How to Play
How to Play
The core of any role-playing game is the crafting of individual characters controlled by individual Players. These characters then interact with one another and the universe around them. The game world is controlled and narrated by the Game Master ("GM"), who takes on the role of narrator of the story, and referee of the players. As the Game Master lays out the scene and describes what happens in the world, the players respond by describing the actions and dialogue of their character within that world. Thus, together with the Game Master, the players collectively create the story as the game proceeds. In this way, a game session essentially becomes an interactive story, where everyone plays a part in creating it as they go.
To keep the game running smoothly, each person takes turns describing their actions. To introduce an element of chance and keep the game interesting, any action of note that has the potential for failure must first be described in detail. Then that player must roll dice (more on this later), to see how well their character performs the action as described. The higher the number rolled, the better -- and the greater the chance the action will succeed. The number of dice rolled depends on the 'die code' for the action. The Game Master will then make a ruling on the success or failure of the action, and the consequences. The Game Master also takes a turn, just as the players do, with the difference being that the Game Master takes actions for any Non-player Character ("NPC") in the game world during their turn. However, it is possible for a particularly noteworthy NPC to be granted a turn in the rotation by the Game Master just like a player, if the situation warrants it.
For normal everyday interaction, simply performing actions and engaging in dialogue is all that is necessary to make the game flow smoothly. Keeping track of how many things are done at once and in what order is not really difficult or necessary. Each action taken by a player is considered to happen in chronological order as written by the players during the chat interaction. As long as one or more players does not overwhelm the others with the speed of declaring their actions and gives everyone a fair chance to participate, there is no need for further management by the Game Master.
There are times when the action becomes sufficiently fast paced when it is necessary to tightly control each player taking their turn and the pace at which actions are taken. For instance, during combat a split second can make the difference between life and death, so every player and the GM need time to declare their actions and reaction in turn. When such time and turn management is required, the GM may declare the use of Combat Rounds. It is easiest to think of Combat Rounds like 'bullet-time' from other popular sci-fi movies; allowing the players time to perform their actions, before others may act again.
Each character is allowed one standard action, and one movement action, during Combat Rounds. Additional actions are possible, but take penalties.
Each Combat Round consists of one turn for each player and the GM, and happens in the span of six (6) seconds of in-game time. Each player's turn during that time are all considered to happen simultaneously with one another, within those 6 seconds. Due to this, there are exactly 10 rounds within one in-game minute of time. While this does not sound like a long time, once the shooting starts even one minute can be a very long time indeed.
When a player makes an action that has a chance of failure, the GM will ask them to roll dice. A die code, or value, associated with that action indicates how good the character is. The Game Master informs the players when to roll the dice, and uses the rules to interpret the die rolls to see how successful an action is.
Die codes (1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, and so on) represent the number of dice you roll when your character uses an ability on their Character Sheet. The die codes sometimes have a “+1” or “+2,” called Pips, after them. The numbers that show up on the dice rolled are added together; then you add the pips. Once the Die Code is rolled, the total of the Dice and the Pips is the Result.
Any game using the D6 System follows the same basic principle:
Roll a number of six-sided dice equal to the character's skill or attribute score. If the total generated equals or exceeds the difficulty number, then the character succeeds.
However, in each application of the system, actions, attributes, skills, and other character details are tailored to the genre of the game. Ours is no different, so here's how it works...
DIE CODE MATHEMATICS
It is important to understand how the adding or subtracting of dice codes and pips from one another works. The general formula is that 3 "pips" equals 1 "die". This means that upon adding a third "pip" to a die, it automatically increases to the next die.
Thus, the progression goes like this; 2D, 2D+1, 2D+2, 3D, 3D+1, 3D+2, 4D ...and so on.
So here's an Example:
- Serena's Strength attribute is 3D+1 on her character sheet. So if she tried to lift a box, her player would roll three dice and add one to the total to get her score.
- If for some reason she were granted an extra +1 pip bonus, her player would roll three dice and add two to the total to get her score.
