When is the skill check made?

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I don't see anything in the rules which indicates that. If I start building a wall and halfway through 3 master builders show up to give me guidance, my wall is going to be better than if I did it alone. That far through it might only be +1 or +2, rather than the +3 or +4 if they had been present the entire time, but it will be better quality. I see the spell as similar. It gives a bit of a push, so it doesn't matter if it is to an instant skill check or a longer durational one.
A key concept in understanding my position (per a few posts upthread) is that a "skill check" isn't a task.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
But it's dependent(with skills) on a task. They are related.
That there is an ability check means there is a task, but a task does not require an ability check. An ability check isn't a task, just a mechanic used to resolve the outcome of a task when there's an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't see anything in the rules which indicates that. If I start building a wall and halfway through 3 master builders show up to give me guidance, my wall is going to be better than if I did it alone. That far through it might only be +1 or +2, rather than the +3 or +4 if they had been present the entire time, but it will be better quality. I see the spell as similar. It gives a bit of a push, so it doesn't matter if it is to an instant skill check or a longer durational one.
This is also my understanding of the spell, if I’m reading your intent correctly.

This is also why I’ve no issue with just letting it work in the simplest manner possible, from a reasoning perspective.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Goodness....

Folks... are you actually going to get anywhere with this? I mean, it is two pages of thread already, and you show no sign of coming to a mutually agreeable conclusion.

Maybe you need to accept that you disagree. Not "agree to disagree", just accept it - like the tides. You don't have to agree that tides will come in, but you accept it. You don't try to stop the tides - you learn to work with and around them.
 

Hriston

Adventurer
As I state a couple posts above, there is no explicit requirement, but it is implicit in the core resolution mechanic in that tasks and checks are different things. You can have a task without a check, but not a check without a task. But a check is not a task, nor a task a check. Checks don't exist in the game world.
Maybe you need to connect the dots for me then because, while I agree with everything you’re saying here about tasks and checks, I have no idea what you think that proves regarding whether the duration of a casting of guidance must cover the entire time it takes to perform a task for the spell to have the desired effect.

Because the check doesn't exist in the game world, it does not occur at any particular point in time. Therefore, for the outcome of the task to be affected by the spell or class feature, it follows that the task must be started and end within the duration of the spell.
I feel like there’s some underlying assumption you have that I don’t share that leads you to this conclusion, but I have no idea what it is. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s that in the absence of a fictional event with which to associate the rolling and addition of the extra die (I mean, the spell is pretty bare-bones mechanics), you’re associating it with the task as a whole, but I’d much rather hear your thoughts than try to guess what you’re thinking.

Technically, the ability check is not part of Step 2. It's somewhere between Step 2 and Step 3, if there is an ability check at all.
I disagree. If, as you say, there’s an ability check at all, then the DM can’t describe the result of the action until after the check, which places the check back in step 2 along with other inputs into resolution.

The problem is that the "critical moment," if you mean that to be when the ability check is made, does not exist in the context of the game world. If you are saying that the ability check does occur at some point in the fiction, that is a house rule because there is nothing to my knowledge that says when an ability check happens when a task is being undertaken. It happens at the table, not in the game world. The spell or class feature happens in the game world and improves the chances of success in the task by affecting the dice at the table. To square this all up and to avoid conflating tasks and checks, the task must be started and completed within the duration of the spell or class feature.
By “critical moment”, I don’t mean when the ability check is made. I mean a critical moment in the fiction, which does exist in the game-world. I’m not saying the ability check occurs at any point in the fiction, or that it occurs in the fiction at all. What I’m saying is that the question of the timing of the check doesn’t matter. What matters is that the d4 is rolled and added at the table while the state of the fiction agreed upon by the people at the table is that guidance was cast less than a minute ago in the fiction.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That there is an ability check means there is a task, but a task does not require an ability check. An ability check isn't a task, just a mechanic used to resolve the outcome of a task when there's an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure.
Those tasks that are auto success or failure and have no ability check are not germane to this discussion. Only those tasks which do require an ability check will be rolled for, and those are the ones that Guidance will be applied to.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Maybe you need to connect the dots for me then because, while I agree with everything you’re saying here about tasks and checks, I have no idea what you think that proves regarding whether the duration of a casting of guidance must cover the entire time it takes to perform a task for the spell to have the desired effect.

