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~Nye~
2010-11-16, 08:59 PM
Hi
I have just been thinking about some scenarios, in some cases i beleive it is good to metagame, but for good reason, this thread is more of a debate to see where I can see in retrospect where you guys think it's good to metagame in some others not so much.

Encounter one: Skill check

Khazen the rogue walks into the room in a house which he has broken into, before him he finds a chest he has a bad feeling (player hunch... Metagame?) and decides to do a search check, (rolls nat 1). He then proceeds to open the chest. There is a trap, sadly he is hit with a poison trigger trap, contracts poison (fails save) and passes out.

In this instance, would you say it would be better for the player to metagame to survive, or to maintain roleplay and re-roll a search check?

Tvtyrant
2010-11-16, 09:01 PM
What Metagaming? He is a dungeon crawler living in the dark ages, if he isn't paranoid he wouldn't have survived childhood.

Real people are trope savvy too; in Cambodia less then half of the college profs admitted that their occupation was teaching to the Khmer Rouge.

Logalmier
2010-11-16, 09:04 PM
Being a rogue and having a bad feeling about something you think may be trapped is not metagaming. Metagaming would be if you had the DMs guide out in front of you and were checking the various search DCs for different traps in order to try and determine what the trap is specifically.

Salanmander
2010-11-16, 09:11 PM
I think he meant deciding to not re-search after rolling a nat-1. Unless characters know how well they rolled, deciding to re-search or not based on your roll is metagaming.

Personally, I think it's reasonable for characters to have a general sense of how well they do at a skill check, which solves this particular problem. Even if that's not the case, though, "I have a bad feeling about this..." :searches, finds nothing: "...I'm gonna look again" is not unreasonable. Perhaps rolling searches behind the curtain would make the player logic more like the character logic, if characters shouldn't know how well they did at a search.

kyoryu
2010-11-16, 09:29 PM
Well, it's a good case for the DM to roll search/spot in secret.

"I wanna search for traps."
"You don't find anything."
"Ummmm... okay...."

Gets rid of the metagaming, if nothing else.

If you're rolling your own search/spot, it's mostly a matter of what level of metagaming is acceptable in your group, and what the expectations are. I like to avoid metagaming, and so will deliberately do "dumb" things if my character doesn't have knowledge that it is, in fact, dumb. While it may not be optimal, it can often make the game more fun :)

SensFan
2010-11-16, 09:32 PM
Assuming for a moment that a Nat 1 doesn't trigger the trap you're searching for (which it does in the campaign I'm playing in), the only possible way to rationalize searching again after rolling a Nat1 is, in my opinion, if you would also re-roll that check if you had Nat20'd.

DarkEternal
2010-11-16, 09:36 PM
If you didn't pass a check, you don't think the trap is there, easy as that. Being "paranoid", is just fluff for having a search skill to begin with(your DM might award you a skill point or two in specific skills if you had a good enough story for the character, which gives him a bonus here and there), but if you fail the check, then you think everything is alright and open the chest. Or hell, you don't need to open it, but you are positive that it's clean of any traps.

TeqSun
2010-11-16, 09:43 PM
Personally, I think it's reasonable for characters to have a general sense of how well they do at a skill check, which solves this particular problem. Even if that's not the case, though, "I have a bad feeling about this..." :searches, finds nothing: "...I'm gonna look again" is not unreasonable.
This is what taking 20 is for. Or, if your DM is a [email protected]



Well, it's a good case for the DM to roll search/spot in secret.

"I wanna search for traps."
"You don't find anything."
"Ummmm... okay...."

Gets rid of the metagaming, if nothing else.
...he should be doing this.

SensFan
2010-11-16, 09:46 PM
Taking 20 doesn't work when searching for traps. Penalty for failure and all that jazz.

kyoryu
2010-11-16, 09:54 PM
This is what taking 20 is for. Or, if your DM is a [email protected]
...he should be doing this.

That qualifies as a 'hard' DM these days? I thought DM rolling search/spot was SOP, specifically because of these types of metagame issues.

Reluctance
2010-11-16, 09:54 PM
There's no official penalty for failing a Search check. Failing your Disable Device by 5 or more triggers the trap. Failing a Search just eats up time.

There are two ways around this. Either houserule that Search checks that fail by 5 or more trigger the trap (in which case things would play out essentially the same), or just allow the player to take 10/20 with the check. Trying again because you know you rolled poorly is bad form, but the game already has rules in place to discourage this.

Warlawk
2010-11-16, 10:36 PM
If you have some in character reason to be almost sure the chest is trapped, then yes the player should reroll. If the player did research that indicates the owner frequently uses the service of a locksmith known for his trap work, or regularly buys supplies specifically related to traps, then yes, he has a reason to reroll. If the player had an inside source of information who told him the owner traps all his valuables, then yes he has a reason to reroll.

If the player just has a bad roll with no driving reason to make him believe absolutely that there is something there he missed, then there is no reason for him to reroll. In our campaigns rolling a natural 1 is likely to have a bad effect. Maybe you set the trap off, or more likely you believe that you have found the trap and can sidestep it by doing [something easy] when in fact you haven't found it and are just going to set it off when you open it.

Rerolling when your character has no driving reason to think s/he missed something is metagaming.

WinceRind
2010-11-16, 10:37 PM
Well, it's a good case for the DM to roll search/spot in secret.

"I wanna search for traps."
"You don't find anything."
"Ummmm... okay...."

Gets rid of the metagaming, if nothing else.

If you're rolling your own search/spot, it's mostly a matter of what level of metagaming is acceptable in your group, and what the expectations are. I like to avoid metagaming, and so will deliberately do "dumb" things if my character doesn't have knowledge that it is, in fact, dumb. While it may not be optimal, it can often make the game more fun :)

I wish that was the case in my group... As it seems, we always end up metagaming in times and places I'd prefer to RP and let the DM make the rolls. I'm okay with having players make attack rolls - they're nothing important, and DM can still tweak the results if he wants to since he shouldn't be disclosing the AC of the monsters, but when everyone rolls their own skill checks and automatically assumed that he/she is being aided by the rest of the group, every single character despite their personalities or general feelings, it's just silly. Not to mention the 1s, and what not.

In a perfect world, that all should be the DM's job, in my honest opinion.

Sorry for the rant that's only vaguely appropriate for this thread... On topic, yeah, I think it makes sense for certain characters - depending on their personality, of course - to double check or even triple check what they do if they have time on their hands. Considering the reality of trap threats in the D&D world, and the sheer invention when it comes to them, both through craft and magic, I'd imagine most trap-finders would be VERY careful whenever they can, if not bordering full on paranoia/obsession. I mean, they survived up until now...

Also, now that I think about it and have read some replies, if the situation is not in the middle of combat or otherwise stressful, I don't see what prevents said rogue from simply taking 10 on the search check.

Safety Sword
2010-11-16, 10:52 PM
If you roll a 1, then decide to search again... that's the actual meta-game.

I wouldn't allow a second search under the same conditions without a very good reason for it.

As Reluctance says, it's poor form to re-roll. If there was a trap there I'd just ignore the second roll as DM. If you wanted to keep rolling until you got a good check, then just take 10/20. Assuming that the ogres aren't bashing the door down :smallbiggrin:

Dr.Epic
2010-11-16, 10:56 PM
What Metagaming? He is a dungeon crawler living in the dark ages, if he isn't paranoid he wouldn't have survived childhood.

She said house, and yeah I do think that metagaming would be bad and wrong in that scenario: in real life, if you searched something and found nothing wrong with it you'd open it. The search check tells your character what's wrong, and if you know something's wrong and your character doesn't for whatever reason, it's metagaming and wrong. Your character is using knowledge they shouldn't have.

Safety Sword
2010-11-16, 11:01 PM
She said house, and yeah I do think that metagaming would be bad and wrong in that scenario: in real life, if you searched something and found nothing wrong with it you'd open it. The search check tells your character what's wrong, and if you know something's wrong and your character doesn't for whatever reason, it's metagaming and wrong. Your character is using knowledge they shouldn't have.

I totally agree!

Although, sometimes I go to the cupboard for a jar of peanut butter. If I can't find it, sometimes I look again. Sometimes I find it the second time!

The only difference between me and your character is that I was sure there was a jar of peanut better there because I damned well put it there!

Lev
2010-11-16, 11:04 PM
Hi
I have just been thinking about some scenarios, in some cases i beleive it is good to metagame, but for good reason, this thread is more of a debate to see where I can see in retrospect where you guys think it's good to metagame in some others not so much.

Encounter one: Skill check

Khazen the rogue walks into the room in a house which he has broken into, before him he finds a chest he has a bad feeling (player hunch... Metagame?) and decides to do a search check, (rolls nat 1). He then proceeds to open the chest. There is a trap, sadly he is hit with a poison trigger trap, contracts poison (fails save) and passes out.

In this instance, would you say it would be better for the player to metagame to survive, or to maintain roleplay and re-roll a search check?

Metagaming is the brains natural response to you building your character with an uncomfortable lack of either Knowledge skill, Int or Wis.

If you are not comfortable playing someone like that, DON'T.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-16, 11:10 PM
She said house, and yeah I do think that metagaming would be bad and wrong in that scenario: in real life, if you searched something and found nothing wrong with it you'd open it. The search check tells your character what's wrong, and if you know something's wrong and your character doesn't for whatever reason, it's metagaming and wrong. Your character is using knowledge they shouldn't have.

The character is a Rogue, which implies high intelligence. More importantly, its a ROGUE, it should be twitching at the sight of its own shadow half the time! If my job was to go into caves filled with monsters without armor or magic, I would be sweating bullets. More importantly, I would have read about things such as Mimics, Dead Hand Boxes, and other freakish abominations that look like chests. In real life we live a cushy American life style with no real threats where our most dangerous task of the day is quite literally driving to work; if I act like RL I'm meta-gaming, not playing the character.

SensFan
2010-11-16, 11:17 PM
The character is a Rogue, which implies high intelligence. More importantly, its a ROGUE, it should be twitching at the sight of its own shadow half the time! If my job was to go into caves filled with monsters without armor or magic, I would be sweating bullets. More importantly, I would have read about things such as Mimics, Dead Hand Boxes, and other freakish abominations that look like chests. In real life we live a cushy American life style with no real threats where our most dangerous task of the day is quite literally driving to work; if I act like RL I'm meta-gaming, not playing the character.
Except according to the OP, the Rogue is fairly certain the chest isn't trapped, because he Searched it, and knows he's good at finding traps.

Boci
2010-11-16, 11:17 PM
Thats why my rogue always takes a 10 (a standard sweeping of the room with your eyes at the most likely places for a trap to be located) and then rolls (more gut instinct). Doubles search time, but ensures I rarely screw up on easy checks with a poor roll.

SensFan
2010-11-16, 11:24 PM
Mildly-on-topic rant about metagaming in my group's session on Friday:
We have two Barbarians, Set (the human) and Spazz (the Halfling). The two have known eachother for years pre-game, and are very good friends; Spazz is usually riding on Set's shoulders, and gets thrown into combat. This past session, we encountered a room full of random fog. No one in the party noticed, but some of the fog went up Set's nose/ears/ect. A couple rounds later, Set was Dominated completely by this whatever. At first, he was acting kinda wierd, and we all got Sense Motive checks, which we all flunked. Then, the thing got into his memories, and he started acting more like Set. From time to time, the DM - who was controlling Set's actions - would make a mistake in trying to act like Set, and every. single. time. Spazz's player would insist that she was suspicious and wary. The DM kept telling her that no, she wasn't, but she kept saying she was, and that led to other people starting to metagamer.

At that point, the DM called it quits for the night out of frustration.

Tvtyrant
2010-11-16, 11:26 PM
Thats why my rogue always takes a 10 (a standard sweeping of the room with your eyes at the most likely places for a trap to be located) and then rolls (more gut instinct). Doubles search time, but ensures I rarely screw up on easy checks with a poor roll.

This is a sensible solution.


Except according to the OP, the Rogue is fairly certain the chest isn't trapped, because he Searched it, and knows he's good at finding traps.

Except that he is in the middle of robbing someone, and the chances of a trap are pretty high. Honestly, if I'm opening someone else's stuff, in a world where there are in fact Rogues and Wizards, I would be pretty dang cautious. Checking it twice doesn't seem extreme to me; I check my computer for virus' several times in a row as RL, even though the last scan didn't pick anything up.

Even if I weren't that paranoid, a Rogue would be, because they live in an age that calls for it. Or they would have the fighter open it, but thats another matter.

Pinnacle
2010-11-16, 11:33 PM
I've played rogues who will always double- or even triple-check if there's a good chance that something is trapped and they have some spare time.


If this rogue wouldn't have double-checked if his player hadn't seen that the roll was low, however, that's definitely metagaming and bad form.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-16, 11:41 PM
Thats why my rogue always takes a 10 (a standard sweeping of the room with your eyes at the most likely places for a trap to be located) and then rolls (more gut instinct).
I prefer to just acquire the Savvy Rogue feat and take 12 on such checks, without doubling the time. Of course, I'll also use a spyglass to Search up to 20' away instead of just within 10'. Paranoia keeps you alive!

Boci
2010-11-16, 11:44 PM
I prefer to just acquire the Savvy Rogue feat and take 12 on such checks, without doubling the time. Of course, I'll also use a spyglass to Search up to 20' away instead of just within 10'. Paranoia keeps you alive!

True, but that requires 10 levels of the rogue, (the game I was in renaimed the factotum class rogue).

Besides even with your method you're still doubling the search time unless you are prepared to never find any trap whose find DC is 13+ above your search modifier.

~Nye~
2010-11-16, 11:49 PM
Mildly-on-topic rant about metagaming in my group's session on Friday:
We have two Barbarians, Set (the human) and Spazz (the Halfling). The two have known eachother for years pre-game, and are very good friends; Spazz is usually riding on Set's shoulders, and gets thrown into combat. This past session, we encountered a room full of random fog. No one in the party noticed, but some of the fog went up Set's nose/ears/ect. A couple rounds later, Set was Dominated completely by this whatever. At first, he was acting kinda wierd, and we all got Sense Motive checks, which we all flunked. Then, the thing got into his memories, and he started acting more like Set. From time to time, the DM - who was controlling Set's actions - would make a mistake in trying to act like Set, and every. single. time. Spazz's player would insist that she was suspicious and wary. The DM kept telling her that no, she wasn't, but she kept saying she was, and that led to other people starting to metagamer.

At that point, the DM called it quits for the night out of frustration.

That's great! I was going to highlight similar situations with RP and combat too seems you highlighted a good one here.

I was trying to demonstrate to a group the aspect of metagaming that keeps re-occuring in our sessions. You guys generally came to the same conclusion as me, which was good. My group disagreed with me on this. Cheers

WarKitty
2010-11-16, 11:57 PM
Mildly-on-topic rant about metagaming in my group's session on Friday:
We have two Barbarians, Set (the human) and Spazz (the Halfling). The two have known eachother for years pre-game, and are very good friends; Spazz is usually riding on Set's shoulders, and gets thrown into combat. This past session, we encountered a room full of random fog. No one in the party noticed, but some of the fog went up Set's nose/ears/ect. A couple rounds later, Set was Dominated completely by this whatever. At first, he was acting kinda wierd, and we all got Sense Motive checks, which we all flunked. Then, the thing got into his memories, and he started acting more like Set. From time to time, the DM - who was controlling Set's actions - would make a mistake in trying to act like Set, and every. single. time. Spazz's player would insist that she was suspicious and wary. The DM kept telling her that no, she wasn't, but she kept saying she was, and that led to other people starting to metagamer.

At that point, the DM called it quits for the night out of frustration.

Don't you get to reroll sense motive checks after a certain time anyways? That's always the way I rule it.

Anyways, I thought you might find this story amusing, as the proper time to reroll a check:
We had previously discovered a type of magic item that let you add a +1 to a weapon or piece of armor. We found another item appearing to be of the same type. We detect magic'ed it and discovered that it was cursed and would instead curse the item placed in. Being a curious lot, we decided to put a random dagger in. After removing the dagger (via mage hand), we carefully identified it. Came up as a standard +1 dagger. We called the other mage over to identify. Still standard +1. We try boosting the check, and finally discover the nature of the curse.

