• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

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


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.".
I know you're bowing out, so I'm not saying this in expectation of a response.

But ... I never suggested that any activities in D&D have to be played out in real time, much less that the action declarations of the party members during an exploration. I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone else here has suggested that either. Does anyone play that way? Playing out a 10 minute ritual spell casting in real time? Or a "I'll stand guard in the corridor," and then set a timer and wait? I've never seen anyone play that way.

log in or register to remove this ad

I feel like the significant disconnect in the "sides" here is the result of some fundamental difference in game play* at the table.

My guess, and I could be off here, is that at the one table the players are often calling for their PCs' own Ability Check rolls - perhaps unbidden by the DM - whereas at the other tables it is the DM who is the one calling for the Ability Check rolls when deemed necessary.

Under the former, I can see how the player of the exploring PC would get annoyed by anyone else who called for their own roll, hence "interrupting" the exploring PC's spotlight exploration scene which is the current focus of the story. Whereas, under the latter, the PC doing the exploring would naturally have no adverse reaction to the DM scanning the table for other actions as we seek to resolve how the totality of PC actions might affect the story.

*Let's be crystal clear here. Neither way is "wrong" as long as each process is achieving the stated goals of play which are, to paraphrase the PHB: everyone at the table had fun and together they created an exciting, memorable story.

Remove ads