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  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 01:30 AM
    There are a few ways to do this that I think all work fine. The DM can rule the outcome of the task as impossible or at least highly unlikely. The ranger simply can't do enough damage in one shot to take out the orc except on a crit and even that's no guarantee. But perhaps the other PCs can add to that damage and take it out. If they can't, they learn a valuable lesson about taking some kind...
    22 replies | 296 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Today, 12:18 AM
    Though there may be exceptions from time to time that I will telegraph accordingly, a PC noble will generally be welcome in high society, get special treatment by common folk, and secure an audience in my games.
    1 replies | 95 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 06:36 PM
    Agreed. Arriving at an answer requires adding assumptions to both the context of the situation and the player's action declaration which are outside the scope of the original post. I think what a lot of DMs do in play is they jump to the mechanics before considering the situation and the character's efforts in relation to that situation and, based on that, whether the mechanics are even needed to...
    56 replies | 1094 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 04:58 PM
    iserith replied to Last Stand
    My grappling bard luchador "Immovable Rod" Manleigh was battling a horde of monsters with his party when the retreat was sounded. Most of the other characters were low on resources and couldn't withstand another solid blow so they started falling back, one by one, leaving Rod to hold off the tide of violence coming their way. "Immovable Rod" Manleigh knew this was the end and his noble...
    4 replies | 172 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 03:53 PM
    Right, these are two different approaches to achieve the same goal and both can be described by the players as they say what they want to do which makes it easier for the DM to determine whether there's an ability check and which ability and skill proficiency applies. Neither of these approaches is the "one true solution" in a way that promotes the "pixel bitching" that some posters insist is...
    56 replies | 1094 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Yesterday, 12:39 AM
    As a DM, I'd expect them to make an action declaration that minimizes the amount of assumptions the DM has to make to adjudicate to a result. I don't have a particular solution in mind or magic words the player has to say in my notes. But I'm going to need more than "I look at them closely..." All that suggests to me as DM is that it's probably a Wisdom check, assuming there's a check at all,...
    56 replies | 1094 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 10:32 PM
    While it's commonly put forward as a "major problem with the 'goal and approach' way," precise knowledge of how to perform the task isn't and has never been required of players to state an approach to the goal, at least at my table. I definitely need something more than what's been offered in this example to even determine if a check is needed, leave alone what ability score and skill proficiency...
    56 replies | 1094 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 09:37 PM
    What I see here are goals (what the PC hopes to achieve) but not approaches (how the PC tries to achieve the goal). The approaches will determine the uncertainty as to the outcome, whether there's a meaningful consequence for failure and, if both of those elements are present, what ability check and skill proficiency is called for and the DC for the roll. So my vote is "DM needs more...
    56 replies | 1094 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 08:22 PM
    Unless it was a mapped out tactical challenge with grid and minis including elevation, I wouldn't go this complicated with it.
    21 replies | 598 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 24th June, 2019, 06:22 PM
    "Parkour" could be imagined as an overarching challenge that is divided into specific obstacles, the declared tasks for which may or may not call for ability checks as per the normal rules for adjudicating actions. Strength (Athletics) checks covers "difficult situations you encounter while climbing, jumping..." (Basic Rules, p. 62). Dexterity (Acrobatics) covers attempts to "stay on your feet in...
    21 replies | 598 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Friday, 21st June, 2019, 06:33 PM
    I agree. That is just bad adventure design and you'd think professional adventure writers would realize that by now. Sometimes things that happen in the movies just can't easily be replicated at the table. Be happy when it does, but plan that it won't.
    54 replies | 1535 view(s)
    0 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 05:57 PM
    Right. It works if the DM says it works. Full stop. Arguments from reality are perhaps the weakest arguments one can make about a fantasy world controlled by someone who gets to say how things operate. The more productive way to examine this situation in my view is: Why is this happening and what can I do as DM to take away the impetus to do it? Because it's almost certainly the DM's fault due...
    68 replies | 2805 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 6th June, 2019, 02:39 PM
    While I agree that torture is far too common in many games, I don't agree with your reasoning on the mechanics encouraging it or your solutions for curtailing it. Your position on the mechanics seems to be one in which the players are asking for or declaring that they are making ability checks, which the rules do not allow. The DM is always the one who asks for ability checks, when the outcome...
    68 replies | 2805 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 06:28 PM
    Agreed. I purposefully ran a game for a group of people who had never played D&D 4e, but had heard plenty of bad things. At the end, I asked what they thought and the consensus was "I don't understand what people hated about it - that was awesome!"
    245 replies | 10790 view(s)
    5 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 04:16 PM
    If the DM knows how to create and present skill challenges (as outlined in the Rules Compendium, not the DMGs), then skills are very important. Often my players are more terrified of skill challenges than they are of combats!
    245 replies | 10790 view(s)
    2 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, 02:20 PM
    It's a great game in my view. Just be prepared that combats will tend to run slower than D&D 5e, especially if the group is unfamiliar with the system. You or your group may or may not have access to the online character builder (I still have it). If you do not, that can make character creation and advancement a bit more time consuming if all the books are open for use.
    245 replies | 10790 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Thursday, 30th May, 2019, 05:07 AM
    Yeah, or the culture of the group in which you play. Keep it up and I'll bring out the exclamation points. But seriously, I don't mind shortcuts. I do mind it if the shortcut you chose to characterize my position isn't actually my position.
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 11:50 PM
    As I think I mentioned, I'd characterize some of your positions and preferences as being rooted in D&D 3.Xe and/or D&D 4e. I think you've mentioned playing those games before, so this makes perfect sense. My "style" is based on the game system. You would notice my "style" changes when I run and play D&D 4e. Just like it changes when I run and play Dungeon World. That's my point here: I don't have...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:49 AM
