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5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
No. That's not it ... at all.

You have so completely missed what is going on, it's not even funny.
Actually it is you who have missed what is going on, presumably due to having skipped several pages.

There is no one that is saying that they wouldn't accommodate a player.
Yes there is:


The RAW is 'will not'.
It's simple. It won't happen. Therefore there's no need.

Playing RAW no Druid can put on metal willingly. It's not an option..
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Agreed. When a player says "my character does X" it actually means "my character tries to do X".



I agree that the player is trying to violate the rule. Players are ALLOWED to try and break rules. They will probably fail (although not in this case). There is nothing to stop you trying to break the law. You may or may not succeed.
Wait, what?

Players are allowed to state what their character tries to do.

There is no rule anywhere saying thst players are allowed to try and break rules. You are not allowed in 5e to roll you dice as a player and just tell everyone whatever result you want until you get caught. You are not allowed to keep casting spells until someone else calls you on your character limits.

"Players are ALLOWED to try and break rules. "

That is one for posterity, to be sure.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
Wait, what?

Players are allowed to state what their character tries to do.
Which may be something that they are not allowed to do, according to the rules.

You are not allowed to keep casting spells until someone else calls you on your character limits.
A character is allowed to try and keep casting spells after they run out of spell slots. The DM narrates the outcome "your spell fails".
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
Actually it is you who have missed what is going on, presumably due to having skipped several pages.



Yes there is:


I won't accommodate them putting on metal armour, because (as with the no PvP) this will have been clarified in Session 0.

I will however accommodate by providing other non-metallic options - at a suitable time. In my 1E experience, as other forms of magical protection are somewhat more prevalent, there has never been a need for me to do this.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Actually it is you who have missed what is going on, presumably due to having skilled several pages.

No- I was perfectly aware of it. Here's my first (serious) post-

So, I know some of us (me, at least) are having some fun. But, to be serious for a second-


A lot of this will depend on communication and presentation. There are very few DMs that I know that enjoy or look forward to a player presenting a "list of grievances" or lengthy explanations as to why core mechanics do not apply their special character.


In many campaigns (such as mine), that player would not be invited to return. Because life is too short.


On the other hand, as a generalization, most DMs are VERY happy when a player is engaged, enthusiastic, and has a player concept that the love and are excited by. Most DMs would bend over backwards to help that player realize their character concepts through communication and an iterative process of determining how to make the player's vision work.


These two things- presenting a list of grievances v. talking to the DM about how to accomplish your player concept - might seem similar, and maybe that's what you had in mind, but they aren't the same thing.


In other words, speaking personally, I can tell you that if a new player came to me with a list of everything about the rules and my campaign I needed to change on Day 1 because the player said so, there would be no Day 2.


But if the player said, "Hey, I have this idea for a Mountain Dwarf Druid that works with metal," you can bet that I'd be right there working to make it happen.


In closing- there are only two things I can't stand in D&D. People who are intolerant of the playing choices of others, and Paladins.
That's right- I spent many posts just making fun of this thread because it is SO STUPID, but that was the first substantive thing I wrote. Last Thursday.


And now I am done with this conversation with you. Good luck!
 
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lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Wait, what?

Players are allowed to state what their character tries to do.

There is no rule anywhere saying thst players are allowed to try and break rules. You are not allowed in 5e to roll you dice as a player and just tell everyone whatever result you want until you get caught. You are not allowed to keep casting spells until someone else calls you on your character limits.

"Players are ALLOWED to try and break rules. "

That is one for posterity, to be sure.

It's not worth it.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
I wouldn't have a problem if a DM did decide it was a deathly allergy. If god exists, he could strike bacon-eating jews dead if he wanted to.

