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At My Most Burned-Out in 35 Years

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I do try to remind them - "hey remember why you came here? You wanted to find the Magic X. You did that two sessions ago." I bring this up every time they complain about sessions being boring, etc.
Some of this behavior may be chalked up to computer RPGs or old styles of play where you had to explore the hell out of everything, smashing all the crates/finding all the secret doors, to get the loot and XPs. I'd push them a lot harder away from this with milestone leveling (if you aren't using it) and just telling them they've taken out the BBEG/gotten the McGuffin and have cleared everything out. And sticking to it - none of this "but we want to explore over here..." and then allowing them to just do it. Give them a quick map and summary - "and here, you find what looks like must have been a guard room, but once you did X, the guards cleared out in a hurry."
 

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TiQuinn

Registered User
Half the players are teenagers, who are leaving for college at the end of the summer. I want to stick it through for them.
People just don't play their characters smart. Even the adult RPG vets. Like the character who could've removed an enemy from the board with a magic missile but instead sent it against a fresh target. No one remembers magic item abilities. They pull out the big buff spells late in the encounter so they get little use from them.
Just stuff like that. The encounters I'm running are already at the lowest I should run for their level - and they have an extra character on top of it.

I don't quite understand the "I have to suffer for the group" POV, but I'm not the one in it. How many players do you have in this group? Is it possible for you to uninvite the problem people? Is the person who said "Other groups are having fun, why aren't we?" a teenager or an adult -- this would be someone I wouldn't want to play with regardless.
 

Meech17

WotC President Runner-Up.
Some of this behavior may be chalked up to computer RPGs or old styles of play where you had to explore the hell out of everything, smashing all the crates/finding all the secret doors, to get the loot and XPs. I'd push them a lot harder away from this with milestone leveling (if you aren't using it) and just telling them they've taken out the BBEG/gotten the McGuffin and have cleared everything out. And sticking to it - none of this "but we want to explore over here..." and then allowing them to just do it. Give them a quick map and summary - "and here, you find what looks like must have been a guard room, but once you did X, the guards cleared out in a hurry."
I've told my players that I give them gold from monsters as a short cut to this. Like would a dire rat have two gold pieces? No probably not. Rats don't do commerce or have an understanding of currency. But you did the rat room. You went in, killed the rats, and as a way to short cut the whole "Search the pots, break the window dressings, skin the rat for his hide and haggle with the rat fur hat merchant back in town" thing. We can just assume you did all of those things and the fruits of your efforts were 2gp. Congrats.

Now rather than "I dig through all the shelves looking for scraps of treasure" they instead try to be more creative about this. "Those cockatrice we fought had the ability to paralyze people. Could we harvest them for alchemical components?" And then they got to flex their skill points spent in Survival/Medicine
 

Retreater

Legend
I don't quite understand the "I have to suffer for the group" POV, but I'm not the one in it. How many players do you have in this group? Is it possible for you to uninvite the problem people? Is the person who said "Other groups are having fun, why aren't we?" a teenager or an adult -- this would be someone I wouldn't want to play with regardless.
The players with the worst strategies (i.e. using a buff in the last round, not targeting the nearly dead enemy with the magic missile, etc) are usually the adults who have been playing 10 years or more. Same thing with the complainers.
The teenagers seem to take it in stride - not expert players, but they largely remember their abilities. If they have an issue, they act recklessly to pull off plans - which at least keeps it interesting.
I have 6 players. That's only one more than is recommended for 4e - and that sixth player often misses half the session because of her work schedule.
All the players are interconnected - so I can't uninvite any of them (siblings, spouses, etc.)
 

Meech17

WotC President Runner-Up.
The players with the worst strategies (i.e. using a buff in the last round, not targeting the nearly dead enemy with the magic missile, etc) are usually the adults who have been playing 10 years or more. Same thing with the complainers.
The teenagers seem to take it in stride - not expert players, but they largely remember their abilities. If they have an issue, they act recklessly to pull off plans - which at least keeps it interesting.
I have 6 players. That's only one more than is recommended for 4e - and that sixth player often misses half the session because of her work schedule.
All the players are interconnected - so I can't uninvite any of them (siblings, spouses, etc.)
I can certainly understand that. My group is similar in the sense that I'd have a very hard time removing any one individual player. Something you could maybe try is to give some of your enemies the same powers that your players have, and show them being used more effectively. Like have the enemy shaman start the fight by buffing the enemy fighter or whatever. I wonder if seeing it used well against them would give the players a better understanding of how it works.
 

It was held on May the 4th so obviously ... Spaceballs?
I set up a few short adventures with WEG d6 Star Wars, but quickly realized after we set down it wasn't going to work. So on the fly I switched it to a resolution mechanic of "succeed if the party can make a relevant Spaceballs quote - but can use each only once." It was enjoyed, but really wore me out after all the other festivities. (I also officiated the wedding - in costume - as the Druish priest.)

I don't know. The player wasn't having a good time. I'm expecting that it's on me because ... you know, the DM controls everything.
Be happy you have that many gaming friends
 


After the complaint, I said that I was expecting them to go after (one of the logical and satisfying story beats). The only thing I can do is take away their agency and put them on a track back to the plot.
They want to stay and explore every room and hallway in adventure sites they've basically finished, having anticlimactic battles with no plot, no treasure, low XP.
This makes me chuckle -- for all the complaints about taking away player agency, it's amusing how often players seem to not really want agency.
 



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