VERS -> VERS: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. The character just determines how they want to spend their Degrees of Success to enhance the roll effect, and the GM uses that information to enhance the narration of the events in addition to the in-universe benefits.
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.
Physical Conflict - Offensive Stunts
|Physical Conflict - Offensive Stunts|
|2+||Defensive Strike||Reduce penalties on reaction rolls by 1 until your next turn|
|2||Hamper||Give the target a -1 for actions involving hands or arms|
|2||Maim||Give the target a -1 for actions involving legs or feet|
|2+||Power Strike||Increase the EV of this attack by 1|
|2+||Precision Strike||+1 for your next attack roll|
|2||Provoke||Target must attack you on its next turn, penalties based on Presence|
|3+||Assist||Give designated ally + 2 to attack this foe|
|3||Combo||Treat attack as if it had the Autofire gear component|
|3||Disarm||Remove target’s weapon unless Strength is 2 ranks higher than yours|
|3||Guerrilla Tactics||Disengage from the target without needing to make Athletics roll|
|3||Knockback||Force the target to disengage|
|3||Suppression||Automatically attack engaged or designated target if they act|
|4||Choke Out||Grapple Only: Target becomes Disabled, based on their Stamina|
|4||Head Strike||Increase EV by 2 and do an equal amount to Focus|
|4||Human Shield||Grapple Only: Target grants ⅔ cover|
|4||Piercing Strike||Reduce the target’s RV by 2 for this attack|
|4||Rend Armor||Reduce the target’s RV by 1 until they readjust armor (Complex Action)|
|4||Restrain||Grapple Only: Target cannot move, you must have proper gear|
|4||Trip||Knock your enemy to the ground, based on Agility|
The above stunts are primarily tied to the Close Combat and Ranged combat skills, turning good rolls into bonuses of different kinds for the character and their allies. Because of the sheer number of stunts related to physical conflict, they are split between offense and defense. Below are more detailed descriptions of the offensive physical stunts.
- Assist: Whether it be through distraction or through some other course of action, the character’s actions give a designated ally a +2 bonus to attack this foe on that ally’s next turn. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times, each granting a different ally the benefit.
- Choke Out: Grappling Only. The character uses his weight and leverage to briefly cut off the target’s oxygen supply. The target of this grappling attack becomes Disabled if their Stamina is less than the user's Strength, otherwise merely increase the EV of the attack by 2. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Combo: The character’s speed allows them to get in a second attack. Treat this attack as if it had the Autofire gear component. This stunt can only be chosen once per Turn, and costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Defensive Strike: Using quick strikes and keeping their guard up, the character gains a +1 bonus on reactive rolls until their next Turn. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and may be chosen multiple times.
- Disarm: Whether by brute force or skilled finesse, the character knocks the weapon from the target’s grasp unless the target's Strength (or Agility) is 2 or more ranks higher than that of the user. The Attribute compared is the highest for the attacker. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Guerrilla Tactics: Through fancy footwork or skilled distraction, the character keeps their opponent off guard, allowing them to immediately disengage from their target. This disengagement does not require the standard Athletics roll. The stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Hamper: The character strikes their target’s arm or hand, giving a wound that makes using it more difficult. Give the target a -1 penalty for actions involving their hands or arms, such as attacking. If they are attacking a player character, give the player a +1 to defense instead. This penalty lasts until the end of the combat. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Head Strike: The character’s attack connects with the target’s head, dealing a greater than normal amount of damage and potentially dazing them. Increase the EV of this attack by 2 and deal an equal amount to Focus. The stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Human Shield: Grappling Only. The character maneuvers their target into position so that they are between the character and the remainder of their enemies. Their body grants the character ⅔ cover, although without a weapon with which to threaten the target (a blade to the throat or a gun to their head) this positioning gives them the advantage on breaking out of the grapple on their next turn. Increase the penalty to maintain the grapple by 2 in this case. A target who is threatened with a weapon who tries to get away suffers an immediate attack from the weapon. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Knockback: The power, leverage, or angle of the character’s attack takes the target by surprise either pushing them backwards or making them take several steps to regain their stance. This stunt forces the target to disengage, although they do not suffer any additional attacks for the movement. They do, however, have to spend a Simple Action to re-engage in close combat. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Maim: The character strikes their target’s legs or feet, giving a wound that limits their mobility. The target takes a -1 penalty for any Athletics rolls to disengage or move more than one zone. This penalty lasts until the end of the combat. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Piercing Strike: The character’s attack finds a particularly weak point in their opponent’s armor, ignoring some of its protection. Reduce the target's RV by 2 for this attack. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Power Strike: The character lands a particularly heavy blow, dealing additional damage. Increase the EV of this attack by 1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Precision Strike: The character’s attack sets them up for a deadly second attack, putting them in a position to strike even more accurately. The character’s next attack gains a +1 bonus. