A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 6 of 16 FirstFirst 123456789101112131415 ... LastLast
Results 151 to 180 of 465
  1. - Top - End - #151
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Why does the Int 10 druid with +2 (Intelligence) Arcana get to make the check when the Int 16 Wizard doesn't?
    Why does the Str 8 Rogue or Monk with a total of +1 Strength (Athletics) get to make the check when the Str 16 Paladin, Rogue or Barbarian who wanted more medium mods instead of a few big ones and so took off-score proficiencies like Nature or History doesn't?
    Depends on what "the check" is for. If the druid is trying to determine the powers of some ghost or determine if something might have been done by fae magicks then the answer is "Because the druid studied Arcana as a broader discipline and the wizard studied enough to be able to read his magical texts but not apply it as broadly". If the rogue is trying to climb a difficult crumbling wall or the monk is trying to get into a game of Orcish Handball to win the favor of the tribe they encountered then the answer is because the rogue & monk learned Athletics as a broader discipline than "Rrwar big muscles do big lifting!".

    On the other hand, if "the check" is reading a magical script over a door or lifting a stone block, then maybe gating it by proficiency isn't appropriate.
    Last edited by Jophiel; 2021-09-26 at 02:39 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #152
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I'm totally ok with DMs deciding to not call for checks on the grounds of impossibility. I'm even fine with DMs deciding what the characters can and cannot know. I'm not in favor of doing that by proficiency, because it's both over and under inclusive.

    Someone not proficient in history will generally know the legends of their home area. And they may even know more than an outside scholar of legends, because information doesn't always travel well.

    Someone proficient with arcana won't know the rituals of the super secret sect of don't tell anyone. Given clues, they're better suited to put together the pieces, but they won't just know it.
    Sure, even as someone who uses gating, as I sad before, the DM should consider the character when calling for a check. Is it appropriate for this character to just know this information? Due to their live experiences, would the bar for them knowing it be lower?

    I'm probably not even going to call for the Barbarian to make a check when it comes to the legends of her homeland. I'm sure she was told a lot of them as a child, even if she wasn't particularly interested in them. I tend to phrase it thusly "Barbarian, these are your lands, you know the legends here, unless you declare now that you don't."

    In a way of speaking, I consider the Barbarian "proficient" in their homeland.

    Further, I often use this as a call for a player to take the lead in telling me about their homeland. I probably won't call for a lot of checks on behalf of the Barbarian. She knows her people, her lands, her customs far better than I or the dice ever could. I will take their roleplaying in good faith, and only step in if they attempt to do something unreasonable.

    I'm here to moderate and ensure a good time is had by all, and IME: a good time is not had by all when someone with hot dice rolls up a dimwitted character and beats all the knowledge checks, while someone who really wanted to play up being skilled is repeatedly cursed by the RNG Lords. I am not a dispassionate gaming-machine who only spits out static DCs with no consideration given.
    Last edited by False God; 2021-09-26 at 03:37 PM.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    "You know it's all fake right?"
    "...yeah, but it makes me feel better."

  3. - Top - End - #153
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomSoul View Post
    But it looks like throughout the thread that may be a non-issue being argued against; people have been saying proficiency is one way to justify the check having a chance of success, not the only way someone might be able to succeed. And it doesn't negate that you might not know a thing even if you're proficient, either.
    Exactly this. There are times when the DM has to decide if it's reasonable that a given PC can pull off a particular task, or if it's an automatic no (or yes, for that matter). There are a bunch of ways the DM can work this out, one of which is considering if the PC is proficient in the related skill.

  4. - Top - End - #154
    Troll in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    I just think its ridiculous to gate by proficiency when proficiency is literally just "You have a little more information within this subset of INT."

    I just can never imagine using proficiency instead of things like background and character information.

  5. - Top - End - #155
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Telok's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    61.2° N, 149.9° W
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I just can never imagine using proficiency instead of things like background and character information.
    I've seen it used when the DM didn't care about things like background and character information. Also when the player didn't care about them.
    "And this, too, shall pass away."

    DtD40k7e rewrite complete.

  6. - Top - End - #156
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I just think its ridiculous to gate by proficiency when proficiency is literally just "You have a little more information within this subset of INT."

    I just can never imagine using proficiency instead of things like background and character information.
    I mentioned this upthread. Background grants 2 proficiencies. The game literally says "if your background is X, you are good at Y".

    And frankly, I don't see the difference. Gating is gating.
    "Your proficiency represents specific training in that subject that others without wouldn't have."
    "Your background represents specific experience in that subject that others wouldn't have."

