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

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.

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.
Meh, I expect a lot of this kind of thing is cultural though. I mean, if you go to Nairobi and visit the market NOTHING has a fixed price, I guarantee you (and the price they ask from you, Mr Ghost, is about 400% of what they would charge a local). So, yes, in 21st Century America people don't haggle. Its quite possible there's plenty of routine haggling in some fantasy setting, its up to the participants in the game to decide, assuming this is even an interesting question...

Likewise the debate between @HammerMan and @Maxperson about cops. Police forces didn't even exist, in ANY FORM until the late 1800's and are largely a 20th and 21st Century phenomenon. In other cultures in other times and places the meaning of 'law' and the means and modes of upholding it were COMPLETELY different. Now, as long as the style of play is "present day society with funny hats", which probably covers about 99% of D&D, perhaps the debate is somewhat relevant, but if the question is intended to reflect some conception of an LEO as a universal, its utter hogwash.

I mean, there are some fairly basic aspects of human nature that govern most people, but how they play out in any specific culture, time, and place, is hugely variable!
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
no in realistic games the cops don't care... and there is no check cause off duty the cop isn't looking.

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

now nothing... especially since it didn't actually test his in game ability.

lol back to adding things...
So since you seem to in error think that I'm adding things, let me quote you the rules.

DMG page 237

"Only call for a roll if there is a meaningful consequence for failure."

So no, nothing is being added by me. I'm simply saying that your removal of that rule makes no sense to me.
based on what does he succeed?
Based on the attempt being 1) meaningless and 2) something that he will given time eventually succeed at. There's no good reason for me to make him roll X number of times until he succeeds. I'm simply going to say yes and move on to something that actually means something.
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.
My PCs will always have at least a dagger on them. Too many times something has happened at parties to make it worth the risk to attend one without the ability to defend myself.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Police forces didn't even exist, in ANY FORM until the late 1800's and are largely a 20th and 21st Century phenomenon. In other cultures in other times and places the meaning of 'law' and the means and modes of upholding it were COMPLETELY different.
That's true, but I've never played in a game where the guards weren't acting as a police force of some kind. Starting from 1e to 5e, that has been true in all of the games that I've run and played in. It may not be historically accurate, but in my experience it's how the vast majority of games are run.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Agreed.
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.
For me, the metaphorical 'unclimbable wall' is there to encourage (or force) outside-the-box thinking. The Dragon example is a good one here.

In the literal example, we can't climb this wall? OK, can we go around it? Can we bash a way through it? Is there anything up there we really need anyway? Should we turn around and go elsewhere? Should we go back to town and bring someone back who can cast Fly or Levitate for us?
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.
If one starts with the very common philosophy in games and sports that says "Rules are made to be broken" it gives a whole new viewpoint.

Further, I don't see this as "toxic" behavior at all - instead, I see it as typical normal play: a player is trying to get the best for her character (or, sometimes, the players collectively are trying to get the best for the party) by pushing the envelope, and the DM has to push back.
I'm not so sure about that. I think the players are interested in the quality of the game.
In the here-and-now, yes.

But how often does a player ever think now about the game-state two real-time years down the road? I'd posit the answer is close to never. Contrast this with a DM, who has to think about both the here-and-now and the long-term.
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?
Were I a player and got the sense we'd been spared purely out of DM mercy, it would seriously cheapen the whole game for me.

If our number comes up then bloody well kill us off - or try your best. If at least one player is smart enough to have a PC run or hide or otherwise find a way to survive (yes, even if it means hanging their ex-companions out to dry) then the party, the story, and the game - goes on. I've killed many a PC in my time but I am constantly amazed at the resiliency of parties as a whole; someone always* survives to keep things going and either recruit a new party or find means of reviving the old one.

* - well, almost always: I'm allowed my one TPK in 38 years, aren't I? :)
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!"

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.
I try to plan for ten years, and then see what ends up happening. One storyline leads to the next sometimes, other times what they do stands alone from any overarching story either of mine or theirs.
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.

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.

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.

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.
Which is good, and I get mixed up as to who tends to advocate for which system here, but doesn't Blades in the Dark somewhat rely on retcons and flashbacks as part of its play?
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.
Cool!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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?
Answer: because if a long string of rolls and new approaches get them nowhere, sooner or later the players - via their characters - might get frustrated or bored enough to go explore somewhere else rather than continuing to whale on these doors. If the players aren't frustrated at the table it's highly unlikely they're going to RP their characters as being frustrated in the fiction; and won't even get the opportunity if you skip straight to "You've destroyed these doors after an hour's hard work, now what?".
 

