Should characters be aware of the quality of perception checks?


Advice

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Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
So when I wanted to search for traps, I picked up all ten of the d20s I owned, announced "I'll spend ten move actions searching for traps at this door" and dumped the dice across my character sheet. Scanned for the highest roll, did the math, and said "My highest check is XX".

Much as I will roll a die, then give my total as 10 + bonuses if the GM is being difficult about Take 10.


Skeld wrote:

I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

-Skeld

Why do you even have players then?


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I'm not sure if it's customary (or common courtesy on the boards here) to specifically reply to (or thank) posters who respond to you, but...

Thank you MeanMutton, Purple Dragon Knight, and CBDunkerson for your helpful replies and suggestions! I greatly appreciate it :3 I'll have a dialogue with my friends about testing out some of these ideas and see if they work for us.

@thorin001: Because! There is such great pleasure in just playin' with yourself sometimes...


MeanMutton wrote:
Rory wrote:
Unless the group is actively searching, the GM should have them make the perception check when the trap is set off.
If the group is not actively searching for traps then they do NOT get a perception check at all when they run into traps unless they have a particular rogue talent.

You are correct in general.

My quote was "advice" to the GM in the example to which I was responding to eliminate his frustration. Sorry for the confusion.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thorin001 wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

-Skeld

Why do you even have players then?

By that sentiment, to you a player only rolls Perception, Sense Motive and Disable Device, some Saves and nothing else since that's what he says he rolls for them...

What about spells, attacks, roleplaying? No players do any of those? Asking why he needs players seems like a silly question.


thorin001 wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

-Skeld

Why do you even have players then?

There was a time when the players didn't roll anything and the DM rolled everything.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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MeanMutton wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

-Skeld

Why do you even have players then?
There was a time when the players didn't roll anything and the DM rolled everything.

There was also a time when your character's awareness of the world around them depended on the player's ability to expertly grill the GM for unambiguous information.

And I believe those times were one and the same. So I'm not sure I see your point.


Jiggy wrote:
MeanMutton wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Skeld wrote:

I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

-Skeld

Why do you even have players then?
There was a time when the players didn't roll anything and the DM rolled everything.

There was also a time when your character's awareness of the world around them depended on the player's ability to expertly grill the GM for unambiguous information.

And I believe those times were one and the same. So I'm not sure I see your point.

My point is that you can play role-playing games while the GM handles some of the dice-rolling and it's still a game involving players.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oh, okay. Carry on then.


Ascalaphus wrote:

So a couple of times the idea has been floated that the GM can just assume that if the players don't know they should be making a roll, the GM can assume they're passively taking 10.

That's not entirely unreasonable, and it's very streamlined. However, I do think GMs should be aware of the statistical side effects.

[list]

  • Imagine a party of five PCs who miraculously all have a +5 Perception. An NPC rogue is sneaking up on them and rolls a 16 for Stealth. If all the PCs unknowningly take 10, they the party will not notice the rogue until it's too late. However, if all of them roll (or the GM rolls in secret for all of them). the chance of none of them rolling higher than 10 is 0.5^5 = 0.03125, so a 3.125% chance of nobody noticing the rogue. Clearly, there's a big difference here.
  • I actually like this side effect. Because if you make everybody roll then stealth is nearly impossible whenever there are multiple observers. This works both ways. When the party rogue wants to sneak past a room with several guards, it's nigh-impossible until he gets a stealth bonus 20 more than their perception bonus.

    The passive bonus applies whenever they would be somewhat vigilant, but not actively searching. With this rule, I find that players actively perceive when it's important and rely on passive perception to avoid having to say "I search for traps" every three minutes.

    Ascalaphus wrote:


  • Imagine the PCs in your party have a +4 +4, +4, +4 and +5 Perception modifier. They face ten hidden things each DC 15 to notice on a passive check. Every single one of them will be noticed by the last PC and none of the others, because his Perception is one higher.
  • This is pretty rare that all of the party has such similar bonuses and every DC hits the one number where only one person sees it. It's a theoretical problem. In the case where it worked out like that, I don't think our group would have a problem. Bob put a little more into having a character with a good perception.

    Ascalaphus wrote:


  • Suppose you've decided to apply some correction for the weirdness described in the first point. You figure that giving some bonus to the PCs' Take 10 will account for having multiple "rolls". By all being on guard, they're essentially Taking Some Number Somewhat Over 10. But this time, your party's Perception skills are +0, +4, +7, +8, +14. What bonus should you give?
  • When they are actively looking for danger and alerted, they get to roll. We have the effect you saw in the first one, where multiple rolls mean that a couple people will get high rolls.

    Another difference between passive and active rolls is that passive rolls usually give minimal information. "There's movement over there.", "Something's odd about the floor.", etc. Actually rolling will give you more information, and that increased by the more you beat the DC. For example, barely making it might be , "there's a small humanoid figure in the bushes". A higher roll will give more detail and sometimes other rolls like sense motive or knowledge rolls to determine more.

    Silver Crusade

    There are a few challenges with handling perceptions and traps.

    1. The metagaming problem alluded to in the first post. "We roll until we get a good roll." You're not supposed to know if the roll was good or bad except by the results.

