I had sort of made a bit of a commitment to not rules bashing so much this year. I want to concentrate on adventure creation, with an aim of assisting new players and GMs when RMu arrives, and highlighting really cool tweaks that could be learned from other games. That is where my Zwei series is coming from and HARP before that.
It was Hurin talking about 3d10-15 on the superior power level thread, over there, that made me think. Hurin finished one post with “and it gets rid of another chart” or words to that effect.
Now I was thinking about skills a lot in the last couple of weeks. Gabe’s VsD contributed a bit, Spectre has been proofing and editing my Wild West game and that contributed a bit and of course Hurin as contributed a bit.
The standard Absolute Maneuver chart looks like this.
But I cannot think of a single Absolute Maneuver. Perception rolls? Well you will hear it eventually if the thing is getting closer, or not if the sound has passed. If you are looking for something then you will find it eventually if you keep looking or not if you run out of time and give up.
Picking Locks? Well given enough time you will pick that lock it is more just case of can you pick it in the timeframe of the adventure, the approaching guards or before the fighter smacks the hinges in with a mace.
I did think that adrenal moves may be absolute but it makes so much sense that sometimes you may need more than 5 seconds to get in the zone or for things like balance or adrenal landing it could take more than 5 seconds to recover your equilibrium after the event.
The Percentage Maneuver table has the same pass mark and the Absolute but without the grade boundaries of success, partial and failure etc.
But this the real insight. The Percentage Maneuver table makes starting out characters MORE capable.
Think of it this way…. There is a locked door (lock quality Medium +0) at one end of the corridor, the PCs are trapped in front of it and approaching them from the other end are a bunch of Goblins.
The thief sets to work on the lock and has a skill of +17, he is afterall 1st level. He rolls a 50 the first round, total 67. Under the old rules the result is:
You fail the maneuver and must pay the consequences. Hopefully this wasn’t a life or death situation.
Actually it was life or death and the entire party dies. The End.
Under the Percentage Maneuver idea the result becomes 60% complete so the GM tells the player that a couple of tumblers fall into place, keep working. The Goblins arrive and the fighters start a desperate defence.
Round 2 the thief makes a second roll and any roll over a 24 will open the lock. The thief throws open the door and ushers some of the other characters out. The fighters fight on for another round and then in the third round, risking opportunity attacks, turn and flee.
That is a much more dramatic situation. Maybe a character died in the three rounds of combat, maybe they didn’t. Is the thief the hero for getting the door open?
Percentage Maneuvers just mean that everything takes longer if you are not very good at it but you will get there eventually.
If there is an Absolute success/failure skill test that I have not thought of it doesn’t make a difference the pass/fail threshold for Absolute and Percentage are identical 101+.
We do not need the Absolute Maneuver table. Also for most things we don’t need to use the Percentage one either at the actual gaming table. The result is your total roll rounded down to the nearest 10. It is only when you need to over achieve, results over 100%, or critically fail, that the actual roll is important.
I have started a thread on the forums about this table. I also think that the results over 130 should be more in line with Action Points so if you spent 4AP picking a lock but roll phenomenally then the result should leave you with some APs remaining. The table results of 110 or 120 etc do not translate well into APs.