During the course of play, characters may run into a wide variety of situations beyond the scope of either the combat rules or the social encounter rules. In these situations, GMs may want to grant the players additional control over the narrative or simply throw the players out of their comfort zones. Skill games are Legend's answer to these situations, a form of non-combat encounter that uses character skill and player ingenuity as a means of resolving an array of archetypal conflicts. In a skill game, the characters in a party act as a unit, making skill checks and acquiring tokens to spend on a variety of options.
Skill games are divided into Bidding games and Option games. In Bidding games, parties spend tokens to bid for one of a variety of actions, and the party that makes the highest bid wins the bid and takes its action, possibly gaining other benefits based on the margin of its win. In Option games, involved parties simply spend tokens to buy their actions for a set price, which play out exactly as described.
Skill Game Basics
At the beginning of any skill game, the GM sets the skill game’s DC. We suggest this DC be equal to the party’s level + 15 to 20, though GMs should always consider the party’s individual abilities when setting this DC.
The skill game proceeds in [Action rounds]. At the beginning of each [Action round], each party collectively chooses a number of skills, listed as the Number of Skills Chosen per Action Round, from the skill game’s Skill List entry. After doing so, each character in each party in the skill game makes a skill check for each skill his or her party chose. Each party then compares the highest result from among its members’ checks for each chosen skill to the skill game’s DC. For each of these results that exceeds the skill game’s DC, the party is awarded a token for the skill game, which lasts until the end of the skill game or until the party uses it to pay tokens. Tokens can only be used in the Skill Game in which they are awarded (Tokens can also sometimes be awarded in other ways specific to each skill-game encounter).
Unless a skill game occurs over the duration of an [Encounter], [Scene], or [Quest], participants in the skill game may only take actions listed in that skill game’s action set. The conditions under which a skill game ends are determined by the individual skill game. Most of the time, you cannot simply walk away from a skill game as you could a social encounter.
Once tokens have been awarded, each party secretly chooses actions, and the [Action round] continues in one of two ways, as given below for the type of skill game. When secretly choosing actions, it is suggested that each party write down any of its actions and bid, if applicable. If the skill game includes parties controlled by both the GM and one or more players, it is suggested that the GM write down his or her actions and bid, if applicable, first, so that the players may consult openly with one another to determine their party's purchases and bids.
Skill Game Types
Each party secretly chooses an action from the skill game's action set and secretly bids any number of tokens for the skill game it possesses on that action (A party may bid zero tokens). Once all parties have bid tokens, all parties simultaneously reveal the number of tokens they bid, but not the actions they chose, and pays that number of tokens for its action. The party with the highest bid takes the action it chose. The action has the effect listed for the number of tokens by the bid was won, as given in its entry in the skill game's action set.
If two or more bids tie for the highest bid, each party whose bid tied for the highest bid wins the bid and takes the action it chose if and only if that action has an effect if the bid was won by 0 tokens. Those parties each make a d20 roll. Parties take their actions in descending order of results. If there are any ties, the tied parties reroll until there is no tie between them. The order of the original rolls is followed except when determining the order between tied parties. After all actions are taken, the [Action round] ends.
Each party secretly chooses a number of actions less than or equal to the skill game's maximum number of actions per [Action round] from the skill game's action set. The combined token costs of the chosen actions must be equal to or less than the number of tokens for the skill game the paty possesses (A party may choose zero actions). Once all parties have chosen their actions, if any, all parties simultaneously reveal their chosen actions. Each party then pays a number of tokens equal to the combined token costs of the actions it chose and takes the actions it chose. All actions are taken simultaneously. After all actions are taken, the [Action round] ends.