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Perception Rolls redux 
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Maukling
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Post Perception Rolls redux
I read Rigon's take on Perception rolls and have been mulling that over for a few days now. I originally had a problem with just arbitrarily basing Perception off of Wisdom alone, but I had come to terms with it. Then Rigon's post came out and it got me thinking about it again. I really like your idea, hoss, but there was a few things that I wasn't exactly on board with (just being honest here :)). The big thing for me was that there are some classes that you had listed at a CB 18 and others at a 12. While I think you did a good job sorting them, I think it's hard for me to digest why a fighter or monk (for example) couldn't be as perceptive as the ones you listed at CB 12.

So, after reading Monte Cooks's new Legends & Lore article (dealing with, as ironic as it is, perception) and adding that to some of the things you were suggesting, Rigon, I came up with something. I don't know how it would play, so any suggestions/feedback would be welcome.

I really like the thought of Perception could be based off of any of the "mental attributes" - intelligence, wisdom, or charisma. So why not a "meta prime?" Something akin to the Mental Primes of creatures. If a character has any of the mental attributes (Int, Wis, or Cha) prime, then the CB of the Perception check at 12. If they don't, then it's a base 18. This way, it doesn't preclude fighters or monks, for example, from being perceptive simply because of the adventuring vocation they chose. Of course, it does mean that there will be classes that pretty much always have perception at CB 12, but that's not different than Rigon's original idea of certain classes always being perceptive. It just changes the groups.

When the check is made, the attribute modifier is tied to the attribute that you have prime. If multiple attributes are prime, the player could add the one he/she chooses (I thought briefly about being able to add both, but that might be a little too powerful). If a character has Wisdom prime, then they use the Wisdom modifier on the Perception check. If they character has Wisdom and Charisma, they can choose whichever modifier is higher.

So, the check becomes a d20 + level + (relevant attribute modifier - Int, Wis, or Cha) vs. a CB of 12 (if character has any of the "mental attributes prime) or CB 18 (if the character doesn't). Maybe give elves a +1 to the check, I don't know.

This will tend to give more characters the ability to be perceptive, which can or cannot be a good thing, depending on if you're the type of CK that likes to hide a lot of things from the PC's. Let me know what you guys think of this, as I'm curious as to how you'd think it'd work in play.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:20 pm
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Unkbartig
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
I like this idea a lot. I have already been doing something similar, although not as defined. I have been allowing Int or Wis, whichever is best for the character. This whole Meta-prime deal has me thinking.


Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:35 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
New Haven games' Myth & Magic simply added a 7th attribute: Perception. This seems like a really compelling solution, which I'm considering adding to C&C. Perception would be rolled into mental attributes for monsters, IMO.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:49 pm
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Maukling
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Interestingly enough, redwullf, I was looking at an old White Dwarf magazine today at the used bookstore that did this very thing; they added Perception to the 1st Ed. AD&D ability score lineup. I thought about that for a minute or two. While that's possible, I don't think I'd add another attribute, personally. I think the six scores already handle pretty much whatever is necessary in the game. But, that's only my opinion. Your milage, of course, may vary.

I like this method pretty well, but I know I'm looking at it from a particluar angle and I don't want to institute this as a house rule without having you guys give me your thoughts. I'm thinking it handles most issues I've had with the perception ability in C&C.

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:22 pm
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Unkbartig
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Piperdog wrote:
I have been allowing Int or Wis, whichever is best for the character.


That's what I've settled on, with the addition that any WIS-based class or racial abilities that are perception-like (e.g., the Rogue's Listen) can use either WIS or INT, whichever is better. That cleared up my main issue, which was that I felt like it was hard to make certain characters unless I chose human as a race, just so I could have that extra prime to put into WIS.


Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:37 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Lord Dynel wrote:
I like this method pretty well, but I know I'm looking at it from a particluar angle and I don't want to institute this as a house rule without having you guys give me your thoughts. I'm thinking it handles most issues I've had with the perception ability in C&C.


The only thing I'm struggling with is Charisma for perception rolls. Wisdom, of course, is the natural fit. Intelligence - OK, I can be convinced how that attribute can apply to perception. Charisma, though? If anything, I can see Charisma being limited to "perception" checks to call out liars, bluffs, and the like...anything having to do with interpersonal observations. I don't see how it can help you find a secret door.

