Rules Questions regarding the A!C 2d20 Quickstarter

As I am about to run the A!C 2d20 quickstart scenario very soon, I have some questions I couldn’t find an answer to in the rules section of this quickstarter.

Weapon qualities:
There are some damage qualities (like Vicious 1, Stun, etc.) listed and explained. Some are activated as “Salvo” qualities.
But in the NPC and Pregen PC stats there are weapon qualities listed, that are not explained at all:

  • Accurate
  • Bane (magic?)
  • Close Quarters
  • Escalation (?)
  • Hidden
  • Hunger (magic?)
  • Inaccurate
  • Parrying
  • Reliable
  • Subtle
  • Throwing

What do those qualities do (rules mechanically)?

What does this listing of some weapons under “Escalation” actually mean?
Does the GM need to spend some Threat for activating those weapons?

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I am new to 2d20 as well and just picked up this Quickstart.

In addition to all the questions above, I was curious about:

  • Salvo - What is it?
  • Focuses - The RAW are a bit unclear to me. Do tests involving subjects related to one of a character’s Focus have a higher chance of earning two successes. My speculation is that a player would earn two successes on a roll of a 1 or 2 if it relates to a Focus, but that’s not clear in the rules.
  • Defeat - The rules indicate that a defeated character can no longer act in the scene. Does this mean that in subsequent scenes they may act? Or may they only act if there an injury is removed by one mechanic or another?
  • Dying - The rules state “If If a character is defeated and has more physical injuries than mental ones, they are also dying.” Does this mean that the injuries should be tracked a mental or physical? How is this tracked on the sheet? It doesn’t seem clear to me what constitutes mental injuries or than perhaps the stress gained from spellcasting?

Apologies for any obtuseness on my part, especially if the answers are already in the rules (for what it’s worth, I’ve read and reread several times looking for the answers myself).

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Reading through the Beta-Test material for A!C 2d20, there is no clear explanation of Salvo given, either.

But some references to Salvo I make the following guess:

Salvo allows you to spend one or more Ammo for your firearm.

You get +1d20 to your pool (counting against the maximum of +3d20 bonus dice) on your attack.

Spending at least 1 Reload activates the weapon qualities listed under Salvo.

For example the Thompson SMG listed under Private Dan Gregg, one of the pregens, has the (not explained) quality of "Inaccurate). But if you spend one Ammo, it gets for that attack only the qualities listed under Salvo: “Area” and “Stun”.

In other 2d20 systems, spending a load or reload or ammo allows to roll an additional damage die as well. It is unclear if that applies for A!C 2d20, too.

And one weird thing regarding Salvo for Private Dan Gregg: in the weapons table he carries demolition charges, which have the Salvo: Area, Stun listing, too! How that is supposed to work with those charges (which are not listed under his gear anyway) is quite unclear. How would you deploy such a charge, which skill is to be used. Does deploying several charges make the actual deploment easier by adding bonus d20s?

Maybe @Modiphius-Jim or other officials can help us out here?
I have scheduled to run the A!C 2d20 quickstarter this Saturday, so any clarification before that would be appreciated.

I found Escalation somewhat adressed in the Beta-Test rules:

Escalation: If you perform a heroic but risky action, that can generate Threat.
Getting access to some more exotic or deadly equipment, or reading forbidden,
alien texts can escalate the tension, and should be approached with caution!

So it seems to cost Threat to introduce weapons with this Quality for NPCs to use.

@Modiphius-Nathan may be able to assist.

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  • Accurate: The weapon gains the Intense Effect when you take the Aim minor action with it.
  • Bane: the only part of the rule relevant to the Quickstart is that creatures with the Tough special rule (such as the Servitors of Nyarlathotep) cannot spend Threat to ignore injuries caused by the weapon.
  • Close Quarters: This ranged weapon can be used when an enemy is within Reach without increasing the difficulty.
  • Escalation: on a weapon carried by PCs, adds +1 Threat to the GM’s pool at the start of each scene while carried, because heavy weapons draw unwanted attention.
  • Hidden: The weapon can’t be detected on your person unless someone actively searches for it (Insight + Observation, difficulty 1).
  • Hunger: If the wielder inflicts an injury with this weapon, they get one of the following - heal an injury they’ve suffered, restore 5 stress, or gain +1 Power (Power can only be gained once).
  • Inaccurate: The weapon gets no benefit from aiming.
  • Parrying: When attacked in melee while wielding this weapon, you may re-roll 1d20 on your roll to oppose the attack.
  • Reliable: The first time each scene that this weapon suffers a complication, ignore it.
  • Subtle: Attacks with this weapon cannot be heard unless the listener passes an Insight + Observation test, difficulty 2.
  • Throwing: The weapon can be used in melee or thrown as a ranged attack. When throwing, use Athletics instead of Fighting.

Escalation Options on NPCs are optional, improved equipment, typically special or heavy weapons carried only by one or two members of a unit. When you start a scene, or bring in an NPC, you can spend 1 Threat to give them one of the Escalation options.

So, in the Quickstart, whenever you have a group of Black Sun Troopers, you could spend 1 Threat to make one of them carry a Flammenwerfer or MG42.

