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How do you go about rolling ability checks?

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by stormhand, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. stormhand Gems: 4/31
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    [​IMG] I was wondering how most people deal with some ability checks. Do you think that players who know their role-checks might influence the way they go about the game?

    As an example: a player rolling an intimidate check. Even if the player doesn't know the DC of that role, he must have a very good indication of the result if a very low or very high role is made.

    I might start DMing a new game after going without DMing for some 10 years and I have been debating about the idea of having the players role secret checks. This way, it'd be tougher for them to have a clue as to the success of their efforts. However, I'm afraid it might take away some of their fun also.

    Your insights would be appreciated. With the experienced crowd hanging around here, there is certainly no lack of good points and recommandations! :cool:
     
  2. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    There aer always some situations in which the DM should roll behind the players backs. For instance a sense motive check. If a player rolls a 2, you don't want them knowing the NPC might really be lying, even if they are told they think it's telling the truth.

    I think the PHB has a fairly good indication as to which rolls should be made behind the players back.
    Don't be afraid it might take away some of the fun, aslong as you just do it when needed, and not too much, the players might like the element of surprise.
     
  3. GodRules44 Gems: 4/31
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    Well players will be using "metagame" things which you need to try to prevent. Such as, an example from the DMG, a player saying that there has to be a lever because the DM would never make a trap that couldn't be disarmed. You should roll any rolls that could encourage metagame thinking, behin the player's backs, I personally have a DM screen that works very well as well as reminds me of vital info.
     
  4. Gothmog

    Gothmog Man, a curious beast indeed! ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    A little different area here now...

    What would happen if ability checks were rolled on a d4 die?
    The DCs would have to change quite a bit. It would not change skill rolls. As far as i can tell, it woudnt require much change in the system, it would make the game much more realistical though.
    Just imagine. There's a barbarian with 18 strenght, the maximum humanly possible and a gnome on the other side with 8 strengh. the difference between the d20 ability check rolls is 5. So, if they're to have a match, it could very well happen for a barbarian to lose. Is that logical at all? It cant be of course.
    There's some luck involved to be sure, but in no scenario could it affect the outcome so drasticaly. We have no rolls for carrying capacity.... this might be the purest example of strenght not affected by luck.
     
  5. Lokken Gems: 26/31
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    rolling behind the screen is vital (at least imo).

    as for actual ability checks, I often just DC 30 - Ability score (say an orc with 18 strength doing a Strength check would have a DC 12 to make with 1d20+4 roll). This is usually only if the check has something to do with the character (sometimes I use INT checks to have certain pc's recall certain clues).
     
  6. Shadow Cougar Banned

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    From my point of view it is quite ok if the DM is rolling secretely, everything, if other players allow so, because, it gives a match of mystery and expectation, and he can then manipulate the game completely to remain balanced.

    However, it all depends on how the DM is oriented toward players, because he could favour someone more than the other, and therefore cheat by helping someone. ( For example, guy DM likes a cute sweet blondie that is playing a cute sweet elf ), as well, dislike someone and look forward on making his life miserable...And so forth. I stick to classical skill table separation to those that DM should roll secretly, and to those he could, and to those there is no need for him to do so. The only time when secret rp is existant is over the mIRC or something alike, where all you can is trust to DM.
     
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