DayOne Rules

By A. A. Wolfner (Alan Vekich and Art Kessner)

© 1999 to 2007


Most of the terms are taken from the movies or the theater because to miss-quote Shakespeare "The whole supervise is a stage and we are just mere players in it."


The rules are divided into three parts: development of a player’s persona, Rules of Play and Description of the Props & optional rules.


The Players


1.0 All objects that a Player can interact with are called entities. All personae are entities, but not all entities are persona. The Player’s character in the game is generally referred to as a Persona.


1.1 A Persona is a personalized ideal "Embodiment" created by the player in order to enter the DayOnes Superverse. Each player controls all the various required Decisions, Movements, Interactions, Actions and Reactions of his/her persona, within the constraints set forth by the Director and by these Rules.


1.2 The player is assisted by information about Entities, Items, and Skills described within various props.


1.3 The Director is a player who has accepted responsibility for controlling the operation of the gaming session. The players can give the Director or Directors total control of all aspects of the game, or they may limit the scope of the Directors’ decision-making powers so that the Director is only a referee or judge. There may be more than one Director for a gaming session, although this is usually unnecessary for enjoyable play.


1.4 By definition, a Director has access to more information than most players do. However, the Director is not necessarily omniscient or omnipotent. The Director is assisted by information regarding Scenarios, Indigenous Personae, History, and other secrets contained within the available Director’s notes, scripts, and other props.


1.5 The embodiment, or nature, of the persona is described, defined, and developed through its Persona Traits. Each (new) player who wants to create a new persona needs to perform the following steps:


1.6 The player will fill out the Persona’s Entity Card by choosing a name, selecting a height and weigh along with sex, etc. The name, height, etc. should be consistent with the culture intended by the Scenario, and therefore Director might want to modify the choice.

Note: The Director should not exercise a veto over any basic descriptive item unless absolutely necessary for the integrity of the game.

In addition, players must declare any Inborn Skills and/or Talent before the game starts.

The Players and game play drive the History of the Superverse and therefore any history of game play submitted to DayOne should have descriptive items that define the persona so that they would not embarrass your mother.

1.7 All personae start out as human. The player can modify the human species into other species by describing a new species such as calling the persona a dwarf, Elf or centaur or player can give the persona special body parts or skill (called inborn) that physically modify the person.

An inborn skill can be the ability to fly and special body part (item) is a pair of wings. This would modify the human species into a human species that can fly and player can rename the species.

1.8 Each Persona has six (6) Persona Traits, which, taken together, identify the person’s ability to exercise Skills. The six (6) Persona Traits are Physical, Intellectual, Somatic, Aesthetic, Ethos, and Illicitness. Under each these Persona Traits, the player can create Aptitudes that holds a Skill. All new persona start with one aptitude skill holder under each trait. If the player wants to add more aptitudes, it will cost the player three embodiment points for each new aptitude. Each persona’s trait can have up to 36 aptitudes under it.


1.8.1 Under the persona Physical Trait, the Player can create an aptitude for skills relating to the body, as distinguished from the mind or spirit. These aptitudes hold the Physical Skills. They usually involve vigorous bodily activities, including those related to battle, sport, and power.

Examples of Skills that are related to Physical Persona Traits include Jumping, Long Sword Usage, or club Usage.

1.8.2 Under the persona Intellectual Trait, the Player can create an aptitude for skills relating to the mind, as distinguished from the body. These aptitudes hold the Intellectual Skills. They usually involve mental activity or energy including skills related to mental control of matter, floes and forces.

Examples of skills related to Intellectual Persona Traits include Telekinesis, ESP or Fire Generation.

1.8.3 Under the persona Somatic Trait, the Player can create an aptitude for skills involving the control of the internal physical and chemical processes that are necessary for the maintenance of life. These aptitudes hold the Somatic Skills. They involve modification or control of a specific agent within the living body, such as a poison, disease, or nutrient. This might be accomplished through biological means or by using arcane knowledge of the lore of the biosphere. For personae, Somatic Units are used to determine health after lapsing into unconsciousness.

Examples of Skills related to Somatic Persona Traits include Meditation, Healing, or Poisoning.

1.8.4 Under the persona Aesthetic Trait, the Player can create an aptitude for skills relating to a response to the external nature and expression of beauty, as in the fine arts, heightened perception of beauty, good taste, ugliness, bad taste or any Marshall Arts. These aptitudes hold the Aesthetic Skills. They can involve outward appearance, style of behavior, or abilities related to assessing value or worthiness.

Examples of Skills that are related to Aesthetic Persona Traits include Charm, Singing, Disguises or Marshall Arts.

1.8.5 Under the persona Ethos Trait, the Player can create an aptitude for skills relating to the disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific persona, culture, or philosophy.

Examples of skills related to Ethos Persona Traits include Glibness, Charm, or Hiding.

1.8.6 Under the persona Illicitness Trait, the Player can create an aptitude for skills not normally sanctioned by the persona’s ethos or tribal law. This could even include telling the truth or carrying a weapon, if the cultural philosophy were to forbid it.

Note: There is a constant battle between Ethos and Illicitness in one’s persona. On one hand a person wants to fit into his/hers social group and follow the rules and traditions while all the time the persona illicitness wants to become an unique individual and broke or modify those same rules.

Examples of Skills that are related to Illicitness Persona Traits include Picking Pockets, Hiding, Lock Picking, or Gambling.

1.9 When a player creates a new persona, he/she starts with 18 Embodiment Points and during the game, the persona can earn more Embodiment Points and Player can use these Embodiment Points to obtain more aptitudes for skills, to learn new Skills or to increase the acquired skills ability by increasing skill’s Grade and the Persona Rank.


1.10 The Persona has six Resistance Factors to attack. The six Persona’s Traits are the six Resistance Factors to attack. The Resistance Factor is equal to the number of aptitudes that is under the Persona Trait. The Player can increase the Persona Resistance by adding more aptitudes to hold skills. The aptitude does not have to have a skill in it to give the persona resistance.

Example: The Persona starts with one aptitude per Persona’s Trait and therefore each Persona Trait has one Resistance Factor. If the Player adds one aptitude to the Physical Persona’s Trait, the Physical Persona’s Trait for that persona would be two Resistance Factors and rest of five Persona Traits will be one Resistance Factor.

