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Jakob

Which skill for ropework

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Since it came up recently in a one-shot: What skill what you use to truss someone up? I'd say Craft, but I'm not quite sure - Craft seems to be such a broad skill ... and what skill would you use to wriggle out of your bonds? I'd say Athletics, but I'd also allow Craft (which could represent improvising a tool from a nail or splinter found on the ground).

By the way, searching the character sheet for a useful skill, we stumbled over Engineering - does anyone ever use this? It seems strangely specialized among all of these pretty general skills.

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Craft if its you using your knowledge of knot work.

Athletics or Unarmed if you are doing it while they are actively opposing you :) 

If its an important skill that turns up again and again, then make it a skill on its own.

Regarding Engineering - nope no one has ever used it and its only really there for completeness or as an example of a Specialist skill. 

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This is a good example how skills cannot be so specific. Craft-knot, can you imagine one trained in this? And then failing in it, lol.

I would rather have have a 5x Intelligence stat check to handle this.

But more so, why have this skill check at all? I really like the skill check rules in the new Delta Green. If there is no pressure and enough time, one can figure it out, don't ask for skill check. If there is meaningful effort involved, do a passive skill check (check if one has relevant skill of +30 for example). And in the end, if there is actual time pressure and danger - make him roll the skill check.

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1 hour ago, jux said:

But more so, why have this skill check at all? I really like the skill check rules in the new Delta Green. If there is no pressure and enough time, one can figure it out, don't ask for skill check. If there is meaningful effort involved, do a passive skill check (check if one has relevant skill of +30 for example). And in the end, if there is actual time pressure and danger - make him roll the skill check.

Well, the usual situation is that the characters tie up a prisoner somewhere to pick her or him up later (because they can't be bothered dragging them around the whole way ...) So the test usually determines whether the prisoner will have a chance to escape before they return. I usually go for: "make a test, and if it fails, you as players can be pretty sure that the prisoner will be gone, but your characters will think that the knots should hold."

For some reason, this is a situation that seems to come up quite often when I GM ...

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1 hour ago, jux said:

But more so, why have this skill check at all? I really like the skill check rules in the new Delta Green. If there is no pressure and enough time, one can figure it out, don't ask for skill check. If there is meaningful effort involved, do a passive skill check (check if one has relevant skill of +30 for example). And in the end, if there is actual time pressure and danger - make him roll the skill check.

There's full rules on when and when not to make skill checks in OpenQuest which are similar to what you are saying.

Page 35 OQ Basics

Page 31 OQ 2 Deluxe

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A Slaver may well use Craft Slaver or have a Craft Knots skill.

Normally I would use this if I needed to tie someone up quickly who was resisting. Tying up an unconscious person shouldn't need a roll.

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11 hours ago, soltakss said:

A Slaver may well use Craft Slaver or have a Craft Knots skill.

Normally I would use this if I needed to tie someone up quickly who was resisting. Tying up an unconscious person shouldn't need a roll.

Well, the recent situation was about tying someone up who doesn't resist (since there would have been no point), but would probably try to escape, and leaving him behing to pick him up later. Now I need a way to determine if he can somehow free himself of his bonds ... Of course, I could just consider the tying-up an auto-sucess and have the prisoner roll a hard atheltics test to get away, but I like to keep the die rolls player-facing. So I'd rather have the PC's roll for tying their prisoner up - if they succeed, he will be unable to escape, if they fail, he gets a normal roll to escape.

Basically, the test would not be: "Can I tie him up?", but "Can I tie him up so good that he will have no chance to escape?"

Edited by Jakob

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7 hours ago, Jakob said:

Well, the recent situation was about tying someone up who doesn't resist (since there would have been no point), but would probably try to escape, and leaving him behing to pick him up later. Now I need a way to determine if he can somehow free himself of his bonds ... Of course, I could just consider the tying-up an auto-sucess and have the prisoner roll a hard atheltics test to get away, but I like to keep the die rolls player-facing. So I'd rather have the PC's roll for tying their prisoner up - if they succeed, he will be unable to escape, if they fail, he gets a normal roll to escape.

Basically, the test would not be: "Can I tie him up?", but "Can I tie him up so good that he will have no chance to escape?"

or the NPC who ties up so incompetently that it is easy to escape. That's what failures are for. On the other hand, a critical might make it harder to escape.

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Greetings Jakob and sundry:

"What skill what you use to truss someone up?"

In my game, this is an opposed roll. If PCs have a knot-tying craft or specialty, they'll use that and the target will, if circumstances dictate, oppose it with a straight-up athletics roll. If the tied target beats the PC's roll, it equals escape. As a GM I have a slightly different view of such situations in that I don't want my PCs to know they've won the contest for sure...even a crit can be countered.

