Disable Device – When to say “No”?


Advice

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Silver Crusade

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

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.

As someone described above, this sure seems like forced metagaming.

I'm playing a character in a game. I don't know how my paladin can overcome the damage resistance of a creature from evil planes, but I do enjoy playing my paladin. I don't know how to summon woodland allies to fight the undead trying to eat me, but my druid is a fun character. I -am- an engineer by training, but many GM's don't understand my description of technical things. My wizard has a massive number of skills, and I don't want to have to figure out how to describe what he knows to get a 53 on the stealth check. I also don't want to have to figure out what insights my sorceress can determine to help her get a 50 on my diplomacy check. I can describe what I want her to accomplish, but the methods? Some of them are way beyond me.


Valid points.


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Mykull wrote:
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."

I was so close to using that instead.

The Exchange

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That really does sound like a pretty decent 'Order of the Stick' idea, though.

Haley: Well, you've trapped us, haven't you?
Elf 1: Of course we have!
Haley: So we're in a trap.
Elf 2: Yes!
Haley: Okay, then, I'm using Disable Device. 33. See you later!
Elf 2: Wait! Come back!
Belkar: Suckers.


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I guess this is just going to come down to whether you want to play a roleplaying game or do you want to play spreadsheets? If you want a purely no-story numbers game where the players barely need to think outside of looking up builds online and just rolling dice when cued, fine if that's your group. If you want people to actually think about their actions and consequences, make actual characters (as in things with -character- not just stat blocks and abilities), and have what you do/say have about as much impact to the game as rolls, fine if that's your group. Either way, you can't say the original poster can actually be wrong because both camps of gaming are apparently correct. Before the game starts, you ask your players if they want rollplay or roleplay. Character and plot driven stories or just action scenes that have arbitrary connections to get the players from fight A to fight B. Once that is decided, then that is what you stick with. Neither are actually wrong just like it is NOT wrong to have a trap that you can't actually disable. It's not wrong, it's just different than what some players want. Like some posters say, don't tell me my way to have fun is wrong. So you run things the way you want in your game. There is nothing at all wrong with house rules and it is pretty much encouraged. All roleplaying games have exactly ONE rule anyways. The rules are optional. The GM should feel free to change anything in it that they want.

So, Disable device and when to say no. The answer is, as GM, whenever you feel it is right and can still be fun.


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MattR1986 wrote:
Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Why not? When the autistic guy who runs the party's suave superspy has a cold and can't do super-suave conversational tactics, he just says "I can't do the social things smoothly today, but I'm going to try to..." and explains the basic tactics he wants to take. Then he rolls diplomacy.


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seebs wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:
Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Why not? When the autistic guy who runs the party's suave superspy has a cold and can't do super-suave conversational tactics, he just says "I can't do the social things smoothly today, but I'm going to try to..." and explains the basic tactics he wants to take. Then he rolls diplomacy.

At least he's trying and explains basically what he wants to do instead of just "I roll diplomacy."

Grand Lodge

Jaçinto wrote:
seebs wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:
Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Why not? When the autistic guy who runs the party's suave superspy has a cold and can't do super-suave conversational tactics, he just says "I can't do the social things smoothly today, but I'm going to try to..." and explains the basic tactics he wants to take. Then he rolls diplomacy.

At least he's trying and explains basically what he wants to do instead of just "I roll diplomacy."

So, I say, "Okay, looks like this guy is someone we need to talk with, rather than use as a target of my beatstick. We try to talk him into helping us, either with information or material support."

That enough for you, or would you need more details?

And, indeed, why oh why should I have to know that, in order to disable the trap on the door, I need to put an arrow here, use the key counterclockwise a quarter turn, rotate the doorknow a half turn clockwise, then bring the key back vertical, then turn the doorknob counterclockwise three turns while someone picks up that arrow?

That is what a successful Disable Device roll shows as being needful for the PC, or even, as a possibility, a way for the PC to jam the mechanism of the trap while still getting the door/gate/what-have-you open successfully.

By the way, I do remember something like the above as being described as how to get a door open at one point in the AD&D2 adventure for the Rod of Seven Parts, along with having had to have the PC lie down to get the correct perspective on some distorted writing to get the initial clue, too. Oy.


That actually sounds neat and I love how AD&D fleshed stuff out to give it some real flavour rather than leave it bland. I like having puzzles in games that you have to actually figure out. You know, like an adventure game rather than just an action game. But again, that's my game not yours, clearly. Neither are wrong. You can't call it wrong to ask for details. It's just not YOUR play style and your way is not exclusively right. You don't have fun thinking things out and solving puzzles? Fine. If you like every solution to every problem to just be a dice roll, then do that. Play that game but it is not right for me and others. Some like to think and play the game, not play the system.


