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Skill base chances. What do you prefer ?


weasel fierce

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Throughout BRP and related games, there's a few ways to handle the skill base chance. What do you prefer for a BRP game or inspired homebrew ?

Flat chance (ala Stormbringer 5) - Example: Mechanic 30

Flat chance modified by stats (Runequest 3) - Example: Mechanic 30 and I get a +4 bonus from my Manipulation skill bonus.

Completely stat based (Elfquest did this I believe ?, the Dodge skill in Call of Cthulhu is a good example too) - Example: Mechanic is INT x3 or INT+DEX or whatnot.

Or something else altogether ?

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I've been leaning towards a hybrid.

What I'd like to do it take the old category modfiers, but instead of baseing them around zero, have then use to full stat vale.

For instance, the old Maniplution Category Modfier was ITN & DEX priamry, STR secondary.

So make in DEX+INT+(STR/2).

And use that for starting percentage for Manipulation skills. (So an average RQ character would start off with around 29% with manipulation skills.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I've been leaning towards a hybrid.

What I'd like to do it take the old category modfiers, but instead of baseing them around zero, have then use to full stat vale.

For instance, the old Maniplution Category Modfier was ITN & DEX priamry, STR secondary.

So make in DEX+INT+(STR/2).

And use that for starting percentage for Manipulation skills. (So an average RQ character would start off with around 29% with manipulation skills.

I like this, with one possible caveat. I like how skill category modifiers add to skill checks in RQIII and want to keep that. With the above system, I don't see how to easily do that without having huge bonuses. I don't mind decent size ones, so maybe just using Start Skill /2 or /3 would work...

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I like this, with one possible caveat. I like how skill category modifiers add to skill checks in RQIII and want to keep that. With the above system, I don't see how to easily do that without having huge bonuses. I don't mind decent size ones, so maybe just using Start Skill /2 or /3 would work...

What I did for my BRP variant was to add Skill CAT/5 to improvment rolls. So a person with a 30% Manipulation Skill Category would add 6% to improvement rolls.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Throughout BRP and related games, there's a few ways to handle the skill base chance. What do you prefer for a BRP game or inspired homebrew ?

Flat chance (ala Stormbringer 5) - Example: Mechanic 30

SB5 and CoC have some skills (Dodge, Speak Own Langauge IIRC) at a multiple of a stat.

Flat chance modified by stats (Runequest 3) - Example: Mechanic 30 and I get a +4 bonus from my Manipulation skill bonus.

Completely stat based (Elfquest did this I believe ?, the Dodge skill in Call of Cthulhu is a good example too) - Example: Mechanic is INT x3 or INT+DEX or whatnot.

Don't like the all stats method - characteristics only play a roll at creation, and then base chances are all about the individuals capabilties (and can vary wildly between mebers of teh same species).

I prefer base chances plus skill categories, as stats remain relevant (and visibly contribute to skills) and base scores can then be set for a species or culture.

Cheers,

Nick Middleton

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I'd have to go with stat-based too.

It's one of the things I like about MRQ, as it makes stats mean something.

It one of the thing I didn't like about MRQ because it makes stats mean nothing. Once you character is written up it doesn't matter what your stat is.

With a skill plus modifier system or even my category modifier variant, and improvement to a stat is reflected in skills. So if you get stronger or faster you skills go up a point.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I'd have to go with stat-based too.
Agreed. In fact, I've substantially increased the influence of stats on skills, and have weighted to a far greater extent talent (the Stat) over training (the Skill).

I've always detested the fairly common RPG dynamic of a character with a very high stat (e.g DEX 18) but with a very low, stat-related skill (e.g. this same DEX 18 character with merely a Tumble 5%, for instance).

And the inverse is just as bad, perhaps worse: a character with a medium to low stat (DEX 10) achieving master level in a related skill (Tumble 90%).

D&D 3.x is very much guilty of this dynamic, but BRP over the years has only slightly mitigated the problem. The RQ3 skill categories still aren't weighted correctly, in my opinion.

For starters, I think skills should be capped at Related Stat x 5. Thus, the above DEX 10 character can never develop the Tumble skill above 50% (10 x 5).

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For starters, I think skills should be capped at Related Stat x 5. Thus, the above DEX 10 character can never develop the Tumble skill above 50% (10 x 5).

I don't like that. GURPS does that and it is silly. Basically anyone who is good at anything ends up being Olympic level in an attribute. Just become someone is a virtuoso pianist doesn't mean that they have an 18 DEX.

