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

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
True, but they also set player expectations about what their characters can and cannot reasonably accomplish.

A shared understanding of the rules is important to me when playing, it allows me to better engage with the story.

If I want to climb to the rooftops and there are no extenuating circumstances, the rules say I can climb at half speed no check required. If the DM asks me for a check* out of the blue or is inconsistent in how they arbitrate climbing, it's going to detract from my enjoyment of the game.

* Unless this exception was previously discussed and agreed to
Heh... I only wish I had the rules memorized to the point where I would know off the top of my head that climbing that particular building the DM put forth shouldn't involve a check and be an automatic success. ;)
 

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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
If your character selection was based not upon what you wanted to play from a personality point of view in the world we were playing in, but instead was in making sure you "won" every die roll you could... I suspect you might not enjoy playing in my games. I'm one of those "We're creating a story together" type of DMs, and failure is just as important to success when it comes to the story and drama of the game. Mitigation should be a very low priority for character design. ;)

I'll have to disagree with you there because I'm also a "we're creating a story together" type of DMs. That's half of the "win-condition" of the game after all. I would also say that I can have a character with a great personality that is also good at hitting that DC 17 or 21 with some regularity (but obviously not all the time). This is basically how I'd play D&D 4e, since the expectation in that game is that players will ask to make checks and the DM almost always says "Yes," a game in which I have a lot of fun.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Okay... well then you can play with me for a while and learn what skills I mostly ask checks for and that'll give you an idea of how you can build your character then. ;) I'd tell you myself, but I honestly have no idea. LOL.
 

Super easy. It doesn't unless the DM narrates a reason for a check.

I know, right? It's almost like people want to find ways to prove this approach will fail, generally relying on some combination of jerk players and jerk DMs trying to mis-use it to be...well, jerks.

Player says "I'll climb the wall!" and the DM has a bunch of choices:

"Ok, at the top of the wall you find..."
"You try, but there are no handholds and the rock is wet."
"Ok, but it's pretty tricky. You get a few feet off the ground and you realize it's not as easy as it looks. It's going to take a DC 15 Dex (Athletics) check for every 10 feet of progress, and if you fail you crater. What do you do?
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Heh... I only wish I had the rules memorized to the point where I would know off the top of my head that climbing that particular building the DM put forth shouldn't involve a check and be an automatic success. ;)
I'm sure you know what I mean... but in case you don't, I'm not saying the DM can't ask for a check, I'm just saying that unless there is an in-game reason for it or it was previously discussed that climbing works differently, as a player I'm going to expect to be able to just climb things.
 

Player says "I'll climb the wall!" and the DM has a bunch of choices:

"Ok, at the top of the wall you find..."
"You try, but there are no handholds and the rock is wet."
"Ok, but it's pretty tricky. You get a few feet off the ground and you realize it's not as easy as it looks. It's going to take a DC 15 Dex (Athletics) check for every 10 feet of progress, and if you fail you crater. What do you do?

You forgot, "Rocks fall, everyone dies."
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I'm sure you know what I mean... but in case you don't, I'm not saying the DM can't ask for a check, I'm just saying that unless there is an in-game reason for it or it was previously discussed that climbing works differently, as a player I'm going to expect to be able to just climb things.

That's the rules right?

Climbing like Swimming is half speed unless you have a climb or swim speed in which case it's full speed, or the DM determines this particular climb or swim is more challenging that usual in which case you might have a check or outright fail.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
True, but they also set player expectations about what their characters can and cannot reasonably accomplish.

A shared understanding of the rules is important to me when playing, it allows me to better engage with the story.

If I want to climb to the rooftops and there are no extenuating circumstances, the rules say I can climb at half speed no check required. If the DM asks me for a check* out of the blue or is inconsistent in how they arbitrate climbing, it's going to detract from my enjoyment of the game.

* Unless this exception was previously discussed and agreed to

Really? Because what I remember is that the DM decides the DC for the climb with the DC being anything from automatic to nearly impossible. After all, what is the wall made of? Broken rock? Smooth ice? Jello?

It's up to the DM to give the players the information they think PC would have before the player makes a decision.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Super easy. It doesn't unless the DM narrates a reason for a check.

Right. "DM describes the environment," which necessarily includes the basic scope of options. Whether or not a terrain feature presents a challenge beyond a hit to speed is one of those I always mention. Because if I don't and someone makes a decision to climb without me first establishing the exception, as far as I'm concerned that challenge can no longer be a thing and that's on me as DM.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Really? Because what I remember is that the DM decides the DC for the climb with the DC being anything from automatic to nearly impossible. After all, what is the wall made of? Broken rock? Smooth ice? Jello?

It's up to the DM to give the players the information they think PC would have before the player makes a decision.
I don't disagree with any of that. The climbing thing is merely an example of how a shared understanding of the rules facilitates play.

As a player, I can expect to be able to climb no check required OR receive a decent in-game reason that should be apparent to my character why I'm going to need to make a check.

If I want to shimmy down a standard hemp rope and each time I get varying DCs (from none required to whatever the DM feels like) with little to no in-game reasoning why it's so different each time, that's a problem for me.