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Jaçinto wrote:
Either way, you can't say the original poster can actually be wrong because both camps of gaming are apparently correct.

Ehhh.....

In most subforums I would absolutely agree about the 'badwrongfun' concept and differing play styles...

However in a 'rules' forum... there pretty much is a right and wrong answer. ;)

This one seems to be along the lines of 'If it is a Trap, it has DC and you use the skill', and 'If it is really a hazard then a different set of rules apply.'

Really the idea of 'how much description is required to make a skill work... is pretty much ZERO.' At least per the rules as written in the core book.

The game is designed to be a game of 'spreadsheets' as you call it, with Roleplaying as a helpful suggestion to make it better.

Which I think it does. 90% of the time I fall into the roleplaying side... but I want the roleplaying to make the game more FUN... Not as a 'gotcha-trap' for the DM to pounce on. Roleplaying should be an enhancement and provide bonuses and penalties to situations... but RAW it's not actually necessary.

Grand Lodge

Jaçinto wrote:
That actually sounds neat and I love how AD&D fleshed stuff out to give it some real flavour rather than leave it bland. I like having puzzles in games that you have to actually figure out. You know, like an adventure game rather than just an action game. But again, that's my game not yours, clearly. Neither are wrong. You can't call it wrong to ask for details. It's just not YOUR play style and your way is not exclusively right. You don't have fun thinking things out and solving puzzles? Fine. If you like every solution to every problem to just be a dice roll, then do that. Play that game but it is not right for me and others. Some like to think and play the game, not play the system.

To be honest, as a GM, reading that section I am going "WTF?" as none of the clues presented, even if you do the lie down thing, give enough clues to a nuclear physicist to solve the problem, much less your average teen/young adult role-player.

Really. It was.... bad. Really, really, bad.

Silver Crusade

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First of all, did we really need ANOTHER way to hurt the Rogue? Now they have to describe Disable Device? Probably along with Bluff/Diplomacy/Etc. I don't have an infinite amount of time to let everyone get super descriptive with things, and RPing shopping is basically a time sink (most people who've tried to 'haggle' in a game could tell you that.), and one that rarely engages the entire party.

My diplomacy is:

"So you're rolling diplo, what are you saying/asking"

"Asking if he can help us kill the dragon."

"Okay, you got a 24, he seems stoked."

As long as they tell me what they're trying to accomplish, that's fine. I don't have a lot of time to play, and I'd rather not let one player drag out a conversation while everyone sits there asking for them to shut up.

In the same way, I don't question how Disable Device works, because I'm not an engineer. You want something that doesn't work with DD to disable, it's a hazard. Hazards are fine, I've used them, used haunts too. But if it's a trap, it's DD vulnerable, and I don't need my PC to figure out the concept in my mind of how the trap works.


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If we remove 'Disable Device' as a means of disarming traps, maybe it will hurt the Rogue enough that people finally stop playing them.


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N. Jolly wrote:
As long as they tell me what they're trying to accomplish, that's fine. I don't have a lot of time to play, and I'd rather not let one player drag out a conversation while everyone sits there asking for them to shut up.

Remember: in some groups, in-character conversation is the most important part of play.

Grand Lodge

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Matthew Downie wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
As long as they tell me what they're trying to accomplish, that's fine. I don't have a lot of time to play, and I'd rather not let one player drag out a conversation while everyone sits there asking for them to shut up.
Remember: in some groups, in-character conversation is the most important part of play.

At which point, you, as GM, get to sit back and relax, and listen to the chatter.

Silver Crusade

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Matthew Downie wrote:
N. Jolly wrote:
As long as they tell me what they're trying to accomplish, that's fine. I don't have a lot of time to play, and I'd rather not let one player drag out a conversation while everyone sits there asking for them to shut up.
Remember: in some groups, in-character conversation is the most important part of play.

That's why I specified my group, since I know for some people it's their bread and butter. I like letting them chatter about something when I've got to go get a drink or something, let them fret over an issue or try to make a strategy to deal with something. It's why I try to grab a soda during a cliffhanger, see if they'll think of something wacky while I'm away.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kinevon wrote:
Jaçinto wrote:
seebs wrote:
MattR1986 wrote:
Do you let a person just say "I diplomacy" and gloss over a whole dialogue with an important npc? God I hope not.

Why not? When the autistic guy who runs the party's suave superspy has a cold and can't do super-suave conversational tactics, he just says "I can't do the social things smoothly today, but I'm going to try to..." and explains the basic tactics he wants to take. Then he rolls diplomacy.

At least he's trying and explains basically what he wants to do instead of just "I roll diplomacy."

So, I say, "Okay, looks like this guy is someone we need to talk with, rather than use as a target of my beatstick. We try to talk him into helping us, either with information or material support."

That enough for you, or would you need more details?

