D&D 5E At Your 5E Table, How Is It Agreed upon That the PCs Do Stuff Other than Attack?

How Do You Agree the PCs Do Stuff in the Fiction Other than Attack?

  • Player describes action and intention, states ability and/or skill used, and rolls check to resolve

    Votes: 6 5.4%
  • Player describes action and intention, and DM decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve

    Votes: 100 90.1%
  • Player describes action only, states ability and/or skill used, and rolls a check to resolve

    Votes: 6 5.4%
  • Player describes action only, and the DM decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve

    Votes: 33 29.7%
  • Player describes intention only, states ability and/or skill used, and rolls a check to resolve

    Votes: 9 8.1%
  • Player describes intention only, and the DM decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve

    Votes: 36 32.4%
  • Player states ability and/or skill used, and rolls a check to resolve

    Votes: 8 7.2%
  • Player asks a question, and DM assumes an action and decides whether an ability check is needed

    Votes: 17 15.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 12 10.8%

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth (He/him)
I wanted to reformulate the question asked in this thread because it seems to presuppose an ability check whereas many player action declarations are resolved without one.

The options are pretty much what it says in the poll. Here's a slightly expanded version of the list of responses, some of which I had to abbreviate because they were too long to fit in the poll itself:
  • The player describes their character’s action and intention, states which ability they use (and/or skill, if appropriate), and rolls a check to resolve.
  • The player describes their character’s action and intention, and the DM decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve.
  • The player describes their character’s action only, states which ability they use (and/or skill, if appropriate), and rolls a check to resolve.
  • The player describes their character’s action only, and the DM decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve.
  • The player describes their character’s intention only, states which ability they use (and/or skill, if appropriate), and rolls a check to resolve.
  • The player describes their character’s intention only, and the DM decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve.
  • The player states which ability they use (and/or skill, if appropriate), and rolls a check to resolve.
  • The player asks a question, and the DM assumes an action the character takes to find out the answer and decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve.
You can vote for as many as you want. If I've missed any of the ways your group handles non-attack action declarations, choose "Other" and post about it in the thread.
 

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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Basically 2 and 5, although sometimes player will describe their intention, DM will call for check if warranted, roll will happen, and then player will describe how the action actually looked based on the result of the role.
 

Oofta

Legend
You're missing an option: whether a roll is needed based solely on the player's description. For example describing how they disable a trap means no roll. Describing disabling is different from bypassing the trap altogether.

EDIT: never mind, that's option #2.
 
Last edited:

overgeeked

B/X Known World
You're missing an option: whether a roll is needed based solely on the player's description. For example describing how they disable a trap means no roll. Describing disabling is different from bypassing the trap altogether.
That’s part of the second option. “Player describes action and intention, and DM decides whether an ability check is needed to resolve.” In this case the player describes and the referee decides no check is needed because it’s automatic based on the description.
 

TheSword

Legend
Do you mean player decides action (as in the game Action) or player describes how they act?

For me I might decide a player choice is a free action, a bonus action, one attack of the attack action or an interact with object. The player doesn’t chose what action their act takes. Better that they describe what they want to do and I translate it into mechanics.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth (He/him)
Worth noting that despite being flagged as specific to 5e the question and poll are, in their essence, applicable to any D&D edition.
My first impulse was to put it in the TTRPGs General forum, but since different games do these things differently, I decided to focus (like the thread that inspired this one) just on 5th Ed., which is the edition of D&D with which I'm probably most familiar.
 

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