Extended Actions

Not all tasks can be tackled by a single roll of the dice. Some jobs require multiple successful actions over a period of time. This may be months spent painting the Sistine Chapel or minutes desperately picking a complicated lock.

The Game Leader will set a target score that represents the overall difficulty of the task, and a resistance which is the difficulty of the individual actions needed to complete the task. The characters make a series of narrative actions, each of which represent either a single round, minute, day, week or month they spend working on the task.

Every action the character makes is measured against the resistance set by the Game Leader. The degree of success, the difference between the action's score and the resistance's score, is added to a running total. When the running total exceeds the target score the character has completed the task.

If a character fails to beat the resistance in an action the difference is taken away from the running total. Mistakes made by the character are making the task harder and repeated errors may add significantly to the time the task takes.

Corvell is deciphering an ancient document found in the abandoned temple of a long lost god. The Game Leader has stated that the target score for completing the translation is 30, that the resistance is 10 and that each action will take a day of Corvell's time.

After inspecting his cards and discussing it with the group, Corvell decides his best cards are Ancient Languages (1d6+0), History (1d6+0) and Linguist (1d6+2). Each day Corvell will rolling 3d6+2 to beat the resistance of 10.

On the first day Corvell scores 16, giving a degree of success and a running total of six. The second day proves harder and he only scores 11. The running total is now seven. The third day goes a little better with a score of twelve, raising the running total to nine.

Disaster strikes on the fourth day with a terrible score of just five. With a resistance of 10, it means the degree of success is -5 and the running total drops back to four. Corvell has discovered a mistake in his first day's work that makes his later efforts meaningless.

That evening, his friend Occulas visits with news that Corvell is needed in the city for a few days. Reluctantly Corvell decides to put the document to one side for now and return to it later, possibly after he has improved his understanding of ancient languages.


Gordon McDonald, 2011/12/17 17:17

With your philosophy of avoiding using subtraction where possible, would it not make more sense for a negative degree of success to be added to the Target rather than subtracted from the Running Total?

Chris Tregenza, 2011/12/18 12:11

I hadn't thought of that! Your suggestion does make sense and keeps consistent with the 'no negatives' rules.

On the flip side, I think the idea of a running total that goes down as well as up is more intuitive than having a running total and a target that both increase. Though, that might just be me.

But either approach works and I shall give this some thought.

Gordon McDonald, 2011/12/18 14:32

I think any established gamer is going to think the way it's currently done is the most intuitive way. It's the way that it's always done in RPG's.

I think the opposite is probably true for people that haven't role-played before.

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open/mechanics/universal/extendedactions.txt · Last modified: 2012/02/09 16:02 by tregenza
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