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Conflict resolution modification suggestions


peterb

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A few suggestions gathered from the net and other sources that, IMHO, may improve BRP:s conflict resolution system.

1) Change the way of reading the result of a d100 roll

As been suggested on the RQ mailing list, treat 00 as the lowest possible result and 99 as the highest.

2) Change they way of determining critical successes/failures

Also as suggested on the RQ mailing list, treat all doubles as critical successes/failures. All doubles under skill level are CS and all doubles above skill level are CF. 00 is always a CS and 99 is always a CF.

Exemple: A has an Orate skill of 67. 00, 11, 22, 33, 44, 55 and 66 are CS. 77, 88 och 99 are CF.

3) Change the way of determining special successes/failures

All rolls where the digit dice comes up with a 0 or 5 are specials. Some results, such as 00 and 55, are both criticals and specials, in those cases use the better (or worse) result.

Example: A has an Orate skill of 67. 05, 10, 15, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60 and 65 are special successes. 70, 75, 80, 85, 90 and 95 are special failures.

4) Effect values

To make it even easier to determine the effect of a dice roll, one can use an ”effect value” system. Such as system is a way of getting a relative level of success out of a dice roll. Two different systems needs to be used, one that is used when comparing a dice roll against the characters own skill value and the other when comparing a characters performance relative another characters performance.

4.a) Effect value

If you need to know how well you succeeded with a task, getting a license from the authorities for example, one way of doing that is to compare the 10s digit of your roll with the 10s digit of your skill value. If the roll is s critical, multiply the result by 2 and if it’s a special multiply the result by 1.5. You can also use negative results; use the same multiplication rules as with positive results.

Example: A has an Orate skill of 67. If A rolled a 43 the effect value would be: 6 - 4 = 2. If A had rolled a 40, then the effect value would have been: (6 – 4) * 1.5 = 3, and if A had rolled a 44, then the effect value would have been: (6 – 4) * 2 = 4. If A had rolled a 77, then the effect value would have been: (6 - 7) * 2 = -2.

The GM can use an effect value in many ways. If the characters need a permit or a license from a government agency the GM could (privately) decide that they need a combined effect value of 8 to reach their goal. Several modifications are possible, for example if the character has the law on their side they could get a bonus to the effect value.

The GM can also use different characters effect values with the same skill to compare their relative performance. Assume for example that a character is taking part in a poetry competition. The GM could use the participants’ poetry skill effect values to decide who won the competition.

4.B) Success levels

Steve Perrin has, in his BRP clone ”Steve Perrin Quest Rules” (SPQR), created a system with success levels. The idea is that a characters performance is dependent on the performance of the opposition. One cannot play better than the opponent allows. The system is primarily (as I understand it) meant to be used when comparing A and B:s performance, relative each other. I suggest that one uses it for resolving combat situations.

The idea is as follows: one regular success gives you one success level (SL), a special success gives you 2 SL, and a critical success gives you 3 SL. A regular failure (obviously) gives you no success (0 SL). A special failure gives the opponent an extra SL and a critical failure gives the opponent two extra SL:s. You can thus at the most get 5 SL:s. If both A and B are successful, subtract B:s SL from A:s.

Exemple: A has a skill level of 67 in 1h Axe. B has a skill level of 55 in Roundshield. If A rolls a 43, then he gets 1 SL. If B rolls 51, then B also gets 1 SL. B:s result is subtracted from A:s, with the results in no effect (1 - 1 = 0 success). If A had rolled a 45, then he would have had 2 SL:s and he would have scored a hit on B. If it instead would have been B that had rolled a 45, then he would have won and then he would have gained a tactical advantage.

The result of the various combat actions are probably best summarized in a matrix or a table.

5) The level of success is linked to amount of damage done

This system is inspired by the BRP clone HarnMaster, written by Robin N. Crossby. The idea is that the amount of damage done should be dependent on the relative level of success.

