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Math and BRP


Trifletraxor

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Our group eventually just dropped percentile and used a d20 for rolls with RQ3. All skills and modifiers were rounded to 5 or 0 and then we used a d20.

That's the Pendragon method, isn't it? Calculating 20% and 5% does bog down play a little. Not that much, but I would have liked to see a 10% special instead. It seems it will stay at 20% for the new system though.

Cheers,

Sverrre.

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

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I like the Special at 20%. At 10% it happens too infrequently. I've never had these calculations bog down play at all. However, most of my RQ groups have been made up off math savy groups, so I understand that experience may be different from most.

I would prefer moving criticals to 10% and keeping specials at double that (20%) to decreasing specials.

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I guess quick division in your head is hard for some people.

Thinking back I guess there would frequently be a case where someone needed to know what the Special or Critical chance of a certain percent was. In these cases, almost always, they would just look at me and I would tell them. Guess I have a talent for it.

So really not everyone needs to be good at math, you just need one. :)

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)

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Personally I've never liked the Specials. It adds in another layer of complication, and, even though the Mongoose system for cross-reffing levels of success has come in for some flack, cross reffing fumble/fail/success/special/crit is every bit as time consuming and cumbersome. The table in the DBRP preview I have is... pretty bloody awful, I have to say.

I prefer straight critical/success/fail/fumble. I can get my head around it much, much better.

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I prefer straight critical/success/fail/fumble. I can get my head around it much, much better.

Even though the early playtesting showed that people wanted to keep the criticals, I was leaning towards just going "special/success/failure/fumble" to eliminate any of the confusion that came from whether a crit is actually better than a special, etc.

I liked the balance of "one normal and one better" on each side.

So they stayed in.

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Even though the early playtesting showed that people wanted to keep the criticals, I was leaning towards just going "special/success/failure/fumble" to eliminate any of the confusion that came from whether a crit is actually better than a special, etc.

I liked the balance of "one normal and one better" on each side.

So they stayed in.

Hi Jason,

Are saying that criticals are in or out? If they're out, have you amended all the skill entries that give critical effects, and removed that level of success from the combat matrix? Sorry - but I'm not clear on what you mean in the above.

Loz

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Personally I've never liked the Specials. It adds in another layer of complication, and, even though the Mongoose system for cross-reffing levels of success has come in for some flack, cross reffing fumble/fail/success/special/crit is every bit as time consuming and cumbersome. The table in the DBRP preview I have is... pretty bloody awful, I have to say.

I prefer straight critical/success/fail/fumble. I can get my head around it much, much better.

I love the specials. They happen enough that it really does give one additional level of resolution so there are 25 possible outcomes anytime you roll opposed skills, and it happens enough to decide most opposed rolls with a single roll. I don't mind critical/success/fail/fumble, but criticals and fumbles are rare enough that many rolls come down to ties...which leads to inelegant messy mechanics for breaking those ties. I'm not a fan of blackjack mechanics, and even though I'm a math person I don't really like finding the difference between the target % and the rolled %.

I haven't seen the preview, but I don't know why you'd need a table for this. RQ never had one, and I'm pretty sure it's the only BRP with the special. It's pretty simple: Critical>Special>Success>Failure>Fumble. Whoever has the best success level wins. Use some common sense for how Failure>Fumble plays out verses Critcal>Special and you're good to go. Quick and simple...at least IMO.

I wonder if those of us who like the special are the ones brought up on RQ and those who don't see the need came in with other forms of BRP. Familiarity, etc.

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I guess quick division in your head is hard for some people.

Then do multiplication and not division! :)

Thinking back I guess there would frequently be a case where someone needed to know what the Special or Critical chance of a certain percent was. In these cases, almost always, they would just look at me and I would tell them. Guess I have a talent for it.

The few nonmath savy sorts I've had in games, I have told them to find 10% of their target %. Then divide that by two and multiply it by two to get their critical and special chances. Once they think that way, it comes easily and quickly for them. Finding 5% and 20% of a number is simpler than many day-to-day calculations we have to do just to survive in the modern world. Go out to eat and you have to quickly calculate 15% or 20% for a tip. Go to a store and you have to track 6.125% (here) to know how much you're paying when you walk out the door for taxes, excepting food and clothing. So asking someone to quickly get 5% and 20% seems pretty trivial.

