Talislanta is a fantasy role-playing game written by Stephen Michael Sechi, with significant stylistic input by artist P. D. Breeding-Black and released in 1987 by Bard Games. Talislanta has endured a bumpy publication history, such that there have been five different editions published over the years, nearly all by different companies. Talislanta is now available online via a Creative Commons licence. While being a pseudo-medieval fantasy role-playing game, there are few references to Norse/Celtic mythology or the imagery of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel. Instead the diverse setting is more akin to the Dying Earth novel series by Jack Vance. Indeed, Vance is listed by Sechi as a primary influence, each edition has been dedicated to that author. Other stated influences include The Travels of Marco Polo, the journeys of Sir Richard Francis Burton, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath and a host of other pulp-era fantasy fiction; as the game reviewer Rick Swan stated, "It's as if H. P. Lovecraft had written Alice in Wonderland, with Hans Christian Andersen and William S. Burroughs as technical advisors."
Existing game literature deals with the continent of Talislanta on the world of Archaeus, home to several dozen distinct peoples and races, including the Cymrilians, the Gnorl, the Xambrians. These cultures and races are wholly alien, or akin to Earth cultures not of the stock seen in other RPGs, thus the slogan, "No Elves!", which appeared in ads for the games upon its initial release, establishing that little of the common Tolkienic influence was present in the setting. In the distant past Talislanta was ruled by the Archaens, a race of decadent sorcerers who lived in floating cities and used their uncanny powers in the pursuit of pleasure and distraction, it was this haphazard use of dangerous and unstable arcane powers which weakened the dimensional fabric, causing the magical devastation known as "the Great Disaster". The disaster shattered the Archaen society in a day, had numerous ripple effects on the continent of Talislanta. Most contemporary races are either some offshoot of the Archaen race, "Neomorphs" created by magical means, or one of a handful of mysterious races more ancient than the Archaens.
The continent is one of great magic, with the eldritch forces being in common use within every social strata of the continent and its many cultures. Arguably the greatest of the magic wielders are the people of Cymril, who founded the Seven Kingdoms, it is stated many times. Archaeans possessed magical equivalents to spaceships, virtual reality theme parks, space stations, other trappings of an advanced technical life. Many of these advances are left in ruins to be rediscovered by the intrepid adventure seekers; the setting is grim in places, comic in others. Situations vary on the Continent and it is possible to have Talislanta games of varied tone due to this. Areas of the continent are grim with warring factions and brutal survivalists who live each day to see the next, while others are decadent areas where wealth and leisure have made the inhabitants petty and argumentative; the Talislanta rules system, called at various times the'Action Table System', the'D20 System' and the'Omni System', is simple relative to other role-playing game systems.
Characters are defined by Attributes and Skills, when used are combined and compared to a target number, the difference between them applied to the roll of a single twenty-sided die. The final number resulting is looked up on an Action Table, giving one of five possible results: Mishap, Partial Success, Full Success or Critical Success; this system not only indicates success or failure, but relative effectiveness as well, scales probability based on the difference between character effectiveness and task difficulty, rather than a flat "roll higher than this number" system common in many other RPGs. This system became available in 2005 as a stand-alone set of generic RPG rules under the title "The Omni System" by K. Scott Agnew. For most of the game's history, character creation was handled by offering a list of archetypes to choose from. Early editions of the game offered several dozen archetypes, expanding to over a hundred in editions; each archetype represents an adventuring personality particular to a certain culture with such colorful names as "Cymrilan Rogue Magician", "Jaka Beastmaster" and "Mandalan Mystic Warrior".
Each archetype offered all relevant information needed to start playing the character including Attributes, Skills and equipment and, after making a few personalizations, was ready to begin play right from the book. Little attempt was made to balance the archetypes, many were more powerful than others; the rationale being that it was more important to present characters that were faithful to the setting than mechanically equal. In the fifth edition, a more traditional character generation system was introduced to create balanced characters, but critical response was mixed. Many ideas and concepts which would become integral to Talislanta first appeared in an early role-playing game written by Stephan Michael Sechi in 1983, Arcanum known as The Atlantis Trilogy; the first edition of Talislanta was published by Bard Games in 1987, a company in part founded by Talislanta's primary creator Stephan Michael Sechi. Bard Games published a revised second edition in 1989, a series of supplements followed, culminating in the Cyclopedia series.
