Take 10 with stealth


Rules Questions

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Jiggy wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
I agree with his philosophy, but that doesn't change how the rule is written or what is allowable.

So you disagree with the guy who wrote the rule about how the rule is written?

Wow.

Your unnecessary snarkyness aside, I would love to see a link on who wrote the rule and what they think. Was it in your previous link? I didn't see Sean taking credit for writing the T10 rule, was it in there?

Silver Crusade

BNW wrote:
How do you do an average job of looking around?

I work as an auto insurance adjuster, and I can tell you people do an average job of looking around ALL THE TIME!!! I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I go through that intersection every day, twice a day". It just so happened that this time when they went through it, it wasn't clear like it usually is.

Liberty's Edge

thejeff wrote:
ciretose wrote:
It should also be noted thatt in the discussion you can take 10 even if you are wrong about the distance and you may actually be in danger. What that means to me is distraction is defined by if the playerr percieves something to be distracting, not if it is actually risky. You can take 10 and fall to your death.

Though I think you'd be a lousy GM to allow it. At least not without serious protest.

Most of the instant death cases, you should know ahead of time whether you can succeed or not.

Of course, if you tell the player "That looks like a risky jump for you" and he still says "I'll Take 10", then all bets are off.

I think you misunderstand me (although it was discussed in the thread about a player who rolled misjudging the distance still being allowed to make the jump and fall)

The point is if the player thinks it is easy, they can try and take 10. In the case of stealth, I would say if the player thinks they can sneak past the guard without any real trouble, they can take 10. If they failed to notice a 2nd guard with a better angle...they still took 10.

The exact point I was corrected on was grey area jump distance. If your taking 10 is the exact distance you are jumping (you think) therefore you think the 10 will just barely make it, but you decide to take it anyway.

SKRs point was the player isn't distracted and doesn't believe they are in immediate danger (even though they are about to die) so they should be allowed to take 10, because they know how far they can jump and believe they can make that distance.

If a player believed a take 10 stealth will work, they should be allowed to take it.

Doesn't mean they are correct.


Bigdaddyjug wrote:
BNW wrote:
How do you do an average job of looking around?
I work as an auto insurance adjuster, and I can tell you people do an average job of looking around ALL THE TIME!!! I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I go through that intersection every day, twice a day". It just so happened that this time when they went through it, it wasn't clear like it usually is.

If you miss a truck, thats rolling a 1. Not a 10, even with the wisdom penalty :)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

N N 959 wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
I agree with his philosophy, but that doesn't change how the rule is written or what is allowable.

So you disagree with the guy who wrote the rule about how the rule is written?

Wow.

Your unnecessary snarkyness aside, I would love to see a link on who wrote the rule and what they think. Was it in your previous link? I didn't see Sean taking credit for writing the T10 rule, was it in there?

As I stated earlier, one of the links I provided was part of an ongoing back-and-forth between SKR and another poster. I would encourage you to read that entire dialogue, as it will give you a better sense of the "big idea" for what T10 is all about. And, yes, Sean states (within that dialogue, though not the post I linked) that he wrote the rule.

For extra convenience, here is (I believe) Sean's first post in that dialogue: LINK


No one has said that you shouldn't be able to take 10 and fail... Why do people bring it up?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
MrSin wrote:
How is metagaming to take 10? Its something you do all the time in real life without even thinking about it.
It depends on the skill. How do you put an average effort into knowing something?

By not bothering to think about it that hard. Real-life example: I just stayed at a hotel in College Park, MD, somewhere near the corner of the Beltway and Rte. 1. While I could probably remember the exact address if I chose to (i.e. taking 20 to think hard about it), I don't care that much.

Another real-life example: who was the 33th President of the United States? I could work it out (by counting up from Washington if I needed to -- at one point in my youth I was forced to memorize all of the Presidents in order for school), but if all I need is some vague historical context, I know that he existed and held office around the middle of the 20th century.

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Why would you put anything but your best effort into disabling the death trap about to close down on your wrist?

Because I know that this model is, as death traps go, pretty lightweight, having been designed by my not-very-skilled LE apprentice.

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How do you do an average appraise?

By not going into my special well-lit room and using a magnifying glass, and instead just looking at it.

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How do you do an average job of looking around?

Again, not bothering with high-end lighting, magnifying glasses, and so forth.

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You know that for a cr appropriate trap there's only so high they can reasonably set the dc. Get a decent perception score and take 10 and instead of finding 85% of traps you're finding 99% of of them.

EXACTLY! I know -- or believe, for whatever reason -- that that traps in this area aren't going to be very well-hidden, and therefore take 10, precisely because I shouldn't miss 15% of the traps because of bad game mechanics.

Shadow Lodge

thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Harita-Heema wrote:
Really, coming up with ideas for how a person would do an average job of something isn't that hard. An argument from incredulity does not a conclusive argument make.

Then come up with a better counter argument. I didn't say they were against the rules. I said they were metagamey.

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"Well, I know Spain is in Europe, so I'm guessing it's right about here." Subsequently writes "SPAIN" on Belgium.

You're not going to get any further off by trying to ID the exact country.

Well, it's not quite the way the rules work but: "I know Spain is in Europe, but I'm not sure exactly where." would be a Take 10.

The given example would be a failed roll.

I wouldn't let an American kid take ten to point out Canada or Mexico on a map of North America.


Jiggy wrote:

As I stated earlier, one of the links I provided was part of an ongoing back-and-forth between SKR and another poster. I would encourage you to read that entire dialogue, as it will give you a better sense of the "big idea" for what T10 is all about. And, yes, Sean states (within that dialogue, though not the post I linked) that he wrote the rule.

***For extra convenience, here is (I believe) Sean's first post in that dialogue: LINK

Thanks for the new link. Yeah, the link you just provided is a different one than the earlier. And for the record, Sean doesn't state that he wrote the T10 rule he specifically states:

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I worked with the PH designer on this rule for 3E D&D.

Which suggests he was not the sole author. Whether he was or not, to whit, there's nothing in that new link that contradicts what I am saying about what can or cannot constitute a "distraction." He's simply arguing with certy about using T10 on Jump.

