Game Mechanics

The game uses the basic system of AGE, but with the following changes:

* No Stunts - Stunts have to be chosen off a long list, depending on what you're doing... it just slows things down too far. The stunt system is replaced with the Critical Success system (detailed below)
* No Classess - AGE generally has 3 classes; Mage, Rogue, Warrior. Honestly, I don't like them. Instead I'll be using "Class Talents" located in the Talents section to represent the traditional D&D style classes, plus a few more.
* Speed - Speed is replaced and is instead being used in place of Initiative.
* Attributes - Attributes are going to be referred to as Skills. I like that better. In addition, 3 new skills have been added to the game. Fight, Shoot, and Technology. These are detailed further in the Skill List section below.

Instead of the normal stunt mechanic, which takes up valuable time looking up what stunts apply to a particular scene, Forgotten Galaxies opts instead for a Critical Success and Critical Failure mechanic.

Critical Success: Whenever you roll doubles of any number (except 1's; see Critical Failure below) you have achieved a critical success. Add the result of an additional d6 to the result.

Critical Failure: Also known as rolling Snake Eyes. When this happens, bad bad things happen. A weapon fails, your ship breaks down, a micro-asteroid strike knocks out life support, etc. Only under extreme circumstances will a critical failure result in a player's death.

You have 4 basic stats in the game, after your Attributes (I prefer to call them Skills personally), these are Speed, Defense, Armor, and Health.

Speed: Speed is a measure of how quickly your character reacts to threats and danger in the heat of the moment. You initiative is equal to you Dexterity skill and can be modified using Talents, Items, and circumstantial bonuses.

Defense: Defense is a measure of how difficult it is to target and hit you with a weapon. You calculate defense by starting with 10 plus Dexterity and then add your shield bonus (if applicable).

Armor: Armor represents the type, strength, and resistance of the armor your character chooses to wear. Armor is covered more on the Armor page. You get no bonus to armor other than that provided by the armor itself.

Health: Health is a measure of how much damage you can take before being rendered unconscious or dead. You get your starting health based on your race, adding your Constitution, and +1d6. Each time your character reaches a Milestone (Usually at the end of a story arc, but the DM will tell you when you've reached a Milestone) you add 1d6 + Constitution to your hit points.

The Skill Test is at the core of the systems conflict resolution. If you can understand this one rule, you’re well on your way to figuring out the rest of the game as everything from casting spells to carving up an ogre with your sword derives from it. Yes, combat, magic, piloting, and other special circumstances do have additional rules that help model certain concepts and keep things varied and interesting, but at the heart of con´Čéict, action, and interaction in the rules is the Skill Test. So what is it? Let’s find out.

During a game session, the GM sets the scene and then the players decide how their characters act and what they do in that scene. As a player, you narrate the actions of your character. You might say, “I search the library for a tome about the Fade.” The GM tells you the results of your action, and may introduce new elements into the scene. Their response might be: “You search for 10 minutes but before you find what you are looking for an angry priest bursts into the library and confronts you.”

When your character is taking everyday actions that do not have a significant chance of failure, no dice need to be rolled. It’s enough to say that you are walking to the tavern or buying a dagger from the local weapon smith. When you want your character to do something that requires risk or has a real chance of failure, that’s when the dice come out.

To resolve actions you must roll a skill test. These tests are the heart of the Dragon Age system and you’ll make many in each game session. Ability tests are easy to learn and quick to resolve, so the game can keep moving at a good pace.

To make a skill test, first pick up three six-sided dice (3d6). Roll all three dice and add the results together; you want to roll high. You then add the skill you’re testing and another 2 if you have an applicable skill focus. The final number is your test result.

Test Result = 3d6 + Skill + Focus

Even if you have several focuses that could apply, you can only use one on a test. You can never gain the benefits of more than one focus on a skill test.

When skill tests are referred to, they use the following format: Skill (Focus). Magic (Arcane Knowledge) and Constitution (Swimming) are examples of this format. In most cases, it does not matter if you have the listed focus. You can still attempt the test; you just won’t get the bonus a focus provides. Some tests demand specialized skill or knowledge to even attempt, however, and those require you to have the focus to even attempt the test. If you don’t have the required focus, you automatically fail. These tests note that the focus is required by using this format: Cunning (Navigation Required).

Now that you have the final result of the skill test, you need to compare it against another number to determine the outcome of the attempted action. There are two common types of test, basic and opposed, and you resolve each in a different way.

Basic Test
This is the most common sort of test. In a basic test, you are rolling against a fixed target number (abbreviated TN) determined by the GM.
  1. You tell the GM what you are trying to do.

  2. The GM determines the ability to be used and the applicable focus (if any). They then assign a target number to the task based on its difficulty and the prevailing circumstances.

  3. You make an ability test and figure out your test result.

  4. If your test result is equal to or greater than the target number, you have successfully passed the test and completed the action.

Basic Test Difficulty
When a character takes a basic test, the must roll vs. a target number (TN) picked by the GM. The GM determines the target number based on their assessment of the test’s difficulty. The GM should take all relevant factors into account, including terrain, weather, equipment, assistance, and so on. The GM may also choose to keep the target number secret under certain circumstances.

Opposed Test
When your character is competing with another character directly, you must make an opposed test to see what happens. In this type of test, both characters get to roll and the results are compared. Another way to think about it is that your target number is determined by your opponent’s test result.
  1. You tell the GM what you are trying to do.

  2. The GM determines the ability and applicable focus (if any) to be used by you and your opponent. They may then assign bonuses or penalties to the ability rolls to either of you that take circumstances into account.

  3. You and your opponent both make ability tests and figure out the test results.

  4. Compare the test results. If you beat your opponent’s test result, you win. If there’s a tie, whoever has the higher skill wins.

This same process can be used when more than two characters are competing. In such cases, everyone makes a skill test and all results are compared. The highest test result is the winner, with ties broken as in step 4.

Also note that that it isn’t necessarily the case that all characters will be using the same skill. That would make sense in an arm wresting bout, for example, with both characters making Strength tests. Other situations may require pitting one skill against a different one. A bodyguard trying to penetrate a spy’s disguise, for example, would take a Perception (Seeing) test and their opponent a
Communication (Disguise) test.

Tests and Time
The GM determines how much time each test takes. This can vary from just a couple of seconds to an hour or more depending on what you are attempting. Sliding a dagger up your sleeve without anyone seeing would be a minor action taking but a moment, while asking around town about a specific person might take two hours.

While you most commonly take tests when you initiate an action, sometimes you take them as a reaction or to resist something or someone. If pushed to the edge of a cliff, for example, you might have to pass a Dexterity test to avoid falling. Or if a mage cast a spell at you, you might have to make a Magic test to resist the effects. These sorts of reaction tests usually happen on another character’s turn and taking them is considered to take no time. When it comes around to your turn again, you get your two actions as usual.