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Satyrn

First Post
We're close. I just allow my players to use fewer words: "I use persuasion to convince the bouncer to let us in."
It might help you understand exactly what iserith prefers, and why he prefers it, with a simple question: If all the player says is "I use persuasion to convince the bouncer to let us in," how do you decide whether the character is using cordial request, or offering a coin?

I mean, I'm pretty sure your answer is essentially "because our table considers 'using persuasion' is short-hand for talking nice" (my table uses that sort of short-hand, too, which is why I'm confident I can guess your answer), so the question is meant hypothetically to illustrate what I'm seeing in your discussion:

The only real difference between you and iserith on this issue is that he wants to avoid the short-hand, and have the player explicitly state it.
 
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Satyrn

First Post
Er, I might have a problem.

Earlier today, in another thread, I made a couple My Little Pony jokes. Now it's Spice Girls. I think I've been polymorphed into a 12 year old girl.

:hmm:

*cranks up the Taylor Swift*
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I'm with AIViking here, with the addition that if a player has a clear idea of what mechanics they want to use to accomplish their goal I prefer them to just tell me. I don't dissuade the in character interaction but I still want to know what they, as player, are trying to do with the system. It's much easier to adjudicate that way. I don't like playing guessing games. It results in miscommunication and potentially hard feelings of things go badly because I thought the player was trying to Bluff when he was actually trying to Intimidate or whatever. So if the player comes out with, " I intimidate the guard," versus "I puff up and make myself look tougher than I am" I can call for the right rolls and tactics. It isn't my job to tell the player how to use their character.
See, at my table, the players are trying to avoid rolling. So asking them what check they're trying to roll might get you a response like "I don't want to roll if I don't have to." They're aiming for automatic success. Trying to roll a d20 is not a very good strategy for achieving goals. Why put your hands in the fate of a random number generator if you can sometimes avoid it?

Further, if you're not sure what a player's goal and approach is, it's easy enough to just say "I have an idea of what you're doing, but I'm not sure what you hope to achieve. Can you explain?" Or "I see what you're trying to do, but I'm not sure how you hope to accomplish that exactly." Over time, players get better at making clear their goal and approach.

As for which ability check is called for, all the DM need do is filter any task with an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure into six ability checks and settle on a DC. The player can then ask if a proficiency applies (remember that section of the DMG you referenced?) given his or her stated approach to achieving the goal.
 


Reynard

Legend
See, at my table, the players are trying to avoid rolling. So asking them what check they're trying to roll might get you a response like "I don't want to roll if I don't have to." They're aiming for automatic success. Trying to roll a d20 is not a very good strategy for achieving goals. Why put your hands in the fate of a random number generator if you can sometimes avoid it?

Further, if you're not sure what a player's goal and approach is, it's easy enough to just say "I have an idea of what you're doing, but I'm not sure what you hope to achieve. Can you explain?" Or "I see what you're trying to do, but I'm not sure how you hope to accomplish that exactly." Over time, players get better at making clear their goal and approach.

As for which ability check is called for, all the DM need do is filter any task with an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure into six ability checks and settle on a DC. The player can then ask if a proficiency applies (remember that section of the DMG you referenced?) given his or her stated approach to achieving the goal.
That's a long way to get to the same place with no perceivable benefit and the potential for negative consequences in the form of miscommunication. I am happier, and my players are too, letting them pilot their own characters through the world I present to them.
 

AlViking

First Post
It might help you understand exactly what iserith prefers, and why he prefers it, with a simple question: If all the player says is "I use persuasion to convince the bouncer to let us in," how do you decide whether the character is using cordial request, or offering a coin?

I mean, I'm pretty sure your answer is essentially "because our table considers 'using persuasion' is short-hand for talking nice" (my table uses that sort of short-hand, too, which is why I'm confident I can guess your answer), so the question is meant hypothetically to illustrate what I'm seeing in your discussion:

The only real difference between you and iserith on this issue is that he wants to avoid the short-hand, and have the player explicitly state it.
If they state that they are also slipping the bouncer a platinum piece, they'd get advantage on the check or automatically pass. Or maybe the bouncer ignores all persuasion attempts but will accept a bribe.

