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In D&D 5e, there are only two rolls with a chance for automatic failure or automatic success: attack rolls and saving throws vs death. That's it. For example, let's say you have +7 to slight of hand, and you try to lockpick a DC 5 lock. You will succeed 100% of the time. If a powerful wizard casts a spell with a save dc of 30, and your save bonus is only +2? You will fail 100% of the time.

In BG3, though, literally every roll has critical success/failure chance. That means the expert locksmith will be unable to pick 5% of the locks, even if the locks are DC 1. It also means the level 1 wizard can Tasha's laughter a great wyrm red dragon 5% of the time. It isn't right.

Please do not change what's not broken. Get rid of all the hidden automatic success/failures in this game and stick to the only two that actually exist in 5e.

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um.... critical failures can occur on any roll, but I have 2 complaints with them....
They happen WAY too often
They have no additional negative impact, like fumbling at attack to disarm yourself or injure yourself, failing a lockpick so bad it breaks the lockpick and/or jams the lock. Even so that if you critically fail a saving throw you suffer disadvatage on your next action / knocked down additionally, whatever is most appropriate.
Now I realize a lot of these negative impacts are DM discretion, so the game might just be being lenient on 1's... and it's seriously not something that needs to be implemented now as it's more of a flavour thing, but critical failures are able to occur on any roll other than damage.


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Originally Posted by Montiness
um.... critical failures can occur on any roll, ...


You are wrong, though. Look up the rules. Critical failures on all 1's is a larian house rule. Only the two rolls that I mentioned in my post have automatic failures or successes.

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Pfft, it's always been the case, and an optional rule in 5e so it IS technically a rule, optional or not. Larian decided to implement this optional rule, and it's a good one.

- edit. Please be aware, optional and house are two completely different things. An optional rule is one that the game provides mechanics for, a house rule is something you add to existing rules that is not provided. Things like critical hits doing max damage + 1 additional damage dice, giants having additional damage resistance to things like bludgeoning because their skin would absorb more damage, frenzied rage acting like madness.

Last edited by Montiness; 27/10/21 12:13 AM.

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I'm with Nebuul on this one. This rule is every bit as bad as the optional flanking rule. I would really like to see it disappear from the game forever.

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Originally Posted by Montiness
Pfft, it's always been the case, and an optional rule in 5e so it IS technically a rule, optional or not. Larian decided to implement this optional rule, and it's a good one.

No, it's not.

If you're going to maintain that crits and crit fails on things OTHER than attack rolls and Death Saves are a provided optional rule in 5e, you're going to have to cite a source. Give me a page reference in the PHB or the DMG that discusses applying crit 20 and crit 1 rules general ability checks and saving throws.

To help you out, here are the only places in the PHb where it mentions rolls of 20 or 1 onthe die:

In, "Making an Attack" (pg 194)

"Rolling 1 or 20

Sometimes fate blesses or curses a combatant, causing the novice to hit and the veteran to miss.

If the d20 roll for an attack is a 20, the attack hits regardless of any modifiers or the target's AC. This is called a critical hit, which is explained later in this chapter.

If the d20 roll for an attack is a 1, the attack misses regardless of any modifiers or the target's AC."

And in "Dropping to 0 Hit Points" (pg 197)

"Death Saving Throws

Whenever you start your turn with 0 hit points, you must make a special saving throw, called a death saving throw, to determine whether you creep closer to death or hang onto life. Unlike other saving throws, this one isn't tied to any ability score. You are in the hands of fate now, aided only by spells and features that improve your chances of succeeding on a saving throw.

Roll a d20. If the roll is 10 or higher, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail. A success or failure has no effect by itself. On your third success, you become stable (see below). On your third failure, you die. The successes and failures don't need to be consecutive; keep track of both until you collect three of a kind. The number of both is reset to zero when you regain any hit points or become stable.

Rolling 1 or 20. When you make a death saving throw and roll a 1 on the d20, it counts as two failures. If you roll a 20 on the d20, you regain 1 hit point."

