The Forge Archives

General Forge Forums => First Thoughts => Topic started by: redwing on October 10, 2009, 01:39:01 PM



Title: Stunt d6...New Heartbreaker
Post by: redwing on October 10, 2009, 01:39:01 PM
Hello All! I have not visited these boards in quite some time. I have picked up the work on my rpg system (including a rules set and setting). Yes, this is most likely a heartbreaker. The game is designed to be "simple." To me that doesn't mean it can't be very detailed. I consider GURPS to be a simple game with complexity stapled on. I use one core mechanic throughout the game, followed with optional attachments to supplement the core. The main focus of the game was to facilitate all types of gameplay, including physical, mental, social, and magical. I want to bring the combat scenes from 300, the light side/dark side mental conflicts from Star Wars, the political intrigue of The Tudors, and the magic of Harry Potter into one arena. I have noticed that most posters in these forums as one big question "what do the characters do." Most responses include "whatever they want to." My response is almost as vague (and terrible). My game will focus on dynamic character development (socially and mentally) as they are usually forced into situations beyond their control. Similar to many JRPGs such as Final Fantasy or even Lord of the Rings, the characters develop over a period of time as they encounter challenges brought forth by the story. [As a side note, this development will hopefully be RP based, not the traditional "level" based.] To aid in this goal, I have added mechanical rules for both social and mental aspects of the character.

This was a very rudimentary introduction to the game. In the following posts, I will copy and paste from my work the basic mechanics followed by other posts including the mechanics for each physical, mental, social, and magical conflicts and contests. There may be some missing information (or what the heck does this do?) as I am not going to copy and paste all of what I have (it would just take to much space and is not needed for a basic discussion).

Anyway, I am excited to hear what you have to say. I already know that this is quite a bit. It may seem complex at first read, and I have already heard this. But, since there is a singular core mechanic, and the rules for all four types are relatively similar, actual gameplay isn't that bogged down. Its actually quite simple and fast.

Thanks in advance!


Title: Re: Stunt d6...New Heartbreaker
Post by: redwing on October 10, 2009, 01:40:08 PM
The Basics
   The Core Mechanic
      Stunt d6 is a Fortune based game which lets chance decide the results of any particular action. The randomness lies in the dice; however a character’s level of talent or skill always affects the outcome. The Core Mechanic lies in the Success Roll. To determine whether or not an outcome is successful, 2d6 are rolled. This value must be equal to or less than the character’s effective statistic being tested. There are a variety of other side mechanics such as damage rolls, initiative rolls, and action points. All these mechanics are discussed in full detail in their appropriate sections.
      The game mechanics require the use of dice. The following phrase is used to abbreviate dice rolling:  XdY + Z. This terminology translates to “roll X amount of dice which are Y sided and add Z. For example:  4d6 +2 translates to “roll four six-sided dice and add two” (generating a number between 6 and 24). The first number, X, tells you how many dice to roll (all of which are added together), the number after the “d”, or Y, tells you what type of dice to use, and any number after that, Z, indicates a quantity that is added to or subtracted from the result. The following dice are used in stunt d6:  d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20.

   The Success Roll
      A Success Roll is a roll of the dice made when a conflict arises and there is a chance of success or failure. These occur during conflicts/contests. See below for more information on conflicts and contests. Whenever a character attempts to overcome a contest, or challenge, the player rolls 2d6 to determine the outcome. This is called the success roll. The task in question succeeds if the total rolled on the dice is less than or equal to the number that governs the action, commonly a type of Accuracy. Otherwise, it fails. The value the die roll is compared to varies from situation to situation, but is always one of the sixteen stats of the character.
      Success Rolls don’t always need to be rolled. If a conflict arises that is so easily accomplished or so completely impossible, don’t bother with the dice. To describe mechanically, it is assumed that trivial tasks obtain 100 bonus die and impossible tasks obtain 100 penalty die. However, certain circumstances may alter these situations. For example, tying a shoe is a trivial task. Shooting down the sun is an impossible task. If a character is attempting to tie his or her shoe in the middle of a stampede, it may not be so trivial. If the character has access to a direct means to shoot down the sun, it may not be impossible. Also, if the GM arbitrates that the characters simply defeat any opponents in a sword duel or have no problem convincing the king he is wrong, dice need not be rolled. The rolling of dice is used to enhance a game or story, not diminish them. The only time dice should have to be rolled is when the characters face a conflict in which the result may affect the story’s outcome.

