Core Rules: Tests

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Test Basics

All tests are made against 2 characteristics.

  • Simple tests require only 1 stat. When making a simple test, just double the stat.
  • Advanced tests use two different numbers: add both stats and make the test against the combined number. For example, dodging is a combined agility plus reaction test.

Advanced tests have a skill that can be trained for particular scenarios, whereas basic tests cannot be directly trained in. Generally the GM should prefer to ask for advanced tests whenever a test is needed.

The Target Number

All tests have a target number. To succeed, a player must roll under the target number on 5 ten-sided dice. Modifiers will alter this target number: bonuses will make the target number higher and increase the chances of success; and penalties will lower this number and increase the chance of failure.

All tests are done using 5 ten-sided dice, or henceforth 5d10. The 0 face on a d10 counts as 10.

Epic Occurrances

When making a test, there is a very slim chance that it will success or fail spectacularly. A roll on 5d10 of a 5, 6 or 7 is always an epic success, and a roll of 49 or 50 is always an epic failure. Epic successes / failures mean that something very good / very bad happens as a result of it. Precisely what happens is up to the GM to decide: It should be epic, but it shouldn't be over-the-top.

When to Roll Tests

To avoid unnecessary dice rolls, the GM should only require a test if something important is happening. A test is not required for every interaction with an NPC - only when a character wishes to explicitly evoke a skill, change the NPC's perception, etc. For example, you would need tests for the following:

  • A character's health, wealth, friends, or even their reputation, are at risk. This can include all manner of things such as combat, chases, spying, stealing, and similar activities.
  • A character stands to gain something important, such as allies, information, abilities, social standing, or wealth.

You shouldn't need to roll for unimportant things, such as:

  • Trivial tasks that have no huge amount of danger to them, such as: riding your horse, crossing a street, feeding the dog, etc.
  • Daily work at a mundane everyday job, such as farming and whatnot. It can be assumed that the ups and downs of the day-to-day tasks are 'ironed out' over the course of a timeframe, whereby you would roll for your monthly/yearly/etc. performance.
  • Something like reading bad handwriting would not require a decipher test, but it may take a little longer than normal.

Secret Tests

Sometimes, the GM may wish to test in secret, hiding behind a GM screen or somesuch. The cases where the GM will want to do this are:

  • When the character shouldn't be certain if they've succeeded or not. This is especially true for interrogations or misinformation of any sort. If the character fails that drastically, then the GM can very well lie about the result to the players and feed them further false information.
  • If announcing a test would spoil a surprise or give the game away. For example, asking for everyone to do a random perception test might just give away that they should be looking for something.

Types of Test

All of the tests below are completely non exhaustive. It does give a general idea of the sorts of things that characters can do and what they need to test to do it. This list does show all of the skills that a character may use at the very least. The GM should feel free to compose their own advanced tests if the situation warrants it.

TestStatsExamples
Acrobatics
  Being a cinematic showoff
Pse + TghDoing backflips
Falling a distance gracefully
Appraise
  Evaluating an object
Int + PerWorking out if you've been swindled
Figuring out something's value and function
Awareness
  Being aware of things happening around you*
Per + ReaThe physical act of looking around
Balance
  Balancing yourself on something precarious
Str + PseWading through a river
Balancing on a wall
Cast
  Casting spells and spell-like abilities
Ptc + PerFlinging a fireball at the enemy
Doing other funky magic stuff
Charm
  Getting people to do what you wish, politely.
Wil + CamGetting someone to do you a favour
Trying to get into bed with someone
Climb
  Scramble up things that aren't designed for climbing.
Str + PseClimbing a rock-face
Shimmying up a drain pipe
Command
  Telling someone what to do directly.
Wil + LdrGiving an order to an unfamiliar soldier
Telling a rude customer to begone
Decipher
  Working out what something reads
Int + PerTrying to get the gist of a book in a foreign language
Trying to break a code
Discipline
  Resisting persuasion
Int + WilWithstanding seduction
Holding up under stress
Disguise
  Hiding something in plain sight
Per + IntDisguising yourself as a noble
Hiding your stuff under camouflage
Escape
  Escaping from bonds
Agi + StrGetting out of a pair of cuffs
Evaluate
  Evaluating a person
Per + CamRecognising someone through a disguise or crowd
Guessing at someone's motives

First Aid (Self)
   Healing yourself

Int + TghBandaging yourself up after getting attacked

First Aid (Others)
   Healing other people

Int + PerBandaging someone else up after getting attacked
Hide
  Concealing something out of sight (or yourself)
Per + Agi

Hiding from law enforcement
Hiding an object

Inquire
  Asking around for information
Cam + PerAsking people for information about something
Asking directions
Intimidate
  Bullying people to get what you wish from them
Str + LdrForce someone into backing down
Bullying someone into relinquishing something
Investigate
  Linking evidence together
Wil + IntFinding clues over a long period
Stalking someone
Lie
  Attempting to pull the wool over others' eyes
Cam + LdrBluffing in a poker game
Lying your way past guards
Navigate
  Working out where you are and are going
Per + IntReading a strange map
Making your way out of a foreign location
Nerve
  Not running away
Ldr + WilWithstanding intimidation
Keeping nerve whilst under fire
Physical Training: Short
  Short and intense physical activity
Str + Agi

Sprinting or pumping weights
Intense Fighting

Physical Training: Long
  Long and arduous physical activity
Tgh + Agi

Running a marathon
Constructing a building all day without rest

Physical Training: Power
  Lifting and pushing things
Str + TghPicking something up that is quite heavy
Kicking a door down
Search
  Getting down and concentrating on a search*
Per + Int

