Superstition Valley is a role-playing sim, and many scenes and situations will pass without the need for any dice. We encourage "free-form" RP in situations where everyone is in agreement on the direction and outcome of a scene -- provided all characters act within the bounds of their abilities, and obtain the explicit OOC consent of any other character who is affected. A vampire with the Presence Discipline could use it to enhance a public performance or get a better table at a restaurant ... if the vampire's player got consent from another player, he could even use it to engage in a feeding scene with that player's character.

However, situations will come up where two or more characters are at odds with each other, and they attempt to use their abilities to resolve the conflict. When trying to accomplish something and the outcome is in doubt, particularly when it affects another character who is unwilling, you must roll the dice.

A standard roll uses a pool of ten-sided dice (d10), usually equal to the sum of two or more character stats. By default, the number of dice equals your levels in the abilities you are trying to use -- typically one Attribute plus one Skill (plus one Supernatural Power, if applicable). For example, a melee attack could use Strength + Melee (+ Potence).

As a rule of thumb, you only ever add one stat of each kind to a specific roll -- one Attribute plus one Skill (plus one Supernatural Power). There are a few specific examples which defy this rule, such as Defense (Dexterity + Wits), Resistance (just Resolve), and certain supernatural powers; these are explicitly stated in the rules. In cases where there is a doubt, always assume one Attribute plus one Skill (plus one Supernatural Power).

Detailed rules for resolving conflicts can be found at the links below .... those rules are all based on the following dice systems.


Bonuses and Penalties
Many circumstances and abilities give a bonus or penalty to your dice pool. A bonus provides one or more additional dice to the pool; a penalty removes one or more dice from the pool. All bonuses are added to the dice pool first, and then all penalties are subtracted from the pool. The final number is the total remaining in the pool.


Actions
Actions are things you do. Any time your character does something, that's an action, and you must emote it in your RP, and make any rolls required.


Kinds of Actions
Some actions take up your "turn" in the post order, some requires several posts, and some don't take up any time at all.

• Normal Actions: The majority of actions in the game are normal actions. A normal action is something you can do in a single post or turn. Normally, you can only do one Normal Action per post, though some supernatural abilities allow you to do more. Not all normal actions must be rolled, unless the outcome is in doubt (see above) ... but most actions that require a roll, including using a Skill or supernatural Power, are normal actions that take up your turn. Defenses and Resistance (below) are exceptions to this rule, as are any Powers that specifically say they only require a free action.

• Free Actions: A free action is the sort of thing you don’t even need to think about doing. Defense rolls, Resistance rolls, and similar reactions to another character's roll are free actions. You can take a free action at any time, and it doesn’t take up your turn in combat. You must still pay any Willpower, Blood, Gnosis, Quintessence or Rage points required to activate the ability. Simply speaking is normally a free action, as long as you don't attempt a Skill or Power roll.

• Extended Actions: Some actions require a longer time to perform before a roll can be made. Such extended actions require a relatively private and secure place to perform, and cannot be accomplished in combat, during a chase, or in other tense or time-critical situations. If the action can be resisted, the target gets to roll their Resistance normally when the action is completed.


Opposing an Action
Sometimes, another character might want to stop you from doing something. Or you might want to stop them. In that case, both characters roll for their action, and the one with the better rolls wins.

• Resisted Actions: A resisted action any action that can be avoided or resisted by its target. Examples include one character attacking another, or trying to use a supernatural power on them. The character making the attack or using the power rolls their dice pool, and the target rolls their Defense or Resistance (see below). Whoever rolls the most successes is the victor ... if there is a tie, the target or defender wins. Even if the defender loses, the attacker must subtract any successes on the target's Defense or Resistance roll from their own, for example, when calculating Damage or Exceptional Success.

A resisted action counts as a normal action for the person initiating the action (making an attack, using a power), and takes up their turn ... opposing it is a free action (defending or resisting), which doesn't take up their turn. A resisted action must always be rolled, unless you obtain the prior consent of the player whose character is being targeted.

