Weapons of the Gods Mechanics Summary
These are some short blurbs summarizing some of the Weapons of the
Making Skill Checks:
The following is the procedure for making skill checks. It seems a
little complicated, but it'll get easier once you've done it a time or two.
In addition to the earlier steps, note a few things:
- Roll: You roll one die per point in the relevant
skill, plus one or two dice if you have a relevant specialty or two,
plus one extra die if your attribute is equal or greater to the skill
+ specialty total (your sheets note which skills don't get bonus
dice; every other one does). Note that if you have no value in a
skill, you therefore get one die to roll.
- Using the River: After rolling the dice, you can use the
River. This has three steps:
- Discard as many dice as you want from your River.
- Move as many dice as you want from your roll into your River. This
has a few restrictions: your River has a maximum size (2), and more
importantly, the dice you move in have to be part of a set of 2 or
more (eg, 2 9s), although you don't have to put the entire set
in. Also, if this is just a "style" roll to see how stylishly you pull
off something, you can't do this step.
- Take out as many dice as you want from your River and add them to
your pool of rolled dice.
- Use Die Modifiers: This might be kung-fu, or it might be
Xia Joss, whatever you want to do to modify the roll.
- Pick the Best Set: Or, rather, the set of your choice,
which is usually the best one. A set consists of dice all with the
same number. The value of a set is the number of dice in a set * 10 +
the number, with 0's counting as 0, not 10 -- so 3 9's = 39, 1 3 = 13,
2 5's = 25.
- Add Result Modifiers: Some kung-fu and most situational
modifiers (equipment, good description for your stunt, etc) give +5
or occasionally +10 or +15, or -5/-10/-15. Add the best positive and
worst negative modifier to the value of the set.
- Compare To Difficulty: If you get equal or greater to the
difficulty, you succeed; if you get at least 10 over, you get a
critical success. Typical difficulties are 15 for something that an
unskilled person can usually do, 18 for something a skilled person
accomplishes routinely but an unskilled person might accomplish, 20
for something a skilled person can usually do but an unskilled person
really can't, 30 for something a skilled person can do if they're
talented and hard-working, and 40 for something you'll be lucky to
accomplish once a game. Similarly, 15-18 are pretty sad for a style
check, 20 is competent, 25 impressive, 30 stunning, and so on.
- Collect Joss: If your set was a set of zeros, collect a
point of Joss -- Xia Joss if your roll succeeded, Corrupt Joss if it
failed. You don't collect Joss from style rolls, though.
- You might have multiple checks you need to make for an action (eg,
hitting someone involves both 'make a good sword swing' and 'penetrate
their defense'), or winning a poetry competition might involve
impressing both the judges and the audience. You always only make one
roll for this, and it's compared separately to each difficulty
number. This means that if it requires (say) a 30 to penetrate
someone's defense, you may as well do an extra-fancy triple-axel sword
swing that requires a 30 to pull off, since what the hell.
- Opposed rolls work pretty much the same; first the active person
rolls, and then the passive person has to make a check, using the
active person's total as a difficulty number. In this case (as,
really, in the unopposed skill check case), the active person wins
- You can use your Chi Aura (2) to add bonus dice to a skill (in
addition or instead of using it to reduce damage), depending on your
archetype: Dodge for Warriors, Confidence for Courtiers, Awareness for
Scholars. The Chi Aura's pool is regenerated each round.
Some Stuff About Combat: Some random notes about combat:
- Actions: You can take one "full action" and two "free
actions" each round. Some Kung Fu gives you an extra full action at
the end of the round, after everyone's gone.
- Initiative is a skill; you roll it normally at the start of
each round. Note that since it's a skill check you can use the River
- Normally the battlefield is pretty open for movement -- you can
assume you can run anywhere you want and jump off or onto anything you
want in a round. If you want to block somebody from getting somewhere
for a round, you can spend a free action on an opposed Tactics roll to
prevent them from doing something.
