D&D General "It's not fun when..."

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Do they have fun if they cause the death of their opponents by critical hits?
Do you have fun beating the crap out of mooks in Arkham City?

But was it fun watching Lara's flailing body get impaled over and over in Tomb Raider.

It's asymmetric. Almost as if people like doing fun things and don't like having unfun things done to them.


I mean, I disagree with them, but they’re right if it makes the game less fun for them.

I suppose, I had a friend like this. Grown ass man. Couldnt handle his toys (40K) getting killed. So yes he totally thought it was less fun for him, but hes still utterly wrong in what he thinks in regards to the game overall.


We talk about and remember the deaths, near deaths, Slicer Beetle attacks, and other super threatening events waay longer than the "wins" or the successes. I had a cleric survive a Slicer Beetle attack (in Ad&d) that lost him a hand, and we still talk about that 40 odd years later. They make for great characters and story.


I mean, fun is subjective. But to a lot of people, that would definitely not have been what they would call fun. I know, I’ve spent a lot of time arguing with people who were very strongly of the opinion that character death due to critical hit is not fun for them.
Well, sure, and I'm guessing many of the examples we've seen here of what isn't fun are things someone else finds fun. There are players and DMs who just love seeing PCs act like sarcastic jerks to all the NPCs for whatever reason, there are some groups who love the murder hobo lifestyle, and there's got to be that one guy out there who thinks Cyborg Commando is the best thing since Tunnels and Trolls.


People thinking that mandating death makes the game more fun overall, are absolutely wrong.

Because there is a difference between "eh, for me that's not productive" and "no, NO ONE may have this thing that doesn't work for me."

What exactly is 'mandating' death?

If you remove death, its not a game, its just play acting a story in which the PC's cannot lose.


Making it so everyone who plays must deal with that as a consequence, no matter what.
I mean its simple enough to fix for people who dont want it. Death = "Your PC falls unconscious until the combat concludes." It would detract from the game to not have the actual risk of death, but..whatever.

This is false. There are ways to lose that don't involve character death.

Fair. I'm pretty sure we dont need 5e to be even more forgiving than it already is though.

As with any game, there are way too may people that only have fun if they "win" the game. The second they feel they start to loose, and suddenly the game is unfun to them. They will complain, want to change the game rules

And this is just as common in RPGs. So many players want an easy game where they can "save the game world" and then tell the story forever. Anything less then that is no fun to them.

It can be impossible to have a game with such players. The character slips on some ice and the player just tosses their dice away and says "this game is no fun" and sit back.

As a Hard Fun DM, a lot of players don't like my type of fun....but some do. And I find a LOT of players that say they don't like hard fun, do in fact find it fun once they are in a game with it.

The thing is so many players see anything slightly negative as no fun. If a character falls or is knocked out, it's not the end of the world. Sure, you sit there for a couple minutes, but it's not that bad.


Victoria Rules
Making it so everyone who plays must deal with that as a consequence, no matter what.
Not quite.

They must potentially deal with it as a consequence. If they keep their PC(s) alive, no problem.
This is false. There are ways to lose that don't involve character death.
Narratively? Sure; but not everyone cares equally about losses in the narrative, meaning the effect of such losses is both highly variable and highly unpredictable. (and some don't care about the narrative at all, as long as there's monsters to kill and treasure to loot)

Mechanically? Not so much any more. There used to be numerous mechanical loss conditions but most of those have been removed, leaving death as pretty much the only one. And mechanical losses (death, level drain, item loss, etc.) have pretty much the same effect no matter who is the victim.


Small Ball Archmage
People keep asking me why I don't "trust" DMs, why I have such a dim view of "mother may I" mechanics and stuff that depends on an unquenchable wellspring of DM goodwill and benevolence.

@jasper 's post, right there. That's why. As you say: the attitude that inspired that kind of writing is the attitude I dislike so much. And it is accepted completely uncritically--even lauded--by actual posters here and now.

So, @overgeeked, why do you distrust players so much? What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If players are supposed to recognize and avoid crappy behavior from DMs, why aren't DMs supposed to recognize and avoid crappy behavior from players? As so many here are so fond of emphasizing, the DM is the one with all the cards. The DM is the one with the "absolute power."
It's a lot harder to properly deal with feedback when you're in arms reach of an audience that struggles with perspective.

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