Success Probability Too High?

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Piperdog
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Success Probability Too High?

Postby Piperdog » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:00 pm

Ok, maybe it is or maybe it isn't, but have you guys ever felt the probability for success is too high in RQII/Legend? My entire group finally, as a whole, started my new campaign with the Legend system. Keep in mind they are from Gurps and Warhammer Fantasy backgrounds. A couple of the guys thought that having 60%+ in any skill for a starting character was ludicrous, pointing out how easy it was to parry or hit with these numbers...and being frustrated by enemies parrying a lot too. One of them pointed out that in Warhammer, starting out with a 40% in WS(weapon skill) was incredible. And in Gurps, the percentage chance to parry is lower, not to mention halved when using big weapons.

I have started rethinking character creation, and possibly reducing the amount of free points, and adding a skill level cap for the start of play, perhaps influenced slightly by culture and occupation.

Thoughts?
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby danskmacabre » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:13 pm

Depends on the type of character you're playing and the campaign style you have.
Some characters in my Elric campaign have high weapon skills but at the cost of other abilities.

RPGs and combat in general isn't just about how well you can hit each other.
MRQ2 has a quite detailed combat system with the various CMs available.
Also, some rolls in combat are opposed as well, which puts another twist on things.

I suppose if you're just standing in front of each other hitting each other it might seem that way, but for games I have run it rarely if ever comes down to just that. A lot can happen in a MRQ2 combat and often does.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Redcrow » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:35 am

I think starting with a 60%+ skill in a combat style is just fine for a beginning fighter type. My experience has been that all but a few skills are far too low for beginning characters. A fighter is likely to have a high combat style score, a sorceror will start out decent at magic, etc., but most of the skills outside those are likely to start out rather low which seems a little odd for a list labeled "common skills".

Its not at all uncommon for a fighter type to start out knowing more about his chosen combat style than the culture from which he/she learned it.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Mixster » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:07 am

However, unlike WFRP you make 2-4 attacks in each round, whereas in WFRP you wont be doing that many.
When you are at more than 100% in Legend, you opponents skill is diminished in opposed tasks, thus it becomes harder to parry again.
When your opponent runs out of CA, he can't parry and is at your mercy.

Also, you should note that WFRP is a system that is based an incredible amount on luck, as a DM I had a group of 6 characters, at the end of their 1st career be totally desecrated by an equal number of wights. While 2 characters mid first career took on 3 centigors, a minotaur, 3 ungors and 2 gors pretty easily. Battles in WFRP are much too often decided on a flunked parry followed by an Ulric's Fury.

If you wanted a max chance that someone succeeded at hitting, you could change the opposed skills over 100% rule to be 80% or whatever you wanted it to, I do however advise against going under 75% because somebody who's very trained missing one in 4 times is a bit odd.
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daxos232
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby daxos232 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:42 pm

You also have to remember that MRQ2 isn't all about combat. There's lots of other things to do like trade, diplomacy, outdoor survival, and intrigue.

My group also has some pretty high weapon skills, but not much else. If you put a lot of points into your weapon skills then you don't have much to put in your other skills.

Your players might get tired easily, get lost in the woods, lose a simple trail, easily become ill, get ripped off in the markets, robbed, lied to, and fail negotiations.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby PhilHibbs » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:47 pm

Piperdog wrote:Ok, maybe it is or maybe it isn't, but have you guys ever felt the probability for success is too high in RQII/Legend? My entire group finally, as a whole, started my new campaign with the Legend system. Keep in mind they are from Gurps and Warhammer Fantasy backgrounds. A couple of the guys thought that having 60%+ in any skill for a starting character was ludicrous, pointing out how easy it was to parry or hit with these numbers
Does WFRP have parrying or dodge/evade, either passive (like Defense in Chaosium RQ1&2) or active (like evade or parry in MRQ)?
sdavies2720
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby sdavies2720 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:53 pm

The balance and feel here is different than some other games:
  • Characters (generally) start out with higher success chances in skills they care about.
  • Advancement is typically slower, or feels slower, in RQ-type systems
  • The meaning of those higher percentages don't always mean the same thing.
  • Especially in combat, the meaning of success is different. It's pretty well encapsulated in "Wow, my sword skill is too high...wait, he parries me too often."
There's a mindset change required to 'get' that the 60% sword skill (or 60% Perception skill) doesn't translate into 60% chance of harming the opponent, or 60% chance of hearing everything.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Fonso » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:13 pm

