PDA

View Full Version : GMs hidding rolls. Meta Currencies.



Earthwalker
2016-07-26, 05:39 AM
A few threads have appeared and talk has moved towards GMs hiding rolls. I didnít want to post in these other threads as it was a derail as opposed to the original purpose of the thread. So I have created this thread to discuss dice rolling, GMs hiding rolls, GMs rolling for players, Meta currencies rolls for paranoiaÖ and whatever else comes up.

To start normally when I GM I roll in the open. I have had some games where my players have said they prefer things if I use a screen, (which if no one objects I use a screen)
Normally I do not make any of the PCs rolls. When rolling the PC know the target number. They know the approximate result of a success or failure. This is because in all the games I play the players have a meta-currency that allows them to change the result of a roll. (Hero points, fate points, edge, karma) As these are usually limited then it seems unfair for them to spend them to achieve a pointless success or avoid a harmless failure.

This also removes what I will call paranoia rolls. Something that I remember from the old school days. When exploring the dark scary castle asking the players to make perception checks and after the rolls smiling and making a random note but giving the players no information. As if they had missed something. A device used to increase tension. Of course as the players in my game know what rolls are for then this is impossible, it would require a change in dice etiquette if I wanted to run a more horror based game.

I do have some simple questions for the collective.

As a player or GM

Does the GM roll in secret ?
Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players ?
Do you have meta currency in your games ?
Does the GM make paranoia rolls ?


Some more complicated questions I wonder about.

Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception.
As a GM where would you go from here ?

Example 2
This happened to me as a player in a recent game. It was pathfinder and my character in the group has the best perception, I have been focused on improving it with feats (My character is a cleric detective). The GM called for a perception roll. I get a 20 on the dice and call out my 35 perceptions all smug and stuff.
The GM says I see nothing. This of course left me feeling the roll was pointless. I had the best perception in the group, rolled a 20 and saw nothing. If none in the group could make the target number why roll ?
As a GM what would you do in this situation?

Satinavian
2016-07-26, 07:01 AM
I do have some simple questions for the collective.

As a player or GM

Does the GM roll in secret ? Usually not. It might happen to hide NPC stats that would reveal to much.
Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players ? No
Do you have meta currency in your games ? In some games yes, in other no
Does the GM make paranoia rolls ? No


Some more complicated questions I wonder about.

Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception.
As a GM where would you go from here ?

I don't do secret player rolls. But if something like this happened, i would either have asked the player beforehand if they would use their reroll on important secret rolls or not or i would forgo the secrecy and ask the player now if he/she wants to reroll.

Example 2
This happened to me as a player in a recent game. It was pathfinder and my character in the group has the best perception, I have been focused on improving it with feats (My character is a cleric detective). The GM called for a perception roll. I get a 20 on the dice and call out my 35 perceptions all smug and stuff.
The GM says I see nothing. This of course left me feeling the roll was pointless. I had the best perception in the group, rolled a 20 and saw nothing. If none in the group could make the target number why roll ?
As a GM what would you do in this situation?

Yes, the roll was pointless. I would not have demanded a roll if no chance of success existed. But i am not always aware of all numbers of the PCs. I might have missed the impossibility

Answers in color

Keltest
2016-07-26, 07:02 AM
As a GM you should never be rolling for the players unless they specifically ask for it. Even if youre rolling out in the open (and perhaps especially then), it takes away from the group aspect of the game if the GM is playing your characters for you. If youre concerned with them knowing something is there because there was a roll, even if they don't find anything, throw in a bunch of dummy rolls where they make their spot checks and don't find anything because there isn't anything. Your second example plays into this. You assume there was something to find because your GM had you roll a check for it, but what if there wasn't? he could have just been having you roll specifically to find nothing so that you don't automatically associate search style checks with there being something to find if you just dismantle the room enough.

hymer
2016-07-26, 07:15 AM
For superfluous paranoia rolls to work these days, the DM should ask the PC's perception, and then roll it behind a screen. That gets rid of the problem you encountered with the natural 20. And yes, that roll did more damage to the mood and atmosphere than any good it might have done as a paranoia roll.

I prefer instead to make sure there are plenty of perception checks to be made, and only a fraction deal with noticing enemies. Instead, a good roll often means the character notices something they'd otherwise only notice upon searching.

goto124
2016-07-26, 07:22 AM
Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception. As a GM where would you go from here ?

GM: "Psst... wanna use your re-roll?"
Player: "Er, why?"
GM: "Can't tell you, it's a seeeeeeeeeeeeecret."
Player: "Well... okay."
GM: *rolls* *continues with rest of the game*
All Players: *freak out*

Strigon
2016-07-26, 08:16 AM
Does the GM roll in secret ? Only if he has something to deliberately hide, that they player's reasonably wouldn't know. Attack rolls, saving throws and the like are rolled in the open, bluff and others are rolled secretly.

Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players ? Again, only if the party reasonably wouldn't know. Sense Motive, Hide, Disguise, Forgery, Spot, Search, Listen, all rolled by GM. However, for some of these, the party can roll their own opposed checks to see if they did a good job, and try again if they want. But they'll never really know how well they did.

Do you have meta currency in your games ? Some of them, yes. But they're usually very rare and very powerful, far too much to waste on a skill check.

Does the GM make paranoia rolls ? Not paranoia rolls, per se, but to avoid metagaming I will occasionally roll some dice. This is purely so they don't automatically know they failed a Spot Check or similar.


Some more complicated questions I wonder about.

Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception.
As a GM where would you go from here ? In general, I dislike retconning. However, if this was a fairly recent event, and nobody objects, I'd allow him to re-roll, in the open this time. If he still failed, we'd continue from where we were. If not, we'd jump back a few minutes. Really, this doesn't seem that big a deal.

Example 2
This happened to me as a player in a recent game. It was pathfinder and my character in the group has the best perception, I have been focused on improving it with feats (My character is a cleric detective). The GM called for a perception roll. I get a 20 on the dice and call out my 35 perceptions all smug and stuff.
The GM says I see nothing. This of course left me feeling the roll was pointless. I had the best perception in the group, rolled a 20 and saw nothing. If none in the group could make the target number why roll ?
As a GM what would you do in this situation? Sounds like one of the aforementioned Paranoia Rolls. Can't say what I'd do, because I don't know why the GM did it. It's certainly a difficult situation; if he just said you didn't see anything, it would seem like GM fiat, even if you couldn't.
Maybe he rolled Hide for a monster at the same time, and it just happened to beat 35 - something he couldn't have predicted? Honestly, I couldn't say what's happening or why.

Earthwalker
2016-07-26, 09:29 AM
[snip]

Your second example plays into this. You assume there was something to find because your GM had you roll a check for it, but what if there wasn't? he could have just been having you roll specifically to find nothing so that you don't automatically associate search style checks with there being something to find if you just dismantle the room enough.


This plays into what I can find frustrating. If there is nothing to find I don't see the point in rolling. I know this is not the same for everyone.

From what you have said here I am feeling differently about when the players ask to search somewhere and the GM asking for a perception roll. If the players initiate the roll I am more than happy to roll my best and find nothing.
The other way around it just seemed pointless rolling if my best (and the best in the group) still couldnít see anything.





[snip]
Do you have meta currency in your games ? Some of them, yes. But they're usually very rare and very powerful, far too much to waste on a skill check.

