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Darksyde

Anyone house ruled non-trained penalties?

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As his been said, I dont think there should be necessarily any unskilled penalties levied at characters, its been reiterated in this thread that star wars character are grand heroes in a space opera that tend to be pretty solid jack/jane of all trades. However that doesnt mean you should stop looking at setback dice for many of the same reason you give skilled people setback dice, which are specific to that skillset.

 

If you are gonna give the trained slicer a setback dice because this system is completely foreign to anything he's familiar with, that same setback die could be applied to the untrained PC attempting to slice an alien network. Of course the list of networks he's unfamiliar with is probably much larger.

 

If you are gonna give a setback die to the Techie attempting to repair or modify his gun without tools, the same can be said about the untrained PC attemting the same  (that is of course unless they have managed to get their hands on the appropriate tools)

 

and so on so forth

 

mostly reiterating whats been said here, but i never get to these things first so if im gonna have posts i just have to do that :P haha. 

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You already have the tools to do this in the Setback dice, as people have said.  And using DP for an upgrade to red. I think that's elegant enough.

 

And besides, this is Star Wars, where all the character seem to do okay when they find themselves in a TIE Fighter or using the big guns on the Falcon for the first time.  Not every character need have every skill, and a good bunch of greens will get you through most times, even without Triumphs.  That feels perfectly in keeping with the pulp setting to me.

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Not to keep beating the dead Tauntaun here....ewww, poor thing.

But even in the core book it was mentioned that the difference between the skilled and trained, and the trained and skilled was no different.

What I mean is in this system you take the higher of two the dice pools, Ability or Skill, and this is your Green dice pool, then the Lower amount becomes the upgraded yellow dice pool.

So for your Ranged: Light you have Dex of 3 and Ranged light of 1. You end up rolling 2 Green and 1 Yellow.

Now if it were reversed and you had a Dex of 1, and a Ranged light of 3, you would still roll 2 Green and 1 Yellow.

Being trained, while it helps out, doesn't really change much. I guess if it would have been a different way, were maybe you took your ability and they are green, then for every skill level you added in a yellow die, I can see how that could really change the game around. I think some people do misunderstand and do it this way actually. But it's not supposed to work this way...

So again, punishing those that don't have ranks in a skill is really over the top. I know for my players who all around 400 XP, they have more untrained skills than they do trained. And not to sound to harsh here, but to say "well, you are untrained, I'm going to make it harder in you" is just bad GM form. But to say well it's dark, you don't have the right manual, it raining, it's cold, the speeder headlights flashing from across the way keep blinding you, the Twi'lek down the way keeps giving you the eye... These are great ways to put in setback dice, and should be used, as they help explain the narrative of the environment. And many players will have great talents that block a lot of these setback. But they should still be used, or the talents feel wasted.

Edited by R2builder

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Page 38 of the WHFRP 3e Game Masters sub-forum has a similar topic and has some solid advice and insights, particularly the contributions about the differences between "book" learning, natural aptitude, and practical experience.

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Page 38 of the WHFRP 3e Game Masters sub-forum has a similar topic and has some solid advice and insights, particularly the contributions about the differences between "book" learning, natural aptitude, and practical experience.

 

Link: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/26733-adding-penalty-for-untrained-skill-use/

 

So, some similar takes. I'm not exceptionally familiar with WHFRP, so the nuances of the game are totally lost on me, but I do understand Challenge and Misfortune :)

 

I really like the idea of "coloring" the results of the skill checks. This is one of the easiest ways to deal with a lack of training: tailor the results of the skill check to the PC who made the check. Different characters will see the world in different ways, and (for example) they will more readily notice things that are important to them; details that, to other characters, might seem insignificant.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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I don't allow adding a blue by helping unless the characters are both skilled. (I still allow My skill + your Attribute type helping for the guy with the attribute.)

 

I feel that the big penalty for being unskilled is having no (or almost no) yellow dice, and that's plenty enough for most combat uses.

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In game terms, I have zero ranks in Mechanics. But I can still make my mechanic friend's job easier by holding a flashlight wherever he tells me. Thus, I impart a Boost die to his efforts. 

 

That is what "unskilled assistance" is supposed to represent. You're just an extra pair of hands that has a 1/3 chance of not making any difference anyway.

 

So...IMO, that house rule is unnecessary. 

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Ah, the ever helpful house rules always making the game so much better, entertaining, and "funner".

