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Do I tell players which knowledge skill to use when they encounter a monster?


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Just to clarify, this ISN'T me asking if I should tell players to roll knowledge checks, what I'm asking is:

If a player asks what knowledge skill to roll for a monster, do I tell them? Honestly, I can't imagine not telling them since they'd probably roll all of them (a knowledge check during combat is a free action, right?).


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Of course you're the one to tell them and you also tell them when to make a roll.


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Thanks, I also wanted to ask, it's a free action, right?


Well, why not just make a note of their various knowledge skills and associated ranks and when the time comes and they want to make such a roll for monster information, tell them they are making a knowledge check but you will check against the appropriate such skill.

I think this would be reasonable given that, for example, if you have them make a Knowledge (religion) check, it still may reveal that the creature is undead.

That said, at my table, yes, I typically just ask them to make the appropriate check as I don't think the metagaming risk is high enough to bother with. :)


Quintessentially Me wrote:
Well, why not just make a note of their various knowledge skills and associated ranks and when the time comes and they want to make such a roll for monster information, tell them they are making a knowledge check but you will check against the appropriate such skill.

That seems like an awful lot of work for relatively little benefit.

And yes, it's a free action, cmastah (unless they're using a library). See: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills/knowledge


I usually ask for a D20 roll from everyone.

Then, once I know who has a chance at knowing anything, I ask to see their character sheet at see what Knowledge the PC has.

My players never know whether I am asking for a Knowledge, Perception or whatever check. Keeps'em on their toes.

AND I don't need to have a copy of everyone's skills behind my screen. And that's not being lazy, but practical! :)

Patrick


I will usually say 'someone give me a knowledge x roll'. If they dont make it or no one has the knowledge, i trust my players enough to not overly metagame based on the suggestion, and it just saves ALOT of time if they arent sure what the creature is.


I consider knowledge checks something the character 'knows'. Not something the character has to make a guess at. With this in mind, I prefer everyone to roll the knowledge check at the start of a encounter and just get that task out of the way.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I consider it a free action, but in the strictest sense. That is, it's not an immediate action. The PC does it on their turn. Not their buddies. They use to get excited an interrupt someone elses's attack.

This is optional, but I like to communicate the information directly to the player (if they in combat) and have them explain it to the other players.. Which they can do within reason with another free action (a couple of sentences or 25 words) on that same turn. I usually set aside this technique when they're not in combat.

I only look at the role and gauge how much information I give them. Any success gets them the name, type/subtype, (and at their request) the single best defense. If they roll high and learn additional information (at their preference) I start telling them additional significant defenses, followed by noteworthy special attacks. I finish by asking if they think I was I gave them a fair answer, and we move on. It sounds like it takes a long time but we're fairly practiced at it so it goes quick.

They priority of the information is strictly my group, but it makes sense. They usually want to know about DR and SR first and work their way down from there.


I'm experimenting with the sheet with all the players' knowledge scores, telling them to roll a d20 and checking my sheet, but my first impression is that it's cumbersome.


I also only allow players to do it on their turn. If there is no reason they couldn't communicate it freely to their party members, I announce the information aloud, for ease. If there is something preventing them from communicating (such as a silence spell), then I communicate the information privately.

Andoran

I usually log what knowledge skills each player has along with bonuses, then just have them give me an unmodified d20 to see if they recognize it and like above, this only happens on their turn.


In my group, the player has to announce what knowledge skill they want to roll, without the DM telling them which one is right. Some meta-gaming is assumed, but sometimes we still choose th wrong one.


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I always have a little nagging feeling in the back of my mind with similiar situations when I have my players make Knowledge checks.

They come across something odd, and one player asks, "Do I know what it is?"

I say, "Make a Knowledge (Arcana) check," and then think to myself, I just pretty much told them it has something to do with magic. But, I go with it.

I mean, do I want to move the game along, or do I want the players guessing which Knowledge check to use for the next 15 minutes?


Kolokotroni wrote:
I will usually say 'someone give me a knowledge x roll'. If they dont make it or no one has the knowledge, I trust my players enough to not overly metagame based on the suggestion, and it just saves A LOT of time if they arent sure what the creature is.

Ditto. I don't get all worked up about possible metagaming.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
In my group, the player has to announce what knowledge skill they want to roll, without the DM telling them which one is right. Some meta-gaming is assumed, but sometimes we still choose th wrong one.

