5E Is my DM being fair? - Page 7
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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelArkAngel View Post
    I've given him my arguments for keeping, stay tuned!

    Ps...i can hardly wait till I'm fourth level and pick observant or sharpshooter!

    Lol
    I would advise being gentle if it's his first DM gig. Switching from player to DM means learning new things and implementing them successfully. His reaction to these feats (and, IMHO, giving them more power than they actually convey) indicates he's struggling with how to deal with them. I guess my point is that I would recommend NOT stacking up on feats you know will only frustrate him, lol, funny as it sounds.

    Instead, work together to understand the limits of each feat, especially the "Spidey Sense" analogy. Make sure you both understand how it works and then determine if he really wants to ban it from his table.


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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eltab View Post
    No your DM is not being fair. He's changing the rules in the middle of the game.
    This is a perfectly fine thing to do. It's a long game. Some campaigns last years. If a rule isn't working it should be changed.

    That said, it sounds like the DM doesn't understand surprise and initiative like others have said.

    If everyone is aware of everyone else there shouldn't be surprise (99% of the time). Even if someone does something suddenly it should be assumed that everyone is expecting it. The character who is the first to shout that they attack should not be getting an extra turn which it sounds like is what is happening here. Otherwise, that's exactly what will end up happening.

    You also mentioned rolls for every little thing. That isn't the way 5e works either. Most of the time a character should just do it.

    You only roll if all of the following are true:

    The outcome is in doubt (neither success or failure is assured)
    There is a meaningful consequence for failure
    It is interesting

    Game time shouldn't be spent on things that aren't interesting and don't have consequence.
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelArkAngel View Post
    Here is the message from my DM:

    It's been getting kind of ridiculous. This is the third time we've had a situation where something happens unexpectedly or someone makes a sudden move, you can't be surprised ever, and then you roll a higher initiative, so it's like "This guy didn't make his move yet, but you just had a HUNCH he was going to suddenly cast Misty Step" or "PC didn't do anything yet, but you can just sort of tell that they are going to suddenly kick this guy". This isn't Diviniation magic, and you're not a Jedi, there's no way that being more "Alert" would cause you to predict events before they happen.

    Comments?

    This makes the situation makes sense. It is definitely the DM not understanding the intention of the Surprise round.

    In his mind, your DM is thinking that if the enemy is going to fire a crossbow at you and you have the feat, then that means you mystically know you are going to be shot. This is wrong. Instead, the DM should be looking at this as the guy with the crossbow is making an aggressive action and (if your Initiative is high enough) you are able to react faster.

    This is not magic. In fact this is actually pretty common in the real world. Our brains are designed in a way that we can react to a stimulus quicker than we formulate a plan on initial action. The best cinematic example of this is the old-fashioned Western Showdown. The trope is that the two duelers stand in the street waiting for the other to move, they twitch, they stare, they build tension. But what is the one thing that these moments share? The guy that makes the first move gets shot first. This is because the other guy was waiting to react.

    Back to the Surprise Action though. Spider-sense is a good way to look at it. The player with the Alert Feat has a bad feeling and is always on their toes. They feel a change in the wind, hear something different, or spot something strange. However you want to explain it, they notice the danger before the others and can act during the Surprise Round. Sometimes this means they can act before the person doing the Surprising. Think of other cinematic attacks by Assassins that hide and leap out to attack, only to have the protagonist not Surprised, but ready to counter the Surprise attack.

    Ultimately the DM is the final say during the session, but I believe your DM does not understand how the Feat and the Surprise Round are meant to function. Also, spending a Feat on anything is a big deal. Feats should change the way you play and give you something very meaningful. In this case, it might mean trivializing a big part of the game. But the DM needs to understand that this is OK and not a bad thing. He needs to let his players be good at what they specialized in. If one guy has high AC, let him get attacked a lot so he feels the value of the AC. If one guy is heavily invested in AoE, throw in a bunch of mobs for them to take out. If someone is heavily invested in Face skills, let some dialogue lead to interesting outcomes. It makes the game table more interesting and it makes the players feel good about their characters.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafrogman View Post

    As far as 'Alert', I think that as been suggested, the DM's issues probably stem a little more from unfamiliarity with the system.
    High initiatives are okay, but hardly game breaking, due to the cyclical nature.
    And not being able to be surprised is a mechanical thing, not a storytelling thing. You can still be shocked, astonished or baffled, but you still get to act regardless. That's all.
    This.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelArkAngel View Post
    Here is the message from my DM:

    It's been getting kind of ridiculous. This is the third time we've had a situation where something happens unexpectedly or someone makes a sudden move, you can't be surprised ever, and then you roll a higher initiative, so it's like "This guy didn't make his move yet, but you just had a HUNCH he was going to suddenly cast Misty Step" or "PC didn't do anything yet, but you can just sort of tell that they are going to suddenly kick this guy". This isn't Diviniation magic, and you're not a Jedi, there's no way that being more "Alert" would cause you to predict events before they happen.

    Comments?
    Ok, there are situations like this where Alert doesn't make sense, you react to something before it happens. And perhaps because you react, the trigger doesn't end up happening after all. So what did you react to?

    My response to that is that rolling for initiative, like any other roll in the game, is meant to reflect the effects of chance on events and resolve outcomes in a neutral way. For any roll, if the DM doesn't think the outcome is uncertain, it is fine to simply not roll and just say what happens. Like if you set up an opportunity to make an attack that simply can't miss, the DM can just say it hits. The DMG totally backs this up.

    Similarly, if you're in a situation where one character simply has to go first based on what is happening, just have them go first... if you like, assign them a very high initiative value. If the situation isn't that extreme but it seems like one character should have an advantage, give them advantage on the roll.

