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Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:40 am
by dunbruha
I have recently been reading Amazing Adventures, and noticed that the SIEGE engine uses a challenge base of 15 (10 if prime), while C&C uses 18 (12 if prime). I've read some of the justifications for the 12/18 (makes the prime choice more important), but I was wondering why the 10/15 levels were chosen for AA.

I am getting ready to switch my group to C&C, and am trying to decide which CB to use. I know there are lots of choices: 12/15/18, 12/15, etc. What do you use, and why do you like it?

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:54 am
by AGNKim
I use 18 for everyone. If you are rolling in a Prime stat, you add six. In other words, let the players do the math. I've got too much going on to be burdened with that!

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:05 am
by dunbruha
AGNKim wrote:I use 18 for everyone. If you are rolling in a Prime stat, you add six. In other words, let the players do the math. I've got too much going on to be burdened with that!
Thanks, Kim. I plan to do that too. But just to clarify, my question is about the justification for the numerical value of the challenge base, not whether the player or the CK adds the prime bonus.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:28 am
by jdizzy001
I did the +6 deal. I didn't like it. I felt like I was playing dnd. I have nothing against dnd of course, I just prefer to play dnd when I play DnD and I want to play cnc when I play cnc.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:33 am
by dunbruha
jdizzy001 wrote:I did the +6 deal. I didn't like it. I felt like I was playing dnd. I have nothing against dnd of course, I just prefer to play dnd when I play DnD and I want to play cnc when I play cnc.
Thanks, but just to clarify, my question is about the justification for the numerical value of the challenge base, not whether the player or the CK adds the prime bonus.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:44 am
by jdizzy001
The CKG goes into a big explanation as to why they chose 12/18, and it was all for percentile reasons. 12/18 with no modifiers is a 60%/90% chance of failure. Once you add in level and attribute modifiers it changes (Personally I prefer 12/15/18). In theory a lvl 1 pc with a +1 modifier to his prime stat has a 50% chance of failure on a prime check. It is my personal opinion is to keep your CL to 0 for most of you rolls and use only your CB (12/18). By changing to a 10/15 you will swing the odds of success into the hands of your pc's. That is really all you are doing. Do you want your PC's to succeed 40%/10% of the time or 50%/25% of the time? The latter may make for happier PC's but it has also been brought to my attention that dice rolling should be kept to a minimum in cnc and the ck should get used to saying "yes." Especially if the action the PC's want to perform isn't going to drastically influence the campaign.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:30 am
by Relaxo
I can't speak for Steve and Jason, but I think in AA the CB is 15 just so the characters are "more awesome" since in pulp the heroes are extraordinary people (Think Doc Savage, John Carter, Solomon Kane). In Fantasy, they may be exceptional, but more often are average folk who discover their steely core and become extraordinary, or are regular folks acting heroic because no one else can or will (think Samwise Gamgee, Bilbo Baggins, or someone who isn't a hobbit but is like this :oops: ).

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:50 am
by dunbruha
jdizzy001 wrote:The CKG goes into a big explanation as to why they chose 12/18, and it was all for percentile reasons. 12/18 with no modifiers is a 60%/90% chance of failure. Once you add in level and attribute modifiers it changes (Personally I prefer 12/15/18). In theory a lvl 1 pc with a +1 modifier to his prime stat has a 50% chance of failure on a prime check. It is my personal opinion is to keep your CL to 0 for most of you rolls and use only your CB (12/18). By changing to a 10/15 you will swing the odds of success into the hands of your pc's. That is really all you are doing. Do you want your PC's to succeed 40%/10% of the time or 50%/25% of the time? The latter may make for happier PC's but it has also been brought to my attention that dice rolling should be kept to a minimum in cnc and the ck should get used to saying "yes." Especially if the action the PC's want to perform isn't going to drastically influence the campaign.
Thanks for the cite of the CKG--I'll have to look that up.

If I had to choose, I guess I am leaning toward 10/15 rather than 12/18. I will of course minimize rolls, but when there is a check needed, it seems (to me) that a PC with a prime (and no bonus to that particular attribute) should be more than 45% likely to succeed (assuming CL = level) (and only 15% likely if not prime). With the 10/15, they will be 55% likely to succeed if it is prime (and 30% if not prime), and if they have a bonus to that attribute, then it will be higher. This seems more reasonable to me.

I would be interested in knowing why the Trolls chose 10/15 for AA, but still use the 12/18 for C&C.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:52 am
by dunbruha
Relaxo wrote:I can't speak for Steve and Jason, but I think in AA the CB is 15 just so the characters are "more awesome" since in pulp the heroes are extraordinary people (Think Doc Savage, John Carter, Solomon Kane). In Fantasy, they may be exceptional, but more often are average folk who discover their steely core and become extraordinary, or are regular folks acting heroic because no one else can or will (think Samwise Gamgee, Bilbo Baggins, or someone who isn't a hobbit but is like this :oops: ).
True, but think Conan or Red Sonja...

