Start Playing d6!

OpenD6 LogoUsing the rules below, you can start playing a game with d6 today.  This is the first of many posts that introduces the basic rules of the Cinema6 v3, an OpenD6 variant.  Try it out now!

The following Character sheet makes it easy to make a character without the Character Creation rules.
Cinema6 Character Sheet

Gameplay Definitions

  • Attribute.  The five attributes: Dexterity, Strength, Intellect, Persona, and Aptitude, define the fundamental competency of a character.
  • Character.  The fictional role played in a game.  The character is distinct from a player, whom is the person playing the game.  There are two types of characters: Player Characters and Non-player Characters.  Players control player characters.  The Game Master controls non-player characters.
  • Cinema Points.  Each Character begins with seven Cinema Points to customize the Character on creation.  As the Player uses the Character, the Character accumulates more Cinema Points for spending during gameplay or for customizing the Character further.
  • Die(Plural is Dice).  Dice are a random number generator.  This game only uses the familiar six-sided die used in many board games.  Dice make actions the player characters take unpredictable with assigned probabilities of occurring successfully.
  • Difficulty or Difficulty Rating.  (DR)  The label given to a target number needed to succeed in a particular action, as Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Very Difficult, Heroic, and Epic.
  • Encounter.  An event is where one or more player characters, meet one or more non-player characters, creatures, or things.
  • Game Master.  (GM).  An individual who creates and orchestrates the story, fictional universe, and oversees conflicts between the player characters and other elements contained therein.
  • Game Time.  The time that passes by in a game.
  • Hit Points.  The points used to describe a Character’s health and well-being.
  • Modifier.  A number of points that is added or subtracted from the total of a dice roll to modify the result.
  • Natural Failure.  A roll of 2 or two 1’s  on two six-sided dice.
  • Natural Success.  A roll of 12 or two 6’s on two six-sided dice.
  • Player.  Any person who is playing a character in a game.  A player is a physical person playing the game, not to be confused with the character who the player controls.
  • Round.  A simulated, 6-second period in game time used to help describe combat sequences.
  • Skill.  The ability of a character to perform a specific action in a game.  Each skill falls under a core attribute that is the base for using that skill.  1 to 5 points represent each skill.  The higher the points of a skill, the more experience, knowledge, and training the character possesses in that area.
  • Tag Skill.  A skill a player designates where a Character possesses a special affinity, making it cheaper to increase that Skill in Cinema Points over time.


Game Masters should prepare for games, even if it is only a brief set of notes.  The most important thing to understand when Game Mastering is that the Universe is a place for the Players to explore, so a GM’s greatest tool is knowledge and the ability to answer questions about the Universe.  If an answer to a Player’s question does not exist, the GM is in a spot where they must provide an explanation that remains feasible, believable, and continues the feel of the game.  The best thing to do when organizing for the game is to get a small notepad and pencil, and write down three to four goals.  Make one or two of the goals long term, and the others shorter term, attainable goals.  Long-term goals are the impetus behind the Story, and the primary motivation that drives the Characters.  Short-term goals provide alternative options, and side quests that Characters use to improve and prepare for various other challenges.  Having these ideas ready for the Players is perhaps the most important preparation you can make.

Jot down a short list of random names to use for impromptu Characters you want to provide for interaction with the Characters of your Story.  These Characters will add imagination and dynamic flow to your game.  Prepared Character names make it seem as if you are a well-prepared GM, regardless of whether you filled in more details ahead of time.  This perception can make Players more amiable towards the GM.  This small bit of preparation makes it easier later to better guide Players through your Story.

One final suggestion to remember when organizing for the game is to keep in mind two things.  It is only a game.  Have fun!

The Basics

West End Games designed OpenD6 Gaming for cinematic gaming, and the D6 System saw the height of its popularity in the mid-1990’s when they paired it with the Star Wars RPG license.  OpenD6 is a versatile and lightweight game mechanic that lends well to any style of game play.  It works best with cinematic and exciting games that demand fast-paced action and death-defying feats.

Wicked North Games created the Cinema6 RPG Framework as an OpenD6 variant under the OpenD6 OGL in 2010.  The creation of Cinema6 followed the guidelines for continuing the robustness of the game mechanics, while simplifying the game play.  Cinema6 is an ever-changing system that offers the experience of standard OpenD6 gaming with a variety of options that make it easy to understand and play.

Read further to get an understanding of how Cinema6 works.

  • This is the third official set of changes to the Cinema6 variant of the OpenD6 OGL.