PhilHibbs wrote:
Does WFRP have parrying or dodge/evade, either passive (like Defense in Chaosium RQ1&2) or active (like evade or parry in MRQ)?
If I remember correctly, active too.
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PhilHibbs
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby PhilHibbs » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:08 pm

Fonso wrote:
PhilHibbs wrote:
Does WFRP have parrying or dodge/evade, either passive (like Defense in Chaosium RQ1&2) or active (like evade or parry in MRQ)?
If I remember correctly, active too.
So in order to compare a % skill in RQ vs a % skill in WFRP, you need to figure out how these interact with each other. RQ has "high" chances to hit, but also high chances to evade. How is that different to WFRP having "low" chances to hit and evade? Does it make a difference if, in one system you are failing to hit and failiing to evade, and in the other you are successfully hitting but also successfully evading?

I always thought the skill levels were too low in WFRP anyway. :P

In Elric!, if you don't have a skill at 100% then you are an amateur. That makes sense from a certain point of view - if, in the normal course of events, you have a significant chance of messing up your core professional craft, then you are not yet fit to call yourself a craftsman. If you ask a builder to fit your kitchen, how impressed would you be if they rolled a 67 and said "Sorry, I made a mess of it, I can't fit this kitchen"?

And if you say, "Well that's easy so you get a +40", what's the difference between a system that gives you 80% skill with no bonus for easy tasks, and a system that gives you 40% skill but gives easy tasks a +40 bonus?
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Deleriad » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:15 pm

Well generally players of WFRP (1 and 2e) complain about whiffing which is why those games have all sorts of positive modifiers to bump up the chance of success. Notice that RQII has removed a lot of situational modifiers from previous editions so that most times you roll against the number on the character sheet not the number plus modifier.

In RQII, two people with 70% each in their combat skills are likely to find that most fights end in 1 to 2 rounds at most because the first unparried hit tends to sway the balance of the fight so much that it's hard to recover from.

The general rule of thumb is that someone who has just spent say 3 years working as a mercenary is pretty good at mercenary stuff.

You can start PCs off with lower skills if desired but then it becomes the game of bad comedy incompetence.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Piperdog » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:47 pm

Thanks for all the things you pointed out, guys. It definitely gives me a new perspective on it.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby duncan_disorderly » Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:17 am

PhilHibbs wrote: I always thought the skill levels were too low in WFRP anyway. :P
I think any game where you fail more often than you succeed is one where I feel the skill levels are too low (and the way I often roll, that can include a RQ 60% skill...) - I reckon that 60-80% skill is the optimal range - success is likely but not guaranteed
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Mugen » Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:45 pm

No matter what the game system is, I like the idea that when facing a task with a difficulty appropriate to your skill level, your success chance should be roughly 60%.

That is, a beginner should have ~60% chance to beat an easy task. The same for an intermediate character facing a medium difficulty task, and an expert facing a difficult task.

In my view, most MRQ2 characters are beginners to intermediate in most skills, and intermediate to expert in the most specialized ones.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Mixster » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:34 pm

duncan_disorderly wrote:
PhilHibbs wrote: I always thought the skill levels were too low in WFRP anyway. :P
I think any game where you fail more often than you succeed is one where I feel the skill levels are too low (and the way I often roll, that can include a RQ 60% skill...) - I reckon that 60-80% skill is the optimal range - success is likely but not guaranteed
I actually think it's ok, in WFRP the actions are supposed to be pretty fast. And you can almost always re-try, so if you need to open the heavy stone door in 3-4 seconds, it's only 30% chance to succeed (A normal strength test) and if you re-try it until succeed, you'll probably do so in ~20 seconds.
However, combats get very annoying because there's a bunch of rolls where you just roll dice for the sake of rolling dice.
Oh and at the higher levels, where skills actually get to about 70% monsters need 3 attacks to be effective.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Lord Kruge » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:06 pm

