Basic SRD

4C System (Basic)

4C is a RPG toolkit rather than complete game system; it provides a foundation for you to build upon. As presented, 4C is specifically for superhero roleplaying though it could be adapted to other genres with a bit more work.

For Gamers

As a gamer you can use 4C to “build” your own game system or to assist in converting 4C products to similar systems. 4C is not a replacement for any games that you may already own but is, rather, an aid.

For Publishers

You can use 4C as the basis for an entirely new game – strip out the powers and drop in appropriate origins and “classes,”* for example, to create a fantasy game – or as common ground for the development of material that is compatible with other games that use a similar system.
4C is released to the public as public domain and almost every part of the text, including the title, is open for use (the names of those involved in the creation of 4C are not open for use). The copyright on 4C is unassigned and the text is donated to the public domain; anyone can use this material for their own products and with their own ideas.

( * A class could be nothing more than a set package of abilities; by selecting a “class” the character gains specific skills and abilities.)

Dice

4C uses “percentile dice”, two differently colored ten-sided dice with one die designated the “tens” die and the other the “ones” die. Whenever the rules state roll d% roll both dice to generate a number between 0 (both dice show “0”) and 99 (both dice show “9”).
Example: Richard rolls d%. The “tens” die comes up 8 and the “ones” die comes up 3, for a roll of 83.

Remember that unlike many other systems, a result of 00 in 4C is 0 rather than 100.

Origins

The first step in character creation is to determine the character’s origin. Roll d% on the following table:

Roll Origin
00-04 Robot
05-09 Alien
10-39 Skilled Human
40-59 Changed Human
60-79 Mutant
80-99 Technologically Enhanced
Robot: The character is a robot or perhaps some other construct, such as a golem.
Alien: The character is a being from another world or dimension such as a Martian, elemental, angel, or devil.
Skilled Human: The character is a highly skilled human; any “powers” are actually superior training or specialized devices.
Changed Human: The character was human but became superhuman through some outside agency, often an accident or experiment.
Mutant: The character was born with or destined to develop superhuman powers.
Technologically Enhanced: The character’s powers are the result of devices and gadgets.

Traits

4C characters are defined by a set of distinct Traits. Each character has two types of Traits: Primary and Secondary. Primary Traits are defined by Rank Values (see p. 00), Secondary Traits are defined by either Rank Value or a numerical score (see individual Secondary Traits for details).

Primary Traits

4C features a total of seven Primary Traits:

Melee

This Primary Trait is the measure of a character’s expertise in melee combat. When kicking, punching, stabbing, or otherwise fighting in close quarters, this Trait determines the success or failure of the attack.

Coordination

This Primary Trait is the measure of a character’s physical proficiency. When shooting, throwing, dodging, balancing, or otherwise employing physical nimbleness, this Trait determines the success or failure of the action.

Brawn

This Primary Trait is the measure of a character’s physical power. When lifting heavy objects, determining damage with melee or thrown attacks, throwing an object a certain distance, or otherwise engaged in activities relying on physical power, this Trait determines the success or failure of the action.

Fortitude

This Primary Trait is the measure of a character’s physical stamina and robustness. When attempting to hold breath, resist sickness, overcome toxins, ignore fatigue, keep from dying, or otherwise engaged in physically strenuous tasks, this Trait determines the success or failure of the action.

Intellect

This Primary Trait is a measure of the character’s intelligence. When attempting to invent, solve a problem, learn, or otherwise use smarts, this Trait determines the success or failure of the action.

Awareness

This Primary Trait is a measure of the character’s intuition. When attempting to sense danger, spot something, recognize a hunch, or otherwise work on instinct rather than analyzing a situation, this Trait determines the success or failure of the action.

Willpower

This Primary Trait is a measure of the character’s mental strength. When dealing with psychic abilities, magic powers, issues of willpower, or otherwise using powers of the mind, this Trait determines the success or failure of the action.

Determining Primary Trait Rank Values

Roll d% once on the following table for each Primary Trait to determine its Rank Value:

Dice Roll Rank Value
00-04 1
05-09 3
10-19 6
20-39 10
40-59 20
60-79 30
80-95 40
96-99 50

Secondary Traits

4C characters have four Secondary Traits:

Damage

This Secondary Trait is a measure of the physical punishment a character can suffer before dying. This Secondary Trait uses a numerical score (not Rank Value) that is decreased as the character takes damage. This Secondary Trait, as well as damage and healing, is addressed on p. 00.
This Secondary Trait’s starting value is calculated by adding up the Rank Values of the character’s first four Primary Traits (Melee, Coordination, Brawn, and Fortitude).

Fortune

This Secondary Trait is a measure of the character’s ability to use luck, training, and/or experience to influence the present. This Secondary Trait uses a numerical score (not Rank Value) and points may be spent from it to affect die rolls and improve the Rank Values of Primary Traits; for a complete discussion on this see p. 00.
This Secondary Trait’s starting value is calculated by adding together the Rank Values of the character’s last three Primary Traits (Intellect, Awareness, and Willpower).

Lifestyle

This Trait is a measure of the character’s wealth and ability to procure needed items and services; this Trait and its usage are covered on p. 00.
To calculate the Rank Value for this Secondary Trait roll once on Table 1.

Repute

This Secondary Trait is a measure of how well the character is known; the greater the score the more popular the character. This Secondary Trait uses a numerical score (not Rank Value); how this Trait influences the game is covered on p. 00.
To calculate this Secondary Trait’s value roll d% and divide the result by 3 (round up).

