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Rules

Dice System

d6s, and probably a good handful of them. When rolled, every die that shows a high number – a 4, 5, or 6 – is a success. You want to get at least as many successes as the GM (or your opponent). Players win ties with the GM and the GM arbitrates ties between players, usually declaring a draw.

Conflict

This is almost straight out of Vincent Baker's mouth: say yes or roll dice. If the players want something to happen, let it.  If nothing's there to stop them, they get their way.  Say yes.

Or roll dice.  When something stands between a character and her goals, it's a conflict.  Here's how they go.

Determine the Stakes

The stakes are what you hope to accomplish – they're the why of your action.  You want to get into the building but there's a security guard stopping you, so the stakes are "Do you make it into the building?"  You want to get the stoolie to talk to you but he's afraid he'll be hurt if he squeals, so the stakes are "Does the mook give you the information?"  A bomb in a theater is about to explode, so the stakes might be "Do you save these people?"

Decide the Solution

The solution is the action you take to win the stakes.  Do you make it into the building, past the guard?  The solution might be, "I punch his lights out," or "I speed past him, no one's as quick as me," or "I convince him to let me by."  Do you get the information?  "I rough him up until he spills," or "I let him see the fire in my eyes and it scares him more than the wrath of the don," or "I talk circles around him until he lets it slip."  Do you save the audience?  "I follow the leads and realize I need to cut the blue wire," or "I find the power source – it was right under the countdown clock! – and disconnect it" or even "I grit my teeth and throw myself on the bomb, hoping my power armor can absorb the explosion."

The solution decides which Stat you use to resolve the conflict.  The stakes determine what happens if you win.

Roll...

Choose the Stat that best fits your solution.  "I knock him out" sounds like Muscle, "I find the battery" is probably Perception, "I show him my conviction" might be Focus.  In fact, if it seems like no other Stat applies ("I spray the place with bullets from my machine gun"), it's probably Focus – you're steeling yourself for the task, letting your self-control carry the day.

Stats & Powers

Roll your relevant Stat; if one of your Powers applies, add its value to your successes rather than your dicepool (e.g. "I facepunch him" with Muscle 4 and Super-Strength 2 means you roll four dice plus two automatic successes).  Count up your successes, and the GM will tell you hers or hold up fingers or whatever.  If you have at least as many as the GM, stop.  You win the stakes and you get to narrate what happens.

Traits and Items

If the GM has more successes than you, she'll look at you expectantly.  She's not hitting on you.  Look at your Traits and see if any would apply to the conflict.  If they do, you can bid them to roll more dice.  Pick an applicable Trait and narrate the way you use it: "I give him a Nasty Uppercut."  For every Trait you bid, roll an extra die and add any successes to your total. You can bid as many Traits as the value of the Stat you're using (e.g. punching with Muscle 4 lets you bid up to four Traits). You can name all the Traits you're bidding and roll all the dice at once or roll each die as you bid a Trait, whichever's more fun for you.

You can also bid one item you're using ("I skewer him with my rapier").  Roll your item's Value in dice and add any successes to your total.  You can't do crazy things like drop your weapon, draw another, and use it just to get the other weapon's dice, but you can do cool things like fight with a gun in each hand or narrate that you smack the guy with your shield after the sword goes in.  The idea is to use your stuff to win the stakes, not to roll a pile of extra dice.

You don't have to stop bidding Traits and an Item when your successes equal the GM's – if you really want to kick the conflict's butt, bid all your applicable Traits and take every success you can get.

... and Resolve

If you won the conflict with only your Stat roll (plus relevant Power), you get a whole success. Tell us how it goes down.

If you had to bid Traits and/or an Item to win the conflict, you get a mixed success. You still win the stakes, but at a price. Maybe you make it past the guard, but he triggers the alarm. Maybe the pidgeon sings, but you discover that things are going to be a lot tougher than you thought. Maybe you save the audience, but your armor's destroyed or a second timer appears or you're blamed for the whole mess. The only restriction is that you can't gain Consequence (and therefore take more than cosmetic damage) from a mixed success.

If you don't win the conflict, you take Consequence. Read on!

Consequence

Consequence is dramatic fallout.  You'll want to keep a running tally of your Consequence, so write it somewhere on your sheet – I like putting it by your GL in case of explosion (below), but put it whereever you like.

