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

Hussar

Legend
Look at my post #108

His initial post says he was sidelined, he waited 15 minutes then left.
Only in subsequent posts did PG4PG disclose he asked the DM about if his escape was possible - but the real clincher is he used a freakin example of when he was in his teens with a young DM to substantiate why save vs suck is bad!
It is the same as using the bad DM example to make your point.

Alignment is bad because young DM/bad DM example!
Save Vs Suck is bad because young DM/bad DM example!
Adventure/Module is bad because young DM/bad DM example!
Rule 0 is bad because young DM/bad DM example!
4e is bad because young DM/bad DM example!

Really, you want to plant your flag here?

EDIT: I have been in a similar situation as PG4PG except it had nothing to do with a save-vs-suck scenario. The DM was just bad. I sat through the entire session participating as a player (jesting, reading up on rules, snacking). There were also other contributing factors that were compounding my unfun in that group. Later that night, after evaluating the fun I was having, I decided to excuse myself from this group as I could no longer 'waste time' and have minimal fun during RPG sessions.
And yet, funnily enough, I was immediately able to understand the situation and realize that no, [MENTION=67338]GMforPowergamers[/MENTION] wasn't being a douche here.

How is a 25 year old DM with almost a decade of experience a "young" DM? Good grief. That's a heck of a lot older and more experienced than a whole boatload of DM's. And, I'd point out that he mentioned that he asked if he could get back in the game in the initial post. Here's the relevant bit:

I once got told I was being a jerk for leaving a game early... the reason I left was I was imprisoned (per spell) and PCs had no way to get me out. I went and called my girlfriend and we went to the movies... (it was less than 30mins into a 5 hour game) after the movie I called and no one had a way to get me out yet...so I came back the next week with a new character. The DM said it was rude I should have stayed (I did stick around for about 15 mins after I was imprisoned) The thing was I was the only spellcaster, I knew no one could free me.
All the relevant information is right there. He knew he was stuck and wouldn't be able to participate for the rest of the session AND HE WAS RIGHT. Let's not forget here, that he was 100% right. And everyone jumped on him for being a bad player for politely excusing himself.

Yup, I'll plant my flag on this hill every time. DM's need to get over themselves.
 

schnee

Villager
Yeah, some people do require a whole story behind PC introduction. My method is generally. "This is Mike. He's part of the group now." And then we all start playing.
I love how that happens at the oddest, worst times and role playing through that is hilarious.

"It's the middle of the night, what are you doing hiding near the road?"
"You're four people, heavily armed and covered in blood. I felt it wise."
"We just killed a bunch of evil cultists that attacked us."
(Holds up a gold robe.)
"Great! I've been tracking them for a while. Can I join you?"
"Sure thing, the more the merrier."
"Awesome."

***Player 5 has joined the party***
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
Regarding the original post: While it probably sounds a bit mean, I'm in the "suck it up" camp myself.

Recent example: Pathfinder game, circa 14th level, travelling in Hell. In the midst of a pitched battle, I failed a save, quite badly, and my character was turned to an iron statue. I spent the next hour and a half of a two hour battle as an iron statue. I still stayed, and was still engaged in the fight, because I wanted to find out the fate of my group - was this a TPK that meant the end, or did we manage to recover? That's the breaks of high-level play. 5e already goes out of the way to make most save or suck spells save every round - it makes sense that the highest levels of magic (8+) end a fight completely. The casters in-world spent years perfecting this level of power, it should be unfair to an extent.

More personally, in sports, a benched player worth a damn doesn't take off because he/she didn't get to play, or because they can't play -- they stay for the team to the end of the match, because they're a team. To me, that says as much about character as taking off because you got sidelined does.

CAVEAT: just thought of one thing - it you're the type who still can run 6 or 8 hour games, and get sidelined with no chance of coming back for 6 or 8 hours because you still run combats that long, that might be a bit unreasonable to ask. :) I haven't run a 6+ hour game in MANY years.
 
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Hussar

Legend
There's a problem with the sports analogy though. If I'm on a team, I know that I may very well not play in a given game. I know that going in. It's expected that there will be games that I may very well not actually play in. Fair enough. Never minding more individual sports where your active participation might be done early in the day, but, you stick around until the end because you're on the team.