Rank Values

Rank Values are the numerical representation of Traits and power levels in 4C. Rank Values range from 0 to 1000. Most characters will have Rank Values in the 1-50 range with exceptionally powerful characters having Rank Values of 51 or greater. Although no character may have a Rank Value of 0, characters may be reduced to the rank of 0 in special situations (see p. 00). Here is a comparison of the different Rank Values:

Rank Value Range Description
1-2 Minimum human
3-5 Below-average human
6-9 Average human
10-19 Above-average human
20-29 Exceptional human
30-39 Maximum human limit
40-49 Low superhuman
50-74 Superhuman
75-99 High superhuman
100-149 Low cosmic
150-999 Cosmic
1000 Beyond comprehension

Skills

After Origins and Traits characters may possess skills, mundane talents that grant them a benefit when performing a specific action or operating in a pre-determined field of expertise.

Skill Determination

To determine the number of skills a character possesses roll d% on the following table:

Roll Number of Skills
00-19 1
20-59 2
60-89 3
90-99 4

Using Skills

Such things as Acrobatics, Investigation, Pilot, Drive, and Martial Arts are considered skills; discuss the skills you would like a character to have with the Gamemaster for approval. A skill grants a +1 Row Step bonus (see p. 00) when making any rolls on the Master Table during an action appropriate to the skill in question.

Advanced Skills

With Gamemaster approval a character may take one advanced skill in place of two skills. An advanced skill grants a +2 Row Step bonus (see p. 00).

Powers

Powers are what make the character a superhero.

Power Determination

To determine the number of powers a character possesses roll d% on the following table:

Roll Number of Powers
00-19 2
20-59 3
60-89 4
90-98 5
99 Magic*

(* Magic is a unique power able to replicate all other powers (see p.00) )

Once you’ve determined the number of powers for a character roll d% once for each power on the following table to determine the character’s specific powers:

Roll Power
00-03 Animal Command
04-07 Body Armor
08-11 Claws
12-15 Contaminant Resistance
16-19 Elasticity
20-23 Elemental/Energy Control
24-27 Extra Body Parts
28-31 Fast Attack
32-35 Flight
36-39 Force Field
40-43 Growth/Shrinking
44-47 Invisibility
48-51 Mind Control
52-55 One-of-a-Kind Weapon
56-59 Phasing
60-63 Physical Metamorphosis
64-67 Regeneration
68-71 Shapeshift
72-75 Super Leap
76-79 Supersense
80-83 Superspeed
84-87 Telekinesis
88-91 Telepathy
92-95 Teleportation
96-99 Wall Crawling

If you roll the same power twice you may elect to either increase the power’s Rank Value by +20 or roll again on the table.

Determining Power Rank Values

Roll d% once on the following table for each Power to determine its Rank Value:

Dice Roll Rank Value
00-04 1
05-09 3
10-19 6
20-39 10
40-59 20
60-79 30
80-95 40
96-99 50

Power Descriptions

The following are the descriptions of the various powers. Each description includes general ways in which the power can be used during a game session. The Gamemaster sets the difficulty (see p. 00) for specific actions attempted by characters with their powers.

Animal Command

The character can communicate with and control animals. To successfully communicate with an animal the character must roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of this power or the character’s Willpower +10, whichever is greater. A result of red or greater indicates successful communication. To control an animal, the character must achieve a yellow result.
The character can control one type of animal (such as birds, reptiles, mammals, sea creatures, etc.), which must be determined at the time of the character’s creation.

Body Armor

The character has armor of some kind, perhaps thick hide or a protective bodysuit, which reduces damage by an amount equal to the Rank Value of this power. For more about armor see p. 00.

Claws

The character has some form of claws, either a natural part of the character’s body or a worn item. The character uses the Rank Value of either the character’s Melee or this power to make slashing attacks. Claws are treated as a one-handed weapon for purposes of damage (see p. 00).
Optional: Instead of claws the character possesses another type of weapon of the player’s choosing which may be used for bashing or slashing attacks (choose one).

Contaminant Resistance

The character possesses a strong resistance to toxins, diseases, and the like. Any time the character must roll to resist the effects of poison, disease, or similar environmental hazards the character may use the Rank Value of this power or the Rank Value of Fortitude +10, whichever is greater.

Elasticity

The character’s body can stretch, allowing the character to attack someone in a different sector. A character with this power can stretch a number of sectors equal to this power’s Rank Value divided by 10 (round up).

Elemental/Energy Control

The character has the ability to control a single element or type of energy chosen from the list below. The character can only manipulate an existing source of the element or energy; the character does not possess the ability to spontaneously create the element or energy.

Elemental Control

Air The character can manipulate winds to attack, create force fields, lift objects, etc.
Earth The character can manipulate the ground to attack, create walls of earth that act as armor, lift objects, etc.
Fire The character can manipulate fire to attack, increase or decrease the temperate of a flame, create a wall of fire like a force field, etc.
Water The character can manipulate water to attack, create walls of water that act as armor, lift objects, etc.

Energy Control

Electrical The character can manipulate electricity to attack, create force fields, lift objects, etc.
Light The character can manipulate light to attack, blind opponents, create force fields, etc.
Magnetic The character can manipulate ferrous metals to attack, create walls of metal that act as armor, lift metallic objects, etc.
Sound The character can manipulate sound to attack, lift objects, create force fields, etc.