If there's ever any doubt what the person is doing or trying to accomplish I'll ask. I'm just stating my preference and experience especially when i DM an AL game.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Er, I might have a problem.

Earlier today, in another thread, I made a couple My Little Pony jokes. Now it's Spice Girls. I think I've been polymorphed into a 12 year old girl.

:hmm:

*cranks up the Taylor Swift*
Taylor Swift? I don't even think 12 year olds listen to her anymore

That better be classic Taylor, not any of this new guff....! ;)
And now we have Taylor Grognards.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The vast majority of times saying "I make an investigation check" is crystal clear.
No it’s not...? Those words convey no information about how you are going about your investigation or what you are trying to learn by doing so. Given more context, I might be able to assume a goal and approach, but I would consider that overstepping my bounds as a DM. It’s not my place to assume what a player’s character does or why.

The one time in a hundred it's not, I'll just ask them for clarification.
And that is exactly what I would do if a player told me “I make an investigation check.” I would ask what they are trying to figure out and how, and then I would tell them if an Investigation check was necessary to find out if the approach accomplishes the goal or not, and if so what the attribute, skill, and DC is.

You aren't boss of me and don't get to decide what skill checks mean for me. ;)
Woah, dude, chill. I’m not trying to tell you what you think of Skills, if I misinterpreted you, I welcome you to correct me.

In many cases D&D is about PCs overcoming obstacles and resolving issues. Whether that obstacle is a goblin or a chasm doesn't really matter. If the PC wants to overcome the obstacle of determining what the symbols on the door mean by looking at them, making an investigation check may be one way of overcoming the obstacle. If it's not something I'd allow I'll let them know.
Agreed.

Speaking in skills is just a shortcut in many cases. Instead of saying "I press my ear against the door and try to eavesdrop on the conversation" they say "I make a perception check to listen in". Six of one, half dozen of the other.
“I (...) listen at the door” does convey enough information about what the character is doing for me to adjudicate a result. “Listen at the door” is an approach, and the implied goal is to hear something on the other side. “I make a Perception check to...” assumes that the approach of listening at the door has a chance of succeeding in the goal of hearing something on the other side of the door, a chance of failing in that goal, and a cost or consequence for failing at that goal.

But this is all just a repeat. You do you, I'll do me, we agree to disagree.
I’m all for agreeing to disagree, but the grounds on which you disagree suggest that I have not communicated my approach in a way that is clear to you. I’m not trying to change your mind, I’m trying to express my point of view in a way that allows us to reach a mutual understanding, even if we don’t agree. Like I did with Reynard - puting it in terms of what the skills are for in my view allowed them to understand where I’m coming from, even though they still prefer their own approach, whereas you still seem to be framing my approach as a matter of semantic particularity.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Me, I treat each edition of D&D as separate and distinct. I try to leave my assumptions at the door and amend my approach as a player and DM to best fit the version I'm playing. To do otherwise seems strange to me. They're different games, not software upgrades of the same game.
Interestingly, software upgrades are exactly how I see each version of D&D. I think of game systems as tools that are available to DMs to help facilitate running the game at their table, just like word processing software helps facilitate composition. (A programming language or environment might be an even better analogy than word processoring software.)

In contrast to what you wrote above, the type of game I want to play and my style of DMing determines my choice of game system to a much greater extent than vice versa. Accordingly, my DMing style and the "basic conversation" at my table hasn't changed much between editions, and probably doesn't exactly match the high-level "how to play" overview of any of them. I already know how I want to play at my table, and I'm not planning to change that just because the phrasing in the book changed.
 

AlViking

First Post
See, at my table, the players are trying to avoid rolling. So asking them what check they're trying to roll might get you a response like "I don't want to roll if I don't have to." They're aiming for automatic success. Trying to roll a d20 is not a very good strategy for achieving goals. Why put your hands in the fate of a random number generator if you can sometimes avoid it?

