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robodonut
2009-08-15, 09:38 PM
so i need help. theres a guy in my game who doesnt realize that skill checks arent magic (sense motive and intimidate in particular) he thinks that all skills work like magic just because you have a semi-decent roll. (i.e. 16 or 17+6) whos right, me or him?

AstralFire
2009-08-15, 09:41 PM
so i need help. theres a guy in my game who doesnt realize that skill checks arent magic (sense motive and intimidate in particular) he thinks that all skills work like magic just because you have a semi-decent roll. (i.e. 16 or 17+6) whos right, me or him?

Um... elaborate on what you mean by 'work like magic'? If you mean that they're not supernatural, that is correct; they work in anti-magic fields.

Riffington
2009-08-15, 09:43 PM
so i need help. theres a guy in my game who doesnt realize that skill checks arent magic (sense motive and intimidate in particular) he thinks that all skills work like magic just because you have a semi-decent roll. (i.e. 16 or 17+6) whos right, me or him?

Depends what you mean. If you mean, "does an anti-magic field suppress skills?", well they aren't magic.

If you mean "If Gary Coleman's Intimidate is +2 and Christopher Walken's Intimidate is +8 and my character's is +14 does that mean the difference between Gary Coleman and Christopher Walken is the same as that between Christopher Walken and my character?", well yes.

Myou
2009-08-15, 09:46 PM
They can produce magical effects, but only once you start hitting DCs of about 80-100. Rolling a 16 is thoroughly mundane.

AstralFire
2009-08-15, 09:48 PM
I believe they're still (Ex) even at epic, for the most part.

Myou
2009-08-15, 09:49 PM
I believe they're still (Ex) even at epic, for the most part.

Oh, sorry, I should have phrased that better. They produce effects that are like magic. :3

robodonut
2009-08-15, 09:52 PM
Um... elaborate on what you mean by 'work like magic'? If you mean that they're not supernatural, that is correct; they work in anti-magic fields. Im sorry, what I meant was for example he uses a sense motive check, rolls a 17+6 and expects he results you would get from a true seeing spell. I dont know if its our playing styles colliding but since its my first time DMing how should i take charge of the situation?

P.S. when i said magic i didnt mean it literally. sorry for any confuson

AstralFire
2009-08-15, 09:56 PM
Im sorry, what I meant was for example he uses a sense motive check, rolls a 17+6 and expects he results you would get from a true seeing spell. I dont know if its our playing styles colliding but since its my first time DMing how should i take charge of the situation?

P.S. when i said magic i didnt mean it literally. sorry for any confuson


Sense Enchantment
You can tell that someoneís behavior is being influenced by an enchantment effect (by definition, a mind-affecting effect), even if that person isnít aware of it. The usual DC is 25, but if the target is dominated (see dominate person), the DC is only 15 because of the limited range of the targetís activities.

That's all you can use it for. As a general rule, if he wants to do something obviously supernatural with a skill that any 12 year old who didn't flunk middle school Physical Science would know is impossible for a real human to do, don't count on it before near-epic levels or modifiers of less than +30 or so.

waterpenguin43
2009-08-15, 09:59 PM
They aren't magic, some may seem like it, and some may even mimic the effects of magic, but they aren't (with the exceptions of magic items triggered by UMD and possibly the psionic skills)

deuxhero
2009-08-15, 10:00 PM
I think the kid who did flunk that class would be better with open locks and the like...

Riffington
2009-08-15, 11:50 PM
The problem is that in a gamist sort of game, skills should progress like magic does. Gamists complain about a "non-casters can't have nice things" attitude. The best Earth human can get +11 to a skill check, so any check result>32 should be supernatural. And (from a gamist point of view) if magic increases exponentially, so should skills. If your jump modifier is +15 you should be able to leap over short buildings in a single bound.

The SRD usually puts those DCs higher, thus preventing noncasters from having nice things. Why? Because they break the Simulationist game much like magic breaks the game. But people are more psychologically ok with magic breaking the game. Yes, we know that casters can fly. But if skills progressed at the rate magic does, then you have to redesign topography. Floors stop being the default walking-place, and a casual glance is a reliable lie detector.

