The primary thrust of this system is simplicity. In order to keep players in the moment, keep the dramatic flow of the story going, and ensure maximum fun for all involved, the mechanics of the game are very minimal. The most important equipment one must bring to each play session is at least as much maturity as one's play group. From insanely off-the-wall to gritty realism, the system lends itself to any style of play.
Important! The mood should be agreed upon and adhered to. As long as all players are on the same page, many problems can be avoided.
At heart, this is a freeform roleplaying game. Dice are added to introduce the capricious hand of Fate and the drama of unexpected outcomes to Super:Natural. Without this critical ingredient, without the gamble, the thrill and drama are also missing.
Any action performed by a character that would, under normal circumstances, succeed without any doubt such as sitting down on a chair or walking across a room are Automatic actions. No roll is required.
Any task a character undertakes for which there is any doubt of their success is considered a challenge and dice will come into play, such as when walking across a room that is on fire or otherwise structurally unsound or any action, save the most mundane (walking, speaking), performed under stress, such as during Combat.
There are basically two kinds of challenges: those in which a character may be challenged by their own limitations and those in which a character may be challenged by the abilities of another character. We'll call these Challenges and Contests, respectively. When making the roll for an Unopposed Challenge, the player rolls 1D10 and wants to roll below the sum of Attribute and applicable Skill, plus modifiers. When making Opposed Contest rolls, each player adds 1D10 to Ability (that's Attribute + Skill) and the highest total roll succeeds.
In the case of a tie, the character with the highest Skill wins. If still tied, the highest Attribute wins. If still tied, all players involved must re-roll.
The 0 on the D10 represents zero in Super:Natural. Whenever a player rolls a natural 0 or a natural 9, they must then roll 2D10 (as percentile dice) to check for Criticals. Most often, a natural 0 will be an Automatic Failure, and a natural 9 will be an Automatic Success, but the Critical Table will make that clear. There is a chance that such Successes and Failures may be spectacular (Critical Success/Failure).
Critical Success means that not only does a character manage to do what he or she wanted to do, and look good doing it, there may be positive, unforeseen side-effects to the action (at Narrator's discretion). Critical Failures, on the other hand, not only mean that the character has failed, likely in an embarrassing way, but also that there may be negative side-effects to the action (up to, and including, injury or death, at Narrator's discretion).
Most generally, as one may see, Automatic Success/Failure is the default. The numbers represented in parentheses represent a potentially variable value (such as by various Upgrades). Now, your next question is, "What if a player rolls a Critical Success after rolling a Zero?!" and the answer is "The Action Succeeds, but just barely and despite all odds." Similarly, if a player rolls a Nine and follows up with a Critical Failure, the Action fails, but just barely and, again, despite all odds.
Now, some may have come to realize that Unopposed Rolls for particularly powerful or skilled characters will almost never fail. Yes, that is correct. Really, you think that Krusharr, the World-Destroyer often finds himself unable to do as he intends unless somebody opposes him? Or, if you prefer more well-known characters outside our realm, do you think Superman™ often fails to be able to fly, lift heavy things, weld with his heat vision and so on and so forth when some bad guy isn't getting in the way? Yes, it's good to be the king and also good to be very powerful and/or skilled.
Some things require a bit of time and concentration. Medicine of all forms comes immediately to mind, as do programming, certain forms of magic, and performing arts. In situations involving either multi-faceted or time-consuming actions, we have the Extended Task. More or less a series of Standard Rolls, success and failure depend on the aggregate of the rolls involved.
The system is quite similar for both Extended Challenges and Contests. In the former, one's own limitations would be considered the opposing force. The Narrator (with some guidance from Skill descriptions) will determine the base number of rolls necessary to complete a task for an Unopposed Challenge. Assuming all of the required rolls succeed, the task is successful. Should a roll fail, things get interesting. When one of the required rolls fail, the character is at a Disadvantage. An extra roll must then be made. If it is successful, the Extended Task continues, if it fails, then the Task fails. This simulates unforeseen difficulties, slips, and the like. The extra roll tests whether the character is able to overcome this adversity and continue or not.
When characters are directly opposing one another in an Extended Contest, such as Grappling, each player makes their Roll. The highest roll has Advantage. Each player rolls again. If the player whose character has the Advantage gets the highest Roll again, that character wins the Contest. Any other result (including a tie) returns all involved characters to a No Advantage state, and all players roll again. When two or more characters are competing in Extended Challenges, like a race to see who can write a program faster, then each character simply performs an Extended Challenge and the first to reach the goal would be the winner.
What are "successes"? A success is simply short for "a successful roll". When opposing another character, a success would be when your roll beats the other player's, or players', roll(s).
Combat of all forms is designed to run smoothly and very quickly. While the system is far simpler than other RPGs, we believe that play balance has been retained. The combat sequence can be divided into three distinct phases: Initiative, the Combat Round, and Conflict Resolution.
Each individual involved in combat makes a base Awareness Roll, modified by any applicable Upgrades.
Each player rolls 1D10 and adds it to Perception.
Highest roll performs first, with the last action of the Combat Round being performed by the person with the lowest roll.
The Narrator notes this order and enforces it.
During this phase of combat, the actual attacks are made and damage is dealt and received. At the beginning of the Combat Round, time flow changes to turn-based. Each participant in the fight gets a turn in which that character may perform a single Action. Each Round corresponds to about three seconds, real time. An Action consists of anything from moving up to one's MOV and performing a Quick Attack, beginning to administer First Aid (which is an Extended Task), Sprinting away from the conflict, or executing a Normal Attack
The acting player declares his or her Action in a descriptive way.
He or she expends any necessary cost(s) and then makes any applicable roll(s). Target (if any) has the opportunity to Active Defend and loses next Turn. Results of successful actions are and noted upon the character sheet.
When all threats have been neutralized, Combat ends immediately and time returns to its normal flow. In other words, turn-based sequences stop and time flow returns to real time at the instant the last goon is defeated.
A Quick Attack is an Attack made under less-than-ideal circumstances. Squeezing off a shot while seeking cover, taking a swipe at the enemy as one moves to more a favorable position, or a jab that follows a dash towards one's opponent would all be good examples. Quick Attacks are penalized with both increased Difficulty (-3 to Attack Roll) and lowered Damage (-1 Damage, with a minimum of 1).
Normal Attacks are those that have the attacker's full attention. Aiming before firing, focusing before striking, and putting the entire body into an uppercut are prime examples. Normal Attacks are made without penalties to Attack Roll or Damage, save in special cases as might be outlined by the Narrator.
Advanced Attacks require certain prerequisites (such as a successful Grapple Attack on the previous round) or time to prepare (such as having spent the previous round aiming).
More information on Advanced Attacks Coming Soon...
Active Defense might save one's bacon or throw it in the fire. Rather than Passive defense which takes into account one's Awareness and reflexes (Dexterity), Active Defending makes use of training. One may perform an Active Defense either as their declared action for the round, or may abort to an Active Defense and skip their coming turn for the round. Yes, that means that a character who has already acted this Turn may not Active Defend. Base Passive Defense is unmodifiable, save by environment (terrain, weather, line-of-sight), but Active Defense allows one to take advantage of combat training and/or special Powers. When you hope you don't get hit: Passive. When your life depends on not getting hit, an Active Defense might be the better choice.
Some, but not all, characters may be able to perform multiple actions in a Combat Round. Generally this will be due to Superhuman Powers, Advantages, or other effects.