Under the base OpenD6 Game Mechanics

  • An Open d6 Role Playing Game has a Game Master and Players.
  • A Game Master (GM) is a person who referees and oversees the game play – including selecting and observing Game Rules, describing a Setting and environment, and role-playing Game Master Characters.
  • A Player is a person who has a Character to play.
  • Each Character has a number of Attributes and Skills.
  • Each Attribute and Skill has a value.
  • Attributes are a Character’s innate abilities.
  • Skills are specific applications of the Attributes.
  • Skills inherit the value of an Attribute if they do not already have a value.

What is OpenD6 Gaming?

This uses a variant of OpenD6 called the Cinema6 RPG Framework, version 3, (c6.3).

What is the Cinema6 RPG Framework all about?

Under the Cinema6 RPG Framework, v3

  • The Cinema6 RPG Framework is an OpenD6 variant under the OpenD6 OGL.
  • A Character uses the Common Attribute Skill System (CASS).
  • CASS is a set of Attributes and Skills that work with any genre of game play, from high-fantasy to science fiction.
    • A Character uses a single point pool called Cinema Points.
    • A Character has Skill Categories defined by each Attribute.
    • A Character’s Skills measure against flat point scores.
    • A Character possesses Features that provide small changes to the rules of the game and alter game play.
    • You only ever roll two (2) dice, like many board games.
    • C6.3 offers portability with other Cinema6 worlds, including Azamar and Westward.
    • Characters use slightly different sets of Attributes and Skills for different genres.
    • A Character uses two point pools, called Character Points and Fate Points.
    • A Character’s Attributes and Skills measure against dice scores with pips, or increments.
    • A Character possesses Advantages, Disadvantages, and Special Abilities that provide small changes to the rules of the game and alter game play.

    Game Time

    • Games are broken up into Chronicles, which each represent a long Story experienced by the Players.
    • Chronicles are broken up into Sessions – times when the Game Master and Players gather for a period to play the game.  These can last anywhere from an hour or two to many hours.
    • A Session includes non-stressful and stressful situations.
    • In non-stressful situations, Game Time passes at the discretion of the Game Master.
    • In stressful situations, Game Time slows to handle how Characters react.  These Game Time intervals are Rounds.
    • A Round represents a 6-second period in Game Time.
    • An Action is the physical movement a Character takes in a Round.
    • Normally, a Character may take one Action in a Round.
    • If a Player wants a Character to take more than one Action in a Round, it is at the discretion of the Game Master.  See Multiple Actions.

Cinema Points

As Players play through games, their Characters earn Cinema Points to represent experience, perseverance, and personal growth.  Players then spend Cinema Points to take special actions, activate Features, and avoid failed rolls.

Earning Cinema Points

Cinema Points are a reward a GM gives to Players for their Characters’ accomplishments in the game.

During a Session, a GM rewards Cinema Points to a Player for a successful and dramatic roll or for thinking outside the box, solving a puzzle, or any type of creative thinking.  A GM may reward a Cinema Point to a Player for role-playing well.

At the end of every Session, the GM rewards Cinema Points to Players for their progress in the story, for staying in Character, teamwork, and surviving.

The typical Cinema Point reward for a Session is 3-8 Cinema Points per Player.


A GM may also create special Achievements for completing a group of Sessions, a Season, or for completing a major quest or story arc.

How It Works

Below is a table to assist in developing Achievements with attached Cinema Point rewards.

  • Achievement Examples                           Cinema Point Reward              
  • Complete a Series of 5 Sessions                        5
  • Complete a Season, 20 Sessions                      10
  • Complete a Story, 3 Seasons                             20
  • Defeating a Nemesis                                           1
  • Making an Epic Roll                                             1
  • Save 50 Cinema Points                                       5
  • Saving a life                                                          3

Overcoming Enemies

Whenever the Player Character overcomes an enemy, the GM rewards Cinema Points based upon the Experience Value of the defeated opponent.  After overcoming an enemy, the GM rewards Cinema Points to all Characters in the party.  The Experience Value of an opponent relates proportionately to the modifier of the method used in prevailing.

How It Works

Below is a table to assist in rewarding Cinema Points for overcoming opponents based on the specific methods.

  • Method of Defeat         Experience Value Modifier                  
  • Killed (Slain)                              x 1
  • Outwitted (Tricked)                    x 2
  • Converted (Persuasion)            x 3
  • Obviated (Tactics)                     x 2
  • Captured                                   x 3

Spending Cinema Points

Players “cash-in” Cinema Points for a variety of benefits either during game play, or for Character improvement when not actively playing the game.

