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

Elfcrusher

Explorer
However, saying that not all traps should be telegraphed seems to be frowned upon, so I end up in the position of defending when traps should not be telegraphed and only speaking to that side of my design.
If some of us are questioning un-telegraphed traps, the question we are asking is "what is the point?" Your answer to that question seems to be "because in a real world traps would NOT be telegraphed, so it feels more realistic to have them be a total surprise."

Ok, fair enough. I (and I assume others) believe there are all sorts of 'realistic' things that don't actually add to the fun of a game. It would be realistic for sword wounds to leave a lot of adventurers crippled, for example, but I don't find that sort of realism to be a particularly fun way to play RPGs. Some do.

So maybe the question is why does this particular form of realism make the game more fun?

If using completely un-telegraphed, totally random traps, there seem to be a few ways (as I mentioned elsewhere) that this can unfold in play:
1) Players are rewarded for either constantly looking for traps, or randomly doing so and lucking out.
2) Players are rewarded for having a high passive Perception.
3) DM rolls in secret and players are rewarded for having high (normal) Perception.
4) Traps are random consumers of resources by causing damage in unavoidable ways.

Now, a lot of those options are pretty common in D&D, historically. Over the years I've played using all those mechanisms. But, since the "board game" insult has been used by others, those all feel a lot more board-gamey to me. You roll your dice, move your piece, and maybe you land on somebody else's Hotel. Or the lich's death-trap, as the case may be.

So really this comes back to the "player skill" or "challenging the player" thing: I'd just rather play (and DM) where the human players have to pay attention for hints and then use those hints to make meaningful decisions. And by "meaningful decisions" I mean informed decisions with risk:reward tradeoff that will impact the game state either way.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
If some of us are questioning un-telegraphed traps, the question we are asking is "what is the point?" Your answer to that question seems to be "because in a real world traps would NOT be telegraphed, so it feels more realistic to have them be a total surprise."

Ok, fair enough. I (and I assume others) believe there are all sorts of 'realistic' things that don't actually add to the fun of a game. It would be realistic for sword wounds to leave a lot of adventurers crippled, for example, but I don't find that sort of realism to be a particularly fun way to play RPGs. Some do.

So maybe the question is why does this particular form of realism make the game more fun?

If using completely un-telegraphed, totally random traps, there seem to be a few ways (as I mentioned elsewhere) that this can unfold in play:
1) Players are rewarded for either constantly looking for traps, or randomly doing so and lucking out.
2) Players are rewarded for having a high passive Perception.
3) DM rolls in secret and players are rewarded for having high (normal) Perception.
4) Traps are random consumers of resources by causing damage in unavoidable ways.

Now, a lot of those options are pretty common in D&D, historically. Over the years I've played using all those mechanisms. But, since the "board game" insult has been used by others, those all feel a lot more board-gamey to me. You roll your dice, move your piece, and maybe you land on somebody else's Hotel. Or the lich's death-trap, as the case may be.

So really this comes back to the "player skill" or "challenging the player" thing: I'd just rather play (and DM) where the human players have to pay attention for hints and then use those hints to make meaningful decisions. And by "meaningful decisions" I mean informed decisions with risk:reward tradeoff that will impact the game state either way.
"If using completely un-telegraphed, totally random traps, there seem to be a few ways (as I mentioned elsewhere) that this can unfold in play:"

Just curious why on the subject of telegraphed vs non-telegraphed traps the need was there to add in "totally random"?

I dont recall anybody pushing for totally random traps - did the telegraph traps guys get that a lot before their switch? Was that a serious problem at their tables thry fixed by telegraphing?

If so, I could understand that move to the other side of the pendulum.

My game does not featurexrither totally random or always telegraphed traps. Seems to find a working balance my players enjoy with relatively few traps used but when they do they matter quite a bit.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
[MENTION=6801328]Elfcrusher[/MENTION], I'm with [MENTION=6919838]5ekyu[/MENTION] on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks.

I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman.
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
[MENTION=6801328]Elfcrusher[/MENTION], I'm with [MENTION=6919838]5ekyu[/MENTION] on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks.

I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman.
So... you telegraph the traps?
 

Satyrn

Villager
[MENTION=6801328]Elfcrusher[/MENTION], I'm with [MENTION=6919838]5ekyu[/MENTION] on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks.

I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman.
And if you look closely, you can see the strawman is holding a sign saying "trap here."
 

5ekyu

Explorer
So... you telegraph the traps?
What definition of telegraph is being asked about here?

Is it "dead bugs or other detectable signs of "trap here"" telegrsph?

