Taking 10


Rules Questions

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The rules state that you can take 10 anytime your not in immediate danger, but I haven't really found a clear Pazio definition of what "immediate danger" means. To me, danger and immediate danger would be defined as this-

Danger: Any time your conditions could result in harm if immediate action is not taken, such as walking a tight rope.

Immediate Danger: Any time your conditions positively result in harm if immediate action is not taken, such as standing in a burning building.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm a player in a Skull and Shackles game and the GM ruled that the rigger could not take 10 on his job. He claimed it was some sort of special work task which you can't take 10 on, which I question. I get that it's a special work task, but don't understand why you wouldn't be able to take 10. I was curious as to if he has misunderstood something, but I don't want to read the book and spoil the fun.


If the GM says he can't he can't, not sure what the issue is. Its kind of a GM fiat area anyway and different GM's rule it differently. Unless your running it in PFS mode, in which case he should let you take 10 barring danger (maybe he considers the rigging dangerous)

My house rule is taking 10 gets you 7 and taking 20 gets you 15. Not a fan of the take 10 rules so I limit them some. People still use them when success is certain, but much less often.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The explanation I have seen used - and what I rule myself - is that you can take 10 as long as you are not in immediate danger from something ~outside the skill check itself~. So, for example, no matter how dangerous the climb is you can take 10. But if someone is shooting arrows at you, no take 10 even if the climb is easy.

EDIT: That said, if your GM says you can't... you can't. Some GMs really don't like taking 10 and 20. YMMV.


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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

If the GM says he can't he can't, not sure what the issue is. Its kind of a GM fiat area anyway and different GM's rule it differently. Unless your running it in PFS mode, in which case he should let you take 10 barring danger (maybe he considers the rigging dangerous)

My house rule is taking 10 gets you 7 and taking 20 gets you 15. Not a fan of the take 10 rules so I limit them some. People still use them when success is certain, but much less often.

I'm quite aware that it's the GM's right to rule however he wants. You can house rule if you want, but in our games, the GM, whether him or me, wants to apply the rules as intended by the developers. Sometimes they're hard to understand, so I came here for verification.

I'm sorry but this is the rules section, not the house rules section. The issue is that your telling me I have no right to question a rule.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well, that's pushing the "immediate danger" thing a bit too far.


blackbloodtroll wrote:
Well, that's pushing the "immediate danger" thing a bit too far.

What do you mean?


I just find something interesting that credits his argument. Apparently PFS doesn't allow you to take 10's on day job rolls either.


Since the rules say you may choose to take 10, I think this is not simply a result of being safe when you do something. I think it means taking the time to be careful, as in taking 10 minutes or so.

Does your rigger have 10 minutes? Taking-10 should not only be prevented by immediate danger by also by simply not having the time. Also, taking-10 is also prevented by distractions. It really seems the rule here is that the GM must determine the situation at hand.

Edit: If this is a downtime job, then I am less certain of the rules (outside of PFS).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It is bit like taking a 10, with Acrobatics, to jump across a 5ft chasm.

How do you know what prevent that?

Is it fire?

Is it combat?

What if it is the fact that the chasm is 100ft deep?

Is that going to prevent it?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
cheechako wrote:

Since the rules say you may choose to take 10, I think this is not simply a result of being safe when you do something. I think it means taking the time to be careful, as in taking 10 minutes or so.

Does your rigger have 10 minutes? Taking-10 should not only be prevented by immediate danger by also by simply not having the time. Also, taking-10 is also prevented by distractions. It really seems the rule here is that the GM must determine the situation at hand.

Edit: If this is a downtime job, then I am less certain of the rules (outside of PFS).

Taking 10, does not take more time.

Ever.


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Taking 20s takes much more time.

In my games, and how I interpret it, is that taking 10 is routine actions.
If you are swimming in a safe pool you can take 10.
If you are swimming in a raging river, where failing said skill check results in tremendous death, you can not.

Or combat, Unless you have a feat that says you can take 10 for this skill whenever you want, I always rule combat out of take-10-land.

