Taking 10: Immediate dangers and distractions


Rules Questions

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Ravingdork wrote:
Thorin's right. Nothing good can come from the PDT's recent statement. It basically gives crappy GMs carte blanche to walk all over their players. As if some of them needed even more of a power trip for their overinflated egos.

Simple solution to that. Don't play with crappy GMs with overinflated egos on power trips.

A change in rules won't make them into good GMs or deflate their egos.


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Yeah but if the devs(or in this case a statement made by a devs) actually encourage bad GMing it might result in someone new to learn the habits of bad GMing. And yes arbitary BS is bad GMing, no ifs maybes or buts about it.

Liberty's Edge

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Sums up my thoughts on the FAQ

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I wouldn't really go so far as to attack the FAQ system as a whole.

That's way too far.

So many have been good, or at least helpful, that I would rather not see the effort dismissed.

As I said, a few stinkers, but I sure would not call it a high percentage.

That's way too far, in my opinion.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I wouldn't really go so far as to attack the FAQ system as a whole.

That's way too far.

So many have been good, or at least helpful, that I would rather not see the effort dismissed.

As I said, a few stinkers, but I sure would not call it a high percentage.

That's way too far, in my opinion.

Agreed, but I'd say the percentage has substantially risen. There was a time I only had a few that irked me: I've lost count now. :P

Liberty's Edge

blackbloodtroll wrote:

I wouldn't really go so far as to attack the FAQ system as a whole.

That's way too far.

So many have been good, or at least helpful, that I would rather not see the effort dismissed.

As I said, a few stinkers, but I sure would not call it a high percentage.

That's way too far, in my opinion.

BTT, is that was directed at me (or even if it wasn't) I agree. My above comment (since I cannot edit it for clarity) was specifically aimed at this FAQ. I generally like most FAQs that the Design team makes (a specific exception would have been the Spell-Like ability revision) and I really appreciate the hard work that they (especially Mark) put into making them happen.

But this particular FAQ just seems dumb to me. I understand they don't want to hamstring GMs into having to do it a certain way but also think that making Take 10 a "drama" based decision is kind of dumb. Mostly I wish they had just listed examples of when it's a good idea and a bad idea (generally speaking) to allow/disallow taking 10. That was the whole point, as I understood, of this FAQ attempts.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Welcome to the downside of pinning down the developer team - you may get an answer you don't want. It's a lot like dealing vague federal regulations. You generally don't want to seek out clarification because... you might get it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

You know, this is not that bad.

I think after the Free Action FAQ, they don't like to give any specific examples for things like this.

Does anyone remember that?

That FAQ lasted, like, a day, before it was changed.

Liberty's Edge

The 'Non-FAQ' guidance changes and clarifies a few things.
To me, it sounds like the characters turns more human by not automatically staying calm and collected at all times. Like when they climb a 300ft cliff.
Though I would encourage take10 until there is a trigger for drama/trauma.

The ruling also seem to weaken powergamers who could breeze through challenges by always 'taking10'.
All this seems to imply the debs want to see characters with more focus on their skills.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

I wouldn't really go so far as to attack the FAQ system as a whole.

That's way too far.

So many have been good, or at least helpful, that I would rather not see the effort dismissed.

As I said, a few stinkers, but I sure would not call it a high percentage.

That's way too far, in my opinion.

The stinkers are only there to show us that the devs can roll a 1, too.

Liberty's Edge

The easiest way to roll dice for identical checks multiple times would be to know 2 things;
Their chance of success on 1 check and how many checks they need.

Fails on a 1, =95% successrate
20checks
0,95^20=35,84% chance to manage.
Now roll one d100, if 36 or lower they manage.

If they fail, roll a die equal to number of checks. (in this case 20checks=d20).
d20=x. Where x = if it was, first, second... or twentieth attempt that failed.

It's a general system, so it has it's flauses but narrowing down 20d20s to a d100 and a d20 saves time.


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TorresGlitch wrote:

The easiest way to roll dice for identical checks multiple times would be to know 3 things.

Their chance of success on 1 check and how many checks they need.

Fails on a 1, =95% successrate
20checks
0,95^20=35,84% chance to manage.
Now roll one d100, if 36 or lower they manage.

If they fail, roll a die equal to number of checks. (in this case 20checks=d20).
d20=x. Where x = if it was, first, second... or twentieth attempt that failed.

It's a general system, so it has it's flauses but narrowing down 20d20s to a d100 and a d20 saves time.

Saves time and makes it clear how lousy their chances are.


Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

No FAQ Required:

The point of the Take 10 option is to allow the GM to control the pacing and tension of the game, avoiding having the game bog down with unnecessary and pointless checks, but still calling for checks when the chance of failure leads to tension or drama, as well as when a series of checks would have a nonsensical result if all outcomes were exactly the Take 10 result. To that end, it would be counterproductive to attempt to make a strict ruling on what counts as “immediate danger and distracted” because that’s going to vary based on the pacing and dramatic needs of the moment. The very soul of the Take 10 rule is in the GM’s discretion of when it applies, and tying the GM’s hands, forcing them to allow Take 10 in some cases and disallow it in others would run counter to the point of the rule’s inclusion in the game. The rule is currently flexible enough to allow this, and it should maintain that flexibility.

I think this in and of itself would be a good answer the this (obviously) Frequently Asked Question.

In the context of PFS, I think it would be beneficial for Campaign Leadership (the "GM" of PFS) to issue their own set of guidelines.


bookrat wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I wouldn't really go so far as to attack the FAQ system as a whole.

That's way too far.

So many have been good, or at least helpful, that I would rather not see the effort dismissed.

As I said, a few stinkers, but I sure would not call it a high percentage.

That's way too far, in my opinion.

The stinkers are only there to show us that the devs can roll a 1, too.

Shame they aren't allowed to take 10 on their craft(FAQ) or profession(Developer) checks.

I guess it does add a bit of dramatic tension to the hobby, though.


Given the slow responses to some of the FAQs, I'd have thought they'd be taking 20.

But I guess hostile community responses constitute distraction/danger/consequences for failure.


Matthew Downie wrote:

Given the slow responses to some of the FAQs, I'd have thought they'd be taking 20.

But I guess hostile community responses constitute distraction/danger/consequences for failure.

You see, if they only used the suggested rule BBT mentioned...

blackbloodtroll wrote:

If I wasn't making this check, would I be considered in "immediate danger"?

If yes, you can't Take 10. If no, you can Take 10.

...then they wouldn't have to care about what the community response is. Then we would get consistently good FAQ rulings and everyone would be happy.

But hey, painful inconsistency is drama, and drama is fun (apparently).


Ravingdork wrote:

A player absolutely should be entitled to take 10 in certain circumstances, as outlined by the rules.

...

What they describe isn't GM adjudication. It's the GM saying you can't do something even though the rules clearly say you can. It absolutely will lead to a lot of upset.

Doesn't the actual RAW support the "you can't take 10 while climbing a cliff because you're in danger of falling to your death" interpretation? The "it only applies to dangers other than the danger from the thing you're trying to do" is mostly based on unofficial developer commentary.


Far as I understood it, Taking 10 only took distraction/threat into consideration (and Skill Mastery/Climb speed/Swim speed let you ignore that).
You put in average effort, and get average results-You can casually scan a room for the magic book, but you can't if the room is full of ghouls (a threat/distraction). You can climb a wall if you can beat the DC on a 10, but as soon as a strong gale kicks up, start making actual checks for something working against you.

Taking 20 is taking extra time (20 times as much!) to do something the absolute best it can be done, but is not allowed where consequences are involved.

You can scour every inch of a room, because 'not finding something' isn't a directly harmful result. You can't take 20 on things like climbing a wall (fail and you fall!), making items (screw up and ruin materials!), and so on, because bad things happen on screw ups.

Of course, if someone is willing to pay the 'cost' of screw ups (damage from a few falls, extra materials, etc) I would even let them take 20 there too.

Grand Lodge

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Actually, I believe "climbing a cliff and not wanting to risk falling" is the example in the book for when should take 10.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber
TorresGlitch wrote:

The easiest way to roll dice for identical checks multiple times would be to know 2 things;

Their chance of success on 1 check and how many checks they need.

Fails on a 1, =95% successrate
20checks
0,95^20=35,84% chance to manage.
Now roll one d100, if 36 or lower they manage.

If they fail, roll a die equal to number of checks. (in this case 20checks=d20).
d20=x. Where x = if it was, first, second... or twentieth attempt that failed.

It's a general system, so it has it's flauses but narrowing down 20d20s to a d100 and a d20 saves time.

It may save time, but the quoted calculation doesn't get the right results for climb checks.

If you fail (and fall) on a 1, then on a roll of 2-5 you're neither going to make progress nor fall, and have to re-roll. This makes the chance of advancement 15/16 (93.75%), not 95%. 0.9375^20 is 27.5%

Furthermore, the number of checks taken before the first failure is not evenly distributed - you are significantly more likely to fail on an earlier check than to fail on a later one. To take the extremes in the case of 20 successful climb checks being needed - a failure on the 20th check is only 30% as likely to occur as a failure on the first check. Just rolling a d20 to approximate distance fallen will over-estimate the damage taken.


