How do you feel about Save or Die?

Save or Die?

  • Sure, I don't mind it.

    Votes: 48 46.2%
  • It isn't my cup of tea, but of others enjoy it good for them.

    Votes: 31 29.8%
  • No, it is a terrible design flaw.

    Votes: 25 24.0%

  • Total voters
    104
  • Poll closed .
But that is dying because of a mistake.
In the former I'm controlling at least some of the narrative, even if that means bravely running away retreating.
He who bravely runs away, lives on the songs of minstrels!
(until forced to eat said minstrel)

I've had uninjured high level PCs with triple digit HP die because of one stupid random die roll. There was literally nothing I could of done to prevent it other than not play.
See? Mistake!
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
It baffles me...honestly, completely...how resistant players can be to retreating. The default assumption for some of my players is that anything with hit points should be killable, by them, right now, no matter the circumstance, and if they aren't successful then I'm a terrible DM who doesn't know how to balance encounters.

No matter how much I telegraph the danger to them, no matter how much foreshadowing I use, no matter how many hints I drop, they refuse to retreat. To their ruin. And then they spend the next hour complaining loudly about how unfair the rules are, or how bad I am at math, or how their dice are actually the problem, or the temperature in the room, they will blame literally anything except their poor tactics and stubbornness.

/RANT

Last night's game was soooo frustrating.
 
It baffles me...honestly, completely...how resistant players can be to retreating.
I have noticed that, yes.
Have you noticed that it's typically fairly hard to retreat successfully in D&D, and kinda always has been?

I mean, just check the movement rates & modes of the monsters in the encounter, vs those of the PCs. Chances are there's at least one slower PC, too. If the monsters aren't all faster than the PCs, they're at least likely to leave one slower PC to die. Not cool. Also, by the time they realize they're not going to win this one, someone may have already dropped, so there's some emergency healing to do, or you have to pick him up.
Then, specific to 5e, there's no way to re-arrange the cyclical initiative order, so if the enemy isn't all going in a group, and the retreat doesn't doesn't start with the PC that goes right after the last enemy, there will, again, be someone left behind to be mobbed.

You'd need to provide a robust - or downright arbitrary - -sub-system, a player-side system that they know about and feel confident in, if you want to start enabling the better part of valor, that way.
It's not like pursuit & evasion sub-systems have never existed, 1e had one, it just didn't often lead to the party getting away, and 5e has one that's not particularly better, AFAICT. 4e had Skill Challenges, but the way they were presented the DM kinda had to plan on one in advance, so you'd more likely have a too-deadly encounter couched as a Skill Challenge to avoid the encounter, up-front, instead.

...

Also, D&D's hit point attrition model lacks death spiral effects, so you actually can turn around an encounter that's going very badly even as you hang on by a few hps - in 5e, for instance, if you can keep the baddies playing whack-a-mole with your front-liners long enough to drop a few of 'em and turn the tide.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I have noticed that, yes.
Have you noticed that it's typically fairly hard to retreat successfully in D&D, and kinda always has been?
Not really, no. Retreat is actually quite easy, if you prepare for it. The trouble is that nobody thinks they need to.

I play a hexblade in one gaming group, and I always make sure I have expeditious retreat in my ring of spell storing just in case I have to bug out. The other players in my gaming group mock me relentlessly for "being a coward," but you'd be extra careful too if you sold your soul to the Raven Queen.

And in the D&D group that I am the DM for, my monsters successfully retreat from combat all the time. They make copious use of Disengage and Dash, many of the more organized and intelligent ones have escape hatches, potions of gaseous form, tanglefoot bags, etc.

It seems that the players will put tons of planning into raiding a dungeon: how they will sneak in, what buffs they need, gather information on what they might find inside, etc. But they never make an escape plan. Nobody ever thinks to ask "okay so if things go badly, how do we get back out?" I'm the only one who ever suggests it, and I'm immediately the wet blanket.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
It baffles me...honestly, completely...how resistant players can be to retreating. The default assumption for some of my players is that anything with hit points should be killable, by them, right now, no matter the circumstance, and if they aren't successful then I'm a terrible DM who doesn't know how to balance encounters.

