Monday, August 21, 2017

Converting Champions adventures, part II

SYSTEM: ICONS, Champions

I had this as an edit on the previous post, but it got long, so I moved it here. Also: these are my thoughts, and some of them haven't hit the wall of reality yet. So nothing here is necessarily concrete. It's my ideas. We'll see how it works out.

So: checks in Champions versus tests in ICONS.

Difficulties

Now that I've looked at the math, I see that the difficulties on rolls should be done a little differently.

Assuming the average roll is 11-, and in ICONS the average difficulty is 3 (figuring on an average "effect" value of 3), here are some rough equivalencies.
Champions DifficultyRoll based on 11-ICONS DifficultyProbabilities
–83-; 0.46%8+5; 2.7%
–74-; 1.85%8 
–65-; 4.6%7+4; 7.7%
–56-; 9.3%7 
–47-; 16.2%6+3; 16.7%
–38-; 25.9%5+2; 27.8%
–29-; 37.5%4+1; 41.7%
–110-; 50.0%30; 58.4%
11-; 62.5%30; 58.4%
+112-; 62.5%2–1; 72.2%
+213-; 83.8%1–2; 83.3%
+314-; 90.7%0–3; 92.7%
+415-; 95.4%-1–4; 97.3%
+516-; 98.2%-2–5; 100%

Degrees of Success

Frequently in the adventure, there's stuff about "a Perception roll finds" followed by "an INT roll finds" followed by... I shortened them. If there were several things, I made the results of the search based on the number of degrees of the result:

Results of the Intellect search (difficulty 4, Investigation helps)
FailureThings will be derailed if they don't find this out, so they get this information anyway; or, they find nothing if it won't hurt not to discover anything.
Marginal successIf they have an appropriate specialty, I'll probably reveal the basic stuff here. I might even if they don't have the specialty.
Moderate successBasic stuff for succeeding, usually the first information presented in the original adventure.
Major successNext information. But in the original spirit, a second test with only a moderate success will probably get this, unless the original adventure claims it is much harder information to find.
Massive successAll of this type of information.

Champions checks were very binary, but by juggling the difficulty, they had degrees of success. This is just extending the idea. (The difficulty adjustments I remember were -1, -2, -3 (as 8 or less), and -4. Sometimes there were adventures where things were easier, but why not just give it to the players?)

And frankly, if someone gets, say, a moderate success and wants to try again, I will probably let them, and what's in the table there as information from a major success will be available if they get a moderate success this second time. I rationalize this by claiming that they're spending more time...but really it's because that's how I played Champions.

Pyramid Tests

Pyramid tests are better for multiple tests of the same type to accomplish one end. So, for instance, at one point there's a series roll to bypass security on a computer terminal and then another roll to get the information. A third roll has a result that essentially says, "You know you've triggered the security protocols and if you keep going, the damage will be irreparable." That sounds like a pyramid test. Make it, and you've bypassed the security and got the information, stopping just short. Have a certain number of failures (maybe it's opposed; each failure counts as a "success" for the other side, amount of failure gives the degree of "anti-success"), and you go straight to knowing that further tampering could cause damage.

But that's very much a case-by-case thing. I have to read the adventure and say, "Well, there's really a series of rolls there. What's the effect of multiple rolls here, versus one really good roll giving the same information?"

There is also a place where an obstacle is randomly there (on a 1-3 on a D6, it's there). My version is a little different. "If the characters have a way of getting around the obstacle from the outside, it's there. If not, it happens after they enter, probably as a result of some other action they take."

A Convention If You're Reading My Notes

I've adopted this convention when writing down ICONS tests: the name of the ability, and the difficulty in square brackets, followed by a specialty that will help (if there is one). So a difficulty 3 Awareness test that could use Investigation is "Awareness test [3; Investigation]". If there's no particular specialty, I don't write one down: "Intellect test [3]". And if the specialty is what makes it all possible, then it's not an Intellect test (or whatever), it's a Technology test.

If I were writing the adventure for publication, I wouldn't do this, I'd write it out, but since these are my notes, and saving time is important...