What to do if you are asked to roll for something
This is also known as a Task Check. It can be found on page eight of the main Feng Shui core rule book.
I will directly quote the book:
Whenever you are called upon to roll dice in a Feng Shui game, you will be rolling two standard six-sided dice. Each should be a different color. One die represents a positive; the other, a negative value. At the beginning of each session, tell your GM which color is which and stick to this choice. No fair deciding which is positive after you’ve seen the roll results!
Whenever you roll the dice, subtract the negative role from the positive. The result may be a negative number.
Example: Mary designates her green die as positive and her red die as negative. She rolls and gets a 3 on the green die and a 1 on the red. She subtracts the result for the red die from the green die: 3 – 1 =2. Her die result is 2.
Close and Open Rolls
Sometimes your GM will ask you to make a close roll. This is a normal roll of the two dice, as given above.
Most of the time you will be asked to make open rolls. In an open roll, you may re-roll any die that comes up 6, adding to that die’s total. This gives a wider range of results, which simulates the wild and chancy actions typically undertaken by Feng Shui characters.
Example: Mary makes an open roll, and she gets a 6 on her green die and the five on her red die. She re-rolls the green die, getting a result of 4. She adds the results of the two green die rolls: 6 + 4 = 10. She then subtracts the negative result, 5: Her final result is 5.
If on an open roll, both dies come up sixes (boxcars), the GM should decide that something unusual happens. You re-roll both dice, ignoring each instance of boxcars (but not a single 6) in your final total. The unusual happening may be good or bad, depending on the overall result of the roll.
Determining Success or Failure
Usually when you make a roll, you will then and the result to another number—that number is usually one representing one of your characters abilities, and is called an Action Value (abbreviated as AV). When you choose your character type, you will want to make sure that he/she has high Action Values in the abilities you want him/her to be especially good at. On page 10 is a chart that gives you an idea of the level of ability various action values correspond to.
When you add the final roll to an Action Value, you get a number we call the Action Result. When your character tries to do something, that Action Result is compared to a number decided upon by the GM which represents the difficulty of the task your character is attempting. This number is called—surprise, surprise—the Difficulty. If the Action Result equals or exceeds the Difficulty, your character succeeds at the task. How well he/she does depend on the difference between the Difficulty and the Action Result. The difference is called the Outcome. If the Action Result is lower than the Difficulty, the attempt fails. Again, the difference between the two numbers can determine the degree of failure if necessary.
Even outrageously skillful heroes have their off moments. Bad luck can strike at any time, bringing with it humiliation agony, humiliation, slapstick embarrassment, or humiliation. [I don’t think the book said humiliation enough] A task check that results in this sort of way-awful failure is called a fumble.
Fumbles occur in one of two ways:
- You get a negative Action Result.
- You roll double sixes (boxcars) and then fail to meet the Difficulty of the check.
Most of the time, your GM will think up excruciatingly appropriate fates for your character to meet when you fumble. Standard fumble results are provided for some common task checks. Gun-wielding characters who suffer fumbles usually have their guns malfunction on them. Sorcerers suffer something nasty called backlash.