Tying choices to stats, or tying success/failure to stats

So going through my code, in my choices where stats matter, I’ve noticed I lock a lot of choices behind certain stats, rather than allowing a player to pick those choices if they they don’t have the stats to succeed

What would you generally prefer/use? Allowing a player to pick choices that’ll fail for them, or “forcing” players to succeed by only picking choices they have the stats for

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Pick and fail them.
I love that kind of bamboozle.

And to salt the wound, force them to continue the story with that failure.


Of course, the failure state must be something logical and expected. Nothing otherworldly such as drinking a poisoned water because you have low INT, and now you’re dead.

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Pick and fail. I feel that if it’s forced, it isn’t as interactive as it could be. :smiley:

That said, I’d rather have these failed choices have consequences ingame (e.g. lost health, lost reputation) but nothing to extreme. Unless it’s an extreme case, I don’t particularly like situations where the PC instantly dies when they make a wrong choice.

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Seconding (thirding?) The above.
Pick and fail, and let it have consequences.
Dont need to be big ones, but like… i have it in my thing that a failed choice check results in throwing a bottle at an npc… which they’ll bring up each time they see you

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Mostly pick and fail, with something fun that happens if you fail. Occasionally I like including an option that’s available if you’ve made certain choices, but I prefer them to be bonus options rather than the norm.

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Er, it’s a bit awkward to repeat this but I agree with the “try and fail” format. I understand that it generates more work on the part of the author, but allowing the choice gives the player more agency. Good examples of these are Midsummer’s Night and Tally Ho, which produce particularly nice results when failing.

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Don’t forget about branches that are only available if you have low enough stats. If you have enough of those, then the line between success and failure starts to blur and you end up with just different branches, which feels the nicest to many players.

I don’t like to fail stat checks, but I love falling into weird branches.

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I have a feeling that, somehow, failing must be made more fun, am I wrong? :thinking:

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I mean, I write strictly in the comedy genre, so I love failed stat checks…

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Is that in a lot of games? I’ve seen that once and it was in a WIP

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It’s all over Tally Ho and Midsummer.

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Hoho, I’m seeing a new way to play games.

Don’t raise your stats as much as you can.

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Never played Midsummer before. What is it about, if very briefly

Gower’s games are some of the only ones I’ll intentionally fail, some of the “solutions” that arise out of it are amazingly entertaining, and add a lot of character to the world. There were quite a few stat checks I didn’t even realize I failed until a much later scene

@ChristandJackel You’re a young noble in a struggling house who ends up going on quite the adventure to escape an arranged marriage. That’s the most non-spoilery way I can describe it

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Hero Unmasked! is another game that comes to mind where the ‘fails’ can be/are really rewarding.

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Oh, I still laugh at the thought of the MC frantically trying to put out a fire with a mattress in order to save both an old lady and her dog.
And Firebrand is completely unimpressed.

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Well, they’re not trying to put it out. just have a not-yet-burning surface to run over.
It’s still a hilarious mental image.
also SPOILER:

I checked the code and there is a MAJOR win-by-fail thing in HeUn

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I agree, Tallyho really had the best use of stats in terms of being fun to play.

Addendum:

At bottom line mix both:
Like, have choices that only pop up IF a certain stat is high/low enough

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I think some choices should be tied to common sense.
For instance Imagine A pc trying to fix something electronic … It doesn’t matter how much Electronic skill you have If you put your fingers in the damn plug with electrical power You will end badly.
I a tired games where have high stats make Player get on with stuff that has zero sense and it doesn’t work with the setting.

But in most cases give options to fail and tie certain remarks about the situation to skills.

Like If I have high electronic I could skip half of the process to fix the problem.