Do you inform when take 10 is not enough?


Advice


Hello! Just a quick question, as title says. Do you tell your players when the "take 10" action would be not enough to get a success? Or you allow them to take it and thus fail it. I mainly mean a rolls for knowledge, only one allowed against a specific topic. Thanks!


Yes. After they try.

Take 10 is the "I give it my average effort". You cant find out that's not enough until you actually find out that's not enough.


Cavall is correct, but ...

You can't take 10 on knowledge checks (unless you've got a class feature that says you can - like a bard).


Charisma, do you know where that rule is referenced? I always thought you could take 10 on any skill check (except UMD) if you weren't in a stressful condition. I've never seen the rule disallowing taking 10 on knowledge.


You can take 10 on knowledge checks as long as you're trained. What you can't do is Take 20 without bard abilities or a library on trained knowledge checks.


Pathfinder First Edition rules wrote:

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.

There is no rule against taking 10 on knowledge checks.

There is no rule saying you need to be 'trained' to take 10 in knowledge checks.

There is a rule about Bards:

Lore Master wrote:
At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in.

This is confusing because it allows something that wasn't disallowed in the first place.

My interpretation is that it allows the Bard to take 10 even when distracted (such as when a demon is attacking you and you want to know its weaknesses).


Matthew Downie wrote:
Pathfinder First Edition rules wrote:

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.

There is no rule against taking 10 on knowledge checks.

There is no rule saying you need to be 'trained' to take 10 in knowledge checks.

There is a rule about Bards:

Lore Master wrote:
At 5th level, the bard becomes a master of lore and can take 10 on any Knowledge skill check that he has ranks in.

This is confusing because it allows something that wasn't disallowed in the first place.

My interpretation is that it allows the Bard to take 10 even when distracted (such as when a demon is attacking you and you want to know its weaknesses).

interesting point.


Oh, my mistake.

I was remembering that text from Bard, and I guess I misremembered it. Thanks Matthew Downie.

Carry on.


In most cases, I'm fine with telling my players outright what the DC is. It makes my life easier and keeps the game moving. Any sense of mystery or tension I might lose is negligible; those things come from storytelling.

This is an especially good example of where hiding numbers doesn't do anything good:

"Roll knowledge (history)."

"I take 10. 23."

"Hm...nope. You can't remember what you heard about that."

"Oh...okay."

Now, if you tell them the DC ahead of time, you get something much better:

"Roll knowledge (history). DC25"

"Hm...I need to roll a 12 or better..."

Now there's a brief little moment of tension where the die is rolled and everyone looks on, waiting to see if there is success or failure.


Of course. The players' only understanding of the game world is presented through the GM's description. Giving the DC provides a mechanism to judge how hard something is.


It's clearly stated under knowledge skills that you may not roll untrained except for DC 10. You can infer that to Taking 10 on anything other than DC10.

Grand Lodge

Personally, I think that taking 10 should be a background rule that never has to be stated. It is there so that you have a rule for why any character can automatically accomplish tasks of average difficulty under average circumstances. An average person in plate armor could climb a ladder eventually if there was no rush to do that and they could take their time. Without the "take 10" rule, a super strict rules lawyer could make a player continue to roll the dice until they hit the DC under all circumstances. There is a non-zero probability that you could never hit the DC by rolling a natural 1 every single roll until the end of time, and just have to roll dice forever. Granted, that probability is EXTREMELY close to zero, but it is still non-zero. That is the purpose of the take 10 rule in my opinion. It represents an average attempt to do a thing under regular circumstances that should not fail if you make an average attempt. On the other hand, rolling for a check is to see if you are able to make a exceptional attempt, or if you completely screw things up when you try to make a exceptional attempt.