Those are two different requests, so two different checks, and you are trying to increase his attitude first or you simply want to ask favors from him, regardless of his current attitude?

So, yes, the GM need more details.


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Jaçinto wrote:
That actually sounds neat and I love how AD&D fleshed stuff out to give it some real flavour rather than leave it bland. I like having puzzles in games that you have to actually figure out. You know, like an adventure game rather than just an action game. But again, that's my game not yours, clearly. Neither are wrong. You can't call it wrong to ask for details. It's just not YOUR play style and your way is not exclusively right. You don't have fun thinking things out and solving puzzles? Fine. If you like every solution to every problem to just be a dice roll, then do that. Play that game but it is not right for me and others. Some like to think and play the game, not play the system.

I also love that. Always have.

However, I have to say that my perspective on that changed a little when the player running the party wizard, faced with such a puzzle pointed out that unlike his character, he (the player) doesn't have a 22 intelligence, and that while the puzzle might stump the heck out of the player -- it would likely be almost trivial to someone that smart.

And then I cursed the game for having mental stats at all... because if those numbers do reflect the *character*'s abilities, then they have to do just that. That 22 int cost just as much as the 22 str that is such a boon in combat for the fighter -- and should have as much effect on things.

Ultimately, my compromise was to allowing attribute checks for hints at the solution -- which satisfied everyone -- but being challenged that way really skewed my thinking, I must say.

[This becomes tangentally connected to GMs who refuse to point things out to players and then delight in punishing them -- if you assume those characters are actually people in the world of Golarion (or wherever), then they probably grew up there and know how the world works -- even if the people living in this world who control them don't -- of course, if the GM does warn them and they ignore it, well, then my sympathies instantly evaporate.]


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Gwiber wrote:


At what point can I within rules look at him and say “That's just not going to work.”; and be in the right rules-wise?

Within the rules? At any point you want, you're the GM, interpreting what the rules mean is by default your prerogative.

Within the rules isn't what matters though. What matters is the point at which you can do it with that group of players. That's between you and them to decide, not for the rulebook, and certainly not for a bunch of uninvolved people on an internet forum. It's no good us saying "it's okay to say no" just for your group to walk out on you because they hated that decision.

If I were you, I'd write up a set of guidelines for Disable Device, specifying what sort of things it should and shouldn't work on, and see how the group feels about it, then modify it until you come up with something everyone is happy with.

Personally, I'd make the call at whether it was a mechanism or not. I wouldn't allow it for a blanket spread over a hole, or a floor which has been artificially weakened - those are easy enough to bypass without resorting to rolls and rulebooks anyway. I'd need there to be a lever, a gear, a lock, a spring - something mechanical. Again though, what I think doesn't matter to your group :)


If players want to be bland, fine. But as a GM I reserve the right to give out exactly as much story and detail and effort as the players are willing to put in. If you refuse to roleplay, why should I? If the players want to be bland and just kill stuff with little to no in-character talking to eachother or npcs or even basically describing what they do, expect the GM to do the same.

Again, you get the same level of quality you are willing to put into the story. Do you want WoW where there are quest NPCs clearly marked and the dialog means nothing and you just want the quick quest objective and map marker so all you need to worry about is your build and power rotation which you just look up in forums anyway, or do you want to play in a world where what you do and say actually matter?


Matt Thomason wrote:
Gwiber wrote:


At what point can I within rules look at him and say “That's just not going to work.”; and be in the right rules-wise?

Within the rules? At any point you want, you're the GM, interpreting what the rules mean is by default your prerogative.

Within the rules isn't what matters though. What matters is the point at which you can do it with that group of players. That's between you and them to decide, not for the rulebook, and certainly not for a bunch of uninvolved people on an internet forum. It's no good us saying "it's okay to say no" just for your group to walk out on you because they hated that decision.

If I were you, I'd write up a set of guidelines for Disable Device, specifying what sort of things it should and shouldn't work on, and see how the group feels about it, then modify it until you come up with something everyone is happy with.

Personally, I'd make the call at whether it was a mechanism or not. I wouldn't allow it for a blanket spread over a hole, or a floor which has been artificially weakened - those are easy enough to bypass without resorting to rolls and rulebooks anyway. I'd need there to be a lever, a gear, a lock, a spring - something mechanical. Again though, what I think doesn't matter to your group :)

OTOH, trapfinders can disarm magical traps and those should be pretty easy to set up so you don't have physical access to any "mechanism". How do you gimmick a spell set to go off when anyone gets within 20'?

Damn if I know. He's just that good. Let skills actually do something.


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Jaçinto wrote:

If players want to be bland, fine. But as a GM I reserve the right to give out exactly as much story and detail and effort as the players are willing to put in. If you refuse to roleplay, why should I? If the players want to be bland and just kill stuff with little to no in-character talking to eachother or npcs or even basically describing what they do, expect the GM to do the same.

