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Experience Checks - How hard to get?

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

Check-hunting? So what? If the rules system insists that the sword ability has a separate skill from the axe ability, and your axe has better penetration power against an opponent with better armor, it makes sense to sacrifice a few percents advantage.

Also, check-hunting has its positives - as a GM, I like it when new approaches and solutions are tried, even if they are motivated by the player trying to find uses for skills that haven't been checked yet.

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IMG I allow for Ticks for 'meaningful' skill use. 

So if players are making a roll where pass/fail has no real impact I often dont allow it. However dramatic or funny results may if I feel like it or the player makes a good case for it. 

Essentially I tend to ask myself if it was a learning/teachable moment and if so then fine. Riding down the road and player makes a ride roll off their own back? No. Player Crits and out paces the bad guys...sure. I call for a roll to ride up a steep snowy bank...sure.  

Do players go looking for skill ticks? Sure. My Stormbull is know to switch to duel wielding battle axes against easier opponents in order to raise his Right Hand and Left Hand Battle Axe skill because he knows one day he'll be trying for Storm Khan where multiple weapon mastery is important.  Its a bit meta but then when I was trying (and getting) Warrior status in my re-enactment group that required competence in a number of weapons and styles I made damn sure I was using them on the field regularly. The second I passed  my Sword and Shield and 1/4 Staff went in the weapons rack and hardly saw the light of day afterwards. Great Sword or Bardiche remain my weapons of choice with knives for emergencies or fun. Anyway exactly the same. 

 

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From my perspective, if there aren't meaningful consequences for both success and failure, nobody should be rolling any dice. If your apply this standard, all rolls should count for checks. 

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3 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

imho the only time not to give a role is if you think the players , using the skills just to get the tick ( ie golf bag combat )

I give it even then. :)

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5 hours ago, GAZZA said:

I give it even then. :)

The Humakti sheathes his sword and draws his knife "I wouldnt want you to meet your gods after an unfair fight" :- yeah totally a dagger skill check....

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6 hours ago, GAZZA said:

I give it even then. :)

Me too. I only say no to "empty" checks like "I check for ambushes" when there is no reason to expect one and you're doing regular scanning anyway. Or if someone wants to climb a tree for no clear reason. 

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The only time I would not give a tick for a skill roll is if I am getting a roll for the purpose of throwing the players off the scent of what I am really doing. Sometimes the sheer act of asking for a roll will throw the players into a frenzy of preparation for an event the meta-players realize is coming, but the adventures living on the lozenge would have not way of knowing about. To help keep the power playing munchkins from ruining the surprise there are times when I will ask for a roll and not tell them what they are rolling for. I scribble down some notes (either harreck the handsome detects a foul smell which he can not identify but tips him off, oh and Jane got a skill check), and I rattle this off as part my initial area description. That Jane (harrek the handsome’s player) would have no way of knowing that this was a critical roll vs sense smelly assassin is a fact and I use it in game but I do not tell her until later. Or I might scribble down, ’Remember, the missus wants to you pick up some milk and a loaf of bread after the game.’, and then look at the party with a knowing grin and  then continue my description as if nothing had happened behind the screen. You know, “Move along, these are not the droids we are looking for...” when I want to deceive the players and keep the suspense mounting. This is just an example, and a silly one at that, but I hope I was able to make my point.

This does require a bit of paperwork (having the germane skills of the adventures pre-written on the GMs side of the screen and a note pad to record when the skill check made is actually relevant and not a red herring) but if it makes the story stronger and does not open the 4th wall revealing  holes in the world and an audience and ruining the "theatre of the mind" I am trying so hard to create I call it a good thing.

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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On 2/27/2020 at 6:03 PM, Jon Hunter said:

golf bag combat

???

2 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

The only time I would not give a tick for a skill roll is if I am getting a roll for the purpose of throwing the players off the scent of what I am really doing.

It might not even be worth the bookkeeping trouble because these rolls tend to be for Listen or Scan or some commonly used enough skill that it would probably have gotten a "legitimate" check soon, or might have had a check already.

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2 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

It might not even be worth the bookkeeping trouble because these rolls tend to be for Listen or Scan or some commonly used enough skill that it would probably have gotten a "legitimate" check soon, or might have had a check already.

Just mentioning the only time I would not award a check... so for me, worth it, for you maybe not.

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22 hours ago, Thaz said:

The Humakti sheathes his sword and draws his knife "I wouldnt want you to meet your gods after an unfair fight" :- yeah totally a dagger skill check....

I mean why not? Honestly, this is not the hill I would choose to die on.

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18 hours ago, lordabdul said:
On 2/28/2020 at 2:03 AM, Jon Hunter said:

golf bag combat

???

Attack with my sword, drop it and pull out my mace from my weapon bag, hit then drop it and pull out my dagger etc. Basically, you use your weapons like golf irons, pulling them from your golf bag as required.

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We were aware of tick-hunting in principle even back in the RQ2 80s, but no min-maxer worth their salt would bother with chasing skill increases in anything but the most effective weapon. Pretty much everyone had bastard swords, except the ogre who was always in danger of giving away his secret by using a heavy mace with his 2D6 damage bonus. 😜

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12 hours ago, soltakss said:

Attack with my sword, drop it and pull out my mace from my weapon bag, hit then drop it and pull out my dagger etc. Basically, you use your weapons like golf irons, pulling them from your golf bag as required.

Originates in D&D, where the damage resist system meant that you needed a collection of weapons to defeat different resists in creatures. Silver, Cold Iron, Adamantine. Good, Chaoitic, Lawful (best to have an Evil weapon as well if you really need to take down that Celestial). Pick the right sword from your golf bag.

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On 2/28/2020 at 8:15 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Or if someone wants to climb a tree for no clear reason. 

I don't think the reason should be relevant. Climbing a tree should lead to a tick, unless it's a really easy tree to climb. It's all in the experience bag!

14 hours ago, soltakss said:

Attack with my sword, drop it and pull out my mace from my weapon bag, hit then drop it and pull out my dagger etc. Basically, you use your weapons like golf irons, pulling them from your golf bag as required.

Awesome! Half the time they're lacking a weapon... Terrible combat idea!

Much smarter to start and finish each fight with the same weapon, but alter for each fight.

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1. To OP well done for having the courtesy to not question the decision in game. Something which shouldn't need to be said is that squabbling at the table does more to ruin a game than any number of poor/questionable/different/wrong GM decisions (I'm sure that the rest of us here on this forum are all paragons of virtue too and would never be the pain at the table).

2. In my game yes you'd have got an experience check (and on a fumble you'd have got the maximum raise during rest time).

3. Just out of interest: were you asked to make the roll or did GM make the roll on your behalf?

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Yeah, I also run a game on Roll20, and I have told the players that, once I make a decision, the discussion is over. I'm perfectly willing to hear "What about..." comments, but I won't let it go on too long. That spoils the game for everyone.

I made the roll, which surprised me. In the game I run, I make all perception and lore rolls, and keep track of any exp. checks until the end of the scenario.

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