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Death spiral mechanics in BRP


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New here and partially to BRP (only played in a few BRP derived games).

Since I love tinkering, and want to run some BRP in the near future, I've been hacking together some different variants of BRP and Mothership (which isn't really BRP I guess). One thing both of them miss is a death spiral, or at least the kind where you get weaker as you take on the weight of pain/chaos/depression, what have you.

For Mothership it's easy to add such a mechanic. Just let damage hit your strength, sanity hits your intellect, and fear/trauma hits... a new stat. For BRP though, it's not so easy.

Three ideas:

1) a negative attribute that is subtracted from every roll. Increases math as one has to subtract something and calculate levels of success.

2) do like mothership where each skill adds to a core characteristic/skill, e.g. to punch someone roll strength + brawl, or General fighting skill (e.g. Str+dex/2) + brawl. Taking physical damage lowers strength or the general fighting skill. This gets crunchy as in option 1, and/or requires redoing some skills and characteristics

3) use wound levels like in Savage worlds, and add a disadvantage for each wound. Increases number of rolls. Unclear how to do damage.

Other thoughts? Any BRP game that has a 'proper' death spiral?

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A simple solution is to give negative modifiers when a character"s HP are below a fraction of his maximum Hit Points. For instance, -10% if it's under MHP/2, -25% under MHP/4.

The most commoly used systems in BRP for wounds are the RuneQuest Localized Hit Points and the StormBringer/Pendragon "Major Wounds".

-In RQ, each body location has HP (on top of Generic Hit Points), and each hit will reduce a location's Hit Point. Once a location reaches 0 HP, it will be hindered.

-In StormBringer/Pendragon, a major wound occurs when you lose mor than X HP in one blow. If you were unlucky, this could result in permanent characteristic points loss, but the most common effect was you couldn't fight anymore.

Two rather old French games addressed that subject :

-Second Edition of Nephilim used Wound Levels instead of HP, using rules similar to White Wolf's Storyteller games and Star Wars D6.

-Légendes had a rather complex Health system, with 2 "Hit Points" pools (Fatigue and "Breath"), with increasing malus when you lost Fatigue and/or Breath.

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

Why ever would you want that in a game?

<shrugs> Different tastes.  Turn it on its head, and "why ever would you not want that in a game?"  😉
But "death spirals" have long been a well-known thing in (some) RPGs.
 

 

20 hours ago, andresni said:

... One thing both of them miss is a death spiral, or at least the kind where you get weaker as you take on the weight of pain/chaos/depression, what have you.

For combat, I rather like RQ's method -- hit-points-per-location.  Locations (on a d20 roll) are each leg (L/R), each arm (L/R), abdomen, chest, and head.

It ends up often (but not always) rather "death-spiral-ish," because any limb that drops to 0hp stops working right:  a leg at 0 or below won't support you, an arm at 0 or below won't hold a weapon, etc.  You can still act -- even fight -- within the limits of your new&unfamiliar disability;  IOW, you become much less combat-capable.

Overdamage -- if your limb is as many HP's into the negative as it had +HP's -- get increasingly-severe repercussions, up to & including "the limb is functionally destroyed (chopped off, shattered beyond any surgical repair, etc); only magic & Clarketech medicine can save it."

The centerline is more dangerous -- a 0hp head means you're unconscious, 0hp chest means you can't breathe, etc.  These tend to put you out of the fight same-round.  Overdamage is swiftly fatal.
 

###

For more mental/psychic things, CoC has long had the "sanity" mechanic, which could be reskinned for other contexts too.

Personally, though, I'd implement some variant upon Unknown Armies' "Madness Meters" mechanics for handling (many sorts of) mental/emotional stress more broadly, and without as much of the 1970's-era "crazy people be crazy, isn't it funny?" vibe.

Also worth considering (maybe) is a hack upon M-Space's "Extended Conflicts," with some sort of penalties accruing (i.e. death-spiral) if you loose the "conflict" (which in this case would be the battle in your own mind, against the horror or the despair or whatever stressor).
 

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4 hours ago, g33k said:

For combat, I rather like RQ's method -- hit-points-per-location.  Locations (on a d20 roll) are each leg (L/R), each arm (L/R), abdomen, chest, and head.

