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Author Topic: RMIB question  (Read 3554 times)
Bankuei
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« on: June 21, 2002, 08:34:44 AM »

So if I understand it correctly, someone resisting an action, may roll a negative MIB, thereby adding to the RMIB, correct?  That is, Goliath attacks and rolls MIB +3, and Samson defends with MIB -2, the RMIB is +5, correct?

If this is the case, folks with bad skill levels in resisting, would be best off not even trying to resist!  I can certainly see failing at resistance being a problem if you hit the critical juncture, but it seems like it would make resisting futile for a lot of people with bad skill ranks.  

Fang, can you clarify this for me?

Thanks,
Chris
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2002, 11:07:59 AM »

Quote from: Bankuei
So if I understand it correctly, someone resisting an action, may roll a negative MIB, thereby adding to the RMIB, correct?  That is, Goliath attacks and rolls MIB +3, and Samson defends with MIB -2, the RMIB is +5, correct?

If this is the case, folks with bad skill levels in resisting, would be best off not even trying to resist!  I can certainly see failing at resistance being a problem if you hit the critical juncture, but it seems like it would make resisting futile for a lot of people with bad skill ranks.

Omigod!  I simply don't believe it!  The most important mechanic of combat and I left it out!

Sorry, that was only an oversight on my part.  This happens to be the only 'exception' in the usually 'smooth' mechanix.  If the Actor has a positive MIB and the Resistor has a negative MIB, there is no subtraction at all; the RMIB becomes the Actor's MIB.  (We felt that it was pointless to have a rule that said you could effectively 'step into' an oncoming attack, making it worse.)

I still can't believe I missed one of the most obvious mechanix.  I'm gonna go in there and change that first chance I get.

Fang Langford
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2002, 01:55:18 PM »

This is a real problem with this system, Fang. Rolemaster had the same exact solution twenty years ago, subtract defender's Quickness from attacks unless it's less than zero. So, slower people are not at a disadvantage? That's much harder to believe than even the walking onto the sword thing. You're system works OK, actually, as they can roll low on occasion (no roll in RM), but holy counterintuitive!

The problem is the assumption that a player should ever be allowed to roll unopposed. If you just made all rolls opposed, this wouldn't be a problem.

The opposing Effectiveness should be determined by the difficulty of the situation and take the form of a stat for the "opponent". So, a tree, which should be even slower than the slowest man, should get to roll, but have an abysmally low agility (or whatever is used to defend). Say a zero should do fine. So I roll 2d10 and get an 11, subtracted from zero is -11. Subtracted from my MIB of say 3, that's 14 RMIB. Which is way worse than what would have happened to the slow guy in Chris' example (RMIB 5). Which is expected.

Now I don't suggest that people actually go and duel with trees, but my point stands. A slow person should be penalized for their slowness in comparison to a less slow person. The curve can and should be continuous. Note that a slow guy getting a -2 still hits a slower guy with a -3 using this system. Otherwise, whiff-o-rama.

BTW, using the all opposed roll system, you could use just one D20 for each roller, as the effect of rolling the opponents' d20 get's you your "curve" (actually pyramid), similar to rolling unopposed in your system. As it stands the curve for rolling opposed is much steeper than rolling unopposed.

Mike
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Bankuei
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2002, 02:11:09 PM »

Well, Fang, you went with the solution I was going to institute regardless of what you said, but I was interested in hearing how you use it.  I'm glad to know that I wasn't missing something.  Although I would definitely penalize anybody who makes a catastrophic failure, and with a horribly low stat(as in Mike's tree) getting that failure is really easy.  That would be the only case I'd have of folks stepping into swords(it happens).

Thanks,

Chris
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2002, 08:49:36 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
This is a real problem with this system

Hey, let's get personal Mike.  The real problem is you don't like it.  That, I can live with.

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Rolemaster had the same exact solution twenty years ago, subtract defender's Quickness from attacks unless it's less than zero. So, slower people are not at a disadvantage? That's much harder to believe than even the walking onto the sword thing. You're system works OK, actually, as they can roll low on occasion (no roll in RM), but holy counterintuitive!

Rolemaster is a poor example to use, it's really popular.  In accords with how you frame this complaint, it's one I've heard before;

Scattershot's not realistic.

Well, you know what?  That doesn't matter to me.  (See below.)

Quote from: Mike Holmes
The problem is the assumption that a player should ever be allowed to roll unopposed. If you just made all rolls opposed, this wouldn't be a problem.

...The curve can and should be continuous. Note that a slow guy getting a -2 still hits a slower guy with a -3 using this system. Otherwise, whiff-o-rama.

BTW, using the all opposed roll system, you could use just one D20 for each roller, as the effect of rolling the opponents' d20 get's you your "curve" (actually pyramid), similar to rolling unopposed in your system. As it stands the curve for rolling opposed is much steeper than rolling unopposed.

It's interesting how you frame all these 'problems.'  assumptions, 'shoulds,' 'curves,' 'steeper,'  what are you really saying?  That I should do things your way?

Strictly opposed-rolls is intuitive?  Not from my perspective; when I have a live opponent, I expect opposition or an opposed roll.  I don't anthropomorphize every challenge I face.  The mountain isn't trying to beat me.  If I considered every tree an opponent, I would be a lumberjack (or 'be okay').  So, I see live opponent = opposed roll as intuitive.

