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Thread: Missing Rules

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by robus View Post
    I'm really not understanding this hard line you're drawing. The jumping rules determine what a character can do without possibility of failure. I.e. they automatically succeed, no check required. There then has to be a certain amount of reasonable distance beyond that the character can attempt with some risk of failure. And a further distance at which the character is guaranteed to fail.

    The character stating that they realize they're attempting to jump beyond what they can do without fail (but not an unreasonable distance) puts them into this grey area surely?

    I don't get why you're being so black and white about it?
    The only thing that's black and white is the need for the player to describe a goal and approach. The gray area is how the DM judges what is offered. I would not accept something along the lines of "You know, I just try harder..." as a viable approach to the goal of jumping an unusually long distance. But some other circumstance may be viable such as taking advantage of a terrain feature or resource the character has. You might be okay with "You know, I just try harder..." It's not a call I would make, but neither of us are wrong.
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  2. #222
    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    Asking to make an ability check is asking for a chance to fail, and the d20 is famously fickle. The smarter play in my view is to describe what you want to do while making an effort to remove uncertainty as to the outcome and/or the meaningful consequence of failure. If you fall short of automatic success and the DM asks you to roll, hopefully you have the right proficiencies and ability scores or have some resources you can spend to see you through.

    There is also nothing in D&D 5e rules that leads me to believe the player can or should ask to make ability checks. That is more appropriate for previous editions of the game. (When I play D&D 4e, I tell the players to ask to make checks all they want!) As well, I have all the TV tropes in my game, too. This doesn't require players asking to make ability checks.
    And risk is part of the game. Maybe the chasm is 30 ft deep and the person is 10th level and knows they can survive the fall but for tactical reasons wants to jump anyway. Or they're reckless and will jump even if it means they might die.

    It's not my call. It's also not the player asking to make an ability check. They're saying "I know I can't automatically make that jump but I'm going to do it anyway." But even if they are asking to make an ability check I don't really care, they're just acknowledging a mechanic and not relying on code words.

    I have no problem with a character on TV or in D&D to come up to a gap, hesitate and decide eff it, I'm jumping anyway. I like the dramatic tension such moments bring.
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  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    The only thing that's black and white is the need for the player to describe a goal and approach. The gray area is how the DM judges what is offered. I would not accept something along the lines of "You know, I just try harder..." as a viable approach to the goal of jumping an unusually long distance. But some other circumstance may be viable such as taking advantage of a terrain feature or resource the character has. You might be okay with "You know, I just try harder..." It's not a call I would make, but neither of us are wrong.
    OK this dead horse is well and truly flogged!

  4. #224
    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    To be clear, my position is only on what the jumping rules specifically say in the context of how to play the game (again, according to the rules), especially as it relates to the need for the player to describe a goal and approach for the DM to judge and not just ask to make an ability check.

    While I would likely not rule that a character can just "try harder" (or words to that effect) to jump than normal without some kind of circumstance giving him or her a boost, it is not for me to say whether another DM is wrong for accepting "I try harder" as a viable approach to the goal of jumping an unusually long distance. And it would be equally incorrect for anyone to say that I'm wrong for not accepting that approach as anything other than a normal jump. This is also my position with regard to judging something as having a meaningful consequence of failure as evidenced by my exchange upthread with @Maxperson and @Charlaquin.
    Except that the rules also state that you can jump further than usual, which is something you don't seem to have explained.

    I agree that for simplicity of play there are some hard cut-off points. Hit points come to mind. It's just easier to not have a death spiral before you fall over.

    I just don't see a reason to make jumping that arbitrary, especially since jumping further than normal with an athletics check is specifically spelled out.

    I'll just leave it at that. We don't agree on how to run the game.

  5. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlViking View Post
    And risk is part of the game. Maybe the chasm is 30 ft deep and the person is 10th level and knows they can survive the fall but for tactical reasons wants to jump anyway. Or they're reckless and will jump even if it means they might die.

    It's not my call. It's also not the player asking to make an ability check. They're saying "I know I can't automatically make that jump but I'm going to do it anyway." But even if they are asking to make an ability check I don't really care, they're just acknowledging a mechanic and not relying on code words.

    I have no problem with a character on TV or in D&D to come up to a gap, hesitate and decide eff it, I'm jumping anyway. I like the dramatic tension such moments bring.
    Sure, risk is part of the game. It follows that to some degree so is risk mitigation. A good way to mitigate risk is to try to remove uncertainty and/or the meaningful consequence of failure because that creates a situation where an ability check is no longer called for. The d20 - who is nobody's friend - then has no say. That's a reasonable behavior when presented with risk in my view.

