Raise the DCs

I thought they'd figure it out but... no.

Throughout my playtest, I have realized that make DCs are just too low.

Anything that cannot be succeded by a norrmal turnip-farming commoner after 20 attempts at trying should be DC over 20.

This way the exceptional stays exceptional. And every bonus counts no matter how small.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I understand your frustration.  If you're DMing your next play session, try adjusting the DCs (like it says in the DM section of the playtest) to more reflect your view of their difficulty.  Then come back and let us know how it worked out.
I understand your frustration.  If you're DMing your next play session, try adjusting the DCs (like it says in the DM section of the playtest) to more reflect your view of their difficulty.  Then come back and let us know how it worked out.



I did, halfway into the last game.
That is why I sugested it.

I moved breaking a barred door from 19 to 22.

The team sent the hireling with low abilities to break a few doors as they held off pirates. The hireling can't do it after 5 tries.
The rogue gets fed up and runs over, it takes him 4 tries with his +1 Str and +3 to Science.
Wrong door and the enemy was still up.
The fighter ran into the corect door with his 17 STR and advantage and destoys the door.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The fighter broke the door down? *shock*

I would have been more surprised if the wizard busted the door off its hinges.

17 STR would grant him a +3 bonus to the roll and with advantage, can roll twice and take the higher result.  From the looks of it, he had to have rolled a natural 19 to break it down.  What else was giving him bonuses?
The fighter broke the door down? *shock*

I would have been more surprised if the wizard busted the door off its hinges.

17 STR would grant him a +3 bonus to the roll and with advantage, can roll twice and take the higher result.  From the looks of it, he had to have rolled a natural 19 to break it down.  What else was giving him bonuses?



The issue is that if I left it at the original DC of 19, the hireling would have an actual chance at breaking down the door and the rogue would have a 30% chance.

The fighter had Profession (Carpenter) +3.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Adjusting DCs is definitely one way of doing this.  Another might be limiting the number or attempts the farmer can perform.  I tend to agree farmers shouldn't be breaking down barred doors after 20 rounds of trying.  I think I agree with moving the DCs up by about 3.  I like to think of this as the old 3.5e rule on Taking 10 or Taking 20.  Even after slamming into a barred door for hours a poorly fed commonor should not be able to break through a barred door, or to physically power out of manacles to use an example from the DM Guidelines. 
I feel your pain. I can't use it as listed.

However, I actually like the low numbers. So I want a different solution. What I'm trying out (I posted the logic behind it on a different thread) is limiting rerolls and defining an automatic success rule.

1. You normally can't retry an ability check unless the situation changes.

If you allow the commoner to make a check to break out of manacles (ie, if it seems dramatically appropriate to allow a check), he has his 10% chance, but if he fails he can't try again unless something changes. Maybe a spell is cast on him that increases his strength, or he's been banging the lock against a rock for a week attempting to weaken it, etc. It also means that if someone is hidden and motionless, after your first active attempt to find them, you can't just keep scanning the area and rerolling every round until you find them because you think someone is there. You have to actually move around, get closer, etc. Rogues that fail to pick a lock can't pick it unless they get some better lock picks or come up with some sort of creative idea to change the situation (which is great!)

It might be worth allowing retries for actions that involve hazards. In that case, I suggest setting a maximum allowed die result of 15 on rerolls.

It's also worth noting that for many tasks, it is a new situation most of the times when you would retry. If a pick pocket attempt fails, you can't just try again a second later, but if you wait for them to move to another location, you're entitled to try again.

2. You can normally "take 5" on an ability check.

This one makes it harder for adventurers to fail the supposedly "almost never failed" DC 7 tasks.

The issue is that if I left it at the original DC of 19, the hireling would have an actual chance at breaking down the door

Which is why they are being hired. If they had no chance, why hire them?

Really, the hirelings breaking down doors while the heroes fight the oppositions to buy their hirelings the needed time looks absolutely appropriate to me when I picture that scene.


