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Greetings there !

I'm a long time french game master of Runequest (the original first edition was the very first RPG i bought after reading a review).

I apologize ahead of time if the topic was covered elsewhere. I have big expectations about the upcoming new project but i wanted to share some ideas about a precise issue that had bugged me for a long time in the combat rules of the original system.

The Attack/Parry system worked fine until the skill % reached 90-100, but then the fights dragged because parries wouldn't fail often enough unless, of course, magic allowed someone to shift the balance. I happen to have done some ancient fencing and the idea that a fight between two novices would be shorter than a fight between two master at arms didn't feel right to me. More importantly, it didn't really feel dramatic either from a movie point of view. Apart from combat, there also was the issue of comparing opposed skill successes (social interaction, perception vs stealth ...).

That's why i liked the idea of "the highest roll among identical levels of success (normal or critical) beats the lowest",

  • it shortens the fights between high skill fighters and also felt "intuitively right".
  • it adresses the issue of conflicting skill rolls (not only combat related)

Another approach was also used in  the Hawkmoon RPG :

  • you could parry several times in a round but your parry % would drop by a cumulative 20% each time.
  • a Master (90%+) gained a free attack after each successful parry but each successive attack would drop his skill by 20%, cumulative too.
  • The consequence of that was that a fight between Masters would lead to a flurry of  attacks / parries / riposts until one failed or was hit. That "felt" much more dramatic (and also more realist for the fencer in me *winks*).

I am unsure which system the designers are leaning towards but i really want to point out that the gaming tables i ran stumbled on that issue several times, either because of realism or storytelling rythm concerns.

 

 

 

Edited by Mortilas
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10 hours ago, Mortilas said:

Greetings there !

I'm a long time french game master of Runequest (the original first edition was the very first RPG i bought after reading a review).

I apologize ahead of time if the topic was covered elsewhere. I have big expectations about the upcoming new project but i wanted to share some ideas about a precise issue that had bugged me for a long time in the combat rules of the original system.

The Attack/Parry system worked fine until the skill % reached 90-100, but then the fights dragged because parries wouldn't fail often enough unless, of course, magic allowed someone to shift the balance. I happen to have done some ancient fencing and the idea that a fight between two novices would be shorter than a fight between two master at arms didn't feel right to me. More importantly, it didn't really feel dramatic either from a movie point of view. Apart from combat, there also was the issue of comparing opposed skill successes (social interaction, perception vs stealth ...).

That's why i liked the idea of "the highest roll among identical levels of success (normal or critical) beats the lowest",

  • it shortens the fights between high skill fighters and also felt "intuitively right".
  • it adresses the issue of conflicting skill rolls (not only combat related)

Another approach was also used in  the Hawkmoon RPG :

  • you could parry several times in a round but your parry % would drop by a cumulative 20% each time.
  • a Master (90%+) gained a free attack after each successful parry but each successive attack would drop his skill by 20%, cumulative too.
  • The consequence of that was that a fight between Masters would lead to a flurry of  attacks / parries / riposts until one failed or was hit. That "felt" much more dramatic (and also more realist for the fencer in me *winks*).

I am unsure which system the designers are leaning towards but i really want to point out that the gaming tables i ran stumbled on that issue several times, either because of realism or storytelling rythm concerns.

 

 

 

The second approach started with Stormbringer and is my personal favorite.  High level battles get decided quickly and high level vs lower level, the advantage also quickly decides the battle.

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On 5/10/2016 at 4:45 PM, styopa said:

Maybe it's a difference in definition, but I meant specifically for someone who is NEW to the system.  

Another thing you can do if you're new to the system is give your PCs a rechargable ressurection item.  River of Cradles does this for its beginning level campaign and I do this for all my campaigns.  New GMs and new players alike can use a make over button and Ye Ole Ressurection Stone is invaluable.

