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Fwiffo86
2014-05-23, 08:32 AM
Ok, so here is the question I have....

I had a scenario where our stabby bard wanted to use his two attacks + his fencing feat (for the additional attack), plus his free spell to Mage hand slap someone in the face.

Taking into account that unlike 3.5 the attack action is a convoluted definition and now just an "action", and you get an Action and a Move, i figured it worked this way;

He gets his base two attacks, converting one of them into the fencing additional attack (arbitrary numbers for demonstration: +10/+10 becomes +10/+5/+5) followed by the Mage Hand slap.

But since i vaguely remembered a rule that I couldn't locate (yay playtest organization) I ruled that he can do that, or he can do the two attacks plus the free cast of Mage Hand. All of this while allowing him to move. If he chose not to move, I allowed him to do both at once.

Any one have insight? I can see alot of abuse going on here if there is a bizarre hole we have discovered.

Lokiare
2014-05-23, 08:39 AM
Ok, so here is the question I have....

I had a scenario where our stabby bard wanted to use his two attacks + his fencing feat (for the additional attack), plus his free spell to Mage hand slap someone in the face.

Taking into account that unlike 3.5 the attack action is a convoluted definition and now just an "action", and you get an Action and a Move, i figured it worked this way;

He gets his base two attacks, converting one of them into the fencing additional attack (arbitrary numbers for demonstration: +10/+10 becomes +10/+5/+5) followed by the Mage Hand slap.

But since i vaguely remembered a rule that I couldn't locate (yay playtest organization) I ruled that he can do that, or he can do the two attacks plus the free cast of Mage Hand. All of this while allowing him to move. If he chose not to move, I allowed him to do both at once.

Any one have insight? I can see alot of abuse going on here if there is a bizarre hole we have discovered.

They've said that all extra attacks are now converted to something called a bonus attack. Bonus attacks don't stack. You get one per round. Also the bard needs to be hit with the nerf bat if they get 2 attacks and can cast a swift spell and a normal spell all in the same round.

Fwiffo86
2014-05-23, 08:44 AM
They've said that all extra attacks are now converted to something called a bonus attack. Bonus attacks don't stack. You get one per round. Also the bard needs to be hit with the nerf bat if they get 2 attacks and can cast a swift spell and a normal spell all in the same round.

I completely agree here. We are going with "Action" defined as you can attack (using additional attacks if you have them) OR cast a spell. But the Bard class ability for the Valor bard grants them a free casting of a spell in addition to the attack. By the wording alone, he's not able to dual cast, but able to stab/cast. Fun with playtesting.

Bonus Attack: By that do you mean attacks that come from feats or including additional attacks from class? If all additional attacks are considered bonus, wouldn't that invalidate the bonus attack from a feat as soon as your class grants you an additional attack?

Lokiare
2014-05-23, 09:22 AM
I completely agree here. We are going with "Action" defined as you can attack (using additional attacks if you have them) OR cast a spell. But the Bard class ability for the Valor bard grants them a free casting of a spell in addition to the attack. By the wording alone, he's not able to dual cast, but able to stab/cast. Fun with playtesting.

Yep, thus the nerf comment. Bards are seriously overpowered in 5E. They can do nearly as well as non-caster in melee combat and then on top of it they can do nearly as well as casters (since they get full spell progression). There is really no point in playing any other class than a Valor Bard at this point.

Bonus Attack: By that do you mean attacks that come from feats or including additional attacks from class? If all additional attacks are considered bonus, wouldn't that invalidate the bonus attack from a feat as soon as your class grants you an additional attack?

Yep. WotC's brilliant minds at work!

Fwiffo86
2014-05-23, 09:50 AM
I think I'm going with my strategy here. I'll break it down...

Basic info
-Character (henceforth C) has two attacks due to level.
-C has fencing feat and is wielding a rapier
-C does not have dual-wield feat and is also using a dagger in the off hand.

