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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Yesterday, 02:37 PM
    What's missing? Well, in my personal opinion (feel free to disagree) Generic classes that felt bland and only supported one play style preference because they tried to make all classes equal and gave everyone "powers" that for many people felt supernatural and somehow limiting as well. Overly complex rules bloat that led to a high barrier of entry; system mastery allowed people to build PCs...
    60 replies | 2084 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 17th May, 2019, 11:45 AM
    I think I see your problem. The familiar should be feeding the monsters, not the necromancer. Oh wait, on second thought necromancers are frequently monsters. :hmm: Never mind.
    25 replies | 778 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 11:54 PM
    Nails in construction is actually a fairly recent development, a lot of construction was timber framing, basically building with joints and pegs. As far as clothing, who says you can't have pre-died items or simply undied? If you're making cloth, why do you need thread. Even if you need thread, what's wrong with making thread out of the same material as the cloth? Like a lot of things in...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 16th May, 2019, 05:52 PM
    I use a slightly different form, but basically when this has happened (which is rare) I just reduce the enemy by an equal number of allies of the same CR. So I increase the XP target by the XP I would get if I calculated a fight against my allies. As always though, it's not particularly clear cut and it's still kind of a guesstimate.
    3 replies | 182 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:49 PM
    On a more serious note... I improvise a lot. I have a general idea of who's who and what the conflicting goals and perspectives are of the different individuals and groups but that's about it. A list of who's who, roughly what they're up to, the general theme for the game. I use painted minis as well as clay blocks that I've shaped into squares to give a 3-dimensional aspect to my game. ...
    51 replies | 1283 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 04:41 PM
    Paladins. Lots and lots of paladins. Preferably gnomes dual-wielding rapiers. If the game ever drags, all I have to do is "could I have more gnomes? More paladins?" The answer of course is always YES!
    51 replies | 1283 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 15th May, 2019, 12:27 AM
    To me, thinking about some of this stuff just leads to a never-ending rabbit hole. I tried at one point just for grins to really think through this stuff and detail out what the effects would be and I just don't think there's a great answer. So I take a middle road. Yes, a sufficiently high level wizard can make high value items given raw materials but there's a catch. For things like...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Sunday, 12th May, 2019, 08:45 PM
    My world has plenty of magic, but higher level PC type casters are rare. So yes ... agricultural land is more productive because it's blessed but you still need people to harvest the crops. To counter the blessed fields there are magical means of harming crops as well. Not to mention verdant farms that are abandoned because of that ankheg infestation. So agriculture can be slightly more dense...
    116 replies | 4128 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Saturday, 11th May, 2019, 02:20 AM
    As an alternative, if you don't want to jump from the underdark into the abyss is to go wild ... feywild that is. :) Have some fun with the ArchFey. Have Puck play games with the group, use Midsummer's Night Dream as inspiration. Go visit Baba Yaga. In my campaign I use the feywild sparingly, but it's always full of exotic wonder, political intrigue and powerful forces that are using the...
    22 replies | 804 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 9th May, 2019, 10:56 PM
    For the most part the player controls the critter, I only intervene in extreme situations. This is particularly for creatures that are "special" such as a paladins steed since they the paladin has "an instinctive bond with it that allows you to fight as a seamless unit". Regular animals can get spooked, although it's rare for trained war animals.
    25 replies | 778 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:41 PM
    Hold on. Going back, way, way back to the OP here. If someone is telling the truth what's the insight check to know that far back. What I said was that I allow the players to roll and that the result is probably going to be "they seem to be telling the truth". Because I try to limit the amount of meta-game knowledge my players have. Then we get
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 08:26 PM
    Umm ... forums are sometimes a horrible way to communicate ideas and concepts? I have no issue with people having different styles of play. I can only do my best to explain the way I run games I do and why. I take what I consider a "middle of the road approach". I'll just reiterate one of my first postings on this topic. I don't get why this is such a big deal. The biggest difference is...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 8th May, 2019, 12:35 PM
    I trust my players to not act on meta-game knowledge like this. If they do I'll ask them politely not to. I like having a cooperative relationship where we all work together like mature people and play fair. Oh, wait ... would putting smileys on that make it seem like I wasn't implicating that you don't trust your players? :hmm:
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 11:19 PM
    I'm a bit confused. Why is it wrong to ask the players for a perception check without them declaring an action? I mean, things happen in the world that the PCs may or may not notice, right? :confused:
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 10:23 PM
    I would say that there's a lot of gray areas. The ledge example may play out much the same other than I'd be okay if the response to my "what do you do" is "I make an acrobatics check 15 to get across". I would also say that sometimes I do call for specific checks if it is called for by an external event or one that is not "telegraphed". Let's say the group is walking down a staircase in an...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 08:37 PM
    Taking the narrow ledge as an example, how else would you deal with it? I'd set the scene something like: "The trail ahead turns treacherous. It looks like an avalanche took out about 20 feet of trail. There's a narrow ledge that goes down to a few inches in a few places for the entire section. There are no hand-holds in the otherwise smooth rocks, you're going to have to rely on your balance...
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 07:18 PM
    If combat is just a slog vs a bag of hit points, that's a problem. No different than out of combat challenges. I don't see a difference, and what is enjoyable for one group or individual may not be for another. Die rolls for resolving out of combat challenges is just one tool in the box. I use a variety.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 05:11 PM
    One other thing that keeps seeming to come up is that using skills to overcome an obstacle is "boring". Do you ever have people use survival to track? Athletics to climb a wall or force open a door? Maybe an acrobatics check to walk along a narrow ledge or walk quickly across ice? I don't see finding and removing traps any different. I use a mix of challenges, with a mix of solutions. ...
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 7th May, 2019, 12:45 PM
    I can only speak for myself, sometimes traps are set dressing sometimes they're a a threat. In most cases it's a background feature that reinforces the fiction of the campaign world. For example, kobolds (and to a slightly lesser degree goblins) are known for using traps. If the PCs are low enough level that detecting and removing the traps is uncertain, I rely on passive perceptions or...
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:33 PM
    Well if you consider it telegraphing that I don't add dangerous traps to random objects in random locations, then yes I guess. If you really have to have a "win" there you go. You got me. I guess. I'm just being clear that no one has to my knowledge stated that they have to check for traps every 5 ft in any game recently played in this thread. So to the best of my knowledge you are...
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:09 PM
    One relies on PC skill, the other on player skill and a DM giving out hints. I don't see the confusion.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 08:00 PM
    Just repeating the way I run it. If you want to interpret that as "telegraphing" I can't stop you. I don't see it that way because it goes back to PC capabilities and expertise in paying attention to the environment around them, not the player.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Monday, 6th May, 2019, 07:28 PM
    Elfcrusher, I'm with 5ekyu on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks. I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 11:30 PM
    I give cover bonuses for fireball, to have complete cover you'd have to be completely blocked from the point of origin with no significant path. So probably in another room with a closed door or similar But that's just my ruling/house rule and I can certainly see that going the other way is probably sticking more closely to the letter of the rules.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 08:53 PM
    Well then it seems you made two mistakes. First, assuming that I knew what everyone said on every post. Second, assuming I knew what the heck you were trying to get at, which obviously I've missed by a country mile. In other words, huh? :confused: I'm not challenging what you're saying, just admitting my complete and utter incompetence at interpreting it. As far as my opinion I don't have...
    569 replies | 19226 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 06:07 PM
    Celebrim, I think you're seeing things a little black-and-white. Some things (climbing a wall) have little or nothing to do with player capability in my game. It's a straight die roll if the outcome is uncertain. It relies only on your Strength(Athletics) score and the luck of the die. Some things, like figuring out how to disarm a complex trap may be a mix of player skill and PC abilities...
    569 replies | 19226 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Sunday, 5th May, 2019, 04:23 PM
    It's in the PHB under Spells/Cover A spell's effect expands in straight lines from the point of origin. If no unblocked straight line extends from the point of origin to a location within the area of effect, that location isn't included in the spell's area. To block one of these imaginary lines, an obstruction must provide total cover, as explained in chapter 9.
    60 replies | 2052 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 05:09 PM
    If you have a sub-plot of removing the alignment change aspect, consider an alternative. Make it an incredibly difficult task. Make it a quadruple deadly encounter if you have to. If the party fails, it's not a TPK, the only long term result is that they missed their one shot to "fix" the item. They can't even destroy it if they wanted to. At that point they have a dilemma. Continue to use...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 3rd May, 2019, 12:37 PM
    You could run it similar to intelligent items from the DMG where it's a charisma save based on the charisma of the dragon or the bearer is charmed for 12 hours. Of course "charmed" isn't domination in 5E, the item would just have really good ideas and you realize afterwords what happened. You could always start the DC out lower and then after a failed charm go to dominated go to alignment...
    51 replies | 1248 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 09:59 PM
    You know, this does remind me of Thanksgiving. Sue: "What kind of side dish can I bring?" Uncle Joe: "Cranberry sauce would be good" Uncle Bob: "Yeah, just don't bring the stuff out of a can" Uncle Joe: "I don't know, I kind of like the stuff out of the can" Uncle Bob: "According to the Betty Crocker cookbook, that's not real cranberry sauce. It's only real cranberry sauce if " Uncle...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 06:29 PM
    Seems to me like now you're just looking for an excuse to be offended. Have a good one.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 06:01 PM
    I made no comment on your game or your play style. None. Zero. I have no idea how quick/smooth your games are. All I'm saying is that arguing about something as subjective as "smoother" is IMHO pointless. What works for me and my table may or may not work for your table.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 03:54 PM
    A gnome punchbowl perhaps?
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 02:21 PM
    To me there's a big difference between "I have contacts in the city, does Bob happen to be one of the guards on duty?" and "I have contacts in the city, in fact Bob is captain of the guard so of course he'll let us in." The former is establishing a background and history (even if it wasn't explicitly written) but the latter is altering the game world beyond what the PC could do.
    569 replies | 19226 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 02:20 PM
    I don't want to continue the argument of whether "smoother" means "better", because it's pointless. Smoother for whom? My games run quite smoothly, thank you very much. Claiming that a particular style is better smoother is a pointless completely subjective judgement call. I don't have a problem with player statement of intent DM response player action, but if that can be shortened into...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 2nd May, 2019, 12:12 AM
    Some good advice already, I've just adding a couple of thoughts. Fighting from the doorway Why assume there's only one door into a room? Make multiple doors, and have 1 or two monsters engage while the others flank. In addition, have the monsters in the room call for reinforcements. Blow a bugle, have a gong, a big red button, whatever you want. As others have said, vary your...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 11:57 PM
    What if it didn't use the spell slot? Back in the old days when we had to pay long distance for phone calls, you didn't pay if you didn't connect .. so if you get the deity equivalent of a busy signal, no loss.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 07:15 PM
    In my own games there's a bit of a gray area. If someone is from a town, I may ask them to provide some details about the area. This is usually offline so we can have some give-and-take if necessary. But to go to the point that they know one of the guards would be crossing a line for me. During a game they may say "when we're in town can I visit Uncle Bob?" or "I want to find Weasel, he's...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 01:07 PM
    One of the things I do which seems to be contentious is to let people try to do things even if I know it's bound to fail (or will always succeed). If it gets out of hand I'll stop it for speed of play, but if someone want to climb the wall that can't be climbed they can always attempt it. I reflect the attempt of the PC to climb with the roll of a die roll at the table. An effort was made,...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 12:51 PM
    While I have played D&D pretty much since it's inception, I would say that my preference is not totally based on that experience. I'm a software developer (and a lot of players have been friends from work), and we speak in code words called "patterns" on a pretty regular basis. So I'm used to using verbal shortcuts. I'm used to people saying "we're using the factory pattern" or "this code used...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 02:56 AM
    It depends on the group and how many fights you have between rests. For example, do you have a cleric, druid or bard? Does anyone have the healer feat? A healers kit is cheaper than potions and heal more, although it is limited to once per short rest. I wouldn't worry about it too much. I generally make a handful available at lower level and then let them purchase them as they are common...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 02:07 AM
    There's a fair amount of variation, and my quickly-typed bullet list isn't meant to be comprehensive. But seriously. There are over a thousand posts. I think both sides have explained their sides or they aren't being consistent in what they say. I simply run my game differently and find it annoying that people keep telling me that I'm too stupid and ignorant understand the brilliance of...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 01:14 AM
    What don't I understand? - Players should not declare use of skills, the DM calls for skills if necessary. -There should never be a skill check unless there is a significant penalty for failure. -The DM should never call for (or allow a player to ask for) a skill check if there is no chance of failure (i.e. no insight check if the NPC is telling the truth like the OP). -Players should always...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 1st May, 2019, 12:57 AM
    Or ... people understand, have played that way and choose not to be that picky about how people declare what they are doing. Oh, and sushi is still just raw fish despite all the hype.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:24 PM
    We are talking about a monster with CR 1/4, right? I have no problem with upping damage potential or just throwing multiple swarms (a swarm of swarms?) but I'd double check expected HP and damage potential against similar monsters. I modify monsters all the time, but I'm also careful to recalculate CR when I'm done, a single CR 1/4 monster should be an easy fight for your average level 1...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:19 PM
