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Actual Play with Skills over 100%


Tywyll

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Out of curiosity, how many people have been in campaigns where characters got skills over 100% What kind of effect did that have on play? Where the characters still fun? Did the system hold out?

One of my friends recently suggested that the designers never really meant for players to reach such levels, and I'm not sure I agree. However, its never actually occurred in any of the campaigns I've run or played in (due to their being short mostly). So I was curious to hear from people with more experience with the system.

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Works fine - you can use the multiple attacks rule, you get crits more often, and generally deal the BEM a whole world of pain :D

I haven't got there with the new BRP yet, so haven't worked through the new perms, but I've regularly played with skill levels in the 100-200% mark in RQ and had a blast.

Now, if you *really* want to know how well high-level skills work, ask Simon (soltakss)... There's a campaign that pushed the envelope!

Cheers,

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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Some characters in my science fiction campaign have skills over 100 %. I use

such skill levels to deal with high negative modifiers which make some tasks

impossible for "normal" characters, from scientific breakthroughs over the in-

vention and implementation of entirely new technologies to more "mundane"

tasks like piloting a shuttle through a dense field of space debris or a subma-

rine close to an active undersea volcano.

It takes quite a lot of specialization, dedication and patience for a character

in my campaign to become one of those extremely few "galaxy class"-experts

who can do the "impossible" jobs, but some players enjoy such character con-

cepts and careers. For them, it is something to be the setting's "Einstein" or

"Red Baron". Besides, it also helps to gain influence and money ... :D

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I have run a RQ3 campaign with characters having several combat and Sorcery skills above 100%, and the skills were really useful. There was a lot of heroquesting in that campaign, and the 120-150% skills were really useful for gameplay. As for sorcery, since we used Sandy's Sorcery, the spells at 120% could be manipulated up to 24 points of effect, so yes, the extra skill was not wasted!

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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I played in a ong-running RQ2 campaign years ago, where we got up to the 100-150% range. The system held up just fine, we had fun, and didn't even know 100 was any sort of barrier...

These days, I run a BRP-like homebrew where plenty of characters (in one group) have 100%+ skills (weapons mainly), and it also works fine at those levels (it's the characters with under 100% I worry about...).

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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Out of curiosity, how many people have been in campaigns where characters got skills over 100% What kind of effect did that have on play? Where the characters still fun? Did the system hold out?

One of my friends recently suggested that the designers never really meant for players to reach such levels, and I'm not sure I agree. However, its never actually occurred in any of the campaigns I've run or played in (due to their being short mostly). So I was curious to hear from people with more experience with the system.

Runequest, Elric! (and Stormbringer 5th edition), earlier versions of Stormbringer, and Ringworld allowed skills in excess of 100% without breaking or causing the system to break down.

The reason that skills in excess of 100% are optional is that they're extremely uncommon for Call of Cthulhu, which was by design the default core of the rules.

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My games routinely have skills above 100%, usually at character generation. It doesn't break the system at all, even without the multiple attack rule. It just makes the characters more effective. The Success Matrix scales nicely.

Now, if you *really* want to know how well high-level skills work, ask Simon (soltakss)... There's a campaign that pushed the envelope!

Indeed. Here's a link to the overview. Follow the links in the article to read more. Fun stuff.

70/420

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Skill levels of 100%+ cause no problems whatsoever in our games, we use the following rules

1. Rolls of 96-99 are always failure and 00 always fumble regardless of skill level.

2. "Feinting", anyone can drop up to half their skill level in an opposed test and drop their opponents defense by the same amount.

This means that guys with 125% broadsword could drop their skill to say 90% thus dropping their opponents parry by 35%. We call it "feinting" because it is mostly used in combat, but we also allow its use in any other contested roll so for example stealth vs listen, etc.

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2. "Feinting", anyone can drop up to half their skill level in an opposed test and drop their opponents defense by the same amount.

I like it - very elegant. Sort of like RQ2 only neater.

