GMs, do you roll some skill checks secretly for your players, and if so, which?


Advice

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Are you?

There are some situations where knowing the result of the roll gives the player some information they perhaps shouldn't have.

Rolled a 1 or a 20 on find traps "You see nothing" might have completely different meanings. With the 20 they can be reasonably sure that theres nothing, with the 1 they might for some odd reason decide to double check.

Knowing the Spellcraft result of identifying a magic item, say they know their check is a 22 and they failed to identify the item, they know it's at least CL 8. Or not super much info, but they shouldn't have that.

Do you roll stuff like that for them and just tell them if they succeeded or not (or not even that sometimes), or do you let them roll everything?


My players are great at not metagaming so I let them roll for everything. However I have done some rolls in secret with some players. My players also know that getting a 20 might only offset penalties that I take into account like distance for Perception checks. They still might not see what they were looking for.


Spot checks are a common one. They don't need to know there's something to spot, unless I'm trying to build tension.


Checks they don't know they're making I roll for them.

Otherwise I let them roll and tell them. Should they metagame - rocks fall.


Trap finding and disabling are the only big ones I hide from them. Generally, if they fail the former by more than ten, they have a 50/50 chance of finding a trap whether or not there is one. If they find one that is there, they don't find the right kind.

I will occasionally hide a random Perception roll from them, but they're generally good about roleplaying their lack of perception, instead of being hyperaware of what's going to happen next (i.e., they start picking their nose, they talk really loudly). If it became/becomes a problem, I'd roll it for them.

Otherwise, I normally don't see a reason to hide a check from them. Sometimes there is something they just shouldn't see for whatever reason, but those are very far and few between.


I let PCs roll all of their own skill checks. I strongly believe that a PCs fate should lie in her own hands. I also believe that a PC should have a pretty good idea how successful she was when using a skill. A small amount of meta gaming should be expected from any group. As long as it isn't at a ridiculous level it's just part of the game. If a player is going a bit too far, simply explain that he is using out of game knowledge in a way that is detrimental too the current game state.

Shadow Lodge

I reserve the right to roll perception checks and saving throws. I don't do it often, but it's good sometimes when I don't want to spoil a surprise. Plus it's fun to just sit there rolling dice and watch them panic even when nothing's going on.


There's a lot of new players in my group, and one (simi) experienced player in particular likes to meta game. I end up rolling for most everything that could give too much info (like perceptions, stealth, buffs, ect), but things a character would know, or "feel" like picking a lock, I let them roll.
I have a little journal of their results that I roll, so that I can throw 5 dice and interpret them all at once, instead of forgetting the 2nd or 3rd throw.


I let them roll everything. They seem to enjoy the botches as much as the natural 20's.

Silver Crusade

I also let them roll on everything, and take great delight in describing what they see should they botch or 20.

However, no matter what they do see something.

Say they roll a one I might say. "You notice you're in a cave."

If they had rolled higher they would have noticed the giant slavering monster behind them.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Quatar wrote:

Are you?

There are some situations where knowing the result of the roll gives the player some information they perhaps shouldn't have.

I won't roll for a player unless the rules tell me to.

Quote:
Rolled a 1 or a 20 on find traps "You see nothing" might have completely different meanings. With the 20 they can be reasonably sure that theres nothing, with the 1 they might for some odd reason decide to double check.

If one of my players so much as reaches for his d20 when he announces his intent to search for traps, I'll say "You know you can just take 20, right?"

Quote:
Knowing the Spellcraft result of identifying a magic item, say they know their check is a 22 and they failed to identify the item, they know it's at least CL 8. Or not super much info, but they shouldn't have that.

Why shouldn't they? Like they wouldn't know that holy crap, this is big magic that I don't understand?

Also, why didn't he just take 10 anyway?

Quote:

Do you roll stuff like that for them and just tell them if they succeeded or not (or not even that sometimes), or do you let them roll everything?

I encourage my players to be familiar with T10 and T20 rules and the whole game gets a lot cleaner (and easier to run). You're "fixing" the wrong problem.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Franko a wrote:

I let them roll everything. They seem to enjoy the botches as much as the natural 20's.

Just so you know, natural 20's and 1's are meaningless for skill checks. Only saves and attack rolls have auto success and auto failures.