Further, if you're not sure what a player's goal and approach is, it's easy enough to just say "I have an idea of what you're doing, but I'm not sure what you hope to achieve. Can you explain?" Or "I see what you're trying to do, but I'm not sure how you hope to accomplish that exactly." Over time, players get better at making clear their goal and approach.

As for which ability check is called for, all the DM need do is filter any task with an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence of failure into six ability checks and settle on a DC. The player can then ask if a proficiency applies (remember that section of the DMG you referenced?) given his or her stated approach to achieving the goal.
It's great that it works for you and your group. I have some players whose idea of staying in character is not talking too much about the football game while we're playing. I also judge AL, so while I encourage a more RP-centric style I never expect it.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
That's a long way to get to the same place with no perceivable benefit and the potential for negative consequences in the form of miscommunication. I am happier, and my players are too, letting them pilot their own characters through the world I present to them.
Some time ago I switched over to preferring my player's describe what their characters are doing, rather than asking to make a check.

I found it actually made it easier to "let them pilot their own characters through the world I present to them." because I could listen to what they were describing and use that to influence the check by granting situation Advantage, lowering the DC, or even having Success without a roll.

I saw my players start to player their characters more than their character sheets.

This was a benefit to my game, but of course that's just my game.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
That's a long way to get to the same place with no perceivable benefit and the potential for negative consequences in the form of miscommunication. I am happier, and my players are too, letting them pilot their own characters through the world I present to them.
I have to wonder what you're actually hearing me say if that's the sort of conclusion you reach based on what I'm telling you.
 

AlViking

First Post
Some time ago I switched over to preferring my player's describe what their characters are doing, rather than asking to make a check.

I found it actually made it easier to "let them pilot their own characters through the world I present to them." because I could listen to what they were describing and use that to influence the check by granting situation Advantage, lowering the DC, or even having Success without a roll.

I saw my players start to player their characters more than their character sheets.

This was a benefit to my game, but of course that's just my game.
It's cool to encourage it, but I have some players who just don't play that way. I've come to accept that people don't need to play in my preferred style to be fun to game with.
 


iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Interestingly, software upgrades are exactly how I see each version of D&D. I think of game systems as tools that are available to DMs to help facilitate running the game at their table, just like word processing software helps facilitate composition. (A programming language or environment might be an even better analogy than word processoring software.)

In contrast to what you wrote above, the type of game I want to play and my style of DMing determines my choice of game system to a much greater extent than vice versa. Accordingly, my DMing style and the "basic conversation" at my table hasn't changed much between editions, and probably doesn't exactly match the high-level "how to play" overview of any of them. I already know how I want to play at my table, and I'm not planning to change that just because the phrasing in the book changed.
Yep, a lot of people do that in my experience. It's easy to spot in play.
 

AlViking

First Post
Very true.



Also true, but diverging play styles can indeed be a problem.

A good session 0 can help with a lot of this.
I agree, but (you knew there was a but coming, didn't you?) short of kicking my friend out of the game I don't see it happening.

That and for AL games, there's only so much you can do. If I didn't want to meet new people and get out of the house now and then I may not play AL because it does lack depth at times. Especially true because our game store is quite noisy. Which I guess is not all bad; it's noisy because they're busy.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It's great that it works for you and your group. I have some players whose idea of staying in character is not talking too much about the football game while we're playing. I also judge AL, so while I encourage a more RP-centric style I never expect it.
I don't have any particular preference for how "in-character" a player is at the table, depending on your definition of that word. I just need a goal and an approach which can be communicated through active or descriptive roleplaying.
 

Reynard

Legend
I have to wonder what you're actually hearing me say if that's the sort of conclusion you reach based on what I'm telling you.
It's possible I am misunderstanding you, but what I think you are saying is that you would prefer to have a player say, "My character saunters up to the guard, flexes a little and politely suggests it's time to take a coffee break," and YOU decide (assuming there is going to be a roll involved) whether that is a Charisma check and whether Bluff or Intimidate applies. Do I have that right?

EDIT: To add, perhaps I am conflating [MENTION=6779196]Charlaquin[/MENTION] and your points of view on this?
 
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