    2. The swinginess problem alluded to in the first post. "We don't want the game element to depend on a single die roll."

    3. The time problem of taking 20 everywhere. 1 minute (2 move actions per round x 10 rounds=1 minute) per ten foot square area (default--RAW, it can take longer) takes a long time. Forget minute per level buffs; 10 minute per level buffs are in danger, not to mention any plot specific elements (we need to recover the antidote before the princess dies).

    One strategy that I've employed while playing the party "rogue" is to say that I'm going to do three perception checks per square as we move forward. My character is triple checking his work which eliminates problem 2. Finding the trap is not dependent on a single die roll. It also eliminates the metagaming issue with knowing the die roll. I've said, "I'm going to triple check the area and then move in. If I don't find anything, I move in whether it's because there's nothing there to find or because my roll is bad." This can save time by letting me roll the dice rather than ask the DM to roll for me (and also enables me to account for situational modifiers which it is easier for me to track than the DM). It also saves table time because, by deciding that I will roll three times and move forward, we don't need to actually make a roll for every ten feet our characters go. We can make the three rolls and have the DM just use them for the first time there would be something to find. And it saves in-game time: 1.5 rounds per ten feet rather than 1 minute makes things much faster.

    The method is also scalable. If we're in a hurry, we can only check once. In Pathfinder, we could even say, "We're in a hurry, so we're just going to go on at our movement speed and rely on my trap-spotter talent. Here's one roll, if it comes up. If I fail, move us forward to where we set off the trap." If we're at a vault door or locked chest or other obvious trap location, we can still take 20.

    If instead of searching for traps, we are trying to find something and we fail, we can go back and take 20 (or use magic like detect secret doors) if rolling doesn't get us success.

    Grand Lodge

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    thorin001 wrote:
    Skeld wrote:

    I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

    Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

    -Skeld

    Why do you even have players then?

    Even though this question is utterly dumb and I'm not sure it's even a serious inquiry, I'll treat it as such and give you a serious answer.

    My players (all 7 of them) are there to have fun, play their characters, and make the other 95% of the rolls involved in the game. That includes almost all active rolls, saves, checks, attacks, spells, etc.

    In my experience, no matter how good you think you are at being a roleplayer and/or separating character knowledge from player knowledge, there's no substitute for maximizing dramatic tension than the player not knowing the result of some rolls. The next level is when the player doesn't even realize there was a roll to begin with (disease is far and away my most used case of making a save for a player without their knowledge). When you roll a d20 and you see the result is a 3 or a 16, there's an immediate connection in your brain that says "16 is good!" or "3 is bad!". It's even more so on saves when a 1 or 20 means an automatic fail/pass. Of course, many of these concerns die off at higher levels when the modifier drives the result more than the roll does.

    -Skeld


    Skeld wrote:
    thorin001 wrote:
    Skeld wrote:

    I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

    Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

    -Skeld

    Why do you even have players then?

    Even though this question is utterly dumb and I'm not sure it's even a serious inquiry, I'll treat it as such and give you a serious answer.

    My players (all 7 of them) are there to have fun, play their characters, and make the other 95% of the rolls involved in the game. That includes almost all active rolls, saves, checks, attacks, spells, etc.

    In my experience, no matter how good you think you are at being a roleplayer and/or separating character knowledge from player knowledge, there's no substitute for maximizing dramatic tension than the player not knowing the result of some rolls. The next level is when the player doesn't even realize there was a roll to begin with (disease is far and away my most used case of making a save for a player without their knowledge). When you roll a d20 and you see the result is a 3 or a 16, there's an immediate connection in your brain that says "16 is good!" or "3 is bad!". It's even more so on saves when a 1 or 20 means an automatic fail/pass. Of course, many of these concerns die off at higher levels when the modifier drives the result more than the roll does.

    -Skeld

    It is a serious question because it is a major sign of an overly controlling GM. And they do not want players, they want an audience to ooh and ah at their amazing story.

    Also, what makes you, or any other GM, more immune to metagaming than the players? Don't say that it is not metagaming when the GM does it, because that is a bald faced lie. GMs may not do it with skill checks, but they do it with PC abilities and tactics.


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    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
    thorin001 wrote:

    It is a serious question because it is a major sign of an overly controlling GM. And they do not want players, they want an audience to ooh and ah at their amazing story.

    Also, what makes you, or any other GM, more immune to metagaming than the players? Don't say that it is not metagaming when the GM does it, because that is a bald faced lie. GMs may not do it with skill checks, but they do it with PC abilities and tactics.

    So? You have to realize the GM isn't simply a player. He's also part of the system and above the system at the same time. His role is very different from the players' roles.

    Ultimately, assuming fair dice all around, there's no systematic or functional difference between the player rolling and the GM rolling in secret (barring optional rules like hero points or certain feats that allow rerolls and suggest the player knows the outcome on the dice). I've run and participated in online games in which the GM handled all rolls. In those cases, the gameplay can be considerably streamlined by doing do.


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    thorin001 wrote:

    It is a serious question because it is a major sign of an overly controlling GM. And they do not want players, they want an audience to ooh and ah at their amazing story.

