What is the right way to handle difficulty checks?

I have been trying for a while to get a friend to play a certain system I like. He even read the rules, and what he had to say puzzled me. He says that the system sucks because there are no predetermined difficulties. "The GM just decides what the difficulty arbitrarily" does this make sense or is he just talking out of his ass? Also, what system handles difficulty checks the best?

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  1. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    x-in-6 chance
    gg no re

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >The GM just decides what the difficulty arbitrarily
      You are thinking about it wrong. The gm isn't 'making it up' he is (or should be) determining the difficulty based on his knowledge of both the real world and the game world.
      An enemy is wearing this much armour therefore the to hit number is...
      The hurdle is this high there for the number to beat is ...
      The lock that was designed by an apprentice is this difficult to pick and a lock that was designed by a dwarfen smith is this difficult to pick.

      If you are unsure of wear to start pick a task that you think a normal person could succeed at about half the time, give it a value and adjust the roll as needed relative to that situation.

      Also

      Fpbp

  2. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >what he had to say puzzled me
    Did you ask him to clarify what he meant? Or did you just run out of the room to end the conversation for some reason?

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      I mean that's what I remember from the conversation. A couple other things came up about the system but that's the thing that baffled me the most.

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        So have another conversation with him and actually pay attention this time?
        I don't know what you expect from /tg/ here. You're asking about a person you know that we don't who made a comment you can barely remember and reported vaguely, about a system you haven't even named. My guess is that he meant you're a stupid homosexual, and he's got a point.

        • 1 week ago
          Anonymous

          >about a system you haven't even named
          The system is Fudge
          >You're asking about a person you know that we don't who made a comment you can barely remember and reported vaguely
          Doesn't matter for the purposes of the thread. The details of the conversation don't matter because they are unimportant to the question I asked. Weather or not difficulty rolls should be predetermined or not is what I want to talk about and if you don't like that it's your problem not mine.
          >My guess is that he meant you're a stupid homosexual, and he's got a point.
          All of a sudden you know everything about the guy huh?

          • 1 week ago
            Anonymous

            >explain what a person meant when he said a specific thing
            >details of the person and conversation aren't important
            You're moronic.

            • 1 week ago
              Anonymous

              What detail do you need before you contribute anything of value to the thread? Tell me so we can put it to rest.

          • 1 week ago
            Anonymous

            Fudge works when everyone agrees on the ficiton (<- this is what the difficulties are based on). If you want to play an elfgame getting there is going to take some effort, both from you and your players. On the other hand, playing in a modern setting based on a book everyone in the group has read should be no problem. Alternatively, the players can just trust you, and supposing you're fair they'll learn very quickly what a "Good" result is good for. Maybe your friend just wants to know what to expect? Maybe he doesn't know much about climbing and would like to make sure his character can scale a castle wall? Point him to a video with a "Great" climbing performance.

            https://i.imgur.com/FQctN59.jpeg

            I have been trying for a while to get a friend to play a certain system I like. He even read the rules, and what he had to say puzzled me. He says that the system sucks because there are no predetermined difficulties. "The GM just decides what the difficulty arbitrarily" does this make sense or is he just talking out of his ass? Also, what system handles difficulty checks the best?

            >what system handles difficulty checks the best?
            I'd say CoC because your chance of success is literally on your sheet but I know a guy who suffered brain-freeze when he tried to comprehend Library Use so it's not foolproof.

  3. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    The system sucks because I can't engage in charop before the game starts. It's "mother-may-I" bullshit. What am I optimizing for if I don't know the difficulties and the occurrence rates of key rolls? Any "game" "system" that doesn't allow for real gaming, i.e. getting top modifiers for my rolls, and system mastery is not a game and not a system, and it sucks. Go play in your summerime theater troupe with someone else.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >he thinks he can bind the DM with numbers on funny shapes
      HYTNPDND?

