The Sundered World uses a system where players choose when their plans work as expected and when they go sideways. The system uses no dice and no target numbers, but is instead set-up so that every early success leads to later trouble and vice versa. Direct conflicts are staged as challenges in which consequences can be bought off at the cost of giving successes to your opponent. The system demands narration and focuses on the storytelling aspects of play. Rules are provided to enable the story and maintain fairness of play.
The rules also reinforce the initial mercantile focus of The Sundered World. Players must manage their outcomes wisely so that they do not find themselves short a success when they need one the most.