Gameplay Spending

During gameplay, the player spends a Cinema Point to take special actions, activate Features, and avoid failed rolls.

How It Works

When a Player spends Cinema Points during game play, the following happens:

  • The Player adds 1 point, per Cinema Point, to the current roll total.
  • The Player Activates a Feature.1
  • The Player negates a failed roll for one Cinema Point, and rolls again.

1 The effect applied by a Feature always involves a bonus, multiplier, or special effect.

Character Improvement

Character Improvement is the process of customizing and improving various Features and Traits of a Character.

Each Trait has assigned costs for Character Improvement.

Each Feature has fixed costs for Character Improvement.  A Feature sometimes has prerequisites and restrictions that effect cost.  These may include already having another Feature, specific points in a Trait, or being a certain Species.

How it works

Improving a Character Trait costs a number of Cinema Points as outlined below.

  •                       Trait                                                             Cost                                     
  •               Attribute (+1)                                               Current Rating x 10
  •               Skill, Initiative, or Vitality (+1)                      Current Rating x 3
  •               Tag Skill or Skill Specialization (+1)              Current Rating
  •               Hit Points (+1)                                                       4
  •               Move (+1)                                                     Current Rating
  •               New Skill                                                               6
  •               New Tag Skill                                                        5
  •               New Skill Specialization                                       4

Skill Investment

Anytime a Player spends a Cinema Point to add a point on a roll during gameplay, the Player should place a tally mark next to the Skill in the space provided.  Every tally mark represents a Cinema Point spent, and reduces the total cost to improve the relevant Skill during Character Improvement.

  • Skill investment does not occur when activating a Feature or avoiding a failed roll.

Dice Rolling

Every time you roll dice, you roll two six-sided dice.  This is for every action with Skills, rolling to absorb and deal Damage, and any other special rolls.  This keeps every roll simple and concise every time.

Determining success with the dice

How It Works
  1. The Game Rules or the Game Master set a difficulty, equivalent to a number.
  2. Roll two six-sided dice (2d6).
  3. Add the rolled dice values together for a total.
  4. Add the Skill Points of the applicable Skill to the total.
  5. If the total rolled equals or exceeds the difficulty, the roll succeeds.
  6. If the total rolled is below the difficulty, the roll fails.
  7. A player does not roll when doing an effortless task, such as walking down the road.

Difficulty Ratings

A Difficulty Rating or DR breaks down into Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Very Difficult, Heroic, and Epic.  Each DR is an increased level of difficulty.  Normally the GM sets the DR for a declared action.

  • Easy – Most Characters can accomplish this action without significant difficulties, but can still fail.
  • Moderate – Most Characters must concentrate and have some degree of natural talent or training to accomplish this action successfully.
  • Difficult – Characters must concentrate, exert some effort, and have appropriate training to accomplish this action successfully.
  • Very Difficult – Characters must own a level of expertise, concentrate, and exert significant effort to accomplish this action successfully.
  • Heroic – Characters must expend significant effort and concentration, have a modicum of luck, and own significant experiential background to accomplish this action successfully.
  • Epic – Characters must experience lots of luck, exert significant effort and concentration, and own complete mastery in an area to successfully accomplish this action.
How It Works

The base Difficulty Rating for all rolls uses the following table.

  •   Difficulty Rating       Target Number
  •         Easy                          7
  •         Moderate                  11
  •         Difficult                     14
  •         Very Difficult             15
  •         Heroic                       17
  •         Epic                           22

Contested Rolls

When a Character takes action against another, both Players make Contested Rolls.  The higher roll wins.  A GM may set Advantages for one of the Characters in the Contested Roll given the context of the situation as needed.

How It Works

The base modifier for all contested rolls uses the following table at the discretion of the GM.

  •   Situation               Opposing Modifier
  •   Small Advantage           +1
  •   Good Advantage           +2
  •   Strong Advantage          +3

Resolving Ties

A tie generally requires a re-roll.  The most common contested roll is an Initiative roll.  If two or more opposing groups roll the same total during Initiative, they must each re-roll to determine their order in the combat round.

Some rolls in combat such as attack actions including Brawl, Grapple, Melee, Heavy, and Ranged as well as the opposing defense actions such as Dodge, use a contested rolling rule where the tie goes to the Defender.

Natural Rolls

Using Natural Rolls provides the potential to reduce spending Cinema Points during game play.  Natural Rolls dramatically change the dice mechanic and game play experience.  If choosing not to use Natural Rolls, the GM should reward more Cinema Points during game play so players can buy their way out of sticky situations more easily.  The concept of Natural Rolls derives from the basic principles of a Wild Card in a card game.  Every time a roll occurs, the dice are wild and can make a Natural Roll.