So no, I'm not disagreeing with Sean on his discussion of the rule. That may be your interpretation of our discussion, but it's not mine.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


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"Well, I know Spain is in Europe, so I'm guessing it's right about here." Subsequently writes "SPAIN" on Belgium.

You're not going to get any further off by trying to ID the exact country.

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"Eh, I'm pretty sure I know what a ruby looks like, and how much they sell for". Congratulations, you just identified a greater augment crystal as a mundane ruby, and sold it as such.
which is an epic fail, the same as a 1. You're not going to get further off by being more precise.

I disagree.

"Trying to get more precise" is what causes students to lose points on tests when they start second-guessing themselves. I start thinking of everything that I know about Spain, including things like "the Spanish Main" (which of course is in the Americas), and the fact that they speak Spanish over most of Latin America, and I end up erasing it from Belgium and putting it on Colombia.

Or I note something unusual about the augment crystal, remember that a ruby is often confused with (an obscure gem called) a spinel, and end up flogging off the magic item for the price of a much cheaper spinel.


thejeff wrote:
You're right. They're also not professionals.

and barbarian with 1 rank is a professional?

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Most of the ones playing in the backyard probably couldn't handle a circus tightrope either. Even with a net.

So if they can handle the backyard, but can't handle a circus tent with a net, what's the difference?

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Longer ones are harder. They move more.

We're talking about the same DC to cross the rope. Same length in the backyard. No wind, nothing physical modifiers to the task other than location.

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Do you think that master acrobat could do it as confidently while being shot at?

He's not used to that. He hasn't trained for that.

Now you're trying to find cracks in the game vs RL. The point is someone can be trained to ignore distractions...but they have to specifically be trained to do it. You don't go from walking a 1000 tightropes in your backyard to suddenly being able to block out the fact that you're over Niagara Falls and will die if you fall in. The fear of slipping off the rope isn't a distraction. The affect of height and visual cues from being over Niagara Falls and the fear of dying, may very well be. You're not going to die if you slip off the rope 3" off the ground.

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That it supports my argument because this "A skilled acrobat has actually trained the issue of height out of their heads - 2 feet off the ground is the same as 6 is 40 is 200." is not the feat. The feat is "it doesn't matter whether you're 200' or being shot at".

Or, it could be that the game is is not going to create two feats to enable the concept of something/someone being so competent at something they can perform it under any conditions.

Honestly, this is not a compelling argument on your part. Skills are an abstraction. Real life doesn't fit into a d20 and bunch of feats and modifiers.

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In the real world, I doubt professional tightrope walkers can confidently handle that kind of threat or distraction, but just being up high isn't a big deal.

If it wasn't a big deal then why do they wear harnesses? It is a big deal. They fail a bunch. Why? Because they the height does affect their performance. Someone posting that they train to minimize the effects of height doesn't not mean it they are unequivocally unaffected by the height.

I think we've beaten this to death. If the DM wants to force a player to roll a skill check, there are numerous ways to introduce a distraction beyond using the height of the climb/tightrope.

Silver Crusade

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
BNW wrote:
How do you do an average job of looking around?
I work as an auto insurance adjuster, and I can tell you people do an average job of looking around ALL THE TIME!!! I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I go through that intersection every day, twice a day". It just so happened that this time when they went through it, it wasn't clear like it usually is.

If you miss a truck, thats rolling a 1. Not a 10, even with the wisdom penalty :)

Eh, to me if you rolled a 1 on your "Perception while driving" skill, you would have backed into the F-150 parked across from your driveway. Lots (and I do mean LOTS) of accidents occur every day and almost every time you'll hear 1 of the involved parties say "I never saw them coming" or something very simuilar. So you're making the 6 mile drive to work every day, and one day you get about 4 miles and then, WHAM!, you pull off from a stop sign and get T-boned by a bread truck.

If that's not the definition of taking 10 I don't know what it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
There's also the immediate danger clause. The big burly guy with the sharp pokey metal object standing there, probably taking his move action to look around every round, certainly qualifies as one of those in my book.

You know what the definition of immediate is, right?

If you're not being attacked by something, you cannot be in immediate danger.

You're perhaps getting mixed up with imminent danger, or impending danger, or something like that.

A patrolling guard is in no way an imminent danger. The guard might not even go hostile when he does see the character.

Anything is a potential threat in life; you can trip and kill yourself, a meteor can strike you, lightning can strike you, etc. but that doesn't mean that you can't take 10 because of those possibilities.

Take 10 is not at all about possibilities. Anything CAN happen, but when a PC can take 10, nothing IS happening at the MOMENT that's a danger acting on the player.

If you want to say that a player can't take 10 in a certain situation because they have some huge phobia of guards or lava then do that, but it's stupid to say every character can't do it for an invalid reason.

Bigdaddyjug wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
BNW wrote:
How do you do an average job of looking around?
I work as an auto insurance adjuster, and I can tell you people do an average job of looking around ALL THE TIME!!! I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I go through that intersection every day, twice a day". It just so happened that this time when they went through it, it wasn't clear like it usually is.

If you miss a truck, thats rolling a 1. Not a 10, even with the wisdom penalty :)

Eh, to me if you rolled a 1 on your "Perception while driving" skill, you would have backed into the F-150 parked across from your driveway. Lots (and I do mean LOTS) of accidents occur every day and almost every time you'll hear 1 of the involved parties say "I never saw them coming" or something very simuilar. So you're making the 6 mile drive to work every day, and one day you get about 4 miles and then, WHAM!, you pull off from a stop sign and get T-boned by a bread truck.

If that's not the definition of taking 10 I don't know what it.

1 in 20 chance is a ridiculously positive outlook. That's either assuming a really low DC (like DC 1), and/or everyone has high bonuses to make the DC on anything but a 1 (like +9), both of which I'd say aren't reasonable.

Regardless, even the worst drivers ever do not get into accidents one in 20 times, so the argument that "accidents are common" doesn't correlate properly.

Real-life examples simply don't work, because this is a simple game with simple rules trying to emulate life; it will never do any form of reasonable emulation.