   The Damage Roll
      A Damage Roll is a roll made following a success, indicating harm to an opponent. The amount and type of die rolled is indicated by how the damage is being implemented. Usually, weapons or other implements will indicate what die and how many of that die are to be rolled. Other sources of damage, including Hazards will indicate their own damage rolls. Damage rolls are termed “explosive.” Any roll that lands on the maximum value possible (a 6 on a d6) allows the player to roll again and add the second roll to the initial damage. The player may continue rolling as long as each roll results in the maximum value possible for the die or dice used.

   The Initiative Roll
      The Initiative Roll is made as the 3rd phase in any conflict and dictates order of turns in a round. The Initiative Roll is 2d6, like the standard Success Roll. In order to determine initiative the character’s effective evasion score is subtracted from the value of the roll. The character with the lowest value takes his or her turn first and is followed by the character with the second lowest value, and so on, and so on. Characters with the same initiative value act simultaneously.

   Bonus Die and Penalty Die
      Certain character traits (such as advantages) or action options (such as combinations) will add bonus die or penalty die to your success roll. A bonus die is actually removing one die from the die pool you are about to roll and a penalty die is an additional die to the die pool you are about to roll. A bonus die always improves your odds, while penalty die always reduce them.

   Modifiers
      There are two types of modifiers; one that modifies a statistic and one that modifies a dice roll. Modifiers that affect a statistic are added to or subtracted from one of the sixteen secondary statistics of the character, whereas modifiers that affect dice rolls are added to or subtracted from the total value of the dice rolled. Usually, modifiers to success rolls are statistic modifiers and modifiers to damage rolls are dice modifiers. Modifiers to initiative rolls may be of either variety, but are always clearly indicated.
      There are occasions when a number is added to or subtracted from the statistic you are rolling against. These are a special type of statistic modifier called a success roll modifier. Bonuses always improve your odds, while penalties always reduce them. Certain character traits such as skills and styles often apply modifiers to success rolls. Other situational circumstances may add modifiers to success rolls at the GM’s discretion. These modifiers will be clearly indicated. For example, a modifier may call for you to roll a standard success roll against Physical Accuracy at -3 to attempt to attack an opponent. If your base Physical Accuracy score is 12, you would roll 2d6 and attempt to roll under a 9.
      Modifiers to Damage Rolls work similarly to modifiers to success rolls in the fact that they may improve or reduce the intensity of certain actions. However a large difference is the fact that the damage roll modifier is added to or subtracted from the total value of the dice rolled, not a particular stat. See the dice conventions above for more information on how to apply modifiers to damage rolls.   
      Modifiers to Initiative Rolls may affect either the value of the dice rolled or the character’s evasion statistic, each modifying the total initiative value.

      Base Value vs. Effective Value
         A base value is a value unmodified. An effective value is a value that has been affected by modifiers. A base stat is the actual score in a particular stat, as recorded on a character sheet. An effective stat for a particular task is the base stat plus or minus any modifiers for the task. A base dice roll is the total value indicated on the dice rolled. An effective dice roll is the total value indicated on the dice roll plus or minus any modifiers for the task.

   Margin of Success or Failure
      After adding or subtracting modifiers to the base stat to determine the effective stat, the success roll is made to determine the outcome. If the total rolled on the dice is less than or equal to the effective stat, the action is a success. If the value is higher, the action fails. Some instances will take into account margins. For example, if your effective stat is 14 and you rolled a 10, the margin of success would be 4. The same applies to margins of failure. This margin may be compared to tables at particular situations to determine special outcomes that affect play.
   