Again, you get the same level of quality you are willing to put into the story. Do you want WoW where there are quest NPCs clearly marked and the dialog means nothing and you just want the quick quest objective and map marker so all you need to worry about is your build and power rotation which you just look up in forums anyway, or do you want to play in a world where what you do and say actually matter?

Is there no middle ground at all?


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Let's start off by saying I do LOVE roleplaying. My current character is a cleric of sun god who got turned into a Vampire. She still kept her patron but now using some of her divine abilities puts her at risk too. Its great balancing her original compassionate nature with those urges of the vampire. She is currently looking for a way to fix it, but its tempting not to as its been extremely useful in dealing with a lot of difficult situations. That is roleplaying to me.

Just because I want those mental and social things I paid for with character points to matter doesn't mean I don't enjoy the less defined aspects as well. I just get pissed when the fighter who dumped Int is always the one coming up with the brilliant ideas. I find it breaks immersion just as much as anything else when the people with low social and mentals don't act them out. If your charisma is low you should have trouble talking with people. Either you are shy and uncomfortable or you are obnoxious and unlikable. Do people like that IRL occasionally have moments, sure they do. That is what the d20 is for. Some times a genius rolls a 1 and gets an 8 total and the idiot rolls a natural 20.

Ultimately its going to vary from table to table, but like I said it is one of my pet peeves. If it costs the same as other resources it should be allowed to be as useful.

On the main thread topic, I'm in agreement that there is a difference in traps and hazards, but if it's a trap it has a DC and a way to stop it. I'd except the odd exception here or there for story reasons so long as it didn't become common.


Interesting comments in this thread although I would like to say that there are sometimes when it should be exceedingly difficult to simply Disable Device some traps, especially when they are placed by intelligent and cunning foes.

For example, a powerful drow wizard has placed a symbol of stunning on the main entrance to her lair with the specific trigger to activate when any non-drow passes within 10 feet of the symbol. While a rogue could most certainly perceive the trap before triggering it, getting close enough to disable it without triggering it would be difficult I would think.

Also, on a side note, does anyone else feel that the standard, by-the-book traps are pointless by the time characters are at level 13 or 14? Even the CR 20 traps in the CRB are only DC 34 and it's not that far a stretch for a 13th or 14th level rogue to have +30 or +32 Perception and Disable Device when dealing with traps which makes those high CR traps a real easy way to obtain large XP returns.


There are things that I describe differently in games.

TRAPS and PUZZLES

Traps are things that will do damage when unleashed and generally I'm happy for the rogue to roll to defeat them. Generally I'll actually say, "hey it looks like a trap" to give them a clue.

Puzzles are where the party needs to work together to think their way past and I'll describe them in a way that avoids mentioning trap. Specifically I'm looking for a process or specific solution before they can pass.

If a player tries to bypass a specialised encounter without thinking about the solution then I'll either bring them back with a "you try but it seems to have no effect" or hit them with the consequences (sometimes both).

I do the same thing now for intimidate/diplomacy and many other things, I ask my players for specifics for what they say because "I want to get inside because" is an auto fail. It's only after they tell me what they want to try before I let them roll, even then I'll only ask them to roll in occasions when I think their solution is medicore. If I'm happy with their solution there's plenty of times I won't even ask for a roll and allow an auto success.

Encouraging only rolling to bypass encounters tends to encourage a sort of game I'm less interested in.


Deadalready wrote:

There are things that I describe differently in games.

TRAPS and PUZZLES

Traps are things that will do damage when unleashed and generally I'm happy for the rogue to roll to defeat them. Generally I'll actually say, "hey it looks like a trap" to give them a clue.

Puzzles are where the party needs to work together to think their way past and I'll describe them in a way that avoids mentioning trap. Specifically I'm looking for a process or specific solution before they can pass.

If a player tries to bypass a specialised encounter without thinking about the solution then I'll either bring them back with a "you try but it seems to have no effect" or hit them with the consequences (sometimes both).

I do the same thing now for intimidate/diplomacy and many other things, I ask my players for specifics for what they say because "I want to get inside because" is an auto fail. It's only after they tell me what they want to try before I let them roll, even then I'll only ask them to roll in occasions when I think their solution is medicore. If I'm happy with their solution there's plenty of times I won't even ask for a roll and allow an auto success.

Encouraging only rolling to bypass encounters tends to encourage a sort of game I'm less interested in.

Why is "I use my character's ability" an auto fail? If you want your players to rely mostly on player vice character knowledge I can only assume that you are okay with metagaming.


I don't ask for metagaming, I ask for roleplaying.

