[Runequest] RQ 6 Failed Athletics

Styopa styopa1 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 11 03:38:25 EST 2014


All of the above is absolutely true, to a point.

I guess it depends on how 'vested' we are in the concept that a crit
must *somehow
*deliver an exceptionally beneficial result, and a fumble must
*somehow *deliver
the opposite.  I mean, sure, absolutely one can rationalize that a crit on
Read Language grants a special insight, but if the character is just trying
to figure out which road sign points toward Sog City I'm not sure how
valuable that is?

To refer back to the original climbing example, I'd rather as a DM have the
"balk" decision in the hands of the player as much as possible.  The player
knows his climb%, and can reasonably evaluate the risk.  To make actually
falling such a small chance (only on a fumble) IMO significantly reduces
the risk (and thus the narrative drama) of act itself.

As always, YGMV.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM, Lawrence Whitaker <
lawrence.whitaker at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thank you for clarifying.
>
> referencing the originally-presented case of jumping over a chasm.
>>  Failure = likely death.  Fumble can't really get much worse, can it?
>
>
> I believe I showed in my earlier post how this can handled: "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."
>
> One need not use Luck Points either: it would be entirely reasonable to
> rule that the failure has resulted in clinging to the precipice, whereas a
> fumble would result in a fall with damage. The failure scenario offers a
> chance at survival; so no, failure *doesn't* mean likely death.
>
>  Examples where (except for extraordinary circumstances) a critical
>> success brings the character no substantially better benefit than a simple
>> success: Read language.  Rolls for holding one's breath. Casting a 1-point
>> magic spell.  Throwing (ie a grappling hook).  I'd expect there are others.
>
>
> Read Language: Success - you understand whatever it is you're trying to
> read. Critical - the subtext is immediately clear providing additional and
> potentially valuable insight into the mind and intent of the writer.
>
> Holding One's Breath - this is an Endurance roll. To quote from the rules:
> "A critical Endurance roll usually indicates that the character has
> managed to shrug-off the worst possible assault on his body." So the
> character holds his breath for longer than normal and is able to withstand
> the pain and pressure. I'd say that's *especially *importantif you're
> having to hold your breath to effect an escape or resist poison gas...
>
> Casting a 1-Point Spell - Again, from the rules: "If the Folk Magic roll
> is a ҉҉Critical Success: the spell’s Magic Point cost is zero." Crucial,
> I'd say, if Magic Points are at a premium, or regained very slowly.
>
> Throwing (a grappling hook) - The throw results in a particularly accurate
> or precise purchase that makes the hook difficult to spot by the guards on
> patrol. Or the sentries don't hear the grappling hook 'clunk' as it find
> purchase. Or the position of the hook is such that it can be easily
> retrieved from the ground...
>
> Really, it isn't difficult to craft circumstances for most skills or
> situations where a critical success *does *provide a far greater
> advantage than a straight success - or a failure over a fumble.
>
> On 10 September 2014 12:06, Styopa <styopa1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> 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.
>>
>> [Steve]: referencing the originally-presented case of jumping over a
>> chasm.  Failure = likely death.  Fumble can't really get much worse, can it?
>>
>> Likewise there are rolls where a critical success is nonsensical or
>>> meaningless.
>>
>>
>> Again, can you provide some examples?
>>
>> [Steve]: Examples where (except for extraordinary circumstances) a
>> critical success brings the character no substantially better benefit than
>> a simple success: Read language.  Rolls for holding one's breath. Casting a
>> 1-point magic spell.  Throwing (ie a grappling hook).  I'd expect there are
>> others.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 9:33 AM, Lawrence Whitaker <
>> lawrence.whitaker at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> 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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>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Will there be time enough and World for me to sing that song?
>>>
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>>
>>
>> --
>> -Steve
>> (my personal email)
>>
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>>
>
>
> --
> Will there be time enough and World for me to sing that song?
>
> _______________________________________________
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-- 
-Steve
(my personal email)
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