During the game, the players will want their characters to attempt many different actions - some fairly mundane or day-to-day and others more daring and extraordinary. It is up to the gamesmaster to decide what happens, whether the action succeeds or fails. For example, a character might want to try leaping onto a galloping horse as part of a daring escape - does he make it? Does he spot that the guards are closing the fortress gates? Does he manage to fight off the guard captain?
Situations like this will crop up again and again in your games and you can resolve things quickly and easily by making a test. Most of the tests in this game are based on characteristics and may be modified by a character's skills and by other circumstances.
Basic Test ProceduresEdit
- The gamesmaster examines the action to be attempted and decided what characteristic(s) come into play.
- The player and GM decide whether the character has any skills which will affect the test.
- The GM considers the circumstances and assigns any further modifiers that seem appropriate, to arrive at a percentage chance of success.
- The player rolls a D100. If the score is less than or equal to the percentage chance, the action is a success; if not, the character has failed.
- The GM decides the outcome of the attempt, based on its success or failure. The degree by which the test is passed or failed will give a rough idea of how successful (or unsuccessful) the action has been.
Easy and Difficult TasksEdit
Sometimes the gamesmaster may decide that the chance of success given by a characteristic score does not adequately reflect the situation. If a task is very easy, the test might be made against twice the characteristic socre, while a task that is almost idiot-proof might require a test on four times the characteristic score. On the other side of the coin, if the task is very difficult, the score might be halved, while one which is nightmarishly hard or complex might require a test on a quarter of the score.
Alternatively, the GM may allot modifiers in the form of percentages - +5%, -10%, and so on. This is completely up to you. The important thing is to make the difficulty of the roll reflect the difficulty of the task.
Success and FailureEdit
If a test is successful, the character has managed to perform the action with no problems.
If a test is failed, the character has not managed to perform the action. The results of this, obviously, vary considerably according to the precise circumstances.
If a test is failed by more than 20%, things have gone seriously wrong and the character may be in trouble. For example, a character who fails an I test by more than 20% may not only fail to move in time, but may also fall over.
If a test is failed by more than 30%, things may have gone nightmarishly wrong. The consequences of passing or failing a test by a large margin will depend almost entirely upon the particular test and the circumstances, and it is impossible to lay down any general guidelines.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to test against two characteristics or to make a series of tests to resolve a complex situation.
When more than one characteristic comes into play in a situation, simply take the average of the relevant scores as the basis for the test.
Some situations can be broken down into a series of tests rather than one combined test; in these cases, the GM simply works out in which order the tests should be taken and proceeds with them normally, one after the other.
Tests Against Non-Percentage CharacteristicsEdit
Most personal characteristics are based on a scale of 1-100, so it is easy to work out a percentage chance of success. The exceptions are S and T, which are on a scale of 1-10 (it will never be necessary to test against M or W). To test against S or T, simply multiply the characteristic score by 10 to give you a basic percentage chance of success and then proceed as normal.
Race and AlignmentEdit
Tests against Fel, in particular, will be modified by considerations of race and alignment.
Obviously, NPCs will generally react more favorably to members of their own race and, to reflect this, all tests against Fel are made with a -10% modifier when dealing with someone of a different race.
This can be applied to Gossiping, Bluffing, Bargaining, Bribing, Employment, Busking, Interrogation, and Loyalty tests, as well as to times when the characters are trying to obtain goods or services. It also applies to encounters.
For races which suffer animosity against the character's race, the penalty is increased to 20%.
For races which suffer hatred against the character's race, the penalty is increased to 30%. This is a minimum penalty and the gamesmaster can increase it according to the circumstances. Alternatively, the GM may rule that almost any interaction between races that hate each other will be essentially hostile.
NPCs basic outlook on life, as reflected by their alignment, will also affect how they relate to a character. If the character's alignment is obvious (for instance, because the NPCs can see a symbol of a deity whose alignment they know), the test should be modified. If not, there will be no alignment modifier on the test, although another test may be made if alignments become obvious later on.
For the purposes of these tests, it is most convenient to consider the five alignments as a straight line, running as follows
Chaos - Evil - Neutral - Good - Law
You should apply a -10% modifier for each level of difference. For example, Good is one alignment away from Neutral - so, if a Good character must make a Gossip test during a conversation with a Neutral character, it will be modified by -10%. Evil and Law are three alignments away from each other and a -30% modifier would be imposed for Fel-based tests between characters of these alignments.
The standard tests detailed below should cover most situations, but occasionally you will need to improvise a test to decide whether a character succeeds in an action. It should not generally be difficult to decide which characteristic to use as a basis, but here are a few guidelines.
M is never used as the basis for a test - if the situation involves movement, use I instead.
WS reflects hand-to-hand combat ability; it might be used in non-combat situations when a character is using something like an axe or sledgehammer. Remember that a target that isn't moving counts as prone.
BS reflects accuracy in shooting and throwing; it might be used to determine the accuracy of any throw in a non-combat situation, such as a game of darts.
S reflects the character's physical strength; it can be used whenever a character applies brute force - for example, when lifting a very heavy object or trying to bend iron bars.
T reflects the character's general constitution. It is used as the basis for saving throws against disease and poison and in situations where a character's general state of health is important.
W are never used as the basis for a test. They simply reflect how long a character can fight before an opponent strikes a telling blow.
I reflects speed of thought and action. It is used to test actions requiring mental alertness rather than physical skill, to determine whether a character spots some small or unusual circumstance (such as a tear in a man's clothing or a dislodged picture on the wall), and in cases where the character must react to something quickly, such as dodging a falling rock.
A are never used as a basis for a test. They simply indicate how many attacks a character can make in a round of combat.
Dex reflects skill in performing intricate manual tasks, such as threading a needle or picking a lock. It can be combined with I when dealing with actions that require physical co-ordination and balance, such as walking a very narrow ledge or balancing on a moving wagon.
Ld reflects a character's ability to command respect and loyalty and, in some circumstances, to obey orders and follow instructions given by a superior.
Int is a direct measure of a character's reasoning capacity and should be used in all circumstances that require judgment, common sense, and clear thinking.
Cl determines a character's natural bravery and resistance to shocks, unpleasant sights, hopeless circumstances, deadly danger, etc.
WP is a broad measure of a character's strength of character and mental resolve. It is used in tests to determine resistance to magic, hypnotism, torture, and similar situations.
Fel indicates a character's ability to impress and convince other creatures and general force of personality. It is used as the basis for any test that involves fast talking or social interaction.
There are some situations which will arise time and time again. Players will want their characters to bluff their way out of tricky situations, to bribe guards to look the other way, to hide from powerful enemies, and so on. To cover these situations, there are a number of standard tests. Standard tests are dealt with in exactly the same way as ordinary tests; the only difference, really, is that we've covered most of the details here and saved you some work.
The following chart lists the standard tests and the characteristics upon which they are based, together with skills which might modify the test.
Not all the skills listed against a certain test will apply in any given instance; they are the skills which might come into play, but the gamesmaster must decide which, if any, are relevant. When a character has more than one relevant skill, the bonuses from each skill are added.
Also, some skills are mutually exclusive: Charm or Etiquette may not be used together with Comedian or Jester, since it is impossible to be charming and earthy at the same time. The GM should examine all relevant skills in a given case and decide whether it is logical to use certain combinations.
Alternatively, tests related to interpersonal dealings, particularly between those of different social strata, can be affected by Social Level.