GMD CORE RPG: Scenes

Scenes

A story in GMD CORE RPG consists of interlinking scenes. Imagine a film or a book and envision how scenes change as the story progresses. The trick is to swap from scene to scene fluidly. This is easier said than done. 

Example: The heroes have just received a quest from the local guard captain which was a Drama scene since they were interacting with Role Playing. They then decide to head out to the Quest location, which immediately heads out into a Travel Scene. Of course you may have a planned encounter along the way so the Travel scene gets interrupted and becomes an Action Scene. 

Designing Scenes

Scene Type: What is the Scene main focus, scene can swap focus due to actions of PCs and NPCs. Example a Drama Scene could turn into an Action Scene or an enemy could surrender bringing the heroes into a Drama Scene. So prepare to be fluid and it is suggested to think of possible scene changes that could happen. 

Scene Objective: What is the purpose of the scene? Is it to locate a hidden item? Coerce information out of an NPC? Defeat a group of enemies? Open a lock before the ceiling crushes the party?

Objective Difficulty: The Level of Difficulty to achieve the task required to achieve the objective.

Objective Time: Length of time in rounds the party has to achieve the objective.

Objective Pass Requirement: If there is a DoS Value required to achieve the Scene Objective, then the party must succeed in reaching a collective DoS of 25 before the scene time is up. Some Scenes will have their own rules and requirements. All characters taking part in achieving the objective all roll against the difficulty at once. The highest roll is used for DoS result. This is then added to the success DoS Pool. Once this Pool reaches 25 the Objective is a success.

Objective Pass: Reward for succeeding in the objective

Objective fail: Consequences for failing the objective.

Scene Environment: What environment is the scene, See Page XX

Scene NPCs: What NPCs are encountered in this SCene and their personal objectives, or information and equipment they may possess. 

Process:

1- Describe Scene [Hint at Objective of scene] 

2 – Initiative

3 – In initiative order, players describe actions

Drama Scenes 

The Objective of a Drama Scene can sometimes be clear and that is to win the conflict of an argument, or to successfully interrogate a prisoner, or to convince the guards to let you pass, or even win the aid of the council, king or emperor. 

Drama may have no conflict, it could be between several PC’s or PC’s a friendly NPCs and the objective here would be to learn more about the NPC, PC’s or the story itself. 

  • Anyone taking part in a non conflict Drama Scene will earn 1 CDP, Anyone not taking part will earn 0 CDP. 

Conflicted scenes that are won earn CDP as per the CDP rules for completing Scene Objectives. 

Drama scenes can also be tense action. For example Tense action would be trying to close a colossal door before the horde of beast-men reach it and pour through. Or to complete the ritual to close a portal before the Primordial Entity pours through to devour the world. Drama Scene Tense Action Scene Objective would be to reach a DoS of 25. 

Social Objectives could include: An argument to get your point across, To win favour of an audience. To bluff your way past a target / group of targets, To Interrogate a prisoner or resist an interrogation, Seduction of a target to obtain valuable intelligence. These are but a few objectives that can be achieved with a Drama Scene. Objectives in Drama scene is to reduce a targets SOC Health to 0 to achieve the goal in question.

SOC Health = SOC DT x 2 

Dealing SOC DMG is just like Combat but with a slight difference. 

Roll Specialisation- Intimidate / Diplomacy / Bluff etc… Vs Appropriate Resistance. 

If Target Loses they suffer the Difference in DMG. 

If the target wins they deal the difference in DMG.

Possible actions:

Interrogate: If Mental resist with MND. If Physical Resist with Endurance [PHY]

Diplomacy: Resisted with Diplomacy [SOC]

Investigate: A character can watch in the background looking for clues in what is said, This is Resisted with SOC

Seduction: Resisted with targets SOC

Once the targets SOC Health is reduced to 0 they give in and information required can be gathered and the Objective Pass Award is achieved.

If any physical interrogation methods are used. Then the Hero must also Roll for DMG Vs DMG RES.

If a Player is reduced to 0 SOC Health, then they are considered defeated and have no further influence in the scene, if the player is the target then they will give over the information the NPC is seeking. 

If all players are reduced to 0 SOC Health then the scene is over and the players have failed. 

Pursuit scenes 

Pursuit scenes are exciting chases across distances either on foot or in a vehicle or on a mount. They consist of either the heroes pursuing an enemy or attempting to escape the pursuit of the enemy.