Perspective is a great thing. Until this I just base everything on my games where skill checks are sometimes the only thing. Sometimes as important as everything else.
Comes to a point as what is important and how can the players know ?



[snip]

Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception.
As a GM where would you go from here ? In general, I dislike retconning. However, if this was a fairly recent event, and nobody objects, I'd allow him to re-roll, in the open this time. If he still failed, we'd continue from where we were. If not, we'd jump back a few minutes. Really, this doesn't seem that big a deal.


I think this is something for GMs to be aware of. Sometimes GMs have announced the start of combat with the opening attack. (What the NPCs do in the surprise round in DnD for example) this can have an impact one when the player chooses to use his re-roll and maybe effect if the GM allows them to do it.



Example 2
This happened to me as a player in a recent game. It was pathfinder and my character in the group has the best perception, I have been focused on improving it with feats (My character is a cleric detective). The GM called for a perception roll. I get a 20 on the dice and call out my 35 perceptions all smug and stuff.
The GM says I see nothing. This of course left me feeling the roll was pointless. I had the best perception in the group, rolled a 20 and saw nothing. If none in the group could make the target number why roll ?
As a GM what would you do in this situation? Sounds like one of the aforementioned Paranoia Rolls. Can't say what I'd do, because I don't know why the GM did it. It's certainly a difficult situation; if he just said you didn't see anything, it would seem like GM fiat, even if you couldn't.
Maybe he rolled Hide for a monster at the same time, and it just happened to beat 35 - something he couldn't have predicted? Honestly, I couldn't say what's happening or why.

One thing I had not thought about was the GM rolling after calling for the check. In this example (as it really happened) the GM didnít roll a dice after the check was called.
Itís a valid point tho that the GM might not know the roll is pointless until he himself has rolled.

Another Item that has sprung to my mind. You have a party with the PCs and a load of NPCs, only one of these is plotting against the party. One NPC is lying to the party and trying to bluff them. The others are completely honest.
As a GM how do you handle this encounter?

Geddy2112
2016-07-26, 09:37 AM
I am 100% for total open rolls-I want total openness and honesty at my table, so my players can always see what I roll. However, I keep the modifiers and often purpose of the roll secret. I never make a roll or check for a player character either. Occasionally I will have some meta-gaming when a player decides to roll spot/perception and gets a natural 1, so the other players suddenly decide to do so. So long as it is not outright abusive metagaming I don't really intervene.

To avoid calling for frequent rolls, I make liberal use of take 10, assuming they are constantly looking/doing things as if they took a 10 on the dice, unless a situation required them to roll or they decide to do so.

I do love paranoia rolls-but they are rarely for no reason. It might be if the marauding orcs a mile away went left or right, or if the hawk in the tree sees the party, or the stealth check for the rat that sneaks under the barrel as the party enters the room. I go for minor aesthetic things or to determine random events, but sometimes I do roll just because.

Keltest
2016-07-26, 09:49 AM
This plays into what I can find frustrating. If there is nothing to find I don't see the point in rolling. I know this is not the same for everyone.

The benefit isn't for you, its for the GM. Sometimes they want there to be stuff to find that you don't know about, but if they only ever have you roll when something is there, youre going to know about it, at least in a vague "there is something there" sense, and more than likely act under that assumption.

"Wait! I think I just failed a spot check." (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0003.html)

Now maybe your particular group are such masterful roleplayers that you are all able to resist the temptation to start dismantling the room looking for that ninja you don't know is there, but plenty of groups aren't, which is why the DM sometimes sends them red herrings.

Now, if theres a particularly exceptional roll, maybe the GM can reward it by letting them find something that the GM had not planned to be there, like a loose purse of gold or something. But the general intent is to combat metagaming by implanting the idea that just because you were looking doesn't mean there was anything to find.

NRSASD
2016-07-26, 09:58 AM
Yes, the gm makes hidden rolls.

No, the gm never rolls skill checks. However, the players never know the target number either.

Yes, there is a metacurrency, but it's designed as a divine intervention device. One would never use it for a skill check, but only in circumstances where the character lives or dies due to a save or ability check (crit failing when jumping from a tower to a griffon, etc.)

No, the gm never rolls without a reason.

Strigon
2016-07-26, 12:24 PM
Perspective is a great thing. Until this I just base everything on my games where skill checks are sometimes the only thing. Sometimes as important as everything else.
Comes to a point as what is important and how can the players know ?

...

Another Item that has sprung to my mind. You have a party with the PCs and a load of NPCs, only one of these is plotting against the party. One NPC is lying to the party and trying to bluff them. The others are completely honest.
As a GM how do you handle this encounter?

They usually, in our games, represent a character doing something well above their usual power. Things like a mid-level Cleric getting direct help from their patron deity, in some form, or someone bashing through a magically reinforced wall in seconds. They're given to the entire party - usually only one or two per campaign - to share between them. Everyone has to agree to use it then and there.

As for that encounter, I'd probably just allow them to use Sense Motive (or similar) on each of the NPCs, if they chose. If they aren't suspicious of the NPC's, then I'd either let them get betrayed, or I might use their checks as if they took ten, with a minor penalty. If they passed, I'd say something about the NPC seemed off. Nothing more, nothing less.

Airk
2016-07-26, 12:40 PM
GM: "Psst... wanna use your re-roll?"
Player: "Er, why?"
GM: "Can't tell you, it's a seeeeeeeeeeeeecret."
Player: "Well... okay."
GM: *rolls* *continues with rest of the game*
All Players: *freak out*

More like:

All Players: The heck was that about? Stop being a jerk.

SethoMarkus
2016-07-26, 01:03 PM
More like:

All Players: The heck was that about? Stop being a jerk.

In my group they wouldn't be suspicious or accuse the DM of foul play, but we go for a more suspenseful, cinematic, story driven game.

We don't tend to use any meta-currency, but will give bonuses for thinking outside the box or for "cool factor". Sometimes the DM will allow a player to succeed simply because it would cinematically fit. Sometimes the players will voluntarily fail because it increases the drama.

Most of the rolls are out in the open, but sometimes they aren't. The players control most of their own skills and rolls, but sometimes the DM will roll for them (in secret) for something like Spot or Sense Motive. The players are always allowed to initiate these rolls at any point, but the DM will roll for them in cases of an ambush or a trap (that is not actively being searched for). (Though we do play on Roll20 mostly so there is no need for fake rolls.)

In general, we all trust each other to play with the enjoyment and entertainment of the whole group in mind. The players trust the DM not to play "against" them. The DM trusts the players not to lie or cheat on their die rolls. Players trust each other that any in-character conflict both had good reason and does not bleed over into real life.

So yes, we use hidden rolls. In example 1, we would simpmy roll back to before initiative if anyone needed/wanted to reroll with an in-game ability. In example 2, we would all become a little more paranoid in character, and the DM would probably mention something along the lines of, "Something flashes in the side of your vision, but you weren't able to get a good look. It seems it was just your imagination."

nedz
2016-07-26, 01:58 PM
Does the GM roll in secret ?
Never, but if I did then the player's would never know I had.

Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players ?
No, but I might ask them to make rolls where they don't know the result.

Do you have meta currency in your games ?
I have no idea what this is ?

Does the GM make paranoia rolls ?