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Provoke: The skill and/or power of the character’s attack leaves the target emotionally open for a taunting comment, wounding their pride and enraging them. The target must attack the character who struck this blow on their next turn. In addition the character gets a +2 bonus to reaction rolls related to that attack if the character’s Presence is greater than the target’s Composure. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Rend Armor: The character’s attack manages to disrupt, break, or otherwise temporarily open up a sizable weakness in their defenses. Reduce the target's RV by 1 for all following attacks until they take a Complex Action to readjust their armor. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Restrain: Grappling Only. The character is able to handcuff, tie up, or otherwise incapacitate the target. The target of this grappling attack is unable to move, use their hands, or their voice, depending on the nature of the restraint. The user must have a method to appropriately restrain the character available when choosing this stunt. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Suppression: The character’s attack puts them into position to strike an enemy that moves or acts within their reach. The next action taken before the character’s next turn by an opponent that is engaged in close combat with them (or a single designated target within sight for a ranged attack) grants the character an automatic attack action. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Trip: Whether by sheer power or carefully designed maneuvering, the character’s attack knock’s the target to the ground unless the target's Agility is 2 or more ranks higher than that of the character. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
Physical Conflict - Defensive Stunts
|Physical Conflict - Defensive Stunts|
|2||Force Overreach||Reduce the DC of your next attack roll against the attacker by 2|
|2||Take Cover||Throw yourself into cover to avoid area-of-effect or ranged attacks|
|2||Taunt||The enemy that attacked you must attack again on its next turn|
|3||Disarm||Following successful parry, remove attacker’s weapon|
|3||Guardian||Following successful parry, grant ally cover with your body|
|3||Overwatch||The first action by engaged enemies provokes an automatic attack|
|3||Sacrifice||Allow unsuccessful attack to hit to deny attacker defence next Turn|
|3||Shove Back||Following successful parry, force target to disengage|
|3||Withdraw||Your movements allow you an opening to disengage without penalty|
|4||Disrupt Balance||Your movements force your attacker to the ground|
The following are in depth descriptions of the stunts available to a character defending against a physical attack. Many of these are only available after using a specific defense, such as parry or Dodge, although the GM may decide that other methods could work if dramatically appropriate.
- Disarm: Whether it is through brute strength or skillful maneuvering, your parry deprives the attacker of their weapon, leaving them barehanded. Following a successful parry, the attacker's weapon is removed from their grip unless the target's Strength (or Agility) is 2 or more ranks higher than the corresponding Attribute of the character. The Attribute used is based on the one the highest for the defender. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Disrupt Balance: Skillful maneuvering leaves the attacker in a vulnerable position. The attacker is knocked prone unless the target's Agility is 2 or more ranks higher than the defender. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Force Overreach: Either with subtle footwork or blind chance, the attacker not only misses but leaves themselves wide open for a counterattack. Reduce the DC of any character’s next attack roll against the attacker by 2. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Guardian: The ultimate altruism, the character moves to defend an ally with their physical body. Following a successful parry, the user positions themselves to grant full cover to an ally within the same zone with their body. This movement does not require the normal Athletics roll, and the character is disengaged from their attacker unless the character to be given cover is also engaged with the same enemy. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Overwatch: Due to the character’s vigilance, the character threatens those enemies within their reach. The first action by a target the character is engaged with (or a designated target the character can see if using a ranged attack) before the next turn provokes an automatic attack from you. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Sacrifice: The character makes a devil’s bargain, allowing themselves to be hit by an otherwise unsuccessful attack in order to deny the attacker their defense on the next attack. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Shove Back: The impact of the character’s parry pushes the attacker back and forces the target to disengage. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Take Cover: The character takes evasive action, immediately throwing themself into the nearest cover. This reduces the damage taken from area-effect attacks and grants cover against future ranged attacks, however the character is left prone. In addition, the GM can declare that there isn’t any cover, in which time the Degrees of Success are not spent, or the GM allows merely being prone to grant ⅓ cover. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Taunt: The character touts their defensive capabilities, embarrassing and enraging the attacker. This attacker must attack the defender again on their next turn. In addition, the defender gains a +2 to reaction rolls against the target if their Presence is 2 ranks greater than the attacker’s Composure. This stunt cost 2 Degrees of Success.
