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Percentage Thief Skills
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Author:  geordie racer [ Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

Sunsword wrote:
Is there a difference between a pdf on the publisher's website or an appendix?

Yes, I think so. In my experience what's in the core rules is the canon to us to houserule from. I don't want a designer's houserules for his own game in the core book, give me a clear statement of intent. I have no problem with PDFs or annual supplements that explore what you can do with the rules, where you can take the game, but don't dilute the game's core book by optional rules appendices.

Author:  jmucchiello [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

"no skills, just ability checks" plus "class die" is already a Zocchi die solution since class dice tend to run d3/d4/d5/d6/d7/d8/d10/d12/d14/d16

Author:  Bronn [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

jmucchiello wrote:
"no skills, just ability checks" plus "class die" is already a Zocchi die solution since class dice tend to run d3/d4/d5/d6/d7/d8/d10/d12/d14/d16


To my mind the best solution by far.

Author:  reverenddak [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

jmucchiello wrote:
"no skills, just ability checks" plus "class die" is already a Zocchi die solution since class dice tend to run d3/d4/d5/d6/d7/d8/d10/d12/d14/d16


Something like this is definitely better. My only concern is if a d3, etc. is enough to make a significant difference, or even justify a whole class? i.e. make the thief special.

Author:  talmor [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

For a D3, that's +1 to +3 to the roll. 3.x "class skills" are only, what, +4 (at level 1), versus cross class at 2? Given that DCC RPG targets are a LOT lower than in 3rd, it's totally fitting for a class.

I mean, MDoA's aside, that big boost a warrior gets is that additional +1 to +3 in to hit or damage.

Author:  Bronn [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

talmor wrote:
For a D3, that's +1 to +3 to the roll. 3.x "class skills" are only, what, +4 (at level 1), versus cross class at 2? Given that DCC RPG targets are a LOT lower than in 3rd, it's totally fitting for a class.


Indeed.

If it were to follow the same progression as the warrior that's d7 at 5th level and d16 at 10th - a master thief if ever there was one!

Author:  reverenddak [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

Bronn wrote:

Indeed.

If it were to follow the same progression as the warrior that's d7 at 5th level and d16 at 10th - a master thief if ever there was one!


Well, but what really makes the Warrior significantly better (in combat) is not only the bonus die but the MDoA.

Regarding the Thief, I'd like to see something other than "better than everyone else at skills" (my biggest gripe with d20/3e+.) Basically some kind of "only Thieves can do" kind of thing. That's why the current % chart is "better" than a bunch of modifiers vs arbitrary DCs. The % based charts imply that only a Thief can do those things. While a bunch of mods vs DC "suggests" that everyone can.

I don't have a solution, only suggestions and preferences: rolling high being better and usage of funky dice.

I've been staring at the charts, other games and my new funky dice for while now. I can't come up with anything myself. I wish my posts were more constructive.

Author:  jmucchiello [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

Rev, did you see my proposal that attempting an ability check for an action way outside the purview of the character's class uses a d10 instead of a d20? That is why the thief much better at thieving, it's in his wheelhouse.

Author:  reverenddak [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

jmucchiello wrote:
Rev, did you see my proposal that attempting an ability check for an action way outside the purview of the character's class uses a d10 instead of a d20? That is why the thief much better at thieving, it's in his wheelhouse.


I did see that. I like where that's going. But it's still just a different way of making the Thief "better" only mathematically, not thematically or stylistically. I'm beginning to think that that is all the thief is essentially--someone would succeeds in doing the mundane more often than others.

Author:  jmucchiello [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

I think you are asking for a system solution to a role-play issue. Theoretically, only the thief is going to think he can sneak up on the sleeping guard and pick the keyring off his belt without waking the guard. Normal people would not expect to be able to do that. Anyone able to open this lock? Thief says he can. Anyone able to disarm this fire trap? I'll take a look, says the thief.

Author:  Roman [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

goodmangames wrote:
+D30...ha!

Ironically the thief skill system was d20 based for the first year of playtesting. I just changed it a month or two ago. The thief class just wasn't quite "special" enough. I think the use of the Luck die really made a difference in that. So far the reaction to % skills in games has been love it / hate it...appears that everyone here hates it! Does ANYBODY like it? Just curious...

