Disable Device – When to say “No”?


Advice

51 to 100 of 273 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree to an extent that a hazard is not a trap. Also, I would add that traps that have already been triggered and have created hazards arent traps either. But there are other skills to use in those situations.
As an aside, playing with someone who refuses to say a word to anyone in or out of game other than what they got when rolling for a skill or an attack our a save isn't much fun.


To reiterate what others have stated, the floor isn't a trap. It's a hazard, than would be noticed with Know(Eng). As such, it can be disabled, though with the right equipment/magic it can be bypassed. The dead-fall trap is a trap, and can be disabled. Now, you can ask your player to describe how they do so, but I wouldn't penalize them for it. He wedges something into some place on the deadfall and it doesn't go off.

The trick here is identifying the difference between a hazard and a trap.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Something like this that isn't just "I climb it" or "I swim it" I see no issue with requiring the person to give some kind of explanation of how they do it.

Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Don't require them to give a full proof answer to the issue but have them give some kind of solution and you could even give circumstance bonuses for clever solutions.

Also to disable a device you have to actually be able to..I dunno...get to the device to disable it?

"The bomb is floating 40 feet in the air"

"Ok I disable it"

"...."


Claxon wrote:

To reiterate what others have stated, the floor isn't a trap. It's a hazard, than would be noticed with Know(Eng). As such, it can be disabled, though with the right equipment/magic it can be bypassed. The dead-fall trap is a trap, and can be disabled. Now, you can ask your player to describe how they do so, but I wouldn't penalize them for it. He wedges something into some place on the deadfall and it doesn't go off.

The trick here is identifying the difference between a hazard and a trap.

I'm a little concerned about noticing such things with Know(Eng). How does this work in practice? I'm all for getting more use out of different skills, but do we really need someone with a maxed Know(Eng) skill up in front with the Trapfinder guy making rolls the whole time we're in the dungeon. Trapspotter lets you notice traps without slowing the party to a crawl, but there isn't anything similar for Hazards, so does it really matter? You'd have to slow down for that anyway.

Or just ignore it unless the area has obvious structural problems and hope that blundering into hazards won't hurt too bad.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MattR1986 wrote:

Something like this that isn't just "I climb it" or "I swim it" I see no issue with requiring the person to give some kind of explanation of how they do it.

Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Don't require them to give a full proof answer to the issue but have them give some kind of solution and you could even give circumstance bonuses for clever solutions.

Also to disable a device you have to actually be able to..I dunno...get to the device to disable it?

"The bomb is floating 40 feet in the air"

"Ok I disable it"

"...."

I don't like to, but my group prefers it that way. Personally I don't like bluff/diplomacy/intimidate as skills, but thats a separate issue.

In regards to a device in the air out of reach, yes it is reasonable for him to explain how he is reaching the device to disable it, but this is a strawman. As the issue isn't can he disable the bomb, he could. But the issue is how does he reach the bomb to disable it, which is a separate albeit related issue.

thejeff wrote:
Claxon wrote:

To reiterate what others have stated, the floor isn't a trap. It's a hazard, than would be noticed with Know(Eng). As such, it can be disabled, though with the right equipment/magic it can be bypassed. The dead-fall trap is a trap, and can be disabled. Now, you can ask your player to describe how they do so, but I wouldn't penalize them for it. He wedges something into some place on the deadfall and it doesn't go off.

The trick here is identifying the difference between a hazard and a trap.

I'm a little concerned about noticing such things with Know(Eng). How does this work in practice? I'm all for getting more use out of different skills, but do we really need someone with a maxed Know(Eng) skill up in front with the Trapfinder guy making rolls the whole time we're in the dungeon. Trapspotter lets you notice traps without slowing the party to a crawl, but there isn't anything similar for Hazards, so does it really matter? You'd have to slow down for that anyway.

Or just ignore it unless the area has obvious structural problems and hope that blundering into hazards won't hurt too bad.

I would make the check reflexive like a perception check. Or likely, a combiantion of perception and knowledge engineering to know it wont support your weight. Possibly even separate character doing such. Any are valid, but I wouldn't make it an "active" check.

Also, "identifying dangerous construction" which I believe the floor would fall under is a DC 10 check. Even the untrained could attempt the check, and provided they don't have a penalty to int they could recognize the danger by taking 10 (which is another thread ;) ).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MattR1986 wrote:

Something like this that isn't just "I climb it" or "I swim it" I see no issue with requiring the person to give some kind of explanation of how they do it.

Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

there are many people, some in this thread, who would say otherwise.


Claxon wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:

Something like this that isn't just "I climb it" or "I swim it" I see no issue with requiring the person to give some kind of explanation of how they do it.

Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Don't require them to give a full proof answer to the issue but have them give some kind of solution and you could even give circumstance bonuses for clever solutions.

Also to disable a device you have to actually be able to..I dunno...get to the device to disable it?

"The bomb is floating 40 feet in the air"

"Ok I disable it"

"...."

I don't like to, but my group prefers it that way. Personally I don't like bluff/diplomacy/intimidate as skills, but thats a separate issue.

