An ability check may be either active or reactive. Active ability checks are used when an Ally is actively trying to achieve a task or resist certain effects. Reactive ability checks are used when an Ally is trying to react to something, such as resisting damage from an Enemy attack.
Active Ability Checks
An active ability check is signified by a number in a red box preceded by one of the 3 ability symbols. An active ability check is performed by rolling a number of equal to your Ally’s level in the given ability. The ability symbol displayed in the check determines the ability being used, and corresponds to one of the 3 abilities your Ally has.
Each Ally has 3 abilities: Might , Agility , Will .
These 3 abilities, and the level your Ally has in each, are shown at the bottom of your Hero board or Ally card. Some active ability checks may allow you to choose between 2 or more abilities. In this case, the ability symbols are separated by a '|'.
Before you roll the , you must decide which optional effect(s) you are using (such as discarding an item to fulfill the requirements of a modifier, or using a once per scenario effect).
To calculate the number of successes achieved, add together:
» The number of successes you roll.
» Any modifiers shown in the check that you fulfill the requirements of.
The active ability check is successful if you achieve a total number of successes equal to or higher than the number specified by the check, shown in a red box.
There are various symbols on an Action die:
1 success 2 successes
1 success, and 1 extra roll
While playing a scenario, a Hero may spend 1 or 2 stamina to get an equal number of successes.
At all other times, this counts as 2 successes for a Hero, shown as +2 .
For a Non-Hero Ally, this always counts as 0 successes.
You may roll any extra rolls before deciding how much stamina you wish to spend.
Each extra roll allows you to roll an extra Action die and add its result to your total. If this roll gets you another extra roll then roll another Action die and so on.
Ability Check Modifiers
Modifiers may be shown in an ability check. If you fulfill the requirements of one or more modifiers, add those modifiers to the number of successes you roll. The types of requirement and when they are fulfilled are:
» Hero Name: If you are playing the Hero shown.
» Class: If your Hero is the Class shown.
» Profession: If your Hero has the Profession shown.
» Talent: If your Hero has a Talent of that name.
» Keyword: If the Keyword shown is in your Hero or Party Journal. Keywords are shown in quotation marks.
» Item card or token: If your Hero is carrying 1 or more of the item shown. During a scenario, if the Item card has a hand symbol on it, the item must be an active item for you to fulfil this requirement.
» Item card or token: If your Hero discards the Item card or token shown before they roll the .
» Item card phrase: If an Item card you are carrying has a matching phrase on it.
Sometimes other modifiers may be shown. In this case the modifier will be explained in the check.
Note that occasionally a modifier may be negative.
You get a modifier of +2 to this active ability check if you have Lock picking. You may get this from either having the Burglary Talent from the Streetwise profession, or from having Item card 001 "Thieves Tools" as an active item.
Active Ability Checks with a ?
Some active ability checks show a ? instead of specifying a number of successes. This is because either:
» It is a group ability check (see City and Journey Steps).
» The check has more than two different outcomes.
» The precise number of successes required is meant to be unknown.
Reactive Ability Checks
A reactive ability check is signified by a number in a blue box followed by one of the 3 ability symbols.
Some reactive ability checks allow you to choose between two or more abilities. In this case, the ability symbols are separated by a ‘|’.
Reactive ability checks are performed by rolling a number of Reaction (blue) dice equal to your Ally’s level in the given ability.
There are various symbols on a Reaction Die.
0 successes 1 success 2 success
May be used to activate an effect your Ally has. If your Ally has no such effects, it counts as 0 successes.
Reactive Ability Check to Reduce Damage
The most common use of a reactive ability check is to reduce damage. These checks show the damage symbol before the check. For each you roll, the damage is reduced by 1.
For example: 3 - The Ally will suffer 3 damage reduced by the number of they roll on a reactive might check.