Types of Rolls
Rolling the Dice
When your dice pool has been modified by all applicable bonuses and penalties, the remainder are rolled to determine success. Each die is considered a success on an 8, 9, or 10. Some actions require only a single success, while others improve the result the more successes are rolled. Additionally, rolling a natural 10 (0 on the die) allows you to re-roll that die. Some powerful spells and powers can expand this, allowing re-rolls on 9's or 8's as well (respectively referred to as 9-again and 8-again). Sometimes dice pools suffer penalties that would reduce the dice pool to below 1 die. In these cases, your character still gets to roll a single die.
A critical success is any roll that results in 5 or more successes. This generally indicates an above-average result is obtained. Certain skills or abilities will specify additional bonuses for achieving a critical success.
When 0 successes have been rolled, this normally results in a failure and the attempted action simply does not succeed. However whenever a failure occurs, the player must roll a single 1d10 to check for a "critical failure." If they roll a 1 on this additional die, the failure is considered a critical failure or "botch," and the attempted action not only fails, but does so spectacularly (at the discretion of the DM). Certain abilities can ignore these rolls, or increase the frequency or severity. (e.g. Luck powers)
There are a variety of actions your character can perform, but nearly all actions are a combination of one Core Statistic + an applicable Skill. Some typical examples are below:
Static rolls are rolls which are merely attempting to pass a threshhold. These rolls are often simple and only trivial successes are needed, however they often become highly dependent on whether or not the character has any experience invested in the factors of the roll. Without any investment, they become very hard to pass, and with even trivial investment, they become significantly easier. For example: To calm an angry forest bear, your character would roll the combined dice pool of their Charisma Stat + their Handle Animal Skill. The Storyteller would set a target number of successes for the attempt to succeed. The required number is referred to as a Difficulty Check (DC).
Mitigated rolls are similar to opposed rolls, only instead of the result being compared against another roll, your own dice roll is reduced by mitigating factors present in the opposition. These rolls are often difficult to ever reduce to zero, so there is always at least a decent chance at having some level of success. These roll results often scale slowly with overall character experience. For example: To deal damage to a hostile bandit with your longsword, your character would roll the combined dice pool of your Strength stat + your 1 Handed Slashing skill + the base weapon dice + any other modifiers, minus the Physical Defense of the bandit. The lower the resulting roll, the lower the chance for resulting damage.
Opposed rolls are rolls in which the result of the roll is compared to the result of another roll. In all opposed rolls, ties resolve in favor of the side which is the defending skill or ability. These rolls are binary, meaning that the degree to which you beat or fail to beat the other roll typically doesn't change the result. To sneak unnoticed past an observant guard, your character would roll the combined dice pool of their Dexterity Stat + their Stealth Skill. They would apply any modifiers such as bonuses for night time, or penalties for broad daylight. The resulting dice pool would be rolled and successes would be compared against the guard's Perception roll.
- Note: In the above example, the defender of the roll is the one that is sneaking, the 'offensive' side of the roll is the active perception. The fact that the character sneaking may be the 'offending' character and the guard in the act of 'defense' does not change the nature of the roll itself.