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

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
If you assume a position is the default, but the system offers no impetus to take up that position, is it really the default position?
It might be more cogent to say that 5e 'forces' the /players/ to accept the central role of the DM by default. But DM Empowerment is not some empty buzzword, it's strongly informs the design of the system, which robustly supports it.
It's not clear to me you're following the chain of the conversation. My post was a response to an objection that D&D 5e forces the DM into a central role, as if the DM not being in a central role isn't always the case by the rules of any edition of D&D.

I do think "DM Empowerment" is an empty buzzword. Just like "Player Entitlement" is an empty buzzword. They are the weapons of the edition war as far as I'm concerned. It's used by one camp or another as a means of attack and you'll have to forgive me if I'm very suspicious of your use of it considering your stated positions in the past.
 
Yes, but again, "force" is often viewed as a pejorative or loaded term.
Neither the players nor the DM is forced to play D&D (or a particular edition of D&D) as opposed to some other RPG
(as an aside, D&D (typically the current ed, or maybe PF or OSR), is very often the only game a group can all agree on) but, no, of course not, not forced to play, forced to accept the central role (Empowerment!) of the DM.

And, yeah, forced is definitely a loaded term with a bit of a negative connotation. But, hey being 'forced' to do the right thing or the best thing for the game experience, that seems a lot less negative to me.

I do think "DM Empowerment" is an empty buzzword. Just like "Player Entitlement" is an empty buzzword.
You may not care for the spin that's been put on them, sure, and maybe they're a tad disingenuous or exaggerated at times, but they are getting at very real differences between 5e/TSR-era D&D and the other two WotC versions of the game. Until 5e, WotC's tenure with the D&D IP had been marked by very player-centric rules and offerings. 3.x/4eE were very player-choice-rich systems, 3.x loaded the DM with player expectations that his monsters and NPCs would follow the same rules and the same level of build detail as the PCs, leveling the player-DM dynamic to a degree, 4e, while very different in approach, still pushed the DM off his pedestal a bit, lending itself to very in-the-open play with the mechanics an open book the players could audit pretty easily, and the process of DMing simplified and streamlined to the point that the role felt less critical & central.

5e's return to a more DM-centric attitude in system, presentation, and, thus, player expectations is a major accomplishment, metaphorically putting a genie back in it's bottle, even.
 
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lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
(as an aside, D&D (typically the current ed, or maybe PF or OSR), is very often the only game a group can all agree on) but, no, of course not, not forced to play, forced to accept the central role (Empowerment!) of the DM.
I mean, no. For example, we sometimes play Paranoia, which (if anything) is much, much, much more "DM-centric" or "empowering" or whatever than even D&D. But no one is forced to- it's something that people enjoy and choose to play.

And sometimes we play other RPGs (or even ... BOARD GAMES or other social games or the occasional throwback tabletop wargame) that has no DM/GM/referee at all.

Again, no force. Choice does not equal force.

Some days you want to get all player-empowered and shared narrative, and some days you want to sit back, eat some pizza, and thonk orcs on the head while someone else does the heavy lifting.

It's all good- and no force.



And, yeah, forced is definitely a loaded term with a bit of a negative connotation. But, hey being 'forced' to do the right thing or the best thing for the game experience, that seems a lot less negative to me.
Look, I'm not going to beat this dead horse too much, but dude ... if you know it's a loaded term with a negative connotation, STOP USING IT. Because otherwise, you're just going to get called out on it, repeatedly, instead of having more productive discussions. :)

Picking battles and all that .... speaking of which ...

You may not care for the spin that's been put on them, sure, and maybe they're a tad disingenuous or exaggerated at times, but they are getting at very real differences between 5e/TSR-era D&D and the other two WotC versions of the game. Until 5e, WotC's tenure with the D&D IP had been marked by very player-centric rules and offerings. 3.x/4eE were very player-choice-rich systems, 3.x loaded the DM with player expectations that his monsters and NPCs would follow the same rules and the same level of build detail as the PCs, leveling the player-DM dynamic to a degree, 4e, while very different in approach, still pushed the DM off his pedestal a bit, lending itself to very in-the-open play with the mechanics an open book the players could audit pretty easily, and the process of DMing simplified and streamlined to the point that the role felt less critical & central.

