Chapter 6 – Search Phase
In the Search Phase, the characters leave Camp, head into the <Field>, move between <Checkpoints>, overcome Hazards and perform Searches.
The Search Phase has a Cycle Limit which was decided during the Prologue. Once the limited number of Cycles is up, this Phase ends. The players need to clear all <Checkpoints> and arrive at the location of the <Boss> before the Cycle Limit is up.
Each Cycle of the Search Phase follows the flow of: Movement > Area Description > Resolution of Actions. Normally, each Cycle of the Search Phase should represent 1 day of in-game time. The GM may freely change the in-game length of each Cycle to suit the needs of their game.
Movement happens between adjacent <Checkpoints>. However, players cannot move to <Checkpoints> that are blocked off by an un-cleared Hazard.
Random encounters may happen during movement. Each time the party moves, the GM should roll on Random Encounter Table A.
During times when a Cycle begins and the party cannot move to the next <Checkpoint> due to an un-cleared Hazard, the party may pass on taking their movement action. In these cases, there will not be random encounters.
Setting the Scene
After movement, the GM will describe the <Checkpoints>. <Checkpoints> are geographical features or structures that the adventurers visit in the <Field>. These may be places where the adventurers go because they are led there by paths, or perhaps because they are the only places where certain dangers can be avoided. There are various reasons that can be used to justify adventurers needing to visit these locations. Once the adventurers have arrived at a <Checkpoint>, the GM will describe what kind of location it is as well as what objects or living things are there.
There may be situations where combat ensues against the animals living in the area. There may also be times when merchants or other adventurers are in the area that can be bartered with.
After the GM has concluded their description and combat or bartering have ended, the players will take turns executing their Actions for that Cycle.
Each character should choose 1 of the following Actions and resolve it.
Clear a Hazard
Attempt to clear a Hazard.
Search for and obtain items
Rest to recover [Stamina].
Utilize Assist-type Abilities or Assist-type items. Also, take Actions that are treated as Assist Actions.
Interact with Objects
Perform some action with an Object at the <Checkpoint>. Objects may be trees, buildings or any other set piece that the GM has specifically identified as an Object.
Take no Action.
- Clear a Hazard
The GM is free to place any number of Hazards on the path leading from one <Checkpoint> to another. Clearing a Hazard will require the player to succeed in a specific Specialty check. The GM may use more than one of the same Hazard. A single Hazard may also be used to block 2 different paths.
By succeeding in an indicated Specialty check, the players can clear 1 Hazard. This is known as a Clear check.
Until all Hazards blocking the path to a <Checkpoint> are cleared, the characters cannot move to that <Checkpoint>. Once all Hazards are cleared on a path, the GM should provide a simple description of the next <Checkpoint> on that path. Also, if the cleared path leads to the location where the <Boss> is, the GM should tell the players this.
Altering the Specialty
The players may propose alternative Specialties that could be used to clear the Hazard. If the GM is satisfied with the player’s explanation, the Specialty for the Clear check can be changed.
Roll 2D6 on the Search Table.
Roll 2D6 on the Rest Table.
- Use an Ability
Utilize an Assist-type item or Ability.
- Interact with Objects
Perform actions with Objects at the <Checkpoint>, such as investigating them or talking to them. If a check is needed, the GM will identify a Specialty to make the check against, which will determine the outcome of the Action.
Example 1: Barter with a merchant.
Example 2: Gather fruit from a fruit tree. If the player succeeds at a check against the Grab Specialty, they obtain some fruit (2J).
Take no Action.
There is a Limit to the number of Cycles in the Search Phase. This represents physical limits to the ability of the adventurers to continue searching based on things like their food and water supply. If the adventurers do not clear all Hazards blocking their path to the <Boss>, they fail that Session.
The standard number of Cycles in the Limit is the number of <Checkpoints> in the <Field> + 1. The GM should feel free to adjust the Limit based on things like the number of characters or the number of Hazards in the <Field>.
Increasing the Limit
The GM may add Objects to <Checkpoints> such as sources of water or shelter that can be designated as ‘Limit-Increasing Objects’. While at a <Checkpoint> with one of these Objects, if the players consume 1 food item per character, and if 1 character makes a successful check against the Rest Ability, the Limit for that Search Phase will increase by 1.
When making a check to increase the Limit, the check result will receive -X where X is the number of times the players have attempted to increase the Limit that Phase. The first time they attempt to increase the Limit it will have no penalty, then the 2nd time it will be -1, the 3rd -2, etc.
Making a check to increase the Limit is an Interrupt-type Action that can be attempted 1 time per Cycle by any character. This check does not count as that character’s Action for the Cycle.