Fading Suns and Flaming Heresies
Heroic fiction is full of extreme feats: the fighter pilot screaming down the turret-filled tunnel, concentrating all his skill and training on targeting the photon torpedoes on that tiny chink in the battle station’s impregnable armor; or, conversely, the desperate, Hail Mary swing that is the last chance at taking down the villain before he pushes the PLANETARY DESTRUCT button.
Fading Suns simulates these types of endeavors with “accents.” Accents simulate extra control or effort applied to an action, at the expense of power or finesse respectively.
A player must announce her intent to accent a goal roll before the roll is made. When accenting a roll, a player declares whether she is adding to or subtracting from the die roll, and announces what amount she chooses to add or subtract. A character may only add or subtract an amount equal to or less than her character’s skill (not characteristic).
The amount accented adds to or subtracts from the actual die roll, not the goal number. The goal number remains the same. Thus, a negatively accented goal roll (representing a cautious, precise effort) has a better chance to succeed, but will score fewer successes. Conversely, a positively accented roll (representing a do-or-die, give-it-allya-got effort) will score more successes if it succeeds, but has a greater chance to fail.
For example, Thrako punches a thief. He decides to accent the roll by adding 5 (well within his Fight skill range). His Dexterity + Fight equals 12 — he needs to roll 12 or less on the die. He rolls 5, a good roll, but not great. However, he gets to add 5 to his roll (his accent), making the roll a 10 — a hit with 10 successes. If he had rolled 8 or above, he would have missed — his accent would have increased the roll past his goal.
Die rolls indicating automatic successes, automatic failures and critical failures are unaffected by accents. Thus, an unadjusted roll of “1,” “19” or “20” is treated normally, as if the accent was never applied. However, rolls that become automatic successes, automatic failures or critical failures by the application of an accent (i.e., a roll of “15”, accented by +7 to 22, that effectively becomes a critical failure) are treated as naturally rolled automatic successes, automatic failures or critical failures. It is all too easy for even the best swordsman to injure himself by overextending.
There are a few more rules to keep in mind when accenting:
• Wyrd Points — It costs one Wyrd point to accent an action. If a character has used up all her Wyrd points, she may not accent actions.
• No Multiple Actions — A character cannot perform multiple actions within the same turn that she accents. It simply takes too much effort for a character to throw everything she’s got into an action (positive accent) or too much time to be cautious with one (negative accent).
• -3 Initiative Penalty — An accenting character suffers a -3 penalty to his initiative for the action.
• Lore skills — Lore skills or other rolls to access knowledge, research a fact or any similar long-term action may not be accented.
• Victory Points — Positively accented actions yield more victory points than usual (along with an increased chance to fail the roll) while negatively accented actions yield less (in return for an increased chance to succeed in the roll). See the modified Victory Chart.