Characters in Da Game are defined by a set of stats which tell how good they are at doing different kinds of things. These stats are Brawn, Guts, Poise, Cool, Smarts, and Soul, and here is what they do:
A character's Brawn measures his overall physique. It represents raw physical strength, but also the training and conditioning necessary to effectively use one's strength. In combat, Brawn forms a character's base melee attack pool.
1-2 Lousy. You break a sweat opening a can of Spam.
3-4 Okay. You can run a mile without dying.
5-6 Superb. You could be an Olympic athlete.
7-8 Stupendous! You could flip over a parked car.
9+ Unbelievable! You could flip a parked car... using only your abs.
Guts represents a character's physical resilience and stamina. It is used to resist bodily injury, pain, illness, toxins and even bad weather. When a character gains levels, her Guts score determines how many HP she receives.
1-2 Lousy. You are knocked unconscious by stiff breezes.
3-4 Okay. You don't get sick too often.
5-6 Superb. You shrug off strong men's punches.
7-8 Stupendous! Your toughness is as that of Mr. T himself.
9+ Unbelievable! You could be fed into a wood chipper and walk away unhurt.
A character's Poise signifies his agility, dexterity, and reflexes. It regulates actions requiring speed, grace, and precision. In combat, Poise is used to determine initiative, and also forms a character's base long-range attack pool.
1-2 Lousy. You trip over your own feet.
3-4 Okay. Your body does pretty much what you tell it to.
5-6 Superb. You could be a ballet dancer or a martial arts master.
7-8 Stupendous! You can dodge bullets.
9+ Unbelievable! Your live your life in bullet time.
This attribute measures how... well... cool a character is. It encompasses charisma, physical attractiveness, and that certain je ne sais quoi that separates the l33t from the lame. Cool is used in any task that involves leadership or persuasion, and sometimes gives other bonuses; you just do things better if you are cool.
1-2 Lousy. Everyone points and laughs at you.
3-4 Okay. Only the really cool kids point and laugh at you.
5-6 Superb. Women want you; men want to be you (or vice versa, depending).
7-8 Stupendous! The dictionary has your picture next to the entry for "hip and edgy."
9+ Unbelievable! You are too sexy for your shirt; you are so sexy it hurts.
Smarts signifies a character's intelligence and wits. It covers logical thinking, and the ability to quickly grasp new concepts and turn situations to one's advantage. Smarts is important to certain types of magicians, since it determines their MP and what spells they can learn.
1-2 Lousy. You are outsmarted by your dog.
3-4 Okay. You are outsmarted by your cat.
5-6 Superb. While other kids were in middle school, you were finishing up university.
7-8 Stupendous! Plato? Hawking? Einstein? Morons.
9+ Unbelievable! God calls you with tech-support questions.
A character's Soul represents his wisdom, willpower, and overall mental fortitude. It governs tasks involving exercising restraint, upholding one's ideals, and using common sense. Soul, like Smarts, is important to certain types of magicians, determining their MP and what spells they can learn.
1-2 Lousy. You could quit any time you wanted to, really.
3-4 Okay. You know some of the things you see on TV are not true.
5-6 Superb. You can resist vampiric mesmerism.
7-8 Stupendous! You can resist mind-control drugs.
9+ Unbelievable! Even death cannot stop you from getting the job done.
Since Da Game is a low-budget, all-terrain RPG, we won't make you shell out money for funny-shaped dice. Just grab a bunch of regular cubic dice from your board games or illegal gambling operation, and you're in business!
Actions in Da Game are resolved by rolling handfuls of dice. You total up your roll, and compare it to the "difficulty" of the thing you're trying to do; if you rolled that number or higher, you succeed, and if you rolled lower, you don't. The number of dice you roll is almost always determined by your rating in the relevant stat, plus bonuses or penalties from magic, equipment, or whatever.
Dice bonuses add to the number of dice you roll. Flat bonuses add a number to the result of your roll.
Penalties are categorized in the same way. Neither kind of penalty can reduce the number of dice you roll, or the result of your roll, below zero.
Simple checks are actions which are rolled against a fixed difficulty. This usually happens when a character takes an action against an inanimate object or environmental condition, such as picking a lock, lifting something heavy, or resisting a poison.
Contests happen when two characters are taking actions which directly oppose one another. This covers things like arm wrestling, spotting hidden ninjas, and looking prettier than everyone else in a beauty pageant. In a contest, the high roll wins. If there's a tie, roll again.
Combat is a special kind of contest. The attacker rolls his offense dice, and the defender rolls her defense dice; if the attacker rolls higher than the defender, the defender takes damage equal to the difference. Da Game is really cartoonish about damage; you don't suffer penalties or anything for being nonfatally injured.
If a bunch of characters are working together to accomplish something, the character with the highest relevant stat rolls for everyone, and adds the sum of all the helpers' relevant stats to that roll.
Example: Due to a series of comedic mishaps, Todd the Beige, Eva Deathrage, and Diego the Latin Wolf are trapped in a room which is rapidly filling up with water. The only way out is through a stuck door, which the Referee decides is difficulty 14 to force open. Todd and Eva, being wussy wizard types, only have 2 Brawn each; Diego has 3. Since Diego has the best relevant stat, he rolls for everyone; he gets a 10. He then adds four -- the sum of Todd's and Eva's Brawn -- to that, for a total of 14. The combined efforts of the team are just enough to force the door open before they all drown.
Here is a little table which gives a rough idea of what number represents a given degree of difficulty. It's based on the idea that a "challenging" action is one which a character with a stat of 4 will have a 50% chance of performing.