Missing Rules

Mistwell

Hero
Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford spoke most about "Rulings, Not Rules" as a theme for what was then "D&D Next" and became D&D 5e in late May 2012 (and it had previously been a phrase most commonly heard in reference to the Old School Renaissance movement). They did a lot of interviews and at least one podcast around that time, introducing the playtests for D&D Next, and mentioned it repeatedly as a major theme for the new edition.

You can find some quotes here. For example, " The biggest hurdle has been trying to make sure that we can encourage more creativity, immersion, and flexibility in DMs and players. We want to have a solid set of rules, but at the same time I think D&D is at its best when the game is about the DM's rulings rather than the actual rules. The rules are a tool that a DM uses to keep the game moving and inform decisions. The rules don't make decisions for the DM, unless that's how the DM wants the game to work."

You can also hear a podcast here starting around the 10 minute mark.

Here is an excerpt in part, but it's worth listening to as Crawford also chimes in, and then Mearls expands on the concepts further and describes how this approach will differ from organized play approach where there will be much more canonical rules:

Q: What part of the playtest are you most looking forward to?

A: [Mearls] I am really curious to see how people react to the way we’ve approached DM’ing. Because we really tried to take a different tack on things. One of my personal things with D&D is I think the rules are there as a tool for the DM to use as the DM wants. The rules aren’t just this canonical thing that the DM must obey. The DM obeys the rules when the DM feels like yes these rules make sense for my campaign. And so we’re really emphasizing this idea of instead of saying hey here’s this hard and fast rule, it’s here’s a rule you can use, but really we’re going to rely more on the DM to make rulings based on the situation. One of the things we focused on in the DM’ing packet was giving the DM a really clear sense of ‘here is how checks work’ and different die rolling conventions or whatever, but here’s how you use these things. And what I imagine is, in a lot of adventures we write, I want to just be able to describe a room and not give any DC’s. And the DM just judges and is like ‘Hey a character wants to try and do this, here’s what I think the DC should be.’ Or ‘here’s the kind of tweak I want to make to this check, OK you can that but if he fails by more than 5, or whatever, something bad is going to happen to you.’ So instead of giving you this full page rules on climbing that covers all these different cases, we need to say well hey if a character wants to climb well here’s how fast you can climb, and usually it’s a strength check and here are some sample DC’s, and here’s some other tweaks you might want to make to the check, but it’s really up to the DM. And the goal is to make those guidelines and rules simple enough that the DM is using them on the fly. You know it’s the kind of thing where it takes 5 minutes to learn it and then a lifetime to master.
 

smbakeresq

Explorer
The above is the goal. Actually I think the rules should be easy enough that the players know them and can use them preparing for their turn and don’t have to ask for a ruling so they can go quickly
 

clearstream

Explorer
Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford spoke most about "Rulings, Not Rules" as a theme for what was then "D&D Next" and became D&D 5e in late May 2012 (and it had previously been a phrase most commonly heard in reference to the Old School Renaissance movement). They did a lot of interviews and at least one podcast around that time, introducing the playtests for D&D Next, and mentioned it repeatedly as a major theme for the new edition.

You can find some quotes here. For example, " The biggest hurdle has been trying to make sure that we can encourage more creativity, immersion, and flexibility in DMs and players. We want to have a solid set of rules, but at the same time I think D&D is at its best when the game is about the DM's rulings rather than the actual rules. The rules are a tool that a DM uses to keep the game moving and inform decisions. The rules don't make decisions for the DM, unless that's how the DM wants the game to work."

You can also hear a podcast here starting around the 10 minute mark.

Here is an excerpt in part, but it's worth listening to as Crawford also chimes in, and then Mearls expands on the concepts further and describes how this approach will differ from organized play approach where there will be much more canonical rules:

Q: What part of the playtest are you most looking forward to?

