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

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I mean, I got that it was a joke, just not the most diplomatic joke given the sensitivity of the topic.
But also a joke with a point: how could it not be obvious why "Can I have a Perception check? 4? Ok, nevermind...." is a DMing technique that could be improved upon?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But also a joke with a point: how could it not be obvious why "Can I have a Perception check? 4? Ok, nevermind...." is a DMing technique that could be improved upon?
It’s certainly odd to me that it wouldn’t be obvious to someone else why such an exchange would be less than ideal. But I am willing to extend the benefit of the doubt that it probably isn’t an accurate representation of what their games actually look like. I’ve had my approach misrepresented and that misrepresentation ridiculed enough to know that it only serves to muddy the issue and make everyone involved angrier and more defensive. It’d be nice if some kind of value or understanding could be reached from this mess of a thread, and I think jokes like that are only a hinderance to that objective.
 

pemerton

Legend
But also a joke with a point: how could it not be obvious why "Can I have a Perception check? 4? Ok, nevermind...." is a DMing technique that could be improved upon?
There are rulebooks that recommend that, in such circumstances, the GM should make the check. Two I can think of off the top of my head are Classic Traveller (1977) and the 4e D&D DMG (2008).

The 5e Basic PDF (pp 59, 69) appears to suggest the use of Passive Perception in lieu of the player or the GM actually rolling a die. To me that seems like a fairly simple variant on the GM rolls approach, but maybe it's more than that and I'm missing it?

Anyway, if the idea is that changes in the game state should all be consequent on players' action declarations, then these GM rolls appproaches seem just as undesirable as calling for a roll from the player.
 

pemerton

Legend
if you're putting untelegraphed traps in your dungeons to establish a mood, and the optimal player strategy for safely dealing with these untelegraphed traps spoils the mood... I dunno, doesn't seem like a very effective approach to the stated goal.
Like I said, maybe the idea is that players play PCs who fit with the mood, and the GM picks up and manages (perhaps manages away) all the potential adverse consequences.

I haven't got REH's The Scalet Citadel in front of me, but as I recall it there are two main traps/hazards: there's a pit, which Conan avoids falling into in the dark due to his uncanny senses (in game terms, this could be some sort of Perception mechanic at work); and there's the hell plant, which - as best I recall - Conan defeats by dint of physical prowess (in game temrs, this could be resolving some sort of check or series of checks to eliminate the triggered hazard).

A GM who drops in traps and hazards at (what s/he takes to be) a dramatically appropriate frequency will not purge players who play their PCs like Conan. There'll be the occasional narration of the noticed trap (like the pit) and there'll be the occasional stumbling into a trap/hazard (like the hellplant) which the PCs defeat without debilitating downstream consequences for their prospects of success.

And if the struggle against the hellplant looks like it is being more demanding than was intended by the GM, then in the approach I'm describing here the GM might manipulate things "behind the scenes" to compensate - whether reducing the threat posed by some later planned encounter, or fudging one of the checks made to deal with the plant, or whatever other device this sort of GM has up his/her sleeve.

I personally don't play in the style I've just described - in a different current thread in General, I've been discussing (with [MENTION=6801228]Chaosmancer[/MENTION] and others) what I think are ways of getting the REH-like dramatic pacing and consequnces but with less reliance on GM-side determinations. But I think that the sort of approach I've described in this thread is a widely-adopted one. I'm hesitant to project my own account of the approach too readily onto individual posters each of whom has his/her own unique way of playing RPGs, but with appropriate caution and no intention to cause offence, I would conjecture that [MENTION=6801228]Chaosmancer[/MENTION], [MENTION=6801845]Oofta[/MENTION] and [MENTION=6789021]Yardiff[/MENTION] can all recognise some aspects of how they approach GMing in what I've set out in this post.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
But also a joke with a point: how could it not be obvious why "Can I have a Perception check? 4? Ok, nevermind...." is a DMing technique that could be improved upon?
I trust my players to not act on meta-game knowledge like this. If they do I'll ask them politely not to. I like having a cooperative relationship where we all work together like mature people and play fair.

Oh, wait ... would putting smileys on that make it seem like I wasn't implicating that you don't trust your players? :hmm:
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I trust my players to not act on meta-game knowledge like this. If they do I'll ask them politely not to. I like having a cooperative relationship where we all work together like mature people and play fair.
See? I didn't even need smilies. It was taken as a compliment!

But more seriously, our gaming values are so completely different that it should be no surprise that we find different mechanics appealing.

You apparently don't mind if the DM tips his hand because you expect players to ignore that information.

I think it makes the game less fun if the players have to compartmentalize like that...I want players, to the extent possible, to be in the same mental state as their characters...so I'd rather not tip my hand.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Should I have added some smilies?

