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Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019


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Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 06:17 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    @Charlaquin and @iserith raise an excellent point, which maybe will clear up some of the confusion. Players do, after all, often say a lot more than, "I attack." They describe where they move. They say which target they are going to attack. They use bonus actions. They invoke special abilities. The expend resources. Notice this is not just the "narration" you keep invoking. It's not that they wrap colorful adverbs around the actions. They are describing specific things they are doing to achieve their goal. And those decisions have mechanical impact. The other two pillars have far, far fewer mechanics designed to support them, so to make those pillars as rich you need to give the players some leeway to be creative. As I suggested above, maybe they go fetch a ladder, or stack up some crates, to climb a wall. I'm glad the game doesn't have specific class mechanics for activities like these; I'd rather leave it to improvisation and DM judgment. But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be m...

Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 07:29 AM - pemerton mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...tainly the players deciding to seek out the troll king (somewhat) changes the dynamic, as opposed to, for example, them being captured and then dragged in front of the troll king.To me, this raises the question of how much should failure snowball? This is very system dependent, but my overall take is that if the players are unsuccessful and so their PCs are captured by the Troll King, then they can expect to have to make some suboptimal moves. A bit like when a fight goes bad and the wizard has to start declaring melee attacks. At some point in this rambling conversation it was brought up that players who would worry about failing a roll and making a situation worse would simply choose not to roll. They would remain neutral as a counter to the consequences of failure. So, it was proposed, that there should not only be consequences for failure, but consequences for doing nothing. So, exactly what I said. Consequence for failing and consequence for doing nothing.That was me, not Charlaquin. As per a post I made not too long ago days-wise but maybe 100+ posts upthread, there are different approaches possible and this thread is bringing out some of those differences. Just to mention some of the posters I've interacted with: The approach I'm describing (which I use in 4e and which I think could be ported to 5e) has some similiarities to 5ekyu's, but is not identical (as can be seen in the discussion of the Audience With the Troll King scenario). Ovinomancer also does some things similar to me - eg in some recent posts mentions the idea of keeping up the pressure on the players via their PCs - but not identically I don't think. I also have some similiarites to Elfcrusher and Charlaquin - eg regarding the fictional specification of the declared action as very important - but some differences - eg I call for more checks than they do (see my quote upthread from Luke Crane for the reasons why). I have had far too many players who are so scared of failing and...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 07:47 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...nto what you are saying, trying to figure it out, and it seems our difference is simply you have a strict checklist that you don't share with your players and just mentally work through? That's what this entire thing exploded from? Action declarations sometimes have checks follow them. The action declaration, like the check itself, is an event in the real world. On the other hand, the action is an imagined event that (we pretend) occurs in the fictional world of the game. I think that keeping these things distinct aids clarity, especially when trying to compare different approaches to action resolution. For most versions of D&D, including 5e, for many action declarations this simply isn't true. In 5e the action declaration I cast a spell is not normally resolved by calling for a check. Nor is the action declaration I pick the sword up from the ground. Nor is the action declaration I use the key to unlock the door. Actually, if we want to get really pedantic to quote Charlaquin "Rolling a d20, adding modifiers, and comparing to a DC is the processes that constitutes the game rules term, "check."" So, almost all spells are resolved through a check. Either an attack roll or a saving throw. But while we can pedantically argue down the primrose path, I think another point here is more important. That bolded section... is that the only point to keeping them separated? Just for ease of comparing different styles, most of which will still follow "declaration before roll" no matter what may find its way between? (I think it is fair to say no one has been advocating rolling then declaring an action afterward) In that case, awesome, I appreciate it existing for that. Why am I getting taken to task for saying there are some checks that don't require a roll (reliable talent, barbarian strength) and that the action and check are so closely linked that I don't see a point in dividing them at the table? I was told I was wrong for equating actions and checks, ...

