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Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #722672
30/10/20 09:25 AM
30/10/20 09:25 AM
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Riandor Offline
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There is another TTRpG out there called "Blades In The Dark".
Anyone who knows it or the system it uses will know what I am about to say, but for the rest, it is a system that works on adding nuances of failure to your success. The premise goes that even at "lvl1" the characters are still good at what they do. When you roll for the outcome and the aim of GM is to adapt that success outcome depending on how you roll. So a classic example is the party tries to escape from a heist across rooftops, there is a check involved....

1 - All players bar player 3 succeed in their check (could have done a group check but let's gloss over that rule for now)
2 - Player 3 fails hard and is told they slip on the wet rooftops and are falling.
3 - Player 3 sys it's ok they pre-prepared the route (useing a rule called flashback) and in good old Assassin's Creed fashion there is a cart with hay in the street.
4 - Check is made to see if they hit it cleanly, made, move on.

That was on a hard fail of the first check, a softer fail would have seen them lose an item, twist an ankle, but still succeed and always with the intent of creating a new scenario... damn, was that item dropped one of the vials containing a spiteful ghost? Well that's literally going to come back and haunt them, later.

Convoluted waffle aside, I appreciate D&D doesn't particularly work that way as standard, but that is not to say that an experienced GM cannot think aong those lines in situations where the level difference isn't too far apart.

It's like when you meet Sezza, there you say you step in front of the crossbow and so you do (iirc there was a roll to be made there and I passed it first time so I dont actually know what happens IF you fail). I wouldn't be adverse to the "failure" being an arrow to the knee grin fired by accident by the nervous Tiefling, who runs off afterwards, leaving you STILL having succeeded, just with a bloody bolt in your leg. I don't save scum because i got the result I wanted, even if the price was painful. Now though the Tieflings might create aggro for me after this.

(That reminds me, not realising I could throw Sezza, I waltzed out of the prison with the Goblin by my side, was promptly in battle with 3 Tieflings, then I think 1 or 2 others. After killing them, Sezza died alas, I waltzed out of town as if nothing had happened. and later we partied at my place.. errrrr Larian?!)

Same with the Tiefling girl. If the player wants to wade in with utter disregard for their own safety, let them. Let them succeed, but twist the situation depending on the roll. Fail and maybe the Druids are enraged by your interference and threten to kill you, Astarion or Shadowheart interject and object too, stating they refuse to put their necks on the line for your stupidity and will be outside and thus unavailable if it goes south. If this was the Witcher you could guarantee the girl would die in the ensuing fight anyway and the parents would blame you. Lol, but here you could even talk the Druids down but in the kuffufle the girl saw her opportunity and escaped (maybe with the idol!!)

But the core of the argument in this thread is that there should be an auto-succeed on a "story" only setting, no die rolls, you don't need the hassle of the die animation for something you are going to roll over and over again anyway, skip it. Perhaps Easy mode could essentially cast Guidance on the whole party as a perm. perk or something similar and give out the re-roll points more easily.

But on Normal the rule is fine as is, I just think we can all agree that a little less black & white on the outcomes would be even better, so save the kid is good right... let us save her 75% of the time, but depending on how might create a whole bucket of stress down the line! What if that little scamp steals that trinket Shadowheart is playing with in camp, during the party and runs off into the wildernes to play with it and is picked up by the Githyanki!!! Eeeek. Now that might in this example be story breaking, I don't know, but doing the right ting might not mean a good outcome and when that happens, players become more weary about intervention and save scum less (simply because the potential downside to their good intentions only shows up later!).


Last edited by Riandor; 30/10/20 09:31 AM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #722678
30/10/20 09:38 AM
30/10/20 09:38 AM
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mr_planescapist Offline
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Cant believe people say failure is interesting. YES IT IS IF a new quest line opens, the story evolves a different path, you get some kind of bonus to incoming combat, more interesting dialogue options, changes to your character/inner reflection...
Right now most FAILURES lead to either COMBAT or no extra info; failed attempt at something, the END.
Wow, very interesting and fun indeed. Ill just reload that.

Last edited by mr_planescapist; 30/10/20 09:41 AM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: mr_planescapist] #722726
30/10/20 11:03 AM
30/10/20 11:03 AM
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Aurgelmir Offline
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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
Cant believe people say failure is interesting. YES IT IS IF a new quest line opens, the story evolves a different path, you get some kind of bonus to incoming combat, more interesting dialogue options, changes to your character/inner reflection...
Right now most FAILURES lead to either COMBAT or no extra info; failed attempt at something, the END.
Wow, very interesting and fun indeed. Ill just reload that.



