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D&D 5E As a Player, why do you play in games you haven't bought into?


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I try to stick to my guns on restrictions unless they become redundant - an example is in my previous campaign I initially banned Monks, but by halfway through I had redesigned the class from the ground up and so I found an in-fiction means of introducing them so they could get a run out and I could see if the redesign stood up.
I think my "problem" is that I like to try out a lot of ideas. Some of them don't work well in actual play.

For example, in THEORY, I like the idea of making spell components matter and building adventures around finding spell components. But in PRACTICE, players don't like the bookkeeping and I've got enough on my plate as a DM that I basically let it slide for except for components with a price. INSTEAD, I've found that adding a subsystem where players can harvest components from rare and unique monsters, etc. that will give special boosts to spells to be far more rewarding. While there is bookkeeping, it is basically entered as a consumable in D&D Beyond, like a potion. They are also more rare. Like potions you save them for when they mater. But the same never seems to work with components for day to day spell casting, even with digital tools. having to find and track adders stomachs, powdered rhubarb, bits of sponge, etc. for frequently-cast spells quickly wears thin. Best to keep the component quests for creating magic items, special potions, etc. any only every few sessions. Maybe it is fun (for some people) to run around picking flowers all day in CRPG, but in a TTRPG, I find it is best to treat components like personal hygiene and defecation. You just assume its going on in the background. No need to spend IRL time role-playing it.

I've got a lot of rules like that. Seemed fun until they hit actual play. But I still try different rules because occasionally they turn out to work surprisingly well, like XP for GP.

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100,000% agree with you on this. It happened to a PC of mine multiple times. But, that was a specific group and a specific problem.

And I guess no PvP is a bad way to put it. One of my most successful sessions once involved quite a bit of player character conflict, but.. everyone knew and agreed to the stakes? I'm not sure how to phrase it.

It wasn't one player slitting the others throat, or a sudden betrayal, but a conflict where both parties agreed on the meta-level that a fight was likely and that they were both okay with that outcome.


Honestly, I think its one of those things where the more broad "Remember that you're not just there for your own enjoyment" covers a lot of it; if you're looking at whether something you do is going to improve the game for everyone, or just doing things for your own satisfaction (even if its in terms of staying in character being important to you) it'll avoid a lot of problems that blanket prohibitions don't really do, because they just leave open other problems. But it does require people to look outside just their own play.

I get Hussar’s point. If I were running a very thematic game (such as Ghosts of Saltmarsh), I would expect players to buy into the theme. I would tell the players up front that GoS has a nautical theme and that characters should be built with that in mind.

I would expect:
  • Backgrounds with a nautical bent (Sailor, Artisan (woodworking), Folk Hero (but with Vehicles (Water);
  • Classes with a nautical bent (Storm Sorcerers, Coastal Druids, Rangers with a Giant Crab beast, GOOlocks (Cthulhu); OR
  • Characters refluffed to match the theme (Bladesinger with a harpoon, Bard specializing in sea chanties, Rogue who works as a smuggler, Fighter who wants to found a merchant empire).

If instead every single character was completely generic and could be slotted in any other 5e adventure, I would be pretty disappointed. I would also wonder if it was really worth it running a themed adventure with this group if they are just going to ignore the theme.

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