9.1 Glossary of Terms

Ability Anything you can apply to solve a problem or overcome an obstacle

Advantage Point (AP) A measure of advantage in an extended contest.

Ally A supporting character of roughly equal ability to your own.

AP Abbreviation for Advantage Point.

AP Gifting When you help another character, whilst uninvolved in a contest, by giving them advantage points in an extended contest.

AP Lending When you help another character, whilst engaged in a contest, by lending them advantage points, in an extended contest.

Asymmetrical Exchange In a extended contest, where you are pressed by an opponent, but want to do something other than contend directly for the prize.

Asymmetrical Round In a scored contest, where you are pressed by an opponent, but want to do something other than contend directly for the prize.

Assist In a scored contest, if you are unengaged you may use an assist to reduce the resource points scored against another character.

Augment Using one ability to help another ability

Automatic Victory You have an appropriate ability and the GM feels failure is not interesting, or makes the PC looks un-heroic.

Background Event An off-stage bonus or penalty applied to a resource.

Base resistance The TN for a moderate resistance class, from which all other resistance classes are figured as a bonus or penalty.

Benefit of Victory Long term positive modifier, because you won a contest, against a challenging opponent (not -6 or less than your ability). Usually a state of fortune.

Bid Also an AP Bid or advantage point bid is your wager in an extended contest.

Bolster A story obstacle to apply a bonus to a community resource

Bonus A positive modifier.

Boost Spending points ahead of a group simple contest outcome, to improve the victory.

Bump An increment of the result of a roll, up or down. So a bump up moves a fumble, to a failure, to a success to a critical, a bump down moves a critical, to a success, to a failure to a fumble. One step is moved per bump. It is usually the impact of a hero point or mastery.

Catch-Up When you cross a mastery threshold you can increase lesser used abilities to ensure they keep pace.

Climax A long contest story obstacle that provides the conclusion to a story.

Contact A supporting character who shares an occupation or interest with your character.

Contest Where there is uncertainty as to whether a PC can overcome a story obstacle or discover a secret, then your GM can call for a contest to determine if the PC succeeds or fails. A contest may be simple (one roll) of extended (a series of rolls).

Consequences of Defeat Long term negative modifier, because you lost a contest. Usually a state of adversity.

Contest of Wherewithal A contest that allows a dying character to complete one final action.

Contest Framing Setting the stakes of the contest, what is this conflict about. Often not the immediate aftermath of victory.

Complete Defeat No, and…. You have lost, and the impact is long-lasting, maybe even fatal or terminal.

Complete Victory Yes, and… You have won, and the impact is long-lasting, possibly a permanent change in your favor.

Credibility Test Is it possible to perform the action without an ability, with an ordinary ability, or only with a extraordinary ability?

Crisis Test Used to determine if a resource that has a penalty creates a crisis.

Defeat Your result is worse than the resistance’s result.

Defensive Response In a long contest you can choose a defensive tactic which reduces the resource points you lose on a negative result.

Degree of Victory or Defeat How well did you triumph, or how badly did you fail: Critical, Success, Failure, Fumble.

Dependent A supporting character who depends on your PC.

Depletion Use of a community resource leads to its depletion.

Directed Improvement When your GM grants you a new ability, or an increase to an existing one, to recognize a story event.

Distinguishing Characteristic The dominant personality ability that others recognize in a character.

Dying A state of adversity, where the character’s defeat will end their participation.

Edge In an extended contest adds to the APs lost or transferred when you win an exchange.

Exchange In an extended contest a round is divided into two exchanges where both aggressor and defender act. In a group extended contest a round consists of a sequence of exchanges where everyone acts in turn. The GM determines the order of action.

Extended Contest A type of long contest in which you track the relative advantage one opponent has over another using advantage points.

Experience Points (XP) When you do not spend a hero point in a session it becomes an experience point, which can accumulate between sessions.

Extraordinary ability Certain genres allow player characters to have abilities that exceed human norms, these are extraordinary abilities. A genre pack normally outlines what is possible as part of its extraordinary powers framework.

Failure Rolling over your target number. It can be a fumble or just a plain failure.

Final Action An attempt by defeated, but unengaged, PCs to re-enter an extended contest.

Flaw An ability that penalizes you instead of helping you.

Fumble The worst failure result, a notable failure either due to incompetence or bad luck.

Follower A supporting character under your control. Either a sidekick or retainer

Framing the contest You and your GM agree on the prize for the victor, and your tactic in trying to win it.

