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Ordered Challenges

For many challenges, it doesn’t matter in what order the characters complete each of the component actions. In an ordered challenge, however, actions must be completed in sequence. Failing an earlier task may make later ones more difficult or even change what actions are available.

An ordered challenge works much like a normal challenge, but it adds two special types of action: lynchpins and breakpoints. The success or failure of a lynchpin alters the difficulty of any action made after. Breakpoints open up or shut down later options in the challenge. Tasks that wouldn’t be affected by a lynchpin or breakpoint can be attempted before or after either one.

When you conduct an ordered challenge, you can still call for rolls in any order, but you must be aware of when your lynchpins and breakpoints should occur. An ordered challenge may be composed entirely of these actions, or it can be an otherwise freeform structure with the addition of one or more ordered tasks.

When you add a lynchpin action to an ordered challenge, define the task normally and note any actions that occur later in the challenge that will be affected by the outcome. If the player fails the lynchpin action, increase the opposition of the affected tasks. On a success with style, lower the later opposition, in place of a boost.

Breakpoints change the actions involved in the challenge, based on whether the player succeeds or fails. For example, if the characters are trying to break into an office building, a breakpoint could involve gaining access through a service entrance. Success means they can proceed by sneaking through the building’s interior. Failure means they must scale the outside. A breakpoint can also be a lynchpin. In the office example, the path of failure may be far more difficult (and the cost of further failure more severe).

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