Monday, June 27, 2011

The Scoundrel, Part 9: Door Skills

On to door-related skills!

Lockpick: This won't be roleplayed out concretely at my table in the near future, and I want every class to be able to do this, and to have some chance of failure with it. Verdict: Skill (see, I told you there would be verdicts other than "Out.")

Force Door: This is, from what I understand, for when doors are stuck. I believe that, originally, characters had a 1/6 chance of forcing a door each time they attempted it, each attempt taking one turn. I don't see why stuck doors shouldn't, at their simplest, just require a Strength check, perhaps with a modifier, or maybe just the combined effort of more than one character with a sum of Strength scores above a certain number. I think this is more about strength than skill, though I'll admit that what little I know about forcing doors tells me that some amount of skill is involved. Verdict: Out

Notice Secret Door: This is passively noticing a secret door, an Elf ability in certain iterations of D&D. Like I mentioned with Notice Traps in my last post, I hate passive "Notice ________" checks because I hate forgetting to roll them, which I do. So I'm going the route of Rob Conley's Majestic Wilderlands and taking this ability away from even Elves. They can have perks that don't make me have to remember to roll secret dice behind the screen. Verdict: Out

Find Secret Door: This is actively searching for a secret door, usually along a stretch of wall a certain length long and usually taking a turn to search that stretch. I've had middling results with players making abstract decisions to examine the walls of a room, splitting the stretches of walls between them to make the job quicker so there would be less wandering monster rolls, or going over each others sections, to double-check their fellow PCs. That's making decisions about resources in play, and that's good, but this still rubs me the wrong way. I figure that roleplaying through secret doors is going to be more fun than that, and both Al and Courtney have provided tables that could just as easily be used for generating ideas for secret door mechanisms instead of disarming traps. Verdict: Out

Hear Noise Through Door: Success when listening through a door. I'm not sure exactly what this is other than putting your head up against a door and listening to see if you can hear any orcs playing cards or poking a prisoner in a cage with sticks or something. If so, I'm not sure why even thieves and demihumans would only get a 2/6 chance at beginning levels to be able to hear through a door. Any insight to this from my readers would be greatly appreciated. Until I'm told that I'm misunderstanding this, though, it seems to me like this should just be something where success is automatic for everyone. Verdict: Out

Have some insight into hearing noises through doors, or another one of these options? Think one of my verdicts is wrong? Let me know- I'm eager to learn more and, as with any good home-brewing, nothing's final here.