Originally Posted by TomReneth
I don't particularly mind the option to save scum in single player games. But I do think that when players feel incentivised to do so regularly, there might be a problem with how things are designed.
This is a very solid summary of the matter...

As a DM, I don't let my players "take back" their rolls. Them failing at something just becomes part of the story going forward and gets incorporated into the way content unfolds. And I can do that because my stories are only as limited as I make them. A game, on the other hand, have very strict limitations for what it can and cannot do. Failing dice rolls can easily just lock you out of content and the more rolls you have to do in a row, the less likely you are to succeed. Failing a dice roll only to have someone blow up the entire room, likely killing you, is particularly annoying.

Let's take the Zhentarim hideout as an example. I don't remember the exact DCs, but they're not too bad individually. I think ~12 to 15 in increasing difficulty or thereabouts. So let's say the 4 skill checks are 12, 13, 14 and 15. Let's further assume you have 16 Dexterity and Charisma, as well as proficiency where it is relevant.

First check: Pure dex, so 9 or higher with +3.
Second check: 8 or higher with +5.
Third check: 9 or higher with +5.
Fourth check: 10 or higher with +5.

That's 4 checks that are each nearly just a coinflip that you have to pass. A rough headcalc. estimate gives me somewhere between 8 and 12% chance of success WITH the stats and proficiencies relevant. Even with Guidance (+1d4), you're looking at maybe 20% chance of making it. You can bypass having to do these specific checks via a quest, but that's not exactly obvious until you've done it and if you bumble your way into the place before that, you can lock this part out with a single bad roll.

Previous D&D games like Neverwinter Nights had mechanics like "Take 10" or whatever it was, where you could often bypass having to make a roll by simply checking your current bonus. This was typically done outside of combat and was a way to reward players for investing in a skill. We even have something like it in BG3 with the class specific dialogue options.

I think one possibly solution would be to alter how some (not all) of these interactions work. Instead of automatically going to the dice roll, maybe having proficiency with a skill could sometimes be counted as an automatic success. Let's say giving us the option to bypass DCs that would be equal to or lesse than 8 + skill bonus if (and only if) we're proficient.
...And this a perfect example of it.
It has been said countless times over the years and across several games, but the "trick" is designing the entire game under the assumption that even failing every single dialogue/story skill check won't just "lock you out of things" but simply opens new possibilities. Even at cost of putting some cleverly disguised crutch to help the player... Which doesn't mean "loaded dice". It means that the failure must become the starting point of a new scenario rather than an excuse to bash the players on their head.

A perfect example of this already present in BG3 is when the priestess captures you and if you fail the TWO chances to free yourself the game "cheats" and sends you a new NPC (a dwarf woman) introducing herself as one of Raphael's lackeys and freeing you instead... This time remarking that "You will own him one" for the favor.
See? It's a failure, but it's one that opens a new narrative scenario instead of cutting you out interesting content. Hell, arguably it's MORE Interesting that just succeeding.

Last edited by Tuco; 11/04/21 04:10 PM.

Party control in Baldur's Gate 3 is a complete mess that begs to be addressed. SAY NO TO THE TOILET CHAIN