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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

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    Default Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    It has been said many times that they key difference between old school games and new school games is that old school tests the players, new school tests the characters.

    For example, in the old days to search a room or disarm a trap, the players would simply describe their characters actions while exploring and the DM would narrate the results based on their description. In a more modern game, players will have search and disable device skills, and they will let a d20 decide how successful they are.


    One thing I have found at several tables is that the players will roll the dice first, but then if the dice roll fails, they will attempt to use their brains to get around the failed roll.

    The very first session I ever ran had the players negotiating for some goods, I told them to make a roll, gave them a discount based on it and said that was how low they could talk the vendor down, and then they tried to haggle in character for an even lower price.

    In my last session, the rogue would roll to disarm traps in a tomb they were exploring, but if the dice roll failed, he would then describe how he was going to jam up the trap to stop it from working.

    To me, this seems kind of exploitative; the PCs are ignoring dice rolls, but also saving their brain power until it is needed and are more than happy to let the dice fall where they may if it comes up in their favor.

    On the other hand, just telling them "No, you can't do that. You already rolled." seems to be a bit rail-roady.

    Anyone have any experiences with a similar problem or stories about how they handle this at their table?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Talakeal; 2021-11-21 at 02:16 PM.
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    Kane0's Avatar

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    Default Re: New School THEN Old School

    Well 5e likes to offer advantage on the roll as a carrot to get the player to get describing, so you get both at the same time. I imagine other systems have similar.
    You could implement some stick by imposing a penalty to the roll by default unless the players do some old school describing to counteract it, but YMMV.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    The very first session I ever ran had the players negotiating for some goods, I told them to make a roll, gave them a discount based on it and said that was how low they could talk the vendor down, and then they tried to haggle in character for an even lower price.
    Give them an in character description of what their dice roll did.
    GM: "You rolled well, so you can get it for 35."
    Players: "I try to haggle him down. I point out all the little defects in the item, like 'What's this scratch here?"
    GM: "Ok. He wants 50 for it, but you negotiate it down to 35."

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    In my last session, the rogue would roll to disarm traps in a tomb they were exploring, but if the dice roll failed, he would then describe how he was going to jam up the trap to stop it from working.
    When he starts describing his trap disarming methods after a failed roll, ask if that's what he did for the roll. They don't get to describe a second attempt until they describe the first.

    "Oh no, I rolled a 7. I'll just try jamming some stakes into the gears of the mechanism to stop it from turning."
    "Ok, well, with only a 7, you don't jam them in very well. One gets sheared right in half and another just falls out as the gears turn the opposite way."
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    In myngames, players don't get to declare rolls. I always call for rolls. A roll that I didn't call for is invalid. (Exceptions of course for attack rolls in combat and such.)
    You got to be a bit rude the first time a player does that, but that's the only way to get this established and understood.

    For searching rooms, my approach is to let the players search and inspect "manually", and once they run out of idea, they can make one roll to search. Every player can roll, but only the one highest result counts as their collective roll, which will give them one thing that is found, if there is anything left to find.
    They can of course continue to search after that, but there will be no more rolling to find anything after the first attempt. So they better keep their roll until they are certain they have no more ideas and don't waste the roll on something they could have found themselves.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Specifically for social actions I have seen recommendations to allow either approach to work (dice or words without dice-rolling), but even then it's "you can try either approach" not "try both and use the best result".

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    .
    On the other hand, just telling them "No, you can't do that. You already rolled." seems to be a bit rail-roady.
    You should tell them exactly that and stop worrying if it's "railroady".

    Rolling dice is a decision procedure for one of two things: what happens or who tells what happens. Whichever it is, if your players lose the roll, they no longer have a say for what happens. Stick to the decision you just made and move on.

    Alternatively, just accept and make it explicit that the way your players are playing the game is fine. A roll may save them the trouble of doing a thing, but they can still attempt doing the thing manually of they want. Either way, it's your call they'll have to accept at the end: if you say they fail and there's nothing more to be done, then they fail and there's nothing more to be done.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Let them spend extra time to succeed if there is no cost for failure and retrying makes sense. They want that trap disarmed? Willing to spend ten minutes? No risk of the trap going off? Let them spend ten minutes and disarm the trap.
    If there is a cost for failure, like with the haggler, describe the cost. Have the merchant lose patience and dig in. 'We went over this, 35 and I'm already starving my six kids today!' They insist? Merchant tells them to move along. Conversation's over.
    And sometimes you just say that that roll just now represents their best attempt.