Tuesday, 16th April, 2019

  • 06:10 PM - Oofta mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Charlaquin, I don't want to waste time on this any more. Obviously if someone has a key to a door they don't need to use lockpicks. If they can bypass a trap by taking another route, they take the other route. On the other hand if they have to disable a simple trap (complex traps are a different beast) or unlock a door with lockpicks, I will ask for a check no matter how they describe it. That's just not how I run it. Run it differently at your table? As long as people are having fun you're doing it right.
  • 02:38 PM - iserith mentioned Charlaquin in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    ... doing to help the party survive in the uninhabited sandy wastes by using that skill. Don’t say no too often, but don’t say yes if it doesn’t make sense in the context of the challenge. I think this shows that 4e is very much in the camp of frame checks and then roll dice to find out how the fiction evolves at key moments of dramatic uncertainty. And the framing is to be undertaken by both player and GM, with the GM haveing ultimate responsibility for managing the coherence of the fiction and ensuring that the framing respects this. I mention this not to contest your account of how you run 5e, nor what approach 5e might best be suited for, but rather to show that goal and approach (or, as I prefer under the influence of Luke Crane, intnt and task) has currency beyond your particular use of it - which makes it even more appealling! Sure, whereas D&D 5e divorces tasks and checks in a way that D&D 4e does not. A player describes tasks rather than "uses skills." This is the issue Charlaquin is having trying to communicate with another poster in the current similar thread. To add to the differences, D&D 4e also says "All DCs assume acting in situations that are far from mundane; the DM should call for checks only in dramatic situations." This backs up the idea "frame checks and then roll dice to find out how the fiction evolves at key moments of dramatic uncertainty." D&D 5e does not support players calling for checks at all, plus "dramatic uncertainty" is framed as "uncertain outcome and meaningful consequence for failure." These may seem like minor differences, but in play, a D&D 4e game and a D&D 5e game "by the book" will look different in many ways outside of different mechanics. Unless of course one is playing D&D 5e like some other game. (As an aside, here's a weird thing I noticed about D&D 4e back in the day. What I quoted above - the "dramatic situations" line - was removed from D&D Essentials Rules Compendium. I have no idea why because the "dramatic situa...
  • 06:14 AM - Elfcrusher mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Charlaquin I think you should give up. It just ain't gonna happen.

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 09:31 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...an absurd premise hard enough. Fine. Elfcrusher, in your sarcastic example of a DM calling for a die roll to disarm a poisoned handle, even after the player declared they were wiping the handle with a thick cloth and were wearing gloves so that no poison could possibly contact their skin, you were completely wrong in all ways and there was nothing redeemable about that. No roll should ever be called upon in that situation, no matter the circumstances, and nothing else could ever be said about that example or any permutation of that example because your failure in calling for that roll was so extreme it eclipses everything else. Further more, my use of that example to bring up an entirely different point was wrong in all ways. I should have never have done so, and will endeavor to punish myself appropriately for such a disgrace, since my point fell under the assumption of the roll that must have never been and that is a shameful scar upon my DMing from here on out. Now, Charlaquin, if I have properly responded to the roll that never should have been made, can we just drop this already? This is because your point of conflict is "is this NPC lying to me." That's, frankly, utterly boring to me. If I present a lying NPC, figuring out the NPC is lying will not resolve whatever the actual issue is. It will just lead to a new point of contention. Why did the NPC lie? What do we do know that we know the NPC lied? To go back to the shopkeep example you proposed, determining that the shopkeep lied would never be a check in my game. I'd never need to prevaricate to preserve uncertainty so that my plot continues. Instead, discovering the lie is just one more means to advance the plot and do something different. You'd need evidence, and could then brace the shopkeep with it to expose the lie and get the truth (which leads to more adventure), or maybe you engage in discussion, discover something about the shopkeep, like that he loves his little girl...

Wednesday, 10th April, 2019

  • 02:30 AM - Chaosmancer mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...uch detail you add to carefully licking the doorknob clean won't result in an autosuccess, ever (unless, maybe, you're immune to poison?). On the other hand, being skilled at poisoner's tools and wiping off the contact poison may very well result in autosuccess. Don't make the mistake that we're looking for a long, detailed explanation for anything done -- that sounds horribly boring. Yes, you are, and no, it's not. The game revolves around actions, not skill checks. Skill checks are used when an action is uncertain and there's a cost of failure. You don't call for a skill check when a player declares their character walks across a room, do you? Is this a case where hairs have been split because there should be a roll? In other words, I say that a discussion about how to handle skills has placed the cart before the horse because we do not yet know how we handle actions. Skills come after we get a handle on actions. Okay, but let me call back to the original quote by Charlaquin "This is why vague statements like, “I check for traps” are a poor strategy. Yes, if I just said I check for traps without saying what I’m doing to check for them, we have little choice but to determine what my character was doing that resulted in that failure retroactively. The dice are generating the story - we didn’t really know what my character was doing until we found out whether it worked or not, and then we came up with a narrative explanation for the result. And if you like to play that way, more power to you! I do not like to play that way, because it puts my successes and failures in the hands of chance. I want my successes and failures to be in my hands. I enjoy the game more when I succeed because I thought of a clever plan or fail because I took a calculated risk and it didn’t pay off." According to this, the player declared an action "check for traps" but that was not specific enough, so when the roll happened we had to fill in story of why the result happened. ...

