View Full Version : Annoyingly Thorough check list

2008-08-11, 06:54 PM
I left a D&D game a few months ago over disagreements over...disagreements...about the rules with a DM. He thought if you didn't specifically say you were looking someplace, it wouldn't work. And spider webs apparently block detect magic.


Some other folk I know are still in the game, and I got bored at work today. To that end, I came up with this check list for what to do when confronted with a door in that game. Since he shot down the thought of SOP, I figure one way to go is force a long list of what should be obvious to do upon him to cover for every contingency. This actually does, according to the stories, need to include separate look for poison THEN search for poison statements, since clearly your hero wouldn't look at what he was about to search before searching it.

So, here goes. Sorry about the length.

When approaching a door way

put on waterproofed gloves QUIETLY
draw weapons QUIETLY
put on armor QUIETLY
take out shield QUIETLY

approach the door QUIETLY and stealthily (hiding)

Before entering the room:

Listen for anything (including lack of sound - a silence spell)
Listen for footsteps
Listen for movement (slithering, srawling, non-footsteps)
Listen for mechanical devices
listen for magical devices
listen for magic
Listen for fire
listen for gas leaks
listen for traps

If desired, cast detect magic here.

throw dust (which you've been specifically collecting) on the doorknob. If it sticks, there ight be some sort or malicious coating on the doorknob (contact poison, acid)

look for traps
look for liquids
look for poisons
look for slimes
look for shadows of the rest of the list
look for creatures
look for secret doors
look for mechanical devices
look for magical devices
look for magic
look for exits
look UP
look down
look for treasure
look for items
look for weapons
look for armor
look for pillars
look for anything out of the ordinary
look for small holes in the walls, such as arrow slits

At this point, enter the room and repeat the entire listen and spot list, removing any obvious threats (monsters) as needed. HOWEVER - always look up during a turn as a free action for a spot check. check for more monsters and traps if in combat and a specific spot check is

Repeating the listen and spot lists on every individual item in the room, such as chairs and couches and book cases.

Once it is established there are no immediate threats in the room:

If desired, cast see invisiblility and repeat the entire "look for" list

search for traps using a ten foot pole
search for traps without using a ten foot pole
search for secret doors
search for magical devices
search for magic
search for treasure
search for items
search for keys
search for weapons
search for armor
search for creatures
search for switches
search for mechanical devices
search for interesting items
search for door locking devices (barricading wood planks, for example)
search for hidden switches (bricks in the wall, books you tilt out,
candles you tilt out)

USING A STICK IF POSSIBLE - Open anything openable, and turn over
everything "turn overable" (boxes and cushions)

Annoying - sure. We can have the discussion on ridiculously particular DMs who do everything in their power to wreck havok on the players at the expense of fun too if you like. One of these days if my friends stick with this DM I'm going to need a power point presentation on how wrong this is.

What I'm really looking for from you folks, though, is what I'm forgetting. I suppose "creature" could be replaced with a list of every monster in the monster manual, but I'll wait a little longer before doing that. What'd I mess?

2008-08-11, 07:08 PM
What you've missed is that when you call for a spot or Listen check, it takes a move action. When you call for a Search check, it takes a full-round action. Your "look" list on entering the room is 20 items long. That's a full minute - and repeated, for each object in the room. You're looking for traps and liquids first - you don't hit "creatures" until item six. That's two and a half rounds that a creature has to see you before you ask to see it.

Fundamentally, you can't win when the DM is doing that kind of thing to you.

2008-08-11, 07:26 PM
Oh man, 2e flashbacks! :smalltongue:

"An amateur adventure checks for secret doors. A professional checks the ceiling for secret doors!"

2008-08-12, 02:28 AM
I had a DM that did that once.

I asked him, since I had never told him my character pissed, if I had exploded from it?
That, and the laughter from the rest of the group convinced him that I did not need to say I brought my weapons when leaving camp (!).

2008-08-17, 11:31 AM
Don't give in to the Dark Side !

2008-08-17, 11:38 AM
We can have the discussion on ridiculously particular DMs who do everything in their power to wreck havok on the players at the expense of fun too if you like. One of these days if my friends stick with this DM I'm going to need a power point presentation on how wrong this is.

Sounds like you and this game master have some playstyle differences.

2008-08-17, 12:12 PM
You could instead of (or in addition to this SOP) just go through every single miniscule action your character takes... When the DM and every player know exactly how many buttons you've got on your shirt (have to mention your doing up each individual button while changing in the morning.) then perhaps they'll see reason and be ok with a more simplified version.

I had something similar happen to me, only in reverse with a Player having to explain every SINGLE thing his character was doing... including his motivation for doing them...

It was quite maddening.

That being said perhaps you should just outright discuss this with the DM... point out that you're working on a SOP that might help you play in his game... point out the ridiculousness of the whole thing, then if he still won't see your point... just don't play with him. If a DM can't be reasoned with (outside of a game) then he's not worth playing with.

2008-08-17, 12:41 PM
That's pretty bad, but it could still be worse. The players could be forced to state exactly how they're opening the door. Do they push, pull, lift, rotate, slide, etc? The room could also not be a room. For example, the room could have trappers as three of the walls, a lurker above as the ceiling, and a mimic in the middle.