Degrees of Success in Dark Heresy
17th May, 2010

This post follows on from the previous two, and builds upon the 'Highest Successful Roll' house rule. In this post I put forward my modification to the 'Degrees of Success' or 'DoS'. The DoS rules adds an extra layer of detail, but can quite tedious to apply to WS tests in combat. If you find the RAW (rules as written) covering DoS a bit slow then this mod is for you.

Before rewriting it: first I'll break it down before rebuilding it. This is showing my working out, or at least part of it. At the moment you have;

Current RAW process for DoS

  • Roll the die
  • Observe the result, and if lower than the skill being tested work out DoS.
  • Subtract the result from the value of the skill*
  • Round down this new result to get the DoS (Degree of Success).

It may seem logical, and 'pure', but it takes too long. It is the subtraction part (*) that becomes really tiresome in a game, especially when DoS are used in combat. Using the new 'Highest Successful Roll' house rule we can modify it into someone a little more streamlined.

Modified process for DoS

  • Roll the die
  • Observe the result, and if lower than the skill being tested work out DoS.
  • Tens = DoS

Using the 'tens' gets rid of the subtraction phase and has rounding down 'built in'. In RAW this rounding down is done after working of the DoS by subtracting the roll from the WS (or other skill). It's much quicker to do it at the early stage using the tens. In effect the mathematically the probabilities are exactly the same. Nothing has changed other than being easier to utilise.

For example: If you have WS:45, and roll 23, you are successful with DoS:2. The best DoS you could get is DoS:4 for a roll of 40 to 45.

This opens the door to using DoS as a basis of working out other effects in combat such as 'damage'.

Using DoS as basis of damage.

The damage roll (normally 1D10) can be replaced with the DoS. This cuts out another roll. It does mean that higher skilled PCs can inflict more damage than lower skilled PCs. The process is quite simple;

Example: Your PC has WS:55 and you roll a 34. That is DoS:3, or 3 points of base damage. Nice and simple.

You can leave it at that, or double the result if you think it is too little (weapons with 1D5 = DoS, Weapons with 1D10 = DoSx2).

Example: Your PC has WS:55 and is armed with a sword. You roll a 34, and inflict 6 points of damage (As a sword in the rule book has 1D10 damage, and using this house rule that means you double DoS for damage purposes).

This is not really anywhere near RAW, but a few tweaks and it can get quite close to the averages. Large 2-H weapons can triple or quadruple the result. Play about with it. Later I'll post my ideas on weapon types and armour.

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