Playing the Game
Playing the game is fairly simple. You take an Attribute (a physical stat like Strength or Charisma in D&D) add it to an Ability (think skill) creating a dice pool. You roll 1d10 per number in your dice pool and look at the results, not adding them together. You are given a target number, usually "7" and you try to equal or beat that number on your dice rolls. For every dice that equals or beats your target number you have a success. For every one rolled you have a botch and it removes one success. If you have more ones than successes you have botched the roll and will suffer something bad (think fumble). Count up the number of successes and report that number to the game master. For example say you have a "4" Intelligence, and "3" in Computers. If someone has put a virus on your Computer you may have a "7" rating to discover it. So your add the numbers for your Intelligence Attribute (4) and Computer Ability (3) to get a 7d10 dice pool. If you roll "1,3,7,7,8,9,4" then you have rolled three successes. The "1" took away one of your four successes, say the "7", that leaves the "7, 8" and "9" as successes and you report this to the game master, that you made three successes, the actual numbers don't matter. You not only found the virus (one success), but you were able to remove it (extra successes), in fact you were able to improve your virus software to keep that virus out (3 successes). You ignore the "3" and "4" these rolls neither botched or succeeded so are not used. If it were combat and you were shooting a gun with a target number of "7" and got the same rolls. You got two successes. Again the "1" is a botch and it removes one of your successes, say one of the "7's", that leaves "8" and "9" as successes, meaning you probably hit your foe twice with your weapon. Remember if you roll more "1's" than successes you have botched, rolling a one is not a death sentence, it only takes away one success. Rolling one success means marginal success. If you are leaping across to another building and get one success means that you barely made it.
Total Successes Rolled Degree of Success
  Rolling only 1's Botch; something bad always happens
  Zero    Failure; you just couldn't do it.
  One   Standard; you get the bare minimum of success.
  Two   Superior; you get a little bit more
  Three   Remarkable
  Four    Astonishing
   Five   Phenomenal
The White Wolf system was originally written for playing a role playing game as vampires. The characters would have ratings from 1-5, but the older a vampire is the stronger so Dracula might have stats with a 7 or 8 or even more. He has supernatural Strength, and inhuman Dexterity and a lot of other powers
    Abysmal, no skill
  • •      Average
  • • •   Good
  • • • •   Exceptional
  • • • • •   Superb
The Storyteller may also modify the number of rolls needed for a success (increasing the Difficulty). Say you are wounded then that would be a tough condition and your Storyteller could tell you that you need to remove 1 success (+1 Difficulty). Therefore to leap across to another building what would normally require 2 successes, now requires 3. If you make zero successes or only 1 success then you failed. You only botch when you roll more ones than successes. Almost always your target number is 6. Some guns may be easier or harder to fire and so have a 5-8 Difficulty range, and the DM may decide to increase the target number for a extremely hard task, but the usual target number is 6.
  Difficulty Rating Degree of Difficulty
  Zero Standard
  +1  Tough
  +2  Challenging
  +3 Difficult
  +4 Critical
  As you can see, you can quickly run out of dice in your dice pool when trying something that is harder than usual. The Storyteller can also increase the Difficulty Rating meaning that you need a 8, or a 9 or in really hard conditions you need a 10. No Difficulty Rating gets higher than 10. However, if you try to jump to the top of a mountain, in one jump, the Storyteller may decide that is impossible and so require 20 successes. You may only have 6 dice in your dice pool and therefore can't possibly make that jump (you can't make small jumps to reach 20 successes you said you wanted to jump to the top of the mountain, in one jump). If you have 6 or more dice in your dice pool then under standard conditions you can make the roll without actually having to roll your dice.

