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D&D General Why Exploration Is the Worst Pillar

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
And it isn't much of something I care about if your goal is just to reduce my character's hp by any means necessary. I can play the 15 ft pole and dismantling every door starting at the hinges game, but if the entire goal is just to make us lose hp, just tell us how much we lost and let's move on to something more interesting.
Sometimes the goal is slow steady resource attrition. Hit points are a resource.
Because we were in a dungeon where none of the monsters were intelligent, all of them were undead,
Did you-as-PCs know this already?
and both the characters had high enough athletics scores to break down the doors, we just couldn't roll above a 7.

And why couldn't we retry? Does the decrepit wooden door suddenly become indestructible just because a character rolls a 2?

Personally, I would have just let the low roll mean it took longer and was louder (two things that didn't matter) and moved on. But this DM insisted that we roll, every single time, despite no time limit, no consequences, and no other way to go other than forwards.
If the door was that decrepit I'm surprised the DM had you roll at all. The only roll I probably would have had would be one to somehow determine how much noise you made.
Fine, "I thoroughly search the room" Better? Or am I going to miss the gold under the bed but get cursed by the key in the drawer just because I didn't specifically tell you how I'm specifically touching or not touching every item in the room?
No player IME ever complains when they happen to find the gold and miss the cursed key.

Every player IME complains "But I didn't say I was touching it!" when they trigger the cursed key.

So, bloody well tell me in specifics what you're doing, 'cause I'm tired of having that argument over and over again.
And when discussing the game as it exists with other people, your houserules need not apply. Yes, you can make vampires shoot lasers out of their mouths. No, it doesn't really matter when talking about how to use vampires from the MM.
Yes it does; in that oftentimes someone's houserule is a better solution than what the RAW provides.
 

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Fanaelialae

Legend
And did you establish the rules for foraging and wandering monsters before they took their background? Why would they bother taking it if it means more fights instead of just spending more money so that they don't have to deal with it.



I don't doubt it. In fact, the sure number of times on these forums anything that has involved any time at all has been met with "but wandering monsters" I'd say it is likely to have happened.
I'm a big proponent of session zero, and very anti-gotcha DMing.

They'd take it because they want to automatically succeed on foraging, which is what that background is for. That remains the same, whether or not the DM uses wandering monsters.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
No they don't. They can say, "I'm headed to the X on the map," and they cannot get lost on the way there. This literally means they cannot take a wrong turn. "No need to navigate, because if I go in the wrong direction, that's fixed because I cannot be lost."

What you're saying is that they need to navigate just like normal, and if they don't, then... what? They can't get lost. What's the outcome of failing to navigate or plan a route?
The Ranger must perform the Navigate activity (PHB, p. 183). This is alluded to in the third bullet point for Natural Explorer (PHB, p. 91)—you remain alert to danger while performing another activity (and Navigate is specifically called out as one such activity). The exception is that you don't need to make a Wisdom (Survival) check because you don't become lost. Also, if you don't know the location of a destination this doesn't mean you can just navigate there automatically without searching. Not getting lost simply means that you know where you are and what direction you are going—it allows to to backtrack to places you've explored or maintain going in the desired direction without the need for a roll.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The Ranger must perform the Navigate activity (PHB, p. 183). This is alluded to in the third bullet point for Natural Explorer (PHB, p. 91)—you remain alert to danger while performing another activity (and Navigate is specifically called out as one such activity). The exception is that you don't need to make a Wisdom (Survival) check because you don't become lost. Also, if you don't know the location of a destination this doesn't mean you can just navigate there automatically without searching. Not getting lost simply means that you know where you are and what direction you are going—it allows to to backtrack to places you've explored or maintain going in the desired direction without the need for a roll.
Correct. A successful Wisdom (Survival) check means you don't get lost which, according to the rules, means you go in the wrong direction and it takes you 1d6 hours to get back on course. A ranger in favored terrain who is navigating automatically succeeds (no roll).
 

Asisreo

Fiendish Attorney
There's quite a lot that you responded with so I'll keep my responses brief.
I've looked off and on for years, on multiple sites and read dozens of articles and watched about 4 or 5 different video essays.

