From publisher blurb:
The Storypath System uses ten-sided dice, and is designed to be an action-heavy roleplaying game. The rules facilitate a number of playing styles and in game elements at the table including:
- Action Gameplay: Storypath takes cues from action movies to keep scenes moving quickly and preventing them from getting bogged down.
- Cinematic Pacing: Storypath divides sessions and scenes into different units of time that support a story moving at the speed of plot. Campaigns are modeled similarly to a long-running television series, using episodes, arcs, and seasons, to emphasize plot and characters over minutia or real time competency.
- Scaling: Storypath uses a comparative chart to measure general degrees of power between opponents. Gods or superheroes can fight each other on mostly equal ground, while mere mortals can do the same to one another. It’s only when the psychic superhuman deals with your average beat cop that Scale comes into play!
- Bonding: Though the rules are designed to portray individual characters, Storypath also uses group mechanics to create a collaborative storytelling role-playing experience. The Bonds formed during character creation and sessions bring new overarching mechanics and collaborative themes into play based on character milestones.
- Competence: The player-characters are assumed to be competent in their area of specialization be it research, combat, persuasion, or any other field of human endeavor. Dice rolls aren’t always meant to assume success or failure: they’re meant to determine influence over the story and the degree to which the character succeeds.
- Enhanced Combat: Storypath combat uses ranged bands, fields with terrain features, and the tools for both active and supporting characters to contribute to a fight. Combined, these techniques will keep fights interesting — even in extended conflicts and battles.
Modes of Play
Storypath actions belong to three general modes that roughly map to Attributes, or ways characters interact with the setting. Modes are schemas inspired by traits instead of rigid categories, and are not meant to be internalized as hard and fast rules. By design, different settings will inspire new modes clustered around setting-specific special traits and systems.
The following schemas apply to most games powered by the Storypath System, regardless of setting:
ACTION-ADVENTURE (PHYSICAL-INSPIRED MODE)
Physical peril, violence, and round-by-round action. This is the realm of punch-ups, car chases, and defusing bombs with seconds to spare. These fast-paced scenes usually take place in real-time, with specialist rules covering combat and dramatic movement.
PROCEDURALS (MENTAL-INSPIRED MODE)
Deductions, careful research, and cunning preparation. The focus is on solving problems by using information gathered through clues and evidence or formulated plans. These scenes take place as montages, skipping through long stretches of work, and include specialist rules for investigation and crafting.
INTRIGUE (SOCIAL-INSPIRED MODE)
Interpersonal ties, relationships, and social manipulation. These scenes include interrogations, infiltrating secret social circles, and pursuing romantic ties. They blend real-time conversation with stretches of “skipped” time, and include specialist rules for persuasion and representing different personalities.
ATTRIBUTES AND ABILITIES
Attributes are divided into three Arenas: Mental, Physical, and Social — and three Approaches: Force, Finesse, and Resilience — for nine total Attributes.
Attributes reflect a character’s most basic qualities to define who they are. They might be smart, strong, graceful, or self-assured. If other characters were asked to describe that person in a few words, their responses would likely be a reflection of their Attributes: they might say they’re clever or clumsy, or that they’re a brusque but effective leader. When paired with Skills, these traits determine the character’s ability to overcome specific obstacles.
Dice pools are formed from pairing a Skill with an Attribute. Skills describe a character’s capabilities, either from formal training or refining raw talent.
Any action that you actually roll for has a Difficulty, even if it’s 0. This is the number of successes that you must meet — including any Enhancements — to see if you succeed. If you don’t have successes left after meeting the Difficulty, you fail.
THE CORE MECHANIC
You roll a dice pool of d10s: Skill + Attribute against a set Difficulty, which is the number of successes you must meet. Each die that rolls an 8 or above is a success. If your dice roll scores one or more successes, you add bonus successes from any Enhancements from equipment or powers. You succeed on your action if the successes meet or exceed the Difficulty, and fail if you don’t. More successes than you need allow benefits called Stunts, and failing gains you Consolation, a chance to affect the story anyway. If you score 0 successes rolling the dice and one or more of them show a 1, you botch and fail especially badly, but earn more Momentum (a kind of Consolation) than for a failure.