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Exceptional Successes and Contested Rolls

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  • Exceptional Successes and Contested Rolls

    Quick question. If I establish a grapple (roll - their def) and we make a contested grapple roll, is it exceptional > 5? or Exceptional when it's 5 > than their successes?

  • #2
    When five or more. You don't need to get five more successes than them. If they got seven and you got eight, it's still ex.

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    • #3
      WHW is correct, it's five or more successes flat, not five more than the opponent

      That said, I house rule that you need to beat the opponent by at least two successes to get the exceptional effect. If you make a good resistance roll that's just not quite good enough I want there to be some value to that.

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      • #4
        I'd be careful with messing with things too much.

        A basic Contested Action could be two dancers auditioning for a part. If one dancer gives a 6 successes performance, and the second dancer gives a 5 successes performance, they both gave Exceptional Success level performances (keeping in mind that the loser in this case can still benefit from placing a Condition or gaining one for themselves). The first just rolled higher and gets the part. Reducing the value of their performance doesn't really make sense.

        If the situation is closer to zero-sum, it should be Contested and Resisted (reducing the likelihood of closely skilled contestants resulting in this sort of situation) or be an exception such as Dodging where successes are explicitly ablative.

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        • #5
          I should clarify that I mean in cases where one party is trying to apply an effect to the other, such as grappling or with various mind control powers. I would not use it when the target of both rolls is a third party.

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          • #6
            What you could say is that any result of 5+ is exceptional regardless of the other roll unless they also rolled 5+, in which case the two exceptionals cancel out.

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            • #7
              The point is, if both are doing exceptionally it should be reflected in the interpretation of the roll. Two evenly matched master swordsmen will seem blurs to onlookers as sparks fly, but neither gets a hit; that would represent matched exceptional successes. Still impressive, not effective.

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              • #8
                Well, yeah, but that's a totally different system.

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                • #9
                  It's really not. What I said is a literal example of the rules as written. There's nothing about a contested action meaning the opposition's rolls matter to yours, which by default means yours don't alter theirs.
                  Originally posted by Chronicles of Darkness Core;pg 69
                  Note that you count the total number of successes rolled when working out if you scored an exceptional success — don’t subtract the other party’s successes from yours.
                  Two people can roll exceptional successes against each other, and they should both be treated as exceptional. What that means is up to the Storyteller, but it's currently against the intention and letter of the rules to have those five successes mean anything less.

                  EDIT: What this means to the original question is that both attacker and defender in a grapple can achieve exceptional successes, meaning they get to choose two options each from Break Free, Control Weapon, Damage Opponent, Disarm, Drop Prone, Hold, Restrain, and Take Cover, and their choices all take place immediately in whatever order the Storyteller sees fit to place them in. The full turn may then proceed.
                  Last edited by Necrophear; 03-23-2017, 12:33 PM.

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                  • #10
                    That's not how it works though. Only the winner gets to do anything.

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                    • #11
                      If the attacker rolls an exceptional success, he picks a move from the list below to enact immediately.
                      During each subsequent turn, both grappling characters make a contested Strength + Brawl versus Strength + Brawl action on the higher of the two characters’ Initiatives. The winner picks a move from the list below to enact immediately, or two moves on an exceptional success.
                      True, the winner gets to pick moves. Given that there's no hard rule for ties, it's up to the ST's discretion how that plays, and the book also states:
                      Exceptional Success: Your character’s action succeeds beyond her expectations. Achieved by rolling five or more successes.
                      then both characters are assumed, by RAW, to have achieved an exceptional success without either party 'winning' in a Grapple action.

                      Since the rolls are both exceptional, there has to be a reward for both parties.
                      Since neither roll 'wins' (which can also be interpreted as both rolls winning), you have the option of awarding both parties respective actions relevant to their rolls, from the listed options or through whatever means you choose.
                      It would be negligent Storytelling to remove an exceptional success, thereby removing an iteration of a luck-based reward hardwired into the game.

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                      • #12
                        This is because it's assumed that you actually succeeded with your roll in order to gain an Exceptional Success. In the case of contested actions you don't succeed if you don't have more successes than the opponent. Now, that assumption is obviously not always true, but in order to have a system that actually makes sense I would not allow the loser of a contested action to have an Exceptional Success regardless of amount of successes rolled.

                        Edit: All of this is most likely just an oversight from the devs. You should only be able to get one out of four results from a roll: Dramatic Failure, Failure, Success or Exceptional Success. If you manage to score two different results then you've found a bug in the rules and should probably patch it by using a house rule.
                        Last edited by Tessie; 03-23-2017, 03:49 PM.


                        Bloodline: The Stygians

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                        • #13
                          A competitive action is not the same as a contested action. The latest COFD rules confuse the issue with wording. Contested actions are about opposition rather than competition. A contested action is when one party rolls to succeed at an action and another party rolls to prevent the action. A common example given is a sneak roll versus a detect roll. Four results per side is all you can get for an actual contested action.

                          For grappling, anybody rolling a dramatic failure has that happen. One side rolling more successes than the other results in success for the winning side, otherwise both fail. Should the winner roll enough successes that a normal roll would be an exceptional success then an exceptional success occurs.

                          In competitive actions, everybody could have an exceptional success but the most successes wins the competition. The situation dictates whether or not succeeding and not winning has any meaning.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Diggs View Post
                            A competitive action is not the same as a contested action. The latest COFD rules confuse the issue with wording. Contested actions are about opposition rather than competition. A contested action is when one party rolls to succeed at an action and another party rolls to prevent the action. A common example given is a sneak roll versus a detect roll. Four results per side is all you can get for an actual contested action.

                            For grappling, anybody rolling a dramatic failure has that happen. One side rolling more successes than the other results in success for the winning side, otherwise both fail. Should the winner roll enough successes that a normal roll would be an exceptional success then an exceptional success occurs.

                            In competitive actions, everybody could have an exceptional success but the most successes wins the competition. The situation dictates whether or not succeeding and not winning has any meaning.
                            The book doesn't make any such distinction in types of contested action. Whether the opposition is merely trying to prevent the actor from achieving their goal, or trying to achieve the same goal before the actor. In either case, both parties roll, and only the party that rolls more successes achieves their intent. In either case, if the party who achieves their intent does so with 5 or more successes, it is an exceptional success. In neither case does a party who does not achieve their goal receive an exceptional success, even if they roll five or more successes.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                              The book doesn't make any such distinction in types of contested action. Whether the opposition is merely trying to prevent the actor from achieving their goal, or trying to achieve the same goal before the actor. In either case, both parties roll, and only the party that rolls more successes achieves their intent. In either case, if the party who achieves their intent does so with 5 or more successes, it is an exceptional success. In neither case does a party who does not achieve their goal receive an exceptional success, even if they roll five or more successes.
                              I pointed out the failing of the book's description. Rolling to achieve a result first is a roll to prevent another from achieving their goal by another means which is probably the thinking of the writer. However, the wording suggests any competition would be a contest action which is not correct (not wholly). A singing competition would have a series of performances that could all be successful rolls and have all sorts of effects but in the end the highest number of successes dictates the winner of the contest. Benefits of success would apply to the individual performance rolls such that it might matter and be completely unrelated to the contest. The rules conflate the two situations by not making distinctions, but for the actual contest part it is as you say. Grappling is never that complicated so you succeed (win) or fail, then dramatic and exceptional as normal, but success is required for exceptional.

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