Welcome to the Adventure System FAQ. Here we will answer common questions from the forum and other channels.
At the referee's option, grant Advantage to the check using the d12. If this was a permanent or semi-permanent bonus that needed to be recorded on the character's sheet or profile use d12+. If the step adjustment is applied to a character with Monstrous Strength (or a super statistic in a supers campaign) just move up one step as per normal until reaching 2d12 followed by 2d12+. The referee should carefully consider whether or not they want characters to be able to achieve a permanent d12+ or not in their campaign. For example, to allow a character with Strength d12 to be able to benefit from Enhance temporarily by having the +1 grant Advantage is one thing; a character with a permanent Pistol d12+ is another matter entirely from a game balance perspective.
Yes, it is true that you would need to be considering improving four skills to greater than the linked statistic for it to be economical to spend the 35 Destiny to improve the statistic. The cost of improving four skills to a die type greater than the linked statistic would cost 80 Destiny (20 x 4). If you improved the statistic, the cost would be 75 Destiny (35 plus 10 x 4). The benefit of improving a basic statistic, however, goes far beyond just the linked skills. Using Strength as an example, the character increases their Damage +1 in melee, their Move increases by 2, and possibly Athletics +1. If each of those improvements had a value of 10 Destiny, it would be worth 30 Destiny before considering you would save 10 Destiny improving Fight. Strength is the statistic most often used for checks (breaking down doors, Grapple, etc.). In the end, one might argue the value at 50 Destiny. Similarly, Fortitude provides Damage +1 in ranged combat, Wounds +2, Fate +2, and potentially Toughness +1 and Spirit +1. Not to mention the skills linked to Fortitude. Of course, other statistics may provide fewer benefits than those two examples. In the end, a character is only likely to improve a statistic that is key to the character concept. That is by design.
There are two answers to this question. First, when purchasing starting equipment it states on page 15 of the Core Rules that the character cannot acquire any additional equipment once there Wealth drops to a d2. To expand on this, the acquisition of the item that causes the character's Wealth to drop may not result in anything lower than Wealth d2; Loss 2. Second, once in play there is no limit to the Loss a character can accumulate at Wealth d2. That said, making purchases with Wealth d2 is rather difficult which, ultimately, reduces the opportunity to incur significant additional Loss. For example, if a character that is Destitute (Wealth d2) wants to purchase Chopper (Cost 8), they need to roll an 8 on their Wealth check using a d2. If they get lucky and Max twice or add Fate to make it, they will incur Loss 6. The deeper the hole a character digs for themselves with Loss at Wealth d2, the more they have to "pay off" before they can increase their Wealth to a d4. Yes, it only costs Profit 2 to increase Wealth d2 to Wealth d4, but the character cannot have more than Loss 3 or it will immediately reduce their Wealth back to a d2. The result is that the character must spend Profit to remove Loss until the are at Loss 3 or less before they can improve their Wealth to a d4.
There are no classes in the Adventure System. Characters are created using a combination of skills and talents plus powers if they are a caster. Archetypes are sample characters created using the rules that we include to inspire you. You can use or customize them if you want. We also include a spot for "Archetype" on the character sheet to encourage you to come up with a "Mission Statement" for your character. Are you a rocket jock, urban shaman, or eldritch slayer? This helps to crystallize your character and guide you in your choices at character creation.
We discuss this in Chapter 13: Referee’s Guide. Basically, we provide you with a guideline to write up your setting rules in a few pages. This serves as a guide for your player’s so they understand the nature of your campaign and what is available to them. For example, if you wanted to run a cyberpunk campaign, your setting rules would not allow the use of magic or psychic powers. From there, you would grab all of the slugthrowers from the Futuristic Firearms table as a starting point for your own weapons table. Use the same technique to boil down the armor and gear you want in your game and you are ready for action.
Both profiles are written to be "ready for action". Meaning, everything in the profile has been calculated and is ready for use so you don't have to figure anything out. For example, a Mech is Structure 6, but its Structure is listed in the profile as 11 (+d12); Heavy Armor +5. Its base Durability of 60 has also already been adjusted to 75 due to the 25% increase for Reinforced Structure.
Yes! In fact, there is a primer for it in the appendix to get you started and, if you want more, we released a supers extra that includes two dozen heroes and villains.
This was intentionally not included in the Core Rules. Often, if a game system provides a list of weaknesses or disadvantages they don't result in any meaningful impact in the game. Essentially, "free points". That said, at the referee's discretion, the Adventure System is built to allow it. By using the Custom Race Creation rules on page 23, the referee could easily properly scale a weakness or disadvantage for a character. I allow this in my personal play-test groups, but there must be a clear tie in to the character's backstory and it must be meaningful in play. For example, a player creating a spacer for the Outland setting wanted his character to have a deep rooted fear of fire due to his family dying in a catastrophic accident aboard their familial ship. I granted the character +20 Destiny at character creation for a Major Flaw. I also used the Compass Adjustment as a guide to create the flaw. The character began play with Sanity -4, Advantage on Sanity checks if he had a negative rating, and the Phobia disorder.