Having raised that concern, I can certainly see how your suggestion simplifies perception checks. "Got a mental prime? You're in business." So, from a simplicity sake, I give it a thumbs up. From an "explain to me how that makes sense, exactly" perspective, I'm struggling a bit. ;)

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Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
LD, interesting take. However, in my original thread, I came to the conclusion that the situation, plus the class will determine which CB to use. For example, a wizard in a library has a better of perceiving it than a fighter. That same fighter would have a better chance of noticing the worn spot on an opponents armor. A little more work for the CK, but more realistic.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:28 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Rigon wrote:
LD, interesting take. However, in my original thread, I came to the conclusion that the situation, plus the class will determine which CB to use. For example, a wizard in a library has a better of perceiving it than a fighter. That same fighter would have a better chance of noticing the worn spot on an opponents armor. A little more work for the CK, but more realistic.

R-


That's true. I guess that makes sense. I tend to think that someone who has a particular level of detail recogntion would have it, regardless of the environment. But that's my opinion...I guess not everyone needs to be Sherlock.

That said, couldn't conditional modifiers handle this? Give the wizard a +2 in the library and the knight a +2 when looking at the armor? That way, the knight can still be perceptive, but the wizard is better in the academic surrounding. I think that changing the CB based on the environment might make a character a hawkeye one minute and blind the next. If it works for you, R, that's cool...I'm not trying to talk you out of it. :) I personally don't like changing a character's baseline abilities - if he's perceptive, he should be so. But I'd prefer to give bonuses depending on the situation. I guess, if I look at it that way, your changing of the CB is like giving a penalty, which would be fine, I suppose. ;)

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:27 am
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Lord Dynel wrote:
Rigon wrote:
LD, interesting take. However, in my original thread, I came to the conclusion that the situation, plus the class will determine which CB to use. For example, a wizard in a library has a better of perceiving it than a fighter. That same fighter would have a better chance of noticing the worn spot on an opponents armor. A little more work for the CK, but more realistic.

R-


That's true. I guess that makes sense. I tend to think that someone who has a particular level of detail recogntion would have it, regardless of the environment. But that's my opinion...I guess not everyone needs to be Sherlock.

That said, couldn't conditional modifiers handle this? Give the wizard a +2 in the library and the knight a +2 when looking at the armor? That way, the knight can still be perceptive, but the wizard is better in the academic surrounding. I think that changing the CB based on the environment might make a character a hawkeye one minute and blind the next. If it works for you, R, that's cool...I'm not trying to talk you out of it. :) I personally don't like changing a character's baseline abilities - if he's perceptive, he should be so. But I'd prefer to give bonuses depending on the situation. I guess, if I look at it that way, your changing of the CB is like giving a penalty, which would be fine, I suppose. ;)

Honestly LD, I haven't played this yet, so your way may be easier to implament. And since I want to keep things simple, why not pick the easier way. I'll have to give it thought.

R-

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:47 am
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Lord Dynel,

I like this idea of perception checks as well. I think I will give it a try, when I get my C&C game running again.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:52 pm
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Maukling
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Aladar wrote:
I like this idea of perception checks as well. I think I will give it a try, when I get my C&C game running again.


Thanks, Aladar! If you do try it out, I'd be interested in finding out how it went.

Rigon wrote:
Honestly LD, I haven't played this yet, so your way may be easier to implament. And since I want to keep things simple, why not pick the easier way. I'll have to give it thought.

R-


No, I understand Rigon - I haven't tried out my method, either. I was just looking for an easy way to implement some perception rules that wouldn't totally rely on wisdom, but wouldn't exculde wisdom-prime characters. When you mentioned that perception could be tied to all mental attributes, that got me thinking. To be honest (and no disrespect intended, good sir), I didn't like the idea of certains classes being predisposed as perceptive and others not and I wasn't too keen on averaging of the attribute modifiers for the check. The logic behind it I did like though. And so my idea took shape.