  4. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Optimizators deserve to be hanged, burned and impaled at the same time. You bastards ruined the hobby.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >people wanting to play a game without having their character killed ruined a hobby that's moved far beyond the ability to build a character and now just tells players to shut up and let daddy DM run their lives
      k

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      Not to genuinely reply in a content farming thread but

      Brother, who do you think writes the books? You think theater kids care about resolution mechanics and balancing class progression, or understand them well enough to publish anything? Role exists entirely from the charity of roll

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      Hanging, burning and impalimg them at the same time is not an optimal way to inflict suffering, anon.

  5. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >The GM just decides what the difficulty arbitrarily
    Would he rather the GM spend 10 minutes looking up tables/applying formulas whenever his character wants to do something non-standard? GMs have to improvise. If you don't trust them to improvise, find a new GM.

  6. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >there are no predetermined difficulties
    So there aren't any examples or anything to use as guidelines?

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      Basically in the system the GM chooses the difficulty of a roll based on the circumstances, character's abilities, etc. There are two kinds of rolls: Opposed and unopposed. The former is you rolling against another character in a context. I want to stab you, your trying to block my attack with a shield etc. unopposed actions are ones where the GM sets the difficulty and names the attribute/skill to be used. The core book suggests "fair" as the average difficulty. (the system uses words instead of numbers so you have "fair" "good" "great" difficulties) as far as I can tell his problem is the lack of pre-set difficulties, i.e there is no "default" difficulty for climbing a hill or rowing a boat etc.

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        That's a reasonable complaint to have, I'd say. Knowing that your result is "good" doesn't mean shit without context, so it puts extra burden on the GM and the players to make sure everyone is on the same page.

  7. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    I generally prefer games with a set difficulty and the roll is modified, rather than a moving difficulty, because the latter does seem somewhat arbitrary to me. But I also appreciate that that is mostly aesthetic and not really a substantial thing.

  8. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    From the very top of my head:
    What system?
    What convention?
    What scenario?
    How many players in the group?
    How the system scales to number of people?
    How the system handles fails?
    Potentially related: how lethal the system is?
    Are players risk-adverse?
    Is it a group with noobs?
    Is it an open table?
    Is this a campaign or one-shot?

    And so on and forth.
    There is no universal, single answer, unless you want to hear that it's three fifty and also forty eight.

  9. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    It makes perfect sense. He has no idea what his character is actually capable of.

  10. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    Makes sense to me.
    Every other game I've ever played has always been clear with what I have to do, as a player, to either score points or win; whether it's based on the team's strength/skill, individual strength/skill, or with varied amounts of luck involved.
    It's only with "TTRPGs" where people tend to make the points of decision about whim, instead of player aptitude, then defend it with "w-well t-that's j-just h-how t-they a-are".
    Saying "you need a 4 to swing from this chandelier" at one point and then later on saying you need an 8, without any differing factors, is entirely whim, and is especially moronic when the character has IMPROVED his ability. The player has no agency; his skill and luck are no longer a factor. It goes beyond bad game design, it's no longer even a game at that point.
    If you like it, cool. If you have fun with it, cool. If you enjoy it, cool.
    Narrative systems aren't games, no matter how many guidelines are written in their books.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      how do you win at playing pretend

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        If it's just "playing pretend", there shouldn't be the pretense of a game established with mechanics and attributes.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >what do you mean the game doesn't list a difficulty for making a pornstar martini in a lukewarm swimming pool while goblin sharks gnaw my nipples?
      >we may as well be playing pretend

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        Impossible, you need four ingredients plus a mixer and only have two hands. Not to mention ice

        • 1 week ago
          Anonymous

          Wow you won't even let me roll for it?
          Shit GM.

          • 1 week ago
            Anonymous

            Okay fine, roll D6

  11. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    For dungeons and dragons fifth edition (the only role-playing game people actually play) I use the standard difficulties of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 for everything unless a DC is already provided in the scenario.

  12. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >does this make sense or is he just talking out of his ass?
    He's talking out of his ass. The difficulty of a given task isn't meant to be player-facing information anyways. They can estimate and they can suss out that information with in-game information, like assuming that kicking down a rickety, rotten wooden door will be easy, but kicking a solid iron portcullis will be difficult to the point of impossibility.

