Making Checks

Checks are the backbone of character actions in S4E. Any time a character attempts a task, the GM may require that they make a check to determine if they were successful or not. In general, easy tasks, or tasks with little-to-no narrative significance, can be resolved without requiring a check; however, most tasks a character attempts which impact the story are good candidates for checks. Checks are also used to determine the victor in a directly opposed action or a competition between characters.

This section will explain how to perform the three types of checks: Standard, Opposed, and Competitive.

Standard Checks
When making a check, a higher result is desirable, as the total of a check is compared to a target difficulty number to determine the check's outcome. To make a standard check, perform the following steps.

Step One: Describe the action your character is taking, and work with your GM to decide which Attribute is being used for the check. Add that Attribute's score to the check total.

If the GM decides that your Fatal Flaw applies to the check, however, skip this step. When your Fatal Flaw applies to a check, you perform that check without the benefit of your Attributes.

Step Two: Roll 2d6, plus a number of additional d6's if you have an applicable Skill, according to the Edges you have purchased for that Skill. No more than one Skill can apply to a check; if you have multiple Skills which may apply, you may choose which Skill to apply to the check. Take the highest two results as the roll for the next step.

Step Three: Apply the effects of any Advantages and Drawbacks to the roll (Advantages and Drawbacks are explained in more detail later in this chapter), and add the adjusted roll result to the check total.

Step Four: Add any bonuses awarded by Edges to the check total, make use of any Edges you can use and decide to use, and give the check total to the GM to find out what happened.

For example, Royal Blue, a young Pegasus, is crossing a rope bridge over a deep ravine and is attempting to leap across a section where the old wooden planks have fallen away.

Step One: She determines with the GM that the leap will be a Body check. Having a Body score of 2, she thus gains +2 to the check total. If her Fatal Flaw "social anxiety" had applied, she would skip this step; because it doesn't, however, she gains the +2 as normal.

Step Two: She has the Skill "Gymnastics" which the GM agrees applies to the check. She is entitled to roll 2d6, as everyone is when making a check. Because of the Edges she has which pertain to her "Gymnastics" Skill ("Skill Training" as well as "Improved Skill Training"), she is entitled to two additional d6's (one from each Edge). She rolls the total (4d6), and gets results of 2, 3, 4, and 5. She takes the 4 and the 5 (total 9), being the two highest results.

Step Three: The GM decides that the swaying of the rope bridge adds one Drawback to this check, which will reduce the check's total roll by one step. In this case, the roll--determined by the previous step--was a 9. The Drawback reduces this by one step, making the 9 into an 8. She thus gains +8 to the check total, bringing it up to 10 total.

Step Four: Royal Blue is a Pegasus, and has previously purchased the "Wing Power" and "Improved Wing Power" Edges (each granting a +1 bonus when her wings are used to aid in a check). She is, of course, using her wings to aid her jump; because of these two Edges, she thus gains a +2 to the check total accordingly. This brings the check total up to 12. She gives this result to the GM to find out what happens.

Opposed Checks
Sometimes, characters may attempt tasks which are directly opposed to one another; for example, playing tug-of-war, having a race, or hoof-wrestling would all be opposed checks. In those cases, simply follow the steps for a standard check, except that in Step Four, whichever character has the highest check total succeeds at the opposed check (i.e. winning the tug-of-war, race, hoof-wrestling match, or whatever else was at stake, as interpreted by the GM). The other character fails at the opposed check.

Competitive Checks
Sometimes, characters may attempt tasks with the intent to outperform one another; for example, two teams each trying to produce more cider than the other would be a competitive check. In these cases, it becomes important not just to see who performed better, but also to make sure that the involved characters both succeeded in the first place.

This kind of competitive check is a combination of a standard check and an opposed check, in that the characters involved must first succeed at the Difficulty Target set by the GM, and then their results are compared to decide who performed the best. Only the character who succeeds against the Difficulty Target of the task and outperforms their opponent(s) is counted as having succeeded at the competitive check; all others fail the competitive check.