- Withdraw: Due to the character’s movements they are left an opening to disengage from the enemy without allowing for a counter attack. The character disengages from the target without making the standard Athletics roll. The stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
|2||Defensive Use||+2 to your reactions until next Turn|
|2+||Empower Ability||Increase the EV of this attack by 1|
|3||Area of Effect||Single target ability affects 3 targets and those engaged with them|
|3||Disguise Ability||Prevent enemies from discerning ability type unless Logic is higher|
|3||Impressive Display||Witnesses of amazing feat gain bonuses or penalties|
|3+||Multiple Targets||Allow a single target ability affect 1 additional target|
|4||Penetrating Ability||Reduce the target’s RV for this attack by 2|
|4||Quicken Ability||Allow another ability to be used in the same Simple Action|
|5||Shape Ability||Allow area-of-effect abilities to strike only enemies|
The following stunts apply to actions involving the activation, targeting, or other use of abilities. Ability use can also draw upon stunts from any other lists that make sense for the action being attempted, however.
- Area of Effect: The character is able to push the ability beyond its normal limits, striking multiple targets. Allow a normally single target ability to instead strike up to three targets and those engaged with them. These targets must all be within the same zone. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Defensive Use: Through care and vigilance, the character uses their ability while maintaining a defensive posture. The character gains a +2 bonus to reaction rolls until their next Turn. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Disguise Ability: Careful to avoid those that might disrupt their ability, the character activates it in a way that is subtle. This stunt prevents enemies from discerning ability type (for those trying to counter the ability using dispel type abilities, etc) unless their Logic is 2 or more ranks higher than the user. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Empower Ability: The character puts more energy than normal into the ability, making the effect stronger than normal. Increase the EV of the ability by 1 for this use. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Impressive Display: Whether it is an excessive show of force, a rousing speech, or a carefully choreographed set of poses to accent their ability activation, the character leaves their opponents stunned. Enemies who witness it take a -2 penalty on their next actions, or if they are actions against a player character, the player character gains a +2 bonus. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Multiple Targets: The character skillfully manages to strike more than one enemy with this attack. The enemies do not have to be near each other for this to work, and there is no more risk to hit allied characters than normal for engagement. Allow a normally single target ability to strike an additional target. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times, each adding an additional target.
- Penetrating Ability: Perhaps the ability strikes in just the right way to get through the target’s armor, or perhaps it’s some mystical resonance of souls that weakens their magical barriers, regardless, this stunt reduces the target's RV against the ability by 2. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Quicken Ability: Through efficient use of shortcuts or perhaps just through rage, the character unleashes a particularly fast flurry of abilities. This stunt allows the character to activate another ability in the same Simple Action. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success and can only be used once per turn.
- Shape Ability: With concentration and skill, the character is able to shape an area-of-effect ability to only strike enemies. Otherwise it acts the same as normal. The stunt costs 5 Degrees of Success.
|2+||Center Self||Meditation skill reduces the penalty of next Focus recovery by 1|
|2+||Soothe||Influence skill reduces the penalty of target’s next Morale recovery by 1|
|2+||Tend Wound||First Aid skill reduces the penalty of target’s next Injury recovery by 1|
|3+||Calming Spirits||You recover from one additional Morale condition, from worst to least|
|3+||Coming Clarity||You recover from one additional Focus condition, from worst to least|
|3+||Healing Rest||You recover from one additional Injury condition, from worst to least|
The following stunts pertain exclusively to the recovery action, enhancing or changing it in some way. Some of these only apply to the character using making the roll while some them can only target others.