    It's still gating. It's still using some mechanical game element to determine that a character does or doesn't get to participate.

    If the DM can profess a reasonable rationale for gating, that's all that should matter. It's arbitrary, whimsical, nonsensical reasoning that should be taken issue with. A DM saying because a character is 6'1 only they can make an arcana check because all the good magical books are on the top shelf and short people can't learn powerful magic because noone has ever heard of a step-stool. Is arbitrary and nonsensical.

    Gating is gating. Whatever your preferred rationale is, just make sure its reasonable. I use proficiency because it's something people can invest in. Players can see the guy with a bunch of proficiencies getting a bunch of "first rolls", and so to get in on that, they take Skilled, or something to get more proficiencies. They're not permanently locked out of the game because they didn't pick the right color shirt at 1st level.
    Last edited by False God; 2021-09-26 at 04:22 PM.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    "You know it's all fake right?"
    "...yeah, but it makes me feel better."

  7. - Top - End - #157
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I just think its ridiculous to gate by proficiency when proficiency is literally just "You have a little more information within this subset of INT."
    That's not what proficiency is. That's what proficiency is to you.

    To me, proficiency (specifically the value granted by your Proficiency Bonus) represents special aptitude for the subject matter. Among other things. The +whatever of your PB is the result of what proficiency means, not the source of it.

  8. - Top - End - #158
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    No it’s correct to say 5e leaves it up to the DM to decide when and how skill checks are called for.



    Clearly that’s what’s being argued by myself and others. Thank you for so adequately summing up our arguments.
    There is no point to discussing anything if every answer is "The DM can do what he wants." It's not a question of can the DM do this. It's a question of should he or not and the consequences thereof doing it or not doing it. No one can make you do anything, so by "should" it doesn't mean there are D&D Police to make you play the One True Way. It's a discussion of gaming philosophy.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  9. - Top - End - #159
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    There is no point to discussing anything if every answer is "The DM can do what he wants." It's not a question of can the DM do this. It's a question of should he or not and the consequences thereof doing it or not doing it. No one can make you do anything, so by "should" it doesn't mean there are D&D Police to make you play the One True Way. It's a discussion of gaming philosophy.
    I don't think arguing against the reading a brightline of design intent into rule text that doesn't contain such a brightline is equivalent to "The DM can do what he wants."

  10. - Top - End - #160
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by False God View Post
    I mentioned this upthread. Background grants 2 proficiencies. The game literally says "if your background is X, you are good at Y".

    And frankly, I don't see the difference. Gating is gating.
    "Your proficiency represents specific training in that subject that others without wouldn't have."
    "Your background represents specific experience in that subject that others wouldn't have."

    It's still gating. It's still using some mechanical game element to determine that a character does or doesn't get to participate.

    If the DM can profess a reasonable rationale for gating, that's all that should matter. It's arbitrary, whimsical, nonsensical reasoning that should be taken issue with. A DM saying because a character is 6'1 only they can make an arcana check because all the good magical books are on the top shelf and short people can't learn powerful magic because noone has ever heard of a step-stool. Is arbitrary and nonsensical.

    Gating is gating. Whatever your preferred rationale is, just make sure its reasonable. I use proficiency because it's something people can invest in. Players can see the guy with a bunch of proficiencies getting a bunch of "first rolls", and so to get in on that, they take Skilled, or something to get more proficiencies. They're not permanently locked out of the game because they didn't pick the right color shirt at 1st level.

    Backgrounds give you an edge with those granted proficiencies, but they don't forbid you from doing anything else. The Soldier doesn't get Arcana proficiency, but that doesn't mean his former commanding officer never fought one an aboleth and told him about it for a flavor text reason why a Soldier succeeded on an arcana check about the aboleth.

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    That's not what proficiency is. That's what proficiency is to you.

    To me, proficiency (specifically the value granted by your Proficiency Bonus) represents special aptitude for the subject matter. Among other things. The +whatever of your PB is the result of what proficiency means, not the source of it.
    The plus whatever means the character is more likely to make the DC of the Thing than someone not proficient, which is fine and the point of the bonus, but the not proficient gets his chance.
    Last edited by Pex; 2021-09-26 at 09:49 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  11. - Top - End - #161
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The plus whatever means the character is more likely to make the DC of the Thing than someone not proficient, which is fine and the point of the bonus, but the not proficient gets his chance.
    Again, that's what it means to you. No one's trying to tell you you're wrong (I'm not, at least).