5e's return to a more DM-centric attitude in system, presentation, and, thus, player expectations is a major accomplishment, metaphorically putting a genie back in it's bottle, even.
So ... this is really about a different battle ... or should I call it a WAR? ;)
 

Satyrn

Villager
So ... this is really about a different battle ... or should I call it a WAR? ;)
Are you implying that Tony is one of the Four Horsemen?

Because if you are I'm gonna have to do my own implying, something about those pestilent do-gooders.

Also, I'm hungry.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Are you implying that Tony is one of the Four Horsemen?

Because if you are I'm gonna have to do my own implying, something about those pestilent do-gooders.

Also, I'm hungry.
Naw. The more I see some of the battles that go on, the more I think that many of them are re-creations of past battles. Not in a bad or malicious way, but because sometimes we get so used to fighting, it becomes a reflex.
 
Are you implying that Tony is one of the Four Horsemen?
No horses were harmed in the making of this post.

It's all good- and no force.
Sure, OK, we can completely avoid using the word 'force,' while still saying/meaning the same thing.

...or not...
... if you know it's a loaded term with a negative connotation, STOP USING IT. Because otherwise, you're just going to get called out on it, repeatedly, instead of having more productive discussions. :)
IDK, I guess I just feel like taking the connotation, itself, on. Like, a game should 'force' (require? encourage? support? deliver?) certain things, if it's, y'know s'pose'ta have 'em.

So ... this is really about a different battle ... or should I call it a WAR? ;)
I'm not aware of a quasi-edition war in which 3.x/PF & 4e/E are facing off against 5e. It'd certainly be a strange alliance if there were one.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I don’t think connotations are the issue here, context is. “Force” is being used here to mean, making something happen by way of force that would not otherwise happen. Like forcing a square peg through a round hole, or forcing someone to give you their wallet under threat of violence. Regardless of what connotations the word may have, I don’t think the way in which it is being used here is an accurate description of the way 5e defines the role of the DM.
 
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Hussar

Legend
lowkey13 said:
Again, no force. Choice does not equal force.
But, [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION] is saying that there is no choice. That DM centric is the default state and the presumed state of the game. If I'm playing 5e by the rules, then, by default, the rules place me front and center of the game.

So, where's the choice there?

Again, this is just another case of playing silly buggers with semantics. It's not forcing you to be front and center, it's "defaulting" to front and center. :erm: Gimme a break. It's not "better", but, it's "smoother". On and on and on. Any criticism is immediately deflected with this sort of pedantry.

There would be a lot less accusations of misunderstanding points if folks would actually stick to plain English instead of trying to dodge any potential issue with this sort of garbage. Several criticisms of arguing in bad faith and then every time there is any criticism, a complete retreat into bad faith pedantry.

Like I said in the other thread, if folks were willing to accept that no approach is 100% perfect and contains both strengths and weaknesses, these conversations would be a whole lot shorter.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
But, [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION] is saying that there is no choice. That DM centric is the default state and the presumed state of the game. If I'm playing 5e by the rules, then, by default, the rules place me front and center of the game.

So, where's the choice there?

Again, this is just another case of playing silly buggers with semantics. It's not forcing you to be front and center, it's "defaulting" to front and center. :erm: Gimme a break. It's not "better", but, it's "smoother". On and on and on. Any criticism is immediately deflected with this sort of pedantry.

There would be a lot less accusations of misunderstanding points if folks would actually stick to plain English instead of trying to dodge any potential issue with this sort of garbage. Several criticisms of arguing in bad faith and then every time there is any criticism, a complete retreat into bad faith pedantry.

Like I said in the other thread, if folks were willing to accept that no approach is 100% perfect and contains both strengths and weaknesses, these conversations would be a whole lot shorter.
No, sorry Hussar, but this is total B.S.

"Better" and "Smoother" do have different meanings. Go look them up. It's not hard to understand.