The most exciting pursuits will have obstacles to overcome. Below you will find the rules required to run a successful pursuit scene and some tables to assist in inspiration for obstacles etc.

You may have pre-designed the pursuit ahead of the game knowing that the enemy will attempt to escape. Or often than not the players being players will instigate a pursuit, either by running away or chasing after the target.

Here is how to break down a Pursuit scene so you know what objective and CDP’s to reward and to work out the outcome of the Pursuit. 

Starting the Pursuit.

Firstly determine the pursuit starting distance. How close are the chasers and the escapees from each other.

Are they :

Close RangeApprox. Up to 100’
Medium RangeApprox. 100- 500’
Long Range500’ +

How long will the pursuit take?

Quick Pursuit3 Rounds
Short Pursuit4-5 Rounds
Medium Pursuit5-8 Rounds
Long Pursuits9+ Rounds

Now give each Escapee a Pursuit Token for each round of the Pursuit. For NPC sidekicks just give their leader the Pursuit Token. Unless the escapees break off into different direction then give each group that stay together the tokens.

The Escapee gains a bonus of :

  • +1 Token for Medium Range 
  • +2 Tokens For Long Range

Obstacles

What Obstacles need to be overcome during the pursuit.

Determine which Obstacle will affect which round of the pursuit. The Obstacle will determine the Specialisation roll required and outcome of that round of the pursuit.

Here is a random Table of suggested Obstacles, If you know the route of the pursuit then simply pick the obstacle that best suits the round.

The table consists of the Obstacle, the rules to overcome the obstacle and the consequences of a failed roll.

D8ObstacleRulesConsequence
1Pedestrians – Pedestrians are moving randomly in the way, this could be a crowded street, or along an escalator or stair case or packed hallway. A DIfficulty Dice of D8 is rolled, (D10 for heavy pedestrian traffic)Each participant rolls to weave through the crowd.
STR to barge through, AGI to dodge through. 
Suffers -1 MomentumDistraction is applied.Loose 1 Pursuit Token
2Falling objects: baskets on a market stall, materials in a building site, trees anything. Swinging factory arms along a conveyor belt.Roll Difficulty D8 Participants must succeed a DEF check to avoid being hit. DMG equal to the DoS of the Difficulty Roll is rolled against the participant.1-2 on the success results in a Stun point.Else check the DoS chart for the DMG Dice to roll.
Loose 1 Pursuit Token.
3Path blocked: The path is blocked by a climbable object. The Difficulty Dice depends on the object Ladders or plenty hand holds is D4, Vehicles or fences D6, Walls 5-8’ tall are D8,
Drain pipes etc is D10, Whilst sheer cliffs etc are D12

Participants Make a Climb [STR] Check
Suffers -1 MomentumTake falling damage equal to the DoS of the Difficulty Dice see DoS Chart, 1-2 is 1 point of Stun only. Loose 1 Pursuit Point
4Fast moving traffic: On a highway, or race track, or starships near to a docking station. A D8 Difficulty if travelling in the same direction, D10 if crossing the flow of traffic, D12 if heading headlong into the traffic.
Participants Make AGI Checks if on foot, or Appropriate Specialisation check if in vehicles or on Mounts etc..
Staggered is applied for the next round.Collision takes place and DMG equal to DoS plus a Bonus Dice of D8 is rolled.Loose 1 Pursuit Point
5Open Space: An attempt to sprint and close or expand the distance.This is a Difficulty D4 for a short open space, D8 For a Medium or D12 for a Long Open Space (See Starting Distance)All participants make a PHY check as they go flat out, or their Mounts make a PHY check or They make Specialisation check for their Vehicles. As they go flat out. Loose control or become exhausted.

If on Foot or on a mount Exhaustion is applied.

Loose 1 Pursuit Token.
6Expanse: Jumping from rooftop to rooftop, leaping across chasms. Or from crates to crates in a factory. Or vehicle tops across a busy street.Difficulty:Up to 5’ D65-10’ D811-15’ D1016’-20’ D1221-25’ D12 D4 etc…Participants

Suffers -1 MomentumUp to 5’ Trip over and landed heavily, 1 stun, apply Prone.
Loose 1 Pursuit Token
6’ or more fall … determine Falling distance (See Falling on Page XX) and suffer falling DMG.Apply Prone
Loose 3 Pursuit Tokens.
7On top of a moving object: along the top of a train, across a conveyor belt, or through a large moving starshipDifficulty D10 Participants all make AGI checks or appropriate Specialisations rolls. Suffers -1 MomentumSuffer 1 Stun.Apply Prone.Loose 1 Pursuit Token
8Twisting Hallways, alleys, cavern tunnels.Difficulty D4D6 on Rough Terrain or tight spaces.Participants make AGI or appropriate Specialisation checks. Loose 1 Pursuit Token.

