Effects

Successful actions change things. They can change a living dragon into a dead dragon, an enemy into a friend or a fatal fall into a spectacular rescue. These can be classified into two broad categories: in-game effects and meta-effects.

In-game effects change the world shared in the imagination of players. The professor finding an important clue in some dusty tomes changes the players' understanding of the mystery they face. Other in-game effects include social situations and overcoming challenges such as picking a lock. With in-game effects, successful actions only change the players' perception of the game world or the game's narrative.

Meta-effects change something about the game itself, requiring a player to alter their character sheet or the Game Leader to make notes. These changes may limit or expand what the characters can do in future actions. The most obvious example of a meta-effect is a character taking damage. The player makes a change to their character sheet to discard Life advantages and this has an impact on future actions.

Other types of meta-effects include recovery, status effects and control effects that allow characters to take control of other characters or complex machinery. The different types of meta-effects have an impact on the game and can increase the difficulty of an action. Before a character takes an action it should always be clear what (if any) type of meta-effect they are attempting. Often this is obvious but the Game Leader should check, especially with new players who are not fully aware of the rules.

The difference between the types of effects can be nebulous and actions can have both in-game effects and meta-effects. The distinction between the two types of effects is often unimportant and will pass unnoticed by many people playing the game. However, when players are trying to do something unusual the distinction helps to clarify how the action should be resolved.

Status Effects

A status effect is a temporary advantage added to a character, creature, location or item. These may be beneficial, such as gaining the Brawn advantage thanks to a hi-tech drug, or could be detrimental, such as a disease. Any advantage can be added to any thing or any person if it makes sense within the setting's magical or technological concepts. Whether that advantage is useful or harmful depends on the circumstances. Status effects can also be removed or, if left to themselves, will eventually disappear.

The best example of all these principles is the On Fire advantage. Characters can be on fire, places can be on fire and objects can be on fire. The fire can be detrimental, injuring the character on fire, but a burning branch may make a useful weapon. Fires can also be extinguished and when left to themselves they burn out.

Adding Status Effects
CP Dice Value
1 0d6+1
2 0d6+2
3 0d6+3
4 1d6+0
5 1d6+1
7 1d6+2
10 1d6+3
14 1d6+4
19 1d6+5
25 1d6+6

Status effects are both powerful and deadly. They are also ongoing and can last a significant length of time. Consequently, placing a status effect on someone or something requires an advantage with the Status keyword. For example, any character can strike a foe with a flaming torch and hurt them with the flames and heat but only a character with the Status keyword can strike the foe and set them on fire so they take damage every round.

The exception to the requirement for the Status keyword are when the circumstances and narrative demand a status effect. For example the zombie soaked in petrol who gets struck by a burning torch will acquire the On Fire effect without the need for a Status keyword. However, these situations are rare and Game Leaders should resist attempts by players to add status effects without suitable advantages.

Attempts to place status effects on friends or foes requires a successful action. These normally only require a duration of an 'action' to perform but some, such as religious rites, may stipulate longer periods of time. Characters can manipulate this duration, lengthening or shortening it as required, with the standard situation bonuses for changing an action's duration. Range to and the area / number of people targeted will also apply situation bonuses. An unwilling target also gains a resistance action. There is always a minimum resistance of one, even if the target is willing and adjacent to the character.

When a status effect action is successful, the degree of success sets the character points (CP) and dice value for the new advantage. This is the same points / dice scale used in character creation except that it is possible to have advantages of between one and three character points. If the CP is between two values, the lower dice score is used. For example, a degree of success of six adds an advantage with a dice value of 1d6+1 as a CP of seven is needed for 1d6+2.

Once a status effect is in place it remains for one scene unless removed. The duration of effect can be lengthened or shortened by the character but this must be stated at the time of the original action as it adds situation bonuses. Some status effects use the Status (Specify) keyword to set a default duration of effect other than one scene.

