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Skill Check, Multiple try?

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14 hours ago, Sturn said:

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.

I'm pretty much the same although I will consider a second attempt right away if there was no outright success or failure.  Meaning if the success and failures actually cancel themselves out I may give them another chance using the adv/thr to effect the next roll.  If they get even one failure, I fall back to the stance you posted.

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I don't allow for re-rolls unless the actively do something different or it would make sense that they could simply try again. If they are picking a lock, I let them try multiple times, but I make it more and more likely that an alarm will go off or they will get caught, thus tying the repeat tries to graver consequences should they continue to push a failure. I also took a cue from the Call of Cthulhu TRPG and I allow for my players to "push their luck" and try again but with graver consequences should they fail. This does not apply during combat, but if someone tries to intimidate a shopkeep and fails, I will allow them to decide to up the ante by doing something like destroying something or striking the person in question. Should they succeed it goes on normally, but a fail (which would have simply resulted in not getting a discount before) has now escalated to "I'm calling the police!" or "Get the **** out of my store!" or even a blaster being drawn and combat being forced.

Sometimes repeated rolls can heighten tension: I made my PC's make multiple medicine checks to keep a poisoned person alive until they could get help, and what they did and how they rolled affected the difficulty of the rolls they had to make.

I just ultimately ask myself "Does this roll hieghten the action, mood, or story, and does it serve a purpose outside of simply being a game mechanic?" and my answer to that determines my answer to the player asking to roll Perception for the fifth time because they're convinced they missed something.

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On 10/18/2018 at 11:28 PM, Roderz said:

 another GM may decide that it's in a bad enough part of town that cops wouldn't come and allow a roll.

 

 

Or you have a player/character who points out in great detail all the hurt they could inflict on said NPC in the time it will take for the cops to get there. Or said player grabs the shopkeep's ID and cheerfully offers to go 'visit' anyone found at the address on the ID. 

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An important concept to remember is Fail Forwards. If it's essential to the plot the players succeed and a failure is rolled then have them succeed at a cost. Usually some resource like time or strain. 

I sometimes let players rerollif they roll a Triumph on a failure, usually after presenting them with the choice of that or potent but unexpected benefit.

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9 minutes ago, LithiumBlossom said:

An important concept to remember is Fail Forwards. If it's essential to the plot the players succeed and a failure is rolled then have them succeed at a cost. Usually some resource like time or strain. 

I sometimes let players rerollif they roll a Triumph on a failure, usually after presenting them with the choice of that or potent but unexpected benefit.

It's never essential to a story that the players succeed, and if it it's essential to a plot, then let that plot die--kill it if you have to--and then come up with another that isn't so fragile.

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Disallowing players to make repeated attempts at social checks, particularly when it's another PC making the second check, makes certain talents completely useless. There are talents, such as Good Cop and Bad Cop, which rely on one player gaining certain benefits from Advantages gained by another player (the one with the particular talent) during a previous Social check made within the same encounter against the same target. For instance, The Talent, Bad Cop, reads:

Quote

The character may spend 2 Advantages from a Deception or Coercion check to upgrade the ability of a single ally's subsequent Social Interaction skill against the same target in the same encounter. Upgrade the ability a number of times equal to the character's ranks in Bad Cop. A single check may only benefit from one use of Bad Cop.

 

Edited by Tramp Graphics

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3 hours ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Disallowing players to make repeated attempts at social checks, particularly when it's another PC making the second check, makes certain talents completely useless. There are talents, such as Good Cop and Bad Cop, which rely on one player gaining certain benefits from Advantages gained by another player (the one with the particular talent) during a previous Social check made within the same encounter against the same target. For instance, The Talent, Bad Cop

This is an example where I wouldn't really require any explanation before allowing a second roll. However, I think a different social skill should probably be used on the second roll, but I wouldn't be too strict on that.

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20 minutes ago, Roderz said:

This is an example where I wouldn't really require any explanation before allowing a second roll. However, I think a different social skill should probably be used on the second roll, but I wouldn't be too strict on that.

Often times they are. That’s why the talent in question are called Good Cop and Bad Cop. One is designed to make the second member of the team seem more reasonable by the first one being the scary one. The other talent makes the second member of a team seem more frightening by the first guy playing nice. 

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13 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

Often times they are. That’s why the talent in question are called Good Cop and Bad Cop. One is designed to make the second member of the team seem more reasonable by the first one being the scary one. The other talent makes the second member of a team seem more frightening by the first guy playing nice. 

That's true, but this is a set up situation, not the originally discussed, "I failed, now you try" approach.

