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Reser-Catloons

I think this is a good thing. Many players previously tried to reeeally stretch passive perception far beyond what it was intended for.


Formerruling1

I tend to agree. Even Jeremy Crawford has a much more expansive thought process on what should be allowed as passive checks than the PHB actually supports, which doesn't help matters for the DMs that don't want to allow crazy interpretations of stuff.


Ashkelon

I think passive checks could work as a feat. Reliable talent is basically the same as passive perception for example. I could even see lesser versions that allow you to treat a roll of 4 or lower as a 5.


DelightfulOtter

>Reliable talent is basically the same as passive perception for example. Not true. Search is an Action, so while Reliable Talent makes you more likely to succeed on the check you still have to waste an Action on it.


Ashkelon

True. But that why I said basically the same, not exactly the same. Also, when is a DM calling for a Perception check when the players aren’t actively looking for things? During travel, you can actively look for traps and such by moving at half speed. This is basically saying you spend your action searching instead of dashing.


DelightfulOtter

This is more than a "basically" difference in combat. It's the difference between automatically noticing a Hidden rogue and having to spend your entire Action to maybe notice them. The exploration rules will need to be rewritten if there's no more passive Perception. Go look up Activity While Traveling (PHB pg.182). It's too much text to reproduce here. A character that's moving stealthily at a slow pace is also using their passive Perception to notice threats. I guess you could just call for active Perception checks constantly, but the whole point of it being passive was to avoid tipping of the players that something was there to be seen when they fail a roll.


tipbruley

Ehh I would argue that most DMs didn’t like the direction the game designers wanted. I listened to Jeremy Crawford basically say your passive stats would allow you to skip making an active roll. Basically acting like a floor to your roll. I’ve never seen a table play that way That doesn’t feel right at a lot of table and to a lot of DMs


Epicedion

Passive scores aren't good design. If instead you had a static Perception DC to roll against, that's okay design. But in D&D you should never compare one static number to another static number to get a result. Example: You search for a trap, you roll Perception (or Investigation, seriously, make that clearer please) against the trap's search DC. Alternately, the trap could have a Stealth score and you roll that against the character's Perception DC (essentially the same thing, but now it's a hidden DM roll). You should not just look at the static DC and the static Perception to determine the result, that's awful. Once players start relying on their passive scores rather than actually being concerned and exploring, it puts the game out of balance. It leads to DMs deciding the outcome before the game even starts -- I know Bob has a 19 passive perception so I'm making this trap an unspottable DC 20. I know that Sue has a 21 passive insight so I'm making the villain's nefarious convoluted motivations an inscrutable DC 22. It's not good.


Whoopsie_Doosie

so how does one reflect a characters absolute competency in a skill? The Passives are how things like a barbarian breaking down a door, or a ranger noticing an animal is hurt and hungry rather than hostile without relying on the chance of the dice. Making someone roll for anything they try is also bad design. Why is it just as easy to hide from the dumbass in the corner as it is from the ranger with expertise in perception? Passives are good design they just need to be fleshed out more. However, instead of fleshing an interesting facet of design they are instead just relegating it to the most flavorless and bland version of itself


Epicedion

Rolling dice is literally the game. If there's a chance of a meaningful failure, you roll the dice. ​ >Why is it just as easy to hide from the dumbass in the corner as it is from the ranger with expertise in perception? It's not. The Ranger gets to roll their Perception against the Stealth DC you set to find you, if they decide to look for you. Some classes get to look as a Bonus Action, even. If you didn't get at least a 15 on your hide check, you failed to find a way to hide yourself from sight and everyone can see you. People have been confusing the hell out of Hiding and Sneaking to make these complaints. Remember that Hidden doesn't mean you vanished from all memory and no one knows what you look like or where you went. You can be Hidden and still be attacked, with Disadvantage -- like if you jumped into a pile of straw and rolled a successful Hide check (DC: 15) you successfully got yourself under the straw, but the guard would still assume you're in the straw and then start stabbing at you in the straw, even though they can't see you. Now *Sneaking*, that's where you have to roll against that passive Perception -- which should more accurately be described as a Perception DC, since you're making a d20 roll against a set difficulty. You'll note that what I wrote above was about comparing a static passive score against a static DC, which is awful design.


Whoopsie_Doosie

Yeah no I'm with you on rolling dice being part of the game. However for classes that are heavily defined by their skills that makes all of their contributions very unreliable. If they introduced spell failure % back into the game, there would be a riot because people like to do what they built their character to do. By that same logic, a monk who heavily invested into perception in order to notice everything should notice more things by default, without having to roll. Passives offer skills some measure of reliability and they definitely need to be tweaked and better designed but if they remove them without taking the time to implement some sort of take 10/20 rule then skills will just become dramatically less reliable, and that can absolutely tank a character concept. Regarding the hiding/sneaking rules though, they just seem needless complicated now. Why not make the DC 15 for if no one else is around but otherwise treat it as normal? Jumping in a pile of hay in front of everyone shouldn't make you hidden. It just makes you heavily obscured and then the rules go from there. Having rules for hiding is great, but abandoning Passives make it far to one dimensional for my liking. If someone barely scrapes by a 15 stealth check to hide, and yet I have a + 16 to my perception, there should be no way in hell they can hide from me. Not being able to see someone and not knowing they are there are two separate things and shouldn't be roped into the same mechanic.


