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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [D&D 3.0/3.5] Skill combat and blood drinking  (Read 12594 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2006, 07:20:27 AM »

Mark,

Nowhere have I ever said that playing by the rules-as-written is some kind of golden law of successful role-playing. Given all those appallingly stupid rulebooks out there, it would be a terrible thing to say.

It is my own preference to play by rules-as-written, especially when trying to understand a game. In many cases, stuff that I thought would be dumb or weird in play turned out to be a fantastic method I'd never have realized on my own. In others, stuff that I thought would be obviously so much fun, and couldn't wait to see in action, turned out to be ass.

Where you got the idea that my preference has anything to do with some kind of "Forge recommendation" or no-no, I don't know.

As it happens, so far none of our skill rolls in the game have opposed any like-on-like skills. Intimidate vs. Innuendo, Diplomacy vs. Sense Motive, and stuff like that is what we've been doing. That's been an outcome of simple choices made during play, rather than a stricture.

Now for the various points about diplomacy raised by you and others.

The rules as written

The original rules, 3.0, include this key phrase in the Diplomacy skill description:

Quote
In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks to see who gains the advantage

Then goes on to say the same thing applies to the two opponents appealing to a third party.

The 3.5 rules say,

Quote
In negotiations, participants roll opposed Diplomacy checks, and the winner gains the advantage.

And also then goes on to say the same thing about the third-party appeal.

The rules-as-written in the Player's Handbook, both versions, explicitly support Diplomacy-vs.-Diplomacy. So Mark, let's start with that. There it is. Your statement that I'm going against those rules is not correct.

Whatever the DM Guide says about it

I'll tell you right now, I don't know what it says, because I don't own the book. Why? Because the DM Guide is almost entirely ass. I took a good look at that book a few years ago, said, "Garbage," and familiar garbage at that. If there's some text in there about no Diplomacy-vs.-Diplomacy, then it can be considered a particular piece of kleenex stiffened by soaked, dried snot, and I have no special interest in examining it closely for its merits, considering where it came from.

Flat difficulties instead of opposed rolls

When it comes to skill checks in D&D, according to the rules, you can use either a flat difficulty or an opposed check, with no clear statements about when or why you'd do one over the other. (I suspect that Task Resolution has embedded itself so deeply into writers' brains that in this case they couldn't bring themselves to support Gamist, oppositional play in which the loser, GM or not, had to bite the bullet and cope.)

So by the rules about skill checks, I could either use the difficulties they state in that table because I preferred to use flat difficulties, or I could use Diplomacy vs. Whatever (including Diplomacy) for opposed resolution, if I prefer that instead. I prefer the latter because it's simple, clear, and playable. If I want to take NPC attitudes or previous experience with the PCs into account, I can use the Favorable/Unfavorable Circumstances rules.

So

Best, Ron
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ffilz
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« Reply #46 on: May 13, 2006, 09:47:25 AM »

Hmm, interesting bits from reading the actual text...

One thing I see, that's very interesting, that changed from 3.0 to 3.5. In 3.0, the NPC attitude table is in the DMG, and ONLY talks about using Charisma checks, NOT Diplomacy checks. And interestingly, Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved does it a third way. The attitude table is used, but the character who is being convinced subtracts his hit dice from the Charisma or Diplomacy check,

Another interesting thing I see in the skill text is an attempt to make the skills conflict resolution rather than task resolution in the discussion in retries. But again, this was changed in 3.5 (it now says "optional" for Diplomacy, and then tries to say why you shouldn't allow retries).

Certainly a lesson in the difference between the game as played/the rules as understood and the actual rules text.

What's a shame with the DMG is that half the book is actually decent, but like you say, the other half is crap. The section on experience, challenge ratings, and encounter levels is actually pretty good, and given a little bit of discretion in use of the Monster Manual allows reasonably reliable setting of challenge for combat encounters. The magic item section is also worthwhile, though granted not absolutely necessary (especially if one has a reasonable familiarity with some previous version of D&D, and you don't care that much about keeping treasure values in line). The bit on expected treasure quantities at each level is also useful in combination with the whole challenge rating system.

