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Opposed Rolls Codification


Harshax

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The purpose of this thread is to discuss the role of Opposed Rolls in refereeing a good game.

EDIT: This top level post is very out of date from the document that was uploaded here: http://basicroleplaying.com/forum/downloads.php?do=file&id=229

Opposed Skill Rolls: The Basics

The winner of an Opposed Skill Roll is the person who rolls under their skill. In the event that multiple opponents succeed at their skill roll, the person who both succeeds and rolls highest wins.

Opposed Skill Rolls: By The Book

The table below lists the winner of Opposed Skill Rolls based on the individual's Degree of Success. First index the Protagonist's Degree of Success on the table below, then cross reference with the Antagonist's Degree of Success. A result of ' - ' in the Winners Column indicates that the GM should compare the actual rolls of each participant and award the contest to the person that rolled highest.

Protagonist  Antagonist   Winner       Degree of Success

-----------  ----------   -----------  --------------------------------------

Critical     Critical      -           Highest Roller Wins Normal Success (1)

             Special      Protagonist  Normal Success (1)

             Success      Protagonist  Special Success (2)

             Failure      Protagonist  Critical Success (3)

             Fumble       Protagonist  Spectacular Success (4)

Special      Critical     Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

             Special       -           Highest Roller Wins Normal Success (1)

             Success      Protagonist  Normal Success (1)

             Failure      Protagonist  Special Success (2)

             Fumble       Protagonist  Critical Success (3)

Success      Critical     Antagonist   Special Success (2)

             Special      Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

             Success       -           Highest Roller Wins Normal Success (1)

             Failure      Protagonist  Normal Success (1)

             Fumble       Protagonist  Special Success (2)

Failure      Critical     Antagonist   Critical Success (3)

             Special      Antagonist   Special Success (2)

             Success      Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

             Failure      Neither      Both Fail (0)

             Fumble       Neither      P. Fumbles (0 or worse), A. Fails (0)

Fumble       Critical     Antagonist   Spectacular Success (4)

             Special      Antagonist   Critical Success (3)

             Success      Antagonist   Special Success (2)

             Failure      Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

             Fumble       Neither      Both Fumble (0 or worse)

[Optional] Opposed Skill Rolls: Extended Contests

A GM may decide to instill dramatic tension into an Opposed Skill Roll by making the procedure an Extended Contest. In an Extended Contest, the GM decides that one side will achieve their victory condition after acquiring X number of successful rolls. For example, a foot race may be described as an extended Agility contest, where each success represents progress along the contest's route. The winner of the race is the first person to acquire 5 successes, eg. complete the course.

[Optional] Degree of Success: Narrative Guideline

Whether running a Simple or Extended Contest, a GM may wish to use the degree of success in an Opposed Skill Roll as a reference for narrating the results of the contest. The table above lists the degree of success the victor has achieved. Each degree of success above 1 indicates a tangible quality of grace, mastery or aplomb.

Narrative should reflect the overall success of all participants too, not just the winner's. Two individuals, each achieving a Critical Success, can be described as an epic struggle. The victory may be decisive, but their individual performances may be incredibly memorable, and the artistic quality of that victory may be debated for years to come.

The language used to narrate the scene will have much to do with the overall skill of the participants. Imagine two poets of modest rank (20%), one achieves a Critical Success, the other a Fumble. The GM could describe the contest as a series of childish rhymes and unimaginative limericks, the loser being completely incapable of even the simplest rhymes, the winner managing to get through most recitals without stuttering. Those same rolls between skilled masters (90%+) would deserve far better praise. Maybe both poets brought the room to tears. Such was the mood, that one poet succumbed to the power of their own words (or those of her opponent!) and was simply unable to carry on.

[Optional] Degree of Success: Tangible Reward Guideline

A GM may assign additional benefits to Opposed Skill Rolls based on the degree of success achieved by the participants. If the above mentioned foot race were run as a standard Opposed Skill Roll, winning a race by 1 success may provide nothing more than bragging rights to the victor. 2 successes may get the character recognized at the local bar, earning her a few rounds on the house. 3 successes may give the character a bonus to Reaction Rolls when meeting a particularly valuable contact who happens to be a racing enthusiast. 4 successes could even immortalize the character in local song or history.

The value of an additional benefit should be relative to the skill of all participants. A character with 100% Brawling may not gain the same benefit for beating up a pile of toothless old men as a more moderately skilled wrestler who faced better matched opponents. Conversely, seeing the same toothless old man beat up a master pugilist may get the wrestler laughed out of town!