1 Success level: normal weapon damage + damage bonus. Armour protects.

2 Success levels: normal weapon damage + 1d6 + damage bonus. Armour protects.

3 Success levels: normal weapon damage + 2d6 + damage bonus. Armour protects.

4 Success levels: normal weapon damage + 3d6 + damage bonus. Armour protects.

5 Success levels: normal weapon damage + 4d6 + damage bonus. Armour protects.

This system replaces the standard system with critical hits, specials, and impales.

Peter Brink

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Another application of effect values.

You can use effect values to evaluate how much information a character knows or is able to find out about a given subject:

What a character knows

[table]Effect value|Result

Critical failure or -3 or less|You know absolutely nothing about this subject. The subject doesn't even exist!

0|You do know that the subject exists, but nothing more.

3|You know the basics of the subject, given time you may find out more.

6|Your knowledge is equal to a well informed professional. You know what most people in the trade knows.

9|You know what a master of the subject is supposed to know.

12|You are very knowledgeable. You don't know everything, but know a lot and other skilled individuals are impressed by your lore.

15|You know everything that's worth knowing about the subject, and you know where and how to find out the things you don't know...

18|You know all there is to know about this subject.[/table]

Peter Brink

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I don't care for the suggestions about changing the way you read the dice rolls or calculate criticals/specials... I've seen people suggest that sort of thing before but it feels to me like it puts emphasis on the 'game' of rolling the dice. Just a personal preference (I hate 'stupid dice tricks... like the 'cherries' in Unknown Armies), since rolling for 'doubles' is no more 'gamey' than trying to roll low... except that rolling low is an overall mechanical theme that, used consistently, makes the rules just that tad bit easier to learn/teach and then fade into the background.

I do kind of like the 'Effects Values' idea... at least for some circumstances it's useful to be able to have a measurement of relative success... though it seems to me that the game as it is provides that pretty well already.

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When I was long ago working on a revision to Superworld, we discussed the notion of success values, before the project got abandoned.

I re-evaluated the design elements once more during the writing of BRP, and abandoned the notion again for the following reasons;

It was a radical departure from the current system, and I didn't want BRP to be incompatible with previous editions of BRP-based products.

In my opinion, the mechanics broke when applying them to skills above 100%, especially when using skills radically in excess of 100%. For example, a character with a skill of 150% would automatically score at least 5 success levels, no matter what he rolled (assuming he didn't fumble). The notion of having to accommodate that level of progression for result charts felt impossible. It didn't scale well with settings that allowed skills of over 100% and those that didn't. By contrast, the normal special/critical system continued to work fine.

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Similarly, having special results on doubles does not reflect that someone with a skill over 100% has a better chance of achieving said special results.

With a 200% skill, my chance of rolling a 00,11,22,33,44,55,66,77,88 or 99 is the same as someone with a 100% skill. As is my chance of rolling 05,15,25,35,45,55,65,75,85 or 95.

I do not like 00 being a low/good roll - 00 is a 100, a fumble, a bad roll.

I don't understand 4a at all. 4b is fine as far as determining levels of success, i.e. who has done better, but then falls down on the result of that.

Just because something was raised on the RQ Rules Digest does not mean that everyone agrees with it (highly unlikely in any forum) or that it works.

So, I'll stick with Specials and Criticals.

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 beef with the whole "doubles" thing is this (which is one of the

reasons I don't find Unknown Armies all that great):

If you have a 98 in some skill, then you critically fail on a 99 or 00.

In other words, someone that highly skilled can only critically fail,

which makes absolutely no sense. Same with anyone with a skill

of 100 or better - again, only a 99 or 00 will fail, and they can only

be critical failures.

I find the current levels of success method to be more than sufficient,

and very easy to apply and understand. Also, it lends itself very well

to the various rules pertaining to skills over 100, as well as scales

well when using skills over 100.

-V

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A few suggestions gathered from the net and other sources that, IMHO, may improve BRP:s conflict resolution system.

1) Change the way of reading ...

<snip>

This would be good for a new game, or for those of us that like to experiment a lot with different rules, but somehow it strikes me as MORE difficult for a noob to grok. I think this feeling comes from the fact that you are adding in layers... or seem to be adding in layers... to rules that really don't need them.

