Cryptomancer is a full role-playing game, complete with its own unique game
mechanics using six-sided and ten-sided dice. Characters in the game are
composed of skills, spells, and talents that emphasize the realms of stealth,
espionage, and creative problem solving (as well as creative problem creating).
Don’t worry, we also got the traditional fantasy stuff covered, like killing
orcs and chucking fireballs.
When a player has her character do something that is dramatic (that is, the
outcome matters to the story), that player will probably have to chuck some
dice, the results of which will determine the severity of that the character’s
success or failure. We call this a skill-check. Of course, skill-checks
manifest in many ways:
- Unopposed skill-check (Alice jumps over obstacle)
- Opposed skill-check (Alice hits Bob in the face)
- Opposed skill-check versus a group (Alice chucks a fireball at multiple orcs)
- Simultaneous opposed skill checks (Alice and Bob arm-wrestle)
- Simultaneous unopposed skill checks (Alice and Bob are in a race).
Luckily, we keep things simple… no matter the circumstances, an action is
Trivial, Challenging, or Tough. That is all that matters.
When something dramatic is about to happen, just ask yourself the right
question, and fill in the blank with either trivial, challenging, or tough.
|It is ________ to pick this lock.
||It is ________ to trick my character.
|It is ________ to scale this wall.
||It is ________ to overpower my character.
|It is ________ to forge this document.
||It is ________ to frighten my character.
The answer to the question plus the values written on your character sheet tell
you exactly what dice need to be rolled, and how to resolve the roll’s results.
One of the reasons we keep things so simple is that players have other
responsibilities besides keeping their characters alive. They will also need to
manage their safehouse, assign tasks to allied agents, and maintain operational