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  1. Thread: Is This Odd?

    by iserith
    Replies
    34
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    778

    Sure, and that argues for page-setting when...

    Sure, and that argues for page-setting when playing with new players, just as would be the case in my view for playing any game with new players.

    I run a fair amount of pickup games (not as much...
  2. Thread: Is This Odd?

    by iserith
    Replies
    34
    Views
    778

    Yes, I think what is frequently forgotten in...

    Yes, I think what is frequently forgotten in these discussions is that the players, regardless of the situation, are obligated to pursue the goals of play, that is, everyone having fun and...
  3. Thread: Is This Odd?

    by iserith
    Replies
    34
    Views
    778

    Yes. Players frequently replay my one-shots with...

    Yes. Players frequently replay my one-shots with full knowledge of what to expect, sometimes many times over. This just isn't a problem in my experience.

    That said, there is no module I have ever...
  4. Thread: Is This Odd?

    by iserith
    Replies
    34
    Views
    778

    I personally would not say that.

    I personally would not say that.
  5. Thread: Is This Odd?

    by iserith
    Replies
    34
    Views
    778

    It's not clear to me where the presupposition...

    It's not clear to me where the presupposition that players shouldn't be drawing on hard-won information even comes from. It seems to me to be as old as the hills but I don't really recall any rules...
  6. Thread: Double Dash

    by iserith
    Replies
    113
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    2,768

    You have to flip this around and make the fighter...

    You have to flip this around and make the fighter the quarry for this to work most of the time.

    Quarry gets a chance to hide at the end of every round as long as there is something to hide behind....
  7. Replies
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    525

    You could just have the NPCs or monsters do...

    You could just have the NPCs or monsters do something other than mindlessly attack the PCs until slain. Perhaps they rush the PCs, try to steal something valuable, then run away. Maybe they trail the...
  8. Thread: Is This Odd?

    by iserith
    Replies
    34
    Views
    778

    I don't care if someone reads the Monster Manual...

    I don't care if someone reads the Monster Manual during play. If the difficulty of my challenge is hugely affected by players knowing something about the monsters, then I've designed a poor...
  9. Thread: Double Dash

    by iserith
    Replies
    113
    Views
    2,768

    I use the Chase Rules a fair amount and I also...

    I use the Chase Rules a fair amount and I also see nothing against the rules about bonus action Dash under that system. The limiting factor for the rogue is Constitution here and burning out twice as...
  10. Thread: Double Dash

    by iserith
    Replies
    113
    Views
    2,768

    For what it's worth, the rules also specifically...

    For what it's worth, the rules also specifically call out a character's or monster's speed as being "short bursts of energetic movement in the midst of a life-threatening situation."
  11. Replies
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    457

    You're right and it drives me crazy when I turn...

    You're right and it drives me crazy when I turn up in a game where a DM rolls individual initiative for monsters. Though it's still the same amount of actions to resolve, it really does slow things...
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    457

    The RAW is that like creatures share initiative...

    The RAW is that like creatures share initiative anyway. It's still 10 creatures on one initiative count, but it's not like you're rolling 10 different initiatives for them, if that's a concern. As...
  13. Replies
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    What Hriston said - most monsters' stuff is just...

    What Hriston said - most monsters' stuff is just junk. There are some exceptions that I will make an effort to describe, such as a hobgoblin in plate armor or the like. Sometimes I'll describe...
  14. Replies
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    457

    That's basically what my players do. They police...

    That's basically what my players do. They police themselves for speed and that includes just keeping them on a single target.

    It's not really about banning the spell BlivetWidget. It's just...
  15. Replies
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    457

    The mob rules worked fine, but also working in my...

    The mob rules worked fine, but also working in my favor is that the table rule is that if you're the sort of player who can't manage this sort of spell without bogging down the turn, you simply don't...
  16. Thread: Double Dash

    by iserith
    Replies
    113
    Views
    2,768

    Yes on the double-dash. There tends to be a LOT...

    Yes on the double-dash. There tends to be a LOT of movement in my games due to terrain, so it comes up quite a bit.
  17. Replies
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    457

    You can resolve by applying the mob rules in the...

