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

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
This is really easy:

Just like a DM may telegraph the presence of traps and secret doors while describing the environment so that the players can act to have their players find them, in a social interaction, the "traps" are lies and the "secret doors" are the NPC's ideal, bond, flaw, and agenda.

So as DM you just telegraph those lies, ideals, bonds, flaws, and agendas while describing the interaction. From there, the player may have a sense that the NPC is lying or what those ideals, bonds, flaws, or agendas are. To verify those assumptions, the player then says something like, "I'm hearing what she's saying and I get the sense she's not really trying to help the king here... I'm going to try and read that from her body language, speech habits, and change in mannerisms to see if I'm right."

At that point, the player has described what he or she wants to do in a reasonably specific way that allows the DM to adjudicate the action. If there's an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure, the DM calls for an ability check, in this case, probably a Wisdom (Insight) check. The uncertain outcome might be because the NPC is trying to hide her true intentions. The meaningful consequence for failure might be that the NPC realizes the PCs may be onto her and thus break off the interaction or become guarded, making all subsequent attempts to figure her out harder.

If the PC is successful, the NPC's agenda is revealed and now the player might have the character use that knowledge in an advantageous way to influence the NPC, granting advantage to any subsequent related Charisma check.

This isn't about reading the DM's mind. It's just adequately describing the environment as a DM, paying attention as a player and describing what you want to do, and then the DM following the standard procedure for play as laid out in the rules. And to bring it around to the original topic, as a player here, I'm NOT asking to make an Insight check. Because if I've paid attention and made a good case for why I think the NPC's agenda is something other than what she has stated, the DM might just tell me I succeed with no roll and no chance of incurring the cost of failure.
I dunno, sounds like using player skill to game the DM with magic words to me ;)
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

This isn't about reading the DM's mind. It's just adequately describing the environment as a DM, paying attention as a player and describing what you want to do, and then the DM following the standard procedure for play as laid out in the rules. And to bring it around to the original topic, as a player here, I'm NOT asking to make an Insight check. Because if I've paid attention and made a good case for why I think the NPC's agenda is something other than what she has stated, the DM might just tell me I succeed with no roll and no chance of incurring the cost of failure.
Yup, if only we were just good enough DM's to 100% of the time telegraph every single thing about our NPC's that the players can discern our meaning and intentions every time. :erm:

Yeah, no. Play the character you made, not yourself. I have zero interest in knowing if the player can tell if I am telegraphing my lies well enough. Can your character?

IOW, thespianism, and first person play are not the only ways to play D&D. Sometimes, some of us, don't do funny voices very well. Some of us rely on the mechanics to determine if the character (not the player) notice things. For some of us, there is a distinct separation between character and player and just because you, the player, think something, doesn't mean that your character does and, again for me, the ability to separate those two are the hallmarks of good play.

Telegraphing, to me, is just a fancy word for gaming the DM. "Hey, can you follow these bread crumbs I'm putting out? Yes? Great! No, oh well, too bad." You folks can call it whatever you like, but, to me, "avoiding the roll" is all about drawing me out of character and forcing me to act as myself and how I interpret the DM's actions, not how my character is interpreting what is going on in the fiction.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Yup, if only we were just good enough DM's to 100% of the time telegraph every single thing about our NPC's that the players can discern our meaning and intentions every time. :erm:
Only you have control over how effective a DM or player you are.

And on that score, I earnestly wish you the best of luck.
 

Hussar

Legend
I dunno, sounds like using player skill to game the DM with magic words to me ;)
I know you meant this as a joke, but, honestly? It does sound EXACTLY like that. My character's skills don't matter as much as my ability, as a player, to read the DM and avoid skill checks. How is that not gaming the DM?

I truly, honestly, see this as absolutely horrible advice for DM's. Focusing on "telegraphing" is focusing on the wrong aspects of the game. It's all about you, the DM, and not your ideas or the ideas of the players. It places you, the DM, far too front and center.
 

