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5E Players: Why Do You Want to Roll a d20?

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Yeah, so say that. It's your character and character's life experiences. Help contribute to the exciting, memorable story we're creating together. Increase the fun by entertaining everyone else at the table with an interesting detail from your character's past in a reasonably succinct way.
Obviously I can't, at least not and enjoy the benefits of the auto success paradigm you've advocated for.

If the detail I think will be most interesting isn't the detail that's most likely to give me an auto success that's an issue. Then there's also the issue of just going through interesting details again and again looking for the same piece of info.

ME: I try to recall troll info from the library
DM: You don't
ME: I try to recall troll info from the bar
DM: You don't
ME: I try to recall troll info from church sermons
DM: You don't
ME: I try to recall troll info from theatre
DM: You don't
...

I just wanna roll each of those approaches into a single approach. Why would you force me to go through each one?
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Vagueness can be with anything. You left off a key detail from the orc example, which again reinforces why I'm hesitant to use examples in enworld discussions - bad actors in the exchange will change or ignore parts of it to try to "win" the argument, even though that's expressly against community standards.

In my example, there were 8 orcs and it wasn't clear to which orc the player was referring, therefore failing to be specific enough to adjudicate. Do you honestly think that if there was just ONE orc that I'd be pedantic enough to require more than the approach to the goal you gave above? That is highly uncharitable.

I'm going to have to block you now. Not because you partly disagree with me, but because I perceive you've demonstrated bad faith in the discussion and that's my standard for doing blocking. I think that's a shame as I thought we might have been getting somewhere. Good luck, I wish you all the best.
I wasn't using your orc example, I was using my own orc example. A single orc vs a single pc. Nothing disingenuous about that.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
How do you know in advance which things the DM will determine will have a consequence and require a roll, versus which ones he/she will grant auto-success/failure on?

Given the choice between these two approaches:
"Player always states goal and approach; DM resolves"
and
"Player states goal and approach when he/she believes that doing so may have an impact on resolution, and otherwise uses a shorthand when he/she doesn't think it will matter....etc."

I'll choose the former.
The former leaves off all the other life experiences wherein you may have heard about or came into contact with magical locks. That's the issue.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Related to what @FrogReaver is trying to get at, something I hadn't noticed about the response @Elfcrusher gave to my question about a history check about trolls.

Because I specifically asked about ranged attacks, would I know about their regen? Assume I'm a newbie for a moment. The most I know about trolls is from Billy Goat's Gruff and what I can remember from Norse mythology. I might expect them to live under bridges and have multiple heads but I'd never suspect regen. Assuming, again, trolls aren't all that common in the region. As a newbie I'd have no reason to even think of asking about weaknesses.
I'm going with he thought you were posting in bad faith. I think he wouldn't know what bad faith was if it slapped him up beside the head.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So, the most obvious con at this point is that despite me listing a goal and approach, your style would have you come back to me and state that my approach was too vague (which brings back up my previous criticism that I can be super specific, pedantically so, but that doing so will take a long long time out of playing the game).
That seems like a False Dichotomy to me. There are more choices than "uselessly vague" and "pedantically specific." A simple, "I grapple the 5th orc" or "I grapple the orc with one eye" is sufficient to let us know which orc you are trying to grapple.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
That seems like a False Dichotomy to me. There are more choices than "uselessly vague" and "pedantically specific." A simple, "I grapple the 5th orc" or "I grapple the orc with one eye" is sufficient to let us know which orc you are trying to grapple.
I've never once spoken about a scenario where there's more than 1 orc beside my PC
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Related to what @FrogReaver is trying to get at, something I hadn't noticed about the response @Elfcrusher gave to my question about a history check about trolls.

Because I specifically asked about ranged attacks, would I know about their regen? Assume I'm a newbie for a moment. The most I know about trolls is from Billy Goat's Gruff and what I can remember from Norse mythology. I might expect them to live under bridges and have multiple heads but I'd never suspect regen. Assuming, again, trolls aren't all that common in the region. As a newbie I'd have no reason to even think of asking about weaknesses.
There's nothing wrong with learning by doing.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The other problem I have with the style as I understand it is that it's nonsensical. Memory doesn't work that way.

If I think about red dragons, I don't remember just that they have resistance to fire. I also recall the breath weapon, they fly, they get far more powerful as they age and the older ones can shrug off spells that normally should have affected them. Lairs for older dragons almost become extensions of the dragons themselves. I may not remember the fear aura or legendary actions (however I want to state that in game terms) depending on how recently I read the entry which is going to be pretty random.
Maybe you remember all of those things, but a lot of other people remember less. You just rolled higher than they did and remember more. Why? Because memory DOES work that way. You don't always remember everything, and sometimes you remember very little.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
The former leaves off all the other life experiences wherein you may have heard about or came into contact with magical locks. That's the issue.
And so you're expecting the DM to know all of the character's life experiences (wherein he may have heard about or came into contact with magical locks) when determining the outcome?

Which he would have to do, anyway, in order to set the DC, if what you want is a player-initiated skill check.