Note that the above are guidelines only. The exact extent of what these powers can do is up to the Gamemaster.
Weather Control: A subset of elemental/energy control, a character may choose to manipulate the weather. This power can be especially powerful since it allows a character to manipulate air, lightning, rain, and any other aspect associated with storms/weather so the Gamemaster may choose to have Weather Control count as two of a character’s powers.
Attacking: A character using Elemental/Energy Control to attack may use either the power’s Rank Value or the character’s Melee Rank Value +10, whichever is greater, for melee attacks. For ranged attacks use the power’s Rank Value or the character’s Coordination Rank Value +10. Damage inflicted in either case is equal to the power’s Rank Value.
Force Field/Armor: See the respective powers.
Lifting Objects: The upper weight limit of an object the character may lift is based on the power’s Rank Value:

Rank Value Weight
1-2 50 lb.
3-5 100 lbs.
6-9 200 lbs.
10-19 400 lbs.
20-29 800 lbs.
30-39 1 ton
40-49 10 tons
50-74 50 tons
75-99 80 tons
100-149 100 tons
150-999 200 tons
1000+ 400 tons

Extra Body Parts

The character additional body parts beyond two arms and two legs, either a completely new part (such as a tail) or extras of an existing part (four arms instead of two). Extra parts do not grant a character bonus attacks.

Fast Attack

A character with this power can attack a number of times each turn based on the power’s Rank Value:

Rank Value Attacks/Turn
1-29 2
30-49 3
50+ 4

Flight

The character can fly either through the use of an item or by innate means. When flying the character can move a number of sectors per turn depending on the Rank Value of the power:

Rank Value Sectors/Turn
1-2 1
3-5 2
6-9 3
10-19 4
20-29 5
30-39 6
40-49 7
50-74 8
75-99 9
100-149 10
150-999 15
1000 *

( * The character can circle the world in a single turn.)

Force Field

The character has the ability to generate a force field, either through mental powers or a device.
Device: The force field acts as armor (see p.00) with a Rank Value equal to the power’s Rank Value. If an attack deals damage in excess of this force field’s Rank Value the device is shorted out for 1-10 turns (during which time it cannot be used).
Mental: The force field acts as armor with a Rank Value equal to the power’s Rank Value or the character’s Willpower +10, whichever is greater. If an attack deals damage in excess of the force field’s Rank Value or the character’s Willpower +10, whichever is greater, the character must roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of the character’s Fortitude. A result of black leaves the character dazed and the character must spend 1-10 turns recovering (the character may take no actions during that time). On any other result the character is dazed for one turn.

Growth/Shrinking

The character can grow larger or smaller (select one), to a maximum/minimum height as shown on the table below:

Rank Value Maximum Height Minimum Height
1-2 9 feet 4 feet
3-5 12 feet 3 feet
6-9 15 feet 2 feet
10-19 18 feet 1 foot
20-29 21 feet 6 inches
30-39 24 feet 3 inches
40-49 27 feet 2 inches
50-74 30 feet 1 inch
75-99 60 feet ½ inch
100-149 120 feet ¼ inch
150-999 240 feet 1/8 inch
1000 480 feet 1/16 inch

When using Growth, the Rank Value of the character’s Brawn is changed to the Rank Value of this power or the character’s Brawn Rank Value +10 whichever is greater. Opponents attacking the bigger character gain a +1 RS bonus on their attacks.
When using Shrinking the Rank Value of the character’s Brawn is unaffected. Anyone attacking the character when using this power suffers a -1 RS penalty and the character gains a +2 RS bonus to attacks.

Invisibility

The character can become invisible and remain so for as long as desired. Sound, scent, heavy rain, and other methods can still give an invisible character away. The character may also attempt to turn objects or other characters invisible by touching them. Roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of this power, on a result or red or greater the item or character touched is invisible and remains so as long as the character touches it.

Magic

The character possesses knowledge of, and ability to use, magic. Magic allows the character to cast “spells” that duplicate any other power in the game; as a result Magic is the sole power the character may have. A character may use only one spell per turn.
Duplicated powers function as described in the individual power sections and at a Rank Value equal to the character’s Magic Rank Value.

Mind Control

The character can take over the minds of others. A target of Mind Control must be within visual range of the character and must possess a Willpower Rank Value less than the Rank Value of this power or the character’s Willpower, whichever is greater.
To take control of another the character must roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of this power or the character’s Willpower +10, whichever is greater. If the result is black the mind control attempt fails. If the result is red or greater the target is controlled until the character releases the targeted character or the target is ordered to do something out of the ordinary (such as injure a companion) at which point the target rolls d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of the target character’s Willpower. A result of red or greater is needed to break free of the mind control.

One-of-a-Kind Weapon

The character owns a unique weapon of the player’s choice which deals damage equal to its Rank Value.
Melee Weapon: The character makes melee attacks with the weapon using the weapon’s Rank Value or the character’s Melee +10, whichever is greater.
Ranged Weapon: The character uses the weapon’s Rank Value or the character’s Coordination +10, whichever is greater, when attacking.
Incorporated Power: At the player’s discretion one of the character’s other powers may be incorporated into the weapon increasing the Rank Value of the incorporated power by +10 but losing the use of the incorporated power if the weapon is lost or stolen.

Phasing

The character‘s body can change into an insubstantial form allowing the character to “phase” through objects. The power grants the character armor (see p. 00) at the Rank Value of this power.

