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


log in or register to remove this ad

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don't think @iserith ever responded to this. I was going to leave it to them, because I learned my solution from them. Which is to allow pvp, but the outcome of every adversarial reaction is narrated, without a roll, not by the DM but by the target.

So when you stab Bob in the eye, the DM turns to Bob and says, "What happens?" Bob might say, "The dagger glances off my helmet. I cast command and tell him to grovel." So the DM turns to you and says, "What happens?" And you say, "I know Bob's tricks so the spell doesn't work on me; no saving throw needed."
IME that would almost instantly lead to the biggest table argument you've ever seen.

First off, why is combat vs another PC handled differently than combat vs anything else? I should get a to-hit roll (and Bob should get a surprise or whatever roll to see if I catch him off guard); and things proceed form there - if we're using the rules even vaguely close to how they're written. This also touches on the whole "PCs should not be different than NPCs in the fiction" discussion.

Second, and more conducive to table arguments, is the classic "I shot you" "No you didn't" scenario, which there would be no possible way to keep in-character. Remember, this is all happening in-character. I've got no beef with Bob as a player but my character's had her fill of Pallybob; their conflict should also stay in character, with the DM as neutral arbiter and rules enforcer.
 

IME that would almost instantly lead to the biggest table argument you've ever seen.
we alleviate that with "No PVP unless mind controlled"
Second, and more conducive to table arguments, is the classic "I shot you" "No you didn't" scenario, which there would be no possible way to keep in-character. Remember, this is all happening in-character. I've got no beef with Bob as a player but my character's had her fill of Pallybob; their conflict should also stay in character, with the DM as neutral arbiter and rules enforcer.
yeah, I didn't even think of the "I hit you" "No you didn't"
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
First off, why is combat vs another PC handled differently than combat vs anything else?

If you genuinely don't know any possible answers to that question, then there is no point in me trying to answer.

In any event, you thought @iserith banned PvP, and I was explaining that, no, their approach is the "soft veto" you described with your example about jumping to the moon: they are free to try it, but the outcome is narrated, not resolved with a die roll.

EDIT: And to make sure I'm clear, the point here is not to argue that it's the right way to play, but that iserith is not in fact hypocritically banning any action declarations, analogous to not letting them use player knowledge, which you were accusing them of. Anybody who doesn't understand this distinction is missing a really important theme of this whole debate.
 
Last edited:

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
we alleviate that with "No PVP unless mind controlled"

If you also are opposed to PvP I would recommend you try @iserith's approach. It's pretty amazing in practice.

yeah, I didn't even think of the "I hit you" "No you didn't"

I don't understand why it would ever result in that, if everybody understands the rules.

I mean, it's exactly like the anti-metagaming thing: both are house rules, and when you sit down to play and the DM describes the house rules, staying at the table means you consent to the rules, right?

And unlike the player knowledge/metagaming thing, there's no room for misinterpretation: I may disagree with the DM about whether or not my character "would know" something, but @iserith's PvP rule is absolutely clear cut: if you take a hostile action toward another PC, they narrate the outcome. There's not really any wiggle room or grey areas there. If you have agreed to this, "I hit you!" is a breach of that social contract.

Tell me how that's different/harder to enforce than an agreement to not use player knowledge?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In fact, this discussion about @iserith's pvp rules shed light on this whole debate. There seems to be this belief that if players are allowed to actually make choices they will always only choose the one that is best for them,
Yes. That is the assumption, because it's the players' job to advocate for their characters and part of that advocacy involves taking advantage of opportunities to do so wherever they may occur.

The character does what the character would do. The player tries to make that process easier for the character, and the DM as referee pushes back against that.
And thus we must determine outcomes with dice and rulings, and force them to abide by those outcomes.
Yes, in a manner consistent with how the game works all the rest of the time.
 