    Yeah, I have a player pool which includes more players than seats in a given game and, often, multiple PCs per player. There is no way, especially considering my increasing age and penchant for drink at the table, that I can remember anything about the characters' stats. So I don't see any issue with choosing a DC for a task ahead of time which is later resolved by a passive check. I've had that...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 01:11 AM
    That's fair and my apologies for attributing to you anything that you don't believe. I think that the fewer exceptions to the basic play loop the better. I would also say that "basic access" is something I see as available to anyone through the DM's description of the environment and the things within it and it's on the players to speak up if they want to recall more information that may be...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:48 AM
    Notably, in D&D 5e, "passive" in "passive check" doesn't actually refer to the character being "inactive." It just refers to there being no dice. Unfortunately, it's commonly interpreted as meaning the character isn't doing anything in particular but I don't think one can get there from a reading of the D&D 5e rules. One can get there by reading the D&D 4e rules which refers to both "actively...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Wednesday, 29th May, 2019, 12:23 AM
    While I'm sure it works with little issue at the table, I think passive check DCs for set knowledge is more appropriate to D&D 3.Xe and D&D 4e than for D&D 5e. In the latter, I prefer to simply lay out the necessary context and basic scope of options sufficient for the characters to act and let the players describe what they want to do. That might include recalling lore to introduce new...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:28 PM
    I thought that might be the issue. Perhaps this will help: The Case for Inspiration.
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 09:08 PM
    What don't you like about the mechanic? As it is written, it might actually work quite well with this disguise self tactic. It's one thing to look like someone. It's another thing to act like them and that may require learning traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws, which encourages the players to interact and explore to gain a further edge.
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 07:02 PM
    My position is that this depends on the rules of the game system and whether there's a fair and fun method of resolving this. In a game like D&D 5e, I would say there isn't, so my table rule is that if a player wants to act upon another player's character in a way that is a hindrance or is harmful, the player of the target character gets to decide the outcome.
    26 replies | 1136 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 06:16 PM
    I think progress combined with a setback is good here - give them the info, but the monster gains an advantage as you say. That could be a situational advantage or just advantage on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:40 PM
    I recommend taking a look at the social interaction rules in the DMG. It provides a useful structure for creating a challenge as opposed to just social interaction for the sake of exposition. An "intrigue heavy social interaction kind of thing" is going to lack a lot of exciting stakes, unlike combat, so that's another thing I'd look at and the challenge structure in the DMG will help.
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:32 PM
    How many traps and secret doors are in your game? Figuring out how a trap works ahead of disabling it may call for an Intelligence (Investigation) check, as might a task to figure out how a secret door can be opened. How often are players attempting to recall lore when fighting monsters in order to figure out their strengths, weaknesses, etc.? If they're not doing that, why aren't they? The...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 04:30 PM
    I would say that the assertion that an Int-8 character is "shortbus" needs some proof, given bounded accuracy. It sounds like some adjustments in perception or expectations is needed here. If that doesn't work, the game does provide a way to address this via the PCs' personal characteristics. Just add a personality trait or flaw to the effect of "I'm about as smart as a bag of hammers and it...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 05:49 AM
    Sure you do, if one character climbs the wall in a way that is meaningfully different than someone else, then the DC can vary. If the approach to climbing is largely the same, then it is reasonable to assign the same DC. It's the role of the DM as described by the game to judge these matters. It's a good thing the game isn't even a simulation of a world of sword and sorcery let...
    231 replies | 12508 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 04:12 AM
    It seemed like in your initial post you were considering a character for a specific campaign. If so, I'd be curious to know how your DM typically runs social interaction challenges and how you'd think this character's effectiveness would rate in that context.
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:53 AM
    If I had to guess, there's probably more of them than either of us would find desirable. That's especially true of DMs who consider this sort of character build and associated tasks to be problematic for their event-based adventure prep. There's a lot of incentive in such a scenario for the DM to treat the ability check like a saving throw.
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:36 AM
    Charisma (Deception) is what the rules say is the ability check used to resolve a task to pass one's self off in a disguise, if there's uncertainty as to the outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. That is the task your character is undertaking. The spell creates uncertainty and, presumably a meaningful consequence for failure, by default which prompts the Intelligence...
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
    1 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 03:13 AM
    In D&D 5e, the ability check happens when the task that is being described has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. With that in mind, we can deconstruct how this is handled. Passing yourself off as someone else (goal) by using a disguise (approach) might reasonably be resolved by a Charisma (Deception) check, if the DM decides to call for one. Your character is...
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 02:38 AM
    The spell says that other than having the same body type, the extent of the illusion is up to the caster. So, I would say that this means you can look like specific people. That said, as DM, it seems reasonable in the absence of specific mitigating circumstances that it is harder to pull off than appearing to be some non-specific person. Thus, I recommend being ready to have to hit some higher...
    23 replies | 828 view(s)
    3 XP
  • iserith's Avatar
    Tuesday, 28th May, 2019, 02:16 AM
    "I'm just not sure if there's a point in continuing this conversation... allow me to continue it." The reason would be to verify the player's assumption that the earth elementals they are about to face are vulnerable to thunder. This will in part determine their resource allocation and tactics in the upcoming battle. I would add that the smart player in my view doesn't seek to "make an...
    664 replies | 26903 view(s)
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  • iserith's Avatar
    Monday, 27th May, 2019, 06:52 PM
    That's the basic adjudication process though. First the DM decides if a roll is necessary at all. Climbing is called out specifically as being just movement except in certain circumstances. A DC can only be set once the task is established by the player in a reasonably specific way such that the DM can decide if there's an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. Climbing in...
    231 replies | 12508 view(s)
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Thursday, 14th June, 2018