I feel like there’s some underlying assumption you have that I don’t share that leads you to this conclusion, but I have no idea what it is. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s that in the absence of a fictional event with which to associate the rolling and addition of the extra die (I mean, the spell is pretty bare-bones mechanics), you’re associating it with the task as a whole, but I’d much rather hear your thoughts than try to guess what you’re thinking.
I think you're on the right track here.

I disagree. If, as you say, there’s an ability check at all, then the DM can’t describe the result of the action until after the check, which places the check back in step 2 along with other inputs into resolution.
Even if there is a check, it's still neither Step 2 nor Step 3, technically.

By “critical moment”, I don’t mean when the ability check is made. I mean a critical moment in the fiction, which does exist in the game-world. I’m not saying the ability check occurs at any point in the fiction, or that it occurs in the fiction at all. What I’m saying is that the question of the timing of the check doesn’t matter. What matters is that the d4 is rolled and added at the table while the state of the fiction agreed upon by the people at the table is that guidance was cast less than a minute ago in the fiction.
If the task lasts less than a minute, then I'm with you. If it lasts more than a minute, guidance won't help. If it lasts more than 10 minutes, bardic inspiration won't help.
 
Goodness....

Folks... are you actually going to get anywhere with this? I mean, it is two pages of thread already, and you show no sign of coming to a mutually agreeable conclusion.

Maybe you need to accept that you disagree. Not "agree to disagree", just accept it - like the tides. You don't have to agree that tides will come in, but you accept it. You don't try to stop the tides - you learn to work with and around them.
Just curious, have you ever stopped to ask yourself:

What if we enjoy this back and forth kind of argument that goes nowhere? Does the old adage, "who are you to yuck on someone elses yum" apply here?
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Those tasks that are auto success or failure and have no ability check are not germane to this discussion. Only those tasks which do require an ability check will be rolled for, and those are the ones that Guidance will be applied to.
Yes, and since there's no point in the game world at which the ability check is made, then it follows that the task must be within the duration of the spell or class feature for there to be a benefit. A side effect of this is that guidance spamming doesn't happen (unless the PCs do a lot of tasks that take 1 minute or less), solving the problem reported by the original poster.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yes, and since there's no point in the game world at which the ability check is made, then it follows that the task must be within the duration of the spell or class feature for there to be a benefit.
I disagree. It just follows that the task have a chance of failure and a meaningful consequence for failure in order to have a roll and allow Guidance to be used.

A side effect of this is that guidance spamming doesn't happen (unless the PCs do a lot of tasks that take 1 minute or less), solving the problem reported by the original poster.
It already doesn't really happen. 2-3 foraging attempts per day hardly qualifies as spamming. You kinda have to set yourself up for failure to see Guidance being spammed.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I disagree. It just follows that the task have a chance of failure and a meaningful consequence for failure in order to have a roll and allow Guidance to be used.
Let's say a task takes 2 minutes to perform and there's an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. How does guidance work in this situation in your view?

It already doesn't really happen. 2-3 foraging attempts per day hardly qualifies as spamming. You kinda have to set yourself up for failure to see Guidance being spammed.
Leaving my foraging example aside, when people are talking about "spamming," they're generally talking about a task taking longer than a minute and the caster is repetitively casting the guidance spell every minute until the task is done believing that this will provide the spell's benefit. This requires establishing that the ability check takes place during one of the 1-minute increments within the time the task takes to complete. But the ability check doesn't exist in the fiction, only the task and the duration of the spell do.
 