The hard part is determining which Attribute and which Ability to apply and if any other factors apply or if the Difficulty increases. For example a scope on the rifle could give you one or two extra dice for your dice pool. You have to ask the game master what Attributes and Abilities apply then you look to see, in this case it would be Dexterity + Firearms. If you have anything else that could modify the shot you might get to add (or subtract) that to that roll (like using a prop or bipod to support your rifle, which would add +1d10 to your Dice Pool). For example if your character is researching jump engine design then the Storyteller would probably tell you to apply your Intelligence + Engineering to arrive at your dice pool. The DM reserves the right to change what Attributes and Abilities are required as per situation; what always works one time should work again, but not if there are other factors. For example while researching the jump engine the DM may tell you to make a Intelligence + Bureaucracy check to see if you notice if the proper permits were issued for the engine and who issued them. The target number and number of successes required is set by the game master and it can vary if, for example, you had been shot in the hand and the game master ruled that the pain causes a penalty. If you are Bruised (loss of 1 Health level) then you suffer no modifiers, if you are Injured or Hurt then you suffer a -1 modifier taking away one of your successes (+1 Difficulty). The Health levels and their modifiers are listed on the character sheet. Exceptionally hard tasks like trying to shoot a rifle while hanging on a rope of the side of a mountain might increase the target number. Rarely does the target number reach 10, because you have an equal chance of failing or succeeding.
Strength: measures physical power, pure and simple. A high score equals mighty muscles. Not only is it good for toting, lifting and jumping, it also determines the base damage of most hand-to-hand attacks. Qualities: Athletic, Rugged, Massive, Explosive.
  •   Poor: Weak as a kitten (dead lift 15 kg).
•• Average: You're nothing special (dead lift 45 kg).
••• Good: Burly (dead lift 100 kg).
•••• Exceptional: Strong as an ox (dead lift 165 kg).
•••••• Superb: All envy your mighty thews (dead lift 240 kg).
Dexterity: Where Strength is raw power, this is grace, speed and finesse -- your ability to make your body parts go and do what you want. Dexterity determines accuracy, whether you're shooting pool or shooting your wife's new boyfriend. It's also combined with Wits to figure lnitiative. Qualities Quick, Graceful, Balanced, Accurate.
  Poor: You spill your milk. Often.
  ••  Average: You can sink the eight ball without scratching, usually.
  ••• Good: Your putts are like butter.
  •••• Exceptional: You started juggling with knives because you heard it was quicker -- and you still have all your fingers.
  •••••• Superb: You never miss.
Dexterity based Abilities
Athletics: Running, jumping, swimming, climbing, throwing, catching - pretty much every Form of general athletic ability is covered by this skill. Specialties: Running, Climbing, Throwing.
Drive: The ability to drive a motor vehicle, it covers anything with wheels or tracks and also covers boats. Specialties: APC, Car, Hoverbike, Motorbike, Tank.
Firearms: Whether you're shooting an ancient dueling pistol or a modem belt-Fed machinegun, Firearms is the skill you use For mechanical death-at-a-distance. This Ability also covers general Firearm knowledge - how to clean, load and handle a gun. Specialties Multiple Shots, Cover Fire, Sniper, Exotic Weapons.
Legerdemain: This Ability is a catch-all For any Form of tricky, deceptive handwork. Anything from card tricks to picking pockets is covered by Legerdemain. It is also the skill employed by escape artists: Someone good at Legerdemain can pick locks and slip handcuffs as well. Specialties: Shoplifting, Switching Objects, Palming/planting Objects.
Martial Arts: Fighting arts that rely more on speed than power are considered Martial Arts. The masters OF mysterious arts such as kung fu, karate and jujitsu can disable, cripple and even kill with no weapons but hands, feet and body. Martial Arts attacks inflict bashing damage. Each type of martial arts can be a specialty.
Melee: Hand-to-hand weapons--anything from a spear or axe to a knife or truncheon--are applied with the Melee skill. Many melee weapons inflict lethal damage, so watch out. Specialties Club, Chain, Bottle, Epee.
Pilot: The Ability used for running a VARG, a helicopter a plane or a spaceship; anything that flies. Specialties: VARG, boat, spaceship, plane, helicopter.
Stealth: Sneaking out of a bad situation is often the better part of valor, just as sneaking into a bad situation is OF- ten the better part of curiosity. Stealth is the skill used for all such attempts to move or hide unseen and unheard. Stealth is usually a resisted roll against Awareness. By Pass Security, Electronic Lock Picking, Hide, Pick Locks.
Stamina: determines how long you can exert yourself in a sustained Fashion: It's what separates the sprinters From the milers. It also measures resistance to illness, drugs and sucker punches. Stamina determines your base soak pool. Qualities: Hardy, Tough, Unyielding, Healthy.
  Poor: You really should quit smoking and drinking and eating those Fried butter biscuits.
  •• Average: You can run to catch a cab without panting.
  ••• Good: You can dance all night and work the next day - but not every week.
  •••• Exceptional: The ladies call you "Everlastin'."
  •••••• Superb: You could run a marathon while smoking a cigar.
Stamina Based Abilities
Endurance: is your ability to survive severe conditions -- icy cold, punishing heat, thin air, hunger, exhaustion, etc. It differs From Resistance because it is long term. Specialties: Holding Your Breath, Resisting Cold, Lean Rations.
Resistance: a character's ability to withstand the effects of pain, drugs or other incapacitating physical states. It's used on relatively brief, single-episode events: Endurance deals with long term conditions. Specialties Drinking Contest, Resist Mickey Finn, Endure 'Torture.
Perception: determines the acuteness of your Five senses. Qualities: Keen Eyed, Sharp Ears, Alert, Detail- Oriented.
  Poor: Wha ?
  •• Average: You notice when a co- worker gets a haircut.
  ••• Good: You spot typos in the news paper.
  •••• Exceptional: You notice when a co-worker gets a manicure.
  •••••• Superb: You can identify different types of bats. In Flight. On a moonless night.
Perception Based Abilities
Awareness: gauges how much attention you pay to your senses and how well you interpret their data to stay in touch with your surroundings. Someone who's very aware might understand the importance of something missed by another person with better eyesight (that is, a higher Perception score). Specialties Tracking, Recognition, Sorting Sounds.
Investigation: Someone with the Investigation Ability knows how to find facts, put information together and, generally, solve mysteries. It has its mental aspects (noticing specific details and recognizing their importance) and social aspects (knowing who to ask and what questions.) Specialties Bounty Hunting, Public Records, Deduction.
Intelligence: A measure of your IQ; how much you can learn.
  Poor: "Shut yeryap. l'm thinkin'."
  ••  Average: You probably have some irrational beliefs, but by and large, you're open to reason.
  ••• Good: You read Shakespeare without the Footnotes
  •••• Exceptional: That slide rule in .... your pocket ain't just For show.
  •••••• Superb: Your are a bona fide genius.
Intelligence Based Abilities
Academics: Academics gauges how much formal schooling your character has acquired. If he has specialized in a particular field, a specialty may be chosen to reflect that expertise. Specialties Law, Literature, Mathematics, Biology.
Bureaucracy: While policy is set at the highest levels, there is always a buffer of bureaucracy between the king, president or commissar and the common man. A man familiar with bureaucratic procedure can get through life with uncommon ease. Specialties Bribes, Stalling, Administration, Business.
Engineer: Engineers can operate and repair mechanical and electrical devices. With sufficient skill, they can even design and build their own. This Ability also covers Computer use. Specialties: Repair, Jury Rigging, Vehicular Engineering, Death Rays, Weaponsmithing.
Intrusion: The ability to break in or gain covert entry to a location.
Linguistics: A character starts out fluent in his native language. Linguistics provides fluency in additional language groups. Each dot taken must be assigned to a particular linguistic family: Instead of purchasing specialties normally, each dot conveys a free specialty. Between the specialties listed, most modem major language families are covered. Rolls are only required for particularly tricky writings or speech. Instead OF modem languages, it is also possible to learn ancient ones such as Classical Greek, Latin or the antecedents of a modern language. Specialties. Arabic, Bengali, Cambodian, Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish. For more on Linguistics see Languages.
Medicine: the science (or art) of curing illness and healing injury. The state of the art in the 1920s isn't to the point that healing can be greatly sped: The main thing a doctor can do is make it as easy as possible for the body to heal itself. Specialties: Oncology, Trauma Surgery.
Science: The Science Ability represents a grasp of general scientific principles and current-day scientific belief. It's an important skill for understanding the conversations and publications of other science-minded folks (not to mention for being taken seriously by them). It can even, sometimes, be practically applied - used to concentrate acid, for example. Specialties Chemistry, Physics, Wild Theories, for more see Science under abilities.
Survival: Be it urban or in the wild this is that Ability used to round up a meal, find clothing, if you need to, and find a place to stay for the night. Each type of terrain can be a specialty for survival; Desert, Jungle, Mountains, Urban
Wits: Anyone can come up with a good response, given enough time. But Wits are what you use when you don't have any time at all. Everything From producing a timely, snappy comeback to diving for cover when you see the bomb Falling - it's all Wits. Wits combines with Dexterity to produce Initiative. Qualities: Clever, Alert, Crafty, Calm.
  Poor: "Yeah? Well ... uh ... so's yer old man!"
••  Average: You can get out of the way of a bad driver.
••• Good: You can often come up with a plausible story in the time it takes to say "Wait let me explain ...."
•••• Exceptional: "One more drink, .... and 1'11 be under the host!"
•••••• Superb: Their action and your ..... reaction are almost simultaneous.
Wits Based Abilities
Arts: is used to make lasting art objects sculptures, novels, paintings, etc. (More transitory arts such as dance or acting are covered by Performance). Specialties: Science-Fiction Writing, Landscape Painting, Playwriting.
Mediation: The Ability to remain calm at the center of a storm. Usually used to recover Psi points.
Rapport: the skill of making intimate emotional contact with others--even if the contact is brief. Without Rapport, real understanding is very difficult, if not impossible. Specialties: Sympathy, Encouragement, Discerning Weakness.
Appearance: measure of how memorable you look. This rating doesn't always reflect exceptional beauty -- a high Appearance could also represent someone of striking ugliness! Since people often stick by a first impression, Appearance can be very important when it comes to social interaction. Qualities: Seductive, Stunning, Hideous, Fascinating.
  Poor: Your alias is "whatsizname."
••  Average: No one's going to put you on Vogue. Sorry.
••• Good: if you're pretty, you can turn heads. If you're ugly, you can turn stomachs.
•••• Exceptional: One way or another, your looks can cause car accidents.
•••••• Superb: The only word for it is "unforgettable."
Appearance Based Abilities
Intimidation: The Ability to force someone else to cooperate you can do it with your looks, your strength or any way; as long as it looks impressive. Specialties: Glare, Rant, Rave, Stare.
Style: Some people are born looking good, and some people have to put in the hours and the effort. But it doesn't matter how hard you try to look stunning - if you ain't got Style, you're just going to look stunningly silly. Specialties: Couture, Seductive, Homespun
Manipulation: The ability to convince people that what the really want to do is what you want them to do is called Manipulation. It doesn't have to involve a callous willingness to treat people like expendable pawns--bit it often does. Qualities: Reasonable, Persuasive, Dishonest, Charming.
  Poor: what you see is what you get.
••  Average: "Man, that bass 1 caught was this big!"
••• Good: Your lawyer has (admiringly) called you a "devious, treacherous Snake."
•••• Exceptional: People line up to take your Falls.
•••••• Superb: What you get is every thing you see.
Manipulation Based Abilities
Command: Command gauges one's ability to lead Followers. It involves organization, personal carriage and communicating the importance of individual actions. Specialties: Military, Social Leadership, Secret Society, Tactics.
Interrogation: Getting information out of an unwilling subject can require guile, cunning and a circuitous string of questions. Or it can require truth serums and severe pain. Either way, data extraction requires skill - otherwise the results can range From meaningless prattle to deliberate deception to death. Specialties Trick Questions, Drugs, Pain.
Subterfuge: Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes it's necessary to shield others from the harsh effects of the truth (not to mention oneself). Subterfuge is the art of gently occluding the truth from those who can't or shouldn't handle it. Specialties Playing Dumb, Lies of Omission, Lawyer.
Charisma: Charisma is leadership, magnetism, inspiration all the things that can take a number of people and fuse them into a team with a unified purpose. Charisma is the indefinable essence that makes crowds hang on a speaker's every word. Qualities: Incendiary, Soothing, Hilarious, Suave.
  Poor: When someone tells you to shut up. you're glad that they at least noticed you.
  ••  Average: You can make an OK speech with preparation and practice.
  ••• Good: People gather around to hear your anecdotes.
  •••• Exceptional: You're a spellbinding speaker.
  •••••• Superb Your words could start a riot -- or prevent one.
Charisma Based Attributes
Etiquette: Cultures all over the world have different concepts of politeness. Etiquette doesn't automatically provide knowledge of every subculture's mores, but does furnish the sensitivity to prevent most major gaffes. Specific cultures (or geographical areas) can be taken as specialties, providing automatic understanding of their particular customs. Specialties: High Society, Respect, Gangland.
Perform: Unlike Arts, which is used for lasting creations, Perform is used for transient artistic actions, such as a dance, song or instrumental recital. In other words, Arts is for the playwright, Perform is for the actor. Specialties: Dancing, Singing, Tuba.
Savvy: When one wants to deal with a criminal--be he a made mobster, a common hoodlum or just the crooked supply sergeant at the army base - it's essential to have Savvy in order to recognize him (or her) and deal with- out getting pegged as either a mark or a stool pigeon. Specialties: Racketeering, Smuggling, information.
You can spend a point of Willpower prior to any roll to give yourself a single automatic success. So if you dice pool is low and the task is critical you might want to spend the Willpower. If you want to take an action on someone else's initiative you need to make a Willpower Roll (rolling one dice per point in Willpower), only able to take that action if you make a success. The problem is it is hard to get Willpower back and you may need it for other things.
  ••  Hesitant.
  ••• Diffident
  •••• Confident
  •••••• Assured
  ••••• • Certain
  ••••• •• Secure
  ••••• ••• Determined
  ••••• •••• Iron-willed
  ••••• ••••• Unshakeable

A turn usually takes only three seconds, turns happen quickly in combat. If you decide to take multiple actions in that turn then you subtract one success per action to all actions, and you subtract an additional success for the second action. If you take three actions in a turn you subtract 3 successes from your dice pool for each action with an extra -1 success for the second action and an extra -2 successes for the third action. If you are foolish enough to try and take four actions at once you subtract 4 successes from each action and -1 of the second action, -2 for the third action and -3 for the fourth action. If you try to take more actions than you have dice in your dice pool; you can't take that action. Another words taking multiple actions is rarely done. The means if one side is attacked and loses initiative they probably only take dodge as their action and seek cover from which to return fire. If not they get hit and hurt quickly.

