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More Take 10 goodness


Pathfinder Society® General Discussion

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Qadira ***

Bob Jonquet wrote:

okay Jiggy, you're starting to lose me. I asked the question of bdk86, because HE seemed to indicate there was a time factor. I know there isn't.

Jiggy wrote:
The whole reason...is to let you auto-succeed on checks for which a low roll would fail"
That is fine, but then why not just make taking10 automatic and only require rolls when there is a chance of failure at 11+ on the die?

outside of the inportant story elements and combat, that sounds great! Try it sometime - it works great!

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

nosig wrote:
the rule is unclear

There are many game mechanics that have rules governing how they work spread throughout the book or perhaps multiple books. It has been pointed out in this, and other threads. There are a number of traits, feats, and the bard class that seem to suggest that there are times when you cannot take10. Thus the clarity issue.

In this, and most discussions I get involved in, I try to accept the position of both sides and question both. Of course, I have my opinions and I should be entitled to them like anyone else. Some feel you cannot take10 on knowledge checks and there is some language that seems to support that position. You feel you can. And again, there seems to be some language to support it. Fine, great. The final decision comes down to the GM.

That being said, there are other aspects to the take10 rules that are clear, such as the time required to take10. It does not require additional time so anyone who requires it, would be wrong.

The bottom line is that, while some believe the rules are clear, most seem to believe otherwise, even after reading and hearing both sides. That would indicate the rules are unclear. IMO, to discount someone's opinion because *you* interpret the rules differently, is badwrongfun.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

nosig wrote:
outside of the inportant story elements

If you feel it is the correct application of the rules, then why would it be restricted to non-important story elements?

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Bob Jonquet wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
The whole reason...is to let you auto-succeed on checks for which a low roll would fail"
That is fine, but then why not just make taking10 automatic and only require rolls when there is a chance of failure at 11+ on the die?

Why not indeed! Maybe that's what it's there for. Now, forgive me if I misread your tone, but if (as I suspect) your question was rhetorical, then that might indicate you have a bias against taking 10 that you might not be aware of. I.e., perhaps you're assuming that rolling is supposed to be the norm and T10 the exception, so you see my views and their implications (that T10 could be happening a lot), and think something must be wrong. But maybe T10 is supposed to be happening all the time!

Here's a little gem I found a while back, from the Disguise skill of all places:

PRD wrote:
Your Disguise check result determines how good the disguise is, and it is opposed by others' Perception check results. If you don't draw any attention to yourself, others do not get to make Perception checks. If you come to the attention of people who are suspicious (such as a guard who is watching commoners walking through a city gate), it can be assumed that such observers are taking 10 on their Perception checks.

Here we see an assumption of characters using T10 by default.

Maybe T10 is supposed to be the norm. Maybe the only time a roll is needed is either when stress prevents a normal effort (combat, etc) or when you discover that a normal effort fails.*

Of course, I'll never force a player to take 10, but every time I've GM'd and pointed out that a character could succeed on a check by taking 10, they've gone along with it, usually with a note of happiness in their voice.

So yeah, why not just let it be automatic? :D

*Hm, what if we actually didn't allow a roll unless they'd already tried and discovered in-character that they failed... ;)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:


*Hm, what if we actually didn't allow a roll unless they'd already tried and discovered in-character that they failed... ;)

Boom!

That's how I play my characters all the time.

Shadow Lodge **

nosig wrote:

Ok, realizing that it's just a bad idea to hit the T10 button again, I had some strange happenings at tables I was judging resently.

let me establish where I am coming from in this for those of you who don't recognize me. I like the T10 rule. I use the T10 rule. I even had a T-shirt printed with it on it, in an attempt to teach the T10 rule to people who don't know that it says.

See, i think this might be at least half the fuel on the flaming fire. (the other half being general internet nerd rage). That someone disagrees with you on very fuzzy rule doesn't mean that they don't know what it says.

Quote:
1) a player asked to take 10 on a Knowledge roll (outside of combat, during a Gather Information phase of the adventure). I say sure - and one of the other players "corrects" me to say you can't T10 on a Knowledge check. We have a friendly discussion where they point out that only Bards can T10 on knowledge. I point out that this says that Bards with this ability can ALWAYS T10, even in combat.

Lore Master (Ex): At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in. A bard can choose not to take 10 and can instead roll normally. In addition, once per day, the bard can take 20 on any Knowledge skill check as a standard action. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he possesses beyond 5th, to a maximum of three times per day at 17th level.

-The words always and combat are not there. This is granting the ability to take 10 on knowledge checks: heavily implying that one cannot normally do that. If you step outside of the raw for a minute this also makes a lot of sense.

I can put an average effort into shoeing a horse: I don't try to rush, I don't try to engineer some gnomish spring support system, and i don't try to whip up some new tungsten cardbide alloy. I just put the shoe on the horse the exact same way i have 1,000 other times before.

I cannot put an average amount of effort into identifying a tree (knowledge nature). I look at the tree and I either know what it is or I don't. There's no non gamist explanation for how this would work.

Quote:
This plainly does not satisfy the player, who spends some minutes while the game progresses trying to find the spot in the rules where it says T10 can not be done for Knowledge rolls. Sigh... wish they had played more and looked things up less.

Hey, you have to do SOMETHING during other peoples turns in combat.

Quote:
But they were pleasant about it and were willing to abide by my ruling (I was the Judge after all), but they were clearly sure that I was wrong, because other judges did not do it that way. Which I think was one of the reasons they were playing a Bard - so that they could T10 on Knowledge rolls.

I'd be annoyed if people were giving out my class abilities for free too.

