View Single Post
Old 05-29-2009, 12:55 PM   #15
vicky_molokh's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyv, Ukraine
Default Re: (Quick-Patch Version of the) FAQ of the GURPS Fora

Note to everybody: Quick Contests don't usually have meaningful criticals:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
As the rules state, the winner of a Quick Contest is the contestant with the greatest margin of success or smallest margin of failure. The rules don't mention critical results because they're not relevant to the calculation of a margin.

Consider a Quick Contest where Character A has skill 14, rolls a 4, succeeds by 10, and scores a critical success, while Character B has skill 30, rolls a 10, succeeds by 20, but scores only a regular success. Character A loses to Character B, and in fact Character B gets a 10-point margin of victory. It might seem to "cheapen" Character A's critical success to say that Character B wins, but all Player A did was roll dice well. It would cheapen Character B's massive investment in her abilities even more to let Character A win with a critical succes. After all, Player B actually paid points -- she bought another 16 levels, which might be 64 points in a skill, 80 points in Will or Per, 160 points in ST or HT, 320 points in DX or IQ, or some combination thereof. To put it in perspective, Player A could "buy" a critical success for at most 5 points (see the box on p. B347)!

Some rules do specifically note what critical success and failure do in a Quick Contest if you win or if you lose. However, actual victory and defeat depend on the margins. This is for the sake of fairness. Points, not lucky die rolls, are the gold standard in GURPS. If we're going to start letting lucky dice trump points, then we might as well have people roll up attributes instead of pay points for them . . .
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post

I was thinking that a 17+ fails automaticly.
Concepts such as critical success, critical failure, and automatic failure normally matter only for straight, uncontested success rolls. Reread Margin of Victory (p. B348) and you'll see that Quick Contests are purely quantitative and do not care about qualitative degrees of success. Notably, "The winner's 'margin of victory' is . . . the difference between the loser's margin of failure and his margin of failure if both failed." You can fail and still win! All that matters is margin, found from each party's dice roll and full score.

Resistance rolls are special and unusual because you must succeed to win. But that rule applies only when a Contest is specifically called out as a resistance roll. Choke or Strangle (pp. B370-371) is a Quick Contest, not a resistance roll.

Feints are also special and unusual because you must succeed to win and margin of victory is worked out according to rules that don't add your foe's margin of failure to your margin of victory. See p. B365.

Originally Posted by Tinman View Post

Also for Margin if the target is a 14 & I roll a 14 doesn't that count as pass by 1?
No, that counts as success by 0. It's still enough to win if your opponent fails by 1+. But for anything that depends purely on margin of success, your margin is 0, not 1. A few rules do assign a minimum margin of 1 to any uncontested success, but those are special cases. Strangling, resistance rolls, feints . . . none of those are among those special cases. Mostly, those special cases arise when margin of success is used to calculate duration or a similar parameter.
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
The Eye of Eclipse Phase. A Discord server focusing on Roleplaying, Sci-Fi, Transhumanism, and discussion of other assorted topics, from tech to boardgames, from politics to philosophy.

Last edited by vicky_molokh; 11-27-2017 at 02:40 AM.
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote