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Missing Rules

I like the perspective from jumping into difficult terrain, but you sidestepped the larger question: why are rules system defined crafting etc set DCs generally considered more appropriate than random jumping DCs?
The crafting DCs exist for a different purpose. People were having trouble knowing what they could use tools to make or how they could be used in play. This was added in response to fan feedback and requests.
You'll also notice those DCs are suggested DCs, not hard rules. The DM is perfectly free to ignore those depending on the situation.

Hard DCs for skills are difficult because of the infinite variables.
For example, how hard should it be to jump 1 foot further?
What's the DC to jump an extra foot when leaping from a solid surface to a platform slightly lower with lots of rough rocks as handholds and the wind blowing hard from behind?
How about a jump of the same distance on loose soil against the wind?
What if you're running on a rotting pier covered in water with the waves pounding against the dock and the target being a rocking ship?

Plus, there's a general philosophy in the game that if the DM needs to stop and flip through a rulebook to find out how to calculate a DC the ruleset has failed. The DM is empowered to just make that up, deciding what feels dramatic and appropriate for that session at that moment.

It's the advantage of every single D&D game being refereed by a thinking, sentient being who is largely innately aware of the relevant variables at play and how much of an impact they should have.
 

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
So here's a general question for all the "you don't need benchmarks" folks in this thread: for those thing for which the rules do provide set DCs -- I am looking at things like the tool proficiency stuff in Xanathar's -- how do you square that? Is there a reason it is okay for that stuff to have defined DCs as opposed to DM gut checks?
I agree with Isireth about the XgtE tool uses. Each of those specific tool uses has an implied goal and approach, so I’m not really bothered by them having specific DCs recommended. As for the revised downtime rules in XgtE, I think they’re far worse than the core PHB and DMG downtime rules and I don’t use them.
 

ad_hoc

Hero
Interesting. I feel the opposite way. If there is no dramatic tension then there is really no reason to not just assume success, IMO. If the characters take a week off from the dungeon to recover and engage in downtime activities, making them roll for those activities seems counter productive.
I think it depends on what they are attempting.

Are we talking about the activities in Xanathar's?

I don't think the PCs should be able to - know any thing they want, acquire as many allies as they want, pick out and buy any amount of magic items they want, etc.

At the same time, I think presenting an opportunity for a chance to partially do those things is a fun thing to do in downtime.
 

smbakeresq

Explorer
There is no DC. The attempted action simply fails outright, no roll. Only a Str 30 creature can do this.
I don’t agree. What if you have a raging barbarian (advantage on STR checks like athletics) with a ATH skill of +10 or more? If they want to try let them. I don’t want to cap them by saying only 30 STR need apply.

Or an enlarged human (12’ tall) would have a 6’ stride, a standing jump of 15 wouldn’t be that hard.

The DC is feet attempted to be jumped, doubled for standing jumps. It’s just simpler
 

Reynard

Legend
The DC is feet attempted to be jumped, doubled for standing jumps. It’s just simpler
The problem with this particular solution is that it introduces a degree of uncertainty that is unnecessary and potentially problematic. Like, should there be a chance for a 20 strength raging barbarian to fail a 7 foot running long jump? Probably not. But that's just different perspectives on what the likelihood of success should be. I do agree that it should not be impossible for characters to exceed their strength in running jump distance.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I don’t agree. What if you have a raging barbarian (advantage on STR checks like athletics) with a ATH skill of +10 or more?
He or she'll be pretty great at grappling and shoving then or at tasks for which Strength (Athletics) is used to resolve any uncertainty as to the outcome. If he or she wants to be better at jumping higher or further, then he or she can quest after boots of striding and springing. Or the ranger or wizard can cast jump on the barbarian.

Your method is very D&D 4e. I prefer to use the D&D 5e rules here and treat jumping as a factor of speed and Strength rather than mandate an ability check.
 

smbakeresq

Explorer
He can’t fail a jump. A 1 is not an automatic failure unless there is a penalty for failure. Therefore there is no chance of him failing 7’ running long jump.