 

Ah yes, I knew about the RQ method. Should have gotten a little bit deeper into why I asked the question to begin with, being that I find wound mechanics like RQ, like temporary insanity in CoC, or indeed major wound mechanics in Mothership (any many others), too crunchy or too taxing to keep up with. It depends obviously on the table, but my experience is that players are better at remembering their bonuses but not their negatives. I enjoy the RQ variant in principle, but in practice I find such mechanics hard to keep up with except in one on one fights or similar. I'm usually the one in the group that reminds the others that they can't see or something during combat (or being an unofficial DM assistant). 

Some automated sheets on Roll20 or Foundry can handle some of this crunch, but I much prefer removing as many temporary buffs/debuffs that needs to be remembered as possible. One could ask then, why have a death spiral 😛 Thus the question, how could one do it in BRP with as little crunch as possible, given that I'm one of those who enjoy death spirals (or love to hate them).

5 hours ago, g33k said:

 Unknown Armies' "Madness Meters"

That was an interesting read! Thank you! Not a death spiral as I'm thinking of it, but an interesting way to deal with stressors.

5 hours ago, g33k said:

M-Space's "Extended Conflicts,"

I've read briefly on this, but it didn't grok it for me. Do you happen to have any tips for a quick read/example of this in action?

8 hours ago, Mugen said:

For instance, -10% if it's under MHP/2, -25% under MHP/4.

This would be the easiest solution to implement, agreed. Though would require subtraction which is always harder than addition. But, I think this would be the way to go unless one ties characteristics to stats and hits the characteristics (harder to implement, easier to play). One possibility with the 'easy' solution is one can have different damages which subtract from different kinds of skills. Then total negative modifier reaches 100%, you die or go insane or some such. Then damage has to be modified by characteristic. Hmm. It's an interesting idea 😛

9 hours ago, soltakss said:

Why ever would you want that in a game?

I find it more realistic and to me that's part of the fun. Though it's a difficult balance, between realistic, fun, and minimum crunch.

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You could try a wound mechanic. Given injuries a severity based upon the fraction of hit points the represent (something like 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, full, etc.) and apply a  penalty (maybe 10% per severity) to rolls. You could also add in a Pain Resistance/Wound Shock mechanic (A POW roll with the multiplier based upon the severity) for an injured character to act. You could even stop tracking total hit points and instead use the Wound Shock roll to determine wound effects and if the character is conscious or dying.

 

For instance a character who gets shot in the chest for 1/4 of his hit point might need to make a POW x5% roll to be able to act, and would suffer a -10% modifier to all actions. To keep things simple the wound shock penalty could be applied to the Wound Shock POW roll.

 

Another way to handle it would be to make the penalty half the percentage of HP lost. For instance 20% HP means -10%, 40% injury is -20% and so on. 

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

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10 hours ago, soltakss said:

Why ever would you want that in a game?

To reflect things like how getting shot can really take the fight out of some people. By RAW most characters can just shrug off injuries and keep on going unless they take a major wound or better. In real life any injury  beyond a minor scrape or muscle pull can get someone's attention and stop the fight. 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Given injuries a severity based upon the fraction of hit points the represent

I like this. In this way, someone with a large HP pool would need more damage to give a wound. If we assume for example 3 tracks if we want to model physical injury, sanity, and resolution/grit/willpower, and a person is out of commision if one track reaches 100%, or perhaps if the combined total is >100%.

So, to get a minor wound (10% on the physical track), you need to take say 1/4th damage. 20% is 1/2, 50% is 4/5th. Maybe. The bigger and stronger you are, the more it takes. Damage below 1/4th could be just 1% to get that slow grind John McClain goes through in Die Hard. Do a similar thing for sanity (sanity points) and grit (power points).

These percentages are then subtracted from any relevant rolls.

Seems like a happy medium between book keeping/crunch and ease of play.

Permanent damage can be included easily by increasing the minimum starting point on one of these tracks.

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1 hour ago, andresni said:

I like this. In this way, someone with a large HP pool would need more damage to give a wound.

Exactly, that way a 3 point hit to a mouse could be lethal, while a 3 point hit to a human might mean a broken limb, and a 3 point hit to a tiger just irritates it. 

1 hour ago, andresni said:

If we assume for example 3 tracks if we want to model physical injury, sanity, and resolution/grit/willpower, and a person is out of commision if one track reaches 100%, or perhaps if the combined total is >100%.

