This is the player's guide to playing Amalgam Diceless. The rules are simple and concise with very few charts for ease of play.
In Amalgam there are no dice, all actions are decided by an Action Value(AV), versus an opposing Difficulty Value. All AV are based on two components, Effort+Skill. Effort is determined by how much spirit the player decides the character shall put into a specific action. The amount of Effort one may place into an action is determined by a corresponding attribute and modified by the character's skill in the task. If the character's AV equals or exceeds the set DV then the character succeeds. From here on note than whenever a
The Difficulty of the test character's will try to pass is based on either a static value set by the Host, or an opposed value set by an opponent. Static Values are based on how difficult a test is in relation to the scale of power available to the characters. Benchmarks are a rough guide to Hosts on how to set test DV for characters.
DV<3, Mundane don't even bother to test, tasks of such everyday variety that a test is an insult and just drags the game down.
4 Competent, one would have to be skilled to accomplish this task
6 One has to be greatly skilled or have much natural ability in order to accomplish said task.
8 Heroic, at this level one has to not only be greatly skilled but also above average in ability, or vice versa
9 Incredible, at this level one is near the peak of human skill and ability, and can leave others in awe
10 This is a feat at the peak of what a human is normally capable of, actions can take place above this level, but for the normal person, this is the peak of ability and skill, acting at a level of genius and perception that most never reach.
DV>10 This is into the realm of fantasy, where characters can perform feats beyond the means of us mere mortals
DV 15 this is a superhero feat such as lifting a car over ones head and being able to hurl it, reality begins to go out of the window
DV>25 this is the realm of Superman, Thanos, Neo and Dragonball, forget reality, we are the masters of it.
Time is divided into two sections, "Real" time and Game time. Game time is made of six units. The amount of time that passes in most of them is determined by what the characters do and how long the Host decides it takes. The smallest unit of time is the Action. An action is the amount of time it takess a character to do one thing, this could be to jump, swing a sword or invoke Anima casting a spell. The next incriment of time is the turn. A turn is the cumulation of all the immediate actions a character takes in a single round. Third, is the round, a round is the resolution of all actions of all characters and is equal to four seconds give or take how long the Host decides it should reasonabally take. Fourth, is the scene, a scene is the time it takes to go from one setting to another after a minor resolution, for example, it could be going from being in the pub after questioning the locals to the exotic cave locale to retrieve the object of inquisition. Fifth, there is the Chapter, which is a single adventure in the life of the Characters. Finally there is the Saga which is made up of all the Chapters leading to the conclusion of some meta-plot that the characters were secretly, or not so secretly, driven by the whole time.
Downtime is the time between Chapters, where Experience Points(XP) are awarded and can be spent. It is determined by the Host.
One of the most important actions, the Wait allows you to hold your action until a moment of your choosing, remember though, when waiting you take a penalty the next round equal to the initiative on which you went(ask the Host when in doubt).
Movement actions include switching weapons, running, walking, positioning ect. They don't require a test, but if someone is chasing a running character it's an opposed Dexterity+Athletics(running) test with Dex+Athletics being the characters Movement Score(MOV). Every MOV is equal to one yard and at best one may move 4x MOV, in a single round, equal to 4 seconds, when spritning
A character can attack, defend, or save his action for later in the round. An attack is based on a character's Strength , and a corresponding attack skill. A character can opt to use their Dexterity to make an attack if the weapon has a STR minimum of 2 or less, or if it has a DEX requirement, otherwise the character MUST use their Strength to make the attack test. Damage is equal to STR+the damage of the weapon.
These are mundane things a character can do, these are mostly for ambiance and setting mood, such as a character fixing his clothing, talking trash, or picking a rock up. One may take as many free actions as is deemed reasonable by the Host.
Multiple Action Penalty
Characters may make multiple actions, but are allowed only two, whatever they be. There is a cumulative -1 penalty to all actions proceeding the two allowed.. Ex. if a character makes four attacks then the first two aren't penalized, but the third is made at a -1 penalty and the fourth at a -2 penalty. Any further actions the character may be forced to take in the round will continue to accumulate the penalty, so say if the character has to parry and dodge later in the round he would be at -3 and -4 respectively to do them.
Combat begins with initiative. Initiative is equal to DEX+WITS and is modified by the weapon which is readied in the dominant hand at the beginning of each round. Characters compare initiative, one with highest Initiative goes first performing whatever action they deem fit or readying their action for later in the round or choosing to forego action all together. Initiative is rather a countdown and one could say that the 4 second round is divided into an amount of parts equal to the highest initiative, which is why the fastest characters goes first.
Characters act in order of initiative, with all actions being resolved as they are taken. This makes combat reactionary, and takes away from some of the possible planning that a player can do given his outside view of the combat situation.
If a character is surprised, either caught unaware of the assailants or not expecting to be attacked then the attacks automatically win initiative. All actions by the defenders during a surprise round are at a -2 penalty.
A melee attack is Melee/Brawl+Dexterity or Strength, depending on the weapon.
A character may wish to rush an opponent, this action takes a whole round and the character may not take another action during the round. The character can move up to MOVx2 and at the last initiative of the round make an attack at +5 damage, but the character is at -2 to defense for the current and next round.
