If an NPC is telling the truth, what's the Insight DC to know they're telling the truth?

When my character doesn't have a good Charisma score, as is often the case with brutish types, I always take the Insight skill proficiency. This way I have a higher chance to contribute meaningfully to social interaction challenges by trying to uncover the NPC's agenda, ideal, bond, and flaw then impart that information to more charismatic party members. They can then use that information as leverage during the interaction.
I tend to use my dagger of friendship, "I input my dagger of friendship into his NPC attitude port to see if he wants to be friends." I almost always get a positive result.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
After some more thought I have a followup to my last post.

It occurs to me that there might be two different viewpoints about ability scores and proficiencies. Or really maybe two points on a spectrum, with an infinite number of viewpoints in between:

1) PCs start off as average at everything. And maybe (if one stat is left at 8) slightly worse...5% worse, to be exact...at one category of activities. From there the player picks which things they want to be especially good at.

2) The player picks which things they are good at, or perhaps really good at. Anything neglected, especially if you "dump" a stat by leaving it at 8, you are really bad at.

I can see how two people holding these two different views would endlessly disagree on how the numbers on the character sheet translate to the in-game narrative.
A lot of this can come from background in gaming as well as the GM.

It's not uncommon for folks accustomed to minmaxing to see even second best as "horrible" or "useless" (common outlook among MMO.) If a group playstyle works at it, it can often be the case that the second best talker or picker never gets involved outside of help **if** the primaries keep at a task.

The GM of course can also be z type who throws what are (system dpesking) overly high DCs or sets DCs by "must challenge the best" styles or is overly stingy with advantage.

But the 5e system basics do not support a 10 cha guy being as often to put his foot in it as get help. Far from it.
 

Chaosmancer

Villager
Again we're probably talking at cross-purposes because I don't see myself in an adversarial position to my players, I try to put interesting challenges in front of them and they in turn try to engage creatively with those challenges.

If that makes me a bad DM then I guess that's a cross I'll have to bear. :)

And with that I'm finally out of this thread.
I'm trying to figure out how letting you know your word choice could lead to problematic assumptions led to you bearing the cross of... doing the job of a DM?

I never spoke about what types of challenges you put in front of your players, I was just saying that describing approaches as "good" or "bad" is problematic.



All that means is that the DM you imagine is a person who isn't living up to the standards the DMG sets forth - that the DM be an impartial yet involved referee who acts a mediator between the rules and the players. And who, by following the "middle path" is balancing the use of dice against deciding on success to "encourage players to strike a balance between relying on their bonuses and abilities and paying attention to the game and immersing themselves in its world."

So yes, I suppose if you DM in a way that the game does not intend, things can go wrong. I am glad we agree on this point.
Yes? What does this have to do with what I was trying to say?

This is so surreal. It'd be like telling a friend he's going to get in less trouble if he stops telling his wife "You'd be less ugly if you did this" and him responding about the fidelity of marriage... Yes, you are right, still doesn't change the fact that implying your wife is ugly at all by saying she'd be "less ugly" is a poor choice and you will get less grief if you avoid it.



I'm as averse to overly-pedantic debating as anyone, but this post leaves me a bit confused. Upthread you identified the honour duel as an example of making things worse, which would lead to turtling.

Now you're saying you agree with me that it won't. And you're saying you don't see turtling issues.

So I'm confused over what your views are, and what you're basing on experience and what is conjecture.
Sorry, I forgot I mentioned an honor duel in that list a while back. I'll try and handle these seperately.

Turtling:

I stand by the idea that if every check led to the potential to make everything worse, I would see players less willing to take risks. I do see this in some players already, which is why I think changing things to make failure more punishing would lead to an increase in this behavior.

However, in my current games, I usually only see this behavior in new players and they eventually relax, because they see that even if they fail, it is usually not the end of the world. Making it so failure leads to demonstrably worse results will make that less obvious to them, because a string of failures will teach them that trying just makes things worse for everyone.

