Mechanics (Alternate)


I was seeking a non-dice-based alternative to

Each player gets ¼ of a standard, 52-card deck of playing cards. Sharing is possible, if inconvenient.

Ace is equal to 1 and represents a critical failure. King is equal to 13 and represents a critical success.

Character creation

  1. Each player chooses a Kind Template and sex. Some Kinds feature sexual differentiation. Each player randomly chooses five cards and discards one of them. Face cards are valued at +2, all others are +1. These four values are added to the Kind Baseline Story Stats. No Attribute may be equal to or lower than zero.

  2. Player chooses Primary Attribute. (Type?)

  3. Set Kind D. Compute Total D.

  4. Compute Combat Stats from Story Stats.

  5. Set Spirit Stats per Kind Template.

  6. Stats are rated from 1-12. (unchanged)

  7. Skills are rated from 1-6. (unchanged)

  8. Players now choose Job. Players may assign between one and three points to any Job Skill, not to exceed a total of five points. In other words, one Skill at +3 and two more at +1, or any combination that adds up to five.

  9. Players gain bonus Skill points equal to their INT that may be assigned to any Skill. No Skill may start at +5 or higher without good reason (read: Narrator approval).

Any time a Kind Template conflicts with character creation rules, the Template is given precedence. Spectral characters, for instance, have no physical attributes.

Choose Upgrades

Characters have 5 points of Upgrades they may assign to any available Advantages and (if applicable) Powers. Characters may gain additional points to spend on Upgrades by purchasing Disadvantages and Weaknesses. There is no limit to the number of Upgrade points that may be gained in this way, but all Disadvantages and Weaknesses must be role-played at all times!

Yes, this means you can effectively kill your character during character creation.

Once all Stats, Skills, and Upgrades are set to their final values, you are ready to play.

Narrator assigns a difficulty between 2 (Effortless) and 36 (Impossible) to all actions. 12 is Standard difficulty, assuming Average Ability and a draw in the fifty-first percentile (8 or better).

A Difficulty equal to or less than a character's Ability is always an Automatic Success, except under stress (like Combat). In the latter case, a character will only fail on a critical.

If a Difficulty is greater than a character's Ability +13 (critical success), success is not possible. Critical failing in such a situation should result in an appropriately threatening (and potentially dangerous) outcome. For example: attempting to hack a computer that is beyond a character's current Ability will always fail. Critical failing will result in near-by law-enforcement being dispatched to the character's current location and will arrive in (14 – Draw) minutes.

Ability = Stat + Skill

Ability can therefore never realistically exceed 18 and can never exceed 24 under any circumstances. Even gods have limits.