Reluctance
2010-11-17, 12:59 AM
The character is a Rogue, which implies high intelligence. More importantly, its a ROGUE, it should be twitching at the sight of its own shadow half the time! If my job was to go into caves filled with monsters without armor or magic, I would be sweating bullets. More importantly, I would have read about things such as Mimics, Dead Hand Boxes, and other freakish abominations that look like chests. In real life we live a cushy American life style with no real threats where our most dangerous task of the day is quite literally driving to work; if I act like RL I'm meta-gaming, not playing the character.

#1: Did the character spend ranks in the appropriate knowledge skills? Nobody has a problem with a character who expresses this sort of thing through background. This touches on ~Nye~'s point perfectly; to what degree is "my character studied this" a reasonable answer, vs. to what degree is it off the cuff BS to explain the player cracking open the MM?

#2: A paranoid rogue who always takes 20 when searching for traps isn't a problem, and takes this idea to its reasonable conclusion. The issue isn't with double checking, it's with double checking only when the player sees an unfavorable roll. How do you explain why your paranoid rogue stops being so paranoid when the player sees the dice come up with a natural 20?

Tvtyrant
2010-11-17, 01:04 AM
#1: Did the character spend ranks in the appropriate knowledge skills? Nobody has a problem with a character who expresses this sort of thing through background. This touches on ~Nye~'s point perfectly; to what degree is "my character studied this" a reasonable answer, vs. to what degree is it off the cuff BS to explain the player cracking open the MM?

#2: A paranoid rogue who always takes 20 when searching for traps isn't a problem, and takes this idea to its reasonable conclusion. The issue isn't with double checking, it's with double checking only when the player sees an unfavorable roll. How do you explain why your paranoid rogue stops being so paranoid when the player sees the dice come up with a natural 20?

In that case I agree, but the example doesn't say: "and the rogue never rechecks on a 20" it just says it rechecks on a 1. I would recheck both, and I think a rogue is almost bound to be more paranoid then the player.

Mastikator
2010-11-17, 01:33 AM
She said house, and yeah I do think that metagaming would be bad and wrong in that scenario: in real life, if you searched something and found nothing wrong with it you'd open it. The search check tells your character what's wrong, and if you know something's wrong and your character doesn't for whatever reason, it's metagaming and wrong. Your character is using knowledge they shouldn't have.

I agree with this. For me metagaming ruins immersion, makes roleplaying impossible and then, what's even the point?

arrowhen
2010-11-17, 01:34 AM
Khazen the rogue walks into the room in a house which he has broken into, before him he finds a chest he has a bad feeling (player hunch... Metagame?) and decides to do a search check, (rolls nat 1). He then proceeds to open the chest. There is a trap, sadly he is hit with a poison trigger trap, contracts poison (fails save) and passes out.

In this instance, would you say it would be better for the player to metagame to survive, or to maintain roleplay and re-roll a search check?

Two points here. First, what kind of player only has their rogue check for traps when they have a hunch? Hell, my last rogue wouldn't tie his own shoes without checking them for traps first!

Second, as a DM I'm a big fan of rolling all the dice in the open, even "secret" ones like Search, Spot, Listen, etc. It helps me avoid my natural inclination to go too easy on the PCs and my real-life groups are usually made up of the sort of players who enjoy keeping IC and OOC separate -- smirking as they say "Oh, I rolled a 1! Don't worry, guys, I'm completely confident there are no traps here!"

If someone does want to metagame a re-roll... eh, it doesn't bother me. All I ask is that they provide some kind of RP justification for it, i.e., "Hold on, guys, let me check again. There's no way someone this rich and paranoid is going to leave a chest un-trapped," or whatever.

Of course, that's assuming I don't just tell them the chest is trapped; the real tension is in the Disable Device roll anyway.

ffone
2010-11-17, 01:36 AM
Assuming for a moment that a Nat 1 doesn't trigger the trap you're searching for (which it does in the campaign I'm playing in), the only possible way to rationalize searching again after rolling a Nat1 is, in my opinion, if you would also re-roll that check if you had Nat20'd.

Looking at/for traps triggers them 5% of the time in your campaign?

Curmudgeon
2010-11-17, 01:38 AM
Besides even with your method you're still doubling the search time unless you are prepared to never find any trap whose find DC is 13+ above your search modifier.
I don't get where your "doubling" is coming from. Either it takes the minimum time with a non-rolled 12 for each area searched, or it takes 20 times as long to do a painstaking Search and "take 20". I only "take 20" when I have reason to think I've missed something: gotten to a dead end, or found big bloodstains without locating a trap, for examples.

I generally target particular DCs (i.e., develop my character's skills to the point that I can reliably accomplish particular tasks), such as DC 30 to find "a well-hidden secret door". (That also finds magic traps based on 5th level spells.) If I can make that DC without rolling (i.e., accomplish that task with average effort), I'm not going to worry most of the time about possibly missing some higher DC traps; it's just not worth spending 2 minutes per 5' square of floor, wall, or ceiling. I'd rather pay for some Elixir of Vision and get through 20x faster if I can't make the target DC with just ranks plus Goggles of Minute Seeing and Lens of Detection. Most traps offer a Reflex save anyway, and that means a Rogue with evasion will rarely get hurt.

Now, the metagame knowledge here is that if you want to do the most thorough Search possible, that's always going to take twenty times as long as if you just exercised average skill. Not 3x, 10x, or 45x; it's always going to be 20x.

Gavinfoxx
2010-11-17, 01:44 AM
Why isn't the rogue Taking 10 if they get to the point where they can make the DC's relatively easily?

Curmudgeon
2010-11-17, 01:55 AM
Why isn't the rogue Taking 10 if they get to the point where they can make the DC's relatively easily?
Only because Savvy Rogue is a nifty feat, and Taking 12 is better. :smallsmile:

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:47 AM
I don't get where your "doubling" is coming from.

My character was searching twice. Once by taking a 10, once by rolling. My DM generally has traps built with the NPCs knowing how good a skill monkey will be at finding them.


Only because Savvy Rogue is a nifty feat, and Taking 12 is better. :smallsmile:

You're spending a feat to get a +2 to (int mod + 3) skills most of the time. I can think of worse uses for a feat, but its hardly going to be in every rogue build.

Starbuck_II
2010-11-17, 07:27 AM
Looking at/for traps triggers them 5% of the time in your campaign?

Agreed. That is silly. Why nerf searching?

Earthwalker
2010-11-17, 07:56 AM
Nothing wrong with searching everything twice.
Of course if the situation is only search twice if I roll low then its clearly metagaming, unless you rule that characters know how well they rolled (which some people may)

Some systems have even more confusion when you begin to add in other rules systems, like spending edge in shadowrun to reroll failed die. So is edge an entirly player thing ? I would guess so.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 08:09 AM
Agreed. That is silly. Why nerf searching?
Other than the fact that it makes no sense that you can screw up trying to disarm the trap, and end up getting stabbed with the poison dart, but its impossible to get stabbed with the poison dart by running your hands all over the chest, as long as you don't know its there?

@WarKitty - I think some of the party may have gotten a second Sense Motive (my Wizard, for instance, thinks Set's an immature crazyperson anyways, so he didn't have any reason to roll), but the problem is that whatever was possessing him went through all his memories, starting from recently and going back years, as he kept failing his Will saves. Therefore, even if the DM does/says something Set wouldn't do, the monster doesn't.

Tyndmyr
2010-11-17, 08:11 AM
Except according to the OP, the Rogue is fairly certain the chest isn't trapped, because he Searched it, and knows he's good at finding traps.

If you want to RP a paranoid rogue, have him re-search EVERYTHING doesn't appear to be trapped. Spending a few extra seconds going over a possibly dangerous item is prudent in almost any situation.

Now, if you only re-search on the basis of what you rolled, then yes, you are metagaming. DM rolling is one solution. Another is just developing a pattern for a char and sticking to it.

Edit: Also, search does not require that you put your hands all over something. That's just silly. We have eyes.

Emmerask
2010-11-17, 08:17 AM
Encounter one: Skill check

Khazen the rogue walks into the room in a house which he has broken into, before him he finds a chest he has a bad feeling (player hunch... Metagame?) and decides to do a search check, (rolls nat 1). He then proceeds to open the chest. There is a trap, sadly he is hit with a poison trigger trap, contracts poison (fails save) and passes out.

In this instance, would you say it would be better for the player to metagame to survive, or to maintain roleplay and re-roll a search check?


The trap searching on a chest is by no means metagaming he roleplayed that his character had a hunch and it is not too far fetched.

Then comes the first mistake, search checks are rolled by the dm not the player, exactly to prevent metagaming.

Both your questions after that are essentially metagaming, though the second one only under certain circumstances.
Is the rogues normal modus operandi to check twice? otherwise it clearly is metagaming to reroll after a 1.

Anyway the whole situation could have been prevented if the dm had rolled the check in secret :smallwink:



Edit: Also, search does not require that you put your hands all over something. That's just silly. We have eyes.

I make it trap dependent in my games, some you can just study with your eyes (ie you can take 20) some traps however are just build in a way to prevent that.
Though of course I tell my player that taking 20 in that case is not possible (or would trigger the trap)

Boci
2010-11-17, 08:51 AM
Other than the fact that it makes no sense that you can screw up trying to disarm the trap, and end up getting stabbed with the poison dart, but its impossible to get stabbed with the poison dart by running your hands all over the chest, as long as you don't know its there

You can search from 10ft away. Besides, even with the method you described, 5% is too common. I personally wouldn't bother, since I think this is a classic example of more realitstic does not automatically equal better.

panaikhan
2010-11-17, 08:59 AM
I like that idea of taking 10 and then searching...
I think my next rogue will do exactly that.

As for the original question.
1) it is normally the DM that rolls for search - that being said, our group doesn't do that, and do abide by crappy rolls when they come up.

2) wanting to re-roll because of a bad one is metagaming, unless the player has some in-game method of re-rolling numbers (i've seen feats and spells do it).

3) all of that said, I have noticed one or two of my players metagame self-inflicted penalties (such as power attack) based upon their roll. As DM I turn a blind eye, because a few extra points of damage rarely make a big impact.

bokodasu
2010-11-17, 09:06 AM
Hey, I just figured out where the line is! (For me, anyway.)

Some people would be absolutely horrified by the extent of my metagaming. I believe in reading the MM cover-to-cover, taking into account my DM's preferences and behavior, and asking for help on these very forums, on the basis of "my character would know that."

BUT, if a roll says she doesn't, then she doesn't. If I rolled a 1 on a search, then my character would believe she'd found an untrapped chest and open it confidently. (She might try searching the room again for another trap that wasn't on the chest, based on her belief that there had to be a trap *somewhere*, but she wouldn't search the chest again.) If I'd been playing a double-searcher all along, that would be one thing, but if I hadn't, then searching again because I as a player saw that 1 come up would be definitely wrong.

Boci
2010-11-17, 09:10 AM
I believe in reading the MM cover-to-cover

As long as you accept that acting on such knowledge can bite you if your DM changes the states.


taking into account my DM's preferences and behavior

During character creation or during game play? If its the former than I wouldn't have a problem with it, if its the latter than I would not feel guilty making adjustments to encounters on the fly.

bokodasu
2010-11-17, 09:38 AM
As long as you accept that acting on such knowledge can bite you if your DM changes the states.

Oh, sure. Ask me how grappling that mind flayer worked out. But that's good too, because my character *would* know that average mind flayers aren't actually good at grappling, and so would be just as surprised by finding out she was up against the Royce Gracie of mind flayers as I was.

As to the other, I'm not sure what that would mean. Of course a DM is free to send in multiple waves of something the party figured out a trick to dispatch easily (or waves of something else entirely), but I don't think it's fair, for example, to suddenly change a monster mid-combat so that it's immune to a type of damage it was taking just fine a round ago.

Boci
2010-11-17, 10:08 AM
Oh, sure. Ask me how grappling that mind flayer worked out. But that's good too, because my character *would* know that average mind flayers aren't actually good at grappling, and so would be just as surprised by finding out she was up against the Royce Gracie of mind flayers as I was.

Actually as a PC I would have issues with that specific exaple, since I would want to know how the mind flayer got so good at grappling without revealing so.


As to the other, I'm not sure what that would mean. Of course a DM is free to send in multiple waves of something the party figured out a trick to dispatch easily (or waves of something else entirely), but I don't think it's fair, for example, to suddenly change a monster mid-combat so that it's immune to a type of damage it was taking just fine a round ago.

I was talking about changing what is going to happen if you guess it based off the DM preference.

valadil
2010-11-17, 10:11 AM
If the rogue feels paranoid enough to search multiple times, he should do that initially. I tell my GM I'm taking 3 search checks. That's probably good enough to find any traps. If I roll 3 natural 1s, I'm not going to ask for more checks. In this case, the player asked for one roll and then asked for more upon seeing the result. That's metagaming.

If you don't want to be so mechanical about it, you could also ask the player how long he intends to spend on the search. Each check takes a round, so 1 minute yields 10 rolls. Note that if they're searching an area, each check only searches one square.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 12:34 PM
You can search from 10ft away.

As a DM, I'd give anyone who tried that a significant penalty to their roll.

Boci
2010-11-17, 12:37 PM
As a DM, I'd give anyone who tried that a significant penalty to their roll.

As a player I owuld ask you to not do that and instead give a significant bonus to anyone willing to search with their hands. If you did not I would never play a character who used the search skills.

And what do you mean "tried that"? You make a character searching with their eyes sound like some horrific RAW abuse on behalf of the players.

You're the one "trying spmething" by attempting to force the PCs into situations that justify your houserule of a failed spot check setting off the trap.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 01:30 PM
For me, anyways, the difference between Search and Spot is hands-on vs hands-off. If you're looking from 10 feet, that's a Spot check. You can not "Search the body of the Orc I killed" from 10 feet away. You just can't.

Boci
2010-11-17, 01:35 PM
For me, anyways, the difference between Search and Spot is hands-on vs hands-off. If you're looking from 10 feet, that's a Spot check.

As long as you tell your PCs about that houserule.


can not[/B] "Search the body of the Orc I killed" from 10 feet away. You just can't.

Naturally, thats just common sense. But for a corridor full of traps, why can't I search for them 10ft away?

(Also, I question why you need the search skills to look through a corpse's possessions.)

SensFan
2010-11-17, 01:39 PM
As long as you tell your PCs about that houserule.



Naturally, thats just common sense. But for a corridor full of traps, why can't I search for them 10ft away?

(Also, I question why you need the search skills to look through a corpse's possessions.)
Because you're not searching for them, you're looking (or spotting) for them. If someone tells me they've been searching all over their house for their keys, I generally don't assume it means they stood in the center of each room and looked around.

As for searching a corpse, I've used things like "DC X Search to find the scroll tucked in his shoe".

Also, I could be wrong, but I'm sure I've seen the HandsOn/HandsOff distinction made somewhere in official 3.5 sources, but I'm not positive.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 02:02 PM
As a player I owuld ask you to not do that and instead give a significant bonus to anyone willing to search with their hands. If you did not I would never play a character who used the search skills.

And what do you mean "tried that"? You make a character searching with their eyes sound like some horrific RAW abuse on behalf of the players.

You're the one "trying spmething" by attempting to force the PCs into situations that justify your houserule of a failed spot check setting off the trap.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. *I* never said a failed search attempt set off a trap. Don't get *my* anal-retentive houserules confused with *someone else's* anal-retentive houserules.

I'm just saying that if *I* was trapping something, I would make sure that it wasn't visible from someone looking at it from ten feet away. That's all. I assume that a "normal" Search check involves actually examining the item close (assuming a chest or door or something like that), looking into openings, etc. (but not doing things that would trigger a trap). Based on that, finding a trap from further away would be harder.

If someone was willing to do more finagling with the potentially trapped item, I'd probably give them a bonus to find the trap - but a (small) chance for setting the trap off if they failed.


(Also, I question why you need the search skills to look through a corpse's possessions.)

For normal possessions, it wouldn't be needed. For things that might be "hidden" on the corpse (false bottoms on bags, hidden "pockets" in belts, etc.) it would make sense.

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:06 PM
Because you're not searching for them, you're looking (or spotting) for them. If someone tells me they've been searching all over their house for their keys, I generally don't assume it means they stood in the center of each room and looked around.

So you're comparing the safe enviroment of your home to that of a dungeon with traps in it? Yeah that seems fair. It not as if in your example of someone looking for their keys, a chance of dying/being badly injured from using their hands would change anything.


As for searching a corpse, I've used things like "DC X Search to find the scroll tucked in his shoe".

What if my character doesn't roll a spot check but describes removing the shoes as part of checking the corpse for valuables?


