Using Skills

There are many different skills that may be learnt, these include most of the abilities of each class. Only the special classes where a character must serve a specific god have abilities which cannot be learnt elsewhere.

Although most people within the land follow an apprenticeship graduating to be a tradesman or master in one profession there will always be characters who fall outside the normal rules, those who for one reason or another had multiple masters from different professions and even more rarely those whose master themselves was proficient in many things. Due to the nature of adventurers it is inevitable that more than their fair share come from these backgrounds; often it is this impetus that leads them to the adventuring life and eventually if they survive to teach others.

Your skill ability

The skills are based upon an attribute such as agility to which your training level and any secondary attribute bonus is added. This total becomes your current skill.

Skills Checks

Whenever a skill needs to be used a skill attempt must be made to determine how well you performed that particular time. The skill attempt result is your base ability plus a random modifier. If the performance is equal to or above the difficulty then the attempted action was successful.

A skill modifier is generated by rolling a 2d8 and adding your skill level and the appropriate attribute.

2d8 + attribute

The difficulty of any attempt is decided by the DM at the time according to the conditions and the skill being used.

Characters may use a hero point to make life easier.

Planning

Where appropriate if you have a few minutes to spend planning out an action then you can add your intelligence to the skill attempt. Naturally this does not apply to actions where planning will not help (e.g. locks & traps), this has to be your intelligence not another party member's.

Thus you would figure out the best route up a cliff or how to approach a dangerous trap that you know exists. It normally only applies to one action of a single character, unlike the tactics skill which can give bonuses to eveybody.

Fumbles / Bodges

If all 1s are rolled that is a bodge, automatically fails and something minorly bad will occur, no hero points may be used to affect a bodge after the roll.

In addition there is a chance that the character might fumble causing something more serious to happen. This might be anything from automatically losing the next initiative to tripping backwards over a cliff.

Note :

If unskilled then only 1 die is rolled and a bodge occurs on a 1. If a hero point is used then all 3 dice (or 2 if unskilled) must be a 1 for a bodge. If a bodge does occur when a hero point is used then the HP is not consumed however if the 3rd die prevents the bodge then the Hero Point is used.

Criticals

If a Double 8 is rolled that is a fluke (and normally automatic success). Criticals cause maximum damage.

Exhaustion

Exhausted characters only roll 1d8 instead of 2d8 for skill checks.

Unskilled

Many skills require you to have had some form of basic training before an attempt can be made; These cannot be used without at least Level 1 in the skill.

Actions for skills which do not require training may be attempted by untrained characters using only 1d8.

Some weapon skills bear a resemblance to other skills you may already know, even untrainied you may use the skill bonus of the related skill but roll only 1d8.

Situational modifiers

+1 modifier adds 1 pip for every 2 full dice rolled (and kept). This applies to all rolls including skill checks and damage.

Thus:

-1 on a skill check = -1 to succeed as you keep 2 dice

-1 on damage = no difference unless you keep 2 dice from 3

-1 on spell effects/damage = -1 on 2d4 and -2 when you reach 4d8

Initiative = no effect as you only keep 1 die even if you roll for 2 actions as they are seperate rolls.

Advantage / Disadvantage

Some situations will cause one side to gain advantage or be disadvantaged. In these cases an extra die is rolled and one die discarded.

Where this is for an action (e.g. random events) only then only the skill roll is affected but if it affects a whole round then all rolls including initiative and damage are affected. Affects such as stunning/waking up/surprise can cause this.

Not all effects necessarily stack, being slowed when firing at long range will have little affect as you are trying to be calm.

You may be affected by multiple levels of advantage or disadvantage. Advantage and disadvantage will cancel each other out leaving a net effect one way or the other (or none).

Advantage

Roll 3d8 for the skill roll and pick the best two. Criticals are still on a 16 but this will now be 3x as likely.

Roll 2d10 for initiative, pick one.

Roll an extra damage die of the best type and discard one of that type. This works for spells as well as weapons.

Disadvantage

Roll 3d8 for the skill and pick the worst two. Fumbles are still on a 1 but this will also be 3x as likely.

Roll 2d10 for initiative, pick the worst one.

Roll an extra damage die of the best type and discard the highest one of that type.

Stacking

Combat advantage and disadvantage can stack, for each level you roll an extra die. You may alternatively take a flat +1 instead of any advantage die (as after a certain point adding a die makes little difference).

eg. You are shooting at long range in the dark against a concealed target

Instead of 2d8 you roll 5d8 and discard the best 3 dice.

Difficulty

An apprentice will have a skill level of 1-3, a journeyman 4-6 and a master 7+.

The chance of performing a task is based upon its difficulty for an apprentice of level 1 with a primary attribute of 1

Difficulty
Target roll (2d8)

%
success

No brainer
3
98
Easy
9
77
General
11
56
50 / 50
12
44
Tricky
14
23
Formidible
17
5
Ridiculous
19
1
Impossible
21
0

Certain skills require a success level to be generated, this is the amount by which a target roll was exceeded or failed.

