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Recent content by Jon Gilliam

  1. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    It's funny that people a few posts back are wanting to parse the word "usually" in the Sage Advice Compendium as if it were an unearthed scrap of the original gospels, and now it's "extra-textual support." The rules as they're written are clear : there's a rule printed that specifies how...
  2. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    It's found here in the rules on p. 7 of the PHB: There are no specific rules, either for racial traits or class abilities, that contradict and are more specific than the general rule of determining surprise on a Stealth vs passive Perception basis, and therefore that rule governs how the game...
  3. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    Thank you for pointing me to these - there's a treasure trove of archeology here. I also think none of it represents a reflective interpretation of what was delivered with 5e, and almost all of it instead represents brain-storming primarily by Mike Mearls. However, if you take a look at the...
  4. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    Wow, you all want to make a lot of that one word, "usually," in a Sage Advice response, while hand waving away that everything in that reply that clarifies and assumes that surprise is decided with Stealth. The general rule for deciding stealth presumes hiding, it says so right there, and...
  5. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    Assassinations don't directly require Stealth, because the assassin's abilities don't presume surprise, aren't surprise-based, and only apply if the assassin is already attacking a surprised creature, determined by the procedure given for determining surprise : comparing passive Perceptions to...
  6. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    Again, these are just words - your words. I appreciate the kind ones, such as they are. But unless you're one of the designers (and speak up if you are!) you don't get speak for them. But, I leave you with the words directly from the DMG: And in the PHB: I think all of this makes it...
  7. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    For me, you're no longer presenting any arguments from the rules, or anything interesting to respond to here. You're simply reiterating that you think you're right, and I already knew that. Go in peace.
  8. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    You're missing my point - I hope not willfully. The rulebooks are meant to be read as rules - each word examined for how it's defined and what it means. The Sage Advice Compendium is an aide to help you understand and interpret the rules - they're not rules themselves, and they haven't been...
  9. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    I see nothing in the Social Interaction rules that mitigates the issue. RAW, you don't decide surprise on social interaction - you decide it on a skill check. So, even if you use Starting Attitude or Conversation (which we normally use), as soon as you're down to the surprise mechanic, you...
  10. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    It's really very simple : Deciding surprise based on anything other than passive Perception vs Stealth is not rules as written because whatever procedure you use to decide surprise in that case isn't in the rules.
  11. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    I dismiss "usually" because it's written in Sage Advice, which is an aide to interpreting the rules but not meant to be read as the rules, and also because Jeremy Crawford in his video explicitly calls out the distraction scenario. Y'all can't have it both ways (recognizing that there's more...
  12. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    Giving considerations to the opposing arguments (particularly the Orchestra scenario that was mentioned at one point), I'll shift the question from "What do I think the rules intend?" to "What would I do as DM?" Here's my thoughts on that. If a character had infiltrated an opposing...
  13. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    Here's a further situation that wouldn't make sense : A high-charisma party member is parlaying with opponents in role-play in a situation where it wouldn't otherwise make sense for the whole party to suddenly be able to hide (let's say they came upon them unexpectedly). The high-charisma...
  14. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    Note that combat starts before saying "Roll Initiative" : see the "combat step-by-step" box on p.177 of the PHB. That's the 3rd step, after you've already decided combat has begun. The problem with having a "triggering character" for surprise who has deceived opponents that they're friendly in...
  15. J

    D&D 5E 5e Surprise and Hiding Rules Interpretation

    No, the issue is balance among character classes, and preserving the qualities of the class that a player has chosen so that they can feel that they have a special thing that their character does that other characters can't do. If a player has chosen a Stealthy class and/or race (say you're a...
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