Various Rules Clarifications, Thoughts

Hey all, I'm starting this, as I'm looking into the deep dark heart of the rules and mechanics of FS for various reasons (including I'm going to try running a FS variant PbP game), and I'd like to just get some stuff really nailed down with certainty, if anyone is so inclined to post. I have just been back through ALL the posts related to most of my questions in this whole forum, so yes, I am going to be at least somewhat familiar with some previous answers, but some things still weren't answered for me. Thanks.

Active Parrying/Dodging:

How long does an Active Dodge/Parry last? The book example says so-and-so upped his Dodge by 3, moving his next attack back by a shot, and then on the next shot, an Abomination attacked, but failed due to the increased Dodge AV, so obviously Active Dodge lasts the whole sequence, right?

The core book says you can use an Active Dodge to try to put yourself in a better position, besides just the +3 to your Dodge. What does this mean - what, specifically, can you think of, would this be? Does it mean "higher ground" and you get a bonus to your AV or get behind cover or what? I can't think of what "advantage" is being considered in the mind of the author. One poster suggested a counter-attack, but I think since it's an attack, it would need to be done on your next active shot.

Fu Powers

Blade of Darkness lasts a number of hours equal to your Outcome. WHAT Outcome? It doesn't say you make a check against anything to use it!

I have a character playing in my game who uses Blade of Darkness. For him to generate the sword he makes a Martial Arts check generating the sword as part of his stunt. If he just hits with his attack the sword is generated for that attack and succeeds, then fizzles out afterward. Otherwise the attack misses or hits, and the outcome of the attack works for the sword as well.

Here's one question I have RE: fortune dice rolls.

So a roll with a Fortune Die is a closed roll (according to a clarification by Robin Laws). Currently I have my players make their normal roll and then once it is completed they roll their fortune die. The normal roll is still for all intents and purposes an open roll, then the fortune die roll is closed. Am I understanding this correctly?

So you're saying the Blade of Darkness is not as much an Item Creation power as much as a Martial Arts attack power that just happens to also create an item. I hadn't interpreted it that way since it doesn't actually say you make an attack in the text, but I suppose that would explain the Outcome mention.

Path of the Shadow's Companion
Fu Power: Friend of Darkness
Chi / Shots: 1/1
Requires: -
Category: Perception
Area of Effect: self
Effect: act in darkness with no penalty
Target: -
Duration: Sequence
Range: -

Fu Power: Dark's Soft Whisper
Chi / Shots: 4/3
Requires: -
Category: Fu Fueled Attack, MA, Perception
Area of Effect: attack
Effect: entirety of attack and resulting sounds from opponent is silent
Target: 1 opponent
Duration: attack/action (3 shots)
Range: melee

Fu Power: Blade of Darkness
Chi / Shots: 1/3
Requires: -
Category: Fu Fueled Attack, MA, Creation
Area of Effect: 1 melee blade
Effect: MA attack that uses a created temporary melee weapon (blade), as follows:
Str +3 damage, +3 to Intimidation checks
Target: -
Duration: hours = Outcome of MA attack check
Range: melee

According to the book it says you may spend a Fortune point to add an another positive die to a task check, which to me means it's an open roll - I don't know what to tell you about Robin saying it's closed, as that isn't what the rules as written seem to indicate...?

Nope, one attack, one active dodge. You can keep paying the cost as long as you have shots remaining, but the active dodge only lasts for the attack it was declared against.

Mostly colour, or backing away, or diving behind cover. There are cover rules, so jumping behind a desk when the first mook opens fire will leave the others with a cover penalty to deal with.

I've always ruled you just make a Martial Arts roll against a difficulty of 0- but you could make it an attack. I'd never considered it but it makes sense as the shot cost is 3- same as an attack.

Fortune Rolls

Fortune rolls are open or closed, at the GM's discretion (as always). Fortune dice, added to rolls of any kind, are closed. That's how I've always played it. Otherwise you may find yourself in the odd situation where you need a really, really good roll to succeed, but spending Fortune makes it impossible as you need a +12 but can only get a +11.

Apparently there's an old thread a while back (years ago on an e-mail listserv) where Robin clarified that fortune die rolls were closed.

I've had some trouble remembering myself to get my players to make their rolls first, then add a closed fortune die (if they roll all three at once who's to say which positive die is the fortune die, for instance).

This is why I have dice in 3 colours when I run it. Plus at the start of the session players can take a number of fortune dice equal to their Fortune, and put them back in the box as they use them.

Mind = blown.

Thanks for clarification on the active dodge, I wasn't grasping it was for the next attack and then it disappeared - I didn't see anywhere it said that but I may have just overlooked it.

So at least I was right, judging that one person decided Blade of Darkness was just a creation check against Diff 0, and another person decided it was an attack - it wasn't clear, so I feel better there at least.

To be honest, I don't see WHY Fortune rolls should be closed. Yah it could make a task go crazy but its a high flying martial arts action movie game - why limit it NOW with the Fortune Dice and introduce a "You can add a Fortune Die to your task roll, but the task roll is open but the Fortune roll is closed" complexity - why in the world would he not just leave it like it is "Add an extra positive die to your roll"? I can't imagine any reason it would matter if you had two dice "explode" - you spent the Fortune Points, it's an action movie - so what? But that's just my own rant on that - obviously, my houserule on that would be that's all open, my players will likely never know what a "closed roll" is.

I think it may have just been one of those things that came up on the e-mail listserv a few years back and Robin just made a ruling on it. Nothing says that you have to, and in the end, it's your game and you can house rule all you want. :slight_smile:

I think the reasoning may be that if you have to two dice explode you can start racking up some crazy damage. It wouldn't be so bad on a task check, you manage to do something really well, but at the same time if you started rolling too crazy you could start taking out half of a named character's wound points on a roll or something like that. Just one thought on that at least.