D&D 5E 5e consequence-resolution

Hussar

Legend
I take the second route because I want to know how they try to persuade the guard. If they use information in the game to use an approach that is very likely to succeed…well, that’s more likely to succeed. Ideally I don’t need the skill system at all: the players have been paying attention and say something very persuasive. At that point I don’t see what it adds to the game to give it an 80% chance and leave it to the dice. It just works.
Yeah, I do agree with this. I'd rather they went one way or the other, to be honest, as @Ovinomancer rightly points out. If we're going that route, then bugger trying to have mechanics. Just do the old AD&D approach and us a D20 Roll High method if something is in doubt. Or, my favorite, the D-Wayne system where you ask someone named Wayne if the attempt succeeds. :D

Or, if you're going to have a system, have one that actually functions without needing constant oversight and placing the DM front and center of every single check. There are all sorts of skill systems out there with all sorts of different methodology. I just find the 5e skill system to be really lacking. Most of the time, IME, it's rolling for the sake of rolling.

@Ovinomancer said:
5e is not a "if you do it you do it" game. I've had some of the worst experiences in a "hot table" game where the GM leapt at utterances and gleefully engaged consequences. I was often that GM.

Oh yeah. Totally agree here. Been there, done that. Been that too. :p

Heck, in today's session, I was running Candlekeep Mysteries - the "zikram's zepherian tome" adventure, and there's a bunch of skill checks in there for no real reason. Here's a perfect example:

"Treasure: The chest is 5 feet long, 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. It weighs 250 pounds and the padlock holding it shut is frozen solid. Any character using theives' tools can spend 1 minute trying to remove the padlock, doing so with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. Attempting this check without first melting the ice in and around the padlock imposes disadvantage on the roll. The ches contains ((Treasure - redacted for spoilers))."

WHY IS THAT A CHECK? There is no time issue here. None. There's absolutely no reason for any of this. It should be, "The chest is locked with a padlock. The padlock is frozen. It takes a character about 1 minute with thieve's tools to open the lock" There is zero reason why this has a DC. It doesn't need it. It doesn't add anything. It's completely, and utterly, pointless. And this is hardly the only example. Virtually every single skill check in the entire adventure is like this. Totally pointless. Needless dice fapping. Grrr.
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Yeah, I do agree with this. I'd rather they went one way or the other, to be honest, as @Ovinomancer rightly points out. If we're going that route, then bugger trying to have mechanics. Just do the old AD&D approach and us a D20 Roll High method if something is in doubt. Or, my favorite, the D-Wayne system where you ask someone named Wayne if the attempt succeeds. :D

Or, if you're going to have a system, have one that actually functions without needing constant oversight and placing the DM front and center of every single check. There are all sorts of skill systems out there with all sorts of different methodology. I just find the 5e skill system to be really lacking. Most of the time, IME, it's rolling for the sake of rolling.
Task resolution systems don't function well without someone establishing the DC of whatever task is being attempted.

Oh yeah. Totally agree here. Been there, done that. Been that too. :p

Heck, in today's session, I was running Candlekeep Mysteries - the "zikram's zepherian tome" adventure, and there's a bunch of skill checks in there for no real reason. Here's a perfect example:

"Treasure: The chest is 5 feet long, 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. It weighs 250 pounds and the padlock holding it shut is frozen solid. Any character using theives' tools can spend 1 minute trying to remove the padlock, doing so with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. Attempting this check without first melting the ice in and around the padlock imposes disadvantage on the roll. The ches contains ((Treasure - redacted for spoilers))."

WHY IS THAT A CHECK? There is no time issue here. None. There's absolutely no reason for any of this. It should be, "The chest is locked with a padlock. The padlock is frozen. It takes a character about 1 minute with thieve's tools to open the lock" There is zero reason why this has a DC. It doesn't need it. It doesn't add anything. It's completely, and utterly, pointless. And this is hardly the only example. Virtually every single skill check in the entire adventure is like this. Totally pointless. Needless dice fapping. Grrr.
Presumably if they couldn't open the chest they would entirely miss out on getting what was inside? Sounds meaningful to me.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Given how many times people have explicitly said that I am advocating that players should always succeed, despite me explicitly and repeatedly rejecting that notion, you shouldn't be surprised to know that I feel the same way. Like... how many times do I have to say, point-blank, zero embellishment or equivocation, "players do not have to always succeed ar everything they attempt," in order for it to actually get the message across? And yet three people (yourself, Crimson Longinus, and Oofta) have repeatedly replied with (paraphrased) "well I'm not interested in players never failing/always succeeding."

