Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Basic Dice Mechanics

Tonight, I wanted to get out both the skeleton of the "Banzai System" and a brief explanation of why it's organized under a philosophical framework of Potential, Power, Difficulty, and Narrative Control (Embellishment?). Chapters 1 & 2 cover setting information; Chapter 1 gives you the global overview, and Chapter 2 goes through each of the major hans ("fiefs"), over a hundred.

Chapter 3 begins the real nuts and bolts, the system that drives the action. I wanted a chance for readers to understand the ecosystem in which they are going to make their characters, rather than throwing character generation at them and then showing how all this works. I hate games where you make a character that sounds good to you, and then during play discover that the badass you made can't actually function in the game itself outside some narrow niche that attracted you in the character gen section.

So, first you gotta Know Your Basics. And the Design Diary video explains the why, and gives some "rolling dice in action" display. Enjoy!




Chapter 3: Know Your Basics


So, some observations before we start tackling basic mechanics. Assuming you're already familiar with how role-playing games work, there's not a whole lot of surprises in store for you: grab some dice, some friends, a vague idea for a plot, and have fun butchering your favorite samurai stereotypes. For this game, the only dice you'll need are ten-sided dice (d10's).

Sidebar: Jargon Reminder

A few terms were introduced in the Introduction, but it's good to remind you here. A Story Daimyo (hereafter SD) is the referee or narrator running the world your Player Characters (hereafter PCs, although we'll try to speak in plain language rather than jargon) are making trouble in. Other Non-Player Characters (NPCs) are either Yowamushi (minor characters), Namae (major characters), or Kami (mechanics term for characters without any statistics normally, as opposed to the kami spirits inhabiting the world).

Elements, Skills, Glory, Virtue, and other mechanics terminology will be mentioned here and there, but not fully explained. Don't worry. The Banzai system serves as the engine for the game; the rest are details specific to creation of samurai characters, and you'll see them explained fully in Chapter 4.


Hachigoku's Banzai System


An important note about when to roll dice: if you're not taking a risk, exploiting an opportunity (whether in combat, socially, or some other situation), you probably shouldn't bother rolling dice. Just because you aren't rolling dice doesn't mean you're not playing the game.

When you just talk to someone, there's no risk. When you're trying to convince someone of something (a lie, your sincerity, a seduction) that's a risk. When you scale a wall, assuming you're skilled and have proper equipment, there's no risk. Scaling a wall while arrows are flying? Risk. Just being sneaky? No risk. Actually trying to sneak past alert guards? Risk. In combat, the basic strikes, trying not be hit in turn, are not themselves risks. That moment when you might cause a Wound, or avoid taking one?

Risk.

So once you've decided to take a risk, grab the dice. Whenever a character needs to resolve a task vital to the adventure yet carrying a significant chance of failure, dice are rolled to determine narrative control; this is typically an action looking for a “yes” or “no” result, a determination of success or failure. The game exclusively uses 10-sided dice (d10's). When making a roll, the player gathers a number of dice (usually determined by an Element, Skill, or Discipline Rank), rolls, then selects which dice to keep (usually determined by an Element or Discipline Rank). Rank is an important term, a numeric value attached to each Element, Skill, Discipline, etc. Most rolls are stated as an X/Y or XkY formula (these are interchangeable), where X might by your Skill and Y your Element, implying that you want a number of dice equal to your X Rank, even if the roll doesn't explicitly read Rank. Or, a rule will simply say equal to or dependent on your Element, Skill, Discipline, etc., implying its Rank.

Once the right number of dice are collected, roll. Once the kept dice are selected, the value of each kept die is added together, plus or minus any modifiers, and compared to the target number (TN) of the roll. If the roll meets or beats the TN, you decide if it succeeds.

Not to harp, but take a second to think about that. The roll is not about success or failure. It's about deciding who controls success or failure: you, the SD, or even another player. Beating the TN grants you an “Effect,” which typically results in standard results: the character convinces someone they're telling the truth or not, damages a foe after a successful strike or misses, or the kami answer a prayer or let it fall flat. This is the initial Effect.

Distinguishing between how many dice rolled and how many kept can be described in an XkY format, with the first number being how many rolled and the second hoe many kept. Thus, a needed roll might be described as Skill/Element, meaning you roll dice equal to your Skill's Rank and keep dice equal to your Element's Rank, and if your Skill Rank is 6 and your Element Rank 3 it might be written 6k3. Sometimes a roll might read XkX because you roll and keep the same number of dice.
Usually players keep their highest dice, but you don't have to. You may keep any specific die you wish.

