D&D 5E What is a Social challenge, anyways?

dave2008

Legend
So what? They didn't need to have the whole picture, did they? Sure, having it might have changed things, but unless those changes were significant / meaningful, what's the point?
I am not speaking for @GMforPowergamers or this specific scenario; however, not having the whole picture can be a life and death issue in our games. Now I will admit that leans more into the exploration and investigation mode, but it can involve social encounters too. If my PCs barge into a situation without enough (or the correct) information it can have very bad consequences.
 

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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Ok, so you used those? Most DM's IME never bothered -- you are strange. :D


Yep, you're wrong. I never even heard of that until you posted about it--who bothered debating that junk?


Sure, it could be (I even provided an example in my prior post!), but in the 5E framework it isn't and I've never seen a need to have the roll determine it.

Consider this, other than the "critical hit on a 20", which was never part of D&D until 2E when they hardcoded it into the game system, 5E d20 rolls do not concern themselves with distinguishing between a 10 and a 17 if the roll just needed to be 10 or better. It is a simple success/fail system; the only complexity is what success and failure is precisely, which is up to the DM. The magnitude is determined by the damage roll, which is why it is separate roll.

When you "miss" in combat, we don't break down the roll to determine did the attack fail because it was block with a shield, parried, dodged, or whatever--it is just a miss (or failed attack technically).

The severity of the damage is determined by the damage roll (which is why my group uses critical damage, not critical hits).


Not really, although I see your point you're trying to make.

Here's my take: the check is the attack roll, not the damage. Does your check succeed in influencing the NPC in the direction you want (a "hit") or not (a "miss"). There is no damage aspect to determine how far (the magnitude) the NPC is moved in the corresponding direction.

There are lots of ways you could do this, certainly, but to what point? At this level, IMO, you are just breaking down role-playing to a series of roll and numbers, which is already what we do in combat, so why doing it to social? What do we gain?


Oh, I know my way is fine. ;)

Seriously though, if others what to make SC a long process just like combat, have at it. Frankly, it would bore me to death (the same way combat bores other players)--just making skill check after skill check until I get enough successes or failures... But to each, their own.

I'm just waiting for someone to actually post an example of a SC scenario that would be significant enough to warrant that sort of time during a session. Role-playing through it is more fun for me, and certainly when a check is called for it to determine the direction it takes, roll.
I thought critical hits were a house rule in 2e.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I thought critical hits were a house rule in 2e.
They were "optional" but feature in a Dragon Magazine (IIRC???) for 1E and easily adopted by many groups IME.

It's on page 61 of the DMG 2E

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Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
When running more traditional games (including 5e), even when I decide no roll is necessary there are several things I need to consider (for my purposes) to determine what an NPC's response will be to a particular social action:
  • What does the NPC desire or want?
  • What are they capable of doing/accomplishing?
  • What is their relationship to this particular PC?
  • How capable is this particular PC at presenting their case? (Proficiencies, Charisma, Expertise)
  • How susceptible is the NPC to given social approaches (intimidation, flattery, conniving, deception, etc)
  • Character specific fictional positioning
Strong structures can help me to parse these considerations in a way that is easier to handle cognitively (for me personally). Adding a dice roll helps to remove the desire to shift the outcome to my personal desires.

It takes time to develop skill at flowing in and out of mechanically addressing the fiction and like describing/depicting, but when you do I find it results in a stronger understanding of the situation, more fidelity to the situation and a better sense of being in the moment for me personally.
 

dave2008

Legend
Such as? Can you give me an example or two? Something from your games?
Sure! However, I don't have the type of memory or record keeping to tell you exactly what the conversations were or what was rolled and when. However, here is one that sticks out:

My group is generally cautious and when they heard there were signs of a dragon in the area they were headed they did some investigation. The eventually verified there was a dragon and it was "about the size of a horse." So they confidently proceeded with their plan. Sure enough, they came across the dragon...and its parent! The parent dragon wiped out half the party before they end of the first round!
 
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I am not speaking for @GMforPowergamers or this specific scenario; however, not having the whole picture can be a life and death issue in our games.
sometimes it REALLY is in our games... the difference between it being a group of kobolds, and being a group of kobold sorcerers with dragon blood is HUGE
Now I will admit that leans more into the exploration and investigation mode, but it can involve social encounters too. If my PCs barge into a situation without enough (or the correct) information it can have very bad consequences.
yup... heck if they had talked to someone they just didn't they would have known about the construct terrorists on the moon... and would not have been blindsided by the autognome "matchings the description of"
 

Such as? Can you give me an example or two? Something from your games?
I guess I am cross posting with this poster, but let me give you an example fromt eh game I am playing in tonight...

We got planshifted to an alternate reality... similar but not the exact sme as our game world... in this world (to our suprise) a group of artificers are the big bads... they have a guild, they killed a god and used his/her/it (still not sure what one) energy among like a few dozen of thema nd there constructs... so everyone fears artificers.

My chharacter is a multi class artificer wizard (battlesmith blade singer) and I have a construct that I use as a joke... he looks like Gen 1 grimlock with glowing claws... but he is my buttler and I don't use him for fights.
we got 3 hints we missed that he was going to cause trouble... but when someone in a town saw him and assumed I was (I thought ) royalty I played up "Yeah, I'm with thguild, yeah I'm a powerful artificer"
IF we had looked into it at ALLL we would have realized how bad that was... so an assasination attempt, and and army running me (us) out of a city later bright claw is now hidden... but that drew the attention of the guild. Opps

by the way wee heard a few mutterings from3 different sources and never asked before this town what was up...
 


A social challenge is when your D&D group, back in the 80’s, all decided to go to prom.
in the 90's my Sr year of HS my buddy (and ffellow gammer) was younger then me but dating a girl in my grade... he went to both proms... the next year when he was a Sr he was dating a younger girl and went to both proms again... so out of the 6 of us in my HS TTRPG group/club we did go to 6 proms... 4 were just one person...
 

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