A: [Mearls] I am really curious to see how people react to the way we’ve approached DM’ing. Because we really tried to take a different tack on things. One of my personal things with D&D is I think the rules are there as a tool for the DM to use as the DM wants. The rules aren’t just this canonical thing that the DM must obey. The DM obeys the rules when the DM feels like yes these rules make sense for my campaign. And so we’re really emphasizing this idea of instead of saying hey here’s this hard and fast rule, it’s here’s a rule you can use, but really we’re going to rely more on the DM to make rulings based on the situation. One of the things we focused on in the DM’ing packet was giving the DM a really clear sense of ‘here is how checks work’ and different die rolling conventions or whatever, but here’s how you use these things. And what I imagine is, in a lot of adventures we write, I want to just be able to describe a room and not give any DC’s. And the DM just judges and is like ‘Hey a character wants to try and do this, here’s what I think the DC should be.’ Or ‘here’s the kind of tweak I want to make to this check, OK you can that but if he fails by more than 5, or whatever, something bad is going to happen to you.’ So instead of giving you this full page rules on climbing that covers all these different cases, we need to say well hey if a character wants to climb well here’s how fast you can climb, and usually it’s a strength check and here are some sample DC’s, and here’s some other tweaks you might want to make to the check, but it’s really up to the DM. And the goal is to make those guidelines and rules simple enough that the DM is using them on the fly. You know it’s the kind of thing where it takes 5 minutes to learn it and then a lifetime to master.
And yet, what they keep repeating is that the rules they provide are intended to be clear and intended to be used. "We want to have a solid set of rules...". What I'm disputing is where people adduce that the rules set is not solid because it is complemented by rulings.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
And yet, what they keep repeating is that the rules they provide are intended to be clear and intended to be used. "We want to have a solid set of rules...". What I'm disputing is where people adduce that the rules set is not solid because it is complemented by rulings.
Did you play previous versions? I'm just asking because when I did there were more rules arguments than there are in 5E, along with much, much more page-flipping to look up specifics. In addition, people who have only played 5E seem to have fewer issues with this kind of stuff.

I guess it just seems that people forget that previous versions had just as many if not more issues, and that the people who find an issue tend to be people that started with previous editions.

Of course that may not describe you or anyone else, everybody's preferences are going to vary.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
Did you play previous versions? I'm just asking because when I did there were more rules arguments than there are in 5E, along with much, much more page-flipping to look up specifics. In addition, people who have only played 5E seem to have fewer issues with this kind of stuff.

I guess it just seems that people forget that previous versions had just as many if not more issues, and that the people who find an issue tend to be people that started with previous editions.

Of course that may not describe you or anyone else, everybody's preferences are going to vary.
You make me remember the halcyon days of yore when we would spend half the session flipping though our ever growing pile of 3.5 books arguing over rules. Ah memories.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
You make me remember the halcyon days of yore when we would spend half the session flipping though our ever growing pile of 3.5 books arguing over rules. Ah memories.
You mean back in the "good old days" when we had clarity because we had detailed rules except when we didn't because no set of rules could ever be complete?

Back when I had to walk to school in the snow? Uphill? Both ways? Fighting off the grizzly bears with my spiral ring notebook? Dang whipper-snappers ...
 

clearstream

Explorer
You mean back in the "good old days" when we had clarity because we had detailed rules except when we didn't because no set of rules could ever be complete?

Back when I had to walk to school in the snow? Uphill? Both ways? Fighting off the grizzly bears with my spiral ring notebook? Dang whipper-snappers ...
Yup, back in the good old days when DMs weren't allowed to alter or ignore rules. Oh wait...

There are two questions here that I'm finding interesting. 1) Are rulings in some sense superior to rules? 2) Does whatever we decide about 1) entail that rules mean anything we want them to mean?

In looking at those questions, I ask other questions like - why buy rule books? what allows us to recognise a D&D game as a D&D game? what did we want from rules anyway?

My working premise is something like - Rules are a stable and meaningful foundation. They continue to have meaning even if we can alter or ignore them as we choose. We can have meaningful, resolvable debates about rules. A claim that rules mean whatever a given DM wants them to mean is not only unhelpful, in terms of the analysis of rules, but also false. A DM can alter or ignore the meaning, but cannot erase the meaning. As an aside, I think their meaning can be erased through removing them from context, i.e. rules only have meaning, given context.
 

Mistwell

Hero
Yup, back in the good old days when DMs weren't allowed to alter or ignore rules. Oh wait...

There are two questions here that I'm finding interesting. 1) Are rulings in some sense superior to rules? 2) Does whatever we decide about 1) entail that rules mean anything we want them to mean?

In looking at those questions, I ask other questions like - why buy rule books? what allows us to recognise a D&D game as a D&D game? what did we want from rules anyway?