That's true, but I've never played in a game where the guards weren't acting as a police force of some kind. Starting from 1e to 5e, that has been true in all of the games that I've run and played in. It may not be historically accurate, but in my experience it's how the vast majority of games are run.
Yeah, and I am not a PhD with a particular expertise in, say, Medieval French legal practice or something either. So I'm far from sure what exactly constabulary existed in 10th Century Paris, or how it operated either. I'm guessing it was radically different from whatever we would be familiar with, but maybe not in all respects. Presumably SOMETHING restrained arbitrary scofflaws from operating with impunity. Some form of constabulary may well have been involved. I'd hazard a guess its methods and approach to maintaining order, and its basic aims, differed extensively from that of, say, the Seattle PD (frankly I hope so, but let us not go there, lol). I know I've read, for instance, that collective responsibility was a common technique practiced in England, at least in the countryside. Lords would simply round up 10 peasants and punish them all for whatever offenses had been recently committed, didn't matter who was responsible. I assume the logic was simple enough, they will police themselves, or else!
 

Agreed.

For me, the metaphorical 'unclimbable wall' is there to encourage (or force) outside-the-box thinking. The Dragon example is a good one here.

In the literal example, we can't climb this wall? OK, can we go around it? Can we bash a way through it? Is there anything up there we really need anyway? Should we turn around and go elsewhere? Should we go back to town and bring someone back who can cast Fly or Levitate for us?
Right, those are all pretty reasonable, likely prospects. I mean, failing to achieve some goal due to an obstacle could create a crisis of some sort, perhaps, but many options exist to get around it or overcome it, at least in principle.
If one starts with the very common philosophy in games and sports that says "Rules are made to be broken" it gives a whole new viewpoint.

Further, I don't see this as "toxic" behavior at all - instead, I see it as typical normal play: a player is trying to get the best for her character (or, sometimes, the players collectively are trying to get the best for the party) by pushing the envelope, and the DM has to push back.
Well, I'd run with it, and let it shape how things proceed. It is not so much about 'rules' IMHO as it is just about how the activity of playing 'D&D' goes. Its like people don't talk loudly in the middle of a movie, it spoils things. Same sort of thing. You can advocate for a character and not try to constantly break the game at every turn.
In the here-and-now, yes.

But how often does a player ever think now about the game-state two real-time years down the road? I'd posit the answer is close to never. Contrast this with a DM, who has to think about both the here-and-now and the long-term.
I must be deficient as a GM then, lol. Its a fun activity, I don't have a plan. Hasn't seemed to be a real problem.
Were I a player and got the sense we'd been spared purely out of DM mercy, it would seriously cheapen the whole game for me.
Its not a technique I would overuse. I can remember one or two other instances in my GMing time when I at least partly let the PCs off on this kind of thing, but again, the idea is to have fun. I'm perfectly willing to have the story figure an end to some of the characters. It may just not always make sense.
If our number comes up then bloody well kill us off - or try your best. If at least one player is smart enough to have a PC run or hide or otherwise find a way to survive (yes, even if it means hanging their ex-companions out to dry) then the party, the story, and the game - goes on. I've killed many a PC in my time but I am constantly amazed at the resiliency of parties as a whole; someone always* survives to keep things going and either recruit a new party or find means of reviving the old one.

* - well, almost always: I'm allowed my one TPK in 38 years, aren't I? :)
I'm sure I've perpetrated more than one myself, but that particular moment did not seem like where it should happen.
I try to plan for ten years, and then see what ends up happening. One storyline leads to the next sometimes, other times what they do stands alone from any overarching story either of mine or theirs.
Well, I have often referenced events from long past games, and revisited locations, etc. In certain campaigns things have come up that happened 30 years ago IRL. It can be fun! OTOH I didn't engineer any of that. I just ran a lot of games of D&D!
Which is good, and I get mixed up as to who tends to advocate for which system here, but doesn't Blades in the Dark somewhat rely on retcons and flashbacks as part of its play?
I have never run it, or even played it, though I have seen a lot of commentary in forums on it. My understanding is that it allows for a type of 'flashback', which is essentially how it mechanically deals with the fact that the game is fairly Story Now and yet many of the 'capers' it portrays logically involve significant prep. At least that's my, possibly flawed, interpretation. I would assume that the universe of possible outcomes in these scenes is fairly restricted and they are handled in a rather specific way (IE like a check or something where if the player succeeds they get to describe how they knew to pack a left-handed smoke shifter instead of a ball-peen hammer). Specifically I'm pretty sure it won't actually change any established fiction, just lampshades something that is revealed at that moment.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Meh, I expect a lot of this kind of thing is cultural though. I mean, if you go to Nairobi and visit the market NOTHING has a fixed price, I guarantee you (and the price they ask from you, Mr Ghost, is about 400% of what they would charge a local). So, yes, in 21st Century America people don't haggle. Its quite possible there's plenty of routine haggling in some fantasy setting, its up to the participants in the game to decide, assuming this is even an interesting question...

