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D&D 5E Respect Mah Authoritah: Thoughts on DM and Player Authority in 5e


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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I feel like I should be sending a care package to your suspension of disbelief!
Nah, it's not that damaged. Shooting things underwater is one of those genre trope things that's super common in all kinds of action. That it's totally unrealistic (as in not something that happens in real life) is just fine. Neither is jumping down 20 feet and sprinting away, or just walking away from huge explosions with the badass stride. I'm good, no worries! I just temp forgot. Previous editions I believe did have a total cover from water thing -- 3e, maybe?
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Nah, it's not that damaged. Shooting things underwater is one of those genre trope things that's super common in all kinds of action. That it's totally unrealistic (as in not something that happens in real life) is just fine. Neither is jumping down 20 feet and sprinting away, or just walking away from huge explosions with the badass stride. I'm good, no worries! I just temp forgot. Previous editions I believe did have a total cover from water thing -- 3e, maybe?

It sounds like a 3e thing, but apparently not so. Thrown weapons are utterly useless, but other ranged attacks merely take a -2 penalty for every 5 feet of water they pass through. So pretty much useless, but not entirely so.
 

No, it's a house rule. 5e is pretty clear that it means a multitude of things, including luck, skill, will to continue, and health. If you whittle that down to just physical wellbeing, that's a houserule to edit the rule as presented. I mean, is this controversial? I can very easily say that your houserule really has nothing to do with this argument -- you can go your way or the book's way and the things I'm saying do not change.

As far as it being an abstraction, this is a dodge, because it's being use to discard any consideration of how it works. "Abstraction" isn't a magic word. The reality is that we're using out-of-fiction knowledge to inform in-fiction actions and understanding. In fiction, character A has a wicked gash on their chest. This, unfortunately, does not provide any information on how close to death this person is from, say, repeated attacks from a goblin. Like, if I took the example character A (with a large gash) and character B (with a scratch), we cannot extrapolate at all how many successful attacks from a goblin (1/4 CR 5e version from the MM) each can withstand. The fictional positioning with regards to their wounds has zero predictive or explanatory power. Further, according to the rules, each person will heal their injuries in exactly the same amount of time (this is more a problem with making hp be physical wounds, and usually means additional house rules are in play to mitigate this injury to the fiction). We have no ideas, here, without enabling the out-of-fiction knowledge channel, which is what is usually meant by "meta."

Hitpoints are meta. So far you've evaded my questions or attempted to dismiss them under the banner of "abstraction," as if abstractions are somehow immune to being meta devices (most meta devices you'd complain about are also abstractions). This really seems like you're just staunchly defending hitpoints as being not meta because you don't mind them but you do mind meta, so hitpoints cannot be meta. This is thin rationalization.

Well, this is completely ignoring what I was talking about/asking in order to make an unrelated comment on how 4e's healing surges were tied to the max hitpoint stat in a way that 5e hit dice are not. That doesn't address the question, either, as I could just as easily ask how many healing surges would be needed to heal each character respectively and it wouldn't change the question at all. Given that your response doesn't connect with the question and raises a topic that doesn't address it at all, one could say this was a non sequitur.
Tl;dr: you don’t understand how abstractions work.
 


The second example, though, seems like the GM wanted to ambush the party with redcaps, felt that the familiar would have spoiled that, and so did some quick thinking to line up some bits of fiction to make it happen. This is Force, though, because the GM is ignoring the intent of the player's actions and then deciding what the outcome was without regard to system (ie, no tests made). This actually feels quantum ogre to me.

I can see that. I didn't really feel that way in play. Once the reveal of the redcaps happened upon the return of the familiar, it felt more like they were already out there, and then the familiar attracted them and so they wound up coming to us. They didn't get any kind of surprise on us or anything like that; in fact the GM made it seem like they were quite surprised by what happened.

I do think the lack of any kind of roll is my biggest concern on this one.

Yeah. It's plausibly a different interpretation of "fair play" and also the fact that every description says "it" and nothing more (and I'd have to ponder the potential for shenanigans before allowing a familiar to carry something into the pocket dimension).

