The Pageant of Mysteries
DO SOMETHING UNDER FIRE
When you do something under fire, or dig in to endure fire, roll+cool. On a 10+, you do it. On a 7–9, you flinch, hesitate, or stall: the MC can offer you a worse outcome, a hard bargain, or an ugly choice.
When you go aggro on someone, roll+hard. On a 10+, they have to choose: force your hand and suck it up, or cave and do what you want. On a 7–9, they can instead choose 1:
- get the hell out of your way
- barricade themselves securely in
- give you something they think you want
- back off calmly, hands where you can see
- tell you what you want to know (or what you want to hear)
SEIZE BY FORCE
When you try to seize something by force, or to secure your hold on something, roll+hard. On a hit, choose options. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7–9, choose 2:
- you take definite hold of it
- you suffer little harm
- you inflict terrible harm
- you impress, dismay or frighten your enemy
SEDUCE OR MANIPULATE
When you try to seduce or manipulate someone, tell them what you want and roll+hot. For NPCs: on a hit, they ask you to promise something first, and do it if you promise. On a 10+, whether you keep your promise is up to you, later. On a 7–9, they need some concrete assurance right now. For PCs: on a 10+, both. On a 7–9, choose 1:
- if they do it, they mark experience
- if they refuse, it’s acting under fire
What they do then is up to them.
READ A SITCH
When you read a charged situation, roll+sharp. On a hit, you can ask the MC questions. Whenever you act on one of the MC’s answers, take , ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:
- where’s my best escape route / way in / way past?
- which enemy is most vulnerable to me?
- which enemy is the biggest threat?
- what should I be on the lookout for?
- what’s my enemy’s true position?
- who’s in control here?
READ A PERSON
When you read a person in a charged interaction, roll+sharp. On a 10+, hold 3. On a 7–9, hold 1. While you’re interacting with them, spend your hold to ask their player questions, 1 for 1:
- is your character telling the truth?
- what’s your character really feeling?
- what does your character intend to do?
- what does your character wish I’d do?
- how could I get your character to __?
OPEN YOUR BRAIN
When you open your brain to the world’s psychic maelstrom, roll+weird. On a hit, the MC will tell you something new and interesting about the current situation, and might ask you a question or two; answer them. On a 10+, the MC will give you good detail. On a 7–9, the MC will give you an impression. If you already know all there is to know, the MC will tell you that.
HELP OR INTERFERE
When you help or interfere with someone who’s making a roll, roll+Hx. On a hit, they take +1 (help) or -2 (interfere) now. On a 7–9, you also expose yourself to fire, danger, retribution or cost.
At the end of every session, choose a character who knows you better than they used to. If there’s more than one, choose one at your whim. Tell that player to add 4, they reset to Hx+1 (and therefore mark experience).
HARM & HEALING MOVES
By default, the harm & healing moves are in play. The MC might decide to forego them, case by case.
This move is unusual in that a hit is bad for the player and a miss is good:
When you suffer harm, roll+harm suffered (after armor, if you’re wearing any). On a 10+, the MC can choose 1:
- You’re out of action: unconscious, trapped, incoherent or panicked.
- It’s worse than it seemed. Take an additional 1-harm.
- Choose 2 from the 7–9 list below.
On a 7–9, the MC can choose 1:
- You lose your footing.
- You lose your grip on whatever you’re holding.
- You lose track of someone or something you’re attending to.
- You miss noticing something important.
On a miss, the MC can nevertheless choose something from the 7–9 list above. If she does, though, it’s instead of some of the harm you’re suffering, so you take -1harm.
When you inflict harm on another player’s character, the other character gets 4, they reset to Hx+1 as usual, and therefore mark experience.
When you heal another player’s character’s harm, you get 4, you reset to Hx+1 as usual, and therefore mark experience.
When you hurt someone, they see you more clearly. When you heal someone, you see them more clearly.
By default, characters have access to the barter moves, but the MC might decide to limit them.
When you give 1-barter to someone, but with strings attached, it counts as manipulating them and hitting the roll with a 10+, no roll required.
When you go into a holding’s bustling market, looking for some particular thing to buy, and it’s not obvious whether you should be able to just go buy one like that, roll+sharp. On a 10+, yes, you can just go buy it like that. On a 7–9, the MC chooses one of the following:
- it costs 1-barter more than you’d expect
- it’s available, but only if you meet with a guy who knows a guy
- damn, I had one, I just sold it to this guy named Rolfball, maybe you can go get it off him?
- sorry, I don’t have that, but maybe this will do instead?
When you make known that you want a thing and drop jingle to speed it on its way, roll+barter spent (max roll+3). It has to be a thing you could legitimately get this way. On a 10+ it comes to you, no strings attached. On a 7–9 it comes to you, or something pretty close. On a miss, it comes to you, but with strings very much attached.
By default, nobody has access to insight, but a hocus’ followers might give it.
When you use your followers for insight, ask your followers what they think your best course is, and the MC will tell you. If you pursue that course, take +1 to any rolls you make in the pursuit. If you pursue that course but don’t accomplish your ends, you mark experience.
By default, nobody has access to augury, but a hocus’ followers or a savvyhead’s workspace might give it.
When you use your followers or your workspace for augury, roll+weird. On a hit, you can choose 1:
- Reach through the world’s psychic maelstrom to something or someone connected to it.
- Isolate and protect a person or thing from the world’s psychic maelstrom.
- Isolate and contain a fragment of the world’s psychic maelstrom itself.
- Insert information into the world’s psychic maelstrom.
- Open a window into the world’s psychic maelstrom.
By default, the effect will last only as long as you maintain it, will reach only shallowly into the world’s psychic maelstrom as it is local to you, and will bleed instability. On a 10+, choose 2; on a 7–9, choose 1:
- It’ll persist (for a while) without your actively maintaining it.
- It reaches deep into the world’s psychic maelstrom.
- It reaches broadly throughout the world’s psychic maelstrom.
- It’s stable and contained, no bleeding.
On a miss, whatever bad happens, your antenna takes the brunt of it.