Quote:


2) During play, the PCs needed to make a climb check. One of the players was checking to see if they thought their PC could make the climb with a T10... when another player stated "you can't take 10 on a climb check - you might fall". I point at "the shirt" - "...when you think a low roll might fail...", and the second player is clearly not satisfied. And just to "do it right" they roll a die to climb the rope - having to roll twice (failed the first time).

This one is self solving, which is why it was a horrible example for take 10 in the 3.x book if you're supposed to be able to take 10 as often as you think. You only fall if you fail by 5. If you can take 10 to make the climb and still make the DC then you can't fall. Someone is either in no danger from the fall at all or taking 10 will not be enough to make the DC.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Illinois—Decatur aka TwilightKnight

I think I do have some bias against the 100% complete and open use of take10, but that is due to my interpretation of the parts of the rule that I find ambiguous, or at least suggest some level of ambiguity. If the rule was more clear in favor of, or against taking10, I would follow them, but since they aren't, the end decision has to come from me as a GM. I tend to lean towards rolling dice to decide your fate, but I also don't allow failed skill checks to derail a game. I either allow the success regardless of the role (but still have the player roll) or provide an alternate path to continue the plot.

Perhaps that has some level of hypocrisy to my game, but I'm comfortable with it. In the end, it doesn't really matter if you take10 or not, allow it or not, if the players are enjoying the game, you are almost always right.

that does not mean I am suggesting to break the rules with "fun" being the justification


I have to admit that I fall on the "no T10 on knowledge skills" side of things, since it doesn't matter how carefully you think over your knowledge of (x) field -- either you know or not. It's not such a huge bias that I'd argue over somebody else taking ten on a knowledge check, but I wouldn't.

Thinking back, though, I can't recall ever taking ten on anything, so maybe I've dodged a fuzzy rule bullet through the application of distaste. :)

I may rethink my opinions on it, specifically for PFSOP; in the home games I've been in, we're not under any real time crunch -- we just play 'til we hit a good stopping point, so all the skill rolls in the world aren't a critical issue. I can see the application of T10 to streamline the play when the venue is closing in another hour could be useful.

The basic problem with T10 is the assumption that a roll of 10 on a twenty-sided die is average; it's NOT. A d20 doesn't produce a bell-shaped curve (like 3d6 do). There is exactly 5% of any one face coming up. Yes, half the time you're 10 or under, half the time you're 11 or more... but 10 or 11 is no more nor less likely a result than 1, or 20, or any other number in between.

So "taking ten" is a very flawed concept, from a probability theory point of view...

Taldor ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia aka Iammars

I'm generally on the side of you can't take 10 on Knowledge, but that's because if it's something you should already know, then I don't make you roll for it (see really basic monster knowledge)

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Eastern Washington aka WalterGM

My 2 c.
You can: Take 10 on checks with no drawbacks when you fail (so perception, appraise, etc). You can take 20 on these checks as well (following the RAW).
You cannot: Take 10 on Knowledge checks unless researching from a library. Take 10 on any checks that have drawbacks (bluff, diplomacy, etc) when you fail. Just because you know how to talk to people doesn't mean you can't mess up and ruin your dialogue (look at the Oscars).


Alitan wrote:

I have to admit that I fall on the "no T10 on knowledge skills" side of things, since it doesn't matter how carefully you think over your knowledge of (x) field -- either you know or not.

Ask anyone who's ever taken a test and made a stupid mistake and they will explain to you the difference.

-James

*

hogarth wrote:
With regards to the Knowledge skill, I admit that it's a little odd to allow a "take 10" for a skill that never, ever allows a retry; then you end up with the odd situation where your PC would have certainly known some fact if he had tried to recall it outside of combat, but since he tried to recall it inside combat it turns out that he never knew that fact in the first place...

Yes, that rule kind of makes no sense, because under a stressful situation you might not remember something, but when relaxed and/or doing more research, it might be possible.

Yes, somethings not right. Solution would be to allow a recheck (with T10) outside of combat and/or time/resources to research.

Ah well, it's a minor rule that isn't worth arguing over, except in the forums. :)

Shadow Lodge **

I'd probably allow a take 10 on diplomacy, assuming that you weren't in combat, had your head in a guillotine, or were trying to convince your host not to kill you. Gather info at a bar? Sure. Dinner with Dracula? Oh hell no.

You talk about the weather, don't push any hot button issues, observe all the rules of polite society, avoid religion and politics and make smalltalk. You're not likely to stand out, but you're also less likely to make an ass of yourself.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Lore Master (Ex): At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in. A bard can choose not to take 10 and can instead roll normally. In addition, once per day, the bard can take 20 on any Knowledge skill check as a standard action. He can use this ability one additional time per day for every six levels he possesses beyond 5th, to a maximum of three times per day at 17th level.

-The words always and combat are not there. This is granting the ability to take 10 on knowledge checks: heavily implying that one cannot normally do that.

It says nothing one way or the other. You're reading that into things. There are certainly times when one cannot take 10, it simply doesn't go into that level of detail to distinguish between those and when you can.

But if you are to take issue with the take 10 rules based on this, why not on the take 20 rules based on this?

There are many places in the rules where the rules are written over and over again retelling the basic rules or the normal rules either to remind or to contrast with the issue at hand.

But there are also many places where this is not the case. It does not mean that it doesn't apply there. A NPC cleric needs to make a touch attack to deliver that harm spell, even though the harm spell doesn't remind the reader of this basic fact.

The rules were not all written together, by the same person, at the same time or even always in the same style. To try to draw inference here is either to serve your own desires, to deceive yourself or both.