    But in general, ask the players what they do, if appropriate ask for a roll, and describe the results.

    Another interesting option here is to obscure information. Ask their bonus for the roll, roll for them, and describe what results their characters perceive. 'You quickly search the room and don't notice anything amiss.' Again, they don't trust it? Want to spend more time doing a better job? Either say this is their best attempt, or say sure and let them spend ten minutes. And if they spend ten minutes searching a room for hidden things, they probably can't even fail to find the thing. So don't even ask for a roll.
    Last edited by Sneak Dog; 2021-11-21 at 04:57 PM.

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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Make them reverse that process. Describe what they see and hear, let them describe what they try to do when they make the roll, if they want to. Maybe give bonuses if they described something very effective.
    Also make a pre-game announcement that the result of rolls is final, no second attempts on things like traps, locks and negotiations. Describe your attempt first, the roll describes the result of your character's best effort.
    Last edited by Thrudd; 2021-11-21 at 05:08 PM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    To me, this seems kind of exploitative; the PCs are ignoring dice rolls, but also saving their brain power until it is needed and are more than happy to let the dice fall where they may if it comes up in their favor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    On the other hand, just telling them "No, you can't do that. You already rolled." seems to be a bit rail-roady.
    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Anyone have any experiences with a similar problem or stories about how they handle this at their table?

    Thanks!
    Talakeal, I have no concept of how this could be Railroading. And I'm shocked that you could ever be concerned that your players have a technique that might make them smarter, letting them conserve their brainpower for when it's needed.

    As a rule, I don't much like the "old then new", the "roll then describe". However, I'll explain one exception - and it's why I think you should keep the practice:

    I throw Diplomacy at it.
    Make a Charisma check, DC 35.
    Fail. OK. I say "hi".
    That works.

    It's a really good fit for your table. I suggest you encourage the behavior.

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    I throw Diplomacy at it.
    Make a Charisma check, DC 35.
    Fail. OK. I say "hi".
    That works.

    It's a really good fit for your table. I suggest you encourage the behavior.
    Ding! We have a winner!

    You pick what works for your table. Some players will want pure player skill/description, and so it's best to not bother with a system that requires the character to have skill points to back up their silver tongue. Others will want pure skill "I roll Diplomacy". Others will want an illusion of competence, that the roll reflects circumstances that prevent or allow success, ideally without making their characters idiots ("You attempt to spike the trap, but at the last moment the gear shifts awkwardly and the spike is lost in the mechanism rather than jamming it"; ""Your silver-tongued rogue gives the speech you made about 'it's time to fight or die', but delivers it in an epic fashion, making it clear to the peasants they must resist the invaders and inspiring them with your Charisma".

    Go with what works best for the table, ideally by actually asking the players want they want and coming to some sort of ongoing agreement about how this sort of thing will work.

    Our table have the premise that, as competent adventurers, we're generally searching the dungeon for traps, but we don't slow the game down by checking each door with a roll. If there's a trap, roll Search - if you fail the roll, your character doesn't see it and you open the door. You can't see the 1 on the dice and stop and search the door again. GMs happy as it saves time, players are happy as they understand how it works and are on-board. "You go through the door" is something we're explicitly agreed they're doing, so it's not railroading, even if it involves the GM directly describing how the character turns the knob only to get stuck with a poison needle.
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Yeah, it's technically taking control out of the player's hands, but that's the cost of trying to roll. If they roll to disarm the trap and fail then every attempt they describe fails for some reason unless somebody comes up with a meaningful way to succeed at a cost. Social skill rolls can come before or after roleplay, but once a player has let dice leave their hand they've said they're allowing the dice to decide (barring circumstances like rolling 1d12 instead of 1d20).

    I will note that as a player I have tended to fudge failed Perception checks. I'll act as if I've made it once something bad comes of it, because to me that feels like a legitimate cost (GMs might not always agree, but tracking who succeeded at Perception six rounds ago is difficult).
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Anyone have any experiences with a similar problem or stories about how they handle this at their table?
    Assuming a long tasks (like infiltrating an ennemy camp), I fully expect this alternation between old a new style: when things don't go as well as planned, the players should find backup plans, which will lead to another roll, etc. The players having the ability to try in multiple different ways to succeed is balanced by the fact that the GM is asking multiple checks in a row (hence increasing the chances of failure).