- If by chance she were instead granted an extra +2 pip bonus, her player would rolld four dice instead (3D+1, +2 Pips = 4D) to get her score.
COMPLICATIONS AND BONUSES
Most of the time, you'll just roll the number of Dice for the skill or attribute being used, and add up the number on each die to form the result.
However, in our system, if you roll a 1 or a 6 on the first Die of the roll, something special might happen. This will either be a Random Complication or a Bonus Roll.
With a 1 result on the first Die there will be a Random Complication, or otherwise known as a Wild Die, which means that something about the action taken does not go according to plan. What this will be, and how much effect it has on the outcome, is very much up to chance. Continue making your roll and add up the result as normal. After the roll is completed and the Result is calculated, the Game Master may at their discretion ask the player to roll a single 100-sided Die.
If the result is between 40 and 60, the Random Complication has no effect whatsoever, and the Result is simply calculated and handled as normal.
If the result is under 40, the result will be progressively bad for the character, the lower the number is. This usually results in failure of the attempt, and could even mean something about the attempt backfires or goes horribly wrong.
If the result is over 60, then the result will be progressively good for the character, the higher the number is.
The Game Master has full discretion on just how good or bad to make a Random Complication's results, or even to ignore their effects completely if they so choose. Random Complications allow GMs to make games very interesting and dramatic as they feel the need, and they have a wide latitude as to the creativity and results of random complications.
With a 6 result on the first Die there will be a Bonus Roll. This means the result will be better than anticipated. Continue making your roll and add up the result as normal. Afterward, roll a 6-sided Bonus Die, and add it to the result. If the Bonus Die is another 6, you may roll the Bonus Die again. This can repeat until the Bonus Die is no longer a six. It is entirely possible to have a wildly successful attempt, if the Bonus Die repeats several times.
For certain rolls, it is possible for the Game Master to suspend Bonus Rolls at their sole discretion.
Determining Success and Failure
Determining Success and Failure
Higher rolls are better. When your character attempts an action, the Game Master might assign a Difficulty number to it, or DC for short. The total of the dice roll must equal or exceed the DC, in order to succeed. Some tasks are easier than others, and the Game Master often won't let you know what number you need to beat to succeed. Sometimes a Game Master will drop clues about a task's difficulty (“Hitting that fly with your pistol at 100 meters? That's going to be tricky...”).
At other times, the character competes against another character at a task, so you need to beat one of his skill rolls in an opposing skill. This is known as an Opposed Roll, and unlike an assigned DC number, any time there is a tie on an opposed roll, the defender always wins. The defender rolls their opposing roll immediately after the action against them.
Standard Difficulty Example:
Serena wants to find out some specific details about Niles, the planet she's traveling to.
Niles is a pretty out-of-the-way system, so the Game Master decides that Kate (the player of Serena) needs to roll a Difficulty of 20 or higher for her character to find the information. Serena's character sheet shows her Planetary Systems skill has a Die Code of 6D (respectfully high), so Kate rolls six dice.
She gets a Result of 25, beating the difficulty number, and therefore, Succeeds. The Game Master refreshes Serena's memory about the information she's described seeking on Niles.
Opposed Roll Example:
Serena is involved in a blaster fight. She has a firearm and is shooting at a traitor who has just shot at her and missed.
Serena's Firearms skill is 4D+1, so Kate rolls four dice and adds one to the total. She rolls a total of Result of 16.
The traitor then makes a Dodge skill roll of 12, which becomes the DC that Serena must equal or exceed to hit the traitor. Since Serena rolled higher, she hits the traitor.
This is combat, and Serena's pistol does 4D damage, so Amy rolls 4D to find out how badly Serena wounded the traitor.
If the traitor had also rolled a 16 for his Dodge roll, then she would have missed, since the defender wins all ties in Opposed Rolls.
Automatic (0): Almost anyone can perform this action; there is no need to roll.
