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D&D General "It's not fun when..."

Vaalingrade

Legend
Related to this, is that it's no fun when the PCs consistently treat NPCs like garbage for no real reason. It's okay to have a character who treats some NPCs like garbage for no reason, but when it's consistent it becomes a problem. I'll let the PC get away wtih that kind of behavior if they're paying the NPCs, are in positions of authority, or otherwise have most of the power in that particular situation, but when things are more equal, I give the PCs a hard time. It makes sense in the narrative, but it's not a lot of fun to play out.

Me: Sorry, Tony. I know you rolled well, but you just made fun of this guy's dead sister. He doesn't want a %#$ing thing from you.
The first time I was asked to leave a pick-up discord game is because two of the other players wouldn't stop using the c-word and mocking this lady we were sent to rescue. One of them slapped her and put a dagger to her throat for verbally defending herself, so I relieved him of the burden of consciousness with the pommel of my sword.

The the DM kicked me for 'not letting the other guy play his character'.
 

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D&D 5e has chase mechanics which use speed as a gauge, but also offer opportunities to hide at the end of every round plus complications that may slow down pursuers. The PCs can also "pay off" any complications that arise with Inspiration to avoid them, which monsters don't have. These rules are in the DMG though which nobody reads.
Yeah that's true, and I don't think it's just that people don't read the DMG, it's that you maybe read it through once, but how much sticks?

Not much, because it's the worst-written, worst-organised, least memorable DMG AD&D/D&D has ever had, by some margin! Stuff isn't even where you expect it to be.

Those particular rules also pretty much rely on you "running around a corner" (or a tree or something at least), and don't work for running away that doesn't involve that kind of thing (despite, ironically, the picture next to them - what, is the mine cart going to succeed on a stealth check because it went around a corner lol? Pretty sure the rails are a giveaway!). I'd personally say that design issue (and the art actually) is another example of how deeply unserious the 5E DMG is, how it was seemingly hammered out very quickly and designed on the basis of "I guess we need to do a DMG" than anything else.

Really the PHB should have a bit pointing up the existence of the chase rules too. But I have a feeling the PHB might well have been fully complete before the DMG was even started work on.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I'm just relaying what I was told by people at the convention. The dragon flew overhead, we had to hide because the dragon was known to abduct female PCs. It had apparently happened to players the other players knew, the DM did not contradict what they said.

I wouldn't be surprised if it was modified for publication, we were pretty amazed, and not in a good way, by the whole thing ourselves.
If you were playing in the County of Urnst, then that was in an entirely different region (and meta-region) than the book mentioned above covered, as I noted in an edit to my previous post. As such, the "modified for publication" idea is moot (doubly so, since the book in question didn't publish the scenarios themselves).
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
It's not fun when a game describes itself as something it isn't, only for players to discover this after they've started playing. This is a major criticism I have of 3rd edition. It bills itself as a cooperative teamwork fantasy roleplaying game: a merry band of peers, supporting one another as they adventure through the dangerous, magical wilds of the world. Instead, mechanically, it is almost totally focused on individual contributions and the evaluation of events within a single turn. Action economy is king (as it is in almost any game--TTRPG or CRPG or whatever--that has such a thing), and the specific action economy of 3e dictates that teamwork-synergy is almost always inferior to simply doing something yourself. Heal an ally? No, don't bother--you're wasting an action to un-do an enemy action, rather than to do something to the enemy. Instead, use that spell slot to blow up the bad guys, getting the fight closer to resolution. Buff? Even worse! Now you're trading the realized act of doing something productive for the potential possibility of someone else doing something slightly more productive than they already would have. The rules themselves incentivize self-centered thinking and ruthless personal optimization. 5e has fixed some of these problems by introducing more sticks into the design of magic (Concentration being the big one), but by and large it has preserved an awful lot of what led 3e so astray. Fixing this is would require rewriting a significant portion of spells so that synergy and teamwork actually do provide bigger benefits than ruthless personal optimization. If one were designing a brand-new game, one would need to start from the presumption that teamwork should be better than solo contribution, and thus review all mechanics as they are introduced to see if they actually support that design goal. (Incidentally, that's an example of a design goal, which follows from the intended-play experience of teamwork.)
I thought 3E was a great strategy game. Most the teamwork happened before the fight. If you didn't prepare well, the fight was going to go poorly. As opposed to tactical games that make all the teamwork happen during the fight, which makes them long and unfun for me. The team work is in the perspective, but I think we both agree that should be highlighted in the game description up front, instead of buried in the pages.
 

Celebrim

Legend
4) All the NPCs are hostile wankers.

This is the "The DM is Satan" trope, and it's one of my least favorite in all of tabletop role-playing gaming. Of all the abused player syndromes that I encounter when bring experienced players in, this is the most common one. When you have "The DM is Satan", the world is subtly or overtly skewed to evil such that all acts of goodness, mercy, kindness, trust, compassion, and so forth harvest only sorrows. Those NPC's that aren't entirely wicked are stupid and incompetent to the point of there being no real difference. The world the PC's operate in is perverse and twisted, so that not only are NPCs merely strangely hostile, but they will even ignore their own best interests in an effort to backstab the PCs and enact the pettiest sorts of revenge on them. This will continue no matter how many times the PC's save the day and prove themselves heroes. PC's never accrue any benefits from a positive reputation.

