A bit tricky since the book is still in flux, but here goes. This is the glossary for various terms that crop up on the blog that aren’t quite standard.


Taiao is the first of my two developed game systems. I’m not quite sure if it’s the final name, but it’s been three-ish years and hasn’t changed, so it probably is. You can get the latest public draft here for free. The pitch is that it’s a tightly edited OSR-ish kinda-GLOG-adjacent d20 fantasy system whose default setting is a pre-apocalyptic discworld in the midst of its Renaissance. You can play as harpies, dwarf lizards, and not!Nintendo tropical viking squids. There’s air-powered firearms and a wholly unique elemental magical crafting system, and as of recently an incomplete currently-being-playtested mass combat system that plays like a wargame on a hex grid.


It’s the aforementioned pre-apocalyptic discworld. I don’t like lore dumps - lore is probably the least form of all prose - so you’ll have to wait for the blog posts or until I finish the setting book. Or you could ask directly for a writeup on something I mentioned but haven’t covered yet, I’d be happy to give one.


Taiao has aspects the same way other systems have ability scores. Instead of the classic Str/Con/Dex/Int/Wis/Cha lineup, though, Taiao uses the following. In the book, they’re highlighted in red. They use the score/modifier split, from -4 at 3 to +4 at 18.

  • Strength: A merger of Strength and Constitution. Covers the use cases of both, but the HP modification has been moved to Will.

    • Strength can be translated to STR or CON depending on the context.

  • Agility: Dexterity has been split into Agility and Finesse, with Agility covering speed, reflexes, and acrobatics - the large-scale muscle stuff. Agility adds to Defense.

    • Agility can be translated to STR or DEX depending on the context.

  • Finesse: Finesse covers the fine motor control, stealth, and melee to-hit bonuses that Dexterity encompassed - the small-scale stuff.

    • Finesse is almost always directly translatable to DEX.

  • Intelligence: Exactly the same as it is in every other system.

  • Perception: Supplants most of Wisdom’s use cases. It’s also a modifier for Initiative and ranged attacks, and in theory I’d treat it as the default social check when INT, WIL, or STR wasn’t more applicable.

    • Perception can be translated to WIS, and sometimes CHA.

  • Will: I’m in the camp of folks who never liked Charisma. I strongly feel that social stats should be doing something else too. Aia is pretty heavy on the faith-makes-reality angle, too, so it made sense to have a stat that resembled that. Will is added to a character’s Stamina (the HP equivalent) and it’s used for a lot of spell saving throws.

    • Will can usually be translated into CHA or CON depending on context.


I don’t use a lot of unusual terms. Most of them are pretty standard. But here’s a list anyways. In the book, they’re highlighted in blue.

  • Attack: A flat bonus added to attack checks.

  • Defense: Same as always: the TN you’re rolling against.

  • Armor: Slashing and piercing damage has a target’s Armor score subtracted from the damage dealt. Since slashing/piercing are the two most common damage types, it’s better than it sounds. Most elemental damage will blow past Armor, and acid damage in particular will shred it à la XCOM.

    • I don’t like being strict about damage types or having too many of them, but setting up a few basic categories and sticking to them does nice things for simulationism so long as they’re sensible and not things like “bomb” damage.

  • Luck & Health: Saving throw scores. Taiao has two kinds of saves: temperature/health/disease/poison, and everything else. Health covers the former; Luck covers the latter. You can’t add both to the same save. Most classes give +1 to one or the other and saving throws are TN 15, so you’ll probably have a ~55% chance on a given saving throw by the time you’re level 5.

  • Speed: Measured in 5’ increments.

  • Initiative: Taiao’s initiative is (currently) 1d6+Initiative. Highest goes first unless surprised. Equal to 10 plus your level and AGI/PER modifiers, plus other/class bonuses.

  • HP: Backronymed to Hit Protection, since that’s its role in Taiao. Rather than measuring injury, it measures ability to resist injury. It’s not lethal to be at 0 HP. When at 0 HP, or if the defender is surprised or unaware, attacks inflict wounds instead.

    • Wounds: Currently, you roll the leftover damage on a table and get a severity score like that. The worst wounds cause death.


We use GLOG rules here. Or rules similar to the GLOG, anyways. You have a pool of Spellcasting Dice/SD (Magic Dice/MD elsewhere). You get most of your SD from taking spellcaster class ranks. When you cast a spell, you choose to roll a certain number of your SD. The number rolled is the [Dice] variable and the sum total is the [Sum] variable. Bad things happen on doubles or triples. Download the system and read more to find out the rest.