But that is a matter for the DM to decide what best suits the setting.
A matter of what best suits the setting still has to match with the mechanical implications of the RAW, assuming we're talking about a RAW table, which we are. A DM is not allowed at an AL table to insist that a Druid has a metal allergy any more than they are allowed to insist that Clerics have an allergy to sharp and pointy things. The only basis for either of these would be past edition lore, and that doesn't have a place as an in-game penalty in RAW 5E. Both would be house rules, as nothing in the game system hints at either of these being the case. If the Druid says "I put on the armor", the DM has two options: 1) To deny the player character the right to decide on an action, which, as Max has stated, does not match with the RAW guidelines for "How to Play". 2) To make up a penalty for the player without any codified guideline, which would be a house rule. To put that into perspective, in AL, the DM is not allowed to throw an Ethereal Mummy at you, unless they can back its abilities with the stat block of an existing monster in the allowed material. The DM also has rules in a RAW setting.

Yes, absolutely it is.

But, when playing a game, it's not a personal choice yo be bound by the rules of the game. It's a "group" decision or at very least in the hands of the GM ss to what happens when the players realize a player has now chosen to no longer abide hy the tules he and they agreed to.

If I decide whrn playing Imhotep I can love two blocks to a boat every turn, even though the rules say only one, that's a personal choice too, right?

Just wondering at what point a player choosing to not follow the rules he agreed to became ok by default?
I mentioned this to you in my last response. A physically impossible action is not the same as a possible one, not in a game where characters have free agency to decide their actions. It's also RAW in the game that the player decides their character's actions. In terms of Imhotep, you can choose to try and move two blocks per turn, it's just not going to work. You're free to attempt it, it's just not going to happen because there's a physical limit stopping you. Without that physical limit making it impossible, or personally choosing to abide by a gentleman's agreement, you could indeed move two stones if you wanted to, so long as you were willing to deal with the consequences of your action.

Yes, but the point that you (and others) keep missing is that you demand that every ... single ... thing ... be spelled out with a negative consequence; and if not, you argue against it.

Ex.

Rule Lawyer: "My druid swims across the ocean in his plate armor."

DM: "Um ...."

RL: "Yeah, I can do it. I read the rules, and we are only playing with PHB + DMG. I read page 182! Ima swim across the ocean! In my plate. While carrying my bag o' rats! RESPECT MAH PLAYA AGENCY! HOW U LIKE DEM APPLES!"

Again, this is why so many of us are grateful for the self-identification of these types of players, such that we don't play with them.
Yes, again, there's a difference between something that is or is not possible for the character. At a RAW table, the negative consequence does need a general guideline to base a decision off of. If the player says they're going to swim across the ocean, well there are rules on distance that can be traveled, or rest that is needed to avoid increasing levels of exhaustion during physical exertion, etc. If the Druid has a sufficient swim speed to make it across the ocean in a short enough time to not suffer too badly from the limits of exhaustion while exerting themselves the entire time, and the Druid has sufficient STR to not be over their encumbrance with their equipment, they very well can swim across the ocean. Even if they don't possess the physical characteristics mentioned, they can still try, but they will fail and drown.

If the DM doesn't want the player to swim across the ocean at a RAW table, such as AL, they're free to throw a Kraken in the mix that attacks them, or they're allowed to use the rules for exertion to fail their effort, but the DM cannot tell them they absolutely cannot swim across that ocean. Even if the DM wants to throw a Kraken at them, if the player escapes the Kraken, the DM is not allowed to give it more movement speed to catch the Druid, because RAW is limited to monster stat blocks within the allowed material.

Actually, the player saying their character "flies across the cavern" is describing the **result** of their actions. The GM determines the results of actions, not the player.

Now, it's pretty common for players to Express actions by ssying what they want to fo, like "I run across the room" but that's only a kind of shorthand to avoid adding "my character will try to..." to every statement.

But here for druids the rule was that druids will not wear metal armor. I would think it obvious that a player who declares his druid is gonna wear metal armor is violating thst rule, but guess not.
Sure, and that is corrected by the RAW explaining how to play the game. "My character flies across the cavern." The rules state that the player decides what they want to do, and the DM decides the result. "I fly across the cavern" means "I want to fly across the cavern", as indicated by the RAW that the player does not get to decide the result of the action, merely getting to decide what action they would like to attempt. If the character can fly, they make it without need for a check. If the character possesses the ability to fly, and the DM tells them they do not possess the ability to fly, then that DM has violated the RAW, and therefore the rules if they are at an AL table (yes, DMs do have rules to abide by in AL). If the character cannot fly, and their jump check does not reach or exceed the other end of the chasm as per jumping rules, they fall in and take damage as per rules on fall damage. Just because their character lacks the ability to fly does not mean they cannot jump, flap their arms and try to fly across a chasm; they're just not going in any direction but down, because those are the consequences of their action as written in the game rules.