But sure, I just haven't looked hard enough, that must be it. Not that there is a fundamental problem in how traps are interacted with. What was that thing they said... something like if knowing how the trap works and where it is means it isn't a challenge, it wasn't a challenge in the first place, just a gotcha. Don't remember which resource it was that said that, but it fits with my experience.
It was a joke.
I know, and yet time and time and time and time and time again, we end up in this situation where despite being unable to fail the roll, we have to make it anyways. Mostly because the DM either didn't think of a DC beforehand, or because they ignore the rules and say that 1's fail, so there is always a "chance" you can fail no matter what... then they forget that the rogue can't even roll a 1 after a certain point in time, so we are just rolling meaningless rolls.
That's bad DM'ing. No rule to stop rule-breaking DMs.
And, it still doesn't anwser the original question, what is the point of putting in a trap that the party is going to automatically bypass without rolling? What have you accomplished?
The sense that their build was useful and not something they could have ignored since the adventure never calls for perception anyways.
Turn Undead isn't a passive, always on feature. But yes, if any undead lower than CR 1 disintegrated whenever they got within 30 ft of the cleric, then I would probably be very tempted to stop sending undead at the cleric, since they are just wasting time.
Then you've essentially erased the cleric's feature. Might as well not play a cleric since anything they have that is good instantly gets nerfed.
So, the cleric spots and ambush from any distance (because there is no distance limit on sight) and they can't talk to the party because they couldn't see the ambush before the surprise round happened... So there is no point in the Alert feat if you have a high enough passive perception, because the result is the same. All it does is prevent surprise, it doesn't actually allow you to spot the ambush before it happens. Ambush still happens, you just can't justify the cleric being surprised.
The party doesn't notice the enemy group until they're at least in peripheral view. Once its possible for the cleric to notice, the enemy rolls stealth. At this point, the enemy group also knows the party is there and will, at the same time, lash out to ambush because waiting too long is bad.
I'm pretty sure none of this is in the rules, and it seems that the entire point of it is to just force ambushes to happen anyways, no matter what the passive perception is.
Page 189 in the PHB. The DM rolls stealth against passive Perception. The characters that have lower passive Perception than the Stealth total of the enemy or if the enemy is unnoticeable (such as a gelatinous cube) are surprised.
Right, doesn't matter what the passive perception is, they have to then go and roll to be allowed to see the trap. Thus forcing the trap to still be relevant, despite being spotted.

Might as well just remove passive perception from the game.
No roll. Just specification that they want to look closer. That's it. No dice.
I can't say I'm surprised by that, you definetly seemed like the type to plan out every aspect of the game and try to deviate as little as possible from your plan.
I don't plan anything in the game except for the starting scene. Everything else isn't planned, its improvised. I do, however, actually put in effort for the worldbuilding.

If I create a dungeon, I don't care if they ignored it and came back at level 20 with 6 epic boons each. I'll run it as it says. If that means they walk through without any stakes, so be it.

I don't have a plan, i just have a world.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The Ranger must perform the Navigate activity (PHB, p. 183). This is alluded to in the third bullet point for Natural Explorer (PHB, p. 91)—you remain alert to danger while performing another activity (and Navigate is specifically called out as one such activity). The exception is that you don't need to make a Wisdom (Survival) check because you don't become lost. Also, if you don't know the location of a destination this doesn't mean you can just navigate there automatically without searching. Not getting lost simply means that you know where you are and what direction you are going—it allows to to backtrack to places you've explored or maintain going in the desired direction without the need for a roll.
The Ranger need not actually do that. The Ranger can do that and something else, but that doesn't make it required. And lost also has the meaning of losing your way, which you cannot do, so you must know your way. The rules are not clear on which meaning of lost they intended, so... it can be reasonably read in both ways. The Ranger has the supernatural ability to know the way, because they can't every not know the way, provided they are in their favored terrain.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
"You took a background thinking you could live off the land? Hah, you fool, didn't you realize that not spending money on rations and mounts and hirelings and wagons means that you've decided you want to be ambushed every single time by monsters who immediately get a surprise attack!"
A character that is not specifically looking out for danger (be they navigating, foraging, etc.) do not get to use their Passive Perception to notice a hidden or stealthy enemy (PHB, p.183). (Mind you, this doesn't apply to Rangers in their Favored Terrain.) This isn't a punishment, it's just a possible consequence of what activity that you want your character to choose. Whether the enemy is hidden/stealthy/whatever will depend on the encounter, though, be planned or random as appropriate.