My working premise is something like - Rules are a stable and meaningful foundation. They continue to have meaning even if we can alter or ignore them as we choose. We can have meaningful, resolvable debates about rules. A claim that rules mean whatever a given DM wants them to mean is not only unhelpful, in terms of the analysis of rules, but also false. A DM can alter or ignore the meaning, but cannot erase the meaning. As an aside, I think their meaning can be erased through removing them from context, i.e. rules only have meaning, given context.
The next quote from that podcast I was quoting above is Crawford chiming in on what Mearls had just said. Part of his response was, "And because in D&D each group has a kind of unspoken social contract we expect that the degree to which a DM is re-shaping the rules will change group by group. Because we know there are going to be groups where some of them are going to fully embrace this, they’re going to houserule the heck out of the game, and it’s going to be truly their Dungeons and Dragons not only in the story but even in the system. We know there are other groups where, what Mike just described, they’re thinking ‘Oh my God this is chaos!’ Those groups will be able to play the game as written and essentially have the official rules of the game and they will have enough there that they can run with it. "

Does that help?
 

Mistwell

Hero
Also for those curious about how they were originally thinking about Organized Play versus home play, Mearls explained the more canonical approach to rules for Organized Play in that podcast as follows:

"Mearls: I think there was a sense when 3rd edition came out, before the Internet really became such a social venue, that you wanted groups to have a really consistent application of the rules from group to group so that people can move around. But I think now that since everyone is online these days, or it’s easy to get on line and talk about things, that we have a much more connected community. And when you have a much more connected community it makes it much more easy for us to be much more open with letting people tinker with the rules, and we just assume you’re going to do that, because it’s much more easy to see as a whole what the community is doing, what DM’s are doing, different blogs about DM’ing, or how to put together adventures and stuff. There is a lot more communication. People are not as isolated as they used to be. So its much easier now, if you’re really into D&D, to just go online and just read up on how other people are approaching the game, and the different techniques. So you don’t have to say OK this is canonical, what you must do."

"Now for something like Organized Play, like the Forgotten Realms, what I imagine we’ll do is something similar to what a lot of games do, like say Magic [the Gathering] or whatever. And we’ll just say alright for Organized Play program, here are the ground rules. For that we’ll probably just say here’s what we expect the rules to be. But we don’t have to design the game for that. We just have to design a good game, and then create the subset of rules or the rules we add on that say here’s how it works for playing in Organized Play. Like for example in Magic you could put eight copies of a card in one deck. No one is stopping you. But that’s not a tournament legal deck, right? You could easily play that way. You could play Planechase at home, but that might not be what you’re playing at a Pro tournament. But you know that’s fine, it doesn’t break the game or make Magic incomprehensible, it’s just a different variant. "
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Yup, back in the good old days when DMs weren't allowed to alter or ignore rules. Oh wait...

There are two questions here that I'm finding interesting. 1) Are rulings in some sense superior to rules? 2) Does whatever we decide about 1) entail that rules mean anything we want them to mean?

In looking at those questions, I ask other questions like - why buy rule books? what allows us to recognise a D&D game as a D&D game? what did we want from rules anyway?

My working premise is something like - Rules are a stable and meaningful foundation. They continue to have meaning even if we can alter or ignore them as we choose. We can have meaningful, resolvable debates about rules. A claim that rules mean whatever a given DM wants them to mean is not only unhelpful, in terms of the analysis of rules, but also false. A DM can alter or ignore the meaning, but cannot erase the meaning. As an aside, I think their meaning can be erased through removing them from context, i.e. rules only have meaning, given context.
What [MENTION=2525]Mistwell[/MENTION] said, with a little extra.

I would say there's a line between a ruling and a house rule that most people would recognize (not all, this is the internet of course). How you handle jumping an "unusually long distance" for example is a ruling. The rules are silent on the subject other than to say that sometimes it can be done. It gives no DCs, no instructions on whether you just state your character is going to jump further than usual or need a pogo-stick or roll a percentile die. So how it happens IMHO is a ruling.

I make a ton of rulings all the time. It's just part of running a smooth game and can change the flavor of the game without changing core assumptions.

On the other hand, I have a handful of house rules for when I explicitly override the clear intent of a rule in the book. For example, I've always thought the way certain items replace ability scores instead of enhancing them is dumb. A two year old should not be able to but on a belt and be able to lift a horse. So I have a house rule that gauntlet of ogre power, belts of giant strength add to your strength (with a max) but they don't replace it.