Physical Metamorphosis

The character’s body can change into an unusual material, selected from the list below, at will. When metamorphosed the character possesses the traits of the material and gains armor (see p. 00) equal to the Rank Value of this power.

Energy The character transforms into a being of pure energy (choose electricity, light, radiation, etc.). When in energy form the character may do such things as: Jump into power lines and travel through them. (Electricity); Move at the speed of light. (Light); Cause radiation burns and sickness. (Radiation)
Fire The character transforms into a being of pure fire. When in fire form the character is capable of setting things on fire.
Metal The character transforms into a being of pure metal (player’s choice as to the kind of metal). The Rank Value of the character’s Brawn is changed to the Rank Value of this power or the Brawn Rank Value +10, whichever is greater.
Water The character transforms into a being of pure water. When in water form the character may choose to flow like water, running through cracks and other small spaces.

Damage: Depending on the form and Gamemaster approval the character may make use of the Rank Value of this power to determine damage when attacking (punching with fists of steel, igniting things if made of fire, etc.).

Regeneration

The character heals quickly. Once per turn, instead of taking another action, the character may recover a number of Damage points equal to the Rank Value of this power.

Shapeshift

The character can turn into any shape desired (animals, other characters, objects) though the character retains the character’s original size (unless the character also has the Growth or Shrinking powers). The change is automatically successful unless the character attempts to impersonate a specific thing (such as another character) at which point roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of this power. A result of black means the character fails to adequately copy the character or object and can be easily identified.

Superleap

The character can jump across great distances. The character may leap up to a number of sectors each turn depending on the Rank Value of the power:

Rank Value Sectors/Turn
1-2 1
3-5 2
6-9 3
10-19 4
20-29 5
30-39 6
40-49 7
50-74 8
75-99 9
100-149 10
150-999 15
1000+ *

( * The character can circle the world in a single turn.)

Supersense

The character possesses a single extraordinary sense such as superhearing or supersight. Rolls made to use the heightened sense use this power’s Rank Value or the character’s Awareness +10, whichever is greater.
A player may, with Gamemaster approval, have an entirely new sense. For example, a character may be blind but possess echolocation (“seeing” like a bat) or infravision in addition to normal sight allowing the character to see in darkness without penalty.

Superspeed

The character can run at superhuman speeds. The character can move up to a number of sectors per turn based on the Rank Value of this power or the character’s Coordination +10, whichever is greater:

Rank Value Sectors/Turn
1-2 1
3-5 2
6-9 3
10-19 4
20-29 5
30-39 6
40-49 7
50-74 8
75-99 9
100-149 10
150-999 15
1000+ *

( * The character can circle the world in a single turn.)

When attempting an unusual maneuver, such as running across water or up walls, the player must roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of this power or the character’s Coordination +10, whichever is greater. A result of black indicates failure.

Telekinesis

The character possesses the mental ability to move objects without touching them. The upper limit of weight the character may lift with this power is the greater of the power’s Rank Value or the character’s Willpower Rank Value +10.

Rank Value Weight
1-2 50 lb.
3-5 100 lbs.
6-9 200 lbs.
10-19 400 lbs.
20-29 800 lbs.
30-39 1 ton
40-49 10 tons
50-74 50 tons
75-99 80 tons
100-149 100 tons
150-999 200 tons
1000+ 400 tons

Ranged Attacks: The character may also use this power to perform ranged attacks – by throwing an object or simply using telekinetic “force” – using the character’s Willpower in place of Coordination. A successful attack deals damage equal to the Rank Value of this power.

Telepathy

The character can read the minds of others and transmit mental messages. For all actions involving this power the character uses the greater of the power’s Rank Value or the character’s Willpower +10.
A character with this power may read the mind of any character with a Willpower Rank Value lower than the character’s Rank Value in this power or the character’s Willpower +10, whichever is greater.
A character with this power is automatically aware when someone attempts to read the character’s mind. The character may attempt to block the other telepath; both characters roll d% and add the Rank Value of this power or the character’s Willpower +10, whichever is greater.

Teleportation

The character may teleport a number of sectors equal to the Rank Value of this power in a single turn. Teleporting requires the player to roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of this power. A result of black means the character arrives dazed at the destination sector and must spend the next turn recovering (the character may take no actions that turn).
If the character is unfamiliar with – or cannot see – the destination sector and teleports into a solid object – which can include the ground – the player must roll d% on the Master Table using the Rank Value of the character’s Fortitude. A result of black immediately bounces the character back to the starting sector where the character is dazed and must spend 1-10 turns recovering (taking no actions during that time). Any other result immediately bounces the character back to the starting sector where the character is dazed for one turn.

Wall-Crawling

The character can move normally, either by using a specialized device or innate means, across surfaces from which most people would fall (walls and ceilings, for example). Gamemasters should inflict a row step penalty when attempting to move across a slippery surface.

Water Native (how about Amphibian?)

The character is from a watery civilization and may breathe underwater or on land. When swimming, the character moves a number of Sectors determined by the Rank Value of this power.

Rank Value Sectors Moved in One Turn When Swimming
01-02 1 sector
03-29 2 sectors
30+ 3 sectors

Playing the Game

Master Table

Take a look at the 4C Basic System Master Table (basictable.pdf); it is the key to all actions in the game. To use the Master Table, find the appropriate Rank Value in the leftmost column, roll d%, and find your die result on the table by moving along the row. The number rolled will be in a black, red, blue, or yellow box which will give you the result:

Color Result
Black Failed Attempt. Your action has failed.
Red Minor Success. Your action succeeded, but just barely; in most instances this will be enough.
Blue Success. You have succeeded at your attempted action.
Yellow Major Success. You have succeeded in a spectacular way. Some actions, as determined by the Gamemaster, will require a Major Success.

