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Creating Skill Penalties

By Joseph Larsen

 udead.jpg (42316 bytes) 

    In playing your character, have you ever tried to conceal your vehicles or gear outside of a city to avoid problems? How hard could it be to find your stuff? Have you ever just barely succeeded while making a fake ID? Was it just barely good enough? How difficult would it be to spot the fake? This optional rule goes hand in hand with the 98% skill optional rules found elsewhere on this site. It generates the penalties to others' skill rolls against your initial skill roll. If you succeed with an excellent roll, why not get credit for it?

    This rule is simply that:

    -- If your natural skill roll is less than 10% of your skill percentage, then you set a 10% penalty to anyone that tries to undo your skill feat. (It is easiest to take the first number of the skill percentage rounded*)

    -- If you roll under 5% (half of the 10%, rounded up) then you set a 15% penalty to undo your skill feat.

    -- A natural roll of 01 ALWAYS creates a 20% penalty to undo your skill feat.

    Use common sense to determine which skills will use this. Demolitions would definitely be a skill to use this because someone might eventually diffuse the bomb, whereas fishing wouldn't use this rule.

    An example of this would be:

     Jack the Terrorist has designed his own bombs and he plans to blow up half of a packed stadium. Tim and his group get a tip that his nemesis Jack has been spotted at the stadium. They rush to the scene knowing that Jack could be up to something.
     Because Jack the Terrorist has the Concealment skill at 90% and Demolitions at 84%, he is an expert demolitionist. Of the 10 bombs that he hid, 2 had a concealment roll under 9% (which is 10 percent of his skill). This gives these two bombs a 10% penalty to Tim's Detect Concealment roll (he is trying to undo Jack's feat).
     Jack's roll for designing these bombs was a 4%, which is exactly 5 percent of his demolitions (half of 10 percent of 84%). Because of this, Tim has a 15% penalty to diffuse the bombs (only on the first bomb because the bombs are built the same way). Good luck Tim!  

    *HELP!:  The easiest way to figure 10% without a calculator is to use the first number of the skill percentage and round to the nearest. For example 10 percent of 74% would be 7, and 10 percent of 75% would be 8. Why? Because if the second number is larger that 5, then go to the next highest number. Otherwise, leave it the same. Now, to find 5 percent, take half of the 10 percent. So 5 percent of 74% would be 4. (Half of 7 rounded up.)

Zor's Experiments