Try this in real life
1: Walk up to a guarded door
2: Tell guards, "I want to get inside"
3: Guards ask why
4: "Because!"
5: Get beaten up

I consider it an auto fail because
1) You haven't engaged the PCs in 1 minute of conversation to allow a dice roll
2) Logically you haven't attempted the smallest iota of making your request reasonable
3) There is no way in hell, guards would let you pass no matter how nice you have presented yourself without a reasonable excuse
4) Essentially the interaction has ended before the player gets to roll
5) Because


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Deadalready wrote:

I don't ask for metagaming, I ask for roleplaying.

Try this in real life
1: Walk up to a guarded door
2: Tell guards, "I want to get inside"
3: Guards ask why
4: "Because!"
5: Get beaten up

I consider it an auto fail because
1) You haven't engaged the PCs in 1 minute of conversation to allow a dice roll
2) Logically you haven't attempted the smallest iota of making your request reasonable
3) There is no way in hell, guards would let you pass no matter how nice you have presented yourself without a reasonable excuse
4) Essentially the interaction has ended before the player gets to roll
5) Because

Thing is, we're not trying to get in the door, our character is.

My 20 for my diplomacy roll is
1) my character coming up and engaging the NPC for 1 minute,
2)making a reasonable request equal to a diplomacy 20 talents,
3) trying to find a way through friendliness to get an excuse
4) my roll is the interaction.
5) you're free to rule how you want

Making players come up with ideas is metagaming, because then I'm doing the talking and not my character. As a player I should give the general idea of what my character is doing, "I want my character to go talk to the guard and convince him to let me pass" player rolls, "I got a 34 for diplomacy which determines how well my character did at this task."

My character is a better talker than I am, so I can't come up with what he says because his abilities are above mine. In real life we don't have a d20 and skill ranks to determine how well we do, the conversation you described is like a getting a diplomacy 1. So you penalize players based on personal skill instead of what their character can do. My 34 diplomacy doesn't go and quote me, I don't have that kind of ability, and he's way better than that. He's probably more charming than the most charming person you know in your life.


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Devil's advocate:

What is roleplaying?

Scarab Sages

thorin001 wrote:
The short version is if you do not ask your wizard player to describe how he casts Fireball you should not ask the rogue player how he disarms traps.

I have no issues describing how I cast my fireballs, or giving visuals of my fighter swinging his sword.

I have, however, been bared from using a real sword while DMing.


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thejeff wrote:
Jaçinto wrote:

If players want to be bland, fine. But as a GM I reserve the right to give out exactly as much story and detail and effort as the players are willing to put in. If you refuse to roleplay, why should I? If the players want to be bland and just kill stuff with little to no in-character talking to eachother or npcs or even basically describing what they do, expect the GM to do the same.

Again, you get the same level of quality you are willing to put into the story. Do you want WoW where there are quest NPCs clearly marked and the dialog means nothing and you just want the quick quest objective and map marker so all you need to worry about is your build and power rotation which you just look up in forums anyway, or do you want to play in a world where what you do and say actually matter?

Is there no middle ground at all?

not one that wouldn't result in a fight. The wall between playstyles has hit the stratosphere, any attempts at scaling it is seen as an attack.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadalready wrote:

There are things that I describe differently in games.

TRAPS and PUZZLES

I'm going to go ahead and throw in my $.02

There's a third category... HAZARDS.

In the original post, there was a very thin floor designed to not support a person's weight. That's not necessarily a trap. An aptly-named trap door... that's a trap. But a large segment of floor that simply can't be walked on? That's a hazard.

Players may be able to bypass hazards, but it's no different from "extreme heat" or "high winds". You need the right technique and the right gear. There's nothing to disable.

Imagine a room with a floor covered in sharp, poisoned nails. Disable Device might work... if you're planning on snipping each nail one by one. On the other hand, if you've got access to a long plank of wood, you can bypass the hazard.

That's how I see it.


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blahpers wrote:

Devil's advocate:

What is roleplaying?

Roleplaying:

(a) When you forget about character sheets and just play the character and use your imagination and wit to make them say and do entertaining and clever things. Success depends on the intelligence of the player, irrespective of what their character ought to be capable of.
(b) When you play not by using the imagination and wit of the player but using dice, skill points, and so forth to find out what your character is able to do. Success depends on the capabilities of the character, irrespective of the player.

Roleplaying is one of those rare words with two equal and opposite definitions.


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Freehold DM wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Jaçinto wrote:

If players want to be bland, fine. But as a GM I reserve the right to give out exactly as much story and detail and effort as the players are willing to put in. If you refuse to roleplay, why should I? If the players want to be bland and just kill stuff with little to no in-character talking to eachother or npcs or even basically describing what they do, expect the GM to do the same.

Again, you get the same level of quality you are willing to put into the story. Do you want WoW where there are quest NPCs clearly marked and the dialog means nothing and you just want the quick quest objective and map marker so all you need to worry about is your build and power rotation which you just look up in forums anyway, or do you want to play in a world where what you do and say actually matter?