1.11 The Resistance Factors contributes to the overall Robustness of the persona, protecting it from impairment as it pursues its goals and continues to accumulate more Embodiment Points.

Example: A new persona Robustness is six to start with or one Robustness Factor from each of the six Persona’s Traits. If the player adds another aptitude to Physical Persona Trait the persona would have a Robustness Factor of seven.

1.12 Robustness is an entity’s life force or essence. For a player’s persona and only for a player’s persona, the Robustness is the ability to remain conscious. An unconscious persona will die, if the persona gains enough impairment points to be greater than the number of Somatic Trait’s aptitudes.


1.13 A Player can at any time except during an interaction add to the persona robustness by exchanging two embodiment points for one Robustness Factor.

Note: There is no limit to the Robustness Factors, tracked on the Persona Card that the persona can earn over time.

1.14 Impairment represents damage sustained by an entity because of Actions or Reactions. The entity’s Card is used to track Impairment by reducing the amount of Robustness.


Entities that are not a persona are destroyed as soon as

Robustness = zero

Whereas a persona becomes unconscious under this condition, and is not destroyed until

Impairment greater that Persona’s Somatic Aptitudes

Note: There are no two areas on the Entity Card to record Robustness and Impairment. There is only Robustness and Robustness will go up and down depending on what the player does.

1.15 A person can reduce Impairment effects by increasing the Robustness one factor per day through rest, but the increase in Robustness cannot excess the number of aptitudes that the Entity has.

Note: It is the Director job to declare how many days have past without any interactions so that Natural Healing Endowment can work. The Director can roll a dice to determine this.

This ability is a universal Endowment called "Natural Healing".

1.16 A persona does become incapacitated (unconscious, but still alive) when Robustness equals zero and while unconscious, the persona cannot do anything for itself, including the one-point-per-day Natural Healing.


1.17 When the persona is unconscious, it adds one Impairment Point per day until the number of Impairment Points is greater than number of Somatic aptitudes. Upon reaching more Impairment Points than Somatic Aptitudes, the persona passes from its current state of existence. In most parts of the Superverse, this means death; the player must adopt a new persona to regain embodiment in the Superverse.

Note: It is the Director job to declare how many days have past without any interactions to save the unconscious Persona. The Director can roll a dice to determine this. Warning to the Director – It is not your job to kill off Player’s Persona, the Players will find unique way of doing that. So be generous to the Personae.


1.18 If, for any reason, an unconscious persona’s Robustness is greater than zero, the persona regains consciousness and can begin to benefit from the Natural Healing endowment.

Example: Another Persona uses a healing skill to heal the unconscious by adding Robustness factor to Unconscious Persona.

1.19 This is the basic information needed to create an entity card for a Player’s Persona. The next set of rules is meant for the Director so that he/she can create cast members for Player’s to interact with. However, the player should be familiar with the rules, too.


2.0 The other cast members:


2.1 Each entity is represented by an Entity Card, just like the Persona Entity Card. Details may be added to the information on the Cards as the game progresses. There may typically be more information tracked on a persona’s Entity Cards than on an Indigenous Person’s Entity Card. Supporting Cast Entity Card indicates only the most important details. Chorus members are usually represented collectively on a single Entity Card for the particular species or group.


2.2 The existence of an Indigenous Persona (IP) is not dependent upon an individual Player. An IP is an entity that lives in the DayOne game world. New entities can be created at any time, within the constraints of the Rules, logic, and common sense. The new entity may optionally be introduced without reliance upon information from the scenario or props, as long as the Director(s) approves(s).


2.3 Indigenous Personae exist only within the game. The Director describes their interactions to the other players.


2.4 The Director(s) must approve any creation or inclusion of an IP. An IP once in the game will continue to exist unless specifically destroyed by circumstances within the game. Their participation in decisions, events, or Interactions can be very important to the outcome of a scenario.


2.5 An IP is described using the same attributes and Traits as a Player’s persona. They might enter the game at any stage in their careers, from an untrained youth to a mature Professional and beyond.


2.6 There is a sub-set of the IP and they are the Hidden Personae. A persona can enter the game at any time, but only events within the DayOne Superverse can destroy a persona, even if the original player has left the game. An absent player’s persona becomes a Hidden Persona. A Hidden Persona remains part of the reality of the Superverse without participating in decisions, events, or interactions.


2.7 A returning player may ‘reactivate’ his/hers Hidden Persona, taking on its current Traits and possessions, with the implied consent of the Director.


2.8 A new player may ‘reactivate’ a Hidden Persona, taking on its current traits and possessions, with the implied consent of the original owner (if possible) or the player can take on traits and possessions of an IP, with the implied consent of the Director(s) or modify a Hidden Persona or IP, or just create a new Persona.


Note: A Persona, once created, becomes a permanent part of the DayOne Superverse history.


3.0 Species – Definition of Species


3.0 Species are defined by the number and type of Inborn Skills the player and/or Director has assigned to the entity (for the player, a persons), the Endowments available to the Species, and by modifiers affecting the persona’s ability to earn new Persona Aptitudes, in addition to descriptive information.


3.1 The player and/or Director may choose a unique combination of Inborn Skills for his/her entity, and thereby create a new Species. However, a persona may not subsequently change its Species unless circumstances within the game (such as genetic mutations) allow this to happen.


3.2 Selection of Species – As the game evolves, there will be many Species choices available. The Species will be the creation of other players and/or Directors, or be defined in particular scenarios. A player can accept an existing Species or create a new Species, if the Director agrees.


3.3 Once a person is assigned a Species, all attributes of that Species must be incurred, and may not be modified except through events within the game world.


3.4 The concept of Species applies to all animate entities, including such things as wolves, horses, trees, ghosts, Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthal, whether or not the entity is a persona. If the Director introduces a species, it is an IP, cast member or just part of the choir in the game.

Note: It is possible that IP can act like a Player’s Persona in the game. The Director plays most of the IP and they can be servant, guides or parents that were left behind. Or a player could run them and they can be his/hers servants or trained dogs or monkeys, etc.

4.0 These are the basic rules for creating an entity. The next set of cards is the profession cards. All personae will have at least one profession card and can have as many as six separate professions in the game. IP at lest one professional card and can have up to six too. The cast members and choir might have one profession card but most likely have only few selected skills.


