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DRD1812
2018-05-30, 12:29 PM
I posted this on my comic (http://www.handbookofheroes.com/archives/comic/michigan-j-fighter) recently, but I'm seriously baffled by this one.

Our group is about to start up a new campaign in Exalted, and no less than three of the party came to our character creation session with, ďI want to be the stealthy guy!Ē Now anyone thatís ever broken into a drow matronís vault or crept through the slave pits of the undercity knows that having a sneaky guy in the party is a good idea. He can scout ahead, set up ambushes, create diversions, and spy out all kinds of useful intel. The problems come creeping in, however, when you try to turn your lone infiltrator into a commando squad.

For the sake of argument letís say that everybody in the group is average at sneaking, and can succeed in going undetected 50% of the time. If any one of these characters attempts to creep through a sleeping dragonís lair, theyíll get away with the Bilbo impersonation half the time. If all four of them attempt the trick, however, theyíll only avoid detection in 1 out of every 16 attempts. Even if a party designed for stealth tries to burgle Big Red, with each master ninja enjoying a full 90% success rate, at least one of them will biff the roll about 35% of the time.

All of the above makes a certain amount of sense from a simulation standpoint. Itís harder to get a squad of dudes behind enemy lines than a single operative. But from a narrative standpoint, Iíve always felt that this sort of thing bites. Why the crap canít we sneak into one freaking cultist den without setting off alarm bells?

Do any of you guys have a good system or house rule to fix this one? Because this issue has honestly stumped me for years.

Kaptin Keen
2018-05-30, 12:37 PM
Well - in principle, if you want to fix it, it's easy.

Character1 rolls stealth, moving in front, picking the route, showing the rest where to step and when to move - the rest all roll to assist. Bam! =)

Of course, for realism, there really isn't any reason why it wouldn't be harder to sneak more people.

Blymurkla
2018-05-30, 01:01 PM
There are game systems who abhor having all players simultaneously rolling the same check. Their solution is often to have only one player roll the check - in cases like Stealth where one failed check screws it for everyone, it's the player with the least sneaky character that rolls.

Lord Torath
2018-05-30, 01:02 PM
My first thought is that, if you pass your stealth check, the opposition doesn't detect you. At all. If you fail your stealth check, you're still being quiet, just not as quiet as you're trying to be, and in that case, the opposition can then make a perception check to see if they detect you. If they fail, you're still not detected. Still doesn't really address the group sneak, though.

Mastikator
2018-05-30, 01:04 PM
Can't the best sneak just disable the alarms? If well coordinated a group of sneaks can be even better at sneaking than a single individual, since they might come from different angles and thus gain multiple vantage points.

JAL_1138
2018-05-30, 01:13 PM
In 5e, only half of the party needs to pass a group check. So oftentimes the sneaky party members with a bonus to the check, like the Rogue and Bard, can make up for the Paladin wearing full plate and rolling at Disadvantage.

Kadzar
2018-05-30, 01:27 PM
Some people might suggest some sort of assist or aid action for this situation, but that only works when you have a single person doing an action getting help from others, when you need to ask if the group as a whole succeeds.

So what you specifically need is a group check. What I would do is either add up the whole group's results and use the average or take a page from D&D 5E (an often overlooked page, I might add (http://5e.d20srd.org/srd/skills/abilityChecks.htm#workingTogether)) and have the whole group succeed if at least half of them make the check or otherwise fail.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-05-30, 01:34 PM
Only the least sneaky person in the party should roll.

Quertus
2018-05-30, 01:52 PM
So, the last time I tried to sneak a group into a concert...

No, I don't have a system. But the high failure rate on the 90% ninja team is an issue. Hmmm... what if a stealth failure often only represents a Setback? Not an "I got caught", but a "****, if I continue, I'll get caught"?

So, your team goes to infiltrate my superhero base (**** you, Playgrounder Fallacy! :smalltongue:). Ninja 1 makes his checks, and makes it to the communications center. Ninja 2 falls a check, and reports that he's trapped in a supply closet, with two heroes making out between him and the door. Ninja 3, falling the exact same check, with the exact same roll, reports being in the same closet. Ninja 4, having failed the first roll, badly, reports being accosted by small children, asking why he's holding a branch, insisting that he's a hedge. Control sighs, and tries to figure out how to get the mission back on track.