The issue is that if I left it at the original DC of 19, the hireling would have an actual chance at breaking down the door

Which is why they are being hired. If they had no chance, why hire them?

Really, the hirelings breaking down doors while the heroes fight the oppositions to buy their hirelings the needed time looks absolutely appropriate to me when I picture that scene.





The hirelings were just commoners poor enough to follow them and use slings.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!


The issue is that if I left it at the original DC of 19, the hireling would have an actual chance at breaking down the door

Which is why they are being hired. If they had no chance, why hire them?

Really, the hirelings breaking down doors while the heroes fight the oppositions to buy their hirelings the needed time looks absolutely appropriate to me when I picture that scene.




The hirelings were just commoners poor enough to follow them and use slings.

Which does not make the scene of the PCs fighting desperately to buy time while their hirelings frantically try to open a door for their escape any less awesome. Even if the hirelings are just poor commoners tagging along, they need to be usefull enough for the PCs to bother keeping them around.


Really, if my party heads off to a dungeon whith a bunch of hirelings in tow, I expect them to handle anything beside fighting monsters and disabling wards and traps. 


I would imagine it like the archaeological expeditions of old. Hundreds of simple workers doing most of the digging while the scientist work on their tan and only join the workers on important occasions.


So our hirelings are digging through the sand and break through the stone door of the crypt and we join them when they report the discovery of the sarcophagus in case there's a vengeful mummy.

Thank you.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The hirelings were just commoners poor enough to follow them and use slings.


You mean like farmers, blacksmiths, carpenters, lumberjacks, butchers or what have you?

Picture one of those people, carrying around heavy loads all day, every day. Then claim they shouldn't be capable of breaking a door down.
They should probably be a whole lot more so than the 13 strength halfling rogue should. 
Everyone should have a chance. Rogues are not the only people in the world who know how to pick a lock, fighters arent the only ones who can kick down a door, Wizards aren't the only ones with high levels of education, etc. A DC of 19 is pretty darn high anyway.
My two copper.
I never said a farmer or hireling shouldn't be able to pick a lock or break a door.

I said a farmer or hireling shouldn't be able to pick an elaborate lock or break steel manacles.


Anything that cannot be succeded by a norrmal turnip-farming commoner after 20 attempts at trying should be DC over 20.

Last playtest breaking steel manacles was a DC 19. The guideline told DMs that a farmer had 10% chance to break steel.

Now it is DC 30.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I thought they'd figure it out but... no.

Throughout my playtest, I have realized that make DCs are just too low.

Anything that cannot be succeded by a norrmal turnip-farming commoner after 20 attempts at trying should be DC over 20.

This way the exceptional stays exceptional. And every bonus counts no matter how small.



Actually, it takes 45 attempts to be guaranteed a 20 if you're re-rolling.

Aside from that, I completely disagree. The higher DCs in the latest playtest packet were one of the most unpleasant shocks. That's power creep that's unfortunately way too easy with a roll-over system, and was thankfully kept in check in pre-d20 D&D by using a roll-under system. 
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />1. You normally can't retry an ability check unless the situation changes.


Sound interesting, but it means a few bad rolls could completely derail an adventure. How about combining this with a rule that if you take your time on something, say double (maybe triple?) the minimum required, then your minimum roll is treated as a 5 (maybe a 10?). Allow this to count as a new situation: So if the rogue tries to unlock the door in a hurry, he fails. Then he can sit down and take his time, and he gets another, better chance. If he fails that, then he's done.
I thought they'd figure it out but... no.

Throughout my playtest, I have realized that make DCs are just too low.

Anything that cannot be succeded by a norrmal turnip-farming commoner after 20 attempts at trying should be DC over 20.

This way the exceptional stays exceptional. And every bonus counts no matter how small.



Actually, it takes 45 attempts to be guaranteed a 20 if you're re-rolling.

Aside from that, I completely disagree. The higher DCs in the latest playtest packet were one of the most unpleasant shocks. That's power creep that's unfortunately way too easy with a roll-over system, and was thankfully kept in check in pre-d20 D&D by using a roll-under system. 