So it’s your roll plus your athletics score is your minimum, any athletics proficient PC will have a 3‘ minimum jump.

As a DM you have to watch how you draw terrain, if you draw a 1’ wide ledge into a 5’ space the the pc can just move from the ledge into the next 5’ space just by taking a step.
 

Reynard

Legend
I prefer to use the D&D 5e rules here and treat jumping as a factor of speed and Strength rather than mandate an ability check.
Except the rule that says you can make an Athletics check to jump an unusually long distance. ;)

More seriously, you mention speed and at first I was like "speed doesn't affect jumping distance" but in a way it does. If you have a 20 strength, in order to make that jump you must have a speed of at least 30.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Except the rule that says you can make an Athletics check to jump an unusually long distance. ;)
As I've explained, a player can make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump an unusually long distance IF:

1. What the player described affords the character a chance to do that;
2. The DM thinks what the player described has an uncertain outcome;
3. The DM thinks what the player described has a meaningful consequence of failure.

If the player has described nothing more than what can otherwise be construed as the typical approach for jumping, then the attempt to jump further or higher simply fails, no roll - the character only jumps to the limits of his or her Strength and speed. The player can't just declare he or she is making an Athletics check to jump further. The DM is under no obligation whatsoever to accept that and, in my view, shouldn't. That's not how the basic conversation of the game and the adjudication process works in D&D 5e. Now, in D&D 4e, players can do that and the DM is encouraged to say "Yes." But that's not a thing in D&D 5e, according to the rules at least.

Now, if the player has some kind of terrain to use (like a springboard) or can otherwise reasonably justify by way of his or her description something that is boosting the jump distance, then sure, ask for that roll if the outcome is not certain and there's a meaningful consequence of failure. "I try to jump farther than normal" is a goal, but it lacks an approach. The next thing the DM should say in my view is "How?" The proper answer isn't "By making an Athletics check..."!

More seriously, you mention speed and at first I was like "speed doesn't affect jumping distance" but in a way it does. If you have a 20 strength, in order to make that jump you must have a speed of at least 30.
Yep. As an aside, the barbarian in my Planescape game, Chungus, has a speed of 40 feet and boots of striding and springing. With Strength 16, he can manage a standing long jump of 24 feet or a running long jump of 30 feet. Since I am big on setting up interesting terrain, this comes in very handy indeed as has been shown in recent adventurers where they are climbing the Infinite Staircase, which is all platforms and stairs.
 

smbakeresq

Explorer
I also give a bonus to jump distance if you are running base on speed. This is to help the super fast monks with low strength scores to give them a bonus for their velocity in the vector of movement.
 


Passive checks, people. It is the 5E version of the 3E Take 10 rule.

10+all modifiers that apply to the check. Advantage adds 5 to the total and Disadvantage subtracts 5 from the total. If the total equals or exceeds the set DC, it is an auto-success.

This solves a lot of things and cuts down on the dice rolling.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Passive checks, people. It is the 5E version of the 3E Take 10 rule.

10+all modifiers that apply to the check. Advantage adds 5 to the total and Disadvantage subtracts 5 from the total. If the total equals or exceeds the set DC, it is an auto-success.

This solves a lot of things and cuts down on the dice rolling.
I don’t think jumping is really an appropriate use of a passive check. Unless you’re condensing an extended travel sequence that for some reason involves a lot of jumping into a brief narration, usually jumping isn’t something you tend to do continuously over a long period of time.
 

I don’t think jumping is really an appropriate use of a passive check. Unless you’re condensing an extended travel sequence that for some reason involves a lot of jumping into a brief narration, usually jumping isn’t something you tend to do continuously over a long period of time.
Read the whole rule first. That is only one suggestion on what to use passive checks for:

"A passive check is a Special kind of ability check that doesn’t involve any die rolls. Such a check can represent the average result for a task done repeatedly, such as searching for secret doors over and over again, or can be used when the GM wants to secretly determine whether the characters succeed at something without rolling dice, such as noticing a hidden monster."