      Critical Success or Failure
         Certain rolls are always successful, called a critical success, while certain rolls are always a failure, and called a critical failure. The range for a critical success is always the lowest value possible of a dice roll to that value plus one. The range for a critical failure is always the highest value of a dice roll to that value minus one. Bonus die and penalty die greatly affect success and failure. For example, a critical success on a standard success roll of 2d6 is 2 to 3, whereas the critical failure range is 11 to 12. Add a penalty die and values change to 3 to 4 for a critical success and 17 to 18 for a critical failure. Simply put, the lowest two possible values of a dice roll are counted as a critical success and the highest two possible values of a dice roll are counted as a critical failure. The “explosiveness” of the damage roll may be considered the counterpart of the critical success of success rolls for damage rolls. See the Damage Rolls section for more information on die “explosions.”

   Action Points
      Characters begin play with no action points; however, they may be purchased with character points at a ratio of one to one (one action point gained for every character point spent). They may also be gained any time a character hindrance (disadvantage, quirk, handicap, or flaw) is introduced into game play. Every time a hindrance is invoked, a character gains a single action point. Action points are another sort of currency, similar to character points (see later for information on character points). Action points allow a player to make a re-roll of any dice roll (success, damage, or initiative). Once an action point is spent, it is no longer available.

   Conflicts and Contests
      Before beginning, a distinction must be made. Conflicts are the broad category depending on method (physical, mental, social, magical), whereas Contests are the actual challenges characters attempt to overcome and are further divided into static, dynamic, and opposed. Each type of Conflict has its own Static, Dynamic, and Opposed contests as follows:

            Static                                           Dynamic                           Opposed
Physical   carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling           craft or athletics                   Combat
Mental   memory or reasoning                           intelligence or wisdom   Duel of Wits
Social   first impression, like/dislike                   public view or vocation   Argument
Magical   carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling           enchant or aura control   Magical Duel

      Conflicts
         There are four types of Conflicts: Physical, Mental, Social, and Magical. Physical conflicts are those that involve the body. Mental conflicts are those that involve the mind. Social conflicts are those that involve social interactions. Magical conflicts are those that involve the spirit.

      Contests
         There are three types of Contests: Static, Dynamic, and Opposed. Static contests are base challenges tied to the core of a character. Any character may attempt a static challenge and it his or her natural talents (statistics) that are challenged. Dynamic contests are those challenges that require skill or training. Whereas static contests are those based around a character’s “nature,” dynamic challenges are based focused on “nurture.” These are tests involving a character’s skills. Opposed contests are challenges which directly involve harming another character, usually resolved by using one of the 13 standard actions as later described. Opposed challenges may include a static or dynamic contest within the overall challenge as natural talents and training are often used in opposed conflicts. Each conflict and its respective contests are further detailed in later chapters.
         Some contests may be a competition, others may be supported. If a contest is a competition where two or more characters are attempting to achieve the same goal, both roll normal success rolls. If one character succeeds and the other fails, the winner is obvious. If both succeed, it is the character with the highest margin of success that wins. If both fail, it is the character with the lowest margin of failure that wins. Some contests may be supported by other characters. If a character is attempting to aid another character in a contest, the supporting character rolls a success roll as well. If it is a success, the margin of success is added as a modifier to the primary character’s statistic which he or she is rolling against. If the supporting character fails the success roll, no aid is granted.


