In Hyperion Voyages, players have significant dice manipulation ability, and roll dice more often than in most games of D&D 3.5.
In short, you can manipulate what dice you roll by…
- Press Your Luck / Called Shots ( Variable Modifiers)
- Replaces your static +# modifer (whatever modifier you’d get) with more dice
- Gives a better average roll for most most modifiers
- Gives better odds when rolling against a high DC (unless it’s for a +8 modifier)
- Can’t be used on rolls where you’re unconscious, or on initiative rolls, or on flat-footed AC/CMD rolls
- All “called shots” involve pressing your luck
- Decisiveness Bonus (see below)
- If you’re decisive at the start of your turn, you may get a +2 bonus when determining press your luck dice.
Action Point +1d6 (if action points are used in the campaign)
- Improves to best 1d6 of multiple d6 as you level up
- Emulate a feat by spending an action point
- Must currently meet the feat’s prerequisites (if any)
- There’s a very wide variety of options, so look around and write some down that sound interesting and please tell your GM about them
- Someone else using the Aid Another action on you
- They must be capable of the same roll, and it’s a DC 10
- Grants you a +2 for each ally who succeeds on this
- Someone else spending Awesome-Marks on you (see below)
- They have a maximum of twice their ECL of those
- They can spend as many as up to half their ECL (rounded up) on your roll
- Each one spent gives a +1 bonus to your roll, but you have to be conscious to receive the bonus
- The bonus can be given before or after the roll (if before, it contributes to Press Your Luck dice)
- That bonus is doubled if they come up with a plausible, relevant, and unique roleplaying reason for it
- It gets an additional +4 to the total if you both roleplay out the reason ahead of time (see details below)
- Can be chosen on any attack or full attack
- You take a -4 penalty on all attacks in a round to gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC for the same round
- The AC bonus can be doubled by spending an Action Point
Total Defense Action
- Standard action to get a +4 dodge bonus to your AC for 1 round
- Circumstance Bonuses (Get a +2 for each circumstance in your favor, they stack)
- Precedent Bonus (if you’ve been through this exact same situation before)
- Usually unnecessary to roll at all unless there’s a meaningful potential consequence for failure (like significant fall damage)
- Grants a +5 to the roll (or more at GM discretion)
As soon as the GM says it’s your turn, if you can immediately state fully what you’re doing that turn in a general sense (ex. “I’m going to move over there and attack that guy”), you might get a +2 “decisive” bonus when determining your press-your-luck dice. The GM will tell you each turn whether you were decisive (and therefore get this bonus; don’t ask for the bonus). If you clearly weren’t paying attention (at GM’s sole discretion), or you change your mind significantly, the bonus is lost for that turn. The same bonus applies to any immediate actions or free actions (taken out of turn), but you only get the bonus if you got the bonus on your previous turn.
Many games have “Bennies” but here they’re called “Awesome-Marks” and work a little differently. If a player does something in-game which reflects kinds of behavior the GM particularly wants to see, the GM puts a checkmark by the character’s name on a sheet, or hands the player a token, either of which is called an “awesome-mark”. A player can as many awesome-marks as twice their character’s ECL.
A few situations which would likely earn you an awesome-mark include (but are not limited to):
- If you respond to roleplay questions the GM prompts with an interesting answer.
- If you roleplay your character particularly well (compared to what you normally do) without prompting.
- If you roleplay your character’s flaws and traits consistently, but NOT so much that it becomes annoying.
- You take notable interest in and engage with another player’s character, such as about their background or their in-character thoughts.
- If you particularly distinguish yourself during an encounter (or in the time before an encounter).
- When you do something particularly inventive or interesting in the current situation outside of an encounter.
- When you use the knowledge of the game’s world to suggest interesting ideas.
- When you come up with a good plan and put it into motion.
- When you pull off a tactical retreat (retrograde progress).
In the rare case where someone really obstructs play, the GM might erase a mark. Do not award awesome-marks for getting lucky on a damage roll or being the one to finish off a creature in battle.
You spend your awesome-marks to inspire other PCs. A player can spend awesome-marks (up to half their own character’s ECL per roll, rounded up) to for each one spent give a +1 bonus on another PC’s 3d6 roll ( Bell Curve Roll). The recipient of this inspiration must be conscious, however. You can give them the bonus before their roll (enabling them to potentially improve a choice of pressing their luck), or after their roll (such as if their roll was really low and you want to boost it) but prior to the GM announcing or acknowledging the result of the roll (such as a hit or miss). A player can grant this bonus to that other PC even if their own character is not conscious or present with the recipient.
You can improve this inspiring bonus to +2 per awesome-mark spent by giving context to that inspiration. Anyone at the table can give an in-character context on why your character is able to give that bonus to the recipient. This context must be phrased as “remember earlier when…” or something similar where your character helped the recipient in a way which is plausible for your character to have done (such as during downtime), relevant to the current roll, and is a unique justification within that session (you nor anyone else can use the same justification again in the same session, even for simultaneous rolls such as initiative). Whether your explanation is “plausible”, “relevant”, or “unique” is up to GM discretion. For example, to give a bonus on a Heal check, the giving player might say “remember around the campfire last night when I showed you how to properly dress a bandage?” The receiving character then “remembers” something the giving character did that would warrant that one-time bonus now.
If a context for the improved bonus was directly roleplayed out ahead of time (such as taking time the previous in-game night to roleplay out a scene together where you were sparring with another PC), the roll gets an additional +4 circumstance bonus, once-per-player that session (or the next session, at GM discretion). Any specific roleplayed context can only apply its effects to one session per campaign (so you can’t use the same roleplayed context again on another roll, or redo the roleplay to get the bonus again).
Awesome-Marks and Action Points
If the campaign uses action points, players who distinguish themselves in a session recover action points.
Prior to all the players reaching ECL 3, each PC gets one action point back when they arrive at the session if they #1 show up at a reasonable time this session AND #2 showed up at a reasonable time for the previous session. Also, at the end of each session the player who won the most awesome-marks that session immediately recovers an action point (to a maximum of “5 + 1/2 ECL”). If there’s a tie, all tied players get an action point back. Once all players reach ECL 3, no one “directly” recovers action points for getting awesome-marks or showing up.
Once all players reach ECL 3, at the end of each session each player may choose to reward another player by spending one of their own awesome-marks to give that other player an action point. However, each player can only do this once per session, and you must identify something they did that session that did not earn them an awesome-mark at the time (but you feel should have). You spend the awesome-mark, and they recover an action point. When you spend it, if the GM agrees that they should have gotten awesome-mark at the time, instead you and the other player both each gain an action point, and the other player gets the awesome-mark the GM should have given them earlier.
To put it another way, an awesome-mark can either be spent to give a bonus to another player’s roll (potentially a huge bonus), or saved until the end of a session in order to give another player (and potentially also yourself) an action point, or just saved for a later session.