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I haft to say things are look exciting on the RQ2.5 side and very excited to see the new game been waiting for years for RQ to come back to Glorantha. It is a great system that has inspired many other greats that followed it. I have always been frustrated by its undeserved obscurity. I have to admit that I'm biased having been given a copy of RQ2 buy Graig Stafered as Kid. So keep up the good work.  

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18 hours ago, Mortilas said:

That's why i liked the idea of "the highest roll among identical levels of success (normal or critical) beats the lowest",

  • it shortens the fights between high skill fighters and also felt "intuitively right".
  • it adresses the issue of conflicting skill rolls (not only combat related)

 

The last Mongoose RuneQuest playtest document had an interesting take on this subject. If the defender parries and both opponents roll the same success level, the highest roll determines how many points are blocked by the parrying weapon. If the attacker has the highest roll, weapon's AP are substracted. Otherwise, twice the AP are substracted. Obviously, the AP were different from RuneQuest 3 : a Broadsword typically has 4 AP and not 10.

Unfortunately, this was changed before the release of the game...

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Just spitballing this out here:  what if you freely allowed players to modify their attack/damage rolls at will?  Maybe even parrying AP?

Again, this is just a hypothetical, let's throw out the following ratios:

5% = 1 point of damage.

So if Rurik at 90% attack is trying to hurt Bagdob the Chaos Warrior with the chaos feature of heavy armadillo armor-skin, it might be worth dropping his attack to 70% to really smack Bagdob with a +4 damage.

OTOH, if Rurik is fencing with his friend he might take -6 hp damage and +30% to hit, because he doesn't want to hurt his friend, but definitely wants to score the first touch.

I *might* be inclined to allow spending % in the same way to increase the AP of a parrying weapon (a master swordsman or daggerman could probably more artfully use the weapon for parrying than Glug the Farmer)

I *might* further be inclined to say that 5% = 1 point of damage = 1 point of SR - anyone could strike more quickly if they're not concerned with actually hitting hard enough to do damage, and the "long, slow windup of a mighty blow" is easily understood.

Hmm.  It would certainly make a more tangible benefit to having skill over 100% - since you're capped at 95%, if you don't really care about the increased impale/crit, I'd guess that % over 95% would almost always be spent as either a quicker attack or more damage, meaning really skilled combatants are DIRECTLY more lethal.

 

EDIT: there could be boundary caps on these manipulations, of course - for example:

- attack% couldn't be increased beyond 2x your original.

- damage couldn't be increased beyond the max rolled damage of your weapon

- combat total SR couldn't be reduced below your Dex SR, and SR increased beyond the end of the round doesn't "roll over", you'd just lose your opportunity to act that round.  (or somesuch)

Edited by styopa

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Interesting idea, but I suggest a 10:1 ratio for damage to skill, partly to keep it easier to do in your head, partly because a high damage buff can be devastating, and partly because "bypassing" plate with a punch at just -40% is too cheap. Maybe instead of reducing values, a player could get sort of rating that determines how many "buffs" they get to use. These buffs could be spent to modify die rolls,  and could either be in the form of X buffs per round, or as a sort of fatigue pool that is used up.

But I suspect the idea diverges too far from the RQ2 core concept.

.  

 

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Agreed, I was thinking about 10% as the 'value' too, actually.  5% seemed like it might be too 'cheap'.

As far as RQ2, meh, it could be an option.  I think the point of the RQ2 thing is compatibility with old materials, and a RULE change like this - not changing tables of values, etc - would still be ENTIRELY compatible with any old RQ2 material you pick up, no conversion necessary at all.

 

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French game Rêve de Dragon (translated under the name "Reve: The Dream Ouroboros") allows the attacker to lower his attack chance in order to reduce the opponent's parry chance. That could be used in BRP directly.

Another idea, inspired by Fading Suns, would be to consider the roll (or 10s of the roll) as Quality of success. The player would be allowed to add a number to his roll, thus reducing his chances of success to increase his actual Quality of Success.

In combat, damage and parried damage would be a function of QoS.

