All random occurrences in the Nexus are handled by a set of "Action Cards" (ACs) which each Avatar should carry with him at all times. Random occurrences are involved in every combat and melee (more information later), as well as many actions related to Items, Skills and Powers. The standard "AC Deck" consists of 10 normal playing cards, Ace through 10 (suits are irrelevant). For future reference, any 10, face card or Joker is considered to be a "10" in your AC Deck.
Any time that a random occurrence is called for, you will be asked for an "AC Pick" which simply means that a card must be chosen from your AC Deck, and revealed immediately. Sometimes a random occurrence will call for more than one AC Pick at a time; you must do whatever the instructions say. It is protocol (and easier) if you fan your AC Deck (face down) for the Avatar whom you are targeting or otherwise interacting with and allow him to pick your card(s). You will then pick his response cards, if applicable, in the same fashion.
Any time an AC Pick is called for, there are two results which are constant. First, an Ace is an automatic "fumble", which has a different result depending on how the AC Deck is being used. Any time an Ace is chosen in any way, it immediately nullifies the entire AC Pick and reduces the result to 0. If this occurs in a situation OTHER than a non-power related (defined as any attack with a Power or an Item which specifically emulates a Power) Defensive Draw, it nullifies (reduces to 0) the TOTAL result being calculated INCLUDING all modifiers - if a calculation is "AC Pick" plus 6, a result of Ace + 6 = 0!). For example, if an Ace is chosen in an attempt to punch another Avatar, the punch will simply MISS altogether. As a further example, if a large effect calls for three cards to be chosen and added together, if any one of the three cards is an Ace, the net effect of the calculation is 0.
Any time an Ace is chosen in a non-Power related Defensive Draw, it will force an exclusive single card draw, which will then be SUBTRACTED from all other remaining defensive numbers (note that modifiers will still remain in effect before the subtraction) to come up with a final Defensive Calculation. For the purposes of this calculation, two special rules apply: A) The Ace will remain out of the deck for this special draw ONLY and will be placed back into the deck as soon as the draw is finished, for the continuation of the round as per normal rules (to follow). B) Any 10 drawn in this special draw will count as 0. If there are no cards left in the AC Deck for this draw, the entire Defensive Calculation will become 0 automatically, just like any other situation.
Any Power or Item which is specifically meant to defend the player against a specific type of Power or Item, will not be negated by the draw of the Ace (although the Ace will still make the result of the rest of the AC Pick 0). For example, if a player has a Ring of Fire Resistance +5, it can still be subtracted from the total damage done by a fireball, even if the defensive AC Pick is an Ace.
The second constant involves 10s; depending on the Avatar's LB, there may be more than one 10 in the deck. Any time a 10 is chosen, it allows another card to be chosen and added to the result, even if the random occurrence only calls for one card (you have the OPTION of choosing an additional card). The 10 MUST be removed from the deck before the bonus card is chosen. The result of the random occurrence is the sum of all cards chosen.
There are four things to keep in mind when using the 10's bonus rule. First, if a second 10 is chosen (we'll explain this in a moment), then indeed it is also set aside and another card is chosen and added to the result. You may repeat this process as many times as there are 10s in your deck. Second, if an Ace is chosen at ANY time, it sets the ENTIRE result to 0, just as if it were the only card chosen. Third, if a random occurrence calls for more than one card to be chosen, ANY 10s chosen can give you an additional card, and all cards will be added to the result (unless an Ace is chosen). Fourth, if you and someone else need to make simultaneous AC Picks (such as an Offensive Calculation vs. a Defensive Calculation, explained later), the Avatar who has INITIATED the Action which called for the draw will always finish picking first (and making all of the decisions about how many cards to draw) BEFORE the other player does. This also goes for a multiple target scenario, but in the case of several players needing to make decisions together, established Initiative (explained later) or a new Initiative draw is in order.
For every point of LB your Avatar has, you may add one additional 10 to your AC Deck. In the interest of using a deck of playing cards efficiently among four Avatars, it is suggested that you use face cards or Jokers to symbolize additional 10s. Note that your LB not only increases the chance that a more significant result will occur, it also decreases the chance of a total failure (drawing an Ace).
As a final note, understand that Items, Skills and Powers will usually not make any further reference to the above rules. Unless an Item, Skill or Power specifically contradicts one of the above rules, they should be applied equally to ALL random occurrences called for. In other words, if an Item calls for a single card to be chosen, it is already understood that the result could actually be 2 or more cards added together, or for that matter, a total result of 0.
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