Flamepunk: Basic Rules

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Flamepunk:Main Page -> Flamepunk: Basic Rules

Overview of Action Resolution

The Flamepunk game system is based on the 666 game engine by Asklepios.

The fundaments of this system are as follows:

  • You use six-sided dice.
  • By default, you have six dice in your action dice pool. Each player will probably need six dice. These six dice are "spent" to perform various actions and refreshes by 3 points at the start of each full round.
  • You can spend Pyros to do cool stuff to the dice roll, and by default you have six points of Pyros.

Action resolution is as follows:

1) Take one or more dice out of your action dice pool, and roll them.

2) Your target can apply defence, optionally.

3) Search for hits.

4) Count magnitude.

5) Calculate success level or failure level.

6) Translate this into degree of success or failure, according to circumstance.

Action Resolution, step by step

1) The Basic Roll

To perform an action, you take any number of dice from your dice pool, and roll them. The player (or GM) rolling the dice decides how many dice are rolled. Essentially, this reflects a degree of control on the character's part: they can throw themselves fully into a task, or just dedicate part of their action capacity to a task. Normally a character will hold back a little (usually so he can defend himself) but sometimes he'll want to go all out.

Then roll, the dice, and look at the numbers you get.


Skaz doesn't like the grin that the blazer thug is throwing at him, so he decides to knock the smile off the lughead's ugly face. He balls his hand into a fist and throws a punch. Skaz's player decides that Skaz is angry, but not reckless, and takes just four dice out of his six dice pool to roll. He rolls the three dice: 3, 3, 5 and 6.

2) Apply Defences

Optionally, the roll may be reduced by defences. A defence is something that directly interferes with the dice roll. For example, an untrained dodge lets you pick put one dice out of any physical attacks that are thrown at you.

Different sorts of defence are covered in other chapters.


The blazer isn't just going to stand there and get punched. He leans back to try to get out of the way. The GM (controlling the Blazer) picks the "6" out of the roll, leaving Skaz's player with just 3, 3 and 5.

3) Search for "Hits"

Each type of action "hits" on different dice results. For example, an untrained brawler throwing an ordinary punch hits on a 5 or 6. Count up the number of dice rolled that have scored a "hit".

Note that almost all untrained checks will have a hit target of "5, 6". In the absence of specific rules or GM rulings, players should default to this.


Skaz's player has rolled 3, 3 and 5 (after defence has been applied). Checking his character sheet he notes that a punch scores "hits" on a 5 or a 6. The first two dice don't count, but the "5" does. He counts one "hit".

4) Count "Magnitude"

The magnitude is the largest multiple of a single number you note on the dice. Larger magnitude means more effect.

For example, a roll of 1, 1, 1, 1, 5, 6 would have a magnitude of 4, while a roll of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 would have a magnitude of 1.

Note that the magnitude is counted by looking at the entire rolled dice pool, not just the hits.

Also note that defence always applies before you count magnitude.


Skaz's player has rolled 3, 3 and 5 (after defence has been applied). He counts that there is one "5" and two "3"s. The magnitude for the action is therefore 2.

5a) Calculate "success level" (if applicable)

If you scored at least one "hit" (after defence has been applied) then the action counts as successful.

To work out the success level, multiply the number of "hits" by the "magnitude".

A higher success level translates into a higher degree of success. For example, when you punch someone your success level is the number of points of damage you deal them.


Skaz's player has rolled one "hit" with a "magnitude" of two. One multplied by two equals two. His success level on the action is two.

5b) Check "failure level" (if applicable)

If you scored no "hits" (after defence has been applied) then the action counts as having failed.

The failure level is simply equal to the magnitude multiplied by the number of "miss dice". As rolling even a single hit counts as a success, this means that the failure level is equal to the magnitude multiplied by the number of dice rolled.

For example, if a roll fails while rolling 1, 3, 3, and 4 then the failure level would be (magnitude 2) x (4 failed dice) = 8.

A higher failure level implies that you have messed up more. A failure level of 1, for example, is just an everyday failure - you don't succeed, but you don't cause yourself any problems. A failure level of 12, on the other hand, would be a truly massive mess-up: not only do you not set out what you planned to do, but your failure has catastrophic consequences for you.

Note that its often better not to throw yourself fully into a task if you feel like you're not likely to succeed, as while you may be not able to achieve as much with less effort, at least you won't mess things up as much if you fail.

