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Cunning and cleverness, honesty and perfectly-timed betrayal are the tools needed to outwit your fellow players.
The most skillful negotiator will climb to victory over the backs of both enemies and friends. " (Avalon Hill) Diplomacy is a game which is easy to learn but impossible to master.
My own D&D/Pathfinder/d20 roots will be on display, of course, but I am using the same skills in my Hackmaster 5E game. The DM can respond with an answer or ask for a specific roll.
I have a feeling none of you will buy it if I just say “they are about awesome! In discussing those games on Twitter, a few folks have brought up some common issues they’ve run into and some great discussions got started.
Anyway, that was fun, but what do you want to do about the guard?
” Player: “I meant I wanted to roll that check at the guard.” DM: “Well, he’s impressed by your roll too, but he didn’t bring is twenty-sided die. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time and makes die rolling seem trivial, robbing the game of dramatic tension and frustrating the players.
Originally, I wrote this long, rambling introduction about picking a role-playing system to run modern-era mystery games and about arguments with people about binary skill systems and why I personally prefer the freedom binary systems afford over things with narrative dice pools and hippie-dippie drama point bulls$&%. When you start looking at mystery gaming, most of the issues (apart from the big one about how to structure a mystery story) are really about using the game’s skill system to its fullest potential.
But I realized it was just a bunch of garbage meant to forestall arguments about which game systems were superior and justify all of the great advice I am about to selflessly bestow on all of you. And the same techniques you use to run a great investigation apply broadly to just about any skill-based encounter or adventure in just about any RPG system. But I’ve never been above milking a topic until there is nothing but chalky, white dust issuing from a shriveled… I’ve always been willing to exhaustively explore the full scope and scale of a topic, splitting infinitives with reckless abandon as I go.