D&D 5E 5e consequence-resolution

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
To clarify, the meaningful consequences of success are those that brought the player to do as they described. That's not reified within the game system.
Yes and no. The player may describe an attempt to impress the princess, and a success may do that. The consequences of that success may not be what the player intended or wanted or may include things outside what the player intended to happen. The PC may get the princess to do something, but her father may want the influential peon out of the way and start bad things.
 

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Hussar

Legend
I have to admit, I've leaned a lot harder into the whole, "don't bother rolling" thing of late. If the players do something, there's no time pressure and they're making an earnest attempt - I'll just give the success. That "roll for traps" thing and "unlock the door" Thing gets kinda old after a while. I'm perfectly willing to just get past it. "The door is locked." "I try to open it" "Ok, after a minute or so, you open the door". I tend just not to bother with superfluous die rolling anymore.

To be fair though, my players do absolutely insist on rolling a die every single time. It can run into a bit of conflict actually. I'm perfectly willing to let things go - the door is locked, but, you are skilled enough to open it with time? Ok, the door isn't locked anymore. But, I've got players who will sit there and roll and reroll over and over again to make sure they "succeed".

It's unbelievable how hard it is to untrain some of this learned behavior.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Presumably they assumed this thing was the easiest, but it didn't work, so now they need to try something else. What is changed is that they now know what doesn't work.
That's....not changing the situation. Like, at all. "X didn't work" is not, in and of itself, a change of situation. "X didn't work, so now we have to fight our way through the guards" is a change of situation. "You literally just fail and absolutely nothing happens" doesn't include that.

Why is there some one specific thing that must happen in the first place? Sure, you can do this, but is seems rather linear and railroady. Success and failure doesn't actually alter the course of the path, they merely affect how bumpy the ride is.
Now THAT we can agree on.
So....you'd never write an adventure where the players get trapped somewhere and have to escape somehow? That's an adventure where a specific event--escape--HAS to happen in order to proceed.

That's obviously a neat, simple example. But there are TONS of stories where the only sensible path forward requires certain events to occur. E.g. there's a problem far away that needs to be resolved, that means the party needs to do one specific thing...get there. Or there's a location that needs to be found before someone else finds it, which means the party needs to do one specific thing...find it.

Like I said: it's actually a lot harder than people give credit for to absolutely avoid ever possibly giving situations where some particular thing needs to happen.
 

Hussar

Legend
See you can see it right there. “Linear and railroady”. This conflation with linear and railroad makes discussion so difficult

Linear is not in any way related to railroading.
 

I have to admit, I've leaned a lot harder into the whole, "don't bother rolling" thing of late. If the players do something, there's no time pressure and they're making an earnest attempt - I'll just give the success. That "roll for traps" thing and "unlock the door" Thing gets kinda old after a while. I'm perfectly willing to just get past it. "The door is locked." "I try to open it" "Ok, after a minute or so, you open the door". I tend just not to bother with superfluous die rolling anymore.

To be fair though, my players do absolutely insist on rolling a die every single time. It can run into a bit of conflict actually. I'm perfectly willing to let things go - the door is locked, but, you are skilled enough to open it with time? Ok, the door isn't locked anymore. But, I've got players who will sit there and roll and reroll over and over again to make sure they "succeed".

It's unbelievable how hard it is to untrain some of this learned behavior.
Players like to roll the dice, And I often let them. Though I totally agree that tediously rolling and rerolling the same task when under no time pressure is just silly and waste of time.

But I don't think this is just learned behaviour (though that's certainly part of it.) Players want to feel that their build choices matter, so just giving an autosuccess might feel like they don't. I often try to connect an autosuccess to something the PC has "Oh, you have an expertise in this, no need to roll," "Oh, due your background you just know this, no need to roll." Then it feels less that there was no obstacle at all and anyone could have just breezed through it, and more that due the build choices the player made they specifically could.

Also, for the situation you describe, one could still roll, but do it something like this: "You're skilled enough to do this eventually, but roll once to see how quickly you can do it." Better roll, faster completion. It might be just flavour, but to me that's fine, if it is just one roll. Also, the players don't always know whether the matter is time sensitive or not. For example the GM might know that there is no one nearby who could stumble on them picking that lock, but the players don't necessarily know that.
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
But I don't think this is just learned behaviour (though that's certainly part of it.) Players want to feel that their build choices matter, so just giving an autosuccess might feel like they don't. I often try to connect an autosuccess to something the PC has "Oh, you have an expertise in this, no need to roll," "Oh, due your background you just now this, no need to roll." Then it feels less that there was no obstacle at all and anyone could have just breezed through it, and more that due the build choices the player made they specifically could.
I feel that, too. It seems right to me to take player choices, and their descriptions and efforts to constrain or lock in consequences, into account. Frex, take the classic question - is the dirt in the safe? I want player to stitch me up as a DM... make it so I can't deliver a gotcha without being a spoilsport. There are a million ways to do that, but a few include
  • Draw attention to their choices in chargen or advancement (as you point out)
  • Describe in a way that rules out some kinds of consequences, and rules in others (e.g. "I search the desk drawers first, then turn to the safe" rules out the possibility the dirt is in the desk drawers.)
  • Play out preparation like pressing lackeys for the location of the dirt (e.g. "The accountant puts the books every night in the safe: they know its contents. Let's find out if they have any peccadillos we can lean on...")
  • Invest resources like spell slots and classs feature uses ("...or maybe they'll take a bribe?")
  • etc
 

Hussar

Legend
To be fair, my players are generally rolling first and then telling me what they're trying to do. More the, "I try to do X, 15 on my Y skill, do I do it?" There's very, very few times when I'm actually asking for rolls. I don't mind, mind you. It's perfectly fine. We all know what's going on and waiting for me to call for rolls isn't really all that needed - there's a door, the rogue is going to check it for traps, why bother asking me for a roll? Just roll and move on.

Then again, I tend to look at rolls as providing direction. We provide the script and dialogue. Combine the two together and you get a fun time.
 

To be fair, my players are generally rolling first and then telling me what they're trying to do. More the, "I try to do X, 15 on my Y skill, do I do it?" There's very, very few times when I'm actually asking for rolls. I don't mind, mind you. It's perfectly fine. We all know what's going on and waiting for me to call for rolls isn't really all that needed - there's a door, the rogue is going to check it for traps, why bother asking me for a roll? Just roll and move on.

Then again, I tend to look at rolls as providing direction. We provide the script and dialogue. Combine the two together and you get a fun time.
If it works for you, then great, but that's definitely not how it is supposed to be done. And I wouldn't like it. It puts the GM in awkward position of having to decide the DC and stakes after they know what the player has rolled.
 


Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
That's....not changing the situation. Like, at all. "X didn't work" is not, in and of itself, a change of situation. "X didn't work, so now we have to fight our way through the guards" is a change of situation. "You literally just fail and absolutely nothing happens" doesn't include that.



So....you'd never write an adventure where the players get trapped somewhere and have to escape somehow? That's an adventure where a specific event--escape--HAS to happen in order to proceed.

I would never write an adventure where, in order to escape, a lock must be picked.
 


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