    Also, what makes you, or any other GM, more immune to metagaming than the players? Don't say that it is not metagaming when the GM does it, because that is a bald faced lie. GMs may not do it with skill checks, but they do it with PC abilities and tactics.

    The GM's role is not the same as the players so he is not as limited. I really don't see it as metagaming. As a GM you have to adjust the adventures at times. As an example I have GM'd for less than optimal parties. Had I ran the adventure as written it would have led to TPK's. I have also ran for superoptimized PC's who could have each had a good chance to solo the BBEG.

    There are times a GM can give NPC's knowledge they should not have. That is different from adjusting the game for the good of the group.

    While I tend to let the PC's have their own rolls I don't assume that every GM who rolls some dice for the players is trying to control them. Some people will metagame. Others will not. As an example, a disease does not show its effects until the next day after the save. If you roll a low number vs a disease carrying monster you should not be looking to cure a disease. The character does not know he failed the save.


    Terronus wrote:

    To start, I hope this is an advice topic, my apologies if it isn't!

    This conundrum came up at our table: the group is making perception checks while exploring a dungeon. Pretty bad perception checks. Having already been victim to some traps, we continue making checks until one of us has a decent roll (whether it meets any trap DCs or not, we couldn't say) and continue on through the dungeon in this manner.

    At a certain point, our GM gets a bit fed up. He is insistent that using perception in this manner is metagaming. While we haven't actively been roleplaying our checks, I counter with a real world example: Detective Schmoe investigates a lot of crime scenes. For whatever reason, on this particular day, he is pretty distracted and unfocused and does a pretty shoddy job of investigating. Nevertheless, he doesn't feel too good about his search, and reexamines the scene.

    Similarly, adventurers do a lot of visual investigating. I feel like they would be aware of when they do a poor job of it, but my GM does not agree. From that point until today, he has made all our perception checks in secret. Which is totally okay, but the underlying issue still bugs me.

    TL; DR Should PCs have any kind of awareness of how well they've made a perception check? Care to share your opinions on the matter, or if you've even encountered this problem?

    Thanks for any input!

    This is how I usually roleplay it. This goes with the assumption that the players and the characters have no ACTUAL knowledge about a trap or clue.

    Because yes.... if the map has a secret door marked or there is some knowledge that there is something there, and you roll till you get it... that's metagamey/cheaty in my opinion. You have to play as your character would...

    Now that said, if my CHARACTER expects to find something... and doesn't, then yeah, I don't see any issue at all with rolling again.

    If I walk down a hallway 40' past any door... and it completely deadends... That's a WEIRD architectural design. Hallway to nowhere?? Check for a secret door... if you roll a one... I still think there's a door here, I'll check again.

    Every once in a while you find a hallway that just looks custom made for traps and ambushes... I'll look for it. If I don't see it... I'll look again. If I find it... awesome. If I don't... that sucks. If there was never anything there... It's just being cautious.

    Which I think is the point. I as a player don't know if there is something there... or if i'm just wasting time. I'd give it 2 checks and then move on. Sitting there all day just to roll an 18+ is obnoxious.

    Much like looking for my keys in the morning.... and checking that same stupid shelf 3 times before I actually see them RIGHT THERE... failed perceptions are just a way of life. Real life.. and character life.

    As for take 20's and take 10's? Those take up some serious time especially if you do them ALL the TIME... I can count the number of take 20's I've done just on my one hand.

    Grand Lodge

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    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    thorin001 wrote:
    Skeld wrote:
    thorin001 wrote:
    Skeld wrote:

    I make these kinds of rolls for my players. I also make Disable Device and Sense Motive checks for them, oftentimes. There are some saves I'll roll for them too,,such as the Fort save versus disease they get when they're hit by a diseased creature attack. In fact, I keep a post-it note on the inside of my screen that has all their saves, Perception, Sense Moytive, and Disable modifiers so that I don't even have to ask for them.

    Some checks/rolls are, by the very act of rolling and seeing the number that appears, can be metagamey.

    -Skeld

    Why do you even have players then?

    Even though this question is utterly dumb and I'm not sure it's even a serious inquiry, I'll treat it as such and give you a serious answer.

    My players (all 7 of them) are there to have fun, play their characters, and make the other 95% of the rolls involved in the game. That includes almost all active rolls, saves, checks, attacks, spells, etc.

    In my experience, no matter how good you think you are at being a roleplayer and/or separating character knowledge from player knowledge, there's no substitute for maximizing dramatic tension than the player not knowing the result of some rolls. The next level is when the player doesn't even realize there was a roll to begin with (disease is far and away my most used case of making a save for a player without their knowledge). When you roll a d20 and you see the result is a 3 or a 16, there's an immediate connection in your brain that says "16 is good!" or "3 is bad!". It's even more so on saves when a 1 or 20 means an automatic fail/pass. Of course, many of these concerns die off at higher levels when the modifier drives the result more than the roll does.

    -Skeld

    It is a serious question because it is a major sign of an overly controlling GM. And they do not want players, they want an audience to ooh and ah at their amazing story.

    Also, what makes you, or any other GM, more immune to metagaming than the players? Don't say that it is not metagaming when the GM does it, because that is a bald faced lie. GMs may not do it with skill checks, but they do it with PC abilities and tactics.