    Assuming short tasks, it will kind of depends on the table. I'd usually expect that if a player start by rolling, then it means they want to be done with it, preserve the pacing of the session and skip to the next part that interest them => I'd probably narrate the result as what's happening and if the player adds some methods say something along the line of "yeah, that's what you just did / that's what your character just said"

    For tables that want to combine "new THEN old" ways, I'd probably use the following: a successful checks gives you a good understanding of the situation, but doesn't commit you to any decision
    (For example, a succesful persuasion checks might gives you an idea of what kind of promise you might need to gives to obtain what you want, but the player is free to come up with a different spin on this promise.)
    On the other hand a failed check means that you made a misstep during this observation phase where you were trying to understand the situation.
    (For example, a failed persuasion check means that you asked an indiscreet question, or that you looked way too suspicious in the way you started the conversation, etc)

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    If a player doesn't want to describe how they do a task and instead just asks to roll for it, you are free to narrate how they bungle it up and attach any consequences that are appropriate for the roll. Roll poorly to disarm a trap? You sprung the trap, take 2d6 damage and is shunted back. An alarm goes off.
    They WILL get annoyed but you have stand your ground here, they didn't describe what they did and just rolled for it (they're free to do so), you then have the right to describe how they did it. End of.

    On the flip side if a player actually describes how exactly they perform a task, you have to respect their agency in that moment. I've been in this seat as a player where I describe exactly what my character does, the DM calls for a roll and roll goes poorly, then the DM describes how my character didn't do that. Um what?
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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    When the PCs want to ignore the die roll, you need to make it clear that you will not. But do it in a way that will make sense by the way they are viewing the situation.

    What's really happening, in their eyes, is that they are using the skill, and then, if their character fails, they are trying to find another solution. With some rolls, there’s nothing wrong with trying again. If that’s what’s the situation, let them try again – not forgetting any consequence of the first roll, and remembering that a second try (usually) means a second roll.

    Don't say, "No, you can't do that. You already rolled." Instead, say, "OK, in your first try, you rolled an 8, and it failed. You can try the new idea as soon as I’ve finished describing the results of your last action."

    There are several ways to describe it. The crucial thing is for your description to include the results of their first roll, and explicitly consider the new idea as a second try.

    “You tried to bargain him down, and got the price down from 50 to 35 gp. Are you going to try again, after you and he just agreed on a price? You can certainly keep trying, but if your next roll offends him, he might not sell it at all.”

    “You tried to disarm the trap, but failed. Before you can start to jam it, the trap goes off. Make a reflex save.”

    Or sometimes it works. “Your first diplomacy check failed, and the king went from Indifferent to Unfriendly. On your second try, mentioning that his border town is under siege lets you roll again, and with a +2 circumstance bonus. Roll the dice.”

    “Your first craft check failed, and you ruined the materials. Fortunately, you have enough material for four tries, so feel free to try again. Your new idea for it isn’t enough for a circumstance bonus, but you can certainly keep trying until the materials run out.”

    Or they may have found be the perfect solution. “Your first search check failed, and you spent five minutes looking. Then you told me that you started feeling the underside of the shelves. You don’t need to roll for the second search – that’s where the map is hidden.”

    I would also add:

    "Also, in the future, if you have a special procedure or clever idea to use to try to get a circumstance bonus, you need to tell me before the die roll. You can't get a circumstance bonus on a check you already rolled."

    The crucial thing is to make clear:
    that each roll exists, and matters,
    that they cannot affect the roll after rolling it, and
    that you will treat second attempts as second attempts, after dealing with the results of the first attempt.

    Then praise them for trying to be clever and imaginative, and remind them that next time they can try to do that for the first roll.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Give them an in character description of what their dice roll did.
    GM: "You rolled well, so you can get it for 35."
    Players: "I try to haggle him down. I point out all the little defects in the item, like 'What's this scratch here?"
    GM: "Ok. He wants 50 for it, but you negotiate it down to 35."



    When he starts describing his trap disarming methods after a failed roll, ask if that's what he did for the roll. They don't get to describe a second attempt until they describe the first.

