Saturday, August 10, 2013
[OSR] Stat Checks, General Skill Checks, and the easy way...as I see it
Posted by matt jackson
You all know I am an old school guy. So there is that.
Recently I have seen a good amount of chatter about skill checks, attribute checks and all that. There are tons of ways of doing it out there, some really interesting methods, but here is how I do it.
First of all, surprise! I use common sense. If the character is attempting to dodge a cave in, logic tells me I should use Dexterity. In my logic based world I would tell the player to roll under their Dexterity score. They have a sucky score, I guess they have a better chance of becoming a pancake. Again, using logic, I also mentally take into account the situation: the armor they are wearing, the ground they are standing on, were they already aware the ceiling was weak, etc. I throw that all into me head, jumble it around a little, and come up with a modifier in the range of -4 to +4. Again this is all done on the fly in seconds and without some table, rulebook flipping, or rule hunting. FUCK I love old school games.
I have had thoughts of adding the character's current level to their Dexterity score in an effort to show some sort of progression as they become higher level adventurers, but as I typically run lower level games, this really has not become a path I need to explore.
Some may ask why do not really care for a simple Saving Throw check. To me it is too broad to use in all situations. Are all second level Magic-Users the same and should all save on everything on a 14 or better? Eh, that is broad and boring to me. One guy may have a better Dex or Str than the other and this would lead to a variety of results.
For some things I will use the Saving Throw, allowing a modifier for situation and also for high attributes. These typically end up being resistance to magic stuffs or something that I cannot logically connect to one of the attributes in the game.
Anyway, that is how I do it. It is a loose rule that I have found useful in application at the table.