    To me, it means you have some kind of special aptitude, knowledge, training, or other quality regarding the subject matter. Like nearly everything in D&D, and especially in 5e, the game mechanic is an abstraction of something deeper and more subtle within the fiction. If you're proficient in, say, Stealth, it means you have some specific understanding or something with regard to things related to stealth. Your Proficiency Bonus is a reflection of that. That special quality may be the reason you could make an attempt to be stealthy while I would be hopeless.

    Basically, proficiency in 5e doesn't provide enough "power" to create the difference between a very high degree of competency/training/education/experience and the utter lack of the same. So it's sometimes useful to think of it as a threshold. It's just another tool the DM can use to determine if a roll is warranted.
    Last edited by EggKookoo; 2021-09-26 at 06:15 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #162
    Troll in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    The difference between gating by background and proficiency is that background affects a wide range of skills beyond two. I also use it a lot more sparingly than I think some people are suggesting here.
    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    That's not what proficiency is. That's what proficiency is to you.

    To me, proficiency (specifically the value granted by your Proficiency Bonus) represents special aptitude for the subject matter. Among other things. The +whatever of your PB is the result of what proficiency means, not the source of it.
    That's fine, just understand that it's a house rule. That isn't what proficiency is in 5e unless you make it so.

    I'd further argue that subjectively it's an inelegant solution to the problem of "everyone rolls" because it's obviously distinct from the way every other check (athletics for example) is handled. It might avert the problem of the barbarian out rolling the wizard, but it creates a while new problem of the 20 INT wizard being unable to ever know anything except about history.

    Imo the "everyone rolls" is a symptom of the same root cause that leads to the "take 20" problem. When there's no consequence for failure people just repeat the check until it succeeds. Imo the key here is not too call for an ability check unless the consequence of failure is interesting. See my early commentary about time pressure bring so important here.

  13. - Top - End - #163
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    That's fine, just understand that it's a house rule. That isn't what proficiency is in 5e unless you make it so.
    The rules don't tell us what proficiency is meant to represent. It tells us how to use your Proficiency Bonus. Just like the rules don't tell us what those first 10 points of your Armor Class mean. Are they purely a function of durability? Is that where your basic situation awareness lives? Who knows? It's not a houserule to decide that the first few points of your <11 AC are your physical toughness, the next few are a kind of basic awareness, and the last few are karma. I mean it is in the sense that you're making up some kind of definition, but it's not like there's a pre-existing definition you're overruling. It's left open to interpretation. Same thing with proficiency -- all we know is it means "you're better at the thing than your natural abilities might imply" but the rules don't explain why you're better.

    If proficiency wasn't meant to imply some core competency with the subject matter, you'd be able to gain proficiency just by doing. A 1st level wizard would be able to strap on armor, and by 3rd level or so be proficient with wearing it. I mean why not? The reason is because the wizard (thematically) lacks the core "philosophical" understanding of moving and performing and fighting in armor. He's never going to "get it" without the player specifically taking a feat or two, which implies it takes more than just a lot of familiarity with the subject to gain proficiency. Either the wizard sought out some formal instructions or happened to be some kind of armor savant, neither of which just happens and both of which suggest the need for some special aptitude.

    The DM decides if a roll is needed, and if so, what the DC is. Proficiency gating is just using proficiency as a guide for determining both of those things. I'm not saying the DM should be doing this all the time for all rolls, or anything like that. I'm saying it works fine. It's one method. The DM can pull the decision for both of those things out of his butt for all the rules care. Like False God says, gating is gating.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I'd further argue that subjectively it's an inelegant solution to the problem of "everyone rolls" because it's obviously distinct from the way every other check (athletics for example) is handled. It might avert the problem of the barbarian out rolling the wizard, but it creates a while new problem of the 20 INT wizard being unable to ever know anything except about history.
    I'm not sure that it follows that somehow the 20 Int wizard can't roll anything that he doesn't have proficiency with. I'm certainly not advocating anything like that. And it can certainly be applied to most checks. It's not limited to Arcana, History, Medicine, and a few others. I agree that it's not easy to come up with use cases for Athletics but that's kind of a self-solving thing. I would only use proficiency as a gate when it makes sense to use proficiency as a gate. If I can't think of how I'd use it as a gate for a particular check, I won't.

  14. - Top - End - #164
    Troll in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    The rules don't tell us what proficiency is meant to represent. It tells us how to use your Proficiency Bonus.
    We are told what it is. I just quoted it. It represents a subcategory of an ability that a character has focus in.

    High INT means you know stuff. Proficiency in arcana means you know more about arcana than other topics.