So really not everyone needs to be good at math, you just need one. :)

True.

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I haven't seen the preview, but I don't know why you'd need a table for this. RQ never had one, and I'm pretty sure it's the only BRP with the special. It's pretty simple: Critical>Special>Success>Failure>Fumble. Whoever has the best success level wins. Use some common sense for how Failure>Fumble plays out verses Critcal>Special and you're good to go. Quick and simple...at least IMO.

The combat table has different effects depending on the success levels of the participants. For eg, Crit vs Fail = full damage, plus rolled damage, plus ignore armour, or parrying weapon/shield takes 4 pts of damage. There are 17 cross referenced entries and, whilst most are common sense, there are some entries where there's a lot to take in. I simply won't be able to remember the various outcomes off the top of my head! When I ran a BRP playtest combat, during the playtest session, I found that combat was slowed considerably whilst I figured the results through using the matrix.

Of course, I'm old now, and the mind isn't what it used to be. Wibble.

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The combat table has different effects depending on the success levels of the participants. For eg, Crit vs Fail = full damage, plus rolled damage, plus ignore armour, or parrying weapon/shield takes 4 pts of damage. There are 17 cross referenced entries and, whilst most are common sense, there are some entries where there's a lot to take in. I simply won't be able to remember the various outcomes off the top of my head! When I ran a BRP playtest combat, during the playtest session, I found that combat was slowed considerably whilst I figured the results through using the matrix.

Of course, I'm old now, and the mind isn't what it used to be. Wibble.

Hmm. RQ combat took pretty long time before, I do hope it's not getting any slower... :(

Sverre.

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

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It's not that bad, Sverre. Have you not played Elric!/Stormbringer 5? That said, I prefer the 10% critical only myself. It makes life so much simpler, even though you sacrifice a certain amount of the combat 'flavor'.

Haven't played that one before no. I've been one of those traditional RuneQuest in Glorantha nuts. (with a tiny dish of Cthulhu now and then)

When I worked on houseruling MRQ, I operated with 10% critical hits and 1% perfect hits. Very easy to calculate, and the combat flavour remained. I also made fumbles easier to know by heart.

I have no problems calculating criticals and specials, but with some do, and it bogs down the game a bit. Not much, but I find it kindoff unnecessary. I prefer not having to calculate at all.

Sverre.

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

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Hi Jason,

Are saying that criticals are in or out? If they're out, have you amended all the skill entries that give critical effects, and removed that level of success from the combat matrix? Sorry - but I'm not clear on what you mean in the above.

Loz

Criticals are still in the core rulebook at the behest of my co-designer and the early playtest.

My preference would have been to remove them and make the system that much easier to grok.

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The combat table has different effects depending on the success levels of the participants. For eg, Crit vs Fail = full damage, plus rolled damage, plus ignore armour, or parrying weapon/shield takes 4 pts of damage. There are 17 cross referenced entries and, whilst most are common sense, there are some entries where there's a lot to take in. I simply won't be able to remember the various outcomes off the top of my head! When I ran a BRP playtest combat, during the playtest session, I found that combat was slowed considerably whilst I figured the results through using the matrix.

Of course, I'm old now, and the mind isn't what it used to be. Wibble.

On the other hand, most rolls are going to end up with basic successes or failures, which don't need the chart.

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The combat table has different effects depending on the success levels of the participants. For eg, Crit vs Fail = full damage, plus rolled damage, plus ignore armour, or parrying weapon/shield takes 4 pts of damage. There are 17 cross referenced entries and, whilst most are common sense, there are some entries where there's a lot to take in. I simply won't be able to remember the various outcomes off the top of my head! When I ran a BRP playtest combat, during the playtest session, I found that combat was slowed considerably whilst I figured the results through using the matrix.

Since I haven't seen it yet, I'll withhold any judgement until I do. The old RQ way for this was that level of attackers success determined damage and bypassed armor with a critical. Level of defenders success determined how affective the parry was (or the dodge). You could have built a matrix, but it really wasn't necessary.

