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5E Is it fair to cast save-or-suck spells on the players?

So, it's fairly obvious that you haven't really played sports - there are many sports where, if you are a bench player, you will go to games and never enter them. But that doesn't mean you don't show up with your team. But more importantly,
I think you missed the entire import of my point. It's about a social compact. You keep focusing on you. If you don't like a conversation, you turn it to something you like.
If you are on the bench, it's only so you can play again. But it's not all about you. It's about the group.
the only sports I ever played where little leagues that guaranteed play to everyone. I don't understand how you can be part of a team and never play, so yes...not a sports guy...

I think you missed the entire import of my point. It's about a social compact. You keep focusing on you. If you don't like a conversation, you turn it to something you like.
why yes, I assume the social compact (contract?) would involve everyone being part of the group, and no one sitting out for too long...and again length of time varies. Sit through a 10 min conversation about godzila even though I don't like godzila no problem, sit through a 6 hour godzila movie marathon is asking a bit much though...


And that's important, because in sharing your anecdote, I don't think you've pondered why the DM thought it was "rude," and why the first two responses to you stated that the DM was right.
I have many times tried to think this through...and always came to the same conculsion, my time off is better spent having fun then sitting and watching others have fun.


Most people would see instances of rudeness when someone prioritizes their own desires over social conventions.
so someone should sit and not have fun because its better for others for you to not have fun... I am really missing something here.


I might be more comfortable chewing with my mouth open, but it would be rude to do so.
agreed

I might think everyone should talk about what I want, but that's considered rude as well. I might want to take my ball and go home ... well, you get the idea.
no...no I don't again you list small short term things to compare to an entire night

If you don't care about these issues, then no worries! But most people, including the DM and the people that have responded to you, would consider that ... rude.
and I still don't understand no one is giving me a reason that makes any sense.

Because by leaving when things didn't work out for you ... well, that was kind of a "take my ball and go home" moment. That was the implicit statement that if your character isn't involved, you can't be bothered. Which is ... rude. IMO. YMMV.
yes, if I bring a basket ball and am told "go sit and watch us all play basketball, after a few mintues I say "Can I get next game at least" and am told "No" then I say "fine, have fun I'm going to the movies" doesn't seem like I'm the one being rude...the people who expect me to sit for hours not playing the game we agreed to play but watch them play seem WAY rude though...

Every table is different. At my table, if a player's reaction to getting sidelined was to walk away, then that player wouldn't be coming back the next session to that game.
how long should someone sit with nothing to do to not be rude? I waited 10ish minutes (long after the other PCs realized there was nothing they could do), then I asked if there was any way I could get out...the DM told me point blank there wasn't until the PCs finished this quest and came back to find an NPC witch would be a quest in and of itself... so I waited a few minutes said my good byes, and called my girl.

The next week I showed up with a new PC and joined the current dungeon, played it out, then helped the other PCs perform a quest for the Arcmage NPC so he would free my main character who then became my main PC again with my new PC becoming a reaccuring NPC...

(I would add that you seem to indicate that this occurred back in 2e, which, I assume, means you were much younger back then. I did many things back in the day that I'm not proud of now, so I'm curious why you are defending it. Would you still act the same way, or is this residual defensiveness?)
this happened in 98 when I was 17. I would have left the game MUCH sooner now adays the DM had control issues that I didn't recognize back then. I can't imagine it happening today. (The DM in question is married to one of my on again off again players of 5e, but he never updated from 2e) the entire scenario was so bonkers...

We entered a dungeon, the thief checked for traps, DM rolled 'behind a screen' (more or less unseeable) said "you find nothing" but when the fighter opened the door it was traped and hit me, the fighter, and an NPC...I failed my 20% chance to negate and failed (rolled too high) my save. I was imprisoned in gem that was then somewhere in the dungeon. SO now the party continued on looking for me... the next room had another trap disarmed easy, then a fight with some mechanical things... all of this I was present for. However this is when I asked if I could come back in anyway...

Since we were 7th level the DM honestly told me no.

SO my wizard was out (until we could go back and get someone with 9th level spells to undo this) Since his rule was new PCs come in 1st level I left, and over the week made a Dwarven Fighter/Cleric 1/1 who came in and sponged xp for a while...
 