In regards to a device in the air out of reach, yes it is reasonable for him to explain how he is reaching the device to disable it, but this is a strawman. As the issue isn't can he disable the bomb, he could. But the issue is how does he reach the bomb to disable it, which is a separate albeit related issue.

It's sort of a separate question. Once you head down that road, it's easy to make it impossible to reach the trap to disable it without setting it off, which sort of defeats the purpose.

What's triggering the bomb? Is that reachable? If it's not magic, then it's some kind of mechanical thing that I have to contact to set off. That I can disable.
If it's some kind of magical sensor, then all bets are off, but that's true of pretty much any magical trap, which is why you need the special mojo to deal with them.


Claxon wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Claxon wrote:

To reiterate what others have stated, the floor isn't a trap. It's a hazard, than would be noticed with Know(Eng). As such, it can be disabled, though with the right equipment/magic it can be bypassed. The dead-fall trap is a trap, and can be disabled. Now, you can ask your player to describe how they do so, but I wouldn't penalize them for it. He wedges something into some place on the deadfall and it doesn't go off.

The trick here is identifying the difference between a hazard and a trap.

I'm a little concerned about noticing such things with Know(Eng). How does this work in practice? I'm all for getting more use out of different skills, but do we really need someone with a maxed Know(Eng) skill up in front with the Trapfinder guy making rolls the whole time we're in the dungeon. Trapspotter lets you notice traps without slowing the party to a crawl,

I would make the check reflexive like a perception check. Or likely, a combiantion of perception and knowledge engineering to know it wont support your weight. Possibly even separate character doing such. Any are valid, but I wouldn't make it an "active" check.

Also, "identifying dangerous construction" which I believe the floor would fall under is a DC 10 check. Even the untrained could attempt the check, and provided they don't have a penalty to int they could recognize the danger by taking 10 (which is another thread ;) ).

I guess as long as it's an easy passive check to notice the hazard it's not a big deal. If someone has deliberately disguised the weak floor to make it seem stronger than it really is, that might be a harder check, but should be noticeable with Perception. At least to see that something's been done. Then Know(Eng) to identify the actual threat that's been hidden.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A normal trap should have a trigger mechanism (magical or otherwise) and a means by which the person who set the trap can get past it safely. If these things exist, there is enough complexity that someone could plausibly disable it.

Scarab Sages

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Rynjin wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
If you can't think of a way around said trap, then don't use that trap. It is a poorly designed trap if there's no way around it.
Depending on your perspective, wouldn't that make it a BETTER designed trap?

Not from a game design perspective, no.

From an in-universe perspective, yes, but the game would be awfully boring if traps were impassable.

I really wanted to address this topic. I think that certainly, MOST traps in a dungeon environment should be vulnerable to the "Disable Device" roll. HOWEVER, I think that it is perfectly reasonable to have the occasional trap which is beyond such a roll. In that case the Disable Device roll can still be useful: a success indicates that the Rogue has determined that there is NO conventional means of disabling the trap, while a failure indicates that the Rogue thinks he has disabled it.

I try to build my dungeon environments logically, so if this is an area that was meant to support traffic (the trap is protecting a secret thoroughfare or an item that was meant to be retrieved someday), then obviously there should be some way to bypass the trap, even if it can't be conventionally disabled. (That's something else a successful Disable Device roll could tell you.) However, there may be some areas of a dungeon (say, a scared tomb or a vault for permanently imprisoning a cursed object) that are trapped with the intention that they were never meant to be accessed again. In those cases, an "impossible trap" would not be out of the question, and the players will have to think outside the box in order to defeat it.


Freehold DM wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:

Something like this that isn't just "I climb it" or "I swim it" I see no issue with requiring the person to give some kind of explanation of how they do it.

Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

there are many people, some in this thread, who would say otherwise.

What I say, is that sometimes, it's more intelligent and cool to say: "I discuss with the captain for the next hour to make sure he support us for the upcoming events, using as arguments a greater fame, and some shiny gold"

*Roll the dice*

"How did he respond to that ?"

You don't monopolize the GM for 1 hour while you gave him the major points of the conversation, and you're not off from what your character does. I'm not really good with speeches, while I like to have social characters. I don't run away from discussions and playing the role, but I prefer to let indications about how my characters react and speak more than what he/she exactly say most of the time.

Nothing's more frustrating than making a very good diplomacy check and being crippled by gm/players because you didn't say it in a good way, or because you said something stupid.

But it's a little off-topic.

I mostly agree on what Claxon said.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

7 people marked this as a favorite.
MattR1986 wrote:

Do you [method of playing the game]?

God I hope not.

This is an example of telling other people that they're having fun wrong, which is one way the speaker can be a jerk.

To express a similar sentiment without acting like a jerk, start by recognizing that your definition of fun is a personal preference, and phrase your comment accordingly:

In an alternate reality, MattR1986 wrote:
I have less fun when [method of playing the game].

See the difference?


