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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You don't need to roll unless there is a meaningful chance of failure. So e.g. if you are trying to win a competition or impress the King on his birthday, both of which could be framed as performance or persuasion with advantage for being trained in chef's tools.
Yep. That doesn't change that there might be a competition each year in which he needs to keep his job. One in which the PCs and other NPCs are trying to challenge him. He'd need to roll to win and keep his job.

The point is that I can under the rules do assign numbers to the NPCs that would take a high or mid level PC to attain, and yet keep the NPC CR 0.
Going back to Level Up, an expertise die is independent of level, particularly for NPCS, so you could add 1d4 expertise to bakers from background all the way up to 1d8 for a master Baker or even a version of skill mastery so that rolls of 5 or less for a baker and 9 or less for a master baker are treated as 10.
Sure. That works, too.
 

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Pauln6

Hero
Yep. That doesn't change that there might be a competition each year in which he needs to keep his job. One in which the PCs and other NPCs are trying to challenge him. He'd need to roll to win and keep his job.

The point is that I can under the rules do assign numbers to the NPCs that would take a high or mid level PC to attain, and yet keep the NPC CR 0.

Sure. That works, too.
I meant 5 or less is treated as 6 but you got the gist.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I suggested a method.

"Achieving the unachievable" is the DM deciding a normally Impossible DC 30 is instead Hard DC 20.

So, the narrative explanation of how this teamwork operates will make the "Impossible" possible.
The GM could also decide based on which player has the longest hair or the most colorful shirt! Of course neither of those do anything to addresses the problems that result from (dis)advantage being designed exclusively for some flavor of "oh I help" either. There is no value in suggesting "a method" in if it does nothing to address the problem because 5e was printed with (dis)advantage as the only tool available.
I would disagree with this, and IMO it is the opposite.

"I try to figure out how to open the secret door" and then add my 12 different modifiers to investigation and roll to see if I am successful is less of collaborative problem solving than "I help Bob figure out how to open the secret door".

To really engage in collaborative problem solving you need to move away from the dice. The more you do that, the more the game focuses on the player ability and not the character ability.
It doesn't matter what criticism other tools may or may not have deserved because we are talking about the inability of (dis)advantage to be leveraged for collaboration any more involved than one single player saying some variation of "oh and I help bob" no matter how descriptive they are with that help. There are severe mechanical problems with this distraction & I'll address them (again) first before getting to the rest.

I've linked to a post with the literal dmg entries for dm's best friend & bonus types in it more than once in this back & forth, there's no reason to be unaware of it like this. The first mechanical problem is that there shouldn't be "twelve different modifiers" on a trap players are working on collaboratively because the dm's best friend entry literally advises against such a thing where it says "You can add modifiers endlessly (doing so is not really a good thing, since it slows down play), but the point is, other than the PC’s Listen check modifier, the only numbers that the DM and the player need to remember when calculating all the situational modifiers are +2 and –2. Multiple conditions add up to give the check a total modifier and the DC a final value.". The second mechanical breakdown in your quibble is even more severe because DC's were not set in a way that aligns with that, you can see it here and the critical column was "who could do it" allowing the GM to select a DC somewhat or far beyond what any one PC is capable of even with a nat20/taking 20 in order to create a situation where the group must work collaboratively as a team to do what none of them could possibly do on their own.

To really engage in collaborative problem solving you need to move away from the dice. The more you do that, the more the game focuses on the player ability and not the character ability.

That boldf bit is singular not plural. You literally just confirmed that 5e's (dis)advantage mechanic is incapable of supporting the GM in getting multiple playerS to work together collaboratively on a problem. That's a big problem because the entire concept of teamwork collapses into a radioactive dumpster fire of adversarial feeling pixelbitching where each player tries to find what they think is the correct answer the GM is looking for or they resort to working in isolated but parallel efforts where each player is trying to solve the problem on their own rather than engaging in any sort of reciprocity deeper than some equivalent of "oh I help". Once again...
It doesn't matter how descriptive that Alice is when she wants to help Bob with the thing he's doing. What matters is that Cindy Dave Edward & Frank are immediately shut out by a crude club of a mechanic not built for party level collaboration towards the success of a task.

Look at the example trap diffusing scenario from a few years ago that I linked to earlier for an example of how woefully incapable that (dis)advantage is as the maslow's hammer level replacement it was deployed to be
(dis)advantage is a hammer that can never be a screwdriver or drill-bit or chisel, but 5e threw out every tool other than the hammer in order to force the singular use of (dis)advantage for any and all situations
 

Yep. That doesn't change that there might be a competition each year in which he needs to keep his job. One in which the PCs and other NPCs are trying to challenge him. He'd need to roll to win and keep his job.
I have never in almost 30 years of playing D&D seen pcs competing with the bakers job.
The point is that I can under the rules do assign numbers to the NPCs that would take a high or mid level PC to attain, and yet keep the NPC CR 0.
In 3.5 i liked to have lvl 2 experts.
They got skill proficiency crafting 5. Skill focus for +3, and a secondary skill for synergy bonus, int 14 and masterwork tools, usually resulting in +14 bonus in that skill. With level 3 or int 16 it was a +15 bonus. That was enough to always rock CR 15. CR 20 when they had no steess (take 10). And CR 35 when there was plenty of time (take 20).
And if that was not enough, they got help from assistants and a circumstance bonus for the perfect crafting shop.
Sure. That works, too.
In 5e I would just give them expertise on the check. Int 14 for a +6 bonus. They'd had assistants for advantage or synergy between tool and skill.
And then I'd also invent an ability like the new second wimd that allows them to add 1d10+1 to the roll 1/short rest.