I'm big on the psychological stuff, but this trick is over used and quite old now.

Airk
2016-07-26, 02:18 PM
In my group they wouldn't be suspicious or accuse the DM of foul play, but we go for a more suspenseful, cinematic, story driven game.


Does your group also allow the GM to ask players if they want to use their limited use abilities without telling people what for?

Because that's the crux of the example. If a GM wants to roll in secret, great, but when you start asking people to expend limited resources without telling them why, you're being a jerk.

Keltest
2016-07-26, 02:28 PM
Does your group also allow the GM to ask players if they want to use their limited use abilities without telling people what for?

Because that's the crux of the example. If a GM wants to roll in secret, great, but when you start asking people to expend limited resources without telling them why, you're being a jerk.

Alternatively, if youre making the decision whether to spend said resources for them.

Earthwalker
2016-07-26, 04:19 PM
Does your group also allow the GM to ask players if they want to use their limited use abilities without telling people what for?

Because that's the crux of the example. If a GM wants to roll in secret, great, but when you start asking people to expend limited resources without telling them why, you're being a jerk.

I see what you are saying. I am not sure its being a jerk or rather just having a different expectation.
It seem that most of the people using secret rolls and haveing a meta currency is a different form of meta currency I am used to.

Simplest thing would be to give an example.

So in shadowrun these days you have Edge. Its a stat you pay character resources for. It represents your luck. Its sole function is an out of character player only resource allowing them some manipulation of the dice rolls.

Having an edge of 6 (the notional maximum, this is shadowrun maximum is an odd thing) you can reroll your dice 6 times in a game session. This is something the player does not as such a character ability. This is the players metagame resource, having such a thing is not particularly compatible with no metagaming.


They usually, in our games, represent a character doing something well above their usual power. Things like a mid-level Cleric getting direct help from their patron deity, in some form, or someone bashing through a magically reinforced wall in seconds. They're given to the entire party - usually only one or two per campaign - to share between them. Everyone has to agree to use it then and there.

As for that encounter, I'd probably just allow them to use Sense Motive (or similar) on each of the NPCs, if they chose. If they aren't suspicious of the NPC's, then I'd either let them get betrayed, or I might use their checks as if they took ten, with a minor penalty. If they passed, I'd say something about the NPC seemed off. Nothing more, nothing less.

While I see how this works for you as the metagaming resource is not for manipulating the dice rolls (as you have said for skill checks its pointless) If you are using something like Edge mentioned above it makes that stat kind of pointless. You are going to be making 30 dice rolls (one per NPC) and have no idea which is important.


For superfluous paranoia rolls to work these days, the DM should ask the PC's perception, and then roll it behind a screen. That gets rid of the problem you encountered with the natural 20. And yes, that roll did more damage to the mood and atmosphere than any good it might have done as a paranoia roll.

I prefer instead to make sure there are plenty of perception checks to be made, and only a fraction deal with noticing enemies. Instead, a good roll often means the character notices something they'd otherwise only notice upon searching.


May I ask do you have any method where a player may effect a roll (meta currency as I am calling it) ? I am guessing not.


Again to give a idea of why I talking about perception and skill checks another story of another character of mine. This one in Shadowrun 1e maybe 2e I forget.
Shadowrun has Karma you can use to effect dice rolls (re-roll failures, buy successes) its also used to improve your character so you don't want to waste too much. My character a mage detective (I like the detective archetype) had these skill / stats

Perception 9 - used to notice things
Body 3 - used to resist damage
Combat Pool 7 - Used to augment combat rolls, including damage resistance.

Now normal human ranges from 1 to 6 (sort of magic / tech pushes past this). So my character was pretty perceptive as it was his thing.
Game rules time. If I am getting ambushed I normally get a chance to perceive the threat. If I fail the roll I will only get to use my body to resist damage as I would not be expecting trouble.
If I make the roll I can use Body + Combat Pool to resist. I also have a chance to go before the bad guys and maybe run away, Not go into the ambush. Yell a warning and get cover.

Usually from a rules point of view if I notice the ambush I can react (and save myself with combat pool) if I don't I am toast. Like trying to roll 3 dice and make sure 8 of them are higher than a 4 to be uninjured. Needing 2 to be not dead.

So if I fail a perception I most likely want to use Karma to make it so I can live. 1 point of karma on perception is worth probably about 5 on body. So if my GM is calling for perception for paranoia. Or calling for it and you notice a rat dart away. Or other rolls I am going to be out of Karma before any fight takes place then dead.

Basically when I played this character the GM did do secret perception rolls and operated on me saying if I fail the roll I will spend karma to re-roll failures. Looking back now this was an odd solution it basically told the GM you wont inform me of the important rolls so you decide my meta-currency. These days I would ask that we only roll for important and relevant things. Then I can make a judgment one if I want to use my limited resources or not.

Slipperychicken
2016-07-26, 04:58 PM
GM roll in secret? Only for things the players shouldn't see, like bluff/insight. Most everything else, like attack rolls and saving throws, is done on the table. He even has us do percentage rolls for certain things, like loot.

GM roll some skills/checks for players? Only sometimes, for things he thinks would really mess with us, like a small subset of perception rolls.

Do we have a meta-currency? We play 5th edition DnD and use inspiration as the core rules suggest. That's it.

GM make paranoia rolls? Absolutely, all the time. Sometimes in secret, sometimes in the open.

SethoMarkus
2016-07-26, 08:39 PM
Does your group also allow the GM to ask players if they want to use their limited use abilities without telling people what for?

Because that's the crux of the example. If a GM wants to roll in secret, great, but when you start asking people to expend limited resources without telling them why, you're being a jerk.

We would resolve as though they did not expend the resource, and if they retroactively decide their character would have used the resource we rewind time ti a point where the two results diverged.

Example of detecting an ambush being: the character fails their perception check, they are ambushed, the player says they would like to use their limited resource (let's say reroll a skill check once per day), we roll the (new) check, if they fail we continue as normal, if they pass we rewind back to before the ambush surprise round (or right before the check was made) and play through again, this time with the player and their character aware of the ambush.

Admittedly, it breaks immersion and suspense when this happens, but we use those types of reroll-resources sparingly enough that the majority of the time it aids in building suspense and drama.

Jay R
2016-07-26, 08:46 PM
Does the GM roll in secret ?

Yes, any time the characters don't know what's going on, or seeing the roll would reduce the fun or suspense.


Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players ?

Passive checks they don't know about, like spot checks when there's an ambush, yes.


Do you have meta currency in your games ?

Sometimes.


Does the GM make paranoia rolls ?

No. If you need this to build suspense, then you are admitting than your plot isn't suspenseful.


Some more complicated questions I wonder about.

Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception.
As a GM where would you go from here ?

When I have rules for choosing re-rolls, it's pretty clear that it represents some character ability - mystic or intuitive. That means that the player can only use it when the character has reason to know something random is occurring.


Example 2
This happened to me as a player in a recent game. It was pathfinder and my character in the group has the best perception, I have been focused on improving it with feats (My character is a cleric detective). The GM called for a perception roll. I get a 20 on the dice and call out my 35 perceptions all smug and stuff.
The GM says I see nothing. This of course left me feeling the roll was pointless. I had the best perception in the group, rolled a 20 and saw nothing. If none in the group could make the target number why roll ?
As a GM what would you do in this situation?

