Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Automatic Successes (the Storyteller System's "take 10" rule)

Preliminaries: Street Fighter uses the original Storyteller system, which is a dice pool system. You add your score in an attribute (generally rated 1-5, though it is possible to go higher) to your score in an ability (also generally rated 1-5). You then roll this many dice and count as successes those dice that come up with results matching the target number or higher. In the original Storyteller system used in Street Fighter, the default difficulty is 6.

Automatic Successes
In Street Fighter, if your dice pool equals or exceeds the difficulty number of the roll, you automatically succeed on the action, with one success (p. 33). This means that for most tasks, having a 3 in an attribute and a 3 in a skill is sufficient to get an automatic success, without rolling. Somehow I never really used this rule. It would have improved our Street Fighter games if I had.

A dice pool of 6 isn't that hard to get. Characters should have routinely been able to do things like notice something in the environment without rolling (Perception + Alertness), climb a typical obstacle (Dexterity + Athletics), or gather information about recent local Shadoloo activities in an area (Charisma + Streetwise).

I'll certainly be using this rule now.

How I managed to miss this useful, actually good rule, which is pretty clearly stated, yet managed instead to follow the bad parts of the game's GMing advice (White Wolf's wrong-headed, common advice to ignore the results of die rolls in order to protect the GM's story, to lie about rolls instead of letting rolls stand and seeing where they'll go, and so on), I'll never know.
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