Some people seem to be presuming that taking 10 always passes a DC or something. While generally it's only used in such scenarios, one could say that in real-life, the DCs are always changing of certain events, some high and some low; in some rare situations, the DC is high enough to not pass someone's autopilot like a take 10, and even rarer that failure will result in an accident. I don't know why I'm bothering to try to compare this to real life because of what I previously said, but at least that's a rough approximation of how it would be.


Joesi wrote:

You know what the definition of immediate is, right?

If you're not being attacked by something, you cannot be in immediate danger.

You're perhaps getting mixed up with imminent danger, or impending danger, or something like that.

I've been through this semantic argument before. There is no mix up. They functionally mean the same thing.

You do not sit in a locked room with a time bomb flashing " :58 " and say "hey i'm not in IMMEDIATE danger I've got 58 seconds left".

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Anything is a potential threat in life; you can trip and kill yourself, a meteor can strike you, lightning can strike you, etc. but that doesn't mean that you can't take 10 because of those possibilities.

This is a slippery slope argument.

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Take 10 is not at all about possibilities. Anything CAN happen, but when a PC can take 10, nothing IS happening at the MOMENT that's a danger acting on the player.

Why Zeno, is that arrow holding still in mid air?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Joesi wrote:

You know what the definition of immediate is, right?

If you're not being attacked by something, you cannot be in immediate danger.You're perhaps getting mixed up with imminent danger, or impending danger, or something like that.

I've been through this semantic argument before. There is no mix up. They functionally mean the same thing.

You do not sit in a locked room with a time bomb flashing " :58 " and say "hey i'm not in IMMEDIATE danger I've got 58 seconds left".

Well I didn't see what your response was. This response wasn't a valid response at all, just some hypothetical situation you state without explaining it.

A bomb with 60 seconds on it is not at all immediate danger. How do you argue that it is? such a bomb is both likely imminent danger and impending danger, but 1 minute is not immediate. For this game, the smallest increment, 1 round, is immediate danger.

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Anything is a potential threat in life; you can trip and kill yourself, a meteor can strike you, lightning can strike you, etc. but that doesn't mean that you can't take 10 because of those possibilities.
This is a slippery slope argument.

Again, please explain your statement more. Are you saying that the slope is so slippery I can compare the potential danger of tripping and falling to someone in the middle of attacking me? I don't see it, sorry. Your argument was the slippery slope, and my example of tripping was a extrapolation of such a slope. Your argument is that if something CAN be a threat, you can't take 10, so because tripping is a very real and potential threat, they shouldn't be able to take 10 if ever they're moving.

Like ravingdork said:

Ravingdork wrote:
It's entirely possible that the spotting would lead to a calling of reinforcements, or to a parley, or to any number of other things that are not immediate combat.
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Take 10 is not at all about possibilities. Anything CAN happen, but when a PC can take 10, nothing IS happening at the MOMENT that's a danger acting on the player.
Why Zeno, is that arrow holding still in mid air?

I'm not sure what you're getting at but I can assume. I stated in this new message what immediate would mean: 1 round (same round), because that's essentially as small as it gets in this game.


Joesi wrote:
A bomb with 60 seconds on it is not at all immediate danger

Ok we're done here.


I don't even understand what it is you're debating anymore. o_o


Ansel Krulwich wrote:
I don't even understand what it is you're debating anymore. o_o

Thats pretty much been my reaction since we hit page 2.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
It's 100% a meta game thing.
Funnily enough, one of the quotes from SKR that I linked was part of a dialogue between him and a poster who believed T10 was metagamey. I would encourage you to check it out, as the guy who wrote the rule was quite adamant that T10 is *not* metagamey, because (paraphrasing him here) your PC knows what he can do on his best day, on his worst day, and on average.
Its not metagamey on a jump check or a craft check, but how about on a knowledge check or a search check?
You have ever done your science homework? When you are at home or other appropriate environment you can do your exercises easily. You take 10 and it is a knowledge check.

When you are doing a test with a strict time limit or you are questioned by a professor you are under pressure and distracted, so you roll your dice.

To make N N 959 happy "distracted" is some kind of external pressure that can be related to the task at hand but not exactly part of the task.

- * -

Unrelated, but BNW, stop adding a "/quote" tag when using the automated quoting function. It is at least the second time in this thread that I discover that you have put an extra "/quote" tag in your text, changing the format of your posts when other people cite them.


Diego Rossi wrote:


To make N N 959 happy "distracted" is some kind of external pressure that can be related to the task at hand but not exactly part of the task.

I don't know that'll make them happy - they've already dismissed that out-of-hand and claimed that knowledge of the results of failure, in and of itself, can serve as a distraction. Just sayin'.

I mean really, a lot of the "immediate danger/distraction" argument boils down to:

Well...this:
Humpty Dumpty wrote:

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!' "
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument'," Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master—that's all."


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Appraise= metagamey

Disable Device- a little metagamey.

Heal - only metagamey if you're trying to diagnose something.

Knowledges- VERY metagamey. How do you put an average amount of effort into remembering something?

Linguistics- metagamey. How do you put an average effort into a translation?

Perception- metagamey. Do you ever not look as hard as you can for the death trap?

Sense Motive- metagamey.

Sleight of Hand- hmmmmm. I'm thinking metagamey

Spellcraft- same as knowledge.

Stealth - strikes me as metagamey.

Think of Taking 10 as simply performing at your accustomed level: you haven't made a grievous mistake, and you aren't really exerting yourself either. Taking 10 is going for a drive around the block in your car.

Appraise - You have some idea of how much things are worth, take a glance at this thing you've acquired and judge its value. I can look at, say, a paperback book and guess its cost fairly accurately based on the dimensions of the book (pocket-sized, smaller, larger, looks to be about 200 pages, 500 pages, 1,000 pages). It would take more effort for me to realize a book is a bestseller and is marked up, or is a rare edition or signed by the author, and worth more. You've seen a diamond and have a good idea of how much they're worth. Maybe you take 10, but you actually have a rare diamond on your hands, and you miss some special property of it, and get a false reading, because you really needed to roll a 15 to get that information.

