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Opposed Actions

Opposed Actions

To resolve an opposed action between two characters, each side rolls dice against the appropriate trait and announces the result.

The traits rolled against are not necessarily the same: for example, a coercion attempt would be rolled against a character’s manipulation skill for the active participant and against the Persona attribute for the resisting participant.

There may be modifiers: someone with a Vow of Loyalty Gift might get a bonus of +2 to his self- discipline, while someone with a Craven fault might have a penalty — or not even try to resist.

The GM compares the rolled degrees to determine a degree of success. For example, Yvonne is in disguise and trying to trick Seth into thinking she’s from the government. She rolls a Great result. This is not an automatic success, however.

If Seth also rolls a Great result to avoid being duped, then the degree of success is 0; the status quo is maintained. In this case, Seth remains unconvinced that Yvonne is legitimate.

If Seth rolled a Superb result, Yvonne’s Great result would have actually earned her a degree of success of -1 and Seth is not going to be fooled during this scene; he’ll probably even have a bad reaction to Yvonne.

The opposed action mechanism can be used to resolve almost any conflict between two characters.

  • Are two people both grabbing the same item at the same time? This is an opposed action based on the Dexterity attribute — the winner gets the item.
  • Is one character trying to shove another one down? Roll Strength for each of them to see who goes down, and add any appropriate skills, Gifts, or Faults that might be in your favor (or disfavor).
  • Someone trying to hide from a search party? Use the Covert skill versus Notice
  • …and so forth.

Some opposed actions have a minimum level needed for success. For example, an online fight through a video game might require at least a Fair result. If the player only gets a Mediocre result, it doesn’t matter if the intended opponent rolls a Poor resistance: the player couldn’t survive the various dangers of the video game level and the attempt fails. Most combat falls into this category.

An opposed action can also be handled as an unopposed action. When a PC is opposing an NPC, have only the player roll, and simply let the NPC’s trait level be the difficulty level. This method assumes the NPC will always roll a 0. This emphasizes the PC’s performance and reduces the possibility of an NPC’s lucky roll deciding the game.

As a slight variation, the GM can roll 1dF or 2dF when rolling for an NPC in an opposed action. This allows some variation in the NPC’s ability, but still puts the emphasis on the PC’s actions.