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Feedback on a Faith skill


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Hi all,

 

I am building a campaign and working on some new skills. One of those skills is going to be a Faith skill used by Clerics, Paladins and other religious based characters to cast spells (and activate other special abilities) but I decided to give it some other uses as well. I envision it not so much as a normal skill, but rather as the characters connection to their God(s) so I'm looking for any feedback and thoughts you all might have. 

 

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Faith (Ego)

 Faith represents a Blessed characters connection to the divine entity that they follow. Its primary use is for casting spells or attempting to use any religious-based Special Abilities, such as Faith Healing, that the character may possess.

 It also has two other applications that adventurers may find handy.

 First, it can be used as a substitute Social skill in certain situations (at the GM’s discretion) where calming or rallying fearful or distraught NPCs is needed. Some possible examples are, calming a heartbroken NPC whose loved one has just been killed long enough to ask them what happened, or encouraging the survivors of a raid to not panic and flee, but rather take up arms and defend themselves against future attacks.

 As always it is up to the GM to determine if the character can even attempt to use the skill in any given situation, and any modifiers that may be applied (a highly logical mage will be harder to console then a highly religious villager)  as well as if any conflicting religious beliefs between the character and the NPC might affect the roll (A Dwarven Priest of the Forge will have a harder time consoling an Elven worshiper of the Nature Gods, then someone of similar religious belief) although it should never be impossible as words of comfort and wisdom can be universal.

 The second application of the skill is to pray for the successful outcome of another characters attempt to complete a task. In this regard Faith can be used as a Complimentary Skill to almost any other skill in the campaign as long as the following conditions are met.

 First, as always, the GM needs to approve the attempt based on dramatic and situational sense.

 Second, the Faith-user must be praying during the majority of time the other character is attempting to complete their task. The Faith-user cannot be directly helping the character(s) in question, they can either be praying for divine assistance, or physically helping, never both.

 Third, the task that the other character is attempting must not oppose the Blessed characters divine entity’s belief system and not be for direct monetary gain or power. For example, Cleric of the (Good) Blue Gods, cannot pray for the successful murder of a shady merchant just because said merchant sold the PCs a defective wagon.

 And fourth, praying too much, or again and again for success in the same event will, in time, begin to annoy the Gods, possibly giving the Blessed character a temporary negative modifier to their Faith roll. It will be left to the GM’s discretion how much is too much or too often, but he/she should be somewhat lenient (it is a game after all), but the Players should also understand that using Faith in this way should be best saved for very desperate times, or when it is dramatically appropriate. After all, the Gods help those who help themselves.

 If all these conditions are met, then the Blessed Character can being praying for the success of the task. This is handled as any other Complimentary Skill roll, and the GM will apply modifiers based on the situation and possibly on how “holy” the task may be. For example, praying for a team member to be successfully healed after battle might grant no bonus to the roll, but praying for an innocent child who was injured in the fight might grant +2 to the Blessed Character’s Faith roll.

 The Complementary Skill bonus provided is calculated the same as normal Complimentary Skill checks (+1 for every 2 points the Character makes his/her Faith roll by) but with +3 being the max bonus provided (The Gods will only sway things so much).

      Example: During a long trek across the badlands Amoth the Cleric’s party has run out of rations, and now must rely on their hunter, Langlas, to gather food for them, unfortunately food and game is scarce in the area and after two days trying, Langlas has had no success. On the third day, with things getting desperate, Amoth begins to pray for Langlas success in her next hunting trip.

