Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon
The rule probably exists because it isn't physically possible to roll less than 3 on 3d6.

But the same can be said about the other end of the scale. Since all effective skills above 16 are treated like 16, it would be consistent to say all effective skill below 4 are treated like 4.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon
Since it is effective skill we are talking about, it isn't unreasonable to say that you should have no chance of success if the situation reduces your skill to less than 3. Otherwise you would be allowed the possibility of getting lucky and rolling a critical success on a 3 or 4, 2% of the time, […]

Fair enough. For me the idea that you always have a slim chance of success was already ingrained when I came upon this “no chance below 3” rule, which might explain my unease about it. But there are also two aspects of the rules that to me make this limit seem inconsistent:
 Cases of “zero chance that you can do this” are already covered by skills without defaults.
 For the purpose of defense rolls the official standpoint is precisely that you can succeed with an abysmal effective skill.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon
[…] and not only being successful but wildly successful, which doesn't quite seem fair.

This is an interesting point I had not thought about. On the other hand the rules consider 3 and 4 a critical success even if your effective skill is only 3 or 4. So the idea behind it seems to be that a success is critical because it is a rare kind of success, not because it is far better than necessary. (Although that is somewhat contradicted again by 5 and 6 becoming critical successes for effective skills of at least 15 and 16 respectively.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon
The other thing to consider is that you've essentially opened the door for rolls when effective skill is reduced to 0 or a negative number. The argument can be made (and has a certain mathematical validity),that if you allow a roll for impossible results like a 1 or 2, you should also permit them for the equally impossible values of 0 and 1, for example.

Of course; and this is exactly what the rules do in case of defense rolls.
I guess this quickly becomes more a discussion about game design than about application of rules. I am inclined to leave out the rule when explaining the mechanics in favor of simplicity and consistency. Should a player ever want to try their luck I will hand out hard consequences for a critical failure and warn them about it.
Thank you for your thoughts on the topic.