How It Works
  • Whenever both dice result in a six (6) on the first roll, the roll automatically succeeds
    • This is a Natural Success.
  • Whenever both dice result in a one on the first roll, the roll automatically fails.
    • This is a Natural Failure.

If the GM allows it, a Player may choose to spend a Cinema Point to avoid failing the roll and may immediately reroll.  A Player may spend a Cinema Point to avoid a failed roll as many times, repeatedly, as there are Cinema Points available.

About Attributes & Skills

Attributes are the core elements of a Character, and the innate way a Character interacts in a game.  Attributes define the categories that Skills fall under as well as the core potential of a Character.  Skills provide a unique and detailed way to customize each Character.


Characters begin the game with 1 point in every Attribute and 10 points to distribute among the five Attributes, which if distributed evenly creates an Average Character.

An Average Attribute is three points (3), a score below 3 points is a Below Average Attribute, and a score above 3 points is an Above Average Attribute.

Attributes have a minimum score of 1 point and a maximum score of 6 points.


Characters begin the game with no Skills and 7 points to distribute among the many Skills.  There is no right way to distribute points to Skills.

The Character Sheet uses simple number notation to represent points, each Attribute has 1-6 points, and each Skill has 0-6 points.  If a Skill has 0 points, it is easier to leave it blank.

Since all Skills have a base value of zero, but inherit the points of their core Attribute, they have a minimum cumulative score of 1 point and a maximum cumulative score of 12 points.  The highest possible non-Natural Roll without Features or bonuses from a Skill with 12 points is 23.

An average roll during game play revolves around a Character succeeding with a 4-point total in a given Skill.  Skill points are cumulative with their core Attribute points.  A Character with 3 points in Strength and 2 points in Climb gets 5 points added to their dice roll to attempt a Climb.

A roll never occurs without a declared action and associated Skill.  For example, a Player has a Character with 3 points in Strength, and wants that Character to climb a wall, but has no points in Climb.  The GM instructs the Player to roll and add the 3 points from Strength, since it is the core Attribute.  In this example, however, the attached action and Skill is still Climb.

Tag Skills

Any skill can become a Tag Skill.  A Player designates Tag Skills by marking the square in front of any Skill.  Tag Skills cost less to increase than other Skills.  Player Character Packages may grant tag Skills during Character creation, or purchased when improving a Character.

Skill Specializations

Any Skill can become a Specialization.  A Player writes in a Specialization at the bottom of the Skill list.  Skill Specializations cost less to increase than the original Skill as the Specialization progresses.

An example of a Skill Specialization in Melee:

Melee: Swords does not work with swinging Chairs, only the base Melee Skill is available for swinging chairs if a Specialization does not exist for it.  Otherwise, the Skill is Melee: Chairs.

Character Health

All Characters have a maximum number of Hit Points that can change throughout the life of the Character.  Hit Points are the measure of a Character’s health and well-being.

All species use the base of Vitality to determine a Character’s Hit Points, but some species use different modifiers to determine Hit Points, as they are physically tougher than others are.  Each Character’s Vitality begins equal to a Character’s Strength, but this can change during Character Creation.

The basic formula to determine Hit Points for a Character is by multiplying Vitality times another number.  The species of the Character determines the other number.

Damage & Healing

There is always the threat of injury, pain, and death looming over a Character.  These threats come in many forms and eventually your Character will take Damage as a result.  There are a few ways to heal injuries.  Fast healing is dependent on the availability of medical treatment.  The Characters are mortal, fragile creatures and can always die, even from a minor injury when left untreated.

Types of Character Damage

There are two types of Character Damage: Normal Damage and Overwhelming Damage.  Characters can absorb Normal Damage, but cannot absorb Overwhelming Damage.  Some weapons deal Normal and Overwhelming Damage.  There are races and creatures that are immune or resistant to certain types of Damage.

Normal Damage

When taking Normal Damage, a Character suffers mental and physical pain as well as bodily harm, represented by the loss of Hit Points.

How It Works
  1. A Character is injured or struck and takes some damage.
  2. 2.     The Player rolls to resist the Damage by first rolling Armor and then Vitality, and totals those rolls.
  3. The Player subtracts the positive difference of the Damage over the Armor and Vitality totals from Hit Points
    1. Hit Points – (Damage Total – (Armor Total + Vitality Total)) = Remaining Hit Points.