Title: Re: Stunt d6...New Heartbreaker
Post by: redwing on October 10, 2009, 01:41:02 PM
Conflicts and Contests
   As reprinted from the Basics section in the Introduction:
   
   Before beginning, a distinction must be made. Conflicts are the broad category depending on method (physical, mental, social, magical), whereas Contests are the actual challenges characters attempt to overcome and are further divided into static, dynamic, and opposed. Each type of Conflict has its own Static, Dynamic, and Opposed contests as follows:

    Static   Dynamic   Opposed
Physical   carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling   craft or athletics   Combat
Mental   memory or reasoning   intelligence or wisdom   Duel of Wits
Social   first impression, like/dislike   public view or vocation   Argument
Magical   carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling   enchant or aura control   Magical Duel

Conflicts
   The game revolves around conflicts. The setting provides the backdrop. The characters and extras provide the people involved. The plot provides a story framework and theme to work with. But conflicts provide the action. Conflicts dictate what happens to the setting, characters, extras, and story. A conflict may vastly alter setting components, change how characters/extras interact or respond to others or the environment, and guide or change the course of the story. Without conflict, there is no drama. Moments of suspense are derived from a chance of failure. Conflicts provide that chance to fail. On the other hand, nothing beats the feeling of success. Success can’t occur if there is no conflict to overcome. Any game would be quite boring without conflict. All the other components of the game (setting, characters, extras, and story) exist for one reason:  to provide conflict.
   A general, yet completely explanatory, approach to conflicts was introduced in the basics section in the introduction. The section is reprinted here for ease:

   “There are four types of Conflicts: Physical, Mental, Social, and Magical. Physical conflicts are those that involve the body. Mental conflicts are those that involve the mind. Social conflicts are those that involve social interactions. Magical conflicts are those that involve the spirit.”

   Conflicts don’t get much more complex than what was discussed in that section. Conflict is divided into four types. There are Physical, Mental, Social, and Magical conflicts. Each is governed by its respective statistic and involves the clearly indicated method of overcoming the challenge. Physical conflicts rely on the body and other physical attributes to overcome the conflict. Mental conflicts rely on the mind and other mental attributes to overcome the conflict. Social conflicts rely on social interaction and other social attributes to overcome the conflict. Magical conflicts rely on the spirit and other magical attributes to overcome the conflict. As stated above, there are four types of conflicts and each conflict has three types of contests or challenges. For any conflict, both static and dynamic contests are resolved with a simple Success Roll. Opposed contests are matches involving attrition, wearing the defending opponent down to either 0 or -10 essence points, depending on the attacking character’s goal.
   A special case is the mixed conflict. Any given conflict may be a mixture of the various types. For instance, in a sword duel (physical conflict) there are usually moments in which characters pause to sling insults concerning their opponent’s combat style or even regarding their opponent’s mother (mental conflict). Or as the wizard hurls a fireball at his or her opponent, the character may attempt to gain information on why the villain is motivated to do such horrible acts (social conflict). There are several combinations of conflicts, including one to four of the types in any given situation.
   The previous examples listed were all forms of opposed contests. Including the three various types of contests, as described below, opens up an even larger number of conflict mixtures. Mixing in static and dynamic contests of varying conflicts is extremely simple and requires no extraneous rulings. A character may be battling a horde of orcs (physical opposed contest) and pause to lift the gate to allow allies to joining the fray (physical static contest). Any other mixture applies. It is when opposed contests are combined that an interesting ruling applies. When mixing differing conflict opposed contests, it is advised to subtract damage from one essence value to speed up conflict resolution. However the final blow must be achieved by the respective attack.
   For example, let’s examine the example used above with the sword duel. When the opponents physically harm each other with their swords, physical essence is drained (health points). When they pause to taunt each other, mental essence is drained. Instead, the player or GM may subtract damage from the physical essence pool for the mental attack (representing the physical ramifications of such an insult, i.e., enraged actions that hinder combat effectiveness). Or if the opposed contest is primarily a mental conflict, the sword attacks may be subtracted from the mental essence pool (possibly representing the shock of the blow). However to drop an opponent to 0 or lower essence, the respective attacks must be made. Using a mental attack will not physically kill an opponent. Nor will a sword thrust drive a character insane.

