Attribute Rolls

For juggling books or juggling chainsaws.

Attribute rolls are dice rolls that test persona attributes. Acts of dexterity, physical strength or willpower are examples of attribute rolls. An attribute roll pits a specific attribute against a particular task. Catching a valuable egg would be a dexterity (DEX) roll. Listening for a malfunctioning engine noise would be an awareness (AWE) roll.

Attribute rolls should only be employed when a challenging situation arises. A player should not have to make an attribute roll to have her persona open a door. A persona trying to escape through a complicated door while under fire can warrant an attribute roll. A persona that is trying to unlock her front door while impaired can earn an attribute roll. An attribute roll should make the evening’s role-playing more fun.

As with all rolls, attribute rolls should not decide the course or a campaign. Nor should an attribute roll be used to solve a referee’s puzzle.

Types of Attribute Rolls
  • Attribute Roll

    • Player rolls once employing one attribute against a target roll that determines success.

  • Attribute Competition

    • Two players roll dice competing against each other.

  • Saving Roll

    • Specialized attribute roll against a toxin or psionic attack.

Attribute rolls and attribute competitions are slightly different. The player makes an attribute roll trying to beat a specific target that increases with difficulty. The difficulty is a descriptor that usually has a fixed value. An attribute challenge involves two players simultaneously rolling against each other. The other player is typically the referee but could be another player from the expedition. An attribute challenge has the persona’s attribute pitted against a floating target intent on harming the persona. An attribute challenge is essentially a saving roll.

Attribute Roll

Attribute rolls are quick dice rolls to determine success in non-vocational maneuvers. Attribute rolls do not replace attack rolls, performance rolls or driving rolls. Attack rolls are unique to the Tactical Combat System and represent a complex balance of combat skills and armour rating. Performance Rolls are for the maneuvers of specific vocations and represent a balance of difficulty and skills. Driving Rolls involves both the vehicle handling class and dexterity rolls.

Attribute Roll Checklist
  1. Attribute Type

  2. Target Value

  3. Make the Roll

Attribute Type

The referee decides which attribute is most relevant for the roll. The player adds the relevant attribute to her chosen attribute to her 1d20 roll. For a dexterity attribute roll, the player would add her DEX to her 1d20 attribute roll.

Example Attribute Rolls
Examples of actions that would be considered to challenge particular attributes. This list is not exhaustive.

Attribute

Abbreviation

Examples

Awareness

AWE

Hear noise.
Notice smell.
Find a hidden object.
Detect Ambush.

Charisma

CHA

Make a sale.
Boost morale.
Flirt.

Constitution

CON

Stay sober.
Ditch a cold.
Repel radiation.
Tackle toxins.

Dexterity

DEX

Catching eggs.
Juggling
Impaired running.

Intelligence

INT

Remembering things.
Solving puzzles.
Thwarting exams.

Mental Strength

MSTR

Games of luck.
Resist interrogation.
Resist temptation.
Resist psionics.

Physical Strength

PSTR

Force a door.
Arm wrestle.
Lift a weight
Crush a can.
Tear a telephone book.

Hit Points

HPS

Damage System Shock
Recovery Roll.

Social Standing

SOC

Know the right person.
Get a mundane job.
Catch a break.
Avoid jail.

Attribute

Abbreviation

Examples

Target Value

Not all attribute rolls are created equal. Some are much harder than others. Attribute rolls should be quick and to the point. When assigning an attribute target value, the referee determines the difficulty of the task. The players and referee decide on a qualitative description of how difficult the task should be. The less likely it seems that the persona could be successful, the greater the difficulty. For example, kicking open a standard residential door would be an easy or normal difficulty task. Kicking open a commercial door would be a hard or tough difficulty task. Kicking open a fortified combat door would be an impossible or bizarre difficulty task.

Each difficulty descriptor has a random or static target roll associated with it. The numeric portion of the difficulty becomes the target value for the attribute roll. For a normal difficulty attribute roll, the referee can roll 1d20 for a random target value or use the static 18. The referee can use the random or static target value. Players prefer the random values for very difficult tasks. The players and referee should use whichever is faster and more fun.

Difficulty and Target Value
The more difficult the task the higher the target value.

Task

Target Value

Difficulty

Random

Static

Trivial

1d6

6

Easy

1d10

12

Normal

1d20

18

Hard

1d30

24

Tough

1d50

36

Impossible

1d100

48

Bizarre

1d1000

96

Difficulty

Random

Static

The majority of the time, the player will be rolling against a normal difficulty. The bizarre difficulty task is for impossible tasks that the player still wants to try.

Make the Roll

The player must roll equal to or higher than the target value. The player rolls a 1d20 and adds her EXPS Level and attribute score to the roll.

Attribute Roll

Attribute Roll = 1d20 + Attribute + EXPS Level

3rd level with 12 CHA rolls 11. Her attribute roll is 26.