Leaving my foraging example aside, when people are talking about "spamming," they're generally talking about a task taking longer than a minute and the caster is repetitively casting the guidance spell every minute until the task is done believing that this will provide the spell's benefit. This requires establishing that the ability check takes place during one of the 1-minute increments within the time the task takes to complete. But the ability check doesn't exist in the fiction, only the task and the duration of the spell do.
But guidance says:

Once before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one ability check of its choice. It can roll the die before or after making the ability check

So then supposing that you have a 2 minute task. But guidance is recast to maintain it on the PC in question. Then something like the following happens:

The ability check gets rolled when the task started. In which case guidance was up when the ability check was rolled and the spell says the creature can roll a d4 and add the number to this ability check.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Let's say a task takes 2 minutes to perform and there's an uncertain outcome and a meaningful consequence for failure. How does guidance work in this situation in your view?
The task takes two minutes and guidance helps with the task. It doesn't matter if the spell is cast at the beginning, middle or end. It will still provide a benefit to the one performing the task such that when the roll is asked for, the recipient of the spell adds 1d4 either before or after.

Leaving my foraging example aside, when people are talking about "spamming," they're generally talking about a task taking longer than a minute and the caster is repetitively casting the guidance spell every minute until the task is done believing that this will provide the spell's benefit. This requires establishing that the ability check takes place during one of the 1-minute increments within the time the task takes to complete. But the ability check doesn't exist in the fiction, only the task and the duration of the spell do.
The in fiction task does have an in fiction check. That check just isn't a mechanical roll. As an example, an in fiction action to climb a cliff does test the characters athletic ability and the associated stat in fiction. Through his skill and inherent ability, he has chance to succeed or fail, depending on how well he performs the task of climbing. That in fiction chance(check) is modeled by the out of character stat roll.

What there isn't, is an exact moment in the fiction where the "roll" would happen, but that doesn't matter to the guidance spell.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The task takes two minutes and guidance helps with the task. It doesn't matter if the spell is cast at the beginning, middle or end. It will still provide a benefit to the one performing the task such that when the roll is asked for, the recipient of the spell adds 1d4 either before or after.
So the spell will need to have been cast twice since the task takes longer than the spell. Did the check occur in the first minute, the second minute, or in the space of time between the end of one spell and the beginning of the next?

The rules don't say. It just says that once before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one ability check of its choice, before or after making the check. The spell then ends. Since an ability check requires that a task is being performed, that reads to me that the task needs to be started and completed within the duration of the spell or else you are choosing when the ability check takes place in the fiction, when it doesn't actually take place in the fiction at all.

(Side question: What would be the benefit of rolling the d4 before the check as the spell allows?)

The in fiction task does have an in fiction check. That check just isn't a mechanical roll. As an example, an in fiction action to climb a cliff does test the characters athletic ability and the associated stat in fiction. Through his skill and inherent ability, he has chance to succeed or fail, depending on how well he performs the task of climbing. That in fiction chance(check) is modeled by the out of character stat roll.
I don't buy that. At best this is trying to sneak the ability check into the fiction through the back door in my view with language games. It's a mechanic we use at the table for the DM to decide what happens in the fiction, not a thing that happens in the fiction itself.

What there isn't, is an exact moment in the fiction where the "roll" would happen, but that doesn't matter to the guidance spell.
It does matter if the task takes longer than the spell's duration.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So the spell will need to have been cast twice since the task takes longer than the spell. Did the check occur in the first minute, the second minute, or in the space of time between the end of one spell and the beginning of the next?
No it won't. Once the task is started, you can trigger the spell effect to use it before the roll, as per the spell as written. There is nothing written anywhere that says that the spell will need to be up for the entire duration. This is your ruling for how it works in your game, not how it works RAW.

The rules don't say. It just says that once before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one ability check of its choice, before or after making the check. The spell then ends. Since an ability check requires that a task is being performed, that reads to me that the task needs to be started and completed within the duration of the spell or else you are choosing when the ability check takes place in the fiction, when it doesn't actually take place in the fiction at all.
Except that completing the task simply is not required. Once before the spell ends, such as during a task that hasn't completed yet, you can add d4 to the roll when the check is made. That d4 can be added before the roll, such as halfway through the task, and it will be present once the check is called for.