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:19 am
by Sir Ironside
dunbruha wrote:I would be interested in knowing why the Trolls chose 10/15 for AA, but still use the 12/18 for C&C.
I think Relaxo, in the above post, gave the best justification. Of course, I doubt he is in the know and hearing from the Trolls would be interesting.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:24 am
by Sir Ironside
dunbruha wrote:
Relaxo wrote:I can't speak for Steve and Jason, but I think in AA the CB is 15 just so the characters are "more awesome" since in pulp the heroes are extraordinary people (Think Doc Savage, John Carter, Solomon Kane). In Fantasy, they may be exceptional, but more often are average folk who discover their steely core and become extraordinary, or are regular folks acting heroic because no one else can or will (think Samwise Gamgee, Bilbo Baggins, or someone who isn't a hobbit but is like this :oops: ).
True, but think Conan or Red Sonja...
I always like to use Marv (Amongst other characters.), in the Sin City comic/movie as an example.

Red Sonja and Conan would thematically fit better in the actual C&C game and not A&A.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:23 am
by Treebore
I use the 12/18 split because I like to run my games into the higher levels, and that split keeps it a challenging game all the way. One thing I could never stand in every single edition of D&D was the higher the level got the more automatic the saves became. So the more boring the game became, because my players were no longer sitting on the edges of their seats worrying. They became, rightfully so, very confident they would make their saves. Not so in C&C with the 12/18 split. That is why I stay with it.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:14 am
by Relaxo
Sir Ironside wrote: I doubt he is in the know and hearing from the Trolls would be interesting.
I'm not. :mrgreen: Just interpolating from various posts on the topic.
If nothing else, AA is a different game than C&C, so it's all good.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:26 pm
by jdizzy001
I think there is something to be said for the making characters more awesome argument. Regardless, the SEIGE engine discussion is on page 228-232 of the CKG, with page 230 being the meat of your answer.

Lastly, if you are really bothered by the 12/18, I strongly recommend using the tertiary rules option. Each PC gets 2 primes, 2 secondaries, and 2 tertiary abilities (humans get 3 prime, 2 secondary, and 1 tertiary). The CB's then become 12/15/18. This will give the PC's something they are good at, something they are okay at, and finally, something they are bad at. It took me the better part of a year to accept the 12/18 as appropriate, however, once I read the background story about it in the CKG, I came to accept the mechanic as a genius idea.

Of course this is all dependent upon your play style. If your campaign calls for larger than life heroes, then a 10/15 would be better. Personally, I have always taken the approach of the heroes are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:35 pm
by Arduin
AGNKim wrote:I use 18 for everyone. If you are rolling in a Prime stat, you add six. In other words, let the players do the math. I've got too much going on to be burdened with that!
Same here. All my notes consider everything is 18 base. Silly to do two different numbers. I just note what attribute applies. Example: Pit trap (20, Dex)

As to 10 vs. 12. That just increases the success rate by 10%. You want an easy game? Use it. If not...

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:38 pm
by Arduin
dunbruha wrote:
Relaxo wrote:I can't speak for Steve and Jason, but I think in AA the CB is 15 just so the characters are "more awesome" since in pulp the heroes are extraordinary people (Think Doc Savage, John Carter, Solomon Kane). In Fantasy, they may be exceptional, but more often are average folk who discover their steely core and become extraordinary, or are regular folks acting heroic because no one else can or will (think Samwise Gamgee, Bilbo Baggins, or someone who isn't a hobbit but is like this :oops: ).
True, but think Conan or Red Sonja...
You 1st have to factor in their incredibly high class level before you "think" about them...

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:13 pm
by PeelSeel2
I use 12/14/16. Except phrased as base TN of 16, prime add 4, Secondary add 2, tertiary add 0.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:21 pm
by Relaxo
I just roll odd/even on a d1 (that's a marble).

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:26 pm
by PeelSeel2
Relaxo wrote:I just roll odd/even on a d1 (that's a marble).
Shooters or Mibs?

