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Old 07-24-2019, 11:27 AM   #11
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Identification rolls for mundane foes

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I don't see why the GM wouldn't have such latitude. Rule Zero exists for a reason.
Beyond Rule Zero. I don't think it's a case for an exception to the rule as much as a bad ruling. Unless it's assumed in your game that all characters went to an Adventurer's School where they were blackboarded information about trolls in a classroom, then their non-occultism or Non-Naturalist knowledge of them wouldn't make much sense unless communities are attacked by trolls often enough that more people know about the ecology of a troll than know the seasonal weather patterns. And if that's the case anyone who didn't come from one of these troll-siege regions wouldn't have any special background in understanding them.

I mean we live in a world with wild predators that are large and dangerous. If you were attacked by an elephant, would you know anything useful to take it down? Would you know how to move close to one without aggravating it into violence?
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Identification rolls for mundane foes

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I mean we live in a world with wild predators that are large and dangerous. If you were attacked by an elephant, would you know anything useful to take it down? Would you know how to move close to one without aggravating it into violence?
Everybody knows the way you stop an elephant from charging is to take away his credit cards. No roll needed.
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Identification rolls for mundane foes

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Beyond Rule Zero. I don't think it's a case for an exception to the rule as much as a bad ruling.
I'm not sure why we need to get into a discussion about hypothetical bad rulings.

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I mean we live in a world with wild predators that are large and dangerous.
Yup.

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If you were attacked by an elephant...
An elephant is not a predator. If I'm being attacked by an elephant I've made a number errors in judgement and knowledge already, not the least of which is traveling to where elephants roam wild and might attack me.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Identification rolls for mundane foes

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I mean we live in a world with wild predators that are large and dangerous. If you were attacked by an elephant, would you know anything useful to take it down? Would you know how to move close to one without aggravating it into violence?
As far as I'm aware, elephants don't have any fantasy monster weaknesses that can be accurately expressed in a sentence the way "only fire or acid can kill trolls" can be. This could easily be common knowledge on the level of "elephants are herbivores that cannot fly" is. And if troll regeneration weren't common knowledge, you force players to wonder whether the word "troll" means the Poul Anderson regenerating kind, the Tolkien "turns to stone in sunlight" kind, the Dresden Files "faerie court muscle" kind, or what. If stories of trolls turning to stone don't exist in your setting, it's silly to leave players wondering about that due to their out-of-character knowledge.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Identification rolls for mundane foes

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As far as I'm aware, elephants don't have any fantasy monster weaknesses that can be accurately expressed in a sentence the way "only fire or acid can kill trolls" can be.
There's basic stuff about behavior and capabilities that is good to know, but is probably covered by Survival, as you're probably either trying to avoid a hazard or hunting it.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:52 PM   #16
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Default Re: Identification rolls for mundane foes

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As far as I'm aware, elephants don't have any fantasy monster weaknesses that can be accurately expressed in a sentence the way "only fire or acid can kill trolls" can be. This could easily be common knowledge on the level of "elephants are herbivores that cannot fly" is. And if troll regeneration weren't common knowledge, you force players to wonder whether the word "troll" means the Poul Anderson regenerating kind, the Tolkien "turns to stone in sunlight" kind, the Dresden Files "faerie court muscle" kind, or what. If stories of trolls turning to stone don't exist in your setting, it's silly to leave players wondering about that due to their out-of-character knowledge.
Knowing that troll's can only be killed by acid or fire requires communication with people who have survived troll attacks by using acid or fire. Kind of like the hidden lore that if you shoot an elephant in the body with a shotgun it's going to be a day or so of it angrily trampling your village before it ignores the wound. The secret that Trolls turn to stone in daylight could be pieced together by anyone that's seen a petrified troll.... unless what they saw was a carved troll statue used to frighten off other monsters, in which case you're screwed. For that matter in the Imperial East Trolls might be sunlight averse but in the Lands of the Mountain Kings Trolls may be big on sunbathing. Occultism or Hidden lore would be precisely why someone would know region-specific data about monsters or be able to discern from Bard's tales and real information.

I do think there are things that you do know without a roll but they'd be very specific and GM's discretion. If you were born in a town at the edge of a forest full of Dryads you'd be warned about following strangers into the deep wood. If you live in a haunted swamp you may know a bit about the different types of undead, or maybe you just generally know that anyone who died should not be conversed with or let into the home. But in general this would be very basic and very general information geared towards survival rather than combat.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:47 PM   #17
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Knowing that troll's can only be killed by acid or fire requires communication with people who have survived troll attacks by using acid or fire.
Sure, but in a fantasy world it's perfectly reasonable to assume that such people exist and their stories have been spread widely.

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Kind of like the hidden lore that if you shoot an elephant in the body with a shotgun it's going to be a day or so of it angrily trampling your village before it ignores the wound.
I'm not sure that this is particularly hidden lore in our world. Lots of people have at least vaguely heard of elephant guns, which implies that ordinary guns won't kill an elephant. However, it's not really analogous to the troll case—it's not that elephants have total immunity to bullets less than 3/8ths of an inch in diameter or anything like that, there's a complex relationship between propellant, caliber, and shot placement that determines what happens when you shoot an elephant. The thing Monsters postulates is not that everyone knows "how to kill a troll", just that everyone know trolls can in principle be killed by burning them to death but not, say, cutting their heads off with a mundane axe.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:26 PM   #18
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I'm not sure that this is particularly hidden lore in our world.
It's also not particularly specific to elephants, it's more lore (shotguns).
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:25 AM   #19
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Default Re: Identification rolls for mundane foes

I think more comparable is the issue that shooting a charging elephant in the face [1] without specialized equipment is largely a lost cause - even more than shooting the body in a random location. The instinct when dealing with a large animal is to shoot in high value locations like the head, and an elephant doesn't have horns; a horned animal can be expected to have an extra-thick skull, but an elephant doesn't have horns to queue you in so the reinforcement in the skull can be a bit of a rude shock. Even more so if you're dealing with a modern elephant, which has short or no tusks [2].

That said, I'm sitting here with absolutely no need to shoot an elephant and I know this. I suspect I have a Dabbler perk giving me a dip into Naturalist but still...

[1] And really, with the size of an elephants head and head appendages, a charging elephant is a shocking amount of "Face".
[2] Guns have put a very strong selection pressure on elephants to not have tusks. However, tuskless bulls still have the head architecture to carry huge tusks, along with the heavy bones to carry the big muscles for grinding food, and just generally having a ridiculously big head so having a ridiculously big skull.
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