Tuesday, 26th March, 2019

  • 07:49 AM - Hussar mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... about DMs who who give no fictional context and basically force the players to interact solely in terms of mechanics because they don’t have enough information about what’s going on in the game world to act otherwise. Or about DMs who make wild assumptions about your character’s actions and then spring consequences on you for the things they decided you were doing based solely on the type of check you made, and then argue about “you never said you did” or “you never said you didn’t.” But I prefer to give people I’m talking to the benefit of the doubt. Bad DMs are going to DM badly. Just because you’ve had some bad experiences with DMs requiring overly specific details that they then use as anmo against you doesn’t mean all DMs who prefer a goal and an approach rather than an announcement of what kind of check the player is making are like that. These conversations might be more fruitful if you did t assume the worst in people who have a different approach than you. To be honest Charlaquin, it's a lot less about the "gotcha" element and far more about the "Why am I pissing about describing for the 237th time how I look for traps on a chest" thing. It gets old really, really fast. If you do dungeon crawls, and I do, you're likely to have dozens of rooms/chambers. Each of which is likely going to get searched at some point. Having to repeat myself dozens of times because the DM wants more than "I search the room" just makes me want to blow my brains out. I've played the way you're talking about. I can see the attraction for a certain kind of player but, I'm very, very much not that kind of player. Very little would cause me to check out of a game faster than this. Not that it's bad or that you're a bad DM or badwrongfun or anything like that. Not at all. But, because it would bore me to tears. I would be a terrible player at this table. I'd be that bad player futzing around on my phone while the rest of the group plays because, fifteen minutes into the sessio...
  • 02:03 AM - Hussar mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...of order: I don’t think most people would consider the “If the players don’t say they’re looking at the ceiling, they’re automatically surprised” to be at all reasonable. I certainly don’t. I want a goal and an approach to actions they take, but I don’t require that degree of specificity, and I certainly wouldn’t expect players to specify that they’re looking up when they’re just exploring the dungeon. Well, considering this was a published module, and even WotC modules have had this sort of thing, I'd say that at least some people think that this is reasonable. You wouldn't see it in published modules if no one thought it was reasonable. Now you see why this sort of thing bothers some people. /snip Where in the room are you looking? Do you move about the whole chamber freely? Is there any feature of the room as describe that you're careful to avoid? Are you using any items in your search? How long do you take to perform this task? Really, really don't care. But, Charlaquin, we have an example of at least one DM who seems to think that the module was reasonable. And this is why I think you're deliberately trying to misunderstand our position and pretend it's more complicated than it is. We're really not wanting players to jump through magic hoops, we just want them to clearly communicate an action through their goal and approach. You seem to assume that we have a predetermined phrase that the player must utter to pass our test (or expert domain knowledge that no one could reasonably expect). Nothing could be further from the truth. We simply want to the players to engage with the game world through their imagination rather than relying on the options listed on their character sheet. Ah well, I tried... The reason we think this is because we've seen examples of exactly the kind of thing you are talking about in numerous sources - both anecdotally and published adventures. It's not exactly a rare thing IME. Lots of DM's do this. So, when you ad...

