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lobackamain22

Rerolling Seek Force Power Check

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In a game I play in one of our players keeps using Seek* to try and find the location of relevant NPC's when they fail they simply say that their character waits and just keeps making the check until they pass.

Is this valid? I haven't been able to find any kind of rule that prevents this but it seems like it should not be allowed.

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Edited by lobackamain22

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In unstructured time, I generally like to have the power (or skill) check represent "your best effort for the scene" and move on from there. It's less interesting to me as GM to let a player keep rolling until they get the result they want. I frame it to the players as a suggestion to accept that at this point in the story, things didn't quite go your way, and let it build your story for the next scene.

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You're the GM, and are fully within your right to say "one roll, that's it."  After all, a PC can't just keep trying to re-roll a failed combat check on the same action.  So in unstructured/narrative scenes, you can very much say "you get one roll to accomplish this, and you have to abide by the results of that roll."

Now, I only use that for when it's important to the story.  If it's a trivial task or a task with an utterly trivial consequence (success or fail), then I just let the effect happen without a roll to keep things moving.  Just last session I ran, I put my foot down on a PC that wanted to haggle for all sorts of incidental items they were purchasing, elsewise a large chunk of the entire session would have been taking up by this one PC's shopping trip.

Of course, this "one roll, that's it" guideline carries with the caveat that the GM isn't locking progression through the story/adventure behind the success or failure of a single check.  With the way the dice work, you never know when a PC is going to bomb a check they should on paper have little trouble passing, and if you've put advancing the plot behind the gate of a successful check, well now you're stuck because the player failed, and if you're just going to allow them to re-roll until they succeed, what's the point of having them roll in the first place?

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To add onto the advice, Seek specifies explicitly that you must have some connection to the target so maybe the information they had just wasn't strong enough. Likewise I like to feel that the force doesn't rapidly change it's flow to suit the user; for example one couldn't use foresee over and over to get more information about their future because repeated visions would only ever give them the exact information they envisioned before; I wouldn't even have them roll for it, I would expect some time to pass before trying it again. Also, to me rolling just darkside pips isn't failing. I wouldn't allow the player to immediately reroll the check just for that reason. Sometimes you either force the issue or you don't. Either way, each use of seek represents a scene's worth of time so if they had some urgency in tracking down the NPC; well, if they are waiting on the seeker to devine where this person is they might be just getting closer to where they need to be.

 

Besides, there's things like knowledge checks, streetwise, knowledge underworld, negation skills with information brokers and so fourth. Seek is only one tool in the player arsenal and players really should be developing a skill set to accompany those capabilities, or be surrounded by players who might know a bit more. One of the most underrated, super natural abilities in this galaxy is someone who actually trains their skills to become proficient in it! XD Seek by itself in my experience would very rarely provide the full answer without a fair few hints, so having some way of narrowing it down is cool. One thing I've really grown to enjoy is having people around who have some yellows in their dice, I sometimes get a bit irritated if it's been a fair amount of time and that they are still rolling solely greens in a check that's meant to be their niche.

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11 hours ago, lobackamain22 said:

In a game I play in one of our players keeps using Seek* to try and find the location of relevant NPC's when they fail they simply say that their character waits and just keeps making the check until they pass.

Is this valid? I haven't been able to find any kind of rule that prevents this but it seems like it should not be allowed.

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Unless they have met said relevant NPC or item they're not likely to find it. You need more than just a name or a picture. Things also tend to move around, unless you have plenty of upgrades for the talent you can't keep track of something that's moving and move with it. It's also a power that is implied to take a bit of time. It's not like it gives you a super exact location either, you get a direction and a feeling for the distance. Not the exact spot they're at. You're still going to have to look for them once you're there.

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On 1/29/2019 at 9:04 PM, lobackamain22 said:

In a game I play in one of our players keeps using Seek* to try and find the location of relevant NPC's when they fail they simply say that their character waits and just keeps making the check until they pass.

Is this valid? I haven't been able to find any kind of rule that prevents this but it seems like it should not be allowed.

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

The simple answer is "Of course not." If the player in question requires a rules reference, refer to page 316 of the F&D core book, first column, 2nd paragraph of the "Rules Adjudication" section. Pay particular attention to the last sentence. 

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