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 Post subject: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:54 pm 
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I'd like to see the skill chapter go away and see all reference to skills be called Ability Checks. In chapter 1, right after the ABILITY SCORE section, the follow would be added:
Quote:
ABILITY CHECKS
When there is doubt about an attempt to perform a non-combat action, the Judge can call for an ability check. If the action is something related to the character's class or prior occupation, the ability check is made by rolling 1d20, adding the appropriate ability score modifier, and comparing the result to the DC for the challenge. Some class abilities also add the class die to the roll. If the roll beats the challenge, the ability check succeeds. Otherwise, it fails. Attempting to perform an action not associated with the character's class, race or prior occupation reduces the die making the check to a d10.

Example: A 2nd-level wizard was once a scribe. His friend, a 2nd-level warrior, was once a blacksmith. While adventuring, they discover a magical anvil. Any sword forged on the anvil gains special powers. The warrior can attempt to forge a sword by rolling a d20 and adding his Strength modifier to the roll, given his background in blacksmithing. The wizard can only roll a d10 and add his Strength modifier to the roll. Later in the adventure, they find a strange tome with foreign writing. The wizard, with his background as a scribe, can try to translate the tome by rolling d20 + Intelligence modifier. The warrior can only roll d10 + Intelligence modifier.

An attack roll is a special kind of strength or dexterity check with additional standard modifiers. See chapter 4 for details.

DIFFICULT CLASSES
(from the book)

CLASS DIE
When making a check to perform an action specifically related to your class, you add a roll of the class die to the check. The class die is based on your class level. When you add the class die is listed in each class description.
Code:
Level  Class Die (this could be combined with the XP table 1-4)
  0       n/a
  1       d3
  2       d4
  3       d5
  4       d6
  5       d7

CLERIC (These paragraphs would appear near the Luck paragraphs in the class description.)
Class Die: The cleric add a class die to all spell checks (d20+class die+personality modifier) to cast a spell, lay on hands or turn unholy. The class die also modifies any Intelligence checks regarding knowledge of his deity and religion.

THIEF
Class Die: The thief adds a class die to all agility checks to sneak around, open a lock, disarm a trap, pick someone's pocket, climb shear surfaces, handle poisons, and similar feats of prestidigitation. The class die also modifies personality checks used to craft disguises and negotiate with a fence. The class die modifies intelligence checks to find traps, spot illusions, forge documents and read ancient or unknown language texts.

WARRIOR
Class Die: The class die is added to all attack rolls and damage rolls. It is also used to determine success with Mighty Deed of Action, see below.

WIZARD
Class Die: The class die is added to all spell checks (d20+class die+intelligence modifier) to cast a spell.

Etc


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:00 am 
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Seriously. This is the shiznit! Please use it Mr Goodman. Then all you have to do is give the thief some other cool funky dice goodness and iconic "powers" and your game has moved into the realms of full blown greatness! :)


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:24 am 
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I really really like where this is going.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:40 am 
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Using those examples, what would happen if the Warrior wasn't a blacksmith previously or the Wizard a scribe? Would they roll a d10 in that instance? Would they roll a die 10 and get their class die?

Surely a wizard should have a better chance at translating something than a warrior since they are at least familiar with that sort of thing for example, but I think a key point in that example is that the wizard was once a scribe.

I do think their is potential here, I just want to understand it better.


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:56 am 
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While I think the above is more economical and modern, it loses the charm and earlier edition feel of the Skills chapter as is. It reminds me of C&C and that's both good and bad. I'd prefer the Skills chapter stay.


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:08 am 
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I like to think of DCCRPG as a true return to class-based RPG. Subsystems external to classes should be minimized. By acknowledging there are skills goes against that goal.

@bholmes4: The description of wizards indicates that the are involved in arcane lore so that tips the Judge off that they should use the d20 die when making Intelligence checks involving an old scroll. I took the example straight from the book and didn't think about the fact that it says "wizard". I suppose I could change the wizard in the example to a warrior to make the "book" connection more explicit.


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:30 am 
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Ok that makes more sense to me now.

So I guess you would reduce the DC (or give a bonus) to a Wizard who was also a former Scribe vs. just a Wizard or a Warrior-Scribe?


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:47 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
Ok that makes more sense to me now.

So I guess you would reduce the DC (or give a bonus) to a Wizard who was also a former Scribe vs. just a Wizard or a Warrior-Scribe?

There's no reason why overlap in knowledge would give an additional bonus. Although you could argue that either way. Arguments in theory are just Judge's calls in play.


