Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying? - Page 12

Poll: Should Insight be able to determine if an NPC is lying?

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  1. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Very much agree that "Insight" is not the only skill that might be used to determine the NPC is lying.



    And also very much agree with this. This is why I always make the dice the medium between the player and the game world. I've played with many cunning linguists who use their great word skills to attempt to bypass the dice rolling part of the game, and even play low-mental-score/skill characters while trying to speak like their characters are highly intelligent. But I've also played with new, young and challenged players who still want to play a smart wizard, a wise monk, a clever rogue or some other sort of high-mental-stat character but these folks just aren't capable of saying the kinds of things their character would.

    So the dice as always the middleman between the words the player uses, and the words the PC uses.



    But none of that addresses his point. Just because you think his argument is poor doesn't mean it is or even that it's wrong. It's anecdotal but I've seen his argument in action. I've played with DMs who let good player words completely bypass things that less-clever wordsmiths have to make checks for.
    Im not gonna debate action resolution in this thread but the idea that more eloquent people have an unfair advantage is bunk. Were not looking for perfect description or dissertations. Were looking for an articulated objective and a reasonable approach to achieve that objective. No more complicated than I attack with my sword.

    I ran a game for 8 years for players with various disabilities. One player was a severely autistic kid, one was a mentally retarded adult. Neither of them ever had a problem saying what they wanted their characters to do nor how they tried to do it. I dont think anyone with social anxiety would be in a worse position than either of those two. They werent worse players than the two with physical-only disabilities.

  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bawylie View Post
    Im not gonna debate action resolution in this thread but the idea that more eloquent people have an unfair advantage is bunk. Were not looking for perfect description or dissertations. Were looking for an articulated objective and a reasonable approach to achieve that objective. No more complicated than I attack with my sword.

    I ran a game for 8 years for players with various disabilities. One player was a severely autistic kid, one was a mentally retarded adult. Neither of them ever had a problem saying what they wanted their characters to do nor how they tried to do it. I dont think anyone with social anxiety would be in a worse position than either of those two. They werent worse players than the two with physical-only disabilities.
    Kay, great.

    So your argument is: "Immortal Sun, the things you saw happen at your tables didn't actually happen because I've never seen those things happen at my table."

    Different experiences are different, stay tuned for our upcoming special: Water is wet!

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    Right. And we expect the player to decide *what* actions they will take when conducting the social part of the game, but it's silly to ask them to actually perform those actions (speaking in character, interpreting cues). Just as silly as asking them to explain how they are going to disarm the trap or asking them to go outside and climb a tree. that is what the values on the character sheet are for. Why should there be any difference between the following scenarios.
    To properly adjudicate, all we need is for the player to describe what they want to do which includes a goal (what they hope to achieve) and an approach (how they go about it) with reasonable specificity. We need this information to decide whether the proposed action is a success, a failure, or whether there's uncertainty as to the outcome. If there is uncertainty as to the outcome and there's a meaningful consequence of failure, then some kind of roll is appropriate. The goal tells us what the player's expectations are. The approach informs us which ability check it is and which skill proficiency may apply, if there is a roll.

    In some cases, the player's action declaration in your examples do not contain the necessary information to properly adjudicate. "I search the area..." lacks reasonable specificity in my view, as does "I try and tell if he is lying." I also don't know how you get from "press for more information" to Intimidation. Some assumptions are being made here to my mind and a DM is well-advised to avoid making assumptions about what the character is doing. It can lead to a mismatch of expectations.

    Going back to the thread's topic and, referencing my original post in the thread, "Insight" doesn't reveal lies. The underlying task does, and that's the player role and responsibility to describe in this game with reasonable specificity. This is a very important distinction in my view.

  4. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Kay, great.

    So your argument is: "Immortal Sun, the things you saw happen at your tables didn't actually happen because I've never seen those things happen at my table."

    Different experiences are different, stay tuned for our upcoming special: Water is wet!
    Im glad you understand my argument
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  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Kay, great.

    So your argument is: "Immortal Sun, the things you saw happen at your tables didn't actually happen because I've never seen those things happen at my table."