I see the breakdown like this:

1st Attack: Standard roll, no modifiers
2nd Attack: Broken down into two attacks using Fencing, both at -5 each.
Off-hand: Standard roll, no modifiers

So basically, (again with arbitrary numbers) we have +10 as a base to make it easy to demonstrate:

+10/+5/+5/+10 on the attack rolls. Ignore damage output, that is pretty crazy. Add in the ability to use movement between attacks, and its even more crazy.

I admit this may be broken, but for me, this finally allows the Melee types to keep up with the Artillery Mages at all levels, without having a series of attacks that essentially are worthless because you can't hit the broadside of a barn.

Disagree/Agree?

Lokiare
2014-05-23, 09:54 AM
I think I'm going with my strategy here. I'll break it down...

Basic info
-Character (henceforth C) has two attacks due to level.
-C has fencing feat and is wielding a rapier
-C does not have dual-wield feat and is also using a dagger in the off hand.

I see the breakdown like this:

1st Attack: Standard roll, no modifiers
2nd Attack: Broken down into two attacks using Fencing, both at -5 each.
Off-hand: Standard roll, no modifiers

So basically, (again with arbitrary numbers) we have +10 as a base to make it easy to demonstrate:

+10/+5/+5/+10 on the attack rolls. Ignore damage output, that is pretty crazy. Add in the ability to use movement between attacks, and its even more crazy.

I admit this may be broken, but for me, this finally allows the Melee types to keep up with the Artillery Mages at all levels, without having a series of attacks that essentially are worthless because you can't hit the broadside of a barn.

Disagree/Agree?

If your goal is to play 5E I disagree, but if your goal is to play a balanced game where casters and non-casters can keep up with each other, then it doesn't look too bad for about levels 1-3.

The trick is to count the average number of monsters a caster catches in their spells and then multiply that by the number of daily spells they get and then divide by the average number of encounters (4 if you follow the play test rules) then divide that by the average number of rounds in a combat and then allow the non-casters that many attacks per round.

It would look something like:

level 1: 3 attacks.
level 2: 4 attacks.
level 3: 7 attacks.
level 4: 8 attacks.
level 5: 10 attacks.
etc...etc...

D-naras
2014-05-23, 11:24 AM
Actually bonus attacks are done in addition to any attacks you gain from your class. But they don't stack. If a monk was hasted and used flurry he would gain only 1 bonus attack, not 2. That means that a high level fighter will make 4 normal attacks and 1 bonus attack per round. Others will get a max of 3.

Fwiffo86
2014-05-23, 11:56 AM
Actually bonus attacks are done in addition to any attacks you gain from your class. But they don't stack. If a monk was hasted and used flurry he would gain only 1 bonus attack, not 2. That means that a high level fighter will make 4 normal attacks and 1 bonus attack per round. Others will get a max of 3.

Assuming this is true (and I want too to prevent slowing combat), what about things that grant a free spellcast? I am inclined to group them together as the same thing. You can get a bonus attack, or you can get a bonus spell. If multiple sources of bonus don't stack, this makes perfect sense to me.

da_chicken
2014-05-23, 03:58 PM
I'm inclined to think that a Bonus Action is defined as the haste spell is. That is, haste could be re-written as "affected targets gain a Bonus Action every round for the duration of the spell," and the limitations of the as-written haste action would be moved to a section entitled Bonus Actions. A Bonus Attack would be a Bonus Action in every way, with the exception that you could only use that Bonus Action to make a single attack. There would be no situation when Bonus Actions stack; you can never get more than one Bonus Action.

The lone exception to this rule are the additional attacks granted by class levels. That essentially gets written "Whenever you would take the Attack action during your turn, you make make Two Attack Actions instead." Then you add "You cannot gain the benefit of an Additional Attack more than once each turn." and/or "Additional Attacks cannot be used during Bonus Actions."

That would be the most modular method, but I can think of a handful of other ways to word it that accomplish the same thing. The key takeaway is that Additional Attacks and Bonus Actions are separate and distinct, but this seems fairly prone to confusion.

