This system is GM agnostic, but I will refer to a GM as shorthand for whoever has the priority or is in the role of creating the fiction and responding to other players' actions at any time.

The GM will lay out a situation and each player decides what their characters say or do. When the outcome of an action is in question, determine whether it is opposed or unopposed, then roll the dice.

Rolling Dice

When trying an unopposed task the GM determines the Approach. Roll 1d20. A result below that Approach is a hit. A result equal to that Approach is an extraordinary hit. If any Specialization applies, roll 2d20 and pick the lowest number. Either dice counts towards an extraordinary hit.

When trying a directly opposed task, both sides roll 1d20. Each player ignores a result below their own score and uses that score number instead. The higher number is a hit. If both results are equal, it's a Draw.

If there are one or more Conditions that affect your actions directly, the GM might ask you to roll 2d20 and keep the worst result. If you are getting the benefit of a skill or something else at the same time you are getting the drawback of a Condition or something else, they all cancel out.

Hits and Misses

On a hit, ask the GM a yes/no question and they must answer YES.

  • Do I break into the system?
  • Do I avoid the patrolling guard?
  • Does the spy give up something useful for my mission?

On an extraordinary hit, the GM adds AND to their answer.

  • When you hack the mainframe you break into their system, AND you found a loophole that makes you untraceable too;
  • You avoid the patrolling guard AND when he thinks no one is there, he looses a brick from the wall to hide something;
  • The spy spills the beans about the conspiracy to murder the baron, AND because he is terrified of your threats he adds in a secret about the council.

On a Draw, the challenger asks the question and the GM adds BUT to their answer.

  • You win against the house champion BUT she is suspicious you cheated;
  • You convince the guard you are just a passer-by BUT he wants to see your identification;
  • The spy spills the beans BUT they manage to stall just about enough for the countess to spot you both together.

On a miss, the GM may offer a consequence, a drawback, a cost, or escalate a problem. You may choose to take a Condition and earn 1XP instead.

Conditions and Trauma

Every time you take a Condition, write a short sentence describing it, then roll 1d20. If you roll over the number of Conditions you have, good for you.

Condition examples:

  • My arm is broken;
  • I am too tired and sleep deprived;
  • I am too angry at myself;

If you roll below, you are Out. Choose a Condition and make it permanent as Trauma, then erase the others. That character may return the next time the group finds a moment of respite.

Trauma examples:

  • I never fully recovered the movement of my fingers on the left hand;
  • I never get a full night's rest because of nightmares and anxiety;
  • I have self-loathing and I can't believe anyone likes me.

When you have as many Traumas as levels, retire your character, whether they give up the life, die, or pass on the torch to a new character as a non-player character. You must retire your character in this scene or at the start of the next scene.

At level up, you may treat your Trauma. A treated Trauma becomes a Scar and remains with you. It may still interfere with your rolls, but it won't count against your levels.

Scar examples:

  • I never fully recovered the movement of my fingers on the left hand, but I got a piece of prosthetics that helps me hold things;
  • I never get a full night's rest because of nightmares and anxiety, but a therapist taught me some techniques to rest the body, even if the mind won't fully;
  • I have self-loathing and I can't believe anyone likes me, but these people stick around for some reason and I can't let them down.

Unique Traits

You may use your unique trait once per session to avoid a roll or clear a Condition. Any roll you avoid counts as a hit.

Roll 1d20. If you roll below your level you can do it once more this session.



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