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 Post subject: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:31 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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The discussion of skill checks on p53 doesn't spell out when to use Agility only, as opposed to when to use Reflex.

Is it intended that Agility is when the character is trying to do something, and Reflex is when the character is trying to avoid something?

Also the Thief skills seem to have a fixed percentage chance of success, whereas the discussion of skills uses varying DCs.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:50 pm 
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AgeOfFable wrote:
The discussion of skill checks on p53 doesn't spell out when to use Agility only, as opposed to when to use Reflex.

Is it intended that Agility is when the character is trying to do something, and Reflex is when the character is trying to avoid something?

Also the Thief skills seem to have a fixed percentage chance of success, whereas the discussion of skills uses varying DCs.


You have the right of it. Reflex is for avoiding danger, whereas Agility is for when the character attempts something related to Agility.

I think the idea of thief percentages is to ensure a stable and ever increasing chance of success with predictable odds, where the skill use with sliding DCs indicate situations where the difficulty of the attempt matters more than the skill of the user. I might also be talking out of my donkey.


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Talath wrote:
You have the right of it. Reflex is for avoiding danger, whereas Agility is for when the character attempts something related to Agility.

Always be more explicit. Reflex is for avoiding immediate danger. Moving silently past some guards is also "avoiding danger" but it is still Agility because the danger is not immediate.
Quote:
I think the idea of thief percentages is to ensure a stable and ever increasing chance of success with predictable odds,

Shouldn't the quality of the lock being picked make the chance of success less predictable?


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:12 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Talath wrote:
You have the right of it. Reflex is for avoiding danger, whereas Agility is for when the character attempts something related to Agility.

Always be more explicit. Reflex is for avoiding immediate danger. Moving silently past some guards is also "avoiding danger" but it is still Agility because the danger is not immediate.
Quote:
I think the idea of thief percentages is to ensure a stable and ever increasing chance of success with predictable odds,

Shouldn't the quality of the lock being picked make the chance of success less predictable?


Why should the Judge inform the player the DC of the task? It seems to me that DCs should be determined on the spot by the Judge, with a response to the roll indicating degree of failure or success.


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:11 pm 
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Talath wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
Talath wrote:
You have the right of it. Reflex is for avoiding danger, whereas Agility is for when the character attempts something related to Agility.

Always be more explicit. Reflex is for avoiding immediate danger. Moving silently past some guards is also "avoiding danger" but it is still Agility because the danger is not immediate.
Quote:
I think the idea of thief percentages is to ensure a stable and ever increasing chance of success with predictable odds,

Shouldn't the quality of the lock being picked make the chance of success less predictable?


Why should the Judge inform the player the DC of the task? It seems to me that DCs should be determined on the spot by the Judge, with a response to the roll indicating degree of failure or success.

How did you get from what I wrote that the judge would announce the DC? I said the complete opposite, that the percentage should not be in a chart, it should just contain a bonus to the d20 roll.


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:38 am 
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jmucchiello wrote:
How did you get from what I wrote that the judge would announce the DC? I said the complete opposite, that the percentage should not be in a chart, it should just contain a bonus to the d20 roll.


My bad. I feel like the thief percentages imply a measure of skill that disregards the circumstances, which to me, signifies a professional: a consistent odds of success under any circumstance. The d20 roll versus DC implies people trying, and the more difficult the circumstance, the more chance of failure.


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:55 am 
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Talath wrote:
jmucchiello wrote:
How did you get from what I wrote that the judge would announce the DC? I said the complete opposite, that the percentage should not be in a chart, it should just contain a bonus to the d20 roll.


My bad. I feel like the thief percentages imply a measure of skill that disregards the circumstances, which to me, signifies a professional: a consistent odds of success under any circumstance. The d20 roll versus DC implies people trying, and the more difficult the circumstance, the more chance of failure.

Sorry, but the old thief system was just epic fail. I never saw a thief under 5th level EVER attempt to disarm a trap because the percentage chance (based on his professional skill as you put it) was always a dismal 33-40% or less. How did he ever improve at later levels when he would not even touch the damn things also confused me.

No, it just makes more sense for the circumstances to matter. The difference between the professional lock picker and the non-professional is the pro can say (in some form of "in-game" language) "Hey, that's a DC 30 lock" whereas the non-pro will just be able to say "Hey, that's a lock". And there's no reason for the pro to have to make a skill check just to guesstimate the "power" of the lock. In other words, the DM should give the pro a definite "you've picked locks this tough before" answer when asked "do I think I can pick the lock/disarm the trap/whatever?"


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:00 am 
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Maybe the intention is that the thief has the listed percentage chance of picking the lock, then if they fail they make the same check that anyone else would.

However, whatever the intention, it isn't clear.

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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:23 am 
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AgeOfFable wrote:
Maybe the intention is that the thief has the listed percentage chance of picking the lock, then if they fail they make the same check that anyone else would.

However, whatever the intention, it isn't clear.

That was the intention and as many have pointed out. Why make two die rolls when you can just give a bonus to a single die roll?


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:54 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
AgeOfFable wrote:
Maybe the intention is that the thief has the listed percentage chance of picking the lock, then if they fail they make the same check that anyone else would.

However, whatever the intention, it isn't clear.

That was the intention and as many have pointed out. Why make two die rolls when you can just give a bonus to a single die roll?


