Should a GM give his players the task target numbers upfront ?

Does this make the game too easy or take away from a sense of danger ? Or does it make it easier to play all around ?

What do you other gm's think ?


  • Always tell them, unless you are specifically trying to build tension or are putting out a puzzle for them to solve.

    Keeps the group dynamic nice and open and doesn’t 'GM Screen' interaction between you and the players.

    If they fail they fail, if they succeed they succeed, there is always XP to burn in a pinch.

    That’s also one of the main ways to keep a long term campaigns players from hitting the tier 6 ceiling to quickly. Encourage burning XP to counter rubbish rolls.
  • I don't think you should always tell them.  There are plenty of situations where it wouldn't be reasonable for a person to know how hard what they're about to attempt is.

    But that being said, I think the Cypher System lends itself to more transparency than many other games.  Typically speaking players can't make informed decisions about how much effort/assets to expend if they don't know the difficulty number.  It's more empowering feeling to spend your resources with confidence, but don't feel like you have to show all your numbers if logic and/or drama would require secrecy.
  • If the group does anything to assess the difficulty of a problem, I'll generally give them the number. If they just run up and try it, I have them roll first or at least wait until they've decided on how much effort to apply. Same generally with combatants. In particular, if they have a chance to look at and make an ID roll or a scan, I'll give them the number, otherwise I'll wait until round 2 of combat.
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