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Missing Rules

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Tell me then, what meaning you think the failure had.

Scroll up. It's there in a few different posts now.

Lack of change does not remove meaning from the situation, but lack of change PER SE does not add meaning.

Cool beans. Added meaning is not a requirement. Only that there be meaning.

I’m saying that failing to achieve your goal PER SE is not a meaningful consequence of failure. You do know that per se means “by itself”, right? In this example, failure does have a meaningful consequence - specifically, you get Spears thrown at you. Failing to get wherever you’re trying to climb BY ITSELF is not a meaningful consequence. You need ogres throwing spears to give that failure meaning.

Um, you do realize that I said that not every failure would qualify as having meaning, right? I mean if you're going to be a smart ass about it, you should probably at least know what you are talking about.
 

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ad_hoc

Hero
For example, Fighter Bob is being chased by hungry zombies. He takes a wrong turn and ends up facing a chasm 18 foot wide chasm. Unfortunately he only has a 15 strength, but he is proficient in Athletics. He backs away from the edge, takes a beep breath and runs and jumps with all his might.

This is fine. Bob can even do it if he isn't proficient in Athletics.

In my game I tell Bob's player to make a DC 25 Athletics check. Bob's player decides to spend that inspiration she's been holding on to...

Hold the phone. DC 25?

1) Might as well just say 'no'. Bob needs to be level 5+ to have a shot at succeeding and even then only on a 20.

2) For just an extra 3 feet? DC 25 is 1 step down from the hardest possible check. The long jump record is over 29ft. Adding on a couple extra feet would be DC 10 in my game. Doubling it to 30ft would be the DC 25.
 

Reynard

Legend
Unusually being the key there. If you are just going to say yes to every time they ask to jump farther, it's no longer unusual. Also, that rule does not exist in a vacuum. It exists within the context of Page 6. To declare an action you describe what your PC is doing and then the DM adjudicates it. "I use athletics to jump farther" is not a description of what your PC is doing. It's a statement of intent, sure, but a description it is not. So you are breaking the rule on Page 6 if you accept that. That's fine, but it's effectively a house rule to do so.

I think you are ascribing meaning to the word "describe" in this context. Moreover, you aren't quoting a rule, you are quoting an explanation of how the game works. Further, the following paragraph after "The Player describes what his character is doing," says absolutely nothing about how descriptive a player must be or whether the DM has to consider any factors at all beyond her own judgement. In other words you are telling other people they are running their games wrong based on a pretty narrow interpretation of the text in the book.
 

Reynard

Legend
This is fine. Bob can even do it if he isn't proficient in Athletics.

Sure, but I mention it to show he has a better chance than he might otherwise.



Hold the phone. DC 25?

1) Might as well just say 'no'. Bob needs to be level 5+ to have a shot at succeeding and even then only on a 20.

2) For just an extra 3 feet? DC 25 is 1 step down from the hardest possible check. The long jump record is over 29ft. Adding on a couple extra feet would be DC 10 in my game. Doubling it to 30ft would be the DC 25.

It doesn't matter. I could have said 10. The entire point was in one game, there is zero chance of success and in mine there is a chance of success, however slim or great. That's the difference in DMing philosophy we are discussing, not the specifics of the numbers (which I just pulled out of thin air).

Also, Bob is 14th level, so there. And before you ask, yes, the zombies are *that* tough.
 

SkidAce

Hero
Supporter
As Iserith pointed out, simply saying that you want to use athletics to jump farther fails to give the DM anything to adjudicate. There is nothing he can use to set the DC or grant automatic success on.

How many feet extra the player's desired jump is gives you something to adjudicate.

1 extra foot may be easy, +30 feet near impossible.

i.e. the standard distance is the automatic success, farther gets harder and harder.
 



Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.

Second bullet under the Strength/Athletics
You try to jump an unusually long distance or pull off a stunt midjump.

Fair enough. Then at my table, they would fail. It’s farther than they could normally jump, so trying anyway does not have a reasonable chance of success, and therefore fails without a roll. Personally, I would prefer to tell the player as much, and give them the opportunity to back out, just as I prefer to tell players DCs before they commit to an action, but to each their own.

Then in my opinion you are ignoring the second bullet under Strength/Athletics.

