Ok, here’s how I’m refining it. You don’t have to read the previous discussions to pick up the thread from here. This is all still being playtested to see how the numbers play out (meaning using anydice, considering other variables, etc.), but in terms of “feel” and concept this is the direction I like. If you think the feel, concept, and direction is misguided, that’s more helpful to me right now.
WYRD: The force of destiny inside the character. A list of aspects/fantastic powers/stunts, etc. Rated 1 - 5, this number serves as the default/starting setting of the character’s Power Bar.
Ⓧ ◯ ▢ △ and ♢: “Skill buttons” rated from +1 to +5. Each button has its own flavor (Ⓧ are Forward actions, ◯ are Manuever actions, △ are Insight actions, etc.) and are equipped during character generation. This serves as adding to a dice pool when looking for successes, and successes add to the Power Bar during fight scenes.
In other words, characters with high Wyrd ratings will have great raw power but be slow in harnessing it, while characters with high Skill buttons instead will be adept and precise even if it’s building over time.
The basic action roll is to roll one 6-sided die (the “action die”) and score a result of 5 or 6. This is considered a success, a.k.a. “a Power result.” All dice make open-ended rolls, so rolling a 6 allows the die to be rolled again for another chance to score.
Players may choose to roll more dice in addition to the action die by spending points from (or “tapping”) a Skill from one of the Ⓧ ◯ ▢ △♢ “buttons” on the character controller. More Power that is scored increases the effectiveness of your actions, of course. However, any dice showing 1s are at risk of being lost as “Threat dice” that exhaust the Skill being used.
On your turn, you make one of two moves:
–> Build up Power.
Narrate details about your action, then make an Action roll. All Power results add +1 each to your Power Bar.
–> Spend Power.
Narrate details about your action, then make an Action roll. Any Power result allows you to spend any number of points from the Power Bar for a variety of buff/debuff/strike effects.
At the end of your turn, resolve any “Openings.”
Any die that scores a 1 in an Action roll is now a “Threat die” against the character. Re-roll the Threat die/dice, and every number rolled equal to the Threat Level (1, 2 or 3) or below adds +1 Stress. Players may ignore Threat dice before re-rolling (and thus avoid the potential loss of Stress) in two ways:
→ “Exhaustion.” Negate Threat dice by lowering the Skill rating that was just used. (-1, each.) The Skill rating remains exhausted (and further losses may accrue) until the Player chooses to Refresh by skipping a turn
→ “Lose Ground.” Negate Threat dice by adding points to the Threat Meter (+1, each.)
Note that you cannot split the options of Threat dice; they are all rolled for Stress, all Exhaustion, etc.
–> Hard Openings: If the character fails to score any Power results from an Action roll (showing ineffective or “failed” actions), the Threat Meter goes up +1 before resolving the Opening, if any from 1s, as above.
Obviously, there’s more to it than just these paragraphs, so if you want to comment on a three-page Google doc version, there’s this: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RhL7MS6Bm2fRkuN5obA4QZKqZotcoq-y_CrE4EPcsbg/