Hopefully that clears that up.

Honor Duel:

I think the big part here comes from the intention of the plan. I mentioned in the post you are refering "Accidentally" getting in an honor duel, which to me refers to situations where even winning the duel is a poor result. It isn't the plan, and in fact it works against the plan. However, since I posted that we have had some people point out that the Honor Duel can be the fighting man's (or woman's) answer to that social situation. In that case, it is the plan, and if the fighter leans into that plan it can be seen as not a bad result, but things working as intended.

Hope that clears that one up.



My view remains that (i) if you put things at stake and make it clear how those consequences will factor into adjudication, players will declare actions for their PCs, and (ii) this makes for better and more dramatic RPGing.

Always assuming, of course, that the players want to play the game. Of course the PCs might wish for a nice quiet life, but that's not something we're going to play out at the table!
I respect that that is your view, but I tend to disagree.

The players go to disable a powerful ritual circle, they don't know the consequences for failure. Maybe they will fail and the circle will stand, maybe it will blow up, maybe it will unleash some mutated horror. They don't know, and that murky future can be interesting for some players. They aren't making decisions because they know what will happen, but because they are just as blind as any other character in any other medium about where their choices will lead them.

Sure, sometimes things are obvious, sometimes they know what the consequences for failure are and that makes for the tension, but other times it should be unknown. The swashbuckler doesn't need to know that failing that acrobatics check means they break the chandelier and fall. They have no way to know that in the heat of combat.




In my defense, your response to my comment about your position being a strange hill to die on was "I'm only dying because I'm being stabbed" or something to that effect, which genuinely made it seem to me that you had not understood the idiom. It was not my intent to be condescending in explaining the turn of phrase, but I accept responsibility for that misunderstanding.
I'm still miffed about that, but not for the reason you think.

I still think that was a funny way to express what I was thinking. Which was that I was "dying on the hill" only because people kept attacking.

I still grin from my own humor, and it fell completely flat :(

:p
 

Hussar

Legend
I'm not going to get terribly concerned about how you want to describe the guy who fails 50% of the time or more. That's not really the point. The point is, the untrained guy, as [MENTION=6919838]5ekyu[/MENTION] points out, fails social checks that carry any sort of real penalty at least half the time. Again, not a very persuasive person. And, since, by the rules, if the NPC is actively hostile, the untrained, low Cha character (Cha 8) has zero chance of success, I'd say that he's not very persuasive.

But, the point being, I'd rather you make the check first and then narrate. Solves all the inconsistency issues and falls in line with every other d20 roll you ever make. You don't narrate before an attack, you don't narrate before initiative, you don't narrate before a saving throw. You can't narrate before most other checks as well - physical checks is what I'm thinking here. You can't narrate a climb before you make your check.

So, I simply follow the same method for all checks - make the check first and then deal with the fallout.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Turtling:

I stand by the idea that if every check led to the potential to make everything worse, I would see players less willing to take risks. I do see this in some players already, which is why I think changing things to make failure more punishing would lead to an increase in this behavior.

However, in my current games, I usually only see this behavior in new players and they eventually relax, because they see that even if they fail, it is usually not the end of the world. Making it so failure leads to demonstrably worse results will make that less obvious to them, because a string of failures will teach them that trying just makes things worse for everyone.
See, in my experience the goal and approach style leads players to be more willing to try things, because they see that trying things doesn’t always lead to a check. Things that seem likely to work often just do, and when things require a check to do, you get fair warning first. Of course, if you ask for checks for most actions, and you don’t give players a heads up about the risk and potential consequences of failure, then every check having consequences for failure probably would lead to turtling. If you can’t easily predict whether or not an action will require a roll to resolve (or alternatively, if you can reliably predict that most actions will require a roll to resolve), you don’t get fair warning before having to make a check, and checks always make the situation worse on a failure, naturally doing anything will be scary. But that’s not how most of us who use goal and approach do it. You’ve got to evaluate the technique holistically, instead of evaluating wach individual element as if it was brought over to your game on its own.