Wait, what?

Players are allowed to state what their character tries to do.

There is no rule anywhere saying thst players are allowed to try and break rules. You are not allowed in 5e to roll you dice as a player and just tell everyone whatever result you want until you get caught. You are not allowed to keep casting spells until someone else calls you on your character limits.

"Players are ALLOWED to try and break rules. "

That is one for posterity, to be sure.
Yes, they literally are allowed to try and break rules. A character without a fly is allowed to try to fly, they're just not going to succeed. A character with a move speed of 0 is still allowed to try to move, they're just not going to get anywhere. A character that does not have a swim speed to make it across the ocean without dying from exhaustion is still allowed to try, they're just going to die. A Paladin that has sworn an oath to not lie or cheat is still allowed to try to lie and/or cheat, it's just that whether they succeed or fail will be based on the appropriate skill check. The rules are there to impose the effect of what happens when the player tries to perform an action with their character, not to regulate what they are allowed to try to do. You're free to take away player agency at your own home tables, but at a pure RAW table, that doesn't fly. It seems odd that the Druid is the only class that RAW advocates agree otherwise.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Which may be something that they are not allowed to do, according to the rules.



A character is allowed to try and keep casting spells after they run out of spell slots. The DM narrates the outcome "your spell fails".
Now of course I shouldn't take the bait but hey, it is what it is.

At our table a player who keeps trying to do things that are illegal under the belief that its everyone rlse's job to call him when its illegal is not here long.

Our table rules are not "cheat until you get caught".

But it's good to see that kind of support is in line with the other side here.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
In session 0 I tell my players not to waste my time and theirs by even trying to look for loopholes - as that approach will not be tolerated.

The last player who ignored this instruction tried to make a Wizard with high Nature/Survival skills and proficiency with the herbalist kit, so he could ignore the component cost of Find Familiar and spam cast it as a ritual. He wanted to be able to change his Familiar at will depending on the environment (at 1st level!!!) so he could scout any area effectively without being noticed. When picked up on the fact that this would not be allowed he argued the point both during sessions (to the point of derailing them) and online afterwards. Daft thing is, I'd been generous by allowing him access to one casting of the spell before the campaign began so he could begin with a Familiar at no cost.

... he is no longer part of our group.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
Now of course I shouldn't take the bait but hey, it is what it is.

At our table a player who keeps trying to do things that are illegal under the belief that its everyone rlse's job to call him when its illegal is not here long.

Our table rules are not "cheat until you get caught".

But it's good to see that kind of support is in line with the other side here.
The expectations at your table is not relevant to RAW, and nobody is implying breaking of the system rules when they say a character is free to try to break the rules. What we're saying is that just because a character doesn't possess a trait, such as lacking a fly speed, doesn't mean the character can't put all of their might into attempting to fly. The rules exist as limitations for the player to try to overcome (such as succeeding on a jump check as they attempt to "fly" over a chasm), or to penalize the character when they fail to overcome them (the character failing to succeed on the jump check, and thus falling into the chasm because they possess no ability to fly). My Dwarven Druid may not possess the ability to fly, but he does possess the ability to put on metal armor. If he puts it on, it's up to the DM to say what happens. If it's a purely RAW table, there is no RAW guideline to impose a penalty, therefore there is no penalty.