Very Easy (1–5): Nearly everyone can accomplish this task. Typically, only tasks with such a low difficulty that are crucial to the scenario are rolled.
Easy (6-10): Although characters usually have no difficulty with these tasks, a normal adult may find them challenging.
Moderate (11–15): There is a fair chance that the average character will fail at this type of task. Tasks of this type require skill, effort, and concentration.
Difficult (16–20): Those with little experience in the task will have to be quite lucky to accomplish these actions.
Very Difficult (21–30): The average character will only rarely succeed at these kinds of task. Only the most talented regularly succeed.
Heroic (31-40), Legendary (41-50), Epic (51+): These tasks are nearly impossible, though there's still that possibility that lucky average or highly experienced characters will accomplish them.
While not in combat, your character may take as long as they need to perform an action, and thus roll dice normally. However, under Combat Rounds, your character can only make one movement action (up to the distance stated by their Move statistic on the character sheet), and one standard action during their turn at their full dice code. They may perform up to two additional actions during a Combat Round, but since the character's concentration is split between tasks, there is a Multi-Action Penalty for any action after the first standard action.
Each additional action takes a stacking -1D penalty to the Die Code that you need to roll. This means if you wanted your character to perform three actions at the same time, the first action may be taken at full Die code, the second at -1D, and the third at -2D. You may not perform more than 3 standard actions, and one free move action, in any one (1) Combat Round.
Opposing rolls against incoming actions also take multi-action penalties, but in quite different ways than normal actions. The Game Master has the option to use one of two ways to organize the way Turns and Multi-Action Penalties are managed. They may use one or both of these exclusively, but may not change which mode of management they are using, for the duration of the Combat Rounds they have declared. To do so would be unfair and extremely confusing. It is generally recommended that Game Masters simply choose their preferred method of game management, and use it all the time.
Unified Phase Mode
In Unified Phase mode, the players and each of the GM's NPCs will take turns in order. This order can be whatever the Game Master finds most practical, though it is usually according to the Initiative score of each Character and NPC individually.
In this mode, if the defender has not yet taken their own actions during the round, then they start their Opposing rolls at full dice codes. However, if they have already taken their actions during the round, any accumulated multi-action penalties remain in effect, and if the character must defend against more than one action, they continue to stack as normal for the duration of the Opposing rolls that are needed. Opposing rolls do not count as standard actions during the round, and thus a defender that has yet to take their actions during the round may then start taking their actions at normal dice code levels, once their turn begins.
Unified Phase Example:
Serena hasn't managed to subdue the traitor, who fires at her once his turn begins. Since she's already taken her actions this round, each additional action is reduced by 1D.
If Serena's Dodge skill is 3D+2, Kate rolls 2D+2 to find her character's Dodge total. Under this system, if Serena were to be attacked again during this round, she would have to roll the next Dodge at 1D+2
Attack/Defense Phase Mode
In Attack/Defense Phase Mode, the Game Master separates their turn completely from that of the players. This is usually done for simplicity's sake, if there are a large number of NPC's as well as players to be controlled. When this is done, the Players have their turns, then the GM's NPC's take their turns separately at the end of the Round. When this mechanic is being used, the players do not make defense rolls during their normal turn, instead doing this during the GM's turn, and thus Multi-Action penalties are reset. Multiple defense rolls still incur Multi-Action Penalties during this
Attack/Defense Phase Example:
Serena hasn't managed to subdue the traitor during her turn. Once all the players have finished their turns, it is now the GM's turn.
During the GM's turn, the traitor fires at Serena once his turn in the NPC rotation begins.
Since Serena's turn is already over, she no longer has any Mutli-Action Penalties, so if Serena's Dodge skill is 3D+2, Kate rolls 3D+2 to find her character's dodge total.
Under this system, if Serena were attacked again during the GM's turn this round, there would be a Multi-Action Penalty, and she would roll the next Dodge at 2D+2
Other Action Combinations
There are other situational way to combine actions that can carry certain benefits, but that may also induce penalties. These penalties stack with each other, so please be aware that the more fancy or complicated you make your actions, the more penalties you might rack up in the process.
