log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Roleplaying in D&D 5E: It’s How You Play the Game

HammerMan

Legend
Mostly just establishing we're haggling over price. It's not a principle of play that's different you're espousing, but rather a difference in threshold.
dude I have seen players walking around with millions of platnum/gems worth of gold and only mid tto okay Cha untrained in any Cha skills try to haggle down 50gp Healing potions... I have no idea how to decide weather they can get then for 40 or not other then roll... even though they are buying how ever many i say they have no matter the price, and will never run out of money.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

HammerMan

Legend
Well of course the players are going to agree nothing's at stake whenever they can as it's in their better interests to do so!
the funny part is that in these kinds of discussions I see more PLAYERs asking for rolls on these boards... I think there is a certain amount of mental gymnastics where some people (Player or DM) that want only tests of ingame skill...
 

pemerton

Legend
No. I am using narrate to mean introduce, by way of stating it, some fiction.
Thus you have chosen not to play 5e*. [Or perhaps I mistake your meaning. Can you expand on what you mean by stating some fiction?]
The 5e Basic rules tell me things like this:

The DM describes the environment. (p 3)

Characters who turn their attention to other tasks as the group travels are not focused on watching for danger. These characters don’t contribute their passive Wisdom (Perception) scores to the group’s chance of noticing hidden threats. However, a character not watching for danger can do one of the following activities instead, or some other activity with the DM’s permission. (p 65)

A character’s interaction with objects in an environment is often simple to resolve in the game. The player tells the DM that his or her character is doing something, such as moving a lever, and the DM describes what, if anything, happens. (p 66)

[Y]ou describe your character’s words and actions to the DM and the other players. Drawing on your mental image of your character, you tell everyone what your character does and how he or she does it. (p 66)

[Y]ou speak with your character’s voice, like an actor taking on a role. You might even echo your character’s movements and body language. This approach is more immersive than descriptive roleplaying, though you still need to describe things that can’t be reasonably acted out. (p 67)​

The first of these tell us that, at certain points in play, the GM states some fiction - ie an account of the imagined environment in which the PCs find themselves. Sometimes, despite what the rules say, this actually becomes a player function. For instance, p 6 says "You also invent the personality, appearance, and backstory of your character." When a player tells the table "My character is five-and-a-half feet tall and wears a saffron yellow cape", ie when they share their PC's appearance with the table, they are stating some fiction, although in this case not as part of an action declaration but rather temporarily taking over the GM's role of describing the environment.

The second tell us that, at certain points in play, the players state some fiction - ie an account of what their PCs are doing, other than watching for danger, while travelling.

The third tells us that, at certain points in play, the player states some fiction - namely, what it is that their PC is doing in or to the imagined environment, such as moving a lever - and then the GM states some fiction in response - eg what happens when the lever is moved.

The fourth and fifth describe different techniques - the rules call them respectively "descriptive roleplaying" and "active roleplaying" - for stating or, in the second case, performatively conveying, what the PC is doing or saying (which obviously is a component of the shared fiction).

I've read most of your exchange with @Ovinomancer about the cliffs, and am not really sure I've followed it properly, and hence I probably don't grasp the nuances of 5e* D&D. But taking the published Basic rules at face value, they seem to call for narration - that is, for stating fiction - at many points.

Some of this narration generates rightward arrows (eg the second and third instances I've quoted). Some of it does not (eg the fourth or fifth examples may or may not - typically, for instance, calling out an insult to a foe in combat does not generate rightward arrows).

To be playing 5e* a DM must ensure that "narrate" means "say something meaningful".
Do you mean that the GM must ensure that no one ever states any fiction that is not meaningful? So eg they must dissuade or forbid players from narrating aspects of their PC's behaviour which does not generate gameplay consequences, like (typically) the colour of their cloaks, the height of their PCs (at least where that is unremarkable) or the calling out of insults to their foes in combat?

Or are you talking only about the GM's narration?

If the latter, are you saying that the GM must never state fiction that is mere colour without rightward arrows (eg perhaps describing constellations in the sky, or the colour of a NPC's eyes)? Or are you talking about the narration of consequences? Or are you saying that each framed scene must include at least one meaningful - as in, gameplay-relevant - element?

I mean, there is so much narration in the typical back-and-forth of RPG play that I'm not sure how it could be required that it all be meaningful. The most tightly-focused RPG I know is Burning Wheel, and even it recognises that sometimes there will be narration that is not meaningful but is mere colour - hence why it deploys the principle of "say 'yes' or roll the dice", as opposed to "never allow anything to be said that won't demand that the dice be rolled".
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
where that is an answer maybe even the most common answer, I can't believe there has never in the last 10ish years been a time in your game where you couldn't make a quick call on success/fail even with low or no stakes...
I could call for rolls on everything they declare if I want to.

Player: "My character sneezes."
DM: "Roll to see if your character is ready to sneeze right now."
Player: "4!"
DM: "Sorry, but your character fails to sneeze."

It's not a matter of whether I can or can't make such a call, but rather that I see no point in it. If you want your PC to sneeze, he sneezes.
and I don't want real life consequences when I just want to play a game
That's fine. It's just not the kind of game that I'd be into. I've tried poker like that and it bored me to tears.
I (try) to avoid any group activity that can (and in cases like this will) kick some of the group out.
I don't mind temporary pauses in playing.
I can't beleive you would make up a consequence like being arrested when nothing was going on...
Go out and act like a crook in front of some off duty police officers and see what happens. You're probably going to at least be detained until they can be sure you aren't wanted for something or engaged in criminal activity and at worst arrested. PCs trying the same in front of guards will result in the same. There's a very small chance they don't care, because they're off duty, but...
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
dude I have seen players walking around with millions of platnum/gems worth of gold and only mid tto okay Cha untrained in any Cha skills try to haggle down 50gp Healing potions... I have no idea how to decide weather they can get then for 40 or not other then roll... even though they are buying how ever many i say they have no matter the price, and will never run out of money.
I... you do know that phrase isn't actually about price, but rather one that says that the premise is accepted, we're now just finding where breakpoints exist, right? IE, if you're okay accepting that there's no roll needed to walk across an empty room, then you cannot be claiming that you always roll to because failure is always important. Rather, there's an unstated assumption at play. And, since we agree that not everything needs checks, then it's a matter of where you decide it changes and why. IE, we've established that you'll buy that not everything needs a roll, now we're just haggling over the price.

