• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Bruce Mason 13 years, 10 months ago


This Page Related Pages

Core Mechanic - Skill rolls

There are two types of skill roll:

  1. Skill Test
  2. Skill Contest

All skill rolls require you to roll a value equal to or less than your skill on d100 in order to succeed. Skill contests require you to successfully roll your skill and additionally require you to "beat" an opponent's roll.


Skill Test summary

Roll D100 and compare this to the relevant skill’s score. If the dice roll is equal to or less than the skill’s score, the attempt is successful. If the total is greater than the skill’s score, then it has failed. Except under exceptional circumstances, a roll of 01-05 always succeeds and a roll of 96-00 always fails. If you roll 1/10th or less of your skill ability during a test then you score a critical success. If you roll 99-00 then you fumble. However, if your skill is 100% or more then you only fumble if you roll 00.


Skill Contest summary

All participants involved in the contest roll D100 and compare their result to the relevant skill’s score. If a participant's dice roll is equal to or less than the skill’s score, their test is successful. The winner of the contest is the participant who succeeded the 'best'. See the section on skill contests for full details of how to determine who did 'best'.


The Skill Test

Before rolling D100 apply any skill modifiers to the test. If any of the modifiers call for a multiplication or division of the skill they are, unless otherwise stated, applied before any addition or subtraction. Once all modifiers have been applied, the player must roll less than or equal to the modified skill.


Skill Modifiers

Use the MRQ modifiers.


Skill test results

There are four possible results for a skill test, from best to worst.

  1. Critical success
  2. Success (normal success)
  3. Failure (normal failure)
  4. Fumble
  • Critical Success. This occurs if the skill test is successful and the number rolled was no greater than 1/10th of the skill at the time it was tested (rounded up as usual). E.g. if someone's skill is 47%, then any roll of 05 or less is a "critical" success. 
  • Success. This occurs if the skill test is successful. Sometimes referred to as a "normal" success.
  • Failure. This occurs if the skill test is a failure. Sometimes referred to as a "normal" failure.
  • Fumble. If the player rolls 99 or 00 then the result is a fumble. If the character's skill is 100% or more then any roll of 00 is a fumble. A fumble is significantly worse than a normal failure.


Skill Contests

In a contest the tester has to beat an opponent as well as make its skill test. To see who wins, each participant makes a skill test and the one who does the best wins, providing it actually succeeds. A critical beats a normal success while a normal success beats a failure. A failure does NOT beat a fumble, however, in some cases, the results of the fumble may mean that the person who failed ends up in a similar position as if they had won the contest.


Partial success: if a character succeeds at the skill test but loses the contest, then it scores a partial success. Scoring a partial success generally softens the blow of losing. (HR)


If all participants gain the same type of result and roll the same number, the participant with the highest skill wins.


There are 5 possible results of a skill contest for each participant: two winning results and three losing results.

  1. Critical success (winner)

  2. Normal success (winner)

  3. Partial success (loser)

  4. Normal failure (loser)

  5. Fumble (loser)



Andrew is pitting his stealth vs Bob's perception in order to sneak past him. Andrew's skill is 60%, Bob's is 80%. They both roll.

  • Andrew rolls 52%, Bob rolls 31%. Both succeed normally so Andrew wins the contest because he rolled higher. Andrew scores a normal success, Bob scores a partial success. The GM rules that Andrew sneaks past but Bob is still alerted by something and decides to ask a nearby guard if he heard anything.

  • Andrew rolls 05%, Bob rolls 31%. Andrew rolls a critical so wins. Bob still scores a partial success but it has no meaningful effect when compared to a critical so after a brief pause, he lapses back into boredom.

  • Andrew rolls 32%, Bob rolls 42%. Both succeed normally but Bob wins. Bob scores a normal success, Andrew a partial success. Bob spots Andrew but the GM says that because Andrew scored a partial success he can abort the test early and retreat to somewhere safe (if it exists).


Multiple participants in contests

It's possible that multiple participants may be involved in a contest in which case the one who rolls best wins. For example, if 6 people must all endure a trial by ants to win the hand of the May bride then each character must make a Resilience roll and the one who rolls best lasts longest. Drinking contests can be abstracted the same way.


