General skill rolls

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EvilCat
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:38 pm

General skill rolls

Post by EvilCat »

There is a situation I encounter from time to time... Sometimes you roll a skill check not to complete a task, but to see how well you performed. In systems with "against a number" rolls, it's fairly easy. But when an opposed roll is involved, you can't just compare the result to a chart.

One way to solve this is to set some target goal (and its difficulty) and roll as usual (measure success by the difference). But I'm not sure what side-effects are there... For example, how does a choice of a target goal affect the result.

And what do you do in this situation?
dancross
Cold-Blooded Diabolist
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:32 pm

Re: General skill rolls

Post by dancross »

Hi there! Actually, there is something about this in the rules: see Table 2.3 Margin of Success

From the core rules: "Once the GM establishes and rolls for difficulty,
the player then rolls in opposition, using the dice
indicated by his character’s ability, comparing the
results. If the player’s roll is equal to or more greater
than the difficulty, the character succeeds.
For example, our very mundane character Frederick
the farmer needs to calm an enraged bull. Fred has
the following Ability Tree: Animal Handling (D8) >
Livestock (D8) > Cows (D6). The GM determines
that the challenge is Formidable (2D10). Fred rolls
2D8 + 1D6 for his Ability Branch, the GM rolls
2D10. If Fred has a totaled dice roll that beats the
GM’s roll, the beast will be calmed. If he fails…
well, he could be in real trouble!
The GM then describes what happened based on
the results of the player’s roll. The obvious part of
the description is the simple outcome of the roll—
whether the character succeeded or failed. That
should only be the foundation for the description,
however.
The GM has leeway in describing the results of
the attempt from start to finish. The only given is
that the outcome of the check must be respected.
Beyond that given, details of how the outcome
appears are up to him. A failure, for example, could
occur at the beginning of the attempt, almost at the
point of completion, or at any point in between.
Likewise, he could describe a successful attempt
as barely getting the task done, or succeeding in
fantastic fashion. How much a check succeeds or
fails affects the described results. The difference
between a character’s ability check total, and the
totaled opposition dice can decide how serious a
failure or how effective a success. For instance, a
result that just barely succeeds indicates just basic
success. The GM could describe the attempt as
“just enough,” like jumping just far enough to clear
a chasm and roll to safety away from the edge. The
greater the difference between the player’s roll is
and the target number, the better the effects of the
action. Likewise, the amount by which a character
fails a check can determine how bad the results end
up. The GM can describe barely missing the roll as
near success in the attempt. A terrible roll can result
in a catastrophe for the character. If a character
was attempting to use alchemical reagents to turn
lead into gold, missing the target by one point
may result in silver, or maybe fools gold, while
a catastrophic failure may blow up the reagents
with deadly effect. Following our earlier example,
Frederick the farmer is staring the bull in the face
using all his years of experience to calm it down.
Whether he succeeds or fails, and by how much
will determine the description the GM would use"
EvilCat
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:38 pm

Re: General skill rolls

Post by EvilCat »

Yeah, I know that piece, but what if you don't have a specific task? I know that technically you can handle anything with a difficulty dice, but it would be nice to an analogue to "ok, you rolled 10 at the Music roll, the song you wrote is inspiring" (the goal of writing the best song you can).
dancross
Cold-Blooded Diabolist
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:32 pm

Re: General skill rolls

Post by dancross »

EvilCat wrote:Yeah, I know that piece, but what if you don't have a specific task? I know that technically you can handle anything with a difficulty dice, but it would be nice to an analogue to "ok, you rolled 10 at the Music roll, the song you wrote is inspiring" (the goal of writing the best song you can).
How about something like this?

Target Number Ranges Corresponding to Max-Value
Use for setting targets within a single character' range of potential.

Untaught: 0-4

Average: 5 to 9

Respectable: 10 to 19

Good: 20 to 29

Great: 30 to 35

Superb: 36
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