Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > The Fantasy Trip

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-13-2020, 04:19 PM   #21
hcobb
 
hcobb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

Set the number of dice to cast the Knock spell equal to the number of dice to pick the lock. (Note that this is implied to be a 3d casting roll, but it is not specified.)
__________________
-HJC
hcobb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2020, 06:09 PM   #22
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Set the number of dice to cast the Knock spell equal to the number of dice to pick the lock. (Note that this is implied to be a 3d casting roll, but it is not specified.)
That's a reasonable option. Otherwise, Locksmith is strictly much worse than Knock. I don't think the text supports the variable number of dice for the wizard (ITL 40) however.

Suppose there's a 6/DX lock with two Lock spells. A locksmith rolls 8/DX to open it. A wizard (according to RAW and depending on what counts as "ordinary") rolls 3/DX three times. The locksmith with 15 DX has about 0.4% chance to succeed in one minute, while the wizard with 10 DX has 1/8 probability to unlock it in three spell castings.

If we instead suppose that the wizard has to roll the same dice as the lock, then he throws 3/DX twice and 6/DX once. In this case, if the wizard also has DX 15, he's still got a 9% or so chance to unlock the door, so still better off than the locksmith, but that's understandable since undoing a Lock spell ought to be easier than powering through it like the smith.

This might be a reasonable house rule. In the end, however, I'm not sure how much it matters, since Open Tunnel rules the day.

Anthony's suggestion is interesting too (a lock can be gummied by using some Unobtainium and preventing Knock from working at all).

So is Skarg's idea of a lock that disables itself if a Knock is cast on it. It seems to me that Skarg's idea sounds too much like triggering a trap, which a successful Knock never does.

Anyway, some things to think about. I appreciate all the advice.
phiwum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2020, 06:21 PM   #23
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

I don't know; this is turning into one of those threads where we try to think of new rules to render useless something that's been in the game for 40 years (see also: bola, net, etc.). Wouldn't it be easier to decide that if you don't like a spell or item that much you can edit it out of your campaign and that's the end of it?
larsdangly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2020, 06:48 PM   #24
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I don't know; this is turning into one of those threads where we try to think of new rules to render useless something that's been in the game for 40 years (see also: bola, net, etc.). Wouldn't it be easier to decide that if you don't like a spell or item that much you can edit it out of your campaign and that's the end of it?
It's more a case of "given that these spells exist, how would a rational person interested in keeping his property secure accomplish it".

The lazy but annoying answer is that instead of a 6d lock you just put twenty 3d locks on the door and the wizard-thief runs out of ST long before he unlocks the door.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2020, 07:07 PM   #25
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I don't know; this is turning into one of those threads where we try to think of new rules to render useless something that's been in the game for 40 years (see also: bola, net, etc.). Wouldn't it be easier to decide that if you don't like a spell or item that much you can edit it out of your campaign and that's the end of it?
At present, I'm planning on living with it as is. A vault by itself can't deter a stubborn wizard with the right spells. Locks by themselves are more or less like padlocks in the real world. They only deter folks who don't want to go to the trouble of buying bolt cutters. They are a nudge towards honesty, not an obstacle to determined thieves.

So I've been interested in the other deterrent means. Alarms, guards and traps are a little more deterrent, enough to keep the newbies out, but they also have their limits.

In the end, banks can be knocked over, especially the small town bank I'm thinking about. I'm fine with that, but I do like thinking about what an intelligent and powerful character with significant resources would do if he had something extraordinarily valuable that could not be carried on his person. It's a fairly natural thing to wonder, since our players are sometimes thieving scoundrels.

And, of course, so are some NPCs, even some fairly tough ones.
phiwum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 04:55 AM   #26
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's more a case of "given that these spells exist, how would a rational person interested in keeping his property secure accomplish it".

The lazy but annoying answer is that instead of a 6d lock you just put twenty 3d locks on the door and the wizard-thief runs out of ST long before he unlocks the door.
I think the problem with extrapolating what would happen if such and such a spell existed in a world in which Magic is not uncommon, is that the consequences canít really be predicted with any certainty.

On another forum, I made a statement that ďCastles (of the high fantasy medieval sort) would not exist if the Open Tunnel spell existed. This led to a spirited argument but no agreement.

I still have Castles in my games, even though I donít think they would exist. And Iíll still have lock/knock although I agree that itís existence would have unintended consequences. I just choose to ignore them.
Chris Rice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 06:31 AM   #27
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
I think the problem with extrapolating what would happen if such and such a spell existed in a world in which Magic is not uncommon, is that the consequences can’t really be predicted with any certainty.