Also, noted elsewhere but bears repeating: thieves can make their % check in addition to the d20 check. So the above noted sneaking example, if the thief fails his % check he can ALSO make the normal Agi check. I think I forgot to actually write this anywhere in the rules though. Thank goodness for playtesters who catch things. :)


I think that both multiple checks (normal d20 skill check + % check if the d20 check fails) and % checks as a whole are both less elegant when compared to how the rest of the rules have shaped up, using the d20 and DCs for skill checks.

I think that the Thieves' Luck die is an excellent way to emulate the literature and compares favorably, given the class's role, to the MDoA die Warriors get. I also think that the Thief's ability to recoup Luck is actually a very powerful defining ability that I suspect will become even more apparent through extended play. Add these plus the extra skills thieves have that other classes do not, and I think that the Thief class is actually quite special in its own right.

I love older versions of D&D, and I understand the draw to a % system for thieves, but this seems to me a case where you had it right the first time, and it fits the system you've adapted better.

Author:  Roman [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

talmor wrote:
Secondly, can we collapse the thief skill list? Combine Sneak Silently and Hide in Shadows to a generic "stealth" roll?


I agree that this would be a more elegant way to handle Stealth (or whatever you choose to call "avoid being noticed"). I think it's been noted elsewhere that the point of these skills is to avoid detection, and combining the two would make sense.

Also, I think that combining "Find Trap" and "Disable Trap" would also be more elegant and fluid. Is there a good game system or precedent from the Appendix N literature to keep the two separate?

I might even be tempted and convinced to add "Pick Lock" into that second group of skills ...

Author:  jmucchiello [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

No, no, no thief skills. Just thief activities that sometimes require ability checks. Skill should be a four-letter word.

Author:  Roman [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

Hamakto wrote:
One thing that you might of missed in the first walk though of the thief is the following:

Thieves are supposed to burn luck to do successful thief checks. And luck can be burnt after you failed the initial check.

For example: 50% chance to pick the lock... I rolled a 70%. I need 20% more. As a 3rd level thief, I roll a d5 for for each luck point burned, so I might burn two points of luck 2d5 to have a high likely hood of making the 20% I need.

But if I had already rolled a 30% chance, I would not need to bother to burn luck. So the %'s are intentionality low so you have to use the mechanic of the thief.

It is a pretty elegant method to be honest.


You do bring up an excellent point here, I admit. Flat bonuses to a d20 roll vs. a DC might not require a given thief to spend luck as often.

Then again, I know friends who can't roll well to save their lives, and will likely be spending Luck left and right anyway.

Author:  Roman [ Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

jmucchiello wrote:
No, no, no thief skills. Just thief activities that sometimes require ability checks. Skill should be a four-letter word.


Fair enough. Action checks / Ability checks. I'm not wedded to the word "skill."

Author:  Bronn [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

reverenddak wrote:
Bronn wrote:

Indeed.

If it were to follow the same progression as the warrior that's d7 at 5th level and d16 at 10th - a master thief if ever there was one!


Well, but what really makes the Warrior significantly better (in combat) is not only the bonus die but the MDoA.

Regarding the Thief, I'd like to see something other than "better than everyone else at skills" (my biggest gripe with d20/3e+.) Basically some kind of "only Thieves can do" kind of thing. That's why the current % chart is "better" than a bunch of modifiers vs arbitrary DCs. The % based charts imply that only a Thief can do those things. While a bunch of mods vs DC "suggests" that everyone can.

I don't have a solution, only suggestions and preferences: rolling high being better and usage of funky dice.

I've been staring at the charts, other games and my new funky dice for while now. I can't come up with anything myself. I wish my posts were more constructive.



Maybe the thief gets a bonus die plus access to unique MDoAs when backstabbing? Or you could go the whole hog and have Cunning Deeds of Guile that spin off stealth and lockpicking attempts, etc.

Author:  finarvyn [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

jmucchiello wrote:
I think you are asking for a system solution to a role-play issue. Theoretically, only the thief is going to think he can sneak up on the sleeping guard and pick the keyring off his belt without waking the guard. Normal people would not expect to be able to do that. Anyone able to open this lock? Thief says he can. Anyone able to disarm this fire trap? I'll take a look, says the thief.
Agreed, and well said! The thief has a whole list of specialist options that typical characters don't get, and that's what makes this class special.

The problem with skill-based RPGs is that everyone gets to put points into these actions so suddenly the thief has little value anymore.

