RPG Theory - Intelligence and meta-intelligence

aia_2

Custom title
Like I said, this does not work. When you tell the average player additional information......they will act like a average player. They can't "really" act smarter then they are: they can only be who they are. You can give a player piles of information, but it is what they DO with the information that is important.

Example: the group wants to slay a green dragon, but finds the lair well protected. The average player sits in a slump and rolls and asks the DM "can my smart character think of something". So the DM reminds the player about the bit of lore learned in the last game: "this dragon likes good music and has been know to attend private music shows in deep wooded glades to listen to music." The average player just ignores this lore, yet again "darn, my super smart character can't think of anything". So the DM could take the second step of telling the average player that their smart character thinks setting up a music glade ambush is a great idea. The average player might agree, but if they do, this is now the DMs railroad: The players are just doing what the DM told them to do. Worse the average player will stumble and bumble around all average like in setting up the ambush in the most obvious and clumsiness way possible....and it won't work. The ONLY way it could work is if the DM had the smart character tell the player HOW to set up the ambush step by step and tell them what to do and what not to do. Setting up an ambush for a dragon is hard work, and you need to know what your doing.....and few average players are up to that. And, as the music ambush is not the players idea, you will likely get backlash as they don't want to do it as it's too hard and makes them think about things too much and it needs too much detail and so on. If your lucky, in a fun twist the players will complain about agency of the railroad they agreed to do.


I wonder what the other ways are?
You got my point! ...and thanks for explaining in another interesting way!
Let me add my 2 cents and rephrase my initial question: my concern is referred to any attribute which is used in the role-play (namely the role-play, not the fact of playing at an RPG): you are simulating the psychics features of a character (useless to say,not the physical ones). This means that, in a D&D game, everything tied to INT, WIS and (even) CHA could have a potential inconsistency between the real stats of the player and the ones of the character. There are basically 3 situations in this scenario:
1. the player's stat is higher than the PC's one: in this case, the role-play action of the player should constantly underperform in order to reach the lower level of the PC...it is possible but it is difficult
2. player's and PC's stats are close: the best case as the player can behave without constraints on this side... his role-play can be naturally carried out with no or little changes
3. the player's stat is lower than the PC's one: this is the most tricky situation... besides any concerns in trying to explain to you not-so-brilliant friend playing with you that having a nobel-prize PC is not exactly fitting his capabilities, it is nearly impossible to expect a correct role-play... the DM should constantly try to "patch" this situation as it could not be even seized by the player! ...and i am not inventing a weird story... this happened to someone in my party! A nightmare! In this case, bloodtide refers with railroading to what i mean with "patch", but it is basically the same thing.
 

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Mezuka

Hero
1) The puzzle itself not important. The time the character takes to solve it is.
2) You can't roleplay higher intelligence (or wisdom) than you actually are.

Intelligence rolls can be used to solve the puzzle. Just like a lock the DM determines the difficulty. He may also require several successful rolls to find the solution. Each roll is given a duration. He should also put a time limit with a consequence.

Puzzle difficulty 3. Duration 5 minutes per roll. Time limit 30 minutes.
A thief has infiltrated a wizard tower. He wants to open a magical portal that leads to another city he desperately needs to get to quickly. The DM tells the player the lock blocking the portal is in fact a puzzle written around the door. The player needs three successful intelligence rolls to solve the puzzle. The thief knows the next guard inspection of the room is in 30 minutes. Can the thief solve the puzzle in time?

The first roll is a success, 5 minutes elapse. The second roll is a failure, 10 minutes have elapsed. The third roll is a success, 15 minutes have passed. The player is one roll away from solving the puzzle. The thief is confident. The fourth roll is a failure. 20 minutes have passed. The thief is starting to sweat. He knows he can't defeat the four guards. The fifth roll is a success, 25 minutes have passed. The player has 3 successes. The puzzle is solved. The thief crosses the portal unarmed! (what happens at the other end is a tale for another day!)

Conclusion: The character with higher intelligence will probably solve the puzzle faster. Just like a character with higher Strength would break down a door faster.

(edit typos)
 
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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
In any case, could you pls explain better this concept? Maybe with an example so that i get it... (apologies it is not fully clear to my eyes!)
A too-common mechanism for outcome resolution is basically this: if you roll the right number(s), you succeed on the task. Otherwise, you fail. Some games have put on a band-aid so there's middle ground (succeed with consequence). And this goes beyond combat hits and misses, it has carried over into mental challenges as well. This affects your puzzle-solving problem by increasing the contrast between what the player and the character can do: the outcomes either agree or they're polar opposites. The band-aid rules blunt this contrast a bit but, apparently, the problem persists.

With Modos RPG, you don't have to worry about succeed/fail, or too much/too little intelligence, like in this example:

GM: So, yeah. Just line up those shapes in the correct order to proceed.

PC (wizard with low mental score): dude, I tried. Can I just roll for it? I'm a wizard. Gen-ius.

GM: Okay. Tell me what you do.

PC: I look at the shapes, and the pattern just comes to me, because I'm so smart.

GM: Roll mental. You could get a +2 role-playing bonus with a little more detail, you know.

PC: Yeah, whatever. (Rolls) 20! Ha! I solve your stupid puzzle.

GM: That's a Pro ("favorable" result). Your genius mind points out that all of the shapes have a certain number of corners on them.

PC: You mean I didn't solve it? So, what, so there's a triangle, square, one of those five-sided ones...

GM: And they each have a different number of corners.

PC: So the triangle has three. And the square has four. And the fiver...wait a minute...
 

aia_2

Custom title
A too-common mechanism for outcome resolution is basically this: if you roll the right number(s), you succeed on the task. Otherwise, you fail. Some games have put on a band-aid so there's middle ground (succeed with consequence). And this goes beyond combat hits and misses, it has carried over into mental challenges as well. This affects your puzzle-solving problem by increasing the contrast between what the player and the character can do: the outcomes either agree or they're polar opposites. The band-aid rules blunt this contrast a bit but, apparently, the problem persists.

With Modos RPG, you don't have to worry about succeed/fail, or too much/too little intelligence, like in this example:

GM: So, yeah. Just line up those shapes in the correct order to proceed.

PC (wizard with low mental score): dude, I tried. Can I just roll for it? I'm a wizard. Gen-ius.

GM: Okay. Tell me what you do.

PC: I look at the shapes, and the pattern just comes to me, because I'm so smart.

GM: Roll mental. You could get a +2 role-playing bonus with a little more detail, you know.

PC: Yeah, whatever. (Rolls) 20! Ha! I solve your stupid puzzle.

GM: That's a Pro ("favorable" result). Your genius mind points out that all of the shapes have a certain number of corners on them.

PC: You mean I didn't solve it? So, what, so there's a triangle, square, one of those five-sided ones...

GM: And they each have a different number of corners.

PC: So the triangle has three. And the square has four. And the fiver...wait a minute...
Thanks a lot for both explanation and example! This is actually one of the options i was thinking of: replace the brain of a "poor" player with the suggestions provided by the DM upon a positive check... However i was thinking in my solution that the DM is simply asked to report that the PC succeeds the test, with no further explanation... Is it really necessary to explain also what was the way to solve it? That would foster the player towards the solution the next time he has to cope with a riddle... (The player would naturally want to know how the riddle was worked out)
 

Dungeon Delver's Guide

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