I respect that that is your view, but I tend to disagree.
Is this disagreement based on direct experience, or theory?

The players go to disable a powerful ritual circle, they don't know the consequences for failure. Maybe they will fail and the circle will stand, maybe it will blow up, maybe it will unleash some mutated horror. They don't know, and that murky future can be interesting for some players. They aren't making decisions because they know what will happen, but because they are just as blind as any other character in any other medium about where their choices will lead them.
See, I wouldn’t tell the players, “the ritual circle will blow up if you fail,” because as you say, it doesn’t really make sense for them to know that. Maybe if one of the PCs is familiar with the ritual, but let’s assume that’s not the case for the sake of argument. I’d tell them that failing to properly disrupt the circle will cause a dangerous magical disturbance. And that might prompt the players to want to prove further before rushing ahead and trying to disrupt the circle.

“What kind of magical disturbance,” on player might ask.
“Hard to say, are you proficient in Arcana?”
“Yes!”
“Ok, you’d be familiar enough with ritual circles to know that the magic involved is extremely volatile. All kinds of strange effects can happen if the magical energy is not diffused properly. Any more than that would require a more thorough examination of the circle.”
“Ok, I study the runes ti see if I can figure out what might happen.”
“That will take 10 minutes and a successful Intelligence check. Your Arcana proficiency would apply.”
“What happens if I fail?”
“Nothing beyond the wasted 10 minutes. Of course, that will bring us closer to the next check for random encounters.”
“Alright, lets do it.”
“Anyone else have anything they would like to do while Alora examines the runes?”

Very much like in the earlier example with the ogre behind the door, I didn’t say “if you fail, an ogre on the other side of the door is going to know your here and prepare to attack you as soon as you opened it.” I said that trying to break the door down would be very loud and would alert any nearby enemies to their presence. Immediate, direct consequences are sufficient to inform the player of what could go wrong, without having to give them details they would have no ability to predict.

Sure, sometimes things are obvious, sometimes they know what the consequences for failure are and that makes for the tension, but other times it should be unknown. The swashbuckler doesn't need to know that failing that acrobatics check means they break the chandelier and fall. They have no way to know that in the heat of combat.
I disagree. I feel like whether or not a chandelier is sturdy enough to support the weight of a human(oid) should be pretty obvious at a glance. I also feel like the majority of the time it should be obvious that it can’t. I probably wouldn’t even make that a consequence for failure, I’d make that a cost for the attempt. “The chandelier will definitely fall if you swing from it, but with success on a Hard Dexterity check, you can swing to the other end of the balcony and let go before it snaps.” Or something like that. In any case, “the chandelier might break and fall with you on it” seems very much like “are you sure you want to do the obviously dumb thing?” kind of information to me.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But, the point being, I'd rather you make the check first and then narrate. Solves all the inconsistency issues and falls in line with every other d20 roll you ever make. You don't narrate before an attack, you don't narrate before initiative, you don't narrate before a saving throw. You can't narrate before most other checks as well - physical checks is what I'm thinking here. You can't narrate a climb before you make your check.

So, I simply follow the same method for all checks - make the check first and then deal with the fallout.
Whereas at my table, you can’t make a check before you’ve narrated an action with an uncertain outcome. I too follow the same method for all checks - describe what you want to accomplish and how your character attempts to do it, and if the outcome is uncertain, I’ll ask for a check.
 

pemerton

Legend
I stand by the idea that if every check led to the potential to make everything worse, I would see players less willing to take risks.
if you ask for checks for most actions, and you don’t give players a heads up about the risk and potential consequences of failure, then every check having consequences for failure probably would lead to turtling. If you can’t easily predict whether or not an action will require a roll to resolve (or alternatively, if you can reliably predict that most actions will require a roll to resolve), you don’t get fair warning before having to make a check, and checks always make the situation worse on a failure, naturally doing anything will be scary.
My experience is consistent with what I quoted Luke Crane saying upthead (BW Gold, pp 31-32, 72):

When the dice are rolled and don’t produce enough successes to meet the obstacle, the character fails. What does this mean? It means the stated intent does not come to pass. . . .

