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D&D 5E Rolling Without a Chance of Failure (I love it)


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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Whether the character is only inspecting visually, or making contact. Whether they’re touching it with their hands, or a knife, or a set of thieves’ tools, or a 10-foot pole, or anything else they may have with them. What the character is actually doing in the fiction, like I keep telling you.
Outside of a few corner cases, searching requires both visual and physical contact with the object. Thieves' tools if they have them will be used, since the player and PC don't have the IQ of a turnip.
That’s an assumption you’re making. Two, actually - what tools the player may think are appropriate for the job, and that the character is using them. Maybe you’re comfortable making those assumptions and your players are fine with it, and that’s great. I am not.
It's one assumption. I'm assuming that the PC and player don't have the IQ of a turnip and would use the appropriate tools.
Generally unless a character’s perception is hindered in some way, such as the blinded condition, the game assumes they are aware of their surroundings, so this is a non-issue.
I didn't say it was an issue.
That’s not the only difference, the two declarations convey different information.
Nope. Both convey to me the exact same information. Since I'm not assuming that the PC and player are too dumb to use the tools, I don't need them to declare the use of the tools. I already know(no assumption) that the tools are in use. Since outside of corner case scenarios, of which the dresser is not one, I know(no assumption) that touching and visual inspection are required for proper searching.

I suppose the player could opt to get disadvantage on the roll by only staring at the dresser in hopes of finding something, but the player will tell me if that's the case.
 

Are some folks actually doubtful that the game can work the way @Charlaquin has been so patiently describing? Are they fearful that it is a lightly-concealed indictment of their own playstyle? Are they being difficult just for the sake of winning interweb points? I truly don't... understand... how understanding has been such a challenge to reach with some posters. A simple "ah, I see what you're doing there but that's just not my preference" goes a long way.

One theory is that some tables play 5e, at least partially, with holdover procedures from older versions of the game. I mean, what was fun in a past editions must work perfectly well in the current edition, right? And it can be really fun that way, I'm not saying it can't. However, the ideas of "approach and goal" with "reasonable specificity" aren't necessarily simpatico with older editions and, indeed, various mechanics and play techniques of older editions ported over to 5e aren't necessarily simpatico with "approach and goal" with "reasonable specificity". Now, I'm not claiming this way is the "right" way to play 5e - but I am saying that it is an interpretation of 5e that has worked exceedingly well at many different tables. And "exceedingly well" does not mean "better than" or "superior to" or any of that nonsense. It means I prefer it for our table and see that it works well for others.

If we all had the time to watch a stream of each others' games (if we all actually streamed, that is), I bet some subtle and some not-so-subtle stylistic differences would become rather obvious to the viewer and explain quite a lot of why there is so much pushback regarding what @Charlaquin et al have been trying to communicate. I also bet (h/t @el-remmen) that, for the most part, there would be many, many similarities to 5e game play at all our tables and we'd witness people having a good deal of immersive fun with this hobby we all love. That is all.

ETA: in case anyone desires an answer key... it can, it isn't, and the cake is a lie.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
If we all had the time to watch a stream of each others' games (if we all actually streamed, that is), I bet some subtle and some not-so-subtle stylistic differences would become rather obvious to the viewer and explain quite a lot of why there is so much pushback regarding what @Charlaquin et al have been trying to communicate. I also bet (h/t @el-remmen) that, for the most part, there would be many, many similarities to 5e game play at all our tables and we'd witness people having a good deal of immersive fun with this hobby we all love. That is all.
I'd need some of that Critical Role money to make it worthwhile to stream my games.