How about just reducing the improvement gain when going over STATx5%? So instead of 1D6, they get 1D3. Over STATx10% they get 1D2, past STATx15% they get 1 point.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Definitely option 2 - for pretty much the same reasons as Nick. Base Chance + skill category modifiers + chargen points to distribute (sort of RQ3 / modified SB5) means you can mess about very effectively with species skills and cultural and occupational differences, et al. V.imp for my games.

Nice to see the Skill Cats making a comeback. Always was a fan of those.

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Throughout BRP and related games, there's a few ways to handle the skill base chance. What do you prefer for a BRP game or inspired homebrew ?

Flat chance (ala Stormbringer 5) - Example: Mechanic 30

Flat chance modified by stats (Runequest 3) - Example: Mechanic 30 and I get a +4 bonus from my Manipulation skill bonus.

Completely stat based (Elfquest did this I believe ?, the Dodge skill in Call of Cthulhu is a good example too) - Example: Mechanic is INT x3 or INT+DEX or whatnot.

Or something else altogether ?

For the most games in the last time flat chance like SB or CoC. A decade ago we liked it more complex and we used flat chance modified by stats.

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May natural inclination is toward skill base + attribute modifiers + previous experience bonuses, but you can probably get a compareable result out of average and multiply plus previous experience systems. Either way, I think there should be some effect of attributes on advancement so they still matter, and I've never been a fan of simple flat skill bases with no attribute influence.

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I think skills should be capped at Related Stat x 5.

Do you mean just at character creation only?

I'd say even after character creation.

I don't like that. GURPS does that and it is silly. Basically anyone who is good at anything ends up being Olympic level in an attribute. Just become [sic] someone is a virtuoso pianist doesn't mean that they have an 18 DEX.
Actually, it essentially does mean that—and not recognizing this fact is what is crazy. Or maybe it just means focusing your terms more clearly: being "good at something" is not the same as being a "virtuoso". I could see someone being a virtuoso pianist (i.e 90% or higher) with perhaps merely a 16 related stat..but nothing lower. Being "good at something" sounds more like 50% (so notice how a STAT 10 character in this system could achieve this level).

I like to follow roughly CoC's guidelines that say 25% is hobby level, 50% is about an average level of professional skill, 75% is a noted professional level, and 90% is world renowned.

There's absolutely no way someone should be able to achieve the 90% or higher level with anything less than a 16 related stat.

And, on a side note, I like to assign the average of two stats to most skills. In the Pianist skill example, I'd probably assign DEX/POW.

How about just reducing the improvement gain when going over STATx5%?
I like this idea--but I'd use it along side of a cap: the improvement die lessens to 1d4 after STATx3% and to 1d2 after STATx4%...and then stops at STATx5%.
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MCBard,

I Disagree. I've seen too many people who are good at one thing, and yet don't have a phenomenal stat to back it up.

Using the CoC guidelines of 50% being professional level, then about half the people out there can't do their job professionally, since stats are generated on a 3D6 bell curve.

Pretty much ANYONE can learn ANYTHING if they make a commitment and put the work into it. It just comes a lot easier and faster to those who are gifted.

I also don't use the CoC skill raknings, as no other RQ based game has ever done so. Generally 90% is considered "master" level in most BRP RPGs.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Well, I think that the skill cap of characteristic x 5% is reasonable only at character creation.

However, I disagree with the skill cap after character creation. This is severely limiting on character development; especially for average or slightly below average characters.

BRP Ze 32/420

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I think my choice goes to the RQ method, with categories, and bonus depending upon characteristics.

But having some starting values based on one or several characteristics, instead of a flat value can be fine, as long as the categories are still present.

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

That's the way I did it in my previous posted variant. I kept the skill categories, but used them for the base chances. So Manipulation would be INT+DEX+(STR/2), Knowledge would be INTx2, and so on.

It simiplied skills greatly, since you only had to track those skills that were higher than the starting percentage (the skill category).

THen I used 1/5th of that for improvement rolls.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Could you elaborate on that last sentence?

SGL.

Sure. Let's say you wrote up a character with a 13INT, 15 DEX, and 12 STR.

Using my formula for Manipulation skills as INT+DEX+(STR/2), he would start with a Manipulation Skill Category of 34% (13INT+15DEX+12/2STR).

So any manipulation skills, such as Slight or Conceal, as well as Weapon attack skills would start off at 34%.

When rolling to see if such skills improve at one-fifth of the skill category to the improvement chance. So a 34% Manipulation Skill Category is worth 34/5= +7% to the improvement chance. Note that this isn't too much different from the RQ3 method, but simplifies a lot of the base chances.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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