Lands in the Clouds—Index and Overview

This article provides an overview of new concepts in the GRIT system as well as the book’s Table of Contents. As new chapters are posted, the links here will become active.


A few important notes that may help in character creation

Healing and the lack of it.
How character advancement works.
How constitution affects hit points and hardness.
How GRIT is accrued and used.
How STRESS is accrued, used and healed.
SPIRIT as a stat and how it is used.
How Spirit Families work.
The Spirit World
GIFTS and “Magic”

Chapter 1: Character Creation

Feat Accessibility
Spirit Kin and the Great Houses

Guilds and Societies

Chapter 2: OX System

Organizations and Relationships
Living, Work, Business and other Vestitures

Chapter 3: Money, Gear and Miscellaneous Costs

Monetary System
Gear availability

Chapter 4: Combat

Chapter 5: Adventures and Rewards

Building adventures
Minimum rewards
Opportunity rewards (critical success and failures)

Chapter 6: Eapon

The Great War
Fortress Planet
The Vapor
The Belt Line
Sealed Lands and the Northern Holds
Free Lands
The Ancient Orders



Upper Haven
Lower Haven
The Haven


A traveler wearing a vapor suit rests in the grass.

All words in CAPS indicate a game mechanic

A Few Important Notes That May Help in Character Creation

Lands in the Clouds has several distinct differences from the D20 OGL. In order to avoid frustration in creating a character without understanding important mechanics, below are brief explanations that are expanded upon later in the book. If further clarification is wanted, review the page referenced for a more thorough understanding, as this section is only to alert players to details they may want to know.

Healing and the Lack of it

There is almost no supernatural healing. It does exist, but is rare in the extreme. Instead healing occurs through normal healing and enhanced by the care of skilled characters, NPCs and locations.

How Character Advancement Works

Rather than large steps, Lands in the Clouds takes smaller increments. Every SEASON each character has 4 SEASONAL ACTIONS, one of which is allotted for rest, leaving effectively 3. A character may spend GRIT during a SEASONAL ACTION to improve their character, including skills, hit points, saving throws, stats and/or acquire new feats. If it has an advancement, it is improved through the use of GRIT.

Any skill, stat or feat advanced beyond NOVICE level (ranks 1-5) is not guaranteed and requires an attempt roll when GRIT is spent to see if a new rank is achieved. Skills and Stats can only be increased one point at a time, once per season, except critical opportunities.

How CONSTITUTION impacts hit points and hardness.

Since hit points are earned individually and because healing is so rare, constitution offers different benefits. A one time bonus equal to the CONSTITUTION bonus is added to hit points at character creation. All characters (and NPCs and monsters) have a hardness equal to their CONSTITUTION bonus.

How GRIT is accrued and used.

GRIT is this system’s experience points. Generally adventurers will have one adventure per SEASON. Each adventure characters generally earn 3 GRIT with a good chance to earn 1 more and a stretch goal for 1 more GRIT.

How STRESS is accrued, used and healed.

STRESS is most often used as a loan on GRIT. It enables opportunity purchases when the character doesn’t have enough GRIT saved. It also can be accrued through devastating situations (such as near-death) as well as ignoring REST during SEASONAL ACTIONS to get a 4th ACTION.

SPIRIT as a stat and how it is used.

SPIRIT is a reflection of spiritual activity and capability. Mechanically, it determines how much power a GIFT has behind it and what GIFTS a PC (and NPCs) may develop. It starts at 0 and though not truly 0, the amount is negligible enough to effectively be 0. It is also the only stat that is use or lose. There are some FEATS that may use SPIRIT for determining effects. It the most important when dealing with the spirit world but isn’t essential to complete most tasks. Is intended to be a challenge to keep or advance.

How Spirit Kin and the Great Houses work.

Spirit Kin are PCs and NPCs with SPIRIT that share common spiritual purposes, otherwise known as GIFTS. In general, these GIFTS are to help beings in the world around them. Spirit Kin have formal organizations that support their Spirit Kin and the other GIFTS with their specialties, known as Houses. Some GIFTS are so small as to not have formal structures. The more numerous and desired GIFTS make up the 12 Great Houses. Though they are not separate religions, there are some sects that effectively operate as such.

The Spirit World

The spirit world in this setting sits very close to the material realm. The numerous spirits that maintain the world behind the scenes are visible to the average person, from tiny spirits that aid in the normal decay process to gigantic wind spirits that move storm fronts. These spirits operate under the order they’ve been set by God eons ago and continue to perform them today.

This also means that when a being dies, the spiritually weak can find themselves adrift, vulnerable to spiritual predators. Even though the spirits may even interact with the living, resurrection is not a reality for most. There are artificial means to put spirits back in other bodies, but these things are considered abominations and lead to corruption of the spirits.

GIFTS and “magic”.

GIFTS are something every being in the game can achieve. GIFTS are a supernatural boon that  allows players achieve spiritual goals in-game and contend with supernatural menaces. Innately, characters have a spiritual affinity to help in a particular fashion. Ideally the GIFT is randomly rolled, however a GM may want to allow players to pick their GIFT or narrow what GIFTS players can choose from or randomly pull from.

In this system, GIFTS may be viewed as magic in certain areas, but there is also a type called binding that is most commonly known as “magic”. Within this game setting, there are areas called the Sealed Lands. Within those areas it is uncommon to find people who have pursued their GIFTS and instead have used forbidden techniques to bind spirits for their own purposes. This immediately corrupts the spirit and turns it into a malevolence if it wasn’t already so. For game purposes, those techniques are left purely to NPCs and Villains.


There is no base attack bonus to advance. Rather, all forms of martial combat require separate skills. These are purchased just like regular skills, including all restrictions and rules. In addition, Weapons SKILLS can be used to augment ARMOR CLASS while using the weapon.

The Lands in the Clouds setting and the GRIT system are provided as a showcase of the work of a CGG member. The Guild takes no official position on the suitability or appropriateness of any game or supplement.

Next Chapter: GRIT
Previous Chapter: Introduction

D20 Open Gaming License

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