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What does 100% mean to you?


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Since I have been on this forum (and a few others) where skills are given a theoretical maximum, I ask the following question (granted it should be a poll, but I don't know how to do one :eek: 'cuz I suck):

Does a 100% in X skill mean a 100% chance of doing something (hit an opponent, build a rocket, embezzle cash) with that skill modified by circumstances...OR does it mean the amount of knowledge that the character has in that field of study?

It is important to recognize the difference...since IMO if it is merely a marker of ability, then we can have skills that go into the high hundreds...

but,

if that 100% in a skill means that the character knows everything there is to know about that area of knowledge, then the only real way to give skills over 100% is to say that the character is adding to the amount of knowledge available, like Einstein would have had physics above 100% in the 1940's or Nakayama Hakudo would have Katana (or Swordsmanship) at above 100%, or Sun Tzu would have Strategy at 100% +....

Just curious to see what others think.

-STS

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For me, the 100 % are the limit of what an average person can achieve.

It is what a well-trained sniper can do with his rifle, or what a professor can

know about his field of study.

It is not what could theoretically be done with that rifle under perfect circum-

stances, or all that could be known about the field of study (I have no doubt

that even Einstein had to look up some information now and then).

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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I'd agree with Rust - it's the top end of an average person's ability. Anything above 100% is getting into above average human ability - it's not impossible to do so, but getting there makes the person a specialist - excellent at what they do. Animals in particular with abilities / skills far exceeding human norms can be expected to have skills in excess of 100%. So can Heroes.

BRP gives you the option of capping skills at 100% or going above that. Personally I've always found one of the most interesting parts of BRP gaming to be roleplaying & exploring these high levels of ability, so for me having 100%+ skills is a must.

Of course, *how much* you see skills going above 100% is a moot point. In my games they've never gone above 250% - I know in Simon's (soltakss) case they often went as high at 1000%. That's where GM preference comes in, I guess, as BRP doesn't offer too many markers there, except that the RAW don't (currently!) offer as many skill power-ups as old RQ3.

Cheers,

Sarah

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For me 100% represents competent skill.

For example I would expect a black belt in martial arts to be 100% as this demonstrates that he can perform the basics well. That is, every action is performed without variation.

This is more so in the traditional martial arts such as Kyudo and Iaido where precision is very important.

Then a Second Dan may be in the 100 to 200 range, Third Dan may be in the 200 to 300 range etc.

Likes to sneak around

115/420

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I'll allow my players to go beyond 100%, mostly because of the fact that they're heroes. The average NPC that they run into won't have anything over 100% most of the time, because to me, that's the cap for normals, whether they be human, elven, dwarven, etc.

But, as my players are playing heroic level characters, they'll also be dealing with heroic level NPCs as well from time to time. The main NPCs that they'll be dealing with will probably have skills over 100% as the players reach the same level.

After all, if there's no challenge for the players, what fun would the game be. My upper limit on skill, I'm guessing around 200 to 250% is a good limit, but I'm not there yet, so time will tell. Oh and at the rate I'll be seeing skill increase beyond 100%, it'll be a while before they reach those levels.

Skunk - 285/420 BRP book

You wanna be alright you gotta walk tall

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100%? Just another number. I've never seen it as a limit.

(It probably represents "mastery" of a skill - as per a "master craftsman" - although that is usually claimed at 90%...)

PS: BRP0 has 'Skills Ratings Over 100%' only as an option. IMO, that's a mistake. Even in the sample creatures/characters they give over-100% skills (despite saying no optional rules have been used for them, and even mentioning the above-100% as an example for extrapolation). I suspect it's easier to cut-back to 100 rather than extrapolate. And, I also suspect, allowing over 100 is more common than not. Yes, by all means, a poll!

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These days I treat a skill value as a representation of a characters ability to perform a challenging task. So a character with a skill level of 100 is guaranteed to succeed with a challenging task. Hence I don't see the skill level as a designation of how much a character knows, i.e. a scientist with a skill of 100 does not know everything in his field, but he is very able to answer even advanced questions and to solve tricky problems.