These are the only places where it is mentioned, in either the PHB or the DMG.

Here's the section on using ability scores (pp 173-175):


Chapter 7: Using Ability Scores

Six abilities provide a quick description of every creature's physical and mental characteristics:

Strength, measuring physical power
Dexterity, measuring agility
Constitution, measuring endurance
Intelligence, measuring reasoning and memory
Wisdom, measuring perception and insight
Charisma, measuring force of personality

Is a character muscle-bound and insightful? Brilliant and charming? Nimble and hardy? Ability scores define these qualities — a creature's assets as well as weaknesses.

The three main rolls of the game — the ability check, the saving throw, and the attack roll — rely on the six ability scores. The Introduction describes the basic rule behind these rolls: roll a d20, add an ability modifier derived from one of the six ability scores, and compare the total to a target number.

This chapter focuses on how to use ability checks and saving throws, covering the fundamental activities that creatures attempt in the game. Rules for attack rolls appear in chapter 9, “Combat.”

Ability Scores and Modifiers

Each of a creature's abilities has a score, a number that defines the magnitude of that ability. An ability score is not just a measure of innate capabilities, but also encompasses a creature's training and competence in activities related to that ability.

A score of 10 or 11 is the normal human average, but adventurers and many monsters are a cut above average in most abilities. A score of 18 is the highest that a person usually reaches. Adventurers can have scores as high as 20, and monsters and divine beings can have scores as high as 30.

Each ability also has a modifier, derived from the score and ranging from -5 (for an ability score of 1) to +10 (for a score of 30). The Ability Scores and Modifiers table notes the ability modifiers for the range of possible ability scores, from 1 to 30.

[Ability Scores and Modifiers Table]

To determine an ability modifier without consulting the table, subtract 10 from the ability score and then divide the total by 2 (round down).

Because ability modifiers affect almost every attack roll, ability check, and saving throw, ability modifiers come up in play more often than their associated scores.

Advantage and Disadvantage

Sometimes a special ability or spell tells you that you have advantage or disadvantage on an ability check, a saving throw, or an attack roll. When that happens, you roll a second d20 when you make the roll. Use the higher of the two rolls if you have advantage, and use the lower roll if you have disadvantage. For example, if you have disadvantage and roll a 17 and a 5, you use the 5. If you instead have advantage and roll those numbers, you use the 17.

If multiple situations affect a roll and each one grants advantage or imposes disadvantage on it, you don't roll more than one additional d20. If two favorable situations grant advantage, for example, you still roll only one additional d20.

If circumstances cause a roll to have both advantage and disadvantage, you are considered to have neither of them, and you roll one d20. This is true even if multiple circumstances impose disadvantage and only one grants advantage or vice versa. In such a situation, you have neither advantage nor disadvantage.

When you have advantage or disadvantage and something in the game, such as the halfling's Lucky trait, lets you reroll or replace the d20, you can reroll or replace only one of the dice. You choose which one. For example, if a halfling has advantage or disadvantage on an ability check and rolls a 1 and a 13, the halfling could use the Lucky trait to reroll the 1.

You usually gain advantage or disadvantage through the use of special abilities, actions, or spells. Inspiration can also give a character advantage (as explained in chapter 4, “Personality and Background”). The DM can also decide that circumstances influence a roll in one direction or the other and grant advantage or impose disadvantage as a result.

Proficiency Bonus

Characters have a proficiency bonus determined by level, as detailed in chapter 1. Monsters also have this bonus, which is incorporated in their stat blocks. The bonus is used in the rules on ability checks, saving throws, and attack rolls.

Your proficiency bonus can’t be added to a single die roll or other number more than once. For example, if two different rules say you can add your proficiency bonus to a Wisdom saving throw, you nevertheless add the bonus only once when you make the save.

Occasionally, your proficiency bonus might be multiplied or divided (doubled or halved, for example) before you apply it. For example, the rogue’s Expertise feature doubles the proficiency bonus for certain ability checks. If a circumstance suggests that your proficiency bonus applies more than once to the same roll, you still add it only once and multiply or divide it only once.

