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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

+++ Deathwatch RPG 101-01 - The Skill Test +++

+++ OVERVIEW +++

This is the first of many posts explaining the process of playing the Deathwatch RPG, which unfortunately will soon be OOP. I will be presenting this information in small bites, so as to internalize it better myself. I will also include examples.

Here is our ultimate breakdown of today's post:
  • When you want to do something, you must choose which skill or characteristic the action relates to.
  • You will add or subtract modifiers as necessary to the skill or characteristic
  • You will roll your check using 2d10 to represent a roll from 1 to 100. One of the d10's will count as the 10s place. The other will count as the 1's place.
  • If the percentile roll is less than or equal to your skill or characteristic, the check/test is successful.
  • If the roll is greater than your skill or characteristic, the check/test is a failure.


All skills that you have learned relate to a particular characteristic. For example, the Acrobatics skill relates to the Agility characteristic. The Awareness skill relates to the Perception characteristic.

In general, you should be trained in a skill to be able to use it - think of talents in D&D-like games. You may still test for basic skills if you are untrained, but you test at half characteristic, rounded down. If you are not trained to climb, you are not going to be able to climb at full agility characteristic. You cannot attempt untrained advanced skills.

Trained skills test at full characteristic, while mastered skills test at +10 or +20 characteristic, which is awesome.

Brother Altair is attempting to chase a Dark Eldar Reaver that just escaped the Emperor's judgement. He is too slow to pursue on foot, so he makes for a nearby Chimera used by the local militia. Unfortunately, he does not know how to drive it, and Drive is an advanced skill. He can not attempt that test. He can however attempt to intimidate a nearby serviceman as a basic skill to assist in the pursuit, however silly the situation must be to be ferried around by a frightened Terran.


For every full 10 points of success or failure on a roll, these are labeled as degrees of success and failure.

 Altair makes a roll to intimidate the serviceman to drive the vehicle for him. His Intimidate is a trained basic skill. His strength is 52, so he will have to roll a 52 or less to be successful. This particular test would be an easy one however; the serviceman is already rattled by the presence of the Eldar, and the sight of a space marine has him surely shaking in his boots. He will receive an Easy (+30) bonus to his characteristic for this roll. He rolls a 47. This is 3 degrees of success considering he had to roll equal to or under 82.


Sometimes, you may have to test yourself against another character. In this case, you will make an opposed test. In this case, you will both roll.

  • Whoever is successful in their test wins.
  • If both are successful, the highest degree of success wins.
  • If both are equal, the highest characteristic bonus wins.
  • If both are equal, the lowest dice roll wins.
  • If both fail the first step, the GM can decide whether to re-roll until there is a winner OR both participants fail.
Altair finally catches up with the Dark Eldar in an imperial installation. The coward has barricaded himself behind a door. Both are pushing against the door and must take opposed strength tests to see if the door will be forced open to offer the Xenos the fate he deserves. After bonuses, Altair's strength is 53. The Eldar's strength is 37. Altair rolls a 23, and the Eldar rolls a 25. Altair wins the test, as he has 3 degrees of success against the Eldar's 1.


Tests can be affected by how easy or difficult they are and modifiers will affect your characteristic before your roll.  Characters can also work together on some tasks to affect your modifiers on your roll. Training is required in that skill to assist.

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