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Frozen_Feet
2013-08-18, 04:35 AM
Basic Mechanic

The basic mechanism of this system is a 2d10 dieroll. 0s (or 10s) are read as 0s, creating a range from 0 to 18.

When a test is called for, you roll dice against a target number. Your target number is based on two things: ability and difficulty.

Ability is simply the sum of your attribute and skill.

Difficulty is a multiplier for your ability:

{table=head]Test difficulty | Ability modifier
Easy | 3x
Routine | 2x
Challenging | 1x
Hard | x
Near-impossible | 1/3x
[/table]

All fractions are rounded to nearest whole number, using the rounding rules you learned at elementary school.

A roll equal to or less than your modified ability means you succeed in a test. Higher means you failed.

Going under your target number by 5 points is one degree of success better, and going over by 5 points is one degree worse. Going under by 10 points is two degrees better, and going above by 10 points is two degrees worse. Consult the table below. Double 0s, 1s and 2s on the dice also make a result one degree of success better than usual. Double 7s, 8s and 9s make it one degree of success worse. The best possible result in any case is "Stroke of Luck", and the worst possible result is "Disaster".

{table=head]Degree of success | Descriptor | Effect
Roll < TN -10 | Stroke of Luck | Character both achieves his goals in less time and achieves more than intended.
Roll < TN -5 | Victory | Character achieves his goals in less time than expected, or achieves more than intended.
Roll =< TN | Success | Character achieves his basic goals in expected time.
Roll > TN | Failure | Character fails to meet his basic goals, but can try again with some preparation and practice.
Roll > TN +5 | Botch | Character fails to meet his goals in a way that prevents further attempts or aggravates the problem.
Roll > TN +10 | Disaster | Character fails to meet his goals in a way that prevents further attempts and aggravates the problem.
[/table]

Attributes for baseline humans are generated with 2d6-2, ranging from 0 to 10 (average 5). Attributes for gifted inviduals are generated with 2d6, ranging from 2 to 12 (average 7.) Non-humans have theirs generated with 2d8-2, ranging from 0 to 14 (average 7). De facto superhumans might have theirs created by 2d8, ranging from 2 to 16 (average 9).

Skills start at 0 and are capped at (6 + the number of the relevant attribute), or half this for non-associated skills.

A beginning character's ability for tasks they face every day is expected to be 9+. A character is considered an expert on some field when his ability is 14+.

When you might call for a test?

Tests should only be made when a player declares their character is actively doing something. They represent active effort. Mostly automatic things such as walking, breathing, eating etc. fall outside this skill system and do not need tests.

In addition, after certain cut-off points it becomes unnecessary to always roll for certain tasks, as success is guaranteed. A test should only be made if it is necessary to know how well a character has succeeded, or when comparing performance of multiple characters. These cut-off points are reached when a character's ability reaches 6 for Easy tasks, 9 for Routine tasks and 18 for Challenging tasks.

Types of tests

When calling for a test, a game master should ask himself what kind of a task is being attempted. This obviously affects what skill is used to measure a character's ability,

Simple tasks: simple task clearly falls under purview of a single skill. They can be solved with a single test. Assigning their difficulty is easy - the game master should decide how long it would to solve the task as a Routine matter, and make the test harder if less time is available, and easier if more time is used.

Complex tasks: There are three types of complex tasks:


Multiple skills are required simultaneously.
Multiple skills are required in succession
A task could be completed via multiple skills


For the first, an example would be swordfighting while balancing on a tightrope. Clearly two, different skills are required at once. Rather than make multiple checks, a character only makes one - but uses the lower of two skills. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

For the second, an example would be building a robbot. Putting together its frame would require welding skill, wiring it would require electronics skill, making its AI would require programming skill and coloring it would require painting skill. These work as a series of tests, but the whole task won't be complete untill all tests have been passed. Passing or failing each test represents succeeding or failing only part of the task. A Botch on any test will still preclude a character from progressing, and a Disaster on any test will ruin the whole task.

For the third, an example would be medicating a sick horse. It might fall under general healing skill, or more specific veterinarian skill. As number of skills in play increases, so do situations where they might overlap in use. In such cases, a character can use any of his applicable skills, but this will alter difficulty of the task. The game master should decide how easy or hard the test will be based on the most fitting skill (in this case, veterinarian), and using any other skill for the test (healing) will make the test one step more difficult (for example, going from Routine to Challenging).

Contests: Contests are tasks where two characters are after the same goal. An example would be a 100 metre race. In contest, all contestants should make separate tests, against appropriate difficulties. The overall victor of a contest is the character with highest degree of success. If these are tied, the victor is one with highest ability. If abilities are tied, the victor is one with the lowest roll. If all things are tied, the contest is a draw.

If one character winning a contest doesn't preclude others from succeeding, they will do so as well, just no as fast or as well. In the 100 m race, the first person crossing the finish line doesn't prevent the rest from following suit.