Monday, 25th March, 2019

  • 03:56 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...s anyway. It was meant as an off the cuff remark that I was surprised that DM's do this. Just something I'd never run across. Which is at least somewhat surprising, since it is RAW (PHB p 174, emphasis mine): An ability check tests a character's or monster's innate talent and training in an effort to overcome a challenge. The DM calls for an ability check when a character or monster attempts an action (other than an attack) that has a chance of failure. When the outcome is uncertain, the dice determine the results. That said, I totally missed - or at least did not fully absorb - this passage when I started DMing 5e. I let players self-assign rolls which seemed ok as some of them had more RPG experience than I did and what did I know about D&D after not playing since 1e - but something just didn't feel right during our games for many months. I didn't recognize the solution until I started reading stuff from Angry and getting solid advice from folks here like iserith, Bawylie, Charlaquin, and Imaculata. Our games have gone from usually fine to consistently very good. And it has had a lot to do with my DM approach to dice rolls. Please don't misunderstand - I am in no way saying you are doing it wrong - if your group is having fun, you're doing it right! But you might give this way a try for a one shot or three to see how it feels for you and your group.
  • 04:50 AM - Hussar mentioned Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    /snip for examples that really don't speak to the issue There’s no auto-fail for skill checks. But there’s no entitlement to one either. That’s a judgment call, and therefore belongs to the DM. Firstly, since we both agree that there are no auto succeeds or auto fails, what is changed by a player rolling before asking? If the task was impossible, it remains impossible. If the task was very easy, it remains very easy. Rolling beforehand changes nothing. However, the notion that a player is not "entitled" to a skill check is something I strongly disagree with. Earlier examples from Charlaquin regarding his player would cause me, as a player to do nothing but grind my teeth. You don't ask me to describe my actions before I attack and I can certainly roll an attack roll without your permission, nor do you ask me to describe my actions before casting a spell. So, what's wrong with, "I'm trained in investigation - I check for traps"? The idea that somehow that makes me an "entitled" player is something I strongly object to. And, as a DM, I have zero interest in gate keeping player skill checks. They can roll any time they want. Frankly I prefer it that way. To me the fact that Oofta's very polite requests for why doing it your way helps the game were completely stonewalled and people immediately got defensive demonstrates that perhaps folks are a bit more controlling while sitting in the DM's chair than they think they are.

Saturday, 23rd March, 2019


Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

  • 12:20 AM - DM Dave1 mentioned Charlaquin in post [New DM Question] What about Simultaneous Movement?
    Not necessarily. I could use a move to move towards a target to goad them towards you, use a bonus attack (maybe a quickened spell) then ready a dash action with the trigger ‘when they are 10 feet away’. Then move back 30 feet out of the opponent’s melee range and back behind cover. It’s kind of situational. Maybe someone is behind cover and you are trying to draw them out or something. To the OP. If they are out of combat and planning to go together, like your second example, I let them go at the same time at the slowest initiative. For the Mexican stand off, I allow an insight and anyone who fails misses their turn, like an ambush situation. Still possible for everyone to go before the person imitating combat, but less likely. Dash only increases your speed. It does not allow you to move. Thank goodness - I’m not the only one who has been thinking about Dash the wrong way. Thanks for being gentle with us, iserith, Charlaquin. Travis Henry!

Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

  • 03:48 PM - SkidAce mentioned Charlaquin in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    So why are we using Urban Dictionary instead of Merriam Webster? To preempt the answer...because words and meanings change with the times. Which leads to my point: Grognard was a descriptor of a type of old grumbley gamer, but it wasn't always meant derogatorily. Naturally, when a term that people are used to starts becoming a curse word, some may feel slighted and push back against the change. Immortal Sun is "completely disinterested in the respect of 'grogs' ". (no disrespect to you, just an example). So obviously "grognard" has become/changed into a harsher term. Maybe it always was, and the gaming environment I was around adopted it as a "badge of honor". Hard to say. --- But Charlaquin , I gave an (anecdotal) example of grognard being used in a positive way.
  • 05:55 AM - Immortal Sun mentioned Charlaquin in post tail wags dog: streamers want to say 'aaargh' so we are getting a pirate adventure
    As opposed to those who abscond with terms and apply them in ways so that nobody knows what we are really talking about? Yeah, those are good people. You should hang out with them. You won't really be able to carry on a useful conversation, but who needs to to be able to understand things anyway? Understanding is overrated! :P Sorry, all build91's comment comes across as is that 4E fans who essentially behave exactly the same as 3E or 2E or AD&D fans regarding 5e "arent really grogs". @Charlaquin is more evenly applying the term to any D&D fan who grumbles and gripes about the new edition, while build91 is attempting to say that for *arbitrary reasons* 4E fans can't be grogs. So if anyone is redefining terms while attempting to have a conversation, it's @build91. And he's doing it via gatekeeping, setting himself up as the arbiter of who can, or cannot be a grog. You may agree with his sentiment, which is fine, we're all welcome to our own opinions. But the application of argumentative tactics make it clear who is doing what.

