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Most likely still has to do with not having difficulty levels yet but also something that could easily please everyone with a simple toggle. Toggle on gets dice rolls, toggle off gets pass / fail skill checks like any other rpg.

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Originally Posted by coredumped
The system makes sense in theory.
The current implementation is shit.
One of the examples is the kid thiefling dying due to snake bite. You either get lucky on a roll or she dies. It's retarded. Keep the dice roll if you want in order for me to maybe convince the bitch to not be evil to the child, but if that fails, then at least let me carry through with my intentions. If I could not save the kid by talking the bitch down, then let me intervene and fight them to protect her.
This is just one example of course, there are lots of other interactions such as this throughout the game where the player gets locked out of options due to RNG. It's poorly done. Failure could be interesting sure, but it's not in this game.

This is exactly why the die rolls should stay exactly as they are. Context is important, but is completely missed in this scenario. She's not planning to kill the child. She's planning to have a thief locked up until they're done with their ritual and release her. The fail circumstance is set by the child herself, who panics. Even if there was an option to attack, you wouldn't be able to prevent that by killing the druids. No matter what, you're always going to be locked out of options due to RNG, even if you "win" a roll, you're going to miss something.

"But Rob, I don't want to feel bad". That's great, I understand that, I do. I felt bad my first time in the grove, where I did fail that roll. But I didn't default to "I have to win this no matter how long it takes", I defaulted to "It's an RPG with consequences to not passing a roll". "But it's not fair, that check is too high". Go ahead, list out your arguments, and post them with a D20 roll, and I'll let you know when you change my mind. Here's a hint: You're going to need a natural 50 on that D20. While I tend to believe there shouldn't be a roll there at all, I believe that because I believe that it shouldn't really be possible to convince the de facto leader of the grove that thieves shouldn't be locked up, especially given what she stole. In three tries, so far, I have passed that roll twice. Lucky? Yeah, especially given my extensive history with RNG, and fail states, and considering that none of these rolls was save scummed to make.

What's lost in the "I don't have time for this" is that this is what RPGs with actual choices are all about, being able to replay for different results later. What's really ironic about it is, if the roll had no consequence, we'd be reading about things like "illusion of choice" instead... If this resulted in a game over screen, I might be inclined to change my mind, but as it stands right now? No. These pass and fail chances lead to different outcomes which, in and of themselves may be interesting. The immediate consequence of this fail may not be all that interesting, but what effect does it have on the rest of the story? I can't think of anything immediate, or in the rest of the chapter. Maybe the parents don't trust you when you lay out a plan for defending the grove, since you couldn't defend their child? That would be interesting. Interesting doesn't have to mean fun, however, or beneficial. There's an old Chinese curse, at least I've always heard it as credited to the Chinese: May you live in interesting times. I'm pretty sure they're not thinking "may every day be sunshine and rainbows" when they lay that curse out. That's why it's a curse, right?

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Originally Posted by Orbax

As a general rule, skill checks should influence how much information you get and how much information (true or not) you provide right now. They should rarely directly influence the outcomes of events; outcomes are determined by the successes and failures of activity and the choices you make. You make decisions based off of information. Decisions bear fruit far enough down the road to where a save would most likely be irrelevant.

This is very good point. Also my rule of thumb when playing tabletop DnD is rolling d20 whenever characters are in time pressure or when they are in completely new situation. For routine tasks I allow just take 10 or even 20 when failure doesn't matter.

That kid and snake dialog is horrible for many reasons. I still can't comprehend I can save a goblin in cage by standing between her and loaded crossbow but can't save the child. So I really get the frustration here. Rolling a die is not a culprit here, the whole desing of situation is. In tabletop I could still had some options even after the bite. Using medicine, or antivenom, or even revive scroll.

By the way the best dialogue system with success/failure outcomes has Disco Elysium. Failures were enjoyable and you had a interesting built-in mechanic to re-roll some checks.

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Originally Posted by vyvexthorne
Most likely still has to do with not having difficulty levels yet but also something that could easily please everyone with a simple toggle. Toggle on gets dice rolls, toggle off gets pass / fail skill checks like any other rpg.

The only difference here, is of course, that we actually see and make the rolls. Pass/Fail skill checks are made against either a hard number, or a percentage chance, so they're still a roll of the dice.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by vyvexthorne
Most likely still has to do with not having difficulty levels yet but also something that could easily please everyone with a simple toggle. Toggle on gets dice rolls, toggle off gets pass / fail skill checks like any other rpg.