Langlas has a Survival skill of 13- but the conditions and the fact that she is trying to hunt enough food for the whole party has dropped her check to 8-. The GM rules that it will take Langlas 6 hours for hunting, so Amoth spends most of the day praying for Langlas’s success. Amoth’s Faith skill is 12- and the GM provides no bonus to the roll as the party is on a quest for hidden treasure, not for any greater good. But the God’s still favor Amoth that day and he rolls an 8,that means a +2 complementary skills bonus.  Out in the wilds Langlas continues her hunt and makes her Survival roll which is 13-5 (for conditions) +2 (from Amoth’s successful praying), giving her a 10- roll. She rolls a 10, just making her check! She has managed to hunt enough food to save her companions for now…

 As an optional rule, and depending on how influential the GM would like the Gods of the campaign to be, if the Blessed character makes their Faith check with a critical success (rolls a 3) then a truly positive divine intervention may occur (in the example above Langlas would not need to roll survival, but rather comes across a large, injured Oxen, giving the party enough food to easily last them the rest of their journey and possibly giving them a “well fed” bonus (travel faster and farther every day). But if the GM does allow such positive divine intervention, then they should also allow for negative divine intervention on a critical failure (Faith roll of 18) where the God(s) have been displeased (in the example above perhaps Langlas is injured on the hunt and unable to keep hunting until she full recovers).

 

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Unless you are charging substantially more than the normal 3pts this skill is way over powered.   I would probably charge somewhere around 30pts for this skill. 

 

Many of the things you want to do are already covered by the rules, or can be with some creative interpretation by the GM. 

 

The social skill aspect could be a form of striking appearance.  Some of the other things could be done with luck with religious restrictions.  Also most of these should be done as spells instead of being granted by the skill itself.  Honestly with this skill the only thing the cleric is going to have to purchase spells for is direct combat and healing. 

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4 hours ago, mallet said:

 

 

 

 Faith represents a Blessed characters connection to the divine entity that they follow.

 

Then why is a Skill and not a Contact?

 

Also, why based on EGO rather than PRE?

 

Its primary use is for casting spells or attempting to use any religious-based Special Abilities, such as Faith Healing, that the character may possess.

 

What is the distinction here? What would make one ability a "spell" and another a "religious-based Special Ability?"

 

 It also has two other applications that adventurers may find handy.

 First, it can be used as a substitute Social skill in certain situations

 

Then again, why is it EGO based?

 

After all, the Gods help those who help themselves

 

Do they? According to you,

 

 Second, the Faith-user must be praying during the majority of time the other character is attempting to complete their task. The Faith-user cannot be directly helping the character(s) in question, they can either be praying for divine assistance, or physically helping, never both.

 

Which looks to me kind of contradictory. Sounds like the Gods help those who ask for help without actually working on the problem themselves.

 

I think though what you have looks workable if a little powerful, but perhaps you should lay some more explicit restrictions on it; someone who regularly flouts the tenets of their chosen pantheon or entity should not be able to use this skill all that freely, and the more points sunk in it, the more restricted the character should be in terms of behavior.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary wants to know if you can buy it to represent faith in yourself?

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll try and answer your points here. 

 

-Yes, it was going to be more expensive then that standard skill. I was going to make it an 8 or 10 point skill. I worked out the cost as being 3 (for the normal Power skill as in the rules and fantasy Hero) plus the True Jack Of All Trades talent (20 points, but with the limitations Extra Time, Concentration, and Only usable by others which drops it down to an real cost of 5. Even then this is not as restrictive as the skills actually is, as the skill can only be used for complementary skill rolls, and not as actual skill checks, but then it also covers non-PS skills, not always being able to use it, etc... so it kind of balances out). Thats how I got it to 8 pts, but then figured it with the other stuff it can do the extra 2 points might make sense. So, yes, 8 or 10 point cost. 

 

-It is based on Ego because that is the example given in Fantasy Hero for all of their Priest character builds for the Faith skill. Plus, for the social aspect, it still is more of trying to boaster the targets faith, rather then win them over with his own personality or presence. Much like a logical science debate would be handled with INT rather then PRE. 

 

-Yes, the Gods help those that help themselves, but the obviously like people praying to them as well, which is why they grant priests powers, have religions, perform miracles, etc... It is also why the suggestion in there of only when things are desperate and why they can ignore the request if the GM feels the character is abusing the skill. 

 

But I do see your point Lonewolf that the divine intervention aspect of it might be better suited as an actual spell, although since this is going to be a Turakian Age campaign then it will be even cheaper for the character as the real costs of all spells are divided by 3, so in this case it would be 3 points for the Faith Skills, 2 points for the Divine Intervention spell, so 5 points total.