For that reason, I do not inform PCs that a take 10 would not be enough. It presents an illusion of choice to the player, and removes the actual choice from the player. If it is just "I'm not in combat and I'm going to climb this ladder" then I just assume that they tell me to take 10 without even asking for a check, tell them they climb the ladder, and continue the story. On the other hand, when the check has an actual impact on the story being told in the game, whether for plot reasons or mechanical reasons, I just ask them for a check. They can tell me if they want to take 10 or not, but I don't inform them of the results of that choice before they decide to either roll it or take 10 on it.

In my opinion, doing so would defeat the whole point of giving them a choice between making a check or deciding to take 10. By not telling them in advance, the players are forced to make a choice. If they think that the task is simple, and decide to take 10, well that is a choice. It might be the correct choice, it might not. If taking 10 is not enough, well that was the choice they made. The player gets to make an actual decision, considering the risk vs. reward of each option. If you tell them up front that taking 10 will be enough, then why are you even asking for a skill check? You have simultaneously told the player that (1) there is an obstacle of some sort that they have to overcome, and (2) that they literally cannot fail to overcome the obstacle if they just say the magic words "take 10." At that point, it is not an obstacle anymore, so why ask them to "overcome" the obstacle? Just tell them that they have overcome the obstacle, and move on with the story.

Instead, I see taking 10 as an option that they can chose to reduce the risk of rolling a failure with low dice, but the corresponding risk is that it will not be enough to accomplish the task they want to accomplish. This avoids metagaming, and makes the player choices meaningful in the game.

A character, separate and distinct from a PC, will not know exactly how difficult any given check will be, but they can still attempt to make an average effort to see if that is enough. Example: The character knows the door in front of them is locked, and that they are pretty good at lockpicking (5 skill points), but they don't know if it is a 3 tumbler lock (DC 15), or an 8 tumbler lock (DC 20) until they try to unlock it. The character knows that they can always open a 3 tumbler lock, as they have done that hundreds of times (hence the +5 skill points in disable device). The character does NOT know if that will be enough in this specific circumstance. The "do I take 10 on this" decision is like this: "Should I just assume it is a 3 tumbler lock that I know that I can pick every time (take 10), or should I make extra effort to treat it as an 8 tumbler lock (roll for the check), which might get my lockpick jammed if I am wrong and push my lock pick too far in the lock (i.e. rolling too low)." This gives the player a real choice regarding whether to roll or take 10, and it is a meaningful choice because either of the decisions could have good or bad consequences. If the only "choice" is between having only positive consequences or a chance at a negative consequence, then it is not a meaningful choice.

That's just my opinion, take it for what it is worth.


At the least, I feel there should be a check to determine the DC. For instance, if I'm good at climbing, I should be able to estimate how hard something is to climb by looking at it.


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Heck no, especially for Knowledge checks. Take 10 exists to streamline play, not to provide yet another method to game the system.


PFRPGrognard wrote:
It's clearly stated under knowledge skills that you may not roll untrained except for DC 10.

Specifically:

Rules wrote:
You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10.

I've never actually seen that rule enforced, but it's there.

PFRPGrognard wrote:
You can infer that to Taking 10 on anything other than DC10.

I guess by extension if you can't make the check, you can't take 10 on the check.

Grand Lodge

Someone can take 10, but in my games, I won't tell whether it's successful or not. It's a gamble, the player accepts the risk or not, and the results afterwards (so, no complaining)


Melkiador wrote:
At the least, I feel there should be a check to determine the DC. For instance, if I'm good at climbing, I should be able to estimate how hard something is to climb by looking at it.

Sure someone could ask how hard something looks. I doubt this would be commonly used to make knowledge rolls though.

But looking at a lock and saying "this seems to be a simple lock" doesnt seem unreasonable. Even then, as per your own logic, you would still need a check before knowing.


This seems more to be a matter of encounter building than anything.

Dice should be rolled when there is a chance for success or failure and a meaningful consequence for that success or failure.

If there aren't any time restrictions,or whatever and the DC isn't higher than the players could possibly roll, then they pick the lock. Or get directions to the nearest tavern. Or find that secret door.
If you make a player roll just to roll, you might as well ask for Craft checks to tie their shoes or attack rolls to swat mosquitoes.