Contests
   As reprinted from the Basics section in the Introduction:

   “There are three types of Contests: Static, Dynamic, and Opposed. Static contests are base challenges tied to the core of a character. Any character may attempt a static challenge and it his or her natural talents (statistics) that are challenged. Dynamic contests are those challenges that require skill or training. Whereas static contests are those based around a character’s “nature,” dynamic challenges are based focused on “nurture.” These are tests involving a character’s skills. Opposed contests are challenges which directly involve harming another character, usually resolved by using one of the 13 standard actions as later described. Opposed challenges may include a static or dynamic contest within the overall challenge as natural talents and training are often used in opposed conflicts.
   Some contests may be a competition, others may be supported. If a contest is a competition where two or more characters are attempting to achieve the same goal, both roll normal success rolls. If one character succeeds and the other fails, the winner is obvious. If both succeed, it is the character with the highest margin of success that wins. If both fail, it is the character with the lowest margin of failure that wins. Some contests may be supported by other characters. If a character is attempting to aid another character in a contest, the supporting character rolls a success roll as well. If it is a success, the margin of success is added as a modifier to the primary character’s statistic which he or she is rolling against. If the supporting character fails the success roll, no aid is granted.”


Title: Re: Stunt d6...New Heartbreaker
Post by: redwing on October 10, 2009, 01:41:33 PM
Physical Conflict and Contests
   Static. Any challenge that tests the character’s natural talents through his or her body is a physical static challenge. Carrying, lifting, pushing, pulling are examples of these challenges. A character’s margin of success determines the amount of weight able to be effected.

Margin of Success   Weight Carried, Lifted, Pushed, or Pulled
-12(-) to -9    No weight carried, lifted, pushed, or pulled
-8 to -3   Max weight equal to Physical Stat x 25 lbs.
-2 to 2   Max weight equal to Physical Stat x 50 lbs.
3 to 8   Max weight equal to Physical Stat x 75 lbs
9 to 12(+)    Max weight equal to Physical Stat x 100 lbs

   Dynamic. Dynamic Physical Contests are based around a character’s skill in crafting or athletics. Whenever a character attempts to use either their Athletic or Craft skills, the margin of success will determine how well the character succeeded as shown in the table below.

Margin of Success   Athletic or Craft Skill
0 or lower    Unsuccessful
1    Limited Success
2    Limited Success
3    Moderate Success
4    Moderate Success
5    High Success
6    High Success
7    Exceptional Success
8    Exceptional Success
9    Colossal Success
10+    Colossal Success

   It is at the GM’s discretion to interpret the level of success. Each situation is different, and the outcome may vary accordingly.

   Craft skills represent a character’s training in plying a trade. Any time a character wishes to craft an item, a simple success roll is made. It is at the GM’s discretion at how well the item was created, depending on the margin of success.

   Athletic skill represents a character’s training in using their “movers” (see Extras Guide for Racial Features information). Any time a character wishes to perform any act of mobility other than the standard movement action (Change Location-see Standard Actions further), a simple success roll is made. It is at the GM’s discretion at how agile the character is, depending on the margin of success.

   See the skills section for more information regarding individual skills.

   Opposed. Opposed Physical Contests are resolved through combat. Besides bringing an opponent to 0 or -10 essence points, the main goal for a physical opposed contest is to attack, defend, or perform recon (reconnaissance). As opposed to the six goals of both social and mental opposed contests (see further for more information), the three goals of physical opposed contests are more abstract in nature as contrasting from applying a particular set of game mechanics depending on the goal attained.

Attacking refers to damaging a person, place, or thing. The goal may be to defeat a horde of orcs, seize a fortification, or destroy a dam.

Defending refers to protecting or guarding a person, place, or thing. The goal may be to escort a noble, protect the castle, or safeguard a king’s crown until the ceremony of succession occurs.

Recon, or Reconnaissance, refers to providing intelligence or denying intelligence to an enemy. The goal may be to provide intelligence, supplies, or command to allies or disrupt communications, cut supply line, or upset command to an enemy’s forces.