I roll Perception to spot things of course, and also Knowledge checks (only the ones meant to identify monsters) immediately at the start of encounters. It's easier for me to just roll those for them than have them go through the list of "Can I use my knowledge nature to identify this? No? How about knowledge arcana? Knowledge religion?..." and so on.

Also I have them roll, for example, knowledge religion, and they fail, they still now know it's an undead monster that they're fighting.

I also occasionally roll Profession checks to identify monsters, but only in incredibly specific situations (for example if someone has profession: sailor and they encounter a giant mimic pretending to be a ship).

Oh, and Appraise. I roll appraise ahead of time when they encounter treasure. Or sometimes I just drop that use of the appraise skill entirely. Too unwieldy.

...My players are pretty bad about metagaming.


Appraise is a problem. If a player fails, its unnecessary paperwork for the dm. Out of combat, it should be an auto-20.


I have my players roll everything. They're good about meta-gaming, so it's not a big deal.

Actually, last session the fighter's poor perception rolls kept her out of the entire firefight.(Rolled assassination for the PC ruler on the Kingmaker events.) So my friend would describe her character calmly meditating on the roof, curse up a storm at another horrible roll, and say 'I continue to meditate on the %*^% roof' The group actually enjoys it this way, as the characters get to act like characters and the players are their own peanut gallery.

Shadow Lodge

In PbP I roll any check not initiated by the player for them. If they succeed, I tell them what they rolled and their result in a spoiler. If they fail, I say nothing. I find this makes the game go more smoothly.

In live play (granted via voicechat/Ventrilo/Skype) I let them roll everything. However I'm prone to just randomly rolling my dice and not telling them why.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The initial Fort save vs a disease.

That's about it. I even let my players roll the percentile for randomized loot sometimes.

Edit: To answer your question directly, I don't roll any skill checks for the players. I sometimes have to gently remind them to not metagame, but they're usually good about that.


There are several situations where I roll skill checks and/or saves for PCs without the player's knowledge. In fact there are so many that I don't even want to try to identify them. I also use a "passive skill" check in some situations where I sometimes do opposed checks without the player's knowledge.

I also just randomly roll dice from time to time, just so the players get used to the idea that my dice are always rolling.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Franko a wrote:

I let them roll everything. They seem to enjoy the botches as much as the natural 20's.

Just so you know, natural 20's and 1's are meaningless for skill checks. Only saves and attack rolls have auto success and auto failures.

I guess that means that I houserule. I'm not malevolent about it. Someone usually saves the party memeber who made a bad roll

But thanks for the clarification. I will have to read some more.
VR
RDa


As a player, while I'm quite capable of not metagaming under most circumstances, I would rather not have to.

I would rather be surprised along with my character than pretend to be surprised, etc, etc.


We have always had the players roll for anything related to thier character including perception checks. Over the years it has bit me in the @$$ though.

I've had players sit in one room rolling checks because " You wouldnt have asked for one if there is nothing here."

We did the no retry rule but that leads to complaining and " Im not going to re-try my perception. Im going to Take everything out of the room and check the walls , floors and ceilings."

I'm going to switch to the GM makes all passive rolls ( like perception checks for entering an area with hidden monsters or doors ). Players make active checks ( saves or using a skill by saying some like do I see any traps on the chest?)

I figure this way , even with the rogue missed passivly noticing the trapped checks on the way in meening that im not going to tell him about it , he can still get "his check" if he thinks to use it.

So I can just describe the room , make the secret checks and not prompt them to. Hopefully it will work out.


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Taigon, if a player wants to make a deliberate perception check or some other deliberate skill check on their own initiative, I allow and even encourage that.

But I don't penalize the character because the player doesn't remember to say "I check for traps", nor do I create metagame opportunities by announcing every potential situation where a character has some interaction with the game universe.

So I roll passive checks and other checks that I feel are appropriate and just announce the results. I find this makes the game go more smoothly and reduces the "You got nailed by a trap because you didn't say 'I'm checking for traps' this one time. Bwaahahaahahaaa!!! Got your ass!"


A house rule that I've been planning but not yet used is to get each player to roll 10d20 and 10d10 at the beginning of every other session. GM notes the results and uses them for hidden rolls (perception, sense motive etc). Use the d10 roll to determine which of the d20 to use.


Torquar wrote:
A house rule that I've been planning but not yet used is to get each player to roll 10d20 and 10d10 at the beginning of every other session. GM notes the results and uses them for hidden rolls (perception, sense motive etc). Use the d10 roll to determine which of the d20 to use.

