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Swen once said that we shouldn't save scum if we fail a skill check, we should live with the consequences. This notion comes from a TTRPG where you never "FAIL" a skill check, you just get a different outcome. That's completely not the case in BG3! Rolling not high enough is perceived as a fail for several reasons(i list them below), and who wants to lose, right?

Why BG3 actually encourages you to save scum and re-roll:

1. You see the diificulty class of a check. So if you roll lower, it automatically makes you think that it is a fail and you need to fix that. It can be easily changed, just make an option to hide the difficulty classes of skill checks
2. Reason that will probably stay - every check in the game has only two clearly perceivable outcomes - success or fail. For example, remember the dialogue where you can talk to the bandit who is behind a closed door and you persuade him to open it? Let's assume you pick the [performance] check so you try to impersonate his chief(or a friend of his, i don't really remember). So you roll and there are two possible variants - you fool the bandit, he believes you and opens the door(success) and you fail your performance, he understands that you try to fool him(fail). And of course you want to re-roll because failing a skill check leaves you with nothing, you didn't achieve what you initially wanted and that's all

How TTRPG(with a good DM) handles low rolls:

1. You can get completely unexpected outcome which can be silly/funny or can lead to a plot twist even
2. Low roll doesn't make you feel that you failed, it rather adds new circumstances to deal with
3. The result is not boolean(fail/success) - if you roll much higher than DC, you get this, if you roll much lower, you get this, if you rolled nat 20 you get something else and etc.

I understand that they won't rework skill checks, the 1.0 is near, so please at least add an option to hide DCs of skill checks


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Originally Posted by mercurial_ann
Swen once said that we shouldn't save scum if we fail a skill check, we should live with the consequences. This notion comes from a TTRPG where you never "FAIL" a skill check, you just get a different outcome. That's completely not the case in BG3! Rolling not high enough is perceived as a fail for several reasons(i list them below), and who wants to lose, right?
I mean, getting into a combat encounter, instead of resolving the situation peacefully is a different outcome, and not necessarily a bad one from gameplay perspective.

Come recent RPG tried to make failing "fun", and while I mostly didn't feel a need to save-scum in BG3 or Disco Elysium, yeah, failing still feels like failing.

I do think BG3 does a decent job with failing skillchecks - generally quests can be progressed in multiple ways, so failing something doesn't create a blockade (cough Disco Shiver check cough). You definitely don't get outcome you want if you fail a check, but that's good, no? What you suggest feels like it would make checks irrelevant - player decides what their character will do, rather than their build. There also could be something like what Witcher's did with choices - that consequences of our failed checks might not be immediately apparent. So using your example, you fail to impersonate a chief, and bandit isn't fooled but instead he let's you through and sets up trap at you later down the story line - you don't really change the system that way, but "encourage" players to live with their choices through sheer time necessary to pick a choice and see it through. With that design it also could be beneficial not to make it clear if you did or didn't fail the check so the player is left guessing at all times. I would play that game.

I am also not sure if rolling flat d20 is a good system for a computer game but it is another subject and another discussion - I personally prefer Obsidian's flat skill requirements that eliminate RNG entirely, and Josh Sawyer criticism of d20 roll make a lot sense to me. Personally, I found Disco Elysium's bell curve RNG much less frustrating.

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Sounds like a perfect feature to have for the Core difficulty and/or above. As well as hide approve, with approve displayed, I just automatically turn into everyone's simp frown

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I actually think tying it to difficulty is the exact wrong approach if Larian's goal is to get people to embrace failing as a viable, fun option. Making it depend on difficulty send the wrong message.

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This sounds to me like yet another problem that is just in our heads ...

- There have to be risk of failure ... otherwise there is no reason to roll ...
- Every time you will roll, you will know if you suceeded, or failed ... no matter if you will see the number you need to overthrow or not ...