Personally, I've never had any problem in 5e putting pressure on PC wealth.
 

Something that clearly violates the physics of the setting e.g. "I jump to the moon", sure. I get that.
That is one case, yes. Pretty much the only one that I would invoke, though it could also be 'genre logic', like "no you cannot make Dynamite in this D&D game, even if you can describe the necessary steps to do so, and carry them out in character." That can usually be colored as 'physically impossible in this world' too of course.
But it's also within a DM's purview (or should be!) to just say no to an attempt to climb a wall that's simply beyond the ability of the character, even if the character thinks she can do it. (though if it came down to it I'd have the player roll anyway, and hope she rolled a 20 so I could get the point across that nope, you ain't climbing this one)
I honestly am not disputing this, in the sense that from a certain kind of play, this is true. I mean, its really the point @Ovinomancer often makes when he talks about how 5e is generally run. In the kind of play that I prefer, there simply isn't such a thing as an 'unclimbable wall' that will probably come up in play. It is quite possible that nobody CAN actually climb a given wall, but that supposition should be tested and could be found untrue. Different story games actually have various approaches to this, and they certainly don't all use a 'say yes or roll' approach either. A game might, for example, demand certain resources be expended, or that a PC display certain traits before they can act in a given way. I mean, fictional position is a thing in most games. However, a 'wall' in the terms I play represents some sort of fiction that could be overcome to move towards a character goal, and it exists not to channel play in a designated direction, but to be an obstacle of some sort. Canonically in some games, like DW, an 'unclimable wall' could exist, but only so as to provoke the players into making moves that assert how they face that obstacle. Its like the canonical dragon who cannot be hurt by Hack and Slash (its scales are invulnerable to mere swords and such). The PC maneuvers himself into provoking a bite from the creature and then stabs it in the mouth! This is clearly quite dangerous and says something about this character. Likewise the wall might be unclimable until the character accepts help from his rival, or expends something precious, etc.
Correct, it's not important most of the time; but as you're the one who brought the example up you're stuck with it now. :)

The bigger play here wouldn't be the specifics of getting the robe for free, it'd be the general idea of putting one over on the game.
I think it is everyone's game, there's nobody to put one over on. If the wizard wants to have a free robe, chances are the other participants in the game are going to see that dimly. At best there's a very pissed merchant who's likely to denounce him at an inopportune moment and claim he was 'bewitched' or something. Mostly I just don't see that kind of toxic behavior much from players.
Their characters ARE their interests. As players, they have one job. One. Count 'em. And that one job is this: advocate for your character.
I'm not so sure about that. I think the players are interested in the quality of the game. I found this to be very true when running my 4e games. The players had a lot of ways to influence the game, and I never saw any of them take advantage of that. At most they might advocate for leniency, perhaps, but then there would be a discussion "well, you did run out far in front of the party, that was bold, but it got you ganked." or something like that.
And like it or not, advocating for one's character includes trying to squeeze out whatever advantages, be they in-game or mechanical, one can for it (and a player not doing this is abrogating the responsibility of advocating for the character to the fullest means possible); and it's the DM's job in turn to keep this in check.
Well, we just play differently ;) I don't keep anyone 'in check'. That certainly isn't my personal goal or method.
Thing is, "being the players' ally" is the sort of thinking that very quickly leads to fudged rolls and other non-neutral refereeing.
I don't have this problem either. We are all playing the game and the point of it being a game is to 'play to see what happens', there's no logic that would lead to fudged rolls or any sort of bad faith. OTOH I would rather produce an interesting outcome in the end than just be hard and fast with "the way things are." We fought a combat in my last HoML game, and the PCs got crushed. The player's dice were abysmal, and on top of that the base DCs probably need to be tweaked a bit. I think they SHOULD have been able to win, but I'm not wiping out the party because I had some monster jump them and their dice were cold. Call it what you like, but now they have a fun mystery to solve, why are they still alive? I don't think that's the greatest most perfect way for the game to go, maybe it even undermines playing to see what happens a little bit, but the point is to have fun in the end. This becomes especially clear when you're running a game you wrote, its like "everything I did was because I wanted to do it, there's no arbitrary game rules here to blame it all on!"
And that right there is part of the campaign's interest: self-sustainability. The DM has to run with an eye to keeping the game going, one week to the next and one year to the next; while the players can happily ignore any such considerations if they want to.
Meh, in my experience the logistics of play rarely lead to a specific game continuing for more than a few years. Nor does anything I do seem to undermine my campaigns particularly. I am just going to have fun now, and if the story that comes out of it was interesting to play, people DO keep playing. Nor IMHO is it my job to tell the players what the content of the game needs to be, or know what is 'best' for anyone.
Which is, in a broad sense, one place where I run aground on the story-game concept: it's hard to have a mystery, or secrets in/about the setting, if there's little or no hidden fiction; and a large part of play often revolves around discovering secrets and-or solving mysteries.
Well, in my HoML game that I'm running now, there is at least one BIG mystery, which is pretty nebulously drawn at this point, but will presumably occupy one of the PC's minds over time "what happened to the Bear Knights of old?" I have ideas which I think will play out fairly well, but technically I am not holding back some secret fictional explanation. There's also a more immediate mystery about why the PCs are alive. That totally arose randomly out of play, I sure didn't set it up! I don't even know what the answer to that question is, frankly (though I think it will probably tie in with the other mystery. OTOH it could be related to the other PC perhaps? Maybe he's got some kind of a guardian or something. If so there will no doubt be some sort of cost to that in the future...).
Everything.

