Paladin in Action
For the most part, action in a Paladin campaign is the same as any other Risus campaign. However, here are some notes to detail some special cases:
First, see The Flow of Animus for details on what Animus is and what it can do.
You may, for any given roll, chose to spend a number of Animus points. Each Animus point spent is the equivalent of an additional die to your dice pool for the roll. However, you can only spend dice from one pool for any given rool (i.e. you can only spend from Light Animus and not Dark Animus for a given roll).
Points spent from your Animus pool are permanently gone from the pool. They do not replenish as new dice like regular clichés.
You may also choose whether to activate an Animus attribute. This is the true power of using Animus and is only available to Paladin characters. This represents the special powers that are inherit to being a Paladin.
You may activate any Light or Dark Animus attribute that is applicable to the task. Each activation or re-activation signifies some advantage your character is trying to get on the situation, whether mental, physical, or supernatural, and should be role-played. Feel free to activate your active or reactive Light Animus attributes on a social roll - but you'll have to describe what your character is doing. Activating Animus attributes involves your character using her Animus, whether it is to increase her strength, telekinetically rip a sword from her opponent's hand, or create a warm fire to seduce a fellow in front of.
When activated, you may re-roll any dice equal to or less than your Animus attribute. This activation is free - it costs you no Animus points (in other words, if your current Light Animus is 3, you can re-roll any die that was under a 3).
If you've spent Dark Animus for more dice, you may only activate a Dark attribute.
You may re-activate an Animus attribute (in order to re-roll again) as many times as you want: it costs one Animus point to re-activate the attribute each time. This should be a Light Animus point for a Light Animus attribute, and a Dark Animus point for a Dark Animus attribute. Once you have activated a Dark Animus attribute, though, you may not activate any Light Animus attributes for the remainder of the conflict. There is danger in going down the dark path.
Gloria (Paladin ) is trying to climb to the top of a wall. The wall is made of brick, so it is of Medium difficulty (GM assigned difficulty of 8).. She doesn't push things and just rolls 4 dice (4 + 2 + 1 + 3 = 10). She climbs the wall.
Gloria (Paladin ) needs to leap a river to intercept a group of Unliving about to attack a local villager. The river is 30 yards wide. This is beyond human ability (difficulty 30). She pumps here cliché by 2 dice (she wants to save some strength) and she spends 3 Light Animus points, adding 3 dice to her pool. Her pool is 9 (4 + 2 + 3). She rolls 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5, 1 (24), not enough for success. She chooses to use her Instinct Light Animus attribute in this situation, and the player explains it as her animal instincts helping her to jump correctly and find the best wind current. She activates it, focusing her energies in the form of a raven to keep her in the air long enough to save the villager. Since here current animus is 2 (was 5, minus the 3 she spent prior), she can reroll any die that came up a 1 or a two (she will then lose an additional Animus point). She re-rolls 5 dice and gets 4 + 2 + 6 + 1 + 2 = 15 (added to her original dice that remained (3 + 4 + 5 + 5)) = 32. With a running leap, she flings herself through the air and lands between the Unliving and the fleeing villager (if needed she could have spent another Light Animus point to re-roll her ones, but that wasn't necessary).
There is only one restriction on characters committing supernatural acts in Paladin - there can be no permanent effects. For example, a character could not make herself permanently stronger. A character could, however, make her next blow much more damaging. Players may want to restrict their character's acts based on the color of the game (no fireballs in Star Wars), but the game gives no more restrictions.
Supernatural acts are resolved in the same way as everything else in Paladin. Most of the effects are extensions of normal human acts - leaping, jumping, attacking - but when an act is not, it can still be resolved on the chart above. Measure the effect the act attempts to accomplish, and use that as a guide: if a monk wants to summon the wind to knock down a wooden wall, knocking down a wooden wall seems like a Hard task for a human to normally accomplish. If the monk wants to knock down a thick brick wall that it would take three men to knock down normally, then that would be "three times human potential."
When an action is not an extension of normal human activity, all the dice for the initial dice pool must come from spending Animus for dice.
Gloria is trying to bash through a door. She knows she's not strong enough to knock it down - it's thick wood, and locked - but takes a running dive at it, using her Paladin . She also spends four Animus, gaining supernatural strength, to increase her dice pool to eight.
If Gloria wanted to burn down the door with some mystical fire force, she could only spend Animus points to do so.