Then I would recommend you try @iserith's approach. It's pretty amazing in practice.
no thank you we are very happy with no PvP
I don't understand why it would ever result in that, if everybody understands the rules.
you missed the issues that some of the groups don't even let players narrate there own actions...
I mean, it's exactly like the anti-metagaming thing: both are house rules, and when you sit down to play and the DM describes the house rules, staying at the table means you consent to the rules, right?
right and as long as the table agree good for them.
And unlike the player knowledge/metagaming thing, there's no room for misinterpretation: I may disagree with the DM about whether or not my character "would know" something, but @iserith's PvP rule is absolutely clear cut: if you take a hostile action toward another PC, they narrate the outcome. There's not really any wiggle room or grey areas there. If you have agreed to this, "I hit you!" is a breach of that social contract.
I just don't see the reason to jump through hoops when I can just talk to my players and say what I don't want... aka PvP
Tell me how that's different/harder to enforce than an agreement to not use player knowledge?
it isn't harder, it's just not needed if you just talk
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Yes. That is the assumption, because it's the players' job to advocate for their characters and part of that advocacy involves taking advantage of opportunities to do so wherever they may occur.

The character does what the character would do. The player tries to make that process easier for the character, and the DM as referee pushes back against that.

Ok, so that's another way in which the way you (and I presume your friends) approach play is different from what I experience, which is that players frequently make non-optimal choices because it feels more in-character, without any dice compelling them to do so. Which, again, makes it really strange to claim that the anti-metagaming way is better/real/true roleplaying.

Yes, in a manner consistent with how the game works all the rest of the time.

On the contrary sometimes the game works very well for extended stretches without anybody rolling dice. YMMV.
 

pemerton

Legend
The vehemence that is apparent in some of the posts in this thread surprises me.

In my most recent RPG sessions we've been playing Torchbearer 2e - it's a system that is a homage to classic D&D, but mechanically is a variant on Burning Wheel. It has a reasonably consistent extended contest procedure that can be used to resolve a range of conflicts: kill, capture, drive off, flee/pursue, convince, convince crowed, trick, etc.

The conflict type is established by a combination of fiction and stakes. Generally the players have a big say, but in some circumstances (eg in response to a failed check) the GM gets to set the stakes. If the players win the extended contest they get the core of what they want, but depending on their degree of victory (ie how much did it fall short of total victory) they have to compromise. And vice versa if they lose.

It's crucial to resolving an extended contest that the players see their rolls, act on knowledge of what they roll, be able to use their dice pool and dice result manipulation resources, etc - this is how they can try and shape outcomes in ways that they want to, based on their degree of investment and their judgements about resource management.

It's also the case that everyone is bound by outcomes. So in a kill conflict, a compromise can involve PCs injured or even killed. In a drive off conflict, a compromise may involve the PCs being delayed, or reinforcements turning up, or the fleeing enemies taking their loot with them.

In a social conflict - like convince, convince crowd, or trick - a compromise may mean that the PCs are convinced, or have to keep a promise they made, or are themselves tricked. Players not abiding by the outcome would be tantamount to cheating.

So this system has plenty of metagaming. And also plenty of "roleplaying" in the sense of players being bound by outcomes in the play of their PCs. The two are not at odds.

Another system I really like is Classic Traveller. It has nothing like Torchbearer extended conflicts. Nor does it have any way of generating outcomes that bind players in the play of their PCs in the way a TB convince or trick conflict might - its social mechanics are purely one-way (ie for finding out how NPCs respond to PCs), with the exception of morale rules which can bind PCs to surrender or flee. There's less metagaming in Traveller than Torchbearer in my experience, because of the different mechanics. There is still plenty of roleplaying.

4e D&D plays differently from both these systems. Marvel Heroic RP plays fairly similarly to Torchbearer. Cthulhu Dark plays fairly close to Classic Traveller. Etc, etc.

These vehement assertions about what's "cheating" and what's "roleplaying" seem to be grounded in a very narrow conception - frankly, what sometimes looks like an ignorant conception - of the variety of RPGs and approaches to RPGing that exist.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If you genuinely don't know any possible answers to that question, then there is no point in me trying to answer.