    You can resolve by applying the mob rules in the DMG (pg. 250) which foregoes any attack rolls, saving time. Then use average damage.
  18. It doesn't matter if you keep track, really. The...

    It doesn't matter if you keep track, really. The PCs should be counterspelling everything anyway.
  19. Thread: Languages

    by iserith
    Replies
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    374

    The DMG also has a section on languages in the...

    The DMG also has a section on languages in the campaign world planning section that basically tells the DM to figure this out on his or her own according to the kind of setting he or she wants to...
  20. Replies
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    2,903

    It seems to me all that really matters is whether...

    It seems to me all that really matters is whether the player thinks it's fun. If he or she does, carry on, I say. If not, then you can either jointly tinker with the rules to make it less certain,...
  21. Thread: OSR Gripes

    by iserith
    Replies
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    8,109

    I played Lamentations of the Flame Princess which...

    I played Lamentations of the Flame Princess which is one of these old school D&D-esque games.

    I lost 5 characters in one session. No exaggeration. That's just how it goes.
  22. Replies
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    2,903

    No insult is intended. Certain of your specific...

    No insult is intended. Certain of your specific objections seem rooted in issues of spotlight management and other issues that are not the fault of the game. I make no judgment as to what you should...
  23. Replies
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    Like I said, house rules are fine. Personally, I...

    Like I said, house rules are fine. Personally, I don't actually care how the player makes the decision in the face of the NPC's attempt to persuade (to continue with that example), but I'm not...
  24. Replies
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    2,903

    Magic is the difference. House rules are...

    Magic is the difference.



    House rules are fine, but the issue in this situation for me is that the players always determine how their characters think and what they do and say. That means there...
  25. Thread: Languages

    by iserith
    Replies
    9
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    374

    There is no call-out in the rules for dialects...

    There is no call-out in the rules for dialects other than Primordial. So as far as I am concerned, PCs that speak Common can't speak Undercommon, nor can creatures that speak Undercommon speak...
  26. Replies
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    2,903

    I use it and it works well enough. For those...

    I use it and it works well enough. For those unfamiliar with it, it basically splits the challenge into what I call "The 'Tude," "The Chat," and "The Ask." In "The 'Tude," the DM frames the NPC's...
  27. Replies
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    I think they're okay for D&D standards. But...

    I think they're okay for D&D standards. But almost nobody uses them in my experience because I don't think many DMs actually read the DMG.



    The rogue isn't being skipped and it isn't really...
  28. Replies
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    It just sounds to me like the argument is not so...

    It just sounds to me like the argument is not so much "Expertise is problematic..." but "Expertise is problematic when I chop away two of the three pillars underpinning the game and things get...
  29. Replies
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    Really that just argues for the DM to balance the...

    Really that just argues for the DM to balance the pillars of the game as much as he or she can in my view and to incentivize play to that end via XP and treasure. If the DM is leaning too heavily on...
  30. Replies
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    "Party balance" in what sense? Why is it bad that...

    "Party balance" in what sense? Why is it bad that this character can do a thing well and others can't? Wouldn't it be the case that this expert won't be able to do other things as well in this or the...
  31. Replies
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    I'm not really "going" anywhere, only checking to...

    I'm not really "going" anywhere, only checking to see if there's a rough correlation between people who have some kind of issue with the ability check system and playing the game in the very common...
  32. Replies
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    Why do you think that is a problem?

    Why do you think that is a problem?
  33. Replies
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    As opposed to the DM deciding whether there is a...

    As opposed to the DM deciding whether there is a roll at all, then what ability check to make and any skill proficiency that applies (per the rules).

    And in this case I'm not referring to a...
  34. Replies
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    1,372

    Out of curiosity, if you have a problem with...

    Out of curiosity, if you have a problem with expertise, do you also play the game such that players ask to make or declare they are making ability checks?
  35. Replies
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    In a practical sense, this means that the rogue...

    In a practical sense, this means that the rogue will almost always surprise monsters (unless he's traveling with other, less stealthy people) and will almost always have advantage on the attack roll...
  36. Replies
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    It works. My entire game is run like that, almost...

