Describing the Action
It's important to remember that the PCs are basically way badass and totally sweet at everything they do. Even when a player fails a roll, their PCs still look cool. Here's how to operationalize that; there are four possibilities for high/low skill and success/failure.
- High skill rolls a success. In this case, describe the character's success as arising from his or her intrinsic ability, skill, foresight and planning.
- High skill rolls a failure. In this case, describe the character's failure as arising from unexpected obstacles -- perhaps the enemy cheated, the character's equipment fails, or a friendly-but-foolish guard loudly and obviously recognizes the PC. The character :should: have succeeded, but didn't due to bad luck.
- Low skill rolls a success. In this case, the character succeeds through luck and circumstance, rather than through any intrinsic merit. Mooks attacking a PC will hit due to sheer numbers and volume rather than because they are as good as the PC.
- Low skill rolls a failure. In this case, describe the character's failure as arising from intrinsic incompetence sufficient to overwhelm even good luck or planning.
Mostly, the PCs' actions will be described using the first two, and mooks' actions will be described using the last two. Named antagonists should generally treat the PCs with respect; both the PCs' and the NPCs' actions should lie in the high skill range.
- These are provisional. I'm going to try them out, and see what happens.
So, what happens when a PC tries to use the Intimidate or Leadership skill, or Intrusion or Info(Science)? The Feng Shui rulebook basically just says to set a difficulty. Some firmer guidelines follow. In general, an opposed roll has the antagonists' relevant skill or stat as the difficulty. The margin of success or failure determines what happens.
| +12 or higher || Total Success |
| +8 to +11 || Major Success |
| +4 to +7 || Minor Success |
| +0 to +3 || Marginal Success |
| -1 to -4 || Marginal Failure |
| -5 to -8 || Minor Failure |
| -9 to -12 || Major Failure |
| -13 or worse || Total Failure |
These increments go in +4 increments, so that on average spending a Fortune Die will bump a PC up a level.
- Total Success: The character completely achieves whatever the player wanted him or her to achieve, and this obstacle will likely never present any difficulty again. At this level, it's reasonable to offer a Unique shtick reflecting their success here.
- Example: Intimidation. If a PC gets Total Success on an Intimidation check, they've completely broken whoever they were talking to, who completely loses all ability to resist their will.
- Example: Intrusion. A character who gets a total success on an Intrusion roll to break into a secure facility not only breaks in totally undetected, but will be able to finagle the security system so that they can come and go at will.
- Major Success: The character substantially achieves what they wanted to do, and the PC gains a big advantage in followup conflicts -- this is something that can give them a +4 bonus in subsequent actions for the rest of the session/scenario. (Which one?)
- Example: Intimidation.
- Example: Intrusion.
- Minor Success: The character achieves a significant part of what they wanted -- something worth a +2 bonus later on for the next scene.
- Marginal Success: The character gets at least a piece of what they wanted, and will receive a +1 bonus to related stuff, once.
- Marginal Failure: The character doesn't succeed, but the consequences of failure are minor -- something worth a -1 penalty, once.
- Minor Failure: The consequences of failure are significant; the character will take a -2 penalty on related actions for the next scene.
- Major Failure: The failure is severe, and has big ramifications -- the character should take a -4 penalty to logically related actions for the rest of the scenario.
- Total Failure: The failure is catastrophic.
Contacts and Investigation
The general plan here is to NEVER block the players when they try to tap contacts or do investigation. Every time they pick up the dice to do some investigation or to try and trawl their contacts, they are 100% sure to learn something useful and germane. The die rolls are there to determine side-effects, like how long the investigation takes, or whether the bad guys get wind of the PCs nosing around. The seriousness of this is based on the general table above.