Time, and the careful management thereof by the DM, is perhaps the single most important element in making a game world believable and inhabitable.
Well, so Gary said. I never paid too much attention to that, frankly. I mean, I guess in 1979 I pretty much accepted it at face value, though even then I recall being rather dubious about it. I mean, yes, you can run a game like that, time could be a resource of that sort. OTOH even Gygax didn't necessarily run all these games in strict linear time order. I'd even bet that there was a retcon or a flashback or two in there. Regardless, I don't have to run Gary's campaign, mine is a bit different and it can handle a flashback here or there. I don't really do it very often anyway.
Well, in my mind a DM who has to retcon to that extent just shouldn't be a DM. Retcons are bad bad bad bad bad.
Luckily there isn't a licensing authority for GMs. People keep coming back. Nor frankly do I remember the last time I did any sort of retcon myself. The most I've done is provide a bit of a post-hoc explanation for something in combat, like when the Warlord pushed the orcs. When the fighter reacted to that my description was that the Warlord gave him some advice or an order that provoked the orcs to change direction. So even though their minis technically occupied a certain square at a given time in the turn order, FICTIONALLY what the Warlord did on his turn, which came next, modifed that, they actually moved to a different place, one he chose.
Why?

Because a retcon invalidates whatever aspects of previous play that are being retconned and-or overwritten, meaning that going through said play in the first place was a complete waste of time for everyone involved.
I am still asking why? If they had fun, and if it lead to a determination that there should be some other different fiction it doesn't seem pointless at all. Certainly these sorts of categorical qualifications of things don't work well for me.
Put another way, the existence of retcons means that even once fiction has been established, well, it still hasn't really been established because it can always be retconned later. Bleah.
I mean, OK, I'm certainly not telling you to have different preferences. As I said before, I have not found a retcon to actually be necessary, not in long enough that I cannot really recall when it was.
Sigh...

It's nothing to do with children and everything to do with advocating for the character to the fullest of your ability and squeezing whatever advantages you can, which includes pushing the rules envelope until it pushes back.
Well, I think that players DO identify with their characters. However, when the action in the game is dramatic and interesting, and leads to fun outcomes, what more can people ask for? Yep, the Dragonborn Sorcerer was slimed by bullywugs and he kicked the bucket. Everyone thought that was pretty amusing, as he was played as being super picky about his appearance. Maybe the player would, in theory, keep the character around. OTOH she got to play a Pixie Wizard instead, and that character was a lot of fun.
 

see this seems weird to me... in the last campaign becky ran we had beaten the 3 groups of orcs in a dungeon (we did not know that those 7ish orcs were all that where in there) we ran into 3 locked doors that had things behind them...but no monsters no traps (2 had treasure 1 had the prisnor we were there to rescue) and we rolled for each. I can't imagine her just saying "oh the monsters are all dead so no roll needed"
I guess I don't understand. If all the monsters are gone and dead, then what's the point? The players are going to simply have their PCs work on those doors until they get through them, right? I mean, if it comes down to it no door can stand up to endless no-holds-barred attempts to destroy it (or if it can it must be some really serious stuff). So, at some point, the PCs are getting through these doors. Should we really literally roll 100's of times for that? I mean, "OK, I pick the lock. OK, I tap out the lock with a hammer and chisel. OK I remove the hinges. OK, I pry the door out of its frame. OK, I burn the door. OK, the dwarf hacks the door apart with his battle axe until it gives way...." I am not going to play this out! And sure, there's uncertainty in the player's minds as to what will be found, etc. but that uncertainty must eventually be dissipated, right? Why not end it BEFORE 100 empty dice rolls? That's all anyone is saying here.
 

I'm becoming increasingly interested in the PbtA structure of alternating between GM soft moves (when everyone looks at the GM to see what happens next, including many player action declarations), player moves (which occur when but only when a particular sort of fictional trigger occurs, which ought to be thematically salient if the game has been properly designed), and GM hard moves (which occur on failed player-side moves, or when everyone looks at the GM to see what happens next having handed a golden opportunity on a silver platter).

I don't think this is the only possible approach; but it really foregrounds the process of pushing things toward some sort of crunch point.

In non-PbtA, scene-framed play, something is definitely wrong if the GM is saying 'yes' too much of the time. Just as the PbtA GM's soft moves should be channelling things towards player move-invoking action declarations, so a scene-framing GM's scene should be channelling things towards player action declarations that put something at stake and hence generate a demand that the dice be rolled.

Hanging around in the zone of inconsequential action declarations is really a sign of degeneracy of some sort, at least in the context of "story now" play (maybe in some highly performative neotrad play it makes sense, as that zone creates a safe space for players to show off their character conceptions).
Right, I mean, truthfully, things like my rules on 'Interludes' is more meant to let there be a place in the game for some explication and 'scene setting' this a bit more in depth, and maybe naturally takes a bit more player input than the basic "and now you find yourselves at the mansion...", which is itself perfectly acceptable. I mean, PbtA games heavily emphasize GMs soliciting player input. So "ask questions" in some sense is somewhat analogous to "OK, you can describe how you got the map." That in fact is to say, this specific kind of input is often folded into 'Spout Lore' in DW specifically (and the attendant "you may be asked to describe how you know this").

In some ways PbtA's solution is very sophisticated. It isn't the only answer, for sure, but it is darned elegant.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I could call for rolls on everything they declare if I want to.
you can
Player: "My character sneezes."
DM: "Roll to see if your character is ready to sneeze right now."
Player: "4!"
DM: "Sorry, but your character fails to sneeze."
i don't see the point
It's not a matter of whether I can or can't make such a call, but rather that I see no point in it. If you want your PC to sneeze, he sneezes.
right but can he hide from town guard? can he climb a slippery surface? can he pick that lock?
I don't mind temporary pauses in playing.
it depends how temporary... back in 2e we used to (we were in HS/College) sit for hours sometimes with nothing to do... but I have much more important things now then sit and do nothing... if I am sitting out I might as well leave...
Go out and act like a crook in front of some off duty police officers and see what happens.
irl they wont care... heck irl half the time if your not the wrong ethnic you might be able to comit a crime infront of an off duty officer.
You're probably going to at least be detained until they can be sure you aren't wanted for something or engaged in criminal activity and at worst arrested.
I wish I lived in the world were cops cared that much...
PCs trying the same in front of guards will result in the same. There's a very small chance they don't care, because they're off duty, but...
except what are they going to do? start a fight without there armor and weapons?
I... you do know that phrase isn't actually about price, but rather one that says that the premise is accepted, we're now just finding where breakpoints exist, right? IE, if you're okay accepting that there's no roll needed to walk across an empty room, then you cannot be claiming that you always roll to because failure is always important.
right... there is no check needed to walk across a room becuse it isn't in quastion... if on the other hand you try to climb a slippery wall there IS a quastion on if you can or not.
Rather, there's an unstated assumption at play. And, since we agree that not everything needs checks, then it's a matter of where you decide it changes and why. IE, we've established that you'll buy that not everything needs a roll, now we're just haggling over the price.
except again... as per my joke (al be it real to play)example what about when the DM doesn't know if they sucuseed or not (not guaranteed but not impossible) but it really doesn't matter?
Personally, I've never had any problem in 5e putting pressure on PC wealth.
really? I mean this is way off topic but what do they spend money On?
 