You read the rules in the skill section. Certainly by them you can take 10 on knowledge checks in certain circumstances. The bard ability does not deny that. All it does is word something strangely in what it does allow. That strange wording carries over to the rest of the ability (via take 20) serves as testament to Paizo's addition not being written in the same style as WotC's original rules that Paizo did not change.

-James

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

WalterGM wrote:
You cannot: ... Take 10 on any checks that have drawbacks (bluff, diplomacy, etc) when you fail. Just because you know how to talk to people doesn't mean you can't mess up and ruin your dialogue (look at the Oscars).

Well, the Oscars would be a combat-like enough to prevent T10 regardless of the skill involved. ;)

Seriously though, I think you're taking the possibility of a situation that would preclude T10 and misapplying it to the skill involved. See also BigNorseWolf's "gather info at a bar" versus "dinner with Dracula" for Diplomacy.

For any given skill (aside from UMD and the currently-debated Knowledges), the rules allow you to T10 unless circumstances forbid it. They will all have situations where you can't T10, but that doesn't mean the skill is categorically excluded from T10.

Perception: Taking a look around? T10. Finding an alternate exit before the goblins catch up to you? Nope.

Appraise: Going shopping? T10. Tell the spirit which crown is real or he incinerates your flesh? Gotta roll it.

Bluff: Professional gambler poker-facing some local noobs? T10. Convincing her shotgun-wielding dad that it isn't what it looks like? Not a chance.

Diplomacy: Asking the bartender about the local movers and shakers? T10. Convincing the girl's father that even though it's exactly what it looks like he should let you go anyway? Not happening.

So again, an example of a situation where you couldn't T10 on a skill doesn't mean that skill should be excluded, it means that situation should be excluded.

Shadow Lodge ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's my rule of thumb for taking 10.

Are you in initiative? If yes the situation is stressful and you cannot.

If no, the situation is not stressful and you may.

While this won't be right 100% of the time it should work at least 95% of the time.

(Obviously there are some specifics like Use Magic Device that preclude taking 10 etc)

Shadow Lodge **

james maissen wrote:
The rules were not all written together, by the same person, at the same time or even always in the same style. To try to draw inference here is either to serve your own desires, to deceive yourself or both.

-Give me an argument, not an insult. There is certainly enough ambiguity in the take 10 rules to bring them well within the DM's purview to say "No.. that's a class ability"

Taking 10 is a very powerful tool. It lets you auto succeed on a wide variety of tasks where you would normally need another +9 skill modifier to remove any chance of failure. Its given as a 10th level rogue ability, a bards ability, and under very specific circumstances for feats. It does not appear to be intended as a replacement for a d20 until initiative starts.

Quote:
But if you are to take issue with the take 10 rules based on this, why not on the take 20 rules based on this?

... i wouldn't allow take 20 on a knowledge check either. Unless the party is combing a giant library or something.

Try Again: No. The check represents what you know, and thinking about a topic a second time doesn't let you know something that you never learned in the first place.- So you cannot simply try 20 times till you get a 20.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pirate Rob wrote:

Here's my rule of thumb for taking 10.

Are you in initiative? If yes the situation is stressful and you cannot.

If no, the situation is not stressful and you may.

While this won't be right 100% of the time it should work at least 95% of the time.

(Obviously there are some specifics like Use Magic Device that preclude taking 10 etc)

+1

It really doesn't need to be any more complicated than this.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Taking 10 ... does not appear to be intended as a replacement for a d20 until initiative starts.

Actually, it looks to me like that's pretty close to what it is:

CRB wrote:
For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful... In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10).
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
The purpose of Take 10 is to allow you to avoid the swinginess of the d20 roll in completing a task that should be easy for you... Take 10 means he doesn't have to worry about the randomness of rolling 1, 2, 3, or 4... The rule is there to prevent weirdness from the fact that you can roll 1 on tasks you shouldn't fail at under normal circumstances.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
the purpose of the take10 rule is so you don't have to roll on stuff you know you'll probably auto-succeed

So in the rules, as well as two commentaries from SKR (one of them only a couple of months ago), we have statements that the whole point of T10 is to skip the d20 until the exciting part. So "a replacement for a d20" is exactly its stated purpose, and "until initiative starts" is not too far from the mark.

Shadow Lodge **

Skipping to the exciting part isn't synonymous with combat. Sometimes you're sneaking in to get to an adventure, sometimes sneaking in IS the adventure.

Its for ROUTINE tasks. Passing your halfling off as a human child to beg on the street is routine. Passing yourself off as a human child to lure bandits (or the party...these rules are for npcs too) into a trap is not. Even though initiative hasn't been rolled yet, the halflingbait is in immediate danger.

Skr wrote:
It's just there to make the game proceed faster so you don't have big damn heroes failing to accomplish inconsequential things.

Its a replacement for a d20 for the boring inconsequential parts. Non combat is not the same as the boring inconsequential parts. If you're a rogue most of your use and survival depends on the initiative die never getting rolled in the first place. Sneaking past a really bored guard at the gate inspecting cabbages is routine. Sneaking past Rowan Eagle eye guarding the princess is not.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I didn't say anything about combat, BNW.

Shadow Lodge ****

Initiative implies combat.

I would agree that certain situations not in combat 10 cannot be taken, I but I would argue that they are the exception rather than the rule.

Also I think the rules are vague enough in what constitutes a stressful situation that they largely fall under the purview of the GM.

While I would appreciate if GMs understood why they were making a decision about taking 10, and I believe many don't understand how the rule is supposed to work, I believe it's implementation is still largely up to the GM.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pirate Rob wrote:
Initiative implies combat.