I agree with @JonnyP71 the DM was correct. You as a player might have no idea what might be planned ahead. Sticking around for only 15 minutes is bad form.
I asked...there was no way out.

Now in other examples I have had PCs locked aways and them ask me "Hey am I out for the night?" and my answer is always "Oh I have a way out for you..." I don't think sitting out an hour to be that bad...but the whole night (or if I hadn't drawn up the new character multi weeks) is pretty bad
 
Oh my. The issue at hand here isn't about fair or unfair. The issue is that it seems that a great many players these days cannot find fun in the organic consequences that arise from playing a GAME. A large part contributing to the issue is that the attention span of a three year old has apparently become normal. ME ME ME NOW NOW NOW. The root cause of these problems being adult babies who are utterly selfish with regards to their own fun. Grab all you can for yourself and screw everyone else and quit and go home if the group doesn't enable this behavior.

GROW UP!

I have gamed with actual children who were raised properly that handle games with more maturity than many so called adults. When my PC gets sidelined during the action, I sit back, enjoy my beverage & snacks, play the peanut gallery commenting on the ongoing action and enjoy the company. If the out of action time is going to be extended (beyond the current encounter), I ask the GM if there is an NPC I can play. It is so much fun playing an antagonistic NPC for a short time or even a monster. Getting to role play a dragon or a vampire lord for a little while is every bit as much fun as playing my PC.

The bottom line is being able to have fun with friends around the table regardless of what exactly is taking place within the game. I am committed to everyone around me having fun. To that end I try and contribute to group fun even if my character is currently being held, paralyzed, knocked out, or being slowly digested by a purple worm.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Shapechange handles a lot of that desire. Also most enemies don't have access to PC special abilities. In the case I cited it was all about the spells, which yes, players can conceivably have access to in the game.
D&d is not fair to the players. The monsters get so many more abilities than them. Arguing that if the players can do something then monsters can too doesn't work unless you also say that if monsters can do something then players should be able to as well...
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
However, if it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly. If you're going to squish the PCs like bugs, it shouldn't take multiple game sessions to do so. (Although who knows, this may be his own fault for taking up too much time with "numerous" arguments and counter-arguments.) I could buy the argument that it's a bit of a design oops on the DM's part that the combat lasted longer than one game session, putting the player's (or players'?) desire to attend the next session at risk, since he might very well spend the whole time sitting around spectating if the combat runs even longer. I doubt you intended for the inevitable loss on the players' part to take more than one session--from the previous thread I thought they were going to lose quite quickly, at the rate of about 1-2 PCs per round (depending on whether Vlaakith was done with AMF or not).
Actually, according to the OP's update, the PCs' victory is all but a foregone conclusion.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
Yeesh. Lot of "You are playing the game wrong" accusations going around all of a sudden. If your character is taken out, and the DM confirms you aren't going to be able to play again for the rest of the night...so what if you leave early?

Especially if you have a significant other that you could be spending time with instead of twiddling your thumbs and possibly annoying the rest of the group by "re-enacting" whatever sidelined you. It's simply a more efficient (and enjoyable) use of your time.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
Considering I long for the more save or die nature of earlier editions you can guess my POV. Thankfully my players know that what is good for the goose is good for the gander and expect me to hit them with waves of fireballs, holds, disintegrations, etc. I've had players fail save after save and miss entire combats, they cheer on the rest of the party.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
no...no I don't again you list small short term things to compare to an entire night

and I still don't understand no one is giving me a reason that makes any sense.
.
It is all perspective. People have given you reasons that make sense, but they don't make sense to you. Reasonable people can reasonably disagree.

To follow up, time seems to be a big issue for you. To some (like you), one game session is a long time, to others not so much. Personally, I don't think one game is much time, but I do understand your perspective. I would find it a bit rude for you to leave, but I also think it is a bit rude for the DM to not have something for you to do if he/she had a trap that could take someone out of the game with no way to return.