Huh? I haven't been exactly monitoring what others are saying, but if that's what you got from my posts then either I'm choosing my words really poorly, you are reading something into them that's not there, or both.

I'm not the one saying that players should just absolutely, totally, unequivocally fail with literally nothing else and zero change of situation here!

I'm not saying they should, I'm saying there's nothing wrong with it happening. There's a difference.

I gave it as an example because of exactly the things you describe: that the PCs' failure, which is still a failure, does not come at the cost of "welp, guess the game is over because plans A-C failed." Instead, it comes at some other cost: indebtedness, servitude, loss of allies or resources, failure to secure and protect the things that matter to the characters, damage to the world (whether locally or globally), compromises to the characters' morals or principles, being forced into a Sophie's choice or "damned if you do, damned if you don't," suffering tarnished reputation...

There are so, so, SO many different things you can do that still sting, sometimes badly, that don't just halt play in its tracks. So why are people so welcoming of "yeah sure, just let play grind to a total halt on this" when there's an enormous spectrum of better, more interesting costs and, yes, FAILURES than "you literally just fail and literally nothing happens," the phrase I have repeatedly used and which people have repeatedly defended as what they want to see?

Honestly I'm not sure what you're arguing with me about here. Nor am I even sure what the general arc of your position has been in this thread. You made a couple of (what felt to me like) out of the blue comments about "so you would never have an escape scenario?" or something like that, and I was all "WTF?"
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I'm not saying they should, I'm saying there's nothing wrong with it happening. There's a difference.
No, there isn't. "It happens some of the time" means it eventually happens. That's how iterative probability works. Same reason why crit fumble rules are bad. "You fall on your sword" is a ridiculous thing for anyone with weapons training to do, but double-crit-fails happen 1 time in 400, and any character that lasts long enough is going to make a lot more than 400 attack rolls. (E.g., a level 5 Fighter fighting only four 4-round combats a day makes 32 attacks a day. So, we'd expect them to crit fumble about three times every two days, slightly more than that actually. That means we'd expect them to double crit-fumble about once every two weeks, because that would give about 21 crit fumbles.)

Honestly I'm not sure what you're arguing with me about here. Nor am I even sure what the general arc of your position has been in this thread. You made a couple of (what felt to me like) out of the blue comments about "so you would never have an escape scenario?" or something like that, and I was all "WTF?"
You had said, "Now THAT we can agree on." This was in response to Crimson Longinus saying, "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."

I then replied with something where (it seems to me) one specific thing must happen in order for the story to progress: an escape scenario. If you literally just fail to escape and literally nothing else happens--again, what I've repeatedly given as the standard here, which people seemed perfectly willing to accept--then the game simply dead ends. No new story. No new events. No new consequences. Just sitting there because you failed to escape. That seems, pretty much definitionally, boring.

Literally all of the other things that have been proposed involve something else happening or something more than literally just failing.
 
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Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
No, there isn't. "It happens some of the time" means it eventually happens.


You had said, "Now THAT we can agree on." This was in response to Crimson Longinus saying, "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."

I then replied with something where (it seems to me) one specific thing must happen in order for the story to progress: an escape scenario. If you literally just fail to escape and literally nothing else happens--again, what I've repeatedly given as the standard here, which people seemed perfectly willing to accept--then the game simply dead ends. No new story. No new events. No new consequences. Just sitting there because you failed to escape. That seems, pretty much definitionally, boring.

Literally all of the other things that have been proposed involve something else happening or something more than literally just failing.

Yeah you were reading something into that that wasn't intended. I thought I was saying something uncontroversial.

I meant that I would never (for example) lock up the party and then have picking the lock on the door be the only possible way to escape.

"Can I try to seduce the guard?" "No, he's asexual. You'll have to pick the lock." "What if I rage and try to tear the bars out?" "Adamantium. Pick the lock." "Use bread crumbs to lure birds in through the window, train them, and use them to send messages to the. Harpers?" "There's no window. Pick the $%#%ing lock." "Ok. I rolled a 5. Minus 1 makes 4." "You're stuck there forever. Roll a new character."