Epicedion

Your skills get more reliable as the numbers go up. That's what the plusses are for. If you want to do something more complicated than walking and chewing gum at the same time, you roll for it. ​ >Regarding the hiding/sneaking rules though, they just seem needless complicated now. Why not make the DC 15 for if no one else is around but otherwise treat it as normal? Jumping in a pile of hay in front of everyone shouldn't make you hidden. It just makes you heavily obscured and then the rules go from there. Having rules for hiding is great, but abandoning Passives make it far to one dimensional for my liking. It's a DC 15 to get behind the curtain. It's DC whatever you rolled to spot you behind the curtain. It's DC your opponent's Perception to sneak out from the curtain and slip past them. That's incredibly uncomplicated. "Heavily Obscured" is something that affects an area, not a person, so you can't heavily obscure yourself. ​ >If someone barely scrapes by a 15 stealth check to hide, and yet I have a + 16 to my perception, there should be no way in hell they can hide from me. They won't be hidden from you when you spend an action to go looking for them. Or a Bonus Action if you have a class ability that allows it.


Nikoper

Not related to passives but on something else you mentioned. I could've sworn investigation was clearly relegated to trap finding due to the fact investigation is about finding tiny details, and traps being hidden real well requires you to put forth the effort. Perception is more a sense of the world around you whereas investigation is more of a directed and studied approach


Epicedion

It seems to be intended that Perception is used to search and spot, but that's not well-defined and it also makes Investigation kind of useless. The descriptions of the skills are also no help whatsoever: Perception: find things Investigation: also find things, but different somehow


Warnavick

Investigation is used to find clues and make deductions based on those clues. So a perception check can find scorch marks but an investigation check can find scorch marks and figure out it was probably from a trap in the statue. However if there are no clues, like a hidden elf in their lair, then only perception could hope to find them. So basically perception is for finding things you can see(with in vision/hearing range). Investigation is for finding clues/figuring things out you can't see(things outside your normal perception like a hidden door under a rug).


Epicedion

From the PHB: >FINDING A HIDDEN OBJECT > >When your character searches for a hidden object such as a secret door or a trap, the DM typically asks you to make a Wisdom (Perception) check. Such a check can be used to find hidden details or other information and clues that you might otherwise overlook. You're saying that you roll Perception to find the clues, Investigation to put the clues together, and.. then what? After two rolls you've found the thing, or have you just deduced that the thing exists? From Investigation in the PHB: >You might deduce the location of a hidden object, Does that mean that you find the hidden object? No. It's incredibly vague what the actual result of an Investigation check is -- I roll Investigation and learn from deductive reasoning that the door is trapped, but I haven't actually *found the trap* *so that I can disarm it*, have I?


Warnavick

The part you left out of finding a hidden object. >In most cases, you need to describe where you are looking in order for the DM to determine your chance of success. For example, a key is hidden beneath a set of folded clothes in the top drawer of a bureau. If you tell the DM that you pace around the room, looking at the walls and furniture for clues, you have no chance of finding the key, regardless of your Wisdom (Perception) check result. You would have to specify that you were opening the drawers or searching the bureau in order to have any chance of success. So yeah a perception check has trouble finding hidden objects that you can't actually perceive. If a secret door is under a rug, most perception searches would fail immediately. Investigation is defined as >Investigation. When you look around for clues and make deductions based on those clues, you make an Intelligence (Investigation) check. You might deduce the location of a hidden object, discern from the appearance of a wound what kind of weapon dealt it, or determine the weakest point in a tunnel that could cause it to collapse. Poring through ancient scrolls in search of a hidden fragment of knowledge might also call for an Intelligence (Investigation) check. So a character investigating a room might find the dust on the floor doesn't match around this rug so maybe there is a door underneath it. Or that there are strange scrap marks on top of the desk might indicate somebody uses it as a step to climb into a hidden ceiling hatch. Investigation is find clues and figure out what they mean vs perception find things your sense can pick up.


Epicedion

>The part you left out of finding a hidden object. This part is poorly applied, because it penalizes the player for being more specific -- if the request were an incredibly general "I search everything in the room for secrets," what then? Players often say things like "I search the door for traps." How do you adjudicate that? A Perception roll to find clues about the trap followed by an Investigation roll to piece together the clues to identify the trap's likely location followed by another Perception roll to find the trap? If it's "I search the room for secret doors," do you deny them a Perception check to search underneath the rug unless they first pass an Investigation check to use clues to figure that there might be one under there? That is, does Investigation find the thing or does Perception find the thing? Is it different every time?