Of course, I'm old now, and the mind isn't what it used to be. Wibble.

Tell me about it. No doubt part of the charm of all of this is that I already know the system pretty well and have been using it since I was young enough to actually memorize something!

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So really not everyone needs to be good at math, you just need one. :)

Or just print the crit chart on the character sheets. About a third of my group could do it in the head on the fly, but the rest could just look in the margins of their sheets and look it up. The ones who couldn't look it up on the chart were just hopeless and that was that.

Some of the RQ sheets even had room to put the crit and special number in with the weapon stats. Fairly useful, although modifers often made the numbers invalid. Still, a player who had a 4% critical chance before Bladesharp, was pretty confident when he rolled an 04 or 05 while under a bladesharp.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Or just print the crit chart on the character sheets. About a third of my group could do it in the head on the fly, but the rest could just look in the margins of their sheets and look it up. The ones who couldn't look it up on the chart were just hopeless and that was that.

Some of the RQ sheets even had room to put the crit and special number in with the weapon stats. Fairly useful, although modifers often made the numbers invalid. Still, a player who had a 4% critical chance before Bladesharp, was pretty confident when he rolled an 04 or 05 while under a bladesharp.

The FileMaker Pro database I use prints the %, the critical chance, and the fumble chance, each in a different color, so it's right there for ya.

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This is the default for the new BRP.

Marvelous.

I am happy.

And I will offer my services as math tutor to all those who can't divide by ten and halve or double the result.

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."

George Carlin (1937 - 2008)

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And I will offer my services as math tutor to all those who can't divide by ten and halve or double the result.

What are your rates?

Seriously, its not that people can't divide by ten and then halve, its more a case that you have to do that whilst you have a mind swimming with other things - like keeping a mental track of what's happening in a combat, who's injured, who's readying magic, who's leaping in with a kung-fu kick, and what tactics the GM-controlled adversaries are doing.

For a crit, dividing by 10 is a cinch for a slow mental multi-tasker like me. But to divide by ten AND THEN halve/double the result (and am I rounding up, down or to the nearest?) adds another layer of brain-stuff to an already stuffed-brain. Then you might need to cross ref that special success with a crit to determine the appropriate result, as I've pointed out before.

Of course, you can build character sheets that have the skill success granularities annotated, and that's a Good Thing, but if you're a GM and working with stats for lots of creatures, or a pre-published adventure, you may not have time to prep all those calculations yourself.

This is the reason I don't like Specials. Not because the math is intrinsically hard, but simply because it slows me down considerably. But your Brains (and BRP) May Vary! (and no. I hate using a calculator at the gaming table. Besides, you can always guarantee that the batteries will conk or the solar-cell's knackered). There are sliderules, I suppose... and log tables...

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But, most of the time you don't need to calculate specials and criticals.

If I have 70% skill and roll a 50 it's obvious it's a normal hit. If I roll 01 then I have criticalled, no need to work it out. If I roll 02-06 then I need to work out if it is a special or critical. If I roll under 20 then I need to work out if it's a special or normal roll.

Other than that, there's no need to work out the chances beforehand.

In any case, here's a quick list of skills and their special (20%), critical (5%) and fumble chance. I've based it on RQ3 calculations as I don't have the BRP method to hand. I've also ignored success and failure chances as they should be easy to calculate.

Just print it out and hey presto you don't need to do any maths at all.

 