Yes you could do it that way, but if you do then I'd suggest replacing 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 with 20%, 40%, and 80% of hit point totals. THat way it could add up easier. YOu just divide someone's HP by 10 to get their increments in 10%. So a typical human with 12 hit points would have:

10% =1.2 hp (or >2+) = 5% penalty

20%=2.4 hp (3+) = 10% penalty

40%= 4.8 hp (5+) = 20% penalty

80%= 9.6 (10+) = -40% penalty (or maybe just make everything difficult)

While an elephant with 53 hit points  would have wound brackets of 5.3, 10.6, 21.2 and 43 hit points.

 

1 hour ago, andresni said:

So, to get a minor wound (10% on the physical track), you need to take say 1/4th damage. 20% is 1/2, 50% is 4/5th. Maybe. The bigger and stronger you are, the more it takes. Damage below 1/4th could be just 1% to get that slow grind John McClain goes through in Die Hard. Do a similar thing for sanity (sanity points) and grit (power points).

Yes, but it you are going to add it up I'd suggest keeping it simple and just use 10% increments with a 5% penalty per increment. 

1 hour ago, andresni said:

These percentages are then subtracted from any relevant rolls.

Seems like a happy medium between book keeping/crunch and ease of play.

Basically yeah, although I'd consider add in some sort of Wound Shock, Pain Resistance effect.

Note also that this could handle non-lethal damage rather nicely, too. Someone could get beat up with temporary damage, and be impaired until they get a chance to rest. 

 

1 hour ago, andresni said:

Permanent damage can be included easily by increasing the minimum starting point on one of these tracks.

I don't think that's a good idea. If someone has lost a leg ten years ago it probably won't make them easier to drop later. Permanent damage should probably be reflected with specifically penalties to things based upon the damage. For instance loss of legs would reduce someone movement rate, and impair skills such as climbing and jumping, while lost of arms would affect the ability to lift and manipulate objects. Loss of eyes would affect sight, and so on.  

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

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On 4/13/2022 at 5:14 PM, andresni said:

I like this. In this way, someone with a large HP pool would need more damage to give a wound. If we assume for example 3 tracks if we want to model physical injury, sanity, and resolution/grit/willpower, and a person is out of commision if one track reaches 100%, or perhaps if the combined total is >100%.

So, to get a minor wound (10% on the physical track), you need to take say 1/4th damage. 20% is 1/2, 50% is 4/5th. Maybe. The bigger and stronger you are, the more it takes. Damage below 1/4th could be just 1% to get that slow grind John McClain goes through in Die Hard. Do a similar thing for sanity (sanity points) and grit (power points).

These percentages are then subtracted from any relevant rolls.

Seems like a happy medium between book keeping/crunch and ease of play.

Permanent damage can be included easily by increasing the minimum starting point on one of these tracks.

Another way to do this is to use the Location Hit Point totals from Runequest as Wound Thresholds.  That 4-point Arm takes a wound when hit.  The ACTUAL WOUND would be...

Lightly Wounded = HP or less

Moderately Wounded = HP + 1 up to 2 X HP.

Seriously Wounded = 2 X HP +1 up to 3 X HP.

Critically Wounded = 3 X HP + 1 up to 4 X HP.

Deadly Wound = 4 X HP or more.

 

 DAMAGE EFFECTS could be...

Lightly Wounded: 

Only a loss of 1 Strike Rank from the pain of injury.  Essentially a free wound level involving scratches and bruises.

Moderately Wounded: 

The real start of penalties.  Take 1 penalty to Strike Rank (just like Light Wounds) but you also suffer a Skill reduction. My crew uses halving and doubling so we reduce Skills to 3/4 Skill here.

Seriously Wounded: 

This hit penalizes SR by 2 and HALVES Skill ability.  IF you are hit for Serious Damage in a single blow, you must roll under your CON or that location is Disabled until you get treatment. 

Critically Wounded:

     IF a person gets hit for a Critical Wound, the location is disabled until healing occurs.  SR is reduced by 3 & Skills to 1/4.  A Critical Wound inflicted in a single blow may amputate the limb in question.  Roll Con to avoid this.  The PC may suffer permanent debilitating effects from a single blow delivering a Critical Wound.  Have the PC ROLL OVER their current STR, DEX, and CON, to avoid the loss of 1 point of each. 

Deadly Wound: 

  The person in out cold.  Make a CON roll to SURVIVE!  Any single blow reaching this level WILL cause you to roll for loss of characteristics as above.     

There's how I do killing damage in my game.   

