At My Most Burned-Out in 35 Years

One of those players later complained about how another group she knows about is having a great time, roleplaying and doing interesting things. While we just fight and don't accomplish anything.
...
I just hate it when people say they don't like the game but expect me to push them into the fun every time.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but Have. You. Stated. This. To. Them.?
 

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TiQuinn

Registered User
During the fight, two of the players began texting each other about how difficult it was and how they should just run away. One of those players later complained about how another group she knows about is having a great time, roleplaying and doing interesting things. While we just fight and don't accomplish anything.

That’d be it for me. Doneso. Bye folks. Tell them to write their own ending to the campaign and come back here next week and read them all to their damn selves because I won’t be there.
 

Retreater

Legend
I hate to sound like a broken record, but Have. You. Stated. This. To. Them.?
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.
 

Meech17

WotC President Runner-Up.
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.
Do you tell them they finished the adventure site? Just say "Hey gang, good job. The goblins are all dead, the gold is all looted." Some people will claim it breaks verisimilitude but I think it's an often better option than dawdling.
 

Osgood

Hero
During the fight, two of the players began texting each other about how difficult it was and how they should just run away. One of those players later complained about how another group she knows about is having a great time, roleplaying and doing interesting things. While we just fight and don't accomplish anything.
I mean, in the previous session the mayor was assassinated, and I suggested they follow up on that - maybe try to find the killer, see what's going on at Town Hall, talk to the people behind it, follow up on leads about a potential plan to invade the town. But they wanted a combat with mindless undead, so they got to choose that.
I suppose you could run thing on "easy mode" and offer gentle suggestions that one course of action or another may not yield the results they expect... But perhaps these players just need a tough love wake up call. Remind them that they are adults (assuming they are) and as such, they--not you--responsible for their own choices (and entertainment). If they aren't having fun in your game, then they should go join another.

If nothing else, I think you'll be happier not dealing with these people!
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
Do you tell them they finished the adventure site? Just say "Hey gang, good job. The goblins are all dead, the gold is all looted." Some people will claim it breaks verisimilitude but I think it's an often better option than dawdling.
This. Some players will turn every tile and search every corner in search of secrets and treasure. Especially in editions where stripping out the copper is rewarded. Once the point is reached just empty every room and move on.
 

Retreater

Legend
Do you tell them they finished the adventure site? Just say "Hey gang, good job. The goblins are all dead, the gold is all looted." Some people will claim it breaks verisimilitude but I think it's an often better option than dawdling.
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.
I suppose you could run thing on "easy mode" and offer gentle suggestions that one course of action or another may not yield the results they expect... But perhaps these players just need a tough love wake up call. Remind them that they are adults (assuming they are) and as such, they--not you--responsible for their own choices (and entertainment). If they aren't having fun in your game, then they should go join another.

If nothing else, I think you'll be happier not dealing with these people!
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.
 

TheSword

Legend
Thanks everyone for the support.
I've already reached out to a player in one of the groups, and he's offered to pick up the GMing duties for the time being. While it's not the most exhausting of my groups, every bit helps.
I plan to discuss all of this with my therapist at our next session - which is still a couple weeks out.
This!

It will be the best thing you’ve done. @GuyBoy keeps me sane after my 3 hour drive to our monthly game because I walk in, put my bag down, relax into the sofa and he runs that evenings game.

This will be the single best way to re-energize yourself and kindle a love for the game again. Where all you have to do is show up and enjoy.

If it doesn’t work out with that DM. Try and join an online group. I’ve just joined one for WFRP because I’m the only one interested in DMing it. It’s a blast and much better quality than I thought.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
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.
OK, maybe time to be 1) charitable and 2) educational.

Charitable - did the magic missile caster know that another hit with that spell would drop the enemy from the board? Are they thinking like this is a game in the sense that removing an enemy piece is better than damaging another or are they thinking that "maybe a blast from a spell will deter this guy and give him the sense that he should leave this battle"? If you get the impression it's the latter, that should afford them a little more charitable thinking - at least they'd be getting into their in-setting mindset.
Or are they just not very good at thinking tactically and just lurch from one target to another depending on which strikes their fancy (in which case, their skill as a tactical player AND as a role player are kind of low)? Which brings us to Educational.

Has anyone actually pointed out to them that the big buff spell while mopping up is better earlier in combat? "Oh, hey, that's a good buff. Too bad you didn't unleash it earlier - that would have made this fight much easier."
Certainly, some of this can be chalked up to the young players being kids. Some may pick up savvy game play earlier than others, but their brains are all still forming so it's kind of hard to expect them all to do so. As for the adults, I have no idea what their history with the game is, but some people just never seem to put in the effort to engage their brains - is that the case? Or are they trying to let the kids lead/set the tone?
 

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