Difference between revisions of "VERS:Gameplay"

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'''[[VERS]] -> [[Book I - Player Rules]] -> {{PAGENAME}}'''
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'''[[VERS]] -> {{PAGENAME}}'''
 
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{{tocfloatleft}}
 
{{tocfloatleft}}
  
With the basic concepts and character creation out of the way, this chapter ties up the loose ends and explains all the ways the previous information interacts to form a framework in which characters and create stories, interacting with each other and the environment.
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The following sections discuss in greater detail how the game works. Much of this information has been hinted at above, but is relayed in greater detail here. This will include rules for conflict, exploration, and investigation.
  
== Combat ==
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== Conflict ==
  
One of the three primary types of gameplay in any roleplaying game is combat. In VERS there are three types of combat. [[Physical Combat]] is the standard model that most people think of when they say the word combat, but there is also mental and social combat.
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This is the section of gameplay that many people have the most interest in. However, VERS does conflict differently than most. Conflict in VERS can be mental, physical, or social, and any of the above can be used to defeat enemies, or for your enemies to defeat you.
  
[[Mental Combat]] typically takes the form of out-thinking your enemy, tricking them, surprising them, or otherwise using cunning to defeat them. This could also take the form of a riddle contest or some other more esoteric mode. Regardless, the idea with mental combat is always outsmarting the opponent in some way, eroding their Focus and reducing their ability to continue trying to outsmart you. When an opponent is defeated in mental combat they do not lose their life or even their consciousness, but they still feel the repercussions: confusion, panic, or even just simple exhaustion.
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All conflict is resolved in essentially the same way, however, so this section will cover the general flow of this resolution. After, there will be any special rules for specific aspects of conflict.
  
[[Social combat]], on the other hand, is about outmaneuvering your enemy in a social situation. Maybe its trading witty barbs with your nemesis at a fancy party, or intimidating the thugs who accost you in the alleyway after. The goal with social combat is to weaken the character’s Morale and make them no longer desire to engage your character further or to submit to your force of personality. When a character is defeated in social combat they are not injured physically but can be embarrassed, intimidated, or otherwise easily manipulated.
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All conflict rolls are, at their heart, contests. Because all rolls are made by the player, attacks are made as a skill roll with a penalty based on the opponent’s defense, while if a player character is being attacked they roll their defense with a penalty based on the opponent’s attack skill. Any degrees of success on the roll can be spent on Stunts (see below for more information). Defense rolls take a cumulative -1 penalty for each additional attack defended against in a turn.
  
Regardless of the type of combat, it is all resolved in basically the same way. One roll. Remember the player rolls all rolls, so if they are the ones making the attack they roll their relevant skill competence (Deception + Intuition, Ranged Attack + Agility, or Influence + Charisma, as examples of all three types) and subtract the opponent’s defenses (Discipline, Dodge, or the target's Parry competence, depending). Conversely, if the player is the defender then they roll Dodge, Discipline, or Parry and use the attacks skills as a penalty. Attack skills are always based on a Finesse attribute.
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The only real change from a normal contest roll is that a successful attack does something additional. It affects the character in some way. Normally this is damage, but these same rules cover ability use as well, and that can mean many different types of effect. The good news is that it doesn’t really matter. All effects work off the same basic framework.
  
<blockquote>'''Attack Roll = Attack Skill - Defense'''</blockquote>
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All effects are measured by an Effect Value (EV), which typically consists of the power attribute plus a bonus from a weapon or ability. When an attack is successful, this EV is compared to the target’s Resistance Value (RV). This is typically just their armor or an ability, although in the case of unarmed physical combat or social or mental conflict, this will be the target’s respective resistance attribute.
  
Once an attack has succeeded, it is time to calculate the damage. Every character has a base Effect Value (EV) equal to their power attributes (Strength for physical attacks) that automatically applies to a successful strike. This EV would be added to any additional EV that would come from abilities, advantages, weapons, or stunts. This total EV is how much damage the character does on the successful strike.
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If the RV is higher, then there is no effect, however if the EV is higher, the difference, or net EV, determines the condition slot this effect takes. Effects always apply a condition at the highest slot it qualifies for. If the slot that it should take is already filled then it upgrades to the next highest slot.
  
