Is EFFORT considered a STAT for MILESTONE purposes?


Basically, can you add a + 1 EFFORT when you gain a MILESTONE, or does that get crazy?


TLDR: Not by the rules as written, but if it makes sense at your table…go for it!

Way back in 1e timeframe, there wasn’t much distinction made between Stats and Effort, you got a pool of points that you could spread among both as desired at character creation.

Since 2e, though, (and unofficially a bit before) there’s been a very clear difference between them. In 3e (ME) it couldn’t be clearer that they are different categories. (See p21, for example where it emphasizes not just the difference but goes so far as to clarify how Effort is more akin to training. Stats being described on p25 as indicating your specialties and prowess.)

Now all of that said, ICRPG is a DIY kitbashing haven and you as GM can homebrew and houserule to your heart’s content.

(It’s not that the game frees you to do all that. Philosophically, ICRPG starts from a default position of “You’re the GM. Here’s some rules and stuff that work well together. Feel free to use as much or as little as helps you and your friends have a fun time chucking dice.”)


Thanks! I wasn’t sure but figured it was that. We’re all about DIY and that’s a big draw. I was curious, being new to it, if boosting EFFORT that way would “break” anything. Even with a DIY RPG (which they all really are, or should be) , right?) there are rules and I like to understand them as well as I can before fiddling. All that said, your reply was helpful. This community’s been absolutely wonderful and I appreciate it.


Over the long haul, a +1 Effort bump can add up to be pretty powerful when paired with certain other combos, sure. But it’s really kind of small potatoes compared to other Loot, Milestone or otherwise.

Minmax builds (even all 4 points in one Effort type) aren’t evil. They are key levers for the GM to be aware of. “This is stuff I think it will be fun for my character to do super well.” Is the exact same lever as “This other stuff is what the GM can scare, frustrate, and bring the tension with.” just viewed from the other side.


It seems a good option for players to build the bear their way. Thanks again!


Minor correction to my timeline above. In 2e there was 6 points to distribute among all Stats and Efforts, plus at that time you were still able to put points in Armor (now Defense). Then some time later 8 point builds became popular, but still spread among Stats, Efforts, and Armor. And so on from there.

The timeline is hard to tie down for me because of how damn generous the Runehammer Patreon is. So many early previews—tons and tons—and many started playing with those previews as the new standard well in advance of the official editions’ releases.

Anywho, It’s been a real treat watching and playing this system as it evolved. But the thing you said above is actually the secret sauce: This community kicks ass. Welcome to the shield wall!


Thank you, sir! For context, I ran 5e Eberron and gave a 4th level Rogue an invisibility ring, a sun blade, had her resurrected by the Raven Queen and go from a half-elf to shadar-kai, gave the warlock a mega-magical ship, let them take ASI and feats, take max health, etc., so I’m pretty used to killer PCs having tons of stuff that’s “unbalanced”. The way I see it, an extra bonus that might unbalance things means I get to have more fun with my toolbox. The table had more fun and everyone’s loving it. It’s not to make it a power-gaming cake-walk, but to let players get crazy and enjoy their characters without over-stressing minutiae. I may not be selling it as well as I like, but so far it’s worked wonders, so I’m thinking some “power-gaming” DIY EFFORT boosts should be great. :grin:


I always thought effort was a STAT type, since Vigilante City gives you 12 points for STATS, and doesn’t mention effort. I guess if you think of effort as training, then bonuses to effort as milestone rewards would be pretty common, but it might feel like less fun than a special ability.


Hey @BenL

In one of my games I decided to make Effort more valuable and rare. For that setting specifically, we had only three classes (warrior, rogue, mage) for setting-specific reasons (it was based in a game all players liked). So, I created the three classes and tailored the Effort increase to each one. I’m going to reproduce them below, hope something there helps.


Starting Common Gear

Normal clothing (Armor +0), one magic implement (choose): grimoire, orb, staff or wand, large backpack (uses 1 equip slot, grants 5 extra carry slots), supplies (wineskin, tinderbox, lamp & oil), tools (parchment, ink, and quill).