Sorry. Hey if that's what you guys want to do and it works, fine. But I have players that actually read the read the books, and expect things to work a certain way. So if I just arbitrarily go against the book for no real reason, they ask WTF.

I have found in my experience as a GM and the few times as a player, when a player expects things to work a certain way, I.e. The Rule Book, and it doesn't, especially to the detriment of the players, the game feels a lot more adversarial. Which I don't like, as a player, or as a GM.

But most skills can benefit from an untrained helper. Hey let me get those surgical tools for you, let me get the hydrospaner, as in the above example, I can hold the flashlight.

So again, whatever works for you and your group, but if I were a player and a GM told me some asinine house rule like that, I would add in the boost die anyway. But if your group is happy, and having fun, that is the important thing.

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Also, just because a character lacks ranks in the school, doesn't mean they don't have training of some sort, which is what Talents from the specializations represent.

 

"Talents represent various tricks, techniques, and knacks characters pick up over their career, or reflect their sheer determination to get things done." Which is why Talents do things like add Boost, or strip Setback.

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I just see this as a reason to give setback. that is the most i would do.

That or flip a Destiny Point to upgrade the difficulty, because in the words of Jay Little, "what's the worst that could happen?" ;):P

 

Anything else, liked increased difficulties, boils down to the GM being a punitive jerk.  As was noted above, the existing dice mechanics already have a "penalty" for not having any proficiency dice in a roll, namely lack of an opportunity to roll a Triumph, but that you're more likely to wind up with a "success and threat" scenario than you are "success with advantage."

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Any untrained skill roll, has +1 difficulty. That's hows I game...

Man, glad I don't game with you. You must like watching your players fail. I have seen more character builds put more into their Talents than their skills. Once again, awesome house rules making the game so much better. The bad thing is, the players probably have no idea that this is a "house rule" and just thinks that is how the game should work.

Sorry, but I feel this is really sad. Just one more example of the Power Game Master.

Edited by R2builder

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Any untrained skill roll, has +1 difficulty. That's hows I game...

Man, glad I don't game with you. You must like watching your players fail. I have seen more character builds put more into their Talents than their skills. Once again, awesome house rules making the game so much better. The bad thing is, the players probably have no idea that this is a "house rule" and just thinks that is how the game should work.

Sorry, but I feel this is really sad. Just one more example of the Power Game Master.

 

 

I am also sad that you find this comment related to the thread, constructive criticism, or anything oddly worthy of my comment, however I will indulge you... Yes, my players know its house ruled, yes I am a tough Galaxy Master, and I consider it essential to buy into skills then talents (therefore, the "incentive" in greater difficulty) ... still I am running a game for 6 people for 3 years now, and they enjoy it very much.

Seriously, do you understand that any game and player is different? What gives you the idea that what you think is good for a game is good for any game?

Edited by RusakRakesh

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Any untrained skill roll, has +1 difficulty. That's hows I game...

Man, glad I don't game with you. You must like watching your players fail. I have seen more character builds put more into their Talents than their skills. Once again, awesome house rules making the game so much better. The bad thing as, the players probably have no idea that this is a "house rule" and just thinks that is how the game should work.

Sorry, but I feel this is really sad. Just one more example of the Power Game Master.

I am also sad that you find this comment related to the thread, constructive criticism, or anything oddly worthy of my comment, however I will indulge you... Yes, my players know its house ruled, yes I am a tough Galaxy Master, and I consider it essential to buy into skills then talents (therefore, the "incentive" in greater difficulty) ... still I am running a game for 6 people for 3 years now, and they enjoy it very much.

Seriously, do you understand that any game and player is different? What gives you the idea that what you think is good for a game is good for any game?

As I'm fond of repeating, the moment you spend your cash the game ceases belonging to anyone but you, and it is then you can do whatever you want with it. Replies that say "I feel" and "I think" that are followed by carelessly cast name calling and judgements of character are rife here, and breeding like rabbits. Add and omit whatever you choose, its your game, not theirs. And I very strongly doubt anyone plays this game entirely by its rules verbatim...there aren't enough words included to clear up every single ambiguity.

Disclaimer: The word "you" and its derivatives are used in a general context. Anyone and everyone offended by the contents of this comment or otherwise compelled to defend themselves of its opinion isn't/aren't the intended recipients, because no one is.

Edit: No rabbits were harmed during the composition of this comment or its disclaimer.

