Am I the only one annoyed by constant Aid Another?


Homebrew and House Rules

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Kyle Baird wrote:

At my table I try to clear this up before the session even starts. For "group" skill checks I ask the table to identify who is the primary participant and who is assisting. If the group doesn't identify these individuals, I may do so myself depending on the situation.

Diplomacy, for example: If none are declared when the encounter starts, the player doing the most talking is who rolls the check. Other players who have chimed in will be asked to roll aid another. I have NEVER run a diplomacy encounter without at least trying to engage one player in dialogue. If they come up with some creative ideas I reward them with a secret circumstance bonus ranging in value, but never so much to completely negate the challenge. There is a much smaller chance that I'll assign a penalty if the player says things that should make the situation worse.

I do have one nonstandard rule that I'm sure someone will blow out of proportion. If you attempt to aid another and fail by 5 or more you will impart a -2 penalty on the situation for all skills. This is most important when a 7 CHA character's player gets involved in a diplomacy situation and I require them to roll to aid another.

For my part as a player, I roll before talking. Then if I roll badly enough on aid, I will voluntarily say something bad as part of my aid to represent how badly I rolled, hoping this allows the GM to give a circumstance penalty.

For example, in one scenario, my low charisma and wisdom, high int magus was going around with the brilliant-at-bluffing cleric and the cleric got us past two tough situations by claiming we were sheep merchants. So I decided that my magus, who doesn't really understand bluffing or social interactions that well but has an analytical mind, narrowed down what the cleric was doing and determined that 'sheep' was the common component of every success--including sheep was crucial and led to results.

The problem was, on situation #3, I rolled a modified 0 on the Aid Another Bluff check. That's worse than a 10 Cha person can possibly even do. So he spins this brilliant tale, and turns to me to back him up, and I say "Come on, guy. You have to believe this bluff. It has sheep in it and everything."


Jiggy wrote:
Enforcing the limitations that are built into the Aid Another mechanic will eliminate abuse of said mechanic.

If the mechanic is that the GM must make a judgment call to allow or disallow, then it's not a mechanic.


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FlorianF wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Enforcing the limitations that are built into the Aid Another mechanic will eliminate abuse of said mechanic.
If the mechanic is that the GM must make a judgment call to allow or disallow, then it's not a mechanic.

Then this game doesn't have any mechanics.


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" In many cases, a character's help won't be beneficial, or only a limited number of characters can help at once.

In cases where the skill restricts who can achieve certain results, such as trying to open a lock using Disable Device, you can't aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldn't achieve alone."

That's enough of a mechanic for me.


For those wondering how to apply aid another to a diplomatic roll, there is a ted talk about the subject.

Ways a second (or more) player can boost a low diplomatic roll:

1. The slow clap, the difference between genius and insanity is a fine line, so make it thicker by being the slow clap guy.

2. Nodding and paying attention, even something as small as saying "I want to hear what he has to say" can give a major advantage, be a team support each other.

3. Intimidate the other guy, you don't have to threaten him, but the half-orc standing just a little too close can really put someone's debate skills off their game.

There is also the implied threat, that would be using diplomacy to aid an intimidate roll.

"That's because droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose" -- Han Solo


Forlarren wrote:

For those wondering how to apply aid another to a diplomatic roll, there is a ted talk about the subject.

Ways a second (or more) player can boost a low diplomatic roll:

1. The slow clap, the difference between genius and insanity is a fine line, so make it thicker by being the slow clap guy.

2. Nodding and paying attention, even something as small as saying "I want to hear what he has to say" can give a major advantage, be a team support each other.

3. Intimidate the other guy, you don't have to threaten him, but the half-orc standing just a little too close can really put someone's debate skills off their game.

There is also the implied threat, that would be using diplomacy to aid an intimidate roll.

Except by RAW you can't use a different skill to Aid Another. You can't use Intimidate or Bluff to aid Diplomacy, no matter how much sense it might make.


thejeff wrote:
Except by RAW you can't use a different skill to Aid Another.

But you can create a situation where the other gets a +2 situational bonus. Though that's a different thing altogether.

The Exchange

VRMH wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Except by RAW you can't use a different skill to Aid Another.
But you can create a situation where the other gets a +2 situational bonus. Though that's a different thing altogether.

Can you though? I remember that text from 3.5, but on a brief search of the PRD I was unable to locate it, either under skills or under the general introduction.


In our games the only time I've ever seen aid another happen was when we need to bust open doors.... I guess we are finding paths wrong.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I ran a mini-campaign recently (the Price of Immortality arc, if anyone cares) and I tried out a couple of houserule experiements to see if I wanted to carry them over to my RotRL campaign when it started.

One of those houserules was to Aid Another on skills. On a successful aid attempt, the aided PC would gain a +2 bonus. On a fail, the PC took a -1 penalty. The reward was better than the penalty (obviously, +2 vs. -1), but I noticed that the players would very rarely try to aid. They were so turned off by the penalty that they would only use the aid action if they were basically assured of success.

