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A bomb is about to explode, a death trap must be disarmed, or a stela must be ripped from the earth before the High Lords detect its saboteurs. These are staples of cinematic action that might not be very fulfilling with just a skill test. Torg Eternity combines the skill tests your hero might use to escape these deadly situations with the Drama Deck to create great tension and drama.

Dramatic Skill Resolution divides an important task into four steps, labeled A through D. Each step requires a particular test to resolve. The exact nature of the task and any modifier to the DN is determined by the GM and the particular situation.

Each step must be resolved in order, starting with A and ending with D. The Dramatic Steps entry on each card of the Drama Deck lists the steps that may be attempted that round. If the card doesn't list the step the team needs, they must wait until they get one that does. This makes successful completion critical in case time is about to expire. Characters can use combined actions to help with a task, or attempt multiple steps in a round as a Multi-Action if the correct Dramatic Steps are listed. Failure may mean the bomb explodes, the cultists complete a ritual, or some other dire consequence as determined by the situation. But it should be dire-otherwise it probably wasn't a dramatic task.


Timing and Failure

A standard Dramatic Skill Resolution is five rounds. This is how long it should take most groups to complete all four steps given some intense card play and team work. Some Dramatic Skill Resolutions might not have a hard time limit at all, but something else becomes harder or worse the longer it takes to complete. For example, hordes of gospog might attack, requiring the rest of the party to withstand the mob while one or two of them focus on the task.


Skill Use as an Approved Action

Whenever the hero doesn't have the opportunity to gain a step, he can attempt the next test anyway, and it counts as an Approved Action if successful. Even if he cant make true progress that round, success pushes him further toward the final goal.


Last-Ditch Effort

If times about to run out, a desperate adventurer can declare a last-ditch effort. This is truly risky though; all the remaining actions must be completed in one round, even if they don't appear on the card. Treat these as Multi-Actions with an additional -2 penalty to each to account for having to rush such an important and stressful series of tasks in short order.

If the last-ditch effort fails and there is still time remaining, treat it as a failure during a Critical Problem (see below). Only one last-ditch effort may be attempted for a task, so make it count!


The Dramatic Steps line has one other nasty surprise for our heroesDilemmas that make the task more difficult in place of steps on the card. Each Dilemma requires a test against the current step. If the test passes the step it is completed, but if it fails (or if no attempt is made) a consequence affects the rest of the task:

  • Possible Setback: Something happens that might make the hero back up a step. If she fails her test this round, she loses a step. If she was attempting step C, for example, she backs up and must repeat step B.
  • Complication: A complication makes the job more challenging. Perhaps a tool breaks, the ride gets bumpy, or the Storm Knights sweat loosens his grip on whatever delicate mechanisms hes manipulating. Failure subtracts 1 from all further tests in the task!
  • Critical Problem: This Dilemma signals real trouble. The booby trap on the bomb attempts to activate or the hero might fall from the death trap hes wiggling out of into the pit below.
    Failing the skill test during a Critical Problem means the Storm Knight must start over or find a new way to move forwardwhich means beginning again from step A!

The GM and the player should work together to figure out exactly what this means narratively, but the best tactic is to make sure he doesnt fail during a critical problem!