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Pathfinder Design Team wrote:

No FAQ Required:

The point of the Take 10 option is to allow the GM to control the pacing and tension of the game, avoiding having the game bog down with unnecessary and pointless checks, but still calling for checks when the chance of failure leads to tension or drama, as well as when a series of checks would have a nonsensical result if all outcomes were exactly the Take 10 result. To that end, it would be counterproductive to attempt to make a strict ruling on what counts as “immediate danger and distracted” because that’s going to vary based on the pacing and dramatic needs of the moment. The very soul of the Take 10 rule is in the GM’s discretion of when it applies, and tying the GM’s hands, forcing them to allow Take 10 in some cases and disallow it in others would run counter to the point of the rule’s inclusion in the game. The rule is currently flexible enough to allow this, and it should maintain that flexibility.

So, to translate into simpler terms: No FAQ required because Rule Zero...

This is quite unacceptable. We bought the rulebook, and keep buying supplemental rulebooks, because we want rules. Or at least guidelines telling us when it's a good idea to apply a rule and when it's not a good idea.

Saying "Oh, here's a fun rule but your GM is expected deny your use of it whenever he whimsically feels it would be more dramatic" is worse than having no rule at all. If we wanted that game, we could all just sit around playing "make-believe".

Why even sell a rulebook at all? The CRB could have been one page long and would have said "Everything is whatever the GM wants; you're all subject to his whims, fancies, and interpretations. Deal with it." End of rulebook.

"Design" is the middle word of "Pathfinder Design Team" but this non-answer is also non-design.

Very disappointed.

Designer

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DM_Blake wrote:

So, to translate into simpler terms: No FAQ required because Rule Zero...

This is quite unacceptable. We bought the rulebook, and keep buying supplemental rulebooks, because we want rules. Or at least guidelines telling us when it's a good idea to apply a rule and when it's not a good idea.

Saying "Oh, here's a fun rule but your GM is expected deny your use of it whenever he whimsically feels it would be more dramatic" is worse than having no rule at all. If we wanted that game, we could all just sit around playing "make-believe".

Why even sell a rulebook at all? The CRB could have been one page long and would have said "Everything is whatever the GM wants; you're all subject to his whims, fancies, and interpretations. Deal with it." End of rulebook.

"Design" is the middle word of "Pathfinder Design Team" but this non-answer is also non-design.

Very disappointed.

I understand you are disappointed, but quite frankly the rest of what you say is hyperbole.

There are rules for take 10, but the last thing we are going to do is try to cover every instance on when you can take 10 or not. The game is far too complex and has a narrative structure where we must trust our GMs to make the best decision possible during play. And we do trust our GMs as well as the players to make arguments as to why they should be allowed to take 10 at a certain instance. Creating a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game would end up being nothing more than advice anyway.

That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

So, to translate into simpler terms: No FAQ required because Rule Zero...

This is quite unacceptable. We bought the rulebook, and keep buying supplemental rulebooks, because we want rules. Or at least guidelines telling us when it's a good idea to apply a rule and when it's not a good idea.

Saying "Oh, here's a fun rule but your GM is expected deny your use of it whenever he whimsically feels it would be more dramatic" is worse than having no rule at all. If we wanted that game, we could all just sit around playing "make-believe".

Why even sell a rulebook at all? The CRB could have been one page long and would have said "Everything is whatever the GM wants; you're all subject to his whims, fancies, and interpretations. Deal with it." End of rulebook.

"Design" is the middle word of "Pathfinder Design Team" but this non-answer is also non-design.

Very disappointed.

I understand you are disappointed, but quite frankly the rest of what you say is hyperbole.

There are rules for take 10, but the last thing we are going to do is try to cover every instance on when you can take 10 or not. The game is far too complex and has a narrative structure where we must trust our GMs to make the best decision possible during play. And we do trust our GMs as well as the players to make arguments as to why they should be allowed to take 10 at a certain instance. Creating a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game would end up being nothing more than advice anyway.

That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!

We weren't asking for "every instance" we were asking for general guidelines as to what immediate danger meant, what distracted meant, if the task at hand can count as either of those. I don't trust GM's when I see so many say they wouldn't allow take 10 on any check.


FLite wrote:
Actually, I believe "climbing a cliff and not wanting to risk falling" is the example in the book for when should take 10.

Right, but the difference is between taking 10 and taking 20. Other than the name, these cover two very different courses of action.

Taking 10 is a single try, Taking 20 is multiple tries (a brute-force attempt to succeed)

With a +7 climb modifier, you can take 10 on a DC 15 cliff. You don't have to take 20, because average effort automatically succeeds.
A DC 20 cliff is too hard for 'average effort' and thus requires rolls. You can't take 20, because you would take damage for falling.

Edit: If attacked by wyverns mid-climb, you have to start rolling, even on the DC 15 cliff, because you can no longer focus entirely on the climb.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


I understand you are disappointed, but quite frankly the rest of what you say is hyperbole.

There are rules for take 10, but the last thing we are going to do is try to cover every instance on when you can take 10 or not. The game is far too complex and has a narrative structure where we must trust our GMs to make the best decision possible during play. And we do trust our GMs as well as the players to make arguments as to why they should be allowed to take 10 at a certain instance. Creating a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game would end up being nothing more than advice anyway.