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Dice notation is a system to represent different combinations of dice in role-playing games using simple algebra-like notation such as 2d6+12. In most role-playing games, die rolls required by the system are given in the form AdX. A and X are variables, separated by the letter "d", which stands for dice; the letter "d" is most lower-case, but some notation uses upper-case "D". A is the number of dice to be rolled. X is the number of faces of each die. If the final number is omitted, it is assumed to be a six, but in some contexts, other defaults are used. For example, if a game would call for a roll of d4 or 1d4 this would mean, "roll one 4-sided die." 3d6 would mean, "roll three six-sided dice." These dice are added together, but some systems could direct the player use them in some other way, such as choosing the best die rolled. To this basic notation, an additive modifier can be appended, yielding expressions of the form, AdX+B; the plus is sometimes replaced by a minus sign to indicate subtraction.
B is a number to be added to the sum of the rolls. So, 1d20−10 would indicate a roll of a single 20-sided die with 10 being subtracted from the result; these expressions can be chained, though this usage is less common. Additionally, notation such as AdX−L is not uncommon, the "L" being used to represent "the lowest result". For instance, 4d6 − L means a roll of 4 six-sided dice; this application skews the probability curve towards the higher numbers, as a result a roll of 3 can only occur when all four dice come up 1, while a roll of 18 results if any three dice are 6. Rolling three or more dice gives a probability distribution, Gaussian, in accordance with the central limit theorem. In some games, the above notation is expanded to allow for a multiplier, as in AdX×C or C×dX, where: "×" denotes multiplication, can be replaced by "/" or "÷" for division. C is a natural number. For example, 1d6×5 or 5×d6 means "roll one 6-sided die, multiply the result by 5." 3d6×10+3 means "roll three 6-sided dice, add them together, multiply the result by 10, add 3."Multiplication can mean repeating throws of similar setup: 3x means "roll two 6-sided dice adding four to result, repeat the roll 3 times adding the results together."
The variable X in the above notation will be 100, alternatively written "%". Although 100-sided dice exist, it is more common to use a combination of two ten-sided dice known as "percentile dice". One die represents the other tens. Ten-sided dice intended for use as percentile dice have no tens notation. A roll of 0 on both dice may be interpreted depending on the game rules; the d1000 is also seen, although it is more common in wargames than role-playing games. A number of notational strategies exist for discarding only certain types of results; some games extend the standard notation to AdX+B where, in addition to the above, Y is the number of dice kept from the roll. Whether the dice omitted are the highest, lowest, or the player's choice depends on the game in question. 7th Sea and Legend of the Five Rings use only 10-sided dice, with notation of the form 8k6, meaning "Roll eight ten-sided dice, keep the highest six, sum them." Although using a Roll and keep system, Cortex Plus games all use roll all the dice of different sizes and keep two although a Plot Point may be spent to keep an additional dice, some abilities let you keep a third automatically.
An alternative notation used by the OpenRoleplaying.org die roller allows the use of a plus or minus followed by "L" or "H" instead of the modifier B, to denote dropping or re-adding the lowest or highest roll on a single die, as in 4d6−L, which means roll 4 times a 6-sided dice and drop the lowest value,respectively. A number of games including the original Ghostbusters role-playing game, the Storyteller system, Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars Roleplaying Games use a system where a dice pool consisting of an indicated number of dice are rolled and the total number of dice which meet a fixed condition are recorded as the result. For example, Vampire: the Requiem has players roll a pool of ten sided dice and note the number that come up as 8 or higher as "successes"; some companies produce custom dice, marked with successes and failures, for use in games which use this mechanic. The Fudge role-playing system uses a set of dice which are each marked with minus signs, plus signs and blank sides, meaning −1, +1 and 0 respectively.
