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A Comment on the criticisms that are all over this board:

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mcv said:

 

Gallows said:

 

you can persuade someone with honeyed words or some of the other social actions.

 

 

Yes, but what if you don't have Honeyed Words or some other social action. Then you can't persuade someone? If that was true, then there should have been a "Persuade" basic action. There isn't. Surely if I've got Guile or some other social skill I should be able to use it, shouldn't I?

Gallows said:

 

Someone with just two in a characteristic will be crappy at average checks and 2vs2 still gives an average check.

 

 

That's exactly my point: it doesn't favour the active part. It only favours him when he and his opposition are strong. Isn't it silly that a weakling would have a much harder time defeating another weakling (whether it's overpowering him or sneaking past him) than a strong or able guy defeating an equally strong/able guy?

Gallows said:

 

I know what you think about the scaling, but as you gain ranks you also gain a lot of defensive cards to apply in such situations to make the task harder for the opponent and rank 1 characters won't have these cards. It does scale as a whole, but not when you look at the dice in isolation. You need to take defensive cards into account as well (there is one for social actions as well).

 

 

You can actually take those defensive cards early. If there is one that requires you to be rank 2 (there might be), then I'm not aware of it.

Gallows said:

 

But check out my house rules. Then you'll see that I have also "fixed" things in the system. But NO system will go untouched by our groups. We have always made house rules even for great systems like wfrp 3rd ed. and the storyteller system.

 

But that means that you do agree that there are things about the system that are broken, if taken directly from the book.

My group does not houserule a lot, but for WFRP3 I do intend to write down a comprehensive set of house rules and rulings, and hopefully publish them on the web.

 

 

 

If you don't have honeyed words you can perform a stunt and simply roll a charm/guile/intimidate check. Easy. Stop being so square. :P

By your logic players should be hit more and more often as they rank up, because more skilled/dangerous monsters have better dice pool. But fact is with the rank 4 iron breaker in my group, that he is more capable defensively than he has ever been. You can't have a lot of defensive cards at rank one, and most likely you won't have the improved ones.

I do not agree that the rules are broken. They can be used as they are, but we just want more detail. They work as they are.

If you want to quote me, then quote everything, concerning whatever you reply to, instead of taking it out of context.

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 Quote from MCV

No they don't. They only favour the active part when he and his opposition are strong. When they are both weak, the test is a lot harder. That's what it means when something doesn't scale. I don't need perfect balance, I just want plausible results.

AAAAAH NOW I understand what you mean. You have a point there:

Two guys grappling, both have Str of 2 - very difficult opposed test (two purple vs. 2 blue)

Two guys grappling, both have Str of 5 - very EASY (two purple vs. 5 blue)

I must be missing something, because that DOES seem like a core issue with opposed tests.

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Necrozius said:

 

 Quote from MCV

No they don't. They only favour the active part when he and his opposition are strong. When they are both weak, the test is a lot harder. That's what it means when something doesn't scale. I don't need perfect balance, I just want plausible results.

AAAAAH NOW I understand what you mean. You have a point there:

Two guys grappling, both have Str of 2 - very difficult opposed test (two purple vs. 2 blue)

Two guys grappling, both have Str of 5 - very EASY (two purple vs. 5 blue)

I must be missing something, because that DOES seem like a core issue with opposed tests.

 

 

 

That's the general imbalance of the scaling. But someone grappling outside of combat (arm wrestling for instance) is best handled by competitive checks. For actions it's fine really.

 

It just means that if you have more dice you have an easier time doing something even against a better foe and even easier against a weaker foe. It works well in most situations. It's only when players are in direct competition (running contest, arm wrestling etc.), but those situations should be handled by competitive tests.

 

Opposed tests just mean there is someone opposing your action, but they aren't opposing you actively (unless they use defence cards). If you're a good fighter you will still have an easier time landing a hard blow of someone of your own skill if he isn't actively defending himself, compared to a weak fighter trying to do something against someone his own size.

