Assessment vs Declaration

Back to Rules Reference

Assessments:

(More on page 115 & 195)
  • Player invests a significant amount of time in study or research
  • Player chooses appropriate skill based on perception or knowledge
  • GM sets difficulty (Openly or secretly)
  • Player makes the roll
  • On success: reveal hidden aspect and/or information.
  • On failure: Do something interesting

Declarations:

(More on page 116 & 196)
  • Player makes the roll in the moment and in the instant
  • Player chooses appropriate skill based on perception or knowledge
  • GM sets difficulty (based on coolness of idea and its implications)
  • Player makes the roll
  • On success: Aspect/information is established

Assessments is and should be harder than Declarations because Assessment reveals hidden information the GM has created and increases the GM’s work load and likely will lead to more meaningful answers.
Declarations establish new information, lessens the GM’s workload, provides more player engagement but may not necessarily reveal other secrets the GM has planned.

In the Dresdenverse, many details about supernatural entities are “set”—their weaknesses, habits, tactics, and so on. There are some situations where a declaration isn’t appropriate, and the GM actually does have things charted out and “set in stone.” You’ll have to stick to assessment in those cases.

Assessments and Declarations can be used to suss out useful details as well as aspects. Not every bit of information you might want to discover or create can be summarized as an aspect. As a rule of thumb, if the detail is something that indicates a direct benefit to a future skill roll, it should be expressed as an aspect. Otherwise, if the information is important but the benefit isn’t so direct, noting the detail is just fine.

Back to Rules Reference

Assessment vs Declaration

Dresden Files: New York SilverSeraph SilverSeraph