Likewise the debate between @HammerMan and @Maxperson about cops. Police forces didn't even exist, in ANY FORM until the late 1800's and are largely a 20th and 21st Century phenomenon. In other cultures in other times and places the meaning of 'law' and the means and modes of upholding it were COMPLETELY different. Now, as long as the style of play is "present day society with funny hats", which probably covers about 99% of D&D, perhaps the debate is somewhat relevant, but if the question is intended to reflect some conception of an LEO as a universal, its utter hogwash.

I mean, there are some fairly basic aspects of human nature that govern most people, but how they play out in any specific culture, time, and place, is hugely variable!
For sure. I was trying to sidestep pointing out how medieval economics works, but your Nairobi example is the same kind of stuff. A culture that relies on haggling doesn't have a price list. If they do, the prices are largely inflated (the US car market traditionally is a place where there's an inflated asking price with room to negotiate, although that's ebbing and more and more dealerships are realizing that they get easier and more sales with reasonable, solid prices and no haggling because the process is more transparent and much, much quicker.
 

For sure. I was trying to sidestep pointing out how medieval economics works, but your Nairobi example is the same kind of stuff. A culture that relies on haggling doesn't have a price list. If they do, the prices are largely inflated (the US car market traditionally is a place where there's an inflated asking price with room to negotiate, although that's ebbing and more and more dealerships are realizing that they get easier and more sales with reasonable, solid prices and no haggling because the process is more transparent and much, much quicker.
Right, I suspect there's some sort of economics thing relating to information disparity or some such involved that can game out the most likely/effective strategies for different societies or something, but I know only the vaguest amount about the details. Frankly I'm as guilty as anyone of just assuming modern social norms in many cases. Probably don't even realize it half the time. The past is a whole other planet, and that's before mind flayers get added in ;)
 

HammerMan

Legend
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!
hey look at that... you admited you didn't just keep doing the same wrong thing you changed approches... almost like snark aside you did EXACTLY what I said.
 

HammerMan

Legend
but inevitably you did find out. So nothing was at stake there. No risks were actually being taken, etc.
correct, and even if she told us that OUT of game we most likely (and for us shouldn't) change how our characters react.
In the end the GM told you, in some fashion, "this isn't an adventure anymore, it is just looting."
no... she didn't. We finished the dungeon and realized that there were no more doors, and the last one had the person we were there to rescue...
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'.
if my character doesn't know I have an hour to try and try but I the player do, I don't want to just say "I take the hour I don't know I have"
Sure, because something jumped them, or they had a time crunch, or there were an unknown number of equally inviting doors to try.
and short of us being somewhere super safe (like our own base) it just wont.
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.
have you never left a door unopened in a dungeon? ever?
and eventually they will be back, again, does the order they get through them matter at this point?
well in my example none of the locks stopped us... but if the two that had ended up having treasure in them DID stop us and we got the person we were there to rescue we would NOT have gone back to the other doors. Now if we opened a treasure door and both the other treasure door and the rescue target door were not unlockable we would have tried a different way into one (until we found prisnior)
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.
and we are back to how important is this door to get through... I am starting to think you have never left a dungeon not fully explored.
Oh, perhaps, but at some point it will become apparent that said enemies are non-existent.
only if you waste time and make noise assuming that there are none... it is entirely possible to get into and out of an Orc outpost not knowing if there are more orcs in there even if you meet your objective.
I mean, 100 is really hyperbole, but it could easily eat up really significant table time to do all this pointless rolling of dice.
okay but again who would make 10?
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.
playing the game doesn't seem to me to be a waste of 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 best is you can't get through it you move on and try to meet your objective.
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). ;)
because maybe you DON'T...

I have had treasure hidden, or locked, or guarded that PCs didn't get because they could not find/unlock it or just left dungeon before getting to it...
 

