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

Hussar

Legend
Seeing as you seem to be stuck on a whole different vibe from what anyone else is describing, I kinda doubt that you’ve seen what we are talking about all that often.
Well, you can deny my experiences all you like, but, this is how it plays out IMO. DM starts doing round robin questions and pulling the spotlight away from the character who is doing something and then those players stop doing that thing. Why would I keep scouting, to use that example, if every time I start scouting, I move out of sight of the party and then the DM turns to the rest of the players to ask what they are doing? And, as a player, why would I ever steal the spotlight in that situation? My answer to the DM is always, "I wait patiently for that character to finish their task".
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, you can deny my experiences all you like, but, this is how it plays out IMO. DM starts doing round robin questions and pulling the spotlight away from the character who is doing something and then those players stop doing that thing. Why would I keep scouting, to use that example, if every time I start scouting, I move out of sight of the party and then the DM turns to the rest of the players to ask what they are doing? And, as a player, why would I ever steal the spotlight in that situation? My answer to the DM is always, "I wait patiently for that character to finish their task".
If you have players not playing scouts because the DM doesn’t give them exclusive spotlight time while the scout, every time they scout, for the whole time they’re scouting, in spite of still spending just as much time with the spotlight on the scout, I have no sympathy, and any gamification I would ever try to create for exploration rules for D&D would Just increase the issue for them because every character would be given the opportunity to act during an exploratory scene, just like any other challenge.
 

Hussar

Legend
Fair enough. To me, any player that decided that their non-essential actions just had to be done right now while the scout is scouting, or whatever the explorer is doing, is the problem. As well as any DM insisting that non-essential actions needed to be done right now while the explorer is exploring is a DM I likely be fairly unhappy with.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Fair enough. To me, any player that decided that their non-essential actions just had to be done right now while the scout is scouting, or whatever the explorer is doing, is the problem. As well as any DM insisting that non-essential actions needed to be done right now while the explorer is exploring is a DM I likely be fairly unhappy with.
Okay I'll be more direct.

Is the experience that you're talking about one where the (eg) scout got too little spotlight time, or is the issue that the spotlight time is being interrupted and then cut back to?

The reason I ask is that, again, your whole mindset really comes across as based on experiences where the scout is getting very little time, perhaps less than the characters faffing about, while everyone else that has been arguing with you is talking about a model in which the scout gets just as much time (or in my case more) than they would get in a simple "okay you scout ahead and see XYZ without being spotted due to your good rolls, what do you all do with the information?"

So, from the perspective of my experience, it initially comes across as you complaining about the scout sharing an exploration scene, which is like complaining that the fighter has to share the combat scene.

I'd generally see it as a weak GMing moment for me if I set up an exploration challenge that was significant enough to be a scene, rather than a moment, but would necessarily only involve one PC, without having anything else that the group can be doing that is useful.

But your framing of things in terms of a player insisting that they're non-essential action needed to happen right now during the scout's scouting...just, isn't what everyone else is talking about.
 

Hussar

Legend
But your framing of things in terms of a player insisting that they're non-essential action needed to happen right now during the scout's scouting...just, isn't what everyone else is talking about.
But it is.

The other actions were: casting Identify, casting Prayer of Healing, "what are the rest of you doing while the explorer takes 10 minutes to disarm this trap" - as in taking actions that have little to nothing to do with disarming that trap,
If the other PCs are intent on doing something while the trap is being disarmed, they should be given the chance to do so
Circle back to resolve the other PCs' less consequential, less immediate actions.

I'm sorry, but, how many quotes do I need? Everyone is telling me that it's vitally important that everyone else in the group does stuff WHILE the explorer is exploring and that stuff doesn't need to be connected to what the explorer is doing at all. But it's really important that we do it RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting until the Explorer is finished doing whatever the Explorer is supposed to be doing.
 

Irlo

Hero
But it is.

The other actions were: casting Identify, casting Prayer of Healing, "what are the rest of you doing while the explorer takes 10 minutes to disarm this trap" - as in taking actions that have little to nothing to do with disarming that trap,



I'm sorry, but, how many quotes do I need? Everyone is telling me that it's vitally important that everyone else in the group does stuff WHILE the explorer is exploring and that stuff doesn't need to be connected to what the explorer is doing at all. But it's really important that we do it RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting until the Explorer is finished doing whatever the Explorer is supposed to be doing.
You said everyone is telling you something, and then you provided two quotes from one source -- me. I'm making my own points. Please don't think that I represent everyone. I don't, and I'm not trying to.

No, I never said any of this was vitally important, but, yes, in certain circumstances what the other characters are doing during the scouting attempt will effect the DM's adjudication of upcoming events. I tried to explain that, you were unconvinced, and I let it go. To be clear I do not mean to say that the declaration-resolution sequence I proposed is vitally important to the game. I think if you accepted that perspective, you wouldn't be as put out what you see as spotlight-stealing -- but you don't accept it, and you are put out, and the game goes on.

The framing of activity as essential or non-essential is yours, not mine, and I'm unsure what those terms mean in the context of a D&D game. I don't think it's helpful to think about what characters are "supposed to be doing."
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
But it is.

