Monday, 25 November 2019

Reviewing the Basics - Checks and Contests

We have a lot of new followers popping up as of late, and while I feel a bit bad retreading old information I think it's probably been long enough that I can get away with it!

Lets start foundations of BREAK!!'s main mechanics.

Every character and other entity in BREAK!! has a list of values called Aptitudes. These are used to show how competent a particular entity is on one of five broad areas of expertise. The five Aptitudes are:
  • Might
  • Deftness
  • Insight
  • Grit
  • Aura
The exact values will vary greatly depending on Rank and the type of character or entity and are modified by Abilities and other factors, like Purviews and Traits. But that stuff comes up in character creation and advancement, so we don't need to discuss them much right now.

The most rudimentary system of resolution in BREAK!! are Checks and Contests.
  • Checks come up whenever an individual is attempting to do something challenging with a significant chance of failure. An appropriate Aptitude (as well as any appropriate bonuses or penalties) is selected and the challenged rolls a d20 in hopes of getting as close as possible to their Aptitude's value without going over.
  • Contests are like Checks, save for rather than testing one entity's skill, there are two or more challenging each other. Each involved Rolls as if they were making a Check, and whoever is able to roll the highest without going over is the winner. Now, this outcome can be changed by a multitude of things (who has the higher bonus, or pertinent Ability, or whose getting helped) - but again, we are just covering the basics here.
These are the foundations for a lot of other systems in the game. Most of them reference this in some capacity, while adding in new levels, steps, or strategies as appropriate.

One of the things I'd really wanted when planning BREAK!! was for resolutions that didn't need a lot of math and for players to be able to reference their character sheets (rather than needing to go back to the book a lot) during play - so starting with something simple like this and building onto it seemed like the way to go for me.


  1. Here's a bit about contests that I particularly liked:

    "If you both go over your Aptitude, whoever rolled highest is still the winner. It’s just an embarrassing victory - like winning a dance off because your performance was so bad nobody around could pay attention to anything else."

    Seemed like an appropriate bit of genre emulation.

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