[RPG] Cutting Words timing when playing online


Lore Bard's Cutting Words feature states the following:

Also at 3rd level, you learn how to use your wit to distract, confuse, and otherwise sap the confidence and competence of others. When a creature that you can see within 60 feet of you makes an attack roll, an ability check, or a damage roll, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die and subtracting the number rolled from the creature’s roll. You can choose to use this feature after the creature makes its roll, but before the DM determines whether the attack roll or ability check succeeds or fails, or before the creature deals its damage. The creature is immune if it can’t hear you or if it’s immune to being charmed.

What exactly does that mean. At what time do I have to say my DM I interrupt them?

When playing at a table, my DM usually goes this way: "The goblin attacks [player character] with their bow and [rolls] hits". I can hear the dice roll and I say I want to know the result in order to decide if I want to use Cutting Words.

Now with the current sanitary situation, we play online. The DM rolls physical dice and seems to do all the computation ahead since they have our ACs registered. And the "roll" pause in the sentence is not happening anymore: "The goblin attacks [player character] with their bow and hits". So there is no pause anymore between the description of the action and its result. This basically forbids me to use my Cutting Words.

So what is the exact timing where I can interrupt the DM, online, and use my Cutting Words?

Best Answer

You need to talk with your DM

How Cutting Words work is very dependent on the DM and their playstyle. There is no hard and fast always-on, every table consistent ruling here, so you need to talk with your DM about what works for you and for them.

Since you say that they are rolling physical dice and not digital, that treats it actually more like a DM who rolls behind their screen at a table. You can ask them to either tell you the physical roll, or tell you if it's in range for cutting words to do something, or come up with a different and personal solution that works for the table.

But you do need to communicate and talk it out. This is a core feature of the Lore Bard and coming up with a system that's fun for everyone and agreed upon is the priority.