    "Oh no, I rolled a 7. I'll just try jamming some stakes into the gears of the mechanism to stop it from turning."
    "Ok, well, with only a 7, you don't jam them in very well. One gets sheared right in half and another just falls out as the gears turn the opposite way."
    This is a good solution imo. Make it clear that if they’ve already made the roll then they’ve already attempted the action, that’s what the roll was. If I kept having to do this though I would take a moment to explain that that’s how the game works. I’d also point out that this can work in their favour because if they can describe an action that couldn’t possibly fail then they don’t need to roll, they just do the thing. Outside of combat, this works absolutely fine in 5E, whether you think it’s an old school or new school game. It just takes some players a bit of time to get used to the idea that their abilities, skills and so on aren’t buttons that they press like in a video game.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
    Make them reverse that process. Describe what they see and hear, let them describe what they try to do when they make the roll, if they want to. Maybe give bonuses if they described something very effective.
    This is the only way I have ever done it. The talk comes before the roll not after. The talk is not a 'ignore the die roll' card.

    If a player is uncomfortable doing the explanation and just wants to roll then so be it, but I do offer some bonus if the explanation is real creative or fun.
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude... seeming to be true within the context of the game world.

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    "You can not roll dice to avoid playing the game."
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    "You can not roll dice to avoid playing the game."
    I agree 100%, but you should also not be able to roll the dice and then avoid the outcome by now wanting to "play the game" either.
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude... seeming to be true within the context of the game world.

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Given my personal preference for what you call "old school", I would never discourage a player showing a tendency toward that methodology.

    In my game, based on years of working together, it tends toward the opposite of what you describe. More like:

    "Okay, I'm going to try and jamb up the gears by shoving my pitons in them. Maybe dump some tar in there too."

    "Okay, roll your disable device" *in my mind, as DM, I'm already altering what the target number is going to be based on how well they described what they were doing.*

    "only rolled a 5, so that's 10 total"

    *knows the base DC was 15, but they are getting a bonus for descriptive roleplay* "That's good enough, barely, to stop the device."


    In your game, I would DM something like this:

    "Okay I roll disable device to jamb the mechanism. I rolled 5 for 10 total"

    "Not good enough I'm afraid"

    "Hmm... Okay how about if I take some of my pitons and jamb them into the gears. Maybe cover them in tar first"

    "Okay, I'll give you a reroll with a bonus"

    "I rolled 5 again. Still 10 total"

    "With the bonus, that's enough on the reroll. Bear in mind in the future that you can get bonuses for clever descriptions of your action rather than just rolling."

    I wouldn't do this because I think that's how it SHOULD work, but because I'm trying, as DM, to help train and encourage better play from the players. I would hope that gradually, it would encourage your players to try describing first, rolling second. Again, only because that's MY preference for playing the game and increases MY fun, but I think it increases their fun as well.
    Last edited by Wintermoot; 2021-11-22 at 06:53 PM.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    I'm just very clear with the order in which I want people to do things:

    Please describe your approach, be as specific or general as you want.
    THEN roll the die.

    If someone has a regular problem with doing do, I just ignore their rolls. If they get upset I just very calmly tell them "I already explained this, you'll need to tell me your approach first, then roll and I will narrate your results." If they continue to be a problem I will ask them to leave.

    If we all want to do collective storytime, we'll just ignore the dice and then there's no dancing around randomized failures, there's only responding to a response until the situation is resolved.
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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Just make sure they know that they need to tell you all relevant information before they roll the dice.

    "Yes, that's a good idea. You should have done that on the first roll. Let's deal with the consequences of your first attempt, and then you can make a second attempt using your new idea."

    "No, nothing you say after rolling the die changes the effect of that die roll. That action is completed when you roll the die."

    "Is there anything you want to tell me before you roll?"

    Over and over again, until they believe it.

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    "You can not roll dice to avoid playing the game."
    This this this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Just make sure they know that they need to tell you all relevant information before they roll the dice.

    "Yes, that's a good idea. You should have done that on the first roll. Let's deal with the consequences of your first attempt, and then you can make a second attempt using your new idea."

    "No, nothing you say after rolling the die changes the effect of that die roll. That action is completed when you roll the die."

    "Is there anything you want to tell me before you roll?"

    Over and over again, until they believe it.
    Yeah this is good, although I wouldn’t use your first example as I prefer a failed dice roll to have consequences that preclude trying the same thing again.
    Last edited by HidesHisEyes; 2021-11-23 at 02:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    In some cases, especially if you, the GM, wish to ask "Are you sure...?", it's worth replacing the question with explaining the actual stakes. Stating consequences for the failed roll may be sometimes a better way to make the player think about the risks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Instead of having an adventure, from which a cool unexpected story may rise, you had a story, with an adventure built and designed to enable the story, but also ensure (or close to ensure) it happens.