Finally, I would understand and be OK with you leaving in the explicit scenario you describe, however, I would still think it was a bit rude (as a former athlete and lover of team sports it seems a bit like turning your back on your teammates). It can be both: justified and rude.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Oh my. The issue at hand here isn't about fair or unfair. The issue is that it seems that a great many players these days cannot find fun in the organic consequences that arise from playing a GAME. A large part contributing to the issue is that the attention span of a three year old has apparently become normal. ME ME ME NOW NOW NOW. The root cause of these problems being adult babies who are utterly selfish with regards to their own fun. Grab all you can for yourself and screw everyone else and quit and go home if the group doesn't enable this behavior.

GROW UP!

I have gamed with actual children who were raised properly that handle games with more maturity than many so called adults. When my PC gets sidelined during the action, I sit back, enjoy my beverage & snacks, play the peanut gallery commenting on the ongoing action and enjoy the company. If the out of action time is going to be extended (beyond the current encounter), I ask the GM if there is an NPC I can play. It is so much fun playing an antagonistic NPC for a short time or even a monster. Getting to role play a dragon or a vampire lord for a little while is every bit as much fun as playing my PC.

The bottom line is being able to have fun with friends around the table regardless of what exactly is taking place within the game. I am committed to everyone around me having fun. To that end I try and contribute to group fun even if my character is currently being held, paralyzed, knocked out, or being slowly digested by a purple worm.
ENworld needs a "LOVE" XP option just for this post.

This needs to be said/repeated, loudly and often these days.
 
Amen [MENTION=66434]ExploderWizard[/MENTION]!
[MENTION=32659]Charles Rampant[/MENTION] Way to run the session! Thanks for sharing your example of high-level play and the strategies of your players and the lich-queen. Interesting stuff. :) I hope you'll share with us how your subsequent session turns out.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Here is a problem I've seen in a lot of games.

The DM assembles an overwhelming force and throws it at the PCs. The DM then proceeds to have the enemy use horrible tactics, cheats die rolls in the favor of the PCs, and in other ways coddles the battle so that the PCs win.

That is not fun for many players. Personally, it bugs the heck out of me.

This may be what we're seeing here. It was a deadly many times over encounter and involved PCs facing many difficult saves or being eliminated. It is hard for PCs not to get wiped out. If they're competitive when the enemy can launch several save or suck spells with a high DC per round... Yeah.

And, yes, I do realize that there are save or suck spells as low as 2nd level and that you can get a massive problem just throwing 20 3rd level clerics with hold person at a party. However, the higher DCs of tough spellcasters really do change things, especially when they target 'bad saves'.
 

Caliban

Rules Monkey
ENworld needs a "LOVE" XP option just for this post.

This needs to be said/repeated, loudly and often these days.
Or you know... not. I would actually prefer fewer "you are playing the game wrong, you all suck, play it my way or you're spoiled children" rants.

But hey, maybe that's just me.
 
Yeesh. Lot of "You are playing the game wrong" accusations going around all of a sudden. If your character is taken out, and the DM confirms you aren't going to be able to play again for the rest of the night...so what if you leave early?

Especially if you have a significant other that you could be spending time with instead of twiddling your thumbs and possibly annoying the rest of the group by "re-enacting" whatever sidelined you. It's simply a more efficient (and enjoyable) use of your time.
Thank you I really thought I had gone insane, since it seemed everyone thought I was wrong to not spend my night off not playing D&D but watching others do so...
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Once upon a time, I was agin' save-or-suck. It's boring for the player to essentially be out of the action, at least compared to mixing it up with Team Monster. I know it's annoying for me when I'm sidelined as a player. It was particularly bad in D&D 3.Xe as I recall and D&D 4e made some improvements that made it better in my view. D&D 5e steals quite a bit from D&D 4e in this regard in my experience.

When I started running more games online, I noticed that it wasn't an irregular occurrence for some folks to just observe the game without playing. For my regular games, I have a pool of 10 players from which only 5 can play in a given session and, for one-shots, I recruit 5 players and 2 alternates (who can jump in if someone's character dies). So for like 4+ hours, players of that game or just lurkers would happily watch as we did our thing, throwing a few comments in here and there especially when a particularly timely dick joke needed to be interjected. I ran a D&D 4e one-shot recently and one of the observers (a pick-up player I didn't know) had a character ready to go in case someone died, an event that came close about four times that session. At the end, I apologized to the player that he didn't get to play but his response was along the lines of "Not necessary, that game was super exciting to watch even if I didn't get to play. Next week, same time?"