Types of Normal Damage

  • Brawling Damage is Strength + Brawl.
  • Falling Damage is a minimum Damage: 12 for every 5m.  Falling Damage increases by five (+5) each additional 5m fallen.  This assumes 1G of gravitational force.
  • Grapple Damage is Strength + Grapple.
  • Heavy Damage is Dexterity + Weapon Damage.
  • Melee Damage is Strength + Weapon Damage.
  • Ranged Damage is Dexterity + Weapon Damage.
  • Throw Damage is Strength + Weapon Damage.
    • When a weapon is not a thrown weapon, the Throw Damage is Strength + Throw.

Overwhelming Damage

When taking Overwhelming Damage, a Character suffers significant, sometimes permanent injuries, pain, and mental anguish represented by the loss Hit Points.  In some cases, the loss of Hit Points reduces the Character’s maximum Hit Points permanently until treated under special guidelines.

Types of Overwhelming Damage

  • Asphyxiation occurs after more than one Round in an atmosphere depleted environment or a vacuum, without a breathable air source1Asphyxiation deals Damage: 12 per Round.
  • Burning and Firing deals Damage: 6 per Round, and increases by five (+5) each additional Round, until the heat source goes away or the fire extinguished.2
  • Class 1 Poison or Toxin Exposure deals Damage: 3 per Round, until a purge occurs.
  • Class 2 Poison or Toxin Exposure deals Damage: 5 per Round, until a purge occurs.
  • Class 3 Poison or Toxin Exposure deals Damage: 10 per Round, until a purge occurs.
  • Class 4 Poison or Toxin Exposure deals Damage: 15 per Round, until a purge occurs.
  • Class 5 Poison or Toxin Exposure causes death in 2 Rounds, unless a purge occurs.
  • Corrosive Liquids deals Damage: 10 per Round of exposure.2
  • Drowning occurs after a failed Stamina roll, DR Moderate, while submerged.  Drowning Damage is Damage: 12 per Round.
  • Electricity deals Damage: 12 per Round of exposure.  After 3 Rounds of Electrical Damage, a Character also sustains Burning and Fire Damage.2
  • Extreme Cold deals Damage: 12 per Round, and increases by three (+3) each additional Round, until removed from environment or source of Extreme Cold.2
  • Extreme Rapid Pressure Change (10 Mega Pascal or more) deals Damage: 16 per Round, until removed.2
  • Magma and Lava deals Damage: 32 per Round, until removed.2
  • Necrosis, Rapid deals Damage: 24 per Round, until removed.2
  • Plasma Energy deals Damage: 32 per Round, until removed.2
  • Radiation Exposure, High deals Damage: 1 per Round, 20 per minute, and leads to death in 1 day, unless treated within 1 hour of initial exposure.2
  • Radiation Exposure, Moderate deals Damage: 1 per Round, 1 per minute, and leads to death in 7 days, unless treated within 6 hours of initial exposure.

1 Not all races use Oxygen as breathable air.

2 These types of Damage lower a Character’s total Hit Points permanently, do not Heal normally, and require reconstructive and or Advanced Healing.

Natural healing

Characters heal naturally at a rate of +1 Hit Point per hour while resting.

Assisted Healing

Assisted Healing ranges from treating simple injuries to addressing infections or poisons.  All forms of Assisted Healing treatment use the First Aid or Medicine Skills.  Characters healing under the aid and care of another character via First Aid or Medicine, DR Effortless, heal at a rate of +2 Hit Points per hour.

A Character can receive significant Assisted Healing once per day as there is a limit to how much the First Aid and Medicine Skills can do.

How It Works

The First Aid and Medicine Difficulties uses the following table.

  • First Aid Difficulty       Medicine Difficulty           Result                                  
  • Easy                              No roll needed             +5 Hit Points, Stops bleeding
  • Moderate                       Easy                             +8 Hit Points
  • Moderate                       Easy                             Cures Disease
  • Difficult                          Moderate                      +10 Hit Points
  • Difficult                          Moderate                      Removes Poisons
  • Very Difficult                  Difficult                         +12 Hit Points
  • Heroic                            Very Difficult                 +16 Hit Points

Advanced Healing

Sometimes a Character uses a serum or healing agent to heal extremely quickly.  This involves using specific technologies that rapidly heal Damage.  Each technology that induces rapid healing varies in how it works.  Please see each individual technology for the rules on how it works.


Combat uses specific rules to provide order and encourage action-packed experiences.  This section outlines and describes the dice rolling and many options available in Combat game play.  The Combat section includes examples that draw upon cinematic scenes to help with visualization of the rules.