Also, I could be wrong, but I'm sure I've seen the HandsOn/HandsOff distinction made somewhere in official 3.5 sources, but I'm not positive.

I'm pretty sure the only distinction in core is consious vs. automatic. It would be wierd for them to tell you you only need to be within 10ft otherwise.


I'm just saying that if *I* was trapping something, I would make sure that it wasn't visible from someone looking at it from ten feet away.

How? A trip wire. The covering of a sink pit. A preassure plate. The DM better has a good explanation for how such things were made so that they are completly invsible from 10ft away.

Emmerask
2010-11-17, 02:06 PM
If someone was willing to do more finagling with the potentially trapped item, I'd probably give them a bonus to find the trap - but a (small) chance for setting the trap off if they failed.



Sounds reasonable to me.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 02:09 PM
What if my character doesn't roll a spot check but describes removing the shoes as part of checking the corpse for valuables?
That's like saying "What if my character doesn't roll Diplomacy, but I explain very eloquently why the guard should let me speak to the Duke?" The answer is the same, if you flunk your check, then your character doesn't do it, regardless of if you think he should.

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:11 PM
That's like saying "What if my character doesn't roll Diplomacy, but I explain very eloquently why the guard should let me speak to the Duke?" The answer is the same, if you flunk your check, then your character doesn't do it, regardless of if you think he should.

No, I'm saying what if a player (like me) describes the process because they do not believe search checks are neccissary for a corpse.

ffone
2010-11-17, 02:12 PM
Other than the fact that it makes no sense that you can screw up trying to disarm the trap, and end up getting stabbed with the poison dart, but its impossible to get stabbed with the poison dart by running your hands all over the chest, as long as you don't know its there?


Wait, where does it say that Search requires touching things?

What if you're searching from 10' away, as you're allowed to?

What if the searcher is a Ghost?



How? A trip wire. The covering of a sink pit. A preassure plate. The DM better has a good explanation for how such things were made so that they are completly invsible from 10ft away.

A good Search skill means being able to figure these things out from sometimes indirect cues - imperfections on the floor suffice that suggest a sink pit or pressure plate, or being able to see a hair-thin trip wire.

And if you require hands...well can't you make traps that by definition can'be touched without setting them off? Like one in involving contact poison? And how is feeling a pressure plate with your hands going to tell you it's a pressure plate before you've caused it to move? How do you manage to 'touch' a trip wire so delicately that you don't set it off, when you weren't able to see it until that moment? By moving in super slow motion all the time?

It's actually like Curmudgeon's point on Diplomacy above.. ..even as a DM, you shouldn't just fiat that normal things are impossible, even though you can think of an in-world explanation for it. That fiat corresponds to assigning a super high Search DC....in other words, yeah you can, but you're just creating inappropriate level challenges. Making things harder for PCs isn't really 'cleverness'.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 02:14 PM
No, I'm saying what if a player (like me) describes the process because they do not believe search checks are neccissary for a corpse.
I don't know how to make this clearer. (In my games) If you fail your search check, your character does not take off the corpse's shoes. Just like if you fail your diplomacy check, your character does not manage to talk his way into the castle.

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:16 PM
I don't know how to make this clearer. (In my games) If you fail your search check, your character does not take off the corpse's shoes. Just like if you fail your diplomacy check, your character does not manage to talk his way into the castle.

But one of those is completly within the control of my character, the other involves someone else. Again I find your comparison questionable. So what I say my character takes off the dead orcs shoes and you say no they don't?

Keld Denar
2010-11-17, 02:19 PM
Taking 20 doesn't work when searching for traps. Penalty for failure and all that jazz.

This is wrong. There is no penalty for failing a search. There is a penalty for failing a disable, but not a search. Unless you houserule a penalty for failing a search...

SensFan
2010-11-17, 02:22 PM
But one of those is completly within the control of my character, the other involves someone else. Again I find your comparison questionable. So what I say my character takes off the dead orcs shoes and you say no they don't?
Just like I would say "No you don't" if you said "I jump across the river" and your total Jump roll was 5.
Just like I would say "No you don't" if you said "I carefully press down every part of the wall, looking for pressure plates" and your Search roll was a 9, even if there was a secret door triggered by pressure-plates.

ffone
2010-11-17, 02:25 PM
No, I'm saying what if a player (like me) describes the process because they do not believe search checks are neccissary for a corpse.

My solution for things like this as a DM is just to make the search checks pathetically easy. DC 0 for removing their armor, shoes, etc. Unless you have Int 6-7 (possible with a point buy half-orc) you'll make it - and if you have Int 6, well, you probably forget obvious things sometimes. And with taking 10, you can even make DC 10 all the time unless you have Int 6.

I generally let players strip every corpse totally nekked, which of course they do (esp if they have extradimensional storage.) A nontrivial search which becomes relevant for:

- Knowing what you've found, like some Plot Document on the corpse. With looting you might loot it...but not realize you have!

- Enemies who stash certain things on their persons in, erm, unconventional ways.

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:26 PM
Just like I would say "No you don't" if you said "I jump across the river" and your total Jump roll was 5.
Just like I would say "No you don't" if you said "I carefully press down every part of the wall, looking for pressure plates" and your Search roll was a 9, even if there was a secret door triggered by pressure-plates.

None as those are as difficult as removing a corpse's shoes. I can do that, but I cannot do the examples you listed.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 02:29 PM
None as those are as difficult as removing a corpse's shoes. I can do that, but I cannot do the examples you listed.
Look, I'm sorry, but I'm just explaining how my (and everyone I've ever played with) understanding of the skill system works.

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:30 PM
Look, I'm sorry, but I'm just explaining how my (and everyone I've ever played with) understanding of the skill system works.

It doesn't make any sense. What is physically stopping my character from taking off the corpse's shoes if I fail the search check?

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 02:32 PM
Wait, where does it say that Search requires touching things?

I don't believe it does. In fact, I'd argue that the fact that Search, RAW, doesn't have a chance to set off a trap implicitly suggests that it does not.


A good Search skill means being able to figure these things out from sometimes indirect cues - imperfections on the floor suffice that suggest a sink pit or pressure plate, or being able to see a hair-thin trip wire.

Depends on the trap type. I would never just say "no, you can't search from 10' away", but, as I said, I might impose a penalty. That penalty would likely be based, at least in part, on the type of trap - finding a pressure plate or trip wire from 10' away is far easier than seeing a spring mechanism inside of a lock.


It's actually like Curmudgeon's point on Diplomacy above.. ..even as a DM, you shouldn't just fiat that normal things are impossible, even though you can think of an in-world explanation for it. That fiat corresponds to assigning a super high Search DC....in other words, yeah you can, but you're just creating inappropriate level challenges. Making things harder for PCs isn't really 'cleverness'.

Agreed, which is why I generally don't like traps. They're boring gameplay, in general.

"I Search for a trap."
"Okay..." *roll roll* "you find it/you don't find it"
"I disarm it/I open it."

BORING. Any thief worth his hit points will check everything for traps, so there's no real player decisions going on, just a single die roll. That's just poor gameplay and leads to unnecessary paranoia, and lots of unnecessary searching.

Yes, you can do traps well, but that involves doing a lot more than what I've outlined above - and what I've outlined above is pretty much the standard trap template. If I'm going to do a trap in a game, I'm going to put more effort into it than that, and the trap *won't* be a matter of a stupid die roll, but will lean towards a puzzle (of which die rolls may be a part).

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:36 PM
Agreed, which is why I generally don't like traps. They're boring gameplay, in general.

"I Search for a trap."
"Okay..." *roll roll* "you find it/you don't find it"
"I disarm it/I open it."

BORING. Any thief worth his hit points will check everything for traps, so there's no real player decisions going on, just a single die roll. That's just poor gameplay and leads to unnecessary paranoia, and lots of unnecessary searching.

Yes, you can do traps well, but that involves doing a lot more than what I've outlined above - and what I've outlined above is pretty much the standard trap template. If I'm going to do a trap in a game, I'm going to put more effort into it than that, and the trap *won't* be a matter of a stupid die roll, but will lean towards a puzzle (of which die rolls may be a part).

Traps can also be used as part of an encounter. For example kobold skirmishers who have set traps in the area that they aren't heavy enough to set off.

Or you can have the BBEG waiting for the PCs at the end of a trap filled corridor, and each round they waste with the traps gives him another round in which to buff himself/otherwise prepare.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 02:37 PM
It doesn't make any sense. What is physically stopping my character from taking off the corpse's shoes if I fail the search check?
Maybe your character didn't think of it. Maybe your character took one off and left the other. Maybe your character got distracted.

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:42 PM
Maybe your character didn't think of it. Maybe your character took one off and left the other. Maybe your character got distracted.

A botched search check is failing to notice something, not frogetting/not thinking of doing something as simple as removing a shoe. You're honestly going to tell the player that the character forget to remove the other shoe and gets destracted by some writing on the wall when they fail a search check?

SensFan
2010-11-17, 02:44 PM
A botched search check is failing to notice something, not frogetting/not thinking of doing something as simple as removing a shoe. You're honestly going to tell the player that the character forget to remove the other shoe and gets destracted by some writing on the wall when they fail a search check?
Fine then. You take the shoe off, but don't notice the scroll tucked in it. Happy?

Boci
2010-11-17, 02:47 PM
Fine then. You take the shoe off, but don't notice the scroll tucked in it. Happy?

At least I'm actually controlling my character now. Although I would be interested in knowing what the DC is for noticing a scroll in a shoe my character removed.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 02:59 PM
It doesn't make any sense. What is physically stopping my character from taking off the corpse's shoes if I fail the search check?

Nothing. That should be presumed to be part of looting the corpse, otherwise it bogs the game down too much. OTOH, if you fail the Search roll, you don't notice that there's something inside the sole of the shoe.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 03:07 PM
At least I'm actually controlling my character now. Although I would be interested in knowing what the DC is for noticing a scroll in a shoe my character removed.
In my games, usually in the 15-20 range. And no, I'm absolutely not willing to humour anything resembling "My character takes off the shoes of the Orc, then looks inside them, poking and prodding them to make sure there's nothing hidden". The answer would simply be "Unless you got 20 on your Search check, NO YOU DON'T."

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:10 PM
In my games, usually in the 15-20 range. And no, I'm absolutely not willing to humour anything resembling "My character takes off the shoes of the Orc, then looks inside them, poking and prodding them to make sure there's nothing hidden". The answer would simply be "Unless you got 20 on your Search check, NO YOU DON'T."

But I can do that in half a minute. Why does it take the hero 20 minutes?

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 03:13 PM
At least I'm actually controlling my character now. Although I would be interested in knowing what the DC is for noticing a scroll in a shoe my character removed.

There's not. There's a DC on the Search check to find the scroll at all. The Search check provides a layer of abstraction over the actions of searching the body, allowing players to not have to try and outwit the DM, and not rely upon metagame information to proceed. It also works to prevent the game from devolving into an endless litany of every last thing you check on every last corpse you ever find.

Or, to look at it a different way, since taking off shoes is presumed as part of the act of searching, there's no difference in DC for explicitly mentioning that you're doing something that your character is assumed to do anyway. In much the same way, the assumption is that in combat, you swing the edge of your weapon at the opponent, and there's no bonus for explicitly pointing that out.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 03:13 PM
I don't know if its even worth answering "Because that's how the skill system works" anymore. Especially since I said 20 on the skill check, not Nat20.

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:17 PM
I don't know if its even worth answering "Because that's how the skill system works" anymore. Especially since I said 20 on the skill check, not Nat20.

I'm just saying I think your DC for finding a folded sheet of paper in a shoe is too high. And no thats not how the skill system works, the skill system does not give a DC to find a scroll in a shoe, thats how you've chosen the skill system to work.


There's not. There's a DC on the Search check to find the scroll at all. The Search check provides a layer of abstraction over the actions of searching the body, allowing players to not have to try and outwit the DM, and not rely upon metagame information to proceed. It also works to prevent the game from devolving into an endless litany of every last thing you check on every last corpse you ever find.

Or, to look at it a different way, since taking off shoes is presumed as part of the act of searching, there's no difference in DC for explicitly mentioning that you're doing something that your character is assumed to do anyway. In much the same way, the assumption is that in combat, you swing the edge of your weapon at the opponent, and there's no bonus for explicitly pointing that out.

I know, thats what I'm getting at. SensFan disagrees.

Keld Denar
2010-11-17, 03:17 PM
Or, to look at it a different way, since taking off shoes is presumed as part of the act of searching, there's no difference in DC for explicitly mentioning that you're doing something that your character is assumed to do anyway. In much the same way, the assumption is that in combat, you swing the edge of your weapon at the opponent, and there's no bonus for explicitly pointing that out.

This. There was a panel of Another Gaming Comic where the party didn't have anyone who could search for traps, so every section of every room and every hallway was tested using a complex system of ball bearing weights and 10' poles. The players bitched because it bogged down the game to a tedious level.

There was another one later about illusions. I disbelieve the floor. I disbelieve the walls. I disbelieve the orc. I disbelieve his weapon. Etc...

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:19 PM
This. There was a panel of Another Gaming Comic where the party didn't have anyone who could search for traps, so every section of every room and every hallway was tested using a complex system of ball bearing weights and 10' poles. The players bitched because it bogged down the game to a tedious level.

And it even contained an example of metagaming. Joe new there was a trap because the DM wasn't blowing a fuse over all the precortions they were taking for that one hallway.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 03:24 PM
I'm just saying I think your DC for finding a folded sheet of paper in a shoe is too high. And no thats not how the skill system works, the skill system does not give a DC to find a scroll in a shoe, thats how you've chosen the skill system to work.


Well, the DM gets to set the DC for finding any particular item with a Search check. The examples in the book are just that - examples.

It seems like at this point you're disagreeing over what the appropriate DC is, more than anything.


There was another one later about illusions. I disbelieve the floor. I disbelieve the walls. I disbelieve the orc. I disbelieve his weapon. Etc...

Heh. Even with RAW, if players started doing that I'd probably insist that they act as if they really didn't believe the illusion. You disbelieve the orc? Fine. While you're doing that, the orc is attacking you... and you don't defend yourself, because you don't believe it's real. Defending yourself is only necessary if you believe that the orc is actually real, so if you defend yourself, you negate the disbelieve attempt.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 03:31 PM
I'm just saying I think your DC for finding a folded sheet of paper in a shoe is too high. And no thats not how the skill system works, the skill system does not give a DC to find a scroll in a shoe, thats how you've chosen the skill system to work.



I know, thats what I'm getting at. SensFan disagrees.
No, I agree with him 100%. I see nothing wrong with there being a DC20 Search check needed to find the scroll I have decided it right there in the open in the Giant's shoe. The DC does not change if the player says "I search the body" vs "I take his shoes off".

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:36 PM
No, I agree with him 100%.

Oops, missread his meaning.


I see nothing wrong with there being a DC20 Search check needed to find the scroll I have decided it right there in the open in the Giant's shoe.

Interesting how this hypothetical corpse suddenly become a giant. It started out as an orc. I agree, it will be harder to locate something hidden on a giant.


The DC does not change if the player says "I search the body" vs "I take his shoes off".

So don't bother with details or creative thinking?

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 03:40 PM
Oops, missread his meaning.


Okay... so here's a scenario. I'm curious where people disagree with how this happens.

DM: You kill the orc. Yay!
PC: I loot the body.
DM: *rolls* you find a, b, and c.
PC: Okay, I take off the orc's shoes.
DM: You already did that, I told you what you found.
PC: I search the shoes.
DM: You already did that, I told you what you found.

So, what's the disagreement? Should the DM have allowed additional rolls for searches (let's not get into the DM rolling Search vs. player rolling Search, that's orthogonal) when the player gave more detail on how they were searching? Should the DM have lowered the DC retroactively after the player went into more detail? Or was this played correctly?

I'm of the opinion that it was played correctly, personally. Again, we can argue on whether or not the DC was appropriate, but that is, again, pretty much orthogonal.


So don't bother with details or creative thinking?

No, but let the game progress to where it's more interesting to apply details and creative thinking. I don't want looting the body of an orc to be the centerpiece of a game session. I certainly don't want administrivia actions like looting to take up more and more time as players insist on telling me *exactly* each part of the orc body that they're searching.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 03:41 PM
Oops, missread his meaning.



