Hi, this is sort of a long and complex thing to post as a first message. I am eager to probe the minds of experienced BRP'ers though.
I am planning to start a new fantasy campaign soon, soon after Magic World and some other things I just ordered from Chaosium reaches my mailbox. I am fairly familiar with BRP already so I expect to be able to start quickly. I have started thinking about some tweaks though. Here is one and I would appreciate your thoughts on it.
I think it is annoying and a bit random when a fight between skilled opponents devolves into a series of ties until someone rolls a special success. The obvious fix would be to do highest-roll-under-skill wins, pendragon style, but my players dislike it for emotional reasons. Another obvious fix would be to let the best margin of success win, but that causes math of two or even three digit numbers which is quite annoying.
So, I am planning to do this:
Resolve attack and defense as usual. If there is a tie, it has the regular effects of a tie (no damage, etc) but either side might have gained a tactical advantage. Both parties of the fight roll 1d10 + skill/10. Rolling high is better. The one with the best result gets a tactical advantage of the difference between the rolls.
This advantage can be accumulated during the fight. Once you have an advantage of 10 or more, you can spend 10 of this advantage to improve your degree of success one step at one time (failed to success, success to special and so on).
This means that if someone with a skill of 120% ties three times in a row against someone with a skill of 80%, the more skilled person will on average have accumulated an advantage of 12 and will be able to boost the next result one step.
I am also considering other uses for advantages, like gaining a temporary bonus against the same opponent for the duration of the fight, or even a semi-permanent bonus against the opponent until the opponent increases in skill. These would represent learning to exploit a weakness in the opponent's fighting style
Obligatory boring example:
Sneaking into a castle late one night Niall walks right into a guard patrolling the inner wall. Both draw their swords and prepare to fight. Niall has a skill of 123%, the guard has a skill of 71%. Niall lunges forward and stabs with his sword (success), the guard takes a step back and diverts the thrust with his own blade (success). A tie, Niall rolls 1d10 (4) + 12 = 16, the guard 1d10 (4) + 7 = 11. Niall gains an advantage of 5.
The guard counters with a slash at Nialls face (success) but Niall ducks (success). Another tie, another roll. Niall: 1d10 (8) + 12 + previous advantage (5) = 25, the guard: 1d10 (6) + 7 = 13. Niall increases his advantage to 12.
Niall steps forward and slashes at the guards side (success). The guard, a bit off balance, bring his sword up to block (success). Niall twists his sword viciously and manages to stab the guard past his parry. (Niall spends 10 of his advantage to gain a level of success).