Witchcraft & Wizardry uses a modified version of the FS3 system (Second Edition), developed by Faraday. The basics of the system can be found at

Rules Philosophy

The key thing to understand about FS3 is that it is not designed for a lot of rolls to be made. This is a system-lite game, and overuse of the rolling mechanics might lead to some unexpected and frustrating results. Your Attributes and Skills are best viewed as a measure of how well your character performs that particular task when under pressure. Naturally, any time an act affects another character, that character's player has the right to ask for a roll. But the hope is that inconsequential rolls will be waived, allowing a scene to progress smoothly.

If you're not sure when to roll, we suggest referring to SeanCee's Golden Rule.

SeanCee's Golden Rule: Don't bother rolling unless…

  • …the results of the action are significant to the scene…and
  • …the outcome of the attempted action is in question.

In other words, if it's fairly certain that your character will succeed, don't waste time and break immersion with a roll. Likewise, if the outcome of the action doesn't really affect the scene beyond flavor, bringing the system into play doesn't serve much purpose. Some people like the random quality that dice bring, but remember that you are impacting others' immersion. Even failure doesn't have to be random. You can always choose to try and fail, if it will make the scene more interesting.


Rolling the Dice

The basic syntax for rolling the dice is simple:

+roll Character=Skill

If any modifiers are applied to the the roll, it will look something like this:

+roll Character=Skill+2

Opposed Rolls

Usually, when an action can be contested by another character, an Opposed Roll is called for. The syntax for making an Opposed Roll is:

+roll Character1=Skill vs Character2=Skill

Apply modifiers the same way as for a normal roll.

In any opposed roll, there is an Instigator and a Respondent. The Instigator is the character who is taking action that requires a response (e.g. attacking someone, trying to sneak past a guard, actively trying to tell a lie, etc.). The Respondent is the character that must respond to the action (e.g. defending against an attack, spotting a sneaking culprit, catching someone in a lie, etc.).

If uncertain which character is the Instigator, ask yourself whose actions will change the situation. The one that is altering things is the Instigator, while the one whose roll will maintain the status quo is the Respondent.

Sometimes, when making an opposed roll, the result is a draw. Frequently, it isn't obvious what the actual result is when this happens. A draw means the situation has not changed. In nearly every case, this means the Respondent wins, because the Instigator is trying to alter the situation.

Cooperative Rolls

Sometimes one character is trying to help another achieve a certain task. For example, a group of Healers working together to save a patient's life, or several Muggles struggling to lift a heavy log.

This isn't appropriate for all rolls. For instance, one cannot help another with a Stealth roll, as a group of people sneaking requires each and every one of them to be quiet and unseen.

When making a cooperative roll, designate a primary character (usually the character with the highest dice pool for the task). The primary character rolls as normal. Then the secondary character makes the roll. On a Good Success or better, the primary character's result is improved by one success level; on an Amazing Success, the result is improved by two success levels. Multiple secondary characters can assist to better the chances, but only the best result will apply.

Even a Failure can be saved this way, though an Embarrassing Failure cannot be improved. If a secondary character rolls an Embarrassing Failure, the primary character's roll is reduced by one success level.

Cooperative Spells

In some cases, multiple wizards can work together to create more powerful spells. Generally, such spells are already large in scope, and usually have lasting durations. Unless otherwise stated, any spell with a Casting Time longer than one round can be cast cooperatively.

Cooperative spells must be done voluntarily. Trying to "jump in" on another wizard's spell without warning is likely to have little beneficial effect, as the original caster was unprepared to weave his or her magic with another's.

Though spells cannot exceed Amazing Success, a GM may decide that an exceptional spell might increase the spell's duration or make it more resistant to counter-spells.

NPC Rolls

Sometimes you might need to make a roll for an NPC that has no actual stats. The code does allow for this, however it only works as an Opposed Roll (see above). Usually this isn't an issue, as one typically doesn't need to roll for NPCs unless the action is contested.

The roll is made like any other Opposed Roll, except that the name of the character is "NPC" followed by the total ranks of the Abilities in question. For example, if Alphard is in a brawl with an NPC with Body 2 and Fighting 5 (for a total of 7), the syntax would look like this:

+roll Alphard=Fighting vs NPC7=Fighting


Luck Points

Luck Points can be spent to improve rolls in a number of ways.

  • Before your own roll, spend a point to receive a +5 modifier. This must be added manually to the +roll syntax.
  • Before someone else rolls (friend or enemy), spend a point to apply a +5 modifier to their roll. This must be added manually to the +roll syntax.
  • After your own roll, spend a point to get a re-roll and choose the better of the two rolls. If re-rolling for an Opposed Roll, re-roll only your own roll.
  • Spend a point to cancel a luck point used against you (for example: if someone gave you a modifier you can spend a luck point to avoid it).

Only one Luck Point can apply to a given roll, so you cant give yourself a bonus and someone else a penalty in the same Opposed Roll. Also, you can't have multiple people all spending luck to help someone.

The syntax for spending Luck Points is as follows:

+luck/spend 1=<reason>

Please be clear when stating the reason for the Luck expenditure. "Being awesome" isn't a reason. "A Stunning Spell against a rampaging centaur" is. If you know the centaur's name, even better.

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