Skill resolution mechanics

Choinski, Burton Burton.Choinski at MATRIXONE.COM
Mon Jan 26 18:49:44 CET 2004

It could be generalized as an overall success mechanic ("effect points")
which could be applied to any skill.  For crafting, number of EP is put
toward creating the object.  For hunting, EP apply toward finding food,
water and shelter.

It could even be generalized in terms of combat, where EP apply toward
combat damage effects.  It does have the advantage that the underlying
die-roll system can be swapped around in playtesting, since what we are
after is the "quality" of success and if you made it or not.

I did something sort of like this when I ran Traveller: 2300.  In melee
combat the default rule was that it was a regular (average) difficulty to
hit someone, and then they needed an average melee roll to block.  Runequest
is similar in this regard.

What I did was to allow for player determination of risk.  If the player was
good enough (or felt lucky enough), he could optionally increase the
difficulty a step or two (simulating feinting, tricky maneuvers, etc).  The
"defender" would have to make his competing roll with the same increase.
Thus, Joe Hero is pretty good with his blades, and is jumped by a mook for
his money.  Joe could just duke it out with "average" combat moves, but
since he is so butch he can opt to make a "difficult" strike.  The mook
would then have to make a difficult block which may well be impossible.

To prevent ranpant abuse with buffed characters there has to always be some
risk -- there has to always be some "95-100 = miss" result.  This would then
key in with the idea of "detriments".  In the example above, If Joe went to
"difficult" (2 difficulty steps up from "average") and failed on his attack,
he could be considered to be out of position or something.  As such, any
skill rolls he has to make until he has a turn to recover have two points of
detriment (in my traveller system, which is very close to my "target-12"
system on Wout's site, the detriment might be 1/2 the difficulty difference.

SO, to clarify, if An average task is 12+ on 2d10+EL,  and Difficult is 18+,
then his 6 points of attempted effort become a -3 to all his rolls (i.e.
defense) until he recovers.

SUch a system gives players more f a feel for being there, since the
decision to play it safe or play it risky is theirs, on a momeent by moment
basis as the situation unfolds. It is similar to, but has greater influence
than, the ability to shift Weapon EL offensivly or defensively.

But back to the topic at hand...with this abstracted "levels matters" base,
we could playtest with 2d10, or use 3d6, or percentile, or whatever.  The
meta rules would be relativly unscathed, but we could play with things to
find the right fit of player capability vs. mooks.

BUt you all know my bias here -- I like my 2d10 system, since the ref needs
only know difficulty and can adjust from there, without the need for table

Burton Choinski
Principal Software Engineer, Quality Engineering
email: burton.choinski at

phone: 978-589-4089
fax:      978-589-5903

MatrixOne, Inc.
210 Littleton Rd.
Westford, Ma 01886

The First in Intelligent Collaborative Commerce

|| -----Original Message-----
|| From: Sylverrs_ dragon [mailto:abnaric at HOTMAIL.COM]
|| Sent: Monday, January 26, 2004 12:23 PM
|| Subject: Re: Fletching Arrows
|| Sounds interesting.
|| >From: Albert Sales <drite_mi at YAHOO.COM>
|| >Reply-To: Powers and Perils Fantasy Roleplaying Game Mailing List
|| >Subject: Re: Fletching Arrows
|| >Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004 16:36:51 -0800
|| >
|| >    I've used a slight modification of combat rules to
|| address things like
|| >this. Failure would destroy some materials. Simple success
|| would grant 0
|| >Work Points. Moderate would grant 1 Work Point. Each extra
|| level of success
|| >would double the number of WP up to 8 at impossible.
|| Difficult tasks would
|| >subtract points from this award. (When I say difficult, I
|| mean like adding
|| >an extra point of fatigue to a weapon, not making a
|| thousand arrows; that
|| >would be involved, but not difficult).
|| >    More fitting to specific skill is to allow 1 for
|| moderate, 1+EL/20 to
|| >difficult, 2+EL/20 to very difficult, and 4+EL/10 for impossible.
|| >    These "Work points" are then applied to the task. When
|| using this, I
|| >replace all instances of "Days" with Work Points. For
|| arrows, I ussually
|| >reduce this to 1/2 WP. A common fletcher (EL 20) would be
|| able to average
|| >about an arrow every 1-2 days, wasting a little money to destroyed
|| >material. If rushed, and if lucky, he could finish 8 (or 6)
|| arrows in one
|| >day. An EL 80 fletcher can easily finish 2 (or 5) arrows
|| every day, and if
|| >rushed and lucky could finish 8 (or 12) with an impossible.
|| The 8 point
|| >limit makes sense with a fletcher, because some steps can
|| not be sped up.
|| >The EL 80 could also try to make BETTER arrows, by
|| sacrificing 1-3 (1-4) WP
|| >per day.
|| >    Also, if the craftsman is only trying to work on one
|| standard piece,
|| >they can pace themself. They would assign a WP level to
|| test for (Either
|| >moderate or difficult only), and roll against 1 level
|| easier. If they pass,
|| >they get the number of WP they attempted, if they fail,
|| they gain 0. This
|| >actually becomes a factor when trying to modify equipment
|| to be better. (-2
|| >WP per day for +1 FV is -2 WP on a day 0 is scored).
|| >    I've worked out systems of WP and open-ended testing
|| for many skills,
|| >if anybody is interested.For hunting, I've found it works
|| quite well at
|| >both rewarding good hunters, and detering people from
|| hunting unskilled.
|| >
|| >Alex Koponen <akoponen at MOSQUITONET.COM> wrote:
|| >The skill Fletcher states that the time to make an arrow is one day.
|| >Similarly Bowyer has specific times to make specific bows,
|| Armorer has
|| >specific times to make particular AVs of armor, et cetera.
|| >
|| >Frankly I think that an EL80 fletcher would be a lot more
|| likely to make a
|| >good arrow AND a lot faster at making it than an EL1 fletcher.
|| >
|| >Further, even the same skill fletcher may take X amount of
|| time to make
|| >one arrow, but a lot less than X amount of time per arrow
|| when making a
|| >large batch of arrows. Particularly if he has specialized
|| equipment that
|| >takes preparation and little more preparation for 100 than
|| for 1 (example:
|| >making a pot of glue to glue fletchings on).
|| >
|| >Should there be a success roll involved?
|| >What happens with a partial success? With a failure?
|| >Presumably if it is to be enchanted the roll must be a success.
|| >
|| >Should the time be variable?
|| >If so, what are the variables?
|| >How much time for what bonus to the roll?
|| >What negative to the roll for going faster?
|| >What modifiers for equipment? For batch processing?
|| >
|| _________________________________________________________________
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