  15. - Top - End - #165
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    We are told what it is. I just quoted it. It represents a subcategory of an ability that a character has focus in.
    One might even say expertise.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    High INT means you know stuff. Proficiency in arcana means you know more about arcana than other topics.
    Which means it's likely you know things about the arcane that someone without such proficiency wouldn't. It's not unreasonable, then, for the DM to use proficiency in arcane as a barometer to determine if a roll is warranted. "Is this something that typically requires subject matter expertise?"

  16. - Top - End - #166
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    Which means it's likely you know things about the arcane that someone without such proficiency wouldn't. It's not unreasonable, then, for the DM to use proficiency in arcane as a barometer to determine if a roll is warranted. "Is this something that typically requires subject matter expertise?"
    Thats what the DC of a check is for. Theres no reason to deny the fighter with a high int bonus a chance to roll when the bard with no int modifier but with proficiency gets to. They can either make it or they cant.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

  17. - Top - End - #167
    Troll in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    Which means it's likely you know things about the arcane that someone without such proficiency wouldn't. It's not unreasonable, then, for the DM to use proficiency in arcane as a barometer to determine if a roll is warranted. "Is this something that typically requires subject matter expertise?"
    No, expertise is something else.

    But now you appear to be arguing about what proficiency does, and as you said yourself: we know what it does. For both expertise and proficiency, the effect of the specialization on total knowledge is that you get a +prof modifier to ability checks where the proficiency applies, and the rules indicate that if you don't have proficiency, you roll the normal ability check.

    You can proficiency gate, of course you can. It's just a ruling. Redefining proficiency to be something else would be a houserule. None of these things are bad. I'm just saying that your argument that proficiency represents 'x' and therefore has effect 'y' isn't based in the rules.

    If you want to talk about why I rule things differently in my games, I would be happy to talk.

  18. - Top - End - #168
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by EggKookoo View Post
    One might even say expertise.



    Which means it's likely you know things about the arcane that someone without such proficiency wouldn't. It's not unreasonable, then, for the DM to use proficiency in arcane as a barometer to determine if a roll is warranted. "Is this something that typically requires subject matter expertise?"
    If it is something that likely requires subject matter expertise that sounds like a DC 20 check to me.

    My general feeling for lore checks is if it is something that someone can learn about if they're interested in it but is not something that is common knowledge it's probably a DC 15 check. Does that mean that someone in the party will probably know it? Yes. Is that a problem? No.

    That DC 20 check though? The Int 8 character with no proficiency simply can't make it. The Int 18 character with +3 proficiency only needs a 13. Considering how specialized that knowledge is considered that is a lot of things that character knows about such a broad subject. And they're not even a scholar, they're an adventurer.

    I'd be pretty peeved if I sat at a table with a DM who told me that I couldn't do a bunch of things just because I don't have proficiency. That would make a lot of characters less fun to play.
    If you are trying to abuse the game; Don't. And you're probably wrong anyway.

  19. - Top - End - #169
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Thats what the DC of a check is for. Theres no reason to deny the fighter with a high int bonus a chance to roll when the bard with no int modifier but with proficiency gets to. They can either make it or they cant.
    I think it adds a bit of flexibility. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person but I recognize that there's fields where I just never bothered to learn much. Someone with even a Boy Scout's level in geology could identify dozens of rocks that I'd have no clue what they are. Not because identifying those rocks should be a DC 20 because it's probably more like a DC 10 (or less) to anyone who took a park district course in rock identifying but because I just never bothered to learn much about identifying rocks. On the other hand, I could identify a ton of local plants that my intelligent and accomplished friends could not -- not because it should be a DC 20 to tell a spruce from a pine (it certainly is not) but because they never bothered to learn squat about plants. I know people who are accomplished medical professionals with advanced degrees but they would have a 0% chance of identifying the simple differences between computer processors because they just never learned and their high mental capacity isn't going to magick the information about Intel vs AMD and cores and clock speed out of thin air.

    In my opinion, that's what proficiency gating represents: Despite being smart or wise or charming, etc there's plenty of stuff you just don't know until you learn it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ad_hoc View Post
    I'd be pretty peeved if I sat at a table with a DM who told me that I couldn't do a bunch of things just because I don't have proficiency. That would make a lot of characters less fun to play.
    I suppose it depends on the value of "a bunch of things" since most people advocating for proficiency gating say it's not appropriate for everything. Maybe not even for most things. Despite my above examples, I wouldn't require someone to be proficient in Nature to roll to tell a spruce from a pine but rather save it for more esoteric knowledge.

