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D&D 5E 5e* - D&D-now

HammerMan

Legend
"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).

there is no diffrence, it is table jargon.

back in 3e someone (I think Joe but I'm not even 100% sure who) started joking that having a high CHa high diplomacy skill was akin to magic... someone nick named it diplomancy. We all joked about it at and away from gaming table. If someone who was playing a high cha character said "diplomancy" and nothing else we all knew (we were in on the joke) even in the most tense serious moment what they meant was something akin to "I have a charismatic character can I smooth this over in game"

If I went to a store pick up game or a con I would expect "Diplomancy" would require some explanation... even now the joke rarely gets brought up at our tables.

At the table if tomorrow someone made up a new word or phrase "Goble Guble Gack" it would need us to stop and ask what they meant (maybe if they are having a stroke). However if over years of play "Goble Guble Gack" was always explained as "I cast magic missle" then yeah it may slow us a few times, but we would catch on... at which point "Goble Guble Gack" becomes a stated action...

I use that crazy becuse we also shorten "I cast fireball" or "Antra casts Fireball" often to "Fireball"
heck we just defualt to if the DM can see a way to cast it to catch no PCs we don't even ask for a placement, it is only when it looks hard or impossible to do that we go into where do you cast it....

this is why I call it word games. At the table that has been friends for years, in a campaign that has been going for X number of sessions, in a session that has lasted Y amount of time so far that night, there are lots of "It makes sense in context" that gets lost here.
 

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HammerMan

Legend
Player, frustrated: "But I said Perception! I optimized this whole character build for Perception! Why can't you just let me roll for Perception!?"

DM, also frustrated: "Because your character is trying to climb a wall, Kevin."
We also joke about the time (I think 4e but maybe end of 3.5) that a player argued that studies show that exercise will increase blood flow and make you think clearer so he wanted to roll athletics to do push ups for insight...
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
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.
Both well-made points. In DMG 5 it provides this example to help guide DMs.

a player might want his or her character to hurl a brazier full of hot coals into a monster's face. How you determine the outcome of this action is up to you. You might tell the player to make a Strength check, while mentally setting the Difficulty Class (DC) at 15. If the Strength check is successful, you then determine how a face full of hot coals affects the monster. You might decide that it deals ld4 fire damage and imposes disadvantage on the monster's attack rolls until the end of its next turn.

On PHB 5, this guidance is offered.

Because the DM can improvise to react to anything the players attempt, D&D is infinitely flexible, and each adventure can be exciting and unexpected.

I weigh the words used here and elsewhere into my view that it 5e intends a DM to extemporise, including as to mechanical consequences.
 

HammerMan

Legend
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.
yeah again... at the table these things don't need to be spelled out most times (and if they do most times the players do) some times someone might be taken by such suprise that a DM can ask "Wait, why do you want to roll arcana?" but most times the context of the scene is enough.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
there is no diffrence, it is table jargon.

back in 3e someone (I think Joe but I'm not even 100% sure who) started joking that having a high CHa high diplomacy skill was akin to magic... someone nick named it diplomancy. We all joked about it at and away from gaming table. If someone who was playing a high cha character said "diplomancy" and nothing else we all knew (we were in on the joke) even in the most tense serious moment what they meant was something akin to "I have a charismatic character can I smooth this over in game"

If I went to a store pick up game or a con I would expect "Diplomancy" would require some explanation... even now the joke rarely gets brought up at our tables.

At the table if tomorrow someone made up a new word or phrase "Goble Guble Gack" it would need us to stop and ask what they meant (maybe if they are having a stroke). However if over years of play "Goble Guble Gack" was always explained as "I cast magic missle" then yeah it may slow us a few times, but we would catch on... at which point "Goble Guble Gack" becomes a stated action...

I use that crazy becuse we also shorten "I cast fireball" or "Antra casts Fireball" often to "Fireball"
heck we just defualt to if the DM can see a way to cast it to catch no PCs we don't even ask for a placement, it is only when it looks hard or impossible to do that we go into where do you cast it....

this is why I call it word games. At the table that has been friends for years, in a campaign that has been going for X number of sessions, in a session that has lasted Y amount of time so far that night, there are lots of "It makes sense in context" that gets lost here.
It could be put that 5e* is concerned for meaningful narrative, over the form it takes.

