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D&D 5E 5e* - D&D-now

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
In my experience running 5E -- including a lot of convention games -- "Can I roll perception?" is a lot more common than "I listen/look/sniff intently." I think 5E encourages people to focus on their characters sheets rather than the game, whatever the book says about the DM calling for rolls.
Is that a result of 5E or just D&D and human behavior in general? I mean, this argument is as old as D&D. I was always the one saying that my thief (yes thief) knew how to find traps, I didn't. Others wanted people to describe how they were finding the trap or going into long drawn out descriptions of how they were getting down to the ground to see trip wires and carefully examining the wall for wear spots where others have pushed before.

I don't think either is better than the other. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Characters are fighting a stone giant with 126 HP. A hit deals 1 HP. (In foregoing conversation the giant was described as "pressing forward".) The DM narrates

"Your glancing hit isn't enough to hold her back. I'm giving her a reaction - roll Strength - you can add Athletics or Acrobatics." DM has in mind that if giant's score beats player's, character will be shoved back 5 feet.

1) Is this case realistic? Could it come up in play?
2) Is this narration guided toward by 5e text (I am thinking in particular of words on DMG 5 and PHB 5)?"
3) Is it meaningful?
With my current players? They would enjoy it. We bend the rules now and then to be more cinematic. Previous group before I moved? They'd be all over it like ticks on a hound dog, and about as enjoyable.
 

Reynard

Legend
Is that a result of 5E or just D&D and human behavior in general? I mean, this argument is as old as D&D. I was always the one saying that my thief (yes thief) knew how to find traps, I didn't. Others wanted people to describe how they were finding the trap or going into long drawn out descriptions of how they were getting down to the ground to see trip wires and carefully examining the wall for wear spots where others have pushed before.

I don't think either is better than the other. 🤷‍♂️
Sure. Pixel[blank]ing used to be a problem with certain GMs. But still, I think (if immersion is your goal) "I carefully examine the chest without touching it" is better than "I make a search for traps roll. clatter A 12!"
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
To be playing 5e* the [only] necessary change is that which is sufficient to narrate meaningfully. So that it matters.
I don't see how this answers the question, though. It's just a restatement of the vague requirement that lead to this point. What's the meaningful difference to narrate between the giant losing 1 hp and the giant losing 2 hp? Is there one, or is any description okay regardless of the details of the mechanical output so long as you describe anything meaningful? With meaningful, of course, being so vague as to encompass entertainment only at one end? So long as I'm being entertaining in my narration and that's sufficient for me, I'm now playing 5e*?
 

HammerMan

Legend
They are not the same because one engages primarily with the game mechanics, and the other engages primarily with the fiction. In both cases the player wants to know what they perceive, but in asking to make a roll the player is asserting how that is going to occur. But that is the GM's job. If a player asks "What do I hear" instead, they are engaging the fiction and preserving some sense of immersion, as well as conceding to the GM his authority (in the sense of being the author) over that fiction.
word games...

I am not interested in telling my friends (or my friends telling me) to use different words to relate the same ends.

a) Can I make a perception check
b) can I see anything

a) can I make an investigation check
b) can I search

a) can I hide
b) can I make a stealth check

all 3 have the same answers for A and B in my games...
Dm determines if they need to make a check or if they just give them the info... then relay the answer (and maybe result) to the player.

IF a DM regularly 'corrected' a player asking one way over the other I would get annoyed quickly and snap "You know what they mean"
 

Reynard

Legend
word games...

I am not interested in telling my friends (or my friends telling me) to use different words to relate the same ends.

a) Can I make a perception check
b) can I see anything

a) can I make an investigation check
b) can I search

a) can I hide
b) can I make a stealth check

all 3 have the same answers for A and B in my games...
Dm determines if they need to make a check or if they just give them the info... then relay the answer (and maybe result) to the player.

IF a DM regularly 'corrected' a player asking one way over the other I would get annoyed quickly and snap "You know what they mean"
So you don't care about immersion. That's great for you and your table. I specifically said I preferred the latter style in order to increase immersion.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Yeah, there are times when I feel like people completely ignore sections of the DMG like Role of the Dice where they're very explicit that how you handle these things is really up to the group. I think it's a good way of doing it and one of the reason why 5E works for so many people.
Just a quibble, but the Role of the Dice section has only language about the GM calling for rolls and nothing about the players asking for them (or just rolling them). Still, good section, worth reading.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
I don't see how this answers the question, though. It's just a restatement of the vague requirement that lead to this point. What's the meaningful difference to narrate between the giant losing 1 hp and the giant losing 2 hp? Is there one, or is any description okay regardless of the details of the mechanical output so long as you describe anything meaningful? With meaningful, of course, being so vague as to encompass entertainment only at one end? So long as I'm being entertaining in my narration and that's sufficient for me, I'm now playing 5e*?
Suppose [for the sake of argument] that there is no meaningful difference between hitting the stone giant for 1 hit point or for 2 hit points. In that case, such content alone cannot satisfy 5e*, but 5e* does not relax its requirements.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
word games...