Edited by olskool
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Upon reflecting a bit further, I think I'll start with the following base, and see what added complexity is desired or needed:

Each skill is associated with a characteristic starting at 100%. For example, brawling is associated with brawns/physique/body. Then you have to roll under the lowest of brawling and brawns. Taking physical damage results in lowering "brawns". This gives also a little buffer before damage takes effect. Damage can be modified by HP (or con/size) as outlined earlier.

It's also less punishing as -10 to all skills can be too rough, but as the general characteristic (e.g. brawns) gets lower and lower, the more punishing damage becomes.

Characteristics reflect then your peak capacity (how hard you punch, how fast you learn, etc.). These derived characteristics represent how close you are to your peak. And skills represent your knowledge/experience/practice with whatever.

One can use this either with more abstract characteristics such as brains, brawns, mug, guts, etc. Or, one can use it with hit locations. Each location starts with 100%, such as hands, head, torso, legs, etc. Any skill using one or more of these locations use the lower % between skill and location(s). This simulates nicely what happens if an arm reaches 0%, or eyes, or one leg, though, most skills use most parts of the body if it's to be used to full effect. 

Armor can then soak some damage, or serve as additional % (i.e. a meat shield). 

Creatures with superhuman stats basically have higher HP thresholds for lowering % (though I suspect this will be too much to track for GM) and higher damage bonus, as per usual.

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@andresniIf I understand you correctly, it means that if I have skill A at 75% and skill B at 50% and I lost 33 points in their corresponding characteristic, my chances with skill B will still be 50%, whereas my chances with skill A will be down to 64%. Am I right ?

It's definitely easier to handle than a modifier, but I don't like the fact it hurts high skills way more than low ones.

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5 hours ago, Mugen said:

It's definitely easier to handle than a modifier, but I don't like the fact it hurts high skills way more than low ones.

Yes, especially for skills over 100%, as any penalty at all will reduce related skills down to under 100%.

 

Maybe  if would be better to alter the difficulty of skill use, when damage reaches a certain percentage? Like is if Brawn drops to 50% related skills are DIFFICULT (half skill).

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

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Looking at my Mook rules in the downloads section, I think an easy system would be to give a -10% to physical skill checks for each 3HP lost. This will seem not much in the beginning of an adventure, but accumulates to quite high numbers very quickly. You can add -30% to that modifier once the character is below their maximum number of wounds. If you want to round up or down when calculating 'wounds' ... that is personal tase. 😉 

It would also make the HP system easier as you would only need to care about the reduced amount of HP (HP divided by 3), so an average character might have between 3 to 5 'wounds' (each representing 3 HP). Each 'wound' received moves the character down into the Death Spiral ...

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On 4/15/2022 at 4:05 PM, Mugen said:

t's definitely easier to handle than a modifier, but I don't like the fact it hurts high skills way more than low ones.

Facepalm. My brain didn't think of this. You are right. That's no good.

On 4/16/2022 at 5:21 AM, pansophy said:

-10% to physical skill checks for each 3HP lost

Agreed. This seems to be better on the face of it. But it punishes low skills a lot (while the above option punishes high skills). 20% skill -> 10% vs 90% -> 80%. Or a 50% malus cutting away most skills.

On 4/15/2022 at 9:41 PM, Atgxtg said:

Like is if Brawn drops to 50% related skills are DIFFICULT (half skill).

I like this, but it's not very granular (perhaps it doesn't have to be), and if a PC attempts a difficult task, with 50% hurt, is that 75% malus? or 1/5th difficulty?

Beyond these two easy options (and excluding a more complicated wounds system that increases book keeping a lot), there are only two more I can think of:

1) Multiplication of skill and characteristic. This would be fair. Brawl = 90% = 0.9, so a 10% wound would be 81% skill. Or 18% for a 20% skill. This seems fair, and can work if players can work out the math fast enough. Or perhaps print out a good old fashioned multiplication table. Would work fine with some automation rules.

2) Characterstic + skill addition like in Mothership. Though, this would lead to skills between 0-200% (brawns 0-100, brawl 0-100), or adjusted to 0-50% but this gets iffy for many reasons.

