Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Example of Using the Dice Mechanics.

This is an example of using the dice mechanics described here. The campaign in this example is using a d6 Reality Level. In other words, when the text references dice, assume that they are using d6s unless otherwise noted.

Except for the result of one die (marked with a **), all of the Tests in the examples are real rolls I made. I also fudged the final d10 roll. 

Scaling Greymourn Keep

Game Master: Scrabbling over the boulders, you arrive at the base of the cliff. The waves crash a few yards behind you, sending icy spray everywhere. You're soaked to the skin, and you're already very cold. 

Player: I look up the cliff. Can I see the Keep from this angle? What does it look like?

GM:  It's dark, but the moon is out, so you can see fairly well.  The cliff itself is craggy, with lots of handholds and footholds.  Some parts are icy or covered in snow.  Two black towers loom over the edge of the cliff, with a wide stretch of cliff between them. Behind this stretch is the wall of the Keep. 

Player: What else?

GM: There is likely a ledge to rest on between the towers before you begin climbing up the wall of the Keep. 

At the top of the left tower, you see the top of a guard's helmet, but he's in no position to see you without looking downward.

Each tower has several windows, shining with reddish light.  Between the towers, you see two rows of windows, with a balcony in the center.  Every once in a while, you see white silk curtains blow out over the railing. 

Player: That's probably the Royal Bedchamber. I'll be heading that way. 

GM: Ok. Ready?

Player: Yeah. I plan my course to the ledge and start climbing. 

GM: Ok, what's your "Climbing" FOCUS?

Player: 4 dice total.  I am a "second story man", after all.

GM:  Ok. you're going to get 2 extra BURDEN dice for being cold and wet, and for the iciness of some of the spots, though.  Make your check for the climb up the cliff. Roll ACCESS of Body.  

Player: So 3 BURDEN dice. Got it. 

The Player rolls his 4 FOCUS Dice for [3, 2,2,1] and his 3 BURDEN Dice for [1,1,1].

Subtracting the highest BURDEN die roll from his highest FOCUS die roll, he gets a +2.  Adding that to his ACCESS score of +2, he gets a total of +4. 

Comparing his remaining 3 FOCUS rolls to the highest BURDEN roll, he sees that all of them are equal or higher. He receives 3 Profit, and no Waste. 

Player:  Ok. I got a +4, with 3 Profit. I don't have any  Effects to add the Profit to. 

GM: It's windy, so I'll make your opposition's roll with a base of +2 for the cliff's challenge,  and a total FOCUS of 2 for the wind, with no extra BURDEN.  I got a +1 total with no Profit or Waste, so you succeed. 

We'll just say that you were fast and completely unseen, and that you found the perfect climbing route, so you won't have to make a Test to get back down unless things change dramatically. 

Player: It seems like this Keep's defenses aren't really well thought out. 

GM: It's not that- you just rolled really well.  You make it to the ledge to catch your breath.  The wall seems much more difficult than the cliff was. There are almost no places to grab onto, except for a gargoyle right below the balcony- you couldn't see it from the base of the cliff.  Also, the places under the windows are slicked with ice from...

Player: Gross. 

GM: It's a medieval setting. They dump things out of windows.  The ledge is also covered in frozen patches of offal, but you're able to find enough of a clear spot that you don't risk a fall.  Ready to climb the wall? 

Player:  First I'm going to drink a bit of rum to warm me up. 

GM: You sure? Its negative effects wouldn't kick in until after the climb, most likely,  but it would give you BURDEN dice if you got into trouble inside the Keep. I'd let the warming Effect cancel a BURDEN die right away, though. 

Player: How much BURDEN am I going to get for this climb in the first place? 

GM:  Just the 3 total you get from being wet and cold, without the rum. The difficulty of the climb is on my side of the Test. I'll be rolling at. +3 with a total of 3 FOCUS. 

Player: I'll drink the rum and wait just long enough to feel warmer.  Then I'll head for the gargoyle. I should be able to step out onto it to reach the edge of the balcony. 

The Player rolls 4 FOCUS dice [6,5,4,4] and 3 BURDEN dice [4,2,2]

The GM Rolls 3 FOCUS dice [2**,1,1] and 1 BURDEN die [1]

Player: +2 ACCESS and +2 on the dice equals +4 and 3 Profit. 

GM: I rolled +4 and 2 Profit.We Match, but you have more Profit.  Well done.  The same rules apply- you won't have to make a Test to climb down this way.  However, since I didn't Fail, my Profit applies and I'll spend it to mean that you made some noise and made the guard you saw earlier suspicious.  You're able to stay hidden, but he's on alert. If you make significant noise after this, he'll probably spot you. 