The only difference here, is of course, that we actually see and make the rolls. Pass/Fail skill checks are made against either a hard number, or a percentage chance, so they're still a roll of the dice.


Or they could do what a lot of games do and just not show you the dialogue option at all if you can't pass it. People seem weirdly fine with missing dialogue options as long as they don't know they are there.

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I don’t remember having encountered a conversation option I couldn’t pass?!
I mean difficult, yeah sure, but to my knowledge there aren’t any shown you cannot pass?

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I think Kagha and the child is one of the very few examples when the roll mechanics actually work very well. I wish more of them would be like this one. As I see it, Larian really wanted to kill this child to establish Kagha's character (which is legitimate, it's a very good scene because there is an element of an accident to it but the way Kagha responds later is an excellent character moment and really interesting), but also wanted to stick to their philosophy of "ENDLESS CHOICE AT ANY COST EVEN IF IT MEANS SCREW THE STORY", so what they did very wisely is to give us a very hard roll. most players will get the story as they intended, and the few who'll be successful will get less story but the feeling of success. a great moment in my books. and of course the most important part about it - no super great affects on the main story. so you can fail and not lose too much (and as I say, I think in this case even gain a fascinating character arc).

Unfortunately, most dice rolls are not like this. most result in either battle, no option to move forward in a quest, or success.


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It wasn't an edgy decision, it was a bad one. It removed agency and option and got a player briefly involved in a bad situation they were intended to fail at just so the DM could make a point. There are other ways to do it like just have you make a perception check and see this happen across the way, otherwise you see a dead body and need to ask someone so they tell you who did it otherwise a snake did..

As a DM, if the argument is narrative and mechanics, they did a piss poor job of it and I could spend all day writing down more interesting things that could happen that the players could be involved in that also drove home the fact that choices matter. Making choices matter and then restricting their ability to choose and act is a dick move.

Can I justify what they did? Yes. I can actually justify just about anything. The question is what is the best way to do that and I cannot imagine a scenario where I would end up choosing what they did.


What is the problem you are solving? Does your proposed change solve the problem? Is your change feasible? What else will be affected by your change? Will your change impact revenue? Does your change align with the goals and strategies of the organizations (Larian, WotC)?
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Originally Posted by Orbax
It wasn't an edgy decision, it was a bad one. It removed agency and option and got a player briefly involved in a bad situation they were intended to fail at just so the DM could make a point. There are other ways to do it like just have you make a perception check and see this happen across the way, otherwise you see a dead body and need to ask someone so they tell you who did it otherwise a snake did..

As a DM, if the argument is narrative and mechanics, they did a piss poor job of it and I could spend all day writing down more interesting things that could happen that the players could be involved in that also drove home the fact that choices matter. Making choices matter and then restricting their ability to choose and act is a dick move.

Can I justify what they did? Yes. I can actually justify just about anything. The question is what is the best way to do that and I cannot imagine a scenario where I would end up choosing what they did.

I disagree. And I'll tell you upfront I'm not a D&D guy, not that I think it should matter anyway. I think you miss the point here. This moment in the game is not really about mechanics, and it's defiantly not about the child or the player. This moment is about Kagha. The only change I would say might be valid is to remove the option to change the outcome altogether. The player's choice in a video game is not the same as a player's choice in a D&D session. and there is no DM. there is a story, in which the player has some choice regarding how it will unfold, but the player can't (and shouldn't) be able to affect every single event in the game. because you just can't account for that if you are not a human DM.


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Thats why I said it was a bad choice - if a DM, which is just a different medium game designer - wants something to happen, it happens. Its a dick move to make people think they can do something about it and then do everything you can to make it so they fail so the thing you wanted can happen.That idea of making people feel helpless by giving them an almost certain to fail what 3? 4? checks? to get through shadow period without a dead kid...As a DM the times you say "If you roll a nat 20 Ill let it happen" are for when everyone agrees there is realistically nothing here for you to do. That is what they repeatedly fail. They are obviously having a story they would like to have happen and you can try to stop it. That works great for the main plot. The rest of the time is you just trying to put fires out because they will burn whatever it is to cinders if you don't. You rarely walk in with a chance to stop the fire from being started in the first place. Its the beat of the drum, your entry point into choices, and the odds being stacked against you that tell you how this story either should be or at least how it will probably go. Every time that dice pops up for a check in conversation, the player shouldn't drop their shoulders and mutter "fuck". It should be exciting.


