Ages ago, I was running an AD&D 2e game in which we were using all of the core books, all of the gray books and all of the brown books. Life was good, though my bag was HEAVY with books, dice, pencils, paper, maps, minis, wet-erase battlemats and more. The group I ran was comprised of a goblin wizard (Sartak), a human fighter (Purlas) and an elven ranger (Killdash). The party ended up getting stopped at a door that was rusted shut. Of course, the fighter stepped up and tried to kick open the stuck door and ended up with a poor die roll. Fail. Next came the ranger with the same result. Sigh. The puny little goblin wizard then stepped up and rolled spectacularly. Success!
From that time forward, he was known as Sartak the Mighty Goblin and became the leader of the group. The human and elf, properly cowed by their failures, agreed to follow the goblin and went along with him.
Despite the success of the group and the need to get past the door, as a GM, this rubbed me a little bit the wrong way. If the big burly fighter couldn’t crack the door, then why would anyone think the weaker, smaller goblin wizard could accomplish the feat? I’ve seen this a great number of times in many different role playing situations. How do you, as GMs, put a stop to this kind of dice rolling behavior? Any advice other than to flat out stop the weaker characters from even attempting the die roll?