Checks and Thresholds
When attempting difficult actions in the Crescent, success or failure depends on a dice roll called a Check. Rolling a Check means rolling a group of 10-sided dice. Checks have a base of one die, but characters can gain or lose die depending on their Attributes, their Techniques, or situational modifiers. Optimizing the number of dice rolled in a Check is one of the best ways to find success.
Every Check is rolled in association with the most relevant Attribute to the action being attempted. For example, moving a boulder would be best linked to a character’s Strength Attribute. This Check would then be called a Strength Check. This works to the benefit of characters with high Strength, because reaching certain numbers in each Attribute grants inherit bonuses to Checks made with that Attribute. Checks sometimes allow Characters to use one of several Attributes to attempt them. For example, it might be argued that moving a boulder also requires a degree of Stamina. We would then make the attempt at moving the boulder a Strength or Stamina Check, and characters would be able to use their higher of the two Attributes to gain bonus dice.
Success or failure on a Check depends on if any of the face results of the die meet or exceed the Threshold for that Check. Thresholds determine the difficulty of a Check, and range from Trivial (2) to Impossible (10). A Threshold’s difficulty is given by a number that the Check must beat, and these numbers come in increments of one. For instance, a Standard Threshold requires one of the die to meet or exceed 6, while a Theshold one tier higher, called a Tough Threshold, requires one of the die to meet or exceed 7.
If a Check is made against another creature, like when one person tries to strike another, the Threshold used against the Check is also given an associated Attribute. In our example, a person might try to dodge out of the way of an attack. Dodging is tied in with a character’s Quickness, so they’d be using a Quickness Threshold against this Check. When a character with a high Attribute uses a Threshold of that same Attribute, they impose die penalties on the opponent’s Check. When a creature attempts to strike their foe, not only do they have to meet their Threshold, but they also have fewer dice to do so because of their target's Quickness. Oftentimes, a choice of Threshold types will be given to defenders similarly to the choice of Check types given to aggressors.
How Checks and Thresholds are Used
The system of Checks and Thresholds provides players with many opportunities for interacting with their environment and making impactful decisions in combat. It, along with Crescent’s Action Point system, turn Combat into an opportunity for tactics and spontaneous decision making to shine.
Off the battlefield, they allow players to benefit from creative solutions to problems that utilize their skills to the best of their abilities, and give Game Masters flexibility in how they can present problems as well as solutions to their players.
Brada wants to convince Jasmine that his plan of action will surely succeed. This will require a Check. Looking at his attempted course of action, we can guess that Brada will be using either his Disposition to get on her good side, or his Knowledge to lay out his plan thoroughly. Brada chooses Knowledge for this Check because his Knowledge gives him a +2 Die Bonus, while his Disposition doesn’t give him any bonus.
Jasmine is cautious of Brada’s plan and disagrees with it. Because it might be hard to convince her, she’ll be imposing a Tough Threshold of 7. To resist his attempts, Jasmine can either use her own Knowledge to argue against him, or see through his attempts to convince her with her Instinct. Jasmine uses her Instinct, because her Attribute is high enough to impose a -1 Die Penalty.
Now that the Check and Threshold have been picked, Brada has to make his attempt. He begins with a base of 1 Die inherit to making a Check, then adds +2 because of his Knowledge. However, he then loses -1 because of Jasmine’s Instinct, leaving him with 2 Die. Brada rolls his Check, and the dice result in a 3 and a 8. The 3 fails, because he is rolling against a Tough Threshold of 7. His 8 succeeds because it exceeds the 7 required. With one success, Brada succeeds in convincing Jasmine of his plan.