4.1 The Profession Cards indicate which skills, and which types of skills have been assigned to the various Traits, in accordance with available aptitudes. Use as many Profession Cards as necessary to define the entity. The entity’s Profession Cards are used to track progress of the entity overall Professional Rank.


4.2 Each Profession Card indicates which skills are included in the entity’s Profession. A Profession can have six skills in each Trait for a total of 36 Skills. However, most Profession has between fifteen to eighteen skills associated with it.


4.3 A profession is defined as a selection of specific, related skills. These skills are not necessarily from the same Persona Trait, but complement each other in the development of the Profession. Only personae with one or more Professions can advance in Rank. This in important because Effectiveness Rolls are greatly enhanced at higher Ranks, as describe below.


4.4 The specific skills required for any Profession can be defined either by the player (with approval of the Director), by the Director, or by choosing a preexisting Profession Card.

There are pre-made profession cards that player can use to get start also as the game process some players might want to submit there Persona with a history for the other players use. Some of the general professions are warrior, healer, merchant and thief.

4.5 Any skill can be used in more than on Profession and for some Professions a modified version of an existing skill may be necessary.

Example: Assume that a persona with the Profession, "Woodsman", has a Specialty Skill of "Climbing" that has an ER defined in terms of distance climbed on a tree. If the same persona also wants to develop a second Profession, "Mountain Man", it may be necessary to create a new skill of "Climbing" where the ER is given in turns of distances climbed on various types of terrain.

4.6 Professional Rank indicates a person’s Professional status in the DayOne society. The six Ranks are Commoner, Novice, Apprentice, Veteran, Master, and Grand Master. The Director may wish to change the terminology if the situation or scenario makes this appropriate.


4.7 Every skill can be treated as a Profession at Rank zero. Thus, each persona enters the DayOne Superverse at Rank zero (0), or Commoner, in all Professions that have one or more skills A persona may advance in as many Professions as it is able.


4.8 To advance in Rank, a persona must achieve the appropriate Grades and Skill Levels. The advancement of Rank is voluntary. A person can postpone advancement. However, the right to advancement is not automatic. The Director must approve it.


4.9 The prerequisites needed to advance in Rank include a minimum number of skills per Rank, some of which must be a Grade 5. In addition, some of the skills must be linked to higher Levels. There are other important requirements as summarized in Table 1.


4.10 When the Director grants approval to a persona to advance in Rank for a Profession, skills in that Profession at Grade two (2) or higher is reset to Grade one (1).


4.11 If a given skill is involved in more than one Profession, the Grade is immediately reset to 1 for all Professions as soon as at least one of the Professions advances in Rank.


4.12 A Profession may have fewer than 5 Ranks.

Example, a Profession has only eleven (11) skills associated with it and therefore the persona can only achieve Rank four (4), and there are no Grand Masters in the particular Profession.

4.13 The benefits of rank determine the number of acquired skills that the persona can use within one frame (see section on Interactions). Professional Rank also determines the number of dice used during each Effectiveness Roll.


4.14 Within a given frame, a Rank 0 Professional (Commoner) can use any one (1) skill recorded on the Entity Card.

Remember that the number of skills available in each Trait is equal to the number of Aptitude Slots that the entity has earned in that Trait.

4.15 An entity with Professional Rank 1 (Novice) can simultaneously (i.e., within one frame) use any one (1) skill plus one (1) additional skill from that Profession per frame.


4.16 A Rank 2 Apprentice can use any one skill that the persona has plus two (2) additional skills form the Rank 2 Profession per frame. Similarly, a Rank 3 Veteran may use four (4) skills simultaneously. A Rank 4 Master may use five (5) skills and a Rank 5 Grand Master may use six (6). In all cases, the skills must be from that Profession.


4.17 A multi-professional persona may not use skills from more than one Profession in a given frame. If the exact same skill belongs to more than one Profession, that skill is treated as if it were part of the Profession chosen for that frame.


4.18 Professional Rank also determines the number of dice used during any Effectiveness rolls (see section on Interactions).


5.0 The Skill Cards that make up the Profession.


5.1 A skill card or its equivalent contains essential information about a specific Skill. This includes information about items or Teachers needed to exercise the skill, bonuses or penalties associated with it, etc.


5.2 A Director can create a new Skill Card at any time. The player can create a new skill with the approval of the Director, and should be encouraged to do so. The existence of a new skill does not, however, ensure that it will be available or practical in the current scenario.


5.3 If modifications are desired, a new Skill Card must be created. Once used, Skill Cards cannot be destroyed by decisions or declarations made outside of the game world. The original skill might still be used by other players or in other gaming sessions.


5.4 It is not required to use all known skills; availability is at the discretion of the Director. The persona does not have to use all available specialties, Inborn Skills Endowments, or even it’s Talent; it is up to the player to decide. The persona does not need to use a new Aptitude immediately when adding to a Persona Trait. It can be assigned a skill at a later date, particularly if an item or Teacher required for best use of the skill not yet available. The cost of acquiring a new skill is one Embodiment Point.


5.5 The Player has the following Skill Types to choose from:

Specialty Skills Focus Skills Inborn Skills

Talents Endowments Linked Levels


5.6 A specialty Skill is a learned skill reflecting the Persona’s interest and knowledge regarding a specific activity. A Specialty Skill can be acquired, but proficiency at that skill must be learned and developed through practice and/or instruction.

Example of a Physical Trait Specialty Skill is "Long Sword Usage". When a persona first acquires this skill, it has the ability to pick up a long sword, handle the weapon, and use it well enough to not cause itself bodily harm.

5.7 Specialty Skills follow the general rules pertaining to all skills, except where stated. Each additional Specialty Skill requires one (1) Available Aptitude in order to be expressed. Record the knowledge of the skill, indicating and track the skill’s progress on the Cards.


5.8 Inborn Skills (Species related skills) are inherited as part of the genetic makeup of a Species.

Example of an Inborn Skill is the skill to see in the infrared. A person that has "Infrared Vision" sees different degrees of heat, i.e., the persona can see warm-bodied entities that radiate heat distinguishable from the surrounding environment.

5.9 Inborn Skills follow the general rules pertaining to all skills, except where stated. They require several aptitudes to be expressed, as described below.