Since you can't tell us what the DM had in mind, we have no way to know what the situation is, so we have no idea what we would do. But I can give three examples of similar situations that might help.

1. Recently, we were all asked to make spot checks in a cavern, to see if we could spot another exit. It turned out that there wasn't one. My character made a natural 20, which gave a 44 - far higher than any other character could ever roll. The DM invented (I believe) a long lost magic item trampled into the dirt, and my character picked up a ring of freedom of action. Henceforth, when I'm the DM, I will have a small list of "lost items" (though none that good) for that kind of situation.

2. I have occasionally had a roll that would only matter if somebody failed the roll. Walking through swampland, only a fumble would make you stand on a spot that was really a sinkhole. Sneaking up on a guard, there's a stick on the ground. Miss the spot check, and you will roll a reflex save to avoid stepping on the stick and making a noise. It may be that your roll did in fact make a difference - by preventing something bad from happening.

3. Sometimes only one person's roll matters, but I don't want to give the players that clue. So everybody makes a spot check, but I only pay attention to the character with darkvision, or tremorsense, or who can see the invisible, or even the one in the back of the party. But if I only had that person roll, then it would be clear that there was something in the dark, on the ground, or invisible, or behind them.

So my rule of thumb is this:
Play with a DM you trust, and then trust your DM.

hymer
2016-07-27, 03:00 AM
May I ask do you have any method where a player may effect a roll (meta currency as I am calling it) ? I am guessing not.

Not as such. But if you bring up this problem to your players, you can discuss it together, and whatever you end up on won't get dropped on anyone from nowhere. You could agree that for those few rolls per session, there's no reroll. It'll have to get spent on other stuff. Or you could agree that the GM will make the decision on whether to use the reroll at that time, based on her/his assessment of how important it is. Or you could announce that there's a round of perception checks in the offing, and everyone failed. Does anyone wish to use their reroll? In such a case, you need some blinds, too, so the fact that you announce it like that won't spoiler that this is an important roll.

Acanous
2016-07-27, 03:40 AM
Another Item that had sprung to my mind. You have a party with the PCs and a load of NPCs, only one of these is plotting against the party. One NPC is lying to the party and trying to bluff them. The others are completely honest.
As a GM how do you handle this encounter?
The party all roll sense motive at the beginning of the scene prior to talking to any specific NPC. The bad guy rolls bluff. Party members who fail by a lot think someone else is suspicious. Party members who fail by a little pick up on an inconsequential bit of info from the NPCs. The ones who beat the DC think the correct one isn't being truthful.

Bonus points; the guy with the lowest roll thinks the correct guy is suspicious.

Darth Ultron
2016-07-27, 04:45 PM
I roll mostly in secret. The whole everyone rolls in the open is way too far down the slipper slope of ''the DM is just a player''.



Example 1.


Well, the player can only use a re-roll if they know character made a roll. If they don't know, they can't use it. But if it was a good player, I might say ''what to use your re-roll'' and not tell them why.





Example 2


This is a bit odd as it seems like your saying a character must always make a check? A check can always fail. It's just a bad idea to think that a character can never fail.

And it is just as bad to be saying ''all DC's must be low so characters can make their checks''. Like the DM should use a formula like ''max character number minus five'' for all DC's?

I would note that in a normal game, a DC might be too high for a character to make. But that is normal. I would also note that any character can boost the roll too and don't need to roll just a check with just their ranks.

Earthwalker
2016-07-28, 06:19 AM
The party all roll sense motive at the beginning of the scene prior to talking to any specific NPC. The bad guy rolls bluff. Party members who fail by a lot think someone else is suspicious. Party members who fail by a little pick up on an inconsequential bit of info from the NPCs. The ones who beat the DC think the correct one isn't being truthful.
Bonus points; the guy with the lowest roll thinks the correct guy is suspicious.

I like the idea of only one roll so that if meta-currencies are in play they can be used.

On the whole the approach where you can never ever know if you have succeeded at a sense motive devalues the skill.

Additionally when failed rolls give false information and all people are rolling then it is moving the skill towards being pointless.

Which is fair enough but if the skill is pointless why even bother having it as a trap for people to spend resources on?

By the nature of the RNG you are going to get some good and some bad rolls. So if the bad roll players thing Baron Bob is suspicious. The good roll playerís thing Earl Ed is suspicious. And the average roll players have no clue. How does that help the players?
Here is a crazy alternative way to play the party scene.

The PCs head to the party and meet with the NPC. The conversations with different NPCs are role played out. At some stage into the party the GM calls for sense motive rolls from everyone. The guy playing Jonny Seesall declares he is going to use a hero point on this roll. Seeing all is kind of his bag and he wants to put his skills to go use. This nets him a +8 bonus on the roll (as per pathfinder hero point rules (I think))

Rolls are made in the open and Jonny gets sense motive 43. Easily surpassing Baron Bobs bluff. The GM describes to Jonny that Bob is a skilled liar and knows how to steer a conversation but Jonny is a trained observer and notices how twice now Bob has skilfully steered conversations away from trouble at his small holding to the south of town. Also as Jonny did so well at the roll beating the bluuf by more than 10, the GM also say when Bob mentions his small holding his hand moves towards a key on his belt.

Now the roll has moved the story on and the Jonny Seesall feels like his investment in skills was worthwhile. Now if the roll had failed then this would not be the case but the player at least knew he tried.


Not as such. But if you bring up this problem to your players, you can discuss it together, and whatever you end up on won't get dropped on anyone from nowhere. You could agree that for those few rolls per session, there's no reroll. It'll have to get spent on other stuff. Or you could agree that the GM will make the decision on whether to use the reroll at that time, based on her/his assessment of how important it is. Or you could announce that there's a round of perception checks in the offing, and everyone failed. Does anyone wish to use their reroll? In such a case, you need some blinds, too, so the fact that you announce it like that won't spoiler that this is an important roll.

I am just asking questions around meta-currencies and how other people use them. So far no one seems to use them the same as me (look at me Ma, I am the only one marching correctly). Or in fact plays games with them.
No Shadowrunners, Faters or Hero Pathfinders here it seems.
When I run a game with them I feel as GM I should be letting the players know what the rolls they make are for, and whatís at stake.


I roll mostly in secret. The whole everyone rolls in the open is way too far down the slipper slope of ''the DM is just a player''.
Well, the player can only use a re-roll if they know character made a roll. If they don't know, they can't use it. But if it was a good player, I might say ''what to use your re-roll'' and not tell them why.

You see in the games I am talking about say Shadowrun the meta-currency. Edge or Karma is not a character controlled ability. It only exists for the player to use not the character.
This is a currency all players have to affect the rules in play (in this case dice rolls, but they can be used for damage mitigation. Ignoring fumbles and more). So the notion this is a character thing does not apply hence the questions.



This is a bit odd as it seems like youíre saying a character must always make a check? A check can always fail. It's just a bad idea to think that a character can never fail.
And it is just as bad to be saying ''all DC's must be low so characters can make their checks''. Like the DM should use a formula like ''max character number minus five'' for all DC's?

I would note that in a normal game, a DC might be too high for a character to make. But that is normal. I would also note that any character can boost the roll too and don't need to roll just a check with just their ranks.