No, failure leads to the "default path" you'd have gotten even if you didn't roll. (in 99% of the cases)

You are trying to change a situation to your advantage, or avoid combat etc. Emphasis on "trying". This is the same as in a tabletop session. The DM sets a scene with an expected path. Then the players challenge the scene and might chose a different path. Their choices affects things. It can work, it can speed up their demise, the dice roll decide.

I have yet to have any situation where I feel the dice roll has lost me content or progress. It's just there to give me a slightly different experience.

The alternative is "You don't have high enough skill to choose this option" style that we see in Fallout for instance. I find that to be a lot less interesting to be honest.

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: mr_planescapist] #722738
30/10/20 11:22 AM
30/10/20 11:22 AM
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robertthebard Offline
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Originally Posted by mr_planescapist
Cant believe people say failure is interesting. YES IT IS IF a new quest line opens, the story evolves a different path, you get some kind of bonus to incoming combat, more interesting dialogue options, changes to your character/inner reflection...
Right now most FAILURES lead to either COMBAT or no extra info; failed attempt at something, the END.
Wow, very interesting and fun indeed. Ill just reload that.

The problem with this is that, in the scenario discussed here, that people stop at "child dies", and don't play it out to see if there's anything interesting or not. There are things that are interesting, but because they aren't immediate, they may as well not exist. The problem is "instant gratification". You see, the goal is to remove Kagha, not necessarily kill her. There are other ways to go about that, and anyone that's doing any actual exploring in that section will find at least one. Of course, it requires some work to achieve, and that may well turn some players off. But a method exists.

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #722739
30/10/20 11:25 AM
30/10/20 11:25 AM
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blazerules Offline
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Skill check failures in dialogue are great in tabletop because its in tabletop. The DM can tailor situations to the failure, creating a new "path" on the spot. It's there to allow for more variety and more interesting things to happen. So far instead of giving you new interesting content, thus making failure desirable in some way, it just locks you out of it. Or has no effect. Making it kinda pointless to roll for it.

In BG3, a game, the outcomes are pre-determined. Skill check failures don't really lead to anything interesting. Or new paths. Plus you can bypass that with just... selecting the non skill option when its there. Really it usually feels like the game goes "Oh... ok..." when you do that.

And yeah I spend 10-20 minutes quick loading when I fail skill checks till I realized you can bypass a good amount of stuff by picking the non skill options.

The death of the child can also be interesting as someone mentioned, in destroying the camp. But you can also just... choose to let them die and not require the skill check failure. Or well risk succeeding to let them live.

Last edited by blazerules; 30/10/20 11:26 AM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #722741
30/10/20 11:28 AM
30/10/20 11:28 AM
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Flaze Offline
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Dice rolling is fine as it is, we may want some more options here and there to do things in diffirent ways but option to fail should stay. In the end you have the last resort of murdering everything you dont like( but itd also be good to there be a measure of anti murderhoboing).
For those who want to 'win it all' just add story mode difficulty.

Last edited by Flaze; 30/10/20 11:29 AM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #722762
30/10/20 11:56 AM
30/10/20 11:56 AM
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Dogmatis Offline
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The main issue I have with rolling is that sometimes it feels like I am just missing out on content on a bad dice roll. If you want access to everything the game has to offer, you will need to save scum no matter what, unless you get extremely lucky. I didn't save scum on my first two playthroughs. but on my third I did because I'm not happy with missing out on a chunk of the game (because that's what it will accumulate to) on bad dice rolls.

Also bad dice rolls have made me completely give up on Shadowheart who did nothing but insult me for what seemed to be several conversations in a row. Just completely lost interest in the character "no/go away/I'm not telling you" etc. Ain't nobody got time for dat.


Verily it is written that the Omnissiah grants his blessing to those who come well-equipped with explosives. -Aphorisms 96.9
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: robertthebard] #722770
30/10/20 12:11 PM
30/10/20 12:11 PM
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Zefhyr Offline
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I let the discussion end after the child died but I doesn't get what's interesting after.
Maybe I didn't wait long enough but anyway, no matter what happens next the child is dead.

Damn, a kids died cuase I rolled a dice, I can't live with it ! xD
(even more after realizing choosing a non-skill option dialogue wouldn't lead to her death... it's really a "penalty skill") !

Btw, I was a bit unhappy with the talk I had later with the kids. She reveal herself to be insolent and... unpleasant. And what is funny is that the game is able to just kill a child to mess with you but it doesn't give you the opportunity to slap her or kill her or ground her or scared her.... Feel like a miss here.

