D&D 5E My New Players Have Quit 5th Edition

koga305

First Post
Two players? Did they have 2 PCs each? Was the encounter balanced for two PCs if not? Even that is a struggle, as less PCs means more swinginess.

I've had a death and a near death in my four sessions of 5e I've run, but nothing near a TPK, especially before anyone can act.
I think Agamon has the right idea of it here. In any edition of D&D, an on-level encounter designed for a party with 4-5 members has the potential to steamroll a party with 2 members. WotC certainly could have done a better job advising DMs on rebalancing the encounters for a small party, but if you have experience DMing prior editions, you should probably realize that something needed to be rebalanced.

Now, your point is taken - if monsters win surprise and focus their fire, they have the potential to take down a PC or two before those characters get to act (especially squishy wizards, etc.). However, with a properly sized party, the other characters ought to be able to use their actions to win the encounter - if a cleric is still standing (the pregen seems quite likely, with an 18 AC and 11 HP), then the downed characters can be healed and back in the fight. If not, then they could target a few goblins to reduce damage taken (most attacks my players made took the goblins out in one shot), then make healing checks to stabilize their fallen friends.
Heck I just played last night....

your party must have had a run of horrid luck...
<snip>
Sidonunspa, I don't think your numbers are quite right. Using the pregens, the highest Passive Perception is 13, and the goblins have a Stealth of +6 (so surprise is fairly likely). They also have +4 to hit and deal 5 damage on average, so it's totally possible that the four focus firing goblins could drop the squishier PCs (Rogue and Wizard) with a few good rolls. I think the real problem is that it sounds like the fallen PCs had no friends around to help them - once you have a friend stabilizing you, death rolls are much harder to fail.

So ren1999, I'd encourage you not to give up on D&D 5E just yet. I think the real culprit wasn't low starting HP, but improper encounter balance, which could have been avoided. According to Mike Mearls' article this week, an encounter of four goblins (50 XP each, x1.5 for outnumbering 2-1) against two level 1 PCs is rated as "Hard," which I think in this context means "risk of PC death," where the original encounter was rated as "Average" for four PCs. If you wanted an "Average" encounter for two level 1 PCs, you would want to pit them against two goblins. Unfortunately, the rest of the adventure would need to be rebalanced the same way, but by using the table it shouldn't be too hard to find appropriate monsters. (Also, keep in mind that an adventure for any other edition would need to be rebalanced the same way for a party half the correct size).

Have a good day!
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
wippersnappers /rolleyes

In my day we had to walk through clouds of poisonous gas just to get to the encounter. And it was save or die!

Amateurs, all!

We have a house rule- die in game, you get taken out to the back yard and get shot & buried in a shallow grave. And we make you dig it yourself!








The grape harvest will be good this year...
 

jodyjohnson

Adventurer
The default pre-gen party is neither Perceptive or Stealthy. I expect them to get Surprised and beaten often.

My Saturday game had 4 players and 4 Basic characters (Fighter, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard). They did the entire dungeon in a single day with one short rest. The fighter died (as in throat tore out) but I had very hot dice (he was tanking a goblin and the wolf and the wolf rolled double 20s against disadvantage). And we were without a cleric (the cousin dwarf was outside for emergency backup as an NPC).

I warned the group beforehand that 5e emphasized CaW over CaS and they prepared accordingly.
 

Gargoyle

Adventurer
The title of this thread makes me curious. Did you explain that they can roll up another character if they die before the game started? In my groups, even with new players, we would have laughed this off and just rerolled. It takes 5 minutes to make a character, and it's often those TPK's that people remember and tell stories about.

Setting expectations about what happens if a character dies is pretty important. Sure, getting killed before you get a chance to take an action isn't my idea of fun, especially when you're excited about your character, but it's super easy to start over at that point, and that realization that the game is deadly might even make the game more fun for them in the long run. If they were very attached to their new characters they could have also been found and raised; the debt they owe to the local temple might be an interesting subplot to the campaign. There's always a way; DM's need to keep the game moving forward no matter what.
 

Thaumaturge

Wandering. Not lost. (He/they)
The title of this thread makes me curious. Did you explain that they can roll up another character if they die before the game started? In my groups, even with new players, we would have laughed this off and just rerolled. It takes 5 minutes to make a character, and it's often those TPK's that people remember and tell stories about.

Setting expectations about what happens if a character dies is pretty important. Sure, getting killed before you get a chance to take an action isn't my idea of fun, especially when you're excited about your character, but it's super easy to start over at that point, and that realization that the game is deadly might even make the game more fun for them in the long run. If they were very attached to their new characters they could have also been found and raised; the debt they owe to the local temple might be an interesting subplot to the campaign. There's always a way; DM's need to keep the game moving forward no matter what.

"That's how it could have happened. Now let's see what really happened."

Then start the combat over.

Thaumaturge.
 


Greyson

Explorer
Sounds like it's your fault

No I will not start a campaign at 3rd level.
No I will not fudge numbers.
No I will not play monsters stupidly.
No I will not award Clerics with bonus actions to keep allies alive.
If I can speak with some constructive candor, it appears that DM inflexibility ruined the fun, not the game. The only bullet point missing from the above is, "I will not allow fun to be had."

All levity aside, Dungeon Master's Guides over the editions have suggested finding ways to say "yes." This isn't Marine Corp boot camp.

That said, I do agree that 1st-level hit points were left wanting in the D&D Basic Rules. But, let's see what the DMG suggests. If it's silent on the matter, I may adapt the D&D 4E approach of adding Con ability score at 1st-level. It's no problem.

And, monsters should not be played stupidly, unless they're stupid. But, even accidents happen to the smartest monsters. This is a game of imagination. If we, as DMs and players, let the dice make every decision and and totally divest our imagination, I think we've lost sight of the game's spirit.

Happy gaming.
 

Xodis

First Post
That works too, though I'm not personally a fan of the "it was all a dream" method, it has some advantages, like not having to reroll.

I'm not a fan of this either, but for the first battle in your first dungeons with 2 new characters and its their first game not to mention your first time running this new system.....probably no better time to use it then this.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Amateurs, all!

We have a house rule- die in game, you get taken out to the back yard and get shot & buried in a shallow grave. And we make you dig it yourself!








The grape harvest will be good this year...

Generous I have a medieval boiling cauldron out back. You get boiled alive if your PC dies.
 

am181d

Adventurer
Unless something changed since the Playtest, you can't die in the first round of combat. You can only drop to 0 hp. At which point, you get to make several Death Saves with a possibility of stabilizing before you die.

If 2 PCs drop in the surprise round, generally the Cleric will take his first action to heal one of them, at which point they spring back up.

If one of the PCs that drops IS the Cleric that is admittedly unfortunate, but the PCs should then attempt to retreat, with the fallen PCs in tow.

And if a DM pushes for a TPK in the first combat of a new campaign, the DM is not running the game properly.
 

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