Skill Checks and Saves
Everything in Untitled is a skill and the skill level determines a character’s proficiency in utilizing or executing with said skill. Skill Points (SP) are spent to advance a Skill in Skill Levels (SL), which also change the Skill Tier and Dice utilized. What follows is the skill ladder for all skills in Untitled.
A skill check is a dice roll made using the dice associated with the skill tier and against a difficulty level determined by the Storyteller, to ascertain whether or not the skill being employed was successful in its execution. For general skills, anyone may roll when a check is called. If a player has spent at-least one point in the skill, that skill is considered to be trained and players may add the skill level they have in that skill as a bonus to their dice roll. The dice that they roll is determined by their skill level. Players with no points spent in the skill may still roll as untrained, but may only roll a single d6 without a modifier. Depending on the skill difficulty assessed by the Storyteller, untrained skill checks may be successful.
A common skill check is a Perception Check, where players roll the dice associated with their character’s skill level in Perception to determine whether or not their character may hear or see something. Most skill checks are similar, in that they may reveal additional information, provide a different perspective or grant insight into a situation. They are often optional in nature, unlike Saves or Saving Throws.
Skill checks may involve a skill, quality or attribute and some of the more common examples follow.
|Check or Save||Skill Name||CA||Description|
|Strength||Brawn||Str||Can a character break down a door?|
|Grapple||Brawn||Str||Will a character successfully grapple another?|
|Perception||Perception||Int||Does a character hear or see something?|
|Intuition||Intuition||Vir||Is that character lying to me? Is that a mask?|
|Climb||Climbing||Agi||Really should have brought a rope…|
Some skills counter others. The counter to a successful skill check against another character, such as with Grapple above, is an opposing saving throw.
Saves and Saving Throws
Saves or Saving Throws are often the result of a failure with a Skill Check, such as a failed Perception check not revealing the triggering mechanism for a trap. Continuing this example, the Storyteller may ask for a Reflex Save in an attempt to determine how much damage the character will take from the Trap or if they will be fast enough to avoid it completely.
The Storyteller will determine a passing number and ask the player to roll their character’s Reflex skill dice and add the skill level as a bonus, assuming the skill is trained. If the number is higher than the passing number, the character may avoid taking any damage at all. If the number is lower than the assigned value, the character may take some or all of the damage from the trap.
Many saves or saving throws will be, like skill checks, tied to a specific hazard or challenge. Some however may be based on purely environmental causes such as save versus cold, or based on item specifications such as save versus poison or disease.
Some saving throws are made as a direct result of one character utilizing a skill against another, such as a non-player character (NPC) trying to lie to the player character using their Obfuscation skill. If the player suspects that the other character is lying, they can attempt an Intuition check. The player calls for the check and the Storyteller rolls Obfuscation for the NPC, followed by the player rolling Intuition. If the player rolls higher than the Storyteller, their character may get the feeling that the NPC is hiding something from them. If they roll lower, their character suspects nothing.
The Storyteller will have predetermined or prescribed success and failure values in mind or, in the case of a challenge made by a non-player character, will roll the appropriate dice tied to the skill being utilized.
Should the challenge come from another player character, the Storyteller may ask the challenger to roll first and the defender to roll afterward. The Storyteller may apply a bonus modifier to either the character initiating the challenge or the one defending, depending on the situation.
The following table lists a number of skills and their prescribed counter skill.
|Skill Name||Counter Skill||CA||Skill Name||Counter Skill||CA|
The Constructor skill above refers to constructor skills that do not necessarily have a damage component, such as Empathy, when used to try and affect a target. One example of this might be trying to compel an enemy to flee battle or to attack its own allies.
The Rope skill above refers to when a character is restrained by rope, where a successful Brawn skill check could cause the rope to burst and free the character. If the character was attempting to use the rope as a lasso, they may roll Reflex instead of Brawn.
The following table contains a number of popular checks, saves or saving throws.
|Check or Save||Skill Name||CA||Check or Save||Skill Name||CA|
When an enemy attempts to poison a character, a player may roll a Fortitude save against a prescribed difficulty rating for that particular poison. If the player is successful, the attempt to poison them failed. If the player is not successful, the effects of the Poison apply.
If a player were fighting werewolves and were bitten, they may need to roll a Fortitude save to avoid becoming infected. If the player is successful, they were able to fight off the infection. If the player is not successfully however, the character becomes infected with the disease.
As a player it is important to always keep in mind that while Skill checks, Saves and Saving Throws are an integral and necessary part of the game system, the Storyteller always has final say.
The Storyteller will determine a difficulty rating for the challenge before it is declared. This rating will be comprised of two parts, a tier selection and then a difficulty factor. The tier will determine the skill level the challenge is intended for (Novice, Journeyman, Expert, Master or Grandmaster), while the difficulty factor (Easy, Normal, or Difficult) will determine the odds of success.
For some challenges, such as a perception check that may reveal something special to a player character or party, a simple pass or fail outcome may be all that is necessary. Other challenges, such as knowledge skill checks, may have a base value for passing and then a variable that determines how much information the Storyteller should reveal. If the player passes the check, they get a tidbit of information but if they were to roll high, they may receive more detail. All challenges are ultimately subject to the Storyteller’s discretion.
|(Skill bonuses will range from +1 to +4)|
|(Skill bonuses will range from +5 to +10)|
|(Skill bonuses will range from +11 to +15)|
|(Skill bonuses will range from +16 to +18)|
|(Skill bonuses will range from +16 to +18)|
Skill difficulty is determined by the question being asked or challenge presented and is therefore situational, while the players’ response to that challenge will be based on the character’s skill level. Therefore, it is entirely possible that even a great success for a Novice will be insufficient to answer a challenge, if the challenge was intended for Experts. As a Storyteller, use this mechanic wisely and plan the difficulty of your challenges ahead of time.