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.