 

If the opponent is actively resisting then he either puts defence cards down on the table or you resolve it as a competitive check.

 

I have tried creating new opposed tests to replace the competitive checks (so we only needed one dice pool), but I can't think of any way to handle it. No matter what I have tried it will be imbalanced at some point in character progression. Perhaps that's the reason FFG haven't made it. Competitive checks work perfectly though.

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 Just to clarify it further. If you insist on using opposed checks where you should have used competitive checks, then of course the system breaks down. That's not a flaw in the system, it's because you use the wrong checks. Here's an example.

 

A very stealthy character tries to hide from a very observant guard, who isn't actively looking for him. He will have two challenge dice and possibly some misfortune dice because of skill. It's easier for this character to hide from this observant guard because of his skill, than it would be for a clumsy dwarf trying to hide from a not very observant guard. That works just fine.

 

Now if the guard was aware of his presence and was actively looking for him, then you would have to use competitive checks to simulate that. If you chose not to, then you're using the wrong checks and the error is on the GM and not the system.

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Gallows said:

It just means that if you have more dice you have an easier time doing something even against a better foe and even easier against a weaker foe. It works well in most situations. It's only when players are in direct competition (running contest, arm wrestling etc.), but those situations should be handled by competitive tests.

I don't think you quite see what the problem is here. Suppose the acting character is doing something that requires an opposed check (for whatever reason) against a particular opponent of a given ability. If the acting character is weak, he gets penalized twice by the opposing test rules: he gets less blue dice (obviously), but on top of that, he also gets more challenge dice for being weaker than his opponent, despite the fact that that is already represented by him having less blue dice. The stronger acting player gets rewarded twice: first for having a higher ability, and therefore more blue dice, and secondly by getting less challenge dice.

The ability of the opponent should be represented by a static difficulty. he difficulty of a task shouldn't go up or down depending on how good the acting character is at that task. The acting character's ability is already represented by his own ability dice. This is a problem that only occurs with opposed tests, and not with any other kind of test in the game.

I really don't know how to make this any easier to understand.

Gallows said:

Opposed tests just mean there is someone opposing your action, but they aren't opposing you actively (unless they use defence cards). If you're a good fighter you will still have an easier time landing a hard blow of someone of your own skill if he isn't actively defending himself, compared to a weak fighter trying to do something against someone his own size.

If the opponent is actively resisting then he either puts defence cards down on the table or you resolve it as a competitive check.

So because somebody actively attempts to thwart you, it gets easier?! No! That's just wrong. Yet that is the implication of what you're saying.

Suppose clumsy Abe is trying to sneak past blind Bob. Both have an ability of 2 and no relevant skill. While Bob is looking the other way and not aware that Abe might even be near, you say it should be an opposed test, and Abe rolls his two blue dice with 2 purple dice. He'll probably fail. But if Bob is aware that Abe might be nearby, and is actively looking for him, suddenly they both roll two blue dice. An even chance of either of them winning.

Another issue is that competitive checks only really work when a tie means something. You can tie a race, or have a standoff in an arm wrestling match, but what does a tie mean when one is trying to sneak and the other is trying to spot him? There's not really any sort of stand-off you can have there. You get noticed or you don't get noticed.

Gallows said:

I have tried creating new opposed tests to replace the competitive checks (so we only needed one dice pool), but I can't think of any way to handle it. No matter what I have tried it will be imbalanced at some point in character progression. Perhaps that's the reason FFG haven't made it. Competitive checks work perfectly though.

For opposed checks (unlike competitive checks), balance doesn't have to be perfect, IMO. It has to be plausible, and it has to scale. I'm currently leaning towards: opponent's skill => challenge dice; opponent's ability => misfortune dice. I still need to work out the math for this. It's possible that it gets too easy when your opponent is completely unskilled. Maybe if the opponent is unskilled, one misfortune die gets replaced by a challenge die?

