How Tests Work – Part 1
Welcome back to #MortalRealmsMonday! Following last weeks jam-packed announcement, we wanted to change direction and give an insight into how Age of Sigmar: Soulbound will play. So this week, we’re talking about Tests.
The core of Soulbound involves Tests. Everything you do, from exploration, to roleplaying, to combat, will involve making Tests. You will make a Test when you attempt to do something where the outcome is uncertain or when someone is opposing your action. To make a Test, you will assemble your pool of six-sided dice (d6s) and try to meet or exceed the Difficulty Number (DN) of the Test. Before we get into the details of how to make a Test, first we need to talk about Attributes and Skills.
Attributes represent your characters physical, mental, and spiritual abilities. Soulbound uses 3 core attributes: Body, Mind, and Soul. Body represents physical capabilities, Mind represents mental acumen and awareness, and Soul represents your characters belief and force of will. Most folk in the Mortal Realms have a 1 or maybe a 2 in each Attribute. The heroes you play in Soulbound usually far exceed these norms.
When you are making a Test, your dice pool is equal to the Attribute being tested.
Skills represent a level of training and expertise in a particular area, such as arcane lore, athletics, crafting, and combat. Characters can be both Trained and have a Focus in a Skill. Being Trained in a Skill represents formal instruction or your natural ability with that Skill. Having a Focus with a Skill reflects dedication and expertise in the use of that Skill.
When you are making a Test, each level of Trained in a Skill grants an additional dice to your dice pool. Each level of Focus with a Skill allows you to add a +1 to the result of one die after you roll.
The most common Test in Soulbound is a Simple Test. A Simple Test has a DN ranging from 2 to 6, with 4 being the average difficulty. When you must make a Simple Test, the Gamemaster (GM) will tell you the DN of the Test as well as the Attribute and Skill being tested. To make the Test, gather up a number of dice equal to the Attribute plus any ranks of Trained you have with the Skill. After you roll, if any dice equal or exceed the DN then you have passed the Test. If you have more than one success, you may get some extra but we will discuss that another day.
Example: Ímren, an Isharaan Tidecaster, is inspecting an ancient Agloraxian device buried deep underground. She wants to try to understand what the device was used for so the GM tells her she must make a Test. The GM decides that inspecting the device uses the Mind Attribute and that the Arcana Skill is appropriate. Knowledge of the Agloraxian Empire is hard to come by so the GM determines the difficulty of the Test is 5. The GM tells Ímren she must make a DN 5 Mind (Arcana) Test.
Ímren has Mind 3 and one level of Trained in Arcana, so her dice pool for the Test is 4 (3 + 1). She rolls and gets a result of 1, 3, 5, and 6. This gives her two successes (5 and 6). The GM tells her she has passed the Test and decides that the additional success is worth a little more information. She tells Ímren that the device was used to lift large structures into the air, and that there may be a way to reactive the device…
A Complex Test is performed in the same way as a Simple Test. The difference is that a Complex Test requires the character to equal or exceed the DN as well as achieve a set number of successes. Complex Tests are used when a task is particularly involved or requires a prolonged amount of time. As with a Simple Test, the GM determines the Attribute and Skill being Tested and sets the DN. They then determine how many successes are required to pass the Test. As with Simple Tests, a greater number of successes may yield more impressive results or allow the character to perform the action quicker.
Example: Ímren has managed to reactivate the Agloraxian device. Unfortunately, it has caused the ancient structure to crumble and begin to fall apart. She and her companions race for the exit, hoping to avoid being sealed inside a tomb. Vel Arturious, the Knight-Questor, reaches the exit first. She tells the GM that she wants to hold the archway up so that her allies can escape. The GM tells her that she is going to have to keep it up for a number of rounds while the others flee. The GM calls for a DN 3:3 Body (Might) Complex Test– the task is not difficult (DN 3) but it does take time (3 successes).
Vel has Body 4 and one level of Trained in Might, giving her a dice pool of 5 (4 + 1). She rolls and gets a result of 1, 2, 2, 5, and 6. An unlucky roll that gives her only 2 successes. Luckily, Vel also has a Focus in Might. This allows her to add +1 to the result of one of her die. She uses this to increase one of the results of 2 to a 3. This now gives her 3 successes, just enough to pass the Test. Her companions race by as she braces herself beneath the weight of crumbling stone. With everyone safely through, she releases the archway and sprints to safety.
You should now understand the basics of how Tests work in Soulbound. Next week we’ll discuss how Opposed Tests work and how to utilise Group Tests to get your heroes working like a team.