That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!

I specifically said in the OP, since I am the OP, that I knew every decision could not be covered. I listed about 4 examples and then asked for a "good rule of thumb". So the "we wont cover every situation" is not a good defense, and if that is the way my request was read then it was misread.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

So, to translate into simpler terms: No FAQ required because Rule Zero...

This is quite unacceptable.

I understand you are disappointed, but quite frankly the rest of what you say is hyperbole.

There are rules for take 10, but the last thing we are going to do is try to cover every instance on when you can take 10 or not.

With respect, Stephen, the existing rules are demonstrably inadequate (which is one reason that it got so many FAQ requests), and this has been one of the more frequent and acrimonious discussion topics for a number of years.

Quote:
The game is far too complex and has a narrative structure where we must trust our GMs to make the best decision possible during play. And we do trust our GMs as well as the players to make arguments as to why they should be allowed to take 10 at a certain instance. Creating a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game would end up being nothing more than advice anyway.

There's no need for "a long list of yes and no." What is needed is general advice and a statement of guiding principles.

BBT's suggested rule, for example: If I wasn't making this check, would I be considered in "immediate danger"? If yes, you can't Take 10. If no, you can Take 10. would be one example of a guiding principle that can be simply stated and provides clear guidance.

Designer

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Chess Pwn wrote:
We weren't asking for "every instance" we were asking for general guidelines as to what immediate danger meant, what distracted meant, if the task at hand can count as either of those. I don't trust GM's when I see so many say they wouldn't allow take 10 on any check.

Distracted has a bit of wiggle room, I will agree, but it usually means your attention is focused elsewhere. It can also mean suffering the from the nausea of the distraction ability, but that is usually covered in the second and more common reason for not allowing a character to take 10. In immediate danger typically means combat, but it can mean other things at the GM's discretion.

And there is a difference between not agreeing with a GM's ruling, and not trusting a GM.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!

The thing is, this is the perfect candidate for a traditional FAQ. Sure, it doesn't change a rule, but it explains the rule. And the question is certainly asked frequently.

But the explanation is buried 262 posts in to a non stickied thread. That makes it hard for experienced forum goers to find the ruling, and all but impossible for new players who really need the clarification.

Searching for Can I take 10 on climb checks? yields 3,300 results. And until I posted that phrase here, this thread with the actual clarification doesn't even show up until the bottom of the first page, and no post referencing the PDT explanation shows up in the first five pages of results.

FAQing it would make it available to even the newest players in seconds.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

So, to translate into simpler terms: No FAQ required because Rule Zero...

This is quite unacceptable. We bought the rulebook, and keep buying supplemental rulebooks, because we want rules. Or at least guidelines telling us when it's a good idea to apply a rule and when it's not a good idea.

Saying "Oh, here's a fun rule but your GM is expected deny your use of it whenever he whimsically feels it would be more dramatic" is worse than having no rule at all. If we wanted that game, we could all just sit around playing "make-believe".

Why even sell a rulebook at all? The CRB could have been one page long and would have said "Everything is whatever the GM wants; you're all subject to his whims, fancies, and interpretations. Deal with it." End of rulebook.

"Design" is the middle word of "Pathfinder Design Team" but this non-answer is also non-design.

Very disappointed.

I understand you are disappointed, but quite frankly the rest of what you say is hyperbole.

There are rules for take 10, but the last thing we are going to do is try to cover every instance on when you can take 10 or not. The game is far too complex and has a narrative structure where we must trust our GMs to make the best decision possible during play. And we do trust our GMs as well as the players to make arguments as to why they should be allowed to take 10 at a certain instance. Creating a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game would end up being nothing more than advice anyway.

That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!

Of course I used hyperbole; it's a great way to illustrate a point. Hyperbole doesn't invalidate the point.

You also replied with hyperbole. Nobody expects you to "try to cover every instance". Not even close. Nobody expects you to "create a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game". Not even close.

In fact, the point of this whole thread (the length of which, as well as the number of FAQ requests, shows that maybe your trust in players and GMs is overly optimistic, or perhaps the rule is overly vague, or both) was to cover JUST ONE general question:

"Does the danger of failing the task for which you're rolling count as danger that precludes using Take-10, or was the intent to only preclude Take-10 when there is some other source of danger separate from and/or external to the skill (or failure thereof) being rolled?"

With just that simple answer, this whole thread is satisfied.

Designer

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DM_Blake wrote:
"Does the danger of failing the task for which you're rolling count as danger that precludes using Take-10, or was the intent to only preclude Take-10 when there is some other source of danger separate from and/or external to the skill (or failure thereof) being rolled?"

And our answer is that it depends on the exact nature of the situation and the judgement of the GM.

