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Dan Z

Minimum Skill Chance?

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Hypothetical question here. Say you had a character who had a -15 Manipulation modifier (come one, it’s hypothetical). And say they put 5 points into Conceal. would their skill with Conceal be -5, 0 or 1, or the skill base chance, in this case 5? What’s the minimum skill level someone could have? I’m personally leaning toward the base chance even though a character with such low characteristics as to yield such a horrible modifier might not be considered “capable” of having a base chance as the rules say.

I know it’s unlikely but I’d like to know. What the official ruling on this?

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I'm not sure there's a situation in chargen where you add just 5% to a skill (since the electives are +25% and +10%) but that aside...

I'd rule they get that percentage added atop the base percent. So, the skill on their sheet would go from Conceal 5% (base) to Conceal 10%. Then when actually attempting the skill in play, they'd be rolling with the modifier, so have a 0 or -5% skill chance, which should IIRC mean they can only succeed if they roll an 01-05 for auto success (provided conditions aren't impossible), with the full 96-00 range a fumble.

I've always tracked skills on their own, and then added/subtracted the modifier in play. I'm not sure off the top of my head if there's text which supports a particular approach. But in most situations I believe the 01-05 range always succeeds, just like rolling 96+ always fails.

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53 minutes ago, Crel said:

 I'd rule they get that percentage added atop the base percent. So, the skill on their sheet would go from Conceal 5% (base) to Conceal 10%. Then when actually attempting the skill in play, they'd be rolling with the modifier, so have a 0 or -5% skill chance, which should IIRC mean they can only succeed if they roll an 01-05 for auto success (provided conditions aren't impossible), with the full 96-00 range a fumble.

 

Pretty much how we ran RQ 3 with one caveat. Skills with a base of 00% must break 00 to have a 5% chance. 

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56 minutes ago, Crel said:

I'd rule they get that percentage added atop the base percent. So, the skill on their sheet would go from Conceal 5% (base) to Conceal 10%. Then when actually attempting the skill in play, they'd be rolling with the modifier, 

Whilst a lot of people do that (write down the skill excluding category modifier then add/subtract when rolling), that's not the official rule. The effect is the same, you'd put down -5% as the effective skill level, but you'd always have a 01-05 chance of success.

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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

Whilst a lot of people do that (write down the skill excluding category modifier then add/subtract when rolling), that's not the official rule.

Is there a official rule on it? I'm sincerely asking.

The way I see/understand it, I feel like that would mean double-dipping on the modifier. If you've got Conceal (05) and add a +5% modifier, you've got a skill of 10% at the beginning of play. And you've got a +5% modifier still then as well?

I suppose that would give each adventurer some more variety in their basic skills, but with how easy it is to end up with a big modifier in RQG I feel like I'm probably wrong in that understanding.

3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Skills with a base of 00% must break 00 to have a 5% chance. 

That's how we ran in RQ3, and how I'd rule in RQG if/when it comes up since most of the (00) skills are Lores or other specialized skills. Gotta have some sort of percentage to get anywhere.

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1 hour ago, Crel said:

Is there a official rule on it? I'm sincerely asking.

I'd really like to know too.  I'm working on a couple of different web based character tools (for PCs, NPCs, and Bestiary) and making my PDF character sheets so a lot of auto-calculating so I'd personally like to have it as accurate as possible, mostly because I'd like it to be as useful as  possible.

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I found an official answer on page 57: The lowest value a skill can have is 00%, which represents zero chance of success. A skill never has a minus value; if a bonus would make a skill start below 00%, write in 00%.

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2 hours ago, Crel said:

Is there a official rule on it? I'm sincerely asking.

The way I see/understand it, I feel like that would mean double-dipping on the modifier. If you've got Conceal (05) and add a +5% modifier, you've got a skill of 10% at the beginning of play. And you've got a +5% modifier still then as well?

You only add the modifier once. Add up the base, culture, occupation, cult, personal choice, and category. Write that down. That is your skill. If it's negative, write down the negative. When you roll, don't add the category again, just roll that number or under, or 5% or under if it's lower than 5.

*Edit* @Dan Z has found a rule that contradicts me so go with that.

Some people prefer to write down the skill excluding category modifier, and add in the category modifier before rolling. That still only means adding the category modifier once. The main reason for doing this is if your DEX changes it means you don't have to rub out half your character sheet.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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26 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

Some people prefer to write down the skill excluding category modifier, and add in the category modifier before rolling. That still only means adding the category modifier once. The main reason for doing this is if your DEX changes it means you don't have to rub out half your character sheet.

In fact, it is the case with all stats. Spirit magic stat altering spells are now including the modifiers, but sorcery don't. It is very easy to have a lot of modifiers that change with enhance INT, and I find easier to have the skill level written without counting modifiers. You can then write several value of the modifiers. In addition, if a stat changes permanently (mainly POW), you have to change only the value of the modifiers.

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2 minutes ago, Kloster said:

...if a stat changes permanently (mainly POW), you have to change only the value of the modifiers.

That's correct, and also on page 57: Skills category modifiers may change if the characteristics from which they are derived also change.

This used to not be the case, at least in RQ3 when it states: when you have once used a skills category modifier to revalue a skill, you will not use it again for that skill.

