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Cosmic Peril Fantasy: Skill Checks

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A skill check in CPF is a type of dice throw used to accomplish most risky things in the game.

Characters have skills which are attributes that symbolize their knowledge and ability with a certain vocation, craft, trade, or field of study.

Generally, players roll a skill check when the outcome of their character's intended actions is in doubt.

The basic concept of a skill roll is to roll 2d6 + your skill level + the most relevant statistic modifier to try to achieve an intent. Examples include:

Note that a player will only make a skill roll when the game master (GM) calls for it.

Skill Check Procedure

  1. Intent:A player declares an intended action with an intended approach to this action. Examples:
    1. "I want to jump off the ground all the way to the moon."
    2. "I want to try to use my welding torch to open the hatch on the crashed vehicle."
    3. "I want to try to intimidate the club's security guard with my strength."
    4. "I want to try to get the giant eel to calm down so it doesn't bite me."
  2. Premise:The GM declares whether or not a roll is needed for this intended attempt, what that roll can be, and what the target number is. Examples:
    • "No, you cannot jump to the moon without some ultra-tech ion boots or something similar."
    • "Since you've worked with these tools in your background and you're not under pressure right now, no need to roll. You easily and cleanly cut off the hatch with your welding tools."
    • "Sure, roll Punch with Strength to try to intimidate the guard by crushing his hand. Difficulty...8."
    • "You are 2000 meters under an ocean of oil, with a damaged vaccuum suit, a mortal wound, and you want to try to pacify the giant eel? Roll Animals with your best Mental modifier, TN 18."
  3. Helpers:
  4. At this point, other players may volunteer to help. Helpers generally must have some ability (1+) in that skill in order to help. Some advanced tasks may require better trained helpers.
  5. Approach:
  6. The play may choose or request to roll with a certain combination of skill and statistic for a certain reason, explaining the case. Example:
  7. Helper contribution: Helping players must choose to either (a) add +1 to the acting player's roll, or (b) roll their skill as well, risking a wider variance of helping/harming the project.
  8. Roll:
  9. The acting player rolls 2d6 and adds the relevant Skill Level and Statistic Modifier.

General categories of results on skill checks:

Result Outcome
Critical Success! Two 6's on your d6 The player achieves the intent as much as can make sense in the context, plus a related or unrelated bonus, if possible.
Success, result >= Target Number The player generally achieves or progresses towards their intent as is reasonable. The degree of success may improve the speed, safety or cost of the action.
Failure, result < Target Number The player either cannot achieve the intent with this approach, achieves it only partially, and may additionally receive a complication.
  • For some plot-critical failures, the party may get what they need but at a terrible cost.
Critical Failure! Two 1's on your d6 This attempt ends in disaster, a complication happens, and the player receives 1 XP.

Examples of common bonuses and complications:
Element Bonus Complication
Time The task is much quicker than expected. The task takes far longer than expected.
Items You discover a useful item while accomplishing the task. While working on the task, your tool's battery explodes, destroying the tool, your materials, and hurting you.
Context While accomplishing the task, a crowd of curious, friendly creatures assembles to watch. You accidentally raise the alarm and are locked out of the computer system.

Finally, remember that circumstances are unpredictable and unknowable. Special circumstances could cause changes in difficulty, or problems even on success. It might take experience to learn the effects of Z-particle fields. Try your best out there!

Common skill Target Numbers:

Below are common skill Target Numbers (TNs or DCs). Always remember that a player character with skills and a background can perform their basic skills successfully in normal conditions without needing to roll.
Target Number (TN): Description
6 Simple tasks that aren't guaranteed, such as a child performing first aid
8 Completing a professional project with a tight time limit.
10 A difficult project.
12 A masterwork.
14 The ambition of a master.
16 Difficult for a master--stretching the bounds of reality.
18 A demigod reaching beyond her grasp.


If you have failed a roll but you really want to succeed on it, you may tell the game master so and describe how your character if overcharging themselves. This may allow you to succeed at a cost, often times some temporary or permanent damage to your character or your party's posessions.