01.0 Basics

Rolling Dice

A die code shows how good a character is in a particular area, how harmful a weapon is, how useful a Special Ability or tool is, and so on. Each die code (also known as a value) indicates the number of six-sided dice you roll (1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, etc.), and sometimes an added bonus of “+1” or “+2” — referred to as pips — you add to the total result you roll on the dice.

An Advantage, Special Ability, or piece of equipment may provide a bonus to the roll. If the bonus is in the form of a die code (such as +1D), then you add the listed number of regular dice to the amount you would roll. If the bonus is in the form of a number (such as +2), then you add the amount to the total that you rolled on the dice.

Example: A shovel adds 1D to digging attempts. A character who decides to dig a hole uses her lifting skill. If your character has a lifting skill of 4D, you would roll five dice to determine how well your character dug the hole with the shovel.


All Modifiers apply to the roll.  No modifiers are applied to the difficulty.  The difficulty remains static.  The source of a modifier comes from extenuating circumstances, environmental factors, mental factors, and anything else that makes the situations unique.  Instead of giving a series of specialized tables for each skill, a general scale of modifiers is given here to streamline the system and avoid a ton of book diving.   This table is a guideline to skill roll modifiers:

Condition/Situation Level to the character Modifier to Roll
Slightly Advantaged +3
Advantaged +5 or +1D
Very Advantaged +8 or +2D
Extremely Advantaged +10 or +3D
Extremely Disadvantaged -10 or -3D
Very Disadvantaged -8 or -2D
Disadvantaged -5 or -1D
Slight Disadvantaged -3

Standard Difficulties

A standard difficulty is a number that the gamemaster assigns to an action based on how challenging the gamemaster thinks it is. Existing conditions can change the difficulty of an action. For instance, walking has an Automatic difficulty for most characters, but the gamemaster may require someone who is just regaining the use of his legs to make a Very Difficult running roll to move even a few steps.

The numbers in parentheses indicate the range of difficulty numbers for that level.

Automatic (0): Almost anyone can perform this action; there is no need to roll. (Generally, this difficulty is not listed in a pre-generated adventure; it is included here for reference purposes.)

Very Easy (1): Nearly everyone can accomplish this task. Typically, only tasks with such a low difficulty that are crucial to the scenario are rolled.

Easy (6): Although characters usually have no difficulty with these tasks, an untrained character may find them challenging.

Moderate (11): There is a fair chance that the average character will fail at this type of task. Tasks of this type require skill, effort, and concentration.

Difficult (16): Those with little experience in the task must have a lot of luck to accomplish these actions.

Very Difficult (21): The average character only rarely succeeds at these kinds of task. Only the most talented regularly succeed.

Heroic (26):  Heroic tasks are nearly impossible, though there’s still that chance that lucky average or highly experienced characters can accomplish them.

Legendary (31): Legendary tasks are virtually impossible, though there’s still that chance that lucky average or highly experienced characters can accomplish them.

Standard Difficulties

Level Number
Automatic 0
Very Easy 1
Easy 6
Moderate 11
Difficult 16
Very Difficult 21
Heroic 26

Result Points

Result points refer to the difference between the skill roll and the difficulty. The gamemaster can use the result points to decide how well the character completed the task. Some skills use these points for specific purposes.  The gamemaster may allow a player to add one-half of the result points (rounded up) as a bonus to another skill roll or Supernatural or Special Ability effect. One-fifth of the result points from an attack roll can be included as bonus to damage. (Round fractions up.)

Result Points and Success

Here are some guidelines for describing different levels of success. Use the result points of the roll — the difference between the skill total and the difficulty — to decide on the exact level.

Minimal (0): The total was just barely enough. The character hardly succeeded at all, and only the most minimal effects apply. If “minimal effects” are not an option, then maybe the action took longer than normal to succeed.

Solid (1–4): The action was performed completely, but without frills.

Good (5–8): The results were better than necessary and there may be added benefits.

Superior (9–12): There are almost certainly additional benefits to doing an action this well. The character performed the action better, faster, or more adeptly than expected.

Spectacular (13–16): The character performed the action deftly and expertly. Observers would notice the ease or grace with which the action was performed (if applicable).

Incredible (16 or more): The character performed the skill with such dazzling quality that, if appropriate to the task, it could become the subject of conversation for some time — it’s at least worth writing home about. Gamemasters should dole out some significant bonuses for getting this large of a roll.

Example: A character who trying to use the survival skill to forage for food gets a minimal success — she finds “subsistence level” food; it’s barely better than garbage. The next day she gets a spectacular result — not only does she find good, wholesome food, but she finds enough for two days instead of one.

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