Yeah, but not always. Plus I said it was "close to the mark" not "exactly the only time you can't take 10".

Quote:
I would agree that certain situations not in combat 10 cannot be taken, I but I would argue that they are the exception rather than the rule.

Agreed.

Quote:
Also I think the rules are vague enough in what constitutes a stressful situation that they largely fall under the purview of the GM.

Agreed. Unfortunately, most of the time that a GM says they wouldn't allow T10, it has nothing to do with a stressful situation. So far I've seen GMs "adjudicate" (read: "make up") the following:

• No T10 on opposed rolls ever
• No T10 on Skill X ever
• You can only T10 if you couldn't even fail on a 1
• No T10 at all
• No T10 unless you can sit down and spend some extra time on it
• T10 is trained-only
And I'm sure there are more I can't remember.

Sometimes it feels like some GMs think that a rule must either be completely clear or completely malleable - rather than having clear parts and fuzzy parts. People see that there are areas of the T10 mechanic that require interpretation (like what constitutes a distraction), and therefore decide that the whole mechanic is up to the GM. If it has parts X, Y and Z; and part Y is unclear, then some GMs think they can run parts X and Z however they want and still be within bounds.

This mindset is foolish, its use is inappropriate for PFS GMs, and it needs to be discouraged.


james maissen wrote:
Alitan wrote:

I have to admit that I fall on the "no T10 on knowledge skills" side of things, since it doesn't matter how carefully you think over your knowledge of (x) field -- either you know or not.

Ask anyone who's ever taken a test and made a stupid mistake and they will explain to you the difference.

-James

Ah, but failing a test can result in failing the class; i.e., there are penalties for failing and you couldn't take 10 then anyway.

Enough with real-world examples to justify a position in a fantasy-world setting already.

:(

Shadow Lodge ***

PRD wrote:

A skill check represents an attempt to accomplish some goal, usually while under some sort of time pressure or distraction. Sometimes, though, a character can use a skill under more favorable conditions, increasing the odds of success.

Taking 10: When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.

Doesn't seem ambiguous to me. Seems like you can always take 10 (except on skills that specifically don't allow it, e.g. UMD), unless threatened or rushed (barring some feat or ability that allows such).

I know hogarth posted some feat examples a while back, but they weren't really relevant. As a Combat Medic, you "know the urgency of treating wounds in the heat of battle..." allowing you to take 10 in combat. Pass for Human specifically allows you to take 10 on a check that the rules assume the DM rolls for you.

Childlike is the only example with 'ambiguous' wording. "You can take 10 on Bluff checks to convince others you are telling the truth, so long as your story makes you appear innocent." The only 'interpretation' that makes this part of the feat make sense is if it allows you to take 10 in situations you normally couldn't, like combat or when rushed. That, or the designers made a feat grant something useless. (Granted, +2 to Disguise and ignoring the race penalty still makes the feat plenty useful.)


Alitan wrote:


Ah, but failing a test can result in failing the class; i.e., there are penalties for failing and you couldn't take 10 then anyway.

Penalty for failure is not a issue for the take 10 rules.

You can take 10 on a skill that has a penalty for failure. Even if that penalty is severe.

You cannot take 10 on a skill when rushed or threatened.

People confuse this, or they confuse Take 10 for Take 20 in restrictions.

This is a problem, and after 12 years being in the rules something that does need active effort to resolve. Not only by the community at large, but by the designers in the way of FAQs and, quite honestly, a rewording and possible renaming of the rule names.

-James


Mystic Lemur wrote:
I know hogarth posted some feat examples a while back, but they weren't really relevant. As a Combat Medic, you "know the urgency of treating wounds in the heat of battle..." allowing you to take 10 in combat.

That's how I would interpret it. But the sticky part is that most other feats and class abilities specify "even if stress and distractions would normally prevent you from doing so" for that situation. If that boilerplate is meaningless and/or unnecessary, then that opens a whole new can of worms.

I agree that Combat Medic is the least troublesome feat of those I listed, though; it's pretty clear what the intent is.

Mystic Lemur wrote:
Pass for Human specifically allows you to take 10 on a check that the rules assume the DM rolls for you.

Nowhere does it say that you can't take 10 on Disguise checks; it just says that the roll is secret. Personally, I would single out Disguise as a good example of a skill that would be reasonable to take 10 on.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

hogarth wrote:
But the sticky part is that most other feats and class abilities specify "even if stress and distractions would normally prevent you from doing so" for that situation. If that boilerplate is meaningless and/or unnecessary, then that opens a whole new can of worms.

I recall (but don't have links for) other topics where a feat/spell/ability/etc failed to specify "even if you normally couldn't", and the response from SKR was basically "it's a convenience when we point that out, but its absence doesn't make the ability/feat/spell/etc not mean what it says".

I really wish I had a link, but the stated precedent is that things do what they say they do, even if they don't spell out how they interact with or are exceptions to other rules.

So I think interpreting "this feat lets you take 10" as implying that you normally couldn't is an easy first reaction, but I also think that on further reflection it's a stronger position to say it means you can always take 10 and implies nothing about when normal characters can or cannot take 10 on that skill.

Qadira ***

hay, I got an idea.
(tongue in cheek here, only half serious)
can judges please tell player at the start of an adventure what skills they allow Take 10 to be used with (outside of combat)?

I'll start. I do now in fact - I wear it on a shirt. I tell the players before a game.

• No T10 on opposed rolls ever
• No T10 on Skill (insert skill here) ever
• You can only T10 if you couldn't even fail on a 1
• No T10 at all
• No T10 unless you can sit down and spend some extra time (how much time) on it
• T10 is trained-only (which skills, or all skills?)

any others?

