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DICE & DESTINY

Yes, believe it or not, like it or not, this game does have rules. Most of what this section is about is the various dice roles that players and GMs will need to use over the course of their adventures. Hopefully, this section will be relatively short, sweet, and painless.

SKILLS

Let's start with one of the most commonly used roles in this game: the skill roll. When a skill is to be used, the player needs two things: the skill percent, and percentile dice. To use a skill, the player must roll equal to or less than the skill percent on the percentile dice. For example: A character wants to fire his crossbow at the charging warrior. The character's skill percent with Bow Weapons is 45%. The player must roll percentile, and score less than or equal to 45 to successfully hit the warrior.

If the percentile role was less than or equal to 1/10 of the skill, then the character achieved a Critical Success. This means that the character not only performed the skill, but also did so in a fabulously efficient way. Example: Our character with the crossbow has a skill of 45%. If he rolls a 5 (45 ÷ 10 = 4.5, rounded up to 5) or less on the percentile role, then not only did he strike the warrior, he severely injured him. This is not the ordinary type of injury, but something along the lines of a lung was pierced, or the bolt went through the eye of the warrior.

However, no matter what, a roll of 96-100 is always a Critical Failure. This is not an ordinary failure at using a skill. This is a major catastrophe. A weapon broke, a person lost their grip and fell off the 50 foot wall that he or she was climbing, or a spell caster miscast a spell (Run Away!). Whatever happens is not pretty, nice, or helpful to the character.

So if any roll of 96 or greater is a critical failure, then why increase skills to that level, or higher?

Die Roll Modifiers
Modifier	Subjective Rating
+50		Nearly impossible to mess up
+25		Extremely easy
+15		Easy or simple to accomplish
+5		A little easier than normal
-5		A little harder than normal
-15		Complicated
-25		Difficult to perform
-40		Extremely difficult
-50		Almost impossible
-60		Nearly impossible
-85		Inhumanly impossible


VERY IMPORTANT: This is just a guideline for GMs. They may wish to give modifiers that fall between those that are listed. This is perfectly all right.
VERY IMPORTANT #2: Modifiers for combat ranges and speed are to be found in the section titled
Basic Combat.

Sometimes more than one modifier will be applied. For example: A character with a Pick Locks skill of 60% is trying to pick a very simple lock. The trick is that she is hanging upside down. The GM would give her a bonus of +15 to her skill for a total of 75%, due to the simplicity of the lock. However, since she is hanging upside down, the GM would give her a penalty of -25% to the skill, for a total of 50% (60+15-25=50). She would need to roll 50 or less on percentile dice to successfully pick the lock.

USING ATTRIBUTES

Sometimes a situation will come up when there is no usable skill. This could include trying to catch something, attempting to push an object down a hall, or resisting poison. Using an attribute is a lot like using a skill. Roll percentile. If the player rolls less than or equal to the attribute, congratulations, the character was able to pull it off. If the player rolls greater than the attribute, he or she had better hope that it wasn't anything important. Of course it is rarely that easy. The GM can assign some sort of modifier to the attribute before the roll is made. The same attributes for skills can be used for attribute rolls.

For example: Sonya and Lyth are trying to climb out of a window without making any noise. They both make their stealth rolls, so they are being quiet about it. Sonya's player says I'm gonna climb out the window. The GM tells the player to roll under Sonya's AGL. Sonya has an AGL of 62%. The player rolls percentile, and comes up with 65. The GM decides that she does get out of the window, but her knife gets caught on the sill and falls out. If it hits the floor, it'll make enough noise to alert the undesirables who are searching for the two characters. Lyth tries to catch the knife before it clatters on the floor. She has a DEX of 66%. Her player rolls the customary percentile dice, and comes up with a 65(whew!).

The GM states that she did catch the knife. Unfortunately, since she came so close to failing, the GM states that she caught it by the blade, cutting her hand. The end result is that for the rest of the day, Lyth will make all DEX rolls with a penalty of -10%.

COMBINING ATTRIBUTES

Sometimes a roll will require the use of two or more attributes. One such circumstance would be holding up against interrogation. To combine attributes, add the applicable attributes together, and divide by the number of attributes. This is the result needed on percentiles.

CHARACTERS HELPING CHARACTERS

It is sometimes possible for characters to help each other. Some examples include lifting heavy objects, trying to hold on to someone (to keep him or her from plummeting to his or her doom), or just a simple game of tug-of-war. This is usually only done with using attributes, although sometimes skills can be used also.

When two characters help each other, they need to pool their abilities. One character uses his or her full attribute, and the second character needs to use one tenth of his or her attribute, rounding all fractions up. The two values are added together. The result is the number needed to be rolled less than or equal to on percentile.

Here is yet another example: Two big, strong warrior type characters are trying to lift a portcullis. Drak has a STR of 80, and Tog has a STR of 72. The players decide to use all of Drak's STR, and one tenth of Tog's. This gives them a 88% chance to lift the portcullis (72 ) 10 = 8. 8 + 80 = 8). If they had decided to use all of Tog's STR and one quarter of Drak's, then they would have a 80% chance of lifting it. Of course, this is just the base chance. There would be penalties due to the weight of the portcullis. For each additional character that helps, they can add one tenth of their attribute to the total.

CHARACTERS VS. CHARACTERS

This means that player characters are in some way resisting another character. This could be a tug-of-war, or even a battle of wills. This is the strange time when the players don't need to roll under their character's attributes. Higher is better. Here's why: When characters are resisting each other, their players must take the appropriate attribute, roll percentile, and add the two numbers together. Who ever has the higher total, wins.


© 1999 J.K. Wykowski & T. Coonrod