Relocating the dispute to one over goals, which each group decides for themselves. If it would break immersion to use jargon, then doing so is ruled out where the goal is immersion.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Relocating the dispute to one over goals, which each group decides for themselves. If it would break immersion to use jargon, then doing so is ruled out where the goal is immersion.
and if pretending you don't understand the jargon (assuming you understand it in context) just to get them to phrase the exact same thing another way IS immersion breaking and game stalling... or like I say "word games"

It's the Jeopardy answer word game.
If we are playing Jeopardy and you answer correctly but not in the form of a question you don't get the points, and someone else can buz in that didn't know, steal your correct answer and phrase it as a question, and get the points.

I don't want to word police like Jeopardy.

I get asking for a revised statement if you don't understand
I get asking for more information if you don't understand

I will never get that if you know what they want and how they want to do it why it matters how they say it.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I always encourage my players to describe the action their characters wish to take, without using game mechanics. "Describe it in character," I will say. And for the most part, it goes well. But there is always that one player who tries to push his luck, carefully selecting his words in the hopes of guiding the mechanics to his favor.

DM: You stand before the cliff face, a rope ladder dangling from above.
Player: Huxley will grab the rope and start climbing up.
Player2: Clarion will wait until Huxley has reached the top, then start climbing as well.
That Guy: I will Perceive a path up the cliff face that doesn't require climbing!
DM: >_>
Player: <_<
Player2: <_<
That Guy: Ugh, fine, I guess I'll just fall to my death then! You guys know that I didn't optimize Athletics, why do you keep doing this to me!?
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
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.
This gives weight to a view that the narration must be approached with in mind consistency. So we see that principles beyond what is only in RAW are being applied.

@pemerton said
I mean, there is so much narration in the typical back-and-forth of RPG play that I'm not sure how it could be required that it all be meaningful. The most tightly-focused RPG I know is Burning Wheel, and even it recognises that sometimes there will be narration that is not meaningful but is mere colour - hence why it deploys the principle of "say 'yes' or roll the dice",
This would relax the requirement of the rule, to something like - "wherever possible". Wherever possible, follow the rule. That would accord with a basic conception of rules, which is that a rule is anything that can be followed such that:

a) our having, grasp or use of it can play a role in generating and explaining our action.
b) our actions can accord or discord with it;

So to follow the rule - "narrate meaningfully" - wherever possible, would still be grasping and upholding the rule. It is not a rule that suggests it must be enforced in a way that is damaging to play. Drawing an analogy with say Stonetop, where a soft move is indicated without stating the exact contents of that move, enforcing the rule in some way that is damaging to the game - arbitrarily and whimsically - would not be following the rule. Even though it would be possible to enforce the rule in a way that was arbitrary and whimsical. Drawing attention again to principles beyond what is in each RAW.

as opposed to "never allow anything to be said that won't demand that the dice be rolled".
It's more, don't demand the dice be rolled unless there is something meaningful that might be said in consequence.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
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.
Unlike the denoting of probable hit point totals by the description of the injuries the target is suffering (which you are correct, the description is usually purposeful coding in that regard)... other narration is not usually given with any purposeful indicators on my part of what the players could and should take from it and what they would then do with it. It's not my concern with what they do with the information given to them.

But that being said... we all work very well in standard improv technique-- the DM makes an Offer of information, the players listens to what was offered to them (either narratively or mechanically) and Accepts the information is true (the "Yes"), they process the offer of information and use it to create a new reaction and response (the "And..."), they Offer that response back to the DM, and hopefully the DM is listening too and Accepts or "Yes's" the returned offer and then "Ands..." it themselves.