Without some kind of resources expenditure, I'd say that whether you roll a die or take 10, it's a pretty flat challenge, and I'd just as soon skip over it in most cases. Now, if you have to choose between, say...doing some research to take 10 on your Knowledge check (and maybe being too late to stop the cult's ritual) or just go off what you know (saving time, but to risking you won't understand what you're getting into), that feels much better.


Quixote wrote:
If there aren't any time restrictions,or whatever and the DC isn't higher than the players could possibly roll, then they pick the lock. Or get directions to the nearest tavern. Or find that secret door.

Those are checks where you only need one character to succeed. There are other checks where you need every character to succeed and some of them may have wildly different modifiers. Like climbing a rope or balancing across a narrow path.

Grand Lodge

Quixote wrote:

Dice should be rolled when there is a chance for success or failure and a meaningful consequence for that success or failure.

If there aren't any time restrictions,or whatever and the DC isn't higher than the players could possibly roll, then they pick the lock.

The always recurrent risk of failure makes pushing things as automatic, not so automatic after all. Especially when multiple checks are required and failures can drastically alter the session in a bad way.

The Exchange

dang, missed my Will Save to resist posting on another Take 10 thread. I knew I shouldn't have dumped Wisdom...


I don't warn my players whether they may or may not pass a DC check with take 10. I tell them the information they gathered based on the final result whether they take 10, take 20, or roll. Sometimes that information can be false or misleading and I don't want them to know whether they failed or succeeded, I want them to act on the information that was given.


I really don't understand all the GM's who are screwing the players over by not telling them the DC, or at least the DC range. How are the players supposed to make an informed choice about their course of action if you don't give them the information to begin with?

Take 10 is intended to speed gameplay up by making trivial tasks automatic. Instead some seem intent to make it another trap option by not providing the information and having the player gamble.


That's gotta be the first time I've heard Take 10 described as a "trap option" because it's possible to fail.


I think it depends on the skill roll.

For something like a knowledge check you'd need to make the check before knowing how difficult the check is, so I wouldn't tell them before they decide to take 10 (unless it's a really easy check and you're determining the level of success rather than whether it's a success or fail). For something like a climb check, you don't have to give them a DC, but "this is really hard" vs "it's basically a ladder" is information the character would have.

Generally speaking telling the players the DC will just speed up the game, and isn't likely to meaningfully impact the game. As a player I tell the GM my AC so that he can resolve attacks without having to ask me every time he rolls. If you trust your players there's no reason for a GM not to do the same for them.


blahpers wrote:
That's gotta be the first time I've heard Take 10 described as a "trap option" because it's possible to fail.

Okay, I'll bite.

What part of the GM provides a description of an obstacle requiring a skill check. The player, knowing their skill score and really basic arithmetic, deciding, based on that description deciding to Take 10. Then being told you failed is not a dick move on the part of the GM?

Grand Lodge

Hugo Rune wrote:
blahpers wrote:
That's gotta be the first time I've heard Take 10 described as a "trap option" because it's possible to fail.

Okay, I'll bite.

What part of the GM provides a description of an obstacle requiring a skill check. The player, knowing their skill score and really basic arithmetic, deciding, based on that description deciding to Take 10. Then being told you failed is not a dick move on the part of the GM?

If a GM tells a player about the DC beforehand, it can change decisions unduly, not telling so is not bad form, others would even call it as making things easy. The onus is on the player accepting the risk or not, and if so, to calculate whether it's fine to take 10 or not, because there's always an element of failure. It should never be assumed as automatic success, especially if it's known the difficulty is sometimes higher than average.

Depends on the areas of play. What is done one way in an area is different on one another.


blahpers wrote:
That's gotta be the first time I've heard Take 10 described as a "trap option" because it's possible to fail.

It's got to be the first time I've ever heard taking 10 was a gamble and rolling a random die wasn't.