The default is one third of each represented by a six-sided die with two of each, known as dF.2 or just dF. Four of these are rolled to determine results from −4 to +4, equivalent to 4d3−8. Variants include dF.1, a six-sided die with four blanks, one plus and one minus. Various Games Workshop systems such as Necromunda and Mordheim use an anomalously-named D66 roll, meaning d6×10+d6. There are 36 possible results ranging from 11 to 66; the D66 is a base-six variant of the base. The D66 is a co
RPGnet is a role-playing game website. It includes sections on wargames, tabletop games and video games, as well as columns on gaming topics. RPGnet was founded in 1996 by Emma and Sandy Antunes, Shawn Althouse and Brian David Phillips, as a way to unify a number of transient game sites. In 2001 it maintains creative and editorial autonomy, it is being run by Shannon Appelcline of Skotos, while a number of volunteer moderators and administrators help maintain the forums. Based on Matt's WWWBoard script, the 1997 RPGnet forums were formatted in earlier message boards threaded style, being dedicated to game design and industry news. With the change to vBulletin on 2002, new sections catering to the growing player and enthusiast user bases were added; the boards used vBulletin for the next sixteen years, until November, 2018, when they were migrated to the XenForo 2 software package. Over time, the RPGnet forums have grown to encompass a broad range of subjects related to gaming and modern media.
Tabletop Roleplaying Open, the general game discussion forum, has the most posts per day. There are video games, play-by-post and board games forums, a section dedicated to game design and brainstorming in general, while the Other Media covers television, comic books and books; the site hosts small forums for photography and other specific interests. Like most large forums, RPGnet has developed numerous in-jokes and recurring flame wars. Many game writers and designers post. Moderation was at one time loose, but now follows a strict set of guidelines, referenced by other platforms and forums when drawing their own policies. A wide range of tastes are present on the forums. Smaller niche and indie role-playing games are well represented and the latest releases generate a great deal of discussion. Threads on Dungeons & Dragons, World of Darkness, GURPS and other popular systems are common. Exalted is known for generating a large number of discussion threads. Other websites will excerpt or reference forum posts that have lasting value, such as ZenDesign excerpting WoW-erizing movie quotes and From the Shop Floor borrowing from the Demotivators thread.
Reviews have been an important part of RPGnet since its inception. Today, RPGnet has an active archive of 13,000 reviews. Most reviews are of roleplaying supplements. In the last few years, users have contributed numerous reviews of card games. RPGnet publishes reviews of movies, music albums and comics, though less frequently; the review system was overhauled in early 2003 and since reviews have appeared with numerous cross-references in an effort to improve navigation of the large review archive. Reviews appear on Mondays and Fridays. RPG reviews are published on Mondays and Fridays, while reviews of other products are published on Wednesdays. RPGnet has 20 regular columns. Columns are posted on a four-week, Monday-Friday schedule, with any "extra weeks" in the schedule filled in with additional columns, as they become available. Most columns cover gamemasters offering advice on running roleplaying games to other gamemasters, but there is some variety; this site has become noted as a source for player theory on role-playing games, these are written by authors with an academic background.
Notable columns have included: 52 Pickup. Noteworthy columnists have included game industry veterans such as Ross Winn, Chad Underkoffler and Matt Drake. Sandy Antunes' monthly column has run without interruption since inception; the forums include threads describing actual play of role-playing games in concrete terms. These threads include descriptions of how players have overcome specific challenges, they allow observers to view how a role-playing game is performed without having to participate; the columns software was upgraded in 2006, it now includes full RSS feeds as well as a variety of database-oriented lookups and full integration into the RPGnet forums. Prior to 2008, Columns Editing was handled by C. W. Richeson, Shannon Appelcline, Michael Fiegel and Sandy Antunes; as of January 2008, it is handled by Shannon Appelcline. RPGnet columns have been referenced on Slashdot, as well as on many blogs and gaming sites; the RPGnet wiki was added in early 2005. Conceived as a place for people jointly design roleplaying supplements and game systems, it has been used assemble an encyclopedia of roleplaying terms and resources, compile information about ongoing campaigns taking place on the forums.