The major point, again, is that a Paladin swears an oath with tenets, and the book says that Paladins abide by them; however, this does not change the RAW rules of the game, so these tenets don't control the actions the player is allowed to have their character perform. The player can still choose to have their character break them at any time they want. This is true of Clerics, this is true of Paladins, and as such it has to be true for Druids, because no one class is removed from the RAW gameplay system. The game system does not restrict the actions the player can have their character perform, it merely determines their rate of success or failure, and the consequences of success or failure. This is why it's automatically assumed by players at RAW tables that the Paladin can break their oaths, even though the rules say that all Paladins abide by the listed tenets. If every other class is allowed to abandon their lore in RAW due to the RAW having no mechanical penalties for deterrence, then so should be the case for Druids. A RAW table does not pick and choose when RAW is applied.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
In session 0 I tell my players not to waste my time and theirs by even trying to look for loopholes - as that approach will not be tolerated.

The last player who ignored this instruction tried to make a Wizard with high Nature/Survival skills and proficiency with the herbalist kit, so he could ignore the component cost of Find Familiar and spam cast it as a ritual. He wanted to be able to change his Familiar at will depending on the environment (at 1st level!!!) so he could scout any area effectively without being noticed. When picked up on the fact that this would not be allowed he argued the point both during sessions (to the point of derailing them) and online afterwards. Daft thing is, I'd been generous by allowing him access to one casting of the spell before the campaign began so he could begin with a Familiar at no cost.

... he is no longer part of our group.
Looking for loopholes is very common practice at RAW tables, and is typically even expected. It's a major part of character optimizing at AL tables. So long as it is RAW supported, whether or not it's a loophole is not a factor in a RAW game. RAW tables are how such loopholes are found and tested in real play, and the loopholes that prove too detrimental are why errata exists.

As to the high Nature and Survival with herbalist proficiency to ignore the component cost of Find Familiar, that's actually legal as per RAW. Players are able to gather materials, and they are able to craft things, although crafting is at half cost if you were to purchase the raw materials as opposed to gathering them. Investing two skills and a tool proficiency to be able to reduce 10GP worth of material components seems like a hefty price as it is, so I don't see any imbalance there. This is after all at the expense of skills like stealth and perception, which are considered to be the two most powerful skills in the game.

The limitation on doing what he wants "at will" is that A) it takes a full hour to summon a familiar, and B) you can only craft 5GP worth of items per day of downtime. This means he'd need two crafting days to make 10GP worth of charcoal and incense from raw materials. As silly as some may want to say that is, 10GP is actually a lot of money for common goods. I imagine that's a heck of a lot of raw materials being gathered, since the amount of charcoal and incense you'd have to produce for 10GP market value must be quite a lot when you consider a one pound whetstone can be purchased from a merchant for a single copper. You could even further restrict his access by saying that the crafting rule assumes the player already has raw materials totaling half the market value of the item, so you could add another day of gathering wood if you really wanted to hinder him. However, that's a bit more DM discretion, because the crafting is a downtime activity, which means it takes 8 hours, so the player still has 8 hours each day for another downtime activity, which could be when they perform the gathering of raw materials. However, on that note, party members can combine efforts towards crafting to double the amount that can be made per day of downtime, so willing allies that have nothing better to do with their downtime may aid in this process to reduce two day's worth of crafting to one.

Point is, there are rules to handle this, and the only thing the player did wrong was derail the sessions by arguing the point as opposed to arguing them prior to the game. As far as changing out your familiar any time you want so long as you have the raw materials, that is fully legal and I see nothing that can be construed as violating either the RAW or RAI of the spell.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
They *didn't* have that amount of time available to them...

He *didn't* ask me 1st, he waited until he was picked up on in and then threw a strop.

He wanted to be able to forage for herbs *and* change his familiar whenever the party took a short rest.

It's imbalanced because he effectively wanted to have something at his disposal that was close to the power of Wizard Eye at 1st level, thereby also treading on the toes of the party's stealthy characters.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
They *didn't* have that amount of time available to them...

He *didn't* ask me 1st, he waited until he was picked up on in and then threw a strop.

He wanted to be able to forage for herbs *and* change his familiar whenever the party took a short rest.

It's imbalanced because he effectively wanted to have something at his disposal that was close to the power of Wizard Eye at 1st level, thereby also treading on the toes of the party's stealthy characters.
Sure, and not having that time available to them is why he couldn't do it, and the fact that he didn't talk to you prior is indeed a problem, especially when they didn't fully understand the RAW mechanics of what they were doing.