Hussar

Legend
Only you have control over how effective a DM or player you are.

And on that score, I earnestly wish you the best of luck.
Surprising no one, I disagree with this.

Your effectiveness as a DM depends SO much on the players. If you are playing with players whose play styles are a mismatch, your effectiveness will be greatly reduced, for example. And the reverse is very much true as well.

So, no, your effectiveness as a DM or a player, ESPECIALLY as a player, will depend a lot on the DM. Mismatching play styles, interpretations, personalities, and a variety of other factors will impact your effectiveness in a host of different ways.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I know you meant this as a joke, but, honestly? It does sound EXACTLY like that. My character's skills don't matter as much as my ability, as a player, to read the DM and avoid skill checks. How is that not gaming the DM?

I truly, honestly, see this as absolutely horrible advice for DM's. Focusing on "telegraphing" is focusing on the wrong aspects of the game. It's all about you, the DM, and not your ideas or the ideas of the players. It places you, the DM, far too front and center.
I figured you would say something like that. Your gaming preferences are simply incompatible with mine. And that’s fine. You wouldn’t enjoy playing in a game I DMed, and I wouldn’t enjoy playing in a game you DMed. I’d say for the players of the world, it’s a good thing there are DMs running games in both styles. And for us DMs, it’s a good thing there are players who enjoy playing in games of both styles.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Man, some of these over-the-top objections to what is just written in the book and strategies based on a game run accordingly are strange to me, like someone trying desperately to prove they're not doing something wrong by making up stuff about other people's games including terminology like "magic words!" Like okay, you play the game differently and have fun doing so. What's the problem?
 

Hussar

Legend
Now, that's true.

Here's a thought. Let's put things to the test with a real play example.

I'm playing in a Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign. In the campaign we have discovered that some of the monsters (it appears to be mostly bugbears IIRC, or at least goblinoids), are infested with Intellect Devourers.

Now, I, the player, know that a Protection from Evil/Good will hedge out those monsters. I know that, but, it's very unlikely that my paladin would. That's a pretty esoteric piece of information. And, honestly, I asked the DM directly if my character would know that and he agreed with me that it was pretty unlikely, so, no.

So, now, in your game, what narration could I make to determine whether or not I knew that piece of information? How would you want your players to phrase things? In my group, I just stepped out of character, asked the DM directly and had a sidebar about it. But, I'm thinking that's not what you folks would want.

So, how can my paladin determine that Protection from Good/Evil is the way to hedge out Intellect Devourers.

((This is a much better example than the ubiquitous trolls and fire thing IMO, since trolls and fire is likely so commonly known - trolls aren't exactly rare. But, this is a far more esoteric bit of D&D trivia and I can't see it being common knowledge))
 

Hussar

Legend
Man, some of these over-the-top objections to what is just written in the book and strategies based on a game run accordingly are strange to me, like someone trying desperately to prove they're not doing something wrong by making up stuff about other people's games including terminology like "magic words!" Like okay, you play the game differently and have fun doing so. What's the problem?
Or, conversely, it's like someone cherry picked and then gently massaged a string of quotes from the game in order to "prove" their one true way is the best way to play and then repeatedly quoted those same quotes while at the same time ignoring the fact that folks are flat out reinterpreting the rules (as in ignoring the direct quote about being able to discern lies in Insight) in order to support their own pet project.

See, @iserith, if all you said was, "I play this way" and left it at that, no one would argue with you. It's that you keep banging the "just written in the book" drum, all the while ignoring any and all criticisms that gets you all this push back.

