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D&D 5E Do PCs at your table have script immunity?

Do player characters have script immunity at your table?

  • Yes. PCs only die if the player agrees to it.

  • Yes (mostly). PCs won't die due to bad luck, but foolish actions will kill ya.

  • No (mostly). PCs can die, even if it is just bad luck, but they have chances to reverse it.

  • No. PCs can die for any reason. I am not there to hold players' hands.

  • Other (please explain).


Results are only viewable after voting.

Filthy Lucre

Adventurer
Again, whatever happend to negotiation and compromise? Is there some reason the only dynamic available is, "my way or the highway"?
Why are you trying to debate his personal choice? Why is this conversation even happening? You guys don't agree and you, more importantly, you don't have to agree.

The answer to your question quoted above can simply just be, (from his perspective), "Because thats what I want to do".
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
@overgeeked Your experience of the game and players is just very different than my own.

I've been playing with various friends for 20+ years. When we start a new campaign, it's usually because someone in the group (not always the person who will run it) is excited about a new concept.

In our games, the players have a lot of input about where the story will go. Sometimes the players even take turns running sessions!

And when the campaign goes in a direction the players or DM don't like... We talk about it and make adjustments.

I think this is why I find your statements about how power-hungry and selfish players are bewildering. It just doesn't fit my own experience of the game.
Sure. At no point do I assume my experience is universal. I'm thankful it's not, honestly. But it's still an experience that some have, myself included. If the hobby wasn't so much fun when it actually works, I'd have bailed decades ago.

The power hungry thing started with my first D&D game and has existed / lasted through to my most recent games. Almost 40 years. It never goes away. There's always several in every game I play or run, genre, style, and game system don't matter.
Sure. But, the people I'm talking about run D&D! That's why I included both game and style. D&D doesn't have to be heavy-prep.
Obviously.
Again, whatever happend to negotiation and compromise? Is there some reason the only dynamic available is, "my way or the highway"?
Negotiation and compromise have limits. If the DM doesn't like superheroes and the players all want a superhero game...what compromise is there to be made? If the players want a fantasy game and the GM doesn't like fantasy...what compromise is there to be made? Same with so many other preferences, styles, and modes of play.

It seems a lot of people are starting from the assumption that a set group of people are predestined to play together and that must be maintained at all costs, that everything else is secondary. That's not my experience. The people interested in this game are the ones who play it. A set group doesn't talk it out until everyone's marginally agreeable but ultimately dissatisfied with the results. Anyone who's interested in this particular game plays, those who aren't interested don't play. Those people either do something else or start games of their own. There's (generally) no hurt feelings involved. People are generally self-aware enough to recognize they're not interested in a given game or group and simply don't play as a result.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Might be why the game has gotten way more popular once that style fell out of favor.
You'd think, but you'd be wrong. It's almost all due to Critical Role. Whatever game they played was going to be wildly popular. That style fell out of favor with WotC taking over. 3X did not have 5E's popularity. Clearly.
Ascribing importance to being in power and in charge, scrapping all illusion of choice once they might not get their way? Sounds like every self-prescribed 'alpha' I've ever met.
Again, you're adding in judgement and loaded language that wasn't in the original.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
You'd think, but you'd be wrong. It's almost all due to Critical Role. Whatever game they played was going to be wildly popular. That style fell out of favor with WotC taking over. 3X did not have 5E's popularity. Clearly.
I think you're overemphasizing the impact of CR. I'm the only one who watches out of the dozen people I play with. It's not clear how much of an impact the show has had.

Oh, and the style of the games I play and run hasn't changed much for decades with a couple of rare exceptions. It may be different for you, your experience is hardly universal.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Here's my perspective as a GM : A quality player is worth their weight in gold. I'm not interested in just filling a seat at the table. Anyone who is playing in our games is there because they have been invited after at least some of us have played with them. They are at least a friend of a friend. Replacing a quality player involves a lot of labor and probably some poor game experiences as we go through people who are not good fits for us.
This. It's easy to find players. It's much harder to fill a group with funny, interesting, creative, and rules-savvy players.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
It seems a lot of people are starting from the assumption that a set group of people are predestined to play together and that must be maintained at all costs, that everything else is secondary. That's not my experience.
To be fair, that's exactly the experience a lot of us have. D&D is what we play in our social groups, but we'd still have the same social group if we weren't playing D&D. If any person isn't on board with a campaign or game idea, we try something else.

Honestly, if my groups fell apart for some reason I'd just stop RPing. I'm too old to go looking for new groups.
 

As a point of clarification the saying is generally not be a fan of your players (although you generally should like the people you play with). It is generally be a fan of the players' characters. Mainly that as a GM you should be emotionally engaged in play with the player characters and should care about them the same way you would characters on your favorite TV show. You should like them, care about their struggles. and be curious about them. Curious about who they really are. Curious about how they will respond to events. You should be on the edge of your seat to see what happens when the spotlight is on them.

It's really about valuing the creative contributions of the people you play with. Wanting to see more from them.
What if someone is playing a character you personally find really annoying?
 