    Different experiences are different, stay tuned for our upcoming special: Water is wet!
    I believe the underlying argument here is that asking for a player to be reasonably specific as to what they want to do so the DM can properly adjudicate does not necessarily lead to the way the DM in your anecdote handled the situation.

    "I try to persuade the king to help by appealing to the nobility of his ancestors..." and a flowery, Shakespearean soliloquy to the same effect have the same chance at success since the goal and approach are the same. The latter, however, might be worth Inspiration if the character has a personal characteristic like "I love hearing the sound of my own voice."

  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    In some cases, the player's action declaration in your examples do not contain the necessary information to properly adjudicate. "I search the area..." lacks reasonable specificity in my view, as does "I try and tell if he is lying."
    I disagree. I am not the least bit interested in playing "mother may I" with my players. if i feel like more information is needed, i will ask for it. If the player offers more precise description, I'll accept it but often ask the player to pull back on their own assumptions when doing so. I am interested in what the player wants their character to accomplish and getting there -- at least to the attempt -- as efficiently as possible. Pixelbitching, whether in the physical environment or in NPC interactions, is a waste of everyone's time and offers no benefits as far as I am concerned.
    XP N/A, Yardiff, pemerton gave XP for this post

  7. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    I believe the underlying argument here is that asking for a player to be reasonably specific as to what they want to do so the DM can properly adjudicate does not necessarily lead to the way the DM in your anecdote handled the situation.

    "I try to persuade the king to help by appealing to the nobility of his ancestors..." and a flowery, Shakespearean soliloquy to the same effect have the same chance at success since the goal and approach are the same. The latter, however, might be worth Inspiration if the character has a personal characteristic like "I love hearing the sound of my own voice."
    Hence why I pointed out it was anecdotal. My experiences are not universal. But I have seen them happen.

  8. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    I disagree. I am not the least bit interested in playing "mother may I" with my players.
    Players don't ask for permission to do things in my game. They just do them. In fact, my table rules are very clear on this: "Describe what you want to do by stating a clear goal and approach. A question is not a statement of goal and approach, nor is asking to make an ability check or the like."

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    if i feel like more information is needed, i will ask for it.
    I don't have to do this if they are stating a clear goal and approach every time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    If the player offers more precise description, I'll accept it but often ask the player to pull back on their own assumptions when doing so.
    What do you mean here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard View Post
    I am interested in what the player wants their character to accomplish and getting there -- at least to the attempt -- as efficiently as possible. Pixelbitching, whether in the physical environment or in NPC interactions, is a waste of everyone's time and offers no benefits as far as I am concerned.
    The "pixelbitching" argument has been addressed numerous times in various discussions and is usually asserted as a means to suggest that the reasonable specificity laid out by the rules means there is only one solution to the challenge which the players have to guess at to succeed. Which is not true in the slightest our games. "I try to achieve X by doing Y" is hardly a burden or any evidence at all of "pixelbitching."

  9. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Sun View Post
    Hence why I pointed out it was anecdotal. My experiences are not universal. But I have seen them happen.
    Okay, just so we're clear: You're not implying that asking for a reasonably specific goal and approach from players means you will behave as the DM in your anecdote did, right?

  10. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by iserith View Post
    Okay, just so we're clear: You're not implying that asking for a reasonably specific goal and approach from players means you will behave as the DM in your anecdote did, right?
    I can't answer that. Your definition of "reasonably specific" may differ from mine.

    As @Reynard says I'm not terribly concerned with how a player expresses their goals. "I search the room." is perfectly acceptable. I have already determined the DCs for finding the secret desk drawer, the hidden closet compartment, and the knife in the mattress. If the player specifies one of these items as part of their search and makes the DC, I give them the information. If they don't, then I just take a quick look at the scene to make sure nothing is preventing them from searching one or more of these elements, tell them to roll the dice and then if they pass, reward them with one of these clues.

    If they choose to specify that they are searching an item that holds no useful information, I'll just tell them that. I'm not interested in needlessly befuddling players with things that won't get them anywhere. I'm not going to use obfuscating language like "The chest appears to have nothing." or "You don't see anything right away." unless their check was too low on an element that does contain a clue.

    To me, when a player leaves their statement "generic" it's not an excuse for the DM to take advantage of them. It's more like telling the cook to make them whatever the chef wants.
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