Townopolis
2014-05-23, 06:33 PM
Yep, thus the nerf comment. Bards are seriously overpowered in 5E. They can do nearly as well as non-caster in melee combat and then on top of it they can do nearly as well as casters (since they get full spell progression). There is really no point in playing any other class than a Valor Bard at this point.
I would just like to point out that bards are half-casters, not full, and in the latest playtest have the smallest spell-pool available to them out of all casters; paladins and rangers both get more spells known than bards.

Additionally, every other melee class (fighter, barbarian, ranger, paladin) has access to at least as many attacks as a bard, fighting styles, at least one additional damage booster that the bard does not get, and more HP than the bard. Paladins and rangers are also half-casters, like the bard, and both those classes have dedicated abilities to convert spells into damage or just a slew of innately swift-cast combat spells. Barbarians then have rage, buckets of HP, and the ability to add their Con bonus to AC, and fighters just get a smorgasbord of combat bonuses and twice as many attacks as anyone else.

How the bard is a full caster when he clearly isn't and is also almost as good in melee as classes that each get either 2x as many combat bonuses or 1.5x the combat bonuses plus spells of their own... might warrant some explanation?

D-naras
2014-05-23, 07:42 PM
I would just like to point out that bards are half-casters, not full, and in the latest playtest have the smallest spell-pool available to them out of all casters; paladins and rangers both get more spells known than bards.

Additionally, every other melee class (fighter, barbarian, ranger, paladin) has access to at least as many attacks as a bard, fighting styles, at least one additional damage booster that the bard does not get, and more HP than the bard. Paladins and rangers are also half-casters, like the bard, and both those classes have dedicated abilities to convert spells into damage or just a slew of innately swift-cast combat spells. Barbarians then have rage, buckets of HP, and the ability to add their Con bonus to AC, and fighters just get a smorgasbord of combat bonuses and twice as many attacks as anyone else.

How the bard is a full caster when he clearly isn't and is also almost as good in melee as classes that each get either 2x as many combat bonuses or 1.5x the combat bonuses plus spells of their own... might warrant some explanation?

Mearls announced that the bard will be a full caster(9 level spells) in the full game and also have options to get a second attack and other goodness.

Townopolis
2014-05-23, 08:11 PM
The full caster bit is news to me; thanks for the clarification. With that in mind, yes, I can see how the bard's current combat boosts could put them over the top.

Lokiare
2014-05-24, 07:11 AM
The full caster bit is news to me; thanks for the clarification. With that in mind, yes, I can see how the bard's current combat boosts could put them over the top.

In their bard article and Q&A they basically said the bard gets decent armor, decent weapons, multiple attacks (probably not as many as a fighter though), and can cast a swift spell, a normal spell, and make their attacks all in the same round. Then on top of that they get half proficiency to all skills that they aren't trained in. So you can see where my concern lies, and my continuing commentary that they don't understand the underlying math of the game.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-05-24, 08:27 AM
This reminds me to get rid of the Haste spell and replace it with something that doesn't give additional attacks.

I think if you made the non-casters be able to stand on their own you won't need spells like haste. Also if you get only one bonus attack (Flurry of Blows) then why give a spell that gives a bonus action that won't stack?

Each round as a free action the target may choose one of the following to apply the haste spell to two of the following

+10 feet to Speed
Don't provoke reactions when you move

All three options will be very nice and work with any class in the game but not overly powerful (though maybe they are)...

Lokiare
2014-05-24, 12:33 PM
This reminds me to get rid of the Haste spell and replace it with something that doesn't give additional attacks.

I think if you made the non-casters be able to stand on their own you won't need spells like haste. Also if you get only one bonus attack (Flurry of Blows) then why give a spell that gives a bonus action that won't stack?

Each round as a free action the target may choose one of the following to apply the haste spell to two of the following

+10 feet to Speed
Don't provoke reactions when you move

All three options will be very nice and work with any class in the game but not overly powerful (though maybe they are)...

I would say just grant advantage on one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check each round while under the effects of haste. That would be worth it.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-05-24, 09:16 PM
I would say just grant advantage on one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check each round while under the effects of haste. That would be worth it.