There are gray areas of course. I have no problem with someone ending a turn mid-jump when they run out of movement. I don't consider that a house rule because I don't follow twitter and the rules don't clearly state it one way or another. But I don't really care if someone else considers it a house rule. They're wrong of course, but they're entitled to be wrong. [Kidding. Mostly.]

My preference is to stick pretty close to the base rules because they work reasonably well most of the time. When I start a campaign I have a session 0 and discuss my handful of house rules and go over some rulings that come up on a regular basis because people want to play D&D, not Oofta's Amateur Hour RPG.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Assuming Tier 2 Athletics, clears 20' in 8 out of 20 attempts. Never fails to clear 10'.


Assuming Tier 2 Athletics, clears 10' in 13 out of 20 attempts. Clears 20' in only 3 out of 20 attempts.

Given a constant mass, the energy to jump 20' is much more than that needed to jump 10'. The margin between the two results, considered in number of successes, is about +62%. I don't think it is the intent of the Difficulty Class system to scale difficulty by who attempts it. I think you are focusing on +2' (i.e. relative to person attempting), where I believe the system expects you to focus on the total distance covered.

For me, to have a mechanic that easy to remember and fast to use, that produces decent results, sells itself.
About the rule you prefer for this at your table - if it works at yours, great!

Like i said at the end of the post which you somehow managed to cut out - accidental i am sure.

For me the weaker jumper adding 2' to his jump of "max auto-distance with an athletics check getting a better chance of success than the stronger more trained buy at adding 2' to his - not a route i would take.

But again, if it works at yours, great!
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It feels like you might be arguing that all D&D rules are ultimately vague because DMs can make rulings on them. To me, no part of what we have cited has stated or even implied such a hierarchy. The rules attempt to be concrete and clear and the DM is expressly authorised to arbitrate upon or alter them as needed. The one does not diminish the other.

Meaning arises in context, and I think we must acknowledge our differing contexts. So far as I can tell, you value keeping the rules as vague as possible - maybe you don't like being bound by them - so you take the words and interpret them for vagueness. I value the rules as the work of expert game designers given time and resources that I don't have - I don't mind being bound by them - so I take their words and interpret them for clarity.

Which is right? I think for me, I come back to the artifacts themselves: the rulebooks. If all rules are vague, then are all rules in the rulebooks empty of meaning? I suppose we would both resist that point of view. So chances are, we accept that rules do have meaning, with you saying that any such meanings are further down in some kind of hierarchy than DMs rulings. I don't think that can really be true, because the commonality across D&D DMs is the D&D RAW. There is more that is similar, than that is different. So I would invert your hierarchy and say, if anything, rules stand above rulings... but accommodate and facilitate them, not prevent them.
This is not correct. I am not arguing that the rules are vague because the DMs can make rulings on them. Many of the rules are vague, because they are vague. Others are not vague. Whether vague or clear, though, they are all secondary to any and all DM rulings, as the DMG makes clear on page 4.

Let's just look at Athletics.

1. "Athletics. Your Strength (Athletics) check covers difficult situations you encounter while climbing, jumping, or swimming. Examples include the following activities:" So apparently, you can use athletics to climb, jump, or swim, but not lift things, pull things, push things, run faster, etc. You have by RAW, only those three actions. That doesn't make any sense. The rule is either vague on what it can do, or deliberately short sighted so as to force the DM to engage in many rulings over the course of a campaign as to what athletics can do.

2. "You attempt to climb a sheer or slippery cliff, avoid hazards while scaling a wall, or cling to a surface while something is trying to knock you off." What if something isn't trying to knock you off but hits you while you cling to a surface. A falling boulder seems like it should be able to knock you off. Another rule that is either vague in how it's written, or written so as to require rulings. It would have been simple to reword that last one to say, "or cling to a surface to avoid having something knock you off." My wording even saves them 2 characters of space.

3. "You try to jump an unusually long distance or pull off a stunt midjump." I present to you this entire thread ;)

4. "You struggle to swim or stay afloat in treacherous currents, storm-tossed waves, or areas of thick seaweed. Or another creature tries to push or pull you underwater or otherwise interfere with your swimming." What if you are weighed down by armor, treasure, or something else that isn't a creature? How about if something falls on you? What if a trap designed to pull you under gets a hold of you due to a failed save? Yet again, we have common occurrences not covered by the rule, making it vague or written to require lots of rulings.

