Skill resolution mechanics

Albert Sales drite_mi at YAHOO.COM
Tue Jan 27 23:25:11 CET 2004

   I must apologize for double talking myself. I agree fully with dropping "or 80" skills. The table would make it easy. (btw, 59/7 ru is fast and easy for me, but I've known my share that would need a calculator.) I think the "Levels of success" was an excellent idea, but needs adjusting. I fuly agree that level of skill should not only increase one's chances, but degree of success as well. A table as quick to use as the combat table, with effects of succeess being enhanced by EL, as in combat, is the nature of the material I am trying to find.
   I have found one solid problem with percentage skills. Modifiers poorly reflect complications. Writing a program that needs 100,000 lines of code is easy. It will, however, take a LONG time. If you rush the job, and make a mistake, the job isn't botched, but you now have a LOT more work to do. In most percentage systems, the size of the program would determine the time, and rushing would give a penalty (either a set reduction (bad) or a fraction of your skill). Missing the penalized target means the job has failed, start over. UGH!!!
   What I suggest is these complications give the task "armor". The program is big, and requires a lot of work (many WP). a Rush job simply means the programmer is trying for a higher difficulty, not making an open-ended roll. If he fails, he adds a few WP to the task (about the same number as the "armor" that the task has, while he sorts through code to find the mistake. Work he had done is not thrown away, unless he messed up REALLY BAD (increased the WP beyond the start-point). Once the errors are found (the WP penalty made-up), he continues with his coding normally from whatever point he was at when he started to rush.
   If he is a novice, he does a small amount of work each day (low EL = low effect), and has a larger chance of erors. A master seems to fly through the coding, effortlessly doing many times what the novice does in a good day (higher EL means success is almost guarenteed, and the EL factor grants more work points).
   The d10 divisor from breaking things I mentioned as it was a starting point for this, and if anyone was interested in seeing how quick it CAN be, try it out for some simple tasks (tanning the hide from the hunt, for example). A common tanner has about a 20-25 (let's use 25). A roll of the die will give him some number from 3-25. Let's quickly arbitrate that that is the BB value from the skins of the hunt. With rounding up, we can quickly determine a value, and have already factored in quality and loss to error.
   If he were EL 80, with the same skins, he will have 8-80 BB. This is because he wastes less, and makes a better leather. Quickly factored into one roll, it isn't bad.
   That was how I started (actually, that is EXACTLY how it started). I then made it more complex, but removed the math. Still, it is a one-step process to handle some fairly minor tasks (covered by "or 80" skills). With the 80 limit, a table can easily be made for the different d10 results to speed things up. It works for the current use of many of these skills, but, I admit, is far from perfect. Still, this is where I started on my personal attempt to revise skill usage.

"Choinski, Burton" <Burton.Choinski at MATRIXONE.COM> wrote:
|| 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).

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.
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