Row Steps

A Row Step represents a shift of one or more rows up or down the Master Table in the effective Rank Value for a single action. A Row Step can be a bonus or penalty. For example, a +1 Row Step moves the effective Rank Value to the next higher row (i.e. from 20-29 to 30-39) while a –2 Row Step moves the effective Rank Value two rows lower (i.e. from 20-29 to 6-9).

Example: Jessica’s character is trying to hit an opponent with a karate chop. The Gamemaster tells Jessica her character gains a +1 Row Step bonus due to favorable circumstances (see p. 00). Her character has a Melee Rank Value of 30-39, so for this one attack the bonus brings it to 40-49.

Altering The Dice

After a roll is made you may spend 25 points from Fortune to shift the result of a single roll one color left or right (from black to red, red to blue, blue to yellow, or vice-versa) on the Master Table. The roll you alter can be your own or someone else’s (ally or enemy). You may spend additional points to further shift the color (i.e. from black to blue or red to black) with each additional shift costing a further 25 points. Multiple characters may spend Fortune to affect the same die roll.

Example: Tony wants to reduce the result of an opponent’s roll from blue to black. This costs 50 points (two Color Shifts), but Tony’s character only has 37 points. Thus Tony can do no better than to shift it from blue to red (one Color Shift); the opponent still succeeds, but less so and Tony has 12 points remaining in his Fortune.

Combat

Combat in 4C takes place in turns, each of which covers an abstract amount of time equal to the action depicted in a single comic book panel. A character can perform any action that would fit into a standard panel including attack, dodge, or move. You may only attack once in a turn (the exception is the Fast Attack power which grants characters the ability to make multiple attacks in one turn). It is possible to move and attack in the same turn but you suffer a –1 Row Step penalty to your attack for every sector you move into unless you perform a rush (see p. 00). You may also move and dodge in the same turn but you suffer a –1 Row Step penalty to your dodge for every sector you move into.
During a turn the action takes place as follows:

  1. The Gamemaster secretly determines the actions of Gamemaster Characters.
  2. The players each state their actions for the turn.
  3. One player and the Gamemaster each roll d% to determine Initiative for their side; highest roll wins.
  4. The side that won Initiative acts.
  5. The side that lost Initiative now acts.
  6. Repeat until the combat is over.

Movement

4C games are played on a map divided into individual areas known as sectors. The number of sectors a character may move in a turn is determined by the Rank Value of Coordination.

Rank Value Sectors Moved in One Turn
01-02 1 sector
03-29 2 sectors
30+ 3 sectors

Climbing: The above table assumes a character moving horizontally along the ground; if the character is moving vertically (i.e. climbing a wall) use the following:

Rank Value Sectors* Climbed in One Turn
01-29 1 sector
30+ 2 sectors

( * One sector is approximately 10 feet.)

Some powers grant characters special forms of movement. See the individual power descriptions (starting on p. 00) for details.

Melee Attacks

Hitting, kicking, stabbing, slashing, etc. are all types of melee attacks. To resolve a melee attack, determine whether or not it is a Bashing or Slashing attack.
Bashing: Any unarmed attack with fists or feet or an attack with a blunt weapon or object is a Bashing attack. Roll d% on the Master Table using your Melee Rank Value and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Miss. You whiff.
Red Hit. See Damage on p. 00.
Blue Pound. Your opponent suffers damage and may be knocked down (possibly into an adjacent sector). See p. 00.
Yellow Concuss. Your opponent suffers damage and may be knocked out. See p. 00.

Slashing: Any attack with a knife, sword, or other sharp object is a Slashing attack. Roll d% on the Master Table using your Melee Rank Value and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Miss. Nothing but air.
Red Hit. See Damage on p. 00.
Blue Concuss. Your opponent suffers damage and may be knocked out.. See p. 00.
Yellow Dying. You’ve fatally wounded your opponent. See p. 00.

Ranged Attacks

Includes shooting a firearm and throwing a weapon or object, in short any attack across a distance is a ranged attack. Roll d% on the Master Table using your Coordination Rank Value and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Miss. Wild shot.
Red Hit. See Damage on p. 00.
Blue Nail. You’ve hit your target; if you did not declare you were trying for the Nail then this is a Hit. See p. 00.
Yellow Dying. You’ve fatally wounded your opponent. See p. 00.

Range: Weapons are limited in range as follows:

Weapon **Range (In Sectors) **
Bow 4
Crossbow 4
Pistol 4
Rifle 8
Shotgun 2
Thrown Object 1 sector per row on the Master Table starting with Rank Value 6-9; lower Rank Values can only throw an object in the same sector.
Power 1/10 the Rank Value of the power (round up)

Rushing

To rush an opponent you must meet the following conditions:

  • The opponent cannot be in the same sector as you.
  • You must be able to reach the opponent in one turn.

If these two conditions are met you roll d% on the Master Table using your Fortitude Rank Value and gaining a +1 Row Step for each open sector you move into. Compare the result to the following table:

  • Black: Miss. You run right past.
  • Red: Hit. See Damage on p. 00.
  • Blue: Pound. Your opponent suffers damage and may be knocked down (possibly into an adjacent sector). See p. 00.
  • Yellow: Concuss. Your opponent suffers damage and may be knocked out.. See p. 00.