Perhaps a third option: roll under both with rolling under characteristic means you get the intended effect, rolling under your skill means you manage to do it. For example, brawns: 80%, climbing: 50%, roll of 90 means you can't climb it, get stuck, fall, etc. Roll of 70% means you hang on, dig in, or reposition, roll of 40% means you scale the wall. If you reverse the %, you get, respectively: failure, climb but it goes slowly or you make a lot of noise, and scale the wall. This option will rely a lot on context interpretation. So, fail both rolls = failure, fail characteristic but not skill = partial success, fail skill but not characteristic = partial failure.

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On 4/13/2022 at 1:33 AM, andresni said:

New here and partially to BRP (only played in a few BRP derived games).

Since I love tinkering, and want to run some BRP in the near future, I've been hacking together some different variants of BRP and Mothership (which isn't really BRP I guess). One thing both of them miss is a death spiral, or at least the kind where you get weaker as you take on the weight of pain/chaos/depression, what have you.

For Mothership it's easy to add such a mechanic. Just let damage hit your strength, sanity hits your intellect, and fear/trauma hits... a new stat. For BRP though, it's not so easy.

Three ideas:

1) a negative attribute that is subtracted from every roll. Increases math as one has to subtract something and calculate levels of success.

2) do like mothership where each skill adds to a core characteristic/skill, e.g. to punch someone roll strength + brawl, or General fighting skill (e.g. Str+dex/2) + brawl. Taking physical damage lowers strength or the general fighting skill. This gets crunchy as in option 1, and/or requires redoing some skills and characteristics

3) use wound levels like in Savage worlds, and add a disadvantage for each wound. Increases number of rolls. Unclear how to do damage.

Other thoughts? Any BRP game that has a 'proper' death spiral?

 
 

One BRP way you could use is Fatigue points (optional rule on BGB p.20 and p.32).

Crunchy way is that you have a maximum FATIGUE of (STR+CON). You normally spend 1 Fatigue point per combat round. You could add a Fatigue point per injury sustained, or per hit point of damage if you want a rapid decline. When your Fatigue goes negative, you suffer "-1% penalty to all skill, characteristic and resistance rolls for every negative point of fatigue." When you reach negative your maximum Fatigue you are incapable of action.

Simpler way is not to have Fatigue points at all. After CONx3 rounds of combat all skills become Difficult. After CONx4 rounds you need to make a Stamina roll to even attempt a physical skill, and all skills are at ¼ normal skill rating. At CONx10 rounds you need to make a Difficult Stamina roll to complete any action and the maximum skill level is POWx1.

You could adapt the penalties for the simpler way to relate to wound level. For example, wounded but less than half HP could use the CONx3 penalty, half or more HP could use the CONx4 penalty; majorly wounded or down to 1-2 HP could use the CONx10 penalty.

Edited by Questbird
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On 4/17/2022 at 4:54 AM, andresni said:

I like this, but it's not very granular (perhaps it doesn't have to be),

It's not, noris it designed to be. The idea was to have a simple modifier that would apply once damage hit a certain threshold. It's an alternative to the granular peanlty of half wound level (i.e. -10% per 20% injury). 

 

On 4/17/2022 at 4:54 AM, andresni said:

and if a PC attempts a difficult task, with 50% hurt, is that 75% malus? or 1/5th difficulty?

That would be at 1/4 skill. The most likely time for this to crop up would be when a seriously injured character (1/2 skill) were to attack someone at long range (also half skill).  THe advantage of this over fixed penalties is that someone with 80% skill and and 60% injury would have a 20% (80/4) chance to hit someone at long range instead of a 0% (80/2=40-40%= 0%) chance. 

On 4/17/2022 at 4:54 AM, andresni said:

Beyond these two easy options (and excluding a more complicated wounds system that increases book keeping a lot), there are only two more I can think of:

1) Multiplication of skill and characteristic. This would be fair. Brawl = 90% = 0.9, so a 10% wound would be 81% skill. Or 18% for a 20% skill. This seems fair, and can work if players can work out the math fast enough. Or perhaps print out a good old fashioned multiplication table. Would work fine with some automation rules.

That's what the old James Bond and Timelords RPGs did. Bond had a multiplication table and applied modifiers in 20% increments of skill. Timelords used a 1-20 skill range and 1 point(5%) increments. The major advatage of this method is that the peanlties scale with ability, so someone with a really high skill can't shrug off the penalty.

BTW, If use use a 1-20 skill range  and an opposed roll then the resistance table would do all this for you. 

