These are problems I have identified, not solutions.Yes, in combat, they eat an action, so players are not choosing that option very often. Yes, in many cases players can use Recall Knowledge outside of combat, so the one-action cost is irrelevant. If the PCs can scout whatever strange critters they're about to face from a nearby hilltop, they could certainly call for Recall Knowledge checks without any meaningful action-based cost.
What you're saying is essentially "Our group not engaging with the rules" which basically means you might consider refraining from calling them great, or dismissing the concerns of people who do try to engage with rules as they're written.
In short, why have an action cost if you never pay that cost? Please say you see the problem here.
If you had read my other thread, you wouldn't say "I still fail to see the problem". You would have understood what I'm struggling with and why I need a different framework.If we're restricting the discussion to using Recall Knowledge on critters in combat, I still fail to see the problem.
I find it hard to manage.Sure, the DM has to make up interesting tidbits to feed players' successful rolls, and misleading tibits for critical failures, on the fly. That's not hard to manage.
But that's maybe because I tried to use the rules as written, action cost and all. I basically found there was no information transfer - that I never got to tell my players about the cool stuff monsters are made of.
They simply concluded the Recall Knowledge action was worthless/too expensive, shrugged, and proceeded to brute force down monsters.
Basically, they're right. The core objection to the rule is that just by attacking normally you get to know nearly everything you need to know.
To boil it down to a crude example:
For instance, you attack a werewolf. You deal 5 less damage. Now you know you need a special material, and you guess silver based on prior D&D gaming. You still did some damage, which is better than spending your action on Recall Knowledge.
Unlike with Crafting or Hero Points I haven't been able to come up with a satisfying solution.
All I've managed is to raise a flag cautioning players against taking abilities related to Recall Knowledge since those likely won't do what you might expect from just reading their text.
That, and starting off each combat with a free "monster knowledge check", much like how I have run things ever since 4E.
Recall Knowledge is basically an over-engineed solution, and a half-baked one at that.