Or is it "you know, if I were the other guy, this would be where I would put a trap" reasoning and deduction telegraph?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So... you telegraph the traps?
Just repeating the way I run it. If you want to interpret that as "telegraphing" I can't stop you. I don't see it that way because it goes back to PC capabilities and expertise in paying attention to the environment around them, not the player.
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
Just repeating the way I run it. If you want to interpret that as "telegraphing" I can't stop you. I don't see it that way because it goes back to PC capabilities and expertise in paying attention to the environment around them, not the player.
It sounds pretty much like what's been presented as telegraphing. If the players can guess that this is area is likely trapped, then... what do you think is the difference?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It sounds pretty much like what's been presented as telegraphing. If the players can guess that this is area is likely trapped, then... what do you think is the difference?
One relies on PC skill, the other on player skill and a DM giving out hints. I don't see the confusion.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
One relies on PC skill, the other on player skill and a DM giving out hints. I don't see the confusion.
I believe to some that might be defined as gatekeeping important info behind character stats and seen as not the (insert non-judgemental jargon for as goid as my way) method.

:)

But, yeah, me too.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
@Elfcrusher, I'm with @5ekyu on this. I don't place traps randomly. I don't use them very often and when I do it's in fairly obvious locations an situations. As I've stated before, when I do I rely heavily on passive checks.
"Obvious locations" is a form of telegraph. If a player is thinking, "This door to the treasure room is probably trapped" then we are talking about player skill, right? That's why the only way to not telegraph, at all, is to place them randomly.

Or maybe you had a different idea in mind when @iserith and others started talking about 'telegraphing'? Maybe you thought, oh, I don't know...how about: signs that say "trap here". If so, I'm glad we had this little chat and cleared that up.

Now, I think 'obvious locations' is a particularly uninteresting form of telegraphing. Sure, it still relies on player skill, but not a very engaging or rewarding form of player skill. Or really very much skill. I never get that little rush of satisfaction, the one that I get when overcome something novel and interesting, just because I remembered to check for traps in an obvious place. But, hey, it's telegraphing.

I've never had a 5E game devolve into checking for traps every 5 ft. Has anyone on this thread ever claimed they were in a game where that happened? Because it seems to be a strawman.
"Devolve"? No.

Play that way in the early 1980's because that was what the adventures required, and even because it seemed fun at the time? Sure.

And, anyway, I was pretty clear that I was just trying to enumerate the number of ways that one could play with zero telegraphing (not even "obvious locations") of traps. Checking every 5' is one of those ways.
 

Chaosmancer

Villager
If some of us are questioning un-telegraphed traps, the question we are asking is "what is the point?" Your answer to that question seems to be "because in a real world traps would NOT be telegraphed, so it feels more realistic to have them be a total surprise."

Ok, fair enough. I (and I assume others) believe there are all sorts of 'realistic' things that don't actually add to the fun of a game. It would be realistic for sword wounds to leave a lot of adventurers crippled, for example, but I don't find that sort of realism to be a particularly fun way to play RPGs. Some do.

So maybe the question is why does this particular form of realism make the game more fun?
How many times have people decried the villain leaving the hero in an "unescapable death trap" then walking away after monologuing their entire plan. There are times it makes me nearly scream in frustration, "just put a bullet between his eyes", Hero is dead, plan can't be ruined.

Some fictional set-ups can get around this, for example, in most modern superhero novels I've read there is reference to "the unspoken rules" Supervillains don't generally kill heroes because doing so brings more heat than it is worth. They don't kidnap the heroes children as hostages, because it isn't worth the massive amount of heroes destroying them in retaliation.

That doesn't exist in DnD though. Most of our villains aren't playing by those rules, they are going to do anything to win, they are not going to play fair, they are not constrained by Saturday Morning Morality.

Now, I don't often use traps. They aren't worth the headache, and they generally don't make enough of a difference to be worth while, especially since I generally have at least one player with an 18 or higher passive perception by mid-game. But, if I am using them, and the villain falls into the right mindset, they aren't going to be telegraphed. That doesn't mean they aren't noticeable, but they will be quite hard to notice, because that is the point of a trap.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
"Obvious locations" is a form of telegraph. If a player is thinking, "This door to the treasure room is probably trapped" then we are talking about player skill, right? That's why the only way to not telegraph, at all, is to place them randomly.

Or maybe you had a different idea in mind when @iserith and others started talking about 'telegraphing'? Maybe you thought, oh, I don't know...how about: signs that say "trap here". If so, I'm glad we had this little chat and cleared that up.

Now, I think 'obvious locations' is a particularly uninteresting form of telegraphing. Sure, it still relies on player skill, but not a very engaging or rewarding form of player skill. Or really very much skill. I never get that little rush of satisfaction, the one that I get when overcome something novel and interesting, just because I remembered to check for traps in an obvious place. But, hey, it's telegraphing.



"Devolve"? No.

Play that way in the early 1980's because that was what the adventures required, and even because it seemed fun at the time? Sure.

And, anyway, I was pretty clear that I was just trying to enumerate the number of ways that one could play with zero telegraphing (not even "obvious locations") of traps. Checking every 5' is one of those ways.
So, yay, we have characters or players realizing "maybe vault doors are trapoed or alarmed" as telegraphing and challeges that check against PC stats as "challenges to players".

If we keep this up, we will soon have no non-re-definable differences at all.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
"Obvious locations" is a form of telegraph. If a player is thinking, "This door to the treasure room is probably trapped" then we are talking about player skill, right? That's why the only way to not telegraph, at all, is to place them randomly.