5.10 Most Inborn Skills cannot be developed to higher Grade. However, they can be included in a Profession, so that their effectiveness increases as Professional Rank increase, in accordance with the general rules pertaining to Rank.


5.11 The first Inborn Skill that is selected for a particular Persona Trait uses one (1) aptitude in that Trait. The Second Inborn Skill in that that Trait requires two (2) Aptitudes. The third needs three (3) aptitudes, and the fourth needs four 4 Aptitudes, etc.


5.12 Inborn Skills are recorded on the Entity’s Trait Card at the time the Entity is created, without yet having the required number of aptitudes in that Trait. However, as they become available through earned Persona Units, the aptitudes must applied to all Inborn Skills in that Trait before attempting to learn new skills in the Trait.


5.13 Inborn Skills may require appropriate materials or situations to be useful. Otherwise, they are acquired fully developed and no further learning is needed to use them to their full potential. There are occasional exceptions to this as indicated on the appropriate Skill Cards.


5.14 Inborn Skills occupy the indicated Aptitudes even if they are not utilized at all. Once a Species is defined, its associated Inborn Skills cannot be amended or deleted.


5.15. Focus Skill – A persona becomes focused when 1/3 or more of the total available Aptitudes are assigned to one Trait. A Focused persona immediately gains

[1 + Rank/2]

Focus Skills in addition to the skills permitted by any existing aptitudes. When the ratio drops below 0.333, the Focus Skills are lost immediately, and are treated as Abandoned Skills.


5.16 Focus Skills follow the general rules pertaining to skills, except where stated. Each Focus Skill is associated with an added ‘Free’ aptitude.


5.17 Focus Skills are described on their respective Skill Cards. Each Trait is associated with Specific Focus Skills. As with other types of skills, new Focus Skills may be introduced to the game at anytime. However, Focus Skills cannot replace any other type of skill.


5.18 Endowments represent the ability to do common tasks using existing physical characteristics. It is assumed that all personae have the skills that come with life and growing up. This is a given.

Example, people can dress themselves, pick up clubs or rocks to defend or attack, communicate, and learn how to do things. An example of an Endowment is an ability to open an ordinary unlocked door if the entity has hands or tentacles.

5.19 Talent represents the entity’s ability to do something that is unique to that individual. Talents do not depend on learning, knowledge or physical body parts.

Example of a Talent is seen in a persona who is a natural tap dancer. Similarly, most of us would love to sit down and play the piano without lessons. Only a few people can; that is their Talent. Another example might be that of a bird whose Talent is to fly perfectly vertically as well as horizontally.

5.20 Talents follow the general rules relating to skills, except where stated. They always require three (3) Aptitudes to be expressed.


5.21 A persona can possess one and only on Talent.


5.22 No training or Teacher is required. A talent can be used as an Auxiliary Skill to enhance the Effectiveness of other Skills during a frame.


5.23 Talents are treated as Grade 4 skills, but cannot be developed to Grade 5. They can be included in a Profession, and therefore can increase Effectiveness as the Professional Rank increases. Not that because they never reach Grade 5, they do not themselves contribute to increases in Rank.


5.24 Option: To design a new Talent, a player can modify an existing Skill Card to Level 4. This makes a powerful version of that skill, which can be used as a Talent at the cost of 3 Aptitude Slots at the time the Persona is created.


5.25 Identifying Skill types – An Action or Reaction can be classified in more than one way. For example, "strength is an endowment of all personae. A persona can lift things if it has hands or tentacles. Strength can also be a Specialty Skill, e.g., "Bodybuilding". Strength can be an Inborn Skill giving the Species extra bonuses, like unique running abilities with penalties for lifting. Strength could be a Talent such as an ability to lift twice one’s own weight with ease.


5.26 Auxiliary Skills has a synergistic relationship with its associated primary skill.

Example of possible Auxiliary Skills includes "Herbalist", "blind Fighting", "Tap Dancing" or Backstabbing". "Healing" might be the primary skill for the Auxiliary "Herbalist" skill. Similarly, "Boxing" can have the Auxiliary Skill, "Blind Fighting". A "Singing" Skill can use "Tap Dancing", and a negotiating skill might use "Backstabbing". The effect of the Auxiliary Skill on the primary skill is indicated on the individual Skill Card for that skill.

5.27 Linking Aptitudes to Raise Levels – Under certain conditions, the persona can choose to Link two or more aptitudes into one skill to create advanced skill Levels.


5.28 Each Linked Level modifies the affected skill to a greater proficiency than the Level below it.


5.29 The persona gets additional options when increasing the Level of a skill. These are described in the section on interactions.


5.26 Abandoned Skills


5.27 A persona may stop using a skill and declare it abandoned. The skill immediately drops to Level 0, freeing up any Linked Aptitudes. The skill then loses 1 Grade per day, until it reaches Grade 0. If the skill had been required to qualify the Rank of a Profession, that Profession will lose its Rank. The aptitude can then be used for another skill. Any required Teaching will have to be relearned and another Aptitude Slot developed before the abandoned Skill can be used again.


5.28 Linking Skill Levels – Each linked level modifies the affected skill to a greater proficiency than the Level below it. Linking can be accomplished by either:


5.29 Using an Aptitude Slot to raise the Level Of a skill


5.30 Linking two skills from different Traits to create a third skill requiring two aptitude Slots in one of the Traits.


5.31 Using an additional Aptitude Slot to learn a new skill that is at a higher Level than the Linked skill, and has additional features. The skill at the higher Level can only be learned if the skill at the lower Level has met the Linking requirements. Any additional abilities provided by these skills supplement those described below for specific Levels.


5.32 Level Zero – All Basic Skills must start at Level 0. A Level 0 Skill can be exercised as an Action or Reaction. Level 0 is automatic upon obtaining a skill.


5.33 A Level 1 skill can be exercised twice in the current frame; i.e., the entity can perform two Actions or two Reactions with that skill per frame, even a Rank 0.


5.34 A Level 2 Skill can be exercised twice as for Level 1, applying extra SR and ER bonus dice equal to the current Professional Rank for that skill; i.e., an entity above Rank 0 uses an enhanced number of dice.