Deophaun
2018-05-30, 02:12 PM
I don't know Exlated. I'm going to cover this from 3.5:

1: Why is anyone rolling? You take 10. Period. There is nothing to biff.
2: There are rules for someone who is extremely skilled taking a penalty to their check to essentially give everyone in the group the benefits of Aid Another for certain skills, and both Hide and Move Silently are on the list. Also, Aid Another does scale past +2 depending on skill ranks.
3: Anyone doing something besides keeping watch is distracted for a -5 to their Spot checks.

As long as you keep your distance, stick to the shadows, and be patient, it is absolutely possible within the system for a group to stealth. The problem is often that players throw point number 1 out the window at the earliest opportunity. To stop that, I offer as the GM, you bring a box and you tell your players to put their dice into that box, and they are not to touch one unless you hand it to them.

Aneurin
2018-05-30, 02:16 PM
There's some fairly easy solutions (I tend to use all of these). And they're not exclusive to stealth, to be perfectly honest, but to any group-based checks especially where 'one person fails' means 'everyone fails'.

The first one I go to is that, simply, one character takes the lead and is the one who makes the test - but does so at a penalty based on the number of other people going through. And, if the system you use has penalties to stealth for certain types of carried gear, subject to those if other members of the group have them. Only one test, and it lets the stealth-focused character feel useful and recognized, since they're helping the entire group not just themselves - yay, teamwork!

Second is, as Quertus said, failure doesn't mean detection. It means negative consequences, sure, like wandering guards or having to make a massive detour through something unpleasant, or just getting stuck and wasting time if things are time-critical, but it doesn't mean the stealth challenge is failed. Whatever failure may mean in the context.

jayem
2018-05-30, 03:19 PM
We had a thread on group actions earlier. I think we came up with the same problems and not really a nice solution.

Some aspects clearly synergise, we'll come back to them later.

Some aspects clearly display anti-synergy. If we could split our stealth movement roll into P "alerting the guard" (e.g. a small noise) and being Q "spotted when alert", then as any of them could make a noise and then on alerting the guard can spot any one of them then for a party of N the odds of being spotted go from PQ to N*N*P*Q (assuming P,Q small enough).

Worse than that as each person takes a hiding place the odds of being detected should increase further. So with just the bad effects of synergy things are poor odds from relatively simple effects.

So what are the good effects of synergy, well firstly your perception goes up by a similar amount.
At the very least you have some situations where scout and follow is a good model, only one of you has to put their head round the corridor to see if it's empty. But if any of you can hear the guard...

Finally you have that when it fails, you are almost certainly in an interesting position.

This to me suggests if possible keeping things small and at each step almost certainly safe. It means a lot of rolling and small decisions, but on the other hand everyone is there and in a sense it's a battle...

RazorChain
2018-05-30, 06:40 PM
Simple, just make them roll one stealth roll, the whole group. If you have Skill+Stat+roll then this is relatively simple, just roll a die and take the worst result. I do this all the time, sometimes the group get's creative and has the best stealth guy scout a head and then I might give the others a situational bonus because the "ninja" in the group is assisting them by picking out a safe path.

This is for a general stealth rolls. When Roberto is going to sneak behind the house while Luizio and Sylvana are going to sneak behind the guards to take them down quietly then I break down into individual stealth rolls. Osmund is probably just going to wait until the coast is clear or hell breaks loose because he's not good at stealth...he doesn't prescribe to stealth as a doctrine, he likes to go in loud, preferably berserk, frothing at the mouth, biting the edge of his shield.

WindStruck
2018-05-30, 09:16 PM
Invisibility Sphere.

Silence.

Quertus
2018-05-31, 12:17 AM
Invisibility Sphere.

Silence.

Murder everyone. Then no one will see or hear anything.

Mr Beer
2018-05-31, 03:10 AM
Only the least sneaky person in the party should roll.

This is what I do, I think it's the intuitive solution. If everyone has to roll no party will ever stealth. If you use a group roll, it should never be easier than the worst member of the party. Therefore make the paladin roll and move on.

Cespenar
2018-05-31, 03:46 AM
Stealth is often played wrongly in games, in my opinion. It shouldn't be about wandering through a place, blindly rolling Stealth checks. It should be about rolling Perception checks in order to either avoid rolling Stealth checks, or at least get somewhere where you can roll them with advantage.

