Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Rolls, Target Numbers, and Raises
7th Sea uses strictly d10’s, but has a unique Roll & Keep system. When called upon to make a roll, the roll will always consist of Trait + Knack (for instance Wits + Parry). After rolling, you may keep dice equal to only the Trait used to make the roll. For example, Aiden has a Wits of 3 and a Parry of 4: He will roll 7 dice, keeping only 3 of them. This is denoted as 7k3. If you roll a 0, this counts as 10, and Explodes. You may roll the die again, adding 10 to the new roll. If it Explodes a second time, you may roll again and add 20, etc. For purposes of Keeping dice, this counts as a single die.
Every action that requires rolling is assigned a Target Number (TN) based upon its complexity or likelihood of success. In order for a roll to succeed, the total of the Kept Dice must equal or exceed the TN. Unlike many other systems, there is no mechanic for critical hits or critical failures. Every dice roll determines that something happens. If you succeed, it goes the way you planned, and if it doesn’t, something else happens that is dramatically appropriate. The only exception to this is missing in combat, which generally just results in a miss.
If you wish to make your action more awesome you may be assigned, or may voluntarily take, a Raise. Each Raise increases the TN of the action by 5, but also makes the result more significant. If you Raise a TN and fail to hit it, the roll counts as failure, even if your roll exceeds the original TN. If a circumstance offers you a Free Raise on your roll, this instead means that you may add 5 to your Kept Dice Total.
Certain circumstances impact dice rolling beyond Raises. If your character is Crippled, your dice cannot Explode except on Wound Checks and on Damage Rolls from firearms or other sources that are not body-dependent. Any 0’s rolled count as 0, not 10. If your character is rolling for a Knack s/he does not possess, the dice do not Explode and you must make an automatic Raise just to succeed. If your character possesses a Skill that includes the Knack you are rolling, but you do not have pips in the specific Knack, your dice still do not Explode, but you need not take the automatic Raise in order to succeed.