Rites of Battle
This game uses dice of the following colors, with the following names:
The positive dice are [BOOST DIE] (blue), [ABILITY DIE] (green), and [PROFICIENCY DIE] (yellow). The green dice represent your substantial capabilities. Yellow dice represents a combination of natural ability and training. Blue dice provide smaller benefits as bonuses to your roll. The symbols on the positive dice include [SUCCESSES], [ADVANTAGES], and [TRIUMPH].
The negative dice are [SETBACK DIE] (black), [DIFFICULTY DIE] (purple), and [CHALLENGE DIE] (red). The purple dice represent the difficulty of the task you face. Red dice are used uncommonly, when the task is particularly risky. Black dice provide smaller drawbacks, penalties to your roll. The symbols on the negative dice include [FAILURE], [THREAT], and [DESPAIR].
The game also uses [FORCE DIE] (white), which produces a number of pips in [LIGHT] or [DARK]. The pips resulting from force die rolls can be spent to fuel psyker powers. But spending dark pips is risky; you must roll on a chart to test for warp-driven side-effects.
Each task rolled for includes positive dice. Most tasks will also contain negative dice, usually one to five purple dice to represent difficulty, but some opposed rolls simply compare their good results to the opponent’s good results.
Most tasks call upon a Skill. Each Skill has an accompanying Characteristic. Both ratings affect your dice pool. Put yellow dice into your pool equal to your lower rating. Then add green dice equal to the difference between the two ratings. For example, 3 Strength and 2 Melee uses 2 yellow and 1 green dice (as would 2 Strength and 3 Melee). When the Game Master allows two or more characters to perform a single test together, compose the dice pool using the highest Characteristic and Skill from among the acting characters.
The Game Master sets the number of purple dice for difficulty. Downgrading purple dice to red is typically only done because of Talents, not a change in difficulty. The Game Master also determines small bonuses and penalties for various factors, adding blue and black dice.
When a Talent or other effect calls for an upgrade, change the upgraded number of green dice to yellow. If more upgrades are called for than there are green dice available, more dice can be added. One additional upgrade adds a green die. A second additional upgrade changes that to a yellow die. A third additional upgrade adds another green die, and so on. Downgrades work the same way, changing purple dice to red dice. Like upgrades, running out of purple dice to downgrade leads to adding more purple dice and converting them to red dice incrementally.
Count the total number of successes, failures, advantages, and threats. A triumph counts as 1 success and 3 advantages. A despair counts as 1 failure and 3 threats. On opposed rolls, the acting character treats his opponent’s successes as his own failures and his opponent’s advantages as his own threats.
Successes and failures cancel each other out. A net success means the roll succeeds. Anything less than one net success means the roll fails. The number of net successes or failures can sometimes affect the magnitude of success or failure.
Advantages and threats cancel each other out. A net advantage means one or more positive side effects occur. Some of these are standardized, each with a set cost in net advantage (particularly in combat scenarios), while others are simply narrated. These expenditures are typically chosen by the roller. A net threat means one or more negative side effects occur. These effects are chosen by the Game Master.