Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Silverwave

Using another stat for skill check?

Recommended Posts

Last session, our Waywatcher wanted to climb on a roof. She wanted to use her high agility (5) to get to the top, but soon noticed Athletics was Str based and failed 3 rounds in a row to get to the roof.

 

We kinda thought that climbing a wall using Agility instead of Strenght wasn't that much of a twist to the rules.

After the game, I've checked more carefully the basic skills and it seems that it's somewhat balanced :

- 5 skills use Agility
- 5 skills use Intelligence
- 3 use Strength
- 3 use Fellowship
- 1 uses To
- 1 uses Will

 

So, I'm wondering if allowing, from time to time when it makes sense, to use another statistic than what the rules say could kinda unbalance/broke the game?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Climbing is definitely a St based check, and really should be.  If you wanted, high Ag could help, perhaps adding Fortune dice to the check.  Using Ag itself to climb doesn't seem intuitive to me, unless the PC finds a way to do more acrobatic-type agility maneuvers to do so.  Leaping from a series of ledges to ledges to ascend, for example, might be plausible to allow an Ag test.

I don't know that it will break the game to allow tests on different stats, but be wary of allowing people to always use their best stat.  One of the reasons of balance and for well-rounded characters is that different stats are required.

Allowing a thief/burglar, for example, to skimp on St and pimp out their Ag because you regularly allow Ag  to suffice for climbing checks can cause some imbalance.

Anyway, personally, if the player gave a good reason I'd award a fortune die or two to the St check to climb due to a high Ag, but I wouldn't just allow a straight Ag test to climb.  That's me, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 The best example would be Intimidate (st)

There are far more ways to intimidate someone than to flex your muscles.

 

I'd rule that if he shows a better way of intimidating, let him use another stat.

The same goes for any other skills. If it makes sense, roll with it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Further to what Dvang said if she wants to be better at climbing, put a specialization into Athletics for Climbing, also if she's got the right tools for the job that warrants one ore more fortune dice as well.  So if she has 3 str bumping it to 4 would cost 4 advancements - which is worth while given the benefits of having a higher strength.   But for 1 advancement she can specialize in climbing, for a paltry some of coin she could bey climbing gear for more coin she could get better climbing gear.  Also the difficulty of the climb is based on the surface and if it's a really easy surface you could give her more fortune dice on top of that as well.  Also she could potentially put some conservative dice into it as well because she's taking her time and doing it carefully.

But here's the real truth of the situation.  If it's a situation where you think her character should be able to climb the wall because she's a cat burglar by trade then don't make her roll for it in the first place.  Part of the fundemental rules for WFRP 3 (and most RPG's in general) is that only call for rolls when the risk or potential failure is important.  If she's not in danger, it's just an average wall with nothing special then just let her climb it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I probably wouldn't allow Agility to be used for a Climbing test. As I see it, climbing really is more about strength than flexibility. It's about hauling yourself up against the force of gravity, and that's clearly a test of strength.

I could be convinced to let a PC use their Agility to climb a low wall parkour style (all footwork), but I'd probably add an extra challenge die, and maybe attach a point of fatigue to every bane that shows up in the pool. That way I can "say yes" without simply catering to a PC's best-rated attribute. It really would depend on the situation. If they're trying to climb a two-story building, they'll be using Strength.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silverwave said:

Last session, our Waywatcher wanted to climb on a roof. She wanted to use her high agility (5) to get to the top, but soon noticed Athletics was Str based and failed 3 rounds in a row to get to the roof.

 

What did you set the difficulty of the roll at?  Were there any location cards in play? Was the PC in a hurry, or was time not an issue?

 

Rather than changing what stat they could roll, I'd be more inclined to skip the roll if there was no pressure, or throw some situational bonuses at them. Changing the stat sets a precedent and allows this character a long-term advantage of always being able to roll their best stat for this task. Simply saying "this is an easy roof to climb" doesn't set a precedent unless you expect numerous scenes at this particular building.

Another (minor?) thing to keep in mind is that the PC in question is a Wood Elf (has to be, since they're a Waywatcher). Their "Forest Walk" racial ability is bound to make climbing a tree easier than climbing a roof. So if you set up a precedent that makes them good at climbing in the urban setting, they'll do even better in the rural.

 

Plus, if the player really wants to get on that roof , they've got a lot of resources they should be utilizing. Conservative stance. Fortune points. Getting an assist from another player. Figuring out a cool or clever way to interact with the terrain. Taking two turns to stack up some old crates in the alleyway instead of making the exact same roll three turns in a row. Shooting arrows into the wall to use as pitons. Making the exact same roll again and again is far from the optimal play, especially given the free-flowing situational modifiers and sliding difficulty scale in this game.

