Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Varulv
Shrew
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:16 pm

Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby Varulv » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:10 pm

From CRB page 59:
Opposed Checks: If two or more Travellers are opposing one another directly in a task, or if a Traveller is directly opposing a non-player character, an opposed check is made. Both Travellers or characters make their task checks as normal, with the winner being the character with the highest Effect.

Example: Two characters both with DM 0 makes an opposed check with task difficulty Average (8+). There are (as I see it) five possible outcomes and it is the last one (failure vs failure) that is bugging me. I will list all five to make it easier to follow the way I think, perhaps I have misunderstood something.

Success vs failure
Character A rolls 11 / effect +3 (success)
Character B rolls 05 / effect -3 (failure).
A succeeds and B fails plus A has higher effect: A wins.

Success vs success
Character A rolls 11 / effect +3 (success)
Character B rolls 10 / effect +2 (success).
Both A and B succeeds but A has higher effect: A wins.

Success vs success (draw)
Character A rolls 11 / effect +3 (success)
Character B rolls 11 / effect +3 (success).
Both A and B succeeds but their effects are equal: Inconclusive.

Failure vs failure (draw)
Character A rolls 5 / effect -3 (failure)
Character B rolls 5 / effect -3 (failure).
Both A and B fails and their effects are equal: Inconclusive.

Failure vs failure
Character A rolls 5 / effect -3 (failure)
Character B rolls 4 / effect -4 (failure).
Both A and B fails but A has a higher effect: Inconclusive since both failed, or A wins since A has higher effect?

I have interpreted the last case as inconclusive by arguing (with myself) that “since you failed you cannot win”, but I do not feel totally comfortable with that conclusion.

What do you say?
Reynard
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 3102
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:03 pm

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby Reynard » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:42 pm

My interpretation, you still must succeed, in this case, by rolling 8 or better. Having the higher effect is a tiebreaker.
ochd
Mongoose
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:33 am
Location: Wantage, Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby ochd » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:19 pm

This hasn't come up in my game as yet, but I would rule that A 'wins' since A has the higher effect. But I would narrate the result in a way that reflects that both rolls in themselves were failures.

For example, if the opposed rolls were to determine the outcome of a sporting contest, A wins because B scored an own goal rather than because A succeeded in hitting the back of the net. Or if A is trying to sneak up on B in a forest, A steps on a twig but because B is chuckling at something on his mobile comm at the time, A still manages to surprise B.

Dan.
Cpt.Future
Weasel
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:10 pm
Location: Near Munich
Contact:

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby Cpt.Future » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:30 pm

Hello.

Same as Reynard.

Try to make sense of it storywise:

1) If both characters fight each other in a duell with, let‘s say sabres, both characters miss - one even more than the other. Still, both miss, thus both fail and therefore the character missing with the better effect does not win the this particular trading of blows.

2) But what, if the pc tries to convince the police officer that he has nothing to do with the wrong papers of his ship? He fails to convince the officer, but the officer fails to look through the lies and misunderstands everything - so what does the officer understand, and how does he react to it?

In the end I propose that you try to find a solution not only based on the results of the roles, but especially on the input you receive from the gamers (, which by no means means that you should ignore the dice roll result at all...).

Best wishes!
Cpt. Future
„Space, Miss Lander, is huge and holds many miracles.“
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2821
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:34 pm

Varulv wrote: Failure vs failure
Character A rolls 5 / effect -3 (failure)
Character B rolls 4 / effect -4 (failure).
Both A and B fails but A has a higher effect: Inconclusive since both failed, or A wins since A has higher effect?
I would say both failed.

I might let the character with the higher effect keep the difference in Effect (+1) as a DM for next round?
ShawnDriscoll
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:35 pm

Varulv wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:10 pm
Failure vs failure
Character A rolls 5 / effect -3 (failure)
Character B rolls 4 / effect -4 (failure)
They both failed their tasks. But one is scraping the bottom of the barrel first, sort of thing. I would need to know what the situation was (some context), and what tasks that each was trying, to give a concrete descriptive answer.
arcador
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:34 pm

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby arcador » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:21 pm

We play it simple - whoever gets the higher score, wins; with some rare exceptions.
NOLATrav
Mongoose
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:42 pm

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby NOLATrav » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:47 am

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:34 pm
Varulv wrote: Failure vs failure
Character A rolls 5 / effect -3 (failure)
Character B rolls 4 / effect -4 (failure).
Both A and B fails but A has a higher effect: Inconclusive since both failed, or A wins since A has higher effect?
I would say both failed.

