Getting from here to there by any means – running, swimming, flying, using a vehicle, you name it – is what this chapter’s all about.
The difficulty to cover rapidly a distance on foot is determined by the number of extra movements the character takes. One movement equals the character’s Move value; two movements equals twice the Move value, and so on. For each movement beyond the first, add 5 to the base difficulty of zero.
Example: A character with a Move of 10 who wants to move 20 meters in one round has a running difficulty of 5, while a character who wants to move 40 meters has a difficulty of 15.
A character who fails his running roll in the first round covers only his Move or may even trip, depending on how badly the player missed the roll. See the “Accelerating and Decelerating” section for details on what happens in subsequent rounds.
A hero’s swimming Move equals half his normal Move (rounded up). One movement while swimming equals the swimming Move, two movements equals twice the swimming Move, and so on. Increasing this rate likewise increases the base difficulty of 5 by +5 for each movement beyond the first. Thus, the difficulty for a character to move 2 times his swimming speed is 10 (5 for the base difficulty plus 5 for the additional movement).
Without preparation, a character may hold his breath for a number of seconds equal to 5 times a roll of his Physique or stamina. Preoxygenating his lungs gives a character a bonus. The maximum any character can hold his breath with preparation is 10 times a roll of his stamina in seconds, though this requires having the stamina skill. The bonus should be much less for the average person.
A character who fails his swimming roll begins to drown, taking 1D in damage each round that he misses his roll. Furthermore, difficulty to remain afloat increases by +3 for each round that the character misses the roll. The damage total and the swimming modifier are cumulative and the failed rounds need not be consecutive (though they must be within the same period of time spent in the water).
Characters who have the climbing skill can move up a surface at their normal Move (barring adverse environmental factors) with a base difficulty of 5. Those without such a skill move at half their normal movement rate. Increasing the rate increases the difficulty by +10 for each additional one-half of the base climbing Move (rounded up).
Example: A character with a running Move of 10 and without the climbing skill wants to move quickly up a tree. His base climbing Move is 5. To increase this to eight meters per round means a difficulty of 20 (5 to climb the tree plus +10 to increase the movement by onehalf, or three meters, of his base climbing Move).
Additional modifiers can be found in the “Example Skill Difficulties” chapter.
A character’s total leaping distance (vertically and horizontally) from a standing position equals onequarter of his Move in meters (rounded up). The base difficulty is 5 to move this distance, and +10 for each additional two meters (vertically and horizontally) the character hopes to cover. If there is enough room, the character may try running before jumping. The character may add 5 to his skill total per round of the running start, up to a maximum of +10 (two rounds). The character must have beat the running difficulty in both rounds in order to get the full bonus.
Additional modifiers can be found in Example Skill Difficulties.
Characters who fly do so at the base rate designated in the Special Ability, spell, miracle, or equipment description. To increase this rate, use the same rules as for running, except that the character relies on the flying skill. Characters may not use this skill unless they have a means of propelling themselves through the air.
See the “Vehicles and Aerial Characters” section later in this chapter for more details on flying movement.
|Base Difficulty for Characters: 0 (running); 5 (other movement)|
|Easy terrain (flat surface, smooth water, using a ladder, light breeze, light rain or fog)||0|
|Moderate terrain (uneven surface, small obstacles, choppy water, climbing a tree, strong winds,heavy rain or fog)||+5|
|Rough terrain (large but negotiable obstacles, strong undercurrent, climbing a rough wall, flying near unyielding obstacles such as pillars or trees)||+10|
|Very rough terrain (dense and large obstacles, stormy weather, a few airborne hazards, hail)||+15|
|Hazardous terrain (minefield, narrow walkway, many airborne hazards, large waves, climbing a smooth surface, complete darkness)||+20|
|Very hazardous terrain (corridor filled with fallingdebris and explosions, swimming or flying in a hurricane)||+25 or more|
A character may move up to 50% of his movement rate (swimming, flying, or base Move) without this counting as an action. Thus, a character with a base Move of 10 could move five meters on land or 2.5 meters in the water with no action penalty.
Characters may perform only one movement action of each type per round, unless a Special Ability allows them to do otherwise.
Gamemasters may choose to limit the speed at which characters may travel to 4 times the Move rate for each type of movement.
When it becomes important to the scenario, such as a race or a chase scene, the gamemaster may choose to include acceleration and deceleration maximums.
A character may increase or decrease his current movement rate by up to 2 times that rate, regardless of whether his movement roll would allow him to travel a greater distance. The maximum increase or decrease is 2 times the character’s base Move for that type of movement.
Example: A character with a base walking Move of 10 has a maximum swimming change of 10 — 2 times his swimming Move of 5.
