Core Mechanics

Rolling dice

Pools

C2D10 uses pools of ten-sided dice [D10] to determine outcomes of tests and contests. The pools are built from a character's talents and skills they've chosen during character creation. Each level of a talent or skill, denoted by a dot , gives a character one D10 to roll for the test in question.

Successes

When a player rolls their pool to pass a test, every die that lands on 7 or greater is counted as a Success. The goal of the test is to get an equal or greater amount of successes to the test's Difficulty [DC] which generally vary between 0-5.

Double success

Any die landing on a 9 is counted twice, meaning it gives you two successes.

In this example, the player has a pool of 4D10.

The player rolls their pool and it result in: 2, 7, 9 and 6.

The die landing on 7 is considered a success, and the one landing on 9 is considered two successes. Hence, this test has three successes.

If this was a DC1 test, the players passed! They would've passed on a DC2 and DC3 too, since they had three successes.

Excess successes

Any successes above the DC are considered excess successes and provide different benefits depending on situation. Most common is that each extra success provides +1 narrative points for either party or Keeper, depending on who rolled.

Setbacks

If a test fails, that is you don't get the required number of successes, any die landing on a 0 provides a Setback. Setbacks are particularly botched failures and cause a minor setback, such as raising some suspicion, leaving evidence behind or making a fool of oneself at a social gathering.

Setbacks cause a temporary, negative trait to be applied to the character who got it. The trait is mildly debilitating, should be related to what happened and lasts for the entire remainder of the scene. It could be something like a sprained ankle. Not serious enough to last, but will be a problem for the near future.

Strain and stress

If a setback occurs within a conflict or as a result of a particularly dangerous test, any setbacks also cause the character to suffer a point of strain or stress. See Characters.

Crisis Dice

Crisis Dice [CD] replace regular dice in your pool (use a differently colored die, or a D10 special, those with tens on them, to mark the crisis die) on a one to one basis, based on a character's "Crisis" stat. Exactly what causes crisis is something we'll go through in the article on Crisis specifically. As an example, if you have two points of Crisis, you replace two dice from your regular pool with two CD.

Crisis describes something that is wrong with your character, be it wounds, exhaustion, trauma or other effects. The crisis dice add great risk of making mistakes or misjudging situations. This is represented by how the crisis dice act slightly differently from regular pool dice.

Crisis limitations

No matter the sources, one can never have more than 10 CD at once, and if your pool is smaller than your current amount of CD, just roll a number or crisis dice equal to your pool.

Crisis dice also have an additional drawback: They can never be re-rolled with hero or villain points, like regular dice can.

Complications

If a crisis die lands on a 0, regardless of if the test passes or not, a crisis Setback occurs.Crisis setbacks are many times worse than regular setbacks. They are refered to as Complications and can have terrible consequences for the character. A complication can additional strain or stress, great loss of time or cause a test to fail in spectacular ways. They can also introduce negative effects even to passed tests. The tests still pass, but with an additional complication that must be dealt with.

Complications, as opposed to setbacks, are more long-lasting and may require time, resources or some form of investment to clear up, while setbacks only last until the end of the scene. They are also self-feeding, easily racking up more crisis dice. For every complication that happens, based on the type of test, the character suffers another wound or stress.

Dobar is in a tense situation. He is trying to avoid a violent encounter by using diplomacy on a rival gang boss who has invaded his territory. He's trying to appeal to the rival's sense of morals by being Empathic. However, since he is trying to change the rival's mind, he'll be using Manipulation.

The Keeper tells him he needs to score at least 2 successes, since this is a relatively easy test. Dobar has ( ) Empathy and ( ) Manipulation, so his pool for this check is 5D10. He has, however, been the victim of some rather severe mental trauma recently and has one crisis die, so he replaces one of his D10 with a differently colored one.

His roll results in 3, 8, 7, 1 and his crisis die lands on a 0.

This results in a crisis complication, since while he managed to pass the test, his crisis die landed on a 0.

