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Gempunks is a tactical RPG battle game which uses large numbers of d10s. Gempunks worlds are worlds of high adventure, fantastical stunts, peculiar beasts, and elaborate magical contraptions. Masterful warriors leap from mythical steeds onto the backs of dragons to do battle with dangerous wizards; brutal bandits hammer through stone walls to abduct nobles; hordes of warriors storm across the land, destroying all who oppose them.

Basic Mechanics

Making Checks

Unless otherwise specified, a die roll consists of rolling a d10, adding values, and comparing with some number. A roll equal to or greater than the desired number (sometimes called a DC) is a success. For attacks and Will Saves, a roll of a 1 fails, and a roll of 10 counts as a roll of 15.

Dealing Damage

When rolling damage against a target, the target's Toughness is the number of points of damage it takes to inflict a single wound on a target. When firing through one target into additional targets behind them, or attempting to destroy thick objects, the number of points of damage remaining after inflicting a wound is divided by a potentially large number, described in more detail in the Materials section of the Environment page.

When damage wounds a creature, this may cause the creature to fall unconscious, die, or be destroyed. If the wounds inflicted bring the creature down to 0 or less HP, they fall unconscious; if they bring the creature down to -2 or less HP, the creature dies; and if they bring the creature down to -4 or less HP, their body becomes destroyed and difficult to reanimate.

Round and Actions

Combat is composed of a series of 15 second rounds, during which each character may take a turn.


When any player cares about the turn order, each player (including the DM) rolls a d10 for initiative, then each character they control applies its own Agility as a bonus to the roll. Whoever has the highest initiative goes first, second highest goes second, etcetera. Break ties randomly.


During each character’s turn, that character may take a standard action, a move action, and a minor action. Instead of a standard action, a character may take a move action or minor action. Instead of a move action, a character may take a minor action. A round (each character taking a turn) is fifteen seconds. There are also cheap actions which may be taken, at any time during a round: however, they resolve after the currently declared action; if there is no currently declared action, the character whose turn it is may declare one. A character who has taken five cheap actions since the beginning of their last turn cannot take any more. Finally, there are immediate actions, which can be used on any turn, and interrupt the current event or action immediately: each immediate action taken requires the character to expend one minor action as soon as they are able; a character cannot have more than three pending minor actions of this type at a time.


If something has a duration measured in rounds, that means it ends at the beginning of the current initiative count, some number of rounds later.


Apply addition and subtraction before multiplication or division (percentages are multiplication).

A Note on Units

Values of meters and kilograms are provided with great precision. That does not mean you are expected or required to keep track of them precisely: if you think of a meter as "three feet" and a kilogram as "three pounds", you will seldom go wrong, and it is usually reasonable to be even less accurate than that for the sake of rapid play. It's generally not a big deal to not keep careful track of the weights of smaller items; if characters sometimes carry a dozen percent or so more equipment than they should, the game will not break. Measuring distances is also much faster if you are not too careful about it, and it's generally both faster and more friendly to accept or object to another player's claim that they're moving "just barely out of range" immediately rather than remaining silent and doing your own, slightly different measurement later.

Character Generation

Characters and the rules for how to gain them are described in the Characters section.

The Invisible Hand of the DM

The DM has to spend some effort deciding the point limits of the players and the point values of their opponents. Read some thoughts on that in the DM Guidelines section.


See the rules for arms and armor.


Gems are the main source of magical power in Gempunks, harvested from certain dangerous monsters. Spellcasters implant gems inside their bodies and attune each gem to a different spell in order to use their magic; they have to build a tolerance for this, as ordinary people cannot handle a large number or variety of gems in their bodies. Magic items also typically require gems in order to function.

Other Rules

All of the pages in Base Rules are important.

Table of Contents

The Main Page

Character Creation and Playing Guide DM Advice Rules
Spell list
Psychic powers
Arms and armor
Random items
Poison and disease
Prebuilt characters
Character sheet
DM Guidelines
Power empires
Origins of magic
Core Rules
Basic actions
Attack rules
Secondary Rules
Status effects
Fight or flight
Light and shadow
Extradimensional space
Astral realm
Frame of reference
Optional Rules
Adding and removing content


Have you tried gempunks? Post in the forum or send an email to with "Feedback" in the title. If you can, explain what happened during the game, what characters people played, what they encountered, what options proved to be useful and which never helped, whether there were any rules that were difficult to understand, and how, and what parts of the game, if any, were slower than you liked.