Combat is when at least one Character wants to attack at least one other Character.  Combat runs under the basic premise of a Round, which loosely represents about six seconds of time.

The majority of dice rolls made in Combat are Contested Rolls.

Ambushing, Surprise, and Pre-Initiative

Before a battle begins, it is possible for a group of characters to ambush and surprise another group of characters; these actions are pre-initiative actions.

The characters doing the ambushing and surprise of the others declare their actions ahead of time, so their characters take those actions regardless of the outcome.  The characters under ambush and surprise have a small opportunity to react defensively.

How It Works
  • Any player, who wishes to react, rolls Search, DR Moderate.
  • Any character, who succeeds in the Search, is able to Dodge to avoid Damage.
    • Otherwise, the attacks succeed without a Dodge and act as Sneak rolls on a Character who fails the attempt to Search.


Initiative determines which Characters act first during each Combat Round.  There are three basic methods for figuring out Initiative.  The first method tends to be faster, the second method tends to enhance strategic possibilities, and the third is balance of the first two.

The first method uses Group Initiative.  The Player with the Character who has the most Initiative points, rolls for an allied group of Characters.  The GM uses the Character in the opposition with the most Initiative points to opposing the Player Character Group.  The highest Initiative roll total determines which Group goes first and they declare their actions.

How It Works
  1. The Player with the Character who has the most Initiative points in each opposing Group rolls and adds the total.  The highest number wins the Initiative.
  2. The Group that won Initiative declares and takes actions first.  Each Character may choose to use or hold their action.
  3. The Group that lost Initiative now declares and takes their actions.
  4. Any individuals who chose to hold their actions now take their turn.

The second method uses Individual Initiative.  Each Character rolls Initiative independently and then the Characters act in the order of their rolls, highest to lowest, orchestrated by the GM.  At each Initiative point, each Player declares their actions.

How It Works
  1. Each Player rolls their Character’s Initiative.
  2. The GM makes a list of the Initiative rolls, highest to lowest.
  3. Players take their actions in the order the GM dictates, from highest to lowest.

The third method uses Static Initiative.  Static initiative uses three stages for each combat round.  In the first stage, any Character with an Initiative of 5 or 6, takes an action.  In the second stage, any Character with an Initiative of 3 or 4 takes an action.  In the third stage, any Character with an Initiative of 1 or 2 takes an action.  A player may choose to spend a Cinema Point to change stages at any point during a battle.  Spending a Cinema Point moves a character “up” a stage for the rest of the battle, so the character acts earlier during every subsequent combat round.

A character can never act earlier than the first stage.

How It Works
  1. At the start of the game, the GM makes a list of the Character’s Initiatives, and groups them into three stages.
  2. When combat occurs, a Player takes their Character’s actions on one of these stages in the order the GM dictates.
  3. At any point during combat, a Player may choose to spend a Cinema Point to act one stage earlier from the remainder of a battle.

Initiative Leveraging

Initiative Leveraging is using a winning Group Initiative total against the Initiative of the opposing Group in the following Round to reduce rolling.

Initiative Leveraging is only available when using Group Initiative.

How It Works
  1. When a Group wins an Initiative roll, they may opt to leverage their last Initiative total and not roll again in the new round.
  2. This leverages the last Initiative total against the opposing Groups new total.
  3. Only the individual winner of Group Initiative chooses to leverage the total to the next Round.

Taking Actions

Combat involves physically attacking (brawling, grappling, hitting, or shooting), dodging and moving, sneaking, and taking cover.  Sometimes Characters can use intimidation or other tactics to change the morale of enemies and overcome them without force, but this is more difficult.


There are many options in Combat when attacking.  The three Skills for non-ranged attacks are Brawl, Grapple, and Melee.  The four Skills for attacks at range are Heavy Weapons, Ranged, Throw, and Vehicle Weapons.

The rule of thumb in Combat is, “The Tie goes to the Defender.”

  • In combat, if a Character attacks, another dodges, and their rolls tie, the Character who dodged does so successfully.
  • If a Character attacks and another defends by parrying and their rolls tie, the Character who parried does so successfully.
  • If two Characters grapple and one attempts an aggressive move on the other and their rolls tie, the Character who resisted does so successfully.


To start a Grapple, a Character rolls to attack with Grapple.  The Target may Dodge or counter with Grapple.

  • If the Target uses Dodge successfully, the Character and the Target do not enter into a Grapple.
  • If the Target counters with Grapple, the Character and Target enter into a Grapple.

The winner of each Grapple contest deals damage to the loser.