Interesting how this hypothetical corpse suddenly become a giant. It started out as an orc. I agree, it will be harder to locate something hidden on a giant.
Fine. It's a DC20 check to find out that the inside of the Orc's shoe is neon green. The check DC does not change whether you say "I search the Orc's corpse" or "I take off the Orc's shoes and check if they're neon green". In either case, if your Search check is 19, you don't notice the colour of the inside of the shoe.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 03:42 PM
So don't bother with details or creative thinking?
Exactly. Just like how, for the purposes of making the attack rolls, I don't give a damn if the player says "I swing at the Orc again", or gives me a nice explanation of weaving, feinting, and parrying.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 03:44 PM
Exactly. Just like how, for the purposes of making the attack rolls, I don't give a damn if the player says "I swing at the Orc again", or gives me a nice explanation of weaving, feinting, and parrying.

Or, more accurately, the detailed description is nice but generally doesn't give you an attack bonus.

Though, to be honest, I'd be more likely to give an attack bonus for a good description of an attack than I would be to give a bonus to Searching a body, because combat is one of the central pillars of the game, and is where you actually *want* people spending their time, and making things interesting.

I don't make people roll skill checks to put on their armor correctly in the morning, either.


Fine. It's a DC20 check to find out that the inside of the Orc's shoe is neon green. The check DC does not change whether you say "I search the Orc's corpse" or "I take off the Orc's shoes and check if they're neon green". In either case, if your Search check is 19, you don't notice the colour of the inside of the shoe.

Well, if the player knew about the Neon Green Shoe Clan, I'd probably let them notice that without a specific check, since they'd kind of be on the lookout for that... but, yeah.

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:47 PM
Fine. It's a DC20 check to find out that the inside of the Orc's shoe is neon green. The check DC does not change whether you say "I search the Orc's corpse" or "I take off the Orc's shoes and check if they're neon green". In either case, if your Search check is 19, you don't notice the colour of the inside of the shoe.

Problem is, I'm a commoner with no ranks in search, yet 100% of the time I can find out the colour of the inside of the orc's shoe. Does common sense give a +20 bonus to the check?

Invelios
2010-11-17, 03:47 PM
Search (Int)
Check
You generally must be within 10 feet of the object or surface to be searched. The table below gives DCs for typical tasks involving the Search skill.
~snip~


The 10' rule is correct by RAW.

Anything else is a house rule.

Also, if one of my players took the time to detail to me that they did this and this and that to search a body, that's good RP as long as they had the relevant skills. I mean I wouldn't let someone with 0 ranks in search and a low int do this because it makes the skill irrelevant, But if the searcher had invested in the skill and RP'd the search instead of rolling and did a good job, they find stuff.

same with diplomacy if they RP a dang good diplo/bluff and have the ranks in the skill to back it up, there is no need for a die roll.

If the player tries that crap with a build that is not skilltacular with a given skill set then I will make them roll, as I am not going to allow someone to metagame by roleplaying themselves not the character in question.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 03:49 PM
Problem is, I'm a commoner with no ranks in search, yet 100% of the time I can find out the colour of the inside of the orc's shoe. Does common sense give a +20 bonus to the check?

But as a commoner, you'd have no real reason to think that the color of the orc's shoe is relevant to anything, and probably wouldn't remember it.

Quick: What was the color of the shirt of the first person you saw today, apart from family or close friends? I mean, that shouldn't even require any check at all, so you should be able to tell me, right?

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:49 PM
Okay... so here's a scenario. I'm curious where people disagree with how this happens.

DM: You kill the orc. Yay!
PC: I loot the body.
DM: *rolls* you find a, b, and c.
PC: Okay, I take off the orc's shoes.
DM: You already did that, I told you what you found.
PC: I search the shoes.
DM: You already did that, I told you what you found.

As long as my character finds the scroll in the shoe.


But as a commoner, you'd have no real reason to think that the color of the orc's shoe is relevant to anything, and probably wouldn't remember it.

Remembering and noticing are two very different things.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 03:51 PM
The 10' rule is correct by RAW.

Anything else is a house rule.


Key words: "Generally" and "within." Saying that the RAW allows a full search of a trap from exactly 10' away is a stretch. "You must be within 2 feet of the chest to search it" is valid RAW, as 2 feet is within 10 feet.

Invelios
2010-11-17, 03:52 PM
Problem is, I'm a commoner with no ranks in search, yet 100% of the time I can find out the colour of the inside of the orc's shoe. Does common sense give a +20 bonus to the check?



Sorry for the double post, but it's not the the commoner wouldn't notice the neon green interior, but they may not realize the significance, or be paranoid enough to note the color.

They would more likely be thinking do these fit my feet/are they better than mine.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 03:52 PM
As long as my character finds the scroll in the shoe.


Nope, you blew the Search check.

Is your issue that the DC is too high? What if the scroll were more cunningly hidden, rather than just "in the shoe"?


Remembering and noticing are two very different things.

But in game terms, are basically equivalent. The ultimate utility of seeing the color is being able to recall it later.

Again, if the character had a reason to be looking for neon green shoes interiors, I probably wouldn't have a DC at all, because it is so trivial to do that a commoner would be able to do it at any time.

Boci
2010-11-17, 03:58 PM
Is your issue that the DC is too high? What if the scroll were more cunningly hidden, rather than just "in the shoe"?

Yes that is precisly it. My character should not fail to find a scroll that is just inside the shoe. If its in a false bottom, then yes I can understand missing it.




But in game terms, are basically equivalent.

No they aren't. Once I've found the scroll I do not need to remember where I found it. Plus I can always right down the colour of the first t-shirt I see.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 04:03 PM
Yes that is precisly it. My character should not fail to find a scroll that is just inside the shoe. If its in a false bottom, then yes I can understand missing it.
Fine. The DC to find the scroll in the shoe is 10. Your character's roll+bonuses is 9. I don't care how many times you say you look in his shoes, you don't find the scroll.

*Replace 10 and 9 with any X and Y such that X>Y

Boci
2010-11-17, 04:05 PM
Fine. The DC to find the scroll in the shoe is 10. Your character's roll+bonuses is 9. I don't care how many times you say you look in his shoes, you don't find the scroll.

*Replace 10 and 9 with any X and Y such that X>Y

How does my character fail to do what I, a commoner with no ranks in search and an int mod of 0, can do 100%?

If the character says they look in the orc's shoe, there shouldn't be a spit check to see the scroll because they would need to be stupid to miss it.

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 04:06 PM
That doesn't make any sense. That DC is too high if all that's going on is a scroll stuffed in a shoe and he's looking and putting his hand in there. That's like a DC 5 at the most.

Though really, it's probably more something that shouldn't even be covered by rolling if he's specificed the exact location to look for something that is obvious once examined.

Y'don't have to roll listen checks to hear what the rest of your party is saying unless you're being negatively effected by something, after all.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 04:09 PM
Because whether he thought to remove and glance inside both shoes is covered by a search check, not by him saying he's going to do so. Just like whether he remembers the name of the begger he talked to a month back is covered by an Int/Wis check, not by him saying he remembers.

Invelios
2010-11-17, 04:12 PM
Because whether he thought to remove and glance inside both shoes is covered by a search check, not by him saying he's going to do so. Just like whether he remembers the name of the begger he talked to a month back is covered by an Int/Wis check, not by him saying he remembers.

so its all about the "roll" playing not the "role" playing in your games?

Boci
2010-11-17, 04:12 PM
Because whether he thought to remove and glance inside both shoes is covered by a search check, not by him saying he's going to do so. Just like whether he remembers the name of the begger he talked to a month back is covered by an Int/Wis check, not by him saying he remembers.

I can take a corpse's shoes off. I cannot remeber the name of a stranger I heard a month ago. Another flawed example.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 04:14 PM
so its all about the "roll" playing not the "role" playing in your games?
Hell no. My games are very RP-heavy. But there's a difference between RP-heavy and handwaving away the majority of the skills.

Boci
2010-11-17, 04:17 PM
Hell no. My games are very RP-heavy. But there's a difference between RP-heavy and handwaving away the majority of the skills.

Yes because finding traps and secret doors always was the trivial ability of search compared to the ability to remove a corpse's shoes.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 04:18 PM
I can take a corpse's shoes off. I cannot remeber the name of a stranger I heard a month ago. Another flawed example.
There's a ton of things I can do that my character cannot. "Have the liberty to think about how I would search a corpse from my livingroom, where I'm under no time pressure and in a familiar setting" is one of those such things.

Invelios
2010-11-17, 04:18 PM
since when is an INT/WIS check required to remember a name? I don't see that anywhere in the "skills" list.

and I don't recommend hand waving away the skill. I just think that if the players want to RP it out instead of rolling it out and they do it properly according to each character's ability, then the need to make a check is moot.

if they prefer to roll for it then its on them if they miss some otherwise innocuous or trivially easy to find item if the roll is not in their favor.

and they had better not argue otherwise :)

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 04:20 PM
so its all about the "roll" playing not the "role" playing in your games?

No, it's about not spending an hour describing how you loot an orc, so you can get to the parts with actual roleplaying. I do not consider a drawn out explanation of orc-looting to be the pinnacle of roleplaying.

And I agree, for a scroll blatantly in a shoe, the DC would be really, really low, if there even was one. That's why I've always used something better hidden in my examples.

If you roll the dice, sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail. You don't get to go and describe what you've done in more detail to get a better result. If your attack misses, you don't get to describe your attack in more detail to force the DM to come up with some explanation as to how the orc didn't get hit - if you miss, you miss. If your search fails, it fails. That's what the roll means. Accept it, and get on with the game.

If the problem is that a single botched roll can mean total failure for your party, then you're a victim of poor DMing, which is a separate problem that won't be solved by ridiculous levels of explaining every mundane action.

Also, as a DM I frankly don't want to have to spend an hour writing a justification every time that something is hidden. There's a DC, roll against it, and you find it or don't. I don't want to hear 30 minute long explanations of exactly how you're taking every shoe apart.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 04:21 PM
since when is an INT/WIS check required to remember a name? I don't see that anywhere in the "skills" list.

and I don't recommend hand waving away the skill. I just think that if the players want to RP it out instead of rolling it out and they do it properly according to each character's ability, then the need to make a check is moot.

if they prefer to roll for it then its on them if they miss some otherwise innocuous or trivially easy to find item if the roll is not in their favor.

and they had better not argue otherwise :)
Joe and Bob are both playing identical characters, mechanically. They're both Rogues with 13 Int, 12 Wis, and a +6 modifier to Search and Spot. Joe is an expecrienced DnD player with a knack for thinking up good hiding spots for things. Bob is playing in his first campaign, and such subtleties often escape him. Why should one character have a better chance of finding a scroll hidden in the shoes or the Orc?

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 04:22 PM
Because whether he thought to remove and glance inside both shoes is covered by a search check, not by him saying he's going to do so. Just like whether he remembers the name of the begger he talked to a month back is covered by an Int/Wis check, not by him saying he remembers.

Um. No. No it isn't. If the players forget the name or didn't write it down, then you would make 'em do a check to see if they get a reminder from you. Otherwise you're just being an ass to your players who are doing their homework and keeping appropriate notes.

Boci
2010-11-17, 04:22 PM
There's a ton of things I can do that my character cannot. "Have the liberty to think about how I would search a corpse from my livingroom, where I'm under no time pressure and in a familiar setting" is one of those such things.

And adventurers could think "Hey, I should start looking in opponents shoes to see if they hide anything there" in a tavern room and then do so after that.


Joe and Bob are both playing identical characters, mechanically. They're both Rogues with 13 Int, 12 Wis, and a +6 modifier to Search and Spot. Joe is an expecrienced DnD player with a knack for thinking up good hiding spots for things. Bob is playing in his first campaign, and such subtleties often escape him. Why should one character have a better chance of finding a scroll hidden in the shoes or the Orc?

So throw the newbie a bone by suggested places they can look for hidden things. Don't penalize an expirienced player just so they are no better than a new one.



And I agree, for a scroll blatantly in a shoe, the DC would be really, really low, if there even was one.

So we do agree after all.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 04:27 PM
And adventurers could think "Hey, I should start looking in opponents shoes to see if they hide anything there" in a tavern room and then do so after that.

And the shoes could have been damaged in the fight in such a way that makes them extremely hard to get off, not to mention the inherent nastiness of taking off an orc's shoes, especially one that might have bled all over them. And especially if they're in armor. I mean, getting out of hockey gear when I played would easily take 10 to 20 minutes, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to have that same kind of time frame for disrobing a dead, heavy, slippery corpse. And it would probably make a lot of noise, hope nobody hears you.

Of course, there could also be communicable diseases involved, too. Hrm... Orc rot sounds like a good disease.

If the players want to get into the nitty gritty of orc-searching, that's fine, because the DM can do the exact same thing.

Or, you could just roll a Search check and live with the result, and accept that you might not find every single scroll.


So we do agree after all.

I think I pointed out that it sounded like a core issue being discussed was the DC of the roll several times in the last few pages. After I said that, you said you disagreed. So.... yeah, I guess.

Invelios
2010-11-17, 04:28 PM
they shouldn't you need to decide how the checks are going to work before hand.

and if you can't handle both types of players in a game then you shouldn't be Dm'ing them.

also, a brain dead monkey can shake a shoe and get a freaking scroll out of it if it isn't in a false heel or some such thing.

The check if there is one to search a corpse in otherwise non stressful situation should be 0. if there are other stressers involved i.e. impending combat, rocks falling wtfever, then there should be modifiers for a hasty or impeded search.

you guys are just taking corpse checking to seriously. I mean if there is something hidden or adverse circumstances sure or even if the corpse is trapped ie Vietnam. sure make a check roll the die.

but on a basic corpse um you find whatever.


and if my players enjoy giving tons of detail on even mundane details I as a Dm should know that and build accordingly, even if it isn't what I normally enjoy.

Boci
2010-11-17, 04:30 PM
And the shoes could have been damaged in the fight in such a way that makes them extremely hard to get off, not to mention the inherent nastiness of taking off an orc's shoes, especially one that might have bled all over them. And especially if they're in armor. I mean, getting out of hockey gear when I played would easily take 10 to 20 minutes, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to have that same kind of time frame for disrobing a dead, heavy, slippery corpse. And it would probably make a lot of noise, hope nobody hears you.

Of course, there could also be communicable diseases involved, too. Hrm... Orc rot sounds like a good disease.

If the players want to get into the nitty gritty of orc-searching, that's fine, because the DM can do the exact same thing.

What was that you said about not wanting to spend 30 minutes on the details of searching the orc?

Plus punishing creative thinking is generally considered bad form.


I think I pointed out that it sounded like a core issue being discussed was the DC of the roll several times in the last few pages. After I said that, you said you disagreed. So.... yeah, I guess.

I thought you were disagreeing with SensFan. Turned out you were agreeing then, but now don't.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 04:33 PM
you guys are just taking corpse checking to seriously. I mean if there is something hidden or adverse circumstances sure or even if the corpse is trapped ie Vietnam. sure make a check roll the die.

but on a basic corpse um you find whatever.


Yup. Couldn't agree more. Unless something on a corpse is actually hidden or trapped, you find what's there. Loot it, write it down, get on with the game. That's entirely why I don't want to bog down games with descriptions of corpse looting.

And players can describe whatever they want. Good for them! I'm just not going to reward it sufficiently that "guess where the DM hid the loot on the corpse" is a significant part of the game. Just like I have the right to "fade to black" during intimate moments even if the players want to describe every last thing. While I'm all about running the type of game the players want, that doesn't mean that the game automatically follows their every whim.


What was that you said about not wanting to spend 30 minutes on the details of searching the orc?

I don't. Which is why I said at the end, "or we can just roll a die and get on with the game." My point there is that players generally only want detail and realism when it helps them. If they *really* want to get into that level of detail, they get the good and the bad.


Plus punishing creative thinking is generally considered bad form.

Punishing? Not encouraging does not equal punishing. This type of "creativity" usually boils down to "I didn't like what I rolled, so I'm going to try and get a different result." That's not creativity, it's throwing a tantrum when things don't go your way. I have yet to meet a player that really enjoys describing how they loot orcs. Really, I haven't. In fact, I bet if you put up a poll of what people liked in roleplaying, nobody would list that at the top (unless they read this thread and were just being contrary).

There's only two reasons someone would want to describe their looting process in detail:

1) They really enjoy roleplaying looting
2) They aren't willing to accept a bad die roll that means they don't get a piece of treasure

I have never met a case of #1, and I have little sympathy for #2.


I thought you were disagreeing with SensFan. Turned out you were agreeing then, but now don't.

I agree with him about how to handle the Search. I disagree with his DC assessment of the situation as described. Clear enough?

