Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Tandallum / The Uncertain Dance of Electrons.

The concept and the mechanics of the Tandallum are based on the probability mechanics of electron clouds surrounding the nucleus of an atom. While probability densities can be incredibly complex, the probability density of a single electron orbiting the nucleus of a hydrogen atom is within my limited capabilities. As with my previous post, I will put the fun math and science explanations at the bottom of the post.

The Sicarii's ranks are filled with people of all genders and ethnicities.
The Tandallum is the dance of dispersion, a dance that unmakes the stagnant into chaos, allowing order to grow. - Sicarii Fragments line 1403

Jaih taught their Sicarii to dance the steps of the Tandallum, the steps to summon chaos and the entropy it brings. With the death of the Sicarii came the near, though not complete, extinction of the knowledge of the steps to summon and, for a time, become a part of the cleansing chaos. Until the Sicarii Fragments were uncovered, the dance was thought to be myth born of exaggeration. Within the Sicarii Fragments is a guide to the basics of the Tandallum, though true mastery has been lost with much of the history of the Sicarii. Steps of the dance were unique to each dancer, though if one possessed the knowledge, they could identify which house trained them. Dancers would wear bells as they wove their weapon into art, the rhythmic movements creating a sort of song that was as unique to the dancer as the dance itself. As the dancer moved they would become more and more indistinct allowing them to strike those not near them, and avoid attacks by suddenly disappearing and reappearing in a new place. Those who gain access to the Sicarii Fragments can learn the basics of the Tandallum, giving them access to abilities that would be physically impossible otherwise.

Tandallum Dance – AD&D/OSR/LotFP
When the character wishes to use the Tandallum dance, their player must make a successful roll in order to activate the ability (see the possible types of rolls after Advantages and Disadvantages). Whenever the character takes damage the player must make another successful roll, otherwise the advantages of the dance are lost until it is activated again.

Advantages -
Each full round the character dances, they gain a +1 that they may spend to augment a single roll. A character may spend up to +3 on a single roll. Once the bonus points are spent, they are gone. A character may only have a number of bonus points stored equal to their level. All bonus points are lost when the character stops dancing.

The dance has two 'modes' granting different abilities to the dancer depending on the mode chosen that round. At the start of a new round, on their turn, a character may choose a new mode or stay with the mode they are using. 

While under the effects of the Steps of Unmakeing, held weapons become hazy.

Steps of Unmaking
These steps allow the dancer to make melee attacks against multiple targets beyond their reach depending on the distance of the target from the dancer. While dancing the Steps of Unmaking the striking surface disappearing from the weapon's handle and randomly appearing in another place floating at the height it would normally appear at if it were still attached to its grip. When the character wishes to make an attack, Roll 1D100 and consult the chart below for the maximum range that the dancer may attack.

5 feet: 1 – 43%
10 feet: 44 – 75%
15 feet: 76 – 92%
20 feet: 93 – 97%
25 feet: 98 – 99%
30 feet: 100%

The dancer may make a single attack against every target within range, rolling to hit and damage for each target. For each target hit beyond the first, reduce the damage done after damage is figured by 1 to a minimum of 1 (e.g. If the dancer hits 4 targets: the first target takes full damage, the second target takes -1 damage, the third takes -2 damage, and the forth takes -3). The reduced damage is due to the dancer's weapon being less 'there' after each subsequent hit.

Someone about to disappear while dancing the Steps of Dispersal.

Steps of Dispersal
These steps allow the dancer to avoid being struck by allowing their position to become unstable. While dancing the Steps of Dispersal, the dancer becomes indistinct and will suddenly disappear and reappear in a different place only to flicker back to their original position a moment later. Whenever the character is attacked, roll 1D100 and consult the chart below.

