Challenges are the core mechanic of all engagements. All challenges consist of:
Example: Tony is a surgeon and is conducting the replacement of a cybernetic arm. The surgery is treated as a challenge in this respect. He has a trait modifier of 3 EQ (as his base score is 31) and 3 competencies in cybernetic engineering and rolls 3 on a d10. This gives a challenge score (CS) of 3 + 3 + 3 = 9. The difficulty of the surgery is rather easy, so the GM rates the challenge a "2" and since the patient is not fighting back or actively resisting, the patient's relevant trait score (in this case it would have been BQ ) is not added. The GM rolls a d10 getting a 6 and adds the difficulty rating of 2 to it, resulting in a CS of 8.
Since Tony's CS 9 is higher than the patient's CS 8, the surgery is successful. The degree of success is determined by what is known as a victory margin.
Challenger's CS minus challenged CS = victory margin (VM)
- <-3: Catastrophic failure
- -1 to -3: Failure
- 0: Learning through failure
- 1 to 3: Success
- 4: Critical success
- >4: Fluke
Catastrophic failure: Failure so bad, that something bad happens (someone using a machine causes a mishap to himself or others, someone in a fight ends up hurting himself while striking and so on)
Failure: The attempted challenge fails. If the challenge was an attack, it fails to connect or cause any meaningful damage. No learning opportunity presents itself to the challenger as the attempt was quite poor.
Learning through failure: The challenge fails, however, if this outcome is met, and the challenger's competency score is lower than the challenged party's corresponding competency score (for symmetric challenges) or if it is lower than the GM's prescribed difficulty rating, then the challenger will gain one point in the competency used. That means the competency in question is improved permanently by 1 point.
Success: The attempted challenge succeeds. If the challenge was an attack, it hits and causes damage as per the damage score.
Critical Success: A success so good, that a better than expected result is derived. But most importantly, a critical success is needed for a challenger to improve his competency rating. If the competency rating of the skill being used in the challenge was lower than the difficulty rating set by the GM and this margin of success is achieved, the competency is improved by 1 point permanently.
Fluke: The challenge is aced, however, it was by utter luck or with such minimal expenditure of effort that the challenger is almost bored. Its like a Bruce Willis action movie where he crashes out of the windshield of a car, and lands on his feet like iron man (ok there's no such movie, but Bruce Willis tends to play these kinds of characters), but has no idea how he did it and he certainly cannot repeat that success reliably. This outcome is treated exactly the same as a critical success in terms of efficacy, however, the challenger does not have the opportunity to GAIN competency. This type of outcome represents a success through sheer luck or a margin of victory so large that it is technically not a challenging endeavor for the person attempting the action; it was too easy.
Rather than have a separate damage roll when a challenge is made/received, the victory margin is used for Damage
Only one trait score or competency at a time should be used. For competencies, if the specialization optional rule is used, then the competency's value is the sum of all the subskills leading to the relevant specialization. If a challenge seems to involve two traits simultaneously, treat it as two separate challenges (like two parts), with the net VM as the final victory. For example, James is trying to disarm a bomb while driving. He would make a challenge of his driving competency, getting a VM of -3 as well as a challenge of disarming the bomb, getting a VM of 5. The GM takes these and adds them together [5 - 3 =2] and the net VM of 2 is the final outcome of that scenario for James.
Passive & Active Opposition
Challenges against another character can be opposed passively or actively. Active opposition follows the challenge examples described above, whereas, with passive opposition, the defender does not get to add a d10 roll to their CS, and only uses their trait + competency modifiers.
Passive opposition occurs when a character is engaged doing something else or is immobilized. For example; if Sue is aiming and shooting a handgun at an enemy while they are busy in combat with another player, then the handgun challenge would be only passively opposed. If, however, the enemy is fleeing from the fight or is also trying to shoot at Sue, the challenge is actively opposed.
If a challenge involves an ally, this is still passively opposed. For example; if a friend is shot and you want to drag him away, you still need to roll against passive opposition because though he is not actively fighting you, his gear and weight are still going to be an issue (passive opposition so no roll). If he is helping you, he may roll and apply his 1d10 to your roll + modifiers for the final CS.