what check would it be?

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if i have party sleeping, including one on watch, what check would it be to see if notice ground shaking a tiny bit (from a running ogre on it's way to their camp).
The Ogre makes a Move Silently check with the penalty for running (-20) along with others for being in a 'noisy' terrain (where there are twigs, leaves, etc.).  This will tend to make the DC really low (but you actually want the Ogre to be heard, don't you?).  The one on watch should thus easily hear (a Listen check).  Those sleeping should also get a Listen check, but at penalties (I usually do -5 or -10 depending on how 'comfortable' their conditions are).  Note that for those sleeping, making a check simply means that they wake up (open their eyes).  I force an addition +5 to allow them a partial action (usually just letting them get up).  Note that those sleeping should be considered to be unarmored.
excellent info. thanks you much Cool
You may want to take a look at the listen skill and moveSilently.  The MS check is at -20 and you may even say the Ogre is making no attempt at being stealthy as thus takes 1 on its skill check.  A sleeping character gets -10 on the listen check (net -10 right now) with an additional penalty based on the distance to the ogre (I'd use the average distance away to figure this out) and if successful gets to "wake up."  All of these checks would happen to determine Surprise and who gets to act during the surprise round.

Now the sleeping character starts out as helpless but when it wakes up is will still be prone and most likely unarmed and unarmored.  A woken character can act but likely has his options restricted a bit compared to when he's ready for duty.
more excellent info StevenO. thanks you much Cool
I would let the players make listen checks with the according checks as StevenO mentioned, and then calculated how far the ogre is away, when they first hear him.
I would let the players make listen checks with the according checks as StevenO mentioned, and then calculated how far the ogre is away, when they first hear him.

I think the idea here is to make the Listen Check for the PCs and then determine how close the Ogre will get before the distance penalty drops far enough that the PCs succeed.  It's an interesting idea but not really all that helpful because how far a PC is away when he "wakes up" isn't really going to make a difference when the important thing is what turn he wakes up.


I think the idea here is to make the Listen Check for the PCs and then determine how close the Ogre will get before the distance penalty drops far enough that the PCs succeed.  It's an interesting idea but not really all that helpful because how far a PC is away when he "wakes up" isn't really going to make a difference when the important thing is what turn he wakes up.



You have a point there.
The DM can determine who has the highest skill check. This character then has its turn on the first round. Maybe from his actions arises more sound, making it easier for his companions to wake up or maybe he even wakes some of them up. But this is a good point to start and one doesn't need to throw dices every 10 feet the ogre runs to see if one of the players is hearing them.
Anyhow, from there on you can see which player then wakes up which round, according to his listen check result and the new noise level (or if he has been woken up). Thenyou can choose if you let them act in order of their skill check results or roll an initiative.

This maybe is not all RAW, but in my opinion a very good way to handle such a situation and worked well for me in the sessions where I was the DM.

Thinking about things a little more I can see how rolling listen and then seeing how close the Ogre gets before waking up could work.  This also goes back to something mentioned earlier.

You mention having the distance they hear the Ogre setting there action order.  While I don't quite agree with that I guess I can see setting a penalty to the initiative roll based on how much closer the Ogre gets between awareness events.  The person who hears the ogre and wakes up first doesn't suffer a penalty to initiative but as it gets closer from there there is an initiative penalty equal to (or at least based on) the reduction in the listen penalty.  Some people can react faster even if they get started later although the ogre does have another step or two on them.
It is a joke around here that those in the back go first in the initiative order.  They have the Dex and Improved Initiative, but the brute fighters have neither.  Let those in the rear suffer.

DM:  22, Ivory, you have risen from your sleep to the sound of something large coming down the hill.
Ivory:  Can I tell what it is?  Herbert, can you tell what it is?
Herbert:  Think it is Ogre.
Ivory:  I am not rushing out to fight an Ogre alone.  I will stay here and prepare.
[This is repeated for others.]
[Ogre moves and attacks.]
[Herbert, Stuart, and Malbor finally come up in initiative order and return the hurt to the Ogre.]
[Next round those with Dex and such finally get to do what they do best.]
It is a joke around here that those in the back go first in the initiative order.  They have the Dex and Improved Initiative, but the brute fighters have neither.  Let those in the rear suffer.
...

