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Joined: Oct 2020
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stranger
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stranger
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Joined: Oct 2020
Second playthrough, first as rogue. Rogue is my favorite class to play in CRPG's and I'm a huge 5e fan as well as a GM who is well versed in the rules. I realize not everyone is in that boat and as a recent replay of BG1&2 show, they drifted from the published rules in ways they felt necessary to make a good game. They succeeded and I agree that a straight implementation of the PHB isn't what this game should be. My issue is expectations. I don't know what rules are different and what is a reasonable expectation on my end of the game systems and liberties taken with the 5e rules to make a playable video game. This applies to many of the game systems but I want to focus on the titular points.

As a rogue, I encountered a few trapped chests and doors, where I passed passives but didn't have an option to disarm. A specific example is in the secret room behind the prison in the druid grove. Here are my expectations. I'm frankly not sure if they match with Larian's intentions. First, showing passive displays should be optional for those of us who don't want to break immersion. Second, I would expect that if you pass the passive, your next open attempt would auto-roll a disable if you have a kit, or the click to open wouldn't be honored and the PC would say something like "better not, it's trapped." This "obey the law of least astonishment" approach should be the go to pattern for passed passive checks. Third, we deserve active skill checks. Limit them to once per level, or once per day, or once per short rest, or when your skill mod changes. I like the last since I feel a little gross inside every time I have to save scum just because I forgot to cast guidance or bless before something important happened, but short rest feel generous and long rest seems balanced. Might be an optional toggle in the difficulty settings.

I'm starting to feel like the lack of active skill checks is a big detriment to this experience feeling like I'm playing a D&D game. Active skill checks are a core part of the D&D experience which seems to be missing from the game, or included only in a limited fashion. There is a LOT of good here already and I hate to complain about such a polished gameplay experience. I'm still expecting a great D&D game, though. So far there seem to be some mechanics either left out or gamified in an unsatisfying way and this is one of them.

Criticism without suggestions are useless, of course. Here's how I'd like it to work. If I passively spot 2 traps in a symmetrical pattern on the floor, I might naturally wish to investigate the rest of the floor. I should be able to put an "investigation" action on my hotbar and get a circular targeting icon. I click the place I want to investigate, walk to the spot I need to be to start the action, and roll. If I beat the same DC of the trap that I as a player reasoned out is there, I see it. If I fail, same consequences listed up above (initiate retry timer) . This would be a good default pattern for active skill checks in general. Any one of your party could hit a passive that lets you know an area is interesting, and it gets highlighted in some way. From context or story information, you can choose one of your PC's with a skill that might apply. EG) Astarion's passive perception spots tracks, he fails passive survival. Player can roll active survival, or some other skill. They can roll whatever they want, but you have defined some triggers and only the right skill check beating the dc in the area where it's used (or on the item/creature) triggers a response that the player sees.

This gives a VERY core D&D experience of getting context from the GM, trying things improvisationally, and moving the game forward using the skills and luck of the PC's.

Joined: Oct 2020
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stranger
OP Offline
stranger
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Joined: Oct 2020
Found spots where the designed chest mechanics work as intended and when they do they're great. Very intuitive and easy to use. I'd still really like some kind of active check mechanism to increase player agency and immersion.

Joined: Oct 2020
apprentice
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apprentice
Joined: Oct 2020
I would tend to agree. The first trapped chest I ran into I expected to be trapped. When I had no options to investigate it I shrugged and unlocked it. Unlocking it triggered a check which I passed revealing the trap. I was like, cool, and clicked on it with the expectation to get a disarm, nope, blew up. Bit of a trek back after "quick" loading to try again. This time I unlocked it, made the check again and checked again seeing disarm as an option. So I disarmed it and was good to go. There was no real explanation. Also, you have a moment to notice the thing the character noticed sometimes. Once I found a pouch, but I hadn't been looking at the screen in that spot when it happened so when I looked I couldn't figure out what it was that they'd found. I tried checking the log, but there was nothing in there.

The problem is, I get the feeling they're not passive checks. I'm pretty sure they're active checks happening in locations where it would be relevant to have them. The problem is that if you fail them you just fail them and that's it. Even though these are checks that should be able to be redone, if you fail it's just over. I'm also hoping that in the future there will be information in the log, like, "Oh look a pouch on the ground." "Hey this chest is trapped." It would also be nice if lockpick/disarm was the default option when those things are relevant.


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