But otherwise, it looks like any attempt at understanding these things went out the window years ago. It's just the same old conversation with the same old posters that make the same spurious claims that goes nowhere. Time to get out and flog myself for falling into the trap yet again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 16 or more times over the span of several years, shame on me.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Are some folks actually doubtful that the game can work the way @Charlaquin has been so patiently describing? Are they fearful that it is a lightly-concealed indictment of their own playstyle? Are they being difficult just for the sake of winning interweb points? I truly don't... understand... how understanding has been such a challenge to reach with some posters. A simple "ah, I see what you're doing there but that's just not my preference" goes a long way.
It this point I'm having to defend MY way of doing things. @Charlaquin is trying to tell me that one sentence conveys more information than the other when it doesn't. Both convey the exact same information to me. I don't need the extra word count.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Thank you for answering my second question.
That was the question that I didn't answer there as I answered that one to you earlier in the thread. As long as the group is having fun, pretty much anything you do is good. There's nothing anyone can say or do that could be an indictment of my playstyle, because my group has lots of fun. ;)
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
If you think trying to pick a lock with a sandwich or sticking your tongue out at a goblin is the same thing as earnestly trying to pick a lock or attack a goblin, then I think your analysis is off - or you're not really discussing this in good faith.
The earnestness of the attempt has nothing to do with how I evaluate if an action can succeed or not. Players are perfectly welcome to declare that they try to pick a lock with a sandwich or kill a goblin by sticking tongue tongue out at it. My job is to resolve the actions, not to judge their earnestness. Neither of those approaches, earnest or not, have any possibility of succeeding at achieving their goals. Likewise, trying to find a trap that (by the terms Maxperson set) could not be found by sliding a knife under the drawer, by sliding a knife under the drawer, has no possibility of success.
From where I'm sitting, it is pixel hunting - the fact that you have a set of pixels that you will declare 'not it' despite the PC's earnest attempt at taking action is pixel hunting. You may not have an exact expectation that a player has to declare, but you have indicated a willingness to say "but not that" and that's just hunting for the right subset of pixels.
Listen. I understand and respect that you don’t like that some approaches can fail to achieve their goals without a roll being called for. That’s a thing, that is true of my games, that some people do not like. But the term pixel hunting is not an accurate description of it, because in point and click adventure games there is only one solution that will allow you to progress, and in my games there is no limit to the number of approaches that can allow you to progress. It’s fine if you don’t like the way I run my games but please, PLEASE stop using this inaccurate and insulting analogy for them.
"I will allow anything for trap hunting.... but I won't allow that." - with apologies to Meatloaf
Nice reference, but I’ll allow anything- including trying to pick a lock with a sandwich or kill a goblin by sticking your tongue out at it. It’s just that some things won’t work.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
... trying to pick a lock with a sandwich or kill a goblin by sticking your tongue out at it ...
Unless the PC is insane, why would they attempt to do this? It's one thing to have a preference, that's fine. It's your game and if works for you and yours more power to you. But you don't have to reduce it to a ridiculous extreme, I think it actually hurts your argument.

In my game I assume when they find/remove a trap they're using training and experience, you want the specifics spelled out and I don't care. But I will never assume they're idiots who have no clue how something they're attempting could be accomplished.

P.S. Would the sandwich idea work if the locked chest was really a mimic?
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Outside of a few corner cases, searching requires both visual and physical contact with the object.
That may be how you run the game, but it is not a rule. I allow players to search however they like.
Thieves' tools if they have them will be used, since the player and PC don't have the IQ of a turnip.
The decision of whether or not to use any given tool depends on a lot of factors that have nothing to do with IQ. If the player is concerned that contact with a trap’s mechanism might set it off, for example, they may opt not to touch it with anything, including thieves’ tools.
It's one assumption. I'm assuming that the PC and player don't have the IQ of a turnip and would use the appropriate tools.
See above. Also the “and” does indicate a second item in your list of assumptions.
Nope. Both convey to me the exact same information. Since I'm not assuming that the PC and player are too dumb to use the tools, I don't need them to declare the use of the tools. I already know(no assumption) that the tools are in use.