- Calming Spirits: The character relaxes and their spirits lift, allowing them to remove an additional Morale condition during this recovery action, going from worst to least. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Center Self: The character’s meditations help to calm them and clear their minds. The character reduces the penalty for their next Focus recovery roll by 1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Coming Clarity: The character clears their mind and refocuses on the tasks at hand, allowing removal of an additional Focus condition during this recovery action, going from worst to least. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Healing Rest: The character’s rest rejuvenates them, easing pains and stitching together wounds, allowing the character to remove an additional Injury condition during this recovery action, going from worst to least. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Soothe: Calming words and comforting actions help to lift the target’s spirits and inspire them to keep going. The target reduces the penalty for their next Morale recovery roll by 1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Tend Wound: Bandages, splints, and other basic first aid let the target shrug off the effects of their wounds. The target reduces the Penalty for their next Injury recovery action by 1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
Exploration and Investigation Stunts
|Exploration and Investigation Stunts|
|2||Adaptable||Improvise tools for action you are otherwise unequipped for|
|2||Cross Reference||The discovered information gives +1 on next related roll|
|2||Distraction||Reduce penalty on allies next Stealth roll by 2, you are discovered|
|2||Eureka||Find an additional fact regarding discovered information|
|2||Shadow||While still undetected gain +2 for your next action|
|2+||Tracking||Survival roll reveals a fact about the quarry|
|3||Advanced Scouting||Discover enemies from most advantageous position|
|3||Ghost||The character leaves no trace, increasing the penalty to find by 2|
|3||Sacrifice||Take environmental damage instead of ally|
|4||Panache||Your confidence reduces the penalties on future related rolls by 1|
|4||Scapegoat||You plant evidence pointing to someone else’s guilt for this action|
|4||Treasure Hunter||Find a small cache of loot, increasing Treasure by 1|
The following stunts primarily apply to actions taken when exploring a site, traveling in the wilderness, or when investigating a mystery, although it’s possible situations may come up in other types of scenes.
- Adaptable: The character uses the supplies they do have along with materials in their environment to improvise a tool for an action they are otherwise unequipped for. This halves the penalty penalty for being improperly equipped for an action, reducing it by a minimum of 1. This improvised tool is broken in the process. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Advanced Scouting: The character’s skill while scouting ahead allows them to locate enemies or potential enemies from a particularly advantageous position. This typically means the character can see them and they cannot see the character, although other advantages are possible. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Cross Reference: The character’s investigations are particularly fruitful, with the clue, evidence, or discovered information giving them a lead on further clues, giving the next related roll +1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Distraction: The character draws the attention of enemies in the area, providing a chance for the rest of the team to remain undetected. This reduces the penalties of the next Stealth based roll by 2 for all allies. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Eureka: The character’s investigation has been particularly fruitful, turning up more information than originally expected. The GM reveals a further fact about the discovered clue or evidence. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Ghost: The character’s actions are so skillful and stealthy they manage to leave no trace of this action, increasing the penalty for any roll used to detect or trace their presence by 2. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Panache: The character succeeds with an ease that boosts their confidence, reducing the penalties for related rolls by 1 for the remainder of the episode. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success, and can be chosen by a character only once per an episode.
- Sacrifice: The character altruistically pushes an ally to safety, taking the damage for them. If environmental damage would affect an ally the character can elect to take this stunt to swap places and take the damage in their stead. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Scapegoat: The character plants evidence pointing to someone else's responsibility for this action. The GM may decide this constitutes a Flashback scene to establish the character obtaining the evidence. The Investigation or Insight roll to see through this ruse gains a -2 penalty. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Shadow: The character’s stealth is rewarded with an extra edge so long as they remain undetected. This may be due to being able to take extra time, or because they are attacking from ambush. Whatever reason is dramatically appropriate, gain a +2 on the character's next action by 2 so long as they remain unnoticed. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Tracking: The character utilizes their knowledge of the outdoors to glean additional information about a character or creature that they are following. The character learns an additional fact about their quarry (i.e. they are wounded, they are wearing armor, they have an odd gait, etc). This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be taken multiple times.