If a die rolls a 10, it's a “Banzai” die. Roll another die, and add the two numbers generated. A die can continue to shout “Banzai” and add all its totals together. The combined total is considered the total of the original shouting die. Now, you don't have to actually shout, “Banzai!” every time, but it's more fun that way. Usually the rules will just say a dice “shouts.”

Modifiers to a dice roll might affect the roll total, being added or subtracted to the final tally, or they more usually apply to the roll itself. Thus a +1k0 bonus changes a 5k5 roll to a 6k5 roll, and -2k0 changes it to 3k5. Any change that lowers the number of dice rolled below the dice kept just means you won't have those other dice around to keep; it doesn't generate imaginary dice to make up for the loss. Sometimes a modifier might apply to kept dice as well (+1k1, +0k2, etc.). Weapons and Discipline Okuden abilities often grant such modifiers. If multiple modifiers apply, you should apply the total bonuses and penalties to the roll simultaneously; thus independent modifiers of -1k0, +2k0, -0k3 to a 5k4 roll would become a +1k0 bonus and a -0k3 penalty, for a new roll of 6k1.

And of course, you always roll a minimum of 1k1, as long as rolling is an option. If the risk is just impossible to take (by the SD's judgment), then no chance exists. Without exceptional aid, you just are not going to swim through that lava.

Sometimes the rules might distinguish between a roll and an “attempted” roll or action. If a roll is to determine the success or failure of an attempted action, it's attempted (such as an attack roll). If the roll is consequence of the previous roll, or otherwise intended to measure a reaction, then it's not an attempted roll. The vast majority of rolls in the game ought to be attempted actions.

A maximum of 10 dice may be rolled or kept on any given roll. If you should be rolling more than 10 dice, each die over 10 is converted to a Free Raise.

Example: Tachibana Jo attacks a foe with his katana, an attempted action requiring a Kenjutsu/Fire roll. He has Kenjutsu 5, or the Kenjutsu Skill with 5 Ranks. He has Fire 3, or Fire Rank 3. All told, this makes the player's roll 5k3. A katana also gives its own bonus: +2k2. Thus the attack roll becomes a 7k5; 7 dice are rolled, resulting in 3, 5, 5, 6, 9, 9, & 10. The player shouts “Banzai!” (they are really into the game) and rolls another die, 3, adding it to the one with the 10. The player keeps 5 dice: 5, 6, 9, 9, & 13. The TN of the roll is 25 (his foe has Water 5 and no armor), thus the total of 42 gives Jo narrative control; Jo chooses to succeed! In this case, his single effect is to inflict one Wound. He should have been a bit more daring.

Target Numbers
Before determining a roll's TN, it's important to figure out just what kind of roll is needed, or what kind of risk is being taken. A risk's chance of success or failure depends on what kind of resistance the character encounters. This resistance comes from another character with agency, either passively or actively, or it comes from the nature of the task itself.

What's the difference between passive or active resistance? To actively resist your roll, a target (whomever is directly affected by the roll) must be aware of your attempt to affect them, and they must have reasonable cause to want to resist your attempt; this typical in competition. Passive resistance means the target is either not aware of your presence prior to the act (and if successful may remain unaware), or they are simply too used to your attempt; this explains a lot of passive resistance in combat.

Some risks blur the line and require some adjudication. Using stealth, for instance. Are you trying to sneak past some guards? They're only passive resisting. Are the guards actively searching for you, or even intruders in general (something has tipped them off, their superior is paranoid, etc.)? Active resistance. Skills considered “social” often blur this line as well. If you are questioning people for clues, canvassing for information, or insinuating plausible lies, then those spoken with are only passively resisting. If you are trying to uncover deception, or convince them of something unlikely to be true, then they actively resist.

Combat would appear to be always actively resisted. However, the methods of attacks, defenses, and movement are so ingrained and normalized in samurai society, even among those not expressly trained for combat, and a typical bout of combat so chaotic, that most combat rolls are only passively resisted. Occasionally, two opponents raise the stakes by engaging in a mutual risk (making an active defense against an attack), thus making the attack roll actively resisted.