    Huh? I'm not better than you, you're just worse? He literally says playing his way leads to a more refined play style. You may as well replace "more refined" with "better" as far as I'm concerned. In any case I was just trying to give some feedback on how he was expressing himself. Take it or leave it.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 07:00 PM
    "More refined", much like "smoother" is just another way of saying "better than you". Anyway I was just trying to provide feedback on why some people get the "holier-than-thou" impression.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 06:48 PM
    You really don't see how what you're saying basically comes down to "obviously you haven't tried our way of doing it because if you did you'd agree that we're better than you are"?
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 04:38 PM
    Elfcrusher, can you define your "alternative method" for a low charisma character achieving a social goal. Because when we ask for examples it's "use the key to open the locked door". Well, duh. Of course you can bypass a locked door by using a key. You can smash it down if you don't mind the noise and the fact that you're breaking the door. But it's the same as bypassing a trap. Want to...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:47 AM
    So is that why practically every post of his contained something along the lines of "the rules say" and "it's 5E and if you run it according to the rules it works much better"? All I'm really saying is that I look at the rules as guidance, especially when it comes to things like adjudicating skill checks to see if the players know an NPC is telling the truth. Quoting or referring to the...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:41 AM
    I have thought about running an apocalyptic zombie game where there's an infectious version of zombies slowly taking over the world and I think it would be tough to implement, especially depending on how infectious the undead are. Do they have to get a good chomp in? How are they going to do that against someone in plate? Doe a mere scratch do it? Short campaign, have fun playing zombies vs...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:14 AM
    We don't know if his style has changed for streaming, just that they were a gaming group before they started streaming. Not saying they changed or did not, we have no way of knowing. On the other hand, all of his players are actors. They're used to being told what their character thinks and feels as part of their job so being told what their PC feels is probably not particularly different. ...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Tuesday, 30th April, 2019, 12:08 AM
    For all the calls to authority to justify different people's opinions on how to run the game, they seem to forget this little bit from the first page of instructions in the DMG. The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren't in charge. You're the DM, and you are in charge of the game.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 09:35 PM
    I use zombie mobs as mid-to-high level monsters. Exact implementation varies a bit but they act quite similar to a swarm of rotting corpses. I don't have my notes handy from last time but they could surround people, knock them prone and "swarm" which basically meant that no one could tell where they were for purposes of targeting. If you were prone they could immobilize you and get...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 03:14 PM
    While I don't disagree, I think there's a difference between describing emotional reactions and remembering something. So "you know from your time aboard a ship that having full sails in this kind of weather is extremely dangerous" vs "there's a cold pit of fear in your stomach as you hear the void of your nemesis Tim". Assuming of course that Tim doesn't have a fear aura. One is telling...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Monday, 29th April, 2019, 02:33 PM
    I generally avoid telling people what they feel or think unless it's supernatural. Even then I try to do it with environmental and physical effects. Instead of a "sense of dread and paranoia" I might instead try You feel like someone is watching you but no one is there. There's an odd chill in the room and you feel an involuntary shiver despite the heat. You get the sense that someone is...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Sunday, 28th April, 2019, 12:51 AM
    There have been long, long discussions about how players shouldn't be surprised by traps. That they should be broadcast. That if someone can describe what their doing there's no need to roll a D20. That if people don't know what the possible outcome of a failure is how can they possibly make a decision. How did I get that impression? Well it could be from postings like... and or ...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 09:08 PM
    Different people play different ways. Did I ever say your style of play was "ridiculous"? I don't know how to say this that it doesn't sound like an apology that's not really an apology, but all I've done for quite some time now is state how I run my game. So ... sorry if my minor fits of sarcasm bother you but I don't see much of a difference between telegraphing where traps are to the point...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 08:36 PM
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding things like as one recent example. I guess maybe I've just been lumping it into the same "trap here" signs that some people seem to place in their dungeons. I'm not saying you do anything like that, I'm just stating what I do. As with a lot of things on this thread I sometimes feel like I play and run a different game than other people. But then again,...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 08:21 PM
    Fair enough. It seems like some of the other posters on this subject would tell the player all possible consequences whether their PCs were aware of them or not. It's just something I've never actually seen in a D&D game although it's certainly par for the course in other games.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 05:11 PM
    As a DM I build and control the world which responds to the actions (or lack therein) of they PCs. The players help fill in bits and pieces, but it's almost always offline and background information. While they may occasionally ask if there's a chandelier to swing from and **poof** it was always there if it makes sense, they don't get to decide if the pit is bottomless or just an illusion. Or...
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    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 04:04 PM
    Yeah maybe I should have put big red button. ;) In a lot of my campaigns there are frequently numerous big red buttons, and not just related to skill challenges. Whom do you trust? What do you believe when there's conflicting evidence? Who's really behind the metaphorical curtain pulling the levers? But it really depends on the campaign and the players. Basically it's just one...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 01:39 PM
    A player can always ask "can I tell what happens if..." and I will make sure the the scene is clear and possibly give an appropriate skill check which reflects their experience as an adventurer. However, they don't get "spidey sense" unless there's a rules justification for it. I don't do this to play "gotcha", but sometimes the unexpected happens. Sometimes there's just no way to know...
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    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 01:09 PM
    Sometimes the apparent consequence of failure will be apparent, sometimes it won't. Sometimes there's no way of knowing, sometimes it's complex with varying degrees of complete and utter failure up to a stunning success. I'm going to communicate everything pertinent to the scene that I think the PCs would know, What the consequences of failure or success are is up to the players to figure...
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    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 12:44 PM
    Why would they know? Much like telegraphing traps, I give my players the same information I think the PCs would know. In addition, it takes away the element of surprise. I remember an old TV show "Kung Fu" with David Carradine back in the 70s about this guy who was a raised as a monk and went around beating up bad guys in the American old west because he was a man of peace. In any case,...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Saturday, 27th April, 2019, 12:06 AM
    "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" is a line from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It is spoken by Queen Gertrude in response to the insincere overacting of a character in the play within a play created by Prince Hamlet to prove his uncle's guilt in the murder of his father, the King of Denmark.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 10:43 PM
    Ooh! Can I play? Task: Introduce lowkey13 to Sir McStabsalot and convince them of the awesomness of Sir McStabsalot, gnomish paladin, order of the owl Strength(intimidation): Pick up lowkey by his neck and squeeze until he sees the error of his ways and gurgles out the truth. Failure: He passes out and you toss him aside because anyone who cannot understand the glory that is dual rapier...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 10:02 PM
    Like others have said, spells spread out from the point of origin. The few exceptions to this such as cloud kill specify that they go around corners.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 09:08 PM
    Just for reference in case people haven't ever heard of a trapper
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 08:36 PM
    Isn't that the whole point of a third of the monsters in the old monster manuals? Mimics, cloakers, monster floors that eat you? Ahh, the good old days. :devil:
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 06:04 PM
    Hmm ... Sir McStabsalot vs the Lowlife 13 ... practically writes itself! Except of course that it would be over far, far too quickly. Nothing could stand against the glorious awesomeness of his dual rapier wielding righteous glory. One brilliant flashing of his perfect smile would reduce all evil-doers to quivering blobs begging for forgiveness. :angel:
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 05:48 PM
    If he's standing in front of a hall and the players are discussing that it might be trapped, yes. Although given his track record of failing to achieve his goals I wouldn't put his investigation check would be quite that high. Or maybe it's just his wisdom that was low ... unable to judge the weight of an idol, pretty much delivering the treasure into the hands of his nemesis, finds the...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 05:27 PM
    Well, I do base my campaigns on action movie realism, not reality. But yeah, end of the day I want to be able to envision my PC as the protagonist in a good book or movie. On the other hand a simulation that realistically portrayed dying from and infected "flesh wound" a week after your combat wouldn't be fun. Or to put it another way, having a consistent logical world that at a high level...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 05:20 PM
    Whereas I would say that it's only reasonable for the chandelier to not be able to bear the weight of someone is if it's obviously not designed to hold weight or there's a structural deficiency. If it's the former I haven't described it with enough detail and I'll warn the player. If it's the latter, I've been broadcasting the general state of the building. Whether this particular fixture...
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 05:04 PM
    I never said it was a particularly good set of rules for simulation of a fantasy world. Obviously things have to be simplified to work as a game, and D&D has always been more "action movie" reality than the real thing. It's just the most enjoyable set of rules I've used for my goal of simulating a fantasy world.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 03:06 PM
    If I understand you,the fundamental difference is that I build my encounters based on how I see the world working. If the chandelier looks fragile or if the building is old with rotting beams it makes sense that the chandelier may not support someone's weight. The state of the building depends on the scene. Abandoned? Well maintained? Opulent but the residents are maintaining a facade they...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 02:45 PM
    But the real question is: did the player of Indiana say "I make an investigation check to figure out how this trap works." :hmm:
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 02:36 PM
    Yeah, I know. What are my evil bad guys thinking? Hidden traps designed to harm people? SACRILEGE!
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 02:35 PM
    About all I use is the variant rest rules because it suits the pace of my games better since I rarely do dungeon crawls. I have a couple of simple house rules (bows that allow strength, ability mod items add to the score don't replace it), but that's a different topic.
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 01:57 PM
    What I'm saying is that if I think it's reasonable that the PC could tell that the chandelier could fall, I will tell the player. If there's a question of whether I think the PC might notice I'll ask for a perception or investigation check. If there's no reason for the PC to think the chandelier will fall, I don't tell the player anything. I try to make my decisions based on how I envision...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Friday, 26th April, 2019, 12:57 PM
    I would just say that for the whole "know what happens next" vs "not knowing" ... huh? I've never had a DM tell me exactly what was going to happen on every single failure. I mean sometimes it's obvious, if you fail your dexterity check to walk the tightrope you fall. But other times? Is my PC a psychic fortune teller? In other words, I don't see how it plays in to the immersion and...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 08:19 PM
    May be a tangent, but if I always win a game is boring. I almost always play video games on the hardest setting, I want a realistic chance that my plan could fail. I would want the game to still go forward of course but if there's no risk (as represented by the roll of the die) then the reward is minimized. I don't play D&D to get a "good breathing" award. I'm perfectly okay with having to...
    569 replies | 19226 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 08:01 PM
    Without getting into the weeds, I think we do agree on general approach for this. How that goal is accomplished is going to vary, and how we express what we do and why may vary. I try to put a lot of variety into my encounters (and fights). Some game days will go by where the dice are being rolled constantly, others they may be used a few times. So I agree. I strive for a mix of...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 07:15 PM
    Or it rewards/punishes players for the decisions they've made while building their character which to some people is important. If I've built my character and made decisions that maximized my diplomacy because my PC has a silver tongue and the DM never calls for a single diplomacy check but rather relies solely on what the player says, I wasted my time. I should have just focused on combat...
    569 replies | 19226 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 06:31 PM
    So you're saying there should be a school cafeteria and a bunch of half-starved teenagers to get rid of the corpses? Eww. :-S Although now that I think of it, processing the bodies into soylent green and feeding the poor so the group could be seen as a benevolent charity does have a certain twisted appeal. Maybe a group of hags as the "chefs"?
    47 replies | 1645 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 04:46 PM
    We're kind of agreeing? Sort of? For me challenging the PC applies to the part of overcoming an obstacle or achieving a goal using the numbers on the character sheet along with a die roll*. Sometimes this is good for the player because they have high numbers, sometimes it's not. So again, encounters are often a mix. Can you come up with a way of achieving your goal that uses the best...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 03:40 PM
    I started this whole conversation with another posting over on the thread that shall not be named, so I thought I'd weigh in. Yes, when I said "challenge the PC" I meant any action with uncertainty that is resolved using PC proficiencies and abilities. This is different from challenging the players who are running the PC. There is often a mix of PC challenge and player challenge. Let's...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 01:13 PM
    Let me rephrase. Sometimes only the PC's abilities can overcome an obstacle. If a lock needs to be picked, it's a tool check. There may be other ways of overcoming the obstacle such as using a key or a crowbar of course. The thieve's tools check is a PC challenge resolved by rolling dice and is based on the PC's proficiency. As another example, in my game simple traps can't be overcome by...
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Thursday, 25th April, 2019, 02:59 AM
    Regarding the wall that's just a wall ... Who said there was no consequence t failure? Just because it's a minor background issue, doesn't mean it's not important. Don't get me wrong, a lot of times the wall is just climbed. But if there's time pressure or falling from the wall could cause injury or other setback then I think a check should be called for. Maybe the quickest way would...
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  • Oofta's Avatar
    Wednesday, 24th April, 2019, 09:01 PM
    I think the word "fudge" (sweet, sweet fudge) is throwing people off. I can see why some people would not like people rolling and telling them a number before the DM has made a call because they don't want to be influenced by the result that the player gets. Which makes sense. As much as I try to be objective I do a lot of on-the-fly scenes and don't always have detailed notes on most...
    1672 replies | 58988 view(s)
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Thursday, 9th May, 2019