    It sounds like you've had an experience with an overly controlling GM and you feel the need to take your frustration out on me, for some reason.

    I'll lay it out for you as clearly as I can: There are some circumstances where, for the purposes of creating dramatic tension, I find it advantageous to make some rolls for the players. The vast majority of rolls, players can and do make for themselves.

    Certainly, you understand that the GM has a completely different function within the game that the players. Because of that, the GM has a clearer understanding of what's going on in the game and has a different set of constraints than the players. I never said anything about GMs being immune to metagaming (those are words you're putting in my mouth), but the GM has to be more cognizant of metagaming and approach it from a different angle because the GM is playing literally every other character in the game.

    wraithstrike wrote:
    As an example, a disease does not show its effects until the next day after the save. If you roll a low number vs a disease carrying monster you should not be looking to cure a disease. The character does not know he failed the save.

    This is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    -Skeld


    I appreciate the contributions everyone! If anyone would care for me to respond to something specific, feel free to ask again and I will try, but otherwise I hope my fellow posters don't mind knowing I've taken the time to read over the entirety of the thread. :)

    I can't speak for all the players at my table, but I think I had rationalized my actions as not metagaming based on the idea that a character would have some notion/understanding of how well they are perceiving their surroundings. Don't ask me how I got the notion into my head, but its in there.

    I do think this may still be true in certain situations and I have resolved to make an effort to try and not do so otherwise.

    There is some reasoning behind doing multiple checks over an area, but in this particular dungeon, I think we had gotten carried away with it. Thanks to everything you guys have shared thus far, I'm going to endeavor to have a better in-game motivation to do so.

    In the meantime, though, our perception check still remain hidden from us. We'll see if this ever changes, heh!


    wraithstrike wrote:

    As an example, a disease does not show its effects until the next day after the save. If you roll a low number vs a disease carrying monster you should not be looking to cure a disease. The character does not know he failed the save.

    To be honest this is exactly the kind of thing a character SHOULD be rolling. My investigator, for example, has an ability to add a 1d6 to the roll "after the check is rolled and before the result is revealed." So the player is assumes to know the die roll but not result of it. Having the DM roll it is taking away an ability of my character.

    So taking this into account, I see no reason that "roll a low number vs a disease" shouldn't seek disease measures. [or at least someone with a good heal check] You may not officially know you failed but when you rolled a 2 and have a 2 bonus, you can make an educated guess...

    To Terronus: Hiding the perception check falls into the same situation. Some PC abilities start to not work correctly when the player is prevented fro rolling their own dice.


    graystone wrote:
    wraithstrike wrote:

    As an example, a disease does not show its effects until the next day after the save. If you roll a low number vs a disease carrying monster you should not be looking to cure a disease. The character does not know he failed the save.

    To be honest this is exactly the kind of thing a character SHOULD be rolling. My investigator, for example, has an ability to add a 1d6 to the roll "after the check is rolled and before the result is revealed." So the player is assumes to know the die roll but not result of it. Having the DM roll it is taking away an ability of my character.

    So taking this into account, I see no reason that "roll a low number vs a disease" shouldn't seek disease measures. [or at least someone with a good heal check] You may not officially know you failed but when you rolled a 2 and have a 2 bonus, you can make an educated guess...

    To Terronus: Hiding the perception check falls into the same situation. Some PC abilities start to not work correctly when the player is prevented from rolling their own dice.

    The player, not the character, knows he rolled a two so the character does not know to look for a cure. The game does require some metagaming for the player to use reroll abilities at times, but outside of that the player does not need to know.

    In the care of such an ability(rerolls as an example) if the GM wishes to roll he can tell the player he rolled low, and the player can still have the option to choose to add more rolls.

    PS: Personally I just prefer to play with people who won't metagame because I don't want to add their rolls to my duties as a GM.

    PS2: Situational bonuses is another reason I don't roll for players. I will likely forget to add them for someone.


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    wraithstrike: My point is that looking at abilities like that, it's clear the game is built on the assumption that the players/characters know what they rolled. The characters HAVE to know the roll as it's an action they have to take to use it [immediate action]. They, of course, wouldn't know it in a 'math' way but in a general way but they'd still have a fairly good idea how well they avoided the problem.

    On your reroll suggestion, that utterly fails. Rolling very low means the point is as needlessly spent as it would be on a natural 20. You get to add after the roll so you can pick when you think it a little extra effort might make a difference. Taking that away from the player is really taking away their class abilities and their agency of them.

    PS': I don't find knowing your saves metagaming and worse than the other meta-constructs the game is built on. If I can somehow ID a spell across the room when the caster isn't using ANY components or getting your favored enemy bonus on a creature disguised as a different type, knowing my save rolls seems a minor infraction of metagaming. It's just one of the things the game assumes you know.


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    I broke both my feet once on a real life 'failed reflex save'.... I knew immediately I screwed up even before I landed and the pain hit.


    graystone wrote:

    wraithstrike: My point is that looking at abilities like that, it's clear the game is built on the assumption that the players/characters know what they rolled. The characters HAVE to know the roll as it's an action they have to take to use it [immediate action]. They, of course, wouldn't know it in a 'math' way but in a general way but they'd still have a fairly good idea how well they avoided the problem.