<blockquote>'''EV = Power Attribute + Abilities + Equipment + Stunts'''</blockquote>
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For instance, if the EV is 5, and the RV is 3, then the net EV is 2, which would mean the effect qualifies for only the lowest level condition slot (0-2 net EV), so it goes there. If it had been an EV of 6, however, then it would have applied to the next level up (3-5) instead.
  
Having calculated the total EV, compare the EV against the target’s Resistance Value (RV). Just like every character has a base EV, every character also has a base RV equal to their Stamina (for physical attacks). Again, like EV, RV can also be modified by advantages, abilities, equipment, or stunts.
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Conditions can only be recovered by taking a Recovery Action. A Recovery Action is a 3d6 roll against the respective resistance attribute TN, although the roll is penalized based on the severity of the highest level condition. Success removes the highest level condition, with additional conditions removed based on degrees of success (see Stunts). Characters get one recovery action per day, typically after sleeping or other lengthy rest.
  
<blockquote>'''RV = Resistance Attribute + Abilities + Equipment + Stunts'''</blockquote>
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Certain Skills, such as Meditation and First Aid, allow a character to take a Recovery Action at other times or get bonuses on them.
  
If the attacker’s EV is greater than the defender’s RV, the target takes damage based on the remainder, referred to as the Normalized Damage Value, or NDV. The level of damage is determined by the NDV.
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To see the specifics for each type, see the [[VERS:Mental Conflict|Mental Conflict]], [[VERS:Physical Conflict|Physical Conflict]], and [[VERS:Social Conflict|Social Conflict]] sections.
  
Conversely, if the original attack misses then the attacker may be subject to defensive stunts, based on the Degrees of Failure. Depending on the nature of attack and defender it may even be appropriate to damage the attacker, based on what is dramatically appropriate at the time (fist-fighting a knight in armor, for example).
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== Exploration ==
  
Attacks that target a group use the average of their defenses to resist. An Olympic gymnast cannot tumble out of the way if she is surrounded by clumsy oafs, nor can the most stoic of characters prevent a group from becoming a riotous mob just by their presence.
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Exploration is both journeying between settlements and investigating ruins and other adventure sites. The majority of these rules deal with handling environmental dangers. Also note that certain genres, such as historical and fantasy will use these rules more than modern and sci-fi games.
  
Any penalties from damage dealt are cumulative across damage types, meaning that taking damage on all three fronts (mentally, physically, and emotionally) is far worse than simply facing a foe attacking from one angle.
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=== Poisons and other Chemicals ===
  
=== Final Considerations ===
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{| class="wikitable" style="float:right; margin-left: 10px; border-width: 0;"
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! colspan="4" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; border-width: 0; color:#ffffff;" | Chemical and Poison: EV over Time
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|- style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7;"
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| style="font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; text-align:left; border-width: 0;" |
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | Weak
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| style="border-width: 0;" | Moderate
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| style="border-width: 0;" | Strong
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|-
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| style="font-weight:bold; border-width: 0;" | Dilute
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| style="border-width: 0;" | 1 EV, per hour
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 2 EV, per hour
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 4 EV, per hour
 +
|- style="background-color:#bec8b7;"
 +
| style="font-weight:bold; border-width: 0;" | Moderate
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 1 EV, per min
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 2 EV, per min
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| style="border-width: 0;" | 4 EV, per min
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|-
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| style="font-weight:bold; border-width: 0;" | Concentrated
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| style="border-width: 0;" | 1 EV, per turn
 +
| style="border-width: 0;" | 2 EV, per turn
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| style="border-width: 0;" | 4 EV, per turn
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|}
  
Becoming Disabled, Disarrayed, or Debilitated is the type of stress that could easily put a permanent mark on a character. This could be the development of a disadvantage, but only if dramatically appropriate. As usual, the GM is the final arbiter for these decisions.
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Venomous snakes, poison dart traps, and enchanted pools that suck your soul out of your body. No matter what their form, poisons and chemicals are a frequent danger in the wilderness areas that characters often find themselves in. Poisons and chemicals have three major defining features: Concentration, Potency, and Vector.
  