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:02 pm 
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bholmes4 wrote:
I guess you would reduce the DC (or give a bonus) to a Wizard who was also a former Scribe vs. just a Wizard or a Warrior-Scribe?

In general I'd try to keep bonuses down to a minimum. The more doors you open in the skills and bonuses category, the faster players find ways to max out the rules. The design goal is to create a system which is easy to use, not one that gives every possible "realistic" choice.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:22 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
bholmes4 wrote:
I guess you would reduce the DC (or give a bonus) to a Wizard who was also a former Scribe vs. just a Wizard or a Warrior-Scribe?

In general I'd try to keep bonuses down to a minimum. The more doors you open in the skills and bonuses category, the faster players find ways to max out the rules. The design goal is to create a system which is easy to use, not one that gives every possible "realistic" choice.

Exactly.

Another side benefit of the d10 versus d20 thing is it makes a DC of 15 really amazing and DC of 20 is Herculean. As they should be.


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Ok another question:

If the difficulty is beyond the ability of the character, say a DC of 15 and the character only has a d10, is the action impossible or do you give them a chance (ie. if they roll a 10 on the d10 they can roll again and if they get another 10 they succeed, essentially 1% chance on all difficulties beyond their normal range)?


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:02 pm 
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Might I say, well done jmucchiello!

I must admit, I find this simple table to be sweet and perfect. It allows for a uniform mechanic across the board, is elegant and simple, and is easy to remember, plus it makes good use of the funky die mechanic.

I must admit, while my first outing with the DCC Rules will be "by the book" so I can give accurate feedback, when I decide to try out variants, this will be the first I implement.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:14 pm 
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bholmes4 wrote:
Ok another question:

If the difficulty is beyond the ability of the character, say a DC of 15 and the character only has a d10, is the action impossible or do you give them a chance (ie. if they roll a 10 on the d10 they can roll again and if they get another 10 they succeed, essentially 1% chance on all difficulties beyond their normal range)?

If something is impossible for you, change your plans. If you aren't athletic, don't attempt to make a 10 foot standing broad jump across a deep chasm. You WILL fall.


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:55 pm 
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On second thought ...

I would have to disagree with using the class die for spell casters' spell checks. Here's why:

All else being equal ...

At first level, a d3 gives the caster a 100% chance to do equal to or better than simply adding class level (roll 1, 2. or 3).
At second level, a d4 gives the caster a 75% chance to do equal to or better than simply adding class level (roll 2, 3, or 4), and a 25% chance of doing worse (roll a 1).
At third level, a d5 gives the caster a 60% chance to do equal to or better than simply adding class level (roll 3, 4, or 5), and a 40% chance of doing worse (roll 1 or 2).
At fourth level, a d6 gives the caster a 50% chance to do equal to or better than simply adding class level (roll 4-6), and a 50% chance of doing worse (roll 1-3).
And at fifth level, the diminishing returns begin, where a d7 gives the caster only a 3/7 chance to do equal or better than simply adding class level (roll 5-7) and a 4/7 (i.e. greater than 50% chance) of doing worse (roll 1-4).

Now for some people, those chances of doing better than class level at the lowest levels may be worth it. However, I think that perhaps we should leave the funky die mechanic out when the bonuses from, in this case, caster level would be better for the characters.

I will leave it to others to see how the funky die mechanic compares to the DC Thief skill bonuses listed. I suspect that since the Thief skill bonuses do not equal the thief's level in every instance, as the spellcaster bonuses do, it may be a mixed bag.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Okay, I lied. I looked, and it seems that, overall, the progression of bonuses by level is generally superior to replacing the bonus with a funky die.

Hm. Sorry ... I suppose actually I'll just be keeping the funky die for the warriors. *sheepish grin*

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Roman wrote:
Okay, I lied. I looked, and it seems that, overall, the progression of bonuses by level is generally superior to replacing the bonus with a funky die.

Hm. Sorry ... I suppose actually I'll just be keeping the funky die for the warriors. *sheepish grin*

Yes, it is and IMO that is a benefit as well since it keeps the really powerful effect further away from mid level wizards.

The simpler (and more useful) analysis of the class die is here:

d3 avg = +2
d4 avg = +2.5
d5 avg = +3
d6 avg = +3.5
d7 avg = +4

Isn't that an interesting progression?


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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:05 pm 
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For Thieves if you also burn 1 point of Luck you get a sweet modifier:

2d3 avg (class die + Luck die) = +4
2d4 avg = +5
2d5 avg = +6
2d6 avg = +7
2d7 avg = +8

So if I were using this I would change the expenditure when you burn luck. Maybe just 1d3 each time, whatever your level.

