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Opposed skill rolls


tooley1chris

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Hey, I'm a noob to BRP but already a big fan of the system.

I haven't played it yet but am planning on GMing soon as the others in my group are just players...

Anyway I have a question about opposing skill rolls.

In the golden book there is an example of a character using hide verses another using spot. It reads that the hiding character rolls a success and the spotter rolls a special success. That the hiders success reduces the spotters special success to a normal success even though the spotter rolled a better success rate.

Is this an error? Seems to me the special success should reduce the hiders success to a fail...

I would love some examples of why this is the case, if you please?

I'm pulling my hair trying to figure it all out.

Thanks in advance!

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Is it 2013 already? Time for the yearly debate;)

The mechanics for opposed rolls are a bit on the clunky side.

This is what the above says:

the hider succeeds with a normal success( 1 level of success ), the spotter rolls a special success(effectively 2 levels of success). As the spotter rolled a better level of success, he wins the opposed roll.

However, he can't reap the benefits of that special result, as the hider's success reduces his result by one grade.

Urgh.. I don't know if that made any kind of sense...

I recommend just using the blackjack-method. It's quickest and easiest, at least for me.

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the hider succeeds with a normal success( 1 level of success ), the spotter rolls a special success(effectively 2 levels of success). As the spotter rolled a better level of success, he wins the opposed roll.

However, he can't reap the benefits of that special result, as the hider's success reduces his result by one grade.

Yep, Spotter's 2 successes minus Hider's 1 success leaves 1 success for the Spotter,

which is why he wins and spots the Hider. :)

However, there are at least a dozen different ways to handle Opposed Skill Rolls, and

I have little doubt that you will have all of them mentioned in this thread, because Op-

posed Skill Rolls are a favourite subject of this forum's discussions. ;-D

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Yep, Spotter's 2 successes minus Hider's 1 success leaves 1 success for the Spotter,

which is why he wins and spots the Hider. :)

However, there are at least a dozen different ways to handle Opposed Skill Rolls, and

I have little doubt that you will have all of them mentioned in this thread, because Op-

posed Skill Rolls are a favourite subject of this forum's discussions. ;-D

So ... if I oppose this discussion, what do I have to roll?

;D

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So ... if I oppose this discussion, what do I have to roll?

An Opposed Skill Roll of your Threadkiller skill versus the forum's Uphold Tradition skill

should do, but keep in mind that the forum's Uphold Tradition skill is above 100%. B-)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Blackjack?

I guess what my problem is is this:

Why is the sneak gaining a benefit from failing to beat the spotters superior roll?

If the spotter rolled a regular success and the sneaker rolled special, would the sneaker be penalized as well?

What if they both roll vanilla success?

I've been trying to wrap my head around this or come up with a house rules version, like maybe both roll d100+ their skill score, whoever wins, well, wins. Suggestions?

Was mentioned that this was a favorite topic, could someone link me to a thread?

How do other GMs handle this? Does this single post give me a bonus to my ForumTroll score?

Yes, I will surely have many more questions for you good patient folks.

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Opposed rolls: whoever rolls highest, but under his skill wins. Barring any trumping by critical and special results.

Yeah, just Googled it.

I think I might use the UNO method instead. Whoever rolls LOWEST and under their skill wins, barring specials or crits.

Suppose this method has a different name.

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Whoever rolls LOWEST and under their skill wins, barring specials or crits.

This tends to penalize characters with high skill levels. When Character A has a skill level

of 20 % and Character B has a skill level of 80 %, Character B's effort to build up a high

skill level is wasted if the lowest roll wins.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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If you skim through rust's link, you'll have food for thought:)

But just do what you feel works. BRP is very forgiving that way. Unlike this forum on this particular topic...:P

- just to clarify, i'm joking. This forum is mostly very forgiving and friendly.

Edited by Baragei
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This tends to penalize characters with high skill levels. When Character A has a skill level

of 20 % and Character B has a skill level of 80 %, Character B's effort to build up a high

skill level is wasted if the lowest roll wins.

Yes, but the 'luck of the dice' has a charm of its own, and one of the things which makes this system great. An expert has a much better chance of succeeding at an action than a newbie, but the newbie can still pull it off and beat an expert, depending upon the luck of the dice.

Is it realistic? Yes, certainly. Things like this happen, newbies occasionally come in and against all odds succeed better than the experts of the field. I also find it a simple mechanic to GM, the 'roll closest to a critical' wins thingy. But the main thing is its actually a fun mechanic, although it depends on the group playing. I guess, like you say, as long as you're consistent with your troupe then its all okay.

I watched the discussion last time this concept showed up in the forum. I wonder how long the thread will go this year heh heh?

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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This tends to penalize characters with high skill levels. When Character A has a skill level

of 20 % and Character B has a skill level of 80 %, Character B's effort to build up a high

skill level is wasted if the lowest roll wins.

Well looks like I didn't think that through very well. Quite right.

Just hate to confuse my players(more than me)

But That's why I asked here. Thanks! ;t)

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We currently use a deck of cards for opposed skill rolls. Each player draws

one card for each 20% his character has in the skill in question (but always

at least one card) and the highest card wins. This way a character with a

low skill has a chance to be lucky and win, but the higher the skill the bet-

ter the chance to draw a high card.

This is just one example of the many possible methods to deal with opposed

skill rolls in a not too serious way. Having fun while giving all characters some

chance to win is really the most important point.