My interpretation, I don't think immediate danger has ever been spelled out by paizo.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Taking 10, does not take more time.

Ever.

Perhaps that's why I said "I think" more than once instead of "RAW says".

So, RAW does not define immediate danger.

Ever.


My thoughts are that taking 10 is a routine task.

If you are a professional cook/chef and you are cooking dinner for whoever comes in, you're not putting forth your best effort, it could be better, it could be worse. You are taking 10.

If that same profession cook/chef is now making dinner for some very important figure or a million gold piece competition. They are doing everything they possibly can do make it good. getting the best ingredients, using the finest dining ware, pulling out all of the stops, and taking as long as it takes to do the job the BEST they can. This is taking 20.


@Cheechako Taking 20 typically only takes 2 minutes, so there's no way taking 10 would take 10 minutes. Taking 10 only represents the ability to focus.


All we can do is FAQ it. To me immediate danger is the character being threatened by possible harm such as being shot at, or stuck inside of a trapped room while the trap is active. Now if you are immune to whatever the trap does then you should be allowed to take 10.


Yur right, immediate danger should be better defined by paizo. I'll click FAQ as well, but who knows if it will ever be answered.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Storms, fire, combat, and other obvious things should stop you.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
I just find something interesting that credits his argument. Apparently PFS doesn't allow you to take 10's on day job rolls either.

This is incorrect, and is even specified in the Guide to Organized Play.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Profession(Rigger) is a valid option for Day Job rolls.

So, as per PFS rules, you can take 10 on Profession(Rigger) checks, for at least, that purpose.


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I have never disallowed take 10 short of combat. But during a dangerous storm or similar event would probably qualify as well.

Certainly the rigger should be allowed to take 10... that being said, your GM IS the final arbiter. He clearly over rules me in his own game.


Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

If the GM says he can't he can't, not sure what the issue is. Its kind of a GM fiat area anyway and different GM's rule it differently. Unless your running it in PFS mode, in which case he should let you take 10 barring danger (maybe he considers the rigging dangerous)

My house rule is taking 10 gets you 7 and taking 20 gets you 15. Not a fan of the take 10 rules so I limit them some. People still use them when success is certain, but much less often.

I'm not sure what your hostility to take ten is. Especially if there is no time pressure, and you don't forbid retrying, then all you are doing is short handing the intervening rounds in exchange for the player giving up the chance at doing really well. You can't fumble skill checks. So if failing it has no consequences and they are going to succeed eventually, and they have the time, what is wrong with just saying they succeed instead of rolling the dice 10 times?


I've always interpreted 'immediate danger' as being closer to 'under pressure'. So a rigger can take 10 most of the time, such as when just changing direction, docking, etc. but if you are in the middle of chasing down another ship or you have to dock faster then normal docking speed (for whatever reason, but such as trying to dock before a big storm hits) then you cannot take 10.


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Personally, I like the "oh shi_" rule of thumb: whenever you would be saying (or thinking) "Oh shi_, oh shi_, oh shi_", "This had better work or I'm in deep shi_." or anything similar... you can't take 10.

Sovereign Court

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RDM42 wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

If the GM says he can't he can't, not sure what the issue is. Its kind of a GM fiat area anyway and different GM's rule it differently. Unless your running it in PFS mode, in which case he should let you take 10 barring danger (maybe he considers the rigging dangerous)

My house rule is taking 10 gets you 7 and taking 20 gets you 15. Not a fan of the take 10 rules so I limit them some. People still use them when success is certain, but much less often.

I'm not sure what your hostility to take ten is. Especially if there is no time pressure, and you don't forbid retrying, then all you are doing is short handing the intervening rounds in exchange for the player giving up the chance at doing really well. You can't fumble skill checks. So if failing it has no consequences and they are going to succeed eventually, and they have the time, what is wrong with just saying they succeed instead of rolling the dice 10 times?

Just a clarification, negative consequences of failure and inability to retry do not prohibit taking 10. Those are restrictions for taking 20, not for taking 10.


