D&D General Should players be aware of their own high and low rolls?

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Naw, they'd still plan with the data they had unless it failed repeatedly, because after all, its only relevant in the first place with things otherwise hard to deal with.
My experience indicates this may not always be the case, particularly with players who optimize builds and strategy. Because of the low cost or risk associated with trying to recall lore about a monster, it's more optimal to take those skills and attempt the task than it is to just assume you know that this troll is going to be harmed by fire. (More optimal still to take personal characteristics about being nerdy or inquisitive to earn Inspiration when doing this.)
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So it's just the description of inspecting? No check? This is something that I dislike, using player skill which tends to end up being "knowing what the DM wants to hear" over PC skill. Someone who is more naturally eloquent or simply knows the DM better will be more likely to succeed. More below.
I don't agree with this, unless "Knowing what the DM wants to hear" = "The DM wants to hear strategies that make sense for the situation." You aren't playing the DM. You're playing the playstyle.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You technically only need to do it once. At that point, the doubt is sown among the players.
Nah. You're still going to be better off pulling out the MM and metagaming every encounter. If it only happens once in a while, you will be helped tremendously in the vast majority of encounters and on the occasional changed encounter you can adjust your tactics.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Nah. You're still going to be better off pulling out the MM and metagaming every encounter. If it only happens once in a while, you will be helped tremendously in the vast majority of encounters and on the occasional changed encounter you can adjust your tactics.
That's an after-the-fact calculation though. Before the fact, the players can't be sure if you changed the monster from what's in the Monster Manual, which incentivizes them to invest in Intelligence-based skills and/or try to figure out if this is a stock monster or one of iserith's half-baked ideas.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That's an after-the-fact calculation though. Before the fact, the players can't be sure if you changed the monster from what's in the Monster Manual, which incentivizes them to invest in Intelligence-based skills and/or try to figure out if this is a stock monster or one of iserith's half-baked ideas.
It doesn't matter before the fact. If I know that 1 out of 8 encounters will be by the book, then before the encounters it's better to pick up the book and just use it to know things. It will be apparent to an experienced player within in the first 5-8 encounters how many you've changed. After that you just play the odds.

Why would I treat every encounter as if it could be different just because you occasionally change one? If you don't change close to half(and even then it will probably be worth it to rely on the MM), then I'm not even going to think about it. I'd just shift tactics if something doesn't work the way it's supposed to.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I doesn't matter before the fact. If I know that 1 out of 8 encounters will be by the book, then before the encounters it's better to pick up the book and just use it to know things. It will be apparent to an experienced player within in the first 5-8 encounters how many you've changed. After that you just play the odds.

Why would I treat every encounter as if it could be different just because you occasionally change one? If you don't change close to half(and even then it will probably be worth it to rely on the MM), then I'm not even going to think about it. I'd just shift tactics if something doesn't work the way it's supposed to.
Because it's the 1-in-8 in your blind spot that could kill you, and the cost to figuring it out is often very low.

As an example, I put a special troll in one of my games that was not only immune to fire, but would cause flames cast at them to blow up in a radius around them. The players saw the troll, ignored my telegraphing, didn't take the necessary steps to do verify their assumptions, and the wizard (who even had those skills!) blasted it with a burning hands spell. The resulting inferno (which happened the next round too due to a burning web spell) jacked up the party and dropped an important NPC who they now had to scramble to save. Suffice it to say, they check now, years later.
 


I doesn't matter before the fact. If I know that 1 out of 8 encounters will be by the book, then before the encounters it's better to pick up the book and just use it to know things. It will be apparent to an experienced player within in the first 5-8 encounters how many you've changed. After that you just play the odds.

Why would I treat every encounter as if it could be different just because you occasionally change one? If you don't change close to half(and even then it will probably be worth it to rely on the MM), then I'm not even going to think about it. I'd just shift tactics if something doesn't work the way it's supposed to.

Sounds like a player whose primary goal is to game the system rather than aim for the table having a good time and creating a fun, memorable story. I mean, sure there are probably people like that but, IMO, they are confused about D&D's "win" state and probably wouldn't enjoy the vast majority of tables run by thread contributors here, be they "anti-metagaming" or not.
 

Oofta

Legend
I don't agree with this, unless "Knowing what the DM wants to hear" = "The DM wants to hear strategies that make sense for the situation." You aren't playing the DM. You're playing the playstyle.
I've seen it too often. 🤷‍♂️ DM's buddy knows how the DM thinks and knows how to say it so it happens. I remember a DM that just didn't like me from the first time I sat at the table (public games), before I even uttered a word for no apparent reason. No matter what I did, it either failed or I had to make a high roll as he scowled at me. An extreme example of course, but I've seen people who know what buttons to push for a DM get a pass when others did not.

I will adjust DCs base on approach or what's said in social situations but there still has to be a roll in my games most of the time. Obviously not possible to be totally objective, but if a person just lists the points they're making in their conversation or a player gives an eloquent speech it doesn't matter what's said. What is said is important, not how.

When it comes to disabling traps and whatnot, we'll just have to disagree. I'm not a rogue trained in disabling traps, my PC is. That particular argument goes way back.
 


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