Synergy house rules

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I use a few house rules for the Synergy system, as used in Blue Planet. They are all minor, and have very little effect on the already lightweight Synergy game system. See also the errata on the Blue Planet wiki.

Character Generation

I made a few restrictions on the character generation choices available to the players.

  • Characters are at the Exceptional power level, apart from having Everyday attributtes (i.e. sum to zero)
  • There are no systemic osmoform aquaforms (squids): gills on a mammal would cause virtually instant and terminal hypothermia. Diving reflex aquaforms, however, are perfectly believable.
  • Hybrids look far more like normal humans than how they are presented in the rules: genetic modification to increase muscle mass, say, will have no effect on the development of, say, the nose. Silvas tend to look like people with acromegaly, with large jaws and hands and increased muscle mass. Cats are thin, nervous, and constantly jumpy.

Open-ended dice rolls

When making a task attempt, natural rolls of '1' and '10' are open ended. If the lowest die rolled is a '1', add 10 to the Target Number and roll again (but only reroll the dice that show a '1'). If the lowest die rolled is a '10', subtract 10 from the Target number and roll again. Multiple consecutive rolls of '1' or '10' keep moving the Target Number.

This mechanism allows attempts at tasks that, through various factors, have negative target numbers.

(Inspired by Mike Z's house rule)


  • When two or more skills are applicable to a certain task (e.g. Pilot and Computer when trying to override a sabotaged autopilot), the secondary skill can give a bonus of one-third its value (round down) to the main skill value.
(Inspired by HeroQuest)

Close Combat

First is the single erratum from the published rulebooks:

  • Unarmed comabat strikes have a damage rating of Strength + 1

Second is the house rule.

  • When making an offensive action (Strike or Throw), but before dice are rolled, an attacker can nominate to forgo an attempt to cause damage, but instead acquire a combat advantage. In this case, the attacker's net Action Value (attacker's AV - defender's AV) is applied as a bonus to the attacker's next action. Note that the net AV can be negative, giving the attacker a penalty. Also note that the combat advantage resets to zero if it is not used in the attacker's next action.


  • The electronic weapon scope does not give a bonus to all shots; instead, it alleviates any range penalites by 2. Its range-trebling effect remains unchanged.
  • The targeting interlink does not interface with programmed reflexes to provide a 'never miss' effect. It still gives a +2/+3 bonus to all shots when used.


  • The diver aquaform includes the improved blood oxygenation modification. Characters with either modification have the union of the stated benefits: they can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes while performing strenuous activity, and up to an hour if resting.
  • Multiglands can produce a number of effects. See what multiglands can do for you for details.