Roll Under systems have their own issue, namely needing exception based design and high success chance. If breaking a Door is a roll under Strenggth, a farmer has a 50% chance of success unless you make the type of task factor in the roll somehow.

This is why many roll under games use d100s. The chances are easier to handle without exceptions.

Roll over favors small dice
Roll under favor large dice

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Actually, mathematically, it makes no difference whether you use small or large dice. THAC0 vs AC is the same as BAB vs AC. No difference between a d20 or d100 roll under system other than granularity. The reason d100 is used is because percentages are intuitive, while fractions aren't. Roll over just tends towards power creep while roll under tends to constrain it.

Usually roll under systems will use opposed rolls with a success vs success, success vs failure, failure vs failure and failure vs success matrix (which handles a lot of things really well, and remains quite intuitive). That starts branching out from D&D and more into RuneQuest territory (incidentally, RuneQuest would be my base of choice for an OGL OSR game).
Didn't say Roll under was worse. Just said roll under would have different challenges in D&D.

First of all D&D (now) uses d20 which makes the interval percentages of 5% per interval.

This wouldn't be a problem in another system but in D&D common folk have attributes of 8-12 giving them 40-60% success chance. Therefore another step with a success/failure matrix must be added for opposed rolls and another aspect for static DCs.

Its not worse, just different.

It is just easier to bound the DCs toward the possible results of the actors and set DCs appropriately.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />1. You normally can't retry an ability check unless the situation changes.


Sound interesting, but it means a few bad rolls could completely derail an adventure. How about combining this with a rule that if you take your time on something, say double (maybe triple?) the minimum required, then your minimum roll is treated as a 5 (maybe a 10?). Allow this to count as a new situation: So if the rogue tries to unlock the door in a hurry, he fails. Then he can sit down and take his time, and he gets another, better chance. If he fails that, then he's done.



I like where you're going. It reminds of a house-rule that an old GM used to play with.

Players could breakdown really difficult tasks into multiple actions to reduce higher DCs. Of course, now you have to make multiple rolls, but three rolles against DCs of 18 are easier than one DCof 30, right?

So, the player, realizing how important it is to get the lock picked, might say that they are going to pick the lock in three stages. With the possibility of failure meaning that he can continue working to pick the lock and a critical failure meaning he has to start completely over.

I think there are a couple of ways to handle a situation. Both of these are house-rules that would be interesting to see integrated into D&D Next.

Another possibility, too: failures don't always have to mean failure at the task--particularly if something is critical to the story. I haven't playtested this rule, yet -- and I cannot remember the source -- but rather than a failed die role meaning a failure, make it a success with consequences -- and the bigger the failure the bigger the consequences.

For example, if our rogue is trying to unlock the door to the inner sanctum of the uber-demon so that the party can find his weakness and destroy him, it's pretty critical that the door get opened. Some examples...

If it's a close failure (DC of 18 and rolled a 16), make it so that he gets the door open, but his lock picking tools are bent and can't be re-used until they are repaired. 

If it's a critical failure, he opens the door, but breaks his lockpicking tools and triggers a trap, taking d8 of damage.

Or, imagine a scenario where the adventurers are holding off some bad guys while the rogue tries to pick the lock. If he fails, it's just going to take him longer to pick the lock. He doesn't get to roll again to speed things up (like in the previous example where he breaks it down into three tasks) -- it's just going to take him 5-10 rounds (depending on how bad the roll was) to pick the lock and you better hope the party can keep the orcs at bay for that long.

Now, these aren't mutually exclusive -- you can have both in your campaign.

I would allow the players to suggest the use of the multiple rolls to lower the DC, meaning that they are going to take their time to complete the action.

And if success is critical to plot advancement -- whether they are taking their time or not -- failure should mean success with consequences and the greater the failure, the greater the consequence.

-R
I like that they upped the DC numbers. They went a touch to far, but that's okay. We now know these numbers are to high. PLAYTESTING!! Laughing
I like the idea of allowing PCs break down really difficult challenges.
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