No matter how much I telegraph the danger to them, no matter how much foreshadowing I use, no matter how many hints I drop, they refuse to retreat. To their ruin. And then they spend the next hour complaining loudly about how unfair the rules are, or how bad I am at math, or how their dice are actually the problem, or the temperature in the room, they will blame literally anything except their poor tactics and stubbornness.

/RANT

Last night's game was soooo frustrating.
Taking personal responsibility is tough for some people. For others, it is empowering.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It baffles me...honestly, completely...how resistant players can be to retreating. The default assumption for some of my players is that anything with hit points should be killable, by them, right now, no matter the circumstance, and if they aren't successful then I'm a terrible DM who doesn't know how to balance encounters.

No matter how much I telegraph the danger to them, no matter how much foreshadowing I use, no matter how many hints I drop, they refuse to retreat. To their ruin. And then they spend the next hour complaining loudly about how unfair the rules are, or how bad I am at math, or how their dice are actually the problem, or the temperature in the room, they will blame literally anything except their poor tactics and stubbornness.

/RANT

Last night's game was soooo frustrating.
I know what you mean. Last night the DM threw an encounter we obvious could not win! Soooo frustrating! I mean, what did they expect? That we would retreat? Bah! Never tell me the odds! Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead!
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
It baffles me...honestly, completely...how resistant players can be to retreating. The default assumption for some of my players is that anything with hit points should be killable, by them, right now, no matter the circumstance, and if they aren't successful then I'm a terrible DM who doesn't know how to balance encounters.

No matter how much I telegraph the danger to them, no matter how much foreshadowing I use, no matter how many hints I drop, they refuse to retreat. To their ruin. And then they spend the next hour complaining loudly about how unfair the rules are, or how bad I am at math, or how their dice are actually the problem, or the temperature in the room, they will blame literally anything except their poor tactics and stubbornness.

/RANT

Last night's game was soooo frustrating.
I have been thinking about ways to make escape a more obvious "game supported" option ... including standard bluff options to distract the enemy and prevent opportunity attacks and give pcs a head start.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I know what you mean. Last night the DM threw an encounter we obvious could not win! Soooo frustrating! I mean, what did they expect? That we would retreat? Bah! Never tell me the odds! Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead!
I'm not saying you shouldn't play that way. I'm just suggesting that if you do, maybe you shouldn't blame the DM (or the rules, or your dice, or Mercury retrograde) for your swift demise.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
On a more serious note, I have difficulty setting up encounters where people should run away and broadcasting that it's an option. I mean, it's great that the monk and the wizard can get away but what about Tanky the dwarf?

But I think this is probably a different thread because I'd like to hear what other people do.
 
Not really, no. Retreat is actually quite easy, if you prepare for it. The trouble is that nobody thinks they need to.
It's really not in any edition. Theoretically, you could bring systematic magic-use into it (Word of Recall, scry-buff-teleport, equipping everyone with matching potions, etc) at least in eds like 3.x, and, even then, vs the kinds of enemies you may need to retreat from in such high-magic campaigns, it might not help.

I play a hexblade in one gaming group, and I always make sure I have expeditious retreat in my ring of spell storing just in case I have to bug out. The other players in my gaming group mock me relentlessly for "being a coward," but you'd be extra careful too if you sold your soul to the Raven Queen.
And have you been the sole survivor of a TPK for that reason?

And, y'know, did you bring a ring of spell storing for everyone? ;)

(Actually, that's a thought: 5e may not have SoD, but it doesn't have generous treasure types & magic item tables, nor wealth/level & make/buy, either.)