  • 06:10 AM - Hussar mentioned Oofta in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    *ducks back in, waving a white flag* Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest. I just want to point something out iserith. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, Oofta and now Tony Vargas, all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the point you are trying to make isn't as clear as you think it is. I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars. You dismissed oofta so hard that he's still on your ignore list. You dismissed my points as well. I'm not saying you're wrong here. I'm not trying to pick a fight and my horse in this race is long dead. I'm just saying that perhaps, just maybe, your point could be misconstrued. I mean, heck, once you actually pointed out an actual example, I realized that there is not much difference between your table and mine, I just don't insist on such strict adherence to formula - I skip steps. Otherwise, the end results between your table and mine are probably pretty close. However, it took an actual example to see that. I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 08:49 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If you don't allow an insight check because you know the result ... you're giving away information the characters don't have. The players now know the NPC is telling the truth. Yet somehow asking for a perception check that may result in the player not getting any new information is something I should be ashamed of? :confused: Next stop... 2000 posts! Nice going, Oofta! :P I like to think I take the middle road as described in the DMG but your game seems to be much, much more in the "ignore the dice" realm. If it works for you, great. I accept that different people play for different reasons. Personally I enjoy getting into the mindset of my PC, even when that's different than my own. It's a wide road. Apparently. We can all ride there in the middle. In our respective lanes.
  • 07:54 AM - pemerton mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... hellplant looks like it is being more demanding than was intended by the GM, then in the approach I'm describing here the GM might manipulate things "behind the scenes" to compensate - whether reducing the threat posed by some later planned encounter, or fudging one of the checks made to deal with the plant, or whatever other device this sort of GM has up his/her sleeve. I personally don't play in the style I've just described - in a different current thread in General, I've been discussing (with Chaosmancer and others) what I think are ways of getting the REH-like dramatic pacing and consequnces but with less reliance on GM-side determinations. But I think that the sort of approach I've described in this thread is a widely-adopted one. I'm hesitant to project my own account of the approach too readily onto individual posters each of whom has his/her own unique way of playing RPGs, but with appropriate caution and no intention to cause offence, I would conjecture that Chaosmancer, Oofta and Yardiff can all recognise some aspects of how they approach GMing in what I've set out in this post.