It is also important to remember that many times actions affect us on multiple levels. A sneak attack, for instance, deals Focus damage as well as Injury damage. A sneak attack by a treacherous ally may even warrant that same action also dealing Morale damage. Not only is that fine, it is an expected situation that brilliant strategists have used for millennia to win wars. The above example is essentially what happened to Julius Caesar, after all, allowing a group of regular people to kill off a trained soldier. The most important thing to remember, however, is not to get too carried away. Multiple types of damage in one attack should be rare and something that the character works hard to set up. It shouldn’t happen every other attack. Yes, a character’s feelings are probably hurt whenever he gets stabbed, but unless that stab represents a betrayal or other emotionally charged event it doesn’t qualify for extra damage.
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'''Concentration''' determines how much of the harmful agent is present in the substance and can be dilute, moderate, or concentrated. This determines how often the damage is applied to the target. '''Potency''' is how strong of a reaction the harmful agent produces, and can be weak, moderate, or strong. This determines the base EV of the substance. '''Vector''' is how the harmful agent has to be applied to a target to take effect, and can be contact, inhaled, ingested, or injected.. A substance only harms the target if the target encounters it by one of its Vectors. A substance can have multiple Vectors
  
== The Chase ==
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The substance affects the target once on the action in which they first encounter it, and then again after every time period indicated by the Concentration, unless they have successfully removed it (GM discretion). In addition, this EV doubles with each passing period, gradually becoming worse and worse. The following chart describes this in greater detail.
  
Not all action scenes are fights. In fact, in literature, movies, and TV, the chase is far more common. When the villain produces overwhelming odds, or maybe the guards recognize you based on those wanted notices going around town, either way it’s time to let your feet do the talking. There are three basic stages or types of chase, each with their own mood and drama. Each of them can morph into another as the scene changes and different situations arise within the chase.
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The only special caveat to this is that poisons (including drugs and alcohol) must be administered in a high enough dose at one time, or have the effective dose administered before the system metabolizes the poison. This dose is generically set to double the Potency within a number of hours equal to Stamina, although the GM may determine unique dosage rules if desired for each poison.
  
=== Interposing ===
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=== Exposure ===
  
The first type of chase is called Interposing, of which the most common use is for the hunter (character trying to stop or catch the other) to cut off the way of escape, such as placing themselves in front of a door. It can resolve in many ways though, such as a sprint to grab an item, trying to brace a door before the hunter gets into the room, or even a tackle to the ground. The equivalent action for the hunted (character trying to get away) is Escaping, which typically involves getting around the hunter, but can also mean they slide under a closing garage door, get across the tracks just before the train comes, or whatever is dramatically appropriate. Either way, Interposing/Escape ends the chase. Either the character is either trapped or gets away (although depending on the circumstances a new chase may begin).
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When subjected to extreme heat or extreme cold, survival becomes increasingly difficult. Humans are able to exist easily in only a very narrow band of temperatures, roughly 10ºC up to around 30ºC can be experienced for long periods without specialized garments or equipment. However, for every 10ºC above or below that range, the character is in increasing danger.
  
To Interpose, your character must be within a complex move action of the target. This is resolved as an active Athletics + Agility (as opposed to Athletics + Stamina as normal) opposed by the opponent’s Athletics + Agility. Degrees of Success can be used on stunts as the GM sees fit.
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For every hour they spend exposed to those temperatures they are subjected to a cumulative 1 EV of damage per 10ºC. In other words, the first hour at 0ºC is a 1 EV, the second hour is 2 EV, the third is 3 EV, etc. This damage affects all three conditions, but is resisted by their respective resistance attribute (Resolve, Stamina, or Composure). A wet character is considered to be experiencing 10ºC colder temperatures than the actual thermometer reads.
  
=== Pursuit ===
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The character cannot recover from these conditions until they are out of the elements.
  
