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Skill checks and Aid Another

Dross

Explorer
Assuming that any conditions are met (has ranks in trained only skills, etc) which skills do you NOT allow the aid another action. By the SRD anyone can be aided with a skill check (see below).
Also are there skills where aiding depends on the situation, like spot for example?

Aid Another
You can help another character achieve success on his or her skill check by making the same kind of skill check in a cooperative effort. If you roll a 10 or higher on your check, the character you are helping gets a +2 bonus to his or her check, as per the rule for favorable conditions. (You can’t take 10 on a skill check to aid another.) In many cases, a character’s help won’t be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once.
In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results you can’t aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn’t achieve alone.

Dross
 

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Peter Gibbons

First Post
Dross said:
Assuming that any conditions are met (has ranks in trained only skills, etc) which skills do you NOT allow the aid another action. By the SRD anyone can be aided with a skill check (see below).
Depending on the circumstances, almost any skill can benefit from Aid Another. The ones that are IMO especially hard to justify, though, are: Concentration, Hide, Knowledge checks not made as part of research in a library or some similar act, Move Silently, and Ride.

Dross said:
Also are there skills where aiding depends on the situation, like spot for example?
Uh...just about all of them. The only ones that are so obvious I would never think to wonder how you might Aid Another are: Craft, Escape Artist (from a grapple, anyway), Perform, and Profession.
 

darthkilmor

First Post
Peter Gibbons said:
Depending on the circumstances, almost any skill can benefit from Aid Another. The ones that are IMO especially hard to justify, though, are: Concentration, Hide, Knowledge checks not made as part of research in a library or some similar act, Move Silently, and Ride.

I would say Hide could benefit from Aid Another. Someone can help you hide, like putting a branch over your head, or saying "hey your foot is sticking out", etc.

Also, Why couldnt you aid another with crafting?
 

KarinsDad

First Post
Peter Gibbons said:
Uh...just about all of them. The only ones that are so obvious I would never think to wonder how you might Aid Another are: Craft, Escape Artist (from a grapple, anyway), Perform, and Profession.

How do you help someone perform on a lute?

Either they play it well, or they do not.
 


Storm Raven

First Post
KarinsDad said:
How do you help someone perform on a lute?

Either they play it well, or they do not.

The skill check isn't just playing the lute. It is the performance you give while playing the lute. Others could aid in your performance: other musicians could provide supporting music, a singer could sing, visuals could be provided, and so on, all with the effect of making your lute performance more pleasing.

In point of fact, in my games, if it comes up, I always assume that troupes of musicians, actors, or other performers are all using the "aid another" action to assist the showcase performer.
 

JimAde

First Post
Storm Raven said:
The skill check isn't just playing the lute. It is the performance you give while playing the lute. Others could aid in your performance: other musicians could provide supporting music, a singer could sing, visuals could be provided, and so on, all with the effect of making your lute performance more pleasing.

In point of fact, in my games, if it comes up, I always assume that troupes of musicians, actors, or other performers are all using the "aid another" action to assist the showcase performer.
Ringers in the audience who laugh at your jokes or weep openly at a sentimental song are always popular. :)
 

KarinsDad

First Post
dshai527 said:
Conducting comes to mind...helping them keep the beat.

If you carefully watch an orchestra, the conductor does very little. The performers rarely look at him EXCEPT in the case of when they "enter into" the piece (i.e. all drums start a beat at the same time or all trumpets play at the same time).

Outside of those "entrances", the performers rarely even look at the conductor and tend to concentrate on their sheet music instead. He could moon them and many of them would not even notice.

In reality, the conductor's real work comes in during practice (where he can stop the performance and stress the way he wants the music played), not performances.

Storm Raven said:
The skill check isn't just playing the lute. It is the performance you give while playing the lute. Others could aid in your performance: other musicians could provide supporting music, a singer could sing, visuals could be provided, and so on, all with the effect of making your lute performance more pleasing.

In point of fact, in my games, if it comes up, I always assume that troupes of musicians, actors, or other performers are all using the "aid another" action to assist the showcase performer.

I was talking about a solo performance, not a showcase of performers.

How would someone Aid Another for a solo performance on a lute? It's difficult to shout instructions and not interfer with the performance.
 

KarinsDad said:
If you carefully watch an orchestra, the conductor does very little.

And you're a professional musician?
KD said:
How would someone Aid Another for a solo performance on a lute? It's difficult to shout instructions and not interfer with the performance.

Two suggestions:

"Freebird!"

and ...

Clapping along and dancing in the aisles a bit gets the crowd more into it, ya know.
 
Last edited:

Storm Raven

First Post
KarinsDad said:
I was talking about a solo performance, not a showcase of performers.

Using the "aid another" action makes it not a solo performance, almost by definition. If someone else is "aiding" you, you aren't solo.
 

dcollins

First Post
KarinsDad said:
How do you help someone perform on a lute?

Either they play it well, or they do not.