HammerMan

Legend
I guess I don't understand. If all the monsters are gone and dead, then what's the point?
we the players didn't know there were not more orcs (TBH we really expected more and it weirded us out)
The players are going to simply have their PCs work on those doors until they get through them, right?
and how they get through it is a change of the narrative... "Lock picks are't working lets see if we can go around"
I mean, if it comes down to it no door can stand up to endless no-holds-barred attempts to destroy it (or if it can it must be some really serious stuff).
I have almost never in my 30ish years playing seen players bring that type of force against a door though.
So, at some point, the PCs are getting through these doors.
or give up and move to a different one
Should we really literally roll 100's of times for that?
should you be trying even 10's of times really? at what point do you give up in real life? if you can't pick a lock on your 3rd or 4th attempt do you really keep bashing into it in hopes or do you try something else, or maybe just go do something else?
I mean, "OK, I pick the lock. OK, I tap out the lock with a hammer and chisel. OK I remove the hinges. OK, I pry the door out of its frame. OK, I burn the door. OK, the dwarf hacks the door apart with his battle axe until it gives way...."
seems a weird way to play in enemy territory where your character thinks there are more enemies (even if there are not)
I am not going to play this out!
neither am I... but I would move on LONG before you
And sure, there's uncertainty in the player's minds as to what will be found, etc. but that uncertainty must eventually be dissipated, right? Why not end it BEFORE 100 empty dice rolls? That's all anyone is saying here.
why would ANYONE be for 100 die rolls? how often is it more then 2? In fact I would argue that if you REALLY think it will take 100 attempts you would be MORE likely to just declaim an auto fail (sorry it is out of reach)... because if not you may not be jumping to the moon but you are getting close.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
right but can he hide from town guard? can he climb a slippery surface? can he pick that lock?
I've already said that there are consequences that matter with hiding from a town guard, so we'll have to see. Why is he climbing that slippery surface? Why is he trying to pick the lock and whose lock is it?
it depends how temporary... back in 2e we used to (we were in HS/College) sit for hours sometimes with nothing to do... but I have much more important things now then sit and do nothing... if I am sitting out I might as well leave...
I'll continue to talk, laugh and have fun. I'll joke with my friends. Snack. It's still a fun, social experience.
irl they wont care... heck irl half the time if your not the wrong ethnic you might be able to comit a crime infront of an off duty officer.
Meh. This is wrong. I have friends who are cops and they have an obligation to stop crimes, even while off duty. A very tiny minority of officers make the vast majority of the news(it doesn't sell to print/tell stories about cops doing their jobs correctly) and it presents a very wrong impression how cops are in general.
I wish I lived in the world were cops cared that much...
If you're in the U.S., you do.
except what are they going to do? start a fight without there armor and weapons?
Who says that they are unarmed. And even if they are, once they identify themselves if the group kills them, attacks them or even just runs away from a guard like that, they're on the run from the law. That's also a meaningful consequence.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I've already said that there are consequences that matter with hiding from a town guard, so we'll have to see.
and i disagree with your consequences.
Why is he climbing that slippery surface?
cause he wants to know if he can.
Why is he trying to pick the lock and whose lock is it?
empty ones on the table that he bought as 'good locks'
I'll continue to talk, laugh and have fun. I'll joke with my friends. Snack. It's still a fun, social experience.
if I'm not playing I can talk to them on facebook or text or next week when I can play again... I have limited free time and don't want to spend much of it waiting.
Meh. This is wrong. I have friends who are cops and they have an obligation to stop crimes, even while off duty.
damn I wish most cops felt that way... unfortunately my dad hung out with way too many that didn't have an obligation to stop a crime ON duty let alone off... here is a more resent reason I would disagree with you Justices Rule Police Do Not Have a Constitutional Duty to Protect Someone (Published 2005)
A very tiny minority of officers make the vast majority of the news(it doesn't sell to print/tell stories about cops doing their jobs correctly) and it presents a very wrong impression how cops are in general.
okay, maybe I only saw bad cops (my dad was/is a criminal so makes sense) but I have not had almost any positive interactions with cops who care (not when my sister's house got broken into when her and her 2 kids were in it, not in my few auto accidents, not when my house was robbed before Christmas a decaid back)
so agian... hard disagree
If you're in the U.S., you do.
nope... police ON DUTY can sit back and NOT stop a crime if they feel it is unsafe... in one of the school shootings (I want to say FL) an on duty cop hid instead of engaging the gunman.
Who says that they are unarmed.
um... why would they have weapons or armor off duity at a party?
And even if they are, once they identify themselves if the group kills them, attacks them or even just runs away from a guard like that, they're on the run from the law. That's also a meaningful consequence.
this is such a crazy idea... "Stop, you are hiding and sneaking, and we are both at this party, and I know you, and you saved the city 3 months ago from an orc attack, but I want you to on my day off explain why" really seems more likely then a nod, or wave or even ignoring the guy who is trying to avoid you for some reason?????
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
you can

i don't see the point

right but can he hide from town guard? can he climb a slippery surface? can he pick that lock?

it depends how temporary... back in 2e we used to (we were in HS/College) sit for hours sometimes with nothing to do... but I have much more important things now then sit and do nothing... if I am sitting out I might as well leave...

irl they wont care... heck irl half the time if your not the wrong ethnic you might be able to comit a crime infront of an off duty officer.