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    "You can not roll dice to avoid playing the game."
    More precisely, if one player (or GM) wants to roll a dice to bypass what another player (or GM) consider as an important part of "playing the game", there need to be an OOC discussion about what peoples are expecting from those RPG sessions.

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by HidesHisEyes View Post
    Yeah this is good, although I wouldn’t use your first example as I prefer a failed dice roll to have consequences that preclude trying the same thing again.
    Generally true, but sometimes there is no obstacle to trying again, or there would be no "take 20" option.

    Consequences that preclude trying the same thing again:
    Player: I roll to move silently. [Rolls a 3, for a total of 11]
    DM: Not good enough; you needed a 15.
    Player: I have Boots of Elvenkind.
    DM: Yes, you do. And if you had put them on first, that would be +5. But five minutes ago you were using your Slippers of Spider Climbing to get over the wall. You have not mentioned stopping to change shoes. When you started to try to move silently, you realized that you weren't wearing the boots. A guardsmen is now looking at you, wondering why you're looking at your shoes.


    Consequences that might preclude trying again:
    Player: I roll to search the room. I get a ... 5, for a total of 13.
    DM: You don't find anything. It took about three minutes. Let me check to see if anybody heard you and investigated.
    Player: Are you sure I didn't find anything? I turn over every piece of furniture and check out the underneath side."
    DM: No, you didn't. You need to say things like that before you roll the dice. [DM rolls dice.] OK, nobody came to investigate what you're doing. If you want to search again, , this time carefully looking at the underside of each desk, chair, and table, it will take five minutes. I'll check to see if anybody hears the sound of furniture being overturned
    .


    Example roll you can obviously try again:
    Player: I try to forge a document to get me in the city walls.
    DM: OK. You don't roll that; I do. [privately rolls a 1] You have your document.
    Player. Oh, wait, I just remembered that we have a letter with the captain's signature. Does that change the result?
    DM: Nope; You didn't remember it before the roll, so your character didn't remember it before the attempt. You now pull it out, look at it, and realize that the document you just made is worthless. Throw that paper away. You may now try again, with a +2 circumstance bonus.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    I suspect that as usual for the table in question, this is a social contract issue masquerading as a mechanical issue. While we could scour the depths of task resolution, its not going to solve the fact that the players are trying to see if they can get around the basics of the game to "beat" the GM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    Generally true, but sometimes there is no obstacle to trying again, or there would be no "take 20" option.

    Consequences that preclude trying the same thing again:
    Player: I roll to move silently. [Rolls a 3, for a total of 11]
    DM: Not good enough; you needed a 15.
    Player: I have Boots of Elvenkind.
    DM: Yes, you do. And if you had put them on first, that would be +5. But five minutes ago you were using your Slippers of Spider Climbing to get over the wall. You have not mentioned stopping to change shoes. When you started to try to move silently, you realized that you weren't wearing the boots. A guardsmen is now looking at you, wondering why you're looking at your shoes.


    Consequences that might preclude trying again:
    Player: I roll to search the room. I get a ... 5, for a total of 13.
    DM: You don't find anything. It took about three minutes. Let me check to see if anybody heard you and investigated.
    Player: Are you sure I didn't find anything? I turn over every piece of furniture and check out the underneath side."
    DM: No, you didn't. You need to say things like that before you roll the dice. [DM rolls dice.] OK, nobody came to investigate what you're doing. If you want to search again, , this time carefully looking at the underside of each desk, chair, and table, it will take five minutes. I'll check to see if anybody hears the sound of furniture being overturned
    .


    Example roll you can obviously try again:
    Player: I try to forge a document to get me in the city walls.
    DM: OK. You don't roll that; I do. [privately rolls a 1] You have your document.
    Player. Oh, wait, I just remembered that we have a letter with the captain's signature. Does that change the result?
    DM: Nope; You didn't remember it before the roll, so your character didn't remember it before the attempt. You now pull it out, look at it, and realize that the document you just made is worthless. Throw that paper away. You may now try again, with a +2 circumstance bonus.
    Fair enough but this isn’t how I play. 5E doesn’t have a take 20 option because it’s explicit that if there’s no chance of failure then you don’t need to make a roll, and if you could keep trying until you succeed with no consequences then I’d say that amounts to no meaningful chance of failure. You give the example of a random encounter check for each three-minute search attempt, and that works, but personally I’d be inclined to just make one roll with a success condition of “you find the thing quickly” and a failure condition of “you search fruitlessly for a while and then [encounter]. After the encounter they finish their search and find the thing. It just seems neater and more dynamic.