The only way this could work would be if you would hide litteraly everything ...
If you would just pick your dialogue (or action) choice ... and the game would roll everything in the background hidden from you ... and continue acordingly straight forward.
Except nope. :-/
Besides other (quite big) problems i realized as i wrote this ... even if you would hide everything ... you dont know your rolls, you dont know your difficiulty, you dont know if you suceeded or failed ... you figure that out litteraly second after that bloodthirsty Ogre will try to bite your head out, instead of accept your peace offering. laugh

---

If you cant handle that ...
I sugest you to set autosaving on longest possible period, set it to minimum possible number of autosaves, and dont use quick save ever ... that should give you some motivation to not reload. wink

---

Also ...
Even tho argument about reloading and bad feeling when loosing seems false to me ... i think this idea have some potential!

Therefore i would suggest adding option to "hide difficiulty class" into game-difficiulty settings!

Bcs, feel free to disagree with me, but knowing whenever you should spend your resources, or save them for combat that can come right after ... or not knowing this and have to guess if that spellslot for advantage would be necessary or basicaly wasted ...
Well, that would certainly affect difficiulty, especialy at lower levels!


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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
This sounds to me like yet another problem that is just in our heads ...
Rag.

It is a game. It is just pixels on the screens - all of the game is in our heads. It is all about psychology. All a game design can do, is make players think and interact with a game in a certan way. If a design leads to undesired player behaviour, than that design is faulty, not the player. It will likely be impossible to get desired behaviour out of every player, but randomised skill checks leading to savescumming has been a common problem in cRPG, to the point that some studios prefer to avoid RNG all together.

A suggestion to hide game feedback is interesting, but I question if it would actually solve anything - so far success.failure states in BG3 have been very binary and would be obvious even without additional feedback. On a dowside I think it would reduce the excitment of rolling the dice, making the whole process rather tedius. What's the point of spinning the dice, if there isn't a number in your mind that you are hoping to roll?

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The idea of hiding DCs for skill checks did get me thinking, but on reflection I’m not sure it would stop me reloading if I were tempted to, just make it more frustrating as I wouldn’t know how close I was getting. But clearly mileage on this will vary and I can see it might feel less like failure if you just roll and something happens without it being clear whether your roll beat the DC. If DCs were hidden I wouldn’t object, and if it were an option toggle then I do think I’d give it a try.

I will say that I think BG3 has mainly cured me of save scumming on failed dice throws and I’m less tempted to reload if things don’t go my way than I’ve been with any game previously. And I do think part of it is that such a production is made of the dice roll so somehow if feels more like cheating to reload if I fail. Admittedly a fair amount is also that I already know what happens if I pass the roll, given I’ve played EA through a number of times. But I don’t believe I’ll lapse once the full release comes out as I find accepting the dice results so much more fulfilling and engaging. Yes, sometimes a series of poor rolls can leave few options to progress and none of them are what my character would have wanted, but that now actually feels to me like an interesting story for my character as opposed to a failure. And I’ve never had to actually reload due to bad rolls given Larian seem to have done a good job of making sure there are such a variety of ways to accomplish most tasks.

I certainly wouldn’t object to additional interesting options being implemented for failed rolls, or indeed critical successes (or critical failures, though I know that’s a controversial one). That would be great. But actually I’m no longer finding the urge to reload a problem with my own game and have learned to embrace the drama and unexpected challenge that the D20 introduces.

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I don't think it would be a good idea for a default.

Reasoning: newbies. They'll have no idea they failed throws and will be unable to tell how hard checks generally are. This flows into follow up issues, such as lack of familiarity with tools to improve outcome (buffs), which attributes help with which checks, etc.

However, I'm not the first person to find the unskipable dice animation annoying. A lot of people would surely like this feature just to skip it!

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Originally Posted by The Red Queen
The idea of hiding DCs for skill checks did get me thinking, but on reflection I’m not sure it would stop me reloading if I were tempted to, just make it more frustrating as I wouldn’t know how close I was getting. But clearly mileage on this will vary and I can see it might feel less like failure if you just roll and something happens without it being clear whether your roll beat the DC. If DCs were hidden I wouldn’t object, and if it were an option toggle then I do think I’d give it a try.

If the goal is to avoid save-scumming and reloading to get only successful rolls, then it is not sufficient to only hide the DC. You need to hide the DC, and ALSO make it so that succeeding the roll can be the "bad" option, while failing the roll can be the "good" option, say, 15-25% of the time. Then you are motivated to accept whatever result you get if playing blind, as you do not know when rolling if winning or losing is what you want. Real-life DMs take this into account.


