Expanded Skill Rolls

By Walt Mazur ( w_mazur @ primenet.com)


Scott Turnbull <scotwt@ksu.edu> wrote:

...a stat of 3 is considered average for a human. This plain means that normal folk have an almost nil chance of succeeding at anything unless they have a considerable skill in it. Case in point for me was in the IN game I play in..... A character with a 3 Agl and no climbing skill wanted to climb an 8 foot chainlink fence. Given the default for climb of (Agl-1) the chance is a 2 on 2d6!!! Even if the GM rules its an easy task and give the +2, it's still only a 4 or less on 2d6.

I think this is a characteristic of all systems: there's a continuum between ordinary tasks you never roll for and the skills listed. You can't really set an absolute limit on the plusses and minuses, just a guideline. At some point, the GM has to know the odds of rolling the dice and estimate the real world conditions. In this specific case, consider:

+/- Climbing Action Who fails
+10 one step feeble people (Ag=1), very rarely
+9 normal stair feeble people, rarely
+8 circular stair a klutz (Ag=2), very rarely
+7 ladder a klutz, rarely
+6 wide mesh chain link fence a klutz, often; or a normal, rarely
+5 tight mesh chain link a normal person, often
+4 a steep slope normal often; climbers, very rarely
+3 a very steep slope climbers, rarely
+2 a very easy climb (such as a practice wall in a sporting store) poor climbers often, good ones, rarely
+1 an easy climb good climbers rarely slip or fall
0 a moderate climb even good climbers may fall
-1 a hard climb even good climbers may fall
-2 a very hard climb the best climbers fall regularly
-3 El Capitan top climbers die often
-4 or lower glass buildings unclimbable without extreme skill and special equipment
-15 a mirror-smooth horizontal ceiling, Teflon coated, oiled even Archangels fall if they don't fly

Maybe where the system (any system) stops making sense if you stick to its limits (-2 for IN), that's where you should stop having PCs roll.

I think in IN's particular case, it's important not to have people rolling too often: about 1% of rolls will be interventions; if people roll too often, too much of the game will be divine or infernal intervention settling things for the players instead of the players doing the job.

Chance of at least one Intervention

Rolls: 20 40 60 80 100
Chance: 17% 31% 43% 52% 61%

So if you have five players and don't want interventions to happen often, you better keep them down to just a few rolls a session.


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Elizabeth McCoy <arcangel@prismnet.com>
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