There are two additional ratings whose values are set by the kind of character you've chosen. These are similar to attributes in that all PCs have them, but they are handled differently.
- Luck: your personal good fortune and general luckiness. Starts at d12.
- Instinct: the strength of your animal instincts. Exactly what this does depends on the Breed (basically your character race) chosen. Starts at d6 for High Beasts and d8 for Low Beasts.
There are 6 standard Attributes (sometimes called Stats) in Nuclear Beasts. Their starting values are determined by distributing six dice of varying sizes between them, one die per attribute.
- Muscles: strength, size and muscle-power.
- Guts: constitution, endurance and personal willpower.
- Speed: reflexes, dexterity and quickness.
- Brains: intelligence and general education.
- Perception: the keenness of your senses and your general ability to notice things.
- Charm: personal charisma and persuasiveness.
Starting characters get 6 dice to distribute between these stats. They can choose one of two pools:
- 1d10, 2d8, 2d6, d4
- 3d8, 3d6
I may eventually allow Attributes to consist of multiple dice, but currently they always consist of a single die. Superhumanly good or bad ratings are handled by adding bonuses or penalties. The range looks like this:
d12-8 < d10-6 < d8-4 < d6-2 < d4 < d6 < d8 < d10 < d12 < d12+1 < d12+1 (etc.)
Note that the really pathetic ratings are set so that it is always possible to roll at least a 4. This is because the "typical" target number in Nuclear Beasts is 4.
Character attributes and skills are represented by Pools of dice. When you want to determine how well your character succeeds or fails at a task, you'll combine all of the relevant dice pools into a single pool and roll it. The highest number rolled is your result.
If you have any special Bonuses or Penalties, you'll add them to the result. A positive adjustment to the result (e.g. +2) is always considered a bonus and a negative adjustment (e.g. -1) is a penalty. If multiple pools that have bonuses or penalties of their own get combined, just sum the adjustment together.
Example: If you have a Speed of d12+1 (very good) and a Perception of d6-2 (very bad) and you were asked to roll Speed & Perception, you'd roll a d12 and a d6 and take the higher number as your result. You'd then subtract 1 from it, because +1 and -2 yield a total of -1 when added together.
In general, for every four points that you beat the desired target number, you'll get an extra Success. Usually a single success is sufficient to succeed at a task; getting extra successes makes your result more impressive. Similarly, while you get a Failure if you fall short of the target number, for every 4 points that you fail by, you'll get stuck with an additional failure. The more failures you have as a result, the worse things will go for you.
A Botch is a special case. This indicates that your final, unmodified roll was low enough to indicate that something went wrong. When this happens, the results are shifted down a step (basically, you lose 1 success or acquire an extra failure). Botches normally only occur when your unmodified result is a 1. This is referred to as a "Natural One". It only occurs when every die rolled comes up as 1, since you use the highest roll as your result.
The Risk of a task determines on what results you get a botch. If your unmodified result is equal or lower than the risk, then you botched. The default risk for any task is 1, but it can go higher. It'll rarely go above 3, though.
As you can see, the more dice you have to roll, the less likely you are to botch. This means that adding more dice makes your test results more reliable, while adding larger dice makes them more impressive.