    But then I happily play characters where I self-gate anyway, saying "Pfftt.. my bard is a city girl, she's not gonna go stare at wildlife poop" when offered the chance to make a Survival or Nature check to see if that's a displacer beast dropping. So I guess the idea of the DM using it sometimes doesn't feel like it takes much from me or detracts from my fun. I don't expect to be good at things that fall outside my character's background and story. Things that are, I have no problem saying "Well, you don't go through formal bard training without a few history courses so lemme see that painting" even if I'm not technically proficient in History.
    Last edited by Jophiel; 2021-09-26 at 09:54 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #170
    Troll in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
    In my opinion, that's what proficiency gating represents: Despite being smart or wise or charming, etc there's plenty of stuff you just don't know until you learn it
    yes, but intelligence isn't just brainpower in DND, its also learning. all the lore skills are considered subsets of intelligence.

  21. - Top - End - #171
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    yes, but intelligence isn't just brainpower in DND, its also learning. all the lore skills are considered subsets of intelligence.
    5e says that "Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason". It allows you to call upon your formal education but a high intelligence doesn't mean (by its description) you are equally well educated in all areas.

    Saying that intelligence innately measures your education negates your background. If my level one character with a 16 INT was raised in a locked box under the stairs, I don't have any education much less a sweeping knowledge of so many topics that I should be rolling on every possible check. I have high "mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason" but not necessarily high levels of learning.
    Last edited by Jophiel; 2021-09-26 at 10:10 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #172
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Pex's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
    I think it adds a bit of flexibility. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person but I recognize that there's fields where I just never bothered to learn much. Someone with even a Boy Scout's level in geology could identify dozens of rocks that I'd have no clue what they are. Not because identifying those rocks should be a DC 20 because it's probably more like a DC 10 (or less) to anyone who took a park district course in rock identifying but because I just never bothered to learn much about identifying rocks. On the other hand, I could identify a ton of local plants that my intelligent and accomplished friends could not -- not because it should be a DC 20 to tell a spruce from a pine (it certainly is not) but because they never bothered to learn squat about plants. I know people who are accomplished medical professionals with advanced degrees but they would have a 0% chance of identifying the simple differences between computer processors because they just never learned and their high mental capacity isn't going to magick the information about Intel vs AMD and cores and clock speed out of thin air.

    In my opinion, that's what proficiency gating represents: Despite being smart or wise or charming, etc there's plenty of stuff you just don't know until you learn it.


    I suppose it depends on the value of "a bunch of things" since most people advocating for proficiency gating say it's not appropriate for everything. Maybe not even for most things. Despite my above examples, I wouldn't require someone to be proficient in Nature to roll to tell a spruce from a pine but rather save it for more esoteric knowledge.

    But then I happily play characters where I self-gate anyway, saying "Pfftt.. my bard is a city girl, she's not gonna go stare at wildlife poop" when offered the chance to make a Survival or Nature check to see if that's a displacer beast dropping. So I guess the idea of the DM using it sometimes doesn't feel like it takes much from me or detracts from my fun. I don't expect to be good at things that fall outside my character's background and story. Things that are, I have no problem saying "Well, you don't go through formal bard training without a few history courses so lemme see that painting" even if I'm not technically proficient in History.
    You're putting extra weight on Knowledge checks, unless only proficient people get to search a room, climb a tree, or sneak past the guard, etc. in your games. If it's something that only people educated in it would know then it's a hard check, DC 20. The proficient characters have a better chance of knowing than the non-proficient, but maybe on a fluke that non-proficient character knows. If his IN is 10 then this happens only 5% of the time, and hooray for him on that one time of "Hey, I know that!". It's no different than the lone plate mail wearing 10 DX paladin rolling a Natural 16 with disadvantage for Stealth (not proficient) sneaking past the drow guard. He got to try, he expected to fail but hoped for the best, and it worked.

    I have no issue with a player choosing not to know. I do it myself. That's roleplay. I play and know my barbarian doesn't know anything about Arcana so I will never roll when the DM asks for anyone in the party to make an Arcana check. However, for my warlock, I may know a thing or two about magic even though I spent all my proficiencies on the CH skills to be very good at the social stuff, and I want to roll despite not being proficient in Arcana. If I don't make the DC oh shucks and move on. If I do, huzzah!
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

  23. - Top - End - #173
    Troll in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
    5e says that "Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason". It allows you to call upon your formal education but a high intelligence doesn't mean (by its description) you are equally well educated in all areas.