    It works. My entire game is run like that, almost as a one-on-one between myself and one other player (when they're not talking among themselves) for a minute before switching to someone else. If a...
  37. Replies
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    How long are people taking on their turns? One...

    How long are people taking on their turns? One thing I've noticed at other tables is that players are planning what to do on their turn instead of acting, which is a huge no-no at my table. Your turn...
  38. Replies
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    First, ask for them to pay attention, then ask...

    First, ask for them to pay attention, then ask them what about the game isn't holding their attention.

    From your own observation, what parts of the game are they tuning out on? What can you do to...
  39. Replies
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    Yes, that's technically a choice.

    Yes, that's technically a choice.
  40. Replies
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    I think what gets left off in the last few...

    I think what gets left off in the last few assertions that are floating about is that, in a game where the DM isn't concerned with any particular conclusion so long as it's fun, exciting, and...
  41. Replies
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    Can they take short rests? If so, they should be...

    Can they take short rests? If so, they should be able to do 6 to 8 medium or hard challenges with a couple of short rests. If the villain challenge is deadly, then reduce the number of preceding...
  42. Replies
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    Make clear the risks and trade-offs inherent in...

    Make clear the risks and trade-offs inherent in the challenge, then let the players make their own decisions. Err on the side of giving "too much" information rather than too little. Use whatever...
  43. Replies
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    Time is an important resource in my adventures....

    Time is an important resource in my adventures. It's yours to waste, but much like wasting hit points or spells, there may be consequences. In many cases, the longer you give the villain to prepare...
  44. Replies
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    It's not that it's complicated - it's just that...

    It's not that it's complicated - it's just that it's more transactions per turn or round which necessarily takes longer than just the one, even with very capable players. Turn after turn, combat...
  45. Replies
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    I think the biggest concern above all is: How...

    I think the biggest concern above all is:

    How much are your minions going to bog down the game?

    Because, frankly, they will, at least to some degree. In a game like mine which runs fast, it's...
  46. XGtE has a section on awarding magic items over...

    XGtE has a section on awarding magic items over the course of a campaign. There's a sidebar in that section that reveals the expected number of Treasure Hoards the PCs will uncover. You could perhaps...
  47. Replies
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    I don't even understand the objection that is...

    I don't even understand the objection that is being voiced. The play loop and adjudication process is for all and sundry to see right there in the rules of the game. It's not like we made it up. If...
  48. Replies
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    The determination of whether a task has an...

    The determination of whether a task has an uncertain outcome and the meaningful consequence of failure, which precedes the introduction and use of the game mechanics (ability checks, attack rolls,...
  49. Replies
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    Change "should" to "could" and I think you got it.

    Change "should" to "could" and I think you got it.
  50. Replies
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    I just say when a target has cover and what kind...

    I just say when a target has cover and what kind and the player says "Okay" and acts accordingly. I do my best to make that apparent well before the attack is declared by working it into my...
  51. Replies
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    As I mentioned upthread, many DMs in my...

    As I mentioned upthread, many DMs in my experience jump to the mechanics before they give much consideration to the play loop and adjudication process which comes first. If someone draws a blade -...
  52. Replies
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    Right. That section specifically says the play...

    Right. That section specifically says the play loop applies to all situations in D&D 5e and does call out combat as being a bit more structured but otherwise follows the same pattern.

    See also DMG...
  53. Replies
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    Harzel: What Ovinomancer said.

    Harzel: What Ovinomancer said.
  54. Replies
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    I don't have experience with public games, but I...

    I don't have experience with public games, but I have run a lot of pickup games with random players on Roll20. As well, my regular group and some other groups in which I play each have a pool of...
  55. Replies
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    On the lava bit, the "improvising damage" rules...

    On the lava bit, the "improvising damage" rules in the DMG pegs "wading through a lava stream" as 10d10 damage and "being submerged in lava" as 18d10 damage. The latter seems appropriate for a fall...
  56. Replies
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    You won't ever catch me making a realism argument...

    You won't ever catch me making a realism argument in D&D of any edition. What I will argue is that it's the DM's call on what mechanic to use to resolve uncertainty as to the outcome and I can make...
  57. Replies
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    I think fairness and consistency in the...

    I think fairness and consistency in the application of the rules is an important goal for the DM.

