In general roll when all possible results are interesting, and decide what the results will be before dice hit the table.
The following is a procedure intended to help determine when and if to roll, but it is not a strict rule that needs to be followed.
- The player declares their intent, describing their goal and their approach.
- Determine if the action is possible. Consider the situation, the player’s approach, their tools, abilities, skills, background, if they have help, and any other relevant details.
- If it’s impossible, tell the player. They can choose to revise their approach, or change their action.
- If it’s possible, then consider if there are any risks to the action.
- If there are no risks, or the risks are fully mitigated, the player’s actions can go ahead without a roll.
- If the action would entail unavoidable risks, tell the player what those consequences are. They can choose to accept them, or revise their approach.
- If there are potential but uncertain risks, the player’s action requires them to make a Save to avoid those risks. Look over the descriptions of the Abilities (player or ship) to determine which is appropriate.
- Tell the player the potential outcomes as far as their character could plausibly know them (always err on the side of giving too much information). The player can then choose to roll, or revise their approach.
- Roll the dice, and honor the results.
When you’re not sure who should be rolling dice in a situation, consider the “first point of failure”. Find the point where something is most likely to go wrong. Once you do, the person with the most control or agency over that point should be the one to roll.
In some very complex situations there may be multiple points of failure necessitating multiple rolls (usually from different people), but in general try to collapse things down to a single roll when possible.
The characters all live in the Meteor universe, so they already have significant general knowledge that the players might not. That means you should always err on the side of giving players too much information than not enough.
For specific information, remember that Skills also represent areas of knowledge. Don’t roll to see if a character knows something, since there’s no risk, instead just assume the character is a relative expert about any topics they are Skilled in. If it seems unlikely they’d know something specific, instead give them some idea of how they might go about figuring it out.
There is no perception Skill or check in Meteor. Instead, players learn things by investigating them. When a player enters a new area, describe what they see.
If a player wants more detail about something specific, explain what would be required to get it. Sometimes it’s just walking across the room to get a closer look, other times it might involve some risk and therefor a Save.
Always err on the side of giving more information, the fun of the game comes from informed decisions, not acting in ignorance.
Be flexible when letting Skills be used to roll with full Training. Skills are not intended to restrict players as much as differentiate them. That means that two different Skills could be used to roll with Training in a given situation, but the approach implied by each Skill could be very different.