Edited by Mugen

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Thinking more on my idea last night, even 10% is too cheap; for example a 50% attacker could jack his attack up to 100% for sacrificing -5 damage.  That sounds like a lot, but if he's using a Greatsword (2d8) and has a strength damage bonus (say, 1d4 or more) what he's sacrificing is, on average, only 1d8+1d4, leaving him with 1d8 damage and +50% to hit?  Nah, that seems too powerful.  And at 20% per point, I'm not sure anyone would use it.

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Just adding one more option to the same subject. I really like levels of success in modern RPG systems and I think this is where d100 is showing it's age. It's either pass or fail and the very seldom crits. What if there are more levels that happen more regularly? I think 4 would be sufficient - 2 levels for success and 2 for failures (for example for a skill with 50%):
 - (01-25) Good success
 - (25-50) Barely success
 - (50-75) Barely failed
 - (75-99) Badly failed

And for combat, opposed skill-checks could be matched by the same level, but the distribution would be more evenly distributed - so the match for same level will not happen that often.

Another way would be as a separate roll for regular success or failure. For example D2 or D3 to see how well/badly the skill check went.

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1 hour ago, jux said:

Just adding one more option to the same subject. I really like levels of success in modern RPG systems and I think this is where d100 is showing it's age. It's either pass or fail and the very seldom crits. What if there are more levels that happen more regularly? I think 4 would be sufficient - 2 levels for success and 2 for failures (for example for a skill with 50%):
 - (01-25) Good success
 - (25-50) Barely success
 - (50-75) Barely failed
 - (75-99) Badly failed

And for combat, opposed skill-checks could be matched by the same level, but the distribution would be more evenly distributed - so the match for same level will not happen that often.

Another way would be as a separate roll for regular success or failure. For example D2 or D3 to see how well/badly the skill check went.

Looks good for exactly this single data point of a 50% skill, but how does this scale to skills of say 20%, 80%, 95% or 120%? Can it be done without lots of die rolling or calculation?

Methods like High Roll breaks a success level tie or critical for rolling the exact success number (in Pendragon, using a D20) or a special if the single digit die matches the modified skill value (roughly equal to 10% chance for a special, for skills under 100%) don't require much if any math.

It is possible to add all manner of qualifiers for success levels, yes-but solutions etc,, but doing this in a way that doesn't stop the flow of action or narrative is a bit more difficult.

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I think there is ample granularity available in D100.  It's just a matter of the degrees of success and how frequently you want them to occur (with the follow-on question is: are the relative VALUES of these successes appropriately scaled as well)?

Frex:

RQ RAW (2, 3): Crit 05%, Special 20%, fumble inverse of crit but always 1%.  In this case, the "crit" should really be significantly better than the special, comparable to the value of a special over a normal.

RQ (6): "crit" 10%, with SFX available anytime you beat the other guy by a success level; my quick napkin-math figured this at almost 30% of the time with equal skills (not super confident on that result, sort of brute-forced it); one of my main issues with RQ6 was that this happened far too frequently, and that the advantages (the special effects) were overpowered for their frequency.

You could certainly brew your own levels, per jux's example: 

half skill: good success

skill: marginal success

(above skill but below halfway to 100): marginal fail

(above halfway to 100): bad failure

....certainly doable, but in that case I'd have to say that "good failure" would be so frequent, it would have to be weak or the system would be amazingly lethal.  Making "special" stuff happen more frequently really just makes the combats more brittle and specials less ... special.

I originally liked a system I saw that made doubles-rolls crits (as success or fail) until I realized that with a 95%+ chance to succeed, you STILL had a 2 in 5 chance of any failure being a fumble...holy crap that's nasty.  1 in 5 (RQ RAW) is already pretty harsh, where as your skill increases, your chance of a failure being a fumble starts at 5% and increases as you get better to 20% in kind of an interesting jagged curve.