Sunday, 23rd December, 2018

  • 05:05 PM - Maxperson mentioned Charlaquin in post No Magic Shops!
    What does it matter? Why should you or anyone else have any say in why I can or can’t block someone? This isn't about why you can or cannot block someone else. That doesn't matter. This is about you harming my ability to talk to Charlaquin if you block me, which you absolutely should not be able to do.

Tuesday, 11th December, 2018

  • 05:21 PM - clearstream mentioned Charlaquin in post Skills used by players on other players.
    A task performed by a PC or NPC to influence a PC's thoughts does not have an uncertain outcome because the player of that character determines how the character thinks. There's no check here. When we get into other tasks that are essentially PC vs. PC, some of us let the players resolve that among themselves through negotiation to avoid the many problems that can arise from having the DM adjudicate with the game mechanics. It's not any more complicated than that. Indeed yes! I read through your posts carefully and grasped that (see my reply to @Charlaquin above). It's what I meant earlier about "exogenous rules". So while I can't agree that the RAW states or the game model requires, that it be played that way, I can certainly see that it is possible to play that way. Even that it has some advantages. For me the most straightforward way to understand it is as the addition of two rules or guidelines.

Saturday, 24th November, 2018

  • 11:06 AM - Matrix Sorcica mentioned Charlaquin in post Nentir Vale Coming to Dungeons and Dragons
    And that's bad because...? If more people learn about the Vale, isn't that good? And to learn more, wouldn't they turn to the 4e products and fan wiki? And thus see the original? Won't they also just do their own thing anyway? Charlaquin says it better than I ever could. Edit: and doctorbadwolf too

Wednesday, 7th November, 2018

  • 10:08 AM - Sadras mentioned Charlaquin in post What's the point of gold?
    @Maxperson, I think @Charlaquin's issue, and he may correct me where I'm misstating him, is that unless one incorporates the purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crew the direct influence of gold is reduced to the acquisition of magical items (which I have to agree with him is hardly exciting), bribery (again mostly inconsequential), advice/services (not dynamic enough) and the purchasing of equipment (hardly relevant given its blandness). [Disclaimer: I have not gone through Xanathar's in depth] To Charlaquin the decision points the above spend necessitate are not exciting and meaningful enough. He believes it requires an active DM to stress wealth in the game that will encourage meaningful decisions. I kind of agree with him on this as I'm one of those DM's that had to work to make wealth matter. One of my campaigns was called Darokin: The Accounting, it doesn't get much more than that. :) Lifestyle tendencies, fine and masterwork items and interesting services that pro...


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Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 03:04 AM - Hussar quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Whereas at my table, you can’t make a check before you’ve narrated an action with an uncertain outcome. I too follow the same method for all checks - describe what you want to accomplish and how your character attempts to do it, and if the outcome is uncertain, I’ll ask for a check. Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? How they make a saving throw? By and large, I don' think it's too contentious to say that most tables don't expect a "How" statement before any of those checks. Nor do we generally make "how" statements for physical skill checks - how are you jumping? how are you climbing the wall? how are you doing a backflip? Not really, do you? So, while these are all checks which have uncertain outcomes and certainly consequences for failure, we generally don't ask for any narration before the roll. I simply apply that same standard to all d20 rolls.
  • 12:33 AM - pemerton quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I stand by the idea that if every check led to the potential to make everything worse, I would see players less willing to take risks. if you ask for checks for most actions, and you don’t give players a heads up about the risk and potential consequences of failure, then every check having consequences for failure probably would lead to turtling. If you can’t easily predict whether or not an action will require a roll to resolve (or alternatively, if you can reliably predict that most actions will require a roll to resolve), you don’t get fair warning before having to make a check, and checks always make the situation worse on a failure, naturally doing anything will be scary.My experience is consistent with what I quoted Luke Crane saying upthead (BW Gold, pp 31-32, 72): When the dice are rolled and don’t produce enough successes to meet the obstacle, the character fails. What does this mean? It means the stated intent does not come to pass. . . . Failure is not the end of the line, but...