6) Consequences of Success and Failure

If at least one hit remains after defence is applied, the action is counted as a success. GM's should use the following as general guidelines:

  • Success Level = 1-5 : Normal success: The action succeeds, with an expected standard of quality.
  • Success Level = 6-11 : Solid success: The action succeeds, and is done with more panache, magnitude or impact than would usually be expected.
  • Success Level = 12+ : Exceptional success: The action succeeds, and is done exceptionally well.

  • Failure Level = 1-5 : Significant failure: The action fails, and you can try again but it will be harder this time. For future attempts, the task has +1 additional defence (the GM removes one extra dice after the roll).
  • Failure Level = 6-11 : Botched failure: The action fails, and you've made it almost impossible to try again. For future attempts, the task has +2 additional defence (the GM removes two extra dice after the roll).
  • Failure Level = 12+ : Catastrophic failure: The action fails, and you've made it absolutely impossible to try again, as well as messing things up in such a way that there are unexpected negative consequences as well. You'd have been a lot better off if you'd never tried in the first place. For future attempts, the task has +3 additional defence (the GM removes three extra dice after the roll). The GM may also want to create some sort of negative effect which reflects the degree of failure.

Note that certain specific situations interpret success level and failure level differently from normal. The most common exception to this is Combat, which is detailed in the next chapter. For these situations, the rules in the specific chapters supercede and replace the rules in this section.

GM tips: Deciding The Hit Numbers

Most actions that a character will regularly engage in have their own rules. Combat, social interaction, spellcasting and flamerunning all have specific guidelines that let you know what numbers count as a "hit", and what a success of failure means.

If the rules don't specifically cover what you are trying to do (for example, if the action represents trying to smash down a door, or research an alchemical formula) then the default hit numbers are "5" and "6".

GM tips: Adjusting the Difficulty

Generally, the difficulty of a task won't effect the Hit Numbers.

Instead, GMs who want to make a task more or less challenging can apply defences.

  • Defence: "Dodge"

A GM can give a task a "Dodge" value to represent increasing difficulty. That is, if he assigns a task a Dodge Defence of 1, then after the roll he can pick one dice out of the dice pool after it has been rolled. With Dodge Defence 2, he could pick out two dice after the roll.

A Dodge Value of 0 represents a simple and straightforward task, that most people could complete with time and effort. Examples: Smashing open a rotting wooden door, or lifting twenty kilos with one hand.

A Dodge Value of 1 represents a fair challenge, that requires a little effort, but shouldn't be too hard. Examples: Smashing open an ordinary wooden door, or trying to find a relevant bit of information in an occult library.

A Dodge Value of 2 represents a significant challenge, that will challenge even someone skilled at the task. Examples: Picking an ordinary lock, or attempting to juggle five knives.

A Dodge Value of 3 represents a major challenge, that is difficult even for someone who is skilled, and probably best attempted by a master in that field. Examples: Performing surgery to extract a spider-like tumour with only rudimentary tools, or jumping over a six foot wall from a standing leap.

Higher Dodge Values can be applied for increasingly difficult tasks, but GMs should bear in mind that even the most skilled characters, rolling 6 dice and with various tricks (such as needing 4+, or being able to shift dice, or whatever else they can do from their traits and equipment) will rarely succeed at Dodge 4 or higher.

Note also that (as described above) failure at a task applies a cumulative dodge penalty.

Refreshing the Action Dice Pool

As previously noted, your Action Dice Pool refreshes by 3 points at the start of each round. In combat or flamerunning, a round is equal to a few seconds at most. For social combat, a round represents a minute or so of conversation. For other conflicts a round is variable in length depending on circumstance.

Outside of conflict situations, you refresh your Action Dice Pool by 3 points for every few seconds of time that passes for the character.

Automatic Actions

Automatic actions cost action dice but don't require a roll to succeed - instead they succeed automatically with a fixed effect.

The GM can deem any predictable and unchallenging action as an automatic action, and determine the dice cost for it. For example, sheathing a weapon and drawing a new one could count as an automatic action costing a single dice. Most automatic actions should cost only a single dice, in order to keep the drama moving and to let players actually do things.

The most common automatic action that players will carry out is Defending. Applying Defence does not require a dice roll, but will cost Action dice. For example, dodging an attack costs 1 Action dice.

Reflexive Actions

A Reflexive Action can be declared at any time during the round, so long as you still have dice left. Reflexive Actions are normally those which respond to someone else's action, and so are most often related to defending.

For example dodging an attack is a reflexive action, and can be called after someone attacks you.

Don't forget that defence is applied after the dice are rolled, so you don't need to decide whether you want to call a reflexive action until after the dice are rolled.

Important: You can only declare one reflexive action in response to a single action roll.

Effectively this means that you can only apply one sort of defence against each attack that comes your way.

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