Some turns take longer than three seconds to resolve the situation. For example you are not going to find a computer virus in only three seconds. So the game master may want you to run an extended check. He might require that you get ten successes. He can also say that each turn is longer, say five minutes. With your first roll you only got three successes, then you get to roll again, and roll again until you either totally botch the roll (roll all ones) or reach your required number of successes. This gives the game master an idea of how long the action took. Say the game master thinks finding a virus on the computer takes 5 minutes per turn, then with a requirement of ten successes it might take 2 or 3, or even 4 rolls before you finally succeed, with each roll taking 5 minutes. Other situations can of course modify the condition; trying to find that virus while under gun fire might make the task more difficult and the game master could raise the target number to 7 or even 8. Or say the virus was built by an expert. The game master could take away a success or two to reflect this by increasing the Difficulty (+1 Difficulty equals -1 success), in that case you can still succeed, it just might take longer. Rarely, is the target number increased to 10; that gives you an equal chance to botch or to succeed. More often the Storyteller will require you to make more successes; increasing the Difficulty.

There are also resisted rolls. When you are in a contest with someone else you make resisted rolls; both characters roll dice to determine how well they do and compare successes. Take an arm wrestling contest, the Storyteller might rate the difficulty at 7, and require 4 successes. The Storyteller would then assign the Attribute and Ability that would go with it. He might use the Strength Attribute + Athletics Ability. You would see what your dice pool is and then start rolling. The other character would do the same. Then the Storyteller would tell you how many successes the NPC (Non-Player Character) got. If you got 3 successes and he got 4 successes then you would subtract the 3 from the 4 giving the other guy a single success. The Storyteller said that four successes are needed, so the contest would continue and both sides would roll again. You would keep rolling until someone botched, or someone got a total of four successes. Arm wrestling contests are usually done in a few minutes so the Storyteller might tell you that each turn equals 30 seconds, so that it might take two or even five minutes before someone wins. When the Storyteller doesn't say otherwise a turn is three seconds long. The Storyteller may also use different Attributes and Abilities. In the example of Arm wrestling he might say that being the first one to start is important so the first roll will be Dexterity + Athletics. Then once you are engaged he could say your Strength is more important so you roll using your Strength + Athletics.

When the target number equals the number of dice in the dice pool (usually 6) the Storyteller will often say that you succeed automatically. After all, you don't need to roll dice to walk down the street and chew gum. Of course if you were doing this under machine gun fire, it would be a different story. Practice at an Ability or really strong stats can make a lot of rolls unnecessary, the Storyteller will tell you when you need to roll. Normally, it is only done for something important, but don't be surprised if the Storyteller suddenly requires a dice roll and doesn't say why. There are more things going on than your character may realize.

Some situations allow you to aid another. If you had your friend helping you diagnose the computer problem and solve it then he could make the same type of rolls you are making and add his number of successes to yours. Thus you could finish an extended task quicker. Some tasks can't be aided by another; usually combat--your partner can't hold your pistol steady while you take a shot (under most conditions, your Storyteller will tell you otherwise). If both you and your partner were fighting hand-to-hand then he would not add your successes, but resolve each attack separately, allowing the character, your are fighting, to dodge one, both or none of the attacks, depending on how many actions they are willing to take and how good their Attributes and Abilities are.

There are 3 types of combat:
Close Combat (usually melee) use Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts.
Melee Combat with a weapon like a sword use Strength + your Ability with that weapon.
Ranged Combat with melee weapons use your Dexterity + your Ability with that weapon.
Ranged Combat with firearms use Dexterity + Firearms.
Armored Combat (combat between vehicles usually with mounted weapons) use Dexterity + Firearms.
A character that doesn't have Firearms Ability defaults to their Dexterity. If they don't have Brawl or Martial Arts they default to Strength. If they are using a weapon for which they don't have an Ability they default to their Strength in Hand-to-hand combat and their Dexterity if they throw the weapon.

You roll initiative once for the combat and as usual the high number goes first. Initiative is Dexterity + Wits + (1d10). During character creation or when getting experience points you can add to the two stats or add to your total initiative score itself to increase it. You roll your dice pool, count the number of successes (with a target number of six as normal) and then roll 1d10 and add it to the number of successes rolled. If you tie with someone then the person with the higher initiative goes first, if there is still a tie then a roll off is made. The person with the highest initiative determines how many actions they are going to take. As long as they have a action left they can interrupt another character or they can react to what a character is doing. This is why it is important go first you can take an action forcing others to default to dodge and so lose their actions or risk taking multiple actions and all the negative modifiers that has. If you have a 3 Dexterity and a 3 Wits then you get 6 dice for initiative. You have 6 dice in your initiative dice pool and each time you roll 6 or higher you get a point for initiative, to that score you add the number rolled on 1d10. So if you rolled "4,5,5,6,7,10" and then "3" on the 1d10 you would have three successes so a six for initiative. This isn't a bad initiative.

Determine how many actions you plan on taking and if you are going to save an action for a dodge and subtract from your dice pool one/action(s) and a cumulative -1 for each extra action that you have take that turn. So if you go third in the initiative order you might have already used an action or to dodge before it gets to your turn (this is called defaulting to dodge). When you took your first action you have to announce how many actions you plan on taking that round. Usually, the one who wins initiative goes first, they attack and everyone else is forced to react, defaulting to dodge or taking cover. If you are taking multiple actions (like multiple shots or saving an action to dodge) you need to announce how many actions you are taking and suffer a -1 dice/extra action penalty to your dice pool plus -1 dice for each extra action (cumulative). This holds true for any action you plan on taking; including dodge, combat Abilities, or some other action, say picking a lock in order to escape. Remember you can spend a Willpower point, prior to a roll to get an extra success (but you can only spend one point this way).

Once you determine the type of attack and how many actions you have or will take you calculate your dice pool. If you have a "4" in Dexterity and a "5" in Firearms you have a "9" dice in your dice pool when you shoot. If you decide to take three actions then the dice in your dice pool will be reduced to "6" for the first roll, 5 for the second roll and 4 for the third roll. So you see how taking multiple actions hurts you. You get one possible hit for each success that you make beyond your opponents dodge. So if you have 7 dice and roll "2, 3, 2, 7, 7, 8, 9" you would have scored four hits. If your opponent had an action for dodge then he could default to dodge and roll his Dexterity + Dodge subtracting the number of successes they makes from the number of successes you make. If your opponent has a Dexterity + Dodge of 4 he must now decide if he is going to dodge and announce how many actions he is going to take. He has to announce how many actions prior to rolling for them. You can abort to dodge as long as you have actions even if it is before it is your turn on the initiative count (but if it is before your turn it takes a Willpower roll; roll your Willpower and you are able to dodge if you make at least one success). Your opponent doesn't want to be hit so he defaults to dodge. He only takes one action so he can use his full dodge. He will take cover and hope that he survives long enough to return fire.

Here's what happened
· You determined initiative as in the above example.
· You decide to take 3 actions > leaving you with -3 dice for the first action, -4 for the second and -5 for the third action. You decided to take only one shot.
· You make 4 successes.
· Your foe hasn't acted yet so he can abort to dodge, provided he makes a Willpower roll or tries to be safe and use a point of Willpower.
· You announced you were taking 1 action and shooting at him > he decides to risk it and only take 1 action (hoping his armor might suck up any extra shots by your allies).
· He needs to roll his Willpower and if he makes one success he is allowed to dodge (doing this doesn't cost Willpower).
· He spends 1 Willpower points, also playing it safe, making sure he can dodge.
· Now, both of you roll > you got 4 successes, your foe got 2 successes.
· 4-2 = 2 shots that hit. If it is from a single shot then you only him once. If it is from automatic fire or a 3 round burst you hit twice.

You roll damage for each hit. The damage roll is not reduced by the number of actions or dodges because they only apply to your chance to hit. You add your successes on the shot to your dice pool for your weapon's damage. Armor and Soak are used to reduce the amount of damage inflicted.

You use your armor's rating to subtract from the number of successes rolled on damage. Armor is often rating in a value for both Bashing and Lethal damage. You must use the different values. If your opponent had armor with a value of 1 then he would take away one success. If you had fired a single shot (and got two successes) so in this example you hit once (the extra success is wasted). If you had fired a 3 round burst then you could have hit twice. In each case the armor took a hit. If armor takes twice its value in damage, from one attack, then it is breached and no longer protects you. Let's say that your opponent's armor is very light and can only take one shot. That means if you fired on automatic or a three round burst you would have gotten through his armor.

Here is what happened
· You fired a 3 round burst and got 4 successes. (If you were firing only one shot you can't have hit him twice with one bullet so you would lose your extra success, but that is only after you allow for his dodge).
· Your foe rolls his Dexterity + Dodge and got 1 success > he spent a point of Willpower for an extra success on his dodge > dropping your number of successes to 2.
· Your foe is wearing light armor with a rating of 1 and that sucks up 1hit.
· Your foe has a Stamina of 5 and could potentially Soak that shot, but if he fails to do so you hit once.
· Now you roll for damage adding the number of successes, left after Dodge and Armor, on your to hit roll to the damage roll.

