Jump to content
Tywyll

Best Rules for Comparing Successful Rolls

Recommended Posts

BRP/RQ system has been through a lot of changes over the years. One thing that gets changed a lot is the rule governing what to do when two antagonists both succeed at their skill check. 

 

What is your favourite way of handling this conundrum? Why do you like it best? I'll admit that this is one of my hangup about roll under systems in general that I don't think I have ever seen a 100% satisfactory resolution for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


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

antagonists both succeed at their skill

I actually prefer this as a draw which requires additional effort to resolve as not all opposed actions result in a binary outcome. If I do need a win/lose outcome I go with single rolls.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could use 'one who made it by the most' rather than 'highest roll'. If people hate arithmetic so much they can't be bothered to take a rolled 2-digit integer away from the target 2-digit integer, RQ probably isn't for them, anyway. Keeps the direction of 'hope' consistent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, womble said:

You could use 'one who made it by the most' rather than 'highest roll'. If people hate arithmetic so much they can't be bothered to take a rolled 2-digit integer away from the target 2-digit integer, RQ probably isn't for them, anyway. Keeps the direction of 'hope' consistent.

Would you handle it the same when skills are above 100%?

Also, if you do do that, why not simply roll high and add your skill to the total?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

i have been trialing an approach (that I’m not entirely happy with) which is essentially a variation of the Augment system.

 

The GM rolls for the NPC and that result provides a modifier for the player’s roll (like Augmenting with a skill but working in the opposite direction).

 

So an NPC critical roll for a Seach causes a 50% penalty for the player’s adventurer’s Hide.

An NPC special roll for Hide causes a 30% penalty for the player’s adventurer’s Search.

 

This keeps the focus on the adventurer snd lets the player make the important roll

 

Unlike a normal skill Augment, a fail does not incur a penalty and I’m in two minds as to the result of a fumble.

 

 

 

Share this post


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

I have been trialing an approach (that I’m not entirely happy with) which is essentially a variation of the Augment system.

....

@Mechashef your system is good - but is essentially the same as saying that the PC wins “same level of success” situations. 

I use the following rubric for hide & seek type situations: a) if both succeed, then “seeker” doesn’t find the “hider”, but they know they’ve missed something and might keep looking; b) if both fail, then the “active” party wins. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Thyrwyn said:

@Mechashef your system is good - but is essentially the same as saying that the PC wins “same level of success” situations. 

No it is not.

Assume thd PC has Hide of 75% and the NPC has Search of 75%.

If the NPC rolls a 50, that is a success and thus reduces the PC’s skill by 20%.

 

If the PC rolls a 55 or less,  the PC wins so in that case, yes, the PC has won when they both had the same level of success.

If however the PC rolls a 56 or more, the NPC wins.

 

Note that a PC roll of 56-75 is a case where the NPC has won with the same level of success.  That roll would have been a success, but the success by the NPC has reduced the PC’s skill to a level where that success has been converted to a fail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, drablak said:

In cases where both succeed, I would give the win to the one with the higher roll.

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, 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.

Yes, without the low roll for specials, etc. it works very well. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, 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 exactly do you "aim low"? Whatever your answer is - if it works, it's cheating.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: 'greatest margin of success'

14 hours ago, Tywyll said:

Would you handle it the same when skills are above 100%?

Also, if you do do that, why not simply roll high and add your skill to the total?

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.

Share this post


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

How exactly do you "aim low"? Whatever your answer is - if it works, it's cheating.

Gamers: they're a superstitious lot...

;)

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

How exactly do you "aim low"? Whatever your answer is - if it works, it's cheating.

RAW, the lower the roll the better the result: a roll of 15 with a skill of 70 is a regular success, but is almost a special success. If we resolve ties in favor of the higher roll, then “almost a special” becomes “barely successful” against an evenly matched or superior opponent; against an inferior opponent, it occupies a grey middle ground where it wins against some simple successes (those lower than 15) and loses to others. 

There’s no problem mathematically, but it is thematically problematic. It breaks immersion. It requires us to treat the die roll not as a narrative representation of the character’s action, but as a purely mathematical one. It takes the players out of the setting and the narrative by imposing a disconnect between the die roll and the resolution. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

What is your favourite way of handling this? Why do you like it best? 

