What does it mean to "Challenge the Character"?

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Frankly, IMX, the risk of delivering a negative experience is greater for the DM who follows the rules too closely, than for the DM who wings it (or at least, comes up with an interpretation that works well for him & his players, if he must stick to something too closely).

When I read your posts, I see a good DM, who's come up with very good interpretations of 5e that work well for him, and might well be great for a /lot/ of tables. But, I also see you wrapping those interpretations in a mantle of being the /only/ interpretation that's valid, with everything else being 'changing the rules.' That bothers me.
Thanks for the kind words, but if that's your interpretation of my position, I'm afraid it will have to continue to bother you. I won't stop saying that I do what I do because the rules say to do that or suggest to people having issues that they try what the rules say to see if it corrects the problem.
 

Satyrn

Villager
5e /admits/ that what it says is open to DM interpretation and that the DM can change rules as he likes (once he's figured out what they say to his satisfaction - or instead of trying to interpret them, for that matter. The reality is that's true of every RPG, just by the nature of the player-GM dynamic. The GM choose what game to run, that can be a given game 'by the book,' or variation on one (or an original system, though I've rarely - I can't say never because "Storyboard" - seen that go well). 5e calls for DM rulings in leu of presenting more detailed mechanics.

None of that's an appeal to 5e's 'RaW.'
I never said RaW, just "what the book says." And here you are, again appealing to what the book says to justify summarily dismissing what the book says.

I feel like I've just been handed a Cobra Assault Cannon. "I like it."
 
Thanks for the kind words, but if that's your interpretation of my position, I'm afraid it will have to continue to bother you. I won't stop saying that I do what I do because the rules say to do that or suggest to people having issues that they try what the rules say to see if it corrects the problem.
If it's too hard to say "try interpreting those rules, this way" instead of "try following the rules." If it's too hard to present something as a method that "works well for me" instead of "the right way to do it." If the I, M, H, & O keys just don't work.
::shrug::

I never said RaW, just "what the book says."
What's the distinction?
And here you are, again appealing to what the book says to justify summarily dismissing what the book says.
I'm not sure how you could possibly arrive at that conclusion. 5e goes right ahead and says that the DM can interpret/ignore/change/fill-in rules, that it's just a starting point, and the DM can take it where he wants. But, the DM has never needed such permission.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
If it's too hard to say "try interpreting those rules, this way" instead of "try following the rules." If it's too hard to present something as a method that "works well for me" instead of "the right way to do it." If the I, M, H, & O keys just don't work. .
Here we're just discussing how to discuss or arguing about how to argue and you know my feelings about that.
 

Satyrn

Villager
On to more productive matters!

Alanis had the last laugh on that one. Most people were so busy gleefully pointing out that the anecdotes in the song are (for the most part) not examples of irony that they missed the point that the song itself is ironic.
Was this actually her intent, or is this explanation just a successful retcon?

And do you think Alanis is a fan of Fuller House?
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
I don't see why iserith should be expected to temper what he's saying. The passages he quotes aren't suggestions; they are rules. Sure, people might find it more persuasive if he stopped using that argument and instead explained why he finds the actual rules more enjoyable than some misinterpretation of them. But he's not saying anything subjective or untrue. Nor is he telling other people that what they are doing is "wrong" morally, ethically, aesthetically, theologically, fiscally or in any other sense, other than simply not being the rules.

If people don't like the rules they should, of course, feel free to change them. I do. There's a long rich history of that in D&D. But this whole "my way of playing, which is different from what the authors of the book have written, are not house rules because the book says I can change the rules" is...is...well, I'm honestly not sure what it is. What's the point of trying to make that crazy argument?
 
I don't see why iserith should be expected to temper what he's saying. The passages he quotes aren't suggestions; they are rules.
The problem isn't just whether any given passage between the covers is a 'rule,' guideline, mechanic, flavor text, suggestions, advice, or whatever - it's that even if you do decide to take a passage as a rule, the language (relatively informal and jargon-lite) has plenty of ambiguity and room for interpretation.
Sure, people might find it more persuasive if he stopped using that argument and instead explained why he finds the actual rules more enjoyable than some misinterpretation of them.
Because what he plays by isn't "the actual rules" and how other people read them isn't "misinterpretation" - they're /different interpretations/. 5e simply isn't written so unambiguously that a claim of RaW is meaningful. And, I really didn't care for what that attitude did to 3.x discussions - hate to see it happen to 5e, even just in this corner of the broader community.