    That doesn't really nerf Alert. You still can't be surprised, whether you go first or not. And the initiative benefit should normally apply; situations where initiative isn't random ought to be fairly rare. The fact that you've seen it three times already is, to me, a lot. But it's still only once per level.

    Feel free, as a player, to argue your case... if you were about to be attacked by a sniper, maybe you caught a glimpse of the weapon just before it was fired. But if the sniper was in darkness, with a good Stealth check, and you don't have darkvision, then maybe you just let it go. In either case, let the DM have the final say, that is their job.
    Last edited by jaelis; Wednesday, 14th June, 2017 at 06:38 PM.

  6. #66
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    Is it fair... maybe but most likely not.

    is it able to be worked with...most of the time yes.

    I don't know about lucky, but over the years a few times I have asked players to tone things down (like the elf that crit on 12+ in 3.0, or the time a PC got an AC 18pts higher than the next highest PC). I have been on both sides of this...in fact the surprise question itself I have 2 examples of. I'm going to be fair to both sides here, one uses the weapon of warning, and the other alertness...

    Disclaimer ####As a DM I am pretty liberal with the word surprise... I also have a "Ask the players input" policy. So often I will ask "Do you think anyone saw that coming?" instead of defaulting to rules...####

    So 1: I had an Elf PC in a game I was running. He was a ranger with alertness. One of the big things the PCs put into the game was taking sides... so we didn't really have a good/evil divide as much as a military/non military divide between factions and PCs caught in the middle. every single time something happened that no one could see coming (me included sometimes I have crazy Players) he would argue we should roll initative and he not be surprised...

    so 2... (the funny part is this was a game where the player of the elf was running and I was the Player) we got a club of warning as an early treasure (maybe even game 1) My cleric/paladin took it and used it for the rest of the campaign... it went great until the "Teleport" attacks started... than issues came up. Bad guys teleport in and attack "Weapon of warning no surprise" so he then ruled "Fine you have your action, but you don't know where people are teleporting in" so I would bless party and rogue would 'ready a shot" than he would say "Nope never mind they see you prep and don't finish the teleport" so we argued than the weapon would not alert us...


    Both of my examples and yours comes down to this. The DM wants to surprise the PC, but can't. Sometimes that means "Well roll with it I can never surprise the PCs" but I get were that gets frustrating...

  7. #67
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    With some points taken from all of you that replied, my DM has allowed me to keep the alert feat!

    Thanks for all the great points and counterpoint everyone, it helped quite a bit!
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  8. #68
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    If your DM says he is going to take your alert feat from you...

    Just say- "I'm not surprised."


    (•_•) / ( •_•)>⌐■-■ / (⌐■_■)

    YEEEEEAHHHHHH!
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMforPowergamers View Post
    so 2... (the funny part is this was a game where the player of the elf was running and I was the Player) we got a club of warning as an early treasure (maybe even game 1) My cleric/paladin took it and used it for the rest of the campaign... it went great until the "Teleport" attacks started... than issues came up. Bad guys teleport in and attack "Weapon of warning no surprise" so he then ruled "Fine you have your action, but you don't know where people are teleporting in" so I would bless party and rogue would 'ready a shot" than he would say "Nope never mind they see you prep and don't finish the teleport" so we argued than the weapon would not alert us...
    I love it - Protection against Teleport.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMforPowergamers View Post
    I don't know about lucky, but over the years a few times I have asked players to tone things down (like the elf that crit on 12+ in 3.0, or the time a PC got an AC 18pts higher than the next highest PC). I have been on both sides of this...in fact the surprise question itself I have 2 examples of. I'm going to be fair to both sides here, one uses the weapon of warning, and the other alertness...

    Disclaimer ####As a DM I am pretty liberal with the word surprise... I also have a "Ask the players input" policy. So often I will ask "Do you think anyone saw that coming?" instead of defaulting to rules...####

    So 1: I had an Elf PC in a game I was running. He was a ranger with alertness. One of the big things the PCs put into the game was taking sides... so we didn't really have a good/evil divide as much as a military/non military divide between factions and PCs caught in the middle. every single time something happened that no one could see coming (me included sometimes I have crazy Players) he would argue we should roll initative and he not be surprised...

    so 2... (the funny part is this was a game where the player of the elf was running and I was the Player) we got a club of warning as an early treasure (maybe even game 1) My cleric/paladin took it and used it for the rest of the campaign... it went great until the "Teleport" attacks started... than issues came up. Bad guys teleport in and attack "Weapon of warning no surprise" so he then ruled "Fine you have your action, but you don't know where people are teleporting in" so I would bless party and rogue would 'ready a shot" than he would say "Nope never mind they see you prep and don't finish the teleport" so we argued than the weapon would not alert us...
    Unfortunately this reminds me of a 3.5 campaign I was running once, well mostly it was a certain player because the same "style" came up from time to time in later games including my first go at 4e, at which point he finally stopped playing (I should have really nixed it earlier). The problem being that he didn't see a "them vs us" style as a problem, and loopholes were just a tool for exploitation by player or DM (he DM'd the same way he played). It's the "arms race" mentality.

    From my experience, encouraging an arms race from players and/or DM isn't fun for anyone. It's one of the reasons a lot of us were glad to see the end of 3.5.

    Anyway, good to see our player got to keep the Feat... hopefully the DM can learn from this ongoing, because the art of being a good DM isn't especially easy. I've certainly had to suffer a DM once who wanted to shut a lot of things down and it lead to the collapse of his game; it wasn't because he was new or a bad person, he just for some reason got too carried away with trying to implement rules he felt were "more realistic", but all his players felt they were "too restrictive" and "not fun".
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