Skills & Talents
Yes. By allowing this, it enables a character to have a limited narrowly focused skill. For example, a character with Tech (computer) d2 (d4) has basic proficiency with computers while remaining untrained in the other aspects of Tech. To be clear, to improve computer any further, in this example, the character would have to increase Tech. This does not apply to the background skill with Specialization which is always Skill (specialization) d4 (d6) at character creation.
Yes. "The character may use Fate to affect damage rolls." A Soak check is the mirror of a damage check and it's results "affect" the damage roll. It is important to note, acquiring Might is no easy task. You need an Honor 8+ and it costs 25 Destiny.
No. Defensive Driving, Defensive Flying, Evasion, and Parry add +1 to passive Defense, not the minimum Defense in combat. Yes, this means the character must have at least a d6 skill for the talent to be beneficial. A character with Fight d4 has a passive Defense of 3. Parry would increase that to Defense 4, but as that is already the minimum in combat, it does not provide the character with any benefit. Once the character has a Fight d6, it would increase their passive Defense 4 to Defense 5.
This is an individual decision for each referee based on the nature of their campaign. In any modern or futuristic setting, one without magic items, equipment is often an important element of the character's advancement. With that in mind, I only allow a character to start with Rich if their concept includes cyberware or it is a meaningful part of their backstory. If they take it for cyberware, they aren't actually "rich", their background has allowed them to be significantly augmented. Usually, the cyberware will burn off the Wealth via Loss. See the Cyborg archetype on page 16 for an example.
No. See Damage Check on page 39: "Damage checks are not subject to situational Advantage or Disadvantage including a character being Hindered. A Damage check is only modified if explicitly stated in the rules; for example, the Brutal trait." This statement also applies to Soak checks which are an extension of a damage check.
In an extreme situation, the referee can call for a re-roll if the character succeeds on their initial check with Disadvantage. This approach is similar to the Weakened weapon trait. In the case of blindness or complete darkness, if a character attempts an attack, first require a Notice check with Disadvantage as a Standard Action to have enough of an an idea of where the target is to attempt an attack. Then use Disadvantage and a re-roll if they succeed, as described above, to successfully strike their target.
Mechanically, it would otherwise always be more advantageous to have a lower initiative. Allow your opponent to miss and then attack twice against an opponent who only has one action remaining to Defend. Conceptually, it also represents a combatant who is in a superior position allowing them to press their attack.
A Soak check is in direct response to a damage check and you can’t use Fate on a damage check.
No. With one exception, if it is a creature that only has one Standard Action listed on their profile, that creature can use a Move Action to climb, jump, run, or swim. A character or creature that normally has two Standard Actions that is reduced to one Standard Action because they are Stunned cannot take a Complex Action including a Move Action to climb, jump, run, or swim. A creature with one Standard Action that is Stunned also may not climb, jump, run, or swim.
No. The Unarmed Opponent rule only applies to humanoids capable of using weapons. If a humanoid, like a Dragonkin, has natural weaponry that inflicts at least a d4 damage they are also exempt from the rule.
Yes and yes. Thrown grenades add Dexterity to the damage check. Grenades fired from a launcher add Fortitude to the Damage check. If a grenade was set up as a booby trap using Tech (demolitions) you would add Fortitude to the damage check. With some grenades having Blast (10), they are still likely to catch some elements of their intended targets within the area of attack, but the possibility of a Max on the d6/d12 introduces the potential for a clean miss.
No. Pistols, rifles, and subguns are listed specifically on the Actions table on page 38. Drawing a pistol is always a Free Action.
Likely, but we feel very strongly about not adding anything with a distinction, but no difference. Meaning, any new power would need to be unique in it's effect and not overlap with any existing powers. This is why, for example, elemental mages only have one strike per elemental sphere with a different elemental effect. It is also important to note, certain powers are very broad like Minor Elemental Control which allows broad latitude and creativity in it's use. That one power potentially takes the place of dozens of more specific powers in other game systems.
Yes, you can use two powers that each require one Standard Action on your turn. This, however, would use all of your actions leaving you without the ability to defend. Remember, unless you Full Attack, you only get one Attack Action per turn.
Certain powers, like Heal, merited a slight higher cost for their use. Because a character has limited amount of available Fate that can be used in game, it has a slightly higher value than Destiny.