Thursday, 31st May, 2018

  • 07:01 PM - Satyrn mentioned Wyvern in post Poison needle traps
    ...elying on feeling, not on sight. If a lock was specifically designed in a way that there are drums that actually trigger an internal mechanism instead, then lockpicks would totally trigger it by accident (and such locks exist by the way!). Because how would a Rogue know what drums to push? Aye. Or the proper key might have a protrusion on it, so when it's inserted in the lock it presses against a button that prevents the trap from springing. So, when someone uses a skeleton key or lockpicks to open it, they're not bypassing the trap. Now, this also goes back to what you said earlier in the thread about how the character going about disarming the trap or opening up the chest should affect the result. If the trap works like I just said, it should be readily disabled by jamming the bypass-button down, perhaps with a drop of Sovereign Glue. This would not result in removing the needle like the trap's original description says, though. And all this leads me to offer up this advice to @Wyvern: When I'm putting in a trap of any sort, I decide on how it works, using the rules only as inspiration or a baseline, changing the details as needed to fit how I picture it working. Then I adjudicate the results of the player's actions. And they don't get to just say "I attempt to disarm the trap;" they have to tell me something like "I'll press the button and apply a drop of Sovereign Glue to hold it in place," or "I'll yank the needle out with my tiny pliers." But before that happens, I have a successful Investigation check - if the players actually bother trying to figure out how the trap works - tell them all the info I have invented about the trap so they can make an informed attempt at disarming it. A trap, to me, should be handled rather like a puzzle. I make them rather easy to notice, to the point where I'm often telling the players it's there without any sort of Perception check, because I'd rather focus the game on how they get around it, aiming for scenes like the opening...