And this is just Athletics!!! The entire books is like this, where the rule is written to explicitly cover only a few areas, but which would actually cover many more common things. The entire edition is written to require DMs to make rulings left and right. Vagueness, contradiction, and/or short sightedness is rampant throughout.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And yet, what they keep repeating is that the rules they provide are intended to be clear and intended to be used. "We want to have a solid set of rules...". What I'm disputing is where people adduce that the rules set is not solid because it is complemented by rulings.
The rules are intended, as the article I posted upthread shows, to be the foundation the DM uses to make his rulings, not as something that have to be followed. It's far easier for the DM to look at the rule for inspiration on how he wants to run his game, which could include following the rule to the letter, than it is for the DM to just make up a game whole cloth via rulings. This is further reinforced by the myriad of rules written vaguely(athletics jumping), in a contradictory manner(Magic Missile), or deliberately poorly(the other athletics checks). I say deliberately, because it's hard to envision a professional designer and professional staff screwing up the wording and leaving out so many commonly encountered situations.
 

Kobold Boots

Villager
So, normally I like 5E's attitude toward letting the DM adjudicate things, but tonight I ran into a stumper.

We had an impromptu Fantasy grounds session (due to technical difficulties with another Roll20 game) and I quick purchased a module. In it there is a room with some hanging platforms, so we had to look up the jumping rules. Funny thing -- there aren't any. More precisely, there aren't any Athletics check rules regarding jumping. It says you can use athletics to jump a greater distance than is allowed in the movement rules, but gives no indication of how difficult that is or how far it would be.

I made a quick ruling and moved on, but it still baffled me. That just seems like the kind of thing you put in the Athletics skill section, even if it is a simple "If greater than the player's strength score, the athletics skill check indicates the distance of the character's running long jump (half from standing)" or something.

Now, the lack of that rule hardly seems worthy of a whole thread, so I open it up to the floor: what other rules are weirdly missing from 5E, in your opinion?
I've gotten here late but I disagree with your statement about the rules lacking.

It's pretty clear that there are rules about distances based on strength and what should and should not be allowed based on the environment. For one of the types (long and standing) you can make a DC 10 check to clear an obstacle no larger than one quarter the distance of the jump high.

For the other it's up to the DM if the player can jump to another platform if the platform is far enough away that the standard strength rules won't allow it due to low strength or high distance.

If the platform is far enough away that the strongest mortal character can't reach it with the existing jump rules then it wasn't designed to be possible by the characters and the DM shouldn't allow it. If the platform could be reached by someone with an 18 strength, and the character attempting it is in the range of strength where an athletiics check might make sense.. (like 16 strength) have the player make a DC10 check. If the character is average, the DM shouldn't allow it or set a DC high enough that the player won't attempt it.

Sometimes it's about rules, and sometimes it's about design. When you're stumped it's usually a design flaw creating a situation just enough outside of normal that it distracts from a logical ruling.
 

smbakeresq

Explorer
You mean back in the "good old days" when we had clarity because we had detailed rules except when we didn't because no set of rules could ever be complete?

Back when I had to walk to school in the snow? Uphill? Both ways? Fighting off the grizzly bears with my spiral ring notebook? Dang whipper-snappers ...
There is no good old days unless you are talking about segments.
 
For the other it's up to the DM if the player can jump to another platform if the platform is far enough away that the standard strength rules won't allow it due to low strength or high distance.
Well, yeah, that's the whole point of the thread. The rules say you can possible jump farther than your strength would normally allow, without telling you how to determine difficulty or otherwise adjudicate it. Hence "incomplete."
 

clearstream

Explorer
The rules are intended, as the article I posted upthread shows, to be the foundation the DM uses to make his rulings, not as something that have to be followed. It's far easier for the DM to look at the rule for inspiration on how he wants to run his game, which could include following the rule to the letter, than it is for the DM to just make up a game whole cloth via rulings. This is further reinforced by the myriad of rules written vaguely(athletics jumping), in a contradictory manner(Magic Missile), or deliberately poorly(the other athletics checks). I say deliberately, because it's hard to envision a professional designer and professional staff screwing up the wording and leaving out so many commonly encountered situations.
That's an interesting viewpoint. RPG rules simulate an imaginary reality. Simulations are necessarily incomplete, the only question being where you draw the line? In that context, a critical enabler of RPG is the rule-generating-DM, who can continuously fill out the world as players explore it. This has been the case for every edition of D&D: 5e has not pulled off the remarkable feat of being the only edition of D&D to be incomplete.