Failure is not the end of the line, but it is complication that pushes the story in another direction. . . .

When a test is failed, the GM introduces a complication. . . .

Try not to present flat negative results - "You don’t pick the lock." Strive to introduce complications through failure as much as possible. . . .

Success or failure doesn’t really matter. So long as the intent of the task is clearly stated, the story is going somewhere.​

Of course, success or failure does matter to the PC. The point is that failure doesn't bring the adventure and actions of the PC to a halt. So while failure makes the situation worse from the point of view of the PC, it simply makes things different from the point of view of the player as a player of the game.

For instance, if the guards turn up before the lock is picked, this is obviously bad for the PC. But for the player this is playing the game - exactly the sort of adventure that a player expects when signing on for some FRPGing.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
My experience is consistent with what I quoted Luke Crane saying upthead (BW Gold, pp 31-32, 72):
When the dice are rolled and don’t produce enough successes to meet the obstacle, the character fails. What does this mean? It means the stated intent does not come to pass. . . .

Failure is not the end of the line, but it is complication that pushes the story in another direction. . . .

When a test is failed, the GM introduces a complication. . . .

Try not to present flat negative results - "You don’t pick the lock." Strive to introduce complications through failure as much as possible. . . .

Success or failure doesn’t really matter. So long as the intent of the task is clearly stated, the story is going somewhere.​

I find only calling for a check when failure has consequences accomplishes this quite handily.
 

Hussar

Legend
Whereas at my table, you can’t make a check before you’ve narrated an action with an uncertain outcome. I too follow the same method for all checks - describe what you want to accomplish and how your character attempts to do it, and if the outcome is uncertain, I’ll ask for a check.
Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? How they make a saving throw? By and large, I don' think it's too contentious to say that most tables don't expect a "How" statement before any of those checks. Nor do we generally make "how" statements for physical skill checks - how are you jumping? how are you climbing the wall? how are you doing a backflip? Not really, do you? So, while these are all checks which have uncertain outcomes and certainly consequences for failure, we generally don't ask for any narration before the roll.

I simply apply that same standard to all d20 rolls.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Yes? What does this have to do with what I was trying to say?
You stated: "I think that is almost worse than 'correct' since there is some inherent sarcasm in the idea of a correct approach that highlights what it was Mort was objecting to. Mainly, that describing a set of actions that the DM agrees with means you will not have to risk failure. Which leads to what some people refer to as 'gaming the DM' where they can dump intelligence or charisma stats and still dominate the social and exploration parts of the game, because they know how to describe things to the DMs liking, while players who have those stats and abilities but can't or don't describe things to the DMs liking end up suffering because of it."

I pointed out that this outcome is only if the DM behaves in a manner inconsistent with the standards the DMG sets forth for how the DM acts, in that the DM is not acting as "...an impartial yet involved referee who acts a mediator between the rules and the players. And who, by following the 'middle path' is balancing the use of dice against deciding on success to 'encourage players to strike a balance between relying on their bonuses and abilities and paying attention to the game and immersing themselves in its world.'"

If you agree with that statement, then this addresses your objection and, in the context of the overall discussion, looks like progress of a kind to me as it a recognition that not doing things in the manner the rules expect can lead to undesirable outcomes.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? How they make a saving throw? By and large, I don' think it's too contentious to say that most tables don't expect a "How" statement before any of those checks. Nor do we generally make "how" statements for physical skill checks - how are you jumping? how are you climbing the wall? how are you doing a backflip? Not really, do you? So, while these are all checks which have uncertain outcomes and certainly consequences for failure, we generally don't ask for any narration before the roll.

