D&D 5E [+]Exploration Falls Short For Many Groups, Let’s Talk About It

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Hit Dice are like every other rule in the game... they will be exactly what one DM and table needs to make the game sing for them, and a completely superfluous appendix-like appendage that might as well not exist for another. So you can't make a "One size fits all" set of rules around Hit Dice that will work for everyone even if you wanted to.

After all... it's not like Healing Surges were 100% effective across the board either. Many folks talk about them being the most useful method of "attrition" they've seen in D&D... but I know at my table for the 6 years we played 4E (between its debut and the debut of 5E)... I think I only saw someone run out of Healing Surges once. That's it. Not a single other character in any of the campaigns I ran ever came close, so the use of Healing Surges did not represent "attrition" at all. They were just additional HP to gain just like 5E healing spells are just additional HP to gain. And that's entirely due to how I ran and run my table. It's entirely on me. So I do not in any way discount their use as an attrition model for 4E players... I just know they weren't that for me. And thus Healing Surges mirror Hit Dice the same way-- exactly the rule one table uses for the effect they want... a shrug of the shoulders for another.
 

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Hussar

Legend
This is table dependent. Some tables disarm like...

Player: "I'm going to disarm the trap."
DM: "Roll your disarm."
Player: "19!"
DM: "Okay. You disarm the trap. Now what do you want to do?"

Other tables disarm like...

Player: "I'm going to disarm the trap."
DM: Okay. It's going to take you 10 minutes to disarm the trap as it is pretty complicated. What do the rest of you want to do while Alrick is disarming the trap?"

At any table I’ve ever seen:

Players (not disarming the trap): we stand back and wait.

The dm pulling the spotlight off the poor player who has stepped up to disarms the trap to focus on the other players who apparently can’t wait the thirty seconds it takes to resolve disarming the trap is rewarding the wrong players.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
At any table I’ve ever seen:

Players (not disarming the trap): we stand back and wait.

The dm pulling the spotlight off the poor player who has stepped up to disarms the trap to focus on the other players who apparently can’t wait the thirty seconds it takes to resolve disarming the trap is rewarding the wrong players.
It's not pulling the spotlight away. It sets up a bit of suspension to wait and see what happens when the spotlight comes to that player and allows the rest of the group to do something as well. Otherwise it's the rogue show and everyone else just sits there until he is done, then the whole group does a bit of stuff until it's the rogue show again.

So it's more like...

1) Rogue starts to disarm.
2) Play goes to the rest of the group to do some stuff for a little bit.
3) Play goes back to the rogue(spotlight on the disarm) while the player rolls the disarm check and the DM narrates, with possible back and forth roleplaying with the player of the rogue.
 

It's not pulling the spotlight away. It sets up a bit of suspension to wait and see what happens when the spotlight comes to that player and allows the rest of the group to do something as well. Otherwise it's the rogue show and everyone else just sits there until he is done, then the whole group does a bit of stuff until it's the rogue show again.

So it's more like...

1) Rogue starts to disarm.
2) Play goes to the rest of the group to do some stuff for a little bit.
3) Play goes back to the rogue(spotlight on the disarm) while the player rolls the disarm check and the DM narrates, with possible back and forth roleplaying with the player of the rogue.

Very much this.

At our table, during exploration, I ask each player what they are doing in the scene before resolving anything. That enables each player to be involved to the extent they want. Maybe that's keeping watch, maybe that's Working Together / Helping, maybe that's casting Guidance or offering Bardic Inspiration or some other buff on the rogue who is attempting to disarm the trap, or maybe that's doing something else that is important to that PC. If any of these actions warrant an Ability Check, I call for them only after everyone has chimed in.
 

Hussar

Legend
It's not pulling the spotlight away. It sets up a bit of suspension to wait and see what happens when the spotlight comes to that player and allows the rest of the group to do something as well. Otherwise it's the rogue show and everyone else just sits there until he is done, then the whole group does a bit of stuff until it's the rogue show again.

So it's more like...

1) Rogue starts to disarm.
2) Play goes to the rest of the group to do some stuff for a little bit.
3) Play goes back to the rogue(spotlight on the disarm) while the player rolls the disarm check and the DM narrates, with possible back and forth roleplaying with the player of the rogue.
Rogue starts to Disarm: Rolls his dice, disarms the trap

We move on. A bunch of pointless faffing about because the DM wants us to "role play now" is, well, pointless faffing about. I absolutely hate playing this way. I do. It's so pointless. "Hey guys, I'm going to arbitrarily plonk in this bit now for you to... role play"

No thank you. If we wanted to role play now, we wouldn't be disarming a trap. It the rogue's (or whoever) time to shine. Let's let that player shine because, well, that player has made a character that is supposed to be doing exactly what we're doing right now.

It would be like starting a combat and then saying,"well, it's going to take a bit of time for the fighter to swing his sword, what do you do in the meantime?"