The primary mode of the chase rules are called Pursuit, which is defined as the hunted still within sight but outside of the hunter’s full movement speed. Pursuit is handled as a series of active Athletics rolls, with both Degrees of Success and Degrees of Failure counting toward an overall Pursuit Talley. The pursuit talley is an abstraction of the distance between the characters in the chase and it goes from 1 to 10 and starts at 5. With each roll this talley grows and shrinks based on the results, with the hunter’s Degrees of Success reducing the pursuit talley his Degrees of Failure increasing the talley. This is reversed for the hunted. The pursuit talley falling below 1 means the hunter may attempt to interpose, while the talley growing above 10 means the hunted either gets away, or the Tracking phase begins.
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=== Thirst and Starvation ===
  
The hunted character can attempt to place obstacles in the hunter’s path, such as pulling over objects as they pass, pushing through a crowd, or leaping over objects, etc. These impose a penalty on the hunters roll, or can grant a bonus to the hunted’s roll, depending on which one the player is (remember players make all rolls). If the character is trying to do something fancy then the GM may roll they need to make an Acrobatics roll, with the results becoming a bonus or penalty on the current Athletics rolls. If neither side is able to definitively pull away in a number of rolls equal to twice the lowest Resolve or Stamina between the two sides then whichever character owns that lowest value loses automatically as they either lose the will to continue running or become exhausted and cannot carry on. These rolls do not have a specific length but are more narrative in length, with each roll being a new opportunity for the chase dynamic to change.
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A character can go a number of days without water equal to their Stamina +1 (minimum of 1 day). After this point, the character takes a cumulative 1 EV damage to all three trackers per day without water, resisted by the respective resistance attributes. This means the first day would be 1 EV, the second would be 2 EV, the third would be 3 EV, etc.
  
=== Tracking ===
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A character can go a number of days without food equal to their Resolve + their Stamina +2 (minimum of 2 days) before the damage begins. Otherwise it progresses like thirst. That said, they are two separate processes (as are exposure) and so each must be accounted for individually.
  
The final type of chase is Tracking. This is long distance pursuit over hours, days, and even weeks. This is the type of chase that a GM can write an entire Episode around, or even an entire Season. The hunted in this case is well outside of catchable range, and the only method of following is by using Survival to follow physical evidence, like footprints and the like or using Investigation to gather social clues by asking locals, etc.
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Like with exposure, a character cannot recover from these conditions until they have drank and/or eaten.
  
When tracking a character, the seeker rolls either Survival or Investigation once per day. This roll uses the evader’s Stealth as the defense, and on a success the seeker keeps on the trail, with degrees of success adding to a tracking tally that works very much like the pursuit tally, with the exception of going to 20 and starting on 10. After getting enough Degrees of Success the seeker catches up to the evader and they transition into pursuit, while 20 Degrees of Failure means the trail goes cold and the evader is well and truly gone.
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=== Suffocation ===
  
== Stunts ==
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A character outside of conflict can hold their breath for a number of minutes equal to half their Stamina (minimum 30 seconds). At this point, they must succeed on a Discipline roll every Turn or take a cumulative +1 EV Focus attack. They do not get their Resolve against this damage. This roll takes an additional -1 penalty every Turn. Once the character loses all of their Focus, they automatically gasp and begin drowning or  breathing in noxious fumes, etc. In the case of fumes, they are now being affected by whatever that poison is, per the poison rules. In the case of lack of oxygen, they instead keep taking damage, although it changes to Injury. The EV does not reset, and Stamina is not used as an RV. Once their last Injury condition is marked the character has suffocated or drowned.
  
By itself, combat, even well-narrated and drama-filled combat, can be a little dull. Simply waiting for your turn to roll dice to see what happens becomes little bland. This is an issue that has existed as long as tabletop RPGs have existed, and have driven the majority of innovations in the field. VERS does not claim to be a major innovation, but looks to make what is here fun and engaging without falling into rote repetition.
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In combat or when doing strenuous activity (GM discretion), the character has considerably less time. Instead of minutes, the character can hold their breath for a number of Turns equal to their Stamina (minimum 1) before having to make Discipline rolls. At this point the situation progresses largely the same.
  