Starting Powers

Arcane Lance. You can make an INT Check or Attempt to blast a target in sight up to Far distance with a discharge of magical energy dealing Basic Effort damage. When equipped with an orb, grimoire, staff, or wand, you deal Weapon Effort damage with this power. This is not a spell and not subjected to spell rules (spell burn, miscasts, mercurial failures, etc.)

  • Grimoire: Arcane Lance deals Magic Effort damage.
  • Orb: Elemental effect on total 15+ (freeze, burn, knockdown, or knockback)
  • Staff: Also a melee weapon, also causes Stun on total 18+
  • Wand: Precise, +3 on attack checks.

Spells. Choose any three starting spells. You can choose any spells allowed by the GM. You can choose both Black and White Magic spells. Optionally, you can play a specialist mage: You can only choose Black or White Magic spells and you can never cast spells from the opposite school (not even with Loot), but you gain a +3 bonus on all your Attempts to cast spells.

Mage Milestones

Arcane Secrets. Increase Magic Effort by +1.

Blood Magic. Trade HP for Attempt and Magic Effort bonus. So, using 3 HP grants a +3 bonus on your next Attempt and Magic Effort.

Incorruptible. Gain a +3 bonus to Effort made with WIS Attempts. (Doesn’t affect damage.)

Power Lance. You now deal +2 damage with your Arcane Lance.

Spells. Learn three new spells. You can take this milestone multiple times.

Well of Knowledge. Gain a +3 bonus to Effort made with INT Attempts. (Doesn’t affect damage.)

As you can see, I included a milestone that increases the class’ most important Effort and two milestones that affect INT and WIS Attempts. For the other classes, I included these:

Rogue Milestones

Assassin. Increase Ultimate Effort by +1.

Bardic Charm. Gain a +3 bonus to Effort made with CHA Attempts. (Doesn’t affect damage.)


Nimble as One Can Be. Gain a +3 bonus to Effort made with DEX Attempts. (Doesn’t affect damage.)


Warrior Milestones


Champion. Increase Weapon Effort by +1.


Strength of Thousands. Gain a +3 bonus to Effort made with STR Attempts. (Doesn’t affect damage.)
Toughness. Gain a +3 bonus to Effort made with CON Attempts. (Doesn’t affect damage.)

As you can see, each class may increase one specific Effort… Mages get to increase Magic Effort and gain bonuses to all Effort when rolling INT or WIS attempts, Rogues get to increase Ultimate Effort (because that’s what they use with Backstabs) and gain bonuses to all Effort when rolling DEX or CHA, and Warriors get to increase Weapon Effort and gain bonuses to all Effort when rolling STR or CON. Balanced areas of expertise for all classes.

(Btw, “what about Gun/Technology Effort” or “What about Basic Effort?” -> In that game, those Efforts were linked to specific races, not classes, but basically same rules.)

Is that cumulative? Can you choose it multiple times? GM’s decision. In my game, yes, up to +3. Natural abilities also go up to +3. Above that, only blessings and loot.


Why not, Efforts are the combination of certain dice to a specific action or the specific use of an object. To me they are the skills of ICrpg in some ways.


Holy crap on a cracker, that’s some slick work you did there! Man, it’s insane how easy it is to create for this game. Those are really cool and thank you for sharing!


Thanks, man.

You are absolutely correct, the DIY spirit of ICRPG makes it easy to create. You’ll find quite literally thousands of pages of stuff created by the community if you dig around the forums and the FB groups enough ^^ I’m literally looking at a 495-page document of stuff created by the community right now and it’s not even the beginning.


My biggest problem with RPGs is that there are TOO many fantastic options, which is really a good “problem” to have. ICRPG? VDS? Savage Worlds*? If the latter, do you use a published setting or create your own?

Hell, I was browsing YT, saw a video for D&D’s “Strixhaven” and my brain said, “Strixhaven…plus East Texas University…plus Savage Pathfinder. Now, what can I steal from ICRPG…?” :joy:

*Savage Worlds semi-recently became the table favorite but ICRPG kept popping up like a meth-addled gopher with a mohawk, so here I am!

Then I saw VDS…

Freakin’ Hank…


Where is that stuff ? You have a link ?