The actual combat follows the standard rules for an opposed contest (see further). Pre-conflict conditions are evaluated, the first round begins, initiative is rolled, characters take turns, and this is all repeated until a victor attains the conflict’s goal, usually when the opponent is at 0 or -10 physical essence points.

To summarize, a physical opposed contest is simply defined as combat. The goal may be to attack, defend, or perform reconnaissance. Unlike other opposed contests, where secondary goals are attained through extraneous game mechanics, the victor automatically obtains the goal following the incapacitation of an enemy or group of enemies, a more abstract goal of attacking, defending, or performing recon. 


Title: Re: Stunt d6...New Heartbreaker
Post by: redwing on October 10, 2009, 01:41:59 PM
Mental Conflict and Contests
   Static. Any challenge that tests the character’s natural talents through his or her mind is a mental static challenge. These contests take the form of recalling information through memory or reasoning the solution to a riddle, puzzle, or game.

Margin of Success   Information recalled; reasoning skills
-12(-) to -9    Incorrect minor information recalled; incorrect solution obtained
-8 to -3   Incorrect standard information recalled; misleading hint/clue given
-2 to 2   No information recalled; no aid in solution
3 to 8   Standard information recalled; hint/clue given
9 to 12(+)    Minor information recalled; correct solution obtained

   Dynamic. Dynamic Mental Contests are based around a character’s skill in intelligence or wisdom. Whenever a character attempts to use either their Intelligence or Wisdom skills, the margin of success will determine how well the character succeeded as shown in the table below.


Margin of Success   Intelligence or Wisdom Skill
0 or lower    Unsuccessful
1    Limited Success
2    Limited Success
3    Moderate Success
4    Moderate Success
5    High Success
6    High Success
7    Exceptional Success
8    Exceptional Success
9    Colossal Success
10+    Colossal Success

   It is at the GM’s discretion to interpret the level of success. Each situation is different, and the outcome may vary accordingly.

   Intelligence skills represent a character’s training in particular fields of knowledge. Any time a character wishes to answer a question in the particular field of study, a simple success roll is made. It is at the GM’s discretion at how much information is granted by the success roll, depending on the margin of success.

   Wisdom skills represent a character’s training in either survival or clandestine actions. Any time a character would like to perform a task associated with the skill in questions, a simple success roll is made. Again, it is at the GM’s discretion how successful the task was performed, dictated by the margin of success.

   See the skills section for more information regarding individual skills.

   Opposed. Opposed Mental Contests are resolved through a duel of wits. Besides bringing an opponent to 0 or -10 essence points, the main goal for a mental opposed contest is to alter another character’s allegiances through manipulation or eristic dialogue. This is a broad generalization and may be broken down into six goals: sway morals, sway ethics, sway personal allegiances, sway beliefs, sway emotions, and sway personality.
   
   For further explanation, the character attempting to alter an allegiance is referred to as the “attacker,” and the character resisting the change in allegiance is the “defender.” In any contest, characters may be both attackers and defenders. These contests result in no tangible reward that mechanically affects game play. However, the result greatly affects the character changed, and may affect narrative aspects of the game. If a character is willing to change his or her allegiances, no mental opposed conflict takes place. This is determined by plot and character advancement. If the defending character is a Player Character, it is up to the player whether or not their character is willing to change allegiances. If the defending character is a Non Player Character, it is up to the GM whether or not the character is willing to change allegiances. These decisions should be based on the current plot. Since Mental Allegiances represent a character’s behavior and mental processes, the individual notions of the character will continually be impacted by the game’s ongoing turn of events. If a character is unwilling to change his or her allegiances, a mental opposed contest must occur.
   Opposed mental contests follow the opposed contest sequence as all other opposed contests. Pre-conflict conditions are evaluated, the first round begins, initiative is rolled, characters take turns, and this is all repeated until a victor has the opportunity to sway the losing character’s allegiances, usually when the opponent is at 0 mental essence points. Once the losing character is down to 0 mental essence points, the victorious character may alter the losing character’s allegiances. There are three options for this:

Adding an Allegiance. An opponent may be forced to add an allegiance at the first rank.