That doesn't really make any sense. The knowledge check is whether the character knows what something is. If the character should know what it is, that shouldn't be reliant on the player guessing which skill it is. And even then, why wouldn't the players just roll every one they have, since it doesn't take an action?


or worse yet.. rolling EVERY knowledge...


If a GM was really concerned about this, there's nothing that says that the GM can't roll the Knowledge checks behind the screen for the players.

Granted, you'd have to have the Knowledge values handy somewhere, and you take some dice rolling fun away from the players; but it would work that way without hinting at what they're up against.


I agree with Grick and similar-minded posters here. Generally it's trivial whether or not a player knows which knowledge skill a monster is associated with, so it's usually best to just specify which knowledge skill is appropriate. Obviously as a GM you shouldn't just announce which knowledge skill is relevant right out of the gate, but if a player specifically asks about knowledge checks and/or knowing details about the monster, go ahead and tell them which knowledge skill is relevant.

If you have players at your table who understand and are good at separating PLAYER knowledge verses CHARACTER knowledge, I find that there's no problem with being open about things like this to your players. However, if you have even ONE player at your table who takes advantage of everything he knows, even if his CHARACTER has no clue (a.k.a. METAGAMING), that's when you have to be careful about this sort of thing.


cmastah wrote:

Just to clarify, this ISN'T me asking if I should tell players to roll knowledge checks, what I'm asking is:

If a player asks what knowledge skill to roll for a monster, do I tell them? Honestly, I can't imagine not telling them since they'd probably roll all of them (a knowledge check during combat is a free action, right?).

The character should know when they know something, so you should tell both when and which knowledge skill to use to the players, who themselves might not know all the character knows, or when to use what knowledge skill.

As a GM I also often roll in secret for my players when a situation they are in might have details about it, that they may or may not know due to their knowledge skills, but i don't want them to realize when there is something.
For (a blunt) example they are trying to destroy a magical item by force, but doing so would cause it to explode violently, i roll knowledge arcane for any character, who has the skill and does not think of rolling it themselves, in secret. If the check succeeds i give them the information, if it doesn't they won't know that they just failed a knowledge check, and thus don't know they are about to make a mistake.

I go the same way about skills like perception, sense motive, spellcraft and even craft and profession skills.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
In my group, the player has to announce what knowledge skill they want to roll, without the DM telling them which one is right. Some meta-gaming is assumed, but sometimes we still choose th wrong one.

Has your GM ever looked at a piece of furniture and said "Hmm I wonder if that's a car? I know a lot about cars let me think does that match any cars I know...Nope, don't think it's a car. Well I am a carpenter, so it might be a desk... Oh yeah it is a desks."

That's not really now it works.

Cheliax

"Hmmm...I am going to choose which portion of my brain to use. Oh man, I guessed wrong and thought that math was eggs."

That is basically making your players guess which knowledge check to use.

Also, hi5 to Jodokai.


Jodokai wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
In my group, the player has to announce what knowledge skill they want to roll, without the DM telling them which one is right. Some meta-gaming is assumed, but sometimes we still choose th wrong one.

Has your GM ever looked at a piece of furniture and said "Hmm I wonder if that's a car? I know a lot about cars let me think does that match any cars I know...Nope, don't think it's a car. Well I am a carpenter, so it might be a desk... Oh yeah it is a desks."

That's not really now it works.

Exactly. A character missing something he potentially knows because the player doesn't know the game well enough is just not the way this should work.


Knowledge rolls are not a free action, they are not an action at all. So, you shouldn't have to wait until your turn - as soon as a character sees the monster, they can immediately roll a knowledge check (regardless of whose turn it is.)

Quote:
Action: Usually none. In most cases, a Knowledge check doesn't take an action (but see “Untrained,” below).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I get a "What do I know about this?" question, I have the player roll once per turn for all of their knowledge skills-- add the modifier for each of their knowledge skills to the same die roll.

So, a PC with a +6 in Know(Dungeoneering), +12 in Know(Religion), and +3 on Know(Nature) would roll once (let's say it's a 10), and would say:

"I got a 16 in Dungeoneering, 22 in Religion, and 13 on Nature. What do I know?"

Downside: it's cumbersome for scholar-type PCs that have ranks in a lot of knowledge skills.