That way the players will know how the rules work at each table (which is all I really want to know).

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

...are you being sarcastic, nosig? I can't quite tell, which gets a little confusing when trying to clear up ambiguity in the rules.

Qadira ***

You know the worst part of all this? I don't really care which way it works - I just want it to work the same way all the time. It is a core rule. Like Take 20 (hate to use them both in the same post, 'cause enough people mix the two up as it is), and the Trip rule. I mean, if different judges did the Trip rules differently, wouldn't you want to get them all on the same page? This judge lets you trip, but only if the target has 2 legs, or isn't a Dwarf. This one lets you trip flying creatures, that judge lets you trip someone who is standing from prone.

Guys - let's all do it the same way please! Publish an FAQ listing what skills T10 can be used with (or CAN'T be used with) even with the note that circumstances may modify this. Or even strike the rule from the game. Just PLEASE can we do it kind of the same?

(on a personal note: No matter what some people seem to beleave, I hate arguments. It makes me ill when people I am playing with are upset at me. I avoid it whenever I can. It means I avoid playing with some players and some judges. So this entire post is not to start conflict, but it is instead an attempt to avoid the conflict I have been encountering when I try to play with a group of strangers. I want to PLAY, I don't want to argue rules, or get lectured, or get "instructed in the proper way of playing".)

Qadira ***

Jiggy wrote:
...are you being sarcastic, nosig? I can't quite tell, which gets a little confusing when trying to clear up ambiguity in the rules.

some Jiggy. sorry, I'll edit the post and put in the "sarcasic note".

But I am pointing out where that the line of reasoning can go.

And you know... it would be fine with me, if I knew it before I started playing at that Judges table.

(edit)
on second look, you're right Jiggy - I removed the post entirely. It was apt to inflame people. Not my intention.

Thanks

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I feel an urge to get organized in this thread. So here are the primary points of my understanding of Take 10, as well as whether they're plain as day or acceptably variable:

1) Take 10 is a core rule that has not been altered for PFS. So if a GM disallows it entirely, then the GM is wrong.

2) The possibility of failing a check does not, in and of itself, prevent you from taking 10. The core rules specify that T10 is used in order to avoid failure. If a GM says "You have to roll, because there's a chance you might fail", the GM is wrong.

3) T10 is prevented by significant threats/distractions/pressures. Each situation must be assessed by the GM to determine if it qualifies as such. This is an area of acceptable table variation.

4) There are a few feats/abilities which allow you to T10 on certain skills and don't explicitly say "even while threatened". I believe that it's implied, but there is case that instead it might mean that others can't T10 on those skills at all. I believe that to be a far weaker position, but expect table variation on this.

5) The only things that can prevent you from taking 10 are #3, one interpretation of #4, and explicit exceptions (such as UMD). To deny a T10 for any other reason (because it's a faction mission, because it's an opposed roll, whatever) is against the rules; if a GM does so, he is wrong.

I think that covers it. From here, those of us who are interested in a healthy PFS environment need to work on educating each other to confine table variation to #3 and #4. Those are the fuzzy parts; the other parts are clear and therefore table variation on those points is unacceptable.


Why is there such a debate over this? I think the rule is uncommonly clear. It might be a little trite, but let's quote the rule again.

prd wrote:


When a character or creature is not in immediate danger or distracted, it may choose to take 10 on some rolls (specifically, skill checks). Instead of rolling 1d20 for the check, calculate the result as if the die had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.

Note that there are no statements in this rule about specific skills such as Knowledge. For that, you need to refer to the skill rule itself. In addition, a skill that does not allow you to take 10 SPECIFICALLY states this as "Special" (see UMD), more than implying that it is not normal for a skill to be limited this way.

I've bolded the only parts of the rule that have language outlining limitations to when it can be used. Note again that it does not mention specific skills, time, or anything other than danger and distraction.

So, I find it very puzzling that anyone could interpret this in any way other than that you can take 10 on any skill that doesn't explicitly say you can't. This includes the Knowledge skill, since the Knowledge rules don't mention taking 10 at all, which would include not mentioning you can't take it.

As for abilities like such as the discussed feats and Bards' ability to take 10 on knowledge, this too seems abundantly clear that it is allowing you to take 10 on the check even when in danger or distracted. Again, the only limitations in the rules about taking 10 are that you can't do it when in danger or distracted... at no time in any rule anywhere that I have found does it say "you may not take 10 on Knowledge checks".

The only fuzzy part of the rule is the same fuzzy part of the rules that applies to 100% of the game. The GM has to decide if the situation warrants "danger or distraction". Combat is not up to the GM because it is explicitly stated in the take 10 rule as being a dangerous and distracting situation. Otherwise, the only reason you should be limited from taking 10 is if you are using a skill that in its rules says you cannot (such as UMD, but NOT Knowledge), or if the GM decides that there is immediate risk to failing or significant distraction.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

setzer9999 wrote:
As for abilities like such as the discussed feats and Bards' ability to take 10 on knowledge, this too seems abundantly clear that it is allowing you to take 10 on the check even when in danger or distracted.

I'd call it 70% clear. Sort of an "I'm going to groan a little inside when someone goes the other direction on that point, but I can live with it" type of thing.

But sadly, as you imply, most of the "debate" about T10 involves the parts of the mechanic that are clear.

