Players make all the rolls



Definitely approve that failure must be meaningful. And the idea of allowing a single skill check on some problems is a must!

However, I did not mean to say that I made Failing Forward the rule of law. Sometimes it happens, I might have a counter on my desk to make sure that I don’t use it too often. Sparingly is good.

But some situations are pretty straight forward, the players have the blinders on and hey want to do this or that! So, the best solution is to be flexible. Perhaps put them in trouble for it, now or later, to make sure that they have their fun. It can be pretty fun for you, too, as the GM. Mwuahaha! :smiling_imp:

The reason why I use the rules I presented is because they help me out with inspiration: it helps me make the story and the scenario as things happen. That’s why I love them so much!


Haha. Yeah. Players can be pigheaded sometimes. And if they insist on banging their heads against a wall, they should eventually make a hole in it and move on, but not without a severe head trauma :joy:
Failing forward is good for that.
But it also teaches them that it’s a viable way forward, and they will keep banging them heads at every wall in their way. Without going into a bunch of complicated psychology, you need to reinforce the approach you want them to take. If you ultimately reward stubbornness, they will stick with it.
Saying no is not a horrible crime against humanity, and the whole ‘always say yes’ thing needs to die (putting things on a point here, of course it’s more nuanced :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).

  • “You tried and failed. Now find a new approach and try that.” Saying no can reinforce innovation and creative problem solving.

And this isn’t critique. Just shaking crazy stuff out of my head. :beer::grin::beer:


It’s fine, man, I can understand that!

Another way to go at it, then, perhaps better for Failing Forward, would be to tell the players the consequences of getting what they want. And since you still have all the power… you can make them as dire as you want. Eventually that might even make them think twice. A good opportunity to set up morality-based choices in some cases!


Yeah. Dilemmas are key.

A bunch of zombies are trying to break down the door. You can try and fight your way out, or you can try that grate in the floor with the odd stench coming from the dank darkness below. Who knows where it leads.
You also spot some high up windows. You might be able to squeeze through, but not with that big weapon. Do you want to leave it behind?

Prepare for really elaborate plans on getting that weapon through the window :joy: Roll timer…


Sorry ya’ll! The website is telling me to send a PM instead of replying directly to hiiiiiim! XO


After thinking also about that, I’ve got an idea on how it might be approachable in a flexible, and easy ICRPG-ish way.

In a nutshell:

  • PCs roll to PARRY (instead GM rolls to hit) vs the Room DC
  • Nat 1: Enemy hits critically
  • Nat 20: Enemy fumbles
  • 1d20 + Armor-Bonus (AC without 10)

Room example:

  • The group contains of two heros (AC 14 and 17), hence they’ve got +4 / +7 to parry.
  • The PCs encounter some skeletons in a chamber with DC 14.
    • Minor Skeleton :heart:, Effort +1, Rusty sword, EASY to parry
    • Skeleton Guard :heart:, Effort +1, Longsword
    • Skeleton King :heart::heart:, Effort +3, Giant Battleaxe, HARD to parry

Combat example:

  • A minor skeleton targets the 1st PC, who rolls 1d20+4 vs. EASY DC 14.
    So e.g. an 8+4=12 succeeds, the skeleton does not hit.
  • A skeleton guard targets the 1st PC, too, who rolls 1d20+4 vs. DC 14.
    So e.g. 9+4=13 fails and the GM rolls for weapon effort.
  • The skeleton king targets the 2nd PC, who rolls 1d20+7 vs. HARD DC 14.
    So e.g. a 10+7=17 succeeds closely.

/EDIT: And it adds another heroic way to use hero coins… to retry the parry.


Forgot the other thread of this!!! But this adds to using TN to difficulties so higher TN also means more likely to hit!

Really good take on it @glocke

Edit: but I’d call it something like dodge, parry only counts for in close combat. Dodge, seems more appropriate for both. Or have a set of maneuvers characters have to counter getting hit in some way, each with bonuses and negatives. But all I’m really complaining on is the term parry the idea and concept is solid.


Well put…love it. I’ve been weighing the difference between the two and now I see it’s not either/or…it’s a balance of both


To add to glocke’s hack above, I would suggest this further simplification that would make boss battles pretty epic: the Room DC is set to the DC of the hardest monster in the room.

Skeleton King: DC 17
Skeleton Guard: DC 17 while the Skeleton King is alive, then DC 14.
Minor Skeleton: DC 17. Then DC 14, then DC 11 during clean up.

Even if it’s not a general rule, it could be part of how Skeleton King breaks the rules.


Just to parrot :parrot:

Some Players will like this, some will find it too much rolling (and not like feeling responsible for being hit). So depends on group. Personally I like it.
Also it can be a more time consuming, rather than gm quickly rolling 4 attacks, each player has to.

Here is an alternative, retaining AC but also having defensive rolls.
I don’t remember where I’ve seen this, combination of someone from forums and game system I’ve forgot…

As an action (or move action) make “defensive action”, until your next turn you can make one of the following reactive actions:

  • Dodge: roll dex to dodge attack and land prone close by (HARD dex to land on feet)
  • Parry: roll str to parry melee blow (requires blades weapon)
  • Block: Roll str to block melee or ranged attack (requires shield)
  • Defend: Roll str/dex to take hit for close ally, push them out the way, pull them behind you, etc

You could further augment this with (kudos to someone from forum again) switching AC to damage absorb and reduction:

Armour = damage reduction
Damage absorption = you can sacrifice one armour point to ignore one damage dice. This lowers your general damage reduction. If brought to 0 armour points an item is broken. Armour can also be fixed, restoring points.
Eg: Steel Helm: 3 Armour Points
I’m hit for 11 damage (2d6+3, rolled 5 & 3), reduced to 8.
I choose to absorb one damage dice (5), taking 3 damage instead. My helm now has 2/3 armour points and will generally reduce damage taken by 2, until repaired.


This is an amazing idea! I didn’t realize ICRPG lacked those actions. A “defensive stance” is a really common thing for players to want to do. I’m bookmarking these for later use, thanks a lot :slight_smile:


I don’t like the idea of letting players do all the rolling. Everyone knows there’s a man behind the curtain, but he’s back there for a good reason.