And exactly where is it written that every probability curve must be continuous?  I can think of a few reason for it not to be.  The 'whiff factor' is prime among them.  Let's take it in pairs;[list=1][*]Actor's MIB positive, Resistor's MIB positive, better takes it.
[*]Actor's MIB positive, Resistor's MIB negative, Actor takes it.
[*]Actor's MIB negative, Resistor's MIB positive, Resistor takes it.
[*]Actor's MIB negative, Resistor's MIB negative, Resistor takes it.[/list:o]Where's the 'whiff factor?'  Look closely; in only one case does the Actor take it.  More than half the cases it goes to the Resistor.  But what does he get?  Mostly nothing; something doesn't happen.  "Whiff...."

How to fix that?  My solution is also having unopposed rolls.

Chris makes my case better than 'my old excuse (stepping into the damage).'  Think about being on the receiving end.  Without the 'exception,' case 2 means your roll is not only a failure, but it makes things worse.  (What's that sound?  "Whiff....")  That makes sense in a game like The Riddle of Steel, but is really disheartening (it was for our playtesters) in Scattershot; two games reaching to two different goals.  Like Chris says, why would a poorly skilled character (your slow guy) even try?

And about the 'curve,' I know it's a pyramid Mike, I minored in math (well, had I graduated).  You're missing something pretty important; when it's a roll 'this number or less,' it stops being a pyramid and becomes a sygmoid (meaning 'S' shaped, well a lazy 'S'), a nice, smooth curve.

It gets a lot funkier when you have two rolls against each other.  The topography becomes hard to predict and even harder to sum.  You don't like unopposed rolls or is it that you don't like any system that uses both (id est you would like a system with no opposed rolls just as well)?  Scattershot's die mechanic is hard to explain because there are a lot of things hidden in the 'mathematics of convenience.'  For example, it has been asked 'why have target numbers with opposed rolls?'  When you do the math, they factor out.  The target/MIB thing is a simplification of just throwing all the dice and mixing modifiers into the difference (Actor's two dice minus Resistor's two).

Now imagine hitting a bouncing ball in a completely unopposed die roll game.  Not as easy as striking the same target when stationary, is it?  Think of it as a penalty.  Now, if you sum the Resistor's MIB with all the modifiers for and against you, it comes up to a relatively small number; just like the penalty in the all-unopposed-die-roll game.

What's the difference?  'How it feels.'  That "intuition" thing, that 'live opponent deserves a roll' urge.  Especially when you're the one who's Resisting.  That's why we did it.

You're complaining that I 'chop out' a chunk when rolls get opposed?  Who am I hurting?  In playtest none of the Resistor players were complaining; their rolls either stop the attack, lessen its effect, or nothing.  No "Whiff...."  What about the Actors?  Well let's see, it doesn't eliminate any of their successes, all it does is make Telling Blows more rare.  In our book, that's a good thing; take a bad thing away from a loser and not take anything away from a winner.  Special circumstances become more special because of their rarity.

No, I don't care if "slower people are not at a disadvantage."  The "people" you refer to are the characters.  We didn't write the game for the characters, we wrote it for the players.

Our choice is motivated by the psychological effect on the players not the realism for the characters.

Fang Langford

p. s. And the problem with the tree example is when the tree rolls a 2; it's dodge MIB is now -2.  If I rolled a MIB of -3, the tree wins!  I missed a tree with a dodge rating of 0!  If I "shouldn't" except when the Resistor fails, how can I except when the Actor fails?  Since I except one, I except the other; failing rolls don't count for anybody.
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2002, 09:01:35 PM »

Quote from: Bankuei
Well, Fang, you went with the solution I was going to institute regardless of what you said, but I was interested in hearing how you use it.  I'm glad to know that I wasn't missing something.  Although I would definitely penalize anybody who makes a catastrophic failure, and with a horribly low stat (as in Mike's tree) getting that failure is really easy.  That would be the only case I'd have of folks stepping into swords(it happens).

Here too, you can see my rationale.  When you get a Catastrophic Failure for your roll by yourself (it happens before the Actor's roll is mixed in), being the 'victim,' you define the result.  Were I to not except Resistor failure against Actor success, you would also get a Telling Blow against you when your opponent didn't roll that well, on his own.

What do they call that?  Deprotagonizing?  I call the unexcepted version disheartening.

I'm glad you like it, I hope it serves well.  (One 'playtester warning,' the die mechanic takes a bit to get used to; because even though it's a straight 100 permutation 'pyramid,' you can't 'see' how their probability will affect it.)  Let me know how it goes.

Fang Langford
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Bankuei
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2002, 01:34:39 AM »

Thanks for the advice Fang, I did chart out the probabilities of uncontested rolls just to get a feel for what the skill levels do.  On the note of unskilled folks being penalized, Mike, I think it is included, because the odds of actually helping yourself by trying to resist decreases the worse your skill is.  Because of this, the slower characters would most likely wasting their action trying to dodge.  My primary concern was that it shouldn't get easier by attempting to resist.

Chris
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