How about accompaniment with another instrument? As was recently said in a band practice I was at, "When you screw up alone, you screw up the whole song; if you screw up in a band of 4 people, 75% of the song is still there."
 

Artoomis

First Post
KarinsDad said:
...How would someone Aid Another for a solo performance on a lute? It's difficult to shout instructions and not interfer with the performance.

Let's say he's a beginner - aid another would certainly help. You could, for axample, sit in the audience and prompt on how to do certain chords, or when to play a down-stroke and when to do and up-stroke, just for an example.

For an expert lute player, it gets more difficult to try and figure out how to help without it turning into something other than a solo performance - but, then, the point is not really how it might shift from a solo performance, but how the lute performance is improved, right?

I can see this:

"Sure, help me all you want - of course, I am still the star! (Character gets the +2)"

"Nope - this is MY show, no help, thank you very much! (No bonus)"

I also think the help might be subtle - something like what I described above.
 

dshai527

First Post
KarinsDad said:
If you carefully watch an orchestra, the conductor does very little. The performers rarely look at him EXCEPT in the case of when they "enter into" the piece (i.e. all drums start a beat at the same time or all trumpets play at the same time).

Outside of those "entrances", the performers rarely even look at the conductor and tend to concentrate on their sheet music instead. He could moon them and many of them would not even notice.

In reality, the conductor's real work comes in during practice (where he can stop the performance and stress the way he wants the music played), not performances.

Your experiences must be vastly different from mine. I was always attentive to the conductor to look for changes and such during a performance. A performance is only a practice that you don't stop when a mistake is made but need to adapt to.

I also note that many soloist at competitions had spotters in the crowd that would let them know how they were performing and when to make changes. Slow down, louder, speed up, more...etc. It is especially helpful in unknown performance areas when you are not sure of acoustics in the listening area.

Just my thoughts.
 

Artoomis

First Post
dshai527 said:
Your experiences must be vastly different from mine. I was always attentive to the conductor to look for changes and such during a performance. A performance is only a practice that you don't stop when a mistake is made but need to adapt to.

I also note that many soloist at competitions had spotters in the crowd that would let them know how they were performing and when to make changes. Slow down, louder, speed up, more...etc. It is especially helpful in unknown performance areas when you are not sure of acoustics in the listening area.

Just my thoughts.

All true - but that's NOT "aid another" - that's creating a circumstance bonus because it's NOT using the same skill.

To "aid another" with Performance (Stringed Instrument) one would have to use Performance (Stringed Instrument) to do so. I think it is possible to do this. Others may disgree - it's a judgement call, certainly.

Edit: On second thought, the spotter in the crowd might have to use the same skill as the performer, so that indeed would be "aid another."
 

KarinsDad

First Post
Storm Raven said:
Using the "aid another" action makes it not a solo performance, almost by definition. If someone else is "aiding" you, you aren't solo.

My point exactly.

It's hard to help someone Move Silently. It is mostly a solo activity.

It's hard to help someone Sing or Play a Lute. You can accompany them, but then, both of you should be making rolls, not just one.

It's hard to help someone Balance if you cannot touch them or get a rope to them.

It's hard to help someone Forge a letter. You can tell them what to say, but you cannot do much with the handwriting since either they are doing it, or you are doing it.

It's hard to help someone Tumble.

It's hard to help someone Open a Lock. Sure, you could hold the lamp closer, but a lock is (typically) so small that only one character should be able to work on it at a time.

It's even hard to help someone Sense Motive in some circumstances without letting on that you might distrust the character being Sensed Motive against.

There are several skills that are more solo than not. I wouldn't automatically allow someone to Aid Another for them unless they have a good rational for how they are doing that (e.g. having a steady rope available for a Balance check).
 

KarinsDad said:
It's hard to help someone Move Silently. It is mostly a solo activity.

"Don't step there - there's a board loose. Walk over here - otherwise the wind of your passage will disturb those leaves."

It's hard to help someone Sing or Play a Lute. You can accompany them, but then, both of you should be making rolls, not just one.

In which case, you pick who the primary performer is, and everyone aids another to determine how good the entire performance is.

It's hard to help someone Balance if you cannot touch them or get a rope to them.

"Look right at me. Don't look down, look right at me. Now, one foot in front of the other. DON'T LOOK DOWN."

It's hard to help someone Forge a letter. You can tell them what to say, but you cannot do much with the handwriting since either they are doing it, or you are doing it.

"I read somewhere that Lord Selacchii really, really, really likes the words 'Inasmuch' and 'hereunto.' He puts them in nearly every document he writes - but he's got a little curlicue on the 'o' in 'hereunto.' Be careful of that."

It's hard to help someone Tumble.

Tell that to a Gymnastics coach.

It's hard to help someone Open a Lock. Sure, you could hold the lamp closer, but a lock is (typically) so small that only one character should be able to work on it at a time.

