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  #361  
Old 03-20-2015, 06:04 PM
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I'm actually asking how I should know more about my players than you. And I can't really ask them because that would be pretty lame.
Why would it be lame to get an understanding of your players' expectations for the game? Remember, it's a cooperative experience! You're both there for each other, to have fun. Having a common understanding of what both sides want from the game is important for everyone to approach it in the right ways.

And even if you don't want to actually ask them, you can still tell by looking at how they approach situations. Does the party as a whole prefer to just fight, or do they prefer to RP more? Do they enjoy talking among the group about problems, or do they prefer to act independently? Do you have players that have very strong opinions or beliefs about certain aspects of play? All of these come out passively as you interact with your players, helping you understand what sort of results from a situation they would prefer.

As an example, in one of the games I'm in, a very good friend of mine plays a melee bruiser. He really enjoys getting up in the enemy's face and wailing on them. However, he also suffers from some depressive feelings, and he plays the game to help escape from them. When his character doesn't quite perform the way he wants because of how the dice rolls, he tends to get angry and withdraw. Our GM takes this into consideration, and while he doesn't CHEAT to keep my friend happy, he still fudges situations occasionally in order to make sure that him missing either doesn't actually harm him, or to make sure there's enough targets with the right defenses for him to engage.

Another player in the same group has basically never hit with his normal attacks, and wanted to play as a summoner even though 4e's summon rules are actually kind of shitty. So he's been rewriting some of the rules to make them a lot more useful, and giving the party some items to help support his intended playstyle.

Even without ever directly talking to the players about the way they want to play, we can still determine things by observing the way they interact with the story and everyone else.
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  #362  
Old 03-20-2015, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nich View Post
or a more grounded approach where we might die if we didn't handle the overwhelming threat very carefully. The way the adventure progressed from there was based on the group's responses to that question.
Granted, we didn't 100% follow those responses...
Somewhat carefully, then.
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  #363  
Old 03-20-2015, 10:28 PM
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TirMcDohl TirMcDohl is offline
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*whistles Bananaphone innocently*
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  #364  
Old 03-21-2015, 01:20 AM
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Asking generally what your players want is what I do already, but I can't just spoil the story for them and be like "you forgot to tie the oxen, what would you prefer happens as penalty for that?", that's just lame imo. So I need to find a solution myself. And well since I'm playing online it's not so easy to estimate how everyone is like. I just see that four of them roleplay a lot while one isn't really good with it yet. But I'm not in the position to judge if they suffer depression and couldn't take it if the oxen were gone to due their oversight.


Anyway, got a new question!
If a character goes into stealth mode (has a really good roll) and walks on a trap, but manages to avoid it with a dexterity saving throw, would you say he's still hidden or not? The rules seem to state that making noise takes you out of hiding, but what if there are no enemies around? Does that still apply? What if the character talks with his teammates? If I take him out of hiding he will have to roll again and probably not have a perfect hide anymore.
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  #365  
Old 03-21-2015, 01:47 AM
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if there are no enemies around, why does it matter if he stays hidden? This is some "if a tree falls in the woods, but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" bullshit. There's an answer to this question, and it can be interpreted a few different ways, but at the end of the day, who gives a shit? Who is he hiding from? I'm confused why you're even asking this question.
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  #366  
Old 03-21-2015, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Rya View Post
If a character goes into stealth mode (has a really good roll) and walks on a trap, but manages to avoid it with a dexterity saving throw, would you say he's still hidden or not?
Roll a d6. If it's 4 or bigger, he didn't actually trigger the trap and thus didn't make any noise. If it's 3 or less, the trap was triggered and makes noise (but he still manages to dodge the effects of the trap because of his agility).
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  #367  
Old 03-21-2015, 03:30 AM
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if there are no enemies around, why does it matter if he stays hidden? This is some "if a tree falls in the woods, but nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" bullshit. There's an answer to this question, and it can be interpreted a few different ways, but at the end of the day, who gives a shit? Who is he hiding from? I'm confused why you're even asking this question.
It matters, if he says hidden with a stealth roll of 27 and continues traveling with that value, practically nobody will see him once he encounters enemies. As hide has no time limit, it could even be an advantage for a battle hours later as long as hide status isn't broken in the meantime.
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  #368  
Old 03-21-2015, 09:39 AM
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If there's not going to be enemies for hours, then make him reroll. The near miss of the trap likely spooked the player, which would have shaken off his well placed hide cover, requiring reapplying.

Also, if this guy is planning on staying hidden for hours, then make sure you look at the Travel Pace rules, because the guy's likely going to be either left behind by the rest of the party (since stealth requires you to move at half speed) or is going to be exhausted by the time he finally arrives (because the slow travel pace can only move 2 miles a day before starting to suffer from the Exhaustion rules).


