Jump to content
Tywyll

Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, Jakob said:

I think a connected question is whether you consider dice-rolls representative of someone's performance - that way, it actually seems more consistent to say "the lower the roll, the better you perform." But I have moved away from that assumption anyway.

Yes, exactly. We have only 5 result levels, it's not a continuum of results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/2/2018 at 11:14 PM, Mechashef said:

I have most frequently encountered this conundrum with the Scan/Search vs Hide and Listen vs Move Quietly and have never found a solution I really like.

 

You feel my pain!

On 12/2/2018 at 11:14 PM, Mechashef said:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2018 at 3:43 AM, Mechashef said:

I have used this and quite like it. 

The reason that it isn’t popular in my group is that it breaks the “philosophy”  that when rolling D100, lower is better.

It is a nice, elegant way of resolving the issue.

That's exactly my problem with it. It changes what you want with every other roll, and I find it antithetical to the normal rules.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2018 at 12:53 PM, womble said:

Re: 'greatest margin of success'

For skills over 100, I'd take the higher skill down to 100 and subtract the same from the lower (assuming skills lower than 200), as that's how I read the rules working - it retains the higher chances of crit and special for the better skill without making them 'dead certs'. 

Rolling high and adding skill is actually my preferred method of constructing a game engine, but RQ relies on crits and specials which are an arithmetical function of your chance to succeed, most easily reckoned at the bottom end of a d100 roll. Still, at my current table, I'm having the crit be the top 0.05 portion of the success range, and special be the top 0.2 portion, with 01 to [.8 * successchance] being a plain success.

Yeah, I was making an excel sheet earlier today for doing just that. So if you had an 80 skill, for example, any roll of a 84+ would be special and a 96+ a Crit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/2/2018 at 9:25 PM, soltakss said:

Revolution just says the highest roll wins. Since it doesn't rely on a low roll for an Advantage (Critical), you don't have the problem of aiming low but needing high.

How does it handle specials and criticals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Highest roll win ties is definitely my first choice.

Success Margin means more maths for little benefits.

Low roll creates strange cases where a character's higher skill will make him lose a contest (as it is the case when you roll over your opponent's skill).

Least favored is the one that was chosen for RQG : nothing happens on a tie. It basically means "defender wins" when there is a "defending" party.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

How does it handle specials and criticals?

Revolution has "Advantage" which is similar to a Special success (no criticals, though). You succeed with Advantage when your ten die is higher than you ones die - this means that the chances for a succes with advantage increase exponentially the higher your skill goes. I actually really like it, it is elegant, avoids additional math, and you get a sizeable extra benefit from being really good at a skill.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Jakob said:

Revolution has "Advantage" which is similar to a Special success (no criticals, though). You succeed with Advantage when your ten die is higher than you ones die - this means that the chances for a succes with advantage increase exponentially the higher your skill goes. I actually really like it, it is elegant, avoids additional math, and you get a sizeable extra benefit from being really good at a skill.

Interesting system, I like the simplicity but I am not sure about the exponential increase, I would have to think on it further. Harnmaster also has an interesting and simple system for special success that is linear: every roll where the digit is either "0" or "5" is a special result. So overall there are 20% of 'specials', and the fraction of those specials that are special success as opposed to special failures is your skill. If your skill is 50, half of the specials will be special success, the other half special failures. If you skill is 80, then you have 16% chance of a special success and 4% chance of a special failure. I always thought it's a great way to manage that (no math or table involved), but (like Revolution) it doesn't include a 3rd level of success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Yeah, I was making an excel sheet earlier today for doing just that. So if you had an 80 skill, for example, any roll of a 84+ would be special and a 96+ a Crit.

To pick nits, only, and for clarity, 'my' approach would have that 80% give a success on 1-80, a special on 65-76 (65 thru 80 is 16 ticks of special, but the top 4 are crits, so...) and a crit on 77-80 (4%).

