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).


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Nefermandias

Adventurer
He didn't present it as a matter of preference, he presented it as illogical/wrong for the information to be there. He just never expanded it out into a rational argument with actual reasoning. I don't see any "Well it may well help some people but I have no use for it" or similar equivocation that would back up your reading. Rather he ALL CAPS says it has NO PLACE in RPG books. That's an extremely strong/bold statement that doesn't sound like mere preference to me.

Also I'm not presenting my opinion as purely preference. I'm suggesting it literally makes sense, and is correct, for a book purporting to be advice for Dungeon Masters to contain advice on how to manage/run an RPG group which might not relate solely or strictly to rules. I don't think that's "preference", I think that's basic logic. And it's easy to see that the overwhelming majority of RPGs do indeed have that sort of information. I've presented an actual argument and can back it up, and it's pretty straightforward. I think it's actually a bad idea for RPGs to not contain advice of this type, in fact, but that's been rare for a very long time.
You are not respecting my request for disengagement if you keep talking about me.

Also, nobody here is forcing anything on anyone. It's all a matter of opinions and point of view. Always.
 

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You are not respecting my request for disengagement if you keep talking about me.
I'm responding to Galandris' points, I intentionally didn't @ you. /shrug.

As forcing, I don't think anyone has suggested that. Galadris' point was about "personal preference", which is something I would separate from a reasoned opinion/argument which is intended to convince others. To me, a personal preference is "I like milk in my tea", whereas a reasoned argument is something like "You should cook mince until it's browned - because you might get food poisoning if you do not".
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
He didn't present it as a matter of preference, he presented it as ill That's an extremely strong/bold statement that doesn't sound like mere preference to me.

In my experience, speech is more heated when expressing opinions and preferences instead of argumentation. Demonstrative speech is often much more muted (because if there is nothing to add after a proper demonstration). I have never heard anyone yell a syllogism :ROFLMAO:

Also I'm not presenting my opinion as purely preference. I'm suggesting it literally makes sense, and is correct, for a book purporting to be advice for Dungeon Masters to contain advice on how to manage/run an RPG group which might not relate solely or strictly to rules. I don't think that's "preference", I think that's basic logic. And it's easy to see that the overwhelming majority of RPGs do indeed have that sort of information. I've presented an actual argument and can back it up, and it's pretty straightforward. I think it's actually a bad idea for RPGs to not contain advice of this type, in fact, but that's been rare for a very long time.

I agree it me be "logical" (or simply, expected) for a product like a DMG to contain overall advice not specifically centered on rules. However, it might depends on the target audience. A "What are RPGs" section is useful in a product aimed at a wide range of people (who might not be player but have heard of D&D because of a film or Stranger Things or a CRPG and bought the PHB because that's what you might stumble upon, however they are a feature that sounds strangely when the product is aimed at people who obviously already know what are RPGs (like some niche RPG games... Such sections would be unhelpful in MLWM or DitV, for example, or even in LU, because I expect all LU players to have read the PHB at some point). Same with more specific advice: at some point, rehashing advice one is already familiar is basically making one buy the same advice again and again across multiple products. When it comes out first, it's innovative. When it's repeated, it's becoming like "what are those strange pointed dice thingies", a filler paragraph that adds nothing. I understand your point about the appropriateness of such GMing advice in a "general public" product like 5e, but I'd say that it depends on the product when going into more "niche" products, were its usefulness is lower.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You are not respecting my request for disengagement if you keep talking about me.

Mod Note:
This site tries to get people to honor requests for folks to not respond directly to posts - culminating in the Ignore/Block feature.

Short of that feature, though, we cannot police requests to "not talk about what I said or did". If you want that level of protection, please use the Ignore feature.
 

I understand your point about the appropriateness of such GMing advice in a "general public" product like 5e, but I'd say that it depends on the product when going into more "niche" products, were its usefulness is lower.
Context matters, sure, but do any of those actually not contain DM/player "how to play/run this" advice? I'm presuming DitV is Dogs in the Vineyard, and MLWM is My Life With Master, and LU I just don't know. I take your point re: not every section being needed (like "What are RPGs?") but that seems a bit different from not including any kind of "how to make it work/how it should work" advice at all to me. Didn't DitV in fact have an issue where the author felt he had been insufficiently clear on how it was intended to be played, and that's part of why he pulled it? Also random but I know for a cold fact people very new to RPGs ended up playing DitV once back in the day, I have a friend who told me about it. I know absolutely nothing about MLWM so I can't comment on it at all lol.