Cavall wrote:
blahpers wrote:
That's gotta be the first time I've heard Take 10 described as a "trap option" because it's possible to fail.
It's got to be the first time I've ever heard taking 10 was a gamble and rolling a random die wasn't.

I agree. Taking 10 just means that your character is putting forward average effort for that character. Is your character really bad at climbing? how dangerous looking is the cliff?

Maybe its better that you take 20 instead of taking 10 if its something you're really bad at.

Conversely, if your character is exceptionally good a something then taking 10 probably makes sense. Besides, I don't see how it's terrible for a player to fail at a task after they take 10. If it's something that a character only gets 1 shot at, it's the player's fault for not taking a risk. If it's something that can be attempted again then you can either try to find some way to make the task easier or take a risk and actually roll.

If the DM wants to tell me the DC for a check to help streamline things that's fine. But I don't expect that information from them. I know what my character is good at and what they're bad at. If I feel that I need additional information then I'll have my character make checks to try and gather additional information.

Heck, last night we found a strange item and so I said to the DM.

Me: "Does it have any religious significance? I got a 23 on my Knowledge Religion"
DM: "Given the area you think it might be related to some minor deity that you don't know about. On the other hand you think that you may be just be over thinking things."

If the answer to my question is related to a different skill then the DM will just ask me to roll said different skill before giving an answer.

If I'm taking 10 its because I don't want to botch the check by rolling lower than a 10 and I feel that 10 will be sufficient. I don't recall ever getting upset with the DM when I was then subsequently told that my check wasn't high enough. My only reaction was

"oh wow, this is harder than I thought"

and I immediately start looking to see if we have any tools or methods at our disposal that will make the task easier.


My idea with taking 10 is essentially expanding on passive perception, because in my group *nobody ever takes 10*.

But really what taking 10 is, is performing a routine (for the character) task. When attempting a routine task you shouldn't ever need to decide whether it is routine or not.

Imagine you have +6 bonus to Heal and you encounter someone who appears to be wounded, putting your things down you are fairly confident you will be able to patch them up if they're not too badly hurt. You peel off a layer of bloodied cloth and reveal:
"a cut, not too deep, seems to be bleeding but it has been mostly staunched by the cloth, you quickly clean the wound and replace the dressing" No roll needed.
"a cut, deep, it appears to have damaged a major vessel, the person is bleeding out before your eyes, this is no longer a routine situation and your hands shake a little at the revelation. Roll a Heal check" (DC 20 to heal deadly wounds which any player trained in Heal should know without being told by the DM).

This method is fun to apply to Knowledge checks, because with knowledge you either know something or you don't. And as someone trained in many knowledge skills you would be a walking encyclopedia, with access to any knowledge of DC=10+ranks at your beck and call, but more obscure facts would require a roll.

To me this essentially sets a floor: "Under normal circumstances, you cannot do worse than this"


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The question for this thread is really the more general question of whether a player knows the DC of a task that he is attempting before he attempts it. If he somehow knows the DC, he can easily calculate whether taking 10 will get him a high enough result. Otherwise, he just has to guess.

Note that failure when taking 10 means that he had at best a 50% chance of success. An attentive player should have been listening for clues from the GM that he is attempting something very challenging for his character.

The Exchange

It seems to me that this thread could easily just be addressing the question...

"Do you inform the players what the DC of a task is before they attempt it?"

Picture this...

The adventurers are investigating a murder and are presented with the task of locating where the town folk took the body.

Unknown DC, roll:

GM: "Ok, looks like it is a Gather Info check, so one of you needs to do a Diplomacy check..."