If I wanted to go back to that, I could engage more with PF discussions.

What 5e has gotten back to, intentionally, and what TSR era D&D had going for it more or less by accident, is that lack of precision that allows each DM to get out of the game what he wants from it & brings to it, rather than /only/ what the writer 'intended.' It's a great accomplishment of 5e that different DMs can run in quite different styles, supported by quite different interpretations & rulings, yet still be "playing 5e" in the sense that everything they come up with is in accord with what's written in the book.

One is jargon that surely has some specific meaning to you, the other is what I actually said.
The meaning of 'RaW' is familiar to anyone that suffered through the community as it existed in the 3.x era, anyway, and that specific meaning is "what the book says," literally.

But, dang, this was a stupid shallow rabbit hole that leads nowhere I stepped into and really don't care about.
Long as you didn't break your ankle it's all good. ;P
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
And, I really didn't care for what that attitude did to 3.x discussions - hate to see it happen to 5e, even just in this corner of the broader community.
I truly think that is what your objection is all about - memories of a war in which you participated that ended long ago. It can be seen in a lot of your posts and it appears to color your reception of the viewpoints and positions of others. It's in your often backhanded or faint praise of D&D 5e, compared to the edition of the game you clearly prefer (and frankly so do I).

I'm not a ghost from that war come to haunt you or someone trying to revive a toxic culture from two editions ago. I'm just saying what I do is what the book says to do and, if someone is having problems with the game, maybe they ought to try doing what the books say to see if that corrects the problem. That's hardly some quasi-religious RAW zealotry. It's just doing what's in the instruction manual, same as I'd do if playing any other game.
 
I truly think that is what your objection is all about - memories of a war in which you participated that ended long ago. It can be seen in a lot of your posts and it appears to color your reception of the viewpoints and positions of others.
Those who forget the mistakes of history and all...


...though, to be fair, RaW madness pre-dated the edition war.
 
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Satyrn

Villager
I truly think that is what your objection is all about - memories of a war in which you participated that ended long ago. It can be seen in a lot of your posts and it appears to color your reception of the viewpoints and positions of others. It's in your often backhanded or faint praise of D&D 5e, compared to the edition of the game you clearly prefer (and frankly so do I).

I'm not a ghost from that war come to haunt you or someone trying to revive a toxic culture from two editions ago. I'm just saying what I do is what the book says to do and, if someone is having problems with the game, maybe they ought to try doing what the books say to see if that corrects the problem. That's hardly some quasi-religious RAW zealotry. It's just doing what's in the instruction manual, same as I'd do if playing any other game.
If I read the instruction manuals, I would never have built up this collection of spare nuts and bolts.

(And it's a good thing I have them because my Ikea shelving keeps falling apart)
 

Chaosmancer

Villager
What answer are you looking for? I stated what the rules have to say on the matter and have addressed the specific example in a reply to Elfcrusher upthread. You're welcome to read it.
I read what you wrote.

The DMG says you should work with character backstories before the game, allowing things to fit where they can. During the game the player is going against expectations by trying to add to their backstory, but that may be fine, or it may not be. It depends on the table and the temperament of the people involved since it doesn't involve the rules in any way.

As solid as mist that is.


I hope you don't count me among them. If you do, then you've misunderstood (and now misstated) my position.
With your assertions of characters thinking what the player decides, and always being right in that regard, then if the character thinks Francis exists, then the player thinks Francis exists, because they must be right about what their character is thinking.

I'm sure it is more nuanced than that, but you seem very much in-line with wanting as little divide between character and player knowledge as possible.

Yes, the player determines what the character thinks and does, and particular knowledge is not necessarily a prerequisite to act. My character doesn't need to know a thing about the vulnerabilities of earth elementals to hit it with a thunderwave spell. But I can choose to say my character thinks that earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder. My character might be right. Or the character might be wrong.