VRMH wrote:
Personally, I like the "oh shi_" rule of thumb: whenever you would be saying (or thinking) "Oh shi_, oh shi_, oh shi_", "This had better work or I'm in deep shi_." or anything similar... you can't take 10.

lol, that's a pretty good way to handle it


RDM42 wrote:
I'm not sure what your hostility to take ten is. Especially if there is no time pressure, and you don't forbid retrying, then all you are doing is short handing the intervening rounds in exchange for the player giving up the chance at doing really well. You can't fumble skill checks. So if failing it has no consequences and they are going to succeed eventually, and they have the time, what is wrong with just saying they succeed instead of rolling the dice 10 times?

Actually, taking 10 is even more lenient still. Taking 10 doesn't assume 10 attempt like taking 20 does, it only represented ts the ability to focus. It actually takes no extra time at all, and only represents the ability to focus.


The point isn't that taking 10 takes longer than attempting a task normally. The Core Rulebook says that you cannot take 10 if you are distracting. A time limit, even if it is sufficient, could serve to distract a character, especially if they are attempting a particularly difficult or important task. Likewise, knowing that something terrible (like falling into a 100ft. chasm) could happen if you fail could also be quite distracting. It's all up to what the GM thinks would distract a character to the extent that they cannot perform a task calmly and reliably.


I think it's a matter of "Can you get hurt doing this, and does it matter?" If I'm trying to climb a 10' wall I can pretty much assume that falling off won't hurt me and if I'm not being rushed can take however long it takes. So it's just annoying to make me keep rolling until I succeed. But if it's a 100' wall and I can get hurt then it makes sense to have me roll and see if I break a leg or something. Even more extreme, suppose I'm trying to walk that tightrope across a live volcano full of lava. I can't just say, "I'm going to take as long as I need to succeed, so just say I made it." (Which is the point of taking 10 or 20.) Because if you don't make it your character just died.


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Avoron wrote:
The point isn't that taking 10 takes longer than attempting a task normally. The Core Rulebook says that you cannot take 10 if you are distracting. A time limit, even if it is sufficient, could serve to distract a character, especially if they are attempting a particularly difficult or important task. Likewise, knowing that something terrible (like falling into a 100ft. chasm) could happen if you fail could also be quite distracting. It's all up to what the GM thinks would distract a character to the extent that they cannot perform a task calmly and reliably.

No, it is not up to the GM to find an excuse to eliminate a mechanic. If the GM has an animus against the rule then he should be honest and announce his house rule rather than trying to stealth ban it.


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daimaru wrote:
I think it's a matter of "Can you get hurt doing this, and does it matter?" If I'm trying to climb a 10' wall I can pretty much assume that falling off won't hurt me and if I'm not being rushed can take however long it takes. So it's just annoying to make me keep rolling until I succeed. But if it's a 100' wall and I can get hurt then it makes sense to have me roll and see if I break a leg or something. Even more extreme, suppose I'm trying to walk that tightrope across a live volcano full of lava. I can't just say, "I'm going to take as long as I need to succeed, so just say I made it." (Which is the point of taking 10 or 20.) Because if you don't make it your character just died.

You are conflating the Take 10 and take 20 mechanics.

Take 20 is having all the time in the world.
Take 10 is doing things in a routine manner. If you have done it a hundred times in the same manner you can Take 10. Jumping 10 feet is jumping 10, it does not matter how deep the chasm between the edges is. Jumping the chasm when there is a substantial crosswind is a different matter.


The GM doesn't eliminate any mechanics by doing something like that. Page 86 of the Core Rulebook says, "When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10." The GM does not decide whether or not they can take 10. The book already says that they can take 10 when they are not distracted. Some of the time they are distracted, and some of the time they are not. The rulebook can't tell you whether a character is distracted or not, because it depends on the specifics of the situation. That's the GM's job, to make judgement calls about what is going on around the character and what happens to them. Someone has to decide whether they are distracted.


