Fixing Thief Skills (easy way)

I know this topic has been discussed a lot. But I have an easy idea that might work. Its based on the 5e advantage/disadvantage rules (roll twice take the better of the two with advantage roll twice take the worst with disadvantage, for those of you don’t have the rules. Basically changing it to stressful/non stressful. Basically give PC 2 rolls for everything when not stressful (like picking a lock in an empty room) a single roll in “normal” stress situations like picking a lock while hiding in a room with a “monster”, and disadvantage when picking a lock with dogs (or dragons) tracking you down. The DM/GM needs to remember to put PC the corresponding level situations. i.e. low level situations are typically not stressful, mid level alot more “normal” rolls. etc

The second thing using skills in “Safe” situations. Given time any thief can pick any lock, read languages or remove even an ingenious trap. At the “base” roll once how much you fail by is how many hours it takes. This is mainly for situations where the PC is is not as safe as he thinks he is.

Of course there is always don’t roll less its critical. This is how I handle explorations if thief takes 1 turn per 10’ of movement he automatically detects traps.

Sounds promising.

Good ideas! Are you testing them in play? Let me know how they work.

I second Alex’s question - how do these work in actual play?

I feel like an hour per point of failure seems a bit high. I’m no locksmith, but I’d be surprised if there were a lock that I could pop after 18 hours of effort and not before. On the other hand, languages could reasonably take that long or longer, depending on the size of the corpus, similarity to known languages, and so forth.

We really need something similar (but using units of time and degrees of success fitted to ACKs) that utilize something like “The Time Track” in diaspora:

(for those unfamiliar, a “shift” or “negative shift” is being one above or below a target value on 4dF, equivalent to 4d3-8)

Dealing with Time

When you want an action to succeed but have the degree of success (or failure) determine how long it took, the referee should set the difficulty and the base time needed to resolve (picked from the Time Track in the sidebar). Each shift generated moves up the track one line. Negative shifts move down the track one line for each shift.
Some tasks might fail altogether with negative shifts, but potentially go faster with greater success.
The referee can decide that a task cannot fail if the character takes all the time in the world to finish it. In that case, negative shift does not signify failure but additional time needed, by moving down from the base time set accoring to the rolled result.

The Time Track

A few moments
Half a minute
A minute
A few minutes
15 minutes
Half an hour
An hour
A few hours
An afternoon
A day
A few days
A week
A few weeks
A month
A few months
A season
Half a year
A year
A few years
A decade
A lifetime