On another forum, I made a statement that “Castles (of the high fantasy medieval sort) would not exist if the Open Tunnel spell existed. This led to a spirited argument but no agreement.

I still have Castles in my games, even though I don’t think they would exist. And I’ll still have lock/knock although I agree that it’s existence would have unintended consequences. I just choose to ignore them.
Ignoring consequences is a pretty good option, one I take most of the time.

However, those consequences sometimes have to be dealt with, to at least some extent. My adventure was a bank robbery so I had to think about what kind of security a bank would have. My player's wizard has Knock, so he knows about that spell. I can't just totally ignore the consequences in that case, because the whole premise of the robbery would look silly.

In the same way, if you want to ignore the consequences of Open Tunnel when it comes to castle sieges, you had better not make a siege adventure. To be fair, you probably weren't going to anyway, since TFT is scaled at smaller battles.

Same thing came up with gates for me. I already had planned some material about trade routes when I realized that if gates are even kind of common, no one would haul very valuable materials by wagon or ship (because there would be money to be made producing gates for those purposes). Perhaps I could have ignored this consequence, but at some point, a player will realize that something is off. I'd prefer not to have that happen if I can avoid it.

I'm still ignoring a pretty big hole in my adventure. The robbers are digging a tunnel towards the bank. How the heck are they getting rid of the tailings? If my players think about it, I'll kinda look foolish, but I'm reckoning they won't and hoping for the best. Otherwise, this conspiracy is going to have to grow rather a lot and work slow rather a lot. (Fortunately, ignoring this detail has a long history in RPGs. There are often ghoul warrens beneath graveyards. Where did all the dirt go?)
phiwum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 11:31 AM   #28
JohnPaulB
 
JohnPaulB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Portland, Maine
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Ignoring consequences is a pretty good option, one I take most of the time. <snip>
There are often ghoul warrens beneath graveyards. Where did all the dirt go?)
There is an idea. Have the bankers invite a ghost (or other spirit) from UNLIFE to inhabit the vault at night. Have it warn the constablery if the safe is tampered with. Or perhaps Scare the theives.
__________________
- Hail Melee

Fantasy Chess: A chess game with combat.
Don't just take the square, Fight for it!
https://www.shadowhex.com
JohnPaulB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 12:47 PM   #29
hcobb
 
hcobb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

The current banker is the grandson of the miser ghost who is obsessed with counting exactly the number of each type of coin.
__________________
-HJC
hcobb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2020, 06:12 PM   #30
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: How does anything stay locked?

I think Knock may work on ordinary locks, but if a smart vault designers knows that, then they may choose not to use ordinary locks at all, or in any case not to rely on them.

In the modern world, with no Knock, a burglar can generally break into most places, as long as they're not caught. It's not that windows and doors can't be got through without Knock.

Again, in worlds without Knock, no bank or other secure place relies on the supposed unopenableness of a door to protect valuable things. Doors and even bank vaults are there to make theft slower and more difficult, but its the guards and police and the risk of imprisonment etc that are the main deterants.

A successful Knock may never trigger traps, but then a smart mechanician doesn't rig the traps to go off when the lock is unlocked. The traps are set to go off when the door opens, or someone steps into the room beyond, etc, unless some other non-lock mechanism is used to disarm the traps. Or maybe, since some of the traps are alarms, the alarm can just be the usual "open for business" bell, which is understood as an alarm if it's not at the start of a banking day, and so there is no way to deactivate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
In the same way, if you want to ignore the consequences of Open Tunnel when it comes to castle sieges, you had better not make a siege adventure.
Or, as we discussed in the other thread, your engineers take Open Tunnel into account in wall & castle design.


Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I'm still ignoring a pretty big hole in my adventure. The robbers are digging a tunnel towards the bank. How the heck are they getting rid of the tailings? If my players think about it, I'll kinda look foolish, but I'm reckoning they won't and hoping for the best. Otherwise, this conspiracy is going to have to grow rather a lot and work slow rather a lot. (Fortunately, ignoring this detail has a long history in RPGs. There are often ghoul warrens beneath graveyards. Where did all the dirt go?)
Seems like an opportunity to make the situation more interesting to me.

Yes, what are they doing with the tailings? Could be quite amusing, interesting, provide logical clues, make the game feel much more real, get players to pay more attention in general to things going on in the game world, etc.

In one campaign, we were trying to rescue someone from an underground cell in a city, and what we did was buy or lease a house somewhat nearby, which lacked attentive neighbors and used it as a base for mining operations. Yeah, it's not easy, even with some spells. Tailings do take up a lot of space. What to do? :-)
Skarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.