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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    I've been throwing these kind of multi-solution challenges at my players for a while, now... But a player sees the challenge, assumes it only has one railroady solution to it, and immediately gets discouraged....

    For example: Early on, the players found a door jammed shut. One player assumed, without trying anything, that the only way to get past it was to kick the door in. He got upset and discouraged, and I had to explain to him that he's the one putting that limitation on himself. Eventually, they(plural) decided to try something else; they used acid to weather the door and move it as quietly as possible.

    On another occasion, the players didn't even try to make a perception check before deciding that the puzzle was unsolvable. The DC wasn't even that high. This for a puzzle with, again, multiple solutions. They concluded the only solution was dispel magic, a spell they couldn't cast.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    Assuming this is the same group: I recommend talking to them OOC and telling them that you try to design puzzles or obstacles with multiple solutions. If they feel like you are being railroady or only giving one solution, be open to talking to them about the multiple solutions after it is no longer relevant to the game. For example, you could tell them all the solutions to that puzzle after it became moot (done with the dungeon, or whatever makes it no longer matter if they know.)

    Players will likely learn to trust you when you say you can't tell them the reasons why lest it spoil something.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    John Longarrow's Avatar

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    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    OOC issue. Talk to the players about why they think there is only one solution. You may be surprised at the answer you get.

    Edit: Swordsaged...
    Last edited by John Longarrow; 2017-01-06 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Swordsaged...
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    Simply pull out your drivers license or ID and explain to your players you are in fact NOT Roberta Williams so a single (and usually logically lacking) solution is not the only solution.

    Unless you are Roberta Williams in which case you have to explain how a player is supposed to think of putting the saddle on the snake.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    Just remind them periodically that the only restriction on problem solving is their own imagination.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Flickerdart's Avatar

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    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    "I will never present you with a challenge that the party can't resolve" is a pretty decent way of getting them to think "how can we solve it" instead of "better give up." You should note that the party, at present, may not have the best solution, or the most effective solution, or the solution where safety is guaranteed, but if they meet a challenge, they have some sort of path through it.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SilverLeaf167's Avatar

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    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by shuyung View Post
    Just remind them periodically that the only restriction on problem solving is their own imagination.
    Do note: depending on the challenge at hand and the current mood around the table, this can easily come off as "C'mon, just use your damn heads, it's your own fault you're having trouble."

    It's a good sentiment, just be careful about how you express it. A recent DM of mine has a bad track record with it.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    Well sure, much like anything else, there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
    Remember: On the Internet, no one knows how old you are. Until you hit "Send".

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

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    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by shuyung View Post
    Just remind them periodically that the only restriction on problem solving is their own imagination.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverLeaf167 View Post
    Do note: depending on the challenge at hand and the current mood around the table, this can easily come off as "C'mon, just use your damn heads, it's your own fault you're having trouble."
    This. If it comes off as the latter, roll with it. The whole point of P&P over videogames is that there is almost -never- just one solution. Their expectation to the contrary is quite the uncharitable judgement of your ability to run a game. Straight tell them to stop being lazy and -think- about how to deal with things instead of just jumping to a conclusion and ignoring any other possibilities.
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  10. - Top - End - #10

    Default Re: Players assuming a multi-solution challenge has only one solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    I've been throwing these kind of multi-solution challenges at my players for a while, now... But a player sees the challenge, assumes it only has one railroady solution to it, and immediately gets discouraged....
    I guess you could talk to them. There is a small chance they will see, understand and suddenly change everything about themselves and the way they play the game based on a couple words you say.

    First off, this is one of them things you might just have to accept. Some players are just like this, and there is nothing to be done.

    Some times, some players just don't like somethings like say puzzles, so they will always say they are ''too hard'' and ''give up''. If you want to avoid that, simply have no puzzles.

    Some players really need a boost of confidence. So you might need to have a lot of easy (like DC 5) things for them to do to gain confidence.

    You might want to give them in game help, such as items and tools. Like a crowbar for the stuck door or a scroll with a clue for the puzzle, both giving a +2 bonus to the roll. This can make players feel better about making a roll.

    But if you really want to try and open their eyes you need to over describe things. You want to describe things to a point to give the players a ton of information to make an idea or action. And most of all you need to stop the players wild imagination. When you say ''stuck door'' you don't want them to piture the Black Gate of Mordor (or that big real door from Tron).

    So don't just say ''a wood door and is stuck'', you'd need to say more ''an old, weather beaten wood door with some deep cut marks of damage in it, maybe from an axe and some large burn marks. The hinges are iron and very old and rusty, the top door hinge is partially bent out of it's wall socket. The door lock is badly scratched all over and rusted too.

    See how the long description gives the ideas of ''hack the door down with an axe, burn it, break the hinges/pull them out of the wall and pick the lock''.

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