Frank
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Frank Filz
buzz
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« Reply #47 on: May 13, 2006, 12:11:21 PM »

Where you got the idea that my preference has anything to do with some kind of "Forge recommendation" or no-no, I don't know.

I guess I'm miss-reading the Gamism essay, then. :(

Then, when is not using the RAW not okay? I know I saw mention of that somewhere in the essays. Just when we're talking Calvinball or something?

As it happens, so far none of our skill rolls in the game have opposed any like-on-like skills. Intimidate vs. Innuendo, Diplomacy vs. Sense Motive, and stuff like that is what we've been doing. That's been an outcome of simple choices made during play, rather than a stricture.

I balked at these combos because they are not listed in the section on opposed checks in the PHB. Granted, the table there is titled "Example Oppposed Checks", so it's not the be-all, end-all. I've never seenanyone else match the various skills you've listed, and I know either of my two D&D groups would look at me funny for using them (particularly opposing Intimidate with anything other than the listed level check).

Of course, this may simply mean I need to start and Actual Play thread about my D&D groups. :)

The rules-as-written in the Player's Handbook, both versions, explicitly support Diplomacy-vs.-Diplomacy. So Mark, let's start with that. There it is. Your statement that I'm going against those rules is not correct.

You're absolutely correct. I managed to blow by that sentence when I was looking at the SRD. My bad. Apologies if I derailed the thread.
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A.k.a., Mark Delsing
buzz
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« Reply #48 on: May 13, 2006, 12:13:24 PM »

What's a shame with the DMG is that half the book is actually decent, but like you say, the other half is crap.
I'd love to see a Ron Edwards review of the current DMG. Pick it apart from a Forge perspective.
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A.k.a., Mark Delsing
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #49 on: May 13, 2006, 03:15:05 PM »

Hiya,

Hey everyone - as of this post, Mark (Buzz) has 27 posts. He has demonstrated more intellectual integrity, daring, and willingness to present his real play than nearly anyone I've ever seen, regardless of post-count.

I think this thread has probably gone where it needed to go. Mark, if you'd like, review the Gamism essay and contact me privately - that might be the best way to go with that particular conundrum you're facing.

Best, Ron
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buzz
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« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2006, 03:28:56 PM »

Hey everyone - as of this post, Mark (Buzz) has 27 posts. He has demonstrated more intellectual integrity, daring, and willingness to present his real play than nearly anyone I've ever seen, regardless of post-count.

I aim to please. The theory here (and the games; DitV, BW, and TRoS, so far) have been rocking my world.

I think this thread has probably gone where it needed to go. Mark, if you'd like, review the Gamism essay and contact me privately - that might be the best way to go with that particular conundrum you're facing.

Chris was nice enough to explain some things to me via PM, so I'm good. I look forward to more threads about your friendly neighborhood D&D game.
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A.k.a., Mark Delsing
contracycle
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« Reply #51 on: May 16, 2006, 02:59:54 AM »

I balked at these combos because they are not listed in the section on opposed checks in the PHB. Granted, the table there is titled "Example Oppposed Checks", so it's not the be-all, end-all. I've never seenanyone else match the various skills you've listed, and I know either of my two D&D groups would look at me funny for using them (particularly opposing Intimidate with anything other than the listed level check).

I found this a break myself; explicitly or implicitly, we read opposed to mean opposed of like with like.  The assumption is that they are in some sense scaled appropriately, while two differing skills might have differing scales and involve a complicated translation.  But theres no reason for this, really.

HeroWars/HeroQuest is a good read for a study in how utterly mismatched skills and abilities can be used against one another.  It mopens up huge possibilities.  I think the the like-with-like matching is a good bad habit to break.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2006, 04:20:41 AM »

Whoa! Good insight, Gareth. That distinction would never have occurred to me. I read "opposed" to mean "brought into opposition" regardless of the two entities in question. Perhaps that like-with-like reading has been a big communication-stopper throughout all kinds of discussions.

I do want to close this thread, though. Dan and Christopher and I played a third session a couple of days ago, and I'd like to post that and discuss it in its own thread.

Best, Ron
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