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Skill Check, Multiple try?

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I often run into this issue during my session. It's a bit hard to describe...


During Skill check, they would attempt multiple tries.
For example, they attempt to charm a shop owner with a rose (i give boast die for rose) but fail. So PC#2 take the rose from PC#1 and attempt the same check until they pass.
When they don't pass...They want to try again, but with different skill. "Okay, lets immediate the shop owner." 


Example:

GM:  The shop owner rarely give our discount
PC#1: I attempt to charm her with this rose. 
GM: Ok, make a charm test, with boost die from the rose. 
PC#1: -fail roll- ****, Hey PC#2 you try. Take this rose for boost die.
PC#2: Ok, I take his rose and attempt Charm. -Fail roll- 
GM: Um...ok. You both fail to charm her.  
PC#1: Let's just threaten her now. I'll Intimidate. -Fail roll-
PC#2: Ok, I'll try my Intimidate  -pass-  

Is this allow?

 

I feel like this is similar to "Passing the strongest gun between player" per turn.
"Here you try. Take it."
 

Thanks in advance for your input!

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, bsan89 said:

I often run into this issue during my session. It's a bit hard to describe...


During Skill check, they would attempt multiple tries.
For example, they attempt to charm a shop owner with a rose (i give boast die for rose) but fail. So PC#2 take the rose from PC#1 and attempt the same check until they pass.
When they don't pass...They want to try again, but with different skill. "Okay, lets immediate the shop owner." 


Example:

GM:  The shop owner rarely give our discount
PC#1: I attempt to charm her with this rose. 
GM: Ok, make a charm test, with boost die from the rose. 
PC#1: -fail roll- ****, Hey PC#2 you try. Take this rose for boost die.
PC#2: Ok, I take his rose and attempt Charm. -Fail roll- 
GM: Um...ok. You both fail to charm her.  
PC#1: Let's just threaten her now. I'll Intimidate. -Fail roll-
PC#2: Ok, I'll try my Intimidate  -pass-  

Is this allow?

 

I feel like this is similar to "Passing the strongest gun between player" per turn.
"Here you try. Take it."
 

Thanks in advance for your input!

 

 

 

In principle, definitely not  something I would allow at my table. The GM is under no obligation to allow a skill check just because the player wants it. In the given example above, it would be pretty simple: You tried and failed to charm the shop keeper. Further skill checks (using Charm or otherwise) to change the NPCs attitude automatically fail. 

 

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31 minutes ago, bsan89 said:

I often run into this issue during my session. It's a bit hard to describe...


During Skill check, they would attempt multiple tries.
For example, they attempt to charm a shop owner with a rose (i give boast die for rose) but fail. So PC#2 take the rose from PC#1 and attempt the same check until they pass.
When they don't pass...They want to try again, but with different skill. "Okay, lets immediate the shop owner." 


Example:

GM:  The shop owner rarely give our discount
PC#1: I attempt to charm her with this rose. 
GM: Ok, make a charm test, with boost die from the rose. 
PC#1: -fail roll- ****, Hey PC#2 you try. Take this rose for boost die.
PC#2: Ok, I take his rose and attempt Charm. -Fail roll- 
GM: Um...ok. You both fail to charm her.  
PC#1: Let's just threaten her now. I'll Intimidate. -Fail roll-
PC#2: Ok, I'll try my Intimidate  -pass-  

Is this allow?

 

I feel like this is similar to "Passing the strongest gun between player" per turn.
"Here you try. Take it."
 

Thanks in advance for your input!

 

 

 

The technical term for when PCs suggest this is 'no'......

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@2P51 @Magnus Arcanus So, if I allow the charm test for PC#1. And he failed...

-No one is allow to charm the shop-owner this session.
-PC cannot use other skill like negotiation or intimidate on the same shop owner

What about borrowing/taking other player gear for "Boost die". (I often reward player with boost die for having tools to help with skill check)
I get that MANY TIMES.