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter where the scroll is. If it's a DC 20 to find, and you roll under that, you don't find the scroll. And if that causes the entire game to fall apart, bad DM.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 04:35 PM
Yup. Couldn't agree more. Unless something on a corpse is actually hidden or trapped, you find what's there. Loot it, write it down, get on with the game.

And players can describe whatever they want. Good for them! I'm just not going to reward it sufficiently that "guess where the DM hid the loot on the corpse" is a significant part of the game. Just like I have the right to "fade to black" during intimate moments even if the players want to describe every last thing. While I'm all about running the type of game the players want, that doesn't mean that the game automatically follows their every whim.
Agreed 100%

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 04:36 PM
Agreed 100%

Then why did you just say you have to roll search in order to loot stuff that's not even hidden if the shoes are off in the first place? :smallconfused:


And the shoes could have been damaged in the fight in such a way that makes them extremely hard to get off, not to mention the inherent nastiness of taking off an orc's shoes, especially one that might have bled all over them. And especially if they're in armor. I mean, getting out of hockey gear when I played would easily take 10 to 20 minutes, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to have that same kind of time frame for disrobing a dead, heavy, slippery corpse. And it would probably make a lot of noise, hope nobody hears you.

Of course, there could also be communicable diseases involved, too. Hrm... Orc rot sounds like a good disease.

If the players want to get into the nitty gritty of orc-searching, that's fine, because the DM can do the exact same thing.

Or, you could just roll a Search check and live with the result, and accept that you might not find every single scroll.

Um. Considering that low level adventurers have to strip their fallen foes for vendor trash, that's being unusually harsh and reactive and just making yourself look bad here.

Doug Lampert
2010-11-17, 04:42 PM
Traps can also be used as part of an encounter. For example kobold skirmishers who have set traps in the area that they aren't heavy enough to set off.

Or you can have the BBEG waiting for the PCs at the end of a trap filled corridor, and each round they waste with the traps gives him another round in which to buff himself/otherwise prepare.

Traps, like minefields, locks, and pretty well all other passive defenses, are nearly useless if there's no significant chance that something bad will happen while you're working on the passive defense.

Traps need to be part of encounters, most of mine are actively command detonated or set off. Undead are cheap, and having one holding the lever with instructions on when to pull it is much more reliable than a pressure plate.


But I can do that in half a minute. Why does it take the hero 20 minutes?

2 minutes. Taking 20 on Search takes 20 rounds, which is 2 minutes. I actually think that's too fast for really thoughly searching a corpse, but RAW I can go through a volume of goods 5' by 5' and find EVERYTHING I'll ever find in 2 minutes.

So you want to be though enough to do things like take the shoes off, the wording is, "I take 20 to search the body and the ground arround the body, I get a 43, what do I find?"

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 04:49 PM
Um. Considering that low level adventurers have to strip their fallen foes for vendor trash, that's being unusually harsh and reactive and just making yourself look bad here.

Apparently I'm not being clear on my stance, here.

What I want:

DM: You kill the orc. Yay!
Player: Yay! We search the body!
DM: *roll* You find a sword, 10 gp, and a necklace. Yay!
Player: Yay! We take it and go on.

What I don't want:

DM: You kill the orc. Yay!
Player: We loot the body.
DM: *roll* You find a sword, 10gp, and a necklace.
Player: Okay, I start taking off the boots of the orc. Anything there?
DM: Um.... you already Searched.
Player: Okay, I start disassembling the boots to make sure there are no hidden areas. Do I find anything?
DM: Um...
Player: Okay, so how is the boot constructed? I want to make sure that I don't miss anything. How many layers are in the sole? They could have something hidden between layers.
DM: Um...

If players insist on going into the level of detail described in the second scenario (the one that I don't want), then I find it completely reasonable that they get the full force of that level of detail, and don't just get to take the good parts. If they want the full description of looting an orc, they'll get it.

As a DM, I'd much rather get on with the game, and not deal with that at all. Make sense?

SensFan
2010-11-17, 04:50 PM
Then why did you just say you have to roll search in order to loot stuff that's not even hidden if the shoes are off in the first place? :smallconfused:
I didn't. I said you have to roll search to take the shoes off, regardless of if you say "I take the shoes off" or "I search the body".

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 04:54 PM
I didn't. I said you have to roll search to take the shoes off, regardless of if you say "I take the shoes off" or "I search the body".

Or, to say it in a way that is potentially less likely to lead to further argument:

"Performing a Search roll is an abstraction over the act of searching the body, and gives the results of the search. It presumes competence at a more detailed level of action on the part of the Player Character, and as such, describing the details of the action are irrelevant. It is arguably an error to even have descriptions of where the hidden items are located, as this is a level of detail finer than the Search roll. Such descriptions should be considered for flavor purposes only, not as a mechanism for players to achieve better results than their die rolls indicate."


2 minutes. Taking 20 on Search takes 20 rounds, which is 2 minutes. I actually think that's too fast for really thoughly searching a corpse, but RAW I can go through a volume of goods 5' by 5' and find EVERYTHING I'll ever find in 2 minutes.

RAW or not, that's crazy. To search a body, a single attempt should be closer to 2 minutes - and I could make an argument that even that is pretty quick.

Of course, I think that the "take 20" rules are often abused anyway, so...

Boci
2010-11-17, 04:54 PM
As a DM, I'd much rather get on with the game, and not deal with that at all. Make sense?

Yes but giving the characters a disease isn't the best way to handle it. Besides, does it really bother you that much? Maybe the players want to go that indepth.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 05:01 PM
Yes but giving the characters a disease isn't the best way to handle it. Besides, does it really bother you that much? Maybe the players want to go that indepth.

And I wouldn't actually do that except as a last resort, honestly.

And does it really bother me if every looting session turns into 30 minutes or an hour of looting descriptions? Yes, it does. That's 30 minutes or an hour of my life, and my free time.

It also bothers me when players don't accept the results of die rolls - things don't always go your way, deal with it. If you're not willing to accept the die rolls, why even have rules?

Boci
2010-11-17, 05:07 PM
And I wouldn't actually do that except as a last resort, honestly.

And does it really bother me if every looting session turns into 30 minutes or an hour of looting descriptions? Yes, it does. That's 30 minutes or an hour of my life, and my free time.

I can't tell how much hyperbole you're using, but it would add that much time. You give a brief description of what they are wearing, the PCs say how they feel along the stiches, check inside the shoes and remove the belt. A bit of depth, all done in 3 minutes tops and with no major effort from either side.


It also bothers me when players don't accept the results of die rolls - things don't always go your way, deal with it. If you're not willing to accept the die rolls, why even have rules?

Who said anything about not accepting the dice roll results?

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 05:17 PM
I can't tell how much hyperbole you're using, but it would add that much time. You give a brief description of what they are wearing, the PCs say how they feel along the stiches, check inside the shoes and remove the belt. A bit of depth, all done in 3 minutes tops and with no major effort from either side.

And doing that for every corpse, after every combat? If it's that mechanical, then why bother? Why not just, say, assume competence and roll the dice?


Who said anything about not accepting the dice roll results?

If I tell players that they don't need to describe that, as their characters are assumed to be competent, and that's a "standard search," then why would they want to say the same routine over and over, except to get a second chance to find something that just rolling the dice didn't get them?

How would you suggest that you run things, exactly?

There's a couple of ways I can see running looting:

1) Roll Search. If there's something hidden, it's a DC to find it. End of story.
2) Roll Search. If you describe searching a hiding location of something that is hidden, you get a bonus to finding it on your roll.
3) Roll Search. If you don't describe searching the hiding location of something that's hidden, you can't find it.
4) Describe the search, and I'll tell you what you find in the areas you describe.

I prefer option 1. I see little value in the other options, except to serve as a gotcha for players that don't remember the List Of Places The DM Has Hidden Things Or Might Hide Things. It's trivia. It's boring. It's a game of who can out-clever the other. It's not something I want to put a focus on in a game that I run in my free time.

...

Let's put it another way. If a player describes exactly where a hidden item is located in their search description, should a roll be necessary?

Would you consider it okay for a player to describe additional search locations after an initial search roll?

Boci
2010-11-17, 05:24 PM
If I tell players that they don't need to describe that, as their characters are assumed to be competent, and that's a "standard search," then why would they want to say the same routine over and over, except to get a second chance to find something that just rolling the dice didn't get them?

Because describing what they do helps them imagine generally being there.

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"The material feels coars and the stiches break easily,"

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"You do not find any. The cotton perfectly fitted the body, persumable melded by magic"

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"The soft silken folds hide nothing"

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 05:31 PM
Because describing what they do helps them imagine generally being there.

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"The material feels coars and the stiches break easily,"

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"You do not find any. The cotton perfectly fitted the body, persumable melded by magic"

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"The soft silken folds hide nothing"

Okay, do you imagine that there is a mechanical bonus to finding things based on the description? As in, does describing the search negate the need for a roll or provide a bonus?

In your mind, can you find hidden items without describing searching the hiding location? (Keep in mind, this is specific to looting bodies...)

Is it allowable to describe the searching mechanics after an initial Search roll? If so, does doing so grant additional opportunities to find hidden items?

Keep in mind that in your description above, a good DM could describe all of those things without a detailed description of exactly what is being searched, and how.

Edit: I'm not trying to be hostile with these question, I'm trying to figure out exactly what your stance on how it should work is. I think mine's pretty clear - roll Search, you find stuff that's got a DC to find lower than your Search roll.

Boci
2010-11-17, 05:39 PM
Okay, do you imagine that there is a mechanical bonus to finding things based on the description? As in, does describing the search negate the need for a roll or provide a bonus?

Not always but it can.


In your mind, can you find hidden items without describing searching the hiding location? (Keep in mind, this is specific to looting bodies...)

Obviously. PCs shouldn't be penalized for not going into unneccissary details.


Is it allowable to describe the searching mechanics after an initial Search roll? If so, does doing so grant additional opportunities to find hidden items?

Yes. For example, is a PC rolls low, they do not find anything because they were being sloppy. If they then say are going to cut the enemy open, because the other guard said this one would have the key and he had no chance to dispose of it, he could find the key lodged in the guard's throat. A higher search check would have alerted him during his initial search.


Keep in mind that in your description above, a good DM could describe all of those things without a detailed description of exactly what is being searched, and how.

Yes but sometimes players want a detailed description.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 05:49 PM
Not always but it can.

It can provide a bonus, or it can negate the need for a roll?

In which circumstances would it provide a bonus or negate the need for a roll?


Obviously. PCs shouldn't be penalized for not going into unneccissary details.

Yet by giving a bonus, the PC that goes into detail has a better chance of finding something than the PC that doesn't.

My problem with this is basically that it creates a scenario where PCs have an incentive to go into more and more detailed descriptions of their search routine, to make sure they get the biggest bonus possible. I don't want to go down that path, frankly, as either a player or a DM.


Yes. For example, is a PC rolls low, they do not find anything because they were being sloppy. If they then say are going to cut the enemy open, because the other guard said this one would have the key and he had no chance to dispose of it, he could find the key lodged in the guard's throat. A higher search check would have alerted him during his initial search.

So you do want descriptions to be able to ignore dice rolls that aren't good enough. Basically, the player should get the best result between what he rolled and what he described, correct?


Yes but sometimes players want a detailed description.

And as a DM, I can provide a detailed description based on very simple input. "I attack the orc." "You swing your sword in a great arc at the orc, catching him firmly in the side. He grunts in pain from the attack, then turns at you and lets out a great battle roar."

Here's another question: Let's say that we start the search process by rolling a Search check. That determines the results of the Search attempt. Then, the player describes what they are going to do to search the body and I give a detailed description of how it goes - but that doesn't modify the results of the initial roll or what they find in any way.

Would this be acceptable?

Boci
2010-11-17, 06:12 PM
It can provide a bonus, or it can negate the need for a roll?

Both.


In which circumstances would it provide a bonus or negate the need for a roll?

Give me your email address. I'll send you a list of every possible way a player make a search check and the result.


Yet by giving a bonus, the PC that goes into detail has a better chance of finding something than the PC that doesn't.

My problem with this is basically that it creates a scenario where PCs have an incentive to go into more and more detailed descriptions of their search routine, to make sure they get the biggest bonus possible. I don't want to go down that path, frankly, as either a player or a DM.

And I don't find it a problem, as a player or a DM. If it does start becoming a problem like in AGC I'll raise the issue then.


So you do want descriptions to be able to ignore dice rolls that aren't good enough. Basically, the player should get the best result between what he rolled and what he described, correct?


No, where did I say that?



And as a DM, I can provide a detailed description based on very simple input. "I attack the orc." "You swing your sword in a great arc at the orc, catching him firmly in the side. He grunts in pain from the attack, then turns at you and lets out a great battle roar."

Yes, and sometimes the players want to provide details as well.


Here's another question: Let's say that we start the search process by rolling a Search check. That determines the results of the Search attempt. Then, the player describes what they are going to do to search the body and I give a detailed description of how it goes - but that doesn't modify the results of the initial roll or what they find in any way.

Would this be acceptable?

Why wouldn't it be?

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 06:17 PM
Both.

... and in what scenarios?


Give me your email address. I'll send you a list of every possible way a player make a search check and the result.

Now you're just being snarky.


And I don't find it a problem, as a player or a DM. If it does start becoming a problem like in AGC I'll raise the issue then.

Cool. We have different opinions. I kinda figured that :)


No, where did I say that?

When you said that if the player got a poor roll, they could then describe how they were searching to get a better result. If they got a good roll, the described search would be unnecessary... thus, they get the better of the two results.


Yes, and sometimes the players want to provide details as well.

Which is fine, until it drags down the game for everyone.


Why wouldn't it be?

Because it doesn't give any mechanical benefits or advantages to describing how you search, which you've stated it should do?

Personally I'm okay with describing, and not having it give a mechanical advantage in any way, as that cuts down on the incentive for long, drawn-out descriptions of corpse-searching.

Basically, I've seen too many games that devolve into "playing by checklist" where the players have to basically memorize a bunch of stuff that needs to be done *all the time*, and get penalized if they forget or didn't think of something. I have no interest in that type of game, and will actively work to avoid creating that situation.

Boci
2010-11-17, 06:23 PM
Now you're just being snarky.

I honestly do not know how I am supose to answer such a question seriously.


When you said that if the player got a poor roll, they could then describe how they were searching to get a better result. If they got a good roll, the described search would be unnecessary... thus, they get the better of the two results.

Yes a player can continue searching if they do not find anything. In the example, player could have rolled a 20 on the search check but still not found anything and then proceeded to cut the body up.


Which is fine, until it drags down the game for everyone.

Yes roleplaying has a tendancy to do that.


Because it doesn't give any mechanical benefits or advantages to describing how you search, which you've stated it should do?

Where did I say that? I have you three examples of a DM saying "You find nothing" with the stich examples.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-17, 06:30 PM
You're spending a feat to get a +2 to (int mod + 3) skills most of the time. I can think of worse uses for a feat, but its hardly going to be in every rogue build.
Actually you're spending a feat to get some extra benefit for every one (up to 6) of your Rogue special abilities. Simply being able to cause an opponent 2 points of STR damage with every hit despite their 100% fortification is worth the feat, and that's just 1/6 of what Savvy Rogue offers. The main benefit of the Skill Mastery special ability is it can save you up to 9 ranks in each mastered skill because you never have to cover the cases where rolled values in the 1-9 range could cause failure. Expanding that to exclude 10-11 values with Savvy Rogue is just icing on the cake. :smallcool:

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 06:41 PM
I honestly do not know how I am supose to answer such a question seriously.

Give an example of dialog between a player and a DM around search a corpse. It doesn't have to be every possible scenario, but *a* scenario showing how you think the interaction should play out.


Yes a player can continue searching if they do not find anything. In the example, player could have rolled a 20 on the search check but still not found anything and then proceeded to cut the body up.

You changed your scenario from a low roll to a high one, specifically to remove the possibility of a player using a description to re-attempt a scenario that was blown with a roll.


Yes roleplaying has a tendancy to do that.

Sure, but I'd prefer to use roleplaying time for other things than "searching bodies." Same with roleplaying "putting on armor" or


Where did I say that? I have you three examples of a DM saying "You find nothing" with the stich examples.

When you said that a player could get additional chances to find things if they didn't like the roll. You reversed your example, as the original one was if the player rolled low...

I really don't understand what your position is at all. You go from saying that descriptions of how you're searching can offer bonuses, and then saying it's okay if they don't, at times saying that a sufficient description of the search attempt negates the need to roll at all.