The below is spoilered for harshness, but still here because plenty of people really need to hear it. Everyone, you're forewarned. Leave it closed unless you can handle it:

Spoiler:

The main reason T10 is an issue is because GMs are entrenched in their ways. They like the way they've always played and dammit they're gonna make these silly cheese monkeys roll their dice! And woe betide you if you try to correct them - for some people (amazingly enough, a group which overlaps heavily with the "this is how I do it" group) the main appeal to GMing is so that people can't tell them "no". So telling them they're doing something wrong just makes them dig in their heels even deeper.

But of course, don't expect anyone to admit that their stance is based on preference or tradition or nostalgia or anything else. No, they'll say they're doing their duty as GM (expect references to "maximizing fun" and "or else it's an MMO") by "adjudicating unclear rules", using the fact that part of the mechanic is malleable to justify changing any part of it that they don't like.

In short, T10 offends some GMs' sacred cow of the d20 roll, and they're too self-righteous and/or not self-aware enough to admit it.

I guess it's possible there might also be a contingent of GMs who are literally incapable of distinguishing between part of a rule being fuzzy and the whole rule being fuzzy, but I guess there's not much we can do about them.

If all of us GMs were honest and fair, then the only discussion on T10 would be what types of situations constituted "distractions or threats". The fact that other debates exist shows that there are other things going on than mere rules interpretations.


Jiggy wrote:
setzer9999 wrote:
As for abilities like such as the discussed feats and Bards' ability to take 10 on knowledge, this too seems abundantly clear that it is allowing you to take 10 on the check even when in danger or distracted.

I'd call it 70% clear. Sort of an "I'm going to groan a little inside when someone goes the other direction on that point, but I can live with it" type of thing.

But sadly, as you imply, most of the "debate" about T10 involves the parts of the mechanic that are clear.

The below is spoilered for harshness, but still here because plenty of people really need to hear it. Everyone, you're forewarned. Leave it closed unless you can handle it:
** spoiler omitted **...

I guess you are right about the Bard ability being only partially, rather than abundantly, clear. Why would an ability let you take 10 on a skill you can already take 10 on right? However... before people use this as fuel to fire the argument that you can't take 10 on Knowledge... think about what you are doing. You are completely rewriting all the rest of the rules for all other classes, creatures, and situations because of one poorly written rule for one class. Just because the take 10 part of Lore Master sucks and/or is poorly worded, this doesn't mean that you should rewrite or reinterpret the rules for the rest of the game... so I take it back, I still think it IS abundantly clear that you can take 10 on Knowledge checks, despite Lore Master.

Also, just examining the reasonability of taking 10 on Knowledge... let's say you are a resident of a town. Everyone else is asleep, but no threats are perceived. You want to take 10 on a Knowledge (local) or Knowledge (geography) check to know where the well is so you can get a drink. You are trained in neither... so what, you roll a 1 and you can't get a drink of water that night? Since you can't retake knowledge checks, you can't call it a "brain fart" and try again... You aren't dying of thirst, so its not a threat, but it IS ridiculous that you wouldn't be able to find the well yourself with that knowledge when you LIVE in the town. Its absurd.

By a strict interpretation of the side of the argument that you can't take 10 on a Knowledge check, you could potentially fail to know the name of the Emperor of the land in which you have lived your whole life and then never be able to try to remember it again! Again, this is absurd. I could pump out hundreds of absurdities in that interpretation of the rule, but I won't.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I've started a new thread to collect FAQ clicks on the Lore Master/Childlike issue. Regardless of which interpretation is correct, the wording could stand to be clarified, so please go here and click "FAQ" at the top of the post.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

My rule of thumb is that I allow the use of take 10 when there is no dramatic tension, yet still a chance to fail if the die is rolled.

So, if a party member has a 3 in climb and they are climbing an unknotted rope (DC 10) out of combat with everyone helping, I allow them to take 10.

If that same character is climbing an unknotted rope in order to get away from a pack of rabid wolves, I have them roll it.

The take ten rule was supposed to be a way for GM's to streamline play during less dramatic moments, when the players are facing small challenges. Spending any time whatsoever arguing about taking ten at the table completely defeats the entire purpose of the take 10 rule.

If a person has a skill cranked up to rediculous levels and just wants to be able to proudly declare they take ten to achieve a result of 43, this says something about them as a player.

It tells me that they have sadly designed their character for just these moments, so that they can bask out of character in how "great" their character is. I probably won't attempt to play a second game with this person.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Will Johnson wrote:

If a person has a skill cranked up to rediculous levels and just wants to be able to proudly declare they take ten to achieve a result of 43, this says something about them as a player.

It tells me that they have sadly designed their character for just these moments, so that they can bask out of character in how "great" their character is. I probably won't attempt to play a second game with this person.

Or maybe they enjoy the uniqueness of being "the guy who didn't seem that helpful at first, until Obscure Situation X came up and he'd been preparing for it his whole life".

I personally find it really fun when the party encounters a really specific situation that no one in their right mind would invest resources in being more than marginally prepared for, and then I can step forward be like "Stand aside guys, I've totally got this!". Then I have my moment in the sun, and go back to being a sidekick afterwards.

Ain't nothing wrong with that. :)

Qadira ***

Will Johnson wrote:

My rule of thumb is that I allow the use of take 10 when there is no dramatic tension, yet still a chance to fail if the die is rolled.

So, if a party member has a 3 in climb and they are climbing an unknotted rope (DC 10) out of combat with everyone helping, I allow them to take 10.

If that same character is climbing an unknotted rope in order to get away from a pack of rabid wolves, I have them roll it.

The take ten rule was supposed to be a way for GM's to streamline play during less dramatic moments, when the players are facing small challenges. Spending any time whatsoever arguing about taking ten at the table completely defeats the entire purpose of the take 10 rule.

