Truths in combat/casting spells+attribute bonuses when spellcasting

Hello,

I just picked up the PDF as it came out and I am quite enjoying it so far, but I do have some questions concerning personal truths and when someone can use them. Can someone invoke a truth for a reduction in difficulty when attacking (for example, with the Deadly Commando truth on the example character?). What about using the Glimpsed What Mortals Should Not Know (or the Powerful Sorcerer) truth when casting spells, would that, or something similar, make spells easier? Can you make it 0 then?

Spellcasters get bonus power dice based off their attribute (insight, reason, or will), however spellcasters ALSO get a bonus to magical attack damage based on will. I just want to make sure I am understanding this, because I actually QUITE like it.

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Bump. I hate to do this, but I still don’t understand entirely about truths and I REALLY need some help on this.

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I would also like clarification on this please.

The section for truths describes it as affecting skill tests, and the section for combat actions describes them as skill tests; so it would make sense for a personal truth to affect a combat test, but I haven’t seen it explicitly stated.

Would love for some clarification as that would be really cool if it does.

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It would make sense, except I am confused how it interacts with ranged attacks with no penalties, and difficulty 1 spells. This is because they would become difficulty 0 unless there was something that increased the difficulty, which would mean they basically cannot miss, plus it is super easy to generate momentum that way.

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Not sure if it is how it is meant, but I generally look at personal truths as last resorts, if nothing else could apply, or that get called in infrequent situations.

I don’t think personal truths are meant to be used in every test, and certainly not every test during a combat scene. The problem could be the truth is too broad. Actually, even ‘Deadly Commando’ is pretty broad, and could be open to be interpreted as the deadly commando can lower every combat test difficulty.

I dont feel that is the intention, but that is my interpretation.

I too am confused about truths - I cannot see why they really matter as a mechanic and that most RPG systems handle the concept as traits that are role-played - but I may be mistaken - based upon reading the relevant sections a couple of times and to my eye they look like either:

Information that is the word version of stats/abilities/skills/background flavour for characters (PC or NPC) - so having a Character Truth of “Deadeye” would mean that statistically the character was accurate or if their stats were not such that they were accurate it is just fluff and does not affect the resolution of events, but is a role-played trait like any other system. In other systems this may be strengths and weakness perhaps - so afraid of snakes or claustrophobic, again something that is either leveraged by the player of DM as a matter of course for flavour and character performance in other systems…

Or it describes a part of the world in some way that needs concrete definition. Although why this needs to be abstracted into a mechanic I don’t understand either - so for instance “a tough wall”. So that when the player(s) decide to use the nearby pickaxe it can be broken through but slowly - as it is true that it is hard to break. Again something which is just usually handled by the DM’s discretion and desire to make the play actions and outcomes make sense rather than called out as explicit player/DM facing facts.

I may be missing the point, but it looks like truths could be ignored systemically and such nuances handled by DM and player roleplaying?

Please correct me or help me see what I am missing here…

sTeVE

This is how I ran the quickstart and it led to some super pulpy high action, which my players really enjoyed. We’re going to create characters and run a small campaign, but I’m not sure if I’ll continue to allow 0 difficulty attack rolls, I’m going to decide as I go along I guess.

Thanks for the response. I think I am going to run it that it can lower the difficulty, but not to 0 in combat/spellcasting (so 1 minimum). I am also just worried because if the rules apply to players, it can apply to NPCs, so then there is situations where someone could (theoretically) attack the players with a 0 difficulty roll.

Difficulty 0 tests do not require a skill test - they are automatically successful: but they also do not generate Momentum. So, while you can’t miss with the shot and you get to roll damage, you will not get any Momentum because there was no skill test.
At the GM’s discretion you can roll for Difficulty 0 Skill tests and Generate Momentum, but also there is the risk of Complications.
Is it worth the risk of 6 spending Momentum/Threat to risk generating no momentum and possibly 5 complications - when you don’t actually have to roll?

To copy over an answer to this that I posted on the Discord:

Broadly, no. While not a hard and fast rule, you as GM are probably better off if you rule that a particular truth might affect an unusual attack or an attack in difficult circumstances (like allowing an Expert Marksman to attempt a Ranged attack at an extreme distance). A ‘Seasoned Commando’ might reduce the difficulty of attacks from ambush (because commandos are typically trained for and used more in raids, ambushes, shock assaults, etc.), but not all attacks. Encourage creativity rather than letting such Truths always apply. In similar terms, maybe let certain characters ignore a penalty or just have a bit of relevant info based on their Truths every now and again: often enough that the players feel like their character choices make a difference, not so often that they expect such benefits without some creativity themselves.

Same for the main personal Truths you get from character creation; make them apply when it gives a character permission to try something others can’t, or when it gives them an edge in narrow, specific circumstances.

And remember, NPCs have personal Truths too. If players insist on reducing an attack’s difficulty because they’re soldiers, point out that the Black Sun Trooper firing at them has the Fanatical Infantry truth, and that can apply too. Assuming that such Truths cancel each other out without mention helps streamline things but allows for unusual situations where one side or the other might have an edge.

And from another Discord post on the purpose and function of Truths, and why just handling them by GM’s discretion (which often comes off as being arbitrary or intangible to players) might not work for some groups.

A truth is, functionally, any detail about a scene, character, object, etc., deemed important enough that it can be given mechanical weight. At the bare minimum, they can be thought of as reminders to GM and players alike that “this thing matters, so consider accounting for it when setting difficulties or determining if a task is possible or not”.

Create truth as an action or Momentum spend is a convenient way to formalise and emphasise the effects of a character’s activities. A PC spends an action making sure they’re well-hidden from a Nachtwölfe patrol, give them a Concealed truth to reflect that, write it down on a sticky note/post-it note (or, my preference, a dry-wipe index card) and hand it to the player. When the patrol comes past, the whole table has a prompt to alter the situation (“OK, because you’re concealed, they’re at +1 difficulty” or “OK, because you’re concealed they won’t spot you right now unless you draw attention to yourself”.

I’ve found them to be a great way to encourage non-combatant characters to get involved in action scenes in creative ways because they still get to have a tangible effect.

But like anything, they’re a tool in your toolkit as GM, to be used as you see fit. Some groups really lean into the idea, others tend to have Truths fade into the background.

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