5.35 A Level 3 Skill gives the persona a choice between the Level 2 bonuses or, with Director approval, use of an extra Auxiliary Skill (treated as a Level 1 skill). The SR and any Effectiveness Points for the Auxiliary Skill are added directly to those of the Level 3 skill. The Director uses common sense and logic to determine whether a specific Auxiliary Skill can be used with the Level 3 skill in any particular situation. These choices are made independently each time the skill is used.


5.36 A Level 4 skill affords the same choice as Level 3, but also allows use of an additional Level 1 bonus skill. This can result in a combination of two Action and two Reactions, three Actions, or three Reactions, as the entity requires.


5.37 A Level 5 skill give s the persona the Level 4 options, but with First Strike, meaning the SR and the implementation of the results of any ER occur without application of any Reactions against the Actions.


5.38 First Strike capability allows for tactical advantages such as surprise attack. The frame of the interaction consists only of the Action of the first Strike, Level 5 skill. The target entity can perform no Reaction or Action during that first frame of the interaction.


Use of the Skills and Playing of the Game


1.0 Using skills for interactions


1.1 An interaction is an event that occurs when two or more entities meet and perform appropriate Actions or Reactions. It is possible for all except one of the entities to be non-sentient or inanimate. Inactions occur during the course of play, after the Director sets the stage by following the scenario Notes and Scripts.


1.2 The player has full control over the activities of his/her persona. The results of these activities are determined by a combination of rolling dice, drawing cards, and decisions of the Director. These activities are usually in the form of Interactions that require the use of one or more skills.


1.3 Often, entities have the skill to do more than one thing per frame. The frame will continue until all allowed actions and reactions are completed, or until none of the affected entities want to continue the Interaction.


1.4 Action in an Interaction


1.5 An Action is an event initiated by a persona or other entity. The results of an Action include its Success and, if successful, it’s Effectiveness.


1.6 An Action is created when at least one entity and one persona interact with each other, or when a persona attempts to apply a skill to a specific task or objective, sometimes using an item. An Interaction may be a test of skills between the entity and persona. It might be a struggle, a contest, a confrontation, a task, or any other event that requires Resolution.


1.7 For each skill, there is a way of determining Success (see below). When a persona attempts an Action involving a target (a physical target, or an objective toward a quest), the player compares the results of his/her Success roll to the Resistance of the target. If the Action is Successful, an Effectiveness Roll Follows.


1.8 When an Action is Successful, i.e., the SR meets the requirements described on the Skill Card, the subsequent Effectiveness Roll (see below) determines the outcome for that frame.


1.9 Effects of subsequent Actions toward a specific objective continue to accumulate frame to frame, and are compared to the Robustness of the task or target until the objective or conflict is Resolved or abandoned.


1.10 Reaction in an Interaction


1.11 A Reaction is an event or activity that occurs in response to an Action. A Reaction can occur, for example, when a persona uses a shield. Although a shield can passively protect the wearer, the persona can also use it to parry the blow from an opponent’s weapon. The parry is treated as a Reaction, i.e., an activity in response to an Action.

Note that a Reaction such as "Parry" is meaningless in the absence of the Action that provoked it.

1.12 If all of the effected personae and/or entities attempt Reactions, so that there is no entity performing an Action, there is no true Interaction at all and the frame ends.


1.13 A success Roll determines the unmodified Success Points for the Action or Reaction.


1.14 Optional Rule: At the start of each game session, the Director indicates the probability of an Incident. Before every Success Roll, the player will roll a 4-sided die. There is a 25 percent chance that an Incident occurs. If an Incident occurs, the player draws an Incident Card. Unless otherwise indicated the instructions of the card take effect immediately. The effects might interrupt the frame altering the effects of other events within that frame of during future frames the Director may construct an Incident Table instead of Incident cards.


1.15 Along with the four-sided Incident die, every Success Roll uses at least a 6R1 or 20R1 die.


1.16 Skills such as Endowments and many Inborn Skills, which do not have Grades, use the 4R1, 10R1 or 20R1 die.


1.17 When the skill has Grades, the Grade determines the number of dice used in the Success Roll. Thus, (1 + Grade) dice are used for the Success Roll for a Graded Skill.


1.18 The Success is determined by the results of rolling a twenty-sided die [20R1] or by calculating the sum of The results of a 6R1 + one (1) bonus die [6R1] per Grade in that Skill + the sum of all bonuses or penalties incurred.


1.19 Before an Interaction ends, each Action Success Roll (SR) is compared to any applicable Reaction SR.


1.20 When

a) the Action is Successful and

b) the Action (SR) is greater than the Reaction SR, the Action proceeds according to the results of the subsequent Effectiveness Roll.

However, if the SR of a Successful Action is equal to, or less than, the Reaction SR, the persona who performed the Reaction reflexively benefits from the subsequent Effectiveness Roll as described in the section of these Rules regarding "Rewards".

Note: If an Action is not Successful, any applicable Reaction is ignored.

1.21 Resistance & Passive Resistance


1.22 Each persona has six Resistance Factors that equal each of the respective Physical, Intellectual, Somatic, Aesthetic, Ethos and Illicitness Persona Units.


1.23 Passive Resistance is a bonus or penalty modifying the Resistance Factor because of effects of a specific item, skill feature, or condition. This Passive Resistance modifier is imposed during any action witch involves the Trait associated with the Passive Resistance.

Items imparting Passive Resistance like armor, holy symbols, etc., increase Resistance simply because the entity has them.


23.0 Skill Grades Improving a Skill


23.1 In order to improve a skill, it is necessary to use it and be Successful. As Skill Points are added to a skill, there are opportunities to increase its Grade, which reflects the persona’s proficiency with that skill.


23.2 For each Specialty, the persona advances Grade by accumulating the required number of Skill Points through Successful actions or reactions


23.3 Note that Inborn Skills and Talents rarely, and Endowments never, have Grades associated with them.


23.4 Each new graded skill that the persona learns begins at Grade 0. The persona accumulates Skill Points in the skill. When the appropriate number of Skill Points is collected, the persona can exchange them for advancement in Grade. The Skill Points for that skill are then reset to zero (0).


23.5 The maximum for each specific skill is Grade 5. If more than one Profession uses a skill, the Skill Points are cumulative regardless of which or how many, of the Professions use it. As the game advances, some skills will require greater proficiency that Grade 5 in order to be effective. A new Skill Card would be needed for the more effective skill, unless aptitudes are Linked as described below.