Wrestling

Grabbing, choking, holding, and similar attacks are all covered under wrestling. Roll d% on the Master Table using your Brawn Rank Value and compare the result to the following tables:
Seizing: Use this when you want to grab something out of an opponent’s grasp.

Color Result
Black Miss. You grab at air.
Red Miss. Not quite.
Blue Snatch. You’ve grabbed the target of your seize attempt. See p. 00.
Yellow Shatter. You’ve grabbed the item but broke it. See p. 00.

Slipping: Use this when you’re being held by an opponent.

Color Result
Black Fail. You’re still held.
Red Fail. Just for a second …, but no.
Blue Elude. You’ve escaped. See p. 00.
Yellow Turnabout. You’ve not only escaped but can also reverse the hold. See p. 00.

Struggling: Use this when you want to grab an opponent and restrain the character.

Color Result
Black Fail. Not even close.
Red Fail. Just out of reach.
Blue Hold. You’ve successfully grappled your opponent. See p. 00.
Yellow Hold. You’ve successfully grappled your opponent. See p. 00.

Dodging

Roll d% on the Master Table using your Coordination Rank Value and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Fail. Not quick enough.
Red 3 Row Step. Anyone attacking you this turn suffers a -3 Row Step penalty to the appropriate Trait.
Blue 6 Row Steps. Anyone attacking you this turn suffers a -6 Row Step penalty to the appropriate Trait.
Yellow 9 Row Steps. Anyone attacking you this turn suffers a -9 Row Step penalty to the appropriate Trait.

Attacking Multiple Targets at Once

When surrounded by multiple opponents in a single sector a character may elect to attack everyone at once. Roll to attack but on a Yellow result everyone is affected as if the result was Red. Any result less than Yellow is a complete miss. This only works with melee attacks.

Damage

Any successful hit inflicts damage that is subtracted from your Damage total. When your Damage points are reduced to 0, you are Dying (see p. 00). The amount of damage an attack inflicts depends on what type of attack it is:

  • Melee Attack: Inflicts an amount of damage equal to the Rank Value of the attacker’s Brawn if weaponless; a one-handed weapon adds +5 points and a two-handed weapon adds +10 points.
  • Ranged Attack: Inflicts a number of points of damage equal to the Material Value of the item thrown. The following is a small selection of possible objects.
Item Thrown Material Value
Concrete Block 20
Steel Beam 30
Compact Car 40
Pickup Truck 50

If the attack was with a weapon it inflicts a number of points of damage as follows:

Weapon Damage
Bow 10
Crossbow 10
Pistol 10
Rifle 15
Shotgun 25

Armor: Reduces the amount of damage suffered in an attack by subtracting the armor’s Rank Value from the amount of damage inflicted; any remaining points are then subtracted from Damage.
Example: A character wearing armor with a Rank Value of 10 hit by a punch dealing 20 points of damage suffers only 10 points of damage to Damage.

Pulling Your Punch: You can choose to mitigate the damage done by any of your attacks. Prior to attacking you state the reduced amount of damage your attack can cause and/or the level of success it can achieve. If your attack hits it does the reduced damage and if your level of success was greater than your limit, the success if reduced to your limit.

Example: Gina does not want her pistol-wielding character to kill an opponent so she states her character is pulling her punch with the pistol (shooting in a non-vital area) limiting the attack’s damage to a Nail result; if Gina’s d% roll achieves a Dying result, it is reduced to Nail instead.

Material Value of Common Substances

Sometimes the strength of an object will come into play. In such instances, use the following table as a point of reference:

Material Value Substance
1-2 Paper
3-5 Plastic
6-9 Aluminum
10-19 Brick
20-29 Concrete
30-39 Stone
40-49 Iron
50-74 Steel
75-99 Diamond
100+ Magical or alien substance
Combat Results

The following is a listing of the various combat results mentioned previously.
Concuss: Compare the Rank Values of the attacker’s Brawn to the defender’s Fortitude. If the attacker’s Rank Value is greater than the defender’s the defender must roll d% on the Master Table using his Fortitude and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black The defender is knocked unconscious for 1d10 turns. The defender loses all Fortune points and can do nothing until regaining consciousness at which point the defender immediately recovers a number of Fortune points equal to the Rank Value of Fortitude.
Red No effect.
Blue Same as Red.
Yellow Same as Red.

Dying: You are dying. Your Damage points drop to 0 and your Fortitude Rank Value drops by one Row Step on the Master Table at the end of each turn until it reaches Rank Value 0, at which point you are dead. Once you’ve reached Rank Value 01-02 you can stabilize yourself by spending 10 Fortune points each turn.
If you receive aid before you die, meaning someone spends a full turn tending to your wounds, you automatically stabilize; your Damage points remain at 0 but your Fortitude Rank Value stops dropping.

Elude: You’ve escaped from the hold and may move into any adjacent sector of your choice.

Hold: You’re firmly holding your opponent. For every Turn you maintain the hold your opponent suffers a number of points of damage equal to your Brawn Rank Value.

Nail: This is a called ranged attack on a specific target. It is used for feats of marksmanship such as severing a rope with an arrow or shooting a gun out of someone’s hand; it deals damage to the target like a normal hit The attacker must state the intention to try for this result before rolling the attack. If a Nail is not declared before the dice are rolled this result is treated as a Hit. The Gamemaster has the final say on the effect of a successful Nail attack result.