Example: A character with a Move of 10 is chasing a thief, who just swiped his coin bag. In the first round, he may move up to 20 meters, which has a running difficulty of 5. In the second round, he can increase his speed to 40 meters, which has a running difficulty of 15. If, in the second round, the player generates a running total of 20, by the acceleration rules, he may only move 40 meters, even though his running total meets the difficulty to move 50 meters.
Similarly, if a character does not make a movement roll that would allow him to move at the previous round’s rate, that character automatically slows by 2 times his base Move. In other words, subtract 2 times the base Move from the current movement rate to get the new movement rate. If this makes the current movement zero, then the character stops. If it’s less than zero, the character trips.
Example: The character chasing the thief increased his speed to a rate of 40 meters per round. To maintain this speed, his player needs to continue generating a total of 15 with the character’s running skill. If the player gets less than 15, then his character’s speed drops to 20 meters per round (40 minus 2 times her base Move of 10).
Keep in mind that most characters cannot move rapidly for long periods of time. Determine a suitable length of time depending on existing conditions, the Physique of the character, and any relevant Special Abilities she has. Any additional fast movement beyond that predetermined length requires a fatigue modifier of +3 to the difficulty for each additional round that she continues running. The modifier is cumulative. Thus, one round beyond the maximum is +3, two rounds is +6, and so on.
The gamemaster may use the fatigue modifier for any repetitive action performed for an extended period of time. They can also use it as the modifier to a base difficulty of 5 when using the stamina or mettle skill in an attempt to overcome the fatigue.
Other Movement Options
The gamemaster may include additional modifiers or require an additional related skill roll for any form of movement, depending on surrounding conditions, such as high winds, numerous obstacles, slick surfaces, sharp turns, and so on.
Vehicles & Aerial Characters
Vehicle actions work like normal character actions, with some additional game mechanics for special situations.
Much of the information found in this section applies equally well to flying characters and creatures, particularly the details on stunts.
Vehicles, including those pulled by animals, have five speeds of movement: stopped, cautious, cruising, high, and all-out. Drivers and pilots of vehicles may make one movement action per round.
- Stopped: The vehicle is motionless. This requires no roll.
- Cautious: The vehicle travels at half its Move. This is generally a free action requiring no roll, but terrain conditions may increase it from its base difficulty of zero.
- Cruising: The vehicle travels at its Move. This requires an action, but since it has a base difficulty of zero, the character need only roll if movement conditions dictate otherwise.
- High: The vehicle travels at twice its Move. This requires a Extranormal or pilotry roll with a base difficulty of 5, modified by existing conditions.
- All-out: The vehicle travels at four times its Move. This requires a Extranormal or pilotry roll with a base difficulty of 10, modified by existing conditions.
Vehicles may travel anywhere between half their current speed and the full current speed at each level. Rapid acceleration and deceleration are considered stunts and dealt in the next section.
Use the running rules earlier in this chapter to determine the rate at which creatures pulling the vehicle travel. Each vehicle lists the pulling rate for the animal while attached to it.
For normal vehicle use or casual flying under ideal conditions, a character need not make a skill roll. When the conditions turn less than favorable or he decides to attempt a fancy maneuver, his Extranormal or pilotry skill plus the vehicle’s Maneuverability code or his flying skill determines his success. A character’s animal handling roll may help (or hinder!) the operation of vehicles pulled by creatures.
Rapid acceleration and deceleration also warrant rolls, enhanced by the vehicle’s Maneuverability, to see if the operator maintains control. These maneuvers have an initial difficulty equal to the speed at which the vehicle is traveling, adjusted based on existing conditions (see the “Stunt Difficulties and Modifiers” chart for some suggestions). A vehicle may reduce or increase movement by two levels in one round. Failing this roll means that the character has lost control for one round. If some immovable force doesn’t stop the vehicle or character during that round, he may attempt to regain control on the following round.
Captains in charged of crews need to make periodic command rolls. (See the command entry on page 76 for difficulty suggestions.) Based on the difference between the difficulty and the roll, the crew might help or hinder the pilot’s efforts — and perhaps even that of the gunners!
For land vehicles, if the character fails the Extranormal roll, the vehicle misses its target, veers to the side, and stops — perhaps even loses its pulling creatures or topples over if the roll was bad enough. If the vehicle can still move, the character must then spend one round regaining control of the animals and another in getting the vehicle back where she wants it. Should the character instead succeed, she keeps the vehicle reasonably straight and may try for another stunt on the next turn.
If a character wishes to perform any other actions in addition to Extranormal, pilotry, or flying, he must make the appropriate skill rolls for all actions, reduced by the multi-action penalty, regardless of the situation. The base difficulty for normal operation becomes 5. Stunts still have their established base difficulties.