It is possible for everyone to fail in a contest, leading to no-one getting what they wanted.

Conflicts: Conflicts happen when two characters directly act against each other. Example would be a wrestling match. These tasks use a modified formula for deriving a target number.

First, decide which party is the aggressor, the initiator of the conflict. The other party will be the defender.

The target number for the aggressor is (aggressor's ability - defender's abilty + 8). This means that if the two sides have equal ability, the outcome of the conflict is almost 50/50 (45/55, to be exact, with minor advantage to the defender).

Sometimes, either party might be at special advantage or disadvantage. Multiply the approriate party's ability as per normal test difficulty rules. Only factor in each advantage once per side. For example, if you multiply aggressor's ability by 2, don't also divide the defender's ability for the same reason. You might multiply both parties' abilities by same modifier if both are under similar dis-/advantage.

In a conflict, there is always a clear victor.

erikun
2013-08-18, 09:40 AM
Likewise, going under your target by 5 points is one degree better, and going over by 5 points is one degree worse.
I take it that this is already reflected in the table? It just seems odd that you would mention this specifically, but not the 10 points over/under. Also, it's right next to the rule about "critical hits", which are obviously not on the table.

What skills does a starting character have, and do players choose their own skills (much like Fate/Fudge) or do they have a list of skills to pick from (like Gurps/D&D)? I realize this might still be a work in progress, so I can understand if you don't have an answer at the moment.

Frozen_Feet
2013-08-20, 03:43 AM
I take it that this is already reflected in the table? It just seems odd that you would mention this specifically, but not the 10 points over/under. Also, it's right next to the rule about "critical hits", which are obviously not on the table.

Agh. Clarified. I intended that double are effectively the same as going under (or over) by extra 5 points.


What skills does a starting character have, and do players choose their own skills (much like Fate/Fudge) or do they have a list of skills to pick from (like Gurps/D&D)? I realize this might still be a work in progress, so I can understand if you don't have an answer at the moment.

It could be either. This is just the mathematical core of the system, it won't tell which skills are available, or how they become available. I do intend to build a whole game using this system, with character creation being a cross between class-based and point-buy-based. Detailing that process is outside scope of this thread, though.

erikun
2013-08-20, 07:54 AM
Well, it certainly seems functional. It looks a bit odd to already have character generation methods without even having skills yet, but I guess that is the nature of thinking things up. :smalltongue:

Other than that, are Stroke of Luck and Disaster the best/worst that you can roll? Because it seems like, especially on easy rolls, that it would be simple to go well over the bounds of Stroke of Luck.

Frozen_Feet
2013-08-20, 11:25 AM
Other than that, are Stroke of Luck and Disaster the best/worst that you can roll? Because it seems like, especially on easy rolls, that it would be simple to go well over the bounds of Stroke of Luck.

They are the best and worst, yes.

Added some more rules on how and when to use tests.

Frozen_Feet
2013-08-21, 12:51 PM
Skill Format

Each skill in play should have the following pieces of information defined:

Name of the skill: For example, "mountain-climbing"

Key attribute: This tells which attribute to sum the skill with to derive a character's ability for tests, and also tells how many points a character can have in the skill. For example, a skill primarily relying on physical prowess might have "Key attribute: Strenght"

Description: Defining what sorts of tasks fall under purview of the skills. For example, "crossing hilly or mountainous terrains".

Example tasks: A skill should give example for a task of each difficulty: Easy, Routine, Challenging, Hard and Near-impossible. For example: "Easy task is crossing low hills in clear weather. Routine task is crossing low hills in rainy weather. Challenging task is crossing a mountain in clear weather. Hard task is crossing a mountain in rainy weather, or without rope. Near-impossible task is crossing a mountain in rain without rope."

Consequences of success and failure: A skill should give examples of what happens on different degrees of success. For example, "Success means a character crosses the terrain in expected time. A failure means he is stopped by an obstacle and needs to find a way around. A Disaster means he falls down and hurts himself."

Time taken: How much time does using the skill usually take. For example, "a character moves across hilly and mountainous terrains at 1/3 his usual speed. This is further adjusted by degrees of success".

Special: This optional paragraph lists special rules interactions a skill might have with other parts of a game.

Associated and Non-associated skills

Associated skills are those skills that a character would encounter often even he'd have no desire to learn them himself, such as skills related to his career, class, species or education. For example, to a school student, music or math might be such skills.

Non-associated skills are such that a character would not reasonably have any aptitude in them without going out of his way to learn them. For example, to a school student, neurosurgery or weaponsmithing might be such skills.

A character can attempt tests falling under associated skills even if he has no points in those skills. (His ability is simply his attribute.) However, tests for associated skills with no points in them are one step harder than usual. For example, to a student with 0 points in math skill, Easy tasks would become Routine.

A character can't attempt tests falling under non-associated skills he has no points in. It is assumed the character doesn't even know where to begin to make an attempt. At minimum, he needs guidance from a character who has association with that skill to attempt a test.