I'm about to run a game of Golden Sky Stories but the rules and examples have left me confused about how Impression Checks work.

  1. When you make an Impression Check, the rules seem to say that if the other person doesn't want to make one back then no relationship is formed (thus no Feelings are spent for the check and nothing is written down on character sheets). Is that correct?
  2. When you make an Impression Check, what direction are you setting the strength of (the relationship to you or the relationship from you)? The rules seem to say it's to you (and their Check sets the strength from you)
  3. Who chooses the contents of a connection? Does the Narrator choose for NPCs & players choose for how their character feels?
  4. Can you have a connection of strength 0, if you don't spend enough Feelings to get up to 4 in the Impression Check? I assume so, since you can spend 5 dreams to raise a connection to 1.

If my understanding is correct then the resulting relationship between Player and NPC would be:

  • Player to NPC connection: strength chosen by NPC based on Check result (0-2), content chosen by Player
  • Player from NPC connection: strength chosen by Player based on Check result (0-2), content chosen by Narrator
  • OR no connection if one or both sides don't want to do an Impression Check
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour if you haven't already and visit the help center for more information. This is a pretty solid first question. Normally I would advise to only have 1 question per post but these seem well enough linked that that doesn't matter. Hopefully one of our experts will be able to answer this soon, good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Jul 2, 2019 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


I can see how this is a little confusing. There is a lot to keep track of, and I personally had a lot of trouble with it. (Honestly, sometimes I still need to look it up again; I've even written down some of the mechanics in a notepad to look back at without sifting through the whole book.)

  1. Yes, if the the other person doesn't want to make a check, you can't make one yet. However, most people in this game should want to make a check back. Even in the worst case scenarios, it should take at most one scene with a character to convince them to do so (the GM should work with players on this; the game isn't supposed to make every friend hard to make).

  2. For this, I think I know where you read this, and I think it was a mistake in translation. I believe what they mean is that you make the check for your connection to them, and they make the check for their connection to you. When you spend dreams you can only increase your connection to them, and they must spend dreams to increase connection to you, so it wouldn't make much sense to reverse that during the first check.

  3. For what type of connection you get, the person playing the character decides what that connection is. So for example, one player character can trust another while the other feels protective of the first. Meanwhile, you could decide your connection to the GM-controlled Fox Henge is one of respect, while she has decided she has a rivalry with you. It's up to your choice, or if you prefer it can also be guided by what skill you used for the check (With Henge: Admiration, Respect, With Animal: Affection, Trust, With Adult: Admiration, Rivalry, or with Child: Protection, Affection). (I think it's more interesting to choose it for yourself, though.)

  4. Yes. It hasn't ever happened in one of my games, but if you don't have the feelings to increase your check up to 4, you can't really make a check. However, not only do you usually have enough feelings to spare, if you wait one scene you should always get at least 4 feelings. Remember also that you don't have to make the check immediately. If you don't have the feelings to increase your check up to 4, you can choose not to make the check yet.

If I forgot to address a point, or you just need some clarification on something, just mention it in the comments and I'll try to clarify what I mean or address what I missed.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer! For 2, that's what I initially thought (and what makes intuitive sense). The section on making Impression Checks talks about forming an impression based on the other person's behaviour, and the example story on pg 79 also talks about "connection from [NPC]", as well as this thread rpggeek.com/thread/1933356/… which all led to my confusion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Holly
    Jul 3, 2019 at 5:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's definitely written and formatted in a confusing way, also it doesn't help that occasionally the translator probably made a couple mistakes (stuff like that happens though, I think overall they did a good job) \$\endgroup\$
    – trogdor
    Jul 3, 2019 at 5:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd love to get a copy of the Japanese PDF to see if it makes any more sense there (as well as wanting to know the original names of some of the powers!) \$\endgroup\$
    – Holly
    Jul 3, 2019 at 5:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, you are more than welcome, I love Golden Sky Stories a lot, it's quite possibly my favorite RPG. I'm glad I could help try to clarify some of the rules \$\endgroup\$
    – trogdor
    Jul 3, 2019 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh yeah that would be cool,... If I knew any Japanese and could read it,... I sort of just assumed the part that doesn't jive with the rest of it was just a minor translation error, I'm not in any position to say for certain that was what happened \$\endgroup\$
    – trogdor
    Jul 3, 2019 at 5:32

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