Tuesday, 8th May, 2018

  • 09:28 AM - Nevvur mentioned Wyvern in post Potent Cantrip: To "fix" or not to fix?
    ... game balance, as long as the damage type is in the same category of usefulness (this may sound a bit vague, but the game designers have given hints based on how many monsters have immunity/resistance to various damage types, that at least you should not swap elemental damage with force or radiance because there are few monsters in the game that can resist these two damage types). Going pretty far off topic here, apologies... I was just reminded of the time ISIS executed a Jordanian pilot with fire and how it caused such an uproar in the Middle East. It was enough, in any case, to cause many Muslims who supported or were on the fence about ISIS to turn against them. I found this inspiring and adapted a new fire magic policy for one of the human empires in my homebrew setting. Murder is murder, of course, but killing a sapient creature with fire magic is considered especially egregious. Of course, undead don't count. The only thing worse than fire magic is necromancy! --- Wyvern I agree the PHB Evocation wizard was funky for the reasons you list. However, the Elemental Evil Player's Companion fixed that to my satisfaction, so it hasn't been an issue at my table for years.

Friday, 4th May, 2018

  • 10:45 AM - CapnZapp mentioned Wyvern in post Why no synergy for the Sentinel feat?
    Mid-level monsters usually get at least two attacks, so the fighters will both get a chance to use their reaction attacks. Wyvern: I suspect this is a language issue. Get a chance to attack <> attack The fighter that's actually attacked gets no reaction attack. But both fighters still get a chance to attack (before the monster decides which one to actually attack). I agree the logic is wonky: what does this have to do with the monster getting more than one attack? I fully agree it would not make sense to attack BOTH fighters. (Not only or even primarily because it would allow both fighters' reactions - it's always critical to focus-fire, taking down one PC at a time. Spreading your attacks over several heroes is something you should only do when your multiattack action forces you to)

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018

  • 06:00 PM - Paul Farquhar mentioned Wyvern in post Alternatives to heavy armor for clerics?
    @Wyvern is correct: Divine Strike works with any weapons, including ranged. You may be confusing it with Paladin Smite, which specifies melee. The Life domain is very much meant to emulate the classic cleric from earlier editions, which is why they get heavy armour proficiency.

Thursday, 27th November, 2014

  • 07:18 AM - pemerton mentioned Wyvern in post DMG excerpt: Carousing!
    Carousing: Roll dice to earn money or have an automatically resolved romance. Neither has the player a say in what happens during carousing, nor does it matter who the PC is and what he can do.I agree with Wyvern's reply to this. why does it even matter if the PC is present? It is automatically assumed the PC is in some way competent and necessary for the construction to complete.The reason it matters that the PC is present is because this is a rule for the heroic characters in a game of heroic fantasy spending their downtime. If the PC didn't have to be present, it wouldn't be a downtime system. If, in your game, you don't want to treat stronghold construction as a downtime system, then you're free not to. I was originally thinking they were talking about three times the original time. After looking at other people's posts, I think they were right and the intention was 4 times the original time. The easiest way to calculate how far along construction is would be for each day without the PC to only count for 1/4 day. Alternatively, you could multiply the original time by 4 and have each day with the PC equal to 4 days. Either of these methods seems to be the best way to keep tra...

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Friday, 22nd June, 2018

  • 04:03 PM - CapnZapp quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    What, so I'm supposed to buy and read every campaign book that WotC has published and try to guess at which DCs are the ones you take exception to? No thank you. If you want to start a new thread to critique a specific adventure, then you can reasonably expect people to familiarize themselves with the source material before engaging in debate with you. But I'm not trying to defend a specific adventure or a particular writer; I was just pointing out that there *are* valid reasons for having low-level DCs in a higher-level adventure. WyvernSure, and I'm criticizing the absurdly low DCs of official 5E modules.
  • 06:06 AM - Saeviomagy quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    1st level is the start of the 'Apprentice' Tier. "In the first tier (levels 1-4), characters are effectively apprentice adventurers." There's also the question of to whom they're apprenticed to, and the examples in character creation which make it seem like being a high up in the thieves guild and a master assassin still plonk you as a starting character. I don't think a lot of thought went into the name. 2d10 just pulls the distribution in, so the results are more consistent. Your aspiring master thief with a +5, fails DC 10 only 6% of the time, rather than 20%, for instance. Which is definitely better, but adjusting higher DCs becomes more complex - how often does he succeed at a DC 15 (about half the time, same as before) or 20?(6%). I'm not saying it's a bad system, just that the DC adjustments if you want to maintain similar results are hard. Narrating success or failure in the absence of uncertainty, /is/ the skill system. No, narrating success or failure is the most...