Finally, a GM may decide to use the degree of success in an Opposed Skill Roll as a guideline to award multiple milestones for determining who wins an Extended Contest. As in the example of a foot race run as an Extended Contest, someone who achieves a Critical Success vs. an opponent's Fumble may be awarded 4 'successes' to their overall goal of achieving 5 to win the race. The table above lists a numeric value in parenthesis that that indicates the number of successes to attribute to the winner.

Alternatively, instead of treating the Degree of Success as additional milestones in an Extended Contest, the GM could keep a running total of their values, judging the overall performance of the individual participants by the final sum of their successes.

For example, the GM decides to run a social event in which the Player Characters are interacting with the court elite. He decides to treat the event as a 5-roll Extended Contest. He's noted that anyone that achieves a total victory of 10 points will be invited to an even more selective party after hours. After many rounds of play, one character wins the contest with the following results: 1 Critical (3pts), 2 Normal (2pts x1), 1 Failure (0pts x1), and 1 Special (1pts x2) for a total of 7 Points. This isn't enough to be whisked away to the ultra-elite gathering, but it may be enough to develop further contacts in the city.

Edited by Harshax

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Are you going to do a table for each and every skill, or just Acting?

Smartass! :rolleyes:

I've tried to clean up the language, and add a little more flavor text.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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You have: "Degree of Success: Extended Contests:", but what you don't show, though it easy to derive, is Degree of Success for Simple (i.e non-extended) contests.

In cases where it is important to determine the winner, but the degree of success is not important:

Both players roll, and the one with the best level of success wins.

A critical beats a special, a success, a fail or a fumble

A special beats a success, a fail or a fumble

A success beats a fail or a fumble

A fail beats a fumble

If both players obtain the same level of success (both roll a critical, or both roll a special or both roll a success) then the player who rolls the highest wins.

In cases where it is important to determine the winner and the degree of success is important:

This would be the table you had in your post, except without the numbers in brackets.

I know what I wrote is very easily derivable from your post, but I think it would be good to state it explicitly as things that seem obvious to us who have been around the system for a while can often be easily misunderstood by newbies.

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Nice work, Harshax.

In the table (and just for the sake of completeness), instead of "Highest Roller Wins (1)" should it read "Highest Roller Wins Normal Success (1)"?

Thalaba

"Tell me what you found, not what you lost" Mesopotamian proverb

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The purpose of this thread is to discuss the role of Opposed Rolls in refereeing a good game.

Opposed Skill Rolls: The Basics

The winner of an Opposed Skill Roll is the person who rolls under their skill. In the event that multiple opponents succeed at their skill roll, the person who succeed but rolled highest wins.

[Optional] Opposed Skill Rolls: Extended Contests

A GM may decide to instill dramatic tension into an Opposed Skill Roll by making the procedure an Extended Contest. In an Extended Contest, the GM decides that one side will achieve their victory condition after acquiring X number of successful rolls. For example, a foot race may be described as an extended Agility contest, where each success represents progress along the contest's route. The winner of the race is the first person to acquire 5 successes, eg. complete the course.

[Optional] Degree of Success: Narrative Guideline

A GM may decide to use the degree of success in an Opposed Skill Roll as a reference for narrating the results of the contest. The chart below describes the degree of success the opponent has achieved. Each degree of success above 1 indicates a tangible quality of grace, mastery or aplomb. Narrative should reflect the overall success of all participants too, not just the winner's. Two individuals, each achieving a Critical Success, can be described as an epic struggle. The victory may be decisive, but their individual performances may be incredibly memorable, and the artistic quality of that victory may be debated for years to come.

[Optional] Degree of Success: Extended Contests

A GM may decide to use the degree of success in an Opposed Skill Roll as a guideline to award multiple milestones for determining who wins. As in the example of a foot race, someone who achieves a Critical Success vs. an opponents Fumble may be awarded 4 'successes' to their overall goal of achieving 5 to win the race. The chart below lists a numeric value that should be interpreted as a number of successes to attribute to the winner.