Avoron wrote:
The GM doesn't eliminate any mechanics by doing something like that. Page 86 of the Core Rulebook says, "When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10." The GM does not decide whether or not they can take 10. The book already says that they can take 10 when they are not distracted. Some of the time they are distracted, and some of the time they are not. The rulebook can't tell you whether a character is distracted or not, because it depends on the specifics of the situation. That's the GM's job, to make judgement calls about what is going on around the character and what happens to them. Someone has to decide whether they are distracted.

But ALWAYS deciding that the PC is distracted is nothing but a stealth ban.


Who said anything about always? In terms of stealth, if you're sneaking past a castle guard, sure, take 10 if you want to. If you're sneaking past a dragon, you might not be able to take 10. That's just what I would rule. The point is that it depends on the circumstances, and it depends on the GM. In fact, GM decisions are the only way to avoid an always/never scenario. Sometimes the GM will let someone take 10 and sometimes they won't, but the GM must judge the circumstances to make a ruling that's reasonable.


I believe it vague SO the DM can be the final arbiter of it. Sure no taking ten in combat is obvious, but what if your trying to unlock a door before that guard comes around the corner in six seconds. Or attempting to scale a wall while the house is burning down.


RDM42 wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

If the GM says he can't he can't, not sure what the issue is. Its kind of a GM fiat area anyway and different GM's rule it differently. Unless your running it in PFS mode, in which case he should let you take 10 barring danger (maybe he considers the rigging dangerous)

My house rule is taking 10 gets you 7 and taking 20 gets you 15. Not a fan of the take 10 rules so I limit them some. People still use them when success is certain, but much less often.

I'm not sure what your hostility to take ten is. Especially if there is no time pressure, and you don't forbid retrying, then all you are doing is short handing the intervening rounds in exchange for the player giving up the chance at doing really well. You can't fumble skill checks. So if failing it has no consequences and they are going to succeed eventually, and they have the time, what is wrong with just saying they succeed instead of rolling the dice 10 times?

1) Crafting - I feel crafting is way to easy with take 10. Pushing the "safe craft" zone back 3 levels is actually a giant deal. For instance, my level 3 witch in ROW has blown past WBL cap already and she just got crafting. While she could have bypassed WBL cap even at 7 instead of 10, its unlikely that she would have as she most of what she's crafted she just barely got in for (by 2 or exactly.)

2) I take 20 the room syndrome. Don't know how many time I've been in or GM'd for the take 20 the room on perception people. Dropping it to 15 makes it much less worth it, and players will rarely(maybe never) have done that since I implemented that rule. I don't know why but take 20 the room just annoys me, even as a player.

3) Makes some of the more trivial things less trivial than they should be IMO.

Those are just my things that bug me about it. I don't think its OP or anything, just don't like how it functions and how people use them.


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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:
RDM42 wrote:
Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

If the GM says he can't he can't, not sure what the issue is. Its kind of a GM fiat area anyway and different GM's rule it differently. Unless your running it in PFS mode, in which case he should let you take 10 barring danger (maybe he considers the rigging dangerous)

My house rule is taking 10 gets you 7 and taking 20 gets you 15. Not a fan of the take 10 rules so I limit them some. People still use them when success is certain, but much less often.

I'm not sure what your hostility to take ten is. Especially if there is no time pressure, and you don't forbid retrying, then all you are doing is short handing the intervening rounds in exchange for the player giving up the chance at doing really well. You can't fumble skill checks. So if failing it has no consequences and they are going to succeed eventually, and they have the time, what is wrong with just saying they succeed instead of rolling the dice 10 times?

1) Crafting - I feel crafting is way to easy with take 10. Pushing the "safe craft" zone back 3 levels is actually a giant deal.

2) I take 20 the room syndrome. Don't know how many time I've been in or GM'd for the take 20 the room on perception people. Dropping it to 15 makes it much less worth it, and players will rarely(maybe never) have done that since I implemented that rule. I don't know why but take 20 the room just annoys me, even as a player.

3) Makes some of the more trivial things less trivial than they should be IMO.

Those are just my things that bug me about it.

So instead of trivial you make them tedious. Now for the room you make the player roll until he rolls a 20. Or if you want to roll for him he says roll 40 times, just to be sure.