Monday, 22nd April, 2019

  • 10:17 PM - Chaosmancer quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Again we're probably talking at cross-purposes because I don't see myself in an adversarial position to my players, I try to put interesting challenges in front of them and they in turn try to engage creatively with those challenges. If that makes me a bad DM then I guess that's a cross I'll have to bear. :) And with that I'm finally out of this thread. I'm trying to figure out how letting you know your word choice could lead to problematic assumptions led to you bearing the cross of... doing the job of a DM? I never spoke about what types of challenges you put in front of your players, I was just saying that describing approaches as "good" or "bad" is problematic. All that means is that the DM you imagine is a person who isn't living up to the standards the DMG sets forth - that the DM be an impartial yet involved referee who acts a mediator between the rules and the players. And who, by following the "middle path" is balancing the use of dice against deciding on success to...

Sunday, 21st April, 2019

  • 07:01 PM - Satyrn quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Touché. Although in my defense, both responses to my suggestion consisted of “Fair enough, but...” and then a continuation of the discussion. Since then I’ve primarily (though I admit not exclusively) been responding to things directed at me. Hey, you don't need to defend yourself. This is why we're here. (Besides, your defense came too late anyway. My barb had already struck home)

Saturday, 20th April, 2019


Friday, 19th April, 2019

  • 10:05 PM - Chaosmancer quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    It's possible different people imagine different things with the language used. By "punish" I (and I think others) are imagining the DM intentionally trying to make sure the player/character is forced to use the dump stat. But maybe others use "punish" to mean just letting people play the game, and not always giving the player an "out" to avoid using the dump stat. Yeah, I agree that the term "punish" is poor wording for how I look at it as well. I'd point out the original statement did also say they should be rewarded for having high stats as well, which is why I think they meant it more in lines with not giving people outs to avoid having to care about their weak points. By all means, quote the post where I said “you should do it this way.” If you can point to it, I will cede that I misspoke and apologize. But this whole time I have done nothing but answer your questions about my DMing style and correct your misapprehensions about it. From my perspective, I am just being ...
  • 03:55 PM - dnd4vr quoted Charlaquin in post Hit Points and Constitution damage System
    If you haven’t read it, I recommend taking a look at the Angry GM’s Fighting Spirit hack. It accomplishes a lot of what you’re trying to do here. I haven’t tested it (again, the extra book keeping isn’t worth it for me personally), but it might suit your needs well, or at least give you some ideas. It’s where I got the disadvantage on attack rolls and +1 fictional exhaustion level idea from. So, I had some time this morning and read the article. It is kind of funny, because this almost exactly mirrors what D20 Star Wars did. Hit points became "Vitality Points" and you got a new score, "Wound Points". I wanted to make sometime similar to this which was why I started the whole idea actually and have played around with it for a LONG time in DnD. Personally, I thought the introduction of Vitality and Wounds in D20 SW was one of the best aspects of the game and I am surprised it never surfaced in later editions of DnD. It's pretty simple IIRC: Wounds points = CON score Critical hits go directly to...
  • 02:03 PM - Oofta quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I used to struggle with questions like this a lot. Eventually, I found that the best answer (for me - obviously others will have different experiences) was “don’t worry about it.” Just adjudicate the players’ actions and don’t sweat what the characters “would do” or “wouldn’t do.” Let the players decide that for themselves, and focus on adjudicating those actions as best you can. The game won’t fall apart because the 8-Cha fighter is a smooth talker or the 20-Int Wizard isn’t a genius. And to boot, most players will enjoy the game more. At least that’s been my experience. I will sometimes give players running high intelligence PCs hints now and then. It really depends on how the player reacts, and I don't do it all the time. It is their character after all.