Wolfsnap wrote:

I really wanted to address this topic. I think that certainly, MOST traps in a dungeon environment should be vulnerable to the "Disable Device" roll. HOWEVER, I think that it is perfectly reasonable to have the occasional trap which is beyond such a roll. In that case the Disable Device roll can still be useful: a success indicates that the Rogue has determined that there is NO conventional means of disabling the trap, while a failure indicates that the Rogue thinks he has disabled it.

[...]

However, there may be some areas of a dungeon (say, a scared tomb or a vault for permanently imprisoning a cursed object) that are trapped with the intention that they were never meant to be accessed again. In those cases, an "impossible trap" would not be out of the question, and the players will have to think outside the box in order to defeat it.

I would be VERY cautious with that.

Trap spotting and disarming is a speciality that need investment, and often need particular classes (AKA rogues and others classes/archetypes with trapfinder) to be operational.
It's most of the time a duty and a penalty you give to yourself for the security of the group.

Specialising in traps should be rewarded to be able to beat those epic traps.

You just have to make a big CR trap, difficult/near impossible to disarm for the level if you want... But even that could make it really boring for the specialist.

There is always "a way" for someone who know how to disarm explosive runes or other cursed seals.

Do it only if you're confident enough to make monsters impossible to beat for your players, and act the same way in this case: Tips on where/how it can be encounter and what can happen.

And I feel like your example isn't really relevant: You don't seems to speak of a trap, but a curse. A trap to imprison characters in a tomb still have a trigger, you just need to find it, and yes, disable it. If you didn't find the trap before it were triggered, yeah... Now it can be impossible to disable it anymore, I'm okay with it. The main goal of disable device is to prevent a trap from triggering after all.

If it's a curse, it's a cleric you need.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
CRB, Environment section, Trap Entry wrote:

Traps

Traps are a common danger in dungeon environments. From gouts of white-hot flame to hails of poisoned darts, traps can serve to protect valuable treasure or stop intruders from proceeding.

Elements of a Trap

All traps—mechanical or magical—have the following elements: CR, type, Perception DC, Disable Device DC, trigger, reset, and effect. Some traps might also include optional elements, such as poison or a bypass. These characteristics are described below.

So, if you are discussing the game term TRAP, it has a Disable Device DC. If you find the trap, and have the skill, and make the roll, then the trap doesn't go off to the detriment of the character.

NOTE: This doesn't mean the DC can't be really high, just that it has a target number and if you reach that number you win. Period.

Please, if we are discussing something that would not be subject to disable device shutting it down, then it is not, within the ruleset, a trap.

This is not to say that it is a bad thing to include, or badwrongfun to have things they can't just roll dice and bypass, it just means that it's not a trap, and should not be referred to as a trap hereafter. It should be called a hazard/terrain/GMFiatplotdevice, and after the characters have noticed and inspected it, it should be made clear to the players that it is not a trap and cannot be disabled, they will have to find another solution.

This solves a lot of problems.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In most of these cases, I'd say making the Disable Device check means you reveal the best means (or two) for making the trap harmless, and then say, "...but you'll need a few things that don't come in your thieves' tools kit." (Such as eleven-foot-long planks, or paprika, or an inflatable life raft... depends on the trap.)

Then the skill is still preventing harm to the party, the rogue feels good for investing in it, and the rest of the party has a chance to contribute ("Luckily I worship the God of Spice Racks! I happen to have some paprika right here.") A scavenger hunt for items in the dungeon that can be re-purposed can be fun, as long as it's an occasional thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is absolutely a middle row between the playstyles, here.

1. Treat some of them as a hazard, not a trap. Or/and,
2. Allow DD to function as a knowledge roll in some instances, such as complex or multi-part traps. For example, let the player roll...then based on the roll and type of trap:

A: Roll is successful: Disable a trap, or obtain detailed knowledge about the trap and potential disarmament
B: Roll is unsuccessful: Well, it is not.

Benefits of a multi-part trap: A trap becomes a process which can involve coordinating several party members and a sequences of challenges as opposed to a single roll. For example, when allowing the rogue to use DD on a trap to analyze it, a DM might say: you recognize you can disable this device, but it would involve... (outline a loose process that includes some challenges).

Done well, the latter method can help the rogue feel like McGuyver, as well as involving the other party members in the challenge.

How often in a story have we seen the scout come back and say: there's this trap, guys. ...but I'm going to need your /help/.

And then it becomes a more interactive challenge and larger part of the adventure.

You don't want to do this every time, but it could offer you a middle ground.

I've also pretty much reiterated what other posters have said. Best of luck to you, and don't worry overmuch about the roll versus role arguments. Those things are bound to come up and the only really solution there is to work things out OOCly with your player(s). That said, a solution like the above can help both styles play nicely.


I think some are forgetting disable device is supposed to be a secret roll and in the case of difficult traps it takes multiple rounds. Realistically in the crossbow scenario it's "You take a few rounds to observe in an attempt to figure out the situation and while fiddling with it the guard fires."

