• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

Attacking defenseless NPCs

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Fir one, tge play loop is as much rules as the combat section. It's right there in the front of the book as how to play the game.
In 5e, it is. In 3e, there's Rule 0, instead.
It's a subtle but important difference. In 3e, the DM's ultimate control of the shape of his own game - of deciding what game, and what variations on the game, he's going to run - is acknowledged, up front, in a "get it over with, but stick to it" kind of way. The expectation in the community was clearly RAW, and if you House Ruled (used Rule 0, or even just used a less-popular interpretation), you better stick to those house rules. Once play is joined, the expectation was that the rules were more or less set in stone.

In contrast, 5e builds it's acknowledgement of the DM's primacy over the system into /every resolution that takes place in the course of play/. There is no game without the DM, and the DM comes before the rules every time. There's an elegance and an honesty to that is probably the closest modern analog we could get to the quixotic experimentation of the original, given that there's a certain innocence to the TTRPG's very first incarnations that's as impossible to re-capture as that of childhood.
(And I'm getting /really/ maudlin & nostalgic.
Apologies.)

Two, it doesn't rely on mythical perfect people, nor is it more prone to degenerate play than your preferred more 3.x style of hard mechanics. If this was true, it would be impossible for those of us that report excellent results to be anything other than liars for no perceivable reason.
I think it at least relies on a level of competence and lack of malice (preferably even active, if perhaps, not overt, benevolence) on the part of the DM. The quality of the players is of much lesser concern.

But, certainly not perfection. Perfection is often used as a foe of Reason. There's no such thing as perfect balance, so radical imbalance is OK. There's no such thing as a Perfect DM, so jerk DMs are OK. DM's aren't perfect, so their judgment must never be trusted. There's no such thing as a Perfect System, so there's no need to improve upon any existing ones. Etc...

I used to play as you argue -- I got in some ugly arguments with [MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION], refusing to believe he could possibly be honest in how he presents this playstyle. I can't say what started me listening, but everything I believed before - that you have to have strong codification of mechanics and that you go to mechanics first - is wrong.
Oh.... do we have a touch of Convert's Zeal, here?

That's not strictly a dig, either: the capacity to change your own mind is rare & wonderous in the context of an internet forum.

But, by golly, does it chap my backside when someone spouts ignorance like this. Which is probably karma for me doing it years ago.
Heh.

Personally, I'll pitch my tent in either camp. The 1e/5e Way works /really/ well for me when I run games. I thrive in improvisation, running by the seat of your pants, ruling & interpreting off the cuff, I run a lot of my best stuff that way. Also some of my worse when I'm not up for it. Conversely, I love to build a cool character in detail, sometimes excessive detail, and have it actually work as intended when I play it, 3e/4e (& Hero &c) gives me that pretty consistently - and there are times (especially as I've gotten older) when I appreciate running a system that takes care of itself a greater proportion of the time (though, TBH, D&D has rarely been that system).

I think we have a case where a number posters think that DMs generally cannot adequately adjudicate their games and thus must turn to the rules first to ensure fairness. I'm not saying that there aren't bad DMs out there, of course there are. But I don't think we can fix bad DMing by turning to the rules (or adding more rules).
There are bad DMs in the sense of actively malicious, and there are bad DMs in the sense of needing improvement. Nothing can quite /stop/ the former, but a good system can cramp their style, a bit, and it's helpful to the latter if the system makes the job easier in some way.


To my mind the combat rules are provided to provide a system to resolve a conflict the outcome of which is uncertain - this uncertainty is guided by the CR expectation of the encounter: Easy, Medium, Hard, Deadly. As the party gains levels the CR of these encounters changes and it means that there are some combat counters which are completely certain and it would be ridiculous to drop into the combat rules.
OK, yes, that's a function of a combat system. But, you might be able to come up with a system that applies a bunch of modifiers and formulae, comes up with a % chance of victory, and just roll that. It would resolve the outcome of an uncertain conflict. It might even, hypothetically, give the same result as playing through a D&D combat every time. And it could be quite fast. (And, hey, doesn't that sound a bit like most non-combat resolution in D&D?)

But it wouldn't be a very engaging sub-system, wouldn't involve all the players, and probably wouldn't make for a great experience as part of an RPG.


Combat is also an arena where players can define/display their characters, make interesting/important choices for them, and where those characters can advance their goals, grapple figuratively with their demons (as well as literally with their enemies), address interpersonal conflicts, and even undergo a bit of character development now and then (and not just by leveling).
 