So a Thief who not only relies on his skill but pushes his luck is fairly proficient as long as his luck lasts.

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Last edited by geordie racer on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:19 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Roman wrote:
Okay, I lied. I looked, and it seems that, overall, the progression of bonuses by level is generally superior to replacing the bonus with a funky die.

Hm. Sorry ... I suppose actually I'll just be keeping the funky die for the warriors. *sheepish grin*

Yes, it is and IMO that is a benefit as well since it keeps the really powerful effect further away from mid level wizards.

The simpler (and more useful) analysis of the class die is here:

d3 avg = +2
d4 avg = +2.5
d5 avg = +3
d6 avg = +3.5
d7 avg = +4

Isn't that an interesting progression?


It is interesting, I admit. I wonder how the average of all modifiers by Thief level compares to the funky die progression (or even double the funky die progression, as you suggested in the Percentage Thief Skills thread).

Given the d20 vs. DC chart that Mr. Goodman provided earlier (and assuming that difference between Backstab modifiers on said chart and the chart given in the Beta rules is intentional), then I think they come out something like this, figuring for a Lawful Thief:

Avg. of all Level 1 Thief Skills: 1.33
Avg. of all Level 2 Thief Skills: 2.83
Avg. of all Level 3 Thief Skills: 4.67
Avg. of all Level 4 Thief Skills: 6.33
Avg. of all Level 5 Thief Skills: 7.67

Assuming that the modifiers for Backstab in the Beta Rules (where all alignments get a +1/+2/+3/+4/+5 progression) are correct, then the averages come out like this:

Avg. of all Level 1 Thief Skills: 1.33
Avg. of all Level 2 Thief Skills: 2.75
Avg. of all Level 3 Thief Skills: 4.5
Avg. of all Level 4 Thief Skills: 6.08
Avg. of all Level 5 Thief Skills: 7.42

Once again we're seeing a fall off using the funky die progression, but this time after level 1.

(And please feel free to correct/check my math--it's been 20 years since my Statistics and Game Theory class ...)

I saw your proposal to double the funky die for Thief abilities by level (so, 2d3 at Level 1, etc.), but that would drive the averages rather high at lower levels, yes? Or do you think that is a desirable outcome?

Thanks!

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Last edited by Roman on Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:22 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
For Thieves if you also burn 1 point of Luck you get a sweet modifier:

2d3 avg (class die + Luck die) = +4
2d4 avg = +5
2d5 avg = +6
2d6 avg = +7
2d7 avg = +8

So if I were using this I would change the expenditure when you burn luck. Maybe just 1d3 each time, whatever your level.

So a Thief who not only relies on his skill but pushes his luck is fairly proficient as long as his luck lasts.


Maybe that's a better way to go--rather than doubling the thief's level die, make them burn luck (as geordie racer, above, and nanstreet (on the Percentage Thief Skills thread) proposed), since they can get Luck back more easily than other classes?

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:43 pm 
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Roman wrote:
geordie racer wrote:
For Thieves if you also burn 1 point of Luck you get a sweet modifier:

2d3 avg (class die + Luck die) = +4
2d4 avg = +5
2d5 avg = +6
2d6 avg = +7
2d7 avg = +8

So if I were using this I would change the expenditure when you burn luck. Maybe just 1d3 each time, whatever your level.

So a Thief who not only relies on his skill but pushes his luck is fairly proficient as long as his luck lasts.


Maybe that's a better way to go--rather than doubling the thief's level die, make them burn luck (as geordie racer, above, and nanstreet (on the Percentage Thief Skills thread) proposed), since they can get Luck back more easily than other classes?

Changing the expenditure to a 1d3 roll rather than what the player chooses to burn also brings in greater risk and randomization rather than it being about prudent resource management (in terms of the Luck stat).

jmucchiello wrote:
Isn't that an interesting progression?


Yes, especially as from Levels 6-10 your wizard could then advance by a steeper increment.

level 6 d8 avg = +4.5
level 7 d10 avg = +5.5
level 8 d12 avg = +6.5
level 9 d14 avg = +7.5
level 10 d16 avg = +8.5

Let's compare 'class die' wizard to Beta wizard:

Average spell check rolls for a wizard with no INT modifier (so rolling 1d20 +class die):

level 1 +12.50......max spell level 1 (DC 12)
level 2 +13.00........................1 (DC 12)
level 3 +13.50........................2 (DC 14)
level 4 +14.00........................2 (DC 14)
level 5 +14.50........................3 (DC 16)
level 6 +15.00
level 7 +16.00
level 8 +17.00
level 9 +18.00
level 10 +19.00

It encourages Average Wizard Dude to spellburn to nail that DC.

