Difference between revisions of "Talk:Skills, Saves and Ability Checks"

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Latest revision as of 21:35, 30 November 2019

This system is deprecated; there are no ability checks in Epic Path.  The rules have been copied here in case we decide they're useful for anything.

Ability Checks

Ability checks are checks made against a character's raw ability score. This roll is always 1d20 + the appropriate ability modifier (not the ability score). For example, a character making a CON check with a CON of 18 would have a +4 modifier, and so would roll 1d20+4 for their CON check.

Ability checks are used for situations where the character wants to try something for which there is no defined skill. In Epic Path, there has been a lot of effort spent to reduce the number of ability checks required in the foundation rules to the bare minimum, but we recognize that occasionally, something truly oddball comes up. OR, the GM just likes using ability checks!

For example, to win a drinking contest against the local barbarian chief might require a Constitution check, since there is no obvious skill for 'drinking ruinous amounts of intoxicating beverages in a serious display of bad judgement'. However, even at epic levels, ability checks will never have as much variance as a skill check. Ability modifiers can only be raised so high, after all. If there is a need for it, ability checks have a separate set of Difficulty Classes, defined below, for the genuinely crazy things that come up. You will notice, the target DC's for ability scores are necessarily lower than for Skill checks, and these DC's should never be used for anything other than raw Ability checks.

In nearly all cases, monsters should not make ability checks. If a DC is needed for a monster, but no skill seems appropriate to the task, GM's can either make a generic skill check at an appropriate difficulty, or they can make an ability check, using the same table as PC's (below). However, in most cases, monster ability scores are quite arbitrary, and are not scaled in the same way that PC ability scores scale. That is, monsters are able to have ability scores much higher or much lower than PC's could have at any given level. Hill Giants, for example, have strength scores of 75 and more, which is MUCH higher than a PC could ever attain. It may be more appropriate to make skill checks to avoid this arbitrariness. (On the other hand, it may be perfectly appropriate that Hill Giants nearly always succeed on Strength checks.)

Optional Rule: Minimum Required Stat

GM's can require that, in order to even attempt an ability check, the character must have a minimum ability score equal to the ability check's target DC. This prevents the pox-laden, unbathed fighter from making a lucky roll and appearing more attractive to the princess than the bard with the 20 charisma. Using these rules, that fighter who has a 7 charisma isn't even allowed to roll. Of course, sometimes these outcomes are hilarious, and can be justified as the princess having really strange taste in men. GM's should decide if they want to apply this rule, either all the time, or on a case-by-case basis.

Ability Check DC's By Level

  • Note: This table is intended to provide DC's that anyone (player characters or monsters) must overcome.
Level Easy Ability Check Average Ability Check Hard Ability Check Impossible Ability Check
1 5 11 13 19
2 5 11 13 19
3 5 11 13 19
4 5 11 14 20
5 5 11 14 20
6 5 11 14 20
7 5 11 15 21
8 5 11 15 21
9 5 11 16 22
10 6 12 16 22
11 6 12 17 23
12 6 12 17 23
13 6 12 17 23
14 6 12 18 24
15 6 12 18 24
16 7 13 19 25
17 7 13 19 25
18 7 13 19 25
19 7 13 20 26
20 7 13 20 26
21 8 14 21 27
22 8 14 21 27
23 8 14 22 28
24 9 15 22 28
25 9 15 23 29
26 10 16 23 29
27 10 16 23 29
28 11 17 24 30
29 11 17 24 30
30 12 18 25 31
31 12 18 25 31
32 13 19 26 32
33 13 19 26 32
34 14 20 27 33
35 14 20 28 34