  • Grapple Damage ignores Armor, only absorb the Damage with Vitality.
  • Determine Grapple Damage by rolling and adding the points for Strength.

Multiple Actions

In a Round, Characters can take as many actions as they have points in Initiative.

If a Character has an Initiative of 3 points, that Character can take no more than three actions in a Round.

If a Natural Failure occurs during the any action, then the Character can take no more actions that Round.

If a Character uses up all actions for a Round, the Player may spend one Cinema Point to take a single defensive (such as Dodge or defensive Melee) action.

For each action in a Round, a Player subtracts one point for each of the previous actions taken.  The roll would be -1 for the second action, -2 for the third action, and so on.

How It Works

Use the following table to help understand how multiple actions work in a Round.

  • Action        Modifier   

  •   1st            0
  •   2nd           -1
  •   3rd            -2
  •   4th            -3
  •   5th            -4
  •   6th            -5

Free Actions

A Free Action is an action during a Combat Round that takes little effort and takes no time.

Free Actions include:

  • A “glancing” Search, DR Easy, provides a Character with a brief glimpse.
  • A base assessment of Tactics, DR Easy, provides a Character with situational awareness.
  • Dropping any object.
  • Sneaking without Moving (Hiding in place) is a Free Action.

Combined Actions

In some cases, Players will want to work together to accomplish something.  These are combined actions.  Combined actions are simple when dealing with static difficulties.  For each Character involved in attempting the action, the difficulty drops by one Difficulty Level.  For example, a Character wants to climb a wall and the DR is Moderate, and another Player’s Character jumps in to help.  This drops the DR to Easy for both Characters.

When dealing with Contested Rolls, Characters may combine actions to increase overall effectiveness, but this does not lower the Difficulty Level.  Instead, each Character receives bonuses to make it easier.  For each Character involved in attempting the action, add the number of Characters attempting the action to all rolls.

How It Works
  1. Four Characters search together for a thief sneaking away.
  2. The thief rolls a total Sneak of 17.
  3. Each player rolls to Search for the thief.
  4. Since there are four Characters, each Search roll receives an additional four points to their total.
  5. One of the Players rolls a Search of 18 to beat the thief’s Sneak of 17.
  6. The four Characters spot the thief before he escapes.

Combined Actions do not work in situations where it is only possible for one Character to perform an action.  An example of this is with piloting a Vehicle.  If the crew for a Vehicle is one, then only one Character can ever pilot the Vehicle at a given time.  It is not possible for Combined Actions to apply to a case such as this.

Ultimately, applying combined actions comes down to what a GM determines possible by multiple Characters together.

Combat Spacing

Combat uses a square grid to maintain a sense of scale and allow Players to apply tactics.  Every space on a standard grid is one square inch (1 in2).

  • Each space represents one meter by one meter (1 m2) for Characters and personal combat.


Range is the distance between a Character and a Target.

The possible ranges to a Target fall into five categories: Adjacent Target, Point Blank, Short, Medium, and Long.  Adjacent Target and Point Blank is essentially the same thing, except that an Adjacent Target is for non-ranged attacks and Point Blank is for ranged attacks.  Adjacent Target and Point Blank indicate a one-space distance from a Target, or less.

Attacking Targets at distances longer than one-space increases the difficulty of successfully striking.  All ranged weapons provide specific distances for corresponding Short, Medium, and Long range.

The following Ranges give bonuses to Target’s Dodge at a distance.

  • Distance        Effect                  
  • Short           None
  • Medium       Dodge +1
  • Long            Dodge +3

Maximum Effective Range

No ranged weapon can attack beyond the Maximum Effective Range of the weapon and do significant damage, let alone aim at a target.  Unless a weapon specifies a Maximum Effective Range, the default is double the Long Range indicated for the weapon.

Fire Control

All ranged weapons come with a Fire Control rating for each range – Short, Medium, and Long.  Automatic, reciprocal, and scatter firing ranged attacks use more Fire Control at a Short range to deal more damage.  Some ranged weapons and attacks work better at a distance, such as those with a scope or targeting device attached.

  • Fire Control increases the ability to strike a Target successfully at a specified Range.
  • Fire Control never exceeds 3 points.
  • Many Ranged Weapons do not have any Fire Control.


Understanding Character Move is important during Combat.  Each Character has a Move stat.  A Move of 6 indicates the Character can Move up to six spaces during a Combat Round without rolling or taking Multiple Actions.  A Character’s Move halves when Climbing or Swimming.  With a successful Sneak vs. Search Contested roll, a Character can Move at a Normal rate, without detection.