I simply apply that same standard to all d20 rolls.
Unless I'm misunderstanding the point you are trying to make, I think this is still showing a fundamental misconception of what goal-and-approach is.

It's not simply narration. It's not describing "how" you are climbing the wall, it's describing how you overcome the obstacle of a wall being in your path. And maybe the way you do that is indeed by climbing, in which case the DM probably calls for an Athletics check. But maybe you think of another way (was there a ladder in that last room? what if you move all those crates to the base of the wall? etc.)

Goal-and-approach isn't a way of resolving ability (skill) checks; it's a way of storytelling past obstacles. Sometimes that results in ability (skill) checks. Sometimes it doesn't.

And that's why goal-and-approach is also not mutually exclusive with roll-then-narrate:

1. Player describes a goal and an approach
2. DM either tells him it succeeds, it fails, or it's going to take some kind of roll that will carry a consequence if it fails.
3. If it takes a roll, the player rolls and then can narrate the result. "I slip on the moss I didn't notice and crash into the crates that the wizard is busy piling up at the bottom of the wall."
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack? How they make a saving throw? By and large, I don' think it's too contentious to say that most tables don't expect a "How" statement before any of those checks.
I expect the players to at least state what target they intend to attack, and with what weapon or spell, which is exactly as much narration as I expect from any action - a goal and an approach. With saving throws, I narrate what the character can observe about the triggering incedent (“you feel a tile sink beneath the weight of your foot and hear a ‘click,’ what do you do?” or, “the dragon takes a deep breath, and you can see its gullet bulge as it prepares to exhale, what do you do?” The goal in this case is implicit (as goals often are) - avoid whatever danger is triggering the save. Based on the player’s approach, (I pull up my shield and try to block whatever is coming,” or “I tuck and roll out of the way,” I might grant advantage or impose disadvantage on the save.

It is worth noting, I don’t think my way of handling saving throws is necessarily typical of goal and approach. It is, however, my preference, because it allows me to maintain consistency in the standards I apply to d20 rolls.

Nor do we generally make "how" statements for physical skill checks - how are you jumping? how are you climbing the wall? how are you doing a backflip? Not really, do you? So, while these are all checks which have uncertain outcomes and certainly consequences for failure, we generally don't ask for any narration before the roll.
Usually a physical action is an approach, not a goal. Jumping is the “how” to the “what” of “get across the chasm.” Climbing is the “how” to the “what” of “get to the top of the cliff.” Doing a backflip is the “how” to the “what” of “impress the onlookers.” And as I mentioned, goals are often easy enough to infer. If I can’t tell what the character is trying to accomplish by backflipping or whatever, I’ll ask for clarification before asking for a roll.

I simply apply that same standard to all d20 rolls.
So do I, it’s just a different standard than you apply.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Well, no, I don't think you do actually. You ask the players to narrate how they attack?
I do. I need to know who you're attacking and with what and sometimes more detail than that. Isn't that the case at your table?

How they make a saving throw?
Sometimes, but as the rules say, saving throws are distinct from attack rolls and ability checks in that they are an instant response to a harmful effect and are almost never done by choice. A fireball spell calls for a Dexterity saving throw as the character's defense (like armor class is a defense against attack), for example. Other times, situations can arise that call for a saving throw that aren't laid out as neatly as in a spell description, when the character is subjected to a harmful effect that can't be hedged out by armor or a shield. In that case, I'll need to know how the player might have his or her character attempt to defend against it e.g. dodge out of harm's way, withstand an effect that subsumes personality, endure a hazard that saps vitality, etc.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
@Charlaquin and @iserith raise an excellent point, which maybe will clear up some of the confusion. Players do, after all, often say a lot more than, "I attack." They describe where they move. They say which target they are going to attack. They use bonus actions. They invoke special abilities. The expend resources.

Notice this is not just the "narration" you keep invoking. It's not that they wrap colorful adverbs around the actions. They are describing specific things they are doing to achieve their goal. And those decisions have mechanical impact.