I am happy for things to be in game that characters cannot do. I arenít saying all DCs should be achievable. I am asking whatís the point of rolling if you canít make the DC.
If a player says I am going to jump to the moon (a popular example) you donít say roll your acrobatics. You say no you canít do that.

If the players are traveling and being followed by an invisible creature with a stealth skill + invisible bonus of 20 total 38. If the playerís best perception is +5 you arenít going to say every 20 mins of travel time. Roll perception as no one in the group can make the DC, or are you?

goto124
2016-07-28, 08:20 AM
By the nature of the RNG you are going to get some good and some bad rolls. So if the bad roll players thing Baron Bob is suspicious. The good roll playerís thing Earl Ed is suspicious. And the average roll players have no clue. How does that help the players?

(I'm in agreement with you.)

If I were in such a game, I would ask my groupmates such that there's one person with everything in social skills and stats, and no one else bothers with social stats. Say, one person with 20 in Sense Motive, while everyone else has nothing in Sense Motive. If the party met a lying NPC, that one person would make the check and the entire party already knows what's going on even when no one else makes the roll.

Which is something that people took issue with in DnD - that one PC can be the social PC, while everyone else ignores social skills entirely. DnD is hardly a good model for social mechanics, though.

Jay R
2016-07-28, 08:55 AM
(I'm in agreement with you.)

If I were in such a game, I would ask my groupmates such that there's one person with everything in social skills and stats, and no one else bothers with social stats. Say, one person with 20 in Sense Motive, while everyone else has nothing in Sense Motive. If the party met a lying NPC, that one person would make the check and the entire party already knows what's going on even when no one else makes the roll.

Thank you for a perfect example of why this is a bad idea. It's simply not true, in any group, that one person figures everything out and everyone else simply agrees. This cuts off an important part of gaming - party disagreement.


Which is something that people took issue with in DnD - that one PC can be the social PC, while everyone else ignores social skills entirely. DnD is hardly a good model for social mechanics, though.

I can't imagine building a high CHA character with no social skills. If the party has a paladin and a sorceror, they should both have several social skills.

[Your idea also pins all your hopes on one roll. I won't count on one person catching all the NPC lies for the same reason I won't have only one person fight the melee.]

hymer
2016-07-28, 09:07 AM
Or in fact plays games with them.

In one of my current campaigns, there is the meta currency of rerolls. There's no hard and fast rule on how it interacts with the occasional secret roll. I think well over 99% of dice rolls are open.

Earthwalker
2016-07-28, 09:14 AM
(I'm in agreement with you.)
If I were in such a game, I would ask my groupmates such that there's one person with everything in social skills and stats, and no one else bothers with social stats. Say, one person with 20 in Sense Motive, while everyone else has nothing in Sense Motive. If the party met a lying NPC, that one person would make the check and the entire party already knows what's going on even when no one else makes the roll.
Which is something that people took issue with in DnD - that one PC can be the social PC, while everyone else ignores social skills entirely. DnD is hardly a good model for social mechanics, though.
Oddly I was not trying to advocate only one person getting the skill (it did come across as that) If you have a system where failures give misinformation and you never get to know if you succeed then it basically makes having multiple people roll a waste. I would prefer all people rolling if itís relevant just not having people that fail muddy the waters so to speak.

Thank you for a perfect example of why this is a bad idea. It's simply not true, in any group, that one person figures everything out and everyone else simply agrees. This cuts off an important part of gaming - party disagreement.
I would point out that it is untrue this stops party disagreement. In my example the party might agree that Baron Bob is hiding something in his small holding. Player A thinks they should steal the key and go look. Player B thinks the key isnít needed and they should leave while Baron Bob is at the party.
Then we have party disagreement.
You can always have disagreement, this just means that you arenít coming up with new ways to mechanically create that disagreement.

I can't imagine building a high CHA character with no social skills. If the party has a paladin and a sorceror, they should both have several social skills.
No nor me either.

[Your idea also pins all your hopes on one roll. I won't count on one person catching all the NPC lies for the same reason I won't have only one person fight the melee.]
You might change your mind about having more than one person in melee if the rules worked like some have suggested sense motive.
Player A rolls to hit. He makes the DC and rolls damage. 8 HPs are removed from the NPC.
Player B rolls to hit. He fails the roll (failed rolls for sense motive give misinformation so lets model that in combat) player B rolls damage and rolls 10. So now 10 HPs are added back onto the NPC.

Keltest
2016-07-28, 10:29 AM
Thank you for a perfect example of why this is a bad idea. It's simply not true, in any group, that one person figures everything out and everyone else simply agrees. This cuts off an important part of gaming - party disagreement.

I don't know about you, but if my friend with an almost supernatural ability to tell when someone is lying tells me that somebody is lying, I am inclined to believe them even if I don't pick up any tells. The only reason I wouldn't is if I am equally good and come to a different conclusion.

Darth Ultron
2016-07-28, 04:31 PM
You see in the games I am talking about say Shadowrun the meta-currency. Edge or Karma is not a character controlled ability. It only exists for the player to use not the character.

Everything is a player controlled ability. I guess your talking about games that have things in the rules were the player can attack the DM and force the game to change. Like where the DM has made a game plot, and a player tosses in the ''change plot card'' and the DM has to roll over and do whatever the player wants. Though, i guess the DM would accept it as they agreed to play the game in the first place..

talonhawk01
2016-07-28, 04:46 PM
I don't know about you, but if my friend with an almost supernatural ability to tell when someone is lying tells me that somebody is lying, I am inclined to believe them even if I don't pick up any tells. The only reason I wouldn't is if I am equally good and come to a different conclusion.

...or when you know he rolled a 1 and is very likely to be wrong, regardless of the fact that they're typically right. That's why Sense Motive/Perception should be rolled secretly. It supports trusting in the skill sets of a PC instead of just trusting the number on the die.

Keltest
2016-07-28, 04:48 PM
Everything is a player controlled ability. I guess your talking about games that have things in the rules were the player can attack the DM and force the game to change. Like where the DM has made a game plot, and a player tosses in the ''change plot card'' and the DM has to roll over and do whatever the player wants. Though, i guess the DM would accept it as they agreed to play the game in the first place..

That would be pretty much any game without hard core railroad tracks. Without explicit and prior agreement, the players are under no obligation to save the princess instead of taming the dragon and going on a rampage through the kingdom.

Keltest
2016-07-28, 04:50 PM
...or when you know he rolled a 1 and is very likely to be wrong, regardless of the fact that they're typically right. That's why Sense Motive/Perception should be rolled secretly. It supports trusting in the skill sets of a PC instead of just trusting the number on the die.

At least when I handle it, bad rolls amount to "you have no idea", not "i am actively misinforming you."

talonhawk01
2016-07-28, 05:26 PM
At least when I handle it, bad rolls amount to "you have no idea", not "i am actively misinforming you."

"Actively misinforming you" as in "the entire point of the Bluff skill?" That's what lying does; it actively misinforms people. If my character's Sense Motive check fails to pick up the Bluff, then not only should my character be misinformed, but my character should act on the misinformation as if I believe it is correct.

Some players have a REALLY hard time acting on that misinformation if they know they rolled poorly. It's called meta-gaming and usually isn't considered a good thing.

