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Humunculus84

Difficulty and ability ratings - help.

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I am confused. In fact sometimes I feel like I completely understand these parts of the system and then I think about it a little more and I get confused again.

What am I talking about? Well characteristic ratings, their meaning and how they relate to difficulties. 

To elaborate, according to the book the average human has 2 in all attributes and a five can be considered the absolute peak of human ability.

But is this rating an absolute value? If a human has 5 brawn and a triceratops also has 5 brawn does that mean they are tied strength wise?

The obvious answer would be no, because for one the dinosaur is bigger. Much bigger. Probably silhouette 3 or 4 and that means that it's stronger.

But then does that mean that a gecko can also have brawn 5 and since it's silhouette 0 it is obviously relatively weaker? The book doesn't seem to imply so.

And even if it were so, how do you then set difficulties. Say there is a test to push a very huge boulder. Is the difficulty just formidable for everyone? Can't be because all three example creatures would have the same chance of success. Should it be formidable for the human, impossible for the gecko and just hard for the dinosaur?

If so then how does that then translate to combat rolls etc?

Perhaps I am overthinking it but if you guys can provide me with any insights it would be nice.

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No difference at all based on the Brawn. In combat a big creature like a triceratops that should have silhouette 2 would increase the difficult in combat vs the creature with silhouette 0 in 1.

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You are over thinking it. It is a narrative game and the stats are for rough approximations not a perfect simulation.

 

You can choose to make tweaks and modifications to find a deeper granularity; but for most games just roll with a 5 being a 5.

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People shouldn't tie absolute linear values to the stat scores.  Issues regarding relative sizes and what should be allowed based on that can addressed through Talents, and in the cases of Adversaries through Abilities.

Large beasts for instance can have special Abilities such as being able to strike targets in melee up to short range instead of just engaged, to represent their reach and size.  They can have ranks of Feral Strength (I know SW Talent) to simulate greater power on strikes.  Breach attached to their attacks to again simulate power.  the difference in size between an ant and dinosaur and their ability to move a rock can be addressed via Encumbrance, where the dinosaur won't be encumbered with their Brawn, but the ant will be encumbered with multiple Setbacks applied to checks.  

The stat scores remaining the same relative to one another are part of keeping dice pools manageable.  The system isn't trying to provide an accurate simulation of comparison between all things.

Hypotheticals can quickly become silly, so the primary resource for sorting it all out ultimately is called a GM.

 

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And I can assure you that players in general doesn't know what means have a stat at 4 ou 5. They just want to max the things and receive more buffs and dices. Few players really try to incorporate the ranks in the roleplay.

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Agreed with others. Brawn for a human or a dinosaur is primarily a way to set dice pools. For derived aspects of Brawn, just give the dinosaur more than the human: more Wounds, more Soak, and more Encumbrance Threshold. Add on unique abilities like 2P51 suggested, and you're good for most situations.

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Thanks for the replies people. All valid points and seriously taken into consideration. Coming from a long background in DnD (2nd, 3rd and now 5e)  I always found my self struggling with these points in more narrative games. Even when I played the old WoD.

But I can accept that the characteristic ratings are not absolute measuring values for everything.

Let me be that annoying guy for a little more though. 

The way I understand it from this conversation is:

For characters generally it stands that brawn 5 is stronger than brawn 3, talents not withstanding. 

For adversaries it is more of whether the adv.  is a minion, a rival or a nemesis. Thus describing more the threat level TO the characters than its own power. With this reasoning there is also a clear association between simple difficulties and what the adversaries bring to the table.

Am I understanding this correctly?

If so, when I want the adversary to make a skill check out of combat will I follow the tables as they set diff for characters or should I adjust if I feel that for this creature the task would be easier? 

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1 hour ago, TheSourceHD said:

I agree with most of what everyone has already posted, but don't forget P.44 Non-player characters (also referred to as adversaries) can have characteristics higher than 5.

I see that more as a backdoor for the GM to give an adversary extra dice to toss around than a means to represent higher carrying capacity, overall toughness or somesuch. 

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You are correct. The kind of adversary heavily implies over how dangerous they could be with those stats. So, minions need to be in group to be as effective as a normal character, while a rival could be a 1:1 opponent in a check. Nemesis with adversary talent could turn the things harder due the talent effect.

But the tests in general are opposite checks, so, a dinossaur (rival) with Brawn 4 and Brawl 2 trying to fight against a character that have the same stats would do a test with 2 greens and 2 yellows vs. 2 purples and 2 reds (cause it's the converted stats of the character).

If the same dinossaur was a minion, so nothing a menance at all alone, you should need 3 dinossaurs to do the same test, cause de minions skills are always the number of minions -1 (3-1=2 ranks). But if the dinossaur was a nemesis, an adversary that a big group can fight against to be fair, the characters doing this test agains the dinossaur would be harder due the ranks in Adversary, despite the ranks in Brawn and Brawl be the same. So that character trying to attack this dinossaur with Adversary 3 would do it vs. 1 purple and 4 reds, which is far harder than the simple test.