But at the same time, I would also tell a guy that the stealth action is to hide themselves for the immediate area, since the rules specifically talk about nearby foes (or potential foes). The point of it is to roll to try and hide for a specific encounter, not to stockpile a stealth check for a later encounter. The moment a stealthed player moves out of the area they did the check in, the test should become invalid; after all, there's different requirements for remaining hidden in a forest compared to remaining hidden in a warehouse compared to remaining hidden outside of the warehouse. Stealth is not just about how well the person can remain silent and still, but how well they make use of local cover to enhance it.
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  #369  
Old 03-21-2015, 10:14 AM
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Well the group is currently traveling and they decided to split into two groups, one is the rogue going ahead with stealth (with slow speed) and the remaining ones follow at a distance. That seems to be covered in the rules, even recommended.

I don't see any rule that says you can't move stealthily more than 2 miles. It just says if you move with stealth you can't move faster than 2 miles per hour (18 miles per day).
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  #370  
Old 03-21-2015, 10:31 AM
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You're right, I misread that. However I also didn't say he couldn't move further then that. I said if he was going to move faster or further then that, it requires a check against exhaustion.

But even the rules on mass travel while being stealthy say to make a check before encountering a group if they want to take them unawares, reinforcing that Hide checks are to see how well the character makes use of the current environment.
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  #371  
Old 03-21-2015, 10:38 AM
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The thing to keep in mind is that, in every case, Stealth is a reactive skill. Which means that, if there's no one from which to hide, you can't actually hide.

Basically, if someone wants to roll Stealth, ask them what they want to hide from. "Nothing" and "everything" are not acceptable answers; there needs to be a specific group or target. Because it's perfectly reasonable that you're well-hidden from the group you can see, but the person behind you can still see you just fine despite your nat 20, since you didn't know to hide from them.
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  #372  
Old 03-22-2015, 09:54 AM
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I told the group now that they only need to tell they want to walk stealthily rather than doing stealth rolls. And we will do stealth rolls if it's required.

I found one more strange thing in the starter set campaign:
The text claims that the goblin trail is 5 miles long. And it covered what happens after 10 minutes traveling and after another 10 minutes traveling. In 10 minutes traveling at normal speed you would have moved 6000 feet. That's a bit more than a mile. So that means the last 4 miles of the trail are uneventful and also if the group moves stealthily all the time, they need 2 hours to walk it. So should I just fast forward 2 hours of game time or should I play out something in between like asking the players if they still want to continue to follow the footprints? Or should I just shorten the path? Honestly it doesn't even look like 5 miles on the map, more like 3 miles.
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  #373  
Old 03-22-2015, 11:24 AM
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So should I just fast forward 2 hours of game time
Yes. Do not waste your players' time (or yours, for that matter) .
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  #374  
Old 03-24-2015, 10:56 AM
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Sage Advice on Spellcasting

Most are obvious, but the clarification on material components and somatic gestures is nice. I still think it doesn't matter too much, as the only real effect of the Cleric stowing their mace (in the given example) is that they can't opportunity attack for a chunk of time.
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  #375  
Old 03-24-2015, 11:47 AM
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I appreciate that the example given in the spell component question is the pearl required for Identify, because I have definitely been using that spell wrong.
Yeah; that rule is easy to miss.

By default, you can also identify magic items by spending a short rest inspecting them.
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  #376  
Old 03-25-2015, 03:11 AM
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It's interesting how spells with S and M are easier to use than spell that only have S.

Also using your "trivial action" for unequipping / equipping the mace has more disadvantages, because there are other trivial actions you could have done at the same turn and the rules read you can only do one (or use your main action to do a second).

Though I'm still not convinced if that unequipping / equipping using a turn rule is so cool. If you have a melee/ranger hybrid character who wants to constantly switch between two-handed melee weapon and two-handed bow, he can only really act every second turn (and he always forgets to think about that).
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  #377  
Old 03-25-2015, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Rya View Post
It's interesting how spells with S and M are easier to use than spell that only have S.

Also using your "trivial action" for unequipping / equipping the mace has more disadvantages, because there are other trivial actions you could have done at the same turn and the rules read you can only do one (or use your main action to do a second).

Though I'm still not convinced if that unequipping / equipping using a turn rule is so cool. If you have a melee/ranger hybrid character who wants to constantly switch between two-handed melee weapon and two-handed bow, he can only really act every second turn (and he always forgets to think about that).
Just because a player "forgets" an inconvenient rule, it doesn't mean it's a bad one. I mean, as per that example, a cleric can only cast cure wounds without a free hand if she has War Caster (or a similar feat). Why should a melee/ranger be able to switch between two modes of attack without a similar feat or a turn penalty?
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  #378  
Old 03-25-2015, 08:40 AM
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I'd say that, in general, if a rule requires a single player to keep track of some fiddly stuff that is inconsequential most of the time with the payoff that very occasionally they'll get a minor penalty, that's probably not a great rule from an overall design standpoint. This is pretty much the case with the cleric who might want to make opportunity attacks.