Group Chained Contest A chained contest in which more than a pair of opponents contend for the prize

Group Extended Contest An extended contest in which more than a pair of opponents contend for the prize

Group Scored Contest A scored contest in which more than a pair of opponents contend for the prize

Group Simple Contest A simple contest where one side has multiple participants.

Graduated Goals When a contestant has a primary and secondary goal, and may have to choose between them if their outcome is not a major or complete victory.

Handicap In an extended contest subtracts from the APs lost or transferred when you win an exchange.

Hero Point Allows you to alter fate for a player character, either by a bump to their result or a plot edit. If unused, becomes an experience point at the end of the session.

Hurt A state of adversity, a flesh wound or injured pride, heals at the end of a session.

Keyword A single ability that encompasses a range of abilities within it, such as an occupation or culture. An ability within an umbrella keyword is a break-out ability, an ability within a package keyword is a stand-alone ability.

Long Contest A contest where we drill-down to the individual exchanges that resolve the conflict. We support scored, extended, and chained contests

Major Defeat No, and. You have lost, and the impact is long-lasting.

Major Victory, Yes, and. You have won, and the impact is long-lasting.

Marginal Defeat No, but… You don’t get what you want, but the damage may be mitigated.

Marginal Victory Yes, but… You get what you want, but you may have to make a hard choice.

Modifiers Adjustments to a target number due to circumstance.

Mastery An ability rating that rises above 20 is said to have a mastery. Masteries cancel each other out in contests. Masteries that are not cancelled provide a bump.

Minor Defeat No… you don’t get the agreed prize.

Minor Victory Yes… you get the agreed prize.

Mismatched Goals When the opposing sides in a contest want different prizes.

Occupation An ability that indicates the profession, or primary area of expertise, of your character.

Outcome A contest has an outcome, described as a victory or defeat in obtaining the prize that was agreed in contest framing for any PCs involved.

Outcome Point A point scored in favor one side in a group simple contest

Parting Shot An attempt to make your opponent’s defeat worse in a long contest (scored or extended), by ‘finishing them off’.

Patron A supporting character with superior assets.

Penalty A negative modifier.

Prize What is at stake in the contest, decided during framing.

Rating An ability has a rating, indicating how likely a character is to succeed at using it.

Resistance The forces opposing the PC in a conflict, or concealing a secret that must be overcome by using an ability in a contest. One of: Nearly Impossible, Very High, High, Moderate, Low, Very Low.

Resistance Class The bonus or penalty to the resistance TN, depending on the GM’s interpretation of how dramatically hard the story obstacle is.

Resolution Point (RP) In a scored contest an RP tracks the advantage one contestant has over the other.

Resource A community ability that your PC may draw on.

Result The outcome of a die roll against a TN. One of critical, success, failure, and fumble.

Retainer A follower of your PC who is not ‘fleshed out’ and cannot act independently.

Rising Action A scored contest where the story obstacle is a step towards the final story obstacle of this story.

Risky Gambit In a long contest you can take an action that puts you at more risk on defeat, but enhances victory.

Round A long contest is broken into a series of rounds, each of which is an attempt to obtain the prize. In an extended contest a round is further broken into a number of exchanges in which all participants have the chance to act.

Scored Contest A long contest where we track the relative advantage one contestant has over another using resolution points

Sidekick A fleshed out follower of your PC who can act independently.

Supporting Characters Additional characters under the player’s control that play a supporting role to their PC.

Simple Contest A one roll resolution method, the default contest type, used when learning the outcome matters more than the breakdown of how you achieved it.

Stand Alone Ability An ability raised separately to a keyword. It may have been added to the character as part of a package keyword, or on its own.

State of Adversity How ‘banged up’ a PC is, physically or metaphorically, following a defeat: Hurt, Injured, Impaired, Dying and Dead

State of Fortune A ‘boost’ to the PC which may be physical or metaphorical.

Story Obstacle Something that prevents you from getting what you want, the prize. A story obstacle is the trigger for a contest.

Stretch A penalty applied to an ability because it is stretches credibility that it is a reasonable tactic.

Success Rolling under your target number. It can be a critical or just a plain success.

Target Number (TN) The number, either an ability rating, or a resistance, to roll under or equal to in order to succeed.

TN Abbreviation for Target Number

Unrelated Action An action when you are disengaged in a long contest that does not relate to your attempt to win the prize.

Victory Your result is a better roll than the resistance.


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