I might let the character with the higher effect keep the difference in Effect (+1) as a DM for next round?
I do this as well. Failure is failure but less failure usually helps in opposed checks. Depends on the situation. Possibly invoke Boon/Bane for next round depending on the role playing.
ShawnDriscoll
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 2691
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:41 am

Two Travellers fighting each other, standing high up over a vat of acid. They both fall from the beam they are perched on, because they both got crit-fail rolls, etc. One Traveller's arm lands in the acid, burning it. The Traveller with the lower Effect belly flops, and is completely submerged in the acid.
steve98052
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 610
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:13 am
Location: near Seattle

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby steve98052 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:14 pm

There are a lot of possibilities in opposed checks, depending on success or failure, margin of success or failure, and whether the contest allows for both to succeed or failure.

The big difference is whether it is possible for both to succeed or both to fail. (There may be cases where both can fail but only one can succeed, or vice-versa.) So, if both can succeed or fail, these are the possibilities:
  1. Greater success vs lesser success: both succeed but one does better.
  2. Success by equal margins: both succeed.
  3. Success vs failure: success clearly comes out ahead.
  4. Failure by equal margins: both fail.
  5. Lesser failure vs worse failure: both fail but one does worse.
Business negotiations offer some good examples of these. Consider a labor-management dispute:
  1. Labor gets a nice boost in pay, benefits, and working conditions. Management pleases customers by looking like a benevolent company, and pleases shareholders with a stock price increase. One side gains more on the deal though.
  2. As "1", but neither side clearly comes out ahead.
  3. Labor wins pay, benefits, and working conditions, and management ends up with bad publicity and a share price decline.
    Or management responds by firing everyone who went on strike, and hiring replacement workers who are competent but paid less.
  4. A long strike forces the company to the brink of bankruptcy. The company loses lots of business, and employees have to accept pay and benefit cuts to keep their jobs.
  5. Labor loses worse: another company exploits the dispute by buying the company for cheap, forcing out most of the management (but they're still rich), and cutting pay and benefits.
    Management does worse: top management convinced of illegal labor practices, but workers have to accept deep cuts to keep their jobs.
A combat example of both sides succeeding might be a shootout between unarmed combatants with heavy duty grenade launchers. If both hit, they're both dead, so by the customary play of combat, a "both succeed" roll really means both fail, and both missing by a sufficient margin really means both succeed in surviving. In story game style play, and "both succeed" roll might mean both sides miss by enough that they're still alive.

If one side must prevail, things can be a bit more complicated, and may require some referee judgment. Here's one way to play it:
  1. Greater success vs lesser success: both succeed but one does better and prevails.
  2. Success by equal margins: both succeed, but re-roll to determine who prevails and by how much. Alternatively, both succeed, but resolution is inconclusive and the contest continues.
  3. Success vs failure: success clearly comes out ahead.
  4. Failure by equal margins: both fail, but see "b".
  5. Lesser failure vs worse failure: both fail but one does worse, sothe other prevails.
For example, consider a game of darts:
  1. Both get bullseyes, but one player's darts are clearly closer to the center.
  2. Both get bullseyes, and they flip a coin to decide who buys the next round of beers. Or maybe the bartender is so impressed to see that many darts in the bullseye that they get a round on the house.
  3. One player gets all the darts on the target and the other misses the target completely.
  4. Neither hit the target at all, so they go another round.
  5. One fails to hit the target; the other drops a dart on his foot.
Stainless
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:42 am
Location: South West UK

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby Stainless » Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:27 pm

If you rule simply that the one with the largest effect wins, regardless of making the target number or not, then it means that on average the person with the highest modifiers wins. So you might as well not roll the dice; just add up the modifiers. But that would go against he intent of having an uncertain outcome. Thus, the roll, and so the success or not, must be a feature of determining who wins. The modifiers do indeed help, but they don't fully determine the outcome. So I would argue that the largest effect rule is nested within the logic of success/failure of the rolls. That logic will be event-specific, so will need some interpreting by the GM. SOme examples of this have been given above.
ochd
Mongoose
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:33 am
Location: Wantage, Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby ochd » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:25 am

Some replies above mention combat examples, but just to be clear -- combat rolls are not opposed checks, right? I've not been doing it wrong all this time :shock:
NOLATrav
Mongoose
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:42 pm

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby NOLATrav » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:01 am

Certain melee combat tasks such as parrying or grappling could be opposed checks but no, most combat tasks are not.
ochd
Mongoose
Posts: 130
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:33 am
Location: Wantage, Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby ochd » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:25 am

Actually, I'm forgetting vehicle combat. Dogfighting, for example, does use opposed checks.

In personal combat, though, it's just grappling -- not parrying.

Dan.
NOLATrav
Mongoose
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:42 pm

Re: Opposed Checks – Need help with rule interpretation

Postby NOLATrav » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:33 pm

Yep, you're right, my mistake.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 guests