Thursday, 21st June, 2018

  • 11:31 PM - 5ekyu quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    ...re happy. Having said that, I still contend that there are two reasons why it *is* useful to have concrete guidelines as to what constitutes an Easy task, a Medium one, and so forth. The first, of course, is for inexperienced GMs who need guidance in determining what DCs to assign. The second is when the players are *not* happy. If one person thinks that DC 10 tasks are too easy and another thinks they're too hard, it's useful to know that the first has a GM who makes the players roll DC 10 Dex checks to tie their shoelaces, while the latter has a GM who thinks that juggling lit sticks of dynamite is a DC 10 Dex check. In those cases, having concrete examples of what they're basing their judgments on allows us to conclude that the problem isn't with the game, it's with how they're playing the game. If you still don't think there's any value in having concrete examples, then we'll just have to agree to disagree. In any case, I think I've said everything I have to say on the topic. WyvernFwiw in the dmg they do give some guidelines as to easy moderate and hard Easy can usually be done by average guy (not good ability scores) without training (no proficiency) Hard usually requires both good score and proficiency(experience) Moderate is either one of those. As a gm i use those both forward and reverse (who setup the challenge, how good were they, etc) with further nod for advantage and disad getying us to 5 and 25 (extra resources or help) Now two different table could use those guidelines and still reach different scores because one GM may see the band of orcs as soldiers good at maintaining their stuff while another might set up a group as sloppy and lazy while a third could have the evil number 2 added as a rogue with aptitude etc etc... So, the DCs become just one of many flavor bits showing who you are up against - under consistent gms. Is the place kept clean or os their accumulated dust shoeing where the secret door is? That depends on who is their and wha...
  • 11:04 PM - ClaytonCross quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    Maybe you and the other people you play with are cautious types, but not everyone is like that. Like I said, I've seen games that *encourage* players to take on added risk and even invent complications themselves. I'm not talking about disastrous failures, just temporary setbacks. I think some people find that it adds tension and excitement to the game. Plus, there are often mechanical rewards for taking extra risks, such as XP points, bennies that can be spent later to improve a roll later on, and so forth. Some games even allow a player to turn a failed check to a success *if* they accept a complication in exchange. I'm not saying that's how *I* would handle teamwork, specifically, in a game of D&D -- if nothing else, it doesn't make much logical sense to me that working together would come with inherently greater risk of a setback than working alone. But that doesn't make "greater risk for greater reward" an invalid strategic option. Wyvern We do tend to be cautious because our GM will striate up kill us and if we have a test we REALLY want to pass it because the fails lead to bad things. If your saying your in game or know people in games where having common damage or other setback is not an issue on top of the risk of failing the test to a point that they aren't worried about it... sure... but then It seems less important that they work together anyway. I agree their are different style and their can be one where this method is fine. I do feel like in general GMs are trying to make their tests important to raise the same tension your talking about. If they are just putting risk reward beyond the risk of failing and the reward of success... sure but its redundant, you don't need a standard of "setbacks" for tests for example, if you fail to disarm a trap it goes off.. you don't have to add an additional setback to it, you add the same risk or more by making it a lethal trap providing the same or greater risk, as far a...
  • 07:58 PM - iserith quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    .... Having said that, I still contend that there are two reasons why it *is* useful to have concrete guidelines as to what constitutes an Easy task, a Medium one, and so forth. The first, of course, is for inexperienced GMs who need guidance in determining what DCs to assign. The second is when the players are *not* happy. If one person thinks that DC 10 tasks are too easy and another thinks they're too hard, it's useful to know that the first has a GM who makes the players roll DC 10 Dex checks to tie their shoelaces, while the latter has a GM who thinks that juggling lit sticks of dynamite is a DC 10 Dex check. In those cases, having concrete examples of what they're basing their judgments on allows us to conclude that the problem isn't with the game, it's with how they're playing the game. If you still don't think there's any value in having concrete examples, then we'll just have to agree to disagree. In any case, I think I've said everything I have to say on the topic. Wyvern I would say that, in this discussion, concrete examples were not required because you got my point without them. My declining to provide examples was based solely on their necessity to our discussion, not on examples in general that may be used for instructive purposes. As for examples of tasks with a DC 10 that a given group could use as a benchmark for rulings at those tables, there are some examples in the PHB and DMG and likely in other books.
  • 06:11 AM - ClaytonCross quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    You're operating on the assumption that he would *only* apply "setbacks" when multiple characters are attempting the same check. We won't know for sure unless he decides to weigh in on the topic, but it's entirely possible that "setback" is simply how he describes the consequences of failure, even when it's just a single character making the check. I didn't see anything in his original posts to indicate otherwise. Even if "setbacks" are a special consequence for failure that only apply when multiple characters are helping one another with a skill check, that doesn't mean that teamwork is a bad idea that nobody would ever choose over trying to go it alone. I've seen mechanics in other games that allow a player to increase their chances of success by accepting an increased risk of negative consequences. This would be no different. Wyvern I am not so much operating under an assumption so much as saying if you "this" then I thank you should "that". Being Ovinomancer didn't say it would or that it would not apply to single checks. It was me that said, that in my opinion, if you make a rule that applies "setbacks" to checks it should apply to all checks and then I explained why. Not as a criticism (since no vie was stated) but as a point of consideration for idea building and/or further discussion. I disagree on your last paragraph. I have seen players stop using options because they incur unnecessary risks. The only way they would risk these "setbacks" is if the risk of failure would pose a much larger issues and they are being placed between a rock and a hard place. So if failing the test might mean instant death for a player or the group for example they might still use team work at the greater risk but it would still effectively kill team work for the sake of avoiding "set backs" other wise. So they use team work...

