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Author Topic: Resolution mechanics in Zero?  (Read 2894 times)

Posts: 19

« on: August 21, 2005, 05:39:26 AM »

I was not sure where to post this, so admins feel free to move the post if I got it wrong.

Ron mentioned in one of the articles that the Zero rpg used a single roll for each player and the GM for resolution. That peaked my interest and I would love to know more about how it works, but since the system is long out of print, and there is little info on it available on the web (the reviews at rpg.net don't mention the resolution mechanics of the system). So, would anyone that owns or has played Zero care to shed some light on how the resolution mechanic works in that system, please?


Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2005, 07:50:25 AM »


My apologies, Ragnar! I forgot to answer this.

Let's start by explaining individual resolution in Zero. You have a target number which you must exceed, from 1 to 10 depending on the action. You roll two dice and multiply their values, for a total of 1 to 36. Exceeding your target by units of 10 is highly desirable, especially when damaging an opponent.

Now let's go to resolution with lots of characters all running around and trying to duck and shooting at each other. (This system inspired Sorcerer's, absolutely directly.) Announcements by players and GM are all made first, without reference to any character actually going into motion ("free and clear," I call it now). Everyone then all rolls at once. The order of actions occurs from highest total to lowest total, and (just as Sorcerer does) the targets for successful actions can abort their upcoming action to defend if they haven't gone yet. (Note that Sorcerer doesn't use target numbers, but this difference isn't relevant to my current point.)

Anyway, now for what you're asking about. Instead of designating two dice per NPC and then rolling them as such, the GM multiplies the number of NPCs by two and rolls the whole handful. Looking over the players' rolls, he or she then designates which NPC gets which pair of dice from the handful (all sitting face-up on the table). So the GM could, for instance, make sure that his bad-ass NPC gets the first shot, or basically consistently rolls very well. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that the bad-ass NPC will hit, or that he or she won't get hit, but it does mean (since once having gone, you get full defense) that the NPC's chances go up a little.

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