A stealthy group, unless there is a major weak link, would almost always be better than a single guy. One guy continues forward while another checks the back. One guy lockpicks while another looks out for guards. One guy pops a distraction to let another guy pass through an otherwise unstealthable place. Knock out a pair of guards at the same time. Etc.

Earthwalker
2018-05-31, 05:08 AM
This is what I do, I think it's the intuitive solution. If everyone has to roll no party will ever stealth. If you use a group roll, it should never be easier than the worst member of the party. Therefore make the paladin roll and move on.

This unfortunately with my players would turn into.
Paladin you stay home and we will take the three sneaky guys.

Kardwill
2018-05-31, 09:27 AM
In 5e, only half of the party needs to pass a group check. So oftentimes the sneaky party members with a bonus to the check, like the Rogue and Bard, can make up for the Paladin wearing full plate and rolling at Disadvantage.

So there is still incentive for several people to take the "stealth" skill, AND there is incentive for the party ninja to go alone for the most daring part, but it still allows you to mostly get through medium security as a group? I love the idea!

Coupled with the "failure = complication" principle, that could take care of the whole "let's charge the front door since infiltration is doomed" problem I have seen plague so many gametables :)

DRD1812
2018-06-06, 03:05 PM
I don't know Exlated. I'm going to cover this from 3.5:

1: Why is anyone rolling? You take 10. Period. There is nothing to biff.



Now see, I was always under the impression that stealth was the kind of situation where taking 10 wouldn't make sense.


When your character is not being threatened or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure óyou know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldnít help.


I think I'm reading "threats" as "serious consequences for failure," where you're taking it to mean "imminent danger getting up in your grill." Any help persuading me to your side of the equation? I'm imagining sneaking past a dragon as a "threat," if that helps illustrate my mindset.

DRD1812
2018-06-06, 03:07 PM
In 5e, only half of the party needs to pass a group check. So oftentimes the sneaky party members with a bonus to the check, like the Rogue and Bard, can make up for the Paladin wearing full plate and rolling at Disadvantage.

I thought so too. And I was actually stoked that it was a good solution. Then somebody pointed out the rules quote at the top of this thread to me:

https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/46339/how-to-determine-surprise-when-only-part-of-a-side-is-stealthy

It seems like group check rules specifically don't apply to stealth...?

Quertus
2018-06-06, 08:54 PM
It seems like group check rules specifically don't apply to stealth...?

P1: Dude, this guy is wearing full plate, has flaming wings, and his sword won't stop playing heavy metal cranked to 11. And you want to take him on a stealth mission?

P2: It's fine. Us sneaky guys outnumber him, so no one will notice him.

P1: Oh, you're right. It's fine then.

Foreverknight
2018-06-06, 11:31 PM
Better hope everyone rolls high lol

Mr Beer
2018-06-06, 11:34 PM
This unfortunately with my players would turn into.
Paladin you stay home and we will take the three sneaky guys.

Well it still works I guess because the least sneakiest guy rolls.

I can't think of a reasonable solution that doesn't have the party stealth hampered by the person who is bad at stealth. If that's a problem for the campaign, no-one should play a terrible stealth guy.

Mordaedil
2018-06-07, 01:53 AM
Our solution was to make it a mini-skill challenge when necessary. Everybody rolls and as long as we beat the number of listeners passive listen/spot checks DC without 3 failures (critical 1 counting as 2 failures) we count as a group stealthily passing by. This allows us to not be horribly screwed by the cleric wearing clunky armor that makes a ton of noise (albeit we also got another solution for that in the form of a magic pearl that can equip the cleric with a +1 breastplate on activation), but also makes everyone feel like they are participating and doesn't necessarily single anyone out for failing.

The number of failures needed of course would depend on how many we are, going around. But basically half, rounded down, is a good metric.

Earthwalker
2018-06-07, 02:50 AM
Well it still works I guess because the least sneakiest guy rolls.

I can't think of a reasonable solution that doesn't have the party stealth hampered by the person who is bad at stealth. If that's a problem for the campaign, no-one should play a terrible stealth guy.

Yep it does still work and its a simple solution.
I think my comment may have come off more harsh than I was intending and it was a comment on my group not the proposed solution.

martixy
2018-06-09, 01:03 AM
There is a blog called The Alexandrian (http://thealexandrian.net/) somewhere.
On it there is a series of articles called the Art of Rulings (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/4238/roleplaying-games/the-art-of-rulings).
The latest of these articles just so happens to cover this exact issue: Group Actions (http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/39430/roleplaying-games/art-of-rulings-14-group-actions).