Prayer rolls, magic, are always a risk; you're trying to get the kami to “break the rules” of the world around you. The average use of magic is only passively resisted by the kami, but there are exceptions.
A passive TN usually uses an opposing Element (Earth, Fire, etc.) x 5 as a TN. Thus, your Defense (passive TN) against most attack rolls is your Water x 5. Theoretically, you also might have a social/mental Defense (Wind x 5), a visual/spiritual Defense (Void x 5), a fortitude/willpower Defense (Earth x 5), and even a Defense against confusion (Fire x 5). Rarely, a passive TN may be set by your Dharma, Glory, Virtue, or even a Skill x 5.

An active TN requires opposed rolls by all parties involved. This means you and at least one other must each make a roll, usually using the same Element or Skill. The TN for the roll is set as the competitor's roll total, which usually means the highest roll wins. It's also possible for participants to be challenged by a passive TN set by the SD, such as to win the heart of a samurai. If neither meets or beats the TN, then both fail, even if one was higher than the other. If the rolls tie, victory goes to the initiating player; if the roll is a direct competition then the result is a tie (such as in a footrace).
If there is no passive or active TN, then it's simply a roll against TN 10. That's it, just 10. This is a simple TN.

If your total dice rolled and dice kept (a 7k4 would equal 11 in this case) are greater than a passive TN or simple TN 10, then you need not roll dice to take the risk; you gain narrative control and your initial Effect freely.

Example: Tachibana Jo is being chased over the rooftops by Owari Keiko. The SD rules they must both make an Athletics/Fire roll. Jo rolls 4k3 for a 17, and Keiko 3k3 for a 23. The player declares Keiko's effect is to tackle Jo to the ground. He tries to struggle free, and the SD says that they have a variety of choices. Jo may try to brute force his way out of the hold (Earth/Earth) or wriggle free (Water/Water); Keiko can try to overpower his resistance (Earth/Earth) or use skill to get a better grip (Sumai or Jujutsu/Water). The higher roll narrates their effect.

Group Rolls
Group rolls are made when a group of characters attempt the same basic action (such as investigating, intimidating, tracking, etc.) at once in a coordinated, combined effort. This way a more talented individual covers for another's deficiency. When making a group roll, one character acts as a primary actor, using their Elements, Skills, etc. Each additional character adds a +1k1 bonus to the roll. That's it. This bonus is capped at the lowest Element, Skill, etc. of all actors; sometimes it's best to keep the incompetent from helping.

Example: Jo and Keiko have reconciled; seems Keiko mistook him for the bandit Kurohebi. Now they'll track him together. Jo has Hunting 6 and Void 3; Keiko has no Hunting but a Void of 3. Jo becomes the primary actor, making this a 6k3 roll. Keiko helps out, but with no Hunting her bonus is +0k1. Thus, Jo rolls 6k4.

Difficulty Modifiers
Of course, not every roll is going to be just this simple. The dice you roll represent skill, talent, technique—the finesse and potential for success. The dice you keep represent raw power—the ability to fulfill that potential. Yet besides your training, knowledge, ability, blessings, etc., there are infinite factors affecting your success. A task may be easy or hard, there may be inclement weather, or you may be suffering an ailment or other serious disadvantage. The abilities of your character from Skills, Disciplines, Fortunes, etc. may grant certain modifiers, but these modifiers are situational.

Tasks the average samurai ought to be competent achieving (lifting your own weight over your head, recognizing someone in disguise) have no modifier. Easier tasks gain bonus rolled dice depending on the difficulty, and more difficult tasks lose rolled dice. These steps in difficulty modifier are not necessarily linear; if the SD feels a task is extremely easy or difficult, they may increase the bonuses or penalties however they see fit. Another rule may increase the difficulty modifier by one or more steps; Average to Hard would be an increase of 2 steps, while Heroic to Simple would be a decrease of 4 steps. Any step increases beyond Legendary no longer double the penalties, but do continue to subtract a further 4 dice; the same is true of easier difficulties past Mundane.

Once difficulty modifiers are calculated, this may raise your rolled and kept dice total higher than the passive or simple TN, letting you succeed automatically. Or it may lower the total, requiring you to roll when you otherwise would have succeeded without doing so. Determine this before reducing your rolled dice to 10.

Each difficulty modifier, whatever it's source, is counted separately when calculating how many dice to roll and keep. Thus, a samurai trying to scale a cliff without a rope, in the dark during a light rain suffers -2k0, -2k0, and -1k0 penalties for a -5k0 total penalty.