Protagonist  Antagonist   Winner       Degree of Success

-----------  ----------   -----------  ------------------------

Critical     Critical      -           Highest roller wins (1)

Critical     Special      Protagonist  Normal Success (1)

Critical     Success      Protagonist  Special Success (2)

Critical     Failure      Protagonist  Critical Success (3)

Critical     Fumble       Protagonist  Spectacular Success (4)

Special      Critical     Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

Special      Special       -           Highest roller wins (1)

Special      Success      Protagonist  Normal Success (1)

Special      Failure      Protagonist  Special Success (2)

Special      Fumble       Protagonist  Critical Success (3)

Success      Critical     Antagonist   Special Success (2)

Success      Special      Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

Success      Success       -           Highest roller wins (1)

Success      Failure      Protagonist  Normal Success (1)

Success      Fumble       Protagonist  Special Success (2)

Failure      Critical     Antagonist   Critical Success (3)

Failure      Special      Antagonist   Special Success (2)

Failure      Success      Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

Failure      Failure      Neither      Both Fail (0)

Fumble       Fumble       Neither      Both Fumble (0 or worse)

Fumble       Critical     Antagonist   Spectacular Success (4)

Fumble       Special      Antagonist   Critical Success (3)

Fumble       Success      Antagonist   Special Success (2)

Fumble       Failure      Antagonist   Normal Success (1)

GAH! That was quick. I tip my hat to you sir!

That is very clear and concise.

SDLeary

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Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I've updated the entry - altering the table slightly, and adding a little more detail to how to utilize Degree of Success for both Simple and Extended contests.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Final edit. I think I've covered all the bases. I also reorganized the information so that BtB players don't have to wade through the optional text.

Game On!

The Harshax

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Thanks for whipping this up!:thumb:

You're welcome. I was looking to create some tables for a GM screen anyway, and the recent thread about how Opposed Rolls are broken finally inspired my decision on what to add first.

[Also, I cleaned up the table for easier reading]

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Harshax:

Thanks so much for the excellent effort and the willingness to share. I agree with Kairos, it's a great example of why I dig this forum. Serious rockage, Bro:thumb: Adding it to a game screen is a brilliant idea too.

Cheers,

Sunwolfe

Present home-port: home-brew BRP/OQ SRD variant; past ports-of-call: SB '81, RQIII '84, BGB '08, RQIV(Mythras) '12,  MW '15, and OQ '17

BGB BRP: 0 edition: 20/420; .pdf edition: 06/11/08; 1st edition: 06/13/08

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Mind if I take this out and make a PDF of it? I'll post it here.

If you don't mind waiting, I'd like to do it while at work today. (It will be slow). First, I want to give it another pass to ensure I'm happy with the language.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Any chance you could pop in another option, something like this...? :)

[Optional] Independent Rolls: Simplified Combat w/o Opposed Mechanism

ATTACK

Normal Hit = Normal damage.

Special Hit = Special Effect by weapon type (Crush/Impale/etc).

Critical Hit = Maximum damage, bypass armour.

Fumble = Roll on the Combat Fumble table.

PARRY

Normal Parry = Blocks damage up to half weapon HPs.

Special Parry = Blocks damage up to full weapon HPs.

Critical Parry = Blocks all damage.

Fumble = No effect.

DEFENCE

Normal Dodge = Reduce hit by 10 damage

Special Dodge = Reduce hit by 20 damage

Critical Dodge = Reduce hit to 0 damage

Fumble = No effect

Wouldn't want to give the impression Opposed Rolls (although the official method) are the ONLY way to resolve things when "refereeing a good game", now would we? Especially when it seems they only got into SB5 (hence BRP) by some accident, despite adverse playtest feedback, and most incarnations of BRP don't use them... ;)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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First draft of the document is up:

BRP Central - Downloads - Opposed Skill Rolls

I added some additional advice to how to use extended contests. This was created in Open Office with the 'Export to PDF' feature. Please let me know if it is unreadable.

Any chance you could pop in another option, something like this...? :)

[Optional] Independent Rolls: Simplified Combat w/o Opposed Mechanism

ATTACK

Normal Hit = Normal damage.

Special Hit = Special Effect by weapon type (Crush/Impale/etc).

Critical Hit = Maximum damage, bypass armour.

Fumble = Roll on the Combat Fumble table.

PARRY

Normal Parry = Blocks damage up to half weapon HPs.

Special Parry = Blocks damage up to full weapon HPs.

Critical Parry = Blocks all damage.

Fumble = No effect.

