Welcome back to Mortal Realms Monday! Last week we dug into one of the core mechanics for Soulbound: Tests. We discussed the basics of Simple Tests and Complex Tests, and this week we’re going to take a look at how Opposed Tests work and how a GM can use Group Tests to get the party working together.
When two characters are in direct opposition, the GM will call for an Opposed Test. Opposed Tests are used when one character is trying to get the better of another character, such as sneaking past a guard, fast-talking a cynical Kharadron, or trying to outrun an enraged magmadroth.
When two characters are taking part in an Opposed Test, they are both trying to meet or exceed a DN determined by the GM. Whoever achieves the most successes wins the Test, with the defender winning on a tie. The default DN of an Opposed Test is 4, though this can change if the circumstances benefit or hinder one party or another (see Advantage and Disadvantage below).
Example: Ahnika, a Witch Aelf of the Daughters of Khaine, is trying to escape an enraged Skaven Rat Ogor. She darts through the doorway of a crumbled warehouse in the Anvilgard docks and slams the door behind her, trying to hold it closed. The Rat Ogor roars and starts smashing its fists against the door, splintering the wood. The GM calls for an Opposed Test between Ahnika and the Rat Ogor to see if Ahnika can hold the door closed.
The GM decides that it is a DN 4 Body (Might) Opposed Test for both participants. Ahnika has Body 3 but is not Trained in the Might Skill, giving her a dice pool of just 3. The Rat Ogor has Body 5 and has one level of Trained in Might, giving it a dice pool of 6. Ahnika rolls a gets a result of 2, 4, and 5, giving her two successes (4 and 5). The GM rolls for the Rat Ogor and gets a result of 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 6, giving it four successes (4, 5, 6, and 6). The Rat Ogor wins the Opposed Test and smashes the warehouse door to pieces. Ahnika recoils from the splintering wood and starts running again.
Advantage and Disadvantage
Sometimes in an Opposed Test one side may have a benefit or hindrance that the other doesn’t. Such scenarios are called having Advantage or Disadvantage. If a character has Advantage in an Opposed Test, the DN for the Test is reduced by 1. If a character has Disadvantage, the DN is increased by 1. Rare situations may increase or decrease the DN by 2, but these are up to the GM.
Example:Ahnika has managed to put some distance between her and the Rat Ogor, and quickly ducks into an alley to hide. The Rat Ogor catches up and starts sniffing around for the Witch Aelf. The GM calls for another Opposed Test.
For the Test, the GM decides that Ahnika must use Body (Stealth) and the Rat Ogor must use Mind (Awareness). Ahnika has Body 3 and is Trained in Stealth, giving her a dice pool of 4. The Rat Ogor only has Mind 1 but is Trained in Awareness, giving it a dice pool of just 2. Since the Opposed Test is taking place at night in the shadowy docks of Anvilgard, the GM declares that Ahnika has Advantage to hide and the Rat Ogor has Disadvantage to spot her. This means the DN for Ahnika is 3 and the DN for the Rat Ogor is 5.
Ahnika rolls and gets a result of 2, 3, 5, and 5, giving her three successes (3, 5, and 5). The GM rolls for the Rat Ogor and gets a 1 and a 4, meaning it has gotten no successes. The Rat Ogor stomps away and continues its search, while Ahnika breathes a sigh of relief.
Though Advantage and Disadvantage often go hand in hand (as in the above example), it is not always the case. Certain circumstances may only affect one party, such as running on slippery ground, being partially blinded, being on higher ground, or having access to the right equipment. It is up to the GM to decide when best to implement Advantage and Disadvantage.
Group Tests are an excellent way to track success and failure as a group. Like Complex Tests from Part 1 , Group Tests require multiple successes. Unlike Complex Tests, they have a much higher threshold for success. The Age of Sigmar: Soulbound corebook will provide guidance on setting the DN and complexity for a Group Test, but on average the GM should assume two successes per participant. This means the typical DN for a Group Test for a party of four would be DN 4:8 (difficulty 4, requiring 8 successes total).
Group Tests can see all characters using the Skill to perform the same action, or us multiple Skills to work as a group to achieve a greater goal. A single Skill can be used when the whole party is taking the same action, such as using Stealth when trying to sneak up on a group of feasting Bloodreavers. A variety of Skills can be used when different party members are taking different actions. For example, if our iconic party were aboard a plummeting airship, Malgra might use their Crafting Skill to try to fix the ships endrin while Darach uses Might to try to hold the broken shards of the endrin together. Meanwhile Ímren uses Awareness to watch for dangers while Xan uses Survival to try to find a safe location to crash. The successes of each of these individual Tests is then added together and compared to the complexity set by the GM. If the party meets or exceeds the threshold, everyone succeeds. If they fail… well then the party will need to prepare for a rough landing!
Join us back here next Monday for more insight into Age of Sigmar: Soulbound!