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 Post subject: Re: Talents affecting passive skill values?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:04 pm 
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Magic spells are definitely affected by not including bonuses "to Arcanum Action Skill Rolls" in Passive Values:

[1] Greater difficulty in adding adaptations to spells--and optionally more action skill rolls may be needed to successfully cast spells with adaptations. When having a net +2 "to Arcanum Action Skill Rolls" doesn't count towards Arcanum Passive Value (which is compared with CTN), that bonus doesn't let the caster automatically get more adaptations. However, the caster can still choose to roll and take the gamble on failing. With +1, it's not necessarily worth the risk of failure for an average of +1, but for a net +4 (which experienced characters can achieve from multiple independent sources), it can very well be worthwhile to take the risk of failure for that extra adaptation (albeit maybe just the one that's +2 CTN and not the one that's +4).

[2] Sustained spells with CTN > Passive Arcanum are more useful than other spells. The rules for sustained spells do not mention any need to ever check against CTN for sustaining the spell once it is started. Thus, if a spell-caster is going to gamble on an adaptation by rolling dice to beat a high CTN, it's better to do as a one-time effort for a spell that can thereafter be sustained without further rolls than for an instant spell that would require further dice rolls to be cast again.

[3] It can be easier to disrupt a spell than it is to cast it in the first place. Both Counter Spell (ta) and Unravel the Thread (sp) rules state that the dispelling mage should make an Arcanum Action Skill Roll against the caster's Passive Arcanum Value. Thus, the dispeller can get more bonuses than the original caster.

(I'm not trying to argue but just talk it through.)

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Sestius Ovidius val'Mehan Comma and Khamat - psion patrician diplomatic legate and his Myrantian tutor
Quintus Ovidius val'Mehan - patrician military tribune
Amadi val'Abebi - Monk of Althares
Talathos - choleric Kelekene dabbler


Last edited by Dante on Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Talents affecting passive skill values?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:13 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm
Posts: 1311
Thomas,

Contested skills are very easy and you've already described the right approaches. If both participants are making active checks they get their full benefits. If one of the participants has their passive targeted, they don't. The bonuses imply focused attention. Consider the following:

You're actively pursuing a thief who's trying to hide. It's your active perception vs. their active stealth - both are fully engaged.

A guard is walking his standard patrol. He's been at it for hours and it's as quiet and boring as it's been for weeks. It's the guard's passive Perception vs. the active stealth roll of the person trying to pass him.

The advantage goes to the person paying more attention and actively engaged.

From a game design philosophy you can argue whether that's the best choice, but it's the way the game's designed.

If you're GMing the game and feel that both parties are actively aware enough that it's not a passive roll, then you're certainly free to make it a fully contested roll. If the mod calls for checks against passive values though, that's the way it works.

If the clarifications significantly impact your character, the campaign staff have been good about letting people adjust their characters builds.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Talents affecting passive skill values?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:23 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:46 pm
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Dante wrote:
Magic spells are definitely affected by not including bonuses "to Arcanum Action Skill Rolls" in Passive Values:

[1] Greater difficulty in adding adaptations to spells--and optionally more action skill rolls may be needed to successfully cast spells with adaptations. When having a net +2 "to Arcanum Action Skill Rolls" doesn't count towards Arcanum Passive Value (which is compared with CTN), that bonus doesn't let the caster automatically get more adaptations.
<snip>

Correct. If you've got Metaphysical Understanding or Prodigy they are bonuses to the ASRs.

Quote:
However, the caster can still choose to roll and take the gamble on failing. With +1, it's not necessarily worth the risk of failure for an average of +1, but for a net +4 (which experienced characters can achieve from multiple independent sources), it can very well be worthwhile to take the risk of failure for that extra adaptation (albeit maybe just the one that's +2 CTN and not the one that's +4).


Correct, it can be, but just because you got a good roll, doesn't make you a better caster in general. Passive is still the best indicator.

Quote:
[2] It can be easier to disrupt a spell than it is to cast it in the first place. Both Counter Spell (ta) and Unravel the Thread (sp) rules state that the dispelling mage should make an Arcanum Action Skill Roll against the caster's Passive Arcanum Value. Thus, the dispeller can get more bonuses than the original caster.

(I'm not trying to argue but just talk it through.)


You are correct. It is easier. The use of passive values makes sense in some areas and far less in others. There are places where I believe a contested ASR would make more sense, but that's not the way the rules are.

Of course all of this works both ways - for and against the players.

With a sweep of his hat,

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Talents affecting passive skill values?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:13 pm 
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Thanks for all the help, Paul.

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David Thomas Chappell
Sestius Ovidius val'Mehan Comma and Khamat - psion patrician diplomatic legate and his Myrantian tutor
Quintus Ovidius val'Mehan - patrician military tribune
Amadi val'Abebi - Monk of Althares
Talathos - choleric Kelekene dabbler


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 Post subject: Re: Talents affecting passive skill values?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:41 am
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Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Thanks for chiming in, Paul (and he is correct). Nothing adds to a passive value unless it specifically says so.
Passive values are only used in cases where a Hero is not actively doing something. Not deliberately looking? Passive perception used...trying to hide/move silent? stealth action skill roll, etc etc
Also, since the example was brought up....Empathy is NOT a lie detector. It is a read in an emotional state. Someone can be lying and be happy, sad, scared, nervous, excited, or whatever.

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