Shadow Lodge

So no, there are no general guidelines about Taking 10.


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Akerlof wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!

The thing is, this is the perfect candidate for a traditional FAQ. Sure, it doesn't change a rule, but it explains the rule. And the question is certainly asked frequently.

But the explanation is buried 262 posts in to a non stickied thread. That makes it hard for experienced forum goers to find the ruling, and all but impossible for new players who really need the clarification.

Searching for Can I take 10 on climb checks? yields 3,300 results. And until I posted that phrase here, this thread with the actual clarification doesn't even show up until the bottom of the first page, and no post referencing the PDT explanation show up in the first five pages of results.

FAQing it would make it available to even the newest players in seconds.

This is the best post in the thread - so good that it deserves its own new thread, or better, an open discussion with the PDT.

My experience in playing this game since pre-launch and being an active member on these forums for many years is that Paizo is extremely reluctant to FAQ anything. We have to beg, plead, whine, cry, and ultimately demand a FAQ and when we do, we very often are told "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule."

Why on earth not? Why on Golarion not???

This is exactly what FAQs are supposed to be for!

There is no word-count limit on FAQs, so you can write as many as you like. Unlike published books, FAQs can be changed and edited and revised later if you find a FAQ answer was hastily or poorly written, so there is no fear of making an un-fixable error in print. The time it takes to research and write a FAQ answer is similar to the time it takes to research and write a "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule" forum response.

With a game as complex as this, and no downside to writing FAQs, I've never understood the extreme reluctance the PDT has for solving these issues.


wraithstrike wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


I understand you are disappointed, but quite frankly the rest of what you say is hyperbole.

There are rules for take 10, but the last thing we are going to do is try to cover every instance on when you can take 10 or not. The game is far too complex and has a narrative structure where we must trust our GMs to make the best decision possible during play. And we do trust our GMs as well as the players to make arguments as to why they should be allowed to take 10 at a certain instance. Creating a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game would end up being nothing more than advice anyway.

That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!

I specifically said in the OP, since I am the OP, that I knew every decision could not be covered. I listed about 4 examples and then asked for a "good rule of thumb". So the "we wont cover every situation" is not a good defense, and if that is the way my request was read then it was misread.

I don't know who marked this as an FAQ, but they have to be worded in a particular manner and this post was not worded in a qualifying manner.

:)

Paizo Employee Designer

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DM_Blake wrote:

We have to beg, plead, whine, cry, and ultimately demand a FAQ and when we do, we very often are told "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule."

...

There is no word-count limit on FAQs, so you can write as many as you like. Unlike published books, FAQs can be changed and edited and revised later if you find a FAQ answer was hastily or poorly written, so there is no fear of making an un-fixable error in print. The time it takes to research and write a FAQ answer is similar to the time it takes to research and write a "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule" forum response.

With a game as complex as this, and no downside to writing FAQs, I've never understood the extreme reluctance the PDT has for solving these issues.

I'm not going to weigh in one way or another on the thread's topic, but this set of paragraphs is, in my opinion, completely inaccurate and counter to the facts of the situation. Since I started up these FAQ Fridays, we have had around 50 FAQs in a row that were answered in the FAQ and one that was marked no answer required. One. Out of about 50.

Now, it's completely fair to want FAQs at an even more rapid rate than we can write them. That's fine feedback by me. But to claim that we are constantly marking them as no answer required when this is the first time we did in over a year? That's just not true.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
We weren't asking for "every instance" we were asking for general guidelines as to what immediate danger meant, what distracted meant, if the task at hand can count as either of those. I don't trust GM's when I see so many say they wouldn't allow take 10 on any check.

Distracted has a bit of wiggle room, I will agree, but it usually means your attention is focused elsewhere. It can also mean suffering the from the nausea of the distraction ability, but that is usually covered in the second and more common reason for not allowing a character to take 10. In immediate danger typically means combat, but it can mean other things at the GM's discretion.

And there is a difference between not agreeing with a GM's ruling, and not trusting a GM.

This topic came about due to some GM's stealth banning taking 10. Many have said they dont like the mechanic. That is fine a GM can always say "this is not allowed in my game", but making up reasons not allow "taking 10" is what is happening a lot, even in PFS. That is another reason why some guidance should be needed, even if it is not a hard rule.


TOZ wrote:
So no, there are no general guidelines about Taking 10.

Correct, nothing more than what is in the book. Any threads that discussed this matter "officially" just got invalidated. the GM is the final arbiter if you can Take 10 or not, so you better be asking him all the time till he's so sick of you asking that he allows you to do it most of the time.


Mark Seifter wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

We have to beg, plead, whine, cry, and ultimately demand a FAQ and when we do, we very often are told "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule."

...

