Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

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loup_garou_gras
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Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:47 pm

First of all I want thank Solomoriah and all of the contributors for organizing BFRPG! It has been a blast playing old school style with my sons. My only regret is not discovering BFRPG sooner, as I may have avoided having a son obsessed with playing 5th edition and Dragonkin. . . . .

My reason for posting is to ask for input on my ideas regarding Skill Checks. I desire a system that would keep old school feel, offer a feeling of skill improvement as characters level, and not require tables to adjudicate checks. I am certainly open to criticisms or any suggestions for other styles.

My first idea was to use a 1d6 base check. Any roll that adds up to 6 or more is successful. Untrained (Attribute) checks would be 1d6 + Attribute Bonus. Trained checks would gain a +2 Bonus. So it would be 1d6 + 2 + Attribute bonus. If 2 + Attribute bonus totals 6 or greater, then roll 2d6 with failure on a total roll of 2 (2.5% chance of failure). I was also considering an additional modifier obtained by adding Character Level – opposing creature HD/Level. It seems like a straightforward system, and the single D6 seems to fit an old school feel, but I wonder if the change to 2d6 is a little cumbersome.

The second idea was to use an Advantage/Disadvantage system. The base chance for success would be a 5 or 6 on 1d6. Instead of adding or subtracting to the individual die roll, you would add additional rolls for advantage or disadvantage. Rolling 5d6 with advantage gives an 87% chance of success and 5d6 with disadvantage gives a less than 1% chance of success. If topping off at 87% seems too low, 6D6 gives a 91% chance of success. This system would seem to lend itself well to using the difference in level/HD as a modifier as well. The probabilities seem like they could track fairly well with the Turn Undead numbers. A question I have, and I certainly don’t know my own answer to this, is should there be a level difference above which the characters should have no chance of success with skill checks. Should a 1st level character have any chance at all to sneak past an adult dragon, for instance? Sorry for the rambling, but I am interested in other’s thoughts.
Seven
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Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:46 am

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by advantage/disadvantage.
That reminds me of Gloomhaven, which doesn't use dice.
Roll all those dice and keep the lower or higher score?

Things like sneaking should always have a chance of success, but it could be very small. There are things that will always fail, but they are more like trying to jump across a 20' chasm.
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PresGas
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Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:58 am

I know I have been trying something I summarized from the old cyclopeatron blog:

https://wikinotes.presgas.name/dokuwiki ... killchecks

It was from 2010 so thought I would put it in my houserules wiki in case the blog got decommed. Still some good gems there and I can't help but encourage a dive.

https://cyclopeatron.blogspot.com/
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in the movie adaptation
of the sequel to your life
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Hosting the OSRIC and Dangerous Dungeons! Wiki:
https://osricwiki.presgas.name/doku.php?id=index

GPG Public Key:
https://keybase.io/robertfreemanday/pgp_keys.asc
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Solomoriah
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Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:08 am

This is not really a materials thread, but more a discussion, so I'm moving this to GD.
My personal site: www.gonnerman.org
loup_garou_gras
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:18 pm

Thank you for your replies. I had so many different ideas and I am struggling to keep it all organized. The Advantage/Disadvantage (from 5th edition) idea is that you roll more than one die, and either you have success if ANY of them roll a 5 or 6(Advantage) or if you roll a 5 or 6 on ALL of them (disadvantage). This is in lieu of adding to or subtracting from the value of an individual die roll. Not sure that rolling a hand full of dice keeps with the OSR aesthetic. But the probabilities scale nicely. I will look at the other recommendations. Thanks again!
loup_garou_gras
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:36 pm

@Seven
I took a look at your suggestions and I like that alot! One thing I have debated about, is should skill checks scale with character level. If you house rule in Ability Score increases, then it happens in a default manner. What are your thoughts on Character Level - opponent Level/HD added as a bonus. So as characters become more powerful, sneaking past kobolds and other low level monsters becomes very easy, and sneaking past more powerful monsters offers a reasonable chance of success? I understand my questions really are landing in the realm of game design philosophy and the intent of the rule. Should we be trying to create rule with a low, intermediate or high probability of success? Should "crunch" override simplicity? Not sure I know how I would answer those or even know what I want.
Seven
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Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:03 am

Honestly, the sneaking thing depends a lot on what the kobolds or other monsters are doing.
I try to predetermine what the monsters in the dungeon are doing. That helps a lot.
You can't sneak past wandering monsters because those are trying to sneak up on you.

In general, I have no need of ability rolls, other than the thief skills. If a character is proficient in something then I assume he's generally successful unless he attempts something really hard. If a player wants to have a hobby, that's great. If he wants to have several of them, he's probably not that good at any of them.

Maybe concrete example would be more helpful?
loup_garou_gras
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:25 pm

I guess mainly looking at knowledge skills. I am trying to keep the amount of bookkeeping set to "medium". So in addition to thieving skills, I have knowledge skills for Nature, Arcana, General History. I also have Survival/Tracking for Rangers. I was also trying to bring the turn undead check under the same umbrella, just to standardize things. I do not dislike tables per se, but my youngest son does LOL. He loves to play, but does not repeatedly read the rules dreaming of character concepts like I did at his age. That being said, I also started playing Basic around 1980. So alot of things were handwaved as "you succeed" or the check was only to make things interesting (Failure should always make things more interesting!!). My sons however, LOVE rolling dice. So I am trying to balance all of these forces to make our "house game" perfect for everyone.
Seven
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Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:36 pm

That's fair. I usually do the rolls behind the screens so the players don't know if they are successful or not, until I narrate what happens.
loup_garou_gras
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:14 pm

Re: Skill Checks (yes, again. . . )(apologies for rambling)

Post Fri Mar 05, 2021 12:40 am

Thanks again for all of the responses. @PresGas I enjoyed digging around on your blog. I finally ended up ditching my two ideas in lieu of using the scaling d6 check (2d6,3d6,4d6 etc.). It keeps all of the ability scores relevant. It offers some crunch. I have also been able to codify the other checks such as detect secret doors, detect traps, and even turn undead under a similar mechanic. Thanks again for the help!
Last edited by loup_garou_gras on Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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