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jrutila

Do you note player's rolled level in contest?

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Inspired by the thread about Simple Contest Result question.

The Crit-Success-Failure-Fumble scale is little odd and confusing in times in HQ. Rules-wise it doesn't really matter what level you get as long as you get tie (and high roll) or higher level. Except that the rules state that if both Fumble they might both get some negative consequence.

Do you others note the level the player rolled? Is it same thing to tie with successes than to tie with failures? Or win with Failure vs Fumble than win with Success vs Failure?

Should the level names be changed in future material (ping @Ian Cooper) to reduce confusion with players coming from traditional rpgs?

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19 hours ago, jrutila said:

Do you others note the level the player rolled? Is it same thing to tie with successes than to tie with failures? Or win with Failure vs Fumble than win with Success vs Failure?

Should the level names be changed in future material (ping @Ian Cooper) to reduce confusion with players coming from traditional rpgs?

Only the level matters -Crit-Success-Failure-Fumble- not the roll... except in a tie where it matters again (high roll wins in HQ:G, low in HQ:CR)!

A tie with successes is indeed the same as a tie with failures.

Crit vs. success, success vs. failure & failure vs. fumble are all the same win, i.e. a Minor Victory.

Yes, it is confusing to roll a crit or a success & get a defeat instead of a victory in some cases! That's HQ for you... a better terminology would indeed be nifty.

Edited by Christoph Kohring

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Yes, of course I use the rolled number as well as the level of success. It is important in ties, especially when someone is bumped up or down. A natural Critical of 01 is worse than a 19 bumped up to a Critical, for example.

It is one of the reasons that I am looking to use a roll of the Target Number as a Critical, rather than 01, as that advantages the higher Target Number.

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I think this view is way too much staying on the technical level. This is a narrative system! Yes, it is a tie, but I'm pretty sure for the narrative, the story, there would be quite a difference between a tie with both contestants on the Critical level and a tie on a Failure or even a tie with Fumbles. And you could use the numeric value as a hint for the intensity of whatever may happen during the tie ...

But it's up to you, the GameMaster and the Players, what that means in your narrative ...

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1 minute ago, Oracle said:

I think this view is way too much staying on the technical level. This is a narrative system! Yes, it is a tie, but I'm pretty sure for the narrative, the story, there would be quite a difference between a tie with both contestants on the Critical level and a tie on a Failure or even a tie with Fumbles.

That is a good point. This would give more umph to the outcome levels giving maybe more help for the narration.

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3 hours ago, jrutila said:

Do you others note the level the player rolled?

Yes.

3 hours ago, jrutila said:

Is it same thing to tie with successes than to tie with failures?

No. In the former case you succeeded to some degree in achieving the result of your contest. In the latter case, you failed to achieve the contest, but brought no harm to yourself.

3 hours ago, jrutila said:

Or win with Failure vs Fumble than win with Success vs Failure?

And no. The Fail vs. Fumble is an interesting case.  How I try to play that is that the hero did not succeed in achieving what they sought to do, but some other opportunity or approach presents itself.

@Oracle can likely comment on whether I succeed with that or not though! 🙂

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OK, let's be precise here. According to RAW, crit vs. crit, success vs. success & failure vs. failure are a tie only if both participants have the same roll. Else, high roll wins & it is not a tie as there is a loser & a winner.

Joe Orlanthi 5W vs. Bob Lunar 15W:
- Both roll 01, crit vs. crit, tie
- Both roll, say, 04, success vs. success, tie
- both roll for example 15, failure vs. failure, tie
- & finally both roll 20, fumble vs. fumble, tie, in which case:

Quote

In a group simple contest (see [HQ:G] page 70), the Game Master may declare that both contestants suffer a Marginal Defeat to indicate that, although their results cancel out with respect to each other, their situation worsens compared to other contestants.