There is no word-count limit on FAQs, so you can write as many as you like. Unlike published books, FAQs can be changed and edited and revised later if you find a FAQ answer was hastily or poorly written, so there is no fear of making an un-fixable error in print. The time it takes to research and write a FAQ answer is similar to the time it takes to research and write a "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule" forum response.

With a game as complex as this, and no downside to writing FAQs, I've never understood the extreme reluctance the PDT has for solving these issues.

I'm not going to weigh in one way or another on the thread's topic, but this set of paragraphs is, in my opinion, completely inaccurate and counter to the facts of the situation. Since I started up these FAQ Fridays, we have had around 50 FAQs in a row that were answered in the FAQ and one that was marked no answer required. One. Out of about 50.

Now, it's completely fair to want FAQs at an even more rapid rate than we can write them. That's fine feedback by me. But to claim that we are constantly marking them as no answer required when this is the first time we did in over a year? That's just not true.

Well we've been doing FAQ fridays for lets say a year. How long has it been since the first FAQ made? So making a general statement covering the entirety of the FAQ process, even if a little inconsistent with current trends, doesn't invalidate the statement. He states that for many years we had high FAQ counts on many topics and many "No response needed" to those questions.

I don't know the stats but how many FAQs have been answered as "No response needed" in the entire FAQ history? How many FAQs have been answered in total? These numbers would show how valid his assertion is.

Grand Lodge

default wrote:
FLite wrote:
Actually, I believe "climbing a cliff and not wanting to risk falling" is the example in the book for when should take 10.

Right, but the difference is between taking 10 and taking 20. Other than the name, these cover two very different courses of action.

Taking 10 is a single try, Taking 20 is multiple tries (a brute-force attempt to succeed)

With a +7 climb modifier, you can take 10 on a DC 15 cliff. You don't have to take 20, because average effort automatically succeeds.
A DC 20 cliff is too hard for 'average effort' and thus requires rolls. You can't take 20, because you would take damage for falling.

Edit: If attacked by wyverns mid-climb, you have to start rolling, even on the DC 15 cliff, because you can no longer focus entirely on the climb.

Sorry, I was replying to the post one above yours,

person I was responding to wrote:
Doesn't the actual RAW support the "you can't take 10 while climbing a cliff because you're in danger of falling to your death" interpretation? The "it only applies to dangers other than the danger from the thing you're trying to do" is mostly based on unofficial developer commentary.


Snowblind wrote:
bookrat wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

I wouldn't really go so far as to attack the FAQ system as a whole.

That's way too far.

So many have been good, or at least helpful, that I would rather not see the effort dismissed.

As I said, a few stinkers, but I sure would not call it a high percentage.

That's way too far, in my opinion.

The stinkers are only there to show us that the devs can roll a 1, too.

Shame they aren't allowed to take 10 on their craft(FAQ) or profession(Developer) checks.

I guess it does add a bit of dramatic tension to the hobby, though.

They tried, but they were distracted by us quibbling pathfinder fans.


Mark Seifter wrote:

I'm not going to weigh in one way or another on the thread's topic, but this set of paragraphs is, in my opinion, completely inaccurate and counter to the facts of the situation. Since I started up these FAQ Fridays, we have had around 50 FAQs in a row that were answered in the FAQ and one that was marked no answer required. One. Out of about 50.

Now, it's completely fair to want FAQs at an even more rapid rate than we can write them. That's fine feedback by me. But to claim that we are constantly marking them as no answer required when this is the first time we did in over a year? That's just not true.

I've presented my opinion of (and displeasure with) Paizo's FAQ and errata policies often enough in the past, and doubt that anyone at Paizo wants to read another b$#!&y rant on the topic from me.

But while the current FAQ-a-week is certainly a vast improvement over the previous status quo, it still can't solve the backlog from years of the problem being ignored. A FAQ a week is just enough to keep things where they already are - given the number of products that are published each month, there's bound to be at least one new question that needs answering per week, which means that we'll continue to have questions that go unanswered for years.

And since the combination of the (annoying, nonsensical) rule that prevents the PDT from addressing any problems outside the hardcover rulebooks and the "no errata until every single copy is bought, and even then we might not actually fix everything" means that the customer base has grown to accept that a certain percentage of the rules content of Paizo's products will remain broken for years, or permanently, the best that we can hope for is that the more fundamental questions about the game can at least be made clear via the FAQ system.

Fundamental questions like, for example, "when is it reasonable for my character to take 10 on a skill check outside of combat?" GMs can freely change any rule, or ignore any FAQ that they don't like. So the ones who effectively shadow-ban Take 10 could just say they're not using Take 10 in their games, and those of us stuck in such games can just continue to never climb any cliffs or jump over any 10' wide chasms unless we can hit the DC on a roll of 1. But telling the player base that you're not going to respond to the FAQ because it limits the GMs control over the game is incredibly frustrating.