Given how often people choose, "But it was only a joke," as a defense for pouring a bucket of sarcasm and derision on others... well, the number of smilies is probably the least of your worries at this point.
 

Satyrn

Villager
I would say that there's a lot of gray areas. The ledge example may play out much the same other than I'd be okay if the response to my "what do you do" is "I make an acrobatics check 15 to get across".
Sure, Cool. I'd be fine with that, too.

I don't think you understand just how has the DMing in my example was, though, so I'm baffled that you want to show ways you do the same thing. It's even more baffling that you're doing that while trying to distance yourself from the "other side' while you keep showing you have a lot in common with them.

What the heck is the disconnect?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I trust my players to not act on meta-game knowledge like this. If they do I'll ask them politely not to. I like having a cooperative relationship where we all work together like mature people and play fair.

Oh, wait ... would putting smileys on that make it seem like I wasn't implicating that you don't trust your players? :hmm:
I don’t think this implies that you believe a lack of trust exists between goal-and-approach DMs and their players at all, so I’m not sure what your point is here.

This is probably a misunderstanding based on a difference of values. I don’t need to trust my players not to use meta-game knowledge because I don’t think using meta-game knowledge is a bad thing. You trust your players not to use meta-game knowledge, while I allow them to use meta-game knowledge if they so desire.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer

Given how often people choose, "But it was only a joke," as a defense for pouring a bucket of sarcasm and derision on others... well, the number of smilies is probably the least of your worries at this point.
Except I wasn't really joking, as I said in my next post. Sure, I was trying to be funny and a wee bit hyperbolic at the same time, but that's different from "just kidding."

And then Oofta pretty much confirmed that what I was saying...about him (and others)...was true.

If anything, I should have added the smilies to the "Should I have added smilies?" comment. Because that was the sarcastic part.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I don’t think this implies that you believe a lack of trust exists between goal-and-approach DMs and their players at all, so I’m not sure what your point is here.

This is probably a misunderstanding based on a difference of values. I don’t need to trust my players not to use meta-game knowledge because I don’t think using meta-game knowledge is a bad thing. You trust your players not to use meta-game knowledge, while I allow them to use meta-game knowledge if they so desire.
And even if you do care about the meta-knowledge thing (which I don't, just in case I haven't made that abundantly and redundantly clear), why would you want to intentionally give the players more information their characters don't have?

Every time you call for a Perception check and the player fails and you just keep moving, you are just expanding the disconnect, the gulf, between player knowledge and character knowledge.

I can totally understand a sheepish, "Yeah, I do that, too, out of habit. I'd like to stop." What I find completely bafflingly perplexing is, "What's wrong with that?"
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
And even if you do care about the meta-knowledge thing (which I don't, just in case I haven't made that abundantly and redundantly clear), why would you want to intentionally give the players more information their characters don't have?
Because you enjoy the suffering of others?

"Muahahahahahahaha. Now that you have the information, and you cannot act on it, what will you do now?"

Admittedly, it works much better at the gaming table than when I am explaining my plan for world domination to the protagonist who cannot possibly (POSSIBLY!) escape his incipient doom as I leave the room.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Edit: sorry for the accidental quote alert, Oofta. Dang multiquote.

Because you enjoy the suffering of others?

"Muahahahahahahaha. Now that you have the information, and you cannot act on it, what will you do now?"

Admittedly, it works much better at the gaming table than when I am explaining my plan for world domination to the protagonist who cannot possibly (POSSIBLY!) escape his incipient doom as I leave the room.
"First, we kill all the lawyers paladins . . ."
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Sure, Cool. I'd be fine with that, too.

I don't think you understand just how has the DMing in my example was, though, so I'm baffled that you want to show ways you do the same thing. It's even more baffling that you're doing that while trying to distance yourself from the "other side' while you keep showing you have a lot in common with them.

What the heck is the disconnect?

Umm ... forums are sometimes a horrible way to communicate ideas and concepts?

I have no issue with people having different styles of play. I can only do my best to explain the way I run games I do and why. I take what I consider a "middle of the road approach".

I'll just reiterate one of my first postings on this topic. I don't get why this is such a big deal. The biggest difference is that I don't use the "ignore the dice" approach when it comes to some obstacles such as handling simple traps. I allow people to declare their action and intent as a skill check. They're even allowed to roll and give me the number. If it's not clear what they're trying to accomplish I'll ask.

That's all. It's what works for me. If I misunderstood what you were trying to say I apologize.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Hold on. Going back, way, way back to the OP here. If someone is telling the truth what's the insight check to know that far back.


What I said was that I allow the players to roll and that the result is probably going to be "they seem to be telling the truth". Because I try to limit the amount of meta-game knowledge my players have.


Then we get
why would you want to intentionally give the players more information their characters don't have?