Pound: Compare the Rank Values of the attacker and defender’s Brawn. If the attacker’s Rank Value is greater than the defender’s the defender rolls d% on the Master Table using Fortitude. Compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black The defender is knocked down and into an adjacent sector of the attacker’s choice. The defender must spend next turn getting up and can perform no other action. If there’s an obstacle between the chosen sector and the defender’s current sector; and if the attacker’s Brawn is greater than the Material Value of the obstacle (see p. 00), the defender is knocked through the obstacle.
Red The defender is knocked down in the currently occupied sector. The defender must spend next turn getting up and can perform no other action.
Blue No effect.
Yellow No effect.

Shatter: Unfortunately you grabbed the object a little too hard and broke it. If the object could possibly injure someone or something, such as a gun, the Gamemaster should roll randomly to determine which character – or important item – in the sector or adjacent sectors was harmed.

Snatch: You’ve grabbed the object in question and wrested it from your opponent.

Turnabout: You’ve not only escaped your opponent’s hold but can also place your own Hold on the opponent or move to an adjacent sector instead.

Gamemastering

4C is a toolkit. As such, no suggestions or information on the “art” of being a Gamemaster are provided; if you need an introduction to being a Gamemaster, or just want to polish up on your skills, it is recommended you search online for help (various RPG messageboards may prove especially useful to novice Gamemasters).

Using the Master Table

The Master Table has already been introduced in the Combat section (p.00), but the usefulness of the table extends beyond the confines of combat; the Master Table is the key to any an all actions characters perform.
When a character wants to attempt an action that will have an impact on the storyline (i.e. leap from rooftop to rooftop or notice an enemy hiding in a dark alley) the Gamemaster does two things:

  1. Decides which Primary Trait or power applies to the action. For example, Brawn for jumping or Awareness for noticing or Superspeed for running up a wall.
  2. Decides the difficulty of the action based on the following table:
Color Difficulty
Black Easy
Red Average
Blue Difficult
Yellow Ridiculous

The player then rolls d% based on the appropriate Trait or power and compares the color result to the color needed for success; if the result equals the color or a greater color the character’s action succeeded. If the action fails, it is up to the Gamemaster to determine exactly what happens to the character as a result.

Varying Circumstances: In addition to setting the basic requirements for success, the Gamemaster can also use Row Step bonuses and penalties to reflect favorable or unfavorable conditions. The following are some suggested modifiers:

Circumstance Modifier
Hiding in shadows -5 Row Steps to opponents attempting to notice
Jostling train -2 Row Steps to balance along the top of the train cars
Raining -2 Row Steps to trying to grab a wet ledge

Character Health, Hit Points, or Vitality

Characters start the game with a number of Damage points equal to the total of their first four Primary Trait Rank Values (Melee, Coordination, Brawn, and Fortitude; see p. 00). Characters lose these points as they suffer damage (see Damage p. 00) throughout the course of an adventure and may die if reduced to 0 points (see Dying p. 00).

Healing

Characters recover all damage between adventures.

Fluctuating Fortunes

Characters start the game with a number of Fortune points equal to the total of their last three Primary Trait Rank Values (Intellect, Awareness, and Willpower; see p. 00). These points may be spent to affect the outcome of events in the game (see p. 00). In addition, characters may gain and lose these points based on their actions.

Gaining and Losing Fortune Points

Characters gain Fortune points for positive actions such as stopping crimes, winning fights, donating to charity, keeping appointments, rescuing someone from a fire, making time for friends, etc. The amount of points gained varies by the impact of the action as shown on the following table:

Scale Points Gained
Personal +5
Neighborhood +10
City +25
State +50
National +75
Global +100

Losing Points

Characters lose Fortune points for negative actions such as committing crimes or allowing them to happen, losing fights, failing to keep appointments, failing rescue attempts, ignoring friends, etc. The amount of points lost varies by the impact of the action as shown on the following table:

Scale Points Lost
Personal -5
Neighborhood -10
City -25
State -50
National -75
Global -100

Character Assets, Means, or Resources

Lifestyle measures a character’s wealth and access to other resources (see p. 00) as shown on the table below:

Rank Value Level of Wealth/Lifestyle
1-2 Unemployment or state benefits.
3-5 Student or part-time employment.
6-9 Full-time, hourly wage employment.
10-19 Professional employment.
20-29 Independently wealthy.
30-39 Small corporation.
40-49 Large, international corporation.
50-74 Small nation.
75-99 Large nation.
100-149 Superpower
150-999 Global resources.
1000 Galactic resources.

In general, the Gamemaster should allow characters to procure items and services appropriate to their Lifestyle Rank Value unless it would interfere with an adventure.

Character Fame, Popularity, or Prestige

A character’s Repute is used when a character is dealing with the public; the player rolls d% on the Master Table and checks the color result:

Color Public Reaction
Black Unfavorable (“Get out of here you freak!”)
Red Favorable (“Thanks.”)
Blue Very Favorable (“That was amazing!”)
Yellow Extremely Favorable (“You are the greatest!”)

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: The Gamemaster may assign Row Step bonuses and penalties to the d% to reflect the character’s actions prior to interacting with the public. The following are some suggested modifiers:

Circumstance Modifier
Threatening -2 Row Steps to reactions when threatening a citizen
Friendly +2 Row Steps to reactions when treating citizens in a friendly manner

Dealing with Criminals: The above assumes the character is dealing with law-abiding citizenry. If the character is interacting with criminals the table is reversed; a black result indicates a favorable response.

