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Question:

How to you handle your players all making rolls on the same thing?

Like, let's say your players are looking for a hidden diary that they are pretty sure is in the room. One player rolls a search while the other players are somewhere else, gets a low number, and is told they look all over but don't find anything. Then another player goes "Well, I look too when I'm done." then they make a roll. Continue until the diary is found or all players roll. Or, let's say they are being snunk up on by a bandit. You tell them to roll a listen, and out of five players, one of them probably succeeds and alerts the others, every time any sort of spot or listen check is made. One more: The players are trying to get information from someone and fail their roll. So, then the next player decides to make a roll to get the information as well. Continue until someone succeeds.

Basically, how do you put challenges for the players that they can fail, if all of them are just going to roll, making the chances that everyone will fail almost zero?

World of Darkness suffers from this a lot. Even if each player only rolls one die, then if there are more than three players they will probably succeed. (33% chance for any one die in nWoD)

I understand making consequences for failure, like the rope breaks when they try and fail to swing across or whatever, but that doesn't work for all situations.
>>
For something with say 5 people searching for the dairy, could you have them decide as a.group ahead of time how many people are going to help search, and then take the average of the 5 rolls. You could even make some charts ahead of time with nber of people and degrees of success. So like if all 5 people play they need an average of 65, but if it is only 4 the. They need a 60.
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>>44677939
Have you tried talking to your players about this?
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>>44678085
Yes, they think it's perfectly fair.

Or I should say, they think it's very unfair when I try to limit them. "So what if the strongest character wasn't able to pull the rusted lever. I want to try to pull it, I might get lucky!" Queue some sort of discussion about being able to open a jar after someone else tries.

I mean, it's good they get to advance, but in some cases it makes it impossible to create real obstacles or tension since they seem to succeed at everything eventually.
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>>44678085

This isn't an etiquette issue. It's about mechanics.
>>
If the first person fails by too much, the lever breaks.
If multiple are doing search checks for one item and succeed, say they bump their heads as they hone in on the location.
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>>44677939
The player with the best dice pool makes a check, with a bonus depending on how many people are helping him.

If they "keep looking until they find it", I'll work out how improbable it is, and then divide the time interval by the probability of it being found. However I'll tell them time passes, in hour increments, describing their progress, and making them wonder if there's anything there.

I usually find players just keep looking until they find something, but I think the progressive evidence helps.

I only use tests when there's an actual challenge, and a consequence for failure.
>>
In Fantasy Craft, the system itself puts a brake on this with the group check rules. Whenever you have a whole group trying to do something, and only one person needs to succeed for the group to reap the benefits (such as would be the case in the Search check), only the person with the highest bonus rolls on behalf of the whole team. The rest can roll checks to assist and give a small bonus to the main representative, but you don't get the whole "everybody rolls individually so odds are somebody's going to roll high enough" issue.
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Question:

How to you handle your players all making rolls on the same thing?

Like, let's say your players are fighting an ogre that is in the room. One player rolls an attack while the other players are readying, gets a low number, and is told they miss the ogre Then another player goes "Well, I attack too when I'm ready." then they make a roll. Continue until the ogre is dead or all players roll. Or, let's say they are trying to open a door. You tell them to roll to pick locks, or force the door open and out of five players, one of them probably succeeds and opens the door, every time any sort of lockpick or force open check is made. One more: The players are trying to climb a sheer cliff and fail their roll. So, then the next player decides to make a roll to climb the cliff as well. Continue until someone succeeds, and throws down a rope for the rest of the party.

Basically, how do you put challenges for the players that they can fail, if all of them are just going to roll, making the chances that everyone will fail almost zero?

AD&D suffers from this a lot. Even if each player only rolls one attack, then if there are more than two players they will probably succeed. (50%+ chance to hit an unarmored opponent in AD&D.)

I understand making consequences for failure, like the ogre attacks when they fail to kill him or whatever, but that doesn't work for all situations.
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>>44677939
Make the difficulty something only someone trained can beat. On shit that can be beat by any random with luck in the dice don't even ask for a skill check, just let them succeed.

Five people looking for a diary? They just find it, no roll, unless it's hidden in a secret space inside the wall, then only some with a good skill and a good roll can find it. Have a way for the group to find it anyway in case they fail tho, otherwise it can lock the aadventure.

On a listen roll, they're absolutely right, each one of them should have a chance to notice the ambush. If you want someone to sneak on a party of professional paranoids, like most adventurers and sentient monsters are, they should have huge sneaking skills on top of invisibility and whatever else modifier and spell they can get.

On the whole group trying to get info, or trying to force a lever or something like that just have the guy with the best skill roll and give him a bonus based on how many others are helping.
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>>44678923
>Have a way for the group to find it anyway in case they fail tho, otherwise it can lock the aadventure.