Of course there's also the hilarious situation where a "DM advice" book or section basically shrieks "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!" and instructs you to cease and desist. There was at least one WW Storyteller book which basically said "Stop having fun, if your [insert WoD game, I forget which] game is fun, and you're kicking ass and taking names, you're not playing as intended!!!", but given parts of the same book said "ignore anything in this you disagree with", that was very easy to ignore. There was also the whole "'Trenchcoats and Katanas'/
'Superheroes with Fangs' is an illegal and wrong way to play Vampire and I intend to end it!" thing which happened with V:tM Revised, but that wasn't in a book (IIRC), that was just on the WW website.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Games shouldn't tell you how to play an RPG. They should tell you how to run and their play the game in front of you. You don't play Apocalypse World the same way you play D&D. The process of how a game is intended to be played is part of the game design. I wouldn't expect a What is a board game? section in the Monopoly rules. It's irrelevant. What is relevant is how to play Monopoly.
 


Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Didn't DitV in fact have an issue where the author felt he had been insufficiently clear on how it was intended to be played, and that's part of why he pulled it? Also random but I know for a cold fact people very new to RPGs ended up playing DitV once back in the day, I have a friend who told me about it.

Interesting about DitV as en entry game... Well, that must have been strange for him. And yes, because it is a very specific story-making, I feel it really needed a specific section instead of a general introduction, not because people would risk "not knowing what to do with it" but risked "playing it in the unintended way" like any other RPGs (something the mechanics didn't support). I concur with what @Campbell said above, the more specific, the better, the more general, the "more fillery". A general "Wheaton rule" advice is generally useless (since two human beings will seldom agree on what breaks Wheaton's rule) and I doubt anyone reading "don't be a dick" will say "drat, I've been doing it wrong for years!"

Of course there's also the hilarious situation where a "DM advice" book or section basically shrieks "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!!!" and instructs you to cease and desist. There was at least one WW Storyteller book which basically said "Stop having fun, if your [insert WoD game, I forget which] game is fun, and you're kicking ass and taking names, you're not playing as intended!!!", but given parts of the same book said "ignore anything in this you disagree with", that was very easy to ignore. There was also the whole "'Trenchcoats and Katanas'/
'Superheroes with Fangs' is an illegal and wrong way to play Vampire and I intend to end it!" thing which happened with V:tM Revised, but that wasn't in a book (IIRC), that was just on the WW website.
Yes, a section isn't necessarily well-written, even when it's specific.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm a bard! Which pretty much fits, and would make @Snarf Zagyg disappointed, so win-win! :)

I think their profile description thing is a bit off. The survey is interesting though.

Here’s mine, and a lot of it make sense. Some not so much.

 

Ulorian

Adventurer
I've definitely had players ignore my campaign intro blurb, then express amazement when they have to eg train to level. A good number of players don't really pay attention to anything outside their turn in combat or when their PC is speaking - sometimes not even then!
That does happen. Pretty annoying when you're the GM. But I've always tried to keep things as entertaining as I could while still recognising that these moments will happen to even the best players (i.e. everyone is going to be distracted or bored at some point, regardless of how awesome the action is). Human nature. Players who are like this all the time though...
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
On Vampire there definitely is a lack of alignment between what the game's systems rewarded and the instructions provided. I would have preferred the game design change to be more consistent with the way the game was presented than play to what I regard as an accident of design.

That being said I would not categorize the intended playstyle as lacking in fun. Nor would I say folks who enjoyed supers by night were wrong to enjoy that playstyle.
 


Arilyn

Hero
I remember reading the fluff for WoD games. All seemed pretty cool. But then the mechanics never let you actually do any of those things. And first edition of Changeling was a contradictory mess of rules and fluff. And not even close to the scary Fae that supposedly had the Garou shaking in their paws!

Fluff and mood should match what the players will actually be doing in the game. Always.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I remember reading the fluff for WoD games. All seemed pretty cool. But then the mechanics never let you actually do any of those things. And first edition of Changeling was a contradictory mess of rules and fluff. And not even close to the scary Fae that supposedly had the Garou shaking in their paws!