Shadow Lodge

FuelDrop wrote:
How to 'disable' a pit trap: Lay a plank across it.

Good to know that Disable Device allows the user to pull 11 foot planks out of thin air.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Serum wrote:
FuelDrop wrote:
How to 'disable' a pit trap: Lay a plank across it.
Good to know that Disable Device allows the user to pull 11 foot planks out of thin air.

And this is why my witch, Twig, has pretty much EVERYTHING in her pack. Yay for handy haversack.

collapsible plank

Price 4 sp; Weight 10 lbs.

Hinged in two places, collapsible planks can hold 250 pounds before breaking. The 10-foot-long plank folds down into a 3-foot-by-1-foot-by-6-inch bundle. Folding or unfolding it is a standard action.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Serum wrote:
FuelDrop wrote:
How to 'disable' a pit trap: Lay a plank across it.
Good to know that Disable Device allows the user to pull 11 foot planks out of thin air.

Maybe it allows them to take the materials being used to cover the pit (if it wasn't covered, it wouldn't be a trap) and fashion them together into something to help you get across.

Or, you know, you could continue to deliberately try to concoct the most ludicrous explanation you can think of in an attempt to make someone else's position look bad.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jiggy wrote:
Serum wrote:
FuelDrop wrote:
How to 'disable' a pit trap: Lay a plank across it.
Good to know that Disable Device allows the user to pull 11 foot planks out of thin air.

Maybe it allows them to take the materials being used to cover the pit (if it wasn't covered, it wouldn't be a trap) and fashion them together into something to help you get across.

Or, you know, you could continue to deliberately try to concoct the most ludicrous explanation you can think of in an attempt to make someone else's position look bad.

Normally I would agree, but I have encountered too many players who thought this in all seriousness to refute it completely.

The Exchange

Sometimes all that's covering a pit is illusory wall. Sometimes.


Dark Lord Fluffy wrote:

Regarding the 'roleplay' comments

Does my eloquent attack description and out of character knowledge of the monster's anatomy that tells me there is a large vulnerable portion under the left shoulder mean I don't need to worry about attack rolls or damage right? Its 'roleplaying' after all. Why should I worry about my to hit stat and base attack when I can just describe what I want to happen?

First off, you admitted to metagaming which is not allowed at many tables as it kills immersion into the game for others. Secondly, just because you know where to hit doesn't mean the enemy is gonna stand still and let you. Rolling to hit is because they are moving constantly in a fight, otherwise it would be a coup.

Why do people hate roleplay in a game designed to be a roleplaying game so much? Yes play how you want and have fun how you want but I learned that unless stated otherwise, assume by default the group is roleplaying in a roleplaying game. If you don't like to roleplay in a roleplaying game, don't come to my table. Like when one player wanted to haggle with a shopkeeper. Yes he made his roll, but I asked him what he said. It was so stupid that the penalty was enough to make him fail because, even though he rolled well he outright insulted the shopkeeper and his store.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Why should any player be penalized because they have lower charisma and/or social skill ranks than their character?

In my group, we will roleplay social interactions, but what we're really trying to establish is the general strategy; how are we approaching diplomacy, or the bluff, or whatever else? Based on how well the strategy would work on the NPC in question (the beggar is likely more inclined to respond positively to monetary offers than the rich business man), we apply circumstance modifiers to the skill roll.


I think we are getting WAY off topic to where a new thread should be made. This is about disable device. So lets all just stop and either form a new thread to discuss this in or keep talking about disable device, but I think that is done.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jaçinto wrote:
Dark Lord Fluffy wrote:

Regarding the 'roleplay' comments

Does my eloquent attack description and out of character knowledge of the monster's anatomy that tells me there is a large vulnerable portion under the left shoulder mean I don't need to worry about attack rolls or damage right? Its 'roleplaying' after all. Why should I worry about my to hit stat and base attack when I can just describe what I want to happen?

First off, you admitted to metagaming which is not allowed at many tables as it kills immersion into the game for others. Secondly, just because you know where to hit doesn't mean the enemy is gonna stand still and let you. Rolling to hit is because they are moving constantly in a fight, otherwise it would be a coup.

Why do people hate roleplay in a game designed to be a roleplaying game so much? Yes play how you want and have fun how you want but I learned that unless stated otherwise, assume by default the group is roleplaying in a roleplaying game. If you don't like to roleplay in a roleplaying game, don't come to my table. Like when one player wanted to haggle with a shopkeeper. Yes he made his roll, but I asked him what he said. It was so stupid that the penalty was enough to make him fail because, even though he rolled well he outright insulted the shopkeeper and his store.

OTOH, having a detailed knowledge of trap mechanics, often gleaned from reading such things as the old Grimtooths book of Traps, is perfectly acceptable to use to get by traps. In fact, you should have come up with a plausible description of what you're doing that matches the GM's idea of how the trap works in order to even get a roll.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kinevon wrote:


To an earlier poster: If you ever build a trap that cannot be disabled, how can you, as the trapper, get by it? If you trap your front door so well, that it cannot be disabled, that front door is, for all eternity, unusable. Have a nice time, until your food runs out, being stuck eternally in your home.