I wish I lived in the world were cops cared that much...

except what are they going to do? start a fight without there armor and weapons?

right... there is no check needed to walk across a room becuse it isn't in quastion... if on the other hand you try to climb a slippery wall there IS a quastion on if you can or not.

except again... as per my joke (al be it real to play)example what about when the DM doesn't know if they sucuseed or not (not guaranteed but not impossible) but it really doesn't matter?

really? I mean this is way off topic but what do they spend money On?
I didn't notice a joke? Regardless, if we can establish that some things aren't in question, then we're again just haggling over the details -- there's no strong premise statement to be made anymore, it's preference and thresholds. If you allow that walking across a room is not in question, then we've allowed that some things aren't in question and so don't need rolls. Now we're arguing over what questions might occur. In your recent example to @AbdulAlhazred, the doors that were locked but which you could persevere through eventually but no failure has any consequence except no progress, the need to make these checks -- ie, the question that they the PCs will be successful -- is one that individuals can answer only for themselves. Personally, I don't like wasting table time saying, "nope, you can try again," until a value is reached. To me, this is the dice equivalent of pixelbitching -- you have to get the right number on the RNG and this is like just waiting until the right sequence of words is put together to give an answer or the right pixel clicked. The only thing being tested here is the players' patience, and I don't really care to test that. You might, and this is fine, but a claim that there's some strong principle governing when rolls should be made is bunk -- we've already agreed that no principle applies for walking across a room. Whether or not it does for opening a locked door is just haggling over the price.

As for what they spend money on, I have two answers -- I don't care and I do care. In the I don't care mode it's usually because I'm running a WotC AP and so murderhoboism is assumed as the default, not too much money is actually generated in the adventures, and I don't really care how much they have because putting pressure on it isn't a concern -- we're done with these characters as soon as the thin hooks in the adventure are complete. In my own games, I simply make sure that the PCs are rooted in the gameworld. Make lifestyle expenses matter. PHB costs are for basic versions. There's no haggling down prices just because you're nice -- I've worked retail and nice people get good service, but they don't get discounts. Unless a merchant can afford a discount, or operates on a haggle basis (which means no fixed prices at all), then haggling is something you have to do more for than a winning smile and some charm. Buy in bulk. Be a patron. Have a reputation such that selling to you is a benefit for the shopkeeper because they can say you shop here. Basically, ground the PCs in the world and there's no end of things they can spend their money on -- all without opening a single magic shop.

In my Sigil game, everything is for sale in Sigil. The question is do you know someone willing to sell it, and at what price? Here I tied access to who you knew, so the attitude of the factions towards you. You could go to a faction and ask for access, and it was run using the NPC actions, with the faction attitude fixed. Thing is, faction attitude was gonna be tied to your lifestyle expenses. Improving faction attitudes required helping the factions -- not just making nice. That often cost money, in that helping a faction either cost you to do a thing they wanted or you didn't earn while you were doing it. I had PCs amass large amounts of coin -- a few 10ks at one point -- and they promptly bled it out getting access to advance what they wanted to do, to improve favor, or to buy something on the market they could access.

Finally, you control how much money goes out to begin with. If your players have too much money, there's only one person to blame for this.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
and i disagree with your consequences.
Feel free. In your game there would be no potential consequences. In my more realistic game there would be.
cause he wants to know if he can.
Then if it's the wall of his own house, he just succeeds. Yay. He climbed a slippery wall. Now what? If it's someone else's wall and we have potential trespassing and other crimes or suspected crimes, he might be spotted and trouble(consequences might happen).
empty ones on the table that he bought as 'good locks'
Then given time, he succeeds. Now what?
um... why would they have weapons or armor off duity at a party?
For the same reasons PCs often go armed to such events.
"Stop, you are hiding and sneaking, and we are both at this party, and I know you, and you saved the city 3 months ago from an orc attack, but I want you to on my day off explain why" really seems more likely then a nod, or wave or even ignoring the guy who is trying to avoid you for some reason?????
People who are/were heroes can and do commit crimes. We read about it in the news. If you are acting suspicious, you should be prepared to be treated suspiciously.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I didn't notice a joke? Regardless, if we can establish that some things aren't in question, then we're again just haggling over the details -- there's no strong premise statement to be made anymore, it's preference and thresholds. If you allow that walking across a room is not in question, then we've allowed that some things aren't in question and so don't need rolls.
except you move the bar... I have not seen anyone say if it ISN'T in question they would roll... there is no need it just happens or doesn't.

"Can I jump to the moon" no... no check
"Can I walk across the room" yes... no check

"Can I pick this masterwork lock" DM CAN decide yes/no or can ask for a check... if it is a high level thief with master work or magic lock picks and expertise in it... most like Yes...no check, if it is someone that can't hit the DC on a nat 20 most likely No...no check... but what if it is someone with an okay check... they could make it on a 13+? Maybe then you let the dice determine since it is infact in question.


Now we're arguing over what questions might occur. In your recent example to @AbdulAlhazred, the doors that were locked but which you could persevere through eventually but no failure has any consequence except no progress, the need to make these checks -- ie, the question that they the PCs will be successful -- is one that individuals can answer only for themselves. Personally, I don't like wasting table time saying, "nope, you can try again," until a value is reached.
me neither... I can't imagin siting at a table where the dc to pick the lock is 23 and the guy with the +4 rolls 7, then 13, then 1, then 8, then 18(so close) then 14.... but I also can't imagine in real life watching someone fail to pick a lock 6 times in a row and thinking "7th times the charm"
To me, this is the dice equivalent of pixelbitching -- you have to get the right number on the RNG and this is like just waiting until the right sequence of words is put together to give an answer or the right pixel clicked.
I agree... and in my games (both as a PC and a DM) it would infuriate me... but it also isn't what we are talking about... if we had failed to pick a lock, we might try again (with some magic or help or another player try) but we would never sit there and try and try and try and try....
The only thing being tested here is the players' patience, and I don't really care to test that.
ditto... We would move on.
You might, and this is fine, but a claim that there's some strong principle governing when rolls should be made is bunk -- we've already agreed that no principle applies for walking across a room. Whether or not it does for opening a locked door is just haggling over the price.
no it isn't... there is 0 chance to fail walking across a room. there is x% chance to fail to open the lock... I would argue the lower X is the more likely I am to say "okay just did it" but the higher it is the more likely I am to say to roll.
There's no haggling down prices just because you're nice -- I've worked retail and nice people get good service, but they don't get discounts.
if you work for a big box store I can see that... if you own the company and are the salesman you can easily fall into negotiating.
all without opening a single magic shop.
is this becuse I said cure potion? we have just had alchmists and priests (non adventurers) making those for so long we don't think of them as magic shops.
Finally, you control how much money goes out to begin with. If your players have too much money, there's only one person to blame for this.
okay I will bite... who do we blame for a fun game that we wrack up tons of coins/gems that never need to be spent?
 