Disable Device - You've disabled things like this before. You know to cut the blue wire, that if you stick a piece of gum on that spring there, twist your lockpick just so, you will have dealt with the device. Sure, danger may come into it, but I'd seriously doubt that a bomb tech who has disabled dozens of explosives would have any difficulty disabling a simple device he has disabled dozens of times before because there are twice as many explosives involved. If, for some reason, the risk is so much higher that it SHOULD be distracting...increase the DC of the trap, so taking 10 doesn't beat it. Or have the character roll a Will save vs. being shaken.

Heal - You look at the obvious symptoms and render a diagnosis based on common past experience.

Knowledge - There is some information that you can recall readily. It takes literally no conscious effort to look at a penny and know its value, to figure out how to turn on my computer, knowing which trains will take me to Times Square, who the current mayor, governor and president are of my city, state, and country, respectively. These are checks I should never fail. There's other stuff, too. Recalling the inscription on the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings, knowing where to find Wonderful chocobos in Final Fantasy VII, identifying Stairway To Heaven by the opening two chords. These aren't common knowledge, but they are certainly things I can recall without effort, but could potentially have a brain fart for and forget, or make a mistake on: that is, I have enough ranks in the appropriate Knowledge skills to make these checks on a 10, but could roll poorly and make a mistake.
Take 10: give it a moment's thought and get it right every time, vs. answer without thinking and maybe flub it.

Linguistics - Basically the same, but you could also look at it as translating words you know, but missing the intended meaning, an idiom, slang, or a mistake the writer made. I'm rather poor with foreign languages, but there are phrases in Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, French, German, Japanese, and phonetical Russian that I can translate if I'm applying myself a little, every time, but that I could make a mistake on if I weren't really paying attention.

Perception - You scan a room, turning your head, and pick up a certain amount of detail. You can pick out certain types of detail doing that every time: whether my friend is in the room or not, whether my pillow has been moved, but I may miss subtler things like whether my mouse has been moved, or if the window is slightly ajar. I can probably notice some of those things every time I do a quick scan of the room. I may miss them if all I do is stick my head in and sweep my eyes over the room (roll a d20). Looking as hard as you can at the trap is taking 20.

Sense Motive - I know that many people look up and to the left when they're lying, will fidget when pressed with an uncomfortable question, and if I'm asking someone questions, may be looking for these signs (taking 10), but I may miss the subtler tells on someone more adept at obfuscating the truth/their motives, such as on a good poker player, but I also may ask someone a question off-handedly, where I'm not looking for such tells and could miss even the ones I'm accustomed to looking for (roll d20). For example, if I ask someone, "What did you do today?" I may not be looking for signs that they aren't telling me the truth if I have no reason to be looking for signs that they are, but I may notice those signs by chance. If I'm asking the question of someone I suspect of doing a certain thing, I'm likely to be looking for those baseline tells.

Sleight of Hand - I can do a couple of coin tricks that make kids happy. I'm pretty good at them, and if I'm concentrating a little, I can pull them off without a hitch. If I'm not, sometimes I mess up, and sometimes I happen to do the tricks perfectly.

Stealth - You know how to step without making much noise, and have a good sense for when you're in shadows or not, as long as you're paying attention to what you're doing. Maybe you are pretty decent at moving to avoid someone's line of sight if you're watching them while you act, but if you aren't maintaining that baseline level of concentration, you may mess up, or you may happen into a darker area than you realized. If you walk silently but disregard the people around you, maybe you fail to notice the guy looking right at you, while if you maintain your professional level of stealth, you account for such things.


People fail seemingly easily doable activities because they AREN'T concentrating on them (rolling a d20 and getting a result under a 10), rather than maintaining a general degree of focus (taking 10), or because the task they are attempting is too difficult for them to accomplish without trying to stretch their abilities a bit (rolling a d20 and hoping for higher than a 10), or because some other factor is influencing their chance of success, such as people shooting at you, or being overcome with fright at the chasm you're looking down at.

For climbing and the "don't look down" example. Think of it this way: if you are looking down at the fall, you AREN'T concentrating on climbing, and therefore are distracted. This is DM subjective, obviously, but if you are focusing on finding hand- and footholds on a walled surface that you should be able to climb with relative ease, there's no reason you should fall unless you: A) encounter a tougher obstacle, B) become fatigued, C) stop concentrating on your task, D) get reckless (such as by rolling a d20 and hoping for a good result in order to climb faster).

Ditto for walking across that balance beam: if you're looking down at the drop, you aren't concentrating on your acrobatics.

Jumping over lava would be distracting, not because it's lava, but because you're probably taking heat damage from being in close proximity to it, which absolutely IS a distraction. If you were jumping across the lava from 30 feet up, and couldn't feel the heat, it shouldn't be any different than jumping the same gap with just a walkway 5 feet below if you are focusing on your jump and not on what you're jumping over. Again, you're taking 10: you're doing what you SHOULD be doing--focusing on the task and applying yourself according to your average skills, what you can do regularly and repeatedly.

Some of this should be role-playing. If you describe your character as being nervous about the lava down below, the DM shouldn't allow you to take 10. If you're cool and collected, you should be able to take 10.

If you actually have ever gone climbing for real (or performed any other task that requires skill and concentration) you'd know that you enter a "zone" where you're not considering the drop below you, or your death; you are only concerned with the next step toward the top/your goal. I get this playing video games. Take something like Einhander or Ninja Gaiden: I can play the games for hours, dying fairly often, sometimes really kicking butt, and then all of a sudden I'll get "in the zone" and will just sort of flow through the game, moving perfectly, avoiding all dangers, beating everything in my path. What's happened in game terms? I've become focused, no longer permitting things like ambient light, background noise, the feel of the fabric of my chair, to distract me. I stopped trying to do too much (pushing for high rolls), and stopped making mistakes (getting low rolls). I'm taking 10. If someone were to walk into the room to talk to me, I'd be back to rolling as my attention is split between the game and the intruder.


You may mess up is not putting in an average effort.

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Appraise - You have some idea of how much things are worth, take a glance at this thing you've acquired and judge its value. I can look at, say, a paperback book and guess its cost fairly accurately based on the dimensions of the book

This is absurd. You either know that a first edition Madeline book is worth big cash or you don't. It has absolutely NOTHING... nadda, zip, zero, zilch, with how much effort you put in.

