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

Hussar

Legend
@Irlo - I refuse to respond to fisking. If you have a response, please do not break up my post point by point, thus losing context and meaning.

But I really am curious so I'll repeat the question: Does it make sense to you that it’s important to establish what other characters are doing while one PC scouts ahead or while a trap is being disarmed? How can the DM adjudicate the effects of a trap going off or of a wandering encounter during a scouting mission without that information

No. It makes no sense to me. It really doesn't. As a player, whenever a DM asks me, "What are you doing" in a situation like this, my answer is almost always the same, "Waiting patiently for Player X to finish his task." Because I strongly believe in not stealing the spotlight from a player who is doing what their character was created to do. I don't talk during other player's turns in combat either.

I do not understand this incessant need to suddenly fill in time when we don't do that at any other point. Player X is scouting. He'll be back in twenty minutes (or whatever the time is). I quietly stand guard and wait for that task to be finished. Why wouldn't I?
 

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Irlo

Hero
@Irlo - I refuse to respond to fisking. If you have a response, please do not break up my post point by point, thus losing context and meaning.



No. It makes no sense to me. It really doesn't. As a player, whenever a DM asks me, "What are you doing" in a situation like this, my answer is almost always the same, "Waiting patiently for Player X to finish his task." Because I strongly believe in not stealing the spotlight from a player who is doing what their character was created to do. I don't talk during other player's turns in combat either.

I do not understand this incessant need to suddenly fill in time when we don't do that at any other point. Player X is scouting. He'll be back in twenty minutes (or whatever the time is). I quietly stand guard and wait for that task to be finished. Why wouldn't I?
I apologize. I follow conversations much more clearly in small chunks, and I forget that others don't see that as a conversation that I intend it to be. I wasn't attempting to reduce context or meaning.

Why wouldn't you? Well, maybe you would just stand guard quietly. Or maybe you'd barricade yourself in the supply closet. Or maybe this is an opportune time to cast a 10 minute ritual identify on the mysterious magical trinket or to resummon my dead familiar. Maybe the cleric wants to cast prayer of healing. Maybe the non-scouts agree that if you're not back in 15 minutes they're going to go after you.

But you've been clear that it doesn't make sense to you. Thanks for chatting!
 

Hussar

Legend
Well, maybe you would just stand guard quietly. Or maybe you'd barricade yourself in the supply closet. Or maybe this is an opportune time to cast a 10 minute ritual identify on the mysterious magical trinket or to resummon my dead familiar. Maybe the cleric wants to cast prayer of healing. Maybe the non-scouts agree that if you're not back in 15 minutes they're going to go after you.
Ok, but, let's be clear here. A ritual to resummon your dead familiar is handing a note to the DM. Or, in my case, a whisper on the VTT game table. Why would you need to do anything more than that? C

Casting Identify on magical items is a great example though? That's something that is going to pull the DM away from the exploring player. Because the DM now has to have a conversation with the players and likely there's going to be a further conversation about what the group is going to do with this magic item. Did that absolutely have to be done after the scout left? Why would that not be done when the entire party is present? To me, that's a player who can't be bothered actually letting anyone else at the table have the spotlight and is just being very rude.

I'm sorry, but the player can't wait the ten minutes of real time that it's going to take the DM to resolve the scout scouting? Again, all this is doing is adding a disincentive for anyone to play the scout. Yay, I've spent game resources to do this thing and now I get to do this thing... only Suzy over there can't handle not being the center of attention for ten minutes, so she's jumping up and down clamoring for the DM's attention.

It really does fly up my nose regardless of what part I'm playing - the scout, the DM or a third party observer.

Now, if there's a plan in place that the party will move forward after a set time? Ok, fair enough. That's a bit different. That's still including the scout to be honest, since, presumably, the scout is just waiting for them. The ten seconds of table time for the DM to announce, "You move forward, now what do you do?" isn't breaking the flow of anything.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
And this is one reason why exploring falls short. You would never “pan around” the room in combat. Everyone gets their time to shine.
As others said, that’s what initiative is. Thats why you generally get one action.

