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Contested Rolls in BRP0?


Tywyll

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If memory serves, there are multiple options presented, including degree of success (critical beats special beats success beats failure beats fumble) and numerical margin of success (ie. compare skill minus roll, higher number wins).

The black rivers of pitch that flow under those mysterious cyclopean bridges - things built by some elder race extinct and forgotten before the beings came to Yuggoth from the ultimate voids - ought to be enough to make any man a Dante or Poe if he can keep sane long enough to tell what he has seen.

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Yeah, but I don't think any of the BRP0 options for combat is free of the 'Opposed Roll' taint. I don't like to think about that - it makes me queasy. But Jason said he'd be revising the combat chapter wording for 1st Ed, so there's always hope...

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How are contested rolls handled in the new BRP? Is it simply defender wins (a dodge succeeds against any attack unless its a crit)? Is it a compared roll (highest/lowest roller wins)? Or something else?

Are there any changes if skills are 100+?

Cheers!

The default rule: Both characters roll and the one who achieves the highest degree of success wins. Once the "winner" is determined, if the losers roll was still a success, they reduce the winners degree of success by one step for each degree of success the loser achieved above failure (So a normal success will be beaten in an opposed test by a critical roll, but the critical will be reduced to a special success). Where degrees of success are tied, the victory goes to the higher dice roll (thus rewarding the higher skill).

A number of optional variant are included, and there are some wrinkles in interpretation that were to be clarified as a result of feedback on BRP 0 IIRC. The default rule and variants automatically takes account of skills over 100.

Cheers,

Nick Middleton

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Yeah, but I don't think any of the BRP0 options for combat is free of the 'Opposed Roll' taint.

The opposed roll for combat works fine. We have used this in MRQ for almost one year, and it works - in fact it is the only real advancement, in combat, of MRQ over previous RQs. It is the cross-indexing of opposed rolls with combat matrices / tables / whatsoever, instead of adopting the DoS mechanics, that makes the system a bit clumsy. But the opposed roll solves a lot of issues, and eliminates the old problem of endless combats when your opponent is too skilled at parrying.

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The opposed roll for combat ... is the only real advancement, in combat, of MRQ over previous RQs.

Then, since I don't like Opposed Rolls, you can see one good reason I don't like MRQ! (Although I can live with ORs for non-combat contests, like Hide v Spot, when used with a variation suggested by Nickmiddleton IIRC, i.e. higher skill wins ties).

It is the cross-indexing of opposed rolls with combat matrices / tables / whatsoever, instead of adopting the DoS mechanics, that makes the system a bit clumsy.

Yes, combat matrices are clumsy, and 'get in the way'. So please tell, what are the "DoS mechanics"?

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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DoS (Degree of Success) mechanics means that whenever you have an opposed roll and both succeed, one of the successes is downgraded by one or more to achieve a simpler result. This is in BRP 0, as Nick explained above (simple Dodge downgrades Critical attack to Special), and is in the MRQ player's update, albeit reversed (attack with higher roll downgrades simple parry or roll to failure, parry or dodge with higher roll downgrades successful attack to miss).

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"Opposed Rolls... higher skill wins ties."

Simple but awfully unrealistic. A 91% guardsman spots a 90% sneaker 90% of the times.

That's not accurate, since one or other can special/critical/fail when the other doesn't. This statistic appears to assume they both have the same 'DoS' at the same time, which ain't necessarily so. If you examine the odds properly I think you'll find it's similar to the contentious MRQ method.

DoS (Degree of Success) mechanics means that whenever you have an opposed roll and both succeed, one of the successes is downgraded by one or more to achieve a simpler result. This is in BRP 0, as Nick explained above (simple Dodge downgrades Critical attack to Special), and is in the MRQ player's update, albeit reversed (attack with higher roll downgrades simple parry or roll to failure, parry or dodge with higher roll downgrades successful attack to miss).

Not as simple as it could/should be, and awfully unrealistic too. A parried hit is not simply a miss - it's a different event in it's own right, and could/should have different effects.

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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Yeah! Flame wars! This forum is too nice, some real debate was needed :D

"a 91% guard spots a 90% sneaker 90% of the times"

That's not accurate, since one or other can special/critical/fail when the other doesn't. This statistic appears to assume they both have the same 'DoS' at the same time, which ain't necessarily so. If you examine the odds properly I think you'll find it's similar to the contentious MRQ method.

On the contrary, I have considered it, or else I would have stated 99% of the time. Mr 90% can still special/critical, and thus it still has some chances to win, but in _all_ cases that are not a special for Mr 90%, i.e. the vast majority, Mr 91% wins. We can make the maths if you like, it's just a matter of launching DevC++ and writing twenty lines of code, but I am sure the odds are somewhere around 85%-90% in favour of Mr. 91%, whereas they should be around 50%.

Not as simple as it could/should be, and awfully unrealistic too. A parried hit is not simply a miss - it's a different event in it's own right, and could/should have different effects.

