Antares uses a simple system for determining challenges.
Whenever your character needs to perform a difficult task they may try to roll one of their skills:
- To do this, you roll a d6 and add your level in that skill.
- If you get a 6 or higher, you succeed.
- If you don't have the skill, you can still attempt it (you just need to roll a 6) unless the skill list indicates that the skill can't be used unskilled.
Success Through Determination
If you fail a skill roll, you may spend a point in the skill to change the failure into a success.
- Once spent, these points are recovered at the start of the next session.
- Running out of points to spend simply means you can't spend that skill any more but you may still roll normally.
Special Skill Actions
Each skill also lists special "Spend" actions that can only be performed by spending a point of that skill.
- If you spend the skill, the special action succeeds. No roll is required.
- Like with other skill spending, running out of points to spend just prevents you using any more of the skill's Special Actions.
Occasionally players may get involved in a contested action, where their actions directly oppose each other. For example one character might try to use Stealth to sneak passed while another uses Investigation to try and spot them. In these situations both players roll their skills and the higher roll wins, achieving a 6 is not required.
The failing player may spend 1 point in their Skill to change their failure to a success and the other player may then spend 1 point to take victory back again. Each player may only spend 1 point in this way, after that the result stands.
Contested actions never occur against the environment or against NPCs, in such situations only the player rolls and their result determines the outcome.
For example: Trying to sneak past a monster? The player rolls Stealth to succeed. The monster doesn't get an investigation test. Likewise if the monster was sneaking up on a player, the outcome would be determined by the player's Investigation roll.
Combat is worked out using a similar system to other skills.
Combat is divided into rounds, with each player taking a turn. All characters are assumed to go at the same time unless they have a skill or ability that allows them to act sooner.
On your turn, you choose who you are attacking and roll your Combat, Firearm, or Melee skill, if you succeed, you hit your opponent and deal damage (or other effects) as determined by your weapon.
Characters can move in combat, you can take 3 steps if you plan to take another action or you can run double that if you do nothing else.
Surprise attacks occur if one side is ambushed and was not aware of their attackers.
The ambushing party gets to make their attacks first in a special Surprise round, after which a new combat round begins and everyone acts as normal.
You don't get a surprise attack if the enemy is aware of you, or if you've already attacked during this combat. As a general guide most surprise happens only at the start of a combat.
Each weapons lists how much damage it deals. Some weapons deal stun damage which cannot take a character below zero Health and which are automatically healed at the end of the scene.
Punches, kicks and other unarmed attacks deal 1 Stun damage.
Each character has a number of points of Health which can be lost due to combat, starvation, environmental hazards and other effects.
If an attack would reduce your character's Health below zero, it reduces it to zero instead. They fall unconscious and are in a critical condition, requiring medical attention to survive.
If a character is further injured once their Health is zero or lower, the character dies.
Characters can be healed by the Medicine and First Aid skills and usually begin each session on full health. This is assuming they have medical supervision and a chance to rest and recover.
It's possible they may not start back on full health if lost in the wilderness between sessions or otherwise deprived of safety and medicine.
All characters earn 1xp per session (even if you can't attend that day).
You may spend XP to buy skills:
- Buy a new rank 1 skill: 2xp
- Increase rank 1 skill to rank 2: 4xp
- Increase rank 2 skill to rank 3: 6xp (Human only)
Other advancement will also occur through the research of new technologies and the construction of new equipment.
Soldiers for example improve through advancements in weapons and armour, scientists and engineers improve through new infrastructure that improves their ability to research and build, while consuls gain more power as the colony's population grows.