    On your reroll suggestion, that utterly fails. Rolling very low means the point is as needlessly spent as it would be on a natural 20. You get to add after the roll so you can pick when you think it a little extra effort might make a difference. Taking that away from the player is really taking away their class abilities and their agency of them.

    PS': I don't find knowing your saves metagaming and worse than the other meta-constructs the game is built on. If I can somehow ID a spell across the room when the caster isn't using ANY components or getting your favored enemy bonus on a creature disguised as a different type, knowing my save rolls seems a minor infraction of metagaming. It's just one of the things the game assumes you know.

    Back on the disease thing, even if you fail your save you don't know what the affect was.

    I look at rerolls as a player thing. A character doesn't think "I rolled a nat 1, let me get reroll". He doesn't even know what rolls are.

    PS:I really don't like that you can identify a spell with no components or an SLA with spellcraft. That is one thing that I wish had stayed with the 3.5 interpretation. Psionics even let you roll a check to hide the manifesting(spellcasting for psionics) give-aways.

    Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

    Just a little aside on the topic of GM metagaming: I want to point out that it IS something that can happen; being the GM doesn't mean that there's no such thing as metagaming.

    One classic example is when the campaign has multiple NPCs who are capable of mind-control effects, and they all just happen to have a listed alignment of true neutral, no matter how many babies they eat, because that way protection from [alignment] won't work.

    Another example was often cited by a PFS member whose characters included a high-AC guy with full plate and a tower shield. This character owned two hats of disguise (back before the ruling that it only lasts a couple of minutes) and would loan one to whoever was the most visibly squishy PC at the table. They would basically swap appearances, so the tanky guy would look squishy and vice-versa. They would even switch minis on the map to represent it. But an appalling number of times, the GM would have the enemies ignore the squishy-looking tank in favor of attacking the tanky-looking squishy. Even on round 1, with no reason to think anything was up.

    The GM is absolutely capable of metagaming. I'm not commenting on whether any of the examples other folks have been talking about would qualify, but in a general sense, the GM is not immune to that particular gaming foible, and it's no less bad when the GM does it than when the players do it.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
    Serisan wrote:

    The easiest way to address this, in my experience, is for the GM to hand out notecards at the beginning of the session, ask the players to pre-roll the secret rolls, and record them on the cards. Just say "I need you each to give me 20d20 on this card." Also have the players provide a couple modifiers - perception, sense motive, etc. on the card for reference. As rolls are utilized, the GM just crosses them off in order.

    I understand where your GM is coming from. Some players tend to metagame the hell out of some rolls and Perception is the biggest offender, by far. That said, the downside here is that you have to trust your GM enough to not "dramatically" pick the garbage rolls out of order. Sometimes, that's a big problem for a group. It all depends.

    I used pre-roll cards for a scenario that I GMed recently (for Serisan!) was trap-heavy, required lots of sense motive checks and will saves that were supposed to be rolled secretly for a slow-acting drug.

    It worked great. I really recommend this approach for your group!

    Hmm


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    wraithstrike wrote:

    Back on the disease thing, even if you fail your save you don't know what the affect was.

    I look at rerolls as a player thing. A character doesn't think "I rolled a nat 1, let me get reroll". He doesn't even know what rolls are.

    On disease, it depends. You fight a rat and make a know check you can be pretty sure it's filth fever. Same for a mummy and mummy rot. If you mean success/failure, I cover that below.

    On player/character: I look at it as both. The character doesn't know the exact number in math terms but they can surely gauge how well they are doing; rolling a 1 ref check is pretty much tripping right in front of the fireball while a mid range roll is getting you to a fairly safe spot while a high roll is pretty safe; A fort check is likely the difference between a solid/deep hit, a graze or an indirect hit.

    So it's not "I rolled a nat 1, let me get reroll" but 'this looks like a solid hit coming, I better try to dodge [reroll].'

    I just don't see characters knowing how well they are doing metagaming. You spend your life adventuring and you should get pretty good at figuring these kind of things out. Feeling your grip slip a little should clearly different from failing to grab the rope or having a solid hold.


    graystone wrote:
    If I can somehow ID a spell across the room when the caster isn't using ANY components (...)

    Clearly, spells in Pathfinder have distinct cast animations!


    Derklord wrote:
    graystone wrote:
    If I can somehow ID a spell across the room when the caster isn't using ANY components (...)
    Clearly, spells in Pathfinder have distinct cast animations!

    If we have video game animations, then having a poison/disease icon floating over my head when I fail a save makes as much sense... ;)


    Hmm wrote:
    Serisan wrote:

    The easiest way to address this, in my experience, is for the GM to hand out notecards at the beginning of the session, ask the players to pre-roll the secret rolls, and record them on the cards. Just say "I need you each to give me 20d20 on this card." Also have the players provide a couple modifiers - perception, sense motive, etc. on the card for reference. As rolls are utilized, the GM just crosses them off in order.

    I understand where your GM is coming from. Some players tend to metagame the hell out of some rolls and Perception is the biggest offender, by far. That said, the downside here is that you have to trust your GM enough to not "dramatically" pick the garbage rolls out of order. Sometimes, that's a big problem for a group. It all depends.