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1 hour ago, Dan Z said:

This used to not be the case, at least in RQ3 when it states: when you have once used a skills category modifier to revalue a skill, you will not use it again for that skill.

In fact, with RQIII, the problem was worse because 1) of the formulas used to calculate the modifiers, ensuring that each stat point was counting. 2) the spirit magic spells that are altering spells were not including the modifiers in the spell description (and most, if not all, of them were variable) and 3) Stat increase studying or training was easier.

Edited by Kloster
Typing mistake (SSat/Stat)
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22 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

With studying and training being done in seasons rather than in hours this is major.

Yes, exactly.

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3 hours ago, PhilHibbs said:

The main reason for doing this is if your DEX changes it means you don't have to rub out half your character sheet.

Yay for technology!!! PDF or Excel or whatever :D

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We always played that as soon as you had 1% in a skill (before modifiers), you immediately had at least a 05% chance of success.

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54 minutes ago, gochie said:

We always played that as soon as you had 1% in a skill (before modifiers), you immediately had at least a 05% chance of success.

We played that your score was 01%, but you need 05% or less to succeed.

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1 minute ago, Kloster said:

We played that your score was 01%, but you need 05% or less to succeed.

What I meant :)

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15 hours ago, Dan Z said:

I found an official answer on page 57: The lowest value a skill can have is 00%, which represents zero chance of success. A skill never has a minus value; if a bonus would make a skill start below 00%, write in 00%.

That is how I would have played it -- putting 5 points into a skill should provide at least 5% skill regardless of negative skill modifiers.

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1 minute ago, Julian Lord said:

That is how I would have played it -- putting 5 points into a skill should provide at least 5% skill regardless of negative skill modifiers.

Putting 5 points into a skill may still be canceled out by negative talent (skill modifiers). IMO you need to have a positive total score to be able to use the skill, a negative stealth modifier can cause automatic fails if the modified skill is zero or less. Or, in other words, you need to be taught that skill more than once to cancel out that massive negative stealth modifier.

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Putting 5 points into a skill may still be canceled out by negative talent (skill modifiers). IMO you need to have a positive total score to be able to use the skill, a negative stealth modifier can cause automatic fails if the modified skill is zero or less. Or, in other words, you need to be taught that skill more than once to cancel out that massive negative stealth modifier.

That's not how I'd play it -- I'd rule that no initial negative skill modifier can reduce a skill below 0%

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11 minutes ago, Julian Lord said:

That's not how I'd play it -- I'd rule that no initial negative skill modifier can reduce a skill below 0%

I'd demand additional training time for especially untalented individuals before unlocking the skill.

There may be other considerations to success in a skill, too - does a middling score in "Sing" suggest that the character can carry a tune, or that he sings louder than someone with lower skill? Many a Singalong taught me that there are many enthusiastic singers whose ability to carry a tune in anything but a closed container is rather low. There may also be singers perfectly in tune but lacking volume.

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18 minutes ago, Julian Lord said:

That's not how I'd play it -- I'd rule that no initial negative skill modifier can reduce a skill below 0%

So, a 20' tall giant with 40 POW and 12 DEX still has a 5% chance to effectively hide behind the shrubbery? 

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1 minute ago, Shiningbrow said:

So, a 20' tall giant with 40 POW and 12 DEX still has a 5% chance to effectively hide behind the shrubbery? 

😎

Either that's some pretty big shrubbery, or you're ignoring one of the rule zeros.

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8 hours ago, Julian Lord said:
8 hours ago, Joerg said:

Putting 5 points into a skill may still be canceled out by negative talent (skill modifiers). IMO you need to have a positive total score to be able to use the skill, a negative stealth modifier can cause automatic fails if the modified skill is zero or less. Or, in other words, you need to be taught that skill more than once to cancel out that massive negative stealth modifier.

That's not how I'd play it -- I'd rule that no initial negative skill modifier can reduce a skill below 0%

From the current rules the following are true:

  1. Skills category modifiers may change if the characteristics from which they are derived also change. (p57, Skill Category Modifiers)
  2. The lowest value a skill can have is 00%, which represents zero chance of success. (p57, Skill Category Modifiers)
  3. A skill never has a minus value; if a bonus would make a skill start below 00%, write in 00%. (p57, Skill Category Modifiers)
  4. A roll of 1–5 on D100 is always a success, even if the ability rating is lower. (p142, Ability Use, Results)

Accordingly, yes skills can can fall below 5%. I'd also say based on this that if a skill has a 0% chance it's unusable because at that point you no longer possess the skill but if you have even 1 point in the skill you'd get a success on a 1-5/100 roll and the according chance of fumble.

Of course any GM can rule however they want but I believe that's what the rules represent.  I do look forward to see a giant hiding behind a small shrubbery though because it would be highly entertaining and would fit with the rule: Now, in this situation what is the most fun? (p6, Maximum Game Fun).

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9 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

So, a 20' tall giant with 40 POW and 12 DEX still has a 5% chance to effectively hide behind the shrubbery? 

With a good enough roll... maybe!

I figure that prone, a 20' giant has a profile maybe 2m (shoulder-to-shoulder) X 1m (front to back), and "shrubbery" could effectively hide that outline...

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