Friday, September 16, 2016

Recognition as a flat bonus

Yesterday I talked a little about Hidden Lore and monster recognition in DF.

Here is a different game-mechanical way to swap out information skills like that. In the examples below, swap in Occultism, Naturalist, etc. as appropriate. Note that Heraldry doesn't work so well for this rule.

Defensive Knowledge

You may roll against Hidden Lore, etc. to identify the target. If you succeed, and if you have the appropriate Hidden Lore or other skill at skill 15 or better, the creature's attack rolls and defense rolls against you are at -1. If you have the appropriate skill 20 or better, the creature's rolls at are -2.

(aka, the Animal Handling approach.)

Just as a note, it probably makes more sense to use Per-based skills to actually identify targets, and then IQ-based skill level to determine the penalty inflicted. Note that this stacks with Higher Purpose.


  1. I like the feel of this as a solution for generic foes, e.g. bog-standard zombies or whatnot, because you simply know how they move. For more unique foes (e.g. vampires?) it makes less sense to give a general bonus than to give knowledge of specific strengths and weaknesses still, because that's more of an all-or-nothing proposition instead of a general awareness of how they do the things they do.

    1. For DF, I'd be comfortable extending to entire classes of foes. After all:

      - getting 15 and then 20 skill is fairly costly
      - you only get that and recognizing it.

      It wouldn't combine with the existing recognition rules, because then it's not solving the problem of "GM hates getting put on the spot by players desperate for a tactic to try." It's fine to say that in DF, all vampires have little traits about them that let you read their actions and undermine their attacks and defenses.

      You could change the bonus, too - +1 to your defenses instead of the -1 to their attacks and defenses. Or provide it as a scale - if you make your Recognition roll by 5, you get the bonus listed above (-1 and -1). Critically succeed, and it's -2 and -2 and you discover a weakness. Makes the roll the thing, instead of the skill level.


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