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Target Numbers. Your preference?

 
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dbhb



Joined: 25 Jul 2004
Posts: 1489

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:22 pm    Post subject: Target Numbers. Your preference? Reply with quote

In general (and as the default practice) do you prefer an open target number ("You need to roll 13 to succeed") or a secret target number ("It looks hard. Roll your dice and tell me what you got.").
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mcc



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Posts: 1088
Location: Leicester

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the circumstance of the roll. Generally if it's combat oriented I prefer it to be an open number, simply because combat tends to be complicated enough without having to work with nebulous target numbers.

If it's not a combat based roll then I'm not so choosey. Probably the answer should be based on the character's competence in that field. Obviously an expert climber is going to have more of an accurate idea of how tough a climb is going to be than a layman with no experience. Of course you could argue that personality traits should come into play a little here too - an overconfident character may well view the same climb as being 'tough, but manageable' where the less confident may regard it as 'impossible' or 'extremely dangerous to attempt'.

All of which I guess is a convoluted way of saying I prefer specific target numbers in combat, but am quite happy with just a general idea of how difficult it will be outside of combat - so long as I've got some idea of the ranges involved in those difficulty descriptions i.e. whether it's even worth attempting, or whether I have no chance from the outset (nothing's more irritating than getting the maximum possible roll for your character and then being told you've failed).
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Mad Dwarf



Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 1560

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a player, I prefer to know what numbers I need.
As a GM, I prefer not to tell my players exact numbers.
Smile

As mcc says, a person skilled in an area can judge the difficulty better than someone un/low-skilled.
So you can tell skilled people what numbers they need, but not lower-skilled.

But does this help PLAYERS, when it is the CHARACTERS who are trying to judge their chance of success?

This does cross with another issue, that of "all or nothing, succeed or fail".
Most times, a task is more extended, with each "section" of the task leading to a certain amount of progress (or problems, on a failed roll).
OK, it's hard to cross a canyon in two jumps, but its also hard to build a car in one process.

I prefer to pull back from second-by-second detail, and have players perform larger tasks, which may have successes, failures, problems, side-effects and complications.

I suppose part of the answer comes down to "Why are you rolling?"
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mcc



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
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Location: Leicester

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This does cross with another issue, that of "all or nothing, succeed or fail".


Actually I quite liked one optional rule that I read which basically said that if it's important to the plot that the character succeeds at a roll, the roll itself should become a measure of how many complications or bonuses accompany the success, rather than a success/failure result.
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Mad Dwarf



Joined: 09 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcc wrote:
Quote:
This does cross with another issue, that of "all or nothing, succeed or fail".


Actually I quite liked one optional rule that I read which basically said that if it's important to the plot that the character succeeds at a roll, the roll itself should become a measure of how many complications or bonuses accompany the success, rather than a success/failure result.


I also like that.
I think it can be used for a lot of situations, and the complications can be quite wide-ranging, from taking extra time, extra materials etc, through injuries, broken tools/equipment, and broken promises, lost friendships, succeeding too well, etc

As an aside, we've been watching Andromeda, and Trance Gemini seems to have an interesting Plot Power: Avoid Awkward Conversation. Whenever a conversation reaches a point that she is uncomfortable with, an emergency occurs; The Captain is called to the Bridge, the Ship is attacked, Harper breaks something, etc.
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mcc



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Plot Power: Avoid Awkward Conversation. Whenever a conversation reaches a point that she is uncomfortable with, an emergency occurs; The Captain is called to the Bridge, the Ship is attacked, Harper breaks something, etc.


I believe that's no accident, and actually is a power of a sort Wink
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I-KP



Joined: 25 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something in the middle, not exact numbers but not blind either: a known set of narrow likely results.
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