Last edited:

Sabathius42

Villager
I don't have a problem with overriding the rules by fiat; but I feel it should be a last resort, used only when the outcome of the rules cannot be justified in the narrative.
Your response made me think a little bit more about how I go about using "GM fiat" of which I do very liberally in my games to keep them moving. If I had to put a number on it i'd guess that the "GM fiat" call is made in the players favor 95%+ of the time in order to keep a pace. Examples include....

1. The players defeat the BBEG vampire, all his lieutenants, and most of his minions except some scattered rabble. I am going to immediately end round-by-round combat and move on to the "What do you want to do with all these dead bodies?" segment of the game. I'm not going to enforce playing an extra few rounds killing a few guards (maybe getting hit a time or two but not really challenged) because the tension of the scene is gone with the defeat of the main villain and his powerful underlings.

2. If they have a home-base cottage or similar and it has a nonmagical secret door (or maybe even a magical one that is obvious when detect magic is used) i'm not going to wait for a player to say "I make a Search roll on this 10' section of basement wall to check for secret doors." to just allow them to roll to see if they find the door. Once the players actually start using the basement area regularly i'm going to just tell them....."One day Razmodius (the wizard) is farting around in the basement working on his spellbook when he happenened to notice a weird magical glow on the wall. When he inspects it closer he finds that something looked odd. He went upstairs and grabbed Rabbit (the rogue) and the two of you figured out there was a HIDDEN CHAMBER in your basement with....".

If one of the players thought to check the whole building for secret doors (because it was an old pirate cabin and there might be buried treasure) i'm going to give it to them.

If they walk down to the basement for the first time and its full of giant spiders who try to eat them, i'm NOT going to give it to them unless they actually use their action during a turn to "Check this section of wall here." because that's an entirely different setup than those above.

3. If they are walking down a forest path and a 20th level invisible hidden drow assassin tries to take a PC out, i'm going to use the standard combat rules because to do otherwise is "unfun" and not in the players favor.

The only time I make calls AGAINST them is if they are trying to stretch the power of something beyond its design "Can I cast Plant Growth on the salad the paladin just ate so that it explodes in his stomach ignoring his armor and killing him instantly?" or if my initial description is too short and they try to do something based on an incorrect assumption "You can't take a bow shot at the sentry you saw walking along the castle wall because you only caught a glimpse of his head for a half second before he went in the doorway. He isn't just standing there. You can WAIT for him to pop back out and shoot him then if you like."
 

iserith

Explorer
The DM in tglassy's example is looking at the combat rules, seeing that the inevitable result is PC victory with negligible expenditure of resources, and deciding that it isn't worth bothering to go through the motions of rolling dice. The end result is the same as if the combat had been played out - you're just getting there faster.

That is quite different from deciding to deep-six the combat rules and impose a different result by fiat.

I don't have a problem with overriding the rules by fiat; but I feel it should be a last resort, used only when the outcome of the rules cannot be justified in the narrative. If the outcome of the rules can be justified but you don't like it, that's the time to sit down and work out a house rule. (House rules are quite different from DM fiat, by the way. A house rule is consistent, with defined mechanics, and players are aware of it before it comes into play. It's just like any other rule, except that it disappears from the rulebook when you go to a different table. DM fiat is the DM tossing the rules out the window and imposing a result.)
The determination of whether a task has an uncertain outcome and the meaningful consequence of failure, which precedes the introduction and use of the game mechanics (ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, etc.), is DM fiat which is enshrined in the rules via the play loop and adjudication process. Fiat is inescapable in this rules system. It is the first resort.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
I'm confused as to why we argue things based upon unreasonable DMing... shouldn't the assumption be that the DM is at least competent at their job?

I guess it could be argued that I was being unreasonable in my OP by adjudicating that the player had a chance of accomplishing their goal through their approach but there was some chance of failure with a cost. But I think that's taking unreasonable to an extreme... :)
I dufnt think you were being unreasonable in your OP.

A GM deciding the walls are guarded by creatures thst are solidly within the range of "those what can be One-Shot-Killed (OSK) is perfectly reasonable. But, deciding to then give the guards so many HP that you have to bypass the basics of combat to resolve it shows a real disconnect between the GMs vision and the execution.

