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It's pretty frustrating to see that d20 appear over your head and then you fail the check. And then you have everyone else in the party come over and they also fail their checks. You know that something is going on there (which you probably shouldn't), but no amount of digging through things will let you find it (which it probably should). This feels really bad.

A couple of rough ideas that could be useful in some combination:
1) I'm sure someone has said this before, but don't show the die rolling - just tell the player if they succeed. That way, you don't know what you're missing. Maybe have that check trigger from farther away so all of your characters are more likely to hit it by accident (since you won't know to bring them over).

2) The hidden switch is always present, but there are things obscuring it. A successful perception check will call attention to the fact that the stack of crates (in front of the switch) is oddly far away from the wall, but doesn't actually show you the switch. It's up to you to put in the final bit of work to find the switch. Messages could be proportional to how good your perception check is, i.e. No information at all vs. "Something about the size of this room isn't right." vs. "Something with that wall isn't right." vs. "There's probably a hidden room behind that part of the wall. That bookcase is oddly conspicuous."

3) <this space reserved for the idea that I forgot while typing up the other two>

There is a sliding bookshelf in a basement somewhere - I forget where exactly, where the perception check tells you about the scratch marks on the floor, but nothing about the mechanism to open it. I think the switch is always present behind a nearby stack of crates? This feels like a decent intermediate success clue. Most of the other perception checks don't seem to work this way, though.

Last edited by grysqrl; 17/10/20 05:09 PM.
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I don't like it, I feel like I should just be able to look again.

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Originally Posted by grysqrl
It's pretty frustrating to see that d20 appear over your head and then you fail the check. And then you have everyone else in the party come over and they also fail their checks. You know that something is going on there (which you probably shouldn't), but no amount of digging through things will let you find it (which it probably should). This feels really bad.

A couple of rough ideas that could be useful in some combination:
1) I'm sure someone has said this before, but don't show the die rolling - just tell the player if they succeed. That way, you don't know what you're missing. Maybe have that check trigger from farther away so all of your characters are more likely to hit it by accident (since you won't know to bring them over).

2) The hidden switch is always present, but there are things obscuring it. A successful perception check will call attention to the fact that the stack of crates (in front of the switch) is oddly far away from the wall, but doesn't actually show you the switch. It's up to you to put in the final bit of work to find the switch. Messages could be proportional to how good your perception check is, i.e. No information at all vs. "Something about the size of this room isn't right." vs. "Something with that wall isn't right." vs. "There's probably a hidden room behind that part of the wall. That bookcase is oddly conspicuous."

3) <this space reserved for the idea that I forgot while typing up the other two>

Perception checks are terrible. Hard to believe that of Baldur's Gate games did it so much better. It is really bad when one of your party members finds something but you can't find what it is, but it's worse when its a trap


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When I DM I like a two part solve for some of these situations.

1. Low DC perception check. You are in a library, perception check. You don't notice anything about the book cases, but a pile of books next to the desk looks like it hasnt been moved in years. You push the stack, it doesn't move.
2. Investigation check - higher DC, takes longer as well (usually assumed 15 minutes for an investigation check, important when in dungeons or areas with roaming / patrolling creatures). Rotating it all the way to the left and all the way to the right should disengage the bars holding the book case in. If you fail the check:
- It appears to be able to rotate. Do you want to rotate it left or right?

and then they work through it with a chance of success by luck or they can also release the cloud of daggers, 5th level, that is built into it as a magic trap.


What is the problem you are solving? Does your proposed change solve the problem? Is your change feasible? What else will be affected by your change? Will your change impact revenue? Does your change align with the goals and strategies of the organizations (Larian, WotC)?
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Originally Posted by Orbax
When I DM I like a two part solve for some of these situations.

1. Low DC perception check. You are in a library, perception check. You don't notice anything about the book cases, but a pile of books next to the desk looks like it hasnt been moved in years. You push the stack, it doesn't move.
2. Investigation check - higher DC, takes longer as well (usually assumed 15 minutes for an investigation check, important when in dungeons or areas with roaming / patrolling creatures). Rotating it all the way to the left and all the way to the right should disengage the bars holding the book case in. If you fail the check:
- It appears to be able to rotate. Do you want to rotate it left or right?

and then they work through it with a chance of success by luck or they can also release the cloud of daggers, 5th level, that is built into it as a magic trap.


I like this. You have a very high chance to notice an area where there's something to find, but the checks are a way to do some of the heavy lifting and remove some of the guesswork.

Last edited by grysqrl; 17/10/20 05:26 PM.
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Passive perception checks feel weird because they're not passive. I agree with Abits, Baldur's Gate did it better with finding traps/secret doors.

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Honestly, aside for the discussion of "dice roll (BG3) vs flat skill check (BG2)" (where I can see merits and flaws in both systems) I simply liked more the way BG2 visualized the discovery of a trap/passage/hidden treasure.

Last edited by Tuco; 17/10/20 05:34 PM.

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I also feel like if someone in your party passes a perception check and spots that a gargoyle head is a fire spitter, you should not need to roll a perception check for each individual gargoyle head. That's a DC 5 intelligence check at best. Once you have spotted one of them, it's easy enough to spot all the others as well.

Raise the DC check to spot any of them, sure, but once you spot that, reveal all the gargoyle heads as traps.

The floor vents are different, because they're concealed in the floor, not obvious on the wall, and they could potentially be in all sorts of different places.