Pointless role-play is pointless.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Rogue starts to Disarm: Rolls his dice, disarms the trap

We move on. A bunch of pointless faffing about because the DM wants us to "role play now" is, well, pointless faffing about. I absolutely hate playing this way. I do. It's so pointless. "Hey guys, I'm going to arbitrarily plonk in this bit now for you to... role play"

No thank you. If we wanted to role play now, we wouldn't be disarming a trap. It the rogue's (or whoever) time to shine. Let's let that player shine because, well, that player has made a character that is supposed to be doing exactly what we're doing right now.

It would be like starting a combat and then saying,"well, it's going to take a bit of time for the fighter to swing his sword, what do you do in the meantime?"
I wasn't suggesting that you need to play that way. My post was to point out that there are tables out there that play differently and enjoy doing so. :)

Neither way to play the disarming of traps is better than the other. Just different ways of doing it.
Pointless role-play is pointless.
It's absolutely not pointless to all people and tables.
 
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Hussar

Legend
I wasn't suggesting that you need to play that way. My post was to point out that there are tables out there that play differently and enjoy doing so. :)

Neither way to play the disarming of traps is better than the other. Just different ways of doing it.

It's absolutely not pointless to all people and tables.
I guess I just don't understand the point in forcing one player to ride the pines in real time because the trap "is complicated" and "will take 10 minutes to disarm", and thus the rest of the party now has to role-play, right now because, "Umm, we wait until the rogue is finished" is apparently too much?

When one player is doing the thing that his or her character is specialized to do, there shouldn't be any spotlight sharing. This is the time for that character to absolutely glisten on center stage. Sidelining the trap disarmer to role-play a bunch of fairly pointless actions (what can you realistically do in ten minutes?) is, IMO, terrible advice. If that player has spent the time and resources to be the trap disarmer (or the tracker, or the scout or the face, or whatever), when that character is doing that thing, then that is where all the attention should be.

It works on the player side too. "Oh, the rogue is scouting ahead, well, okay, I'm going to follow five feet behind him in my plate mail armor clad warrior" because heaven forbid something might happen in the game that doesn't revolve around that player too.

To me, all you've done is disincetivised making an exploration based character. Because if I'm doing my job as an exploration character, that means that I can't actually participate in that 10 minutes of role-play you just called for. After all, I'm disarming that trap. I'm busy. I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. And being punished for doing what I am supposed to be doing because the spotlight just got shifted off of me with no way for me to actually participate.

Why would I want to be the exploration based character if every time (or even some of the time) I do my job, I get sidelined and the spotlight shifts to the rest of the party? When a character is doing what it's supposed to be doing, that spotlight should be right on top of that character.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I guess I just don't understand the point in forcing one player to ride the pines in real time because the trap "is complicated" and "will take 10 minutes to disarm", and thus the rest of the party now has to role-play, right now because, "Umm, we wait until the rogue is finished" is apparently too much?

When one player is doing the thing that his or her character is specialized to do, there shouldn't be any spotlight sharing. This is the time for that character to absolutely glisten on center stage. Sidelining the trap disarmer to role-play a bunch of fairly pointless actions (what can you realistically do in ten minutes?) is, IMO, terrible advice. If that player has spent the time and resources to be the trap disarmer (or the tracker, or the scout or the face, or whatever), when that character is doing that thing, then that is where all the attention should be.

It works on the player side too. "Oh, the rogue is scouting ahead, well, okay, I'm going to follow five feet behind him in my plate mail armor clad warrior" because heaven forbid something might happen in the game that doesn't revolve around that player too.

To me, all you've done is disincetivised making an exploration based character. Because if I'm doing my job as an exploration character, that means that I can't actually participate in that 10 minutes of role-play you just called for. After all, I'm disarming that trap. I'm busy. I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. And being punished for doing what I am supposed to be doing because the spotlight just got shifted off of me with no way for me to actually participate.

Why would I want to be the exploration based character if every time (or even some of the time) I do my job, I get sidelined and the spotlight shifts to the rest of the party? When a character is doing what it's supposed to be doing, that spotlight should be right on top of that character.
You keep using terms that just plain do not apply. "Forcing," "terrible advice," and "disincentivised." Remember, I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about people who enjoy that style of play, and they are out there. You shouldn't play that way since you wouldn't enjoy it. Trying to apply your feelings to those other tables via those quoted words, though, also shouldn't be done. None of them are forced via terrible advice, or disincentivised.
 

Hussar

Legend
I guess if folks are happy fair enough.

I just can’t see being happy about being pushed off to the side for doing what I’m supposed to do.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
The dm pulling the spotlight off the poor player who has stepped up to disarms the trap to focus on the other players who apparently can’t wait the thirty seconds it takes to resolve disarming the trap is rewarding the wrong players.
This has come up at my table lately. Not quite sure how to run such situations.
 

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