Variable Yeild Skill Checks

(Mods, ii apollogize if this is the wrong section for this)

Instead of a Pass/Fail check (with the occasional crit), have multiple degrees of success.

1. Roll vs. the DC
- If the die shows 1, the action fails
- If the modified roll is less than the DC, the action fails
- If the modified roll is greater than or equal to the DC, the action has succeeded, proceed
2. Roll against the DC until a result is less than the DC.  Increment the degree of success for each successful roll
- Stop rolling if a roll fails, but do not decrement degree of success (even on a natural 1).
- Increment degree of success twice for natural twenties in step 1 or 2.

Degrees of Success
1. Minimal - Hanging by your fingernails.  Almost spotted by the dragon.  The guard you're bribing lets you through but might rat on you once you leave. 

You are not out of the woods yet, you will have to do something else to move forward.  You have to make another climb check to get on your feet, to find better cover, or throw more gold at the guard.

2. Fair - You landed on your feet on the other side of the chasm, but your turn ends.  You have decent cover from the dragon.  The guard holds his hand out for more gold.

You got most of what you wanted.  Not bad, not great.

3. Good - You land well on the other side, and can take your remaining action or movement.  The dragon has no chance to see you.  The guard doesn't haggle.

You got what you wanted.  Nothing more or less.

4. Amazing - You hit the other side running and looked damn good doing it.  You will have advantage on your next stealth check against the dragon.  The guard tells you the next guard shack has a blind spot to the south.

This result gives you more than you expected.  The DM should offer some other benefit for doing so well.  The player should narrate how awesomely well they did.

Option: Fumble Recovery
On a Natural 1, the character has failed completely, but if they succeed on a Fumble Recovery Roll, they manage to fail gracefully.   If they fail, the have fumbled and the DM gets to make up something nasty.  For instance the guard you're bribing is so offended he attacks you.

This model generates more colorful results than a boring pass/fail.  It also rewards higher bonuses over luck.  A lucky fighter might be able barely disable a trap, but a skilled rogue might be able to disarm it and recover some of its parts, or make it look like the trap still works (hiding that someone was there).

Enjoy.
Nice idea. I use degrees of success but by increments of 5 over DC. Multiple rolls would only slow our ability to tell the story. We prefer a quick resolution to our actions.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

Nice idea. I use degrees of success but by increments of 5 over DC. Multiple rolls would only slow our ability to tell the story. We prefer a quick resolution to our actions.


I do something similarly as well. Usually based on how close to the DC they are or how close to an AC they are, hit or miss.
I'm w/ the sliding DC crowd.

But, I've had groups who cheer and get into other players rolling in a tense situation. For that type of group extended rolls might be a good call.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Hey there,

Since this isn't a session reporrt I'll be moving it to D&D Next General Discussion.

Thanks!

Monica
I actually feel this is what the DM Guildelines was refering to when it said you don't have to set the DC before the roll. I always aprove of giving a minor benefit on a good roll.
Nice idea. I use degrees of success but by increments of 5 over DC. Multiple rolls would only slow our ability to tell the story. We prefer a quick resolution to our actions.



I agree, and I also use a single roll with differing degrees of success baked into a "incrementing" DC.  It's simpler, cleaner and faster.
there are some good ideas here, though i dislike the inclusion of fumble rules on skill checks.

the whole point of training at a skill is to develop consistency; an inescapable 5% chance of failure no matter how skilled you are is silly.

how many times did michael jordan fail so bad at basketball that even his immense skill had no bearing on the outcome? it surely wasn't 5% of the time.
there are some good ideas here, though i dislike the inclusion of fumble rules on skill checks.

the whole point of training at a skill is to develop consistency; an inescapable 5% chance of failure no matter how skilled you are is silly.

how many times did michael jordan fail so bad at basketball that even his immense skill had no bearing on the outcome? it surely wasn't 5% of the time.



100% agree. We've got to be able to remove the randomness at some point as we invest in our characters. 

"Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

there are some good ideas here, though i dislike the inclusion of fumble rules on skill checks.

the whole point of training at a skill is to develop consistency; an inescapable 5% chance of failure no matter how skilled you are is silly.

how many times did michael jordan fail so bad at basketball that even his immense skill had no bearing on the outcome? it surely wasn't 5% of the time.

1 is autofail isn't the same as 1 is a fumble. I'll agree that 5% chance of autofail on all skill checks is high, but the D20 system doesn't allow for more precision (without additional rules) and having 100% chance of success is equally unrealistic.

I've played with both and I think some sort of autofail is better. However, a compromise where a 1 is autofail only for hard or more difficult checks might be best. That way somebody like Michael Jordan isn't going to fail his skill check for dribbling, but still has a chance of failing to hit a hard shot no matter how high his bonus gets.

there are some good ideas here, though i dislike the inclusion of fumble rules on skill checks.

the whole point of training at a skill is to develop consistency; an inescapable 5% chance of failure no matter how skilled you are is silly.

how many times did michael jordan fail so bad at basketball that even his immense skill had no bearing on the outcome? it surely wasn't 5% of the time.

