Test of Wills

Sample specializations: None

Test of wills, often shortened to just test, is used to unbalance an opponent by pitting their confidence against the tester’s confidence and resolve. A successful test causes the opponent to doubt that his own determination or that his control of a situation is equal to that of the testing character. Two drivers playing a game of “chicken”, for example, are engaged in a test, In westerns, a gunfight always begins with the two gunslingers staring each other down, trying to take each other’s measure. This is an example of test being used in a combat situation, each gunslinger showing his resolve to see things through and confidence in his own ability to draw and shoot first. Test is not the same as intimidation though sometimes the line between the two is blurry. Intimidation is more often based on an overt physical threat, such as pointing a weapon at someone, or a display of violent emotion. Test is subtler, the character implying or creating an impression of being the one who is calling the shots. Test is the defensive skill used against test, though in some situations the willpower may be used to defend against test. Willpower cannot be used to perform a test though; characters without the test skill must use their Mind attribute. The exact results of a test attempt are determined by using the Interaction Results Table found in Chapter Four. When a character attempts to test someone, the player should specify to the gamemaster the effect she wants it to have on her character’s opponent before rolling the die. This is known as the player’s call and lets the gamemaster better judge the results of the trick. The gamemaster, in relation to circumstance and believability as well as the player’s roleplaying ability, should modify test skill totals. If the character appears calm, cool and unruffled before and during the test attempt, she should get a bonus to her skill total. If the character is nervous, panicky and obviously not in control of a situation then a penalty should be applied.