 

Edited by Christoph Kohring

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

And no. The Fail vs. Fumble is an interesting case.  How I try to play that is that the hero did not succeed in achieving what they sought to do, but some other opportunity or approach presents itself.

But Failure vs. Fumble is a Minor Victory thus the character gets the goal of the contest. Maybe he just gets it while failing (and resistance fumbling). This way you can narrate the outcome (still, getting the goal) differently than, say, with Success vs Failure.

Example. The hero tries to sneak past the guard using ability "Like a Cat in the Shadows".

Failure vs Fumble. The hero starts sneaking behind the guard. The guard is leaning with his chair and picking his teeth. All of sudden the hero bumps a pot sending it crashing to the ground. Luckily the guard takes one too far lean with his chair and falls down. The guard thinks the pot broke because of him and the hero gets past the guard without suspicion.

Success vs Failure. This is a walk in the park for our hero. He sneaks past the guard that is more interested in the findings from his mouth than actually protecting the doorway.

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13 minutes ago, jrutila said:

But Failure vs. Fumble is a Minor Victory thus the character gets the goal of the contest. Maybe he just gets it while failing (and resistance fumbling). This way you can narrate the outcome (still, getting the goal) differently than, say, with Success vs Failure.

Definitely a few ways to play it. Looking back at some of my prior results, the heroes do get the victory in the contest, but generally have some element of failure:

Beorht nearly gets tangled up with Harrik's wild swings of his staff. But the attack is unexpected, and the beast's flank is sufficiently exposed for Beorht to get an opening and gouge the beast's hide.

Garnath trips on one last rock at the last minute, his striking blow goes astray, but still catches the beast by surprise in the flank. Garnath hits another rock as he falls, and though painful, he rises again.

Harelmal realizes that those flashes of fire are not from the demon battling Aren and Last Tear, but are two more demons flying in from up the valley. He guesses they have but moments before those arrive.

Ingwald staggers under the blow but stays firm and pushes back up causing the demon to stumble over the rocks.

Though Breya does not get a clean blow against Heavy Earth, she hits a weak spot in the earth spirit's leg and suddenly Heavy Earth crumbles about her!

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I would like to take my words back and acknowledge the success levels in HQ. They clearly have a meaning (although I think the rules don't have anything about this, they should).

This means also that I have just learned a new technique to enhance the narration when playing HeroQuest. Thanks!

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I make a point to take the rolled results into account when narrating the aggregate result. I make a Crit vs Crit marginal look like an epic clash where one just barely edges out the other, while a Fail vs Fail marginal will be more of a chaotic clusterfuck (can re say fuck on here?) where the winner lucks into victory by screwing up less badly.

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12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Yes.

No. In the former case you succeeded to some degree in achieving the result of your contest. In the latter case, you failed to achieve the contest, but brought no harm to yourself.

And no. The Fail vs. Fumble is an interesting case.  How I try to play that is that the hero did not succeed in achieving what they sought to do, but some other opportunity or approach presents itself.

@Oracle can likely comment on whether I succeed with that or not though! 🙂

Yes, I can testify for sure, that @jajagappa's approach works successfully ... at least for me 😉. Although I have to confess, that I may be a bit biased, because my main HeroQuest Glorantha experience stems from playing in his PbF campaign 😇. But as I said, it works for me.

But a small warning here. This approach does not come for free. If you're coming from a simulationistic approach (like I did), and you are used to relay on the rules to tell you, what's happening, then it feels a bit awkward at the beginning, to use your own imagination for deciding, what the dice roll results mean. But over time you will find the flow, and it gives you much more freedom than other game systems.

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HeroQuest is not simulationist, but, of course, you could use the Narrative in that way.

For me, Failure vs Fumble is a Minor Success and I choose how to explain it. 

One of the advantages of HeroQuest over many other systems, in my opinion, is that the rules don't matter, as they are a means to an end.

A Fail vs Fumble is the same as a Critical vs a Success, mechanically, the difference comes in how you Narrate the result.

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