From my personal perspective, the primary reason I'm arguing with you @iserith? You want the blunt, honest truth? It's that the worst DM's I ever played with all used identical arguments that you use. Almost word for word verbatim. In every edition. The DM's whose tables were the most dysfunctional pieces of wasted time all looked EXACTLY like what you are advocating. The DM's defended their practices by nearly directly quoting you (granted, it wasn't because it tended to predate this argument by a decade or two). So, yeah, when I see someone banging this drum, and it's a drum that's been banging for decades, I really want to push back because this play style has led to nothing but failed games and so, so much wasted time.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Now, I, the player, know that a Protection from Evil/Good will hedge out those monsters. I know that, but, it's very unlikely that my paladin would. That's a pretty esoteric piece of information. And, honestly, I asked the DM directly if my character would know that and he agreed with me that it was pretty unlikely, so, no.
As DM, I would take no position on that as your DM did. I can describe the environment and narrate the result of the adventurers' actions. What are you trying to do?
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Now, that's true.

Here's a thought. Let's put things to the test with a real play example.

I'm playing in a Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign. In the campaign we have discovered that some of the monsters (it appears to be mostly bugbears IIRC, or at least goblinoids), are infested with Intellect Devourers.

Now, I, the player, know that a Protection from Evil/Good will hedge out those monsters. I know that, but, it's very unlikely that my paladin would. That's a pretty esoteric piece of information. And, honestly, I asked the DM directly if my character would know that and he agreed with me that it was pretty unlikely, so, no.

So, now, in your game, what narration could I make to determine whether or not I knew that piece of information? How would you want your players to phrase things? In my group, I just stepped out of character, asked the DM directly and had a sidebar about it. But, I'm thinking that's not what you folks would want.

So, how can my paladin determine that Protection from Good/Evil is the way to hedge out Intellect Devourers.

((This is a much better example than the ubiquitous trolls and fire thing IMO, since trolls and fire is likely so commonly known - trolls aren't exactly rare. But, this is a far more esoteric bit of D&D trivia and I can't see it being common knowledge))
You asked @iserith but I'll answer:

If the player wants to immediately cast ProtE&G that's fine.
If the player wants to do so and narrate the reason why ("Maybe this will work!" "The leader of my order once told this story..." "I get this voice in my head that tells me...") that's fine.
If the player wants to NOT use this strategy, because it would bother him/her to use information that his/her character wouldn't have, that's fine too.
If it would bother ME for the player to do this, I would alter the adventure.

Basically I just don't care, at all, what information the players care to use. I think it would be a little cheesy to buy the adventure and read it, but aside from that I just don't want to be policing why players make decisions, nor trying to distinguish between new players who luck out versus old players using some kind of "forbidden knowledge." It doesn't detract from the game (IMO) to use such information, and doesn't add to the game to try to prevent it.
 

Hussar

Legend
Truly astonishing how many times we have to go around on this one, huh?
Well, yes, because it's pretty bloody unbelievable. It's like if someone rolls an attack roll and there's only one target on the board, are you completely unable to figure out what's going on? The player is talking to an NPC and drops an Insight check and it's totally opaque? You cannot possibly divine what the player intends?

You want me to believe that there are DM's out there that are this oblivious?

Or, put it another way. Which would you rather I believe? That some DM's out there are so oblivious to the action in the game that they cannot possibly discern why a player would make a specific skill check from context, or that some posters on the boards are completely unwilling to admit any flaws in their chosen argument?
 

Hussar

Legend
As DM, I would take no position on that as your DM did. I can describe the environment and narrate the result of the adventurers' actions. What are you trying to do?
I am trying to find out if my paladin knows if Protection from Evil can hedge out an Intellect Devourer. How do I do that?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
See, @iserith, if all you said was, "I play this way" and left it at that, no one would argue with you. It's that you keep banging the "just written in the book" drum, all the while ignoring any and all criticisms that gets you all this push back.
Yeah, not so much, man. There's like four of you and I've got most of you blocked. I had you blocked till the forum reformatting. I say how I play. I say why, providing rules that support my position. That's it.

