Combat & Sheets

Steel and Stone uses the FS3 Skills System by Faraday.

What is FS3?

FS3 is a generic roleplaying game skills system, specifically designed and optimized for online text-based RPGs (MUSHes). FS3 provides rules for:

  • Character Creation
  • Character Improvement (Experience)
  • Generic Conflict Resolution (Ability Rolls)
  • Combat
  • Luck

What makes FS3 different from other skill systems?

A lean skill list. Most skill systems offer a bewildering array of skills, making character creation a chore. FS3 focuses on the skills that are truly relevant to the “action” of the game, whether that’s flying fighter jets or riding horses.
A custom dice system. The FS3 dice system is designed for games where skills are rolled infrequently and deviations from the ‘expected’ results raise eyebrows. On the whole, characters succeed more often than they do in other systems.
A roleplay-friendly combat system. The FS3 combat system is designed to be fast and flexible, providing some colorful tactical options without bogging roleplay down in a lot of mechanics.

In-Game Help Topics

FS3_Abilities Skills, Attributes and Quirks
FS3_Ratings What the numbers mean
FS3_Rolls How skill rolls work
FS3_Experience Learning and improving skills.
FS3_Copyright Copyright info
See +help <topic> for more info on a given topic.

In-Game Commands


FS3 Basics

This section describes the basic concepts of the FS3 conflict resolution system.


Abilities reflect things that your character is able to do. Running, using bows, riding horses, talking your way out of a tense situation – these are all things that could be covered by Abilities. There are two kinds of Abilities: Attributes and Skills.

Attributes reflect a character’s natural talents. Attributes influence related skills, giving an advantage (or disadvantage) compared to someone with equivalent training. They also come into play when no particular skill applies to a given situation.

Barring disability, Attributes never change; they are set in stone when you are born. For example, you may overcome an academic challenge through hard work and study, but you will not change your underlying academic aptitude.

Attributes are rated on a 1-4 scale. All characters have a rating in every attribute.

Rating Attribute Meaning
1 Poor
2 Average
3 Good
4 Exceptional

Skills reflect a character’s knowledge and training. Skills are fluid, changing over time. You choose an initial set of skills during character creation, and may improve them or learn new skills during the course of the game.

Skills are further broken down into three categories:
• Action Skills are those relevant to the game’s central “action”.
• Background Skills flesh out your hobbies and interests.
• Language Skills allow you to read and write languages.

There is no fixed list for Background Skills; you can have anything from Underwater Basket Weaving to Soap
Opera Trivia. Action and Background Skills are rated on a 0-12 scale. Characters only have ratings in skills they have taken the time to learn and practice. All other skills are considered to be at rating 0.

Read about current skill restrictions in the Char Gen Guide.


Ability Rolls are used to determine the outcome of a character’s action, whether it’s loosing an arrow or jumping a chasm.

When to Roll
Ability Rolls should be used judiciously; it is unnecessary (and silly) to roll for every little thing. RPGs are about roleplay not rollplay. For example: If someone does a good job roleplaying their way through bluffing a guard, it probably ought to work. Likewise, if someone attempts to schmooze a noblewoman with
the worst pickup line ever, it probably shouldn’t work, no matter what you roll.

The Golden Rule of Ability Rolls
As long as there are no objections from anyone involved in the scene, it is perfectly acceptable to just assume success or failure based on roleplay.

Some situations where you should consider using an Ability Roll:

• The character is under stress.
• Characters are in conflict with one another.
• There are exceptional circumstances that might affect the outcome.

For example, Swimming is a skill that you probably wouldn’t roll under normal circumstances. But if you were trying to save someone from drowning or stay afloat in stormy seas with your clothes on, an Ability Roll would be appropriate.

How to Roll

Simple Ability Roll: +roll <skill>+<attr>][+/-mod]>)

Opposed Roll: +roll <charA>=<skill>+<attr>][+/-mod]> vs <charB>=<skill>+<attr>][+/-mod]>)

Attribute and Skill may be a name or a number to reflect a NPC's rating.
Mod is optional, to apply a + or - modifier to the roll.


Luck Points are a way of giving player characters an edge against fate. Every character begins the game with 1 Luck Point, and the Storyteller may award more at his discretion.

Ability Rolls
You may spend a single Luck Point to affect Ability Rolls:

• Before your own roll, spend a point to receive a + modifier.
• Before someone else’s roll (friend or enemy), spend a point to apply a + or - modifier to their roll.
• After your own roll, spend a point to get a re-roll and choose the better of the two rolls.
• Spend a point to cancel a luck point used against you (for example: if someone gave you a modifier you can spend a luck point to avoid it).

Only one Luck Point can apply to a given roll, so you can’t give yourself a bonus and someone else a penalty in the same Opposed Roll. Also, you can’t have multiple people all spending luck to help someone.

You can spend Luck Points on Ability Rolls made during combat, but luck can also have certain special effects in combat situations. You can spend a Luck Point to:

• Modify attack, defense or initiative Ability Rolls (see Ability Rolls).
Note: You may only modify one roll per combat turn.
• Recover from a Knockout (see Knockout, page 19).
• Move an injury from one hit location to another.
Note: This must be done immediately after the injury, and does not affect the
damage done; it is purely for cosmetic/roleplay reasons.