D&D General "It's not fun when..."

There's no reason a 5E group could not run into a hundred goblins. There sre suggestions on how to build encounters but I throw them out the window now and then.

I agree that sometimes facing an insurmountable foe is more fun. It just has nothing to do with the edition of the game.
Though this brings us to another "unfun" thing:

When the DM expects you to run away, but also tries to enforce the rules to prevent you from running away.

Most editions of D&D have a problem where it's not very easy to run away, because of the way movement and rounds work. 5E is very much one of them - it's virtually impossible to escape an enemy who can move at the same speed as you, and completely impossible to escape an even slightly faster one (barring magic or similar).

So sometimes a DM sics an insurmountable foe on you.

The correct reaction, and the one the DM wants, is to get away from it. But unless the thing is literally slower than you (which, say, 100 goblins are not lol), that requires the DM's cooperation, and it really requires the DM to not want to play out chasing your or whatever (rather roleplay it out or the like). The trouble is a lot of DMs don't get this. They have unreflected/unexamined belief that you can run away, and they try and play it out. And then you can't. Indeed if it's something like a dragon, it just catches you. I remember once making us run from a dragon, then having it chase us, and you could see he was genuinely surprised when it easily caught up to us. It's like buddy, did you not do the math?

So if you want the PCs to flee, let 'em flee. Even drawing it out a bit is unlikely to be as fun as RPing it without the rules.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Though this brings us to another "unfun" thing:

When the DM expects you to run away, but also tries to enforce the rules to prevent you from running away.

Most editions of D&D have a problem where it's not very easy to run away, because of the way movement and rounds work. 5E is very much one of them - it's virtually impossible to escape an enemy who can move at the same speed as you, and completely impossible to escape an even slightly faster one (barring magic or similar).

So sometimes a DM sics an insurmountable foe on you.

The correct reaction, and the one the DM wants, is to get away from it. But unless the thing is literally slower than you (which, say, 100 goblins are not lol), that requires the DM's cooperation, and it really requires the DM to not want to play out chasing your or whatever (rather roleplay it out or the like). The trouble is a lot of DMs don't get this. They have unreflected/unexamined belief that you can run away, and they try and play it out. And then you can't. Indeed if it's something like a dragon, it just catches you. I remember once making us run from a dragon, then having it chase us, and you could see he was genuinely surprised when it easily caught up to us. It's like buddy, did you not do the math?

So if you want the PCs to flee, let 'em flee. Even drawing it out a bit is unlikely to be as fun as RPing it without the rules.
The only time I've seen this play out in a satisfactory way where everyone is in agreement is in fate where one side can offer to conceed or offer to allow a conceed, both sides negotiate a clear loss & mutually agreeable terms of that loss (the sky's the limit, anything the loser is capable of losing is on the table). Once the conceed is agreed upon though that's it, there's no sneak around the corner & go back into rules backed tactical play steal the macguffin back or whatever the loser wanted.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I wouldn't mind some save or suck spells which say you keep your spell slot if the foe makes their save or even you can keep your slot if you make a concentration save vs. the spell DC or something?
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
"Unfun", huh? One thing I find "unfun" is players who are all happy about the game when they're the ones kicking ass but who whine incessantly if they're facing a bit of adversity. I get it that adversity can be stressful. But sometimes you're going to encounter resistance to the damage you do, you're gonna burn spell slots ineffectively either because your target saved or had legendary resistance, you're gonna fail a saving throw and lose a round here or there.
 

I do think it would be better if more spells always had some effect. To me it's less the "I wasted my best spell slot" and more the "I waited 15 minutes to get to my turn, and it consisted of one failed roll that I didn't even see" factor that makes save or suck spells unfun.

Honestly I'd be more okay with save or suck spells if more of them just had evocative failure results. Failure can often be the most memorable and fun part of the game, but it tends to be left entirely to the group's imagination to make that happen.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I was in a discussion on another board about legendary resistance and another user said "It's not fun when you use your best spell and the BBEG just shrugs it off with no effect." And while I can see their point, and even agree with their follow argument that all-or-nothing spells and abilities are kind of lame, I generally don't agree with the broader point. I don't think a player should feel entitled to mash the win button with one spell.
Agreed; but that said I think they should feel they have a chance to mash the win button with one spell. All or nothing.
Anyway, this thread isn't really about legendary resistance. It's about when people make arguments for rule changes based not on balance or system issues, but just on the basis of what's fun.
Well, the designers have been listening to those arguments for 23+ years now and taking them to heart. I don't think the game's any better for it.
I am more interested in where conceptual ideas of "what's fun" intersect with design -- from the core system level to the individual adventure, spell and monster level.

Let's try and use examples, especially changes between editions or variant rules or house rules to talk about fun and design.
Rule change: casting is much harder to interrupt now than in 1e because it's no fun to get your spell interrupted. Result: caster domination.