Stunts are basically little additions that help a player be more descriptive during combat and make the rewards of a good roll less static and more within the control of the player. When a character rolls an attack, they are able to trade their rolled Degrees of Success for these minor effects. Most of the time a character is going to want to use their Degrees of Success on their attack rolls to deal more damage to their enemies (+1 EV per two Degrees of Success), but more strategic options exist, allowing the target to be knocked back, deprived of their defense for a Turn or many other possibilities. In turn, failing the roll allows the target to use these stunts against her in the same manner. These stunts allow the player room to be creative with their attacks without overly penalizing them for poor rolls or gambling away fun in an all or nothing longshot.
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=== Falling ===
  
The following tables contain the available Stunts, not just for combat, but also miscellaneous roleplay situations. These, of course, are not the only stunts possible. Any time a player wants to do something interesting in combat they should be encouraged. Use these stunts as examples to empower interesting combat and tactical thinking.
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A character making a controlled fall (i.e. they jumped or dropped purposefully) faces 1 EV per meter fallen, although they can make an Athletics roll with a -1 penalty per meter to halve that. The character can apply Stamina as their RV, but armor does not apply. Other abilities may add to the RV at GM discretion.
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An uncontrolled fall is much more deadly, with an EV of 2 per meter fallen. The character can still make an Athletics roll, but starts with a -4 penalty and still takes the -1 penalty per meter.
  
{| class="wikitable" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 10px;"
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=== Visibility ===
! colspan="3" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Combat Stunts
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | DoS
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Name
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Effect
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 1+
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Push
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Move the target of your attack 1m back per DoS spent this way.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Defensive Strike
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | +2 to Dodge until next turn.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Target Selection
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Land your blow in a specific location, giving related penalties.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 2+
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Power Strike
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | +1 EV of damage per 2 Degrees of Success spent this way.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Assist
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Grant ally a +2 bonus on their next roll against this target.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Disarm
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Disarm the target. With successful Strength roll they retain grip.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Quick Strike
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Make a second attack as a free action with a -3 penalty.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Piercing Strike
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Halve the target’s RV for this attack.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Trip
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Knock your enemy prone. They avoid with a successful Dodge.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 6
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Alter Tempo
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Change the Initiative order, putting yourself at the top.
 
|}
 
  
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If the character is in a dark environment, they take a penalty on their vision based Perception rolls according to the amount of light available. For reference, a modern city street would give a -2, while an ancient city or modern rural area would give a -4. Wilderness with a full moon would be a -5, and wilderness with full cloud cover would be a -6. A cave or inside a building with no windows is impossible.
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Weather can also affect perception, with light fog or moderate rain or snow giving a -1 penalty to sight, hearing, and scent per zone away. Moderate fog or heavy precipitation gives a -2 penalty to sight, hearing, and scent per zone. Heavy fog gives a -3 penalty per zone. Weather related penalties also apply to Survival rolls.
  
{| class="wikitable" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 10px;"
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== Investigation ==
! colspan="3" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Defensive Stunts
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | DoS
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Name
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Effect
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 1+
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Push
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Move the target of your attack 1m back per DoS spent this way.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Counter
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Get a +2 bonus on you next attack against target.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Force Overreach
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Miss leaves attacker exposed. -2 penalty on their next Defense.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Taunt
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Make a Social Attack as a free action.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Disarm
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Disarm the target. With successful Strength roll they retain grip.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Sacrifice
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Allow hit (base damage), deny target Defense on their next attack.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Disrupt Balance
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Knock your enemy prone. They avoid with a successful Dodge.
 
|}
 
  
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Investigation means things like searching for clues, trying to solve a mystery, or simply looking for secret passages or treasure. There are not any specific rules for this type of gameplay, but a small amount of advice.
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First, for players, always be specific when telling the GM you are investigating. The GM cannot know if you will find the clue if you are not specific in your intentions. Also, do not tell the GM you are making a roll to investigate. The GM will tell you what to roll, if anything, after you have made clear your intentions. The reason is that not every action needs a roll, and only the GM can decide when that is the case.
  