Crafting is way too easy? How else do you expect craftsmen to make a consistent living? I get it, you want to add drama to every situation, even tying shoes.


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Avoron wrote:
Who said anything about always? In terms of stealth, if you're sneaking past a castle guard, sure, take 10 if you want to. If you're sneaking past a dragon, you might not be able to take 10. That's just what I would rule. The point is that it depends on the circumstances, and it depends on the GM. In fact, GM decisions are the only way to avoid an always/never scenario. Sometimes the GM will let someone take 10 and sometimes they won't, but the GM must judge the circumstances to make a ruling that's reasonable.

That is exactly what I am talking about, trying to find excuses to shut the mechanic down.

Why is sneaking past a dragon more difficult then a human guard? Not higher DC, not having to overcome additional senses, but not being able to access a core mechanic?


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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:


2) I take 20 the room syndrome. Don't know how many time I've been in or GM'd for the take 20 the room on perception people. Dropping it to 15 makes it much less worth it, and players will rarely(maybe never) have done that since I implemented that rule. I don't know why but take 20 the room just annoys me, even as a player.

Those are just my things that bug me about it. I don't think its OP or anything, just don't like how it functions and how people use them.

It makes sense to me to keep checking the room until you are sure you did not miss anything. I know that when I did room searches in the military we did the real life equivalent.


Ahh, mundane crafting. Well I use an entire set of 3rd party home rules for mundane crafting, so its actually much easier because you aren't tied into the "silver pieces per week" paradigm that makes crafting absurdly difficult. People craft mundanely in my games more than any other campaign I've ever seen (been in 3.x for nearly 15 years now too) because I use those rules and there aren't any 1 year brew poisons at level 20 with maxed out Craft (alchemy) situations and people can craft at a proper pace.

And no, players don't roll 40 times, they now go in and roll once and don't spend 20 minuted while crawling through the BBEG's hideout in every room.

Liberty's Edge

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Lord Vukodlak wrote:

I believe it vague SO the DM can be the final arbiter of it. Sure no taking ten in combat is obvious, but what if your trying to unlock a door before that guard comes around the corner in six seconds. Or attempting to scale a wall while the house is burning down.

This is the over-arching answer right here.

It has been stated many times in the forums that Paizo cannot define every little thing in Pathfinder. If they did, the Core rulebook would become a set of encyclopedias...and even then, they still could not define everything.

Take 10 is defined to a certain degree and from there, it is up to the players to decide what is a reasonable use for the rules. there will be different groups that have slightly different interpretations. The right answer for jimibones83 (OP) is to discuss it with his GM. Hopefully they come to a conclusion that they are both happy with.
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For our group, you can take 10 on any skill roll that falls under any task that the character is doing while not distracted or under duress. Examples of being under duress are: being threatened, being pressed for time, not having sufficient materials, or having to use substandard materials.

For example:
- A character with +5 Climb can Take 10 to scale a DC 15 cliff
- A character with +5 Climb cannot Take 10 to scale a DC 10 cliff if he is fatigued (GM's prerogative)
- A character with +5 Climb cannot Take 10 to circumvent a DC 20 obstacle during his DC 15 cliff climb
- A character with +5 Climb cannot Take 10 to scale a DC 10 cliff if he is being shot at
- A character with +10 Cooking can Take 10 to prepare a standard dish for the Emperor
- A character with +10 Cooking cannot Take 10 to create a brand new dish for the Emperor (reputation is at stake)
- A character with +10 Cooking can Take 10 to create a brand new dish for his dog (who cares what the dog thinks)
In my game, it is up to me (the GM) to decide if the situation the character is in is considered stressful. My interpretation is well within the rules as written, though not everyone may agree with me. Not agreeing does not make me wrong nor does it make the other person wrong.

Side note: I would also feel comfortable using this mindset in PFS.


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Taking 10 and Taking 20

PRD wrote:

Taking 10 and Taking 20

A skill check represents an attempt to accomplish some goal, usually while under some sort of time pressure or distraction. Sometimes, though, a character can use a skill under more favorable conditions, increasing the odds of success.

