D&D 5E "Make a Strength (History) roll."

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I don't think it is going to be as common a result as you seem to be saying. Players, by and large, play in good faith and aren't out to break the game and make it less fun for themselves. But many are, in my experience, kind of scattered and spontaneous. The benefit of explicitly allowing them to ask about proficiency after the roll has been called for (as, again, the rules do) is to not punish them because it took them a sec or because they missed something or because the lightbulb went on after the fact. And it allows the GM to clarify and embellish the situation as necessary. No one at the table is a computer. The creativity is the point.
Again, I would say this isn't about good faith play. I imagine we agree that part of good faith play is following the rules. If the rules the DM sets before the players lead to what the DM considers "gaming the system," where does the problem actually lay? It's not with the players in my view - it's with the rule or the DM or both.

It's also not punishment to set clear rules and expectations and help players rise to that standard, if they need it. Your description about what you want to do precedes the call for a roll. After that, there is no embellishment. You can add a proficiency that fits the description you already offered, not one you choose to offer after the call for a roll. That is clear, easy to understand, and a constraint that fosters creativity, not stifles it in my experience. As a bonus, it doesn't lead to the "generally negative" outcome that was mentioned.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Again, I would say this isn't about good faith play. I imagine we agree that part of good faith play is following the rules. If the rules the DM sets before the players lead to what the DM considers "gaming the system," where does the problem actually lay? It's not with the players in my view - it's with the rule or the DM or both.

It's also not punishment to set clear rules and expectations and help players rise to that standard, if they need it. Your description about what you want to do precedes the call for a roll. After that, there is no embellishment. You can add a proficiency that fits the description you already offered, not one you choose to offer after the call for a roll. That is clear, easy to understand, and a constraint that fosters creativity, not stifles it in my experience. As a bonus, it doesn't lead to the "generally negative" outcome that was mentioned.
I think you are right -- most of the time. In the strong majority of cases, no additional information will be needed or offered at that point. But it can happen, and on some rare occasions will happen. that's just how people are. And given the choice, I would rather encourage it and be able to say "No" to the bad faith and/or ridiculous attempts, and encourage the good ones.
 


Reynard

Legend
I have to admit this is one of the more surprising disagreements I’ve seen.
It's a little strange because i felt that @iserith and @Charlaquin and I were pretty much on the same page in the "perception" thread. I don't actually think it is a particularly wide gulf of disagreement. The situation we are focusing on in a pretty narrow slice of play, and we are magnifying it by repeated posts essentially saying the same thing.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I think you are right -- most of the time. In the strong majority of cases, no additional information will be needed or offered at that point. But it can happen, and on some rare occasions will happen. that's just how people are. And given the choice, I would rather encourage it and be able to say "No" to the bad faith and/or ridiculous attempts, and encourage the good ones.
I think it's reasonable to allow some leeway here - at first. But after a while, no. Standards and expectations exist for a reason and it's okay to hold people to the ones they agree to in my view.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I think it's reasonable to allow some leeway here - at first. But after a while, no. Standards and expectations exist for a reason and it's okay to hold people to the ones they agree to in my view.

Yeah this is where I am.

I'm not going to say, "Ha! You didn't mention anything to do with History in your action declaration, so NO! Eat hot dice, sukkah."

But I might say, "That sounds reasonable. Next time, try including that aspect when you describe how you're trying to accomplish your goal."
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I’ll quote your initial post (and the post it was replying to):



There are two ways of interpreting your statement.

One, if players are permitted to ask to add a proficiency after the DM calls for a check, it will be common for players to ask rather than to describe how they execute the task in the first place. I don’t think there is any dispute that this is the case, but @FitzTheRuke , @Reynard and me consider this a feature, not a bug, whereas you and @iserith consider this the opposite.
I see. No, that has not been my experience because that’s not how I run it.
The second way to interpret the statement is that if players are permitted to ask to add a proficiency after the DM calls for a check, it will be common for players to game the system by “throwing everything and seeing what will stick”. In this case, I don’t think there is a dispute that this is generally negative, but there is a dispute about how common it is.
What? In what way is it gaming the system to describe actions in such a way that involves using their characters’s proficiencies?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It's a little strange because i felt that @iserith and @Charlaquin and I were pretty much on the same page in the "perception" thread. I don't actually think it is a particularly wide gulf of disagreement. The situation we are focusing on in a pretty narrow slice of play, and we are magnifying it by repeated posts essentially saying the same thing.
I agree with you there, for sure. I think we generally run action resolution pretty similarly; this is a pretty minor point of divergence.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Yeah this is where I am.

I'm not going to say, "Ha! You didn't mention anything to do with History in your action declaration, so NO! Eat hot dice, sukkah."

But I might say, "That sounds reasonable. Next time, try including that aspect when you describe how you're trying to accomplish your goal."
Same
 

I see. No, that has not been my experience because that’s not how I run it.

What? In what way is it gaming the system to describe actions in such a way that involves using their characters’s proficiencies?
It seems to me that this was the essential sticking point: that allowing players to propose a proficiency after the DM had called for an ability check would incentivise players to always try to go for the proficiency regardless of applicability (hence, “gaming the system”).

If this isn’t the point of disagreement, I’m not sure what is. Is the concern simply that allowing the PC to propose a proficiency after the DM calls for an ability roll will slow down play?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
It seems to me that this was the essential sticking point: that allowing players to propose a proficiency after the DM had called for an ability check would incentivise players to always try to go for the proficiency regardless of applicability (hence, “gaming the system”).

If this isn’t the point of disagreement, I’m not sure what is. Is the concern simply that allowing the PC to propose a proficiency after the DM calls for an ability roll will slow down play?
Mostly. It also incentives slightly a different approach to action declaration. If action descriptions can be amended after a roll is called for, then the optimal line of play is to describe an action you think will be likely to result in automatic success, without any particular consideration for your character’s proficiencies. Then, if a roll does end up being called for, amend the action to justify applying one of your proficiencies. If action descriptions can’t be amended after a roll is called for, the optimal line of play is to consider your proficiencies when deciding how to act, and describe an action that you think will be likely to result in automatic success, and that you will have a decent chance to succeed at if a roll becomes necessary. The latter also makes for smoother play as the conversation of play always goes description -> resolution -> description instead of sometimes going description -> negotiation -> resolution -> description.
 

ECMO3

Hero
One of the tools available to GMs and players in 5E is non-standard combinations of ability scores and proficiencies. It doesn't come up very often in my experience, but sometimes odd pairings make for interesting moments in play -- or, rather, interesting moments in play call for the odd pairings. I remember having PCs make Charisma (Athletics) checks to entertain a crowd in the arena, and have sometimes let them make things like Intelligence (Stealth) to try and surmise how an assassin or thief infiltrated a crime scene.

Relatedly, I sometimes let players make checks with proficiency based on their backgrounds or their class (and choosing an appropriate ability score). The 5E proficiency list is narrow and specific and sometimes it is easier to lean on "secondary skills" from the AD&D days.

What are your thoughts on non-standard proficiency and ability scores?
I think they are ok, and if you do it, then this is the way - If you have proficiency in Athletics then you add PB to Charisma (Athletics).

I am not a huge fan of the examples you provided though. I think the first example "to entertain a crowd" would be a performance check. Perhaps Strength (Performance).

The second example should be investigation in my opinion. Intelligence (Stealth) would be more narroly focused on "where is a good place to hide", although I could see either intelligence or isdom for that.
 

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