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For GMs, remember that not all actions need rolls. If the character is an expert in ancient latin, then they should just be able to read the ancient latin inscription. Also, a character who is a mathematician should be able to recognize geometric symbols, etc. Remember, only make the player roll if there is both a chance to fail, and the failure would be interesting.
  
{| class="wikitable" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 10px;"
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== Stunts ==
! colspan="3" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Ability Stunts
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | DoS
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Name
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Effect
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Defensive Use
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | +2 to Dodge until next Turn.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Shape Ability
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Allow an AoE Ability to be made into specific shapes.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 2+
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Empower Ability
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | +1 EV per 2 DoS spent this way.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 3+
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Disguise Ability
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Give opponents trying to identify the Ability a -2 Penalty.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Area of Effect
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Make the Ability affect all in an area, user can choose type
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 3+
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Multiple Targets
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | +1 Target per 3 DoS spent this way.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Quicken Ability
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Make Ability use a Free Action, up to 2 in a Simple Action.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Penetrating Ability
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Cut foe’s Ability Defense in half.
 
|}
 
  
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As mentioned back in the Basics chapter, rolls in VERS are not just about determining success, but also giving variation to the levels of success. Every roll generates Degrees of Success which can be spent on Stunts, earning the ability to further define the way the success looks or by gaining specific advantages. For more information, see the [[VERS:Stunts|Stunts]] section.
  
  
{| class="wikitable" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; margin-bottom: 10px;"
 
! colspan="3" style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#445016; color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Roleplaying Stunts
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | DoS
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Name
 
| style="font-weight:bold; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Effect
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 2
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Confidence
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | +1 on your social RV for the next turn.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 2+
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Cutting Remark
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | +1 EV to Social attack.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Another Point
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Gain an automatic second successful social attack with no DoS.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Flirt
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Character who might be attracted to you takes a -2 on social RV.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Jest/Inspire
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Allies heal a point of Morale, foes take a point of damage.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 3
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Stunned Silence
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Your foes take a -2 on their next Social roll.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Piercing Wit
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Your Intimidation cuts through their defenses, halving their RV.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | Flourish
 
| style="background-color:#bec8b7; border-width: 0;" | +1 bonus on social rolls against witnesses of this action for scene.
 
|-
 
| style="text-align: center; background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | 4
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Luck
 
| style="background-color:#ffffff; border-width: 0;" | Successful roll gives greatest advantage (spot enemy while hidden, etc).
 
|}
 
  
== The Environment ==
 
  
The previous sections have all been about characters conflicting with other characters (combat and chases), or different ways to model the uncertainty and complexities of action (stunts). This section, then, can be seen as the final section detailing rules for conflict: characters versus [[The Environment|the world around them]].
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{{VERSBottomNav}}

Latest revision as of 08:53, 7 April 2021

VERS -> VERS:Gameplay


The following sections discuss in greater detail how the game works. Much of this information has been hinted at above, but is relayed in greater detail here. This will include rules for conflict, exploration, and investigation.

Conflict

This is the section of gameplay that many people have the most interest in. However, VERS does conflict differently than most. Conflict in VERS can be mental, physical, or social, and any of the above can be used to defeat enemies, or for your enemies to defeat you.

All conflict is resolved in essentially the same way, however, so this section will cover the general flow of this resolution. After, there will be any special rules for specific aspects of conflict.

All conflict rolls are, at their heart, contests. Because all rolls are made by the player, attacks are made as a skill roll with a penalty based on the opponent’s defense, while if a player character is being attacked they roll their defense with a penalty based on the opponent’s attack skill. Any degrees of success on the roll can be spent on Stunts (see below for more information). Defense rolls take a cumulative -1 penalty for each additional attack defended against in a turn.

The only real change from a normal contest roll is that a successful attack does something additional. It affects the character in some way. Normally this is damage, but these same rules cover ability use as well, and that can mean many different types of effect. The good news is that it doesn’t really matter. All effects work off the same basic framework.

