Easy and Hard at the same time


Hey you lumpy-headed weirdos :slight_smile:

I’ve got a couple of situations where EASY and HARD apply at the same time, because of PC’s items and the scene’s properties and I’m not sure how to handle it. For example: one PC is going to sneak (one of his items says stealth rolls are always easy) but the situation is not friendly for sneaking (like many people around, so sneaking without being seen would be hard).

  • My mathematical brains says “easy and hard cancel out each other” (since +3-3=0).
  • My inner sadist yells to me “let hard overrule the easy check”.
  • My player-friendly GM heart whipsers “let them shine, go with easy”.

I tend to listen to the player-friendly approach. What do you tend to?



I go with cancelling. The dice giveth, and the dice taketh away. If the player doesn’t like the risk/reward profile, it will spur them to find a more creative solution to the problem.


In that scenario, the thief rolls normal, and everyone else rolls hard. Hard for everyone else is normal for a thief. Normal for everyone else is easy for him.

So, they cancel.


Agreed with what has already been said. The always EASY can be translated to always rolling -3 on Stealth checks. Therefore if a HARD roll would make it +3, the -3 brings it to normal.


I’m going against the trend here.
Thief is always easy on Stealth checks= if stealth roll is needed, thief rolls an easy roll vs Room Target.

Every one else in this scenario rolls a hard roll Vs. Target Number.

This is where the Thief shines!!! Give them their moment!

As a GM, your job is to make the players make hard choices!

If one character stealthing through the room (room as scene) breaks the room design, breaks the room concept, then you should redesign.

To offset a character focused situation…add counter measures. Wards, traps, illusions, are all easy ways to counter a stealthy character.

I ran into a problem that hitting my adventures equivalent of a shield was problematic for my room boss…and my rolling. The rest of the party, let the character shine and Solo Dual the boss…

Every adventure after that I had counter measures, dex checks, cha checks, int checks, con checks…less damage, NPCs had to beat the room now number to activate, but it kept things interesting for all!!! I didn’t require those all the time, but at least one Mob had a counter to very high AC, and some other abilities the party had.


Oh, I forgot to mention Effort!!!

If a central element of a room is a contest of skills/stats…effort is key!

Roll a timer dice for rounds that the mobs will act on suspicion. Then contest effort vs effort (thief has easy rolls and tool/weapon effort for stealth. A mage with an illusion spell might have magic effort. An NPC with a magical eye might have magic effort.

A fighter in full plate bristling with weapons and a shield might have a hard roll and halved basic effort!

This highlights weaknesses characters may have, increases the tension in a non-combat situation, plants the seeds of consequence. It also unsettles the players by adding an arbitrary mechanic…that has logical merit. It raises the stakes in their minds. Hero coins get used for ultimate effort. This might be the boss fight! Or the fight before the boss fight…or an encounter against vigilante, but otherwise unremarkable opponents The players don’t know, other than the amount of time into the session.
How important is it that we stealth past these guys? The GM complicated it so it’s probably important! It’s the second scene, how important can it be?

Don’t interrupt their discussion but rush them. This is the psy-op portion of GMing. Allow the players to create doubt while you seem to just be keeping them on task!

“Huh, I wish I thought of that” with a sarcastic grin and tone, is one of my greatest GM tricks.

Did I already account for that possibility? Is that it exactly? Did he not even think of that, and we will now encounter it later?

The only time my players think they know when I think it was a good idea, is when I give them a Hero coin for the concept! But I have used that to continue a branch of thinking on the players side, just cause it fit what was coming next perfectly!


I always have it even out in something like this because it is still “easier” for them than anyone else. It still shows off their skills/items but fits with the story that this is even difficult for an experienced thief to get into so they have to push their limits a bit.