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 03:53 AM - pemerton mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ... rolls in secret and players are rewarded for having high (normal) Perception. 4) Traps are random consumers of resources by causing damage in unavoidable ways. Now, a lot of those options are pretty common in D&D, historically. Over the years I've played using all those mechanisms. But, since the "board game" insult has been used by others, those all feel a lot more board-gamey to me. You roll your dice, move your piece, and maybe you land on somebody else's Hotel. Or the lich's death-trap, as the case may be. So really this comes back to the "player skill" or "challenging the player" thing: I'd just rather play (and DM) where the human players have to pay attention for hints and then use those hints to make meaningful decisions. And by "meaningful decisions" I mean informed decisions with risk:reward tradeoff that will impact the game state either way.I think there's another possibility. To me, it seems to lie behind some of the posts in this thread (eg Chaosmancer, maybe Oofta) although of course I could be drawing mistaken inferences from what they've said. 5) The presence from time-to-time of "random"/"untelegraphed" traps - some of which are triggered, some of which are narrated in advance by the GM to those players playing PCs with certain Passive Perception skills - reinforces the players' sense of setting and/or story. Used in this way, traps aren't about rewarding players for skilled play or skilled build, nor about consuming resources. Their function is about establishing a certain fiction/feeling, not about "beating the dungeon".