Remove an Allegiance. An opponent may be forced to remove an allegiance that is first rank.

Change an Allegiance. The opponent may be forced to change his or her allegiance by one rank in either a positive or negative direction. For example, if a character has a rank 3 Personal Allegiance to the King, in a defeated mental opposed conflict, the winner may choose to raise that allegiance by one rank to 4 or lower that allegiance one rank to 2.
It must be noted that this reflects character improvement through adventure, and affects character point value. If a character is given a new allegiance, he must later spend a character point to make it official. However, if an allegiance is removed the character gains a character point back. The same goes for raising/lowering allegiances.

   Due to the inherent change in attribute governed by the goal of the opposed contest, character points are added or removed. See the character improvement section for more information. In short, any points gained or lost in ranks of allegiances are added to or subtracted from the character’s character points.
   To summarize, a mental opposed conflict begins when a character is attempting to sway another character’s allegiances (moral, ethical, personal, belief, mood/disposition, or personality). The change is automatically achieved when the “defending” character is willing to have their allegiance swayed, as dictated by the story. Otherwise, the mental opposed contest sequence is begun. Like all opposed contests, Pre-Conflict Conditions are assessed. The first Round begins. Initiative is determined. Turns are taken. Rounds pass as a match of attrition occurs, determined by essence (mental health points). These steps are repeated until one character’s essence is dropped to 0, becoming stressed. The victorious character (with essence remaining) has two options. Option one is to drop the losing character’s essence further to -10, permanently removing the character from play by becoming insane. Option two is to add an allegiance at one rank, remove an allegiance that had only one rank, or shift an allegiance up or down by one rank. The addition or subtraction of ranks is equated to a gain or loss of character points and must be recorded.


Title: Re: Stunt d6...New Heartbreaker
Post by: redwing on October 10, 2009, 01:42:21 PM
Social Conflict and Contests
   Static. Any challenge that tests the character’s natural talents through his or her interactions with others is a social static challenge. This takes the form of a first impression or whether a character immediately likes or dislikes another character.

Margin of Success   First Impression, Like/Dislike
-12(-) to -9    Hostile
-8 to -3   Unfriendly
-2 to 2   Indifferent
3 to 8   Friendly
9 to 12(+)    Helpful
   
   Dynamic. Dynamic Social Contests are based around a character’s skill in public view or vocation. Whenever a character attempts to use either their Public View or Vocation skills, the margin of success will determine how well the character succeeded as shown in the table below.

Margin of Success   Public View or Vocation Skill
0 or lower    Unsuccessful
1    Limited Success
2    Limited Success
3    Moderate Success
4    Moderate Success
5    High Success
6    High Success
7    Exceptional Success
8    Exceptional Success
9    Colossal Success
10+    Colossal Success

   It is at the GM’s discretion to interpret the level of success. Each situation is different, and the outcome may vary accordingly.

   Public View skills are used to attain a goal following social opposed contests (see below). After meeting the prerequisites to use these skills, a simple success roll is made. Depending on the margin of success/failure, different results may occur. It is up to the GM to arbitrate what each level of success may grant in any particular situation.

   Vocation Skills are used when performing a service in association to one’s occupation (Craft Skills are counted as Physical Dynamic Contests, see the respective section for more information regarding Craft). The level of success determines how well the service was performed and again may affect results at the GM’s discretion.

   See the skills section for more information regarding individual skills.