D&D and RPG's in general, are not those sports. I sit down to a D&D game to play, not to observe. Now, does that mean that I'm going to get up an leave if I'm not active for ten minutes? No, of course not. But, if I know that I'm not going to participate any more in tonight's session? Well, I got other things I can be doing. And, frankly, most of them are more interesting than watching other people play an RPG.

Now, if you wouldn't leave? That's perfectly fine. Absolutely no judgement. You like watching a session? Fair enough. But, that's not the issue here. We're being called bad players, rude, inconsiderate, entitled and probably a few other adjectives, for not enjoying the same things you do. Sorry, but, I don't. I don't play RPG's to be a spectator. I certainly don't run RPG's where the rules force a player to be sidelined for extended periods of time. And, on the extremely rare chance that someone did get sidelined at the beginning of the session, I'd probably just turn to the player and tell them that their time would be better spent elsewhere.

What I would never, ever do is expect a player to sit there and watch the game for several hours without being able to actually play and actually get pissed off or upset that a player chose not to.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
There's a problem with the sports analogy being used here. It's true that in sports players are expected to sit on the sidelines and watch at least some of the time. However, it typically isn't a single player sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else play. I'm not a sports guy, but my fiance plays in two fast pitch leagues and based on her stories they have at least as much fun off the field as when they are on the field. I don't think it's reasonable to expect the same mentality for both. If the sidelined players at a gaming table were to carry on the way my fiance's team does, those who were still playing would likely find it rather disruptive.

I enjoy watching RPG shows (such as Critical Role), but strictly as background. I have to be doing something else, whether it be coding or cooking, otherwise I find that I get bored rather quickly. If I'm focusing on something else, my mind sort of just quietly absorbs what's going on until it finds something particularly interesting/amusing, at which point I begin actively listening once more. This, despite the fact that I'm normally the sort of person who is terrible at multi-tasking (my fiance can study and watch TV at the same time - she even gets As; I find studying with the TV on to be impossible, as it's far too distracting).

If someone at my gaming table is taken out indefinitely, then at the end of the scene whoever is DMing will suggest the player roll up a new character. Typically, we'll put the game on pause and chat about various topics until that player is ready to rejoin play. It can suck a bit, particularly when the player has a hard time coming up with a concept and character creation takes up most of the session, but we consider it rude to exclude the player. While it's never happened before, I think if the player excused himself and requested that we continue without him, we wouldn't take issue with it. Heck, we've canceled games mid-session because a player had an emergency and we didn't want to exclude him.
 

schnee

Villager
There's a problem with the sports analogy though...

D&D and RPG's in general, are not those sports. I sit down to a D&D game to play, not to observe. Now, does that mean that I'm going to get up an leave if I'm not active for ten minutes? No, of course not. But, if I know that I'm not going to participate any more in tonight's session? Well, I got other things I can be doing. And, frankly, most of them are more interesting than watching other people play an RPG.
I look at it as a low-stakes Poker metaphor.

When you play low-stakes Poker with good friends, you're all working against the House, the cards provide randomness and odds, mastery of the game is rewarded, and you tend to snack and chat and joke around. And sometimes your bets go against you and you're out for a while.

D&D is the same, but lower stakes, players are cooperative - to the point of trading cards to better each other's hands and sharing the spoils of each deal - and even more emphasis is placed on the joking around.

(Oh, and since we're nerds, there's a whole lot more variables involved in the math, it's much more theatrical, funny voices, cultural references, escapist fiction, etcetera.)

--

Now that I've been thinking about it, low-stakes Poker has an attrition pattern, where people go out one by one and then join each other in another activity, and once players start leaving it all ends rather quickly and that's the desired result. In D&D, usually only one player is sidelined at a time due to the monster encounter mechanics (of targeting one saving throw), they're gone for one battle, and if everyone leaves the table it's terrible. :D

I think I'm going to give this problem some more thought.
 
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Okay we can disagree on that issue. If he runs games like that today then I would easily place him in the bad-DM camp.
dude it isn't even the tip of the iceberg of bad DM practices...and I did admit that pretty early, not only would it not happen today but the reason is that I wouldn't have put up with his style of DMing today as I did as a teen.

