You may sometimes face contests where more than one ability may be applicable to the conflict at hand. In such cases, you may attempt to use one ability to give a supporting bonus to the main ability you are using to frame the contest. This is called an augment. For example, if your character has the abilities "The Queen’s Intelligencer" and "Master of Disguise", you might use the latter to augment the former when infiltrating a rival nation’s capitol. Similarly, a character with "Knight Errant" and "My Word is my Bond" abilities might use one to augment the other when in conflict with a story obstacle the character has sworn to overcome.
Abilities that represent special items, weapons, armor, or other noteworthy equipment can be a common source of augments. However, this grows tired if over-used and you should try and restrict repeated use equipment used in this way to contests where they are particularly interesting or apropos.
Augments can also come from other characters’ abilities if one character uses an ability to support another’s efforts rather than directly engaging in the contest. Augments can even come from outside resources like support from a community, see §8, or other circumstantial help.
If you have a good idea for an augment, propose it to your GM while the contest is being framed. When making your proposal, describe how the augmenting ability supports the main one in a way that is both entertaining and memorable. Don’t just hunt for mechanical advantage, show your group more about your PC when you augment, their attitudes, passions, or lesser known abilities. If you are augmenting with a broad ability like "Fool’s Luck", be prepared to describe the unlikely events that tilt the scales in your favor. Your GM will decide whether the augment is justified and can refuse boring and uninspired attempts to augment, where you are just looking for a bonus to your roll and not adding to the story.
You may only use one of your own abilities to augment the ability you are using in the contest, and you may not use an ability to augment itself. However, augments from other players supporting you can add together with your own, along with other modifiers, including those from benefits of victory and from plot augments.
If you GM accepts your augment proposal, it will be resolved by one of the methods below. The main contest then proceeds as normal, with any bonus from the augment added onto the rating of the ability chosen when framing the contest. The augment remains in effect for the duration of the contest.
2.4.1 Rolled Augments
To grant an augment to yourself, or another PC, in an upcoming contest, you engage in a simple contest against a moderate resistance before the main contest begins to determine whether the augment attempt results in an advantage. Frame this augment contest with your GM, making it clear how your supporting ability will achieve the goal of making your ability in the main contest more effective. Augment contests may not themselves be augmented, and if your augment attempt ends in defeat, you may not make another attempt at an augment for the main contest.
If you are victorious in the augment contest, your GM will award a bonus of +3 to the ability used in the main contest. If your description of how you were using the augmenting ability was particularly entertaining, your GM may increase the bonus to +6.
If you are using the advanced mechanic for degrees of victory or defeat, use the table below to interpret the outcome of the simple contest. Note that penalties for defeat when attempting an augment are much lessened compared to a regular contest.
18.104.22.168 AUGMENT TABLE
2.4.2 Quick Augments
While an augment contest before the main contest can be dramatic and exciting, it does also slow down the flow of play. An alternative approach, called a quick augment, alleviates this by replacing rolling with a bonus equal to one-fifth of the augmenting rating. If your GM accepts your proposal for an augment, simply divide the augmenting ability rating by five, round down if necessary, and add the modifier as a bonus to your ability in the upcoming contest.
It is at your GM’s discretion whether to roll augments or use quick augments. Your GM may choose one preferred approach and use it in every instance, or choose one or the other on a case-by-case basis based on interest and flow of play.
2.4.3 Plot Augments
A plot augment occurs when your GM decides that your victory over a previous story obstacle is sufficiently relevant to the contest at hand as to warrant a bonus much like a supporting ability can. The previous contest need not have been immediately prior to the current one, as long as its outcome remains relevant. The magnitude of a plot augment can be +3, +6, +9, or +M. The more challenging the previous contest was and the more relevant that victory is to the current challenge, the higher the augment.
- 2.1 Abilities
- 2.2 Possessions and Equipment
- 2.3 Contest Procedure
- 2.5 Advanced Mechanics
- 2.6 Resolution Methods
- 2.7 Resistance Progression
- 2.8 Degree of Victory or Defeat
- 2.9 Benefits and Consequences
- 2.10 Modifiers
- 2.11 Combined Abilities
- 2.12 Mobs, Gangs, and Hordes
- 2.13 Ganging Up
- 2.14 Mass Effort
- 2.15 Pyrrhic Victories
- 2.16 Mismatched and Graduated Goals
- 2.17 Difficult Automatic Victory