Together, we’re stronger. Well-prepared, we’re stronger. Well-fed, well-rested, well-equipped, well-informed, well-trained, that’s even better. Well, whenever you group be together, or ensure that you’re well-prepared, well-fed, well-rested, well-equipped, well-informed, well-trained or pretty much anything else, you are Creating an Advantage.
As most things in N-Dimensional Tourists, Advantages are basically Aspects and may represent just about anything that makes sense in-story. It could be a strong character providing the team with Muscle during a streetfight, or a Hand-up for climbing. It could be an anime scientist building Mechs to defeat the alien invasion, or a super-villain scientist providing Green Rocks that absorb Ultraman’s power, etc.
The process is the following:
- Declare what Advantage you are creating.
- Creating that Advantage is a Challenge, so reach an agreement with the GM on Reach and Risk.
- Attempt to Meet the Challenge, using the regular rules.
- If you have succeeded, you have created the advantage. Congratulations, the Aspect is created, write it down on an index card. Depending on your Success Ranks, you may need to adjust the actual Aspect written down.
- If you have Success Ranks, leave the cards that gave you these ranks on the index card. Ignore orientation.
- If you have a Cost, you have also created an Aspect that works against you. Write it down on an index card. The GM draws as many Sleeve Cards and puts them on the index card. These Sleeve Cards are meant to be used against you.
Example: Chess Match
After realizing that Lady Buckingham didn’t do too well against Lord Dervon during the early match, Lord Robson (PC) has decided to help Lady Buckingham as best as he can, by attempting to draw the attention of Lord Devon away from the game. For this purpose, Lord Robson will use his mirror watch to reflect light onto Lord Dervon’s eyes.
- GM: “Well, that doesn’t look particularly hard, but it’s also going to be a minor distraction, right? I mean, once he realizes what’s going on, he can simply ask you politely to stop. Also, if people realize what you’re doing, you’re going to look a bit childish.”
- Robson: “Well, people know me as an eccentric, so looking childish won’t hurt my reputation overmuch.”
- GM: “Ok. So the difficulty is Fair (2), let me draw cards for the Challenge.”
- GM: “Well, getting a narrow light straight on your mirror in this crowded room full of statues and decorations is actually a little bit more complicated than it looks.”
GM: “Also, did I mention that the room is crowded?”
Robson: “As this is sleight of hand, I’ll be drawing my Good (3) Serpents. That’s already two reversed cards, which isn’t very good for me. Ah, well, let’s draw.”
- Robson: “So, on the upside, I am succeeding, despite all the difficulties, at getting some light in Lord Dervon’s eyes. That’s thanks to a mirror representing Hamlet’s Ophelia. It might be a little visible, though.”
- Robson: “Ouch, such a crowd! Someone just elbowed me in an attempt to look better, so I’ll need to move.”
- Robson: “Yes, definitely a better position. From here, I can point the light straight into his face.”
Robson: “… and help myself to some of this delicious champagne.”
Robson: “Well, I think I’ll stop here. So, while I do manage to get some light into Dervon’s eyes, I have had to move a bit around the room to do so, which attracts a few stares as I elbow and get elbowed in return. I have decided on my course of action and will not relent, though. As an Advantage, I’ll pick A little twinkling in the eye, with Average (1), so one card. And for a disadvantage, I’ll pick He’s a bit rude, isn’t he?, also Average (1), so you get one card.”
GM: “You have two unique cards, which one do you pick?”
Robson: “They are equivalent, right?”
GM: “In terms of probabilities, yes, they are.”
Robson: “Well, say, this one.”
The GM also draws one card for He’s a bit rude, isn’t he?
Example: Kaiju Attack
So Levinulon has destroyed the Bank of Japan, as well as a number of other buildings, before the Tokyo Mechanized Defense Force managed to attract its attention. By now, however, both the Infantry (PC) and the Air Force (PC) have managed to deploy. Neither will be able to bear the brunt of the combat against Levinulon, but that’s ok, they are both going to help.
- Infantry: “I think that our main role at this stage will be to evacuate the Civilians, to make sure that the Mechs can use their weapons without causing collateral damage.”
- Air Force: “Can I wait until I know how the Infantry is doing before deciding whether I’m here to carpet bomb Levinulon or to distract it?”
- GM: “Sure, so, Infantry, your Reach is to evacuate all Civilians from combat areas in time. What kind of Risk do you foresee?”
- Infantry: “Well, our forces are spread thin, so we might not succeed at evacuating everyone.”
- GM: “Sure, but that’s already covered by the Reach and the Rank of the Challenge. For Risk, I’d say that you need all your vehicles and all your men, and you’re pretty sure that you’re going to have casualties in your ranks. Right?”
- Infantry: “How am I going to have casualties?”
- GM: “Well, if you send your men to evacuate Civilians, this means that they have to evacuate last, right?”