HammerMan

Legend
Feel free. In your game there would be no potential consequences. In my more realistic game there would be.
no in realistic games the cops don't care... and there is no check cause off duty the cop isn't looking.
Then if it's the wall of his own house, he just succeeds. Yay.
so he can succssed no roll in his house but not in the field? this makes my head hurt... you keep adding things to make your argument 'feel right' to you
He climbed a slippery wall. Now what?
now nothing... especially since it didn't actually test his in game ability.
If it's someone else's wall and we have potential trespassing and other crimes or suspected crimes, he might be spotted and trouble(consequences might happen).
lol back to adding things...
Then given time, he succeeds. Now what?
based on what does he succeed?
For the same reasons PCs often go armed to such events.
wait... your PCs go to parties armed? we haven't done that in almost 20 years (unless there is a damn good reason). 3/4 of the rp done in town is done in clothing (not armor) and with no weapons (sometimes a single one hidden or ceremonial). I can't believe people still play with the "I am always armed" mentality.
People who are/were heroes can and do commit crimes. We read about it in the news. If you are acting suspicious, you should be prepared to be treated suspiciously.
"Yeah, the high crime of sneaking past someone you don't want to see you at a party"
wow...
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
except you move the bar... I have not seen anyone say if it ISN'T in question they would roll... there is no need it just happens or doesn't.

"Can I jump to the moon" no... no check
"Can I walk across the room" yes... no check

"Can I pick this masterwork lock" DM CAN decide yes/no or can ask for a check... if it is a high level thief with master work or magic lock picks and expertise in it... most like Yes...no check, if it is someone that can't hit the DC on a nat 20 most likely No...no check... but what if it is someone with an okay check... they could make it on a 13+? Maybe then you let the dice determine since it is infact in question.



me neither... I can't imagin siting at a table where the dc to pick the lock is 23 and the guy with the +4 rolls 7, then 13, then 1, then 8, then 18(so close) then 14.... but I also can't imagine in real life watching someone fail to pick a lock 6 times in a row and thinking "7th times the charm"

I agree... and in my games (both as a PC and a DM) it would infuriate me... but it also isn't what we are talking about... if we had failed to pick a lock, we might try again (with some magic or help or another player try) but we would never sit there and try and try and try and try....

ditto... We would move on.
Interestingly, in a game where there's no retry penalty, I don't see why you wouldn't keep retrying at least until you get a 20 and verify that you are incapable of passing this obstacle as is. Also, if you've ever tried to learn to pick a lock, quite often it's really just a matter of time. Spending 70 seconds on a lock is really not much. This is also exactly why there's a rule in the DMG that says that if the PCs take the time, they get through. Unless this is off the table, I don't really understand why it wouldn't be leveraged in these cases. "Okay, keep a watch, and I'll spend a few minutes working on the lock."
no it isn't... there is 0 chance to fail walking across a room. there is x% chance to fail to open the lock... I would argue the lower X is the more likely I am to say "okay just did it" but the higher it is the more likely I am to say to roll.
As someone that has tripped for no particular reason while walking across an empty floor, I roll to disbelieve! No, we don't ask for checks for these things because we estimate the failure chance is far lower than our check resolution and so default to not asking because asking creates farce. It's not actually 0%, it's just way, way lower than 5%.
if you work for a big box store I can see that... if you own the company and are the salesman you can easily fall into negotiating.
I managed a hobby shop. You only got a discount if your purchase did us a favor, too. Being charming wouldn't, because bills had to be paid and people like to eat. And by did us a favor usually bulk was sufficient, and I mean number of items, not price. Hobbies are expensive, and I had quite a few things in the store priced out over $1000 individually. You weren't getting a discount there, either, because margin was razor thin on those items. Our typical margin for an R/C car, which sold from $299 to around $700, was about 5%. So on a $400 dollar sale of an R/C car, we'd make about $20. The margin on a $50 dollar charger (for electric R/C) was 40%, so we'd make $20 on that as well. So, if you came in, put a $400 dollar R/C car on the counter with a charger and then asked for a free battery (which sold for around $20), you were asking me to half my profit on the deal. The answer to this was always no.

If you called me up and said "hey, I want to get 4 matching R/C cars for my 4 kids, can you do anything for me?" Well, that answer was going to be yes, because I'd be willing to take a loss on those cars (reasonably) because of the other things I'm going to sell with them to make up the difference. If I took $100 bucks off of that sale of 4 cars, then I'd be eating a $20 loss -- no profit. But I'd also be selling 4 chargers and 4 batteries, so I'll make that back, the customer would be pleased they got a deal, and when the kids broke the cars that customer would come back to me to get parts -- at a 40% margin.

That store is closed now. The owner (still a good friend) shut it down a few years back because Amazon was selling the majority of his stock for a lower price than he could get it for from the distributors. No amount of service compensates for that. And Amazon is doing that because of bulk purchases and running super thin margins. When you deal in a few cars a week, you have to have a certain margin. When you deal in 100s to 1,000s, you can make a tidy profit on extremely thin margins, especially when you can negotiate for bulk discounts from the manufacturer.

Meanwhile, if I'm a potion peddler, losing 20% of the sale price to any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a winning smile that walks in the door and wants a potion - which you can't get just anywhere. This is what comes from treating the NPCs as having no agendas of their own.