I'm just not understanding how you think things should be run. I'm really not trying to be hostile here, just trying to figure out what the difference actually is.

Boci
2010-11-17, 06:56 PM
Give an example of dialog between a player and a DM around search a corpse. It doesn't have to be every possible scenario, but *a* scenario showing how you think the interaction should play out.

DM: You finally kill the lizard like creature. What do you do?
PC: I search the body, standard proceedure. Search result 24.
DM: His fur coat is worth 200gp, but you do not find anything else.

Same situation:

DM: You finally kill the lizard like creature. What do you do?
PC: I search his body. The last creature we fought was eating, swallowing rats whole, so I'm also going to proud his stomach to see if I can feel anything unusually hard. Search result: 22.
DM: His fur coat is worth 200gp, and in his stomach you find an good quality emerald, although your not sure how much its worth.

Would be an example of a character gaining a bonus on a roll due to creative thinking.


You changed your scenario from a low roll to a high one, specifically to remove the possibility of a player using a description to re-attempt a scenario that was blown with a roll.

Yes, because you just assumed the player was cheating, even though in my example he wasn't satisfied with the result because he had in game reason to assume he had missed something.


You go from saying that descriptions of how you're searching can offer bonuses, and then saying it's okay if they don't.

What is so confusing about that?


Actually you're spending a feat to get some extra benefit for every one (up to 6) of your Rogue special abilities. Simply being able to cause an opponent 2 points of STR damage with every hit despite their 100% fortification is worth the feat, and that's just 1/6 of what Savvy Rogue offers. The main benefit of the Skill Mastery special ability is it can save you up to 9 ranks in each mastered skill because you never have to cover the cases where rolled values in the 1-9 range could cause failure. Expanding that to exclude 10-11 values with Savvy Rogue is just icing on the cake. :smallcool:

Oh cool, I didn't notice it applied to all benefits.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 07:10 PM
I'll try to give a few examples to illustrate the cases I think kyoryu is offering:


There is a scroll in the Orc's boot, and a key sewn into the sleeve of his shirt.

Lidda: I want to check the corpse of the Orc we just killed. I first look in all obvious pockets. Then I remove every article of clothing, one by one, and carefully break them into tiny pieces to as to find anything that may be hidden in them.
DM: You get a scroll from his left boot and a key from his stomach.


There is a scroll in the Orc's boot, and a key sewn into the sleeve of his shirt.

Lidda: I want to search the corpse of the Orc we just killed.
DM: Make a Search check
Lidda: 18
DM: You find a scroll in his left boot.
Lidda: I cut him open to look inside him.
DM: You searched him already. You find a scroll and nothing else.

Note: If under 15, nothing is found. If over 20, both items are found.


There is a scroll and a key that could be found.

Lidda: I want to search the corpse of the Orc we just killed.
DM: Make a Search check
Lidda: 18. I want to check the corpse of the Orc we just killed. I first look in all obvious pockets. Then I remove every article of clothing, one by one, and carefully break them into tiny pieces to as to find anything that may be hidden in them.
DM: You find a scroll in his boot and nothing else.

The key was actually inside the Orc, since she didn't mention looking there, and she didn't roll high enough to find the key. If under 15, the scroll is in some random location she chose not to look for. If over 20, the key was in the sleeve of the Orc so she also found it.

---

Which case do you prefer your games to be? I like 3, though 2 would also be possible. I would not play in a game that operated under Case 1.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-17, 07:14 PM
Because describing what they do helps them imagine generally being there.

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"The material feels coars and the stiches break easily,"

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"You do not find any. The cotton perfectly fitted the body, persumable melded by magic"

"I run my finger along the stiches, looking for anything hidden,"
"The soft silken folds hide nothing"
OK, you're role-playing taking 20 on your Search checks. Whether you find something hidden or not at that point will only vary by a circumstance bonus (usually +2) if you happen to impress the DM with your diligence. Most of the time this total (20 + circumstance bonus + your Search modifier) will be adequate to find something hidden on a body, but no matter how long you spend in this dialog, you're not guaranteed to succeed. Role-playing a Search doesn't guarantee success any more than a narrative of your sword-swinging technique will guarantee you hit a foe.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 07:23 PM
I'll try to give a few examples to illustrate the cases I think kyoryu is offering:

---

Which case do you prefer your games to be? I like 3, though 2 would also be possible. I would not play in a game that operated under Case 1.

Yup, those kinds of things are what I was looking for. I'd likely run under case 2.

In addition, I'll offer up case 4:



There is a scroll in the Orc's boot, and a key sewn into the sleeve of his shirt.

Lidda: I want to search the corpse of the Orc we just killed.
DM: Make a Search check
Lidda: 10
DM: You don't find anything.
Lidda: I take off his boots. I get a 12 on Search
DM: You find a scroll.
Lidda: I take off his belt. I get a 15.
DM: Nothing.
....
Lidda: I cut his shirt apart. I roll a 16.
DM: You find a key.


(you can look at this case either with, or without rolls.)

I wouldn't want to play in Case 1 or Case 4. I'd prefer 2, but would be okay with 3.


Yes, because you just assumed the player was cheating, even though in my example he wasn't satisfied with the result because he had in game reason to assume he had missed something.

First off, I never said "cheating." If it's the rules you play the game by it's not cheating. By definition.

Secondly, why do you assume the character had an in-game reason to assume he missed something? A die roll is an out-of-game concept - a PC doesn't know about them, or what they mean. You could even argue that the DC just represents a *chance* of finding something, and that a low result doesn't necessarily mean that he did a poor job, just that, for whatever reason, he didn't succeed at finding something. As an example, if you're attacking against an 18 AC, and get 25 total, you didn't hit extra hard. You just hit. Apart from the special case of criticals, there's no real support in the rules for rolling above the required number to be indicative of a "better" success, or rolling beneath it to be a "worse" failure or indicate why the failure happened.

I don't presume that a character knows that they succeeded or failed because they flubbed. They just know they did or didn't find anything... which is why I typically make rolls for things like Search as the DM, and typically expect a DM I'm playing with to do the same for me.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 07:36 PM
Yup, those kinds of things are what I was looking for. I'd likely run under case 2.

In addition, I'll offer up case 4:



(you can look at this case either with, or without rolls.)

I wouldn't want to play in Case 1 or Case 4. I'd prefer 2, but would be okay with 3.
True. Though I don't see a discernable difference between 1 and 4.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 07:38 PM
True. Though I don't see a discernable difference between 1 and 4.

The real difference is that 4 will allow the player to find something without describing how they're searching, *if* they roll high enough.

Otherwise, they're identical.

....

And actually, now that i read it again, I probably tend towards three as well.

randomhero00
2010-11-17, 07:40 PM
I think a little metagame is OK, especially when it can be disguised as 'strategic talking' in game or paranoia.

Safety Sword
2010-11-17, 07:46 PM
OK, you're role-playing taking 20 on your Search checks. Whether you find something hidden or not at that point will only vary by a circumstance bonus (usually +2) if you happen to impress the DM with your diligence. Most of the time this total (20 + circumstance bonus + your Search modifier) will be adequate to find something hidden on a body, but no matter how long you spend in this dialog, you're not guaranteed to succeed. Role-playing a Search doesn't guarantee success any more than a narrative of your sword-swinging technique will guarantee you hit a foe.

This. If you find it I detail where it is, if you don't.. well... I don't.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 07:49 PM
DM: You finally kill the lizard like creature. What do you do?
PC: I search the body, standard proceedure. Search result 24.
DM: His fur coat is worth 200gp, but you do not find anything else.

Same situation:

DM: You finally kill the lizard like creature. What do you do?
PC: I search his body. The last creature we fought was eating, swallowing rats whole, so I'm also going to proud his stomach to see if I can feel anything unusually hard. Search result: 22.
DM: His fur coat is worth 200gp, and in his stomach you find an good quality emerald, although your not sure how much its worth.

Would be an example of a character gaining a bonus on a roll due to creative thinking.
Here's my problem with that:
Let us assume you are playing Bob the Commoner, and I am playing Joe the Rogue.
Let us assume Bob has 0 ranks in every skill, and Joe has 3 ranks in every skill.
Let us assume Bob has 10 in every Attribute, and Joe has 12 in every Attribute.
Let us assume Bob has no other feats, class abilities, etc that Joe does not have.

Therefore, Joe is strictly better than Bob at searching, among other things. But wait a minute, Boci is a much more creative thinking than SensFan. Why the hell can Bob find the emerald while it is impossible for Joe to ever find it?

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 07:55 PM
Here's my problem with that:
Let us assume you are playing Bob the Commoner, and I am playing Joe the Rogue.
Let us assume Bob has 0 ranks in every skill, and Joe has 3 ranks in every skill.
Let us assume Bob has 10 in every Attribute, and Joe has 12 in every Attribute.
Let us assume Bob has no other feats, class abilities, etc that Joe does not have.

Therefore, Joe is strictly better than Bob at searching, among other things. But wait a minute, Boci is a much more creative thinking than SensFan. Why the hell can Bob find the emerald while it is impossible for Joe to ever find it?

Because it gets into one of the big splits in roleplaying: Character as player avatar/stand-in, vs. having a barrier between the player and the character.

It's a pretty big split in playstyle. I'm firmly on the "barrier" side. It's okay for a character to lose, but not so okay for a player to lose.

The actor playing Rosencrantz in Hamlet doesn't get mad because Rosencrantz doesn't live through the end of the play. If you can maintain that separation, it makes it easier to enjoy the events of what happens in the game, regardless of whether things go "your way" or not.

Besides, everyone knows that nobody can be more creative, smarter, or in any way better than a hockey fan... except for hockey players.

Safety Sword
2010-11-17, 07:57 PM
Here's my problem with that:
Let us assume you are playing Bob the Commoner, and I am playing Joe the Rogue.
Let us assume Bob has 0 ranks in every skill, and Joe has 3 ranks in every skill.
Let us assume Bob has 10 in every Attribute, and Joe has 12 in every Attribute.
Let us assume Bob has no other feats, class abilities, etc that Joe does not have.

Therefore, Joe is strictly better than Bob at searching, among other things. But wait a minute, Boci is a much more creative thinking than SensFan. Why the hell can Bob find the emerald while it is impossible for Joe to ever find it?

Luck?

But you increase the probability of finding things with training. That's what skills usually represent.

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 07:58 PM
Usually creative and good thinking is to be encouraged and rewarded rather than punished and discouraged.


The actor playing Rosencrantz in Hamlet doesn't get mad because Rosencrantz doesn't live through the end of the play.

That's a bad analogy not the least of which because acting in a set role is very different from emergent play.

Why do people keep making it? :smallfurious:

SensFan
2010-11-17, 07:59 PM
Luck?

But you increase the probability of finding things with training. That's what skills usually represent.
Based on his example, 24 does not find the emerald, while 22 with a "I cut him open" does. Joe is incapable of reaching higher than 24. Thus, Bob is capable of doing something that Joe cannot, even though Joe is better than him at literally everything.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 07:59 PM
Usually creative and good thinking is to be encouraged and rewarded rather than punished and discouraged.

Yes... but I don't want to sit through someone's description of how they put on their armor in the morning in their attempt to get an extra +1 AC.

Looting is bookkeeping.

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 08:00 PM
Yes... but I don't want to sit through someone's description of how they put on their armor in the morning in their attempt to get an extra +1 AC.

Looting is bookkeeping.

Then don't set up situations where rolling is required for looting a body and just gloss over it like most everyone else except for places where it's plot relevant in which case it'd not only be a skill challenge but a puzzle to the players.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 08:03 PM
Then don't set up situations where rolling is required for looting a body and just gloss over it like most everyone else except for places where it's plot relevant in which case it'd not only be a skill challenge but a puzzle to the players.
What the hell is wrong with using the rules for what they're intended; namely to decide if a character succeeds or fails at something (in this case, the key on the Orc)?

Also, I don't believe in puzzles for the players.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 08:05 PM
Then don't set up situations where rolling is required for looting a body and just gloss over it like most everyone else except for places where it's plot relevant in which case it'd not only be a skill challenge but a puzzle to the players.

... which is exactly what I've said I'd do, over and over and over again in this thread. I'm arguing that that's *exactly* what should happen, and that I don't want to get into players turning looting into a minigame sucking of valuable table time.

Safety Sword
2010-11-17, 08:05 PM
Based on his example, 24 does not find the emerald, while 22 with a "I cut him open" does. Joe is incapable of reaching higher than 24. Thus, Bob is capable of doing something that Joe cannot, even though Joe is better than him at literally everything.

Doesn't sound right to me.

The DC is fixed. The more training (ranks) you have, the better your chances of success (and you actually have a chance on things that are really well hidden).

It still doesn't guarantee that you'll find it. You can still fail to make the DC. Luck may be with you or not.

A lucky character with no ranks in Search can still find something an unlucky character with ranks can miss. Dice will be random like that.

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 08:06 PM
SensFan: Sounds like there's no point to having anything other than combat then.
... which is exactly what I've said I'd do, over and over and over again in this thread. I'm arguing that that's *exactly* what should happen, and that I don't want to get into players turning looting into a minigame sucking of valuable table time.

Fair enough. Must've missed that when I was reading through, sorry.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 08:08 PM
Doesn't sound right to me.

The DC is fixed. The more training (ranks) you have, the better your chances of success (and you actually have a chance on things that are really well hidden).

It still doesn't guarantee that you'll find it. You can still fail to make the DC. Luck may be with you or not.

A lucky character with no ranks in Search can still find something an unlucky character with ranks can miss. Dice will be random like that.

Yes, dice do that. SensFan was pointing out that there could be a scenario where, if you allow description of looting to either auto-succeed on finding things, or to lower the DC, that a character that is superior in every way to another could fail to find something, while the "inferior" character could find it.

As a simple example, character 1 has a +5 bonus, character 2 has a +2 bonus. DC to find thingie is 26. Description of looting procedures is worth a +5 bonus.

Character 2 will find the thingie on a 20, while character 1 can't find it at all.


SensFan: Sounds like there's no point to having anything other than combat then.

I wouldn't say that. It's more a matter of not wanting to dedicate too much time to something as mundane as looting. If you want to do roleplaying, do it when you're actually interacting with other PCs or NPCs. Roleplaying with a corpse is boring and kinda icky.


Fair enough. Must've missed that when I was reading through, sorry.

No biggie. It's all good.


Usually creative and good thinking is to be encouraged and rewarded rather than punished and discouraged.

That's not an absolute. I don't want to spend 15 minutes every time someone casts a fireball as they try to describe the clever thing they're doing in order to get a couple extra bonus damage points. Just roll the dice and get ON with it.


That's a bad analogy not the least of which because acting in a set role is very different from emergent play.

Why do people keep making it? :smallfurious:

Why is it bad? I find it to be a pretty good analogy. Characters may come and go, but the story goes on. Of course, I prefer a game style where the heroes are *not* the Destined Heroes of Destiny. If you prefer that game style, it's understandable that you'd find it a bad analogy.

Keld Denar
2010-11-17, 08:09 PM
Usually creative and good thinking is to be encouraged and rewarded rather than punished and discouraged.

While normally I'd agree, looting is such a minor thing. I'd rather have my players focus on how they are gonna assault the next room, how they are gonna con the bad guy out of his McGuffin, how they are gonna sneak past the sleeping dragon, or how they are gonna convince the princess to marry one of them.

It is a game, and some things are an abstraction. Thats one of the problems with mental ability scores. If I'm a D student playing a MASSIVE Int wizard, I'd appreciate help from the DM figuring things out with an Int check, even if I as a player am not clever enough to figure it out. Likewise, if I'm not the greatest at convincing someone of X, I'd like get my intent across and then just roll it.

I'm having that issue in one of my RL games. I'm playing a high Cha Bard with a +20 Diplomacy mod. I don't always word things correctly, and sometimes stumble across my words, and my DM autofails my character for the ineptitude of his player. Its frustrating sometimes...

What you are promoting is the same thing. If the player isn't clever enough to realize that "hey, maybe I should check for a hidden compartment in his belt", then simply rolling a Search check and abstractifying it is FINE.

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 08:11 PM
I wouldn't say that. It's more a matter of not wanting to dedicate too much time to something as mundane as looting. If you want to do roleplaying, do it when you're actually interacting with other PCs or NPCs. Roleplaying with a corpse is boring and kinda icky.

He said that he didn't want to have any kind of puzzles for players, indicating that he doesn't want to engage his players at all, just their characters. I was departing away from the looting thing with that one.