And this all can happen organically without either side making Offers of information for which they already know or assume what the specific Accept is going to be. For the DM and hit points / saving throw responses it usually is... the DM makes an Offer of information that an attack barely hurt or hurt a lot, or that a wound started to burn with toxicity but the character was able to fight it off (a successful CON save versus poison for example)... but for other description there most likely isn't a specific assumption they expect the player to infer. It's just added flavor that the players can choose to Accept and run with, adding and offering back other flavor that might end up coloring the choices the DM makes on how to run any mechanics for the situation. It's really no different than the DM who has a negotiation scene with a player and decides in the moment that the player did a really good job in making their case and gives the player Advantage on their Persuasion check. The DM took the Offered information of the negotiation and Accepted it by formulating the response and giving a bonus to the connected mechanic.
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
Unlike the denoting of probable hit point totals by the description of the injuries the target is suffering (which you are correct, the description is usually purposeful coding in that regard)... other narration is not usually given with any purposeful indicators on my part of what the players could and should take from it and what they would then do with it. It's not my concern with what they do with the information given to them.

But that being said... we all work very well in standard improv technique-- the DM makes an Offer of information, the players listens to what was offered to them (either narratively or mechanically) and Accepts the information is true (the "Yes"), they process the offer of information and us it to create a new reaction and response (the "And..."), they Offer that response back to the DM, and hopefully the DM is listening too and Accepts or "Yes's" the returned offer and then "Ands..." it themselves.

And this all can happen organically without either side making Offers of information for which they already know or assume what the specific Accept is going to be. For the DM and hit points / saving throw responses it usually is... the DM makes an Offer of information that an attack barely hurt or hurt a lot, or that a wound started to burn with toxicity but the character was able to fight it off (a successful CON save versus poison for example)... but for other description there most likely isn't a specific assumption they expect the player to infer. It's just added flavor that the players can choose to Accept and run with, adding and offering back other flavor that might end up coloring the choices the DM makes on how to run any mechanics for the situation. It's really no different than the DM who has a negotiation scene with a player and decides in the moment that the player did a really good job in making their case and gives the player Advantage on their Persuasion check. The DM took the Offered information of the negotiation and Accepted it by formulating the response and giving a bonus to the connected mechanic.
Building on what you say here, it seems tenuous or at least contingent to me to say that narrative that informs player actions, extends their concept of the world, or creates some feeling or other among them, is not meaningful. I don't see grounds for supposing that, that which matters can only be that which concretely or strictly delimits immediately subsequent actions. But something that I am puzzling over is this:

Game A. Characters are fighting a stone giant with 126 HP. A hit deals 1 HP. The DM narrates "Your hit barely scratches it. The giant laughs. 'You're no threat little elf, I'm going to be about hitting that one there.' (It points directly at the wizard)."

Game B. Characters are fighting a stone giant with 126 HP. A hit deals 2 HP. The DM narrates "Your hit barely scratches it. The giant laughs. 'You're no threat little elf, I'm going to be about hitting that one there.' (It points directly at the wizard)."

Is the possible meaning of A expunged because it is not differentiated on the matter of hit points from B, even if the rest of the narration follows and matters to subsequent fiction?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Unlike the denoting of probable hit point totals by the description of the injuries the target is suffering (which you are correct, the description is usually purposeful coding in that regard)... other narration is not usually given with any purposeful indicators on my part of what the players could and should take from it and what they would then do with it. It's not my concern with what they do with the information given to them.

But that being said... we all work very well in standard improv technique-- the DM makes an Offer of information, the players listens to what was offered to them (either narratively or mechanically) and Accepts the information is true (the "Yes"), they process the offer of information and use it to create a new reaction and response (the "And..."), they Offer that response back to the DM, and hopefully the DM is listening too and Accepts or "Yes's" the returned offer and then "Ands..." it themselves.

And this all can happen organically without either side making Offers of information for which they already know or assume what the specific Accept is going to be. For the DM and hit points / saving throw responses it usually is... the DM makes an Offer of information that an attack barely hurt or hurt a lot, or that a wound started to burn with toxicity but the character was able to fight it off (a successful CON save versus poison for example)... but for other description there most likely isn't a specific assumption they expect the player to infer. It's just added flavor that the players can choose to Accept and run with, adding and offering back other flavor that might end up coloring the choices the DM makes on how to run any mechanics for the situation. It's really no different than the DM who has a negotiation scene with a player and decides in the moment that the player did a really good job in making their case and gives the player Advantage on their Persuasion check. The DM took the Offered information of the negotiation and Accepted it by formulating the response and giving a bonus to the connected mechanic.
I didn't really get my point across well, and my apologies. If narration is made with the idea that it might be useful, then it's not meaningful in the moment -- I can only tell if the narration is meaningful after some duration has passed. Thus, in the context of the 5e* sense, I am not following the concept because I cannot tell if my narration is color or meaningful. In other words, if the meaningfulness of a given narration can only every be determined post hoc, then I cannot intentionally play with regards to the agenda of "meaningful narration." It's therefore not a guide to play, but rather a possible function of post play analysis.
 