We have debated this on the other forum for ages. Most people with rea l combat experience agree can a successful parry results in the blow being deflected and landing on the ground and/or off target, so the end result is almost the same. It is the mechanics of AP deduction from the damage that is unrealistic - a steel weapon is not more effective at parrying than a bronze one, except in the [uncommon] case that you hit it so hard that it breaks. At present, I use two differnet mechanics, one for shield blocks (unopposed) and one for weapon parries and dodges (opposed), and they work very fine.

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Don't flame me, I ain't flamin' you! Yes, it's nice and civilized here - I haven't been to that Other Place for ages... :)

I'm not interested in roasting anyone, just finding the best system. You may well be right that it won't be very near the intuitively-correct 50% mark, though it's probably less clear-cut for lower skills. Time permitting, I'll do some calculations on those odds (but if anyone else would care to, please feel free!).

The simpler the system, the better. (Surely as a C man you can appreciate that). One mechanic would be better than two. Would you care to tell us about the unopposed roll mechanic you use for weapons v shields?

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Read carefully, I'm a C++ man. Complexity is my business ;)

The point has been discussed variously on That Other Forum. The blocking mechanics is the "default" one used in RQ3 and the original MRQ: I hit, you parry by placing your "thing" between my weapon and your body, and - "whack!" - your "thing" takes the damage instead of you - better have a very sturdy "thing" with high AP. This is exactly what a not-exceedingly skilled shield user does. The roll is basically unopposed. The attacker's skill is less important in this case, since the defender is relying on his shield mass to block, rather than on finesse.

This is not what a skilled fighter does with a weapon. When a competent fighter parries, he attempts to deflect the blow, not simply intercept it. It is a matter of finesse, and the parry is all or nothing. This is better portrayed with an opposed roll, where the higher skill is likely to have the upper hand.

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Well, I like the simple old "whack - clang" mechanism. And (call me an old fashioned C man if you will) I still say that a simpler solution is a better one (and certainly better than two different solutions).

If as you say higher-skilled fighters learn how to deflect, rather than intercept, I'd say that's a good reason to introduce a "Deflection" ability at, say, 100%+ (like Splitting Attacks). That could give the 'sorry but your hit actually missed' effect in some way, without the complexity of opposed rolls in combat.

The idea of this sort of extra (perhaps less-than-Legendary) Ability (dare I say 'Feat'?) was mooted in another thread recently.

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 think part of it has to do with the era and weapons, too. I can see deflection if you are talking about rapiers, sure. Broadsword and shield, I don't know. From personal experience I do know that after a while it gets hard to even get a shield in position.

The thing is, in a rpg you are looking for the feel of combat without necessarily getting every little nuance of combat style and function down pat and portrayed perfectly (at least for me). You don't need mechanics like opposed rolls and 'feats' to have a perfectly good, accurate feeling (as emulating your favorite movie or historical novel) and fun game.

Give me the middle of the road complexity of Stormbringer or RQ or CoC any day. I not only like simple, but don't even like to see some of the complicating options in the new book...because they are not needed, and BRP does not need and should not try to be computer science.

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I'd say that's a good reason to introduce a "Deflection" ability

Why a new ability/skill/feat for every mechanics in game? Sword parry works this way. No need to introduce new skills - it's your good old Sword skill!

I think part of it has to do with the era and weapons, too. I can see deflection if you are talking about rapiers, sure. Broadsword and shield, I don't know.

It is fighting style, instead. If you have a shield, you block with it, you don't parry with the sword. If you only have a sword, be it rapier or broadsword, you parry (i.e. deflect) with it. The fighting stance of a broadsword/shield fighter is absolutely different from the stance of a broadsword-only warrior. Pete Nash suggested something similar in his MRQ variant rules.

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Interesting idea, but I'm sceptical of introducing the mathematics of opposed rolls into combat, when I think the parry rules work well as it is. I do think all shields should have higher AP than weapons though. Deflecting would be hard with heavier weapons too... Hmm. :ohwell:

SGL.

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Interesting idea, but I'm sceptical of introducing the mathematics of opposed rolls into combat.

Mathematics? Finding the higher roll is too much maths for you?

I do think all shields should have higher AP than weapons though. Deflecting would be hard with heavier weapons too... Hmm. :ohwell:

The point is that shields have higher APs than weapons in BRP, traditionally. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to break a weapon than to break a shield. What is realistic for parries becomes heavily unrealistic when it comes to weapons sustaining damage.

Deflect poleaxe with a dagger is hard? Yes it is. Give a -20% penalty per SR of difference when parrying. Fist or dagger vs. sword - bad. Sword vs. halberd - bad. Dagger or fist vs. poleaxe - suicidal, unless you are Bruce Lee :cool: - and even he would think twice.

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I've always played that on an opposed roll where both sides succeeded, they both, well. succeeded.