I've seen some GMs do this, and more power to them. I've got enough paperwork and notes to deal with already, so this doesn't appeal to me.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Taigon, if a player wants to make a deliberate perception check or some other deliberate skill check on their own initiative, I allow and even encourage that.

But I don't penalize the character because the player doesn't remember to say "I check for traps", nor do I create metagame opportunities by announcing every potential situation where a character has some interaction with the game universe.

So I roll passive checks and other checks that I feel are appropriate and just announce the results. I find this makes the game go more smoothly and reduces the "You got nailed by a trap because you didn't say 'I'm checking for traps' this one time. Bwaahahaahahaaa!!! Got your ass!"

I'll keep that in mind. Its honestly one of the only things that irks me other then everyone argueing with me about everything.


I DM/like to play the way AD suggests... passive rolls done by the gm (or in my case I use take 10 for things like perception and such) and active rolls by the player mostly... I do like stealth rolls being kept a secret, unless the total is single digits (everyone hears Bob "sneak" down the hall... might want to warn bob). I like knowledge checks to be simultaneously T10 and rolled, so if they would identify the creature with T10, I will let them know that, and use their active roll (if they choose to make one) to determine just how much they know.

Sovereign Court

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Franko a wrote:

I let them roll everything. They seem to enjoy the botches as much as the natural 20's.

I can definitely attest to this. We were playing Sage Ed. Star Wars campaign and I was aiding another person work on the air ventilation for the ship. We both crit failed and killed everyone on board.

cue slowly backing up and walking away.

Dark Archive

Torquar wrote:
A house rule that I've been planning but not yet used is to get each player to roll 10d20 and 10d10 at the beginning of every other session. GM notes the results and uses them for hidden rolls (perception, sense motive etc). Use the d10 roll to determine which of the d20 to use.

I've used a version of this rule many, many times and it has always sped things up for me.

I usually have A player roll 15D20 in a row and write'em down and hand em to me and paperclip it to my copy of that players notes. Any time I need to check for success (or failure) I just ask em for their relevant score and use one of their previous rolls.
It's surprisingly quick and speeds the game up tremendously since they think they remember what they rolled and blame that guy instead of me when things go sideways. My players love ribbing the guy who was in the hot seat rolling for that session.

This keeps the tension up and easy since they rolled the die, but to make it fun for me as well I never start at the top of the list they gave me. Start at the 3rd or 4th die roll and check em off one by one from there. So easy.


I have each player at the start of the game session roll 1D20 20 times and give the the numbers. Then when I want to have roll secretly done I'm not rolling, I just select the number a the top and cross it off using it for the check. I make not what the check was for next to the number so if a player asks after the game I can show them.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Torquar wrote:
A house rule that I've been planning but not yet used is to get each player to roll 10d20 and 10d10 at the beginning of every other session. GM notes the results and uses them for hidden rolls (perception, sense motive etc). Use the d10 roll to determine which of the d20 to use.

Our GM has us do this, and it seems to work really well. One of the nice things is that you then have an overall sense of how 'lucky' you are that day.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

This all sounds like so much work... so much easier to tell people to read the T10/T20 rules.

Dark Archive

Jiggy wrote:
This all sounds like so much work... so much easier to tell people to read the T10/T20 rules.

T10/T20 is boring and can't be used in combat or under stress so half the time they can't do it anyway.

Besides this IS basically the same thing except the take number is different. No more work on the GM's part then looking at a number on the back of the GM's screen except it's bigger and easier to find.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Jiggy wrote:
This all sounds like so much work... so much easier to tell people to read the T10/T20 rules.

Except these are mostly used for situations where the player doesn't know there is a roll being made.

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Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
This all sounds like so much work... so much easier to tell people to read the T10/T20 rules.
T10/T20 is boring and can't be used in combat or under stress so half the time they can't do it anyway.

The examples so far (unless I missed one somewhere) have all been perfect candidates for T10 and/or T20. Heck, searching for traps is even one of the CRB's listed examples for a good place to use T20, yet people keep citing that as one of the most popular places to use a secret GM roll.

Quote:
Besides this IS basically the same thing except the take number is different. No more work on the GM's part then looking at a number on the back of the GM's screen except it's bigger and easier to find.