I find it interesting the odd ideas people have about jobs they've never done and what expectations they have of other people doing those jobs.
is this becuse I said cure potion? we have just had alchmists and priests (non adventurers) making those for so long we don't think of them as magic shops.

okay I will bite... who do we blame for a fun game that we wrack up tons of coins/gems that never need to be spent?
No one. You presented it as if it was a problem. If it's not a problem, why present it as one? I already covered the cases where it's not a problem for me because I simply don't care about it in those games.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Interestingly, in a game where there's no retry penalty, I don't see why you wouldn't keep retrying at least until you get a 20 and verify that you are incapable of passing this obstacle as is.
because it is boring, and unrealistic... even if we say you will get a 20 1 out of 20 times (you wont for sure but I am not doing the math) it would STILL possible take 20 tries. why would someone who did the exact same thing 10 times and fail assume they do not need to at least try diffrenrtyly?
Also, if you've ever tried to learn to pick a lock, quite often it's really just a matter of time.
and training/knowladge... if you just keep trying without ever learning what you did wrong that isn't really practice...
Spending 70 seconds on a lock is really not much.
wait, who says you can do it in 10 seconds to start, but even if we do say so... yeah trying and failing at ANTHING for a solid minute is pretty rough and infuriating,,,
This is also exactly why there's a rule in the DMG that says that if the PCs take the time, they get through. Unless this is off the table, I don't really understand why it wouldn't be leveraged in these cases. "Okay, keep a watch, and I'll spend a few minutes working on the lock."
becuse the PCs didn't KNOW they had the time. Yes given infinite time and infinite retries there is no need to roll.
As someone that has tripped for no particular reason while walking across an empty floor, I roll to disbelieve! No, we don't ask for checks for these things because we estimate the failure chance is far lower than our check resolution and so default to not asking because asking creates farce. It's not actually 0%, it's just way, way lower than 5%.
Sorry no. just no
I managed a hobby shop. You only got a discount if your purchase did us a favor, too.
sigh... here we go,

You know what the item cost you to get it, you know what the MSRP is. You know if the item is likely to move or not. You can (if you are the owner) make plenty of judgment calls on what you can knock off the price or not.

If I buy 100 self sealing stembolts at 10 cents each, and they normally sell for 1 dollar each, and I sell 10 of them at a dollar I have broken even (cost $10 for the 100, and I have made back the $10 selling 10) If I sell 5 more over the next year at $1 each I have made $5 profit... over a year. If I sell 25 of them for $10 (so 0.25 each) to one guy who sweet talks me day of that year I actually made MORE money faster... yes I have less inventory, but at the end of the year how big a deal is having 85 self sealing stembolts compared to having 65 if I made double the profit?

Being charming wouldn't, because bills had to be paid and people like to eat.
and selling something marked down rather than sitting on a commodity can mean you are going to eat and pay those bills...

I hate that i am now giving a business lesson... ugh.
And by did us a favor usually bulk was sufficient, and I mean number of items, not price. Hobbies are expensive, and I had quite a few things in the store priced out over $1000 individually. You weren't getting a discount there, either, because margin was razor thin on those items.
hey look at that you understand margin... and that healingg potions cost 25gp to make and cost 50gp to buy so it is a 100% mark up.... not a "razor thin magin"
Our typical margin for an R/C car, which sold from $299 to around $700, was about 5%.
and healing potions depending on witch end you look at are either 50% profit (unless you had a way to get them cheaper) or 100% mark up...
So on a $400 dollar sale of an R/C car, we'd make about $20. The margin on a $50 dollar charger (for electric R/C) was 40%, so we'd make $20 on that as well. So, if you came in, put a $400 dollar R/C car on the counter with a charger and then asked for a free battery (which sold for around $20), you were asking me to half my profit on the deal. The answer to this was always no.
and if you came in to buy all your healing potions (lets say you have 20 in stock) and you can either sell them all to the charismatic smart guy making good argument for 40gp each (800gp right now) that even if you paid 25gp each (cost 500gp so a 300gp profit) or sell some less amount maybe (i mean the player wouldn't SAY they didin't care) and if they really only have 800gp (they don't they flush) then you could sell them 16 of them and hope to sell the last 4... or you could take your 300gp profit and be slightly rich, reinvest the 500gp to make 20 more and hope they come back next adventure...

is it a shoe it, no. is it possible yeah...
If you called me up and said "hey, I want to get 4 matching R/C cars for my 4 kids, can you do anything for me?" Well, that answer was going to be yes, because I'd be willing to take a loss on those cars (reasonably) because of the other things I'm going to sell with them to make up the difference. If I took $100 bucks off of that sale of 4 cars, then I'd be eating a $20 loss -- no profit. But I'd also be selling 4 chargers and 4 batteries, so I'll make that back, the customer would be pleased they got a deal, and when the kids broke the cars that customer would come back to me to get parts -- at a 40% margin.
hey look at that...exactly the scenero... gona take all your healing potions for 40gp each instead of some for 50gp each... seems like you might just give an auto succsess based on your real world experence...
That store is closed now. The owner (still a good friend) shut it down a few years back because Amazon was selling the majority of his stock for a lower price than he could get it for from the distributors.
that sucks... My local gaming store and 2 hobby stores in state but not so local have closed in the last 5 years over that.
No amount of service compensates for that. And Amazon is doing that because of bulk purchases and running super thin margins. When you deal in a few cars a week, you have to have a certain margin. When you deal in 100s to 1,000s, you can make a tidy profit on extremely thin margins, especially when you can negotiate for bulk discounts from the manufacturer.
yea If I can make 3 cents profit per sale and sell 50 billion units I am rich... if I make $30 profit per sale and sell 10 a year I am going out of buisness... bulk is easier, money makes money.... amazon stinks

Meanwhile, if I'm a potion peddler, losing 20% of the sale price to any Tom, Dick, or Harry with a winning smile that walks in the door and wants a potion - which you can't get just anywhere. This is what comes from treating the NPCs as having no agendas of their own.
wow... I disagree take a 20% loss to close the shop for 2 days take the wife to the best eatery in town and buy her a new dress while you restock and still can reopen after those 2 days with more cash on hand then most day laborors make in 2 years sounds pretty cool and like an NPC agenda to me.
I find it interesting the odd ideas people have about jobs they've never done and what expectations they have of other people doing those jobs.
I find it odd that you 1) assumed I have never had to sell anything, and 2) actually seem to have proven my point with both amazon and your RC car stories before telling me I am wrong...
No one. You presented it as if it was a problem. If it's not a problem, why present it as one? I already covered the cases where it's not a problem for me because I simply don't care about it in those games.
It's not a problem... in fact it is the opposite of one. The PCs in most of my mid to high level games could go buy out the bar, the eatery, the blacksmith, and the tanner for a week pay each and every person working in/owning those establishments more for that week then they make in a year, and still not ever worry about money.

the problem is that there is no consequence to using money... BUT players who built to haggle still want to haggle, so there is a question with no real stakes.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
because it is boring, and unrealistic... even if we say you will get a 20 1 out of 20 times (you wont for sure but I am not doing the math) it would STILL possible take 20 tries. why would someone who did the exact same thing 10 times and fail assume they do not need to at least try diffrenrtyly?

and training/knowladge... if you just keep trying without ever learning what you did wrong that isn't really practice...

wait, who says you can do it in 10 seconds to start, but even if we do say so... yeah trying and failing at ANTHING for a solid minute is pretty rough and infuriating,,,

becuse the PCs didn't KNOW they had the time. Yes given infinite time and infinite retries there is no need to roll.

