Role Play vs Roll to Play


August 20th, 2021

25 mins 1 sec

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About this Episode

In a game where players obsess over optimization, and DMs call for skill checks around every corner, it's important to remember that the dice aren't everything (sorry to all you who have crippling dice addictions). Sometimes the rules in D&D just don't make sense, but instead of just arbitrating some sort of ability check -- we recommend you call for a narration check.

This week, we look at how this plays out against magical traps. When a player, probably the rogue, decides they want to disarm the magical trap, the DMG says it is an Intelligence(Arcana) check to do so. But what if they aren't proficient in Arcana, or know anything about glyphs or spellcasting? Does it make any sense? Instead of just calling for the Ability check, you might instead ask a player, "Tell us how it is with your background that you think you know how to disarm this. Describe for us what you do." This may require the DM going into a bit more detail about the glyphs or the nature of the trap, so as to give the PC something to work with. What happens next will only make the game better.

We call this Role Play vs Roll to Play, and we discuss it in more depth in this week's show.

Welcome to Like Dragon Like Son, a podcast hosted by Jay and Jack Oatway where they discuss everything D&D, from character builds to personal experiences. Stay tuned for new episodes on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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