Glossary of S3 terms

This is a summary of terms used in the S3 RPG system. 

Challenge Level (CL)

The overall challenge of a task. The higher the CL, the more skill that is needed to attempt the task. CL denotes the number of successes the player must roll. CL runs from 1 to 8.

Covered in the following posts:

Character Creation

The process of creating a character. Character creation generally with coming up with a character concept. That will allow you to select appropriate transferable skill ranks and choose a background, class, job, and hero style. The finer details – skills mostly – can be left undecided until you encounter the story but newly “realised” skills must be justified in the context of your character concept.

Dice Pool

A number of dice available to you. In S3 your dice pool comes from your Transferable Skills (TS).

Difficulty Rating (DR)

At any given CL a task may have different degrees of difficulty. The DR is the value that must be rolled at or above for a roll to count as a success. DR runs from 2 to 6.

Epic Accomplishment

Something your character achieves that was above and beyond what an average person might accomplish in their life and worthy of social note. As a rule of thumb, an accomplishment should be considered epic if it is noteworthy enough to become part of the future historical record.

This is not something you should worry about too much but are required to ascend to the highest ranks of a skill.


The person telling the story. They are in charge of running the game.

The Narrator will act the other characters you encounter and arbitrate and interpret dice rolls. The narrator role is similar to that of a Games Master (GM) or Dungeon Master (DM). The narrator should attempt to mould the story around the players’ character concepts. For this reason, the narrator has the power of veto over concepts that simply do not fit.

Rolling up (a character)

Creating a new character. You need to do this to join in a game or if your character has been killed off and you want to continue playing the story. See: Character Creation.


Abilities of your character. These are things you can do. Skills are generally verbs. All skills have a linked transferable skill from which bonus dice can be drawn.

Skill Rank (proficiency)

The level achieved in a given skill.

Each rank grants more dice and has a higher associated point value (cost). The lowest possible level in a skill is untrained (zero points) and, in theory, all characters have this rank in any skills they do not have listed. Some story systems or narrators may determine that some skills are trained only (meaning they are only available to those that have them).

Transferable Skills (TS)

Transferable Skills are a set of basic abilities that grant a bonus to some of your skills. I covered this in a recent post.

This post has been sitting in my drafts for six months. I’m currently going through my drafts and releasing content that I never got round to publishing. I definitely work better with deadlines.

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