In any event, you thought @iserith banned PvP, and I was explaining that, no, their approach is the "soft veto" you described with your example about jumping to the moon: they are free to try it, but the outcome is narrated, not resolved with a die roll.
Yes, and on seeing that I remembered how iserith does it.
GMforPowergamers said:
we alleviate that with "No PVP unless mind controlled"
I go the opposite direction: anything goes. Kill each other if you want to. But it stays in character, or people get punted.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
no thank you we are very happy with no PvP

you missed the issues that some of the groups don't even let players narrate there own actions...

right and as long as the table agree good for them.

I just don't see the reason to jump through hoops when I can just talk to my players and say what I don't want... aka PvP

it isn't harder, it's just not needed if you just talk

If your players also don't want PvP then none of this matters, right? You didn't even have to talk to them.

But if some of them do, sometimes, maybe very rarely, wish they could PvP, then you are preventing them from playing the game the way they want to play. They are complying with your orders, but they don't like it.

This approach can give players an outlet to let off some PvP steam without it being an outright ban.

I suspect from your previous posts that this explanation is going to slam against an unyielding wall of disinterest, but I used to also have an outright ban on PVP until I tried this, and maybe somebody else reading this will be inspired to try one of the best DM techniques I've ever picked up on these forums.
 

I go the opposite direction: anything goes. Kill each other if you want to. But it stays in character, or people get punted.
yeah we decided after a couple of times doing that we didn't like it.

We still work against each other sometimes... I may back NPC A for the throne and you back NPC B but it will never come down to dice rolls between us... just RP and be happy.
 

If your players also don't want PvP then none of this matters, right? You didn't even have to talk to them.
so how would I try it?
To try it I would have to say "Hey you know that thing we all decided years ago to just say no to... lets try this house rule from some guy on the internet that likes it"
But if some of them do, sometimes, maybe very rarely, wish they could PvP, then you are preventing them from playing the game the way they want to play. They are complying with your orders, but they don't like it.
I don't give orders.. We are friends. We are equals. in fact I bet everyone would get a good laugh if I Tried to give an order.
This approach can give players an outlet to let off some PvP steam without it being an outright ban.
okay, but we don't want PvP...
I suspect from your previous posts that this explanation is going to slam against an unyielding wall of disinterest, but I used to also have an outright ban on PVP until I tried this, and maybe somebody else reading this will be inspired to try one of the best DM techniques I've ever picked up on these forums.
it sounds like YOU gave an order to ban somethign your players wanted... that isn't how my tables work
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
So this system has plenty of metagaming. And also plenty of "roleplaying" in the sense of players being bound by outcomes in the play of their PCs. The two are not at odds.

Although I have explored the Torchbearer/BW/Mouseguard system (with a lot of help from you and your gang) and have decided it doesn't really scratch my RPG itch...at least, not yet...I still really like the above statement. I feel like the anti-metagamers have latched onto a very weird, very specific definition of roleplaying and don't consider anything else to be "real" roleplaying.

It would be like meeting somebody from a secluded country where "football" (the soccer meaning) has evolved differently, and has all kinds of weird rules, including one that no part of the body other than the feet may ever be used, not even by the goalie. "It's called FOOTball," they argue, "if you are using anything other than your feet you are not really playing football. You are cheating. Or playing some other game that isn't football."
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
so how would I try it?
To try it I would have to say "Hey you know that thing we all decided years ago to just say no to... lets try this house rule from some guy on the internet that likes it"

"Some guy on the Internet"? Do you know who I am? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?

I don't give orders.. We are friends. We are equals. in fact I bet everyone would get a good laugh if I Tried to give an order.

okay, but we don't want PvP...

it sounds like YOU gave an order to ban somethign your players wanted... that isn't how my tables work

WTF? Then why are you even engaging in a discussion about an alternative to banning PvP? Maybe I misinterpreted what you wrote, but I thought you were saying that you are perfectly happy with banning PvP and don't need a more complicated rule that accomplishes the same thing. But it sounds like you don't actually have or need a ban, because you and your friends all agree. So....?