The other two pillars have far, far fewer mechanics designed to support them, so to make those pillars as rich you need to give the players some leeway to be creative. As I suggested above, maybe they go fetch a ladder, or stack up some crates, to climb a wall. I'm glad the game doesn't have specific class mechanics for activities like these; I'd rather leave it to improvisation and DM judgment. But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be mechanical effects.
 

Hussar

Legend
@Charlaquin and @iserith raise an excellent point, which maybe will clear up some of the confusion. Players do, after all, often say a lot more than, "I attack." They describe where they move. They say which target they are going to attack. They use bonus actions. They invoke special abilities. The expend resources.

Notice this is not just the "narration" you keep invoking. It's not that they wrap colorful adverbs around the actions. They are describing specific things they are doing to achieve their goal. And those decisions have mechanical impact.

The other two pillars have far, far fewer mechanics designed to support them, so to make those pillars as rich you need to give the players some leeway to be creative. As I suggested above, maybe they go fetch a ladder, or stack up some crates, to climb a wall. I'm glad the game doesn't have specific class mechanics for activities like these; I'd rather leave it to improvisation and DM judgment. But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be mechanical effects.
Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Or, if they stack crates, then again, there's no check. But, again, if the player simply states, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17", I am not going to stop him and ask what he's doing. Needlessly adding all these superfluous elements to the example is just pointless.

I move here, I attack that orc, I use my bonus action to cast Hunters Mark on that target is, to me, no different than, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17". Because, unlike you, I don't ask the players for an attack roll. The players don't have to ask me to cast Hunter's Mark or whether or not they can move to that location.

You're claiming that there isn't any difference, but, that's the primary difference all the way along. In your method, which has been repeated over and over and over again, the player CANNOT CALL FOR A SKILL CHECK. That's been the common refrain all the way along. Yet, in combat, the player calls for every check, tells the DM exactly what's going to happen and doesn't wait for anything. The player doesn't say, "Oh I attack this orc" and the DM replies, "OK, make an attack roll". The player doesn't state "I'm casting Hunter's Mark" and then wait for the DM to call for a bonus action.

Combat is the exact opposite of everything you folks have INSISTED on all the way through this thread. The player calls for checks in combat. The player states actions and doesn't even wait for DM adjudication most of the time. Heck, the player tells the DM to make a saving throw for this or that creature, essentially telling the DM to make checks.

So, no, you don't raise an "excellent point". You have just completely contradicted every single post that you folks have made for the last 111 pages of this thread.

I run skill checks the same way I run combat - the players generally tell me what checks to make and whatnot. For me, it's simply applying the same standard across the game.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I'm not going to get terribly concerned about how you want to describe the guy who fails 50% of the time or more. That's not really the point. The point is, the untrained guy, as [MENTION=6919838]5ekyu[/MENTION] points out, fails social checks that carry any sort of real penalty at least half the time. Again, not a very persuasive person. And, since, by the rules, if the NPC is actively hostile, the untrained, low Cha character (Cha 8) has zero chance of success, I'd say that he's not very persuasive.

But, the point being, I'd rather you make the check first and then narrate. Solves all the inconsistency issues and falls in line with every other d20 roll you ever make. You don't narrate before an attack, you don't narrate before initiative, you don't narrate before a saving throw. You can't narrate before most other checks as well - physical checks is what I'm thinking here. You can't narrate a climb before you make your check.

So, I simply follow the same method for all checks - make the check first and then deal with the fallout.
I realize this isnt the thrust of your point but... this is a gross misrepresentation or spin of my points and references to thevrukes...
"The point is, the untrained guy, as [MENTION=6919838]5ekyu[/MENTION] points out, fails social checks that carry any sort of real penalty at least half the time."

I already gave the references to the charts on DCs etc. At best, your claim there is a cherry picked case expressed in a manner that makes it feel like a description of the system beyond its scope but which isnt. At worst, its deceptive or misleading.

