D&D 5E "OK, I try Skill A. Now Skill B. Well, in that case, how about Skill C?"

NOTE: I am not locking required stuff behind a check. My players are trying to get supplemental lore, figure out ways to get advantages in future events, etc. Locking stuff behind a binary win/lose roll is bad. I am not endorsing it or describing it here. Thank you for your concern.

As a DM, I hate this chain of players asking to do skill check after skill check.

Part of this is on me, as a DM. (Does that DC really need to be a 25 for a Tier 1 character?)

So I understand this is players trying to get past a check. (And yes, yes, don't lock too much of the game behind DC checks. This is for supplemental or bonus content rolls.) But it slows down play terribly.

Instead of, potentially, the wizard rolling every single intelligence skill when faced with a problem, would it make more sense to just give them advantage on their roll if they have relevant skills above a certain level?

What would be the mathematical impact of implementing this?

Thanks for your feedback.
This doesn’t bother me. For one thing, I only ask for a skill check if the skill has a chance of working. So often, there are a maximum of two checks that apply. Second, I often gate Knowledge-type skills behind proficiency, which also limits the amount of rolls.

I really don’t see the difference between: the Rogue tries to pick the lock on the box with thieves’ tools, fails, so the fighter tries to force it open with Strength, fails, so the barbarian smashes it with an axe.

And.

While in the temple of Artemis, the party comes across some symbols that are clearly having a magical effect. When the clerics fails their Religion check, the wizard attempts an Arcana check (often at a higher DC).
 

log in or register to remove this ad

This is them asking for rolls, seeking more details for the adventure. I'm not locking content behind "do you recognize who this dude in the fressco is?"

Instead, this is them trying to figure out as much as possible about who the dude is, what's the name of his weapon, what military tactics did he use, what monsters were part of his army, etc. All them trying to slurp up whatever potential clues there are for what's coming up later.
Seems like that is a good thing. The players are invested.
 

Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
To prevent players queuing up to each try to do something serially, I've asked the players to just assist one main person.

Or you could just let a single d20 roll stand for all the checks addressing the same problem, no matter whether they're coming from multiple players or a single player. After all, there's only DC; one roll should tell how well the PC or the group is doing at overcoming it.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Alright. I’ guess I’ll… spoiler tag it…? Hopefully that will help. Maybe.
"OK, did I read about this in history? How about in religion? Is it from something I would have learned in mage school?" Those aren’t descriptions of actions, those are questions. An action declaration should include what the player wants to accomplish and what the character does to try to accomplish it, “I think back to my time at magic school to try to remember if I learned anything about this” would be a complete action declaration. Can the players describe many such actions in succession? Sure, but each of them has enough information for the DM to easily assess if there is a reasonable possibility that the character could have gained that information there, and/or a reasonable possibility that they could not have done so. If both are possible, call for a roll. If only one is possible, simply declare the result.

In a game that is supposed to be about telling stories, it seems to me that if somebody can spin a good yarn about why their character would know some obscure bit of information, they should be rewarded for that.

But so many people...including many with high-and-might attitudes about the sanctity of roleplaying...insist that the only way to gain that information is to ask the dice and reference the character sheet. That somehow anything else is 'cheating'.

Very strange.
 

Oofta

Legend
In a game that is supposed to be about telling stories, it seems to me that if somebody can spin a good yarn about why their character would know some obscure bit of information, they should be rewarded for that.

But so many people...including many with high-and-might attitudes about the sanctity of roleplaying...insist that the only way to gain that information is to ask the dice and reference the character sheet. That somehow anything else is 'cheating'.

Very strange.
What's "strange" to me is that people want to give players advantages for being good at extemporaneous DM entertainment and on the spot story telling. Just because someone is good at spinning yarns or is a great salesman, doesn't mean I want to give them a free pass.

Different strokes and all, but I don't want to play "Convince the DM". Been there, done that, didn't even want the crummy t-shirt.
 