You make it to the gargoyle, but as you begin to pull yourself onto it, you see a large conch shell stuffed with seaweed on its back with what look like three leathery eggs in it.  

Player: That's really weird.  Do I see a creature nearby? A... bird or something?

GM: Roll ACCESS of Mind.

The player rolls 1 FOCUS [6] and 1 BURDEN [4] die.

Player: My Mind ACCESS is +1 so I got a +3. 

GM: I rolled a +1. You notice something black and wet hiding inside the mouth of the gargoyle. You see a single eye staring back at you. 

Player: Does it look dangerous?

GM: You couldn't say for sure. But it seems to have tentacles, it's definitely alive, and it knows you're there. 

Player: Well, any octopus or squid that would climb a cliff and a wall to lay its eggs is probably not happy I'm here. I won't try to kill it, but I'll cast a "hinder" spell on it. 

GM: You're going to take an extra BURDEN die for hanging off the side of the gargoyle. What's the Expression for your hinder spell?

Player:  It's a Body Attack that says: { BLOCK MANEUVER of "Body" [3]. BLOCK ATTACK of "Body" [3]. REACH [1]. CYCLE [5]. } I have a total of 3 FOCUS dice on it. 

GM:  Ok, with the 3 BURDEN dice you have from before, and the new die you get from the one-handed hold on the gargoyle, you have a total of 4 BURDEN dice*. Roll them with COUNTER and I'll roll for the creature's defense. 

The Player rolls 3 FOCUS dice [6,4,2] and 4 BURDEN dice [4,3,2,1].

The GM rolls 3 FOCUS dice [6,5,4], and 1 BURDEN Die [5]. 

Player: I rolled a +2, with 1 Profit. I'll add it to the Rank of the BLOCK Maneuver Effect- it's now Rank 4. 

GM: I rolled a +1, so your spell works, and my Profit is useless because I Failed. All of this thing's  ATTACKs are at -3, and any MANEUVERs it tries would be at -4 for a while. 

Player: I'm curious about what this thing is, but I figure if I leave it alone maybe it won't come after me. I carefully climb up onto the top of the gargoyle without stepping on the eggs and try for the balcony. 

GM: I won't make you make a Test to get up onto the gargoyle, but to pull yourself onto the balcony you'll have to hang freely out into space. It's a long way down. You'll have a total of 4 BURDEN dice*, all things considered. The extra die is for the fact that you can't use your feet to help.  
The Player rolls 4 FOCUS dice [5,5,2,2], and 4 BURDEN Dice [6,5,3,2].

Player: I got a total of +1, and 1 Waste.

GM: I rolled a 0.  You succeed, but something goes wrong. What do you have in your backpack?

Player: I'm going to lose my backpack? 

GM: Maybe if you succeeded with 5 Waste. Rank 5 means a total Effect. Something's just going to fall out. What's in there? 

Player: Let's see...I have my rum, flint and steel, rations, breeches and a new shirt,  and that expensive bottle of wine. 

GM: I'll make a table and roll a d10 to see what you lose. 

The GM makes the following table:
1-2 Rum
3-4 Flint and Steel
5-6 Rations
7-8 Clothing
9-10 Wine

He rolls a 10.

GM: As you swing out over the terrifying drop, your backpack gets turned upside down. The bottle of wine slides out and silently drops  away. You can't hear it hit the rocks below over the crashing of the waves.  

Player:  There goes my plan. 

GM: You're able to pull yourself over the railing and onto the balcony. The Princess is standing there, waiting.  "What took you so long?" she asks. 

Player: "I have no excuse, m'lady. I'm sorry, but I lost the present I brought for you."

GM: She smiles. Fade to black.

* After initially posting this, I realized I made a mistake with the last few Tests, and rolled one too few BURDEN dice. I rolled an extra BURDEN die for each and applied it. Luckily it didn't result in any changes to the text.

** In my rush to make this post I screwed up and forgot to add the modifier of +3 to this Test. I changed this die roll to keep the interesting result of a Match. The original roll was 5, and I changed it to a 2. The way I rolled it, the Player would have Failed.

Here's how failure would have looked:

GM: You begin climbing  and halfway up, you lose your grip and fall. Landing hard on the ledge, you take 2 Points of VOID (Damage) to your Body. You can try again.

Next: Optional Rules for the Core Mechanic.