Tech of the Dead
A die code shows how good a character is in a particular area, how harmful a weapon is, how useful a Special Ability or tool is, and so on.
Each die code (also known as a value) indicates the number of six-sided dice you roll (1D, 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, etc.), and sometimes an added bonus of “+1” or “+2” — referred to as pips — you add to the total result you roll on the dice.
An Advantage, Special Ability, or piece of equipment may provide a bonus to the roll. If the bonus is in the form of a die code (such as +1D), then you add the listed number of regular dice to the amount you would roll. If the bonus is in the form of a number (such as +2), then you add the amount to the total that you rolled on the dice.
Whenever any player, including the gamemaster, makes any roll, one of the dice must be different from the rest (in size or color). Designated as the Wild Die, this odd die represents the vagaries of life — like the direction of the wind affecting the flight of a bullet — that are too small to warrant their own difficulty modifiers.
Example: Your character’s Reflexes attribute is 3D+1, so if your character tried to jump onto a table, you would roll two regular dice and one Wild Die.
If the player has only 1D to roll, then that one die is always the Wild Die.
If the player rolls a 6 on the Wild Die, this is called a Critical Success and she may add the 6 to her total and roll the Wild Die again. As long as she turns up Critical Successes on that die, she may continue to add them to her total and continue to roll. If she rolls anything other than a 6, she adds that number to the total and stops rolling.
If the player rolls a 1 on the initial toss of the Wild Die, this is called a Critical Failure. Upon rolling a Critical Failure, the player rolls the wild die again, and subtracts the new number from their total, instead of adding it.
if a player rolls a 6 on a Critical Failure Subtraction Roll, this is referred to as a Catastrophic Failure, and the character rolls the wild die one more time and subtracts both rolls from the point total.
Note: Unlike rolling a Critical Failure initially on the Wild Die, no complications occur when a 1 shows up on later tosses of the Wild Die in the same roll, be it during a Critical Success or a Critical Failure.
Improving a Roll
The average person fails at average activities nearly half of the time.Survivors aren’t average people, so they need ways to beat those odds. Thus, they have Character and Fate Points, which represent those surges of adrenaline, sudden insights, and other unexplained helpful acts of chance.
Players may not trade Character Points for Fate Points, nor may they trade Fate Points for Character Points. A player may only spend her Character and Fate Points on her character’s rolls. Players may not spend more Character or Fate Points than the character has listed on their sheet, or more than the gamemaster has allocated per session use.
Players may not use Character Points and Fate Points on the same roll.
Whenever a player makes any roll (attribute, skill, damage, Special Ability,
and so on), he has the option to spend Character Points to increase the total rolled. He may spend one Character Point for each extra Wild Die rolled, to a maximum decided upon by the gamemaster, in this case a maximum of five per session.
Extra Wild Dice gained from spending Character Points each work like a normal Wild Die except that a Critical Failure counts as a 1; it does not adversely affect the roll.
Each players’ character has a personal moral code, generally involving a sense of honor and justice. The devotion to this code is represented by Fate Points. Violating that code takes a little bit away from that nature, which is represented by a loss of Fate Points.
When a player feels she needs even greater help for her roll, she may spend a Fate Point to double the number of dice she normally gets for that roll. However, the player only rolls one Wild Die. Furthermore, anything that’s not part of the character — weapon damage die codes, equipment bonuses, and so on — is not doubled.
Characters are given five Fate Points at character creation, and may only use one Fate point per session.