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Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
Originally Posted by The Red Queen
The idea of hiding DCs for skill checks did get me thinking, but on reflection I’m not sure it would stop me reloading if I were tempted to, just make it more frustrating as I wouldn’t know how close I was getting. But clearly mileage on this will vary and I can see it might feel less like failure if you just roll and something happens without it being clear whether your roll beat the DC. If DCs were hidden I wouldn’t object, and if it were an option toggle then I do think I’d give it a try.

If the goal is to avoid save-scumming and reloading to get only successful rolls, then it is not sufficient to only hide the DC. You need to hide the DC, and ALSO make it so that succeeding the roll can be the "bad" option, while failing the roll can be the "good" option, say, 15-25% of the time. Then you are motivated to accept whatever result you get if playing blind, as you do not know when rolling if winning or losing is what you want. Real-life DMs take this into account.
That is smart

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I have had to save scum some situations to be able to roleplay a character correctly. For example, I wanted the Tiefling kid to die by Kagha’s snake for role playing reasons to steal the idol and give it to Mol without the “evil” intentions for my rogue. You know how hard it is to fail in that situation now WITHOUT looking like an evil bastard? 😂. Or have I just been “lucky”? With a DM my intentions could have been evoked with a NAT 20 or a Nat 1. It’s just the understandable limitations of crpgs. Other than that, I will generally keep my wins and losses.

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Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
If the goal is to avoid save-scumming and reloading to get only successful rolls, then it is not sufficient to only hide the DC. You need to hide the DC, and ALSO make it so that succeeding the roll can be the "bad" option, while failing the roll can be the "good" option, say, 15-25% of the time.
Huh? What's a difference if the success and failure will be switched around? You rolled, you get bad outcome you try again. I don't think it is relevant if you got bad result because you succeeded, or you got bad result because you failed.

The problem at the heart is very simple - player's get one chance to attempt to succeed at something, and if they don't they have easy (but unenjoyable) way to remedy it. Player's in majority of cases are invested in succeeding as otherwise they would be unlikely to pick that option to begin with. Even if there is an elaborate (and enjoyable) option B for when a player fails, player is still unlikely to be satisfying because that's not what they opted to do.

Set back or failure can lead in a long run to a more enjoyable experience, but initial feedback will always be one of disappointment as simply the player didn't get what they wanted to get when they pressed the button. I don't think they are many options, beyond:
1) devs trusting players to choose the experience that will be most fun for the players (reload or stick to the choices)
2) devs deciding that sticking with choices is a superior experience and enforce the choice - either by making it a flat, unmovable check or saving RNG seed like in FiraxCOM1 and I think Solasta - where after reload the roll is still the same.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
If the goal is to avoid save-scumming and reloading to get only successful rolls, then it is not sufficient to only hide the DC. You need to hide the DC, and ALSO make it so that succeeding the roll can be the "bad" option, while failing the roll can be the "good" option, say, 15-25% of the time.
Huh? What's a difference if the success and failure will be switched around? You rolled, you get bad outcome you try again. I don't think it is relevant if you got bad result because you succeeded, or you got bad result because you failed.

The problem at the heart is very simple - player's get one chance to attempt to succeed at something, and if they don't they have easy (but unenjoyable) way to remedy it. Player's in majority of cases are invested in succeeding as otherwise they would be unlikely to pick that option to begin with. Even if there is an elaborate (and enjoyable) option B for when a player fails, player is still unlikely to be satisfying because that's not what they opted to do.

Set back or failure can lead in a long run to a more enjoyable experience, but initial feedback will always be one of disappointment as simply the player didn't get what they wanted to get when they pressed the button. I don't think they are many options, beyond:
1) devs trusting players to choose the experience that will be most fun for the players (reload or stick to the choices)
2) devs deciding that sticking with choices is a superior experience and enforce the choice - either by making it a flat, unmovable check or saving RNG seed like in FiraxCOM1 and I think Solasta - where after reload the roll is still the same.

I'm not making a qualitative suggestion here. I'm trying to trick the player into thinking that failure isn't always "failure" and success isn't always "success," so reloading the save is pointless because the quality of the end result is not guaranteed by the quality of the roll.