    • 1 week ago
      Anonymous

      >The difficulty of a given task isn't meant to be player-facing information anyways
      This is going to my list of things an utterly shitty gm does. Some day I'll make an online game for unsuspecting discord trannies and make them suffer through shit like this.

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        What do you find so offensive about it?

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        >hey gm, what's the DC for picking the lock on the door?
        > 15
        >what's the DC for kicking the door down?
        > 13
        >what's the DC for finding a secret path around the door?
        >18
        >okay, we have decided to let the barbarian smash the door down

        ishygddt

        • 1 week ago
          Anonymous

          >is the lock complex? We can always try kicking it down
          >FRICKING METAGAMERS YOU'RE RUINING MY NOVEL!
          Cant make this shit up baka

          • 1 week ago
            Anonymous

            >implying that a party should know the percentage chance of success of any action they attempt before they attempt it

            why would you want this? are you moronic?

            • 1 week ago
              Anonymous

              >why would you want this
              This board is called traditional "games"
              We are discussing a "game"
              I am trying to "play" it

              • 1 week ago
                Anonymous

                hidden information is a centuries old game mechanic that's the foundation for some of the greatest games ever made

              • 1 week ago
                Anonymous

                >playing poker
                >"anon what's in your hand"
                >"I'm not telling you"
                >FRICKING WHAT? THIS IS A "GAME" I'M JUST TRYING TO "PLAY" THIS "GAME"

        • 1 week ago
          Anonymous

          >what's the DC for finding a secret path around the door?
          >18
          You played your hand too early. Godspeed anon.

        • 1 week ago
          Anonymous

          Yes anon, a professional athlete high jumper has absolutely no idea of his chances of clearing the jump and he just goes in completely blind.

          • 1 week ago
            Anonymous

            Stupid example, obviously if you've practiced an action for months you know that you're going to be able to perform it. Would you tell your player to roll for driving their car to work?

            • 1 week ago
              Anonymous

              >wear
              *where
              Otherwise, spot on.

              • 1 week ago
                Anonymous

                Meant for

                >The GM just decides what the difficulty arbitrarily
                You are thinking about it wrong. The gm isn't 'making it up' he is (or should be) determining the difficulty based on his knowledge of both the real world and the game world.
                An enemy is wearing this much armour therefore the to hit number is...
                The hurdle is this high there for the number to beat is ...
                The lock that was designed by an apprentice is this difficult to pick and a lock that was designed by a dwarfen smith is this difficult to pick.

                If you are unsure of wear to start pick a task that you think a normal person could succeed at about half the time, give it a value and adjust the roll as needed relative to that situation.

                Also

                Fpbp

                I am not a clever man.

      • 1 week ago
        Anonymous

        >why would you want this
        This board is called traditional "games"
        We are discussing a "game"
        I am trying to "play" it

        Man, you are moronic.

  13. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    It's a fair complaint. Without standard DCs for various scenarios, there's no way for him to tell how competent his character really is in any given area. He may think being able to consistently hit a 'Good' DC is sufficient for what he wants to do, only to find out in play that he really needed to be able to hit 'Great'.

  14. 1 week ago
    Anonymous

    >He says that the system sucks because there are no predetermined difficulties.
    He doesn't trust and/or is uncomfortable with a system that doesn't offer (some?) structure at least in that facet. I mean, some general guideline would be helpful to determine what might be considered easy, challenging, hard, etc. Without it, a person is going to have to figure out the dice averages to feel out a gauge. Calling it arbitrary might be talking out of his ass a little bit, because it would be on the GM to determine difficulty in most situations regardless of whether a difficulty chart is provided.

    >Also, what system handles difficulty checks the best?
    I don't really have an opinion on that one and have no preferences. I guess I'd have more of a preference for something with a probability curve but for me, it's more about the group chemistry for me

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