The other actions were: casting Identify, casting Prayer of Healing, "what are the rest of you doing while the explorer takes 10 minutes to disarm this trap" - as in taking actions that have little to nothing to do with disarming that trap,
And generally the DM asking what they're doing. Not a player demanding the spotlight when it's another character's "time to shine" or whatever.
I'm sorry, but, how many quotes do I need? Everyone is telling me that it's vitally important that everyone else in the group does stuff WHILE the explorer is exploring and that stuff doesn't need to be connected to what the explorer is doing at all. But it's really important that we do it RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting until the Explorer is finished doing whatever the Explorer is supposed to be doing.
You literally aren't responding to the things that I am saying, and no one is saying the above. You are adding a hyperbolic element that twists the meaning of what others are actually trying to communicate to you.

The scout is not getting less spotlight. No one but you is describing a scenario wherein the scout gets less spotlight.

If a challenge is significant enough to be a scene rather than just a moment, there is nothing being taken away from the scout to also give other PCs a moment within that scene.

If someone doesn't want to play a scout anymore because the GM goes around the table while still giving the scout just as much spotlight (or, again, more spotlight time in my case) than if they didn't make a whole scene of it, the scout player is the problem. That scout player is demanding uninterrupted spotlight time where all other characters literally just sit there in stasis while they play out a detailed scene of doing a fairly routine exploration task. That's wild.


Further
, the quotes you provided do not show what you keep claiming everyone is telling you. Nothing is being taken from the scout, they're literally just sharing a scene just like the Face should be in social scenes, and everyone does in combat.
 

And generally the DM asking what they're doing. Not a player demanding the spotlight when it's another character's "time to shine" or whatever.

Very much this.

If a challenge is significant enough to be a scene rather than just a moment, there is nothing being taken away from the scout to also give other PCs a moment within that scene.

If someone doesn't want to play a scout anymore because the GM goes around the table while still giving the scout just as much spotlight (or, again, more spotlight time in my case) than if they didn't make a whole scene of it, the scout player is the problem. That scout player is demanding uninterrupted spotlight time where all other characters literally just sit there in stasis while they play out a detailed scene of doing a fairly routine exploration task. That's wild.

This is a great point and represents the idea behind play at our table, too. If the scout is doing their thing up ahead, the other characters don't just sit around for several minutes (or hours even) waiting for the scout to finish their job. The world doesn't stop just because one character is doing something deemed "important". There could be something else of import right where the party stopped. Enemies could be tracking the party from behind. Another character might wish to do something that somehow aids the scout in their task. The rest of the party might need to set up camp or forage or search or discuss strategy or whatever. The possibilities are endless as the party explores the scene set before them. And, importantly, I can't fairly adjudicate PC actions in a typical exploration scene without a sense of what each PC is doing.

Further, the quotes you provided do not show what you keep claiming everyone is telling you. Nothing is being taken from the scout, they're literally just sharing a scene just like the Face should be in social scenes, and everyone does in combat.

100%
 

Hussar

Legend
well, we've reached an impasse. I am not seeing what you are seeing, and you are not seeing what I am seeing. So, I'll bow out now. There is no way forward here because we are fundamentally not going to agree. You keep talking about how it's not "changing the focus" when you pull the spotlight off the Explorer to canvas what the rest of the group is doing for the TEN MINUTES (not hours, not days, ten minutes was the example given) it takes for the Explorer to complete the task.

So, no, we're not going to agree here. I think it's very poor play to do this. I find it annoying no matter what position at the table I'm in. As the Exploerer, it's a huge disincentive to know that any time I actually do what I'm supposed to do, I'm basically handing the spotlight to everyone else at the table because apparently, whenever we do exploration tasks, they must be played out in real time. :erm: As a DM, I find it annoying when other players at the table lack the self-awareness to wait patiently while the Explorer is doing what the Explorer is tasked to do by the group. And, as a fellow player, I find it annoying when the DM does it to the Explorer and, again, my response will almost always be, "I wait patiently for the Explorer, who is supposed to be front and center right now, does his task.".
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
well, we've reached an impasse. I am not seeing what you are seeing, and you are not seeing what I am seeing. So, I'll bow out now. There is no way forward here because we are fundamentally not going to agree. You keep talking about how it's not "changing the focus" when you pull the spotlight off the Explorer to canvas what the rest of the group is doing for the TEN MINUTES (not hours, not days, ten minutes was the example given) it takes for the Explorer to complete the task.
I said it doesn’t take anything away or reduce the spotlight time, which is true.
So, no, we're not going to agree here. I think it's very poor play to do this. I find it annoying no matter what position at the table I'm in. As the Exploerer, it's a huge disincentive to know that any time I actually do what I'm supposed to do, I'm basically handing the spotlight to everyone else at the table because apparently, whenever we do exploration tasks, they must be played out in real time. :erm: As a DM, I find it annoying when other players at the table lack the self-awareness to wait patiently while the Explorer is doing what the Explorer is tasked to do by the group. And, as a fellow player, I find it annoying when the DM does it to the Explorer and, again, my response will almost always be, "I wait patiently for the Explorer, who is supposed to be front and center right now, does his task.".
Yeah I would be really annoyed with a player that replied with that, and make clear that the explorer is getting their spotlight time, and I want to know what other characters are doing, so unless you literally think your character would stand there staring at a wall for 10 minutes, I’m gonna want a real answer.

I have little patience for self-righteous lecturing, especially when it implies character flaws in other characters (you’re essentially calling everyone else selfish and impatient for…answering a question).

If it were a habit, they’d eventually be asked to leave.
 

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