However, even if allowed, it's no more imbalanced than a Druid being able to do that twice per short rest at level 2 at no charge and with no tax on skills or tool proficiencies, or the level 3 Beast Master Ranger, who although it takes 8 hours to bond with a beast, it also has no costs, and I can't imagine the party is venturing into different regions so fast that the wildlife is changing more than every 8 hours. It's very likely that the same species of squirrel will be found within an 8 hour radius. Then there's the champion of them all at this tactic in the Pact of the Chain Warlock at level 3. They have a permanently invisible familiar if they pick Imp or Sprite, who is immune to even certain DM shenanigans, such as if they want to put a cat into a dungeon that automatically finds and attacks small critters. Even this is bypassed because they're fully invisible, and even if there's an animal that can find them by scent or sound, they actually possess the ability to both fly and attack. This can be full Warlock, or a 3 level dip to get a fully powered Eldritch Blast and a powerful familiar.

There's tons of other things that can be done with familiars, especially since it's a 1st level Wizard spell, so anyone can grab it with Magic Initiate at level 4, or level 1 if Variant Human. What that player was doing was just a case of trying to integrate that spell as a focus on the character class that actually gets it by default, as opposed to tacking it onto classes that can use it better than the Wizard, either via a feat or a one level dip.

EDIT: Oh, and on the note of switching the familiar every short rest, as I mentioned for Beast Masters, I doubt they're consistently moving far enough between each short rest that it necessitates that at all. That seems more like flavor than anything, and likely has minor impact on the balance of the spell itself, and still keeps it significantly weaker than what a level 3 Chain Warlock can do with their familiars.
 
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No, but if the DM is disinclined to be co-operative they can have sharks appear in the desert. Subjective: an uncooperative DM can make the spell completely useless.
Oh look, more drivel. The DM can cancel any character abilities by fiat or have rocks randomly fall on people; or merely stack things to get around character strengths (e.g. throwing a succession of fire-immune creatures at fire-focused draconic sorcerer). This has no place in a discussion about class balance, however.

Paul Farquhar said:
You must change DMs very frequently then! 100 DMs in 6 years, I make that a new DM every 3 weeks. Are you waking away or getting thrown out? If you change games so frequently I don't see how you can get high enough level to cast Conjure Elemental (which, with it's 10 minute cast time, is useless in the average dungeon scrap).
Maxperson said:
And that's the low side of his claim. The high side, hundreds, means an even more frequent changeover.
Apart from games I DM, I play in at least 3 games per week. Some of those with seasoned old-timers like myself in long-running campaigns, some with random people on line, some in organized play (formerly AL) with rotating DMs and a shifting player base in a college city. Usually the latter two are either one-shots, modular adventures, or short adventure arcs. Sometimes I go to cons. I'll admit I don't keep a strict count, but feel free to actually run the numbers instead of talking out of your hindquarters. They're not what you imagine them to be.

Oh yeah, and we all know that games must ALWAYS begin at first level, right? :hmm:

Paul Farquhar said:
Subjective: requires a generous or tactically naïve DM.
Situational: Some are, some aren't. Also depends on the DM since some favour intelligent enemies almost exclusively.
Subjective: requires the DM to play monsters as exceptionally stupid and ignorant.
Unless it's a very low magic setting, even the dumbest troll can figure out that if someone waves their hands in the air and a pack of wolves appear then a spell has been cast.
Only if, as Maxperson noted, the DM is always playing themselves. Different enemies have different goals, different priorities and different modi operandi. Orcs respect martial strength and might presume that warrior-types are the leaders of an enemy group; or choose to target any elves in the party as a result of long-standing hatred. Demons, devils, and undead might choose to target wielders of holy magic over others. Goblins might prioritize whoever they think is weakest or has the most valuable belongings. While even a dumb troll might connect waggling fingers and magic words with an obvious effect...like wolves appearing....the question is more whether they would recognize that in the face of other distractions. Such as an armored knight in their face, a sneaky pipsqueak poking the back of their knees with a knife, and a pimply chap throwing bolts of fire all at the same time. Notwithstanding that summoning spells usually have long durations (with many taking too long to cast in front of enemies in the first place); and the products thereof might not be distinguishable from allies instead of magical minions.

