This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I like the idea of them for the simple reason that it gives the players one chance to avoid a pointless death due to a bad roll. It might not work, but at least they had an extra chance. A lot of the games I like have such a mechanic; Savage Worlds has Bennies that have multiple uses – including a re-roll – which limits how often they can be used during a game. This is something important, as being able to re-roll as and when one chooses is obviously a bad idea.

In Unhallowed Metropolis you have a set number of re-rolls, depending on just how corrupted you are, with the option – once per session – for an extra re-roll, but at the cost of falling further into corruption. This idea appeals more than handing out tokens, and the Malfunction mechanic is a great way of showing how close the Automaton is to final destruction. With that thought in mind, everything else came together pretty easily. All the rules so far can be found behind this link, but below is everything you need to know about Over clocking.

Over clocking

Since there is always a chance for something to go wrong, the Automata are programmed to respond quickly, sometimes allowing for an improved result. This is called Over clocking, and in game terms allows a player to re-roll a skill check that has failed, even if it critically failed. It is only skill checks that may be re-rolled in this manner, and each check may only be re-rolled once as a result of Over clocking.

In simple terms, the Automaton’s processor anticipates that a mistake is about to happen, and massively speeds up all of its on board systems to try and reduce or negate the upcoming calamity. This is not without risk as it pushes the Automaton’s systems past safe operating levels. Doing this instantly adds one point to your character’s Malfunction score. There is no limit to how often this may be done during a game session, but as mentioned above it can only be done once per skill check. Raising the Malfunction score of an Automaton should only be done when absolutely necessary though, as the higher the score, the more likely it is that a critical roll will be a failure, and the closer they come to shut down. As mentioned elsewhere, for every Malfunction level above four, the Automaton suffers a cumulative minus one penalty to all skill checks.