Player Plot Development Options
One card shall be granted from the combined decks at the beginning of the campaign and an additional card when the GM deems appropriate – usually every “chapter” or major scene change. All cards must be surrendered upon a character’s death and can’t be retained for replacement characters. New (and replacement) characters to the campaign will begin with a single card and gain additional cards as stated above. No more than three cards can be possessed at one time. If you gain a card and you already have three, you may draw one but then must discard one of your choice. Players may swap cards if desired.
You may “spend” a card to grant one of the following options:
1. Select from one of the four plot twists. Roleplaying and story-telling will be expected to explain how the player envisions the event forming, occurring, and, if applicable, a proposed outcome. The GM reserves the right to reject a suggestion, partially or in full, if it would negatively impact the progression of the game or does not fit the situation, though this should be rare. This is an opportunity for the player to inject new elements – person, place, thing, or idea – into the plot that they would find interesting.
If a card is used in this manner to appropriately drive the plot forward and create challenges for the group without intent of personal gain then the GM will issue a new card to replace the one spent.
2. Invoke the benefits of Player Guidance (Basic Set, p347 and Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys, p7)
1. Luck (B66) retains its three tiers and point cost. However, due to the rate of online play the usage rate has been changed. Luck grants you one use per game session, Extraordinary Luck grants you two uses per session, and Ridiculous Luck grants you three uses per session. There are no constraints on the time interval between uses.
2. Turn Sequence (B324, B363) within a round of action will be determined by rolling 3d6 and adding Basic Speed (3d6+SPD), rather than using the static Basic Speed value.
3. Surprise Attacks and Initiative (B393) is a convoluted process as written and instead the following rule will be used. A detection roll (opposed or modified for circumstances) will be allowed prior to any conflict. Success indicates that the participants were not surprised and may act normally. Failure indicates surprise. Total Surprise applies as written if the participants were in a “safe” environment and not expecting trouble, unless they possess Combat Relexes. Partial Surprise would apply if the participants were expecting trouble, but simply failed to notice it. This results in being mentally stunned and proceed as written to “shake it off”.
4. Attribute Damage (B421) is only partially covered in the basic set. The rules cover how to handle temporary attribute penalties but not how they recover or are healed. I will handle this by determining the underlying cause. The underlying cause (poison, disease, injury, etc.) needs to be healed or removed before the temporary attribute damage can be permanently restored. Temporary attribute damage heals following the established rules for Natural Recovery (B424). (Note that this makes HT damage particularly nasty.) You may improve recovery by following the established rules for Medical Care (B424).
5. Gunslinger (B58), Trained by a Master (B93), and Weapon Master (B99) are cinematic and require a 5 point Unusual Background.
6. Computer Hacking (B184) is allowed as a cinematic skill only when running intrusion software programs as explained in Console Cowboys and Cyberspace Kung Fu from Pyramid #21 Cyberpunk. These are specialized black market programs that must be constantly updated with the latest algorithms to remain current. Talk to the GM if you wish to try purchasing any of these. Without the use of these specialized programs, computer hacking/intrusion must be performed the old fashioned, realistic, and time-consuming way explained in THS: Changing Times (CT46).
7. Defenders receive a +1 bonus to Dodge against melee attacks when the target is a mobile extremity: head, arm/hand, tail, antenna, etc. (but not body, or legs/feet supporting the body). Lower legs or feet may receive this bonus with a successful Jumping roll. (That’s the classic “jump over the sword” move for swashbucklers atop tables!) The Dodge bonus increases to +2 when the face or eyes are the target, thanks to the natural flinch reflex.
8. Attacking and defending will be opposed rolls with the victor being the one with the greatest Margin of Success. Dodge will remain at its default value and is the innate defensive ability that everyone has, albeit not as great as a trained defense. Parry and Block will be at full skill value with the weapon used. The attacker will declare his intent (attack type, weapon/skill, and location) and then the defender will declare his intent (defense type and weapon/skill). Remember that multiple parries or blocks incur a cumulative -2 penalty whether the defense succeeds or fails. The actions will be rolled by the attacker and defender with all the appropriate modifications. The victor is the one with the largest Margin of Success. If the attacker is the victor, then he adds the amount he beat the defender by to his damage roll. The result is then processed as normal, deducting DR and applying damage type and location multipliers. Rapid fire (B373) supersedes MoS bonus damage. If you declare a rapid fire shot of 2 or more then you are relying more on making multiple hits than a single well placed shot and the MoS over your target’s defense will be used to determine how many shots hit their mark.
9. Defenders must announce their intent to defend (all variations of dodge, parry, or block) or not, along with circumstantial modifiers, without knowing the result of attack rolls as stated above. This fully impacts the defender’s status (posture, position, interruption, and cumulative defense counts) whether the attack hits or not and doesn’t allow them to tack on extra benefits because an attack roll had a high margin. If the defender does not declare after given ample time then a standard Dodge will be assumed. (Refer to DECIDE for detailed explanation.)
10. A “torso” hit with a piercing, impaling, or tight-beam weapon will be converted to a “vitals” hit after the attack roll is made if the Margin of Success (MoS) is 3 or more. MoS will be reduced by 3 before calculating any other variables (i.e. extra damage, etc.). When making a Rapid Fire attack, this rule does not apply. Excess Margin of Success is used to determine multiple hits instead of a more accurate shot. If you wish to hit the vitals you must target them specifically.
11. Wildcard! skills are required to reduce the skill burden for characters. Use Wildcards! for your character’s skills and individual skills will only function at defaults. To help offset the cost burden, wildcard skills have been reduced by 2/3. Every character should have at least two (one of the two Everyone! selections and a Career! selection) if not three or more wildcard skills. The GM will rarely call for a specific skill check, but will most often describe a situation and then let the players select from their available skills that would apply. If something is not an obvious choice then player explanation of how it is applicable will be expected. The GM reserves the right to apply modifiers or change controlling Attributes on the fly for skill checks based on the situation, conditions, and relevance of a skill.
Optional Rules in Use
Wildcard Skills (p. 175) – Also see Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills under Allowed Material.
Techniques (p. 229)
Buying Success (p. 347)
Player Guidance (p. 347)
Extra Effort in Combat (p. 357) – You must have “Trained By a Master” or Weapon Master" to use these options.
Changing Posture in Armor (p. 395)
Dual Weapon Attacks (p. 417)
Accumulated Wounds (p. 420) – The MapTool framework makes this easy to track. Just apply damage to the limb/extremity instead of general HP.
Combinations (p. 80)
Expanded Combat Maneuvers (p. 97)
Committed Attack (p. 100)
Defensive Attack (p. 101)
Grab and Smash! (p. 118)
Extra Effort in Combat (p. 131) – You must have “Trained By a Master” or Weapon Master" to use these options.
Power-Ups 5: Impulse Buys
Buying Success (p. 4)
- includes Buying Failure
- includes Margins
- no buying Critical Success in combat, except against mooks
Player Guidance (p. 7)
- includes Trading Points for Money (p. 8) – Each point grants 10% of campaign average starting wealth.
- includes Favors in Play
Power-Ups 7: Wildcard Skills
- Conditional-to-General Defaults (p. 6)
- Additional Benefits include: Extra-Broad Perks and Techniques (p.11)
- Ditching Standard Skills (p. 22)
- Complimentary Skills (p. 25)
- Wild Criticals: Open-Ended Criticals (p. 26)