right, and as to those pivotal skills, versus playing out scenes with regard to equipment, room features, conflicting NSCs or whatever: I like to think of skill checks as short cuts, one might want to use, but doesn't have to.

If you want to play out a social scene, go ahead. Convince me and I'll sure add a bonus to the reaction roll. And if you enjoy solving the puzzle trap yourself, all the better, let's play it out and forget about any skills for now ...

@Sandra @Capheind


Systems that have both skills and play (for example both “Roll Fast-Talk” and “What do you say to the guard?”) come in four varieties: Basically four models:

  • Skills IOR play required. You can use one or the other, your choice.
  • Skills AND play required. You need to look in the right place and roll high.
  • Skills required. Play can give flavor, or a bonus, but does not matter. You get advantage or +4 if you speak well.
  • Play required. Skills can give flavor but does not matter. You need leverage to try, but you can get an even better result if you then additionally roll high.

@Sandra but aren't these rather varying play styles? I can't remember any rules system, that e.g. allowed you only to roll dice if you played your role well.

I'd say, I even switch freely between thoes four variants even in a single game.

@wandererbill They are part of game design.

Many groups do their own game design at the table to fill in gaps in the printed design or to change things that are specified one way in the printed design but they want to the other way. That’s common in RPGs.

I make design decisions deliberately at every level—game selection, house rule writing, prepping, and at the table—albeit with mediocre success of course. It’s all a big experiment.

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