Quest For Chevar and Attack and Defense Checks (+)

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm curious about folks' experiences with games that have players roll for most action resolution, or all.

Checks In General: Success ladder with Total Failure, Mitigated Failure, Complicated Success, Total Success, and finally, Critical Success. Checks are 1d12 Action Die plus 1 or more Rank Dice, which are drawn from a skill plus a specialty. At chargen, the most you can add to a check in rank dice is 4 dice, due to being restricted to 2 ranks per skill or specialty. The target numbers are set to ensure that most checks made with 1-4 ranks will fall toward the middle, and thus involve complications and spending resources, but eventually you'll have 5+ ranks in a few skills, and you'll hit Total Success without having to Push the check at all more often. This also means you can try more wild stuff as you level, because a die or two penalty won't jack your chances too much. (complex actions that involve multiple skills or people working together without having trained to do so have dice penalty, reducing the dice pool by 1 to 3 dice)

PC Offense (attack in combat, diplomatic salvo in a social conflict, even a direct action taken to try and solve the questions of an investigation) are rolled as skill checks by the PCs. The fatigue gained from taking an attack is determined by counting a number of dice chosen by the attack from the dice rolled, with the number of dice usually being 1 per degree of success. That is, if you roll a 4 rank attack and get (1d12+4d6) 5+6+2+4+2= 20 for a Total Success, you'd choose 2 dice from that result to count as fatigue dice, in this case almost certainly the 5 and 6, for 11 fatigue. A weapon, spell, martial technique, or other feature, might add a die, or you can spend a point from your limited resource pool to add a die.
If you rolled 3+2+3+1+4=13 for a mitigated failure, you don't confer any fatigue to your target, but you can mitigated that by making an opening for an ally or yourself next round, change the target's "position" (push them out of cover, draw them away from the high ground, line up an ally for a flanking manuever, etc), or something else you work out with the GM. You can also Push the check up one tier to Partial Success or Complicated Success, which means you get what you want but pay a price, or you get only part of what you want.


PC Defense: An NPC targets a PC, or the PC walks into a hazard, reveals a dangerous truth, or otherwise is targeted by danger. The danger has a number of dice associated with it, usually from 1-3, but sometimes 4 or more, and your Defense Check reduces that number by 1 die per tier of success. As above, you can Push, use special abilities, or call upon a Contact or call in a Favor, or even give something else up, to increase the success of the check, and reduce the hazard dice pool by an additional die.

We haven't worked out the kinks yet, as this is a fairly recent idea, but I know that other systems have PCs roll for everything, and I'm curious how others have found it.

So, without crapping on anyone's happiness, lets talk about such systems and what they feel like in play, how easy the are to run and play, etc. Feedback on my own setup is welcome if constructive and not thread crapping.


Just remember that it's a (+) Thread, please.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Black Hack runs like that and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Yeah I really like it so far. What finally put me over on it was that having NPCs roll attacks created weird spots in the rules and redundancies. For weird spots, I don't want too many oddball rules folks have to remember, so having some things PCs defend against be attacks, and some be defense checks, was weird. It also meant I had to keep tinkering with how to derive your passive defense value, especially for non-physical attacks.

Lastly, the game has always had passive and active defense, with active defense being something you pay a limited resource cost to use. You activate it when you want to mitigate an attack's effects, reducing the success of the attack by a number of dice equal to your tier of success, so the same scale as the attack. That's redundant, because I already had the ability to Push a skill check up by one step.

So by switching to defense checks for PCs I get to just have a fatigue value for attacks and hazards on the GM side, and the PCs roll to mitigate, with the ability to Push their defense check up by one by spending an Attribute Point.

I have even found that the various traits and rules that modify attacks and defense either work exactly the same way as before, or are even simpler, now. For instance, since defense is a skill check, armor and protective spells and whatever else can just add a die to your defense check pool or let you reduce incoming fatigue by one die before it's rolled. Defensive counter attack abilities can swing on the axis of the defense check, so the player knowsh if they can use it once they've rolled by seeing their success tier, and don't necessarily need to involve a followup attack skill check. You simply deal damage equal to the difference between what is dealt to you and dice equal to your rate of success. ie, if they start at 3 dice and you reduce it to one by getting total success (which mitigates 2 dice), that leaves 1 die left over on your side that you can deal fatigue equal to as your counter. Spend an AP to add an extra die. The Parry-Riposte technique just got much simpler, and the entire action, from enemy attack to counter attack, resolves with one skill check.
 

Staffan

Legend
My experience with such systems is fairly limited – I've read a few but haven't actually gotten to play any.

The main problem I've seen have been how to handle participants on the "wrong" side – either PVP combat, or NPC allies (or possibly complicated situations with three or more sides). In some systems, this is fairly easy. In Symbaroum for example, the system is actually symmetrical, it just assumes that NPCs roll average so if you for some reason need to have an NPC attack another NPC, you can easily reverse-engineer what the stats would be.

In others, not so much. In Cypher System, for example, everything has a difficulty level, and for a PC to succeed at something they have to roll above or equal to the difficulty level x3 on d20 (modified by traits and expended effort). But there's no way for the system to handle a level 3 creature fighting a level 4 creature other than by fiat saying that the level 4 creature wins – sure, but how long does that take? Does it take any damage while doing so? And so on.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My experience with such systems is fairly limited – I've read a few but haven't actually gotten to play any.

The main problem I've seen have been how to handle participants on the "wrong" side – either PVP combat, or NPC allies (or possibly complicated situations with three or more sides). In some systems, this is fairly easy. In Symbaroum for example, the system is actually symmetrical, it just assumes that NPCs roll average so if you for some reason need to have an NPC attack another NPC, you can easily reverse-engineer what the stats would be.

In others, not so much. In Cypher System, for example, everything has a difficulty level, and for a PC to succeed at something they have to roll above or equal to the difficulty level x3 on d20 (modified by traits and expended effort). But there's no way for the system to handle a level 3 creature fighting a level 4 creature other than by fiat saying that the level 4 creature wins – sure, but how long does that take? Does it take any damage while doing so? And so on.
Great point!

My system does feature NPC allies, both player controlled and not.

My gut says that the allied NPC makes checks like a PC.

NPCs still have skills, and ranks in those skills, which determine how bad it is when you fail to counter them, and sometimes lets them make checks when they aren’t directly interacting with PCs but the outcomes still matters and can be in doubt. It also allows important names NPCs to make checks that might increase the impact of thier actions and make the PC check harder, in turn making those NPCs feel like a bigger deal.
 

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