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New way of using Difficulty on SS&SS

I believe games are always evolving, changing, especially RPGs. I thinks it's really rare to see a gamer, or at least an old school gamer, use a RPG without changing anything, ignoring one rule, implementing his own little creations into the system. And I love this. For me, the game isn't what's in the book, but what's actually happen at the table. RPGs are incomplete games to me, and it's up to the players to actually make them whole.

Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells was written in this fashion. I wanted to provide a strong platform to support gameplay while still leaving space for people to create their own stuff. That way, even I create new stuff for it. The plan was always to publish more and more stuff for it until the point I have enough for a cool 200 or something hardcover book, a second complete edition. So I came up with a different way to use Difficulty on tests, inspired by other games like White Hack and other games.

Instead of the Difficulty being added to the die roll or reduced from the Attribute to be rolled against, it simply defines a number the player has to roll above. So he will always have to roll under his base Attribute score but, sometimes, he will also have to roll higher than the Difficulty for the task. Critical hits will always be rolling the exact Attribute score, and Fumbles will always be the natural 20. When making opposite tests, the one who rolls under his Attribute and scores the higher number still wins.

But this creates 2 spectrums of failure: Numbers above the Attribute score; and numbers below the Difficulty number. This allows referees to react differently to each one, making die rolls a font of inspiration! So I propose the following interpretation for these results.

Rolling above the Attribute score: The character failed because a lack of skill. They can't do that thing they were trying to do. They lack the knowledge, the training, the strenght. It's the most common failure. The one the, usually, nothing happens. The player can still push the roll and try again, but if they fail again, something bad is going to happen.

Rolling under the Difficulty value: The character has the skill to do the task, but the difficulty or ability of the opposition complicated things. In combat, this would mean the opponent dodged the attack or blocked it. If the character was trying to pick a lock, he would have done it, but would activate a trap, an alarm or some other bad thing. This can be used to insert the "Fail Forward" logic some other non traditional games use, or the "Success with a Cost", depending on the situation or inclination of the referee. "You made the jump across the chasm, but you backpack fell all the way down" kind of situation.

This is, of course, still just a thought. I may try to implement this on Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells too, since I will probably publish this before the second edition of SS&SS. What do you think of this? I will give it a try for now on.

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