D&D 5E Beast master wants to use pet to get +5 to passive perception

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I'll reply to the rest later, but I find it really funny to see you now saying "other people don't matter", when you were the first one who tried (and completely failed) to get the devs's support, and when you even tried to get support from the supposed "majority" of posts around here as if that was proving a point.

The fact remains that all the support to be found out there (and from devs as well as respected bloggers) is for my position. You have not been able to find a shred of evidence to support your claims. Why don't you simply let it drop ?
I would never try to claim "dev support." I only care what the rules say in this and other discussions, not how some other DM runs their games, so you must be taking me out of context again. And statements from me about listening to other people was an effort to encourage you to engage with others since it seems like you weren't actually reading what I wrote because of a personality conflict. It was not an attempt to prove I am "right." Again, you continue to read what I write very uncharitably, so perhaps hearing from someone else would be more productive.

As far as "letting it drop," you're free to disengage at any time. I still find the exchanges fruitful for the minimal investment in time, but then I'm also not trying to convince you of anything.
 

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I had to block him.

I dont think he's intentionally arguing in bad faith, but after hearing him say "Please show me where exactly." over and over again after we have each given him countless citations and quotes is just rubbing me the wrong way.

It would be one thing to say he disagrees, but it's something else entirely to act like we are not showing him anything.

Like that movie, 50 First Dates.
 

Irlo

Hero
Please explain how there is player decision in "DM decides some monsters will confront the PCs". Once more, wording is important, and the way things are phrased is often revealing.
I did explain, but I'll try again.

It's one step in a list of steps. In context, the DM decision follows player declarations.

We certainly can assume that a DM will make a decision without regard to specific player declarations leading to a poor play experience. Or we can assume that a DM is playing the game and making decisions that take into account player declarations. You are putting a lot of weight on (and reading a lot into) the word "decides." No, actually, you're reading a lot out of the word "decides." You don't consider that player declarations are essential to the decision-making process. By doing that, I think you are inaccurately interpretting the post you're responding to.

If the DM decides that some monsters will confront the PCs, I would infer that some other monsters don't. What's the basis for that decision? DM whim? Or good-faith game play that takes into account the PCs' actions?
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
See, I would get myself into this mess with the best of intentions: yes, that is what pets are for, I would tell myself. Yes, a dog is always watchful. Sure, go ahead, I would tell my player. And then every player at the table would narrow their eyes and smirk as they exchange knowing looks.

Then two weeks later, there would be a whole entourage of pet dogs in the party, and they would be helping the wizard scribe her scrolls, and helping the rogue with stealth and lockpicking, and helping the fighter's attack rolls, and helping everyone use first aid kits, and helping convince the emperor to withdraw troops, and helping the cleric with his Demonology research, and...
Your players being dicks isnt the issue though :)

just point out that this is the rangers class feature - its an intimate companion not a pet and so a non ranger cant use their mutt in the same way (unless they also want to get intimate with their furry and become a beastmaster - fade to black)
 

If the DM decides that some monsters will confront the PCs, I would infer that some other monsters don't. What's the basis for that decision? DM whim? Or good-faith game play that takes into account the PCs' actions?
Definitely. Players decisions have a large impact on monsters. The macro level of choosing plot hooks that take them to desert biomes instead of a jungle biome hook, to monster types because they choose an elven intrigue plot instead of the necromancer plot.

Or micro level choices like seeing signs of a medusa and avoiding her, confronting her, or luring her to another monster. To behavior choices like choosing to make lots of noise and attracting critters drawn to noise instead of stealth/avoidance and the critters that lurk in those shadows. Or just going left instead of right.

And even optional meta choices like DMs using monsters related to player backstories, or (some) DMs adjusting the percentages of monster types to the kind of group your players made.

I mean, even with Modules there might be some player preference like "CoS is too scary, how about SKT?" If they know one has spooky undead and the other has giants, etc.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
I would never try to claim "dev support." I only care what the rules say in this

Which is a shame, since, out of all the rulebook, you are basing your claim on just ONE sentence, and obviously reading it with such a bias that it causes you to completely misunderstand it. Reading about the intent, and reading what people who actually think about all the rules and how they interweave thanks to the overall design.

Once more, you have NOTHING to stand on, there is not one shred of evidence in the whole rules and the whole publications out there supporting your views, and I have shown readers that there are actually a lot of advice telling people NOT to do what you suggest, it's not conducive to fun.

And statements from me about listening to other people was an effort to encourage you to engage with others since it seems like you weren't actually reading what I wrote because of a personality conflict.