From my personal perspective, the primary reason I'm arguing with you @iserith? You want the blunt, honest truth? It's that the worst DM's I ever played with all used identical arguments that you use. Almost word for word verbatim. In every edition. The DM's whose tables were the most dysfunctional pieces of wasted time all looked EXACTLY like what you are advocating. The DM's defended their practices by nearly directly quoting you (granted, it wasn't because it tended to predate this argument by a decade or two). So, yeah, when I see someone banging this drum, and it's a drum that's been banging for decades, I really want to push back because this play style has led to nothing but failed games and so, so much wasted time.
Yeah, I'm not those guys or gals and, if we were talking about some other game, I might be saying how I play some other way, providing rules that support another position. It's not like I run or play every RPG the same way.

And now that you've self-diagnosed the source of your objection, perhaps you can work on that for the benefit of all future discourse.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
Well, yes, because it's pretty bloody unbelievable. It's like if someone rolls an attack roll and there's only one target on the board, are you completely unable to figure out what's going on? The player is talking to an NPC and drops an Insight check and it's totally opaque? You cannot possibly divine what the player intends?

You want me to believe that there are DM's out there that are this oblivious?

Or, put it another way. Which would you rather I believe? That some DM's out there are so oblivious to the action in the game that they cannot possibly discern why a player would make a specific skill check from context, or that some posters on the boards are completely unwilling to admit any flaws in their chosen argument?
The part I find unbelievable is that you (and others) still think it's the same thing in fewer words. Despite having it explained, over and over and over again, in a thousand different ways, that it's not.

I just don't know what to do with that.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Now, that's true.

Here's a thought. Let's put things to the test with a real play example.

I'm playing in a Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign. In the campaign we have discovered that some of the monsters (it appears to be mostly bugbears IIRC, or at least goblinoids), are infested with Intellect Devourers.

Now, I, the player, know that a Protection from Evil/Good will hedge out those monsters. I know that, but, it's very unlikely that my paladin would. That's a pretty esoteric piece of information. And, honestly, I asked the DM directly if my character would know that and he agreed with me that it was pretty unlikely, so, no.

So, now, in your game, what narration could I make to determine whether or not I knew that piece of information? How would you want your players to phrase things? In my group, I just stepped out of character, asked the DM directly and had a sidebar about it. But, I'm thinking that's not what you folks would want.

So, how can my paladin determine that Protection from Good/Evil is the way to hedge out Intellect Devourers.

((This is a much better example than the ubiquitous trolls and fire thing IMO, since trolls and fire is likely so commonly known - trolls aren't exactly rare. But, this is a far more esoteric bit of D&D trivia and I can't see it being common knowledge))
Hmmm...

So here you are describing an attempt to separate player knowledge from character knowlede. I believe some of those involved here dont believe in thator value it - if the player knows it they can use it.

But this leads to a number of things i wonder - are these tangential to or practially needed for the kid of stye being portrayed.

Player knowlede = character knowledge - does that remove cases that are touchy?

Telegraphing hidden stuff - apparently not just traps and doors but also deception and traits all fall under the telegraphs needed.

Reliance on player-GM side auto-success.

How much are these all inter-related or dependencies?
 

Hussar

Legend
I don't know, man, you're the player here and that's on you. Maybe ask the wizard.
Hang on a tick. I asked you a direct question.

What action can I, as the paladin player in the game, declare in order to succeed? You keep insisting that the players MUST declare actions. I honestly don't know what actions I can declare here. I really, really don't. So, I'm asking you directly, as the prime advocate for this style of play, what action can I declare in this situation?

I don't need brush offs or sidebars about unrelated stuff like how it doesn't bother one DM that I use OOC knowledge in game.

I am DIRECTLY asking, "What action can I take to allow my paladin to learn/know that Intellect Devourers can be hedged out by Protection from Evil/Good"?

If I say, "I ask the wizard if Protection from Evil/Good will hedge out these creatures", that's good enough for an autosuccess in your game? How did you know that the wizard knew that?
 

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