The result of this sort of experience is the players are taught that the only way to succeed is to be utterly ruthless and evil themselves - never truth anyone, never leave an enemy alive, never be honest, never be charitable. Murder hoboing becomes the functional strategy for dealing with the game universe because only evil is rewarded by the GM as clever, whereas every act of goodness is actively punished.
 

Oofta

Legend
If you were playing in the County of Urnst, then that was in an entirely different region (and meta-region) than the book mentioned above covered, as I noted in an edit to my previous post. As such, the "modified for publication" idea is moot (doubly so, since the book in question didn't publish the scenarios themselves).

I think it was County of Earnst? That’s what Google came up with for New Mexico LG. We were in Phoenix at the time and did a road trip to Albuquerque.
 

MGibster

Legend
The the DM kicked me for 'not letting the other guy play his character'.
Being kicked out of that game is a badge of honor you should proudly wear. Good gravy, that's just horrible!

I've run Curse of Strahd twice, once successfully and the other not so successfully. The PCs arrived at a seemingly deserted village and observe a young woman spying on them. Their immediate reaction is to attack, she defended herself with a dagger but was killed. Not being interested in continuing a campaign for a group of murderers, I decided that was it. The Dark Powers decide to claim you for their own. Game over, man. Game over.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I think it was County of Earnst? That’s what Google came up with for New Mexico LG. We were in Phoenix at the time and did a road trip to Albuquerque.
According to the Living Greyhawk Wikipedia page, New Mexico was part of the County of Urnst region, while Arizona was part of Nyrond, both of which were in the "Nyrond and Her Environs" meta-region. BDKR1 covers the Bandit Kingdoms, which was assigned to Oklahoma and Texas, and was part of the "Iuz's Border States" meta-region.
 

This is the "The DM is Satan" trope, and it's one of my least favorite in all of tabletop role-playing gaming. Of all the abused player syndromes that I encounter when bring experienced players in, this is the most common one. When you have "The DM is Satan", the world is subtly or overtly skewed to evil such that all acts of goodness, mercy, kindness, trust, compassion, and so forth harvest only sorrows. Those NPC's that aren't entirely wicked are stupid and incompetent to the point of there being no real difference. The world the PC's operate in is perverse and twisted, so that not only are NPCs merely strangely hostile, but they will even ignore their own best interests in an effort to backstab the PCs and enact the pettiest sorts of revenge on them. This will continue no matter how many times the PC's save the day and prove themselves heroes. PC's never accrue any benefits from a positive reputation.

The result of this sort of experience is the players are taught that the only way to succeed is to be utterly ruthless and evil themselves - never truth anyone, never leave an enemy alive, never be honest, never be charitable. Murder hoboing becomes the functional strategy for dealing with the game universe because only evil is rewarded by the GM as clever, whereas every act of goodness is actively punished.
I think "The DM is Satan" is a step up from the conventional "every NPC is inexplicably hostile/a wanker", but they're definitely closely related.

I've seen both separately is why I say that. I've played with a DM where every NPC was a wanker, but the world generally seemed okay, and when this was actually pointed out to him he got pretty embarrassed, and it stopped happening, except when he occasionally sort of forgot what he was doing, but we could get things back on track by just saying stuff like "Why is this guy so hostile? Did we do something wrong?". I feel like he was very much the product of "abused player syndrome" as you say.

But I also played with a "Satan"-class DM for a while in my teens who just ran things exactly as you said. The funniest thing was the dude was obsessed with Paladins and how great they were, and had a DMPC Paladin who would come and bully the PCs at times, but he couldn't accept anyone doing anything "Good" having good results. Even his DMPC never did anything actually good, just murdered bad people/monsters.

Larian, the videogame developers have a problem which verges on "The DM is Satan", as illustrated by DOS1/2 (particularly 2), and BG3 initially suffered from this, before huge pushback from players forced the devs to reconsider their approach. They're not the only videogame devs who have gone down this path too (though it is thankfully somewhat rare).
 

MGibster

Legend
This is the "The DM is Satan" trope, and it's one of my least favorite in all of tabletop role-playing gaming. Of all the abused player syndromes that I encounter when bring experienced players in, this is the most common one. When you have "The DM is Satan", the world is subtly or overtly skewed to evil such that all acts of goodness, mercy, kindness, trust, compassion, and so forth harvest only sorrows. Those NPC's that aren't entirely wicked are stupid and incompetent to the point of there being no real difference.
Very often I've encountered player who must have been traumatized by DMs in the past. Players who have their characters deliberately avoiding food or drink provided by an NPC, waiting for an inevitable betrayal that never comes, making sure to tell me they've reloaded their weapons after the right because in the past the DM probably screwed them over.
 

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