Keltest
2016-07-28, 05:29 PM
"Actively misinforming you" as in "the entire point of the Bluff skill?" That's what lying does; it actively misinforms people. If my character's Sense Motive check fails to pick up the Bluff, then not only should my character be misinformed, but my character should act on the misinformation as if I believe it is correct.

Some players have a REALLY hard time acting on that misinformation if they know they rolled poorly. It's called meta-gaming and usually isn't considered a good thing.

There is definitely a difference between saying "yes, this person is telling you the truth." when he is not, and saying "You are unable to get a read on this person. If he's lying, you cant tell."

Darth Ultron
2016-07-28, 05:35 PM
That would be pretty much any game without hard core railroad tracks. Without explicit and prior agreement, the players are under no obligation to save the princess instead of taming the dragon and going on a rampage through the kingdom.

In any normal game, the players agree to play the game presented to them. The players are just jerks if they say ''we are not going on your dumb adventure DM''.

Strigon
2016-07-28, 05:56 PM
There is definitely a difference between saying "yes, this person is telling you the truth." when he is not, and saying "You are unable to get a read on this person. If he's lying, you cant tell."

But when trying to notice if a person is telling the truth or not, you don't look for "tells" to indicate he's being truthful, you're looking for tells that indicate he's lying.
Which means if someone is telling the truth, and you read them, it looks the same to you as a very convincing liar.

Which, in turn, means that you either tell your players that they can't get a read on anyone telling the truth, or you say that this person is indeed telling them the truth.
Really, the most truthful thing would be to say you pick up no signs that he's lying, but - for these purposes - the statements are functionally the same. The only difference is how the players perceive what they're hearing, and as a GM it's important that you make them understand what you're telling them.

oxybe
2016-07-28, 06:23 PM
will respond in the quotes




I do have some simple questions for the collective.

As a player

Does the GM roll in secret? i don't care, but i do like when they're open about most rolls.
Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players? generally nope.
Do you have meta currency in your games? nope. then again, the only game i seem to be playing in when not GMing is Pathfinder. Sigh.
Does the GM make paranoia rolls? don't particularly care. a gm rolling just means something may or may not happen. at best it means something happens, which is a good thing as "nothing happens" is the worst thing you can hear. unless he has a history of wasting time doing this, it's a meh.

As a GM

Does the GM roll in secret? For the most part, nope, unless it's information the players have no way of being privy to. if a monster is attacking them, yes I roll in the open. they have a very good idea on how well the monster is swinging their weapon and should be able to act on this information. if it's something a bit more subdued, like an opposed check to see if they were spotted when hiding, then no. the enemy knows how well he rolled but in the end it's up to them to decide how they act on that information, though in a case like this the player will likely know soon enough if they were spotted.
Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players? nope. if you're doing an action, you should know how well you did.
Do you have meta currency in your games? depends on the game
Does the GM make paranoia rolls? frig no. i only roll when necessary. I see no reason to rely on RNGesus for stuff I can clearly decide on my own. nor do i see a reason to roll and hope someone gets nervous about it.
Some more complicated questions I wonder about.

Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception.
As a GM where would you go from here ?

As a GM i wouldn't have rolled for the player to begin with :P . but as a player it's a minor thing, but if it occurs often it could end up with me asking the GM for an aside.

"reroll checks" abilities are the characters being aware enough of their own skill and have the ability to second guess themselves at a moment's notice. which is why, IMO, in games where players can make such a decision, players should be aware of their own rolls and when they make it.

Example 2
This happened to me as a player in a recent game. It was pathfinder and my character in the group has the best perception, I have been focused on improving it with feats (My character is a cleric detective). The GM called for a perception roll. I get a 20 on the dice and call out my 35 perceptions all smug and stuff.
The GM says I see nothing. This of course left me feeling the roll was pointless. I had the best perception in the group, rolled a 20 and saw nothing. If none in the group could make the target number why roll ?
As a GM what would you do in this situation?
This is why i like having all of a character's active and passive detection abilities on hand when i gm, to avoid these types of scenarios. it also goes back to my "frig no. i only roll when necessary." mantra i spoke of before: if this is an absolute, then there's no reason for randomness to even take part in this.

goto124
2016-07-29, 12:55 AM
If the GM says "you think she's telling the truth", the players will freak out and have to actively fight against metagaming, even when the character is not supposed to be suspicious. The GM saying "she's telling the truth" alleviates that. At least, that's the argument.

If the NPC is telling the truth and the PC uses Sense Motive, how is it handled? GM says "she's telling the truth, no roll needed"?

hymer
2016-07-29, 03:34 AM
If the GM says "you think she's telling the truth", the players will freak out and have to actively fight against metagaming, even when the character is not supposed to be suspicious. The GM saying "she's telling the truth" alleviates that. At least, that's the argument.

If the NPC is telling the truth and the PC uses Sense Motive, how is it handled? GM says "she's telling the truth, no roll needed"?

I'd use "You sense no deception from her" as DM, which tells the player what the PC experiences, as it should be. It also sidesteps a whole bunch of issues.

Strigon
2016-07-29, 07:58 AM
I'd use "You sense no deception from her" as DM, which tells the player what the PC experiences, as it should be. It also sidesteps a whole bunch of issues.

But particularly paranoid players will leap on that word "sense".
Really, it's best to clarify that you'll say the exact same thing whether they're being told the truth, or told a convincing lie. This keeps players from outsmarting you themselves.

Satinavian
2016-07-29, 10:30 AM
The way i handle the sense motive example it is as follows :

Everyone rolls one time. If the system uses fumbles, a fumble brings utterly wrong information.

People who roll low get "You can't read those persons". People who roll middly or high get more and more detailed information about the motivation of the involped perople. That might include hints for further negogiation r to understand the whole situytion better.

If someone lies and beats the sense motive roll, i will give the exact same amount of information the sense motive roll would have revealed on a honest target, but it will be wrong and what the liar wished.
If someone lies and is beaten by the sense motive roll, i reveal that he is a liar and give an amount of truthful motivation according to the difference of the rolls.



That is not something i invented for rerolls (more about making sense motive useful when the game is not about a hellhole of dishonest intrigants), but it works perfectly fine in a system where rerolls are in place.

Keltest
2016-07-29, 02:35 PM
In any normal game, the players agree to play the game presented to them. The players are just jerks if they say ''we are not going on your dumb adventure DM''.

Then don't make a dumb adventure. If youre expecting your players to follow your rails without complaint, prepare to be disappointed. If they wanted to have a story narrated to them, they could have gotten an audiobook.

oxybe
2016-07-29, 03:51 PM
In any normal game, the players agree to play the game presented to them. The players are just jerks if they say ''we are not going on your dumb adventure DM''.

The players agree to play the game presented to them as long as the DM agrees to present them a game they're interested in playing in. I've quit several games because I was sold one game idea but the GM presented another, or failed to live up to his hype.

As someone who does GM, I fully know the work GMs put into their game. It's tough work and I don't ask to host a session if I'm not fully comfortable with my prepared content and I know the players are game for what I'm presenting them.

In short, I play to my audience. Outside of pure malice, in which case I would say dump the chumps, if your players are declining your adventure, it's because you're running the adventure YOU want to play, not the one THEY'RE interested in.

While yes, you did spend a lot of time prepping it, you also asked them to take time they could spend doing anything else: playing other games, doing overtime at work, getting some sleep, playing guitar, hang out with another group of friends, etc...