With the dice we've got, I think this is the closest we can get without making it really complex, whereas this rule is actually easier than the official opposed test rule, so that's certainly an advantage.

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Gallows said:

A very stealthy character tries to hide from a very observant guard, who isn't actively looking for him. He will have two challenge dice and possibly some misfortune dice because of skill. It's easier for this character to hide from this observant guard because of his skill, than it would be for a clumsy dwarf trying to hide from a not very observant guard. That works just fine.

No, that doesn't work fine. A clumsy dwarf should have just an easy/hard time hiding from a very unobservant guard, as a skilled character from a skilled guard. It doesn't have to be exactly equally, but it shouldn't suddenly get ridiculously hard. It should not be unimaginable for that dwarf to sneak past some unobservant guard who's not paying attention.

Gallows said:

Now if the guard was aware of his presence and was actively looking for him, then you would have to use competitive checks to simulate that. If you chose not to, then you're using the wrong checks and the error is on the GM and not the system.

But don't you see that if the guard was aware of his presence, your way would suddenly make it easier for the dwarf to sneak past? How can you not admit that that's ridiculous?

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@MCV:I think the example that Gallows picked illustrates the problem here too. That is, you should never use a competitive check in this situation. Whether or not gaurds on watch are "activey" seeking troublemakers is irrelevant. In fact, I think it is just the term "opposing check" that is making this confusing. Competitive checks are only for situations 1) where everyone is trying to perform the exact same action and 2) where you want to know who peforms that action best or first. the example from the rulebook is an arm-wrestling match because both sides will be making the same naked strength check to see who gets the most successes. Every time you roll for inititative you are making a competitive check based on agi or fel.

After you separate opposed checks from the problem of confusing them with competitive checks what is left?

Assuming we are only making a plain opposed stealth check:

poor stealth (2 agi) : poor observation (2 int) = the unmodified dice pool for the player is 2 characteristic, and 2 challenge dice and he only needs one success

poor stealther (2agi) : strong observer (5 int) = "      " is 2 blue, 4 purple

strong stealth (5 agi) : poor observer (2 int) = "     " is 5 blue, 0 purple

strong (5 agi) : strong (5int) = "   " is 5 blue, 2 purple

This rewards players who go out of their way to specialize ( which I think you should) and punishes their weaknesses. The good news is that pc's should usually (might always) be on the active side of opposed checks. If the players are suppossed to be doing the gaurding, then I would have them make an active opposed observation check versus the npc's stealth instead of making an opposed check against the players observation. The bad news is that gm's can tip the balance back in the npc's favor by adding aggression dice, calling a mutation into play, use a location cards that hurts players, etc. It is amazing what you can do to the players if you really want to mess with them.

I can understand that you feel that there should be the same chance of failure and success for poor vs. poor and strong vs. strong, and I think that is exactly what happens in dnd4e engine, but mechanics-wise this means that characters actually can improve overtime in WFRP and don't have to worry about finding tons of magic loot just to keep up with the games scaling mechanism. In short, I don't think it means anything is broken. Just looks like an intentional design choice.   

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Aye.

Oppossed checks are when you "opposse" one another, thus trying to make the whole action performed fail, not by succeeding yourself, but simply to make it fail.

Competetive checks are when both (or several) are trying to accomplish the same thing, and so who ever reaches the end of the tracker first, wins.

So in the sneaking example, wether or not the guard is actively looking for someone sneaking past him, is irrelevant to which check you make, but it is HIGHLY relevant to which modifiers (dice) you add. For a semi-drunk gambling guard, I'd add maybe 2-3 fortune dice to the attempt, while adding 2-3 misfortune dice to a guard looking for someone trying to get in, and maybe even add challenge dice.

I do very few competetive checks, as most should be reolved by opposed checks (chases through the city, where one is trying to avoid the other one getting away). I mainly use it when two persons are trying to reach the same goal, by using different skills, for example in gambling, where both skulldudgery, observation, intuition etc... might be used. But for the most, competetive checks means more dice rolling, so I tend to avoid it.