Yeah, no punishments going on here. Just the DM deciding after character creation that a player choosing to use their background ability to bypass a need for food is a choice that leads to monster attacks.
No, assuming the DM isn't specifically a douche, the DM isn't using encounters with stealthy enemies just to punish the player that too the Outlander Background. That doesn't mean that the DM should never use such encounters, though.

Mind you, if your group doesn't want to deal with this part of the exploration rules, they should feel free to ignore the extant rules and just do a travel montage like the DMG suggests as an option.

Just like when the Acolyte uses their ability to find shelter it turns out that the church can't possibly spare anything, unless they are willing to fight these monsters for them...
That actually sounds like an adventure hook.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
The Ranger need not actually do that. The Ranger can do that and something else, but that doesn't make it required. And lost also has the meaning of losing your way, which you cannot do, so you must know your way. The rules are not clear on which meaning of lost they intended, so... it can be reasonably read in both ways. The Ranger has the supernatural ability to know the way, because they can't every not know the way, provided they are in their favored terrain.
That makes no logical sense.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
That makes no logical sense.
No, it does make logical sense, it's just an outcome that's unpalatable. I agree this is a very unwelcome outcome, but lost does have that meaning as well, and so the inability to lose one's way means that you know your way. There isn't a middle ground where you haven't lost your way and still don't know it -- not knowing it is what lost your way means.

I agree that this isn't a good way to run the game, I'm just pointing out the absurd results of the rules if taken as they are written. Exploration challenges are extra screwed by a character that should be engaging exploration instead of steamrollering it.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
No, it does make logical sense, it's just an outcome that's unpalatable. I agree this is a very unwelcome outcome, but lost does have that meaning as well, and so the inability to lose one's way means that you know your way. There isn't a middle ground where you haven't lost your way and still don't know it -- not knowing it is what lost your way means.
You can't logically know your way to a destination that you don't know the location of —you still have to search.
 


Ristamar

Adventurer
And what am I targeting by "The servant springs into existence in an unoccupied space on the ground within range"

The closest you can get is that I'm targeting a space... but the servant is appearing, that isn't "targeting" really. I mean, you don't even need to see the space.

The point where it appears/originates is the target. You don't necessarily need to see it, but as the targeting rules state, you must have a clear path to it, so it can't be behind total cover.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
In other words:
“Your group can't become lost except by magical means.”
=/=
You know the exact route to every location in your favored terrain (even if said location has never been seen by humanoid eyes or has otherwise remained undiscovered to date.)
Put that way, it does make sense. It is the ranger's favored terrain, so they'd know it very well, right?
 


Laurefindel

Legend
No, it does make logical sense, it's just an outcome that's unpalatable. I agree this is a very unwelcome outcome, but lost does have that meaning as well, and so the inability to lose one's way means that you know your way. There isn't a middle ground where you haven't lost your way and still don't know it -- not knowing it is what lost your way means.

I agree that this isn't a good way to run the game, I'm just pointing out the absurd results of the rules if taken as they are written. Exploration challenges are extra screwed by a character that should be engaging exploration instead of steamrollering it.
I too believe you're extrapolating too much.

Ignoring how to get somewhere isn't being lost. Being lost is when you can't track your steps back. As long as you know how to go back where you started, you're not lost.

The ranger will always know where (s)he is in relation to their starting point (as long as they are in their favoured terrain, that is). You could even argue that since they can always retrace their steps, they'll never search the same area twice by mistake and thus won't lose efficiency. This they can do intuitively.

However, this doesn't mean that they know how to reach their destination just as intuitively.

It can take me a while before I find Oreo cookies in a grocery store I've never been to. I'm pretty sure I'll always be able to go back to the checkout cashes no matter where I am however. Not knowing where the Oreo cookies are =/= being lost in the grocery.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
You seem to want to equate “not able to get lost” with “omniscience regarding places they’ve never even seen before.” Because “Favored Terrain”. That’s not how many of us are interpreting that power at all.
I get that. So, if you don't know the way, that's one definition for lost. You can't be lost. How does this resolve without handwaving it away because it's icky?
 

Laurefindel

Legend
I get that. So, if you don't know the way, that's one definition for lost. You can't be lost. How does this resolve without handwaving it away because it's icky?
[emphasis mine]
This is the part where others don't agree with you. Your logic is sound. Your base postulate isn't, and therefore skews your conclusion.
 



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