It would seem **reasonable GMing** to have put an orc out there on guard duty at 8 hp with the not unreasonable manifestation bring thst guard duty is not the assignments given to the bigger badder senior guys.

In my games, I want the rules and the resolution systems to serve the game play we want, not to have us forced to step "outside the rules" to get what we want.

Part of the benefit of that approach is that it let's players make choices that directly play into the resolutions they want. If they know doing hp is the ko mechanism for guards, they can optimize for doing hp in OSK. If they knew attacks ftom hidden get advantage and that assassins get crits vs surprise, they can choose that too.

But st the point we decide to leave OSK to "when the GM says it happens", that takes us away from those links between choices made and system results. The GM did not need to dial in the orc HP to show them as OSK. The player did not need to reflect his character's lethal surprise capabilities (as opposed to his partners amazing Hesling or shapeshifting) cuz its handled by "GM ssts do" not rules.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Good catch on "other dangerous situations" but to me that's allowing the PCs some cushion to survive falls, traps etc etc. For my NPCs it's all about their ability to put up a fight and evade the PCs attacks. I'm definitely not in the camp that the NPCs are exactly the same as the PCs. I definitely don't roll death saving throws for NPCs for example - but I would have to assume that others posting here do, or else it would be unfair to the NPCs?
The game rules as written leave it to the GM to decide which to fo snd gives a kind of general case in exsmple of not tracking DS for underlings but maybe doing it for named guys.

It seems more a matter of convenience, you can bother with it if you see benefit in it or not if it isnt with the effort, not "npcs dont die like PCs do"

It's kinda like how, you know, PC might have a full inventory of gear listed out but, you know, we dont assume an orc or goblin doesny have a pack or tinderbox or rations simply cuz their stat blocks in the MM dont include all gear.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
I think we have a case where a number posters think that DMs generally cannot adequately adjudicate their games and thus must turn to the rules first to ensure fairness. I'm not saying that there aren't bad DMs out there, of course there are. But I don't think we can fix bad DMing by turning to the rules (or adding more rules).
Maybe, but I see what's being discussed here as two parts.

Diceless vs Diced - pro and con.
Rules that serve us vs rules we fight against.

I have played and run both diced snd diceless games and they create very enjoyable experiences with the right groups. I have played diced games where honestly few dice were rolled.

I tend to recommend that DMs play/run diceless gsmes a couple times, it really helps you in running diced games.

But, as a general experience, the more into gritty details of character features you have, the more jarring or out of sorts the decisions of GM fiat resolutions become. In some ways, GM fiat undermines the effort even on success. It's less a case of "we won" as "he gave us that one."

So, for examplr.

Say a GM plays social encounters with little to no use of social skills, mostly resolved through roleplaying and GM fiat. "What you (player) told me (gm) as convincing so the character convinced the character."

In that kinda game you would see CHA as a dump stat. Some of us likely have.

On the other hand, if the GM established that it was character to character and a good pitch would not lead to GM fiat but to say "advantage" or maybe a shift in the NPC disposition- followed by a roll - then you see player side choices about CHA becoming meaningful.

Meaningful choices help the sense of engagement and empowerment.

Cases described in the recent weeks I have seen included GMs who claimed a lot of no-rolling social encounters having like no PCs with CHA over 10 and maybe here where no assassin or ambush fighters but GM has OSK fiat rules...

Perhaps those are linked?

Me?

I tend to just use rules, non-fiat rules, that create outcomes like what we like. If that means, for instance, opening up the "helpless auto-crit" to ranged attacks not just 5', that's fine.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm confused as to why we argue things based upon unreasonable DMing...
I have two answers for that. Both are true, pick which one resonates with you:

1) We don't.

2) For *exactly* the reasons I am talking about - mismatches in expectations and desires and the limits of human communications.

For example, if you look carefully, what I wrote just previous to this, I said *NOTHING* about the GM being unreasonable or incompetent. Now, your next statement after mine is this. I *could* say, "Well, robus is being unreasonable, or not paying attention, or willfully missing the point...," or attach any number of unfortunate attributes to you. And perhaps half the collected readers might well agree with me.

But I don't say that. Because you saying that doesn't require either of us to be bad actors. We can both be reasonable, and have basically good intentions. But we are also....