And I'd let them treat all checks as one category easier, as for them it is an easy task. For PCs it is not.
 


ECMO3

Hero
You can set NPC bonuses to whatever you want. You do not build NPCs with PC rules. Every expert baker is not going to be able to challenge a 9th level party.

Of course you don't use the PC rules. You couldn't use PC rules because NPCs don't have levels and the PC rules won't work even if you wanted to use them. There are separate rules for creating monsters, and rules those include details on skill bonuses. This is covered twice, in the monster manual on page 8 and again in the DMG on page 279:

MM: "A skill entry [in a monster stat block] is reserved for mosters that are proficient in one or more skills ..... A skill bonus is the sum of the ability modifier and proficiency bonus, which is determined by the monster's challange rating as shown in the Proficiency Bonus Challange Rating table.

DMG: "If you want a monster to be proficient in a skill, you can gived it a bonus to its proficiency bonus ...You can double the proficiency bonus to account for heightened mastery"

Going by the PB Bonus Challange rating table, and assuming expertise and an ability cap of 20 on the relevant ability, you would have to be least CR9 to have a +12.


"When you give an NPC game statistics, you have three main options: giving the NPC only the few statistics it needs..." If I determine that the CR 0 baker needs +12 in order to be good enough to serve the king, that's what he has.

Sure as the DM you can ignore any rules you don't like, including the ones on making monsters. That doesn't mean those rules don't exist though
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Of course you don't use the PC rules. You couldn't use PC rules because NPCs don't have levels and the PC rules won't work even if you wanted to use them. There are separate rules for creating monsters, and rules those include details on skill bonuses. This is covered twice, in the monster manual on page 8 and again in the DMG on page 279:
Those guidelines don't apply. I'm not creating a monster.
MM: "A skill entry [in a monster stat block] is reserved for mosters that are proficient in one or more skills ..... A skill bonus is the sum of the ability modifier and proficiency bonus, which is determined by the monster's challange rating as shown in the Proficiency Bonus Challange Rating table.
Yes. For monsters. Not NPCs who don't have stat blocks and I need a skill for.
DMG: "If you want a monster to be proficient in a skill, you can gived it a bonus to its proficiency bonus ...You can double the proficiency bonus to account for heightened mastery"
Monster. Again, not creating a monster.
Going by the PB Bonus Challange rating table, and assuming expertise and an ability cap of 20 on the relevant ability, you would have to be least CR9 to have a +12.
If I were making a monster, yes. I'm not, so those rules do not apply. Every NPC expert in a profession isn't going to be capable of taking out giants, which is what you are asserting here.
Sure as the DM you can ignore any rules you don't like, including the ones on making monsters. That doesn't mean those rules don't exist though
For when I make monsters. ;)
 

ECMO3

Hero
Those guidelines don't apply. I'm not creating a monster.

Yes. For monsters. Not NPCs who don't have stat blocks and I need a skill for.

NPCs are monsters. Any creatures you create that are not PCs are monsters.

There is an entire section of "NPCs" in the monster manual, it follows the same rules for monsters and has the same statblock. If further talks about the method to adjusting NPCs to include "adjusting Challange Rating as detailed in the DMG". The section referred to in the DMG is the section for creating custom monsters and the same one I referenced above.

So yes, there are rules for making NPCs, you just don't use them at your table.
 
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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
NPCs are monsters. Any creatures you create that are not PCs are monsters.

There is an entire section of "NPCs" in the monster manual, it follows the same rules for monsters and has the same statblock. If further talks about the method to adjusting NPCs to include "adjusting Challange Rating as detailed in the DMG". The section referred to in the DMG is the section for creating custom monsters and the same one I mentioned above.

So yes, there are rules for making NPCs, you just don't use them at your table.
I could make a strong case that even the PC's are monsters, by the Monster Manual's definition, but it is true, NPC's are monsters.
2024-02-03_181411.jpg
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
NPCs are monsters. Any creatures you create that are not PCs are monsters.

There is an entire section of "NPCs" in the monster manual, it follows the same rules for monsters and has the same statblock. If further talks about the method to adjusting NPCs to include "adjusting Challange Rating as detailed in the DMG". The section referred to in the DMG is the section for creating custom monsters and the same one I mentioned above.

So yes, there are rules for making NPCs, you just don't use them at your table.
No. Read the DMG. SOME NPCs are monsters, but only those you give monster stat blocks. Giving the NPC a monster stat block is 1 of 3 ways to make an NPC.

The NPC I am talking about is not subject to any monster "rule."
 

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