But don't you think it would be disingenuous for me to say in a debate about 4e hey GM 4e is crap based on young DM/bad DM example?
but having a bad DM in 4e that gave all the monster regen when bloodied would make the fights take longer...that doesn't mean I can't when asked why I think it's bad that fights take long use an example of 6 hour fight and how boreing it was... infact to show case that 'long fights are not fun' I could even use Rifts as my example... because the point is 'long fights are a problem with 4e'. so I need to show 2 thing 1) fights in 4e take long 2) long fights bad. My rifts example can prove 2 but not 1. So if asked "are you sure that your DM didn't mess up 4e and make the fights too long" the regen example proves nothing, BUT if the question is "why are long fights bad" the rifts example fits fine...

bringing this back to topic of 5e as is, I was not trying to answer the quastions "In D&D5e are there save or suck spells, or spells that can take you out of play." because a 2e bad DM example wont show that at all...However my example was way more basic "Why spells, traps or abilities that take a player out for the rest of the session are annoying"



Here is the thing. Have you never been surprised by a DM?
Yup all the time...that's why I didn't use those as an example...in fact once again I choose my example as something from years ago with the full hindsight of knowing how not only that dungeon played out, not only that campaign played out but having played with that DM all the way through 3e coming out AND still to this day being friends with and talking to him and his wife. a surprise is a little late 20ish years later...

I'm not saying this DM would have done it - but its not that far fetched for me to imagine a situation which initially appears impossible but the DM through narrating the story provides a surprising twist.
Yup...I have even said that, I would put a scroll, an item, something to break free the person in the next treasure or give him or her a quick option to bring in something else...why, because of the main thesisis of this post "IS IT FUN TO BE FORCED OUT OF THE GAME FOR LONG PERIODS?" my answer is no... now can a good DM give the fighter a way to teleport/plane shift back, or free you from imprisonment, YES, but if they don't then taking you out of play SUCKs



As a basic example...TPK in combat only for party to be resurrected centuries later by a mysterious entity.
Did you in early 2000's play in CT, if so that might have been the second 3e game I ever played...(also a bad DM story, but because he played favorites with his girlfriends character, not the tpk.res)


Imprisoned, only for the magic spell to suddenly fail a few days later, as magic everywhere mysteriously waxes and wanes...
Yup...that would have been cool, but in no way was that happening... we were at beginning of a dungeon, the next day was 2 real world weeks away.

Remember my response was to your initial post - I had not know you had asked the DM whether your escape was possible.
But you did know escape was impossible, I spelled out it was years ago, and there was no way. I may not have given you many detail (at the time I just assumed everyone would read the words of what happened and trust my account) but the details I did share was "No way out".

see it is the single most important part of the story, and the part you and others want to ignore. If a player's character is taken out of play for an extended pearid by any means, it is not fun. There are work arounds a DM can come up with (give them an NPC, let them get an item to get them back in, have magic fail) but once they do so it ends the problem (problem being the extended time out of play) but doesn't mean the problem isn't there, just that they worked around it.



Okay, I'm not here to defend other posters. I have had the luxury of 2 bad DMs IMO (they were brothers), who happened to run 4e.
if you have played any real amount of time and only ever found 2 bad GMs I am very envies of your experience...I have had at least as many bad DMs as Good ones...



I believe the reason they were poor at DMing were because their experience was largely homogenous - they had no exposure to differing styles and roleplayers which did little to grow them as DMs. (Side Note - That is why places like Enworld are great for the community - I firmly believe it creates better DM's and players).
I agree.

Now I don't have an issue with 4e based on those bad DM's. You entered the conversation and blamed save-vs-suck on this bad DM - and here is the key thing to remember, bleachers-loving guy @Caliban even admitted this might have been something he would do 15 years ago. That is the sole reason where we are disagreeing (besides the save vs suck thing).
except the discussion of 'being taken out of play for extended periods of time' can't be solved with "just don't do it" and still be OK...the fact that "A good DM can work around a bad situation" isn't in and of it self proof of "It's not a bad situation"

If a guy is out for a fight because save-vs-suck its not the end of the world at our table, the guys have fun - jesting, giving advice, making coffee...etc and we would NEVER have a guy be out for an entire session at our table - that is ridiculous, ESPECIALLY since we don't play as often as when we were teenagers/20 years old, so RPG-time is precious. So on that we agree, just not on the example you used in the debate to argue vs save-vs-suck ;)
then go back and please reread, because I belive you are not reading any of what I wrote
 

Azurewraith

Explorer
The players are level 19 if combat turned into a slugfest it would be pointless PCS would win due to low monster ACS it would just be a question of how many rounds and how many HPS the PC's will have to heal with there infinite supplies of potions(what else they doing with all that gold?). All of the spells offer something to resist them be it a save,check or high HP each spell can also be counter spelled or disable the caster(silence,darkness or binding there hands).

