Author Topic: Looking for advice on Contortions skill  (Read 144 times)

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Offline Elrich Maltah

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Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« on: December 06, 2021, 10:43:29 PM »
I'm running a half-elf dancer in an RM2 campaign who will be getting her agility potential boosted to 102. Looking at the type A stat picks in RMCIII, I'm planning to take "Body Control as the Nightblade spell" once the stat maxes out.

The description for that spell (from the Phantom Movements list) says "Adds 50 to any one maneuvar [sic] involving Balance or "Contractions" (see Secondary Skills in ChL&CaL)." There is no "Contractions" skill, but it's pretty obvious it means "Contortions."

The description for Contortions says "Bonus for manipulating one's body in order to move through small openings or absorb sudden crushing impact (other than falls). Helps escape from bonds, etc."

There's no indication there of the mechanics on how those scenarios should be resolved. (In comparison, the Tumbling skill description does define how it applies to resolving falls.) There's also no mention of resolving Contortions in the Alternate Static Action Tables of RMCII, but they do give details for Juggling, Jumping, Pole Vaulting, and Tightrope Walking.

I suppose it could be left to the GM simply determining the level of difficulty of the maneuver, but that seems imprecise based on the size of the openings or the type of bonds that could be encountered. Should the Contortions bonus also apply somehow to crushing weapon impacts, say, reducing crit levels or something, or should it only be valid in non-combat scenarios? I'm curious to know what you all think.

Offline jdale

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Re: Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2021, 11:12:29 PM »
I don't know if there are any detailed rules on it for RM2/RMC, but RMSS School of Hard Knocks suggests you can make a medium maneuver to absorb an impact and reduce the critical by one severity. It's unspecified how much activity that requires. There are also some guidelines for getting through small opening but I'm not sure they make sense.

Here's what I put together for the (upcoming and not final version yet) RMU Character Companion (adapting the SoHK guidelines):

  • Routine (+30): Touching one’s own toes.
  • Easy (+20): Performing feats of agility like bending over backwards. Crawling through an opening half your height at a Creep pace, or moving through an opening 80% of your height at a Walk pace.
  • Light (+10): Dislocating a shoulder from its socket (and putting it back after a maneuver).
  • Medium (+0): Absorbing an impact (and reducing the critical by one severity). Crawling through an opening one third of your height at a Creep pace.
  • Hard (-10): Escaping from leather bindings. Drinking from a glass held in one’s feet. Turning around in a tunnel one third of your height (and similar width).
  • Very Hard (-20): Escaping from rope bindings. Removing a blindfold while bound. Dragging yourself through an opening one quarter of your height at half a Creep pace (increase the difficulty by one to back up).
  • Extremely Hard (-30): Escaping from cloth bindings like a strait jacket.
  • Sheer Folly (-50): Removing a gag while bound. Dragging yourself through an opening one sixth of your height at half a Creep pace (increase the difficulty by one to back up).
  • Absurd (-70): Escaping from chains and close-fitting manacles.

These are intended as guidelines so modify upwards or downwards for circumstances. E.g. bindings may be quality or improvised, and applied by someone well or poorly trained. It will be easier to get through a smooth opening than a jagged one. Etc. In general these would be full round actions, but you could try more quickly at a penalty.
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Offline Elrich Maltah

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Re: Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2021, 11:22:20 PM »
These are excellent. Thank you!

Offline Elrich Maltah

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Re: Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2021, 09:16:51 PM »
I do have one question for clarification on the difficulty list: Is the intent for the medium action of absorbing an impact (and reducing the crit severity) meant to be for any type of impact, including when hit by a weapon? If so, is it meant to be equally applicable for weapons that do crit types other than Krush?

Offline jdale

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Re: Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2021, 10:48:49 PM »
SoHK didn't get into that at all. I would say it has to be an impact-type critical. Impact or crush. When in doubt, increase the difficulty. In RMU, I would say it is a 4 AP action (4 AP = 100%), but you could reduce it as low as 1 AP (25%) for -75, so that limits its use for combat. It might be appropriate to apply some of that activity requirement afterwards, as you are reacting and recovering.
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Offline mrfantastic

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Re: Looking for advice on Contortions skill
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2021, 10:57:55 AM »
It Says "contractions" cause involve all skills that incluse physical contractions like, contorsion, jumpimg....basically all athletic and gymnastic skills.