That being said, I find skill application entertaining and try to make it a living part of my game by honoring a PCs particular mode of application. Some of my players are naturally blithe (both in-game and in life--LOL), applying their skills without much thought and moving on. Others are more fastidious, wanting to role-play the situation out, describing what they do with detail and care. In such cases, I honor that, allowing a role-playing PCs to re-apply a skill, such as a crafty-knot tying, if they recognize they've rolled poorly, as in: "I didn't fail, but, man, that 16% pretty much sucked; can I try again?"

or by taking their role-play into consideration with bonuses or penalties if/when the NPC finally responds: "Okay, I loop the rope around their necks, then tie their hands, then tie their feet AND do it all behind them so they bend like a bow!"

Otherwise it could simply turn out that the PC rolled a 16%, and the NPC rolled a 27% athletics and, "the first thing you notice when you return to the closet is your rope neatly arranged in a rude gesture but no prisoner."

"...does anyone ever use [engineering]?"

Yeppers :-)

Three particular games come to mind. The first involved two PCs who had reached a legion "town" on the frontier. After an audience with the commandant, they were granted shelter. To make a long story short, they realized a few hours before sundown AND after any chance of escape had evaporated, that the soldiers were actually shape changers ready to done their bear guises with the Cobalt moon rise that evening. The twain hid themselves in a stout looking yet "unused for some time" building that they figured out had belonged to the legion's foragers: "How do we barricade the door so no one can get through with...a bundle of half rotten ursine pelts and a dozen huge pressure traps?!" I'm sure many GMs would rather use Mechanisms for such a situation, but I felt it called for more than a fix-lock type response.

My next two examples involve PC concepts which leaned heavily on Engineering-like Lore skills (not OC but still BRP). Both players initially conceived their characters with similar apprentice-to-master backgrounds.  The first involved a player who conceptualized themselves as an apprentice to a famous military builder. He used his Engineering skill to figure out that a supposedly god-touched statue was actually a man-powered mechanical device. He had to do this by observation only without handling/examining the device--"None may touch the holy face of Molaten! Back! Or you shall be punished for blasphemy!" He used Engineering a lot while applying his trade...especially after the architect died in transit to an important job and the PC had to masquerade as his master!

The second, and best, involved a religiously pious novice who had been apprenticed to an obscure military designer. The master-designer had created a War-Wagon featuring mounted windlass crossbows that lobbed spiked and magically exploding petards. The wagon, weapons and ammunition were highly experimental, advanced, and top-secret. When assassins killed his master in an attempt to steal the plans (during a demonstration of the weapon before officials of the sponsoring government, of course), the apprentice drove off with the wagon, weapons and petards and destroyed them in a fiery explosion. Injured in the blast, he'd been fished from the river by a good-natured priest. After recovery, he learned that he'd been blamed for the assassination and that his family had been summarily executed for his "crime." To add insult to injury, he also learned that the original assassins were not so fooledth by his supposed death and were actively in search of him--along with agents of his own country! "By the sun-god's fiery balls! If I'm going to be blamed for it all, I'm gonna get my money's worth!" he declared and quietly left the country for the continent. Holing up in an abandoned warehouse in one of the largest cities in my world, the PC began building his own war-wagon and armaments with an intent to sell them to the highest bidder, plans and all. That guy used a lot of Engineering-type rolls, let me tell you :-).

Cheers!

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On 5/8/2017 at 8:32 AM, Jakob said:

Well, the usual situation is that the characters tie up a prisoner ...For some reason, this is a situation that seems to come up quite often when I GM ...

 

On 5/8/2017 at 5:18 AM, Newt said:

If its an important skill that turns up again and again, then make it a skill on its own.

Yeah, I'd say your table needs a "Ropes/Knots" skill... or a list of which professions include that skill as part of the "skill-set" involved.   It' *CAN* be learned as its own whole separate skill (Boy Scouts of America, I'm looking at YOU!) but in a historical context it's usually part of a profession or trade.

 

On 5/11/2017 at 11:07 PM, Jakob said:

Well, the recent situation was about tying someone up who doesn't resist (since there would have been no point), but would probably try to escape, and leaving him behing to pick him up later. Now I need a way to determine if he can somehow free himself of his bonds ... Of course, I could just consider the tying-up an auto-sucess and have the prisoner roll a hard atheltics test to get away, but I like to keep the die rolls player-facing. So I'd rather have the PC's roll for tying their prisoner up - if they succeed, he will be unable to escape, if they fail, he gets a normal roll to escape.

Basically, the test would not be: "Can I tie him up?", but "Can I tie him up so good that he will have no chance to escape?"

Knotwork/ropework really can be its own whole thing; people who don't know how to do this stuff can produce the most amazing tangled monstrosities... that don't hold worth a damn.  Plenty of professions use this skill, with some differences between the professions (but lots in-common).

In lieu of a pre-existing skill...  Do they have ANY sort of professional / craft background or skill, that involves use of ropes (including any sort of cargo-work, sailing, livestock handling, etc)?

If so, make an easy roll, probably based on INT; it can be done in about 1 minute.  If they clearly have NO relevant background, make a hard roll, and it takes maybe 4d4 minutes.  If there's some "maybe" or "if" about whether their background is relevant, make it a medium roll and it takes 2d3 minutes.

 

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I'm closing this topic....its been discussed thoroughly earlier in thread, and later replies are really not getting how skills work in OpenQuest at all ;)

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