There are two types of damage; Bashing and Lethal. Unarmed hand-to-hand combat or combat with a blunt weapon delivers Bashing damage. Most damage is Lethal damage. Firearms do Lethal Damage. The exceptions are legally purchases stunners which only do Bashing damage (blackmarket stunners are tuned to do Lethal damage, making them illegal). You record Bashing damage differently than you do Lethal damage; using one slash "/". If you take Lethal damage then you make an "X". If you have three levels of bashing damage and take two levels of lethal damage you will X out the two bashing damage ending moving the two bashing levels down. The lethal damage bumped the bashing damage down. Lethal damage goes before Bashing damage. If you are taken down to the Wounded Health Level or below you can't sprint, if you are taken down to the Maimed Health Level or lower you can't run.

You can suffer only so much damage before you get hurt. You can use your Stamina stat to soak up damage. In the example above the character got hit once on the armor and again. Damage is rolled, if it was say 6 dice you would already have one success and can add more when you roll for damage. Each success on damage removes one health level. If the character has a five Stamina then he can roll five dice to reduce that single hit to zero. He has to allow for your Damage roll. Let's say you have 6 dice of damage and make 3 successes on the roll; giving you 4 success. In the case of a three round burst only one of your bullets would have gotten through. A character can apply his soak to all attacks without having to separate it or reduce it for taking multiple actions or reduce it for damage that he might have taken. Normally, in the game system you can only soak Bashing damage, not Lethal. I am going to allow characters to soak Lethal damage, but only with half of their Stamina (round down). That means if he has a Stamina of five he could roll two dice and possibly soak up two lethal hits, provided he makes two successes. When you attempt to soak damage you use your Stamina for your dice pool and just like in a resisted roll you take away one success per success they make on damage. Your armor adds to this Soak to reduce the damage done. If their armor can't take all the damage and they fail to Soak it then they will be damaged by however many points of damage got through.

So how much damage did you actually do? The weapon table will give you your dice pool for damage. If you hit with a Martial Arts or Brawl attack then you will use your Strength for you dice pool (special maneuvers can modify this). If you hit with a melee weapon then you use your Strength + a number given in the table. If you hit with a Firearm then you roll the number of dice listed for damage. Only blunt weapons do Bashing damage, most damage is Lethal. You will always add the number of successes you got on the shot to your damage. You then roll the number of dice in your dice pool, subtract any armor, then subtract the number of Soak that your enemy rolled (removing one of your successes per success they make on the Soak roll) and the remainder is the damage you apply to their character. Once again the numbers on the dice don't matter, all that matters is that you roll successes. Let's say that you use a gun that has does six dice of damage and you hit your opponent twice, with a three round burst. You roll the damage and your opponent applies their soak, taking the remainder. If he has a Stamina of five then he can possibly Soak two points (half Stamina because it is Lethal damage, rounded down). If one of your shots got through his armor and Soak then you would have scored one Health level of damage. A character only has eight Health levels before they die. All characters have eight Health levels, except for the exceptionally large or small (there is a Merit called big that gives you one extra Health level). Ninety percent of the time your foe will only have eight Health levels. Your foe records the damage you did to him and from his current Health level he takes any negative modifiers to future actions. Armor simply adds its rating to his Soak. If however, the armor takes up twice its rating in damage, in one hit, it has been breached. Additional shots can be made at the breech spot (a called shot) giving them a better chance to succeed. Armor also works differently against Lethal and Bashing damage, it will tell you this in the description. Lets use that the example above and give your opponent light armor that has a rating of one. He can then suck up one point of damage and he only loses one Health rating. If he fails to roll any successes with his Soak roll you will have hit him once for one Health level of damage.

Damage to Weapons
Melee weapons can take two points of Lethal damage before they break and need to be repaired, and three levels of Lethal damage before they are too damaged to use. Weapons have no armor or soak. Firearms are typically more delicate, but rarely will a single Lethal hit totally destroy a firearm. Repairing a weapon typically takes one-day's work for every two points in cost and half the original price of the weapon in parts and labor to repair. Typically Firearms require specialized knowledge to repair, knowledge beyond that which a character normally possesses, if they are damaged by more than simple jam. Weapons are also typically more reliable in the future, unless they are of shoddy make or design.

Think of combat as a series of resisted rolls:
Combat takes two sets of rolls on the part of the attacker and two sets of rolls on the part of the attacked person.
· Determine how many actions you will take, modify your dice pool and attack.
· Your foe resists that attack with their Dexterity + Dodge.
· If you hit then you determine how many times and make a damage roll for each shot, adding the number of successes you made on the attack. The damage is not reduced by the number of actions you or he took.
· Armor can Soak only so much damage, and when it Soaks twice that rating in one attack it is breeched.
· Now you roll your damage and your foe resists with their Armor and Soak.
· The remaining damage is what actually gets through.

Special Situations
Called shots are possible, after all body armor is pretty common, but most people don't wear face masks and usually they are not wearing bullet proof gloves. Hitting a called shot takes a difficulty, assigned by the Storyteller.

Called Shots

  Target Size
Medium (limb, briefcase)
Small (hand, head, handheld computer)
Precise (eye, groin, lock)
Precise (typical armor breech from a prior shot)
Damage Effect
no modifier
The called shot increases the difficulty by 1 to 3 taking away that many successes. However, if you make a called shot to the head and are able to hit then you will make a more serious wound adding +2 successes to your damage, making it harder for your opponent to Soak up the damage.

You get one free turn of attacks and your opponent(s) can't dodge. After that surprise is over they can react. You roll your Stealth in a resisted roll against your foe's Awareness. If you get only one success then you have surprised them and the ambush is successful. Any additional successes are added to your to hit successes and any extra successes are added to your damage rolls. On the following round initiative is rolled and the combat goes normally.

Blind Fighting
Blind Fighting or taking wild shots is done at a +2 difficulty.

Movement while Fighting
A character may move half of their running distance (Dexterity + 6 meters, 1/2 of their possible run) and still perform another action, like shooting. Other movements like leaping or tumbling are considered to be separate actions and doing them will reduce the number of dice in your dice pool; for both combat and the extra actions you perform.

You get one extra dice in your to chance to hit dice pool (accuracy) if you attack an opponent's flank. You get two extra dice if you are able to attack your opponent from the rear. Assuming they are not aware of your attack and are not looking at you, this means if you shoot at someone running away unless they are looking at you, you get a +2 dice to your dice pool for determining your chance to hit.

Two Weapons
Using two weapons will require you to take multiple actions and as explained previously that is one less dice per extra action (and a cumulative -1 per action modifier) in your dice pool. In addition your off-hand will suffer an extra +1 difficulty, unless you have the Merit ambidextrous. Using pistols, carbines and other small arms has no other penalties. Using two weapons that require two-hands requires a basic Might of 4, using two heavy weapons requires a Might of 6 (something that few players will ever get). You suffer a +1 Difficulty to your chance to hit (accuracy) for each point below the required Might. So if you take two M-60 machine guns and fire both of them, one in each hand and only have a might of 3 you will suffer a difficulty of +4 with your dominant hand and a difficulty of +5 with your off-hand. Another words it is possible to do it, just very unlikely that you will hit anything. Firing on automatic uses up half a clip, but your chances of hitting are increased.

Defense Maneuvers (each takes an action)
Block: Only blunt weapons like clubs, Brawl attacks and Martial Arts attacks can be blocked, unless you have a psionic power that allows you to block or special armor that says it can be used to block. All Lethal damage can't be blocked, only Bashing damage.
Dodge: You take an action to dodge for each attack you want to dodge and roll your Dexterity + Dodge, subtracting the number of successes you make from your opponent's number of successes made for their chance to hit you. Each dodge requires an action, those being hit by multiple people soon run out of actions.
Parry: Is a block made with a melee weapon. You can block Hand-to-Hand attacks, melee attacks (even lethal ones), but not projectile or energy weapon hits (no deflecting blaster bolts with a light saber in this game). You make a normal attack roll, but announce first if it is an attack or a parry.

Close Combat Maneuvers
Actions that can be taken for combat.

Hand-to-Hand Combat are all resisted rolls using your Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts against either your foe's Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts (their choice), or using the appropriate Melee Ability.

