Taking Action (Core Rule)

It’s now time for your Hero to ACT!  Perhaps someone is falling from the roof of a tall building, or a tornado is barreling down on a family who’s car is stuck in a ditch, or a bank is being robbed, or you’re at the scene of murder and want to find clues.  All of these things are things that a Super-hero might do.

In the Time and Taking Turns section, we outlined the types of actions you can take and how much time each one takes.  In this section, we’ll tell you HOW to take an action: what dice to roll and how to determine if you succeed or fail (and what to do if it looks like you might fail!)

The Basic Rule – Roll Some Dice and Add them Up!

You have eight Basic Abilities, and each one has a number.   This number is the number of ten-sided dice you will roll anytime you use that Basic Ability.  For example, if you want to look for clues, you will roll a number of dice equal to your Perception.  If you want to hide in the air-ducts while the villain discusses his plan, you would roll a number of dice equal to your Stealth.  If a villains shoots at you, you can decide to roll your Dodge – and roll a number of dice equal to your Dodge Ability – or to ‘Tough it out’ and roll a number of dice equal to your Toughness.  The eight Basic Abilities are:

  • Perception: roll to sense something that is happening, or to remember something, or put clues together.
  • Stealth: roll to prevent someone else from knowing something about you: where you are, or what you just did.
  • Aim: roll to target someone or something.
  • Dodge: roll to prevent someone from hitting you, or avoid some other danger.
  • Strength: roll to exert your physical might on something or someone.
  • Toughness: roll ‘tough out’ damage or to prevent some effects from harming you.
  • Influence: roll to cause other people (or things in the wold, sometimes) to take action on your behalf, like telling people to run for the exits, or perhaps you have weather control powers and want to whip up a storm.
  • Self-Control: roll to prevent yourself from taking an action that is not beneficial to you, or from becoming something else.

– Will your Powers help?

Sometimes, you will have Powers that add dice to your roll, or add (or subtract) some number to the result of your roll.  It is very possible to roll a large number of dice.  This is great!  Nothing makes a player feel more powerful than rolling a handful of dice.

For example, Firebike Mike has Touch of Fire, which grants +2 dice to his roll to hurt an enemy with Fire from his fingertips.  In addition, he has another +1 dice to all his ‘Fire’ powers added to that.  To hit someone at range with his Fire Blast, he would roll his Aim (which is 6) + 3 dice, for a total of 9 dice!

– Determine the Intent of the Action

When you decide on an action, you (with the GM’s help) must clearly define the intent of the action. That is, it should be very clear to everyone what you want your Hero’s action to accomplish.  The most common intentions are:

  • Move yourself someplace hard to get to.
  • Stun an opponent or Damage an object.
  • Move something or someone from where they are.
  • Prevent damage to yourself or to someone or something else.
  • Prevent someone else from accomplishing their intended action.
  • Hide your real action behind another action (tricky!)
  • Create some situation that provide an Advantage for you (or someone else’s) – Advantages provide extra dice to subsequent actions!

– Check your roll against the Difficulty

The Game Master will determine the Difficulty of your roll.  The total of your dice roll must equal or exceed the difficulty in order for your hero’s action to be successful.  To give you a sense of what a Difficulty might be, remember that normal adults have Abilities scores of 2 in each Ability (on average), and so could only roll a maximum of 20 on the dice.  A Difficulty of 15 would be moderately hard for a normal adult to achieve, but is by no means impossible.  However, a Difficulty of 25 would be impossible unless that normal adult had some other Advantage that gave him or her extra dice.  Therefore, a 25 is a low ‘Super-human’ Difficulty.  Difficulty numbers can go much higher than that!   In the above example, Firebike Mike could roll a maximum of 70 on his dice, but his average roll would be about 37.

– Did you roll any Additional Successes?

After you roll, the Game Master will tell you whether or not your roll was enough to overcome the Difficulty that he had in mind.  If you did, your Hero was successful!  If your roll was a LOT more than the Difficulty, you might even earn some Additional Successes!  If your roll was 10 more than the Difficulty, you earn an additional success, if you roll was 20 more than required, then you gain 2 additional successes, etc.  If you were attempting to move or push someone or something, you manage to push them that much further.  If you were attempting to Stun an opponent or damage an object’s Structure, you do that much more Stun or Structural damage!

– Improving your chances

However, if you did not roll well enough, (OR if you know that you needed more power before your roll), there are a few things you can do to improve your chances:

  • Create an Advantage: take a simpler action now to improve your chances later for something more difficult.
  • Spend a Hero Point: before the roll, you can add an extra die, OR after the roll, you can re-roll a single die.
  • Invoke a Drama Trait: after the roll to re-roll one die AND roll an extra die as well.  Give the GM a Drama Token to use against you later.
  • Spend your Progression Token: you can spend a Progression Token to gain a temporary use of a Power you don’t yet have.  Once you have spent enough Progression Tokens on the same Power, your Hero gains that Power permanently.


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