....shouldn't the assumption be that the DM is at least competent at their job?
Human. We should assume the GM (and the players) are all human. And even competent humans have their foibles. Our game processes should at least consider those foibles. Failing to do that means we only really consider the "happy path" of game play. It is great when the happy path works - the happy path *must* work for the game to work. But only considering the happy path probably also means that anyone who does not stay on that happy path is going to do the metaphorical equivalent of stepping barefoot on a Lego brick in the dark, and that can ruin an experience.

And we don't require bad actors, or gross incompetence, to wander off the happy path. We only need people to be human.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
This is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that you look at the action with regard to the fictional state and determine if it is uncertain, and if so, select mechanics to resolve the uncertainty. A check is not a given.
And like I just said with robus, I am saying that this has failure modes.

Another ecampke of "but what if a jerk does it," as if this addresses the topic rather than just introduces a jerk.
No. Incorrect. Wrong. I didn't say that. You are missing the point, and thereby demonstrating my point in the process.

Nowhere in my point is anyone being a jerk. Nobody is being unreasonable. Nobody is acting with ill-intent. Get that idea out of your head, or we will talk past each other. They are just carrying on with play in the best way they can. They are coming at play, however, with different desires and different thoughts. Our failure to connect on this point is *exactly* the kind of failure that can hit gameplay, even when everyone is being reasonable. We simply have slightly different goals, expectations, mental patterns, and things going on in our heads, because we aren't a hivemind.

We repeatedly say that players must have consistency of rules and processes so they can make reasoned, informed decisions. They must have an understanding of the odds in order for them to propose approaches. But, that means they are basing their choices on *expectations* about how things will happen. There's nothing jerkish about that. Meanwhile, the GM is not a *slave* to consistency. They are not jerkish for deviating from it from time to time. But that means we will have occasions where the player and the GM are not in synch, and that's where we can get tripped up. The basic form of play needs an allowance for that.

The problem with your play loop, and it's idealized nature, is that the player and GM roles must be kept pure for it to function as described, and that never actually happens. To be realistic, it needs to include an optional negotiation sub-loop. Because real human social interaction always calls for bits of negotiation for consensus to form. This is where, "Yes, and..." lives, in this negotiation. Most of the time, the player will just accept the GM's proposals. But, we need a loop to build consensus when the player's not on board with the proposal, and the GM and player can come to some understanding or compromise.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I have two answers for that. Both are true, pick which one resonates with you:

1) We don't.

2) For *exactly* the reasons I am talking about - mismatches in expectations and desires and the limits of human communications.

For example, if you look carefully, what I wrote just previous to this, I said *NOTHING* about the GM being unreasonable or incompetent. Now, your next statement after mine is this. I *could* say, "Well, robus is being unreasonable, or not paying attention, or willfully missing the point...," or attach any number of unfortunate attributes to you. And perhaps half the collected readers might well agree with me.
I dunno, you might not have said it explicility, but surely that is the implication of this?:

The problematic case is when the GM determines there is no uncertainty, but a reasonable person looking at the rules thinks there ought to be. This goes south generally when the result goes against the player, and the typical mechanics you'd apply said there was a good chance for things to be different, but the GM decides to not use the rules.
A reasonable person has determined that the DM has made a bad ruling against the player. How many times does that need to occur before the DM is “ruled” ( ;) ) incompetent or unreasonable?

I just don’t see the point of debating situations where the DM is a bad actor. The players are utterly at the mercy of the DM.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
The problem with your play loop, and it's idealized nature, is that the player and GM roles must be kept pure for it to function as described, and that never actually happens. To be realistic, it needs to include an optional negotiation sub-loop. Because real human social interaction always calls for bits of negotiation for consensus to form. This is where, "Yes, and..." lives, in this negotiation. Most of the time, the player will just accept the GM's proposals. But, we need a loop to build consensus when the player's not on board with the proposal, and the GM and player can come to some understanding or compromise.
Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem. Do we occasionally run your sub loop to get on the same page sure, but that’s how reasonable people come to a shared understanding. Is it a fundamental problem with the play loop? Absolutely not!

Just because we describe it as a clean process in theory, doesn’t mean things don’t adapted to the moment. Just like anything. It’s not a problem with the play loop, I think the problem is your not realizing that it is an abstraction of the conversation at the table. Each run of the play loop is different because people.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
I dunno, you might not have said it explicility, but surely that is the implication of this?:



A reasonable person has determined that the DM has made a bad ruling against the player. How many times does that need to occur before the DM is “ruled” ( ;) ) incompetent or unreasonable?

