First, its hard to imagine you actually looked back at what i wrote about indie games and came away with one subset using one specific mechanic, since i have referenced them multiple times through this thread in different contexts.
Second, it is not hard to imagine that if you looked back at that one reference that you again make the same error you did the first time - although you seem to have shifted a bit. I referenced a mechanic where the ROLL determines whether there is something to find in the scene. You then mistook that or mistranslated that or misconstrued that into a case where it is DIRECT PLAYER AUTHORSHIP (the spend 30 results thingy) but now you seem to find a middle route which may actually agree with what i said, but its not clear that your intent now is to refer to "GM" or "players" as the author in this latest reference. Your previous statement about games where players spend etc is a subset of indie games which have the roll able to represent success not from the perspective of a pre-defined, pre-fabbed GM menu of possibilities in that scene. That was the mistake you already made once.
Well, yes, because the player caused the thing to be authored. Whether or not the player directly does the authoring or makes the DM respond by authoring what the player wants doesn't matter. If the player declares 'I'm looking for a secret door, Perception 16!' and then the DM adds a secret door because of that roll, then the player is authoring a bit of the fiction, whoever narrates.
This is a very narrow point that you're trying to make, and not a successful one.
third, you have a marvelously limited view of my posts and even yours. no doubt that helps with whatever it is that you think you are doing.
Did you think this was going to encourage me to listen to you again, or... what, exactly? You seem to think I'm attacking you, and accusing you of badwrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. We're discussion how to play pretend elves, not if we're bad people because of how we play pretend elves. I'm arguing from my position, you from yours. Neither is the best way to play, but both are the right way to play for us, respectively.
but above you say "The only difference is that I actually ask them to state what actions they're taking and what they're looking to accomplish with those actions and not just drop dice and name a line on their character sheet. "
yet in the recent "I examine the altar" short list i said that none of those provided sufficient information and that i would ask them a leading question from it to move with answering it... but i did point out that the skill they were choosing provided me with some information on what they could get from that effort.
now you say i haven't given examples, now you suggest the difference is between your way and "just drop dice and name a line on their character sheet. " and again go on about how you aren't at all arguing those two combined are not compatible?
Literally, your example was dropping dice and naming a line on the character sheet. You then went back after and said that you'd then have to ask clarifying questions about the dropping of the dice and naming a line on the character sheet. When the exactly thing I said was happening was the crux of your example, which you then had to say that you'd have to go back and ask the players to do more than just drop the dice and name a line on their character sheet, I kinda feel like my point was made.
Kudos for asking for more information, though. However, my point stands that your players are doing exactly what I said I was trying to avoid. That you then address it after the fact doesn't change what actually happened there.
As for the "recently" point of your misunderstanding, from my very first post in this thread 25 pages ago...
Well, I wasn't talking about your first post, was I?
"But, if a character has done the "search action 100000 times in many different settings and had his Gm say "roll it this way" then i do not see the harm in a player saying "i search over there and my roll is..."
And that's great, if it works for you. It no longer works for me, for the many, many reasons I've outlined.
In that example you may be able to admit several things are established.
1 - A large body of experience between player and Gm for this kind of action and resolution in their game.
2 - a statement from the character of an action being taken and even the "where" it is being taken, so no question about placement.
3 - then a statement of roll added by the player (obviously the ... is meant to cover the statement of roll result and type.)
yet you come back to your current state of uncertainty...
Again, glad this works for you. It doesn't for me, because, well 1) hyperbole aside, the exact situation being discussed in game isn't the same as the last ones. If the players are searching every 10' of every wall in a dungeon where all the walls are the same, sure, we can skip to the end, but that's not the game I run. If my players do that, there's a lot of 'okay, you spend 10 minutes on that wall and find nothing. Let me check for wandering monsters." In point of fact, in my game, if there's something to find on that wall, I'll telegraph it. I'll use a player's passive score for a skill to provide a clue that something is different at this stretch of wall, and they'll either be interested and start declaring actions or they won't be. There will never be a large body of previously established 'drop dice and name a skill' to begin with.
Also, I've grown to hate tons of useless rolls.
2)But no how. How is important to me. How lets me drive the fiction to match what the player is really trying to do so I can engage what my players find interesting.
3) yup, the player tells you a number, and now you have to interpret or ignore that number.
But let me be clear...
In my games, FOR RESOLUTION OF A ROLL/TASK you need to tell me what your character is doing, but that does not need to include specifics as to the specific physical nature of the activity in all cases. You can say "i search over there" just like you can say "i craft a sword" or "i try and talk the bartender into free drinks" or "i examine the altar" (insufficient info there likely as it does not clarify "from where") etc and which skill you are using and i can resolve that for you.
That's not an approach, though. Searching is an action, yes, but how you search is the approach. Are you touching the altar while you search it? BAM! Are you not touching the altar? No BAM. Approach is critical, and I do not want to interpret a player's declaration of a skill to include such things as the scene hinges upon. I don't want to argue 'but my character wouldn't have done it that way!' anymore. If you don't have that problem, awesome, man, glad it works for you. I had that problem. I don't anymore, because I changed how I play to require clearly stated approaches. Can you do that along with player declared rolls? You betcha. I've found it doesn't work out that well for me and my group because it's too easy to fall back into the habits I want to change.
I do not require "drag my knife along the mortar seams" or "i toss blue beans into the room" for your search roll anymore than i need a blow-by-blow of the sequence you use in forging (do you roll then quench or do you flame then pound then fold - is it fasten then zip of zip then fasten MR Garibaldi.)
i also do not require a specific stated goal in the vast majority of actions for two reasons
1 - "i climb the tree" will be resolved the same way... regardless of "why" you are climbing the tree. "I search over there" does not really need to know what you hope to find just what is found if anything. i can actually say that in my games the number of times characters found something completely different than what they were looking for is significant and a lot of fun.