Edited by Alekzanter

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Tasks can be a lot trickier when the person performing them has no experience.  I've increased the difficulty of rolls for untrained characters in my games a few times, but usually with red or black dice instead of basic purple difficulty dice.  I think paying attention to the context of each roll will give better results and feel more real to your players than one general rule will.

 

Take electrical construction, for example.  There are elements of general fabrication, such as laying piping or building device boxes.  Mistakes here can cause delays or waste materials.  On the other hand, sometimes workers have to handle live circuits, during which inexperience can cause dangerous, even lethal mistakes.  In my experience, even basic training and skill reduces or eliminates the majority of both problems.

 

In game, both of these tasks would be handled by the Mechanics skill, but I would Increase the Difficulty or add Setback for fabrication checks, while I would Upgrade the difficulty of any checks working with live circuitry for anyone making untrained checks (on top of any initial difficulty and upgrades.)

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I completely understand not wanting to add house rules. If it's not broke, don't fix it. BUT, sometimes there ARE things to be fixed, even if it's only a personal thing that only you are your group prefers. Thus, house rules are fine as long as they make the game better for you and yours. It's hard to argue otherwise. Just don't add them unless they actually DO fix something for you.

 

The term house rule when it comes to RPG's is pretty ancient. House rules have always and will always exist even if the system is near perfect since personal preferences will always exist.

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A lot of people think the game isn't balanced and they want to adjust it. I would suggest before you do that you look at the success rates vs difficulty already and then math out the % you are hurting the player by increasing difficulty or adding an upgrade.

 

I'd also suggest playing as is first before.

 

Between combat, piloting, diplomacy, tech, infiltration/theft, and knowledge most characters will be missing 2-4 types and yet be called upon to rely on their weaknesses from time to time.

 

Rolling 1-2 green dice against difficulty 2 is already tough add in setbacks for untrained or challenge dice for any task means that your players are going to fail a lot more often then they succeed.

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In game terms, I have zero ranks in Mechanics. But I can still make my mechanic friend's job easier by holding a flashlight wherever he tells me. Thus, I impart a Boost die to his efforts. 

 

That is what "unskilled assistance" is supposed to represent. You're just an extra pair of hands that has a 1/3 chance of not making any difference anyway.

 

So...IMO, that house rule is unnecessary. 

Not in my experience. Holding the light isn't worth a blue die. Helping him find the bolts gone missing would be a separate task using perception... after he rolls that despair for lost parts.

 

My experience is that unskilled help is usually more hassle than help. Especially for mechanics. 

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In game terms, I have zero ranks in Mechanics. But I can still make my mechanic friend's job easier by holding a flashlight wherever he tells me. Thus, I impart a Boost die to his efforts. 

 

That is what "unskilled assistance" is supposed to represent. You're just an extra pair of hands that has a 1/3 chance of not making any difference anyway.

 

So...IMO, that house rule is unnecessary. 

Not in my experience. Holding the light isn't worth a blue die. Helping him find the bolts gone missing would be a separate task using perception... after he rolls that despair for lost parts.

 

My experience is that unskilled help is usually more hassle than help. Especially for mechanics. 

 

Because doing you work in the dark makes things easier than the unskilled person holding a flashlight so you can actually see what you are doing...Said no Mechanic ever. 

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Something that I don't think was covered, adding a penalty for unskilled checks kinda screws you over for char generation. The basic implication when building a character is that starting out the challenges are such that you don't need to be trained in a skill to succeed. Thus you can put most of your points into attributes since you won't be raising them often later. Once you add a penalty then you pretty much either screw the guy who bought attributes over skills or screw the guy who doesn't want a penalty so invest in skills at the cost of not having good attributes.  

 

That isn't to say that there aren't task that maybe one should be skilled at before performing, but that's kinda what the black dice are for. But the game inherently assumes that early challenges are more along the lines of things that can be accomplished without needing skill ranks. Penalties disrupt this basic assumption in char generation. 

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I don't have any set rules for doing unskilled checks but I like using the Boost and Setback system to represent characters doing things that are either familiar or unfamiliar. If a starfighter pilot hops into a sil 5 ship they've never flown before I don't mind adding a setback or two to represent their unfamiliarity with the controls and how the craft handles. Alternatively I prefer throwing in a boost or even an upgrade for a character making a check to find a good spot to setup an ambush in the neighborhood they grew up in.

Edited by Holzy

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