Sunday, 5th May, 2019

  • 11:03 PM - Harzel mentioned Oofta in post Want to shake things up: Doorways, Scouting, Caution
    Actually it does, since Fireball does half damage on a successful Dex save. Half cover gives +2 to AC and Dex saves, 3/4 cover gives +5 to AC and Dex saves. Granted, cover won’t save a creature from taking damage from Fireball, but it will give them a better chance of reducing the damage by half, which is better than nothing. Which is important for determining the affected area, but it doesn’t say it ignores cover. Cover is something you have relative to the caster, not to the spell’s area of effect. Wouldn't cover be counted from the initial point of the spell effect? While I do think you could have cover from a fireball (such as having a waist high wall between you and the initial point of the spell), having cover relative to the caster doesn't really matter does it? As @Oofta points out, it is RAW that cover is determined from the spell's point of origin. Although I, too, had the initial impulse to grant the DEX saving throw bonus to cover even to Fireball, it seems like that cannot have been the authors' intent, since it leaves you with the following quandary. Because Fireball goes around corners*, a creature can have full cover from Fireball, but still be in its area-of-effect. So if you give the +2/+5 bonus for half/three-quarters cover, what do you do with that creature that has full cover? You can certainly come up with solutions. For instance, you could grant auto-success on the save. But at that point, you are clearly ruling/house-ruling. EDIT: Also, granting the DEX save bonuses for Fireball​ means that the "goes around corners" property makes no difference in the partial cover situations, which seems odd. * While thinking about this a while back, I noted that the use of the word "corners" is itself problematic. I'm pretty sure the in...

Wednesday, 1st May, 2019

  • 01:25 PM - robus mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...g for how I played. I even went so far as to invite folks to call my way house ruling if it helped. IOW, while I might have gotten sucked down into some argument, I certainly started off by saying, "That's cool but I prefer to handle it this way". I dunno, your very first post in thread definitely took an aggressive stance: #37 All this equivocating or "letting there be leeway for error" is just a player screw job AFAIC. Yeah, I'm not big on playing silly buggers to try to increase difficulty. So definitely stepping into the realm of going after others method right off the bat. Your second post in thread #42 gets a bit more passive aggressive: I always find it surprising how many DM's insist on only the DM calling for skill rolls. Maybe I'm just too gamist in my approach. @Bawylie engaged with that though in post #46 but rather than dogpiling, gave a brief history of the game discussing the different approaches to action resolution encouraged by the different editions. @Oofta joins in with post #49 and increases the temperature with this little nugget: While I encourage people to state things in-character, I don't see a need to treat every action like Jeopardy where things have to be said using the correct structure. No need for a wording gestapo if the intent is clear. (my bold) And we’re off to the races... Edit: and I see Charlaquin beat me to it.
  • 03:22 AM - Hussar mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Y'know, I have to apologize for the "talkie talkie" thing. I thought it was funny and cute, totally not meant as a shot or anything like that. I see that it has very much taken on a life of its own, and that's totally my bad. Sorry about that. When I say, talky talky or talky bits, I'm simply meaning those parts of the game that revolve around the social pillar. As opposed to the hacky bits or looky bits. :p Yeah, humour is always tough. But, honestly Elfcrusher, I've never seen this as you folks needing to defend anything. iserith is 100% right in saying that this is what the 5e books expect. It is right there in black and white. I can't really argue with that. My point has always been that anyone, like me or Oofta, saying that we have a way that works better for us is immediately dogpiled on as coming from dysfunctional tables or not understanding other approaches or whatever.

Tuesday, 30th April, 2019

  • 10:21 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...t’s not at all what he said. Not even close. Really? "There is an implicit value judgment here that a clear delineation between player and DM roles is something “for inexperienced players.” (There is a clear judgement that marking the line between player and DM is something for new players) You are mistaking your preference for more give-and-take of narrative control between the players and the DM for a more refined taste that players and DMs will naturally grow into with experience. (You are mixing up your preference for a "give and take" style for a more refined style that players will grow into with experience)" How is "your preference" vs "a more refined style" not saying that their preference is less refined? Add in that this more refined style naturally comes from experience and there is an implication that lacking that more refined style is either choosing to play as if you were inexperienced, or comes about from being inexperienced. Seems pretty dang close to what Oofta was saying about Charlaquin coming across as feeling superior in their style. “More refined” is what I was saying Hussar was mistaking his playstyle preference for, as opppsed to simply a preference. By saying that the playstyle the 5e rules promote is for inexperienced players, it was him suggesting that his playstyle was more refined. It’s the equivalent of saying “[thing I don’t like] is for babies.” I was merely pointing out the bias in Hussar’s wording. I don’t think either of our tastes are more refined, or “for more experienced players,” I think they are simply different preferences. Ah, I see that now. Be easier to spot with some clearer subject-verb usage, it gets a little muddled and I think it could be read either way. There isn't much daylight between Charlaquin's position and mine, plus I have the other poster blocked, so my mistake there. But that poster has been continually railing about my position as well or what he or she can read of it in quotes ...

Saturday, 27th April, 2019

  • 05:17 AM - pemerton mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    One could assume that their judgement call would be based off of the information they have been provided by the DM, including descriptions of the environment so far, the general tone of the campaign, and their basic understanding of the worldThe description of the environment was simply that the building is decrepit. How is "judging" whether or not the GM will decide that the chandelier in a decrepit house might fall if leapt on any different from guessing that same thing? And if the answer is that the possiblity is implict in the situation and the player's knowledge of the GM's taste and table practices, then it no longer serves an example of the consequences not being known to the player! Which is what it was presented as (by Oofta). I believe the reference to coddling was in the idea of telling the player the consequences for all challenges or actions taken by their character. So it's "coddling" to tell it to the players, but it's not "coddling" to wink it to them (by way of descriptions of the environment so far, the general tone of the campaign, and their basic understanding of the world)? That's not a contrast I find easy to follow. Particularly in the context of interpreting a poster who was making a big deal of not telegraphing traps. Let's look at it another way: The player knows chandeliers, in general, may fall under human weight. The player also knows (because the GM said so) that this building is run down. That increases the prospect that the chandelier might fall when leapt on. The player, knowing all this, declares that his/her PC wants to leap onto the chandelier and swing across the room to pursue the assassin. The GM calls for a check, which gives rise to a chance of failure. How i...

Thursday, 25th April, 2019

  • 04:17 PM - lowkey13 mentioned Oofta in post What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?
    One thing that makes discussions like this challenging is that participants often take slight differences in positions and exaggerate the other side to an extreme. (I think that's what you're calling out here.) I sincerely apologize if I stepped in something between you and Oofta ! I honestly don't see the crux of the disagreement. AFAICT, if anything, the prevalence of (what I think you guys are referring to as?) Player Challenges was even higher back in ye olden days, when "player skill" was something to be tested (see also, Tomb of Horrors, White Plume Mountain, more puzzles in adventures, etc.). But, again, I think I'll bow out as I can't quite fathom the distinction in these positions. :)
  • 03:26 AM - Hussar mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Well, Oofta, the fact that no consequence was ever posited points to the notion that there was no consequence. And, at that point I think we all agree, regardless of approach, you just tell the players they climb over the wall and move on. Same goes for pretty much any sort of obstacle where time will overcome it. I have to admit, I have no idea why 5e removed the "Take 20" rules. I suppose, at the end of the day, they don't really need them - you're not supposed to roll anyway, so, just get on with it. I always did think, though, that Take 20 was a nice mechanic in the game. Too much power to the players maybe? I would like to say, that as I read this last page of the thread, I find myself nodding with pretty much everyone. Well done you folks.

