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

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
"Math whiz" was shorthand for people who have enough grasp of probability to know how to optimize characters.
 

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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
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.
This strikes me as, "the DM doesn't tell us anything, so we have to keep asking questions." I hope that's not the case. A conversation or two with the right NPCs should yield most such information without more than a check or two.

Don't ask for the "skill check." Those don't exist in D&D 5e anyway.

Ask for the ability check (e.g. "Make an Intelligence check, DC 20."). Then let the player apply whatever skill proficiency they think is relevant, based on what they described . . .
Nailed it!
 

Oofta

Legend
"Math whiz" was shorthand for people who have enough grasp of probability to know how to optimize characters.

So they have proficiency in a skill? Expertise if they're a bard or rogue? That doesn't seem like a big hurdle. At a certain point people do need to understand how the game works, but if someone is struggling with character build and how to make someone effective I can take time out of game to help them out. I can't do that with teaching people improv, some people are just better at it than others.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
What I'm hearing is "If the game is based on skill then people without skill will be disadvantaged."

Which is fine as an argument. I just don't want to play a skill-less game based purely on RNG.

And I think that's the second biggest divide in the RPG community. (The first being, of course, about inclusivity.)
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
So they have proficiency in a skill?

No, I didn't mean that optimizers are better at social interactions, I meant they have advantages in some areas of the game, primarily combat. (If you want to argue that some people aren't simply much better at knowing how to build and use characters that are better at combat then we should probably just terminate this discussion.).

I don't see why it's ok for some people to be better at one aspect of the game (math:combat) but it's not ok for other people to be better at other aspects (bs'ing:social).
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
No, I didn't mean that optimizers are better at social interactions, I meant they have advantages in some areas of the game, primarily combat. (If you want to argue that some people aren't simply much better at knowing how to build and use characters that are better at combat then we should probably just terminate this discussion.).

I don't see why it's ok for some people to be better at one aspect of the game (math:combat) but it's not ok for other people to be better at other aspects (bs'ing:social).
Even if some people are better at tactical aspects of D&D combat, their success is still ultimately filtered through a random number generator. Shouldn't the same apply to people good at BSing and social interactions?
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I acknowledge that some people ignore dice outside of combat,

Sometimes I ignore dice in combat. Figure out a great plan ("...get the monster to chase us down the corridor with the pit, which I will hide with an illusion...") and you can avoid relying on the random dice rolls.

(Maybe this is why I love OSR?)

Perhaps you don't see it because players who aren't good at extemporaneous acting don't stick with your game.

Nice conjecture. Thanks.

In my experience different players...whether I'm DMing or playing...get their satisfaction from different aspects. Not every player needs to shine, or feel rewarded, for every facet.
 

Oofta

Legend
What I'm hearing is "If the game is based on skill then people without skill will be disadvantaged."

Which is fine as an argument. I just don't want to play a skill-less game based purely on RNG.

And I think that's the second biggest divide in the RPG community. (The first being, of course, about inclusivity.)

Meanwhile I hear "I want to reward people who are good at improv and persuading the DM".

No, I didn't mean that optimizers are better at social interactions, I meant they have advantages in some areas of the game, primarily combat. (If you want to argue that some people aren't simply much better at knowing how to build and use characters that are better at combat then we should probably just terminate this discussion.).

I don't see why it's ok for some people to be better at one aspect of the game (math:combat) but it's not ok for other people to be better at other aspects (bs'ing:social).

You didn't quote the part where, as a DM, I help people with aspects of the game mechanics if they're struggling. If they want help of course. That's easy to do, I help people that are new to the game or new to a class all the time. I can't help someone be better at improv.

But this is just an irreconcilable divide. Obviously some people are going to be better at specific aspects of the game. I have a player with a battlemaster fighter, they've gotten to 20th level and I could count the number of times they've used their maneuvers on one hand. But he still contributes to combat because I could give him some cool magic to compensate a bit. But if I asked players to justify why someone knows something? Two of my players would be really good at it, one or two would be okay, the others would rarely bother even trying because they aren't good at it and it make the game not enjoyable for them because of the stress they would feel.

It's not the player interacting with the environment or trying to remember something, it's the character.

I think we've stated our opinions, I don't see anything else to add here.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Even if some people are better at tactical aspects of D&D combat, their success is still ultimately filtered through a random number generator. Shouldn't the same apply to people good at BSing and social interactions?

Remember that D&D 5e specifically says that the DM first determines automatic success/failure, and only if it is "uncertain", and there are consequences for failure, should an ability check be called for.

So, sure, sometimes the DM should listen to that silver-tongued BS artist and still say, "Ok, give me a Charisma check, DC 15."

I mean, ultimately it comes down to whether your trust your DM to make good calls, or if you think he/she is going to let Frankie always get his way, while penalizing Susie for not being as glib. And if that's what you think of your DM, find a different one.
 


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