 

Oh, and as for the distinction between spells and special religious abilities, in Fantasy Hero there are both religious spells and religious magical powers (I'm referring to them as special abilities), the difference being that Special Abilities don't usually require all of the limitations spells have, although in this case I will be requiring a Faith check to perform them. And, yes, I know this is Hero and I can build spells any way I like, but I'd rather make as little changes to the example spells given in the book as possible to save me the time and effort of reworking them all. 

 

 

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Really, it sounds like this should be a variant of the "Power" skill, if you want it as a skill.  Anything it can do beyond what the Power skill defines, should be bought as separate powers / talents / whatever.

 

While you as GM can simply rule that the "Faith" skill is complimentary to any given skill based on circumstances, if you want to do it "legally" you would build this as Aid with the variable effect option (any skill.)

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I can see allowing Faith to act as a Complimentry Roll to other skills by "praying for success". That seems appropo for a Power Skill that is otherwise only used as the Required Roll for abilities you paid CP for.

 

However allowing it to replace a swath of Interaction Skills is going overboard. Being "closer" to the gods doesn't automatically make you charismatic, or well adjusted (cultists anyone?). If you want all clergymen to be good at social skills... include social skills in their templates. At best, I would allow Faith to be used to complement the appropriate social skill when dealing with members of the same faith, with the caveat that if you try to use Faith on someone who isn't faithful, it backfires and imposes a penalty instead.

 

I loathe Requires A Roll based magic systems in general, and go out of my way not to use them (I've had one too many bad experiences). But I will say that being able to use a few example spells without modification is a really poor reason to handicap an entire campaign setting's magic users. Unless you use the Hero System Grimoire, you are gonna need to write lots of spells one way or another, and the HSG has notes for what every spell it contains costs without the Requires A Roll modifier... any other "spell" can be recalculated in a fraction of the time it will take the player to write out the spell. In other words... make your players do it if they want to buy spells. They should know exactly how it is constructed and functions anyway.

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4 hours ago, Cantriped said:

I loathe Requires A Roll based magic systems in general, and go out of my way not to use them (I've had one too many bad experiences). But I will say that being able to use a few example spells without modification is a really poor reason to handicap an entire campaign setting's magic users. Unless you use the Hero System Grimoire, you are gonna need to write lots of spells one way or another, and the HSG has notes for what every spell it contains costs without the Requires A Roll modifier... any other "spell" can be recalculated in a fraction of the time it will take the player to write out the spell. In other words... make your players do it if they want to buy spells. They should know exactly how it is constructed and functions anyway.

 

Good points, and I am interested in this. What were the issue you had with Require A Skill Roll based magic systems? Before I get too far into campaign building I'd like to hear more about these types of drawbacks people might have encountered. I've personally used RASR in a few games, as a player, but they were always shorter 1-5 sessions long and it didn't seem like a major issue (except for requiring an extra roll in combat situations and slowing things down slightly), but what other issues have you encountered? 

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8 hours ago, Funk Thompson said:

Really, it sounds like this should be a variant of the "Power" skill, if you want it as a skill.  Anything it can do beyond what the Power skill defines, should be bought as separate powers / talents / whatever.

 

While you as GM can simply rule that the "Faith" skill is complimentary to any given skill based on circumstances, if you want to do it "legally" you would build this as Aid with the variable effect option (any skill.)

 

Doesn't have to be Aid. Can be Overall Skill Levels, Limited.

 

37 minutes ago, mallet said:

 

Good points, and I am interested in this. What were the issue you had with Require A Skill Roll based magic systems? Before I get too far into campaign building I'd like to hear more about these types of drawbacks people might have encountered. I've personally used RASR in a few games, as a player, but they were always shorter 1-5 sessions long and it didn't seem like a major issue (except for requiring an extra roll in combat situations and slowing things down slightly), but what other issues have you encountered? 

 

I can't speak for Cantriped, but speaking for myself:

 

For one thing, every spell will have a different Skill Roll because the roll is adjusted by Active Points.