Character hit: 1 – 43%
Character appears 5 feet away: 44 – 75%
Character appears 10 feet away: 76 – 92%
Character appears 15 feet away: 93 – 97%
Character appears 20 feet away: 98%
Character appears 25 feet away: 99%
Character appears 30 feet away: 100%

If a 44%+ is rolled, the character disappears and reappears the number of feet away indicated by the chart. To determine the direction of movement, roll 1D8 (1- Direction Character was facing, 2-8 determine direction by move clockwise around from the 1 position). If there is something occupying the space the character would appear in (e.g. a big rock, wall, monster, etc..), then the character appears back in their original spot, allowing the character to be hit as normal. The character may still make their normal number of attacks, but do not gain the multiple attacks as with the previous mode.

- While the character is dancing the Tandallum, they are not able to move away from where they began their dance under their own power, though they may move due to the effects of Steps of Dispersal.
- The character may only wear light or no armor while dancing.
- The character may only wield a single one handed weapon, or two daggers while dancing, the only exception to this is the Sicarii Scarf/Eneedru.
- If the character takes damage while dancing, they must make a dance roll at a penalty. If the character fails the roll, they lose all stored bonus points (types of rolls and penalties discussed later in the article).

Options for adding the Tandallum to your game -
There are a number of options for adding this dance into your game. Since each game, and system, has its own unique qualities, I will present a number of options. Hopefully, one of these options will fit your game. A character may learn the Tandallum from another character or from a copy of the Sicarii Fragments.

Dexterity or Charisma Rolls: When the character begins to dance, they must roll under their Dexterity or Charisma (GM's choice, though it is recommended that one should be chosen for the entire game) using 1D20. As an option, someone playing a Bard (or Specialist for those games without Bards) their relevant stat is considered 2 higher when figuring success or failure. If the character succeeds at their roll, they receive the benefits of the dance. If the character fails their roll, they receive no benefits. If the character has taken damage while dancing, their relevant stat is considered 2 lower when figuring the results or success or failure.
Tandallum Skill: After the character receives training or reads the Sicarii Fragments, the character gains a Tandallum skill of 2 out of 6. The skill increases at a rate of 1 per level. If they take damage while dancing, they must make a skill roll at a -1 penalty to the skill rating. If they fail their roll, they lose all stored bonus points.

Non-Weapon Proficiency: The Tandallum is considered a non-weapon proficiency that requires 2 slots to gain. The relevant ability attached is either Dexterity or Charisma (GM's choice), and ability checks are made at a -5. Further proficiencies may be spent to reduce the penalty by 1 per proficiency slot spent, a character may spend as many slots as they have available. If the character takes damage during a round they are dancing, they must make a check with an additional -2 penalty or lose all of their unused bonus points.

Note on Ranges: The charts are set for 5 foot range increments, but any range increment may be used. To convert to another range increment, set the final range as the maximum a character may move and still act. Divide the maximum by 6, rounding where appropriate, then subtract the product from the maximum until you reach 0 for each range increment. 

The orbital probability of an electron orbiting a Hydrogen nucleus.
The Weird Science/Math stuff
The percentage probabilities listed for the dance are based on the probabilities of an electron being in one of the possible 'orbits' around a Hydrogen atom nucleus. The probabilities were figured using this handy gadget I found online: Since, electrons only exist as particles when interacted with/observed, they spend most of their time in a wave function 'cloud' around the nucleus of whatever atom they are attached to. Until you actually 'spot' or interact with an electron, it can only be said to have a likelihood of being in a particular area. The calculations for anything but a single electron get incredibly complicated, so I had to use the simplest set up in order for the percentages to be anywhere near being useful for a game. The idea behind the dance is that the dancer gains a general wave function that allows them to be possibly anywhere within a certain range. There is never a 0% probability that an electron might be further out than the listed orbits, however, the chance of finding an electron 'far' away from it's nucleus is so statistically insignificant as to be functionally impossible. Here is a rounded breakdown of the various percentage possibilities of finding an electron attached to a Hydrogen nucleus in one of the possible atomic orbits:

Near or Inside the Nucleus: 31%
1st Orbit: 43%
2nd Orbit: 16%
3rd Orbit: 4%
4th Orbit: 2%
5th Orbit: ~1%
6th Orbit and Beyond: ~3%

I am by no means a physics or math expert, so if one of my great readers happens to see a mistake in my math or reasoning, please let me know.