To constructively criticise your arithmetic for simply turning the sums on their head, you're looking at 97-00 for a crit, and 85+ for a special.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jakob said:

Revolution has "Advantage" which is similar to a Special success (no criticals, though). You succeed with Advantage when your ten die is higher than you ones die - this means that the chances for a succes with advantage increase exponentially the higher your skill goes. I actually really like it, it is elegant, avoids additional math, and you get a sizeable extra benefit from being really good at a skill.

I assume that mechanic bottoms out at skills of 100%. What happens beyond that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, womble said:

To pick nits, only, and for clarity, 'my' approach would have that 80% give a success on 1-80, a special on 65-76 (65 thru 80 is 16 ticks of special, but the top 4 are crits, so...) and a crit on 77-80 (4%).

To constructively criticise your arithmetic for simply turning the sums on their head, you're looking at 97-00 for a crit, and 85+ for a special.

Ah, I see.

Yeah I was going the Rolemaster method of D100+skill. 

It also resolves skill v skill challenges more smoothly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

I assume that mechanic bottoms out at skills of 100%. What happens beyond that?

If I remember correctly, Revolution is capped at 100.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We use the system where the one with higher minus from their actual skill wins: 

Player: ability 120%, rolls 80

Opponent: ability 80%, rolls 41

--> both succeed, but the player wins because he succeeds with - 40% (against opponent's - 39%)

And of course special wins normal succes etc. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Jakob said:

If I remember correctly, Revolution is capped at 100.

Your Memory roll was too high, Jakob :) In fact, Revolution allows even starting characters to go beyond 100.

When your adjusted skill roll is above 100, you add your quota beyond 100 to your die roll for the purposes of comparing it to the opposition. This means that if for instance you have 140% and roll 49, it counts as 89 for comparisons. But you only need to make the calculation if a comparison is needed, whereas the "subtract to the skill before rolling" requires that you make the maths for all rolls. This completely eliminates the need for two-digit subtraction, and any kind of multiplication or division. I never found these operations difficult, but many people do.

As for the "philosophical" reasons why the blackjack method (roll as high as possible, but within your skill, as it happens in Pendragon and HeroQuest) is disruptive in classic percentile games, it may help to think in a slightly different way:

You roll low -> Thing went very smoothly and you went for the simplest approach to the problem. You did it, but not so elegantly and anyone who adopted a more sophisticated approach will outclass you.

You roll high -> Things went in the most complicate way you can think of, and only a real master could cope with this specific situation; if you are not such a master, you failed; however; if you were skilled enough to succeed, then your success outclassed anyone else's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I will adopt the approach of high roll wins within result type.

When a comparison is necessary a critical beats a special which beats a success which beats a fail which beats a fumble.

If the result types are the same then the highest roll wins (which is only odd in the case of a fumble versus a fumble where 00 would beat 96 if both were fumbles).

When skills are above 100 I prefer equally reducing both opponents skills until one of them is 100 (with consequent reductions in the chance of specials and criticals for each of them).

Stephen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's an old BRP dillema. In case of a tie in the success level, I used to give the side with the highest skill the win. But, I also took consideration on the fiction. For example: a PC trying to actively sneak a guard will usually win in case of tie, unless the guard was previously alerted and actively searching for trouble.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, StephenMcG said:

I think I will adopt the approach of high roll wins within result type.

When a comparison is necessary a critical beats a special which beats a success which beats a fail which beats a fumble.

If the result types are the same then the highest roll wins (which is only odd in the case of a fumble versus a fumble where 00 would beat 96 if both were fumbles).

When skills are above 100 I prefer equally reducing both opponents skills until one of them is 100 (with consequent reductions in the chance of specials and criticals for each of them).

Stephen

I did this too but I took a page from the new CoC and I changed the success levels to expedite play.  I use the Special Effects from Runequest 6 but I didn't like the "Effect hunting" that occurs with the "stock/RAW" system.  Therefore, I broke the Success Levels down to the following steps.

