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12

At the end of the day, D&D is a very poor fit for these sorts of games, as it's model for everything except combat is either "roll that skill check" or "a wizard did it." In summary, witnesses are worthless, gather information, survival, and search are useful skills that either attack flat DCs or the opponent's bluff, Ebberon's Urban Tracking is ...


11

To answer your two questions in backwards order, but easier context: Scene Framing Splitting the party is easy and fun when you don't let scenes drag. Just as much as movies and TV cuts to relevant points, you should aim to start scenes as close to the important action as possible. Don't spend long on the set up, get to the interesting point of the scene ...


6

I'm not sure there is a single best answer for this situation but I'll try to give you some ideas. There is an RPG System called GUMSHOE that is entirely based around the idea of investigation. Don't let the PC choose their side. I can't really think of any real world context where someone could do this in an official capacity. They also have very ...


6

How can I design investigative challenges that use a wide variety of abilities and reward teamwork? Do not even bother. Even if you come up with twelve really smart things(TM) the players can do, they'll got with option thirteen! This is the no plan survives contact with the enemy. Instead, I would focus on what has happened: How did the traitor do his ...


5

Are you worried that some players will be twiddling their thumbs? Keep their hands busy! Your plot seems to me perfect to make it simultaneous with another plot. So, if you have another in mind, start it and that way there will be work for anybody. Speaking of job, there's plenty to do in a pirate ship. If you don't have another plot to keep the ...


5

That you mention Concorde places this scenario in 1976 or later, probably before 2003 when Concorde was retired from service, though your scenario may vary from this. You mention a hijacking, and while some trains can be quite luxurious (e.g. the Orient Express), they are literally railroaded and are practically impossible to hijack. This leaves only ...


5

As the person who wrote the GM version of this question, I can tell you the things that I hope for from my players: Be Patient As a GM, the most stressful part of splitting the party is watching the players who aren't in the current scene drift off and lose interest. If your GM allows it, you should definitely stick around, pay close attention to the ...


5

Decide what constitutes an investigation. If you design an investigation to be purely socially interactive, you're going to be left with the party face on a solo mission. Interview The standard Q&A of investigations. You ask questions, you get answers. Either they tell you or they don't, either you believe them or you don't. This is The Face's job. ...


4

While the answer Brian gave is amazing, it does not include any of the already present solutions. Here some classes that you should take a look at: Vigilante The vigilante combines magical and mundane investigative techniques to assess a crime scene. Points of Interest: Quick Search (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a vigilante can search a ...


3

Making things interesting during an investigation should be much like most other situations. First off, stay in character and play your character. Too often I've run or played games where people will drop their character and just play the stats. At that point they're either looking for rules to help them out or rolls to take over. If you're in a good sync ...


1

In addition to Brian's fairly thorough answer, the right combination of tracking and Knowledge skills are quite useful. That is to say, knowing how to follow anything from its scene and having, say, Knowledge: Arcane to see where residual spell components are left or Knowledge: Nature for knowing if the marks let behind follow any natural creature ...


1

The Investigation Hurdle Investigations are pretty hard to do well in RPGs. If you look at other media, like books, movies, TV, etc. which use investigations, you'll notice there's a lot of contrived ways the protagonists get information: They just happen to accidentally knock something over/stumble upon a clue They randomly run into, or overhear ...


1

Players forgetting to use their skills As I see it, there are a handful of ways to solve the problem you have here. The first one is to just talk with them. It might seem strange, but many a time pointing the problem to them, so they'll see it too, can solve it in and all by itself. "Oh, the GM said s/he has a problem with us forgetting our skills. Let's ...


1

While the question is about investigation at large, I think this issue comes up under a few very specific situations. A failure to account for the PC's failing investigations is present in campaigns that focus on solving a mystery. Indeed, even a single investigation-solved event is a tiny mystery. People get into the whole sleuthing, cop-show, Sherlock ...



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