Thanks!

 

 

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16 minutes ago, 2P51 said:

I'd allow Negotiation, you'd still need a price. The shopkeeper would throw them out/call the cops if they even try intimidation.

That's probably context related, and certainly a GM option, as in, it's your choice as a GM to not allow an Intimidate roll, but another GM may decide that it's in a bad enough part of town that cops wouldn't come and allow a roll.

25 minutes ago, bsan89 said:

So, if I allow the charm test for PC#1. And he failed...

-No one is allow to charm the shop-owner this session.
-PC cannot use other skill like negotiation or intimidate on the same shop owner

What about borrowing/taking other player gear for "Boost die". (I often reward player with boost die for having tools to help with skill check)
I get that MANY TIMES.

Thanks!

 

 

Only you can answer these questions for your own game, your own table, your own group of players. However, if I was in your shoes, I'd need more than them simply passing the macguffin from player to player. The second player would get an automatic fail, and any further checks for any other skill upgraded or increased in difficulty, as the person reacts to them passing a rose around and dropping a cheesy line. I'd probably say something to the effect of "the shopkeeper looks at you disgustedly, 'You think I run this shop to fish for compliments and give away credits for nothing?'" and if needed I'd simply tell them the shopkeepers demeanour has become pretty matter-of-fact and any Charm attempt will struggle to succeed.

It does sound to me like your game is being approached mechanically rather than narratively. If their first option is to Charm, then it is Charm that is being used and if it fails, further checks at my table would not be allowed, UNLESS one of them comes up with a brilliant strategy/approach/line. That first check though, should be taken by the player with the best chance, but I usually let the players decide who makes it. In some circumstances I'd allow a group check / skilled assistance.

Also, if they continue down a path you don't enjoy, I'd start upgrading the difficulty, that despair threat might have an effect.

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@Roderz This! ^ 

Great idea. I'll start to think about it a bit more narratively. A real shop keeper would see through this charm real quick after the 1st one. 

Increasing difficulty is a good idea if they decide to use other skill after failing the previous one.   

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1 hour ago, bsan89 said:

@2P51 @Magnus Arcanus So, if I allow the charm test for PC#1. And he failed...

-No one is allow to charm the shop-owner this session.
-PC cannot use other skill like negotiation or intimidate on the same shop owner

What about borrowing/taking other player gear for "Boost die". (I often reward player with boost die for having tools to help with skill check)
I get that MANY TIMES.

Thanks!

I would say they can still try to intimidate, but then it's less of getting a discount and more of a threat of an armed robbery. And failing that means they're thrown out and police are called to the location. And yeah, another one could try the same skill after the first player failed, but I would upgrade the difficulties as well as use threats to make it obvious that further attempts would be a bad idea.

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1 hour ago, Roderz said:

Also, if they continue down a path you don't enjoy, I'd start upgrading the difficulty, that despair threat might have an effect.

Don't do that. It might seem fair, but you'll regret it. If you don't want something to happen, say no. Even with all the red dice in the world there's a chance they make it. 

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1 hour ago, Roderz said:

That's probably context related, and certainly a GM option, as in, it's your choice as a GM to not allow an Intimidate roll, but another GM may decide that it's in a bad enough part of town that cops wouldn't come and allow a roll.

Only you can answer these questions for your own game, your own table, your own group of players. However, if I was in your shoes, I'd need more than them simply passing the macguffin from player to player. The second player would get an automatic fail, and any further checks for any other skill upgraded or increased in difficulty, as the person reacts to them passing a rose around and dropping a cheesy line. I'd probably say something to the effect of "the shopkeeper looks at you disgustedly, 'You think I run this shop to fish for compliments and give away credits for nothing?'" and if needed I'd simply tell them the shopkeepers demeanour has become pretty matter-of-fact and any Charm attempt will struggle to succeed.

