Shadows over Pendergast
When there is uncertainty over the outcome of an action (success or failure) 4 six sided dice are rolled (4d6). For every die that has a result of 1 or 2, a -1 is counted. For every die that has a result of 3 or 4, a 0 is counted. For every die that has a result of 5 or 6, a +1 is counted.
The resulting number (ranging from -4 to +4) is compared to the character’s skill to perform the action and the result calculated. The result of the dice and the skill (and in some cases other factors, such as items, spells, stunts or aspects) are compared against the complexity of the task (GM set minimum value required for the task to he successful.
For example, jumping over a fence is a relatively simple task so the GM would set the difficulty at 1. The player rolls 4d6 and has a result of 1, 3, 5, and 6 on the dice. The roll gives an overall bonus of +1, which is then added to the character’s athletics score – which is 2 for this example. The total is 3, surpassing the set difficulty by 2 “shifts”.
Shifts represent the character completing the task more easily than the bare minimum; doing it faster, better, etc. This can be important if the task is time sensitive, or if succeeding over the minimum would be beneficial. For example, if in the cases above the character was chasing someone who had jumped over the fence, and that character only met the difficulty of 1 to get over the fence, the pursuing character (who succeeded with two shifts) would gain ground on the chase by getting over the fence much faster.
Characters are made up of Skills, Aspects, Stunts, and Supernatural Powers.
Skills represent a character’s knowledge, experience, talents, and training. Most actions that a character attempts to perform will be based off skills.
Stunts are special maneuvers, actions or events that a character can call on to augment skills that are usually conditional, and cost a fate point to use.
Supernatural powers: Magic!
Aspects are traits that are at the core of the character, they can be a personality trait, a relationship, an object, an ideal, or even a profession. They reflect something significant to the character and can be both an ally in their time of need, or get them into trouble. Aspects can be invoked for a fate point (like stunts) to gain a bonus to the situation, or be compelled by the gm to have the trait work against the character’s interests. An aspect being compelled earns a fate point – and is one of the few ways to earn fate points.