My Rant (1)

This is a problem in a number of campaigns, and needs to be put to rest. Do not say “I stealth”, or “I investigate”, or “I use survival”, and expect to get very far. Always. always. always. describe to me what you’re doing. More importantly, describe how you’re doing it. Lets run through an example, first with player A and the with player B
Scenario 1
DM: “You enter the musty broom closet to find a chest, grown moldy and stale to match the air around it. Yet, even still, your arcane senses are heightened enough to detect some sort of aura about the thing”
Player A: “I investigate”
DM: “Upon investigating, you trigger a trap! an explosion of pure radiant energy bursts from the chest, dealing * rolls * 48 damage.”
Player A: “What?! You didn’t give me any warning, all I did was investigate and my character would’ve been more careful.”

At this point the game breaks down into an argument about what is just a difference in assumptions. This is no fun. If the player doesn’t fill in the gaps, the DM is left to, and players should have no room to complain afterwards if they think their character would’ve done something different. You are the character. If something different was to happen, it’s your job to narrate, or you’re obligating the DM to do it for you

Scenario 2
DM: “You enter the musty broom closet to find a chest, grown moldy and stale to match the air around it. Yet, even still, your arcane senses are heightened enough to detect some sort of aura about the thing”
Player B: “I cautiously approach the chest, edging my way into the cramped closet. Upon reaching it, I carefully run my fingers along the floor-line, just about the edges of the chest, making note not to touch the foul-smelling thing. I then, with my thieves tools, gently pry at the hinges of the chest, testing their sturdiness while checking to see if any of the metal lining has rusted.”
While not all descriptions have to be quite so elaborate, the point of these (drawn-out) examples was to make a point. Descriptions of character actions breathe life into the game and are part of what give your character personality. While you might not be comfortable with all out roleplaying, defining your actions contributes largely to both mechanical advantages (Player B definitely rolled against a lower DC or with advantage, at least), and to a better tabletop experience. * steps off of soap box *

My Rant (1)

The West Marches ACook_32