The RPGnet Wiki is built on the same software used by Wikipedia. 2005 saw a facelift of the News & Press section of RPGnet. RPGnet now aggregates RSS feeds, with over two dozen feeds in six different gaming categories available. In 2006, RPGnet added a catalog of role-playing games known as the Gaming Index; this system is intended to hold every English RPG product, is searchable through a variety of means, notable hyperlinks to other products by the publisher, authors or game line and links to RPGnet's reviews of the product. Users can add pr
Alternity is a science fiction role-playing game published by TSR in 1998. Following the acquisition of TSR by Wizards of the Coast, the game was discontinued in 2000 as part of a broader rationalisation of TSR's business holdings, but it retains a small and devoted fanbase. Parts of Alternity as well as TSR's classic Star Frontiers game have been incorporated into the d20 Modern game the d20 Future setting; the first campaign setting for the Alternity game, the Star*Drive setting, was introduced in 1998. A new game called Alternity is due in 2017. Characters were created with a point-based system, could be either humans, one of several alien species presented in the core books, or original aliens created by the GM. Classes were replaced by professions, which dictated what skills and abilities were cheaper for any given hero to get, though a few skills were restricted to specific professions. Skills are classified into broad and speciality skills. Earning a specialty skill requires an associated broad skill, which requires a character to have sufficient associated ability points.
Special skill is further classified into ranks. Skill scores are presented with the full score, half that score, one-quarter that score. Which represent the numbers needed to achieve Ordinary, Good, or Amazing successes in an action round respectively. Unlike many other systems, actions are determined by situation dice; when Gamemaster calls for a roll, player rolls 1 situation die. The control die is always a 20-sided die, while situation die can be a 0, 4, 6, 8, 12, 20-sided die, where 0-sided die means the action only depends on control die roll. Situation die can be plus die or a minus die, in which the value in the situation die is added to or subtracted from control die value; the total of the rolled numbers is checked against character's action, feat, to indicate a success or a failure. Rolling low is always better for completing an action; the type of situation die. Difficulty is scaled in die types of -d20, -d12, -d8, -d6, -d4, +d0, +d4, +d6, +d8, +d12, +d20, +2d20, +3d20. A character's base situation die is +d4 for broad skill or feat check, +d0 for specialty skill or action check.
A minus situation bonus means player uses a larger negative situation die set, while a plus situation penalty means a player uses a larger positive situation die set. In an action round, a round is divided into 4 phases; each phase relates to one of the degrees of success that are achievable on an action check: Amazing, Good and Marginal, in order from the first phase to the last. A hero can attempt only 1 action per phase. Acting orders of characters are determined by a d20 die roll for all participants, which determines the earliest phase in which a character can act. All actions in a phase are considered to occur with the results of those actions being applied at the end of the phase. A character can act in as many phases. Depending on how far below the skill score the player rolled, there are 3 progressively better layers of success and 2 levels of failure. An action is determined using this same system, making the game uniform. Only armor rolls and damage rolls did not use the d20. Life points, called'Durability', are categorized into Stun, Mortal.
Stun damage can immobilize a character, but not life-threatening. Durabilities can be repaired by healing, or: For Stun, ending a scene. For Wound, resting. For Mortal, use of the Medical Science–surgery skill. Designed to be a generic rule set around which a campaign world could be built, it was not heavily marketed and suffered from mediocre sales which, along with increased focus on the d20 system, led to the discontinuation of the game in 2000. Much of the content of the Alternity game has been absorbed into the d20 Modern role-playing game; the Dark•Matter campaign is an entire d20 Modern expansion and Star Drive is part of the d20 Future expansion. The Gamma World campaign is an d20 Modern expansion by Sorcery Studios. Alternity uses four, eight and twenty-sided dice, but does not use the popular ten-sided die to help distinguish it from the competing World of Darkness and the Trinity role-playing game, published by White Wolf Game Studio; the probability curve created by the addition or subtraction of a d20 and another die is shaped like a plateau, with two straight lines on both ends of the flat region.