 

On 4/17/2022 at 4:54 AM, andresni said:

2) Characterstic + skill addition like in Mothership. Though, this would lead to skills between 0-200% (brawns 0-100, brawl 0-100), or adjusted to 0-50% but this gets iffy for many reasons.

At that point it's not really BRP anymore, is it?

On 4/17/2022 at 4:54 AM, andresni said:

Perhaps a third option: roll under both with rolling under characteristic means you get the intended effect, rolling under your skill means you manage to do it. For example, brawns: 80%, climbing: 50%, roll of 90 means you can't climb it, get stuck, fall, etc. Roll of 70% means you hang on, dig in, or reposition, roll of 40% means you scale the wall. If you reverse the %, you get, respectively: failure, climb but it goes slowly or you make a lot of noise, and scale the wall. This option will rely a lot on context interpretation. So, fail both rolls = failure, fail characteristic but not skill = partial success, fail skill but not characteristic = partial failure.

You could have them roll against their impalement percentage to see if their results get downgraded one level. So someone who rolls a special success but the rolls under their injury % gets the result bumped down to a normal success. 

 

It all comes down to how much more complication you and your players feel comfortable with. Not everyone will consider it worth the effort.

 

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

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On 4/17/2022 at 10:54 AM, andresni said:

1) Multiplication of skill and characteristic. This would be fair. Brawl = 90% = 0.9, so a 10% wound would be 81% skill. Or 18% for a 20% skill. This seems fair, and can work if players can work out the math fast enough. Or perhaps print out a good old fashioned multiplication table. Would work fine with some automation rules.

You could take a look at Mythras, which expresses difficulty as a multiplier. That is, an easy task multiplies your skill by 1.25 and a hard one bo .75 (IIRC).

Reve, the Dream Ouroboros, mixes skill level and difficulty on a -10 to +10 skill, which translates into a multiplier, applied to one of your characteristics. Not very different fom JB 007...

On 4/17/2022 at 10:54 AM, andresni said:

Perhaps a third option: roll under both with rolling under characteristic means you get the intended effect, rolling under your skill means you manage to do it. For example, brawns: 80%, climbing: 50%, roll of 90 means you can't climb it, get stuck, fall, etc. Roll of 70% means you hang on, dig in, or reposition, roll of 40% means you scale the wall. If you reverse the %, you get, respectively: failure, climb but it goes slowly or you make a lot of noise, and scale the wall. This option will rely a lot on context interpretation. So, fail both rolls = failure, fail characteristic but not skill = partial success, fail skill but not characteristic = partial failure.

Psionics in first French Edition of In Nomine had a similar mechanism. Each time a Psi tried to use one of his powers, he had to make two rolls : one under a "Mastery" skill, and the other under a "Power" skill. Rolling under only one of those skills meant your attempt was either completely out of control, or very weak.

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Note that in a roll-over game, a simple way to implement a mechanism such as the one you want would be to use different di(c)e as you suffer damage.

For instance, a character with Full Health and a Master Class skill could roll 2d12, whereas a Dying character with Beginner level skill would roll 2d4.

In roll-under, it could be possible to do something similar by using different dice for the 10s of your roll. For instance, in favorable circumstances, you could roll a d6 and a d10, using the results of the d6 as 10s. That is, if the d6 is 4 and the d10 is 7, you got 47. 6s would count as 0s.

Edited by Mugen
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On 4/17/2022 at 11:31 AM, Questbird said:

One BRP way you could use is Fatigue points

Yeah I've been thinking about using this kinda like adrenaline shot, though it'd work more like luck in CoC to adjust rolls. Take a stim-pack (if space setting) or get adrenaline from injury, which can then be used to boost rolls for a short period or until it runs out. To even out the death spiral a bit. Though, I think using con rolls and stamina rolls and track all that might be too crunchy for my taste, but perhaps it's good idea. Sounds similar in a way to usage dice in e.g. Savage Worlds. Roll "hurt" or "fatigue" to do an action. Fail (assuming hurt/fatigue maxes out at 0%), lose x hurt/fatigue as you push yourself, roll with disadvantage. Extreme success, gain hurt/fatigue, roll with advantage. Adds more rolls though, but quite light otherwise.

Perhaps it could be combined to one roll?

Brawns 90%, climb 50% - roll 10/30/70/91/99 = extreme success (second wind/confidence boost), success, failure, failure and you hurt yourself, fumble (hurt yourself + something bad happens). 

Brawns 50%, climb 90% - roll 10/30/70/91/99 = same, same, success but you over exert yourself, same, same.