You are. You’re using your own best judgment to determine if a player’s described action has a reasonable chance of success, reasonable chance of failure, cost or consequence of failure, and setting a DC accordingly. You just came to a different conclusion about the chances of succeeding in the goal “jump further than I can” by the methods “try harder” than I would.

True. I don't think there will ever be one ruling for this. I like the more "loose" rules system that underpins 5E, but there are places where you just make the ruling that makes the most sense for you and your table.
 


smbakeresq

Explorer
This is exactly the one-true-wayism I am talking about. You are making an assertion that is patently untrue -- demonstrably even, given we have quoted the rules and guidelines. The choice to say a character cannot make an Athletics check to extend jump without convoluted explanations distance is a valid one, but it isn't a thing that is required.

For example, Fighter Bob is being chased by hungry zombies. He takes a wrong turn and ends up facing a chasm 18 foot wide chasm. Unfortunately he only has a 15 strength, but he is proficient in Athletics. He backs away from the edge, takes a beep breath and runs and jumps with all his might.

In iserith's game, Bob is dead.

In my game I tell Bob's player to make a DC 25 Athletics check. Bob's player decides to spend that inspiration she's been holding on to...

Both ways are right, but mine is more right for me.

While neither is wrong both are absurd. With a 15 STR it’s just absurd to rule you can always jump 15’ but a little further is impossible. It is likewise absurd to say a 15’ jump is DC 0 but 18’ is a DC 25, it shouldn’t scale that fast.

You don’t jump and then hit a wall and drop straight down either at a certain distance.

Don’t want to push it, but it should just be DC=feet attempted, and your distance jumped is your roll + athletics score. Your minimum is your athletics score, 1 shouldn’t be a failure since it just means you jump less, which has its own consequences.

This way everyone knows it and it’s clear, just look at the grid your playing on.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Unusually being the key there. If you are just going to say yes to every time they ask to jump farther, it's no longer unusual. Also, that rule does not exist in a vacuum. It exists within the context of Page 6. To declare an action you describe what your PC is doing and then the DM adjudicates it. "I use athletics to jump farther" is not a description of what your PC is doing. It's a statement of intent, sure, but a description it is not. So you are breaking the rule on Page 6 if you accept that. That's fine, but it's effectively a house rule to do so.

Usually you jump feet equal to your strength. I never said I would allow it all the time and honestly, I don't use the jumping rules all that often in the first place. If I thought someone was abusing it, I'd discuss it with the player. But, if the character is being chased by zombies like in [MENTION=467]Reynard[/MENTION]'s scenario I'd allow it. I think it's more fun, realistic and a cleaner reading of the rules.

As others have pointed out, you don't have the corner on the truth.
 

Staccat0

First Post
How so? How does having guidelines for adjudicating jumping make dungeon design difficult?

I’m not sure I have much to add that hasn’t been gone over to death in this comically long thread. I’ll just say that I recently ran a cool little dungeon my players really liked that involved a lot of jumping and players being able to spring traps to jump further. It was a huge success.

Beforehand, I was dreading making the thing cuz I was certain I was gonna end up in the weeds with my players regarding some clunky/dorky rules that would contradict my fun idea. To my pleasant surprise, I found no such rules to hinder my creativity.

So I made a fun dungeon using the core assumptions of the jumping/movement rules and didn’t have to waste time “solving” the dungeon. I just counted on the idea that my players could improvise fun solutions and I could assign DCs on the fly that made sense to us with those improvised solutions. I had fun. They had fun.

I don’t think anyone else should agree with me, but I am happy that they don’t spend page count outlining all the ways athletics checks might affect a jump because then I might have to play with people who want to talk about those rules instead of playing D&D, haha.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Scroll up. It's there in a few different posts now.
Not in yours. You've stated many times that the situation doesn't need to change for the failure to have meaning, but you have yet to demonstrate how that is possible.

Cool beans. Added meaning is not a requirement. Only that there be meaning.
If the failure doesn't add meaning, then any meaning in the scenario didn't come from the failure. Ergo, the failure was not meaningful.