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Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
I'm trying to trick the player into thinking that failure isn't always "failure" and success isn't always "success," so reloading the save is pointless because the quality of the end result is not guaranteed by the quality of the roll.
They'd know based on the outcome, unless you hid the fact that a roll was taking place at all. I'm all for hiding rolls from the player as much as possible, especially when you're able to in a computer game, but the build up to and release of a skill check is part of the fun for a lot of people.

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Originally Posted by Wormerine
It is a game. It is just pixels on the screens
Are you trying to tell me that none of it is real?
The world isnt under brain invading alien invasion?

Yeah right, as if i would fall to such fallacy...
Next time you will telling me that im not actually a Gnome throwing fireballs. xD

Seriously tho ...
Maybe this *shocking reveal* should be told to OP aswell?

Originally Posted by Wormerine
If a design leads to undesired player behaviour, than that design is faulty, not the player.
I believe we both know by now, that i will never agree with this ...

Maybe if a design leads to undesired player behaviour for vast majority of players ... for wich we dont have data to know, luckily Larian do ...
But as long as you use singular, it IS players fault.

Originally Posted by Wormerine
A suggestion to hide game feedback is interesting, but I question if it would actually solve anything - so far success.failure states in BG3 have been very binary and would be obvious even without additional feedback.
My point exactly ...

---

Originally Posted by Silver/
However, I'm not the first person to find the unskipable dice animation annoying. A lot of people would surely like this feature just to skip it!
As far as i know, you can skip it ... by clicking your mouse.
If you were not able to, it sounds like a bug to me.

---

Originally Posted by Zerubbabel
Then you are motivated to accept whatever result you get if playing blind, as you do not know when rolling if winning or losing is what you want.
No, you are not ...
Savescummers gonna savescuming, it really is that easy.

Doesnt really matter what are you calling good, or bad, or sucess, or failure ... those numbers we see only help people call it proper name, but they are not the vilains in this story, they are victims.

The "problem", for lack of better therm, is that person who dislike whatever (and it doesnt really matter what, as avahZ Darkwood showed us) is happening in his game, have option to re-load and get different outcome.

And if you allready feel this urge ... you will feel it no matter if you fail with 1, or fail with 13 on difficiulty 14, or fail without knowing what number you throwed or/and what number you needed, or actually suceed but still didnt like the outcome ... you dont like what *IS* happening > you reload.

There is no way to stop this behaviour, except:
- Removing option to reload entirely. (as it was done in Vampyr ... personaly, i hated it)
- Or encouraging players with interesting situations in both cases, wich is exactly what Larian do. But that will never work on everyone.
- Or make saves so far from each other, so replaying it all would be too anoying for those players, so they rather accept the outome they dont like. (as it was done in early versions of BG-3 EA ... there certainly was lot of hate for that)
- OR ... and that is the worse possible way ... make all outcomes effectively the same (differs with just a little flavor), so it dont really matter in the end what choice you pick, or what do you roll. (as it was done in Dragon Age ... personaly, i hated it)
I really doubt there is any other way.

I say, embrace free will, let anyone to ruin their game just the way they want to ...
Its just like with cheats, no point in trying to develop some supereffective way for players to completely avoid them in single player game ... distribue them freely to players, dont hide them ... people will get their fun and quite soon find out that the game is a lot better without them. And thats when they grow.

---

Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
I have had to save scum some situations to be able to roleplay a character correctly. For example, I wanted the Tiefling kid to die by Kagha’s snake for role playing reasons to steal the idol and give it to Mol without the “evil” intentions for my rogue.
Im sory, what? O_o

It seems you and i have different deffinition of "Roleplaying" pal, but still ... can you elaborate a little futher?
How exactly can "wanting girl to die, so i can steal idol and give it to Mol" have roleplaying reasons? O_o

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 20/03/23 06:58 AM.

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I think no measure whatever would hinder people from savescumming. So I would say, leave it as it is, to spare ressources. But make the dice animation skippable, it's annoyingly slow. If there is a way to skip, I just did not discover it yet.

