5.1 Doom Pool

The Doom Pool is the flip side of Plot Points. Players have plot points. The GM has the Doom Pool. The Doom Pool isn't a set of points, however. Instead, the Doom Pool is a group of dice the GM uses to enhance the actions and reactions of NPCs. The Doom Pool also represents the general difficulty level of a scenario and is used to oppose player actions that are not made against a
specific character.

EXAMPLE: The Doom Pool currently stands at 2d8,3d10. Black Widow is trying to pick the lock on a door. She assembles her dice pool - Solo (D10), Russian Superspy Distinction (D8), Enhanced Reflexes power (D8), Covert Master (D10). She rolls d10: 5, d8: 7, d8: 3, d10: 8. She uses d10: 8 and d8: 7 for her TOTAL (15) and the other d10 as her EFFECT. Meanwhile the GM rolls the Doom Pool (2d8,3d10) and gets d8: 4, d8: 2, d10: 5, d10: 9, d10: 7. The GM uses the d10: 9 and d10: 7 for a TOTAL (16) and the remaining d10 as the EFFECT. 16 is higher than 15 and Black Widow fails to pick the lock.

The Doom Pool starts at 2d6 for low level Events, 2d8 for moderate Events, and 2d10 for serious Events. The Doom Pool grows as players roll 1s and the GM activates them as Opportunities. When an Opportunity is activated, the GM can either add a new d6 to the Doom Pool or step up an existing die. Some SFX can also increase the Doom Pool.

The Doom Pool can be used in the following ways.

Before a roll:

  • A die from the Doom Pool can be moved from the Doom Pool directly into an NPCs dice pool to provide extra dice for a roll.
  • A Doom Pool die can be used to activate certain NPC SFX.

After a roll:

  • An extra die from an NPC's roll can be added to the NPC's TOTAL. The die added has to be equal to or smaller than the Doom Pool die being spent.
  • An extra EFFECT die can be added from the NPC's roll. The EFFECT die has to be equal to or smaller than the Doom Pool die being spent.
  • A Doom Pool die can be used to activate certain NPC SFX.
  • If the NPCs reaction TOTAL is higher than the an attacker's action TOTAL, the GM may spend a D6 or larger from the Doom Pool in order to use the NPC's reaction EFFECT die to inflict Stress or a Complication on the attacker.

At any point during a scene:

  • Spend a D8, D10, or D12 from the Doom Pool to create a Scene Distinction. For example, 'Burning Hallway' or 'Panicked Crowd' or 'Gas Leak'.
  • Interupt initiative.
  • Split up the Heroes. If the GM forces an action which splits up the heroes (such as collapsing a floor or sliding down a barrier or teleporting someone out of the scene) a Doom Pool die must be spent. The die must be equal to or greater than the highest Affiliation die currently being used by the heroes.
  • Activate a Scene/Event Effect. Certain scenes or events may have preplanned effects that require a Doom Pool die to activate. For example, the GM may spend a Doom Pool die to bring in additional enemies. Or the GM may need certain circumstances in the Doom Pool to activate a time bomb (the bomb goesoff if the Doom Pool grows to include 3d10 for example).
  • Turn a Scene Distinction into a Scene Complication. The GM can spend a d10or d12 to turn a Scene Distinction into a Scene Complication that works against multiple characters in the room.
  • End the Scene. If the Doom Pool grows large enough to include 2d12, the GMhas the option of ending the scene immediately and narrating the details of what happens.
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