Red Ash is about painting the role playing landscape with a broad brush. Providing a rich and diverse mix of different playable species for the players to encounter or play as. The base of this diversity is a large group of variables used to describe the physical, mental and errata that defines a species. These are further grouped into common areas to better organize them as a whole and are defined here.
Abilities are used to define the physical and mental aspects of a given species. It is what defines the strength, force of will, sense of self, health and more that makes up an individual of a given species. Red Ash has 10 base abilities and a number of other statistics. While looking over these keep in mind there is a certain vagueness to some rules like on air speed. This is to reflect my belief in the effect and not the mechanics of an specific result. If the race can fly the player can decide on how this flight works, wings, mind power, whatever, the end result is the race CAN fly and all flight follows the same rules. Two special abilities are PAP (Physical. Action Points) and MAP (Mental Action Points). These are a derived value based on eight of the ten base abilities. They are used in combat to purchase combat actions, use skills or defend. These are both a limiting resource and should be watched as closely as your life points.
Size is vary much a part of the Red Ash system with pros and cons to each. Red Ash has 19 size categories, 14 of which are to be used for non-playable species only. This will leave 5 different sizes for a playable species. There is also body types, which will increase or decrease a species height (or length if the body is longer than taller) and width.
Status is a general container that will list the effects your character is influenced by. Effects can have one or more effects active at the same time, including death.
Traits are a collection of special or mundane features that can be used in an attack or to provide some other utility or disfunction to the members of a species. Adding these features to your species will allow you to make it more distinct and offer more options to them during game play. For example a species can be described with having horns but they would not gain the benefit of using them in combat unless they select the trait Gore. Note that some traits are not always on; some must be activated and may require the expense of PAP and/or MAP just like any other action in the system. You are not required to purchase any traits they are all optional.
Red Ash uses an open point buy skill system that is best described as a multi-tree, multi-tier skill system in which each tier is more costly to master. Every set of skills has a root skill that must be related to the class to allow the purchase of skills at a lower cost. Non-related skills are much more expensive. Every related skill in a tier requires 2 levels of its parent tier first, except for the root tiers of course. So in order for a character to learn to use a short sword effectively with the skill Swords, One-Handed, Double Edged (with 1 level), they must have 2 levels in Melee its parent skill. This translates into a cost of 6 skill points for a class the has melee as a related skill or 9 skill points for a class that has melee as a non-related skill. For characters that want Doctor or Surgeon (a 3rd tier skill) this means you must have 4 levels in First Aid, 2 levels in Heal for 1 level in Doctor (or Surgeon). The Cost would be 14 for a related skill and 21 for a non-related skill. Any character can spend points into a non-related skill and gain the benefits of that skill...its just more expensive. This means that a player can have a Soldier that has also learned a few arcane spells he can cast.
Magic is simply another type of skill with 3 distinct roots; Arcane, Ritual and Foci. There maybe further rules added by the games DM to place more restriction on casters. Arcane is the educated spell caster and studies magic to understand, control and hopeful master it. The Arcane caster can continue expanding a spells casting or release it on a round by round basis. The Ritual caster believes the source of there power is given to them by divinity. They spend their time in service to their source and proving their worth as one of the faithful. As a ritual caster you can link with other of your faith, or in extreme cases another faith of the same pantheon, and combine MAP into one massive resource. Such joining is usually lead by a high level caster. The Foci caster is one who is gifted (or some may say cursed) with a casting ability brought out by training or sometimes by accident. These caster can maintain any activated spell for a small cost in MAP. Unlike the other casters the Foci Caster does not chant, use spell components, nor do they have to move to cast many of their spells. All casters regardless of the amount of MAP they have access to are limited by their skill levels. The skill level of a spell determines, among other things, the amount of MAP you can push into a casting in one round. For spells that require more than you can push in a round your casting time increases to the next round. While you can pay a maintenance cost for an active spell already cast, you can not modify the current spell or start another spell until you have finished the casting of the current one.
A class is a predefined level progression for describing a trained and/or educated member of a society for characters. Keep in mind that the classes you define now are the only ones your people have access to. After race creation it is difficult to start a new class, unless you have a specific power or via in game device like the training of a number of outsiders that later begin training others. Your class then becomes generally available. An example of a typical class is the Soldier, a pure fighter that is trained to use armor, shields, and a select few weapons. Classes are also related to a city building. Player characters are governed by this building and it affects the maximum training (level advancement) they can gain at the building once they have acquired the experience to go to the next level. Once a character is past level 50 they can self level without the need for a master or building to train them. All classes have a total of 100 levels with level 50 requiring many hours of game time to obtain. A defined set of classes are included for a quicker game start.