• Contested Actions: A contested action occurs when two characters are competing -- playing cards, chasing a victim, trying to mind-control the same NPC, etc. Both players roll their dice pools on their turn, and the one with the most successes wins; ties are re-rolled until one character wins. Unlike resisted actions above, contested actions are "winner takes all" ... the loser's successes are not subtracted from the winner's. Contested actions take up the turns of all characters involved in the contest.


Roll Results

• Success: Each die that shows 8, 9, or 10 is a success. Normally, you only need one success to achieve your goal, though certain actions require more successes, and some can benefit from additional successes over the needed amount.

• 10-Again: Each die that shows 10 is counted as a success, and is re-rolled. If the re-roll is also a success (8, 9, 10), it's counted along with the rest ... and if it's another 10, it's re-rolled again. And so on, until a number other than 10 is rolled. This is handled automatically by the SV HUD.

• Failure: The action fails. Occurs when no successes are rolled, or when the target successfully defends or resists the action (see below).



Defense and Resistance
Sometimes an action is resisted, such as attacking an enemy, or trying to use a supernatural power on an unwilling subject. The attacker figures and rolls their dice pool normally (for example, Strength + Melee) ... if they get at least one success (result of 8, 9, or 10), the target gets to roll to try and escape the effects. The target must roll at least as many successes as the attacker scored; if they do, they avoid the attack or resist the supernatural power. If the target fails to score as many successes as the attacker, the attack or power is successful.

However, if the Defense or Resistance roll got any successes, the attack was slowed down a little ... subtract the defender's successes from the successes on the attack roll, before figuring Damage, Exceptional Success, etc.

• Defense: When a character is attacked, they can often roll their Defense score (usually Dexterity + Wits) to avoid damage. Defense does not apply to Firearms attacks, or other attacks which move faster than human perception -- unless the target has a specific power or ability, such as Celerity or Mage Armor, which says that Defense does apply to such attacks.

• Resistance: When a character is the unwilling target of a supernatural power, they can roll their Resistance score to escape the effects of the power. Resistance is usually equal to Resolve, though a few powers are resisted by other stats (Perception vs. stealthy powers, Strength vs. physical effects, etc) -- unless otherwise noted in the Discipline description, use Resolve. Supernatural characters always add their Supernatural Potency score to their Resistance. If a character has the same power that is being used on them, or a very similar one, they may be able to add the power level to their Resistance as well.



Time

• Post Order — When taking part in a role-playing scene, each character posts once, and then waits for all other characters to post once before posting again. This is accomplished by posting in a specific order ... the order may be informal, in the case of a casual conversation or similar situation, or it may be established by rolling Initiative to determine the order (see above). A character joining a scene in progress will typically wait until they have observed one post from each character already in the scene, and then post in. A character is not present in a scene until they post in.

• Turn — A single post's worth of action for a specific character, one turn in the post order. A character can perform a single normal action in one turn ... an effect which lasts a turn will expire at the beginning of that character's next turn. In combat and other tense situations, a turn lasts for about three to six IC seconds.

• Scene — A scene in SV is the time spent dealing with a single, specific event. This may be just players, or involve a ST running an event. A scene takes place in a single location, with a particular group of people, within a reasonable period of time. Characters may come and go from an ongoing scene ... a character is not present in a scene until the post in, describing their arrival in the scene. A scene ends for a particular character when they post out -- change locations, leave the conversation, start a new interaction with mostly new participants, observe a "fade to black," or otherwise transition to a new set of circumstances.

• OOC Time — Some events or circumstances are based on OOC or real world time. RP time may pass at a very different rate than OOC time ... a fight which takes several hours of real world time might only have taken a few minutes in-world, or a character might do something in-world which takes a long time, but only requires a single IC post. Care should be taken not to get "out of sync" with other characters ... saying that month passed for your character when only a single OOC day has passed can throw other characters off, robbing them of the chance to say what their characters did during that month.


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