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Another option for this ongoing Stealth vs. Obervation debate is to use a Progress tracker so that each party is making thier own checks and advancing themselves toward their goal, either sneaking past or spotting the sneak.

We've been playing 3e for quite a while now and havn't had any problem with this, but to be fair my group isn't interested in mechanics that try to simulate reality or that strictly "make sense" and maintain "balance".  We are looking for a fast paced game that simply Assists us in telling a great story.

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Bindlespin said:

This rewards players who go out of their way to specialize ( which I think you should) and punishes their weaknesses.

It doesn't just punish specific weaknesses, it punishes them for trying anything outside their specialisation, and I don't like that. I want to reward my players for trying something unusual. A think a clumsy dwarf should have a chance of sneaking past a guard, especially when that guard isn't all that skilled either. I like it when they go for long odds and succeed.

And similarly, even when they are very specialized, there should still be a chance of failure. I don't want my players to become one-trick-ponies.

Bindlespin said:

I can understand that you feel that there should be the same chance of failure and success for poor vs. poor and strong vs. strong, and I think that is exactly what happens in dnd4e engine, but mechanics-wise this means that characters actually can improve overtime in WFRP and don't have to worry about finding tons of magic loot just to keep up with the games scaling mechanism. In short, I don't think it means anything is broken. Just looks like an intentional design choice.   

Having a system that scales doesn't have to mean that you can't improve relative to your environment. That's a problem very specific to D&D and Oblivion, and is not automatically linked to this issue. I just want it to make sense. You should have some decent chance of failure and a decent chance of success when you go up against someone of equal ability, no matter how good you both are.

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mcv said:

Bindlespin said:

 

This rewards players who go out of their way to specialize ( which I think you should) and punishes their weaknesses.

 

 

It doesn't just punish specific weaknesses, it punishes them for trying anything outside their specialisation, and I don't like that. I want to reward my players for trying something unusual. A think a clumsy dwarf should have a chance of sneaking past a guard, especially when that guard isn't all that skilled either. I like it when they go for long odds and succeed.

 

 

I call FAIR WARNING to any player who overspecializes.  No, there shouldn't be a 'decent' chance for an overspecialized battle-pony to do jack outside of his overspecialization. 

That's one thing I like about this game.  It AINT' D&D.  You're not good at everything and epic at everything else.  It forces _players_ to think outside the box.  it doesn't come down to a dice roll or a  push of the 'win button' (as we say for MMO's). 

For example: Players who want to be an overspecialized troll slayer do not deserve any good rolls for social actions.  The same is true for the Envoy.  If he overspecializes in social, then he deserves to suck at battle.  If the overspecialized battle pony player tells the GM he wants to sneak past the drunken, blind, deaf ork he might have a chance, but everything else came down to THE PLAYERS DECISION TO OVERSPECIALIZE HIS CHARACTER.  The GM should probably encourage that player to try another option..afterall he has 4 other skills for which he had the chance to drop in some points...oh, he didn't put any points there and instead min-maxed his characteristics?  Oh, too bad, so sad.  I weep..not.

Players need to be told ahead of time to diversify and to understand that right off the bat though as many of us have become accustomed to the D&D-way of "not" thinking our way through things.  Of course, if the GM doesn't present any other options..then..ugh..sucks to be that player ;)

jh

rat-bastard GM

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mcv said:

Bindlespin said:

 

This rewards players who go out of their way to specialize ( which I think you should) and punishes their weaknesses.

 

 

It doesn't just punish specific weaknesses, it punishes them for trying anything outside their specialisation, and I don't like that. I want to reward my players for trying something unusual. A think a clumsy dwarf should have a chance of sneaking past a guard, especially when that guard isn't all that skilled either. I like it when they go for long odds and succeed.

