As your character adventures throughout the world of Vulcanica, they will often find themselves facing a situation that requires extra effort to complete successfully. Anything from getting into a fight, trying to use their magic, or picking someone’s pocket can fall into this category, so long as it is at least slightly difficult and carries at least a small penalty for failure. These situations call for what is known in FTS as a “Test.”

Tests are simply that: a test of one or more of your character’s abilities. To begin a Test, the Storyteller will determine the two most relevant Attributes for the task at hand, one Type I and one Type II. Once the most relevant Attributes have been determined, the player assembles their Dice Pool. To do so, they simply add together the scores for both Attributes and grab that number of dice. That is the Dice Pool for this test.

For example, Ruin wants to destroy a door that is in his way. Since he plans on kicking the door down, the Storyteller determines that the most relevant Type I Attribute is PHYSICAL. Because the intent is to use force—not finesse, awareness, understanding, or persistence—to break the door down, the Storyteller decides that the best Type II Attribute must be POWER. Therefore, the Storyteller calls for a PHYSICAL POWER test. Since Ruin has a PHYSICAL of 2 and a POWER of 4, his Dice Pool is going to be 6 for this test.

Once the Dice Pool has been assembled and rolled, count up the number of dice that show a 5 or 6. This is your total number of Successes. Once you have that, you may add any additional Successes that the Storyteller asks you to add (usually from one or more relevant Skills) to get your Final Result.

If, after the Dice Pool has been rolled, every die shows a 1, this is called a “Critical Failure.” This means that not only did you fail to achieve your goal, but you delivered such an incredibly poor performance that now the situation is worse than it was before you got involved. In the example above, if Ruin got a critical failure, the ST might rule that he breaks his ankle, or that the noise alerts some guards nearby.

If, however, you get at least 4 Successes, and half or more of the dice in your Dice Pool shows a success (5 or 6), this is called a “Critical Success.” When this happens, you may roll an additional number of dice equal to the number of 6’s you got. If these extra dice show any 6’s, roll an additional number of dice equal to those, and so on until you roll no more 6’s. Add any 5’s or 6’s as additional Successes to your Final Result. In the example above, if Ruin rolled 2 3’s, a 5, and 3 6’s, he would be able to roll 4 more dice, adding any Successes gained this way to his Final Result.

Advantage & Disadvantage

Occasionally, characters will find themselves in situations where they have the upper hand over another. Or, perhaps, they find themselves staring down some very unfavorable odds. In times like the ST might feel it prudent to provide them with some kind of mechanical bonus or penalty, depending on the circumstances. Rather than scramble to determine something arbitrary, however, STs are encouraged to use the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic.

When a character has Advantage, they get a Success on a roll of a 4, 5, or 6 (instead of only 5 or 6).

When a character has Disadvantage, they only get a Success on a roll of 6 (instead of 5 or 6).

Test Difficulty

Once the Final Result for a Test has been determined, it must be compared against the Test’s difficulty to determine the outcome. Provided below is a range of required Successes for each difficulty level; STs are encouraged to decide where within that range each individual Test falls to determine exactly how many Successes are required for the task at hand.

Difficulty Range Example Test (Skill)
(Easy) 1-3 Hit a target (Combat/Bows)
(Moderate) 4-6 Divine a known object’s location (Discipline/Witchcraft)
(Difficult) 7-9 Scale a cliff without aid (Movement/Non-Pedal)
(Very Difficult) 10-12 Forge a sword worthy of a king (Craft/Manufacture)
(Impossible) 13+ Bring a man back from the brink of death (Medicine/First Aid)


Chronicles of Vulcanica: Vale Tenebrous Arikiba Arikiba