Fluff and mood should match what the players will actually be doing in the game. Always.
While I agree with you completely, I wonder how that would actually play out for a lot of games. Some absolutely nail this. Like most PbtA games are pure gold when it comes to matching the fluff and mood to the mechanics and assumed activities of the PCs. And Call of Cthulhu does this spectacularly. As you mentioned, others are wildly divergent...like D&D. The fluff and mood clearly don't match the mechanics nor what the PCs will actually (generally speaking) be doing in the game. The fluff and mood speak to a fantastical faux-medieval land of endless epic quests and almost fairy tale-esque undreamable possibilities...while the mechanics and assumed PC activities point directly to an endless grind of slaughtering monsters for treasure, using that treasure to gain power, only to use that power to "progress" to ever more "deadly" monsters in the endless grind of slaughtering even more monsters for treasure. The assumed activities and mechanics point almost exactly to what you'd imagine the Old World setting of Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play would be, sans the guns. Not to something like the pastoral setting of the Forgotten Realms.
 

On Vampire there definitely is a lack of alignment between what the game's systems rewarded and the instructions provided. I would have preferred the game design change to be more consistent with the way the game was presented than play to what I regard as an accident of design.

That being said I would not categorize the intended playstyle as lacking in fun. Nor would I say folks who enjoyed supers by night were wrong to enjoy that playstyle.
I'd argue it wasn't an accident of design at all, but quite intentional design based on the source material, some of which hewed pretty close to superheroes with fangs. I'd argue some of Anne Rice's stuff isn't far from that at times, for example. And things like the extensive combat splats didn't happen by accident - particularly the in-depth combat and weapons books. Further it didn't get represented as a problem until Rein*Hagen was off the product, which I think is significant. And the double down on it wasn't until the edition Rein*Hagen had nothing to do with (Revised). Perhaps more importantly a lot of not-necessarily-source vampire media leaned that way, and if VtM had rejected that hard from day 1 it'd have been an also-ran, not a big hit, I'd say, because later stuff which did work with that would have eaten it's lunch. But anyway I think it was intentional with R*H.

Tbf I'm not actually sure the game.in question was Vampire re the "no fun". It may have been Wraith or Werewolf.
 

The assumed activities and mechanics point almost exactly to what you'd imagine the Old World setting of Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play would be, sans the guns. Not to something like the pastoral setting of the Forgotten Realms.
Not really and I find WFRP is a much better match for what I'd expect the Old World to be like for a couple of reasons. The first is that the injury rules in D&D have always been non-existent (even under the most punishing old school rules you're fully functional on 1hp and you recover with just rest at the extreme in about the time a runner recovers from a marathon). And dungeon crawling in the Old World is suicidal.

I do however take the point; oD&D is much more suited to a Fantasy Western or somewhere on the edge like the Nentir Vale than it is for somewhere settled like the Realms.
 

pogre

Legend
Death is a possible consequence in my game and I enjoy the game less if it is not a possibility. I know this because I run Adventure League where death has no impact and it certainly changes how some players approach the game. My son and I were just talking about this last night after an Adventure League game and he made the same observation.

Having said that, for a couple of our players at the Adventure League table having their character die would be real-life devastating. I pretty much give them death immunity, because it would greatly reduce their enjoyment of the game. Yes, I cater to players in Adventure League - for me that's the whole point of AL - trying to build a better and bigger local player base.

My regular weekly campaign has a group of players who have a play style that is close to mine. It makes for great sessions and great campaigns.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Death is a possible consequence in my game and I enjoy the game less if it is not a possibility. I know this because I run Adventure League where death has no impact and it certainly changes how some players approach the game. My son and I were just talking about this last night after an Adventure League game and he made the same observation.

Having said that, for a couple of our players at the Adventure League table having their character die would be real-life devastating. I pretty much give them death immunity, because it would greatly reduce their enjoyment of the game. Yes, I cater to players in Adventure League - for me that's the whole point of AL - trying to build a better and bigger local player base.
What's impressive (or lucky) is that you can pull this off - catering to certain players - without causing resentment among the other players.
 

El Condoro

Explorer
I had never considered that death could or would be off-limits in D&D but I think that I will change my approach somewhat. As others have said, I would gauge the players' opinions in a Session 0 to the idea of having no death until the average party level is 5 and Revivify becomes available. Until then, PCs that 'die' are saved from actual death but will lose an ability score permanently depending on how they 'died'. Through bad luck - player chooses; through stupidity - wisdom or intelligence; big mouth brought on an unnecessary fight - charisma; hit by massive damage - strength, dex or con. That sort of thing, so that death has lasting consequences but doesn't require a new character. After Level 5, the consequences are more narrative-based - something happens to the PC in the nexus between life and death that affects them when they are brought back/revived, malevolent interest from the planes etc. My basic premise is that 'death' should have lasting consequences but not necessarily a new character.
 

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