Is there no middle ground at all?
not one that wouldn't result in a fight. The wall between playstyles has hit the stratosphere, any attempts at scaling it is seen as an attack.

Only on the boards, not in real life. Or even in actual games on line.


Chess Pwn wrote:
Deadalready wrote:

I don't ask for metagaming, I ask for roleplaying.

Try this in real life
1: Walk up to a guarded door
2: Tell guards, "I want to get inside"
3: Guards ask why
4: "Because!"
5: Get beaten up

I consider it an auto fail because
1) You haven't engaged the PCs in 1 minute of conversation to allow a dice roll
2) Logically you haven't attempted the smallest iota of making your request reasonable
3) There is no way in hell, guards would let you pass no matter how nice you have presented yourself without a reasonable excuse
4) Essentially the interaction has ended before the player gets to roll
5) Because

Thing is, we're not trying to get in the door, our character is.

My 20 for my diplomacy roll is
1) my character coming up and engaging the NPC for 1 minute,
2)making a reasonable request equal to a diplomacy 20 talents,
3) trying to find a way through friendliness to get an excuse
4) my roll is the interaction.
5) you're free to rule how you want

Making players come up with ideas is metagaming, because then I'm doing the talking and not my character. As a player I should give the general idea of what my character is doing, "I want my character to go talk to the guard and convince him to let me pass" player rolls, "I got a 34 for diplomacy which determines how well my character did at this task."

My character is a better talker than I am, so I can't come up with what he says because his abilities are above mine. In real life we don't have a d20 and skill ranks to determine how well we do, the conversation you described is like a getting a diplomacy 1. So you penalize players based on personal skill instead of what their character can do. My 34 diplomacy doesn't go and quote me, I don't have that kind of ability, and he's way better than that. He's probably more charming than the most charming person you know in your life.

I require at least some explanation of the skill one is using beyond a die roll. I have simply dealt with too much stupidity.


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Jaçinto wrote:
Yeah but some groups prefer roleplay to rollplay.

As long as that goes both ways. I don't want an enemy to surprise me unless the GM can convincingly roleplay hiding in ambush. :-)


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Freehold DM wrote:
I require at least some explanation of the skill one is using beyond a die roll. I have simply dealt with too much stupidity.

Does the ranger get by with, "I shoot him with my bow"? What about that +6 to favored enemies he gets. Shouldn't he have to describe which vital organs he's shooting for all that extra damage?

The point others are making is that the character has the skill points, not necessarily the player. Many players enjoy roleplaying a character which is very different from themselves, but it can be extremely hard to do so when the GM requires everything be described in detail like you seem to.


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Deadalready wrote:

I don't ask for metagaming, I ask for roleplaying.

Try this in real life
1: Walk up to a guarded door
2: Tell guards, "I want to get inside"
3: Guards ask why
4: "Because!"
5: Get beaten up

I consider it an auto fail because
1) You haven't engaged the PCs in 1 minute of conversation to allow a dice roll
2) Logically you haven't attempted the smallest iota of making your request reasonable
3) There is no way in hell, guards would let you pass no matter how nice you have presented yourself without a reasonable excuse
4) Essentially the interaction has ended before the player gets to roll
5) Because

In real life I walk up to the guard and notice some detail that should allow me to strike up a conversation and establish a rapport with him. That could be a previously overheard conversation about a girl, a button on his clothes for a sports team, or his favorite brand of cigarettes. None of those details are apparent to the player. Many of the mundane things we take as a part of everyday life that are good conversation starters are glossed over in any RPG simply to avoid information overload. Nobody cares that the guard's as a Griffon's fan or has a Drindle original hat.

1) Walk up to guarded door.
2) Tell GM I try to schmooze past (diplomacy) him.
3) Roll dice

OR

1) Walk up to guarded door.
2) Tell GM I try to bribe him.
3) Roll dice

The 'schmooze' or 'bribe' action take up a minimum of one minute to attempt as per the diplomacy rules. Neither requires the player to attempt at an Oscar award


Jaçinto wrote:
The way I run my games, and I warn people ahead of time about this, is the skill points do matter but if you are not telling me really what you are doing/saying with an active skill, then I am slapping a big penalty on. Like "I roll diplomacy to get info from this guy." I will say "Ok, tell me what you say to him as if you were talking to a real person." Disable device and traps though, yeah gonna go with if you can't disable it, call it a hazard or something. However there is still, depending on the trap, items needed to disable. Like "disabling" a pit trap. I would say no if you don't have a plank of wood or something to cross it. In streamlining some skills, I think they kinda messed some up.

Ya, I hate when people make a Character with a different personality then they have in real life and love penalizing them for not being charismatic outside of the game. I mean seriously what did they think we were playing? A roleplaying game?