And similarly, even when they are very specialized, there should still be a chance of failure. I don't want my players to become one-trick-ponies.

Bindlespin said:

 

I can understand that you feel that there should be the same chance of failure and success for poor vs. poor and strong vs. strong, and I think that is exactly what happens in dnd4e engine, but mechanics-wise this means that characters actually can improve overtime in WFRP and don't have to worry about finding tons of magic loot just to keep up with the games scaling mechanism. In short, I don't think it means anything is broken. Just looks like an intentional design choice.   

 

 

Having a system that scales doesn't have to mean that you can't improve relative to your environment. That's a problem very specific to D&D and Oblivion, and is not automatically linked to this issue. I just want it to make sense. You should have some decent chance of failure and a decent chance of success when you go up against someone of equal ability, no matter how good you both are.

mcv said:

a clumsy dwarf should have a chance of sneaking past a guard, especially when that guard isn't all that skilled either.

Clumsy dwarves do have a chance at sneaking past mediocre guards. With planning and good roleplaying he might be able to earn enough fortune dice to tilt the odds slightly in his favor, but an agile stealth trained dwarf has a high chance of success against a very good guard and an extremely high chance of success vs a medium guard with only a small chance of failure. There is nothing wrong here.

Why? Because the opposed check chart is just another way to assign a challenge rating for an attribute check, and starts from the logic that the challenge rating of a task based on two opposed but equal attributes is always an average challenge. That a dwarf with five Agi rolls five dice for attribute checks and a dwarf with 2 Agi rolls 2 dice says that no matter what the challenge rating these two dwarves face, the 5 Agi dwarf will do better on Agi checks. Both of these make sense.

mcv said:


 

 You should have some decent chance of failure and a decent chance of success when you go up against someone of equal ability, no matter how good you both are.

This is not what is happening in opposed checks, and this is why Gallows started talking about competitive checks. I think it is really just a problem with terms here. An opposed check is just an attribute check that uses the relative strength of an opposing characteristic to determine its challenge rating. 

To get what you want you could just make a new type of check based on two opposed checks, one for the guard and one for the sneak-thief and the one with the most success could win as a house rule. Or not, because I don't think it is really necessary:)

 

 

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Sorry, I didn't mean to double-quote everything. @MCV: I just think you point out a really interesting design choice that was made here, not trying to give you hard time. It is just kind of fun to think about and maybe doing two opposed checks and comparing successes fixes what you don't like.

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Two things...:

1) This game rewards "Jack of all trade" characters, few game does this. But I've found that the players who play characters that can do some of everything, are the ones who has the most fun. Mainly because they can do stuff on their own. They can go down to the habor, talk to the Habor-Master (social check), discover that the grain might be hidden at Gildforts warehouse, go down there and from a hidden position (stealth) observe what is happening there (observation), know that something is not right (intuition/folklore), and then overcome the solo guard, to obtain evidence (combat).

The characters who overspecialize in my group, can't really do much solo, as they'll to often run into problems.

2) 3 vs. 4 strength is not just 1/3rd better, it's 2/3rd better (3 strength costs 6 points, 4 costs 10). So stats scale quite steep. 4 vs. 5 is "just" 50% better, but being 50% stronger than someone else is quite a LOT! It's you benchpressing 80 kg, while he does 120 kg! And for the 2 agility dwarf, vs. 3 agility guard, you're compeeting against someone who's twice as good as you.

Now you can argue that points can't be translated directly into how much better you are (training from 100 to 120 kg benchpressing takes a great deal more work, than from 80 to 100 for example). But this is how I see it, and also how I explain why you're being "punished" twice in opposed checks. You both have few characteristic dice from your low stat, but also from your stat being lower than your opponent. This I see is due to you being a LOT "weaker" at what you try, than your opponent.

 

To me this really enforces two things...:

1) No one trick ponies...

2) Players don't just purchase fortune dice to stats, because stats are VERY important in opposed checks.