What is the problem you are solving? Does your proposed change solve the problem? Is your change feasible? What else will be affected by your change? Will your change impact revenue? Does your change align with the goals and strategies of the organizations (Larian, WotC)?
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Originally Posted by vyvexthorne
Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by vyvexthorne
Most likely still has to do with not having difficulty levels yet but also something that could easily please everyone with a simple toggle. Toggle on gets dice rolls, toggle off gets pass / fail skill checks like any other rpg.

The only difference here, is of course, that we actually see and make the rolls. Pass/Fail skill checks are made against either a hard number, or a percentage chance, so they're still a roll of the dice.


Or they could do what a lot of games do and just not show you the dialogue option at all if you can't pass it. People seem weirdly fine with missing dialogue options as long as they don't know they are there.

Yeah, because they don't know they missed it. It can be a different story on a message board somewhere when they find out though.

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Yeah I have to say this one grated a little with me as well.

If I am a Chaotic Good kinda guy, I might take exception to not being able to try and intervene here, I mean I can see it going South a mile away and I would expect particular companions to react accordingly. Maybe Gale feels that a well timed firebolt could solve the snake problem and he makes a move (narrated), and if I let him, that leads us into an escalating situation that I either try to diffuse or allow, or simply fail to stop but in a different manner to before. Heck maybe even the child dies as a result of my interference. Or I stop Gale because I am not a good guy and don't want to get involved.

But if you are going to show me something with my character standing right there, then unless I am tied up or whatever, I see no reason not to be able to try and get involved. Maybe add a timed dicision here so I don't have long to ponder.

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Hmm, not goin to debate wether dice rolls are good or bad. But, those against it...how many crpgs that you played, has had this mechanic before?

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Originally Posted by Riandor
Yeah I have to say this one grated a little with me as well.

If I am a Chaotic Good kinda guy, I might take exception to not being able to try and intervene here, I mean I can see it going South a mile away and I would expect particular companions to react accordingly. Maybe Gale feels that a well timed firebolt could solve the snake problem and he makes a move (narrated), and if I let him, that leads us into an escalating situation that I either try to diffuse or allow, or simply fail to stop but in a different manner to before. Heck maybe even the child dies as a result of my interference. Or I stop Gale because I am not a good guy and don't want to get involved.

But if you are going to show me something with my character standing right there, then unless I am tied up or whatever, I see no reason not to be able to try and get involved. Maybe add a timed dicision here so I don't have long to ponder.

...or, I stop Gale because I am a good guy, and don't want to get involved? Back to context again: She's not planning to kill the child, she's planning to lock her up, and release her later. Perhaps I believe that locking up someone that stole the central idol to a temple should be locked up? This is, after all, the point of the roll, you're trying to convince her that she shouldn't want to lock up a thief.

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You are ALL missing the point. Especially the thickskulls going "oh u savescummer boo hoo".

It's not that 'failure is interesting' or not. It may well be.

It's that I'm willing to guarantee to you that if larian did a check in their analytics, they would find that almost everyone savescums almost all the time, specifically in skill checks.
That, then, would mean the system is a failure, regardless of what you think about it personally. IF people are spending inordinate amounts of time loading saves then its a bad system for a pc game.


Now, I might be wrong, but I'm so sure I'm not, I'm willing to guarantee it.
Also note larian put out a message telling people to "please accept failure please", showing this may be the case.


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Disagree.

1- It's totally obvious what is about to happen and the so called head of the Druids is only escalating the issue when she could easily diffuse it.

2 - Locking up a child for theft is not condusive to a good character, at least not in my view. Lawful/Good in a medievel setting, yeah mayyyybe, it's why I prefaced it with Chaotic good, as in Good but with my own slant on rules and either way it doesn't take away the design choice to not allow your character to intervene, even if it's a bad idea? If I think that snake needs killing before something potentially goes wrong, that's a roll I want to make and one that directly impacts my choices.

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Originally Posted by Lightzy
You are ALL missing the point.

It's not that 'failure is interesting' or not. It may well be.

It's that I'm willing to guarantee to you that if larian did a check in their analytics, they would find that almost everyone savescums almost all the time, specifically in skill checks.
That, then, would mean the system is a failure, regardless of what you think about it personally.


Now, I might be wrong, but I'm so sure I'm not, I'm guaranteeing it here.
Also note larian put out a message telling people to "please accept failure please", showing this may be the case.