 

For another that Active Point penalty can quickly become crippling, forcing a player to either completely forgo all but small spells, buy the Skill up to a ridiculous base roll, or resorting to dodges like buying Levels with the Skill with a Limitation "Only vs Active Point Penalty."

 

My work around was to make all spells draw from a Mana Pool (END Reserve) and put the Requires a Skill Roll on THAT. Then the roll almost never varies (because the penalty is only based on how much END you're using) but you still need to roll for each spell.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Then I just have to keep the palindromedary from swimming in the Mana Pool...

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16 minutes ago, Lucius said:

 

 

My work around was to make all spells draw from a Mana Pool (END Reserve) and put the Requires a Skill Roll on THAT. Then the roll almost never varies (because the penalty is only based on how much END you're using) but you still need to roll for each spell.

 

Oooo... I like that idea.

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Not a bad way to go re: skill roll on the END reserve.

 

For me, I usually did Requires a Roll on each spell and used the active point penalty, but let you offset that penalty by spending extra time to cast the spell.  +1 to offset per step up the time chart.  It kind of served to encourage longer-lasting buffs cast before combat and smaller spells used in combat.  But the biggest spells were 45 AP for that campaign (-5 to roll, -3 if you "haymakered" with Full Phase + 1 Phase or whatever,) and a 30 AP attack was more or less equal to most weapon attacks.  Gets a lot more of an issue the higher your AP are going for spells.

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2 hours ago, mallet said:

What were the issue you had with Require A Skill Roll based magic systems?

It is a combination of things, and I don't want to sound too ranty but...

 

The personal experience that set me against RSR-Based Magic system was during the time I played in a 5th edition campaign set in the Turakian Age. Its magic system requires that all spells take Requires A Roll, and that the skill required was determined by the school of magic that spell came from... etc. It was a highly codified, and on paper reasonably fair system... that wasn't the problem. The problem was when my up-to-that-point overly competent wizard (I one-shot a river-kraken thing) botched a simple teleportation spell; and thanks to an assist from Requires A Roll and Concentration was turned into an elven pin-cushion and died!

 

My other excuses-ahem reasons for loathing Requires A Roll as a required element are as follows:

If over-used, it slows down an already slow combat system with extra steps.

It introduces a complex variable in character creation which requires greater system mastery not to turn into a trap.

It is essentially a discount for having unreliable powers, which for obvious reasons I want to avoid being all of them. My luck is bad enough that I don't want to tempt fate by giving it extra chances.

No matter how good your skill roll is... you still have to roll it because you might automatically fail (on an 18). You can never truely master a spell in an Required Roll System.

 

The only reason I would ever require a roll on all spells is if I was using the alternate rule (discussed in pretty much every version of Fantasy Hero) where the spell gains or loses 5 APs per point you make or fail the roll by. So the spell you purchase is simply the "average effect", and a failed skill roll doesn't necessarially mean the spell fails outright. It is a rule I've often pondered trying out... except that it requires so much additional work. In part because I felt compelled to note how every spell changes as it gains or loses APs, and few of them were as straightforward as an unmodified Blast.

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1 hour ago, Lucius said:

For one thing, every spell will have a different Skill Roll because the roll is adjusted by Active Points.

 

For another that Active Point penalty can quickly become crippling, forcing a player to either completely forgo all but small spells, buy the Skill up to a ridiculous base roll, or resorting to dodges like buying Levels with the Skill with a Limitation "Only vs Active Point Penalty."

 

My work around was to make all spells draw from a Mana Pool (END Reserve) and put the Requires a Skill Roll on THAT. Then the roll almost never varies (because the penalty is only based on how much END you're using) but you still need to roll for each spell.

 

Another method would be to buy the, "Requires A Roll" Limitation at a level equal to the player's skill roll. The downside is that the character will have to adjust every spell when their skill roll changes.

 

I've also seen, "Requires an unmodified skill roll" as a house rule, usually at -1/4.

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14 hours ago, Lucius said:

My work around was to make all spells draw from a Mana Pool (END Reserve) and put the Requires a Skill Roll on THAT. Then the roll almost never varies (because the penalty is only based on how much END you're using) but you still need to roll for each spell.