By the same token, if a feature or effect allows you to multiply your proficiency bonus when making an ability check that wouldn’t normally benefit from your proficiency bonus, you still don’t add the bonus to the check. For that check your proficiency bonus is 0, given the fact that multiplying 0 by any number is still 0. For instance, if you lack proficiency in the History skill, you gain no benefit from a feature that lets you double your proficiency bonus when you make Intelligence (History) checks.

In general, you don’t multiply your proficiency bonus for attack rolls or saving throws. If a feature or effect allows you to do so, these same rules apply.

Ability Checks

An ability check tests a character's or monster's innate talent and training in an effort to overcome a challenge. The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results.

For every ability check, the DM decides which of the six abilities is relevant to the task at hand and the difficulty of the task, represented by a Difficulty Class. The more difficult a task, the higher its DC. The Typical Difficulty Classes table shows the most common DCs.

[Typical Difficulty Classes Table]

To make an ability check, roll a d20 and add the relevant ability modifier. As with other d20 rolls, apply bonuses and penalties, and compare the total to the DC. If the total equals or exceeds the DC, the ability check is a success — the creature overcomes the challenge at hand. Otherwise, it's a failure, which means the character or monster makes no progress toward the objective or makes progress combined with a setback determined by the DM.

Contests

Sometimes one character's or monster's efforts are directly opposed to another's. This can occur when both of them are trying to do the same thing and only one can succeed, such as attempting to snatch up a magic ring that has fallen on the floor. This situation also applies when one of them is trying to prevent the other one from accomplishing a goal — for example, when a monster tries to force open a door that an adventurer is holding closed. In situations like these, the outcome is determined by a special form of ability check, called a contest.

Both participants in a contest make ability checks appropriate to their efforts. They apply all appropriate bonuses and penalties, but instead of comparing the total to a DC, they compare the totals of their two checks. The participant with the higher check total wins the contest. That character or monster either succeeds at the action or prevents the other one from succeeding.

If the contest results in a tie, the situation remains the same as it was before the contest. Thus, one contestant might win the contest by default. If two characters tie in a contest to snatch a ring off the floor, neither character grabs it. In a contest between a monster trying to open a door and an adventurer trying to keep the door closed, a tie means that the door remains shut.

Skills

Each ability covers a broad range of capabilities, including skills that a character or a monster can be proficient in. A skill represents a specific aspect of an ability score, and an individual's proficiency in a skill demonstrates a focus on that aspect. (A character's starting skill proficiencies are determined at character creation, and a monster's skill proficiencies appear in the monster's stat block.)

For example, a Dexterity check might reflect a character's attempt to pull off an acrobatic stunt, to palm an object, or to stay hidden. Each of these aspects of Dexterity has an associated skill: Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth, respectively. So a character who has proficiency in the Stealth skill is particularly good at Dexterity checks related to sneaking and hiding.

The skills related to each ability score are shown in the following list. (No skills are related to Constitution.) See an ability's description in the later sections of this chapter for examples of how to use a skill associated with an ability.

[Listed Associated Skills and Ability Ccores]

Sometimes, the DM might ask for an ability check using a specific skill — for example, “Make a Wisdom (Perception) check.” At other times, a player might ask the DM if proficiency in a particular skill applies to a check. In either case, proficiency in a skill means an individual can add his or her proficiency bonus to ability checks that involve that skill. Without proficiency in the skill, the individual makes a normal ability check.