If time is a factor, I'll just say, "Make a Know(Religion)" (or whatever) check.


Sinatar wrote:
However, if you have even ONE player at your table who takes advantage of everything he knows, even if his CHARACTER has no clue (a.k.a. METAGAMING), that's when you have to find a replacement player.

Fixed that for you. :)


Rudy2 wrote:
Sinatar wrote:
However, if you have even ONE player at your table who takes advantage of everything he knows, even if his CHARACTER has no clue (a.k.a. METAGAMING), that's when you have to find a replacement player.
Fixed that for you. :)

I do my best not to take advantage of metagame knowledge, but I still prefer not to be handed it. I can think like my character better the closer my relevant knowledge is to his.

That may not be too large a factor in monster id knowledge checks, but it does come up in many of the other GM asks for a roll and you all fail so you don't know what you missed cases. Now I pretty much have to not look any further into the situation to avoid metagaming, when without that input I might have decided to search the room anyway, for example.
I have to metagame to avoid metagaming. There's no way to completely ignore the information you're given.


Haladir wrote:

If I get a "What do I know about this?" question, I have the player roll once per turn for all of their knowledge skills-- add the modifier for each of their knowledge skills to the same die roll.

So, a PC with a +6 in Know(Dungeoneering), +12 in Know(Religion), and +3 on Know(Nature) would roll once (let's say it's a 10), and would say:

"I got a 16 in Dungeoneering, 22 in Religion, and 13 on Nature. What do I know?"

Downside: it's cumbersome for scholar-type PCs that have ranks in a lot of knowledge skills.

If time is a factor, I'll just say, "Make a Know(Religion)" (or whatever) check.

Is this what you do for characters assessing monsters in combat, or just in general for knowledge checks outside of combat?

Because when it comes to identifying creatures in combat... this is COMPLETELY different than the actual rules (which is fine if this is just how you like to do it - I'm just curious).

Normally a creature is only associated with 1 knowledge type, each trained character gets only 1 check, and a successful check nets a bit of useful information + 1 additional piece of info per 5 above the DC. (I find that the RAW method works well)

EDIT:

Rudy2 wrote:
Fixed that for you. :)

That works too. :p


Sinatar wrote:
Haladir wrote:

If I get a "What do I know about this?" question, I have the player roll once per turn for all of their knowledge skills-- add the modifier for each of their knowledge skills to the same die roll.

So, a PC with a +6 in Know(Dungeoneering), +12 in Know(Religion), and +3 on Know(Nature) would roll once (let's say it's a 10), and would say:

"I got a 16 in Dungeoneering, 22 in Religion, and 13 on Nature. What do I know?"

Downside: it's cumbersome for scholar-type PCs that have ranks in a lot of knowledge skills.

If time is a factor, I'll just say, "Make a Know(Religion)" (or whatever) check.

Is this what you do for characters assessing monsters in combat, or just in general for knowledge checks outside of combat?

Because when it comes to identifying creatures in combat... this is COMPLETELY different than the actual rules (which is fine if this is just how you like to do it - I'm just curious).

Normally a creature is only associated with 1 knowledge type, each trained character gets only 1 check, and a successful check nets a bit of useful information + 1 additional piece of info per 5 above the DC. (I find that the RAW method works well)

I think, though I'm not sure, that he's making them all roll because they don't know which is relevant and them only gives the info for the relevant skill. Which sounds cumbersome.


I usually just hand them my notes on the dungeon and monsters I've created, stat blocks et al, and then go make a sandwich while they solo-gm themselves through the encounter.

...

Seriously though, I haven't met a metagamer yet. I have 2 gaming groups: one's a bunch of board gamers who enjoy being tested in megadungeons as a tactical, wargaming simulation, the other is hardcore RPGers who think that being in character is so essential that even the word metagaming is blasphemy. This second group has even asked me to give them LESS detail when I answer a question so that I don't accidentally give them knowledge their PC's wouldn't have.


thejeff wrote:
I do my best not to take advantage of metagame knowledge, but I still prefer not to be handed it. I can think like my character better the closer my relevant knowledge is to his.

