D&D 5E 5e consequence-resolution


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Oofta

Legend
Sure. Comprehensive list is impossible and impractical. But I don't think a little bit more would hurt. Setting some benchmarks that help extrapolating. Perhaps skill descriptions could have some sample DCs for common uses? I don't know, this is not a thing that is a problem for me, as I have my own internalised model, but I can see how new GMs might benefit from having a bit more examples.
Let's take a hypothetical. WOTC hires or assigns someone to be "The Decider". Any scenario that comes up, they give a target DC. The information is then logged and added to a searchable database in DndBeyond. Slowly, over time, you would have an example of most potential scenarios.

My hypothetical is a bit exaggerated, but my real question is: would it add value? Yeah you have an "official" answer, but it's still just a judgment call. A judgment call made by someone that doesn't know the group, the style of the DM.

Furthermore, from past experience, some players would insist you use the official rule no matter how improvised the scene is or how much it breaks up the flow of the game. It's not as big of an issue if everything is planned ahead so the DM is prepared, it can be a huge impediment.

Given that everything can be improved, at least for some people, I don't think a comprehensive list would be practical or an improvement. We could get more guidance, but I don't know when enough would be enough.
 

I would like a skill system that is at least as complex as the combat system. Or, at the very least, anything more than just "Here's the bonus on your d20 roll, make everything else up as you go along."

While I would love that, my hunch is that it can’t be done for “a skill system.” It would have to be done for each activity. E.g. a haggling system as complex as combat, a swimming system as complex as combat, a tracking system as complex as combat, etc.
 

While I would love that, my hunch is that it can’t be done for “a skill system.” It would have to be done for each activity. E.g. a haggling system as complex as combat, a swimming system as complex as combat, a tracking system as complex as combat, etc.
I would settle for skills that take up 1/4 of the system and interact with social and exploration encounters
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
While I would love that, my hunch is that it can’t be done for “a skill system.” It would have to be done for each activity. E.g. a haggling system as complex as combat, a swimming system as complex as combat, a tracking system as complex as combat, etc.

Or you could ditch attributes and skills and instead have action ratings. Then combat and non-combat actions can all be resolved similarly, which means that non-combat can be as robust as combat (if other elements are designed with this in mind). It also frees up the player to decide why they're good at a given action, whether it's a quality of skill or aptitude or physicality, etc.

It also avoids the need for several systems that you suggest.
 

Or you could ditch attributes and skills and instead have action ratings. Then combat and non-combat actions can all be resolved similarly, which means that non-combat can be as robust as combat (if other elements are designed with this in mind). It also frees up the player to decide why they're good at a given action, whether it's a quality of skill or aptitude or physicality, etc.

It also avoids the need for several systems that you suggest.
yeah a strength of WoD for 'other then combat' is that everything works the same... if melee and ranged attacks were skill checks at a DC (or ability checks if not prof) that would help
 

Oofta

Legend
While I would love that, my hunch is that it can’t be done for “a skill system.” It would have to be done for each activity. E.g. a haggling system as complex as combat, a swimming system as complex as combat, a tracking system as complex as combat, etc.
They tried that with skill challenges, but while I initially thought they were a good idea it always seemed like they were too broadly applied. They're a hammer, but not everything is a nail. I still use the concepts now and then, but in a much broader and more flexible form.

If something is as simple as opening a chest, I'm not sure what you can do. Either you open the lock, or you don't. Either you can open the lock quickly, or it takes a while. Perhaps you can get it open but it takes a while and in the process you destroy the lock.
 

If something is as simple as opening a chest, I'm not sure what you can do. Either you open the lock, or you don't. Either you can open the lock quickly, or it takes a while. Perhaps you can get it open but it takes a while and in the process you destroy the lock.

I'll use that example to illustrate what I mean.

Combat could be described the same binary way: either you win, or the other guy wins. But most games don't do that: they using sliding scales for health, and track positioning, and give you choices of different moves and counter-moves.

So we could represent lockpicking the same way: model different kinds of locks, have various skills that make you better at manipulating pins vs. tumblers, tracking each one independently, etc, with a failure at any point meaning that you had to start over, or the lock is broken, or it's just beyond your ability, etc. We could build an entire sub-system for just lockpicking.