After exploring the catacombs Corvell and Drax have returned to the surface, only to find their exit blocked by a band of orcs who have set up camp right outside. Too many to fight, the adventurers must sneak past the guards without being noticed. Corvell is light on his feet and feels confident but Drax is useless at stealth so Corvell uses his Arcane Silence spell on his friend.

The wizard has Arcane Silence (1d6+1), Arcana (1d6+3), Arcane Mastery (1d6+2) and his Mage path advantage for (1d6+1) for a total of 4d6+7. He scores 19. Drax is right next to Corvell and is not resisting the spell so the resistance is the minimum of one. This leaves a degree of success of 18 and so Drax gains an Arcane Silence status effect of 1d6+4.

Now Drax has an advantage to use as the pair try to sneak past the guards but they had better hurry, the Arcane Silence will only last a scene.

Detrimental advantages have the Hazard keyword. Some hazards such as On Fire have the Start-of-(Specify) keyword and the hazard 'attacks' the character at regular intervals. Longer term or less direct hazards such as Blindness handicap the character's ability to act, adding the hazard's dice value to the resistance against the character's actions.

Removing Status Effects

Characters may attempt to remove status effects on themselves or other people with any suitable action. The player must state which effect or effects they are targeting and the resistance is the CP value of the targeted effects. If the action is successful the status effect is removed. Failed attempts leave the status unchanged.

Corvell takes the lead as the pair make their escape. Trailing a few steps behind, Drax notices the orcs have set a deadfall trap and Corvell is about to trigger it. Shouting a warning is the only option but the Arcane Silence is still on him. After a brief discussion with the group, it is decided Drax must take an action to remove the status effect and alert Corvell.

Lacking any magic this is a tough challenge for Drax even though the resistance is only six, the CP of the status effect. After some more discussion the group agrees Drax can use his Society advantage. This has the Soul keyword and is Drax's deep seated desire to help and protect others. This is his motivation as he attempts to scream a warning which will simultaneously break the magical silence and warn Corvell.

Drax's Society is worth 1d6+1 and the resistance is six. Drax rolls the dice and scores a six, plus one makes seven, beating the resistance. The Arcane Silence status effect is removed as Drax's voice booms out a warning just moments before Corvell triggers the trap. Disaster has been averted, but as Drax's voice echoes around the valley, a band of now very alert orcs are reaching for their swords…

A status effect may prove difficult for a character to remove by themselves. If the status hinders the character's action, e.g. someone who is Fatigued trying to administer a stimulant injection to themselves, the effect's dice value is added as a situation bonus to the resistance set by the CP of the hazard.

Unusual Situations

Players may have reasons to move a status effect from one person to another or otherwise change the status effect without adding to or removing it. This is perfectly possible if the characters have suitable advantages or if it makes sense within the game's narrative. Treat this the same as removing an advantage.

Situations will arise where players want to add multiple status effects to a target or are threatened by multiple effects. As these situations will be very much based on the circumstances, the exact outcome is left to the players and Game Leader to decide. This may be obvious - when the person on fire jumps into the lake they exchange their On Fire status for a Drowning status - but is not always so clear cut. Does the character with the Poisoned status become worse if she is given more of the same poison?

There are four possible outcomes to situations with multiple status effects:

Contradictory
When the two effects simply do not make sense together, e.g. drowning and being on fire, one effect is removed.
Co-Exist
If the effects are different and not contradictory, both effects apply as normal; e.g being poisoned and being on fire.
Combine
For identical status effects that come from different sources, e.g. being poisoned by two different animals, the effects co-exist but combine their dice values. e.g. a 1d6+0 and a 1d6+1 effect combine to act as single 2d6+1 effect.
Enhance
For identical status effects from the same source, e.g. being poisoned twice by the same animal, the character points values of the effects are added together and treated as a single effect. For example, a 4 CP (1d6+0) and 5 CP (1d6+1) effect become a 9 CP (1d6+2) effect.

