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.

So, no, at no point have I talked about auto-success, easy rolls, or wand waving. This is talking about giving level 1 players, who also might be new to D&D and don't think high CHA + Guidance + disguise self, of course! immediately, to have some progressively more challenging & interesting attempts to resolve what is an interesting hook - the freedom and life of a refugee child. You don't need to kill the kid immediately to get the message across that she is willing to imprison or harm children fleeing from literal hell to find a safe home.


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)?