Before getting into the game mechanics, I want to take a second to explain this new concept in broad terms first. A character’s edge represents the character’s grit; it’s what’s inside. It is part determination, part experience, part personal drive. It is WHY the character needs to win. It is what got Rocky off the ropes and turned the fight around for him. It’s what George McFly pulled out to face down Biff. It can be driven by rage, love, or simply a NEED to survive the moment for something larger than mere survival. It can’t always be counted on, but when it appears, there is no doubt that it came from deep within the character.
Now, on to the mechanics. Edge is tracked in two ways. The primary way is simply the character’s Static Edge, which is simply the number of points the character gets to start with every day, assuming proper rest and health status. It is possible to have a zero here (many do), but most adventurer types will have Static Edge points. The second is the character’s Current Edge, which is how many actual points your character has RIGHT now, at this specific point in time. It can be higher or lower than the character’s Static Edge, depending on how the day is going.
Static Edge represents how many points of Edge that the character will start off with each day, assuming he or she has had normal sleep and is not ill or hung over. So, if you have a Static Edge of 6 then you wake up on Monday morning with 6 Edge (current) to get your day started. If you did a lot of drinking the night before, the DM may say you have two less this morning and instead wake with 4, or if you are down with a serious fever, the DM might say you don’t start out with ANY. The only way you get to start off with extra is if the DM says last night went unusually well for you, and even then, usually no more than a 1 or 2 point boost for the day.
Throughout the day, you your current Edge may go up or down, depending on what’s going on. Sometimes they are changes applied by the GM, but more often, they are the result of choices that you make, in the form of spending them in battle (their primary use). A GM might give you a point of Edge after hearing a particularly good pep talk, or lose one because you just found out your cat just got eaten by a troll. There are some mechanics that give specific rules, but often it’s as simple as the GM throwing adjustments at you based off of major events of the day (not minor ones – you shouldn’t lose Edge because someone hurt your feelings or gain them because someone told you a funny joke).
Once you go to sleep (not a nap, but that overnight stuff we used to get before having kids), your Current Edge resets to match your Static Edge, unless as mentioned above, you are sick or ill or the DM just likes to fuck with you.
Obviously there needs to be some details for raising both Static and Current Edge, so, here we go.
Gaining Static Edge
The primary way to gain Static Edge is as simple as paying 10 Marks to increase the number by one. Have a Static Edge 5, but want a 6? Fork out 10 Marks and it becomes a 6. Also, after major milestones, like defeating an entire plot line (think like an entire plot of a movie or a season of a TV show), GM’s should award Static Edge as well, but generally no more than a single point.
Gaining Current Edge
Picking up Edge during the day can happen for any number of reasons. A great speech by an inspiring leader might give all whose ambitions are shared (on the same side) a temporary boost for a few hours. Winning in battle gains Edge. Certain spells and potions might give Edge.
First Blood – Any time a combatant faces an enemy that is an actual threat, and successfully lands a hit (even if that enemy uses the Evasion defense, below), the attacker gets 1 Edge added to their Current Edge. ONLY ONCE PER ENEMY. If that enemy were facing more than one opponent (like, if your buddy is also attacking them), then this point of Edge is not gained, unless that enemy is more than a match for both of you, in which case the GM might award it to you. Basic rule of thumb: You only get this if it is either an even match, or you are on the weaker side of the fight. So, don’t expect to pick up a point of edge for smacking the shit out of a terrified goblin.
Victory – If the character defeats an enemy who is equal to or stronger than them (GM call), then a point of Edge is picked up for the victory, assuming the character did not share the victory with others. This means you can pick up two for facing the same enemy; once for First Blood, and again for winning. If a group of heroes takes down an enemy who the DM deems is equal to or stronger to the group as a whole, then a point might go to all of them (assuming all of them were helping in the fight).
Winning the Field – Any time the characters win a battle, the GM should award each of the players Edge. Part of this is the high from victory, part of it is simply pure adrenaline. If allies were lost, this number should be lower, or when the enemy wasn’t a particularly difficult foe. But a small party defeating a dragon might give all of them 4-5 Edge immediately following the battle, while 1-3 should be the normal for beating a bunch of orks or the like. All of this is, of course, up to the GM.
