How to resolve secret skill failure checks

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How to resolve secret skill failure checks

Postby Solaris » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:28 am

Hello,

We've been trying the system and there seems to be one flaw with skill check failures. Let's say a character is traveling down a tunnel and there's a trap. The trap needs Perception DT 25 to locate. Say the character's attribute score associated with Perception is 5, and the person has one skill rank. The person rolls D20 and gets an 8, adds 6 making 14. The character fails by 11, subtract 5 from DT 25 for the attribute associated with Perception, and the character takes 6 scratches damage. Now, when the GM announces the 6 damage suffered to the character, the trap is no longer secret to the actual players. Since a roll made where there is nothing to be found results in no damage, a skill roll with an actual challenge to be overcome will indicate something exists when they fail. This means a secret trap will be obvious to the role players. My question is how can a situation like this be resolved by preserving the secret or hidden trap's knowledge? I could think of another situation, and that's if a roll is made to sense a character's motive. If there's a failure rolled and you take scratches damaged, your character will still think the other character is telling the truth but the player will now suspect otherwise. Is this something that just has to be roleplayed and pretend the character doesn't know?

Thanks,

Solaris
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Re: How to resolve secret skill failure checks

Postby Cal » Wed Aug 24, 2011 3:09 pm

Damage for failing roles only applies to active skill use. For a passive spot check nothing happens to the character for missing the roll, unless they happen to fumble into something like a trap as a result.
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Re: How to resolve secret skill failure checks

Postby Solaris » Wed Aug 24, 2011 6:13 pm

My example was meant to be an active skill check and not a passive one. I read in the core rulebook that some rolls should be hidden from players. Does that mean the damage should be kept secret?

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Re: How to resolve secret skill failure checks

Postby Cal » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:06 am

Unless the character is actively searching it would be a passive search action by the character. If an active search is being made, I think a rule should apply that the damage from skill failure doesn't occur until it is apparent the skill failed. For mental skills the damage represents frustration or confusion.
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Re: How to resolve secret skill failure checks

Postby Heather Gunn » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:25 am

Solaris wrote:My example was meant to be an active skill check and not a passive one. I read in the core rulebook that some rolls should be hidden from players. Does that mean the damage should be kept secret?


This is actually spelled out in the third paragraph under failed skill checks. Though admittedly the modules do not point this out:

Failed Skill Checks wrote:This does not apply to passive skill checks or any checks where the one making the check wouldn't know if they'd failed the check or not, such as most uses of perception, or using shrewd to appraise an item. If you have no idea you failed the check, you do not take failure damage. Failed ritual checks are an example of a skill check that is an easily known failure, and thus will always do damage if the failed roll is low enough.
(emphasis mine)

I should probably spell it out better through an example or two. But not spotting a trap is certainly one of the skill failures that would not deal damage. I think the key here is that any skill check where the one making the check is not immediately certain whether or not they failed should deal no damage.
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