  • Simple Success:  This is a roll under the skill involved and doesn't generate any added benefit in the form of Special Effects.  The highest roll between two Simple Successes wins.
  • Special Success: This is a roll under HALF (rounding up) of the Skill involved.  It beats a Simple Success AND generates a Special Effect from the list of SEs for a Special Success (further segregated by Parry and Attack).  High roll wins between two Special Successes.
  • Outstanding Success:   This represents the old Special Success (ie Impales, Slashes, and Crushes) BUT it is only 1/10th of the Skill rounding UP.  Thus a Skill of 58% would achieve an Outstanding Success on a roll of 6 or less.  There is a list of even more effective Special Effects (segregated by Weapon Type, Attack, and Parry) for the Outstanding Success.  Those SEs can be "game-changers" like Impale, Crush, Slash, Riposte, Disarm, and Trip.  Outstanding Success always beats a Simple or Special Success.
  • Critical Success:  This represents the old Critical Hit and occurs ONLY ON DOUBLES ROLLED UNDER SKILL.  Thus a skill of 60% would Critical on a roll of 11, 22, 33, 44 and 55.  This level of success allows the best Special Effects in RQ6.  Special Effects like Sunder Weapon, Do Double Max Damage, Bypass Armor, Choose Location, and Compel Surrender all are found in this success range.  Criticals beat all comers except other Criticals.
  • Fumbles:  The dreaded Fumble occurs on DOUBLES ABOVE THE SKILL LEVEL.  Thus that 60% skill above would Fumble on a roll of 66, 77, 88, 99, or 00.  Fumbles also have their own list of Special Effects BUT the opposing player picks the Fumble.  A player will pick for a GM's Fumble and vice versa.  Some of the Special Effects include Riposte, Hit Self, Hit Companion, Drop Weapon/Shield and Trip and Fall. 

I find the math much faster and easier with this system and dividing up the Special Effects between the Success Levels reduces the "Analysis Paralysis" that new players often suffer when playing a version of RuneQuest with such Special Effects included.  I hope this helps you out in your own game. 

   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problems I have trying to find a good solution is that ideally it should:

  1. Be acceptable to all players and the GM.
  2. Be easy to understand and use
  3. Not damage the narrative

 

It is this last one that many otherwise good solutions fail.

Obviously there is a wide range of how good at "roleplaying" many players are, but in my experience many (especially newer) players have trouble keeping player knowledge separate from character knowledge.  Having a system such as the official one can give the player more information than they should have.

For example a listen attempt by the adventurer where there is a success by both participants, resulting in no real resolution is actually a resolution for the player as it tells them that the roll was opposed and thus there someone trying to move quietly.  Even if it is redone and the character fails, the player still knows there is an opponent.

 

Of course there are ways around it such as occasionally getting the player to reroll even if there is not an opponent, but that feels a bit like cheating.

 

This is an issue in many other games, and is part of a broader issue wherein any time the player rolls for a perception skill, the ability for the player to see the roll can give a big hint as to whether there is something there.  As I'm sure many other people have, I've experimented with various solutions, even going as far as making perception rolls for the players so they can't see them.  That is however, unsatisfying to many players.

 

A partial solution is (as many people use) the idea of Passive and Active perception rolls, where the GM makes the Passive ones (such as noticing something when you are not actively looking/listening for it).  Active rolls are still an issue, but at least some of the solutions are better than the official one at providing doubt to the player if a success is rolled.  

 

 

    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mechashef in the current rules, opposed perception/stealth rolls are only used when the perceiver is actively using their perception skill (per Hide & Move Quietly on page 189). Otherwise, a simple skill check of the stealth skill is used. 

So, for enemies sneaking up on or hiding from unsuspecting player characters, you don't need to ask for a roll at all. If the enemies fail their roll, they are discovered; if they succeed, they are not. 