  Clinch: Grabbing the foe; both of you make a resisted roll with either your Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts or Strength + Melee Ability vs. either their Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts or their Strength + Melee Ability. The side that wins the clinch inflicts 2 + Strength damage. If neither side wins then the clinch is continued to the next round. Both characters are locked in combat.
Disarm: Knock a weapon out of your foe's hands. Roll your attack at +1 Difficulty (+2 Difficulty if attacking an unarmed foe). If you get more successes than your foe has Strength your foe takes no damage, but is disarmed (or blocked if unarmed). If you botch then you are the one who is disarmed.
Hold: Roll either Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts as a resisted roll against your foe's Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts. If you get more successes than your foe you have him locked in a hold unable to do anything except try to break out. If they do you must make another hold move on the next round to maintain the hold. You can either maintain a hold on your opponent or apply your Strength in damage to them. You can use a Melee weapon in a hold; inflicting either Lethal or Bashing damage (depends on the weapon).
Kick: either an all out kick with Brawl or a Martial Arts kick. You suffer +1 Difficulty on your attack roll and use either Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts for you attack. If you hit you do Strength + 3 damage.
Multiple Attacks: +1 Difficulty for each additional foe and you make a separate attack with either your Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts Ability (don't split up the dice pool and take an additional cumulative +1 Difficulty per extra action). Make a roll to hit on each attack separately and apply full damage for each roll if successful.
Strike: Roll either Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts as a resisted roll, if you beat your foe you inflict Strength + 2 damage.
Multiple Attacks: +1 Difficulty for each additional foe and you make a separate attack with either your Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts Ability (don't split up the dice pool and take an additional cumulative +1 Difficulty per extra action). Make a roll to hit on each attack separately and apply full damage for each roll if successful.
Strike: Roll either Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts as a resisted roll, if you beat your foe you inflict Strength + 2 damage.
Sweep: Roll your Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts at +0 Difficulty and if successful the opponent takes Strength + 1 damage. Furthermore they must make an Strength + Athletics roll at +3 Difficulty or fall prone. If they don't have Athletics they default to Strength.
Tackle: Roll your Strength + Brawl at +1 Difficulty as you rush your foe trying to take them down. Both of you need to roll Strength + Athletics at a +3 Difficulty to avoid falling down. If your tackle is successful and even if your foe makes a success on their roll, to remain standing, they will be at +1 Difficulty next round on any attacks due to being unbalanced.
Throw: You grab your foe at +1 Difficulty on either Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts, if you beat your foe they are thrown one meter per point of Strength you have. They take Strength + 1 damage with an additional +1 die of damage per 2 meters thrown (round down). Your target is automatically knocked prone and landing on other people or objects may increase the damage or even knock the other person down (they must make an Strength + Athletics roll and equal or beat your Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts roll, or they can try to dodge it like a normal attack).
Weapon Strike: Make an attack using your Strength + the Ability for the class of weapon you are using. Weapon classes are listed for each weapon in parentheses (Axes and Picks, Blades, Blunt, Fist Load, Flexible, Polearms or Staff), you must develop an Ability with each class of weapon, if you don't have the Ability you default to your Strength.
Ranged Combat are all rolls done with your Dexterity + Firearms or if throwing a melee weapon use Dexterity + your Ability with that weapon. Your damage is listed on the weapons chart and not modified by any other stat.

  Aiming: Roll your Perception and if you get one success you can add one die to your chance to hit (Accuracy) dice pool. A scope can add +2 dice to your Accuracy. Aiming is a careful activity, you can't take multiple actions (except multiple shots at the same target) or move when aiming.
Automatic Fire: unloading at least half of a clip at your foe(s). You make a single attack roll adding 10 dice to your accuracy, but taking a +2 Difficulty (losing two successes). This attack is only allowed if the weapon has at least half of its ammunition left and if it can fire on automatic (semi-automatics can't fire on automatic). Automatic fire is also permissible only with slug throwing weapons. Energy weapons have safe guards built in to prevent them from being used on automatic, this prevents the weapon from over heating and exploding.
Cover: It is possible to take cover behind an object or wall. This increases the Difficulty of the shot, as does shooting from behind cover. Firing at a person who is taking cover has the Difficulties added up from any other condition on the table below. The person who is taking cover suffers Difficulties as well, one less than the Difficulty for the person who is trying too hit you on all of their attacks.
             Cover Type                                 Attacker Difficulty
            Light (lying prone)                                      +1
            Good (behind a wall)                                 +2
            Superior (only your head is exposed           +3
So if you take cover behind a wall or crate and your opponent dives to the ground for cover. You suffer +1 Difficulty to shoot and another +1 Difficulty because your foe is prone.
Cover Fire: It is possible to fire a weapon with the intent to just keep your foe's head down and spoil their chance to hit your or an ally. Cover fire is a resisted action between the attacker's Firearms and each opponent's Willpower. You are not trying to hit anything, only make sure they keep their heads down. Each opponent that gets fewer successes than the attacker does abandons their actions taking cover. If there is no place to take cover they will dive for the ground. If an opponent(s) successes equal your Firearms roll they can take any action they want, but they suffer a +1 Difficulty for keeping their head down. If an opponent gets more successes than you do with a Firearms roll then they have beat their nerves, enduring the volley of fire and suffering no Difficulties. If your foe rolls a botch then they are hit by one of your bullets, roll damage. Otherwise your cover fire is not precise enough to hit anyone.
Multiple Shots: You can fire multiple shots on one turn taking a +1 Difficulty (cumulative) for every extra shot or action you want to take. You may fire up to the weapon's full rate of fire. People are trained by the military and secret agencies to fire three round bursts. This means you won't be shooting all of your ammunition away in a couple of rounds and you will still have a good chance of hitting your target.
Range: The range listed for each weapon on the charts is medium range where no Difficulty modifiers are applied. Twice that range is the weapon's maximum range, targets beyond maximum range can't be engaged and hurt, but they may fall for cover fire. Attacks made from medium to maximum range suffer a +2 Difficulty. Attacks fired at 2 meters or less are considered to be Point Blank shots and the attacker gets to add two dice to their Accuracy.
Reloading: Reloading takes one full turn and one action, of course you can take multiple actions a round and reloading is one of them, but doing so counts as an action and applies an additional +1 Difficulty per extra action. Reloading revolvers with a speed loader takes only one round (or one action). Reloading a clip takes one round (or one action). Reloading individual bullets can be done at the rate of 2 per turn. You can't reload and fire that same round, but you could be taking multiple actions if you want to use any for dodge.
Automatic Burst: A three round burst is fired, but only one burst may be fired per turn. You can't take multiple actions to fire multiple bursts in one round. All firearms may perform this action (provided they have the proper rate of fire), but coilguns, automatic shotguns and conventional firearms suffer a +1 Difficulty to their burst due to recoil. If you take a three round burst then you gain +2 dice to your Accuracy.
Semi-Automatic Burst: The attacker expends 3 shots and gains 2 extra dice on the accuracy (or to hit roll). Only one Semi-Automatic Burst can be fired per turn. All weapons can do this but conventional guns and coilguns suffer a +1 Difficulty due to recoil.
Spray: Energy weapons may not fire in full automatic attacks, but they can fire in a spray attack, as can coilguns and automatic weapons. This option covers an area and requires firing the complete clip. The firer gains +10 dice to their Accuracy, but suffers a +1 Difficulty for each meter (horizontally) of area covered with the spray attack. Spray firing with an energy weapon is not as effective the shooter takes +2 Difficulty with their damage. Successes can be divided up among the possible targets as the shooter desires. Spray firing a projectile weapon requires half the clip (except for coilguns). Dodge rolls against an energy spray suffer +1 Difficulty.
Strafing: coilguns and automatic weapons can strafe an area, firing shots close together, on automatic, in a straight line. This is more accurate than just spraying a target. Strafing takes at least half the clip as is normal for firing on automatic. Like spraying the target the shooter gets to add +10 Accuracy to his shot and takes a +1 Difficulty for each meter covered (horizontally). Any successes can be applied to the targets as the shooter desires. If fewer successes than targets is rolled then you may only apply one shot per target per creature. If there is only one target then half of the shots miss, remember you are trying to cover an area. This is great tactic if you don't know exactly where your target is. Dodge rolls made against a spray attack suffer a +1 Difficulty.

  Blinded: Add two dice to the Accuracy of an attack conducted on a blind target. Blind creatures are also at +2 Difficulty on all actions.
Dazed: If in a single attack, the attacker rolls a number of successes greater than the target's Stamina, the victim is dazed. The target must spend their next turn shaking off the effects of the attack. They can dodge and move, but perform no other actions.
Immobilization: Add two dice to the Accuracy of attack rolls made on an immobilized target (like someone being held by someone else). If the target is completely immobilized (tied up or paralyzed) then any attacks automatically hit.
Knockdown: If a character suffers a knockdown they must make an Athletics roll or a Martial Arts roll. If they get one success they are able to get back on their feet as one action, but for the next round they suffer a -2 to their Initiative (not a +2 Difficulty, that would make a botch more possible). Maneuvers like tackle throw and sweep are meant to knock down an opponent.
Unconsciousness: If in a single attack the attacker rolls more successes than the target's Stamina x 2 the victim blacks out (falls unconscious), for five rounds or up to the rest of the scene; as determined by the Storyteller. Clearly they are helpless and any attacks against them would be as if they were immobilized.
Hand to Hand Combat Maneuver Table
Two Weapons
Weapon Strike
Ability (Stat +Ability)
Str + Brawl or Strength +Martial Arts
Str + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts
Str+ Martial Arts or Strength + Melee
Dexterity + Dodge
Str + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts
Str + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts
Strength + Melee Ability
Str + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts
Str + Martial Arts or Strength + Melee
Strength + Brawl
Strength + Brawl or Strength + Martial Arts
Strength + 2
Special (1)
Strength + 2
Special (3)
Strength + 3 (3)
Special (3)
Strength + Weapon
Strength + Weapon
Ranged Combat Maneuver Table
Automatic Fire (no energy)
Multiple Shots
Semi-Automatic Burst
Two Weapons
Dexterity + Firearms
Dexterity + Firearms
Dexterity + Firearms
Dexterity + Firearms
Dexterity + Firearms
Dexterity + Firearms
Special (5)
Special (5)
Special (8)
Special (4)
Special (6)
Special (7)
(no energy) = no energy weapon can do this
(1) you have hit the target's weapon hand or weapon, it is up to the Storyteller. Normally on a shot to disarm you aim for the weapon itself.
(2) +1 Difficulty for each extra action.
(3) Foe falls prone unless make Athletics roll.
(4) Need at least 1/2 clip and automatic weapon
(5) +1 Difficulty per meter of sweep
(6) Dodge rolls at +2 Difficulty
(7) Dodge rolls at +1 Difficulty
(8) +1 Difficulty for Might is below 4 (6 for 2-hand weapons) and +1 Difficulty for off-hand weapon
The way to think of combat is a series of resisted rolls:
2. 3.