    I used pre-roll cards for a scenario that I GMed recently (for Serisan!) was trap-heavy, required lots of sense motive checks and will saves that were supposed to be rolled secretly for a slow-acting drug.

    It worked great. I really recommend this approach for your group!

    Hmm

    we do that occassionaly. but not always.

    I had a rogue one time that had the talent where he can automatically get a perception if he was 10' from a trap. That was a good time to preroll things so the DM doesn't have to stop the suspense to have you roll in empty hallways...


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    Terronus wrote:
    Jiggy wrote:


    I'll wait for clarification from you before giving an answer, but in the meantime, I've got further questions for you:
    Why hasn't anyone been taking 10?
    Why hasn't anyone been taking 20?
    I think what I was really seeking is some sort of advice on the in-game implications of perception and how to handle it out of game, as well. So table harmony is probably the best fit! In this particular case, 10s and 20s were not allowed because-- being in a dungeon-- the GM ruled we were in danger.

    Your GM is being a jerk.

    Being in a dungeon with no enemies in sight, while walking down a tunnel, is not being in a immediate danger. Remind him of the difference between danger and immediate danger.

    PRD

    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.

    Ask him where you could take-10 or take-20. If he cannot come up with something, ask him why it exists as an option if you can never use it.

    My rule is immediate danger = in initiative order. Simple, and easy to use.

    /cevah


    I could see a ruling that if there was a trap in the hallway you would be in immediate danger.

    penalties wrote:

    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).

    If your searching for clues or treasure... I would see no problem allowing the take 20's... but if there's a trap that's possible, then yeah, you automatically trip in the 19 failures trying to get that 20.

    On the same note, I could see a DM noting wanting to differentiate between 'sure you can take 20 in this hallway'... and 'No you can't, there's obviously a trap in here somewhere.'

    That gets a bit metagamey too.


    phantom1592 wrote:
    I broke both my feet once on a real life 'failed reflex save'.... I knew immediately I screwed up even before I landed and the pain hit.

    But have you ever noticed yourself not noticing something?

    "Boy, I sure didn't see that naked person run by just now"...


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    phantom1592 wrote:

    I could see a ruling that if there was a trap in the hallway you would be in immediate danger.

    penalties wrote:

    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).

    If your searching for clues or treasure... I would see no problem allowing the take 20's... but if there's a trap that's possible, then yeah, you automatically trip in the 19 failures trying to get that 20.

    On the same note, I could see a DM noting wanting to differentiate between 'sure you can take 20 in this hallway'... and 'No you can't, there's obviously a trap in here somewhere.'

    That gets a bit metagamey too.

    You cannot be distracted by a danger you are not aware of.


    thorin001 wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:

    I could see a ruling that if there was a trap in the hallway you would be in immediate danger.

    penalties wrote:

    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).

    If your searching for clues or treasure... I would see no problem allowing the take 20's... but if there's a trap that's possible, then yeah, you automatically trip in the 19 failures trying to get that 20.

    On the same note, I could see a DM noting wanting to differentiate between 'sure you can take 20 in this hallway'... and 'No you can't, there's obviously a trap in here somewhere.'

    That gets a bit metagamey too.

    You cannot be distracted by a danger you are not aware of.

    "S##$, guys, there's nothing here!" - "Isn't that good?" - "No, it means that there IS something here, I'm not as thorough as I usually am!" ("I didn't even notice that naked guy run by just now").


    alexd1976 wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:
    I broke both my feet once on a real life 'failed reflex save'.... I knew immediately I screwed up even before I landed and the pain hit.

    But have you ever noticed yourself not noticing something?

    "Boy, I sure didn't see that naked person run by just now"...

    yep.

    During those RARE occasions that I lose my glasses. I wake in the morning and look on my table and they aren't there. I look on the floor by the table... they still arent' there.

    There is no time of the day when I'm awake, and NOT wearing my glasses... so I KNOW they should be right next to the bed.

    So I get up, crawl on the floor, toss the pillows and blankets and books and eventually find them tucked in by the leg of the table.

    I know where they HAVE to be. It took me three perception searches to actually find them. I know they HAVE to be there... I just didn't roll high enough to find them.


    thorin001 wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:

    I could see a ruling that if there was a trap in the hallway you would be in immediate danger.

    penalties wrote:

    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).

    If your searching for clues or treasure... I would see no problem allowing the take 20's... but if there's a trap that's possible, then yeah, you automatically trip in the 19 failures trying to get that 20.

    On the same note, I could see a DM noting wanting to differentiate between 'sure you can take 20 in this hallway'... and 'No you can't, there's obviously a trap in here somewhere.'

    That gets a bit metagamey too.

    You cannot be distracted by a danger you are not aware of.

    The text says distracted OR in immediate danger. Two situations that negate the ability to use take 10 or 20's.

    If there is danger, you would trip it with the Take 20.


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
    phantom1592 wrote:


    The text says distracted OR in immediate danger. Two situations that negate the ability to use take 10 or 20's.

    If there is danger, you would trip it with the Take 20.

    They pretty much mean obvious danger - not hidden danger lurking out there for you. If they meant the latter, then no place is actually safe enough to take 10 or 20 - making them utterly useless rules. They're there to keep you from having to roll again and again and again tediously in order to get the results you want.

