Rules and Mods

Rules and Mods

The game uses the PDQ core rules. A copy of them can be found here: PDQ-Core Rules

Creating Characters

Each character is built on 10 points or 5 “Up Shifts” in Qualities. All qualities start at Average 0. An average person only has 3 up shifts. Each up shift is worth a +2. You cannot have more than 3 up shifts for a single quality. In addition, every PC will have one Poor quality (-2). This represents a weakness or problem the character has. Additionally, each PC should have a “Motivation” that they desire to follow.

Their motivation could be as simple as “Make Money” to the more esoteric “Know Everything”.

Damage Tracks

Each character will have two “damage/stress” tracks: Body & Mental

Each track is initially 4 boxes long. To increase the length of these tracks, you have to have one of the following qualities at Good or better:

Body Mental
Brawny Smart
Tough Clever
Strong Brainy
Musclebound Poindexter

Or other similar Quality. You can only have one for each track. Each upshift adds two more boxes to the track.

For example: Chauncey the mechanic has the quality “Big Bruiser” at 2 up shifts or Expert [+4]. His Body track is 8 boxes long. Jeff, a pilot does not have a Body or Mental quality, so he only has 4 boxes in both of his tracks.

As PCs take damage ranks or failure ranks during conflicts, they check off an equal number of boxes on the corresponding damage track. For example, a monkey hits Jeff with a coconut, doing 3 damage ranks. Jeff must now check three boxes off of his Body damage track.

When a damage track is filled, the character is out of the conflict. They can be unconscious, completely befuddled, or totally humiliated.

When you start marking off the last 4 boxes in a track, the character suffers a single overall downshift to all qualities. Subsequent hits to that track does not add additional downshifts. You only suffer one downshift.

Regaining lost tracks

After a conflict is over, any failure ranks that were lost are immediately regained. Half of all lost damage ranks are recovered. However, if the PCs are still in danger, then only half of the failure ranks are recovered and none of the lost damage ranks. You can always spend Hero points to recover lost damage or failure ranks.

Hero Points

The main modification is that we’ll be using the Hero Point system from Truth and Justice. Each player character starts with 5 Hero points that they can spend to perform certain actions. PCs can gain more Hero points by doing one of the following:

  • Following Motivation (1d6 HP).
  • Performing Heroic Actions (1 or more HP).
  • Accepting a Revoltinʹ Development (2d6 HP).
  • GM vetos a Hero point expenditure (1 to 3 HP).

The following are the actions you can spend Hero points on:

  • Detect & Discover. Dictate a new fact about the situation at hand: 1 Hero Point per minor detail, 2 Hero Points per significant detail, or 4 Hero Points per major detail; subject to GM Veto.
  • Haymaker. After a successful attack, add an Upshift to Damage: 1 Hero Point per Upshift.
  • I Know a Guy. Remember a contact with possible useful information on current situation: 2 Hero Points and a Scene to get the info; subject to GM Veto.
  • Luck Be a Lady. ʺAs I fall off of the zeppelin to certain doom, I luckily manage to grab onto a guy line hanging from the gondola…ʺ: 2 Hero Points per plausible coincidence, or 4 Hero Points per implausible coincidence.
  • Make It Count. Gain an additional 1d6 on next roll: 3 Hero Points per die.
  • Pull Yourself Together. Regain 1d6 lost Failure Ranks: 1 Hero Point and one action or reaction.
  • Push a Quality or Power. Gain an Upshift to Rank for next roll: 2 Hero Points per Upshift.
  • Second Wind. Regain 1d6 lost Damage or Failure Ranks: 2 Hero Points and one Turn per die of recovery.


Items are independent of the character, as they can be traded back and forth between characters. Most items have Average 0 qualities and can’t take much damage.

Existing items will be transferred over and built to represent the item as it was used prior to the conversion. In the future you can add upshifts to an item by one of two methods:

  • Spend a hero point for an upshift.
  • Add a Poor [-2] quality for an upshift.

A character can spend one or more hero points to add an equivalent number of upshifts to the item. The character must also have an appropriate quality to add that upshift to the item. Then they must make roll to see if they can add that quality. The difficulty for this test is equal to the number of upshifts they are try to add on to the item.

For example, Doc Quest wants to build a “lightning gun”. He wants it to have quality “Shoots lightning” at Good [+ 2]. He spends a hero point and makes a roll vs his “Mad Scientist” [+4] quality. His target number is 9 (Good level difficulty). He rolls an 8 and almost makes it work. Almost.

A character can add a Poor [-2] quality to an item and try again to add an upshift to an item. Again, the character must make a difficulty roll to make it work.

For example, Doc Quest, never a man to be stymied by a reluctant device, reworks the Lightning gun to the point that it now has the Poor [-2] quality of “Easily grounds itself to metal”. He rolls versus his Mad Scientist quality agains a target of 9 and gets a 9! He succeeds in building a working Lightning gun that easily grounds itself to nearby metal objects!

You must declare whether the new quality adds to an item’s Durability, Ease of Use, or Function. For example, the quality “Shoots Lightning” is a Function, and affects any damage done by the item. The quality “Telescopic Sight” is Ease of Use and can stack with the user’s combat quality. Finally, “Made from Titanium” is Durability and adds to the item’s Damage track in a similar manner to character damage tracks. The main difference is that average items have no Damage boxes. So each upshift adds two boxes.

Example items

Doc Quest’s Lightning Gun:

  • Shoots Lightning [+2] EoU
  • Made out of steel [+2] D
  • Easily grounds itself to metal [-2]
  • Damage track: OO

The Betty Amphibious Aircraft

  • Airplane [+6] D
  • Maneuverable [+4] EoU
  • Machine Gun Turret [+4] F
  • Door Mount Gun [+2] F
  • Cargo [+0] F
  • Passengers [+0] F
  • Experimental Aircraft [-2]
  • Damage track: OO OO OO

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Rules and Mods

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