DEFENCE

Normal Dodge = Reduce hit by 10 damage

Special Dodge = Reduce hit by 20 damage

Critical Dodge = Reduce hit to 0 damage

Fumble = No effect

Wouldn't want to give the impression Opposed Rolls (although the official method) are the ONLY way to resolve things when "refereeing a good game", now would we? Especially when it seems they only got into SB5 (hence BRP) by some accident, despite adverse playtest feedback, and most incarnations of BRP don't use them... ;)

Could you explain this a little more? Give me a couple of combat rounds worth of example? I'm not following what is happening here.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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First draft of the document is up:

BRP Central - Downloads - Opposed Skill Rolls

I added some additional advice to how to use extended contests. This was created in Open Office with the 'Export to PDF' feature. Please let me know if it is unreadable.

Could you explain this a little more? Give me a couple of combat rounds worth of example? I'm not following what is happening here.

This is essentially the RQIII and Cthulhu mechanic, modified to take weapon HP (from BRP) into account rather than the AP (from RQIII).

SDLeary

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:lol:

You're asking me to address 'Non-opposed rolls in Combat' within a document dedicated to exploring 'Opposed Rolls outside of Combat'

That's rich! :rolleyes:

Maybe we need to broaden the scope of the document to be: BRP Mechanics

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Could you explain this a little more? Give me a couple of combat rounds worth of example? I'm not following what is happening here.

I'd be glad to (if there's any chance you'll actually put it in!):

[Optional] Independent Rolls: Simplified Combat w/o Opposed Mechanism

ATTACKER rolls their attack, scoring the appropriate result as listed below:

Normal = Hit for Normal damage.

Special = Hit for Special Effect by weapon type (Crush/Impale/etc).

Critical = Hit for Maximum damage, bypass armour.

Fumble = Roll on the Combat Fumble table.

If a hit is scored, the DEFENDER can then attempt to either Parry or Dodge:

PARRY

Normal = Blocks damage equal to half parrying weapon HPs

Special = Blocks damage up to full parrying weapon HPs

Critical = Blocks damage completely

Fumble = No effect (i.e. blow still hits for full damage)

DODGE

Normal = Reduces damage by 10

Special = Reduces damage by 20

Critical = Reduces damage to NONE

Fumble = No effect (i.e. blow still hits for full damage)

Any remaining damage is applied to the defender, reduced for armour as appropriate (i.e. if not a critical hit).

Example: Abner rolls a hit and hefty damage with his Axe (13 points). Billy, having foolishly left his shield at home and not wishing to risk his Broadsword, successfully dodges - luckily riding-out most of the force of the blow (13-10=3 damage), and his hard leather armour stops much of the rest, though he still gets scratched (3-2AP=1 damage). Billy slashes wildly back with his Broadsword, missing completely (Abner had simultaneously rolled to parry but ignores the result, as it's not needed).

Abner strikes again - this time scoring a critical and therefore 14 damage, the maximum for his Great Axe (the damage dice he rolled at the same time as the attack are ignored, and he has no damage bonus). Billy tries desperately to parry with the Broadsword - luckily succeeding, and slowing the fearsome axe-blade somewhat (by 20/2=10 for a normal parry, so 14-10=4 damage), but still taking a nasty wound just where his hauberk didn't cover (4hp, critically). It's not looking good for Billy - rather than fight on, he puts down the now-notched sword borrowed from his father, and begs for mercy...

Any better?

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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I'd be glad to (if there's any chance you'll actually put it in!)

Ah! I recognize the mechanics now!

Maybe it is a good idea to explore the core mechanics and alternate methods for task resolution.

Ok. I'll give it a go.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Thanks, that's great!

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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Isn't there a little more to the parry part? Doesn't a weapon actually take damage when used to parry a Critical Strike? Need to dig up the original texts. . .

EDIT: Ah hah!

I'm looking at GDW RQ3. It specifically states that a Dodge must meet the same Degree of Success as the attack to be effective, and Parry always blocks it's HP worth of damage (taking 1 Pt if the damage exceeds its HP).

Where are your rules coming from?

Edited by Harshax

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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Isn't there a little more to the parry part? Doesn't a weapon actually take damage when used to parry a Critical Strike?

Yes, there can be more complexity about damaging weapons - but the Opposed Roll write-ups skip that too.

Where are your rules coming from?

My house. They're similar to RQ2/3, but with tweaks intended to fix the "Dodge Problem" mentioned elsewhere, and work with new BRP's increased weapon HPs. Just to show an alternative to Opposed Roll mechanisms - not claiming to have ever been "official".

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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