Rolls to think of things

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Longman
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Rolls to think of things

Post Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:26 pm

Some of my younger players are in the habit of asking to make Intelligence rolls to see if they can think of clues or 'work things out', when they themselves can't figure out what's going on. In a lot of modern games there's an 'Investigate' skill and I guess that's what they are looking for.

I'm reluctant to let them because I think it takes the deduction out of the game. On the other hand, they are often playing characters who are smarter than they are. Also, their characters can see and understand things that they can't themselves, maybe because my description of scenes or events was limited. So I can see some reasons to let them do it.

Do any of you allow 'Deduction' rolls when you play BFRPG or other old school games?
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SmootRK
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Re: Rolls to think of things

Post Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:38 pm

Sometimes I do exactly that, using the BFRPG ability roll mechanic.... and I do this exactly for the sort of reasons you mention. Namely, character is MU with exceptional intelligence, but sometimes played by someone who is not necessarily a genius himself or is young and simply lacks practical experience or knowledge. It really is a situation where the character ought to have a good chance of knowing the information, regardless of the actual player realizing it.

I don't find such rolls to be out of place any more than a character who is attempting a feat of strength, even though the player doesn't even work out (Bro, do you even lift??). If the character has a good Strength score, then there ought to be a chance.

Certainly, there is going to be other opinions on this that say "no way".
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Metroknight
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Re: Rolls to think of things

Post Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:50 am

Sure let the dice roll. Those are excellent reasons and there are plenty more but I would not just hand the player the full answer but instead feed them more clues and hints so that when they finally solve it, they will feel empowered and start applying how they figured things out in real life.

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Teach someone how to think outside the box to solve a problem and they will always have that skill for the rest of their life.
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Re: Rolls to think of things

Post Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:44 pm

Physical abilities tend to have more rolls than mental or social ones, so, using them for rolls balance things in a certain level.

For rolls I would use them only for complicated things, if the character due to his or her INT score (and maybe considering race, class, level, etc) should know something, then don't roll, even if it's just a clue, for other things I would go with a d6 roll similar to opening doors, or, if level is important an ability roll (with a bonus if the class matter)
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GMsShadow
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Re: Rolls to think of things

Post Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:58 pm

This is something I've allowed my players to do not just in this system but also in others. I always think it's worth letting the players try and shine if they can work it out. But if that fails then let them roll. As you have mentioned yourself, if the character is meant to be clever then let them be.

Ultimately this kind of thing is an agreement between your players and you as the GM. Do what makes the game fun and what you all agree works. It's the fun of having a GM and not a computer programme.
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Re: Rolls to think of things

Post Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:40 pm

If I allowed it, I'd do it like I do reaction rolls... the player can't just say "I roll to think of something," but rather must describe (i.e. role-play) his or her character's attempts to deduce. Do they do research? Look all over the thing they're trying to figure out? Even then, I wouldn't give an answer, but just a clue; further, I'd make the roll myself, and if it was particularly bad I'd give a false hint. Either way, the game moves forward...
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teaman
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Re: Rolls to think of things

Post Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:49 am

I use it a lot when players ask if they know some background information about the world:

"Have I ever heard of the Order of Harmony? Do I know anything about them?"

Obviously the player won't be able to read my mind, so in those cases I sometimes ask for an Intelligence or Wisdom check.

Or I just tell them if it seems reasonable and helps move things along. Can't goof around all night.
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Longman
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Re: Rolls to think of things

Post Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:10 pm

"further, I'd make the roll myself, and if it was particularly bad I'd give a false hint."

Thanks. This is the answer, I think. Any dice roll needs to have a potential negative consequence as well as a positive one otherwise there's no risk.
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