   Opposed. Opposed Social Contests are resolved through an Argument. Besides bringing an opponent to 0 or -10 essence points, the main goal for a social opposed contest is to achieve a social goal through persuasion and negotiation. The goals for an argument are one of the following:

1.   Enacting Laws/Controlling the Environment
2.   Having Sexual Intercourse
3.   Gaining Material Objects or Resources
4.   Gaining Favors or Stimulating Actions
5.   Acquiring Fame
6.   Attaining Information

   For further explanation, the character attempting to achieve a goal is referred to as the “attacker,” and the character in the way of the attacker attaining his or her goal is the “defender.” Defenders may be positively predisposed to the attacker allowing the attacker to automatically obtain his or her goal. This will occur if the defender is on a Friendly or Helpful basis with the attacker, has a personal allegiance to the attacker, or has similar objectives (attributes including racial features, vitals, social standing, occupation, allegiances, culture, aura, or drive) as the attacker that are mutually benefited, without also going against any of the defender’s other attributes (again all the above). In any of these cases, the attacker has his or her goal achieved with no opposition. In any other instance, generally when the defender is unwilling to allow the attacker to achieve his or her goal due to disliking the attacker (indifferent, unfriendly, or hostile disposition) or differing attributes, an opposed social contest must occur.
    Opposed social contests follow the opposed contest sequence as all other opposed contests. Pre-conflict conditions are evaluated, the first round begins, initiative is rolled, characters take turns, and this is all repeated until a victor has the opportunity to achieve his or her goals, usually when the opponent is at 0 social essence points. Social Opposed Contests are different from other opposed contests because once an opponent is lowered to 0 essence points, a skill roll must be made to determine whether the goal was achieved. Following is a table indicating the social attribute tested, the skill involved, and the social goal achieved.

Attribute Tested   Skill Used   Goal
Rank   Influence   Controlling the Environment
Appearance   Seduction   Sex
Wealth   Bartering   Material Objects
Command   Leadership   Actions or Favors
Renown   Rhetoric   Fame
Contacts   Inquiry   Information

   For example, a diplomat wants the king to send an army to the diplomat’s home country to aid in a war with a third party. After the opposed social contest, using negotiation and persuasion styles, the diplomat brings the king’s social essence to 0. The diplomat’s goal is to stimulate action. The diplomat is testing the king’s command. The diplomat rolls a leadership (skill) success roll (adding the ranks in the skill as a positive modifier, see skills). The diplomat succeeds. The king agrees to send an army to the diplomat’s aid.
   Unlike mental opposed contests, there is no inherent change in the attacker or defender’s social standing attribute. Gain in social standing has a more tangible impact on the society surrounding the character and is seen as a reward, which is gained through character improvement. Gain in allegiances only has an impact to the character and is not necessarily a reward. The allegiance gain does affect game play as far as the narrative goes, but does not provide any tangible benefit, as does gain in social standing. The reverse is true for loss. Loss is seen as a negative consequence when affecting social standing, but as far as allegiances go, has no negative impact. Characters may gain or lose rank in social standing through character improvement (or social conditions for temporary changes). Besides being a reward/consequence, the other reason that social standing is not gained or lost is the goal of social opposed contests themselves. The goal may be one of the six listed in the chart above. With mental opposed conflicts, the entire goal is to change a character’s allegiance ranks in some manner.
   To summarize, a social opposed conflict begins when a character is attempting to achieve one of six social goals (controlling the environment, sex, material objects, actions or favors, fame, or information). The goal is automatically achieved under three circumstances (on Friendly/Helpful basis as per First Impression, “defender” has Personal Allegiance to “attacker”, or “defender” has similar attributes as the “attacker” that are mutually benefited by the goal). The social opposed contest sequence is begun under two circumstances (on Indifferent/Unfriendly/Hostile basis as per First Impression or “defender” has differing attributes as “attacker”). Like all opposed contests, Pre-Conflict Conditions are assessed. The first Round begins. Initiative is determined. Turns are taken. Rounds pass as a match of attrition occurs, determined by essence (social health points). These steps are repeated until one character’s essence is dropped to 0, becoming embarrassed. The victorious character (with essence remaining) has two options. Option one is to drop the losing character’s essence further to -10, permanently removing the character from play by becoming a social outcast. Option two is to perform a skill success roll to determine if the goal was achieved. If the particular public view skill check is successful, the respective goal is met. If the particular public view skill check is failed, the respective goal is not met, and the losing character remains embarrassed.