Wednesday, 20th June, 2018

  • 11:45 PM - ClaytonCross quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    ... also got the wrong end of the stick) that your mistake was assuming that Ovinomancer applies critical failures to skill checks, because he used the word "setback". On rereading this post, it seems to me that he's suggesting that *any* failure would result in a "setback", not just failure by a certain margin. He also never said anything about "punishing group effort", so I'm not really sure where you got that from. As to your comment that "Even a single character running the test could have the same consequences," I think you're missing the point of what he suggested. Again, as I understand it, this post is saying that additional people making a skill check increases the chance of success while *also* increasing the chance of a setback, because it's not binary -- if one character succeeds at the check while another fails, the goal has been achieved but at a cost. (That's *not* possible if a single character is making the check, because they can either succeed or fail, but not both.) Wyvern So thanks for trying to clear up what Ovinomancer was unwilling to. (Weather he agrees with you or not I appreciate an attempt) But let me clarify somethings from my replies. 1. I did not mistake that Ovinomancer was using critical failures, I was suggesting that he could instead of adding punishment to all failure. Failure is its own punishment. He said he was working on an Idea and I was suggesting something that is not in the rules, is commonly used already, and has been play tested to a point their is not doubt it is not broken. So their is not reason to come up with a new system from scratch to achieve the basis of his goal unless he just really has too and most player will except critical failures because they already use them on combat. 2. I get that he was saying that any failure by additional people doing the same test (some how not a group test) would be a setback, I understand that but I was voicing a concern that if your basically running individual checks instead of gr...
  • 11:15 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    ...trying to point out to you how Clayton might have innocently misunderstood what you had said. You may not believe me, but I actually *did* do that. Initially, my post was going to end after the first paragraph. But then I reread your second post and began to see that what you were describing actually *did* mean something different from what Clayton took it to mean. I was trying to be helpful by clearing up the misunderstanding. I'm not explaining what you mean, I'm explaining what I *understood* your posts to mean. That's something that communication experts recommend: repeat back to the other person what you think it is they said, so that they can be sure that you understood them correctly. Now, if you think that I've misunderstood you, the *helpful* thing to do is to explain to me exactly *what* it is that I misunderstood. After all, if there's a discrepancy between what you said and what other people *think* you've said, then it means there's been a failure of communication. WyvernDude. No. When the topic is what I meant, me saying "no, I don't mean that," is fricking definitive.
  • 07:52 PM - iserith quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    Also, sometimes it's not about "drama and excitement". Sometimes it's about the satisfaction of absolutely acing a skill check because you *did* prepare or you *are* Just That Good. I would also say that the "drama and excitement" has more to do with the context of the scenes and events that lead up to and follow the ability check than the tension created by the ability check itself. That tension is good when it happens, but there's more to it than that in my view.
  • 07:31 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    It seemed to me that he was saying that the DCs recommended in the book are too difficult. I don't agree with him on that. I think they're exactly as difficult as they should be. Wyvern I do love that you've appointed yourself the explainer of what it is I mean. Taking his post within the context of the ongoing conversation with a couple of other posters, it looks to me to be a rebuttal to the assertion that the DCs are too easy. His position thus appears to be that they are as difficult as they should be to encourage players to avoid rolling wherever possible and could reasonably be argued to be too difficult, not that they are too difficult. Ovinomancer can correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how I read it. No need, you've got it.