If, on the other hand, you set up some way for you to get by the trap, then someone with sufficient skill at bypassing traps (i.e. Disable Device) can also bypass the trap in some fashion.

Spiked pit covered with a mat that will not support more than 10 lbs of weight. It is a trap? Yes.

You can disable it? Not exactly, you can remove the mat and make it evident, but unless you fill the pit with earth or concrete you can't disable the pit.
The trap will be a problem for the builder? Depend. it can weight less than 10 lbs, or he can be capable to fly, or he can walk on walls or be capable to bypass it in a myriad of other ways.

Poison gas trap that can't be disabled? Not a problem for a undead or construct.
Non magical blades? Not a problem if you can turn incorporeal.

Normal human that has built a maze filled with traps that can't be disabled? He know where he should turn to avoid the traps and where are the secret passages to bypass them.

Plenty of reasons to make traps that can't be disabled, included "after I leave this location no one, me included, should enter." Most pyramid treasure chambers are protected that way.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Diego Rossi wrote:
kinevon wrote:


To an earlier poster: If you ever build a trap that cannot be disabled, how can you, as the trapper, get by it? If you trap your front door so well, that it cannot be disabled, that front door is, for all eternity, unusable. Have a nice time, until your food runs out, being stuck eternally in your home.

If, on the other hand, you set up some way for you to get by the trap, then someone with sufficient skill at bypassing traps (i.e. Disable Device) can also bypass the trap in some fashion.

Spiked pit covered with a mat that will not support more than 10 lbs of weight. It is a trap? Yes.

You can disable it? Not exactly, you can remove the mat and make it evident, but unless you fill the pit with earth or concrete you can't disable the pit.
The trap will be a problem for the builder? Depend. it can weight less than 10 lbs, or he can be capable to fly, or he can walk on walls or be capable to bypass it in a myriad of other ways.

Poison gas trap that can't be disabled? Not a problem for a undead or construct.
Non magical blades? Not a problem if you can turn incorporeal.

Normal human that has built a maze filled with traps that can't be disabled? He know where he should turn to avoid the traps and where are the secret passages to bypass them.

Plenty of reasons to make traps that can't be disabled, included "after I leave this location no one, me included, should enter." Most pyramid treasure chambers are protected that way.

There are plenty of reasons to build traps that you don't want to be disabled. Can't be disabled is a little harder. There's a difference between being able to disarm the trap and the trap having an offswitch. The first has little relevance to the initial builder, since he isn't going to be going through his front hall spiking the pits open and wedging the deadfalls up or cuttting the strings that trigger the crossbow. The second is about the intruder being better than the designer. And given that a high level trapfinder can disarm magic traps that are set off by magical senses, that's a pretty high bar.

More importantly, it's bad game design and a slap in the face to the player invested in disarming traps to say "No, I've arbitrarily decided it doesn't make sense for your massive Disable Device skill to work right here." Regardless of why you chose to make the trap that way. You're supposed to be making challenges for the party, not dead ends.

The occasional, "Yes, I can get us by this, but I'll need two crickets, a piece of chewing gum and a baseball bat", can be fun, but it should be accessible and rare.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Serum wrote:
FuelDrop wrote:
How to 'disable' a pit trap: Lay a plank across it.
Good to know that Disable Device allows the user to pull 11 foot planks out of thin air.

Maybe it allows them to take the materials being used to cover the pit (if it wasn't covered, it wouldn't be a trap) and fashion them together into something to help you get across.

Or, you know, you could continue to deliberately try to concoct the most ludicrous explanation you can think of in an attempt to make someone else's position look bad.

The other side of this is that anyone who actually has said plank should probably be allowed to place it over the pit without being required to make a disable device roll.

Shadow Lodge

Jaçinto wrote:
Why do people hate roleplay in a game designed to be a roleplaying game so much? Yes play how you want and have fun how you want but I learned that unless stated otherwise, assume by default the group is roleplaying in a roleplaying game. If you don't like to roleplay in a roleplaying game, don't come to my table. Like when one player wanted to haggle with a shopkeeper. Yes he made his roll, but I asked him what he said. It was so stupid that the penalty was enough to make him fail because, even though he rolled well he outright insulted the shopkeeper and his store.

Frankly, the d20 iterations of D&D added a few skills that I don't think ever should have become stuff that was dependent on dice rolls. It really sometimes seems that one of the aims of 3.0 was to take the roleplaying out of the game.

thejeff wrote:
OTOH, having a detailed knowledge of trap mechanics, often gleaned from reading such things as the old Grimtooths book of Traps, is perfectly acceptable to use to get by traps. In fact, you should have come up with a plausible description of what you're doing that matches the GM's idea of how the trap works in order to even get a roll.

Grimtooth's should be mandatory reading for all GMs...and any rogue player should at least skim one of the books.

