Author Topic: Some Questions from a Newbie...  (Read 1082 times)

Blizzard

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Some Questions from a Newbie...
« on: August 23, 2016, 12:30:00 PM »
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the Forums. I'm from germany, and may be there will be some mistakes in my postings...I would like to apologize for that in advance, this is without intention.

I've purchased SteamCraft some time ago...and I'm going to master it soon.

I have a question concerning abilities:

the sample character on page 100 has in Etiquette a score of 6, but in evaluation a score of 40. If the player (of this sample character) now makes a dice roll with etiquette...he rolls 1D100 against a score of 6%? This would be really, really difficult...

Darius

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Re: Some Questions from a Newbie...
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2016, 03:15:13 PM »
Welcome to the forums.  Your question is a common one.  It throws a lot of people off because the information needed to make it not look so bad is further in the book.  Look at page 107.  It has information on modifying ability checks.  There is more information in the player's guide we are working on.  But here is the general idea.  You only roll dice if there you need to randomly determine the result.  Further, the assumption is that you will be rolling dice in some sort of stressful situation, which is usually combat.  For something like etiquette, it would be you are now suddenly thrust into a ball (dance) with royalty and you need to respond appropriately and have had no time to prepare. 

If it is not so stressful and you have time to prepare, then you can gain bonuses to your die roll. 

So, what does a 6 mean?  It means that for whatever culture the PC grew up in, the PC knows the common information.  The PC knows when to shake hands or bow.  The PC knows the proper titles to use for that society - at least with the common people the PC will interact with.  The PC will know what clothes to wear to a funeral and what clothes are appropriate for work.  The PC might know a dance or two.  So the PC will generally be able to function.  This is why the PC has any rating in that ability at all. 

What the PC will have difficultly doing would be the social rules of different social classes.  If the PC grew up middle class, the PC will have a difficult time understanding courtly behavior.  The PC likely would not know the rules.  The PC would not be able to pick up on subtle differences in clothing that gives away the NPC station.  The PC might not know what to do with all of the forks.  The PC wouldn't be able to read body language that well. 

The PC might not know the proper etiquette for certain business dealings.  The PC might not understand the etiquette for gangs. 

So, let's say the PC is going to have to sneak into a social function hosted by nobility.  The PC grew up middle class.  The PC has a week to prepare and then studies what he/she needs to know.  In this situation, the PC would know how to address nobility.  The PC might get a 50 point bonuses to knowing what fork to use.  the PC might get a 30 point bonuses on knowing a particular dance.  If the PC is trying to pretend to be a noble and engage in negotiations with a NPC noble, then the PC would at most gain a 10 point bonuses, but likely none.  Reading the body language of the guests also would be done at 6 without any bonuses. 

Of course the PC may have other abilities that can be used in these situations.  The GM just needs to decide if there are any penalties or bonuses based on the situation.  For example, if the PC has commerce and is negotiating a business deal, then not having etiquette isn't going to be a big deal.  If the PC is negotiating a business deal with nobility, then the GM could apply a small penalty to the commerce roll.  On the other hand, if the PC has a decent amount of points in etiquette, then the GM could add a small bonus to the commerce roll. 

The essential idea is that every character will have at least some knowledge/skill in most things.  Every PC should have at least some small chance at performing an action.  Here is a more modern example.  People sometimes lock their keys in the car.  There are people trained on opening car doors.  However, on older cars, you can take a wire coat hanger and bend it.  You then can use the wire coat hanger to try an unlock the door.  It can take a long time and the majority of people fail, however, after an hour or two a decent number of people can usually get the door open. 

That is the general idea.  It is up to the GM on how he or she wants to implement that.  I hope that answers your question. 

Blizzard

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Re: Some Questions from a Newbie...
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2016, 04:43:24 PM »
  I hope that answers your question.
In Parts. I've read P.107, and the whole thing with the modifiers, a GM can use. Just to make sure, that I got it right: Lets take the example with etiquette. Okay, we guess a situation, that the circumstances are very easy. Which means a +30 bonus to the dice roll. So the players rolls 1d100 against 36%? Is that right?

Let's stay by the example with etiquette. Let's guess, the character has to react spontaniously, and -after all- there are no modifiers which could influence the dice roll. Neither positiv nor negativ modifiers. What about a dice roll now? Player rolls 1d100 vs 6%?

And how about a dice roll, if there are negativ modifiers??? I mean you have a score of 6 in Etiquette, and let's say, circumstances are very difficult ,which means a -30 modifier for the dice roll. But 6-30=-24???

Sorry, I don't understand, how this shall work. Can you please give me just a simple example, what kind of dice roll a player has to make, if he has in an ability a score of 6 (like here in etiquette?)

 And Etiquette is just an example. I could have chosen another ability. Wouldn't have made a difference.

Darius

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Re: Some Questions from a Newbie...
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2016, 06:16:49 PM »
  I hope that answers your question.
In Parts. I've read P.107, and the whole thing with the modifiers, a GM can use. Just to make sure, that I got it right: Lets take the example with etiquette. Okay, we guess a situation, that the circumstances are very easy. Which means a +30 bonus to the dice roll. So the players rolls 1d100 against 36%? Is that right?