T10/T20 don't require the GM to look at anything. Someone says "I search for traps. Taking 20 gives me a 37." The player says a couple extra words in place of rolling a die. I don't have to compare a list of pre-rolled numbers to the DC. I just have to see the DC (which obviously there's no way around).

T10/T20 is faster.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
This all sounds like so much work... so much easier to tell people to read the T10/T20 rules.
Except these are mostly used for situations where the player doesn't know there is a roll being made.

Such as...?


OK, so I'm a player and I start up a game and the GM tells me to "roll 10 d20s". And I roll:

7
11
9
13
2
8
15
1
5
10

OK, so I watch him write that crap down and think "Today's gonna suck. I better watch out today."

Or I roll

14
12
4
20
9
13
7
18
16
14

And I watch him write that gold down and I think "OBOY! Time to rock!"

If that doesn't smack of metagaming, I don't know what does...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Ha, nice point, ADragon.


There is actually a magic item in 4e called the "Dice of Auspicious Fortune" which allow you, once per adventuring day, to roll three d20 and store them in the dice. Once per encounter you can choose to use one of the stored dice rolls in place of actually making a roll.

Do I play my ranger differently when I have 14, 16, 20 in those dice than when I have 2, 5 8?

you bet I do.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I firmly have learned to believe in rolling player perception (in some cases) and sense motive (in all cases). There is a distinct difference between "you are certain he is telling the truth" statement when the roll is a 1 vs. a 20 that is difficult NOT to metagame with. I've learned it's easier on everybody if the temptation isn't even there. I play a lot of PFS though with a variety of age and skill levels.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

per RAW, I do the following secretly: Disguise, Linguistics, Disable Device (Disable Traps/Sabotage only).

I do what AD does with the pre-rolling for behind the scenes checks. This removed the metagame issue when you ask for a perception check out of the blue. The players will know there is something to perceive. If I end up not doing this at the start, I use take-10 perception for their average attentiveness.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, I just remembered something else:

Another metagame issue that people try to "solve" with secret rolls that's easily prevented is what Shar Tahl describes above, where you ask for a perception check and then they know there's something to find.

You're only really supposed to ask for a check when something happens that they might notice. To find something like a trap, they're not supposed to get a freebie - they have to actively search (unless they have the Trap Spotter rogue talent).

So realizing there's a trap or secret door or something because you asked for a perception check should be a non-issue, because you don't ask for a perception check.

And if something does happen that warrants a free perception check, it's usually something that's over and can't be searched for afterwards (like seeing whether or not they heard someone scream outside). So there's no metagamey follow-up checks there, either.

Situations where, running it correctly, you'd ask for a perception check for something that people could actually follow up on should be few and far between.

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Jiggy wrote:
pH unbalanced wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
This all sounds like so much work... so much easier to tell people to read the T10/T20 rules.
Except these are mostly used for situations where the player doesn't know there is a roll being made.
Such as...?

I think it's mostly been Perception, and maybe some knowledge rolls. Rolls to notice that we're being followed by someone stealthy. Rolls to notice that we've gotten lost and travelled in the wrong direction. Really any skill contest where the players shouldn't know that a contest is happening.

When I GM, I usually do this by asking for die rolls at random intervals for no reason other than to keep the PCs off balance. 'Make a perception check' where whatever the roll is, they see nothing. Or a reflex save, where the character happens to stumble, no matter what. Just something to keep the PCs from assuming that the fact that I ask for a roll means that something dangerous is happening.

Adamantine Dragon wrote:

OK, so I'm a player and I start up a game and the GM tells me to "roll 10 d20s". And I roll:

(poor to average rolls)

OK, so I watch him write that crap down and think "Today's gonna suck. I better watch out today."

Or I roll

(good rolls)

And I watch him write that gold down and I think "OBOY! Time to rock!"

See, I like that, but I don't think of it as metagaming, I think of it as my character having a general sense of whether he feels a little 'off' today or not. We also make more rolls (36, I think), so that flattens the extremes out somewhat, and pretty much guarantees there are always both good and bad rolls on the list.


Jiggy, I'm having a hard time coming up with any situation where I would actually ASK a player to make a perception check... unless they specifically said they wanted to make one.

The whole point of perception is that if the player succeeds, they notice something, and if they fail, they don't. I can't come up with a way of saying "hey, see if you notice something" that doesn't advertise that there is something to notice.