And in the D&D group that I am the DM for, my monsters successfully retreat from combat all the time. They make copious use of Disengage and Dash
Sure, and they're probably not any of them slower than the PCs, and aren't trying to carry away fallen comrades, either?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I'm not saying you shouldn't play that way. I'm just suggesting that if you do, maybe you shouldn't blame the DM (or the rules, or your dice, or Mercury retrograde) for your swift demise.
Too slow on my real response. Or maybe I just failed my sarcasm check. :)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Sure, and they're probably not any of them slower than the PCs, and aren't trying to carry away fallen comrades, either?
Bet that helps
Isnt there a movie trope that bad guys are just slow enough so the pcs are just fast enough.. to make things exciting :p
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Bet that helps
Isnt there a movie trope that bad guys are just slow enough so the pcs are just fast enough.. to make things exciting :p
Or the vehicle chase scene. If it's early in the movie the bad guys could be driving a garbage truck while the good guys are race car drivers in supercars but can't catch the bad guys. Always makes me laugh when the secret service Suburban can keep up with the fastest that Lamborghini has to offer.

Or the 5E chase rules. They're okay ... but just okay.
 
I haven't played at a table where people could "roll up a new character" mid-game since the early 1980s. Definitely a valid play-style, but not one that I'm accustomed to anymore.
I love that dynamic when I paleo-game 1st ed Gamma World. I'll run a scenario where essentially a whole generation of coming-of-age young mutants are sent on the Rite of Passage en masse, and the PC are the handful who pluck up their courage and take point - as they die, someone in the general mob will buck up, step forward, pick up the cool stuff they've found so far, and take their place.
I have the mutations on index cards, and equipment packages based on CHA, so you randomly roll 6 stats in order CONd6 for hps, 2d4 for mutations, % that many times, and receive equipment & mutations on cards, a complete character in moments. You can be playing a new character before the fight you died in is even over (though I've never had anyone go through two characters in one fight & start a third, at least, I'm pretty sure I'd remember that). ;)

...y'know, I haven't run one of those since 5e came out... I should.
 

Nebulous

Adventurer
.
Not really, no. Retreat is actually quite easy, if you prepare for it. The trouble is that nobody thinks they need to.

And in the D&D group that I am the DM for, my monsters successfully retreat from combat all the time. They make copious use of Disengage and Dash, many of the more organized and intelligent ones have escape hatches, potions of gaseous form, tanglefoot bags, etc.

It seems that the players will put tons of planning into raiding a dungeon: how they will sneak in, what buffs they need, gather information on what they might find inside, etc. But they never make an escape plan. Nobody ever thinks to ask "okay so if things go badly, how do we get back out?" I'm the only one who ever suggests it, and I'm immediately the wet blanket.
I think it depends a lot on the group and their play style. My old guys do plan a way out, and they've rarely gone anywhere unknown without first scouting it out via an animal or polymorph or invisible or stealth or whatever. That tactic has often saved their butts. The last major fight they were in was the yuan-ti battle in the Fane of the Serpent, and it was going to be a TPK if they didn't surrender or escape. Some of them could have retreated, but at that point they would have been chased down and long term escape wasn't possible anyway, just temporary.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Or the vehicle chase scene. If it's early in the movie the bad guys could be driving a garbage truck while the good guys are race car drivers in supercars but can't catch the bad guys. Always makes me laugh when the secret service Suburban can keep up with the fastest that Lamborghini has to offer.

Or the 5E chase rules. They're okay ... but just okay.
I seem to find that while escapes worked back in the old days they did so because the DM was a co conspirator in wanting to ignore some numbers and baseline mechanics of the game that made it usually not a good option anyway. Some newer rules like 4e skill challenges can work well but are still definitely DM enabled so I guess that is ok.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I haven't played at a table where people could "roll up a new character" mid-game since the early 1980s. Definitely a valid play-style, but not one that I'm accustomed to anymore.
Unless I've taken death off the table for the adventure or campaign, I ask players to create backup characters that can be tapped in in the event of their character's death. I want the player back in the game as soon as possible. I usually see at least 2 deaths per campaign.
 

Advertisement

Top