If the player characters are actively looking for something, finding nothing only means that either there is nothing to be found, or that their enemies are at least as stealthy as the pcs are perceptive. Which doesn’t give them any more information than they had before the roll. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, olskool said:
  • Critical Success:  This represents the old Critical Hit and occurs ONLY ON DOUBLES ROLLED UNDER SKILL.  Thus a skill of 60% would Critical on a roll of 11, 22, 33, 44 and 55.  This level of success allows the best Special Effects in RQ6.  Special Effects like Sunder Weapon, Do Double Max Damage, Bypass Armor, Choose Location, and Compel Surrender all are found in this success range.  Criticals beat all comers except other Criticals.
  • Fumbles:  The dreaded Fumble occurs on DOUBLES ABOVE THE SKILL LEVEL.  Thus that 60% skill above would Fumble on a roll of 66, 77, 88, 99, or 00.  Fumbles also have their own list of Special Effects BUT the opposing player picks the Fumble.  A player will pick for a GM's Fumble and vice versa.  Some of the Special Effects include Riposte, Hit Self, Hit Companion, Drop Weapon/Shield and Trip and Fall. 

I've got to process the rest of your thoughts more, but I do really like this. It makes it obvious whether or not the roll was a crit or a fumble the moment you see the dice. When you round up for Outstanding Success, where do you cut off the rounding? In other words, would a 51% also round up to a 6% Outstanding Success?

2 hours ago, Mechashef said:

As I'm sure many other people have, I've experimented with various solutions, even going as far as making perception rolls for the players so they can't see them.  That is however, unsatisfying to many players.

When I'm a player, this is how our GM has chosen to do Perception, Knowledge, and some other skill rolls. I personally enjoy it because it lets me settle into character more easily. "Oh, of course the basilisk is right over there!" Two rounds later, no basilisk... However, as a GM I like having my players roll their skills because it speeds up play. If I had a longer time to play, I'd probably roll it myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve used the DOUBLES count as CRIT/FUMBLE up until RQG came out. 

But - to smooth out the progression, we counted 00 as the lowest roll (zero) not the highest (100). This avoids the fumble “pile up” at 99 & 00, and keeps the “lowest roll is always a critical” aesthetic. 

CRITS  occur at 00, 11, 22, 33, ... if under your skill

99 is always a fumble, as are any doubles over your skill  

It also allows a smoother implementation of the “high roll breaks ties” 

but working special successes into the mix is problematic. 

Edited by Thyrwyn
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Mechashef said:

For example a listen attempt by the adventurer where there is a success by both participants, resulting in no real resolution is actually a resolution for the player as it tells them that the roll was opposed and thus there someone trying to move quietly.  Even if it is redone and the character fails, the player still knows there is an opponent.

Of course there are ways around it such as occasionally getting the player to reroll even if there is not an opponent, but that feels a bit like cheating.

This is an issue in many other games, and is part of a broader issue wherein any time the player rolls for a perception skill, the ability for the player to see the roll can give a big hint as to whether there is something there.  As I'm sure many other people have, I've experimented with various solutions, even going as far as making perception rolls for the players so they can't see them. 

In the RAW it states that in such situations that knowing the result of the roll is problematic for the player, the GM should roll, Listen is the example given, but they mention also Lore skills where a fumble might give wrong information:

Quote

Sometimes the gamemaster, not the player, should roll the dice on behalf of the adventurer. If the adventurer wants to make a Listen roll to see if something is lurking around the next corner, the gamemaster should roll the dice. The player should not know whether the adventurer heard nothing because there was nothing there, or because they failed their roll.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

I use the Special Effects from Runequest 6 but I didn't like the "Effect hunting" that occurs with the "stock/RAW" system.

Just to clarify, Mythras/RQ6 combat doesn't use Opposed Rolls for deciding combat outcomes and Special Effects. It uses Differential Rolls, which measure levels of success. Opposed Rolls don't have any Special Effects involved: effects are reserved for physical and spirit combat only.

For true opposed rolls, such as Perception vs Stealth, or Willpower resisting a spell, Opposed Roll resolution uses the 'Roll High But Within' method to determine the winner, with a Critical result trumping a success, and a higher Critical (ie, roll high within one's critical range) result trumping an opposing crit.

Mythras also reduces participants who have >100 to 100, with opponents being reduced by a number of points equal to the excess. This applies to both Opposed Roll and Differential Roll situations. In Mythras, skills don't tend to climb very far beyond 100%, and it would be exceedingly rare to find someone with 200%+.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×