I can't tell you the number of game situations where we've been in a room or a hallway and the GM says "make a perception check" to one player and within a picosecond every player at the table is saying "I roll a perception check!" The last time this happened we lost 30 minutes of game time because everyone rolled poorly and nobody wanted to leave the area with the mysterious hidden item undiscovered.

The metagame stench was thick that day....


pH unbalanced wrote:


See, I like that, but I don't think of it as metagaming, I think of it as my character having a general sense of whether he feels a little 'off' today or not. We also make more rolls (36, I think), so that flattens the extremes out somewhat, and pretty much guarantees there are always both good and bad rolls on the list.

So... unless you randomize the order of your 36 rolls, the "flattening out" is meaningless since the first ten or so are all that really matter.

And if you are rolling enough to "flatten out" the results and then randomizing the order, then I fail to see how that is any different than the GM just rolling the dice when needed.

No big deal either way, I see GMs do it both ways. Or even other ways. If they work for the group, fine, but I tend to err as much as possible on the avoidance of metagame knowledge. Maybe to a fault...


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Jiggy, I'm having a hard time coming up with any situation where I would actually ASK a player to make a perception check... unless they specifically said they wanted to make one.

The whole point of perception is that if the player succeeds, they notice something, and if they fail, they don't. I can't come up with a way of saying "hey, see if you notice something" that doesn't advertise that there is something to notice.

I can't tell you the number of game situations where we've been in a room or a hallway and the GM says "make a perception check" to one player and within a picosecond every player at the table is saying "I roll a perception check!" The last time this happened we lost 30 minutes of game time because everyone rolled poorly and nobody wanted to leave the area with the mysterious hidden item undiscovered.

The metagame stench was thick that day....

I've found a fairly easy way to solve this problem, because I've definitely seen it as well: Have them randomly roll Perception checks throughout the game. As they enter rooms, as they leave rooms, as they walk through hallways, as they are buying gear from the blacksmith. After a night or two with a bit of time wasted, they eventually pick up that there's nothing there for them to see.

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Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Jiggy, I'm having a hard time coming up with any situation where I would actually ASK a player to make a perception check... unless they specifically said they wanted to make one.

The whole point of perception is that if the player succeeds, they notice something, and if they fail, they don't. I can't come up with a way of saying "hey, see if you notice something" that doesn't advertise that there is something to notice.

I can't tell you the number of game situations where we've been in a room or a hallway and the GM says "make a perception check" to one player and within a picosecond every player at the table is saying "I roll a perception check!" The last time this happened we lost 30 minutes of game time because everyone rolled poorly and nobody wanted to leave the area with the mysterious hidden item undiscovered.

The metagame stench was thick that day....

Let me clarify with some examples:

1. Party approaches a trapped door. No one gets to make perception checks to notice the trap. If they want to search, they need to tell me.

2. Party is in a building, and a burglar breaks a window to a different room in order to gain entry. I ask the whole party (so no "me too"s) to make a perception check. If they fail, they're welcome to metagame and say "I search the area!" as I chuckle to myself because the sound of breaking glass is over and there's nothing left to perceive from where they are. Even better if they Take 20 on their search, as the burglar gains two minutes of uninterrupted stealy time!

3. Party enters a room. Just as they're entering, an intruder in an adjacent room douses their light in hopes of not getting caught. Those with line of sight to the door get a freebie perception check to notice the light under the door going out. If they fail, then once again they're welcome to start a metagame search and find nothing, because the event is already in the past.

Does that help at all?


Jiggy wrote:


1. Party approaches a trapped door. No one gets to make perception checks to notice the trap. If they want to search, they need to tell me.

Just a playstyle thing. As a GM I simply assume that adventurers sneaking about in a dangerous dungeon never ignore the potential for doors, chests or other obvious things to be trapped. They always get a free perception check to see if it's trapped. UNLESS they are deliberately hurrying or if there is some obvious distraction that would plausibly interrupt their normal, rational, logical caution. Same for walking down a hallway, across a large floor, etc. One major reason I do this is because I just hate the game delays of "A door? Oh. I search for traps on the door. Oh, and on the doorjam too. Come to think of it, I search the square in front of the door too. And while I'm at it, I search for secret doors or compartments..." I try not to penalize the character for the temporary lapse of obvious caution of the player. It makes sense to me that the comfortable, safe, laughing (hopefully) distracted player would forget to search for traps, but the uncomfortable, threatened, deadly serious, focused character isn't likely to forget to check for a trap on a dungeon door.