  Roll to hit vs. their dodge
If you hit roll damage vs. their armor
3. Any shots that pass through the armor can be soaked by Stamina (1/2 Stamina for Lethal attacks). Each hit that makes it this far inflicts one Health level of damage.
Other Sources of Damage

Bullets aren't the only source of damage, just like in real life other things can damage you. Some psions deal damage meaning they have to roll damage dice and you take one Health level per success, there are a few psions that just deal so many Health levels of damage. These hits can't be blocked or soaked.
Bullets aren't the only source of damage, just like in real life other things can damage you. Some psions deal damage meaning they have to roll damage dice and you take one Health level per success, there are a few psions that just deal so many Health levels of damage. These hits can't be blocked or soaked
    Electrocution: Large voltage is not fatal, large amperage can be, it causes the muscles to contract which means if someone grabs a live cable they may not be able to drop it. Someone coming to rescue them could also be electrocuted if they touch the victim.
        Lethal Damage Effect
Electrical Source
Minor; wall socket
Major; protective fence
Severe; vehicle battery, junction box
Fatal, main feed, subway rail
      If you suffer sufficient damage the Storyteller may give you lasting effects (falling Attribute scores) or disfigurement.

    Falling: 1 Bashing damage per three meters fallen (round down). An Athletics roll can reduce the damage by one for each success. Falling damage can be soaked as normal, but at least one die of damage will penetrate to the character. Landing on sharp pointy objects can inflict Lethal damage. If your character falls more than 30 meters they reach terminal velocity and take a maximum of 10 die of damage (Lethal Damage). Armor only functions as half its level vs. falling damage since it is not designed to take such punishment. With a maximum of 10 dice that means the Storyteller rolls 10d10 and you suffer one Lethal Health Level of damage per success minus the amount you can Soak. There are cases of people falling from great heights and surviving; but not without taking some damage. There are also cases of someone falling only 3 stories (about 10 meters) and dying.
Fire: The size of the fire and its type of fuel determines the amount of Lethal damage taken.
        Damage Effect
Fire type x2
Type of Fire
Welding Torch
Raging Inferno
Chemical Fires

    If your character's Health levels falls to maimed then she loses one point on her Appearance until they recover to the bruised level. If Crippled they permanently lose one point of Appearance and if Incapacitated they permanently lose two points of Appearance. These failures can be corrected with expensive plastic surgery and the use of artificial skin or skin grafts to cover the wounds while they heal. That skin must be repeatedly replaced as it heals.
Overexertion: A character can perform sustained, strenuous activity (running, swimming, climbing) for a number of hours equal to their Endurance Ability (default to Stamina). Beyond that an Endurance roll is required every 30 minutes. If a roll is failed then the character takes a Bashing Health level of damage. If they continue after that point they will take one Bashing Health level of damage per 30 minutes spent in the activity. Intense physical activity (sprinting, digging) can be maintained for a number of minutes equal to the character's Endurance (default to Stamina). Each minute beyond that point (10 turns) requires an Endurance roll. If the roll to continue is failed then the character must stop and rest for 10 minutes before continuing.
Poison and Drugs: Sleeping drugs cause Bashing damage (Mercy weapons use sleeping drugs), while deadly poisons cause Lethal damage. Like diseases they may also cause deraignment, permanent or temporary stat loss, even death. Poison and Drugs ignore armor, however they can be soaked with the character's Stamina. Resistance Ability or the Metabolic Efficiency psion can reduce this damage. Poisons are listed with a toxin rating and typically do one Health level damage per two points. Especially strong poisons might even continue to inflict damage over a number of turns. Hard liquor has a toxin rating of 4, while beer would be 2 and a deadly poison could be 6 or higher.
Radiation: Is divided into Soft and Hard Radiation, either can be soaked and armor and other protective gear might be helpful against some radiation. Victims of a large or extended dose of radiation can suffer cancer,, hair loss, brittle bones, mental problems or other debilitating effects.
- Soft Radiation; (x-rays to infra-red) can cause sickness or physical injury. It deals one level of Bashing Health Level for each turn of exposure to high sources, or over so many turns for long term exposure.
- Hard Radiation: Includes all other types of radiation like gamma rays, cosmic rays, and microwaves. A character suffers one Lethal Health Level for each turn that they are exposed to strong sources of hard radiation.
Suffocation and Drowning: You can hold your breath for 1 minute (10 turns) per point in Endurance (minimum 5 turns) . After this you must roll your Endurance each turn with an increasing Difficulty. When you fail a roll you take one Bashing Health Level, you must also make a Willpower roll with required successes equal to each turn past the point where you first start taking damage from suffocation. If you fail you panic. Your character continues to panic until they fall unconscious or can breath again. They also take one Bashing Health level per turn past the point where the fail in holding their breath. If a creature reaches Incapacitated they automatically take a breath; if underwater this would fill their lungs with water. After failing a Willpower roll they must make another Willpower roll or spend a point of Willpower to not take a breath. If they do this underwater their lungs fill with water. Your character dies unless they receive resuscitation (minimum Medical of 1).
Temperature Extremes: Characters are comfortable at 200 C (680 F). When exposed to temperatures of +350 C (+950 F) or higher or temperatures below -100 C (140 F) the character suffers one Lethal Health Level for every day spent in that environment. This damage can't be soaked and you can't recover from it until you reach a more hospitable climate. Winter clothing can soak some of this damage, but there is no way to soak heat damage, in fact armor or extra clothing can increase the relative temperature causing more damage. If you are reduced to Incapacitated by cold you suffer nerve damage or even frost bite (requiring amputation) -1 or more to Dexterity. If you are Incapacitated by heat you are burned losing 1 or more points of Appearance.
Vacuum: The temperature of space can range from -2730 C (-459.40 F) to 1,0000 C (18320 F) and expose you to hard radiation causing the loss of one Lethal Health per turn. If a character is simply exposed to vacuum, say in a faulty airlock, then they suffocate.
Mental States

    Burnout: Occurs when a psion pushes their power too far. If you botch a psi roll the Storyteller may decide that your character loses a number of Psi equal to the botch, or may decide that your character loses the power totally for a number of minutes equal to how badly you botched. If all ones are rolled true Burnout occurs causing your character to permanently lose one point of Psi and suffer temporary loss of the power used for one hour per botch rolled.
Tolerance: Psions can bond with biotech amplifiers, weapons, vehicles and other devices to increase their power. A character's total Psi determines their Tolerance, should the character exceed their Tolerance by one point by interfacing (formatting) with too many devices they lose one point of Psi for each point that their Tolerance is exceeded and that Psi can't be recovered until the Tolerance is brought down. If the character ignores this and keeps the extra bioware for a number of days equal to their Psi they suffer a temporary disorder, which won't pass until the bioware is removed and they receive treatment (usually from a vitakinetic). Should the rating for all their bioware exceed their Tolerance for twice their Psi rating in days the disorder they suffer becomes permanent.
Tolerance Overload: Should your character's rating ever total 10 they suffer an immediate tolerance overload gaining a permanent derangement and could possibly die due to the massive psychic trauma and system shock. Other permanent effects could happen at the discretion of the Storyteller. Neutrals (those without Psi) are assumed to have 10 points in Psi, for purposes of calculating Tolerance. This means they could interface with several devices at once. Computer links are popular; they have a Tolerance of 1 and directly interface a computer with the wearer. They come in implantable and wearable styles. Most people with Resources of 2 or more have bought one because of how useful and common they are. Characters can start with a computer link, (implanted or not) many psionic characters have one, but most have it removed after undergoing the Prometheus Effect. There is a segment of the population that doesn't trust links, imagine a computer virus in your head! This is dismissed by many, but some still worry about the threat and don't get a computer link.
Mental Disorders

    Amnesia: You forget a significant segment of your past due to trauma and mental scaring. It can range from a few turns (most victims that suffer a lot of damage in a accident suffer from this, forgetting the details of the accident) to all of their life. They can still speak, read and perform normally, with some limits. Those who get total burnout; that is severe enough to just lose everything forcing you to be reeducated.
Delusions: Your mind can play tricks on you due to a chemical imbalance, seeing things that don't exist. Mild cases can be distracting, but potent cases can cause a complete detachment from reality.
Multiple Personality Disorder: A person's personality splits into distinct personalities each with their own Nature. Usually, the disorder develops in response to trauma that the person can't handle with them developing a personality that can deal with the trauma.
Schizophrenia: A complete detachment from reality. Acute cases of paranoid schizophrenia are accompanied by severe delusions of persecution and elaborate paranoid theories.
Polar/Bipolar Disorder: Also know as depression; this disorder causes lethargy, depression and an inability to function in normal society. Manic depressives suffer the same symptoms with their bouts interspaces with energetic bursts (normal Bipolar, Bipolar I) others are just depressed (Bipolar II). This is most often caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder: You are unable to resist a certain urge. This may cause you to perform ludicrous tasks or to seek absolute perfection in every detail.
Recovery: Many mental problems can be treated and reduced by chemical treatment, therapy, the work of a vitakinetic, or even an implanted link that shocks the brain. Once you get a mental problem though there is no cure for it, you are simply recovering.
Health can be thought of as hit points; it is a measure of how much damage you have taken and how much more damage you can take. When you lose Health levels you record it on your character sheet and starting with Hurt you suffer a negative modifier; that means a +1 to the Difficulty of all tasks that you attempt. The Difficulty applies to all rolls except for soak and damage rolls (the Difficulty rating is NOT cumulative, but given for each Health rating). Almost everyone has only 8 Health levels. They can protect some of their Health by using their Armor and Stamina to soak damage, but they can only soak half of lethal damage with their Stamina. If you fall to Incapacitated you are helpless and unconscious. If you still have mobile enemies they can do what they want to you. If you take one more point of Health damage you die. When you take Bashing damage you fall unconscious, you can still be killed with bashing damage if you take two more Health levels of damage. If you are taking Lethal damage then you die when you are reach the Health level of Death. If you are at incapacitated from Lethal damage and take one more point of any damage, including Bashing damage, you reach dead and die.