Definitely. GMs should never spill the beans too much or it will just spoil the game, even if you have good players who keep player and character knowledge separate. Genuinely not knowing the same things your character doesn't know and being genuinely surprised at the things your character goes through keeps the game feeling alive. Monotony, cliche progression, and already knowing what's going to happen to your character can all make the game boring very quickly. There will always be metagame bits in the back of your head, like "I know this dragon is immune to fire, even though my character doesn't realize it..." And that's fine (it's gonna happen) as long as it STAYS in the back of your head. Having bits of player knowledge with an oblivious character is fine (and unavoidable) as long as there's still a sense of suspense and uncertainty in the game (i.e. you might know that the dragon is resistant to fire, but that doesn't necessarily mean you can easily beat it).


I don't have any metagamers in my group anymore, now that the remaining players (I kicked out the ones that argued rules, refused to pay attention or stay in character, and other crap behaviors) have gotten over the idea they used to have that you had to know about a critter in order to fight it with any chance of winning, which drove them to skip the part of playing in character where the guy that actually knows about the creature encountered starts speaking bits of advice to the other characters.

At the same time, however, my group has a lot more fun playing DCC when it comes to monster knowledge because the only check they have to make is "Is this something my character has personally seen before?" as there is no such thing as general knowledge of monsters for setting and style based reasons.

The question becomes "Can I tell what that thing just did?!" rather than "what do I know about these from all of that reading about, but never actually seeing, this thing before?"

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

RumpinRufus wrote:

Knowledge rolls are not a free action, they are not an action at all. So, you shouldn't have to wait until your turn - as soon as a character sees the monster, they can immediately roll a knowledge check (regardless of whose turn it is.)

Quote:
Action: Usually none. In most cases, a Knowledge check doesn't take an action (but see “Untrained,” below).

Yep, and I don't much care. I really don't. :)

Here's why:

Since, in combat, I make them communicate the information themselves, and that DOES require a free action, they might as well wait until their turn. That way they don't interrupt another player, or distract me from adjudicating the turn of another player who patiently waited their turn in initiative. I don't need four people yammering at me at once. GMing is complicated and we have enough stuff happening at once.

If it's not combat, and they want me to share the information with the whole party, I am happy to oblige. I differentiate combat from non-stress situations.

Once upon a time I experimented with making them declare which Knowledge skill to use, but after some discussion with the group I discontinued it. That did seem too cumbersome and punitive. They know what they know, they shouldn't have to declare what they know. Yeah, they might be able to guess a type from the Knowledge skill required, but I don't mind. It's never hurt the game any. But if another GM feels differently, I don't mind-that's their call.


As a player I usually announce a check, roll, and then give the numbers. I tend to make monster ID generalists so that could be one number for all knowledges, or one number unless this situational bonus applies, or one number unless it's one of the knowledges someone else is taking care of anyways for character reasons.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Actually, the rules on speaking in combat say that even though it's a free action, you can still do it when it's not your turn.

The way I see it, even if my character isn't trained in some Knowledge skill, he should have enough adventuring experience to tell the difference between animals, monstrous humanoids, undead, demons, etc. I could see some edge cases that would be iffy (such as distinguishing between regular animals and magical beasts, or identifying a vampire as undead rather than a monstrous humanoid), and in those cases I'd probably ask for multiple checks at the same time, and secretly choose the real one.


Jim Groves wrote:
Since, in combat, I make them communicate the information themselves, and that DOES require a free action, they might as well wait until their turn.

While that certainly helps keep a civil table, it does hurt the characters a little. If Ezren realizes that cutting that pudding is a really bad idea, he could shout (free action out of turn) "Hey, don't cut that thing!" which might change Valeros' mind about swinging his sword.

I do run it the same as you, though, and I justify it by assuming that it may take a brief moment to see the thing, remember stuff about it, then formulate that into words. ("Pudding, bad sword, more!") Or the character who won init has already committed to doing whatever and doesn't process what everyone is yelling about until it's too late. ("Why is Ezren so hungry? He can wait until I'm done killing this thing.")

Not RAW, but it seems to be more fun that way. And some day, somebody is going to cut the pudding. And it'll be glorious!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

I hear ya Grick. I think if it was going to kill a character or really hurt the fun, i'd probably bend.

For me it's mostly about civility and not short changing another player who deserves my attention.


Grick wrote:
I do run it the same as you, though, and I justify it by assuming that it may take a brief moment to see the thing, remember stuff about it, then formulate that into words.