Jiggy wrote:


2. Party is in a building, and a burglar breaks a window to a different room in order to gain entry. I ask the whole party (so no "me too"s) to make a perception check. If they fail, they're welcome to metagame and say "I search the area!" as I chuckle to myself because the sound of breaking glass is over and there's nothing left to perceive from where they are. Even better if they Take 20 on their search, as the burglar gains two minutes of uninterrupted stealy time!

I generally don't ask the party to make a perception check. I just roll the checks myself. If one of them notices I tell them "you hear the sound of glass breaking." If none of them hear it, I don't want to muddle their gaming with the announcement that they should have heard something, but obviously didn't. I especially don't want them wasting their or my own game time searching the room pointlessly because the PLAYER knows something happened but the CHARACTER didn't. That, to me, is classic meta-gaming.

Jiggy wrote:


3. Party enters a room. Just as they're entering, an intruder in an adjacent room douses their light in hopes of not getting caught. Those with line of sight to the door get a freebie perception check to notice the light under the door going out. If they fail, then once again they're welcome to start a metagame search and find nothing, because the event is already in the past.

Does that help at all?

Same as #2. What they don't need to know, they don't need to know. I don't want to put the players in a situation where the GOOD ones have to fight their own temptation to metagame and the BAD ones will metagame mercilessly.

I usually have better things to do with my, and their, time than play those games.


Jiggy wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Jiggy, I'm having a hard time coming up with any situation where I would actually ASK a player to make a perception check... unless they specifically said they wanted to make one.

The whole point of perception is that if the player succeeds, they notice something, and if they fail, they don't. I can't come up with a way of saying "hey, see if you notice something" that doesn't advertise that there is something to notice.

I can't tell you the number of game situations where we've been in a room or a hallway and the GM says "make a perception check" to one player and within a picosecond every player at the table is saying "I roll a perception check!" The last time this happened we lost 30 minutes of game time because everyone rolled poorly and nobody wanted to leave the area with the mysterious hidden item undiscovered.

The metagame stench was thick that day....

Let me clarify with some examples:

1. Party approaches a trapped door. No one gets to make perception checks to notice the trap. If they want to search, they need to tell me.

2. Party is in a building, and a burglar breaks a window to a different room in order to gain entry. I ask the whole party (so no "me too"s) to make a perception check. If they fail, they're welcome to metagame and say "I search the area!" as I chuckle to myself because the sound of breaking glass is over and there's nothing left to perceive from where they are. Even better if they Take 20 on their search, as the burglar gains two minutes of uninterrupted stealy time!

3. Party enters a room. Just as they're entering, an intruder in an adjacent room douses their light in hopes of not getting caught. Those with line of sight to the door get a freebie perception check to notice the light under the door going out. If they fail, then once again they're welcome to start a metagame search and find nothing, because the event is already in the past.

Does that help at all?

All those examples make sense.

Is there never a case though when there is something that isn't sufficiently hidden to require a search, but not so obvious that you're guaranteed to notice it?

Maybe to notice something about a person you're talking to. Or something odd in the room? Maybe one of the doors is ajar? Maybe there's a note sticking out from under a book on the desk? Completely obvious if you take the time to search the place but doesn't need to be pointed out on the first glance.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Jiggy, I'm having a hard time coming up with any situation where I would actually ASK a player to make a perception check... unless they specifically said they wanted to make one.

The whole point of perception is that if the player succeeds, they notice something, and if they fail, they don't. I can't come up with a way of saying "hey, see if you notice something" that doesn't advertise that there is something to notice.

I can't tell you the number of game situations where we've been in a room or a hallway and the GM says "make a perception check" to one player and within a picosecond every player at the table is saying "I roll a perception check!" The last time this happened we lost 30 minutes of game time because everyone rolled poorly and nobody wanted to leave the area with the mysterious hidden item undiscovered.

The metagame stench was thick that day....

Welcome to my saturday LOL

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
I just hate the game delays of "A door? Oh. I search for traps on the door. Oh, and on the doorjam too. Come to think of it, I search the square in front of the door too. And while I'm at it, I search for secret doors or compartments..."

...You make them search each item individually? Well there's your problem! ;) If someone makes a perception check, they get all available information that their check result would get.

As for the part about assuming that the characters would search, I can see your point there. On the other hand, I'd hate to invalide Trap Spotter, and I have mixed feeling about "enforcing" smart adventuring.

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