D&D 5E Dirty Secrets?

My dirtiest secret?

My players have no idea that I run narrative combat. They think the monsters have HP, but I make them die whenever it's dramatically appropriate. They think the monsters roll to attack them, but the monsters hit whenever I feel like. They think I roll damage, but the monsters deal whatever damage I think is reasonable. They think the monsters roll saving throws, but I have them succeed or fail based on how good party morale is. Sometimes I roll dice and nod meaningfully at them. It doesn't mean a thing.

What is your dirtiest secret at the gaming table?
 

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wedgeski

Adventurer
Great thread! Welcome to the board, but OMG you're gonna get lynched by the various factions from the Fudging threads. :)

I think the dirtiest secret I keep is the extreme stress that DM'ing sometimes causes me. When I run shoddy, badly-prepared sessions, it can put me in a bad mood for days on end.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
I'm not sure if it is a secret, but I'm often totally unprepared for a session. I've had quite a few games where I show up and have no idea what we're going to do at all.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
My dirtiest secret?

My players have no idea that I run narrative combat. They think the monsters have HP, but I make them die whenever it's dramatically appropriate. They think the monsters roll to attack them, but the monsters hit whenever I feel like. They think I roll damage, but the monsters deal whatever damage I think is reasonable. They think the monsters roll saving throws, but I have them succeed or fail based on how good party morale is. Sometimes I roll dice and nod meaningfully at them. It doesn't mean a thing.

If it works for you, just keep going :) Usually I am skeptic of such approach, because I don't generally think that anyone is skilled enough to make railroaded drama be actually 'better' than random. On the contrary, it risks being more predictable and thus less thrilling (at least for an oldie like me who's seen the same dynamic in thousands of movie, and now rarely enjoy action movies anymore...)

What is your dirtiest secret at the gaming table?

Probably the fact that I let players think I have secrets, while in truth I don't have any :D
 

Ezequielramone

Explorer
My secret is that I love when my cat suddenly attacks my player for no reason and without warning, like a sneak attack. It brings stress to the table. This bring us to my second "not so secret" secret: I don't want my players to have a "funny" time, I want them to suffer, to be stressed, I want them to fear for their character's life. Having playing Dragon Age taught me that real adventures are dangerous and deadly. I have fun only with real adventures, "funny" is not fun for me, pain and despair are.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
My dirtiest secret?

My players have no idea that I run narrative combat. They think the monsters have HP, but I make them die whenever it's dramatically appropriate. They think the monsters roll to attack them, but the monsters hit whenever I feel like. They think I roll damage, but the monsters deal whatever damage I think is reasonable. They think the monsters roll saving throws, but I have them succeed or fail based on how good party morale is. Sometimes I roll dice and nod meaningfully at them. It doesn't mean a thing.

What is your dirtiest secret at the gaming table?

This is by and large my style as well; I use die rolls as guides, but the ultimate call is mine. This is why I play D&D instead of video games. I can make stuff up and make it work - I am not limited to what another writer could think of.

My dirty secret: like many others here, it seems, I rarely prepare much for a session past having a general outline of events.
 


ad_hoc

(they/them)
My dirtiest secret?

My players have no idea that I run narrative combat. They think the monsters have HP, but I make them die whenever it's dramatically appropriate. They think the monsters roll to attack them, but the monsters hit whenever I feel like. They think I roll damage, but the monsters deal whatever damage I think is reasonable. They think the monsters roll saving throws, but I have them succeed or fail based on how good party morale is. Sometimes I roll dice and nod meaningfully at them. It doesn't mean a thing.

What is your dirtiest secret at the gaming table?

Deceiving people like that is a pretty :):):):):):) thing to do.

Further doing it because you believe it to be in their best interest because you know best is condescending and arrogant.

There is nothing wrong with playing Magical Tea Party and there are plenty of games designed around that. Why not remove the deception and play one of those games?
 

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