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31 minutes ago, Rimsen said:

That's true, but this is a set up situation, not the originally discussed, "I failed, now you try" approach.

I wouldn't stipulate that players using Good Cop or Bad Cop would need to state their intention prior to rolling though, I'd definitely allow it to play out after the check.

But I agree with what I think your overall point is here, in that these talents are specifically designed around rolling secondary social checks after primary social checks have failed. I've already commented on what I would do with a straightforward "I failed, now you try" approach.

However, when it comes to these specific talents, I'd allow a second chance at the exact same check. By this I mean if the first player using Bad Cop failed a Coercion check, I'd allow the second check to also be Coercion. In this case the second player is trying to intimidate in a less threatening manner, basically using threats but pointing out the path to salvation, exactly the way a 'good cop' would. That's my take anyway, and if my players couldn't find that nuance I possibly wouldn't point it out to them, or maybe I would...

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Generally speaking (except for the "Good Cop"/"Bad Cop" situation described above) I'd allow multiple attempts, but I'd require different skill checks. Plus, if any of the PCs assisted the check by adding a Boost die, they don't get to go again—they already tried, and the target isn't listening to them anymore.

But I did port over the Genesys social encounter rules, so when we're using structured time to play out an important negotiation/persuasion situation, characters are expected to keep using the same social skills. After all, if you're excessively charming and trying to win a major smuggling contract from a Hutt, it doesn't make sense to do anything but lean on your strengths. However, those encounters are specifically very different from garden variety "tell me where the droids are" conversations.

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I think we are starting to discuss different uses of "repeated" skills. Trying to open the same lock over and over with the same skill is quite different then a GM requiring repeated charms throughout a long negotiation. It's also quite different then using computers, mechanics, and skullduggery in a train of skill checks to diffuse a bomb. I'm ok with the second two, not with the first. I'm of course also ok when the players attempt to get the same result after failing a check by changing things up - new skill (with an explanation how/why this different angle might work), they come back with new helpful gear even though they are using the same skill, or even another player using the same skill (I have higher skill, let me show you how it's done junior).

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5 minutes ago, Sturn said:

I think we are starting to discuss different uses of "repeated" skills. Trying to open the same lock over and over with the same skill is quite different then a GM requiring repeated charms throughout a long negotiation. It's also quite different then using computers, mechanics, and skullduggery in a train of skill checks to diffuse a bomb. I'm ok with the second two, not with the first. I'm of course also ok when the players attempt to get the same result after failing a check by changing things up - new skill (with an explanation how/why this different angle might work), they come back with new helpful gear even though they are using the same skill, or even another player using the same skill (I have higher skill, let me show you how it's done junior).

There is no reason why someone cannot make repeated checks to open a given lock. There is nothing stopping that in reality, so why should it be prevented in a game? The only thing that can potentially happen is he gets interrupted or caught and this can be handled through Threats or Despairs. 

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3 minutes ago, Tramp Graphics said:

There is no reason why someone cannot make repeated checks to open a given lock. There is nothing stopping that in reality, so why should it be prevented in a game? The only thing that can potentially happen is he gets interrupted or caught and this can be handled through Threats or Despairs. 

In reality, most people aren't going to continue attempting the same action over, and over, and over, and over. There will be a moment of give-up-stance. In reality, you are going to give up trying to cut that pipe with your dull hacksaw blade pretty quick and come back with new "gear" to get the job done even though technically you could eventually "win" if you keep trying. In a game, attempting something only takes a couple seconds to pick up the dice and roll. A player is going to be much more willing to repeatedly pick up those dice and keep rolling when their character realistically would have given up long ago since in-game time is much longer. Also, the character can't easily compute the odds of success in most situations. They aren't thinking, "I've got a 1 in 4 chance so I will probably get this done in 4 rolls at most, so I'm going to keep trying/rolling".

Since this is a game, I don't want to require a Discipline roll after a failed check to try again (tried it, slowed down play). I (we) interpret many checks as already including some failures within a single roll. To continue my lock example, a roll for success doesn't mean the character put the lockpick in and the lock immediately opened. He may have fiddled and failed quite a few times before opening the lock, all of which can be represented by one roll perhaps with threats being used for added time.

Why keep rolling and rolling until the player gives up (vs character) when it all can be modeled in one roll? Perhaps throw in a bonus die or two if the player has all the time he wants to complete the task? Then make it one roll so play isn't stopped as everyone watches Joe throw the dice repeatedly until he finally opens up the Lock of Impossibility after 8 rolls.