All effects are measured by an Effect Value (EV), which typically consists of the power attribute plus a bonus from a weapon or ability. When an attack is successful, this EV is compared to the target’s Resistance Value (RV). This is typically just their armor or an ability, although in the case of unarmed physical combat or social or mental conflict, this will be the target’s respective resistance attribute.

If the RV is higher, then there is no effect, however if the EV is higher, the difference, or net EV, determines the condition slot this effect takes. Effects always apply a condition at the highest slot it qualifies for. If the slot that it should take is already filled then it upgrades to the next highest slot.

For instance, if the EV is 5, and the RV is 3, then the net EV is 2, which would mean the effect qualifies for only the lowest level condition slot (0-2 net EV), so it goes there. If it had been an EV of 6, however, then it would have applied to the next level up (3-5) instead.

Conditions can only be recovered by taking a Recovery Action. A Recovery Action is a 3d6 roll against the respective resistance attribute TN, although the roll is penalized based on the severity of the highest level condition. Success removes the highest level condition, with additional conditions removed based on degrees of success (see Stunts). Characters get one recovery action per day, typically after sleeping or other lengthy rest.

Certain Skills, such as Meditation and First Aid, allow a character to take a Recovery Action at other times or get bonuses on them.

To see the specifics for each type, see the Mental Conflict, Physical Conflict, and Social Conflict sections.

Exploration

Exploration is both journeying between settlements and investigating ruins and other adventure sites. The majority of these rules deal with handling environmental dangers. Also note that certain genres, such as historical and fantasy will use these rules more than modern and sci-fi games.

Poisons and other Chemicals

Chemical and Poison: EV over Time
Weak Moderate Strong
Dilute 1 EV, per hour 2 EV, per hour 4 EV, per hour
Moderate 1 EV, per min 2 EV, per min 4 EV, per min
Concentrated 1 EV, per turn 2 EV, per turn 4 EV, per turn

Venomous snakes, poison dart traps, and enchanted pools that suck your soul out of your body. No matter what their form, poisons and chemicals are a frequent danger in the wilderness areas that characters often find themselves in. Poisons and chemicals have three major defining features: Concentration, Potency, and Vector.

Concentration determines how much of the harmful agent is present in the substance and can be dilute, moderate, or concentrated. This determines how often the damage is applied to the target. Potency is how strong of a reaction the harmful agent produces, and can be weak, moderate, or strong. This determines the base EV of the substance. Vector is how the harmful agent has to be applied to a target to take effect, and can be contact, inhaled, ingested, or injected.. A substance only harms the target if the target encounters it by one of its Vectors. A substance can have multiple Vectors

The substance affects the target once on the action in which they first encounter it, and then again after every time period indicated by the Concentration, unless they have successfully removed it (GM discretion). In addition, this EV doubles with each passing period, gradually becoming worse and worse. The following chart describes this in greater detail.

The only special caveat to this is that poisons (including drugs and alcohol) must be administered in a high enough dose at one time, or have the effective dose administered before the system metabolizes the poison. This dose is generically set to double the Potency within a number of hours equal to Stamina, although the GM may determine unique dosage rules if desired for each poison.

Exposure

When subjected to extreme heat or extreme cold, survival becomes increasingly difficult. Humans are able to exist easily in only a very narrow band of temperatures, roughly 10ºC up to around 30ºC can be experienced for long periods without specialized garments or equipment. However, for every 10ºC above or below that range, the character is in increasing danger.

For every hour they spend exposed to those temperatures they are subjected to a cumulative 1 EV of damage per 10ºC. In other words, the first hour at 0ºC is a 1 EV, the second hour is 2 EV, the third is 3 EV, etc. This damage affects all three conditions, but is resisted by their respective resistance attribute (Resolve, Stamina, or Composure). A wet character is considered to be experiencing 10ºC colder temperatures than the actual thermometer reads.

The character cannot recover from these conditions until they are out of the elements.

Thirst and Starvation

A character can go a number of days without water equal to their Stamina +1 (minimum of 1 day). After this point, the character takes a cumulative 1 EV damage to all three trackers per day without water, resisted by the respective resistance attributes. This means the first day would be 1 EV, the second would be 2 EV, the third would be 3 EV, etc.

