Abilities....Which check would you use? - Page 2

Poll: Which check would you use?

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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    That's because Comprehension Through Pugilation isn't a listed skill in 5E. It should be.
    Or see “Percussive Questioning” in the Player’s Fistbook.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    If I asked my players, "HOW do you try to figure out how many creatures there are," I assume I'd get a blank look and something like, "I look closely at the tracks...?" What else would you expect from yours?
    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, since Wisdom checks are used to resolve uncertainty as to the outcome of tasks related to noticing things about the environment when there's a meaningful consequence for failure. What skill proficiency applies is not clear to me. We're left to assume. Some DMs are just fine with that, but I'm not. I'm going to ask for a bit more of the players here.

    As a player with a higher-Int character like a wizard, I might say something about counting the tracks that I can find in the area and doing some mental math to come up with a range of possibilities. And I have no special knowledge of tracking creatures. That's just what I think could work and sounds like something a wizard might do.

    Just as the DM describing the environment by laying out the basic scope of options that present themselves makes it easier for the players to act, players being reasonably specific about how they set about tasks makes it easier for the DM to adjudicate fairly without making too many assumptions about what the character is doing. Or at least that's been my experience.
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  3. #13
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    I would go with Survival. This is what the ranger would use, so the others should use it. The players may be able to come up with some other ideas that I may go with, but generally this is Survival with a DC around 14. This would give some basic info like how many and where they are heading. Now if the PC beat a DC of something higher like 20 I would give more info and if there was a ranger, I may give the basic for free and more info with the normal check.

  4. #14
    Intelligence.

    The character has already found the tracks, so Wisdom is not appropriate.

    For an appropriate skill, I'd allow Nature or Investigation. I'm not sure about Survival (the idea is that Survival is focused more on techniques and practices to stay alive than lore about the outdoors).
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    A character (not a ranger) has found some animal tracks and wants to try and determine information from them, including what type of creature made them, how many there are, and whether any are injured. What kind of check would you have them make?
    I feel like this is requesting TOO MUCH information for one check, so I went choice 5, a combo.

    Specifically, Nature(int) would tell you what Type of Animal (or other nature relevant creature) the tracks are from.
    Survival(wis) would tell you how many creatures, and might on a high enough check tell you if any are injured.

    I would allow other skills (like investigate or perception) to determine parts as well with decent justification, but I just feel like these THREE questions is to much to get on a single roll with a single skill.
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  6. #16
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    I agree with Iserith in principle, though for me personally, “looking closely at them” is enough information about the approach for me to make a call. I’d say looking closely at the tracks has a reasonable chance of succeeding at determining what kind of creature left them and how many there were had a reasonable chance of failing to. Assuming time is a limited resource, I’d call for a Wisdom check, and if the player asked if their Survival or Nature proficiency was applicable, I’d say yes. Depending on what creature actually did leave them, I might also say yes to Animal Handling, if it was an animal the character has experience handling.

    As for whether any of the creatures that left the tracks are injured, that’s a bit more complicated. If there are clear visible signs of injury among the tracks, such as blood, there’s no reasonable chance of failure. Looking at the tracks closely would tell them that the creature(s) that left them was/were injured. If there are visible signs that are not obvious, such as one of the sets of tracks having a limping gait, then I’d probably ask for a separate check for that. Still wisdom, probably with a higher DC, and I would probably say yes to Medicine or Survival proficiency, possibly Animal Handling if the injured creature is an animal the character has handled, and no to Nature.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovinomancer View Post
    The point, if oblique, is that if the player says how they might identify the tracks, the question of what ability should resolve itself.
    In cases where the character needs to take a physical action, yes. In cases like this, where what's called for is largely happening in the character's head, the result is apt to be ambiguous. If we are too picky about naming approaches, we risk the, "Well, *how* do you search the room? What *exactly* do you look at?" that was a hallmark of previous editions, and more recently replaced with just "I search" without need for any particularly stated approach.

    The character is really scouring the inside of their head for anything they know that applies. So, give them the benefit of the doubt, and apply the best option. If that gives them something that bears closer examination with one particular skill, they can follow on with that.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springheel View Post
    A character (not a ranger) has found some animal tracks and wants to try and determine information from them, including what type of creature made them, how many there are, and whether any are injured. What kind of check would you have them make?

    1. Wisdom (Survival)

    2. Wisdom (Perception)

    3. Intelligence (Investigation)

    4. Intelligence (Nature)

    5. Some other combination, like Intelligence (Survival) or Wisdom (Investigation)?
    Wisdom survival for most.

    For do the tracks and trail show signs of injury, Int Investigation.

    If there was an effort made to hide the tracks, Wisdom Perception.

    Any of these could reach " no roll needed" if they were easy enough and the PC skilled enough.
    Last edited by 5ekyu; Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 at 06:12 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    In cases where the character needs to take a physical action, yes. In cases like this, where what's called for is largely happening in the character's head, the result is apt to be ambiguous. If we are too picky about naming approaches, we risk the, "Well, *how* do you search the room? What *exactly* do you look at?" that was a hallmark of previous editions, and more recently replaced with just "I search" without need for any particularly stated approach.

    The character is really scouring the inside of their head for anything they know that applies. So, give them the benefit of the doubt, and apply the best option. If that gives them something that bears closer examination with one particular skill, they can follow on with that.
    Careful, "scouring" could imply a strength based check.

    :-)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovinomancer View Post
    And would that be sufficient to identify the tracks?
    Probably, but not definitely. After all, we are looking at character knowledge, not player knowledge. I never penalize a player for having no clue how to do something that their character may not even have to think about before doing. So unless the player happens to also be a hunter or a boy/girl scout, you are not going to get a detailed answer from them. This is where the player making a good background for their character comes into play also. This kind of thing can give modifiers or advantage or disadvantage on the skill check too.

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