    Saying that intelligence innately measures your education negates your background. If my level one character with a 16 INT was raised in a locked box under the stairs, I don't have any education much less a sweeping knowledge of so many topics that I should be rolling on every possible check. I have high "mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason" but not necessarily high levels of learning.
    {Scrubbed}
    Each ability covers a broad range of capabilities, including skills that a character or a monster can be proficient in. A skill represents a specific aspect of an ability score, and an individual's proficiency in a skill demonstrates a focus on that aspect.
    If your character actually had the "raised in a locked box" background, that would be a reasonable thing to gate a knowledge check on. But you're gating on background in that case, not skill proficiency.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-09-28 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Scrubbed

  24. - Top - End - #174
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    New Zealand
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    For me, it is a difference between doing stuff and knowing stuff. Proficiency means a character has had some formal training or study - that they know theory as well as practice.

    Anyone can pick up woodworkers tools and try to make a chair. Anyone with halfway decent ability who has seen a chair before will probably end up with something they can sit on without it collapsing.

    However, only the person with proficiency in woodworker's tools will know, "That's a dovetail joint." Or, "That looks like dwarven woodwork, circa 14th century." Or, "This river crossing is going to need three pilings, paced there, there and there."

    A character with no training can feel the hairs on the back of their hand stand up and know something magical is on a door.

    A character trained in arcana will know, "Tingly feeling, smell of nightshade, that door has a glyph of warding and its probably a glyph of lightning damage."
    Quote Originally Posted by ad_hoc View Post
    Don't waste time making rolls on things that aren't interesting. Move on and get to the good stuff.

  25. - Top - End - #175
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    You're putting extra weight on Knowledge checks, unless only proficient people get to search a room, climb a tree, or sneak past the guard, etc. in your games.
    I made a previous example where I could see an 8 STR rogue with Athletics proficiency climbing a crumbling and difficult wall (extra emphasis on knowing how to distribute your weight and identify loose handholds) or a similar monk participating in a sporting event (how to twist your wrist and jerk your elbow when throwing a gnollish sportsball javelin) where perhaps a stronger non-proficient character could not because just having big muscles didn't give them the required applied knowledge that would come from training athletics. I also said that I didn't think gating was something to be used in most cases. But, yeah, INT knowledge-style checks are easiest to draw examples from.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    If your character actually had the "raised in a locked box" background, that would be a reasonable thing to gate a knowledge check on. But you're gating on background in that case, not skill proficiency.
    The actual point was that the rules say exactly what Intelligence is and "learning" isn't part of it. You use intelligence to draw upon your education, but intelligence does not imply education per its description. Per the PHB, Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason.
    Last edited by Jophiel; 2021-09-26 at 10:45 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #176
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    My take. Gating, whether via proficiency or other means, is useful in a variety of situations. But for every situation, the primary reasons are either

    1. It stops 'super advantage' on skill checks - especially those with no individual consequences for failure, like knowledge checks

    Generally speaking most skills bring an individual consequence for failure. Take stealth, if you fail you are spotted. That's a big deal and has enough mechanical teeth to disincentivize a player without a good stealth to keep from spamming stealth. Same kind of thing with athletics, where characters without a good athletics are disincentivized from trying to scale a wall because the consequences for failure could be dire depending on the wall height. But skills like arcana, there's typically no drawback for failure other than 'you don't know'. Meaning everyone can freely make arcana checks, which greatly increases the parties chance for success in a non-linear fashion, making it difficult for the DM to appropriately set a DC that will challenge the party.

    2. It helps us create the fiction that 'we want'

    It also may be that the 10int and untrained in arcana Barbarian is viewed as a character that should fictionally always know less than the 16int arcana proficient wizard about arcana. Allowing the Barbarian to roll creates the possibility that this is not actually true. This can be quite jarring - and while it's probably fine for a beer and pretzels style game, it may not be for more serious games.

    A better solution?

    All that said, there's a fairly simple solution to knowledge checks other than gating. 1 player rolls the d20 and everyone applies their bonus to that roll. Those that pass the DC know. If you are opposed to gating this would solve both issues cited above, which is the most common reason people gate.
    Last edited by Frogreaver; 2021-09-26 at 10:49 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #177
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Beholder

    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    We are told what it is. I just quoted it. It represents a subcategory of an ability that a character has focus in.

    High INT means you know stuff. Proficiency in arcana means you know more about arcana than other topics.
    Not being proficient in Arcana means that character didn’t focus on Arcana. A proficient character did.

    Further, we know specific to Int checks that “The Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, and Religion skills reflect aptitude in certain kinds of Intelligence checks.” (From the Int section of Using Each Ability).

    I find it hard to believe that someone who focuses on and has an aptitude in Arcana doesn’t learn more than someone with no focus, and no aptitude in it.

    You’re literally disregarding the RAW if you discount that.

