3c. Rules - Conflict

Rules: Conflict
Whenever an Encounter requires the character to apply their skills and abilities to overcome an obstacle, the rules for Conflict are used to determine the outcome.

Rather than try to provide a ‘realistic’ representation of events, these rules are intended to allow for a quick and easy resolution to any conflict, and facilitate epic tales of Heroic deeds being told by the students involved.

The basic principle of these rules is as follows:
  1. (Attribute + Skill + Special abilities + 1D6) = Action Score (AS)
  2. Compare AS to the opposing AS or Encounter Rating (ER). Highest score wins.
  3. The numerical difference between the ratings determines the degree of the success or failure.

Everything that follows here is an expansion of this basic system, with optional rules for more advanced gameplay such as team work and extended conflicts. As always, these rules are just guidelines, and teachers should feel free to experiment with these rules to suit their own students and game.

Action Score (AS)

The action score is the sum of the rating of one of a character’s Attributes + Skill + Special Ability ratings, and the result of the roll of a single six sided die.

Because of the maximum rating of 5 on all character traits, an AS of 26 is the highest natural score that a single Hero can achieve without the aid of other characters (see rules for team work) or without special items (see ‘Rewards’). During the early stages of a game, it is more likely to a character to have action ratings of 10-12 + 1D6.

The appropriate combination of skills and attributes is suggested in each skill description, however students and teachers are encouraged to consider creative combinations to represent unconventional tactics.

For example, the skill of Close Combat is usually paired with Strength to determine the accuracy and effect of punches and kicks, or hits with swords or other hand held weapons, however a character may decide to combine Persuasion with their Close Combat skill and instead try to baffle or confuse their opponent seeking not to do damage, but to cause them to drop their weapon or be otherwise overcome and captured.

Encounter Ratings (ER)
Sometimes, instead of a full set of statistic an Encounter might simply have a single Encounter Rating that provides a sum of the overall difficult of the encounter. See the section on creating encounters for guidelines as to assigning an ER.

This option is particularly appropriate for encounters that include events such as natural disasters or monsters so big they are more like a force of nature than an individual opponent.

Even when an Encounter uses an ER rather than individual traits, the final result is still the sum of (ER +1D6).

In a simple Conflict, students should be allowed to know the ER they must beat before devising their strategy. See the optional rule for Extended Conflict for modifications to this rule.

Degrees of Success and Failure
The difference between the opposing scores determines the degree of Success or Failure in any Conflict. In Conflicts using the simple rules outlined above, this is used primarily for the purposes of guiding a student’s narrative writing following the encounter. In games using the optional rules, degrees of success have further effects.

As a general rule, each degree of success or failure is separated by 3 points. The following table provides a summary of the five degrees of success or failure:
|| AS Gap

Description / damage points
Narrow Success / Failure
Clear Success / Failure
Noteworthy Success / Failure
Resounding Success / Failure
Heroic Success / Crushing Failure

Optional Rule: Complimentary Skills
Sometimes a student may conceive of a strategy that draws upon multiple skills, used together to produce an even more impressive and Heroic action.

As long as a student can provide a sufficiently detailed justification of how the two skills would enhance each other in whatever action the Hero is taking, then they may receive a bonus of +1 for a complimentary skill. While a student might come up with a justification for combining multiple skills into a single action, they can never receive an AS bonus of greater than 2.

For example: Thunderfist is a superhero who is incredibly strong, and is also good at riding motorcycles. During a Conflict with the villain, Killer-Wat, Thunderfist rides his motorcycle at great speed, circling the villain Killer-Watt until he is able to launch his Storm Fist Attack from the villains’ side. This combination would have an AS of (Strength + Combat - Unarmed + Super Strength) + 1D6, with a bonus of +1 if the Hero has Control Vehicle. Killer-Watt prepares to counter the attack with a special fighting technique that allows him to move like lighting while striking back. Killer-Watt's AS is (Strength + Combat-Unarmed + Lightning Attack) + 1DY, with a +1 bonus for using Athletics to dodge out of the way, and +1 bonus for using stealth to hide his attack until the last second.

Optional Rule: Teamwork
This rule allows multiple Heroes to join forces in order to utilise more complex strategies and deliver more devastating attacks.
Team work functions using the same rules for complimentary skills describe above, except that different Heroes can add their bonuses to the AS of another Hero in the team. The actions of the different Heroes do not have to all combine into a single action, for example, one character might use their Combat-Range to fire flaming arrows at the Dragon, distracting it while the rest of the team sneak around behind. Such an action would still add a +1 bonus to the AS of the team's primary action.

Teamwork carries one additional bonus. When a team of heroes work together, the final AS includes 1D6 for every character involved in the collective effort. This means that a team of 5 Heroes has a possible random number of between 5 and 30, with an average of 17-18. Such a boost to a teams collective AS means that Heroic Successes over a villain, or a Narrow Success in the face of overwhelming odds, are possible.

When engaging in Teamwork, each student should still be expected to write their own individual narrative, focusing on their own character’s point of view during the Encounter.

Optional Rule: Extended Conflict
Sometimes a single comparison of numbers is not sufficient for a truly Epic battle or Heroic endeavour. When Heroes face off against major enemies, or they try to prevent or escape from a major natural disaster, then Extended Conflict is called for.
The rules for extended conflict modify the above rules in the following ways:

Rounds: Instead of a single comparison of AS/ER, Extended Conflict takes place over three rounds. Each round consists of an AS/ER comparison as described above, however Heroes may change their strategies for each round in order achieve different effects, or for XP bonuses if they are on offer.

Degrees of Success / Damage: In Extended Conflict, degrees of success/failure determine the number of points of Damage that a character either deals out or receives.

A Hero, Villain or Monster can withstand a number of points of Damage equal to their Stamina + Resilience + Willpower.
Once a Hero has taken a number of points of Damage equal to or greater than this total, then they are incapacitated and unable to participate any further in the Encounter. If it is an individual Encounter, this means automatic failure. If the Hero is part of a team effort, the team may continue to try and achieve success, but the incapacitated Hero is no longer able to contribute.

Damage during Teamwork: When a team of Heroes are working together, and suffer damage during an Extended Conflict, the team members can decide how the damage will be divided up among the Heroes. They may decide to divide the damage equally among all Heroes, or one or two especially tough Heroes may take the majority of the Damage. If teachers wish to make encounters especially challenging, in the event of failure during an encounter, all Heroes could suffer the same amount of Damage as determined by the encounter result. This would be especially appropriate for Encounters that include wide-spread natural disasters, or incredibly powerful villains.

Win, Lose or Draw? During an Extended Conflict with an opponent it is possible to arrive at a situation where both sides have traded blows and taken damage, but both sides are left standing. Throughout the three rounds, it is important to keep track of the cumulative degrees of success achieved by both sides. After three rounds, the side with the highest cumulative total claims victory from the Encounter. Alternatively, teachers could instigate an 'all or nothing' rule, meaning that Heroes have to succeed in the encounter, or they fail regardless of how close they may have been.

Higher Strategic Gameplay: In a standard encounter, students get to know the Encounter Rating or Action Score of their opponent before deciding on their action. In extended combat situations, you may choose to withhold the opposing Action Score or Encounter Rating, meaning that Heroes either have to risk acting blindly, or use the first turn of their combat to somehow investigate the situation or otherwise determine their opponents strength.