I'm still working on Tribute Alpha (The simpler version of the game), but it's coming along. This was a result of that work.
Dice and Reality Level
In every campaign, there will be a choice of which dice to use, depending on the reality level desired. Reality Level is mainly about how well weaker challengers can potentially do against stronger ones. The firmness or looseness of the probability curves. Additionally, special events such as "knockback" can be keyed to different die sizes.
d4s- Mundane Reality Level. The range of results is small, and skill is more important than randomness.
d6s- Heroic Reality Level. Most people will play at this level, I imagine. The range is a little bigger, and weaker opponents have a slightly better chance of standing against stronger one, but skill is still very important.
d8s- Pulpy Reality Level. More swingy than Heroic or Mundane, with a higher possible range of results. You can fly higher or sink lower here. Action is about swift reversals. Legendary adventure.
d10s- Cinematic Reality Level. Things you might see in an action movie happen regularly. People can be thrown through plate glass windows almost unscathed, can ride explosions to safety, etc.
d12s- Over-the-top Reality Level. Skill is least important here, and action contains a lot of randomness. Good for cartoons or certain comic books. Actions are regularly taken that would be considered impossible at other Reality Levels.
Attributes are measured on an infinite logarithmic scale, with 0 being considered average for a human. The effective range possible in a campaign will vary.
Effect Ranks are independent of Attribute ranks, and range from 1-5. 1 being a minimal effect such as dealing light damage, and 5 being a total Effect such as killing a foe in one blow. When you are successful in a Test, you deliver the Effect at the rank you bought it at, unless the dice modify the rank upwards or downwards. Effects can optionally have several sub-Ranks for the various Features they contain, like damage, range, duration, etc.
When you make a Test with no modifiers for aptitude, situation, or handicaps,
1. Roll 1 white "FOCUS" die, and 1 black "BURDEN" die.
2. Subtract the rolled value of the black BURDEN die from the value of the white FOCUS die.
3. Add the final value of your test to your appropriate Attribute's Rank.
4. Compare the result to your opposition's Result.
5. If your result is higher you Win the test, if your Result is lower you Fail, and if your results are equal, you Match.
When you are above average at something or the situation make something easier, you receive up to 5 additional white FOCUS dice. Add these dice to the 1 that you would otherwise roll for an unmodified test . This gives a possible total of 6 white dice. Roll them and choose the die with the highest value as your FOCUS die, and then perform steps 2-5 as you would for a Test without modification.
When you are below average at something or the situation makes something harder, you receive up to 5 additional black BURDEN Dice. Add these dice to the 1 that you would otherwise roll for an unmodified test. This gives a possible total of 6 black dice. Roll them and choose the highest value as your BURDEN die, and then perform steps 2-5 as you would for a Test without Modification.
You can have up to 6 FOCUS dice and 6 BURDEN Dice at once, for a total of 12 dice to be rolled.
Profit and Waste
Profit can be gained when you Match or Win a Test. Any FOCUS dice other than the first one that meet or exceed the highest BURDEN die are considered Profit.
Profit can be added to the Rank of any Features in the Effect you're Testing. When an Effect has multiple Features, you can divide your Profit dice among those Features any way you like.
Profit can't raise an Effect or Feature of an Effect's final Rank beyond 5.
Profit can also be used to activate certain bonus Effects altogether, such as knocking a foe backwards when hitting them with a club.
Waste can apply when you Match or Win a Test. If you Fail a Test, Waste is irrelevant- nothing happens.
Any BURDEN dice other than the first one that meet or exceed the highest FOCUS die are considered Waste.
Waste is subtracted from the Rank of any Features in the Effect you're Testing. When an Effect has multiple Features, you can divide your Waste dice among those Features any way you like.
Waste can't lower an Effect or Feature of an Effect's final Rank below 0 (Non-existent).
Waste can also be used to activate negative Effects or complications in the scene such as breaking the table that you're fighting on top of, or starting a fire.
It is possible to receive both Profit and Waste to your action when the result of your highest FOCUS die equals the result of your highest BURDEN die. Profit can cancel Waste out on a 1 for 1 basis at your option, but you can also apply both to separate Features of Effects. An example of this might be adding profit to the damaging Feature of an Attack, but subtracting from its duration or taking a consequence.
Next: An Example of Play.