    Take, for example, the PCs who want to search for traps as they walk down a hallway. You going to make them roll every 5 or 10 feet? You could, but that would suck. Perfect situation to use Take 10 as the trap finder uses a set of cursory tactics to probe ahead without necessarily exhausting his full capacities. The party gets to balance moving with being somewhat secure, the DM doesn't have to pull his hair out asking for Perception checks every step of the way.

    For another example, taking 20 doesn't actually trigger traps. Searching for traps by taking 20 on Perception is one of the specified ways to use taking 20. That should give you an idea what they meant when they came up with the rule and how your assumption that being in some dormant or lurking danger preventing players from taking 10 or 20 is incorrect.


    Bill Dunn wrote:
    For another example, taking 20 doesn't actually trigger traps. Searching for traps by taking 20 on Perception is one of the specified ways to use taking 20. That should give you an idea what they meant when they came up with the rule and how your assumption that being in some dormant or lurking danger preventing players from taking 10 or 20 is incorrect.

    My take on this: If you take 20 on something where a bad roll would cause a bad result I make you roll until you either succeed or get the bad result. Thus if a 2 sets off the trap and a 15 finds it you can go down the corridor with a take 20 until you get to it and then you start rolling until you get a 1, 2, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20. It saves rolling anywhere there isn't a trap and doesn't auto-trigger if there is. You don't get back the extra time, though.


    Bill Dunn wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:


    The text says distracted OR in immediate danger. Two situations that negate the ability to use take 10 or 20's.

    If there is danger, you would trip it with the Take 20.

    They pretty much mean obvious danger - not hidden danger lurking out there for you. If they meant the latter, then no place is actually safe enough to take 10 or 20 - making them utterly useless rules. They're there to keep you from having to roll again and again and again tediously in order to get the results you want.

    Take, for example, the PCs who want to search for traps as they walk down a hallway. You going to make them roll every 5 or 10 feet? You could, but that would suck. Perfect situation to use Take 10 as the trap finder uses a set of cursory tactics to probe ahead without necessarily exhausting his full capacities. The party gets to balance moving with being somewhat secure, the DM doesn't have to pull his hair out asking for Perception checks every step of the way.

    If going RAW, you're supposed to make them search every 5-10 feet and if you're using the Take 10/20 rules then you'd better be eating up to 20x to the clock for each step.

    The take 20 rules are there to precisely AVOID the I'll roll till I get a 20 every step of the way annoyances... but it doesn't just handwave any issues that rolling a 1-19 would have hit you with. You have to stand in that one square for 20 rounds to use it properly then move up one spot and do it again.

    Take 20's really don't stop things from being tedius and annoying... they just don't make you roleplay out the tedious and annoying...

    Personally we rarely ever use them. We have too many spell effects we'll lose.

    The Exchange

    As a GM I get their modifiers and roll it for them. This also applies to disable device, sense motive and anything else that I deem would give them metagame knowledge. Things like stealth are fun to roll for them..... They don't know how well they are hidden and that alters their thinking and behaviour.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
    phantom1592 wrote:
    If going RAW, you're supposed to make them search every 5-10 feet

    Can you cite that?


    TriOmegaZero wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:
    If going RAW, you're supposed to make them search every 5-10 feet
    Can you cite that?

    Correction, 10'x10' Same principle applies.

    PRD wrote:


    Search Locations

    You can thoroughly comb an area, looking for hidden traps, doors, and the like. The same modifiers that apply to Perception DCs to notice (see above) also apply to Perception DCs to search.

    Hidden Object

    Perception DC

    Find an average concealed door 15
    Find an average secret door 20
    Find a hidden trap Varies by trap

    Action: Move. Each move action spent allows you to search a 10-foot-by-10-foot area.

    And of course the follow up....

    Take 20 wrote:


    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).

    So it takes 20x as long as it normally does to do a single action, and a single action is 10'x10'

    Admittedly, I don't know ANYONE who wants to nitpick things that much, but this is a very nitpicky thread.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    Ah, in the optional rules from Unchained. I see.


    /shrug

    I went to the PRD and typed in 'searching for traps,' and that's what came up. I don't see any other specific rules for searching, but my search-fu is pretty weak.

    I know that Trap Spotter rogue talent was 10' range and the spell 'Find Traps' is listed at 10'

    Do you have anything else to indicate something else? Even an optional rule should count for more then no rule at all...

    Most of our games we don't get that picky about searching things and we don't try to dodge around it with take 20's. We just say 'I search the room' and then we roll. Some of the weaker eyes may 'aid' a main looker... but we move on from there.

    I do remember we were going to play either undermountain or Tomb of horrors and our DM told us he would be MUCH stricter and we'd be going by 5' squares looking for treasure and traps... but I'm not sure if that was module specific 2E rules.

    Grand Lodge

    Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

    The 3.5 Search rules got dumped. So the default Perception is 'everything you can see modified by distance'. You can look around a room taking 20 with only a minute, and notice anything that does not require physically moving yourself or any obstructions, assuming you beat the modified DC.