It's risky to act on assumptions when the character's life is on the line, so don't just assume as a player - have your character act in the context of the setting to verify your assumptions. Or don't and potentially face dire consequences. It's the player's call.
Yep, this all lines up with how I understand your position.

Though, I find it amusing you added in the part about not needing to know an earth elementals vulnerabilities to cast Thunderwave. You are completely correct, of course, but there are other ways to utilize a character's knowledge. For example, buying scrolls of Thunder damage spells in preparation of a battle involving lots of earth elementals under the assumption of them being vulnerable to that damage.

Of course, "assume at your own risk, I as the DM can and will change anything in the game" but that is a separate thing from what is being discussed.


See, again, I think you are trying to draw contrasts that just aren't there, and I wish you'd stop using me as evidence in some argument you are having with someone else..
I'm talking to multiple people, but when I posted the original bit addressing iserith, you responded with your own points. Then, you have been looking at my points and calling them out as though the answer is obvious, but if you look at some of the other responses, they are not obvious to all the people I'm discussing with.

I'm not dragging you into this, you quoted me first and decided to get involved with the discussion. I'm just trying to help you understand that my arguments have been crafted because of certain assumptions, and that if you don't share those assumptions it might seem strange I have to make these arguments at all.


I wasn't in that discussion, but this seems to be something else entirely. I'm generally of the opinion that there is no such thing as metagaming, so if you the player know that earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage, you don't have to justify to me how your character knows that. I'm not going to force you to pretend you don't know that information and try to get you to guess how you would behave if you didn't know that, because that's just impossible. So yes, in that case if you have player knowledge, there is no roll, there is no story. The player simply knows so the character does as well. If you want to justify your in game knowledge through some sort of backstory, eh, I don't care. If you don't, I still don't care. The thing with metagaming is that the player's mind is inherently part of the game universe and can't be removed from it. So even if in theory I'd like to stop metagaming, it's not possible to do it in a way that doesn't amount to telling the player how to play their character. As long as the player isn't snooping at the session notes or buying copies of the module we are playing, I'm OK with player knowledge.

What I was talking about was something else entirely. Suppose a player does not know that Earth elementals are vulnerable to thunder damage, and the player encounters some monster for the first time. That player is allowed in my games to make a skill check versus a DC that depends on the monster (in my game, based on commonality and reputation) and if they are successful, I will tell them a number of facts about the monster that depends on how well they succeeded on their check.

What I was saying was that if you declare, "I used to sweep floors for the village hedge mage, and he once told me all about earth elementals.", that gets you no advantage on your lore check to identify the monster.
Okay, fair enough. In your post you made it sound as though at your table you expected your players not to act upon information in the MM without having to have first made a roll at some point to determine that knowledge.

I agree that separating that knowledge is difficult if not impossible. It rarely comes up at my table, and people are generally more concerned with avoiding resistances and immunities that exploiting vulnerabilities, so the few times people do know something, it is a minor effect. However, I am a person who gets bugged by inconsistencies in stories, so if your character has knowledge about how mindflayers are created, despite being a poor street rat with no encounters with anything more arcane than a magic lantern, I'm going to wonder how you came by this explicit and detailed secret knowledge. It will bother me, simply because it alters your story and would seem out of place.

Even more so if it happens to be a major world secret that the players previously had to struggle and fight to learn.


I understand what you're saying here. But as I've said earlier in this post, I find it hard to see how that sort of play can (i) give all the authority around establishing those NPCs, who they are, what they're doing, etc to the GM and yet (ii) give the player all the authority to decide his/her PC's feelings.

In bits of your post that I didn't quote, you talk about solving some of these issues by letting the GM override the player's account of what his/her PC believes. I assume you'd be prepared to do the same to make the sort of scenario you've described here work.
Yeah, I'm fully prepared to work with the player and have some give and take in these areas. Players can add some details to the game world, I can throw in some minor surface feelings to the PC. I'm not going to run roughshod over their characters, but if the player has established, let us say a child, and then as part of a magic trap playing on a character's fears, I'd feel perfectly fine saying something to the effect of "With dawning horror you realize that the figure being strapped to the rack is [insert npc name here]". Yes, I'm telling the player how their character feels, but I'm working with what we have previously established. And myself and the entire table is going to be a little taken aback if their reaction to their kid being strapped to a torture device isn't some form of horror.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I read what you wrote.

