Ben, Nate and Justin have tried it. Im going to make a page with all of the rules eventually when I decide the best way to format it. Check this page as well: MoC System tests
- 1 The Premise
- 2 The Rules
- 2.1 Moment of Clarity
- 2.2 Game Mechanics
- 2.3 Dice Rolling
- 2.4 Cards
- 2.5 Chips (Advanced)
- 2.6 Fate
- 2.7 Beads
- 2.8 A note on Mechanics
- 2.9 Story Elements
- 2.10 Archetypes
- 2.11 Skills
- 2.12 The Skill List
- 2.13 Characteristics
- 2.14 Character Generation
- 2.15 Advantages/Disadvantages
- 2.16 Backgrounds
- 2.17 Bits
- 2.18 Putting It All Together
- 2.19 Combat
- 2.20 Initiative
- 2.21 To Hit
- 2.22 Damage
- 2.23 Dice Pools
- 2.24 Movement
- 2.25 A Shift of Perspective
- 2.26 Storytelling
The main idea is that we as players and GM work together to create a story. To ensure that everyone is gaining maximum enjoyment and exhibiting an appropriate amount of control over the game, certain new ideas are implemented. Among them:
What follows is my current rules document (10/19) pasted into here. I will work on going through it and making it more accessible as time permits. I encourage use of the discussion tab on this, say what you think sucks as well as what you like.
Moment of Clarity
The goal of this system is to move towards collaborative storytelling and away from gaming. The dice rolls should facilitate drama, not dictate it. Most of the time characters should succeed because of the creativity and ingenuity of the player, not the fortune on the faces of polyhedrons. In an effort to facilitate great storytelling a hierarchy of importance would look like this (from most to least important): Story->Character->Plot.
What does this mean? The accomplishing of tasks, no matter how large they seem at the time, is the least important facet of good storytelling. Players should not compromise their characters ideals to accomplish a task. But most importantly, players should be willing to sacrifice their character for the good of the story.
These ideas might seem foreign at first, because the majority of games seem to be centered around advancing the plot and gaining 'stuff', be it tangible (treasure) or intangible (experience). But when these small elements are examined, they are the least important parts of any story. To do storytelling well, players need to think outside of their own character, and understand the ramifications of all of their actions on a grander scale.
When a set of dice are rolled, the effect is determined by adding up duplicates. Any multiple instance of the same number is considered a duplicate. For each instance of a number past the first increment the number by 1. This returns the Effect Number (EN). Only natural occurances of a number may count as a duplicate.
EXAMPLE: If the following set of numbers were rolled, the EN would be 8: 6, 6, 6, 4, 3, 2
EXAMPLE: If the following set of numbers were rolled, the EN would be 9: 8, 8, 7, 7, 4, 2
Levels of success
Each attempted action can end in any of 6 levels of success: Spectacular failure, failure, near success, marginal success, success and outstanding success. To determine success a number of dice are rolled. Only two types of dice are used, d6 and d10. The target number (TN) for any action will be supplied by the GM. This target number is what needs to be scored to achieve 'near success'. Each successive level of success is a cumulative one higher. Spectacular failure can occur two ways, zero successes rolled and at least one '1', or zero successes rolled and one or more opponents play an EM to shift the level.
EXAMPLE: If the TN for a given action is 6, a 9 would be required for an outstanding success.
Note: The standard TN for any action is 7. A difficult action has a TN of 9, a very difficult action has a TN of 11+.
Each level of success will have a different meaning depending on the actual situation at hand. In many cases there is no difference between many of the levels. Dice are not the impetus of roleplaying or storytelling, and the GM should not feel required to reward outstanding rolls, or punish terrible ones, in all situations. Consider the following example:
Hrulfgarr Ericksonn is chasing a Kyr operative across a rooftop on Helios IV. The operative is very fast and has a good lead on him. In an attempt to lose Hrulfgarr once and for all, the operative leaps to another rooftop ten feet away. In his haste to make the capture Hrulfgarr has forgotten his jump belt. He sprints towards the edge and makes a jump.