I also noticed that there seems to be something of an unspoken agreement among my regular players that nobody should be forced to be in a suck situation for an unreasonable amount of time. For example, when Corbet was restrained by the feython summoned by the lizard shaman, who was somewhat away from the action in which the rest of the PCs were engaged, a special effort was made to break away from what they were doing to attack the shaman and disrupt its concentration. When Amyr had fallen to Mojo Risen and was making death saves (the ultimate in save-or-suck, right?) while being dragged away by a giant crocodile, Corbet broke away to save him at a personal cost. Nobody seems to want anyone else to be out of the action for very long. These are just two of many examples. I've read about plenty of groups who don't do this, who choose the tactically superior option to the one that best benefits the play experience.

So it seems like the mitigating factor for save-or-suck in these cases are players that are looking out for other players and a game that as fun to watch as it is to play, or at least approaches that. That tells me that if a player is complaining about save-or-suck (personality issues aside), there may be issues with these two factors if not other things. To that end it may be helpful to look at the overall play experience and how the players interact with each other and make improvements where necessary. And just like you ideally have a plan in place for when a PC dies, if save-or-suck happening to a player is a known issue, you need a plan for when it comes up. Some suggestions were made upthread.

As to whether such effects are fair, the answer as far as I am concerned is "yes." Provided the DM has telegraphed the possibility of such effects in advance and the players had a choice whether or not to face them. As to whether they're fun, that's going to depend on a lot of other factors as I note above. Rather than get all "get off my lawn" about these damn kids today with their short attention spans, it might be worth taking a good hard look at the play experience that is being produced at the table. If it's not fun to observe for a bit while you're out of the action, then it probably needs some work.
 
Yeesh. Lot of "You are playing the game wrong" accusations going around all of a sudden. If your character is taken out, and the DM confirms you aren't going to be able to play again for the rest of the night...so what if you leave early?

Especially if you have a significant other that you could be spending time with instead of twiddling your thumbs and possibly annoying the rest of the group by "re-enacting" whatever sidelined you. It's simply a more efficient (and enjoyable) use of your time.
I tend to agree. None of the commenters were there and know the dynamics of the group in play. I've had groups where sticking around for 4 hours of watching them play would not be fun nor particularly meaningful to them. So, I'm ready to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and hope he had a good time with the girlfriend.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
Oh my. The issue at hand here isn't about fair or unfair. The issue is that it seems that a great many players these days cannot find fun in the organic consequences that arise from playing a GAME. A large part contributing to the issue is that the attention span of a three year old has apparently become normal. ME ME ME NOW NOW NOW. The root cause of these problems being adult babies who are utterly selfish with regards to their own fun. Grab all you can for yourself and screw everyone else and quit and go home if the group doesn't enable this behavior.

GROW UP!

I have gamed with actual children who were raised properly that handle games with more maturity than many so called adults. When my PC gets sidelined during the action, I sit back, enjoy my beverage & snacks, play the peanut gallery commenting on the ongoing action and enjoy the company. If the out of action time is going to be extended (beyond the current encounter), I ask the GM if there is an NPC I can play. It is so much fun playing an antagonistic NPC for a short time or even a monster. Getting to role play a dragon or a vampire lord for a little while is every bit as much fun as playing my PC.

The bottom line is being able to have fun with friends around the table regardless of what exactly is taking place within the game. I am committed to everyone around me having fun. To that end I try and contribute to group fun even if my character is currently being held, paralyzed, knocked out, or being slowly digested by a purple worm.
This makes me think of people who want damage on a miss in combat because not doing damage in a round just isn't fun and is boring.
 

Eltab

Villager
It is fair to use whatever abilities the NPCs have.

I wonder, though, from the NPC's viewpoint:
Their Rogue is locked down, do I need to give him another Finger of Death? (He's already been hit by a fist-full of them, and one finally stuck... sorta.) Maybe I should cast NPC's DPR King at him instead, while this limited window of opportunity is still open. He's likely to break the condition pretty quickly and promptly come after us for blood.
 

MarkB

Hero
It's rule utilitarinism. For overall optimal fun (feelings of accomplishment), there must be times where there isn't fun.
Times? Maybe.

Most of an entire session? That's not going to enhance anyone's feeling of accomplishment.
 

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