The OP does have a point. Good stats get you 30+, plus 10 for background plus 10 for profession plus 30 for free points and we're looking at 80+. Keep in mind this is still a character below 21 years of age. I know some cultures will produce an absolute badass by 21, but not everyone is a Cimmerian, Spartan or Cheyenne. :mrgreen:

If you did want to reduce it a bit, instead of reducing the number of free points, I would force more rounded characters by capping the skills at 65% total or by allowing only 20% per skill at start.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Dan True » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:50 am

Lord Kruge wrote:The OP does have a point. Good stats get you 30+, plus 10 for background plus 10 for profession plus 30 for free points and we're looking at 80+. Keep in mind this is still a character below 21 years of age. I know some cultures will produce an absolute badass by 21, but not everyone is a Cimmerian, Spartan or Cheyenne. :mrgreen:

If you did want to reduce it a bit, instead of reducing the number of free points, I would force more rounded characters by capping the skills at 65% total or by allowing only 20% per skill at start.
You could cap it, or if you wan't the characters to be more "ordinary people", you could also demand they get at least 2-4 skills that makes sense from their former life - craft skills, fishing, farming etc, perhaps at least one from their chosen profession.
I think most people would be an absolute badass (given the stats) at age 21 if they did nothing their whole youths than train the combat-relevant skills. However, most ordinary people did simply not have the spare time to train these things, or the interest, the facilities etc. most ordinary children probably didn't even have time to play very much after they reached 5-6 years of age as they could be put to work, which would further damage their ability to be extraordinary in anything particular other than their daily work.

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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Mugen » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:14 am

Personnally, I like the idea that a beginning character can have skills of 80%+. Given the nature of MRQ2 system, I hardly consider characters under 100% as "badasses".

My only concern is perhaps with Sorcery (and to a lesser extent Divine magic), where the benefits of a higher skill are exponential.

I mean having a good combat skill only gives you better odds of landing a blow or parrying. It does not change the damage your sword deals.

In the opposite, a Sorcerer with a 40% Grimoire is capable of doing 1d4 damage with a Wrack spell, whereas another with 80% deals 1d8.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby PhilHibbs » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:11 pm

Dan True wrote:You could cap it, or if you wan't the characters to be more "ordinary people", you could also demand they get at least 2-4 skills that makes sense from their former life - craft skills, fishing, farming etc, perhaps at least one from their chosen profession.
If you want to change the creation system to give more profession skill points and fewer free points, then do that. I think the balance is right as it is.
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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Dan True » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:35 pm

PhilHibbs wrote: If you want to change the creation system to give more profession skill points and fewer free points, then do that. I think the balance is right as it is.
I do to. But yeah, your way of handling it makes more sense.

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Re: Success Probability Too High?

Postby Mixster » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:19 pm

Mugen wrote:Personnally, I like the idea that a beginning character can have skills of 80%+. Given the nature of MRQ2 system, I hardly consider characters under 100% as "badasses".

My only concern is perhaps with Sorcery (and to a lesser extent Divine magic), where the benefits of a higher skill are exponential.

I mean having a good combat skill only gives you better odds of landing a blow or parrying. It does not change the damage your sword deals.

In the opposite, a Sorcerer with a 40% Grimoire is capable of doing 1d4 damage with a Wrack spell, whereas another with 80% deals 1d8.
Huh, magic really isn't more exponential than combat in Runequest.
Yeah, sure when you increase your grimoire both your chance to cast it, and the damage increases. But when you increase your combat style, you also increase your defensive ability, and the chance that opposed rolls, such as trips, disarms or bleeds will succeed.

So both of these are most certainly linear.
PhilHibbs wrote:
Dan True wrote:You could cap it, or if you wan't the characters to be more "ordinary people", you could also demand they get at least 2-4 skills that makes sense from their former life - craft skills, fishing, farming etc, perhaps at least one from their chosen profession.
If you want to change the creation system to give more profession skill points and fewer free points, then do that. I think the balance is right as it is.
I completely agree, in most worlds, there are actually people who specialize in magic or war. And it would be natural that such a person did not have the profession skills. Even then, some people might be worse off on some professions than others, yet in most settings there isn't a choice of profession, your character might have been a farmer once (because his father was), but it's not certain he learned the trade well if he never really liked it.
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