Dobar's player narrates this as Dobar finds himself greatly stressed by his trauma and the rival's arrogance gets to him, leading to Dobar punching the rival straight across the jaw, rather than staying calm and avoiding conflict. The Keeper thinks that such an outcome would constitute a regular failure, and since Dobar did pass the test, the Keeper adds that the rival casually blocks the punch and strikes back with lightning reflexes, causing a wound mark for Dobar to deal with at the end of the scene.

In addition, since Dobar did pass the test, the Keeper narrates that the rival respects Dobar's willingness to stand for his cause and the diplomacy may continue as planned without further altercation.

Any D10 landing on 7 or greater is one Success.

Any D10 landing on 9 adds two successes.

Any D10 landing on 0 adds one Setback if the test is not passed.

Ignoring setbacks

Ignoring a setback is a choice the player can make and means that the setback does not take effect. No trait is added. If the player chooses to ignore a setback like this, the Keeper gains +1 villain point.

Any Crisis Die landing on 0 adds one Complication.

Any Crisis Die landing on 9 makes the success messy, if the test passes.

Ignoring complications

Ignoring a complication can seem tempting, but the price to pay is huge. Ignoring a complication adds 5 villain points to the Keeper's pool. So be very careful with when you choose this option.

Glossary

Keeper of the Tales
The arbitrator and storyteller
D10
A ten sided die
Pool
A collection of D10, based on a character stat.
Success
When rolling a pool, the number of dice showing 7 or greater.
Double success
Any die showing a 9
Setback
Any die showing a 0 on a failed test
Test
A single roll of a pool against a difficulty, to pass a challenge
Difficulty (or DC)
The number of successes required to pass a test.
Contest
An opposed test. Whoever gets the most successes wins.
Conflict
A long-form challenge, consisting of many tests to beat the conflict's target.
Target
The difficulty of an unopposed or simple conflict.
Crisis die
A special D10 that adds risk to all checks. Usually caused by trauma, wounds, stress, fear or other lasting debilitation.
Complication
A terrible setback, caused by a crisis die landing on 0.
Mess
A success, but a messy one. Caused by a crisis die landing on a 9 and passing a test.

Messing up

The other way crisis dice can make things unpleasant for you is when a crisis die lands on a 9. If you pass a test, and have at least one crisis die showing a 9, you have messed up. A mess-up is akin to a complication, but less negatively impactful. It'll often introduce a narrative element that needs to be dealt with somehow, but will not have the impact of a complication.

A mess

For inspiration, you can imagine Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn from Episode 1 of Star Wars, where Qui-Gonn attempts to calm down Jar-Jar Binks, but nearly knocks him out. That would constitute a mess-up.

The phrase "you overdid it..." perfectly encapsulates this concept. Be it due to stress, exhaustion, pain or fear, something makes you poorly judge how much you need to put into whatever you are doing, and it ends up being, well, overdone. It's still a success. You do what you intended to do, but it was overdone, which causes additional problems that were unintended.

Any Crisis Die landing on 9 on a passed test or won contest constitutes a mess-up.

A mess-up cannot be ignored using narrative points. It will always take place.

One bad thing at a time

Regardless of how many crisis dice show 9's on a passed test, or how many 0's show, or how many regular dice that land on 0's on a failed test, you only ever get a single mess-up or complication per roll. Even if you have 5 crisis dice and they all show zeroes, that still only constitutes a single complication. It might be a particularly bad complication, but it's still just one.

When you happen to get both a mess-up and a complication in the same roll (one crisis die showing 0 and one showing 9 on a test that you pass), the complication takes precedence and is considered part of the mess-up. Count that roll as a complication, not a mess-up, even if it can be narrated as a particularly messy victory.

Exception

The only case where multiple bad things can happen at once are Setbacks, where each 0 on a failed test indeed constitutes a setback each and can cause multiple points of stress or strain at once.

And as previously mentioned, no matter how battered or stressed you are, you can never have more then 5 Crisis dice in a single roll.



Cover image: Rules Cover by Tobias Linder

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