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.
- It is the game's most frequent and common type of dice roll.
- Other types of rolls include damage rolls, healing rolls, and random table rolls.
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 2d8 + your skill level to try to achieve an intent. Examples include:
- Rolling Crafting to repair a broken car
- Rolling stealth to sneak by a watchman
- Rolling Chronomancy to try to turn back time
- Rolling dodge to try to jump away from an exploding bomb or dive away from a blasting machine gun
- Rolling Science to to brew a speed enhancing drug
Note that a player will only make a skill roll when the game master (GM) calls for it.
Skill Check Procedure
- Intent:A player declares an intended action with an intended approach to this action. Examples:
- "I want to jump off the ground all the way to the moon."
- "I want to try to use my welding torch to open the hatch on the crashed vehicle."
- "I want to try to intimidate the club's security guard with my strength."
- "I want to try to get the giant squid to calm down so it doesn't bite me."
- 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, you can roll Punch or Athletics to try to intimidate the guard by crushing his hand. Difficulty...12."
- "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 alien squid? Roll Animals with disadvantage, TN 18."
- Helpers: The game already assumes that everyone who wants to help the active player does. Generally, It has no mechanical effect.
- Approach: The player is encouraged to explain their roll with reference to the character's in-stort details. Example:
- "I studied squid in captivity back in grad school. I'm calling on my experience training and testing the intelligence of dolphins!"
- If the player does not posess the skill at least level 1, then a -2 penalty is applied to the roll.
- Some talents and other features may provide an "Advantage Die" or disadvantage die on a skill.
- If you have one or more advantage dice, roll additional d8 and keep the two highest.
- If you have one or more disadvantage dice, roll additional d8 and keep the two lowest.
- If you have multiple advantage or disadvantage dice, they cancel each other out.
- Common sources of advantage and disadvantage dice include talents, exhaustion, bad weather, etc.
- Result:Based on the result, and considering possible degrees of success, bonuses and complications, the game master explains the result. Examples:
- "You rolled a 13 athletics...Ok, you jumped to grab the edge of the house and can climb up."
- "It's not easy to use a welding torch in a hurricane. You cut halfway through the door over 30 minutes but your battery dies. You guys will have to try something else to get this door open."
- "Wow! You rolled a crit! The guy yelps in pain and jumps back, dropping his ID card on the floor at your feet."
- "You only rolled a 13 to dodge the heat-seeking missile, not ideal. You throw yourself to the ground, taking 1 damage from the fall and 4d6 from shrapnel, but it could have been much worse."
- "With merely a 10 on your animals roll, this isn't looking good. You have a terrible headache and the pressure is getting extremely painful. You think the squid might follow if you threw a signal flare, but it might not be safe to spark it here. Do you want to try it?"
|Critical Success! Two 8's on your d8||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, or achieves it only partially, or may achieve it but with a complication.
|Critical Failure! Two 1's on your d8||Regardless of the sum total, this attempt ends in disaster, a complication happens, and the player receives 1 XP.|
|Resources||Example: You cast the spell so elegantly that it costs less SP than usual.||Example: You can push the boulder out of the way if you want, but it will cost you 5 hp in strain on your body.|
|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 due to a manufacturing fault, 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.|
|Target Number (TN):||Description|
|8||Simple tasks that aren't guaranteed, such persuading a friend to help move furniture||10||Standard professional challenge such as quickly replacing car tires during a road race.|
|12||A difficult project, such a embedding an ancient magical rune into a steel shield.|
|14||A dangerous masterwork, such as crafting a sword from demon bones or scaling castle walls by hand.|
|16||The ambition of a master. Navigating a newly discovered hyperlane, landing an airship on a small island in a storm.|
|18||Difficult for a master--fighting a dragon, magically turning back time.|
|20||A demigod reaching beyond her grasp. Stunning achievements in areas that remain beyond a mortal's control.|