I couldn't disagree more. It's not possible for the character to know those things so there's no reason for the player to know those things. Unless they're obvious in the fiction. You want to swing across a bottomless pit on a makeshift rope swing, you clearly know what the stakes are. You're prowling around an unknown location, you couldn't possibly know what's lurking there. You can guess it might be guards, sure. But you don't know. There's no certainty. And there shouldn't be any. For me one of the goals is getting the game out from between the player and their character. Not centering the game.
You don’t have to tell the player that it’s guards. From your use of “prowling” I’m guessing you’re imagining a stealth situation? The context leading up to the check should make it clear that the character is in danger of being seen by something (same as how the context leading up to a perception check should make it clear there’s something to perceive, etc). You can just say “make a DC 14 Stealth check. On a failure something will hear you.” Simple.
So it removes the realism and verisimilitude of uncertainty. That's not a benefit. The characters should be uncertain.
If the outcome is certain, there shouldn’t be a roll in the first place. The nature of the dice roll insures that the player will not be certain of the outcome. But they should have some idea of what’s at stake and how likely they are to succeed, just as the character would.
I agree with the not calling for too many rolls, and not bothering with low DC rolls, but as the characters cannot possibly know the stakes with certainty, the players shouldn't either to prevent metagaming and so they're roleplaying more authentically.
Personally I don’t have any interest in judging the “authenticity” of anyone’s roleplaying. But even if I did, I don’t agree that telling the player the stakes gives them any more certainty than their character ought to have.
In some cases that's great and I'd agree. You need to be on the same page for a lot of things. If the player didn't hear you say it's a fancy, obviously magical lock or misheard that there's a thousand-foot drop off...then that's worth pausing and making sure everyone knows what's going on before any rolls or consequences are presented. But doing that all the time utterly obliterates all those moments where there's no way the character could know something. It's not worth giving that up.
I’m not convinced there are any such moments.
The trouble is the character isn't perfect but you're providing the player with perfect information. The player will inevitable act on that perfect information in game, i.e. metagame. That's bad.
Simply knowing the DC and stakes is not perfect information, because you don’t know what the result of the d20 roll will be.
That phrase is doing all the lifting. And again, a reasonable degree of accuracy is not perfect knowledge. "The DC is between 10 and 16" is a reasonable degree of accuracy "The DC is 15" is perfect knowledge.
“The DC is 15” only lets you know your odds of success. This bridges the gap between what the character should know (being aware of their own capabilities and being able to directly perceive the environment) and what the player can know (being limited to abstract game mechanics and the DM’s verbal description of the environment) in order to approximate the character’s ability to guess if they’ll be able to accomplish the task or not. The die roll represents (among other things) the possibility that the character’s assessment was wrong.
Of course. That's why you do the best you can in describing things and everyone gives each other slack and mulligans on things that should be obvious.
Or you cut right to the chase and say what the stakes and odds are. No risk of such misunderstandings, no need to “mulligan”
That's not how it works. The incorrect assessment is the DC not being accurate. The character's attempt is the random roll.
Why not? No reason it can’t, and doing it that way has a lot of benefits, as I’ve already innumerated.
Again, no. The character cannot possibly know the result of some of their actions. Finding secret doors, for example. They have no way of knowing if they missed something or if there's nothing there to find. That distinction is obliterated if you do things your way.
Just like with traps, if they’re looking for secret doors in the first place, they should already know there’s a secret door to be found, because they’ve picked up on something in the description of the environment that indicates it. If they mistakenly think they’ve picked up on something, no need to roll due to no chance of success. They just spend the necessary amount of time and fail to find anything. If they’re searching everywhere as part of their standard operating procedure, use a passive check, as the PHB recommends.
Not edge cases, standard things in D&D...like sneaking and searching for secret doors.
See the above paragraph.