The most important part of adventuring is noticing what’s going on around you. This is especially important when your Persona is in a situation where danger could be present.
In Mythus this spotting danger is handled through either Perception, Mental or Perception, Physical. In either case the sub-area most used is Notice, which is simply the Persona’s chance of actually noticing something. On a success the Persona actually notices something. On a failure he doesn’t. In the latter case you can think of the failure as him just not paying attention to what’s going on around him, or maybe getting distracted.
With a success in Perception the Persona is then able to determine initiative, if it prove necessary, with no penalties. In the case of a failure the player would then subtract his effective Target Number from the actual roll to get the penalty that is applied to his initiative roll.
Example of Failure: Bob the Apothecary has a Perception, Mental (Noticing) of 32. His player rolls a 42 on his Perception Check giving Bob a +10 to his initiative. This means he has another 10 beats that need to go past before he can do anything. As you can see, not paying attention has penalties.
In the case of Special Successes and Special Failures something special happens.
In the first case a Special Success in Perception means that the lucky soul gets an effective -30 on his initiative. It’s a matter of him just noticing something before the people around him do. It’s a matter of him getting an extra Critical Turn to do something in, in addition to any bonus added by the initiative roll itself.
Where a Special Failure is concerned such a failure in perception means the Persona has really flubbed it, so he gets and addition penalty of 1 CT—30 beats—before he can do anything, in addition to the penalty applied by the roll for Perception minus the TN. Where the pace of fighting in Mythus is concerned this could be fatal.
Example: Marvin the Mercenary has a Perception, Physical (Notice) of 63. His player rolls a 00 which means a Special Failure. 100 minus 63 is 37, and since the player got a Special Failure it means the mercenary has an additional penalty of +30 for a total penalty of +67. Ignoring things can get your HP killed.
So you’ve determined if people have noticed something’s going on. If they have they then get to roll for initiative normally. If they haven’t, and they’ve had matters pointed out to them by what the opposition has done, then they get to determine initiative with the penalty applied.
However, should the other side decide they’re going to be sneaky and not bring themselves to the attention of their opposition, then that opposition gets another CT penalty to add to their initiative.
Example: Sharon has a Perception, Mental (Notice) of 54 while Malcolm has a Perception, Physical (Notice) of 36. They are talking among themselves so they’re not really paying attention, and thus get a DR of Difficult. This means that Sharon has on effective TN of 27 while Malcolm has one of 18. The GM rolls Perception for them since he doesn’t want certain parties to be forewarned when they really wouldn’t be, and gets a 25 on the dice.
So Sharon notices there is something going on that should concern her, but Malcolm remains unaware.
Their foe, a Preternatural Vampire, is aware of them—a roll of 76 versus a TN of 84—so gets a normal roll on initiative.
To size up the situation said vampire decides to hang back in the shadows before doing anything. Since Sharon has noticed something her player gets to roll for initiative normally. The procedure is…
Roll 1d10, subtract the appropriate Speed for the kind of fighting going on plus any additional bonus for Special Success, Casting, Quirk, or Psychogenic Power. Then add a +7 for taking an action plus any speed factor who armor worn, load carried, and item used.
Example: Let’s say that Sharon has a Charm she can use to give any opponent doubts. She has a Reasoning Speed of 14 and her player’s roll on the d10 is a 3. 3-14 is -11. -11 + 7 is -4, so she starts casting on Beat -4 of the fight. Since a Charm takes 30 beats—1 CT or 3 seconds—to cast her dweomer will go off if successful on Beat 24 of the affray.
Her foe—let’s call him Ronald—notices she’s casting something—the JM got a 36 on the vampire’s roll to see if he noticed, so he can still react. His Reasoning Speed is 24—he is a Preternatural Vampire after all—so his roll of 8 minus the 24 then +7 for taking an action himself means an Initiative of — 8-24+7 — -23, meaning he’s got the jump on her.
Poor Malcolm is still quite in the dark. You get right down to it, both living individuals are being taken by surprise, and Ronald may have an easy meal ahead of him.
In the next part we’ll be having a look at the different types of fighting in Mythus, starting with Mental fights.