I think I get the 'joke' but I don't think it is always the case and wonder how it applies to this situation.

To me the Rogue is usually in the front of the party, sometimes even a round or more ahead, watching for traps and stuff.  I can see how if he's toward the back or middle of a party and the group gets jumped where he may not want to "jump out front" during the surprise round to "protect" the rest of the group but I don't see what that has to do with the sleeping party situation.


To me the Rogue is usually in the front of the party, sometimes even a round or more ahead, watching for traps and stuff.

Our rogues are back around the corner, sliding from tree to tree, or otherwise not in plain sight.  The fighters, who cannot hide, are striding forward at point.  If the fighters get worried (uh, straight corridor, look bad), they might talk the thief into coming forward and checking on things, but otherwise more worried about the opposition than the traps.  The fighters do not want the thief getting caught in a fight, because he does not have the hp or the AC to survive.  He however is useful for sneak attacks, so will engage while taking positions so the thieves can come forward and do their thing.

I tell a story about the early days of D&D.  We had gained third level and came upon a pit trap.  One of the characters told the DM that his character was falling in.
DM:  What?  You are going to take a d6 in damage.
Player:  So?  I now have the hit points to survive.
That is about the philosophy of our fighters.


Who said anything about the scouting Rogue being in plain sight?  I do see your concept but to me a rogue sneaking around the party's edges and rear may actually be in a worse possition then one in the front who expects the rest of the party to trip over him a round or two later.  If the rogue who's hiding in back gets taken out when is anyone going to miss him while the rogue who scouts ahead and then reports back every few minutes can probably expect the party to run up on whatever happens to him.  I guess I also favor the slightly tougher multiclassing "Rogue" when I play them.

As crazy as this may sound I've seen plenty of Rogues with ACs that are nearly a match if not better then the fighters.  Maybe not in the earlier editions but with 3e Armor + MAX Dex is pretty much always +8 except in the extreme cases.

Hit points and realism do have their problems, that's for sure.
 
There is a persistant problem I see of parties who simply ingore the dangers of traps because more often then not the fighters can simply brush them off or soak the damage with little thought. This to me is more of a problem with the DM's poor design then anything else, most players in my groups soon learn the real dangers of traps and why the rogue really should be scouting ahead and don't just rely on the meat shields to stomp on them.

Good traps effect the people standing behind and not the person who triggers it, the fighter stepping on the triger that fires a poisonous arrow at the Wizard in the back, or releases a huge boulder rolling down the path etc is not a popular figure for long, or when they trigger the trap a wall slides down, cutting them off from the rest of the party that is then ambushed, or are stuck in the bottom of a pit while the party fights above them. An ambush is best done when the party steps on a trap of some kind.


And ambushes rely on suprise, that means being hidden until the party is in the right place. The person with the best spot, and best chance of detecting an ambush, is the rogue, and his spot checks are wasted if he isn't scouting ahead.  


The real idea is that the rogue scouts ahead, using his sneak and hide to remain hidden while deactivating any traps and spoting the ambush ahead, undetected, then sneaking back to the party to warn them.


So we go from this scenerio:


The fighter strides along, suddenly he falls into a pit, and a group of kobolds jump out surrounding the remaining party, they get a suprise round of free attacks in, which takes down the party wizard, it will take the fighter 3 rounds to climb back out to help them. It will take another round or 2 for the rogue sneaking up in the rear, to catch up to join the fight.....

to:       

The rogue slips into the shadows quietly. He spots the Kobolds hiding in among the the shadows, they are well camaflauged but the rogue has sharp eyes, he also spots the pit trap. Surveying the scene he slides back along the corridor and stops the party. After some whispering they formulate a plane.


Shortly after the fighter comes walking along the coridor, falls into the pit and the kobolds leap out to attack the suprised wizard and cleric, firing their crossbows at them, the  wizard falls dead with an arrow to the head, quickly followed by the cleric and the rest of the party. The kobolds cheer and goto loot the corpses, but are startled when their hands pass through the bodies. Just then their leader lets out a gurgling scream and falls with a dagger in the back as the fighter charges at them from along the corridor, lit up now as the wizard is casting a spell.....


This is just a small example at how useful a rogue can be as a scout, he has both the ability to spot traps and abushes, as well as moving silently and hiding to remain unnoticed as he does so.