- Infantry: “Oh, sure.”
- GM: “Ok, so the combat line isn’t moving very fast, but there are lots of Civilians, so the difficulty will be Good (3).”
- Infantry: “Alright. Can I use my Superb (5) Rock for authority?”
- GM: “Definitely.”
The GM draws for the Obstacle:
- GM: “So, Too many secrets – in the area where the conflict has moved, there are lots of small alleys, little houses, people living in basements due to high rent. Sounds like Infantry will have difficulties reaching everyone in time. In some places, it looks even like a small hanging city, with planks and scaffolding used to access some of the houses (Show of Skills). The maps for the area are clearly not very good (Lack of Precision).”
- Infantry: “Well, my officers are pretty good, thank you very much. They didn’t reach their rank (Rising to Power) out of supidity, but thanks to their ability to organize their soldiers even in high-pressure, low-information situations.”
- Infantry: “It’s no surprise that this area is full of drug dens and low-grade brothels, but my men are doing their work.”
- Infantry: “Forth reversed card, first reports of losses. Vehicles were destroyed under the feet of the beast. But we soldier on!”
- Infantry: “Communications are more complicated. The battlefield has reached us, isolating units from their officers and from each other, but we will soldier on!”
Infantry: “But I have Absolute Trust in my officers and soldiers, and they prove that they deserve this trust, by saving a considerable number of civilians. Go ahead, Tokyo Mechanized Defense Force, beat the monster!”
Infantry: “So, it looks like have taken some losses of both material and men in this labyrinth, Good soldiers who could not get away in time after having saved the lives of so many civilians. You will be remembered!”
Infantry writes down The battlefield has been evacuated and adds the pair on the index card:
Infantry may now give one or both of these cards to any character, as long as it makes sense that the character is supported by the Aspect. The idea is to hand these cards to the Tokyo Mechanized Defense Force, but the Air Force could be interested, too.
Infantry adds The Infantry suffered losses, on which the GM may now add two cards:
- Air Force: “Since The battlefield has been evacuated, I’ll provide air support, bombing Levinulon as often as possible without hurting the Infantry or the Tokyo Mechanized Defense Force.”
- GM: “Ok, you have serious firepower at hand, so you could possibly hurt Levinulon severely. On the other hand, you risk accidentally bombing either the Infantry or the Tokyo Mechanized Defense Force, resulting in serious losses. Or maybe you wish to reduce your Risk and Reach?”
- Air Force: “Nah, let’s take chances.”
- GM: “Ok, so, it’s going to be Fairly (2) easy, with all your high-tech equipment.”
- Air Force: “Cool. Should I use my Fair (2) Paper for intelligent strikes or my Superb (5) Serpent for dogfighting and speed?”
- GM: “Depends on your style. If you’re playing it fast and furious, you could youse the Serpent.”
- Air Force: “Serpent it is.”
- GM: “All the smoke of destruction is making things somewhat hard to see (Entering the Dark Realm).”
- Air Force: “Ok, I’ll draw.”
- GM: “Actually, wait a second. I’ll use one of my Sleeve Cards against you.”
GM takes one of the cards from The Infantry suffered losses, covering one of his cards:
- GM: “Since the Infantry has suffered losses of vehicles and equipment, it’s Madness down there. You’re going to receive contradictory reports from the battlefield, which don’t let you aim as well as you want.”
- Infantry: “Actually, I don’t think so! I can use my cards to support the Air Force instead of you, right?”
- GM: “As long as it makes sense in-story, yes.”
- Infantry: “In this case, I’ll cover both your cards.”
- Infantry: “Thanks to the great job done by the infantry, however, you’ll quickly receive precise dispatches that will make your life easier.”
Air Force Draws:
This is already a Success with an Effect of 2 and a Cost of 0. Pretty good for a single card.
- Air Force: “My ace pilots are turning Levinulon’s huge size into a handicap, as it cannot turn quickly.”
- Air Force: “Bomb after bomb falls on Levinulon, it doesn’t seem to fall!”
- Air Force: “Perfect coordination between Infantry and Air Force makes sophisticated manoeuvers possible.”
- Air Force: “…oops, this looks like one more brothel destroyed to the ground by my carpet-bombing!”
- Air Force: “One of my pilots has startd haranguing the others into a frenzy. We’ll see if this brings them even closer to victory!”
- Air Force: “Thanks to the reports we get from the ground, the headquarters has managed to give us a great fire plan!”
- Air Force: “Further reports from fires, all around Levinulon, I certainly hope it hates fire!”
- Air Force: “Mmmh… Apparently, some of the ordnance we were loaded with is more dangerous to us than to it. I’ll stop here, before I hit my colleagues by accident.”
Air Force writes down Death from the skies and adds three cards:
When Tokyo Mechanized Defense Force plays again, they’ll be able to use these three cards, which will undoubtedly considerably tilt the balance!