And we don't have any such rule in my current group, at least that I'm aware of. (I'm not a founding member; maybe it pre-dates me.). It has just never come up; nobody has ever attacked anybody else.

But when I DM'd some high school students a while ago, I decided to try @iserith's rule.
 

Oofta

Legend
If you also are opposed to PvP I would recommend you try @iserith's approach. It's pretty amazing in practice.



I don't understand why it would ever result in that, if everybody understands the rules.

I mean, it's exactly like the anti-metagaming thing: both are house rules, and when you sit down to play and the DM describes the house rules, staying at the table means you consent to the rules, right?

And unlike the player knowledge/metagaming thing, there's no room for misinterpretation: I may disagree with the DM about whether or not my character "would know" something, but @iserith's PvP rule is absolutely clear cut: if you take a hostile action toward another PC, they narrate the outcome. There's not really any wiggle room or grey areas there. If you have agreed to this, "I hit you!" is a breach of that social contract.

Tell me how that's different/harder to enforce than an agreement to not use player knowledge?

I find the easiest way to handle PvP is to just tell players that it's not allowed. If a PC attacks another PC, the attacking player immediately becomes an NPC (after reminding the player of the rule of course). Same way with evil. I'll never tell a player that their PC can't go bad, but if they do they become and NPC since I don't want evil PCs in my game.

But I don't see how this has any connection to metagaming, they're separate topics other than that it should be discussed as a group how you want to handle it.
 

pemerton

Legend
It would be like meeting somebody from a secluded country where "football" (the soccer meaning) has evolved differently, and has all kinds of weird rules, including one that no part of the body other than the feet may ever be used, not even by the goalie. "It's called FOOTball," they argue, "if you are using anything other than your feet you are not really playing football. You are cheating. Or playing some other game that isn't football."
Also a bit like someone who really likes grapefruit juice deciding, more-or-less arbitrarily, that nothing else counts as juice, or even as a beverage. That all the people out there drinking orange juice, or creaming soda, or whatever, aren't really drinking at all.

It's pretty bizarre.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I find the easiest way to handle PvP is to just tell players that it's not allowed. If a PC attacks another PC, the attacking player immediately becomes an NPC (after reminding the player of the rule of course). Same way with evil. I'll never tell a player that their PC can't go bad, but if they do they become and NPC since I don't want evil PCs in my game.

But I don't see how this has any connection to metagaming, they're separate topics other than that it should be discussed as a group how you want to handle it.

The commonality is that both are versions of telling players "You may not declare that action." Which some of us believe are not part of 5e.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Also a bit like someone who really likes grapefruit juice deciding, more-or-less arbitrarily, that nothing else counts as juice, or even as a beverage. That all the people out there drinking orange juice, or creaming soda, or whatever, aren't really drinking at all.

It's pretty bizarre.

Yes.

I latched onto the football example because a big part of their argument seems to be, "It's called a Roleplaying game, therefore [insert crazy talk]."
 

WTF? Then why are you even engaging in a discussion about an alternative to banning PvP?
um to show that the group should just talk and make it what they want...
Maybe I misinterpreted what you wrote, but I thought you were saying that you are perfectly happy with banning PvP and don't need a more complicated rule that accomplishes the same thing.
that is correct... by ban I mean we all just don't... if for some reason someone forgot we would all talk about it (as equals)
But it sounds like you don't actually have or need a ban, because you and your friends all agree. So....?
so that is how it is banned... just like if timorrow someone wanted to stop having gnomes we would all talk and have to all agree...
But when I DM'd some high school students a while ago, I decided to try @iserith's rule.
that is great, I even said it sounded good for that... I just think you COULD HAVE JUST BEEN DIRECT...not that you should have, not that you did anything wrong... that talking is an option, now you were playing with kids so I guess my "talk like adults" is not going to work.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top