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OQ3 rules questions


Rhialto_77

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Just bought the OQ3 pdf from DTRPG and am liking it very much.
I have long being looking for a game that is mosly skill-based but does not have an excessively detailed skill list, nor adds long lists of advantages and disadvantages on top.
OQ3 seems to do this just right.
So thanks to Newt for publishing such an attractive rules-light game!

I do have some questions on the rules, though.


Regarding skill mastery:
The main section on skill mastery (p. 42) states that masters never roll for skill checks and always achieve a critical success.
Does this hold also if there are penalties to the roll, i.e., even at -50%, a master gets an automatic critical?

It is also spelled out how mastery works in opposed tests - but what about combat and magic?

Combat does not use regular opposed tests but the table on p.72: a critical attack vs a critical defense results in a normal damage roll minus armor.
This would imply that combat between masters reduces to rolling for damage à la Into the Odd?

For magic, a critical success for personal magic or sorcery means that the spell costs 1 POW only, regardless of magnitude.
Does that mean a master of either skills pays only 1 POW per spell, ever?

And are monsters with skills of 100 % considered masters?
E.g., the dragon has 100 % resilience but must make a penalized resilience check to breathe fire more than once per hour.

BTW, on p. 20, it states
'Characters with skills at 100% are Masters/Mistresses of their skills, and always succeed.
Roll the dice to see if they get critical results.
Masters never fumble their skill tests.'
This looks like a holdover from OQ 2 since it contradicts p. 42.


Regarding surprise attacks:
I understand how surprise attacks by NPCs on the PCs are supposed to work.
As each PC tests against the best NPC, each PC is either surprised or not during the first round of combat.

However, if the PCs try to ambush NPCs, it is also a roll of each PC vs. the best NPC.
So how do I determine which NPC is surprised if only some PCs make the roll?


Any insights and clarification are very much appreciated.

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8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

Regarding skill mastery:
The main section on skill mastery (p. 42) states that masters never roll for skill checks and always achieve a critical success.
Does this hold also if there are penalties to the roll, i.e., even at -50%, a master gets an automatic critical?

That’s correct.

Before I break this down, you need to understand that 100% being a Master means that they are the top 1% of that skill, who do legendary things every time they are tested in that skill (as pointed out in the Skill Expertise table on page 19).  This means that they work a little bit differently than normal characters, and they are the best of the best

The Masters automatically succeeding with a critical result is the rules expression of this.

8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

Does this hold also if there are penalties to the roll, i.e., even at -50%, a master gets an automatic critical?

Ok this isn’t explicitly stated I the text, but I would rule that if the referee feels that a negative modifier applies to the Master, and bumps the skill down then suddenly the character is using an effective skill at less than Master level and there fore has to roll like normal.

This is the main way less able opponent’s will attempt to take down a Master, by putting them in mundane circumstances or by casting magic whose effects apply a negative modifier that forces their skill down to less than 100%.

8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

It is also spelled out how mastery works in opposed tests - but what about combat and magic?

Combat does not use regular opposed tests but the table on p.72: a critical attack vs a critical defense results in a normal damage roll minus armor.
This would imply that combat between masters reduces to rolling for damage à la Into the Odd?

That’s correct you don’t make opposed rolls in combat. Its effectively a normal skill roll from the Attack, then if you hit your opponent, they may have the opportunity to defend themselves.  So you can’t use the Opposed Rolls rules for Master, and this case the Master automatically hits or parries/dodges with a critical result. One thing to state here characters who are a Master, are still subject to the cumulative modifier for multiple defences. Which is another way that less able opponents make them vulnerable by reducing their skill below 100%.

8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

This would imply that combat between masters reduces to rolling for damage

If they stand there going just engaging in close combat without any thought of magic or tactics, yup.

But you are ignoring a whole world of using combat manoeuvres , magic spells, or just using followers to mob attack them reducing their Dodge or Parry skill due to multiple defences, before you step in to deliver the killing blow.

8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

For magic, a critical success for personal magic or sorcery means that the spell costs 1 POW only, regardless of magnitude.
Does that mean a master of either skills pays only 1 POW per spell, ever?

Its Magic points now POW, and yes every use of Personal Magic Casting or Sorcery Casting is a critical. These characters are the near immortal spell casters of legend. Also by the time that player characters reach this level of expertise, there's rules for how they become immortals depending on their path of magic, have their moment of blazing glory and then get retired soon after. 

8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

And are monsters with skills of 100 % considered masters?

Yes.

8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

BTW, on p. 20, it states
'Characters with skills at 100% are Masters/Mistresses of their skills, and always succeed.
Roll the dice to see if they get critical results.
Masters never fumble their skill tests.'
This looks like a holdover from OQ 2 since it contradicts p. 42.

Yes that is, that should be deleted and reworded as follows.

"Characters with skills at 100% are Masters/Mistresses of their skills, and always automatically succeed with a critical effect (see page 42)."

One for the errata.

Thank you.

8 hours ago, Rhialto_77 said:

Regarding surprise attacks:
I understand how surprise attacks by NPCs on the PCs are supposed to work.
As each PC tests against the best NPC, each PC is either surprised or not during the first round of combat.

However, if the PCs try to ambush NPCs, it is also a roll of each PC vs. the best NPC.
So how do I determine which NPC is surprised if only some PCs make the roll?

Its more a case if PCs who pass their Opposed test, gets the benefits of a surprise attack against the NPC they are attacking as laid out in part 5.

In both cases I use the highest skill in the opposing side, to avoid a situation where each surprise attack involves an Opposed Skill check vs every opponent.

Hope that helps

Head Honcho of D101 Games
Publisher of Crypts and Things/Monkey/OpenQuest/River of Heaven
The Sorcerer Under the Mountain

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2 hours ago, Newt said:

Ok this isn’t explicitly stated I the text, but I would rule that if the referee feels that a negative modifier applies to the Master, and bumps the skill down then suddenly the character is using an effective skill at less than Master level and there fore has to roll like normal.

Thank you, that clears it up for me.

This means maneuvering and casting spells to gain an advantage are still very much a thing at master level -as it should be. 🙂

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