Today we’ll be taking a look at the basic rules for playing Qin: the Warring States.
Qin’s system relies on a mechanic called the Yin/Yang Die or YyD in shorthand. These are a pair of D10′s, preferrably of different colors for ease of use. The player rolls two dice and subtracts the lower result from the higher result to get a final value. For example, rolling an 8 and a 2 results in a 6.
Zeros on the die counts as an actual zero and not a 10 like it does in other games.
Interestingly enough the YyD still has mechanics for critical successes and failures. A player scores a critical success if they roll the same number on both dice. This results in them automatically succeeding in the task and recovering a number of Chi points equal to the number rolled. The Success margin of this is equal to the value of the number rolled as well. Needless to say double nines are pretty damned impressive.
Critial failures on the other hand happen if the YyD roll two Zeros. This basically means that the characters an automatic and catastrophic failure of some sort, and loses 5 Chi points to a minimum of zero.
So how does this work in play? Well, whenever a player character has to make a test, they roll their YyD and add the value to their Aspect and Skill levels to the result and compare it to the Success Threshold of the test. Thresholds range from 3 (“Child’s Play”) to 6 (“Average”) and finally 15 (“Legendary”).
Should a character not have the applicable skill, then the character may default to just adding the YyD result to their Aspects, for as long as the skill is one that can be performed untrained. If a test requires two or more skills, then the character defaults to using the lowest level skill.
Opposed and Extended tests are also discussed in detail, and the use of Chi to power Taos, and special combat techniques and magic are also discussed, though there aren’t any special combat techniques in the book (those are apparently reserved for the screen).
Overall it seems like a pretty simple and straightforward system. The Yin/Yang Dice mechanic is novel and easy enough to learn, and helps reinforce the flavor of the belief system in Zhongguo and I appreciate that. Otherwise it feels like a pretty easy system to learn and run, but we’ll find out for certain tomorrow, when we try to go over a sample combat and throw Zhaohui against a swordsman and see how well she does.