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Brawls, duels, chases, and firefights in the game are fast-paced and exciting thanks to the flexibility of the game system and most importantly, the Drama Deck. The Drama Deck controls the flow of combat, determines which side goes first, and adds special results to the scene. When a fight or other tense situation begins, the Game Master breaks the action down into rounds of 10 seconds each. Then he flips the top card of the Drama Deck to form the Action Stack.



The card on the Action Stack determines initiative, actions characters can use to gain advantages, and other special circumstances via the Conflict Line. Use the top line for Standard Scenes, and the bottom darker line for Dramatic Scenes.

The first faction listed on the card determines which side goes first that round: H for the Heroes and their allies or V for the Villains and their minions. Each side completes all their actions, then the other side completes all of theirs. This is called that characters turn. Characters can go in whatever order the players choose. Roll Dexterity totals if theres a debate, and if tied consider the actions simultaneous.

Rounds and Turns

  • A round is a card of the Drama Deck, including both the Heroes and Villains portions of the round. It lasts 10 seconds.
  • A turn is all of each characters actions. Resolve them all before moving on to the next character.


Conflict Line

Beside each factions initiative is any advantage or disadvantage that affects them this turn. The heroes or villains might get an extra action from a Flurry, feel the effects of Fatigue, or even suffer a Setback. Here are the advantages and disadvantages that can appear on the Conflict Line:


  • Flurry: The heroes or villains get an extra turn this round. All characters on the side with Flurry take their normal actions, then everyone gets another complete turn. The additional movement doesn't mean the character is super fast it might just mean he took action while others hesitated.
  • Inspiration: All the characters on this side immediately recover 2 Shock. Unconscious individuals wake up as part of this recovery.
  • Up: An Up result gives each character on that side an additional roll. Add this to the first roll (and roll again if a 10 or 20 comes up as usual). Ups are rare and very powerful use them to pull off epic attacks and Multi-Actions. Note that Up results are not Possibilities, so there's no guarantee that the second die is a minimum of 10.


  • Confused: Players may not use cards from their pools (see The Action Pool, below) during the round. They may still gain Destiny cards from Approved Actions or place them into their pool normally.
  • Fatigued: Fatigue inflicts two points of Shock to every character on the afflicted side at the end of their turn. This represents exhaustion, fear, stress, bleeding or minor injuries that happen between more serious attacks. Some types of armor and equipment might increase the amount of Shock damage caused by a Fatigue result as well.
  • Setback: Setbacks represent bad luck or wavering morale for the affected side. The Game Master should figure out a likely and unfortunate turn of events. Perhaps reinforcements for the other side show up or an environmental situation causes danger. If the GM doesnt have something prepared, those who are Setback lose their next turnthey hesitate, are distracted, or are otherwise delayed.
  • Stymied: Everyone on this side becomes Stymied (-2 to all tests) until the end of their next turn.
  • Surge: Everyone on this side must check for Contradictions.

Approved Actions

At the bottom of each Drama card is the Approved Action. If a character succeeds at that specific action this round, the player draws a card from the Destiny Deck and puts it into her hand (not her pool, see Destiny cards for more information). Attacks are considered successful if they hit a targets DN, even if they don't cause damage. Defend is successful once an attack or interaction misses the hero.

If there are two Approved Actions on a Drama card, a character may receive a Destiny card for each. He may never receive more than one card for the same type of action, however.