D&D General Matt Colville on adventure length

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Most people don't enjoy creating characters repeatedly in any WotC edition nor even 2E, in my experience.


There's a huge difference, as you know, and just pretending you don't see it isn't an argument, isn't rational, and isn't even a point. It's merely being obtuse.


Not an argument against anything I said, you're just supporting my point by ignoring what I've actually said.


This is impressive, you're basically conceding every single point I've made and instead just harrumphing.


Again you effectively support my point. I haven't mentioned "tantrum throwers". People are upset when their characters die almost never throw tantrums. I've never actually seen it happen with someone who wasn't a literal child. I would go as far as to suggest they basically don't exist. But being upset and demoralized and not particularly wanting to continue is very different to throwing a tantrum.

In case this is difficult for you to understand, allow me to illustrate. If you go and see a movie, and that movie is long, dull and bad, or just has a massive downer ending and is not at all "bad in a fun way", and people come out demoralized and don't want to go for a drink after or whatever, just want to go home, that's what I'm talking about when people don't their characters dying.

That's different from if you went to a terrible movie, and your friend starting throwing pop-corn at the screen, bellowing insults at the actors, and basically has to be asked to leave - that's throwing a tantrum.

If you throw a tantrum, you're probably either screaming and shouting, lying on the floor kicking your legs in the air, throwing dice at people (I've seen it happen), or just generally making a gigantic fuss. My entire main groups hates their PCs dying in games which aren't about PCs dying (i.e. CoC etc.), and literally none of them has thrown a tantrum when their PC dies. They just really don't like - that's very different. So if your problem is only tantrums, and you don't play with kids, you're not actually going to have a problem, so your keen-ness to fire anyone who isn't keen on dying is strange.

Also, this makes no sense, why can you handle the former more easily? Sure the result the same, they're kicked out? But you're suggesting kicking out anyone who isn't basically into a form of masochism.

I notice you conceded pretty much all my points re: the common bad behaviours of people who don't care about their characters dying, only arguing metagaming, and I personally find that to be dubious, because that's been the case in 100% of the people I've seen who didn't mind their PCs dying at all - they were inveterate metagamers, the sort of people who immediately tell you the weaknesses and so on of a monster before it's even been fully described. They're basically acting like D&D is a videogame so your rogue-like comparison was apt.

@overgeeked also basically said I was right on my critiques of players who don't mind characters dying, right down to admitting he dislikes people who RP significantly (that's certainly what it sounds like).


Sure, but if you force churn on people in them, you're thus going to get a bad result. They're game designed for a different and less grindy mode of play.


I said RAW/RAI. RAW/RAI, it's not a meat-grinder. If you follow the encounter guidelines, 5E is pretty low-fatality at low levels. Not as low as 4E, but lower than 3E. If you completely ignore the encounter guidelines, all bets are off, but that's forcing a meat-grinder into the game, it's not one that was already there.


I have severe ADHD and I personally couldn't disagree more. Phones make ADHD much worse, not better. Personally, RPGs allow me to ADHD hyperfocus, which is both pleasant and helpful (especially as a DM).
It's feeling like you might just be unaware of all the options in the PHB that are available to players. That's not a big surprise given how it has become acceptable to not even read the page or two for your class in recent years. Here are a few to help with some misunderstandings...
  • PHB277. Second spell on the left side Spare the dying
  • PHB272. First spell on the right side. revivify
  • PHB271. First full spell named on the right side. Reincarnate
  • PHB270. Third spell on the right side. Raise dead
  • PHB284 First full spell on the left side True Resurrection.

These spells are frequently readily available from other players & often not too difficult to find an NPC who will cast them for you. Weirdly 5e is the only edition I've seen players find expensive components for these spells for the first time in a campaign & then sell it to buy a +1 weapon or something even after having it's use pointed out just to offer some training wheels.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Goodman Games does publish physical adventures for 5E still.

Their 5E range includes...
The Prism of Redemption - $17.99 (64 pages, B&W)
Seven Days of the Serpent God - $10.99 (32 pages, B&W).

But they're one of the very, very few still operating in physical releases of this size. (If anyone can list a few other examples, I'd appreciate it).

Cheers,
Merric
And I don't see them on store shves...and my FLGS is like 15 minutes away from Goodman Games office!
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
And I don't see them on store shves...and my FLGS is like 15 minutes away from Goodman Games office!
Yep. Stocking this sort of stuff isn't great for stores either.

(They might even be there, but because they don't have a visible spine, you can walk right past them!)

Cheers,
Merric
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Well, that's because attrition-based games where you have 9 encounters per day are boring. 5-room dungeon or bust.
You can have 9 encounters in a 5-room dungeon, with some creative use of waves. Obviously, doing it all the time would get a bit monotonous, but it can be done.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Exactly. The fun you had does not vanish if the character dies. It’s just over. Now it’s time for a new character and a new bit of fun.
Perhaps, for you, it does not.