The Barbarian Player: "Guys! I totally got this!" rolls a Diplomacy Check of '2', "minus my negative 2 for the Skill gives a zero final, so... "I grab the first bystander from the sidewalk and shout into his face (Orc Voice On) "WHERE DO YOU TAKE YOUR DEAD!?" that should work for a zero final result"

Now let's replace the roll with a Take 10....

unknown DC, Take 10:

The Barbarian Player: "Guys! I totally got this! Take 10 Diplomacy, minus my negative 2 for the Skill gives an "8 final" so... "I grab the first bystander from the sidewalk and shout into his face (Orc Voice On) "WHERE DO YOU TAKE YOUR DEAD!?" that should work for an 8 final result"

NOW let's try it with the GM telling the players what the DC is...

Known DC, roll:

GM: "Ok, looks like it is a DC 10 Gather Info check, so one of you needs to do a Diplomacy check..."

The Barbarian Player: "Guys! I totally got this!" rolls a Diplomacy Check of '2', "minus my negative 2 for the Skill gives a Zero final, so... "I grab the first bystander from the sidewalk and shout into his face (Orc Voice On) "WHERE DO YOU TAKE YOUR DEAD!?" that should work for a Zero final result"

NOT let's try it with the GM telling the players what the DC is and them taking 10

Known DC, Take 10:

GM: "Ok, looks like it is a DC 10 Gather Info check, so one of you needs to do a Diplomacy check..."

The Barbarian Player: "Guys! I totally got this!" Take 10 Diplomacy, minus my negative 2 for the Skill gives an "8 final" so... "I grab the first bystander from the sidewalk and shout into his face (Orc Voice On) "WHERE DO YOU TAKE YOUR DEAD!?" that should work for a 8 final result:

The Other Barbarian Player: "Wait! I jump in and Aid on that check! Roll of 13, minus my negative 3 for the Skill gives a 10 final for the Aid another and ... +2 to your check! so... I grab the Barbarians fore arm and squeeze enough to loosen his grip on the townsfolk's collar so that the poor man can talk enough to tell us where the morgue is in town..."


Lady Asharah wrote:

My idea with taking 10 is essentially expanding on passive perception, because in my group *nobody ever takes 10*.

But really what taking 10 is, is performing a routine (for the character) task. When attempting a routine task you shouldn't ever need to decide whether it is routine or not.

Imagine you have +6 bonus to Heal and you encounter someone who appears to be wounded, putting your things down you are fairly confident you will be able to patch them up if they're not too badly hurt. You peel off a layer of bloodied cloth and reveal:
"a cut, not too deep, seems to be bleeding but it has been mostly staunched by the cloth, you quickly clean the wound and replace the dressing" No roll needed.
"a cut, deep, it appears to have damaged a major vessel, the person is bleeding out before your eyes, this is no longer a routine situation and your hands shake a little at the revelation. Roll a Heal check" (DC 20 to heal deadly wounds which any player trained in Heal should know without being told by the DM).

This method is fun to apply to Knowledge checks, because with knowledge you either know something or you don't. And as someone trained in many knowledge skills you would be a walking encyclopedia, with access to any knowledge of DC=10+ranks at your beck and call, but more obscure facts would require a roll.

To me this essentially sets a floor: "Under normal circumstances, you cannot do worse than this"

Herein lies the problem with relying on the description alone to guide the DC. Stopping a deep cut is a relatively simple matter of applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. Perhaps a tourniquet as well. What isn't routine about that for a trained healer?


Hugo Rune wrote:
Lady Asharah wrote:

My idea with taking 10 is essentially expanding on passive perception, because in my group *nobody ever takes 10*.

But really what taking 10 is, is performing a routine (for the character) task. When attempting a routine task you shouldn't ever need to decide whether it is routine or not.

Imagine you have +6 bonus to Heal and you encounter someone who appears to be wounded, putting your things down you are fairly confident you will be able to patch them up if they're not too badly hurt. You peel off a layer of bloodied cloth and reveal:
"a cut, not too deep, seems to be bleeding but it has been mostly staunched by the cloth, you quickly clean the wound and replace the dressing" No roll needed.
"a cut, deep, it appears to have damaged a major vessel, the person is bleeding out before your eyes, this is no longer a routine situation and your hands shake a little at the revelation. Roll a Heal check" (DC 20 to heal deadly wounds which any player trained in Heal should know without being told by the DM).