5E is a DM-driven game and a DM can use a passive check in whatever situation they think it applies to.
 

Reynard

Legend
As I've explained, a player can make a Strength (Athletics) check to jump an unusually long distance IF:

1. What the player described affords the character a chance to do that;
2. The DM thinks what the player described has an uncertain outcome;
3. The DM thinks what the player described has a meaningful consequence of failure.

If the player has described nothing more than what can otherwise be construed as the typical approach for jumping, then the attempt to jump further or higher simply fails, no roll - the character only jumps to the limits of his or her Strength and speed.
I might be ascribing tone when it is not intended, and if so I apologize, but it seems like you are making an absolute statement here. This may be the way you run your game, and it may well work for you, but this is not a rule. It in face goes against the whole "rulings not rules" attitude of 5E. I can run my game any way I like and to suggest I am doing it wrong because I choose to believe the description of Athletics when it says you can roll the skill to get some extra distance, that is just as valid as your "not without a giant slingshot and rocket skates" approach.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I might be ascribing tone when it is not intended, and if so I apologize, but it seems like you are making an absolute statement here. This may be the way you run your game, and it may well work for you, but this is not a rule. It in face goes against the whole "rulings not rules" attitude of 5E. I can run my game any way I like and to suggest I am doing it wrong because I choose to believe the description of Athletics when it says you can roll the skill to get some extra distance, that is just as valid as your "not without a giant slingshot and rocket skates" approach.
Everything I stated in what you quoted is, in fact, taken from the rules. Whether you choose to run your game by those rules is completely up to you. You should not read my statement as an imperative that you must do so, only that this is what the book says. And it takes into account what you're referencing in the Using Ability Scores section in a way that dovetails with the basic conversation of the game and adjudicating actions.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Everything I stated in what you quoted is, in fact, taken from the rules. Whether you choose to run your game by those rules is completely up to you. You should not read my statement as an imperative that you must do so, only that this is what the book says. And it takes into account what you're referencing in the Using Ability Scores section in a way that dovetails with the basic conversation of the game and adjudicating actions.
I don't recall #3 being a rule. I know where it says the players describe their action, and then the DM narrates the results. And I know where it says that you only roll if the outcome is uncertain. I don't see where it says that there has to be a meaningful consequence of failure.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I don't recall #3 being a rule. I know where it says the players describe their action, and then the DM narrates the results. And I know where it says that you only roll if the outcome is uncertain. I don't see where it says that there has to be a meaningful consequence of failure.
DMG page 237: "When a player wants to do something, it's often appropriate to let the attempt succeed without a roll or a reference to the character's ability scores... Only call for a roll if there is a meaningful consequence of failure."

The section goes on from there about determining uncertainty.
 

AlViking

First Post
Everything I stated in what you quoted is, in fact, taken from the rules. Whether you choose to run your game by those rules is completely up to you. You should not read my statement as an imperative that you must do so, only that this is what the book says. And it takes into account what you're referencing in the Using Ability Scores section in a way that dovetails with the basic conversation of the game and adjudicating actions.
Isn't it also ignoring the rule which says: You try to jump an unusually long distance or pull off a stunt midjump?

I don't remember if they say it in this edition, but I assume specific overrides general.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Read the whole rule first. That is only one suggestion on what to use passive checks for:

"A passive check is a Special kind of ability check that doesn’t involve any die rolls. Such a check can represent the average result for a task done repeatedly, such as searching for secret doors over and over again, or can be used when the GM wants to secretly determine whether the characters succeed at something without rolling dice, such as noticing a hidden monster."
Are you suggesting that you make Athletics checks to jump in secret?

5E is a DM-driven game and a DM can use a passive check in whatever situation they think it applies to.
Granted, and I use them outside of continuous activities and secret checks too, but you seemed to be suggesting that using passive checks for jumping was an obvious thing the rest of us were missing, rather than a personal call you make at your table.
 

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