Sorry no. just no

sigh... here we go,

You know what the item cost you to get it, you know what the MSRP is. You know if the item is likely to move or not. You can (if you are the owner) make plenty of judgment calls on what you can knock off the price or not.

If I buy 100 self sealing stembolts at 10 cents each, and they normally sell for 1 dollar each, and I sell 10 of them at a dollar I have broken even (cost $10 for the 100, and I have made back the $10 selling 10) If I sell 5 more over the next year at $1 each I have made $5 profit... over a year. If I sell 25 of them for $10 (so 0.25 each) to one guy who sweet talks me day of that year I actually made MORE money faster... yes I have less inventory, but at the end of the year how big a deal is having 85 self sealing stembolts compared to having 65 if I made double the profit?


and selling something marked down rather than sitting on a commodity can mean you are going to eat and pay those bills...

I hate that i am now giving a business lesson... ugh.

hey look at that you understand margin... and that healingg potions cost 25gp to make and cost 50gp to buy so it is a 100% mark up.... not a "razor thin magin"

and healing potions depending on witch end you look at are either 50% profit (unless you had a way to get them cheaper) or 100% mark up...

and if you came in to buy all your healing potions (lets say you have 20 in stock) and you can either sell them all to the charismatic smart guy making good argument for 40gp each (800gp right now) that even if you paid 25gp each (cost 500gp so a 300gp profit) or sell some less amount maybe (i mean the player wouldn't SAY they didin't care) and if they really only have 800gp (they don't they flush) then you could sell them 16 of them and hope to sell the last 4... or you could take your 300gp profit and be slightly rich, reinvest the 500gp to make 20 more and hope they come back next adventure...

is it a shoe it, no. is it possible yeah...

hey look at that...exactly the scenero... gona take all your healing potions for 40gp each instead of some for 50gp each... seems like you might just give an auto succsess based on your real world experence...

that sucks... My local gaming store and 2 hobby stores in state but not so local have closed in the last 5 years over that.

yea If I can make 3 cents profit per sale and sell 50 billion units I am rich... if I make $30 profit per sale and sell 10 a year I am going out of buisness... bulk is easier, money makes money.... amazon stinks


wow... I disagree take a 20% loss to close the shop for 2 days take the wife to the best eatery in town and buy her a new dress while you restock and still can reopen after those 2 days with more cash on hand then most day laborors make in 2 years sounds pretty cool and like an NPC agenda to me.

I find it odd that you 1) assumed I have never had to sell anything, and 2) actually seem to have proven my point with both amazon and your RC car stories before telling me I am wrong...

It's not a problem... in fact it is the opposite of one. The PCs in most of my mid to high level games could go buy out the bar, the eatery, the blacksmith, and the tanner for a week pay each and every person working in/owning those establishments more for that week then they make in a year, and still not ever worry about money.

the problem is that there is no consequence to using money... BUT players who built to haggle still want to haggle, so there is a question with no real stakes.
Thank you very much for your lesson on business. I shall discount my own experiences in the field, including running my own, and defer to what you've learned about it from playing D&D. Further, I now look at the time I've invested in learning to paint miniatures, and trying new techniques, as pointless because they took more than a trivial amount of time to be successful in. Truly, your wisdom and words have opened my eyes!
 

we the players didn't know there were not more orcs (TBH we really expected more and it weirded us out)
but inevitably you did find out. So nothing was at stake there. No risks were actually being taken, etc. In the end the GM told you, in some fashion, "this isn't an adventure anymore, it is just looting."
and how they get through it is a change of the narrative... "Lock picks are't working lets see if we can go around"
This is where we get into agenda. IMHO there is little chance that any narrative arising out of this activity is going to bear on the dramatic needs of the PCs or have any larger impact on their story. I have limited table time, I'd be much more apt to use it for something the participants find really interesting vs some 'grind'.
I have almost never in my 30ish years playing seen players bring that type of force against a door though.
Sure, because something jumped them, or they had a time crunch, or there were an unknown number of equally inviting doors to try. In the end though, when it comes down to it, when there's nothing left to risk, they WILL get through that door. I mean, REALISTICALLY, no door can withstand limitless time and energy spent against it.
or give up and move to a different one
and eventually they will be back, again, does the order they get through them matter at this point?
should you be trying even 10's of times really? at what point do you give up in real life? if you can't pick a lock on your 3rd or 4th attempt do you really keep bashing into it in hopes or do you try something else, or maybe just go do something else?
Exactly, like force the door, or hammer out the lock, etc. I mean, I'm no burglar but I can think of easily a dozen ways to potentially approach getting through some random door in the real world. Most of those would work in D&D too.
seems a weird way to play in enemy territory where your character thinks there are more enemies (even if there are not)
Oh, perhaps, but at some point it will become apparent that said enemies are non-existent.
neither am I... but I would move on LONG before you

why would ANYONE be for 100 die rolls? how often is it more then 2? In fact I would argue that if you REALLY think it will take 100 attempts you would be MORE likely to just declaim an auto fail (sorry it is out of reach)... because if not you may not be jumping to the moon but you are getting close.
I mean, 100 is really hyperbole, but it could easily eat up really significant table time to do all this pointless rolling of dice.

And this is really the key here, IMHO, in my 'model' of playing this sort of game, this kind of thing is a waste of valuable time. The best case scenario I can think of is some amusing anecdote arises about being frustrated about the stubborness of a door and the goofy response to that. No monsters are going to show up, nothing, definitionally! So why not just say "OK, after some fairly tedious and exhausting labor, you break into the three remaining rooms and find X, Y, and Z." Then we can go on to the Vault of the Flying Pixie Monsters and have More Fun(tm). ;)
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top