I don't know you or your group so I'm going to generalize here and I will apologize if it sounds offensive etc I'm not meaning to offend anyone. To me it sounds like your PCs :):):):)ed up they either didn't plan ahead and bring countermeasures or brought them and failed to implement them and as a result are butt hurt at the end of the day these are level 19pcs they can trivialize most encounters and well a level 19 character is going into a home soon anyway so why not die instead.

This may be slightly off topic but I have never believed in this notion of the PCs are supposed to win, don't get me wrong I'm not the kind of guy that's going to double tap a PC or send 3 dragons at a lvl 1party or anything but if failure isn't an option where is the point in character sheets and dice? You may as well tell a joint cinematic story.
 
During the shift from 4e to 5e, one of the criticisms leveled at 5e were the spellcaster stat-blocks requiring lots of looking things up. It's a legitimate criticism that is increasingly valid the higher level you play.

However, including all the spell info (even in condensed form) causes the stat-block to swell to an unmanageable size.

Currently, I'm writing a high-level adventure. One thing I decided early on was to include a Spell Index of all spells that appear in the adventure in condensed form, with the idea being the DM would print it out (~5 pages) and be able to look up, on the fly, for example sacred flame (bad example, I know, but only finished cantrips so far):

[SECTION]Sacred Flame Action; 60 ft; one creature you can see; Dex save (no benefit from cover); 1d8 radiant damage, 2d8 (5th), 3d8 (11th), 4d8 (17th)[/SECTION]
That's a good idea. Ironically the adventure I'm running did have a fairly complex description of how Vlaakith fights in combat, to aid the DM; it's just completely useless, due to the change in editions. (It starts with her casting a metamagic-enhanced Timestop and then following with six spells that now require Concentration, for example...) This adventure is interesting since it allows the players to do normal nasty tactics - Scry, Teleport, etc are all described as not prohibited by the Palace - but there are consequences for them, and Vlaakith has scry-blocked herself and her phlactery, namely the two things that they'd really want to know.

Edit: forgot to add why that's useful to mention here: to me this makes it a good high level adventure. It doesn't prohibit the players from doing high level fun stuff, but gives complications to them, and focuses on giving the DM a lot of cool rooms and monsters to fight without demanding that the players follow a specific path to do so.

As to your earlier comments about ideas for re-engaging people, I liked them! An interesting wrinkle here is that the absent character - the Champion Archer - was actually being controlled by proxy this session, since the player couldn't make it. If he can't make it next week, we might just quietly forget his character, and allow it to reappear at a dramatic moment the following week (i.e. when the player rejoins us). If the player does make it, I'm liking the idea now that some Githyanki chase him with a set of dimensional shackles, say, and these shackles are designed to teleport the user directly back to Tu'Narath once put on... so the player can have a wee side fight, defeat the Gith, and then use the shackles as a jumpstart back into the action. How his non-arcana trained character learns that is the wrinkle. However, since the players recruited him in Sigil, and he might thus be a native, it might not be that unbelievable that someone nearby can tell him...
 
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Fanaelialae

Adventurer
The players are level 19 if combat turned into a slugfest it would be pointless PCS would win due to low monster ACS it would just be a question of how many rounds and how many HPS the PC's will have to heal with there infinite supplies of potions(what else they doing with all that gold?). All of the spells offer something to resist them be it a save,check or high HP each spell can also be counter spelled or disable the caster(silence,darkness or binding there hands).

I don't know you or your group so I'm going to generalize here and I will apologize if it sounds offensive etc I'm not meaning to offend anyone. To me it sounds like your PCs :):):):)ed up they either didn't plan ahead and bring countermeasures or brought them and failed to implement them and as a result are butt hurt at the end of the day these are level 19pcs they can trivialize most encounters and well a level 19 character is going into a home soon anyway so why not die instead.