For example, if a character attempts to climb up a dangerous cliff, the DM might ask for a Strength (Athletics) check. If the character is proficient in Athletics, the character's proficiency bonus is added to the Strength check. If the character lacks that proficiency, he or she just makes a Strength check.
Variant: Skills with Different Abilities

Normally, your proficiency in a skill applies only to a specific kind of ability check. Proficiency in Athletics, for example, usually applies to Strength checks. In some situations, though, your proficiency might reasonably apply to a different kind of check. In such cases, the DM might ask for a check using an unusual combination of ability and skill, or you might ask your DM if you can apply a proficiency to a different check. For example, if you have to swim from an offshore island to the mainland, your DM might call for a Constitution check to see if you have the stamina to make it that far. In this case, your DM might allow you to apply your proficiency in Athletics and ask for a Constitution (Athletics) check. So if you're proficient in Athletics, you apply your proficiency bonus to the Constitution check just as you would normally do for a Strength (Athletics) check. Similarly, when your half-orc barbarian uses a display of raw strength to intimidate an enemy, your DM might ask for a Strength (Intimidation) check, even though Intimidation is normally associated with Charisma.

Passive Checks

A passive check is a special kind of ability check that doesn't involve any die rolls. Such a check can represent the average result for a task done repeatedly, such as searching for secret doors over and over again, or can be used when the DM wants to secretly determine whether the characters succeed at something without rolling dice, such as noticing a hidden monster.

Here's how to determine a character's total for a passive check:

10 + all modifiers that normally apply to the check

If the character has advantage on the check, add 5. For disadvantage, subtract 5. The game refers to a passive check total as a score.

For example, if a 1st-level character has a Wisdom of 15 and proficiency in Perception, he or she has a passive Wisdom (Perception) score of 14.

The rules on hiding in the “Dexterity” section below rely on passive checks, as do the exploration rules in chapter 8, “Adventuring.”

Working Together

Sometimes two or more characters team up to attempt a task. The character who's leading the effort — or the one with the highest ability modifier — can make an ability check with advantage, reflecting the help provided by the other characters. In combat, this requires the Help action (see chapter 9, “Combat”).

A character can only provide help if the task is one that he or she could attempt alone. For example, trying to open a lock requires proficiency with thieves' tools, so a character who lacks that proficiency can't help another character in that task. Moreover, a character can help only when two or more individuals working together would actually be productive. Some tasks, such as threading a needle, are no easier with help.

Group Checks

When a number of individuals are trying to accomplish something as a group, the DM might ask for a group ability check. In such a situation, the characters who are skilled at a particular task help cover those who aren't.

To make a group ability check, everyone in the group makes the ability check. If at least half the group succeeds, the whole group succeeds. Otherwise, the group fails.

Group checks don't come up very often, and they're most useful when all the characters succeed or fail as a group. For example, when adventurers are navigating a swamp, the DM might call for a group Wisdom (Survival) check to see if the characters can avoid the quicksand, sinkholes, and other natural hazards of the environment. If at least half the group succeeds, the successful characters are able to guide their companions out of danger. Otherwise, the group stumbles into one of these hazards.

Nowhere does it mention rolling a 1 or a 20, in this section, optional or otherwise, unlike the above quoted segments where it does.

Last edited by Niara; 27/10/21 12:54 AM.
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RAW aside, as a game mechanic, it's vastly better to err in favor of fewer time-consuming die rolls than more. If it's impossible to fail, there's no point in rolling, and the same if it's impossible to succeed. The flash die roll graphics are neat exactly 1 time, and a repeated annoyance every time afterwards. If there's a choice that not only improves game play but is more in line with RAW, that feels like a no-brainer.

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I don't have the books anymore jesus... If you're going to kick up about every single optional rule which i'm pretty sure for this one is in the DMG not the PHB, why not kick up about the encumberance optional rule, or that if you get disarmed you can pick your weapon up for free which essentially equips it without losing your action, or that hiding is an action, not a bonus action, or do you just complain about optional and house rules that are negative.


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Originally Posted by Montiness
which i'm pretty sure for this one is in the DMG not the PHB, why not kick up about the encumberance optional rule, or that if you get disarmed you can pick your weapon up for free which essentially equips it without losing your action, or that hiding is an action, not a bonus action, or do you just complain about optional and house rules that are negative.

As mentioned, it's not, and you're mistaken, unless you'd like to cite a reference.