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you've disabled things like this before. You know to cut the blue wire, that if you stick a piece of gum on that spring there, twist your lockpick just so, you will have dealt with the device

This is describing disable device. Its not describing the difference between take 10 and a roll.

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Take 10: give it a moment's thought and get it right every time, vs. answer without thinking and maybe flub it.

The analogy doesn't work because you're not equally likely to spout out something brilliant by ad libbing it.

stealth, again, not a difference between a roll and a take 10.

Very. Very. Metagamey.

Take 10 is supposed to be about speeding up the unimportant parts, not metagaming your way to an iwin button, never failing, or using fiat to get yourself a level 10 advanced rogue talent. Half the game is about rolling dice, I can't understand this drive to eliminate it outside of combat.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
This is absurd. You either know that a first edition Madeline book is worth big cash or you don't.

If how you are understanding knowledge checks is correct, then the huge d20 swing on knowledge checks is something that you likely don't want to have in the first place. Also you'd want to catalog a list of successful/unsuccessful checks, what you've directly learned, etc. and not roll for those occurrences.

Or you can have the knowledge check representing recalling knowledge that you do know. Ask any student after a test and they certainly know the difference.

You might know the price of such a book, but in a rush you might not even notice that it is that specific book and not a cheap replica depending upon random chance and distractions. Let alone recall that you read once that one sold for a decent price.

You can object to the skill system, or its benchmarks.. but if you try to incorporate and accept it, then at least you know from where its coming.

Quote:
Take 10 is supposed to be about speeding up the unimportant parts, not metagaming your way to an iwin button, never failing

Actually.. from the core rule book, we have:

Quote:

For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. ... 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.

It seems that it is meant to allow a character to be auto-successful in some situations.

It also seems that it is meant to avoid cases where you don't want to fail and think an average job is acceptable.

In-character, you should have an idea how far one can jump, and the like. This isn't metagamy in the least, but rather it should be the default for most characters. A d20 roll should represent when a character elects to take risks by pushing themselves, or when conditions put them under the gun (possibly literally).

-James
PS: Forget knowledge checks.. consider the benchmarks on swim. I think that one of the first 3e designers must have been a poor swimmer.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
You may mess up is not putting in an average effort.

Yes it is, if you misjudge the difficulty.

Quote:
This is absurd. You either know that a first edition Madeline book is worth big cash or you don't. It has absolutely NOTHING... nadda, zip, zero, zilch, with how much effort you put in.

No... Think of it this way: you glance at the cover, see that it's Madeline, that it looks a bit old, but is in good shape. You'd guess it costs maybe a little more than a new copy, but unless you look inside the cover and see the printing date, or happen to know that THIS cover was only used for the first printing, you wouldn't have any idea that it's worth a lot. If you take 10 to appraise the book, depending on the DC, you may be applying just the superficial analysis I describe.

If you're an expert in judging the value of things (many ranks), maybe you routinely check for X, Y, and Z when making your analysis--you do that every time (take 10). Maybe you see something unknown, and your normal routine doesn't seem like it would be as helpful, so you roll.

Quote:
This is describing disable device. Its not describing the difference between take 10 and a roll.

What I meant was that there's a degree of difficulty in trap construction that you are accustomed to dealing with: as you gain levels and increase ranks, that difficulty goes up. The easier traps you should be able to do practically in your sleep. You go through the motions. If you mistake the trap for being easier than it is, you may fail. If you encounter a trap that is more difficult than you are used to easily dealing with, you need to roll. If you're under duress, such as being attacked while trying to disable the device, you have to roll, and may blow even a fairly routine trap.

Quote:
The analogy doesn't work because you're not equally likely to spout out something brilliant by ad libbing it.

It's not about ad libbing, it's about recalling information, and maybe extrapolating information. For instance, I was playing a trivia game with friends the other day, and got a question that asked for the name of the person who built the first computer. I'd read an article about Charles Babbage a few months ago, but I couldn't remember his name (the DC was too high to take 10 on, and I didn't roll high enough on my d20 to get the answer, but my "take 10" was high enough to know who the question was talking about, while none of my friends had even that much information). A little bit later, I also got the question asking about the first computer programmer--I remembered that it was a she, that she had worked on the computer/Analytical Engine that Babbage had created some years prior, and that she had been working in the 19th century, but not her name, and I misremembered how late in the 1800s she had done her work (I thought late 19th century, when it was really mid-century). My take 10 yielded some information--I didn't have to give much thought to recalling the info I knew, and I can recall that info readily, but the other bits were tougher to remember.

Extrapolation can also be performed with a knowledge check: I know the geography of my city fairly well, and about how fast it takes to get around on local streets without having to give it too much thought (take 10), but I would have to give some more thought to how long it would take to drive from one end of the city to the other: I'd need to roll, and if I rolled well enough (accounted for the time of day, traffic in different areas, frequency of traffic lights in some areas, crowd density, etc...) I could probably judge the time fairly closely, but I'm also likely to forget to account for something, or assume something will go faster or slower than it actually will.

Do you remember everything you've ever known without any effort? Do you have an eidetic memory? Speaking of which..."eidetic" is not a word I can quite take 10 on, but I don't have to roll too high--I CAN forget the word, but not often. And I will know that the word exists, because I have a good vocabulary (many ranks). Many people I know would be aware of the phrase "photographic memory," but not know that there is a single word that can be used in place of the phrase, while some people I know would be aware of the existence of the word, but wouldn't be able to recall it with ease.

That's true for a lot of my vocabulary: there are some "big words" that I can use easily almost all of the time, especially if I'm giving some thought to what I'm saying or writing (focused), but will occasionally forget (when I'm a bit distracted, such as by talking to someone while writing, or tired).

Quote:


Take 10 is supposed to be about speeding up the unimportant parts, not metagaming your way to an iwin button, never failing, or using fiat to get yourself a level 10 advanced rogue talent. Half the game is about rolling dice, I can't understand this drive to eliminate it outside of combat.

Go read the description of Take 10 again.


Yeti1069 wrote:


Go read the description of Take 10 again.

Vague passive aggressive ad hom. If you think there's something there I'm missing then SAY IT rather than assuming that I haven't read the rules and that, by some miracle, reading them for the 1,000 and first time is going to lead to some sort of revelation.