SDLeary

EDIT: And, as has been pointed out above, it doesn't really work unless you restrict to an absolute scale of 0-99 or 1-100.

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Not for me. I used to get into trouble with my group for constantly trying out new rules. This time around, standard BRP for my game, even simplified from the new books' level. But I will use some of the options from it. Just won't be experimenting and trying to put together the perfect system any more.

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2) Change they way of determining critical successes/failures

Also as suggested on the RQ mailing list, treat all doubles as critical successes/failures. All doubles under skill level are CS and all doubles above skill level are CF. 00 is always a CS and 99 is always a CF.

The point made about a 98% skill only being able to critically fail is a good point (although that could be the exception to the rule, and an exception could be made... although still, a person with 99% can only critically fail... oh well, best not to dwell). I think I might actually use this for critical successes, though. Aesthetically, I think watching for doubles makes rolling the dice more fun.

Blessed Be,

)O( Mike )O

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This point was raised during the MRQ playtest (where it could actually work, because MRQ has critical rolls at 10% of skill). This system was discarded because it did not work at all with skills over 100%, which are in the core rules and not an optional in MRQ. And do not forget that even if you have a cap of 100% for skills, modifiers can raise them to 200% for an Easy test. How do you handle criticals with doubles in this case?

I, too, cannot see a real reason to adopt this suggestion. Specials and criticals work fine as they are, no need to change them with spot rules that cause side effects. If it is not broken, do not fix it.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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My favorite has always been 10% and cap 100% (Stormbringer 1). It works well, and is a dream to play during a game. You know the critical value as soon as you know your skill chance, there is no need for any further calculation no matter how simple and it works all the way to 200% and above if higher than 100% levels are used. It seems the natural way to do it, and I usually choose it or the 5/20 as in RQ2. I am still scratching my head over MRQ. They *almost* succeeded in making a simple playable game, and then introduced elements such as those you refer to. I also admit I don't understand why some think it desirable to have +100 skill levels.

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My favorite has always been 10% and cap 100% (Stormbringer 1). It works well, and is a dream to play during a game. You know the critical value as soon as you know your skill chance, there is no need for any further calculation no matter how simple and it works all the way to 200% and above if higher than 100% levels are used. It seems the natural way to do it, and I usually choose it or the 5/20 as in RQ2. I am still scratching my head over MRQ. They *almost* succeeded in making a simple playable game, and then introduced elements such as those you refer to. I also admit I don't understand why some think it desirable to have +100 skill levels.

EMBR (Even More Basic Roleplaying), my "personal" version of BRP that I use for one-shots and introducing non-gamers to the system, uses the 1/10 critical and 100% skill cap.

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I agree a lot with you on this one badcat. I've used 5/20 for a long time, but do like the thought of 10% criticals. 100% cap is also okay, but I'm pondering on giving some sort of "ability" if you succeed a experience roll after reaching 100% (which should be only 5% of the times when that level is reached).

SGL.

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

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I go back and forth between 5/20 and 1/10 with crits and specials.

Math is easy for me, so it doesn't make a difference. Depends on

how gritty/heroic the game is.

I posted over at RPG.net about introducing a feat/special ability type

mechanic where you get one upon reaching 100% in a skill, and if you

use the over 100% skill option, a new "feat" every 25 or 50 percentiles.

I also would go back and forth about how they get used - either MP

expenditure or automatic option on a crit/special.

-V

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Crits at skill/10 is fine if you do not use specials, but many incarnations of BRP use them. IIRC Call of Cthulhu has no criticals, only impales (just to avoid players having an unfair advantage against Nyarlatothep, who clearly relies heavily on armor).

Similarly, a skill cap at 100% may be fine for many games, but not all. If a game is run at epic levels, skills go up to and way over 100% by necessity. Thor, Harrek or Anakin Skywalker cannot be limited to 100%, and if your character must confront the same dangers they face, then the game must support skills over 100%.

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