Peter Brink

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Also, if I remember correctly, a difficult task is resolved at 1/2 your skill level, so 100% would be a 50%, correct? Taking that to a logical conclusion would mean that you can't solve a difficult task at 100% unless your skill is up to 200%, right?:D

Plus, I've never seen that as a limit either, frogspawner!:)

Skunk - 285/420 BRP book

You wanna be alright you gotta walk tall

Long Beach Dub Allstars & Black Eyed Peas

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100% is just a guideline. It probably means you can succeed at something most of the time. Anything more than that is extraordinary skill.

I certainly wouldn't play it as the best a person can be because it clearly isn't in many games.

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

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I've always taken 100% to be literally, "You succeed all the time at tasks that are nominally difficult." This is when I played RQ3 exclusively. The rest of the rules seemed to support that gritty assumption. What with strike ranks, hit locations, encumbrance and fatigue. When I picked up Dorastor:Land of Doom, I was appalled to see characters with skills above 300%.

When I played Elric!, the rules naturally supported skills over 100%, especially when it came to combat and multiple actions. I didn't have a problem that interpretation either.

So I guess for me, defining 100% depends on defining the genre of gaming first.

And don't forget Realism Rule # 1 "If you can do it in real life you should be able to do it in BRP". - Simon Phipp

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I'm also against the idea of 100% as a limit for skill values.

I think characters with more than 50% chance to succeed at very difficult tasks should exist, even outside of "super heroic" settings.

I think this idea is mostly encountered in "roll-under" systems. Would you ask a maximum skill bonus of +100 in RoleMaster, +20 in D&D or +10 in Ars Magica ?

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For me 100% is a high skill but of course not the cap. Not many PCs or NPCs had ever over 100% in any of my games. But I like it gritty and not "heroic" or cinematic. So beeing comfortable with 100%+ or not is a matter of playing style IMO.

Regarding the rule mechanic for experience: For me it was always the question too, how often anybody has to roll experience dice to go ever over 95% or higjer. So if a single samurai (perfect fighting style or not) has 150%, how did he get it? Mechanical wise he has maybe to fight (and survive the deadly BRP rules) hundred times in order to have such a high skill. I am always laughing at SB5 NPCs which are just 25 years old and have skills over 100%. How hand waving. :D

So if anybody allows high skills and wants to play in a "believeable" environment and not in a movie, then he should adapt the given experience rules of BRP or requiring the high skill PCs to be very old.

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Except when bending the rules, none of the characters I've played or any PCs in the games I've gamed have ever gone above 110%. Usually they don't reach 100% either. I have thought about some skill cap at 100% (with spells being able to bring it above), and then give some ability related to the skill instead of a % increase whenever they manage an experience roll thereafter. Haven't actually tried it though.

SGL.

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

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Greetings

With BRP based games I view 100% as equivalent to a high level of mastery - any normal application of the skill will be successful. Ratings above 100% in effect represent bonuses to offset difficulty penalties.

I've never used >150% as far as I can recall - and they were NPCs.

I prefer lower level play anyway.

Regards

Edward

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To me, 100% is just a skill level, same as 90% or 52%. It gets modified, you make your roll, and you either succeed or fail (or critical or special or fumble).

I've never seen a need to limit skills to 100% maximum, for the same reason Enpeze mentions - it just takes too long to get there. I don't recall any of my campaigns lasting long enough for characters to get to skill levels over 150%. Well, there was this one guy who had 200% in composite bow, but he just had a very unlikely string of good experience rolls ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me, the 100 % are the limit of what an average person can achieve.

It is what a well-trained sniper can do with his rifle, or what a professor can

know about his field of study.

It is not what could theoretically be done with that rifle under perfect circum-

stances, or all that could be known about the field of study (I have no doubt

that even Einstein had to look up some information now and then).

Same for me.

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

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