Since outside of corner case scenarios, of which the dresser is not one, I know(no assumption) that touching and visual inspection are required for proper searching.
That is an assumption. Maybe it’s an assumption that’s a built-in part of your table rules - at your table, it’s understood that an attempt to search for something always involves whatever contact and tool use may be necessary to find it, unless the player specifically states otherwise. That’s a perfectly fine expectation to set, but it is not the expectation at my table.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That may be how you run the game, but it is not a rule. I allow players to search however they like.
Nothing about what I said implied that players could not search how they like. There's just a default to the competence of the PC unless they tell me otherwise.
The decision of whether or not to use any given tool depends on a lot of factors that have nothing to do with IQ. If the player is concerned that contact with a trap’s mechanism might set it off, for example, they may opt not to touch it with anything, including thieves’ tools.
Again, competent default. The PC knows better than you, me or the player whether the tools should be used in a given situation. I don't assume incompetence and default to the player to guess at it.
That is an assumption. Maybe it’s an assumption that’s a built-in part of your table rules - at your table, it’s understood that an attempt to search for something always involves whatever contact and tool use may be necessary to find it, unless the player specifically states otherwise. That’s a perfectly fine expectation to set, but it is not the expectation at my table.
It's not an assumption. It's defaulting to the competence of the PC, rather than requiring that the player guess at whether it's safe to touch or not. If the player wants to override the default, he's welcome to do so.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Unless the PC is insane, why would they attempt to do this?
I don’t know, and I don’t really care. My job is to adjudicate actions, not judge why the player is doing them.
It's one thing to have a preference, that's fine. It's your game and if works for you and yours more power to you. But you don't have to reduce it to a ridiculous extreme, I think it actually hurts your argument.
I feel that comparing my adjudication method to pixel-hunting in point and click adventure games is reducing it to a ridiculous extreme. The purpose of the comparison here is to illustrate that fact. Some approaches cannot possibly achieve their goals. Trying to pick a lock with a sandwich, trying to kill a goblin by sticking your tongue out at it, and trying to find a trap that Maxperson decided can’t be found by sliding a knife under the drawer, by sliding a knife under the drawer all have this fact in common. I don’t understand why this would be a controversial statement in the slightest. All three of those things quite obviously couldn’t possibly work.
In my game I assume when they find/remove a trap they're using training and experience, you want the specifics spelled out and I don't care. But I will never assume they're idiots who have no clue how something they're attempting could be accomplished.
I don’t assume that either. I allow the player to describe whatever goal and approach they wish, and adjudicate that action based on my best judgment of if that approach could succeed in accomplishing that goal, if it could fail to do so, and of failing to do so would be of consequence (and if so, how hard it would be to succeed without incurring that consequence). If the character’s intelligence is relevant, there’s an ability for that, which I can call for a check with if one is necessary.

P.S. Would the sandwich idea work if the locked chest was really a mimic?
🤣 I think that would succeed without needing to make a check.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Nothing about what I said implied that players could not search how they like. There's just a default to the competence of the PC unless they tell me otherwise.

Again, competent default. The PC knows better than you, me or the player whether the tools should be used in a given situation. I don't assume incompetence and default to the player to guess at it.

It's not an assumption. It's defaulting to the competence of the PC, rather than requiring that the player guess at whether it's safe to touch or not. If the player wants to override the default, he's welcome to do so.
Default, assumption; tomato, tomahto. You rule that the character uses whatever contact and tools are necessary to find what they’re searching for unless the player states otherwise, which is perfectly fine and reasonable, but not to my preference. I rule that the character does only what the player declares they do. If you want to take your time carefully probing the dresser with your thieves tools for catches or other mechanisms while looking for signs of possible traps, just say so. If you just want to slide your knife under the drawer, just say so. Tell me what you want to accomplish and what your character does to try and accomplish it, and I will resolve that action.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
If my PC knows that touching a chest could potentially kill them, they won't touch the chest when checking for traps because they're trained in how to check for traps. What techniques do they use? Heck if I know.
See, that’s a problem for me, because it makes the action in the fiction too vague. I want to be able to understand and visualize what’s actually happening in the fictional world. Obviously a certain degree of abstraction is necessary, but I don’t want the action to be a totally nebulous “whatever it needs to be,” because that makes it impossible for me to determine what happens next without establishing that the character has done something that I don’t necessarily know if the player would have wanted their character to do,
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
It this point I'm having to defend MY way of doing things. @Charlaquin is trying to tell me that one sentence conveys more information than the other when it doesn't. Both convey the exact same information to me. I don't need the extra word count.
Friend, I’ve repeatedly said that your way of running it is perfectly fine and reasonable. And I stand by that. If you don’t need more than that one sentence to comfortably resolve an action, fantastic! Go forth and enjoy the game as you see fit. But it’s just factually inaccurate that “I check for traps” and the lengthier action declaration convey exactly the same information.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don’t know, and I don’t really care. My job is to adjudicate actions, not judge why the player is doing them.
Well, it's not my job to police my players and I make the assumption that their PC is not insane. I may prompt a newbie to verify that they have and are using the proper technique. I may double check expensive spell components, but otherwise I assume the wizard PC has the proper component(s). I assume the fighter is using a weapon to attack and applying correct bonuses and damage.