That's very similar to how I built Faith-based powers for Hârn - END Reserve, accessed through a Ritual (or whatever power skill you prefer).

I then added a limitation to the END reserve REC: only recovers during religious activities (-1/2). In other words, clerics need to pray, conduct religious ceremonies, accept religious quests, and so on.

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2 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I believe I saw it in FHC. I’ll check when I wake up. Or maybe I’m suffering from 3rd shift brain.

CC/FHC require a penalty of at least -1 per 20 APs on all Required Skill Rolls. An Unmodified Roll can almost never* be modified legally (for better and worse), that includes being modified by a characteristic rising or falling, or being subjected to a change environment.

*(the appropriate transform could change the activation roll per the rules for adding and removing abilities).

 

The optional rule for having an "Unmodified CHAR Roll" is to price it as an Unmodified Roll equal to the inate CHAR Roll it is based on... and then link the two by handwavium; such that if your CHAR Roll rises or falls (such as because of an Aid, Change Environment, or Drain) so does the Activation Roll.

This would be a caution sign option because it isn't difficult at all to abuse this system, even by accident. For example, an Alchemist with INT-Based formulae, one of which "just happens" to increase their INT (Elixir of Cunning)... Which he not only frequently uses before brewing to raise his own "unmodified" INT Roll required to brew elixirs, but also gives them to the party Wizard to drink before battle to raise her "unmodified" INT Roll required to remember her incantations... as well as to the party Rogue for the bonus to Perception (which may have been all the GM was thinking of when he wrote the Elixir in the first place).

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On 6/6/2018 at 1:20 AM, Funk Thompson said:

Eh, I'm not sure I like that - rules as written or not.

 

Activation roll of even 17- should be worth *some* limitation, since you can in fact roll an 18.

 

I'd call it -1/4 regardless of what value the book is giving it.

 

You have a 0.46% chance of rolling an 18. The guidelines on Limited Power in 6E1 suggest a -1/4 limitation is appropriate for a circumstance that happens around 25% of the time, with "rarely if ever limited" a -0 limitation.

It's your game, though.

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5 hours ago, Cantriped said:

Per the table in FHC, the minimum value of Requires A Roll is -1/4. Thus even a 17- Activation Roll is worth -1/4... despite the table otherwise indicating that a 14- (or better I presume) activation roll being a (-1/2) - (-3/4) = +1/4 modifier.

 

I wouldn't allow the 17- as an activation roll at all. 6E1 says activation rolls above 14- are allowed only with GM permission, and I wouldn't. ;)

 

Now if it's a skill-based roll, rather than an unmodified activation roll, this is a different matter - yes, it's possible to buy a skill to 17- or better, but it costs points to do so. A minimum -1/4 is perfectly reasonable.

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Likewise the table in CC/FHC doesn't give values for above 14-.

 

However if your GM is allowing you to base a Required Roll on a Characteristic (something the core rules do talk about doing) you price it as though it were an Activation Roll equal to your Characteristic Roll. If you are heavily invested in a Characteristic, a character with Requires A STR Roll could easily have a Roll of 15- or better for such powers, and as I mentioned above, Requires A STR Roll should still be worth -1/4 no matter how high it climbed; mostly because Drain/Suppress, and Change Environment can always be used by the GM to penalize the roll.

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The core rules base the limitation value of characteristic rolls off skill rolls (they're an additional -0 limitation). They are subject to AP modifiers just the same as skill rolls - so you have a characteristic roll worth -1/4 of you have -1 per 20 AP, -1/2 if it's -1 per 10 AP and -3/4 if it's -1 per 5 AP, exactly like a skill roll.

 

In addition to the AP penalty, yes, as you noted they can be drained or suppressed, and subject to change environment - just as a skill roll.

If someone wanted by buy an unmodified activation roll equal to their characteristic roll... well, that's an unmodified roll. And if it's above 14-, my answer would be no.

I *think* we're agreeing with each other, but we're coming at it from different angles. (And I'm referring to 6E1 and you CC/FHC, which may phrase things differently even though the rules are the same.)

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