Yeah provably so, though I would suspect that some people would cry Nerf even if the Nerf is needed.

If you Nerf non-casters no one blinks an eye but if you Nerf magic then everyone looses their mind!

Though I wish slow and haste were opposite effects... Hmm..

Knaight
2014-05-26, 01:15 PM
I would say just grant advantage on one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check each round while under the effects of haste. That would be worth it.

This seems like a pretty decent way to handle it, though it might need more restrictions - if the skill is something where speed doesn't matter that much (e.g. anything knowledge based, something like climb where you don't care about how fast you go) or the saving throw is one where speed doesn't make sense (haste helps you resist a poison how, exactly?) it probably shouldn't help.

captpike
2014-05-26, 02:08 PM
This seems like a pretty decent way to handle it, though it might need more restrictions - if the skill is something where speed doesn't matter that much (e.g. anything knowledge based, something like climb where you don't care about how fast you go) or the saving throw is one where speed doesn't make sense (haste helps you resist a poison how, exactly?) it probably shouldn't help.

do you really want the spell to be like a page long, going into every situation it cant apply?

Lokiare
2014-05-26, 03:09 PM
This seems like a pretty decent way to handle it, though it might need more restrictions - if the skill is something where speed doesn't matter that much (e.g. anything knowledge based, something like climb where you don't care about how fast you go) or the saving throw is one where speed doesn't make sense (haste helps you resist a poison how, exactly?) it probably shouldn't help.

Actually it would make you think faster so you would recall more knowledge in the same time, climbing would allow you to be just as careful but move faster, and for poison saves it would increase your bodies immune response time so that more of your immune system can deal with the toxins faster.

Garan
2014-05-27, 04:29 PM
This all sounds like it would be a lot simpler if they just defined the Bonus Attack as a swift action and left it as that. Still, I think the answer that they're at least trying to do in response to 3.5's "Melee people hit things. At higher levels, they can hit them again" looks good as a mechanic (i.e. give them their own mechanics). That was one of my concerns for 4th, where everyone used the same mechanics and just had different names and slightly different effects for each ability. The one issue is that multiclassing could get confusing once you have different mechanics from each class, though I think they're also looking to make dipping into classes easier.

As for the original question- What level is this taking place at? Have you tried making other characters at the same level with the same original stats and comparing them?

Fwiffo86
2014-05-28, 09:02 AM
The level of the Bard in question is 12. We also have a Cleric, Fighter, and a Mage. None of which have taken feats that allow them to adjust their attack numbers.

Knaight
2014-05-29, 10:02 PM
do you really want the spell to be like a page long, going into every situation it cant apply?

"Haste doesn't benefit mental skills other than rapid recall, or physical skills where the aim isn't speed" would cover it just fine, funnily enough. It doesn't take a page. This does rely on some sort of agreement, but that's not necessarily a problem, and is already built into essentially any RPG in a bunch of places. For instance, strength checks reference things like "sturdy construction" in breaking objects, which is inherently subjective.

Actually it would make you think faster so you would recall more knowledge in the same time, climbing would allow you to be just as careful but move faster, and for poison saves it would increase your bodies immune response time so that more of your immune system can deal with the toxins faster.
This is useless when the issues are whether you can recall a particular bit at knowledge at all or whether you can climb a particular thing at all. As for poisons, putting aside whether the immune system even comes into their operation (it often doesn't), your body would also metabolize it faster.

Basically, it's a matter of the question the skill roll is answering. If it's "Can I [do this thing] in time", haste is pretty helpful. If it's "Can I [do this thing[ at all" haste is completely useless.