Quote:
Yes it is, if you misjudge the difficulty.

Being able to misjudge the difficulty can happen on an average effort but if does not DEFINE an average effort, which is what i asked you to do. That you can't tells me that I'm right: its metagamey.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
the jeff wrote:

Well, it's not quite the way the rules work but: "I know Spain is in Europe, but I'm not sure exactly where." would be a Take 10.

The given example would be a failed roll.
But you either know where spain is or you don't. You can't control to what degree you either know where spain is or spain isn't.

Most of the time when I see a word like willow, cypress, pine, fir, ecc. I mentally translate it as tree, without bothering to remember what specific kind of tree it is. That is taking 10 without bothering to do further mental work.

If asked to differentiate a pine from a fir plenty of people will fail, rolling from 1 to 9 on their check.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Yeti1069 wrote:


Go read the description of Take 10 again.

Vague passive aggressive ad hom. If you think there's something there I'm missing then SAY IT rather than assuming that I haven't read the rules and that, by some miracle, reading them for the 1,000 and first time is going to lead to some sort of revelation.

JM above answered this one.

Quote:

Being able to misjudge the difficulty can happen on an average effort but if does not DEFINE an average effort, which is what i asked you to do. That you can't tells me that I'm right: its metagamey.

I details average effort specifically in the cases of the various skills. If you choose to ignore that, I can't help you.

Why don't you try defining the average effort, the guarantee of success, that the description of taking 10 indicates?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
N N 959 wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
I agree with his philosophy, but that doesn't change how the rule is written or what is allowable.

So you disagree with the guy who wrote the rule about how the rule is written?

Wow.

Your unnecessary snarkyness aside, I would love to see a link on who wrote the rule and what they think. Was it in your previous link? I didn't see Sean taking credit for writing the T10 rule, was it in there?
Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I'm not a professional jumper. How do I know I can reliably do a standing broad jump of 6 feet? Because I had a discussion with Jonathan Tweet in the Wizards of the Coast office, we measured out 5 feet, and I jumped it. Over and over again. With an average Str (3E used Str for Jump checks) and no ranks in Jump, I got 5+ feet every time. Jumping 5 feet horizontally is DC 5, doubled to 10 because I didn't have a running start. Taking 10, I got it every time. That's why those values are in the 3E Player's Handbook: I demonstrated to Jonathan Tweet that an average person can reliably jump 5 feet as a standing broad jump. We measured and tested this. It's scientifically verified: Sean K Reynolds can reliably do a standing broad jump of 5 feet. If I were a D&D character, character-me would know that he can do a standing broad jump of 5 feet. And player-me would know that my character, character-me, can do that. And me knowing that isn't metagaming.

A first hand account on how they developed the rule is sufficient?

The whole post is here.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


But you either know where spain is or you don't. You can't control to what degree you either know where spain is or spain isn't.

Not true. You can know that Spain is in Europe, without knowing exactly where.

Someone can ask you where Spain is, and you can answer quickly, saying it's in some incorrect location.

You can give it a moment's thought, thinking, "well...okay, I know that the Rock of Gebraltar sits at the western end of the Mediterranean where it meets the Atlantic, and the Rock sticks off of Spain (basically), so Spain is in western Europe."

You could go further to recall what Europe looks like on a map, and realize that it would be to the west of France. It would take some more considering if you wanted to figure out where Spain is in relation to some fixture in America.

As another example (and this is something I overheard some teenagers saying on the bus some months ago), you may decide that Portugal is in South America, because you know that Brazil speaks Portuguese, because you aren't giving it much thought, but if you really stop to think a moment, you may recall that Portugal comes up when discussing Christopher Columbus' sailing to America, and that it therefore must be in Europe somewhere.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bigdaddyjug wrote:
BNW wrote:
How do you do an average job of looking around?
I work as an auto insurance adjuster, and I can tell you people do an average job of looking around ALL THE TIME!!! I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "I go through that intersection every day, twice a day". It just so happened that this time when they went through it, it wasn't clear like it usually is.

If you miss a truck, thats rolling a 1. Not a 10, even with the wisdom penalty :)

Or this time a guy has parked in the prohibited area on the verge of the intersection, blocking your view, the truck is running at 80 mph in the middle of the city and has jumped the stop.

Or you had circumstantial modifier for being half asleep, suffering from an hangover or using painkillers.

Plenty of small accidents are born because you take 10 and there is a unusual modifier. As in climbing failing a drive check by 5 shouldn't be a major mishap but a minor one.

And 1 isn't an automatic fail in any skill check.

Liberty's Edge

Take 10 isn't just a time saver. It is a player deciding to just put in average effort in a given moment.

Like everything in life, average effort may or may not be enough. But it isn't metagaming unless the GM specifically gives them the number they need to roll.

The example that was coming up was let us assume a player knows they can jump 10 feet reliably (take 10) and they see something that is about 10 feet across over a high ravine.

The player makes a perception check (behind a screen) and they believe that the gap is exactly 10 feet. And they know they can jump 10 feet with an average effort. So they take 10.

Now if they rolled poorly on the perception check and the distance was actually 12 feet...reflex save if you are a kind GM.

Similarly, what if an illusion is involved and the whole thing is a trap that makes it look like an easy jump, when it fact it isn't?

SKRs point was that it is actually metagaming to tell a player they can't take 10 if the player believes that they could accomplish the goal. If they believe they can do it, they aren't distracted or in imminant danger (that they know of) so they can take 10.

I thought if they were in actual danger, the GM shouldn't allow it because it would be a jerk move. SKR said nope, telling the player what they can and can not do is more metagaming that that.

It even got to the point of what the perception check would be to be able to know what the jumping distance actually was.


Yeti wrote:
But you either know where spain is or you don't. You can't control to what degree you either know where spain is or spain isn't.
Not true. You can know that Spain is in Europe, without knowing exactly where.

I did not say that you could not know where spain is to different degrees. I said you could not CONTROL the degree to which you know it: that is the difference and that is what i find metagamey.

If at 10 am this morning I'm shoeing a horse, whether I decide to just grab a piece of stock and slap it on there or try to custom make a new alloy and add a recessed crossbar or something for extra strength is completely under my control.