Or maybe you had a different idea in mind when @iserith and others started talking about 'telegraphing'? Maybe you thought, oh, I don't know...how about: signs that say "trap here". If so, I'm glad we had this little chat and cleared that up.

Now, I think 'obvious locations' is a particularly uninteresting form of telegraphing. Sure, it still relies on player skill, but not a very engaging or rewarding form of player skill. Or really very much skill. I never get that little rush of satisfaction, the one that I get when overcome something novel and interesting, just because I remembered to check for traps in an obvious place. But, hey, it's telegraphing.



"Devolve"? No.

Play that way in the early 1980's because that was what the adventures required, and even because it seemed fun at the time? Sure.

And, anyway, I was pretty clear that I was just trying to enumerate the number of ways that one could play with zero telegraphing (not even "obvious locations") of traps. Checking every 5' is one of those ways.
Well if you consider it telegraphing that I don't add dangerous traps to random objects in random locations, then yes I guess.

If you really have to have a "win" there you go. You got me. I guess.

I'm just being clear that no one has to my knowledge stated that they have to check for traps every 5 ft in any game recently played in this thread. So to the best of my knowledge you are arguing that traps should be telegraphed based on a non-existent issue. AKA a strawman argument.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Now, I don't often use traps. They aren't worth the headache, and they generally don't make enough of a difference to be worth while, especially since I generally have at least one player with an 18 or higher passive perception by mid-game. .
I think the finding of the trap is the least interesting part about them. It's figuring out how to bypass or disable them that is the real challenge.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Well if you consider it telegraphing that I don't add dangerous traps to random objects in random locations, then yes I guess.

If you really have to have a "win" there you go. You got me. I guess.

I'm just being clear that no one has to my knowledge stated that they have to check for traps every 5 ft in any game recently played in this thread. So to the best of my knowledge you are arguing that traps should be telegraphed based on a non-existent issue. AKA a strawman argument.
But to be fair, if the pre-telegraph pre G-A-P standard being used as the baseline is thst assumed play with checks every 5 ft (with apparently lotsa confused take-backs over mis-understanding on skill checks) it does certainly make the claims in various discussions about speeding up play more plausible.
 

Elfcrusher

Explorer
I'm just being clear that no one has to my knowledge stated that they have to check for traps every 5 ft in any game recently played in this thread. So to the best of my knowledge you are arguing that traps should be telegraphed based on a non-existent issue. AKA a strawman argument.
Yeah, I was both clear in my first post, and then re-explained in my next post, why I included that as a possible outcome (because it is). But if it makes you feel better to get a "win" by continuing to misinterpret this point so that you can dismiss it as a strawman, then you got me, too. I guess.

But as long as we're on the topic, has anybody here (besides me) ever been in a game where the randomness of traps and secret doors led to essentially constant checks for traps (or secret doors), literally in every square along every wall and floor in an entire dungeon? Oofta apparently doesn't take my word for it, but maybe if somebody else raises their hand he'll publicly retract his 'strawman' assertion and apologize.

Hmm? Hmm?
 
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Elfcrusher

Explorer
I think the finding of the trap is the least interesting part about them. It's figuring out how to bypass or disable them that is the real challenge.
That's the thing, right? There's basically nothing interesting or exciting or suspenseful about the occasional trap going off because nobody's passive Perception was high enough. What's interesting is knowing the trap is there, coming up with a plan to avoid/disarm it, and then crossing your fingers that it works. And the problem with just "rolling to disarm" is that you know you're doing the correct thing. The optimal strategy, for the "use a skill" crowd, is to pick the guy with the highest bonus and have him roll. You aren't left wondering, "Is this the right way to do it? Should we have tried something different? Wait...maybe I'm not ready yet." And it's that wondering while you wait for resolution, whether or not there's a die roll, that adds to the suspense. A.k.a. "immersion".
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Yeah, I was both clear in my first post, and then re-explained in my next post, why I included that as a possible outcome (because it is). But if it makes you feel better to get a "win" by continuing to misinterpret this point so that you can dismiss it as a strawman, then you got me, too. I guess.

But as long as we're on the topic, has anybody here (besides me) ever been in a game where the randomness of traps and secret doors led to essentially constant checks for traps (or secret doors), literally in every square along every wall and floor in an entire dungeon? Oofta apparently doesn't take my word for it, but maybe if somebody else raises their hand he'll publicly retract his 'strawman' assertion and apologize.

Hmm? Hmm?
The closest we ever csme was when, under "that GM" where we would get hung out to dry on casual statements by the players, we would develop written "standard procedures" - as in "door procedure" and "enter room procedures".

This had nothing to do with traps per se, but it was about surviving the numerous cases of "you did not say you looked up" and so on.

It was much more about the preponderance of "player didnt say" stupidities that ignored completeky reasonable character capabilities in the scene.

But, traps every 5 ft would only ever occur for something like Tomb of Horrors where it **was** in context a reasonable idea. It was never a routine "thru every dungeom crawl"

But for decades now, a simple presumption of competent characters is enough to avoid that.
 

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