Bolares

Hero
Then we have a discussion. It's likely to have come up during character creation, but we have ongoing discussions about this sort of stuff all the time.
yeah, even if we have a session 0 (we should always have one) the discussion about the game can continue. If some character rubs you the wrong way, there should be a discussion about it. The most common wrong thing to do here is be passive agressive about it.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think you're overemphasizing the impact of CR.
I don't. I think it's impact is wildly underemphasized amongst gamers who came into the hobby before CR.
I'm the only one who watches out of the dozen people I play with. It's not clear how much of an impact the show has had.
In my long-standing D&D group...literally the same people I started playing RPGs with almost 40 years ago...I was the last person in the group to get on board with CR. Every one of the 7-8 other people in the group were avid fans before I'd watched my first episode.

Most of the online games I play in the OOC chat almost always morphs into conversation about CR.
It may be different for you, your experience is hardly universal.
Never said it was. But likewise, your experience is hardly universal.
To be fair, that's exactly the experience a lot of us have. D&D is what we play in our social groups, but we'd still have the same social group if we weren't playing D&D. If any person isn't on board with a campaign or game idea, we try something else.

Honestly, if my groups fell apart for some reason I'd just stop RPing. I'm too old to go looking for new groups.
For me it's a bit of both. I have friends to game but we don't always play together because we have different tastes. We're still friends and we still hang out, but we don't play games together.
The value of a good session 0, where everyone tells their expectations for the game, including character death, is underestimated.
Exactly. And if anyone's not 100% on board with the game idea, genre, tone, concept, etc, they can excuse themselves. If that means no game, then no game. If that means a different group plays the game, then a different group plays the game.
 

Bolares

Hero
And if anyone's not 100% on board with the game idea, genre, tone, concept, etc, they can excuse themselves.
Or you (general you) could give players some leway and adapt a portion of the game idea, genre, tone, concept, etc, to try and accomodate everyone. Session 0 doesn't need to be a job interview. I think it's better to play 80% of everyones favourite game than not play 100% of my favourite game.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Exactly. And if anyone's not 100% on board with the game idea, genre, tone, concept, etc, they can excuse themselves. If that means no game, then no game. If that means a different group plays the game, then a different group plays the game.
Or ideally, they get on board and be enthusiastic because compromise makes the world go around. No DM has ever run a game that's 100% taste to my taste, just as no restaurant has ever served a meal 100% to my liking, and no movie has ever been something I've 100% enjoyed. Things become more fun when we choose to enjoy them, despite not being perfect.

That applies to both players and DMs. DMs should be willing to be flexible with their vision, likewise, players should be flexible in helping the DMs to realize their vision.
 

Filthy Lucre

Adventurer
Or ideally, they get on board and be enthusiastic because compromise makes the world go around. No DM has ever run a game that's 100% taste to my taste, just as no restaurant has ever served a meal 100% to my liking, and no movie has ever been something I've 100% enjoyed. Things become more fun when we choose to enjoy them, despite not being perfect.

That applies to both players and DMs. DMs should be willing to be flexible with their vision, likewise, players should be flexible in helping the DMs to realize their vision.
Do you, or do you not, believe in the existence of "deal breaking" criterion? Do you believe that compromise can overcome literally any disagreement? Yes or no?
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
Do you, or do you not, believe in the existence of "deal breaking" criterion? Do you believe that compromise can overcome literally any disagreement? Yes or no?
Not everyone considers 'everything isn't 100% what I want' to be deal breaking criterion.

Like, who is ever going to say compromise can overcome 'literally' any disagreement? That's not the argument here. The argument is about people who say they absolutely will not compromise.
 


Filthy Lucre

Adventurer
But no one has said that they are unwilling to compromise simpliciter - just that there are certain things that are non-negotiable.

So, I guess in actuality there is no argument between you two parties.
 

I also understand most players don't want to invest a lot of time and energy into a PC who can die at any time. There are several reasons why it can be disruptive to the game, as well. But I have found IME that this leads to players taking chances which border on foolhardy, valiantly going forth instead of taking the time to plan, investigate, etc. a situation.
This is so radically opposite my own experience, I struggle to truly understand it. Every group I've been in as a player, there's been a majority of cautious folks wanting to play things pretty safe. Sure, they'll take risks if that really does seem to be the only way, but it can take a LOT of pressure before they'll truly accept that that IS the only way. The group I run for is very similar--sometimes gunshy to the point of neglecting adventure hooks because they seem too risky.

So it's all a bit hard for me to really respond to this. I've never had this experience, not even something like it. If this was how players responded to "we'll only kill off your character total for realsies pinky swear if you and I work it out," then yeah, I can understand why death would be a necessary stick to keep the players from riding roughshod over the game. But...if that's what the players are doing, they aren't on board for the game being offered.

That's kinda the crux for me with how most folks describe making relatively-likely, irrevocable death a campaign feature specifically with the goal of curbing this behavior. It strikes me as indicating that the only way to get the players to "play along," as it were, is to threaten them with not getting to play at all unless they behave themselves. At which point, wouldn't it be more productive to work with the players to seek a game premise or adventure hook that they find inherently appealing so you can just run that thing and everyone will play along because they genuinely want to? It just seems more useful to build a game where you don't need the "stick" of death, and can instead use other, more intrinsic motivators for both carrots and sticks (e.g. the safety of characters the players genuinely care about, major revelations, personal vendettas/mysteries/goals, etc.)
 

Composer99

Adventurer
I voted no, player characters can die for any reason, but I'm happy to run things differently if that's what the players wanted, or if we were playing a different system.
 

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