(The above is sarcasm.)


i just roll with it with situational modifiers.

for the diplomacy it is simple:

guy walks towards a guarded door:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"eh, i dont know, whatever, cant i just roll?"
"sure you can, with a penalty due to sircumastancial modifiers being: not a reasonable request"

antoher guy does the same:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"i say x,y,z, while i also offer him a bit of wine that i have with me to share, and continue with A,b,c"
"sure you can, you also get a +XYZ to the roll due to presenting a very convincing argument"

as for the traps:
some are black and white:
you notice a thread of twine that is attached to the other side of the door throught the keyhole
disable device
roll for it

others are more grey:
you find a lever, you are pretty sure it connects to a mechanism behind the wall.
i roll disable
sure, what do you want to do? jam the mechanism? remove the mechanism? activate the mechanism?

the lever may actually open a door, or drop the ceiling in their heads, or make the walls start closing in the room. the character CAN tinker with the mechanism, but it is their call to do what is right or wrong.


shroudb wrote:

i just roll with it with situational modifiers.

for the diplomacy it is simple:

guy walks towards a guarded door:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"eh, i dont know, whatever, cant i just roll?"
"sure you can, with a penalty due to sircumastancial modifiers being: not a reasonable request"

antoher guy does the same:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"i say x,y,z, while i also offer him a bit of wine that i have with me to share, and continue with A,b,c"
"sure you can, you also get a +XYZ to the roll due to presenting a very convincing argument"

Anzyr wrote:
Ya, I hate when people make a Character with a different personality then they have in real life and love penalizing them for not being charismatic outside of the game. I mean seriously what did they think we were playing? A roleplaying game?(The above is sarcasm.)

If the penalty or bonus is more than 2 see Anzyr's quote.


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shroudb wrote:

i just roll with it with situational modifiers.

for the diplomacy it is simple:

guy walks towards a guarded door:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"eh, i dont know, whatever, cant i just roll?"
"sure you can, with a penalty due to sircumastancial modifiers being: not a reasonable request"

antoher guy does the same:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"i say x,y,z, while i also offer him a bit of wine that i have with me to share, and continue with A,b,c"
"sure you can, you also get a +XYZ to the roll due to presenting a very convincing argument"

Why is it that some GMs, when a PC uses Diplomacy, will expect a player to have a good argument, but when a PC uses archery he will not expect the player to have good aim?


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I would suggest not penalizing for a poor description. Simply reward the good descriptions.


Tarantula wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
I require at least some explanation of the skill one is using beyond a die roll. I have simply dealt with too much stupidity.

Does the ranger get by with, "I shoot him with my bow"? What about that +6 to favored enemies he gets. Shouldn't he have to describe which vital organs he's shooting for all that extra damage?

The point others are making is that the character has the skill points, not necessarily the player. Many players enjoy roleplaying a character which is very different from themselves, but it can be extremely hard to do so when the GM requires everything be described in detail like you seem to.

if I have to remind the player that they have a bonus to attack a specific creature they have spent years hunting due to how much they hate it, then something has gone wrong. I'm not saying they have to go for an Academy award in everything they do and describe each bowel movement. I am saying that rolling dice and only rolling dice - refusing to speak to the player next to them beyond an order for dinner or making sure they aren't getting them in the radius of a fireball or even pay attention to what the DM is saying, isn't fun. And no, it isn't always that the DM is an evil mean jerk who is trying to make everyone play in their personal novel. Sometimes it's that the player really should be at home, playing Dragon Age on pc.


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I remember hearing a tale of a GM that actually did enforce trapfinding like this:

Player: "I search the door for traps."
DM: "Okay, show me."
Player: "Pardon?"
DM: "Go to that door *Gestures towards a door in the game room* and show me how you search."

Player walks to the door, a bit confused. He kneels down, gently running his fingers under the gap.

DM: "TWANG! You activiated the trip wire under the door."

I don't recall the rest of the story, though I assume it ends with finding a different group.


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You're all wrong.

Since Devil's Advocate didn't respond, I will.

Ahem.

blahpers wrote:

Devil's advocate:

What is roleplaying?

"GM don't hurt me... don't hurt me... no more..."

*drops mic and walks away*

(Oh, uh, and yeah: while individual groups' playing styles are different and valid, by rules, a dice roll is all that is needed. This is to specifically cater to those who have a personality and/or mental capability different than their character, allowing for a more diverse selection of players and a more inclusive hobby.)


Freehold DM wrote:
Tarantula wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
I require at least some explanation of the skill one is using beyond a die roll. I have simply dealt with too much stupidity.

Does the ranger get by with, "I shoot him with my bow"? What about that +6 to favored enemies he gets. Shouldn't he have to describe which vital organs he's shooting for all that extra damage?