Otherwise it is a training effect. The game should tell you that also with a "fail" you get an interesting and successful story. Of course most of the players would not read/listen. In my case, I cannot remember that I reloaded even once when I did not "succeed" in dialogs. I reloaded on several occasions when I "succeeded", because I wanted to fail (to get a fight). There are only very very few checks in the EA in which I wanted to succeed 100% of time. I cannot remember a dialog, just checks for chests or "doors". And usually the reroll possibility from Inspiration is enough. The only situation where I would reload till success is the lever which allows you to skip the tedious moon puzzle (I don't like puzzles).

To the example in the OP's post, it's not a big problem if you fail the check at the door of the ruins. You get trapped but the following fight against the alerted bandits is not more difficult than if you succeeded in the dialog, I find it even easier to a certain extent. The more the player has such experiences, the more he/she may be inclined to accept dice rolls.

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Originally Posted by RagnarokCzD
Originally Posted by Wormerine
If a design leads to undesired player behaviour, than that design is faulty, not the player.
I believe we both know by now, that i will never agree with this ...

Maybe if a design leads to undesired player behaviour for vast majority of players ... for wich we dont have data to know, luckily Larian do ...
But as long as you use singular, it IS players fault.
You are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with pretty much every GDC talk I have ever watched. smile I only repeat what I have heard.

And I should know better that you will take one sentence out of context to make an empty straw-man argument. Of course, the problem arises only if it is detrimental to large enough amount of players. That is what I have written.

Neither of us have data about how many players use quick load so that’s not data we can discuss. Hopefully Larian is getting this stuff through telemetry. OP gave a specific feedback about a mechanic, and your response is being condescending because it doesn’t affect you. Fine, it also doesn’t affect me, but it also won’t affect either of us if one would find a way to improve the system.

At the very least it is interesting to discuss potential solutions.

And whatever you believe personally, it is not a non issue as otherwise cRPG wouldn’t look so fervently to find the solution to this problem. Creating success/failure scenarios and rewards for specific builds is meaningless if your playerbase will just brute force the system. And they might have more unified and uninteresting experience as the result.

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I think it's a really interesting idea to hide the DC, but show the roll. On almost any encounter you can almost guarantee that if you roll a natural 1 you failed and a natural 20 you succeeded.
I do think though that there would by many times you would be left wondering. I'm thinking of an encounter where you can help some travelers avoid certain death, and afterwards speak with them. There would be a persuasion or deception check about helping them deliver their goods. The possible results could be:

Success = They accept your help, load you up with a locked chest full of their valuable goods, and offer a reward when the goods are delivered intact.
OR They politely deny your help saying they have help on the way already.

Failure = They politely deny your help saying they have help on the way already
OR They accept your help, load you up with a locked chest full of junk, an offer a reward when the goods are delivered intact. However, on the way to deliver the goods, you get ambushed by a group of bandits that steal all of your gear and leave you on the side of the road unconscious if they win combat. (rather than just outright killing you)

There would be almost no way of knowing if you failed or succeeded if any of those 3 were the outcome. I mean if you rolled LOW you could assume failure and HIGH could assume success, but if failure or success might mean them politely denying your offer, how could you know what that means?

Originally Posted by geala
... I reloaded on several occasions when I "succeeded", because I wanted to fail (to get a fight). There are only very very few checks in the EA in which I wanted to succeed 100% of time......

.....but the following fight against the alerted bandits is not more difficult than if you succeeded in the dialog, I find it even easier to a certain extent. The more the player has such experiences, the more he/she may be inclined to accept dice rolls.

So I'm genuinely curious, why would you attempt something that you wanted to fail? I can't remember every encounter, but it seems like at least almost all of the give you the option to "Leave" or if you wanted to fight, there's an option to give a rude response at least. Even if there isn't that type of option to get out of dialog, if you want to fail a check so you can fight someone, why not just attack them afterward?

I think this is where I get annoyed/confused at the way the RP is being taken out of RPGs, and instead turning them into a game where there is a specific narrative you want to follow to get to a specific ending.
I personally feel like having outcome control taken away is one of the best things art like RPGs can do for us. Can you imagine what it would be like if we had no great novels but only "choose your own adventure" books where you could cheat to get the ending you think you wanted? Yuck!

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Originally Posted by iBowfish
I think this is where I get annoyed/confused at the way the RP is being taken out of RPGs, and instead turning them into a game where there is a specific narrative you want to follow to get to a specific ending.
I personally feel like having outcome control taken away is one of the best things art like RPGs can do for us.

