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What do you do when your skill reaches 98%?

Do you want to lower the skill roll penalties?

    Since the Palladium Books rules note that a skill cannot go beyond 98%, this is an idea that you might want to impliment that will help with skill penalties on stunts or difficult actions. It is an easy rule that has been used by me and my role playing group. It is simply that if you reach 98% on a skill and acheive a new level, take the percent that you would have accumulated, and deduct that from the penalty of the action.

    For example, John is a veteran pilot. He had acheived 98% on his piloting skill three levels ago. He is engaged in combat with someone that just achieved 98% for piloting skill yesterday. He performs a stunt that has a -30%. John is obviously more familiar with piloting (even if it is only three levels). Why should John be capped at the same percentage as his less experienced opponent?

    So with this rule, we will take the 5% that is acquired at a new level, multiply it by the levels beyond 98%, and deduct that from the skill penalty for John. So, three levels times 5% equals 15%. If we combine that earned 15% with the -30% penalty, then the result is a -15% penalty for the maneuver. Thus John's experience is still able to be accounted for. So Johns new manuever penalty calculation looks like this: ((5% x 3)+ -30%)= -15% skill penalty for this maneuver.

    Again the Formula is:
New penalty = (The level advancement percent x Experience level beyond 98% for this skill) + the negative penalty.

    What happens when there is a bonus that reaches beyond the penalty? Later (much later) John acheives a few more levels.  During the combat, John tries a stunt that only has a -10% penalty against his piloting skill. So in this case, th penalty is a positive number. What do we do? NOTHING. He simply has no more penalties for this maneuver. He has finally mastered the maneuver!

    If a person is at 97% with pick locks and gains a new level which adds 4%, do they loose the percentage points to get to 98%? No. Simply take the extra and add it. Then use this to deduct from the penalty.

    Another way of doing this has also been noted by some that they just keep going beyond 98%. For example, instead of adding the negative as above, the pilot skill would be at 113% (98% + 15%) and with the penatly, the skill roll would have to be under 83% (113% - 30%).

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By Joseph Larsen