If a person has a skill cranked up to rediculous levels and just wants to be able to proudly declare they take ten to achieve a result of 43, this says something about them as a player.

It tells me that they have sadly designed their character for just these moments, so that they can bask out of character in how "great" their character is. I probably won't attempt to play a second game with this person.

I regularly have characters that max out their trap abilities. I regularly play scout for my party. When my PC misses a trap, he's right up there in the thick of things and suffers the damage. That's his job. One of the reasons I push my PCs trap skills so high, is that I KNOW I am going to be playing for judges that will require me to roll the perception rolls and I can't T10. So, if I figure the average magical Trap DC is 28, then the PC has to have a +27 Perception to do his job. If I can T10 then he only needs a +18. Just something to think on.

Modifing your words a little (please excuse my editing - and I realize you did not say this)
"If a person has a attack skill cranked up to rediculous levels and just wants to be able to proudly declare they hit on a roll of "2" to achieve a result of 43 points of damage, this says something about them as a player.

It tells me that they have sadly designed their character for just these moments, so that they can bask out of character in how "great" their character is. I probably won't attempt to play a second game with this person."

just something to reflet on....

Qadira ***

In a special over the weekend I was judgeing the low tier table (tier 1-2). We came to a spot in the mod when all the tables have to pass a challange, as a group. A dwarven druid at my table pulls out a one shot boon AR and says "I got this". Boon reads somehting like "Pass any skill check you are un-trained in.

I blink at it. Call the head judge and point it out. we scratch heads and he heads over to the Tier 10-11 table and anounces. "You guys see this druid from the low tier table move up to the (Spoiler) and (solve challange)." I'm sure it make my entire tables day. I know I'd love to play with that Druid... a gardener (day job), who designs rock gardens (dwarf).

Oh, and no dice were abused to bring you this entertainment....

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

Jiggy wrote:

Or maybe they enjoy the uniqueness of being "the guy who didn't seem that helpful at first, until Obscure Situation X came up and he'd been preparing for it his whole life".

I personally find it really fun when the party encounters a really specific situation that no one in their right mind would invest resources in being more than marginally prepared for, and then I can step forward be like "Stand aside guys, I've totally got this!". Then I have my moment in the sun, and go back to being a sidekick afterwards.

Ain't nothing wrong with that. :)

I totally agree, there isn't anything at all wrong with being a specialist who occasionally steps up to shine.

However, in the example I gave above, one could simply roll the die and respond with their total. It's the aggressive insistence on taking ten due to being so awesome that turns me off.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Will Johnson wrote:
It's the aggressive insistence on taking ten due to being so awesome that turns me off.

Aggressive insistence on taking ten? I see/hear about a lot more aggression from GMs disallowing it than from players wanting it.

Andoran ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Fresno aka Sarta

nosig wrote:

Modifying your words a little (please excuse my editing - and I realize you did not say this)

"If a person has a attack skill cranked up to rediculous levels and just wants to be able to proudly declare they hit on a roll of "2" to achieve a result of 43 points of damage, this says something about them as a player....

Amen, brother!

It's the chance of failure that defines this hobby as a game. It's the fear of failure and the way we resolve our failures that makes this game enjoyable.

Otherwise, just show up and have the GM tell you a story of how well your characters did defeating their foes. After all, if we are going to abstract skill rolls, we might as well abstract battles. The advice forums provide us with the tools to calculate DPR. We could automate combat as well.

Anyone with internet access can make an optimized character. However, creating and breathing life into a truly unique character takes real talent and makes one a joy to play with.

Qadira ***

Will Johnson wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Or maybe they enjoy the uniqueness of being "the guy who didn't seem that helpful at first, until Obscure Situation X came up and he'd been preparing for it his whole life".

I personally find it really fun when the party encounters a really specific situation that no one in their right mind would invest resources in being more than marginally prepared for, and then I can step forward be like "Stand aside guys, I've totally got this!". Then I have my moment in the sun, and go back to being a sidekick afterwards.

Ain't nothing wrong with that. :)

I totally agree, there isn't anything at all wrong with being a specialist who occasionally steps up to shine.

However, in the example I gave above, one could simply roll the die and respond with their total. It's the aggressive insistence on taking ten due to being so awesome that turns me off.

Ok, here we go. I start the mod, during introductions with the note to the Judge that I take 10 when ever he will let me. If I'm the "scout", I just say my PCs SOP is to T10 as we move half speed, and T20 on "Points of interest" such as doorways, new rooms, dead bodies, notes on the wall, arrows with messages tied to them, etc. My Perception bonus and Sense Motive bonus is on my Table Tent. when asked what I "get for a Perception roll" I will reply, "taking 10 I have a XX". If the Judge says "no T10 on XX skill" I'll look for my dice and roll.

I have NEVER seen anyone aggressive insistence on Taking 10, when the judge allowed it. (edit for self correction - Wait, not true. Sorry - I just realized I have had one player aggressively insist that another player could not T10 on Climb. )

The only time I've seen aggressive insistence at the table, is when the judge disallows T10 for house rule reasons, often for the reasons Jiggy details above, and most often that is from the other players, not the guy trying to T10.

Sorry - hit a hot button for me.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

I failed my will save - should have done T10 ...