I just don’t see the point of debating situations where the DM is a bad actor. The players are utterly at the mercy of the DM.
"This goes south generally when the result goes against the player, and the typical mechanics you'd apply said there was a good chance for things to be different, but the GM decides to not use the rules."

The GM has more knowledge than the player. There may be factors involved that alter the uncertain/certain that the players do not know.

In my experience, if the GM runs a game where it is the perception of the players that there are "a lot" of cases where the rules are bypassed by GM fiat, you get less trust built up and more likely to see these situations as "unreasonsble."

In my games, I try to use the rules e agree to and avoid fiat. I try to have and show consistency between my presentations, descriptions and expectations.

As such, when they encounter an outcome they in-charscter or in player do not understand, its treated as a clue, not a GM thing.
 

5ekyu

Explorer
Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem. Do we occasionally run your sub loop to get on the same page sure, but that’s how reasonable people come to a shared understanding. Is it a fundamental problem with the play loop? Absolutely not!

Just because we describe it as a clean process in theory, doesn’t mean things don’t adapted to the moment. Just like anything. It’s not a problem with the play loop, I think the problem is your not realizing that it is an abstraction of the conversation at the table. Each run of the play loop is different because people.
This explains a lot. Thanks.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem.
Hey! You're a straight-up 5e success story! :D

Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but...
Is it a fundamental problem with the play loop? Absolutely not!
Just because we describe it as a clean process in theory, doesn’t mean things don’t adapted to the moment. Just like anything. It’s not a problem with the play loop, I think the problem is your not realizing that it is an abstraction of the conversation at the table. Each run of the play loop is different because people.
The 5e play loop (like the term, BTW) is, IMHO/X, a relatively elegant, formal summation of how people came to run D&D reasonably effectively over say, it's first 25 years or so (before the rules got seriously overhauled with d20 and RaW became dominant in the community's headspace).
So I don't think it was a problem with past editions (unless it was the 'recent' past - as in, the current millennium), but a solution derived from past editions.

(If I were being cynical, I might say that it's a prescription for running a functional game in spite of a dysfunctional system - and, who am I kidding, I'm totally cynical, and it totally is. But it's a prescription proven safe & effective for the treatment of system dysfunction.)
 
Last edited:

iserith

Explorer
Perhaps this was a problem in years gone by and different editions, but I came in DMing 5e and took this play loop approach to heart after reading an AngryDM article on (adjudicating actions like a @#%% boss), and I’ve yet to have a problem. Do we occasionally run your sub loop to get on the same page sure, but that’s how reasonable people come to a shared understanding. Is it a fundamental problem with the play loop? Absolutely not!

Just because we describe it as a clean process in theory, doesn’t mean things don’t adapted to the moment. Just like anything. It’s not a problem with the play loop, I think the problem is your not realizing that it is an abstraction of the conversation at the table. Each run of the play loop is different because people.
I don't even understand the objection that is being voiced. The play loop and adjudication process is for all and sundry to see right there in the rules of the game. It's not like we made it up. If there's an objection to it, take it up with Wizards of the Coast, I guess.
 

Ovinomancer

Explorer
And like I just said with robus, I am saying that this has failure modes.



No. Incorrect. Wrong. I didn't say that. You are missing the point, and thereby demonstrating my point in the process.

Nowhere in my point is anyone being a jerk. Nobody is being unreasonable. Nobody is acting with ill-intent. Get that idea out of your head, or we will talk past each other. They are just carrying on with play in the best way they can. They are coming at play, however, with different desires and different thoughts. Our failure to connect on this point is *exactly* the kind of failure that can hit gameplay, even when everyone is being reasonable. We simply have slightly different goals, expectations, mental patterns, and things going on in our heads, because we aren't a hivemind.

We repeatedly say that players must have consistency of rules and processes so they can make reasoned, informed decisions. They must have an understanding of the odds in order for them to propose approaches. But, that means they are basing their choices on *expectations* about how things will happen. There's nothing jerkish about that. Meanwhile, the GM is not a *slave* to consistency. They are not jerkish for deviating from it from time to time. But that means we will have occasions where the player and the GM are not in synch, and that's where we can get tripped up. The basic form of play needs an allowance for that.