I am not interested in telling my friends (or my friends telling me) to use different words to relate the same ends.

a) Can I make a perception check
b) can I see anything

a) can I make an investigation check
b) can I search

a) can I hide
b) can I make a stealth check

all 3 have the same answers for A and B in my games...
Dm determines if they need to make a check or if they just give them the info... then relay the answer (and maybe result) to the player.

IF a DM regularly 'corrected' a player asking one way over the other I would get annoyed quickly and snap "You know what they mean"
Here's the thing -- I don't allow those questions, either. Or rather, if those questions are being asked, I feel like I've not done my job as GM. Mind you, this is entirely because of how I've chosen to play -- there's nothing in 5e that says you should play this way, or any claim by me that my approach is superior. It is different, in that I don't have these questions pop up and if they do I feel like it's my fault as GM that they have because I've chosen to approach play in a way that has a strong imperative to eliminate the need for these kinds of questions.

Bluntly, my general approach to play is to overshare information -- I feel that I could just hand my notes to the players and not much at all would change in play. Typically this is because I do not base the design of a challenge on any part of it remaining secret.

What's very odd is that my general approach to play is not very far off from the OP's suggestion, I just don't pretend it's demanded by or the best interpretation of RAW -- it's a choice on my part, not a requirement and not directly supported by the rules. 5e is too vague and internally inconsistent for any such claim to survive. They all eventually come down to special pleading at some point.
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Suppose [for the sake of argument] that there is no meaningful difference between hitting the stone giant for 1 hit point or for 2 hit points. In that case, such content alone cannot satisfy 5e*, but 5e* does not relax its requirements.
Then 5e* is incoherent with the 5e system. 5e* demands meaningful narration where 5e generates none. This means that any meaningful narration is entirely arbitrary and based on the GM's whim. As such, it disrupts the players' ability to relate to the game in a coherent manner -- the players know 2 damage was applied, but they cannot guess what new outcome will result until the GM narrates it. As such, any attack (just to stick with this one thing) will always generate fiction that it unpredictable.

For example, your stone giant example just above to @Oofta. The PC attacks and succeeds at their attack (I reiterate, the PC's action was successful) and yet the result because of the demand for a meaningful narration is that the player is disadvantaged by this success -- the stone giant is not acting outside the bounds of the understood game structure to push the PC because this is the arbitrary result the GM decided on.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I actually find that word policing is MORE immersion breaking. We can stay in character more if we keep the flow.
I totally see this -- the way you approach play this is normal and works while trying to force a change on the players without a concurrent change to the GM is generally not going to work.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Then 5e* is incoherent with the 5e system. 5e* demands meaningful narration where 5e generates none. This means that any meaningful narration is entirely arbitrary and based on the GM's whim. As such, it disrupts the players' ability to relate to the game in a coherent manner -- the players know 2 damage was applied, but they cannot guess what new outcome will result until the GM narrates it. As such, any attack (just to stick with this one thing) will always generate fiction that it unpredictable.

For example, your stone giant example just above to @Oofta. The PC attacks and succeeds at their attack (I reiterate, the PC's action was successful) and yet the result because of the demand for a meaningful narration is that the player is disadvantaged by this success -- the stone giant is not acting outside the bounds of the understood game structure to push the PC because this is the arbitrary result the GM decided on.
Where does arbitrary decision and creature design come in though? Some of the giants will knock people prone whether hit or not for example.

I wouldn't want to do it in a way that penalizes players, it just kind of depends on the style of game you play. If you have a game where the barbarian can shoulder tackle someone with sword out in front to combine a shove and attack with some sort of risk or penalty I could see it working. In a more RAW game, it's still just the DMs call to customize monsters as they see fit.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
The only information here that the players can use is the coded passing of the relative state of the orc's hitpoint total. How that's described outside of passing that information is meaningless -- it does not create anything in the fiction the players can leverage.
So that whole bit about my passing on the idea of the gaping wound to the players which would then allow them to come up with the idea to use that narrative piece to drive how they might narratively interrogate the orc, and then I use their ideas of how the are interrogating the orc to determine whether the orc is more or less inclined to submit to them if/when I ask for an Intimidation roll (with or without any bonuses or Advantage/Disadvantage)... and then the orc's reaction and what he's willing to give up via the results of that die roll... none of that "counts" as "actionable" far as you are concerned?

