Cancel Re-rolls!

zarion

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Seriously, any mechanic that allows a GM or Player to re-roll a failed roll needs to go the way of the dodo!

Player "I shoot the baddie!"
GM "Roll shooty dice!"
Player rolls "I missed!...crap, I missed, how did I miss tha-"
GM "The bad guy points and laughs at you! He shouts at his henchm-"
Player "Wait! I have a Bennie!"
GM "Oh FFS! Okay, roll again!"
Player proceeds to fiddle around looking for any way to alter the die roll for two minutes...
Player finally rolls "I missed! Ah crud, really?!?"
Other players "What was happening???"

Yeah, Re-rolls need to go!

What do you think? I hate them!
 

Skywalker

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I love them. Especially if they come at a cost. They allow the players some control over the vagaries of the dice but require players to consider what is important to their PCs. Win win IMO
 

TJS

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I don't know. It depends on the game.

If the ability to make rerolls is tied to a resource mechanic (and it usually is) then it's not such a big issue.

A lot depends on the dice mechanic. If there's a real bell curve then I don't think they're necessary and probably wouldn't use them. (It would seem both strange and unnecessary in GURPS).

If the dice is very swingy, then it's really just a way of introducing a bell curve into it.

Some games can just seem too swingy and arbritrary sometimes. My players in my Symbaroum game all asked me for a reroll mechanic, because they wanted less uncertainty.

The other things rerolls can do is they can give the player a bit of permission to plan several steps ahead.

Say you have a plan where you want to follow a cultist down an alleyway, knock them out, wear their robes and then sneak into the evil temple.
There's probably 3 rolls there at least (unless you treat it all very abstractly - which can be disatsifying), and if the system is too swingy you're likely to fail one.

My experience is that when success is too unreliable, players just learn not to attempt things that require multiple steps. If they have rerolls or bennies, they are more likely to feel it's worth trying - which makes for a more fun game even if ultimately they fail. (And failure can be much more tense when it comes about from using up resources than from a single arbritrary roll).
 

CRKrueger

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I love them. Especially if they come at a cost. They allow the players some control over the vagaries of the dice but require players to consider what is important to their PCs. Win win IMO
And as their considering, as players, what is important to their PCs, they’re not playing their PCs, which is why it’s a Feature/Bug kind of deal.

If a System is too swingy for your taste, and you want to include “extra effort” of some kind, ranging from Endurance/Stamina, to Passions/Adrenaline, then I’d prefer something decided before the roll, when the PC could still be making the decision, instead of just on a failure, which only really makes consistent in-setting sense when there is some setting external force like Luck, Karma or literal Will of the Gods that makes a retroactive mulligan more palatable to immersion.

But, if the only reason you’re reroll hunting instead of narrative control is the dice are too swingy...it might be time to look into correcting the swing rather than correcting it afterwards.
 

Winterblight

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I hate re-roll mechanics in general. I don't mind if its baked into the system or character as a specific trait, or perhaps the power of a specific item or spell, something that gives you a second chance to dodge perhaps, in the same way something like ambidextrous might give you a second attack, but things like Fortune Points in Zweihander I find annoying. Fortune points once used become Misfortune points for the Gamesmaster to use. That's all well and good, but there is enough misfortune in the game without me ever having to have actually used them against the players.

But, yeah, I hate do overs. I especially hate when the combat has moved to the next character and the previous player suddenly remembers they could have used a fortune point or bennie or whatever and wants to reroll.
 

Ladybird

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But, yeah, I hate do overs. I especially hate when the combat has moved to the next character and the previous player suddenly remembers they could have used a fortune point or bennie or whatever and wants to reroll.
As long as someone isn't trying to force them to play faster than they're comfortable with, my response to that is usually "tough". They had their chance.
 

Winterblight

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As long as someone isn't trying to force them to play faster than they're comfortable with, my response to that is usually "tough". They had their chance.
I agree completely. If I thought for some reason one of my players had been hurried unfairly into making a decision, or if they were complete newbies, I would even go further and allow them to take an alternative action if possible, and if the game had moved on to far by that point, I would try and find some way mitigate against the outcome of the rushed decision. If they took a wound, I might say, "it turns out to be a scalp wound, they bleed like crazy, but once you take a few minutes to stop the bleeding, you are a good as new"
 

under_score

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Can't stand them myself, but I don't care what other people do with their games.
Anyway, it's usually a good indicator of the sort of game it is so it should be easier to decide if that suits your preferences or not.
 

Torque2100

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I think it depends on the system. Some systems have baked in re-roll mechanics like Savage Worlds of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I don't mind them so long as the system is built around them.