Gaining and Losing Repute Points

Each time a character stops a crime or saves a life (or, if things aren’t going well, commits a crime or kills), and the action is known to the public, the character gains or loses Repute points:

Act Points Gained or Lost
Thwart Criminal Activity +1
Save a Life +2
Commit Criminal Activity -2

The above amounts are suggestions only. If the crime a character stopped would have affected the entire city or if the life the character saved was that of someone “important” or “famous”, the character may gain bonus points.

Vehicles

Except for those with special movement powers (see p.00), characters will need to rely on vehicles if they want to quickly cross long distances.
All vehicles are defined by three Vehicle Traits:

Durability

This Vehicle Trait is a measure of how much damage a vehicle can suffer before it is destroyed. It also doubles as armor, reducing the damage the vehicle and characters inside the vehicle suffer from an attack by its value.
This Vehicle Trait uses a numerical score (not Rank Value) that is decreased as the vehicle takes damage and increased when the vehicle is repaired; this Vehicle Trait may never drop below a score of 0 and never be raised above its starting value. Damaging and repairing vehicles is discussed on p. 00.

Handling

This Vehicle Trait measures the agility of a vehicle. This Vehicle Trait uses a Rank Value (see p. 00). Performing sharp turns or other unusual maneuvers is handled with this Trait; roll d% and compare the color result to the difficulty of the maneuver on the following table:

Color Difficulty
Black Easy (standard turns)
Red Average (sharp turns)
Blue Difficult (jumping over a broken bridge)
Yellow Ridiculous (turning a car on to two wheels to slip through a narrow alley)

If the result equals the color or a greater color the maneuver succeeded. If the maneuver fails the vehicle crashes.

Crash: When a vehicle crashes its operator must roll for the severity of the crash. Roll d% on the Master Table using the operator’s Coordination Rank Value and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Vehicle crashes into an appropriate object, character, or vehicle (as determined by the Gamemaster) in the same sector in which the maneuver was attempted. If the vehicle crashes into a character or other vehicle there is a chance for the vehicle to avoid the crash (see Collision p. 00).
Red As black but the vehicle crashes in an adjacent sector to the one in which the maneuver was attempted.
Blue Same as red.
Yellow Same as red.

For purposes of damage inflicted/suffered, a crash is treated like a collision. If there is nothing but ground to hit in the sector the vehicle crashes into the ground (Material Value 50).

Velocity

This Vehicle Trait measures the number of sectors a vehicle may move in a single turn. This Vehicle Trait uses a numerical score (not Rank Value).

Vehicle Combat

Vehicles are attacked like characters; roll the attack and apply damage if the attack hits. Vehicles cannot wrestle or be wrestled.

Collisions: A vehicle hits something (a character, wall, another vehicle, etc.). A vehicle’s operator may choose to purposefully hit an object (ram) and the selected target must roll d% on the Master Table using Coordination if on foot or the vehicle’s Vehicle Trait #2 (Control, Handling, Maneuvering, etc.) if operating a vehicle and compare the result to the following table:

Color Result
Black Failure. The target is hit and suffers collision damage.
Red Success. The target gets out of the way.
Blue Same as red.
Yellow Same as red.

Collision Damage: The struck object suffers a number of points of damage equal to the vehicle’s Durability and the striking vehicle suffers a number of points of damage depending on what was hit:

  • Character: If the character has armor (either worn or natural), the vehicle suffers a number of points of damage equal to the armor’s Rank Value.
  • Vehicle: The vehicle suffers a number of points of damage equal to the second vehicle’s Durability.
  • Object: The vehicle suffers a number of points of damage equal to the Material Value of the hit object.
  • Characters Inside a Vehicle: Characters inside a vehicle that is involved in a collision suffer 10 points of damage for every sector the vehicle moved that turn prior to the collision.

A vehicle involved in a collision moves no further that turn.

Vehicle Damage and Repairs

A vehicle with its Durability reduced to 0 is completely destroyed; it cannot be repaired. Vehicles are fully repaired between adventures.

Sample Vehicles

The following is a small selection of vehicles. The Gamemaster should use these as a point of reference for vehicles of his own design.

Vehicle Durability Handling Velocity
Compact Car 10 6 6 (sectors/turn)
Sports Car 10 30 12 (sectors/turn)
Private Jet 20 10 20 (sectors/turn)

Character Advancement

As a superhero game, character advancement is slightly out-of-genre and not completely appropriate. For those of you that like advancement, though, characters may improve their traits and powers as follows:

Traits: A character may spend Fortune (see p. 00) to improve the Rank Value of traits. Increasing a Rank Value by one costs a number of points equal to the current value.

Example: Joseph wishes to increase his character’s Melee from 30 to 31. This costs 30 points.

Powers: The Rank Values of powers can be increased in the same way as the Rank Value of Traits: Increasing a Rank Value by one costs a number of points equal to the current value.
A character may also gain a completely new power – with its Rank Value determined randomly – by spending 1,000 points. This new power must have an in-game explanation (be it an accident, a new gadget, super serum, or any other means approved by the Gamemaster).
Skills: A character can gain a new skill at the cost of 250 points. As with new powers, there needs to be an in-game reason for this new skill (maybe the character has been attending night school).