As for acknowledging "weaknesses", sure, goal-and-approach has weaknesses. Poorly implemented, or misunderstood, players may try to "talkie talkie" the DM or think it's "mother may I." Of course, those sorts of DMs and players will try to do that anyway, so honestly I'm not sure how much of a weakness it is.

But never once have I heard you say that the problem is that these things might happen. You basically defined goal-and-approach, over and over again, as being these things. So don't give us any disingenuous crap about sober discussion of flaws. You have been pouring gasoline on this conversation for 150 or so pages.

I should have stopped engaging with you a long time ago. Consider yourself on my analog 'block list'.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But, @iserith is saying that there is no choice. That DM centric is the default state and the presumed state of the game. If I'm playing 5e by the rules, then, by default, the rules place me front and center of the game.

So, where's the choice there?
The choice to play in a manner contrary to the game’s default assumptions. No one is forcing you to play by the default assumptions, and if you want to play contrary to them, by all means go ahead.

Again, this is just another case of playing silly buggers with semantics. It's not forcing you to be front and center, it's "defaulting" to front and center. :erm: Gimme a break.
Those words aren’t even synonymous though. This isn’t linguistic sleight of hand, it’s plain English. The game doesn’t force you to play the way it presents as default, and in fact encourages you to change or ignore any rules that don’t suit you. “Forcing” a playstyle is straight up not an accurate way to describe that.

It's not "better", but, it's "smoother". On and on and on. Any criticism is immediately deflected with this sort of pedantry.
“Smoother” is an evaluation of a tangible quality of gameplay. “Better” is a subjective value judgment. The game runs smoothly when you play it the way it suggests. That doesn’t guarantee that you will find the experience of playing the game the way it suggests to be a good experience. You may find that a different way of playing the game creates a better experience, despite the places where that way of playing creates friction with the rules. Again, you’re free to change or ignore any rules you wish, so any friction that playing a different way might cause can be pretty trivially corrected for.

There would be a lot less accusations of misunderstanding points if folks would actually stick to plain English instead of trying to dodge any potential issue with this sort of garbage. Several criticisms of arguing in bad faith and then every time there is any criticism, a complete retreat into bad faith pedantry.
There would be a lot less misunderstanding if folks would actually read the words other people were using instead of trying to interpret malicious intent into them.

Like I said in the other thread, if folks were willing to accept that no approach is 100% perfect and contains both strengths and weaknesses, these conversations would be a whole lot shorter.
I’m sorry, has anyone said that there is a 100% perfect approach with only strengths and no weaknesses?
 
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Surely this horse is bereft of life after all the flogging?
Nay!

I mean, "neeeiighhh!"

But, [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION] is saying that there is no choice. That DM centric is the default state and the presumed state of the game. If I'm playing 5e by the rules, then, by default, the rules place me front and center of the game.

So, where's the choice there?
You 'abuse' your Empowerment to let your players drive the game more than a conforming DM might allow. No matter how much (Em)power(ment) the game 'forces' on you, you can just turn around and delegate it to your players, no?

Again, this is just another case of playing silly buggers with semantics.
This is the internet, yes.
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip
As for acknowledging "weaknesses", sure, goal-and-approach has weaknesses. Poorly implemented, or misunderstood, players may try to "talkie talkie" the DM or think it's "mother may I." Of course, those sorts of DMs and players will try to do that anyway, so honestly I'm not sure how much of a weakness it is.

/snip
So, the only weakness is if someone doesn't do it right. Ok.

/snip

I’m sorry, has anyone said that there is a 100% perfect approach with only strengths and no weaknesses?
Didn't you ask me for cites not so long ago. There's one right there.

And, as far as smooth vs better goes, I'm sorry, but, that's complete bollocks. My game is running smooth=good. My game is running rough=bad. That's plain English. Endless dodges don't actually change that. It's not force, but, rather, default. Please. For all the complaints about misunderstanding, you folks do seem bent on defending some pretty disingenuous points.

Yeah, [MENTION=6801558]robus[/MENTION] is right. The other thread showed me the light. I'm already running it goal:method anyway according to [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION], so, well, this conversation is rather pointless.