When you make a ranged attack, you can spend 1 Ammo to make it a Salvo attack. A Salvo attack adds one of the listed Salvo qualities to the attack (you choose which). Ammo can also be lost via complications.

For example, Captain Swann’s Sten Gun has Area, Stun listed for its Salvo options. When he makes a Salvo attack with it, he gains either Area (spraying a wide area with bullets) or Stun (pinning a single target) on the attack.

Some explosives have Salvo options to represent putting together a larger charge. Demolition charges are set in a specific place using a Coordination + Engineering test (difficulty at GM’s discretion) rather than thrown, and you can use a second charge as ammo.

Also, there’s an error on Sarah Walker’s character sheet - the Trench Knife and the Boomerang don’t have Salvo options, those effects should just be part of the normal attack.

As noted in he QS: If there is an applicable focus, then each die that rolls equal to or less than the skill rating being used scores two successes.

That is, Agent Rogers has Academia 4, and focuses in History, Linguistics, and Occultism. if she attempts a Reason + Academia test to research some obscure historical fact (and thus uses her History focus), any die that rolls 4 or less scores 2 successes.

They require that at least one of their injuries are treated (Coordination + Medicine, difficulty 2, or Insight + Medicine for mental injuries; each 2 Momentum spent on success allows one extra injury to be treated). A treated injury isn’t gone completely (a knife wound might be bandaged up) but no longer imposes penalties… until you take another injury, in which case it comes back.

Mental injuries come from anything which inflicts mental damage. This might be spells, including the cost of casting your own spells, but it could also come from the Mental attacks of mythos creatures (the Unearthly Presence of the Servitors of Nyarlathotep, for example). Also, anyone can make a mental attack with a normal weapon (warning shots/suppressive fire with a gun, threatening someone at knife-point, etc). Mental attacks are resolved in the same way as physical attacks, but stress inflicted is reduced by Courage and Morale instead of Armour and Cover.

You should note the difference between physical and mental injuries.

The injury rules are somewhat cut down in the quickstart, for the sake of brevity. There’s more depth in the full game.


Thanks for the answers, this is very helpful!

A couple of additional questions:

Can Daphne Rogers only cast Healing as a ritual, or can it be used as Battlefield Magic?
Also, for Sven Nilsen, are his spells already bound to a mantle? If so how often can he use them?

Thanks for your help. Can not wait to run this in a few days!

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Makes me really looking forward to the full meal.

Healing is only a ritual, it cannot be cast as battlefield magic (you could cast it on a battlefield, but it’ll take several rounds to cast and it could be disrupted in the process). Agent Rogers hasn’t yet learned any battlefield magic spells, but she could at some point in future.

For the purposes of the quickstart, all of Nilsen’s spells listed are in his mantle, and he can cast them as often as he is willing to attempt (and willing to pay the Cost for each attempt). Full details on how many spells a character may bind into their mantle, and how long that lasts, are in the Player’s Guide, but for the sake of a one-off adventure, he knows and can cast those three spells freely.


Awesome! Thanks for the information.
Looking forward to getting my hands on the complete game!

Hi there, many thanks for the information shared so far!

Looking forward to playing the QuickStart next week but can’t quite get my head around the melee. Have I read it right that if a PC attacks an enemy, both PC and enemy make melee rolls potentially both dealing stress to each other (if successful and resistance doesn’t fully protect) during that PCs turn? If so, is there a repeat melee phase when the enemy turn activates or has everything already been completed in that round melee-wise for these two characters?

No, the PC attacks, it is an opposed roll, the WINNER of this opposed roll does damage to the loser - which could be the opponent or it could be the PC.

Later in the round the opponent might have his turn, attack the PC and again it is an opposed roll where one or the other might do stress to the other.

The opponent of a melee attack defends not on his turn, the defense happens on the attacker’s turn, and if the PC has more Momentum or in case of a tie the attacker as the active party of an opposed test will win and cause damage, only if the opponent wins he will cause damage to the attacking PC.
On his own turn, the opponent is now the active party and the PC is the resisting party, so if the opponent has more Momentum or on a tie the opponent wins and causes stress. Only if the PC wins the PC will cause stress to the attacking opponent.

That could lead to the PC getting damage twice, by losing on their own turn and the opponent winning on his turn.

I ran the Quickstarter yesterday (and it was quite funny) and now wish I had read this thread prior to improvising. I consider myself quite educated about the 2d20 (Star Trek flavoured, that is) but it is a different game.

