How do you handle the equivalent of a Streetwise check to gather information on the street if your party lacks a…

How do you handle the equivalent of a Streetwise check to gather information on the street if your party lacks a…

How do you handle the equivalent of a Streetwise check to gather information on the street if your party lacks a Thief with Connections?

29 thoughts on “How do you handle the equivalent of a Streetwise check to gather information on the street if your party lacks a…”

  1. Depends on what the party is doing to gather that information, what that information is, how easy is it to get said information, and whether or not other individuals are trying to conceal/hide that information. Defy Danger with Int, Wis, Con, and Cha all would work, depending on the specifics. Clever players could get information without triggering a move through fictional positioning, too.

  2. The fictional positioning is the key. “How do you do that ?” is your constant refrain as GM. With any luck they’ll make up a few taverns for you, be sure and take notes and mark locations on the map.

  3. If what they are doing doesn’t trigger one of their moves, and they are looking to you to say something, make a GM move based on your agenda and principles.

    (But yeah, what they said.)

  4. Or go to tavern & listen in, bribe guards or palace servants. Then go with the stat/defy danger roll (same thing mechanically of int/wis/cha roll). Give different info depending on who they talk to so palace servant perspective of some events different than the tavern folk for some interesting choices to make. Also could go with hirelings.

  5. I guess, if you want to make it a defy danger roll, then you just need to figure out what the most likely danger is, and ask the PCs how they’re defying it. Like “Okay, how are you finding this information quickly, before it is too late to act on?” “How are you making sure you get accurate information?” “How are you making sure news of your interest in the cult’s activity doesn’t reach the cult itself?” When they answer that question, judge which of the stats they are using, and roll it.

  6. Matt Horam I would put the standard minimum spend on – buying drinks, bribing guards, buying from merchants – all to grease the wheels of the rumour mill; but a kind and generous DM might forgo that

  7. You can also use GM Moves to accomplish that. 

    “Sure you can ge that information but it will cost you X coin/a favour owed/something valuable/your morals” 

    “You can get some information quickly but to get really clear information you will need to stick around for maybe 10 days” 


    Do you feel like you need a specific move to roll? 

  8. For example, you could have a real cool scene with a slimy underground information broker. 

    When you do this with a move you have a short talk describing the situation and maybe you play out how he tells them the information. 

    If you play the whole thing you get to play the whole thing. And during the interaction you get to trigger moves like Charming and Open, Parley, Discern Realities etc. I personally think that enriches the game more. 

  9. Defy Danger is not a “skill check”. It’s an “avoid arbitrary peril” move. If there’s no danger, then it doesn’t matter what you are doing, it’s not Defy Danger.

    If you really want a roll, then make a custom move. Defaulting to Defy Danger just to force a roll goes very much against the spirit of Fiction First.

  10. You have to ask yourself why you want the roll. Your answer has to be better than “just because”. It has to add something specific to the game, not take away.

    It sucks to roll Defy Danger, because you don’t “get” anything from rolling well, you just avoid badness. It’s all stick and no carrot.

  11. I agree that Defy Danger shouldn’t be used just to force a roll. If the fiction dictates that the PCs get whatever information they’re after with minimum fuss, then that’s what happens. If the fiction dictates that the PC’s have to pay a price to get the information, then again, that’s what happens.

    But if the fiction dictates that gathering the information is dangerous, then why not use Defy Danger? Again this is entirely based on how the PCs go about getting the information they’re after. But if, for example, they’re gathering dirt on a corrupt noble who has informants peppered throughout the city, why couldn’t you use Defy Danger with Cha to see how well they’re keeping a low profile about it?

  12. Yeah, I mean… “fill the characters’ lives with adventure.” Is sitting around town not knowing where the action is “adventure”?

  13. Christopher Stone-Bush I totally agree here. There’s nothing bad about using Defy Danger, but there isn’t anything inherently dangerous about gathering information.

    The players tell you what they want to do. You ask how. If it’s dangerous, you tell them why and how they deal with it. In essence, the Defy Danger roll is not there to see if you get the information, it’s there to see if they avoid paying a cost.

  14. I think we’re on the same page here Kasper Brohus Allerslev, but just to clarify. Simply attempting the act of gathering information does not trigger a Defy Danger roll. Defy would only trigger if something dangerous happens along the way.

  15. When it comes to getting information I take the approach used by the GUMSHOE system; it’s not a question of IF the characters get the info but what does the info cost them (time, money, debt, danger, etc.).

  16. John Lewis Great approach. Getting stomped on info is a game-killer. It doesn’t always have to cost something, but it can make the game much more interesting when there’s a price tag on it.

  17. Tim Franzke definitely need more coffee but you’re right, I was just thinking of some way of rolling up one of the stats/attributes so there wouldn’t be much danger depending on what the characters do. Overall this can be easily done with story without a roll as others mentioned, players just have to get creative on who to talk to or time for the gm to allow another character in the mix as the thief/bard though any character should just mine the spots of their profession for info (temples for priests, libraries for wizards, guard spots for the fighter wanting info plus good places for better gear, etc.)

  18. Something else to consider; if you have the heroes roll that says something about the information itself; “Got a 10+, this must be accurate, reliable info.” If you simply give them info based on their descriptions of what they do, that info could be somewhat suspect. Not necessarily bad info, but it might be incomplete, misleading, etc. It forces the heroes to consider the source.

    I like to frame information from the context of where and how it was obtained:

    “According to the ancient tome of a madman…”

    “The beggers on the waterfront said…”

    “The church teaches that…”

    “All of the ladies at the brothel say…”

    “Legends tell of…”

    The world’s foremost sage on the subject says…”

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