Spectacular Failure: Hrulfgarr trips while attempting the jump, he falls immediately towards the ground with no chance to grab any ledges. His limbs are also entangled by his armored jacket slipping in such a way as to make any attempt at Breakfall or equipment usage impossible.
Failure: His leap is well short, but other equipment may be used to grapple during the fall or something else as appropriate.
Near Success: He makes a fine leap and lands just short, grabbing the building ledge. He will need to spend a full action next turn to pull himself onto the rooftop to continue his chase. He will lose sight of his quarry during this entire turn and count as half defense.
Marginal Success: He lands firmly on the target rooftop, but the momentum costs him half an action next turn. He remains fully aware of the target and retains all normal defensive capabilities.
Success: Hrulfgarr doesn’t miss a beat. He lands gracefully as if he had hopped only a few feet. No penalties of any kind.
Outstanding Success: As above. There is no appropriate Outstanding Success.
CONCEPT: Not all successes are the same; not all failures are the same; but their effects should be situational and not dictated by a dice roll.
Often players will determine actions without rolling dice by playing an Effect Modifier. In this case, any negative consequences of the action may be narrated by the player (and approved by the GM). If dice are rolled, negative modifiers will be determined by the GM. Generally, player determined negative modifiers should be of a lesser degree than GM mandated ones. This is a reward for keeping the story fluid by reducing the rolling of dice and adjudication.
CONCEPT: Players are rewarded with reduced penalties in exchange for deciding them themselves and keeping the story moving.
Any time dice are rolled the rolls are considered open ended. These are not open ended in the same sense as other systems. If the roll comes up 10, another die is rolled. This bonus die is treated exactly as an extra skill die except that these bonus dice treat 1's as 2's. Bonus dice are also open ended, and they may be freely modified by any EM which would normally affect such rolls. Open ended rolls may generate duplicates.
MoC utilizes a standard deck of playing cards. Before each session each player draws 2 cards for their character. Cards have a variety of uses, and because of their rarity much freedom should be granted to use them creatively. Only the most powerful of villains have Cards, though a group of villains in a single encounter may share a card pool. Players may not discuss their cards with each other unless expressly allowed by rule.
CONCEPT: Cards separate the heroes from the rabble. Be creative with them.
Cards as Beads
Cards may be exchanged for one bead for the appropriate suit if 2-9, 2 if 10 or Jack, 3 if Queen, 4 if King or 5 if Ace. A card may be played previous to a scene for two more beads. A card may also be used prior to a scene to shift half the face value of beads to any other Element for no cost. Cards do not regenerate, once they are used for a session they are gone. They also do not carry over to the next session.
Cards and Dice
Cards may also be used to augment dice rolls. The cards total numerical value may be split among any number of dice (in the same pool) if the card is on suit. Half the numerical value (rounded up) is added if it is not properly suited. Face cards are considered 11-13, and the Ace is high at 14.
Each suit has another which is considered related. Diamonds and hearts are related, as are clubs and spades. This means the Elements of Action and Plot, and Storytelling and Drama, are considered related pairs.
Any card or bead played may be trumped. Many dice rolls may also be trumped. If a card is played suited, then only a suited, higher value card or chip may trump. A suited card always trumps any off suited card or related card. A related card trumps an off suited card. Ties are broken by numeric value. All off suited cards are compared by number only. Any card played trumps any number of beads, though if the beads were played by a character within their appropriate archetype they do not expend the beads.
CONCEPT: Cards may trump the actions of others. No other EM can do this.
Sometimes the GM might trump a player’s action without the expenditure of a card to advance the story. When this occurs the GM should give the player a chip. There are three types of chips: white (1), red (3) and blue (5). The level of chip is its value. Chips may be traded up for a (value +1) exchange, or down at no penalty, at the end of any scene. No player may ever hold more than 4 chips at the beginning of a scene.
