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23785954 No.23785954 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Failed rolls in RPGs should always be interesting, but how do you make failed knowledge rolls interesting without frustrating players?

It is interesting for a failed stealth roll to make a character raise an alarm and get into a sticky situation, and it makes sense.

It is interesting for a failed knowledge roll to make the character wildly misremember a fact, but it often makes no sense at all, and it is very liable to infuriate the player whose character now looks like a bumbling fool.

>> No.23785974

'You don't know'

>> No.23785987

>>23785974
The creativity!

>> No.23786040

>>23785987
Well, OP doesn't want a character making a knowledge roll to actually get things wrong, so 'you don't know' is about as good as we're going to get.

>> No.23786055

It's pretty much going to be misinformation or "you don't know."
Say you need to know the name of some God's pet dog for a puzzle of sorts, say to a statue that will give up a magical gem. You *KNOW* it's Albastor. So you say to the statue "Albastor!" The statue says you're wrong, but he says so in Gnomish and not Common. The player will think one of two things: "My character is wrong" or "Is the Gnomish lore different than <CHARRACE>'s lore?" The second can provide sidequest opportunities. Maybe it's pronounced differently in Gnomish, like the 'bas' part is said as 'kanj' and the l is silent. The first simply means he goes and references a book... which could be an adventure in of itself.

See, here's how you justify the roll failing: The PC knew it was Albastor. What he didn't know was the god had a popular side bit in the Gnomish mythos. He was right and he was wrong.

>> No.23786088

"You don't remember off hand, but you know you saw something about this in one of the books in the great library of bumfuckia, maybe a journey there will provide illumination."

>> No.23786101

To take a page from Mouse Guard's playbook, a good method to use if players are rolling for something where failure will result in a lot of frustration (for example, if the DM's contingency plan for what will happen if the players fail is not as fun as he would like, or the consequences of direct failure would be catastrophic and fun-ruining for players) is to use the "twist" result.

Basically, if the player fails whichever roll-based test is currently relevant, a twist would mean he succeeds, but an unpleasant event also occurs. For example, say you are looking to find a missing farmer who was last seen moving grain to the mill. If the roll to find the farmer and his grain is failed, instead of having the players get hopelessly lost, have them find the farmer and his cart of grain.

Unfortunately, the farmer is dead; killed by a monster. Now the players have a monster to deal with, and the monster may be stalking the party this very moment.

>> No.23786141

y'know how you know you know the answer but it just doesn't come to mind?

You're doing that now.

>> No.23786186

>>23786055
>He was right and he was wrong.

You either have some higher-being ascended players or never tried this. Players' actions when meeting a puzzle:
1. Try random things that come to mind at first.
2. If that fails, knowledge checks.
3. If that fails, adamantine picks and disintegration - dismantle the puzzle.

>> No.23786211

>>23786141
That sort of implies you can just make knowledge checks over and over again until you do remember, which, uh...

has interesting implications if that's the only way knowledge checks are handled.

>> No.23786572

1-failed hard, you just discovered something that's retarded and wrong why are you thinking into this?
2- failed not too hard you just discovered something totally unrelated, concentrate ffs
3- almost failed you think you know something about it, but not sure

>> No.23786764
File: 177 KB, 636x359, The fuck was that.png [View same] [iqdb] [saucenao] [google] [report]
23786764

>>23786186
Admittedly, no, I've not tried it. It basically boils down to "go read a book about it" anyways.

I DM'd one group that annoyed me because they were so stupid I couldn't throw in a single puzzle that wasn't a simple check. One puzzle was literally "Quote the name of the forever black bird once more." Raven, obviously. "I roll whatever knowledge is closest to it" he says as he rolls. 19.
"You are smart enough to figure this out," I reply. He rolls again and keeps rolling until he gets a 20 whilst I talk to the others who look at me stupid.
"Fine, just use google."
One guy, not the roller, pulls out his phone and googled the puzzle word for word. He finally replied after five minutes of googling "Edgar Allan Poe?"
>My fucking face

For reference, googling "Quote the name of the forever black bird once more" as The Raven on Wikipedia as the second link

>> No.23787267

>>23786764
I'm so, so sorry.

>> No.23790491

Simple.

Knowledge rolls failed are a break of concentration. Or the character is distracted. Or even in RL examples and I'm sure we have all had these moments... you simply can't recall under the pressure or are having "one of those days". If a second roll can be made, increase the difficulty to reflect a character's frustration trying to recall something "on the tip of their tongue".

>> No.23791475

>>23786764
Are you from english speaking country? If yes, then well, you're sort of fucked, I'm sorry. I imagine majority of non-english speaking people probably won't know about Poe.

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