Frequently, characters will be required to make a check - a check is a dice roll designed to see if a character succeeds or fails at what they are attempting to do. Most often, checks are required when a character takes an action, but many other circumstances might call for a check as well.
There are two basic types of checks: direct and opposed. A direct check is a check against a specified difficulty; that difficulty may be modified by another character, but the test is aimed at a known value; direct checks are the most common. An opposed check is a check against another character's check - simultaneously, two characters will check against each other, with the greater outcome winning.
Two examples of direct checks are:
An example of an opposed check is:
All checks are based on one of the character's skills (e.g., Acrobatics, Weapons, or Strength, in the above examples), and involve rolling a pair of dice, and summing the values.
To determine the dice that are rolled each check starts with a pair of d8s. Players then modify the dice based on the number of upgrades and downgrades involved in the check. Upgrading a die involves replacing it with a larger die, while downgrading involves replacing it with a smaller die. The die upgrade track is:
d4 -> d6 -> d8 -> d10 -> d12
A d4 cannot be downgraded, and a d12 cannot be upgraded.
If a check involves both upgrades and downgrades, they cancel each other out (1 for 1); any remaining modifications will then be applied to the starting dice (any excess after that are discarded).
Once the dice have been determined, they are rolled; the check result is the total of the two values summed together.
To determine the final result (success or failure of the check), compare the check's roll result to either:
Difficulty value is always presented as either a specific number (e.g., 12) or a specific number modified by another character's defensive attribute (e.g., 10+Reaction). In the latter case, simply add that character's attribute to the specified number to determine the actual DV of the check. Note, the character in question is often not the character making the check (this is typically another character who is specified as the target of an action that requires the check).
For direct checks: if the check's value is greater than or equal to the DV, the check is successful; otherwise, it is a failure.
For opposed checks: the character whose check's value is greater succeeds; in the case of a tie, repeat the test.
Upgrades and downgrades to a check can come from a variety of sources. The character may have a condition (or charm or curse) that provides a temporary modification to certain checks. There may be environmental conditions at play. The narrator may choose to apply any amount of these modifications at her discretion to represent the situation (e.g., the character has ample time to perform the task, so they are granted an upgrade).
Most commonly, upgrades will come from the training level of the character's skill. For each training the character has in the associated skill, they gain an upgrade when checking with that skill.