Rule change: most major bad effects or "loss conditions" (level drain, wealth-item loss, etc.) have been excised because it's no fun when they happen. Result: death is the only remaining mechanical loss condition; and even that's been mitigated by lower-level revival effects, guaranteed revival (i.e. no res. survival roll), and no permanent Constitution loss.

Rule change: spells or effects that take a character out of action don't last nearly as long as they once did because it's no fun sitting out. Result: players/PCs aren't nearly as concerned about them any more, as they're no longer a true threat.

Is that the sort of thing you're after?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Reading through the thread, it seems pretty clear that a lot of people just don't like to lose in what is, in the end and as with anything involving random chance, ultimately a win-or-lose situation.

Losing can be just as much fun as winning, never mind that it makes the wins feel that much better.

What's not fun for me?

Adventures that go on too long (i.e. mini-megadungeons) usually aren't fun unless they're amazingly creative and well-designed. Dark Tower - fun all day long, even though it's huge. Temple of Elemental Evil - not fun once you realize all that was just the first level.

Rules that force nonsense into the narrative (e.g. pixellated fireballs) aren't fun either as DM or player.

People trying to turn the game into a pulpit for their religious or political views = no fun at all, whether or not I agree with the position being put forward. To quote one of the Toronto Raptors play-by-play guys, "Get that gaahbage outta heah!"
 

  • It's not fun if you are a player and want to roleplay your way out of a challenge, and the DM blocks all such attempts because you're supposed to fight.
  • It's also not fun if you are the DM and want to engage in some roleplay, and the PC(s) take the first minor setback in roleplay as a reason to murderhobo your NPC.

Not sure if we also discuss solutions in this +-thread, but as a member of the Session-Zero-promo-team, I recommend to talk about this in a Session Zero. ;)
 

delericho

Legend
I was in a discussion on another board about legendary resistance and another user said "It's not fun when you use your best spell and the BBEG just shrugs it off with no effect."

Broadly speaking, I agree with the player. It would be better if the design moved away from save-or-lose effects and save-and-nullify effects - most such spells should both have incrementing effects that build up over several failed saves and have a lesser effect that still applies if the save is successful.

Anyway, this thread isn't really about legendary resistance. It's about when people make arguments for rule changes based not on balance or system issues, but just on the basis of what's fun.

Obviously, fun is subjective so I would really like it of folks would avoid badwrongfunning stuff.

While 'fun' is somewhat subjective, there are also very distinct trends that can be observed across the player base. So if most people find confirmation rolls for critical hits to be unfun (because you get the high of scoring the goal, followed by the disappointment when VAR rules it out), then it's probably better for the game as a whole to drop the idea.

Plus, of course, an edition change (or a mid-edition revision) is a good time to consider rules changes. So it's probably a good time for them to seek the fun, and then try to balance that.
 

M_Natas

Hero
Agreed; but that said I think they should feel they have a chance to mash the win button with one spell. All or nothing.

Well, the designers have been listening to those arguments for 23+ years now and taking them to heart. I don't think the game's any better for it.

Rule change: casting is much harder to interrupt now than in 1e because it's no fun to get your spell interrupted. Result: caster domination.

Rule change: most major bad effects or "loss conditions" (level drain, wealth-item loss, etc.) have been excised because it's no fun when they happen. Result: death is the only remaining mechanical loss condition; and even that's been mitigated by lower-level revival effects, guaranteed revival (i.e. no res. survival roll), and no permanent Constitution loss.

Rule change: spells or effects that take a character out of action don't last nearly as long as they once did because it's no fun sitting out. Result: players/PCs aren't nearly as concerned about them any more, as they're no longer a true threat.

Is that the sort of thing you're after?
Totally agree on this one. I only started playing in 2018 with 5e, but even I noticed that any lasting consequences were cut out of the game for the players.
And OneDND seems to make it worse by fulfilling all the player demands to get even more powerful. Feats at level 1 for everybody ... unfailable Influencechecks where the DM has no say, successfully hiding on a dc 15 no matter what is looking for you.
1D&D seems to continue a trend of "give the players what they want and take away power from the DM". But doing that kills the fun of the game in the long run, because it gets boring for everybody.
If you follow the CR Guidlines in the DMG, Players have only a minuskel chance of dying ever. And except for Dying ther is no lasting consequences.
You got infected by a slaad? Lesser Restoration! You got cursed? Remove curse! You arw at 1 HP? Take a long rest. Out of spell slots, KI points or other ressources? Long rest or Short rest! Max HP reduced by effect? Long rest will fix it.

The only ever Long lasting effect I encountered in a game was the Aging effect of a Ghost. That needs a greater Restoration within 24 hours or be permanent ...

By RAW 5e is not challenging. The DM has to do a lot of work to make it challenging. And without challenge there is no fun.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top