  28. - Top - End - #178
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tanarii's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post

    The actual point was that the rules say exactly what Intelligence is and "learning" isn't part of it. You use intelligence to draw upon your education, but intelligence does not imply education per its description. Per the PHB, Intelligence measures mental acuity, accuracy of recall, and the ability to reason.
    You're missing the parts where it says:
    - ability scores include not just innate capabilities, but also training and competence in activities related to that ability (p173)
    - the intelligence skills are just added aptitude (ie a bigger bonus) for things that are already intelligence checks (p177)

    In other words, a high Int bonus includes recall of lore that you've learned. Since all the things under the lore skills, which includes recalling it, are intelligence checks, and your Int mod includes training.

    Conversely, none of the Lore skill descriptions have anything to do with determining learning either. They have to do with recall. So if that's your point, yes, Intelligence checks, including the ones modified by proficiency in an Intelligence skills, do not have to do with learning.

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogreaver View Post
    A better solution?

    All that said, there's a fairly simple solution to knowledge checks other than gating. 1 player rolls the d20 and everyone applies their bonus to that roll. Those that pass the DC know. If you are opposed to gating this would solve both issues cited above, which is the most common reason people gate.
    Or generally, roll a whole lot fewer checks, but make them meaningful. The "must roll dice for everything" disease is real, but it's a disease. The dice do not run the game, the DM does.

    I don't think many people would have an issue with gating automatic success behind background, proficiency, or whatever, depending on what's appropriate for that check. I've found that dog-piling happens most when
    a) there really weren't meaningful consequences for failure
    b) there wasn't any serious pressure (which is part of a).

    Calling for a roll that can be dog-piled meaningfully in the fiction (ie that multiple people can do it and one success is enough) is only acceptable when you're just killing time or hiding the fact that there was something to know. When you fully intend, plan, and mean for the party to have that information, but you just want to make a bit of a production about it and make the party feel (wrongly) that they've "earned" it. And most of the time, it'd be better to just pick out the person who, based on the background, expressed character traits, and experiences, is the most appropriate person to serve as the conduit for the information and just have them know it.

    Knowledge rolls (just like any other roll) only make sense when there are meaningful consequences for failure. Group checks (50% must pass) work for things that are group-related without individual consequences; individual rolls, where the person rolling is the one doing the action and at most one person takes the Help action (which doesn't stack) for things with individual consequences.

    And yes this applies to more than just Intelligence based rolls. Picking a lock/disarming a trap? Are there meaningful, interesting, immediate consequences for failure? No? Skip the roll, narrate the success. At most, roll to see how long it took (ie one roll, where higher means quicker). Talking to someone? Are there meaningful, interesting, and immediate consequences for failure? No? Skip the roll, narrate the success.

    --------

    Additionally, I find it useful to not think of the entire check (the full d20 + modifier number) as a measure of "how well you did." Your modifier represents you doing your best. You always (being a hero) do your best[1]. The d20 represents the random factors, the pieces out of your control. And unless that, narratively and in fiction, has a massive role in the situation at hand, don't roll the dice. Those cases where anyone trained can do it but anyone not trained can't do it? Those aren't appropriate (in my eyes) cases for checks at all. Because the influence of the random factors is too small. Those are where gated "checks" make sense, but they're not cases where setting any DC or even applying a modifier or mechanic makes sense. And proficiency, in my mind, isn't very helpful to determine which side of the line you're on. Knowledge of the world, the characters, and their situations (in depth) is what you need; proficiency is a mechanical representation for cases when checks are called for. Which aren't these cases. Same with the cases where it's something that any competent <Y> should be assumed to do <X> on a daily basis with little room for failure. The blacksmith doesn't roll checks to see if he can forge things--he just does it. The chorus isn't making Charisma (Performance) checks; they're just singing.

    Effectively, the mechanics exist for the purpose of helping the DM and players resolve uncertainty . And unless there is substantial uncertainty, don't invoke the mechanics. Because you're asking them to do things they weren't designed to do. Which is why you get garbage answers--you asked it a question outside of its design space. You asked it to resolve uncertainty (which, by design in 5e, means that the uncertainty is large relative to the other factors) when there really wasn't uncertainty. Or at least not enough uncertainty to make the mechanics really applicable. When you knew that only one set of answers was acceptable. If either success or failure by anyone rolling isn't an acceptable, interesting outcome, don't roll the dice.

    [1] unless you, as the player of that character, decided you were intentionally (or otherwise) flubbing things. But the default is that you're doing your best under almost all circumstances and it's the circumstantial factors (represented by the d20) that play a deciding role in success or failure.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2021-09-26 at 11:50 PM.
    Dawn of Hope: a 5e setting. http://wiki.admiralbenbo.org
    PhoenixPhyre's Extended Homebrew Signature
    5e Monster Data Sheet--vital statistics for all 693 MM, Volo's, and now MToF monsters: Updated!

