Campaign of the Month: March 2014
There are a lot of terms that are important to understand in order to play the game. Most of them should be pretty obvious, but others might be a bit tricky. Like what, exactly, is the difference between a Lead, a Feature, and an Extra? Below is a list of common terms and a brief definition to help new players wrap their heads around the system.
Lead: The Player Characters are considered a Leads. They are the most important characters, the biggest bad-asses. In terms of a TV show, these are the main cast. The people with their names in the opening title of every episode.
Feature: The NPCs that are important and unique. They are the second most important characters, and are still pretty bad-ass. In terms of a TV show, these are the guest cast. The people listed only in the episodes they appear in.
Extra (Character): These are the NPCs that are more background than character. They might have dialog and interact with Leads and Features, but they aren’t very important. In terms of a TV show, these are the people who don’t get credited until the end of the episode.
Faction: Factions are groups of Leads, Features, and Extras that have Mandates and Agendas. Anything from companies, to sports teams can be a Faction. They typically don’t directly interact with the Leads, but their actions effect their lives.
Mandate: Factions have a Mandate that they are always trying to fulfill. This is the driving motivation for a Faction.
Agenda: Agendas are the immediate goals of a Faction. These serve the Mandate and are goals they are trying to accomplish during an Episode.
Trait: Any part of a Character that has a dice rating; Values, Relationships, Distinctions, Abilities, Resources, Complications, and Trauma.
Value: Values are the things that are important to the story. The dice rating on a character sheet represents how important that Value is to a character while it’s Statement defines what the character thinks of it.
Relationship: Relationships are the other Leads and Features that are important to the Character. The dice rating on a character sheet represents how strong, both positive and negative, that Relationship is to the character. The Statement defines how the character feels about the other character.
Statement: Statements are commentary on a Value or Relationship that represent how a character feels about the trait in question.
Challenge: Statements can be Challenged whenever they are proven wrong. This increased the dice for the next Action taken by that Trait but then reduces it’s die size for the rest of the session.
Enforce: Statements can be Enforced whenever they are proven absolutely correct. This gives an extra Reflection Point to the character.
Asset: A special grouping of Traits, Assets are Distinctions and Abilities. Assets are mainly used to limit dice pools, allowing one one Distinction or one Ability to be used in a roll.
Distinction: Distinctions are a type of Trait and Asset that represent a special skill, talent, or aspect of the character. These are mundane abilities that anyone could acquire.
Trigger: Triggers are special abilities granted by Distinctions at the D4, D8, and D12 levels.
Ability: Abilities are supernatural, magical, or technological superpowers. These are things that are non-mundane and typically are what makes your character into a Superhero (or Villain)
Special Effect: Special Effects are the powers attached to Abilities that are activated by spending a Plot Point.
Limit: Limits are things that Shutdown Abilities.
Shutdown: Abilities can be Shutdown, which means the Character doesn’t have access to that Ability until the Limit inflicting the Shutdown is removed.
Resource: Resources are special Traits that are rolled alongside a dice pool but are treated as if they are Aiding a roll. Resources can be either Extras (Resource) or Locations.
Specialties: Specialties are descriptive words that help characters know when a Resource would be able to Aid a roll.
Extra (Resource): Resource Extras are characters or Factions that your character calls on and uses for help.
Location: Locations are places that are important to your character. Locations can be used to Aid a roll whenever they would make sense, typically when the character is at the Location.
Complication: Complications are negative Traits that other characters can use against your character.
Trauma: Trauma is the serious version of Complications. They take longer to heal and can cause your character to die.
Knocked Out: A character who is Knocked Out is no longer allowed to participate in a scene. They may not be literally knocked out, but they can’t roll dice, spend plot points, or even remember events later. Characters are Knocked Out whenever they take Trauma.
Beat: The smallest unit of time in the game. Flexible, a Beat is how long it takes to complete any Action.
Scene: A scene is a series of Beats at a common location or under a common theme.
Episode: An Episode is a game session and consists of a series of Scenes to tell a story.
Session: Used interchangeably with Episode.
Action: Whenever a character rolls dice.
Basic Action: Rolling dice against a Target Number generated by the GM.
Contested Action: Rolling dice against another dice pool.
Giving In: Before rolling dice, giving up on whatever you want to avoid taking Complications or Trauma.
Final Push: After rolling dice, giving up Traits to avoid taking Trauma.
Ganging Up: When multiple Extras team together and throw themselves at a character.
Aiding: Dice that are rolled or used alongside the Dice Pool and are added into the final total.
Interfering: How to stop two Characters already engaged in a Contested Action
Advance: Determining Agendas for Factions at the end of a session.
Reflect: Spending Reflection Points to improve your Character
Plot Points: Currency used to fuel various game mechanics.
Trouble Pool: A pool of dice the GM controls that are used to oppose the players.