"You're attacked by a group of goblins, they are gouging your eyes, biting your ears and dropping scorpions down your plate mail"
1 hour ago
We used to have a home-brew that replaced d20 with a d12 and d8. You totaled them to get your score, but also the d12 determined hit location (12 was head, 6 was right arm, etc.) The d8 determined effects as well as points of damage. For example an 8 was severed. So a roll of 12+8 was 20 points but also a total decapitation--a guaranteed kill.
My current home-brew uses 2d6 vs. target number. There is no roll for damage--the losing side takes the difference in damage. That makes a less swingy system better. Also, 2d6 has a visceral quality--snake eyes just feel terrible and double sixes feel victorious. Advantage for the DM is that in a 2d6 system, a score of 7 is the mean, the median and the mode--very "stable." So to create a suitably-powered enemy, the GM just takes the PC's bonuses and adds 7; that's the target number of the monster.
shell fish derivative
Performing actions involves time, gear, and skill.
Generally, if you have none or one of the three, a task is impossible.
If you have all three, you do not need to roll – it just succeeds.
If you only have two, the task might involve a Save, with time or your gear being at stake if you fail.
Environmental factors/opportunities might act as a substitute for gear or skill.
Lockpicking a door requires no roll if you are skilled at lockpicking, are not in a hurry and have lockpicking tools available.
Lockpicking a door might require a DEX Save if you’re in a hurry yet have the skills and tools, with the risk being not finishing the task in time. It could also involve a WIL Save if you have time and skill, yet no tools, with you trying to improvise your tools.
Lockpicking a door is impossible with only one of the three:
You could stare at a lock all day with all the time in the world, but without gear and skill, nothing is going to happen.
You could be a skilled lockpicker, but in a hurry and without tools, there’s not much you can do.
You might have lockpick tools, but without the time to figure out how to use them, there’s no way you’ll manage it without skill.