While injury doesn't make you weaker per se, you have to overcompensate more and more to achieve the same success. Though it doesn't immediately make sense how you can overexert yourself doing psychology or tactics skill. Or perhaps player can choose to not push it, e.g. "you climb up the tree, get half way and notice your fingers are starting to hurt, you can do the rest but your fingertips will be sore, press on?", "the recoil jostles your arm silly, holding the gun steady will zap your strength", "concentrating on Bob's words are difficult, it'll tire you".

On 4/18/2022 at 10:07 PM, Atgxtg said:

That's what the old James Bond and Timelords RPGs did

Checked out a bit on James Bond now. I like the "ease" factor. Add skill and characteristic together, multiply by X, roll d100. Injury could then hit the characteristic. Until they drop there's always some chance to do a task. Though seems like the game went overboard with tables 😛 

On 4/18/2022 at 10:07 PM, Atgxtg said:

It all comes down to how much more complication you and your players feel comfortable with.

Very true. Though, in my case, I want it a tad more complicated while they want less complicated (though I don't know exactly yet as I haven't played with some of them before, looking to start it up in perhaps a month or so). Will ofc. go through the rules and any weird stuff that comes out of this thread in the end to see if they grok it or not. We played savage worlds a while back and the dice mechanics confused them, so that's where we're at and why I want to use BRP or a derivative. It just flows in my experience, while keeping that granularity I enjoy.

12 hours ago, Mugen said:

Psionics in first French Edition of In Nomine had a similar mechanism. Each time a Psi tried to use one of his powers, he had to make two rolls : one under a "Mastery" skill, and the other under a "Power" skill.

Yeah this seems like a simple solution, just adding one roll and letting context and players/GM do the rest. Could prompt some roleplay moments, better roleplay narrows down the effect of failing the "healthy" stat.

9 hours ago, Mugen said:

In roll-under, it could be possible to do something similar by using different dice for the 10s of your roll.

This is interesting. While I'm afraid of using multiple dice types as I know some in the group gets confused then, slowing down flow, but one could use say d10 as dice (00 is 0), or d20 (20 is 0), and you roll x of those depending on difficulty. Each injury adds one more die. Not very granular maybe. Bonus: making everything player facing is super easy!! It should also be easy to see when you roll a good roll, though adding it all together might be a slog when difficulty gets high. However, with xdX mechanics, there are natural break points to be aware of/min-max around. For example, with 7d20, there's around 6.6% chance of succeeding with skill 50, but around 20% chance with 6d20. Using d10 or lower helps but need 12d10 to get 6% chance for a skill of 50.

Though there's definitely some variants here I haven't seen before. Multiply two dice together, roll under. The varying dice for 10s as you noted.

12 hours ago, Mugen said:

You could take a look at Mythras, which expresses difficulty as a multiplier. That is, an easy task multiplies your skill by 1.25 and a hard one bo .75 (IIRC).

Something like this would be my inclination, but I think a table is needed. But I'll take a look at the resistance table again in BRP.

 

EDIT: Probably getting a bit tired, but going on with Mugen's idea. Could one replace characteristics (or have derived characteristics, e.g. brawns) with dice types, and then do the same with difficulty? So, every wound increases die type by one, and same with difficulty. Multiply the two and beat your skill. Though, even with 2d20 (max difficulty, max wounds), a 90% skill will succeed about half the time, and 50% skill about 1/3 of the time. Perhaps scratch this idea 😛 Also it's math heavy without a table.

Edited by andresni
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Posted (edited)

Ran some tests, and using the formulae: (dX + dY) * 10 -20 with X being wound level (4 is healthy), and Y as difficulty (4=easy, 6=normal, 8+ = hard and harder), one gets quite sensible distributions against various skill levels. Skills above 100 should fit, can be made player facing, and relatively fast math. Alternatively, dX+dY, subtract 2, multiply by 10. Snake-eyes is a natural crit, degrees of success works as normal (1/5th, 1/20th, for example).

Can even use doubles as crit with the benefit that the more difficult and the more wounded you are, the less likely you are to crit, somewhat counteracted by skill level. And, it's only "easy" to crit when the task is easy and/or you are healthy.

EDIT: skill % are indicative of how often you can expect to succeed (under stress) at a normal task when you are healthy, or an easy task when you are a bit wounded.

Edited by andresni
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