their PCs to specific activities during free time. See below for details.
    • Got a life? If your character has a safe day job that isn't excessively dangerous, the GM may assign fewer free time periods, but reduce or negate your downtime costs. After all, getting paid funds life expenses.
  • The world does not stop moving during downtime. This may be critical if your character is wanted, pursued, or in another similar situation. The GM is free to interpret this however they need for the needs of the story!
  • Addicted, wounded, or otherwise compromised characters can, at any point during downtime, decide to use a day period of free time and simply visit a hospital to fix any issues they may have (provided one is available)
  • Ending Downtime: Upon returning from Downtime, Nutrition, Hydration, Pain, Fatigue, and Stress are all reset to 0 (or functional minimums). Blood is reset to maximum, and any active temporary effects are wiped.

Activities during downtime

If you are in Downtime and your character has day periods of free time at their disposal, you can do the following:

  • Do nothing: Kick up your feet (or equivalent appendages) and relax. Costs nothing, does nothing.
  • Go shopping: If your character has access to any facility that sells products or services (e.g., individual shops, a hospital, or even a library), a day period can be devoted to using these facilities as needed, just as during normal play. GMs are encouraged to expedite the process and not spend much time, if any, on roleplaying or mood-setting. Downtime shopping is strictly utilitarian!
    • During downtime shopping, GMs may ignore the shop generation rules and simply assume all shops have access to as much stock as needed, for the sake of expediency. (As always, players are advised to be reasonable.)
  • Train combat skills: If you have access to a shooting range or a dojo, you can devote a day period of Downtime to training. Under Downtime, costs and potential gains are highly simplified; you simply increase your expenses in exchange for Training Points at the following rates:
    • Firearm skills: Requires a shooting range. Parallar symbol.png200 per day period in exchange for 4d10 TP in any 1 firearm skill
    • Heavy weapon skills: Requires a shooting range. Parallar symbol.png600 per day period in exchange for 4d10 TP in any 1 heavy weapon skill
    • Melee and misc skills: Requires a dojo. Parallar symbol.png80 per day period in exchange for 4d10 TP in any 1 melee or misc. skill
  • Use training machines: If you have access to a dojo, you can spend a day period using a training machine. Parallar symbol.png160 per day period in exchange for 4d25 XP in any 1 machine. Any Pain, Fatigue, Nutrition, and Hydration costs are ignored for the purposes of Downtime.