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3E/3.5 Charge!

Greenfield

Adventurer
Two things I learned a long time ago:

1) Players like to roll dice.
2) Players don't like to roll too many dice.

Players are more satisfied if they think their character's fate is in their hands, at least in part. The Spot/Listen checs are contested rolls in 3.5, with situational modifiers. The target number might be something unachievable (you don't have to tell them what it is), but they'll at least feel that they had some hand in determining the outcome.

Giving them that tends to increase player happiness. So let them roll, and you roll the opposing check. They don't know the Barbarian's Hide or Move Silent skills, nor what the modifiers are. They don't even have to see what you rolled. But doing it that way gives them some comfort.

The mechanics are the same whether the Pirate is aware of the Barbarian or not. The Barbarian pops out of hiding, 60 feet away. The Pirate stops in his tracks and says, "Ho, there, traveler. What be your business?"

The Barbarian answers by starting a charge. Initiative is rolled. Barbarian wins. Barbarian bowls down the Pirate after crossing 60 feet because the Pirate is flatfooted.
 

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Water Bob

Adventurer
Two things I learned a long time ago:

1) Players like to roll dice.
2) Players don't like to roll too many dice.

Players are more satisfied if they think their character's fate is in their hands, at least in part. The Spot/Listen checs are contested rolls in 3.5, with situational modifiers. The target number might be something unachievable (you don't have to tell them what it is), but they'll at least feel that they had some hand in determining the outcome.

Giving them that tends to increase player happiness. So let them roll, and you roll the opposing check. They don't know the Barbarian's Hide or Move Silent skills, nor what the modifiers are. They don't even have to see what you rolled. But doing it that way gives them some comfort.

I'm not sure what that has to do with the question in the OP, Greenfield.

So...the Pirate player rolls spot and listen checks. They are successful. They know someone is behind the rocks to the right. Then, the Barbarian steps out onto the path, 60 foot in front of the Pirate.

The Pirate tries to parlay.

The Barbarian says nothing. He just stares.

The Pirate attempts communication again.

The Barbarian breaks into a charge right in the middle of the Pirate's sentence.

Initiative is rolled.

Barbarian wins. Pirate is flatfooted.

Barbarian runs down the 60 feet and whaps the Pirate with his big club.

Player of the Pirate says, "What was I doing when the Barbarian was running at me? Just standing there, waiting for him to hit me? And, I'm flatfooted, to boot?"
 

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