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How to Tell a GM You're Not Having Fun?

I'll admit, I fell into this trap briefly at the beginning of 5e. I was so used to running a high-level 4e game, I became way too excited about actually being able to create a sense of danger and risk. It got rapidly un-fun for the players, and I learned the error of my ways. But the damage was done and I had to close that campaign down and start a new one.

A DM should enjoy seeing PCs sweat a little now and then, but enjoy seeing them triumph and get to be awesome more.

It seems your DM has fallen into the trap that challenge/adversity=fun. If they stick to the standard adventuring day procedures and carefully limit when and where you get rests, this should be the optimal gaming experience of D&D and all things will iron itself out without any need for a discerning eye for balance.

No. That doesn't work and it never had.

Hah, that's gruesome, but clever. My players never did anything like that (nor did they avail themselves of 10' poles!).
We avoided blowing up the party by bringing pack mules into the dungeons. :)
A great # of mules have been burnt, crushed, chopped, exploded, dissolved, ambushed, vanished, & worse.

And even though the people I played those early games are long gone, mule bones occasionally turn up in dungeons I write.
One of these days I'll write one involving angry mule ghosts.....
 

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Honest feedback doesn't have to be offensive, though. "I'd prefer" is less offensive than "I'm not enjoying."
The two statements are NOT synonymous... They don't even fall in the same regime of dislike
There are many things I enjoy that have other things I'd prefer. EG: I enjoy reading games. I prefer to play games. I enjoy playing D&D 5E. I prefer to play L5R. I enjoy L5R 3E, but I prefer 5E.

If one isn't having fun, that's hell of a lot more serious a condition than just "I'd prefer".
 


Jack Daniel

Engines & Empires
If you are only making it 40' a game session in OSE, you're either playing far, far too cautiously, or you're too low-level for that dungeon. In the former instance, just… move quicker. Do more. Quit pixel-bitching and start kicking in doors. If you really are afraid for your characters' lives in doing that, though, because you think that the challenge is too great or the chance of death is too high, then… leave that dungeon. Go elsewhere. Old-school D&D presupposes that the PCs have the freedom to make that choice. This—
It's difficult. Everywhere we turn there are impossible combats that can't be defeated - at best they can be narrowly escaped. We're trapped in a dungeon with no chance to get supplies as our characters are starving to death. Even when we try to find food, warbands come through and we're lucky to flee with our lives.
—is simply not something that should ever happen in a proper old-school dungeon-crawl. Player control of the risk-versus-reward tradeoff, and player-driven decisions regarding how deep down into the dungeon the party is willing to delve, are baseline assumptions of the game. If your DM has abrogated that, it's no wonder you're not having any fun.

The best facet of Basic D&D is the pace of the game and the amount of time you spend on exploring dungeons. Combats are always over quickly, and entire point of play is to press into that next dungeon-room and find out what kind of danger or weirdness or magic is lurking there. Discovery for the sake of discovery. And the dungeon procedures are there to speed that along: they're a tool the DM uses to pace the game and keep things moving at a good clip. (Note, though, that this is something that only works if the players are in control of where they go and what they do.)

I can't stand playing 5th edition precisely because those procedural elements are absent, and because combats drag on and on and on (and they're the source of the XP, so you can't avoid them—which is dullsville). Give me Basic/Expert any day of the week over a WotC edition. But it does take a DM who understands the how's and why's of the system.
 
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If you are only making it 40' a game session in OSE, you're either playing far, far too cautiously, or you're too low-level for that dungeon.
Or you're too busy with in-character intra-party dialogue. (I've seen that happen.) I once had a D&D session of about 3 hours where literally nothing but deciding which way to go happened. 3 hours of in-character argument. (This was before I met BW; after meeting BW, I simply would have said, "Ok guys, time to roll for who's most convincing.")
 

Or you're too busy with in-character intra-party dialogue. (I've seen that happen.) I once had a D&D session of about 3 hours where literally nothing but deciding which way to go happened. 3 hours of in-character argument. (This was before I met BW; after meeting BW, I simply would have said, "Ok guys, time to roll for who's most convincing.")

That's true. I've had sessions spent with nothing but debate on the meaning of evidence gathered in the preceding session.
 

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