Most often in the game when a player wishes their character to attempt some action, the Host of the game will be able to automatically resolve whether the attempt is successful or otherwise. In some instances, however, the Host will not be able to make a rapid and fair judgement independently. In such a situation, the arbitration engine is resorted to, using the luck of the dice, weighted by the traits of the character sheet and the complexities of the in-story situation, as a means to produce a randomised but independent outcome.
Sub-menus under the Arbitration heading will give fine details and discussions on a range of specialist circumstances and uses for the arbitration system. Here the general approach is outlined, focusing on the attempt to perform an action through the use of a characteristic and skill trait. Details on Opposed Rolls, when two characters are acting in direct opposition to each other, are given at the bottom of this page
The dicepool is the number of ordinary, six-sided dice (or ‘d6’) to be rolled by the player when attempting an action. The base number is determined as the numerical value for the most appropriate Skill to the match the situation, as determined by the Host. In some instances, two or more traits of the same type may seem equally applicable (a character trying to read something written in Latin, would need both Literacy and Language (Latin) to succeed). In this case, the lowest of the relevant trait values is used. This then defines the basic dicepool for the character’s compentency in the situation, if all other things are equal. Further relevant traits on the character sheet might influence this further (for instance, a Lombard who had lost an eye who needed to roll to see if they saw something half concealed in their vicinity would roll as many dice as their Notice (skill) but with a -1 penalty for the injury: one-eyed.
In practice, of course, all other things are often not equal and a Modifier is therefore often used as well. To reflect the complexities of the situation – perhaps the weather is bad, the character has to complete the task in a short amount of time, the specific task itself is notably tricky, the character has taken time (in the story) to prepare for the action and so forth. In such cases, the Host briefly sums together all this background information, and summarises it as a statement of complexity from very easy through to very difficult. Each of these has a numerical rating, which defines the number of dice added to or subtracted from the dicepool before it is rolled, as follows:
|Very Easy||+2 dice to dicepool|
|Easy||+1 die to dicepool|
|Moderate||No change to dicepool|
|Tricky||-1 die from dicepool|
|Difficult||-2 dice from dicepool|
|Very Difficult||-3 dice from dicepool|
If the final dicepool is zero (or less), then whatever action was being attempted is an automatic failure. Otherwise, the number of dice in the dicepool should be rolled.
Before continuing remove any dice that show a ‘1’. If every dice rolled is removed, then the attempt has failed so abjectly, that the worst-case scenario ensues: a fumble. Otherwise, and if appropriate to the situation, the Host may introduce (negative) consequences into the attempt for each ‘1’ rolled, such as quirks, flaws and unexpected twists. The more ‘1’s rolled, the greater the scale of the consequences, or the more consequences that are introduced.
Assuming there is still one or more die left from the roll, add together their values. For each multiple of six, the quality, grace and competency of the overall success increases a notch. Conversely, if the total amount rolled numbers five or less, then the attempt has been a failure.
The overall values rolled, then, may be interpreted as follows
|Sum of dice rolled||outcome|
|0||Fumble (Abject failure, worst-case scenario ensues)|
If two characters are acting in direct opposition to each other, then the Host should identify which is the aggressor and which the defender. Both make their rolls as per normal, but assuming the defender rolls a success (that is six or higher), the sum they have rolled should then be subtracted from the attackers roll. This modified value should then be used to determine the extent of success (or failure) as if it were the number rolled. Regardless of the calculation, negative numbers are not used, and the worst an aggressor’s roll can be reduced to is a fumble.