For decades, I have loved the simplicity of the Talislanta/Omni resolution system: d20+skill+stat+/-modifiers check table.
a couple decades of running SLA Industries and D6 almost exclusively it
seems that while wonderfully simple, it underwhelms me as a GM.
SLA Industries and WEG d6, and to an extent almost all the games
produced after 1990, the common resolution method has been: roll dice,
add/subtract stuff vs a difficulty number.
numbers are a very fast and easy method of resolution, so easy in fact,
that even with all the different task resolution systems in existence,
they almost all follow the same basic setup.
25 Very Difficult
D20 difficulty, basically add 10, some numbers have been
averaged/fudged for convenience of illustrating the point over exact
For Talislanta/Omni resolution, it would
basically seem to follow the same difficulty as d20, but what about the
Partial, Full and Critical Success, not to mention Mishap ratings of the
Omni Table? That is what really brings home variety in a game with
This is where things can get fun (and this would be easily portable to d20 also from what I have seen).
Raises, or Staging
of the greatest things found in games like Shadowrun, World of
Darkness, Deadlands, etc is the ability to do "extra" stuff depending on
how well you roll, Talislanta/Omni reflect this with the Omni Table by
having the above levels of success.
Sometimes this can
be a bit tricky, or non-intuitive, to interpret. I prefer things to be
straight forward and fast, the less time I spend interpreting the rules,
the more time we all get to enjoy the game. But, I do love me some
In keeping with the scaling above
for difficulty, degrees of success would follow the same pattern. For
example, if the difficulty of the task is 15 (10+5 for 'easy') and you
roll a total of 25, you can see easily that you have 2 'Raises'
After that, it is just a matter of
telling the story: "You pick the lock with blazing speed, not very many
of the simple locks like that one around anymore."
For combat in the Omni system using this rule it still works.
Attacker Rating (skill+stat) = 6
Defender Rating (skill+stat) = 7
Attacker die roll = 15
Normal method: 15+(6-7)=14, a Success, normal damage is done
Difficulty method: 15+6 = 21 vs Defense of 17 (10+defenders rating), still a success, but more intuitively derived.
Okay, so what about higher levels?
Attacker Rating = 12
Defender Rating = 7
Attacker die roll = 20
Standard method, this would work out to a 25 (20+5), and be double damage.
Difficulty method: 20+12=32 vs Defense of 17, 15 higher than needed, so, 2 'Raises.'
Each 'Raise' could then be interpreted as:
a) additional +1 damage per raise (eww...that kinda sucks comparatively)
b) additional +DR of weapon (effectively double weapon damage before STR)
c) -1 Defender Defense per raise
d) a mixture of various effects
look at d, because that sounds fun. The defender would take 2x weapon
damage for the first raise, then also be at -2 defense on the next turn
as he recovers from the shock of the blow, or is trying to hold his guts
in, possibly even from hesitation thinking "Do I really want to stay
and fight this guy?"
The good thing is, rolling a total
over 20 is now useful, the bad thing though is the inevitable 'Death
Spiral' for the defender.
"But what about the ability to successfully Parry/Evade in Omni??" you ask?
Simply a matter of perception.
method is the defender will focus his action on defense and roll
d20+rating and if the result is a Full Success or better, the Attacker
does not even roll, Partial Success indicates that IF the attacker hits
he will only do half damage.
Standard parries (ie
passive) are taken into account with Defense Rating (10+ applicable
skill), an 'Active Parry/Evade' would work in the following manner:
d20+Defense = opponents difficulty to hit.
the above Ratings, if the defender decided to Parry as an action before
hand and rolled a 15, the total would have been 32, still would have
been a hit, but just barely.
This works great for melee, but what about Ranged attacks?
Remember the #1 rule of ranged combat: take cover!
mentioned, melee Defense is 10+skill rating, this is fine for fighting
face to face and you can (hopefully) semi-predict your attackers moves,
but at a distance you cannot tell where your attacker is aiming.
my current thought is that Defense against ranged attacks would only be
your Evade skill (passive) or d20+Evade Rating for an 'Active Defense.'
people with guns and bows are a bit more dangerous than people with
knives with this setup, but you have nothing to defend yourself with at
range, and the attacker still has range penalties.
Just some thoughts going through my head, until next time, enjoy your game!