It is the shared rules that tell us we are playing D&D. We agree that a DM can alter or ignore rules. We don't agree that this makes the rules in some sense less important or at fault. In many places the rules are clear and almost universally accepted. In some places they are incomplete, sometimes deliberately. In other places they are ambiguous or contradictory. Those latter are not deliberate: the designers intended to express clear meanings. That is why they publish Errata and Sage Advice. What the designers did not intend to do is cover every conceivable case.

Jumping is a good example of an incomplete rule, not a vague one. RAW is clear on how far a character can usually jump, and incomplete on how far a character can unusually jump. RAW is not incomplete as to offering an injunction to set a DC, and rules about how to set one, but it does not detail what distance should relate to what DC. We know that "most people" can manage a DC 5, and that a "low-level character" should struggle to make a DC 25... which in this context doesn't seem especially helpful. Vexing as it is, there is nothing vague about an absence of information.

I imagine that we are both prepared to admit that there are rules: they're things that exist. Maybe I misunderstand what you want to say: you're saying that because a DM can choose to alter or ignore a rule, that rule becomes vague. Is that really right?
 
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clearstream

Explorer
About the rule you prefer for this at your table - if it works at yours, great!

Like i said at the end of the post which you somehow managed to cut out - accidental i am sure.

For me the weaker jumper adding 2' to his jump of "max auto-distance with an athletics check getting a better chance of success than the stronger more trained buy at adding 2' to his - not a route i would take.

But again, if it works at yours, great!
I have this idea that one day, in the far, far future, we will no longer need to say "do what works for your group" because we'll know that has always been true :)

Anyway, what I was drawing attention to is that DCs appear to be intended to be objective, not subjective. That seemed to mean focus on the jump distance, not the jumper. When I do that, it feels easy to reach a consistent ruling. The 18 Strength character never has any issue clearing 10', whereas the 10 Strength character finds it a real challenge to clear 18'. Characters, generally, are challenged to clear 20', but higher level characters will find that more doable.

I then had the further thought that perhaps for some interpreters, the amount of increase over a character's usual jump constitutes an objective fact about an unusual jump. The objective part of the DC setting exercise is determined by looking at the specific character, and the subjective part of the DC setting exercise is determined by looking at the specific character. The aim, I think, is that bringing the character in on both sides means that clearing 2' or 20% more or whatever distance over your usual, has the same difficulty for all characters that attempt it. I then hit a standard problem with flat adds, which is they don't respect the diversity of features that can mean for some characters, an extra 2' is almost nothing, while for others (in an extreme instance) it nearly doubles their jump!

In terms of the question - is this what the rules guide to doing. I think they don't, because I think the character is not meant to come in on both sides of the DC setting exercise.

In terms of the question - does this work well? I think if you go this route, percentage makes far more sense than a flat add. I guess one chooses a scale - say DC 5 for each +20%. The math then is pretty straightforward - I can usually clear 18, I want to clear 25... actually, the math isn't super-straightforward. No wait, it's +40%. DC 10? I might need to roll 4+. Say I go for 35', about double, DC 25, I might need to roll 19+. Clearing 40' is my maximum without Guidance or Bardic Inspiration.

And there's the rub: players have all kinds of resources to bear on this, that can make a high DC doable, or circumvent it all together (cast Fly?) That makes scaling subjectively for me a questionable pursuit, but if I did scale, I'd scale percentually.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Well, yeah, that's the whole point of the thread. The rules say you can possible jump farther than your strength would normally allow, without telling you how to determine difficulty or otherwise adjudicate it. Hence "incomplete."
Some would argue the "how to determine difficulty" is already established in the PHb and DMG with a variety of guidelines that the Gm applies to the many, many, many cases where *by the typical process* he assigns DCs and the fact that at this one skill they did the same thing they did numerous other time is not a sign of a particular lack.

look at the listing for sleight of hand, quaff a stein, labor for hours without rest, etc etc etc and you will s ee more than a few cases where no specific DCs are provided nor are they needed given a standard set of DC guidelines is provided.
 

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