Leadership – Though I don’t have the details worked out, a good leader can inspire those who follow them and give them Edge (usually 1-4 MAX)
Rest – If a character gets some rest (heart rates back to normal, no major travel, not extra stresses), then the DM should award them 1-4 points of Edge, UP TO THEIR STATIC EDGE STAT. So, if you have an Static Edge 8, but because things are going your way today you currently have 10, then resting won’t give you any Edge, because you currently have more than your Static Edge. Also, this can only be done once per day.
Just as with gaining Edge, there are times you can lose Static Edge, and times you just lose Current Edge. In most cases, it’s the latter, as losing Static Edge is way less common.
Losing Static Edge
The number one reason a person loses Static Edge is losing a real fight. This obviously doesn’t mean being killed in combat (you lose all of you Static Edge if you are dead), but happens when you are knocked out of the fight (injured to the point you can’t fight, getting knocked out, or just forced to surrender). The GM generally makes this call, but just know it is coming if you just got your ass handed to you, EVEN if your party still wins the field. Often, an injury is bad enough that you need to be crazy lucky not to lose a limb or bleed out and die. GM’s should give players the option to spend an Edge (permanent lost from their Static Edge) after a really bad injury had been inflicted to wind up being one of those stories where the physician says, “Mrs. Battlegauntlet, your husband was extremely lucky, had the war axe struck just two inches to the left, he would have been a gonner.” Spending Static Edge like this obviously doesn’t mean the character is out of the woods, only that he or she got real lucky, and gangrene isn’t going to set in, there won’t be permanent nerve damage, etc. The cost for this, in Static Edge is generally 1 if the injury is in the Serious Category, and 3 for the Devastating Category (with DM approval). If the damage would have been even worse than Devastating (like if the damage increases two ranks, but was ALREADY devastating), then fuck your character. You get a stump or a gravestone, that’s about the limit of your luck today.
Spending Current Edge
Losing Current Edge isn’t a big deal, since it generally comes back tomorrow anyway. You can’t always count on Edge. In most cases, when a player declares the use of Edge, they will have to consult the Judge (a common d20 to the table). If the result is even, then a point of Edge may be spent, and the outcomes described below become the reality. If the result is odd, then you get to keep the Edge, but cannot spend it in this situation. If a roll of a 1 is scored, then the point of Edge is spent, but it doesn’t affect the outcome (you gambled, and lost). If a roll of a 20 is achieved, then the outcome is changed in the character’s favor, as described below, but you get to keep your point of Edge.
Additionally, Edge may only be spent in action scenarios (combat, sport, parkour, etc.), so don’t expect to use it for a spell research, diplomacy, etc., unless it is a “comes down to the wire,” stressful scenario (GM call).
Evasion – A character who is hit by an attack (sword, arrow, targeted spell, etc.) may declare the use of an Edge to barely escape the hit. Both the defender and the attacker knows that the attacker won the situation, and that luck and heart intervened, not defender skill, however. Though the Judge needs to decide if the Edge may be spent, there is an exception here. If the defender declared the use of TWO edge points, then no Judge roll is required. This option is limited strictly to Evasion situations.
There is a short window of opportunity to use Edge to avoid injury in combat. Right after it has been determined that the character has been struck, the DM will need to give that character the opportunity to use Edge to evade the attack. The same goes for the player, is he/she hits an opponent on the battlefield, in that they should give the DM the opportunity to let the enemy decide if they are going to use Edge. Once a decision has been made, then either the attack goes off normally or it has been miraculously avoided.
Focus – Assuming the Judge allows it, Edge may be used to add a full (LFD) die to a non-defensive skill roll (attack, ranged weapon, spell, etc.). It is not possible to simply use two edge for Focused actions, and that option is strictly limited to Evasion situations. As a reminder, no more than 3 (LFD) dice may be used for any (LFD) roll, regardless of the situation.
Combat Maneuvers – if the combatant has any Combat Maneuvers (see Merits), then they can attempt to use them on an opponent by spending an Edge (no Judge roll necessary), and then follow whatever rules are described with that particular maneuver.
Awareness – This one is BIG. Any time your character needs to wake up (from sleep, or just their routine) because something big is about to happen (assassin is about to open you up, someone is sneaking away from camp, etc)., then the player can attempt to alert their character by using an Edge. The Judge has to make the final call, however.
At the end of the character’s day, once sleep has found them, their Current Edge stat returns to the same value as their Static Edge. The new day can start lower, if the character is ill, or if some of the sleep was lost to them (camping, heavy watches, etc.).