But that sub-system wouldn't apply to other skills (haggling, tracking, climbing, horseback riding, forging documents, cooking, etc.) for two reasons:
1. The mechanics that would evoke each of those activities, with the risks involved, would vary.
2. The fluff that gives meaning to the abstract mechanics would vary dramatically.

I guess I just believe that any multi-step conflict/task resolution system designed to apply to any scenario is not going to address any one scenario in a very meaningful, engaging way.
 

Oofta

Legend
I'll use that example to illustrate what I mean.

Combat could be described the same binary way: either you win, or the other guy wins. But most games don't do that: they using sliding scales for health, and track positioning, and give you choices of different moves and counter-moves.

So we could represent lockpicking the same way: model different kinds of locks, have various skills that make you better at manipulating pins vs. tumblers, tracking each one independently, etc, with a failure at any point meaning that you had to start over, or the lock is broken, or it's just beyond your ability, etc. We could build an entire sub-system for just lockpicking.

But that sub-system wouldn't apply to other skills (haggling, tracking, climbing, horseback riding, forging documents, cooking, etc.) for two reasons:
1. The mechanics that would evoke each of those activities, with the risks involved, would vary.
2. The fluff that gives meaning to the abstract mechanics would vary dramatically.

I guess I just believe that any multi-step conflict/task resolution system designed to apply to any scenario is not going to address any one scenario in a very meaningful, engaging way.
Thanks for the explanation, but it goes back to the same issue. How do you have guidelines when there are so many things someone could potentially attempt?

I still do some things in stages. The example we had above of climbing the side of the building for example. In my scenario it could involve several checks, a perception check to see the rain gutter coming down the side of the building. Perhaps there's an investigation check to let them know that the rain gutter is exposed to the street so if they want to use the rain gutter (a very easy DC 5 so probably automatic for someone with training in athletics) they'll need a stealth check as well to time it for when no one will notice. Perhaps there's a complication and the rain gutter breaks free, make an athletics check to leap the rest of the way to the top or an acrobatics check to hold on to the rain gutter but then flip to where you can land on an edge. In

But that's all very much about what's going to fit the scene, what's going to be fun for the group, does it add tension. In a lot of cases, it's just going to be "there's a rain gutter you can climb" because I want to keep the story flowing. I'm not sure how to create a system that would give me a tense scene with multiple checks unless the TTRPG is very narrowly focused. I'm open to ideas and suggestions, but anything we do should be easy to resolve and relatively simple.
 

Thanks for the explanation, but it goes back to the same issue. How do you have guidelines when there are so many things someone could potentially attempt?
I mean we have guidelines for combat... and if there is one thing I have found in my almost 30 years of gaming is that PCs will find actions that NO ONE saw coming...
 

Oofta

Legend
I mean we have guidelines for combat... and if there is one thing I have found in my almost 30 years of gaming is that PCs will find actions that NO ONE saw coming...
At which point I fall back on how to handle skill checks difficulty chart and have the PC make a roll against the appropriate DC if resolution is uncertain. 🤷‍♂️
 

At which point I fall back on how to handle skill checks difficulty chart and have the PC make a roll against the appropriate DC if resolution is uncertain. 🤷‍♂️
I mean you can have the same rules you have for AC... just remove the term AC and have setting the DC to do something fall on the chart...

this even enhances combat "Last round i needed to hit DC 12 but this round it is 15"
 


That works if the "combat system" you are adapting has nothing but "I swing my sword" every round.
that is 100% false. WoD had combat maneuvers and weapon modifiers and even a game with all the street fighter special moves while D&D was still in 2e.


just off the top of my head I can imagine an entire book of 9 swords full of maneuvers and special abilities...

heck every supernatural in the WoD has combat, and social special powers... most have exploration ones too
 

Oofta

Legend
I mean you can have the same rules you have for AC... just remove the term AC and have setting the DC to do something fall on the chart...

this even enhances combat "Last round i needed to hit DC 12 but this round it is 15"
True. Maybe just have increments and then attach labels so it would be easier. So 10 could be "easy" and "moderate" could be 15. If only. :unsure:
 

that is 100% false. WoD had combat maneuvers and weapon modifiers and even a game with all the street fighter special moves while D&D was still in 2e.


just off the top of my head I can imagine an entire book of 9 swords full of maneuvers and special abilities...

heck every supernatural in the WoD has combat, and social special powers... most have exploration ones too
My point was clearly missed. But I may have misunderstood the post I was responding to.
 