Example: Grun and 3 of his goons have Raphe cornered in a spaceport. Raphe is unarmed, and the enemies have their weapons drawn. The situation seems bleak. Being a Wildcard, Raphe plays a card to augment a very creative plan that seems to have a good chance of securing his escape. The GM hands him back his card and a Red Chip. Sorry Raphe, you're captured.
Chips may be used in a variety of ways. They can be exchanged at any time for a number of cards equal to their value, or twice as many beads. A white chip may be played for an automatic 'Success', even after a roll and any amount of trumps has been determined (subject to GM approval). At the end of an arc a blue chip (not 5 points) may be exchanged for one character point.
Chips should primarily be used in game, though they are the only method for gaining experience.
CONCEPT: Chips are powerful plot points, normally rewards for advancing the story or heroic deeds.
Sometimes actions of a player may be detrimental to a story. That player’s character should be penalized chips. Sometimes good roleplaying might fall into this category. Selfish actions which clearly help the player but hurt the plot and fit into a characters persona should still receive some kind of minor penalty. Sometimes a player may sacrifice their character for the good of the story. In this case, the player’s next character will retain all chips the player had earned, with a possible bonus. During an arc the GM will assign a certain number of possible XP that will be awarded in chips. After each session the GM will discuss what happened individually with each player. Players will have an opportunity at this time to nominate other players (secretly) for XP chips. If multiple PCs nominate the same character they should receive an experience chip.
CONCEPT: Let’s all work together and not be selfish.
Each scene characters are awarded beads based on their characteristics, archetype and campaign Power Level. These beads are considered temporary; they regenerate at the end of a scene and never carry over. When trumped, they do not return (except in certain circumstances).What Beads can do
- Add successes to a completed roll. Just remove the appropriate number of beads and declare their usage.
- Reduce the difficulty level by one previous to any roll. No more than one bead may be spent in this fashion unless it is a primary pool.
- Increase the size of the dice pool. Beads can be spent for two dice in any related primary pool or secondary pool, or one in any pool.
- Free successes. One bead may be spent for a marginal success before dice are rolled, this may not be increased in any way.
- Archetype specific bead expenditures. Each Archetype has a special bead expenditure only they can do.
- Other usage as approved by the GM.
CONCEPT: Beads are the storytelling currency of this game. Don’t be a scrooge, be a spendthrift.
Before each scene characters may allocate beads as they see fit. The GM should warn characters the new scene is beginning, and give them a short time to change any allocations and replenish spent beads. In standard power level campaigns characters receive one bead for each die in a primary Characteristic. They are allocated to their primary Element as determined by their archetype. Up to one third of these beads may be shifted to the Secondary Element for no cost. Players may also shift one bead to a Secondary Element for the cost of two beads. Any other element may be given a bead for a cost of three beads. Heroic power level campaigns award 1.5 beads per characteristic point, superheroic awards 2+.
A note on Mechanics
Game mechanics can be as important in any game as players and the GM want them to be. In the spirit of good roleplaying, the exploiting of game mechanics should never be rewarded. Players should not spend extra time finding ways they can accomplish more with their turns, and if they do the GM should assign penalties. Players should think about what is good for the story and what makes sense for their character, not how can they get the most from their actions.
CONCEPT: Keep the game moving and the min-maxing to a minimum. Real people make mistakes, when players do so while keeping the story fluid, the story will find a way to reward them.
Swashbuckling, driving, running, fighting, you name it. Action is the realm of the hero.
Storytelling is the art of being intertwined in all aspects of the plot. Good uses of storytelling do not bend the plot to your favor, but instead craft a more interesting and cohesive theme. The most creativity of any story element can be exercised with storytelling. Storytelling beads, however, do not relate to skills and are often more expensive to use.
Example: Rissh and Harry break into an apartment, looking for information on Hol Giamata's death. Two men who are seated at a table playing cards are startled by their sudden burst. Harry immediately fires his blast pistol, killing the first man. The second draws a pistol as Harry takes aim. Rissh does not want both of them dead, so he plays a Storytelling bead and tells the GM 'The second man was on the close side of the table, which is only a few feet away. I reach out and stun him with my Paralysis Rod.'