I did try to unsubscribe once before. We'll see if it sticks this time.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
So, the only weakness is if someone doesn't do it right. Ok.



Didn't you ask me for cites not so long ago. There's one right there.

And, as far as smooth vs better goes, I'm sorry, but, that's complete bollocks. My game is running smooth=good. My game is running rough=bad. That's plain English. Endless dodges don't actually change that. It's not force, but, rather, default. Please. For all the complaints about misunderstanding, you folks do seem bent on defending some pretty disingenuous points.

Yeah, [MENTION=6801558]robus[/MENTION] is right. The other thread showed me the light. I'm already running it goal:method anyway according to [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION], so, well, this conversation is rather pointless.

I did try to unsubscribe once before. We'll see if it sticks this time.
I would myself push back on a definition of smooth play for RPGs as following the intended playstyle or rules. There are more than a few RPGs where the rules/playstyle either clash or where the "correct play" is anything but smooth.

At best, smooth to me means that the play flows easily from one beat to the next. Smooth would be quick series of choices and actions resolving quickly as we go through a conflict. If we need to stop multiple times to consult different charts etc, then it's not smooth, even if its the rules as presented.

But really, its boiling down to we need an ENW language lexicon for clear terms we can use to avoid swerving by thesaurus.

Maybe "flarfel" can be the ENW term for "general term for favorable or better in some contexts directly related to the intended purpose and context" as in "fresh fruit is "flarfel" than rotted fruit."
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I would myself push back on a definition of smooth play for RPGs as following the intended playstyle or rules. There are more than a few RPGs where the rules/playstyle either clash or where the "correct play" is anything but smooth.

At best, smooth to me means that the play flows easily from one beat to the next. Smooth would be quick series of choices and actions resolving quickly as we go through a conflict. If we need to stop multiple times to consult different charts etc, then it's not smooth, even if its the rules as presented.

But really, its boiling down to we need an ENW language lexicon for clear terms we can use to avoid swerving by thesaurus.

Maybe "flarfel" can be the ENW term for "general term for favorable or better in some contexts directly related to the intended purpose and context" as in "fresh fruit is "flarfel" than rotted fruit."
I don't want to continue the argument of whether "smoother" means "better", because it's pointless. Smoother for whom? My games run quite smoothly, thank you very much. Claiming that a particular style is better smoother is a pointless completely subjective judgement call.

I don't have a problem with player statement of intent DM response player action, but if that can be shortened into player stating their intent and asking if their action overcomes the obstacle*. The latter in the vast majority of cases is IMHO a swifter resolution. Faster in my games is smoother because we spend less time discussing minor obstacles.

I guess I could get rid of all minor obstacles, but for certain scenes (chase scenes for example) those minor obstacles can add a lot of depth.

*In my games it really depends on player preference, some players do this others don't. And yes, in a few cases I have to ask for clarification or let the player know it's not possible or whatever, but it's less than 10% ... usually much less.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I don't want to continue the argument of whether "smoother" means "better", because it's pointless. Smoother for whom? My games run quite smoothly, thank you very much. Claiming that a particular style is better smoother is a pointless completely subjective judgement call.

I don't have a problem with player statement of intent DM response player action, but if that can be shortened into player stating their intent and asking if their action overcomes the obstacle*. The latter in the vast majority of cases is IMHO a swifter resolution. Faster in my games is smoother because we spend less time discussing minor obstacles.

I guess I could get rid of all minor obstacles, but for certain scenes (chase scenes for example) those minor obstacles can add a lot of depth.

*In my games it really depends on player preference, some players do this others don't. And yes, in a few cases I have to ask for clarification or let the player know it's not possible or whatever, but it's less than 10% ... usually much less.
On the value of minor obstacles - absolutely. Maybe even more so. It's part of why I often use the term "challenge that matters" to deal with serious "this takes work mechanically speaking to resolve issues- where charsacterctests matter.

A lot of lesser obstacles that don't require that much can be highly valuable but just dont require specific character elements.

