Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
Lomax Lomax's picture
Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
I do not understand the need for 2 different D100 mechanisms, one inspired by UA (roll high while rolling a success) and one by the Warhammer RPG (counting margins). Why are opposed tests rolled differently than normal tests? That's just unnecessary and confusing. Why not use one system for both kinds of test? I will change that for my group anyway and just use one of the systems, but I'd like to know why you decided to do it like that - maybe there's a good reason for making it this way that I just can't see?
DaveS DaveS's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Like many, you have missed the subtle nuance of the opposed roll system... You [i]always[/i] count margins to determine the quality of the result (criticals aside). Winning opposed tests, however, is determined by the high roll rather than by higher margin of success. The ideal roll in an opposed test is not to roll exactly equal to your skill, it is to roll one higher than your opponent - the higher roll to win, but also the lowest possible "higher roll" to maximize your margin of success. This is functionally identical to subtracting the loser's margin from the winner's, but requires less math. It also allows you to instantly see who won without having to do any math, meaning that you only ever have to calculate one margin of success (and may be able to resolve opposed tests with no math at all, if it's a strict win/lose situation and you don't need to know about the quality of the win).
HappyDaze HappyDaze's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?

A single 'unified' mechanic of this sort can also be implemented on standard (non-opposed) tests with the tens digit of a successful roll determining the MoS. Math is still going to come up for MoF, but nothing's perfect.

Lomax Lomax's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
DaveS wrote:
Like many, you have missed the subtle nuance of the opposed roll system... You [i]always[/i] count margins to determine the quality of the result (criticals aside). Winning opposed tests, however, is determined by the high roll rather than by higher margin of success. The ideal roll in an opposed test is not to roll exactly equal to your skill, it is to roll one higher than your opponent - the higher roll to win, but also the lowest possible "higher roll" to maximize your margin of success. This is functionally identical to subtracting the loser's margin from the winner's, but requires less math. It also allows you to instantly see who won without having to do any math, meaning that you only ever have to calculate one margin of success (and may be able to resolve opposed tests with no math at all, if it's a strict win/lose situation and you don't need to know about the quality of the win).
No, I did not miss that. No matter whether you count up from one or down from your skill + modifiers value, you count a margin of success. Both methods enable you to roll a higher margin when you have a higher skill + modifiers. If the "Unknown Armies" method of counting up instead of down has the advantage of not needing to do any maths (on the level of subtraction of two-figure numbers) , why not use it in normal rolls, too? I know the difference...but that doesn't answer my question why we need two different D100 success mechanisms in one system, when they essentially work by the same system of "general success/margin of success/critical success". Why count the margin from the bottom in one mechanism, and from the top in the other mechanism? That's just needlessly complicated in my eyes.
Moon-Hawk Moon-Hawk's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Uh-oh, maybe I don't understand how things work. The margin is never counted differently. It's always, always, always how much you rolled under/over the target for MoS/MoF, respectively. Isn't it? Margin is never calculated two different ways.
Lomax Lomax's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Oh, you're right: The Margin of Success is always counted in the same way. That might [i]somewhat[/i] explain why opposed tests work like they do: It makes succeeding with a Margin of Success a bit less probable against a skilled opponent, if I'm not totally mistaken. Have to do the maths on that one though. Still, I am in doubt whether that's worth the complication of having two mechanisms, and the additional complication of having to check your success in an opposed test from the bottom, but your [i]Margin of Success[/i] from the top. I readily admit that I have not actually used the system yet, because I am still working on an introductory adventure for my friends. So maybe it's all easier than I think. But I still remember how a lot of them had problems to get used to the UA system, and I really fear forcing the EP system on them. I'd really like to have a designer say something to this, to clear up why they made it as it is. I still feel like I have not fully understood it, and while that's fairly normal with the nuances of a new system, I feel like I should at least have a clear grasp of the fundamental mechanisms before I GM it.
PurpleXVI PurpleXVI's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Personally I just only use MoS. It's far easier that way, and it amounts to essentially the same. Higher MoS wins, and MoS still determines quality of success. All the multiple of mechanics managed to do was confuse the everliving hell out of me and my players, while contributing nothing beneficial
zenfar zenfar's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
I don't mind having a few different mechanics in a game system. Adds to the fun... Besides it just seems like the right thing to have a roll off of some kinds when going skill vs. skill...
DaveS DaveS's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Lomax wrote:
Oh, you're right: The Margin of Success is always counted in the same way. That might [i]somewhat[/i] explain why opposed tests work like they do: It makes succeeding with a Margin of Success a bit less probable against a skilled opponent, if I'm not totally mistaken. Have to do the maths on that one though.
Regardless of skill, giving victory to the higher roll (= lower MoS) will tend to produce more low-margin successes than high-margin successes.
Lomax wrote:
I'd really like to have a designer say something to this, to clear up why they made it as it is.
There are basically two ways that you can do an opposed roll in a margin-based system and not have them horribly inflate the margins in successful tests. Either you can award success to the higher margin, but subtract the loser's margin from the winner's (which is what most games do, but has the drawback of requiring three calculations for every opposed test), or you can make your rolls with success/failure counted from one side and margin counted from the other (which is what EP does, but has the drawback of seeming inconsistent to some people). What you can't do is base MoS on how far you roll below your skill and award success to the low roll, because then you get a situation where either you fail or you succeed spectacularly with very little chance of moderate success and almost no chance of minimal success.
