John Bell over at The Retired Adventurer had an interesting post on Skill Checks and chance-based rolls. Check it out:
Tests of Skill and Tests of Chance
It's a good article. I especially like a few ideas:
- glomming together multiple checks by multiple PCs into a big roll. GURPS has Complementary Skills (it's in Action 2, at least, and a cut-rate version shows up in Gladiators), but I like the expanded idea of "add everyone together and do one roll."
- announcing results of a multiple-effect test in dramatic order, consistently. Check the guys most likely to pass and then down, or check all of them and announce the best-to-worst results. "That guy panics, so does he, that guy faints from fright, and that guy's head asplodes!"
- the importance of allowing player choices to affect the odds of success. "Bonus grubbing" is really critical to me - if you grub hard enough, I might not even need to make you roll.