Chapter 4

Basic Rules - Skill Conflicts

Skill Conflicts

The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it. -H. A. Simon

A Character's Stamina (STA) is a pool of dice that represents how much effort, energy and concentration they can spend on actions before becoming exhausted.

When a Character wants to take an action that requires some effort or carries some risk of failure, the Director declares the Difficulty (2-10) and optionally the Effort required to complete the task. The Character must then make a Skill Roll to resolve the outcome of the conflict.

Difficulty and Effort

Difficulty indicates how hard it is to make progress on a task. Effort is how much work is required to complete a task. Consider climbing a mountain - the steepness of the slope is represented by the Difficulty; the height of the mountain is represented by the Effort. As another analogy, Difficulty is a target's armour and Effort is the target's health.

Difficulty and Effort Quick Reference
Scenario Difficulty Effort Attribute
Hitting the Bullseye on a Dartboard 9 1 Agility
Kicking down a Heavy Door 5 9 Strength
Climbing up a Flagpole 8 16 Fortitude
Singing a Short Tune in Key 3 4 Charm
Searching for a Word in a Dictionary 2 9 Vigilance
Translating a Phrase into another Language 7 4 Judgement

The Director must declare the Difficulty before the roll, but they may choose not to disclose the Effort. When describing the approximate Effort remaining they can choose to be either broad or specific if they believe the Character would be able to estimate how close they are to success. Many social skills (Diplomacy, Intimidate, Inspire, Influence, Persuade or Bluff) require a high amount of Effort (you might have to haggle or negotiate for a long time) and it can be difficult to read how close you are to convincing the person you are speaking with.

Eyeballing Rolls

The Director doesn’t need to track detailed Effort for all tasks. In many cases it is faster to get the player to roll first and use magnitude of the Result to adjudicate the outcome. A few Major successes or a high Result indicate that they accomplished their goal, but a low Result means they need to try again next time.

If a task is simply Pass/Fail, then the Director doesn't need to track Effort. At their discretion they can decide that one or more Major Successes is all that is needed, regardless of the total.

Some tasks require single bursts of high Effort. For example, to Climb a slippery slope the Character would need to get a Result of at least 7 in a single roll or they will slide back down. When this is the case, the Director can subtract some amount from the progress each turn.

Skill Rolls

Characters may use an Action on their turn to make a Skill Roll in an attempt to make progress or complete a task:

  • The Director declares the Difficulty and appropriate Skills or Attribute for the task.
    • (Optional) the Director may also disclose the Effort remaining in broad or specific terms.
  • The Player chooses how many Stamina they will spend on the task. The Character can choose to spend up to X STA to roll Xd10, but they cannot spend more than the relevant Attribute in a single turn (e.g. a Character with 3 Vigilance could roll up to 3d10 to do Vigilance related skills in a turn).
  • For each Stamina they spend, they roll 1d10. For each die:
    • If the die is a double (showing the same as another die) or shows a 1, this die contributes a Miss value to the Result.
    • If the die is less than or equal to the Difficulty, this die contributes a Minor value to the Result.
    • If the die is greater than the Difficulty, this die contributes a Major value to the Result.
  • Remove all Miss dice from the Character’s Stamina Pool.
  • If the Character is using weapons or equipment, they may be able to add some modifiers or choose to reroll Major dice (see Items & Parts…)
  • The Result of the roll is the total of the Major, Minor and Miss values from the Skill/Attribute used after applying item and situational modifiers.
    • Skills marked with an asterisk (or in situations determined by the Director) can have negative Result values.
    • Otherwise, the Result cannot be below 0.
  • Subtract the Result from the Effort remaining for the task (a negative Result value means the Effort increases!). When the Effort is below 0, the task is complete! Any remaining dice are returned to the Stamina Pool.

Flashback Benefits

When a character has used a Flashback to advance one of their skills, they can choose to roll 1d12 in place of 1d10 whenever they roll to resolve a Conflict. These d12s still cost 1 STA each, returned as normal to the STA pool unless the die is a Miss.

If a character has two different skills that are relevant to the roll, add their levels together to determine how many d12s may be used.

Lost Attributes

If a Character has 0 in an Attribute related to a Skill Conflict (e.g. because they are injured), they must roll 2d10 and the result is the lowest (similarly, if they have -1 in an Attribute they must roll 3d10, and so on).

Combined Tasks

More than one Character can attempt a task together, to combine the Results. Roll all Skills at the same time but count doubles (for the purposes of Misses) across all dice rolled. This represents the extra risk from trying to coordinate between the contributors. When working together, Characters may share any energy or resources (not Stamina) to help others activate Items or Abilities.