If at 10 am someone asks me where spain is, whether I know it or not was decided 20 plus years ago in geography class, and in all the years since when I've glanced at maps of europe or played risk. At 10 am, there is NOTHING I can do to my brain to get it to know something it doesn't already know.


Diego Rossi wrote:


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I'm not a professional jumper. How do I know I can reliably do a standing broad jump of 6 feet? Because I had a discussion with Jonathan Tweet in the Wizards of the Coast office, we measured out 5 feet, and I jumped it. Over and over again. With an average Str (3E used Str for Jump checks) and no ranks in Jump, I got 5+ feet every time. Jumping 5 feet horizontally is DC 5, doubled to 10 because I didn't have a running start. Taking 10, I got it every time. That's why those values are in the 3E Player's Handbook: I demonstrated to Jonathan Tweet that an average person can reliably jump 5 feet as a standing broad jump. We measured and tested this. It's scientifically verified: Sean K Reynolds can reliably do a standing broad jump of 5 feet. If I were a D&D character, character-me would know that he can do a standing broad jump of 5 feet. And player-me would know that my character, character-me, can do that. And me knowing that isn't metagaming.

A first hand account on how they developed the rule is sufficient?

The whole post is here.

An interesting tangent to that quote is the fact that back when I first started getting into weight lifting a few weeks ago, I was able to correlate deadlift weight into a rough estimate of in game Str score based on the carrying capacity table. A deadlift pretty much fits the definition of "Lift Off Ground" (can pick it off the ground but not over the head, only stumble around 5 feet per six seconds while holding it)and a 200 lb deadlift will put you at a whopping 10 Str. I know a lot more people that can standing broad jump 5 feet than deadlift 200 lbs.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Conman the Bardbarian wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Conman the Bardbarian wrote:


Want to show your competence cast featherfall before the jump,

Not a great show of competence as the target line of the spell say:

Targets one Medium or smaller freefalling object or creature/level, no two of which may be more than 20 ft. apart

A creature that isn't freefalling isn't a valid target, so you have just burned a spell without any benefit.

Actually that was an editing error on my part. Let the wizard know to have featherfall ready to save you before you jump was my intention.

But then he expected you'd take ten on all this superfluous garbage to begin with so he's got all of those slots filled with magic missile. He's so bored out of his mind with all this mundane activity he's playing cards with his ferret.

Heaven forbid you tried to jump a chasm and he jumped in after you cast featherfall on you both and did something heroic.

How many errors you want to place in a post?

Taking 10 don't take more time that trying a skill normally, so why your wizard is bored? Or he don't like to see people doing something but want to be the one that do everything?

Jump after me and cast feather fall? It is not heroic, it is stupid. Jumping in require him to wait till he can act, so, even if I haven't jet reached the bottom we will be very far apart, surely "more than 20 ft. apart". He should cast featherfall on me as a immediate action if he want to be heroic.

Conman the Bardbarian wrote:


152,000 results for tightrope walker fail. Granted, I only watched one video but that guy had a harness connected to the rope.

537 of those are about "tightrope walker Niagara fail, how many about other falls?

827 posts about "tightrope walker succeed". So we have "proved" that tightrope walking success/failure rate is 1/183. :P
Choosing your search pattern you can prove whatever you want this way.


Brotato wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:


Sean K Reynolds wrote:
I'm not a professional jumper. How do I know I can reliably do a standing broad jump of 6 feet? Because I had a discussion with Jonathan Tweet in the Wizards of the Coast office, we measured out 5 feet, and I jumped it. Over and over again. With an average Str (3E used Str for Jump checks) and no ranks in Jump, I got 5+ feet every time. Jumping 5 feet horizontally is DC 5, doubled to 10 because I didn't have a running start. Taking 10, I got it every time. That's why those values are in the 3E Player's Handbook: I demonstrated to Jonathan Tweet that an average person can reliably jump 5 feet as a standing broad jump. We measured and tested this. It's scientifically verified: Sean K Reynolds can reliably do a standing broad jump of 5 feet. If I were a D&D character, character-me would know that he can do a standing broad jump of 5 feet. And player-me would know that my character, character-me, can do that. And me knowing that isn't metagaming.

A first hand account on how they developed the rule is sufficient?

The whole post is here.

An interesting tangent to that quote is the fact that back when I first started getting into weight lifting a few weeks ago, I was able to correlate deadlift weight into a rough estimate of in game Str score based on the carrying capacity table. A deadlift pretty much fits the definition of "Lift Off Ground" (can pick it off the ground but not over the head, only stumble around 5 feet per six seconds while holding it)and a 200 lb deadlift will put you at a whopping 10 Str. I know a lot more people that can standing broad jump 5 feet than deadlift 200 lbs.

What I find kind of absurd about that is that if you can reliably do a standing long jump of 5', (Take 10 = 10, so Skill 0), you can under pressure jump anywhere from 0' to 10'. I might be able to jump 5', I can pretty much guarantee I won't ever reach 10', no matter how often I try (Take 20!).

The world record is 3.71m, just over 12'. By which we can judge that the highest acrobatics skill in the real world isn't much higher than 5. :)

The swinginess is way too high. It's always annoyed me about d20. Something with a bell curve and a lower range would work better.
It's not so bad in combat, since the large number of rolls smooths out the extremes, but whenever success or failure rests on a single roll it's apparent. And that's how most skill uses work. Thus the need for these workarounds.
In addition to reducing the die rolling for near trivial tasks.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Yeti wrote:
But you either know where spain is or you don't. You can't control to what degree you either know where spain is or spain isn't.
Not true. You can know that Spain is in Europe, without knowing exactly where.

I did not say that you could not know where spain is to different degrees. I said you could not CONTROL the degree to which you know it: that is the difference and that is what i find metagamey.

If at 10 am this morning I'm shoeing a horse, whether I decide to just grab a piece of stock and slap it on there or try to custom make a new alloy and add a recessed crossbar or something for extra strength is completely under my control.

If at 10 am someone asks me where spain is, whether I know it or not was decided 20 plus years ago in geography class, and in all the years since when I've glanced at maps of europe or played risk. At 10 am, there is NOTHING I can do to my brain to get it to know something it doesn't already know.