The point others are making is that the character has the skill points, not necessarily the player. Many players enjoy roleplaying a character which is very different from themselves, but it can be extremely hard to do so when the GM requires everything be described in detail like you seem to.

if I have to remind the player that they have a bonus to attack a specific creature they have spent years hunting due to how much they hate it, then something has gone wrong. I'm not saying they have to go for an Academy award in everything they do and describe each bowel movement. I am saying that rolling dice and only rolling dice - refusing to speak to the player next to them beyond an order for dinner or making sure they aren't getting them in the radius of a fireball or even pay attention to what the DM is saying, isn't fun. And no, it isn't always that the DM is an evil mean jerk who is trying to make everyone play in their personal novel. Sometimes it's that the player really should be at home, playing Dragon Age on pc.

I was facetiously asking if you would not allow him to get the +6 to attack and damage unless he told you which vital organs he was targeting. Say, an undead. Oh, but you felt like since he said he would shoot this zombie in the throat, but this zombie was original killed by a dog ripping out its throat, that now you won't give him the bonus because you didn't like his description. Basically, the description exists to make the world more real, but it should not specifically provide penalties if the player has chosen to roleplay a character who is significantly different from himself.


Per the original topic, yes, you can't disarm a hazard, and sometimes the trap is the thing that obscures the hazard. (ie - a "Covered Pit Trap" is a trap, which, when disarmed, is now a Pit [Hazard])

In terms of Diplomacy - I think it's reasonable to ask the character what his approach is in order to deal with the roll. There is a huge difference between a bribe and building rapport, for instance -- and there are times when each of those is the more desireable.

What I'm saying is that "I Diplomacy him" doesn't work in my campaign, not because it's not what the player does, but because it's not specific enough.

"I use diplomacy to schmooze him, and then convince him to let me in", however, is the sort of thing that can work -- and I don't need anything else [though, to be fair, circumstance bonuses for making a good perception or sense motive to figure out things about the guard is totaly legit -- or working on info they got somewhere else (as long as it's valid)]. Of course, in most cases, this'll be two rolls because I tend to assume the default position of a guard is "Unfriendly" while on duty, barring other circumstances [know the guard from a previous encounter, having saved the town from goblins, etc, etc.] -- with the first one needed to influence the guard up to indifferent or better, and the second to then make the request"). Further, there's a risk that a guard who's highly vigilant, under scrutiny from the boss or whatever may not be willing to let you talk to him for a full minute to change his attitude (think British Royal Guardsmen in their big fur hats...)

To me, this is the same level of scrutiny and requiring the player to make a strategic/tactical decision as I require when I make the ranger's player tell me where he's leaping from and to when he wants to get from the ledge, across three catwalks, to the door on the other side of the room -- or, for that matter, when I make the fighter say "I move to there and attack." during combat.


Chess Pwn wrote:
shroudb wrote:

i just roll with it with situational modifiers.

for the diplomacy it is simple:

guy walks towards a guarded door:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"eh, i dont know, whatever, cant i just roll?"
"sure you can, with a penalty due to sircumastancial modifiers being: not a reasonable request"

antoher guy does the same:
"i want to roll diplomacy to get in"
"sure, what do you tell the guard?"
"i say x,y,z, while i also offer him a bit of wine that i have with me to share, and continue with A,b,c"
"sure you can, you also get a +XYZ to the roll due to presenting a very convincing argument"

Anzyr wrote:
Ya, I hate when people make a Character with a different personality then they have in real life and love penalizing them for not being charismatic outside of the game. I mean seriously what did they think we were playing? A roleplaying game?(The above is sarcasm.)
If the penalty or bonus is more than 2 see Anzyr's quote.
Quantum Steve wrote:


Why is it that some GMs, when a PC uses Diplomacy, will expect a player to have a good argument, but when a PC uses archery he will not expect the player to have good aim?

i dont ask the player to roleplay the dialogue if he doesnt want.

i just want him to list me the excuses he gives to get in.

to put it simply, diplomacy for me is how nice you talk and you convice people, that is a roll in the game.
diplomacy ISN'T "my character invents reasons i dont know yet"
such a skill doesn't exist.

if he was already on a point of friendship with a guard and simply went, "hey man, can i just get a quick peak inside" then i would need no reason at all, just the roll for a favor asked. but when you are with a complete stranger, i expect my players to give a reason.

as for the archery example, that is flat out out of context.
a more reasonable example would be a guy with a bow having 10 people in front of him.

he doesn't go like" i will try to shoot the most dangerous one, and will not hit any that may not be even enemies"
he specifically picks out a target and rolls to hit.
same thing happens with diplomacy: HOW you say something is the roll. WHAT you say.. eh that's your own thing.


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While there are limits to success, your capacity for failure is infinite.

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