The DMG says you should work with character backstories before the game, allowing things to fit where they can. During the game the player is going against expectations by trying to add to their backstory, but that may be fine, or it may not be. It depends on the table and the temperament of the people involved since it doesn't involve the rules in any way.

As solid as mist that is.
What's not solid about it?

With your assertions of characters thinking what the player decides, and always being right in that regard...
Always right in that this is what the character thinks, anyway, since the rules say the player determines what the character thinks. Those thoughts themselves might be wrong.

then if the character thinks Francis exists, then the player thinks Francis exists, because they must be right about what their character is thinking.
The player need not necessarily believe that Frances exists. The player could be portraying a character who is sometimes confused about what is or isn't real, a flaw that when so portrayed could be worth Inspiration.

In any case, I don't have any particular preference with regard to the "divide between character and player knowledge." It's up to the player what the character thinks. It's none of my business as DM.

Yep, this all lines up with how I understand your position.

Though, I find it amusing you added in the part about not needing to know an earth elementals vulnerabilities to cast Thunderwave. You are completely correct, of course, but there are other ways to utilize a character's knowledge. For example, buying scrolls of Thunder damage spells in preparation of a battle involving lots of earth elementals under the assumption of them being vulnerable to that damage.

Of course, "assume at your own risk, I as the DM can and will change anything in the game" but that is a separate thing from what is being discussed.
"Buying scrolls of Thunder damage spells" does not necessarily require knowledge on the part of the character of the weaknesses of earth elementals either, even if the player knows a battle with such creatures looms.
 

Hussar

Legend
*ducks back in, waving a white flag*

Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest.

I just want to point something out [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION]. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, [MENTION=6801845]Oofta[/MENTION] and now [MENTION=996]Tony Vargas[/MENTION], all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the point you are trying to make isn't as clear as you think it is.

I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars. You dismissed oofta so hard that he's still on your ignore list. You dismissed my points as well.

I'm not saying you're wrong here. I'm not trying to pick a fight and my horse in this race is long dead. I'm just saying that perhaps, just maybe, your point could be misconstrued.

I mean, heck, once you actually pointed out an actual example, I realized that there is not much difference between your table and mine, I just don't insist on such strict adherence to formula - I skip steps. Otherwise, the end results between your table and mine are probably pretty close. However, it took an actual example to see that.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, continuously repeating the same line will not convince anyone. It requires multiple approaches.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
*ducks back in, waving a white flag*

Totally, totally not trying to start anything. Honest.

I just want to point something out [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION]. When three different posters, at least, at three different times - myself, [MENTION=6801845]Oofta[/MENTION] and now [MENTION=996]Tony Vargas[/MENTION], all come to the same, or at least very similar conclusions based on what you are posting, perhaps, and I'm not saying this is true, but, perhaps, the point you are trying to make isn't as clear as you think it is.

I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars. You dismissed oofta so hard that he's still on your ignore list. You dismissed my points as well.

I'm not saying you're wrong here. I'm not trying to pick a fight and my horse in this race is long dead. I'm just saying that perhaps, just maybe, your point could be misconstrued.

I mean, heck, once you actually pointed out an actual example, I realized that there is not much difference between your table and mine, I just don't insist on such strict adherence to formula - I skip steps. Otherwise, the end results between your table and mine are probably pretty close. However, it took an actual example to see that.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, continuously repeating the same line will not convince anyone. It requires multiple approaches.
I'm not trying to convince you of anything. And it's likely that more people understand my points than don't. Just a handful of folks are vocal in their objections and it's always the same posters in multiple threads. That strikes me as a clash of personalities more than anything else.
 

pemerton

Legend
This has the look of you trying to weaken the argument that you can learn to play D&D 5e without reference to other games. It's unclear why you'd want to do that in the first place, but I think you have thus far not succeeded.
If all this stuff of serious concern to you? Or is it just philosophical debate for the point of...well, philosophical debate? Because if disagreements about these things are actually causing problems at your table(s), I would suggest it's an issue with the attitudes of the participants, not game/house rules.
I haven't kept secret my reasons for talking about this stuff. I think that the rules the GM controls the environment, the GM narrates the consequencdes of action, the player decides what his/her PC thinks don't settle all questions of authority. There are aspects of the environment - stuff (equipment) and people (friends and family) - which are (apt to be conceived of as) extensions of the character.