JoeJ
2018-06-09, 01:20 AM
P1: Dude, this guy is wearing full plate, has flaming wings, and his sword won't stop playing heavy metal cranked to 11. And you want to take him on a stealth mission?

P2: It's fine. Us sneaky guys outnumber him, so no one will notice him.

P1: Oh, you're right. It's fine then.

A GM is allowed to apply common sense and use a group check to see if an all-ninja party can sneak while still saying "nope" to the party that has that one guy with the flaming wings and singing sword.

Xuc Xac
2018-06-09, 02:20 PM
The paladin doesn't roll to sneak. The rogue rolls to smuggle the paladin.

Jay R
2018-06-10, 08:54 AM
It's worth pointing out that most stealth jobs should not be done as a group. You can't pick a pocket as a group project. And it doesn't take thre people to sneak into the building and unlock the back door. Sneaking three people in individually should be harder than sneaking in just one.

And the things you do as a group, you should do intelligently, as a group, with mutual support.

One moves in a little bit, and finds a good spot to be a lookout. He signals to the next one that she can go further, now that somebody is watching her back. Then she looks out for the third one.

This way, they are each aiding the others' rolls.

ReaderAt2046
2018-06-10, 09:15 AM
Well, the AngryGM (http://theangrygm.com/exploration-rules/) proposed what I think is a very good way of handling group checks. This one's specifically for D&D 5E, but the basic idea can be adapted.

If only one member of the group needs to succeed for the group to succeed (such as with searching a room), then whoever has the highest proficiency and ability bonus rolls. If any member of the group has advantage, the check is made with advantage, and if any member of the group is benefitting from any bonuses that would apply to the check, the largest single bonus applies.

If only one member of the group needs to fail for the group to fail (as with sneaking past a guard), then whoever has the lowest proficiency and ability bonus rolls. If any member of the group has disadvantage, the check is made with disadvantage, and if any member of the group is suffering from any penalties that would apply to the check, the largest single penalty applies.

jayem
2018-06-10, 10:18 AM
It's worth pointing out that most stealth jobs should not be done as a group. You can't pick a pocket as a group project. And it doesn't take thre people to sneak into the building and unlock the back door. Sneaking three people in individually should be harder than sneaking in just one.

And the things you do as a group, you should do intelligently, as a group, with mutual support.

One moves in a little bit, and finds a good spot to be a lookout. He signals to the next one that she can go further, now that somebody is watching her back. Then she looks out for the third one.

This way, they are each aiding the others' rolls.

Yes it becomes a lot harder to abstract the different components.
Technically it's probably a bit dodgy to abstract all the aspects involved in the marks vulnability into a DC, and all the different elements in the pickpockets/stealths into one roll.
But when you come to a group pickpocket or group stealth then all these parts interact much more. The distraction of the mark is ongoing and by a different person. The dummy running away... If the mark is suspicious, but not in the right way, is that a help or hindrance?
Similarly in solo-stealth, when it fails you have mook (aware of you) and you (by definition in a line with mook). If he's 50% sure you're stuck there while he investigates (while if he investigates wrong you get away, or repeat till one outcome occurs). In group-stealth none of that is true.

To some extent if it becomes officially key part of the game then if it is complex and drawn out (so sneaking past a mook is about the same as fighting one, you have the sneak map out etc...), I don't see that as bad. The whole group is after all there and involved.
And if it isn't a key part then if the approximation is terrible then there's little problem.

It's just that annoying bit where things are in the middle there's nothing interesting in the action really, but the overall outcome matters (though by that token it's only fair to demand things to be comparable for combat and battle-combat).

Guizonde
2018-06-10, 10:26 AM
uh, my group kind of had that problem... dragon cleric, orc paladin, oracle, loud bard... then i came across this teamwork feat. it seems broken, but hey, at least i can sneak 800lbs of righteous violence anywhere now. gotta love inquisitors, sometimes...

