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Wonder Quest Section 3: Conflict

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  1.   1.  Scales and Conflict
    1.   1.1  Movement
  2.   2.  Quest Points
    1.   2.1  Feats
    2.   2.2  Transferring Quest Points
  3.   3.  Fate Points
  4.   4.  Combat
    1.   4.1  Scale and Perseverance

For most examples of conflict resolution, Chapters 4 - 10 of the D6 Adventure book can be used as-is. For the most part, the actual mechanics are quite simple. For character vs. environment, a difficulty number is set, and that number must be met or beaten by the die roll. Difficulties are as described in D6 Adventure (pg. 52). More simply:

  • 10: Easy. The normal effort for an adventurer attempting something a bit risky. A roll should not be required at this difficulty if the challenge is in a competent character's area of expertise.
  • 15: Moderate. Characters without genuine skill (or considerable talent) have a real chance of failing. Experts will not be challenged, however.
  • 20: Difficult. Only characters with both genuine talent and considerable skill will succeed regularly at difficult challenges.
  • 25: Very Difficult. These challenges push all but the world's greatest to their limits.
  • 30: Heroic. Even the best alive can fail such difficult tasks; anyone else had better have a few Quest Points handy.

1.  Scales and Conflict

Normally, a higher-Scale ability overwhelms lower-Scale opposition, no roll required. However, a great deal of adventuring involves non-normal activity.

When engaged in a contest of raw power, a higher-Scale effect gains a +10 bonus for every difference in Scale (maximum bonus +40, should it ever matter) in a contest with a lower-Scale effect, in addition to all bonuses gained from base values.

Brief note - Superspeed

These rules for speed in combat only apply to characters who have no limits on their ability to accelerate and decelerate, zipping around the battlefield and starting or stopping on a dime. A speedster who must use the acceleration rules on pg. 54 of D6 Adventure does not gain a Scale bonus in battle, instead using the maneuver rules for vehicles. Such a speedster may instead purchase a maneuverability bonus of 1d for each Maneuver Module purchased. This limitation qualifies as a Restriction Component.

When engaged in a contest in which skill or finesse is involved, the situation might become more complicated. When only some aspects of an Attribute are enhanced, the bonus is limited by which functions are at the higher Scale. A character with Legendary or greater Agility, for example, but who has only Heroic speed of movement, can only apply +5 to a roll against a character with Heroic Agility due to their movement limitations. In a similar manner, a character with a Legendary movement Gift but with Heroic Agility receives a passive defense bonus equal to its Legendary level and an active defense bonus of +5, though other modifiers (such as a suddenly-increased range) also apply. A character with heightened Agility and speed receives the full +10 bonus per Scale, and is functionally impossible to hit by lower-Scale attacks unless taken by surprise.

Social contests and non-combat psychic confrontations are also handled in a somewhat different manner across Scales. Higher-Scale defenses remain virtually unassailable, but higher-Scale attacks on the ego or spirit are another matter. Main and supporting characters may sacrifice one Perseverance point per round to resist out-of-Scale mental control as if they had Living Legend - Determination for as long as their Perseverance points hold out. Any critical success by the defender prevents further social manipulation, or ejects the assailant from the target's mind, for the duration of the scene. Direct mental attacks on the character's Perseverance remain possible for characters with the relevant Gifts.

Specifics for Scale in battle are included in the Combat section below.

1.1  Movement

If the character does not buy Gifts or Modules that enhance speed, Legendary Fitness does not grant Legendary-Scale speed. Instead, use the Attribute's Absolute Value to determine running, swimming, climbing and jumping speeds/distances as found on D6 Adventure pg. 54. If the character has both Legendary Fitness and Agility as natural attributes, each of these movement forms can be purchased as a Module costing five DP per type. A character with both Fitness and Agility at Cosmic Scale starts with Legendary speed in all movement types; one with Fitness and Agility at Primal Scale moves at Cosmic speed as the default.

At Legendary Fitness or above, the character need not make Stamina checks when using all-out Move for any duration measurable in a normal campaign.

2.  Quest Points

Sometimes, PCs simply has to succeed, whether to save the world, a city or just themselves. For those times when the dice are either insufficient or uncooperative, Quest Points can fill the gap. Each Quest Point is a single-use d6 that can be added to any roll. As with Character Points from D6, each of these dice counts as a Wild Die for critical success purposes only, re-rolling with every 6 achieved. A 6 on any Quest Die rolled automatically supersedes a 1 on the regular Wild Die, negating a critical failure.

Developer's Note: Quest Points

Quest Points replace Character Points in regular D6 for adding to rolls. Development Points are earned separately from Quest Points; unlike in standard D6, QP are intended to be spent, since the pool resets between adventures. If a player earns enough QP for contributing to play, giving that player a DP for their character is entirely appropriate, but that is in addition to the Quest Points earned and can only be used to improve the PC.