This method is fun to apply to Knowledge checks, because with knowledge you either know something or you don't. And as someone trained in many knowledge skills you would be a walking encyclopedia, with access to any knowledge of DC=10+ranks at your beck and call, but more obscure facts would require a roll.

To me this essentially sets a floor: "Under normal circumstances, you cannot do worse than this"

Herein lies the problem with relying on the description alone to guide the DC. Stopping a deep cut is a relatively simple matter of applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. Perhaps a tourniquet as well. What isn't routine about that for a trained healer?

Outside of the context of Lady Asherah's interpretation, I fail to see how that demonstrates a problem with relying on the description.

You seem to think that players should always have perfect information when they make a decision, but you haven't really explained why you think that should be so. It definitely is not the default principle of the game, else (for one thing) we wouldn't need all of these "before the result of the original roll is revealed" clauses sprinkled throughout various ability descriptions.


Hi Blaphers, I thought I had explained it in my first post. But to expand on that reasoning:

The players are playing characters in a game world that exists within the GM's head. There is a shared set of rules (which themselves are often open to interpretation) but the players are totally reliant on the GM describing the environment and situation to them. The player then makes a judgment call based on their (theoretically) common understanding of the rules and the individual attributes of their character. By providing the DC, To Hit score,etc to the players the GM is providing an objective measure to allow the player to judge how difficult it will be for their character - which is what the character would be able to do within the game world. If the objective measure is not provided then there is a real risk that the players will misinterpret the GM's description and make poor choices through no fault of their own. This is likely to lead to bad feelings, especially if it keeps happening.

Grand Lodge

Some player expectations vs what the game surmises or not. The GM is under no compulsion to explain everything (I should write this in capital letters), they also have to figure things by themselves because at one point it amounts like if the player is metagaming. Knowledges or other kind of checks to have more precise informations are already there, or some of these questions are offlimits. HPs for example plausibly worth two questions alone due to how precise it is.

Lots of players/GMs where I am would say that an overly profuse GM that way wouldn't do a good job at all. Back to " What works in an area is a no-no in another " so no it's not being fair, it's holding the player hand way too much.


I don't think there's a blanket answer for this. Sometimes the DC should be obvious ("There's a knotted rope next to a dry, rough wall - it's a DC 5 climb check") while other times it should be a little bit harder to tell. Let's take a look at an example given:

Hugo Rune wrote:
Herein lies the problem with relying on the description alone to guide the DC. Stopping a deep cut is a relatively simple matter of applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. Perhaps a tourniquet as well. What isn't routine about that for a trained healer?

Applying bandages and pressure to stop bleeding IS standard for anyone who's done basic first-aid, but where is the wound? If it's a chest wound, did you check to see if that unconscious body has a punctured lung? If it's a wound in the abdomen did you check to see if Bile is seeping into the kidneys? If it's a head wound did you remember that you should always let bleeding continue from inside the skull to avoid a hemorrhage?

I think this is less about strict realism than about keeping the game flowing. As I said above, 95% of the time telling the players the DC isn't going to meaningfully change anything.

If the only thing a failed check means is that they try again (possibly after visiting the local CLW dispenser) then hiding the DC is really just slowing the game down.

On the other hand a success/fail could end with a totally different outcome for the session (dead PC, boss gets away, cultists finish ritual and summon Cthulu). Hiding the DC could lead to better in-character discussion and decision making, making the llayers truly the masters of their own destiny.

Either way I think you should usually get SOME idea of the DC. How much of a clue really is up to the GM.


Hugo Rune wrote:
Lady Asharah wrote:

My idea with taking 10 is essentially expanding on passive perception, because in my group *nobody ever takes 10*.

But really what taking 10 is, is performing a routine (for the character) task. When attempting a routine task you shouldn't ever need to decide whether it is routine or not.