Yes, I have used cumulative upgrades for repeated attempts as I noted above. When I DO permit repeated attempts due to the situation at hand, I've found cumulative upgrades can model the character trying over and over against all hazards. It quickly convinces the player to give up after only a couple rolls or so as the odds of success decrease while the odds of something bad happening increases.

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15 minutes ago, Sturn said:

In reality, most people aren't going to continue attempting the same action over, and over, and over, and over. There will be a moment of give-up-stance. In reality, you are going to give up trying to cut that pipe with your dull hacksaw blade pretty quick and come back with new "gear" to get the job done even though technically you could eventually "win" if you keep trying. In a game, attempting something only takes a couple seconds to pick up the dice and roll. A player is going to be much more willing to repeatedly pick up those dice and keep rolling when their character realistically would have given up long ago since in-game time is much longer. Also, the character can't easily compute the odds of success in most situations. They aren't thinking, "I've got a 1 in 4 chance so I will probably get this done in 4 rolls at most, so I'm going to keep trying/rolling".

Since this is a game, I don't want to require a Discipline roll after a failed check to try again (tried it, slowed down play). I (we) interpret many checks as already including some failures within a single roll. To continue my lock example, a roll for success doesn't mean the character put the lockpick in and the lock immediately opened. He may have fiddled and failed quite a few times before opening the lock, all of which can be represented by one roll perhaps with threats being used for added time.

Why keep rolling and rolling until the player gives up (vs character) when it all can be modeled in one roll? Perhaps throw in a bonus die or two if the player has all the time he wants to complete the task? Then make it one roll so play isn't stopped as everyone watches Joe throw the dice repeatedly until he finally opens up the Lock of Impossibility after 8 rolls.

Yes, I have used cumulative upgrades for repeated attempts as I noted above. When I DO permit repeated attempts due to the situation at hand, I've found cumulative upgrades can model the character trying over and over against all hazards. It quickly convinces the player to give up after only a couple rolls or so as the odds of success decrease while the odds of something bad happening increases.

Not necessarily. And yes, someone can keep trying, if they have the patience and persistence to do so. Whether it be trying a different approach, or realizing what you did wrong the first time, unless specific outside forces prevent you from trying again, there is no reason to forbid a character from trying again. 

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On 10/26/2018 at 2:38 PM, Tramp Graphics said:

Not necessarily. And yes, someone can keep trying, if they have the patience and persistence to do so. Whether it be trying a different approach, or realizing what you did wrong the first time, unless specific outside forces prevent you from trying again, there is no reason to forbid a character from trying again. 

 

Using the lockpick example, I think this is a holdover from D&D. Which is unfortunate. There are a lot of bad ideas, attitudes, etc, that persist to this day because of the way D&D did things. I understand WHY they did some of them (allowing a thief three hundred attempts to pick a lock gives them little incentive to increase their lockpicking skill, and the difference between a master thief and a buffoon who just blundered into the guild yesterday shouldn't be only a matter of how long it takes to pick a lock), but the execution could have been better. Sort of like how in Skyrim, the last few Fallout games, etc, you can't pick a lock unless you have a certain skill level. Or you're playing on PC and know the console command to open containers. :) 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, the mercenary said:

 

Using the lockpick example, I think this is a holdover from D&D. Which is unfortunate. There are a lot of bad ideas, attitudes, etc, that persist to this day because of the way D&D did things. I understand WHY they did some of them (allowing a thief three hundred attempts to pick a lock gives them little incentive to increase their lockpicking skill, and the difference between a master thief and a buffoon who just blundered into the guild yesterday shouldn't be only a matter of how long it takes to pick a lock), but the execution could have been better. Sort of like how in Skyrim, the last few Fallout games, etc, you can't pick a lock unless you have a certain skill level. Or you're playing on PC and know the console command to open containers. :) 

 

 

Exactly. People learn by doing things over and over; failing and trying again, failing and trying again. As the old adage goes, “practice makes perfect.” If you want to get better at something practice it, use the skill more. Keep trying. Sooner or later you will  get better and succeed. So allowing repeated attempts should be the standard, not the exception.

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The difference potentially being overlooked is a lock doesn’t get bored or annoyed. An opposing NPC does, keep that in mind for social skills. Not that I would allow unlimited attempts to pick a lock.

Overall I agree with @Sturn

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1 hour ago, Roderz said:

The difference potentially being overlooked is a lock doesn’t get bored or annoyed. An opposing NPC does, keep that in mind for social skills. Not that I would allow unlimited attempts to pick a lock.

Overall I agree with @Sturn

Yes, but that is where Threats and Despairs come in, as well as Boost and Setback dice.

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