Some of them include:
- Drawing a weapon in the same round you wish to attack is considered a separate action, thus any attack that same round takes standard Multi-Action penalties.
- Using your non-dominant hand is known as an Off-Hand action. For instance, a right-handed character firing a blaster with their left hand, takes a -1D Off-Hand penalty.
- Using two weapons at once, such as a pistol in each hand, or Dual-Wielding, you may attack with each one as a single combined action. This is the primary benefit to dual-wielding.
- Using a normally two-handed weapon One-Handed, such as a rifle, long sword, or standard lightsaber, in a single hand incurs a -1D One-Handed penalty.
- Switching targets from one attack to the next during a round, incurs an additional -1D penalty when attacking the target being switched to.
The Game Master keeps track of who's doing what and what everybody needs to use. However, you should still try to stay on top of your actions, penalties and what to roll. After all, this is YOUR character we're talking about, so you should do your best to know the rules, and how everything works. This makes the entire game experience more enjoyable for everyone.
We generally expect any actions that require skill rolls to have a Skill Declaration attached, which must be made BEFORE the Dice roll. This declaration includes the Name of the skill to be rolled, the Die Code your character sheet has documented for the skill, and listing any Modifiers (Bonuses and Penalties) that will be applied for the dice roll.
Example action, with Skill Declaration:
Davin draws his lightsaber and ignites it, before turning and swinging it at the Stormtrooper trying to handcuff him. (Lightsaber 6D, -1D Drawing Weapon)
<@Davin> Davin: 5d6 -- 5 2 6 6 4 -- Total: 23
Remember, if you ever have any questions on what you should roll, ask the Game Master BEFORE you roll!
In addition to scores for your character's attributes and skills, he or she has Fate Points and Character Points. You can spend these points in particularly difficult and heroic situations.
Character Points: When you spend a Character Point, you get to roll one extra die when the character tries to successfully complete a task. You may spend a maximum of 2 Character Points in this way, and may only spend Character Points once in a round. You may only choose to spend a Character Point BEFORE you've made a roll (in case it's an important roll and you are not confident your current dice code will be enough). You gain more Character Points in lieu of experience at the end of a game, for completing goals and playing well.
Fate Points: When you spend a Fate Point, that means your character is using all of her concentration to try to succeed. You may spend a Fate Point at any time during the round. Doing so allows you to add +3D to the number of dice you'd normally roll for one round. This allows the character to do actions really well for a short amount of time. When a Fate Point is used, it's lost at the time you use it. However, Fate Points may be gained back at the end of the game if used in a particularly brave, heroic, or climactic moment.
We realize that SWO is not for everyone. We run a system that is an 'acquired taste' and is not necessarily easy for most folks to learn. We have our basis in D6 Star Wars, that is true - but a great majority of the game has been hybridized and modified over time. This means that using most of the D6 SW rulebooks will be confusing as they do not always correspond with our current rules. Basic in-game definitions and species/skills descriptions will agree (for the most part), but the rest of SWO lore is encased in our RESOURCES manual. So without further ado, the decision on whether you should join us or not, will depend largely on the following criteria:
JOIN SWO, IF . . .
- You want to grow your character from a seedling to a mature tree; aka, you want to start from scratch and build your character from the roots up, putting him or her through all the growing pains as he or she matures and becomes a well-rounded powerhouse in his or her own right.
- You are not to focused on the destination, but are fascinated by the journey, instead.
DO NOT JOIN SWO, IF . . .
- You want to play an overpowered character that already knows (more or less), everything there is to know. Established characters are only permitted in SWO as static NPCs, so there is no gross imbalance between in-game characters - and less frustration among fellow players.
- You want to get straight to the destination and don't care about the journey, aka you prefer the quick and easy path.
Whatever you decide - we hope to see you in game - and may the Force be with You!