"Now, Bobby-my-lad, what you've got here is a classic example of the Pusher-Glocer three-stripe lock. You'll notice, if you wiggle your wrench just a little bit, the raised portion near the back. You're going to need to slide that a little bit towards with your hook probe."
 

KarinsDad

First Post
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
"Don't step there - there's a board loose. Walk over here - otherwise the wind of your passage will disturb those leaves."

Weak.

If there are no loose boards or loose leaves, how do you help them? You are assuming there are difficulties that make it MORE difficult to do the skill.

Plus, TALKING kind of defeats the purpose of moving silently, doesn't it?

Patryn of Elvenshae said:
In which case, you pick who the primary performer is, and everyone aids another to determine how good the entire performance is.

That's silly.

Performer One has 22 Ranks in Lute.

Performer Two has 1 Rank in Lute and sounds like a cat screeching in the night.

There is NO way that Performer Two can help Performer One, he can only hinder him.

This should use two individual skill checks (one of which is great and one probably lousy) for success on both, not one plus an Aid Another.

Patryn of Elvenshae said:
"Look right at me. Don't look down, look right at me. Now, one foot in front of the other. DON'T LOOK DOWN."

And because he is not looking at the rope he is balancing on, he misteps and dies.

You are stretching.

Patryn of Elvenshae said:
"I read somewhere that Lord Selacchii really, really, really likes the words 'Inasmuch' and 'hereunto.' He puts them in nearly every document he writes - but he's got a little curlicue on the 'o' in 'hereunto.' Be careful of that."

And if Lord Selacchii really, really, really HATES the words 'Inasmuch' and 'hereunto.'?

I guess you did not read the skill.

"To forge a signature, you need an autograph of that person to copy, and you gain a +4 bonus on the check. To forge a longer document written in the hand of some particular person, a large sample of that person’s handwriting is needed."

Having the Forge skill does not give him Knowledge information on a specific person.

Patryn of Elvenshae said:
Tell that to a Gymnastics coach.

There is a difference between training and aiding.

Stay on topic.

Patryn of Elvenshae said:
"Now, Bobby-my-lad, what you've got here is a classic example of the Pusher-Glocer three-stripe lock. You'll notice, if you wiggle your wrench just a little bit, the raised portion near the back. You're going to need to slide that a little bit towards with your hook probe."

And if it is a Puller-Glocer two-stripe lock?

You are making assumptions that people can only help, not hinder, on solo activities.


Advice is NOT Aid.

"Aid Another

You can help another character achieve success on his or her skill check by making the same kind of skill check in a cooperative effort. If you roll a 10 or higher on your check, the character you are helping gets a +2 bonus to his or her check, as per the rule for favorable conditions. (You can’t take 10 on a skill check to aid another.) In many cases, a character’s help won’t be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once.

In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results you can’t aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn’t achieve alone."


Note the phrase "cooperative effort".


Aid Another should only be used when both characters can work together cooperatively (e.g. bandage wounds together), not when one person can tell the other what to do (i.e. advice).

Person One: 20 ranks in skill
Person Two: 1 rank in skill

The advice of Person Two should be total nonsense to Person One. You don't have the Janitor tell the NASA Scientist how to do his job.

Aid Another should only be used for active cooperative efforts, not advice.
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Artoomis said:
Edit: On second thought, the spotter in the crowd might have to use the same skill as the performer, so that indeed would be "aid another."

Exactly. It requires someone with some knowledge of and/or aptitude for the activity to provide useful feedback.

-Hyp.
 

irdeggman

First Post
And this

In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results you can’t aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn’t achieve alone

Is what inserts the circumstances. While at times it is possible to aid another with perform at other times it is not. For example in a "solo" performance at a highly graded competition it is quite possible that aid another can't be used.

If the space is extremely restrictive it might not be possible to aid another in opening a lock, etc.
 

Storm Raven

First Post
KarinsDad said:
It's hard to help someone Move Silently. It is mostly a solo activity.

You could let them know when they doing things that are making noise, hand signals would work.

It's hard to help someone Sing or Play a Lute. You can accompany them, but then, both of you should be making rolls, not just one.


No, you are aiding their Perform check to make it better. The end result isn'ty the playing the lute, it is the effect of the performance.

It's hard to help someone Balance if you cannot touch them or get a rope to them.


Then you would generally need to be touching thim to aid them, wouldn't you?

It's hard to help someone Forge a letter. You can tell them what to say, but you cannot do much with the handwriting since either they are doing it, or you are doing it.


You can proofread their work, you can assist in creating the document.

It's hard to help someone Tumble.


Spotters.

It's hard to help someone Open a Lock. Sure, you could hold the lamp closer, but a lock is (typically) so small that only one character should be able to work on it at a time.


Possibly, but aren't you the one making assumptions?

It's even hard to help someone Sense Motive in some circumstances without letting on that you might distrust the character being Sensed Motive against.


Coded signals.

The problem is that you want to have people "aid another" and keep the "solo" nature of the action. That is pretty much counter to what "aid another" is - since it is a cooperative action.
 

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