Are you being intentionally obtuse?

Are you telling me that you can readily recall absolutely everything you ever learned in school 20 years ago without a moment's hestitation, no matter what task you're doing at the time, each and every time? You never misremember, or forget something occasionally, or have some difficulty recalling a bit of information? Ever? You never lose a word (you know what you want to say, you know that you know the word, it's on the "tip of your tongue" but you just can't seem to access it)? Seriously? If so, then maybe you DO have eidetic memory, and have just been assuming that everyone else around you does as well, which would be false.

As for shoeing a horse...if you've been doing it for a long time, do you EVER do it incorrectly if it's routine? That is, there isn't some unexpected problem? Have you ever messed up performing that same action, because you were sleepy, or not really paying attention, or because something else was going on?

On geography, I can list all 50 states, though I tend to forget 2 or 3 if I'm just rattling them off, and it takes me a little thought to get the last few down. I can put the states on the east coast in order from north to south, but I can't fill in an unlabeled map of the US without spending some real effort putting pieces together in my head. I'd guess that I could probably get about 80% of the US filled in without having to look something up. Most human beings do not have ready access to all of their memories all of the time.

For language, I can look at a lot of words and know their meaning, or close enough, with little effort. For others, I can decipher their meaning by breaking them up into their root words and identifying the meanings of those. For some, where I'm familiar with the roots, I can basically take 10. For others, I have to devote more thought to the task, and for some, I'll be lucky if I can interpret the meaning of the word.

If this really is not how you function, and you do all of this without hesitation, without applying any real thought, then you are one of the lucky few in the world who can do that, and should recognize the fact that it is NOT common, and that the D&D rules reflect COMMON practices, not the rare exceptions--that's what feats are for.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
If at 10 am someone asks me where spain is, whether I know it or not was decided 20 plus years ago in geography class, and in all the years since when I've glanced at maps of europe or played risk. At 10 am, there is NOTHING I can do to my brain to get it to know something it doesn't already know.

And hence taking 10 means you are expending an average amount of effort attempting to remember that fact ("well, off the top of my head..."). Success means you successfully remembered where Spain is. Failure means you forgot it, or convinced yourself of incorrect information, or really actually never did learn that in geography class (Europe bored you to tears; you wanted to learn about AUSTRALIA!) A knowledge skill total indicates the level of education you have on a subject; the check is merely how well you recall that information, and taking 10 simply means you are expending an average effort at doing so. Not that I am ever going to convince you of that fact because you have literally hand-waved away every real world analogy that would explain why Taking 10 is valid for any skill you don't want it to be valid for, while throwing out random non-sequitur (and sometimes not even valid) accusations of this or that or the other logical fallacy or philosophical name-drop. There really is no point in debating this with you, because you are not arguing in good faith.


Harita-Heema wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
If at 10 am someone asks me where spain is, whether I know it or not was decided 20 plus years ago in geography class, and in all the years since when I've glanced at maps of europe or played risk. At 10 am, there is NOTHING I can do to my brain to get it to know something it doesn't already know.
And hence taking 10 means you are expending an average amount of effort attempting to remember that fact ("well, off the top of my head..."). Success means you successfully remembered where Spain is. Failure means you forgot it, or convinced yourself of incorrect information, or really actually never did learn that in geography class (Europe bored you to tears; you wanted to learn about AUSTRALIA!) A knowledge skill total indicates the level of education you have on a subject; the check is merely how well you recall that information, and taking 10 simply means you are expending an average effort at doing so. Not that I am ever going to convince you of that fact because you have literally hand-waved away every real world analogy that would explain why Taking 10 is valid for any skill you don't want it to be valid for, while throwing out random non-sequitur (and sometimes not even valid) accusations of this or that or the other logical fallacy or philosophical name-drop. There really is no point in debating this with you, because you are not arguing in good faith.

Agreed. I realized this a while ago...but I'm a stubborn ass and apparently enjoy beating dead horses and banging my head against the wall.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm going to try and put a cap on this, but I admit it's hubris of me to think I can...

The T10 rule is about the meta-game need to make the game playable. With the introduction of 3.0, nearly everything a creature can do can/should relate to a skill check. Skill Craft/Profession allows the game to encompass the entire economy within the skill system. But everything can't be decided by a die roll. Requiring such would make the game unplayable. In addition, it would offend our sensibilities to have things like jumping over a 2' ditch have such random outcomes. Enter T10.

Whether this is "half-assing" as Sean K puts it or if it is someone fully concentrating, the rules, as written, make that irrelevant. What matters is the rule allows the skill system to function despite its glaring inconsistencies. The player's choice on using that mechanic is precluded where the character can't focus on the task at hand. Outside of combat, the author/GM decides when that happens.

I've stated that the rule was poorly written. But that was meant from the context of people wanting to eliminate certain types of distractions from qualifing. In fact, the rule is not poorly written in and of itself. Why? Because the rule does one of the most important things:

It empowers the author/GM to control the challenge presented to the players.

By giving the author (whether that's the GM or the writer) the discretion to require or not require a roll out of combat, the GM can decide if a non-combat task is central to the story or the enjoyment of the scenario. That's a very important power not to take away.

No GM has to require a roll when a character as to walk a tightrope across lava. But he/she can. 3.x game authors are correct to give GM's the ability to require dice rolls because it is fundamentally a dice game...d20 remember? While all things should not come down to dice rolls, the GM is the one who gets to decide if and when that's true. The use of the word "distraction" preserves that right out of combat.

The more discretion the GM's have, the more they can improve the game, and the more they can screw it up. The 3.x and Paizo authors made a decision to give more rope to the GM. Grant it, it allows for more hangings, but game authors have to assume GM's will exercise good discretion.

Forcing the rogue to roll to unlock the sewer grate as the patrol approches because the sewer is swarming with flies may be the exact thing you want to do. Why? Because there hasn't been one battle the entire scenario and the woman playing the fighter is teaching herself Hindi on her ipad.

Conversely, using those same flies to try and force a failed roll as the jackpot wizard is climbing a 50' knotted rope out of the sewer at the end of a scenario is arguably poor discretion.

Personally, I think the rule is fine. Just hope your GM exercises good discretion.

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