I don't have a personal conflict with you, believe it or not. You are absolutely free to write whatever you want and play the way you want in your game. I am just warning people that your reading of the rule is an incorrect one, and that nothing in the rules tells the DM to deprive their players of their PP to make them automatically surprised. And I do this not only because it's demonstrably incorrect, but also because, just like Sly Flourish, I think that it is absolutely bad for fun, deadly for the chaarcters and causing players to be inactive.

As far as "letting it drop," you're free to disengage at any time. I still find the exchanges fruitful for the minimal investment in time, but then I'm also not trying to convince you of anything.

You are not convincing anyone by clinging to ONE sentence in which you have to change words to make it seems like it supports your claim. Again, in "These characters don’t contribute their passive Wisdom (Perception) scores to the group’s chance of noticing hidden threats", how do you extract that characters don't have a passive perception and are automatically surprised is really beyond logic.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
It's one step in a list of steps. In context, the DM decision follows player declarations.

And, once more, it does not appear that way in the sentence, at all, and I find this significative.

We certainly can assume that a DM will make a decision without regard to specific player declarations leading to a poor play experience. Or we can assume that a DM is playing the game and making decisions that take into account player declarations. You are putting a lot of weight on (and reading a lot into) the word "decides." No, actually, you're reading a lot out of the word "decides." You don't consider that player declarations are essential to the decision-making process. By doing that, I think you are inaccurately interpretting the post you're responding to.

I'm not sure I am, actually, because travelling is NOT about combat. It's not about mandatorily encountering hostile creatures, and this is the part which is missing in the sequence, and why it's wrong.

The PH, rightly, distinguishes clearly between a travel phase and a combat phase. Mixing them that way just shows that the intent is that travel leads to combat.

For me, the rules and the intent are completely different:
  • Ask what the players want to do.
  • If it's travel, ask them where they are going, by which route, and how they are organising themselves (marching order, routes, times of travel, various precautions, etc.)
  • Check if there are dangers, hidden or not, on the route, of if the NPCs adversaries/allies are doing things in parallel
  • IF the player's route take them near a danger, hidden or not, check whether they detect it.
    • If the route does not take them near dangers, seriously consider summarising the travel
    • If it takes them near dangers, check whether the party detects them in advance, and how much in advance.
      • If they detect the danger, ask the players what they want to do about it. They might not encounter it at all.
      • If they don't detect the danger, the players fall victim to it
        • And if that danger is combat, THEN go to the combat section, and check for surprise, as per the rules in the combat section. In which case, as the DM, you can of course apply any modifiers to any check in particular surprise.
As you can see, nothing in common with that "simple but very wrong" sequence.

If the DM decides that some monsters will confront the PCs, I would infer that some other monsters don't.

And, reading that sequence, I don't see where the "monsters don't" applies. There is no possibility of it in the sequence described, which is why, for me, it's a bad one, and something not to be applied.
 

It's going back to a much earlier point (I've been away), but I would like to point something out that is specific to the beastmaster.

I think most of us are agreed that if a bunch of orcs attempt to ambush the party passive perceptions are compared to the orcs' stealth, and those that are lower don't get to act on their turn in the first round.

However, a beastmaster companion "doesn't take an action unless you command it to" -PHB. Ergo, if the ranger is surprised but the companion is not, the companion cannot take an action*. Less clear, but what happens if the companion is surprised but the ranger is not? It looks like the ranger can still use their bonus action to command the companion to act. You could argue that the ranger and companion cannot be surprised separately. Which means RAW having a companion with keen senses is no benefit.


*more recent rules allow the companion to act if the ranger is "incapacitated", but that does not apply to the original PHB beastmaster, not is it strictly RAW to treat a surprised character as incapacitated.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
However, a beastmaster companion "doesn't take an action unless you command it to" -PHB. Ergo, if the ranger is surprised but the companion is not, the companion cannot take an action*.

But it does not prevent the companion to move, contrary to the ranger. It's actually is even a bit more than that: "The beast obeys your commands as best as it can. It takes its turn on your initiative. On your turn, you can verbally command the beast where to move (no action required by you). You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action. If you don't issue a command, the beast takes the Dodge action. Once you have the Extra Attack feature, you can make one weapon attack yourself when you command the beast to take the Attack action."

So basically, the companion can move and dodge, I think.

Less clear, but what happens if the companion is surprised but the ranger is not? It looks like the ranger can still use their bonus action to command the companion to act.

No, because the wording is: "You can use your action to verbally command it to take the Attack, Dash, Disengage, or Help action." So it means that the companion needs to take an action, which it cannot since it's surprised.

You could argue that the ranger and companion cannot be surprised separately. Which means RAW having a companion with keen senses is no benefit.

And I would not make such an argument. The examples above are not illogical.

*more recent rules allow the companion to act if the ranger is "incapacitated", but that does not apply to the original PHB beastmaster, not is it strictly RAW to treat a surprised character as incapacitated.

Indeed.
 


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