D&D 5E Ability Check origins at your table

How are Ability Checks handled at your 5e table?

  • The DM gives the players checks when they ask to make them for their PCs

    Votes: 20 26.7%
  • The DM asks the players to make checks when PCs attempt certain actions in the fiction

    Votes: 64 85.3%
  • The players, when they feel it makes sense, announce a skill and roll dice, unbidden by the DM

    Votes: 11 14.7%
  • Other (explain below)

    Votes: 7 9.3%

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Why you (and others) keep insisting that when "ONLY the dm may call for these rolls" is a playstyle predicated on "magic words" truly baffles me. We're just asking for the player to say what their character is doing and how they're going about it. Goal and approach. It's been explained ad nauseum now. Please drop the "magic words" pejorative. Please and thank you.
"By balancing the use of dice against deciding on success, you can encourage your players to strike a balance between relying on their bonuses and abilities and paying attention to the game and immersing themselves in the world."

"At any time, you can decide that a player's action is automatically successful. You can also grant the player advantage on any ability check, reducing the chance of a bad die roll foiling the character's plans. By the same token, a bad plan or unfortunate circumstances can transform the easiest task into an impossibility, or at least impose disadvantage."

^ Good insights from the DMG.
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Here's something else of note, from the PHB. It relates to finding a hidden object, but is a good example of a general policy on reasonable specificity the game appears to expect:

"When your character searches for a hidden object such as a secret door or a trap, the DM typically asks you to make a Wisdom (Perception) check. Such a check can be used to find hidden details or other information and clues that you might otherwise overlook.

"In most cases, you need to describe where you are looking, in order for the DM to determine your chance of success. For example, a key is hidden beneath a set of folded clothes in the top drawer of a bureau. If you tell the DM that you pace around the room, looking at the walls and furniture for clues, you have no chance of finding the key, regardless of your Wisdom (Perception) check result. You would have to specify that you were opening the drawers or searching the bureau in order to have any chance of success."

So, as a player, I'm going to be reasonably specific in my description so that I have the best chance of success. If I can avoid rolling that d20, great!
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Here's something else of note, from the PHB. It relates to finding a hidden object, but is a good example of a general policy on reasonable specificity the game appears to expect:

"When your character searches for a hidden object such as a secret door or a trap, the DM typically asks you to make a Wisdom (Perception) check. Such a check can be used to find hidden details or other information and clues that you might otherwise overlook.

"In most cases, you need to describe where you are looking, in order for the DM to determine your chance of success. For example, a key is hidden beneath a set of folded clothes in the top drawer of a bureau. If you tell the DM that you pace around the room, looking at the walls and furniture for clues, you have no chance of finding the key, regardless of your Wisdom (Perception) check result. You would have to specify that you were opening the drawers or searching the bureau in order to have any chance of success."

So, as a player, I'm going to be reasonably specific in my description so that I have the best chance of success. If I can avoid rolling that d20, great!
This is the way.
 


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