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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No it doesn't. I did a thread on that a long time ago. The supposed edge to the guy with the lower skill is illusionary.

For example using your 20% vs. 80% example, the guy with 70% would still have a massive advantage because of all the times the guy with 20% fails his skill roll.

The alleged penalty is a shift of 9%, and after degrees of success barely puts a dent in the 80% guys' 84% win chance. With high roll wins, the 80% guy does better when opposed than when unopposed!

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

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Seems I benefit from this too. I'd have gone with the better success, but it wouldn't have occurred to me to subtract one level of success. Either way, I'd have gone with the spotter. If two people succees, the better score wins.

Money can't buy happiness. But it can buy marshmallows, which is kind of the same thing.

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The rule is extremely simple. If one contestant succeeds and the other fails, no need to explain what happens.

If both succeed, then you must determine which contestant succeeded better, if any. If one of the contestants has a better level of success, he wins, but the other's success "limits" the advantages achieved with a special or critical result. If both contestants have the same level of success, the highest roll wins (lowest if you want to favour chance over skill), but this kind of victory is quite marginal. In some cases, notably combat, there is little or no benefit from the victory and the conflict may continue.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that an opposed roll is not always a "one side must win" affair like a resistance table roll. There are cases where this is true, and cases where it is not. This is why you cannot simply universalize the "blackjack" method.

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Hey, I'm a noob to BRP but already a big fan of the system.

I haven't played it yet but am planning on GMing soon as the others in my group are just players...

Anyway I have a question about opposing skill rolls.

In the golden book there is an example of a character using hide verses another using spot. It reads that the hiding character rolls a success and the spotter rolls a special success [...] Is this an error?

As said above there are several ways to handle opposed skill rolls.

The simpliest way, in my humble opinion, is this one:

The best success always win: a critical success win a special success; a special success win a normal success; a normal success win a failure; and a failure win a critical failure. When both characters obtain the same level of success, then compmare the numbers rolled on the dice: the higher one win (that way, someone with a skill of 75% will have much more chance to win than someone with a skill of 25%).

So, in your example, if the hiding character just rolled a normal success while the spotter rolled a special success, the spotter would find the hiding character.

This is what is explained in the BRP quickstart - if I remember well, because I have not my books at hand.

It is the easiest way to do things, especially for beginners. Now, there are others. Thus, once you will be used with this rule, you will be able to choose a rule that best fit to what you are really looking for.

Note that this simple rule already allows a huge diversity of interpretation. A normal success vs a special success may for instance be interpreted differently from a critical failure vs an ordinary failure. In the first case, the hinding character hides himself well, but the spotter is very aware, has luck or both, and still find it: a tiny detail alerts him. In the second case, the spotter just found the hiding character by chance despite of the fact that everyone else around would have seen him.

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The way I do it is to move all rolls up a level until one fails and then use that result.

So, a Success vs a Special becomes a Failure vs a Success.

It is easy and doesn't involve working much out at all.

Also, BRP rolls are made simultaneously, in theory, so the idea that if I roll a Special then the other person has a harder roll doesnt really wash. In reality, it makes me feel very happy until the opponent rolls a 01.

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The way I do it is to move all rolls up a level until one fails and then use that result.

So, a Success vs a Special becomes a Failure vs a Success.

It is easy and doesn't involve working much out at all.

Also, BRP rolls are made simultaneously, in theory, so the idea that if I roll a Special then the other person has a harder roll doesnt really wash. In reality, it makes me feel very happy until the opponent rolls a 01.

The opposed skill mechanic is the same mechanic used in the Attack and Defense Matrix on page 193 of BRP.

Arthur Reyes created a cool opposed skill chart so you can just follow the chart and not have to do any thinking:

Opposed Skill Rolls - Downloads - Basic Roleplaying Central

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Opposed Rolls : I oppose them.

Never use 'em - they're unnecessary & confusing. As we see from this thread, they can be interpreted in so many different ways. Not at all helpful, especially for beginners.

My big complaint with this BRP version is that it introduces opposed rolling for combat (with that Attack/Defence Matrix) and (despite so many options for other things) it's not optional. :(

Each individual skill roll should have independently defined effects.

(The effects of Hide & Spot are a separate issue - a tricky problem in itself, for which I admit I don't have a very good answer. Instead of working on that real problem, I usually get distracted by this Opposed Roll v Independent Roll debate!)

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The rule is extremely simple. If one contestant succeeds and the other fails, no need to explain what happens.

If both succeed, then you must determine which contestant succeeded better, if any. If one of the contestants has a better level of success, he wins, but the other's success "limits" the advantages achieved with a special or critical result. If both contestants have the same level of success, the highest roll wins (lowest if you want to favour chance over skill), but this kind of victory is quite marginal. In some cases, notably combat, there is little or no benefit from the victory and the conflict may continue.

Sorry to have repeated what you wrote. I'd better have read this thread with much more attention before posting.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that an opposed roll is not always a "one side must win" affair like a resistance table roll. There are cases where this is true, and cases where it is not. This is why you cannot simply universalize the "blackjack" method.

Yes. You can always rule that when the two characters get the same level of success or failure, none of them win... Especially when they both failed.

An example: stealth. The one who is trying to move silently made noise... The guard heard it but doesn't success to know where it comes from. "Is there someone here? I know there is someone... I heard you... Come on and show yourself, or you will have problem..."

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