Doing it that way I have just laid out satisfies the following.

1. Once before the spell ends, the target can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to one ability check o f its choice.

2. It can roll the die before or after making the ability check.

3. The spell then ends.

There is no requirement to complete the task before the spell ends for all of the above to be true.

(Side question: What would be the benefit of rolling the d4 before the check as the spell allows?)
Rolling before or after will almost always be irrelevant, so the benefit of rolling before will be the same as rolling after. You only have 1 minute and it will be unlikely that you will be performing multiple ability checks in that time frame that will need the d4, and if you do, you can just cast the spell again.

I don't buy that. At best this is trying to sneak the ability check into the fiction through the back door in my view with language games. It's a mechanic we use at the table for the DM to decide what happens in the fiction, not a thing that happens in the fiction itself.
You're arguing that there is no skill being used in the game world, when there is. If you are using a skill, then that skill can succeed or fail. That chance to succeed or fail is a "check"(for lack of a better term) in the game world. The mechanic just models that in-fiction "check."

It does matter if the task takes longer than the spell's duration.
You have yet to provide a reason for that other than, "Because when taking the rules as a whole into account, it follows that the task must be started and finished within the duration of the spell."

That is just your opinion on what the rules show, and not one that is backed up by the actual rules from what I can see.
 
For tasks that take time, when is the skill check made? Is it made over that whole duration? Or at the end? Or...?
I tend to think of it in natural terms, so for me yes the "check" represents a continued effort which spans the whole duration.

It doesn't matter if the player rolls the dice at the start or at the end. For example, when players decide to be sneaky I typically tell them to roll Stealth checks as they start moving silently, and then use the result later when it matters i.e. when there are foes that may hear them; on the contrary I usually ask for social interaction checks after they roleplayed a conversation, so that I also take into account what they said.

One reason I ask is that in another thread, a few posters suggested that a spell like guidance should not work on a task that takes longer than one minute. Implying that the check is made over the duration of the task, rather than at the end. (Because, were it at the end, then couldn't the guidance caster wait until just before the end?)

I think this interpretation leads to imagining that guidance is in operation over the whole 1 minute; but how about bardic inspiration? With inspiration, one has 10 minutes to use the die. I think this interpretation means something like - the task would need to start and resolve completely inside that 10 minutes. Looking then at Lucky, I think this interpretation means that the feat is used at the last possible moment - the instant of task completion. Because, to be consistent, I think we want all the buffs and re-rolls to be occurring inside the task duration.
That's how I rule them. Guidance won't help with a task longer than 1 minute, and Bardic Inspiration won't help with a task longer than 10 minutes.

Lucky has some narrative text about working at the "right moment", but I don't know from where you are getting that this means the "instant of task completion". I think you are making this up, it's not in the feat description. I am fine with this feat being usable in prolonged tasks and saving throws such as recovering from an illness.

A residual question is, is it that only one cast of guidance and one inspiration die can be used for a given task? What I mean is, could a magical initiate cast guidance at the start of a 2 minute task, and then recast it 30 seconds in, and then again after another 30 seconds, and then again. Thus with four casts spanning the whole 2 minutes.
Guidance requires concentration so in my games I would not allow to cast it multiple times to cover longer tasks, as I would rule that the second casting interrupts concentration on the first.

Bardic Inspiration doesn't require concentration so I would allow a Bard to keep inspiring over multiples of 10 minutes, after all the Bard is going to have to expend multiple uses of this ability so the price is fair.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
The rules 100% do not cover it. Why? Because there is no rule for WHEN the roll is made. Is it made at the beginning? The end? During? When during? When the DM decides during? Quote me the rule that says exactly when the check happens, and you will have proven that the rules cover and allow spamming guidance to work(assuming the rule doesn't say at the beginning). Otherwise, you are wrong.
I can't find a clear statement about the exact moment. There are clear statements that an acting creature is conscious of making a check (they know when they are about to make it, and when they have made it).
 

Advertisement

Top