Taking 10: When your character is not in immediate danger or distracted, you may choose to take 10. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, calculate your result as if you had rolled a 10. For many routine tasks, taking 10 makes them automatically successful. Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible for a character to take 10. In most cases, taking 10 is purely a safety measure—you know (or expect) that an average roll will succeed but fear that a poor roll might fail, so you elect to settle for the average roll (a 10). Taking 10 is especially useful in situations where a particularly high roll wouldn't help.

Taking 20: When you have plenty of time, you are faced with no threats or distractions, and the skill being attempted carries no penalties for failure, you can take 20. In other words, if you roll a d20 enough times, eventually you will get a 20. Instead of rolling 1d20 for the skill check, just calculate your result as if you had rolled a 20.

Taking 20 means you are trying until you get it right, and it assumes that you fail many times before succeeding. Taking 20 takes 20 times as long as making a single check would take (usually 2 minutes for a skill that takes 1 round or less to perform).

Since taking 20 assumes that your character will fail many times before succeeding, your character would automatically incur any penalties for failure before he or she could complete the task (hence why it is generally not allowed with skills that carry such penalties). Common “take 20” skills include Disable Device (when used to open locks), Escape Artist, and Perception (when attempting to find traps).

Ability Checks and Caster Level Checks: The normal take 10 and take 20 rules apply for ability checks. Neither rule applies to concentration checks or caster level checks.

Sean K Reynolds
Quote:

The purpose of Take 10 is to allow you to avoid the swinginess of the d20 roll in completing a task that should be easy for you. A practiced climber (5 ranks in Climb) should never, ever fall when climbing a practice rock-climbing wall at a gym (DC 15) as long as he doesn't rush and isn't distracted by combat, trying to juggle, and so on. Take 10 means he doesn't have to worry about the randomness of rolling 1, 2, 3, or 4.

The rule is there to prevent weirdness from the fact that you can roll 1 on tasks you shouldn't fail at under normal circumstances.

I'm not an athlete, but I can easily to a standing broad jump of 5-6 feet, over and over again without fail. It doesn't matter if I'm jumping over a piece of tape on the floor or a deep pit... I can make that jump. With a running start, it's even easier. If I were an adventurer, a 5-foot-diameter pit would be a trivial obstacle. Why waste game time making everyone roll to jump over the pit? Why not let them Take 10 and get on to something relevant to the adventure that's actually a threat, like a trap, monster, or shady NPC?

Let your players Take 10 unless they're in combat or they're distracted by something other than the task at hand. It's just there to make the game proceed faster so you don't have big damn heroes failing to accomplish inconsequential things.

"Let your players Take 10 unless they're in combat or they're distracted by something other than the task at hand."

jimibones83 wrote:

The rules state that you can take 10 anytime your not in immediate danger, but I haven't really found a clear Pazio definition of what "immediate danger" means. To me, danger and immediate danger would be defined as this-

Danger: Any time your conditions could result in harm if immediate action is not taken, such as walking a tight rope.

Immediate Danger: Any time your conditions positively result in harm if immediate action is not taken, such as standing in a burning building.

The reason I bring this up is because I'm a player in a Skull and Shackles game and the GM ruled that the rigger could not take 10 on his job. He claimed it was some sort of special work task which you can't take 10 on, which I question. I get that it's a special work task, but don't understand why you wouldn't be able to take 10. I was curious as to if he has misunderstood something, but I don't want to read the book and spoil the fun.

It is easier to use "Distractions or threats (such as combat) make it impossible" as the test than immediate danger.

Combat test: are you in initiative order?

Distractions: these are things that draw your attention from the task at hand. The danger of the job is not such a distraction.

The possibility of failure does not preclude Taking-10.

/cevah


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Under A Bleeding Sun wrote:

Ahh, mundane crafting. Well I use an entire set of 3rd party home rules for mundane crafting, so its actually much easier because you aren't tied into the "silver pieces per week" paradigm that makes crafting absurdly difficult. People craft mundanely in my games more than any other campaign I've ever seen (been in 3.x for nearly 15 years now too) because I use those rules and there aren't any 1 year brew poisons at level 20 with maxed out Craft (alchemy) situations and people can craft at a proper pace.