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 I got into this a bit in Episode 5 of the Reckless Dice Podcast. The three axis of adventure are combat, social and investigation. Having a character that's only good at one axis is not going to be fun if the GM isn't focused on that axis as well. If it's a combat heavy dungeon dive, then combat it up. It's really about communication and expectation between the players and GM.

Balance isn't just for adventures, but campaigns as well. Your Scholar may have a blast with the investigation of cult doings but then travelling to a new city and fighting bandits and beastmen on the way may suck.

I always encourage balanced characters in my games.

  • Combat: Be danger worthy. You don't have to be a combat god but Felix knew the right end of a sword and could hold his own.
  • Social: Have a style. Gotrek wasn't as comfortable as Felix in social situations but he played up the surly dwarven stereotype that made him interesting.
  • Investigation: Be curious and ask questions. This relies more on the Player gettting active and driving the character into situations more than anything. 

 

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Rorschach Six said:

  • Combat: Be danger worthy. You don't have to be a combat god but Felix knew the right end of a sword and could hold his own.
  • Social: Have a style. Gotrek wasn't as comfortable as Felix in social situations but he played up the surly dwarven stereotype that made him interesting.
  • Investigation: Be curious and ask questions. This relies more on the Player gettting active and driving the character into situations more than anything. 

Agreed, a combat character (like the dwarven slayer in our group) can have a really good time in social situations, just get a social action or two that fits and think through how to play the character in non-combat situations.

Same goes for non-combat characters, get a card or two that help you out in combat and you will have a much more rewarding time when there's a fight.

The good thing about WFRP to my mind is that there are generally some action cards that does not use the "standard" attributes for the situatuation. Thus a social character could get co-ordinated strike, to use every now and then, and maybe improved guarded position, both of which are useful in combat but does not use STR/AG and WS/BS.

Same goes for the combat heavies, Fear me! is allready a classic move in social situations, because the sour dwarven slayer uses it to bully his way through social situations.

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Emirikol said:

I call FAIR WARNING to any player who overspecializes.  No, there shouldn't be a 'decent' chance for an overspecialized battle-pony to do jack outside of his overspecialization. 

That's one thing I like about this game.  It AINT' D&D.  You're not good at everything and epic at everything else.  It forces _players_ to think outside the box.  it doesn't come down to a dice roll or a  push of the 'win button' (as we say for MMO's). 

For example: Players who want to be an overspecialized troll slayer do not deserve any good rolls for social actions.  The same is true for the Envoy.  If he overspecializes in social, then he deserves to suck at battle.  If the overspecialized battle pony player tells the GM he wants to sneak past the drunken, blind, deaf ork he might have a chance, but everything else came down to THE PLAYERS DECISION TO OVERSPECIALIZE HIS CHARACTER.  The GM should probably encourage that player to try another option..afterall he has 4 other skills for which he had the chance to drop in some points...oh, he didn't put any points there and instead min-maxed his characteristics?  Oh, too bad, so sad.  I weep..not.

Players need to be told ahead of time to diversify and to understand that right off the bat though as many of us have become accustomed to the D&D-way of "not" thinking our way through things.  Of course, if the GM doesn't present any other options..then..ugh..sucks to be that player ;)

Note that you are defending the broken opposed checks mechanism from the exact opposite point as Bindlespin. Bindlespin says it's good because it rewards specialization, while you say it's good because it punishes specialization. Which is it?

It's a bit of both, really. The problem is that the system is excessively punishing on low ability scores when used in an opposed check, whereas it's excessively rewarding of high ability scores when used as part of an opposed check.

The problem isn't so much that specialization is rewarded or punished, it's that the reward or punishment is suddenly doubled in an opposed check. That's not necessary and doesn't make sense.

If you translate what the opposed check rules do to normal checks, what you'd get is that if yous ability is 3, you add an extra challenge die, and if it's 2 or lower, you add another challenge die. It's just not necessary. Your ability is already reflected by the number of ability dice. It doesn't need to be reflected a second time by the number of challenge dice.