Climbing the tree is a goal, though. I climb the tree explicitly states the goal. This isn't a good example of not clearly stating a goal. Why you want that goal is generally irrelevant, although if your eventual plan is to jump off the top of the tree, do three flips, and stick the landing on the back of that wild horse galloping by, I'd really hope you ran that whole plan past me first so that I can, 1) skip the check to climb the tree (it's easily climbed, and this isn't the interesting part of your action) and 2) let you know that's going to be really, really hard to do before you try. If you insist, well, a DC 25 DEX check sounds about right. You can use Acrobatics with that, or if you think something else will help make a case.
2 - In the vast majority of cases, if there is a clearly defined goal, it is obvious in the context of the scene. "i search over there" does not pop out of the blue when they camp by the fire... it occurs in a scene that gives it context that more clearly highlioghts not only "where there is" but also "why are we searching" even if it is just "to see if there is something of note in that pile of bones"
I'm not going to ask for a check for most of those, though. If you go looking through that pile of bones, and something was in it, you found it, no check needed. If you look for a secret door in the wall by X approach, make a check -- one decided by your choice of approach -- and we'll see if you found something. If the approach is to examine the wall for a hidden door, relying on your expertise as a stonemason (proficient in masonry tools) and your racial understanding of stonework (mountain dwarf) to see if the setting of the bricks is off, well, that's an intelligence check, modified by perception (you're looking) or masonry tools (experience), with advantage due being a dwarf. By clearly stating an approach, the player can drive the check towards their strengths. If they just make a WIS (perception) check, it won't be as favorable to them.
So, to be clear since you seem deadlocked and determined to see it within your goal and method rigid framework...
I do not require an overt statement of goal - because goal is not needed to determine the success or failure of an action especially when player and GM both have a strong foundation of experience with resolution in the game.
Sure, it is. If a player declares "I search! I got a perception 19!" you're going to have to ask what they're searching for. Especially if there's a hidden pixie in the corner behind that burlap sack AND a secret door in the west wall AND a trap on the door in the north wall. If you don't know the goal, how can you adjudicate the action at all?
What you mean is that you don't ask for an overt statement of a goal if you can reasonably deduce or assume the goal. And that's fine, most all of use have done that and still do. I've found, though, that I'm not my players, and they're thinking and assumptions aren't mine, so by requiring a clearly stated goal -- what they want to accomplish -- I can head off miscommunications or bad assumptions and the game doesn't have to backtrack that often. To return to the above example, finding the pixie is DC 14, finding the secret door is DC 17, and finding the trap is DC 25 (good trap). Since the player was just talking about the door, I assume they're searching that, and the trap was discharged by the failed search. The player was thinking about looking for treasure, though, and would have found the pixie had they stated a clear goal. Now we argue because the player wanted something else, and I've now revealed there's a trap on the north door, so there's no clean takebacks. And, this exactly kind of situation is one of the reasons I switched. Maybe you don't have these, or ask enough clarifying questions to avoid it, and, if so, awesome! Great to hear about games well played!
i do not require "method" in the way you or perhaps others describe (one example being the knife mortar thingy) as neither of us needs to attempt to portray what a skilled master at ABC does to resolve that action. As we have seen here, GMs in my experience but also on this board, seem to have widely different standards for what qualifies (for secret doors is it "dagger along mortar approach or flour along edges looking for gusts and then i will let you guess what the answer means maybe with second roll" vs for crafting "i use my forge and anvil to make... but does not seem to be a guess about whether or not you got a good sword or not?")
You misunderstand. No one discussing this expects a master's understanding of the craft. I do not set up my scenes with only one way to solve a problem and the players have to guess or use exact, real-world methods to solve it. If there's a locked door with a frozen lock, I don't know how the party is going to bypass it. I can think of a few ways, sure, even very likely ways, but all I know is that the door is locked and the lock is frozen and that's going to make any check to pick it go at disadvantage. Past that, I lean on established information. The players then engage, and based on their approach and goal, I adjudicate. If a player wants to lift the door from the hinges, for instance, they don't have to tell me exactly how that works, they just tell me 'I'm going to try to lift the door from the hinges. I'm proficient in smith's tools, if that helps.' Then, I evaluate that. Someone proficient in smith's tools probably understands how hinges work, since they make them. So, I'll set a DC as 'okay, sounds like a physical effort, so that'll be a STR check. Not that hard, though, it's not a heavy door, so DC 10 sounds good. You can add your proficiency in smith's tools if you want." Another player may then chime in with, "I don't know how hinges work, but I'm strong and trained in athletics, can I help?" "Sure, player 1 roll with advantage, please." If the check passes, they lift the door and it's now open, but cannot be closed without remounting it. Success, with a complication related to the approach. If they fail, the attempt fails and they've made a lot of noise as a tool slips. I check to see if anything nearby would investigate that noise.
"I climb the tree", "i pick the lock" "i search over there" along with statement of ability and proficiency is enough to give me the ability to resolve the action in the vast majority of cases and in the ones where its not, i simply ask more info along the way during the description turning the "resolution" into an interactive thing, not so much a flowchart of [state goal] [state method] [hit GM play button] with a branch for [roll needed yes-no].
Sure, you're assuming the method and goals, and maybe that works for you. It didn't work for me.
ASIDE - also as stated, in the cases where players don't know the specifics, they give similar descriptions and then wait for me the GM to give them the rolls needed etc. Not unlike the normal "wait for gm" approach but still without the more overt method and goal declarations - just conversationally.
For several reasons, i doubt this will help much or that we will agree on much in this overall subject at all so its good there are so many different flavors oc ice cream in this RPG buffet.
Enjoy your games.