  30. - Top - End - #180
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    Default Re: Proficiency Gating

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Or generally, roll a whole lot fewer checks, but make them meaningful. The "must roll dice for everything" disease is real, but it's a disease. The dice do not run the game, the DM does.
    The game isn't better or worse for more or fewer checks. Checks should serve a purpose. Knowledge checks even without consequences for failure do serve a purpose though.

    I don't think many people would have an issue with gating automatic success behind background, proficiency, or whatever, depending on what's appropriate for that check. I've found that dog-piling happens most when
    a) there really weren't meaningful consequences for failure
    b) there wasn't any serious pressure (which is part of a).
    I think that's nearly exactly what I said in my post?

    Calling for a roll that can be dog-piled meaningfully in the fiction (ie that multiple people can do it and one success is enough) is only acceptable when you're just killing time or hiding the fact that there was something to know. When you fully intend, plan, and mean for the party to have that information, but you just want to make a bit of a production about it and make the party feel (wrongly) that they've "earned" it. And most of the time, it'd be better to just pick out the person who, based on the background, expressed character traits, and experiences, is the most appropriate person to serve as the conduit for the information and just have them know it.
    I don't agree. Knowledge checks serve the purpose of answering the uncertainty of the situation.

    Knowledge rolls (just like any other roll) only make sense when there are meaningful consequences for failure. Group checks (50% must pass) work for things that are group-related without individual consequences; individual rolls, where the person rolling is the one doing the action and at most one person takes the Help action (which doesn't stack) for things with individual consequences.
    Group Knowledge checks don't actually make sense. Why does the dumb barbarian and dumb fighter have any bearing on whether I know X?

    And yes this applies to more than just Intelligence based rolls. Picking a lock/disarming a trap? Are there meaningful, interesting, immediate consequences for failure? No? Skip the roll, narrate the success. At most, roll to see how long it took (ie one roll, where higher means quicker). Talking to someone? Are there meaningful, interesting, and immediate consequences for failure? No? Skip the roll, narrate the success.
    I think that's a great technique to employ in many situations. But it should be a tool in the toolbox and not the one true way.

    Additionally, I find it useful to not think of the entire check (the full d20 + modifier number) as a measure of "how well you did." Your modifier represents you doing your best. You always (being a hero) do your best[1]. The d20 represents the random factors, the pieces out of your control. And unless that, narratively and in fiction, has a massive role in the situation at hand, don't roll the dice.
    IMO. The purpose of the check determines what the check means. It's not a universal thing.

    Those cases where anyone trained can do it but anyone not trained can't do it? Those aren't appropriate (in my eyes) cases for checks at all. Because the influence of the random factors is too small. Those are where gated "checks" make sense, but they're not cases where setting any DC or even applying a modifier or mechanic makes sense.
    You needed to elaborate much more here.

    And proficiency, in my mind, isn't very helpful to determine which side of the line you're on. Knowledge of the world, the characters, and their situations (in depth) is what you need; proficiency is a mechanical representation for cases when checks are called for. Which aren't these cases. Same with the cases where it's something that any competent <Y> should be assumed to do <X> on a daily basis with little room for failure.
    Proficiency isn't the only way, but it is one way. It may not should be the only factor taken into consideration for such an exclusion - but it does make sense that it can be a factor.

    The blacksmith doesn't roll checks to see if he can forge things--he just does it. The chorus isn't making Charisma (Performance) checks; they're just singing.
    I don't know a single person that disagrees with that.

    Effectively, the mechanics exist for the purpose of helping the DM and players resolve uncertainty . And unless there is substantial uncertainty, don't invoke the mechanics.
    Whether character X knows important detail about Y is very much a substantial uncertainty. You are welcome to decide it's not for your games - but you are deciding that via fiat.

    Because you're asking them to do things they weren't designed to do. Which is why you get garbage answers--you asked it a question outside of its design space. You asked it to resolve uncertainty (which, by design in 5e, means that the uncertainty is large relative to the other factors) when there really wasn't uncertainty. Or at least not enough uncertainty to make the mechanics really applicable. When you knew that only one set of answers was acceptable. If either success or failure by anyone rolling isn't an acceptable, interesting outcome, don't roll the dice.
    Skill checks are for resolving uncertainty. Nothing more, nothing less. Uncertainty can and does exist in situations where you declare one shouldn't ask for a skill check. How does one resolve that uncertainty without a skill check?
    Last edited by Frogreaver; 2021-09-27 at 12:27 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •