# Taking 10 Takes 10 Times As Long, Right?

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That's what my GM vehemently argues. He would be persuaded to say "Taking 10 takes only as long as a normal action" if there were official clarification on this.

Where can I find such a thing?

EDIT: Please post your supporting arguments on my RPG.net post. My GM reads RPG.net's board far more than this Pathfinder board.

Endarire wrote:

That's what my GM vehemently argues. He would be persuaded to say "Taking 10 takes only as long as a normal action" if there were official clarification on this.

Where can I find such a thing?

no, taking 10 takes normal time, taking 20 however takes 20 times as long

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/skills

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.
Taking 20

When you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, if you a d20 roll enough times, eventually you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).

No, taking 10 does not take 10 times as long.

Taking 20 takes 20 times as long because you're effectively making the check 20 times.

There's no clarification on this issue because there's no rules ambiguity about it. An action takes as long as it says it takes. If you take 20, it takes 20 times as long, because you're doing it 20 times. End of story.

I've repeatedly referenced this page to no avail. He assumes since taking 20 takes 20 times as long, then taking 10 takes 10 times as long.

I need official clarification for this situation to change. A possibility is that an author says, "Taking 10 requires only as much time as rolling once."

Endarire wrote:

I've repeatedly referenced this page to no avail. He assumes since taking 20 takes 20 times as long, then taking 10 takes 10 times as long.

I need official clarification for this situation to change. A possibility is that an author says, "Taking 10 requires only as much time as rolling once."

That... sucks I guess? Problem with your DM trying to make things harder than they need to be by the sound of it.

Send him our way we will fix him up right :D

Endarire wrote:

I've repeatedly referenced this page to no avail. He assumes since taking 20 takes 20 times as long, then taking 10 takes 10 times as long.

I need official clarification for this situation to change. A possibility is that an author says, "Taking 10 requires only as much time as rolling once."

thats probably not gonna happen. Best logic is pointing out only the 1st paragraph

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 say it DOES take any longer. Its ONLY taking 20 that says it takes longer. taking 10 just stipulates you cant be in danger or distracted.

I think d20 modern mentioned how IRL we would be taking 10 on most everyday tasks, like hopping onto the curb when crossing the street, or working.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Taking 20 specifically states that it takes 20 times as long. Taking 10 does not. Taking 10 is also listed before taking 20. Why would they not bother to mention a detail like that the first time it is important? It doesn't make sense that nothing in the description for taking 10 would say it takes 10 times as long, and then have the taking 20 description say "oh by the way taking 10 takes longer to, forgot to mention lol".

Endarire wrote:

I've repeatedly referenced this page to no avail. He assumes since taking 20 takes 20 times as long, then taking 10 takes 10 times as long.

I need official clarification for this situation to change. A possibility is that an author says, "Taking 10 requires only as much time as rolling once."

Perhaps point out the logic behind it?

When taking 20 you are guaranteeing yourself a super result by carefully and painstakingly covering all the bases - so it takes longer.

Taking 10 is just doing an average job - not pushing any envelopes to obtain a fantastic result, but not risking any unmitigated disaster either. Why should it take ten times as long to get an average result?

If he wants something in the rules, you might argue that (on page 86) the rules refer to skill checks taking a particular length of time and then explicitly spell out that if you take 20 it takes 20 times as long. You might then point out that there is no stipulation that the skill check takes a different time when taking 10.

also that would make the Rogue ability skill mastery useless for alot of skills.

"I take 10 on my acrobatics check to tumble" = slowest cartwheel ever :P
"I take 10 on my sense motive check" = lemme ponder that for a while
"I take 10 on my bluff check to feint" = rediculous

My main contention with his ruling is with manifester level checks with the Psionic Mastery feat (Complete Psionic 59).

"You can take 10 on manifester level checks (as if the manifester level check were a skill check)."

While this above text doesn't specifically mention I can use this under duress, the GM has allowed me to do so. (Complete Arcane's Arcane Mastery functions the same way for arcane caster level checks, and was errataed to allow use under duress.)

EDIT: I like these arguments. Thank you, but please post them on my RPG.net post.

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MaxAstro wrote:
Taking 20 specifically states that it takes 20 times as long. Taking 10 does not. Taking 10 is also listed before taking 20. Why would they not bother to mention a detail like that the first time it is important? It doesn't make sense that nothing in the description for taking 10 would say it takes 10 times as long, and then have the taking 20 description say "oh by the way taking 10 takes longer to, forgot to mention lol".

Exactly.

Endarire wrote:
EDIT: I like these arguments. Thank you, but please post them on my RPG.net post.

Why can't you "redirect" your GM here? Or print out the posts on this thread?

Anyway, now that SKR has commented on this, it's "official".

"Taking 10 Takes 10 Times As Long"
That.. that's just silly.

The point of the "taking 20 takes forever" is that you are expected to succeed. Taking 10 means you will probably succeed and there is nothing hampering you from doing so so let's not waste our time throwing dice.

Endarire wrote:
EDIT: I like these arguments. Thank you, but please post them on my RPG.net post.

Not everyone has RPG.net logins, and many may be unlikely to make them just for one post. A lot of Paizo-posters come here exclusively, because they don't like the "tone" of other boards.

HTH,

Rez "don't have and don't want an RPG.net login"

P.S. Ooooooo ... Ninja'd by Asgetrion.

Now that we have an official word on this issue, there is little to add, but I'd like to point this out:

Your DM's argument is very much like this:

Fireballs are hot. They do fire damage and can ignite combustibles. The Rulebook says so. Lightning Bolts are like fireballs. They can also ignite combustibles, so they must be hot, even though they don't really say they do heat damage, so we should treat them as if they were heat damage. Maybe make fire elementals and red dragons immune to Lightning Bolt spells, etc.

There would really be no justification to giving fire-immune creatures immunity to Lightning Bolts, and it would also drastically reduce the power of the spell.

Just because the two spells have some commonality doesn't mean they are alike in every way.

Likewise, there is no justification for making Take-10 require extra time, and it drastically limits the usefulness of the option. The commonality between these two options does not mean that they must be alike in every way.

It should also be noted that the reason taking 20 takes 20 times as long is that your character is actually doing the check 20 times. They start at a result of "1" on the die and go up by 1 every attempt until it hits 20. This is why you can't take 20 when failure has negative consequences.

Taking 10, on the other hand, is only one check. You do not make this check multiple times, you immediately land on 10. As stated earlier, this is purely an out-of-combat time-saving measure, and most people are taking 10 on nearly everything they do.

Sean, thank you for your official clarification! May I get a post of your saying, "Taking 10 requires only as much time as making one check" so I may screenshot this, print it out, show it to my GM, and hug you (that is you, Sean) for it?

Endarire wrote:
Sean, thank you for your official clarification! May I get a post of your saying, "Taking 10 requires only as much time as making one check" so I may screenshot this, print it out, show it to my GM, and hug you (that is you, Sean) for it?

Hehehe, good luck with that. I do hope you get it though. Even I would print it.

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Taking 10 requires only as much time as making one check.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Taking 10 requires only as much time as making one check.

Feeling generous today aren't we? heheheh, good one.

You got it buddy! Show it to your DM!

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Taking 10 requires only as much time as making one check.

You, sir, are an awesome person.

Though, TBH it's kind-of sad how closed-minded some DMs are about their rulings. It's one thing to rule something to keep a game going until clarification can be had, it's quite another to disregard that clarification for no evident reason other than accepting it would mean you were wrong. If they have a game-styling reason to deny it or a story reason to deny it then it's fair game, but there should be a reason.

@Endarire: If they don't take the above quote as proof, back-hand them for me, would ya? ;)

There should be a rpg equivalent of Dreidgers modern rule for situations like this. Read the rules in the spirit intended and in the context of the rest of the rules.

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Thank you, Sean! Here! <glomp!>

If only SKR's quote were in the errata, then fewer people would misinterpret it.

Quickly, to the erratamobile!

StabbittyDoom wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Taking 10 requires only as much time as making one check.

You, sir, are an awesome person.

Though, TBH it's kind-of sad how closed-minded some DMs are about their rulings. It's one thing to rule something to keep a game going until clarification can be had, it's quite another to disregard that clarification for no evident reason other than accepting it would mean you were wrong. If they have a game-styling reason to deny it or a story reason to deny it then it's fair game, but there should be a reason.

@Endarire: If they don't take the above quote as proof, back-hand them for me, would ya? ;)

agreed, a DM I play with likes to use this always fail on a roll of 1 and always roll checks rule, doesnt really bother me.. much, heck he is DM I'll let him have his fun when my awesomely dexterious and skilled rogue slips and falls while running over the top of a wall of stone even though I only needed a roll of 3 to succeed *grumble* afterall he spends a few hours preparing to supply us with a fun game.

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Remco Sommeling wrote:
agreed, a DM I play with likes to use this always fail on a roll of 1 and always roll checks rule, doesnt really bother me.. much, heck he is DM I'll let him have his fun when my awesomely dexterious and skilled rogue slips and falls while running over the top of a wall of stone even though I only needed a roll of 3 to succeed *grumble* afterall he spends a few hours preparing to supply us with a fun game.

So, 1 out of every 20 times, you fail to...

... tie your shoes (Disable Device)
... climb the stairs (Climb)
... make a paper airplane (Craft)
... draw a line on a piece of paper (Perform)
... sing "Mary had a little lamb" (Perform)
... pet your cat or dog (Handle Animal)
... apply a Band-Aid bandage (Heal)
... remember what country you live in (Knowledge)
... remember what deity Christians worship (Knowledge)
... resist the lies of advertising (Sense Motive)
... follow a painted line on the sidewalk (Survival)
... move in a calm swimming pool (Swim)

Strange world your GM lives in. ;)

 Former VP of Finance

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So, 1 out of every 20 times, you fail to...

... tie your shoes (Disable Device)
... climb the stairs (Climb)
... make a paper airplane (Craft)
... draw a line on a piece of paper (Perform)
... sing "Mary had a little lamb" (Perform)
... pet your cat or dog (Handle Animal)
... apply a Band-Aid bandage (Heal)
... remember what country you live in (Knowledge)
... remember what deity Christians worship (Knowledge)
... resist the lies of advertising (Sense Motive)
... follow a painted line on the sidewalk (Survival)
... move in a calm swimming pool (Swim)

Strange world your GM lives in. ;)

1 out of 20 is a bit too often, but I can *definitely* think of times I have failed every single one of those checks. Ok, maybe not the Christians and what country you live in, but every single one of the others, certainly. =)

Chris Self wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So, 1 out of every 20 times, you fail to...

... tie your shoes (Disable Device)
... climb the stairs (Climb)
... make a paper airplane (Craft)
... draw a line on a piece of paper (Perform)
... sing "Mary had a little lamb" (Perform)
... pet your cat or dog (Handle Animal)
... apply a Band-Aid bandage (Heal)
... remember what country you live in (Knowledge)
... remember what deity Christians worship (Knowledge)
... resist the lies of advertising (Sense Motive)
... follow a painted line on the sidewalk (Survival)
... move in a calm swimming pool (Swim)

Strange world your GM lives in. ;)

1 out of 20 is a bit too often, but I can *definitely* think of times I have failed every single one of those checks. Ok, maybe not the Christians and what country you live in, but every single one of the others, certainly. =)

That just means your were distracted and couldn't take a 10....

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Remco Sommeling wrote:
agreed, a DM I play with likes to use this always fail on a roll of 1 and always roll checks rule, doesnt really bother me.. much, heck he is DM I'll let him have his fun when my awesomely dexterious and skilled rogue slips and falls while running over the top of a wall of stone even though I only needed a roll of 3 to succeed *grumble* afterall he spends a few hours preparing to supply us with a fun game.

So, 1 out of every 20 times, you fail to...

... tie your shoes (Disable Device)
... climb the stairs (Climb)
... make a paper airplane (Craft)
... draw a line on a piece of paper (Perform)
... sing "Mary had a little lamb" (Perform)
... pet your cat or dog (Handle Animal)
... apply a Band-Aid bandage (Heal)
... remember what country you live in (Knowledge)
... remember what deity Christians worship (Knowledge)
... resist the lies of advertising (Sense Motive)
... follow a painted line on the sidewalk (Survival)
... move in a calm swimming pool (Swim)

Strange world your GM lives in. ;)

I use velcro shoes because I got tired of failing to tie them. Elevators. I love elevators. I would say that at least one out of twenty paper airplanes I make fly backwards and crash at my feet. Straight line? Not a chance. I cannot say for sure that I remember the words to Mary had a Little Lamb. Sometimes my dog bites me when I pet him. I just bought 9 Sham Wows. I know for a fact there are some Friday nights that I can't even find the sidewalk. There was at least one swimming pool incident in which I nearly drowned and ended up needing CPR to save me.

But yeah, the rest of that stuff I can do.

;)

What's the verdict on always taking 10?

Can you take 10 on any Acrobatics check, as long as you aren't in combat and aren't distracted? Does this mean any character with a 10 Dex and no armor check penalty can take 10 and perform a running long jump of 10 feet?

What about a sailor navigating rough seas? As long as he's not distracted and not in combat, can he take 10 to navigate the storm?

What about someone making a weekly check for the income of their Profession? That's always Take 10-able too?

I *think* RAW, these all can be take 10s...

wakedown wrote:

What's the verdict on always taking 10?

Can you take 10 on any Acrobatics check, as long as you aren't in combat and aren't distracted? Does this mean any character with a 10 Dex and no armor check penalty can take 10 and perform a running long jump of 10 feet?

What about a sailor navigating rough seas? As long as he's not distracted and not in combat, can he take 10 to navigate the storm?

What about someone making a weekly check for the income of their Profession? That's always Take 10-able too?

I *think* RAW, these all can be take 10s...

Yes, no, and yes, in order.

No for the storm because a storm is definitely a distraction.

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wakedown wrote:
Can you take 10 on any Acrobatics check, as long as you aren't in combat and aren't distracted? Does this mean any character with a 10 Dex and no armor check penalty can take 10 and perform a running long jump of 10 feet?

I hope so, considering that I can routinely do a standing broad jump (i.e., not running) of at least 6 feet. (Which, in fact, is why the default jump values were what they were in 3E, because I demonstrated that a 6ft. tall guy who's not particularly athletic can standing jump 6 ft. every time... the original distances they estimated were a little low.)

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
wakedown wrote:
Can you take 10 on any Acrobatics check, as long as you aren't in combat and aren't distracted? Does this mean any character with a 10 Dex and no armor check penalty can take 10 and perform a running long jump of 10 feet?
I hope so, considering that I can routinely do a standing broad jump (i.e., not running) of at least 6 feet. (Which, in fact, is why the default jump values were what they were in 3E, because I demonstrated that a 6ft. tall guy who's not particularly athletic can standing jump 6 ft. every time... the original distances they estimated were a little low.)

That's a really interesting fun fact mate.

Hmm - this discussion got the creative juices flowing. As an optional rule: skill fumbles (natural 1) and criticals (natural 20) can occur, but only when the skill check occurs under stress/distraction and with a consequence for failure. With the adrenaline pumping, you can easily screw things up royally, or perform miracles.

A natural 1 results in a spectacular failure, say rolling a 1 while disarming a trap results in the trap going off and the would be trap-springer receiving extra damage or no saving throw. A natural 20 would be a spectacular success - the trap is disarmed as a move action or being able to safely obtain useful items from the trap (free poison!).

My players wouldn't go for it, but maybe someone else's would...

 RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So, 1 out of every 20 times, you fail to...[snip]

Strange world your GM lives in. ;)

Imagine if you failed to drive 1 out of 20 times. Every 2 minutes on the road, you'd get in an accident... and that's assuming that the other driver next to you doesn't roll a 1 on his check and run into you before you fail one yourself. That would get expensive.

EDIT: Also imagine if parachute packers failed 1 out of 20 times.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So, 1 out of every 20 times, you fail to...

... tie your shoes (Disable Device)
... climb the stairs (Climb)
... make a paper airplane (Craft)
... draw a line on a piece of paper (Perform)
... sing "Mary had a little lamb" (Perform)
... pet your cat or dog (Handle Animal)
... apply a Band-Aid bandage (Heal)
... remember what country you live in (Knowledge)
... remember what deity Christians worship (Knowledge)
... resist the lies of advertising (Sense Motive)
... follow a painted line on the sidewalk (Survival)
... move in a calm swimming pool (Swim)

Strange world your GM lives in. ;)

You would consider these skill checks?

You would make PCs roll for such common knowledge and activities - would these all be functions of skill checks using the DC system? LOL

This is absurd, a 1 should have resulted in a fail in all instances when a check is called for.
Called for, not for DM abuse.

It's too bad the d20 was chosen to make all skill checks in 3.0+ instead of d100, could have made that failure rate less than a 5% - but there should have always been a chance to fail an actual skill check.

Nothing you listed comes close to a skill check or an applicable use of the skill check/DC system.

edit:[Puts on fire resistant suit]

Auxmaulous wrote:
Nothing you listed comes close to a skill check or an applicable use of the skill check/DC system.

There's a reason skill DCs can go to 0 or lower y'know...

Auxmaulous wrote:

Nothing you listed comes close to a skill check or an applicable use of the skill check/DC system.

edit:[Puts on fire resistant suit]

You're a red dragon for pity's sake. Man up! (or Dragon up!). Why on the Gods' Green Goarion do you need a fire-resistant suit?

Auxmaulous wrote:
Sean K Reynolds wrote:

So, 1 out of every 20 times, you fail to...

... tie your shoes (Disable Device)
... climb the stairs (Climb)
... make a paper airplane (Craft)
... draw a line on a piece of paper (Perform)
... sing "Mary had a little lamb" (Perform)
... pet your cat or dog (Handle Animal)
... apply a Band-Aid bandage (Heal)
... remember what country you live in (Knowledge)
... remember what deity Christians worship (Knowledge)
... resist the lies of advertising (Sense Motive)
... follow a painted line on the sidewalk (Survival)
... move in a calm swimming pool (Swim)

Strange world your GM lives in. ;)

You would consider these skill checks?

You would make PCs roll for such common knowledge and activities - would these all be functions of skill checks using the DC system? LOL

Yes, they are all very easy skill checks(DC 0).

No, I would not make my players roll, but then I let my players take a 10 when they are not distracted.

Quote:

This is absurd, a 1 should have resulted in a fail in all instances when a check is called for.
Called for, not for DM abuse.

No, by the RAW, when rolling skills a 1 is not an automatic failure, and 20 is not an automatic success.

That is why you generally don't have to roll for DC 0 tasks unless there are significant penalties in play.

Quote:

It's too bad the d20 was chosen to make all skill checks in 3.0+ instead of d100, could have made that failure rate less than a 5% - but there should have always been a chance to fail an actual skill check.

Nothing you listed comes close to a skill check or an applicable use of the skill check/DC system.

Spotting a person standing in to open right in front of you is a DC 0 perception check. This is called for by the RAW. Do you make your players roll that?

Charender wrote:

Yes, they are all very easy skill checks(DC 0).

No, I would not make my players roll, but then I let my players take a 10 when they are not distracted.

So you would make your players roll a check to climb stairs while being distracted?

Charender wrote:
No, by the RAW, when rolling skills a 1 is not an automatic failure, and 20 is not an automatic success.

Go back and re-read, that is why I said "should have" twice in my post.

Charender wrote:
Spotting a person standing in to open right in front of you is a DC 0 perception check. This is called for by the RAW. Do you make your players roll that?

No, I actually make my players only roll when it's relevant - as in to their survival, furthering the story, etc. Or when a roll is called for.

I wasn't the one who posted a list of simple actions and their corresponding skill categories, that was SKR - take it up with him.

I have no problem with taking 10, only with the chance that there is no 1 automatic failure for relevant and real skill checks, not the DM saying "LULZ, you rolled a 1 on tying your shoe -FAIL!"

Not talking about bathroom breaks or making checks to see if you forgot to breathe, I am talking about relevant adventure related checks. This isn't the death of a thousand DC checks applied to players by making them check everything and waiting for the natural 1.

I am talking about players having a chance to botch an action outside of rolling a 1 in combat -

Which is an auto-fail,
which follows the same DC skill system (BAB = Skill level, AC = DC)
But is allowed as an exception since it's combat,
but doesn't apply to a natural 1 on skill checks

...right.

Auxmaulous wrote:
Charender wrote:

Yes, they are all very easy skill checks(DC 0).

No, I would not make my players roll, but then I let my players take a 10 when they are not distracted.

So you would make your players roll a check to climb stairs while being distracted?

Out of combat, if the DC was high enough that the player might fail if they took a 10, then yes I would make them roll.

In combat, if the DC was high enough that the player might fail if they rolled a 1, then yes, I would make them roll

Perhaps those stairs are greased, or the players are trying to climb blind.

Quote:

Charender wrote:
No, by the RAW, when rolling skills a 1 is not an automatic failure, and 20 is not an automatic success.

Go back and re-read, that is why I said "should have" twice in my post.

And perhaps you should reread the post that SKR is replying to...

Where the DM is
A. making it so that a 1 on skill check always fails.
B. making it so that players can never take a 10.

This results in a world where even doing the simple things that SKR mentions results in failure 5% of the time.

Quote:

Charender wrote:
Spotting a person standing in to open right in front of you is a DC 0 perception check. This is called for by the RAW. Do you make your players roll that?

No, I actually make my players only roll when it's relevant - as in to their survival, furthering the story, etc. Or when a roll is called for.

I wasn't the one who posted a list of simple actions and their corresponding skill categories, that was SKR - take it up with him.

I have no problem with taking 10, only with the chance that there is no 1 automatic failure for relevant and real skill checks, not the DM saying "LULZ, you rolled a 1 on tying your shoe -FAIL!"

Not talking about bathroom breaks or making checks to see if you forgot to breathe, I am talking about relevant adventure related checks. This isn't the death of a thousand DC checks applied to players by making them check everything and waiting for the natural 1.

I am talking about players having a chance to botch an action outside of rolling a 1 in combat -

Which is an auto-fail,
which follows the same DC skill system (BAB = Skill level, AC = DC)
But is allowed as an exception since it's combat,
but doesn't apply to a natural 1 on skill checks

...right.

Yet, the rules already give guidelines for "relevant and real" skill checks.

If you can take a 10, then anything that is 10+skill is an automatic success, and you don't need to roll.
If you cannot take a 10, then anything that is 1+skill is an automatic success, and you don't need to roll.

I have a hard time believing that Einstein(level 5 expert, 5 ranks in Knowledge(physics), +3 class skill, +4 for int 18, +3 for skill focus feat) with a +15 to Knowledge(physics) is going to fail to pass a simple DC 10 check to solve a simple newtonian physics problem 5% of the time, just because he is distracted by his pondering on the unified field theory.

so if you make 20 sandwiches 1's really good, 1 falls apart as you make it and the rest fall in between?

Auxmaulous wrote:

So you would make your players roll a check to climb stairs while being distracted?

: )

Spoiler:

If DC = 0 = A slope too steep to walk up, or a knotted rope
with a wall to brace against, then a slope steep enough to walk up should be a DC -5.

So, distracted, adding 5 to the DC for DC 0.

Now, it's slippery, adding 5 more to the DC for DC 5.

And the PC is blind, giving them a -2 to Str and Dex checks.

And the PC is entangled, so they're tied up around the midsection with their arms pinned. Another -2 to Dex, but not to Str, which is used for climb, but it will be important soon.

They're also exhausted. They haven't slept in three days. -3 to Str and Dex checks, which makes their Take 10 a 5 now.

Oh, and they're shaken. They're afraid. -2 again, so now they fail on a take 10.

So, in order to fail a DC 5 check, a PC would have to be:
Blind, tied up, exhausted, and shaken.

So, escaping from a cellar where they were being tortured. While reading a magazine. While blind.

Oh, and if they move more than half their speed up that staircase, the DC for climbing it goes up by 5 (For a total of 10) and they have to make a DC 10 acrobatics check, which they have to roll a 19 or better to succeed on. That's assuming they pass their climb check to even begin climbing the staircase at a full run, a feat they can only accomplish if they roll a 17 or better.

Oh, and they have to be a wizard, cleric or sorceror, too. Because they're the only classes without Climb or Acrobatics...

So now we're getting scientific: I have proof that a blind, shaken, starving wizard who is tied up has a 90% chance to fall down a slippery staircase if they try to run up it. That same person has an 85% chance to not be able to climb that staircase, and a 60% chance to immediately fall prone in their square when they attempt to climb the staircase.

Assuming 10s in all stats, if a fighter attempted the same feat, they'd have a 70% chance to fall, a 65% chance to not climb the staircase and a 40% chance to fall prone in their square.

Now, if they could get the rope entangling them off and find the pitons in the basement, they could take 1 minute per 5 ft. of staircase to pound a piton into the wall to allow them to take ten again, assuming they tie themselves up again before attempting to escape....

Charender wrote:

Yet, the rules already give guidelines for "relevant and real" skill checks.

If you can take a 10, then anything that is 10+skill is an automatic success, and you don't need to roll.
If you cannot take a 10, then anything that is 1+skill is an automatic success, and you don't need to roll.

In other words, as long as you have a high enough bonus there is zero chance of failing at a task.

Charender wrote:
I have a hard time believing that Einstein(level 5 expert, 5 ranks in Knowledge(physics), +3 class skill, +4 for int 18, +3 for skill focus feat) with a +15 to Knowledge(physics) is going to fail to pass a simple DC 10 check to solve a simple newtonian physics problem 5% of the time, just because he is distracted by his pondering on the unified field theory.

Versus never being vexed, stymied or hindered by problems, process, research, wasted time, unknowns or mistaken efforts/energy -Einstein should always succeed....

…wait, he couldn't tie his own shoes, right?

I don't think I will see eye-to-eye with those who support a "no chance of failure" skill system.
There's always a chance to fail when attempting a task that should require a check, even if the factor is external to the specific characters skill –bad luck, misperception, minor external factors – there should always be a chance at failure.
Failure can mean many things, distracted, forgetting a basic tenet or rule, mental block, stupid mistake or just focused on the wrong thing. Failure doesn't mean death, it can mean that the attempted task or effort to resolve a problem doesn't work as desired - it can too long, wrong approach, impractical, etc. I never felt that a binary system was the best way to go when it came to task resolution, didn't need to be 1 in 20, but a failure rate should exist even if it's minute.

I just disagree with the system as its set up where PC/NPC base skill scores get so high that there no outside chance of failure. It's inconsistent with reality, let alone fantasy and horror literature. It destroys some great story potential and creates some incredibly stupid d20 gamisms which are embarrassing outside of the d20 world of gaming.

Anyway I disagree with an ever expanding open system with zero chance of failure, just doesn’t jive in my books but YMMV – enjoy.

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
wakedown wrote:
Can you take 10 on any Acrobatics check, as long as you aren't in combat and aren't distracted? Does this mean any character with a 10 Dex and no armor check penalty can take 10 and perform a running long jump of 10 feet?
I hope so, considering that I can routinely do a standing broad jump (i.e., not running) of at least 6 feet. (Which, in fact, is why the default jump values were what they were in 3E, because I demonstrated that a 6ft. tall guy who's not particularly athletic can standing jump 6 ft. every time... the original distances they estimated were a little low.)

We want photos or it didn't happen! ;P

Auxmaulous wrote:
In other words, as long as you have a high enough bonus there is zero chance of failing at a task.

Absolutely. The world-record-holding marathon runner should absolutely be able to run for a mile without having any chance to fail his check (assuming there are no penalties imposed by the DM), while the chubby computer programmer is likely to not be able to make that check except on a relatively high roll. That's called being good at something.

Quote:

Versus never being vexed, stymied or hindered by problems, process, research, wasted time, unknowns or mistaken efforts/energy -Einstein should always succeed....

…wait, he couldn't tie his own shoes, right?

Because tieing shoes requires a Knowledge (Physics) check, right? Talk about a strawman!

On the other hand, one can reasonably assume that Einstein could recite the theory of gravity without needing to make a check, while at the same time a person who failed high school physics isn't going to be able to remember the whole thing no matter what they do.

That's called being good at something.

Quote:
There's always a chance to fail when attempting a task that should require a check, even if the factor is external to the specific characters skill –bad luck, misperception, minor external factors – there should always be a chance at failure.

Those "external factors" are called "penalties applied by the DM". If our marathon runner is suffering from food poisoning and the flu, his constitution is way lower and he's got some circumstance penalties to his check. It's no longer a check that he can't fail, because now a roll of 1-X does actually fail the check thanks to the penalties and reduced stats.

Quote:
It's inconsistent with reality

Heaven forbid that a 10,000 year old dragon actually be able to appraise the value of his hoard off-hand without having to make an Appraise check! Because it's totally unrealistic that a dragon won't forget how much his hoard is worth unless external factors are brought into the equation.

Zurai wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
In other words, as long as you have a high enough bonus there is zero chance of failing at a task.
Absolutely. The world-record-holding marathon runner should absolutely be able to run for a mile without having any chance to fail his check (assuming there are no penalties imposed by the DM), while the chubby computer programmer is likely to not be able to make that check except on a relatively high roll. That's called being good at something.

No. It's called spraining you ankle - has nothing to with the DC check, just rolled a 1 - it happens ALL THE TIME.

Quote:
Those "external factors" are called "penalties applied by the DM". If our marathon runner is suffering from food poisoning and the flu, his constitution is way lower and he's got some circumstance penalties to his check. It's no longer a check that he can't fail, because now a roll of 1-X does actually fail the check thanks to the penalties and reduced stats.

So a piton breaking for an easy climb is included in the DC?

No accounting for (bad) luck, item breakage, etc. These have zero to do with the DC of the task and everything with rolling a 1/failure.

Quote:
Quote:
It's inconsistent with reality
Heaven forbid that a 10,000 year old dragon actually be able to appraise the value of his hoard off-hand without having to make an Appraise check! Because it's totally unrealistic that a dragon won't forget how much his hoard is...

Ah that’s right, the wizard who summoned the demon who screwed up the pentacle never happens in stories, the dragon with all its ranks in perception never makes that one mistake in perception. That one time the little rogue is hiding in his lair (opposed check) after he stole a small gem and the dragon {gasp!} also failed to notice (take ten autocheck) the missing bit of treasure.

These are CLASSIC tropes in fantasy and horror lit, if you don't see how failure, mistakes and bad luck (sans DM fiat) can make a good story or seed for a story then I don't think we want the same kind of game.

Like I said, play it the way you like, I just don't think its good design.

Here's the thing, though - there always is a chance of failure, because you're the DM and you set the DC! I once had a DM tell me that it was a DC 20 jump check to jump from the deck of a boat onto a dock upon which the boat was moored. It was a completely ridiculous DC in my mind, and I failed it, because it was set so high. However, I have to say: the DC provided me with the chance to fail, not the task, not the DM (well, he did indirectly do it, but the mechanic at hand was the DC, not this business of auto-fails).

My group has tried both flavors of this rule, and we've arrived at the RAW solution, and here's why: if 1's are automatic misses, then 20's have to be automatic successes, and that leads to a ton of problems.

Lvl 1 Rogue: I'd like to attempt to pick the lock on the chest that contains the Arch-mage's spellbook (DC 40). (Rolls 53 times) Yay! A 20! So, what's inside?

It's not that there isn't a chance of failure for tasks, it's just that that chance manifests itself when characters attempt a stunt that's level-appropriate and suitably challenging. And it's driven by the comparitively higher DC. If they roll a 1, they'll fail at these checks, but only because they fail on a roll of 1 through 7. Just my opinion, play however you have fun.

Auxmaulous wrote:
No. It's called spraining you ankle - has nothing to with the DC check, just rolled a 1 - it happens ALL THE TIME.

5% of all marathon runners who are otherwise perfectly physically fit, running in perfect conditions, over a perfectly flat track, sprain an ankle after running a mile? Do you realize that is a 74% chance for that person to sprain an ankle at least once during a marathon? Somehow I don't find it the slightest bit realistic that 75% of world-champion marathon runners sprain an ankle in every marathon they enter.

Quote:

So a piton breaking for an easy climb is included in the DC?

No accounting for (bad) luck, item breakage, etc. These have zero to do with the DC of the task and everything with rolling a 1/failure.

If the climb is that easy, the climber is prepared for the piton to break and manages to overcome the additional challenge without significantly impeding his progress. Perhaps, for example, he was using more pitons than he needed, or he had a failsafe rope rigged when the piton pulled loose and it caught him after only a few feet.

Quote:
Ah that’s right, the wizard who summoned the demon who screwed up the pentacle never happens in stories

This is you COMPLETELY missing the point of that paragraph.

Jeremiziah wrote:
Here's the thing, though - there always is a chance of failure, because you're the DM and you set the DC! I once had a DM tell me that it was a DC 20 jump check to jump from the deck of a boat onto a dock upon which the boat was moored. It was a completely ridiculous DC in my mind, and I failed it, because it was set so high. However, I have to say: the DC provided me with the chance to fail, not the task, not the DM (well, he did indirectly do it, but the mechanic at hand was the DC, not this business of auto-fails).

I've had DMs do this. Here's when it got out of hand:

At 2nd level we had to climb a castle wall at night, sneak into the castle, and open the gate for our allies to attack. The DC was 20. Our rogue made it to the top, sneak attacked a guard, then lowered a rope and we got in.

Months later, we were all level 12. Our DM sent us to invade the same castle, now overrun with vampires. Yeah, I know, cliche. So we decided to climb the same wall (during daylight when the vampires wouldn't be watching). The wall had not changed, but the DC was 35.

We asked him why the DC was harder and his answer was "You're a lot higher level, so I set the DC to a number that would challenge you."

Utter rubbish. Same wall, same castle, nothing had changed. He didn't even try to say "Months of erosion made the bricks smoother" which would have been silly too, or even bettter "The new owners learned of your previous attack and hired dwarven stonemasons to polish their walls to a smooth surface to prevent such invasions in the future." Nope, no excuse. Just wanted a fun DC to challenge us with no thought to a rhyme or reason of why it was harder.

So, yeah, you're right. A DM can set the DC to whatever he wants. A level 1 commoner might need a DC 10 to tie his shoes. Then he throws them in the closet and goes adventuring. He comes back as a 20th level rogue and takes those very same shoes out of the closet, but now he might need a 40 to tie the very same shoes. Presto, the DC determines the chance of failure, just as you say. Same guy, same shoes, different DC. Make sense?

No.

Just like a DC 20 to hop from a boat to the dock didn't make sense to you at the time you had to do that.

My point is, wouldn't the system make more sense if the DC could represent the objective difficulty of the task, rather than the subjective difficulty of not failing the task?

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