Boons and Banes are the positive and negative consequences that result from a character's actions during game play.
Consequences are based on the outcome and level of effect of character actions and are determined by the director. Consequences can be a Boon, a positive benefit, or a Bane, a negative drawback.
Consequences can be narrative or mechanical.
Narrative Consequences: These are story-related outcomes that include changes in relationships, shifts in the plot's direction, or the emergence of new story elements. For example, a character's decision to spare an enemy's life might lead to an unexpected alliance later in the campaign.
Mechanical Consequences: These leverage the game's rules and mechanics. They might involve gaining or losing turns in the turn order, taking or giving harm and adding a condition, damage to gear, or gaining or losing advantage on certain actions. A character who falls from a great height might suffer a broken leg, resulting in disadvantage to movement and physical actions until the condition is treated.
Combat and Harm
Combat is inarguably a big part of a lot of role-playing genres and settings. In a player-facing game system, only the players roll. If a character is performing an action to attack an adversary, success determines if they hit the target, and the level of effect of the outcome determines how much damage is applied to the target.
If an adversary is attacking a character, the character rolls to defend from the attack. Success determines if they were able to avoid being hit. The level of effect from a failure indicates how much harm is taken by the character.
Directors are encouraged to use creativity and let the fiction be their guide when determining consequences. Positive or negative, place an emphasis on placing new challenges in front of characters to keep the story moving forward.
Dice Probability Guardrails
The dice system includes an unusual but intended design goal of imposing guardrails on the level of consequences related to the level of ability and difficulty used when performing actions.
Complete success or failure is only possible when the dice pool includes a d6 or higher. For example, a d6 or above for ability opens up the potential for a complete success. A d6 or above for difficulty opens up the potential for a complete failure. Similarly, critical success or failure is only introduced at d8 or above.
Guardrails emphasize that this is a skills-based game and remove some of the "swingy" results found in other game systems.
Boons are positive consequences that result from a successful action. The level of effect determines the amount of impact.
Marginal Success: The character gets some of what they want, but something about their situation has changed, and may not be for the better.
Complete Success: The character gets everything they wanted.
Critical Success: The character gets everything they wanted, and something extra.
Boons are negative consequences that result from a failed action.
Marginal Failure: The character failed, but just barely. They may get some or none of what they wanted, but something about their situation got a little worse.
Complete Failure: The character achieved nothing they intended, and their situation is much worse.
Critical Failure: The character gets nothing they wanted, and life is going to get very difficult.