PurpleXVI PurpleXVI's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
But if you use Margin for quality and higher-roll for success in opposed rolls, then you end up with low-quality successes nebulously overpowering high-quality successes. That's just completely inconsistent. The most consistent model is to either use higher-roll for both quality and success, or margin for both quality and success. Subtracting, of course, would represent the difficulty involved in overwhelming or outmaneuvering someone who is quite capable. But I don't feel it's necessary. And personally, I find that things can be quite a bit more fun with just the MoS as the decider of everything. Sure, we have more extreme successes, but it's really more fun that way. And considering how retardedly EASY it is to stack armour in the game, unless the NPC's are just as min/maxing as a lot of players(even unintentionally), they really need that extra damage from a good margin to blow through with a noteworthy injury.
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
There are three reasons for why the mechanic in opposed checks works the way it does. 1. It means that whether a normal check or a contested check, MoS is calculated identically in either case. A better roll from your opponent ensures a smaller window in which your roll can succeed, and a smaller MoS in the process. Not only is this consistent, but it makes these things far easier to eyeball during play. 2. It also means that skill defines how much of a threat your roll can actually be to your opponent's. If your skill is 40 and your opponent's skill is 60, he has already succeeded if he rolls any number from 41-60 (excluding the possibility of a critical). In a sense, normal and contested checks ARE using the same mechanic. Normal checks work under the assumption that your "opponent" automatically failed its check, and your success is solely dependent on your own roll. Otherwise, the mechanic is rather sound.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
standard_gravity standard_gravity's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Lomax wrote:
I will change that for my group anyway and just use one of the systems...
I want to do this too, and use the higher roll system only. However, I'm not much of a rules person and would love some thoughts on how to proceed. I posted a query on this here: http://www.eclipsephase.com/make-whole-rules-system-black-jack-style - please let me know if you have any suggestions, cheers!
[img]http://boxall.no-ip.org/img/ext_userbar.jpg[/img] "People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee
fodigg fodigg's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Decivre wrote:
2. It also means that skill defines how much of a threat your roll can actually be to your opponent's. If your skill is 40 and your opponent's skill is 60, he has already succeeded if he rolls any number from 41-60 (excluding the possibility of a critical).
This. The above explains why you can't just go with the lower number. Because high skill should be beneficial, even when assuming that both characters make their checks. It does potentially mean that you could have a player lose an opposed test even with a higher MoS than their opponent:[list] [*]Player A has skill 75; rolls 25 [*]Player B has skill 30; rolls 29[/list] —but it's worth it to provide a benefit for high skills without on-the-fly math. A high-skilled success should beat a low-skilled success, even if the low-skilled player has a higher [i]MoS[/i]:[list] [*]Player A has skill 75; rolls 74 [*]Player B has skill 30; rolls 5[/list] I would just explain any weirdness as "[i]they out-performed you, but your skill gave you the edge and you squeaked away with the win[/i]." This explains the victory while still allowing for higher [i]MoS[/i] for the loser. Even if both characters have the same skill rating, the winner just happened to have the better experience for [i]this particular[/i] contest. An alternate explanation would simply be "[i]better lucky than good[/i]." More skill just lets you take more advantage of luck.
-fo diggity
fodigg fodigg's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
standard_gravity wrote:
Lomax wrote:
I will change that for my group anyway and just use one of the systems...
I want to do this too, and use the higher roll system only.
If you did a straight higher roll system, [i]MoS[/i] might get a little...extreme. I'm assuming you'd be measuring [i]MoS[/i] from zero-up instead of target-down.
-fo diggity
Iv Iv's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
This systel is not equivalent to comparing the respective MoS. Example : A has skill of 80, rolls 75 B has skill of 20, rolls 10 B has a better MoS, yet fails in EP's system. Comparing MoS has also an "automatic win" zone : from 1 to 60, player A will have an unbeatable MoS. I am not sure I see the advantage of EP's system, apart from being a bit lighter on calculation.
Bloodwork Bloodwork's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Do most opposed tests use the actual difference in MoS to determine something else? Or is it just to determine an Extra Success? If it's just in order to determine an Extra Success and you want a successful defender to hamper a successful attacker (for example) then instead of subracting the defender's MoS from the attacker's you could say their Extra Successes cancel each other out. A succeeds with a MoS of 35. vs B succeeds with a MoS of 30. result The opponents obviously each have an Extra Success so the end result is moot (the attacker does regular damage or whatever).
That which doesn't kill you usually succeeds on the second attempt.
standard_gravity standard_gravity's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
FYI: I have now put up a suggested proposal for how to have a pure black jack system here: http://www.eclipsephase.com/make-whole-rules-system-black-jack-style. Comment welcome!
[img]http://boxall.no-ip.org/img/ext_userbar.jpg[/img] "People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes." - John Dee
LordDamian LordDamian's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Iv wrote:
This systel is not equivalent to comparing the respective MoS. Example : A has skill of 80, rolls 75 B has skill of 20, rolls 10 B has a better MoS, yet fails in EP's system. Comparing MoS has also an "automatic win" zone : from 1 to 60, player A will have an unbeatable MoS. I am not sure I see the advantage of EP's system, apart from being a bit lighter on calculation.
right, and should a highschool "b" report really be so much better than a best selling novel? Skill level accounts for something right?
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Why are there 2 different D100 mechanisms?
Iv wrote:
This systel is not equivalent to comparing the respective MoS. Example : A has skill of 80, rolls 75 B has skill of 20, rolls 10 B has a better MoS, yet fails in EP's system. Comparing MoS has also an "automatic win" zone : from 1 to 60, player A will have an unbeatable MoS.
This means that skill trumps dumb luck... which is something I prefer in a game system.
Iv wrote:
I am not sure I see the advantage of EP's system, apart from being a bit lighter on calculation.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. EP's d00 system was designed for simplicity of play, as opposed to realism. That's probably why they picked a mechanic that is so similar to the d20 system.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]