[Runequest] RQ 6 Failed Athletics

Lawrence Whitaker lawrence.whitaker at gmail.com
Thu Sep 11 00:33:09 EST 2014


>
> And that's where the "failed climb roll means you didn't even start" sort
> of disappoints at a gut level.


As Lev quoted in the OP, the entry for Climb under Athletics says that a
failure means that the climb attempt is *aborted *- but this isn't the same
as 'didn't even start'. It will depend on the context. If you're just
beginning an ascent and fail the  roll, then you won't have gained enough
purchase to get your feet off the ground - so, in that context, the climb
wouldn't have started. However, if the ascent means multiple rolls, then a
failed roll means you will stay put for whatever length of time is being
measured between climb attempts. The attempt has, indeed, been aborted and
no progress made.

In this case, a fumble is inconsequentially worse than a failure.


Sorry, but you've completely lost me here. In what context is a fumble
'inconsequentially worse than a failure'? Climbing? Jumping? Parrying? I'm
honestly not clear on your meaning.

Likewise there are rolls where a critical success is nonsensical or
> meaningless.


Again, can you provide some examples? The skills chapter provides a lot of
guidance on what happens with both criticals and fumbles and does, at the
very start, explicitly state that a critical is a spectacular success and a
fumble a miserable failure (whilst also noting that GMs should decide the
specifics). In combat, levels of success are measured against each other to
determine the number and types of Special Effect available. In more mundane
tasks we've tried to provide examples of the consequences for each skill
described so that GMs have a clearer idea of the benefits or consequences
of a crit or fumble - but I'm really confused by this 'nonsensical or
meaningless' statement.

On 10 September 2014 07:46, Styopa <styopa1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> "...a Failure represents your inability to complete a task - no harm
> done, whereas a Fumble results in something disastrous and harmful...."
> And I think that's the inconsistency of what Lev's pointing out, the
> explicit RAW linkage between success/failure and the consequence.  The
> consequences of failure are ALWAYS context-dependent, full stop.
> By that same logic, a simple "failed" parry should just mean you fail to
> parry, not that you get harmed - which is patently absurd.
> And that's where the "failed climb roll means you didn't even start" sort
> of disappoints at a gut level.
>
> No, I see where Lev's at on this one: the skill roll merely says that you
> succeed or don't.  "Crits"/"Fumbles" simply give you an additional layer of
> granularity that can imply (but do not exclusively mean) exceptional
> success or failure.  For some tasks, simple failure IS going to be
> catastrophic...that's what makes them scary, and rarely-to-be-attempted.
>  In this case, a fumble is inconsequentially worse than a failure.
>  Likewise there are rolls where a critical success is nonsensical or
> meaningless.
>
> Of course, this is a detail of semantics, and "YGMV" and anyone can
> ignore/use/infer whatever they want.
>
>
> On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 2:27 AM, Pete Nash <the.iqari at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I disagree with the claim that the meaning of failure cannot be context
>>> independent. I think that consistency of what a failed roll means can and
>>> should be sought. Especially in the same skill!
>>>
>>
>> All I can say is that the intent of the rules is this: a Failure
>> represents your inability to complete a task - no harm done, whereas a
>> Fumble results in something disastrous and harmful.
>>
>> In the case of leaping a chasm using the proposed alternate
>> roll-again-for-distance rule, a simple Failure _could_ result in the
>> character plunging to their death... and its difficult to envisage what
>> additional disaster occurs with a Fumble, save for automatically falling or
>> pulling another PC over the edge with them.
>>
>> Now I'm not against the alternate rule, its actually quite elegant, but
>> it's against the spirit of RQ6 in general to unduly penalize players for
>> attempting an action. As always YRQMV and if rolling again for distance
>> works for you, then go for it!
>>
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>
>
> --
> -Steve
> (my personal email)
>
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