Skill resolution mechanics
Burton.Choinski at MATRIXONE.COM
Tue Jan 27 22:14:30 CET 2004
|| A different way to handle these skills is covered under strength
|| Roll 1d10 and divide an "or 80" skill level by the result. This gives a
|| of possibilities, and greatly emphasizes highly skilled individuals. The
|| "breaking things" rule is what lead to the "Work Points" (which I'm still
trying to locate).
The only problem with this is you start having to do nasty math on the fly
(quick! 59/7). It also assumes that we are having all skills at a
percentage level (which I do not have a problem with -- it worked fine in
RuneQuest, and would work here as long as we are cinsistent).
An alternate way is to borrow an idea from Harn. For skill tasks you roll
vs. your percentile skill (say, "59"), but the quality of your success
(special success, normal success, failure or special failure) is judged
based on your Effectiveness Level, which is basically your skill/10, rounded
down. So the guy above with 59 skill has an EL of 5.
This sort of flows with the idea that if two people both get a success, the
one with greater skill should have a better overall result.
In order to keep things simple (and different, so we don't get sued by
Columbia games! :), perhaps dealing in "quartiles" would work. Each 25% is
a Quartile (or call it by the level -- Apprentice at 0-24, Journeyman at
25-49, and ratings of mastery at each 25% points afterwards (Master I at
50-74, Master II at 75-99, Master III ast 100-124), etc).
The actual skill maxumums would have to be tweaked. We have some "or 80"
skills that are "ATT1+ATT2", and others that are "(ATT1+ATT2)/2".
Now, looking back at the use of EL for skills. Say we converted everything
to ELx format skills. No "or 80". One person noted that figuring maximums
was a constant pain (I know it was for me when i ran a game with my wife
involved...she hated all the math, so I was the one doing all the refigs).
Why don't we use the existing bonus system, but we carry it forward for all
attributes. Maximums could be figured as "8" plus the highest attribute
bonus plus the LOWEST attribute bonus. This a Heavy sword skill with a max
of "S,St" and some Shmoe with SB+3 and StB+1 would have a maximum of 12.
For Quaterstaff, which is "S,St,A,D" and if the shmoe's DB is +0 and his AB
is +0, his maximum is 11.
The way to handle the "simple skills" (the ones that had a maximum of
att+att, not (att+att)/2) would be to make all tasks a step easier. You
could even extend it the other way and make complex skills (Armorer, Healer,
Herbalist) a step more difficult.
Principal Software Engineer, Quality Engineering
email: burton.choinski at matrixone.com
210 Littleton Rd.
Westford, Ma 01886
The First in Intelligent Collaborative Commerce
From: Albert Sales [mailto:drite_mi at YAHOO.COM]
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 3:37 PM
To: POWERS-AND-PERILS at GEO.CITG.TUDELFT.NL
Subject: Re: Skill resolution mechanics
I couldn't agree more (although I have seen it work in Pendragon). The
streamlining will make the skill tests easier to handle to give less of an
interuption. Standardized tables would even allow for true free-form play
once people were used to it. The only changes I really mentioned are to
reduce the number of tables and to allow open-ended testing. Open ended
means the character is trying to do something, but not to a specific level.
A different way to handle these skills is covered under strength
(breaking things). Roll 1d10 and divide an "or 80" skill level by the
result. This gives a huge range of possibilities, and greatly emphasizes
highly skilled individuals. The "breaking things" rule is what lead to the
"Work Points" (which I'm still trying to locate).
Either way, one roll can tell you how much the character CAN accomplish
in their work. The system listed in book One currently (at EL 80) gives the
IMPOSSIBLE category a larger slice of the success pie than very difficult
and difficult. The difficulty must be figured out for these, as well. With a
free-form system, I usually ask for the test, get the results, and ask
myself: "Is that difficulty good enough?" If they roled impossible, the
answer is yes. Almost always for VD, frequently for difficult. It speeds up
the game, and allows for smooth play when skill-tests are needed.
Adding a standardized table would smooth this even more in that it would
reduce the math required to figure out the level of success. My original
description included algebraic sequence lingo. To me, that math is no more
difficult than we already use, because I did it once. I'll try to find the
pages to attach to a message, but they are archived on a CD, or I'll remake
them by march for posting. I hope you'll like what you see, and the tables
can explain themselves better than I can explain them. (Odd because I pieced
"Choinski, Burton" <Burton.Choinski at MATRIXONE.COM> wrote:
I think that in general we want to stay away from "table lookup" in terms of
running the game activities (I don't thing it is a problem for character,
treasure or encounter generation).
Combat and skill use is much more streamlined if all you need do is roll the
dice and judge the results right there. when you add the table
lookup/cross-reference it interrupts the pace.
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