Maybe there is a disconnect in terms of how many actions disarming a trap takes, and whether the DM is cutting back to the rogue between other PCs actions?

But also, I doubt most people are having their disarm skipped over. Instead it’s circle back around and resolve the scene of the rogue disarming the trap.
 

Irlo

Hero
Ok, but, let's be clear here. A ritual to resummon your dead familiar is handing a note to the DM. Or, in my case, a whisper on the VTT game table. Why would you need to do anything more than that? C

Casting Identify on magical items is a great example though? That's something that is going to pull the DM away from the exploring player. Because the DM now has to have a conversation with the players and likely there's going to be a further conversation about what the group is going to do with this magic item. Did that absolutely have to be done after the scout left? Why would that not be done when the entire party is present? To me, that's a player who can't be bothered actually letting anyone else at the table have the spotlight and is just being very rude.

I'm sorry, but the player can't wait the ten minutes of real time that it's going to take the DM to resolve the scout scouting? Again, all this is doing is adding a disincentive for anyone to play the scout. Yay, I've spent game resources to do this thing and now I get to do this thing... only Suzy over there can't handle not being the center of attention for ten minutes, so she's jumping up and down clamoring for the DM's attention.

It really does fly up my nose regardless of what part I'm playing - the scout, the DM or a third party observer.

Now, if there's a plan in place that the party will move forward after a set time? Ok, fair enough. That's a bit different. That's still including the scout to be honest, since, presumably, the scout is just waiting for them. The ten seconds of table time for the DM to announce, "You move forward, now what do you do?" isn't breaking the flow of anything.
To me, casting the identify ritual is sensible and an effective use of downtime. After all, when the scout comes running back with a band of gnolls hot on her heels, there's won't be a chance to do that. We don't pass notes at our games. It takes a moment to declare the intention.

In this example, the DM flubbed by resolving the identification immediatley. That's clumsy table-management. All the DM needs is to know what the PC is doing. The resolution should wait until an opportune moment. I can see why that bothers you.

There's no need to resolve the players' actions before the scout's. But the DM does need to know what they're doing, and the PCs may have good reasons for doing something.
 

Hussar

Legend
As others said, that’s what initiative is. Thats why you generally get one action.

Maybe there is a disconnect in terms of how many actions disarming a trap takes, and whether the DM is cutting back to the rogue between other PCs actions?

But also, I doubt most people are having their disarm skipped over. Instead it’s circle back around and resolve the scene of the rogue disarming the trap.

So what is the exploring player doing while you are circling back around?
 

Irlo

Hero
So what is the exploring player doing while you are circling back around?
I think the intent is to circle back after the exploring player has resolved their exploration/disarm.
1) Scout declares the exploration or disarm intent, knowing that it's going to take some time.
2) Others say what they're doing while the scout is out-and-about/busy with the trap.
3) Resolve the scout's exploration/disarm attempt.
4) Circle back to resolve the other PCs' less consequential, less immediate actions. That's the scene -- not just the scout's actions, but everything that's going on at the same time.

That's how I'd run it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So what is the exploring player doing while you are circling back around?
If it’s a simple task that the rogue (shorthand) is doing, it’s just a single check no need for any of this.

If it’s a more complex task, it’s going to take multiple checks, and the task will have multiple components. We just run it clockwise starting with the rogue, anyone can help someone or just pass with a quick “I check all my important gear and wait” or whatever, and if people are doing other stuff they get to do it on their turn.

I’m not sure what you even mean by the question, though. They’re doing whatever it is that they need to do that is making this scene relevant to the current discussion.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Identify is another of those things I've given up on.

It's the magic item equivalent to locking plot progression behind a skill check for me; just a needless delay.
 

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