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PnP News Bot
05-04-2008, 11:22 PM
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Check out this new article Wizards of the Coast posted recently:

4th Edition Excerpts: Skill Challenges (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080505a)

This time, Bill Slavicsek introduces us to skill challenges, which can form the basis of an encounter all by themselves, or can be combined with a combat encounter to make a really memorable part of any adventure.

Farcaster
05-05-2008, 02:44 PM
Hmm.. I can see this system being useful for quick behind the scenes things you may want to do, but it seems to me that they are encouraging a wider use of skill checks for situations that should be roleplayed. If you need to convince the duke to aid your quest, what is the fun in boiling down that interaction to a series of die rolls to curry his favor?

boulet
05-05-2008, 03:04 PM
Hmm.. I can see this system being useful for quick behind the scenes things you may want to do, but it seems to me that they are encouraging a wider use of skill checks for situations that should be roleplayed. If you need to convince the duke to aid your quest, what is the fun in boiling down that interaction to a series of die rolls to curry his favor?

This debate is as old as RPGs themselves. One typical school of players say : "let players role play negociation/seducing/argumentation, if the GM finds it convincing enough then the action is a success". Another school say : "a PC is a separate entity from his player, thus he may have abilities/knowledge/eloquence the players has not. The resolution of a social/knowledge action doesn't have to rely on role play". IMO the former advantages brainy and/or eloquent players, and may lead to some frustration at the table. The latter may lead to a lack of "in character" behaviour at the table.

I find this issue very difficult to solve in one definitive clear way. Actually it's part of the game style one is playing. But when it comes to a critical conversation with a major NPC that will influence the direction of the whole story, I agree with you Farcaster : it's a bit sad to rely on dice to solve this type of confrontation.

fmitchell
05-05-2008, 04:13 PM
This debate is as old as RPGs themselves. One typical school of players say : "let players role play negociation/seducing/argumentation, if the GM finds it convincing enough then the action is a success". Another school say : "a PC is a separate entity from his player, thus he may have abilities/knowledge/eloquence the players has not. The resolution of a social/knowledge action doesn't have to rely on role play". IMO the former advantages brainy and/or eloquent players, and may lead to some frustration at the table. The latter may lead to a lack of "in character" behaviour at the table.

There's also a combined method: the player outlines his general approach, and the die roll determines how well he pulls it off. Which means that if a player tries to bribe an uncorruptable official, or appeals to the nonexistent patriotism of a pirate, he's doomed from the start.

The GM could also choose the mix of roleplay and die-rolling based on the abilities of the player. If an eloquent player plays an eloquent character, the GM could just roleplay the whole thing; if a less eloquent player plays an eloquent character, the GM could just ask for a statement of intent and let the dice do the talking.