While yes it is selfish for players to disregard a GM's time spent, it's also selfish for a GM to disregard that the players are also giving him their time to attend the session. No one person is more important then another at the table: a player without GM has nothing to play and a GM without players is just playing with himself.

If there are issues with the group, don't be stubborn and keep forcing an adventure on the players they don't want: discuss with them like adults what they're looking for from the game..

Darth Ultron
2016-07-29, 05:18 PM
Then don't make a dumb adventure. If youre expecting your players to follow your rails without complaint, prepare to be disappointed. If they wanted to have a story narrated to them, they could have gotten an audiobook.

Well, keep in mind I'm talking about tradational, classic game play. And it works like this: The DM creates or buys an adventure and player players go through it. I know some people play games in all sorts of strange, weird and abnormal ways...and that is fine, but that is not what I'm talking about.


The players agree to play the game presented to them as long as the DM agrees to present them a game they're interested in playing in. I've quit several games because I was sold one game idea but the GM presented another, or failed to live up to his hype.



Agreed.

Thinker
2016-07-29, 05:37 PM
Does the GM roll in secret?
Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players ?
Do you have meta currency in your games ?
Does the GM make paranoia rolls ?
I used to GM with some secret rolls depending on circumstances, but found it to add nothing of value to the game. I no longer roll dice when I GM. Only players do. Bad things only happen as a consequence of partial or total failure by the players, because a scene has ended and a new one needs making, or because things have started to get boring.




Some more complicated questions I wonder about.

Example 1.
The GM rolls perception for the players. He is setting up and ambush and doesnít want the players to know. One of the PCs has the abilities to re-roll his dice once a day. The GM rolls and no one spots the ambush. The trap is sprung and the player with the re-roll ability says he didnít get a perception test. The Gm tells him I rolled it for you, the player then decided to re-roll his failed perception.
As a GM where would you go from here ?
If it makes sense for an enemy to set an ambush, I'd have the ambush go off and the players roll to avoid danger. I'd also ask how each character is attempting to avoid that danger and work the results into the consequences for success or failure.



Example 2
This happened to me as a player in a recent game. It was pathfinder and my character in the group has the best perception, I have been focused on improving it with feats (My character is a cleric detective). The GM called for a perception roll. I get a 20 on the dice and call out my 35 perceptions all smug and stuff.
The GM says I see nothing. This of course left me feeling the roll was pointless. I had the best perception in the group, rolled a 20 and saw nothing. If none in the group could make the target number why roll ?
As a GM what would you do in this situation?

I prefer systems with success, partial success, and failure instead of absolute thresholds for success. Your roll would pretty clearly be a success, which would allow your action to be effective.

GuzWaatensen
2016-07-30, 04:37 AM
When I GM I do actually make hidden rolls for players all the time. I think it would be very unfair to the players and also disruptive to the game to ask for perception and sense motive rolls every time there is something they could reasonably learn from such rolls. And I find the opposite case where they have to ask for such rolls themselves all the time equally detrimental to smooth gameplay.
I handle it this way: I write down their sense motive and perception ranks and roll for them for casual observations and other things that they could have archived taking 10 or also if the roll is very circumstantial, I might even take 10 for them if they are not in a hurry. If it's a more difficult roll I do not roll for them, I also usually do not ask them to roll. They have to ask for themselves. This is mostly true for deducing someone is lying to them, when they do not yet have the reason to suspect so, or for perception checks to find hidden doors, deducing that one of the gold coins is not like the others etc.
This of course also means I do "paranoia rolls", so that they aren't suspicious every time I don't announce anything after a roll.

I prefer this method to having them roll perception even if there's nothing to see...

So in short, they can ask for rolls anytime, I roll for them to avoid scenarios where they miss something important not because of their poor rolls but because they didn't ask. if they want to do a roll out of paranoia (even if justified) they have to do so themselves.

Admittedly this does introduce a different kind of meta game where they will occasionally try to roll for the most unlikely things in the hopes of breaking the narrative. ("I disbelieve the illusion" on any ordinary wall) but sometimes they do find things that I didn't intend them to and they have great fun when they see me struggle to improvise a new narrative from there.

tomandtish
2016-08-01, 05:17 PM
There's actually a strategy that works pretty well (at least with my players). It also depends on how comfortable your players are with die rolling programs or rolling a bunch of dice.

At beginning of a campaign each player generates 200 (yes 200) random D20 rolls. Some prefer to do it by hand while others use an RNG. I make note of them, and will use them for any rolls where I either donít want the players to know a roll has been made (someone is sneaking up on them) or don't want them to know the number result of the roll (sense motive, bluff, etc.). And since I have copies of the character sheets, I know the modifiers to add. If someone gets low on generated numbers, we generate more. It works very well. It's still their roll, they just made it earlier and may not know the result.

hymer
2016-08-02, 06:06 AM
This keeps players from outsmarting you themselves.

But why would you want to keep them from doing that? :smallwink:

IShouldntBehere
2016-08-02, 07:01 AM
Does the GM roll in secret ?

I do not. I roll everything out in the open, and more often than I don't I will announce the modifiers used on the roll. Sometimes when the mood warrants it when a contest or something is announced I'll put a die in a cup shake and place the cup down on the table (with the die underneath), then have the player make their relevant rolls & resolution decisions only then to reveal the result! You could call that a hidden roll but it's equally as hidden from me as them.


Does the GM roll some skills / checks for the players ?

I avoid in whenever possible. If I really, really need to do something "hidden" I will simply have the NPCs roll against a passive score for the players. If the system does not have passive scores I'll do my best to generate from the PCs statistics. This has been exceptionally rare.


Do you have meta currency in your games ?

Yes. I always prefer to have these and house-rule them into games that don't.


Does the GM make paranoia rolls ?

No. Though I frequently makes lots of different rolls for generating information, setting elements or just anything I think falls into a range of possibilities. Since a lot of this is for relatively trivial background stuff just to get me in the right frame of mind, or other stuff that doesn't directly interact with PCs i'll generally just do them without announcements. Some players tend to treat this like I'm really rolling secret stealth checks or stuff when I'm really not.. I'm just like choosing the color of the carpet in the castle they have a 50/50 chance of going to soon.

Dhuraal
2016-08-02, 04:19 PM
Roll in secret? Yes I do, and here is why:

Two years ago I was running my first ever campaign, in 3.5, with a group of people completely new to tabletop RPGs in general (yes it was quite a bumpy ride, and mostly my bad), though I had played for many years. I started with making my rolls secretly, as that is what I had experienced through playing in the past with my group of friends, and kind of just figured, "that's how it's done." Well one day I had forgot the box I used for rolling, and there was nothing else readily available, so I figured, "hey, let's try this out with rolls in public." The party for this session was 6, level 3-4, PCs covering all the needed roles and 1 NPC they dragged along, a dwarf fighter I made to challenge the party Half Orc Barbarian in one of his bar fights, that they promptly convinced to travel with them. About half way through the session the party gets into a fight with a pair of drow. Cut to a few rounds later, the party has missed just about every attack and I crit them 6 times in a row. Half the party is dead or dying. The only reason the party survived is because I was rolling about as well for their dwarven friend too, and he killed them.

