|Looks like he used Non-Euclidean dice|
for his saving throw. Rookie mistake.
Those games include:
- video games - Call of Duty, Skyrim
- boardgames - Lord of the Rings confrontation
- D&D editions - "every edition of D&D and Pathfinder"
- RPGs - Pathfinder, Trail of Cthulhu
In response, Robin D. Laws held forth on his blog regarding his input on the investigation mechanic and something called the "Whiff factor" as an insight into the Trail of Cthulhu investigation mechanic and as cautionary advice on utilizing it for something like combat.
For folks uninterested in the discussions at those sites, here are some choice quotes and re-quotes:
D&D seminar Q&A
What are you guys playing that's not D&D?
Call of Duty, Skyrim, Trail of Cthulhu, Lord of the Rings Confrontation.
In the run-up to D&D Next we played every edition of D&D and Pathfinder.
A couple of days ago I talked a little bit about how we want the core mechanic of the game to be the interaction between the DM and the player. And one of the great tools for that is the ability score. So what we want is to empower DMs and players so that if you want to attempt to do something "I want to open the door" then the DM doesn' t have to even have you roll, he can just look, see you have a 17 strength and says "Yeah, you burst through that door". We want to get past some of the mundane rolls and not tie up a lot of table time with that and move on to the more interesting stuff and the table narrative.
An example I saw yesterday was a rogue going into a room and looking for traps. You can describe what you're doing and roleplay what you're doing. If he says I look in the jar and I know there's a gem in the jar, I'm not going to have him roll. However, if something is more hidden, like a secret compartment on the shelf I would look at their intelligence and see if he can just automatically find it or if he's looking in the exact right place. However, if he's doing that check in the middle of some other stressor like fighting, then I'd have him roll.
Earlier this week I had some players fighting some kobolds in the room. One of the guys wanted to jump over a pit, he had a 15 strength so I let him just do it - it wasn't that big of a jump and it sped up combat. It's very liberating to be able to do that kind of thing and just keep the flow going.
Robin D. Laws
The pacing of roleplaying sessions improves when the GM follows a simple principle: never ask for a roll if failure would lead to a dead end or other uninteresting result. This principle appears in various guises in GUMSHOE, HeroQuest, and the 4e Dungeon Master’s Guide 2. Sometimes though... it becomes important to distinguish between an uninteresting result and a setback that makes the player unhappy.