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, jux said:

Just adding one more option to the same subject. I really like levels of success in modern RPG systems and I think this is where d100 is showing it's age. It's either pass or fail and the very seldom crits. What if there are more levels that happen more regularly? I think 4 would be sufficient - 2 levels for success and 2 for failures (for example for a skill with 50%):
 - (01-25) Good success
 - (25-50) Barely success
 - (50-75) Barely failed
 - (75-99) Badly failed

Call of Cthulhu 7th edition uses this approach:

  • Critical success (roll of 01)
  • Extreme success (roll of 1/5th skill or less)
  • Hard success (roll of 1/2 skill or less)
  • Regular success (roll of skill or less)
  • Failure (roll over skill)
  • Fumble (roll of 96-100 for skills of 1-50%, or of 100 for skills of 51+%)

The Hard and Extreme thresholds are precalculated (with spaces for them on the character sheet) for folks who don't like to do math in play, and they work really well in my experience.

I'd love to see RuneQuest adopt some of the CoC 7 changes, but I suspect that won't happen.

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In sofar that you had Critical Successes (1%), Special Successes (<20%), Normal Successes (<%), Failures (>%) and Fumbles (99%) - there has always been degrees of success/failure in BRP systems. 

Personally, I prefer the method used in RQ6, Pendragon and other systems where each roll can be contested with the highest successful roll winning, as it's the most intuitive for me. Each to their own though. 

 

 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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13 hours ago, trystero said:

Call of Cthulhu 7th edition uses this approach:

  • Critical success (roll of 01)
  • Extreme success (roll of 1/5th skill or less)
  • Hard success (roll of 1/2 skill or less)
  • Regular success (roll of skill or less)
  • Failure (roll over skill)
  • Fumble (roll of 96-100 for skills of 1-50%, or of 100 for skills of 51+%)

The Hard and Extreme thresholds are precalculated (with spaces for them on the character sheet) for folks who don't like to do math in play, and they work really well in my experience.

I'd love to see RuneQuest adopt some of the CoC 7 changes, but I suspect that won't happen.

I totally agree that the CoC 7E skill resolution approach is the best way to go.

It is intutitive, it runs smoothly and it works well; plus it would be good to see some consistency in the new rulesets.

Edited by Mankcam
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Wow, that's cool. I would combine critical and extreme success though - 1/5 skill is good though. But additionally I'd like "failure, but something good" and "success, but complication" levels to be there - just like in the topic that talks about FFG SW stuff.

What I'd like for d100 system to drop is possibility to advance skill over 100%. I would like the advancement formula to be logarithmic that training a low skill is efficient, but it would never get to 100%. It could be over 100% only with positive conditions.

Also, I find it is too boring to only to be able to advance in skills. Why not improving usage of certain magical weapons? Adding special abilities? There are gaining new spells, which makes it more interesting.

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On 5/19/2016 at 8:59 AM, styopa said:

Thinking more on my idea last night, even 10% is too cheap; for example a 50% attacker could jack his attack up to 100% for sacrificing -5 damage.  That sounds like a lot, but if he's using a Greatsword (2d8) and has a strength damage bonus (say, 1d4 or more) what he's sacrificing is, on average, only 1d8+1d4, leaving him with 1d8 damage and +50% to hit?  Nah, that seems too powerful.  And at 20% per point, I'm not sure anyone would use it.

I have a BRP variant in the works that kinda works that way. The way it works is that The tens digit on your roll is considered the EFFECT value, and is used to see how well you did. For example, if you rolled a 64, and it was under or equal to your skill rating, your EFFECT would be 6, which would translate into 6 points of damage, or 6 meters of distance climbed, or 6 maneuver points to turn a jet during a dogfight, and so on. 

One feature the variant has is that you can sacrifice 20 points of skill/ability for a +1 to your EFFECT, which is basically what you wanted. 

