The Third Kingdom Player's Handbook is in the second draft editing phase and can be downloaded for free from the link below. I hope to be done and printing by June 2010. At that time I will be giving away twenty free copies of the PHB to those interested in playtesting (email me or just join the Yahoo group below). If you don't get a free copy I will be selling the almost 260 page book for 14.00 US; those who buy the playtesting copy can get the final version at cost when it comes out!
The Third Kingdom is the realm of mortals, bounded by immortal Faery and deathless Eternity. Separated by a thin veil that few humans can pierce -- yet still part of the Third Kingdom -- is the Spirit World, the land of the dead, the Dry Lands. It is from the Spirit World that Eternity is accessed, Faery being accessible from the land of the living.
The characters are human, mere mortals that possess the capacity for truly amazing feats and accomplishments, for the Third Kingdom is also the source of magic in all the world. Magical energy, known as plasm, permeates and suffuses all things, both living and dead. All creatures possess some degree of magical energy, and their plasm can be used to cast spells or perform other wondrous feats such as shapechanging, mental projection, etc.
How it works
The system is based upon ten-sided dice, only one or two of which are needed per person. All conflicts resolve around Challenges, which use one of eight Primary Attributes as a base score. A die roll (usually d10, but low scores add d5 and higher scores add additional rolls or either d5 or d10) is added to the base score along with skill Ranks, the character's level, and other modifiers. The effect of successful Challenges is graded, and the result is used to determine things like damage, duration, and other effects, so the rolling is kept to a minimum.
Character creation is based upon a point-buy system and there are no classes; characters can be created along any permutation the player desires. What a character can do is determined by their skills and Talents. As play progresses characters can improve their Primary Attributes as well as skill Ranks, Talent Ranks, or even the number of skills and Talents they have. It is a dynamic system that strives for mechanical simplicity combined with depth of play. Any style of play is possible, from dungeon crawling to narrative.
As the game is developed I will be posting updated copies of the Player's Handbook for perusal. Again, I hope to be finished and ready for playtesting by the middle of March, 2009. At that point I will make two versions of the .pdf available (one strictly for compute use and the other to be formatted for printing) and will also have a printed version available from Lulu.com at cost for any who might be interested. The .pdfs will be free and the print version remain at cost until playtesting is complete. At some point I will also begin to post GM information, although all the information needed for basic plast will be available in the Player's Handbook.