  • 07:29 AM - pemerton quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...tainly the players deciding to seek out the troll king (somewhat) changes the dynamic, as opposed to, for example, them being captured and then dragged in front of the troll king.To me, this raises the question of how much should failure snowball? This is very system dependent, but my overall take is that if the players are unsuccessful and so their PCs are captured by the Troll King, then they can expect to have to make some suboptimal moves. A bit like when a fight goes bad and the wizard has to start declaring melee attacks. At some point in this rambling conversation it was brought up that players who would worry about failing a roll and making a situation worse would simply choose not to roll. They would remain neutral as a counter to the consequences of failure. So, it was proposed, that there should not only be consequences for failure, but consequences for doing nothing. So, exactly what I said. Consequence for failing and consequence for doing nothing.That was me, not Charlaquin. As per a post I made not too long ago days-wise but maybe 100+ posts upthread, there are different approaches possible and this thread is bringing out some of those differences. Just to mention some of the posters I've interacted with: The approach I'm describing (which I use in 4e and which I think could be ported to 5e) has some similiarities to 5ekyu's, but is not identical (as can be seen in the discussion of the Audience With the Troll King scenario). Ovinomancer also does some things similar to me - eg in some recent posts mentions the idea of keeping up the pressure on the players via their PCs - but not identically I don't think. I also have some similiarites to Elfcrusher and Charlaquin - eg regarding the fictional specification of the declared action as very important - but some differences - eg I call for more checks than they do (see my quote upthread from Luke Crane for the reasons why). I have had far too many players who are so scared of failing and...
  • 06:05 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Ya know. A DM who posts stuff about D&D on the internet, and people actually read/listen to. Oh! Like Bawylie and iserith? (On a totally unrelated note: Bawylie...check your messages.)
  • 05:28 AM - Bawylie quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Ya know. A DM who posts stuff about D&D on the internet, and people actually read/listen to. And since the 5e playtest was happening, at the time, that meant like... all the WotC forum regulars. My taste in RPGs was very much still developing, and I had only just started to dip my toe into DMing. You and Iserith were certainly both influential on my developing DMing style. I recall Mellored being someone I enjoyed reading. And there were a fair number of D&D blogs at the time, most of which I don’t remember, but the Angry GM was among those I was reading at the time. Nowadays with the advent of streaming games and D&D advice YouTube, you’ve got folks like Matt Mercer, Chris Perkins, Griffin McElroy, Jim Davis, the Nerdarchy folks, etc. Alright. I only recognize a few of those names and I don’t watch the streams. But I suppose the streaming draws the most eyes.
  • 04:34 AM - Bawylie quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Hence my advice, “don’t worry about it.” We DMs have a way of working ourselves and each other into a frenzy over things that don’t actually matter nearly as much as we think they do when the dice actually hit the table. I used to think of metagaming as the cardinal sin of RPGs, the root of all roleplaying evil. In my defense, this was pretty much treated as common knowledge in the 3.5 and 4e eras that I was brought up in, and I never thought to question it. But then a funny thing happened during the 5e playtest. A lot of high-profile DMs started making the bold public assertion that metagaming wasn’t a big deal. I was skeptical at first, but eventually I decided to try letting go of my anxieties about metagaming. And not only did the game survive, it improved. What’s a high profile DM?
  • 03:45 AM - iserith quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Hence my advice, “don’t worry about it.” We DMs have a way of working ourselves and each other into a frenzy over things that don’t actually matter nearly as much as we think they do when the dice actually hit the table. I used to think of metagaming as the cardinal sin of RPGs, the root of all roleplaying evil. In my defense, this was pretty much treated as common knowledge in the 3.5 and 4e eras that I was brought up in, and I never thought to question it. But then a funny thing happened during the 5e playtest. A lot of high-profile DMs started making the bold public assertion that metagaming wasn’t a big deal. I was skeptical at first, but eventually I decided to try letting go of my anxieties about metagaming. And not only did the game survive, it improved. Right. DMs are famous for creating their own problems, then working hard to come up with solutions to the problems they've created. The game gets all wobbly and complicated and they often turn to the social contract to fix those proble...
  • 03:35 AM - iserith quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    For what it’s worth, I find these citations helpful. For instance, the part about attack rolls was actually pretty enlightening to me. It’s also worth noting that Iserith is on record as preferring the DMing style he attributes to 4e. He just places a higher priority on playing each game as its own rules suggest than on playing in his preferred style if it doesn’t mesh with the intended play of the system being used. I could be wrong, but I suspect Iserith enjoys running 4e more than 5e, but would rather run 5e as written than try to run it like he would 4e. Just like I don't run Dungeon World like D&D 4e or 5e. Or Life like Monopoly. Or Cards Against Humanity like Dominion.