A lucky break, a clue nearly missed, or another twist of fate. These manifestations of fortune keep the protagonist an integral part of the ongoing story.
Interaction with NPC’s and PCs can be the driving factor behind many sorts of characters. These architects are the purveyors of drama. All types of intrigue and negotiation fall under this umbrella.
Those elements which come from the characters past or extra-game activities are considered Backgrounds. Background elements are inherently less permanent, yet also more easily replaceable.
Wildcard (cards can be played as if it had the suit of the players choosing and draw 4 cards and choose 3) As a Wildcard all Elements are considered secondary.
Hero (Three beads for Action during each scene) Heroes count Action as the primary Element, and Plot as the secondary Element.
Enigma (Three beads for storytelling each scene) An Enigma treats Storytelling as primary and Drama as secondary.
Protagonist (Three beads for Plot each scene) As a Protagonist Plot is the primary Element, while Action is the secondary.
Architect (Three beads for drama every scene) An Architect has Drama primary and Storytelling secondary.
Example: Raphe is conceived as a computer hacker and general juvenile delinquent of a future age. He needs the ability to do a lot of things well, and isn’t much of a specialist. Therefore, he chooses Wildcard as his Archetype.
Skills are things characters are able to do. Most skills are a combination of education and experience in a particular field. When skills are used (or anything is attempted) the result is an Action. There are three types of Actions: Skill rolls, Extended Actions and Opposed Actions.
Each skill has an element under which it falls, as well as a cascade of characteristics. These characteristics are the primary and secondary characteristics which may be used with this skill. The last number is the difficulty level. This is added to the target number if the skill is being attempted untrained. Untrained skill rolls are still open ended.
Any skill can be used untrained. Any skill with a difficulty level of 0 is considered easy, +1 is normal and +2 is difficult. When a skill is used untrained the difficulty level is subtracted in dice from the dice pool to a minimum of 1.
Example: Antares Darkeye, notorious space pirate, is attempting to break the code the GPR have used to imprison him in their brig. He doesn’t have Cryptography, so it is an untrained attempt. He has a Mind of 3 and a Reasoning of 2. Because Cryptography has a difficulty of +2, the target number will be 9 instead of the normal 7. He may roll 1 die (his Mind rating minus the difficulty level), expend a token from his Mind pool and roll 3 dice (Mind of 3 plus Reasoning of 2 minus a difficulty of 2) or use some combination of EM's.
Some skills may be used over a longer period of time. If a character is able to take a much longer time to perform a skill, extra dice may be awarded. The extra time should award dice based on a geometric progression. In other words, if it normally takes 30 seconds to do a skill, it would take one minute, thirty seconds to get a bonus die, and three minutes and thirty seconds to get two.
Example: Antares decides he must escape, so he will take his time on this Cryptography attempt. Because it is a difficult skill, the GM rules that it will take at least 5 minutes for an attempt. He tells the GM he will spend thirty five minutes, expend a Mind token, and roll 5 dice.
In some instances a character may wish to attempt an action where another character is opposing them. In this case, each character secretly rolls their appropriate dice and counts their successes. The active character (the one attempting the action) declares his number of successes, the resisting character then reveals how many levels are subtracted from the action. In both cases the declared numbers may not exceed what is rolled on the dice. Characters may save successes to be used later this action.
Example: Jean-Bart Coulard is firing his blast pistol on fully automatic at a group of Kyr agents. Coulard rolls his dice and counts 5 successes, but he tells the GM 3. The first agent has one success in his dodge pool, and chooses to use it. Coulard then allocates his two remaining successes, one each, on two other agents. One of them has a dodge success which he uses. Coulard has two successes against the first agent, none against the second and one against the final agent. Not bad!
Characters begin the game with a variable number of points depending on the campaign power level. Generally, a standard power level game begins with 100 points, a heroic with 125 and superheroic at least 200. These points are used to purchase the attributes the character uses throughout the game.
