D&D 5E "Once an encounter begins, I will make changes to it for balance, fun, or rules reasons." (a poll)

T/F: "Once an encounter begins, I will make changes to it for balance, fun, or rules reasons."

  • True.

    Votes: 102 74.5%
  • False.

    Votes: 35 25.5%


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cbwjm

Legend
I don't do it often but I will make changes if needed to some encounters if I feel like I made it over powered, normally this involves homebrew.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Looking at my post from another angle: why is losing/dying often considered to be the opposite of fun?
Because my time creating them from the mechanics to the aesthetics, to the personality to the backstory just got wasted. Because all of my anticipation and expectation for them has just just cut off. Because their story just ended unsatisfactorily at best and ignobly at worst.

Because there's an inherent promise in the 'often' that this will not be the first time for that.

I don't make characters to be throwaway proxies for the DM's story. I make character who are my part to play in a collaborative story and I do so with care and effort and hope for something interesting to come of them.

And not, the 'danger' isn't fun for me. It's stressful in the activity I do to destress and have fun. I'm left sitting there wondering if all my time and effort and care is about to be slam-dunked into a trashcan and whether the one who does is is going to do a victory dance and expect me to smile and clap at the masterful job they did of just laying waste to my free time and interest.
 

payn

Legend
Looking at my post from another angle: why is losing/dying often considered to be the opposite of fun?
My take is, I like death being on the table in an even manner. I want the players to have a fair shot at facing the challenges of the game. Sometimes when these new sub-systems or monsters with abilities come into play, its entirely unfair because either the players are not prepared, or I as GM don't know how to run it fairly. In these rare instances, I will make adjustments, hopefully unnoticed ones, to save the experience. The next time we encounter this, everybody should be better prepared to face it.

As for the, GM saves us no matter what, that has been covered extensively lately in a few threads. I don't have that perspective, but I gather its something around putting so much time into the character and there being more interesting fail states than PC death. I can understand the concept, but not the desire for such a thing.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Because my time creating them from the mechanics to the aesthetics, to the personality to the backstory just got wasted. Because all of my anticipation and expectation for them has just just cut off. Because their story just ended unsatisfactorily at best and ignobly at worst.

Because there's an inherent promise in the 'often' that this will not be the first time for that.

I don't make characters to be throwaway proxies for the DM's story. I make character who are my part to play in a collaborative story and I do so with care and effort and hope for something interesting to come of them.

And not, the 'danger' isn't fun for me. It's stressful in the activity I do to destress and have fun. I'm left sitting there wondering if all my time and effort and care is about to be slam-dunked into a trashcan and whether the one who does is is going to do a victory dance and expect me to smile and clap at the masterful job they did of just laying waste to my free time and interest.
I think there's a pretty big disconnect here. I'm talking about the player characters losing a battle, possibly dying, and it sounds like you're talking about never being able to play with those characters ever again.
 
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True. Hard true. It's been a long time since I didn't at least slightly adjust an encounter on the fly.

I think one of the core reasons to put up with all the immense overhead of tabletop gaming over just playing a computer game is that a tabletop campaign is not bound by programing but rather tailored specifically to whatever you are doing by a live "programmer" making real time decisions. I don't really see any value in a good DM being bound by what they prepped before initiative was rolled if they don't want to be.

Now if it's an adversarial DM, a DM who uses improvisation as a crutch to never plan anything, or a DM who just makes very poor decisions when changing things on the spot, I understand the concern.
 

Hoooo So false.
It is to the players to decide how to engage or IF to engage at all. Once their decision is made, only fate (i.e. dice) will decide. Tactics will mitigate luck but I certainly won't.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Hoooo So false.
It is to the players to decide how to engage or IF to engage at all. Once their decision is made, only fate (i.e. dice) will decide. Tactics will mitigate luck but I certainly won't.

But what if you realize, after the encounter begins, that you (the DM) inadvertently conveyed incorrect information to the party or otherwise made a major mistake on the actual encounter? That the group would have acted very differently if they had been conveyed the correct information.

Such that, and encounter you telegraphed as, and intended to be, easy (and that the group engaged on based on the information provided) is actually deadly (for example)?

If you saw the mistake only after the group engaged, would you change anything?
 

payn

Legend
But what if you realize, after the encounter begins, that you (the DM) inadvertently conveyed incorrect information to the party or otherwise made a major mistake on the actual encounter? That the group would have acted very differently if they had been conveyed the correct information.

Such that, and encounter you telegraphed as, and intended to be, easy (and that the group engaged on based on the information provided) is actually deadly (for example)?

