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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 2d8 + your skill level 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 squid 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, 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."
  3. Helpers:
  4. The game already assumes that everyone who wants to help the active player does. Generally, It has no mechanical effect.
  5. Approach:
  6. The player is encouraged to explain their roll with reference to the character's in-stort details. Example:
  7. Roll:
  8. The acting player rolls 2d8 and adds the relevant Skill Level and Statistic Modifier.

General categories of results on skill checks:

Result Outcome
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.
  • The GM may offer you a choice, such as, "The energy of the spell becomes difficult to control, would you rather you infuse more spell points, strain your body and sacrifice HP, or cast as-is with unknown results?"
  • For some plot-critical failures, the party may get what they need but at a terrible cost.
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.

Examples of common bonuses and complications:
Element Bonus Complication
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.

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
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.

Overcharge:

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.