Primary Characteristics cost 5 times the level each level, and they have the previous level as a prerequisite. Each character gets 1 in each Characteristic free. Secondary and Derived Characteristics cost 3 times the level for each level, with the previous level is also a prerequisite. Skills cost one, with the same mechanic.
Example: Landon Sol needs to be effective in hand to hand combat as well as utilize his psychic abilities. Therefore he allocates his Characteristics like this:
Body 3 Cost: 25
S 1 0
T 2 6
Sp 2 6
Mind 1 0
R 1 0
K 1 0
P 1 0
Spirit 3 25
W 2 6
E 3 15
L 2 6
C 2 6
At 2 3
W 1 0
Co 1 0
En 1 0
Re 1 0
Pr 2 6
Li 2 6
Total cost: 104. This is a Heroic level game, so he has 21 points remaining for Skills and Advantages, before Disadvantages are applied.
What do these numbers mean? Landon has 3 free dice in all 12 Body skills. He gets 11 Beads in his Primary Element before the archetype adjustment is made (1.5x7). He needs to take 6 points of damage before he is dazed. These are just some of the concepts represented by these characteristics.
Rather than generating an exhaustive list of everything that could manifest itself in a character, a list of possible game effects and their respective costs can be used to simulate whatever edge or flaw a player desires. Of these, there are four possible types: Those that affect dice, those that affect beads, those that affect cards and those that affect anything else.
Dice affecting Advantages/Disadvantages
There are many ways to affect dice. Some (or all) pools may be increased or reduced. Floating dice may be introduced which may be assigned at the players whim. Bonuses or penalties may be assigned to the difficulty number of some or all tasks. Dice affecting adjustments are generally the cheapest category, and therefore more flexibility should be afforded when creating these types of adjustments.
Generally, dice affecting advantages are roughly equivalent to skills if they are applicable as often as skills. But because of their nature, they should cost slightly more, 1.5-2 times the dots, with the standard prerequisites.
Action Hero: This Advantage allows the player dice which can be allocated to any skill in the Action cascade. These dice return at the end of a specified time period (cost in parentheses): Scene (2 per die), Session (1 per die), Arc (.25 per die)
Weapons Master: As above but with a more limited number of related skills: Scene (1 per die), Session (.5 per die), Arc (.125 per die)
Martial Arts: Character rolls their Martial Arts level as a skill when attacking in the appropriate area. Character may play a bead to add his Martial Arts level to appropriate combat damage. Cost is double the cost of a skill at that level.
Anything more restrictive would be a Bit.
Swiftness: 2 free Dice when running, applies even when splitting dice pools. All Dice must be used to run only. 5 pts
Additional Movement Type: The cost of this Advantage is based on two factors: which ML it is based on and movement efficiency.
Bead affecting Advantages/Disadvantages
Beads are an integral part of game balance, and therefore adjustments which affect them need to be carefully handled. That doesn’t mean they should be restricted, most likely these adjustments should be common. Possible bead affecting adjustments include permanent or temporary bonus beads, adjusted bead allocation costs, improved bead replenishment and situational versions of the above.
Extra secondary element: 5
Change secondary element: 2
Extra primary element: 15
Extra bead each scene (primary): 2
Extra bead (any element) each session: 2
Superhuman Characteristic: Character may spend a bead (type chosen at character generation) to add the level of this power to the appropriate characteristic. May be purchased only for Secondary Characteristics: As Primary Characteristic
Card affecting Advantages/Disadvantages
Because of the limited nature of cards, the adjustments themselves should also be limited. Some possibilities include trading of cards, holding extra cards, affecting the cards of others and increasing the effectiveness of the cards played.
Hand of Fate: Draw an extra card each session. 10
Fortune: Draw one extra card and discard one each session. 5
Vortex: Force opponents to discard a card once per session. 5
Characters may also purchase Backgrounds. Backgrounds can be used to simulate contacts, favors, reputations, equipment or anything else that doesn’t fit in other categories. While an Advantage is inherently part of the character, a Background is something the character has earned, and is therefore inherently fleeting.
