Friday, August 3, 2012

Saving Rolls and Adventure Points

While running my play-by-post adventure, The Lost City, at the Trollbridge I have run across an issue with Saving Rolls and awarding Adventure Points. Specifically this relates to situations where players may have the ability to attempt Saving Rolls for a similar action multiple times in a row.

A good example of this is when looking for traps or hidden objects. When a character first enters a room he may search for traps. This would require a Saving Roll. If the player makes the Saving Roll, it's simple and the trap is found. If the player fails the Saving Roll, however, then the trap is not found and the complication begins. Either way the character earns Adventure points for the Saving Roll, but perhaps the player is suspicious and thinks a trap is there. He may want to search the area again. One way around this is to not allow another Saving Roll to be made. As GM you can rule that if you don't find anything with the first check then you never will. I don't like being that arbitrary, however. If someone were trying to pick a lock for example, that character could keep trying as many times as she wanted as long as nothing interrupted the process, say a wandering guard perhaps. Of course there could also be a critical failure (rolling a 3 on 2D6) resulting in breaking the lock or setting off a trap. But barring these sort of events, a character should be able to search, pick, listen or fiddle around as long as he or she likes.

But, if the player does so and fails the Saving Roll again, and again, and again does he still earn more Adventure Points with each failure? What if he searches three, four, or ten more times for traps. Does he keep earning Adventure Points while he searches every nook and cranny of that room for traps? Is there a limit? Not having one can result in a serious issue with Adventure Point awards.

The House Rule that I came up with for my game is that the first Saving Roll earns Adventure Points. If the Saving Roll succeeds, all is well. If the Saving Roll is failed, no more Adventure Points are earned for subsequent failures. If the situation permits, the player may keep making Saving Rolls. If the player later makes a successful Saving Roll, he then earns Adventure Points for that roll.


  1. I like this approach.

    It nicely offsets the AP spiraling issue that can occur with multiple SR's made to try and solve the same problem (which can be made even worse when there is no trap), without the GM directly influencing a players actions.

  2. This is a good solution for other players. Of course, if MY character is doing something like this, each SR should get multiple APs. Never said that I play fairly.

  3. That's pretty much how I work it - unless Chet is in the game in which case i just ask him what he would like :)

  4. Roy's idea of spite damage was light years ahead of it's time. Great job Roy. Nice credit here as well. As a house rule, I don't use Spite damage. The combat rule of 2 weapons make sense. I think I'll use that one