  • 07:29 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    I never said you were wrong about what you meant. I *did* point out how your suggestion might have been misconstrued as constituting a "group check". Otherwise, I was only trying to do what you were unwilling to do -- explain to Clayton, politely and patiently, what it was that he misunderstood. Now, if I've *also* misunderstood what it was you were trying to say, you have three choices: you can ignore me, you can explain to me politely and patiently what you really meant, or you can get pissy with me too. One of these is easy, and will leave things no better or worse off than they are now; one is more difficult, but could potentially add something of value to the discussion; and one will lower the level of the conversation. Wyvern Right, because it's my duty to respond to you in the manner you wish or the conversation will suffer. I made it clear I wasn't talking about group checks. You chose, after I made that clear multiple times, to continue the pursuit after the other poster left off. Where you improving the conversation when you chose to ignore my clear statements with your new post about how I might be wrong and have actually meant to talk about group checks? No. So, please, do not climb onto a high horse and tell me I'm the one creating the problem after you've rolled in the mud. If you really wanted to add to the conversation, you might try re-reading the posts in question with the firm belief that I wasn't talking about group checks and respond to that, hmm?
  • 07:20 PM - iserith quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    It seemed to me that he was saying that the DCs recommended in the book are too difficult. I don't agree with him on that. I think they're exactly as difficult as they should be. Wyvern Taking his post within the context of the ongoing conversation with a couple of other posters, it looks to me to be a rebuttal to the assertion that the DCs are too easy. His position thus appears to be that they are as difficult as they should be to encourage players to avoid rolling wherever possible and could reasonably be argued to be too difficult, not that they are too difficult. Ovinomancer can correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how I read it.
  • 02:46 PM - iserith quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    I haven't seen these other threads you're referencing, so I don't know why it is you think that giving specific examples of what you mean is dangerous. To my mind, defining your terms is never detrimental to clear communication, and the problem here is that the definition of "Easy" is subjective. I have no idea what YOU would consider "easy tasks an adventurer might do that have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure," and therefore I have no basis to judge whether I would agree with you on whether DC 10 is too high, too low or just right for such tasks. I *do* know that the examples Ovinomancer gave were ridiculous, and that no good GM should ever ask their PCs to make skill checks for such tasks unless a) they're doing so for the humor value (in which case they should at most be DC 5) or b) there are complicating factors, such as if they're trying to drive to the store during an earthquake. I think the evidence so far bears out the conclusion that we can't come to a...
  • 12:35 PM - Ovinomancer quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    ... also got the wrong end of the stick) that your mistake was assuming that Ovinomancer applies critical failures to skill checks, because he used the word "setback". On rereading this post, it seems to me that he's suggesting that *any* failure would result in a "setback", not just failure by a certain margin. He also never said anything about "punishing group effort", so I'm not really sure where you got that from. As to your comment that "Even a single character running the test could have the same consequences," I think you're missing the point of what he suggested. Again, as I understand it, this post is saying that additional people making a skill check increases the chance of success while *also* increasing the chance of a setback, because it's not binary -- if one character succeeds at the check while another fails, the goal has been achieved but at a cost. (That's *not* possible if a single character is making the check, because they can either succeed or fail, but not both.) WyvernOh, good grief, another one who's declared themselves expert on my thinking so they can tell me I'm absolutely wrong about what it was I meant.
  • 06:09 AM - iserith quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    YOU may not be arguing for it, but Ovinomancer was. Those were the examples he used, and that was what Veteran Sergeant was objecting to. Maybe you're willing to assume that he didn't really mean to suggest that he thinks players should be expected to roll the dice when changing a diaper, but it's not fair to accuse V.S. of "addressing a strawman" when all he did was take Ovinomancer at his word. Except that they're not. The only examples of an Easy task that have been offered so far are the examples Ovinomancer came up with. If you want him to discuss "Easy tasks an adventurer might do that do have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure," then I think that *you* should give some examples of what sort of tasks you would consider Easy for an adventurer, so that we're all on the same page here. As I've stated in other threads, examples are dangerous for exactly the reason we're debating here. People get hung up on the specifics of the examples and in my view miss the ov...