The following Movement table provides simple guidelines on figuring out Move.

  • Movement Type      Effect                                                                                           

  • Normal                  x1 Move
  • Run                       x2 Move (with successful Athletics roll, DR Moderate)
  • Sprint                    x3 Move (with successful Athletics roll, DR Difficult)
  • Swim                    x ½ Move
  • Swim                    x1 Move (with successful Swim roll, DR Moderate)
  • Swim                    x2 Move (with successful Swim roll, DR Difficult)
  • Climb                    x ½ Move
  • Climb                    x 1 Move (with successful Climb roll, DR Moderate)
  • Climb                    x 2 Move (with successful Climb roll, DR Difficult)
  • Sneak                   x1 Move (with successful Contested Sneak roll)


Running multiplies the Character’s Move by two, (Move x2), with a successful Athletics roll, DR Moderate.  Sprinting multiplies the character’s Move by three (Move x3) with a successful Athletics roll, DR Difficult.  With a successful Stamina roll, DR Moderate, a Character may choose to continue running into the next Round.


Characters proficient in Sneaking know how to use the environment around them to their advantage and conceal their movement from their opponents.  The DR of Sneaking depends on a few factors such as environment, lighting conditions, and actions taken.  At the start of an Initiative when a Character declares the action of Sneaking, their opponents may make a Search roll to spot the Character Sneaking.

To counter a Sneak, a Search roll total must beat the Sneak roll total.  A tie means the Sneak fails.

Sneak Attacks

When Sneaking, on an attack roll to hit a Target, the following happens:

  • If the roll result is DR Moderate or Difficult, the attack deals Sneak Damage.
  • If the roll result is less than DR Moderate is, the attack deals normal Damage.
  • If the roll fails, the Sneak Attack fails.
  • A Target cannot Dodge a Sneak Attack.

Sneak Damage

Sneak Damage is an additional amount of Damage based upon a melee weapon’s Sneak Multiplier.

  • This multiplier is in the weapon table for each melee weapon: typically x2 or x3.
  • With Brawl, the Sneak Damage is x2.
  • With Grapple, the Sneak Damage is x2.
  • Sneak Damage only works with Ranged attacks at Point Blank range.
  • Ranged weapons do not use a Sneak Multiplier.


Ghosting is an attack where one Character immediately takes the life of another.  Indicative of the name, Ghosting happens quickly and quietly.  Ghosting only occurs from attacks made by Brawl, Melee, and Grapple (Adjacent Target) or Ranged and Throw (Point Blank) attacks.

Ghosting during normal Combat

If an attacker makes an attack and wins by 9 points or more against the Target’s Dodge or other contested roll, the attacker Ghosts the Target.

Ghosting while Sneaking

While successfully Sneaking, if an attack roll to hit a Target is DR Very Difficult or better, the attacker Ghosts the Target.

Ghosting during Weapon Grapples

When Grappling with an opponent to gain control over a weapon, the higher roll keeps the weapon.  If a Grapple roll over a weapon wins by nine or more, the winner immediately Ghosts the loser with the weapon.  This applies to both Melee and Ranged weapons.

Prone and Stunned Enemies

Targets who are prone, unconscious, or stunned are unable to move and may not Dodge an attack.  Killing a target that is prone, unconscious, or stunned is Delivering Mercy.

Delivering Mercy

  • Any attack on a prone or stunned Target automatically kills the target.
  • Attacks on prone and stunned Targets never reward Cinema Points.


Character Scale

Character Scale has three levels: Personal, Heavy, Expansive.

  1. Personal scale is anything that can deal lethal Damage to a Character.
  2. Heavy scale is anything that can deal crippling Damage to a Vehicle, mech, or large creature.
  3. Expansive scale is anything that can decimate a building or larger object.
How It Works

If the weapon dealing Damage and the target are of different Scales, use the following table.  Apply the appropriate multiplier to either the Damage dealt or the Damage absorbed, depending on whether the weapon is of larger or smaller Scale than the target.

  • Weapon Scale     Targeted Scale     Damage Multiplier        Absorb Multiplier     
  • Personal                      Heavy                         none                                x2
  • Personal                      Expansive                  none                                x3
  • Personal                      Starship                     none                                N/A 1
  • Heavy                          Personal                     x2                                    none
  • Heavy                          Expansive                   none                                x2
  • Heavy                          Starship                      none                                x4
  • Expansive                   Personal                     x3                                    none
  • Expansive                   Heavy                         x2                                    none
  • Expansive                   Starship                      none                                x3