- Opposing other people in combat is done like other skill
checks. For physical combat, you can always use Dodge, or you can use
Fight if you're using a Brutal weapon or Melee if you're using an
Artful weapon. For social combat, Confidence is the all-purpose
defender, and you can also oppose with whatever skill the attacker
used (Inspire, Persuade, etc).
- Doing Damage works like a style roll, in the sense that it
determines how well you did, not whether you succeeded. You roll one
die, plus one die for each five full points you beat the difficulty
by (so you get a second die if you beat it by five points). Your
weapon and Kung Fu will generally add some damage modifier, of
course. The opponent can spend dice from their Chi Aura pool (which
refreshes each round, you recall) to oppose this -- whatever they roll
gets subtracted from the damage.
- Taking Damage: Your Health is written on your character
sheet. You can take up to five times your Health in damage before
actually dying, but you suffer penalties each time you take your
Health in damage. Before one level of Health, there's no damage;
beyond that, you start to suffer penalties to athletics and other
rolls, and chi flow loss (that is, failure to regain chi each
round). More details as it happens.
- Healing: The power of the Wulin makes it easy for those
with chi to heal themselves! As a free action, you can spend as many
points of Jade Chi as you want to heal an equivalent amount of
- Fighting Mobs: Against no-name mobs of people, each die of
damage you would have rolled just takes out one person, in a manner of
your choosing. Strength and weapon and kung-fu bonuses don't apply
here (unless they let you roll more damage dice, rather than just
increasing the damage total).
- Critical Hits: Attacks, particularly critical successes on
Kung Fu (when you score at least 10 above the opponent's roll), can
have special effects:
- Disarming: The weapon can be retrieved with a DC 15 Athletics
roll (which can be opposed with Tactics).
- Disorienting: Chi Aura can't be used to reduce damage.
- Downing: The target must spend 5 Any Chi or be knocked prone,
getting a -5 modifier to Initiative, Dodge, Fight, and Melee. Standing
up is a DC 15 Athletics roll (which can be opposed with Tactics).
- Embarrassing: The target suffers a -10 to all actions next round.
- Entangling: The target can't move or attack; damage determines how
long it takes for them to escape, and the difficulty of the
Athletics/Finesse check to escape earlier.
- Grappling: Like Entangling, but for bare-handed people.
- Knocking Back: This is always an option for critical
successes. In addition to normal damage, the target is knocked one
round's distance (10 yards) for each damage die dealt, unless they
spend 2 Any Chi per damage die.
- Maiming: The target becomes unable to use two-handed weapons, or
their Lightfoot Mobility Bonus is reduced by 5. Maiming can be cured
with 2 Jade Chi as a Free Action.
- Stunning: Just like Entanglement, but the target must use
Hardiness to recover, not Athletics.
Some Stuff About Chi: A few notes about Chi and Kung Fu:
- You generally regain one Chi per color at the end of each round;
if you've taken injuries, you may regain less. You can use a full
action to regain more: the DC is 18, you roll Hardiness (if a
Warrior), Confidence (if a Courtier), or Medicine (if a Scholar), and
regain one point of Chi per result die gained (ie, one, plus one for
every 5 full points you beat the difficulty by), although all the
points have to be the same color.
- You can use a full action to transfer as many Chi of a
single color as you want to somebody else by touching them. This
doesn't let people not in the Wulin do martial arts, but it does allow
anyone to heal themselves with Jade Chi.
- You can spend Chi to improvise stunts, too, like getting a better
Initiative roll, or an extra attack. This is not as efficient as
knowing the right kind of Kung Fu, but sometimes it's useful.
- You can use as many Kung Fu techniques as you want in a round, as
long as you have the Chi to power them, but you can't use the
same technique multiple times in a round. Using Kung Fu is not
inherently a free or full action, though attacking with it might
be. When you combine techniques in a single action, you only get the
best bonus, as usual, though if they offer bonuses in multiple areas
you get the best in each area.