Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Enhanced Abilities

A good archer can do more than launch an arrow
straight and true; he can slip it between the
branches of a tree and kill ya!
I am the Warden!!

Yesterday, I talked about changes to the Optional System's stats to their current, much more awesome form. For some players, it might not be enough, especially after you get a little experience under your belt or you're used to playing RPGs with a bit more substance to your stats.

Fear not, good gamer. The Warden has prepared an optional rule for implementing bonus features for stats, called enhanced abilities. While you may choose your stats based on character development and personal taste, enhanced abilities endow your character with an additional edge solely based on your stat selection. Sure, it makes sense for an archer to select Dexterity as a Body stat simply because she's an archer, but what does Dexterity really do for an archer?

Easy. For every +1d12 Dexterity focus dice an archer has, she can reduce a modifier's benefit by 1d10 circumstance dice on a ranged or burst attack once per series. For every additional focus dice in Dexterity, she can reduce the same modifier by 2d10 circumstance dice or save that second reduction for another modifier later in the same series. Once a new series begins, our archer can try this again. This allows her the ability to launch an arrow further than a normal character, ignore the Cover modifier, and more. Now we're talking, right?

These optional enhancements share a few things in common to keep them balanced, though it should go without saying some enhanced abilities may be more useful than others. All the Body enhanced abilities are naturally designed to have a greater impact in physical combat, but creeds such as spellcasters can easily take advantage of their Sense and Mind enhanced abilities to endow their spells and arcs like no other. Regardless, here are the common factors for all enhanced abilities.

  • Enhanced abilities recharge at the start of a new series or grant a permanent increase so long as the character has the proper number of focus dice available on that stat (see Stamina and Intelligence).
  • For every additional 1d12 focus dice in a stat, the character can use their enhanced ability one additional time in a series.
  • Each enhanced ability is a cheat, hence why they are optional. If your game does not use them, you will not suffer for the loss.
One of the other ideas behind enhanced abilities is they can change and multiply over time. Your own Director may come up with some new ones or slightly modified versions of the originals. Either way, it creates room for expansion and personal development.

Enough chatter! Let's get down to it and expose these optional abilities right here and now. In alphabetical order from Body to Sense to Mind, here they are.

Dexterity: Once per +1d12 Dexterity focus dice in a series, you can ignore a single 1d10 modifier with a ranged or burst attack using your Dexterity focus dice. This removes a single modifier equal to +1d10 or reduces the circumstance dice of a single modifier by 1d10.

Stamina: Your character gains 1 additional Health per +1d12 focus dice on your Stamina stat. If you lose a Stamina focus die from a devastating attack, you lose 1 Health.

Strength: Once per +1d12 Strength focus dice in a series, you can add 1 bonus hit to a Body roll or melee attack using your Strength stat. 

Alertness: Once per +1d12 Alertness focus dice in a series, you can ignore a single 1d10 modifier while making a matching Sense roll using your Alertness stat. This removes a single modifier equal to +1d10 or reduces the circumstance dice of a single modifier by 1d10.

Deduction: Once per +1d12 Deduction focus dice in a series, you can lock down the roll of a particular Deduction focus die made during a Sense roll. So long as your remaining Sense rolls within the series are made against the same opponent, target, or point of interest, you can maintain that same result. At the end of the series, that result is removed.

Intuition: Intuitive characters have a strange habit of going into streaks, long stretches of good guesses and hunches. During a series, you can re-roll a single Intuition focus die of your choice at any point after rolling a critical hit with a previous Sense roll using Intuition. You may choose between your original and re-rolled result. You can do this a number of times per +1d12 Intuition focus dice per scene.

Belief: The power of confidence can be indeed overwhelming. When you roll a 12 on any Belief focus dice, you can negate a blunder on yourself or another Teammate. This can only be done once per +1d12 Belief focus dice per series.

Intelligence: Choose an area of specialization for your character, such as geography or history. So long as the Director deems a Mind roll to be related to your specialization, your character ignores all half and minor penalties to any Mind rolls adding your Intelligence focus dice. Your character’s specialization can be as loose or specific as you like, so long as it’s approved by the Director. Your character gains a specialization for every +1d12 Intelligence focus dice.

Wisdom: Your character can offer guidance to Teammates and inspiration to herself. Once per +1d12 Wisdom focus dice in a series, you can grant any Teammate (including your character) an opportunity to roll 1d4 bonus dice without gaining a blunder from exploding dice, regardless of how many time a bonus die explodes.

It may yet be too early to tell, but I think stats have finally been nailed on the head. What do you think?