gm techniques – I have not managed to open a lock. Now what?

Before asking a roll for a PC, keep the issues in mind. (In certain game styles, you actually communicate the issues to the player).

For a fight throwing, the stakes are easy. If they handle a weapon and miss it, and / or do not kill the monster, the monster can attack the group in return.

When climbing a cliff, it may be too easy to have a problem with failure (the character falls).

The player who makes a throw has a goal in mind. If the player succeeds, he should achieve this goal with a minimum of complications.

If they fail, you must have a complication in mind.

The complication should ideally move the plot in an interesting direction. "It takes longer, but nothing happens" is not interesting. "Relaunching until you succeed" is also not interesting, even if there is a time pressure, unless this time pressure is very visceral (like orcs pulling arrows on you and opening the door when you pull back with your crossbow).

So, the failure should either be a failure ahead, or force a different shot of the players.

If you succeed, it is a complication: you unlock the door when guards arrive around the corner, you unlock the door but your lockpick is bursting in the door, you unlock the door but it 's ok. open and make a loud noise, you unlock the door but slide and cut your hand leaving a notch, splash of blood around the door handle, you unlock the door but it takes longer than expected and you hear the sound From a hostage killed inside, you unlock the door but it takes longer and the enemy reinforcements arrive.

Forcing a different movement is the option "no, you can not unlock this door". You can say that "something is stuck inside … you think you can unlock it from the inside …", suggesting the "thief move" in some other way and sneaks to the door on the other side. " Or "the door lock is blocked without hope.The wall looks to be scalable, though." which still suggests a move.

Suggesting a move is optional and may not go beyond that, but it prevents failures from appearing insurmountable. As a DM, you must have at least two alternative moves imagined if you want to force another move in case of failure.

You can fold both. Failure on the lock forces another movement. The different shot is either that the players are thinking about something, or that they are doing a careful check to find a different way. This random control indicates the X, which is a relatively unobtrusive way to enter (climb the low wall and sneak window which, from the outside bricks, are positioned leads to a staircase leading to the inside of this door) , and failure suggests that Y is a way that is actually reckless (climbing the back wall and sneaking into that window that has guards sleeping in it) but still a way forward.

They should not follow any suggestions from this second check. But by organizing things this way, you can prevent the game from getting stuck due to a lack of skills.

So, in real game:

Player: I roll to unlock the door. Blast, a bad roll: 9?

GM: Sorry, the lock seems stuck. You can not open it on this side. Do a street control, DC 15?

Player: (happy to throw more dice) I have a 7. Streetwise is cha? A failure, even if I add competence.

GM: Since the layout of the wall, there is a staircase coming down from the roof in the SW corner of the building.

Player: look at you with suspicion.

The player's gesture was to "unlock the door". It failed. You forced a different movement: a routine check to find another way. You even told the player the domain controller.

They rolled and failed. You have always provided an alternative way, without comments.

They can either use your alternative method (which will obviously cause some problems), or imagine a different method.

Part of this design comes from Dungeon World and other independent games.

For more "fail forward", "let it ride", "force a move", "stake setting" are all the strings you can search on Google for more details on this type of skill check pattern, many of which inspired the design of D & D.