Abilities....Which check would you use? - Page 4

Poll: Which check would you use?

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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    LOL, fine. As usual you and I must agree to disagree, but that is hardly surprising considering our track record.
    Likely, but to be clear, you font allow that info to be gained other than for rangers inside their favored terrain? Rangers used to mountains cannot get numbers tracked while following tracks in grasslands?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5ekyu View Post
    Just to be clear tho, this definition of approach if I read you correct does not require any specific action of the character to be stated? There was no guidance as to what the character is doing, just the player stating a list of factors that they want the gm to consider.
    The action is the character recalling their knowledge and experience for help in interpreting the tracks. Yes, they're not moving their body, but that doesn't mean they're not doing something. And by describing their examination in such terms, connecting their characters experience to the task at hand, it clearly communicates to the DM that their character knows what they're doing and should either get the information they need, or at least get some boost to any check that might be called.
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    As I wrote, a simple Wisdom (Survival) check will allow anyone to follow tracks (as per the PHB), but the Ranger is the class which can discern greater amounts of information. Why would you take away one of their key abilities and allow any character to do it? If I did allow them the chance to glean additional information, the DC would be high or with disadvantage.

    Skills are important, but class trumps skill IMO and at our table, but to each their own...
    Except that the ranger class in 5e isn't any better or worse at this than anyone else. The Natural Explorer class ability is what makes them better in their favored terrain. The Favored Enemy class ability makes them better at this against their favored enemy.

    Otherwise, other classes can be as good or better depending on the circumstances. You must be thinking of the ranger from previous editions.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM Dave1 View Post
    Sorry for my glossing over that bolded part. I swear things become less visible when trying to reply on a phone. I should learn to wait until I'm back at my laptop...

    Anyway, agreed! The Ranger certainly might be more likely to auto-succeed/roll with advantage and/or gain deeper knowledge, while the non-Ranger might be more likely to have a higher DC and/or have disadvantage and/or just gain basic knowledge - depending on the goal and approach. But not always - a Barbarian with an outlander background might be just as able to discern certain tracks as a Ranger. Nonetheless, in general I agree with your premise that the Ranger should own the tracking spotlight.
    No worries. I miss stuff sometimes as well.

    But yes, the DM must always allow for exceptions and a character with the proper background, etc. might be able to do nearly as much as a trained Ranger. For example, a Rogue Scout archetype gets the Survival skill (and Nature) with Expertise even, and should function almost as well as a Ranger at tracking, with the right modifiers maybe even better LOL. Give someone like that the Outlander or similar background and even more so!

    Yet the level of information they could gain (as in the Ranger description) should be the less than the Ranger class regardless unless you add a higher DC or disadvantage. At least, this is how we would do it...
    Last edited by dnd4vr; Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 at 03:28 PM.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterRabbit View Post
    Except that the ranger class in 5e isn't any better or worse at this than anyone else. The Natural Explorer class ability is what makes them better in their favored terrain. The Favored Enemy class ability makes them better at this against their favored enemy.

    Otherwise, other classes can be as good or better depending on the circumstances. You must be thinking of the ranger from previous editions.
    Probably, and the revised UA rangers from this edition. There is a good reason why a lot of tables house-rule rangers to improve them or use a UA version.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by robus View Post
    The action is the character recalling their knowledge and experience for help in interpreting the tracks. Yes, they're not moving their body, but that doesn't mean they're not doing something. And by describing their examination in such terms, connecting their characters experience to the task at hand, it clearly communicates to the DM that their character knows what they're doing and should either get the information they need, or at least get some boost to any check that might be called.
    Got it. For me, rather than get the characters history for every stand around and think about stuff moment, I prefer to know say any proficiencies or features they might actually have that apply- like z background or class trait.