There are two primary reasons why rituals require scrolls to learn and in some cases perform: control and nostalgia. Rituals add new and, in some cases, powerful effects into the campaign. Requiring the written form of the ritual on a scroll or in a book allows the referee to control what rituals the characters can access. For example, if the referee does not want the characters to be able to Raise Dead, they simply won't be able to find a copy of the ritual which is required by that power. It also reinforces a number old-school wizardly concepts. The referee can include scrolls or books as loot. A caster's master becomes an important source of access to learning rituals. Caster's having a few precious scrolls or a book that they must guard zealously is just cool...
In the absence of Quickening, no. Barrier requires two consecutive actions to manifest. This is not the same as a Full Defense. If a character uses Full Defense to defend against multiple attacks, they are using one Defend Action against each of the attacks. To use Barrier, the psion would need to use two actions against a single attack. If the character does have Quickening, however, they may use Barrier as a Defend Action against ranged attacks. While the psion does control the size of the Barrier up to its maximum possible dimensions based on Spirit, that control is simply not granular enough to create an effective sphere around the psion in the chaos of close combat regardless of what type of weapon the attacker employs. If used against a ranged attack, the psion’s Mentalism check becomes their Defend Action and must equal or exceed the RN of the attack. This is similar to using Elemental Circle against a single attack or Retribution. If the psion is subject to multiple ranged attacks on the same initiative rank, make a single Mentalism check. Any of the attacks with a higher RN strike the psion before the Barrier is manifested. Once the Barrier has been manifested, it then functions normally. Here is a complex example of this use of Barrier. On his initiative, the reckoner, Arden Horkos, uses Charge to close in on a razor armed with a burst gun. Using Preemptive Strike, both the target and one of his nearby allies fire at the reckoner as he moves. Both use burst fire granting Advantage. The referee rules that the first razor does not have Disadvantage for shooting at a moving target because the reckoner is charging straight at him, so he rolls two d10 and gets a 9. The second razor does have Disadvantage for shooting at a moving target negated by burst fire, so he rolls a d10 and gets a 6. The reckoner’s Ranged Defense is a 6; both hit. The reckoner has Quickening and opts to use Barrier having not yet closed on the target. He gets a 7 on his Mentalism check. The 9 exceeds the reckoner’s RN and the damage check is resolved against him. The 6 is resolved against the Barrier. Unfortunately, for the razor, neither stop the reckoner who drops the Barrier as a Free Action and completes his charge attacking with Disadvantage. It is important to note, the Mentalism check does not have Disadvantage because, while it does occur at the same time, it is a separate action not part of the Charge.
Why aren't there rules for vehicle creation like there are for custom races and creating adversaries?
We intentionally did not add them. Custom races absolutely need to be balanced and it is important for the referee to be able to use the Classification system for adversaries. We felt strongly that did not apply to vehicles. The Adventure System is not a tactical simulator; vehicle combat is intended to be fast-paced and cinematic whenever possible. So, while using the Structure and Speed tables we simply created vehicles by feel based on what we felt they should be and suggest you do the same if you want to create new ones. Simply, pick the closest one and modify it to your liking. Just be careful to keep balance in mind and don't make it better in all ways than similar existing vehicles. If you did that, you would need to ensure the vehicle was a higher Tech level and costly. Lastly, it allows character's to add upgrades as they see fit to vehicles they acquire without getting rules heavy.
They are the same. Heavy Armor provides Type II Damage Resistance. The only reason one Structure is provided for a vehicle is because Heavy Armor does not have vulnerabilities that negate it. For example, a Heavy Starfighter has Light Armor Plating and is listed as: Structure 6 (+d8); Heavy Armor +2. The Starfighter simply always uses Structure 6 due to its Heavy Armor. Compare that to a much more complicated example, the Vampire Sorcerer who is listed as: Toughness 8/10/12 (+d8); Damage Resistance +2 (arcane; vulnerability to radiant damage). First, the vampire can only be harmed by arcane damage and when they suffer that type of damage, they are Toughness 10. When struck by radiant damage, Radiant Blast for example, they are Toughness 8. The vampire's Rune-marked (unholy) armor also provides Damage Resistance +2 versus Good and undead creatures against whom they have Toughness 12. Unless, or course, the Good priest attacked them with Radiant Blast, then they have Toughness 10.
Typically, if the shooter or target is moving the attack check would be made at Disadvantage. That said, each referee should consider how they want to handle that in their campaign based on a few factors. In certain circumstances, the referee may rule that the vehicle's size and speed do not merit Disadvantage. Based on the era (Tech 1 or less; Tech 2 is borderline), a vehicle with weapons targeted manually by the operator will have Disadvantage when firing at another moving vehicle unless the target is significantly larger and slower. Modern and futuristic vehicles (Tech 3 or higher; Tech 2 is borderline) have targeting computers that assist the operator and would adjust for the target's expected movement and the attack would not be made at Disadvantage.