(Not to mention that the idea of a game that moves so slowly that "I want to jump over the gap" "Okay, make an acrobatics check" "Can I take 10" "No" "Oh. <roll> Oh no; I got a 2 on the die, that's a 9." "You fall into the pit and take <roll> 17 damage" "well, that's a dead wizard. I'll be over here rolling a new character; hope you guys didn't need me for the actual fun part of the adventure" is more dramatically interesting than "I jump over the gap; take 10 for 17 on the acrobatics check" seems absurd to a lot of people.)


You know i am not even opposed at all at the no FAQ needed. To me the rules have always been clear on the matter well beyond PF existed. And we can't reasonably expect the dev team to answer each one in depth, so they have to prioritize them. That being said I disagree that it does not need one, as there has been quite a lot of confusion about the rules and different inteprations of them. But saying none needed is acceptable.

What I have an issue with is the utter failure on grasping what the abyss the word rule means. The drama bit has me more disappointed in the dev team than the infamous statement about crossbows and water-balloons.

Well at least I can take comfort in the fact that it was not an official errata or FAQ, because then some poor unknowing chap might think that magical tea party is the standard way to operate.


Mark Seifter wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

We have to beg, plead, whine, cry, and ultimately demand a FAQ and when we do, we very often are told "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule."

...

There is no word-count limit on FAQs, so you can write as many as you like. Unlike published books, FAQs can be changed and edited and revised later if you find a FAQ answer was hastily or poorly written, so there is no fear of making an un-fixable error in print. The time it takes to research and write a FAQ answer is similar to the time it takes to research and write a "Nah, we don't want to clarify that rule" forum response.

With a game as complex as this, and no downside to writing FAQs, I've never understood the extreme reluctance the PDT has for solving these issues.

I'm not going to weigh in one way or another on the thread's topic, but this set of paragraphs is, in my opinion, completely inaccurate and counter to the facts of the situation. Since I started up these FAQ Fridays, we have had around 50 FAQs in a row that were answered in the FAQ and one that was marked no answer required. One. Out of about 50.

Now, it's completely fair to want FAQs at an even more rapid rate than we can write them. That's fine feedback by me. But to claim that we are constantly marking them as no answer required when this is the first time we did in over a year? That's just not true.

That's good to know. I didn't have statistics. And I'm taking a 6-year aggregate; I don't think the aggregate is even close to 49/50 answered.

It's good to know that things have improved lately; perhaps I'm just remembering darker days and feeling the misses more than the hits.

So I apologize for the rant.

In my defense, I never said "constantly marking them as no answer". I only said "extremely reluctant to make FAQs". I still maintain that this has overall been true, even if its gotten better in recent months.

The response in this thread, that no FAQ is required because it's up to GMs to decide, is belied by the sheer number of FAQ requests and posts and even the large number of threads on this issue, and it seems particularly and egregiously in the camp of "extremely reluctant".

The answer seems to me to be obvious and easily stated while still allowing a great deal of freedom for the GM to evaluate every situation, but that GM will have better guidelines as to HOW he evaluates and on what criteria. A win for everybody. If FAQed as such, I think about 99% of all GMs would support that as a better rule (as opposed to 1% feeling like their freedom and creativity were being stifled) - warning: statistic pulled out of thin air.

Even if that guesstimate is way off, the reality would have to be better than having this much confusion frequently asked on the forum, right?

Grand Lodge

DM_Blake wrote:
In my defense, I never said "constantly marking them as no answer". I only said "extremely reluctant to make FAQs". I still maintain that this has overall been true, even if its gotten better in recent months.

I think it is more of there has been a team change and a new policy, so slamming the new team for the old policy is a little unkind, especially when the new policy is what you are asking for.


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Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

So, to translate into simpler terms: No FAQ required because Rule Zero...

This is quite unacceptable. We bought the rulebook, and keep buying supplemental rulebooks, because we want rules. Or at least guidelines telling us when it's a good idea to apply a rule and when it's not a good idea.

Saying "Oh, here's a fun rule but your GM is expected deny your use of it whenever he whimsically feels it would be more dramatic" is worse than having no rule at all. If we wanted that game, we could all just sit around playing "make-believe".

Why even sell a rulebook at all? The CRB could have been one page long and would have said "Everything is whatever the GM wants; you're all subject to his whims, fancies, and interpretations. Deal with it." End of rulebook.

"Design" is the middle word of "Pathfinder Design Team" but this non-answer is also non-design.

Very disappointed.

I understand you are disappointed, but quite frankly the rest of what you say is hyperbole.

There are rules for take 10, but the last thing we are going to do is try to cover every instance on when you can take 10 or not. The game is far too complex and has a narrative structure where we must trust our GMs to make the best decision possible during play. And we do trust our GMs as well as the players to make arguments as to why they should be allowed to take 10 at a certain instance. Creating a long list of yes and no for all the situations of the game would end up being nothing more than advice anyway.

