1.2 Task Resolution

Cyclops

Now that you’ve learned the basics of how to play your character, it’s time to master the details of how the game system works.

When you attempt a task, you make an Attribute check to see how well you do. The higher the result on your Attribute check, the better you do. Based on the circumstances, your check result must match or best a particular number to perform a task successfully. The harder the task, the higher the number you need to roll.

A number of circumstances can affect your check. If you’re free to work without distractions, you can make a careful attempt and avoid simple mistakes. If you have lots of time, you can try over and over again, assuring that you do your best. If others help you, you may succeed where otherwise you would fail.

Attribute Checks:

An Attribute check takes into account a character’s natural talent (Attribute modifier), training (class modifier), plus the element of chance (the die roll). It may also take into account his knack for doing certain things (Prime bonus), his mutations (bonus or penalty), what armour he is wearing (armour check penalty), or a special class ability, among other things.

To make an Attribute check, roll 1d20 and add your character’s modifiers for that task. The higher the result, the better. Unlike attack rolls, a natural roll of 20 on the d20 is not an automatic success, and a natural roll of 1 is not an automatic failure.

The following table lists the kinds of tasks associated with each Attribute score:

Example Attribute Checks

Attribute Example Tasks
Strength Athletics, Climb, Grapple, Jump, Swim.
Perception Awareness, Profession, Scav Scan *, Sense Motive, Streetwise, Survival, Track *.
Endurance Concentrate, Hold Breath, Run, Stamina.
Charisma Barter, Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Intimidate, Perform.
Intellect Craft Item, Cunning Linguist *, Examine Items *, General Knowledge, Investigate, Special Knowledge *, Treat Injury *, Use Technology.
Agility Acrobatics, Disable Device *, Sleight of Hand *, Sneak.
Luck Gambling, anything and everything.

* Special training required; see class descriptions.

Some tasks can only be attempted if you have special training. For example, unless you’re an outlander, you don’t have the Track special ability and just don’t have the skill to follow the trail of others.

Difficulty Class:

Some checks are made against a Difficulty Class (DC). The DC is a number (set using the rules as a guideline) that you must score as a result on your Attribute check in order to succeed.

Difficulty Class Examples

Difficulty (DC) Example (Attribute/Special Ability Used)
Very Easy (0) Notice something in plain sight. (Per)
Easy (5) Concentrate on a task during a dust storm. (Con)
Average (10) Hear an approaching guard. (Per)
Tough (15) Heal a character’s wounds. (Int/Treat Injury)
Challenging (20) Swim in stormy water. (Str)
Formidable (25) Open an average lock. (Agi/Disable Device)
Heroic (30) Leap across a 30-foot chasm. (Str)

Opposed Checks:

An opposed check is a check whose success or failure is determined by comparing the check result to another character’s check result. In an opposed check, the higher result succeeds, while the lower result fails. In case of a tie, the higher check modifier wins. If these scores are the same, roll again to break the tie.

Example Opposed Checks

Task Key Attribute Opposing Attribute Example
Barter Charisma Charisma Haggle over trade goods.
Bluff Charisma Perception Con someone.
Disguise Charisma Perception Pretend to be someone else.
Forgery Intellect Intellect Create a false document.
Grapple Strength Strength Prevent an opponent from attacking.
Intimidate Charisma Charisma Make a raider back down.
Sleight of Hand Agility Perception Steal a wallet.
Sneak Agility Perception Hide from someone.

Trying Again:

In general, you can try an Attribute check again if you fail, and you can keep trying indefinitely. Some tasks, however, have consequences of failure that must be taken into account. A few tasks are virtually useless once a check has failed on an attempt to accomplish a particular task. For most checks, when a character has succeeded once at a given attempt, additional successes are meaningless.

Note: You can always attempt a lucky reroll, regardless of whether or not you can retry a task normally. Remember to add your base Luck modifier to these rerolls as well.

Favorable and Unfavorable Conditions:

Some situations may make a task easier or harder to perform, resulting in a bonus or penalty to the Attribute check modifier or a change to the DC of the check.

The GM can alter the chance of success in four ways to take into account exceptional circumstances:

  1. Give the character a +2 circumstance bonus to represent conditions that improve performance, such as having the perfect tool for the job, getting help from another character, or possessing unusually accurate information.
  2. Give the character user a –2 circumstance penalty to represent conditions that hamper performance, such as being forced to use improvised tools or having misleading information.
  3. Reduce the DC by 2 to represent circumstances that make the task easier, such as having a friendly audience or doing work that can be subpar.
  4. Increase the DC by 2 to represent circumstances that make the task harder, such as having an uncooperative audience or doing work that must be flawless.

Conditions that affect your character’s ability to perform the task change the check modifier. Conditions that modify how well the character has to perform the task to succeed change the DC. A bonus to the check modifier and a reduction in the check’s DC have the same result: They create a better chance of success. But they represent different circumstances, and sometimes that difference is important.

Time and Attribute Checks:

Attempting a task might take a round, take no time, or take several rounds or even longer. Most checks are considered attack actions, move actions, or full-round actions. Types of actions define how long activities take to perform within the framework of a combat round (6 seconds) and how movement is treated with respect to the activity. Some Attribute checks are instant and represent reactions to an event, or are included as part of an action. Other Attribute checks represent part of movement. Your GM will let you know how long a given Attribute check will take.

Checks Without Rolls:

An Attribute check represents an attempt to accomplish some goal, usually while under some sort of time pressure or distraction. Sometimes, though, a character can perform a task under more favorable conditions and eliminate the luck factor.

Important: Pay attention to these rules! If used properly, they can dramatically increase the speed of play. You can ‘Take 10’ on most mundane actions and ‘Take 20’ when you have time to spare.

Taking 10: When your character is not being threatened or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the Attribute check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure – you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn’t help.

Taking 20: When you have plenty of time (generally 2 minutes for a task that can normally be checked in 1 round, one full-round action, or one standard action), you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the check being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, eventually you will get a 20 on 1d20 if you roll enough times. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the Attribute check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes twenty times as long as making a single check would take.

Since taking 20 assumes that the character will fail many times before succeeding, if you did attempt to take 20 on a check that carries penalties for failure, your character would automatically incur those penalties before he could complete the task.

Combining Task Attempts:

When more than one character tries the same task at the same time and for the same purpose, their efforts may overlap.

Individual Events:

Often, several characters attempt some action and each succeeds or fails independently. The result of one character’s Strength check while climbing does not influence the results of other characters’ checks.

Aid Another:

You can help another character achieve success on his Attribute check by making the same kind of task attempt in a cooperative effort. If you roll a 10 or higher on your check, the character you are helping gets a +2 bonus to his check, as per the rule for favourable conditions. (You can’t take 10 on a skill check to aid another.) In many cases, a character’s help won’t be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once.

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