From a system design perspective, I happen to quite like the way Interlock does things. The Luck system allows the Player to do some things to stack the deck in their favor but once dice are rolled, you're committed.

I think some versions of 2d20 are similar, you can stack the roll with extra dice, but once the dice are rolled you're committed.
 

Tommy Brownell

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I think it depends on the system. Some systems have baked in re-roll mechanics like Savage Worlds of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I don't mind them so long as the system is built around them.

From a system design perspective, I happen to quite like the way Interlock does things. The Luck system allows the Player to do some things to stack the deck in their favor but once dice are rolled, you're committed.

I think some versions of 2d20 are similar, you can stack the roll with extra dice, but once the dice are rolled you're committed.
Meta currencies are tricky things. If you're expending them before a roll, and you roll super well anyway, it feels like a "waste". But ultimately, I'm with you - if the system is designed competently, and with these mechanics in mind, and thus they function like they should, I tend to be okay with it.

There's certainly been times playing Dragon Age where my players - who are used to Savage Worlds - have desperately wanted a benny to reroll a blown attack or skill roll, but were aware it's not a part of the system, so oobla dee, oobla dah, life goes on.
 

Raleel

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I don’t mind them, and my preferred system (Mythras) has them with luck points. It did occur to me just now that I could use luck points for advantage to tone rerolls down, along with the dice digit swapping That I find very strong. It would work well, coincidentally enough, in classic fantasy which is designed to emulate D&D.

anyhow, don’t mind them at all
 

Winterblight

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I don’t mind them, and my preferred system (Mythras) has them with luck points. It did occur to me just now that I could use luck points for advantage to tone rerolls down, along with the dice digit swapping That I find very strong. It would work well, coincidentally enough, in classic fantasy which is designed to emulate D&D.

anyhow, don’t mind them at all
I've just started reading my shiny new copy of Mythras :thumbsup:

Several posters have mentioned advantages as a suitable alternative. Is this just a case of rolling an extra dice at the same time and taking the best result?
 

Gabriel

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Lost me here. That doesn’t happen at my game table. Re-rolls are brisk business.
Same. A reroll is made with the same stuff that affected the original roll. It's a re-roll, not a redefinition of the entire check.

Yeah, if a player is spending a point and using that to completely alter the context of the original roll, then that would slow things down. But that's not a re-roll.
 

Tommy Brownell

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Same. A reroll is made with the same stuff that affected the original roll. It's a re-roll, not a redefinition of the entire check.

Yeah, if a player is spending a point and using that to completely alter the context of the original roll, then that would slow things down. But that's not a re-roll.
Only other thing I could figure is a player doing superstitious mumbo jumbo like rubbing the dice under their armpits first or something.
 

CRKrueger

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I've just started reading my shiny new copy of Mythras :thumbsup:

Several posters have mentioned advantages as a suitable alternative. Is this just a case of rolling an extra dice at the same time and taking the best result?
The slickest way of doing Advantage in d100 is swapping the dice. So instead of 90, you rolled 09.
 

Gabriel

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From a system design perspective, I happen to quite like the way Interlock does things. The Luck system allows the Player to do some things to stack the deck in their favor but once dice are rolled, you're committed.
In my games I changed it so you spend luck/Ace after the die roll. I think it just works better. Plus, it sometimes results in a sort of bidding mechanic in hotly contested things. How much is it worth it? How much are you going to expend to push it?
 

Raleel

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I've just started reading my shiny new copy of Mythras :thumbsup:

Several posters have mentioned advantages as a suitable alternative. Is this just a case of rolling an extra dice at the same time and taking the best result?
yes.

advantage (roll at the same time) vs reroll (after you see the result) vs swap the digits (control the result). They are all subtly different. The reroll works better on higher skills because you are not likely to waste it - advantage Isnt as effective at the ends of the scale but really good in the middle. The digit swap let’s you Not only decide if you are going to spend it, but also to pick rolls for Crit potential.
 

Winterblight

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The slickest way of doing Advantage in d100 is swapping the dice. So instead of 90, you rolled 09.
OK, that's good :thumbsup: I don't know why I didn't think of that myself. Zweihander has a flip to fail/succeed mechanic for certain talents and skills. I will refer myself to other threads where I state that I'm useless at mechanics!

I guess the player still needs to state at the time they are using the advantage.
 

Caesar Slaad

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I have no problem with them, with the usual caveat that fate uses: once the GM announces the result, it's too late.
 

