The basic mechanic in Let Thrones Beware is the contest. There are two basic types of contest: combat and non-combat. Combat contests are resolved using Combat Powers, and non-combat contests are resolved using Skill Powers. Both types of contest are resolved in similar ways, though each has its own peculiarities.
Resolving non-combat challenges
To win a non-combat challenges, a player will need an Action Score that is higher than the Action Score of the GM. An Action Score is a combination of the roll of a Tier Die, an attribute score, and a Skill Action. The GM’s Action Score is calculated by adding a Tier Die with an Obstacle Score.
Players have access to three types of Skill Actions: Skill Attack, Skill Counter, and Skill Interrupt. These actions are roughly analogous to Obstacle, Wrinkle, and Setback actions in the GM’s inventory. At the beginning of a non-combat contest, the initiator (be it player or GM), leads with a Skill Attack (or Obstacle). The second party in the contest may follow by playing a valid response, so long as the action score of the response is higher than the initiator’s action score. At the end of the exchange, the party with the highest Action Score wins the contest. Ties go to the initiator of the contest.
Resolving combat challenges
Combat challenges are resolved in a similar way, though there are differences (for example, while fighting we refer to the Action Score as a Force Score to keep things separated cleanly). The principle difference between combat and non-combat contests is that winning a combat contest does not mean the fight is over. Rather, it means that you will inflict some amount of damage on your target. This may be enough to incapacitate your foe, but oftentimes you will need to win several exchanges before the enemy is defeated. Another difference between combat and non-combat contests is that unlike non-combat tests, where it’s usually someone else’s turn after a contest is resolved, in battle, each combatant has several moves which she or he may expend in a row; a character can initiate several contests in a row, or might choose to forgo a contest in order to move to a more advantageous position before or after attacking.