Not that.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
I then replied with something where (it seems to me) one specific thing must happen in order for the story to progress: an escape scenario. If you literally just fail to escape and literally nothing else happens--again, what I've repeatedly given as the standard here, which people seemed perfectly willing to accept--then the game simply dead ends. No new story. No new events. No new consequences. Just sitting there because you failed to escape. That seems, pretty much definitionally, boring.
It's an interesting case. I would say that failure = end of campaign is not a meaningful consequence, because - for me at least - one of the qualities of a meaningful consequence is that it goes on that matters. If the campaign ends, there is no "going on".

So I suspect in that case either the group have made a mistake, or they will have turned their thoughts to the terms of escape.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Yeah, I do agree with this. I'd rather they went one way or the other, to be honest, as @Ovinomancer rightly points out. If we're going that route, then bugger trying to have mechanics. Just do the old AD&D approach and us a D20 Roll High method if something is in doubt. Or, my favorite, the D-Wayne system where you ask someone named Wayne if the attempt succeeds. :D

Or, if you're going to have a system, have one that actually functions without needing constant oversight and placing the DM front and center of every single check. There are all sorts of skill systems out there with all sorts of different methodology. I just find the 5e skill system to be really lacking. Most of the time, IME, it's rolling for the sake of rolling.
The period when we rolled most - with a feel of sometimes rolling for the sake of rolling - was when we'd read the PHB but still hadn't read and thought much about the DMG. What I'm observing is almost as if there are two different skill systems in 5e. A casual one that is often used, where groups quite likely roll a lot. It's no worse than the quite ad-hoc systems back in the day, but it can play out worse if it isn't matched with descriptive-play. And a strict one that is much less commonly used, where groups roll far less often.

Oh yeah. Totally agree here. Been there, done that. Been that too. :p

Heck, in today's session, I was running Candlekeep Mysteries - the "zikram's zepherian tome" adventure, and there's a bunch of skill checks in there for no real reason. Here's a perfect example:

"Treasure: The chest is 5 feet long, 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. It weighs 250 pounds and the padlock holding it shut is frozen solid. Any character using theives' tools can spend 1 minute trying to remove the padlock, doing so with a successful DC 15 Dexterity check. Attempting this check without first melting the ice in and around the padlock imposes disadvantage on the roll. The ches contains ((Treasure - redacted for spoilers))."

WHY IS THAT A CHECK? There is no time issue here. None. There's absolutely no reason for any of this. It should be, "The chest is locked with a padlock. The padlock is frozen. It takes a character about 1 minute with thieve's tools to open the lock" There is zero reason why this has a DC. It doesn't need it. It doesn't add anything. It's completely, and utterly, pointless. And this is hardly the only example. Virtually every single skill check in the entire adventure is like this. Totally pointless. Needless dice fapping. Grrr.
Under the "consequences-resolution" I'm advocating, the presence of a DC is not what obliges a roll. It's available to use if a roll is justified.
 

Hussar

Legend
Task resolution systems don't function well without someone establishing the DC of whatever task is being attempted.


Presumably if they couldn't open the chest they would entirely miss out on getting what was inside? Sounds meaningful to me.
Oh, I agree that DC's of some sort need to be established. Not really my point. My point is that the DC's are almost always entirely arbitrary and mostly random, with all sorts of auto-success thrown in for fun. Why can I always jump a certain distance but, I cannot always open a lock or move quietly?

Yeah... as far as consequences go that's not very consequential. Since there is zero time constraint (and there isn't. there is literally NO time constraint at all.) and we're talking about a padlock, umm, it takes a couple of minutes with a crowbar. That shouldn't be a check. It should be automatic.

That's my point though. The rules are so scattered, vague and poorly defined that even professional game designers can't really use them. It's really the worst of both worlds. Too detailed and crunchy for a simple system but, too vague and inconsistent for a decent crunchy system.
 

Oofta

Legend
...
Or, if you're going to have a system, have one that actually functions without needing constant oversight and placing the DM front and center of every single check. There are all sorts of skill systems out there with all sorts of different methodology. I just find the 5e skill system to be really lacking. Most of the time, IME, it's rolling for the sake of rolling.
...

Such as? Because the only ones I've seen give you a set DC for say a brick wall. But the DM is the one who decides it's a brick wall in the first place. It gives the illusion of objectiveness only. Is there some other system?
 

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