- Treasure Hunter: The character has incredible luck. While scouting, they find a small cache of loot, increasing their Treasure by 1. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success, can be chosen by the same character only once per episode, and is only available in games using Resources.
|Social Encounter Stunts|
|2||Confidence||Your Social RV is increased by 2 until your next turn|
|2+||Cutting Remark||Your EV is increased by 1|
|2||Flashy Introduction||Only for the first action of the scene, gain +2 against witnesses|
|2||Innuendo||Your words carry a different meaning for some listeners|
|2||The Best Policy||In response to your honesty, the target answers honestly|
|3||Flirt||Reduce the penalties of social rolls against an attracted target by 2|
|3||Follow Up||You take a second social action as part of the same Simple Action|
|3||Jest/Inspire||Allies get a free Morale or Focus recovery|
|3||Stunned Silence||Enemies with fewer ranks of Presence take penalty on next action|
|4||Piercing Wit||Reduce the target’s Social RV by 2 for this attack|
|4||Vendetta||Declare a character an enemy, +2 on physical conflict rolls against|
The following stunts primarily apply to social encounters, whether they are contests or conflicts. They may also apply to certain situations in exploration or other types of conflict, depending on the situation at hand.
- Confidence: The success of the character’s interaction makes them feel an increased sense of self-assurance, increasing their Social RV by 2 until their next Turn. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Cutting Remark: The character’s social attack is particularly vicious, increasing the EV for this attack by 1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Flashy Introduction: This character makes an extravagant entrance or an otherwise huge first impression. This stunt can only be taken on the first social action of a scene, and the character gains a +2 of the next action against any one target who witnessed it. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Flirt: The character takes advantage of the attraction another target feels towards them. The gender of the target does not matter, so long as they feel a sexual/romantic attraction to the character (GM’s discretion). All social rolls this character makes against the target have their penalties reduced by 2 for the remainder of the encounter. The stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Follow Up: Before the target can respond to their first social interaction, they perform another within the same Simple Action. This can allow a second attempt at a contest roll, or can actually lead to additional Morale damage for conflicts. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- Innuendo: The character is able to speak perfectly normal sounding sentences that carry an alternative meaning for others. The player chooses one target, enemy or ally, to have this second layer of understanding, and the GM may decide this requires a flashback to establish. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Jest/Inspire: The character makes a joke to lighten the mood, or says just the right phrase to spur his allies on. In either case, allies make a free quick recovery on Focus or Morale, depending on which way the character goes. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success, and can only be chosen once per episode per character.
- Piercing Wit: The character’s comments are particularly insightful, cutting through the target’s justifications. Reduce the target's Social RV by 2 for this attack. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success.
- Stunned Silence: This action is so shocking, flamboyant, or just generally amazing that it leaves foes in awe. Any enemy with fewer ranks of Presence than this character gains a -2 penalty for any action taken for 1 turn. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success.
- The Best Policy: By being completely honest or upfront, the character encourages the target to do the same on their next response. This does not prevent either side from omitting information, just from falsifying it. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success.
- Vendetta: The character uses this interaction to also declare the target as an object of hatred. The next time the two characters meet, this character gains a +2 on their first attack against the target. This stunt costs 4 Degrees of Success and can only be chosen once per character per episode.
Special Skill Stunts
|Special Skill Stunts|
|2+||Copycat||This forgery is hard to distinguish from the real deal|
|2+||Magnum Opus||Increase the Resource value of the created item|
|3+||Masterwork||Increase the value as well as one of the stats of the created item|
This final group of stunts are focused on the crafting and creative skills, allowing a character to increase the quality or otherwise alter the things they are making.
- Copycat: The character’s forgery is quite good, making it harder to detect. Increase the penalty on the Perception roll to discover the work of art is a forgery by 1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Magnum Opus: The character’s creation is particularly impressive, increasing the VR of a work of art by 1. This stunt costs 2 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
- Masterwork: The character’s creation is particularly impressive, increasing the VR of a crafted item by 1, as well as improving one other stat by 1. The possible attributes include (but aren’t limited to) the item’s base EV, RV, Hardness, bonuses to skills granted through its use. This stunt costs 3 Degrees of Success and can be chosen multiple times.
|VERS Playtest v20.7 - Online Rule Reference|
|Making a Character||Character Profile - Mechanical Aspects (Attributes - Skills - Abilities - Gear)|
|Gameplay||Mental Conflict - Physical Conflict - Social Conflict - Stunts|
|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|