The problem with your play loop, and it's idealized nature, is that the player and GM roles must be kept pure for it to function as described, and that never actually happens. To be realistic, it needs to include an optional negotiation sub-loop. Because real human social interaction always calls for bits of negotiation for consensus to form. This is where, "Yes, and..." lives, in this negotiation. Most of the time, the player will just accept the GM's proposals. But, we need a loop to build consensus when the player's not on board with the proposal, and the GM and player can come to some understanding or compromise.
Okay, so, your point is that players can't understand enough to make reasoned choices because the play loop is so fixed (who said this? Oh, no one, it's a strawman) that they can't ask questions and the DM will refuse to answer questions because, well, the play loop won't let them (again, strawman), but, nope, there aren't any jerks involved here.

This is even more hogwash. For one, you're only making this argument against goal and approach, when it's actually trivially true of ALL playstyles -- if you don't allow questions and create expectation mismatches, you will have problems. You've assumed that goal and approach is so locked in that this is more likely to happen than in other styles, when, in reality, the same types of decisions and fiat exists in other styles it just happens in a different place. Your argument is trivially true across all styles, but it's used as if it only applies to goal and approach or the play loop that's in the PHB. It really appears to be a motte argument because it's so trivially true -- bad play causes bad outcomes -- who could argue it. But your use of this only against one set of play is telling that it's not an honest criticism, it's just the retreat point when pressed on the more expansive against arguments you've floated (the bailey arguments).

So, then, let me attack the motte -- this argument is trivial. It's true of all play everywhere. It addresses NO points made in this thread, and certainly not by anyone describing the PHB's play loop as the PHB presents it. Or by anyone advancing goal and approach, who, if you actually read their posts, pretty much universally expound on how important it is to be clear as to what's at stake and what's going on in the scene. So much so that many of us have had to defend the openness of our information presentation as giving too much away. And, we all are very open about how it's very important to resolve any confusion and not play gotcha over a mis-match, so, clearly, your argument above doesn't apply to anyone in this thread advancing goal and approach. Nor is it a more valid argument against goal and approach than against any other playstyle. To sum up, I have no idea who you think you're lecturing on this trivially obvious point, but it's clear that you're advancing it not as a generally applicable statement but as a specific argument against the PHB's play loop (and goal and approach, obliquely), which is ludicrous, incorrect, and bordering on intellectually dishonest.

There, now that the motte is thoroughly dismantled, and we can safely discard this trivial argument as general and obvious and not specially more likely when using the PHB play loop than other loops, or in goal and approach as a style of using the PHB play loop, perhaps you'd like to reposition?

Again, nothing in the above in meant nor should be taken to imply that there's a better way to play. There is a better way to play, but everyone needs to find their own.
 

D1Tremere

Villager
My intent is that my game feel like an RPG, which, to my mind, is neither a simulation nor a movie.
I mean by that we can either follow a character driven narration of events (Your arrow cuts through the night and (Roll D20) silences the guard before he can sound an alarm), or we can follow a rules driven narration of events (Move to x space, roll initiative, you have surprise, roll D20, roll damage, player 2 turn) . Everyone does a bit of both, but everyone leans more one way than the other as well.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Sorry to mince the following quote to answer smoothly:
Okay, so, your point is that players can't understand enough to make reasoned choices because the play loop is so fixed that they can't ask questions...For one, you're only making this argument against goal and approach,... (who said this?
iserith: goal & approach requires an action declaration with a goal (acquiring information) and an approach (searching, 'trying to remember' lore from past specific study, etc...) /instead/ of asking questions of the DM.

I don't think that requirement should preclude asking for /clarification/ about the DM's narration of the situation, though. Like, if the DM says standing in the room are a half-dozen goblins & hobgoblins... Asking, "is that a total of 6, or six of each for a total of 12?" shouldn't be out of line. Though the follow up "OK, but how many of the six are hobgoblins" /might/ call for an approach of /actually counting the taller enemies/, if there's more than one or two, anyway.

Essentially, if it's question that only comes up because you're running TotM rather than setting out 15mm goblin minis and 30 mm hobgoblin minis, so it should probably be a freebie, rather than calling a sub-routine of the goal-approach version of the loop.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Robus swap out the placement of orc and ranger. Does sound fair if the orc is firing an arrow at your ranger for an instant kill?
So as some have said by rules, advantage, surprise round etc. BUT if the orc does not matter to the adventure I may MAY give you an instant kill. But instant kills will be rare, or you have lots damage output per hit.
 

Advertisement

Top