For me, it does. The character's story is gone. Dead. Never coming back. Permanently and irrevocably ended, leaving only the bitter taste of unfulfilled dreams and the wistful contemplation of what could have been. It is actively harmful to my enjoyment to continue contemplating it.

Where does that leave us?

Because I'm not going to throw a goddamn tantrum. But I am going to be so demoralized, I likely won't have the motivation to play anymore. And it isn't just my character! I get demoralized when any PC dies. If it's a TPK or one shy, yeah, I'm going to be so demoralized I'm almost certainly not going to be able to keep playing that game.

I'm not going to scream or shout. I won't have the energy to do that. I'll just glumly say something like, "well, good game, I guess. See you guys around."

So much this.

It’s a game of wins and losses. Not just wins. If you can’t handle the losses, you don’t deserve the wins.
As I have said so many times before: why is death, literally one of the most boring game consequences, always positioned as the ONLY possible option?

There are things so much more interesting than death. Those are the losses I want. Death closes the book and then throws it in the fire. All the others add more pages to the book.
 
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grimmgoose

Adventurer
I don’t think Matt is arguing for shorter campaigns. He’s arguing for long campaigns to be made of many small independent adventurers, instead of one epic interconnected adventure.

Sure, but my experience (and that’s all I can reference) is that the big, long, interconnected adventure is what gets my players excited.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Sure, but my experience (and that’s all I can reference) is that the big, long, interconnected adventure is what gets my players excited.
Yeah, that makes sense. There is something very appealing about the promise of the years-long epic adventure. The problem is that we have a tendency to romanticize the idea of such a campaign, and fail to consider the practical realities that get in the way. Sure, on the off chance that you make it all the way through Curse of Strahd (or whatever), it will probably be an incredibly memorable and beloved campaign. But the majority of players who set out to do so won’t ever reach that point. Even if adult life doesn’t cause too many logistical issues to deal with, there’s still a very high likelihood of the one or more players (and/or the DM) losing interest before getting to the end. Not to mention standard risks of a TPK along the way.

Like, I definitely empathize with the situation where it’s easier to sell players on an epic adventure than an episodic campaign. But, the latter is more likely to be more satisfying for the majority of groups, to an extent that makes the effort of convincing your players to try an episodic campaign well worth it.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
Yeah, that makes sense. There is something very appealing about the promise of the years-long epic adventure. The problem is that we have a tendency to romanticize the idea of such a campaign, and fail to consider the practical realities that get in the way. Sure, on the off chance that you make it all the way through Curse of Strahd (or whatever), it will probably be an incredibly memorable and beloved campaign. But the majority of players who set out to do so won’t ever reach that point. Even if adult life doesn’t cause too many logistical issues to deal with, there’s still a very high likelihood of the one or more players (and/or the DM) losing interest before getting to the end. Not to mention standard risks of a TPK along the way.

Like, I definitely empathize with the situation where it’s easier to sell players on an epic adventure than an episodic campaign. But, the latter is more likely to be more satisfying for the majority of groups, to an extent that makes the effort of convincing your players to try an episodic campaign well worth it.
I wish this wasnt true, but folks get busy and life throws curve balls. I have not found it common either for folks to keep up their own interest.
 

It's feeling like you might just be unaware of all the options in the PHB that are available to players. That's not a big surprise given how it has become acceptable to not even read the page or two for your class in recent years. Here are a few to help with some misunderstandings...
Why would you think I didn't know about Cleric spells when I've been running the game since 1989? Are you confusing me with someone because of my weird new avatar? Do I need to change back?

It has literally nothing to do with what I'm saying. That you think it does is truly bizarre. If the character isn't dead/doesn't stay dead, the problem doesn't occur, does it? Think about it mate.

This is why deaths are rarely as much of a problem past 5th, and tend to be more heroic and people more likely to be satisfied with them. The idea that it's not difficult to find an NPC to cast them is unsupportable though. There's nothing in RAW/RAI to support that - it's entirely DM-dependent. Some DMs will basically run a guy out to you to res someone. Others will insist the nearest guy is an unreasonable distance away and then have him try to charge you more money than the whole of the party has. Others still will just say no. The sort of DMs who select for death-loving players (thanatics?) are generally in the last category.

Delicious in Dungeon has an interesting approach where there roving bands of miscreants who res you and then charge you money (I feel like there is something culturally Japanese in the idea that they'd do this rather than just rob your corpse but perhaps that's just me).
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I wish this wasnt true, but folks get busy and life throws curve balls. I have not found it common either for folks to keep up their own interest.
Also a big part of the problem is that serialized narratives are hard to follow when there are long gaps between installments. That’s why episodic series were the default for network TV until streaming services made serials “bingeable.” If you’re lucky enough to be able to play D&D with the same group several times a week, an epic mega-adventure will probably be great for your group. But for most of us, we’re lucky if we can consistently play once a week, and we accept that occasional absences will be inevitable. With a schedule like that, the chances of running into the dreaded “wait, what are we supposed to be doing here again?” moment are very high, and that is a major investment killer.
 

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