Hussar

Legend
So I'll ask again. What options are there that would be better?
And, I'll answer again.

1. Character based success. If the DC's are more or less static between a range of 10-20, then it doesn't really matter does it? Your odds of success will always be the same. So, skip the whole thing and just hand it to the players.

2. These so called "indexed" difficulties. Not a bad idea.

3. A more robust system, similar to the level of complexity of the combat system, where using a skill isn't simply a "roll high" system with a vague bit of justification after the fact. Granted, that one's a bit beyond my skill level to develop, but, they do exist in a number of other games.

I'm sure that there are several more options. However, since these three have been mentioned, in this thread at least once, and in other threads repeatedly, I'm not really sure how much closer to the water I can lead you.
 

Hussar

Legend
While I would love that, my hunch is that it can’t be done for “a skill system.” It would have to be done for each activity. E.g. a haggling system as complex as combat, a swimming system as complex as combat, a tracking system as complex as combat, etc.
I agree. You likely would need a few systems here as we've lumped everything that isn't combat into one system - skills. So, it's the same system for persuasion as climbing as handling an animal. Which, really, it probably shouldn't be. Like I said, we'd need to add a fair degree of complexity here, even if the underlying d20 system can still function as a chassis.
 

Oofta

Legend
And, I'll answer again.

1. Character based success. If the DC's are more or less static between a range of 10-20, then it doesn't really matter does it? Your odds of success will always be the same. So, skip the whole thing and just hand it to the players.
I have no idea what that means. Success is not guaranteed if the DC is between 10 and 20. I do have people automatically succeed at some things, especially at higher levels if they are trained.
2. These so called "indexed" difficulties. Not a bad idea.
Degrees of success and failure is covered in the DMG. I don't think it applies to every single check. Sometimes you succeed or not.
3. A more robust system, similar to the level of complexity of the combat system, where using a skill isn't simply a "roll high" system with a vague bit of justification after the fact. Granted, that one's a bit beyond my skill level to develop, but, they do exist in a number of other games.
Such as? We had skill challenges. I still use a similar, but more flexible, structure at times. However, too often that structure as written just ended up in multiple checks by whoever had the highest modifier. The chase rules can give you an idea of how to expand into a more complex scenario, sometimes it applies but other times it does not. If you are attempting to open a lock, how much complexity do you want or need?

If you want to discuss some options, cool. I've given some examples of how I run more complex challenges myself. But just saying "do it better" isn't a discussion, it's a non-starter with nowhere to go.

I'm sure that there are several more options. However, since these three have been mentioned, in this thread at least once, and in other threads repeatedly, I'm not really sure how much closer to the water I can lead you.
I've asked for options, different ways of doing things. So far ... not much other than broad assertions with no actual suggestions.
 

3. A more robust system, similar to the level of complexity of the combat system, where using a skill isn't simply a "roll high" system with a vague bit of justification after the fact. Granted, that one's a bit beyond my skill level to develop, but, they do exist in a number of other games.
Is combat not the same, though? Roll high to hit a higher AC. It’s not really more complex. What am I missing here?

Also, the Ability Check system in 5e is not something the DM justifies “after the fact”.

Examples:
After a player says their PC would like to pick a lock: “This lock looks a bit involved, but not too difficult, it will be a DC 15 Dexterity(Thieves Tools) check to unlock. On a success, it pops open quickly; on a failure, it’s going to take you at least 10 minutes and be a bit noisy”.

After a player declares their PC would like to smash a door down: “This door is well reinforced, to break it down will require a DC 20 Strength check. Feel free to add Athletics proficiency if you have it. On a success, the door will bust open. On a failure, the door won’t budge, you’ll make a racket and take 1d4 bludgeoning damage.”

Etc.

The stakes can be given ahead of time to represent that the PC’s are capable adventurers who have a sense of what they are doing. The meaningful consequences of failure can also be shared ahead of time if the DM chooses to do so.
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

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