I think this is interesting and is what took me some time to come around to as a non-TT player, despite having played a number of cRPGs in the past. For example, I’m one of those people who has a canon Shepard and replays her story every year or so (in the way I also reread favourite books), and I’d have found it really frustrating in Mass Effect not to be able re-experience her story because the game kept chucking random checks in. I guess I did see it as a bit of a choose your own adventure, in which I felt I’d created a story I really liked and wanted to be able to reliably recreate it.

That’s the mindset I came into BG3 with, so it was a bit of a culture shock to feel that all I could really control was my character and that same character could end up having very different stories depending on the luck of the dice. But then I decided to just roll with it (groan!) and now I’m a convert, in a way that no other cRPG has made me even those that do use RNGs. To the extent that I now actually would love the opportunity to replay the Mass Effect trilogy with my canon Shepard and have things go randomly wrong and have to somehow deal with it!

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Originally Posted by iBowfish
I think it's a really interesting idea to hide the DC, but show the roll. On almost any encounter you can almost guarantee that if you roll a natural 1 you failed and a natural 20 you succeeded.
I do think though that there would by many times you would be left wondering. I'm thinking of an encounter where you can help some travelers avoid certain death, and afterwards speak with them. There would be a persuasion or deception check about helping them deliver their goods. The possible results could be:

Success = They accept your help, load you up with a locked chest full of their valuable goods, and offer a reward when the goods are delivered intact.
OR They politely deny your help saying they have help on the way already.

Failure = They politely deny your help saying they have help on the way already
OR They accept your help, load you up with a locked chest full of junk, an offer a reward when the goods are delivered intact. However, on the way to deliver the goods, you get ambushed by a group of bandits that steal all of your gear and leave you on the side of the road unconscious if they win combat. (rather than just outright killing you)

There would be almost no way of knowing if you failed or succeeded if any of those 3 were the outcome. I mean if you rolled LOW you could assume failure and HIGH could assume success, but if failure or success might mean them politely denying your offer, how could you know what that means?

The problem I see here is that a player wouldn't know that the polite decline could be an option in either case. They'd see that they rolled low and got turned down, then reload until they got a high roll where their offer was accepted. That approach only works with meta knowledge. Also, just in general I feel like it's kind of cheating for succeeding a check to lead to a bad outcome. As least for a check to lead to a bad immediate outcome. I feel like

Originally Posted by geala
... I reloaded on several occasions when I "succeeded", because I wanted to fail (to get a fight). There are only very very few checks in the EA in which I wanted to succeed 100% of time......

.....but the following fight against the alerted bandits is not more difficult than if you succeeded in the dialog, I find it even easier to a certain extent. The more the player has such experiences, the more he/she may be inclined to accept dice rolls.

Originally Posted by iBowfish
So I'm genuinely curious, why would you attempt something that you wanted to fail? I can't remember every encounter, but it seems like at least almost all of the give you the option to "Leave" or if you wanted to fight, there's an option to give a rude response at least. Even if there isn't that type of option to get out of dialog, if you want to fail a check so you can fight someone, why not just attack them afterward?

I think this is where I get annoyed/confused at the way the RP is being taken out of RPGs, and instead turning them into a game where there is a specific narrative you want to follow to get to a specific ending.
I personally feel like having outcome control taken away is one of the best things art like RPGs can do for us. Can you imagine what it would be like if we had no great novels but only "choose your own adventure" books where you could cheat to get the ending you think you wanted? Yuck!

I think you have the wrong idea about what Gaela is doing here. I see what he's doing as another extension of role-playing. At this point he's very likely done EA content to death story wise. So now he's using the capacity to choose in the game to make HIS OWN personal story that he can see play out uniquely, based on what he what he wants to see. If he's already at a point where he knows the possible outcomes, then the natural next step is leveraging that knowledge to make unique stories. I know that for games like Pillars of Eternity or Pathfinder, after my first or second time through, I start planning out my characters and their arcs so I can see them run through and experience all the little variations and such. That's usually when I get my favorite playthroughs. And where most games only give you one story, RPGs give you room to create a whole bunch of stories.

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