If you don't allow an insight check because you know the result ... you're giving away information the characters don't have. The players now know the NPC is telling the truth. Yet somehow asking for a perception check that may result in the player not getting any new information is something I should be ashamed of? :confused:


As far as...
Every time you call for a Perception check and the player fails and you just keep moving, you are just expanding the disconnect, the gulf, between player knowledge and character knowledge.


I can totally understand a sheepish, "Yeah, I do that, too, out of habit. I'd like to stop." What I find completely bafflingly perplexing is, "What's wrong with that?"

Why would I be sheepish? I have nothing to be ashamed of other than your opinion that I'm doing it wrong. In my campaign things happen outside of the PC's control that they may or may not notice. I handle it like most other uncertainty in the game that has a consequence and cannot be directly resolved by PC action, with a die roll.


I don't know how else you could resolve that. If it's critical to the story, they'll find out the minimum they need to know to continue the story with a setback. As far as "compartmentalizing", yes I ask people to not act on knowledge that their PC does not have. I've had people literally break out the MM and start quoting text from it. I resolved that by asking them not to do it in the future. I also assume that if a player is a chemist that knows how to make gunpowder that I don't automatically have to deal with gunpowder in my campaign.


I don't see why that would ever be a problem or what's wrong with it. In other cases instead of overhearing a conversation that would make their investigation a little easier they'll hear about something inconsequential like rumors of a local farmer having a really big cow for sale.


I like to think I take the middle road as described in the DMG but your game seems to be much, much more in the "ignore the dice" realm. If it works for you, great. I accept that different people play for different reasons. Personally I enjoy getting into the mindset of my PC, even when that's different than my own.


<HUMOR?>
THIS JUST IN ... DIFFERENT PEOPLE PLAY FOR DIFFERENT REASONS ... JUST BECAUSE A STYLE DOESN'T WORK FOR YOU DOESN'T MEAN OTHER STYLES AREN'T VALID ... NEWS AT 11 ...
</HUMOR?>
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
If you don't allow an insight check because you know the result ... you're giving away information the characters don't have. The players now know the NPC is telling the truth. Yet somehow asking for a perception check that may result in the player not getting any new information is something I should be ashamed of? :confused:
Next stop... 2000 posts! Nice going, [MENTION=6801845]Oofta[/MENTION]! :p


I like to think I take the middle road as described in the DMG but your game seems to be much, much more in the "ignore the dice" realm. If it works for you, great. I accept that different people play for different reasons. Personally I enjoy getting into the mindset of my PC, even when that's different than my own.
It's a wide road. Apparently. We can all ride there in the middle. In our respective lanes.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Except I wasn't really joking...

Perhaps you haven't realized - if you keep working your way to publicly admitting you were knowingly and actively dumping disrespect on people, I will have to act on that beyond waggling a metaphorical finger.

Do you want to keep arguing with me, or do you want to take this as a warning that you probably want to be less disrespectful going forward? Your call.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Please stop weaponizing humour!

You'll just make Them ban it, and then I'll have nothing to contribute to this forum.
 
But also a joke with a point: how could it not be obvious why "Can I have a Perception check? 4? Ok, nevermind...." is a DMing technique that could be improved upon?
It could certainly be used in different ways. If your players are used to thinking that a call for a perception check that yields no information means they missed something, it'll build tensions, for instance... until you've over-used it for that purpose.

Though, if you /don't/ want that tool, you could always stick to Passive Perception. Keep each PC's PP noted behind the screen. Roll monsters' stealth or the like against it. (Or, if you also don't want rolling-behind-the-screen to build tension/telegraph anything, even roll said checks in advance when placing said monsters.)

Anyway, if the idea is that changes in the game state should all be consequent on players' action declarations, then these GM rolls appproaches seem just as undesirable as calling for a roll from the player.
Exploring or traveling through an area is an action, no?

Hold on. Going back, way, way back to the OP here. If someone is telling the truth what's the insight check to know that far back.

What I said was that I allow the players to roll and that the result is probably going to be "they seem to be telling the truth". Because I try to limit the amount of meta-game knowledge my players have.
Calling for a check is fine, of course, as it just saying that he seems to be truthful (either because he is, or he's an awesome liar they have no chance of detecting).

I think part of the issue stems from 3.x, when your skill at lying was also your skill at telling the truth convincingly. That changed in 4e, it went from Bluff to Diplomacy, and IIRC, 5e hasn't changed it back.

Personally, I still find it all a tad dissatisfying. Honesty should, IMHO, be a solid option, not a dicey one.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Please stop weaponizing humour!

You'll just make Them ban it, and then I'll have nothing to contribute to this forum.
What? You don't want yet another 2,000 comment thread about the minuscule yet VERY IMPORTANT differences between DMs that do things one way, and DMs that do things another way?

I mean, it's kept me off the streets, selling my body for ambien!
 

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