I do the same, mostly because I have seen dozens and dozens of those moments in real life - I am watching as someone starts to do something really "stupid" and all I can get out of my mouth before they have already done it is a strange sound like "weh!" or their name, which does nothing but have them turn and say "what?" rather than be able to properly perceive and deal with the consequences of their action.


Here's another justification for letting my players know what knowledge check they should use (this is my opinion for my games, but here you go):

GM: make a knowledge: religion check

Player 1, ribbing the cleric: I betcha its undead then!

Cleric: well he just got done saying "the carcass convulses, then sheds its flesh as it rises from putrid decay." It MIGHT be a fungal effect, but probably not.

I figure even at 1st level an ooze looks like an ooze, a dragon looks like a dragon and a skeleton looks like a skeleton. The knowledge checks come in where you're trying to determine specifics like "do the electric blue scales and lightning coming out its face MEAN anything different on this dragon?"

EDIT: unless its a weird one-off like a necrophidius that LOOKS like one type but really its another


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Jodokai wrote:


Has your GM ever looked at a piece of furniture and said "Hmm I wonder if that's a car? I know a lot about cars let me think does that match any cars I know...Nope, don't think it's a car. Well I am a carpenter, so it might be a desk... Oh yeah it is a desks."

That's not really now it works.

That's also not as funny/unlikely as you think, I told my players to roll a knowledge local check to identify a tiefling (which as far as they should've been able to tell was some form of demon) and got one of the players complaining about how many different knowledge checks there are (as far as this group is concerned, MOST skill checks are as good as there to take up space, they BARELY (if ever) put points in knowledge skills (they don't take advantage of enemies who have low will saves for example, they can easily be masters at combat if they were ready to understand the enemy and adapt, but this eventually turns into a tank and spank with them)). I did make the point as well that a guy who studies architecture isn't going to suddenly have information on programming as well.

As for what you said about 'Has your GM ever looked at a piece of furniture and said "Hmm I wonder if that's a car?', well why not? That's actually a good idea to get the party chasing after the wrong enemy by having some of their OTHER enemies claim to be part of that group, for instance a group of urdhefan masquerade as undead and claim to belong to a vampire faction that live nearby to send adventurers barking up the wrong (and dangerous) tree. If I tell my players to roll knowledge planes they'll know something's up.

There ARE a good number of knowledge skills that match different areas (for which if you know one, it doesn't mean you'd be an expert at another) and I'm happy for that but if it was up to my players there'd probably only be about 3 knowledge skills. My players don't metagame intentionally, they just go into 'tactics mode' when combat starts (and they also suck at it) and try to make best use of what they know (which again, they're not that good at).

Thanks guys for your help, I think I may write down merely which knowledge skill each player is trained in. I actually have been planning on using a system of cards to write down the name of each player and vital stats (perception, will, fortitude, 10+HD+wis, few others) so I can then prop them up in initiative order when combat starts for all to see rather than call out to who's next.

I do have another question though, if a person is told about a specific creature (like VERY specifically, vampire, or hobgoblin), can he roll a knowledge check without having met it? What if he's told about a vague creature (something that drinks blood, has power over fire, etc.) that the guy repeating this info himself doesn't even know.

Silver Crusade

The knowledge checks under discussion represent whether or not a character recognises what this creature is, and what it can do. Whatever rules we use should replicate that.

Players shouldn't need to ask to make a skill roll, nor should they have to guess which skill to use. Beastie appears-->character either recognises it or doesn't.


Jim Groves wrote:
Since, in combat, I make them communicate the information themselves, and that DOES require a free action, they might as well wait until their turn. That way they don't interrupt another player, or distract me from adjudicating the turn of another player who patiently waited their turn in initiative. I don't need four people yammering at me at once. GMing is complicated and we have enough stuff happening at once.

It's been said, but "In general, speaking is a free action that you can perform even when it isn't your turn." Personally I think it unfairly short-changes characters who have invested in knowledge ranks to make them wait before they can warn the party, because by the time they've gone the party could already have expended resources, made a tactical blunder, or walked into a trap, diminishing the value of having the knowledge skill at all.

That said, obviously you should run the game as you like while you're GMing. I don't know the dynamics of how your players deal with combat, but in my games knowledge checks are generally made simultaneously with initiative rolls. It's something that happens before combat even starts, as an extension of "You see an [X]", so it doesn't distract from another player's turn because initiative hasn't even started yet.