I'm not implying anyone here is doing it that way, I'm just pointing out that while yes, the rules are only general guidelines, any significant changes to the way the game is played should be discussed with the players beforehand so they know what to expect.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Has anybody else noticed that official WotC adventures for the most part do not seem to use skills in the way they are described in the rules? It's like the people who write the adventures didn't get the memo and are still writing as if they are playing an earlier edition.
Yes, I have definitely noticed it. I’ve also noticed that Chris Perkins ran Dice Camera Action more like a 3.Xe game than a 5e game. I haven’t watched/listened to Heroes of the Veil, can anyone comment on Mike Mearls’ DMing style? From what I remember of some of the D&D Next playtest games he ran, he ran much more like what 5e suggests. Which makes sense, in a playtest you want to run things as by-the-book as possible. Then again, as I recall the D&D Next playtest adventures and the Sundering adventures lent themselves much better to 5e style task resolution, which is part of why they’re still some of my favorite published adventures.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don't disagree with any of that. The climbing thing is merely an example of how a shared understanding of the rules facilitates play.

As a player, I can expect to be able to climb no check required OR receive a decent in-game reason that should be apparent to my character why I'm going to need to make a check.

If I want to shimmy down a standard hemp rope and each time I get varying DCs (from none required to whatever the DM feels like) with little to no in-game reasoning why it's so different each time, that's a problem for me.

I'm not implying anyone here is doing it that way, I'm just pointing out that while yes, the rules are only general guidelines, any significant changes to the way the game is played should be discussed with the players beforehand so they know what to expect.

Which is fine, if not obvious from your original post which caused the confusion.

I'm just saying that perhaps the reason the official mods don't always support a specific interpretation of the rules is because there is no one true way of interpreting the rules. An interpretation of the rules that. by the way, I've never actually seen put into play in real life and wouldn't know existed if not for this forum.

So maybe, just maybe, there isn't one true way. Maybe, just maybe, people read more into the rules than was intended. Just spit-balling here, but if the guy who helped write the rules doesn't follow your interpretation of the rules that may just mean that he's running the game in a manner that makes most sense to him and his group.

Which you can do as well. We don't all have to agree on how to play the game.
 

coolAlias

Explorer
Which is fine, if not obvious from your original post which caused the confusion.

~snip~

Which you can do as well. We don't all have to agree on how to play the game.
Apologies, then - I thought it was pretty clear from my first post that I was agreeing with you that the rules are more like guidelines and that there isn't any "one true way" to play the game, but that having everyone on the same page as to which way they are playing helps players like me make better in-game decisions.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Apologies, then - I thought it was pretty clear from my first post that I was agreeing with you that the rules are more like guidelines and that there isn't any "one true way" to play the game, but that having everyone on the same page as to which way they are playing helps players like me make better in-game decisions.

Yeah, I try to cover things like style of play and expectations in a session 0. I also vary my style a bit based on group and campaign.

It's often difficult to share opinions on these forums without ... bickering. I suspect that most people wouldn't really notice that much of a difference in games. But even if they did, not every style is going to work for everyone.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'm just saying that perhaps the reason the official mods don't always support a specific interpretation of the rules is because there is no one true way of interpreting the rules. An interpretation of the rules that. by the way, I've never actually seen put into play in real life and wouldn't know existed if not for this forum.
Man, you keep saying this. Could you do me a favor and just go watch one episode of Critical Role?
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I watched a couple of episodes. Maybe I just don't count podcasts as real life. :)
I mean... it’s still proof that there are real people who actually play the game that way in meatspace rather than just talking about it on forums. So, your claim that you would never have heard of it if not for these forums doesn’t really hold water if you’ve seen Critical Role.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I mean... it’s still proof that there are real people who actually play the game that way in meatspace rather than just talking about it on forums. So, your claim that you would never have heard of it if not for these forums doesn’t really hold water if you’ve seen Critical Role.

No, what I'm saying is I've never played in a game where people cared one way or another if I said "Can I get an insight check" or similar. As far as CR, I watched a few episodes a long time ago and decided it wasn't worth watching for me. I didn't pay much attention to the style of play, I just vaguely remember that there were some aspects I liked (the characterization/in-depth RP) and others I didn't (Matt telling the people what their PCs thought).

I don't doubt that people play a different way than I've experienced.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I mean... it’s still proof that there are real people who actually play the game that way in meatspace rather than just talking about it on forums. So, your claim that you would never have heard of it if not for these forums doesn’t really hold water if you’ve seen Critical Role.

Oh, and just to follow up on this, I distinctly remember* things like the redhead (Matt's wife?) asking if she could do an acrobatics check to climb a tree. Can I quote you episode and time? No. But IIRC, he just corrected her and told her it was an athletics check to climb. I only remember it because I had a player at the time who wanted to use acrobatics for everything. Occasionally I'd allow him to parkour up (which is what she was thinking) but it was situational.

*AKA just another random thing stuck in my brain shoving aside whatever it was I was supposed to buy for my wife on my way home.
 

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