Money: 2 points per income level Contacts: 1 per x points (geometric) in single contact pool, where x=characters point value, +1 per loyalty level. Example: Antares Darkeye has become well acquainted with the officers of the Ball Lightning. He estimates their value at 1000 points, with no particular loyalty. Cost: 4 pts.
Often times a good concept has little nuances that pull the idea together. These are represented with Bits. The game effect of a Bit is equal to 3 dots in a skill. A character can get 3 Bits for one character point. By definition Bits are small wrinkles, and not full skills, therefore they should normally only be useful once every few sessions. These Bits should be flexible in their usage. Player creativity when using Bits is encouraged.
Example: Hrulfgarr Erickson is a veteran of many campaigns, and has earned many tattoos to commemorate such. He has also spent much time associating with those who have earned similar icons from different military services and organizations. Therefore he has a Bit equal to Knowledge: Heraldry, only for military commendations. He could alternatively use this as a Presence skill when attempting to impress someone else who recognizes the accomplishments. This is considered 1 Bit.
Putting It All Together
Everything a character can do outside of skills and characteristics should be handled on a case by case basis, with a negotiation between the GM and player. The player proposes a particular game effect for something his character should be able to do, and offers a cost he wants to pay. The GM then either approves it, or offers some sort of counter; this could be an alternate mechanics structure, a different cost, or a selection of Disadvantages which must accompany the proposal.
CONCEPT: Characters are played by the player, but they belong to the story. The GM and player work together to create a dynamic, fun, individual that will help make the story great.
For some reason people fight a lot in games. Stories in and out of games also tend to be rife with physical conflict. Fluid, exciting combat is an integral part of good roleplaying. As with other portions of MoC, combat will be a conceptual issue, which can be mapped as needed to the situation.
The following ideas illustrate what MoC is trying to accomplish:
1. Weapons are dangerous
2. Heroes are rare
3. Drama and excitement are integral to the story
4. Combat should move fluidly and not slow the story
5. Combat should not be the primary method of resolution
Combat is treated as a series of actions performed by the principals involved. Unless otherwise stated actions are considered to occur in the order resolved. To determine the order of actions each character involved makes a Sp roll (no B token must be expended). The character with the most successes goes first. All ties are resolved by counting the total on the dice. If a tie persists those actions occur simultaneously. At the end of any turn the GM may rule that initiative must again be determined. If this is done, the procedure is exactly the same.
To determine if a hit is scored the attack dice are rolled and compared to the target number (based on the defenders AG score). Each raise achieved is translated into an extra level of damage. These extra damage levels cannot be ignored by defenses.
When a character is hit with a weapon damage must be determined. The primary factors concerned when determining damage are hit location and weapon lethality. Any weapon that is lethal (for instance all firearms) rolls at least 6 dice to determine damage, with the success threshold being the weapons lethality adjusted by the hit location.
When damage is dealt, check all primary characteristics. None may exceed the current damage level, all excess tokens are lost.
Damage is divided into three types: damage, pain and fatigue.
Damage is actual physical trauma that results from violent actions such as gunshot wounds or falling from buildings. Damage heals over the course of days and weeks. Characters have six points of Damage.
Pain is the manifestation of stresses the body has accumulated in both the short and long term. When a character takes pain, the effect is added temporarily to their damage level for that turn only. If a character ever takes pain greater than his Body plus Toughness in a single hit they are dazed. Dazed characters cannot play beads (but may play cards or chips) and they lose their next action. Characters have (2xB+T+L) in Pain.
Fatigue is independent of damage and pain. Both damage and pain may increase the fatigue level, but fatigue rarely if ever increases either of those. Certain actions may also increase the fatigue level.
Success Levels and Damage
Extra levels of success in a to-hit action are added directly to the damage dice pool. The level of success will determine how damage is applied. Near Success is (Damage-1), rolled on d6. Marginal Success is damage rolled on d6. Success is normal Damage, and Outstanding Success allows the character to choose the hit location and roll full Damage.