It does sound to me like your game is being approached mechanically rather than narratively. If their first option is to Charm, then it is Charm that is being used and if it fails, further checks at my table would not be allowed, UNLESS one of them comes up with a brilliant strategy/approach/line. That first check though, should be taken by the player with the best chance, but I usually let the players decide who makes it. In some circumstances I'd allow a group check / skilled assistance.

Also, if they continue down a path you don't enjoy, I'd start upgrading the difficulty, that despair threat might have an effect.

A shopkeeper in a bad part of town that caves cuz someone looks mean wouldn't be in business long. ....a shopkeeper in the bad part of town where the cops don't show up would be ready to deal with mouthy losers, and robbers, and that mentality or they'd be out of business.

Edited by 2P51

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I would have allowed the second player to attempt.  We've seen this in TV and Movies plenty of times (maybe not in Star Wars) where a charming and savvy friend pushes their inept charmer away and takes over.  however after the second failure, I would have the shop keeper already distrusting these two and be adding setbacks.  I agree with the others above that you can't just let the players keep trying until they get a success.

I  would allow the two separate charm attempts and then if they tried to intimidate - with setbacks for the shop keeper being irritated - if they failed that she would have them escorted out of the shop either by her huge half-brother who is a Dowutin (don't ask...) or threaten to call security.

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8 hours ago, bsan89 said:

I'll start to think about it a bit more narratively.

This is key.  I try to play people like they would actually react, and at some point nothing will work on them and they're probably calling the cops for harassment.  The Far Horizons sourcebook has some good pointers about using social skills, including pointing out that over-using something like Scathing Tirade is going to wear thin very quickly.

When you're shooting at a target, you can repeatedly try different tactics, weapons, swap skills, etc.  Unfortunately, players are often too eager to use the combat model when engaging socially.  NCPs aren't targets at a shooting range, and it's important to make clear to the players there's a distinction.  If your players are experienced, then "No" is often good enough.  If your players are new to RPGs, they might have to have it explained.

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Did the pc fail with advantages or with threats ? Did he/she roll a triumph or a despair or both ? If there was at least an advantage in the result I'd allow another try to charm the shopkeeper, with a boost die for each uncancelled advantage. If there was at least a threat I'd allow another try with a setback die for each uncancelled threat. A triumph upgrade a green die and a despair upgrade a purple die.

I'm not sure if it is like RAW for using advantage, threat, triumph and despair, but that is how I do for social skill check if the players want to try it again after a failure.

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Also always remember as a GM: every roll of the dice must have a consequence. In the situation you described at first, there was no consequence for a failure.

Before telling the first player to roll, take a second to think what the consequence would be if they fail. If you don’t, they’re gonna want to keep rolling until they succeed. If you can’t think of a consequence, and it really is a situation where they would succeed eventually after repeated attempts (think opening a jar of pickles), don’t make them roll. Just say they succeed. 

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9 minutes ago, RalfieT said:

Also always remember as a GM: every roll of the dice must have a consequence. In the situation you described at first, there was no consequence for a failure.

Before telling the first player to roll, take a second to think what the consequence would be if they fail. If you don’t, they’re gonna want to keep rolling until they succeed. If you can’t think of a consequence, and it really is a situation where they would succeed eventually after repeated attempts (think opening a jar of pickles), don’t make them roll. Just say they succeed. 

That's not necessarily the case under this system because of the Advantages, Threats, Triumphs and Despairs integral to this system. They can have a dramatic effect on a roll even if there is little to no chance of outright failure or success. 

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I didn't read much before me, but the way I see it is this. The system is inherently designed to allow multiple social checks in certain situations,

The one golden rule I have: Each roll has consequence, and the same skill roll cannot be applied more then once unless the situation has changed.

