Originally Posted by

**tesral**
My method for handleing this is that no roll can be better than 90%. Failure is always an option. However skills higher than that are not useless. As they subtract from penalties.

A 10% failure chance is kind of high. *Basic Role-Playing*, for example, only defines 00 as an automatic failure -- a fumble, actually. (Fumbles are rolls greater than {100 - chance-of-failure / 20}, or somewhere between 96-00.)

And, as in the GURPS case, skills over 100% provide a safety margin against various penalties ... but what if there aren't enough penalties? Shouldn't a guy with an adjusted skill of 120% have some sort of edge over the guy with 99%?

- In the descendants of RuneQuest, critical or special successes are a fraction of adjusted skill. (BRP defines "specials" as 1/5 of the skill and "criticals" as 1/20, while Mongoose RuneQuest, and some older games, have no "specials" but define "criticals" as 1/10 of skill.)
- Optional rules in BRP let characters with combat skills over 100% make two attacks or parries, each at half their skill.
- Mongoose's RQII, on the other hand, uses a character's skill in excess of 100% as a penalty to his opponents' skills in opposed skill rolls, including combat.

Some designers question whether adding up little penalties isn't a drag on play. BRP defines "Easy" and "Difficult" rolls as double and half the base skill, respectively, and the rules encourage GMs to use this mechanic instead of adjustments over +/-20%. OTOH, *Heroquest 2*, on a 1-20 scale (sort of), considers any single adjustment less than +/-3 not worth the trouble.

Which just goes to show that every design decision has its own problems. I prefer mechanics with a bell-curve, but since most rolls are close to average, bell curves magnify differences in skill.

But this is way off topic ...

"On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."

- Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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