When a character is hit, he may attempt to resist the damage. That character may roll dice equal to their Body characteristic. The secondary characteristic is T. The difficulty level is 7 plus the modifier due to hit location. Any damage resisted is converted to Pain; if no Pain spots remain they must take the damage. Any 10's rolled may completely ignore the damage instead of being open ended.
At the end of each scene each character recovers one level of Fatigue. If a character has no Fatigue, they may recover one characteristic token of their choice. Sometimes during long scenes the GM may allow characters to recover once per day. In heroic and superheroic games the recovery may be greater. A character may take a recovery at any time. To do so, declare the intention and spend a full action. The character may not split their dice pool and may do nothing else. If the character is injured in any way, or attempts any action (including dodge) at any time before their next action, the recovery is preempted. Once a recovery is successfully completed that character may recover Pain equal to their Toughness.
Damage is not recovered with an action. Each point is recovered separately, beginning with the highest level. At the end of the prescribed healing period an L roll is allowed. If at least one success is achieved the damage level is reduced by one.
When attempting any action where success is disputed dice must be rolled. All appropriate dice which are rolled are considered the dice pool. Many factors may contribute to how many dice are in the pool, including GM intervention.
The GM should feel free to give players dice for clever or ingenious thinking. Players should never be rewarded, however, for attempting to manipulate the situation for more favor to their character. Extra dice are awarded for contribution to the story, not for performing an unusual or interesting trick. This includes good roleplaying. Often a player will do something that is well within the spirit of their character and good roleplaying, but contributes little to the story and affords the character a clear advantage. This should not be rewarded with extra dice; the reward is the advantage the character receives.
CONCEPT: Actions which produce an advantage are their own reward.
Splitting Dice Pools
Often a player will want his character to do more than one thing in a given action. To do this the player must split their dice pool, dividing dice among the actions they wish to perform. Any time a player splits his dice pool he loses (at least) one die for each action after the first before allocation. The attempted actions are declared and the dice are rolled in order. Any failed action pre-empts any future action this turn (at the GMs discretion). No matter how many actions are attempted they all count as a single dice pool.
Example: Hrulfgarr, Antares and Rissh have been captured by Bradley Santana and his band of smugglers and mercenaries. It’s all up to Harry Greenhill to save them. His compatriots are being held in the hangar, and it is obvious they are about to be loaded into the waiting ship, so time is running short. The problem is that Santana is a formidable combatant and he has five armed goons to assist him. The only way he can hope to succeed is if he can remove all of the goons simultaneously while also avoiding being hit by Santana. Harry is cybernetically enhanced for just such a situation; as such he has a Body of 5, Strength of 3, Coordination of 2, and a Speed of 3. Harry decides that he must move to a large bulkhead (half action), lift it (half action), throw it at the goons (half action), and move to his compatriots side while maintaining a full defensive posture (full action). He must split his pool into 3 parts. The GM declares the following skills relevant: Strength Feat (occupational skill) and thrown weapons, of which Harry has neither. Harry chooses to expend two physical and one mental token to activate S, C and Sp. This makes his dice pool 11 (5+3+2+3-2 for three actions), which he splits the following way: One die to move to the bulkhead (the GM has declared it need be anything but a spectacular failure), 1 dice to lift the bulkhead, 7 dice to throw it, and 2 dice for defense during his move to his companions. He also declares he will use a bead for a guaranteed Marginal Success on the lift, and a Storytelling bead to ensure all of the goons are standing close enough to be hit with the bulkhead. He rolls his dice with the following results:
For the move: 1, a potential Spectacular Failure!
For the lift: 7, even though this is a success it has no effect because of the bead.
For the throw: 7,8,6,6,5,3,2
For the defense: 5,4
Lucky for Harry he has a backup plan, since failing the first action would pre-empt the rest. He pulls an 8 of Clubs from his hand and adds 1 to the move, one to the third and fourth throw die and 2 to the 5th throw die, and finally 2 to the first defense die. The final results: Move, Success; lift, Marginal Success; throw, Spectacular Success; defense one success.