So, you want to pursue that agenda, fine, but citing me as a reference when my post pushed back on the skin you are pushing is misrepresentative of what I said.

To be clear, by the system, for friendly and indifferent targets your persuasion efforts dont have the chance to make it worse and together you have a much higher than 50/50 chance of success - even with straight up approach. With effort (gain advantage) it gets even better.

So unless you are limiting it to persuading actively hostile folks as your benchmark **or** limiting your persuasive efforts to cases where you are asking them to put themselves at risk or make a sacrifice *&and** ignoring any efforts to get advantage, your presentation is flawed.

If you are limiting to those and then using those at your baseline for the general assessment of "not very persuasive" that's an odd baseline to be painted with such a broad tag.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Or, if they stack crates, then again, there's no check. But, again, if the player simply states, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17", I am not going to stop him and ask what he's doing. Needlessly adding all these superfluous elements to the example is just pointless.

I move here, I attack that orc, I use my bonus action to cast Hunters Mark on that target is, to me, no different than, "I climb the wall, Athletics 17". Because, unlike you, I don't ask the players for an attack roll. The players don't have to ask me to cast Hunter's Mark or whether or not they can move to that location.

You're claiming that there isn't any difference, but, that's the primary difference all the way along. In your method, which has been repeated over and over and over again, the player CANNOT CALL FOR A SKILL CHECK. That's been the common refrain all the way along. Yet, in combat, the player calls for every check, tells the DM exactly what's going to happen and doesn't wait for anything. The player doesn't say, "Oh I attack this orc" and the DM replies, "OK, make an attack roll". The player doesn't state "I'm casting Hunter's Mark" and then wait for the DM to call for a bonus action.

Combat is the exact opposite of everything you folks have INSISTED on all the way through this thread. The player calls for checks in combat. The player states actions and doesn't even wait for DM adjudication most of the time. Heck, the player tells the DM to make a saving throw for this or that creature, essentially telling the DM to make checks.

So, no, you don't raise an "excellent point". You have just completely contradicted every single post that you folks have made for the last 111 pages of this thread.

I run skill checks the same way I run combat - the players generally tell me what checks to make and whatnot. For me, it's simply applying the same standard across the game.
Which is exactly the same issue I've had ... which always gets countered by "you're misrepresenting what we're saying" and then something about how players don't call for skill checks. Which is exactly what we've been saying.

A wall in the way with no door, way around or ladder? "I make a 19 athletics check" is all a player needs to say. I know what they're doing, they're climbing the wall. If there was a ladder in the previous room or crates on the floor, obviously they are not using them otherwise they would have stated so. To say that we haven't communicated what the PC is doing and what their intent is is just silly. Same way that they can say in combat "I get 15, does that hit?" I don't quiz them on 15 what, 99% of the time we both know what they're doing. If for some reason unclear who they're attacking or how I'll ask.

When it comes to climbing or "I make a 15 perception check at the door" I know what they're doing, they know what they're doing. That doesn't mean I've "taken over their character" or that I'm going to do a DM gotcha, it's just that I don't want the game to go at a glacial pace while we all discuss how we climb the wall. It's just a wall. If the PC is going back to get a ladder or attack a different creature than they attacked last round or disengage from the monster they're currently fighting to go fight another one they will tell me. If there's an open hole in the wall and they tell me they're climbing, I'll prompt them about the hole.

But the vast majority of time? Telling me the result of a skill check tells me everything I need to know and there's no need for anything more. If they want to take a different approach I trust them to tell me. If climbing to the top of the wall will expose them to obvious danger that the PC is aware of, they trust me to prompt them about it.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Meh, needless hair splitting. If there's a ladder, there's no check at all. Why would there be? Or, if they stack crates, then again, there's no check.
So the approach to the goal of getting over the wall matters then, eh? Some approaches can also be automatically successful without reference to the dice or the character's ability scores? This is progress! Now apply that discovery to other goals a player might describe.
 

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