24.0 Grade Terminology – The Grades are termed Basic (0), Elementary (1), Secondary (2), Advanced (3), Honored (4), and Superior (5), respectively. The Director may wish to change the terminology as the situation or scenario requires.







4.19 When an entity reaches Grade 5 in a skill, the skill still accumulates Skill Points but these points are no longer applied to improving the Skill. However, when the Profession increases Rank (or an Aptitude is linked), and the affected skills are reset to Grade 1, the entity can now apply the unused Skill Points towards restoring the respective Grades.







1.19 Embodiment is a quantitative reward for being successful against a superior antagonist or a challenging task.








1.10 A Player can improve acquired skills by advancing the Grade of the skill. The increase in Grade level improves the Action of the skill.


Also Robustness represents a cast member’s maximum ability to withstand damage without being destroyed.


For an item, Robustness is a measure of its ability to retain its usefulness or Value.





2.3 The decision of the session Director is based on DayOne Rules, History, examples, logic, common sense, and the information in the scenario. By contrast, most players can only know about the game environment through information made available to his/her persona during the game.


2.4 When a Director wishes to be an active player with a persona that persona is till subject to the normal rules of DayOne. However, from time to time the Director "steps out" of the persona in order to consult scripts, notes, or other props.


2.6 Players and/or Director(s) can suggest additional situations and ideas for the DayOne Superverse at any time, but the Director must have the approve the changes or additions. Once introduced, the situation or fact can only be further modified or destroyed in accordance with game world events.


2.7 The decisions of the Director, within the agreed scope of their authority, is final.




5.0 The Game Play or Scenarios, Props, and Scripts.


5.1 The game is a series of interactions consisting of Actions and Reactions. Dice rolls, game cards, and the decisions of the players and/or Directors drive these events. A Scenario contains Props such as notes, Scripts, maps, cards and background information to support the Player/Director. The Director uses information supplied in a Scenario and its Props to keep the story line moving. Starting with the situation described in a Scenario, the Director oversees the activities and events in the game. The Director is not omniscient, so any persona can introduce new facts, previously unknown even to the Director. However, all such additions can be implemented only with the Director’s approval or acceptance.


5.2 Once a Scenario is chosen for a game session, only the Director may examine undistributed Props, information and/or cards.






17.1 The Director may rule that the entity must roll an SR because of the nature of the particular task that calls for an Endowment Skill. Endowments follow the rules governing skills. However, they do not require an aptitude and cannot be improved to higher Grade or Rank. Many Endowments can mimic other skills. The persona only needs the appropriate body parts and/or knowledge. Endowments are not represented on Skill Cards. If there is a target, the suggested ST is a 4R1 vs. the target, the SR is usually a 10R1 which must be below the person’s own Units in the appropriate Trait. The ER is equivalent to that of a similar Skill Card at Grade 0, Rank 0. There are no Skill Points earned.






Note: Yes, this system is inherently unequal and decrease are always more dramatic than increase. For example, a 100% increase (doubling) of resistance in one Trait would be ‘balanced’ by a 100% decrease (thus resistance = 0) in another Trait. Special items or endowments might overcome this, for instance, with Passive Resistance Features.





34.3 An item’s Resistance when held or used includes the item’s resistance + the entity’s resistance for that Trait.


34.4 For each Interaction, Resistance Points are determined by:


34.5 The Action is Successful if the Success Roll (SR), as modified by bonuses and penalties, meets the Skill Card’s criteria for overcoming the resistance of the target Trait.

[Persona Trait Resistance (Persona Units) + [Passive Resistance, bonuses, and penalties associated with the skill or protective items] + [Species bonuses or penalties]

Example, if a persona is using an Intellectual weapon, the SR is compared to the Physical Resistance Factor equal to 25, if its Intellectual Resistance Factor is only 1, might be Successfully attacked by a persona with a Grade 0 Intellectual Skill.

35.0 Effectiveness of an Interaction


35.1 An Effectiveness Roll (ER) is a dice roll that follows a successful action (as determined by the Success Roll) to measure how effective the action was toward the target.


36.0 Action Effectiveness Rolls – The number of dice used for the ER is equal to 1 + the relevant Professional Rank of the persona. The Skill Card defines the die used. Bonuses, penalties, Auxiliary Skills, or Teachers may modify the gross dice roll.

Note: At Rank 0, the persona rolls the base effectiveness die or dice. At Rank 1, the persona rolls the base effectiveness die and one Rank bonus die. At Rank 2, the persona roles two extra Rank bonus dice, etc.

Example: The "Healing" ER =4R1. At Rank 1, the persona would roll 4R2 dice, at Rank 2, the persona would roll 4R3, etc.

37.0 Resolving Tasks & Conflicts


37.1 Effectiveness is a quantitative expression of the results of a successful Action or Reaction. Resolution occurs when the accumulated Effectiveness exceeds the total Robustness of the target or task.


37.2 In combat, the target entity is given 1 Impairment Point for each Effectiveness Point earned by the attacker. However, for a task, each Effectiveness point yields 1 Accomplishment Point.


37.3 Combat is Resolved when Impairment exceeds Robustness. A task is resolved when Accomplishment exceeds Robustness.


37.4 The Director decides the Robustness of a task. It is based on previous tasks and the situation within the scenario. When a task includes ideas such as a quest in search of an item, or a mission to destroy an item, the Director may take the item’s robustness into consideration.


37.5 When the accumulated impairment exceeds a persona’s Robustness Factor, the persona becomes unconscious. If the impairment exceeds the sum of the Robustness + Somatic Units, the combat is Resolved. The target persona goes to a different plane of existence (in most places in the Superverse, the Persona dies).


37.6 To determine whether an item is destroyed through impairment, its Robustness, indicated on the Item Card, reflects the attributes of the item.

Remember that a Success Roll (SR) is needed to determine the results of a Reaction. However, an Effectiveness Roll (ER) is not needed for a Reaction.

38.0 Conversions to Skill points – Each Effectiveness Point may be converted to one (1) Skill Point to add to the Successful skill. Alternatively, the player may choose to convert 1000 Effectiveness Points to one (1) Embodiment Point, which can be applied towards Persona Unit or converted into two (2) Robustness Points.