HammerMan

Legend
My PCs will always have at least a dagger on them. Too many times something has happened at parties to make it worth the risk to attend one without the ability to defend myself.
every thing you say will now be taken through the eyes of 20ish years ago when I was in High School and playing 2e... your POV now makes more sense. Thank you.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Answer: because if a long string of rolls and new approaches get them nowhere, sooner or later the players - via their characters - might get frustrated or bored enough to go explore somewhere else rather than continuing to whale on these doors. If the players aren't frustrated at the table it's highly unlikely they're going to RP their characters as being frustrated in the fiction; and won't even get the opportunity if you skip straight to "You've destroyed these doors after an hour's hard work, now what?".
this reminds me of how I couldn't understand the "if cantrips are at will what stops someone from breaking every wall with 1,000 uses of a damage causeing cantrip?"
"Um nothing... but nothing stops you from doing that with 1,000 swings of a pick axe... but most people are not willing to swing the pick axe 1,000 times I assume the same is not only true of the cantrip but since people with pick axes are normally more physical I actually assume people with cantrips are LESS likely to do it"

If you play it as "okay time skip you did it" and don't RP the "Man that took forever I am exhausted" it makes sense I guess
 


HammerMan

Legend
What does 20 years ago have to do with this?
the time frame that I (and the groups I played with) thought like you... it is a completely different mentality one that changed for me over the years. Viewing your thoughts as if I had said them at 14 or even 22 makes me understand where you are coming from. Thinking of you as I am now in my 40's I can't understand you at all.

and I have gone out of my way not to use 'grown up' or 'mature' here so don't take offense. You just are in the same mental space i was back then. it makes sense.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
hey look at that... you admited you didn't just keep doing the same wrong thing you changed approches... almost like snark aside you did EXACTLY what I said.
I did? Oh, did you mean learning new techniques? No, learning glazing doesn't invalidate layering, it adds a tool. Learning OSL doesn't invalidate dry brushing.
 

and we are back to how important is this door to get through... I am starting to think you have never left a dungeon not fully explored.
Back in the days, maybe 20 years ago ;), when we played that way? Nope, we'd even go back in and keep at it. The harder that door is to open, the more likely it is there's something awesome behind it! I mean, sure, we wouldn't bother if there was some next level or something to check out instead where the prospects for even better treasure existed. But in terms of wasting a couple days of PC calendar time to get some extra gold/XP/magic? Heck yeah!

I still have the annotated and updated, to reflect plundering, map of my original 1976 dungeon (made with the geomorphs that came with my copy of Holmes Basic). It details every door bashed in, ever room looted, everything down to the penny. The PCs even, somehow, looted the room that was guarded by the Flesh Golem (an unbeatable monster for level 1 PCs). I don't recall exactly how they managed to get around the golem, but they did. I'm sure it involved carts, mules, ropes, pulleys, grappling hooks, etc., lol! Now THAT I would play out even today! hehe.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Back in the days, maybe 20 years ago ;), when we played that way? Nope, we'd even go back in and keep at it. The harder that door is to open, the more likely it is there's something awesome behind it! I mean, sure, we wouldn't bother if there was some next level or something to check out instead where the prospects for even better treasure existed. But in terms of wasting a couple days of PC calendar time to get some extra gold/XP/magic? Heck yeah!
wow...just wow... all that for a locked door?
I still have the annotated and updated, to reflect plundering, map of my original 1976 dungeon (made with the geomorphs that came with my copy of Holmes Basic). It details every door bashed in, ever room looted, everything down to the penny. The PCs even, somehow, looted the room that was guarded by the Flesh Golem (an unbeatable monster for level 1 PCs). I don't recall exactly how they managed to get around the golem, but they did. I'm sure it involved carts, mules, ropes, pulleys, grappling hooks, etc., lol! Now THAT I would play out even today! hehe.
okay... I am really not understanding any of this..
 

wow...just wow... all that for a locked door?

okay... I am really not understanding any of this..
I'm just saying, in our 'old school' phase we actually DID systematically loot entire dungeon levels, even after the monsters were long gone, just because why not? Its not like we played that stuff out, unless it was maybe the Flesh Golem kind of thing. If it wasn't dangerous we just assumed the PCs eventually succeeded.

I still recall there is a SINGLE 10x10 block of actual stone in that 1st level. The players basically told me "yeah, we'll spend a week with pickaxes chipping away at it to make sure there's no secret room in there." I am 100% sure we didn't play out a week of hammering on stone with pick axes. Someone declared that intent, and maybe a check was made to see if some random wilderness monster wandered in or something, and then I would have declared "nope, it was just solid stone..." Then we went on to some more fun adventure that still had some danger to it.

I mean, think about it this way, in the REAL WORLD people have spent decades digging a hole, again and again, on Oak Island, purely on the basis of someone reputedly finding a few scraps of what might be treasure, 100 years ago. A locked door, short of it being so magicked it literally cannot be opened, is nothing. People would pound on that sucker for months if they had to.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The PCs even, somehow, looted the room that was guarded by the Flesh Golem (an unbeatable monster for level 1 PCs). I don't recall exactly how they managed to get around the golem, but they did. I'm sure it involved carts, mules, ropes, pulleys, grappling hooks, etc., lol! Now THAT I would play out even today! hehe.
Now this is the pure distilled essence of D&D, right here. Brilliant stuff! :)
 

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