I didn't like the result, so I reverted to the normal rules. however, I do place limits on aiding, depending on the situation.

-Skeld


aid another has no real problems, I would however in most cases require anyone trying to aid to have at least 1 rank in the skill they want to aid with (makes sense to me, that is all)

Aid Another is basically another reason why a group should have better chances than a single individual in adventuring


Ryu Kaijitsu wrote:

aid another has no real problems, I would however in most cases require anyone trying to aid to have at least 1 rank in the skill they want to aid with (makes sense to me, that is all)

Aid Another is basically another reason why a group should have better chances than a single individual in adventuring

Does this apply to the bad guys to?

Can a group of orcs, for example, Aid Another's Perception boosting their chance to notice the party's scout sneaking up by (Number of Orcs -1)x2?

Can you Aid another's Stealth? While sneaking yourself?


a group of orcs? all looking out for enemy? sure, I think yes, that fits the aid another pretty well

Sneaking... unsure, doesn't seem plausible at first, but then again I can imagine something comical like how someone moves together with the others and uses a bush or barrel to hide in/behind


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Ryu Kaijitsu wrote:

Sneaking... unsure, doesn't seem plausible at first, but then again I can imagine something comical like how someone moves together with the others and uses a bush or barrel to hide in/behind

"Dude, your dagger sheath is rattling. Tighten that up before you get us killed!"


yeah, i get annoyed

aid another is a bit silly when the aider may have no hope of achieving the task, but can get a 10

i dont get annoyed by this as much as i do guidance, when the character spends 10% of there whole day casting it, so its always on

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

JohnF wrote:


If the game mechanics say a player can Aid Another, then I'm not going to make that aid dependent on how well the player role-plays or describes the action. I don't make my fighters act out their swordstrokes, the bards make inspiring speeches, or the rogues spell out in detail how their acrobatics enable them to get behind their opponent.

...

Remember, this is the PFS forum. If you adjusted the DC on my Diplomacy or Bluff check purely based on my playing style (rather than on my character offering a genuinely creative alternative to the direct check) you're treading on dangerous ground.

PFS or no, the game requires GM discretion to run. In this particular case, it's not about the quality of the role-play or description, its about the simple fact that some things are difficult to help someone with. The rules explicitly say this and equally explicitly say it's up to GM's discretion. By refusing to use discretion, you are failing to run the "Rules as Written".

GMing in PFS does not mean you are suddenly a 'rules monkey' who must ignore the parts of the rules which explicitly recommend GM interpretation.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

The way I see it, the player describes what their character does and the rolls are intended to reflect that. "Aid Another" is not a thing you do, it's a catch all in-game mechanic to reflect a variety of things a person might do to help someone else. If the player cannot tell me what his character is doing in a way that makes sense in the situation then there is no point in making a roll.


Jiggy wrote:
Kyle Baird wrote:
I do have one nonstandard rule that I'm sure someone will blow out of proportion.

Oh, oh, me! Pick me! ;)

Quote:
If you attempt to aid another and fail by 5 or more you will impart a -2 penalty on the situation for all skills. This is most important when a 7 CHA character's player gets involved in a diplomacy situation and I require them to roll to aid another.

So, did you require an otherwise silent player to involve their PC, forcing a check they didn't want to make and possibly penalizing the party? Or is it that when you say you require a roll, you mean the player already voluntarily got involved verbally and you just enforced a check to represent the effects of their words?

I would have to take exception to the former, but heartily approve of the latter.

I think what he's saying is that if the 7 CHA fighter gets involved, he requires an Aid Another roll, not that he requires a roll if there's an ugly character standing around.

I agree with the -2 penalty for failing by 5 or more - it prevents rolling for rolling's sake.


Thod wrote:

JohnF

What I resent is

Dice roll - I rolled a 12 - I assist

Can you tell me what skill it is and what I assist please

This scenario - unfortunately - is how one of my local players is doing it. Trained skill checks, secret skill checks, skill checks where the character is on the other side of the map - no matter. She ALWAYS rolls and assumes she aids.

And this really annoys other players and GMs.

The easiest way to handle this that I've found is an opposed stealth vs. perception check. Check the layout of where people are and see if the character wishing to assist is near enough to do so. If they are, have them make a perception check vs. the other player's stealth check to see if they notice. (Or another check, such as sleight of hand, disable device, etc.)

Another common trend I've seen is someone trying to assist everyone. Some players assume since you're asking everyone in turn what they're doing, that everyone's acting in sequential order. However, generally you'll have everyone doing their thing at the same time, so if the check assister just helped the rogue look for hidden treasure, they can't assist the fighter trying to steal the journal.

Again, this is just how I'd handle it but I hope it helps.

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