Friday, 15th June, 2018

  • 03:13 PM - Kobold Stew quoted Wyvern in post Trader background
    Ooh, I like the idea of a "Wares for sale" list. (Though I'd probably swap out some of the options.) Of course. And the fringe benefit you suggested sounds good.Thanks! You're missing a second tool proficiency, though... is that just a typo, or have you not come up with one? I was tired. :P I know you said you don't like the idea of another language, but it is what I think is most appropriate for a travelling salesman. Sub in something else if you like. Don't really care for the idea of giving a choice of two out of three skills, because none of the core backgrounds do that, and I'd like to stick to the pattern. Just riding on what had been posted. All has been tweaked.
  • 12:06 AM - 5ekyu quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    5ekyu, I can see why players would be sensitive if they felt they were being ridiculed; I'm just not entirely convinced that jokes at the expense of the tough guy are more mean-spirited than jokes at the expense of the weakling. (To me, one of the funniest moments in Willow is when Madmartigan slips and falls while showing off.) But hey, if that's been your experience, then by all means go on doing what you think is best.Sure... But again to be clear, its not tough guy vs weakling for my rule, but as a GM making a joke out of (at the expense of) a dice fail of some player characters best "thing i do" as contrasted to the same fail in "that thing i suck at." So, slips and falls - on the hogh dex graceful rogue, scatterbrained - on the high int wizard, unable to spot the ogre they are standing on - for the keen eyed scout...etc. All great when done by a player for their own character (self-deprecating, laughing with) just imo not so good when done to other peoples character by authority (r...

Thursday, 14th June, 2018

  • 08:00 PM - 5ekyu quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    I'd still like to see that system, if you can PM it to me. Or, like I suggested in the other thread, post it somewhere that's publicly accessible like Dropbox. I'm curious why you'd have that rule. Personally, I think "flub flavor fluff" as you put it is a fun way of explaining why a character failed at a task they should be good at, due to a poor roll. Just the other day in a Starfinder game, after missing two out of three ranged attack rolls, I moved forward to get a better shot and promptly rolled a natural 1 on the attack -- which I rationalized as "I wasn't watching my step and tripped over a rock." WyvernWhy my rule? As GM putting it onto a player character result is (to me) different from a player choosing to do something narratively onto their character. As i referenced, i use the humor-based, pratfall etc on the weaker not the stronger, on the fish-out-of-water, not the shark-in-the-pool. I feel as GM it is poor form, infringing on or abusing trust etc, for me to use narrative flourish to make funny, make fun of or make a joke around your character strengths when a failure is rolled. That is very close to lampooning your character core. Its **fine** if the player chooses it themselves. Basicalky, one is self-depricating humor and the other can be seen as ridicule of others. But, the out of water thing... Puny wizard "helps" with portcullis... Perfect to use failures (or the bad roll from a success advantage) to have fun off the intentional flaw coming into play... Or at least it has a lot more wiggle room. I have seen too many times where a GM had an idea (lets do the under s...
  • 07:04 PM - Tony Vargas quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    I'm not really clear on why you think he "missed" that point. I mean, I'm aware of the problem you describe, but isn't the whole point of having a single player roll the check, in order to avoid that problem? Or is there something in the Angry GM's article (which I haven't read -- though now that I know of its existence, I plan to when I have the time) which leads you to believe that he had a *different* reason for suggesting that rule? Maybe I read something into it that wasn't there, but the impression I got wasn't that the problem was being missed, but that the reason for going to a single roll, rather than the existing group check, to solve it was the assumption that in a single-success-succeeds situation the best roll is the one that matters, while in a single-failure-fails situation the worst roll is the one that matters. IMHO, what's really critical is that there are multiple rolls, and the single-successs/failure decides assumption, though intuitive, is the source of the problem, n...
  • 02:31 PM - iserith quoted Wyvern in post Why doesn't the help action have more limits and down sides?
    I'd still like to see that system, if you can PM it to me. Or, like I suggested in the other thread, post it somewhere that's publicly accessible like Dropbox. Still can't PM you and I don't want to post it publicly.


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