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5E Are there actions not covered under a skill?

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Succeeding at what check? Checks don’t exist independently of actions, and if the declared action is “keep looking until we find it” when there’s no time constraint, then there’s no chance of failure, so no check.
Just because there's no time constraint doesn't mean there's no chance of failure.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Just because there's no time constraint doesn't mean there's no chance of failure.
If the action is “spend as much time as I need to thoroughly search the area” and there’s no time constraint... how is there a chance of failure?
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
If the action is “spend as much time as I need to thoroughly search the area” and there’s no time constraint... how is there a chance of failure?
Because even the most-thorough search might miss something, basically.

The example (from my games) I have in mind is this: The party had killed the Evil Wizard and his Mooks, and they searched his quarters. The party found a lot of stuff, including money and items and information. They had a chance, even taking as much time as they wanted, of not finding the secret door that led to the chamber where his clone was stored. They failed on the Int(Investigation) check/s to realize that the volumes of notes they found were A) fragmentary and B) on paper that was too close to the same age to match up with the dates on the notes, so it never occurred to them that these notes, and the treasure they found, were there with the intent to convince someone that they'd found what there was to find.

I figured there was a chance of failure, so the dice decided. Right out of the PHB.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The rules say that if a character spends 10 times the amount of time on a task as normal, then they automatically succeed, provided that the only real cost is the time it takes. This doesn't turn an impossible task into a successful one, however.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Some people do play games that take the standard of reasonable specificity into unreasonable territory, relative to what the game suggests. (It might not be unreasonable to those people.) I don't think you're talking to any of those people right now, however much some posters may want to imply that it is the case.



It's in the sidebar for finding hidden objects in the chapter on using ability scores. I paraphrased that section in the example upthread. The lame and boring one, according to what you said. PHB: "You would have to specify that you were opening the drawers or searching the bureau in order to have any chance of success."
I’ve clarified what is lame and boring, to me. Stop mischaracterizing my position or stop replying to me.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Do folks generally have things hidden in rooms that the players have ample time to thoroughly search? Cause, like, sure, hypothetically if there was a scenario in my game where there was no time pressure and the players said “we thoroughly search this whole room, taking as much time as we need to make sure we don’t miss anything,” then yeah, they’d find anything hidden in that room without a roll, on account of no consequences for time spent looking in parts of the room where nothing is hidden. But, like, that wouldn’t happen in my games? If I’m setting up a challenge where the players need to find a hidden thing, there’s gonna be time pressure. At least periodic random encounter checks if nothing else.
Ive never done a random encounter roll in my life, and I doubt I ever will.
People hide valuable things. Not all of it will be there due to a meta desire to challenge the players. Sometimes the meta goal is simply to build the world and give insight into an NPC or group of NPCS, or into a situation, etc.
 



prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
The rules say that if a character spends 10 times the amount of time on a task as normal, then they automatically succeed, provided that the only real cost is the time it takes. This doesn't turn an impossible task into a successful one, however.
I've looked at everywhere "ability check" is indexed in the PHB and the DMG, and I haven't found that. Reference, please?
 



iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Thanks for pointing me at that, but that seems more like a suggestion, to speed things up at the tale. I don't see anything about that that prevents the scenario I outlined.
Nothing ever prevents the DM from doing anything except players deciding not to play. But that's what the rule says. I use it and it works.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Ive never done a random encounter roll in my life, and I doubt I ever will.
That’s fine. Plenty of folks don’t like random encounters. I find them a convenient way to make lost time a meaningful consequence without need of ticking clocks. If you don’t like them, don’t use them.

People hide valuable things. Not all of it will be there due to a meta desire to challenge the players. Sometimes the meta goal is simply to build the world and give insight into an NPC or group of NPCS, or into a situation, etc.
Again, that’s fine, but at that point it’s effectively flavor text. Nothing wrong with flavor text.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Thanks for pointing me at that, but that seems more like a suggestion, to speed things up at the tale. I don't see anything about that that prevents the scenario I outlined.
It's ultimately the 5e version of the "Take 20" rule. If the DC is possible for the PCs to meet and they spend an appropriate time, they get their maximized result. If the DC is beyond their maximized result, it's effectively an impossible task (for them).
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
But how do they even know there's a sock drawer unless you describe the room in detail? How would they ever know to look in that one specific location? If they do know exactly where to look - how? Why? For that matter why even play out the scene? Just go from "you know where it is" to "you went and got it, what's next?"

I can't think of any reason why they would know exactly where to look so if they don't know exactly where to look then they have to take time to search the room which will take time, literal game time if they have to describe exactly what they are doing. In my games it will be off screen and summed up, no mention of sock drawers necessary.

Because the scenario doesn't make any sense to me ...
DM: You open the door to Bob's bedroom. There's a bed with an iron bound chest at it's foot, a bureau, wardrobe and small writing desk.
Player: We search the sock drawer.
DM: You find the key.

WTF? Huh? How exactly do you see that playing out differently? Obviously that's not going to happen ... so what does it look like?
I usually would say that I can't help your lack of imagination, but I'll try a different tack: the example of the sock drawer is a toy example to show how specificity works with automatic success. It's not part of a larger example -- it's a toy used to illustrate a point. You've created the larger example of the room and insist that using the technique of specificity must require detailed descriptions of search each and every thing in the room until the magic spot is found. That's your example, and I'm not under any requirement to make it work for you. I've said it wouldn't happen in my game, others have said it wouldn't happen in their game, and you seem to be unable to resolve that your example is not representative of our games. I can't help you here.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
It's ultimately the 5e version of the "Take 20" rule. If the DC is possible for the PCs to meet and they spend an appropriate time, they get their maximized result. If the DC is beyond their maximized result, it's effectively an impossible task (for them).
Yeah, I saw the parallel. I wasn't even doubting the text was there (I thought I remembered seeing it), just irritated that I couldn't find it when I was looking for it; it still sounds more like DM advice than a player-facing rule, but YMMV. If you're going with some auto-successes, some auto-failures, and some in-between, I don't see that my scenario above is a problem.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Because even the most-thorough search might miss something, basically.

The example (from my games) I have in mind is this: The party had killed the Evil Wizard and his Mooks, and they searched his quarters. The party found a lot of stuff, including money and items and information. They had a chance, even taking as much time as they wanted, of not finding the secret door that led to the chamber where his clone was stored.
They failed on the Int(Investigation) check/s to realize that the volumes of notes they found were A) fragmentary and B) on paper that was too close to the same age to match up with the dates on the notes, so it never occurred to them that these notes, and the treasure they found, were there with the intent to convince someone that they'd found what there was to find.
See, to me the age of the paper sounds like a telegraph. All the notes and treasure and stuff would be found without need for a roll because with no time constraint there’s no consequence for just spending all day just combing every inch of the room. The age of the papers would be a hint that there’s something more to be found despite that thorough search - the cue to the players to try probing the environment. I wouldn’t hide that information behind a successful Intelligence (Investigation) check because that’s the fun part.
 

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