Bonus over target Success / failure level
-12+ -4 Catastrophic
-7 to -11 -3 Appalling
-4 to -6 -2 Dreadfull
-2 to -3 -1 Bad
-1 0 Unlucky
0 to +1 1 Minimal
+2 to +3 2 Average
+4 to +6 3 Good
+7 to +11 4 Superior
+12 .. 5 Spectacular

Situational Modifiers

Characters can be affected by various conditions and situational modifiers.

Full disadvantage indicates it affects all rolls in the round including skills, saves & melee/spell damage, See also definitions:

Aim / prepare
Advantage(to hit, melee & spell damage)
Dodging
Melee attacker: Disadvantage (hit & damage)
Ranged attacker: Disadvantage to hit
Grappled
Grappled: Dodge saves and all skills (except brawling) at disadvantage
Grappler: Advantage for body attacks (bite, claw...)
3rd party attacker: Advantage for thrusting attacks

Multiple actions

Characters may attempt to perform multiple actions in a round typically striking an opponent. in these cases then they are not taking the best opportunity in the round but trying to get in a quick blow early and follow up with a second later. This causes them to suffer a penalty on the skill but gain a better chance of striking first.

Roll an initiative die for each action

Each skill action is at -5 for every additional action in the round, the total is modified by you Dex

e.g.

2 actions : Both are taken at -3 skill level

3 actions with all taken at -6 skill

Any hero points used apply to one roll only. If a bodge is rolled no more actions may be attempted that round regardless of how many had alrady been attempted.

Multiple people / tries

Multiple tries

If an action is attempted multiple times there is a bonus to the number skill result generated. This does not apply to all situations e.g. learning a spell, these are just plain difficult and the character will always have spent the maximum amount of time.

Tries / characters Bonus
2 +2
3+ +3
d8+3 +4
3d8 + 3 +5

The length of time for a single attempt varies per action; picking a lock may take 1 minute for a simple one or 5 minutes for a complex one, jumping to reach something only one round. In these cases only one roll is made the characters do not get to reroll and eventually roll a critical success.

The number of tries to get a +4 bonus is randomised (to prevent chartacters knowing how long something will take).

Ron tries to pick a lock, he has time for 4 attempts and a skill of +2. Unfortunately the DM rolls (d8+3 = 5) so the 4 attempts only count as a +2 bonus. His total skill roll is 2+2=4. After this point he gives up as the guards are due back.

If another character attempts something that one has already failed at then they use the same dice roll as the roll indicates a summation of all the other factors that make the attempt more difficult than expected, such as stiff tumblers in a lock or the merchant understanding the strength of your desire in a barter attempt.

Adding helpers

Adding helpers is like having multiple tries at a task, each helper counts as an additional attempt. The effects are cumulative.

So Gleb trying to climb onto a rampaging giant lizard would get +2 from Grakis giving hime a boost up and an additional +2 for his second attempt. It's probably not possible for more than one character to help and the lizard woun't stay around for more than two attempts

There will be a limit to the number that can help depending upon the activity. Three or more characters whose own skill is not within two points of yours act as a single additional helper between them. Two thick fighters combined do not have the intelligence of a mage, they are just two fighters without a clue.

Combined strength tasks

Attempting to move heavy objects or similar tasks is not a normal skill check but simply a check of the combined strength against the difficulty. In these cases the extras characters adds their strength bonus to the strongest character, however each additional character beyond the second take a -1 penalty to their help.

A random factor is introduced by running a straight 2d8 check against a difficulty of 9 and adding the success level to the roll.

Example:

Characters of strength 3,2,2,0

 

Total strength when lifting a portcullis is

Character 1 = 3 = 3

Character 2 = 2 = 2

Character 3 = 2 -1 = 1

Character 4 = 0 -2 = 0

Total strength = 3+2+1+0 = 9 + success level vs 9

Speeding up tasks

If characters split up a task to perform it more quickly (such as search for secret doors) then the skill to use is randomly selected from a character with a bonus of +1 as there is probably some overlap or the better characters help the weaker ones.

e.g.

Fred, George and Ron search for secret doors, their Spot scores are 1, 1, 2. There is one secret door to be found. George is the character in the correct location so his current skill is 1 +1 =2 as he benefits a bit from his brothers' help.

Skill challanges

These require multiple successful skill attempts to perform the whole action. If there are multiple different skills that can be used to overcome the challenge the party may not be able to benefit from the same skill set on consecutive attempts. Thus you may be able to use bluff, diplomacy and intimidation to get your way but none of them twice in a row.

Some skill challanges simply require a number of success levels to be gained over a period of time. The number success levels from each attempt are summed until the required total. This would be typical of strength challanges where you need to move something with each success taking you a bit closer.

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