Mythos version 0.1

Previous versions of the rules, used for Shadows over Angers up till Part 4. By and by I will be presenting the role-playing system I use in my games.

A role-playing/storytelling system

The system is relatively simple and is inspired by The Window, D6 and Risus. It only uses six-sided dice.

An attribute, characteristic typically range from 1-7+.

1   Poor (10)
2   Below Average (20)
3   Average, Mediocre (28)
3+ Competent (36)
4   Above Average, Skilled (44)
4+ Professional, Talented (52)
5   Excellent, Very Good (60)
5+ Expert (68)
6   Superb, Remarkable, (76)
6+ Amazing (84)
7   Grandmaster, Incredible (92)
7+ Unbelievable (100)

The numbers in round brackets indicates a suggested equivalent value in a percentile system. This may be useful in converting characters from other systems to URPS. Every system is different and you should try to work out what makes sense in each.

From time to time the GM will ask a player to roll a number of dice trying for successes to determine if you succeed or fail at some action or task. A 4-6 on a dice is a success. For every additional 6 after the first 6, add 1 success. A + allows you to re-roll one failed dice.

Typically you roll against a difficulty level. For example a challenging action is a difficulty level of 2. You roll the number of dice in the relevant attribute in an attempt to equal or exceed the difficulty level in successes.

You never roll more than 4 dice. Characters with very high attributes of 5 or above, you substitute a normal dice for a heroic dice for every level above 4. For example, a character with a superb (6) skill would roll 2 normal dice and 2 heroic dice. If the skill was at Unbelievable level you would roll 3 heroic dice and 1 normal dice.

Heroic Dice
1 = nothing
2 - 4 = 1 success
5 - 6 = 2 successes

You may adjust the difficulty upwards by the same number of dice. For example to give a character with a Poor attribute (1) a chance of succeeding at a difficult task (3) you might get him to roll 3 dice for a 1 in 216 chance of getting 5 successes, i.e. both attribute and difficulty level is increased by 2. In most circumstances, allow characters to roll the number of dice equal to their attribute against the difficulty.

Difficulty levels are as follows:

1 Easy, Routine
2 Challenging, Moderate
3 Hard, Difficult
4 Very Hard, Very Difficult
5 Extremely Difficult
6 Heroic

The relative number of successes tells you how well or badly you have done at the task. If you miss the difficulty level by 1 it is a partial failure. By 2 is a complete failure. If you equal the difficulty level you made it, just. If you beat it by 1 it is a good success, by 2 it is a splendid success.

In a contested roll, both parties roll their relevant attribute dice + their attribute level.

E.g. Johan gets into a brawl with Eric, Johan is a good boxer (4) while Eric is a mean street fighter (3+). Johan rolls and gets 2 successes. He adds this to his attribute of 4 for a total of 6 successes. Eric rolls and gets 1 success. He adds this to his attribute of 3+ for a total of 4 successes. Johan, with 2 successes over Eric, wins the round resoundingly.

If you are wounded, act wounded, don't go jumping around or leaping tall buildings. Mechanics wise you can give a -1 penalty to all die rolls. So a wounded character would only succeed on a roll of 5 or 6 and he would not get extra successes for additional 6s. (a roll of 6 becomes 5)

Drama Tokens

A player can gain Drama Tokens by good role-playing or dramatic description of your actions. This is at the discretion of the GM and whenever you attempt something which necessitates a dice-roll to see if you are successful at something.  You can gain a Drama Token whether you succeed or fail at the task. All Drama Tokens goes into a Drama Pool shared by the players. You gain Drama Tokens only after the result of the action and not before, so you can't use a Drama Tokens on the same action you gained it from.

You may use Drama Token to boost your roll if you describe your action dramatically. You can use a drama token to re-roll a single failed dice or add +1 to a successful dice. You may use a Drama Token to roll another dice and add it to your dice rolls. Always replace existing failed dice first before rolling above your level of dice. When re-rolling or adding dice, you always use s heroic dice.

Example, you can use a drama Token to add 1 to your roll of 5 to make it a 6. You do not gain Drama Token for an action or test where you used Drama Token.

Note to the GM: This system does not attempt to simulate the real world. It does try to make things dramatic both from the players' perspectives and a third-person perspective. Some simple principles to bear in mind:

1. Only roll when it is dramatic to do so. For many actions all that is required is you compare the relevant attribute to the task at hand and decide whether the character succeeds or fails or how long it takes. Walking across a rickety bridge in a non-threatening scene does not necessitate a dice roll most of the time for most able-bodied characters. Being chased by a blood-thirsty horde of demons as you dash across the same bridge is another matter. Always think in terms of what would be dramatic from the players or audience perspective. Remember, rolling the dice gives the players a chance to gain Drama Tokens, the task should be challenging and dramatic enough for them to earn it.

2. Abide by the dice rolls. Always abide by the dice rolls. It shows a sense of fairness, and mitigates part of the godlike role of the GM. It builds the sense of suspense and drama when players pick up the dice knowing their fates are literally in their hands.

3. A good story is the central goal. Both GM and players need to bear this in mind as they role-play. Always think in terms of what would make a good story and how to tell that story. There is no individual 'win'. While the GM is there to provide challenge and antagonism he is not someone to compete or beat against. Work with him to tell a good story. A GM likewise is responsible for ensuring the players are involved and feel they have a stake in the story. You do this by making sure every player has your attention and always thinking is it fun from their perspective. Every player is different and there is no one size fits all.

Drama Token are a way of balancing the story for dramatic storytelling and encouraging players to take a dramatic part in it. So if a team is high on drama Token it is time to get them into situations where they would need to use them.

Drama Token generally don't carry over from scenario to scenario. At the GM's discretion you can allow Drama Token to be used by players to influence the development of plot lines in the story.

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