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I was watching this video on the Dungeons & Dragons YouTube channel of a group playing the Lost Mine of Phandelver Starter Set adventure when, during the 1st encounter (roughly 21 minutes in), a character charges blindly in the general direction of a hidden goblin.

I don’t understand how this is resolved. The DM makes a roll and says to the player that he’s looking for a 7 or 8 (as if he makes a decision here) to see if the character runs into the goblin. What’s going on here? What is he rolling for?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you provide a link of the video you're referring to? \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Feb 8 at 5:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ m.youtube.com/watch?v=hgNRe76o4_8 \$\endgroup\$ – Greg0141 Feb 8 at 5:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ It’s closer to minute 20 that he makes his charge. What has me puzzled is that he doesn’t roll at all. Only the dm. \$\endgroup\$ – Greg0141 Feb 8 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. I've edited the timestamped video link into your post, and edited the title and tags to clarify what you're asking. Please make sure I've captured the essence of your question. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 8 at 5:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ A spoilers notice would be polite. \$\endgroup\$ – JPicasso Feb 8 at 11:35
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The DM is rolling a d8 to determine which of 4 directions the PC charges in, with a roll of 7 or 8 corresponding to the direction of the goblin

Ben's answer accurately summarizes the premise/lead-in to the roll:

The Goblin was hidden, and none of the PCs knew where it was. One of the players attempted to spot the Goblin, but was unsuccessful, so the [next] player decided to charge "in the general direction". This is going off the location where they last saw the Goblin.

The DM's roll is to determine the chance of whether or not the Player finds the Goblin. There is a random chance - the player has no control over this, and this is often resolved by the DM.

In essence, Chris Dupuis's character is trying to charge at the goblin without knowing exactly where it currently is. The DM, Greg Bilsland, adjudicates whether he goes in the right direction.

The DM explains the roll you're asking about as he makes it:

You're looking for a, we'll say a 7 or 8 'cause you're kinda going off in 1 of 4 directions down the road.

It's a little hard to make out given the video quality, but the DM seems to roll a d8. This fits the explanation he gives as he makes the roll; he picks which of those 4 directions the PC goes in (or more accurately, whether the direction the character picks is the right one - he doesn't specifically explain which specific directions the other numbers correspond to).

The DM rolls a d8, and decides that a roll of 7 or 8 corresponds to the right direction. (He could just as easily have rolled a d4, and decided that a 4 corresponded to the direction the goblin was in - but a d8 is rounder and ostensibly easier to properly roll than a d4.)

And judging from the reaction of Emi Tanji (the woman sitting next to Chris), and the subsequent outcome, the DM does indeed roll the necessary number.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Got it. Thanks V2Blast \$\endgroup\$ – Greg0141 Feb 8 at 5:53
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The Goblin was hidden, and none of the PCs knew where it was. One of the players attempted to spot the Goblin, but was unsuccessful, so the nest player decided to charge "in the general direction". This is going off the location where they last saw the Goblin.

The DM's roll is to determine the chance of whether or not the Player finds the Goblin. There is a random chance - the player has no control over this, and this is often resolved by the DM. The "Seven or Eight" refers to the direction the player "chooses" being the "right way". I.e. a 1 or 2 means he heads in one direction, 2 &4 is anither direction, etc, and 7 & 8 is the right direction. Being that the player does not know this, it is a random chance.

Once the player finds him, he then is able to attack, and they roll to do so.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, given what the DM says before he rolls, and the die he rolls (which looks like a d8), I think it's fairly clear how the roll is working. The DM is rolling to determine if the player is charging in the right direction, and he says that (as he rolls the d8) he's looking for a 7 or 8 on the die since there are roughly 4 directions he can charge at along the road ahead. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 8 at 5:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's not how Passive Perception works. You don't ever add it to a roll; it's the number that someone else has to beat on a Stealth check for you not to detect them. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Feb 8 at 5:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now I’m trying to make the connection with the d8 roll. How would rolling a 7 or 8 determine if character were headed towards the goblin \$\endgroup\$ – Greg0141 Feb 8 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @New1 4 directions, and d8s are generally considered to "roll better" than a d4 \$\endgroup\$ – Ben Feb 8 at 5:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! Very helpful. I couldn’t find that explained anywhere. Is that in the PHB as far as you know ( I didn’t see mention of it in the starter set rule book) \$\endgroup\$ – Greg0141 Feb 8 at 5:36

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