Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Rules

The Rules
52 requires one deck of cards for 3 players and an additional deck for every 2 additional players. In a LARP game, each player may carry their own deck, use a Dealer provided deck, or use the deck of a nearby player that is not involved in the challenge.

Initiative is determined first in an opposed test. Each player places a card face down and turns them over simultaneously. Initiative goes in the order of the highest total Initiative skill plus card played.

On a player's turn they may initiate an opposed challenge against an opponent. The attacker chooses the relevant skill and plays a card face down. The defender then does the same with the relevant defense skill. The players then reveal their cards and announce their totals. If the attacker has the higher total the attack is a hit and the attacker must play a damage card, which is subtracted from the target's relevant health level. If the the defender has the higher total the attack fails and has no effect.

Static Tests: Skill test made against inanimate objects and background characters are called static tests. These test are made against a number set by the Dealer based on the difficulty of the test. The player plays a card from their hand and adds their skill rating. If the total is higher than the target number , the character succeeds at the test. The character's degree of success or failure can influence a Dealer's interpretation of the results.


 On a character's turn they may both move and perform an action, typically the use of a skill. Some skills: Athletics, Acrobatics and Stealth, may be performed while moving at at no penalty and do not count against this limit.

Some skills are used as a reaction to oppose other skills, and don't use any actions. 

Some abilities grant immediate actions, which is a standard action granted out of turn in addition to the player's normal actions. 

Out of combat actions
can also be measured in scenes or calendar actions. Scene actions typically take from 15 minutes to an entire night in game time depending on the circumstances and calendar actions take more than one day.

Opposed tests: At the beginning of any opposed test each Player draws a hand of 5 cards. The Dealer draws a hand of 5 for the first NPC involved in the combat, an additional 2 for each NPC beyond the first. Players must use every card in their hand before drawing a new one. If a player runs out of card in the middle of their action they must flip over the top card of the deck and use it for the test.

Face Cards and Tests: When a Player uses a face card in test it counts as 10. However, if the face card is used for an on-suit skill or the player is using a skill ability in which they have specialized they also have the opportunity to gain an immediate action. If the player both plays a higher suitable card than his opponent and wins the test, they may make an immediate action.

Critical Success: An on-suit Ace played in a test is always considered an automatic success. Any Ace played in a skill test in which the character has specialized is also considered an automatic success, but is trumped if the opposing player uses the on-suit Ace. DM interpretation of the results of critical successes is encouraged in subjective situations. 

Health and Damage
Players have both a physical and mental health rating. Every player starts with 13 Health levels in both categories. There is no penalty to losing the first 4 health levels, but each subsequent one gives the player a cumulative -1 on all tests of the corresponding type. Losing all physical health levels renders the player unconscious. Losing all mental health levels has different results depending on the test that reduced them. For instance, losing all mental health levels in a deception test means that the target completely believes the attacker.

Health is generally regained at the end of an encounter, however many weapons and special attacks have the ability to do persistent health damage, which lasts until the character takes an extended rest.

At the end of each session the Dealer draws at least one card for each player involved and distributes them as he sees fit, though always at least one to a player. Numeric cards are assigned to on-suit skills normally, but face cards assigned to players made either be used to specialize in an on-suit skill, buy a Special Ability of the same as the card, or buy two special abilities of the next lower face card (I.e one King can buy 2 Queen abilities). Aces may be used to buy any special ability, specialize in any skill or as 10 on-suit skill points. 


Distance is a bit nebulous in 52. Close range is how far a character can move with a single move action (about 10ft.). Medium range goes from about 20 to 100 feet, and long range is above that. Distance is really only relevant when dealing with long-range weaponry. 

Chase scenes don't use a measurement of distance however, but are measured in the number of rounds apart the participants are

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