Imagine you have +6 bonus to Heal and you encounter someone who appears to be wounded, putting your things down you are fairly confident you will be able to patch them up if they're not too badly hurt. You peel off a layer of bloodied cloth and reveal:
"a cut, not too deep, seems to be bleeding but it has been mostly staunched by the cloth, you quickly clean the wound and replace the dressing" No roll needed.
"a cut, deep, it appears to have damaged a major vessel, the person is bleeding out before your eyes, this is no longer a routine situation and your hands shake a little at the revelation. Roll a Heal check" (DC 20 to heal deadly wounds which any player trained in Heal should know without being told by the DM).

This method is fun to apply to Knowledge checks, because with knowledge you either know something or you don't. And as someone trained in many knowledge skills you would be a walking encyclopedia, with access to any knowledge of DC=10+ranks at your beck and call, but more obscure facts would require a roll.

To me this essentially sets a floor: "Under normal circumstances, you cannot do worse than this"

Herein lies the problem with relying on the description alone to guide the DC. Stopping a deep cut is a relatively simple matter of applying pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. Perhaps a tourniquet as well. What isn't routine about that for a trained healer?

It's merely a mechanical difference between "first aid" and "treat deadly wounds" for the DC

Bleeding, and "Bleeding from a major vessel" are very different scenarios and if you are not trained in heal (hence have enough ranks) you may think you did a great job, but the wound is simply over saturating the tourniquet and keeps bleeding. Your patient is now VERY pale.


Hugo Rune wrote:

Hi Blaphers, I thought I had explained it in my first post. But to expand on that reasoning:

The players are playing characters in a game world that exists within the GM's head. There is a shared set of rules (which themselves are often open to interpretation) but the players are totally reliant on the GM describing the environment and situation to them. The player then makes a judgment call based on their (theoretically) common understanding of the rules and the individual attributes of their character. By providing the DC, To Hit score,etc to the players the GM is providing an objective measure to allow the player to judge how difficult it will be for their character - which is what the character would be able to do within the game world. If the objective measure is not provided then there is a real risk that the players will misinterpret the GM's description and make poor choices through no fault of their own. This is likely to lead to bad feelings, especially if it keeps happening.

Sometimes a person, both in game and in real life, misjudges how difficult something is. The lack of perfect information regarding probability models that phenomenon. You call it a bad thing; I call it a feature. If it happens too often and can be traced to the GM not providing sufficient information, then that's something the GM should improve on (or, alternatively, a situation where the players should be asking for further character-knowable information). But unknowable risk is part of the experience. It can make the mundane seem dangerous, and it can make for epic moments when a PC succeeds against odds that they'd never have tried against had they had their player had cold hard numbers in front of them.

TL;DR: Don't fix what's not broken. Or not--it's your table.


The people I game with prefer to roll dice and look down on taking 10 (or equivalents in other game systems, e.g Shadowrun's one success/four dice). The only time they'd take 10 is when/if I tell them it'd be sufficient.

Grand Lodge

blahpers replying to Hugo Rune :

blahpers wrote:


Sometimes a person, both in game and in real life, misjudges how difficult something is. The lack of perfect information regarding probability models that phenomenon. You call it a bad thing; I call it a feature. If it happens too often and can be traced to the GM not providing sufficient information, then that's something the GM should improve on (or, alternatively, a situation where the players should be asking for further character-knowable information). But unknowable risk is part of the experience. It can make the mundane seem dangerous, and it can make for epic moments when a PC succeeds against odds that they'd never have tried against had they had their player had cold hard numbers in front of them.

TL;DR: Don't fix what's not broken. Or not--it's your table.

The player has to deserve being given the info, cf successfully pass the check, or doing enough prep, etc. The player doesn't do so, information shouldn't be given. Sometimes, the devil is in the small details, not the main plot/fights/else, like when a chain of encounters is done on the purpose to soften the group to the point it has to pay attention to not empty the gas tank. For skill and ability checks, same problem there.

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