Compare to Beta edition (1d20+class level+no INT mod)

level 1 +11.50......max spell level 1 (DC 12)
level 2 +12.00........................1 (DC 12)
level 3 +13.50........................2 (DC 14)
level 4 +14.50........................2 (DC 14)
level 5 +15.50........................3 (DC 16)
level 6 +16.50
level 7 +17.50
level 8 +18.50
level 9 +19.50
level 10 +20.50

Average spell check rolls for a wizard with +3 INT modifier (so rolling 1d20 +class die +3):

level 1 +15.50......max spell level 1 (DC 12)
level 2 +16.00........................1 (DC 12)
level 3 +16.50........................2 (DC 14)
level 4 +17.00........................2 (DC 14)
level 5 +17.50........................3 (DC 16)
level 6 +18.00
level 7 +19.00
level 8 +20.00
level 9 +21.00
level 10 +22.00

Compare to Beta edition (1d20+class level and +3 INT mod)

level 1 +14.50......max spell level 1 (DC 12)
level 2 +15.50........................1 (DC 12)
level 3 +16.50........................2 (DC 14)
level 4 +17.50........................2 (DC 14)
level 5 +18.50........................3 (DC 16)
level 6 +19.50
level 7 +20.50
level 8 +21.50
level 9 +22.50
level 10 +23.50

I like how the 'class die' wizard gets an initial slight boost compared to the Beta wizard. So you get a flatter power curve of smaller increments at levels 1-5, but a steady increase at higher levels - even though it's less 'powerful' than adding the Level to the d20 roll.

A 1st Level warrior with no ability score or situational mods tries to strike a kobold (AC 11)

Using Beta rules the warrior has an average 55% chance to succeed
Using 'class die' he has between 55-65% chance to succeed with an average of 60%

A 5th Level warrior with no ability score or situational mods tries to strike a kobold (AC 11)

Using Beta rules the warrior has an average 75% chance to succeed
Using 'class die' he has between 55-85% chance to succeed with an average of 70%

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Last edited by geordie racer on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:50 am, edited 28 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:03 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
Roman wrote:
geordie racer wrote:
For Thieves if you also burn 1 point of Luck you get a sweet modifier:

2d3 avg (class die + Luck die) = +4
2d4 avg = +5
2d5 avg = +6
2d6 avg = +7
2d7 avg = +8

So if I were using this I would change the expenditure when you burn luck. Maybe just 1d3 each time, whatever your level.

So a Thief who not only relies on his skill but pushes his luck is fairly proficient as long as his luck lasts.


Maybe that's a better way to go--rather than doubling the thief's level die, make them burn luck (as geordie racer, above, and nanstreet (on the Percentage Thief Skills thread) proposed), since they can get Luck back more easily than other classes?

Changing the expenditure to a 1d3 roll rather than what the player chooses to burn also brings in greater risk and randomization rather than it being about prudent resource management (in terms of the Luck stat).


Actually, I prefer the Luck die as-is. That would effectively double the proposed funky die modifier, and really help the Thieves out.

Although I wonder if perhaps Backstab should remain +1/+2/+3/+4/+5 for all alignments, as in the Beta rules ...

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Roman wrote:
Actually, I prefer the Luck die as-is. That would effectively double the proposed funky die modifier, and really help the Thieves out.

So you would have the player be able to spend as much Luck in one go as possible -like in the Beta rules?

What I mean is limiting the player to spending 1d3 for whatever Luck die their Level permits (e.g. 1d7 at 5th Level)

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:41 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
Roman wrote:
Actually, I prefer the Luck die as-is. That would effectively double the proposed funky die modifier, and really help the Thieves out.

So you would have the player be able to spend as much Luck in one go as possible -like in the Beta rules?

What I mean is limiting the player to spending 1d3 for whatever Luck die their Level permits (e.g. 1d7 at 5th Level)


I understand now what you mean--I did mistake the 1d3 for the class level Luck die type.

But ... sometimes, it all comes down to THAT roll, and when that time comes, yeah, you just gotta' go for broke.

So yes, if it calls for it, then I don't mind if the player has as much Luck as they have. Because if they NEED that much to spend, and they survive, well, heh, I imagine life with a rather low Luck score for a while will even things out.