38.1 The Persona can exchange 1000 Skill Points for an Embodiment Point. However, except for the optional 100 Skill Point conversion for newly created entities, neither Persona Units nor Embodiment Points may be exchanged for skill Points or Effectiveness Points.


38.2 Skill Points cannot be transferred from one skill to another skill.


39.0 The Immunity Skill – For some Indigenous Personae or entities, certain Persona Traits may not be usable because f their particular nature. In this case, a special skill, "Immunity", is assigned to the unused Trait.


39.1 "Immunity" confers a Passive Resistance = 999 Points to the Trait. Usually, only one Trait has Immunity for a given entity.


39.2 Once "Immunity" is assigned, no other skills may be assigned to that Trait.


39.3 The Species Bonus/Penalty of an immune Trait must be set at 1.0. If the Species bonus originally was not 1.0, then a new, immune, Species must be created.

Example, assume a particular wolf’s Aesthetic Persona Trait has one skill: Immunity. An attack on Aesthetics by a persona attempting "Distraction" with music, would then fail to affect that wolf. Further, the wolf would not have any other Aesthetic skills, and would gain no Aesthetic bonus to skills like, such as Ethos "Leadership".

40.0 Multiple Skills Use – The effects of Rank, Level and Grade are additive. However, the persona’s maximum number of Success Rolls per frame is eight (8).


41.0 Flight, Wait, Fight – All IP’s have three extra attributes. These extra attributes are Flight, Wait (or talk), and Fight. The Director will roll three (3) 10-sided dice, one for each attribute. The high roll determines the responses of the IP.


41.1 Each IP extra attribute die is modified by a Persona Trait. The Somatic Persona Trait modifies Flight, Intellectual modifies Talk, and Physical modifies Fight.


41.2 Instead of using the dice, the Director may just make a decision about what the IP does.


42.0 Rewards


42.1 Effectiveness rewards – Following Success, the player must do several calculations based on the subsequent Effectiveness Roll:


42.2 Skill Points, generated by the Effectiveness Roll in accordance with the Skill Card, are added to the persona’s existing Skill Points for the relevant skill.


42.3 Also, the Effectiveness Points become Impairment Points for the target entity.


42.4 The Impairment Points are then subtracted from the target’s current Skill Points. The target entity decides which Skill Points are subtracted. The only constraint is that the skill must be in the same Persona Trait as the Resistance Factor that was impaired. If the threshold Skill Points for the next lowest Grade are passed, then the Grade for that skill is reduced accordingly.


42.5 When Impairment (or Accomplishment) equals the target’s (or task’s Robustness, the combat or task is considered Resolved.


43.0 Embodiment rewards – Embodiment is awarded when a conflict or task is Resolved. This includes the most obvious example of destroying a monster, but also holds for other quests, or objectives like winning a contest or finishing a painting. Embodiment is awarded by the formula:

[Total the Robustness the opponents began with,

Add any Robustness Bonuses

Subtract any Robustness Penalties, then

Subtract any Impairment Points that had already accumulated before the combat or task began,

Divide by the Robustness of the Entity that Resolved the task.

Round the number down to the nearest integer to calculate that Entity’s earned Embodiment.]

Example, a fighter with a Robustness of 10 resolves a combat episode with two wolves with Robustness of 5 and 6, respectively. In this case, 11/10 = 1.1 Points. The fighter earned 1 Embodiment Point for this episode with the wolves.

On the other hand, had the wolves’ Robustness been 5 and 5, respectively, and the fighter’s Robustness was 11, the ratio would be 10/11, or 0.909. The fighter would have earned 0 Embodiment Points for this interaction with the wolf.

Similarly, if one of the wolves already had 2 impairment Points at the beginning of the encounter, then their Robustness would be reduced so that Embodiment earned by the fighter would have been 9/10 = 0.900, again rounded down to 0.

Now, if each of the wolves had, for example, a collar of protection with a Robustness Bonus of +5, then the fighter’s earned Embodiment would have been 21/10 = 21, rounded down to 2.

43.1 The Director can award extra Effectiveness or Embodiment for acts like creativity, heroism, etc.


44.0 Reaction Skill Points – The Reaction Success Roll (SR) only has meaning when an Action SR leads to an Effectiveness Roll for that Action. If the Reaction SR is greater than the Action SR, the Action fails despite its SR. Skill Points that would have resulted from the Action Effectives Roll (ER) are added to the reacting entity’s Reaction skill, and the acting entity’s skill does not earn any Skill Points.

Example: Swenson’s Action is to attack Bronson with a Sword. Bronson does no Action, choosing to use his "Jumping" skill as a Reaction, attempting to dodge the blow. Swenson’s Successful SR is 10, followed by an ER of 6. He expects to earn 6 Skill Points, inflicting 6 Impairment Points on Bronson. However, Bronson’s SR is 11. Since the Reaction SR is higher than the Action SR, the 6 skill Points are awarded to Bronson’s "Jumping" instead of Swanson’s "Sword Usage".

In fact, the Director may decide Swenson injured himself swinging at his target, and assign impairment to Swenson!

45.0 Practice, Study, or Passive Targets – If a persona wishes to practice a skill with the sole purpose of increasing Skill Points, it may not be possible to assign a task Robustness or evaluate a reasonable Resistance. Also, practice may entail repetition of a simple action over multiple frames or even several hundreds of frames. Below are three optional modifications to the usual SR and ER procedure that could be used to accommodate these circumstances. Note that no Impairment Points are imposed during practice, unless stated otherwise on the Skill Card.


45.1 Option 1: Enlightenment during practice to raise the Grade of a skill with no target (e.g., "Meditation", Singing"); some skills allow sudden insights or revelations to advance Skill Points.

Procedure: Roll an additional 20R1 twice. If the second die roll is higher than the first, Skill Points = [ER x (20 x difference in the two dice)]/(1+(Rank x Grade)). Can be done only once per day.


45.2 Option 2: Practice against a defenseless or passive target (e.g., dart against target, arrow into a tree).

Procedure: Since Resistance is not easy to calculate for a passive target without an Item Card, assume Resistance = 50% of the SR (before bonuses or penalties).