Raiztt

Adventurer
If there are multiple knowledge skills that might apply to a roll, I would just have them roll whichever they're best at and if they fail, they just don't know or don't remember. I would not allow them to just go down the list.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
What's "strange" to me is that people want to give players advantages for being good at extemporaneous DM entertainment and on the spot story telling. Just because someone is good at spinning yarns or is a great salesman, doesn't mean I want to give them a free pass.

Math whizzes get the 'free pass' but quick verbal thinkers do not?

It seems strange that in a "roleplaying" game there's a movement toward removing roleplaying/storytelling/bull****ing as a factor in game resolution. It's ok in those circles to be better at theorycrafting/chargen (presumably because that's adjudicated by codified rules?) but somehow it's not ok to be better at things that are adjudicated by the DM?

I mean, in one sense I get it: the adjudication is subjective. I'm not sure how to say this without using the pejorative, but how is that not turning D&D into a 'boardgame'? Isn't what makes D&D/RPGs different is that they're NOT just about rolling dice and following written rules?
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Different strokes and all, but I don't want to play "Convince the DM". Been there, done that, didn't even want the crummy t-shirt.

I clipped the above from my last reply, but maybe the difference in opinion partly comes from past experiences, and the sorts of DMs with which one has played.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Math whizzes get the 'free pass' but quick verbal thinkers do not?
I'm not entirely sure how "math whizzes" are involved in all of this but who's implying they're getting a free pass? Aren't they rolling their checks too?
It seems strange that in a "roleplaying" game there's a movement toward removing roleplaying/storytelling/bull****ing as a factor in game resolution. It's ok in those circles to be better at theorycrafting/chargen (presumably because that's adjudicated by codified rules?) but somehow it's not ok to be better at things that are adjudicated by the DM?
It kind of also seems strange that in a role playing game, you'd be relying on the skills of the player at extemporaneous acting and storytelling but not the assets of the character who is, supposedly, being role played.
I mean, in one sense I get it: the adjudication is subjective. I'm not sure how to say this without using the pejorative, but how is that not turning D&D into a 'boardgame'? Isn't what makes D&D/RPGs different is that they're NOT just about rolling dice and following written rules?
And to turn this around, if it's all going to be based on DM adjudicating how well the player can BS what their PC knows and does, is there really a game in the RPG? I mean, c'mon, there's a balance point here between game mechanics and narrating stories.
 

Oofta

Legend
Math whizzes get the 'free pass' but quick verbal thinkers do not?

What does being a math whizz have do do with anything? If I have a check and there's uncertainty I choose to resolve it with a roll the dice. Math doesn't enter into it.

It seems strange that in a "roleplaying" game there's a movement toward removing roleplaying/storytelling/bull****ing as a factor in game resolution. It's ok in those circles to be better at theorycrafting/chargen (presumably because that's adjudicated by codified rules?) but somehow it's not ok to be better at things that are adjudicated by the DM?

I mean, in one sense I get it: the adjudication is subjective. I'm not sure how to say this without using the pejorative, but how is that not turning D&D into a 'boardgame'? Isn't what makes D&D/RPGs different is that they're NOT just about rolling dice and following written rules?

There are plenty of ways that D&D is not a board game. The decisions of the player make a huge difference. What they say in RP matters. But just because Jo is a salesperson that can sell a wig to a goose, doesn't mean they should automatically succeed without a roll of the dice.

I acknowledge that some people ignore dice outside of combat, I just don't care for it because DMs have a tendency to be biased whether they acknowledge it or not. I also don't want to discourage people who are not eloquent from engaging in the game. I've seen games where people felt shut out either because they weren't a thespian or because they simply weren't friends with the DM.

I clipped the above from my last reply, but maybe the difference in opinion partly comes from past experiences, and the sorts of DMs with which one has played.

Perhaps you don't see it because players who aren't good at extemporaneous acting don't stick with your game. Perhaps you've just been lucky. Perhaps it happened but since you're personally good at on the spot creativity you have a blind spot. Personally I'm pretty good at it but my wife isn't, she shouldn't be penalized for not being able to make up things on the fly.

NOTE: There's a big difference between referring to relevant past interactions or bringing up valid points when trying to convince someone and being able to come up with a story on the fly about how you know something.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top