    Paizo Employee Designer

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    phantom1592 wrote:

    /shrug

    I went to the PRD and typed in 'searching for traps,' and that's what came up. I don't see any other specific rules for searching, but my search-fu is pretty weak.

    It's not on the PRD yet, but there's also this from Intrigue, defining the result of searching an area:

    Intrigue wrote:
    The flip side is when a player actively calls for a Perception check because her PC is intentionally searching for something. This always takes at least a move action, but often takes significantly longer. The core rules don't specify what area a PC can actively search, but for a given Perception check it should be no larger than a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, and often a smaller space if that area is cluttered. For instance, in an intrigue-based game, it is fairly common to look through a filing cabinet full of files. Though the cabinet itself might fill only a 5-foot-by-5-foot area, the number of files present could cause a search to take a particularly long time.

    That said, I personally recommend rolling a single d20 for the whole area to save on dice rolls, then just using those rules to figure out how long it took, rather than make a separate roll for each move action.


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    Mark Seifter wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:

    /shrug

    I went to the PRD and typed in 'searching for traps,' and that's what came up. I don't see any other specific rules for searching, but my search-fu is pretty weak.

    It's not on the PRD yet, but there's also this from Intrigue, defining the result of searching an area:

    Intrigue wrote:
    The flip side is when a player actively calls for a Perception check because her PC is intentionally searching for something. This always takes at least a move action, but often takes significantly longer. The core rules don't specify what area a PC can actively search, but for a given Perception check it should be no larger than a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, and often a smaller space if that area is cluttered. For instance, in an intrigue-based game, it is fairly common to look through a filing cabinet full of files. Though the cabinet itself might fill only a 5-foot-by-5-foot area, the number of files present could cause a search to take a particularly long time.
    That said, I personally recommend rolling a single d20 for the whole area to save on dice rolls, then just using those rules to figure out how long it took, rather than make a separate roll for each move action.

    How many previously unanswered FAQ requests did you people manage to answer in Ultimate Intrigue? Happily, I've lost count. :)


    graystone wrote:
    wraithstrike wrote:

    Back on the disease thing, even if you fail your save you don't know what the affect was.

    I look at rerolls as a player thing. A character doesn't think "I rolled a nat 1, let me get reroll". He doesn't even know what rolls are.

    On disease, it depends. You fight a rat and make a know check you can be pretty sure it's filth fever. Same for a mummy and mummy rot. If you mean success/failure, I cover that below.

    On player/character: I look at it as both. The character doesn't know the exact number in math terms but they can surely gauge how well they are doing; rolling a 1 ref check is pretty much tripping right in front of the fireball while a mid range roll is getting you to a fairly safe spot while a high roll is pretty safe; A fort check is likely the difference between a solid/deep hit, a graze or an indirect hit.

    So it's not "I rolled a nat 1, let me get reroll" but 'this looks like a solid hit coming, I better try to dodge [reroll].'

    I just don't see characters knowing how well they are doing metagaming. You spend your life adventuring and you should get pretty good at figuring these kind of things out. Feeling your grip slip a little should clearly different from failing to grab the rope or having a solid hold.

    The player might know what mummy rot it. The character might not.

    As an example of not knowing if you try to make a diplomacy check you might get a 10 on the dice, and have a great or poor score depending on your modifiers still pass or fail depending on the person you are "working". You do not know if you did a great job or not.

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree though.


    Mark Seifter wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:

    /shrug

    I went to the PRD and typed in 'searching for traps,' and that's what came up. I don't see any other specific rules for searching, but my search-fu is pretty weak.

    It's not on the PRD yet, but there's also this from Intrigue, defining the result of searching an area:

    Intrigue wrote:
    The flip side is when a player actively calls for a Perception check because her PC is intentionally searching for something. This always takes at least a move action, but often takes significantly longer. The core rules don't specify what area a PC can actively search, but for a given Perception check it should be no larger than a 10-foot-by-10-foot area, and often a smaller space if that area is cluttered. For instance, in an intrigue-based game, it is fairly common to look through a filing cabinet full of files. Though the cabinet itself might fill only a 5-foot-by-5-foot area, the number of files present could cause a search to take a particularly long time.
    That said, I personally recommend rolling a single d20 for the whole area to save on dice rolls, then just using those rules to figure out how long it took, rather than make a separate roll for each move action.

    It is referenced in the Unchained book also, and since the core book doesn't cover it, it really should be FAQ'd* or noted as a "this is the intention, but we ran out of words in CRB" type of thing. Not everyone has every book or knows to check book X.

    *I made one a while back, but it might not have gotten enough FAQ clicks to get priority, but there are a lot of people who do not run the game this way in and out of PFS because they don't know they intent.

    PS: Personally I will just do one check for the entire room from where the character stands, but some people do like to follow the actual intent.


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
    phantom1592 wrote:


    If going RAW, you're supposed to make them search every 5-10 feet and if you're using the Take 10/20 rules then you'd better be eating up to 20x to the clock for each step.

    Taking 10 takes absolutely no more time than any other check. That's one of things that makes it useful for things like climbing tasks and being wary of traps while moving along in a dungeon. You don't roll at all - the GM just has you find any traps your modifier +10 allows you to find as you move along. It works pretty well for basic traps like pits and tripwires and it speeds up play a lot.

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