Gaining Consequence

Losing Conflicts

This is the easiest way to gain Consequence. When you lose a conflict, you receive Consequence equal to the difference between your successes and your opponent's.  For example, if you're dodging the robot's laser blasts but you end up with two fewer successes than the GM, you gain two Consequence. This doesn't have to be a conflict that someone else initiated – jumping over a pit full of spikes can or arguing ethics with a fellow hero can also result in dramatic fallout, and therefore Consequence.

The Consequence Tag

Some Traits and Powers have the Consequence tag (©). When you make a roll that includes a Trait or Power with the Consequence tag, every die that rolled a 1 garners you a point of Consequence, even if you win the conflict.  They still add a die or successes as usual; bidding "© I'm horribly nearsighted" on a gunplay roll adds tension (and therefore a die) to the conflict.

Tags are cumulative: if two tags are involved in a roll, you get Consequence from every die that shows a 1 or a 2. Tags can even overlap high numbers: with four tags, you get Consequence for every 1-3, successes for every 5-6, and both for every 4. Six or more tags means that every die adds to your Consequence (as well as scoring successes normally), so hang on to your hat.

(Note: Powers add successes, not dice, so tagged Powers only affect dice in the pool, not successes from that Power. For example, using a tagged Power with a five-die pool can only generate Consequence if those five dice roll low enough – the Power's tag doesn't apply to the successes it grants.)

Consequence gained from tags can trigger an explosion, of course, but it can also be taken as damage (bidding the Trait "© Unrequited love with my teammate" could open up a raw spot in your emotions, hurting your Stoicism) or as a complication penalty ("© Addicted to cancer sticks" might help intimidate the minion when you blow smoke in his face, but it could drop your Charisma when it triggers a sudden coughing fit). See the next section for more information.

Getting Rid of Consequence

Damage
No matter the conflict, you can always choose to take some or all of the Consequence you received as damage to a Stat or Stats. "He beats me by three? Okay, I try my best to get out the way but the bullet hits my leg – I'm hamstrung. I'll take two points as damage to my Speed and dump the last one in my Consequence pool." Write your new Stat value in the nearby blank and use that value until your Stat changes again. You can do this for any conflict, but you have to decide whether or not to take damage right when you receive the Consequence – you can't pull Consequence out of your pool and retroactively assign it as damage.

Notice that the player decides how she wants to take damage. The GM (and the rest of the group) has to agree that it makes sense, but the player decides how much (if any) Consequence she'll absorb as damage and where it goes. If the group doesn't agree that the damage makes sense, the player can just add it to her Consequence pool. Either way, the player narrates. "He beats me by three? I'll take it all as Consequence – it's only a flesh wound."

Any Consequence you don't want to take as damage goes into your Consequence pool as usual. The conflict is resolved and whomever's next takes her turn.

Complications

Before your roll, you can burn off one Consequence per conflict by taking a -1 to your chosen Stat and narrating a complication to your solution.  "I'm going to shoot the guy using Perception, but there's still a lot of dust in the air from his sandstorm attack, so visibility is low.  I'll burn a Consequence to drop my Perception by one."  This doesn't have to come from an external source, but it usually does – internal penalties are better represented by damage.

Explosion

Whenever you get at least as much Consequence as your GL, it explodes.  This happens right when you get enough Consequence.  Burn off your GL in Consequence, the GM will roll that many dice, and the plot twists.  That teetering column from earlier in the fight finally collapses, blocking the exit.  The villain's henchman has finally had enough and you gain a new ally.  "Luke, I am your father."  The twist probably involves the character whose Consequence exploded, but it doesn't have to, and it can definitely affect other characters as well.  The magnitude of the explosion is proportional to the GM's successes and is discussed on the GM page.

Aftermath

Aftermath only happens at the end of a chapter (or sometimes at the end of an appropriate scene).  The GM burns off some or all of a character's Consequence and rolls that many dice. She can do this to any character(s) she wishes, as many times as she likes.  Like an explosion, the magnitude of the aftermath is proportional to her successes (and is better covered on the GM page).  The difference is that explosions affect the plot of the game and aftermath (primarily) affects the personal story of the character in question.  Often, the GM rolls her dice and the character gains [successes] new Consequence Traits.  The player and the group have some say in what Traits are, but the GM decides whether the character gets them in the first place.
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