The difficulties of the tests are in general easy to define. Opposite checks are done vs. the opposite skill/stat while other tests are vs. something between 1 and 5 (with upgrades sometimes). But is important to check the adversary level (minion, rival or nemesis), cause it modify a lot the scene.

The last part: try to be creative describing what happens after the success, failure, advantage, threath, etc. be resolved. one test could finish some scenes so fast. It's why this system is so cool. The tests are more than "you did" "you failed". There are space to delevop the scene in cool ways.

Obs.: You should make a skill check like a player was trying to do that.

Obs 2.: In a fight, if you believe that a monster are much more stronger than a character, you could do to that monster a powerful attack. Even if it's simple (Legs (Brawl, damage 12, critical 4, Range [engaged]; knockdown). So in this way, even a simple success could do a lot of damage vs. a chacter with the same Brawn. It's one way to the system tell us that te monster are very very strong.

In Star Wars, both a Hutt Crimelord and a Rancor have Brawn 6, but an attack from the Rancor could do 15 + success due the big claws. 2 hits could kill the Hutt, but just one could kill an average character.

Edited by Bellyon

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2 hours ago, TheSourceHD said:

I agree with most of what everyone has already posted, but don't forget P.44 Non-player characters (also referred to as adversaries) can have characteristics higher than 5.

 

41 minutes ago, Grimmerling said:

I see that more as a backdoor for the GM to give an adversary extra dice to toss around than a means to represent higher carrying capacity, overall toughness or somesuch. 

I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean you changed the Core rules in your game? Nothing wrong with that. But according to RAW A higher brawn represents higher strength, carrying capacity and toughness.

Encumbrance Threshold is based on Brawn. Higher brawn the more the character can carry. P.85

Brawn is described on page 14 as overall toughness because every skill it links to is physical. 

As a GM I give NPCs higher brawn because I think it makes sense for a stronger character to have a higher chance of success with physical based rolls...not to toss around extra dice. I prefer to use the Adversary talent when it makes sense, but I personally would give something like an ultrasaurus higher brawn. I would have a hard time buying that a very strong man would have the same strength based dice pool as a giant dinosaur.

I'm in no way saying your wrong for changing rules in your games. (Rule of Cool) I'm only speaking about RAW.

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16 hours ago, Humunculus84 said:

If so then how does that then translate to combat rolls etc?

for those more crunchy inclined we house-ruled (in our high fantasy game) that the difference in silhouette is the number of boost/setback dice applied (depending on situation).

but we use RAW in our sci-fi adaptation.

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4 hours ago, TheSourceHD said:

I'm not sure what you mean. 

What I mean is that as GM I see no use in increasing Brawn in order to improve carrying capacity or Wound Threshold; NPCs can carry what I deem appropriate, and they can take punishment as necessary. The one reason to increase Brawn is to give them additional dice for checks. 

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I have been playing around with converting D&D monsters to Genesys. I use the following conversion of strength to brawn

-1 or lower converts to 1

+0 or +1 converts to 2

+2 or +3 converts to 3

+4 converts to 4

+5 or more converts to 5

Any addition +1 to strength mod adds one rank of the Toughened talent.  If I were to do am opposed strength check with a sil 1 and a sil 2 creature then I may multiple successes by the silhouette. 

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7 hours ago, Terefang said:

for those more crunchy inclined we house-ruled (in our high fantasy game) that the difference in silhouette is the number of boost/setback dice applied (depending on situation).

but we use RAW in our sci-fi adaptation.

This has been one of my thoughts. In essence though I think you are right in that whether or not you might have to shake the RAW up a bit depends on the setting.

Anyway, what I am thinking right now is this (and allow me to keep using Brawn as the example stat because it feels an obvious choice):

Since 2 is the average human let's say you want to describe an Olympic athlete. I would say that is not a 5 brawn but instead a 3 with 4 in Athletics. A 5 in Brawn would probably describe Hercules or maybe Kratos. And that feels OK if you think that an elephant has probably a 5 too. The aforementioned dinosaur would be a nemesis and maybe even have a 6. Furthermore silhouette has to play a part and I think a simple multiplication can do the job, since most PCs are silhouette 1 their effective encumbrance (including lifting weight ), brawl/melee damage etc remain unchanged. But a gecko has silhouette 0 which essentially makes its encumbrance 0 too (technically not true but in the context of the tests usually performed in game it stands). Finally silhouette can help with the dreaded (for me) difficulty setting: if a creature of silhouette 2 or 3 needs to make a brawn check that for a player would be e.g.  hard, they can reduce the difficulty by 1 and 2 respectively. 

These are just thoughts right now, I don't know if they break the game in some way, just willing to see what you guys think too.

 

P.S. All posts here make good points nonetheless. 

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