D&D 5E High Passive Perception

Maybe if you would actually read your first post you would see where you mentioned spotting THE PARTY ROGUE...

nice try try at the switcharoo though ;)

By mid levels, if you don't have much of a chance to see a hiding creature of your own level (aka the party rogue) what chance do have of finding a higher level NPC? That was the observation. It could have been worded better though.
 

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My take:

Passive perception: noticing that something is there. You don't necesserily know where exactly.

Active perception: find the exact spot where something is.

Passive investigation: A general feeling that something is amiss or not as it seems to be. Or that some clue is hidden in the obvious.

Active investigation: finding the clue. Noticing what is wrong (illusion/false appearance - as is explicitely stated in volo's monsters), noticing what exactly is not as it should be (a hidden room between two walls or so).

This good sir, is exactly what I wanted to convey in my answer. This is exactly how I handle things.

As for true fleshed out NPCs...
This is your game. No one can tell you that you are wrong or right on how you play your games. Using true (N)PC stats or generic NPCs as they are in the MM is entirely your decision and I would not advocate for either choice as I use both.

True NPC stats are for some great leader or NPC that could become pc's if the need arise.
Generic NPC are used for everything else.

Yes the stealth block in the MM is a bit light. Nothing keeps you from upgrading the stealth block a bit if you want to do such a thing. Just keep in mind that your player specialized in a very small niche that will grant him a nice bonus once in while, that is acting normaly in surprise condition where his friends might end up doing nothing.

I really don't think that you should trump this character's abilities...
 

Quartz

Hero
So if your Observant PC wants to focus on avoiding being surprised by monsters, then he or she must Keep Watch.

I disagree. If a PC were Keeping Watch, they would be entitled to an active Perception roll, not a passive roll.

With this feat, for me the fun is when the passive Perception is higher than the active Perception...
 

I disagree. If a PC were Keeping Watch, they would be entitled to an active Perception roll, not a passive roll.

With this feat, for me the fun is when the passive Perception is higher than the active Perception...

I house rule that an active check can never be worse than a passive check. The idea that someone has a 45% chance of being worse at something by specifically paying extra attention to it is a bit ridiculous.
 

I disagree. If a PC were Keeping Watch, they would be entitled to an active Perception roll, not a passive roll.

With this feat, for me the fun is when the passive Perception is higher than the active Perception...
See my post above. This would mean, that you are not surprised as you sense something is wrong:
The birds are suddenly louder than usually and may fly away. You notice more rattling in the wood as the wind would make and so on.
A passed active roll would not only tell you that something may happen soon, but you may hear or even see that there is someone approaching from the darkness.
Hear if you beat the stealth roll. See if you beat the steath roll with disadvantage. To do such a check, roll once for hearing, and a second time if you even see someon. If you fail your first, you neither hear nor see the enemy.
If the stealth roll does not beat your passive peception roll however, you know where the attack is coming from and you are not surprised. If the stealth roll does not beat the passive perception and it is failed by 5 or more, you even see the attacker and he is not hidden anymore.

Sent from my GT-I9506 using EN World mobile app
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I disagree. If a PC were Keeping Watch, they would be entitled to an active Perception roll, not a passive roll.

With this feat, for me the fun is when the passive Perception is higher than the active Perception...

So, there's no such thing as an "active roll." Or a "passive roll" for that matter. I think I know what you mean by those terms, but in order to wrap one's head around this, I believe using the proper terms is important. That's because it's easy to start thinking that a passive check is the mechanic used to resolve uncertainty when the character isn't actively doing something. And that's not how it works.

A passive check is just a special kind of ability check, used when the DM wants to resolve a task that is performed repeatedly (or if he or she wants to have a secret check for some reason). So that tells us that the character is doing something and, not only that, but doing that something over and over again which is certainly not being "passive." For example, Keeping Watch while traveling the adventure location. So if the DM thinks that Keeping Watch is the task of staying alert for monsters and traps, we use passive Perception to resolve any uncertainty as to whether the character is surprised by a lurking monster or notices a trap before it's too late. The player has essentially made a trade-off here: rather than perform any other task (repeatedly) that might provide a benefit of some kind, the character instead will be trying to avoid surprise and find any traps by Keeping Watch. And passive Perception is the mechanic that resolves both of those things, when they are uncertain.

A DM might call for a Wisdom (Perception) check - notice how I don't say an "active check" or "active roll" - when you take the Search action in combat or when you are not performing a task repeatedly, provided the outcome of the task is uncertain.

By its very nature, a passive Perception score will be lower than the result of a Wisdom (Perception) check about half the time. But those mechanics resolve uncertainty for essentially different tasks: the former is for tasks that are performed repeatedly and the latter for one-offs.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
By mid levels, if you don't have much of a chance to see a hiding creature of your own level (aka the party rogue) what chance do have of finding a higher level NPC? That was the observation. It could have been worded better though.
The party rogue is likely much better at hiding than a *NPC* of any level.

Unless you create monsters with class levels, that is.

Sent from my C6603 using EN World mobile app
 



iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Only for things with Passive versions of the skill, but it wouldn't do so for say Athletics or Deception. Leaves plenty of things for a Lvl 11 Rogue to hang their hat on with that milestone.

Every ability check has a passive check option. It just depends on whether or not the character is performing the related task repeatedly. Some obviously come up more than others.

If folks would just draw the line between ability checks and passive checks as being tasks with uncertain outcomes performed once versus repeatedly, then concerns about ability check results being less than passive scores go away. They're used to resolve two different things.
 

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