Nobby-W

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[ . . . ]
Say you have a plan where you want to follow a cultist down an alleyway, knock them out, wear their robes and then sneak into the evil temple.
There's probably 3 rolls there at least (unless you treat it all very abstractly - which can be disatsifying), and if the system is too swingy you're likely to fail one.

My experience is that when success is too unreliable, players just learn not to attempt things that require multiple steps. If they have rerolls or bennies, they are more likely to feel it's worth trying - which makes for a more fun game even if ultimately they fail. (And failure can be much more tense when it comes about from using up resources than from a single arbritrary roll).
This is a thing. If you have a game workflow that goes 'roll X, to succeed, roll Y to succeed' and so forth you're pretty much guaranteed for one of those rolls to fail if you go long enough. Any system where things have a significant chance of failure means that heist adventures are very unlikely to come off if you actually calculate the odds of everything going right.

I liked the approach that the Forged In The Dark system takes with its flashbacks, metacurrency and clocks. If you use clocks, you get away from the situation where the whole heist fails if you whiff just one sneak roll. Flashbacks give you some agency to retcon preparation based on what you actually encounter, which is a good way of doing Ocean's-11 style competency porn. The metacurrency, devil's bargain and yes-but mechanics mean that some sort of success-with-melodrama is much more likely to happen than an outright failure. Spending metacurrency for boosts or flashbacks also goes into a stress mechanic, which you have to burn off, usually by indulging your vice during downtime. You have to ration it or suffer consequences.

It's not the perfect system, but I like that approach enough that I would consider retrofitting similar mechanics to other game systems to facilitate that style of play.
 
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K_Peterson

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I don't mind rerolls in Fantasy Rpging, where something like Hero/Luck points can be used to differentiate the characters as heroes. Particularly in any system with brutal combat (like varieties of RuneQuest). And my preference is for these points to be a scarce commodity that players have to really decide when to use.

I've not played any systems where re-rolls happen all the time. I imagine it could get annoying.
 

ReluctantGM

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I favor re-rolls but with a cost.

Once upon a time it was a trivial exercise to make a new character. A few dice rolls, buy some equipment, a name, and that was that. Death was no big deal.

These days, character building has turned into a big fat hairy deal (in the more crunchy game where you need to make lots of decisions and build shenanigans) and having to make a new character is a pain. It sometimes seems easier to just roll with it and find a way to not have to remake that character.
 

Baulderstone

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I find that re-rolls tend to increase my immersion rather than lessen it. Deciding to spend a benny in Savage Worlds or risk harm in Free League's house system is a kind of doubling down on my decision to take an action, so I feel more engaged in it. It also feels even worse when you still fail after making a re-roll. You put everything into an action and still lost.

Like @The Butcher, I've never noticed it adding much length to a game. When I ran Savage Worlds in person, my group didn't even announce they were re-rolling. On seeing they failed, they'd literally throw their benny right at me and roll again.

So far, I am talking about the way they work in more traditional systems. I find they are are also interesting in more narrative systems like Hillfolk. Actually, Hillfolk uses playing cards for resolution, not dice, so its technically a redraw not a reroll. Still I'm going to use it as my example. In Hillfolk, the GM flips over a card with the number and suit indicating success or failure. Anyone with an appropriate token can spend it to replace that card with another card. Each card replacement represents the ebb and flow of the action, with accompanying narration depending on the current card. It's an interesting way of resolving a conflict with a "single action" without it quite being a flat, single die roll.

The new Over the Edge uses a similar system (and uses actual dice for it). I'll be running that Wednesday night, so I'll see if it is successful as Hillfolk was.
 

Skywalker

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I agree. Rerolls makes me consider what my PC really wants which increases my engagement overall. Also the extra tension from the PC failing despite having given everything to succeed also adds to this as well.
 

Dumarest

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I don't remember ever playing a system that allows you to re-roll a bad result, but if that's what I agreed to play it would be silly to complain about it.

I don't mind a system like DC Heroes that lets you spend Hero Points before rolling the dice to make "extra effort" because it's superheroes.

I'm not crazy about Marvel Super Heroes letting you choose to spend Karma after failing a roll to change it to a success, but again it's superheroes so I give it a pass just like I do with James Bond 007 letting you spend Hero Points to increase your Quality Rating results or decrease the Quality Rating results of the GM's roll against you because it's James Bond (and if you want to make the game "grittier" you can just do away with Hero Points entirely).
 
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Séadna

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I like CoC 7E's pushing where you roll a second time to represent going all out or being overt or risky with your approach making failure worse.
 

Dumarest

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I like CoC 7E's pushing where you roll a second time to represent going all out or being overt or risky with your approach making failure worse.
That seems reasonable but is it pretending the first attempt didn't happen or is it "Now I'm really trying to get this door open--and I don't give a :crap: how loud it is!"
 
