April 26, 2004

Risk

When you look at the basic resolution tables, you'll see that failing a roll by 4+ or rolling the Risk or less is a Botch.

Failing by a lot is fairly intuitive, but what is the Risk of an action?

The Risk is the number that you have to beat with your unmodified die roll to avoid a Botch. That's important; bonuses and penalties don't apply to figuring out whether or not you beat the Risk- we only care about the actual numbers rolled.

The default Risk for any action is 1. Thus, you'll only roll a Botch if every die rolled comes up a 1. If the Risk for an action was 4, you'd suffer a mishap if the highest die roll was 4 or less. Obviously, the greater the Risk, the more dangerous it is to attempt the action.

A Risk of zero is harmless. No die can roll that low without modifiers, so you don't need to worry about it.

A Risk of 1 is pretty mild. If you're rolling even two dice, you're pretty well protected against a Botch. With three or four dice, getting all ones is really rare (it happens on 3d4 only one time in sixty-four). This is the default Risk for any action.

A Risk of 2 is a good bit more dangerous. For example, if you were rolling 3d4, the odds of scoring a mishap would go up to one in eight instead of one in sixty-four. That's an eight-fold increase.

And if the Risk gets up to 3 or 4, well... you'd better be prepared for a Botch unless you're rolling a lot of very large dice. Even if you were rolling 3d8, with a risk of 4 you'd score a mishap one time in eight. Worse, a 4 would no longer be a success when making a standard test... it would be a Botch. Try to avoid tasks with Risk ratings that high.

When you roll a Botch, it means that something went very wrong. Perhaps you accidentally shot an ally or said exactly the wrong thing. If the task in question doesn't specify what form a Botch should take, the GM should invent some sort of goof-up or complication that seems appropriate.

Posted by Kiz at April 26, 2004 07:35 AM
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