Any number of Quest Points can be spent, but they must be spent all at once during one of two periods, before and/or after the die roll. The player must choose how many Quest Dice to roll at those times. Example: Powerstar is facing a powerful android-weapon of the Complex, and has to take it out before it fires a volley of missiles into a crowd. Before the roll, the player elects to spend three Quest Points to improve the roll. Unsatisfied with the result, the player spends five more Quest Points afterward. If that had been insufficient, Powerstar's player wouldn't have been able to spend more QP; fortunately it was, and the Master of the Skyforce sends the rockets flying back into the android's chassis.

Each character starts with (Perception + Spirit) in Quest Points. Further QP can be earned during play through three mechanisms: a Feat (see below), superior role-playing, and deliberately accepting a disadvantage for dramatic purposes during play. In the last case, the disadvantage has to move the story forward. Accepting a capture by the villains so the evil mastermind can divulge Master Plan #42 counts; taking a 3d6 penalty to a random roll just to make a QP available later does not. (Note that Hooks always count, subject to GM approval of course.)

Quest Points accumulate during the course of an adventure, but reset between adventures. If an adventure lasts for more than one session, Quest Points earned during the previous session are kept for the next. Once the climactic confrontation is complete and that particular story is resolved, however, each character's Quest Points reset to their starting total. There is no benefit to unspent Quest Points once an adventure is complete. (For this reason, the GM is strongly encouraged to make it clear when the PCs have reached the final scene of an adventure.)

2.1  Feats

Short for "extraordinary feats," a Feat is performing an action with the style appropriate to an action movie, comic book, or video game special move. There's no hard and fast rule for what constitutes a Feat. A useful shorthand is that any stunt or trick that impresses the rest of the players and/or the GM qualifies. Unlike real life, Feats do not add difficulty to a skill check if they are added voluntarily. Jumping over a car to unload your twin revolvers into your opponent while rolling past the car to dodge the counterattack has the exact same difficulty as ducking behind the car for cover and popping over it to take a few quick shots. If there's a wall in the way that the character has to leap over to get a clear shot, the jump does add difficulty because otherwise, the bullets would have to penetrate a wall to be effective.

There are two basic types of Feats: immediate and dramatic. Immediate Feats are performed in the course of a single round, describing some insanely boss trick that the character uses to engage a challenge. Dramatic Feats are used during an extended effort, such as a magical ritual to seal an eldritch horror, upgrading the giant plot-device armor to face the alien super-weapon, or a sniper moving into position and taking aim before bringing down the shape-shifter who's taken the president's place. Immediate Feats acquire a single QP for later use. Dramatic Feats can be used in the same manner, or can add one QP after each preparatory roll, which can only be used to enhance the final effort.

2.2  Transferring Quest Points

Normally, each character's Quest Points are individual pools. However, there are a number of ways for one character to provide another QP.

The first and most traditional method is for two or more characters with the same skill to work on the same effort. One PC is the primary actor, with others (including non-Extra NPCs if appropriate) assisting them. Each assistant makes a roll at (primary actor's df. -5); for every five points they succeed by, they can transfer one QP to the primary PC. Feats can be used by assistants to regain one transferred QP.

Another, more general method is through the use of the Spirit skills Charm or Con. The character exhorts or cajoles the person making the effort to do better, and can transfer one QP for every five points above ten (15 = 1 QP, 20 = 2 QP, etc.) made on the roll. Charm is always applicable; Con is only applicable if a relevant Taunt could drive the target PC to do better. The GM is encouraged to allow uses of Con that won't increase tension between players.

Finally, a PC with Leadership can make a roll to allow any two PCs to transfer QP. This roll is made as the Charm roll above (and is always applicable), but the leader cannot force one character to give QP to another under any circumstances. It is highly encouraged for PC leaders to offer QP first, then ask the entire group next, only asking other players individually to contribute points as a last resort. Volunteers asking the leader to send the volunteer's QP to another character bypass this necessity, and are likewise highly encouraged. This is always applicable, even if a PC is unconscious; the leader can point out the stricken character's sacrifice in such a circumstance.

3.  Fate Points

Fate Points work as described in D6 Adventure (pg. 47), with the following exceptions.

First, a Fate Point can be spent to automatically succeed at a single skill check instead of doubling a roll. In these cases, the check is considered to succeed at the minimum effort required to perform the task at hand. This does include enough success to overcome any penalties to the check, but grants no additional benefits to the roll. For example, if the super-archer absolutely must get the gummy arrow into the exhaust pipe of the mecha, that arrow goes into the pipe, but no additional damage is done. When used to attack an enemy, this effect always and automatically does exactly one Perseverance in damage.