:thumb:

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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I'd like to point out that the attack/parry cycle was not really a problem in SB5/Elric!, especially at high skill levels, and that feinting was just a matter of splitting that high skill level appropriately. That is, someone with 135% (I had one campaign that got considerably higher than that) and DEX 13 could 'feint' with 50% on his first attack and five DEX ranks later make the 'real' attack at 85%...if that's not at feint I would like to know what is. And that tactic was really effective if used with a long weapon. Of course this is apparently the default method in the new book anyway.

But I simply see NO REASON to add opposed mechanics to this system. It has a solid base mechanic already...the percentile roll...which can be made to do all the tricks necessary for a good solid simulation. Mind, I do use games BASED on opposed rolls sometimes (Talislanta 4) and I wouldn't want to see some percentile mechanics bolted on to that system. It would clunk it up just like opposed rolls clunk up BRP.

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I saw it rarely too, but they did start splitting sometimes when weapon skills got up towards 150%+. It was a very effective way to wear down a powerful npc opponent. They would wolfpack and sometimes reduce the npcs defense by 90-120% and then attack again. Very effective indeed. I think the highest skill was one had 180%, so he was still getting a critical chance of 26% on the 'real' attack. Did not see it used at the start, when the highest skill was 105% or so, but I don't know if that was choice or simply that they didn't know the system well enough yet.

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We played RQ3 and allowed split attacks against the same opponent. So in badcat's example the first attack would be at 50% and would most likely be parried, the second attack would be at 85% and the opponent would not be able to parry at all, unless he split his parry (assuming his parry was over 100%).

Needless to say people split their attacks pretty often.

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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Ah yes, that makes sense. It's funny how game mechanics effect play. Using Elric!/SB5 as a base, it seems to be most effective for the PCs to gang up on a given individual per round, the weaker the better. Those -30% add up.

Oddly enough, most of my players haven't clued into this. I don't know why, and I'm very happy they're playing through the story rather than gaming the rules....

Edit: Oops, I began the post and got busy with other things. The above response is to badcat.

To Lord Twig, that makes sense. I've read, but have never actually played RQ3. I'm coming from the Elric!/SB5 rules.

70/420

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We played RQ3 and allowed split attacks against the same opponent. So in badcat's example the first attack would be at 50% and would most likely be parried, the second attack would be at 85% and the opponent would not be able to parry at all, unless he split his parry (assuming his parry was over 100%).

In RQ3 we did this as well.

In RQ2 there was no need as RQ2 had Anti-Parry, so someone with 250% Bastard Sword Attack fighting someone with 50% defense knocked 100% off the opponent's parry, so skill had a massive effect on combat. Of course, we used to split attacks, parries and defense against multiple opponents, so a high-level statement of intent could involve 7 or 8 splits, but we managed without a problem.

In RQ3 there was no anti-parry concept, so two very skilled opponents could virtually guarantee that they could parry any attacking blow, so if both sides had enough armour and a good parrying weapon then combat could take a long, long time to resolve. As most people over 100% were Rune Lords, they usually had iron weapons and armour and probably had some magic, so they had a lot of APs.

Eventually, we got around this by allowing multiple splits against the same opponent. This meant that skill became important again as someone with higher attack/parry skills could split 3 times and force the defender to split parry three times which sometimes reduced them to less than 95% Parry chance. When we double-teamed an opponent it was even better as both attackers could split attacks, leaving the defender splitting his parries 4, 5 or 6 times.

In an ideal world, I'd use RQ2 Anti-Parry and also allow multiple splits against the same person. That way, skill is the main driver in a combat.

Needless to say people split their attacks pretty often.

I sometimes played a centaur who had 5 legs and a spider mask that meant he could cast Transform Head once a week. When fully tooled up he went in with Spear, Hoof, Bite and Punch. He normally went in Fanatically or Berserk so he was attacking on between 200%-260% so he would split Spear/Spear, Hoof/Hoof, Bite/Bite, Punch coming in on SR 2/7/12, 5/10, 5/10 as his Hoof and Bite were considered independent attacks. He wasn't that effective against very skilled opponents, but he went through supporting initiates like a combine harvester, leaving the rest of the party to concentrate on the big hitters.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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My games routinely have skills above 100%, usually at character generation. It doesn't break the system at all, even without the multiple attack rule. It just makes the characters more effective. The Success Matrix scales nicely.

