Game System v1:
The game system is built upon a couple basic mechanics:
Dice Pools comprised of attribute dice and skill dice, rolled to determine the number of successes. The standard Target Number is Five (5).
For simple actions, rolls are unnecessary. For standard actions only one success is needed. For more complex actions two or more successes may be needed.
When rolling dice, the result of a Six (6) “explodes”, allowing further re-rolls.
Keep track of the number of Ones (1) you roll! If you roll more ones than success, the action fails. If you roll no successes, and roll two or more ones, those ones mean a critical failure, fumble or botch!
There are three main portions of a character;
Attributes which define the physical and mental potentials of a character.
Skills which define what a character knows or can do… these are usually learned.
Abilities which are special talents which further define the character.
Attributes range from one to six and represent the number of dice rolled to achieve a success in any given circumstance.
In character creation all basic attributes are purchased with build points.
For attributes the following examples explain what the numbers mean:
An attribute of one is considered underdeveloped. Possibly a child or young adult. Maybe old or infirm.
An attribute of two is low-average. Possibly someone who rarely uses the attribute or is recovering from an injury.
An attribute of three is average.
An attribute of four is well trained, possibly using that attribute on a daily basis.
An attribute of five indicates superior abilities based on this attribute. This character is likely superior to most people he knows in this area.
An attribute of six is exceptional. World-class. Maximum human potential.
Brawn- This is a measure of physical strength. Lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling power. Usually depicted visually as big muscles.
Health- This is how healthy, sturdy, hardy and generally resistant to harm a character is.
Agility- This is basic hand-eye coordination, reflexes, quickness, dexterity and reaction time, all rolled in to one.
Smarts- This is cognitive ability. Reasoning. The ability to memorize and correlate data.
Common Sense- This is should be self-explanatory. This is the practical application side of smarts…Often learned through life, experience and hard-knocks.
Feelings- Empathy, intuition, hairs standing up on the back of your neck…this is your sixth sense.
Charm- This is the average of Common Sense and Feelings. This attribute determines how smooth you are socially, usually a combination of situational awareness and being able to read people.
Looks- This is automatically a Three (3) unless altered by an Ability (with a positive or negative adjustment). May be purchased with build points.
Perception- This is a catch-all for any sort of sensory perception. This is purchased with build points.
Willpower- Strength of will, the character’s ability to resist compulsion. Guts. Spirit. Inner-Fortitude. Whatever you want to call it. This is purchased with build points.
Taint- This is a measure of the loss of your humanity through interaction with toxic environments, mutations, illness, arcane powers and other forces vying for the souls of men in these latter days. This starts at zero and builds to six at which point the PC becomes an NPC and is removed from play.
Skills are usually gained through training, though sometimes they come naturally or through another sort of learning called The School Of Hard Knocks. Either way, they define what a character knows, what they’ve learned and what they can or can’t do.
In play, skills are rated from Zero (0) which is Untrained to Six (6) which is Exceptional and the maximum human potential. Ratings also equate to the number of dice this skill adds to the Dice Pool.
The skills in this system are very broad in definition and few in number. While this may seem limiting let me explain how it is used.
For example, Athletics is a skill. It encompasses running, jumping, climbing, acrobatics, gymnastics and everything that could possibly fall under “Athletics”. Depending on how it is used, or what is being attempted is going to determine which Attribute goes with it to create the Dice Pool.
For Swimming, Athletics may be Brawn-based in order to catch the kid slipping downstream…but may be Health-based when trying to swim underwater a long ways.
Skills can be used many different ways, with many different combinations of attributes depending on the situation. The determination of which attribute to link to will be determined collaboratively between the narration of both the GM and Player, with the GM being the final arbiter.
Each skill will be labeled either Physical or Mental depending on which type of attribute is appropriate at the time. This will narrow it down for the GM and Player to decide which attribute would work best in the given situation.
Athletics (physical) - This encompasses running, jumping, climbing, acrobatics, gymnastics, swimming etc.
Stealth (physical) - This covers sneaking, hiding, and otherwise trying to remain obfuscated…in any setting.
Ranged Combat (physical) – From thrown weapons to shooting a bow to firing a rifle…this is combat outside of arm’s reach.
Close Combat (physical) – Anything from wrestling, to fisticuffs, to sword and knife-fights.
Dodge (physical) – This is the general skill for getting out of the way of anything.
Pilot (varies) – This is a catch-all skill for piloting anything from a motorcycle, to a pickup, to a dump truck, to a 747 jumbo jet. [Note: this could vary greatly. Pilot + Smarts to get the vehicle started, then maybe Pilot + Agility to keep it on the road.]
Ride (physical) – This is stay on the back of a vehicle or animal without falling off and breaking your neck in the effort.
Etiquette (mental) – This is the skill to allow someone act appropriately to the situation or circumstance.
Perform (varies) – This could be acting, singing, juggling, dancing, oration, etc.
Manipulate (varies) – This is an extremely broad skill which encompasses negotiation, intimidation, fast-talk, or otherwise schmoozing to influence people one way or another.
Tech (varies) – This skill includes all sorts of technical skills including building, repairing as well as lock-picking. This can also be used to speak/understand technical jargon.
Concentrate (varies) – This is the skill to focus all your attention to one area, one action, or even multi-task.
Investigate (mental) - This is a skill that covers research, and gathering information.
Survival (varies) – This encompasses survival in all sorts of terrain and climates as well as hunting and foraging as well as tracking.
Knowledge (Smarts) - Unlike the rest of the skills, this one is unique as it is always based on Smarts, yet is not a single skill. Knowledge as a skill needs to be coupled with a topic…like Knowledge Science, or Knowledge Math or Knowledge 20th Century Comics. Each one is a separate skill.