That is at least why I supported the answer how it stands. No FAQ needed.

Good gaming!

I actually think we need a FAQ, but unlike most posters here I think the answer posted by the Design team is an excellent answer that should be posted as a FAQ answer.

Honestly, whatever happened to “this is your game”? No, is also an answer and when you say no a lot of people freak out. You really should sit down and contemplate on why. I think – to some part - it is the same reason why some of us has switch to 5e. PF is too complicated/bloated and “this is your game” no longer rings true.

The answer from the PTD is an good ruling. Why not stand your ground and make it an official ruling?

At the same time I really don’t understand why you won’t give in and give people what they want when it comes to stuff like the fixing the rogue etc. PF unchained is a sad example of this. It’s a fix but not really a fix. Slashing Grace and the warpriest are other examples.

If “this is your game” should be taken seriously, making this PDT answer an official ruling could be a step in the right direction. Next step could be PF 1.5 or even 2.0.


FLite wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:
In my defense, I never said "constantly marking them as no answer". I only said "extremely reluctant to make FAQs". I still maintain that this has overall been true, even if its gotten better in recent months.
I think it is more of there has been a team change and a new policy, so slamming the new team for the old policy is a little unkind, especially when the new policy is what you are asking for.

Fair enough; I apologized.

I do think that the "new team" still displays many of the reluctance issues of the "old team". While their batting average has indeed improved, it sometimes feels selective like they're targeting low-hanging fruit and reluctant to tackle more difficult issues. It sometimes, like today, feels like awkward stuff gets swept under the rug, or put on a back burner to be dealt with at a later date. And while I get that they want to have all their FAQ facts straight, many FAQs we do get often (but not always) take a long time between requesting and receiving the FAQ. And finally, there is such a backlog of FAQ questions out there that it seems like the pace at which we're receiving answers is gruelingly slow.

I suspect there are two root causes for this. Money - people who work on this stuff want to be paid and it's more profitable to have them work on new material to be sold rather than old material to be FAQed. Reluctance - there is a general concern about getting it right that leads them to focus too much on R&D for every FAQ and probably to pick the ones that look like "wins" first.

I have a solution that would solve everything: put it into the (volunteer) hands of the players. Give us the FAQ list (post it somewhere) and let us write the FAQ. Wiki-style. Maybe restrict it to a dozen or so volunteers. Interns. No pay. I'll volunteer. This group of volunteers writes all the FAQs and puts it on Mark's desk, complete with links to relevant rules and precedents, as well as justification for why we answered the FAQ the way we did - then all his team needs to do is review them, reject any they don't agree with (back into the backlog and assigned to a different volunteer) edit the accepted FAQs where necessary, and post them. Instead of a FAQ/Friday, we might get a couple dozen FAQs per week until the backlog is handled.

This solution costs no money and eliminates most of the reasons to be reluctant to tackle the hard ones.

Finally, if a FAQ goes out and the player-base hates the ruling, the FAQ can be changed. It's not like a printed book or an official errata that has a much more difficult revision requirement.

So there really is no risk, and the game would be vastly improved by it.


Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


And our answer is that it depends on the exact nature of the situation and the judgement of the GM.

So the scenario says there is a 100' cliff with no cross wind and no combat and no external distraction, no one is injured or under any status effects. DC 10 to climb the cliff.

Do the rules mandate a player can Take 10 to climb to the top of cliff or can the GM decide it would be dramatic if someone fell 5' from the top and start making everyone roll checks halfway up?


N N 959 wrote:
Stephen Radney-MacFarland wrote:


And our answer is that it depends on the exact nature of the situation and the judgement of the GM.

So the scenario says there is a 100' cliff with no cross wind and no combat and no external distraction, no one is injured or under any status effects. DC 10 to climb the cliff.

Do the rules mandate a player can Take 10 to climb to the top of cliff or can the GM decide it would be dramatic if someone fell 5' from the top and start making everyone roll checks halfway up?

No, Now the GM can start to have them roll whenever he wants if it'll create drama


Stephen said it depended on the situation. I'm giving them a situation that they can give us a definitive answer on. If they need more information on the situation, I'll provide it.


N N 959 wrote:
Stephen said it depended on the situation. I'm giving them a situation that they can give us a definitive answer on. If they need more information on the situation, I'll provide it.

He said it depends on the situation and the "judgement of the GM." So if the GM judges it'll be dramatic to make you do rolls halfway up then he can stop letting you take 10. take 10 is now a GM permission rather than a player tool.


No, the rules do not say that Take 10 is GM discretion. There was no FAQ issued. So technically nothing has changed with regard to Take 10 from what is written in the PRD = "immediate danger or distraction." In this situation the scenario says there is no immediate danger or described "distraction." I am asking if the rules, as they are written, mandate that a player can Take 10.

It's a simple yes or no answer.

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