1 is autofail isn't the same as 1 is a fumble. I'll agree that 5% chance of autofail on all skill checks is high, but the D20 system doesn't allow for more precision (without additional rules) and having 100% chance of success is equally unrealistic.

I've played with both and I think some sort of autofail is better. However, a compromise where a 1 is autofail only for hard or more difficult checks might be best. That way somebody like Michael Jordan isn't going to fail his skill check for dribbling, but still has a chance of failing to hit a hard shot no matter how high his bonus gets.




i think that with careful control over skill bonuses and DCs, there is no need for an autofail mechanic. right now, the maximum bonus that someone can have at a skill check is +12. even with this massive bonus, they'll only succeed at Very Hard DCs 65% of the time and even a Hard DC still gives them a 15% chance of failure.



there are some good ideas here, though i dislike the inclusion of fumble rules on skill checks.

the whole point of training at a skill is to develop consistency; an inescapable 5% chance of failure no matter how skilled you are is silly.

how many times did michael jordan fail so bad at basketball that even his immense skill had no bearing on the outcome? it surely wasn't 5% of the time.

1 is autofail isn't the same as 1 is a fumble. I'll agree that 5% chance of autofail on all skill checks is high, but the D20 system doesn't allow for more precision (without additional rules) and having 100% chance of success is equally unrealistic.

I've played with both and I think some sort of autofail is better. However, a compromise where a 1 is autofail only for hard or more difficult checks might be best. That way somebody like Michael Jordan isn't going to fail his skill check for dribbling, but still has a chance of failing to hit a hard shot no matter how high his bonus gets.




Agreed. In fact, I always saw the 1 as an autofail and not as a fumble (unless it is an attack roll).

This 5% miss chance is, to me, not a matter of the character, but most likely something as bad luck or environmental difficulties that would bring even a trained artist to fail its check.

The fighter that jumps over a ledge and rolls a 1 is not a failure, there might be a gust of wind or the snow ledge on the other side might be more slippy than he first thought. 
there are some good ideas here, though i dislike the inclusion of fumble rules on skill checks.

the whole point of training at a skill is to develop consistency; an inescapable 5% chance of failure no matter how skilled you are is silly.

how many times did michael jordan fail so bad at basketball that even his immense skill had no bearing on the outcome? it surely wasn't 5% of the time.

1 is autofail isn't the same as 1 is a fumble. I'll agree that 5% chance of autofail on all skill checks is high, but the D20 system doesn't allow for more precision (without additional rules) and having 100% chance of success is equally unrealistic.

I've played with both and I think some sort of autofail is better. However, a compromise where a 1 is autofail only for hard or more difficult checks might be best. That way somebody like Michael Jordan isn't going to fail his skill check for dribbling, but still has a chance of failing to hit a hard shot no matter how high his bonus gets.




Agreed. In fact, I always saw the 1 as an autofail and not as a fumble (unless it is an attack roll).

This 5% miss chance is, to me, not a matter of the character, but most likely something as bad luck or environmental difficulties that would bring even a trained artist to fail its check.

The fighter that jumps over a ledge and rolls a 1 is not a failure, there might be a gust of wind or the snow ledge on the other side might be more slippy than he first thought. 




you might be able to come up with a few highly specific circumstances to justify this idea, but it's not nearly applicable to every skill check, at least not enough to warrant making it a blanket rule that applies to all checks.

i enjoy playing competant characters, and nothing undermines a sense of competancy than some inescapable chance of failure.

also, the DM shouldn't have to come up with some ridiculous reason why my fighter with a +10 to his check failed to vault a wall.  
Basically, the rules are simply "you failed to get on top of the wall".

So either you get this response or you get mine "the wall is way to slicky or w/e". It's inevitable in a d20 system with the probability of failure. If you want no failure, then do not use the d20 system and build a excel chart using DC and add your bonuses from 0.

At 5 you succeed an easy task, 8 a medium one, 10 a great one, etc.

Note that the numbers I just used are on the top of my head so it means really nothing as from "is it too difficult/easy" and I do not really care since I like the d20 system. I was just suggesting. :P 
Basically, the rules are simply "you failed to get on top of the wall".

So either you get this response or you get mine "the wall is way to slicky or w/e". It's inevitable in a d20 system with the probability of failure. If you want no failure, then do not use the d20 system and build a excel chart using DC and add your bonuses from 0.

At 5 you succeed an easy task, 8 a medium one, 10 a great one, etc.

Note that the numbers I just used are on the top of my head so it means really nothing as from "is it too difficult/easy" and I do not really care since I like the d20 system. I was just suggesting. :P 




when did i say i didn't want failure?

what i don't want is a large, inescapable margin of failure that's completely blind to all training and prowess.


there's also the fact that with this rule would be completely pointless given the current DCs and skill bonus maximums.

at high level, once you've completely maxed out your skill AND ability bonuses, you no longer have a chance of failing a DC 13 check. there's still a very real chance of failure when it comes to all the rest of the DCs in the game.
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