New DM here, playing casually with my friends for fun during Quarantine. An interesting series of events conspired last night.
Udaron the Monk says: “looks around and notices the goliath.” (he then asks OOC for a perception check on whether the goliath looks friendly or corrupt/zombie)
I say, uh ok.
-rolls an 18-
I respond: “so as you look at the goliath, you don't really notice anything strange about him. You don't know a whole lot about goliaths, maybe never even seen one before. But as far as you can tell, he's not undead, or corrupt. He also appears to be sleeping.”
First, I was taken off guard by the PC asking outright for an ability check. Nobody at the table had done this before, and it was strange. I let him roll, since that's what he wanted to do. The way we’ve been playing, looking and observing is not something that I normally require PCs to roll for. Realistically, I imagine that if you just look at something, you would be able to tell if it's a zombie. (Maybe flesh hanging off, a certain smell, or other things that are just obvious.) If he hadn’t outright asked to roll for perception, I would not have made him do so.
In the end, he was upset because he thought his roll allowed him to glean more information from observing the goliath than I gave him.
A similar thing happened later in the same session, when he tried to persuade the innkeep to let him and the team stay for free for 3 whole months. He once again asked to roll for persuasion, and he rolled a 16. Obviously you cannot convince the innkeep to let 4 total strangers stay in the inn for free, so I (secretly) made the DC 30. He therefore failed his persuasion attempt, and was not happy.
- Should I have even allowed the PC to make the rolls?
- Should I simply have told him that a roll is not necessary and gave him the outcome of his efforts?
- Since I allowed the PC to make the roll, am I bound to letting the events play out as the roll dictates?