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Mini Module: Extended Skill Checks


You ability to concentrate and use your willpower to control any special abilities you might have.



Make a Focus check to concentrate whenever you might be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action requiring your full attention, maintaining an FX with a Concentration Duration or Sustained Duration. If the check succeeds, you may continue with the action. If the check fails, the action fails. The DC depends on the nature of the distraction.

Distraction DC
Damaged during the action damage result
Taking continuous damage during the action continuous damage last dealt
Maintain a Concentration FX as one action 10 + FX rank
Maintain a Sustained FX as an Interrupt 10 + FX rank
Vigorous motion (bouncy vehicle ride, small boat in rough water, below decks in a storm-tossed ship, riding a horse) 10
Violent motion (very rough vehicle ride, small boat in rapids, on deck of storm-tossed ship, galloping horse) 15
Extraordinarily violent motion (earthquake) 20
Entangled (such as by a snare) 15
Bound, grappling, or pinned 20
Weather is a high wind carrying blinding rain or sleet 5
Weather is wind-driven hail, dust, or debris 10


If an FX with a descriptor which is suitably opposed to yours is used (such as a water FX being opposed by your fire FX, or your light FX opposing a darkness FX), you may attempt to counter that FX. To counter an FX, take a Ready action. In doing so, you wait to complete your action until your opponent tries to use an FX. You may still move or take another action, since ready is only one action.

You must be able to use the countering FX as one or fewer actions to ready it. FX usable as an Interrupt do not require a ready action; you can use them to counter at any time. FX requiring two actions or longer cannot counter another FX in combat, although they may potentially counter ongoing FX.

If an opponent attempts to use an FX you are able to counter, use your countering FX as your readied action. You and your opponent must make an opposed Focus check, with the following modifiers:

  • The character with a higher FX rank gains 1 bonus to the Focus check. If the difference in FX rank is 5 or more, the character with the higher ranks instead gains 2 bonuses. If the difference in FX rank is 10 or more, the character with the higher ranks instead gains 3 bonuses.
  • If a character chooses to spend 2 ready actions instead of 1, the character gains 2 bonuses to his or her Focus check.
  • If a character attempts to perform an Instant Counter (see Challenges, below), he or she suffers 2 penalties to his or her Focus check.

If your Focus check result is higher than your opponent's, the FX is countered. If you fail, your opponent instead suffers 2 penalties to the effect modifier for the result of that FX. If you fail by 5 or more, your opponent only suffers 1 penalty. If you fail by 10 or more, your opponent's FX function without any penalty.

Countering Ongoing FXEdit

You can also counter a maintained or lasting FX, or the lingering results of an instant FX (like flames ignited by fiery Damage). This requires a normal use of the countering FX and an opposed Focus check, as above. If you are successful, you negate the FX (although the opposing character can attempt to re-establish it normally).

If countering a lingering FX no longer under the user’s control, you make a Focus check as usual, but the Difficulty is simply 10 plus the rank of the FX, since there’s no real opposition. You gain a bonus to your Focus check if the FX has been active for 1 or rounds, 2 bonuses if the FX has been active for 5 or more rounds, and 3 bonuses if the FX has been active for 10 rounds (1 minute) or longer. Even if you fail to completely counter a lingering FX, reducing its ranks as above will make it easier for future attempts to counter it. Reduce the FX's effective ranks for both its effect and for the purpose of future countering attempts.

FX StuntEdit

You can attempt to use an FX you have in a novel way. You essentially gain the Alternate FX extra for a short period of time, based on a particular FX you already have. For instant-duration FX, you gain it for a single use of the FX, while for concentration-duration or longer-duration FX, you are able to use the FX for the remainder of the scene.

The DC to perform an FX Stunt is equal to the number of Character Points you wish to use from the original FX. So if you have a Close Ranged Damage 10 FX, and wish to use it to create a powerful point-blank blast to punch through a powerful enemy's Impervious Toughness, it would take a DC 20 Focus check to use all 20 points from your regular FX in this new way. The worse your Focus check result, the more penalties you'll suffer after performing the stunt, and if you roll very poorly, you might not be able to perform the stunt at all. The penalties are applied after you use the stunted FX (if you are able to perform it at all).

Alternatively, you can temporarily assign another FX Feat, other than Alternate FX, to your FX. The DC for this sort of FX stunt is DC 20. You still suffer the same penalties after using an FX in this way.

You suffer an additional penalty to your Focus check if you change the basic function of the FX. For example, there is no penalty for using Focus to FX Stunt a Close Range Damage 10 FX into a Penetrating Damage 10 FX. But stunting it into a Close Range Inflict 10 FX would take 1 additional penalty. To change the type of the FX (such as using Damage to FX Stunt to a Sensory FX like ESP), you instead suffer 2 penalties.

Focus Check Result Effect Modifier Penalties
Succeeds 1 Penalty
Fails 2 Penalties
Fails by 5 3 Penalties
Fails by 10 FX Stunt unsuccessful, 3 Penalties

After performing an FX stunt, you suffer penalties to your effect modifier. The worse your focus check, the more penalties you suffer.

Try AgainEdit

You cannot retry a Focus check. You may retry your check to Concentrate, although a success doesn’t cancel the effects of a previous failure, such as the disruption of an action you were concentrating on.


Performing an FX Stunt is a free action; it is essentially done as part of the action in which the FX is used. Making a check to Concentrate doesn’t require an action; it is either a reaction (when attempted in response to a distraction) or a free action (when attempted actively).


The following Challenges are appropriate for Focus:

  • Instant Counter: You may attempt to counter an FX without needing to Ready an action first. You must accept 2 penalties to your Focus check for the attempted counter.