All characters hav a natural aversion to pain and death, therefore they will attempt to do anything in their power to prevent being harmed. This is reflected in a character's defense score. Defense represents how hard a character is innately to hit, from little things such as sidestepping, ducking ect. Light armor enhances this score, but heavier armor will make this number lower. Defense is innate and takes no action, if this fails and an attack is going to land then a defending character has the option to use defensive actions, parry and dodge, discussed later.
All Ranged attacks are made with Dexterity+Ranged attack skill. Firearms and crossbows do not benefit from the Strength of the wielder with regards to damage. Bows and Thrown weapons get the full benefit of the strength of the wielder and the latter can also be used as melee weapons (exception is the throwing disc).
A character with two weapons can use them as a single action with a -2 penalty. There is a further -2 penalty to actions involving the off hand weapon. Essentially a character is getting two actions for the cost of one. The same rule applies to double weapons, except there is no off-hand penalty.
Grappling is Brawl+Strength vs the opponents Brawl+Strength, the opposing character can choose to dodge if not surprised. After a grapple has been made successfully the grappler can choose to do his strength in Lethal or Bashing damage for which the victim cannot Brace. To escape the victim must make a successful Acrobatics/Brawl+Strength/Dexterity check.
To parry a blow is a resisted test vs the DV of the opponents attack. The parry is Melee/Martial +DEX. Note that weapons cannot be parried with the bare hand under normal circumstances. One can only parry a weapon one size larger than their own weapon, therefore a light weapon cannot parry a heavy one.
After a successful parry a character may choose to attempt a counterattack at a -2 penalty to attack in addition to any other penalities.
The dodge action is an opposed Dexterity+Acrobatics test.
Characters are limited to using a single power on their initiative, under normal circumstances. Otherwise powers are dealt with like any other combat action, if it is an attack then the opponent is give the change to parry, dodge or resist, and if it is indirect then the player simply casts it on their proper initiative. When energy rules are in application, all non permanent powers cost 5 Eng per level to activate.
When damage is taken, the pain and injury is reflected in the character's Health Points (HP). An individual HP represents a cut, not something that would kill the character, but it worsens his overall condition is some very minor way. The more HP an attack does the more damage to the character's overall well-being and health it does. When a character reaches 5 HP they are dying, when a character reaches 0 they are dead.
Lets face it, eventually you're going to fall or get dropped or knocked out of the sky. And it hurts, it really really hurts. You can fall 2 MOV without injury for but every 2 move afterward you take 2 HP damage. That means if one fell 8 MOV(8 yards which is 24 feet) you would take 6 damage, remember ignoring the first two yards.
Health points recover at the rate of 1 per 8 hours of rest. One can greatly speed up the rate of healing with proper medical attention or the ability to regenrate. Medical attention speeds healing up by the success of the test plus 3 per day.
Spirit recovers whenever a character gets a minute to breathe. A character recovers 1/2 his current HP in Spirit every round in combat that he takes the Wait action, other than that a character revoers his Vit Score in Spirit every round.
Characters start with no points of luck, but can earn them through stunts and it can be bought using XP, or just granted by the Host. Luck allows a character to give themselves a +1 bonus to ANY test they make, or to instantly negate a single negative effect against them, making Luck highly valuable. One does not recover luck, period. When you use it it's gone and you have to get another point as described above.
Not everything always goes your way. Environmental effects get in the way, mind clouded by anger, all sorts of intangibles that require Host discretion. (Coming soon.)
The cheapest way to win Luck, and extra XP is to amuse or impress the Host. A stunt is simply anything that would leave you in o.o if you were watching a movie. This can be a GREATLY described move, or the use of game mechanics to create an awesome effect. Either of which net you a Host granted bonus to the action and Luck or XP, or maybe both. (To Hosts, grant between +1 to +4 for the action depending on complexity and coolness, this is major Host discretion here. As far as awards, grant them between 2 and 4 luck or between 2 and 4x more XP again determined by complexity and coolness. Encourage the Players to not be assanine about it, and attempt to make it special.)
All characters are ranked by size and have corresponding penalities and bonuses. Miniature beings are the size of insects or smaller and are at +4 to defense and accuracy but are at -4 to grapple tests 1/4HP, cannot be less than 1. Tiny creatures are from about half a foot to a couple feet in length, +2 to defense and accuracy but -2 to grapple,1/3 HP. Small beings are from 2 to 4 feet in length or height and have +1 bonus to defense and accuracy but a -1 penalty to all grapple tests, 1/2 HP. Humans and beings human sized are medium, that is anything between 4 and 8 feet is considered Medium and have no penalties or bonuses. Between 8-16 feet is considered Large with -1 and +1 to grapple to defense and attack x 1.5HP. Between 16-32 feet is considered Huge and have -2 to defense and accuracy and +2 to grapple checks x2 HP. From 32-64 feet is Giant at -4 to defense and attack and +4 to grapple and 4x HP, and above 64 feet onward is massive with -6 to defense and attack and +6 to grapple with x6 HP.