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #723029
30/10/20 05:34 PM
30/10/20 05:34 PM
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Grantig Offline
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Another fun part of Larian roleplaying experience:

Stumble into the warehouse (which leads to the mercenaries).
Struggle with camera being off-position.
Dialogue pops up, don't even see who's talking to me.
DC 19 skill check pops up.
Miss check.
My group explodes, as the guy obviously has many explosives set in the room, rendering the whole group dead.
Me: WTF did just happen?
Reload 10 mins old save.

Second try, get camera in position first, move only so far in the room I can actually see the guy.
Just shoot him dead for no justifiable reason aside of knowing what's going to happen if I don't.
Go in the mercenary camp just to find out I already messed up their quest and they attack me without letting me explain how I couldn't even know that I did something wrong.

That's big storytelling!

Last edited by Grantig; 30/10/20 05:55 PM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #723033
30/10/20 05:37 PM
30/10/20 05:37 PM
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Orbax Offline
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Ive been keeping an excel sheet for my checks, so far the running average for dice roll is 5 >.<


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)?
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #723035
30/10/20 05:42 PM
30/10/20 05:42 PM
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dotemtpy Offline
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Besides the fact that sometimes you need to succeed on multiple checks in dialogue to get to a single outcome, I see no issue with failure.

If people really don't like failing in a game, there should be configurable difficulty settings to succeed on rolls in dialogue and exploration

Then another difficulty setting that does not allow save scum in dialogue and exploration for people who dont mind letting the dice take them wherever

Last edited by dotemtpy; 30/10/20 06:10 PM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #723039
30/10/20 05:45 PM
30/10/20 05:45 PM
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Orbax Offline
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If you read the thread, which I recommend, no one is complaining that there are fail-able rolls.


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)?
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea (turned savescumming into a core game mechanic) [Re: Lightzy] #723053
30/10/20 06:03 PM
30/10/20 06:03 PM
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dotemtpy Offline
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The main suggestion in this thread is turning rolled skills into threshold skills.

Roll a nature to see if the potion is poison
Vs.
You have 14 nature, you know its poison. Or you dont and there is no option

This removes failure and also options that you could possibly succeed or fail at depending on the roll.

If players dont want to fail, or risk failure on dice rolls and miss out on dialogue options to always succeed when they can , that's fine. Make it configurable, no rolls just state the DC and if one of your chars meet it with their skill or attribute then success!

Same can be extended to exploration rolls.

Last edited by dotemtpy; 30/10/20 06:07 PM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea. [Re: Orbax] #723099
30/10/20 06:29 PM
30/10/20 06:29 PM
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Traycor Offline
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Originally Posted by Orbax
The biggest disconnect was you thinking that I was claiming that it was a narrative life or death. I was saying it was a life or death as those were the actual stakes at hand. It could have been freedom or jail, pudding or pie, or tickles and wiggles and the fact remained that player agency was removed and they were put into a situation that they were at a disadvantage for in level, tools, and information. The odds being stacked implied a narrative bias as it was not level appropriate and the story would have been better served as a complete cutscene if players don't get a fair shake at it. DC8 would have been appropriate if that is what they are doing as the check, as 99% of them are, are persuasion based and the majority of classes do not stack that score. There are no creative ways to solve that problem. Its have high charisma or a character that can cast guidance - neither one of which is a given - or be at a disadvantage and have a child die. It was lazy, it was disingenuous as to your chances, and the vast number of issues posted across all forums with this specific instance show that it frustrated a great deal of players.

The situation wasn't a bad idea, it was executed with a ride or die roll that was too high. Seeing the girl get dragged off and the snake now guarding the cage, you getting a chance to performance roll and snake charm (fun!), or you being able to gather a few druids to your side in protest against the new leader's authoritarian rule that has come to this so she says "fine, if it happens again, all the refugees are out of here. By force." and she storms off. I can think of so. many. ways. to make that an enjoyable encounter that gives players a proactive shake at being introduced into the politics of the circle. As it is, it is hamfisted, unfair, and serves the narrative purpose of building her persona more poorly than almost any other way.

+1

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea. [Re: Lightzy] #723167
30/10/20 07:15 PM
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Arkhan Offline
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I think Kagha killing the child scenario is particularly bad because so much hinges on it. If you are roleplaying a good character and the child dies you really can no longer side with the druids. I killed all the druids for their crime, but that leaves me in a poor position story-wise because I am not going to ally myself with the goblins. Of course I still killed all the goblins to help the teiflings but it made the story weaker because I had no narrative motivation other than helping them.