Paizo unfortunately seems to go completely in the other direction Grimtooth's in terms of detailing traps....all stat block and no actual description. Even when it makes no g#+%!&n sense....I mean, they give a DC to disable a hole in the ground, for Odin's sake.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jaçinto wrote:
Dark Lord Fluffy wrote:

Regarding the 'roleplay' comments

Does my eloquent attack description and out of character knowledge of the monster's anatomy that tells me there is a large vulnerable portion under the left shoulder mean I don't need to worry about attack rolls or damage right? Its 'roleplaying' after all. Why should I worry about my to hit stat and base attack when I can just describe what I want to happen?

First off, you admitted to metagaming which is not allowed at many tables as it kills immersion into the game for others. Secondly, just because you know where to hit doesn't mean the enemy is gonna stand still and let you. Rolling to hit is because they are moving constantly in a fight, otherwise it would be a coup.

Why do people hate roleplay in a game designed to be a roleplaying game so much? Yes play how you want and have fun how you want but I learned that unless stated otherwise, assume by default the group is roleplaying in a roleplaying game. If you don't like to roleplay in a roleplaying game, don't come to my table. Like when one player wanted to haggle with a shopkeeper. Yes he made his roll, but I asked him what he said. It was so stupid that the penalty was enough to make him fail because, even though he rolled well he outright insulted the shopkeeper and his store.

So do you also make the fighter actually demonstrate prowess with a sword at your table? because thats what your doing to the person trying to haggle. What your character can do should not be limited by what you yourself are capable of. There isnt a reason why someone who is not actually good at speaking to people cant pretend to be such a person in game.

The Exchange

Guys, let's treat that as a side topic and drop it... It's been argued over ever since 3.0 came out and I don't think there's much meat left on that bone!

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Gwiber wrote:

Recently the rogue on my group I am running for noticed a trap above the heads of the group in which a single short stick was tenuously holding up a dead fall, beyond said deadfall was a large pool of lava.

We had a minor argument over the matter about how he should be able to just roll “Disable Device” And have it stop the trap, entirely without any rhyme or reason on HOW he was doing it.

The trap was designed to be sprung by a crossbow bolt fired by the ambushers, not by any “Device”. The more or less some total of his argument was “It's in the books. I should be able to do it!”

We eventually agreed he was (Arcane Trickster) Able to lodge a rapier up there with the stick so that it would hold the dead fall if the stick were knocked out., but I could not see HOW a simple Disable Device roll was going to do the job without SOME explanation on how it was going to work.

Can anyone explain to me how this works? How does the stick not snap at the weight of all that lava, while a mere crossbow bolt is able to spring the trap?


Lincoln Hills wrote:
Guys, let's treat that as a side topic and drop it... It's been argued over ever since 3.0 came out and I don't think there's much meat left on that bone!

Thing is, it's the same argument.

Traps should be described in detail and it's up to the player's cleverness (or recognizing the trap from previous experience) to disarm it, is the same claim as "You really need to haggle".

The Exchange

I thought the discussion was over the idea that some hazards/traps/obstacles should be immune to Disable Device entirely, and there are certainly parallels there with the Diplomacy/etc. debate. If I try to Bluff an ordinary (non-creature) statue, use Diplomacy on an ooze, or Intimidate the sky, I'm trying to use the skill in a way that won't help no matter how high I roll.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kthulhu wrote:
Jaçinto wrote:
Why do people hate roleplay in a game designed to be a roleplaying game so much? Yes play how you want and have fun how you want but I learned that unless stated otherwise, assume by default the group is roleplaying in a roleplaying game. If you don't like to roleplay in a roleplaying game, don't come to my table. Like when one player wanted to haggle with a shopkeeper. Yes he made his roll, but I asked him what he said. It was so stupid that the penalty was enough to make him fail because, even though he rolled well he outright insulted the shopkeeper and his store.

Frankly, the d20 iterations of D&D added a few skills that I don't think ever should have become stuff that was dependent on dice rolls. It really sometimes seems that one of the aims of 3.0 was to take the roleplaying out of the game.

thejeff wrote:
OTOH, having a detailed knowledge of trap mechanics, often gleaned from reading such things as the old Grimtooths book of Traps, is perfectly acceptable to use to get by traps. In fact, you should have come up with a plausible description of what you're doing that matches the GM's idea of how the trap works in order to even get a roll.

Grimtooth's should be mandatory reading for all GMs...and any rogue player should at least skim one of the books.

Paizo unfortunately seems to go completely in the other direction Grimtooth's in terms of detailing traps....all stat block and no actual description. Even when it makes no g+@&~%n sense....I mean, they give a DC to disable a hole in the ground, for Odin's sake.

The trap thing is one thing I'm glad is gone. Playing guessing games with the GM and applying out of game knowledge to find and get by traps was something I never liked (and honestly rarely used) about "old school" gaming.

It all seemed to come down to "Have I seen this before?" and "Can I guess what the GM put in to let us get by this?". And no particular reason it should be the rogue who knows how to handle it. It might well be the cleric's player who figures it out, since it's strictly a metagame challenge. Maybe afterward the rogue has to make the rolls, but that's not the long and frustrating part.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The PCs round the bend of the forgotten forest. All of a sudden a dozen wood elves spring from the bushes, bows drawn.