Control Effects

A character may wish to take control of something and use it for their own ends. That something can be a person, a crowd of people, a piece of equipment or a vehicle. The only requirement is the target has advantages (or traits for Mooks). A control effect cannot be applied to a spanner, but a sophisticated spacecraft with advantages for weapon systems and engines can be targeted. Likewise, most living things can be controlled.

An advantage with the Control keyword is required for any control effect. Depending on what the character is trying to control there may be additional dice on the resistance. Creatures naturally resist control and almost always gain a 1d6+0 bonus to the resistance. Vehicles that are particularly difficult to operate may gain similar automatic resistances and there may be situation bonuses relating to the character's familiarity with the target.

A successful control action allows the attacker to take one or more immediate actions using the advantages of the target, and generates control potential. One control potential is created by the successful control action plus one point per every further four points of success (e.g. a degree of success of 5 results in two control potential) as per the success + 4 scale. With control potential the target can be made to perform one or more immediate actions using their advantages.

To take the action(s), the attacker uses control potential rather than the target's own potential. Control potential can activate both static and dynamic advantages and may all be used in a single action or split over several actions. Once spent the control potential is lost and cannot be recouped. The controlling character cannot act again until all the control potential is spent or abandoned.

Leaping from building to building the Red Marvel is patrolling the city, keeping the honest citizens safe from harm. Little does he know his nemesis Brain Jar has laid a trap to discredit him, using a kitten stuck up a tree. When the mewing of the cat reaches Red Marvel's ears he immediately leaps down to the ground, right in front of a small, admiring crowd.

Brain Jar strikes! Fully prepared he unleashes 5d6+7 against Red Marvel in a psionic attack using his Puppet Master and other advantages. Unfortunately, Red Marvel has little to defend himself with and can only muster 2d6+2. Brain Jar scores 25 and Red Marvel only 10. The degree of success is 15 and gives Brain Jar four points of control potential.

Chuckling madly, Brain Jar forces Red Marvel to perform an immediate action. Using two control potential on Red Marvel's Dragon Breath and Heart of Fire advantages, the tree and the kitten are incinerated in front of shocked onlookers. Next, Red Marvel is forced to use his Frog Legs and Speed advantages to leap far down the street. With the control potential spent, Brain Jar can now use his own potential and advantages. Recouping two dynamic potential, he now travels rapidly in the opposite direction from Red Marvel.

Secondary & Other Effects

Secondary effects are events the character initiates but which have their own effects not controlled by the player. For example, when a character uses a hand grenade their action is to throw it and the effect of their action is to place the hand grenade on the target. The secondary effect occurs when the grenade explodes, attacking everyone nearby. The character does not control the explosion and can be injured by it.

Any type of action except for resistance actions can initiate a secondary effect. If an advantage normally enables a secondary effect it can be used in a resistance action if appropriate, but the secondary effect is not applied. For example, a hand grenade can be thrown in a resistance action, causing the attacker to take cover and maybe miss their attack, but either the grenade turns out to be a dud or the explosion is harmless.

Initiating secondary effects needs advantages which explicitly enable them in their description or which have keywords like Blast (xd6). If it makes narrative sense a secondary effect may be triggered by other advantages, e.g. moving across a mountain slope may initiate an avalanche.

Once activated, a secondary event cannot be stopped. The secondary event occurs immediately the initiating action finishes unless the advantage says otherwise but opportunity actions may be taken before the secondary effect happens. Secondary effects have their own action dice specified by the keyword or advantage description. For example, Blast (3d6) makes a 3d6+0 attack against anyone at the centre of it. The secondary effect's action is a completely separate action from the one which initiated it. Everyone targeted by the secondary effect gains a resistance action even if they had one versus the initiating action.

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open/mechanics/core/effectsresistance.txt · Last modified: 2013/11/02 18:49 by darth_tigger
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