Stubbazubba
2014-05-31, 04:10 AM
I am of the opinion that you should almost never roll for "can I do this thing at all." If you have the skill and there is nothing stopping you from just trying again until you succeed, you should just succeed, for everyone at the table's sake. Let's reserve rolling time for when stuff matters, i.e. when failure brings some kind of immediate consequence. It speeds up the game and keeps every roll more interesting. See the Angry DM's explanation of this.

nyjastul69
2014-05-31, 08:34 AM
I am of the opinion that you should almost never roll for "can I do this thing at all." If you have the skill and there is nothing stopping you from just trying again until you succeed, you should just succeed, for everyone at the table's sake. Let's reserve rolling time for when stuff matters, i.e. when failure brings some kind of immediate consequence. It speeds up the game and keeps every roll more interesting. See the Angry DM's explanation of this.

Indeed. I hope they carry forward the idea of taking 20.

Eten
2014-05-31, 02:42 PM
I just want to throw in that my experience, too, has been that College of Valor Bards are crazy good. I've had the experience of DMing one full campaign in an earlier playtest, and I've just started another with new players. Previously, I had a Fighter, Cleric, Ranger, Rogue, and Wizard, and everyone had a proportionate amount of influence on the outcome of situations of significant failure and lethality. Now I have a ranged Fighter, Paladin, Druid, Mage, and Valor Bard.

The big picture issue I have isn't that the Bard is super effective in combat- it's that he's super effective in combat AND is waltzing through any and all of the checks outside of combat. His mods are +1/+3/+2/+3/+3/+4 from good ability score rolls, no reliance on feats and being a human, starts with loads of proficiencies, Bardic Knowledge, Expertise, and Jack of All Trades. Previously, I had player characters who were really good at combat when they were invested in combat, such as the higher level mounted fighter with the mounted combat feat, and player characters who were really good at spotting or setting up an ambush, getting assistance, or deflecting threats indirectly like the skill-invested rogue. The Bard is doing both just as well as either. The Expert of All Trades.

Knaight
2014-06-03, 10:58 AM
I am of the opinion that you should almost never roll for "can I do this thing at all." If you have the skill and there is nothing stopping you from just trying again until you succeed, you should just succeed, for everyone at the table's sake. Let's reserve rolling time for when stuff matters, i.e. when failure brings some kind of immediate consequence. It speeds up the game and keeps every roll more interesting. See the Angry DM's explanation of this.

The bolded parts get into the difference between "can I do this thing at all" and "how long does this thing take". If there is nothing stopping you from just trying again, and failure doesn't bring some kind of immediate consequence, rolling is a waste of everyone's time. That said, if you are, for example, trying to swim across an underground river before the current sweeps you past the target shore*, trying to remember a particular thing where you either remember or you don't, trying to pick a lock when the guard is around the corner, or trying to convince someone of a particular lie, rolling comes in.

*I use the term loosely

Stubbazubba
2014-06-03, 12:30 PM
The bolded parts get into the difference between "can I do this thing at all" and "how long does this thing take". If there is nothing stopping you from just trying again, and failure doesn't bring some kind of immediate consequence, rolling is a waste of everyone's time. That said, if you are, for example, trying to swim across an underground river before the current sweeps you past the target shore*, trying to remember a particular thing where you either remember or you don't, trying to pick a lock when the guard is around the corner, or trying to convince someone of a particular lie, rolling comes in.

*I use the term loosely

Sure, but there's always an assumed consequence that prevents you from continuing; the current sweeps you away, the guard spots you as he comes around the corner, the person becomes convinced you're just trying to con them, etc. The only instance in which I don't see that being the case is trying to remember something. I suppose if the old bridgekeeper is asking you his questions three and you will be cast into the endless chasm if you don't remember what your favorite color is, then that would make some sense, but I am unconvinced that there is any useful or engaging use of a Knowledge check. Generally, you either have the knowledge or you don't, and there is nothing dramatic about a random slip of the memory at a critical juncture that then comes back later. I don't think having the possibility of simply not remembering something you ostensibly know improves the game.

Knaight
2014-06-03, 04:08 PM
Sure, but there's always an assumed consequence that prevents you from continuing; the current sweeps you away, the guard spots you as he comes around the corner, the person becomes convinced you're just trying to con them, etc. The only instance in which I don't see that being the case is trying to remember something.

The last one is generally "you make a mistake because you forget something important". The assumed consequences are the point, I'd agree with you entirely that if they aren't there rolling is a waste of time.

