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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 8:50 am 
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So in Dragon Warriors we make ability checks by rolling under the designated characteristic, or automatically succeeding if the characteristic in question is higher than or equal to the difficulty rating. This means that ability checks are very binary in nature - you succeed or you don't. Is there a way, without modifying the rules of DW too heavily, to denote degrees of success on an ability check (you did it, you did it really well, etc.)?

This would also come into play if two characters are having, for example, an arm wrestle and need to make contesting Strength rolls. How would you do this?


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 12:09 pm 
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Maybe when strength is matched you see who got the lower roll? I'm sure a simple system could be made to indicate degrees of success based on the difference between the roll and the stat you're testing. I think auto resolve should be more frequent though, seem to see it infrequently in the forum games.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 6:13 pm 
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Acoma wrote:
So in Dragon Warriors we make ability checks by rolling under the designated characteristic, or automatically succeeding if the characteristic in question is higher than or equal to the difficulty rating. This means that ability checks are very binary in nature - you succeed or you don't. Is there a way, without modifying the rules of DW too heavily, to denote degrees of success on an ability check (you did it, you did it really well, etc.)?

This would also come into play if two characters are having, for example, an arm wrestle and need to make contesting Strength rolls. How would you do this?

Every task in DW is binary except combat, for which Health Points determine gradual success (or failure). You could introduce a similar thing to other tests. For example, in climbing a wall, you climb, each round, a number of meters equal to the number rolled on the d20. However, if the d20 roll indicates a failure, lose an amount of "endurance" (set, initially, at one's strength score, for example) equal to the difference between the result of the d20 and the character's Reflexes.

Example: Lyona, with a Reflexes of 11 and Strength of 8 is climbing a 20m wall. The GM decrees the wall has a difficulty higher than Lyona's Reflexes, so she has to roll d20. In the first round, she rolls 7, indicating that she climbed 7m. The following round, she rolls 16, 5 more than her Reflexes. Not only does Lyona make no progress, but she's beginning to tire, now with only 3 endurance. In the next round, she rolls 11. She's now climbed 18m - nearly at the top! However, in the next round, she rolls 14, 3 more than her Reflexes score, reducing her endurance to zero. Nearly grabbing the lip of the wall, her hand slips and she falls 18m.

In your example of an opposed test (such as arm-wrestling). The current rules allow for a strength 3 character to beat a strength 18 character 1.5% of the time, which doesn't seem right somehow. However, if a character's "endurance" is based on strength, even if the strength-18 character failed one test and the strength-3 character succeeded, the strength-18 character will still have plenty of endurance left to trounce the strength-3 character in the following round.

And endurance does not have to be based on strength. Consider a contest of intellect, such as gambling. In this instance, the "endurance" for the task might be based on the participants' Intelligence scores.

Just a thought for how to do this within the DW core rules. I tend to use d6+ability score vs. task difficulty to get around this. So, for example, the strength-3 character only has any chance to defeat a strength-7 character - a character with a strength of 8 or more could never be defeated by such a puny individual. Of course, technique could play a part, so this is where a decent skills system would also help...

I hope this helps. If you do play-test this approach, I'd be interested to see how you get on.

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 10:41 pm 
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Is there a way, without modifying the rules of DW too heavily, to denote degrees of success on an ability check (you did it, you did it really well, etc.)?

You could use Cobwebbed Dragon's system which extends a contest over several rounds - favouring the stronger, the better, or the more skilled.

Personally, I use a system similar to that of King Arthur Pendragon. You roll against the skill or ability on 1d20. You have to score equal to or lower than the value to succeed (if you exceed the attribute score, then it's a fail). The higher the roll, the better the success. In simple pass/fail tests, the value of the roll doesn't matter. Where you're competing against someone else, the value of the roll is important.

Example: two characters, Owein and Gwion, decide to race and the GM decides their Reflexes will determine who's fastest in the sprint. Owein has Reflexes 14, while Gwion has Reflexes 10. Both players roll 1d20... Owein gets a 6 (pass), while Gwion gets an 8 (pass). Both characters run well (they succeeded their rolls), but Gwion's 8 is higher than Owein's 6 so, on this occasion, it is Gwion who crosses the finishing line just ahead of his competitor (to Owein's surprise and disappointment). The GM (or the players) can describe why this happened (Owein was tired? The terrain did not favour him? A momentary cramp? Or Gwion was inspired to perform this feat? &c.)...
(You could turn this around - to make it more 'Dragon Warriors' - by having the lower roll being best, but this being measured by the amount by which the roll succeeds. In the example above, Owein would win as his 6 is a clear (14-6=) 8 points lower than his Reflexes attribute, while Gwion's 8 is only (10-8=) 2 points lower. Again, the higher the attribute or skill, the greater the chance of a big success.)

Obviously, there's still the chance that a weak character can best a strong one (as Cobwebbed Dragon mentioned), but the odds are against it. You could also extend the contest over several dice rolls, allowing a character to gain victory by increments (and reducing the chance of an outright win by someone completely outclassed). Personally, I like the idea that even a 'weak' character has a chance to compete (this is a game after all); if there's no chance of winning at all, then there's no point taking part.

The system I use is actually a bit more complicated than that, allowing for critical successes, and a difference in success (and critical success) depending on whether the character is skilled (or not) in what they are attempting. Probably too long to bore you with it here, but the example above gives you the basic idea.


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