In the ranger's case, suppose they're fighting at range. If they think they might want to switch to melee, then it seems like they should be putting their bow away every other round - which gives them a 50/50 shot of being able to pull out their sword on a given round. If they're planning to switch to melee on a specific round, then they might want to skip a round of putting-the-bow-away to time their putting-it-away / taking-it-out-again rhythm correctly. All of which just seems silly!

Off the top of my head, I'd probably houserule this stuff to be either more permissive or more restrictive - probably I'd make switching equipment a bit more cumbersome (so you only do it when you want to switch equipment, instead of just for funzies) and I'd allow more folding-together of spell components (for example, if you can perform a SM spell with just your focus, I think I'd let you perform a S spell with the focus in the same way). the Verbal-Somatic-Material-Focus-etc. system seems like it might have the potential to be interesting, it's just not set up to actually be anything more than an annoyance in DnD combat. (I do like the system outside of this fiddly stuff though! E.g. teleportation spells w/o somatic components for use when restrained, etc.)
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  #379  
Old 03-25-2015, 08:48 AM
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This is a place where house rules come in. If you think it's not fun, then change that rule!

That said, remember that not only are trivial actions free as part of another action, but a player can choose to take an action to do nothing. A bow/sword character can alternate between the weapons each turn and still attack by using a movement action to stand still and sheath their current weapon, before using their attack action to unsheath and use the other weapon.

I do this in my 5e game when I need to shift between my spears and javelins, or between melee and spells.
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  #380  
Old 03-25-2015, 09:34 AM
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I don't think that's correct:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHB, p. 190
You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could [...] draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.

If you want to interact with a second object, you need to use your action.
But I agree that the thing to do is house-rule it, and the way you're doing it seems to meet the goals I'd have (don't introduce tedious bookkeeping that's only occasionally relevant, don't worry about it until it becomes relevant). Despite the fact that it can be house ruled away pretty easily, I still think it's bad design!
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  #381  
Old 03-25-2015, 10:00 AM
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However the box at the bottom of the page says

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interacting with Objects Around You
Here are a few examples of the sorts of thing you can do in tandem with your movement and action:
* Draw or sheathe a sword
[...]
* Pick up a dropped axe
(Emphasis mine)

And considering so many of the items listed are things that are so minor them requiring a whole action if you happen to do more then one is silly...!

But also, Mike Mearls says his intent is that sheath->draw->Attack is one action, though also says it should be a GM decision.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Umbaglo View Post
However the box at the bottom of the page says

Quote:
Originally Posted by Interacting with Objects Around You
Here are a few examples of the sorts of thing you can do in tandem with your movement and action:
* Draw or sheathe a sword
[...]
* Pick up a dropped axe
(Emphasis mine)
In tandem with the earlier text, I'd have to read this as "List of things you can do as your one 'trivial action' per movement+action".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbaglo View Post
And considering so many of the items listed are things that are so minor them requiring a whole action if you happen to do more then one is silly...!

But also, Mike Mearls says his intent is that sheath->draw->Attack is one action, though also says it should be a GM decision.
But of course I do agree that it's silly, and it's good to have Mike Mearls on that same page. I think our only disagreement is whether the rule is actually written that way, and I think "if you want to interact with a second object, you need to use your action" is pretty explicit, but apart from that neither of us is actually going to play according to that interpretation of the rule.
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  #383  
Old 03-25-2015, 11:21 AM
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This is one of those rules - like jump height or Weapon Training - that's clearly written to appease very grognard-y players. It's very clear that there's no problem at all with allowing players more than one minor interaction on a turn, and most GMs probably will... Just like most GMs won't strictly enforce jump height or encumbrance.
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  #384  
Old 03-26-2015, 05:13 AM
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I really only see encumbrance as a means to dis-incentivize parties from looting every location they come across to the floorboards, or an 8 STR wizard from carrying around 20 suits of full-plate mail. If approached properly I kind of don't see it really having any reason to come up in a game.

I was in a game with no real encumbrance rules once, and the party regularly stole everything that wasn't nailed down. One time someone stole a door. Seriously. Right off the hinges.
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  #385  
Old 03-26-2015, 06:37 AM
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One time someone stole a door. Seriously. Right off the hinges.
How else are you going to make a doorforged?
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  #386  
Old 03-26-2015, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
I really only see encumbrance as a means to dis-incentivize parties from looting every location they come across to the floorboards, or an 8 STR wizard from carrying around 20 suits of full-plate mail. If approached properly I kind of don't see it really having any reason to come up in a game.

I was in a game with no real encumbrance rules once, and the party regularly stole everything that wasn't nailed down. One time someone stole a door. Seriously. Right off the hinges.
Hey, we needed that door!
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  #387  
Old 03-26-2015, 03:42 PM
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Adoorable.
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  #388  
Old 03-26-2015, 04:20 PM
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You knob.
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  #389  
Old 03-26-2015, 04:55 PM
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Stop

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  #390  
Old 03-26-2015, 06:04 PM
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Yeah, let's cut this off before this pun storm really opens up.
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