Stubbazubba
2014-06-03, 05:08 PM
The last one is generally "you make a mistake because you forget something important".

Yes, I understand that much, but I don't see where that is a worthwhile thing to be rolling for. What sort of slapstick adventure game are we playing where we just roll to see if we make a mistake for no good reason, not because remembering is hard, but just because, I dunno, we can? The skill isn't "Remembering," it's "Knowledge," and Knowledge doesn't typically involve attempting to know something. If it's just Remembering, then 1) it should apply to all things more or less equally, and 2) I'd like to hear a justification for why we need to roll to remember things in an adventure game. I can think of precisely zero story tropes or interesting decision points that revolve around random memory lapses.

da_chicken
2014-06-03, 06:39 PM
I can think of precisely zero story tropes or interesting decision points that revolve around random memory lapses.

Well since you asked (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MemoryTropes) (TV Tropes warning!). :smallwink:

To be fair, I do agree with not rolling unless it's relevant. We've all been at the table when someone rolls a skill check and gets a 1. Then they ask "can I reroll?"

I'm increasingly inclined to say no.

captpike
2014-06-03, 06:47 PM
Well since you asked (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MemoryTropes) (TV Tropes warning!). :smallwink:

To be fair, I do agree with not rolling unless it's relevant. We've all been at the table when someone rolls a skill check and gets a 1. Then they ask "can I reroll?"

I'm increasingly inclined to say no.

that is why I am a big can of anyone who is trained has a basic knowledge of whatever the skill does. everyone who is trained in religion knows all the basic info about all the gods (I only have like 12 in my setting).

some things you just should not have to roll for.

da_chicken
2014-06-03, 07:37 PM
that is why I am a big can of anyone who is trained has a basic knowledge of whatever the skill does. everyone who is trained in religion knows all the basic info about all the gods (I only have like 12 in my setting).

some things you just should not have to roll for.

For mental skills, I generally assume everybody takes 10 as long as it's not combat. If I know it's not enough to make the DC, I ask for a roll. For active physical skills checks, I assume the same. Unless you need to do your best to succeed (i.e., the DC is higher than 10 + your bonus) I don't make people roll. Passive skill checks (Perception, Spot/Listen, Sense Motive) I just tend to make everyone roll because I just ask the table for a check. About half the time with opposed rolls I let the NPCs take 11 and roll the die for appearance. Opposed checks as written are too high variance, IMO.

For 5e I'm not sure if I'll continue to do that. Taking 10 isn't in the rules anywhere and doesn't make as much sense because of the change in math, but it still seems like a good rule of thumb to me for what isn't a challenge for a character. I may instead use the idea that players should roll when I'm trying to challenge them, otherwise they just succeed if it's reasonable.

INDYSTAR188
2014-06-03, 07:50 PM
For mental skills, I generally assume everybody takes 10 as long as it's not combat. If I know it's not enough to make the DC, I ask for a roll. For active physical skills checks, I assume the same. Unless you need to do your best to succeed (i.e., the DC is higher than 10 + your bonus) I don't make people roll. Passive skill checks (Perception, Spot/Listen, Sense Motive) I just tend to make everyone roll because I just ask the table for a check. About half the time with opposed rolls I let the NPCs take 11 and roll the die for appearance. Opposed checks as written are too high variance, IMO.

For 5e I'm not sure if I'll continue to do that. Taking 10 isn't in the rules anywhere and doesn't make as much sense because of the change in math, but it still seems like a good rule of thumb to me for what isn't a challenge for a character. I may instead use the idea that players should roll when I'm trying to challenge them, otherwise they just succeed if it's reasonable.

I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, so please tell me if I'm reading you wrong... but are you saying that 'Taking 10' is no longer a thing? Do you think that detracts from the game? Are there still 'Passive Perception and Insight'? What are the skills available (or could you point me in the right direction to find that out)?

da_chicken
2014-06-04, 01:14 AM
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, so please tell me if I'm reading you wrong... but are you saying that 'Taking 10' is no longer a thing? Do you think that detracts from the game? Are there still 'Passive Perception and Insight'? What are the skills available (or could you point me in the right direction to find that out)?