This may be slightly off topic but I have never believed in this notion of the PCs are supposed to win, don't get me wrong I'm not the kind of guy that's going to double tap a PC or send 3 dragons at a lvl 1party or anything but if failure isn't an option where is the point in character sheets and dice? You may as well tell a joint cinematic story.
Actually, from what I gather they planned reasonably well (figured out how to get two anti-magic fields going, spread out so that the dragons couldn't roast them with breath, etc.) given what they had to work with (only one full caster in the party, a cleric; the second anti-magic was from a Ring of Wishes in case you're wondering). In fact, according to the OP, there is a very high probability that they will defeat the lich queen without a single death. Their complaints appear to have little or nothing to do with failure, but rather seem to be centered in frustration at being unable to participate.
 
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More personally, in sports, a benched player worth a ---- doesn't take off because he/she didn't get to play, or because they can't play -- they stay for the team to the end of the match, because they're a team. To me, that says as much about character as taking off because you got sidelined does.
It's interesting people keep mentioning sports.

In fencing, once you're eliminated from the tournament, it's considered non-mandatory but courteous to stick around for at least a while and root for your friends and other fellow fencers who are still in the tournament. If you get eliminated early on, you're not necessarily expected to stick around for the finals several hours later, but if you had a close friend and they ended up winning the tournament, and you had left right after you were eliminated and were at home watching a movie the whole time they were fencing, you might feel at least a little chagrined.

I mention this only to say that different sports have different expectations. D&D doesn't necessarily have to be like fencing.

I will say that if a player does choose to stick around after being eliminated from a game session, it is rude if the DM doesn't take the player's feelings into account. GM4P said his DM explicitly denied him opportunities to run monsters, make a new PC, or even talk to the other players. I call that bad form on the DM's part. I don't think GM4P was necessarily obligated to stick around, but it should have been made possible for him to do so and still have fun. That's what I try to do for my players and I hope I succeed.
 

Satyrn

Villager
During the shift from 4e to 5e, one of the criticisms leveled at 5e were the spellcaster stat-blocks requiring lots of looking things up. It's a legitimate criticism that is increasingly valid the higher level you play.

However, including all the spell info (even in condensed form) causes the stat-block to swell to an unmanageable size.

Currently, I'm writing a high-level adventure. One thing I decided early on was to include a Spell Index of all spells that appear in the adventure in condensed form, with the idea being the DM would print it out (~5 pages) and be able to look up, on the fly, for example sacred flame (bad example, I know, but only finished cantrips so far):

[SECTION]Sacred Flame Action; 60 ft; one creature you can see; Dex save (no benefit from cover); 1d8 radiant damage, 2d8 (5th), 3d8 (11th), 4d8 (17th)[/SECTION]
That would be wonderfully handy.

Looking up spells is the main reason we use our phones/tablets while gaming, but a few pages of paper with the relevant spells summarized could work even smoother (certainly so if you're averse to having gadgets at the table, obviously) .
 

Azurewraith

Explorer
Actually, from what I gather they planned reasonably well (figured out how to get two anti-magic fields going, spread out so that the dragons couldn't roast them with breath, etc.) given what they had to work with (only one full caster in the party, a cleric; the second anti-magic was from a Ring of Wishes in case you're wondering). In fact, according to the OP, there is a very high probability that they will defeat the lich queen without a single death. Their complaints appear to have little or nothing to do with failure, but rather seem to be centered in frustration at being unable to participate.
This is true I may have been a bit harsh as I'm the guy that plans S.W.A.T level of tactics. In my eyes they made a few errors again being a bit harsh did things differently to me. Biggest offender I would say was splitting up.

But hey they are winning with no deaths so play on. I apologize for the rambling nature of this post.
 

