WHAT IS THE ZERO-9 GAMING SYSTEM?
The TAINTED rpg utilizes the ZERO-9 gaming system as its core mechanic. This system requires the use of two ten sided dice (2d10) to resolve actions. Each die is numbered 0-9 with zeros counting as zeros rather than tens.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
For any action your character wishes to perform that might have a questionable outcome, your Game Master (GM) will have you roll two ten sided dice together against a specific target and a specific magnitude. The target number represents your skill at a given task regardless of what obstacles you might face and as such will always be a known number. In fact that number will live right on your character sheet. Before you even decide on an action you will know what the target number will be.
For example, if you want your character to attempt to pick a lock, your target number would be noted next to Mechanisms under his Infiltration skills. No matter how difficult a lock it may be, your target number will always be whatever your character sheet says it is.
The difficulty of the lock comes into play under Magnitude. A level 3 lock will have a magnitude of 3; a level 5 lock will have a magnitude of 5, etc.
So if your Mechanisms Target Number is 7 and the lock magnitude is 3 then you need to roll a 7 or higher on one die and a 3 or higher on the other to succeed. You do not have to say which die is which before you roll. The 7 represents the successful use of your skill. The 3 represents how much effort your character needs to put into the task.
Rolling higher than 7 against your target number does not confer any additional benefits beyond successfully using your skill. Rolling higher than the required 3 on magnitude, however, indicates that you have done the task better or faster than you otherwise might have.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Other factors come into play on a case by case basis; stat modifiers that you can add to your magnitude die, critical success and failure rolls, and spending bonus dice to roll for important actions (taking the best two numbers that come up). All of these are outlined in the Game Rules section.
Nevertheless, one more aspect of this system should be touched upon before we proceed further and that is that the ZERO-9 gaming system puts all of the consequences in the hands of the players. Using the system properly, the GM doesn’t roll any dice. For anything. So there is no room for fudging – for the players or against them. When your character attacks something he roll against his target number and the stated magnitude and succeeds or fails based on that roll. And when it is time for that something to attack back, instead of rolling dice to attack your character, the GM will tell you the magnitude you need to roll (along with your Defense target number) to successfully defend against its attack.
This same mechanic is used in all situations. The GM doesn’t get to roll to see if his back alley cutpurse can successfully bluff your character with false information. Rather, you roll to see if your character successfully navigates between the lies and the truth spilling from the dirty wretch’s lips.
No secret rolls. No GM screen. Everything is out in the open. The GM can’t secretly cheat you behind his screen…nor can he secretly save you from yourself.