This is intermediate between the flat probability curve rolled by rolling a 20-sided die and the bell-shaped curve produced by die pool systems. Several books were published under the Alternity banner as core products, accessories, or under specific campaign settings; these products presented the basic rules and information about the Alternity system. Introductory Box Set – A box set including all the basic information for players and gamemasters to learn the Alternity rules. Player's Handbook – Included all the rules for players and player characters. Required to play. Gamemaster Guide – Included all the rules for gamemasters and session preparation. Required to play. Fast Play – An abbreviated form of the rules to ease players into the game. Campaign Kit – The kit included a gamemaster's screen and a booklet of record keeping forms; these products could be used with them. Beyond Science: A Guide to FX – An exploration and reworking of the FX abilities (a sci-fi vers
A gamemaster is a person who acts as an organizer, officiant for regarding rules and moderator for a multiplayer role-playing game. They are more common in co-operative games in which players work together than in competitive games in which players oppose each other; the act performed by a gamemaster is sometimes referred to as "Gamemastering" or "GM-ing". The role of a gamemaster in a traditional table-top role-playing game is to weave the other participants' player-character stories together, control the non-player aspects of the game, create environments in which the players can interact, solve any player disputes; the basic role of the gamemaster is the same in all traditional role-playing games, although differing rule sets make the specific duties of the gamemaster unique to that system. The role of a gamemaster in an online game is to enforce the game's rules and provide general customer service. Unlike gamemasters in traditional role-playing games, gamemasters for online games in some cases are paid employees.
The term gamemaster and the role associated with it could be found in the postal gaming hobby. In typical play-by-mail games, players control armies or civilizations and mail their chosen actions to the GM; the GM mails the updated game state to all players on a regular basis. Usage in a wargaming context includes Guidon Games 1973 ruleset, Ironclad. In a role-playing game context, it was first used by Dave Arneson while developing his game Blackmoor in 1971, although the first usage in print may have been Chivalry & Sorcery; each gaming system has its own name for the role of the gamemaster, such as "judge", "narrator", "referee", "director", or "storyteller", these terms not only describe the role of the gamemaster in general but help define how the game is intended to be run. For example, the Storyteller System used in White Wolf Game Studio's storytelling games calls its GM the "storyteller", while the rules- and setting-focused Marvel Super Heroes role-playing game calls its GM the "judge".
The cartoon inspired role-playing game Toon calls its GM the "animator". A few games apply system- or setting-specific flavorful names to the GM, such as the Keeper of Arcane Lore; the gamemaster prepares the game session for the players and the characters they play, describes the events taking place and decides on the outcomes of players' decisions. The gamemaster keeps track of non-player characters and random encounters, as well as of the general state of the game world; the game session can be metaphorically described as a play, in which the players are the lead actors, the GM provides the stage, the scenery, the basic plot on which the improvisational script is built, as well as all the bit parts and supporting characters. Gamemasters can be in charge of RPG board games making the events and setting challenges. GMs may choose to run a game based on a published game world, with the maps and history in place. Alternatively, the GM may build their own script their own adventures. A good gamemaster draws the players into the adventure.
Good gamemasters have quick minds, sharp wits, rich imaginations. Gamemasters must maintain game balance: hideously overpowered monsters or players are no fun, it was noted, in 1997, that those who favor their left-brain such as skilled code writers do not make it in the ethereal gamemaster world of storytelling and verse. Author: The GM plans out the plot of the story of which the player characters will become heroes. Director: During the game, while each of the other players controls the actions of one of the player characters, the GM decides the actions of all the NPCs as they are needed; the GM may direct a particular "NPC" that travels with the party, but this may be open to abuse since the Game Master having a "pet" NPC may compromise their neutrality. Referee: In most tabletop RPGs, the rules are supplied to resolve conflicting situations; the GM is expected to provide any necessary interpretation of those rules in fuzzier situations. The GM may approve or provide House Rules in order to cover these corner cases or provide a different gaming experience.