One roll on the resistance table, simpler.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Mechashef I meant mathematically across all skill levels, it’s essentially the same thing

An easier solution would be: take each actor’s chance to special and roll on the Resistance table. 

This assumes, of course, that a “winner” is needed, and that a tie doesn’t make sense. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Thyrwyn said:

There’s no problem mathematically, but it is thematically problematic. It breaks immersion. It requires us to treat the die roll not as a narrative representation of the character’s action, but as a purely mathematical one. It takes the players out of the setting and the narrative by imposing a disconnect between the die roll and the resolution. 

I'd never thought of it that way, I don't think I ever mapped the numbers to the world like that. I guess that's just a difference in the ways that different people think. On the other hand, I have come across D&D players who hate BRP because rolling low is good, and that just made no sense to them. I guess that's similar - "Roll low to hit, but high for damage? How am I supposed to train my dice for that???" 🤣

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

I'd never thought of it that way, I don't think I ever mapped the numbers to the world like that. I guess that's just a difference in the ways that different people think. On the other hand, I have come across D&D players who hate BRP because rolling low is good, and that just made no sense to them. I guess that's similar - "Roll low to hit, but high for damage? How am I supposed to train my dice for that???" 🤣

My objection, such as it is, to the 'high (but not too high) for some things, low for others' school of game engine design is that it is simply inconsistent. It means "adding to the dice" and "adding to the target" accomplish different things. It means changing mental expectations. Using 'highest successful roll' (assuming both are the same general level of success) emphasises this flip-flopping.

It's only a little thing, but the sheer difficulty I've seen people experience in figuring out Pendragon chances to hit and crit for higher-than-20 successes (not dimwits, neither: programmers; research veterinarians) on a 'casual' basis argues that it's something that can disrupt a table. There's a lot to be said for the 'best you can roll on the dice' being a consistent number, and being consistently determined.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, womble said:

Using 'highest successful roll' (assuming both are the same general level of success) emphasises this flip-flopping.

It's only a little thing, but the sheer difficulty I've seen people experience in figuring out Pendragon chances to hit and crit for higher-than-20 successes (not dimwits, neither: programmers; research veterinarians) on a 'casual' basis argues that it's something that can disrupt a table. There's a lot to be said for the 'best you can roll on the dice' being a consistent number, and being consistently determined.

I guess my table is different, although their professions are similar. To them the idea that someone with a lower skill would proportionally have more chance to break a tie on equal success levels just doesn't make sense. YGMV :) 

I guess the flip flop problem depends on what games you grew up with. We never had a problem having some rolls requiring highs and some lows.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, womble said:

It's only a little thing, but the sheer difficulty I've seen people experience in figuring out Pendragon chances to hit and crit for higher-than-20 successes (not dimwits, neither: programmers; research veterinarians) on a 'casual' basis argues that it's something that can disrupt a table. There's a lot to be said for the 'best you can roll on the dice' being a consistent number, and being consistently determined.

It's really strange - I prefer "roll highest within the margin of the respective succes level, and you win", since it minimizes adding/substracting numbers, and I never had the slightest problem wrapping my head around. Since I'm neither a programmer nor a math person, I'd suspect that it may be simply a matter of overthinking the whole thing in one way or the other.

Maybe it helps to think of your skill rating as a target number - that 's the potential you wan't to reach, but if you're overreaching, you'll fail ... of course, the problem remains that critical are on the lower end of the scale (though one could use the "doubles are criticals" approach or even the advantage approach of Revolution d100 to solve that problem).

In the end, I don't care that much - owever, subtracting two-digit numbers doesn't come as fast and easy to me as substracting one-digit numbers, so I tend to avoid it. And since BRP games are practically my go-to-systems for most cases, I can hardly accept the suggestion that "they are not for me anyway."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, drablak said:

To them the idea that someone with a lower skill would proportionally have more chance to break a tie on equal success levels just doesn't make sense. YGMV :) 

Which is why we (at least I) am not arguing for using lowest roll, either. The problem is trying to quantify “best” among equals by using the original die roll. It doesn’t work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. Performance can be part of it - but especially when a quite competend PC fails or even fumbles, I tend to interpret such a result as some fluke event that impedes the PC - a fly in his eye, a loose stone ...

If you look at it that way, a major part of the die roll just represents a number of more or less favourable circumstances.

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

×