The GM may also add Environmental Effects to each Round of the scene. See Page XX

Next Determine what happens at the end of the pursuit. 

The pursuit lasts until the end of the last round. If the escapee has more Pursuit tokens than the pursuers then the escapee gets away. The GM will need to determine how.

Examples could include:

  • Cross state lines or onto holy ground.
  • Disappearing into a crowded location and merge away into the crowd.
  • The last obstacle gets in the way and when the obstacle is finally overcome, the escapees are nowhere to be found.
  • The escapees make it to the getaway vehicles or jump point and make their escape. 

Be sure that there is nothing around to start another pursuit. The pursuit is over and the escapees are the victors. It is time to track them down.

Running the Pursuit Scene

Now the GM has made a plan of the pursuit scene or is ready for some random obstacles to throw in each turn. The chase is on…

Imagine that Pursuits are moving Action scenes. Instead of battling it out in a static location the scene is on the move. The environment is changing at a rapid pace. Adrenaline is surging either by excitement or fear. 

Each participant acts in an initiative order. The Initiative is rolled using AGI as in Combat, unless the participant is in a vehicle or on a mount. Then an appropriate Specialisation is rolled instead. 

  • Don’t forget to apply Stun to the roll.
  • Any participant that rolls 0 or less loses a Pursuit Token. 

NOTE: Pursuit Tokens cannot go below 0 You either have them or you do not. 0 represents that you are at long range to the opponents.

Now Each Participant takes turns in acting in Initiative Order highest to lowest, remember to reduce any exceptional rolls by 10 and allow for an additional action. 

  1. Reduce Stun by 1
  2. Remove any Effects that expire
  3. Reduce Perk Turn by 1
  4. Recover 1 NRG
  5. Overcome any Obstacles
  6. Perform Soft or Hard Action.

In Pursuits each character can perform only 1 Soft or 1 Hard Action.

The Soft Actions available in the pursuit is as follows:

  • Activate Perk
  • Unarmed Attack against Close Range Target
  • Grapple against Close Range Target, Success gain 1 Pursuit Token. If escapee pursuit tokens are higher than pursuers they break free and pursuit continues. Else they are captured.
  • Use Specialisation
  • Get up from Prone
  • Aim +1 Attack (Max +3)
  • Concentrate +1 Power Roll (Max +3)
  • Attempt to Hide (cannot be in an Open Space) STL Vs PER. Success Gain 2 Pursuit Tokens, Fail Lose 1 Pursuit Token and Opponent Gains 1 Pursuit Token.

Hard Actions:

  • Ranged Attack (-1 Medium, -2 Long Range)
  • Melee Attack Close Range Only
  • Power Use
  • Sprint: This new Hard Action is an attempt to close or expand the gap. 

The Range of the Power should be consulted with the range chart above to see if the target is in range.

To determine how far an opponent is from each other, compare their Pursuit Tokens.

Difference in Pursuit TokensRange
0-1Close
2Medium
3+Long

Stealth Scenes

A stealth scene is a scene where the heroes need to sneak past guards or into a complex undetected. The scene will use mainly STL: Hide and Sneak Specialisations against Listen, and Spot Specialisations.

The scene is broken down into parts where a Stealth success is required. The Groups successes are then added together towards the Scenes Objective Value. 

Each Round has an obstacle to overcome. This could be a Guard, security cameras, guard dog, barrier to get over, locked door etc.. Each Obstacle is part of the Scene Objective Value. 

For Example: The Scene could be to sneak into a detention cell to free a princess from a galactic overlord before being discovered.

The GM decides they will be discovered after 5 obstacles, and breaks down the scene into 5 Rounds (Could be less, could be more)

Round 1 Sneak into the facility, Obstacle Guard on look out, Group Sneak Check required. Fail results in being detected, combat / Pursuit scene ensues. Objective Failed

Round 2 Break into the Guard Room, Lock Picking roll required.

