cave_lion wrote:Well--you are free to your opinion as always Jim. I happen to disagree. Here is a counter argument, not for your benefit, since you have made it clear you are not open to discussion, but for the rest of the players.
First let me say, in my opinion, DND is not and was never meant to be realistic in many aspects. It is a high fantasy game designed to entertain and be fun.
A DC30 could, for instance, be a lock that is extremely complex for a 1st level character. I could go into 5 scenario's off the top of my head how this PC could successfully open this lock. It may be as a DM I would actually prefer for a player to be able to open that lock (even though the chance of it happening is slim to none)--so with a roll of 20 I get to say "Desna has guided your hand and the lock is now open". How cool is that? Or, if as a DM, there is a reason that I don't really want the lock opened and that 5% chance of rolling a 20 was made--I could just say that one of the tumblers has fallen into place and you are certain that there are two more you will need to move for a total success. This aspect has no relevance for control in the game--since as a DM, I can bend the story as I need to, to make sure that the players are entertained and the story is entertaining. Entertaining does not mean the player always get what he wants--quite the contrary. But it does mean that at the end of the day a story has been told that held interest and made each player want to keep taking one more step. Sometimes the best story is how that 1st level character hit that fluke gust of wind and made the 25' leap of faith across the cliff, thereby saving his life and more importantly, the life of the small child in his arms... Was it insane to take that chance? Yes of course--but if it was the only alternative, how sweet if it actually succeeds!
Any lock can be bypasses with an attack roll. It's just a matter of getting past the hardness and hp of the lock or door or whatever. A PC would in fact be able to tell if a lock is beyond his skill by looking at it, just as a pc could tell that tumbling past four enemies is near to impossible without getting hit, because the player knows the bonuses he has for such skills. So yes, a PC could look at something and say, "this is beyond my ability" and move on to what he knows he could do better at.
duni wrote:The reason a DC is set beyond the scope a PC could hit, is because it's not meant to succeed.
Well, if that is the case why bother? Do you still let a PC do a skill check on these high DC's when you know it is impossible for them to succeed? What is the point in that? Is it realistic for a PC to look at a lock and say--oh this is far to difficult for me to pick let's move on? Of course not--you try the lock and learn from your failure--thereby going up in skill level over time. And in an extremely rare case--you actually do something (maybe something you have no idea what it is) that opens that lock. This is simply a mirror of real life, and one example of how a student becomes a Master in any Craft or Profession.
Being as a pc does not know the actual DC, there's no reason he should not try. I never said a PC shouldn't try. If a DC is 25 and none of my players have anything above a +4 for that task, I don't tell them they can never succeed, I let them try, and they see they did not succeed. In fact, in Runelords, there was a knowledge check to identify one of the creatures they faced. The DC was 35. The highest bonus to the given skill was +8 I think. I still let them try.
And why would it be so absurd to you that a PC would look at a lock and say, "this is beyond my ability"? If a PC knows what he's capable of overcoming and not, then yes, it's purely reasonable he'd say so and rather move on to something he feels he has a better shot at in stead of wasting time on something he feels he'd fail at. There's nothing wrong in that, and I'm surprised you imply this something impossible to happen.
cave_lion wrote:I have always played, as have many of the people I've played with, critical success' and failures on skill checks in DND and other role playing games. We have done it since the game began in the late 70's. So it is certainly a viable game rule... No more nor less important than any other rule a DM may choose to use.
I'm confused. I thought skills weren't introduced to D&D until 3rd edition? I know for certain they were not in 1st, and pretty positive they were not in 2nd. What games were you playing, since I only recall them in 3rd and 3.5?
cave_lion wrote:For me--it introduces an element of luck that I find very enjoyable, both as a player and as a DM.
That's fine. I'm not arguing that.
It's your game, you'll do what you wish. I've never played crits on skills as DM or player because the rules say that skills are not effected by crits. What has effected rolls is if the player made a roll that below or above the DC by a certain increment, but never anything from a nat 1 or 20. In skills, the natural roll still gains the bonus and that becomes the effected roll, not the natural roll.