(I just read quickly through the entirety of the dungeon master's workshop section of the DMG, which is where it lists all of the suggested optional rules including ones related to ability checks, out-of-combat effects and running combats as well; there's no mention, anywhere in the chapter, at all, of rolling a 1 or a 20. I can't exactly quote the entire chapter to you, and I can't quote the 'place where it doesn't say it' because that's everywhere... you'll need to quote the section, if you are adamant that it exists.)

Actually many folk here have been giving feedback for along time about various Larian homebrew, positive and negative, and offering harsh feedback where it upsets game balance - shove, you might be aware, is a particularly contentious one, in fact.

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They're in the DMG, have been in every edition essentially. Not complaining about these passive checks since they don't include any dice roll at all however in this game it seems they do. Regardless of what you think critical success and failure has been a part or DnD since the 80's and if they want to keep them, it's a good thing.


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Originally Posted by Montiness
They're in the DMG, have been in every edition essentially.

No. It. Is. Not.

Not in the 5e DMG.

In past editions, yes, but not in the 5e DMG. It isn't there. It does not exist in that book. It jsut isn't - and no matter how much you say that it is, and assert that 'you're sure it is', and insist that it has been in the past and so it must still be... that won't make you any less wrong about this. It's not a part of 5e, and it has never been a part of 5e. This was, in fact a very deliberate design choice made with the publication of 5e, that stepped away from excessive punishment for bad rolls, with the exception of elements that were considered too symbolic to abandon - attack rolls, primarily. Death saves were given a 1-and-20 rule as well, because they embodied the whole 'hands of fate' concept, but that was it, ad that was very much a deliberate choice.

So, again.... if you want to keep spreading lies and misinformation, then please provide a quote or a source reference. It would be incredibly easy for you to prove your case, or prove me incorrect here, if you would just do that; why won't you?

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nice of you to leave out the last part of the quote there buddy....

I notice you haven't said squat about the other changes I've mentioned that you know are house rules, and I'll add more. Jumping is not a bonus action either, it's a free action that falls into the same category as lots of others listed in the PHB, jumping is probably listed as well, but I guess you just complain about things that aren't in the rules that you don't like if it isn't.

Again, it's been in DnD since the 80's, and it's a good thing regardless that it's been kept in.


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I did, actually:

Quote
Actually many folk here have been giving feedback for along time about various Larian homebrew, positive and negative, and offering harsh feedback where it upsets game balance - shove, you might be aware, is a particularly contentious one, in fact.

We're talking about critical successes and failures, however: that is the Topic of this thread.

So, while many people have many objections to many of Larian's other homebrew decisions, they are all eagerly discussed in other threads directly related to them. This one is about critical successes and failures.

They have been in older editions. They are not in 5e, except for attack rolls and death saves. That is the simple fact. You can contend that they *should* be a part of 5e, and a part of Larian's games - that's a fine opinion to have and you're welcome to voice it and argue for it, and explain why you feel it should be so and continue to be so, absolutely! (Please do, in fact - I'd appreciate hearing more from someone who genuinely enjoys that mechanic and would like to know more about why.)

However, don't claim that it *is* a part of the 5e rule set, optional or otherwise, because it is not.

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+1 to not having critical failures/success.

It's weird that Larian has implemented it as such right now - because they are the first ones to talk about limiting RNGs (which was what lead to all those special advantages in the first place). So I'm not sure why they're putting this in here. For the majority of players it just leads to more save scumming and frustration (people are naturally not great at statistics and notice natural 1s way more).

It is a somewhat common house rule though - so I'd say the ideal solution is to have it off by default, and add in a optional "critical 20/1"s for those who really want it.

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For everyone in this thread, if you have disadvantage on a roll that you should *never* fail, then your chance of failure with Larian's implementation goes from 0% to 10%. Instantly. Think about that, your character should never fail at something, and instead they fail one time out of ten attempts. That is huge.