Author:  Sunsword [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

reverenddak wrote:
Well, but what really makes the Warrior significantly better (in combat) is not only the bonus die but the MDoA.


Something to keep in mind, if Thieves gained the progression to their Skills (or a mix of some kind) using polyhedral dice, the other classes wouldn't get any bonuses. Thats a key difference to the Attack progressions. So having a D3 or whatever to my Ability roll to Hide in Shadows is a big deal compared to just having my Ability, if I'm not a Thief. I prefer the flat bonuses myself. But either is preferable to the percentile.

Author:  Sunsword [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

geordie racer wrote:
Sunsword wrote:
Is there a difference between a pdf on the publisher's website or an appendix?

Yes, I think so. In my experience what's in the core rules is the canon to us to houserule from. I don't want a designer's houserules for his own game in the core book, give me a clear statement of intent. I have no problem with PDFs or annual supplements that explore what you can do with the rules, where you can take the game, but don't dilute the game's core book by optional rules appendices.


I appreciate your POV, but technology & "revised/second editions" have blurred the lines for me. Understand, I hope that the percentage rule is changed, but I think this thread shows how "hot button" this issue is. Besides, my DCC probably won't look like yours exactly or anyone else's & thats why I'm wanting to play DCC as opposed to a myriad of other games.

Author:  Kruvil [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

I wonder if thieves could gain bonus dice to any attribute check that pertains to thieving (sneak, device, scale, pick pockets, sleight of hand etc.) with two additions.

One, judges could set some DCs at 25 or higher for actions only thieves could do (detect a magic trap, pick a lock just by banging on it, climb a sheet of ice with no tools etc.).

Two, thieves could get skullduggery (love that word) as a class ability. This ability works like mighty deed of arms but only outside of combat. The thief has to roll 3 or higher on his thief die to succeed.

Examples: go hand over hand on stalactites over boiling oil, climb up a waterfall using the hardest to find handholds, sneak past guards without cover, get past guards into a place no thief should be allowed, take the king's crown from his head while he sits at the round table with all his knights etc. Stuff no one could do with just an attribute check, that require an audacious thief using skullduggery, and things that will really, really get the thief in trouble if (when? :D ) he fails.

Mighty deeds of arms could just become mayhem even. :wink: The mayhem of the warrior would then compliment the skullduggery of the thief.

Author:  geordie racer [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

Kruvil wrote:
Stuff no one could do with just an attribute check, that require an audacious thief using skullduggery, and things that will really, really get the thief in trouble if (when? :D ) he fails.
The Thief can already use an ability check and burn his Luck (the Thieves version of MDoA) to attempt such audacious acts.

Author:  jmucchiello [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

DCs in DCCRPG do not map to 3e/4e DCs at all. A DC of 15 is HARD. (Especially if you use the d10 for non-class behavior concept from one of my threads.) Picking a normal lock should be around 15 and hard lock should be around 20. A DC of 25 is for tasks that Hercules would find difficult and 30 for tasks he would find Herculean.

Author:  smathis [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

jmucchiello wrote:
DCs in DCCRPG do not map to 3e/4e DCs at all. A DC of 15 is HARD. (Especially if you use the d10 for non-class behavior concept from one of my threads.) Picking a normal lock should be around 15 and hard lock should be around 20. A DC of 25 is for tasks that Hercules would find difficult and 30 for tasks he would find Herculean.


I hadn't seen that yet. That's a great suggestion, j.

Author:  Ducaster [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

Hi all forgive any noobishness on a first post. But.,,

Totally agree with general sentiment. Ditch the % system use a DC d20 check for everything or use % for everything having two systems does not pay homage to anything it just complicates what needs to be a simple and easily grasped system.

Sorry Mr Goodman but you can't do both. Ease of use or "realism" is the choice here. Please. We tried a % system, it didn't suck but it was a confusion. Let it rest in peace.

Author:  jmucchiello [ Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Percentage Thief Skills

smathis wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
DCs in DCCRPG do not map to 3e/4e DCs at all. A DC of 15 is HARD. (Especially if you use the d10 for non-class behavior concept from one of my threads.) Picking a normal lock should be around 15 and hard lock should be around 20. A DC of 25 is for tasks that Hercules would find difficult and 30 for tasks he would find Herculean.


I hadn't seen that yet. That's a great suggestion, j.

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