Tutorial I: Basic Mechanics
The basic Skill check in Factions operates this way: Attribute + Talent + Skill rolled die total, vs. Difficulty
Attributes are the most general traits of a character. They are things like Awareness, Body, or Reasoning. Talents are areas where a character may or may not have a measure of general training or aptitude. Each Talent is a sub-branch of its governing Attribute. For example, the Sensory Talent falls under the Awareness Attribute.
Attributes are normally on a 1-5 range, and Talents normally range from 0-5. We say
normally, because there are certain Advantages and Disadvantages which can modify these. Attributes start at 1, since Attributes are traits that everyone has some measure of.
Skills are a sub-branch of Talents. For example, the Notice Skill falls under the Sensory Talent. Skills are rated by the number of dots behind the skill, ranging from 0-4 dots. The number of dots indicates the number of 1d10 to be rolled. No dots means instead of a 1d10, a 1d6 is rolled instead. Take the single highest die rolled, and ignore the rest; this is the Skill rolled die total.
Nix has an Awareness of 3, a Sensory of 2, and a Notice of 2 dots. He has an Awareness + Sensory base of 5, and rolls 2d10. The ten sided die come up a 3 and a 7. He ignores the 3, and adds the 7 to his base of 5, for a total of 12.
Special Rules: Critical Successes, Critical Failures
If any die comes up a 10 the first time around, roll another 1d10 and add this to the first 10.
Nix rolls a 3 and a 10. He rolls another 1d10, and gets a 6. His Skill rolled die total counts as 16, and he adds this to his base of 5, for a total of 21.
If all dice come up 1, the roll is a Critical Failure. Roll a 1d10 and subtract this from the base.
Nix rolls a 1 and a 1. He rolls another 1d10, and gets a 4. He subtracts this from his base of 5, for a 1.
Note that characters with very high Attribute + Talent bases might be able to weather a Critical Failure with a positive final score, and even have enough to succeed against a low enough Difficulty. Just because the dice suffer a Critical Failure doesn't mean the character actually fails.
As for Difficulty, the standard static Difficulty range is:
Modifiers of -10 to +5 can be readily applied to a check, depending on the situation. Penalties are listed as PEN.
If the challenge is directly between two characters, both simply roll the same Skill seeking a higher total (for example, the Move Skill in a running race), or roll opposing Skills (Notice roll matched against a Sneak roll).