Okay, well, you do you...
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Where does arbitrary decision and creature design come in though? Some of the giants will knock people prone whether hit or not for example.

I wouldn't want to do it in a way that penalizes players, it just kind of depends on the style of game you play. If you have a game where the barbarian can shoulder tackle someone with sword out in front to combine a shove and attack with some sort of risk or penalty I could see it working. In a more RAW game, it's still just the DMs call to customize monsters as they see fit.
Sure, this is an interesting question. Let's move it slightly and see what happens.

The player declares that their PCs is advancing on a foe. On the foe's turn, the foe successfully attacks the PC and inflicts damage, but only 2 hp. Does the player have an expectation that their declared fiction of "advancing" not means that the GM must narrate a benefit to the PC from this attack? Mind you, this benefit wouldn't be accounted for in the PC build options at all -- it's just the expectation that the prior narration and the fact that there's no required fiction from the damage result but 5e* requires meaningful description here?

Generally, when you make a modification to a monster using the 5e rules, it's 1) tied to existing mechanical structures such that it usually has some cost and 2) can adjust the CR of the creature, which feeds into encounter balance and design. As such, you can create a monster that pushes players after they take an action, but the only ways to do this via the rules are to institute an reaction ability or a legendary ability or a special feature of the monster. However, the moment we do this, we've decoupled the narration in the example from the "advancing" that was doing the work here, and we've made sure that the decision is planned as an intentional arrow -- now the mechanics are creating the narration, we aren't in the same spot of having to look for something to do because we can't make the hp loss difference meaningful.
 

Reynard

Legend
I actually find that word policing is MORE immersion breaking. We can stay in character more if we keep the flow.
"Word policing" suggests you don't think there is a functional difference, whereas I am sure there is. "I (the player) roll perception (a teait on my sheet)" is not the same as "I (the character) attempt to perceive." Just to be clear, I am not asserting superiority, just that there is a difference and I prefer the one that promotes immersion in the fiction (right now -- I have changed preferences in the past and will again).
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
So that whole bit about my passing on the idea of the gaping wound to the players which would then allow them to come up with the idea to use that narrative piece to drive how they might narratively interrogate the orc, and then I use their ideas of how the are interrogating the orc to determine whether the orc is more or less inclined to submit to them if/when I ask for an Intimidation roll (with or without any bonuses or Advantage/Disadvantage)... and then the orc's reaction and what he's willing to give up via the results of that die roll... none of that "counts" as "actionable" far as you are concerned?

Okay, well, you do you...
I had missed that, actually. That's reasonable. Is the intent when you described the wound to provide leverage for a possible interrogation attempt, or is this a post hoc rationalization of a possible chain of events that changes what's otherwise flavor into a useful bit of leverageable fiction? The problem in these discussions is quite often that an example is put forth with one intent, but when challenged a post hoc rationalization is applied to find a chain of events that might maintain it although not at all as it was originally presented.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
"Word policing" suggests you don't think there is a functional difference, whereas I am sure there is. "I (the player) roll perception (a teait on my sheet)" is not the same as "I (the character) attempt to perceive." Just to be clear, I am not asserting superiority, just that there is a difference and I prefer the one that promotes immersion in the fiction (right now -- I have changed preferences in the past and will again).
No, he's right. In the style of play where players declare button press actions like "I rolled an X perception, what do I see," then forcing a change on the players for how they interact without any change in how the GM is running really is just word policing. The situation that's prompting the play isn't changing, expected the play to change absent that is just forcing things for no use.
 


Cadence

Legend
Supporter
word games...

I am not interested in telling my friends (or my friends telling me) to use different words to relate the same ends.

a) Can I make a perception check
b) can I see anything

a) can I make an investigation check
b) can I search

a) can I hide
b) can I make a stealth check

all 3 have the same answers for A and B in my games...
Dm determines if they need to make a check or if they just give them the info... then relay the answer (and maybe result) to the player.

IF a DM regularly 'corrected' a player asking one way over the other I would get annoyed quickly and snap "You know what they mean"

I think for (a) and (b) in a lot of them I like some more specificity.

"That wall looks odd on the map I've been doing..."
"It feels like there should be someway to open the gate, maybe from the other side?..."
"I'm hoping the bags of flower could provide cover..."

and then either (a) or (b) sounds fine. Without them some of the (a)s and (b)s don't necessarily give me enough. And what they give me might change the DCs signficantly.
 

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