Reynard

Legend
and if pretending you don't understand the jargon (assuming you understand it in context) just to get them to phrase the exact same thing another way IS immersion breaking and game stalling... or like I say "word games"
The scenario you have constructed in your head bears little to no resemblance to what I am advocating or described, which I assume means I did not communicate it well. So to reiterate for better understanding:

The style of in play interaction I prefer, in order to promote immersion, is to have players tell me what their characters are doing in the fiction, and for me to respond also in the fiction unless some sort of die roll is needed. If we all do this, the game continues to flow easily and we get the benefits of an immersive experience.

I am not suggesting that you, personally, change the way you have been doing things with your group for the last 25 years. Nor am I suggesting that this is in any way the right way to play D&D. I was just expressing a preference for discussion, seeing as how we are on a discussion board.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
I didn't really get my point across well, and my apologies. If narration is made with the idea that it might be useful, then it's not meaningful in the moment -- I can only tell if the narration is meaningful after some duration has passed. Thus, in the context of the 5e* sense, I am not following the concept because I cannot tell if my narration is color or meaningful. In other words, if the meaningfulness of a given narration can only every be determined post hoc, then I cannot intentionally play with regards to the agenda of "meaningful narration." It's therefore not a guide to play, but rather a possible function of post play analysis.
Do you mean to rule out of meaningful, or mattering, any case where a DM provides information to a player-character that is not acted on straight away? Do you see what I mean? How do you exclude doing that? (Or do you need to exclude doing that?)
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Additionally here, it seems tenuous or at least contingent to me to say that narrative that informs player actions, extends their concept of the world, or creates some feeling or other among them, is not meaningful. I don't see grounds for supposing that, that which matters can only be that which concretely or strictly delimits subsequent actions. But something that I am puzzling over is this:

Game A. Characters are fighting a stone giant with 126 HP. A hit deals 1 HP. The DM narrates "Your hit barely scratches it. The giant laughs. 'You're no threat little elf, I'm going to be about hitting that one there.' (It points directly at the wizard)."

Game B. Characters are fighting a stone giant with 126 HP. A hit deals 2 HP. The DM narrates "Your hit barely scratches it. The giant laughs. 'You're no threat little elf, I'm going to be about hitting that one there.' (It points directly at the wizard)."

Is the possible meaning of A expunged because it is not differentiated on the matter of hit points from B, even if the rest of the narration follows and matters to subsequent fiction?
This, again, has a resolution point of being sufficiently meaningful for use so long as it is at least minorly entertaining. I'm not sure this is at all a useful concept to base an entire play approach upon. For example, in the other thread, you're arguing that no progress is not sufficient absent other consequences to be "meaningful." Yet, here, if I can say I'm entertained by no progress, it's sufficient. Ironically, "meaningful" has become rather meaningless.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
This, again, has a resolution point of being sufficiently meaningful for use so long as it is at least minorly entertaining. I'm not sure this is at all a useful concept to base an entire play approach upon. For example, in the other thread, you're arguing that no progress is not sufficient absent other consequences to be "meaningful." Yet, here, if I can say I'm entertained by no progress, it's sufficient. Ironically, "meaningful" has become rather meaningless.
A great many of your comments seem to locate your theory of meaning in immediate, strict limits on player-character action. Is that your intent?

When I think of entertained, ideas like feeling, anticipation, surprise, engagement, come to mind. Are those meaningless, in the paradigm you use for your assessment of what counts as meaningful?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Do you mean to rule out of meaningful, or mattering, any case where a DM provides information to a player-character that is not acted on straight away? Do you see what I mean? How do you exclude doing that? (Or do you need to exclude doing that?)
Nope.

