[Runequest] RQ 6 Failed Athletics

Lawrence Whitaker lawrence.whitaker at gmail.com
Mon Sep 8 22:24:13 EST 2014

As Bruce says, context is crucial. Failing an Athletics roll when trying to
scale an 8' wall isn't going to end your world (necessarily). But failing
an Athletics roll when leaping over an 8' wide chasm is not going to end so

In the case of the latter I'd be getting the character to spend a Luck
point to just manage to catch the precipice on the other side with his
fingertips and now be hanging perilously in the hope that some kind soul
will help him out. On a fumble, well, Good Night Vienna. Unless I was
feeling especially generous and then I might want 2 Luck Points. And

The consequences of success, failure, crit and fumble for any skill are
going to be context-dependent to a very high degree.  It's impossible to
codify every likely context and possible outcome into the skill description.

On 8 September 2014 08:14, Styopa <styopa1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think the point we're getting to here is the "failed climb means you
> didn't fall in a meaningful way at all, or failed to start" seems a little,
> I dunno, harmless.
> Personally, I've always used the climb roll as (vaguely) the first point
> you'd need to make a gut check in real life - anyone can climb a ladder 5',
> but climbing that same latter over a short (but deep) chasm would require a
> climb roll.  So yeah, if someone in my campaign fails a climb roll, it's
> going to be meaningful (not catastrophic, of course, unless the situation
> is very much pass/fail).
> On Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 4:24 AM, Bruce Mason <mason.bruce at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 8 September 2014 03:35, Lev Lafayette <lev at rpgreview.net> wrote:
>>> True, the issue I'm trying to some clarity on is whether one uses "fail
>>> to
>>> jump" (i.e., you freeze, like a failed climb), or "the jump fails" (i.e.,
>>> you don't jump as far as expected).
>> I think that has to be context dependent. The default, as with throw and
>> so on, is presumably that you don't perform up to your potential. You don't
>> jump as far, you don't throw as far, you don't sprint as fast, your dive is
>> not up to its usual standard and so on.
>> The implications of what that means will depend. If you're jumping over a
>> bottomless chasm and you need to jump as far as you possibly can to clear
>> it, then failing for me would be rather more disastrous than having a long
>> jump competition in a sandpit.
>> --
>> The art is pretending it's art, the question is do you need soup.
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Will there be time enough and World for me to sing that song?
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