Searching for clues over a short period
Searching for a good hiding spot

Sobriety
  Processing intoxicating substances
Tgh + WilTrying to remain sober whilst chugging whiskey
Attempting to operate in tear gas
Sneak
  Moving without being heard and/or seen
Agi + IntSneaking about and trying not to get heard
Sneaking about in plain sight, not looking obvious
Combat Related TestsStatsExamples
Assault
  How proactive you are in combat
Agi + IntDeciding upon the number of actions in combat
Initiative
  Being fast on your feet
Rea + PerSeeing who is quickest in combat.
Dodge
  Avoiding things
Rea + PerDodging a falling object
Avoiding an incoming sword
Resist
  Resisting the effects of magic
Ptc + WilResisting mind control
Regenerate
  Regenerating mana
Int + WilRegenerating your mana supply
Constitution
  Not falling unconscious
Tgh + WilGetting hit by an overwhelming amount of damage
Shooting Skill
  Trying to hit things with ranged weaponry or spells
Pse + PerShooting the bad guys
Throwing rocks
Combat Skill
  Trying to hit things with swords, fists and whatnot
Agi + PerStabbing the bad guys in engagement

The Difference Between Awareness and Search

* Compare an Awareness test to a Search test. The difference is subtle but extremely important. Awareness alone is just looking in a direction or at an object. A search test is searching for something specific. A GM might roll for an awareness test for you if you're in the vicinity of something hidden, or ask for awareness every time characters enter a new room or travel reasonable distances. Whereas, a search test would be called for if you were actively searching for a hidden item or person.

Intimidation

Intimidate tests will always make the recipient of said intimidation less than happy with the character doing it. It may cow them into submission at that moment (or equally, it may not); but the that character will from then forth have ill feeling towards the intimidator. Unless the intimidator makes it up with them later, of course.

Difficulty

The GM should apply a difficulty level to all stat tests. Obviously, some tasks are much easier than others. For example: lifting a heavy, but generally manageable weight like a few heavy tomes is much easier than trying to lift a cart off someone.

Difficulty Level Modifier
Trivial+12
Very easy+8
Easy+4
Unchallenging+2
Challenging0
Difficult-2
Hard-4
Very hard-8
Herculean-12

These are of course guidelines - the GM can well pick any difficulty between +12 to -12 in any given situation should the need warrant it.

If a task is easier than +12, it may as well be an automatic pass. If it is harder than -12, it might as well be impossible. Players can still roll for an epic success if they like (and as such are subject to possibly suffering an epic failure too).

GM Tip - Keeping the modifiers to even numbers tends to make the maths easier.

Combined Actions

It is quite possible for a character to combine actions together, such as shooting and jumping, or opening a door whilst casting a fireball. If a character is combining an action which requires some kind of test, his chances of success are halved if they try it whilst performing another action. If both actions need a test, then both are halved.

For example: a character wishes to shoot whilst climbing, and would normally roll 26 to climb and 30 to shoot. If they wished to do both at the same time, they would roll against 13 on their climbing test, and against 15 on their shooting test.

A character can often perform some other type of action whilst moving, such as firing a weapon, loading a weapon, unsheathing a sword, and so forth. If they are walking or jogging, then rather than being halved, the chances of performing the combined action are reduced by 1 for every 2 yards already moved this turn. Sprinting incurs a normal penalty, as detailed above.

Opposed Tests

There will often be scenarios where a character will have to pit themselves against another in some arena. Combat is an obvious example, but less violent things such as convincing someone to knock 5 shillings off the price of a room for the night is a perfect example.

In this example, the patron would either charm (representing haggling), whilst the innkeeper would test on discipline. The 'defender' takes their test first, in this case the innkeeper's discipline test, and the amount that that test is passed or failed by is applied as a modifier to the patron's test.

Assuming that the innkeeper needs to roll under 24, rolls a 22 thus and passes his test by 2, this would reduce the target number of the patron's test by 2. If the patron would normally need to roll 30 for charm, she would instead be rolling under 28.

If the innkeeper rolled a 30, and thus fails his test by 6, then this would increase the patron's target number by 6 to 36. Of course now the patron has a much greater chance of success.

If it is a draw, then it's up to the GM: they might ask to roll again, or arbitrarily decide on an outcome based on the context and circumstances.

Opposed tests and the GM

It's very important that the GM is sensible and fair with these tests. If one of the characters is at a disadvantage, then they could well have a penalty applied to their roll.

In the previous example, the GM could well state that as 5 shillings is quite a lot the innkeeper is entitled to a bonus of +4 to his roll. If the players were trying to blag their way past a suspicious guard to a secure barracks, then an even harsher penalty is likely to be appropriate.

As a rule of thumb, if in a non-combat situation, the GM could well give an extra boon if the test was passed by a large margin. Also, if both parties passed their tests, the losing party should still be in a more positive frame of mind about it.

Assisting with tests

Any character, or the collective roll from a group, may assist any other character with a test. They must have the skill involved if it needs training to be used. Each assisting character rolls their test, and for each point passed by is taken away from the difficulty of the test for the primary character, up to a bonus of +6. Only 1 roll should be added to the relevant test. Only a maximum of 2 people can help with any given test. If more than two people are assisting, then take the best target number from the group.

Larger numbers than this should be considered 'groups', and will take the best target number available to the characters in the group, along with any appropriate modifiers or penalties for the group's size as decided by the GM.

E.g. A watchman wishes to search an area, so enlists the help of his colleague. The colleague passes his search test by 4, and so adds 4 to the number that the watchman needs to roll under.