Manager: The least prescribed portion of GMing, thus the part that takes people the most by surprise. The GM is the one to organize the game in the first place, find players, schedule sessions, figure out a place to play, as well as acting as a mediator and having to balance the needs and desires of all participants—sometimes having to divine the real desires of indecisive or inexperienced players. In early virtual worlds gamemasters served as a administrator. Gamemastering in the form found in traditional role-playing games has been used in a semi-automatic virtual worlds. However, human moderation was sometimes considered unfair or out of context in an otherwise automated world; as online games expanded, gamemaster duties expanded to include being a customer service representative for an online community. A gamemaster in s
The CORPS game system, or Complete Omniversal Role Playing System, is a generic role-playing game system. It was created by Greg Porter in 1990; when the game was first published, it was available in game conventions. Beginning in 2003, Blacksburg Tactical Research Center ended publication of CORPS books and related materials, they are available only in a PDF format download, or printed on demand. In 1987, Blacksburg Tactical Research Center published its first game, Timelords, in which players played characters based upon themselves in a time travel setting; as a time travel/science fiction based game crossing many possible settings, much of the groundwork was laid for converting the base system into a universal RPG, in fact some players were using it as a generic game system. The CORPS system is loosely based on the Timelords system, but dropping detailed realism in exchange for speed and playability; the CORPS game book was first published in 1990 in limited marketing. This was standard business practice for BTRC, which has tried to never go into excessive debt to introduce a product.
The system was criticized for not being a universal RPG, focusing only on human centered settings. BTRC attempted to learn from this criticism and make changes in the design of its 2nd edition, published in 1995, in its next universal system, EABA. In August 2008, Applied Vectors entered into a new contract to create the CORPS Rules Expansion, which included a host of addons for the original game, including a bestiary and reprinted material from the original first edition game. Although this was a new contract, it followed an unrealised earlier contract entered into some time before; this was made available in April 2009. In September 2011 Applied Vectors announced a license agreement with BTRC to produce the 3rd edition of the CORPS roleplaying game; this was intended to be a complete overhaul of the system, but as of March 31, 2018 no product other than the CORPS Rules Expansion has appeared and the company seems to be concentrating its efforts on other game systems. CORPS uses a custom d10 based system for most actions.
A character in CORPS is built based on two types of statistic based on Skills. These are purchased in a points based system, using Attribute Points to purchase attributes, Skill Points to purchase skills; the total number of points available to spend depends on Game Master. A "normal" human might start with 100AP and 50SP, while a superhero character might start with 200AP and SP. Attributes are ranked on a 1-10 scale, with an average human rating a 4-5 in any one attribute and 10 being human maximum. CORPS uses six basic Attributes: Strength, Awareness, Willpower and Power; the cost of an Attribute is the square of the Attribute rank purchased, so a Strength of 4 would cost 16AP, an Agility of 5 would cost 25AP. Skills are applied to a specific area. Certain skill level requires Skill Points equal to square of the desired skill level minus the square of the related aptitude. Hence character with a high attribute would have to spend less Skill Points to develop skills related to that attribute.
Skills are further broken down into Primary and Tertiary skills. These break down specializations of specific skills. Secondary skills have a maximum level of one-half of the associated Primary skill, Tertiary skills have a maximum level of one-half of the associated Secondary skill; the aptitude savings apply only to primary skills. For example, the character with the Firearms skill of 4 may decide to purchase the associated Secondary skill of Longarms with a maximum of 2, the Tertiary skill of M-16A2 with a maximum of 1; this character could use an M-16A2 rifle with a total skill of 7. Players can use the points for additional advantages or gain more points by accepting disadvantages; these are generic like Age, Authority/Duty, Natural Aptitude/Debility, Physical Advantage/Limitation, Psychological Limitation and Wealth. The system gives some points for writing a character background and drawing a character portrait. To keep the system simple and fast moving, success rolls are not needed for many actions.
Any action a character may attempt is rated based on difficulty. If the character's appropriate skill level is equal to or higher than the difficulty, the action succeeds automatically. If it is lower, the player may roll 1d10. If they roll less than 11 minus the difference between their skill and the difficulty of the action times 2, they succeed. For example, the character above with a total skill of 7 attempts an action with a difficulty of 8, it is higher than his skill, so it's not automatic. The difference is only 1, so he needs to roll a 9 or less.. If the action had a difficulty of 9, he would need to roll a 7 or less. While it may seem confusing at first, this system makes success rolls quick and predictable; the only rolls needed are 9, 7, 5, 3, or 1. Any action with a difficulty more than 5 points higher than a character's skill is therefore impossible unless the campaign uses the "long shot" rule. Characters attributes. During play, characters earn additional Attribute and Skills Points related to the attributed and skills they used in play.