The logic here is that if the player has the right knowledge skill ranked up, they would know if that skill applied. So what I do is tell them if they have the skill reasonably well ranked.

If nobody in the party has the proper knowledge skill, they don't know anything about it, including what knowledge skill would apply.

There are obvious exceptions, if they are outside in a forest and the situation is entirely natural involving terrain, animals and/or plants, that's clearly a "nature" roll.

But if it's some complex subject like engineering, it is likely nobody would even know it's an engineering check.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Actually, the rules on speaking in combat say that even though it's a free action, you can still do it when it's not your turn.

That is for speaking only. The other example free actions require you to act on your turn. i.e. dropping a weapon.

But the point is moot, because I'm not changing. :D

I run the game, not the book.


Mark Hoover wrote:

Here's another justification for letting my players know what knowledge check they should use (this is my opinion for my games, but here you go):

GM: make a knowledge: religion check

Player 1, ribbing the cleric: I betcha its undead then!

Cleric: well he just got done saying "the carcass convulses, then sheds its flesh as it rises from putrid decay." It MIGHT be a fungal effect, but probably not.

I figure even at 1st level an ooze looks like an ooze, a dragon looks like a dragon and a skeleton looks like a skeleton. The knowledge checks come in where you're trying to determine specifics like "do the electric blue scales and lightning coming out its face MEAN anything different on this dragon?"

EDIT: unless its a weird one-off like a necrophidius that LOOKS like one type but really its another

I think the beasts/magical beasts is probably the most commonly confused area.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Jim Groves wrote:
For me it's mostly about civility and not short changing another player who deserves my attention.

Pfft, that's a ridiculous sentiment.

;)

Shadow Lodge

You should be able to do it when its not your turn. I mean you can talk out of turn but not think out of turn? What would that sound like?

"Look out for that tentacle its a .....well I'll know what it is in a second! "

If its pretty obvious that the creature falls into a certain category let them roll (its a giant. Roll knowledge local) If the creature's appearance is misleading (ie a bone golem and not a skeleton) have them roll a d20 and then look at their character sheet.

"Nat 20!"

"You have no idea what that is mr cleric"

"..... oh hell..."

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

RumpinRufus wrote:
That said, obviously you should run the game as you like while you're GMing. I don't know the dynamics of how your players deal with combat, but in my games knowledge checks are generally made simultaneously with initiative rolls. It's something that happens before combat even starts, as an extension of "You see an [X]", so it doesn't distract from another player's turn because initiative hasn't even started yet.

I'll certainly think about that. I don't see the problem with that.

As for dynamics, this might explain it. I generally don't bring the matter up. The players do. A player asks if they can make a Knowledge roll, I say "Sure, can we wait till your round? Then I'll get right to it." And I do it at the beginning of their turn so they can act on the information they learn. I'm not a prick. Heh.

If they were to say, "Hey, since we're rolling initiative, can I get my Knowledge roll out of the way now?" I'd probably say, "Sure, good idea. Make a Knowledge X roll."

Again, a little less about meta-gaming and more about not having to multi-task during someone else's turn.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Going back from the "when" to the "which", the only thing that makes in-character sense is for the player to roll the correct knowledge check, even if the GM has to tell them which one that is. As has been brought up by others, the PC does not look at a monster and think "Oooh, I'd like to know what it's capable of. I'll choose a category of things I know and see if I can think of anything in that category that looks like that monster, but I'll completely ignore any thoughts from any other category."

The character's thoughts are either "WTF is that?" or "That's a [whatever]!" The role of the knowledge skill is just to determine which of those two thoughts the PC is having, and only the "correct" knowledge skill actually accomplishes that end.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

If its pretty obvious that the creature falls into a certain category let them roll (its a giant. Roll knowledge local) If the creature's appearance is misleading (ie a bone golem and not a skeleton) have them roll a d20 and then look at their character sheet.

"Nat 20!"

"You have no idea what that is mr cleric"

"..... oh hell..."

In that case, specifically if the Cleric rolled high enough that he *would* have identified it had it been undead, then I believe I would tell them that they know it's *not* an undead creature. The justification being that if you know enough about a subject, you're able to recognize when creatures are not part of that subject.

I would not, of course, tell him more than that.

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