If finding said diary is mandatory for them to continue, don't even roll for it, they'll tear the place apart looking for it and will find it eventually, so best to just skip wasting time.
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>>44678845
If someone isn't proficient in lockpicking, I might discourage them by saying they could make things worse if they fail.
But other than that, I see no reason why everyone shouldn't try those challenges.
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>>44678966
>If finding said diary is mandatory for them to continue, don't even roll for it
>>44678923
>Five people looking for a diary? They just find it, no roll
It's almost like it's the first sentence on that paragraph...
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>>44679044
Was referring more to the part where the diary is behind a hidden space in the wall.

Still shouldn't bother rolling for it if finding the diary is required to continue.
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>>44678845
>Using ogres as a counter example

So your suggestion is to have the diary and rusted lever attack back?
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>>44678438
Succeeding eventually is usually the point, but I will agree that just taking turns to open a jar is a boring way to reach that eventual success.

I would just stop using situations like this, or at least make them matter less.
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>>44678966
>>44679078
>>44679154
>If finding said diary is mandatory for them to continue, don't even roll for it,

Obviously if they have to succeed, I don't care. But if they don't find the diary, maybe they need to interview the suspect's friends for clues, or they need to hide outside the window until they see him come in to get to the diary.

If they succeed on their first attempt at every challenge, there's no reason to come up with alternate solutions or anything, and the adventure becomes dull when everything goes their way.
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>>44679227
If they don't know a diary's there in the first place then they won't overturn everything to look for it, especially if you describe things in a way to lead them assume the room's got nothing important.

Also, most of this arguments seems to be boiling down to you always leading with uncreative and far too simple challenges.

Like most of the stuff you mentioned is the kind of things with no tension or pressure that they should be able to just take 10 or 20 on it anyway.
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>>44678845

My suggestion is, deal with the fact that you have more than one person in your party, and they're going to work together.
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>>44679467

is in reply to

>>44679144
>>
Intent/task motherfuckers.
Someone who fails their roll doesn't get their intent (to find the diary in the room), but can still succeed at their task (searching the room).

Failing the roll could be
"You discover a secret compartment behind the painting, a hole in the thin layer of dust reveals that the dairy used to be here until a little while ago..." And now there is a new situation and they have to deal with that.
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>>44679295
>Like most of the stuff you mentioned is the kind of things with no tension or pressure that they should be able to just take 10 or 20 on it anyway.

This. Maybe you have to find the diary in the room before it's owner comes back, or while other party members distract the owner and have to make checks to keep him busy. Or maybe a failed search check also means they missed the alarm in the room that goes off or woke up a pet dog that starts barking or broke something that made a lot of noise.(maybe they even find the diary still and have to escape with it.

Maybe behind that door there's someone about to be sacrificed/transferred to a new cell/etc. that makes getting the lock open on the first try really important and each fail makes the encounter harder. Roll a search check each failure for someone to come around and spot the guy trying to break in too while you're at it.

TL;DR, context OP, fucking remember it. If the only consequence to failing to open a locked door is that the door doesn't open then don't make it a challenge in the first place.
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>>44677939

Make one roll. Everyone applies their modifiers separately.

>DC 20 search check
>Player A is +2 to search, player B is +6, player C (the rogue) is +10
>Rollin' a d20... got a 16
>Players B and C passed the check
>>
The problem is that most systems assume that any task is arbitrarily hard yet completable by any character if they get lucky enough, but that's not how the real situation you are trying to model actually works. When you want to find out if a group of people hear a sound the person with the best hearing should always be able to hear any sound the half-deaf person can. The olympic jumper should always be able to cross a gap the frail old man can leap.

You roll a die because you want a chance of failure in the event, but it's not so much the character's skill that should be randomized sometimes, but the difficulty of the event. What I've done in some games is instead of saying "The gap is 10ft wide. Roll to jump across it." I say "The gap looks pretty wide. You might be able to jump it." then instead of making the players roll to jump across the gap I roll to see how wide the gap actually is and anyone with a sufficient bonus makes it across. You can apply this with anything: Hearing, interrogating a prisoner, etc.
>>
Do what Burning Wheel does; ask who is more or less 'leading the effort, and everyone else just Helps him make his roll using whatever mechanics you have for modifiers based on people helping you do a thing.
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>>44677939
In the case that if the group searching a room for a diary, if the first person fail I usually say that they kinda moved everything around in the room while they were looking and so the next check will be a bit harder. This makes it so as they each roll it gets harder because the room is more and more trashed. And eventually they end with a trashed room showing the owner someone robbed them. And if they tried to search without moving stuff around I I would have the check be harder.
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>>44677939
Don't make them roll if there is no consequence to failure and they can retry indefinitely.

In the case of the diary : If time if of the essence, let them roll as long as they want to, but keep track on how much time they've spent on it instead of advancing, and eventually make that bite them in the ass later.
If they have all the time in the world, let them "do a twenty"

In the case of the bandit : Well, though shit, he should have sneaked up an isolated person instead of a group of badass warriors. Or use a bandit with more ranks in stealth.