A player gets to write rope on his/her PC sheet if s/he follows the proper steps in character building. This makes it true that the environment of the PC contains a rope. That is to say, the GM doesn't exercise principal authority over that aspect of the environment.

As to why I care - it's over 400 posts into a thread that is a spin-off of another thread that is over 1000 posts. To me, this is the interesting topic that is alive after those 2000-odd posts.

IIRC, [MENTION=42582]pemerton[/MENTION] is an actual philosopher, like IRL.

Or am I miss-remembering?
No, you're not misremebering. I'm an academic lawyer and philosopher.

I have to acknowledge those are good points
Thank you!

I question that the D&D player actually has /final/ authority over his character. Rather, the process of play is that he generally makes decisions for his character. In 'narrating results' the DM could essentially take control of the character

<snip>

The DM would seem to have that authority, both traditionally through most of the game's history, and specifically in 5e. But, like all rules, it's open to interpretation - DM interpretation.
I'm fully prepared to work with the player and have some give and take in these areas. Players can add some details to the game world, I can throw in some minor surface feelings to the PC. I'm not going to run roughshod over their characters, but if the player has established, let us say a child, and then as part of a magic trap playing on a character's fears, I'd feel perfectly fine saying something to the effect of "With dawning horror you realize that the figure being strapped to the rack is [insert npc name here]". Yes, I'm telling the player how their character feels, but I'm working with what we have previously established. And myself and the entire table is going to be a little taken aback if their reaction to their kid being strapped to a torture device isn't some form of horror.
This all makes sense.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I haven't kept secret my reasons for talking about this stuff. I think that the rules the GM controls the environment, the GM narrates the consequencdes of action, the player decides what his/her PC thinks don't settle all questions of authority. There are aspects of the environment - stuff (equipment) and people (friends and family) - which are (apt to be conceived of as) extensions of the character.

A player gets to write rope on his/her PC sheet if s/he follows the proper steps in character building. This makes it true that the environment of the PC contains a rope. That is to say, the GM doesn't exercise principal authority over that aspect of the environment.
There's a difference between before play and during play with regard to equipment. Yes, you get to pick your equipment before play during character creation, just like you get to pick your ability scores (if you're not rolling them), race, class, and so on. During play, the results of your action declarations are firmly in the hands of the DM.

People other than player characters are non-player characters and similarly under the control of the DM during play.
 

Celebrim

Legend
...people having issues that they try what the rules say to see if it corrects the problem.
My general advice to noob DMs is try the rules first, and only change them if everyone at the table is unhappy with the results. And certainly, if something seems wrong, consult the rules to make sure you are actually using them before complaining about the rules. Make sure you are testing the rules as they exist before deciding to write your own.

The big problem with house rules is that rules smithing is an art, and most DMs just don't have the skills accomplish their actual goals. Chances are, the professionals designed it better than you will. Back when we had a real house rules forum, I saw tons of house rules proposed that didn't solve the problem that they were intended to solve, or which created more problems than they solved, or which seemed to be a solution searching for a problem.

That said, every game has issues, and the professionals have deadlines and are working under a budget and within a limit on page count. If you know what you are doing and if a rule just makes everyone unhappy, by all means change it.

Further, every rule set has gaps in it where things are either open to interpretation, or the exact circumstances just aren't covered by the rules, or where the rules work for a given set of assumptions but that in real play cases come up outside of the assumptions. I've never really DMed a game where the players haven't proposed something that a kindergartener could at least try to do (maybe failing, but they could try) but the rules didn't really clearly explain what to do in that case. Further, I've never DMed a game where the rules have't stated something that for most cases is perfectly reasonably, but produces unreasonable results in edge cases.

So even if you don't plan on having house rules, and even if you plan on playing by the RAW, you have house rules. If you think you don't, then you just aren't conscious of your house rules.

I haven't followed very closely on the argument you are having, but what passage from 5e do you think is a rule?