Round 3 Locate the princess, Investigation Roll required.

Round 4 Sneak past guards and get to the detention centre. Fail party is detected, combat or pursuit ensues. Objective Failed

Round 5 Unlock the detention cells. 

Round 6 If the overall value is less than 25 Guards come rushing in and Combat or Pursuit ensues, Objective Failed, If the value is 25 or more the party can then sneak out of the facility, the GM sets up a new Stealth Scene after rewarded the party with CDP’s and objective success rewards.

This example has added in multiple possibilities for scene failure and therefore increased the suspense of the scene. Not all stealth scenes need to have the chances of failure added in. The GM could say that instead of being automatically detected, that security is not as alert and the party still manages to stealth past, but make a noise or start to alert guards, who start to move around looking for what has caused the disturbance. This adds a little visual tension to the scene and the build up towards the Objective Value success or fail. 

Action Scenes 

Action Scenes are scenes where combat takes place and the objective is normally to defeat the enemy or avoid capture. There are also Drama Action Scenes and Pursuit Scenes which are also Action Scenes. But they have their own rules to govern their success. 

Action Scenes are just a skirmish scene between two or more sides. 

See Combat rules for how combat plays out.

Objective success for an aCtion scene is if over 50% of the present party members survived. 

Travel

Travelling to a destination of an adventure can be in itself an adventure. Rather than just set up encounter after encounter, it is advised to leave most of the action relevant to the adventure and story that has been designed.

If there is a chance of a random event to happen along the route of the hero’s journey, then use this chart if you want to add a random element to that journey. 

Roll Difficulty of each type of terrain per day of the journey.

Difficulty DiceTerrain
Patrolled Roads D4
Fields / Farmlands / OceansD6
Wilderness / Barren Lands / Desert / ArcticD8
Forests / MountainsD10
Hostile TerritoryD12
  1. The Heroes Roll PER (or STL if they are being cautious on their travels and are wanting to avoid any possible encounter. 
  2. Keep the highest roll of the Hero’s dice.
  3. Remove any Terrain Dice that failed to beat the Hero’s roll. 
  4. Each Terrain Dice that rolls higher than the Hero’s roll consults the chart below to see what random event happens along their journey. Use the DoS of the Terrain Dice to determine what happens.

DoS

1 NON Hostile Travellers SOC scene

2 Good progress  narrative scene PHY

3 Vista location of beauty PER to notice drama scene

4 chance sighting PER to notice Discovery Scene

5 Weather change favourable narrative MND 

6 location of interest exploration PER

7 terrain obstruction / obstacle Discovery AGI to overcome

8 weather bad MND, narrative

9 location of horror/ danger action – quick sand sTR, cursed area FOC,

10 hostile travellers combat / pursuit / stealth

11 predator combat / pursuit / stealth 

12+ Ambush combat / pursuit 

Awarding CDP [Character Development Points]

Each scene grants character development points as follows:

Relevant Roleplay:

  • +1 CDP to a Hero who was involved in roleplaying during the scene and their roleplay was in relation to the scene topic. Example1 : Alexandra is holding the door shuts and roleplays a conversation to her companions to hurry up and locate an exit she does not know how long she can hold the door close. Alexandra earns +1 CDP. Example 2: Aster in the same scene starts talking to his companions stating that he likes the way trees in the autumn sway in the wind and earns no CDP. This roleplay has no relevance to the scene. The GM will determine if any of the party performed any relevant roleplay during the scene.
  • +2 CDP If something new and deep about the characters background or personality is learnt and that is also relevant to the scene.  Example: Varos who is also in the room in the example above, states that he begins to pace backwards and forwards and mutters loudly about the enclosed spaces and that panic is beginning to creep across his body. 

Overcoming the Objective

  • If a scene objective has been successful all party members gain 1 CDP

Succeeding in a Story required check. 

This is a Specialisation or a Stat check that is not part of the Scenes Objective Value and has been decided  to be needed by the GM. 

If the GM decides that the roll pushed the story forward and was not required for player survival. The GM may reward CDP. 

  • +1 if the Specialization or Stat DT was less than the Difficulty or target DT

Spending CDP

CDP can only be spent once the hero is in a place of safety.

  • Anywhere within home town.
  • Friendly location, allies location / shrine to worshipping deity
  • Local tavern / inn.
  • Or the party has set up camp with watches.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.