So, for instance if someone has a successful Search against a successful Hide, then both succeed: the person Hiding is hidden, but the searcher has found Something, maybe a footprint, maybe a broken branch.

I've always found that much more interesting than a win/lose outcome.

If one person has a higher success, that does win, "It is clear that the Duck thinks her's totally hidden (Success), but you can see the end of his bill (Special Success) through a hole in the log he's behind."

Steve

Bathalians, the newest UberVillians!

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The thing is, in a rpg you are looking for the feel of combat without necessarily getting every little nuance of combat style and function down pat and portrayed perfectly (at least for me). You don't need mechanics like opposed rolls and 'feats' to have a perfectly good, accurate feeling (as emulating your favorite movie or historical novel) and fun game.

Yes, this is why the core mechanic should be the simplest - and people can add options to suit their taste. So the deflection-type complications really ought not to be built-in to the fundamental combat rolls.

Interesting idea, but I'm sceptical of introducing the mathematics of opposed rolls into combat, when I think the parry rules work well as it is.

Same here. Sadly, I think the Attack/Parry matrix does have opposed roll type ideas built-in to it (although not the full-blown 'highest-roll-wins' garbage, at least not by default).

I've always played that on an opposed roll where both sides succeeded, they both, well. succeeded.

So, for instance if someone has a successful Search against a successful Hide, then both succeed: the person Hiding is hidden, but the searcher has found Something, maybe a footprint, maybe a broken branch.

I've always found that much more interesting than a win/lose outcome.

Exactly! You have hidden well, but the Creature has spotted something to make it suspicious, and is coming closer... and more hide/spot rolls (or other actions) are needed to resolve the matter. Opposed rolls smack of impatience ("I want a winner NOW!") and invite trivializing situations that may deserve more drama.

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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It is pleasant to find someone of like mind on this subject.

I am afraid I am thinking of giving up on the hobby as a group activity because most gamers I talk to these days seem to favor mechanics like opposed rolls and 'modern' rpg mechanics. Right now it is unlikely that I will even get the new BRP book due to all the bells and whistles that are getting attached to it. The parts I like are, alas, already known or available. Unfortunately it looks like hte new book will not bring anything useful to me to the table. I don't know.:(

I'll likely stick to Stormbringer and CoC with imports from other systems and use Atlantis if I actually get to run a game, and spend my hobby hours working on my own setting. It is still an enjoyable hobby even if it is pulling away from my tastes in many ways.

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Simple is not always better. If you have been following the 4th edition news that is coming out, that is made pretty plain. Can anyone here say, "Firecube"?

Anyway, another group I know does not use opposed rolls in combat, but they do allow for a higher skilled combatant to effect his opponent. Simply put, you may subtract your skill over 100% from your opponents skill.

So if you have 134% in broad sword, you can subtract 34% from the defenders parry, making it easier to get around his defenses. By the same token if you have a 156% in parry you can subtract 56% from your opponents attack, thereby causing him to miss, or deflect his attack. It really is very easy to remember and is very simple as long as you are not afraid of <gasp!> subtraction.

So in the above case the attacker will have a 44% chance to hit (134-34-56=44) and the defender will have a 66% chance to parry (156-56-34=66). Real easy once you figure out that the first one always reduces you to 100% and the second is then subtracted from 100. Or course you could always choose to NOT subtract anything from your skill, but then you are only subtracting one number.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

30/420

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I'm not afraid of subtraction, and I have never said simple was always better. Indeed, what I have said is that there is a sweet spot which varies from gamer to gamer. Because some of us are not comfortable with some of the ideas that are so prevalent right now does not mean we are stupid...as you seem to imply with your 'gasp subtraction' snip. I don't care for many of the ideas included in this BRP book because they are beginning to carry it beyond my sweet spot. Contested or opposed rolls, traits, heroic abilities, fate points, etc. are no improvement, IMHO, especially in a system which can be run effortlessly as it already exists.

I also do not like being talked down to by anyone. I like what I like. 4e just looks like a mess, and an expensive one, 'simpler' or not. The new BRP is beginning to feel like GURPS. There are, however, a couple of bright spots on the horizon. I do regret that I cannot give the new book more support, but I feel right now that the inclusion of clumsy mechanics such as contested rolls and the multi-genre nature of it are going to leave me, for one, out in the cold.

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Anyway, another group I know does not use opposed rolls in combat, but they do allow for a higher skilled combatant to effect his opponent. Simply put, you may subtract your skill over 100% from your opponents skill.

Splitting and higher chance of success/special/critical allready lets the higher skilled opponent come out on op.

So if you have 134% in broad sword, you can subtract 34% from the defenders parry, making it easier to get around his defenses. By the same token if you have a 156% in parry you can subtract 56% from your opponents attack, thereby causing him to miss, or deflect his attack. It really is very easy to remember and is very simple as long as you are not afraid of <gasp!> subtraction.

While subtractions might be easy, all math that is not intuitive bogs down combat.

SGL.

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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