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D&D 3E
Yet another post... 
14th-Jul-2005 10:45 pm
Sorry to post again folks, but that last post got me thinking about the different interpretations of the rules. A couple questions:
1)The d20. What does the d20 represent in its various rolls? Luck? Divine favor? Whatever other cause for success or failure that I want or need it to mean? For instance, in a listen check, let us say that a character succeeds, but would have failed without the influence of the d20? What's the d20 mean here?
2)Could certain spells be considered, for the sake of storytelling, as always active but simply restricted in the real world to a certain number of uses, which could mean in the game world the character's fatigue from use of the spell? For example, if a Cleric decides to use Detect Evil, could it instead be his own spidey sense that goes off -whenever- something is within range. This makes the divination slightly more powerful in that it doesn't take a conscious decision by the player to execute, but it also might make it more dramatic. And rather than being stunned by an overwhelmingly evil entity, the Cleric melts into sweaty paranoia for a brief few seconds.

The post on combat really got me thinking about the actual importance of rules in comparison to using the rules to storytell. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.
Comments 
(Deleted comment)
15th-Jul-2005 07:59 am (UTC)
I'm just trying to rationlise the rules so that I can be a more effective storyteller, rather than just someone who spits out results to die rolls because he can't explain to himself what's going on. Get what I'm sayin'?
15th-Jul-2005 08:35 am (UTC)
The d20 is luck, that's why the luck domain lets you roll it again, because you're luckier. It's every bit or random chance that could affect your attempt.

As for your active spellthing, recently they've published a number of spells in sourcebooks called mindset spells, which allow a certain bonus for as long as they're prepared. I think I saw a bunch in Races of Eberron.
15th-Jul-2005 10:13 am (UTC)
I've heard John Tweet in person at Gen Con 2000 say "the D20 represents luck". He said it straight out. The Skill part is the bab and to hit bonus. (or the skill bonus).

15th-Jul-2005 11:17 am (UTC)
1) Human error and luck.

2) No. That's what detect evil at will is for.
15th-Jul-2005 11:35 am (UTC)
Letting clerics automatically detect evil gives them a significant power boost. You'd either have to give every other class something new as well, or take something away from the cleric, to keep it balanced.
15th-Jul-2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
To quote from the Core books:

"A skill check takes into account a character’s training (skill rank), natural talent (ability modifier), and luck (the die roll). It may also take into account his or her race’s knack for doing certain things (racial bonus) or what armor he or she is wearing (armor check penalty), or a certain feat the character possesses, among other things."

So yes, the die roll is luck. Of course if you want to define the abstract idea of luck as something mythical (which a character or race may believes) you can do that too.
15th-Jul-2005 01:27 pm (UTC)
I think the D20 represents all the random elements of the environment, divine favor, viccisitudes of the body, mood, and everything else that changes your performance from moment to moment but that it would be annoying at the least to try to set down in tabular form.
15th-Jul-2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
The D20 is a mechanic. Nothing more, and nothing less. It represents the random things that can affect a character's performance. Maybe you are really focused on the combat, so you land an exceptionally great hit. Maybe you're distracted by your friend screaming or that monster roaring in your face, so you miss. Or maybe your foot slips as you start your swing. But trying to figure all that out would be a LOT of work and slow things down. The D20 expedites all that. As a storyteller, maybe thinking about ways to describe various things that happen, instead of just giving your players the numbers, could help.

Something like:

DM: Ok, everybody roll a listen check.
Player1: Ok...I rolled a 10...and I've got +7, so that's 17.
Player2: Hey, rolled a 19...with a +5, that's 24.
Player3: 15...+4, that's 19.
Player4: Rolled a 1...so that's 5 total.

DM: Player2, you hear a growling sound coming from around the corner. For a moment, you hear voices in what sounds like Orcish. Player1, you see Player2's character tilt her head for a moment like she hears something. Player1, you're studying the stonework in the hallway.

That's basic, but you get the idea. Actually, if you haven't checked it out, the DMG2 has some suggestions about this kind of thing.
16th-Jul-2005 11:49 pm (UTC)
It can represent a lot of things depending on the situation: luck, divine intervention, human error, unforeseen complications or benefits, and so on. Just about anything you can think of. I agree with pretty much everyone above on that score.
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