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019

  • 07:00 PM - Elfcrusher mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Please don't call this out as bad form. I've made many of my fake internet points by witty* paraphrasing delivered in quotes. I'd hate to see that practise demonized. * by witty, of course, I mean "vaguely humorous to somebody somewhere. Maybe. Hopefully. Please click laugh" Fair enough. I may unfairly be lumping Oofta in with some others, and thus mistaking humor for denigration. If so, my apologies, Oofta.
  • 03:25 PM - 5ekyu mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...nner. DM: Sets the DC for Athletics check based on the player's statement. The DC could be anywhere from automatically successful (i.e., using a ladder) to impossible (bare-handed while trying to carry everyone else in the party on his back up a wall made of ice). Player: Rolls if necessary. DM: Narrates the success or failure of the action. Now maybe that is what you meant, but then you misunderstood/misrepresented the person you were responding to. The point they and others were making is that you cannot make a roll much less determine the chance of success unless you have a clear understanding of the player's goal. This interaction loop applies to combat, social, and environmental interactions. The only real difference is that for combat, many of the variables are already predetermined (AC, to hit bonus, damage to be applied, etc.). The other two pillars have many more undefined variables that cannot be set until a clear statement of action is made.I admire Hussar and Oofta for their persistence in agsin climbing down the morphing shifting rabbit hole offer up, but hey, evetybody's got to have a hobby. I find the ladder funny and just tha latest swerve retread so I will toss in a line or two which I am sure clearly shows I misunderstand the wonders of the approach. I (and Hussar I suspect and many others) consider cases in which **as GMs** we provide a wall the PCs might need or want to get over **and** a ladder they can just pick up (or crates they can stack) and use as **not an obstacle** or **not a challenge**. Its the equivalent to "I get out of bed" or "I eat lunch" and so on and so on. They dontvrise near the level of challenge, obstacle or as I tend to specify "challenge that matters." The only way these have significance worth their "resolution" is if something else makes it a challenge - like bad guys en route do you havevtimevyo stack or are you better off preparing to fight using crates stacked up as cover - not ladder. In all my years of g...

Thursday, 18th April, 2019

  • 05:17 PM - DM Dave1 mentioned Oofta in post 5e Capping AC and to hit
    Might be obvious to most, but worth mentioning that a nat 20 will always hit regardless of AC or to hit. High level monsters with multi-attack and perhaps advantage are going to crit at some point. If not, try some different dice. :) Piggybacking on Oofta's point: High AC characters can be challenged by spells or other monster attack abilities that require saves. No character is going to have proficiency in every save, so choose certain monsters for some encounters accordingly. Also, I agree with this sentiment: Even if I were to see numbers like you do, at extreme high levels, I'm okay with that. Let epic pcs be epic, that's what I say.

Monday, 15th April, 2019

  • 06:40 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...ur game, if there is no cost to failure then the action can just be narrated as an automatic success or an automatic failure. We don't bother with rolling if there is no meaningful consequence to failing. Silly example: With no cost of failure: Player: My character howls at the moon to see if the Goddess of the Harvest will respond. DM: Ok. Cool howl. The Goddess does not respond. Now what would you like to do? With a cost of failure: Player: My character howls at the moon to see if the Goddess of the Harvest will respond. DM: Ok. Make a Charisma (Performance) check. DC 15. If you fail, the wolves that you've been hearing in the distance will take offense. Player: On second thought... At our table, knowing that any action might have a meaningful cost of failure does not discourage creativity - in fact, it is quite the opposite in practice. Creativity is often rewarded with lower DCs, Advantage, or automatic success, depending on the situation.This. Oofta you've said multiple times that you see asking for a check as only being stylistically different from the goal and approach method, yet we've shown there are clear differences in both methid and design. Are you now willing to acknowledge that there are clear differences in the styles, or will you continue to maintain you see liitle difference?

Sunday, 14th April, 2019

  • 09:31 PM - Chaosmancer mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...he roll, and things went from there. A better phrasing might have been, I wouldn't have let the players actions fail. OR I wouldn't have called for a roll. Or any number of things. But, after defending myself so many times against something I never disagreed with because people think I disagreed with it, I'm getting sloppier in my responses. Mostly cause I'm getting tired of defending myself against something I never once said. No, all skill checks need to be rolled because rolling a d20 and adding an ability modifier (and potentially a proficiency bonus) and trying to beat a target number is the definition of a skill check. If you’re not rolling, then a skill check is not what you’re doing. If we want to get pedantic, a Rogue with Reliable Talent still rolls the die, they just change the result to (10 + Ability + Prof) If the die comes up less than 10. Okay, first I'm really curious why every time after the first that you quote me, it shows up as you quoting Oofta. It doesn't matter, but it is starting to get weird. But, on to pedantry. That's the point. In the strictest since, a roll is being made, but the result is changing so that it doesn't matter what is rolled. So, if we decide not to roll the dice because the result is a known factor... is that an ability check? What if you want to flag down the waitress? It could be seen as a DC 5 charisma check. But, considering how minor in importance that moment is, and the high likelihood of success, we choose not to roll the dice. There is little to no uncertainty and no stakes. But does that mean there is not an ability check that could be rolled? So, if the Rogue's Reliable Talent is an ability check, which is must be since that ability only works on an ability check, even if we do not roll the dice... then why must flagging down the waitress not be an ability check? Why is there a division between these two events, where they are both situations where no roll is made for speed ...

Saturday, 13th April, 2019

  • 08:00 PM - Satyrn mentioned Oofta in post Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?
    None of that contradicts my point: players do not necessarily benefit from being overly granular in declaring actions at my table. "I search the study" is as good as and possibly superior to a series of more specific declarations. Similarly, on topic, "I try to determine if he's lying" is good enough. You and Oofta are far better at gleaning your e players' intentions than I am. I see ""I try to determine if he's lying" and I know you, the Enworld poster, are suggesting the method described in PH in the Insight description because this thread is all about that. But at the table, if Insight hasn't even been mentioned during the session, I wouldn't know that you're trying to read his body language or do something else. I might guess you're trying to determine he lying by questioning his aide sitting beside him, or checking the reference library if recorded facts could show the NPC was lying. I'm not likely gonna know what you mean if you don't tell me what you mean.

Monday, 8th April, 2019

  • 03:25 PM - pemerton mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    ...d that The Falcon's Claw was not found (in a subsequent session it turned out to be in the possession of a nemesis NPC who had been hanging around the tower), but that the search did reveal something else - in the ruin's of the older brother's workroom, which the mage PC had never been allowed to enter while a pupil of his brother, was a stand of cursed black arrows like the one that the elf wore around his neck! This was a shocking revelation for both PCs: for the mage, it suggested that his brother was not evil because possessed by a balrog, but rather had been possessed by the balrog because he was already evil; and for the elf, it suggested that rather than aid his companion to redeem his brother, he needed to take revenge on the brother who had made the arrow that had killed his master. If I've understood you correctly, then I would expect that you would see my (1) and (2) as similar to what you're talking about (one a success, the other a failure). I think perhaps some of Ooftas perspectives follows a similar vein of "shroedinger's dungeon" - all the minutiae of a scene is not pre-designated, just enough to illustrate the key parts and the degree of understanding the PCs can get. <snip> But I could be wrong.I don't get that vibe from Oofta's posts myself - I get the feeling that Oofta uses a "pre-stocked"/pre-described dungeon. But I could be wrong too!
  • 02:52 AM - pemerton mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Yes, I know. I play Dungeon World. Honestly I find this conversation a bit surreal. I'm not even sure how to respond. One of us totally doesn't understand what the other is talking about. Or possibly both of us.Well, I think there are (at least) two alternatives to Oofta's approach. iserith is describing one. I think Ovinomancer may be describing something a bit different, but he can clarify that if he wants to. I'm not sure what your overall position is. Both alternatives equate action declaration with describing something that happens in the fiction. This is a contrast with Oofta, Hussar, etc. In iserith's approach to 5e, following such an action declaration the GM then adjudicates this to determine whether or not a check is required, and if so how hard it is. As he puts it, the ultimate player goal is to avoid the risks of the dice. I see this as a type of puzzle-solving play, though (obviously) not like solving riddles or chess puzzles. By way of contrast, in DW, DitV, Burning Wheel, Prince Valiant, HeroWars/Quest, Maelstrom Storytelling, The Dying Earth, etc (just to name some of the games I'm familiar with that adopt this alternative approach), there is no avoiding the risks of the dice, assuming that something is actually at stake. (If not...

