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Normal people can't succeed at skills... so....

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Normal people can't succeed at skills... so....

Post by kevperrine »

After a bunch of playtesting of BASH! (I only call it play-testing 'cause I've not mastered the system to memory yet and I always like evaluating new ideas my group has for potential House Rules if we think are needed)... After playing lots, and another group that one of my players is in having thought about this, we've come to the conclusion that SKILL checks stink for any character (PC or NPC) with Attribute Rank 1 and even worse for Rank 0.

What we've come to is our thought that a Rank 0-1 character cannot on average succeed at a basic normal difficulty check on any skills they have, and even worse if they don't have that skill.

We understand you CAN raise skill ranks with Skillful. But that seems like a clunky "fix" that's not really addressing the issue at all.
We talked about upping the base Attribute level by 1, letting any character "start" with x1 in all stats for free, then choose to go down to a 0 or up from x1. But that is clunky, 'because it really breaks most powers skewing the difficulty curve, which would then need to be "fixed" ... etc.. etc...

So. I suggested the House Rule to FIX the problem. I think it works all around, but would love to hear any thoughts as to why it might not, complications of this fix, or why there's no need for a "fix" in the first place. My solution is:

On any Skill check or power that involves skill checks, you simply add an automatic +x1 Multiplier Bonus to ANY skill ranks you have or roll x1 if you have a 0 stat. So....
Stat 0 = a total of x1 Skill check.
Stat x1 = a total of x2 Skill check.
Stat x2 = a total of x3 Skill check.
Stat x3 = a total of x4 Skill check.
adding any additional Skill slots, etc... as normal.

The ONLY other changes you'd then need are for things that are static Difficulty Target Numbers, you only simply need to add a +10 to that Diff to hit the probability correctly again. But there are relatively few of those to worry about.

This +x1 MB to any Skill check also carries across to have one additional "rule". That +x1 give 1 additional automatic Skill slot in Physical skills (for Agility) and 1 additional automatic Skill slot for Mental skills (for Mind).
This "fixes" a minor gripe I've had, that Skilled characters need more slots without buying extra (all the time) for Skillful power, because in the end doing so just inflates their point cost for not much benefit to account their total Character Point value as a character (for determining how many HPs you get).

What do you think?
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Re: Normal people can't succeed at skills... so....

Post by Dragonfly »

Howdy Kev,

That's a fine "fix" if it works for your campaigns. I've had similar issues with BASH! as written, but my "fix" has been to tackle the problem through Difficulty Numbers.

"Typical" is listed at Difficulty 10. I choose to interpret that as 1-10, with 5 being the average and 10 being something approaching "Tough," which in my games is 11-20.

Also, Typical is anything that a professional would do on a routine basis. Removing tonsils, for example, would be "Typical" for a surgeon.

Add to that that you can use extended checks for many things, and that rolling doubles (or a 6, in the case of one die) gives increased potential for success, and I think the RAW works pretty well.

I've never had an issue (i.e. found it clunky) to purchase extra skill slots with Skillful.

All the best,

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Post by MrJupiter »

Hey kev. That's a cool fix I would have wanted when I first got into the rules because I had something of the same issue as you with low-point characters; trying to save points for powers with characters that were otherwise pretty normal (i.e. had stat ranks at 1).

"Normal" characters just seemed pretty crappy in the athletic department if they didn't have an Agility at level 2 (black belt). I've gotten pretty used to saving 1 character point on my build to purchase Skillful 1 so that I could add a second skill and boost one of the two to level 2. It still does feel like a bit of a rip though.

How about considering giving the player a bonus free skill slot to start with? The player could use it to add another mundane skill (as in barely proficient) to either the physical or mental category OR use that skill slot to boost the character's aptitude in one of those skills up to level 2?
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Post by BASHMAN »

Like said earlier; 10 is Typical for a professional.

Though it doesn't exist in RAW, a very simple solution is to add an "Easy" difficulty of 5 for tasks. Note, that anything below that would not require a roll. Jumping over a hurdle on a track, would be easy. Jumping over a 2x4 laying on the ground would be automatic.
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