Recovery and Healing
Recovery from wounds takes time. A special first aid medication can be used to heal one Health level and healing psions allow you to heal Health levels, otherwise it takes time to heal. Bashing damage heals at the rate of one level per hour.
        Health Level from Bashing damage
Bruised to Wounded
Recovery Time
One hour
Three hours
Six hours
Twelve hours
        Health Level from Lethal Damage

Recovery Time
One day
Three days
One week
One month
Two months
Three months
Five months

All healing time is cumulative. So if you are Maimed from one Bashing wound; then it will take three hours to heal to the Bruised level and one hour to completely recover. If you are hit with a Lethal wound and taken down to Maimed it takes 2 months to heal to Wounded, 1 month (assume 30 days in a month) to heal to Injured, 1 week reach Hurt and one day to recover from Bruised; or 98 days in total. To make things worse untreated Lethal damage worsens by one level each day, unless treated. These healing times assume that you only get first aid. Professional help from someone who has the equipment and the Ability Medical with at least 4 dots will let you heal at a faster rate; you heal as if you were two levels less damaged. Vitakinetics can heal directly and all are skilled in at least first aid.
Vehicle Maneuvers
Ground vehicles use the Drive Ability, Atmospheric Craft use the Pilot Ability and may perform all space maneuvers, Spacecraft also use the Pilot Ability and may perform any type of maneuver listed.


    Stop: airplanes that stop stall instead and start to fall. All other craft can decelerate to a stop. How long it takes depends on your braking system and your speed.
Turn: Anything from a casual left to a swerve or U-turn. The Storyteller assigns difficulties to the Dexterity + Drive or Dexterity + Pilot roll depending on the sharpness of the turn.

spacecraft, helicopters, ducted-fan craft, hovercraft and tracked vehicles can perform this maneuver.
    Spin: If traveling no greater than 1/2 speed the vehicle can rotate directly on it axis. The craft can turn around or even spin in a complete circle.

Atmospheric and Spacecraft

    Climb: the character pilots the into a slow climb or sharp-angled ascent; with a +1 or +2 Difficulty depending on the angle of the climb. A sharp climb also involves high g.
Dive: The opposite of climb, the character pilots the craft downward; the Storyteller will determine the Difficulty based on the angle of descent. A sharp dive will have significant g force.
Loop: The character pilots the craft into a vertical climb and then dives ending up basically in the same place. The Difficulty varies from +1 to +3 depending on the tightness of the loop.
Roll: The craft flips upside down (and usually right side up again). Repeated rolls move in a corkscrew pattern and have an increasing amount of Difficulty.
Match V: Stands for both velocity (speed) and vector (direction). The craft tries to align themselves with another craft. If the other pilot is cooperating it is a standard maneuver, but if they are taking evasive moves then the Difficulty varies from +1 to +3.
Z-Pattern or Jinxing: The craft fires thrusters in a random pattern to throw off pursuers or to avoid a target lock. The maneuver is +1 Difficulty due to the high g force involved, but anyone trying to follow or match you suffers a +2 Difficulty on their Pilot or Firearm rolls.
An atmospheric craft must keep going to move and it moves at the rate given in the vehicle description. Only hovercraft, ducted-fan craft, helicopters, or spacecraft may stay still. All other atmospheric craft must continue moving or stall out and fall. A wheeled or tracked craft has to stop to stay still. A craft that can go still has to provide an additional burst of energy to get moving again. It can go left (port), right (starboard), forward, up or down, or even in reverse. Other craft like cars and planes have to be steered; while still moving and turning.

Most vehicles have at least a rudimentary computer that helps in navigation, control and other functions. Most vehicles that have weapons mounted to them also have those weapons stabilized and at least partially controlled by a computer. Typically, you can use your computer to get a lock on your target and then engage it using the weapon's normal chance to hit. The Storyteller may require to make an Accuracy roll if your craft isn't stabilized properly, if you are trying to predict and fire where the target will be or under other conditions (like if your passenger is just trying to shoot with his personal weapon). With most spacecraft the distance between targets means you are trying to predict the ship's vector and fire so that your fire and his location will be the same at the same time your shot reaches that point. This is hard and computers have only a limited ability to target for you. Some weapons (like missiles) are self-targeting, but only smart bullets and smart artillery shells or mortar rounds are self-targeting, all other weapons must be aimed. Even smart ammunition must be fired in the general direction in order to hit.

Armored Combat: Combat with craft or vehicles
Combat with or between craft is handled differently, vehicles have armor adds. A damage add is listed in brackets next to a weapon's damage effect (5d10 [10]L), while an armor add is bracketed after the vehicle's soak (4[10]). Also armor adds are applied against both Bashing and Lethal damage. Adds are used only when vehicle weapons fire on people or when small arms fire at craft. If a person is hit with artillery fire, the add is the number of damage successes inflicted automatically (in most cases this results in death). If a personal weapon is fired at a vehicle, the full soak applies and the add is the number of dice subtracted from the weapon's damage (Unlike a normal soak, if this reduction brings the attack's Dice Pool to zero, no damage roll is made and no damage is inflicted; you can't damage a tank with a .22 target pistol). When a vehicle soaks damage from personal weapons the full value of its soak is applied, a roll isn't necessary. When a vehicle weapon fires on another vehicle, the damage and armor adds are ignored. Instead the weapon's base damage effect and the craft's base Soak are rolled normally. This reflects that artillery and armor are specifically designed to inflict and resist huge amounts of punishment, and people aren't--while still keeping Dice Pools to manageable totals. The damage in vehicle combat is applied just like in personal combat. While the systems are identical, a damaged ship isn't the same as a damaged person (refer to Aeon page 279 and the Technology Manual for specifics on vehicle weapons and applying damage to vehicles).

Formatting a biotech vehicle to a properly equipped user unlocks a number of functions and integrates pilot and craft into seamless unity; improving the vehicle's steering and control. The character is directly tied to the weapon it and him become one, he no longer needs to think consciously about controlling the craft it is all by reflex. People trained to use hardtech vehicles who learn to use formatted ones find it hard to do, they must unlearn some things and learn some other new things. Much of the pilot's previous training involves actions contrary to the synthesis of human and bioware. They must unlearn what they previously learned in order to use the new vehicle. This means it is not recommended that they try and go back and forth between vehicles. The Storyteller will tack on significant penalties to reflect this.

Regaining Willpower and Psi
You can spend Willpower and Psi Points during the game, so you can recover them as well. Willpower is difficult to recover and depends on your nature; when you fulfill your nature you regain some Willpower Points; the Storyteller will tell you how much. Recovering Psi Points is easier; you can regain them each hour. Each hour you roll the number of Psi Points that you are down and regain one Psi Point for each success. This number may be increased by meditation (2x dice pool), bioware or other special items (some psi crystals).

You expend Psi points to activate your powers. Willpower can be used to force yourself to do something like climbing when you have a fear of heights or it can be used to give yourself an extra success. You must announce it when you are spending Willpower and record your new level.

Uses for Willpower

    Free Success: You can spend a point of Willpower to gain an extra success, if you are a Psion, normal people can't do this.
Resist Instinctual Response: You spend a point of Willpower to do something that your character would normally not willingly do; such as climbing a tall ladder when you have a fear of heights.
Resist Derangement: Derangement is a mild form of insanity (at least it starts as minor). It can be earned by pushing yourself too hard or inflicted by a psionic attack. Each time you attempt to overcome your Derangement you must spend a point of Willpower.
Resist Psi Powers: Some psionic attacks or powers require a Willpower roll; this means your dice pool is the size of your Willpower. The Storyteller will tell you if you have to spend Willpower or not to do this.
Once all your Willpower is spent you suffer a compulsion; a weakness determined by your Nature. An Analyst become distracted by even the simplest puzzles, a Bravo acts without thinking; using brute force and bluster. The books explain each Nature and tells you what happens when you expend all of your Willpower.