Wait, what?
Really?
I would have never thought that to be the case.
So, a thief would roll d% to sneak silently and hide in shadows, with success indicating a complete success that couldn't be opposed (per the 3rd paragraph on p.27.) If he failed, then he would make normal skill checks, opposed by the enemies?

Actually, having two separate systems for thief skills and skill checks is one of the oddities that really jumps out at me. It looks like anyone can make a sneak or hide check (halflings even get a bonus!)

Plus, the skill check rules on pp.52-53 seemingly contradict themselves:
-Under Difficulty Levels there's an example of a static DC 10 skill check to hear "the approach of a cautious footpad."
-But the Opposed Skill Checks paragraph, in conjunction with the SKill Checks for Commom Activities, suggests that Sneaking (Agility) would be opposed by Luck (Listening) and Hiding (atribute?) would be opposed by Searching (Intelligence.)

I was about to ask "what exactly does 'sneaking entail?" but I found my answer in the Halfling entry:
Sneaking is actually "sneaking silently" and Hide is "hiding in shadows."
I think those need to be expressly differentiated in the Skill Chapter so that one does not misconstrue the generic 'sneaking' to be the sum of moving while hiding. What attribute is Hiding based on? Agility? Intelligence?
For that matter, couldn't Sneak cover both and you could just remove references to Hide (the generic skill, not the thief skill)? Then Sneak (Agility) could be opposed by Search/Spot (Intelligence.) I bring that up because if you have to roll to sneak and roll to hide, would the opponent then make a search roll and a listen roll? That's 4 rolls (not counting thief skills) to determine if a character can remain undetected while moving silently in the shadows.

One of the things that drew me to DCC is this marketing promise: "Adventure as 1974 intended you to, with modern rules grounded in the origins of sword & sorcery."
However, there is nothing modern about having a secondary skill system for a class that functions completely differently than the base skill system, and with no guidelines on how the two interact. Also, the DCC skill check system is very weak compared to any AD&D retro-clone that has one.

Recommendations:
1) Only have one skill system. A thief's abilities should augment the basic system, not be entirely different.
2) Combine 'sneak silently' and 'hide in shadows' into just 'sneak' or 'stealth.' The separation is clumsy and unneccessary. There's no point in hiding if you can't be quiet, and there's no point in being quiet if you can't remain unseen.
3) Clearly define the interaction/oppositions between sneaking & listening and hiding & searching (or in line with #2 above, 'sneak' & 'perceive.')
4) The more esoteric thief abilities (pretty much everything that thieves can do that could not be attempted with a regular skill check (sneak, hide, climb) could justify the unique (old-school throwback) d% rolls since they don't clash with the skill system.

Whew, that was a big first post!
Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:35 am 
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Reaper Steve wrote:
Whew, that was a big first post!
Steve


But a good one!


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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:43 am 
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Reaper Steve wrote:
4) The more esoteric thief abilities (pretty much everything that thieves can do that could not be attempted with a regular skill check (sneak, hide, climb) could justify the unique (old-school throwback) d% rolls since they don't clash with the skill system.
Steve


I totally agree with this. I like the idea of the d% for things that others just can't do (it's like Thieves are the only ones allowed to have %dice on the table :) ) but they should really take sneak & hide out of the % table (i'm not sure about climb, since you could think of it as a different skill - like mmmh a sort of climb speed in 3E, only here the thief has a basic % chance of succeeding, and with only 1/100 chance of "fumble", compared to 5/20 of everybody else)

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 Post subject: Re: Reflex vs Agility, Skills vs Thief Skills
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:52 am 
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Well, the opposed rolls vs static checks is to distingish between listining for some one trying to avoid detection and trying to hear someone that is just walking normally down the hallway.

Also, hide in shadows and move silently are not simple stealth skills. Hide in shadows is not trying to hide in a bush or under a table or behind a try, it is stepping into the shadows and essentially becoming invisible, which is why it is not an opposed check, and which is why it is difficult to do at low level. Same with move silently. Move silently lets you move without making any noise, and thus, no chanch of being detected by listining, which is different from trying to move quietly and hoping others do not hear you. Same with climb sheer walls. The idea is the thief has a chanch to climb surfaces that are nearly impossible for any other person to climb, and thus is more then a simple climb check based on strength. In this way, the thief skills are almost extraordinary. They represent an ability to do very special things, not just being good at sneaking around. Removing these and just letting them have a bonus at stealth checks means taking away their special thief skills and just saying that they can do what other classes can do, just a little better. I think its way cooler that they have these really cool abilities. I hated how in 3.x and 4th ed you had non thief classes doing thief skills because they took a feat or took on level of thief so they could get the thief class skills and all of a sudden fighters are disarming traps and rangers are running around being almost as sneaky as a thief, even though they are traditionally a fighter type class. Don't get ride of these abilities, and don't underestimate what they can really allow a thief to do. I

(also, with regards to the low chanches of success for some of these skills, it dose say in the book that situational modifiers apply, and thus a thief might get a bonus or penalty to open a lock representing that not all locks are equal).

I really, really hope the thief isnt gutted of his special thief abilitis, given a ramped up sneak attack damage to compensate, and made into a 4th ed dnd "striker"! A thief is not a melee striker, they are a THIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!


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