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Questions about Dramatic Tasks

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  • Questions about Dramatic Tasks

    A couple of podcasts have recently had large sections of episodes dedicated to discussing dramatic tasks and some of the things said in those episodes conflicted with the way I've been personally interpreting the rules, so I decided to ask about those things here to clear things up. I also decided to add a couple of other questions related to dramatic tasks that came up from other places:

    1) Are all penalties to the main task roll also applied to cooperative rolls? Are both the static penalty that comes from the native difficulty of the task and also the -2 penalty that comes from drawing a club card in a round applied to the cooperative rolls? My interpretation would be that, yes, cooperative rolls are affected by both of those penalties. Is that correct?

    2) A dramatic task can fail suddenly when a character fails the main task roll in a round with a complication, but is a dramatic task also supposed to end early if the character gets all of the necessary successes before reaching the final round? For instance, is a dramatic task supposed to end successfully on the very first round if the character gets a bunch of raises and nets all of the necessary successes on the first roll? Or is the character still supposed to go through every remaining round just in case a complication comes up later? My interpretation is also that yes, the dramatic task ends successfully with time to spare if he gets all the necessary successes early on and you're not supposed to continue with the remaining rounds in that case. Is that correct?

    3) Can a secondary roll be inserted in a round to bypass a complication? For instance: The character is trying to defuse a bomb. A complication comes up and oops, the tool he's using slips from his fingers. Can he make an Agility roll to see if he can catch it before it goes through the floor grate? And only after resolving that roll would he then proceed to the actual task roll for that round? If he fails that first Agility roll but succeeds at the main task roll right after it, would he then have another permanent penalty in the following rounds since he no longer has the adequate tool for the job? This is a hypothetical situation that I see coming up often when people try to give examples of a complication during a dramatic task, but I'm still not entirely sure about it.

    4) If we're going by the book, a dramatic task is supposed to be performed by a single character making the same trait roll every round and any cooperative rolls are supposed to be made using the same trait as the main task roll, correct? I see a lot of people giving examples of dramatic tasks where a different character makes a different trait roll each round and cooperative rolls are made using random traits different from the main task roll. I really don't think that's how it's supposed to work rules as written.

    Thanks in advance for the reply!
    Last edited by Augusto Antunes; 07-11-2018, 01:47 AM.
    "Did I fire six shots, or only five? Three? Seven. Whatever." - Unkempt Harold

  • #2
    Originally posted by Augusto Antunes View Post
    A couple of podcasts have recently had large sections of episodes dedicated to discussing dramatic tasks and some of the things said in those episodes conflicted with the way I've been personally interpreting the rules, so I decided to ask about those things here to clear things up. I also decided to add a couple of other questions related to dramatic tasks that came up from other places:

    1) Are all penalties to the main task roll also applied to cooperative rolls? Are both the static penalty that comes from the native difficulty of the task and also the -2 penalty that comes from drawing a club card in a round applied to the cooperative rolls? My interpretation would be that, yes, cooperative rolls are affected by both of those penalties. Is that correct?
    Yep. See here...

    http://archive.pegforum.com/viewtopi...322123#p322123

    and here...

    http://archive.pegforum.com/viewtopi...455261#p455261


    [QUOTE=Augusto Antunes;n10743]2) A dramatic task can fail suddenly when a character fails the main task roll in a round with a complication, but is a dramatic task also supposed to end early if the character gets all of the necessary successes before reaching the final round? For instance, is a dramatic task supposed to end successfully on the very first round if the character gets a bunch of raises and nets all of the necessary successes on the first roll? Or is the character still supposed to go through every remaining round just in case a complication comes up later? My interpretation is also that yes, the dramatic task ends successfully with time to spare if he gets all the necessary successes early on and you're not supposed to continue with the remaining rounds in that case. Is that correct?

    Yep. See here for this one...

    http://archive.pegforum.com/viewtopi...415050#p415050

    Originally posted by Augusto Antunes View Post
    3) Can a secondary roll be inserted in a round to bypass a complication? For instance: The character is trying to defuse a bomb. A complication comes up and oops, the tool he's using slips from his fingers. Can he make an Agility roll to see if he can catch it before it goes through the floor grate? And only after resolving that roll would he then proceed to the actual task roll for that round? If he fails that first Agility roll but succeeds at the main task roll right after it, would he then have another permanent penalty in the following rounds since he no longer has the adequate tool for the job? This is a hypothetical situation that I see coming up often when people try to give examples of a complication during a dramatic task, but I'm still not entirely sure about it.
    Sorry, not really the topic for "hypotheticals" other than a GM can rule however they want at the table, that's their job. By the book though <italics added>, "He must make his roll this turn at –2 (in addition to any other modifiers). If failed, the worst possible resolution to the task occurs—the target escapes, the argument ends violently, the bomb explodes, or the battle is lost."

    So typically, it all comes down to that one roll which is the skill being used. A GM might choose a different Trait based on the situation (perhaps altering the penalty as well), but it should still generally be all down to the one roll, not one roll then a second "safety net" roll.

    Originally posted by Augusto Antunes View Post
    4) If we're going by the book, a dramatic task is supposed to be performed by a single character making the same trait roll every round and any cooperative rolls are supposed to be made using the same trait as the main task roll, correct? I see a lot of people giving examples of dramatic tasks where a different character makes a different trait roll each round and cooperative rolls are made using random traits different from the main task roll. I really don't think that's how it's supposed to work rules as written.
    Per Cooperative Rolls, "Characters may not make cooperative rolls if they don’t actually have the skill in question." That said, if the GM feels another Trait could conceivably assist, they can allow it. The rules "as written" are for most cases not all of them. If a character is performing a ritual, then helping is pretty much going to require that skill, but if the specific ritual causes pain which could be shared with another, then the GM might say Spirit could be a Cooperative Trait to take the strain off the caster.

    Hope that helps.
    Clint Black
    Forum Admin & Rules Answer Guy
    Savage Worlds Brand Manager

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