Suggested Difficulty Modifiers


Modifier
Difficulty
Physical
Mental
Condition
+4k0
Mundane
Getting out of bed.
Recalling details of your sword.

+2k0
Easy
Striking an immobile target.
Recognize a friend in a crowded room.

+1k0
Simple
Carrying half your weight.
Finding a misplaced item.

N/A
Average
Lifting your weight over your head.
Recognizing someone in disguise.

-1k0
Moderate
Diving safely from a waterfall.
Finding a well-hidden object.
Dim light. Light earthquake. Light rain. Minor sickness.
-2k0
Hard
Scaling a cliff without a rope.
Remembering someone's exact words.
Moonlight. Heavy earthquake. Heavy rain. Major sickness. Slight impairment.
-4k0
Heroic
Uprooting a tree you can get your arms around.
Naming all your ancestors. In order.
Pitch black. Massive earthquake. Storm. Debilitating sickness. Sense-blindness.
-8k0
Legendary
Shattering stone with your bare hands.
Outwitting a dragon.
Cataclysmic earthquake. Typhoon.




Some difficulty modifiers come from handicaps, either permanent or temporary, internal or environmental. These modifiers depend more on special circumstances, usually terrible, and reflect themselves in more than just difficulty modifiers. However, for mechanics purposes the dice penalties are all you need worry about. Other effects of a condition are up to the SD to reasonably describe and enforce; the game does not need to rule to measure how soaked your kimono is from the rain, or rules to tell you the everyday effects of being blind. While different difficulties normally impose separate dice bonuses and penalties, conditional difficulties that mimic the effects of the other do not. In pitch black darkness you suffer the same effects as being sense blind regarding sight, but still only face a single Heroic difficulty (whether or not there are more usual difficulties involved). If conditions cover differing levels of difficulty but the same type of complication you suffer the highest penalty only; thus, hard rain (Hard difficulty) limiting sight as per dim light (Moderate difficulty) imposes only Hard difficulty.

Darkness: A samurai has no fear of darkness, of course, but no love for it either. Only those who lack honor cover themselves in deepest shadow.
  • Dim light (Moderate): At night, underground, or in a confined, windowless room, the only source of light may be torches, lanterns, or open flames. At a certain distance (depending on the size and intensity of the source), the darkness may encroach as “moonlight” or “pitch black.”
  • Moonlight (Hard): The world is cloaked in shadow and silver, the moon half full or more. Alternatively, there may be a soft light source available, such as a translucent lantern or glowing moss. The enhanced vision of certain animals or supernatural creatures may also provide them this effect in otherwise pitch black darkness.
  • Pitch black (Heroic): No light source is available: less than half the moon is in the night sky, clouds have covered a larger moon, an underground area is not illuminated, or you may be confined in an unlit room.

Earthquake: Certain regions of Hachigoku are extremely earthquake prone. A natural earthquake typically is considered a Scene in itself, beginning and ending within the span of the action.
  • Light earthquake (Moderate): The ground shakes and makes movement difficult, but buildings suffer only minor damage. Hastily assembled structures (shacks, lean-to's, etc.) may crumble.
  • Heavy earthquake (Hard): Much more violent; houses may fall and entire villages collapse. Any physical activity threatens to tip you over.
  • Massive earthquake (Heroic): Entire cities shake and shatter; castles crack. Fires break out with blinding speed and fury in populated areas. Mudslides and avalanches roar. It's a risk just stay standing.
  • Cataclysmic earthquake (Legendary): Several towns and cities, perhaps even an entire region, are laid to waste. Coastal areas and islands may be swept away by a tsunami. Volcanoes may rain down ash and swallow the countryside in lava.

Rain: In the presence of rain physical tasks become more difficult. Rain can be considered light, heavy, or storming, and the effects are not cumulative.
  • Light rain (Moderate): Uncomfortable, but hardly threatening. The ground becomes slick, and items become slippery when wet; all physical tasks are affected, as are any attempts to communicate over more than a few feet.
  • Heavy rain (Hard): Water is more troublesome as dirt turns to mud, a sheet of rain reduces visibility, and even armor cannot keep you from looking like a drowned rat; all physical and social risks are affected.
  • Storm (Heroic): Oppressive water seeps into ever crevice and drives you down; every movement across open ground is a risk, your visibility is shorted to a few feet, and even following a train of thought is difficult. High winds and even thunder threaten everything around.
  • Typhoon (Legendary): Typhoons are massive, cyclonic storms ravaging across an entire kingdom and coming from the sea. They typically occur mostly during the summer (the “rainy season”), but may occur out of season at any time. The winds are deafening, and high floods make even crossing a street dangerously deadly.