Recovering Willpower
You recover Willpower when told by the Storyteller

    You recover 1 point after you get a chance to rest each morning, this can be ignored during down time.
If you character fulfills their Nature while role playing in the game. If an Analyst successfully analyzes and solves a problem or if a Brute attacks and wins. The description for the Nature will tell you what you need to do to recover Willpower. This is the most common way to recover Willpower while playing the game.
The Storyteller may award you a point of Willpower after completing an unusual success. Like rescuing your Mentor or discovering a significant plot point.
At the end of the series (not necessarily the session) you regain a point of Willpower per point of permanent Willpower that you have.
Now you see why your Nature, and sticking to it is so important.
Everyone has PSI, but Normals only have 1 point and cannot use it. Some people are latent and may be able to use a single point of Psi, but they are not common. Usually, only psionic characters may use their Psi power and they are usually the only characters who have a psi score greater than one. You Psionic Order determines what psi powers you have. The rules state that a non-psion can't use a biointerface because they lack the energy to power. I am changing the rules so that a normal person can get a bioimplant that will let them accept and operate formatted tech as if they had a Psi Tolerance of 5. This formatted biotech is externally powered by a power cell that must be changed each week. If the power cell is not changed the biotech won't work. If the use rolls a total botch with their biotech (all 1's) then their power cell has failed and the system won't work until a new one is put into place. Power cells are worth 2 dots and are not easy to find. Aeon Trinity and various government groups will supply characters with most of the power cells they need, but only at the rate of one per week. They are expensive to make, heavily subsidized and uncommon.

You may roll a number of dice equal to your permanent psi every hour and recover one psi point for each success. Meditation can speed this recovery; you focus on yourself and may make a Meditation roll at +1 Difficulty every 15 minutes of game time. Each success grants you one point of recovered psi. If you botch you lose that number of psi. If you have no psi points then each botch equals 1 hour for which you can't recover psi. Meditation is an Ability developed under Wits and if you don't have at least 2 picks in it you can't use it. A regenerating psi crystal, developed by Orgotek and others automatically regenerates one point of psi per 6 hours. The regenerating crystal must be attuned to the character (a procedure requiring 1 hour of concentration) and that character must have had the psi crystal for at least 6 hours before it can help them recover psi. The crystal must be touching the person for the full 6 hours to work; so it is often worn as part of jewelry or under a watch. Having a regenerating psi crystal in your pocket does not give it a good enough connection to work.

Formatting a piece of biotech is at least an hour long process that must be done in a lab, not in the field. It requires some expensive machines and highly trained techs to do. One can't simply pick up a piece of bioware and expect to make full use of it. If you are formatted for the bioware you can get all the powers of the item, otherwise you are limited to only the basic powers. Each item explanation goes into detail on what that means. For example formatting a bioweapon adds two dice to its accuracy and one dice to its damage.

Bioware and Biotech is sustained with psionic energy, it feeds on the person's bioelectrical field. This exchange is not harmful, unless you exceed your psionic Tolerance. You may have one rating of formatted biotech for each point in Psi. Normals are assumed to have a special biotech interface and 5 points for the purposes of using biotech. They require a more complex interface though, one that is self powered, because they only have 1 point of Psi normally. For each point that your formatted bioware exceeds your Psi rating causes you lose one point of psi and that increases the Difficulty to recover psi by one. For Normals it adds a deraignment. Surgically implanted biotech usually has a -1 Tolerance rating (check with the Storyteller for each implanted device). The Psi Tolerance is for all bioware that is formatted for the character, even if they are not currently using it. The bioware takes energy from the person's system and if you don't have enough Psi you not only can't run it, but it is draining on your psionic and mental energy.
Using your Resources
Money will be tracked in the game to be spent on what you need. The game has a resources system that determines how much money you typically have access to. When you develop the character you can set this up.

Points in Resources

Monthly Cash Value
$51 to $200
$201 to $1,000
$1,001 to $5,000
$5,001 to $50,000
$50,001 to $500,000
$500,001 to $3,000,000
$3,000,001 to $25,000,000
$25,000,001 to $75,000,000
$75,000,001 to $500,000,000
The idea is that you have a monthly salary or income from something else and it gives you money that you can spend each month. It is possible to get something that is beyond your resource level, but you need to make a roll for it. If your Resources equals the cost of the item you can make a standard roll and with one success you have enough money to purchase it. You can purchase up to 5 such items a month. If you have more dots than the item's cost you don't need to roll and you can purchase 10 such items a month. If you have one dot in Resources less than cost of the item you must make a resources roll and make up the missing dot with successes. This continues as the item becomes more expensive. For example if you want a hoverbike that costs three dots and you only have two dots of resources you will have to roll for it and get at least two successes to be able to afford to by the hoverbike. The helmet costs only 1 dot so you can automatically afford that. This is a general and simplified system if you try to game the system by selling things you could buy then I will have your character fired from their job, let them open up their own merchant business and retire the character. If you wanted to buy a new car and only had two dots in your Resources and the car cost four resources then you would need to make a roll for 3 successes. You can't make 3 successes on only two dice (unless you spend a point of Willpower) so you simply can't afford the new car, you should try for the cheaper hoverbike.

Buying equipment is very important not only do you need ammunition, but you need armor and you need to pay for airline tickets or taxi cabs, or dinner or the 101 other miscellaneous expenses that you might encounter trying to play the game (I am not going to make you pay every single expense, but something like flying on an airline to tail someone, or losing your transport and taking a taxi back to your team or trying to keep your cover while tailing someone in a restaurant. All these things cost money). The main reason for resources is to cover major expenses. Dinner at a restaurant can vary from 1 to 3 Resources. Depending on the restaurant, the amount of dinners, the location and dozens of other factors. The game likes to use an abstract way to handle big expenses, but the Storyteller will handle some events as normal cash transactions.

Your group will be working for Aeon Trinity and you will get paid for it; but you are "independent contractors." This gives you the freedom to do pretty much whatever you can get away with, but it has the disadvantage of supplies being tight. Characters will start with the weapon of their choice, and a license for it, provided you take a pick in Firearms (you know how to use the weapon) and want one. Aeon is a social game, but weapons and the implied threat of their use can be a very strong social experience. I am not going to encourage robbing those who you defeat, that would be illegal, but the idea of being independent contractors is the agency can't be held responsible for what you do; except in gross detail. If you shoot the Qin Ambassador in the middle of Central Park at high noon, because you think he might be involved in a crime is going to attract a whole lot of attention, more attention than you are supposed to attract. Ideally, you will remain covert.

Characters will start with a three times their maximum monthly cash resource level in cash at the beginning of the game. Their housing will usually be in Aeon Trinity complex, where food will be taken care of. Different arraignments can easily be made. Some missions will require the issue of equipment or extra resources, but the group is expected to provide their own equipment, especially ammunition. You will also be responsible for providing for your character's needs in society as the arise. You will have the following:

If you have at least one dot in Firearms you will get issued a license for that weapon (provided it is one that can be concealed and is not a rifle). You will need to provide your own ammunition (if you take a weapon that requires it and most do). Anything better will have to be purchased by your character as either a part of their backgrounds or with cash. For example if you deal with the Storyteller and spend a background pick or two you can have a house. Or you might want to get married to another character and so pool your housing resources.

Bartering for gear is common in ravaged Europe and the huge dust bowl in the middle of the Greater American Federation. Bartering has to be role played out, you might meet a huckster, or you might be the huckster. You might meet someone who is desperate or you might meet someone who is willing to give you a fair trade. You will never know so it must be role played out in the game.

"Aeon Trinity is not your mother." To quote the books: "Yes, Aeon has vast resources. Yes Aeon has a vested interest in seeing the characters succeed. No, the Aeon Trinity does not shower the characters with a limitless supply of lawyers, gums, money, vehicles, or toys. Why? Because Aeon is not interested in developing operatives who are incapable of functioning without backup. Because the Trinity won't always be there with a helping hand, another gun or a wad of cash when the team, handle, and other psions more deserving of support. Characters who keep asking for help are regarded as whiny bastards, and are ultimately ignored by their own overworked, underpaid Aeon reps. Of course, matters of game balance have absolutely nothing to do with this assessment." Nor will the organizations contracting your services supply you with goods, equipment or any extras. The idea behind Aeon Trinity assigning you on missions with other groups is plausible deniability. A group can't deny your association with them if the group is caught with their equipment.

Materials and Technology
Orbital Made and Olaminium
Orbital Made products are universally better made products and a sign of quality. All orbital made items have one-third of their normal weight and typically cost twice as much. Every nation tries to have their own products, but Chinese businesses have a habit of trying to pass off knock-off goods. Therefore it is a sign of real quality to purchase something that is made in orbit. You will have to pay for that status though. Olaminum is the name for element 124 on the periodic table. It is a super-heavy, nonradioactive, non ferric metal that can be worked much like aluminum. It is stronger than steel pound for pound and is denser than anything except for Iridium or Osmium. It is often used as armor, to replace steel or aluminum in the construction of a wide variety of items and it can be used to replace depleted uranium in military ammunition. It is often used in orbital manufactured goods. It is mined on Mercury and expensive, it is also a sign of quality to use olaminium made goods.

Biotech versus Hardtech
Biotech is much rarer and a newer technology than Hardtech. It is composed of ceramics, metal and has a photosynthetic casing. It requires nutrition cartridges that need to be replaced once a week. If it uses ammunition it usually can manufacture its own ammunition; details will be given in the item's description. Organic materials make up the majority of the item. Biotech requires a power cell and if it is designed for use by a non-psionic character it requires a larger power cell that must be replaced once a week. Biotech weapons are designed to appear like normal tech so they will be accepted better by the general population. Implanted biotech is usually rare and expensive the exceptions are the computer link and the biotech interface. Because it is illegal to carry a weapon that does not show up on weapon scanners the weapon design must include some special parts. Illegally manufactured (actually grown) biotech weapons don't necessarily have those restrictions.

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