Steampunk Amahara: Rules
Basic Dice System
When tackling any task, roll Stat + Specialty in d10's and count the number of successes. The difficulty threshold is determined first by the base difficulty of the task and then modified by Arts possessed that the character possesses. The 1's don't subtract, but if you have more 1's than successes, you botch.
Cooperation can generally add scale to an action but not always quality. More cooks can feed more people but not necessarily make everything better tasting. Additional participants in an action can use one of the following options, provided of course that they have the skills to participate meaningfully.
- Roll half your pool on the same stat as the leader.
- Roll full dice in some other capacity of the action on a different pool that you can justify.
- Add a single success.
Example Base Difficulties
- 7: Tasks that are fairly natural to perform on instinct.
- Hitting someone with a sword.
- Throwing an object accurately.
- Giving a speech.
- 8: Tasks that are difficult to do without training, instruction or household wisdom.
- Swimming in running water.
- Befriending a stray cat.
- Intermediate cooking.
- 9: Tasks that require advanced knowledge.
- Passing an exam.
- Helping a seriously wounded person.
- Fixing clockwork.
- 10: Tasks that require specific knowledge or supernatural abilities and which have little to do with common sense.
- Conducting religious rituals.
- Knowing uncommon trivia.
- Seeing the invisible.
The Effect of Arts
Arts represent the skillset and proficiencies of your character. Having a relevant art lowers the success threshold from various unpleasantly high numbers depending on how necessary training, knowledge and experience are for that task. It is hence a pretty good idea to make sure your starting arts reflect what it is you want to do. Arts may also have various other beneficial special effects as well, such as increased numbers of Move or Combat Actions, raised static values, or conversion of various normally rolled actions into unrolled ones.
This list is not exhaustive (though it probably covers most of the bases) and can be used to spark ideas of both how to start and how a character might progress. Generally, arts at Tier 1 are fairly common basic techniques that nevertheless have reasonably high impact on capabilities, Tier 2 are considered fairly advanced skills, while Tier 3 and 4 are amazing feats suited for movies or great heroes.
Arts do not stack their difficulty modifiers within a tier. This allows simpler customisation. For example, a ninja may opt to take Streetwise as a variant of Trickery in order to alter the connotation of his skills without any question as to whether it would be better to have both when covering a task that seems to fall under either. In such cases, the highest bonus is taken. However, Arts of different tiers will stack, so a character may benefit from up to four Arts (one from each tier) if all are applicable.
The default initiative roll is 1d10 + Dex + Wits and does not necessarily occur only at the start of the battle. In a big fight, the main init is usually rolled after the fighting gets separated into sequences so that not everyone is on screen at the same time. Don't feel obligated to not butt into a fight that isn't "meant" for you, but you have to make it clear you're committing yourself or else you won't be able to join in until a new initiative is called for. The rules for initiative are as follows from greatest to least precedence:
- Surprise (when one side achieves stealth and the opposition fails to contest it) constitutes a victory in initiative.
- A full defense/movement always wins init but cannot attack.
- Ranged weapons always lose init to close combat weapons.
- Guns always lose init close combat weapons and to other ranged weapons.
- Within individual close combat encounters, initiative is modified by the weapon being used to attack.
Once initiative is decided, combatants take turns using their pool of actions. Normally, they can use one action of each type per turn.
Once everyone within that small melee is out of actions, a new round starts and a new init roll happens if the situation has changed sufficiently or if the sides are more or less passive and even. A participant may also elect to hold when their turn comes up. However, if all sides decide to take no actions, then the round will end. Remaining actions in the round are lost and two sides squaring off in this way usually results in a new initiative. It is therefore important for the side with initiative to be aggressive.
Attack and Defense
To hit an opponent, use a close combat action to roll attack (generally Dexterity + relevant Specialty). This is made at base difficulty 7 when attacking hand to hand or with a proper weapon and base difficulty 8 when attacking with an improvised weapon.
Your defense is half your Dexterity rounded up modified by the following:
- +1 Dodge for each athletic action remaining.
- +1 Parry for each close combat action remaining.
- -1 Dodge for each point defender's Wits is below attacker's.
- -1 Parry for each point defender's Strength is below attacker's.
- -1 to both Dodge and Parry if you did not win init.
- -1 to the defense used each time you use it within a round.
- Every extra success over the opponent's defense deals 1 raw damage.
- Every point of strength deals 1 raw damage.
- Every point of weapon damage bonus deals 1 raw damage.
- If for any combination of reasons the resulting damage is 0, the hit deals 1 damage.
When wounded for a significant amount, roll Resolve or it interrupts your turn. Difficulty is 7 and cumulatively increases as you get wounded. Having things like Bushido helps here, as it decreases the threshold to 5.