Before and Beyond D&D Reaction Rolls

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  1. Recursive reaction rolls are a great concept I'll try out, but I think the real gem here is your take on applying them to the overworld with haggling and other negotiations, as well as to the Underworld and attempting to recruit monsters.

  2. One feature of reactions in encounters that none of the old tables takes into account is the appearance and disposition of the PCs, the biggest variable of all. A sneaky group of three lightly-armored adventurers will elicit one reaction from a party of ten orcs; a heavily armed, noisy, light-bearing motley band of fighters, wizards, clerics, thieves, and hirelings intruding into a small space will be greeted with another reaction. Then there is other context: Are the monsters cornered? Protecting kin or food supply? Serving a greater power that pays them or punishes them? In need of help against another faction? Monster motivations and PC actions and context seem variable enough in complexity to let GM role-playing be the source of uncertainty in reactions, just as player's choices in role-playing are the main source of uncertainty for the whole game. There are rules with extremely well-developed reaction systems (thinking of GURPS, where reaction +/- are applied contextually), but even these don't cover context. What do you think?

    1. totally agree that those factors are too often unconsidered! but i think rather than systematizing every single possible outcome, which would be overwhelming, those are the sorts of things that should be handled (mechanically) by a +/- 1 modifier or by taking the highest or lowest of three dice, like advantage or disadvantage in 5e -- if indeed random chance should remain a factor when, like you said, there's an extent to which a referee could rule justifiably that an NPC's reaction is totally certain! too often, system runs contrary to things being intuitive or making sense.


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