Satyrn

Villager
I'm liking the idea now that some Githyanki chase him with a set of dimensional shackles, say, and these shackles are designed to teleport the user directly back to Tu'Narath once put on... so the player can have a wee side fight, defeat the Gith, and then use the shackles as a jumpstart back into the action. How his non-arcana trained character learns that is the wrinkle. However, since the players recruited him in Sigil, and he might thus be a native, it might not be that unbelievable that someone nearby can tell him...
Well, you can always have the champion stumble into the Gith as they slap a pair of shackles on a captured kinght. As the knight vanishes off to wherever, one of the Gith says "That's another prisoner for our master. Strong warriors are always needed, the stronger they are, the better we get paid, " at which point they see the champion and say "oh, looks like our lucky day!"
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
[MENTION=32659]Charles Rampant[/MENTION], reading the other thread, I think that part of the issue is that your party has left itself a big glaring weakness in terms of spells in that they have no counterspell nor many of the common escapes (short range teleport vs. forcecage, etc.)

So this comes across a bit more like "we only made ranged characters, melee attackers are unfair". This really should be standard fair for them once they've hit 19th.

Now, if up to this time you've only been throwing opponents at them that do HP damage, which the seem to accept having to mitigate, it could be that they didn't feel like that was part of the "environment". But if that's been happening I don't get where it's coming from.

The fact that they were traveling to another plane made some of the spells rougher in ways that normally only apply to foes, and it's not considered a design failure when you get to banish a foe. The fact that at 19th level they had no way to rejoin the party is a bit surprising, either to pull the banished character back, to have the banished character get there under their own power, or to have the banished character utilize items/NPCs on their home plane to get back. Maybe not in time for the fight, but one fight isn't an "unfair" amount of time to sit out, even if it is a climatic one.

BTW, fair and fun are two different circles in a Venn diagram. The overlap is a sweet spot. Since from your other thread the players could have walked away with their mission accomplished and instead chose to engage an storied and epic githyanki lich queen with additional liches, a dragon, and other servitors means that if the foes pull out the whoop-ass that's fair.
 
This is true I may have been a bit harsh as I'm the guy that plans S.W.A.T level of tactics. In my eyes they made a few errors again being a bit harsh did things differently to me. Biggest offender I would say was splitting up.

But hey they are winning with no deaths so play on. I apologize for the rambling nature of this post.
I'd say they did okay with what they had. The real error was in at the political/policy level, not the military level: they started an unnecessary fight against a superior force that was fully capable of wiping them out. They're winning anyway due to enemy mistakes (i.e. DM lenience) but that's not a position you want to put yourself in deliberately.

Tactically though they've done okay with what they had.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
All the relevant information is right there. He knew he was stuck and wouldn't be able to participate for the rest of the session AND HE WAS RIGHT.
All we actually know is that in the situation where he walks away from the game to see a movie, the DM didn't expend effort to make sure there was a way to bring back a character without a player nor did the other players try to pursue a route that could do it.

Many DMs would have worked out ways to get him back, but if he's made it clear he's leaving the game for the night working out something to get his character back in when he's not there would actually be more disruptive.

I currently have a player who's out because of the birth of a child. We wrote his character out of the story and neither me as DM nor the other players are looking to bring his character back early. Same thing here - he's made it clear he's not going to be at the session, start of the next session is the right time to bring him back, not early.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
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.
Please, please, PLEASE go read the link to the original thread in the first post.

The players could have gotten everything they wanted and left peacefully, but instead decided to challenge a storied and epic githyanki lich-queen in her stronghold after knowing how much was against them.

And then, the DM came on these forums and asked if he should hold back and was given the advice time and time again to go fori. The players have unambiguously shown you they want a deadly and epic battle, to do otherwise is to undermine their agency.

There is literally no way it could be further from DM power trip to stomp on players. The DM gave a peaceful full-success option including dropping the illusion so the players would know all of what they were facing, and the players said "hold my beer, let's do this".
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
The real error was in at the political/policy level, not the military level: they started an unnecessary fight against a superior force that was fully capable of wiping them out.
Based on my years of experience, it's a rare group of players that is willing to back down from a fight like this. While it's arguably the smarter choice, it's also the less heroic option (more Black Company and less Fellowship of the Ring).

For a certain type of player, it's the same as being given no choice at all. While they certainly don't want to their character to die, surrendering to the enemy is even worse (from their point of view, walking away with a token gift because they're not sure they can win is the same as surrender). Furthermore, it often only takes one such player since in many parties if one guy attacks the others will back his play even if they don't agree with it. Trust me, I've been both the guy who refused to back down and the guy trying to convince the guy who won't back down to back down.

The point is that for some players, this is not an error in judgment but rather the expected style of play.
 

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