Tag Archives: checks

Is it noticed? How to run alertness

Introducing the spot check In this post, I cite “spot checks” to refer to third edition’s Spot checks, Next’s Wisdom (Perception) checks, and tests of awareness made with 4E and Pathfinder’s Perception skill. The Spot skill and its descendents rate … Continue reading

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Secrecy, metagaming, and perception checks

When players roll their own perception checks, they learn something from the number on the die roll. Players with bad rolls know that their search may have missed something; players with great rolls may trust the game master’s report that … Continue reading

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Choosing which type of perception check fits a situation

Both fourth edition Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder apply a single Perception skill to all observation tasks. This cuts any confusion about which skill applies. Both D&D Next and third edition split the single skill into two or three. 3E … Continue reading

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Making aid-another checks more than a way to wring a bonus from the rules

Third-edition Dungeons & Dragons introduced the aid another action and rolls to assist a character making a check. This mechanic carried into fourth edition and Pathfinder. Typically, in a role-playing game, the game master tells the players when to make … Continue reading

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When should a game master call for a check?

In the early years of Dungeons & Dragons, players searched by telling the dungeon master where they wanted to look, and then the dungeon master told them if something was there. The game resolved most actions using back and forth … Continue reading

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How D&D Next almost made knowledge count (and then backtracked)

Have you ever seen the Antiques Roadshow on television? Folks bring in curios from grandma’s attic, and then an expert explains the history of each piece and assesses the item’s value. If the real world worked by the rules of … Continue reading

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Proficiency and bounded accuracy in D&D Next

In my last post, I wrote about how the Dungeons & Dragons Next proficiency bonus jams all the tables and rules for attack bonuses and saving throw bonuses and check bonuses into a single rising bonus. This consolidation yields a … Continue reading

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How D&D Next moves toward a simpler core game

In “From the brown books to next, D&D tries for elegance,” I discussed how the Dungeons & Dragons Next designers work toward a simpler, more elegant core game. This post describes some of the simplifications that appeared in the public … Continue reading

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In D&D Next, ability modifiers are too small for the ability check mechanic

Imagine the scene: Fastfeet the Rogue and Joe Average need to cross a rickety rope bridge before kobolds have time to drop a bolder from the cliffs above. Fastfeet, with dexterity 20, stands as the quickest halfling alive. Joe Average. … Continue reading

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