In theory I like them, but in practice they might not work so well. I appreciate all the feedback so far. :)

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:07 am
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Lord Dynel wrote:
Rigon wrote:
Honestly LD, I haven't played this yet, so your way may be easier to implament. And since I want to keep things simple, why not pick the easier way. I'll have to give it thought.

R-


No, I understand Rigon - I haven't tried out my method, either. I was just looking for an easy way to implement some perception rules that wouldn't totally rely on wisdom, but wouldn't exculde wisdom-prime characters. When you mentioned that perception could be tied to all mental attributes, that got me thinking. To be honest (and no disrespect intended, good sir), I didn't like the idea of certains classes being predisposed as perceptive and others not and I wasn't too keen on averaging of the attribute modifiers for the check. The logic behind it I did like though. And so my idea took shape.

In theory I like them, but in practice they might not work so well. I appreciate all the feedback so far. :)

No offense take, my good man. And I think, in practice, your method is far more simple. I'll have to try them both out, to see which one I like best.

R-

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:38 am
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
I really like the Idea of Meta for Intelligence and wisdom. Not a big fan of using charisma for perception. I use charisma for willpower rolls rather than wisdom so I think its fair.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:35 am
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
I liked the choose int or wis way. but i have never really liked any method of perception check.
I see perception checks as the lazy mans 'did i miss anything important' roll.
Players seem to use it instead of asking questions about the environment.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:45 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Dead Horse wrote:
I liked the choose int or wis way. but i have never really liked any method of perception check.
I see perception checks as the lazy mans 'did i miss anything important' roll.
Players seem to use it instead of asking questions about the environment.


I agree, in some cases, DH. I try not to allow "lazy" checks to be made. This happens to me when I throw a social situation out there, or something like a puzzle. I have certain players in my group that have no aptitude for them and want to handwave the test using "well my character would be more analytical/socially adept/smarter/etc than I would...can't I just roll?" But these are cases that I try to adjudicate, cases where I get the say on whether or not a check can be made. I think the same can be applied to perception checks, too. If a PC walks into every room, talks to a NPC, or is just looking around and the player says, "Okay, I'm in the room/talking to the NPC/looking around...I roll a perception check. What do I see?" without making an effort to interact with the environment, then his result will be not as effective as the PC who do goes in and interacts. Either that, or I'll tell him straight out that there's nothing initially applicable with a perception check.

I do understand your concern. I deal with that every session. While I try to promote interaction with the environment, I also try not to discount the character's abilities to do things, either.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:18 am
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
I mostly use perception checks for combat, Or I should say right at the beginning of combat. See if some one is surprised or not. Once had a rogue roll so well on a perception roll that he surprised the assassin that was trying to surprise attack a party member. I also like to use a perception check as a plot device to put the players on edge. Often asking for a check makes them nervous, Especially when walking down a dark path with deep woods on both sides. I can describe snapping branches or shuffling sounds. But calling for a perception check implies there is something there to be seen, Even if its just the wind rustling a branch.

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:14 pm
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Post Re: Perception Rolls redux
Dead Horse wrote:
I liked the choose int or wis way. but i have never really liked any method of perception check.
I see perception checks as the lazy mans 'did i miss anything important' roll.
Players seem to use it instead of asking questions about the environment.


Rgr on that, but that is why I always had my players (back when I was actually able to play) roll first before I tell them about what they see etc. If they make the roll they get that little hint that will help them out. If they fail the roll then the get to fumble through the scenario on their own. Even if they pass the roll, if they don't get the hint or use the extra bit of info I give them, they will still have to fumble around. Something like this, a failed roll, "you enter the mages library and are overwhelmed by the stacks of books, scrolls, and miscellaneous paraphernalia cluttering the room". A passed roll, you enter the mages library and are overwhelmed by the stacks of books, scrolls, and miscellaneous paraphernalia clustering the room. However, your eye catches a hand full of books with unique markings or that look out of place or special scattered around the room." It doesn't even have to be the wizard that notices it. A fighter walking in the room with the mage, if he rolls high enough, can pick up on the clues.

Of course this can be extended to almost any scenario (noticing the chink in the dragon's armor, noticing the holy symbol turned wrong on a specific statue, etc)

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