The correct answer, of course, is to

sofawall
2009-08-16, 12:02 AM
Ah, I see, no correct answer. All opinion. Clever.

Kelpstrand
2009-08-16, 12:53 AM
No, there's a very correct answer, depending on the question.

Does it work in an AMF? Yes.

Does it let you see through Illusions? Only if you can make a DC 80 spot check.

Innis Cabal
2009-08-16, 01:19 AM
No, there's a very correct answer, depending on the question.

Does it work in an AMF? Yes.

Does it let you see through Illusions? Only if you can make a DC 80 spot check.

The better answer is No. Skills don't work that way before epic. Even then, sense motive dosn't ever work exactly like True Seeing

robodonut
2009-08-16, 09:39 AM
thanks alot guys. i think ive gotten the answers i need. that really helped.

ericgrau
2009-08-16, 12:35 PM
Of course they're not magic, but we'd need to know what your specific application to say if it's do-able or if it's beyond the capabilities of the mundane.

Generally skills can do only a little, but they do that little very well and the DCs are low. Taking 10's/20's, and no natural 1's make them even easier to make. I find most complaints from those who push for success on DC 40/50 checks and get nothing for it. Or those w/ a DM who raise DCs to match so that it takes a heavy investment just for so-so benefits. And then people complain about non-maxed skills or cross-class ones being worthless. Or, going back to low DCs, groups try to go beyond what the skills should be capable of and then complain about how easy it is to make the low DCs and do game-breaking things. Or DMs focus excessively on a couple skills and require checks for things that should be automatic even for a +0 modifier average Joe. And then those w/o those skills on their list have trouble even functioning normally.

IMO just use the written DCs and use common sense on what can be done and what's impossible regardless of how high the check is. If you need to make up a DC, then try 10-15 for a difficult thing (for a commoner), never above 20 unless it's quite extraordinary, and almost never above 30. Don't require a check for common things. Remind players of the DC range so they don't go overboard at char gen, remind them of taking 10s/20s, and ignore nat 1's/20's & their craziness.

Kzickas
2009-08-16, 12:51 PM
IMO just use the written DCs and use common sense on what can be done and what's impossible regardless of how high the check is. If you need to make up a DC, then try 10-15 for a difficult thing (for a commoner), never above 20 unless it's quite extraordinary, and almost never above 30. Don't require a check for common things. Remind players of the DC range so they don't go overboard at char gen, remind them of taking 10s/20s, and ignore nat 1's/20's & their craziness.

The problem is that it makes no sense to use common sense for what can be done with skills when most d&d characters. and all those who are going to be making high dc skill checks are going to be explicitly superhuman

Kelpstrand
2009-08-16, 01:12 PM
Generally skills can do only a little, but they do that little very well and the DCs are low. Taking 10's/20's, and no natural 1's make them even easier to make. I find most complaints from those who push for success on DC 40/50 checks and get nothing for it. Or those w/ a DM who raise DCs to match so that it takes a heavy investment just for so-so benefits. And then people complain about non-maxed skills or cross-class ones being worthless. Or, going back to low DCs, groups try to go beyond what the skills should be capable of and then complain about how easy it is to make the low DCs and do game-breaking things. Or DMs focus excessively on a couple skills and require checks for things that should be automatic even for a +0 modifier average Joe. And then those w/o those skills on their list have trouble even functioning normally.

I think you make a habit of taking peoples problems out of context in order to dismiss complaints.

Cross class ranks are a problem, not because you have lower DCs, but because they take up to much investment.

Non maxed skills are mostly useless, when it comes to certain skills. Spot is almost always an opposed check. A +15 modifier doesn't mean anything at level 20, when Dragons have +50-60 spot mods, and you really can't hide with non maxed skills. Or spot invisible creatures.

And most play is at lower levels. Putting 3-4 ranks in jump, tumble, climb, use rope really isn't a good idea compared with putting 8 ranks in tumble and 5 ranks in jump.

I don't know why you turn every post you make into an impassioned argument about how every problem anyone has ever had is their own fault, even in threads that aren't about the problems you end up decrying.