Sidebar: Thunder & Lightning

During heavy rain or storms, thunder and lightning may complicate matters. Any player or the SD may, when spending Raises for any roll, you may spend 2 Raises to summon thunder and lightning into the Scene or the Round. The lightning strikes any place or person within sensory range. If the target is flammable, it bursts into flame. If the target is a Yowamushi, they die instantly. If they are Namae they suffer 10 Wounds. Any living thing (including the target, if they survive) within Close range of the target is mildly Deafened (-1k1) until the next Round.
Before you take this as a license to strike down your foes with “accidental” strikes, remember: anyone may do this with any roll. Pick your targets dramatically, and remember the kami sometimes have a dark, enigmatic sense of humor.

Sickness: Even the most stalwart samurai occasionally succumbs to illness and disease; the exact nature of what afflicts you is up to the SD, but nearly every conceivable sickness may travel to Hachigoku, by land or sea. A sickness may be temporary or chronic.
  • Minor sickness (Moderate): Fever, chills, congestion, and perhaps a mild headache impair your ability to function at your utmost. With proper care, these symptoms may vanish after a day or two.
  • Major sickness (Hard): It's a struggle to be up and about, but you persevere so as not to shame your ancestors. Too much of a strain and you may vomit, suffer sharp pain, or faint. You may have suffered notable physical damage, such as a sprain or whiplash.
  • Debilitating sickness (Heroic): Pain and nausea overwhelm you with every risk you take. You may be in the late stages of deadly illness like cholera or dysentery, or suddenly experience broken bones, maimed limbs, or even a heart attack.

Sense Impairment: Accidents of birth, curses, illness, or wounds may all impair one or more of your senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, or even mind. Those who do without long enough learn to compensate with the senses they have left. Only rolls relying (but not exclusively so) on a sense are affected. Sight and hearing are the most commonly crucial senses at risk. In Hachigoku, remember that the mind is considered a sense.
  • Slight Impairment (Hard): Your sense is only slightly impaired, such as being hard of hearing or near-sighted. This may also cover more exotic conditions, like color-blindness or localized nerve-damage (such as from leprosy), but only when the specific use of the sense is at play; when needing to distinguish certain colors being worn, for instance. A person's mind may also be developmentally damaged. An obnoxiously interfering environment may also inflict this condition, such as a roaring waterfall or blinding radiance.
  • Sense Blindness (Heroic): Your sense is effectively (if not completely) absent, such as being deaf or blind. This may also cover more exotic conditions, like nerve-damage all over the body (such as from advanced leprosy). A person's mind may also be lost to insanity.

A few conditions may impose increased difficulty modifiers over time. Each such modifier begins at Moderate, then increases a single step at set intervals if not alleviated: a suffocating character must breath, and a dehydrated character must drink. Any other conditions beyond dice penalties are up to a reasonable interpretation, like all other conditions.

  • Suffocation (+1 Difficulty step per minute or round): In certain circumstances, such as when underwater or trying not to inhale poisonous gases, it is necessary to hold your breath. You can go without air for a number of minutes equal to your Earth. If it is a period of high stress and activity, such as combat, replace minutes with rounds. If the number of steps exceeds your Earth, you fall unconscious. If you cannot breathe normally now, you die.
  • Sleeplessness (+1 Difficulty step per Scene past normal waking hours): Samurai often find themselves pushed beyond their limits to fulfill their duty, but weariness is a dangerous foe. You may attempt to persevere through difficulty steps equal to your Earth before sleep overwhelms; a half-day's rest will restore you fully.
  • Starvation (+1 Difficulty step per day): Being denied food is debilitating if not done governed by rationing or fasting. After a number of days equal to your Earth + Void, you begin losing Earth at a rate of 1 per day permanently, which can only be regained at 1 Rank per day of normal nutrition; it is possible to only eat enough (or be given enough) to sustain the current Earth Rank indefinitely. If you reach 0 Earth, you die.
  • Dehydration (+1 Difficulty step per day): Being denied water (or any other sufficient liquid) is severely debilitating. You begin suffering penalties after a full day of no hydration; this may occur at a faster rate in extremely harsh environments such as blistering deserts or volcanic caverns. After a number of days equal to your Earth, you begin losing Earth at a rate of 1 per day permanently, which can only be regained at 1 Rank per day of normal hydration; it is possible to only eat enough (or be given enough) to sustain the current Earth Rank indefinitely. If you reach 0 Earth, you die. Alcohol will not rehydrate you, but it may dull the pain.