The consequence depends on advantages and threats of course; but the intent of the success failure is key. If you fail then that character didn't succeed in their intent and that was what they did that scene. Repeating the tactic is likely to demean and irritate the NPC as we all would if a person didn't get the hint the first time and continued to press the subject after being politely rebutted. unless a new narrative hook is added to the table (The much smoother smuggler appolgises for his companions lack of manners, the hired gun decides subtly isn't the way to go.) or something has changed (the character has new information that would warrant the to reconsider the proposal.).

Alternatively if there is no consequence for failure, they are merely bantering with the shopkeeper thus nothing is really on the line, why roll the check at all? Sometimes rolling just isn't necessary if there isn't something use to gain. The character gets a flat rate and some services provided by some stores don't offer a discount under any circumstances; a mega store on a core world wouldn't offer any amount of discount no matter how charming a PC is to the person behind the counter.

If the check is rolled then the GM  must establish that this is a two way process; a negosation for example is conducted the moment two parties agree to haggle over the price; success means that they got it cheaper; failure means that the player pays out more then expected, which is the consequence of a failed roll that they couldn't just back out of. Alternatively they don't get the deal they were looking for; though advantages could give alternative gossup which incidentally might be useful to the PC or produce a favour that the PC could do on behalf of the shop keep if they wanted to get that part for their starship. Sometimes the consequence is simply they cannot get what they are looking for however and without a change of tactic or situation things can't progress.

In the OP's particular situation; I would probably allow one charm check and one corc in that particular situation.

Only one player in the group can be an initiator to a charm check, though the other players could help out in ways appropriate to the situation, either by pitching in with particular bits of advice (That rose was taken from the underdark of Talos, it is a fine specimen that glows in the dark, bringing light to even the darkest of hours.) engaging in talks along with the mediator PC (adding bit of nichie knowledge as they go) or sometimes the presence of a particular element into the conversation could make it more difficult (said shopkeeper is an loyal imperial who hates wookies, thus the walking carpet blumbing in it's infernal tongue would upgrade the apposing check, despite the wookie being charming in most situations.) which would add boosts and setback dice to assemble the final check. Once the scene has been set the dice are rolled with the modfications and the scenes conclusion is identified.

The players either succeed and get what they want, or they fail and they don't. If they don't, an alternative check could be made to gain what they seek, though the environment might make the check more difficult/easy. (someone who is in a heavily protected store is much less swayable intimidation compared to a person who is running a small storefront.) Again, each player could make a contribution to the scene, but only the initiating player would roll that particular check. The NPC might get particular boons depending on what they rolled last time and might actually recongise that they have a much stronger bargaining position and calls the PC's on their bluff if threats were generated on either check. "Look, you think you two are the first pair of hoodlums who tried to tear this establishment down? I'm raising my price just for you two. Now are you buyin' or am I going to have to hav' ya gutted to serve as ornamental decoration?" *eyes the walking carpet*

Edited by LordBritish

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On checks, depending on the situation of course, I'd allow the other character to assist in the skill check, but I wouldnt let them roll their own check, of the same skill, immediately after the other has failed. Now, if another player wanted to try and coerce the npc, I'd allow it, but I'd consider giving them some setback dice on the check depnding on how the scene is playing out. 

If two players want to try to charm the shopkeep, I'd have the second character simply assist the first character's skill check, but keep it to one roll. Obviously, if another character saw what was happening and says"screw it, I'm pulling out my blaster," then it's either initiative time or coercion time. Again, it all depends on the scene and what you, as GM, are trying to accomplish.

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3 minutes ago, ghatt said:

On checks, depending on the situation of course, I'd allow the other character to assist in the skill check, but I wouldnt let them roll their own check, of the same skill, immediately after the other has failed. Now, if another player wanted to try and coerce the npc, I'd allow it, but I'd consider giving them some setback dice on the check depnding on how the scene is playing out. 

If two players want to try to charm the shopkeep, I'd have the second character simply assist the first character's skill check, but keep it to one roll. Obviously, if another character saw what was happening and says"screw it, I'm pulling out my blaster," then it's either initiative time or coercion time. Again, it all depends on the scene and what you, as GM, are trying to accomplish.