Lead Elf "We have you surrounded, we outnumber you two to one".

PC Fighter "It's a trap!" Draws his sword.

PC Rogue "Trap!" Rolls Disable Devise. SUCCESS!!

The ambushing wood elves bows and weapons drop to the ground, having been disarmed.

PC Fighter "I didn't know you could do that"

PC Rogue "Disable Devise allows me to to disarm ANY trap"

Lead Elf "You can't do that! That's now how the skill was intended"

PC Rogue "I doesn't matter" Pulls out the book "You are skilled at disarming traps and opening locks. In addition, this skill lets you sabotage simple mechanical devices, such as catapults, wagon wheels, and doors." Clears his throat. "It doesn't say anything about it having to be a mechanical trap or a magic trap..."

Lead Elf "well... crap..."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MattR1986 wrote:

Something like this that isn't just "I climb it" or "I swim it" I see no issue with requiring the person to give some kind of explanation of how they do it.

Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Don't require them to give a full proof answer to the issue but have them give some kind of solution and you could even give circumstance bonuses for clever solutions.

Also to disable a device you have to actually be able to..I dunno...get to the device to disable it?

"The bomb is floating 40 feet in the air"

"Ok I disable it"

"...."

I fly up to it and disable it, or you could set the trigger for the bomb somewhere in the room that the players can reach or you can make the bomb into a hazard.

By the rules traps can be disabled. Don't call it a trap, if it is not a trap. <---Simple.


Wolfsnap wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
If you can't think of a way around said trap, then don't use that trap. It is a poorly designed trap if there's no way around it.
Depending on your perspective, wouldn't that make it a BETTER designed trap?

Not from a game design perspective, no.

From an in-universe perspective, yes, but the game would be awfully boring if traps were impassable.

I really wanted to address this topic. I think that certainly, MOST traps in a dungeon environment should be vulnerable to the "Disable Device" roll. HOWEVER, I think that it is perfectly reasonable to have the occasional trap which is beyond such a roll. In that case the Disable Device roll can still be useful: a success indicates that the Rogue has determined that there is NO conventional means of disabling the trap, while a failure indicates that the Rogue thinks he has disabled it.

I try to build my dungeon environments logically, so if this is an area that was meant to support traffic (the trap is protecting a secret thoroughfare or an item that was meant to be retrieved someday), then obviously there should be some way to bypass the trap, even if it can't be conventionally disabled. (That's something else a successful Disable Device roll could tell you.) However, there may be some areas of a dungeon (say, a scared tomb or a vault for permanently imprisoning a cursed object) that are trapped with the intention that they were never meant to be accessed again. In those cases, an "impossible trap" would not be out of the question, and the players will have to think outside the box in order to defeat it.

If it cant be disabled then it is not a trap per the rules, and the players should be informed of your variance in game play up front.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
TGMaxMaxer wrote:
CRB, Environment section, Trap Entry wrote:

Traps

Traps are a common danger in dungeon environments. From gouts of white-hot flame to hails of poisoned darts, traps can serve to protect valuable treasure or stop intruders from proceeding.

Elements of a Trap

All traps—mechanical or magical—have the following elements: CR, type, Perception DC, Disable Device DC, trigger, reset, and effect. Some traps might also include optional elements, such as poison or a bypass. These characteristics are described below.

So, if you are discussing the game term TRAP, it has a Disable Device DC. If you find the trap, and have the skill, and make the roll, then the trap doesn't go off to the detriment of the character.

NOTE: This doesn't mean the DC can't be really high, just that it has a target number and if you reach that number you win. Period.

Please, if we are discussing something that would not be subject to disable device shutting it down, then it is not, within the ruleset, a trap.

This is not to say that it is a bad thing to include, or badwrongfun to have things they can't just roll dice and bypass, it just means that it's not a trap, and should not be referred to as a trap hereafter. It should be called a hazard/terrain/GMFiatplotdevice, and after the characters have noticed and inspected it, it should be made clear to the players that it is not a trap and cannot be disabled, they will have to find another solution.

This solves a lot of problems.

This guy gets it.. :)


Ataraxias wrote:
I think some are forgetting disable device is supposed to be a secret roll and in the case of difficult traps it takes multiple rounds. Realistically in the crossbow scenario it's "You take a few rounds to observe in an attempt to figure out the situation and while fiddling with it the guard fires."

What does that have to do with whether or not the GM is allowing a trap to work by the rules vs confusing it with a hazard?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Captain Wacky wrote:
PC Rogue "Disable Devise allows me to to disarm ANY trap"

So THATS how you took the arm off of Miss Feathers...


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Captain Wacky wrote:
PC Fighter says, "It's a trap!" Draws sword

As s/he's drawing their sword, the Lead Elf interrupts, "No, no, this is an ambush, Admiral Ackbar, not a trap."

problem solved

Raising the DC seems the best way to fix the OP's problem.