Did you stop and help the refugees with blankets, good, resources or just generally show compassion or ignore?

As you rode in, did you stop and engage or listen to the crush of people outside the main gates who are not allowed in - or did you tuck your head and spur the mounts to get thru quickly?

Did you take time to go to the town temple or guard post shortly after arriving?

Did you take time to leave the traveller's wayshrine better than you left it, or worse?

In my games, these and many more things can matter a lot yet none get a telegraphing of risk or expression of stakes and they don't get tossed aside in the interest of"how can we get more done."
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I don't want to continue the argument of whether "smoother" means "better", because it's pointless. Smoother for whom? My games run quite smoothly, thank you very much. Claiming that a particular style is better smoother is a pointless completely subjective judgement call.

I don't have a problem with player statement of intent DM response player action, but if that can be shortened into player stating their intent and asking if their action overcomes the obstacle*. The latter in the vast majority of cases is IMHO a swifter resolution. Faster in my games is smoother because we spend less time discussing minor obstacles.

I guess I could get rid of all minor obstacles, but for certain scenes (chase scenes for example) those minor obstacles can add a lot of depth.

*In my games it really depends on player preference, some players do this others don't. And yes, in a few cases I have to ask for clarification or let the player know it's not possible or whatever, but it's less than 10% ... usually much less.
This post is a good example of you not inderstanding what's being presented. Minor obstacles are quickly dealt with in my games because they don't require a check at all -- you almost always succeed outright.

And play isn't:
DM[in best Monty Python bridge guardian voice]: what's your goal?@
Player: um, get to the top of the wall.
DM: what's your approach?!
Player: I climb it?
DM: okay, you can pass. Next up is Bob the Fighter. What's your goal?!

Instead, it's:
DM: okay, you've reached the base of the outer wall, which is made of rough stone blocks. You don't see any guards. What do you do?
Player 1: I'm going to study tge wall to determine hiw hard it eould be to climb.
DM: Sure. The rough construction offers lots of hsndholds. It's just a matter of doing it.
Player1: I'll climb the wall, trying to quiet in case therr are guards at the top.
DM: good thing, too! You scale the wall and when you get to the top, there are two hobgoblin guards looking bored. Go ahead and make a DEX check to see if the've noticed you since you were being stealthy.
Player1: I'll use (Stealth) with that. <rolls> Crud, a 12.
DM: you're fine, these guards aren't paying much attention. The guards are chatting in goblin to each other about having to work this shift and are pretty inattentive. They have their swords, but their shields and crossbows are leaning against the oaraoet nearby. What do you do?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
This post is a good example of you not inderstanding what's being presented. Minor obstacles are quickly dealt with in my games because they don't require a check at all -- you almost always succeed outright.

And play isn't:
DM[in best Monty Python bridge guardian voice]: what's your goal?@
Player: um, get to the top of the wall.
DM: what's your approach?!
Player: I climb it?
DM: okay, you can pass. Next up is Bob the Fighter. What's your goal?!

Instead, it's:
DM: okay, you've reached the base of the outer wall, which is made of rough stone blocks. You don't see any guards. What do you do?
Player 1: I'm going to study tge wall to determine hiw hard it eould be to climb.
DM: Sure. The rough construction offers lots of hsndholds. It's just a matter of doing it.
Player1: I'll climb the wall, trying to quiet in case therr are guards at the top.
DM: good thing, too! You scale the wall and when you get to the top, there are two hobgoblin guards looking bored. Go ahead and make a DEX check to see if the've noticed you since you were being stealthy.
Player1: I'll use (Stealth) with that. <rolls> Crud, a 12.
DM: you're fine, these guards aren't paying much attention. The guards are chatting in goblin to each other about having to work this shift and are pretty inattentive. They have their swords, but their shields and crossbows are leaning against the oaraoet nearby. What do you do?
I made no comment on your game or your play style. None. Zero. I have no idea how quick/smooth your games are.

All I'm saying is that arguing about something as subjective as "smoother" is IMHO pointless. What works for me and my table may or may not work for your table.
 

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