I don't see any rule for taking 10 in the playtest packet which I have access to, which I think is the last one or the next to last one. The DM guide does tell the DM not to roll dice if it isn't necessary to. I think it literally says, "Don't let the rules interfere with the game". However, the DM allowed take 10, so I can't really say if it detracted that much. He's kind of a free flowing DM. It didn't matter that much, either, because most of my group forgets to take 10 and always just rolls. We've done that since 3.0 was released. It took a couple months for us to not be excited by a roll of a 2 for a skill or ability check. :D

Skills are very briefly defined in the playtest packet, but a lot of stuff is very brief the playtest packet. They're just listed under the ability scores as things you can do with an ability literally as types of ability checks, but they're only a sentence or two for most of them. We basically used them when the module called for them (which included some passive use, IIRC) or if the DM decided we could rather than having specific cases in mind. Ad hoc checks were very... ad hoc, if you take my meaning. I think that's more a criticism of the playtest's tendancy toward brevity and our lack of familiarity than anything.

Honestly, the skill system isn't that much different. It's a consolidated list like 4e, but otherwise basically everything is just an ability check.

Stubbazubba
2014-06-04, 08:21 AM
Well since you asked (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MemoryTropes) (TV Tropes warning!). :smallwink:

Yeah...all the ones that seemed on point were just some variation of the Idiot Ball. I don't think we need to hard code Idiot Ball mechanics. Mind Control and Amnesia are all well and good plot devices, but just forgetting something you ostensibly would know? When it happens in fiction it's usually just sloppy writing or it's played for laughs, neither of which makes much sense in a D&D context.* So let me clarify; I can think of precisely zero compelling story tropes that revolve around random memory lapses. Now if there's something like a brain parasite that is actively trying to suppress your memories, or if one of your character's "flaws" involves repressed memories from a traumatic time that are suddenly called upon, then I can see that as being interesting and worth rolling against. But just rolling to remember so you have an unexplained chance at failing at everything, even when there would in fact be consequences? I don't think so. Remembering something, even something relatively obscure, is just not the kind of difficult (let alone dramatic or exciting) challenge that leaping across a chasm or chasing down a thief or convincing Lord Guff to let you borrow the McGuffin is.

*OK, sloppy writing makes perfect sense, but it's not something we want to actually entrench in our D&D games.

Knaight
2014-06-06, 01:33 PM
Yes, I understand that much, but I don't see where that is a worthwhile thing to be rolling for. What sort of slapstick adventure game are we playing where we just roll to see if we make a mistake for no good reason, not because remembering is hard, but just because, I dunno, we can? The skill isn't "Remembering," it's "Knowledge," and Knowledge doesn't typically involve attempting to know something. If it's just Remembering, then 1) it should apply to all things more or less equally, and 2) I'd like to hear a justification for why we need to roll to remember things in an adventure game. I can think of precisely zero story tropes or interesting decision points that revolve around random memory lapses.

Maybe I should clarify a bit - it's more a matter of checking whether some particular bit of knowledge was internalized. Basically, the knowledge skill is a way of retroactively figuring out the exacting particulars of a subfield a character knows. As for things being interesting because a character doesn't know something - that I've seen a lot. They fail to recognize a bit of obscure heraldry, which is a shame, because it belongs to a set of rather vicious nobles which the character would have been better off avoiding - so they have a new enemy. They don't know the particulars of some alchemy in a lab they break into, which means that plan A: 'Stop the reaction, get the research notes, and leave' is gone and plan B 'Run, and hope the explosion isn't too big' is a go. Which means that the events have now twisted in a different and potentially interesting way, where hightailing it and preventing the discovery of the infiltration is paramount, and said research now needs to be found elsewhere, as charcoal in the shape of a book is useless.

Basically, I've seen knowledge make a pretty big difference, and skills can handle that well.