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Spivo said:

Two things...:

1) This game rewards "Jack of all trade" characters, few game does this. But I've found that the players who play characters that can do some of everything, are the ones who has the most fun. Mainly because they can do stuff on their own. They can go down to the habor, talk to the Habor-Master (social check), discover that the grain might be hidden at Gildforts warehouse, go down there and from a hidden position (stealth) observe what is happening there (observation), know that something is not right (intuition/folklore), and then overcome the solo guard, to obtain evidence (combat).

The characters who overspecialize in my group, can't really do much solo, as they'll to often run into problems.

But according to Bindlespin, they have to specialize in order to have a chance at those opposed tests. I'm still not sure which it is. High attributes get doubly rewarded by opposed tests, while low attributes get doubly punished. Personally, I'd rather just fix the system, so it gets more linear and predictable.

Spivo said:

2) 3 vs. 4 strength is not just 1/3rd better, it's 2/3rd better (3 strength costs 6 points, 4 costs 10). So stats scale quite steep. 4 vs. 5 is "just" 50% better, but being 50% stronger than someone else is quite a LOT! It's you benchpressing 80 kg, while he does 120 kg! And for the 2 agility dwarf, vs. 3 agility guard, you're compeeting against someone who's twice as good as you.

That's not relevant. (Also not true; there's no reason at all to assume that it's cost rather than score that determines how good you really are.) The real problem is that opponent's true ability is irrelevant in opposed checks. The difficulty is determined by his ability relative to yours! Your ability is represented by the difficulty, and that's just wrong. It's double. When we're both roughly equally good, I should have a reasonable chance of success and failure, whether we both have a score of 3 or 5.

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Have you actually played the game? I know that there are problems with the system from a theoretical perspective, but in practice it works just fine. 

I still don't know why people who don't like the game post in these forums. It's like hanging around outside your ex-girlfriend's house, and throwing rocks at her window. What do you expect to happen?

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I guess I'm lucky that I'm blissfully stupid: the more I try to ponder the mathematical and probability aspects of these rules, the more my brain backfires with images of hammers, skulls and the Perform a Stunt card.

When it really boils down, I think that one can tear apart ANY RPG system and find an inconsistent or broken rule.

What to do? GM magic, I guess. A human has STR 4 and is facing off against a horse with STR 4. As a GM, I'd simply go: "the horse is bigger, has more stamina and despite the rules, should technically win, so add a handful of misfortune dice".

A bit of an extreme example, but the point is that I judge every check in it's own context. Sure PC A and NPC B have the same strength, but who would typically have the upper hand in the context of a specific opposed check? The guy who is strong from a lifetime of farm work? Or the guy who is strong from a military lifestyle? I'd weigh this as fast as I can, verbalize my decision and award fortune or misfortune dice to tip the scale.

Yeah, that could work.

EDIT: and if my players dispute my decision, the blacksmith turns into a dragon and eats them. 

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Doc, the Weasel said:

Have you actually played the game? I know that there are problems with the system from a theoretical perspective, but in practice it works just fine.

I have played the game, but not often enough for this problem to become obvious during play. And it's not a problem that's likely to show up immediately anyway. You don't use opposed checks all the time, most opponents for these checks are likely to be somewhat average, etc. However, once you get enough opposed checks with PCs of varying ability against opponents with varying ability, any player with some sense for probabilities will notice that something funny is going on.

Some people on this forum have suggested using opposed checks in combat, and I think that's a really interesting idea, but it's not going to work well with the current rules for opposed checks.

Doc, the Weasel said:

I still don't know why people who don't like the game post in these forums. It's like hanging around outside your ex-girlfriend's house, and throwing rocks at her window. What do you expect to happen?

I agree. I haven't seen that for some time in this thread, fortunately. Though I haven't checked all threads recently.

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