    I have no issue whatsoever if a player wants to have the character try to jump a distance he or she knows the character cannot normally achieve with certainty. He or she should also not be surprised by the result if the approach to the goal of jumping an unusually long distance is insufficient. An ability check is not a description of a goal and approach. At best it implies a range of goals and approaches that have an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure. It says nothing about what the character is actually doing. And at many tables, a player declaring an ability check is followed by the DM describing what the character does - a complete reversal of the player and DM roles. Fine if you like that sort of thing. I don't because in this game that's not intended by the rules so far as I can tell. It's more appropriate to previous editions of the game.

    I find it odd in these discussions that the mere suggestion that a player necessarily states a goal and approach in order to describe an action is met with "You're playing word games" or using "code words" or "narrative flourishes," etc. It comes up every single time. What's odd about it is that players are stating goals and approaches all the time during play. It is unavoidable. So what makes my table about "code words?"

  6. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlViking View Post
    Except that the rules also state that you can jump further than usual, which is something you don't seem to have explained.
    I've explained it at length, over and over again: An approach is required to determine if the character can actually jump an unusually long distance. "An Athletics check" is not an approach. It is a mechanic to resolve a declared approach to a goal that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure. I am in no way against a character trying to jump an unusually long distance. The question is "How?"

    The gray area, as I pointed out to @robus, is that the efficacy of the player's answer to "How?" is going to be judged differently by different DMs. He's okay with "I try harder..." (or words to that effect). I am not. Neither of us are wrong.
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  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    . What's odd about it is that players are stating goals and approaches all the time during play. It is unavoidable. So what makes my table about "code words?"
    I can only speak for myself, but to my mind it expresses a certain kind of playstyle that isn't inherently more "5e" than any other. A player never needs to state more than their intended goal, IMO. I don't ask what sort of lunge or strike they are making at the orc and I don't ask how precisely they are jumping. I ask what they a doing and what their goal is if clarity is needed. If a player does that through in character expression, that's okay but I will still ask what their mechanical, game based approach is. If all they give me is that mechanical approach, that's fine.

  8. #228
    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    I've explained it at length, over and over again: An approach is required to determine if the character can actually jump an unusually long distance. "An Athletics check" is not an approach. It is a mechanic to resolve a declared approach to a goal that has an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure. I am in no way against a character trying to jump an unusually long distance. The question is "How?"

    The gray area, as I pointed out to @robus, is that the efficacy of the player's answer to "How?" is going to be judged differently by different DMs. He's okay with "I try harder..." (or words to that effect). I am not. Neither of us are wrong.
    Maybe I've misunderstood. I can be dense.

    But if someone says "I try to jump the chasm even though it's further than I can jump" you seem to say that they fail. Period.

    If someone says "I know I don't have the strength to jump that, I'd like to make an athletics check to jump further" my response would be exactly the same. I don't care how they state it, the fact that they called for an athletics check doesn't matter to me.

    My response would be:"That's an unusually long distance and is not going to be automatic" and give them a rough idea of how hard I think it's going to be. If they still try it, dice are rolled to resolve an uncertain outcome. Based on their athletics check they may succeed, may be holding on by their fingernails or may fall.

  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    I can only speak for myself, but to my mind it expresses a certain kind of playstyle that isn't inherently more "5e" than any other. A player never needs to state more than their intended goal, IMO. I don't ask what sort of lunge or strike they are making at the orc and I don't ask how precisely they are jumping. I ask what they a doing and what their goal is if clarity is needed. If a player does that through in character expression, that's okay but I will still ask what their mechanical, game based approach is. If all they give me is that mechanical approach, that's fine.
    I'm fine with that too when I'm playing D&D 3e or 4e. But anyway:

    "I try to stab the orc (goal) with my sword (approach)." Are any of those code words?

    "I try to clear the 10-foot pit (goal) by jumping over it (approach)." Do we need to get Matthew McConaughey to steal an enigma machine to figure these code words?

  10. #230
    Quote Originally Posted by robus View Post
    OK this dead horse is well and truly flogged!
    I agree, the horse is dead and no matter how much you beat it the horse won't jump.

    I will leave with one last thing ... if I call for something like this the DC would be based on percentage past what you can normally jump, not X number of feet.

    So someone with a 20 strength trying to jump 30 feet (50% more than normal) is really, really difficult. Epically difficult to do it as easy as a normal jump.

    Athletics of 25 or higher they can continue as normal.
    Athletics check of 20 give me a dexterity save (DC depending on the edge). Succeed and you're hanging on to the edge, effectively prone. Fail and you're barely hanging on, it will be an action to pull yourself up.
    Athletics check of 15 and depending on the target I may give you a Dexterity save to try to grab onto something as you hit the wall on the other side if it's possible.
    Lower than that you fall.

    DC will be lowered for smaller percentages and adjusted based on standard jump distance. So jumping 25% more (5 feet for a 20 strength person) would drop DCs by 5. A person with a 10 strength trying to jump an extra 5 feet would be at the higher DC.

    However ... this comes up so irregularly that I don't have a hard and set rule. This is just how I would think of the DCs, as a reflection of how much you're trying to exceed your normal cabability.

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