Friday, November 12, 2010

Tools of Ignorance Challenges


Challenges are the way base running and fielding works. A baserunner challenges the catcher's arm when trying to steal a base. A fielder challenges a hitter by trying for a spectacular catch on a hit. Players only have two challenges per game, so they need to pick and choose their challenges. Challenge a single in the third inning, and it's a waste. Challenge a homer in the ninth and you may not have enough to stop it. Otherwise, the result of the contest between a hitter and pitcher stands.

If more than one challenge is made on the same play, each succeeding challenge is at an additional -1. The Challenger must *beat* the challengee, so a tie means the original result stands.


A batter hits an out with a runner on first. The Shortstop decides to challenge the out and try for the runner at second. Since he is challenging the hitter, he rolls an arm accuracy check against the base runner's Advance check. If he wins, the runner is out at second, and if he fails the challenge, everyone is safe. The second baseman can then challenge the runner at first the same way, but since it's the second challenge on the same play, it's at -1 die. If he wins the challenge, it's a double play. If he fails, it's a force out.

The runner at first base attempts to steal second by challenging the catcher's arm. The runner is challenging, so he has the burden of proof. The base runner must beat the catcher's throw or he's out.

Some Other Challenges:

You can see any baseball play as a Challenge, or as a series of Challenges.

Hitter Challenges an Out

When this is successful, it means a drag bunt or an infield hit. The Hitter makes a Base Stealing check vs. the Arm Accuracy of the infielder. The Hitter is limited to First Base unless there is an error.

Pitcher/Catcher Challenges a Runner

This is a pick off or pitch out. The Pitcher or Catcher rolls his Arm Accuracy vs the Runner's Advancing check.


Injuries have a chance of happening any time a character uses his Traits in play. By using your traits, you are - by definition - giving everything you have, and that's when injuries happen. Each time a character uses a trait, immediately after the play the player - or GM for NPCs - makes an END check on a d20.

A character would have a serious injury only on a botch - a 20 - on his END check. That's a 5% chance. There is a higher chance of a nagging injury - with a consequence of -1 to an Attribute - on a simple failure, depending on the Attribute. So if a character has an END of 12, he has a nagging injury (which won't prevent playing) on a 13-19, and a bad injury (which will prevent play) on a 20.

If a 20 is rolled, roll again to determine how long the player will be sidelined:

1-5 = 7 days
6-10 = 14 days
11-13 = 30 days
14-16 = 60 days
17-18 = 90 days
20 = season ending

Nagging injuries are the typical strains, sprains, bruises, and such that happen in normal play, and which the player is normally expected to play through. The Attribute injured in a nagging injury is the one used in the play where the injury happened. If it happens on a Base Stealing check, for example, the injury would be to the character's AGY. The character may play with any number of nagging injuries, but each one cumulatively degrades performance. The Manager may, of course, sit the player out until he has a chance to heal.


Any even diamond card turned over at the beginning of the day will heal at least one nagging injury, with higher cards healing more if present.


Each character has 7 points to put into personality traits. There are a minimum of 3 traits, with a maximum of 4 points in any one trait. Traits can be free form, but there's also a list you can choose from if you are stuck. Traits are both descriptors and mechanics. Traits when used can give the character an extra die for each trait point used *if* the GM agrees the trait is appropriate to the circumstance. In the example below, Stubborn would probably be appropriate, but Braggart probably wouldn't. Trait points are a renewable resource - they are refreshed entirely each session, and optionally a character can gain a point back when the player plays a trait to his disadvantage.

Example - A ball player who is Hot-Tempered 3, Stubborn 2, Adventurous 1, and Braggart 1 is attempting to stretch a single into a double. He's challenging the outfielder's arm and rolls three dice - Base Running+2 - against his END of 9, while the outfielder rolls 4 dice - Arm+3 - against his END of 8. Both get 2 successes. Since the runner is challenging the fielder the burden of proof is on the runner, so he has to beat the throw. A tie won't cut it. He uses his Stubborn trait - "bastard's not going to throw *me* out!" - to gain another die, and rolls a success. He's got a double!


Here's the cover of ToI:


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