Last edited by Arkhan; 30/10/20 07:15 PM.
Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea. [Re: Arkhan] #723247
30/10/20 08:35 PM
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Popsculpture Offline
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Originally Posted by Arkhan
I think Kagha killing the child scenario is particularly bad because so much hinges on it. If you are roleplaying a good character and the child dies you really can no longer side with the druids. I killed all the druids for their crime, but that leaves me in a poor position story-wise because I am not going to ally myself with the goblins. Of course I still killed all the goblins to help the teiflings but it made the story weaker because I had no narrative motivation other than helping them.

Killing everyone for the action of a few seems like a pretty evil act to me. there is a path where you can get justice against Kagha and her actions with out killing all the other innocent druids.

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea. [Re: Lightzy] #725158
01/11/20 06:02 PM
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I don't find failure that interesting as it means either fight or miss information. I would prefer have characters help (get advantage), or have another character step in (pretty much the same thing but with dialogue) , less rolls (in the gityanki dialogue you need to succeed at least three times to not fight). Perhaps there could be extended dialogue choices gated based on skill, character, class, race which I admit there is some of. The skill checks do kill some player choice as not everyone will play a character with high charisma and that means lots of failure or ignoring every low charisma class.

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea. [Re: Popsculpture] #725192
01/11/20 06:23 PM
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Demoulius Offline
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Originally Posted by Popsculpture
Originally Posted by Arkhan
I think Kagha killing the child scenario is particularly bad because so much hinges on it. If you are roleplaying a good character and the child dies you really can no longer side with the druids. I killed all the druids for their crime, but that leaves me in a poor position story-wise because I am not going to ally myself with the goblins. Of course I still killed all the goblins to help the teiflings but it made the story weaker because I had no narrative motivation other than helping them.

Killing everyone for the action of a few seems like a pretty evil act to me. there is a path where you can get justice against Kagha and her actions with out killing all the other innocent druids.

Going full murderhobo defenitly is an evil route.

Not working with the druids is fine. Killing them all because 1 did an evil act is so borderline evil it sounds like a parody...

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea. [Re: Lightzy] #725396
01/11/20 09:36 PM
01/11/20 09:36 PM
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My first playthrough I succeeded on saving the child and the situation mostly diffused. Girl was saved. Parents thanked me. I had a fairly neutral view of Kagha because as far as I knew she was just going to imprison the kid, not kill her.

I failed on my next game though, and that dramatically changed the situation. I got to see Kagha's reaction of initial shock and regret. That crack in her mask of composed malice she tries so hard to maintain, which told me a LOT more about her character than I got on my first playthrough. I saw the other druid fall to his knees in tears and all but beg me to find Halsin, as he's the only way to stop this madness.

I was much more emotionally invested in this druid conflict in my second game than I was in my first. In this instance, for me, failure was the more interesting route.

That said, I do think we should've had the option to make a DEX or STR check to rush in and kill the snake when we saw it poised to attack, then a Medicine check to try and stabilize the girl while one of the druids rush to find an antidote.

Those options could have their own little permeations in the story. Killing Kagha's snake could enrage her and get you banished from the grove until you come back with Halsin while succeeding in the Medicine check might even make Kagha thank you for preventing something terrible she never intended, softening her toward the PC and opening up new options to maybe talk Kagha down from her plans.

Re: skill check dice rolls, a really shit idea. [Re: SaurianDruid] #725406
01/11/20 09:43 PM
01/11/20 09:43 PM
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PrivateRaccoon Offline
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Originally Posted by SaurianDruid
My first playthrough I succeeded on saving the child and the situation mostly diffused. Girl was saved. Parents thanked me. I had a fairly neutral view of Kagha because as far as I knew she was just going to imprison the kid, not kill her.

I failed on my next game though, and that dramatically changed the situation. I got to see Kagha's reaction of initial shock and regret. That crack in her mask of composed malice she tries so hard to maintain, which told me a LOT more about her character than I got on my first playthrough. I saw the other druid fall to his knees in tears and all but beg me to find Halsin, as he's the only way to stop this madness.

I was much more emotionally invested in this druid conflict in my second game than I was in my first. In this instance, for me, failure was the more interesting route.

That said, I do think we should've had the option to make a DEX or STR check to rush in and kill the snake when we saw it poised to attack, then a Medicine check to try and stabilize the girl while one of the druids rush to find an antidote.

Those options could have their own little permeations in the story. Killing Kagha's snake could enrage her and get you banished from the grove until you come back with Halsin while succeeding in the Medicine check might even make Kagha thank you for preventing something terrible she never intended, softening her toward the PC and opening up new options to maybe talk Kagha down from her plans.


This. Very well written.

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