Roll a die:
- Runaway: whether from a cruel or dull situation, you had to escape.
- Landless: through conflict or other chances, you have lost all your prospects and must, perforce, begin again.
- Summoned: whether by a letter from a patron or some other call, you are brought here to answer.
- Commanded: a patron or lord has ordered you to join some mission or venture.
- Happenstance: pure chance or a series of unfortunate events brings you to this juncture.
- Choice: Perhaps worst of all, you have chosen a life of danger and uncertainty.
Here’s a simple starter.
Mutton and Marauders
Two ettins, Nygel and Treffor, have crept down from the Garshaws barrens to remedy their hunger, rounding up a small flock of sheep and a shepherd for good measure. Unknown to anyone, grimlock rustlers on a similar mission have picked up the ettins’ trail, and so rescuers, trolls, and grimlocks are set to intersect near a site* at the base of the Garshaws.
Nygel, Ettin  - Armed with tree-root club
Towering, massively strong, dull-witted, slow
Treffor, Ettin  - Armed with nocked axe, heavy hides act as crude armor
Lean, strong, sly, greedy
Grimlocks  a troop of 13 - Armed with spears, daggers, oddments of armor
Ragged, half-starved, nasty; dangerous when cornered, or when able to surrounded and sneak-attack an opponent
* Note that the adventure site is left open, with an eye to continuing the adventure. Is it a cave, leading into greater depths; or a stone circle near a partly exposed barrow-tomb; or a ruined hill-fort, a remnant of better times for the kingdom?
Of course, the right tools that are also fair and simple require some judgement or a sense of what works at the table. This might well come from one’s experience of another game, but for anyone new to this style of play, it means that some guidelines, however slight, are useful.
So, here’s a brief rundown of the Tinkerage’s current resolution toolkit.
Roll and ReadRoll and read for characters assumes that characters have a fair, but by no means certain, chance of success, based on the conditions and their own aptitudes.
- Roll 2d6 and read the outcomes, adjusting to circumstances: 2–3 (fail); 4–5 (mishap); 6–8 (standard - the expected outcome); 9–10 (good); 11–12 (great).
- Can roll opposed and read for active opponents. Resilience rank breaks ties in opposed situations.
- Modifiers of +1/-1 are very rare, for exceptional circumstances (magical gear, terrible conditions).
- For a specific aim or outcome, like shooting a bow at a distant target, also read to meet a threshold number within the basic ranges: 6-8 is within standard range of difficulty; 9+ hard, and so on.
Screening rollsFor the referee, a single die is often the best tool. A screening roll is a quick roll of a die to clarify a situation or filter out a range of possibilities.
- Roll for quality or conditions: 1 is worst, 6 is best.
- Roll for questions of probability: 2+ is very likely, 6+ is very unlikely.