First, I don't think it's worth spending game time on. Second I don't think you realize that by taking it to the extreme it sounds like if DMs doesn't do that, that they're playing it wrong because the PC may actually be attacking with a kielbasa. :cautious:

At a certain point it comes down to preference on how to run the game and trust in the player and that the PC is competent as reflected in their proficiency.
 

I'd need some of that Critical Role money to make it worthwhile to stream my games.

But otherwise, it looks like any attempt at understanding these things went out the window years ago. It's just the same old conversation with the same old posters that make the same spurious claims that goes nowhere. Time to get out and flog myself for falling into the trap yet again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 16 or more times over the span of several years, shame on me.
Perhaps the trap wasn't telegraphed clearly enough? :unsure:

In any case, have you considered that how you express yourself might as well be prone to cause conflict? You tend to have pretty stark tone and often form your opinion in a manner that implies that your way is the 'correct' way to play. And I don't think labelling apposing views as 'spurious' is terribly helpful either.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Well, it's not my job to police my players and I make the assumption that their PC is not insane.
Right, I agree that it’s not the DM’s job to police their players, and personally U prefer not to make any assumptions about the PCs.
I may prompt a newbie to verify that they have and are using the proper technique. I may double check expensive spell components, but otherwise I assume the wizard PC has the proper component(s).
Yeah, I might as well.
I assume the fighter is using a weapon to attack and applying correct bonuses and damage.
I prefer the fighter’s player state what weapon they’re using to attack, at least the first time. Afterwards if they keep using the same weapon they don’t need to keep reiterating it, but if they swap weapons I would prefer they say so. Likewise, if there are multiple valid targets they can attack, I prefer they say which one they’re attacking.
First, I don't think it's worth spending game time on. Second I don't think you realize that by taking it to the extreme it sounds like if DMs doesn't do that, that they're playing it wrong because the PC may actually be attacking with a kielbasa. :cautious:
I don’t know why it would sound like that. I’ve repeatedly said that this is my preference and that other DM’s approaches are perfectly fine and reasonable. That’s what’s so bizarre to me about these conversations, people seem so threatened by me simply explaining how I prefer to run the game and why. If you run it a different way, great! Have a blast! No skin off my nose.
At a certain point it comes down to preference on how to run the game and trust in the player and that the PC is competent as reflected in their proficiency.
It definitely comes down to preference on how to run the game. I also trust my players. Competency in areas reflected by proficiencies are expressed through proficiency bonus, which in my games serves as insurance against failure when an action requires a check to be successful.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
See, that’s a problem for me, because it makes the action in the fiction too vague. I want to be able to understand and visualize what’s actually happening in the fictional world. Obviously a certain degree of abstraction is necessary, but I don’t want the action to be a totally nebulous “whatever it needs to be,” because that makes it impossible for me to determine what happens next without establishing that the character has done something that I don’t necessarily know if the player would have wanted their character to do,

I sometimes write backstories for my PCs and one was the grandson of a rogue (a retired PC). One of the stories was his grandfather training him on how to find and disable traps, including a lock that sprayed stink bug infused water into his face when he didn't take the time to check for traps first.

So I assume competence in the PC because they were trained to do this, unlike the player. I'm not objecting because I feel "threatened", it's because of the hyperbole that someone could make an attack with their tongue. That, and I still think it diminishes any need to actually invest significantly in non-combat skills if you're good enough to talk your way out of needing to actually make a roll.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Perhaps the trap wasn't telegraphed clearly enough? :unsure:

In any case, have you considered that how you express yourself might as well be prone to cause conflict? You tend to have pretty stark tone and often form your opinion in a manner that implies that your way is the 'correct' way to play. And I don't think labelling apposing views as 'spurious' is terribly helpful either.
Have you consider that comparing the way someone else enjoys the game to the worst-designed examples of point-and-click adventure games I might be prone to cause conflict?
 

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