D&D General The Resurrection of Mike Mearls Games.

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The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
"Failure" meaning failing to pick the lock has always been the most boring outcome for that kind of skill roll. Making too much noise, taking too long, setting off a hidden trap; lockpicking has always been one of the best test cases for "success" and "success, but..." as outcomes.

So, I want to talk about the Psyker abit.

Mearls take on the Psyker and a more advanced class design is interesting. Essentially, we get three Paths at 1st level. While this may sound like subclasses, they aren't; they only give benefits at their level and modify certain other class features. Mearls has mentioned he wants the Psyker to occasionally give out new feature menus at higher levels; essentially, you have several smaller subclasses that you'll choose from as your Psyker levels up.

I love this design and it could be applied to some of the base classes in amazingly cool ways. The Sorcerer, Ranger, Monk, and Warlock would be great for this model. You aren't a Warlock of one thing, but you've made several pacts -- some big, some small -- as you've leveled up. Your Ranger doesn't have a subclass, but instead a bunch of tricks and skills picked up in the field. It's wonderful in that it opens up single-class ideas that don't always produce ready subclasses and turns the base class idea into something customizable enough to match the class - subclass paradigm.

I am eager to see more of the Psyker. I think it would be a cool model for some of my content. I've even theorycrafted a way this model could contain all the info necessary for a stand alone, one-class duet/solo game. It's so rich, and I was really missing this kind of mind-opening variety from WotC's mechanics...I'm glad @mearls has continued where he left off years ago.

Thomas Shey

I've always thought of failure at lock picking as "You need to go find the key."

The problem is that what point in time that becomes obvious is not deterministic. There are locks that you can get through quickly, ones you'll take a while on, and ones you just aren't up to. One skill roll isn't going to tell you which is the case unless the system is explicitly set up for that.


Moderator Emeritus
I don't know. This seems very complicated for something as straightforward as the example (climbing a cliff before a wave hits). It is further complicated/undermined by the scenario in which pirates might get involved and start a combat in response to climbing PCs.

I may be biased by having my own rough method for skill challenges in 5E, which is based in part on ideas presented by Matt Colville in this video and that looks at skill challenges as broad situations that can be handled in various ways, as opposed to narrow situations that all call for the same kind of check.

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