But, of course, we don't expect him to do that. Using skill checks from previous editions, we would expect him (or her) to just kind of make up a DC which seems...something. "Ok, DC 15."

And if we're willing to grant the DM that power, I'm also willing to grant the DM authority to just say "yes" or "no". But I would also like the opportunity to nudge that toward yes (or maybe at least getting a roll, if the default answer would have been no) by giving him/her a specific example of applicable life experiences. That contributes to developing my character as a person, rather than just a list of stats.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Oh, and regarding skill checks for knowledge/memory, given that there's no real consequence to failing to remember something (in the sense that your don't make your situation worse by not remembering) I am fine with the DM just making the call:

"I quickly think about all the magical locks I studied in wizard school to see if I'm familiar with this one."
"Sorry, no."

Works for me. It doesn't really add anything to my game to let me roll a die to overrule what the DM thinks is appropriate. (And if I thought otherwise, I wouldn't be playing with that DM.)
Right. Generally speaking, I'm going to either give you the info or ask for a roll, provided it meets the requirements for asking for a check of some kind. Really the only time I'm going to say "No" is going to be related to information that is kept secret, lost, or otherwise unknown to the world and that's usually going to be very specific stuff related to the plot or the like.

There are very few benefits in my view to hiding information in a game where players have a harder time acting without it.

I'd also be ok with the DM making a secret roll and on a failure giving me wrong information that will cause problems.
I don't care for this approach myself. I feel like it erodes trust in the DM and it also doesn't actually help the player or encourage the sort of actions to get at recalling lore since the player can never be sure whether the information the DM is giving out is correct. You're basically left in the same position as you were before you took the action and so you may as well not even do it. I prefer the dice resolve uncertainty rather than create it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Obviously I can't, at least not and enjoy the benefits of the auto success paradigm you've advocated for.

If the detail I think will be most interesting isn't the detail that's most likely to give me an auto success that's an issue. Then there's also the issue of just going through interesting details again and again looking for the same piece of info.

ME: I try to recall troll info from the library
DM: You don't
ME: I try to recall troll info from the bar
DM: You don't
ME: I try to recall troll info from church sermons
DM: You don't
ME: I try to recall troll info from theatre
DM: You don't
...

I just wanna roll each of those approaches into a single approach. Why would you force me to go through each one?
He wouldn't. Once you've stated the goal and the approach, you either succeed at learning about trolls, fail to recall anything about trolls, or get a roll to see which happens. Once that's done, you're done. Either your PC remembered or he didn't.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I don't think so. He's specified that he needs an approach and a goal. Grappling the orc is only the goal. Where's the approach?
See, this is where you're arguing in bad faith, by pretending to confuse formally defined actions (of which Grapple is one) with poorly defined tasks that require judgment calls.

All he is saying...and I think you know this...is that the player should say what they do. "Goal and approach" is a useful way of avoiding ambiguity. When you invoke a formally defined action, like Grapple, there is very little ambiguity. It is both goal and approach.

Of course, there are situations where more information might be needed. Maybe the orc is behind bars, so it's not obvious how you grapple him. Or he's too far away. Or you are carrying something heavy with both arms. In all of those cases you would need to add some "approach".

I don't like using the "block" feature, but I think I shall choose to not engage with you further on this topic unless you actually want to have a conversation, instead of engaging in semantic gotchas.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I don't care for this approach myself. I feel like it erodes trust in the DM and it also doesn't actually help the player or encourage the sort of actions to get at recalling lore since the player can never be sure whether the information the DM is giving out is correct. You're basically left in the same position as you were before you took the action and so you may as well not even do it. I prefer the dice resolve uncertainty rather than create it.
Admittedly I don't love secret rolls, either. But I'm not staunchly opposed to them.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
And so you're expecting the DM to know all of the character's life experiences (wherein he may have heard about or came into contact with magical locks) when determining the outcome?

Which he would have to do, anyway, in order to set the DC, if what you want is a player-initiated skill check.

But, of course, we don't expect him to do that. Using skill checks from previous editions, we would expect him (or her) to just kind of make up a DC which seems...something. "Ok, DC 15."
Yes the DM will have to quickly evaluate and estimate the impact of my life experiences on the DC. That's a fairly common thing he has to do for NPC's as well. He should actually be doing that before setting the DC, at the do you auto succeed or fail step. You see I don't want to remove that step. It's just that basing everything on the 1 specific event I decide to cite in my approach doesn't work.

And if we're willing to grant the DM that power, I'm also willing to grant the DM authority to just say "yes" or "no". But I would also like the opportunity to nudge that toward yes (or maybe at least getting a roll, if the default answer would have been no) by giving him/her a specific example of applicable life experiences. That contributes to developing my character as a person, rather than just a list of stats.
How many times do I have to say I'm fine with autosuccess or auto failure. I'm not fine with the stated specific approach goal prerequisite to get to that point (at least not for lore)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Admittedly I don't love secret rolls, either. But I'm not staunchly opposed to them.
For myself, I don't like them as I already have more than enough to deal with. I don't want to add more rolls to my work load. That and most players I've gamed with like to roll their own skill checks.
 

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