    See, that who " learned at the feet of Greenskin the Smelly" ain't really gonna get you much knowledge about tracking unless you represented that say by giving your character proficiency in Survival or higher Wisdom or some other way that it factors into the game. I mean, obviously, each table sets their own balance between roleplay snd mechanics and all that jazz. So, not ever gonna be the same, but for me all that history recitation at every call to resolution would tend to slow our games down. Especially if we have to go thru the "stand still and try to solve" then the "move around and look" try to solve and then some other "use tools or other approach" try to solve.

    Of course, maybe "approach and goal" is not used all that often that it's called for at every "challenge" or scene?
    Last edited by 5ekyu; Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 at 06:47 PM.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnd4vr View Post
    Probably, and the revised UA rangers from this edition. There is a good reason why a lot of tables house-rule rangers to improve them or use a UA version.
    So what you are saying is that your house rules are more important than the actual rules. Got it.

    But again, even the UA ranger only specifies what advantages they have when tracking. It doesn't nerf the abilities of other characters.

    Finally, the ranger is going to be revised yet again, so I wouldn't bother with the UA version at this point. It still has all of the issues the original ranger has in my opinion. To me, the ranger works best if it is assumed to be a combination of fighter and rogue. It should just be removed altogether and replaced with a scout class IMHO.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    This is, honestly, a major problem with the "goal and approach" way of dealing with things - if the *player* doesn't have domain knowledge, they can't always guess what approaches are reasonable. This can lead to, "I beat the ground with my club until the very Earth itself tells me what I want to know to avoid the pain," frustration approach.
    Interesting point: if the player's score is lower than the character's score, asking for a specific approach borders on unfair. While I wouldn't accept "I'm rolling Survival to find out more about the tracks," I would accept "I look at the tracks to get more information."

    I was thinking that it's clearly an Intelligence check to use tracking training to learn about tracks, and then I saw the discussion about what actions are involved. So I'm picturing two characters looking at the same tracks:

    The Genius gathers all the data he can about the tracks, with actions, before making an educated guess - Intelligence.

    The Wise Woman uses some folk tales to guess what local creatures meet the general appearance of the tracks, more glancing around than acting, and probably notices something not available through induction, due to sheer - Wisdom.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterRabbit View Post
    So what you are saying is that your house rules are more important than the actual rules. Got it.

    But again, even the UA ranger only specifies what advantages they have when tracking. It doesn't nerf the abilities of other characters.

    Finally, the ranger is going to be revised yet again, so I wouldn't bother with the UA version at this point. It still has all of the issues the original ranger has in my opinion. To me, the ranger works best if it is assumed to be a combination of fighter and rogue. It should just be removed altogether and replaced with a scout class IMHO.
    If you want to stick to "actual rules", then only the Ranger class has any mention of being able to do anything remotely like what the OP wants. No one else could even do it, even with the Survival skill since that only allows a character to track in the PHB. Of course, anything else the DM wants a skill to do is entirely up to the DM, but that makes it a house-ruling either way, not an "actual rule."

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMMike View Post
    Interesting point: if the player's score is lower than the character's score, asking for a specific approach borders on unfair. While I wouldn't accept "I'm rolling Survival to find out more about the tracks," I would accept "I look at the tracks to get more information."

    I was thinking that it's clearly an Intelligence check to use tracking training to learn about tracks, and then I saw the discussion about what actions are involved. So I'm picturing two characters looking at the same tracks:

    The Genius gathers all the data he can about the tracks, with actions, before making an educated guess - Intelligence.

    The Wise Woman uses some folk tales to guess what local creatures meet the general appearance of the tracks, more glancing around than acting, and probably notices something not available through induction, due to sheer - Wisdom.
    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 going on. A DM like me does not want to guess what the character is actually doing, perhaps getting both the imagined task and desired ability check and skill proficiency wrong, because the player failed to adequately describe what he or she wanted to do. We can ask more of our players in this regard by setting the expectation that we need to know what they hope to accomplish and what they're doing to achieve it through a reasonably specific action declaration.
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