Um, you do realize that I said that not every failure would qualify as having meaning, right? I mean if you're going to be a smart ass about it, you should probably at least know what you are talking about.
What you said:
"Meaningful" can be anything from failing to accomplish the goal to falling off of the swinging platform to your death.
What I said:
Simply failing to accomplish a goal, per se, is not a meaningful consequence
That doesn't mean failing to accomplish a goal cannot have meaningful consequence. Only that the failure is not BY ITSELF a meaningful consequence.
 

Reynard

Legend
I’m not sure I have much to add that hasn’t been gone over to death in this comically long thread. I’ll just say that I recently ran a cool little dungeon my players really liked that involved a lot of jumping and players being able to spring traps to jump further. It was a huge success.

Beforehand, I was dreading making the thing cuz I was certain I was gonna end up in the weeds with my players regarding some clunky/dorky rules that would contradict my fun idea. To my pleasant surprise, I found no such rules to hinder my creativity.

So I made a fun dungeon using the core assumptions of the jumping/movement rules and didn’t have to waste time “solving” the dungeon. I just counted on the idea that my players could improvise fun solutions and I could assign DCs on the fly that made sense to us with those improvised solutions. I had fun. They had fun.

I don’t think anyone else should agree with me, but I am happy that they don’t spend page count outlining all the ways athletics checks might affect a jump because then I might have to play with people who want to talk about those rules instead of playing D&D, haha.

I'm glad you had a successful fun thing. That's great.

And to be clear, despite the ridiculous level of this thread, I really am not looking for super detailed jump rules. Like I said initially, I just like having benchmarks for stuff like that. I don't like deciding if a 3 foot jump is Moderate or Hard based on whether it is dramatically appropriate. I like things that are physical to be concrete and consistent. The reason I like rule books to provide that information is that I like to know what the designers thought qualified as a Hard jump, so when I am running the game I can feel confident that my improvised, arbitrary difficulties are not way outside the expectations. I have a little simulationist in me, so sometimes I think of the rules as the laws of physics in the game universe.

For example, assume the rule was your running long jump distance was whatever the result of your Athletics check was for any given jump attempt, and half that for a standing long jump. There's no "take 10" in 5E but there are passive checks that kind of fill the niche (as discussed way upthread) so a character with a +5 jump skill based on strength and proficiency bonus can be assumed to be able to make a 15 foot long jump pretty routinely. But, extend that distance to 20 feet and things get a little dicey (so to speak). Having this information is valuable for deciding how wide to make the chasm where Bob is about to be mauled by the zombie horde -- whether or not I design that chasm ahead of time, throw it in off the cuff, or roll it on a random dungeon generator table. It is also helpful for Bob's player, because if the chasm is 18 feet wide and therefore the player knows the DC 18, the player can make an informed decision about whether it is worth the risk and whether to spend that precious inspiration.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Second bullet under the Strength/Athletics
That says what you can do with a successful Strength/Athletics check, not that you can ask to make one. That is, per the rules on page 6, the DM's responsibility to ask you to make if they deem that it is required to resolve the outcome of your action.

Then in my opinion you are ignoring the second bullet under Strength/Athletics.
I would certainly allow a PC to exceed their normal jump distance with a successful Strength (Athletics) check. I just don't consider "I try to jump further than I can normally jump by jumping normally" an action with an uncertain outcome, and therefore wouldn't call for a Strength (Athletics) check to resolve it. If, on the other hand, the player offers a method of jumping further than they can normally, that may or may not require a check to resolve, and as per the rules, I would call for Strength (Athletics) to resolve it.

True. I don't think there will ever be one ruling for this. I like the more "loose" rules system that underpins 5E, but there are places where you just make the ruling that makes the most sense for you and your table.
Indeed, and I think that is a strength of the system. To its credit, it takes advantage of the fact that there is a thinking being acting as rules arbiter.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
This is exactly the one-true-wayism I am talking about. You are making an assertion that is patently untrue -- demonstrably even, given we have quoted the rules and guidelines. The choice to say a character cannot make an Athletics check to extend jump without convoluted explanations distance is a valid one, but it isn't a thing that is required.

Dude! If nobody is telling you that you have to play one way, it's not one-true-wayism. You should watch how you throw that accusation around. You're being reckless with it and that's not cool.

For example, Fighter Bob is being chased by hungry zombies. He takes a wrong turn and ends up facing a chasm 18 foot wide chasm. Unfortunately he only has a 15 strength, but he is proficient in Athletics. He backs away from the edge, takes a beep breath and runs and jumps with all his might.

