DEX used for leaps and climbs?

question

#1

Hello everyone,

I’ve recently acquired the ICRPG pdfs and I’m wondering about the use of DEX to make attempts and checks.
Many examples in the core book seem to take for granted that you’d use DEX to leap or climb (e.g. “Rope & Hook, +3 DEX when climbing”). But in truth, these actions required sheer strength to perform and very little agility. My players and I are quite clear on that question. But is there a mechanical reason for this choice in designing ICRPG?

“If that doesn’t suit you, just use STR for those checks!”, you say? Yeah, that looks like what I’m going to do. But in doing so, is DEX retaining enough usefulness in most games? Has anyone here chosen to use STR for leaps (and other athletic actions) and found DEX to be underused after that?

Thanks for any input, I’m eager to test the system out :slight_smile:


#2

I allow my players to use either Dex or Str for climbing, and normally just say, “Roll whichever stat makes the most sense, whether you muscle your way up or Legolas your way up.” I love envisioning a flipping Legolas hand-springing his way up.

But use Str only if that is what your group prefers. I suppose the nod goes to Dex more in terms of the precision in finding the handholds (can you athletically move your body in a way that allows you to find purchase here, here, and there, which is more of an agility feat). But I profess that now that you are showcasing Str in climbing, it makes a ton of sense. Lol. That being said, I’ll still allow my players to choose either stat for climbing. It’s just climbing, anyway. For leaping, I definitely see that as more of a Dex-based endeavor, as it’s not the leap that matters, it’s the landing. A dexterous person is going to be better equipped than a merely strong one. Besides, Str has a ton of uses in fantasy games already.

In terms of use, Dex is not an underused stat. Indeed, in a Sci-fi game with a lot of shooting, it becomes super useful. And depending on the character build, I would allow a melee fighter to use Dex instead of Str if s/he asked, so I don’t see Dex becoming a dump stat if climbing suddenly became all Str based. Finally, if you have saves at all (and you should), I highly recommend Dex-based saves to stay on your feet, avoid falling off a rickety rope bridge, and avoid a springing alien facehugger. Those should stay the same even if climbing is all Str based.


#3

That’s a great question, and one that probably has a ton of different answers depending on who answers it.

Just my 2 cents, but when running ICRPG games and players have actions they want to take I generally ask them how they go about getting the thing done. A STR based character might try to lift things, a DEX based character might try to find a way to finesse their way around the problem, a CON based character might try to endure a challenge rather than try to overcome it directly, INT characters might try to outthink the challenge, WIS based characters might try to circumvent the challenge, and CHA based characters might try to stay composed in the face of challenge in hopes the challenge backs down.

In that way, characters will always try to play on their terms, and good for them: that’s what folks generally do. When they can apply their core stat to the challenge let them, when they can’t come up with a reasonable explanation, prescribe the nature of the test. Using Saves and placing characters in defensive positions with challenges puts you more in control of what to test.

To the original question: I’d ask how a character wants to tackle the climbing obstacle and see what they come up with. Chances are it will be more interesting than me just asking for a certain check. Hope that helps with the concept, and if not I’m just a madman rambling. :slight_smile:


#4

Hi Alex, thanks for your answer.

I allow my players to use either Dex or Str for climbing, and normally just say, “Roll whichever stat makes the most sense […]

I did that for years in D&D 5e before changing my mind, but as you might know, Dex is a god stat in D&D, so it also made sense to tone it down a bit. Over time, my players and I realized it made more sense that way.

For leaping, I definitely see that as more of a Dex-based endeavor, as it’s not the leap that matters, it’s the landing.

Jeez, that’s a very good point! Sometimes, the landing is narrow and it becomes a Dex check for sure.

I highly recommend Dex-based saves to stay on your feet, avoid falling off a rickety rope bridge, and avoid a springing alien facehugger.

I totally agree here :wink:


#5

Hi Chaologic, thanks for your answer.

Just my 2 cents, but when running ICRPG games and players have actions they want to take I generally ask them how they go about getting the thing done.

Yes, this looks like a big twist with ICRPG and other DIY systems. The rules loosely cover everything, the players have to describe more precisely what they do, so the DM has a lot of interpretation to do. And don’t get me wrong, I find that really cool, that’s why I’m interested in ICRPG in the first place: it puts back the RP in RPG in every single element of the game!

You narrow things down brilliantly by saying:

When [the characters] can apply their core stat to the challenge let them, when they can’t come up with a reasonable explanation, prescribe the nature of the test.

I didn’t realize how much it was in the core of ICRPG to simply present the challenge to the players and let them come up with a clever solution.

Hope that helps with the concept, and if not I’m just a madman rambling. :slight_smile:

Haha, if you’re mad, I’m totally loony too, 'cause I got what you meant!


#6

Both the previous answers are brilliant.

As to dex vs Str??? Con to endure the physical hardship, wisdom to find the easiest path, charisma to find the mental fortitude to struggle on, intelligence to know one of the others will drop a rope when they get to the Top!!

Rooms should not be a challenge for each individual, allow a character to shine, but reward out of the box thinking.

However, reward or enforce high risk, high reward!!! The 0 dex 6 charisma player character slid past the bad guys by body tobogganing past them with a 14 Target Number!!! Oh ya!!! Hero Point for you! Vectoring on Ice!!!
The 6 dex character doing the same, while doing a triple axis did not risk as much, they succeeded and got coolness points. Their next attack will be easy.

ICRPG allows for fun factor and over coming obstacles in fun ways! Always have a penalty for failure, but a nice reward for unexpected triumph.

Also avoid the DM trap of you only have one way to solve this!!! It has to be a “whatever stat” roll. Keep it open and see what your players start bringing when they realize Wisdom can help open a chest!!! But no matter how you well insult the locked door…it won’t open.

As the GM you can allow anything, but if it doesn’t pass your suspension of disbelief…you move on, and the Timer still ticks down.


#7

Sorry, just reading you are a new possible convert. Welcome to the fold!! I’m the Village idiot.

As the ties of conventional thinking loosen, you know your table, if playing with a good group, be forgiving and enjoyable!!! And challenge the player characters with death and dismemberment at every prime numbered turn!!! And reset that clock whenever it strikes your fancy!

We game for fun, fun is different for everyone. But structured play typically grants the most fun for the greatest number.

People love to overcome challenges, but challenges with no risk become hollow tests.

Find your fun, be enthusiastic, and let players have some of your focused attention. While risking their characters very being in some way! That is honestly the best formula to fun gaming. On occasion it might be a shopping spree!!! New gear!!! Often it is combat!!! The super sneak vs the barbarian Vs the wizard on who takes more out!

As long as it’s fun!!! I’m not sure anyone cares, but giving up time, family and other friends for frustration only works if the payoff works!

Don’t stress the right stat for X…just call balls and strikes against your obstacles.


#8

You could get really crazy and use the bonuses for STR and DEX.
eg: You have a +2 in STR and a +1 in DEX. You want to climb the wall using the shortest route but also make sure you are getting those good grips. So roll 2D20 (representing using both core Stats), get the combined bonus(+3), but you roll disadvantage.
Not sure about the bell curve with that set up, but you could allow a higher bonus with a slightly greater risk.
This might make more sense in a mechanic where success is tiered instead of all or nothing.