Page 1361 - Garbage Rolls

7th Apr 2020, 6:00 AM in Guest Arc: Equestria Girls
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Garbage Rolls
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 7th Apr 2020, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Author: GreatDinn

Guest Author's Note: "Despite all the general categories D&D skills give you, it sure does feel like they don't cover nearly enough. There are many a time where I'm DM-ing and a challenge comes up, and I have zero clue what the proper skill would actually be. It's even worse when the process is clearly something that requires some skill, and a raw stat is just not acceptable. It's one of those things that you have to sort of play by ear, and discuss with the players. It almost turns into a game in and of itself, sometimes. 'Can you justify to the DM why this is an Athletics check?' complete with point and counterpoint by the other players.

Honestly, I'm glad that those situations pop up, troublesome as they can be. They usually lead to interesting and or hilarious arguments. If nothing else, it gives you a chance to see how your players or DM think about the game world, and the mechanics.

Which is useful blackmail for future games!

Story Time: What's the worst justification you've seen for a skill being used on a check?"

Newbiespud's Note: After three months of insanity, I'm finally back in the GM seat for session two of our Stars Without Number campaign (with a twist), Voyages of the Takeout!
Session 2 - Weekend at Denny's: Podcast | Video
(Pop-out)

21 Comments:

Mr. Guy 7th Apr 2020, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
A guy trying to replace 'Knowledge(Nature)' to identify a monster with 'Ride' in Pathfinder. He justified it because the creature was described as 'horse-like'.
Wulfraed 7th Apr 2020, 7:39 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like a perfect time to spring the equivalent of an each-uisge on said player...
Kaze Koichi 7th Apr 2020, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
This is Maid the RPG in a nutshell. Every move the players do, demands from GM to decide what stat to use for the skill check. It work the other way: if players want to use a favorable stat, they need to be creative with their roleplay: "so, I'm cooking... (oh crap, my skill stat is garbage!)... I'm cooking with love. I... I make extra effort to decorate the dishes with cute hearts, and I write the master's name on it (please say I use charisma for that!)"
hankroyd 7th Apr 2020, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
A classical for me is players justifying using STR for diplomacy check.

So I have to remind them AGAIN: breaking their bones until they agree with whatever you say is NOT negociations!
Jannard 7th Apr 2020, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
Why so hellbent on that, tho? There's always the "I try to use my strength to intimidate them" route. I guess some people don't like the idea of intimidation on paper even if they then practice it all the time; a "having the cake and eating it" kind of situation.
CrowMagnon 7th Apr 2020, 3:22 PM edit delete reply
Intimidate is a different skill, and has a different tone than persuading someone to agree with your position. If you intimidate them into doing what you want, that can work short term and may be the best option in a given situation. But if this is a character you're going to be dealing with for a while, then there's a good chance it'll sour your ability to work with them in the future.
Robin Bobcat 7th Apr 2020, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
I will note that 4th Ed had some feats that let you use Intimidate instead of Diplomacy or Bluff.

I was playing a gnoll barbarian. I may have giggled a bit at the idea of them being at a fancy dinner party...
Warlock 7th Apr 2020, 4:55 PM edit delete reply
This is why fantasy flight Star Wars had a module with a unique ruling for those types of situations: In one of their modules, a person had to fly a ship in a search pattern. Typically, it'd be [Pilot: space] using [Agility]; however, in lieu of that, they use [pilot space] using [cunning], as it's not likely to be a difficult piloting check for maneuvering, but rather difficult to fly such precise lines without going astray.

Since then, I've used that type of logic. Want to intimidate, but have poor charisma? give me a reason why I should substitute another modifier. This line of thinking helps in those odd situations, such as ballet. It's a perform, but charisma is more of force of personality. So why not perform using the dex modifier instead?
Dakkath 7th Apr 2020, 11:35 PM edit delete reply
Str to Diplomacy sounds like Major Armstrong from Fullmetal Alchemist.
Scissors Rock Paper 8th Apr 2020, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
I have to disagree. Hurting me until I say yes does get you what you want.
Next time you come to negotiate, though, I'll have someone "representing my interests" so to speak.
D&D 5E has a variant rule where you can add your proficiency if it's a logical skill you would have. If the fast talker can't get the NPC to agree, the barbarian will. A guy punching a hole in the wall is pretty intimidating if you ask me. Plus it adds some character to the... characters.
Guest 8th Apr 2020, 11:15 PM edit delete reply
There's a reason Intimidate is a skill. It's easy to scare people, but scared people are stupid and unpredictable. They're less likely to do what you want, and more likely to behave erratically, lash out at you, actively do something they think is counter to your plan, etc. even if it is plainly not in their best interest to do so. Intimidate doesn't just scare them, it scares them into *compliance,* and that takes skill.
SanneNC 7th Apr 2020, 12:10 PM edit delete reply
In my old group, our group failed every possible knowledge check while trying to identify a mysterious book we picked up in a dungeon, so our sorcerer tried to use Sense Motive on it.

I don't think even he had a justification for that other than desperation.
Scissors Rock Paper 8th Apr 2020, 1:51 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like the book had something to hide.
Anon 7th Apr 2020, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
There have been a few times in 5e where I've missed 4e's "streetwise" checks. There isn't really a good equivalent for it in 5e's skills that I've found, so I usually end up going with perception or history, which isn't quite the same niche.
Jannard 7th Apr 2020, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
Been there. As a DM I usually default to asking for Investigation checks in those cases.
Anvildude 7th Apr 2020, 2:55 PM edit delete reply
Dungeoneering, too. Like, sure, you could use Perception to find traps. But Dungeoneering would be the sort of thing you'd use to know _what kind_ of traps they _might_ be. You could use it for rope usage, or figuring out camping spots in caves, or cobbling together and using something to hit a switch on the ceiling, or all sorts of other general non-magic Adventurer-style stuff.
DuoScratch 7th Apr 2020, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
I like 5e, but I hate the neutered skills. I much preferred Pathfinder's skill system.
Kalan 8th Apr 2020, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
So, this was in a New World of Darkness homebrew Space Marines game, so a bit different, but I was playing a scientist with a mechanical specialty in Chemistry. Some situation came up where there was an NPC to be charmed / seduced over to our side, so I stated my intention to flirt with her and asked "Does my specialty in Chemistry apply?", with an eyebrow waggle and finger guns if I recall correctly. There was much groaning. I'm very proud of it because the moment has merited a re-telling at almost every other game I've been in with the same ST.
Scissors Rock Paper 8th Apr 2020, 1:55 AM edit delete reply
Now I can't stop thinking of that Order of the Stick comic where Elan gets a bonus for making puns.

Inspired me to give bonus psychic damage on a hit if a player says something funny or groan worthy.
Godzfirefly 9th Apr 2020, 4:05 AM edit delete reply
A DnD 4e podcast that I listen to has the players constantly trying to use skills for things they aren't designed for during skills challenges. They call it "diplomacizing the horses" after a player during a chase scene was wildly casting about for something effective to do on their turn during the chase scene...he wanted to use Diplomacy to encourage the horses to run faster. The DM didn't go for that.

The second most common attempt comes less from a player seeking something to do with unclear options and more from that player just REALLY wanting to use their History skill. To that effect, he is constantly trying to say he got some piece of knowledge or an ability to do a thing in his University days and wanting to roll history to remember that info or do that thing. At which point he is reminded that "History is not the same as memory."
Digo Dragon 10th Apr 2020, 1:35 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I've watched two players manage to get a stalled car started with intimidation and Strength. Fists and insults apparently do work if you roll high enough!