If you saw the mistake only after the group engaged, would you change anything?
Seppuku?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I would assume that's because the game since 3e (and really even the 2nd half of 2e) has been oriented around character building, and then demonstrating the utility of those builds against a variety of scenarios. Stopping that demonstration early doesn't make the game fun.

I think it's easy to forget that for most modern playstyles, the focus of play isn't the challenge, it's the performance.
Which, put another way, says that the focus of play is more sport than war.

The rise in importance of the character-build sub-game is IMO a backward step.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
But what if you realize, after the encounter begins, that you (the DM) inadvertently conveyed incorrect information to the party or otherwise made a major mistake on the actual encounter? That the group would have acted very differently if they had been conveyed the correct information.
To me, though it would obviously be my mistake as DM and I'd own up to it later, it's no different than if the PCs had blown some observation rolls and completely misjudged the difficulty of the battle.
Such that, and encounter you telegraphed as, and intended to be, easy (and that the group engaged on based on the information provided) is actually deadly (for example)?
That can just as easily happen if my dice run hot and-or theirs don't - I've seen encounters that on paper should be pushovers for the PCs strain them to their limit; conversely I've also seen them just waltz through encounters that on paper should be deadly.
If you saw the mistake only after the group engaged, would you change anything?
Yes, but only after the fact: I'd change the amount of attention I was paying to the encounter write-ups and-or creature abilities. :)
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
False.

The world is established and it does not change just because something turned out too easy, too hard, or whatever. Now, I can change things before it happens, of course, but not during.

If afterwards I realize it was unbalanced, not fun, etc. I will work on making my encounters better for next time. DMing, like anything, is a learning experience IMO.
 


Gotta play it fast and loose. I generally only have 2.5 hours to play, so if I need to change something to speed things along I will. The other night was combat heavy and I felt we didn’t need to play out the party beating the crap out of the last skeleton. So I said everyone roll to attack and the player with the lowest roll takes one hit but the skeleton is defeated.
 

I think there's a pretty big disconnect here. I'm talking about the player characters losing a battle, possibly dying, and it sounds like you're talking about never being able to play with those characters ever again.
The post in which you started this digression specifically referenced a TPK. That does generally mean "never being able to play with those characters ever again".

People have mostly been responding to you on that basis rather than talking about fudging to avoid a single character death (and resurrection) or simple defeat I believe.
 

Reynard

Legend
I generally won't let a random encounter be a PC killer, or at minimum I'll open up an obvious route to flee.
I often wonder why people assume that "random encounter" automatically means "combat." Random encounters have encounter distance and reaction rolls and in-fiction context and evasion procedures all working AGAINST them defaulting to combat.

Of course they will be combat if you have murder hobo PCs, but honestly there's something truly satisfying about a random encountering wiping a murder hobo party because they started the fight.
 

Reynard

Legend
Because my time creating them from the mechanics to the aesthetics, to the personality to the backstory just got wasted. Because all of my anticipation and expectation for them has just just cut off. Because their story just ended unsatisfactorily at best and ignobly at worst.

Because there's an inherent promise in the 'often' that this will not be the first time for that.

I don't make characters to be throwaway proxies for the DM's story. I make character who are my part to play in a collaborative story and I do so with care and effort and hope for something interesting to come of them.

And not, the 'danger' isn't fun for me. It's stressful in the activity I do to destress and have fun. I'm left sitting there wondering if all my time and effort and care is about to be slam-dunked into a trashcan and whether the one who does is is going to do a victory dance and expect me to smile and clap at the masterful job they did of just laying waste to my free time and interest.
This is definitely a case of wanting to match player expectations with GM style and campaign tone. There is nothing wrong with what you want and what you prefer but it just wouldn't be compatible at my table most of the time. Adventuring is dangerous business etc...
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I often wonder why people assume that "random encounter" automatically means "combat."
This is a good point.

I feel that random encounter tables (if you use them) should have a mix of hostiles and friendlies. On the highways between town, the party might run into bandits, sure. But it should be much more likely for them to encounter a farmers on their way to market, a traveling merchant, or soldiers on patrol. IMO, anyway.
 

Reynard

Legend
This is a good point.

I feel that random encounter tables (if you use them) should have a mix of hostiles and friendlies. On the highways between town, the party might run into bandits, sure. But it should be much more likely for them to encounter a farmers on their way to market, a traveling merchant, or soldiers on patrol. IMO, anyway.
It is more than that. Just because you roll "orcs" doesn't mean it is a fight. Any number of things could happen.
 

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