While normally I'd agree, looting is such a minor thing. I'd rather have my players focus on how they are gonna assault the next room, how they are gonna con the bad guy out of his McGuffin, how they are gonna sneak past the sleeping dragon, or how they are gonna convince the princess to marry one of them. Me too. But if one is going to cover looting bodies with search rolls and have the players play that out anyway, it seems to be that you've already decided to spend time on it.


The creativity bit was a usual and in answer to why he should allow a player who was good at figuring out where to look to have any advantage to one who didn't think about it at all. If you're going down that route, then, yes, the guy should get some circumstance bonus for poking himself in the eye with the object being sought after.

Rasman
2010-11-17, 08:12 PM
Hi
I have just been thinking about some scenarios, in some cases i beleive it is good to metagame, but for good reason, this thread is more of a debate to see where I can see in retrospect where you guys think it's good to metagame in some others not so much.

Encounter one: Skill check

Khazen the rogue walks into the room in a house which he has broken into, before him he finds a chest he has a bad feeling (player hunch... Metagame?) and decides to do a search check, (rolls nat 1). He then proceeds to open the chest. There is a trap, sadly he is hit with a poison trigger trap, contracts poison (fails save) and passes out.

In this instance, would you say it would be better for the player to metagame to survive, or to maintain roleplay and re-roll a search check?

a bad feeling is never metagaming, it's being paranoid...which is kinda a roguey thing anyway...

we had a rogue that felt so uneasy about chests that he'd shoot them with arrows to see if they were Mimics or sensitive to motion in any way.

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 08:14 PM
He said that he didn't want to have any kind of puzzles for players, indicating that he doesn't want to engage his players at all, just their characters. I was departing away from the looting thing with that one.

While I don't know that I'd go so far as 'no puzzles,' you can have interactions besides combat even without puzzles. You can have roleplaying encounters, political intrigue, a mystery where characters have to find clues, romantic subplots, interactions with various organizations, wilderness expeditions, etc.

Coidzor
2010-11-17, 08:15 PM
While I don't know that I'd go so far as 'no puzzles,' you can have interactions besides combat even without puzzles. You can have roleplaying encounters, political intrigue, a mystery where characters have to find clues, romantic subplots, interactions with various organizations, wilderness expeditions, etc.

Could, but his terseness gave me the impression enough to lay that charge down.


Why is it bad? I find it to be a pretty good analogy. Characters may come and go, but the story goes on. Of course, I prefer a game style where the heroes are *not* the Destined Heroes of Destiny. If you prefer that game style, it's understandable that you'd find it a bad analogy.

An actor is a puppet of the playwright and director. A player should not be thought of or treated as such, or else it ceases to be a game and becomes DM Talking Head Theatre.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 08:20 PM
He said that he didn't want to have any kind of puzzles for players, indicating that he doesn't want to engage his players at all, just their characters. I was departing away from the looting thing with that one.
What I do or do not think of has absolutely no relevance to what Joe does or does not think of. Therefore, let's say there's a logic puzzle that must be solved. If every character has Int 18, but the players are all idiots, the characters are unfairly punished. If every character has Int 8, but we're all Harvrd grads, the characters are unfairly rewarded.

The best DM I ever had is the only one that has managed to do riddles and/or puzzes to my satisfaction. An example:
You find a riddle eched on the wall. Anyone with Int below 8, put on this blindfold and this blaring music via headphones. Anyone with Int 8-10, you can't talk. Anyone with Int 12-15, feel free to text/call friends to ask. Anyone with Int 16+, you can use Google. Now, *reads riddle to party*.

Edit:

While I don't know that I'd go so far as 'no puzzles,' you can have interactions besides combat even without puzzles. You can have roleplaying encounters, political intrigue, a mystery where characters have to find clues, romantic subplots, interactions with various organizations, wilderness expeditions, etc.
All of that is, of course, necessary to my enjoyment of the game.

Curmudgeon
2010-11-17, 08:20 PM
Usually creative and good thinking is to be encouraged and rewarded rather than punished and discouraged.
Exactly. That's why the DM is free to offer a +2 circumstance bonus for the player describing the Search with unusually accurate detail of the methodology involved. But that +2 is as much reward as the rules permit, because it's unfair to other players to let their characters' superior abilities get overridden entirely by role-play.

Safety Sword
2010-11-17, 08:22 PM
Yes, dice do that. SensFan was pointing out that there could be a scenario where, if you allow description of looting to either auto-succeed on finding things, or to lower the DC, that a character that is superior in every way to another could fail to find something, while the "inferior" character could find it.

As a simple example, character 1 has a +5 bonus, character 2 has a +2 bonus. DC to find thingie is 26. Description of looting procedures is worth a +5 bonus.


Well, you lost me at "bonus for describing looting". NO WAY! It's nice fluff sometimes, but it's basically a waste of time.

Edit: To clarify. It would be a waste of time for my players to try and get +2 for describing the search in detail. That's not a "circumstance", it is however good role-playing perhaps.

SensFan
2010-11-17, 08:26 PM
Well, you lost me at "bonus for describing looting". NO WAY! It's nice fluff sometimes, but it's basically a waste of time.

Edit: To clarify. It would be a waste of time for my players to try and get +2 for describing the search in detail. That's not a "circumstance", it is however good role-playing perhaps.
Exactly. That's why kyoryu and I have been saying for a while :smallbiggrin:

Safety Sword
2010-11-17, 08:27 PM
Exactly. That's why kyoryu and I have been saying for a while :smallbiggrin:

It seems I've finally made my position clear then, haven't I! :smallsmile:

kyoryu
2010-11-17, 08:36 PM
An actor is a puppet of the playwright and director. A player should not be thought of or treated as such, or else it ceases to be a game and becomes DM Talking Head Theatre.

I never proposed such. Clearly, the character is the puppet of the player.

That still doesn't mean that the character has to be a player avatar/stand-in. The game, IMHO, becomes much more interesting when you separate character failure from player failure. If you're willing to accept that your character may not "win", you become more free to let the character play as his/her personality would dictate, rather than have him/her automatically take the most optimal path. Additionally, that barrier of separation allows you to play characters that *aren't* like you, and that you may in fact not even like personally.

You should be able to enjoy the journey of the character, regardless of how it ends. In my opinion, and experience.

Boci
2010-11-18, 12:30 AM
Secondly, why do you assume the character had an in-game reason to assume he missed something?

Because I mentioned so in the example.


Therefore, Joe is strictly better than Bob at searching, among other things. But wait a minute, Boci is a much more creative thinking than SensFan. Why the hell can Bob find the emerald while it is impossible for Joe to ever find it?

How is that any different to real life? You could be better at noticing things whilst I'm better at predicting other's actions. Therefor I can sometimes find stuff you can't.

kyoryu
2010-11-18, 12:32 AM
Because I mentioned so in the example.

Right, and the reason was that the player had rolled a 1 (or 20, depending on which example you're talking about).

How would the character know that a 1/20 was rolled?

Boci
2010-11-18, 12:35 AM
Right, and the reason was that the player had rolled a 1 (or 20, depending on which example you're talking about).

How would the character know that a 1/20 was rolled?

No.


Yes. For example, is a PC rolls low, they do not find anything because they were being sloppy. If they then say are going to cut the enemy open, because the other guard said this one would have the key and he had no chance to dispose of it, he could find the key lodged in the guard's throat. A higher search check would have alerted him during his initial search.

Now see where you went wrong?

Gavinfoxx
2010-11-18, 12:47 AM
GUUYYYS, why are you arguing? Just get a rogue / variant ranger / beguiler / ninja / scout / spellthief / factotum / artificer, max search ranks, get some Goggles of Minute Seeing, some masterwork tools to help you search, and take 10 on search ALL THE TIME when you are searching something and not being actively distracted. It takes 6 seconds to search 5x5x5 foot cube, taking 10 doesn't increase the time. Sometimes describe the details you are doing, in order to get a +2 bonus or whatever, and have one or more of the other party members that are decent in searching aid another to help you search. Bam, problem solved, move along, next question, why is this an issue??

Safety Sword
2010-11-18, 12:51 AM
why is this an issue??

Skill Focus: Internet Argument

kyoryu
2010-11-18, 12:52 AM
No.



Now see where you went wrong?

Yeah, in this case, sure, and the DM has already made the hiding of the key part of the plot, so it makes sense in that case.

Safety Sword
2010-11-18, 12:56 AM
Yeah, in this case, sure, and the DM has already made the hiding of the key part of the plot, so it makes sense in that case.

If it's in the plot the Search check should really be irrelevant. You want the PCs to find the key.

I don't remember the part of the description of Search that includes cutting up corpses and straining the remains for items.

Boci
2010-11-18, 12:58 AM
I don't remember the part of the description of Search that includes cutting up corpses and straining the remains for items.

Core rules can't cover anything. If the NPC swallows something the DM cn improvise since there are no rules for what happens.

SensFan
2010-11-18, 08:06 AM
How is that any different to real life? You could be better at noticing things whilst I'm better at predicting other's actions. Therefor I can sometimes find stuff you can't.
Umm... Because what Boci is good at has [i]absolutely no bearing whatsoever[i] to what Bob is good at. If Joe is better than Bob at finding things and Joe cannot possibly find it, like in your emerald scenario, then Bob can't either. Regardless of how creative Boci may be, and Sens is not.

Which of the 4 cases would you prefer?

Boci
2010-11-18, 09:23 AM
Umm... Because what Boci is good at has [i]absolutely no bearing whatsoever[i] to what Bob is good at.

Yes, expirienced players can make the most out of their character, I know.


If Joe is better than Bob at finding things and Joe cannot possibly find it, like in your emerald scenario, then Bob can't either. Regardless of how creative Boci may be, and Sens is not.

Yes he can, because Bob checked the stomach and could easily feel the emerald. Joe didn't and thus needed a far higher search check to notice anything.

Same case: There's a chest with a false bottom, search DC: 15. However, if a player picks it up and smashes it, they don't need a search DC to find the false bottom.
You on the other hand would evidently rule that the character would be unable to do such a thing without a search check, which I find strange, but each to their own.

SensFan
2010-11-18, 09:31 AM
Yes he can, because Bob checked the stomach and could easily feel the emerald. Joe didn't and thus needed a far higher search check to notice anything.
Joe's a 20th-level fighter. Bob's a 1st-level Commoner.

I assume you're going to tell me that Bob can trivially hit a Great Wrym Dragon that Joe is incapable of hitting, because Bob can explain to the DM in great detail that he is aiming his sword thrusts to hit the Dragon right between the scales, where it is weak, whereas Joe says "I swing at it again"? Of course not. Whether you explain in detail how you attack, or just say "I attack", youstill have to roll and decide on if it works based on your character's stats. Likewise, if Joe is better at searching than Bob, you have to roll and decide on if it works based on your character's stats, not just handwave away the rules because you (not your character) are a more creative thinker than me.

Boci
2010-11-18, 09:37 AM
Joe's a 20th-level fighter. Bob's a 1st-level Commoner.

I assume you're going to tell me that Bob can trivially hit a Great Wrym Dragon that Joe is incapable of hitting, because Bob can explain to the DM in great detail that he is aiming his sword thrusts to hit the Dragon right between the scales, where it is weak, whereas Joe says "I swing at it again"? Of course not. Whether you explain in detail how you attack, or just say "I attack", youstill have to roll and decide on if it works based on your character's stats.

Another flawed example. A commoner does not have the strength to pierce a great worms hide, (albeit by sheet luck 5% of the time). None of the actions I desribe during the search examples are physically impossible.


Likewise, if Joe is better at searching than Bob, you have to roll and decide on if it works based on your character's stats, not just handwave away the rules because you (not your character) are a more creative thinker than me.

But sometimes it just doesn't make any sense, like the false bottom. How does any character not notice the items hidden in the false bottom of the chest he just smashed?

SensFan
2010-11-18, 09:49 AM
Another flawed example. A commoner does not have the strength to pierce a great worms hide, (albeit by sheet luck 5% of the time). None of the actions I desribe during the search examples are physically impossible.
The bolded part shows where we differ. I am saying that Joe does not have the Intelligence/Wisdom/training/etc to look inside of the lizard.

Boci
2010-11-18, 09:53 AM
The bolded part shows where we differ. I am saying that Joe does not have the Intelligence/Wisdom/training/etc to look inside of the lizard.

I have an int and wis modifier of 0 and yet I could think of it.

SensFan
2010-11-18, 09:55 AM
I have an int and wis modifier of 0 and yet I could think of it.
In your example, a Search DC of more than 24 was necessary. That means by definition that someone without a +4 bonus to Search is literally incapable of finding it without help.

Boci
2010-11-18, 10:02 AM
In your example, a Search DC of more than 24 was necessary. That means by definition that someone without a +4 bonus to Search is literally incapable of finding it without help.

That was the DC for finding the swallowed emarald by chance. The DC was far lower if you looking specifically for something swallowed.

Vladislav
2010-11-18, 10:05 AM
Likewise, if Joe is better at searching than Bob, you have to roll and decide on if it works based on your character's stats, not just handwave away the rules because you (not your character) are a more creative thinker than me.I appreciate your desire to have the outcome decided by the character's stats and abilities.

However, there is an alternative point of view here. The rules specifically state that players ought to be rewarded for being specific rather than generic. The example given in the PHB (or was it DMG? AFB, and my memory isn't what it used to be) is "Do I see anything unusual in the room" vs. "Do I see a Kobold hiding anywhere?" - and the latter should be awarded a bonus to his spot check to see the Kobold.

It would be therefore a valid point of view that "I look inside his shoe" should be awarded a bonus to the search check vs. "I search his body" (assuming of course there is something in the shoe). It is also a valid point of view that, as long as the player is being specific enough, the bonus is sufficiently high as to make success automatic.

To all who brought the combat example above, and are considering hitting me with the counterargument "so, if the player describes his sword blow in detail, are you going to award him a bonus?", I will preemptively reply that combat and skill use are different animals altogether and trying to infer from one onto the other is the path to madness.

SensFan
2010-11-18, 10:13 AM
I appreciate your desire to have the outcome decided by the character's stats and abilities.

However, there is an alternative point of view here. The rules specifically state that players ought to be rewarded for being specific rather than generic. The example given in the PHB (or was it DMG? AFB, and my memory isn't what it used to be) is "Do I see anything unusual in the room" vs. "Do I see a Kobold hiding anywhere?" - and the latter should be awarded a bonus to his spot check to see the Kobold.

It would be therefore a valid point of view that "I look inside his shoe" should be awarded a bonus to the search check vs. "I search his body" (assuming of course there is something in the shoe). It is also a valid point of view that, as long as the player is being specific enough, the bonus is sufficiently high as to make success automatic.

To all who brought the combat example above, and are considering hitting me with the counterargument "so, if the player describes his sword blow in detail, are you going to award him a bonus?", I will preemptively reply that combat and skill use are different animals altogether and trying to infer from one onto the other is the path to madness.
While I do recall that passage in the DMG, I use it sparingly, and only if the player is taking some sort of risk for using the specific. Otherwise, 'tis a slippery slope that leads to every player having a checklist of 100 things they ask to check specifically during any spot/search/skill check. In general, I give such modifiers only if the characters have a particular reason to assume they are looking for the specific (such as in that same passage, where they saw the Kobold run into the room), or when they are willing to go 'All-In' on their creativity. I would let a character who knows of the Scroll-Shoe Clan get a +2 bonus to find the scroll in the shoe. I would also let a character say "I check his shoes" instead of searching the body. Otherwise, its a roll of the dice.

Vladislav
2010-11-18, 10:33 AM
There are obviously two extremes here, with over-descriptiveness on one end, such as:


Player: I remove his shoes, then check his teeth, and if there are any fillings I remove them and examine the cavities, then I examine his other cavities, then I gut him and search the entrails ...
DM: I hate you

And no descriptiveness whatsoever:


Player: I search the body <rolls>
DM: You find a scroll

I hope you will agree with me that neither extreme makes for particularly riveting or interesting game play. I hope you will also agree that in the wide spectrum between the extremes, there plenty of room for everyone to settle on their favorite play style.

Also, this may be a digression, but it strikes me odd that in the example that started this all, the DM specifically decided there is a scroll hidden in the shoe (not just 'hidden on the body in a hard to find place', but specifically hidden in the shoe), and then refuses to award the player a bonus for looking in the shoe.
If you don't want the player to gain anything from looking specifically in the right place, don't place the scroll in a specific place. Just have it 'generically hidden', have the PC roll Search, if he makes it, improvise a story of how he found it, if he doesn't, he doesn't find it. If he insists of a full-cavity-search or going over some kind of checklist, just assume he takes 20.

