Success and Failure

To make successes and failures more flexible, WIRE uses a special system, the degrees of success and failure. These degrees describe the difference between the target number and the actual result. Every second point of deviation from the target number means a degree of success or failure.

Determining degrees of success and failure

Before you can determine the degrees of success or failure, you must make a check as described here. Then you determine the deviation from your target number.

If you succeeded the check, you need to subtract the target number from the result and divide the difference by two. The result is your degree of success (DoS).

Success: (Check Result - Target Number) /2 = DoS

If you failed the check, you will subtract the result from your target number and divide the difference by two. This will give you your degree of failure (DoF).

Failure: (Target Number - Check Result) /2 = DoF

Success and Failure in Opposed Checks

In opposed checks, a failure by one party always means a success for the other. For this reason, only the effect of a certain DoS is stated in the respective skill description. Usually, a failure in hiding, for example, means that the pursuers discover you more easily. The reasons for this are manifold and should always follow the current situation in the role-play.

Special Case: Combat

Although combat in WIRE uses Opposed Checks, there is a special feature here in the degrees of success. The general statement that a failure for one party is always a success for the other remains.

In addition, each success level increases the base damage of the weapon or attack by 1.


Jaime the Warrior is engaged in a duel with a goblin. He wields a long sword that has 5 points of base damage. He wields this weapon with Strength and the skill “Heavy melee weapons (long swords)”. Jaime has a Strength of 3 and a Weapon Skill of 5.

The goblin does not carry a shield and, therefore, cannot block the attack, but only parry it. He has a Strength of 1 and a Parry skill of 2. To simplify the process, the Chronist decides not to roll for the Goblin, but to assume an average roll of 10.

Jaime’s player makes his attack roll and adds his Strength + Weapon Skill to the result: (1d20 + 3 + 5) = 23

The chronicler does the same for the goblin, except that he does not roll the dice, but takes 10 as the result: 10 + 1 + 2 = 13

The comparison of both results shows that Jaime hit. A success! To determine the degrees of success, his player subtracts the goblin’s result from his own, and divides the result by 2:

23 - 13 = 10 /2 = 5 DoS.

The 5 DoS increases the base damage of the long sword by 5 points to 10 points.

In defence, each DoS reduces the incoming damage by 1.


In the next combat round, Jaime is not so lucky. The goblin parries his attack with 3 DoS! Only 2 of the 5 base damage of his long sword reach the armour at all, the parry negates the remaining 3.

Success and Failure in Standard Checks

In standard checks, there is no active resistance that could directly benefit from a failure. DoS and DoF here describe how well something succeeds or how bad the failure is. This usually manifests itself in additional effects or in altered time periods.

A single DoF when picking a lock, for example, can mean that you jam the lock and need a second attempt, while 5 DoF ensures that the lock pick in the lock breaks off with a loud crash, alerting the guards.

DoS on the same check can mean that the lock was quicker to pick (1 DoS) or is still intact enough at the end to be relocked without a trace (5 DoS).

The effects of success and failure on such checks should always be determined by the role-play, which is why corresponding specifications in the skills are only suggestions, not a code of law.

Special Case: Crafting

Success of a crafting never depends on a single dice roll. For this reason, other rules apply to the production of items, which are described in more detail here. Each DoS increases the quality of the item by 1, while each DoF lowers it by 1.


To prevent absurd results, such as a dagger strike for 25 damage, the number of DoS and DoF applied to a single roll is limited. You can never apply over 5 DoS or DoF.


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