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Offline vbwyrde  
#1 Posted : Sunday, January 13, 2013 1:38:00 PM(UTC)
vbwyrde

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Proposed change to standardize and improve how Difficulty Levels may be set:

Setting Difficulty Levels (DL) for Skills (and Mystic Powers) can be done according to the following guideline as a default.

Helpers - those that are helpful to friends, and desired by the effected parties to succeed.

DL = Base Skill Level (the SLP or MLP it costs to learn)
Uses / Day = Character's Skill Level

Combat - those that do damage or negatively effect another Character using Attack Level and Armor Class.

DL = Defender's Armor Class (or Mystic Armor Class)
Uses / Day = not limited

Mental- those that effect or rely on the effected character's mind (such as Diplomacy, Lying, Hypnosis).

DL = Effected Character's Wisdom Requisite
Uses / Day = Character's Wisdom Requisite OR Character's Skill Level ?

Dexterity vs. Opponents - those that overcome an opponent's dexterity (such as picking pockets).

DL = Effected Character's Dexterity Requisite
Uses / Day = Character's Dexterity Requisite OR Character's Skill Level ?

Strength vs. Opponents - those that overcome a character's strength (such as holding a door closed).

DL = Effected Character's Strength Requisite
Uses / Day = Character's Strength Requisite OR Character's Skill Level ?

GM Fiat - those that deal with overcoming terrain and obstacles (such as swimming across a river, climbing a cliff)

DL = GM Fiat (the GM will decide what the Difficulty Level of specific barriers will be)
Uses / Day = Character's Skill Level

Player Gambit - a skill where the Character can determine the Difficulty Level as a measure of the focus of their effort, and roll that vs their Skill Level (such as Combat Tactics, Medical Healing, etc). The effect result in terms of points will equal the Difficulty Level the Character sets.

DL = Player Decided (1 to Skill Level)
Users / Day = Character Skill Level



The Skills and Mystic Powers should include which type it is in the description. Exceptions to these default rules can be assigned on a per Skill basis in the description as well.

Also, it has been noted that Skills do not consume any points, as Mystic Powers do, and therefore they are 'cost free'. One obvious thought is to have Skills cost Life Points to use, but that's too horrible. Another thought, therefore is to limit the number of times a Skill can be used, thus forcing the player to consider it's usage more carefully. As a default rule, how about this: Skills can be used the number of times per day of the Character's Skill Level at using the skill? I'm not sure how well that would work for all skills, however. For example, Medium Weapons. The limitation would mean the character can only fight their Skill Level with a medium weapon that number of times per day. Obviously that's problematic. Another possibility along those lines, however, might be that the value is set on the basis of the type of Difficulty Level. Those values have been put in the above list as a first draft on the idea. Thoughts?

Another factor to keep in mind is that the Difficulty Level is the number of experience points the skill will earn when used successfully.

What do you think are it's advantages / disadvantages of this proposal? Do you have any suggestions?
Offline grimjester  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, January 16, 2013 8:57:00 PM(UTC)
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It's a bit late, but I'll make two comments:

This needed to be done, and is an excellent start.

Several of these use limitations don't make sense to me. Stat requisites and skill levels seem very artificial.

I would suggest the following:

Some skills/powers add +1 DL per failed attempt. This represents frustration, loss of confidence, or making something worse.

Some skills/powers cannot be attempted again in a situation. Certain things simply fail such as lying or diplomacy. I am very biased against diplomacy rolls because they have the potential to ruin a story, and a bad roll should not destroy a great speaker and a great roll should not save a horrible speaker.

Time can be used to limit uses. Attempting the action may take 1 minute, 10 minutes, an hour or a day.

Materials could be consumed. Cooking would be a clear example (Burnt food).

A mystic point cost or life point cost could be used as limits. Even if using mp for skills doesn't fit with your idea of how they should be spent, another DM may want this. I can also think of interesting powers/skills that would spend life points such as Power Lift, or Death Blow.
Offline vbwyrde  
#3 Posted : Thursday, January 17, 2013 3:13:00 AM(UTC)
vbwyrde

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Originally Posted by: grimjester Go to Quoted Post
It's a bit late, but I'll make two comments:

This needed to be done, and is an excellent start.