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/stealth-synergy-teamwork/

now, unless i misunderstand it, it means that we all roll, take the best roll, and add all the modifiers, positive and negative, so long as the team has that same feat (or in the case of inquisitors, they all qualify for it).

going by this, wouldn't an easy solution be "all the team rolls, adds all the modifiers of the team, and take the worst roll"? you add the modifiers due to the team helping the least stealthy, and the least stealthy represents the lowest roll? like that, it gives a good chance of success due to cooperation, but still represents the fact that not all are good at being discreet?

Tanarii
2018-06-10, 10:37 AM
IMO really boils down to what the GM is using sneaky-stuff checks for.

If it's something like AD&D's Hide in Shadows, where it's the ability to remain completely unnoticed, even while being directly looked at, effective invisibility, then it should probably be very hard. If it's sneaking right past an alert guard, again effective invisibility but this time with movement, it should also be very hard.

If it's generally being sneaky but not doing something almost magical, there's no reason it can't be the group's pointman (different from a forward scout) making most necessary stealth checks and signaling the others when it's clear and when they should hang back. With some group-style checks in the more tense moments, as they all have to scatter for cover as a patrol gets a little too close, with the stealthier members helping the less stealthy. (Keeping in mind of course that too many checks for one mission will inevitably lead to failed checks.)

D+1
2018-06-10, 11:38 AM
For the sake of argument letís say that everybody in the group is average at sneaking, and can succeed in going undetected 50% of the time. If any one of these characters attempts to creep through a sleeping dragonís lair, theyíll get away with the Bilbo impersonation half the time. If all four of them attempt the trick, however, theyíll only avoid detection in 1 out of every 16 attempts. Even if a party designed for stealth tries to burgle Big Red, with each master ninja enjoying a full 90% success rate, at least one of them will biff the roll about 35% of the time.First question to mind is why should this be any different when ANY two PC's are trying to do the same skill-use related job normally handed to just one? Either chance of overall failure rises (as logically it should) or the PC's coordinate their efforts and STOP trying to do everything as individuals instead of a team. A lot also depends on the rule set/edition you're using. The solution can and probably should be different for any different game.


All of the above makes a certain amount of sense from a simulation standpoint. Itís harder to get a squad of dudes behind enemy lines than a single operative. But from a narrative standpoint, Iíve always felt that this sort of thing bites. Why the crap canít we sneak into one freaking cultist den without setting off alarm bells?Well, which do you want your game to be? A simulation or a narrative game? If you're only looking at mechanical solutions to your problem then clearly you consider this a simulation issue. The DM in the situation can go a long way to solving the problem just by being aware that there IS a problem. Don't put PC's into situations where the multiple stealthers need to all make the same rolls, need to make repeated rolls, are duplicating their efforts in general, are facing low chances of success for those rolls, and where they cannot coordinate efforts or divide tasks to minimize rolls.

This is a problem I became aware of playing 1E D&D with just ONE stealth character in a party. Their chances for success at silent movement, finding traps, removing them, climbing a wall... ALL of the standard things they were expected to be doing on a constant basis had a low chance of success in the first place, but then DM's would, without thinking about it, call for constant, repeated checks for all their skills, not realizing they were only ensuring failure rather than allowing a PC to ever actually demonstrate any competence whatever at any of them. The solution I applied is to increase their base chances of success to at least about 50/50, to simply allow them to succeed automatically if circumstances already favored them, to ensure that one roll would indicate success/failure over as much of a physical area or span of time as possible to avoid the phenomenon of "seeking failure" rather than "seeking success", and to ensure that in as many circumstances as possible even if the stealthers failed that success could still be achieved - that if a trap is found but can't be removed it can still be prevented from operating, or its effects nonetheless avoided; that if a character can't accomplish something by stealth that it can still be accomplished by some other swift, coordinated actions (can't sneak up and take out guards one at a time from behind, but one can be distracted or lured to where they can be taken out and then the remainder shot from a distance or rushed.)


Do any of you guys have a good system or house rule to fix this one? Because this issue has honestly stumped me for years.If you had intended to create an ALL stealth-character party then the game would be run very differently. Why should the game not adapt at least partly to a party that is heavily constituted of sneaks? Rather than adjust the game to better suit the party, the party - despite its character composition - would seem to be expected to adapt to an inflexible game. Those PC's should not have to compete with each other for a single spotlight, but should be trying to work more as a stealth team. If not given more opportunity to operate as a team they should at least not find themselves required to step on each other for time in the TOO-SMALL spotlight for their class' niche.

