Ability Checks

For DCC RPG rules discussion. Includes rules questions and ideas, new rules suggestions, homebrews and hacks, conversions to other systems, and everything else rules-related.

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, finarvyn, michaelcurtis, Harley Stroh

Post Reply
Enoch
Ill-Fated Peasant
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:10 pm

Ability Checks

Post by Enoch » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:06 am

For ability checks that aren't limited to a specific individual, such as the DC 12 Intelligence check to notice scorch marks in the Portal Under the Stars adventure, do you let every character make a check? It seems a little useless to me--what are the odds that 15-20 characters are likely to fail that check, even if they have low Intelligence? Or do you limit it to the character with the highest odds of making it? Or something else?

DrBargle
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:59 am
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: Ability Checks

Post by DrBargle » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:05 am

These days, when running an Old School game, I try to give the players enough information to make an interesting decision. There's no player skill or choice involved into walking into a room, the description of which gave them nothing to go on, and having their PCs wiped out by a trap.

As you say, If you roll for everyone, it may as well be an auto-success anyway - and that isn't a bad thing. 20 pairs of eyes and someone is going to spot the scorch marks which the lone adventurer might miss. The problem is that the guys that spot the scorch marks are under no obligation to tell their fellow dungeoneers anything - and in a low-level game of wealth by attrition, might not want to!

Enoch
Ill-Fated Peasant
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Ability Checks

Post by Enoch » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:11 am

Ahh, gotcha. So you tell the successful adventurers privately, or slip them a note or something, and let them decide whether to share it.

DrBargle
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:59 am
Location: Cardiff, Wales
Contact:

Re: Ability Checks

Post by DrBargle » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:27 am

No, my style would just be to tell the group, in order to facilitate player choice/skill. But that is coming from classic D&D and the various OSR clones and similar. DCC RPG descent from a version of the game that is more skill-based complicates things, even if DCC RPG itself isn't skill-based. The thing is, by restricting the information available - assuming everyone failed their ability checks - what avenues for player choice/skill remain available? If players can't make choices, they can't really 'play'.

But slipping players notes on successful 'perception' checks would generate a paranoid attitude that would be fun. For a while, at least. Not sure how well it would work in long-term play.

cthulhudarren
Cold-Blooded Diabolist
Posts: 471
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:14 am
Location: Cube Farm of Alien Geometry

Re: Ability Checks

Post by cthulhudarren » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:18 pm

Another question, when making an ability check, do you roll a 1) D20 or 2) 3D6 and compare result to <= your ability score?

User avatar
Skyscraper
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
Posts: 660
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:23 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Ability Checks

Post by Skyscraper » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:45 pm

cthulhudarren wrote:Another question, when making an ability check, do you roll a 1) D20 or 2) 3D6 and compare result to <= your ability score?
d20 (or d24, or d30, or d16)

I prefer the linear statistical evolution of a single die, and the possible failure that comes with 1d20 over 3d6.
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.

User avatar
VengerSatanis
Wild-Eyed Zealot
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:40 am
Location: Sun Prairie, WI
Contact:

Re: Ability Checks

Post by VengerSatanis » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:05 pm

You could have each player make a single perception roll instead of each character making 3 or 4 separate rolls. You lose a little realism, but then it fails to be an auto-success when 12 - 15 are trying. Of course, with one player roleplaying several characters, those characters are going to know (out of game) what the others are thinking. Not too many players will pit one of his characters against the other.

Assuming you wanted to foster a competitive atmosphere, how would you go about seeding that into a campaign, adventure, or even character creation?

VS

Post Reply

Return to “Rules discussion”