45.3 Option 3: Repeat practice multiple times (e.g., high jumping, target shooting).

Procedure: Estimate the number of attempts per session. Roll the SR, and then use percentage dice to determine what fraction of attempts achieves that result. Repeat until total percent ≥ 100. Roll the ER; use percentage dice to determine what fraction of Successful attempts achieves that result. Repeat until total percent ≥ 100. Calculate the total ER Skill Points.


47.0 Terminology – The Levels are termed Base (0), Doubled (1), Rank Bonus (2), Auxiliary (3), Tripled (4), and First Strike (5), respectively. The Director may wish to change the terminology if the situation or scenario makes this appropriate.


48.0 Physical and Economic considerations


48.1 A Frame is the unit of time or length. All events that occur within one frame (¦ ) happen simultaneously. The Director can define the equivalent time units in the seconds/hours system. The conversion will depend on the specific physical laws describing the space-time location of the scenario in the superverse. In the absence of other information assume that a frame lasts 3 – 8 seconds. Simultaneous events occur within one (¦ ) of time. A frame can sometimes be used as a description of length, such as, "the tree is 3 frames away", based on the relationship to a single step or pace.


49.0 Length and Mass


49.1 DayOne uses the metric system of meters for length and grams for weight. One Length (1) is the distance an unskilled, unencumbered, unobstructed persona can move within one frame. The metric equivalent of a Length will depend upon the size of the entities in that particular part of the Superverse. If convenient conversions are desired, assume 1 meter = 1 yard, and 1 pound = 2.2 kilograms.


50.0 Money


50.1 Unit of exchange is the "crystal", symbolized by Ó , as in 10 crystals = Ó 10.00.

A higher valued red crystal = 100 crystal, symbolized by Ò as in Ó 100.00 = Ò 1.00.

A higher valued lavender crystal is symbolized as £.

A higher valued Yellow crystal is symbolized as ¥.

If coins are minted from gold or other precious metals, the value of a gold coin might be Ó 10.00 and Ó 100.00, depending on the local economy.


51.0 Props – Scenarios might be supplied with maps of the relevant terrain. In addition, terrain can be modified or created by the Director in accordance with logic, history, and any available scenario information Movement restrictions are determined from the scenario props, or decisions of the Director(s), and must be scaled to the particular biology and geography of the particular game world, terrain, and Species involved.


51.1 DayOne Game Cards can be used as supplied, or uses hand written index cards. There are several types of cards. They include such things as skill, item, incident, entity, fate and Event cards. There are also Director’s notes and other Props.


51.2 Skill cards describe a specific skill and its attributes. The Skill Card describes features, bonuses, or penalties, and may describe the effects achieved with each increase in Level, Grade, or Rank. It also may describe effects of auxiliary skills, Teachers, or special items.


51.3 Item Cards may describe special types of treasure or weapons. The Item Card can describe weapons or special objects, e.g., a one-of-a-kind weapon. It can also describe an item in terms of an objective, such as a quest to destroy a particular icon.

Example, a persona skilled in the long sword might use a special Long Sword of Destruction that gives a bonus of +5 to the Long Sword Usage" ST. There could be more than one Item Card for Long Swords of Destruction, used only by entities of specific Rank or Focus, for example, with different bonus features.

Items may be used as objectives of quests or campaigns, in which case the Robustness of the item as described on the Item Card is the Robustness of the task (quest). Item Cards may be placed in various sites or obtained from various encounters. The Director may or may not know which card will be put into ‘play’ at any given time. Items can be made available with differing value or difficulty of use.

Several Item Cards for the same weapon or treasure might be prepared with varying amounts of information about the objects, depending on the abilities of the persona identifying the object(s). This approach can be used for very rare objects or artifacts.

As game evolves, today’s common artifacts whose properties are know by only a few entities or personae.

51.4 The value of an item is indicated on the Item Card. It is usually the sum of the Resistance and Robustness factors on the card. The Features of the item are also indicated to help sellers or buyers to agree on a Multiplier. For transactions, Value x Multiplier = the Cost or Price of the item. Any player, including the Director, can participate in the buying and selling of items in accordance with an agreed Features Multiplier. Circumstances and tradition will also influence the Multiplier.

The price of gold and precious stones might be tallied from their intrinsic value while a special cut diamond of 40 karats is a special treasure that might require identification skills to know its true value.

51.5 Optional Rules: Prior to the SR, a 4R1 is thrown. If the result = 1, then an Incident Card is drawn. The instructions on the card supersede the Skill Cards for the duration indicated on the Incident Card. Incidents include broken weapons, unexpected misses, changes in Effectiveness or Success Points, "friendly fire" damage, unexpected advantages (distraction, etc.), ‘Lucky’ and ‘unlucky’ events, and other bonuses or penalties.

Example, the Incident Card reads, "Your weapon hit a vital organ and did twice the calculated damage!" This is applied only if the persona is using a weapon at the time the card is drawn.

Another example, the Incident Card Reads, "You struck bone with your sword and did twice the calculated damage, but it is stuck and your target gets First Strike next frame. Get another weapon, or free the sword while the target’s Reaction SR has a +2 bonus." This only applies if you are using a sword.

51.6 Entity Cards are sets of cards containing information on entities encountered in the game world. These may be creatures, personae, powers, or any other force. Examples of entities include Lions, Oak Tress, The Mad Giant O’log, Fire, Wind and the Sun. Entity Cards are used to describe and identify an entity or group of entities. The cards also are used to track skill development, Professional advancement, and health.


51.7 Fate Cards are changes in the persona’s fortune handed down as a reward (or penalty?) for advancing in Rank or performing a special deed. They can be resurrection cards or special skills or a benefit bestowed in response to a request. A certain number of Fate Cards are drawn by each player at the end of each scenario, as defined by the Director or indicated in the scenario.


51.8 A Director or other player can create new cards at any time before, during, or after the session. Once created, the card should stay with the game even if its future utility is not foreseen. Not every card must be used in every scenario, or every session of a scenario.

Example, Jolly Belly likes to use a golden bowl for eating. The persona is killed in the game and Jolly Belly’s golden bowl is lost. The players could make a modified Item Card for the golden bowl, sending a description of the persona and his bowl to ShrewGames. The golden bowl could reappear as the Jolly Belly bowl of Plenty artifact, granting one free meal per day, supplied as an Item Card for a new persona to find and use.