Stunt Difficulties & Modifiers
See also the “Sailing Ships” sidebar for other modifiers.
|For All Vehicles|
|Docking (water), “parking” in a specific spot (land)||+6|
|Regaining control (in situations other than sideswiping)||+15|
|Moving on a straight way||0|
|Easy turn (less than 45 degrees from current direction)||+3|
|Fast 45-degree turn||+6|
|Fast 90-degree turn||+12|
|Fast 180-degree turn||+18|
|For Water or Magical Vehicles|
|For Land and Water Vehicles|
|Moved or moving over debris||+3|
|Limited maneuvering or docking area||+3|
|For Land Vehicles|
|For Aerial Characters and Creatures|
|Unlimited landing area||-3|
|Limited landing area||+3|
|Almost no landing area||+6|
|Rough or unsteady landing area||+3 or more|
|Climb or dive of 45 degrees or more from current direction||+6 or more|
For modifiers due to various terrain or weather conditions, use the Movement Difficulty Modifiers table.
Use the following table when a character is not familiar with the vehicle she needs to operate. If the character does not have the charioteering or pilotry skill at all, these difficulties are in addition to the untrained modifier.
|Very common or simple (wagon, canoe)||+3|
|Common (chariot, carriage)||+6|
|Moderately common (rowboat)||+8|
|Uncommon (small sailboat)||+11|
|Unusual (large sailing ship)||+14|
|Rare (vehicle using an uncommon animal)||+17|
|Exotic (vehicle from the future)||+20|
|Has a manual or instructions for the vehicle in a language the character can understand||-3|
To determine a random wind speed, once per day, roll one Wild Die, taking a Critical Failure result as a 1 but treating a Critical Success as normal. To get the number of meters per round, subtract 1 from the final value. To find the direction, roll one regular die and compare the result to the “Situation” table.
Gamemasters may use these modifiers instead of or in addition to the weather modifiers listed in the Movement Difficulty Modifiers table.
|Result||Wind Speed||Difficulty Modifier|
|0||Becalmed* (0–5 kph, 0–0.3 m/round)||—|
|1||Light breeze (6–19 kph, 0.4–1 m/round||+5|
|2||Moderate winds (20–38 kph, 1.1–2 m/round)||0|
|3||Strong winds (39–61 kph, 2.1–3.4 m/round)||-5|
|4||Gale** (62–86 kph, 3.5–4.9 m/round)||+5|
|5||Storm** (87–116 kph, 5–6.5 m/round)||+10–15|
|6||Hurricane** (117 or more kph, or more 6.6 or more m/round)||+20|
|1||Sailing into the wind||+15|
|2||Close hauled (wind from 45 degree off bow)||+10|
|3, 4||Reaching (wind from either side of the vessel)||0|
|5||Quartering (wind from 45 degrees off stern)||-5|
|6||Running free (wind from directly behind)||-10|
|*No movement possible.|
|**Loss of control in a gale, storm, or hurricane indicates travel at all-out speed in direction of the wind.|
Ramming & Sideswiping Vehicles
Ramming is done with the nose of a vehicle, while sideswiping is done with its side. Only water vehicles or magical conveyances not requiring animals to pull it may ram. Any vehicle may sideswipe.
The pilot of a water vehicle that rams another vehicle automatically loses all actions the next round, trying to keep the boat from tipping or spinning. About the best she can hope for is to limp back to land.
Both vehicles take damage (the mechanics of this are explained later in this section) in a successful ram or sideswipe.
Targeting the Creatures
If the creature pulling a vehicle is incapacitated or killed, the vehicle is considered to crash at its current speed. (This is also the case if only one creature in a team is killed or incapacitated.) The game characteristics for a typical horse are given on page 126.
Rather than killing the creatures or creatures, an attacker might try to “spook” it or them. All but the best-trained horses will be spooked by explosions or fire. To spook a creature, a character must have the means at hand to create such an effect (such as a flintlock pistol or a mystic bolt spell), and must generate an intimidation total against the creature’s mettle or Charisma. If the intimidation total meets or beats the creature’s total, the effect spooks the creature.
With a scared creature, the driver of the vehicle must generate a Extranormal or pilotry total (including the Maneuverability) against a difficulty equal to the animal’s mettle or Charisma total +9 to bring it under control. If the driver fails, the creature gallops away at top speed, towing the vehicle behind it. If the creature is a member of a team, the entire team panics and gallops off. The creature and carriage travel at “panic speed,” a rate equal to 4 times the creature’s Move.
