Under the simplest of circumstances, the Target Number is equal to the acting player’s Attribute score, plus any augmentations from Skills or items.
Example: Julie is running through a cave and comes to a large pit. She has a Dexterity of 5 and a Jump Skill (+2). The Target Number for her to successfully jump the pit is therefore 7.
If the task is particularly difficult, the Target Number may be reduced by one or more points at the GM’s discretion. The number can never be lowered below 1 unless the task is simply impossible to perform, which would mean there’s no need to roll a die.
Example: The pit Julie is trying to jump is 15 feet, and the floor of the cave is covered in a slippery slime. The GM states that there is an additional 2 points of difficulty. Instead of 7, Julie must roll equal to or below a 5.
When performing actions against another character (PC and NPC alike), the defending character creates the Target Number by rolling their own Attribute (Strength against Strength, Dexterity against Dexterity, etc.). This is referred to as an opposed roll. Examples of this would be trying to talk one’s way out of a speeding ticket, winning an arm-wrestling contest, or outrunning a hungry cannibal.
In such an instance, the defending player rolls their die first. If they fail, the offender’s Target Number is as it would be for an unopposed roll. If the defender succeeds, the offender’s Target Number is reduced by the number of points the defender rolls under their own Target Number (with 0 equaling 1).
Example: Julie is hanging off the side of the pit when a creature grabs her foot and tries to pull her down. Julie has a Strength of 4. Attempting to pull her foot free, she rolls a 3. She has rolled 1 point lower than her Target Number.
The creature has a Strength of 6. However, Julie’s 1 point success reduces its Target Number to 5.
Again, the difficulty of a roll can never be less than 1, else the action is simply deemed impossible from the outset.
NOTE TO GMs: Every additional point of difficulty reduces a player’s chance of success by a full 10%. Bear this in mind when increasing the difficulty of an action.
A roll of 1 is considered a Critical Success; the character performs the action with some minor benefit. A roll of 10 is considered a Critical Failure; the character not only fails but also suffers some additional negative effect.
Example: Julie tries to pull herself up out of the pit using her Strength. She rolls a 10. Not only is she unable to pull herself up—she falls into the pit.
Julie then uses her Perception to pierce the darkness of the pit and deduce her surroundings. She rolls a 1; not only is able to make out the details of the cave, but she also locates a handy lead pipe on the rock floor.