  • 03:12 AM - Hussar quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    First off, I think not knowing the PCs’ stats is an Iserith thing, not a “middle path” thing. I personally do like to know what all the PCs stats are, cause I find it helps me build challenges appropriate to the party. That said, I do think you’re right on the money in terms of this being the core of our disagreement. I’ve seen it referred to as “challenge the character, not the player” to put a spin on it that favors your style, I’ve described it as placing success and failure on the player’s decisions over random chance, which I think casts my style in a more positive light. But at the end of the day, this is what it’s about, one way or another. Personally, I HATE when the result of the die roll determines what the character does or says. It’s MY character, I should be the one to decide what they do or say, not the dice. If at any point the result of the roll overrides my agency as a player, the dice are overstepping their role, in my opinion. Now, I’m well aware that others feel differently, a...
  • 02:22 AM - iserith quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Partly, but it’s more than that. The thinking goes, no matter what your approach, if your goal is to kill the orc, you’re gonna need to make an attack roll. If, on the other hand, your goal is to persuade the king, and you can do that without having to make a Charisma check with the right approach, then the game is unfairly favoring physical stats. As an aside, with regard to attack rolls, the DMG has this to say: "Call for an attack roll when a character ties to hit a creature or an object with an attack, especially when the attack could be foiled by the target's armor or shield or by another object providing cover." The implication here is that there's something in the way of your success when you're making an attack roll. If there isn't, then an attack roll is superfluous. This leaves open the possibility, however remote, that as long as a character can figure out a way to get around the target's armor, shield, or cover sufficient to negate uncertainty, then there's no roll and damage is appl...
  • 02:18 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Partly, but it’s more than that. The thinking goes, no matter what your approach, if your goal is to kill the orc, you’re gonna need to make an attack roll. If, on the other hand, your goal is to persuade the king, and you can do that without having to make a Charisma check with the right approach, then the game is unfairly favoring physical stats. Ah, gotcha. So maybe those people are also opposed to avoiding the fights through smart playing. My motto remains: "Challenge the player, not the build."
  • 02:08 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Having seen both sides of this fence, as I mentioned in my edit, I think it has more to do with a desire to preserve the fidelity of the roleplay. Like Hussar said, “You will almost always make a check, because making the check is how I enforce players actually playing the characters that they made. If you have no skill in persuasion and you have an 8 Cha, you don't actually say whatever it is you, the player, have said. What you actually said in the game world is defined by the check you made to persuade that NPC to do something.” It’s not so much about giving the DM too much power (though I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case for some folks), it has more to do with insuring that the players don’t “cheat” by dumping mental and social stats and then roleplaying around ever having to make checks with them. That’s where the whole “player skill vs. character skill” argument comes from. And saying that you are only taking into account the goal and approach, not the performance, doesn’t real...
  • 12:49 AM - Ovinomancer quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    First off, I think not knowing the PCs’ stats is an Iserith thing, not a “middle path” thing. I personally do like to know what all the PCs stats are, cause I find it helps me build challenges appropriate to the party. That said, I do think you’re right on the money in terms of this being the core of our disagreement. I’ve seen it referred to as “challenge the character, not the player” to put a spin on it that favors your style, I’ve described it as placing success and failure on the player’s decisions over random chance, which I think casts my style in a more positive light. But at the end of the day, this is what it’s about, one way or another. Personally, I HATE when the result of the die roll determines what the character does or says. It’s MY character, I should be the one to decide what they do or say, not the dice. If at any point the result of the roll overrides my agency as a player, the dice are overstepping their role, in my opinion. Now, I’m well aware that others feel differently, a...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 10:00 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Charlaquin in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    That’s cool if that’s the way you like to do things. Personally, I prefer to let the player’s goal and approach speak for themselves. When and if one of their actions requires a Charisma check to resolve, the -1 they’ll get to that roll is penalty enough for my taste, without me needing to filter the character’s social actions through my idea of whatever 8 charisma means. Right. Every now and then that -1 will make a difference, but an 8 Charisma is not abysmal. It's just a little bit below average. In fact, exactly as far below average as a 12 Charisma is above average.


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