5MORE System: lightweight task resolution in AFG – Adventure Fantasy Game

Adventure Fantasy Game (it’s out! buy it here!) is built around a task resolution system called 5MORE. 5MORE is based on the Art of Delving by David ‘Sham’ Bowman, used with his permission.  I totally took his baby and mistreated it for more than a year of playtesting and tweaking.

5MORE starts simple and doesn’t ask much.

First, describe what you’re doing. 5MORE shall not completely replace deliberate intention with a roll.

Then, roll a d6: is the result 5 or MORE? Success! Is it 1? Abject and utter failure!

There might be modifiers, of course. Kept low both in amounts and number because beancounting is not that fun.

Is the task hard or easy? Add or subtract 1.

Is the approach particularly valid or ineffective? Add or subtract 1.

Is your character generally good or bad at this kind of things (high or low strenght for example)? Add or subtract 1.

Do you have good tools, or have bad ones? Add or subtract 1.

Trying to hit heavy or light armour? Add or subtract 1. *

You might start to notice a pattern here.

By the way, have you succeeded with a natural 5 or 6? Roll again with no modifier. If you hit 5MORE again, mark the first letter from the word EXPERT next to the task name on your character sheet. If you were climbing, write “Climbing”. If you were sneaking about, write “Sneak”. If it’s ambiguous, the Referee will get your task a name.

And of course when you accumulate all the EXPERT letters for a task you become EXPERT at it, getting +1 on that task rolls. After you’re an expert in 6 tasks, pick one of them, erase the word EXPERT and write MASTER (how convenient, MASTER has six letters too). That means +2 to that task rolls. And you can’t be MASTER in more than a task.

While the handbook presents a list of Tasks and related modifiers, it’s only an optional crutch: using 5MORE characters start with no skills lists and tasks are made up on the fly. 5MORE and Impromptu Skills are the spine that keep Adventure Fantasy Game together.

My favourite example was when Max’s young knight was running, in plate armour, in forest undergrowth, on a mountain side, trying to place as much distance as possible between himself and Wulf’s bandits, and succeeded both rolls. To underline the semiserious nature of the game and the not-exactly-brave behaviour, the task was named “FLEEEE!!!!”.

While I had plans to use my other task-resolution system, 5MORE works much better. It’s dead simple to run and teach, the probabilities do not get all not wonky in extreme scenarios [**], abilities improve with practice and, most importantly, players like it.

[*]:  Yes, it does combat too; 5MAIL is a combat system that uses 5MORE and you can find it in AFG (together with FIGHTMORE, the advanced and otherwise unrelated combat system).

[**]: There are other small rules covering corner cases but they got used very rarely.