And no, players don't roll 40 times, they now go in and roll once and don't spend 20 minuted while crawling through the BBEG's hideout in every room.

If your players are happy not finding all the loot or eating traps because they were not thorough then that is on them. Depriving the opportunity to be thorough is a different matter.


thorin001 wrote:
Avoron wrote:
Who said anything about always? In terms of stealth, if you're sneaking past a castle guard, sure, take 10 if you want to. If you're sneaking past a dragon, you might not be able to take 10. That's just what I would rule. The point is that it depends on the circumstances, and it depends on the GM. In fact, GM decisions are the only way to avoid an always/never scenario. Sometimes the GM will let someone take 10 and sometimes they won't, but the GM must judge the circumstances to make a ruling that's reasonable.

That is exactly what I am talking about, trying to find excuses to shut the mechanic down.

Why is sneaking past a dragon more difficult then a human guard? Not higher DC, not having to overcome additional senses, but not being able to access a core mechanic?

Probably because this GM wants you to fail when faced with that dragon, he doesn't care about a guard you can quickly slay anyway. But this is the trouble with vague mechanics.


Cevah, thanks for pulling up that quote. I was going to mention it, but was too lazy to go find it myself.

The way I view it is that you can take 10 any time your only concern involves the action you're performing--if you're using Acrobatics to climb or jump, it doesn't matter if you're climbing 10 feet up or 100, and doesn't matter if you're over earth, water, lava, or spikes, since your only concern is succeeding at Acrobatics.

Now, if something else becomes a concern, such as being attacked while climbing, then you can no longer take 10.

Similarly, if you're trying to climb AND be sneaky, then you cannot take 10, since you're focused on two different tasks. Are you trying to avoid falling blocks while climbing? That's distracting. Looking for traps while balancing? Distracting. Pickpocketing while dancing? Distracting. But you can take 10 pickpocketing someone irrespective of the results of your action--whether you're stealing candy from a baby, or trying to scoop some slime off of Cthulu's hide. Ruling it any other way is not only very metagamey, but also paradoxical. You can't change the way you're performing a task based on a possible negative result of failure that you may not be aware of. For example, you don't know if that guard you're trying to sneak past is a mook with a wife and kids who has no interest in doing anything but raising the alarm, but a shapechanged dragon looking for his next meal, so if you can sneak past the first guy taking 10, then you can sneak past the second taking 10 as well.


Avoron wrote:
The point isn't that taking 10 takes longer than attempting a task normally. The Core Rulebook says that you cannot take 10 if you are distracting. A time limit, even if it is sufficient, could serve to distract a character, especially if they are attempting a particularly difficult or important task. Likewise, knowing that something terrible (like falling into a 100ft. chasm) could happen if you fail could also be quite distracting. It's all up to what the GM thinks would distract a character to the extent that they cannot perform a task calmly and reliably.

I brought that up to clarify an accidental misrepresentation of the rule, not to defend my stance on the original post. Yur right though, immediate danger isn't the only thing that can stop you from taking 10, it does also make mention of distraction.


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So what stops people in a world without a proper take 20 from just taking 20 times as long (like normal), rolling 20 times, and hoping they get that nat 20 jackpot? Because that's exactly what the take 20 rules simulate.

On a slightly more relevant note, I'm on the side of "unless you're in combat or something is doing something to you, you can take 10". It's just a time-saving mechanism to give you an "average" result. Lets me ask the trap-spotter for his take 10 and tell him what he sees. At a certain point this makes him able to see all traps. This isn't a problem because he's high level and focused on perception, of course he can see traps really well. And when I say "something is doing something to you" I do mean it has to actually be interacting with you. Having a conversation, throwing things at you, whatever, just something that actually requires your attention. Not "but it's a bigger monster so you have to pay more attention to it".

