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ArtaSoral

DnD 5e newbie DM question

6 posts in this topic

OK quick question for any experienced DM's out there, how do you deal with a lock picking fail? What's to prevent the rogue from just trying repeatedly till he gets a 20?

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Well that depends on you. Is there a trap to trigger? Is there an event set up that could go off if triggered? Honestly, he could keep trying to pick the lock till he gets it. This is called the rule of "10" or "20". This rule is about a player character trying as many times as it takes to get that roll if there is enough time to do so. Instead of rolling you accept that eventually the player character will get it and you discuss with the player on how this works. 

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This is called the rule of "10" or "20".

^ In 3rd and Pathfinder you can take 10 or 20 if you weren't under any kind of stress and have time, in 5th you have your passive score which is 10+ability modifier+proficiency. So if it was a relaxed situation you could just use your passive skill. If it was a more stressful or dangerous situation then when they fail you can say it took time, made noise, maybe there was a trap, if they rolled a 1 maybe they broke their tools or the lock.

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Usually with a door or an entrance, if they get below a threthhold of success, have anyone within earshoot on the other side of the door roll secretly to see if they hear the failure. That way the enemies or other combatants might get a ear out for someone trying to come in and be alerted. It adds to the susspence and makes it fair for the party.

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If they fail by a large number you could tell then their pick breaks inside the lock. Therefore they are closed off from that avenue.

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If no one is home, I do a one to two try fail and pick breaks.

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