    With the forging of documents example I’d be inclined to remind them beforehand about the captain’s signature and let them use it, with the bonus (advantage, probably, in 5E) and let the one roll stand. Or I just lower the DC.

    And when I’m running a game like Dungeon World most of this kind of thing is moot because it’s in the rules that when they fail a check something bad happens.

    I do think your examples make a lot more sense in 3.x but that’s why I’m not a fan of 3.x. I think it’s an overly literal and simulationist logic that makes for a lot of re-rolls and slows the pace of the game. And this is the general RPG board after all. To each their own though.
    Last edited by HidesHisEyes; 2021-11-25 at 08:51 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by HidesHisEyes View Post
    Fair enough but this isn’t how I play. 5E doesn’t have a take 20 option because it’s explicit that if there’s no chance of failure then you don’t need to make a roll, and if you could keep trying until you succeed with no consequences then I’d say that amounts to no meaningful chance of failure.
    It kinda does have a Take 20 option in the DMG--

    Quote Originally Posted by DMG, Chapter 8
    Sometimes a character fails an ability check and wants to try again. In some cases, a character is free to do so; the only real cost is the time it takes. With enough attempts and enough time, a character should eventually succeed at the task. To speed things up, assume that a character spending ten times the normal amount of time needed to complete a task automatically succeeds at that task. However, no amount of repeating the check allows a character to turn an impossible task into a successful one.

    In other cases, failing an ability check makes it impossible to make the same check to do the same thing again. For example, a rogue might try to trick a town guard into thinking the adventurers are undercover agents of the king. If the rogue loses a contest of Charisma (Deception) against the guard’s Wisdom (Insight), the same lie told again won’t work. The characters can come up with a different way to get past the guard or try the check again against another guard at a different gate. But you might decide that the initial failure makes those checks more difficult to pull off.
    I tend to think of "no consequences" as having 3 levels when it comes to time being the only one:

    1. Time doesn't have consequences at all (or at least the consequences are only meaningful on a scale of days or weeks wasted. Never do a check in the first place.
    2. Time has consequences at the minutes/hours range, but not at the seconds range. Retry is possible, but spending enough time on the repetition may incur some consequences later. Use the above approach, paragraph 1.
    3. Time matters at the seconds level/immediate feedback. No retry by that same route.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2021-11-25 at 12:24 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Talakeal's Avatar

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    OP here.

    My system generally does not allow retries without some sort of cost.

    If "take 20" is an option, I don't call for a roll in the first place.
    Looking for feedback on Heart of Darkness, a character driven RPG of Gothic fantasy.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Task Resolution: New School THEN Old School

    Quote Originally Posted by Reversefigure4 View Post
    Our table have the premise that, as competent adventurers, we're generally searching the dungeon for traps, but we don't slow the game down by checking each door with a roll. If there's a trap, roll Search - if you fail the roll, your character doesn't see it and you open the door. You can't see the 1 on the dice and stop and search the door again. GMs happy as it saves time, players are happy as they understand how it works and are on-board. "You go through the door" is something we're explicitly agreed they're doing, so it's not railroading, even if it involves the GM directly describing how the character turns the knob only to get stuck with a poison needle.
    +1
    if the player complains "but my character would look for traps before opening the door", you answer "yes, he would, and he did, and he missed this one. that's specifically what the failed roll was about"

    there are times when describing the action is important, because trying to do things a certain way will have significant bonuses or penalties. in which case i ask myself that the player clarifies what they are attempting. ncluding helping them with any additional detail i can think of that their character would notice that could help them decide (sometimes issues can stem from miscommunication)

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    I suspect that as usual for the table in question, this is a social contract issue masquerading as a mechanical issue. While we could scour the depths of task resolution, its not going to solve the fact that the players are trying to see if they can get around the basics of the game to "beat" the GM.
    +2. this seems yet another "we whine whenever we fail, and we try to push back at the dm until he let us win" talekeal group drama
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