Then we get into "realism". Can I drive a car daily without causing an accident/running a red light? I certainly hope so. Can I operate an oven without giving myself severe burns? Yes. Do I still screw those up sometimes? Also yes, but I always have an excuse (and it's usually talking to someone). So as a fantasy adventurer, can I jump a 5 foot gap? Yes. Does it matter how deep it is? Not as long as I don't look down. Can I give a room a once over and not miss the plaid elephant? Depends on its stealth.


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Bob Bob Bob wrote:

So what stops people in a world without a proper take 20 from just taking 20 times as long (like normal), rolling 20 times, and hoping they get that nat 20 jackpot? Because that's exactly what the take 20 rules simulate.

On a slightly more relevant note, I'm on the side of "unless you're in combat or something is doing something to you, you can take 10". It's just a time-saving mechanism to give you an "average" result. Lets me ask the trap-spotter for his take 10 and tell him what he sees. At a certain point this makes him able to see all traps. This isn't a problem because he's high level and focused on perception, of course he can see traps really well. And when I say "something is doing something to you" I do mean it has to actually be interacting with you. Having a conversation, throwing things at you, whatever, just something that actually requires your attention. Not "but it's a bigger monster so you have to pay more attention to it".

Then we get into "realism". Can I drive a car daily without causing an accident/running a red light? I certainly hope so. Can I operate an oven without giving myself severe burns? Yes. Do I still screw those up sometimes? Also yes, but I always have an excuse (and it's usually talking to someone). So as a fantasy adventurer, can I jump a 5 foot gap? Yes. Does it matter how deep it is? Not as long as I don't look down. Can I give a room a once over and not miss the plaid elephant? Depends on its stealth.

Yup.

Taking 10 is also about committing your standard amount of attention/focus/skill to a task. And, generally, we can perform the same relatively simple tasks again repeatedly without risk of failure...until something else changes things, such as our becoming fatigued, or being distracted by something unrelated, or by conditions getting worse.

Drive 10 blocks down a straight road with stop signs. Are you EVER going to fail that check?

Now, do it tired (fatigued for a -2 penalty to Dex).
Now, do it while it's raining (circumstance penalty).
And dark (circumstance penalty).
And the road is rough with potholes (circumstance penalty).
Now, do it VERY tired (exhausted for a -6 penalty to Dex).

Or try taking 10 when some maniac is swerving all over the road (DC goes up for defensive driving).

Similarly, your Perception check while driving should note what other drivers are doing when they signal properly, when you're spaced properly, when everyone is obeying traffic laws, etc..., but the DC may be higher than your Take 10 can achieve for some kid stepping into the street from behind a parked car.


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@thorin001 In my GM's defense, he's not trying to do all that. I just thought perhaps he was mistaken.

@Cevah Thats a great bit of insight, however, after I thought about it for a moment, i kinda questioned. I think a pit could be very distracting. For instance, if I were working at the top of a cell tower, there would be nothing but the task at hand, but those heights would distract the s#!% right out of me, literally.

EDIT* After I realized heights make me crap my pants


In response to thorin001, Cevah, and yeti1069, the reason it's harder to sneak past a dragon than a castle guard is the same reason some people fail tests even when they know all of the material: we are imperfect creatures. If you are trying to sneak past a dragon, chances are you are going to be terrified, or at least extremely nervous. This causes people to be less able to calmly carry out their task. That is a fact. It doesn't make the task impossible, it doesn't make the task more difficult per se, it makes the character distracted. If the character is distracted, they cannot take 10. That comes directly from the rules. And worrying about being eaten if you get caught is something completely different than "the task at hand" which is trying to move stealthily. In much the same way, thinking about the difficulty of climbing a wall doesn't distract you from climbing it, but thinking about the possibility of falling into lava might, because that is something other than the task at hand. Another separate factor is time constraints. These are most often not an issue, but, especially when combined with dangers resulting from failure, might be distracting because they distract the character from simply completing the task in the best manner possible. The person Cevah quoted specifically mentions being in a rush as something that could prevent someone from taking 10. And finally, yeti, a person could sneak past a guard and a polymorphed dragon in the same way because it's not about the danger. It's about the character's perception of danger, which affects their nerves and their ability to act without being distracted.

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