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under_score

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No, 7E's pushing is a second attempt with greater consequences. It's a pretty good mechanic. It gives players an in-character option to retry a failed skill roll but represents doing something riskier. Ratchets up the tension a bit.
 

Trippy

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The disconnect I have with the complaint is the idea that it takes an inordinate amount of time to make a re-roll, especially if you already have the dice in hand.

Most re-rolls in games are based on a limited pool, or have consequences (like Mutant: Year Zero’s and Call of Cthulhu 7E’s ‘pushing’). If they are pushing rolls, they help build tension. If they are a resource then the question comes as to how much the pools can be used and what they can be used for. Earlier games like WFRP’s Fate Points were basically there due to the relative high chance of lethal failure in the game and were pretty limited as a singular resource, but later games like Fate or the old Mind’s Eye Theatre Live Action games they are a fundamental currency and have to be earned in play.

Anyway, I disagree with the complaint, although there are other ways for game mechanics to do similar things - Advantages, flip flops, etc.
 

Séadna

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That seems reasonable but is it pretending the first attempt didn't happen or is it "Now I'm really trying to get this door open--and I don't give a :crap: how loud it is!"
The second basically. The book provides a few examples but they're fairly obvious. This is the Charm skill's entry:
Pushing examples: overtly flattering the target with affection; presenting an expensive gift; building trust by imparting a secret.

Sample Consequences of failing a Pushed roll: the target takes offence and will have nothing further to do with you; the target is associated in some way with your enemies and, while they may play along with you, they also inform on you; a third party intercedes to prevent you from chatting up their girl.
For Diving:
Pushing examples: pushing the limits of the equipment; methodically double-checking equipment; gaining professional assistance.

Sample Consequences of failing a Pushed roll: become trapped underwater; attacked by sea creatures; suffer the bends.
 

Winterblight

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The disconnect I have with the complaint is the idea that it takes an inordinate amount of time to make a re-roll, especially if you already have the dice in hand.
I took a different meaning when I read the post. But if its just a matter of dice in hand, I agree its not really a valid complaint.

When the OP said 'Player proceeds to fiddle around looking for any way to alter the die roll for two minutes...' I assumed it was one of those systems where you can re-roll but you need to describe your characters actions. I know from games that require a description of actions before you can use specific dice that it can take my players quite a while to figure out what they are doing other than describing it as attacking. I dunno, it is a bit confusing without knowing what system the OP is talking about.
 

Skywalker

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I don't undertand this part. What system specifically are you using where the modifiers on the reroll would be any different than those on the original roll?
I think that is the key. First, its an unusual addition to the usual reroll rule, so it may be best to remove it. Second, there may be a player issue if they are looking to wring out every modifier from every roll like this. This is an issue that would better handled with the player direct IMO
 

Fenris-77

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If the OP is describing a system where player justification is a part of using the reroll I can it dragging at some tables. I've never played a sustem like that though. Rerolls for me have always been fast and furious, and personally I like the finite resource spend to heroically succeed on a key task.
 

Ladybird

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I don't undertand this part. What system specifically are you using where the modifiers on the reroll would be any different than those on the original roll?
The Alien RPG does this actually...if you fail a roll, you can add a Stress Die to your pool (And all future rolls, until you take some time to chill out) to push it and roll again. Stress dice score successes on a 6, like regular dice, but they also cause crit failures if they roll a 1, unlike regular dice.
 

Skywalker

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The Alien RPG does this actually...if you fail a roll, you can add a Stress Die to your pool (And all future rolls, until you take some time to chill out) to push it and roll again. Stress dice score successes on a 6, like regular dice, but they also cause crit failures if they roll a 1, unlike regular dice.
You do add the Stress dice but the dice pool is otherwise unchanged. Its an automatic process and the player can't look to add more modifiers in their favour by changing the situation.
 

TristramEvans

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The Alien RPG does this actually...if you fail a roll, you can add a Stress Die to your pool (And all future rolls, until you take some time to chill out) to push it and roll again. Stress dice score successes on a 6, like regular dice, but they also cause crit failures if they roll a 1, unlike regular dice.
I assumed the description of the player spending an inordinate amount of time looking for ways to modify the roll referred to the sorts of systems where you get dice modifiers like a +1 to the roll for different character/situational advantages. But I haven't seen a game where these external modifiers would be different on what is essentially the same roll. As I understand what you are describing, the second roll simply has a different internal scale of success - which wouldn't, I would think, involve the player spending any extraneous time looking for an advantage?
 
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