In iserith's game, Bob is dead.

Um, no. in [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION]'s game the player of Bob looks for a boulder strewn along the edge of the chasm and let's Iserith know that he's using the boulder to jump off of to gain some extra distance. Now Iserith makes a decision about the success probability, and if the outcome is in doubt he assigns a DC. Or perhaps he has some other idea he describes. Iserith has said this to you multiple times, so why the misportrayal of his position?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
That's pretty wide open, though. "Meaningful" can be anything from failing to accomplish the goal to falling off of the swinging platform to your death. Thanks for showing me where that is, though.

No problem. What "meaningful consequence of failure means" is definitely open to interpretation and some DMs have different benchmarks. I was thinking about this earlier today in relation to a question a friend posed me about the design of his one-shot. In that, he wants everyone to not create spellcasters (kind of a Conan-esque thing), but plans to include spell scrolls that anyone can cast with a successful Arcana check. He asked me what I thought about that. I don't have any particular opinion though what I did ask was why he thought a check was necessary (nevermind that almost no one will have Arcana trained since there are no spellcasters). Then I started thinking about the meaningfulness of failure. In a combat, failing the check is meaningful - you've wasted an action, gotten nothing out of it, Team Monster retaliates with you having effectively done nothing, yadda yadda. Now, outside of combat, if there isn't any set mishap or the like for failing the check, it's harder to discern the meaningful consequence of failure there and thus perhaps a check is not warranted.

All that to say, it really depends not just on the action, but on the situation in which the action takes place. It's just wide open for interpretation.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
That says what you can do with a successful Strength/Athletics check, not that you can ask to make one. That is, per the rules on page 6, the DM's responsibility to ask you to make if they deem that it is required to resolve the outcome of your action.


I would certainly allow a PC to exceed their normal jump distance with a successful Strength (Athletics) check. I just don't consider "I try to jump further than I can normally jump by jumping normally" an action with an uncertain outcome, and therefore wouldn't call for a Strength (Athletics) check to resolve it. If, on the other hand, the player offers a method of jumping further than they can normally, that may or may not require a check to resolve, and as per the rules, I would call for Strength (Athletics) to resolve it.


Indeed, and I think that is a strength of the system. To its credit, it takes advantage of the fact that there is a thinking being acting as rules arbiter.

I'm not even sure what you're trying to say any more. All I can say is that if someone has their PC jump further than they normally can, I'll decide on a DC and have them roll a check.

Anyway, I'm tired, and this is a pretty dead horse.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
No problem. What "meaningful consequence of failure means" is definitely open to interpretation and some DMs have different benchmarks. I was thinking about this earlier today in relation to a question a friend posed me about the design of his one-shot. In that, he wants everyone to not create spellcasters (kind of a Conan-esque thing), but plans to include spell scrolls that anyone can cast with a successful Arcana check. He asked me what I thought about that. I don't have any particular opinion though what I did ask was why he thought a check was necessary (nevermind that almost no one will have Arcana trained since there are no spellcasters). Then I started thinking about the meaningfulness of failure. In a combat, failing the check is meaningful - you've wasted an action, gotten nothing out of it, Team Monster retaliates with you having effectively done nothing, yadda yadda. Now, outside of combat, if there isn't any set mishap or the like for failing the check, it's harder to discern the meaningful consequence of failure there and thus perhaps a check is not warranted.

All that to say, it really depends not just on the action, but on the situation in which the action takes place. It's just wide open for interpretation.

I don't know, I think it's pretty cut and dried. My benchmark is, "can the character just keep trying this until they succeed?" If the answer is yes, then there's no meaningful consequence, and I just narrate their eventual success. If the answer is no, then whatever is preventing them from doing so is the consequence.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I look at the base rules of jump your strength as a baseline. Want to jump further than that, say "I'm trying to jump an unusually long distance"

My response at the table would be something like:

"Awesome! Now tell me how you set about achieving that goal. As DM, I don't want to make assumptions about what the character is actually doing. That's on you, the player, to establish. Depending on what you tell me, I may say you automatically succeed, automatically fail, or you make an ability check."

At no point at my table is a player trying to make an ability check, that's for sure!
 

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