I do not penalize players who just wish to roll the dice.
I give a bonus (never more than +4) for good description of non-combat skills.
I encourage lurid descriptions from players when they land killing blows or critical hits (they typically enjoy that quite a bit).

The Impossible Trap: Yes, I use them . . . just as I have used a creature with a SR too high for the caster to beat . . . and just as I've used a creature with an AC too high for the fighter to hit.

HOWEVER, I use these once per campaign, if at all. And usually because one player is dominating and I want the other players to have a chance to shine or I need that player to try a different role for that encounter.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:


Traps should be described in detail and it's up to the player's cleverness (or recognizing the trap from previous experience) to disarm it, is the same claim as "You really need to haggle".

"Burt, this bloke won't 'aggle!"

"Won't 'aggle?"
"Do we really have to?"


Aqueous Orb traps people. Can a rogue use disable device to disable it?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lincoln Hills wrote:
I thought the discussion was over the idea that some hazards/traps/obstacles should be immune to Disable Device entirely, and there are certainly parallels there with the Diplomacy/etc. debate. If I try to Bluff an ordinary (non-creature) statue, use Diplomacy on an ooze, or Intimidate the sky, I'm trying to use the skill in a way that won't help no matter how high I roll.
Original Post wrote:
We had a minor argument over the matter about how he should be able to just roll “Disable Device” And have it stop the trap, entirely without any rhyme or reason on HOW he was doing it.

Nope!!! Same discussion. Do you have to 'roleplay' out how you did the skill check.

I find it kind of a circular argument. The DMs want their traps to be challenging, the Players want to beat them. The DM's think the players should figure out how to beat them, but the Players have stats that should TELL them how to beat them...

There REALLY shouldn't be THAT many ways to 'turn off' a trap. If I'm trying to disable a bomb... I personally don't know anything about detonators or colored wires... my CHARACTER does though... if I roll to disable the bomb... he cut whatever wire it was that he NEEDED to cut... If the DM wants me to tell him red or blue... then a good roll should require the DM to TELL the player which one was right...

Frankly the end result is the same. The rogues stats and specialties got him through the danger. I'm not in favor of the DM trying to 'trick' the player into setting of the trap with flavor text that the character would KNOW better about...

It's the 'other kind' of metagaming. Nobody likes it when you use player knowledge to overcome character problems... on the same note, we shouldn't be REQUIRED to only use player knowledge to bypass others...


Fake Healer wrote:

I am going to describe the inner working of a trap and you have to absorb that, visualize it perfectly, and figure out how to disarm it. Any breakdown in that equals you can't do it. If you can figure out how to do it now you can roll to try.

It is sometimes too difficult to have perfect dialog and cognization of an issue in the game. If you want to tell the PCs that a disable device won't work that is cool, but if it can work then just let them roll it.

I wonder how the opposite route would play out. If the roll is successful, the Rogue's player has to tell me how he intends to overcome the trap. If his plan won't work, I explain why, and penalize his roll by 2 points. This goes on until either he successfully disables the trap or his roll is penalized below the trap's DC. In either case, the last plan provided is the one which actually happened, and either it succeeds, or the trap is sprung on whomever is within reach.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Okay, so after I read 3 or 4 good responses to the GM sides of your trouble, I skipped to the end. I'm just going address the problems you presented when you were PCing under said guy.

Said person seems to be a very rules based player. You seem to enjoy coming up with clever solutions that aren't specifically addressed in the rules.

What you need to learn to do is find ways to phrase your clever idea so that they fall within what is covered by the rules.

Don't say "I block the needle with a cork so the trap fails". Say "I use a cork to block the traps line of effect to hit any of the characters." If he says that won't work, offer to try and block it with a shield instead.

Try and put the things that you want to do in way that will mesh with his rules-centrique views.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:

I am going to describe the inner working of a trap and you have to absorb that, visualize it perfectly, and figure out how to disarm it. Any breakdown in that equals you can't do it. If you can figure out how to do it now you can roll to try.

It is sometimes too difficult to have perfect dialog and cognization of an issue in the game. If you want to tell the PCs that a disable device won't work that is cool, but if it can work then just let them roll it.
I wonder how the opposite route would play out. If the roll is successful, the Rogue's player has to tell me how he intends to overcome the trap. If his plan won't work, I explain why, and penalize his roll by 2 points. This goes on until either he successfully disables the trap or his roll is penalized below the trap's DC. In either case, the last plan provided is the one which actually happened, and either it succeeds, or the trap is sprung on whomever is within reach.

So he has to both guess how you think the trap can be disarmed and make a roll? And the roll keeps getting harder if he guesses wrong?

I assume if he ever fails the roll, it's over, since you don't specify.

I'm not playing a rogue.


This is just theorycrafting, it's not something I currently use.

But in this idea, he would make a single roll, and get multiple tries at logically disabling/bypassing/overcoming the trap. The more he exceeded the DC, the more attempts he gets.

51 to 100 of 273 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / Disable Device – When to say “No”? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.