I think I'm perfectly fine with the familiar grabbing something and then bringing it along with them through the pocket dimension. It doesn't seem to alter what they can do so much as speed it up, right? They can certainly carry an item back to their owner, so the pocket dimension thing just lets that happen faster, and seems a creative way to swipe something or similar.

I honestly have to admit to not really knowing exactly how the 5E version of the spell worked until this session. That's part of the issue with having like 5 versions of the same spell rattling around in my brain. So this aspect of it is new to me and seems like it offers some utility.

Eh. I'd think the caster would know how the spell worked. I think it's the fact the player had no warning as to the possibility that's really grating on my nerves about it. Like, that seems like a time when as a caster I'd just right off that particular incarnation of the familiar, rather than bring the redcaps that close to me--and I'd expect my character who's casting the spell to anticipate the possibility.

Yeah, I get that. A Perception roll for the familiar or maybe an attack by the Redcaps to grab the familiar.....something to establish exactly what happened beyond the whim of the GM.

I have to say that one change with the spell I find annoying is the fact that there is no risk at all with the familiar. I think past versions of the spell have been a bit too harsh in that regard, but I think there should be some kind of element of risk when deploying the familiar in such ways.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Nah, it's not that damaged. Shooting things underwater is one of those genre trope things that's super common in all kinds of action. That it's totally unrealistic (as in not something that happens in real life) is just fine. Neither is jumping down 20 feet and sprinting away, or just walking away from huge explosions with the badass stride. I'm good, no worries! I just temp forgot. Previous editions I believe did have a total cover from water thing -- 3e, maybe?
Bow fishing exists.

Like standing on a boat and sniping fish with barbed arrows.

You have to account for defraction and it's short range. It's easier to start your shot by dipping the arrow in the water to see that angle, but it's a thing. Full cover from water is ridiculous.

The 'you can't shoot something underwater' is an issue with bullets.
 

Fair. I did later say more was needed, and this does seem like it established the hag was visibly swimming. I hadn't looked at the underwater combat rules but rather relied on the fact that arrows are effectively useless for shooting into water in real life. Mea culpa.

No worries. I get it, for sure. I felt like shooting at a swimming target near the surface seemed still within the bounds of reasonable expectations.

I think an arrow would lost nearly all momentum after only a few feet worth of water. I have no data to back that up though...just a hunch that the fletching would be an issue.
 

Oh, so, in the fiction, player A tells player B that they lost a larger percentage of their hitpoints than player B did. That's odd, have you introduced hitpoints into the fiction of your game as a real thing that exist and can be measured?

I hate to say it, but it looks like hitpoints are pretty meta because you don't have any in-fiction explanation for them. For me, this is perfectly fine. I can see it's a problem if you're blanket declaring meta things to be bad, though, as this might expose that it's only meta things you're not used to being labeled bad and the ones you are used to are just plain hard to see.

Or what happens when the character with the scratch comes up to the one with the horrific gash and says:

“MAN YOURE GONNA BE ON THE SHELF FOR LIKE 3 WEEKS! HOW ARE WE GONNA ADVENTURE WITHOUT OUR FIGHTER BEING ABLE TO USE HIS ARM?”

Fighter: Nah, it’ll be fine tomorrow morning. Actually, lets do a test. This looks like I’ve severed my UCL. So I shouldn’t be able to <throws his spear the typical distance>…

Yeah I’m good, let’s roll.

I do somehow feel closer to death though, let me just put that out there for the record. Did you slip some shrooms into my rations?
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Bow fishing exists.

Like standing on a boat and sniping fish with barbed arrows.

You have to account for defraction and it's short range. It's easier to start your shot by dipping the arrow in the water to see that angle, but it's a thing. Full cover from water is ridiculous.

The 'you can't shoot something underwater' is an issue with bullets.
Well, yes, bowfishing exists with specialized arrows (heavier, unfletched). Still, this is limited to very shallow depths of only a couple of feet maximum and usually very near surface targets. Water for normal arrows and bows is effectively full cover except at very shallow depths. That arrows penetrate at all is due to mass. I mean, we can get physicy on this if we want. In general, it's a pretty safe bet that the surface of water makes archery non-viable in the real world. It seems easier in D&D. This is okay.
 