What are you basing your "almost everyone" on? Posts on the forums? The game's sold over a million copies, how many of those players have responded to whatever survey you're citing, but not providing, are you counting as "almost everyone"? I know I certainly never saw this survey. In the example that's being tossed around currently, I have 2 successes, and one fail, with no save scumming. I'd be extremely surprised to find that I'm the only one that isn't save scumming there, or anywhere else. My reloads have been a direct result of party wipes, which can be attributed to bad rolls, or good rolls if you're in the party of NPCs that wiped me...

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Clearly the OP doesn't know how to play D&D-- there is no 'reloading' in D&D, if you fail a roll you fail it and take the consequences.
Stop save scumming.

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Originally Posted by robertthebard
Originally Posted by Lightzy
You are ALL missing the point.

It's not that 'failure is interesting' or not. It may well be.

It's that I'm willing to guarantee to you that if larian did a check in their analytics, they would find that almost everyone savescums almost all the time, specifically in skill checks.
That, then, would mean the system is a failure, regardless of what you think about it personally.


Now, I might be wrong, but I'm so sure I'm not, I'm guaranteeing it here.
Also note larian put out a message telling people to "please accept failure please", showing this may be the case.


What are you basing your "almost everyone" on? Posts on the forums? The game's sold over a million copies, how many of those players have responded to whatever survey you're citing, but not providing, are you counting as "almost everyone"? I know I certainly never saw this survey. In the example that's being tossed around currently, I have 2 successes, and one fail, with no save scumming. I'd be extremely surprised to find that I'm the only one that isn't save scumming there, or anywhere else. My reloads have been a direct result of party wipes, which can be attributed to bad rolls, or good rolls if you're in the party of NPCs that wiped me...


Totally with you on this!

I didn't Save Scum once due to a bad roll, ah actually tell a lie, once when I had passed a particul test, game glitched and I had to re-do that sequence. Failed watched what happened and then reloaded again to get my original result to continue where I should have been and I say this as someone who is totally partial to a bit of save scumming now and again.

The system is in no way a failure, what it is is perhaps lacking nuance in select areas. I also personally feel it would help if my character was voiced (as the Origin characters will be in these situations) so that it feels like an interaction rather than just a die roll result.

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Originally Posted by Orbax
Man, I have such a ridiculous write-up on this topic if I thought it would ever percolate and become something.

TL;DR,

As a general rule, skill checks should influence how much information you get and how much information (true or not) you provide right now. They should rarely directly influence the outcomes of events; outcomes are determined by the successes and failures of activity and the choices you make. You make decisions based off of information. Decisions bear fruit far enough down the road to where a save would most likely be irrelevant.

Situation 1:
1. A druid is about to kill a kid right now.
2. Kid says im not horrible!
3. You, thinking kids shouldn't be killed, makes a persuasion check to save their life.
4. You fail, kid dies.
*Clippy shows up* Uh oh! It looks like you are trying to make a skill cha
llenge! Most DMs use those only to heighten the drama of a larger event that is unfolding, not determine the outcome!

Situation 2:
1. A druid is sentencing a kid to death, to be executed the next dawn - i.e., in the future. She says this child is horrible and must be killed.
2. Almost everything in the conversation after this is irrelevant to the outcome, as the decision to free the kid or not is decision, and the outcome determined later as this is an overall game event. However, the rest of the chat is information

The time in the grove is spent spinning plates and getting info. Persuading here, stealing there, planting something here. Towards the end of lots of smaller quests and events the totality of all of the things you chose to do over the last 2 hours start bearing fruit. some are surprising, some are funny (I had a feeling hiring that madman to pretend he was an arch druid wouldn't go well...), and they overall build the DC for an impassioned speech or create enough of a distraction where you put the girl in a sack of potatoes and sneak out.

The overall structure of so many of these challenges is that of a Bang Bang Play.

What is a Bang Bang Play in Football? A bang bang play involves multiple events occurring at once or quickly, one after another. Because bang bang plays are used to describe a play that happens so quickly, they often lead to difficult calls being made and challenge flags being thrown to argue such calls.

The concept of a challenge in the game is fundamentally flawed. Its pivoted orthogonally to how events play out in D&D.


You're absolutely correct.
Missing out additional info, as a history check fails and maybe later coming to a wrong assumption is completely different from such hard-checks as "kid dies because surprise skill check in the middle of a conversation".
A hard-check in a surprise situation, okay, but several of the checks here seem just to be there to enforce reloading.

Especially in a program where people tend to miss any rolls above difficulty 1.

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