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I'd be wary of turning passive Perception checks into another 'I roll to disbelieve' show, or go back to rolling 'Spot Hidden' for every 5' of floor space.. If your character notices a feature out of place then you get to act on it; if they don't, well there's 'obviously' nothing unusual about the feature in question. It's not like the average character is going to be performing an active and thorough search of every inch of a house or room.

I do agree with Stabbey, though, that finding a particular trap or loose panel will make you more likely to search for a similar hidden feature in similar-looking architecture. A reduction of DC would make that logical, as would the option to actively search that area.

Last edited by Sadurian; 17/10/20 05:51 PM.
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Torn between knowing if a roll was made or not. I don't mind the randomness on if you succeed, but by informing me I failed, I know that I should reload until I succeed (I KNOW there is something there, just need it to be revealed, versus I never knew in the first place. This is like saying "there is something hidden roll to find out if you notice there is something hidden"...but you just told me it was hidden!)

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Showing that you failed is Larian's way to taunt you for lowering your WIS.

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Originally Posted by Sadurian
I'd be wary of turning passive Perception checks into another 'I roll to disbelieve' show, or go back to rolling 'Spot Hidden' for every 5' of floor space.. If your character notices a feature out of place then you get to act on it; if they don't, well there's 'obviously' nothing unusual about the feature in question. It's not like the average character is going to be performing an active and thorough search of every inch of a house or room.


This...

Last thing I want to do as a player is press some frikkin' button every 5 meters because there might be something there.

Originally Posted by CMF
Torn between knowing if a roll was made or not. I don't mind the randomness on if you succeed, but by informing me I failed, I know that I should reload until I succeed (I KNOW there is something there, just need it to be revealed, versus I never knew in the first place. This is like saying "there is something hidden roll to find out if you notice there is something hidden"...but you just told me it was hidden!)


I think it's part of player agency with what to do with their game - if some want to savescum until they succeed it is their prerogative, IMO.

Last edited by Gaidax; 18/10/20 10:31 PM.
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Just make it same as in work in P&P.
Stealth passive perception check, with only success been revealed.
If player suspect something in there he my attempt single perception check, or multiple investigation checks. Just as above - only success been revealed.

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A thought:

Hide the 'perception failed' popup to avoid player metagaming, but keep the 'perception success!' result.

At a 'perception success' result, have the camera FOCUS on the thing that was revealed for a short amount of time OR make it's glow last longer; more often than not, with me looking ahead for threats, a perception will succeed, I'll hear 'Oh , that should be worth checking out', only to scroll back and have no idea what was revealed because it was a: too small or b: isn't an obvious difference in the scene.

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Originally Posted by Mister Monster
A thought:

Hide the 'perception failed' popup to avoid player metagaming, but keep the 'perception success!' result.

At a 'perception success' result, have the camera FOCUS on the thing that was revealed for a short amount of time OR make it's glow last longer; more often than not, with me looking ahead for threats, a perception will succeed, I'll hear 'Oh , that should be worth checking out', only to scroll back and have no idea what was revealed because it was a: too small or b: isn't an obvious difference in the scene.


In BG1 and 2, there was an option in the menu to auto-pause the game when spotting something passively. It's a bit weird that you often spot a trap and then immediately trigger it in BG3.

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Originally Posted by Mister Monster
A thought:

Hide the 'perception failed' popup to avoid player metagaming, but keep the 'perception success!' result.

At a 'perception success' result, have the camera FOCUS on the thing that was revealed for a short amount of time OR make it's glow last longer; more often than not, with me looking ahead for threats, a perception will succeed, I'll hear 'Oh , that should be worth checking out', only to scroll back and have no idea what was revealed because it was a: too small or b: isn't an obvious difference in the scene.


+1

This is a simple fix that would go a long way. No reason to create dissonance between the player and character

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My gripes with them is that I have no idea what I am checking for, is it a trap? A secret container? A lever? An invisible enemy? I know there is something, but I can not point my finger at it.

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Originally Posted by VincentNZ
I know there is something, but I can not point my finger at it.

...but do you really know?..

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I think that's the point. 'Something' seems odd and out of place, but until you investigate (i.e. interact with the object) you don't know what it is.

I agree that the guilty object out to be more obvious, though. Maybe 'waves' emitting from it, or a 'spotlight' effect that is easier to see than just turning it blue. Nothing that lasts too long, but long enough that you can identify where the (previously) hidden object is.

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Originally Posted by CMF
Torn between knowing if a roll was made or not. I don't mind the randomness on if you succeed, but by informing me I failed, I know that I should reload until I succeed (I KNOW there is something there, just need it to be revealed, versus I never knew in the first place. This is like saying "there is something hidden roll to find out if you notice there is something hidden"...but you just told me it was hidden!)


Originally Posted by Redwyrm
Just make it same as in work in P&P.
Stealth passive perception check, with only success been revealed.
If player suspect something in there he my attempt single perception check, or multiple investigation checks. Just as above - only success been revealed.


Originally Posted by Mister Monster
A thought:

Hide the 'perception failed' popup to avoid player metagaming, but keep the 'perception success!' result.

At a 'perception success' result, have the camera FOCUS on the thing that was revealed for a short amount of time OR make it's glow last longer; more often than not, with me looking ahead for threats, a perception will succeed, I'll hear 'Oh , that should be worth checking out', only to scroll back and have no idea what was revealed because it was a: too small or b: isn't an obvious difference in the scene.


This. I would like to know of the roll only if it was a successful one. Otherwise you fall into metagame trying your luck with every character and animal companion in your party, it's ugly to see. If I failed to notice something why should I be able to call all of my pals to make them do the same check?

Last edited by Sharet; 19/10/20 09:04 AM.
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