Thank you for the suggestion. This will definitely help to standardize the skills, and make it easier to maintain them going forward for myself and other GMs. I'm almost thinking of making these part of the system and providing dropdowns for them. That way it will make it easier for the GM to build new skills, though what to do with ones the GM decides to completely over ride? I guess I could put N/A in the list and let them write it in the description. But for now I'm just putting "DL Type: Player Gambit." etc in the description which is fine for now. We want to test it out for a while I think.

Quote:

Several of these use limitations don't make sense to me. Stat requisites and skill levels seem very artificial.


Which limitations don't make sense? They can be adjusted. I think though that rolling against requisites, especially wisdom in the case of mental skills, makes sense. The same is true for trials of strength, such as wrestling, or Dexterity. So when competing with another character it seems to make sense to roll vs. their Stat. Lets take a mental skill like Hypnosis... if rolling vs. the Wisdom is artificial, what do you recommend? Same question for Skill Levels.

Quote:

I would suggest the following:

Some skills/powers add +1 DL per failed attempt. This represents frustration, loss of confidence, or making something worse.


Why not make that a general rule that applies to all skills unless otherwise specified? It makes sense to me.

Quote:

Some skills/powers cannot be attempted again in a situation. Certain things simply fail such as lying or diplomacy. I am very biased against diplomacy rolls because they have the potential to ruin a story, and a bad roll should not destroy a great speaker and a great roll should not save a horrible speaker.


I think the number of tries rule would handle this. No? As for things like lying and diplomacy retries... I don't have a problem with it. Sometimes people lie, it sounds bad, they self correct, the other person raises an eyebrow, they lie again, this time more convincingly, the person shrugs and accepts it. That happens in real life, I've seen it. The same, I'm sure is true for Diplomacy. As for the saving or destroying the speaker... this is a really philosophical question actually, and one that is widely debated in RPG circles. Should the Player's cleverness trump the Character's requisite? Or vice versa? I tend towards the view that the Character's requisites and skills are primary. So a dumb player who is playing a Wizard does not have to figure out how to solve a particular riddle in the game for his character to figure it out. He rolls for it. "Does my Character figure it out?". Same principal for diplomacy and speeches. But again, this is a widely debated topic. I simply have my preference. Other GMs will go the other way with it. Adjudication is preferred I think.

Quote:

Time can be used to limit uses. Attempting the action may take 1 minute, 10 minutes, an hour or a day.

Materials could be consumed. Cooking would be a clear example (Burnt food).


Yup. But is it necessary? Adjudication could handle this by the GM. "Hermel wants to make the ultra fancy Dragon Basket using his Weaving Skill? It will take 4 hours." Since every skill and every attempt may be variable in that regard based on conditions and circumstances, I'm ok with it be adjudicated. While I very much like the idea of standardizing the skills rules, the level of detail should be kept simple, I think, so it doesn't become completely rules focused. That is where adjudication is useful

Quote:

A mystic point cost or life point cost could be used as limits. Even if using mp for skills doesn't fit with your idea of how they should be spent, another DM may want this. I can also think of interesting powers/skills that would spend life points such as Power Lift, or Death Blow.


Since Feats and Kung Fu are already our go-to skills for Mystic Points Usage (we already implemented that idea in Kung Fu Skills, and Feats), I'm not sure I want to add a "You also use up Life Points" too. Not sure. Have to think that one over. Maybe.

Ok, awesome as always! Thanks Chris!
Offline vbwyrde  
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:53:00 AM(UTC)
vbwyrde

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Some additional verbiage:

Some Skills, such as Kung Fu Skills and Heroic Feats, can use Mystic Points to augment the Skill’s effect, range, or duration, or specific Character Stats, depending on the Skill. For Offensive Skills that allow the Character to add Mystic Points to damage, the rate is +1 Damage / 2 Mystic Points added. For non-damage related and Helper Skills the Bonus rate is +1 / 1 Mystic Point added. The maximum number of Mystic Points that can be added to any Skill is the Character Level. The default cost in MP for any Mystic based Skill is the SLP of the Skill. If that cost is higher than the amount of MP the Character has to spend, then the Skill cannot be used successfully. These rules apply to all pertinent Skills unless otherwise specified in the description.
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