 

Even if they tried the same exact thing all over again I might tell them "Your first attempt was tiring (take a fatigue), but it gave you insight into how not to go about this (get an extra white die or two for the second roll)."   Or maybe even "It's okay you failed. That really wasn't a roll to see if you could get up on the roof, it was a roll to see how long it took you and whether or not there'd be any fatigue involved."  Depends on the situation, and whether or not there were any potentially interesting consequences to failure.

In a chase scene, a failure might mean not getting up there (as that would be a major factor in whether or not the prey escapes the predator).

In an espionage/burglary scene failure might mean making a noise (so now you have to roll Stealth or be spotted). Might even have them roll, and only care about boons, banes, comets and chaos stars. (In other words, getting up there is automatic, but we want to know if anything exciting happens in the meantime.)

If neither of those complications (scene types) is going on, I'd probably just waive the roll. Sometimes GMs (myself included) get caught up on the letter of the rule (in this case the notion that "any climbing should require an Athletics check") and forget to ask themselves "is there anything interesting to be gained by the PC failing this check?"

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vagnaard said:

 The best example would be Intimidate (st)

There are far more ways to intimidate someone than to flex your muscles.

 

I'd rule that if he shows a better way of intimidating, let him use another stat.

The same goes for any other skills. If it makes sense, roll with it.

 

 

 

A really bigger question than athletics or climb. While trying to unbreak the rules, I gave bonuses in that situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vagnaard said:

 The best example would be Intimidate (st)

There are far more ways to intimidate someone than to flex your muscles.

I'd rule that if he shows a better way of intimidating, let him use another stat.

The same goes for any other skills. If it makes sense, roll with it.

 

 

Intimidate "Intimidate (Str) Basic skill. A character’s ability to cow, unnerve, or bully someone. Also covers the ability to convey a sense of dominance or superiority over others. Often carries the implied or over threat of physical violence. Can escalate a tense situation into hostility, or possibly cause a threat to back down if properly cowed. " is a strength based thing.  It's an implied physical threat.  The nerd may creep you the hell out but he's not intimidating in the sense of the word.

You are very capable to threaten and scare someone and try to intimidate then in other means then just puffing your chest and flexing your muscles.  But at that point you are doing something else entirely.  Which enters into the realm of social combat.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vagnaard said:

 The best example would be Intimidate (st)

There are far more ways to intimidate someone than to flex your muscles.

 

I'd rule that if he shows a better way of intimidating, let him use another stat.

The same goes for any other skills. If it makes sense, roll with it.

 

The problem with changing Intimidate to run off of something else, is it invalidates talents that do just that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doc, the Weasel said:

 

The problem with changing Intimidate to run off of something else, is it invalidates talents that do just that.

Maybe  Silverware could charge his player an Advance and get him to buy the notional talent 'Agile Climber.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there's a lot of things I want to answer to, but I'm at the job so I don't have much time.

Well... thinking about it, isn't "Perform a stunt" could make a player use another stat since it's using the skill in an unusual way?

Anyway, I liked DagobahDave's idea. With some explanation on how the character could do that, I could let the player use another stat but increase the difficulty (like the example of "parcour style climbing").

I also like the idea of  "well, ok, but what price are you willing to pay", like increasing the difficulty, taking fatigue, etc. I think, for flavor purpose, I'm now on disallowing retries on failed checks (wait, keep reading, don't panic). You failed your climbing check, you just can't climb that wall. Now it's time to find alternate ways, like those ideas of shooting arrows to make pitons, or pilling up crates, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the climbing situation I'd allow them to try again.  Just make sure each time they fail they take damage/fatigue (both).   In other situations a failure means you can't do it.  But in certain cases it's logical to try again, climbing would be one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In some cases you could also assume that a task *will* eventually succeed. So, with one roll, you are not determining if you succeed, but how well and/or how long it takes.  A "failure" on a climbing check, for example might still be considered a "successful" climb in that the PC reached the roof.  However, each unpaired challenge symbol could mean that the climb took an additional hour, beyond the average time to climb (conversely, additional successes means a quicker climb).  So, while the PC would eventually climb to the roof, the usefulness of the maneuver might be negated by the sheer time the PC took to do so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say which ones off the top of my head, but there are action cards that allow substitution of one stat for another. Also, there is at least one Talent card that lets you exhaust it to substitute one Attribute for another, so the concept of swapping out stats certainly exists; however, before allowing it willy-nilly you may want to review the cards since it will certainly make such cards less useful and desirable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mac40k said:

I can't say which ones off the top of my head, but there are action cards that allow substitution of one stat for another.

Nimble Strike (recharge 2) would be one example for replacing strength with agility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our last session, my Thief scaled the front of a building. Having ST2 and AG4 I discovered the same problem the OPs elf had and asked the GM if I could use my Coordination instead of Athletics. I argued that I used my superior coordination to find good hand and foot-holds on my way up. The GM allowed it and I easily scaled the building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...