That being said, I have some follow-ups to what was already asked here:

  • Ammo: How is it recharged (if it is)? Automatically at the beginning of a scene, like stress? Only with paying 2 Momentum / 1 Fortune to create a truth? How many is restored, then?
  • Fortune:
    • Does have spending Fortune points have any requirements? Fortune works a lot like Determination works in Star Trek Adventures – do players have to declare a link to a scene’s objective when using Fortune? Are they able to do so when establishing a link to a Truth about their character (or the scene)?
    • How is Fortune regenerated?
    • …or does this even matter for the purpose of the Quickstarter? Can I just assume that players can spend Fortune freely and acquire further points by being heroic and/or selfless?
  • Objectives: What’s the point of objectives? I can imagine they’re tied to Fortune in some way (see above) but this seems not to be relevant for the Quickstarter. I primarily used them to tell the players that “the scene ends when all objectives are met and nobody wants to have a roleplayed discussion with anyone”, so they were primarily a tool to structure the adventure and give the players an overview on when it would be clever to spend Momentum (because the scene was coming to an end and/or would last for some time to come…).
    • Follow-up to this: Should I reveal all objectives at once? For scene 3, this led to a bit of confusion amongst the players, because I gave out all objectives and missed the fact that they would not know that the truck was broken until they saw it.
      So: Can I withhold objectives until players can know about them?

Last, but not least: Is there a printer-friendly version? Because for whatever reason I don’t know it took my machine literally ages to load pages of the PDF which was quite annoying when I tried to jump between the rules summary and the adventure. Loading times were between 10–30 seconds per page(!). I have encountered this also in the Star Trek Adventures Klingon PDFs. My machine is some years old but has six cores with >3GHz, each and an ample amount of RAM. With my graphics card, I still can play rather recent games – so a PDF should not be a problem, I think…
Anyway – next time I’ll play, I want to have prints before me. :slight_smile:

(Oh, and, finally: “Jans” isn’t a German name. The guy should be called “Jan” without the trailing ‘s’ (the ‘s’ indicates plural and/or genitive case) or “Jens”. :slight_smile: That being said, our group loved that you incorporated Wewelsburg castle into the fluff, as we all know it well – it’s not far from where we went to school.)

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Ammo isn’t recharged at all. You start an adventure with a set amount, and the only way to get more is either when gearing up for a new mission, or by scavenging for it during the course of a mission (a Difficulty 1 skill test, with the skill determined by how they’re acquiring the extra ammo - there are no guarantees that the Black Sun will be carrying the right ammo for your gun).

For the purposes of the quickstart, the amount of ammo the PCs start with is intended to last the mission.

Of course, there’s nothing to stop a PC picking up a gun from a dead Nazi and using that instead - at a pinch, assume that a gun taken from a dead foe has 1d3 ammo left.

No, no requirements to spend Fortune points.

The GM may award Fortune points for doing cool stuff/good roleplaying/generally being heroic and selfless, and you start each adventure with your full 3 (and can’t have more than 5 at once). There are further rules for regaining them more consistently in the Player’s Guide, but for the quickstart, that wasn’t deemed vital information.

The objectives are more for you than for the players - they’re a quick summary of what the PCs should be trying to achieve in that scene. They have no particular mechanical weight - they’re not tied to Fortune - and it is up to you as GM how you present the objectives of a scene to your players, and what you reveal to them at any given moment.

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How does “avoid defeat” work? It requires one fortune, but I’m not sure what happens after that.

Has a player character still 3 injuries after avoid defeat has been used?

What does happen if the player character is attacked again and the PC receives one or more stress? Does the player character get the fourth injury and die instantly?


I don’t understand the difference between effects and salvo.

  • If I roll some effects on my attack (made without using salvo), do they trigger at all ? And how is the number of effects rolled taken into account ?
  • If I make my attack using Salvo, do I need to roll some effects for the salvo to work ?

Thanks a lot !

The character is no longer counted as Defeated (so they can take actions normally), as if they had taken fewer than 3 Injuries.

If the character suffers any additional injuries after that, they become Defeated. If a character takes an injury while Defeated, they die immediately.

Yes. They don’t avoid or remove the injuries they suffered, just the state of being Defeated.

If an attack has listed Effects, then any of those will trigger for every Effect result rolled for the attack’s stress. All Effects list how they apply the symbols rolled.

That is, if you’ve got flamethrower, then Effect symbols rolled trigger the Persistent 4 effect. The number of symbols rolled is how many rounds the target suffers the 4 dice of damage from Persistent.

Salvo are optional additional Effects which can be added to a ranged attack by spending Ammo.

If you’ve got a flamethrower and spend Ammo, you make it a Salvo attack, adding the Area Effect to the attack. Now, each Effect symbol rolled means that you can hit an extra target. This is in addition to the Persistent 4 effect already mentioned.

If you don’t roll any Effect symbols, then no Effects - either those that apply by default, or those gained by spending ammo for a Salvo attack - do anything on that attack.

If you’re unlucky enough to roll all 1s on a Flamethrower Salvo attack, it won’t do any Persistent damage, and it won’t hit additional targets.

This is more of a quick question about the Player’s Guide rather than the Quickstarter. But I couldn’t figure out where to ask it, so hopefully someone has an answer.

Why would you ever pick the M1 Carbine for your character when you can take the Lee-Enfield? Is this just because the guide is not complete and they will eventually have different salvo or qualities, or is it a question of whether your character would have access to each weapon?

I understand that this is not that the PCs always get the best of the best equipment - on the contrary seeing that their organizations are usually underfunded.

You don’t get what you want, you even often don’t get what you need, you get what you get - and you will like it.