Saturday, July 28, 2012

Codes of the Mind

The retro Tribe 8 goodness continues with some additional house rules on task resolution in Tribe 8 first edition.

Alternate Tie Resolution

This rule was suggested on the Tribe 8 mailing list.

When an opposed action test is tied, it automatically goes to the character with the highest skill. If the skill levels are the same, it goes to the character with the highest attribute. If those are tied, it is truly a tie. Ties between attack and defense rolls are treated normally (i.e., in favor of the defender).

In the case of Combat Sense rolls, use the above guidelines for resolving the tie. Tied Combat Sense rolls still indicate simultaneous action as far was the other combatants are concerned, but the combatant with the highest Combat Sense acts slightly faster than the ones she is tied with during that "phase". The rolls during the tied phase are resolved normally, but if the slower combatant is wounded only the action penalties apply during that phase (the HEA roll is made at the end). If the slower combatant during a tied phase is inflicted with an Instant Death result, she will still get to act at a -2 penalty before the the result takes effect.

Example: Cara and Menka are facing off with two Z'bri Iv'chet. Menka gets a six, Cara and one Iv'chet get a 5, and the last Iv'chet a 4. Menka goes first normally. Cara has a Combat Sense of 3 versus the Iv'chet's 2. Although it looks like they move simultaneously to Menka and the other Iv'chet, Cara moves slightly faster. She scores a Light Wound on the Iv'chet; the Iv'chet will be at a -1 when it acts, but does not have to make a HEA roll to stay conscious until after its action is resolved.

Automatic Failures vs. Fumbles

Any roll of all 1s (or if either die is a 1 on an unskilled roll) is an automatic failure, treated as a result of 0 regardless of positive modifiers. When this happens, the Weaver asks the player for a number between 1 and 6 and rolls one die. If that die comes up the number the player chose, then the result is a fumble as per the standard Silhouette rules. Alternately, the Weaver can ask for a PSY test vs. a Threshold equal to the original Threshold (or die roll for an opposed roll); success indicates a normal failure with a result of 0, failure indicates a fumble.

Critical Successes

For each additional six rolled on any skill check, the player may choose to either take the +1 to the final roll or take a Critical Success instead. Each type of Critical Success still requires some amount of Weaver determination and discretion.

In an incredible stroke of luck, the player may reroll his lowest die. 
The task is performed in approximately half the time it would normally take. Full round actions are considered to take only one action to perform. In combat, the character gets a +1 to her initiative roll the next round because of the speed of her attack. 
The character performs the task with an incredible amount of style. The character gains +1 to the die roll, and anyone who witnesses the task will be suitably impressed and may react favorably to the character. 
The character gains particular insight into the nature of the task she is trying to perform and achieves a supplemental result, along with the intended result, at a Threshold two lower than the roll (with a minimum of one). In combat, the character may choose a hit location at no penalty to the final roll. Example: If Jorren had achieved this critical result on a Lore (Tribal) roll with a Threshold of 7 while researching the connection between a Tribal family and a Jo'han Z'bri, he would simultaneously achieve a Threshold 5 result related to his research. The Weaver decides that this is the equivalent of a Mythology roll, and Jorren makes a connection between the Z'bri and some local legends, which opens up another avenue of research to follow. 
The character slips into an instant trance, allowing an Eminence-like effect. The character gains a +1 bonus to the roll, as well as a mild "special effect." The nature of the effect should reflect the task that was attempted and the total Threshold, and can include anything from attacks being accompanied by flashes of light to a brief, shared vision among cell mates for a Dreaming roll. Example: While Halos is trying to explain to Imelda the importance of the Fatimas presence in the physical realm, he rolls a critical success. The Weaver rules that brief, fleeting visions emphasizing his words appear in the air around the two. 
The River of Dream flows through the character, endowing their effort with its energy. The character gets a bonus of +2 to the skill roll, and rolls another die. On another result of 6, the character gains another +1 and gets to roll again, continuing until sixes are no longer rolled. 

"Taking" Average or High Rolls

This rule is taken from Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition, with special thanks to Brand of Amber on the Tribe 8 mailing list for his suggestions on how to handle it

Taking Average: When you are not in a rush or being hurried or threatened, you can Take a 2 plus the level of your skill in the action you are attempting. This makes it possible to be automatically successful at tasks that are routine for someone at your level of skill.

Taking High: When you have plenty of time (20 times the normal time required for an activity), are not in a situation where a fumble would be seriously harmful, you can Take 4 plus the level of your skill in the action you are attempting. This allows characters to achieve high-end results by taking enough time and effort on them.

Note: Because of the stressful and inherently unstable nature of magic, you can never use a Take with Synthesis. Nor can Takes be used in combat, where fumbles are critical.

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