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:32 am 
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Roman wrote:
But ... sometimes, it all comes down to THAT roll, and when that time comes, yeah, you just gotta' go for broke.

So yes, if it calls for it, then I don't mind if the player has as much Luck as they have. Because if they NEED that much to spend, and they survive, well, heh, I imagine life with a rather low Luck score for a while will even things out.
Luck is one of those currencies that you can never have too much of, and it should be hard to acquire, so if a player has been hourding a character's luck for the whole campaign why limit how many points can be spent at one time?

Roman's right about THAT roll.

Now, I'm assuming that we're not talking about a one-shot adventure or convention scenario. Maybe in a limited duration campaign you put more limits on luck burn, since otherwise there's too much of it in a small span of time. On the other hand, it could make for one heck of an adventure. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: No Skill Chapter
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:56 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant
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I'm in favor of just going with a Class die and being done with it. It's simple, consistent (Thieves and Fighters already have it), and establishes a marked differentiation between class checks on non-class checks.

I am firmly of the opinion that if you don't have something in your background that suggests you know something about a check you can't do it. It's not in your narrative. Sure, from a simulationist point of view everyone can attempt something but DCC isn't that game. You should only do things that are appropriate for your character and it is the Judge's responsibility to make sure that you aren't blatantly put in a situation that is deliberately solved by resources/abilities you couldn't possibly have.

If you must have a "non-class" check die, then make it a d16 - which is consistent with a secondary action die. d16 still allows for a chance to tackle a DC15 check and if you are allowing a check in the first place there should be a chance.

I think the point of skill checks was meant to allow for actions that aren't covered elsewhere. Most dramatically interesting situations should be handled with Saving Throws or class abilities. Thief abilities I think muddy the water, which is probably why they were made to be % abilities to separate them from the rest of the game.

It's interesting to me that you have a nearly complete set of mechanics but then a hole for "skills".

Why not change the "saving throw" concept and make it a ability check concept. Fort save bonuses could apply to all STR & CON checks. Reflex save bonuses apply to all AGI and some INT checks. Willpower apply to all PER and some INT checks.

From the beta skill page:
Quote:
Balancing: Agility
Breaking down doors, bending bars, and lifting gates: Strength
Climbing: Strength or Agility, as appropriate. A sheer wall uses Strength; a craggy cliff or tree uses Agility.
Listening: Luck
Searching and spotting: Intelligence
Sneaking: Agility

So, change that:

Balancing = Reflex + AGI
Feats of Strength = Fortitude + STR
Resist Poison/Disease = Fortitude + CON
Resist physical control = Fortitude + CON
Dodge/Avoid Trap = Reflex + AGI
Perception = Reflexes + INT
Resist compulsion = Willpower + PER
Resist mental control = Willpower + PER
See through illusion = Willpower + INT
Sneaking = Reflex + AGI
Never add Class Dice to "Resistance Rolls/Saving Throws"

Fighters/Dwarves add Class Die to all Fortitude checks
Elves/Wizards add Class Die to all checks involving magic
Clerics add Class die to all checks involving the divine
Elves/Halflings/Thieves add Class Die to all Reflex checks
All characters add Class Die to background knowledge checks

If you consider reflexes to also include awareness, this works pretty well. You could rename them to Body/Mind/Reflex to better capture that feel.

This gives you a reduced consistent level bonus to reflect overall experience and basic class differences.

I also like the idea that Luck modifies everything.

EXAMPLE: Crossing a rickety bridge while under attack by goblin archers. Bridge is 60' across. DC 20 Reflex (Agility/Balance) to cross the bridge at normal move (and full AC); DC 15 at half move (-1 AC); DC 10 at third move (-2 AC); DC 5 is quarter movement (-4 AC)... roll and apply the result that matches the roll. All characters are 3rd level and assume a 10 AGI. Warrior would have a +1 to his roll, Wizard +1 as well, and the Elf is +1 with a Class Die of d5, while the Thief would be +2 and add his Class Die of d5. The Thief has a fair shot at the DC 15 target, and may burn Luck to do the DC 20 and make it across in a single go (double move), while the others are likely to be crossing at the DC 10 level and thus have to make 2 more rolls. The Elf will likely get closer to the DC 15 and cross in 2 rounds.

Perhaps that is a little too mechanical, but that seems dramatic especially if they are getting attacked. If they aren't getting attacked then the rolls aren't all that necessary and while a rickety bridge is interesting color, how one crosses it is simply a matter of story and not dice.

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