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The DMG, at "Multiple Ability Checks," is your friend. Read p.237. Some highlights include: No number of attempts make an impossible task possible Failed attempts may make possible tasks impossible (like the hairpin breaking off in the lock!) If repeated attempts are all it takes, dispatch with ability checks and figure out the time success should take


As general advice, you should only have the players roll if there are consequences for failure. The question you should ask is what happens if the rogue fails? Perhaps the tool breaks, or they jam the lock. Or perhaps they only have 5 minutes to catch a shift change, and a failure means it takes too long. In general, a player should never roll twice for the ...


Ability and Skill Checks tell you something about your world. My policy on this issue is somewhat unusual. I (usually) use skill checks and ability checks to determine something about my world. For example, let us imagine that a character wants to climb a wall. I probably have a rough idea in my head of how difficult this particular wall is to climb, so I ...


One thing I have done with some success is to adjust the DC of a repeated check based on the results of previous attempts -- basically, a progressive skill check, where your rogue figures out one thing on try 1, another thing on try 2, and finally gets it on try 3 so to speak, learning from previous failed checks in the case of Open Lock instead of simply ...

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