I saw earlier in this thread SKR being quoted to better understand the RAI. I repeat it here as my understanding of what SKR writes differs how it got interpreted earlier - and in my view this goes to the center of it

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


The purpose of Take 10 is to allow you to avoid the swinginess of the d20 roll in completing a task that should be easy for you... Take 10 means he doesn't have to worry about the randomness of rolling 1, 2, 3, or 4... The rule is there to prevent weirdness from the fact that you can roll 1 on tasks you shouldn't fail at under normal circumstances.
Sean K Reynolds wrote:


the purpose of the take10 rule is so you don't have to roll on stuff you know you'll probably auto-succeed

Bolded is done by me to highlight language I regard as important for my interpretation

I just ask - why is SKR using words like easy and probably - probably is >50% and NOT 50% - we can discuss how much >50% it has to be to be probably.

He also mentions weirdness. A roll of 8, 9 or 10 is not weirdness in my view. And he cites then a roll of 1 - well - why isn't he including higher numbers like 5+ anywhere in his post.

So here is the conflict in my view:

The designer himself says that

Sean K Reynolds wrote:


the purpose of the take10 rule is so you don't have to roll on stuff you know you'll probably auto-succeed

But take 10 mathematically results in "you don't have to roll on stuff that you'll succeed in at least 50% of cases.

So take 10 is helpful to streamline a game and to avoid failure where failure should be unlikely. But as it is Take 10 (and not take 5) this makes it mathematically a lot more powerful - especially if you combine it with metagaming.

As I said - read again what SKR is writing about RAI. My interpretation of what he writes ensures how I apply it at the table. He is nowhere using a number >5 or the words average. He instead uses words like probably, weirdness, numbers like 1 (twice), 2, 3, 4.

I regard T10 as a very useful rule. But in all my reading of designers intent I can't find any designer ever saying you should always autosucceed when you need an 8, 9 or 10.

Take as example a check where you need 2 checks in a row and combine it with what SKR writes "probably autosucceed":

Assume you need 2 checks. You have a skill of 0 with a DC of 10. T10 lets you autosucceed. But actually the math to succeed twice is only 25% - so it is unlikely not probable that you succeed.

But here comes the issue - chaining more and more checks in a row and eventually you will fail even if you only fail on a 1 (or a 1,2 etc.) This is where T10 as far as I understand RAI really shines - as that just won't happen as you avoid 'weirdness' and overule the math that eventually will mean the character will fail as too many checks would result in a T1 which more or less ensures that you always fail.

So this leave me with a dilemma for which I know no clear answer. Sparing use of T10 is very useful and I feel very comfortable with it but overuse of T10 in every possible situation in my view is more powerful as I interpret RAI (see SKR above) and I feel uncomfortable with it.

I can't remember that I ever disallowed a T10 at my table - but some of the T10 proponents here make me uncomfortable as I interpret RAI not as encompassing.

So to summarize - in my view the issue is that mathematically T10 is a lot stronger as it is intended to be by RAI.

I feel corrected about the above statement once I see some designer notes using different language - but I never saw it in all the discussions.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think you're over-weighting the use of specific numbers, Thod.

For one thing, the post where SKR mentions "1, 2, 3 or 4" - he gives those numbers not as a universal guideline, but as part of a larger example that I snipped for space. So applying those specific numbers universally is outside the scope of how he was using them.

Secondly, if the mentioned numbers were supposed to be guidelines, then the fact that he first lists 1-4 and then in the very next sentence (of the same post) turns around and mentions only rolling a 1. If the exact numbers were important, then we'd have to call that a self-contradiction.

The more reasonable interpretation is that the numbers were just succinctly-stated examples to get a point across, and he was just speaking in generalities.

I believe SKR was trying to communicate the big idea (more clear when you read the whole post, linked above), and focusing on which numbers count as "easy" is being too picky about words that were clearly meant to communicate a general idea. Just splitting hairs.

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

Jiggy

As I said - I interpret SKR differently. Just one more bit (no numbers)

SKR wrote:


over and over again without fail.

The issue is - if you autosucceed on a 10 then you won't be able to do it over and over without fail. You do it over and over and half of the time you succeed and half of the time you fail.

So with a failure of 1 you can do it over and over again without fail. I could try to do the math how often over and over again you could do and still have a 50% chance to get it done.

So the same words get interpreted by me differently.

Edit: And again I feel that mathematically T10 is stonger as the words used by SKR to explain RAI.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, one more thing Thod:

Taking 10 doesn't even have the requirement that you will succeed. You could attempt a check, take 10, and fail.

Sean K Reynolds, again:
"You take 10 when you believe an average roll will succeed; if it turns out that belief is wrong, you'll suffer the consequences."

(Emphasis his, not mine.)

Now if you can T10 when you need an 18 to pass, what's wrong with choosing to T10 when you need a 9 to pass?

And as for SKR giving numbers, right here he references "an average roll" as the threshold. So your "barely doesn't count" idea just went right out the window.

Grand Lodge ** RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Thod wrote:

Jiggy

As I said - I interpret SKR differently. Just one more bit (no numbers)

SKR wrote:


over and over again without fail.

The issue is - if you autosucceed on a 10 then you won't be able to do it over and over without fail. You do it over and over and half of the time you succeed and half of the time you fail.

So with a failure of 1 you can do it over and over again without fail. I could try to do the math how often over and over again you could do and still have a 50% chance to get it done.

So the same words get interpreted by me differently.

Edit: And again I feel that mathematically T10 is stonger as the words used by SKR to explain RAI.

Once again, read his entire posts:

The same one where he mentions numbers 1-4, he also says "A practiced climber (5 ranks in Climb) should never, ever fall when climbing a practice rock-climbing wall at a gym (DC 15) as long as he doesn't rush and isn't distracted by combat, trying to juggle, and so on."

"Never, ever". Not "should fail 1 in 4 times but when it's just one check an autosucceed is okay". No, he says "should never, ever".

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