    That said, I think arguments about parity of their application between PCs and NPCs being...
  58. Replies
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    This thread contains a poll. I'm not entirely sure what you mean here and I'm...

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean here and I'm taking a stab at it, so please let me know if what I say below doesn't follow and I'll amend.

    I think that roleplaying is just playing a role by...
  59. Replies
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    There are a few ways to do this that I think all...

    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...
  60. Though there may be exceptions from time to time...

    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...
  61. Replies
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    This thread contains a poll. Agreed. Arriving at an answer requires adding...

    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...
  62. Thread: Last Stand

    by iserith
    Replies
    7
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    479

    My grappling bard luchador "Immovable Rod"...

    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...
  63. Replies
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    This thread contains a poll. Right, these are two different approaches to...

    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...
  64. Replies
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    This thread contains a poll. As a DM, I'd expect them to make an action...

    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...
  65. Replies
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    This thread contains a poll. While it's commonly put forward as a "major...

    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...
  66. Replies
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    This thread contains a poll. What I see here are goals (what the PC hopes to...

    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...
  67. Replies
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    Unless it was a mapped out tactical challenge...

    Unless it was a mapped out tactical challenge with grid and minis including elevation, I wouldn't go this complicated with it.
  68. Replies
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    "Parkour" could be imagined as an overarching...

    "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...
  69. Replies
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    I agree. That is just bad adventure design and...

    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...
  70. Replies
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    Right. It works if the DM says it works. Full...

    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...
  71. Replies
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    While I agree that torture is far too common in...

    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...
  72. Replies
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    Agreed. I purposefully ran a game for a group of...

    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...
  73. Replies
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    If the DM knows how to create and present skill...

    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...
  74. Replies
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    It's a great game in my view. Just be prepared...

    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...
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    Yeah, or the culture of the group in which you...

    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...
  76. Replies
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    As I think I mentioned, I'd characterize some of...

    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...
  77. Replies
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    Yeah, I have a player pool which includes more...

    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...
  78. Replies
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    That's fair and my apologies for attributing to...

    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...
  79. Replies
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    Notably, in D&D 5e, "passive" in "passive check"...

    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...
  80. Replies
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    While I'm sure it works with little issue at the...

    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...
  81. Replies
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    I thought that might be the issue. Perhaps this...

    I thought that might be the issue. Perhaps this will help: The Case for Inspiration.
  82. Replies
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    What don't you like about the mechanic? As it...

    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...
  83. My position is that this depends on the rules of...

    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...
  84. Replies
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    I think progress combined with a setback is good...

    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,...
  85. Replies
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    I recommend taking a look at the social...

    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...
  86. Replies
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    How many traps and secret doors are in your game?...

    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...
  87. Replies
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    I would say that the assertion that an Int-8...

    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...
  88. Replies
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    Sure you do, if one character climbs the wall in...

    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...
  89. Replies
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    It seemed like in your initial post you were...

    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...
  90. Replies
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    If I had to guess, there's probably more of them...

    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...
  91. Replies
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    Charisma (Deception) is what the rules say is the...

    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...
  92. Replies
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    In D&D 5e, the ability check happens when the...

    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...
  93. Replies
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    The spell says that other than having the same...

    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...
  94. Replies
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    "I'm just not sure if there's a point in...

    "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...
  95. Replies
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    That's the basic adjudication process though....

    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...
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    Nah. See also alchemist fire for ideas on...

    Nah.



    See also alchemist fire for ideas on how to resolve.
  97. Replies
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    It seems like the create bonfire spell might be a...

    It seems like the create bonfire spell might be a decent basis for ruling what happens here.
  98. Me personally, I don't really care about...

    Me personally, I don't really care about "immersion." But I would care as a player if I'm asked to make a check without declaring an action. So as DM I would just honestly remind the players that...
  99. I think that's definitely a good attitude to have...

    I think that's definitely a good attitude to have and it helps if the players are onboard with purposefully putting their characters in bad situations sometimes, trusting that the outcome will be fun...
  100. Man, I don't know if I'd want to live in a world...

    Man, I don't know if I'd want to live in a world where as DM I'm not encouraging stupid actions.
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