SensFan
2010-11-18, 10:38 AM
There are obviously two extremes here, with over-descriptiveness on one end, such as:



And no descriptiveness whatsoever:



I hope you will agree with me that neither extreme makes for particularly riveting or interesting game play. I hope you will also agree that in the wide spectrum between the extremes, there plenty of room for everyone to settle on their favorite play style.

Also, this may be a digression, but it strikes me odd that in the example that started this all, the DM specifically decided there is a scroll hidden in the shoe (not just 'hidden on the body in a hard to find place', but specifically hidden in the shoe), and then refuses to award the player a bonus for looking in the shoe.
If you don't want the player to gain anything from looking specifically in the right place, don't place the scroll in a specific place. Just have it 'generically hidden', have the PC roll Search, if he makes it, improvise a story of how he found it, if he doesn't, he doesn't find it. If he insists of a full-cavity-search or going over some kind of checklist, just assume he takes 20.
If you'll notice, my preferred method of playing involves the player rolling, then describing reasonably how he searches the body. The DM then looks strictly at the Search DCs so see what he finds, then decides where the items are/were based on where the character did or did not look. It lets the players feel like they are being rewarded for creativity (Even though you only got an 11, because you thought to look for something sewn into the seam of his clothing, you find the scroll!), without leading to players listing off 100 ways of searching to try and get that bonus to search.

Mastikator
2010-11-18, 10:58 AM
There are obviously two extremes here [snip]
If you're gonna search even his entrails, then personally as a DM I'd like to know that.
Also I disagree that both ways are bad. Giving a description of exactly how you do things help you get into character, likewise, a DM giving a description of everything you see, smell, feel, hear, taste, etc helps you get into the world.

Though, I think the check should be rolled first. I mean, if there is stuff in the targets pockets, you describe that you search his pockets, you should find the object even if you roll poorly.

Doug Lampert
2010-11-18, 01:10 PM
Yes... but I don't want to sit through someone's description of how they put on their armor in the morning in their attempt to get an extra +1 AC.

Looting is bookkeeping.

Then don't change RAW specifically to make it more significant! Gesh. RAW 2 minutes finds everything you'll ever find without some sort of added bonus. You've specifically said that's crazy and you won't use that rule and that it will take at least 2 minutes to make a single roll.

If my CHARACTER is supposed to spend 40 minutes in the middle of a dungeon to do a thorough job (and taking 20 is simply doing a thorough job) then I don't think a bit of roleplaying is out of place.

The CORRECT way to handle searches is, "I take 20, this is my result."

Fine, (DM rolls dice), nothing attacks in the next two minutes, this is what you find.

All done, it's just bookkeeping. Declaring that getting that result takes me a minimum of 9 HOURS to search the dozen goblins we just killed doesn't makes sense unless you WANT goblin-body searching to be THE major focus of the adventuring day!

kyoryu
2010-11-18, 01:25 PM
Then don't change RAW specifically to make it more significant! Gesh. RAW 2 minutes finds everything you'll ever find without some sort of added bonus. You've specifically said that's crazy and you won't use that rule and that it will take at least 2 minutes to make a single roll.

If my CHARACTER is supposed to spend 40 minutes in the middle of a dungeon to do a thorough job (and taking 20 is simply doing a thorough job) then I don't think a bit of roleplaying is out of place.

The CORRECT way to handle searches is, "I take 20, this is my result."

Fine, (DM rolls dice), nothing attacks in the next two minutes, this is what you find.

All done, it's just bookkeeping. Declaring that getting that result takes me a minimum of 9 HOURS to search the dozen goblins we just killed doesn't makes sense unless you WANT goblin-body searching to be THE major focus of the adventuring day!

I didn't say that I would require 40 minutes. I said I thought the rule was crazy, and that 6 seconds to search the body at all was bizarrely low, and that saying you'll find everything you could ever find in two minutes struck me as really weird. A "regular" search check *should* be about two minutes itself, as that's about the amount of time it would seem to take to actually search a body.

I don't like the Take 20 mechanic in this case, frankly. I see it as being useful for things like "throwing the grappling hook on the wall," but that's a scenario where you *know* if you succeeded or failed. When you search, you don't really know if you missed anything or not. Taking extra time to do something *really carefully* is more like a Take 10 than a Take 20. And if you allow Take 20 for Search rolls, then what's the point? You know the DC of finding things, you know the skills of your players, so you're basically deciding by fiat if they'll find the hidden item anyway.

Since I normally don't bother with search rolls *anyway*, I probably would just continue that policy and let people find whatever was there.

Vladislav
2010-11-18, 01:31 PM
And if you allow Take 20 for Search rolls, then what's the point? You know the DC of finding things, you know the skills of your players, so you're basically deciding by fiat if they'll find the hidden item anyway.
The players still have a choice whether to take 20 or not. It makes sense that it's not feasible to take 20 on everything, thus they have to prioritize.

(an adventure in which it is feasible to take 20 on every search check everywhere is probably poorly designed)

erikun
2010-11-18, 01:48 PM
Khazen the rogue walks into the room in a house which he has broken into, before him he finds a chest he has a bad feeling (player hunch... Metagame?) and decides to do a search check, (rolls nat 1). He then proceeds to open the chest. There is a trap, sadly he is hit with a poison trigger trap, contracts poison (fails save) and passes out.
These kinds of situations are why I've really begun to sour towards D&D. I mean, really; "I rolled a natural 1, am I forced to do something stupid now?" NO! You most certainly are not!

Consider the situation for a minute. You just broke into a wealthy person's house. You are creeping along, looking for treasure. You see a treasure chest sitting in the middle of the room, unguarded. You check for traps, and find none. What's next?

Well, you could check for traps again, thinking that they wouldn't leave it untrapped. You could suspect the chest a fake, and avoid it. You could try taking the chest and opening it in a safe location. Or you could open it, sure that you checked well enough the first time. None of these options is metagaming, although you'd want to apply the same methodology each time. If you suspect the chest is trapped anyways and your character can't find one, then act in a way where you suspect there might be a trap that you can't locate.


And I see the conversation has turned to entrail-searching, which I guess fits the standard skill-rolls debate.

kyoryu
2010-11-18, 02:00 PM
The players still have a choice whether to take 20 or not. It makes sense that it's not feasible to take 20 on everything, thus they have to prioritize.

(an adventure in which it is feasible to take 20 on every search check everywhere is probably poorly designed)

Agreed. But if taking 20 takes all of two minutes, on a post-combat activity, that's going to be feasible more often than not.

Keld Denar
2010-11-18, 02:02 PM
Taking extra time to do something *really carefully* is more like a Take 10 than a Take 20.

No, this part is not right. Taking 10 and taking 20 are mechanics to speed up play. Taking 10 is simply assuming an average roll, saving you from the time it takes to reach into your dice bag, find your lucky d20, roll it, look at the value, look up your modifier, and then add the two together. Its useful in situations where you'd have to otherwise roll a TON of rolls, such as when you are searching a long hallway for traps. In game, taking 10 takes no more time than simply rolling the dice, but out of game it speeds things up so the focus isn't on the skill roll, its on the rest of the game. Generally, its out-of-combat things that you take 10 on, but not all out-of-combat things.

Taking 20 is basically the equivalent of seaching something 20 times, under the assumption that you'd roll a 20 on of of those 20 times. Whether its the first or last is ignored by the mechanic. If you want to take 20 without using the mechanic, simply say "I seach the monster" and roll, 20 times. Since there is no penalty for failure (like a trap being sprung, or a magic device backfiring, or even raw materials being spoiled), a player can simpy do it twenty times. Taking 20 speeds this up, and also makes it take 20 times longer to simulate the VERY careful maner of doing it or the time it takes to do it multiple times and double/triple/whatever check your work.

If you don't like the mechanics...thats fine. You don't have to use them. You can make every player roll every die roll. It'll just take longer.

kyoryu
2010-11-18, 02:15 PM
No, this part is not right. Taking 10 and taking 20 are mechanics to speed up play. Taking 10 is simply assuming an average roll, saving you from the time it takes to reach into your dice bag, find your lucky d20, roll it, look at the value, look up your modifier, and then add the two together. Its useful in situations where you'd have to otherwise roll a TON of rolls, such as when you are searching a long hallway for traps. In game, taking 10 takes no more time than simply rolling the dice, but out of game it speeds things up so the focus isn't on the skill roll, its on the rest of the game. Generally, its out-of-combat things that you take 10 on, but not all out-of-combat things.

Actually, no. Take 10 allows a character to concentrate on an activity, guaranteeing an average result, thus removing the chance of failure for an activity that may have consequences for failure. Taking 10 also requires that the character not be under stress or being threatened - you can't really focus or concentrate when things are trying to kill you. You *can* Take 10 on rolls which have consequences for failure - in fact, that's usually the reason you Take 10, to avoid those failures.

Taking 20 *is* just a time-saver, as given enough rolls, the player will *eventually* roll a 20. That's also why Taking 20 is not allowed on rolls that have a consequence for failure.

I don't mind either mechanic, in general. I don't like Take 20 *applied to Search rolls*, as I believe it works best when there is an obvious success. You know if you got the grappling hook on the wall, because you can see the visible result of success. How do you know if you found everything on the corpse? How do you know if there's anything on it to begin with?

IOW, I believe that the consequence of failing a Search roll is that the character thinks that there's nothing to be found - and a roll with consequences for failure is not a candidate for Take 20. I know that may not be RAW, and in fact the SRD specifically calls out Search as a frequent candidate for Take 20.

My only problem with Take 20 as a general mechanic is that, if the cost for doing so is low (2 minutes is pretty much "low" in most scenarios), it turns a non-deterministic event into a deterministic one that is effectively determined by DM fiat. And that's okay, too, just stop pretending there's a mechanic involved beyond DM fiat at that point. I guess I'm just saying I'm okay with it, but don't want to see it used too widely.

Keld Denar
2010-11-18, 02:21 PM
So...you basically said everything I did in the first half of your post. How are we disagreeing about that again?

Concerning the second part of your post; taking 20 on search check, IMO, isn't bad. 2 minutes is still a fair bit more than 6 seconds. Sure, if you are only checking one door or one body, its not a lot of time. But walking down a 40-50' hallway checking each 5' square for traps and taking 20 is gonna take some serious time. Taking 20 while searching a library for a relevant book could leave you there for days.

Again, IMO, I don't think its "too good" or anything. Just another part of the game.

Vladislav
2010-11-18, 02:33 PM
Agreed. But if taking 20 takes all of two minutes, on a post-combat activity, that's going to be feasible more often than not.
Taking 20 on eight goblin bodies plus 10'x60' corridor plus a door at its end = 2 x (8 + 2x12 +1) = 66 minutes.

More than an hour to loot eight bodies, advance 60' along the corridor, and open a door.

I'm not saying the PCs can't, but if they choose to play it this way, all their minute/level buffs are going to expire. And their 10 min/level buffs too. And this hour will call for at least one random encounter check.

Just quick-looting the bodies and walking to the door takes 3-4 minutes, calls for no random encounter check, and leaves the buffs intact. It's a tradeoff.

Doug Lampert
2010-11-18, 03:13 PM
Agreed. But if taking 20 takes all of two minutes, on a post-combat activity, that's going to be feasible more often than not.

And this is bad how? Again, YOU'VE SAID that searching the body is bookkeeping, not part of the adventure, yet you ALSO INSIST that it should take time and effort in game and seem to say above that it shouldn't be feasible more often than not.

Which is actually your goal here?

The PLAYER skill is in deciding what to take 20 on, or even to search in the first place, because 2 minutes per 5' is a long time, it is slightly SLOWER than the speed of a garden snail. Once he's said "I take 20", give him the stuff and get on with the adventure, the RAW work VERY WELL for this. And provide a more than sufficient penalty to stop people from searching absolutely everything much less taking 20 on absolutely everything.

You're insistance on not ruling take 20 and take 10 BtB makes detailed search descriptions far more reasonable and plausible, and puts what you CLAIM to think should be background quite squarely into the foreground. Take 10 and take 20 are excelent for cases where something is background.

kyoryu
2010-11-18, 03:58 PM
And this is bad how? Again, YOU'VE SAID that searching the body is bookkeeping, not part of the adventure, yet you ALSO INSIST that it should take time and effort in game and seem to say above that it shouldn't be feasible more often than not.

It's not a problem. I'm saying go one step further, and get rid of the whole thing entirely. "We search the bodies." "Okay, you find a, b, and c."

That's how much time I want to spend on it. I don't even see a lot of value in having to worry about taking 20 or not, so I wouldn't even have "hidden" loot be a significant feature of the game. If there's a concern about "hidden" loot, it will be a special circumstance that is *obvious* from the context, where players will suspect there's a hidden item to begin with, not just on a generic encounter. You catch and kill a courier that you know is delivering the foozle? Yeah, you might want to search the body.

If Take 20 or Take 10 are even relevant in searching, apart from special cases, I consider that to already be a failure. "We loot the bodies." "You find x, y, and z." I've said, multiple times in this thread, that that's how I run looting and that's the level I, personally, want to keep it at.

So, that's my opinion of looting. My opinion on take 20 as a whole is a separate issue.

As a separate thing, if taking 20 is cheap enough to be common, it basically boils down to DM fiat, so why not get rid of it anyway? If a door is trapped, and I know there is likely enough time to take 20 to Search it, whether the party will find the trap is completely determined by whether or not I set the DC at a spot that will auto-succeed. So why even bother with all the mechanics, when it's just DM fiat? It's just noise.

Okay, so that's my *general* beef with Take 20. If you've removed chance, why even bother with a roll or mechanic *at all*?

Now, my *third* point:

If you look at a grappling hook as an example of Take 20 (I think that was the original example from 3.0), it's a case where the party can just try and try again until they succeed. However, they *know* they succeed. The problem with Search being a Take 20 is that you *don't* know if you succeed.

For a moment, let's assume the DM rolls in secret. You don't have to do that in your game, but I'm trying to give an example of something.

Let's say we don't have the Take 20 rule. In the grappling hook scenario, the person throwing the hook can keep saying "I throw the hook at the wall" and having the DM roll until the DM says "Okay, the hook is on the wall and seems secure." There's a character trigger that says "okay, you're done, go on your merry way."

For searching, there's not. The players and characters don't know how many items are on the corpse. Because of this, there's no clear way for them to determine when they should stop. You could get a 20 on the first roll, or it could take 100 rolls. Because there's no positive success criteria, the players will never know, *for sure* if they've found everything on the corpse, or if the door is untrapped, or anything else.

Take 20 models the first scenario *perfectly*. There's absolutely no difference, except that you roll less dice, and the amount of time becomes deterministic.

Take 20 does *not* model the second scenario nearly as well. Rolling the dice, you could roll a hundred times and never know if you *really* found everything there was to find. It adds a level of determinism that simply does not exist in the non-Take 20 version.

That doesn't necessarily mean I wouldn't allow it in a game, by the way. It just means that I don't like how the rule plays out. I think it takes something from the game.

Keld Denar
2010-11-18, 04:10 PM
Taking 20 in no way garuntees that you find whatever you were trying to find, and in no way completely satisfies the belief that there is nothing there. If your skill mod is too low, or the DC is too high, even taking 20 won't find something.

If there is a trap with a DC of 30, and your modifier is only a +9, you won't find it if you roll a million times. Its simply too clever for you to even get lucky on. That doesn't mean its not gonna shoot poison needles at you when you trip it. Your character was as satisfied as he could be that there was no trap there, but the needle in his neck is proof that he simply didn't know what he was looking for.

Just because you take 20, doesn't mean you're garunteed to find everything.

Vladislav
2010-11-18, 04:10 PM
Sometimes, even if you know there's something to find, you can't, because your search modifier is not high enough.

Yesterday, I was in the kitchen, searching for oregano. I couldn't find it. Took 20 on it, was searching for a few minutes, opened all the cupboards, couldn't find it. No ranks in Search. Had to call my wife, she opened one cupboard, moved the coffee jar away, behind it, in the back of the cupboard, was the oregano. Took her 6 seconds. Yes, her Search skill is *that* good.

Now, had I told the hypothetical DM "I am searching the backs of the cupboards as well", I reckon I'd get a circumstance bonus that, along with taking 20, would allow me to find that oregano. But I didn't.