No, you misunderstand. How someone feels about a thing doesn't change the thing. The play being described is not altered by what I call it or how someone feels about what I call it. I really only care about the play.

No, I think I understand quite well, actually. If you don't care about how someone feels about how you express a thing, in practice you don't care how the discussion goes.
 

Bow fishing exists.

Like standing on a boat and sniping fish with barbed arrows.

You have to account for defraction and it's short range. It's easier to start your shot by dipping the arrow in the water to see that angle, but it's a thing. Full cover from water is ridiculous.

The 'you can't shoot something underwater' is an issue with bullets.

Passthru11 in "Bow Fishing Country" said:
depends on setup but i would say 4-6 ft is most people max.6 is pushing it IMO. Anyone that says they shoot fish 15-20fow is full of crap.

Thread for the curious:
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
No, I think I understand quite well, actually. If you don't care about how someone feels about how you express a thing, in practice you don't care how the discussion goes.
Well, okay, you ignored what I said and erected a strawman. That's a thing you can do, I guess.

I mean, I could say that I don't care how someone feels about aerodynamics. It's essentially the same thing -- the how it works doesn't change by feeling. Feeling enters only in the evaluation of feelings. If you want a different term (as I offered, twice, and you've snipped and ignored), sure, but it doesn't change what's being discussed, and I don't really see that the actual problem is with the term given how much denial of the analysis is taking place. Since this is the case, maybe you'd like to weigh in on the analysis arguments before staking out a terminology hill to die on?
 

No worries. I get it, for sure. I felt like shooting at a swimming target near the surface seemed still within the bounds of reasonable expectations.

I think an arrow would lost nearly all momentum after only a few feet worth of water. I have no data to back that up though...just a hunch that the fletching would be an issue.
Even completely ignoring the water, the shot would already have disadvantage from the target being prone at range.

In an ideal playthrough (from both the player and DM perspective), the first question would have been “Do I have line of sight to her?”. Note that as traditionally applied, Hunter’s mark is irrelevant to this determination.

If the response to this question was yes, then the ranger probably would have been able to get a shot against her at disadvantage.

Of course, ideal playthrough do not exist in practice.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Which rulebook is this in? The rules of the game(s) leave this at the meta level.
Exactly.
That you've decided to nail it down doesn't, in any way, remove this argument. It says that you wrote additional rules for you're table.
Whcih is a) fine and b) what the game expects.
But, even there, what you have is completely arbitrary and rather goes towards my point rather than away from it.
Sure it's not perfect, but it's a better reflection of in-game reality than what was there before. It's like golf - your shot might not go in the hole but if you end up closer to it than you were before, the shot was worth taking. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I think I'm perfectly fine with the familiar grabbing something and then bringing it along with them through the pocket dimension. It doesn't seem to alter what they can do so much as speed it up, right? They can certainly carry an item back to their owner, so the pocket dimension thing just lets that happen faster, and seems a creative way to swipe something or similar.
Sign me up for a Wizard-Thief right now, give me Find Familiar and let me have a raccoon. The crime wave will start tomorrow, and within weeks I'll be the richest person in town!

Ba-roken! :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Or what happens when the character with the scratch comes up to the one with the horrific gash and says:

“MAN YOURE GONNA BE ON THE SHELF FOR LIKE 3 WEEKS! HOW ARE WE GONNA ADVENTURE WITHOUT OUR FIGHTER BEING ABLE TO USE HIS ARM?”

Fighter: Nah, it’ll be fine tomorrow morning. Actually, lets do a test. This looks like I’ve severed my UCL. So I shouldn’t be able to <throws his spear the typical distance>…

Yeah I’m good, let’s roll.

I do somehow feel closer to death though, let me just put that out there for the record. Did you slip some shrooms into my rations?
A very nice pillory of 4e-5e way-too-generous recovery rules. Well done!
 



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