It's been my experience that a lot of things that people claim are rules aren't rules. For example, "wealth by level" in 3.X was not a rule, it was a guideline. Thirteen encounters per adventuring day, was not a rule, but a guideline. That this percentage of encounters should be above CR and this below it was not a rule, but a guideline. Yet I often got into arguments online that insisted that if the PC's didn't receive their suggested wealth by level that I was breaking the rules.

Generally speaking, I don't classify things that don't have to do with process resolution as "rules". Much of the DMG in every edition tends to be just good advice to novice DMs on how to play D&D according to its default assumptions.
 

Hriston

Explorer
I agree that there are NPCs that the game suggests are "extensions of the PC" and thus under the control of the player. This is nowhere more apparent than in the background features.

From the acolyte's "Shelter of the Faithful":
While near your temple, you can call upon the priests for assistance, provided the assistance you ask for is not hazardous and you remain in good standing with your temple.​

From the criminal's "Criminal Contact"
You have a reliable and trustworthy contact who acts as your liaison to a network of other criminals. You know how to get messages to and from your contact, even over great distances; specifically, you know the local messengers, corrupt caravan masters, and seedy sailors who can deliver messages for you.​

From the noble's "Position of Priviledge":
You can secure an audience with a local noble if you need to.​

From the sage's "Researcher":
When you attempt to learn or recall a piece of lore, if you do not know that information, you often know where and from whom you can obtain it. Usually, this information comes from a library, scriptorium, university, or a sage or other learned person or creature.​

These are abilities, on the order of class and racial features on the character sheet, that the player can invoke that give his/her character access to NPCs with which s/he is connected and over which the player can exert some degree of influence.
 
*ducks back in, waving a white flag*

I mean, you're dismissing Tony Vargas because apparently he's been scarred by edition wars.
All my scars are on the inside.


I think that the rules the GM controls the environment, the GM narrates the consequencdes of action, the player decides what his/her PC thinks don't settle all questions of authority.
Y'know, it occurs to me that are times when the DM deciding what the PC thinks is the whole point.

Player: I pay attention not just to what he's saying, but to his body language how he's saying it, to try to get a sense of if he's being truthful or not.
DM: OK, roll WIS, Insight applies.
Player: 9 + 2 +5 that's a 15
DM: 16 You think he's probably being truthful.
Player: STOP TELLING ME WHAT MY CHARACTER THINKS!

A player gets to write rope on his/her PC sheet if s/he follows the proper steps in character building. This makes it true that the environment of the PC contains a rope. That is to say, the GM doesn't exercise principal authority over that aspect of the environment.
Player: I pull 50' of rope out of my pack and...
DM: You find no rope in your pack.
Player: I picked it before play, it's right here on my sheet!
DM: It's not there now.
Player: What happened to it?
DM: I hear a goal, but not a method.
Player: What do I think could have happened to it?
DM: Oh, no, I'm not falling for that again.

… that is, the DM controls the environment and the environment could do all sorts of things to your equipment after play begins.

There are aspects of the environment - stuff (equipment) and people (friends and family) - which are (apt to be conceived of as) extensions of the character.
But, even if they're conceived that way, and they happen to come up in play, then their condition, what they do, etc, is all described along with the rest of the environment, by the DM.

OTOH, there have been (often problematic) 'pet' mechanics that let the player control a class feature that happens to be nominally not a player character.

"the GM controls the environment, the player declares actions, the GM narrates the consequences of action" may not be adequate in all instances, but it's a good, reasonably clear (obviously ambiguous) high-level rule and it still informs instances where it doesn't apply exactly like it sounds.

A player controlling an animal companion's actions, fleshing out his background, picking (and describing - which IIRC, is still allowed) his gear, and so forth may not neatly, literally fit that rule on the surface, but they're still compatible with it at some level. Picking gear, for instance, is just simplified: you could - and might be required to by some DMs - acquire gear through a series of interactions with the environment - the DM describes the town, you declare you look for chandler, the DM narrates finding one, you declare the goal of acquiring rope & the method of honestly negotiating a fair price with said chandler, the DM narrates you getting ripped off because of the 'gold rush economy,' etc.
At that rate, it should only take a few sessions to get everyone equipped and to the dungeon. ;)
 

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