Also, an article on that issue :
http://theangrygm.com/five-simple-rules-for-dating-my-teenaged-skill-system/ (rule 3)
>>
to me the obvious answer is make the test harder...
it always seemed dumb in some games that once one person had looked through a room other people were unable. it breaks immersion for me.
but if you just make the test harder then you can cancel out the increased probability that comes from multiple tests. with 4 or 5 people in a party it does only get down to a 1/4 or 1/5, but thats pretty low when you think about them trying 5 different things and only succeeding at one of them.
i think its especially important since a lot of the games i play in people are working together, but items arent necessarily communal, and bartering between characters adds to the feel of you being separate people with separate feelings and goals. if only the best search check player could search, you wouldnt have the loot split up the same way.
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>>44677939
>How to you handle your players all making rolls on the same thing?
Initiative checks between them.
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>>44677939
I ask who has the best perception/stealth/whatever, then I check who is in a position to help/is trying to piggie-back on their expertise (for things like climbing or stealth). The person with the best skill rolls, with a bonus/penalty for the other warm bodies.

Works a treat.
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>>44678438
Design your situations so that there are consequences for failure.

Design your situations so that the party simply doesn't have time to all take a crack at opening the jar.

Design your situations so that the every member of the party has something different to do.
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OP, you might need to read the rules. Search checks explicity can be tried again, even by the same character. That's how taking 20 works, for example: it assumes the character keeps trying until he gets a 20
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>>44677939
Page 23 of the Player's Handbook, subsection 4, paragraph 3 "alternative rules for assisted rolls":
"Alternatively, outside of combat any attempt to achieve the same thing by another party member can be treated simply as a "take ten", so no rolling needed, and if a ten on a roll would succeed at the task, the second (third, fourth...etc) party member does, if not they don't."
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>>44689131

Woops! Forgot a bit:
"This is sometimes referred to as "the picklejar rule", as in when a wizard with low strength tries to open a pickle jar, fails on a decent roll, and then the much stronger fighter tries and succeeds with a take ten."
>>
Thanks for the help guys.

I'm going to work on some combination of these two I think
>>44679595
>>44679513
As well as everyone else who mentioned just adding more consequences.

I'll put more thought into my challenges, and allow the story to evolve more.
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>>44677939

>Or, let's say they are being snunk up on by a bandit. You tell them to roll a listen, and out of five players, one of them probably succeeds and alerts the others, every time any sort of spot or listen check is made.

That one's simple. The enemy springs at them/they ambush the party and only the player who passed gets to act.

People are going to warn others of danger, it's just a logical thing to do. Trying actively to discourage beyond that can make things contrived, though there are a few things that might work. Such as the enemy hearing one of the players go "someone's following us!" and then run off so they can come back to try another time or with more friends or whatever. If they were relying on surprise to take on the party and they know the party is now aware of them, they're going to fuck off instead of a suicidal attack.
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>>44677939

If they roll their own check, they can't grant an 'aid another' bonus to the best character.

If a superior character already tried and failed, they take a confidence penalty.

If it's a question of where the treasure is, they can keep trying, if they don't have a reason to believe there's treasure here, the people with a +4 to search won't try after the person with a +18 to search failed.

YOU SEARCHED THE ROOM FOR THE 18TH FUCKING TIME? FUCK YOU TOO MUCH NOISE, CR 56 DRAGON BUSTS THROUGH THE WALL LIKE KOOLAID MAN. He gets surprise because he heard you searching but your noise covered his approach, he exhales death, roll saves. (mildly exaggerated, but you get the idea. no xp/loot for winning the encounter)

Diplomacy retries = increasing penalty, or target has better things to do, etc.

Time limit, they have a 1 hour window before the baron returns with his forces, they overpowered the small tower guard and need to find the macguffin before he gets back. If they don't split up they can't search every room.
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>>44689131
>>44689200
He is talking about WoD.

In which case, he should have just lowered the difficulty for multiple people searching, changed the out come for more eyes in the area or gave them extra dice/exploding on a lower number based on how many are searching depending on the edition.

He should also not that if he is playing oWoD, you can assume to pass a mundane roll like searching a roll for something if the hidden items target number is less than his skill+attribute.
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>>44690931
>you can assume to pass a mundane roll like searching a roll for something if the hidden items target number is less than his skill+attribute.

how does that work in modern WoD and CoD/nWoD games where the target number is fixed?
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>>44691039
It was taken out from nWoD.

It was an a thing in oWoD so that you were assumed to be good at your job between sessions. The ST did not need you to roll to see that you kept your desk job if you had 4 in Intelligence and 2 in Financing, assuming the desk job would need like a 3 or 4 for a single success to keep it.
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>>44679078
The players always find the diary after the rolls. Don't tell them they succeed or fail. If they succeed then they find the ring in the panel underneath the diary they didn't even know to look for that makes it easier to get more support from someone later.
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>>44691206
There's also some faggots with dice towers. The dm can flip a switch so the dice falls on his side of the screen, or on the player side of the screen. You then just tell them what happened, don't say of they succeed or fail.
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