[More questions about the current mechanics, answered with explanations and snippets of new rules.]
Doubles are Trouble
Q. So “Doubles are Trouble”. Where is the corresponding good luck?
A. Here’s the design principle: Bad luck is random, good luck is player invoked.
Bad luck? Determined by the dice. While good luck is in the hands of the players, in the form of Action Points and Destiny Deck cards. (Rules for the deck aren’t finished, so this isn’t apparent.)
So the counterpart of a Disaster or Mishap is the Destiny Deck. The many cards of the Deck represent fortunate happenstance, such as finding an important clue, getting a hint to a mystery, or locating just the piece of equipment you needed. The players control when this happens (if they have the card).
One card, Lucky Break, deals explicitly with Disasters and Mishaps. The Aid portion of the Lucky Break card can cancel either a Disaster or a Mishap. The Injure half can inflict a Disaster or Mishap on an enemy, with a successful enough Combat Interaction skill check.
I think it’s better for players to be able to have control over when something lucky happens, it makes such events more useful in the game. “I needed it, and I got it!”
Disasters and Mishaps are random and capricious, and that fits their nature as well. They are, and should be, “Oh, crap!” moments that come out of the blue.
Thomas Stephens, one of the playtesters, suggested a “lucky failure” mechanic, where even if you failed, you got something out of it. I like this, in part because it happens in movies and novels and in part because it happens in real life. (Edison has a famous quote about it, Abraham Lincoln’s life evinces this, and so forth.)
To implement this, here is the Insightful Failure card.
Play this card on a Skill or Combat Challenge, and explain how a previous Failure gives your character an insight into this situation. Gain a +3 to the Total.
Play this card against any enemy who has attacked you (with Combat, Skill, or Power) and failed. They suffer a -3 penalty to this attack.
Q. Can you earn Action Points?
A. Yes, in three main ways. Troubles are Character Traits that represent potential problems for your Character. Addictions, enemies, dependents, anything that might cause complications during a session can be Trouble.
The GM can trigger Trouble whenever they feel it would be apt or interesting. When they do, the character gains an Action Point.
The Subplot card, from the Destiny Deck, offers adventure-specific Trouble. Perhaps your character has fallen for the wrong person, or the wrong person fell for you. Perhaps they’ve been mistaken for someone else. Or perhaps an enemy has fixated on them specifically. Whatever happens, it’s Trouble and you gain an Action point when the GM triggers the Subplot.
Last is the “Disastrous Failure” rule. Any time your character fails at a Challenge, the GM can trigger a Disaster. (They should do this when it’s interesting or would drive the action of a session forward.) You gain an Action Point for the Disaster.
As an example, suppose you’re working the street, trying to locate an enemy. A Failure means you come up dry. Roll Doubles and Fail, and a Disaster occurs — the enemy hears about your inquiries and comes looking for you. If the GM wishes, they can trigger such a Disaster, and give the player an Action Point for the Trouble about to descend.
(As development continues, this list might be expanded.)
[There are still unanswered questions, so look for FAQ Part IV in the near future.]