Extended contests

A GM may occasionally wish to spread a contest out, requiring one participant to build an advantage over the other. In this case the GM may say that the contest is repeatedly rolled until one participant reaches a victory condition. This is abstracted through "Victory Points". Each participant starts with zero VPs and after each contest roll, the winner adds a number of VPs to his total equal to his Quality Rating. The GM can state that its an absolute contest in which the first to a fixed number of victory points wins or a relative contest in which one participant must exceed another's VPs by a fixed amount.


One shot "Highlander" contests

Occasionally you may wish to state that a contest has to have a winner even if all participants fail in their roll. For example, if 5 people are playing a hand of poker but they all fail their poker skill test you may say that the person who rolled the closest to their skill percentage wins. Regardless, no person can win a contest if they fumble. If all participants fumble then something has gone wrong that prevents the contest from being resolved; perhaps someone dropped their cards, a misdeal occurred and so on.


General skills concepts

Types of skills

Common skills are those which every character of a particular species and culture knows. Advanced skills are those which by default are not known until they are explicitly learned. For example, every human has a basic knowledge of how to climb but knows nothing of brain surgery unless taught. Advanced skills are not necessarily any harder than common skills, they are just not widely known within a specific culture or species. A character has no proficiency with an advanced skill until it has been learned; at which point the character gains the base score indicated by the skill.


The list of common skills does tend to vary a little between species, cultures and times. For example, Internet use might be a core skill in modern America but not in Glorantha. Some species may be missing some common skills - for example, dwarves don't commonly swim - or have additional common skills such as mineral lore for dwarves.


There are also exclusive "Trait skills" which are skills that are common to species that have certain traits. For example, Gloranthan Elves have access to the trait skill "Life Sense" which lets them judge the health of living entities. There is no normal way for a non-Elf to gain this skill.


Every skill, whether basic or advanced, has a "base score" equal to the sum of two characteristics or one characteristic doubled. The character's ability or learned score with a skill is equal to the value printed on the character sheet. Whenever a character's skill is tested, modifiers may increase or decrease its value for the duration of the test. This does not change the character's learned ability.


Occasionally, the character's base score may change due to a characteristic being temporarily increased or decreased. If the situation is temporary then this does not affect the character's learned ability. Sometimes, however, temporary changes can last for a long time. For convenience's sake, a characteristic change is considered temporary until it has lasted for at least week. If the change lasts longer then the player character should update the base score and learned score as appropriate because their body has become used to its new state.


Skill Spot Rules

Substituting Skills

One skill is substituted for another during a test when it is rolled instead of the other skill. Generally, when one skill is substituted for another during a test, it receives a negative modifier of at least -20%. A skill can only be subsitituted if the rules specify it or the GM allows it. Generally, only closely related skills can be be substitued for each other. The GM has the final say over whether one skill can be substituted for another.


Complementary Skills

If a character possess a skill that is closely related to a skill that is about to be be tested and is equal to or greater than the skill to be tested then, at the GM's discretion, it provides a +10% bonus to the skill about to be tested. This is a flat rate bonus and a skill that is to be tested can only benefit from one complementary skill.


Multiple skills used in one test

E.g singing the ballad of Black Arkat to a bunch of sceptical Uz. Roll under:

Uz Lore, Sing, Theology (Arkat) all at once. You could also add in a perception labelled skill to try and assess their reaction. When doing this, make a single roll and see which skills succeeded and which failed. This is not the same as using a Complementary skill to gain a bonus because each skill is being individually tested with the same roll.


Cap Skills

When using multiple skills sometimes you can just test all skills at once to see which works and which doesn't as above. Other times, certain skills act as a CAP on all skills when multiple skills are tested at once. The most common example is Ride. While mounted, any DEX skill you use (generally combat skills) is capped by your Ride skill. So for example if you are Ride 45% and 1H Sword attack 75% your sword attack is capped at 45%. Caps are applied before any other modifiers are applied. In the example of Ride 45% and 1H Sword 75% the Sword skill is capped at 45% however, if you then attack someone on the floor you will get +20% for attacking from above.


Other cap skills include

Speak (Language) in many communication skills using that language. Athletics, while climbing, swimming, jumping, flying and so on. Note that if a species which is a native swimmer (e.g. a merfolk) is swimming then it doesn't need to cap its skill however, if through magic, it is able to walk on the surface then it may have all its skills capped by its Athletics because it is not a natural activity. Similarly, if a character is speaking their native language, it's not normally necessary to cap its communication skills.


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.