Among all the hats the DM/GM needs to wear, in my opinion, making sure that the game stays fun trumps making sure the game stays fair. That was not fun for them or me. So. Yeah. All rolls get made in secret now. Though to be honest, I can't always hold my poker face when I roll the crit so, it kind of renders it moot.

As for making rolls for the players, I cannot bring myself to do it. I asked them, just in case, and I was given the go ahead from them. But I just never do. I've actually had them look me in the eye as I'm working out things for stealth or bluff/insight, and had them tell me "make the roll yourself if you want, here's my modifier."

Earthwalker
2016-08-03, 07:11 AM
Everything is a player controlled ability. I guess your talking about games that have things in the rules were the player can attack the DM and force the game to change. Like where the DM has made a game plot, and a player tosses in the ''change plot card'' and the DM has to roll over and do whatever the player wants. Though, i guess the DM would accept it as they agreed to play the game in the first place..

I am not sure I have heard of a game that encourages the players to attack the GM. Its certainly not a game I would like to play. I also havenít heard of games with ďChange Plot CardsĒ.

I am talking about games that have abilities / stats that do not exist in the game world and only exist in the meta-game.

For example in shadowrun your character sheet will record their strength and their karma.
Now Strength exists in the game world as well as a stat on the character sheet. You will be able to look at two characters in game and work out one is stronger than the other. For example one can lift more weight.

Now Karma doesnít exist in the game world. You canít point at one person and say they are more Karmay then the other. It is something used for the game element. It can be spent to improve skills or stats. It can also be used to re-roll failures. It is a tool the player uses that the character is not aware of.

As such it is only there for metagaming.

After all, all RPGs at the moment involve some level of meta-gaming. We arenít at the point where game elements will not bleed into the role playing aspects.


"Actively misinforming you" as in "the entire point of the Bluff skill?" That's what lying does; it actively misinforms people. If my character's Sense Motive check fails to pick up the Bluff, then not only should my character be misinformed, but my character should act on the misinformation as if I believe it is correct.
Some players have a REALLY hard time acting on that misinformation if they know they rolled poorly. It's called meta-gaming and usually isn't considered a good thing.

While being misinformed is the point of the bluff skills its not the point of sense motive. For me if you pass a sense motive you know for sure the person is lying. If you fail a sense motive you get no additional information.

This means that the roll doesnít need to be secret. You rolled a 1 you find out nothing more. You rolled well you know for certain he is lying.

I would also say that Metagaming is not a bad thing. Metagaming is needed for games to work. Its just the way it is. Some people are unhappy with certainly levels of metagaming, that does not mean all metagaming is bad.

Earthwalker
2016-08-03, 07:16 AM
Roll in secret? Yes I do, and here is why:

Two years ago I was running my first ever campaign, in 3.5, with a group of people completely new to tabletop RPGs in general (yes it was quite a bumpy ride, and mostly my bad), though I had played for many years. I started with making my rolls secretly, as that is what I had experienced through playing in the past with my group of friends, and kind of just figured, "that's how it's done." Well one day I had forgot the box I used for rolling, and there was nothing else readily available, so I figured, "hey, let's try this out with rolls in public." The party for this session was 6, level 3-4, PCs covering all the needed roles and 1 NPC they dragged along, a dwarf fighter I made to challenge the party Half Orc Barbarian in one of his bar fights, that they promptly convinced to travel with them. About half way through the session the party gets into a fight with a pair of drow. Cut to a few rounds later, the party has missed just about every attack and I crit them 6 times in a row. Half the party is dead or dying. The only reason the party survived is because I was rolling about as well for their dwarven friend too, and he killed them.

Among all the hats the DM/GM needs to wear, in my opinion, making sure that the game stays fun trumps making sure the game stays fair. That was not fun for them or me. So. Yeah. All rolls get made in secret now. Though to be honest, I can't always hold my poker face when I roll the crit so, it kind of renders it moot.

As for making rolls for the players, I cannot bring myself to do it. I asked them, just in case, and I was given the go ahead from them. But I just never do. I've actually had them look me in the eye as I'm working out things for stealth or bluff/insight, and had them tell me "make the roll yourself if you want, here's my modifier."

This brings up the whole issue of fudging rolls.
This again is a preference thing, how much the GM does it for what reasons are matters of debate for the group. Some people (not me) like to play for the challenge of overing encounters. Fudging the dice rolls so they win removes that option from them.

Some people (myself included) think that if you are rolling dice for random outcomes you should respect the dice and let em roll. If you don't want random outcomes, don't roll dice.

Satinavian
2016-08-03, 07:50 AM
I am not sure I have heard of a game that encourages the players to attack the GM. Around 2006 i have seen a German language one called iirc "ARS". The idea was to embrace the challenge aspect of gaming and have players and GM trying to win against each other by severely moderating the challanges and difficulties he can bring into the plot to make it fair. Didn't really catch on, but as a niche idea it was OK.


I also havenít heard of games with ďChange Plot CardsĒ. Those exist too. Usually in games that completely forget all the competitive stuff and go full narrative. The result seems more like impro-theatre.

For example in shadowrun your character sheet will record their strength and their karma.Shadowrun is an old game and pretty conservative. Many games that embrace meta-currencies do a lot more with it. But i actually do like the Shadowrun approach. Maybe i am too oldschool.

Earthwalker
2016-08-03, 08:14 AM
Around 2006 i have seen a German language one called iirc "ARS". The idea was to embrace the challenge aspect of gaming and have players and GM trying to win against each other by severely moderating the challanges and difficulties he can bring into the plot to make it fair. Didn't really catch on, but as a niche idea it was OK.

I was being needlessly pedantic. I have seen games run as competitions where the players do their best to have their characters win the encounter. Or get one over on the NPCs controlled by the GM.

It was just phrased as the players attacking the GM. Not the Players Characters attacking the NPCs.

I would imagine a game like ARS has no rule 0.


Those exist too. Usually in games that completely forget all the competitive stuff and go full narrative. The result seems more like impro-theatre.
Shadowrun is an old game and pretty conservative. Many games that embrace meta-currencies do a lot more with it. But i actually do like the Shadowrun approach. Maybe i am too oldschool.

Shadowrun appears a lot in my examples as its a game that has a meta-currency but I have encountered GMs wanting to run a no meta-gaming style game. Personally I have no problems where GMs wanting to minimize meta-gaming. I also have no problems with games with a meta-currency.

What gets me stumped is when GMs try to do both.

"Here we are playing Pathfinder, I am going to use the hero point system so you can effect the play on a meta level.... No meta-gaming..."

Dhuraal
2016-08-03, 09:50 AM
This brings up the whole issue of fudging rolls.
This again is a preference thing, how much the GM does it for what reasons are matters of debate for the group. Some people (not me) like to play for the challenge of overing encounters. Fudging the dice rolls so they win removes that option from them.

Some people (myself included) think that if you are rolling dice for random outcomes you should respect the dice and let em roll. If you don't want random outcomes, don't roll dice.

Oh, I understand that point of view entirely. And don't get me wrong, I do not make sure that players always win or never die, even though I do use a houserule that makes dying harder. And I have talked with my group and they realize that that is a thing that may happen and are fine with it and even expected that it might. In the cases of the crits, I would have still had them hit, but possibly made 2 or 3 of them not be crits.

I kind of view as like a pair of jumper cables. Even if you never have to use them, they are really nice to have just in case.