Harry springs from his hiding spot and quickly moves to the bulkhead before the enemies notice him. He then lifts the bulkhead and throws it before anyone can react, but in his haste he carelessly crushes his hand dealing himself one level of pain. The bulkhead strikes the first goon and knocks him and all of his buddies to the ground unconscious. As he sprints to his shackled friends he has a single success versus any ranged attacks. He will need it, because Santana draws his blast pistol and fires...
This example brings up an interesting question. What would have happened had Harry not had his card to add to the actions? It is obvious that even a spectacular failure cannot prevent a character from moving to a bulkhead unless something truly extraordinary occurs. If Santana had an EM the GM most likely would play it. He could choose to have Harry fall or otherwise ruin his plan. In this case, Harry would get his Storytelling bead back (the action was never attempted).
Another possibility is that with the failure on movement the GM could choose not to pre-empt Harry's action, and instead declare that Santana and his goons all see him when he runs to the bulkhead, and they each get a shot. He does not have any defense yet (and those he rolled failed anyway). If he makes it to the bulkhead, the remaining actions would be resolved as rolled.
Each character gets a primary mode of movement (ML, normally running) equal to (2xSp+B) in meters per turn. If nothing else is attempted they may make this move with no roll required. Characters may move their ML as a half action with the expenditure of dice. A character that is doing nothing else may move their ML as a half action unopposed as long as they do not fumble. If a character fumbles a movement, opponent may play tokens as appropriate, but if they do not the character may make their intended move, but they count as having (-1) levels of dodge (or the player may assign another penalty as appropriate).
Most characters also have at least one more form (swimming for example) of movement as well. This is figured as (Sp+B). There is no limit to the number of movement types a character may have, but their ML will be determined when they are purchased.
A Shift of Perspective
In an effort to get the players as actively involved in the game as possible, a new perspective should be cultivated. The general trend in gaming has the GM as a narrator describing the static portions of the environment, and the players listening and painting their own unique pictures in their heads of the surroundings.
Instead the players should keep the plot moving by describing the environment collaboratively, with the assistance of the GM. Players speak in turn, providing details and keeping their characters moving through the world. The GM is no longer the impetus of game movement; the players are in total control until the GM interrupts their actions with a complication of some sort. This subtle shift should afford a sharp increase in creativity exercised by the players. Of course, the GM has the authority to veto descriptive elements which are inappropriate or to amend descriptions as needed.
This style is also not always necessary. Sometimes the GM needs to be the narrator. But with this shift in perspective, when the GM takes the reins and narrates the story it is something to be savored, something to draw the players together. By giving the players an opportunity to shape the world around them, not only do they become more invested in what is there, increasing their imagination and enjoyment, but also by the increase in clarity misunderstandings should be greatly reduced.
CONCEPT: The story belongs to the players and the GM, and all should take an active responsibility in creating it.
In general, storytelling beads are quite different from other types of tokens. When a player chooses to use them, serious balance issues may arise if they are not properly weighed. In general, the following chart explains how beads should be utilized:
One bead: Cosmetic changes to scenery, minor plot ramifications, add or subtract successes to another player or NPC. These changes should have little effect outside of this turn.
Example: a certain enemy is close to chosen PC, antagonist was a childhood friend of my brother, or I drew my pistol, not my sword.
Two beads: Moderate changes to scenery or plot. Changes of this level should not extend outside of the current scene.
Example: Guards are engaged in a loud argument and not paying attention, enemies car wont start, or this enemy was previously a coworker and owes me a debt of gratitude.
Three beads: Major changes to the outside world or significant plot ramifications. At this level changes MAY continue to affect the action throughout a single game session.
Example:Four or more beads: Major changes which might affect the world outside of this session. To achieve this level, all remaining Storytelling beads must be spent even if it is more than 4.