Put my perspective much more concisely, I think I kinda ended up rambling on. XD

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I'm kind of stuck on the mental image of the scenario where the brave adventurer swaggers up to the shopkeep, hands her a rose and asks for a discount and when refused, sulkingly snatches the rose back and hands it to his buddy who tries his line on her...

But yeah, either let the players collaborate on a single roll or increase the stakes and diffculty for everyone who tries it.

In fact, upgrading the difficulty would probably be a good mechanic, as by the time the third or fourth person waves that rose in her face the risk of her just being creeped out and calling the cops on them for harassment would probably be about the same as the rapidly increasing risk of a despair. :D

Edited by penpenpen

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2 hours ago, penpenpen said:

In fact, upgrading the difficulty would probably be a good mechanic, as by the time the third or fourth person waves that rose in her face the risk of her just being creeped out and calling the cops on them for harassment would probably be about the same as the rapidly increasing risk of a despair. :D

So, just treat it like you would in real life if a group of people did that to you. Not a bad idea, actually. Probably put an end to their video-gamey tendencies pretty quick too. And all without the need to be a hardass GM too. That's a bonus. lol.

Edited by ghatt

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There are circumstances in which this would work, and circumstances in which this would not.  Trying to pry open a crate?  Sure!  Trying to convince a Hutt that you're square?  Almost assuredly no.  But every situation is unique and the GM has the reigns of the story and has to be the final arbiter.  It is 100% perfectly okay to say no, even in a "yes, and" system.  It is also 100% okay to ratchet up the difficulty if a GM does allow repeated checks, and heck, why not upgrade if the story would become more interesting? 

If the failure prevents the story from proceeding, then that is not good.   While few rules are set in stone, allowing a story to grind to a halt because of a single failed roll is generally regarded as a no-no.  This topic has been discussed at length in these forums so a search will hopefully yield better results than my paraphrasing of thoughts and strategies to deal with and ultimately avoid this problem.  Nearly every GM has been in this position.

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Another issue here is when your players should be having social encounters with shopkeepers in the first place. The game abstracts general buying and selling of gear to a single Negotiation check versus the item's Rarity, with advantages and threats affecting the sale price. Your players should really only be engaging in social encounters with shopkeepers if the encounter is integral to the plot of your story. In other words, if they're negotiating with Watto for a part they need for a Nubian ship so they can flee the planet with the Chosen One, that's fine. But if they're just trying to buy some stimpacks to prepare for an adventure, just abstract things down to a Rarity roll and get on with it.

Edited by SavageBob

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On 10/19/2018 at 5:34 PM, Rimsen said:

Don't do that. It might seem fair, but you'll regret it. If you don't want something to happen, say no. Even with all the red dice in the world there's a chance they make it. 

Yes, the idea here is that you’re still happy to see a success.

On 10/19/2018 at 5:36 PM, 2P51 said:

A shopkeeper in a bad part of town that caves cuz someone looks mean wouldn't be in business long. ....a shopkeeper in the bad part of town where the cops don't show up would be ready to deal with mouthy losers, and robbers, and that mentality or they'd be out of business.

I thought about this too but saw things getting a little sidetracked. Basically such a shopkeeper is probably paying a local syndicate/gang for protection and consequences would be along those lines. 

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Typically I don't allow a repeated attempt unless there is some obvious change. For example, if the PC fails to use Computers on the door controls to open it up, I'm not going to let him keep rolling until it opens. If he demands to try again, I'm responding with something like, "yeah you realize after your first attempt that it's impossible to trip the hypertensile actuators with the tools you have." But, if he later returns from the speeder with the tools he forgot, then sure I'm allowing another attempt. For the limited occasions that I do allow a repeat for some reason, it's going to be increasingly more difficult (upgrades) for each extra try.

Edited by Sturn

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