Tasks: Tasks are, as the name suggests, tasking situations the players will need to overcome. A task is made via a “Check”. This is, to some extent, a dice roll. Basically, whenever a situation has a chance for considerably negative or positive outcomes, the player should make a “check” to overcome the “task”.

DIFFICULTIES: To go further indepth on tasks we will be covering difficulties. Each task is, in essence, a challenge represented by some opposing force. As such, the enviroment is free to play a beneficial, or imposing role on your task. These are difficulties. All tasks are given a “difficulty level”, which is assigned to it before any actual rolling is done. Following will be a chart to explain the levels of difficulties of some tasks in rapture.

Easy 7 Sneaking through a room in complete darkness
Average 14 Noticing a minor detail of an investigation scene
Challenging 18 Resisting most addictions
Hard 23 Hitting a bullseye blindfolded
Increadible 30 Holding a pressurised door open without leverage
Legendary 35 Hearing a pin drop in the middle of a gun-fight
Impossible 40+ Anything that is, generally, viewed as impossible
CHECKS: Now we come to the check itself. A check is simply a set of dice rolls vs. the difficulty. However Bioshockd20 uses a seldom incorporated form of dice rolls, generally known as “poker dice”. The concept behind it is that, whenever you make a roll, you will (usually) be rolling more then one die. Whatever you roll you take the “best value” of, and apply that with any modifiers against the difficulty. However, there are a couple distinct ways to find the “best value” of your dice;
  1. Taking the Highest (Out of all your dice rolled, whichever is the highest is applied)
  2. Taking Pairs (triples, quadruples, etc) (if you roll two or more of the same number, they can be added together for the “best value”)
  3. Straights (whenever you have a “straight” or chain of connecting numbers, this value can be added together for the best value. A straight must consist of more then 2 numbers. I.E. 3,4,5 or 7,8,9,10, etc. Both are straights.)

Next we come to criticals. Criticals can be both bad and good. A critical failure will see your character negativly affected in some manner, where as a critical success will see your character achieving the task more efficiantly then usual. A critical failure is achieved when half (or more) of all the dice rolled for that check come up 1s. A critical success is achieved when you roll high enough to overcome the set difficulty by 10 or more.

Finally we come to your base. In any check a “base” will be the value of the attribute or skill that applies most to the situation.


Sometimes, you’re going to need to use a skill in a way that’s different from its normal use. For example, you might want to use your Character’s Survival skill to recall important information about poisonous insects in the desert. Normally, the Attribute associated with Survival is Tenacity, but does Tenacity make a lot of sense for recalling information? Not really. In this case you’d more likely use your Intellect as your Base for this Task. Any time you come across a situation like this just go ahead and choose the most sensible Attribute to use as your Base. It should be pretty obvious. If not, your Storyguide will make the suggestion.


It is possible to take a second, third, fourth, or more attempt at a failed task. However each failure will increase the difficulty level of the task by one level.


When really dramatic situations arise you might need to force your Character beyond his normal capacity. This is when you really get to push his limits. Pushing the Limit only applies to actions that your Character could conceivably hurt himself doing through either strain or fatigue. He could be pulling every extra bit of strength out of himself to make the jump or he could be living on stimulants, skipping food and sleep, and driving himself mad with stress and anxiety. Your Storyguide will let you know if Pushing the Limit is appropriate. When you need that edge you can sacrifice your Character’s health in favor of success. For every +2 bonus that you want for your Task your Character will take 1 die of damage to his Vitality – this damage cannot be reduced in any way. It is determined after the check is made so it is conceivable for a Character to die by pushing too hard. These concepts will make more sense later on and are better explained in Chapter Nine.


BIOSHOCK d20 DMTibby DMTibby