It's frankly hilarious that you try to use enemies focusing on a druid because they're the greatest threat as an argument for why druids aren't the greatest threat.
Paul Farquhar said:
If they didn't prepare for eventualities then they wouldn't be very intelligent. Even the dumbest goblin carries a shortbow.
Guess there must be a lot of highly intelligent creatures the MM, assorted adventure paths and modules that are incredibly stupid then. Like jackalweres, grell, ghouls, ghosts, xorn, vampire spawn...Not to mention innumerable historical cases where soldiers found themselves in battles there were unprepared for...or couldn't afford / weren't outfitted with the best equipment. On top of this, the reality is that even amongst intelligent creatures with ranged attacks there are many who have ranged options that either too short in reasonable range or so much weaker than melee options that many times even a tactically skilled DM will choose not to target a druid hanging far enough back.

Paul Farquhar said:
Or the dragon could breath weapon all your wolves without even bothering with the druid.
If a dragon ever wastes its breath on summons, that's a win for the druid. And half the benefit of summoning spells to begin with.

Paul Farquhar said:
Which is the problem. In 5e the (non-moon) druid has very few possible countermeasures, with Barkskin and Stoneskin having been nerfed into oblivion. Wizards, Sorcerers and warlocks get countermeasures aplenty.
Wrong. And discussed elsewhere.

Paul Farquhar said:
And it was never my intent to suggest that summoning spells where useless, just that they where situational, and far from being the 100% overwhelming juggernauts that certain people are suggesting (and where in some previous editions). Basically, that they are not better than the spells on the cleric spell list.
No single tool is best for every possible circumstance. Clerics have their own unique set of strengths ...such as buffs like Bless; or warding spells like Sanctuary and Shield of Faith. Which is why my original post focused on particular ways in which druids were better at the combat pillar. Conjure animals, though, puts everything the cleric has of comparable level to shame offensively speaking.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Apart from the DM. If the DM decides a particular suit of plate mail gives an AC of 17 and is made from ankylosaurus hide then that becomes true.

That's why I specifically said, "..like a NORMAL SUIT of plate mail..." ;)

Of course there isn't the same expectation for abnormal suits.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You need to look up the definition of strawman -- it is not what you think it is.

What does my posting history and sock puppet have to do with each other -- clearly you have little understanding of logic and that people might have a life outside of this forum.

On the other hand, your posting history is clearly nothing but the most extreme trollish behavior.

Dude. You wandered into this thread for the sole purpose of attacking me. The only trolls here are you, and perhaps your other sock puppet. Go troll someone else.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
There is no one that is saying that they wouldn't accommodate a player.
Other than the guy(Johnie something) who said that the rule made it physically impossible for the druid to put on metal armor and the social contract required the player not to ever try. He was very adamant that the player could never do it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Wait, what?

Players are allowed to state what their character tries to do.

There is no rule anywhere saying thst players are allowed to try and break rules. You are not allowed in 5e to roll you dice as a player and just tell everyone whatever result you want until you get caught. You are not allowed to keep casting spells until someone else calls you on your character limits.

"Players are ALLOWED to try and break rules. "

That is one for posterity, to be sure.
Do you not understand the difference between in-character and out of character? There are game rules, and then there are rules that are completely within the game world. Game rules, such as armor class, hit points, etc. are not breakable just because the player wants try and break it. However, rules contained entirely within the game world that are dependent on PC action don't have the same force as game rules.

A PC druid can in fact put armor on and violate his taboo. There is literally nothing stopping him. A paladin can walk into an orphanage and hack all the kids into pieces, despite a rule saying he must always remain lawful good. There is literally nothing stopping him. A 1e thief can pick up and swing a two-handed sword. There is literally nothing stopping him. What there are, of course, are consequences for those actions.
 

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