Tests And Actions

Tests and Actions

This section will deal with how to make tests and actions (although combat actions get their own part). Most of this is a placeholder as we know how to make tests. Instead it'll cover new types of tests.
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The Basic Test

The basic test is a 1d100, rolled 'against' a success value. The idea is to roll below the value in order to pass.

In almost every case, the test is rolled against a Score, such as Brains or Might. So if Smarts is 60, a Smarts test will be against 60 (passing on a roll of 1-60), unless it has a modifier. Many tests will have modifiers, due to Advantages and Disadvantages, or the inherent difficulty of the test.

Once you've rolled the die, compare the result to the success value. For every 10 integers below the success value, you get a 'Degree of Success' (DoF). Degrees of Success represent how impressive the success is, with more DoS being more successful. So a test vs 60, that rolls a 30, scores 3 Degrees of Success.
If the test is a failure, it can also incur Degrees of Failure (DoF), which work the same as Degrees of Success, but for every 10 integers above the success value. So a roll of 80 on a vs 60 test is 2 Degrees of Failure.

A test always passes on a roll of 1-5 and always fails on a roll of 96-100.
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The Eight Scores

There are eight Scores in Aqua Vitae, which represent your character's fundamental abilities. The first seven are the core Scores, whilst the eighth, Clout, is special, but this will be covered in the character creation section. The eight scores are:

  • Might. Might represents your strength and danger in close combat, and is used to make melee attacks. You add your Might Bonus to damage with melee weapons.
  • Senses. Senses represents the sharpness of your senses, your powers of perception and hand eye coordination, and you use it to make Ballistic attacks.
  • Toughness. Toughness represents your physique, physical health and strength. Your Wound count is equal to your Toughness Bonus, and you add TB to your Defense score.
  • Grace. Grace represents your physical agility, speed and dexterity. Your movement speed is based on your Grace (A Basic Move is Grace Bonus *2), and you set your Initiative by GB.
  • Brains. Brains represents your intellect, smarts, memory and problem-solving skills. Its Bonus is used for some Alchemy actions.
  • Will. Will represents your self-control, courage, and psychological resilience. Its Bonus is used for some Alchemy actions.
  • Presence. Presence represents your personality, sense of charisma and ability to persuade and lead others. In tense situations, you can influence a number of targets at once equal to your PB.
  • Clout. Clout represents a mix of fame, material wealth, favours owed (either willingly or no) and overall influence.

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Skill Tests

Often, you will be asked to make a Skill Test. This is a test using a Skill. Every Skill is tied to a core Score, and so you roll the Score, adding any modifiers from the Skill.

Every Skill has several Focuses. If a Focus you possess applies to the test you're making, you can add the Focus to the test, adding a +10 to your success threshold. You can only add one type of Focus to a test, although if you have multiple copies of that Focus you can add all of them, adding an extra +10 for each copy of that Focus you have.

Throughout this game, you will see Skill tests written like this: "Skill (Focus)". In this case, you can use the focus listed in brackets, but if you don't have that focus, you use the skill instead. If you don't have the skill, you take a Disadvantage to the test.
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Assisting Tests

If you are near an ally who is making a test, you can choose to assist them. In doing so, they gain an Advantage to their test.

You can only assist if:

  • You are close enough to assist. Usually this means adjacent, but some consideration can be made for certain situations (ie. Tech support over a phone).
  • You are capable of the action or skill yourself. So if your ally is making a Manipulate test, you can only assist if you are also trained in Manipulate.
  • Each test can only have 3 allies maximum assist its chances.

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Opposed Tests

Opposed Tests are tests against an entity that can challenge, block or oppose your result. They are duelling tests, where both characters roll a test, and the one with the most Degrees of Success wins.

In Opposed Tests, the character who scores the most DoS wins. If the value is tied, then it goes to the one with the highest Bonus in the tested score. If this is also tied, then it's whoever rolled the lowest. If this is, somehow, also tied, then a reroll is conducted.

For abilities or effects based off DoS, you go off the winner's absolute DoS, not their DoS subtracted by the loser's DoS. So if Alice gets 4 DoS but Bob, her opponent, rolls 3 DoS, then Alice counts her DoS as being 4, not as being 1.
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Special Actions

The following are special actions that can be used to make the experience crisper and run more smoothly.

Group Actions

Group Actions are when a group of characters wish to perform an action in a coordinated manner. For example: a group of characters want to move stealthily past a patrol of enemies. This situation is often fraught in games because it requires every character to be trained in stealth. Group Actions mitigate this whilst still being risky.

First, a Group Action must be declared. The declarer must be trained in the skill or action. Once it is declared, everyone who wishes to benefit from the result rolls against the skill/action/score as appropriate. Out of all the rolls, use only the most successful one. The benefits of this roll affect all characters. The tests may be modified based on context; problems that are best solved by a group will be easier, but some problems are made worse due to a group (stealth tactics being an obvious one).

For every participant who failed their test, the declarer suffers 5 Stress. If everyone fails, then the fallout from failure- being caught, for example- affect the entire group.
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Project Group Actions

In a slight variation on Group Actions, occasionally there will be a call for Project Group Actions. These are major projects or endeavours that require a good deal of coordination.

Project Group Actions work similarly to normal Group Actions: there is a declarer, and everyone makes a test. However, before the test is done, the GM sets a target DoS. After everyone has tested, add up the DoS of everyone's test, subtracting any DoF from the total. If the total result is equal or greater than the target DoS, then the action passes. If it's below the target, then the test must be repeated, keeping in mind that Project Group Actions often have a cost in time or resource each time the group rolls. Failures incur stress on the declarer as normal.
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Flashback Actions

A Flashback Action is a retroactive one. It's an action that you did in the past that is only now coming into play. For example, an enemy may be rushing toward you. You want to set a trap for them, so you ask for a Flashback Action. As it turns out, at some point in the past, you set a trap down here, anticipating the enemy. The enemy runs right into it and suffers the trap.

Flashback Actions work almost exactly like a normal action- you roll a skill test, opposed as normal. Furthermore, because it's done in the past, you can do as many of them as you like and it doesn't take up your current action. There is one difference: Flashback Actions cause stress. How much stress depends on how much sense it makes that you were able to make that action.

  • Simple actions (0 Stress): these are actions that make total sense that you had time and the resources to do. For example, it makes total sense that you were able to set an alarm in your own house with alarms you possess. Similarly, it makes total sense that you were able to set a trap for an enemy in an area you're familiar with and were expecting danger in.
  • Complex actions (5 Stress): These are actions that are quite complex, require a good deal of foresight or take advantage of an unlikely opportunity. For example, it requires predicting how someone you only know a little is going to act, establishing multiple traps in a dangerous area which has been chaotic and turbulent for awhile, or acquiring an item that you don't have easy access to.
  • Extreme actions (10 Stress): These are actions that involve special or one-off contingencies that would be difficult to justify repeating. For example, you flee into a random house, but it turns out the owner used to be a neighbour of yours and doesn't mind. Or, you encounter a challenge in a Theatre, but you spread a wild and outlandish rumour last week that just so happens to have changed the Theatre enough to allow you to proceed easier.

Flashbacks have certain limits. It cannot undo things that have just happened or occurred; for example, if an NPC betrays you, you can't flashback to killing them the day before. You can, however, use a flashback to predict their betrayal, allowing you to account for it.
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