Sunday, 7th April, 2019

  • 09:11 PM - Ovinomancer mentioned Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Gahhhh!!!! No, it’s not “bypassing a skill check”. That suggests that the skill check is “there” waiting for the character to encounter it. Like a speed bump on the only road for mikes around. As if the players are SUPPOSED to roll dice here. There’s a locked door in the way, not a skill check. It may be that the method proposed by the players results in a dice roll, but if they charge the door with an elephant they didn’t “bypass the skill check”. Now, if you take an adventure written with a 3e/4e mindset, that does put skill check speed bumps along the way, it may feel like players are bypassing them, but part of what we have been trying to describe is an approach to writing adventures that does not just sprinkle random skill checks about like pixie dust Ding. I think this is entirely what Oofta misses. He sees a trapped door as something that needs a check to get past. I see it as something my players will interact with. How they interact with it may be uncertain, which will require a check. Sometimes, how they interact with it will not be uncertain, and I won't call for a check. The key is that there isn't a DC left there dangling because it never existed in the first place. DCs don't exist until I get an approach and goal statement (or an action declaration, if you will), and I decide the outcome is uncertain, and then I pick a DC based on the approach and goal. Only then is a check asked for. It doesn't exist until this process occurs, so talking about "autosuccess" is a function of action declarations, not skill checks. If a check exists, there's no autosuccess, because we've already moved past that point.


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Friday, 17th May, 2019

  • 03:56 PM - lowkey13 quoted Oofta in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    Grease the musical cast. Dungeon lovin' had me a blast Dungeon lovin' happened so fast I met a magel crazy for me Met a zombie cute as can be Adventuring days driftin' away To ah, oh, those adventuring nights Tell me more, tell me more! (Did you get very far?) Tell me more, tell me more! (Does you fighter have a scar?)

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019

  • 04:48 PM - lowkey13 quoted Oofta in post On Presentation, Performance, and Style- Players and DMs
    Paladins. Lots and lots of paladins. Preferably gnomes dual-wielding rapiers. If the game ever drags, all I have to do is "could I have more gnomes? More paladins?" The answer of course is always YES! (•_•) ( •_•)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) YEAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I have a penchant for silly names in my games, both as a player and DM, because I find them funny and, because others find them funny, they are more memorable. Presenting NPC names this way is good for retention. I struggle to remember NPCs with the usual fantasy RPG names, but you don't forget even minor NPCs like the Marguul bugbear gladiator, Dikpik the Unsolicited, who showed up without notice to harass the PCs or one of the players remarking "You're smaller than I expected." I .... hmmm..... you know, I have to admit, I didn't expect you would be a fan of the punny names. Then again, the pun is the highest form of humor. I learned that in 6th grade. Or from a Cheech and Chong movie. But I r...

Sunday, 12th May, 2019

  • 08:50 PM - Satyrn quoted Oofta in post How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?
    Which is not to say magic doesn't affect crafted goods, it does. It's just more subtle. A master craftsman uses magic without explicitly knowing it, and their swords don't rust quickly if at all. The baker's cookies really are magically delicious. Sweet! Also: This. Just yesterday, I mentioned here that the guns in my game are a dwarven blend of clockwork and magic. They were crafted by smiths who weren't wizards.

Wednesday, 8th May, 2019

  • 09:10 PM - Charlaquin quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Umm ... forums are sometimes a horrible way to communicate ideas and concepts? I have no issue with people having different styles of play. I can only do my best to explain the way I run games I do and why. I take what I consider a "middle of the road approach". I'll just reiterate one of my first postings on this topic. I don't get why this is such a big deal. The biggest difference is that I don't use the "ignore the dice" approach when it comes to some obstacles such as handling simple traps. I allow people to declare their action and intent as a skill check. They're even allowed to roll and give me the number. If it's not clear what they're trying to accomplish I'll ask. That's all. It's what works for me. If I misunderstood what you were trying to say I apologize. Just so you know, the bolded section is why you keep getting people insisting that you don’t understand their style. You keep saying that you don’t understand it, and we, in an attempt at good faith discussion, tak...
  • 08:57 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    But also a joke with a point: how could it not be obvious why "Can I have a Perception check? 4? Ok, nevermind...." is a DMing technique that could be improved upon? It could certainly be used in different ways. If your players are used to thinking that a call for a perception check that yields no information means they missed something, it'll build tensions, for instance... until you've over-used it for that purpose. Though, if you /don't/ want that tool, you could always stick to Passive Perception. Keep each PC's PP noted behind the screen. Roll monsters' stealth or the like against it. (Or, if you also don't want rolling-behind-the-screen to build tension/telegraph anything, even roll said checks in advance when placing said monsters.) Anyway, if the idea is that changes in the game state should all be consequent on players' action declarations, then these GM rolls appproaches seem just as undesirable as calling for a roll from the player. Exploring or traveling through an ...
  • 08:49 PM - DM Dave1 quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If you don't allow an insight check because you know the result ... you're giving away information the characters don't have. The players now know the NPC is telling the truth. Yet somehow asking for a perception check that may result in the player not getting any new information is something I should be ashamed of? :confused: Next stop... 2000 posts! Nice going, Oofta! :P I like to think I take the middle road as described in the DMG but your game seems to be much, much more in the "ignore the dice" realm. If it works for you, great. I accept that different people play for different reasons. Personally I enjoy getting into the mindset of my PC, even when that's different than my own. It's a wide road. Apparently. We can all ride there in the middle. In our respective lanes.
  • 08:17 PM - Satyrn quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Edit: sorry for the accidental quote alert, Oofta. Dang multiquote. Because you enjoy the suffering of others? "Muahahahahahahaha. Now that you have the information, and you cannot act on it, what will you do now?" Admittedly, it works much better at the gaming table than when I am explaining my plan for world domination to the protagonist who cannot possibly (POSSIBLY!) escape his incipient doom as I leave the room. "First, we kill all the lawyers paladins . . ."
  • 07:17 PM - Charlaquin quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I trust my players to not act on meta-game knowledge like this. If they do I'll ask them politely not to. I like having a cooperative relationship where we all work together like mature people and play fair. Oh, wait ... would putting smileys on that make it seem like I wasn't implicating that you don't trust your players? :hmm: I don’t think this implies that you believe a lack of trust exists between goal-and-approach DMs and their players at all, so I’m not sure what your point is here. This is probably a misunderstanding based on a difference of values. I don’t need to trust my players not to use meta-game knowledge because I don’t think using meta-game knowledge is a bad thing. You trust your players not to use meta-game knowledge, while I allow them to use meta-game knowledge if they so desire.
  • 06:16 PM - Satyrn quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I would say that there's a lot of gray areas. The ledge example may play out much the same other than I'd be okay if the response to my "what do you do" is "I make an acrobatics check 15 to get across". Sure, Cool. I'd be fine with that, too. I don't think you understand just how has the DMing in my example was, though, so I'm baffled that you want to show ways you do the same thing. It's even more baffling that you're doing that while trying to distance yourself from the "other side' while you keep showing you have a lot in common with them. What the heck is the disconnect?
  • 02:13 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I trust my players to not act on meta-game knowledge like this. If they do I'll ask them politely not to. I like having a cooperative relationship where we all work together like mature people and play fair. See? I didn't even need smilies. It was taken as a compliment! But more seriously, our gaming values are so completely different that it should be no surprise that we find different mechanics appealing. You apparently don't mind if the DM tips his hand because you expect players to ignore that information. I think it makes the game less fun if the players have to compartmentalize like that...I want players, to the extent possible, to be in the same mental state as their characters...so I'd rather not tip my hand.
  • 04:29 AM - 5ekyu quoted Oofta in post Hidden
  • 03:22 AM - Elfcrusher quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'm a bit confused. Why is it wrong to ask the players for a perception check without them declaring an action? I mean, things happen in the world that the PCs may or may not notice, right? :confused: I was trying to figure out how it's possible to not understand why so many people have moved away from that DMing style (not that it's "wrong"...but perhaps "weak" would be an appropriate adjective.) Then it occurred to me: if you belong to the RPG school of thought that the epitome of fine roleplaying is pretending your character doesn't know what you know, then a DM asking for Perception checks and then saying "huh" and doing nothing is handing the players a golden opportunity for roleplaying. Right? The person who does the best job acting as if that didn't just happen is the best roleplayer!