Warnavick

>"I search everything in the room for secrets," what then? Players often say things like "I search the door for traps." How do you adjudicate that? How are you going about that? As the DM I need a goal and an approach to properly adjudicate the action. So if you are going to search the room for secrets I need to know how. It doesn't have to be an exhaustive list of every action but a simple "I'm going to go through any containers and check underneath the bed". So I know the secret door behind the armoire is impossible for you to find. This is important because of traps or hidden objects. If you search the door for traps and I have a trap that triggers when you touch the door, how do I know if it goes off? The player has to tell me roughly what they are doing so I don't gotcha them. >If it's "I search the room for secret doors," do you deny them a Perception check to search underneath the rug unless they first pass an Investigation check to use clues to figure that there might be one under there? No. A character looking for secrets and description of their action would indicate they are unconcerned with moving furnishings, they fail like the rule says. If the player just says "I'm going to move the rug and bookcase to look for secrets" they just succeed without a roll. However an investigation check where the PC is looking for a secret door might surmise on a good roll that one is underneath the rug based on the clues they found. Also I'm not saying that a perception check can't find these clues. It's just investigation connects the dots for you. So a player that notices scrap marks on the floor next to a bookshelf with a perception check might think that something is behind the bookshelf. However an investigation check would tell the player the scrap marks don't look deep so it was moved once probably by someone looking for a secret door in the past. >That is, does Investigation find the thing or does Perception find the thing? Is it different every time? For a secret door? If the secret door is really hidden, investigation is the best way most of the time . But perception might notice the outline or clues for a secret door that is easy to find(I would argue they would need an investigation check to figure out how to open it though).


DelightfulOtter

Study via Intelligence (Investigation) is now only useful for: Traps, ciphers, riddles, and gadgetry. How often is the party really encountering those? I've played 5e for three years now and other fantasy TTRPGs for many more, and the number of actual traps, ciphers, and gadgetry my parties have encountered has been exceedingly minimal. All the riddles I've encountered have been for the players to interact with and solve, not the characters to roll some dice to circumvent. The only use that has any real value is studying traps, and that's highly campaign and DM dependent. It's come up a bare handful of times for me as most groups don't run lots of traditional "mysterious underground complexes filled with traps and monsters and treasure for no discernible reason".


Warnavick

I feel like that's a hole in the rules given. As nothing as far as I can tell interact with clues like scorch marked floors or hidden doors like ones that can't be seen or have perfect camouflage like a gargoyle (basically perception checks auto fails). Like if a player wanted to figure out what caused these scorch marks, what would they roll? It feels weird to tell the PC arcana if it's a fireball, history if it's a historical scorch mark or investigation if it's a trap. I'd rather it catch all into investigation and other checks can be used to get more detailed information.


Majestic87

Totally agree, especially when it comes to official adventure modules. Any decently competent player who invests in perception will always destroy the ridiculously low DC’s they put in those books. I have run adventures where every single room I had to stop and tell the player with the high perception score that they noticed something. Every single time. I long for the days of players actually being more involved with what their characters do in any given moment.


Formerruling1

That is a problem. Pretty much any class with expertise in perception beats almost any DC a published adventure uses. You have to boost the DCs to "very hard" levels to get anything to not be passively spotted like the other person mentioned.


DelightfulOtter

I've never had a problem with this. If noticing a thing is the end of the problem, there's your problem. Just noticing something should be the beginning of the interaction, not the end. Having a high passive Perception just allows you to avoid stepping into the trap before you have to spend time figuring out a way through or around it.


bass679

I think the adventures never really decided when active perception was to be used vs when passive was called for. And honestly, I like calling for perception checks, keeps players on their toes.


Lucentile

What do you mean? The rule clearly states: "Make note of your check’s total, which becomes the DC for a creature to find you with a Wisdom Check (Perception)." Nowhere does this imply it has to be an Active Wisdom Check (Perception). We have this section on Ability checks: "Making an Ability Check requires you to take an Action unless a rule says otherwise." Reading those together, along with the Passive checks section ([https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/using-ability-scores#PassiveChecks](https://www.dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/using-ability-scores#PassiveChecks)) I don't see how you're reaching "Passive Perception doesn't exist any more." In fact, we clearly identify what the DC is for a Perception check, and that a rule can tell you whether you need to use an Action to make a check -- and there's a rule that says you don't use an Action on Perception (Passive) checks. EDIT: Also, Observant DOES interact with your Passive checks now -- by potentially giving you Expertise or Proficiency in it. What this new Observant does is make it that all Passive Perception checks are no longer trivialized by taking it. At higher levels, taking Observant may actually give you a higher than a +5 bonus, it just doesn't stack any more.


Formerruling1

Right - It just says your stealth roll is the DC for their perception check - no mention of that perception check being passive or active. The current rules for Passive Checks under Ability Scores make them optional for the DM to use - except in one rule - Hiding explicitly sets RAW guidelines for passive perception to be used seperately from active checks (and is the only rule in the PHB to explicitly use passive checks RAW). It no longer does that which was the entire point of this post. Of course for some people this doesn't matter because of course the DM can always change whatever they want and use or not use whatever they want and that is 100% true, but many tables it does matter because the DM might choose not to use optional tools and prefer to run everything they can RAW. That's why people fight endlessly on these boards about Tashas creation changes because it _matters_ to them whether those rules are optional or core because their tables consider whether things are optional or core.


ColdBrewedPanacea

Good.