Second, morality does not affect the gain or loss of Fate Points; instead, the character's moral standing will color how the effects of a Fate Point play out. This is meant to be abstract for the most part, only affecting characters on either a redemption or corruption story arc. Fate Points can be used in this manner to show in-game the effects of the character's changing nature. In this manner, additional Fate Points are gained for significant moments of character change, whether that change is "good" or "bad." This is intended to encourage role-playing, and is morality-neutral. The cat burglar who finds her conscience pricking her with increasing regularity adds a Fate Point whether she embraces or rejects the call to become something more. The character gains it for making the decision itself, not the specifics of the choice, as the character's defining nature -- her Fate -- is more complete.

Finally, as of this edition Wonder Quest is placing a five point cap on Fate Points. If a player wishes to redefine the character further, Quest Points and Development Points should be awarded for doing so well, and withheld in the face of naked power grabs.

4.  Combat

When determining if a blow strikes, combat is handled as described in D6 Adventure, making contested rolls as normal. When using default Wonder Quest rules, however, damage is handled very differently.

"Hit points" in Wonder Quest is not measured in a traditional metric of ability to endure injury, but rather in the Hero's ability to persevere in the face of danger, fatigue, and eventually, actual harm. This Perseverance allows main characters and supporting cast members to endure in the face of adventure's slings and arrows. Each blow that hits and overcomes the target's resilience (a combination of Health, Stamina, armor, and/or Gifts) does at least one Perseverance point. If both the attack and the damage totals exceed the target's defenses by ten or more, an additional Perseverance point is lost. A critical success on the attack roll does a further Perseverance point of damage.

Developer's Note: Penetrating attacks, bullets and Perseverance

So you're wondering why your character takes more damage from bullets when they don't hit you, or want to know why your Living Legend sniper can't just shoot the danged villain in the head from a klick away. Simply put, this is a compromise between the effectiveness of deadly attacks and the rules of cinematic fiction.

There are two special functions to damage and Perseverance: Penetrating attacks and Toughened defenses. Penetrating attacks are those that have a devastating effect on "softer" targets, like human flesh. Arrows, bullets and grenades just can't be shrugged off as well as a blow to the gut. When dealing with a Penetrating attack, the resilience total of an unprotected target is halved before comparing it to the damage total. However, a successful shot with a Penetrating attack does not necessarily mean a main or supporting character was actually hit by the attack. Instead, the lost Perseverance represents the energy expended in last-ditch evasion efforts, bruises sustained diving desperately for cover, or the sheer dumb luck that badly shakes the target at how close death's shroud came. This is the case regardless of how the target survived, even if a truck drove across the sniper scope to prevent the shot from ever being fired at all. If the attack and damage rolls both succeed, the target loses Perseverance.

On the one hand, Colt may not have made men equal, but he sure leveled the playing field a lot. On the other, that's just not how main characters die most of the time. So Penetrating attacks are more likely to do more Perseverance on a successful attack roll, even if they don't actually strike the target. However, they're never instantly lethal, except to Extras. This also applies to out-of-Scale attacks. Tank guns miss by enough to avoid spreading heroes across the countryside. In the face of Cosmic attacks that destroy entire worlds, the main characters hitchhike onto a passing spaceship, or never reached the planet in the first place, instead sensing the psychic horror of it. Extrapolate as necessary.)))

Toughened defenses allow a target to soak Penetrating attacks normally. For simplicity's sake, neither Penetration nor Toughen stack, and Toughened always defeats Penetration. Toughen has no effect on normal attacks; to model armor that provides additional defense against regular and Penetrating attacks, add dice of Stamina to the armor as well as Toughened.

4.1  Scale and Perseverance

Power Scales interact in a special manner with damage and Perseverance. When a target's Health, armor or defensive Gift is of a higher Scale than the attack, it does no damage. The only exceptions are if Living Legend is used with a Feat that justifies overcoming the higher Scale, or a Fate Point is used (which is its own justification).

Wait, so I can ride out an atomic blast in a refrigerator?!

In Wonder Quest? Yep. *g*

If a target's resilience is of a lower Scale than the attack's power, then the damage is automatically considered to be sufficient to qualify for an extra Perseverance point of damage if the attack roll exceeds the defense by ten or more. There is no further benefit to above-Scale attacks, regardless of the Scale difference. If a kitten with Trivial Fitness is in the same PC group as a Legendary superhero and a Primal embodiment of the multiverse, neither the kitten nor the superhero will take more than three Perseverance of damage (on a critical success with enough extra points on the attack roll) even if the embodiment's Primal archenemy blows up an entire universe around them. (In such an example, one possible explanation is that the heroic Primal embodiment subconsciously shifted the other PCs to an un-destroyed universe.)

Note that Extras are not subject to protection from attacks above their Scale. Unless a main or supporting character is deliberately limiting the damage done by a higher-Scale attack, an Extra hit by such an attack is instantly killed. Also keep in mind that every roleplaying group has its own limits on suspension of disbelief. GMs should be aware of how often they can use out-of-Scale attacks that main or supporting characters survive without damaging that suspension. Superhero settings will see such activity on a regular basis, while dark supernatural mysteries should use caution in such matters (barring magic that twists luck into knots).