Drawing of a four-armed humanoid elephant juggling a chainsaw, pistol, cat and satellite phone.

Juggling the books.

Attribute Competition

An attribute competition pits two personas against each other in a contest directly related to an attribute. Usually, the referee rolls for the referee persona. Two personas arm wrestling is a physical strength challenge. Two personas playing hat snatch is a dexterity competition. A staring contest is a mental strength competition.

Attribute Competition Checklist
  1. Competition Type

  2. Competition Rolls

There is no difficulty or target value in attribute competitions.

Competition Type

The referee decides which attribute is most relevant for the competition. The player adds the relevant attribute to her chosen attribute to her 1d20. There are many examples of competition types above.

Attribute Competition Types

Attribute competitions do not have a difficulty.

Frog spotting race.

Attribute

Player

Competitor

Winner

Awareness

1d20 + AWE + LEVEL

1d20 + AWE + LEVEL

Spots frog first.

Getting noticed at a party.

Attribute

Player

Competitor

Winner

Charisma

1d20 + CHA + LEVEL

1d20 + CHA + LEVEL

Gets noticed.

Enduring a foul smell.

Attribute

Player

Competitor

Loser

Constitution

1d20 + CON + LEVEL

1d20 + CON + LEVEL

Vomits.

A game of hat snatch.

Attribute

Player

Competitor

Winner

Dexterity

1d20 + DEX + LEVEL

1d20 + DEX + LEVEL

Gains a hat.

A game 5D chess.

Attribute

Player

Competitor

Winner

Intelligence

1d20 + INT + LEVEL

1d20 + INT + LEVEL

Noble’s the mobius

Staring contest.

Attribute

Player

Competitor

Loser

Mental Strength

1d20 + MSTR + LEVEL

1d20 + MSTR + LEVEL

Blinks.

Arm wrestling match

Attribute

Player

Competitor

Winner

Physical Strength

1d20 + PSTR + LEVEL

1d20 + PSTR + LEVEL

Pins competitor.

Competition Rolls

The player must roll equal to or higher than her competition’s roll. The player and the competitor roll a 1d20 add their EXPS Levels and their attribute scores to the roll. Whoever is higher is the winner.

Competition Roll

Competition Roll = 1d20 + Attribute + EXPS Level

Both the player and the competitor make a competition roll.

Saving Rolls

The saving roll is a unique attribute roll that has its own section due to legacy and importance. Most attribute rolls are not life and death for the persona. Most saving rolls are life and death for the persona. Jump to Saving Rolls for the deets.

Combining Forces

Personas can get together and combine their attributes to complete a task. An example would be a bunch of personas lifting a rock off of an expedition member. If there are enough personas, the referee will allow the lift to be successful without any rolls. If there are extenuating circumstances, the referee may require the personas to combine their forces. For example, a tug of war between two expeditions would be a combined attribute competition. The success states for a combined attribute roll a combined attribute competition remains unchanged.

The difference is in the synergy of numbers. In a combined attribute roll, every player gets to make a roll. If any of the players are successful, the entire team is successful. For example, three personas are trying to push over a flag pole. Each player gets an attribute roll against the difficulty of this task. A win by any of the players means the flag pole has succumbed to vandalism.

In a combined attribute competition, each player gets to make a roll. Success depends on the number of successes made by each team. So if two groups of ursidae are having a tug of war, every player gets to roll. The referee matches the players by their physical strengths. Whichever team has the most successes wins the tug of war. A tie means that the tug of war is continuing, excitement increases, and the pull-a-thon continues. In general, the stronger team will win, but miracles of probability can still occur.

Resolving Ties

Resolving ties has each player rolling a 1d10. The 1d10 roll indicates the next decimal place of their roll. If both player’s total roll were 11, each player would roll a 1d10, adding a decimal place to their result. So the player that rolled 11.5 would win the competition versus a player that rolled 11.4. If there were another tie, the players would add another decimal place. These decimal place challenges can be pretty exciting.

Python Generated Comparative Data

A little python program made thousands of simulated attribute rolls. The goal was to determine what intensity gave an average attribute a 60% chance of success.

Average Attribute vs Ascending difficulty
  • attribute 10 versus difficulty 18 = 60% chance success

  • attribute 10 versus difficulty 19 = 55% chance success

  • attribute 10 versus difficulty 24 = 29% chance success

  • attribute 10 versus difficulty 32 = 0% chance success

Ascending Attribute vs Average Difficulty
  • attribute 10 versus difficulty 18 = 60% chance success

  • attribute 12 versus difficulty 18 = 70% chance success

  • attribute 14 versus difficulty 18 = 80% chance success

  • attribute 16 versus difficulty 18 = 90% chance success

  • attribute 18 versus difficulty 18 = 99% chance success

High Attribute vs High Difficulty
  • attribute 18 versus difficulty 32 = 30% chance success