Each round, the driver can make another Extranormal or pilotry roll to gain control of the creature or creatures. For each round that the vehicle is traveling at panic speed, it suffers damage as if it had been hit by an attack (equal to 5D on a road or smooth surface, 6D when on rough ground). Obviously, a panicked team can easily destroy a carriage.
Vehicle Attacking & Dodging
The base difficulty to hit a vehicle is 10, modified by distance and the sizes of the attacker and the defender (using the scale modifier listed in the “Combat Options” chapter). That means a person shooting a large carriage has a +6 to his attack total, while a carriage sideswiping another carriage has no modifier.
If the driver wishes to fire a weapon, she must make both an Easy Extranormal or pilotry roll (modified by the vehicle’s Maneuverability code) and a marksmanship roll. Because she’s doing two actions, she also incurs a multi-action penalty to both rolls. Passengers may shoot with few or no penalties. (Note that these actions would not be possible in some vehicles.)
A character may also attempt to maneuver the vehicle out of the way of incoming projectiles or other vehicles. Instead of the dodge skill, the character uses her Extranormal or pilotry skill plus the vehicle’s Maneuverability code. Use the active partial or full defense rules for characters to determine the new defense total. The defense total becomes the new combat difficulty and is in effect until the character’s turn in the next round.
When a vehicle takes damage from a weapon or another vehicle, it’s the level of destruction that matters. For this reason, vehicles simply use a dam age level system (similar to Wounds), rather than having Body Points. Use the following guidelines and compare the result to the “Vehicle & Passenger Damage” chart to figure out the level of damage the vehicle has sustained. (Injury to creatures is determined separately and using the same rules as characters.)
A vehicle’s damage resistance total equals its Toughness plus the value of any armor. Character Points or Fate Points may not be spent on this roll.
With weapons, compare the weapon’s damage total to the target’s damage resistance total.
Modify the damage total of the attacker or the damage resistance total of the target by the scale modifier, as appropriate for the situation.
When a vehicle collides with something else, decide how fast it was going when it made the collision and modify it based on the circumstances of the collision. Compare that to the damage resistance total. Should two vehicles be involved, both take damage. See the sidebar for the speed and collision modifiers.
Note that destroying a vehicle does not necessarily immobilize the creatures pulling it. Creatures well integrated are trapped, while those hitched with a couple of rods in front simply end up pulling that part of the vehicle away.
Speed Damage Modifier
|All-out, panic speed||10D|
|*Level at which the damaged vehicle is traveling.|
Collision Damage Modifier
|Nose to side||0|
|Into something very hard||0|
|Into something yielding||-1D or more|
|Note: Modifiers are cumulative. Situation is the one in which the damaged vehicle is.|
Crew & Passenger Injuries
Depending on how badly damaged the vehicle becomes, the crew and passengers may be harmed, too. Use the “Passengers Suffer” column of the “Vehicle & Passenger Damage” chart as a guideline. Adjust it based on how much the passengers are exposed (for example, open wagons and canoes offer little protection to their cargo).
Vehicle & Passenger Damage
|Damage Total > Resistance Total By||Vehicle Damage||Passengers Suffer…|
|1–3||Very Light||No damage|
|4–8||Light||1/4 damage total|
|9–12||Heavy||1/2 damage total|
|13–15||Severe||3/4 damage total|
|16+||Destroyed||All damage total|
|Note: All modifiers are cumulative. A vehicle may take an unlimited number of Very Light and Light levels of damage until it receives Heavy damage. At Heavy or above, any additional level of damage above Very Light bumps the damage to the next level.|
- Very Light: The vehicle’s Maneuverability drops by 1D for this round and the next.
- Light: Either the vehicle’s Maneuverability drops by 1D, or top Move speed is decreased by one level. The drop or modifier remains until repaired.
- Heavy: Either the vehicle’s Maneuverability drops by 2D, or top Move speed is decreased by two levels. The loss or modifier remains until repaired.
- Severe: The vehicle is out of control, decelerating by two levels each round until it comes to a stop or crashes into something.
- Destroyed: The vehicle will never operate again.
Leaping Out of a Vehicle
Leaving a land or water vehicle moving at less than 10 kilometers per hour is a Very Easy acrobatics or Agility roll (or jumping if the character leaps from the vehicle). Unless the character lands wrong (by failing the roll), he receives no damage. Otherwise, he takes six points of damage or loses one Wound level.
Repairing a Vehicle
The difficulty to repair a damaged vehicle depends on the amount of damage and availability of parts and tools. See the crafting skill description in the “Example Skill Difficulties” chapter for difficulty and modifier suggestions
See the “Equipment” chapter for sample land and water vehicles, their costs, and their game characteristics.