Yes, starvation and dehydration conditions are cumulative; starvation and denial of water can be twice as deadly. Truly crafty taskmasters or wardens can carefully vary their feeding schedules for workers and prisoners to maximize fear and minimize resistance.

Sidebar: Additional Conditions

There are all kinds of things that might affect you and others, likely brought about by bonus Effects or magic. It might be a minor or disastrous disease, or even a beneficial boost. The simplest way to reflect this is with an appropriate Difficulty modifier affecting the character for as long as reasonable. Each spent Raise reflects an additional step in Difficulty.


Raises
Raises are the real meat of how to have fun with the game. Sometimes you want to achieve a better than “just successful” result, perhaps even an extraordinary success. To do so, increase the TN by increments of +5 (some abilities may alter the increments necessary for a Raise). Each increment is a “Raise.” Magic, combat, or special ability rolls often have specific effects that can only be accomplished with Raises.

You cannot make more Raises than your Void, although this may be modified by special abilities or circumstances. Those without Void max out their Raises by their lowest Element.

Some abilities give you Free Raises. These grant the same benefits as regular Raises, but do not actually increase the TN nor do they count towards the Void limitation. These can be added with regular Raises for spectacular effects.

What you can do with Raises is add bonus Effects to your initial Effect. These bonus Effects might be detailed as in combat, magic, or special ability rolls, or they can grant you even more narrative control. After all, even the bonus Effects of combat Raises and the like are effectively a form of narrative control. Each Raise grants one additional Effect, enabling whomever makes the Raise to collaborate in creating a collective narrative beyond just their individual actions. Each effect outside of the detailed rules allows you to embellish the action, or even the entire Scene, with a single fact, subject to certain conditions. Thus you can narrate actions, objects, or even other characters' actions and attributes (including other player characters) with Raises. Of course, these actions or descriptions must make sense within the context of the Scene, adventure, and setting. Otherwise, you're inhibiting the collective enjoyment of the other players. Don't be That Player.

Ever.

You can be as clever as you like, but each Effect can contain no conjunctions or disjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), except to combine the benefits of several Raises.

Furthermore, you may not use a Raise to contradict an already established fact. In other words, you may not use a Raise to say, “No.” You can modify a fact, however, with a “Yes, and...” or a “Yes, but...” You cannot simply negate another player's Raises or erase the established reality of the game in progress.

Nor may you use a Raise to replace a roll or other mechanic. If striking a foe with your katana requires a roll, a risk on your part, then you cannot use a Raise to simply say you hit your foe as part of some other action. At least, not to cause damage or replicate some other effect normally requiring more Raises (like hitting a specific location).

You may, however, convert unused Raises (even Free Raises) into Honor Points; 1 Honor Point is gained per 2 Raises spent. However, you cannot gain more Points in total per roll than your Void. Unless some special ability circumvents this limit.

Opposed rolls are governed slightly differently in regard to Raises. If the roll had a simple TN, then failing to meet or beat the increased TN loses you all your Raises. If the roll's TN is only established by another character's result, then the lower roll loses half their Raises (round up). The higher roll resolves the initial Effect, then their first bonus Effect, then the lower roll resolves one of their bonus Effects. This back and forth continues until all those who made rolls resolve all bonus Effects from Raises.

When making group rolls, only the primary actor may make Raises. However, their Raise limits are raised by one for each additional character involved in the roll.

Finally, an important fact about Raises: you make them before you roll, but you don't have to decide how to spend them until after the roll. Including to fail creatively. Think about that.

Example: Keiko discovers the bandits are holed up in a fort atop a hill. She decides to investigate the back side of the encampment for access, making an Investigation/Void roll (TN 10). The player figures a 7k3 has a good chance to make the TN, and decides to gamble on 2 Raises, making the TN 20. The dice fall, and come up 29. The player says, “Keiko sees a flight of thin stairs carved in stone (initial effect), and the bandits haven't spotted them (first Raise), because they imprisoned the samurai normally stationed there (second Raise).”

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