Thursday 27th October 2016
When a player want their alter-ego to perform an action, they declare it to the GM. The GM decides which ability (or aptitude) can be used to determine the outcome of the action and what the target difficulty is. If the PAEs score is greater than the target difficulty then they have succeeded. The measure of success is determined by calculating the difference between the difficulty and the score. e.g.
success = (ability + optional dice roll) - difficulty or success = (aptitude + optional dice roll) - difficulty
Any success is success, but obviously, more success makes for a better result. If the above formulas result in a zero or a negative number then the action was a failure.
Lets look at a simple example of an action.
Bob the barbarian has a sword fighting ability of 6 (initially based on Agility but he trained a bit as well). Bob tries to hit a goblin with his sword.
Now lets look at the mechanics of determining if Bob hits the goblin.
1. The GM declares that the difficulty to hit the goblin is equal to the goblins dodge ability which is 7. Goblins are notoriously agile critters, hence the high score. 2. Bob is going to need some luck to hit this goblin, so Bob's player rolls a dice (4) and adds the result to his sword fighting ability (6) giving Bob a total of 10. This result is 3 more than the target of 7 (the goblins agility) thus Bob has a success rate of 3. This is calculated as follows success = (Bob's sword fighting + dice roll) - goblin's agility success = (6 + 4) - 7 success = 10 - 7 success = 3
Success indicates how favourable the result of an action is and it is the success value that determines the intensity of the outcome. When success is applied considered for damage for instance, it directly relates to the wound level that is inflicted upon the victim.
For non-combat actions or spells success has different meanings depending on the context. See the individual ability descriptions for more details on how success effects each.
A success of 3 in our example above causes a level 3 wound to the goblin. This means that the wound table on the PAE sheet gets a tick in the third column of the physical row. A wound in this way will effect all abilities that are physical i.e. all strength, agility and their related ability score rolls by reducing success result by 3.
When multiple wounds have been inflicted, the roll penalty for the wounded AE is equal to the most severe wound block. If multiple wounds are inflicted with the same success level, then these wounds increase the wound penalty to the next available box to the right of the re-wounded block. If the wound penalty is pushed beyond minus six in this way then the AE is mortally wounded and will die unless they receive immediate medical care of sufficient quality to reduce the wound severity.
- Hit success determines wound severity
- A repeat hit (same success) increases wound severity to next open higher severity
- wound severity greater than six results in a mortal wound, incapacitating the AE and eventually killing them
Not all damage is physical, it is possible to damage the mind and the morale as well. Damage to the mind impairs the AE's ability to think or control themselves. Morale damage socially impairs the AE, it skews their instincts and makes them respond badly. Prolonged reduced morale can result sociopathy. Mental damage can result from direct injury to the head, or by magical attack. Morale damage is caused by severe grief, fear, shock or abuse. Damage to the mind and morale are applied at the discretion of the GM as they are often very difficult to heal without magical help and can severely effect an AE's playability. They can also be a lot of fun to try to work into a story because they add so much depth and gritty realism to your tales.
It is of course also possible to cause magical damage to a wizard or similar magic wielder, this hinders the magic wielder when they try to use their magick abilities.
Some actions can be made easier by using tools. Or alternatively, some actions can have a greater success when tools are used. It's easier to knock nails in with a hammer, but you need some "hammer training" to avoid hitting your thumb when you hold the nail. A hammer (and every other tool for that matter) is therefore described as a pair of numbers and an ability that shows the required level of (which) ability required to use the tool without penalty and how much extra success they grant.
- D.I.Y. Hammer (woodwork 3/1)
- Dagger (melee 3/1)
- War hammer (melee 4/2)
- Axe (melee 4/2)
- Sword (melee 6/3)
- Great-sword (melee 8/4)
You can use tools even if you don't have sufficient training, however, it's more difficult to do so e.g. if you have melee of 4 and want to use a great sword, you can do, but it's unwieldiness costs in extra difficulty, this penalty is the difference between what you have and what you need in ability or four points in this case.
Great-sword requires ability 8 You have ability 4 difficulty penalty = -4 Penalty = Ability - Requirement -4 = 4 - 8
Not all tools grant success to the ability they require, Consider a strap-on exo-skeleton, this does not really require much talent on the operators part, but it does grant awesome benefits to dead-lifting so it's numbers may be something like...
- Exo-skeleton (piloting 3 / dead-lift 10)
You may have your PAE perform multiple simultaneous actions by dividing your ability amongst them. Imagine your PAE has a sword fighting ability of 10, he could attempt to hit two opponents in rapid succession by dividing his ability between the targets. The player decides to allocate 6 points to the first target and four points to the second. A dice is then (optionally) rolled and the result is divided equally into the two ability pools, where the dice roll is unable to be divided equally imagine each point from the dice is handed out from first action to last action much like cards are dealt to players in a card game, simply keep going in a round robin until you run out of points. An ability pool can be divided in as few or as many parts as the player desires but note, the division is done before the dice is rolled. The results of each action is then checked individually. This means that easy tasks can be accomplished very rapidly by a highly skilled PAE. To carry on our sword fighting example, imagine our PAE has his sword fighting ability of 10 and he is confronted by three, lumbering but deadly zombies intent on his brains! The player instructs the GM that he will rapidly hit all three opponents in order to slow them down, and then he will make good his escape. The player divide his PAEs ability into three pools; 4, 3 and 3, then he rolls a dice scoring a 4, he splits these four points between the pools (from first to last) ending up with 6, 4, 4 as his results. The GM notes that the zombies only have an agility of 2 meaning that all three actions succeed causing wounds to the zombies of levels 4, 2 and 2. As we know these zombies only have an agility of 2 so a wound of at least two is required to largely incapacitate them. The next round the PAE makes good his escape as the zombies sprawl on the floor trying to re-attaching their severed limbs.
Some tasks require a significant amount of time to complete, these are represented by having the player continually and repeatedly make use of an ability until they have acquired a large amount of success. i.e. It takes many hours to forge a sword, the game master determines that it usually requires 30 accumulated successes to make a single sword. The player can then set about rolling dice in order to achieve a cumulative total success of 30 points or more.
It is often possible for a PAE to assist another PAE when they perform an action where this is the case, both players roll dice and their success rate is combined. One failure by either player can (and often will) cause the whole effort to fail. Group actions can be immediate or sustained
Using tools to increase effect
It is possible to make use of tools to increase the effectiveness or reduce the difficulty of a particular action. A good example of this is a spanner; undoing nuts with your fingers is significantly harder that using a spanner suited to the task. Some tools, like the spanner, make a particular job significantly easier i.e. they reduce difficulty of a given task. e.g. a +2 sword adds two points to the dice roll when it is used. Some tools come with requirements that must be met before they can be used i.e. swords are not light, and a full-sized requires the wielder to have a strength of four in order to wield the sword without penalty. Well crafted tools or even magical tools often have lower requirements for use.
For actions where an AE's ability exceeds the target difficulty no dice roll (or luck) is required for them to succeed. Simply minus the difficulty from ability to determine the success. This is very important for long running tasks that require significant success to complete because highly skilled individuals need not risk adversity by taking chances to get the job done.