Alloy System debut
The Alloy System refers to the game system formerly known as the Adventure Trove Game System. I had numerous reasons to rename it, but the most important was that I still feel beholden to the Fantasy Adventures name, but with a pre-existing game of that name in the market, I could not use it. So I thought further about what the game system represents, what its strengths are etc. I decided that Alloy describes it much better. The game is still easy to use. It still melds tactical decisions with abstract map placement. It is still cinematic in style. Furthermore, the main reason a change was necessary is that Adventure Trove wasn’t evocative or inclusive. The game is designed to handle medieval fantasy, but it could easily handle modern adventures as well. You wouldn’t think of that given the old name however.
In order to make this that much more exciting, I will post the main sections of the game here on the blog, long before a manual is made available. So without further ado, I’ll start with the core of any game system: the task resolution mechanic.
How the Rules Work
At their most basic, you pick up a number of six-sided dice equal to the roll’s base attribute, modify the die pool by adding or subtracting dice for skills, traits, equipment, and bonuses or penalties, roll them all and count how many of them roll high enough to count as successes. If you have the same number of successes as the difficulty of the task, you succeed. If you have less you fail. If you have more successes than needed, you succeed well.
Most of the time, a die needs to roll a 5 or better in order to count as a success. This number you need to meet or exceed is called the Goal. You can look for 4s or better, or 3s or better when you have higher ranks of skill, and in specific instances where you have characteristics which make the roll easier for you than others.
Each roll has a set difficulty called the Target Number, or TN for short. Standard is the lowest TN normally used and means that if the character attains a single success they pass the test. Standard tasks are not difficult, but have consequences for failure. Anything easier than Standard is an Easy task, and the character doesn’t need to roll.
To illustrate the basic differences, in general you would be attempting a Standard task to climb quickly over a chest high fence. It would be a Moderate task to climb a 10 foot fence. It would be Challenging to climb a tall wall made of stone or a barbed wire fence. It would be a Difficult task to climb a sheer cliff face, and it would be an Extreme task to climb a sheer surface with minimal hand holds, such as a metal or glass wall. The least difficult task is fairly easy, but you could fail and in the right circumstances this could be dangerous. The most difficult task is generally considered impossible by most people.
Rolls are affected by bonuses and penalties, which range from +2D to -4D, but typically you only apply the best bonus and the worst penalty to any given roll. Penalties are always objective and either originate from environmental concerns or tool quality. If a character is specifically advantaged or disadvantaged, particularly because of a status condition, the roll is Diminished or Augmented. This raises or lowers the roll’s goal by 1. These are not cumulative adjustments. Having a high skill rank will counteract a Diminished roll, so characters aren’t crippled by this change, but it will impact any potential success.
Lastly, characters can gain bonus successes, which usually come from magical adjustments, although having an exceptionally large dice pool (11 or more) yields these as well. Bonus successes exist regardless of a roll’s outcome, so as long as the character possesses a dice pool large enough to attain the needed TN minus their bonus successes, they can attempt a roll. This is very useful when characters suffer from a very large penalty, and they can’t change their approach to the roll to lower it.
When I post my next installment of this series, I will move on to character creation using races and professions common to fantasy role-playing games.