Quertus
2018-06-10, 05:42 PM
Well, the AngryGM (http://theangrygm.com/exploration-rules/) proposed what I think is a very good way of handling group checks. This one's specifically for D&D 5E, but the basic idea can be adapted.

If only one member of the group needs to succeed for the group to succeed (such as with searching a room), then whoever has the highest proficiency and ability bonus rolls. If any member of the group has advantage, the check is made with advantage, and if any member of the group is benefitting from any bonuses that would apply to the check, the largest single bonus applies.

If only one member of the group needs to fail for the group to fail (as with sneaking past a guard), then whoever has the lowest proficiency and ability bonus rolls. If any member of the group has disadvantage, the check is made with disadvantage, and if any member of the group is suffering from any penalties that would apply to the check, the largest single penalty applies.

Angry's method is nice by dent of being simple, and making everyone's the biggest contributors' contributions matter. It's fine if the point of the roll is to feel like there are somewhat believable rules in place, let's hurry up and make a roll so that we can get back to the good stuff. Beyond that, it's ****. It's a less accurate simulation than HP, and it's neither an engaging minigame not narratively interesting.

In other words, I fully support using it.


First question to mind is why should this be any different when ANY two PC's are trying to do the same skill-use related job normally handed to just one? Either chance of overall failure rises (as logically it should) or the PC's coordinate their efforts and STOP trying to do everything as individuals instead of a team.

Now, that's an interesting sentiment. What would you suggest?


A lot also depends on the rule set/edition you're using. The solution can and probably should be different for any different game.

? :smallconfused:

I'd imagine that, if there were some logic as to how the simulation should run, that it would hold true for all simulation-based games.

But, yes, one certainly wouldn't expect that logic to work in non-simulation-based games.


This is a problem I became aware of playing 1E D&D with just ONE stealth character in a party. Their chances for success at silent movement, finding traps, removing them, climbing a wall... ALL of the standard things they were expected to be doing on a constant basis had a low chance of success in the first place, but then DM's would, without thinking about it, call for constant, repeated checks for all their skills, not realizing they were only ensuring failure rather than allowing a PC to ever actually demonstrate any competence whatever at any of them.

Whenever I see this sentiment, I've just got to add my standard comment that I had no issue with this behavior. When you try to sneak past 50 patrols, it's not so much a question of if, but when you'll be noticed. It involves using player skills, and makes for a much more engaging minigame than just making rolls. It makes the rolls quite tense, and makes for a good risk / reward minigame.

As to the demonstrating competence bit... Hmmm... that's certainly something that's important to me. I am strongly opposed to systems (and GMs!) that enforce pants on head stupidity. But that's not the vibe I got from, well, 2e, at least. By 5th level, a thief could have - even without bonuses from dex / race / items / lack of armor - a 90% chance of success on their unopposed roll. By happy coincidence, a 5th level 3e rogue with no bonuses besides max ranks who takes a 10 would have an 18 on their opposed roll, which is a 90% chance of success against an average peasant unskilled observer.

That doesn't feel "unskilled" / completely lacking competence to me.

Jay R
2018-06-10, 07:52 PM
It's worth pointing out that three warriors in the same party don't try to swing the same sword.

Similarly, three rogues should have specific, and separate, goals. One has snuck into camp to listen to the general's plans, one is investigating the perimeter, looking for a way for the party to attack unexpectedly, while the third is supposed to be sabotaging the enemy's equipment, but is really stealing their magic items.

Tanarii
2018-06-10, 08:02 PM
This is a problem I became aware of playing 1E D&D with just ONE stealth character in a party. Their chances for success at silent movement, finding traps, removing them, climbing a wall... ALL of the standard things they were expected to be doing on a constant basis had a low chance of success in the first place, but then DM's would, without thinking about it, call for constant, repeated checks for all their skills, not realizing they were only ensuring failure rather than allowing a PC to ever actually demonstrate any competence whatever at any of them. Yeah, many DMs had no idea how to use Thief skills properly. They were for doing near magical things, or short cutting the system. Like Hiding invisibly in the Shadows or Moving totally Silently. Not hiding behind something or moving quietly. For Climbing Sheer Surfaces, not for climbing something skilled climber with some modern climbing shoes could climb. For finding and removing traps with a simple % roll, not having to use your brains to carefully investigate and figure out where they were and how to disable them.