Range    Critical Special  Fumble

-------- -------- -------- --------

1-7      1                 96-100

8-12     1        2        96-100

13-17    1        2-3      96-100

18-22    1        2-4      96-100

23-27    1        2-5      96-100

28-29    1        2-6      96-100

30-30    1-2      3-6      96-100

31-32    1-2      3-6      97-100

33-37    1-2      3-7      97-100

38-42    1-2      3-8      97-100

43-47    1-2      3-9      97-100

48-49    1-2      3-10     97-100

50-50    1-3      4-10     97-100

51-52    1-3      4-10     98-100

53-57    1-3      4-11     98-100

58-62    1-3      4-12     98-100

63-67    1-3      4-13     98-100

68-69    1-3      4-14     98-100

70-70    1-4      5-14     98-100

71-72    1-4      5-14     99-100

73-77    1-4      5-15     99-100

78-82    1-4      5-16     99-100

83-87    1-4      5-17     99-100

88-89    1-4      5-18     99-100

90-90    1-5      6-18     99-100

91-92    1-5      6-18     100

93-97    1-5      6-19     100

98-102   1-5      6-20     100

103-107  1-5      6-21     100

108-109  1-5      6-22     100

110-112  1-6      7-22     100

113-117  1-6      7-23     100

118-122  1-6      7-24     100

123-127  1-6      7-25     100

128-129  1-6      7-26     100

130-132  1-7      8-26     100

133-137  1-7      8-27     100

138-142  1-7      8-28     100

143-147  1-7      8-29     100

148-149  1-7      8-30     100

150-152  1-8      9-30     100

153-157  1-8      9-31     100

158-162  1-8      9-32     100

163-167  1-8      9-33     100

168-169  1-8      9-34     100

170-172  1-9      10-34    100

173-177  1-9      10-35    100

178-182  1-9      10-36    100

183-187  1-9      10-37    100

188-189  1-9      10-38    100

190-192  1-10     11-38    100

193-197  1-10     11-39    100

198-202  1-10     11-40    100

203-207  1-10     11-41    100

208-209  1-10     11-42    100

210-212  1-11     12-42    100

213-217  1-11     12-43    100

218-222  1-11     12-44    100

223-227  1-11     12-45    100

228-229  1-11     12-46    100

230-232  1-12     13-46    100

233-237  1-12     13-47    100

238-242  1-12     13-48    100

243-247  1-12     13-49    100

248-249  1-12     13-50    100

250-252  1-13     14-50    100

253-257  1-13     14-51    100

258-262  1-13     14-52    100

263-267  1-13     14-53    100

268-269  1-13     14-54    100

270-272  1-14     15-54    100

273-277  1-14     15-55    100

278-282  1-14     15-56    100

283-287  1-14     15-57    100

288-289  1-14     15-58    100

290-292  1-15     16-58    100

293-297  1-15     16-59    100

298-302  1-15     16-60    100

303-307  1-15     16-61    100

308-309  1-15     16-62    100

310-312  1-16     17-62    100

313-317  1-16     17-63    100

318-322  1-16     17-64    100

323-327  1-16     17-65    100

328-329  1-16     17-66    100

330-332  1-17     18-66    100

333-337  1-17     18-67    100

338-342  1-17     18-68    100

343-347  1-17     18-69    100

348-349  1-17     18-70    100

350-352  1-18     19-70    100

353-357  1-18     19-71    100

358-362  1-18     19-72    100

363-367  1-18     19-73    100

368-369  1-18     19-74    100

370-372  1-19     20-74    100

373-377  1-19     20-75    100

378-382  1-19     20-76    100

383-387  1-19     20-77    100

388-389  1-19     20-78    100

390-392  1-20     21-78    100

393-397  1-20     21-79    100

398-402  1-20     21-80    100

403-407  1-20     21-81    100

408-409  1-20     21-82    100

410-412  1-21     22-82    100

413-417  1-21     22-83    100

418-422  1-21     22-84    100

423-427  1-21     22-85    100

428-429  1-21     22-86    100

430-432  1-22     23-86    100

433-437  1-22     23-87    100

438-442  1-22     23-88    100

443-447  1-22     23-89    100

448-449  1-22     23-90    100

450-452  1-23     24-90    100

453-457  1-23     24-91    100

458-462  1-23     24-92    100

463-467  1-23     24-93    100

468-469  1-23     24-94    100

470-472  1-24     25-94    100

473-489  1-24     25-95    100

490-500  1-25     26-95    100

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

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Just print it out and hey presto you don't need to do any maths at all.

No, just another table to consult...

The table's useful, and certainly quicker than my abysmal mental arithmetic, but I'd simply rather have a straight 10% as Crit and not have to worry about whether its a simple success, a special success or a critical success. My mind handles that much better.

Its personal preference, I hasten to add; not strictly a system criticism.

Your BRP Will Vary.

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