A die code shows how good a character is in a particular area, how harmful a weapon is, how useful a Special Ability or tool is, and so on. Each die code indicates the number of six-sided dice you roll (1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, etc.).
An Advantage, Species Ability, Drug, Spell, or Equipment may provide a bonus to the roll. A bonus is in the form of a die code (such as 1D), which you add to the amount you would roll normally up to a maximum of you actual base dice code.
Example: A shovel adds a bonus of 1D to digging attempts. A character who decides to dig a hole uses his or her Strength skill. If your character has a Strength skill of 4D, you would roll five dice to determine how well your character dug the hole with the shovel.
Whenever any player, including the Game Master, makes any roll, one of the dice must be different from the rest (in size or color). Designated as the Chance Die, this odd die represents the randomness of fate and all the uncontrollable aspects of life.
Example: Your character’s Athletics Skill is 3D, so if your character tried to jump onto a table, you would roll two regular dice and one Chance Die and then add the total.
If the player has only 1D to roll, then that one die is always the Chance Die.
If the player rolls a 6 on the Chance Die, the die explodes, and the player may add the 6 to the total and roll the Chance Die again. As long as the Chane Die turns up 6s on that die, the player may continue to add them to the total and continue to roll. If the player rolls anything other than a 6, that is added to the total giving the final result.
If the player rolls a 1 on the initial toss of the Chance Die, this is called a Complication, and the Game Master may chose what happens in the situation. Normally a complication is something that makes the character’s life more difficult or interesting but rarely something desirable. Add the dice results normally, but a complication occurs. The Game Master gauges the significance of the complication by the situation the characters are in, what best serves the current storyline, or with a simple toss of the dice for severity.
In general the complication chosen should relate to the task attempted. It should serve as an extra, minor obstacle the characters must now deal with or, more often, as a place to insert a bit of comic relief. Only on rare occasions (such as numerous poor decisions by the players) should a complication be without solutions or even deadly. The complications can also serve as opportunities to bring nearly invincible characters down to a more reasonable level.
Note: Unlike rolling a complication initially on the Chance Die, no complications occur when a 1 shows up on later tosses of the Wild Die in the same roll (after rolling a 6 which explodes a 1 is just a one).
Whenever a player makes any roll (attribute, skill, spell, and so on), there is the option to spend a Character Point to increase the total rolled. Normally the decision to spend the character point must be made before the roll is made. When the character point is spent the character doubles all their base dice values (but not any bonuses) for one round or one roll if the point is being spent for a long action. The other option is to spend a character point to save the character (this can be done after the dice roll and is an option to keep the character alive to finish the current session by miraculous luck).
A character point spent to save a character generally keeps them from certain death, but a Game Master could allow it to avoid capture or prevent a spell, poison, or other affliction from overtaking a character. In the case of avoiding capture it might take the form of a fortunate accident giving the character the opportunity to slip away in the momentary confusion.
Bonuses can come from many different sources and add to the probability of success. There is a limitation on bonuses. The limitation on bonuses is that the character cannot benefit more from bonuses than they have actual ability.
Example: A character who has 3D firearms, a smartgun link with a 2D bonus and a 3D species bonus to firearms would have 5D in bonuses which is more than the base skill the character could only double the base skill for 6D total (effectively losing out on 2D of the available bonuses).
At those times when there’s a chance that a character may fail at an action, that character must make a skill check. The player decides what he or she wants the character to do and which skill is best for accomplishing the task (sometimes with the help of the gamemaster). The gamemaster determines a suitable difficulty number, which the player must meet or beat by rolling the number of dice in the skill and adding the results.
A character willing to spend twice as much time to complete a task receives a 1D bonus for the die roll for every doubling of time, up to a maximum bonus of the base skill. However, the character can do nothing else or be otherwise distracted (such as getting shot at) during this time. This rule allows a character who can’t afford bonuses to make as high a roll as long as they aren’t in a hurry. For instance a 3D firearms character with 8 rounds (about 30 seconds), could roll 6D total for the shot instead of 3D.
A character can also attempt to perform an action that normally requires two or more rounds (12 seconds or more) in less time. The difficulty increases depending on how much less time the character puts into the task: +5 for 25% less time, +10 for 50% less time, and +20 for 75% less time. A character may not perform any task in less than 25% of the normally needed time. Thus, to rush an hour-long surgery into 30 minutes, the difficulty increases by +10.
A situational bonus of 1D per full 5D in a complimentary skill can be used when another skill would compliment the skill being used. A character trying to use persuasion with a criminal might get a bonus from streetwise. Skill synergy can be easy to overlook so a player should ask the Game Master when they suspect a skill could be useful. The maximum limit of base skill still applies, but the bonus from skill synergy is effectively free.
When a character wants to do more than one thing at a time they take a penalty of 3D per action after the first. In combat the character declares the number of actions they intend to take in the round and take the appropriate penalty. If they use dodges those will take away from the number of declared actions. If they have to defend more times than they had declared action give the new die penalty to those defense rolls but allow them (only defense rolls can be made this way). If the number of actions a character is making would lower the base skill (without bonuses) to 0D or less then that skill can’t be used even if the bonuses would have left them with more dice.