Tuesday, 7th May, 2019

  • 10:38 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I don't know about "immersion" which I consider a laughable buzzword that gets thrown around like "metagaming." Hey, that is totally unfair! … to the word "metagaming." But as long as we're on the topic, has anybody here (besides me) ever been in a game where the randomness of traps and secret doors led to essentially constant checks for traps (or secret doors), literally in every square along every wall and floor in an entire dungeon? There were old-school campaigns that /weren't/ like that? You're not pulling my leg, are you? Of course, that was the olden days, when paranoia was rife (and not it's own RPG yet). Then again, I saw that sort of thing come back with 3e, and it's Search skill and take 20 rules... … "Do you even realize how long taking 20 on every 5x5 surface in the room is going to take?" This reminds me of the DMs who out of nowhere go "Uhhhh, give me a.... Perception check..." without an action declaration by the player preceding the request. It's ...
  • 08:48 PM - Satyrn quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Taking the narrow ledge as an example, how else would you deal with it? I'd set the scene something like: "The trail ahead turns treacherous. It looks like an avalanche took out about 20 feet of trail. There's a narrow ledge that goes down to a few inches in a few places for the entire section. There are no hand-holds in the otherwise smooth rocks, you're going to have to rely on your balance to get across. If you fall, it's going to be at least 50 feet down to the trail below. What do you do?" Yeah that's way better than what I did. And it's not at all what I described myself doing in the post you quoted. I mean, I did what I said: described a narrow ledge, and asked for a skill check. Do you realize what you've described is a good example of what the "other side" is talking about? Telegraphing, scene setting, challenging the player, making the players' choices matter, however we've been describing it. Edit: and the rest of your quote for context: At this point they may send someone ...
  • 08:12 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If combat is just a slog vs a bag of hit points, that's a problem. No different than out of combat challenges. I don't see a difference, and what is enjoyable for one group or individual may not be for another. Die rolls for resolving out of combat challenges is just one tool in the box. I use a variety. The bold part is absolutely true, and perhaps I should be prefacing a lot of my statements with "in my opinion". But, yes, definitely: when I say something is boring and uninteresting I mean for me. YMMV. Anyway, back to the dice rolling... What I don't like is a situation where there's an obstacle (a trap, a lock, a wall, a ledge) that is clearly meant to be solved one and only one way, and that involves a win or lose dice roll. I prefer trade-offs. Two different options, each of which may or may not require some kind of roll, with different benefits/risks. An example would be the "pick the lock and take time, or smash the door and alert the ogre" example previously. I like that....
  • 07:51 PM - Satyrn quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    One other thing that keeps seeming to come up is that using skills to overcome an obstacle is "boring". It's not that using skills to overcome an obstacle is boring. What's boring is the DM laying out the obstacle and asking for the skill check to overcome it, with the players major involvement in the scene being to roll some dice. *Sigh* I've done that before:"As you head along the cliff, you come across narrow ledge. Give me a balance check" and "those of you entering the passage, give me a Spot check . . . you notice a tripwire that connects to a crossbow." There just wasn't enough player input in those scenes to be exciting or worth bothering with at all. And yes, those are real examples from my time DMing 3e, examples I remember because they remind me that I should do better.
  • 07:37 PM - 5ekyu quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    If combat is just a slog vs a bag of hit points, that's a problem. No different than out of combat challenges. I don't see a difference, and what is enjoyable for one group or individual may not be for another. Die rolls for resolving out of combat challenges is just one tool in the box. I use a variety.Yeah this last exchangexwas confusing to me. I dont get the linkage between rolling skill checks to resolve a challenge or obstacle and combats with foregone conclusions, particularly as regards to 5e. When fights look to the participants like foregone conclusions, that easily time or past time that things should be changing... right? One side or the other tries other solutions like flight, surrender, bargaining, evasion and delay for help, etc etc etc. Similarly, I suppose maybe superficially to a check where (with fails open to progress with setback) a lot of different outcomes are possible. Nothing really "foregone" there. Beyond "anything can be boring if you choose to make it ...
  • 06:58 PM - Ristamar quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    One other thing that keeps seeming to come up is that using skills to overcome an obstacle is "boring". If meaningful choices don't often preclude the die roll, the act of simply rolling can become tedious. No different than fights with foregone conclusions that drag out far too long.

Monday, 6th May, 2019

  • 08:52 PM - Elfcrusher quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    I'm just being clear that no one has to my knowledge stated that they have to check for traps every 5 ft in any game recently played in this thread. So to the best of my knowledge you are arguing that traps should be telegraphed based on a non-existent issue. AKA a strawman argument. Yeah, I was both clear in my first post, and then re-explained in my next post, why I included that as a possible outcome (because it is). But if it makes you feel better to get a "win" by continuing to misinterpret this point so that you can dismiss it as a strawman, then you got me, too. I guess. But as long as we're on the topic, has anybody here (besides me) ever been in a game where the randomness of traps and secret doors led to essentially constant checks for traps (or secret doors), literally in every square along every wall and floor in an entire dungeon? Oofta apparently doesn't take my word for it, but maybe if somebody else raises their hand he'll publicly retract his 'strawman' assertion and apologize. Hmm? Hmm?
  • 08:39 PM - 5ekyu quoted Oofta in post If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?
    Well if you consider it telegraphing that I don't add dangerous traps to random objects in random locations, then yes I guess. If you really have to have a "win" there you go. You got me. I guess. I'm just being clear that no one has to my knowledge stated that they have to check for traps every 5 ft in any game recently played in this thread. So to the best of my knowledge you are arguing that traps should be telegraphed based on a non-existent issue. AKA a strawman argument.But to be fair, if the pre-telegraph pre G-A-P standard being used as the baseline is thst assumed play with checks every 5 ft (with apparently lotsa confused take-backs over mis-understanding on skill checks) it does certainly make the claims in various discussions about speeding up play more plausible.


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