The cost to increase a skill or attribute is the difference between the cost of the level they have, the cost of the level they want. Therefore, to improve a Strength score from 5 to 6 would cost 11 points. Timelords, a CORPS
The D6 System is a role-playing game system published by West End Games and licensees. While the system is intended for pen-and-paper role-playing games, variations of the system have been used in live action role-playing games and miniature battle games; the system is named after the 6-sided die, used in every roll required by the system. Characters in the D6 System are defined by skills. Attributes represent the raw ability of a character in a certain area. Most D6 System games utilize anywhere from six to eight attributes, though these can vary in number and name by the game in question. Acumen, Knowledge, Perception and Technical are examples of mental attributes. Skills are associated with a specific attribute; each attribute and the skills under it are rated in values of Pips. The more dice and pips in the rating the better the character is at that skill or attribute. A character with a Strength rating of 4D+2 is stronger than a character with a Strength rating of 3D+1, for example. Character actions are resolved by making dice rolls against a difficulty number.
There are two types of difficulties and opposed. To perform a standard difficulty action, the gamemaster calls for the player to roll the dice for a certain attribute or skill; the value of each die is totalled and the pips are added to the die roll to get a total. This total along with any GM or system imposed modifiers is compared against a target difficulty number. To perform an opposed roll action, the two parties involved both roll their appropriate skills dice, total them and any modifiers and compare the results. If the first party's roll is higher than that of the second, he wins the contest and the rest of the result is resolved. If the second party equals or exceeds his opponent's roll the second party wins the contest. One of the dice rolled for each skill or attribute check or for damage is considered to be the "wild die", is treated somewhat differently from the other dice; this mechanism was added in 2nd Edition. If an initial six is rolled on the wild die the die "explodes", meaning you add the six to the total plus re-roll the wild die, adding the result to the total.
You get to keep rolling as long. If an initial one is rolled on the wild die, you disregard both it and the highest regular die from the total making you fail. You re-roll the wild die. If it comes up another one, a critical failure or complication occurs with bad results for the character. Use of the wild die tends to make the game feel more cinematic. In order to increase their characters' effectiveness, players may spend character points and fate points; the exact number of character points that may be spent is limited by the quantity possessed by the character, the situation that they are used in, with two being the typical limit. Each character point spent attribute roll. A roll of one has no negative effect with wild dice generated from character points. Alternately, a character may spend one fate point on an action. Characters have fewer fate points, but the expenditure of them doubles the number of dice rolled on an action. Most D6 System games use the resolution system described above, sometimes called The D6 Classic System, though some variants exist.
In one variant, The Legend System, instead of adding the die totals up, the dice showing 3, 4, 5 or 6 are each counted as a success. Use of a skill requires rolling a certain number of such successes. Pips are not used in the Legend System; this variation of the system was referred to, in jest, as "The D6 variant for the mathematically challenged" on WEG's own discussion forum. The Legend System has been utilized in the Hercules & Xena Roleplaying Game and the DC Universe Roleplaying Game. Other variants, such as those featured in the Star Wars Live Action Adventure Game and the Star Wars Miniatures Battles game, involve rolling a single six sided die and adding the result to a skill or attribute; this total is compared to a difficulty number, as with the other variants. A precursor to the D6 System first appeared in Ghostbusters: A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game, designed by Chaosium alumni Sandy Petersen, Lynn Willis and Greg Stafford, published by WEG in 1986; the following year, Greg Costikyan, Curtis Smith and Bill Slavicsek reworked elements from the Ghostbusters game into Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game.
For a decade, West End Games published over 140 titles for the Star Wars Universe including a magazine, The Star Wars Adventure Journal. In 1996, WEG released The D6 System: The Customizable Roleplaying Game, written by George Strayton, the first core D6 System book not tied to a specific licensed or original property. Allowing total freedom to create any kind of roleplaying game through variation in attributes and every other game element all centered around the core mechanic of rolling six-sided dice against a difficulty number, the D6 System book shared as much in common with the role-playing game toolkit Fudge as it did with other universal systems like GURPS. WEG followed the D6 core book with Indiana Jones Adventures and the stand-alone Men in Black RPG. Another licensed game, the Hercules & Xena Roleplaying Game was the last title released by the original West End Games before their b