Two 4e questions


4th Edition


1. I didn't notice anything about size restrictions when using a power to push, pull, or slide someone. Maybe I missed it or could a hafling really shove a dragon out of the way?

2. Is there a mechanical difference between a passive and an active perception check? One would think that a character that is actively seaching for something/someone would get some sort of bonus over another character that just happens to walk by...

Thanks for your help!


1. There are no size restrictions per the RAW.
2. Actively searching doesn't get a bonus per se, but the player has at least a 50% of rolling higher than 10.


Galdor the Great wrote:
1. I didn't notice anything about size restrictions when using a power to push, pull, or slide someone. Maybe I missed it or could a hafling really shove a dragon out of the way?

Nope, you didn't miss anything. There is no size restriction. But you need to understand that just because the mechanic is called "pushing" doesn't necessarily mean that the character literally shoves the target back. It makes more sense to imagine it as, for example, the halfling feinting and dodging in a manner that causes the dragon to stumble backwards off-balance.

Galdor the Great wrote:

2. Is there a mechanical difference between a passive and an active perception check? One would think that a character that is actively seaching for something/someone would get some sort of bonus over another character that just happens to walk by...

Thanks for your help!

Your passive perception score is capped at a certain value. That is to say, unless you are actively searching for something you will only find things that are hidden up to your passive score. If you actively search for something, it may take you a few tries (multiple minor actions, in this case), but eventually you will roll above a 10, meaning that your active checks are eventually better than your passive checks.


Scott Betts wrote:
Galdor the Great wrote:
1. I didn't notice anything about size restrictions when using a power to push, pull, or slide someone. Maybe I missed it or could a hafling really shove a dragon out of the way?

Nope, you didn't miss anything. There is no size restriction. But you need to understand that just because the mechanic is called "pushing" doesn't necessarily mean that the character literally shoves the target back. It makes more sense to imagine it as, for example, the halfling feinting and dodging in a manner that causes the dragon to stumble backwards off-balance.

Galdor the Great wrote:

2. Is there a mechanical difference between a passive and an active perception check? One would think that a character that is actively seaching for something/someone would get some sort of bonus over another character that just happens to walk by...

Thanks for your help!

Your passive perception score is capped at a certain value. That is to say, unless you are actively searching for something you will only find things that are hidden up to your passive score. If you actively search for something, it may take you a few tries (multiple minor actions, in this case), but eventually you will roll above a 10, meaning that your active checks are eventually better than your passive checks.

Once again Scott, you do an amazing job of helping people understand this edition more clearly. A lot of the powers are up to the DM to interpret. Sneak attacking constructs, undead, and oozes are a good example. I personally like having this type of freedom to describe how the attacks and powers work.


TGZ101 wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Galdor the Great wrote:
1. I didn't notice anything about size restrictions when using a power to push, pull, or slide someone. Maybe I missed it or could a hafling really shove a dragon out of the way?

Nope, you didn't miss anything. There is no size restriction. But you need to understand that just because the mechanic is called "pushing" doesn't necessarily mean that the character literally shoves the target back. It makes more sense to imagine it as, for example, the halfling feinting and dodging in a manner that causes the dragon to stumble backwards off-balance.

Galdor the Great wrote:

2. Is there a mechanical difference between a passive and an active perception check? One would think that a character that is actively seaching for something/someone would get some sort of bonus over another character that just happens to walk by...

Thanks for your help!

Your passive perception score is capped at a certain value. That is to say, unless you are actively searching for something you will only find things that are hidden up to your passive score. If you actively search for something, it may take you a few tries (multiple minor actions, in this case), but eventually you will roll above a 10, meaning that your active checks are eventually better than your passive checks.
Once again Scott, you do an amazing job of helping people understand this edition more clearly. A lot of the powers are up to the DM to interpret. Sneak attacking constructs, undead, and oozes are a good example. I personally like having this type of freedom to describe how the attacks and powers work.

It is nice to be able to describe the Rogue going for something other than kidneys. ;P


Scott Betts wrote:


It is nice to be able to describe the Rogue going for something other than kidneys. ;P

Dear God, that constuct has no organs, it has NO WEAKNESSES!!! Oh wait, look at that tasty knee joint. Now if I can just apply the right leverage.....*snicker snicker*


TGZ101 wrote:
Once again Scott, you do an amazing job of helping people understand this edition more clearly. A lot of the powers are up to the DM to interpret. Sneak attacking constructs, undead, and oozes are a good example. I personally like having this type of freedom to describe how the attacks and powers work.

I agree. Scott Betts is an asset to this forum.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Scott Betts wrote:


Your passive perception score is capped at a certain value. That is to say, unless you are actively searching for something you will only find things that are hidden up to your passive score. If you actively search for something, it may take you a few tries (multiple minor actions, in this case), but eventually you will roll above a 10, meaning that your active checks are eventually better than your passive checks.

So, am I alone in just putting the passive check as a floor? Basically, whenever I call for a Perception check, I tell my players to give me the higher of their roll or their passive Perception check.

(Typically, this in situations where the Passive Perception will get some, but not all info, otherwise no check is necessary).


Sebastian wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Your passive perception score is capped at a certain value. That is to say, unless you are actively searching for something you will only find things that are hidden up to your passive score. If you actively search for something, it may take you a few tries (multiple minor actions, in this case), but eventually you will roll above a 10, meaning that your active checks are eventually better than your passive checks.

So, am I alone in just putting the passive check as a floor? Basically, whenever I call for a Perception check, I tell my players to give me the higher of their roll or their passive Perception check.

(Typically, this in situations where the Passive Perception will get some, but not all info, otherwise no check is necessary).

It depends. Much of the time you shouldn't be "calling" for a Perception check. For instance, if a kobold is hiding in some rubble waiting to ambush the PCs, you wouldn't call for a Perception check from the PCs as they walk by. If one of them says "I'd like to examine that pile of rubble more closely," then would be a good time to ask for an actual roll. The rest of the time, though, you should just check the kobold's stealth check result against the PCs' passive perception.

In combat, making an active Perception check requires a minor action. If the PCs (or monsters) do not take a minor action to make such a check, they fail to notice anything hidden or out of the ordinary with a DC higher than their passive Perception score.

The Exchange

Sebastian wrote:

So, am I alone in just putting the passive check as a floor? Basically, whenever I call for a Perception check, I tell my players to give me the higher of their roll or their passive Perception check.

(Typically, this in situations where the Passive Perception will get some, but not all info, otherwise no check is necessary).

I was using passive perception/insight as a way to trigger a roll. I use it kinda like spidey sense. The PC notices something odd and I make the roll behind the screen to verify. Kinda like a crit confirm.

I may start using it your way however.


In my mind, an active perception check should never be called for. The DM utilizes the passive perception and passive insight behind the screen to determine if anything is noticed. The active check is only used when the player says I want to search that area for traps or I want to check out that pile of rocks. The passive check would have already been used for traps or the rocks but perhaps the DC wasn't beaten passively. That's when an active check would come in at the request of the players.


Vikingchris wrote:
In my mind, an active perception check should never be called for. The DM utilizes the passive perception and passive insight behind the screen to determine if anything is noticed. The active check is only used when the player says I want to search that area for traps or I want to check out that pile of rocks. The passive check would have already been used for traps or the rocks but perhaps the DC wasn't beaten passively. That's when an active check would come in at the request of the players.

Exactly.

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