A character can go a number of days without food equal to their Resolve + their Stamina +2 (minimum of 2 days) before the damage begins. Otherwise it progresses like thirst. That said, they are two separate processes (as are exposure) and so each must be accounted for individually.

Like with exposure, a character cannot recover from these conditions until they have drank and/or eaten.

Suffocation

A character outside of conflict can hold their breath for a number of minutes equal to half their Stamina (minimum 30 seconds). At this point, they must succeed on a Discipline roll every Turn or take a cumulative +1 EV Focus attack. They do not get their Resolve against this damage. This roll takes an additional -1 penalty every Turn. Once the character loses all of their Focus, they automatically gasp and begin drowning or breathing in noxious fumes, etc. In the case of fumes, they are now being affected by whatever that poison is, per the poison rules. In the case of lack of oxygen, they instead keep taking damage, although it changes to Injury. The EV does not reset, and Stamina is not used as an RV. Once their last Injury condition is marked the character has suffocated or drowned.

In combat or when doing strenuous activity (GM discretion), the character has considerably less time. Instead of minutes, the character can hold their breath for a number of Turns equal to their Stamina (minimum 1) before having to make Discipline rolls. At this point the situation progresses largely the same.

Falling

A character making a controlled fall (i.e. they jumped or dropped purposefully) faces 1 EV per meter fallen, although they can make an Athletics roll with a -1 penalty per meter to halve that. The character can apply Stamina as their RV, but armor does not apply. Other abilities may add to the RV at GM discretion. An uncontrolled fall is much more deadly, with an EV of 2 per meter fallen. The character can still make an Athletics roll, but starts with a -4 penalty and still takes the -1 penalty per meter.

Visibility

If the character is in a dark environment, they take a penalty on their vision based Perception rolls according to the amount of light available. For reference, a modern city street would give a -2, while an ancient city or modern rural area would give a -4. Wilderness with a full moon would be a -5, and wilderness with full cloud cover would be a -6. A cave or inside a building with no windows is impossible. Weather can also affect perception, with light fog or moderate rain or snow giving a -1 penalty to sight, hearing, and scent per zone away. Moderate fog or heavy precipitation gives a -2 penalty to sight, hearing, and scent per zone. Heavy fog gives a -3 penalty per zone. Weather related penalties also apply to Survival rolls.

Investigation

Investigation means things like searching for clues, trying to solve a mystery, or simply looking for secret passages or treasure. There are not any specific rules for this type of gameplay, but a small amount of advice. First, for players, always be specific when telling the GM you are investigating. The GM cannot know if you will find the clue if you are not specific in your intentions. Also, do not tell the GM you are making a roll to investigate. The GM will tell you what to roll, if anything, after you have made clear your intentions. The reason is that not every action needs a roll, and only the GM can decide when that is the case.

For GMs, remember that not all actions need rolls. If the character is an expert in ancient latin, then they should just be able to read the ancient latin inscription. Also, a character who is a mathematician should be able to recognize geometric symbols, etc. Remember, only make the player roll if there is both a chance to fail, and the failure would be interesting.

Stunts

As mentioned back in the Basics chapter, rolls in VERS are not just about determining success, but also giving variation to the levels of success. Every roll generates Degrees of Success which can be spent on Stunts, earning the ability to further define the way the success looks or by gaining specific advantages. For more information, see the Stunts section.



VERSIcon.png VERS Playtest v20.7 - Online Rule Reference
General Rules Basics
Making a Character Character Profile - Mechanical Aspects (Attributes - Skills - Abilities - Gear)
Gameplay Mental Conflict - Physical Conflict - Social Conflict - Stunts
GM Info NPCs
Optional Rules Not Yet Complete
Gamemastering Not Yet Complete
Storytelling and Drama Not Yet Complete
Advanced Techniques Not Yet Complete
Appendices Example Abilities Fantasy - Psionics - Superheroes
Example Gear Prehistoric to Dark Ages - Medieval to Renaissance - Modern - Sci-Fi
Example NPCs Animals - People - Fantasy - Horror - Sci-Fi