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Personally I enjoy having natural 1s and 20s being auto fails and successes on Saving Throws. Because of 5e's bounded accuracy, it rarely actually matters, but when it does it is so incredible exciting (or crushing). Also, it helps out at higher levels where many Saves don't keep pace with enemy DCs. I remember playing a pvp-esque one-shot where my 8-Int Barbarian (and the entire party) was Psychic Screamed by a caster with a DC 20 ST. Psychic Scream stuns those who fail the saving throw, is not concentration, and lasts until you successfully make the save....which in my barbarian's case was literally impossible with his -1 bonus.

In addition, Saves are reactive to avoid an effect instead of proactive to attempt something, so natural 20 = auto success avoids the "you roll a nat 20 on Atheletics to jump over the moon" problem. Why shouldn't a character having a 5% chance at avoiding a Dominate Person or Fireball or even Sacred Flame cast by a high level caster? Is that really more unbelievable than a level 1, 8-str wizard rolling a nat 20 to hit a super armored, AC ~24+ enemy?

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I feel it is, yes (this is personal opinion, unrelated to rules discussion). Hitting a super high AC is acceptable in the 'there's always a gap' kind of sense... brain-powering your way of a mental crush from an overbearingly superior force, not so much. If anything, your barbarian is a prime example of why one of your heal-capable characters might consider carrying lesser restoration with them as one of their prepared spell, going into nasty combats, or just in general - expressly, to help the characters that cannot help themselves.

Edit: Though, LR wouldn't help since it technically doesn't cover Stun... however, it's a very specific niche situation where the save is impossible, even then. The enemy using it would have needed to have been souped up by your DM, since there is all of one creature in the official books that has 9th level spells and a DC over 20. The highest generic is a save DC 19, so even a negative 1 can save out on their own. Outside of that, paladin auras, bardic inspirations, resistance, and a handful of other options exist to assist in helping your team mate out, and your party is going to have access to at least some of them (in a pinch, you could polymorph them into something with 2 or lower Int, to automatically make them shrug the spell).

Last edited by Niara; 27/10/21 04:49 AM.
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To add to the debate about critical successes and fais being RAW: they are not. There is a part in the DMG where they talk about the DMs possibility to implement such a system, but even that paragraph emphazises that the RAW is exactly not doing that:

Quote
Rolling a 20 or a 1 on an ability check or a saving throw doesn't normally have any special effect. However, you can choose to take such an exceptional roll into account when adjudicating the outcome. It's up to you to determine how this manifests in the game. An easy approach is to increase the impact of the success or failure. For example, rolling a 1 on a failed attempt to pick a lock might break the thieves' tools being used, and rolling a 20 on a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check might reveal an extra clue.

This part of the DMG also does not have the "Optional rule" tagging. Things like flanking and facing have it. This means critical fails/successes are not an optional rule, they are merely mentioned under Rule 0 "The DM is the final arbiter what happens in the game".

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Originally Posted by Nebuul
In D&D 5e, there are only two rolls with a chance for automatic failure or automatic success: attack rolls and saving throws vs death. That's it. For example, let's say you have +7 to slight of hand, and you try to lockpick a DC 5 lock. You will succeed 100% of the time. If a powerful wizard casts a spell with a save dc of 30, and your save bonus is only +2? You will fail 100% of the time.

In BG3, though, literally every roll has critical success/failure chance. That means the expert locksmith will be unable to pick 5% of the locks, even if the locks are DC 1. It also means the level 1 wizard can Tasha's laughter a great wyrm red dragon 5% of the time. It isn't right.

Please do not change what's not broken. Get rid of all the hidden automatic success/failures in this game and stick to the only two that actually exist in 5e.

While i certainly do not like failure i have nothing against failing on a nat 1 and succeeding on a nat 20.

Never forget that even pros make mistakes and even the most unskilled person can have a lucky strike. It's the feeling that, against all odds, you still have a small chance. OR the risk, that no matter how good you are, you can still make a mistake or have bad luck (faulty lockpick or somesuch)

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But not 5% of the time please. If I'd fail 5% of the time in my job, that would be catastrophic.

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