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:28 pm
by Relaxo
4th edition marbles.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:06 am
by mbeacom
I use 12/18. If you want greater than a base chance of 45% success that fine, but for my game, if I want the dice to favor the players that much, I will simply not have them roll. I only have them roll where there is a SIGNIFICANT chance of failure. If there is only a small chance for failure why roll? To see if they slip on their cape? Drop their sword? Don't worry, with 12/18, that will be happening plenty. No point in trying to find more ways for them to fail what's effectively an easy task (greater than 50% chance of success). Besides if the base chance of success is that high, there's less incentive for them to find creative ideas to give them a bonus to the roll. Also, I use 12/18 as written, rather than 18 for everything because I found that there were just getting to be too many modifiers to the roll and I don't like bonus inflation. It feels too much like 3/4E D&D where you have these ridiculously high bonuses getting added to rolls.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:14 am
by Arduin
mbeacom wrote: Also, I use 12/18 as written, rather than 18 for everything because I found that there were just getting to be too many modifiers to the roll and I don't like bonus inflation.
Same exact % chance. Nothing changes doing it like that. You are simply using the other side of the equation so the CK has less note keeping up front.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:18 am
by dunbruha
OK, so I have read the CKG section on the development and rationale for 12/18. I had been basing my thinking on level-dependent checks (saves vs an x-level opponent, disarming an x-level trap, etc.), but their rationale for 12/18 was also based on non-level-based challenges (balancing on a slippery rooftop). These checks will become very easy at high levels if a lower CB than 12/18 is used. So I see their point there.

I think I am leaning toward 12/15/18.

In my view, the primary/secondary/tertiary method really needs to use the +6/+3/+0 "bonus to the roll" method, rather than trying to keep track of 3 different challenge bases. It doesn't bother me to add another bonus to the roll. It just is noted on their character sheet, and is incorporated into a single bonus that they add: d20 + (level + attribute bonus + prime bonus).

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:51 am
by Treebore
12/18 becomes very easy at higher levels, unless, of course they are fighting something of similar level, or higher. Even easier, depending on magic item bonus, spell bonus' in effect, or really high attributes.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:47 am
by mbeacom
Arduin wrote:
mbeacom wrote: Also, I use 12/18 as written, rather than 18 for everything because I found that there were just getting to be too many modifiers to the roll and I don't like bonus inflation.
Same exact % chance. Nothing changes doing it like that. You are simply using the other side of the equation so the CK has less note keeping up front.
I know it's the same chance. I just don't like the bonus inflation it helps create. I like keeping it cleaner. Instead of both DM and player adding 6, I prefer neither does. No point in making more work.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:48 am
by jdizzy001
dunbruha wrote:OK, so I have read the CKG section on the development and rationale for 12/18. I had been basing my thinking on level-dependent checks (saves vs an x-level opponent, disarming an x-level trap, etc.), but their rationale for 12/18 was also based on non-level-based challenges (balancing on a slippery rooftop). These checks will become very easy at high levels if a lower CB than 12/18 is used. So I see their point there.

I think I am leaning toward 12/15/18.

In my view, the primary/secondary/tertiary method really needs to use the +6/+3/+0 "bonus to the roll" method, rather than trying to keep track of 3 different challenge bases. It doesn't bother me to add another bonus to the roll. It just is noted on their character sheet, and is incorporated into a single bonus that they add: d20 + (level + attribute bonus + prime bonus).
As arduin pointed out, 12/15/18 and +6/+3/+0 are the same. It just depends on where you want to do your math. As also pointed out, the +6/+3/+0 is very dnd. Of course there is nothing wrong with that.

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:50 am
by Arduin
mbeacom wrote: I just don't like the bonus inflation it helps create.
It creates no inflation. There is no difference in numeric values. Otherwise the % chance would change...

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:56 am
by mbeacom
Arduin wrote:
mbeacom wrote: I just don't like the bonus inflation it helps create.
It creates no inflation. There is no difference in numeric values. Otherwise the % chance would change...
You may not understand what a numeric value is. :)

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:12 am
by dunbruha
jdizzy001 wrote:As arduin pointed out, 12/15/18 and +6/+3/+0 are the same. It just depends on where you want to do your math. As also pointed out, the +6/+3/+0 is very dnd. Of course there is nothing wrong with that.
Yes, I know. I was just pointing out that with 3 levels to keep track of, I think it would be easier for the player to keep track of it, with a simple notation of the value of the bonus next to each attribute on the character sheet.

As to the "very dnd" comment: why is adding a prime bonus "very dnd", but adding a level bonus, or an attribute bonus (i.e., the normal method for C&C) is NOT "very dnd"? (Not trying to disparage your opinion, but I don't personally see it as anything different from the rest of C&C.) (Not that there is anything wrong with that :D )

Re: Challenge Base 12/18 vs 10/15 vs ??

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:21 am
by jdizzy001
It's psychological. The break down of dnd DC's is pick a DC, roll a d20 add mods then compare to DC.
cnc (though the end result is the same) the process is different. Select a CL apply the players CB (prime or non-prime) then roll d20. The process makes a psychological difference, that's all.