Take the narration of the orc's gaping abdominal wound. We don't know, with just this, if this is color to telling PCs the relative health of the orc (ie, the specific narration is immaterial, it's the coded information that matters and it can be delivered in near infinite ways other than this, so the specific choice doesn't really matter to pass that coded information -- it's just color). We don't know if it's meaningful, in that it will have a future impact on play (the description of the wound, not the coded hp total information). We cannot tell at the moment of presentation. We can only tell if it's meaningful and not color if some later play, possibly much later play, makes it useful. I mean, we could have this orc escape this fight, and then indicate months later that it's the same orc by describing the scar (although, again, this may just be color). It's only in post hoc analysis that we can make the determination if a given narration is color or meaningful (ie, carries some meaning to the ongoing fiction past value as pure description).

If we cannot tell if the narration is meaningful or not at the time it is presented, and can only tell if it is such post hoc, then the 5e* direction to only provide meaningful narration is not met by this kind of narration -- it might fail to be meaningful and thus not meet the direction! Yet, you've presented the process as if it is an imperative direction to do this -- that this imperative direction is the main change and difference from normal 5e. Yet, we can't tell at the point of narration what might be meaningful, unless we intend it to be meaningful at that moment -- that an immediate use is present. Then it's meaningful because options are added that did not exist, even if they are not chosen. So, intent in the moment of narration seems to be a requirement for 5e* to be coherent with it's own agenda!

Alternatively, we can just assert that any narration may become meaningful in play given the correct chain of events and play. Describing a cloak as blue, intended as mere color, may become pivotal in later play if certain paths and events occur. The problem here is that there's never an inability to imagine a sequence of events that makes any given detail meaningful -- pick any example and I can come up with any number of ways play might make that important. And if we go with this, then there's no need for any specific change to include 5e* -- it's not doing any work because this is true of any narration at any time.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
A great many of your comments seem to locate your theory of meaning in immediate, strict limits on player-character action. Is that your intent?

When I think of entertained, ideas like feeling, anticipation, surprise, engagement, come to mind. Are those meaningless, in the paradigm you use for your assessment of what counts as meaningful?
It's not my term, why are you asking me to define it?
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
Take the narration of the orc's gaping abdominal wound. We don't know, with just this, if this is color to telling PCs the relative health of the orc (ie, the specific narration is immaterial, it's the coded information that matters and it can be delivered in near infinite ways other than this, so the specific choice doesn't really matter to pass that coded information -- it's just color). We don't know if it's meaningful, in that it will have a future impact on play (the description of the wound, not the coded hp total information). We cannot tell at the moment of presentation. We can only tell if it's meaningful and not color if some later play, possibly much later play, makes it useful. I mean, we could have this orc escape this fight, and then indicate months later that it's the same orc by describing the scar (although, again, this may just be color). It's only in post hoc analysis that we can make the determination if a given narration is color or meaningful (ie, carries some meaning to the ongoing fiction past value as pure description).

If we cannot tell if the narration is meaningful or not at the time it is presented, and can only tell if it is such post hoc, then the 5e* direction to only provide meaningful narration is not met by this kind of narration -- it might fail to be meaningful and thus not meet the direction! Yet, you've presented the process as if it is an imperative direction to do this -- that this imperative direction is the main change and difference from normal 5e. Yet, we can't tell at the point of narration what might be meaningful, unless we intend it to be meaningful at that moment -- that an immediate use is present. Then it's meaningful because options are added that did not exist, even if they are not chosen. So, intent in the moment of narration seems to be a requirement for 5e* to be coherent with it's own agenda!
If we are not in the mode 5e*, we might frequently doubt if what is narrated matters. We might only be able to tell post-hoc.

5e* banishes that. 5e* authorises players to react to what DM narrates, as if it matters (because it does.)
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
If we are not in the mode 5e*, we might frequently doubt if what is narrated matters. We might only be able to tell post-hoc.

5e* banishes that. 5e* authorises players to react to what DM narrates, as if it matters (because it does.)
Let me expand on my hard disagree. This statement says that what authorizes narration to be meaningful is the direction that narration be meaningful, and that the result of this is that any narration is therefore meaningful. And, absent this, players are unsure if narration is meaningful at all. To rephrase this, we can say that what makes things tall is the requirement to pick only tall things, therefore anything picked is tall because it was picked. This is entirely circular.
 

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