Everything in Weird Detective Mystery Adventures is defined by statistics. Each statistic has a grade,
corresponding to a scale for measuring everything in the universe. Each grade (or level) has a worded
description, an active value (ACT) and a saving total (SAVE). The active value and the saving total are
used to define various outcome effects of character actions and the magnitude of their abilities.
The following are the levels used in the game, from least to greatest:
All objects and forces, from people to gusts of wind, are defined using statistics (called basestats) graded
along this scale. The Poor rating covers everything from non-existent to merely deficient in a specific
statistic. The levels of Poor to Heroic are all within the range of normal, for men and things made by
man. Qualities graded from Mutant to Inhuman are theoretically possible for objects or forces of a given
category but are very rare. Levels of Extreme to Omega are supernatural, on the continuum of the
freakishly powerful or otherworldly. Omega is as powerful as a single thing or force can be.
In theory, every force or thing in the world would have statistics created specific to their class. The
game does not do this. Instead the game defines only people and vehicles in detail. Everything else is
dealt with on an ad hoc common-sense basis.
|PROBABILITY AND EVENT RESOLUTION:
The vast majority of character actions are automatic and unopposed. The characters are able to walk, talk
and chew gum without the need for the judge demanding what we call a “stunt roll” being made to
determine the outcome of their actions. Similarly, a character endowed with the power FLIGHT is
assumed to be able to deploy it at any time he chooses without worry of it draining some special muscle or
overcoming normal gravity or wind resistance. It is only when there is some opposing force, evident risk
or potential for failure that we call on charts to resolve the action.
We have several tools available to the judge for aiding in making these calls. The most commonly
referenced is the Uniform Stunt Chart.
Running on the left of the table are the active levels, from P (Poor) to OM (Omega). Running across the
top of the chart are defending levels, also arranged from P (Poor) to OM (Omega). To determine the
number needed to succeed on a stunt roll, find the active level row and the defending level column.
Either the player or the judge rolls two six-sided dice. The individual die results are then multiplied
together. If the number generated is equal to or higher than the total referenced on the table, the
character’s stunt is successful. A roll of doubles, other than a roll of two ones, is also considered to be
successful. A roll of two ones is considered an automatic failure and ends the character’s actions for the
EXAMPLE: Nat is attempting to hit Jim with a stick. Nat’s ACC (Accuracy) level of Champion is
used as the active level and Jim’s DODGE (Dodge) level of Inhuman is the defending level. Per
the Uniform Stunt Chart, Nat’s player would need to roll an 18 or higher in order to strike Jim.
Nat’s player rolls a 4 and a 2, which multiplied together is an 8. Nat is determined to have
missed Jim. Jim dodged Nat’s attack.
ACC and DODGE are the two most commonly referenced basestats. The judge may occasionally
simply assign a defending level for a stunt. The judge may use either a flat measure or a sliding scale
measure for determining the defending level.
In the flat measure system, the judge uses one of the character’s statistics as an active level and then
determines the defending level, using the general description of how powerful, rare or improbable the
proposed action is. Levels of Poor through Heroic are normal. Mutant through Inhuman are improbable
but within the realm of possible. Levels of Extreme through Omega are very rare, rationally impossible
or powerful on a cosmic scale. Once the defending level is determined by the judge, the player is
prompted to make a roll. For the most part, this is similar to the method the game uses to resolve
combat. The only difference is that the judge is making up the defending level on the fly.
The sliding scale method is similar. In this the judge determines how difficult a stunt would be for
someone with an underlying skill or other qualification for the action proposed. How difficult is pole
vaulting for a person who has training in pole vaulting? Isn’t that what pole vaulters do? A standard pole
vault for a person with track and field experience would have a defending level within the range of
normal, from Poor to Heroic. A standard pole vault for an average person off the street would have a
defending level of perhaps from Mutant to Inhuman. A person who is otherwise a jock type but knows
nothing of the in and outs of using a pole to traverse over objects will either be assessed a reduction in
their active level or an increase in the defending level.
EXAMPLE: Nat is attempting to find out the meaning of the arcane word ‘Xanukhara.’ He thinks
this is what the latest bad guy was mumbling when he threw a hex on the group. He has no
idea if he has it spelled right. He has no underlying skill in researching nor familiarity with the
arcane. But he is going to use a search engine and intends to take his time about it. (Poor V
EXAMPLE: The team has discovered a long mathematical formula that the bad guys are using
as a part of their scheme. Judy has “Mad Scientist” as her trademark and believes that this
should apply to identifying what the formula may be for. The judge agrees and allows her to
make a roll using her KNOW score of Talented as the active level. The formula in question is a
common statistical model used in insurance, which is somewhat outside of Judy’s experience,
but not otherworldly. The judge assigns it a defending level of Champion.
Most situations will be resolved using the flat method, since at least one of the levels is known. The
sliding scale method should only be used when the character initiating the action is either lacking
qualifications or very qualified to perform it.
There are five other methods used for event resolution, generally in non-conflict situations.
DOUBLE ONES ROLL: The character’s proposed action succeeds unless the player rolls two ones. It’
s a complicated action well within the character’s abilities. He’s smashing through a window. He’s
running and then jumping into the saddle of his horse. Normally this is an automatic action, but in haste
there is a chance of muffing it.
DOUBLES ONLY ROLL: The stunt succeeds only on a roll of doubles. This roll is called for when
success is improbable, and the factors involved are entirely dependent on luck. This can also be further
modified to the Double Six Only rule, which is more weighted against the user.
BETTER ROLL RULE: Used when the outcomes of a successful action are not entirely defined. The
higher the roll, the better the result.
CONDITIONAL ADVANTAGE/CONDITIONAL DISADVANTAGE: The game allows for occasional
modifications to the stunt roll. Unlike the other methods, this uses the Uniform Stunt Chart. Depending on
circumstances, a number is either added to or subtracted from the stunt roll total. There are some powers
which grant a set bonus to stunt rolls, usually noted as ‘Conditional Advantage +2’, meaning that this is
the number the player should add to his stunt roll. Some attacks inflict a Conditional Disadvantage,
which would result in a number to be subtracted from the stunt roll total. Success or failure in the stunt
would still reference the Uniform Stunt Chart.
CONTESTED ROLL: This is used when chance alone is the most important variable. Both the player
and the judge roll dice. If the player’s roll is higher, his action is successful. If the judge’s roll is higher,
the player’s action fails.
You now know the basics. The rest of this is hundreds of pages of nuance.