We give a lot of freedom to the GM.  So, if it is determined that it is very easy, but not something that the PC would necessarily know, then you roll the dice and add at least +30.  So you would need to roll a 36 or below. 

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Let's stay by the example with etiquette. Let's guess, the character has to react spontaniously, and -after all- there are no modifiers which could influence the dice roll. Neither positiv nor negativ modifiers. What about a dice roll now? Player rolls 1d100 vs 6%?

It would be a 6 or below, assuming that it is not something the PC would already know.  So knowing that he is to bow to royalty would not be something you would roll for.  Knowing how to address a foreign dignitary on the spot would require a roll.  It would be a 6 or below. 

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And how about a dice roll, if there are negativ modifiers??? I mean you have a score of 6 in Etiquette, and let's say, circumstances are very difficult ,which means a -30 modifier for the dice roll. But 6-30=-24???

It would be up to the GM.  As a general rule, the answer would be you do not apply negative modifiers due to the already low probability.  The idea is to give the PCs a chance, even a small one. 

Etiquette is not going to be a commonly used skill, so let me change it up to Thieving. 

PC #1  has a skill in thieving of 56.  In most situations, the PC will need to roll a 56 or below. 

Now assume that the PC is being bitten on the ankles by a dog or has to pick a lock faster than normal.  That might incur a 10 point penalty, meaning a roll of 46 or less. 

Now assume that the PC is picking a lock.  It is an old lock that is not very good.  The PC gains a bonus of 10, meaning the player needs to roll a 66 or below. 

Now assume that the PC is picking a lock.  There is no rush.  There is no chance of being caught and the PC can take hours if he wants.  He gains a 30 point bonus, meaning he needs to roll an 86 or below for success. 

PC #2 has a rating of 6 in Thieving.  This means that the PC has little skill or knowledge of how to pick locks.  Under most situations, the PC will need to roll a 6 or below. 

Now assume that the PC is being bitten on the ankles by a dog or has to pick a lock faster than normal.  The GM can decide that under this situations, the PC has no chance.  However, I would not play that way.  I would allow the PC to roll and if it is 6 or less, then the PC succeeds. 

Now assume that the PC is picking a lock.  It is an old lock that is not very good.  The PC gains a bonus of 10, meaning the player needs to roll a 16 or below.

Now assume that the PC is picking a lock.  There is no rush.  There is no chance of being caught and the PC can take hours if he wants.  In fact, he checked a book out on how to pick locks and has it with him.  He gains a 30 point bonus, meaning he needs to roll a 36 or below for success. 

The penalties and bonuses are up to the GM discretion.  The numbers listed are suggested bonuses and penalties.  The values can be increase or decreased based on the GM judgement.  Fundamentally, the GM needs to decide what counts as easy or difficult.  All I can say is that the rules ass that a normal situation is one where the PC is under stress or strain of some type, which usually means combat, the threat of being caught, or some time restriction.  This will be the most common situation that the PC will be in that requires the roll of dice. 

Blizzard

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Re: Some Questions from a Newbie...
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 02:28:09 AM »
First of all, thanks a lot for your answers and explanations. There are-for the moment-no further questions belonging to the game system itsself.

But I have another question, concerning the sample character on o.99/100:

The Character starts with a score in Agility of 55(%). This means, all ability base ratings (belonging to agility) get a score of 6 (because 5.5 is rounded up to 6). So far, so good. But: Looking at the final ability ratings on p. 99, all abilities belonging to agility(except the main abilities) have an average score, which is lowered to 5. But how? Why? The score of the attribute hasn't changed, agility score still remains at 55%.

The same thing with 'Perception'. The charater starts with a final score of 65(%) in Perception. But the final score i.e. Etiquette oder Games is 6. But..65%=6.5...which-as far as I have understood-would be rounded up to 7. This is a little bit confusing...

And last but not least: Regarding  the final abilities of the character, the whole abilities belonging to Will-attribute are completely missing.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 07:15:55 AM by Blizzard »

Darius

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Re: Some Questions from a Newbie...
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 06:52:05 PM »
First of all, thanks a lot for your answers and explanations. There are-for the moment-no further questions belonging to the game system itsself.

But I have another question, concerning the sample character on o.99/100:

The Character starts with a score in Agility of 55(%). This means, all ability base ratings (belonging to agility) get a score of 6 (because 5.5 is rounded up to 6). So far, so good. But: Looking at the final ability ratings on p. 99, all abilities belonging to agility(except the main abilities) have an average score, which is lowered to 5. But how? Why? The score of the attribute hasn't changed, agility score still remains at 55%.

That would be a mistake that was not caught in editing.  Something I can fix for the PDF, but unfortunately not in the printed books people may have.  I am surprised no one has pointed that out to me before. 

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And last but not least: Regarding  the final abilities of the character, the whole abilities belonging to Will-attribute are completely missing.

All of the Will based skills are magical.  You might think of those abilities as restricted.  Not everyone has magic.  Unless you create a character that has specific magical skills, then you have no chance of casting a spell.  So there are no default ratings for those. 

Now knowledge about magic (but not the ability to cast spells) is covered under Arcanum, which is under Knowledge.  That all PCs will have a rating in that skill.