I've never really started with a Rune Lord, apart from said Centaur who was rolled up with enhanced Character Generation (+20% to skills and incredibly lucky characteristic rolls) and just scraped in. The trouble with that approach is that you end up with PCs who are very skilled in certain areas and very unskilled in other areas. They also end up with good specific magic but lousy general magic. But, that's fine if that's the way the campaign works. Sometimes it is good not having jack of all trades PCs.

Now, if you *really* want to know how well high-level skills work, ask Simon (soltakss)... There's a campaign that pushed the envelope!

Indeed. Here's a link to the overview. Follow the links in the article to read more. Fun stuff.

Thanks, we had a blast playing it. Some people who didn't play in the continuing campaign complained that the skill levels were just silly, but they actually worked surprisingly well with only a few tweaks.

I don't know how BRP will scale, Stormbringer doesn't really scale in the same way that RQ used to because of the -30% rather than the 50/50ish splits, so a powerful Stormbringer character will have a lower pecentage skill than a RQ character of similar game ability/effect. I don't have BRP0 so I can't comment on its scaleability. But, if you use the old RQ rules for high skills they work just fine. I can't see them being incompatible with BRP.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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BRP0's sample Galactic Knight has Energy Sword 150%, Martial Arts (in Energy Sword, presumably) 80%, and various psychic abilities you might expect. The rules say a "cinematic" campaign can allow missile-weapon parries, as "extraordinarily rare combat feats", at full skill if they first make an Agility roll.

There's no mechanic I can see for targeting parried laser-bolts, though... So I'd suggest allowing further "special abilities" to be chosen for every, say, 50% of Martial Arts - and that sort of fancy parrying could be one such special ability. Would that do?

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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Skill levels of 100%+ cause no problems whatsoever in our games, we use the following rules

1. Rolls of 96-99 are always failure and 00 always fumble regardless of skill level.

2. "Feinting", anyone can drop up to half their skill level in an opposed test and drop their opponents defense by the same amount.

This means that guys with 125% broadsword could drop their skill to say 90% thus dropping their opponents parry by 35%. We call it "feinting" because it is mostly used in combat, but we also allow its use in any other contested roll so for example stealth vs listen, etc.

Veeerrrrry Niiiice :thumb: I like that, A LOT. Thank you for a new monster tactic >:->

-STS

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But I simply see NO REASON to add opposed mechanics to this system. It has a solid base mechanic already...the percentile roll...which can be made to do all the tricks necessary for a good solid simulation. Mind, I do use games BASED on opposed rolls sometimes (Talislanta 4) and I wouldn't want to see some percentile mechanics bolted on to that system. It would clunk it up just like opposed rolls clunk up BRP.

Elric!/SB5 already has at least four different opposed mechanics (resistance table, attack/parry matrix, attack/dodge matrix, spot/hide matrix). If opposed mechanics "clunk up" the system, is alread highly clunked up.

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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IIRC Jason's notes on doing Star wars in BRP were posted in a thread at RPG Net a while back...

It's been a long time and several computers since that campaign, and I've lost most of the original files somewhere, but I think I've still got the character sheet around here. I'll see if I can find it and will post it to the files section, for kicks.

EDIT: I found those files and posted them. Enjoy!

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I found those files and posted them. Enjoy!

Thank you very much, the files are really interesting. I especially like the

"Invent" skill on the character sheet - a great idea for my science fiction

setting. :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Thank you very much, the files are really interesting. I especially like the

"Invent" skill on the character sheet - a great idea for my science fiction

setting. :)

That was specifically to accommodate one of the PCs - a distraught engineer named Korrick Salvaridar (try saying that fast) who was eager to join the Rebellion due to his work being utilized by Seinar Fleet Systems in development of the Death Star. He wanted a skill to represent his being able to throw together technological devices, and other feats of engineering. With around half of his body replaced with cybernetics, he was essentially a Star Wars version of Tony Stark.

That campaign was a lot of fun.

But this is really off topic, so I'll end the discussion here.

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