It also had the option of raising or lowering the difficult, which halves or doubles the skill chance, but with a corresponding +5/-5 to the EFFECT. I used a halving/doubling method there to give someone with a low skill the option of trying something risky to have some chance of beating someone who is much better than him. 

 

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3 hours ago, jux said:

What I'd like for d100 system to drop is possibility to advance skill over 100%. I would like the advancement formula to be logarithmic that training a low skill is efficient, but it would never get to 100%. It could be over 100% only with positive conditions.

The problem with that, is that percentile dice is not logarithmic in play. So what happens is that an expert with a 100% skill can still loose to someone with a 50%, one in four times. Or against a novice  with a 25% skill, one in 8 times. That probably not fair to the expert. 

With a skill cap, you kinda need extended contests to make things fair for higher skill scores. Or, something like my aforementioned EFFECT die. 

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43 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I have a BRP variant in the works that kinda works that way. The way it works is that The tens digit on your roll is considered the EFFECT value, and is used to see how well you did. For example, if you rolled a 64, and it was under or equal to your skill rating, your EFFECT would be 6, which would translate into 6 points of damage, or 6 meters of distance climbed, or 6 maneuver points to turn a jet during a dogfight, and so on. 

One feature the variant has is that you can sacrifice 20 points of skill/ability for a +1 to your EFFECT, which is basically what you wanted. 

It also had the option of raising or lowering the difficult, which halves or doubles the skill chance, but with a corresponding +5/-5 to the EFFECT. I used a halving/doubling method there to give someone with a low skill the option of trying something risky to have some chance of beating someone who is much better than him.

That's an idea I've had in mind for a long time, but never had a chance to use (although I did it with a d20 roll under system).
One thing I have in mind that a roll of 0X is either a 0 or a 10, depending on whether the units are inferior or equal to the tens of his skill (a crit).

However, I think -20% for +1 to EFFECT is too much, because it's not statistically worth it.

For instance, say you have 90% in your skill. Your average EFFECT, if you succeed, is 4.1 (1).

Reducing your skill to 70%, your average EFFECT if you succeed, is the same : 3.1+1 (2) = 4.1.
But you have a much bigger chance to fail...

(1) (9*0+10*1+10*2+10*3+10*4+10*5+10*6+...+10*8+9)/90 = [(10*36)+9]/90 = 4.1
(2) (9*0+10*1+10*2+10*3+10*4+10*5+10*6+7)/70 = [(10*21)+7]/70 = 3.1

Edited by Mugen

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Yes, the "not being worth it bit" was intentional, and designed to discourage someone with a 90% skill from doing it. The -20% for +1 thing was really for the guy with, say, a 120% skill. As the variant doesn't have the normal success levels, the -20% per +1 EFFECT is essentially giving characters a way to buy up their result with high skill, similar to how crit and special chances go up with skills over 100% in BRP.

What the guy with the 90% skill would be better off doing is to increase his difficulty for the +5 EFFECT. It's risky, since it cuts his success chance in half, down to 45%, but if he succeeds his effect score will be in the 5-9 range. 

 

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21 hours ago, trystero said:

The Hard and Extreme thresholds are precalculated (with spaces for them on the character sheet) for folks who don't like to do math in play, and they work really well in my experience.

I think the downside to that is that the precalc leads to an extremely 'busy' character sheet with values filled all over the place. Replacing the time spent doing-math-in-play with scanning-over-a-jampacked-sheet for the value you need.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, the "not being worth it bit" was intentional, and designed to discourage someone with a 90% skill from doing it. The -20% for +1 thing was really for the guy with, say, a 120% skill. As the variant doesn't have the normal success levels, the -20% per +1 EFFECT is essentially giving characters a way to buy up their result with high skill, similar to how crit and special chances go up with skills over 100% in BRP.

Ok.

As a matter of fact, I had a similar system in the d20 roll under blackjack I mentionned earlier, and it was also made for highly skilled characters...
And I was told once that it was not suited for lowly skilled characters... ;)

Edited by Mugen

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