Play in I Love the Corps is based around the abilities that characters, Friendlies
and Hostiles possess and using these abilities to defeat other combatants, resist
Horrors and avoid Hazards.
The game is a story that is broken into narrative and action scenes, which are broken
down into beats: moments of drama and excitement within a scene.
In each beat, you can use an active and passive ability to dictate dramatic actions;
active abilities take the ability's score and then add a single D6 roll and any
situational bonuses to determine the total, whilst passive abilities add the score
to a static number (which is 3 during a narrative scene, 1 during an action scene).
Whilst abilities in general reflect the character's learned skills and natural capabilities,
an active ability represents that skill combined with extra effort. A passive ability
during a narrative scene represents how a character shows their know-how
with time and no complications, whilst in an action scene, it is an action that
requires little thought or focus.
In either scene, often trying an ability for the first time won't bring total success; you can't just
hack into a computer in five seconds unless you are the absolute best. But if you start
hacking into the system successfully, further concentrating will let you continue to
amass what are called success levels until you succeed. The more success levels you have,
the better; and if you have negative success levels... pray you have strong armour.
Each character has a lethal, non-lethal, psychology and sensory status to determine
their physical and mental resilience. All abilities can be used against each other
to create success levels, which are then reduced by the target's Hardass or Stay Frosty
scores, to see what is added to the status. When that status hits a threshold,
you're in trouble!
A compromised marine could be concussed or bleeding out, finding actions more difficult,
and a neutralised marine is either knocked out, instantly killed or on their very
last legs, refusing to go down but suffering horrific physical trauma. If you are
Freaking Out, it is harder to do things from the panic, and if you are Losing It,
then you do something crazy for the scene.
In order to survive, marines are helped massively by earning themselves GLORY! If you
create impressive moments of role play and story advancement, you earn Glory Points
to spend later to aid your character. And for each Glory Point, you get a Fortune Point,
the only way to improve your character.