Playing 5150 with the Mythic RPG: Task Resolution
Last time we walked through the 5150 character creation process using the tools within Mythic RPG. That provided us a character the looks like this:
Reza Trenor, Exotic Transporter
- Rep: High
- People: High
- Savvy: Above Average
- Attributes: Born Leader, Smooth
- Items: Big A$$ Pistol (BAP-2), Soft Body Armor
Now to figure out how to use this character with the Mythic RPG “resisted question” system.
“Taken vs. REP”
5150, and really any Two Hour Wargames (THW) system, uses a core resolution mechanic:
TAKEN VERSUS REP: Roll 2d6 and compare each score versus the Reputation of the figure. If the d6 score is equal or less than the Rep, the d6 has been passed. You can pass 2d6, 1d6, or 0d6. Sometimes you may be asked to roll against something else like Law Level. Process is still the same.
There are some other die systems in play scattered throughout the books but this is general mechanic used. What generally changes from situation to situation is what “passed” means. Frequently these are given to you in a table format. THW rules almost always include a “Challenge” table. Most of the mechanics in THW provide a concise “table” format to help you resolve things. First it will say how many dice to roll, what you are rolling against, usually remind you that sixes are failures, have a list of attributes & circumstances that might modify a part of the die roll, and then finally a list of what the “passed” results mean. The Challenge table is a “catch-all” or fallback mechanic for when no other system in the book applies. It is a good one for us to start with because one of my goals with this project is to try to stick to one general purpose mechanic as much as possible. While THW’s rules are “simple” there’s a lot of nuance spread throughout the system, sometimes things are a +/- 1 to your REP or the challenger’s REP. Sometimes it is +/- a die to the dice pool. Sometimes it is “treat a result of passed 1d6 as 0d6.” Flipping through and finding all of these is a bit taxing for my old brain.
tl;dr - 5150 has a Challenge mechanic that is similar to any other RPG’s task resolution system.
What’s a “Challenge” look like in THW and how would we replicate that in Mythic?
A Challenge takes 2 six-sided dice, you roll them and compare the two dice results to your “Rep” - any result that is equal or lesser than your Rep passes. Any result of six is automatically a failure. My Rep is 5 and I roll a 6 and 2, I pass “1d6” in THW terms.
Further a Challenge can take several modifiers. Attributes push your Rep up and down. Circumstances can make the challenge harder or easier, but also apply to your rep.
Finally, a Challenge tells us what happens based on your result:
- Passed 2d6: Success!
- Passed 1d6: Can re-roll but count 1d6 as pass 0d6
- Passed 0d6: Failure!
Personally I wish “Passed 1d6” was “Success with complication” - you do it but at a cost. I’m not a fan of re-rolls in solo games because I’m already rolling a bucket-load dice as it is.
Mythic RPG Challenges
Now, let’s take this and apply to the Mythic RPG. In the Mythic RPG we have a single resolution mechanic - “resisted questions.” In order to customize this mechanic to your liking the Mythic RPG gives you a process called “Resolution Tables” that help you design your own RPG. They work remarkably similar to THW’s approach. They have a few inputs:
- What’s the question?
- Contextual notes
- Acting rank
- Difficulty rank
These’s also 4 outputs, or results:
- Exceptional Yes
- Exceptional No
What’s the question?
When you want to do something physical or mental out of the ordinary and not covered by an existing rule, take a “Resisted Challenge.”
- What is the Challenge in more detail - what’s the context?
- Decide what Success looks like.
- Decide what the Consequences of failure will be.
The character’s Rep. We defined Rep earlier as a ranked attribute:
- Rep (5) High
- Rep (4) Above Average
- Rep (3) Average
Also a reminder that depending on the Challenge the character’s People or Savvy ranked attribute might be more relevant here than their Rep.
Are there any external factors that make the Challenge Easy or Difficult? Time pressures, environmental challenges, etc. I think we’ll just keep the same scale as our Rep engine here but reframe it like so:
- Difficult: High
- Normal: Above Average
- Easy: Average
- Does the character have a Profession or Attribute that will affect the chance of success? For a relevant Profession we can apply a +1 Rank Shift (RS) to their reputation. Attributes will apply their +/- RS accordingly. A smuggler trying to determine if potential cargo goods are stolen or not could apply a +1 RS to their Rep because their profession is relevant.
- Yes: Success!
- No: Failure!
- Exceptional Yes: Critical Success
- Exceptional No: Critical Failure
THW does not really have a notion of “Criticals” like other RPGs might (“Natural 20!”.) But because we are playing solitaire, these are helpful because they are a chance to have the emulated “GM” kick into gear. The GM is looking at our dice roll and saying - “you didn’t just pass that Challenge, you passed it with style!” (or the opposite.) I would advise using your noodle to add a dramatic flourish to the challenge if you succeed or fail. The smuggler doesn’t just snuff at the fake cargo, they do so in a way that gives them am advantage - the person selling it doesn’t realize the smuggler is on to them or the cargo is so blatantly counter-fitted that the smuggler can turn it against them (“wow, I should report this to local starport officials.” If necessary you can treat these narrative benefits as mechanical bonuses - carry a +1 Rank Shift forward to your next Challenge in this scene. If you need inspiration for these consider eyeballing the positive and negative results on the Random Event table:
- PC negative
- PC positive
- NPC negative
- NPC positive
Pick one of these and roll on Mythic’s Action Meaning table if you need some guidance on how to push the story forward further.
As a note, I would personally use the Chaos Factor from Mythic when making asking these Resisted Challenge questions because I like the possibility that it will introduce Random Events from Mythic. Random Events add depth and twists to your story.
Next time we will look at 5150 Combat resolution using Mythic.